Ari Shavit’s Zionist revival is a hit in New York

Israel/Palestine
on 85 Comments
Ari Shavit

Ari Shavit

Israeli author Ari Shavit is the toast of the town. It’s almost embarrassing how much attention his book is getting from media royalty. Tom Friedman wrote him up last weekend. Terry Gross interviewed him yesterday. Charlie Rose had him on last night. David Remnick will have two discussions with him, one for the Council on Foreign Relations, one at the 92d Street Y.

I think there’s some insecurity in the American response. People know that things are falling apart. Ian Lustick’s piece in the Times on the Two-State Illusion must be taken on, Max Blumenthal’s book must be dismissed; and Shavit is the man to do these things, an elegant Ashkenazi and unapologetic Zionist with an English-Israeli accent.

I listened to Shavit on Terry Gross yesterday and found his ideas insightful but disturbing, even reactionary. He says that John Kerry is creating expectations of a deal where none can be achieved and the result could be a “terrible clash… a terrible cycle of violence,” in which the two-state solution will be lost, and the two-state solution is the only solution. I.e., just as Camp David’s failure produced the Second Intifada, this failure could produce a Palestinian uprising, but one teetering “on the edge” of regional “chaos.”

So instead of creating expectations that the Israelis will give up settlements and Jerusalem (they won’t) and that the Palestinians will give up the right of return (they won’t), Shavit says that the Americans should be seeking to ameliorate Palestinian conditions so that they make slow progress year by year, have better lives. “A modest humble peace.” In a word, prosperity without freedom.

Will that end the occupation? Terry Gross asked sharply. It can’t be done overnight, Shavit said, and besides, the occupation is not the root of the conflict: 1948 is, the existence of a Jewish state on ethnically-cleansed land.

That is the “tragedy” of Shavit’s title, and the one achievement of his emergence in the U.S.: he is mainstreaming the idea that the conflict is not over settlements but justice, he is mainstreaming the beginnings of a Nakba narrative. Ilan Pappe couldn’t do it, Ghada Karmi couldn’t do it, Ussama Makdisi couldn’t do it. But an elite Zionist can. Because elite media here will listen to him say “Israel was created at the expense of Palestinians who lived there.”

Of course Shavit’s story of this tragedy is different from a Palestinian’s. He says that it was impossible for his Zionist forefathers to see the Palestinians around them because they were so focused on Jewish persecution in Europe. He worships his grandparents; they prophesied Auschwitz, and were right to leave Europe.

“I am totally with them. I think they were right to come. I admire the enterprise that they started.”

But then Shavit says it wasn’t just persecution they fled. His great-grandfather, a prosperous lawyer, left England for Palestine in the 1890s because:

“He realized what I think many in the United States in  American Jewry of today realize, which is that there is an inherent challenge of maintaining non orthodox Jewish life in the Diaspora, and therefore there is a need to have a national home for the Jews.”

So we need a Jewish state not just because the gentiles want to murder us but because they want to marry us.

That’s one of the contradictions in Shavit’s argument. Here’s another contradiction that gets at the intellectual and spiritual corruption in the belief in the need for a Jewish state:

Shavit says that he has married twice, in England, because he wanted a civil marriage, not a religious ceremony, which he’d have to have in Israel; and he says that the ultra-Orthodox in Israel should go to Brooklyn to see how the ultra-Orthodox behave themselves here, they work and they pay taxes. So the west has better political arrangements for Jews in certain ways. But then why aren’t all western liberal political norms a model for Israeli Jews?

Aren’t both problems Shavit mentions the direct result of constituting a Jewish state?

As for the Arabs, Shavit is an unreconstructed Zionist, and his views are essentially neo-colonial:

“The great challenge is that there is an inherent contradiction between our values which are basically democratic, liberal human values, and the brutal reality that we live in.”

And as for the Palestinians, the challenge to them is that they must recognize the Jewish state. They must “make the ideological almost theological compromises needed to make peace” — i.e., give up Jerusalem and the right of return.

And how are Palestinians supposed to reconcile themselves to their dispossession? Shavit seems to think that the two communities will do this truth and reconciliation work on their own. Palestinians will see the profit in having peace with Israelis, while the Israelis mull their crimes and move on:

My role and my commitment and my mission, the mission of my generation, is to keep Zionism, to maintain the Jewish state, and yet to realize that we have done wrong to others and try to limit that moral damage that was done and to enable the two people to live eventually in the future in a peace after they come to terms with their dramatic and traumatized pasts.

I don’t think that Jews can do this on their own. As was true of the recovery from the Holocaust, the only way to come to terms with this tragedy, the Nakba, is to hear plainly from the victims in formal proceedings. That is also the only way to avoid a violent future. Whether a Jewish state survives that conversation, I don’t really care. Shavit cares deeply.

85 Responses

  1. seafoid
    November 19, 2013, 12:29 pm

    “The great challenge is that there is an inherent contradiction between our values which are basically democratic, liberal human values, and the brutal reality that we live in.”

    Surely “the brutal reality that we have created”

    • American
      November 19, 2013, 12:57 pm

      @ seafoid

      ditto….look at what someone does, what they choose, not what they say and you will know what they are.

      • seafoid
        November 19, 2013, 2:43 pm

        Land of milk and torture. And this is the fulfilment of scripture, is it?

    • pabelmont
      November 19, 2013, 1:12 pm

      At least, Shavit is saying it: Israel is brutal to Palestinians. Orthodox preeminence (as to marriage for example) is brutal. Zionism-as-practiced is a system that works fairly well if you admire (and if you are willing to allow to continue in perpetuity) brutality.

      Shavit says: I live in Israel, I’m stuck. You do not live here — see the brutality. Help us, for w cannot help ourselves.

      Help us, for w cannot help ourselves. Amen.

      • LeaNder
        November 19, 2013, 3:59 pm

        Does he, he at least says what exactly? Feels I disagree.

        Shavit is on the list of Israelis I somewhat respect. Nevertheless this interview is not the first disappointment.

        There is a lot of Hasbara in it.

        Israel the most moral army in the world. No, he doesn’t say it directly, by embodies it by his example. He shows he acted as the Israeli “moral soldier”. He filed complaints about army misconduct and mostly there were consequences, things are changed. And then he asks interestingly, would this happen in other armies, American, British … Other armies don’t have soldiers that would act just like he did? Seriously?

        It feels to me he presents the Palestinians as an Israeli problem that has to be resolved somehow. But does he really tell us a lot about Palestinian mistreatment? I didn’t notice. Anyway, as Phil pointed out, it cannot done fast, it has to be done slowly. Where did we hear this before? And how often? The settlements are no problem; and the orthodox are both a threat to society, they have to change, to work and pay taxes, but occasionally they are also more right than wrong. Are they more right, e.g. when they point out that talk about 1967 and dispossession could lead to talks about 1948? How long will it take till all the original refugees have died and new approaches open up based on that?

        Again: It has to be done very slowly, it cannot be done like Americans suggest. Again, no, no, 1967 lines?

        “How” does he say it? I think he says a lot more by not speaking too much about Palestinians, or in what he empathizes like in the end:

        Israel the success story The success that may come to haunt Israel if they don’t heed the danger out there.

        Peace for 8 years now, since the last intifada ended, security, an economical boom, innovation and success. [peace: Lebanon, Gaza?] His youngest kid grew up in a prosperous, lively, creative, innovative Israel, “which is wonderful”. But the hedonist kids like his but also everyone else should neve forget the dangers out there:

        But I am somewhat concerned about the political leadership that does not acknowledge the threats that are out there

        This passage brings to mind passages in Max’s book about the constant narrative in Israel starting from the kindergarten on. Something preschool kids, Max reports, are asked to contemplate the message on a poster:

        Who wants to kill us?
        Paraoh | Greeks | Haman | Nazis | Arabs

        What do we need?
        WE NEED A STATE

      • Citizen
        November 20, 2013, 7:31 am

        @LeaNder
        At the last annual AIPAC Conference VP Beiden added the USA as another potential font of anti-semitism, justifying why the Jews need their own state, their insurance policy against the eternal jew-haters.

      • Shingo
        November 20, 2013, 7:46 am

        At the last annual AIPAC Conference VP Beiden added the USA as another potential font of anti-semitism, justifying why the Jews need their own state, their insurance policy against the eternal jew-haters.

        Which is truly mind boggling when Israelis insist the US has no better friend than Israel.

        So why would they want to be friends with such potential anti semites?

  2. seafoid
    November 19, 2013, 12:40 pm

    “The great challenge is that there is an inherent contradiction between our values which are basically democratic, liberal human values, and the brutal reality that we live in.”

    I can imagine that in an Alabama drawl from 1947.

    Shavit didn’t mention how uppity the Palestinians can be sometimes or the dangers they present to Jewish women or indeed the evil of miscegenation.

    • miriam6
      November 19, 2013, 1:13 pm

      seafoid@;

      Shavit didn’t mention how uppity the Palestinians can be sometimes or the dangers they present to Jewish women or indeed the evil of miscegenation.

      What utter horseshit.
      Tell me seafoid – do you personally know of lots of Palestinians rushing to marry Jews?
      I suspect you could care less but it is still a good question you ought to answer.For seafoid the ‘miscegenation’ issue is just another stereotyping implicitly racist stick with which to beat Israeli Jews..

      So we need a Jewish state not just because the gentiles want to murder us but because they want to marry us.

      Weiss is on shifting sand here because as it turns out he is even against American Jews seeking out other Jews for marriage.
      Even that provokes hostility in the supposedly ‘liberal’ Weiss..
      link to mondoweiss.net

      And again – does Weiss know for a fact that Palestinians are rushing to acquire Jewish partners?

      Or is the onus only on Jewish folks to marry out?
      I thought Weiss’s values were supposed to ones of tolerance for the beliefs and wishes of others.

      That entails tolerance of those Jews who marry out as well as tolerating and respecting the desire of other Jews to ACTIVELY seek out Jewish partners ( via J Date for example)

      And has Weiss asked any Palestinian men or women about whether THEY wish to marry Israeli Jews?
      Or does the prejudice against intermarriage only run one way?
      Are Palestinian men and women rushing to select Jewish partners – Mr Weiss ?

      Shavit is the man to do these things, an elegant Ashkenazi and unapologetic Zionist with an English-Israeli accent.

      Why mention Shavit’s Ashkenazi background?

      Weiss has had plenty of opportunity to include more Mizrahi input and opinion on his MW site but rarely do so.
      In fact one of David Shasha’s articles clearly only made the cut on MW because it defamed various organisations campaigning of behalf of Mizrahim as being in thrall to the Israeli government.

      Weiss is an all – round appalling hypocrite.

      • miriam6
        November 19, 2013, 1:37 pm

        Further to my comment mentioning David Shasha ;

        Of course Israel is greatly supportive of the Arab Jewish groups that do its bidding:
        These are organizations that work hand in glove with the Zionist organizations in a way that seeks to aid Israel in its attempt to negate the claims of the Palestinian Arabs.

        link to mondoweiss.net

        Shasha mentioned three Mizrahi websites including Harif.org .

        I e-mailed Lyn Julius who is herself of Mizrahi background and the co-founder of Harif.org. about Shasha’s allegation that her organisation wished to aid the Israel government or had any connection with the Israeli government and she laughed at Mr Shasha’s claim and stated his allegation was false.
        In her opinion Shasha is regarded as a ‘maverick’ by the Sephardi/ Mizrahi communities.
        So Shasha’s anti Zionist opinions as voiced on MW could hardly be said to be representative or democratic of most Sephardi / Mizrahi opinion.

        But of course Shasha’s anti Zionist slant and willingness to become a ‘guinea pig’ witness against those Mizrahi organisations Shasha disagrees with – would be welcomed by anti Zionist Ashkenazim like Phil Weiss.

      • seafoid
        November 19, 2013, 2:39 pm

        Why not, miriam? Is jew and palestinian love impossible?

      • Annie Robbins
        November 19, 2013, 5:21 pm

        do you personally know of lots of Palestinians rushing to marry Jews?
        …… it is…. a good question you ought to answer.

        miriam, it’s a diverting set up. you know why? because nobody knows lots of people rushing off to marry. seafoid’s not required to follow you down this road, you engaged him. so why don’t you respond to what he wrote about?

        I can imagine that in an Alabama drawl from 1947.

        me too.

      • Rusty Pipes
        November 19, 2013, 6:00 pm

        Off-hand, I can think of three people I have met connected to Jewish-Palestinian marriages: Juliano Mer-Khamis’ Jewish Israeli mother married his father, a Palestinian Citizen of Israel. Bekah Wolf, a Jewish American living in Beit Ummar, married a Palestinian from there. An American student I know is the daughter of a Jewish Israeli mother and a Palestinian American father. While it may “only take a moment” to fall in love, in Israel, people who want to have a civil ceremony or marry someone from a different faith community can’t just run out and get married — one of the difficulties Shavit mentioned in his interview.

      • miriam6
        November 19, 2013, 6:07 pm

        Annie@;

        Seafoid mentioned the subject of ‘miscegenation’ FIRST okay?

        I was just turning his racist assumptions about Jews refusing to marry Palestinians on it’s head by looking at the other side of the coin.
        That is whether or not Palestinians are eager to marry Jews?
        A perfectly reasonable question – after all Jews cannot very well marry Palestinians if the Palestinians do not wish to marry Jews.

        Shavit didn’t mention how uppity the Palestinians can be sometimes or the dangers they present to Jewish women or indeed the evil of miscegenation.

        link to mondoweiss.net

        So in no way was my comment a ‘diversion’

        You are just looking for any old excuse to censor me and to allow seafoid to get away with his racist lumping together of all Jews / Israelis as a racist monolith.

        And why are YOU who has declared her hostility towards ME allowed to moderate MY comments?

        Why?

      • miriam6
        November 19, 2013, 6:11 pm

        Rusty@;

        Neither can Lebanese/ Syrians nor Jordanians marry who they want to marry EITHER. THEY cannot marry across sectarian lines either.

      • miriam6
        November 19, 2013, 6:13 pm

        annie

        why is the subject of intermarriage a ‘diversion’?
        I notice RustyPipes has got a comment through on the same subject.

      • Dutch
        November 19, 2013, 11:01 pm

        @ Miriam

        Go tell Shavit, will you? Not sure if it comforts him.

      • seafoid
        November 21, 2013, 2:05 am

        Miriam

        “with his racist lumping together of all Jews / Israelis as a racist monolith”

        Jews and Palestinians live so close to each other and there is no intermarriage.
        Pourquoi?
        Israel is a racist monolith.

        This has nothing to do with diaspora Jewish attitudes to non Jews and you know it.

      • Keith
        November 20, 2013, 7:08 pm

        MIRIAM6- “Why mention Shavit’s Ashkenazi background?”

        Perhaps because the Ashkenazi were the driving force behind the success of Zionism and the creation of Israel. Also, if we look at American Jewish organization and success, I suspect that we would be looking mostly at Ashkenazi Jews. This is something which I haven’t seen analyzed but would like to. Perhaps, as Mondoweiss’ self-described champion of the Misrahi, you could provide valuable feedback. The more I think about it, the more I come to think of Israel as the Ashkenazi State supported by American Ashkenazis with some Misrahi support coming after the fact.

        As for your reference to the Balkans below, are not Ellie Wiesel, Bernard-Henri Levy, and Susan Sontag, along with the majority of the New York Jewish interventionist intelligentsia Ashkenazi? Do you really want them lumped together with Mizrahi Jews? Just asking.

      • Sibiriak
        November 20, 2013, 7:50 pm

        Keith:

        MIRIAM6- “Why mention Shavit’s Ashkenazi background?”

        Perhaps because the Ashkenazi were the driving force behind the success of Zionism and the creation of Israel.

        Indeed. And let us not forget that Israel is the State for ALL Jews, not just those living in Israel.

        [According to Wikipedia "at their peak in 1931, Ashkenazi Jews accounted for 92 percent of the world's Jews" and today they account for some 75-85%.]

  3. pabelmont
    November 19, 2013, 12:44 pm

    “So we need a Jewish state not just because the gentiles want to murder us but because they want to marry us.” (Terrific line!)

    That is, to be more correct, because we want to marry them.

    And because we want to escape the smothering prison of a not-so-old but nevertheless life-denying religion — Zionism — which sees its role as coercing our complicity in its on-going (and completely unnecessary) crimes (never mind its past crimes).

    • miriam6
      November 19, 2013, 1:50 pm

      pabelmont@;

      And because we want to escape the smothering prison of a not-so-old but nevertheless life-denying religion — Zionism — which sees its role as coercing our complicity in its on-going (and completely unnecessary) crimes (never mind its past crimes).

      Oh do stop with your self pity party! – if anyone is the victim of Zionism it is the Palestinians – NOT YOU!

      You are not being imprisoned! You are not the one being occupied!

      There is no coercing going on at all.

      You are NOT a victim – so stop pretending you are.

      You have ample opportunity on this website to voice your anti – Zionist opinions.
      You have plenty of opportunity to express your anti Zionist opinions and organise for them elsewhere too.
      The mere fact of Israel’s existence and that of Zionist organisations does not mean you have to be in thrall to them.

      • gamal
        November 19, 2013, 3:03 pm

        “if anyone is the victim of Zionism it is the Palestinians – NOT YOU!”
        Is that the democratic of Zionism

        “You are not being imprisoned! You are not the one being occupied!

        There is no coercing going on at all.”

        you a bit of a maverick there, belief in the infallibility of consensus is so Sunni, its the democratic of it, i shura you, might also be a bit fallacious, damn Greeks, like logically.

        “laughed at Mr Shasha’s claim and stated his allegation was false” a conclusion has rarely been so conclusive, laughed indeed she was not the only one.

        “In her opinion Shasha is regarded as a ‘maverick’ by the Sephardi/ Mizrahi communities.” but now I am conflicted is it her opinion or is it true or is that not a distinction that exists in the real world, was there any further laughter.

      • miriam6
        November 19, 2013, 7:05 pm

        Gamal@;

        ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????!!

        Perhaps Ziusudra can compose a long ditty tying together Sunni Islam with the Zaidi Doctrine of Imamah with Lyn Julius with David Shasha with Ancient Greek democracy / logic with laughter ( a child’s laughter perhaps ?) with Zionism..plus pabelmont moaning about coercion..

        I challenge Ziusudra to have a go at it!

        For I am b******d of I can make sense of your comment my dearest gamal.

      • talknic
        November 19, 2013, 5:57 pm

        miriam6 //And because we want to escape the smothering prison of a not-so-old but nevertheless life-denying religion — Zionism — which sees its role as coercing our complicity in its on-going (and completely unnecessary) crimes (never mind its past crimes)//

        “Oh do stop with your self pity party! – if anyone is the victim of Zionism it is the Palestinians – NOT YOU!”

        Indeed. The Palestinians are the victim. (Zionistas would like all Jews to help the Jewish state victimize them even more)

        “You are not being imprisoned! You are not the one being occupied!”

        Indeed. The Palestinians are being imprisoned and occupied by the Zionist Movement’s link to pages.citebite.com Jewish state. A state Zionistas want all Jews to support

        “There is no coercing going on at all”

        According to those who’ve been coerced already

        “You are NOT a victim – so stop pretending you are”

        Quite ………. YOU and the Palestinians are!

        “The mere fact of Israel’s existence and that of Zionist organisations does not mean you have to be in thrall to them”

        But if you’re not, you will be ostracized by those who want you to be and by those who capitulate because they’re scared of being ostracized and those who enable by their silence

      • miriam6
        November 19, 2013, 6:30 pm

        talknic@:

        “The mere fact of Israel’s existence and that of Zionist organisations does not mean you have to be in thrall to them”
        ..But if you’re not, you will be ostracized by those who want you to be and by those who capitulate because they’re scared of being ostracized and those who enable by their silence

        Enough already with the pseudo psychological babble and shreying about ‘enablers’!

        So – in other words I take it from your diatribe that YOU are throwing your own personal self – pity party too.

        Obviously you are in favour of ‘solidarity – lite’ with the Palestinians.

        In other words you want your ‘solidarity’ with the Palestinians to come without any sort of actual COST to YOU..

        You do not understand what standing for what you believe in actually entails do you?

        Think back to the anti Mubarak demos in Tahrir Square – or the protesters against Ben Ali in Tunisia.

        Think about the fact that those protesters were willing to give up their lives for what they believed in.

        Your fears of being ostracised is pathetic by comparison to their real commitment to their cause.

        But of course their struggle BELONGED to them.

        As the Palestinian conflict BELONGS to the Palestinians.

        You are a mere hanger-on with no real stake in the conflict.

      • thankgodimatheist
        November 19, 2013, 9:20 pm

        “As the Palestinian conflict BELONGS to the Palestinians.”

        Let me translate Miriam for you: “Leave us alone. Let us screw the Palestinians hard and you just stay out of it. It’s not YOU we’re screwing!”
        Not hard to read into a Zionist mind.

      • miriam6
        November 20, 2013, 7:31 am

        thankgod@;

        Utter BS. I simply want to see the Jewish Israeli communities remain safe and have a viable future in their current homeland in Palestine/ Israel. If they can be guaranteed safety within the context of a single bi national state then abandoning political Zionism would be worth it.

        I want to see a united Mid East region including Israel / Palestine without sectarianism.

        The present day pro Palestinian activists only became involved with their ‘solidarity’ campaigns once it became clear that the PLO and the Palestinian project to liberate their national home was a defeated organisation and project.
        In other words – once the Palestinians became another set of victims that those activists could safely embrace and patronise those activists were all over the defeated Palestinians like a rash.

        This demonization of Israel by washed up liberals is no different from the demonization by western liberals of Rwandan Hutus ( and now it is Paul Kagame’s turn to be demonised by those same liberals )and the demonization of the Serbs during the 1990 Balkan conflicts.
        Patronising the Palestinians as mere ‘victims’ only serves to disempower them further.

        You have no answer to my comment do you other than to throw mud?

        You have no answer to the fact that whilst pabelmont and talknic try on their ‘ I am being coerced and ostracised’ act those brave protesters in Egypt and Tunisia were willing to die for their cause.
        Likewise the Palestinians confronting heavily armed Israeli soldiers who occupy them.
        The difference is that the cause of Palestine really matters to them – it is their struggle and future that they risk imprisonment – injury or death for.

        Meanwhile pabelmont/ talknic play at being victims – the worst they have to fear is supposed social ‘ostracism’.
        Even then they regard even that as too high a price to pay for their shallow ‘solidarity’ with the Palestinians

      • talknic
        November 20, 2013, 9:52 am

        miriam6 “Enough already with the pseudo psychological babble and shreying about ‘enablers’!”

        Would you say the same of people who remained silent about the holocaust?

        “So – in other words I take it from your diatribe that YOU are throwing your own personal self – pity party too”

        A) What drivel. B) Why use “other words”, when the words used are still there for all to see

        “Obviously you are in favour of ‘solidarity – lite’ with the Palestinians”

        No. I am in favour of the Jewish people’s homeland state adhering to the law and the basic tenets of Judaism for once.

        “In other words you want your ‘solidarity’ with the Palestinians to come without any sort of actual COST to YOU”

        LOL more precious “other words”… cute stuff
        A) Care to “quote” this alleged solidarity with the Palestinians? In my words … thx
        B) The Jewish state’s disregard for the law comes at a real cost to Jews who care

        “You do not understand what standing for what you believe in actually entails do you?”

        Non-criminal behaviour entails adhering to the law. Quite simple really.

        “Think back to the anti Mubarak demos..Think about the fact that those protesters were willing to give up their lives for what they believed in.”

        How touching … link to mondoweiss.net
        link to mondoweiss.net
        link to mondoweiss.net
        link to mondoweiss.net

        “Your fears of being ostracised ..”

        Uh? What fears of being ostracized?

        “But of course their struggle BELONGED to them”

        The Jewish state’s struggle to adhere to the basic tenets of Judaism belongs to all Jews of good conscience

        “As the Palestinian conflict BELONGS to the Palestinians.”

        And Israel and every Jewish person on the planet as long as the Jewish state delegitimizes itself by being in breach of the law, as reaffirmed and emphasized in hundreds of UNSC resolutions, in non-Israeli territories

        “You are a mere hanger-on with no real stake in the conflict”

        Based on your fantastical “other words” you can reach whatever speculative conclusions and make as many bizarre accusations as you like. Nothing to do with me …. and …. your post had absolutely nothing to do with the topic.

      • Talkback
        November 20, 2013, 10:10 am

        miriam6: But of course their struggle BELONGED to them.

        I get you miriam6, i get you! Damn all those Nonjews who freed Jews out of Nazi claws and their concentrations camps. How could these selfish, antigerman bastards intervene in a struggle that only BELONGED to Jews, right?

        (OMG)

      • amigo
        November 20, 2013, 10:39 am

        “As the Palestinian conflict BELONGS to the Palestinians.”miriam 6

        Yeah, and the Irish /british empire conflict belonged to the Birmingham 6, right miriam .

        link to theguardian.com

        Got the guts to read it miriam.

        Explain your penchant for being manacled to oppressive and colonialist entities.

      • amigo
        November 20, 2013, 10:44 am

        “You are a mere hanger-on with no real stake in the conflict.” miriam 6.

        So says the zioapologist safely ensconced in the UK.

        Why do you not prove you have a stake and get on a plane and go live in Israel.

      • miriam6
        November 20, 2013, 12:57 pm

        talknic@;

        Would you say the same of people who remained silent about the holocaust?

        In the first place there is no ‘Holocaust’ going on in the OPT . The ‘Holocaust’ itself is fast receding into history which is where it should be left.
        The Holocaust only holds lessons about the dangerous imperialistic/capitalist politics of the past not the politics or political conflicts of today.

        You are also forgetting the entirely ignoble history behind the invocation of the Holocaust as a demand for intervention in many local conflicts including the Balkans / Rwanda and latterly for intervention in the Syrian civil war.

        Elie Wiesel and the ghastly puffed up poseur Bernard Levi plus other Jewish intellectuals like Susan Sontag pushed for Western intervention in the Balkans thereby endorsing NATO militarism and meddling in the Balkans that only prolonged the conflict. Sontag/ Wiesel and Levi ALL called for intervention on the basis that what was going on in the Balkans was a new ‘Holocaust’.
        So called ‘human rights’ NGO’s called for the dismantling of necessary refugee camps inhabited by fleeing Hutu refugees because those refugees were held to have committed a Nazi like genocide /’ Holocaust’.
        So the rules of the Geneva Convention regarding the humane treatment of refugees as it pertained to those Hutu refugees were torn up to satisfy those in the West who thought a new ‘Holocaust’ had just taken place in Rwanda.
        During the Biafra civil war conflict decades earlier none other than Tricky Dickey himself – Richard Nixon – labelled the conflict a ‘genocide’. .

        So you see the historical illiteracy you are practising here by invoking the Holocaust has had awful consequences. It has allowed the most powerful players in the world to meddle in the conflicts of those much less powerful others.

        No. I am in favour of the Jewish people’s homeland state adhering to the law and the basic tenets of Judaism for once.

        And how does that statement fit in with your belittling of Judaism as in your comment here?

        miriam6 “Judaism is a world religion “
        Nonsense. Jews are less than 0.2% of the world population and not all Jews are religious

        link to mondoweiss.net

        So actually talknic – if Judaism is such an apparently insignificant non world religion and so many Jews choose not to follow it then why the hell should Israel bother with the tenets of such a lowly religion? You have just been hoisted up on a petard of your own making!

        And no talknic – Israel should not follow the tenets of Judaism. Israel ought to adhere to strict separation of church and state as it were or synagogue and state in Israel’s case. Every nation state in the Mid East including Israel should aim for separation of religion from state and government as well.
        It is the only way out of the sectarianism that afflicts the Mid East.

      • Shingo
        November 20, 2013, 7:40 pm

        I simply want to see the Jewish Israeli communities remain safe and have a viable future in their current homeland in Palestine/ Israel.

        No, you want to see them maintain their ethnocentric supremacist state. You told us not long ago that Jewish Israelis don’t want to share their state with any other people and that this was perfectly fine with you.

        The present day pro Palestinian activists only became involved with their ‘solidarity’ campaigns once it became clear that the PLO and the Palestinian project to liberate their national home was a defeated organisation and project.

        Well duh, why would you need a liberation movement before you need liberation?

        This demonization of Israel by washed up liberals is no different from the demonization by western liberals of Rwandan Hutus

        Or any different to the demonization by western liberals of Nazi Germany too right?

        Patronising the Palestinians as mere ‘victims’ only serves to disempower them further.

        Oh cry us a river. Another Zionist supremacist who pretends to care and know what’s best for the Palestinians.

        The difference is that the cause of Palestine really matters to them – it is their struggle and future that they risk imprisonment – injury or death for.

        While you sit in the bleachers, cheering on the Zionist thugs to imprison them and kill them. After all, you yourself admit your only real concern is for the safety and security of Jewish Israeli communities.

        Meanwhile pabelmont/ talknic play at being victims – the worst they have to fear is supposed social ‘ostracism’.

        I am not sure what you are smoking (crack Zionicaine maybe) but pabelmont/ talknic play at anything but being victims.

      • talknic
        November 21, 2013, 2:33 am

        @ miriam6 “In the first place there is no ‘Holocaust’ going on in the OPT etc etc etc “

        Didn’t say there was. However, would you say the same of people who remained silent about the holocaust?

        BTW the rest of your Holocaust rant was weird considering your previous stance
        link to mondoweiss.net
        link to mondoweiss.net
        link to mondoweiss.net

        //I am in favour of the Jewish people’s homeland state adhering to the law and the basic tenets of Judaism for once//

        “And how does that statement fit in with your belittling of Judaism as in your comment here?” link to mondoweiss.net

        A) Refuting your bizarre claim isn’t belittling Judaism
        B) Those who ignore its basic tenets on behalf of the Jewish state’s illegal activities in territories outside the Jewish state, belittle Judaism.

        ” .. if Judaism is such an apparently insignificant non world religion and so many Jews choose not to follow it then why the hell should Israel bother with the tenets of such a lowly religion?”

        From the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel

        “”The state of Israel ….will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel” link to pages.citebite.com

        “And no talknic – Israel should not follow the tenets of Judaism. Israel ought to adhere to strict separation of church and state as it were or synagogue and state in Israel’s case”

        A re-write of the Declaration is in order I guess …..

      • seafoid
        November 21, 2013, 2:59 am

        “As the Palestinian conflict BELONGS to the Palestinians.”

        Inhumanity is everyone’s responsibility. As it is done to the Palestinians so must we help the Israelis to leave the madness behind.

  4. Blownaway
    November 19, 2013, 12:46 pm

    This is what passes for enlightened….sad.

  5. American
    November 19, 2013, 12:50 pm

    ”As was true of the recovery from the Holocaust, the only way to come to terms with this tragedy, the Nakba, is to hear plainly from the victims in formal proceedings. That is also the only way to avoid a violent future. ‘…Phil

    True.
    The Jews got a stage and as much justice as the world could deliver for what the Nazis did to them.
    The Palestines deserve the same justice and acknowledgement of what was done to them.

  6. Pamela Olson
    November 19, 2013, 12:59 pm

    Shavit is a rare and fascinating thing: An honest Zionist.

    He doesn’t deny the crimes of Zionism, or any of the realities. He just says, “Oh well, it’s worth it so I can have a place where I can’t get married the way I want and Orthodox Jews can sit around and twiddle their brains on old texts, at my expense.”

    He is, in other words, a walking contradiction — just like modern Zionism itself. He is the perfect face of it. He’s the new phase of public Zionism, since all the old BS isn’t working anymore. He doesn’t even put lipstick on the pig. He just says, “Well, it’s a pig, but that’s OK because… I get something out of it, and the Palestinians just have to suffer because… I said so.”

    Then he mumbles something about a “tough neighborhood,” harkening back to the bad old hasbara, because he really doesn’t have anything other than, “We conquered brutally, we’re still doing it, but I like the result, so that’s that. Palestinians have no power, so until they resign themselves to this result (which I admit is totally unfair), they’ll just have to cry about it, hopefully behind a nice wall if possible, and with some bon bons we might kindly throw their way.”

    It’s really fascinating to watch this guy operate. I don’t know how his head doesn’t explode with cognitive dissonance.

    • Pamela Olson
      November 19, 2013, 1:27 pm

      This from Friedman’s piece in the NYT:

      But, ultimately [says Shavit], “it is the Palestinians’ responsibility to overcome the painful past, lean forward and not become addicted to victimhood.”

      Oh. My. Lord. That is about the richest thing I have ever read.

      • Pamela Olson
        November 19, 2013, 1:49 pm

        But check out the reader-recommended comments on the Friedman piece! Something like 19 out of the first 20 could have been written by Mondoweiss contributors…

        link to nytimes.com

      • Philip Weiss
        November 19, 2013, 2:38 pm

        Pamela that’s amazing, and thanks for directing our attention to those letters! People are hip.

      • irishmoses
        November 19, 2013, 4:57 pm

        Pamela Olson said:

        ***”But, ultimately [says Shavit], “it is the Palestinians’ responsibility to overcome the painful past, lean forward and not become addicted to victimhood.””***

        I’d imagine Shavit and Friedman would feel outraged if “Jews” was substituted for “Palestinians”, yet they’re oblivious to how outrageous his statement is when applied to the Palestinians.

        Shavit’s premise is that the Nakba was a discrete historical event that ended in 1948, like the Holocaust ended in 1945. But the Nakba really never stopped; it only became more subtle, more gradual, more refined. The Holocaust was four years of horror plus another 8 prior years of severe oppression. The Nakba is still going on, 65 years later, with no end in sight.

        Here’s a bit from Jane Eisner’s review of Shavit’s book in the Jewish Daily Forward:

        “… [Shavit] also offers a deeply disturbing chapter on the “dirty, filthy work” of the expulsion of Palestinians from Lydda in 1948 that is unlike anything taught in Hebrew school. Most damning is the brutal intentionality of it all, the realization that for all the heartache caused by the decimation of a Palestinian village, “if it weren’t for what happened in Lydda, Zionism would be done for.””

        Eisner, like Friedman, acknowledges the horror of Lydda while accepting Shavit’s empty claim that it was all necessary if Zionism and its Jewish state were to survive. But, like Friedman’s addiction to victimhood meme, she diminishes the Palestinians’ tragedy by describing the harm as mere “heartache” while limiting its scope to “…the decimation of a Palestinian village.” Lydda, with its 50,000 Arab inhabitants, was no village, nor was Ramle (population 20,000), nor were the cities of Safed, Acre, Jaffa, Tiberius, and Haifa, all captured and cleansed of Arabs before the intervention of the Arab League forces in mid-May 1948. In 1948, almost 750,000 Palestinians would be expelled from their homes and forced out of Israeli-captured territory never allowed to return. They remain today, 65 years later, living as stateless refugees, in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Gaza, and the West Bank.

        Describing the Palestinians as addicted to victimhood and their suffering as heartache shows how little importance even liberal Zionists like Eisner attach to the Palestinians. The concern of Liberal Zionists is for their diminishing image. The Palestinians are just an unfortunate side effect. No need to waste time on sympathy or empathy.

      • gamal
        November 19, 2013, 6:58 pm

        Thank God we are past a time when such brutality was necessary, was Mr. or Mrs Prawer present during those unfortunate events, they must be relieved to be living in such blessed times, post-Nakba-necessity, you cant smell the flowers when holding your nose, and it may obscure ones beautiful face.

        ” The concern of Liberal Zionists is for their diminishing image. The Palestinians are just an unfortunate side effect. No need to waste time on sympathy or empathy.” I find their anger with and resentment of Palestinians palpable, “How dare you! I am the victim (even of my own infractions)” they proclaim humanizingly, I sense their impatience with the Palestinian narrative, after all they have the narrative of narratives, if you would but listen (hater).

        Anyway, Arabs were invented in 1952 by Anti-Semitism.

      • Sibiriak
        November 19, 2013, 9:06 pm

        irishmoses:

        Shavit’s premise is that the Nakba was a discrete historical event that ended in 1948, like the Holocaust ended in 1945. But the Nakba really never stopped; it only became more subtle, more gradual, more refined. The Holocaust was four years of horror plus another 8 prior years of severe oppression. The Nakba is still going on, 65 years later, with no end in sight

        That’s a critical point. It’s as if Shavit were saying: “Since the Palestinians won’t forgive and forget regarding 1948, Zionists are justified in CONTINUING the land grabbing, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, human rights violations, terrorism etc.”

      • Pamela Olson
        November 19, 2013, 11:46 pm

        It’s as if Shavit were saying: “Since the Palestinians won’t forgive and forget regarding 1948, Zionists are justified in CONTINUING the land grabbing, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, human rights violations, terrorism etc.”

        BINGO. Although Shavit would add, “But let’s be a little more smart about our crimes against humanity, shall we? Wrap some silk around our truncheons. Don’t want the world to get all uppity on us while we do this necessary work…”

      • ritzl
        November 20, 2013, 12:18 am

        Bingo, bingo PO. Full circle. As you all have said here, if it was only necessary “then,” why is it still going on? Shavit never addresses that, but these tenuous admissions by a “credible” journo will affirm those who will do so subsequently. As Krauss said, I don’t think he can help himself as his inner “liberal” craves being “liked” and/or “credible” and/or relevant.

        I get the feeling that Shavit may have inadvertently pulled his finger from the proverbial dike.

        As you all have said in this thread, he may not even realize what he’s doing, opening the truth door just a crack like he is. But even with what is exposed through just this little crack, nothing about Israel as we have all heard ad nauseam stands up to scrutiny. A glimpse of what’s to come, methinks.

        It’s a very big dike.

        Better days…

      • irishmoses
        November 20, 2013, 1:16 am

        Sibiriak said:

        ***” It’s as if Shavit were saying: “Since the Palestinians won’t forgive and forget regarding 1948, Zionists are justified in CONTINUING the land grabbing, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, human rights violations, terrorism etc.””***

        I disagree. I think they keep the two separate. They want forgiveness, absolution for 1948 which they see as a done deal, a separate event that can’t be denied but must be shown as necessary to Zionism and Jewish state’s survival. The modern stuff, settlements, etc., they think will all work out — land swaps, give up a few outlying settlements at very worst. I don’t see any quid pro quo.

        Remember, Shavit and the others are Liberal Zionists who see the settlements as a bad thing that needs to be solved. They want a solution but not a very painful one. The main takeaway in Shavit’s Lydda 1948 article is finally admitting it all really happened while claiming it was absolutely necessary for Zionism’s survival.

        As pathetic and self-deluding as they may be, the Liberal Zionists are not Likud hardliners.

      • irishmoses
        November 20, 2013, 1:38 am

        Ritzl said:

        ***”I get the feeling that Shavit may have inadvertently pulled his finger from the proverbial dike.”***

        I hope so but his was a gutsy play, admitting the truth of all the bad stuff then claiming it was still necessary if Zionism was to survive. He’s saying Israel gets a pass for 1948 but makes no attempt to show any link between the bad stuff and Zionism’s survival. Worse yet, all the other Liberal Zionists are accepting it without question. If they can accept the horrors of 1948 as necessary for Zionism’s survival it won’t take much for them to accept any of the subsequent, more subtle, gentle, refined forms of ethnic cleansing and land grabs.

      • ritzl
        November 20, 2013, 4:38 am

        @irishmoses Agree that it was a gutsy play, but it may also have been a half-measure. I think selective moralists (Zionists in this case) always define themselves into a trap like the one Shavit is now in. It takes courage (or something like it) for them to take the first step out of the trap, but then they lose control of the political/moral “vector.” Selective morality is such selfish behavior that it is easily recognized by others. The world quickly moves right past it, imo. (Sidenote: That’s why Ecru’s quote showing the dearth of charitable giving by Israel and Israelis is significant. There’s just no reason to care, minus the financial>political enforcement.)

        On the embrace of Shavit’s line of mea-half-culpa by other libzios looking for something to latch onto: a) my only hope is that general morality (Golden Rule/Rabbi Hillel) is far more prevalent, globally, than selective morality (Zionism) once the issues become clear (I believe it is), and b) it’s probably too late for that small an adjustment to have any effect on the course of this issue/Israel.

        Sorry if I rambled. It’s late.

        Again, great thread. Very insightful and useful in understanding this development.

      • Shingo
        November 20, 2013, 5:45 am

        Bingo, bingo PO. Full circle. As you all have said here, if it was only necessary “then,” why is it still going on?

        It’s self censorship and intellectual gate keeping. Shavit needd to continue fooling himself into believing Zionism only did bad 65 years ago, because if he were to admit the ongoing crimes, he would be forced to admit that such crimes are part of the DNA of Zionism.

        As pathetic and self-deluding as they may be, the Liberal Zionists are not Likud hardline

        They don’t need to be because they are Zionists first and foremost and if forced to decide between Jewish apartheid state or democracy, they will always chose the former.

        So in the end there is no difference between the iberal Zionists and the Likud hardliners.

      • Shingo
        November 20, 2013, 5:47 am

        Remember, Shavit and the others are Liberal Zionists who see the settlements as a bad thing that needs to be solved.

        No they see the settlements as a bad but trivial matter than can be dismissed as irrelevant.

      • Sibiriak
        November 20, 2013, 5:50 am

        irishmoses:

        Sibiriak said:

        ***” It’s as if Shavit were saying: “Since the Palestinians won’t forgive and forget regarding 1948, Zionists are justified in CONTINUING the land grabbing, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, human rights violations, terrorism etc.””***

        I disagree. I think they keep the two separate. They want forgiveness, absolution for 1948 which they see as a done deal, a separate event that can’t be denied but must be shown as necessary to Zionism and Jewish state’s survival. The modern stuff, settlements, etc., they think will all work out — land swaps, give up a few outlying settlements at very worst.

        Well, the point is Shavit et al. really aren’t willing to give up a major part of the settlements, and when pressed on this, they deflect, saying “real issue” is 1948 and Palestinian refusal to accept Israel as a Jewish State.

        [Shavit] is mainstreaming the idea that the conflict is not over settlements but justice

        .

        And since there is no way to get any agreement about “justice”, there’s no point trying to get an agreement on the settlements.

        That’s the message that gets across, however implicit and/or incoherent — (“it’s AS IF Shavit were saying…”).

        …the Liberal Zionists are not Likud hardliners.

        Shavit may not be a “Likud hardliner”, but he’s not really a true “liberal Zionist” either (there are not many left!) To me, if you don’t support a two-state settlement based on the “international consensus” –demilitarized Palestinian state, 1967 borders, land swaps, Jerusalem shared capital, symbolic right of return with compensation, etc.–then you are not a genuine “liberal Zionist”.

        How is Shavit’s “not painful” solution substantially different from what Sharon was aiming for all along–Palestinians relegated to shrunken, non-contiguous, quasi-autonomous enclaves?

      • Talkback
        November 20, 2013, 10:27 am

        Very good analysis from all starting with Pamela Olson.

    • Sibiriak
      November 19, 2013, 8:57 pm

      Pamela Olson:

      Shavit is a rare and fascinating thing: An honest Zionist.

      He doesn’t deny the crimes of Zionism, or any of the realities. He just says, “Oh well, it’s worth it so I can have a place where I can’t get married the way I want and Orthodox Jews can sit around and twiddle their brains on old texts, at my expense.

      Excellent, incisive post. You nailed it.

  7. Ismail
    November 19, 2013, 1:14 pm

    Shavit’s working Benny Morris’s field, only with a shinier plow.

    Morris, too, acknowledged Zionism’s crimes and said, “So what?” – after all, they were committed for the greater good.

    Plus ca change…

  8. Krauss
    November 19, 2013, 1:45 pm

    Shavit is the 2013 version of Gershom Gorenberg who wrote the 2011 “The Unmaking of Israel” which was praised by much of the same people.

    These people do not serve an intellectual function. Their primary function is sociological. Their mission is to soothe and intellectualize the brutalization of the Palestinians, sprinkle it with a touch of morality but ultimately defend Apartheid as it stands.

    This recurrent event is aimed primarily at Jewish “liberal” Zionists like Terry Gross and others. The irony, of course, is that these people are now facing a much more informed Gentile public which is highly skeptical of their arguments. In addition, there’s also a small but growing Jewish opposition, primarily the young.

    The result of which is that in order to merely become relevant in the discussion, they must move closer to the actual realities rather than a romanticized fictious version. This is how progress is measured. True, Shavit, even when discussing the ethnic cleansing of Lydda, still comes down on the defence of this ethnic cleansing(which is really a necessity of Zionism, a basic tenet). But this misses the big news; he feels compelled to cover it at all. He can no longer ignore this historical fact.

    “Liberal” Zionists may delude themselves that it is because of his inherent compassion. It is not. It is because the opposition will not listen at all unless he at least treats the subject, nevermind his racist apologia.

    As a result of this growing intellectual development, the “liberal” Zionists are forced to play deeper and deeper on genuine liberal territory. The rest of the world, much more informed about Israel’s crimes, is simply no longer willing to tolerate the kind of blatant falsehoods that were peddled in the past, or, more crucially, the important omissions and outright rejection of the Palestinian Nakba, or the ongoing dispossession and Apartheid.

    In a few years time, there will be a new Ari Shavit/Gershom Gorenberg. They will be widely praised, too. But they will continue the path on to the historical reality, away from the fable of Exodus and towards the territory of human rights and democracy. Not because they are moral. They are not. But because they have no other choice if they wish to be relevant in any liberal circles. And as they do, they will be forced to acknowledge that they support an Apartheid state. This will be expressed in the way of Shavit’s open support of the ethnic cleansing of ’48. Everything else will diminish.

    And as such, their standing in the debate will continue to weaken, for they have no moral ground to stand on at all.

    • Donald
      November 19, 2013, 5:26 pm

      Good analysis.

      I think that Shavit is roughly where America was about 50 years ago in discussing the Civil War. The emphasis then (from what I can tell from reading Shelby Foote and Bruce Caton’s books on the subject) was on how “tragic” the Civil War was, and of course it was tragic, but they meant the (white) brother against brother aspect of it . The abolitionists were treated as crazed fanatics (the way Max Blumenthal is now), while the heroes of the immediate prewar period were those who tried to compromise their way to a solution (which meant accepting slavery where it already existed) . The evils of slavery were acknowledged, but as a secondary thing. The emphasis was on how well-intentioned white people on both sides killed each other in heroic desperate battle. That was a step forward from, say, the “Gone With the Wind” point of view, where slavery is just part of a romantic agrarian way of life and the Yankees were the crude invaders and blacks were either primitive or sources of comedy and certainly not people who mattered, but the emphasis in the late 1950’s/early 1960’s popular history of the Civil War was still on the whites.

      Present day writers on the Civil War have gotten more honest about the brutal racism (on both sides) of 19th Century America–people will mention, for instance, how Lee’s invading army enslaved free blacks in Pennsylvania. It’s a little harder to pass the war off as a tragic struggle between well-intentioned noble (white) people when one drags in all the ugliness that slavery really entailed. So at this rate, Max Blumenthal’s views should become mainstream in a few more decades.

      I’m half-serious, half-joking with this analogy, but to the extent it is valid, it might illustrate how the process of becoming honest about history tends to work.
      It might be necessary for Zionists to have to pass through this intermediate stage before they can face the full ugly truth. Some people do it all at once, but maybe many people have to go through this rationalizing, self-contradictory phase where they admit the crimes but can’t completely let go of the heroic mythologizing. So it might take another generation. Not that the Palestinians can or should wait for this. And in the case of Southern whites, it took outside pressure to get them to move towards equality.

      • Shingo
        November 20, 2013, 6:00 am

        I’m half-serious, half-joking with this analogy, but to the extent it is valid, it might illustrate how the process of becoming honest about history tends to work.

        I think it’s an excellent analogy and works with or without the satire.

      • Donald
        November 20, 2013, 7:13 am

        “I think it’s an excellent analogy”

        Thanks. Israel supporters and romanticizers of the American South are going to have a lot in common, because they have the same problem–how do you engage in heroic mythologizing with so many skeletons in the closet?

      • Citizen
        November 20, 2013, 8:47 am

        @ Donald

        I have lived through the stress changes in America’s cultural consensus narration of the American Civil War which you so artfully articulate, having graduated high school in the American small town midwest in 1960. I think your analogy regarding the slow emergence of greater truth about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and America’s enabling role in it is well conceived, at least as it has been slowly evolving in America. You conclude, “I think that Shavit is roughly where America was about 50 years ago in discussing the Civil War.” I think local America, not necessarily Israel or Shavit, is currently
        about 50 years behind the times of cultural reality regarding this special I-P affair. What’s missing in the grounds of your analogy? An actual (verbal at least) civil war between Jewish Americans? Between Americans of all stripes who comprise the chattering class? What will they do with the PNAC-inspired neocon take on America’s interest “over there?” As I type this, I just watched Imus interviewing a historian about what to do about Iran. Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians has not been part of their discussion, only what to do about Iran, with Imus saying we should just keep bombing Iran into smithereens, and the historian suggesting we should make Iran fall via economic sanctions & reducing the need/price of oil–she says that’s how we made the USSR fall of its own inability to pay its bills to its citizens. Their consensus was if Iran gets the bomb it will cause a nuclear arms race in the region, and doubly dangerous so long as Iran is a key supplier of oil. No mention that Israel has long had the bomb, and again, no tie in at all with the plight of the Palestinians. Israel is mentioned as in agreement with Imus: bomb the crap out of Iran, don’t “over think” what happens after the bombing.

      • Citizen
        November 20, 2013, 8:56 am

        Daniel Goldhagen was on Imus a week ago, peddling his new book. Imus fawned all over him, apparently totally unaware of who he was interviewing in re Goldhagen’s controversial thesis on German morality. The author of Hitler’s Willing Executioners. His new book, The Devil That Never Dies, cries out global anti-Semitism is on the rise.

    • Sibiriak
      November 19, 2013, 9:19 pm

      Krauss:

      The result of which is that in order to merely become relevant in the discussion, they must move closer to the actual realities rather than a romanticized fictious version.

      It’s also true that the more the events of 1948 recede in history–and the direct victims die-off– the more they can be “realistically” discussed.

      they will be forced to acknowledge that they support an Apartheid state.

      Perhaps. But I think that may be wishful thinking (common here at MW). The “liberal” position may just as well be: “Israel is Israel; Gaza and the shrunken enclaves in the West Bank are Palestine. Two separate nations. Two separate peoples. There is no “single state”, therefore, no apartheid state. The Palestinians need to get on with improving their lives in THEIR territory.”

    • Shingo
      November 20, 2013, 5:51 am

      Their primary function is sociological. Their mission is to soothe and intellectualize the brutalization of the Palestinians, sprinkle it with a touch of morality but ultimately defend Apartheid as it stands.

      Bingo!! You nailed it Krauss.

      The rest of the world, much more informed about Israel’s crimes, is simply no longer willing to tolerate the kind of blatant falsehoods that were peddled in the past, or, more crucially, the important omissions and outright rejection of the Palestinian Nakba, or the ongoing dispossession and Apartheid.

      Another outstanding observation.

      What I see happening is that the closer people like Shavit come to the mea culpa, the greater the disparate and tenuous their position looks. Until now, liberals have been able to avoid addressing the contradiction, but how do you accept that such crimes were perpetrated yet refuse to acknowledge that they have to be addressed and rectified?

      That’s why Shavit has to hold onto the trope that the Palestinians and Israelis need to reconcile on their own. In reality however, what he’s endorsing is akin to arguing that the battered wife should be sent home to he abuse husband to rehabilitate their marriage.

      • ritzl
        November 20, 2013, 3:13 pm

        Wow Shingo. Another great comment. You all are nailing the mechanics (pace being a separate issue/TBD) of change that Shavit’s limited admissions foretell.

  9. irishmoses
    November 19, 2013, 4:26 pm

    Spot-on analysis Krauss.

    I sense almost relief on the parts of Friedman, Jane Eisner of Forward, and David Remnick of New Yorker that the honest truth is now out. But what they really like is his conclusion that it was them or us and that the massive war crimes of 1948 are nothing to be particularly ashamed of. Jeffrey Goldberg, on Charlie Rose last night, along with Shavit and Remnick, added a new bit of spin, that we must remember Lydda occurred only after the invasion of the Arab armies who were intent on snuffing out little Israel.

    It was a fun night on the Charlie Rose Show. Lots of good humor and camaraderie. Unfortunately, Charlie never quite got around to asking any tough questions. Remnick was very disappointing and oh so complimentary of Shavit.

    They have their own little Liberal Zionist Pundit social club. Pretty disgusting all-in-all. I’ve come to prefer the honesty of the Jabotinsky hardliners to the LZP crowd.

    Shavit is doing a talk at the Skirball Center in LA on December 4. We’re going but we’ll have dinner afterwards so we don’t risk losing a good meal.

    • tree
      November 19, 2013, 6:01 pm

      …added a new bit of spin, that we must remember Lydda occurred only after the invasion of the Arab armies who were intent on snuffing out little Israel.

      I suppose he didn’t bother to mention that Lydda and Ramle were both within the area designated as the “Arab State”. Or that Lydda was not the first Palestinian city from which the majority of Palestinian civilians were expelled or forced to flee. Haifa, Jaffa, Tiberias, and Safad suffered similar fates BEFORE the “invasion” of the Arab armies, as did numerous Palestinian villages. Or that the Arab armies for the most part operated within the area allotted to the “Arab State”, and thus were repelling the Israeli invasion and not the other way around. Shavit and Remmick are still engaged in Nakba denial, its just a little more “nuanced” and subtle now. The lies require more knowledge to refute than the simple blanket denial that any Palestinian was ethnically cleansed.

      Here’s a map of pre-state Israeli military operations OUTSIDE of the UN proposed “Jewish State” PRIOR to May 15,1948:

      link to palestineremembered.com

      And here’s a map of pre-state Israeli military operations (involving ethnic cleansing in direct violation of the parameters of the UN Partition Plan) inside of the “Jewish State” borders prior to May 15, 1948:

      link to palestineremembered.com

      • irishmoses
        November 19, 2013, 6:46 pm

        Yeah,
        I covered that in my earlier response to Pamela Olson. I think there were six cities total, your four plus Beisan (sp?) and Acre. Up to 400,000 Palestinians had been expelled and about 200 villages destroyed before the “invasion” by the Arab League forces. So, as you said, the “invasion” was really by Israeli forces into the Arab State portion of partitioned Palestine.

        Thanks for the maps. It would be nice if they showed the city and town names.

    • Shingo
      November 20, 2013, 6:08 am

      I’ve come to prefer the honesty of the Jabotinsky hardliners to the LZP crowd.

      As I always say, the only difference between the 2 is that the right wingers are more honest.

  10. Donald
    November 19, 2013, 5:33 pm

    “Unfortunately, Charlie never quite got around to asking any tough questions.”

    I rarely watch Rose because of his chummy relations with powerful people (when I have watched him), so this sounds like the Rose I know. The obvious solution would be to have someone like Ali Abunimah or Rashid Khalidi for balance, but maybe that wouldn’t occur to him. (In fairness, I don’t know if he has ever done such a thing–had some knowledgeable Palestinian or pro-Palestinian people on at the same time as he has had Zionists.)

    • ziusudra
      November 20, 2013, 7:03 am

      Greetings Donald,
      …speaking of Forums in the media…….
      Here in Germany, there isn’t a day w/o Judaism, Zionistan, contributions of everything concerning historical or present Jews on TV.
      You ne’er, ne’er get programms about the Falesteeni perspective.
      ziusudra

  11. Reds
    November 19, 2013, 5:47 pm

    Also worth noting the fresh air commenting thread has been deleting criticism of his book and Liberal Zionist support of racist and discriminatory polices in Isrsel.

    The Gatekeeper was in overdrive the prior day.

  12. a blah chick
    November 19, 2013, 7:14 pm

    I just love it when elite white males like Shavit tell the Palestinians to stop playing the victim. When have they ever been ALLOWED to be victims?

  13. MHughes976
    November 19, 2013, 7:14 pm

    Mr. Shavit is performing what I’ve come to think of as the existentialist strut, perhaps the Social Darwinist cavort, in which everything however terrible is justified by the struggle for existence, presented amid much enjoyable rhetoric in which ends sanctify means, making beauty from ugliness, and everything ends with a lovely vision of children playing in happiness and safety because their fathers and mothers were so stern and determined, even if they had once or twice wiped away a noble tear at what they needed to do to make the new, beautiful world. References to other children living in squalor and misery are called fixation on the past. Fighting back is subject to all the moral condemnation from which the existentialists strutted away . When outsiders object the pangs of conscience they cause are called righteous scorn at their anger, which is called hatred.

    • ritzl
      November 19, 2013, 11:56 pm

      Great comment in a great thread.

      • Citizen
        November 20, 2013, 9:13 am

        Yes, and how glaring is the existentialist strut/Social Darwinist cavort–when articulated endlessly regarding Nazi philosophy on the various History cable tv channels.

  14. Krauss
    November 19, 2013, 9:14 pm

    The Zionist project continues. I’m sure Shavit would defend this, with a twinkle in his eye and a quiver in his voice.

    link to haaretz.com

  15. irishmoses
    November 19, 2013, 9:37 pm

    The existentialist strut and the Social Darwinist cavort—just perfect!

    Hearing Shavit on Charlie Rose and Fresh Air made his published article even more unpalatable. He exudes unctuousness while offering servings of cold pablum. “I’m afraid if Mr. Kerry tries to accomplish too much, something bad will happen. We need to take gradual steps so the Palestinians see a little progress each year….”

    If this guy is the spokesperson for Israeli Liberal Zionism, there really is no hope of a peaceful solution.

    • Shingo
      November 20, 2013, 6:12 am

      “I’m afraid if Mr. Kerry tries to accomplish too much, something bad will happen.

      By that what he means is that the Israelis will take out their anger on the Palestinians.

      Of course, if Mr. Kerry didn’t try to accomplish too much or anything at all for that mater, something bad will happen anyway.

    • Rusty Pipes
      November 20, 2013, 1:27 pm

      The “gradual steps” approach that Shavit advocates has already been tried — for the past 20 years. The confidence building measures and benchmarks that have been part of Oslo and the Quartet have easily been ignored or subverted by successive Israeli politicians who have managed to avoid holding up their end of the bargain. International and especially American pressure can be delayed long enough to be distracted eventually by the demands of domestic politics and the election cycle — if one politician makes too many demands of Israel, its leaders will just stall until a replacement arrives.

      The confidence building options that Palestinians are being asked to accept as benchmarks are even worse than the ones available 20 years ago.

  16. kayq
    November 20, 2013, 8:24 am

    I wouldn’t say Shavit is the rare kind of Israeli. Oh no, there are plenty like him, particularly in academia, unfortunately.

    Shavit acknowledges Israel’s original sin but he goes on to JUSTIFY the Nakba, and Benny Morris has done that. I’m sure many liberal academics have as well.

    Shavit is a hopeful, I would say, but a disillusioned one at that.

  17. yonah fredman
    November 20, 2013, 9:05 am

    “So we need a Jewish state not just because the gentiles want to murder us but because they want to marry us.” A pithy summary, but superficial as well. Of course someone who is whole hog on the train to cultural disappearance, would summarize the desire to maintain the Jewish identity as avoidance of the gentiles who want to marry us. Certainly there are those whose distaste with the religion and the culture is such that they can’t wait to toss it onto the ash heap. Then there are others who see the big world and consider the small world they left behind as so much childish primitive tribal anachronism. But there are those who consider the existence of the Jewish identity as something worthwhile, mysterious that it has lasted so long and considering what it’s been through, maybe of some value into the future as a group rather than as books on shelves. The desire to maintain one’s group is not the highest of goals, but it is not alien to human experience and should not be termed purely in the negative trivial way of this sentence.

    (If posed as a question, Which is more important: avoiding war and conflict with indigenous peoples or maintaining group identity? then weighing the avoidance of conflict as a higher value is understandable. But to denigrate the mere idea of group identity as a trivial silly goal is what Phil did here with that sentence.)

    • American
      November 20, 2013, 9:41 am

      (If posed as a question, Which is more important: avoiding war and conflict with indigenous peoples or maintaining group identity? then weighing the avoidance of conflict as a higher value is understandable. But to denigrate the mere idea of group identity as a trivial silly goal is what Phil did here with that sentence.)”” ….yonah

      Phil’s sentence expresses the zionist exactly. Instead of the zionist understanding that Jews like all other people assimilate, marry out, change as societies and the world changes—they promote this as an ‘assault’ on Jewishness—-thats it’s being pushed on or done to them by ‘others’ who want them to disappear.
      How many people get up every morning thinking ‘we have to do something about that Jewish group’– probably no one except the zionist themselves.

    • eljay
      November 20, 2013, 9:42 am

      >> … there are those who consider the existence of the Jewish identity as something worthwhile …

      Like any group that considers its identity as something worthwhile, Jews are free to maintain their Jewish identity within their communities in the countries in which they reside.

      >> … But to denigrate the mere idea of group identity as a trivial silly goal is what Phil did here with that sentence*.

      Let’s see:
      >> P.W.: So we need a Jewish state not just because the gentiles want to murder us but because they want to marry us.

      Nowhere in that sentence does he “denigrate the mere idea of group identity as a trivial silly goal”. What he does do in that sentence is ridicule, rightly, Shavit’s hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist assertion – an assertion you appear to agree with – that the desire to maintain the “Jewish identity” justifies a supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine.

  18. Citizen
    November 20, 2013, 9:26 am

    “Of course someone who is whole hog on the train to cultural disappearance, would summarize the desire to maintain the Jewish identity as avoidance of the gentiles who want to marry us…”

    Of course someone who is whole hog on the train to maintain Jewish identity no matter the cost, would infer Phil’s article amounts to a celebration and praise of trivial individualism.

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