Israel and apartheid: a response to Hirsh Goodman

Palestinian men walk through Huwara checkpoint near Nablus. (Photo:Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90/Times of Israel) Read more: IDF arrests Palestinian carrying two bombs at checkpoint south of Nablus | The Times of Israel http://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-arrests-

Palestinian men walk through Huwara checkpoint near Nablus. (Photo:Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90/Times of Israel)
Read more: IDF arrests Palestinian carrying two bombs at checkpoint south of Nablus | The Times of Israel http://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-arrests-

In a recent New York Times opinion piece Hirsh Goodman wrote:

After decades of arguing that Israel is not an apartheid state and that it’s a calumny and a lie to say so, I sense that we may be well down the road to being seen as one.

Goodman, an Israeli journalist who like me, grew up in South Africa under apartheid, went on to argue that:

[I]n this day and age, brands are more powerful than truth and, inexplicably, blindly, Israel is letting itself be branded an apartheid state — and even encouraging it. (“Losing the Propaganda War,” New York Times, Feb. 2, 2014)

Goodman’s choice of words is telling since, in fact, Israel and the leaders of the American Jewish community are currently investing millions of dollars and countless hours in the “Branding of Israel.”

But of course, Goodman misses the point: the issue is not about “branding,” nor about “inexplicable” actions by Israel.  Quite the opposite, the painful truth lies at the core of Zionism itself: a systemic privileging of Jews over non-Jews and an ongoing structural injustice that Israel inflicts on the Palestinian people.

It is this painful truth of very explicable–albeit unjust–policies of Israel, so similar to those of apartheid South Africa that has led so many to view Israel as an apartheid state.

The confiscation of vast tracts of Palestinian land, discriminatory zoning practices that restrict Palestinian housing while towns with thousands of homes are built for Jews, the creation of huge exclusive Jewish settlements on the West Bank, intense restrictions on freedom of movement, imprisonment without trial, the arrest of children in the middle of the night–these are only some of the discriminatory policies reminiscent of the injustices that Goodman and I witnessed as young people growing up in South Africa.

Because of our deep bonds to the culture and people of Israel, it is so hard for liberal Israelis, such as Goodman, and American Jews such as myself, to acknowledge this painful reality.

It has taken me years to acknowledge this truth and years to overcome the fear of saying it out loud–a fear that still inhibits me.  Decades of activism as a progressive Zionist gave me the opportunity to see realities that most Israelis such as Goodman never see, except as soldiers.

My life changed forever the day I walked down Shuhada Street in Hebron, a street that is restricted to Jews, where the Palestinian residents are forbidden to even walk on the road on which they live. I wept that day, knowing that I could no longer be silent when people warned me not to mention apartheid when talking about Israel.

I have passed through checkpoints on the West Bank and have seen Palestinians, herded like animals, waiting for hours for their identity cards to be checked.  I have stood on the ruins of demolished Palestinian homes where one can see vast new Jewish neighborhoods that are within a short distance.  I am grateful to my Israeli human rights activist friends who allowed me to see these realities with my own eyes.  And I am grateful to the Palestinians who welcomed me into their homes and villages to share their lives with me.

As a person who grew up in South Africa it is impossible to see such realities and not to feel the similarity with apartheid in your very bones. South African anti-apartheid leaders who have visited the West Bank immediately see the parallel.  It is impossible not to.

This is not to say that the situation in Israel and apartheid South Africa are identical.  There are important differences.  Jews have a profound long time connection with the land of Israel.  Israel saved the lives of many Jews at a time when our people were among the most desperate people on earth.  In many ways Israel represents a miracle of rebirth for Jews.

Yet our attachment to Israel and what it represents can never justify the dispossession of 700,000 Palestinians in 1948 and the creation of Jewish villages, kibbutzim and towns on the ruins of destroyed Palestinian villages.  Nor can it justify the continuation of this policy of dispossession on the West Bank that has made even a two-state solution a near impossibility.

Israel is not losing a “propaganda war”–rather, the Jewish people and Israel are in danger of losing our very soul. The most precious elements of our heritage and historical experience have been threatened.   This is a spiritual emergency for Jews in Israel and around the world–an emergency that cannot be solved by mere “branding” or by accusing those involved in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement of anti-Semitism.

Many Israelis and American Jews support some form of BDS as a strategy to end Israeli oppression.  Some advocate boycotting settlement products, others support wider boycotts, divestment initiatives and government sanctions.  All those involved in BDS view it as a nonviolent strategy to end the systemic injustice and discrimination that Israel inflicts on Palestinians.

I am part of a growing group of American rabbis, members of the Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council who support BDS.  While we have differences between us on what initiatives we may support, we all participate in some form of BDS because we believe that Israel and everything we hold dear about our Jewish legacy is threatened by the policies of Israel.

We also see our support for BDS as an expression of the Jewish commitment to stand in solidarity with the oppressed. The overwhelming majority of Palestinian civil society organizations have called for worldwide BDS campaigns, much as the African National Congress called for BDS against South Africa,

As a South African, I experienced the effects of the boycott against South Africa. I was disappointed when international rugby games in Cape Town or favorite concerts were cancelled because of the boycott.   Yet, as a South African opposed to apartheid I welcomed the activism of those outside the country engaged in this struggle for justice.

Like South Africa, Israel has outlawed support for the boycott in any form.  Thankfully, there are some courageous Israelis–however small in number–who are prepared to defy the law.

Now that Israel has the most right-wing government in its history it is unlikely to take even minimal steps towards peace, Hirsh Goodman fears the boycott and the comparisons to South Africa.   By portraying those who support the boycott as anti-Semitic, he is no different from the Israeli government and American Jewish institutions that wish to intimidate and silence those who stand in solidarity with the Palestinian demand for equal rights and human dignity.

At the end of his article Goodman wrote, “As anyone who has bought a ‘Gucci’ bag in a Bangkok market can tell you, it’s all in the label.”

Unfortunately, this issue is not about anything as trivial as a “Gucci” bag, or a brand name. It is about ending systemic discrimination and oppression and about the struggle for dignity and human rights for all.

Rabbi Brian Walt is a congregational rabbi and was the founding executive director of Rabbis for Human Rights-North America.  He is rabbi emeritus of Congregation Mishkan Shalom in Philadelphia and a member of the Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council.  He has led several delegations to Israel and Palestine.  Most recently he co-led a delegation of American Civil and Human Rights leaders  on a trip to the West Bank to meet with leaders of the Palestinian nonviolent resistance movement and their Israeli allies. 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Occupation

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

  1. seafoid says:

    Decent rabbis need to draw attention to the role of israel s rabbis in the whole mess . No fence sitting .

  2. Taxi says:

    Thank you, Rabbi Brian Walt.

    I’m speechless at your courage and soulfulness.

    • seafoid says:

      I don’t agree , Taxi. I’d expect at least 20% of rabbis to be capable of that sort of humanity. That there is a system failure shouldn’t disguise the fact that any decent thinking person would be horrified by what Israel does to the Palestinians. Tribal identity should be left at the door .

      I think it’s a good piece but the main point is the crisis in Judaism that elevates it to the level of courage and soulfulness.

    • bintbiba says:

      Rabbi Brian Walt, you give inspiration , hope and the fortitude to believe we all could find a way out of this abominable predicament, one day…together.

  3. jenin says:

    Thank you, Rabbi Walt. I am so glad to see such an eloquent, honest and thoughtful response to Hirsh Goodman’s appalling piece.

  4. Great piece. Print copies of it should be posted on the wall of the offices of all US Congressmen.

    • pabelmont says:

      James Canning: Yes, and print copies of it should be posted on the wall of the offices of all US rabbis.

      However, speaking of all US rabbis, the author falls for what I consider the greatest trap and greatest illegitimate leverage of Zionism, the idea that all Jews are one family — for better or worse — and must protect each other even when some are horrible criminals. As the author writes: “The Jewish people and Israel are in danger of losing our very soul.” He says “our”. It is an old trap. But it is a trap. And it is not true.

      It should be his business, I’d assume, to save his own soul and as a religious leader to help his congregation with theirs. But the nasty suggestion that all Jews are ONE FAMILY is a deceptive slight of hand (similar to the Catholic problem about abusive priests) used by Zionists to justify a retreat from humane standards and legal and ethical and moral responsibility.

      All Jews are NOT ONE family, not even ONE unhappy family. The SHEMA prayer declares: “”Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is ONE”, but that prayer agglomerates “all Israel” (all Jewish people) only to hear the testimony of the person praying. Its chief import is to declare that God is ONE, not to say that all Israel is ONE.

      NB: I am not a religious Jew, have never prayed in Hebrew. I personally do not like the idea of a great Masonic club (of Jews in this case) with secret handshakes, and many secrets, got together to share and augment power at the cost of everyone not a member. For me, Jews are human beings with freedom to choose many things and not trapped in a sort of restrictive club from which they cannot escape.

      • tokyobk says:

        I get why you don’t relate to his shtick but its his shtick. For him, Jews are one family, he does pray in Hebrew and does believe in a collective Jewish soul. So, for him (and by the way just as in the case of measuring %’s of Muslims who believe X or Mormons who believe Y for people outside looking in), Jews will be judged to as a collective and he has a responsibility to address the issue in those terms.

      • Daniel Rich says:

        @ pabelmont,

        Q: For me, Jews are human beings with freedom to choose many things and not trapped in a sort of restrictive club from which they cannot escape.

        R: Please insert a rapturous, all encompassing and ‘still standing’ ovation.

        ‘Encore…, encore!’

  5. Shingo says:

    Consider the denial in Goodman’s piece:

    In apartheid South Africa, people disappeared in the night without the protection of any legal process and were never heard from again. There was no freedom of speech or expression and more “judicial” hangings were reportedly carried out there than in any other place on earth. There was no free press and, until January 1976, no public television.

    Masses of black people were forcibly moved from tribal lands to arid Bantustans in the middle of nowhere. A “pass system” stipulated where blacks could live and work, splitting families and breaking down social structures, to provide cheap labor for the mines and white-owned businesses, and a plentiful pool of domestic servants for the white minority. Those found in violation were arrested, usually lashed, and sentenced to stints of hard labor for a few shillings per prisoner per day, payable to the prison service.

    He claims noneif this is happening in Israel or the OT, yet with the exception of extrajudicial hangings, this is indeed what is taking place or has taken place in Israel. Goodman is clinging to the theory that because Israel apartheid is not exactly the same as South African apartheid, it can’t be apartheid, which is truly pathetic.

    Thank you again Rabbi Walt, for your extraordinary courage and honesty.

    • Pamela Olson says:

      Right, no extrajudicial hangings. Just blowing people up in the street or in the middle of the night amidst sleeping children. Or white phosphorus over, you know, whoever.

      But hey, no hangings! That’s one in the plus column for sure…

  6. Dear Rabbi Brian Walt, Mishkan Shalom, Philadelphia

    As a Jewish Rabbi I sure you know the meaning of the following Biblical phrases;

    “מדבר שקר תרחק” (Exodus, 23, 7):
    Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not; for I will not justify the wicked.

    “לא תעמוד על דם רעיך” (Leviticus, 19, 16);
    Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people; neither shalt thou stand idly by the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD.

    “לא תשנא את אחיך בלבבך” (Leviticus, 19, 17)
    Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart; thou shalt surely rebuke thy neighbour, and not bear sin because of him.

    By spreading your ideology, you don’t promote Shalom in this area, only more hatred and destruction of the real Mishkan Shalom of the Jewish people – my state, the Jewish state of Israel.

    Shalom.

    • seafoid says:

      Mahane

      you are racist bigots.

      Hillel- treat the stranger as you would like to be treated- is where it is at.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      LMAO. And now the REAL potato man comes out. Not the, “Hey, I all for sharing” guy, but the “How dare you tell the truth about the Jewish apartheid??? Don’t you know you’re supposed to be on our side, no matter what??? What the hell kind of Jew are you, anyway??” guy that we all know was there.

      • eljay says:

        >> LMAO. And now the REAL potato man comes out.

        Maybe he’s playing “good potato-man / bad potato-man”, and the good potato-man is currently out of the room. ;-)

    • amigo says:

      mehane , take your book and shove it.

      It is self serving tripe for idiots with starch infested brains.

      Glad to see the Rabbi p—ed you off.

      By the way–there is no Jewish State.Just The State of Israel and you fools are likely to lose that.Not that I will cry any tears to see an end to your beloved Apartheid rogue entity.

      I will celebrate to the fullest.

      • Shingo says:

        Good point Amigo.

        MY1 and his ilk should here the warning the God will not justify the wicked , which is what Zionists and Israeli apologists have been doing since 1948.

    • bintbiba says:

      Mehane Y1 , Yor comment horrifies me!
      Such bigotry is beyond comprehension.

      • seafoid says:

        Ignore the bit about Hosni Mubarak but this song links his comments with why Mahane is such an outlier on the curve of morality

        link to youtube.com

        • @seafoid:

          Thanks for the video you linked to your comment with the song of an Egyptian singer. Since this song aimed to promote peace, I attached English translation (not mine, only slight changes) for the convenience of MW readers:

          I hate Israel and I say it if they ask me
          even if they murder me or even if they put me in jail. Inshallah
          I hate Israel eeeeeeeeeeeeh
          I love Husni Mubarek cause he has a big heart
          if he steps forward ,he counts it with conscience
          I hate Israel and I hate devastation
          it loves the ruin and hate the reconstruction
          eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh
          I love Yasser Arafat and he is precious to me
          and the Egyptian people is sad ,the tear is coming and going
          I hate Israel
          and Shimon (*Peres) and Sharon
          and I love Amr Musa and his measured words
          what is the fault of these kids that die every day
          people holding arms and the other are holding darts
          and I hate Israel, and all of us
          we’re all upset ,Quds (*Jerusalem) is important to us

          When “(Mohamed Al-) Dorrah” died,the president was sad
          and he said it in the news paper. Who accepts the injustice?
          I hate israel and I hate Ehud Barak
          cause he is vapid and everybody hates him
          all the time Egypt has been holding still and endures a lot
          but when it gets upset it withdrew its ambassador
          I hate Israel
          and ask the blood of the martyr
          and ask the one that crossed the bridge in holy October (*Yom Kippur war)
          and I hate Israel
          because of south Lebanon
          and Quds and Iraq and Syria and the Golan heights

          • seafoid says:

            “and I hate Israel
            because of south Lebanon
            and Quds and Iraq and Syria and the Golan heights”

            Most people feel the same about shooting and crying, habibi

    • talknic says:

      MahaneYehude1 “By spreading your ideology, you don’t promote Shalom in this area, only more hatred and destruction of the real Mishkan Shalom of the Jewish people – my state, the Jewish state of Israel”

      Nonsense by a very thick headed and thin skinned potato. Israel ending its illegal activities in non-Israeli territory will be cleansing to its somewhat soiled soul.

    • Shingo says:

      Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart; thou shalt surely rebuke thy neighbour, and not bear sin because of him.

      Walt is not displaying hatred of anyone, only shame at the fact Ostael has turned into a hate filled, apartheid state.

      Don’t confuse hatred with your own resentment over the fact Walt won’t help you and Goodman in drying and defending the indefensible.

      You’re once again exposing your own vile racism and fascist ideology.

    • Whizdom says:

      I understand the scripture you cite as an argument for justice for the Palestinian brothers, and against the bearing of false tales of hasbara. And the religious duty to speak up against injustice.

  7. Andrew Keith says:

    “[T]he Jewish people and Israel are in danger of losing our very soul.” For some, one must wonder if that ship sailed long ago.

  8. giladg says:

    The South African Jewish community seems to have seen better days. An arrogance has crept in over the past 10 years, an arrogance that does not bode well for them. This notion of “systemic privileging of Jews over non-Jews”, that Jews think they are better than others, is a hangup that is encountered in South Africa it seems but is not one felt in the Jewish homeland. Israeli’s do not have the luxury of thinking or acting as if they are better than anyone else. They are preoccupied with building and insuring their kids are safe from an ideology that wants to destroy them. So there is a disconnect and Rabbi Walt would do better talking about problems in the South African Jewish community. The Israelis who are the least racist in Israel are the religious Zionists and Walt has got his wires crossed somewhere.

    • Shmuel says:

      Israeli’s do not have the luxury of thinking or acting as if they are better than anyone else. They are preoccupied with building and insuring their kids are safe from an ideology that wants to destroy them. So there is a disconnect

      Yes, I think there is a disconnect. Your denial actually oozes a sense of superiority and entitlement.

      The Israelis who are the least racist in Israel are the religious Zionists

      I’m not one for blaming everything on the religious (or the Mizrahim or the “Roosim”), but how do you figure that?

      • giladg says:

        Denial of what Shmuel? By whom? The only denial going on is that of the Palestinians who deny that Jews have a long and important history in this land. Again I ask you Shmuel, denial of what? I am not denying that Palestinians have gripes. They need to take responsibility for their own mistakes and actions, something you seem to have no requirement for. Not accepting the 1947 Partition Plan, going to war, countless acts of terror. By their actions they have forced Israeli’s to be obsessed with security, and rightly so.
        You need to ask yourself one question Shmuel. Is this the land of the Jews? If your answer is no, then all Jews should leave Israel. If your answer is yes, then you are the one who is in denial Shmuel about the existential threat the Palestinians and their Arab and Muslim brothers pose to the small and vulnarable Jewish state that would be only 9 miles wide in some places.

        • talknic says:

          giladg “The only denial going on is that of the Palestinians who deny that Jews have a long and important history in this land”

          Doesn’t entitle them to dispossess anyone or entitle them to any territory outside the State of Israel.

          “They need to take responsibility for their own mistakes and actions… Not accepting the 1947 Partition Plan”

          Irrelevant. Israel proclaimed its borders and has had Jewish forces outside of them for 65 years, occupying other folk’s territory and dispossessing non-Jewish civilians

          “..going to war”

          A tiny minority rightfully tried to protect themselves from Jewish forces in 1948 ’49

          “countless acts of terror”

          Uh huh Israel was born of terrorism link to nationalarchives.gov.uk

          ” By their actions they have forced Israeli’s to be obsessed with security, and rightly so”

          Jewish forces were already outside the state of Israel the day its borders were proclaimed, busy razing homes, villages. They’re still outside the State of Israel, still razing homes and villages.

          “Is this the land of the Jews?”

          Only Israeli land is. Its borders were proclaimed May 15th 1948, while Jewish forces were already outside those borders.

          ” If your answer is no, then all Jews should leave Israel”

          Jews should go live in Israel instead of illegally in territories occupied by Israel.

          “the existential threat the Palestinians and their Arab and Muslim brothers pose to the small and vulnarable Jewish state that would be only 9 miles wide in some places”

          What nonsense. No Israeli territory has ever been invaded. Israel has illegally acquired more than half of what remained of Palestine after Israel’s borders were proclaimed and recognized. ALL of Israel’s wars have been over and in other folk’s territory the Jewish state has coveted.

          • 2002 Saudi Peace Paln in effect recognises mistakes made by the Arabs back in the 1940s. Palestine as but 22% of what was Palestine, is a reflection of that recognition.

          • giladg says:

            talknic tries to tell us that it is irrelevant that the Arab Palestinians, as apposed to the Jewish Palestinians, rejected the 1947 Partition Plan. The Jews accepted the plan with its borders and had the Arabs and Muslims not gone to war with the newly created State of Israel, those would have been the borders. When the war ended in 1949 the lines drawn were called the Armistice Lines. What did you expect Israel to do then, apologize on behalf of the Arabs for them not accepting the Partition Plan? Are you out of your mind talknic? And those lines held until 1967 when again the Palestinians with their Arab and Muslims brothers went to war, again.
            The Palestinians have had their chances for a state and rejected each and every opportunity. Israel is not going to agree to have indefensible borders, and nor should they. If the Palestinians want a state they are going to have to accept many things, that Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people and that unrepresented compromises by them to insure Israel’s security. Non militarized state, Israeli army retaining presence in strategic positions. The Palestinians have made too many mistakes. Demand that they pay for them.

          • Shingo says:

            The Jews accepted the plan with its borders and had the Arabs and Muslims not gone to war with the newly created State of Israel, those would have been the borders.

            Be Gurion disagrees. He stated openly that the borders were only temporary and that the plan would be unilaterally abolished once the Jewish forces were strong enough.

            What did you expect Israel to do then, apologize on behalf of the Arabs for them not accepting the Partition Plan?

            What part fo the plan allowed Jewish forces to be stationed outside the borders of the Jewish state? Is that not an act of war and aggression?

            And those lines held until 1967 when again the Palestinians with their Arab and Muslims brothers went to war, again.

            Israeli leaders have already admitted that ISrael started the ’67 war to steal more land. The Palestinians never had a chances for a state, except under the League of Nationas Mandate which was supposed to create one state of Palestine in the territory.

            Israel is not going to agree to have indefensible borders, and nor should they.

            There is no such thing as defensible borders.

            Non militarized state, Israeli army retaining presence in strategic positions. The Palestinians have made too many mistakes. Demand that they pay for them.

            No, that’s not going to happen. NATO is moving in. Israelis army just MAFIA thugs and terrorists who’s purpose is to enable more land theft.

          • Notion of “defensible” borders is nonsense.

          • talknic says:

            giladg “The Jews accepted the plan with its borders and had the Arabs and Muslims not gone to war with the newly created State of Israel, those would have been the borders”

            How strange. There were and still are borders. The Israeli Government proclaimed them to the world May 15th 1948 in its plea for recognition link to trumanlibrary.org and; was subsequently recognized by them before being accepted into the UN.

            Now simple logic tells us that; whatever territory lay “outside the State of Israel” link to unispal.un.org was quite simply not Israeli. Except of course if you’re a brain dead moron for Israel’s ongoing illegal acquisition of non-Israeli territory

            “When the war ended in 1949 the lines drawn were called the Armistice Lines”

            WOW!! So? Israel didn’t legally annex (by agreement) any non-Israeli territory under its military control to its sovereign extent. It’s attempted claims link to unispal.un.org to those territories “outside the State of Israel” (ibid) were turned down link to domino.un.org

            ” And those lines held until 1967 when again the Palestinians with their Arab and Muslims brothers went to war, again”

            A) As Armistice Demarcation Lines. B) UNSC res 223 tells us it was Israeli aggression was well under way in 1966 link to unispal.un.org C) There are no UNSC resolutions against any Arab state for countering Israel aggressions in territories “outside the State of Israel” (ibid)

            “The Palestinians have had their chances for a state and rejected each and every opportunity”

            Palestine was already a state by 1920, with provisional recognition (Lon Covenant Art 22) confirmed in 1922 (LoN Mandate for Palestine first line) Jews could get Palestinian citizenship (LoN Mandate Art 7)

            One cannot have an independent state whilst under occupation. Before it could gain independence, the State of Palestine of 1920 was partitioned at precisely 00:01 May 15th 1948 (ME time) by default of Israel proclaiming its borders per UNGA res 181 (ibid)

            The LoN Mandate expired link to pages.citebite.com so either party could declare independence, however, by the time the Mandate expired, Jewish forces were already occupying territory “outside the State of Israel” (ibid). What remained of Palestine has never been independent of occupation. The Palestinians have NEVER had an opportunity to miss, despite the drivel spouted by morons who spout Israeli propaganda mantras

            “Israel is not going to agree to have indefensible borders, and nor should they”

            Classic stupidity repeated over and over is still classic stupidity. A) Israel ‘s borders have been ‘defensible’ for 65 years. B) All states have an equal right to ‘defensible’ borders. C) There is no legal basis for Israel’ demands.

            “If the Palestinians want a state”

            They have a state recognized by the vast majority of the world, it is not independent because of only one thing. Israeli occupation.

            “Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people and that unrepresented compromises by them to insure Israel’s security. Non militarized state, Israeli army retaining presence in strategic positions.

            Demands that have no legal basis and contrary to the UN Charter.

        • Shingo says:

          The only denial going on is that of the Palestinians who deny that Jews have a long and important history in this land.

          Whatever history exists, it has no legal or moral relevance. The history ended 2000 years ago.

          They are preoccupied with building and insuring their kids are safe from an ideology that wants to destroy them.

          Israel was founded on an ideology that required the destruction of Palestine.

          You need to ask yourself one question Shmuel. Is this the land of the Jews? If your answer is no, then all Jews should leave Israel.

          That’s about as nonsensical as suggesting all Jews should leave the US – after all, no part of the US belongs to “the Jews”.

          • giladg says:

            History ended 2000 years ago? Just like that hey?
            The biggest thing that the Palestinians fear and that of the history of the Jews. That’s why they have brainwashed you into saying the nonsense you do Shingo. How does history stop? It is what it is so you had better start getting used to it, especially when it has to do with the Jewish people who have a direct line to biblical times. The Torah is in Hebrew. What other people do you know alive today who speak the same language that was spoken 2,000 years ago?

          • Shingo says:

            History ended 2000 years ago? Just like that hey?

            Like the fact that any Jewish Kindon stopped existing 2000 years ago along with any Jewish claim to ownership or exclusivity to the land.

            The biggest thing that the Palestinians fear and that of the history of the Jews.

            No, the biggest thing that the Zionsts fear and that of the history of the Jews is seen for what it is, and that the so called entity called “the Jews” does not exist. It is people like you that show fear Gilad. Every time you post a comment, you’re the one the keep complaining that the connection of “the Jews” to Jerusalem is not being recognized.

            You’re demonstrating time and time again a great deal of insecurity and pranoia.

            How does history stop?

            Good question. It clearly doesn’t, but you Zionists would have us believe it stopped 2000 years ago and started again in 1948.

            It is what it is so you had better start getting used to it, especially when it has to do with the Jewish people who have a direct line to biblical times.

            But that’s the problem Gilad, most Jews have no direct line to biblical times. In fact, there are probably no Jews alive today who have any such connection, other than the fact they read from the same texts and practice the same religion.

            What other people do you know alive today who speak the same language that was spoken 2,000 years ago?

            The Hebrew of today was reinvented. When the concept of a Jewish state was first envisioned by Herzl, he proposed that the national language be German, because most Jews did not speak Hebrew.

            Your problem Gilad, is that you are drunk on the fairy tales of your tribe and have swallowed the whole BS about redemption and destiny.

          • talknic says:

            giladg “the Jewish people who have a direct line to biblical times”

            Irrelevant to the legal status of Israels actual sovereign extent and its illegal activities in the non-Israeli territories it occupies.

            “What other people do you know alive today who speak the same language that was spoken 2,000 years ago?”

            Got a recording from 2,000 years ago? No one actually knows exactly how Hebrew was pronounced 2,000 years ago. Perhaps you mean ‘write the same language that was written 2,000 years ago’.

            The Australian Aboriginal has hard copy records on rock from the present day going back some 45,000 years.

            Jews, Christians, Muslims are newbies.

          • Mayhem says:

            @Shingo, so Ben Gurion

            stated openly that the borders were only temporary and that the plan would be unilaterally abolished once the Jewish forces were strong enough

            Source and context of your brazen statement?

          • Shingo says:

            Source and context of your brazen statement?

            As it will be demonstrated below, the decision by the Zionist leadership to accept the 1947 proposed UN GA Partition plan was nothing but a smoke screen, which was done solely to gain international recognition and support. This deception was a political ploy to gain initial international legitimacy for the existence of the “Jewish state”, and this was well known to the Palestinian people.

            Note that most, if not all, of the quotes below are dated before the entry of any single Arab Army into British Mandated Palestine:

            1, In a letter Chaim Weizmann sent to the Palestine-British high Commissioner, while the Peel Commission was convening in 1937, he stated:

            “We shall spread in the whole country in the course of time ….. this is only an arrangement for the next 25 to 30 years.”
            (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 66)

            2. Ben-Gurion emphasized that the acceptance of the Peel Commission would not imply static borders for the future “Jewish state”. In a letter Ben-Gurion sent to his son in 1937, he wrote:

            “No Zionist can forgo the smallest portion of the Land Of Israel. [A] Jewish state in part [of Palestine] is not an end, but a beginning ….. Our possession is important not only for itself … through this we increase our power, and every increase in power facilitates getting hold of the country in its entirety. Establishing a [small] state …. will serve as a very potent lever in our historical effort to redeem the whole country.”
            (Righteous Victims, p. 138)

            3. In 1938, Ben-Gurion made it clear of his support for the “Jewish state” on part of Palestine was only as a stepping ground for a complete conquest. He wrote:

            “[I am] satisfied with part of the country, but on the basis of the assumption that after we build up a strong force following the establishment of the state–we will abolish the partition of the country and we will expand to the whole Land of Israel.”
            (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 107 & One Palestine Complete, p. 403)

            4. One day after the UN vote to partition Palestine, Menachem Begin, the commander of the Irgun gang and Israel’s future Prime Minister between 1977-1983, proclaimed:

            “The Partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized …. Jerusalem was and will for ever be our capital. Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And for Ever.” (Iron Wall p. 25)

            5. Shamir has said Israel must keep the territories in order to accommodate the immigrants.

            “A great aliyah [immigration],” he said, “requires a Greater Israel.” (5)

            He has insisted that, although Soviet Jews are not being directed to the territories, any Jew has the right to live anywhere in the land of Israel, which for most Israelis includes the territories.

          • Clearly there were hopes and expectations on part of militant Jewish leaders in Palestine, to take as much of the country as possible, over time. Question now, of course, is whether Israel gets out of the West Bank.

          • Mayhem says:

            @shingo, the virulent anti-Zionist you are, you have given the sources of your ‘quotes’ above, but have not commented on their context. Your quotes are those that appear with regularity on the anti-Israel hate sites, quotes from the polemics of Palestinian activist Nur-eldeen
            Masalha.

            Those attributed to Weizmann and Ben Gurion come from the Peel Commission period when the offering was exceedingly ungenerous to the Jews. In other words they represent not a grand plan for conquest, but simply a line or two of spin by Weizman and BG trying to convince the Yishuv to accept the city-state (Bantustan) the Peel commission had proposed.

            In the true spirit of Palestinian activists, desperate to undermine the state of Israel at every opportunity, every single line uttered in the entire lifetime of every Israeli leader is to be hyper-scrutinised
            and quoted out of context even seventy years later!

        • ” Is this the land of the Jews?”
          Since you undoubtedly think it is, you may have to explain why, how or when was it so. If you’re referring to a spiritual and historical connection then please be aware that such a connection does not translate to ownership of real estate in the present and if you’re referring to the biblical (and mythical to a significant degree) kingdom of Israel please be also aware that it hardly lasted more than a total of 150 years and some historians argue far less than that. So much for eternal propriety your childish question imply.

        • eljay says:

          >> … Jews have a long and important history in this land.

          The Jews who lived in that land have a long and important history in that land. The Jews who lived elsewhere in the world had no history in that land.

          >> They need to take responsibility for their own mistakes and actions …

          When will Zio-supremacists take responsibility for their deliberate actions? For the covetousness, the terrorism, the ethnic cleansing, the oppression, the supremacism, the land theft, the occupation, the colonization, the destruction, the torture and the murder they committed and continue to commit?

          >> Is this the land of the Jews?

          No, it’s not “the land of the Jews”. It’s the land of its indigenous population – including those who remain refugees – and of its citizens.

          >> If your answer is no, then all Jews should leave Israel.

          There’s no reason for “all Jews” to leave Israel. Why do you hate Jews?

        • RoHa says:

          “Is this the land of the Jews?”

          At the risk of sounding Clintonesque, what do you mean by “of”? I know it is some sort of relationship between the land and the Jews, but what relationship?

          “the existential threat the Palestinians and their Arab and Muslim brothers pose to the small and vulnarable Jewish state”

          Insofar as the Palestinians and other Arabs and Muslims are hostile to Israel, it is a result of Israeli actions and attitudes. Israelis need to take responsibility for their own mistakes and actions.

        • ziusudra says:

          Greetings giladg,
          …. is this the LAND of the Jews?…….

          Contiguous Falesteena is 21.0K Sq Km today.
          Under Canaanite rule it consisted of 408K Sq Km.
          All Afroasian language tribes inhabited said area.
          12 tribe federated after taking on the Religion of the
          Sumerian Abraham & his Deity EL in 1200BC creating
          their first Kingdom in Hebron under King Saul in 1026BC.
          They formed the Kingdom of Israel under King David in
          1009BC to 722BC, an area of 7.3K Sq Km.
          In 933BC to 586BC King Rehoboan splits with 2 tribes
          forming the Kingdom of Judea, an area of 5.0K Sq Km.
          I repeat, Canaan/Falesteena was 408K Sq Km.
          Hebron was a village.
          The northern Kingdom Israel was 7.3 K Sq Km.
          The southern Kindom Judea was 5.oK Sq Km.
          How does world Jewry collectively measure the
          LAND, Eretz Israel?
          ziusudra
          PS Said 12 tribes ne’er wandered into Canaan; they ne’er
          left. They were Born again with the concept of Judaism &
          split from their fellow Semite Cousin tribes, the Arabs.
          The 40 yrs. of wandering & freedom from the Pharoah are
          symbols & time of the process of changing their mindset.
          All these accounts are first written in 536BC in Babylonia.

          • Walid says:

            very informative post, ziusudra,

            Of Palestine’s pre-1948 borders, its land mass was about 28,000 sq km, the kingdom of Israel under David was a mere 7300 sq km. and the ones on the West Bank never totaled more than 12,000 sq km. out of a total of about 6,000 sq Km. Very interesting.

          • Iagree: very interesting.

        • Shmuel says:

          Denial of what Shmuel? By whom?

          You denied a sense of superiority by saying ‘We don’t feel superior; we really are better than them’, along with a hefty dose of self-righteousness and projection. There’s the disconnect.

          You need to ask yourself one question Shmuel. Is this the land of the Jews? If your answer is no, then all Jews should leave Israel.

          Of course Israel is not “the land of the Jews”. Although the result of a colonialist project, some of it is the land of the Israelis. The dispossession of the land’s native inhabitants must be recognised and rectified (withdrawal, return, compensation, equality), but not through further ethnic cleansing. I guess you have no such qualms.

          • RoHa says:

            @gilagd

            “What other people do you know alive today who speak the same language that was spoken 2,000 years ago?”

            Is Modern Hebrew any closer to ancient Hebrew than Modern Greek is to Ancient Greek, or Modern Standard Arabic to Classical Arabic?

            Aramaic is still spoken, though the speakers tend to be Arab Christians and Muslims.

            Tamil is still recognizably the same language as that that of the earliest Tamil literature from the second century BC.

            There are people who still speak Sanskrit as their first language, and there is a revival movement. (Modern Hebrew is the result of a revival movement.)

    • talknic says:

      @ giladg “Israeli’s do not have the luxury of thinking or acting as if they are better than anyone else”

      Uh huh link to youtu.be

      “They are preoccupied with building and insuring their kids are safe from an ideology that wants to destroy them”

      Building illegal settlements in Occupied Territories where they’re very likely to be collateral in the ongoing war Israel waged on what remained of Palestine 65 years ago? How does that insure their kids are safe you silly person

      “The Israelis who are the least racist in Israel are the religious Zionists”

      And the most racist are link to google.com.au!

      “Walt has got his wires crossed somewhere”

      Sure pal. You’ll say anything

      • Building illegal settlements on grounds of “safety” is indeed nonsense.

        • Shingo says:

          Building illegal settlements on grounds of “safety” is indeed nonsense.

          Very good point. After all, the settlers living in the settlements are there to serve as human shields.

          • Daniel Rich says:

            @ Shingo

            Q: After all, the settlers living in the settlements are there to serve as human shields.

            R: That would make both the Border Police and certain units of the IDF obsolete. But let’s say it’s true and they are human shields. What would be the benefit of that? Slow down the ‘hordes’ of suicide bombers? Stall a relentless bombardment of Palestinian Cruise Missiles? Deter Palestinian leaders to do the right thing?

            I think they are part of the ‘Expansionist Brigades.’ First they need a hill, then exclusive roads and then onward to the next hill. Death by a thousand cuts hills. Slowly, but surely.

          • Shingo says:

            But let’s say it’s true and they are human shields. What would be the benefit of that? Slow down the ‘hordes’ of suicide bombers? Stall a relentless bombardment of Palestinian Cruise Missiles? Deter Palestinian leaders to do the right thing?

            That was certainly the plan when the Jews from Arab lands arrived. They were put to work building walls and defences around Ashkenzi populations while they were forced to live in out villages vulnerable to attack.

            Even today, the attitude has not changed. When rockets fell on Ashkelon and Sderot, the response was indifferent. But the Israeli leadership put out a clear warning that if anything hit Tel Aviv, the IDF would go ballistic.

          • Mayhem says:

            @shingo, the virulent anti-Zionist you are, you have given the sources
            of your ‘quotes’, but have not commented on their context. Your quotes are those that appear with regularity on the anti-Israel hate sites, quotes from the polemics of Palestinian activist Nur-eldeen Masalha.

            Those attributed to Weizmann and Ben Gurion come from the Peel
            Commission period when the offering was exceedingly ungenerous to the Jews. In other words they represent not a grand plan for conquest, but simply a line or two of spin by Weizman and BG trying to convince the Yishuv to accept the city-state (Bantustan) the Peel commission had proposed.

            In the true spirit of Palestinian activists, desperate to undermine
            the state of Israel at every opportunity, every single line uttered in the entire lifetime of every Israeli leader is to be hyper-scrutinised
            and quoted out of context even seventy years later!

          • Shingo says:

            Your quotes are those that appear with regularity on the anti-Israel hate sites, quotes from the polemics of Palestinian activist Nur-eldeen Masalha.

            Predictably lame response. You can’t deny the quotes are accurate, so all you can do is complain that they appear on sites that don’t cheer lead for Israel.

            Those attributed to Weizmann and Ben Gurion come from the Peel
            Commission period when the offering was exceedingly ungenerous to the Jews.

            False and absurd all at the same time.

            1. Some of the quotes from Ben Gurion came after UNGA181 was passed.
            2. To suggest Peel Commission plan was exceedingly ungenerous to the Jews is a joke considering they owned less than 5% of the land and comprised about 15% of the
            population.

            In other words they represent not a grand plan for conquest, but simply a line or two of spin by Weizman and BG trying to convince the Yishuv to accept the city-state (Bantustan) the Peel commission had proposed.

            False again. Ben Gurion expressed his plans in a letter to his son, not the Yishuv. Furthermore, when he stated that Israel’s military would not only be able to defend against eh Arab armies, but seize more territory, he could only have been referring to the 1948 war.

            very single line uttered in the entire lifetime of every Israeli leader is to be hyper-scrutinised and quoted out of context even seventy years later!

            In the true spirit of Zionist propagandists, every Israeli leader has at one point in their career, let his guard down and exposed the true sickness that lies of the Zionist ideology.

            The reason these statements have been scrutinised is that they proved to be entirely consistent with the actions that Israel have pursued and carried out.

            Here are a few more.

            Ben Gurion also warned in 1948 :

            “We must do everything to insure the Palestinians never do return….The old will die and the young will forget.”
            “It is the duty of Israeli leaders to explain to public opinion, clearly and courageously, a certain number of facts that are forgotten with time. The first of these is that there is no Z1onism, colonialization or Jewish State without the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands.”

            Note that UNGA181 did not allow any expropriation of anyone’s land, but Ben Gurion clearly intended to do so.

            In 1940, Joseph Weitz, the head of the Jewish Agency’s Colonization Department, which was responsible for the actual organization of settlements in Palestine, wrote:
            “Between ourselves it must be clear that there is no room for both peoples together in this country. We shall not achieve our goal if the Arabs are in this small country. There is no other way than to transfer the Arabs from here to neighboring countries – all of them. Not one village, not one tribe should be left.”

            This exposes the lie that the Jews had any intent of sticking to UNGA181. Had they done so, it would have been impossible to achieve their goals.

            And of course, there is the Koenig Report :

            “We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population.”

            Which is exactly what Israel did.

    • eljay says:

      >> Israeli’s do not have the luxury of thinking or acting as if they are better than anyone else.

      And yet Zio-supremacist “Jewish State” Israelis do just that.

      • Mayhem says:

        @shingo, your remarks have no validity as you falsely refute my comments and and present totally fabrications to make your hollow case.
        Firstly the quote you have plucked and bolder “there is no Zionism,
        colonialization or Jewish State without the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands” is not attributable to Ben Gurion,
        having been made in 1972 by Yoram Bar Porath in Israeli newspaper Yediot Aahronot.
        The quote by Weitz is also perfectly understandable given the predicament the Jews were facing in 1940, with, as I said, a poor deal
        having just emanated from the Peel Commission, Arab anti-semitism on
        the rise across the Arab world and in Palestine and the Holocaust well underway.
        You have said without any basis that the Jews had no intention of sticking to UNGA181, which they had accepted. You forgot to say that the Arabs rejected UNGA181. How could Israel believe any deal could be struck with the Arab nations all ganging up to exterminate it?
        And the ONE quote from Ben Gurion’s diary that is actually from 1948
        “We must do everything to insure the Palestinians never do return….The old will die and the young will forget.” reflects the mind of a leader who was fighting for Israeli independence against the Arabs who wanted to eliminate the Jews. Do you expect a nation that was to lose 1% of its population in a do or die struggle to be willing to accommodate its enemy?

        • Shingo says:

          your remarks have no validity as you falsely refute my comments and and present totally fabrications to make your hollow case.

          On the contrary. You claimed that Ben Gurion’s vow to abolish the partition was only relavant to the Peel Commission Plan, which I proved was false. But just as importantly, is that Ben Gurion had to promise that the partition would either be abolished or be temporary just to get the Yeshuv and Zionist Congress to go along with it.

          Firstly the quote you have plucked and bolder “there is no Zionism,
          colonialization or Jewish State without the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands” is not attributable to Ben Gurion

          Doesn’t matter, it is a fact either way, having been repeated by Sharon and Netenyahu.

          The quote by Weitz is also perfectly understandable given the predicament the Jews were facing in 1940, with, as I said, a poor deal
          having just emanated from the Peel Commission, Arab anti-semitism on
          the rise across the Arab world and in Palestine and the Holocaust well underway.

          Again I shredded this idiotic claim given that the Jews were only 15-20 % of the population and only owning title to 5% of the land at the time, so claiming the deal was unfair is beyond absurd.

          You have said without any basis that the Jews had no intention of sticking to UNGA181, which they had accepted.

          And I have proven, without a shaddow of a doubt that that had no intention of sticking to UNGA181, given both Ben Gurion’s vows to abolish the parturition (once their military was strong enough) and their subsequent actions. Remember that the day after they accepted UNGA181, Ben Guirion declared that no Jew had the right to forgo claim to all of Palestine.

          You forgot to say that the Arabs rejected UNGA181.

          I didn’t forget, it has already been stated countless times.

          Israeli Military historian David Tal wrote “the Jews initial acceptance of the Partition resolution was not mere rhetoric; the strategic planning of the war against the Palestinians was based upon it.” He also noted that the Jewish leadership never viewed the UN plan as an integrated one calling for the establishment of an Arab State and that their so-called “acceptance” never included the internationalization of Jerusalem as it was stipulated by the partition resolution either. So when hasbrats like you say Zionists accepted the plan of partition, they aren’t using the term in the normal legal sense of the word.
          See David Tal, War in Palestine, 1948: strategy and diplomacy, Routledge, 2004, page 471.

          Ben Gurion’s self-published 1937 letter to his son Amos and the February 1948 letter to Shertok, said that he planned to take over the whole of Palestine. He made no reference to the Peel Plan being unfair, because he wasn’t interested in a fair partition, he wanted it all.

          The only thing that stopped him were objections from the international community, including threats from the US and the Security Council’s Chapter VII resolutions demanding a cease fire. Here is the verbatim record of Shertok’s report to the Peoples Council:

          During the course of conversation with them and with the Arabs their proposal changed form many times during which I saw some seven to nine versions, and I have with me here the last one which I shall submit immediately.

          But as I said, Ben Gurion had already decided not to strike any deal with the Arab nations from 1936. Ben Gurion’s biographer, Shabtai Teveth, admitted that Ben Gurion had made up his mind that the only relationship between the Jews and the Arabs would be a military one and that economic, social, and geographical partition (de facto apartheid) were inherent in Ben Gurion’s conception of Zionism.
          See pages 10, 12, 43-44, and 179-184 of “Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs”, Oxford University Press, USA, 1985.

          Teveth tells us, that Ben-Gurion made no attempt to contact Palestinian leaders after 1936. We also learn from the official history of the Haganah that in the summer of 1937, ten years before the UN partition resolution, Ben-Gurion ordered the Haganah commander of Tel Aviv, Elimelech Slikowitz (“Avnir”), to draw up a plan for the military takeover of the entire country in anticipation of Britain’s eventual withdrawal from Palestine expected in the wake of the Peel Report. Despite all of that evidence, you claim that the victims are to blame because they rejected the UN partition proposal, but fail to mention the fact that the Jewish Agency itself rejected the Peel plan and the UNSCOP majority and minority plans and asked for a larger territorial allocation. In any event, the Security Council and the President of the United States stated that the UN Charter did not permit the plan of partition to be imposed on the Palestinian people by force.

          And no Arab states were ganging up to exterminate Israel. Transjordan had alrady made an agreement with Britain that they would only protect the Arab territory of Palestine. None of the Arab armies made any attempt to even in invade Israel, but only attacked Israeli forces stationed outside Israel.

          “We must do everything to insure the Palestinians never do return….The old will die and the young will forget.” reflects the mind of a leader who was fighting for Israeli independence against the Arabs who wanted to eliminate the Jews.

          No, it reflects the mind of a thug who thought that he could get away with his crimes and that the Arabs would forget, give up and move on.

          Do you expect a nation that was to lose 1% of its population in a do or die struggle to be willing to accommodate its enemy?

          Yaw. The Jewish population was tiny. 1% of a small number is a very very small number.

  9. pabelmont says:

    The rabbi has at the least an emotional point when he says “Israel saved the lives of many Jews at a time when our people were among the most desperate people on earth. In many ways Israel represents a miracle of rebirth for Jews.” OK, assume this is true. It explains a Jewish emotional attachment to Israel.

    But, as he also says, and this is his awakening — it doesn’t justify the expulsions and forced exile of 85% of the Palestinians from green-line Israel.

    And it doesn’t justify the continuing occupation or the settlements at all.

    • Sumud says:

      Israel saved the lives of many Jews at a time when our people were among the most desperate people on earth. In many ways Israel represents a miracle of rebirth for Jews.

      Whose lives did Israel save? WW2 was over 3 years before Israel came into existence and if I understand it correctly, during the war zionists lobbied against increasing intake of jewish refugees in the US because they wanted mandate Palestine to be the only option.

    • seafoid says:

      “The rabbi has at the least an emotional point when he says “Israel saved the lives of many Jews at a time when our people were among the most desperate people on earth. ”

      Kastner says otherwise

      A large chunk of the Jewish population in 48 were displaced persons, survivors of the camps who came after the war ended.

      According to this chart the Jewish population of Palestine increased by 200,000
      between 1937 and 1945

      link to mideastweb.org

      Strip out births and it’s not clear the Yishuv saved a lot of Jews when you look at the overall picture. Kastner had several thousand Hungarian Jews sent to Auschwitz to secure free passage for his family. If you added up the numbers I’d be surprised to see Zionism saving anyone (net) . The name of the game was total Jews living, not subtotals.

      That history is truly dreadful.

      Jews were safer in America. They couldn’t be shafted by Kastners.

      The Haganah didn’t fight the Nazis anywhere. Never forget. They can have all the IDF Auschwitz flyovers they want but when it counted they were smoking shisha.

      • RoHa says:

        “The Haganah didn’t fight the Nazis anywhere.”

        Not as an organization. However, a large number of Jews living in Palestine did join the British Army and fight. A number of Palestinian Arabs did, as well.

        • Daniel Rich says:

          @ RoHa

          Q: … Jews living in Palestine … Palestinian Arabs …

          R: Aka ‘How to avert the mentioning of Palestinian Jews.’ Nice try though.

        • jon s says:

          The Palmah- the elite force of the Haganah- took part in operations against Vichy French forces in Lebanon and Syria.

          • seafoid says:

            Wow Jon

            How many Jews died in the concentration camps in Lebanon ?
            Where was the Haganah when Kastner was trading Jews for passports?

            all of this is posing .

            They weren’t there in the hour of need

  10. Thank you Rabbi Walt. An amazing rebuttal to the duplicity of Goodman who like most of the copy in the NYT is a whitewash of Israel’s uncivilized activities. Israeli apartheid is much worse than SA apartheid because it is enacting the same obscenities only more than 20 years later. And the Gucci bag – in fact, it’s no longer all about the label as Goodman insists. When you get it home and check it out and discover that it is obviously fake, made in a slave camp (like SodaStream) from the skin of live animals and the product of a myriad of misrepresentations and receipts, you will get buyer’s remorse. Similarly, the Israeli myth is exploding and the truth of Israeli apartheid is leaking into even the NY Times. By whitewashing apartheid they are acknowledging that it is a reality.

  11. mcohen says:

    giladg says:
    February 5, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    “The South African Jewish community seems to have seen better days. An arrogance has crept in over the past 10 years, an arrogance that does not bode well for them”

    giladg—i am ex south african jew,i left in 1991 because i did not want to raise my children in a 3rd world country with limited educational facilities.

    what amused me was the afrikaaners had this attitude that jews were weak and soft and would not last long on the rugby field.
    however they had a lot of respect for israelis almost if they were a different breed of jew all together
    one thing i do know, south african jews donated millions of dollars to israel through jnf
    and other charitable organizations.many of my friends settled in israel and i considered it myself when i visited and stayed on a kibbutz in the 70,s
    had i been an observant jew at the time i probably would have.

    however my experiences have taught me that conflict needs to be carefully managed by remaining flexible in thought and purpose.israelis need to ask themselves as do jews world wide …..what is the end game,how do we stay ahead of the wave that launched israel.

    my rabbi made a speech on friday night about the bible story of moses and the ark and how the poles for carrying it were always left in -his words stayed with me and i think i know what it means—-i have limited knowledge of these things so be patient…..
    israel has been founded as a state.the reconnaissance force has done its job but the ark has not been carried in -it still sits in the desert waiting to be picked up and taken to Jerusalem
    the diaspora jews are the ones that have been given that important task
    that is our destiny
    the question is when will israel be ready for the arrival of the ark carried by diaspora jews
    the answer is simple ,when israel as a state and people observe to the letter the mitzvah that comes with the ark.
    that is the endgame

  12. How does this man sleep at night. The hypocrisy alone would give me insomnia.

  13. Daniel Rich says:

    @ Rabbi Brian Walt,

    I thank you for your honesty, for it takes courage to speak from the heart. In doing so, you also expose your soul.

    I have to say though, that throughout your article the presence of a certain ‘angst’ prevails and when you say ‘rather, the Jewish people and Israel are in danger of losing our very soul.’ I cringe. That is not a religious notion, but a tribal reflex and from that moment onward, I see you as a Zionist.

    Furthermore, I would like to ask you in helping me to stop the misuse of the word ‘antisemitism,’ because in its current context it is an Apartheid word, as it embraces only a select few, whilst simultaneously exuding all others.

    Thank you and shalom.

  14. giladg says:

    Walt climbed onto the BDS bandwagon a some years ago with wild demands on Israel, demands that have turned out to be, once understood, on a level that are placed on no other country and people, and demands that if fulfilled will result in the collapse of the single Jewish state. I am sure this is not what Walt wanted when he first got involved in the evil enterprise which is now out of control. Walt would do better to hop off this train. The BDS movement is a cult. Walt will tell us that he expects more from Jews than anyone else or any other state.
    Maybe Walt is the racist?

    • Shingo says:

      Walt climbed onto the BDS bandwagon a some years ago with wild demands on Israel, demands that have turned out to be, once understood, on a level that are placed on no other country and people

      That’s because no other country or people are committing the crimes that Israel is in breach of. And there is no reason that abiding by these laws will result in the collapse of the single Jewish state.

      In fact, the very suggestion that fulfilling these obligations will result in the collapse of the single Jewish state suggests Israel is an unlawful state – which makes you an Israel hater.

      The BDS movement is a cult.

      No, BDS is a non violent resistance movement. Zionism, which is violent, is the cult.I am sure this is not what Zionists intended when they first got involved in the evil enterprise which is now out of control.

      Walt will tell us that he expects no more from Jews than anyone else or any other state.

      Maybe you are a psychopathic racist?

  15. giladg says:

    Arab Israeli’s enjoy more freedom and rights than most other Arabs, anywhere. They are doing relatively better than most other Arabs, other than those who are connected to the black gold. Then why would Walt take on as one of his main mantra’s, the rights of the Israeli Arabs? Walt’s expectations of Israel towards all and any Arab is an obsession based on a view that Jews must be better than everyone else. So when Walt accuses Jews of thinking they are better than everyone else, he should look in the mirror.
    Has anyone been to a pro-Israeli talk on campus in the US? Have any of you experienced the violent nature of those attacking anyone pro-Israel? The BDS movement is far from being non-violent. It may have started out on paper to be this but it never was and it never will be.
    Israeli Arabs are doing just fine Rabbi Walt. Do yourself a favor, leave them alone. By the way, you may want to read Mark Twain’s book on his travels to Palestine in 1879. He quotes the population of Jerusalem as 14,000 (fourteen thousand) and this includes Jews, Muslims, Christians and others.
    The Palestinian lies continue.

    • eljay says:

      >> Arab Israeli’s enjoy more freedom and rights than most other Arabs, anywhere.

      One of Zio-supremacism’s favourite mantras:

      “Israel: We may not be as good as the best but, hey, at least we’re not as bad as the worst!”(c)

    • Shingo says:

      Arab Israeli’s enjoy more freedom and rights than most other Arabs, anywhere.

      That’s what they said in Apartheid South Africa about black Africans.

      They are doing relatively better than most other Arabs, other than those who are connected to the black gold.

      One could similarly argue that Jews do relatively better in the West than they do in Israel, which is why educated and skilled Israelis are leaving Israel in droves.

      Then why would Walt take on as one of his main mantra’s, the rights of the Israeli Arabs?

      So the same reason anti racists took on the rights of black Africans in Apartheid South Africa.

      Walt’s expectations of Israel towards all and any Arab is an obsession based on a view that Jews must be better than everyone else.

      Wrong. This is not about Jews, it’s about Israel. Secondly, expecting Israel to treat all people equally is not placing a unique expectation on Jews or Israel. It’s merely demanding Israel act like a democracy, rather than simply pretending to be one.

      So when Walt accuses Jews of thinking they are better than everyone else, he should look in the mirror.

      No, he need only look at people like you Gilad.

      Have any of you experienced the violent nature of those attacking anyone pro-Israel?

      Criticising Israel is not violent, though you’re acute paranoia and insecurity might lead you to believe otherwise.

      The BDS movement is far from being non-violent.

      Wrong. No aspect of BDS has even alluded to violence. Of course, all you can do is spout nonsense about paranoid and delusional hypotheticals, because as you yourself admit, there is no evidence of BDS being anything but non violent.

      You demand Walt look in the mirror, but you are the one defending one fo the world’s most violence and repugnant regimes and ideologies.

  16. dbroncos says:

    Well done Mr. Walt. Your congregation is fortunate to have you and I’m sure they’ll appreciate your courageous leadership even more as time goes on.

  17. SQ Debris says:

    Rabbi Walt, I encourage you to edit this down to a palatable length and submit it to the NYT op-ed page. I appreciate the passion and clarity in your prose. Israel’s conduct comes down to a simple question: That’s Jewish?

  18. Rabbi Brian Walt lost me at: “progressive Zionist”.

    I lost all interest at: “Jews have a profound long time connection with the land of Israel. Israel saved the lives of many Jews at a time when our people were among the most desperate people on earth. In many ways Israel represents a miracle of rebirth for Jews.”

  19. shalom says:

    I don’t have your history Brian. I am a liberal American with roots in the civil rights movement of the 60′s in which I grew up. I began looking closely at Israel only about 15 years ago. And I haven’t taken my gaze away for one day since then. I’ve learned a lot by traveling with Leah Green and her Compassionate Listening Project twice to Shuhada Street, to Bethlehem, to East and West Jerusalem, to Ramallah and to Al Arroub too. I’ve learned a lot listening to Gila Svirsky and Jeff Halper, and Devorah Brous, and Eliyahu McLean and Rabbi Menachem Froman and David Wilder and Salam Fayyad and countless others. While I abhor the Occupation and continue to work against it, for Peace and Two Independent States, I do not see BDS as a viable path to peace between Israelis and Palestinians. I understand non violent resistance. But I don’t believe that anyone will feel the blessing of peace in our lifetime if we each continue to de-legitimize the other.

    • shalon, by purchasing a product produced on what our state dept considers an ‘illegitimate’ jewish settlement one supports and empowers that illegitimacy. don’t they? do you think empowering illegitimacy de-legitimizes? i’m just trying to wrap my mind around that phrase “de-legitimize”.

      : to diminish or destroy the legitimacy, prestige, or authority of

      vs illegitimate:

      not authorized by the law; not in accordance with accepted standards or rules.

      doesn’t the mere presents of illegitimate settlements de-legitimize israel? and to destroy or diminish or de-legitimize something that is already illegitimate, wouldn’t that then be the act of legitimizing?

      so one can either empower illegitimacy (by purchasing/supporting illegitimate settlements) or empower legitimacy by NOT supporting that which is illegitimate.

      but you can’t have both. you can’t claim that supporting that which is already illegitimate doesn’t empower the de-legitimization of israel.

      the act of supporting that which is illegitimate empowers that illegitimacy. if furthers the delegitimization of israel.

      I don’t believe that anyone will feel the blessing of peace in our lifetime if we each continue to de-legitimize the other.

      then advocate stopping the support and empowerment of occupation and that which delegitimizes israel> the illegitimate settlements as well as businesses and enterprises who thrive off them. think of it as tough love if it makes you feel any better.

      and empowering words, phrases, ideas and twisted framing adopted by hasbara think tanks doesn’t lead to peace.

    • Shmuel says:

      Shalom,

      How do you think BDS “de-legitimizes” Jewish Israelis? What sort of non-violent resistance do you support (that would not “de-legitimize”) and do you think it stands a chance of being effective (considering the fact that the situation on the ground is one of brutal occupation, apartheid and ongoing ethnic cleansing)? What importance do you ascribe to Palestinian agency in leading their struggle against oppression?

    • Shingo says:

      While I abhor the Occupation and continue to work against it, for Peace and Two Independent States, I do not see BDS as a viable path to peace between Israelis and Palestinians. I understand non violent resistance.

      Why not?

      But I don’t believe that anyone will feel the blessing of peace in our lifetime if we each continue to de-legitimize the other.

      In other words, you’re a supporter of the status quo and insist that peace will fall from the sky so long as we continue to do nothing.

      Got it!