Israeli Jews must become ‘indigenized’ to the Arab world, Blumenthal tells Lustick

Israel/Palestine
on 117 Comments

Yesterday I went to an event at the University of Pennsylvania, featuring Max Blumenthal discussing his book Goliath, with Ian Lustick, Penn political scientist and author of the recent groundbreaking piece in the New York Times on the end of the two-state paradigm.

My video excerpt (which you can also watch by going to 34:00 in the complete video here) is one of the more interesting exchanges, in which Lustick challenged Blumenthal to say what he believes Israel/Palestine should look like.

There is some anxiety in Lustick’s question. He took care during the discussion to dissociate himself from the one-state movement. He comes from a religious Zionist background and has long supported the two-state solution. But because two-states is such magical thinking, and he wants to have an intellectual engagement with real ideas, he said, he has abandoned the paradigm. And acknowledges that violence is inevitable in Israel and Palestine.

But leftwing ideas about the conflict obviously frighten him. I can see your facts, Lustick says to Blumenthal, but “I don’t know what your conclusions are.” So he asks Blumenthal to play God, and refers to the Genesis story in which God says he would save Sodom if he could find just 10 righteous men living there.

“You do say there are good people in Israel,” Lustick says. But your last chapter is the Exodus, and one can infer that you endorse the idea that the only logical course for the colonizer “is to leave. Which is a form of the end of the country, the end of Jewish collective life in the land of Israel. I’m asking you is that your conclusion?”

Because, Lustick goes on, the impression your book leaves is that “Israel is not just a little bit fascist, Israel is a lot fascist–” a word “that’s being increasingly used” in the discourse. And fascist is the ultimate delegitimizer. Because we all know that in the post World War II landscape, a state cannot be fascist and be allowed to survive. “It must be ended?”

Blumenthal responds at some length. Here is part of his answer.

“Zionism as a philosophy that has animated the facts on the ground… is an absolutely failed project.” His book exposes failure after failure after failure. Such a statement might hurt the feelings of some Zionists, but Zionism has “hurt the bodies of a lot of Palestinians, and that’s really what matters.”

So his concern is first is to find a scenario that relieves the sufferings of the indigenous people.

“As for the Jewish Israelis… These are Israelis who are attracted to Europe, who do not feel that they are part of the Arab world. And it’s that attraction to Europe, that manifestation of Herzl’s famous quote, that the Jewish state will be a rampart of civilization against barbarism which has led to the present crisis and the failure of Zionism. Because there is absolutely no way for Jewish people in Israel/Palestine to become indigenized under the present order, and that’s really what has to happen. You have to be willing to be a part of the Arab world, because you’re living in the Arab world. If you don’t, then you have to maintain this system and continue to harden the present system.”

Here Blumenthal refers to the separation wall running along the West Bank, aimed at preventing “demographic spillover,” per Netanyahu. And he refers to Israel fencing off Jordan, the Golan Heights, and other borders (or claimed borders), to protect its ethnocracy.

All this reflects a “dystopian future inaugurated by Herzl in his desire to create” Europe in the Middle East. So Blumenthal says: “There should be a choice placed to the settler colonial population.” They must become indigenized, which he says a lot of Israeli Jews would be happy doing. Many of his Israeli friends have become attracted to the Arab world, they go to Cairo and Amman. And many Mizrahi Jews identify as Arabs. But:

“If you think that you can maintain a kind of Berlin reality, you’ve created a recipe for the current dystopia and the environment that many describe as fascist. So this choice needs to be placed to the Israeli Jewish population, and it can only be placed to them by external pressure, the kind of pressure that the BDS movement is exerting.

“The maintenance and engineering of a non indigenous demographic majority is non-negotiable, and that’s a conclusion I will freely come to and make. And so what you see between the two covers of my book is the outcome of a system of demographic manipulation and settler colonialism in a very terminal phase but without any real external pressure.”

Lustick doesn’t answer Blumenthal, opens the discussion up to the floor. I think he was somewhat taken aback, and intimidated by Blumenthal’s forceful presentation. I differ with Blumenthal here. I think we live in a multicultural world, with many people crossing borders, and similar attitudes about indigenous culture have been used in intolerant ways in our society. I see some intolerance in that answer. Many Arabs have also been “attracted” to European culture, even if it’s a non-indigenous culture. The issue in the end involves the choice between an Algerian and a South African outcome; I’m for the South African outcome.

117 Responses

  1. hophmi
    October 18, 2013, 12:47 pm

    “Zionism as a philosophy that has animated the facts on the ground… is an absolutely failed project.”

    I’m sorry. That’s back asswards; it’s ridiculous. Especially in the context of the Middle East. It’s certainly possible to conclude that Zionism is a flawed project, and that Israel is a flawed state. But not a failed one. Because today, Israel is without question the region’s most stable state, and it is, for better or worse, a state with a Jewish majority, and will remain so in the future.

    “Because there is absolutely no way for Jewish people in Israel/Palestine to become indigenized under the present order, and that’s really what has to happen. You have to be willing to be a part of the Arab world, because you’re living in the Arab world. ”

    That’s also ridiculous. In the first analysis, this is a two way street. The Arab world has done less than nothing to welcome the Jewish people into the Arab world. And no, providing them with dhimmi status, or welcoming a few court Jews into the ranks of the leadership, is not acceptance. Arabs have never signaled acceptance of an empowered Jew.

    There is no “Arab world.” No people has a responsibility to live according to the norms of others in their region. Especially when those norms are problematic and leave a lot to be desired.

    “And he refers to Israel fencing off Jordan, the Golan Heights, and other borders, to protect its ethnocracy.”

    You know, until a few years ago, there was no wall, no fence. Why did it happen? To protect an “ethnocracy” or to protect a citizenry of Jews, Arabs, Druze, Christians, and visiting tourists?

    “All this reflects a ‘dystopian future inaugurated by Herzl in his desire to create’ Europe in the Middle East.”

    When I read things like this, I am reminded again that what really bothers people like Max is not so much the human rights situation. Because there are many other human rights situations that Max Blumenthal could not give a rats’ patootie about. It’s Europe’s colonial sins. And in an act of egregious projection, the victims of European Christian exclusivism are being asked to pay for them, while the Europeans themselves are immune.

    “They must become indigenized, which he says a lot of Israeli Jews would be happy doing. Many of his friends have become attracted to the Arab world, and many Mizrahi Jews identify as Arabs.”

    They ARE indigenized. They LIVE THERE. And have for generations. What a racist notion; one can’t be indigenized unless what? What is indigenized? Speaking Arabic? Wearing a kheffiyeh? Converting to Islam, maybe?

    You know what’s fascist? Telling people that they have no right to exist in a space unless they become “indigenized.”

    • Woody Tanaka
      October 18, 2013, 1:05 pm

      “The Arab world has done less than nothing to welcome the Jewish people into the Arab world.”

      And few homeowners welcome thieves and killers into their homes.

      “You know, until a few years ago, there was no wall, no fence. Why did it happen? To protect an “ethnocracy” or to protect a citizenry of Jews, Arabs, Druze, Christians, and visiting tourists?”

      To protect the ethnocracy. If it wasn’t for judeosupremacy, there would be no conflict.

      “It’s Europe’s colonial sins.”

      Nope. It’s the zionists’ colonial sins. Stop trying to find a scapegoat for the zionists’ crimes.

      “You know what’s fascist? Telling people that they have no right to exist in a space unless they become ‘indigenized.'”

      That’s not fascist. Fascist is creating a nuclear-powered Apartheid state that victimized the Palestinians, all based on mythical notions of the fifteen minutes back in the Bronze Age when Jewish people (who were the ancestors of those same victimized Palestinians) ran the show. That’s some fascism for you.

      • Walid
        October 18, 2013, 2:07 pm

        “… But not a failed one”

        Until the remaining half of the world’s Jews take up the Zionist enterprise’s call to move to the so-called “national homeland of the Jews”, you can consider it a failed one. The illusory successes of Israel you are seeing are premised on American subsidies and cash grants and by sponging on what belongs to the Palestinians. I think it was seafoid that said that the Zionist state is on life supports. 10 years ago Netanyahu had promised that by this year, Israel was to stop taking handouts from the US. A fat parasitic Israel is nothing to be proud of.

      • hophmi
        October 18, 2013, 2:14 pm

        “Until the remaining half of the world’s Jews take up the Zionist enterprise’s call to move to the so-called “national homeland of the Jews”, you can consider it a failed one.”

        The movement was never predicated on all Jews moving to Israel.

      • Walid
        October 18, 2013, 4:03 pm

        “The movement was never predicated on all Jews moving to Israel.”

        You mean that the Zionists wanted only 700,000 to replace the expelled Palestinians to take their place in harvesting the crops sown by the Palestinians? What about the never-ending calls for settlers to populate the West Bank?

        Speaking of Zionists, they have been conducting mock attacks in the Beirut skies for the last 90 minutes and not spooking anyone. Tonight’s the full moon, which may have something to do with it; it affects these cultists’ behaviour in a strange way.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 18, 2013, 5:40 pm

        “The movement was never predicated on all Jews moving to Israel.”

        No, it was predicated on the theft of Palestinian land and the murder of Palestinian people. Little more.

      • seafoid
        October 18, 2013, 7:17 pm

        It still is, hophmi. They built yesha thinking they’d all come. If they had things would have been different. Maybe less sabra more anglo would have been a better mix. American jews today are very like the absentee landlords of the Ottoman era.

    • Krauss
      October 18, 2013, 1:28 pm

      They ARE indigenized. They LIVE THERE.

      Look at the desperation of the racist.

      No, hophmi, they are not indigenous. They are planted there.
      In fact, the Boers and their descendants in South Africa had been in Apartheid South Africa for centuries.
      Compare this to most Israeli Jews have been in Palestine for only decades.

      Oh, and “we lived there 3000 years ago” isn’t a valid argument. Maybe half of Europe should colonize Africa because after all, “we all came from Africa so we’re only returning to our native lands”.

      (I’m aware that a lot of people, sane people, will sigh as I try to reason with a pathological racist. I’m sorry. Maybe I’m an optimist for even the most vile racist creature).

      • piotr
        October 18, 2013, 9:22 pm

        You forgot to cite any notable Israelis. E.g. they live in a “villa in a jungle”, you know, some jungle tribes live in huts, some in villas but they are all native. Headhunting seems to be a uniting passion.

        Actually, Israel has a lot of regional characteristics which are hardly European. For starters, the laws pertaining to marriage are more or less the same as in Lebanon, but it is hard to find something similar in Europe. Municipal employees issuing curses — some nearby countries have also clerics paid by the state and issuing fatwas. Anytime we discuss a complaint about brutality of security forces someone raises the counter-issue — how about, say, Egypt or Syria? I see here at least some desire for harmonizing with the rest of the region.

      • NormanF
        October 19, 2013, 12:16 pm

        The majority of Israel’s Jews come from the Middle East. And most of them are born there and have no place to go. They consider Israel their home and they will never leave. In that sense, Israelis are exactly the same as Americans, Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders. You don’t have to like Israel but it is a fact of life.

        Deal with it!

      • Shingo
        October 19, 2013, 9:32 pm

        The majority of Israel’s Jews come from the Middle East. And most of them are born there and have no place to go.

        The majority were immigrants, some of which came from the Middle East and Africa. But they should not have to go anywhere, unless they are living in illegal settlements, in which case they need to go back to Israel.

        In that sense, Israelis are exactly the same as Americans, Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders.

        Except that you can be any religion and still be American, Canadian, Australian and New Zealanders.

      • Walid
        October 19, 2013, 11:21 pm

        “But they should not have to go anywhere, unless they are living in illegal settlements, in which case they need to go back to Israel.”

        Shingo, I’d go along with that, but it would have to be conditional upon full rights of return and restititutions being given to the Palestinians. The problem contrary to what the hasbarists keep pushing here here, is not about the Jews being there but about the Palestinians being kept out and deprived of what is rightfully theirs. Norman, yrn, hophmi and the rest of the gang are here on a mission to keep this issue clouded by the smoke and mirrors stunt about Jews having being expelled or about the holocaust. It’s really about keeping the Palestinians out.

      • RoHa
        October 19, 2013, 11:52 pm

        “In that sense, Israelis are exactly the same as Americans, Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders.”

        But Americans, Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders all acknowledge that their country was built on the dispossession of the native inhabitants, and all attempt to make apologies and reparations for the harm done.

        Israelis merely add further harm.

        link to mondoweiss.net

      • James Canning
        October 20, 2013, 2:47 pm

        @Walid – – Do they need even to bother? Realistically, what chance is there for the Palestinians to return to Israel (pre-1967 borders)? Yes, as to compensation.

    • Walid
      October 18, 2013, 2:21 pm

      “You know, until a few years ago, there was no wall, no fence. Why did it happen? To protect an “ethnocracy” or to protect a citizenry of Jews, Arabs, Druze, Christians, and visiting tourists? ”

      You think that ugly, horrible and despicable wall is protecting you? Just wait for the real intifada to kick in and you’d be seeing how ineffective that stupid wall is. It’s not the wall that’s been stopping trouble from reaching you but the lulling that the Palestinians have been brainwashed into with talk of a better life with a coming peace and the American-trained PA force of about 70,000 Palestinian policemen that’s there only to ensure quiet on Israel’s borders.

    • Dutch
      October 18, 2013, 5:01 pm

      @ Hophmi
      ‘You know what’s fascist? Telling people that they have no right to exist in a space unless they become “indigenized.”’

      Yeah, right. Israel would of course never do such a thing.

      It’s time to pack up, buddy, and go home. Indeed the zionist experiment has failed completely — unless you find it normal to keep people in cages. Apologize and go back to Europe, where you belong.

      • bilal a
        October 19, 2013, 9:58 am

        Israelis are not indigeneous to Western Europe, rather the geographic locus appears to be the Ukraine , Belarus, and Poland (the geography of the 17th cent. Polish Lithuanian Union).

        “Ben Gurion was born in Poland, Moshe Sharett (like Krauthammer and Kristol) was from the Ukraine, as was Levi Eshkol, and Golda Mabovitch Meir, Rabin parents emigrated from Ukraine, Shimon Peres Szymon Perski; Polish, Benzion Mileikowsky (later Netanyahu) was born in Warsaw, Poland.
        link to en.wikipedia.org

      • eljay
        October 19, 2013, 10:07 am

        >> Israelis are not indigeneous to Western Europe, rather the geographic locus appears to be the Ukraine , Belarus, and Poland …

        Indigenous: originating or occurring naturally in a particular place; native.

        I get that new immigrants to Israel might be indigenous to Eastern Europe, Ukraine, etc., but surely Israelis born in Israel are indigenous to Israel…no?

        (My parents came from Croatia and Italy. I’m first-generation Canadian. I’m certainly not indigenous to Croatia or Italy.)

    • lysias
      October 18, 2013, 7:07 pm

      Because today, Israel is without question the region’s most stable state

      Circa 1980, apartheid South Africa was without question the most stable state in sub-Saharan Africa.

    • Sibiriak
      October 18, 2013, 8:06 pm

      Hophmi:

      It’s Europe’s colonial sins.

      No. Zionism is significantly bound, ideologically and practically, to European colonialism/imperialism.

      the victims of European Christian exclusivism are being asked to pay for them

      No. Zionists represented a European colonial-settler movement (with some unique characteristics, of course), and shared in the “sins” of colonialism/imperialism/Euro-supremacism.

      while the Europeans themselves are immune.

      Here you have a valid point. European hypocrisy and historical amnesia are staggering.

      • Donald
        October 19, 2013, 8:56 am

        “while the Europeans themselves are immune.”

        “Here you have a valid point. European hypocrisy and historical amnesia are staggering.”

        It just occurred to me–another distinction between the approach taken by neocons vs. pseudo-liberal Zionists. Neocons tend to deny the sins of European colonialism and of American imperialism–in fact, they favor both. Their philosophy is “no enemies to the right, unless they are anti-semites.” I used to read the flagship neocon magazine “Commentary” and they defended the good old days when Europeans were out there “civilizing” people, and obviously thought America’s role was to do the same today. Pseudo-liberal Zionists admit the crimes of European colonialism (and American crimes of a similar nature), but deny any ideological connection to Israel’s behavior.

      • NormanF
        October 19, 2013, 12:28 pm

        Every country in the world is flawed. The Zionist answer is that Israel is solving the problem of Jewish homelessness and powerlessness. Its not enough and the Jewish State still has a long way to go to realize its full potential as a country.

      • Shingo
        October 19, 2013, 6:20 pm

        Every country in the world is flawed.

        From point 3 in the Hasbara manual – everyone sucks.

        The Zionist answer is that Israel is solving the problem of Jewish homelessness and powerlessness.

        False. The most powerful Jews refuse to live in Israel. In fact, skilled and educated Jews are abandoning Israel in droves and taking Israel’s potential with them.

      • RoHa
        October 19, 2013, 8:08 pm

        “The Zionist answer is that Israel is solving the problem of Jewish homelessness and powerlessness.”

        By stealing the homes of Palestinians, and keeping the Palestinians powerless. Yet another example of “We matter and you don’t”.

        (Thanks for that summary, Saleema.)

    • Obsidian
      October 19, 2013, 1:55 am

      “You know what’s fascist? Telling people that they have no right to exist in a space unless they become “indigenized.”

      You nailed it, Hoph.

      Now when is someone from Mondoweiss going to admit that the emperor has no clothes; that Max is an educated fool.

    • RoHa
      October 19, 2013, 2:16 am

      “The Arab world has done less than nothing to welcome the Jewish people into the Arab world.”

      People turn up on the doorstep, say “Nice house. We’re going to make it ours”, and you expect them to be welcomed?

      • James Canning
        October 19, 2013, 7:24 pm

        And, once again, all Arab countries have offered to accept Israel within its pre-1967 borders. ALL.

    • talknic
      October 19, 2013, 11:36 am

      hophmi “It’s certainly possible to conclude that Zionism is a flawed project, and that Israel is a flawed state. But not a failed one.”

      Failed on day one by ;
      A) having Jewish forces in territories outside the State of Israel in contravention of International Law it promised to uphold in its declaration and; never once in its short modern history has it withdrawn ALL its troops from ALL non-Israeli territories. So it is still failing
      B) never having a legally elected Government in its short modern history, under the constitution promised in the declaration. Still failing (Israelis)
      C) being in breach for 65 years of the UN Charter it vowed to uphold the day it was declared. Still failing

      “The Arab world has done less than nothing to welcome the Jewish people into the Arab world”

      They agreed to the LoN Mandate for Palestine, article 7 gave Jewish people the right to acquire Palestinian citizenship and live anywhere in Palestine.

      “There is no “Arab world.” No people has a responsibility to live according to the norms of others in their region”

      WOW! That runs contrary to the ye wholly holey moldy old Hasbara that ‘there are numerous Arab states why do they need another one?’ and ‘Palestinians have a state in Jordan’ etc etc blah blah blah

      “You know, until a few years ago, there was no wall, no fence. Why did it happen? To protect an “ethnocracy” or to protect a citizenry of Jews, Arabs, Druze, Christians, and visiting tourists?”

      Why isn’t it on Israeli soil?

      “Because there are many other human rights situations that Max Blumenthal could not give a rats’ patootie about.”

      Just because one specializes and focuses on one topic doesn’t mean they don’t care about other injustices

  2. yrn
    October 18, 2013, 1:08 pm

    Master Max Blumenthal
    We Israeli Jews will do everything you ask Master Max, but we want to be digenous first.
    Please Mater Max.

    • Woody Tanaka
      October 18, 2013, 2:18 pm

      Is it just me, or does yarny’s post here smack of racism with all the “Master” this and “Master” and the “we want to be digenous [sic]”
      It reads like he’s trying to do blackface in text.

    • eljay
      October 18, 2013, 7:12 pm

      yrneee has returned! Perhaps now he can answer the questions I raised in this post, which I will gladly re-post here for his convenience:

      1. What are the criteria for considering a person to be a Jew? Please don’t omit any.

      2. Is being a Jew the same as being Jewish?

      3. Under what circumstances – if any – can a Jew be stripped of his Jewish identity and rendered not a Jew?

      4. Can a person be a Jew and not belong to “the Jewish people”?

      5. Can a person belong to “the Jewish people” and not be a Jew?

      • marcfeldman
        October 19, 2013, 6:34 pm

        eljay, you ask very good questions. I tried to address these in an article I recently published:
        link to clevelandjewishnews.com

        “How odd of God, to choose the Jews.”
        Our parsha, Ki Tavo, begins, “It will be when you enter the land that God gives you as an inheritance, you will possess it, and dwell in it.”
        The parsha tells us the duties for temple service, care of the needy and moral behavior. Above all, the parsha shows the source of Jewish identity. Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz discussed this. Judaism is not a nationality. Jews are citizens of many countries and many languages. It is not a racial group. There are white Jews and black Jews, Chinese Jews and Maori Jews. It is not even a religion, there are Buddhist Jews and atheist Jews.
        The essence of the Jewish people is a family. The family unit is ancient, much older than concepts like religion or nation. We behave like a family. The Cleveland Jewish News is, in essence, a family newsletter, where we keep each other up-to-date and keep in touch. We fight with each other like quibbling siblings. But we come together in unity when any outsider would attack us. Jews are like eggs, the more you boil them, the harder they become.
        You cannot leave a family. A Jew, no matter how he sins, is still a Jew. There is no way to make a Jew into a non-Jew. You cannot un-Jew a Jew any more than you could un-cat a cat. It is possible to convert, to become a Jew. But one cannot adopt Judaism as one might adopt another belief or religion. The convert does not adopt Judaism; in a real sense the Jewish people adopt the convert.
        The father of our family, as seen in our parsha, is not Abraham, but God. Our relationship to God is as a child to the father. We pray to Avinu Malkenu, our Father our King. God is devoted to us, and we are devoted to God. The parsha tells us that as the Jewish people recognizes God as our God, and to walk in His ways, so God recognizes the Jewish People as His treasured people.
        As Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch said, the Jewish people was forged not at the point at which they gained their own land, or developed a common language or culture, but on the day on which they pledged to uphold the Torah. Our family relationship to God, binds us to each other, to God, and to His ways. Our devotion to God binds us and defines us. It is our family inheritance. It is who we are.

      • eljay
        October 20, 2013, 9:11 am

        Thank you for your input, marcfeldman.

        I wasn’t aware that Judaism “is not even a religion” – if one is not born to a Jewish mother, one must undergo a religious conversion to become Jewish – and I was under the impression that adopting other faiths (Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, etc.) was inconsistent with being Jewish.

        But I would still like to hear from yrneee, who appears to have designated himself an arbiter of all things Jewish (and who may take issue with some of your comments).

        yrn, before you address anything in marcfeldman’s post, please reply to my five questions. They’re very straightforward, and I really want to know what you have to say. Don’t be afraid.

        Thanks.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 23, 2013, 7:58 am

        “The essence of the Jewish people is a family.”

        Wow, the ethnicity-as-family metaphor; so Jews are like just about every other ethnicity, then?

        “A Jew, no matter how he sins, is still a Jew. There is no way to make a Jew into a non-Jew. You cannot un-Jew a Jew any more than you could un-cat a cat.”

        LOL I’ll have to let my Jewish friend, Larry, who became a Christian that the Jews who said he was no longer a Jew have rescinded their statements

  3. Krauss
    October 18, 2013, 1:37 pm

    I’ve been reading Max Blumenthal’s book these past few days. I can only take about 1-2 hours a day, because it is filled to the brim with information and I need to reflect on what I read and I also frantically google for more information on names, places, events and so on.

    Even reading a site like Mondoweiss isn’t enough. Books really do give you a view that is impossible to gather through blogs, even a high-quality site like this one.

    So far, most of the book has been a lot about inside the 67-lines Israel.
    You realize just how vile the state has been from the beginning. We’re talking about yearly and in some years monthly pogroms.

    Systematic ethnic cleansing. Inside Israel. And not just during ’48 and ’67. One of the more harrowing chapters was about two middle-class secular Arabs inside Israel. They say that even how you pronounce the r’s in Hebrew is a struggle, because there are two ways, a Jewish way and an Arabic way. People notice and judge you if you do it the Arabic way, even if you’re perfectly fluent.

    One guy who was an Arab and worked in nanotechnology casually noted that when he was studying at Technion, their MIT, his professor had changed his username to ‘terrorist’ as a ‘joke’.

    Think about this. These are secular, educated Arabs who are on the verge of leaving the country because they can’t take the constant and open racism. We’re not talking about being snubbed for a job, we’re talking about in-your-face racism from the top down.

    And then we have Shin Bet agents barging in at 3 am in the morning, pulling out fathers out of their bed to the terror of their families – in Haifa, not in the settlements. His crime? He was merely advocating democratic rights.

    Yuval Diskin, who tried to paint himself as a left-leaning liberal in ‘The Gatekeepers’ complained to journalists that ‘Arabs take their rights too far’. Because they dare to ask for equal treatment.

    Blumenthal shows that even if we had a 2SS tomorrow, Israel proper is at best a Jim Crow state. It’s Alabama in the 1940s and possibly even worse.
    The South African freedom champions who have visited the territories have said that the West Bank occupation is worse than the Apartheid they faced.

    I’ve read a lot of books on Israel, but Blumenthal goes to the very pulse of that society. He goes into Israel proper and what he finds is a state with is, in Lustick’s words, a fascistic country. It’s Jim Crow. It’s a venomous poison and a blot and a cancer on the body politic.

    • Krauss
      October 18, 2013, 1:48 pm

      An addition: I believe it is impossible for a person of conscience to support Zionism after reading Blumenthal’s book. As he says in his preface, you may not agree with his conclusions but he does give you the facts. All the Googling and websearching and bookreading I’ve been doing have showed a picture that is often worse than what Blumenthal presents.

      He has been conservative/careful in his selection, so that when the attack on his facts come, he will be able to win on substance every time. The loss is that a lot of stuff is not presented as shocking as it actually is, although it is still shocking.

      This is why the book will never be reviewed by a mainstream publication. It’s impossible to be a true liberal, not a masqurading racist with a ‘liberal’ mask, and read the book, verify the facts and then say “well, but Zionism’s okay anyway”.

      The 67 occupation, as bad as it is, is merely a continuation of state policy. From the very beginning. I didn’t know the shocking extent of racism/ethnic cleansing that happened pre-67, a lot of it went on during the 50s and early 60s.

      Blumenthal recounts how Haifa’s Arab population was spared by pure luck. Ben-Gurion had given the orders of ethnic cleansing but the commander refused, which put Ben-Gurion in the position of formalizing his orders of ethnic cleansing on papers. In previous episodes he merely gave the wave of his hand, and his commanders performed the duty. But with Haifa you had a rare resistance and Ben-Gurion let it pass. Not because he cared about the indigenous population – but because he didn’t want to be implicated by formalizing and writing down his orders.

      You’ve had non-Jewish villages being razed over 50 times. With cheering Israeli Jews on the sidelines who then go in to the town square and just randomly take the plots of land for themselves as the non-Jews helplessly look on, and then being pushed by the IDF to be ‘concentrated'(this is the Nazi-style language they use) in refugee camps and ultimately ethnically cleansed to outside of the country.

      And again, all of this is happening inside the 67 lines.
      Blumenthal’s book cannot be met with facts, so it is met with silence.

      I believe it will be a seminal book. In the coming decade, as the 2SS failure will become ever-more apparent, people will read his book, especially on the left. They will understand that the 2SS is nothing but a chimera for a fundamentally racist state that views ethnic cleansing as a strategy and a core conviction of it’s nature and mission.

      • yrn
        October 18, 2013, 2:28 pm

        “This is why the book will never be reviewed by a mainstream publication.”
        Why would you expect mainstream media to report this story when most Americans, know next to nothing about land disputes between your own federal government and Indian tribes, claims that are being asserted and rejected right here, right now. Things like this:

        US Supreme Court rejects Onondaga’s NY land claim
        Updated 6:39 pm, Tuesday, October 15, 2013

        U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the Onondaga Indian Nation’s petition to review the dismissal of its long-running lawsuit claiming a massive swath of land running down the middle of New York state.

        The Nation had argued the 4,000 square miles in 11 counties was illegally taken by the state through a series of bogus treaties. The lawsuit also named the city of Syracuse and a number of local companies as defendants.

        link to ctpost.com

        Hypocrite much, Max Blumenthal Pride?

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 18, 2013, 3:49 pm

        “Why would you expect mainstream media to report this story when most Americans, know next to nothing about land disputes between your own federal government and Indian tribes”

        This is a complete non-sequitur. Yes, we all know this strain of genocide-envy hasbara, which purports to compare two situations which are entirely different in every meaningful respect, but it’s still a complete non-sequitur.

      • Cliff
        October 18, 2013, 3:52 pm

        How is he a hypocrite, Jewish colonist?

      • talknic
        October 19, 2013, 11:14 am

        @ Yrn The U.S. Supreme Court is in US territory ruling on US territory.

        Israel is in Israel and big chunks of non-Israeli territory. In the latter Israeli civil courts have no legal jurisdiction

        Your analogy is putridly pathetic

      • W.Jones
        October 18, 2013, 2:34 pm

        A big majority of Haifa’s native population ended up “transferred.”
        link to en.wikipedia.org

      • Walid
        October 18, 2013, 2:34 pm

        “I believe it is impossible for a person of conscience to support Zionism after reading Blumenthal’s book. ”

        Krauss, would a suporter of Zionism, with or without a conscience begin reading such a book, let alone finish reading it? I doubt it. Could anyone have convinced the Jonestown cult that they were on the wrong path?

        BTW, Krauss, that was one heck of a good preliminary book review.

      • Cliff
        October 18, 2013, 2:48 pm

        These books are not for Zionists.

        Engaging Zionism is not the issue – nor should it be. It is a waste of time as is the ‘piece process’.

        Activism should be focused on changing the narrative by simply putting a camera on Israelis and letting Israel be itself.

        That is what Max does.

        He let’s Zionism debase itself and that is what his book deals with.

        People who do not know much about this conflict and are not already Islamophobic or Christian fundamentalists are the target audience that will get the most out of the book.

      • NormanF
        October 19, 2013, 12:38 pm

        Max Blumenthal gets the facts dead wrong. And when they’re dead wrong, so are the conclusions. He saw in Israel only what he wanted to see and from the Zionist perspective the answer is self-evident: his book is a nonpareil example of confirmation bias from the preface to the conclusion.

      • Shingo
        October 19, 2013, 6:18 pm

        He saw in Israel only what he wanted to see and from the Zionist perspective the answer is self-evident: his book is a nonpareil example of confirmation bias from the preface to the conclusion.

        The Nazis had a perspective too and they too were dead wrong. Same goes for the other failed “isms” like Zionism

      • Cliff
        October 19, 2013, 7:28 pm

        NormanF,

        If his book is so laden with errors then prove it by citing a passage and countering the claims implied or made explicitly therein.

        Since I think we ALL (Zionist shortbus and MW regulars alike) know you’re full of sh*t, let’s just expedite this process with me calling you a troll and to get lost.

        Get lost, troll.

      • seafoid
        October 18, 2013, 7:22 pm

        Krauss
        “Repression beyond exploitation , the political economy of israel’s occupation ” by Shir Hever is a great read too and explains the rotten system and where israel is going.

  4. fnlevit
    October 18, 2013, 1:38 pm

    How can one take this person Blumenthal seriously. He is just an overgrown teenager and behaves like a teenager with laughable primitive comparisons, total lack of understanding of the big picture, grasping at obvious notions and pushing them in a most grotesque direction.

    He found this style of annoying the adults when he probably was 13 or 14, saw that it is good and continues with this. But not in a rigorous world of say technology or medicine or even serious literature. No, he is not that talented. He is good in outraging. So he is doing this in this ephemeral world of journalistic where there never were good criteria of quality. Being “yellow” (even in the anti-Zionist and anti-Israeli cult) brings him popularity and attention which he needs so much.
    I can still recall his live report from Ramallah market where he was drawing hilarious conclusions from economic facts that Israel having better agriculture products. So extraordinarily primitive.

    And you, tovarisch Weiss – as I said, you will be swept by the muddy wave of extremism which you are raising here like Norman Finkelstein was by the BDS denial of Israel.

    • Krauss
      October 18, 2013, 1:50 pm

      Yeah, people who advocate for democracy and equal rights are overgrown teenagers. How silly of them!
      You know what you are? A moron.

      • hophmi
        October 18, 2013, 1:53 pm

        “Yeah, people who advocate for democracy and equal rights are overgrown teenagers. How silly of them!”

        Max is for democracy and equal rights?

        I know a country called Syria that he could visit.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 18, 2013, 2:10 pm

        Max is for democracy and equal rights?

        I know a country called Syria that he could visit.

        Let me guess, you subscribe to the old hasbara that one is antisemitic if he is in favor of democracy and equal rights, but doesn’t leave israel’s problem in that regard for last??

      • Walid
        October 18, 2013, 2:42 pm

        Hophmi, there are several Syrias in the region, but what has that to do with Blumenthal’s description of what the Israelis have been doing?

      • seafoid
        October 18, 2013, 7:31 pm

        Hoph

        I imagine you advising a rape crisis center in Texas to cease operations since women are raped and killed every day over the border in Juarez.

    • Woody Tanaka
      October 18, 2013, 2:12 pm

      Well, fnlevit, when the likes of you are reduced to ad hominem attacks, the rest of use know that Max hit the mark.

    • Bumblebye
      October 18, 2013, 3:01 pm

      @Perfesser Fleabite
      Can’t attack the substance of Max’s work, so accuse him of childishness. Well, back at yer! ” [T]otal lack of understanding of the big picture” you claim, yet what is this “big picture” in your own words? Would it compare to a maximally ethnically cleansed maximally enlarged ‘Israel’ with Palestinians confined to walled off Bantustans as prescribed by your Nutty leader?
      And remind us why the ‘Israeli’ agricultural products were”better”. Is it because their farmers had ready access to water STOLEN from Palestinian farmers? Is it because israeli farmers don’t have access to their fields interrupted by settlers and soldiers, don’t have their crops polluted by settler sh*t, or wantonly destroyed by other settlers or soldiers? Y’know, unstated official Israeli policy towards Palestinians (since it goes completely unpunished).

      • tree
        October 18, 2013, 3:41 pm

        Israel has also always given subsidies to Jewish farmers that it doesn’t give to Palestinian farmers, regardless of whether the Palestinians are Israeli citizens or not. Its actually official Israeli policy. The whole system is set up to have Israeli Jews succeed and Palestinian non-Jews fail… And then blame the Palestinians for their own failure.

  5. pabelmont
    October 18, 2013, 1:56 pm

    WORD-PAINTING, CONCEPT: “the end of the country, the end of Jewish collective life in the land of Israel”. Well, I live in NYC and I want to tell you that Jews have a WONDERFUL Jewish life here. If they like they can easily have none but Jewish friends. Some, I suppose, may even have none but Jewish companions at work. Of course there are a lot of non-Jews around, wonderful for people who like a non homogenized life. A non-ghetto life, if you will.

    Could there be “Jewish collective life in the land of Israel” if Israel were smaller? sure! Much smaller? Sure again. Merely twice the size of NYC (all 5 boros)? sure. At that size there might even be PURELY Jewish life.

    Could there be “Jewish collective life in the land of Israel” if Israel were to be democratic and include all of what I call Palestine? Again, sure. But not PURELY Jewish any more. A synagogue on every corner, like Starbucks in NYC? Sure, but maybe also a church here and there and a minaret on every corner, too.

    The crunch now, as ever, has been Jewish (PRE-) DOMINANCE in a LARGE SPACE. These bozos want a ghetto so large that it can be called a state. But it makes them uncomfortable to have to share power (or culture). Makes them itch. So some of them call the Palestinians names like “bedbugs” and “cockroaches” so their meaning can be clear. “You disgust me and the sooner I get rid of you the better.”

    And all the Jews who live in Israel who do NOT feel that way have caved-in (like the Republicans caved-in to the Tea Party in Congress 10/2013) and thrown out their humanity with the bath water. Easy to understand. Mob mentality. Don’t criticize the boss. Gotta live here, ya know. And Israel is getting away with it, anyhow, ya know, so why complain?

    Jews of conscience? What blarney! Who needs it! what’s being Jewish got to do with conscience anyway? After all, when the Germans were having all their fun during the Holocaust, we didn’t complain that they had no consciences, no way! We complained that they were mistreating US. And so now, it’s the same, we’re mistreating the Palestinians, and they are lumping it, because what else can they do? And it is nothing to me. Conscience, pfui!

    BACK TO TOPIC: “the end of Jewish collective life in the land of Israel” has already occurred, but only if you think BEING JEWISH means HAVING A CONSCIENCE, ETHICS, ETC. Otherwise, Jewish life in Israel is as good as it gets! You know, like German life in the 1930s and 1940s. How’s it goin’ ? Jez fine, jez fine.

    • Dutch
      October 18, 2013, 4:24 pm

      @ Pabelmont

      ‘And all the Jews who live in Israel who do NOT feel that way have caved-in (like the Republicans caved-in to the Tea Party in Congress 10/2013) and thrown out their humanity with the bath water.’

      They were thrown out of their communities as ‘traitors’, because they believed that the Palestinians [‘Aghabs’ in Eastern-European tongue] had rights, too. They were branded as ‘wrong Jews’ — ‘wrong’ in the sense that the nazi’s were wrong.

  6. Cliff
    October 18, 2013, 2:44 pm

    Phil, could you get ahold of the whole video if there is one? Thank you so much for posting this exchange though.

    • Krauss
      October 18, 2013, 5:05 pm

      The whole video is linked in the main article.

      • Cliff
        October 18, 2013, 10:26 pm

        whoops, thanks for the heads up

  7. yrn
    October 18, 2013, 2:45 pm

    The ‘I Hate Israel’ Handbook
    his case against the Jewish state is so carelessly constructed, it will likely alienate anyone but the most fanatical anti-Zionist extremists, and hence do nothing to advance the interests of the occupation’s victims.
    link to thenation.com

    • K Renner
      October 18, 2013, 3:33 pm

      I don’t think it would alienate people.

      Maybe the people who’ve set out to accuse the book of “being made up of lies and anti-Semitism to malign the jews” from the beginning, but people like that hardly make the grade in terms of intelligence.

      I think that if it was such a sloppy piece, the apologists for Israel here wouldn’t be raging and spewing and trying to discredit it with every breath. Kahanist rage, and all that.

    • Shingo
      October 18, 2013, 6:09 pm

      The ‘I Hate Israel’ Handbook
      his case against the Jewish state is so carelessly constructed, it will likely alienate anyone but the most fanatical anti-Zionist extremists, and hence do nothing to advance the interests of the occupation’s victims.

      Alter man, the gutless shill who hasn’t for the cohones to even debate Max or Phil.

      His BS is shredded here
      link to mondoweiss.net

    • amigo
      October 19, 2013, 8:52 am

      “The ‘I Hate Israel’ Handbook
      his case against the Jewish state is so carelessly constructed, “yarn

      So why don,t you run along and carefully construct your own case for the
      occupation nation.

  8. yonah fredman
    October 18, 2013, 4:55 pm

    Israel is in serious trouble, but Max is not interested in offering decent advice. when he starts telling Israel that it should let African refugees in because they will help the polity, this is pure nonsense. Treatment of refugees is a problem everywhere and a problem in Israel. And the nature of Israel’s democracy/ ethnocracy encourages negative racist even violent reactions among the “indigenous” poor. Nothing to be proud of, but certainly not an unusual reaction. But this is besides the point. Saying, these people can help Israel is just a type of propaganda. No one accepts refugees for the future they will bring in 20 or 50 years, but for humanistic reasons. And Max emphasizes this out of nowhere in his description of the Arabized Israel of the future, just in order to press a point.

    I think all Israelis should learn Arabic and the upper crust should be as fluent in Arabic as they are in English, so I agree on this level with the Arabized future for Israel. And there are other truths that Max expresses. But mixed in with enough propaganda and plenty of attitude.

    • Cliff
      October 18, 2013, 5:13 pm

      You haven’t read his book, hence shut up.

      • Obsidian
        October 19, 2013, 2:00 am

        Hence?

    • Woody Tanaka
      October 18, 2013, 5:48 pm

      “And the nature of Israel’s democracy/ ethnocracy encourages negative racist even violent reactions among the “indigenous” poor.”

      It wasn’t the Palestinians (i.e., the indigenous people of that land) who were attacking the Africans.

    • Walid
      October 18, 2013, 9:36 pm

      “when he starts telling Israel that it should let African refugees in because they will help the polity, this is pure nonsense. Treatment of refugees is a problem everywhere and a problem in Israel.” (Yonah)

      African refugees were a real problem to Israel only because they were not Jewish; shipping 50,000 of them off to Uganda to be penned into UN refugee camps in exchange of supplying the Ugandans with arms took care of that problem real easy. As to those other ones of the wrong colour but were descendants of Solomon, they provided menial labour and were limited from multiplying by Israel’s imposed sterilization program for Africans; makes you wonder what those Zionists of good will have in store for Israel’s million-plus “Arabs”.

      • seafoid
        October 19, 2013, 3:00 am

        What to do about distress migration from Africa and Asia is a question for Europe as well as Israel. Blumenthal probably said that going all concentration camp on the problem is not good for Israeli society. There will be more insightful responses such as quotas and investment in the source countries but Zionism doesn’t do insight.

      • Walid
        October 19, 2013, 3:30 am

        Speaking of distress migration, sad story out of Lebanon earlier this month about a local shyster having conned 65 people into each dishing out $10,000 to be taken into Australia as distressed Syrian refugees; they didn’t know that the Australian authorities would turn them back and they didn’t know that the final leg of their journey would be on a barge and without life jackets. Only 15 survived:

        link to refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com

      • miriam6
        October 20, 2013, 11:59 pm

        Walid@;

        As to those other ones of the wrong colour but were descendants of Solomon, they provided menial labour and were limited from multiplying by Israel’s imposed sterilization program for Africans

        That is an outright lie you are repeating.

        In the first place there is no logic to your argument because you already said in your comment that Israel has no problem with Africans of Jewish origin.
        Then you decided you wanted quite illogically to have your cake and eat it too – by claiming Israel sterilizes Ethiopian Jews and otherwise only wants them in Israel as menial labour – in which case – even less reason for Israel to wish to sterilize them.

        No doubt you are referring to the controversy over the supposed sterilization of Ethiopian Jews in Israel. The administering of a contraceptive effective for only three months does not amount to an imposed sterilization programme as you call it.
        What is more the Depo Provera contraceptive jab happens to be a contraceptive method already favoured by women back in Ethiopia.

        And in any case – explain why on earth Israel has brought so many Ethiopian Jews to Israel if only to sterilize them?

        link to nathalierothschild.com

  9. Krauss
    October 18, 2013, 5:12 pm

    Having watched the whole debate it’s easy to see why both Beinart and Alterman refuses to debate Blumenthal. He has a command of the facts which you can only get by going deep into a state for multiple years, visiting almost every corner and talking to thousands of people.
    And as Blumenthal himself said. If you call yourself liberal, you cannot face these facts for there is no defence a real liberal could make in favour of Jim Crow and Apartheid.

    You’re right about Lustick and it was disappointing to see him say those things, but on the other hand, better with honesty than fraudulent liberalism which only serves to hide Jewish fears. Lustick is open with them.

    And I, like you, also saw him being taken aback. Blumenthal rejected his ‘let’s play God’ frame by simply pointing to J Street. He said clearly that change in Israel/Palestine will not happen by persuasion, only by external pressure. The status quo is sustainable for someone like Netanyahu whose plan is to prolong it as long as he can.

    I was also chuckling as Lustick said he had 2-3 questions but after Max’s demonstration after his first, he simply seemed to perfer not to ask the others. My guess is that those were similarily critical questions but he knew they’d wouldn’t fly by. But Lustick is at least a moral man. He recognizes the suffering on the other side and he grapples with his own biases, which is why he asked the question about saving even the 100 righteous Israelis.

    One thing to remember though. Lustick talked about how he was struck by what he called ‘ordinary language’ of the Israeli Jews. He recounted a meeting where an administrator made a difference between Israelis and Arabs. Israelis as a shorthand for Jews. In Lustick’s ‘save 100 Israelis’ you get the sense he’s thinking about Jews, which he lumps as ‘Israelis’ just like the administrator. He isn’t racist like the guy in his story, but fundamentally, his primary concern lays with them, which is also reflected in his question.

    • Cliff
      October 19, 2013, 4:43 am

      I especially liked the guy who had been following Max around at talks, claim that Max was being hypocritical and exploiting the memory of the Holocaust.

      In truth, the quote this guy referred to was actually said by the ISRAELI director of ‘Defamation’ – a great documentary on, among other things, the exploitation of the memory of the Holocaust.

      So this guy gets up to the mic and harangued Max and interrupted him until the moderator intervened. And for what? Max corrected him very quickly.

      It’s not even controversial. These Zionists simply do not read the book. They have a crazy visceral reaction to the general idea behind the book. They emote first and think later (if even that).

      The heckler had a bunch of notes apparently but he missed the detail – that Max was QUOTING the ‘Defamation’ director and not saying the statement himself.

      Not to mention the statement – whether said by the dir. of the documentary or Max himself – is not even exploitative.

      The backstory is that a group of Israeli students are taking a tour of a Holocaust museum and many of them do not ‘feel’ anything. Until they are brought into a gas chamber and encouraged to IMAGINE what it was like for camp prisoners.

      How crazy! Their teacher was encouraging them to do this! And the irony is that, a moment later in the documentary, some guy – presumably the teacher – tells the cameraman and maybe the director of the documentary to move away/not sit on a bench (because apparently 20 people died in the spot where that bench is [so why build a bench there?]).

      Just nuts.

      Witnessing this all in-person must have been so bizarre.

  10. James Canning
    October 18, 2013, 7:13 pm

    Israel indeed needs to blend into its neighborhood. And get out of WB and Golan Heights. And tone down the stridently “Jewish” element in Israel.

    • Walid
      October 18, 2013, 9:48 pm

      James, if the problem would be mostly about the water, there are international laws that would ensure Israel gets its fair share of any cross-border flows of water. But the real problem lies with Israel refusing to accept only its fair share; it wants it all.

      • seafoid
        October 19, 2013, 3:13 am

        The way they blasted settler freeways through the delicate ecosystem of the West Bank hills goes with the lushness of the settlement lawns. They hate the land they worship. No interest in sustainability. And Palestine is not Florida. It’s unfortunate to be the jewish disneyland.

        Some Algerian oil minister called oil the devil’s milk. It brings so much suffering. Being the object of Jewish landlust is similar.

      • Shingo
        October 19, 2013, 3:32 am

        The way they blasted settler freeways through the delicate ecosystem of the West Bank hills goes with the lushness of the settlement lawns. They hate the land they worship.

        I could not agree more. Look at how ugly and vulgar the settlement blocks are. In many ways, it does resemble Florida where disgusting high rise buildings and defiled what were otherwise lovely beaches.

        I think this goes to show how false the myth of connection to the land is. There is no symbiosis or balance. Compare them to the Palestinian homes that blend with the land and countryside. It goes to show who the land truly belongs to or more imporantly, who belongs there.

      • Walid
        October 19, 2013, 5:20 am

        “And Palestine is not Florida. It’s unfortunate to be the jewish disneyland.”

        For people desperate to mimic the US or Europe in everything and anything, their freeways and byways, in contrast to the old country, are odd-numbered for east-west and even-numbered for north-south. I wonder why. Speaking of the Florida Disney, Arabs heading toward it always get a good laugh whenever they pass the Kissimmee road and city signs.

      • piotr
        October 19, 2013, 8:30 am

        I take Kissi-mmee over Pis-cat-away every day.

      • James Canning
        October 19, 2013, 7:32 pm

        @Walid – – Israel wants all the water from the Golan?

  11. kayq
    October 18, 2013, 11:17 pm

    As a Palestinian, I don’t think it’s necessary that Jews need to become part of the Arab world, as there is film for multiculturalism to manifest. However what must happen is the prevention of exclusion of Palestinians, and the “holier than thou” attitude by Israelis, as well as Palestinians living as equals. Israeli Jews need to become one with Palestinians, not one separate from Palestinians.

    • kayq
      October 19, 2013, 12:08 am

      space for multiculturalism**

      • seafoid
        October 19, 2013, 9:21 am

        They do have to plug into the sharq al awsat as well, kayq. Israel is a shoddy version of somewhere transatlantic. They have no shared history or link to place and it shows. Israel is third rate because it is the Jewish disneyland. They poured concrete over what was unique and called it progress. Very like 1960s architects who tore down old town centres to build monstrosities. No past, no continuity, no coherence. Zionism is lost now and has nothing to fall back on. Israeli jews are deracinated and so vulnerable to demagogues like Netanyahu.

      • kayq
        October 19, 2013, 9:30 am

        I understand where you’re coming from. I too, disagree with the westernisation or europeanisation of Palestine. Jewish culture is very eastern in nature anyway. The problem here is these Zionist secularists are taking it and westernising to make it look “progressive”. But yeah Israel is pure colonialism, not self-determination.

      • hophmi
        October 19, 2013, 9:57 am

        Hi kayq, it’s nice to have an actual Palestinian here. I’d disagree with your conclusion that Israel is “pure colonialism, not self-determination.” It may seem that way to you, but to the Jews who survived the Holocaust and to the Jews who were kicked out of Arab communities throughout the Middle East it is very much self-determination.

      • kayq
        October 19, 2013, 10:37 am

        Israel certainly has provided refuge to Jewish refugees, no matter where they came from, and has allowed Jews to have self-determination but it’s the idea of political/revisionist/religious Zionism that is settler-colonialism in practice. Afterall, Israel was created and is being maintained through the bloodshed of Palestinians.

        I’m a fan of non-statist Zionism, not so much the latter.

      • seafoid
        October 19, 2013, 10:53 am

        The Holocaust doesn’t negate the facts that Israel is a settler colonial project, that the people were alien and that they had to resort to ethnic cleansing to self determine a workable majority.

        Self determination in Palestine would have give the Palestinians a say .
        But Zionism is all about special rights for Jews only.

      • talknic
        October 19, 2013, 11:07 am

        @ hophmi “to the Jews who survived the Holocaust and to the Jews who were kicked out of Arab communities throughout the Middle East it is very much self-determination”

        It would be were they to be Israelis living in Israel. However, there are Israelis living in n0n-Israeli territory acquired illegally by war and in occupied n0n-Israeli territories. THEY are DEPRIVING Palestinians of self determination

      • eljay
        October 19, 2013, 11:23 am

        >> I’d disagree with your conclusion that Israel is “pure colonialism, not self-determination.”

        Of course you would – you’re a Zio-supremacist.

        >> … to the Jews who survived the Holocaust and to the Jews who were kicked out of Arab communities throughout the Middle East it is very much self-determination.

        Terrorism, ethnic cleansing and the creation of an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine are neither a remedy for injustices suffered by Jews nor self-determination.

      • hophmi
        October 19, 2013, 2:23 pm

        Kayq, how do define non-statist Zionism?

      • kayq
        October 20, 2013, 4:47 am

        Simple. Self determination without a state. In this case, cultural zionism or this is more statist but it’s very socialist as well, labour zionism. favours a binational state.

    • miriam6
      October 20, 2013, 11:30 pm

      kayq@;

      Simple. Self determination without a state. In this case, cultural zionism or this is more statist but it’s very socialist as well, labour zionism. favours a binational state.
      As a Palestinian, I don’t think it’s necessary that Jews need to become part of the Arab world, as there is space for multiculturalism to manifest. However what must happen is the prevention of exclusion of Palestinians, and the “holier than thou” attitude by Israelis, as well as Palestinians living as equals. Israeli Jews need to become one with Palestinians, not one separate from Palestinians.

      Kayq – I can agree with all you say above ( except for the ‘holier than thou’ thing)
      I am pleased you mention the idea of cultural rather than political Zionism.
      Do you visualize a one state with Jewish settlers removed or able to continue living in what is currently the O.P.T ?

      As a Palestinian do you have any contact with Israelis?
      Do you have opportunities to debate with them at all or to organise with them?
      And if so what is their vision of the future as regards one or two state solutions ?

      • kayq
        October 21, 2013, 9:26 am

        Hey miriam!

        Well, firstly, I can say the “holier than thou” attitude is definitely there, especially in regards to Palestinians or that’s atleast how I see it.
        As for your questions, I’m happy for Jews to stay in what is the West Bank, (and Gaza) provided Palestinians get a RoR although the idea of Palestinian Jewish citizens of a Palestinian state sounds good too, provided you know they’re equal. But yeah. Although I think there must be some way to work around it because I don’t believe settlements themselves should stay, as some are built on private Palestinian land, even speaking in a one-state solution. I think settlers too should be naturalised to be citizens, if you understand what I mean?
        Although I think there should definitely be an eradication of extremism on both sides – both fundamentalist groups of Palestinians, and fundamentalist Israelis.

        I do not have much contact with Israelis although I’m aware of what their views are, but let me tell you, I interact with a lot of Jews, of whom some are Zionists, some anti-Zionist. (Of course, some of those Zionists are not necessarily pro-Israel but they’re non-statist Zionists, some are pro-two states) etc. Anyway, many have differing views. Of course, many anti-Zionists are anti-Israel and that’s a given, but nonetheless there is still discussion about how one state would turn out. Although let’s focus on the non-anti-Zionist ones. Obviously those who are pro-two states are pro-two states, and that’s that. As for issues like RoR, borders, Jerusalem, opinions will vary. However some are pro-federalism meaning giving both groups autonomy within a one state. Some are pro-mixed government (like myself).

        Like I said, opinions will vary. Many of them just want a state where both Palestinians and Jews are treatedly justly, and a cultural place is maintained in order for Jews to practise their culture/religion safely.

        (These are diaspora Jews however they’ve visited the region.)

  12. NormanF
    October 19, 2013, 11:56 am

    South Africa outcome? Philip is either smoking crack or has his head in the clouds about the reality of the Middle East.

    Three quick facts demonstrate why Zionism remains relevant to the Jewish future – first Jews can see that without a Jewish army to protect them, their fate will be exactly the same as those of the Syrian Arabs being left to starve to death by their own government. Anti-Semitism and hate of Israel is widespread in the Middle East. Its impossible to open an Arabic paper or turn on an Arab TV channel that doesn’t miss a chance to portray the Jews and Israel in the most demonic terms possible, including cartoons straight out of the Nazi Der Sturmer. Jews know that given Arab hatred of them – no Arab Mandela is not going to happen today or in the foreseeable future. The Middle East is nothing like South Africa and in any case there is no place for the Jews to go.

    Those three facts are sufficient to refute Max Blumenthal’s thesis Zionism is a failed experiment. Jewish self-determination is necessary so the Jewish people can be the masters of their own fate and take care of themselves in a dangerous world. Israel will home to the majority of the world’s Jews in a few decades as the Middle East continues to disintegrate in internecine strife and violence and as global anti-Semitism continues to mushroom out of sight. Zionism has given the Jewish people a sense of security they haven’t known for millenia and in their own state they revived a dead language and continued the story of the Bible. Pretty impressive in a world with dead ideologies, the fact remains that Zionism will remain the answer for Jews as long as the trends in world I described remain and even intensify in the future. There is no Zionist crackup in the works any time soon.

    • Shingo
      October 21, 2013, 7:31 am

      Three quick facts demonstrate why Zionism remains relevant to the Jewish future

      None of what you cited are facts. They are false and paranoid beliefs held by right wing extremists who are becoming unceasingly isolated and irrelevant.

      We saw that when Bibbi made a fool of himself for the second year in a row at the UN. The Israeli army cannot protect the Jewish population that refuse to live in Israel, yet the fact they represent a majority proves that the Jewish army is irrelevant to them.

      An even greater indictment on your deranged thesis is the number of Jews abandoning Israel. Jeez with a brain are leaving Israel in droves, leaving the intellectually impaired behind.

      Zionism is dying a slow and mediocre death.

  13. Obsidian
    October 19, 2013, 3:27 pm

    Hey Max.
    Should the Bedouin become ‘indigenized’ to the modern, majority culture where they live?

    • Shingo
      October 19, 2013, 6:18 pm

      Should the Bedouin become ‘indigenized’ to the modern, majority culture where they live?

      They already indigenous. Why become ‘indigenized’ to a ghetto?

      No need.

  14. benedict
    October 21, 2013, 4:22 am

    I’m trying to figure out what does max mean when he talks about Israelis becoming indigenous. I’m a 14th generation Eretz Yisra’eli. From my mother’s side I’m a descendent of the Rivlin family and of the Khida (an illustrious rabbi who lived in Jlm in the 18th century). I can’t think of anything more indigenous then that.

    As for cultural influence – with more than half of its population coming from a Middle Eastern background Israel adapted plenty of Arab features ranging from cuisine (humus, shawarma, falafel) to lifestyle (large family’s, respect for tradition, reverence of religious figures).

    As for political influence – I see no rational or moral reason for Israel to become indigenous. What does the current Arab political culture contribute to the world in the sense of political stability, rule of law, democratic values, liberal principles? Very little, I’m afraid. Nor does the Arab world have much to offer in the sphere of economy, technology and science.

    It seems to me that once again max is spouting nonsense. It is the Arab world that needs to emulate some important lessons from the experience of Israel, not vice versa.

    • Shingo
      October 21, 2013, 4:52 am

      How can you be 14th generation when Israel is only 3 or 4 generations old?

      • benedict
        October 23, 2013, 3:47 am

        Simple. Israel was established in 1948. Eretz yisrael exists since around 1200 BCE.

      • Shingo
        October 23, 2013, 6:33 am

        Eretz yisrael exists since around 1200 BCE.

        And ceased to exist in 70AD.

    • Cliff
      October 21, 2013, 5:07 am

      I’m a 14th generation Eretz Yisra’eli. From my mother’s side I’m a descendent of the Rivlin family and of the Khida (an illustrious rabbi who lived in Jlm in the 18th century). I can’t think of anything more indigenous then that.

      Then you would be an exception to the rule, because most Israeli Jews cannot claim residency or lineage going back that far into Historic Palestine.

      Most Israeli Jews are not descended from the small indigenous Jewish minority in Historic Palestine.

      That is what Max means. I think that meaning is quite clear, you’re just a liar and troll.

      • hophmi
        October 22, 2013, 10:24 am

        “Most Israeli Jews are not descended from the small indigenous Jewish minority in Historic Palestine.”

        There’s no requirement that citizens of a state trace their lineage back any number of generations.

      • benedict
        October 23, 2013, 4:02 am

        Cliff

        The same thing applies to non Jewish Palestinians.

        You call them “indigenous” despite the historic fact that some of them (perhaps many of them) arrived to Palestine during the 19th century. Obvious examples are the Sudanese and Egyptians of Jaser a Zarka and Jaffa brought in during the Egyptian rule of 1830-1840, the Armenians’ and Maghreb’s in Jlm, Bedouin tribes that moved in from the wastelands of Sinai and Arabia, the Zuabi family that came from the village Irbid in trans Jordan and many others.

        So the question is, what makes a particular group “indigenous”? is it the fact they came to a country 100 years before a different group? In what way is Khanin Zuabi, arriving in Palestine in 1873 more indigenous then Ben zion Milikovsky coming in 1917?

      • Shingo
        October 23, 2013, 6:36 am

        You call them “indigenous” despite the historic fact that some of them (perhaps many of them) arrived to Palestine during the 19th century.

        Very few of them arrived during the 19th century, certainly a small percentage.

        So the question is, what makes a particular group “indigenous”?

        The fact they were there for millenia and didn’t arrive on boats for one.

      • MHughes976
        October 23, 2013, 7:33 am

        Everyone is indigenous to the place where (s)he was born, to nowhere else. For a very long time there have been both Jewish and non-Jewish people indigenous to Palestine.
        As to arrival by boat it may be, though the evidence is highly problematic, that the original people calling themselves ‘Palestinians’ (‘people of the hearth’ in my view) did arrive by boat if they were indeed ‘Sea Peoples’ as the Egyptian propaganda of around 1175 BCE made them.
        The Merneptah Stela, of which we never hear the last, dates about 30 years earlier, and is our first mention of something called ‘Israel’. It is beyond question that MS does not make the land where ‘Israel’ was encountered ‘the land of Israel’ since it is plainly (wherever it was) a shared territory. Which fact goes hand in hand with the sparing use (or total non-use) of ‘land of Israel’ in pre-Roman sources and the Biblical preference for ‘Canaan’ as the name of Palestine.

    • eljay
      October 22, 2013, 11:36 am

      >> It is the Arab world that needs to emulate some important lessons from the experience of Israel, not vice versa.

      Why should the Arab world emulate Israel’s lessons of terrorism, ethnic cleansing, theft, occupation, colonization, supremacism, destruction, torture, murder, refusal to honour obligations under international law, refusal to be held accountable for past and on-going (war) crimes and refusal to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace?

      • hophmi
        October 22, 2013, 1:34 pm

        ROTFLMAO.

        What projection. The twenty-two countries of the Arab world and the fifty-seven countries of the Islamic world are quite skilled at terrorism, ethnic cleansing, theft, occupation, supremacism, destruction, torture, murder, international law violations, refusal to take responsibility for anything, on-going crimes, and so on.

        They can learn from Israel’s democracy, its free press, its civil liberties, its technological advancement, and so on.

      • Shingo
        October 23, 2013, 6:38 am

        The twenty-two countries of the Arab world and the fifty-seven countries of the Islamic world are quite skilled at terrorism

        They learned it from Israel. Menachem Begin even boasted that he brought terrorism to the ME.

        They can learn from Israel’s democracy

        There isn’t one. It’s an apartheid state.

      • eljay
        October 23, 2013, 7:33 am

        >> What projection.

        ROTFLMAO. You have no idea what projection means.

        >> They can learn from Israel’s democracy …

        There are better sources of democracy to learn from than an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State”. Both the Arab world and Israel could stand to learn a few lessons from those sources.

        >> … its free press, its civil liberties …

        Ditto the above comment.

        >> … its technological advancement …

        Like nuclear weapons development. Now you’re talking. And I agree completely.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 23, 2013, 8:09 am

        “They can learn from Israel’s democracy,”

        LMAO. It’s not. Half of the people ruled by the government of that Judeosupremacist system don’t get to vote in it on racist grounds.

        “its free press,”

        LMAO. So israeli disbanded the office of Military Censor? So Vanunu is able to give an interview? “Accreditation” (which can be denied for political reasons) is no longer required? So israeli textbooks can use the word “Nakba”?

        “its civil liberties,”

        LMAO. The state of israel has been one long string of violations of Palestinian human rights, dating before the state came into existence.

        “its technological advancement”

        Yeah, it must be nice to be able, as colonists, to draw upon the resources beyond the little colony; not to mention to have preferential access to the world’s money markets. That kind of corruption, though, is not something that can be “learned…”

      • benedict
        October 23, 2013, 4:03 am

        eljay

        What does the current Arab political culture contribute to the world in the sense of political stability, rule of law, democratic values, liberal principles?

      • Shingo
        October 23, 2013, 6:34 am

        What does the current Arab political culture contribute to the world in the sense of political stability, rule of law, democratic values, liberal principles?

        About the same as Israeli culture, minus the apartheid and hypocrisy.

      • MHughes976
        October 23, 2013, 7:20 am

        It tells us something about the problems of struggling against difficult conditions not entirely of one’s own making.

      • eljay
        October 23, 2013, 7:54 am

        >> What does the current Arab political culture contribute to the world in the sense of political stability, rule of law, democratic values, liberal principles?

        Both Israel’s and the Arab world’s contributions to political stability, rule of law, democratic values and liberal prinicples are less than desirable.

        Both Israel and the Arab world should be striving to emulate the nations that contribute the most to political stability, rule of law, democratic values and liberal prinicples.

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