‘Dear American Jewish community, It’s time to talk about Zionism’

Israel/Palestine
on 181 Comments
Ft. Lauderdale, FL Woman with sign is Elena Stein

A Ft. Lauderdale, FL demonstration against Gaza war. Elena Stein holds sign

Dear American Jewish Community,

Its time for us to talk. I know for many of you that you still don’t want to talk – many of you have spent the last few weeks effectively covering your ears and eyes, endlessly repeating IDF talking points, as if they will magically make the reality disappear – but if there was ever a time to take the plunge and really look in the mirror at where we have gotten ourselves, this is the time. It’s time for us to talk about Israel, it’s time to talk about Zionism.

Those of us, those Jews who have spoken out against Israel’s inhumane actions or Zionism’s warped nationalistic beliefs, have never been well received within our community. When we have argued for human rights and international law, we have been ostracized and excluded from all aspects of mainstream Jewish life. When we have argued against an exclusionary, segregationist regime, we have been attacked with the most vicious of slanders; “self-hating Jews,” “Nazi collaborators,” and worse. When we have tried to stand up against colonialist violence and occupations, we have been met with angry rejection from our closest friends and family. When we have tried to reaffirm the values that Palestinians are human beings, deserving of equal rights and a future with dignity, we have been met with the full force of an incredibly powerful and well-funded Pro-Israel public relations machine. A climate of neo-McCarthyism has reigned within side the Jewish community stifling all debate, dissent and free thought on the issues of Israel, Palestine and Zionism. But its time for all of that to end.

I understand that the last few weeks may have been hard for you. From a young age we all have been raised – indoctrinated even – on Pro-Israel ideology. Every facet of our Jewish life has been infected with Zionism, from our youth groups, to our synagogues, to our Hebrew schools, to our family Seders. “The world hates us, Israel protects us, there we are free and safe and democratic”– we’ve come to believe. But in the last few weeks we have seen that supposed progressive, freedom loving, democratic Israel unmask itself before the whole world as a lynch mob society. We American Jews have been tricked into projecting all of our hopes and insecurities onto Israel, and to have those beautiful dreams and illusions shattered so brutally can be difficult. But for all the emotional pain we may be going through in seeing our Star of David pasted on the bombs being dropped on innocent civilians, it’s nothing compared to the pain being felt by those civilians.

Palestinians have suffered greatly at our hands. They have been violently forced from their land and homes to appease the Holocaust guilt of Europe and the greed of Zionist colonists. They have been forced to live under an openly Jim Crow, discriminatory and segregationist “Jewish Only” apartheid state. And the whole process has become endemic in its repetition, with wave after wave after wave of land theft, oppression, segregation and violence. The Nakba has been made into a continuous, never ending, 66-year-old ongoing catastrophe. Palestinians have been bombed, shot, detained, brutalized, tortured, dehumanized, occupied, and worse. All in our name.

We Jews have a lot of blood on our hands, we have been made complicit in these inhuman acts, and we have a responsibility now to do something about it. We need to rethink what “Never Again” really means; does it mean for us “Never Again for Jews Only,” or does it mean “Never Again For Everyone”?

I am not asking or expecting you, the whole American Jewish community, to renounce everything you have been taught to believe overnight, just yet. But I am asking and expecting you to open your minds a little, to start questioning what you have been taught. The Pro-Israel bias in our community has corrupted and stifled open free discourse for far too long. The exclusion of any dissenting Jewish opinion outside of the most narrow of ultra-Zionism has led our people into a cul-de-sac of intellectual dishonesty, moral poverty and political thuggery, where questioning is discouraged and obedience is rewarded. This must come to end, now, if we are to redeem ourselves and pave a path for the future.

All I ask is the following; that you reopen our community to dissenting opinion, that you open up every synagogue, every Jewish community center, every Hillel, every Hebrew School, to a free debate and discussion on Israel, Palestine and the core beliefs of Zionism. I and others like me, want to make our case to you, directly, as Jews to Jews, on why the Palestinians deserve our solidarity, on why Israeli militarism must be opposed, on why the “Jewish State” of Israel necessarily leads to apartheid, and on why the nationalistic and supremacist beliefs of Zionism have led to the corruption of our people with the sins of racism and colonialism.

I don’t expect a warm reception. But I do expect at least a moment of your time, and a part of your attention. You owe it to yourself, to your people, to your children, and to all Palestinians, to enter into this discussion with open minds and open hearts and start confronting the hard questions. Please help us in taking this moment and reassess who we are, what we have done, and where we want to go from here.

I look forward to the discussions ahead.

Sincerely,
Benjamin Silverman

About Benjamin Silverman

Benjamin Silverman isa long-time Palestinian solidarity activist, and self-identified Jewish Ant-Zionist, involved in Jewish Voices for Peace andStudents for Justice in Palestine at The New School. Jewish Voice for Peace welcomes all people, Zionist, non-Zionist, or anti-Zionist, who stand up for justice and human rights.

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181 Responses

  1. Justpassingby
    August 1, 2014, 4:54 pm

    No jews have no blood on their hands thats a racist notion, only those jews, nonjews all over the world that support and actually does the killing in Gaza right now have blood on their hands.

    • just
      August 1, 2014, 5:16 pm

      “No jews have no blood on their hands thats a racist notion”

      huh?

      • Justpassingby
        August 1, 2014, 5:25 pm

        Just

        Yes if you believe jews have blood on their hands for being just jews you are a racist.

      • Mooser
        August 1, 2014, 7:04 pm

        “Yes if you believe jews have blood on their hands for being just jews you are a racist.”

        There’s even worse stuff than that being said about us JPB!! One Gentile once accused me of selling lousy pot. That’s a bud libel!

      • lonely rico
        August 1, 2014, 8:15 pm

        A great letter Mr. Silverman.

        Then I skimmed through the comments and tripped over Mooser –

        One Gentile once accused me of selling lousy pot. That’s a bud libel!

        and I lost it, blinded, my glasses opaqued with tears, and fell off my chair … and … now I’m back with a change of clothes, and well, Mooser, chill ! OK !
        And I still want to say that I’m moved by your letter Benjamin Silverman, thank you.

      • Karl Dubhe
        August 1, 2014, 9:23 pm

        Wouldn’t that have been a slander? Unless he sent you a letter. :)

      • Pixel
        August 1, 2014, 11:03 pm

        Ahhhh Mooser, Mooser, Mooser… lol

      • Mooser
        August 3, 2014, 1:48 pm

        “and I lost it, blinded, my glasses opaqued with tears, and fell off my chair … and”

        Are you sure you’re not smoking too much pot? Well, why not?
        (Sorry, I live in Washington State. Where the clocks are right more than twice a day, and they all say 4:20)

      • talknic
        August 1, 2014, 7:08 pm

        @ Justpassingby “Yes if you believe jews have blood on their hands for being just jews you are a racist.”

        Uh huh. So who here does believe “jews have blood on their hands for being just jews “? Can you quote them verbatim ….thx

        Those Jews with blood on their hands for dispossessing non-Jews, stealing non-Jewish/non-Israeli territory by war, slaughtering innocent non-Jewish babies, children, mothers, fathers to take their land, deserve the same criticism as any other people who’d do the same. They’re vile, evil people! A disgrace to humanity and so are the dregs of humanity who blindly support them!

      • Justpassingby
        August 2, 2014, 9:35 am

        talknic

        I was quoting from the author that said:

        “We Jews have a lot of blood on our hands, we have been made complicit in these inhuman acts, and we have a responsibility now to do something about it.”

        Thats a racist notion, blood libel nonsense.

      • talknic
        August 2, 2014, 12:32 pm

        @ Justpassingby “I was quoting from the author that said”

        Problem …. what you first said isn’t what you’re now saying …

      • Justpassingby
        August 2, 2014, 1:36 pm

        talknic

        Then you probably missunderstand what I said,
        as Annie said, this is what I meant:
        link to mondoweiss.net

      • Cliff
        August 1, 2014, 8:42 pm

        I agree with Just.

        Saying ‘Jews’ have blood on their hands or implying it is racist (which does not mean Jews are a race, but the point is that it is a racist kind of statement).

        This is not about Jews. It’s about nationalism. Nationalism is the common denominator when we compare Zionism to other fascist nationalistic movements.

        And while Judaism and Jewish identity (such as it is due to history) impart unique identifiers and such onto this particular nationalism, Zionism – the overarching problem is still the nationalism.

      • ThorsteinVeblen2012
        August 2, 2014, 8:57 am

        The Israeli government presents itself as the Jewish homeland and representative of Judaism. Many people actually believe it.

        As an American who protested the war in Iraq I don’t believe I personally have “blood on my hands” for the fiasco of our our invasion. I do not back our bloody meddling in Latin America or the rest of the world.

        But I certainly understand when I have been confronted by foreigners who accuse Americans of “having blood on their hands” that I share a certain inferred guilt in their minds.

        It is not their bigotry that leads them to draw such a broad generality. It is the bigotry of some many Americans beginning with our leadership that promotes such conclusions.

        And so it is for Israel and Judaism.

      • french_jew
        August 2, 2014, 6:08 pm

        The main topic of the article is that zionism should be questioned within the jewish community (and it’s true for most jewish communities around the world). It is an article written by a jew talking to jews and the “we have blood on our hands” I think is to be understood more as a slogan to wake up zionist jews rather than being an antisemitic attack.

        Other jews are indeed antisemitic, Gilad Atzmon for example, and you notice that they are uninterested in reaching out to jewish communities for them to question zionism. They are only interested in telling non jews how evil judaism is by essence.

        Nevertheless, I disagreewith Annie Robins’ blame on “tribalism” as the fundamental problem. Some of the most “tribalist” jewish movements have also been some of the most antizionist if we think of bundism or haredi communities. The very “tribalistic” jewish communities of north africa strongly rejected zionism at the begining (only to later become it’s most ardent supporters due to complex historical phenomenons).

        The problem is not jewish “tribalism” (which is not an antisemitic statement, but it is a-historical and can potentially lead to antisemitism). The problem is that, facing antisemitism, world Jewry adopted a false liberation movement deeply rooted in European supremacy and colonial ideology, zionism. What a group of latin american intellectuals call “coloniality” (the symbolical, political and ontological consequences that colonialism had in configuring how we see and treat the “other” as well as “ourselves”) has become almost hegemonic within judaism.

        “Tribalism” has helped shape great liberation movements in the US or south Africa with say the black panthers party or Steve Biko’s black consciousness movement. It has helped many subaltern groups defend themselves against oppression and alienation.

        Jewish history has seen unparalleled levels of oppression within the west and Europe, culminating in genocide. But the liberation movement which came out of it was rotten to the core as it transformed jews in one of western hegemony’s little rabid guard dogs. Historical antizionist solutions within Judaism have failed to counter it. Whether religious orthodoxy (“if we suffered genocide it was our fault, we didn’t respect all of the mitzvot!”), universalist leftist solutions (which in the end, are assimilationist in nature and reject jewish spirituality), bundism (most of them got killed anyways) and so on.

        Therefore, focusing on “tribalism” is not the way out of zionism and it is based, IMO, on a wrong understanding of the whole story. The pseudo divide between tribalism and universalism is a fake one. You can find “tribalism” everywhere in our societies: in unions, in professions, in social classes (in the marxist sense), in districts, in artistic subcultures, in politics, and yes, sometimes in religion and ethnicity too.
        Yet these tribalisms don’t necessarily produce inhumane violence as what we are seeing in Gaza. Because the explaining factor of the violence suffered by Palestinians is not tribalism, it is colonialism. The ideology which is both cause and consequence of this colonialism has completely infected our jewish communities everywhere in the world. This what jewish antizionists ought to fight against, not pseudo “tribalism”.

      • cosmopolite
        August 3, 2014, 12:34 am

        The IDF in Gaza reminds me of the French army’s response to the Algerian war of independence, 1954-62. The French won the battle, in good part by their willingness to employ inhumane methods and to censor the domestic press. But they lost the war.
        Zionism is an attempted colonialist solution to a European sociological problem called (not very accurately) antisemitism. As such, Zionism is doomed as all of European colonialism has been doomed. I reached this conclusion in the 1970s. The fall of National Party rule in South Africa bears out my thinking here.
        I do not agree that the IDF is genocidal. But I do agree that Israel has become an apartheid regime, based on a deep disdain for Moslem Arabs.
        I support Iron Dome and the destruction of the Gaza tunnels. But I condemn in the strongest terms the argument that because Hamas allegeldy uses human shields, and because the use of human shields contravenes international law (I do not believe that international law applies wars of liberation), then the IDF is blameless when civilians die in Gaza. When fighting against colonialism, one uses the weapons at hand, and a very common weapon in anti-colonial struggles is the fact that many voters in the colonial power are people with a conscience.

        It is very curious that the branch of Judaism that has seen most clearly that there is something fundamentally wrong with Zionism, is the haredim, esp. Naturei Kara and Satmar.

      • Mooser
        August 1, 2014, 5:45 pm

        Just, I hope you put some filings on your breakfast cereal. You need your MDR of irony around here.

      • Justpassingby
        August 1, 2014, 5:49 pm

        Just

        Yes, if you believe jews have blood on their hands for being just jews you are a racist.

      • just
        August 1, 2014, 7:34 pm

        wow, I feel honored that you explained this to me twice!

        I read this article by this Jewish gentleman. This makes good sense to me:

        “Palestinians have suffered greatly at our hands. They have been violently forced from their land and homes to appease the Holocaust guilt of Europe and the greed of Zionist colonists. They have been forced to live under an openly Jim Crow, discriminatory and segregationist “Jewish Only” apartheid state. And the whole process has become endemic in its repetition, with wave after wave after wave of land theft, oppression, segregation and violence. The Nakba has been made into a continuous, never ending, 66-year-old ongoing catastrophe. Palestinians have been bombed, shot, detained, brutalized, tortured, dehumanized, occupied, and worse. All in our name.

        We Jews have a lot of blood on our hands, we have been made complicit in these inhuman acts, and we have a responsibility now to do something about it. We need to rethink what “Never Again” really means; does it mean for us “Never Again for Jews Only,” or does it mean “Never Again For Everyone”?”

        In that context and in the entire article, he makes good sense to me and is not at all ‘racist’. I think that all Americans have Palestinian blood on our hands for our government’s continued support of Israel’s murderous actions, theft, and the ongoing Nakba lo these many years. I also think that we have the blood of millions of others on our hands. Is that ‘racist’?

        I think not.

      • Justpassingby
        August 2, 2014, 3:50 am

        just

        Yes thats racist, you think all muslims have blood on their hands because of 11th september too?

      • just
        August 2, 2014, 10:08 am

        No I do not, jpb.

        I blame colonialism and our lust for regional hegemony.

      • kalithea
        August 1, 2014, 9:00 pm

        Do you renounce Zionism??? YES OR NO?

        Never mind calling others racist. If you don’t renounce this bloody legacy built on crimes against others, then you are part of the problem and you are the racist. Get it? Since you’re trying to accuse ‘just’ of being racist — I’ll expect an answer to my question, thank-you.

      • Justpassingby
        August 2, 2014, 9:38 am

        kalithea

        I havent called anyone a racist, what I said was – if you think jews in lets say Peru have anything to do with what Israel does you are a racist.

      • American
        August 2, 2014, 6:46 pm

        Justpassingby says:
        August 1, 2014 at 5:49 pm
        Just

        Yes, if you believe jews have blood on their hands for being just jews you are a racist.
        >>>>>>>>>>

        I dont see that he is saying jews have blood on their hands * just for being jews*.
        I believe what he is meaning is that the “Jewish community”—without counting the numbers on who did/does and did/didnt support zionism—- has some responsibility for letting it get to this bloody point —–because they are a ‘community’ that has ‘generally’ supported Israel.
        IMO anyone, jew or gentile, non jew, whoever, that has/ had any interest at all, any inkling of what has and is going on in Israel or P/I — but because of their own religon, ethnic ties or politics *will not accept* the gory truth of P/I and *speak against it* does indeed have ‘ some blood at least on their hands.
        I have railed against this for years, warned it would get worse and worse but yet I have to say I didnt do enough, didnt drop everything to do more or something different about it… so yea I dont feel squeaky clean myself.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 2, 2014, 9:44 am

        just, i think jpb meant ‘ “No jews have no blood on their hands” is a racist statement.’

      • Justpassingby
        August 2, 2014, 9:58 am

        Annie

        Exactly. Thank you.
        My bad, I should have reread the post before I clicked “Post comment”.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 2, 2014, 11:39 am

        no worries. those double negatives are confusing.

      • just
        August 2, 2014, 10:07 am

        thanks.

        I am still confounded by the statement. I believe the article was about separating Zionism and nationalism from Judaism and had nothing to do with racism. Perhaps I am wrong. I am ok with that.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 2, 2014, 12:29 pm

        I believe the article was about separating Zionism and nationalism from Judaism and had nothing to do with racism.

        actually, aside from mentioning Every facet of our Jewish life has been infected with Zionism (and the like) the author doesn’t mention judaism even once.

        just, people just take away different things from an article that’s all. in terms of the authors intent, i think it’s a really good letter. but..he’s not writing it to me. if there’s one thing i’ve learned here over the years, is that i definitely wasn’t raised in any kind of insular tribal sort of environment…meaning..i just never had this sense i was in some larger clan so to speak, other than just being american or part of the human race.

        i think, on the other hand, for a large part of the jewish community it’s different. and this difference has perhaps facilitated a feeling of a demand to be loyal to this tribe think, or something. a conditioning of sorts of an obligation. an obligation i only have for members of my immediate family or close friends….or…what is morally right. but not to a very large group of a certain million people or anything. so, when i read the letter my ears did picked up on:

        We Jews have a lot of blood on our hands, we have been made complicit in these inhuman acts, and we have a responsibility now to do something about it.

        i just thought to myself, well..that could be said about most americans. and i thought, why am i not included in this message? why is he only speaking to jews? and of course, like all people, some are much more complicit than others whether they are jewish or non jewish. and i reject the idea jews, as a whole, should be blamed for what’s happening there. i think that kind of thinking leads to retribution for all jews. just like i reject the notion muslims have to be or should be called to account for terrorism committed in the name of islam. i just do not think it’s helpful. so to me, when i read jpb’s statement i thought, well, that’s right. one can’t really say that every jew has blood on their hands. it’s too much to lay on one people as a whole. it’s a terrific burden to lay on a child for example. i mean really. does a 5 year old jewish kid who lives in nebraska have blood on his/her hands? of course not. does a 15 yr old high school trumpet player in fresno who plays in the school band who happens to be jewish, is that kid more responsible for gaza than other kids in his school band, just because he is jewish?

        so if, like me, someone is reading thru this and that line happens to jump out at them ..then a natural thought trajectory might be….that kind of blame is racist. albeit obviously not the authors intent. it’s part of a group think and if one is accustomed to accepting group think and group responsibility then it seems like normal speech. but as an american, i have (and we have) blood on my hands for this situation. we facilitate this. it’s a bunch of cowards who let this go on. i mean look at obama, he’s not jewish and he’s facilitated this just like millions of non jewish americans. it’s not only jews who kowtow to this zionist narrative and it’s going to take a much larger group than american jews to turn it around. much much larger.

        anyway. hope that’s helpful.

      • just
        August 2, 2014, 12:39 pm

        It was more than helpful.

        I certainly did not mean to cause a ruckus– we’ve got many better ways to channel our frustration and energy toward the folks that need to be made fully aware of what is being done in our name.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 2, 2014, 12:54 pm

        it’s a worthy conversation to have just, and we wouldn’t be having it had you not rejected the idea of racism being injected into the conversation.

        ideally, it may not have been the most opportune way to begin the thread but alas, it happened!

      • Mooser
        August 3, 2014, 2:26 pm

        You got blood on your hands cause Zionism? Well, if it’s real blood, I hope you meet with prosecution for your crimes. You got figurative blood on your hands? You can go around ‘out, damn-spotting’ or wash it the hell off.
        Do you give up and say, become a neo-conservative tea-partier because of the figurative blood you have on your hands as an American? No, you disclaim it, within the context of being an American citizen.
        With a religion, it’s even easier. You don’t have to pay taxes to your Temple.
        Me, feel guilty because of things Zionists have done, because maybe I put money in the Blue Box? Or even believed in it, at one time? No, they’re going to have to work a little harder than that to get me to take on their guilt. I’ve got better things to feel guilty about.
        I feel angry about it. Not guilty, screw that angry. And I’ll be damned if I get angry at Judaism for what Zionism has done. I won’t let it be their human shield, thank you.

    • Mooser
      August 1, 2014, 7:07 pm

      . “Jewish Voice for Peace welcomes all people, Zionist, non-Zionist, or anti-Zionist, who stand up for justice and human rights.”

      A Zionist who stands up for justice and human rights? Wow, that JVP must be really something.

      • Ellen
        August 2, 2014, 9:30 am

        Yup, that’s the thing about JVP, only as a “Jewish” voice, but others can chime in and Zionists can even lead. It’s really is something.

        A peace movement, subtly pushing Zionism. Wow.

      • Mooser
        August 2, 2014, 12:28 pm

        “A peace movement, subtly pushing Zionism. Wow.”

        Well, you know, if you just sort of skip over what actually happened, and sorta nod towards the “peopless land for a landless people” thing, you could manage it.

    • Shingo
      August 1, 2014, 7:35 pm

      Careful with the double negative Justpassingby.

      • Justpassingby
        August 2, 2014, 9:39 am

        Shingo

        Haha yes you seems to be right on that.

    • BritIrish
      August 3, 2014, 1:22 am

      JPB after reading most of your comments , maybe you should just stfu

  2. just
    August 1, 2014, 4:59 pm

    Wonderfully expressed. Many thanks. I hope that it is not too late.

    • Mooser
      August 1, 2014, 5:44 pm

      “I hope that it is not too late.”

      Why, of course it’s not too late! It won’t be too late until the possibility of a Palestinian polity has been completely destroyed. There’s still plenty of ‘em left (why, I’m Agag at the number left!)

  3. Mooser
    August 1, 2014, 5:33 pm

    Dear American Jewish community, it’s time to talk! And talk, and talk, and talk. Because the more we talk, the more we try to give the impression that Zionism answers to Jews, and can be persuaded, the more space and time Zionism buys.
    And remember, if Zionism takes even one of our suggestions, they own us! (‘We did what you wanted, and look what happened!)
    Also, we will feel sort of absurd, like somebody outside a homocidal maniac’s cell, saying “Oh, let me go in and talk to him, he’ll listen to me!” Sure.

    It’s time for American Jews to save what they can from the Zionists. Not save the Zionists from themselves. It’s time to turn our backs on them.
    If there is anything the Zionists know how to do, it’s handle Jews, manipulate Jews, and use Jews. I say stay the hell away from them and their works. You try to help them, and they will bite your hand, same as they have always done. They are much less afraid of Jews than anybody else.

    • libra
      August 1, 2014, 6:11 pm

      Mooser, say what you wish about Benjamin Silverman but when it comes to identifying responsibility – a necessary precursor for effective action – I find him a lot more convincing than Professor Ellis.

    • Keith
      August 1, 2014, 7:59 pm

      MOOSER- “If there is anything the Zionists know how to do, it’s handle Jews, manipulate Jews, and use Jews.”

      A rather accurate assessment. Zionism has been spectacularly successful in replacing Jewish apparent fondness for socialism with demonstrable Jewish new-found love of militarism and Israel. This, of course, was a necessary change to enable Jews to ascend the corridors of power. It was after Israel’s military success in 1967 that Trotskyists became neocons, and empire Jews became spectacularly successful.

    • Ron Edwards
      August 1, 2014, 11:02 pm

      Yes. In. Deed.

    • Pixel
      August 1, 2014, 11:07 pm

      Mooser, this is GREAT! You need to write more and write more often.

    • kevin
      August 2, 2014, 12:38 am

      Say, can I have some of your purple berries?

      Mooser, are you still a “Jew” after all of this? Shouldn’t you just walk away? What are you saving?

      Zionism as it is is Judaism’s favorite child isn’t it?

      • seanmcbride
        August 2, 2014, 9:54 am

        Kevin,

        Say, can I have some of your purple berries?

        Mooser, are you still a “Jew” after all of this? Shouldn’t you just walk away? What are you saving?

        Zionism as it is is Judaism’s favorite child isn’t it?

        I have repeatedly pointed out to Mooser that the worldwide Jewish religious establishment (the contemporary leaders of Judaism) have completely merged Judaism and Zionism into a single messianic ethno-religious nationalist ideology and that Zionism draws its key themes and memes from traditional Judaism (namely the concepts of sacred peoplehood, sacred nationhood, sacred territory and endless conflict with “the nations” — the unchosen nations).

        I am still waiting for Mooser to engage on this topic in a substantive way, without responding with ugly Talmudic curses.

        Mooser’s latest tack is to suggest that Europeans, whites and “Aryans” are responsible for Zionism — not several thousand years of Jewish ethno-religious nationalism (“next year in Jerusalem”). The Old Testament is arguably one of the most racist and genocidal books in world literature — some people would say the most racist and genocidal — and those views are based on a religious doctrine.

        That would be a cute trick – to try to pretend that Zionism isn’t a thoroughly Jewish movement. It’s all the fault of Europeans! :) Supposedly Zionists aren’t real Jews, like Mooser.

        Truly, I find Gilad Atzmon to be a more vigorous and more truthful thinker than Mooser — and he has the guts to defend his views in fair and open debate, head-to head, toe-to-toe. His ideas hang together coherently and are eminently defensible.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 2, 2014, 11:46 am

        Gilad Atzmon — and he has the guts to defend his views in fair and open debate

        does he have a comment section on his blog now? i’m not sure how comparing a commenter on mondoweiss to an international figure, in terms of exposure, is that helpful.

        That would be a cute trick – to try to pretend that Zionism isn’t a thoroughly Jewish movement.

        wasn’t zionism partly a response to nationalism, or ethnic nationalism? that didn’t begin with jewish thought did it?

      • seanmcbride
        August 2, 2014, 12:03 pm

        Annie,

        I think anyone who wants to be taken seriously in Internet discussions needs to be able to test his or her views in fair, open and reasonable debate, regardless of his or her level of fame. I have seen Gilad engage in quite a few vigorous debates and take the heat with grace. (Not sure about the comment policy on his blog — I will check that out.)

        You are one of the most fearless debaters I have encountered on the net — that is one reason why I respect you. You are intellectually honest, well-informed and stand your ground under heavy pressure from opponents.

        Regarding the connections between Zionism and 19th and early 20th century nationalist and ethnic nationalist movements in Europe — you are correct — Zionism was strongly influenced by those developments. But each ethnic nationalist movement draws upon its own sources of inspiration — holy texts, myths, legends, etc. — and has to take responsibility for its own beliefs, policies and actions. Contemporary Zionism relies much more on biblical texts for its ideology and program than on European sources. (And you will notice that Europe abandoned ethnic nationalism after the debacle of Nazism and Italian Fascism.)

        The most salient point in my mind is that the Jewish religious establishment has fully embraced Zionism (Jewish ethnic nationalism) — I think that establishment needs to take responsibility for its decisions. Jewish religious leaders exert enormous influence within the Jewish community — they have the power to move views on Israel and Zionism in a positive direction if they choose to exercise it. I wish they would.

      • MHughes976
        August 2, 2014, 12:31 pm

        There is no such thing as guilt or merit that comes purely by heredity or by agreeing with people who do bad or good things on topics not concerning those things that they do. I share what I think is the majority Mondoweiss view that Zionism has clearly been accepted by the majority of people who consider themselves Jewish but is, for all that, a highly inauthentic form of Jewish culture.
        There was a time when Zionism appealed at least as much to Christians as to Jews, many of whom thought that it was just a plan to export them from Europe and America. That time is over, I admit.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 2, 2014, 1:39 pm

        we’ve had this conversation or one like it so many times sean. and while i agree with you in large part about this infusion of zionism into judaism and vice versa to strengthen the grip of zionism i still believe, for the most part, zionism is primarily a function of colonialism, or something.

        i think there’s a growing secular-ness in the jewish community (and obviously jews who follow judaism outside a monolith zionism org), especially the youth. and regardless of what zionism has become, so thoroughly drenched within the religious community, it’s roots were secular and it’s intentions were not very different that other nationalists of that day and age.

        so when you say reject the idea Europeans, whites and “Aryans” are responsible for Zionism and suggest several thousand years of Jewish ethno-religious nationalism are at the core of contemporary Zionism, it suggests to me that it’s not primarily a colonialist project very much intended, by secularists, to take over the land.

        the reliance of biblical texts, which was also used and promoted in christian zionism happened with a lot of intent after the fact (and that can be seen in the morphing of the bible interpretation). i think as the secular community grows so will anti zionism. and i don’t think it’s required to reject judaism (which is a religion, not a people) to reject zionism.

        but more immediately in this conversation, frankly i think having a person suggest someone should give up there identity as a jew, what kevin said, to just walk away from being jewish if that’s who they are, is weird (not to mention rude and none of someone else’s business). and then you chime in, in an antagonistic insulting goading way, (“repeatedly pointed out to Mooser “, “I am still waiting for Mooser to engage”, “Mooser’s latest tack”and “That would be a cute trick – to try to pretend that Zionism isn’t a thoroughly Jewish movement. “)

        but alas, you’ve just admitted yourself Zionism isn’t a thoroughly Jewish, when you said “Zionism was strongly influenced” by 19th and early 20th century nationalist and ethnic nationalist movements in Europe. zionism is, and remains primarily tool of colonialism regardless if “contemporary zionism” relies on or has merged with biblical texts. (recall most religious jews rejected zionism initially so claiming it’s origins are biblical is a non starter).

        non religious jews, many of them are not zionists. and you continually go back to referencing “American Jewish establishment” as if every jew is part of some establishment. they simply are not all engaged with this group think, nor is there any requirement to be.

        so you launch into your critique against mooser, goading him to engage you over this “American Jewish establishment” which as far as i know, he isn’t part of.

        frankly, i don’t get it. what’s the point? working for a showdown in the MW threads?

      • Citizen
        August 2, 2014, 2:53 pm

        I agree neither Atzmon, nor Mosser, agree Jewishness as defined by AIPAC matrix is what American tax payers support should continue to support;

      • Mooser
        August 3, 2014, 3:09 pm

        “i’m not sure how comparing a commenter on mondoweiss to an international figure”

        Yes, Gilad did turn up a few times and comment at Mondowiess. Might have been under a sock, I don’t recall…
        But yes, there’s no comparison, really. Largest Member of the Deer Family, all over the world!

      • Mooser
        August 2, 2014, 12:46 pm

        “Truly, I find Gilad Atzmon to be a more vigorous and more truthful thinker than Mooser —”

        Gosh darn it! And I was so close, this close, to winning the “more vigorous and more truthful than Gilad Atzmon” award this year. That’s what I get for forgetting, until this moment, he even existed.

      • Citizen
        August 2, 2014, 1:01 pm

        I dunno. I see lots of sync between Atzmon’s and Mooser’s POV. What’s most interesting is precisely how they differ on any issue related to Israel’s actual conduct and the reasoning behind it. What they seem most troubled by is whether or not they want to be part of “the chosen people” at all. Lots of inherited baggage there, both pro and con. Maybe Jerry Springer can have them both on, with Socrates being a third contestant for a date with the girl, who is Plato? The audience could be divided between Bill Kristol clones and Code Pink clones. No room for Audie Murphy, and besides, what’s he got to contribute anyway? The Troubles? Or should Quentin Tarintino be the clone model on either side of the audience?

      • just
        August 2, 2014, 1:05 pm

        heh.

        I find it difficult to believe that you are a mere quarter of a century old, Mooser.
        You have great insight and a real gift for the droll that are more commonly found in some people of a more advanced age.

        A belated happy birthday to you, btw.

      • Bumblebye
        August 2, 2014, 1:39 pm

        @just
        What?! How did Mooser get married a coupla weeks before he was born??

        ;)

        Is he in the record books?

      • just
        August 2, 2014, 1:47 pm

        My bad. I had to go back into the archives, and found that I need to be wishing Mooser a belated anniversary of a quarter century instead!

        Apologies all ’round, Bumblebye. He is one for the record books though!

      • American
        August 2, 2014, 7:11 pm

        ” zionism is primarily a function of colonialism”..annie

        I have always disagreed with that description of zionism and think using the ‘colonizer’ label misrepresents and downplays what it really was—-and some who use it may do so to deliberately down play the true nature of it so they can ‘compare it’ to other colonizing of the past. Zionism was about taking over land and to create a ‘Nation’ on it —-not merely colonize a country for economic gain thru its resources and native labor—which was what most past colonizing was about.
        I think we can apply the colonizing label to the illegal settlements somewhat but not to zionism itself. But even there the zionist goal is to actually convert that land into ‘their official Nation’ not merely have it as a semi- part or out post of the motherland or overlords running it for the colonizer.

      • Mooser
        August 3, 2014, 1:18 pm

        “That’s what I get for forgetting, until this moment, he even existed.”

        What I’m really kicking myself for is forgetting that Sean McBride even existed. I should have made sure there was always a tack on the chair in front of the computer. Every time I sat down, I’d remember…

      • Philemon
        August 2, 2014, 5:58 pm

        Sean, do you really see Gilad Atzmon as so very different in perspective from Mooser? Atzmon has a different style which Mooser doesn’t like, especially with Atzmon originally hailing from Israel, which makes Mooser suspicious of him because he does not trust most Israelis, and who can blame him? Mooser wants to save the baby from the bathwater, so to speak, when he wants to repudiate those who have used his religion to support Zionism and damn the torpedoes, whereas Atzmon is more comfortable throwing out the religion he was brought up with because, from his point of view, in his experience, it was so closely entwined with the Israeli propaganda he rejects, and probably, with his education, it was.

        Atzmon sometimes turns the lingo on its head in a refreshing way. As does Mooser. Mooser is more self-deprecating, Atzmon more combative. Atzmon is more willing to bring up embarrassing history outright to puncture some conceits; Mooser prefers the pinprick rather than the bludgeon. Some people need the intellectual bludgeon, some might just need the pinpricks.

        And Sean, really, are you still under the impression that “go boil your head” was some sort of “ugly talmudic curse”? Because I’m pretty sure Mooser, the little gonif, “stole” it from P.G. Wodehouse!

      • Mooser
        August 3, 2014, 11:51 am

        Thank you so much for the kind wishes for my 25th anniversary. I’m very happy about that. Very happy
        But gay marriage is tearing my straight marriage apart! Yes it’s true, it does happen!
        My wife was reading an article in the paper about the many benefits marriage is bringing to gay couples, how it’s going to be legal everywhere, and is even becoming (thank God) accepted.
        So she looked over at me and said: “You know this whole gay-marriage thing is really changing my thinking. I may just divorce you, and marry a man!”

      • just
        August 3, 2014, 11:57 am

        ;-}

      • Mooser
        August 3, 2014, 1:20 pm

        “gonif, “stole” it from P.G. Wodehouse!”

        You know what they say Philemon; ‘people who live in Wodehouses shouldn’t cast Perelman before swine.’ I think that’s how it goes.

      • just
        August 3, 2014, 1:21 pm

        LOLOL!

      • Mooser
        August 3, 2014, 2:35 pm

        “Mooser, are you still a “Jew” after all of this?”

        I should worry myself about that? With Sean here to answer for me? Who needs my input? And if Sean doesn’t satisfy you, many, many other people have given their opinions (every one of them long and well considered) on the state of my Jewishness.
        Why should I wonder about it, when I’ve got so many smart people to give either me the answer, or in this case, anybody else who asks? I’m telling you, it’s a load off my mind. My identity is in good hands.

    • seanmcbride
      August 2, 2014, 12:18 pm

      Mooser wrote:

      It’s time for American Jews to save what they can from the Zionists. Not save the Zionists from themselves. It’s time to turn our backs on them. If there is anything the Zionists know how to do, it’s handle Jews, manipulate Jews, and use Jews.

      This is what I find confusing: you are positing two groups — good American Jews and bad Zionists. But the American Jewish establishment — which enjoys the support of many American Jews — are themselves passionate Zionists! Are they manipulating themselves? I don’t grasp the world model here.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 2, 2014, 2:03 pm

        you are positing two groups — good American Jews and bad Zionists.

        actually he’s not. he said american jews and zionists. obviously this combination can make up more that 2 groups. and of course people within subgroups get manipulated by their own kind, all the time. i mean look at israel hasbara directed towards israeli citizens: link to mondoweiss.net

        Are they manipulating themselves? I don’t grasp the world model here.

        try harder, this is not that complicated. first i’d suggest comprehending there are more than a handful of free thinkers or free agents who self identify as american jews. iow, you have to extract this concept you seem wedded to that there’s some jewish establishment who speaks for all jews. there just is not. but as long as you refuse to comprehend that, you’re stuck in your own reality and won’t get it.

      • seanmcbride
        August 2, 2014, 2:34 pm

        Annie,

        There *is* a Jewish establishment that claims to speak for the Jewish community — the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations — which includes AIPAC, the ADL, the AJC, the leading Orthodox, Conservative and Reform organizations, and many other leading Jewish groups.

        This institution wields enormous influence in American politics — the Jewish dissidents you refer to wield no influence at all.

        Here is an overview of the Conference of Presidents from Wikipedia:

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        By comparison, groups like JVP (Jewish Voice of Peace) are relatively inconsequential.

        What do you think motivated Benjamin Silverman to write this article?

        The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations is the most influential and powerful advocate for Zionism outside of Israel — they are not the victims of anyone and they are not being manipulated by anyone. They have embraced Jewish nationalism because they believe in it, passionately.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 2, 2014, 4:38 pm

        There *is* a Jewish establishment that claims to speak for the Jewish community

        no shit sherlock. the operative word here being “claims”. try listening harder:

        you have to extract this concept you seem wedded to that there’s some jewish establishment who speaks for all jews.

        ‘claiming to speak’ and ‘speaking’ have 2 different meanings. there is no organization that speaks for all jews.

        and i’d really appreciate it if you’d address these questions here: link to mondoweiss.net

      • seanmcbride
        August 2, 2014, 4:47 pm

        Annie,

        That the American government listens only to the Conference of Presidents on Israeli and Jewish issues, and to no other Jewish groups, underlines the point that CoP is in fact the Jewish establishment — the official face of the Jewish community that possesses real political clout.

        I’m not sure what we’re arguing about. I know that there are quite a few Jewish dissidents out there. I also know that they have no leverage over the Congress or executive branch — zip.

        We both hope that this situation might change going forward — we shall see. But I am talking about things as they are right now in 2014.

        Mooser has tried to make the argument that American Jews are victims of Zionists. Wrong. Overwhelmingly they represent the Zionist establishment by free choice and with passionate conviction. Perhaps one might argue that they have victimized themselves.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 2, 2014, 5:53 pm

        But I am talking about things as they are right now in 2014.

        well, the way things are right now there is a lot of handwringing and 100’s of millions of dollars invested in countering what is considered to be a very big threat to zionism. the left, anti zionists and especially the jewish youth. why would they be spending all that money if the threat was not there?

        once again, you’ve brought up mooser. really sean, i can’t speak for him no matter how many times you claim i want to.

        but i will address your statement: Overwhelmingly they represent the Zionist establishment by free choice and with passionate conviction.

        ‘they’ being american jews in the context of your paragraph. you’re saying american jews represent the zionist establishment. and you’re also saying the zionist establishment represents them. so they represent each other. that’s a nice neat little box you’ve got sewn up there sean and the only american jews outside that box are “quite a few Jewish dissidents”.

        I’m not sure what we’re arguing about.

        well, in my perception of things there are actually very few people who inevitably control the masses or the perception of the masses. . not millions of people. so i would no more say “american jews represent the zionist establishment.” than i would say “americans represent congress”. i make a distinction between those in power and those they seek to, or do, represent.

        but there’s something most people in power have in common, (represented by the old story of the emperor w/no clothes) and that is that there’s a powerful tool in having people think everyone supports them whether they do or not. so those who control the image of the masses can control the masses. it keeps people from stepping out of line and it starts at a very young age. that’s why dissent (like the 99% protests) burst the bubble of that image and become dangerous for the establishment.

        so by agreeing with the jewish establishment that they represent american jews, and perpetuating that notion, you are actually serving that establishment. you are doing their work for them.

        so how we disagree is that i think those of us who object to the zionist state, including american jews of which i think there are more than a few inconsequential dissidents, are making a difference. and you seem to think we have no power because congress votes 100-0. i think the masses in this country have been victims of the establishment, i think they use us to create the idea they are all powerful (like the way zionist trolls always say “the vast majority of americans support israel”) they did what they do in our name and brainwash americans thru the media from a young age (accusations of anti semite or self hating jew (depending on whether one is jewish or not) for those who step out of the zionist narrative) and use us as hosting agents.

        but since you believe there’s generally no distinction between american jews and the establishment, i don’t know, it sounds to me like you’re just part of that cog that perpetuates the idea of a streamlines boxed in group.

        i see them more as free agents, albeit possibly more conditioned from birth not to step out of line.

      • seanmcbride
        August 2, 2014, 6:53 pm

        Annie,

        I agree decidedly with your analysis here of how a small number of people at the top of the power pyramid are manipulating most Americans in destructive and self-destructive ways — so for the time being let me just say that I hope we can all combine our efforts to try to change the status quo on many important issues — not just Mideast or Israeli issues. (I have in mind radical wealth inequality, state mass surveillance, and many other issues.)

        I have always agreed with you on most issues — the question of the role of religion in Zionism opened up a few disagreements between us. We can set that aside for the time being if you would like.

        It’s easy to set up Google Alerts to track that topic — which I’ve done — and I see a flood of disturbing news on that front on a daily basis. You have other interests, and I respect that. And thanks again for all the work you do here at Mondoweiss.

      • Mooser
        August 3, 2014, 11:56 am

        Look, all I’m arguing for is an action that is doable. The American Jewish community (whatever exactly that is) organising to put pressure on the people who push the POTUS around? I don’t think so.
        But for like-minded American Jews to rent a storefront, put up a sign, get hold of a Rabbi who shares the convictions, and start practicing Non-Zionist Judaism, (really, it won’t be that hard) website, mailing list, possibly hold public events to explain, etc, that maybe we could manage.
        Nobody has to join who doesn’t want to, and there’s a lot of empty storefronts.
        And after the first bombing, we might even be a cause celebre!

        Ooh! Obscure baroque-music joke! At the first service, we’ll play Bach’s 1st Cantata. It’s called “How Brightly Shines the Morgenthau!” Okay. maybe their won’t be music right away.

      • Mooser
        August 3, 2014, 12:19 pm

        You know what, the best idea is simply to rent, lease or buy and unused church! It’ll have everything we need, raised area at one end, pews or chairs, tables, social hall, offices, might even have a sound system. Change a few things around, put the time of the service and the subject of the homily or sermon on the signboard! “Sh’ma Yis’ra’eil Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad” intones the Cantor, and away we go! We’re in business!
        I’m sure it’s happening already. I can hear them singing! ‘♪ And we’ll be frum, frum, frum until Daddy takes the Torah away♪♪’

      • Mooser
        August 3, 2014, 2:44 pm

        “try harder, this is not that complicated. first i’d suggest comprehending there are more than a handful of free thinkers or free agents”

        Annie, are you saying that American Jews possess all the same freedoms extended (sadly, not to all) most Americans? There isn’t, besides the usual legal and civic constraints we all live under, a component of material temporal authority over Jews possessed by an amorphous organization called (in hushed whispers, of course) “the Jewish establishment”? Oh my God this is great news! I’m eating lobster on the deck this evening! I don’t care who sees me crackin’ the claw! I’m a free agent now!

      • Mooser
        August 3, 2014, 1:26 pm

        “This is what I find confusing: you are positing two groups — good American Jews and bad Zionists”

        For Christ’s sake, I don’t know if there’s “two groups” But we’ll never find out, will we, until somebody tries to establish a place for that other “group” to form, support each other, make themselves known. And that, at least, is quite practical and doable.

    • American
      August 2, 2014, 6:53 pm

      ” It’s time to turn our backs on them.”…Mooser

      Yea it is. Slam the door on them.

  4. Mooser
    August 1, 2014, 5:40 pm

    “I am not asking or expecting you, the whole American Jewish community, to renounce everything you have been taught to believe overnight, just yet. But I am asking and expecting you to open your minds a little, to start questioning what you have been taught. “

    Very sensible, very right! The time to get all verklempt is after any possibility of a non-Jewish or even non-Zionist polity existing in Palestine has been destroyrd! That’s when it’s time to do all the weeping wailing and knishing your teeth. But for God’s sake, don’t do it yet!, there’s a lot more shooting to be done before we cry. And that way, when it is time to cry, we can do it secure in the knowledge it’ll mean nothing.

    • Philip Weiss
      August 1, 2014, 5:52 pm

      So Mooser what do you say to my saying I want to organize with one foot inside the American Jewish community and one foot in the non-Jewish community?

      • Mooser
        August 1, 2014, 6:47 pm

        “So Mooser what do you say to my saying I want to organize with one foot inside the American Jewish community and one foot in the non-Jewish community?”

        What do I say? I say you should put your best foot forward!

        So are you organizing to wipe Israel off the map, or save it from itself?

      • Eva Smagacz
        August 1, 2014, 7:26 pm

        Mooser, Mooser

        “So are you organizing to wipe Israel off the map, or save it from itself?”

        I think Phil was asking you a straight question……

      • Daniel Rich
        August 1, 2014, 7:55 pm

        @Eva Smagacz、

        You want to talk 285 dead children back to life or prevent more from being slaughtered?

        The only way to deal with bullies is through the use of sheer force. They will not listen to reasoning, thus talking is useless.

      • straightline
        August 1, 2014, 7:55 pm

        I thought that the way Phil posed the question was setting himself up for a Mooser response. I was going to say “typical Mooser response'” but then I realized that that would be setting myself up for a typical Mooser response.

        And I think Mooser the answered the question with a very good question:

        “So are you organizing to wipe Israel off the map, or save it from itself?”

      • Frankie P
        August 1, 2014, 8:10 pm

        “Dear American Jewish community, it’s time to talk! And talk, and talk, and talk. Because the more we talk, the more we try to give the impression that Zionism answers to Jews, and can be persuaded, the more space and time Zionism buys.”

        Talk, talk, wring, wring hands,
        Talk, talk, wring, wring hands,
        We’re American Jews, we know what those in Israel do, let’s
        Talk, talk, wring, wring hands,
        Talk, talk, wring, wring hands,
        We need to talk, just you and us, lots of room on our little Jewish bus, let’s
        Talk, talk, wring, wring hands,
        Talk, talk, wring, wring hands,
        They’re committing genocide, but hey, we’re all in the same damn tribe, let’s
        Talk, talk, wring, wring hands,
        Talk, talk, wring, wring hands,
        The only issue we agree, is beware when the goys come for you and me, let’s
        Talk, talk, wring, wring hands,
        Talk, talk, wring, wring hands,

        @Mooser,

        Your use of humor to highlight ridiculous reality is heart-warming, and there is no sarcasm intended here. The farcical nature of this essay by Benjamin Silverman is too much to face.

        “When we have argued for human rights and international law, we have been ostracized and excluded from all aspects of mainstream Jewish life. When we have argued against an exclusionary, segregationist regime, we have been attacked with the most vicious of slanders; “self-hating Jews,” “Nazi collaborators,” and worse. When we have tried to stand up against colonialist violence and occupations, we have been met with angry rejection from our closest friends and family.”

        So, what’s new Ben? What has changed? Do you think that your plea to Israel right or wrong Zionist American Jews, by far the majority of American Jewry, is going to elicit an invitation to dialog? Shouldn’t your plea be directed to Americans as a whole, who could have a real effect in taming the monster Israel?

        FPM

      • AlGhorear
        August 1, 2014, 9:20 pm

        “So are you organizing to wipe Israel off the map, or save it from itself?”

        I think that’s actually a serious question, Eva.

      • Mooser
        August 1, 2014, 11:05 pm

        I’m sure that whatever way Phil tries to organize he’ll be honest and do his best. And inclusive, even tho I thought that it was put a bit clumsily (since he’ll really be organizing individuals, not “communities”, I think). But then, I’m the only guy who believes the “about” page.

        But I’m reaching a different conclusion, and harder conclusion. I’m becoming convinced that only repudiation in the most complete and concrete way possible, will help.
        Don’t even think I’m worried about what the non-Jews or Gentiles will do to Jews as a result of this. That is something that doesn’t enter into it at all. I have no way of knowing that and I can’t speculate on it. And I don’t care what happens, nobody is going to make me worry about that now.
        No, I think repudiation is necessary to save Jews from the Zionists, from Israel. Any attempt to moderate or influence them will be to be manipulated by them. The idea that Zionists will somehow be susceptible to my advice, or deal with me honorably or honestly because I am, like them, Jewish, is insulting both to what there is of my intelligence and to my principles.
        So if there is going to be a conversation, I hope repudiation will be, well, not even the most extreme thing discussed. Given the resources and organization of the “Jewish community” as an actual Jewish community, it might be about the only concrete effective thing that could be done. It would at least give the opportunity to Jews who wanted to be in some tangible part of a Jewish community (that is part of a community formed or joined by some aspect of Jewishness or the Jewish religion) to try and keep their kids safe from Zionists, and keep themselves and their schul out of the clutches of Zionists and free from Zionism. Not the repudiation of Judaism or Jewishness, however you like actualize those things certainly not, no, the repudiation of Zionism.

      • Citizen
        August 2, 2014, 1:17 pm

        @ Mooser
        Let’s ask you, are you commenting to wipe Israel off the map, or save it from itself? I’m just an ordinary American taxpayer, brought up to believe in certain American values, which I don’t see displayed very often either domestically, or in foreign affairs and foreign aid. I’m really a geezer, and its been this way since I turned adult. Many recently have asked, ” Does ‘Never Again’ apply to all humans, or just Jews? From what I decipher, Atzmon and Mooser both agree–it applies to all humans. IMO, the distinction between Atzmon and Mooser is that Atzmon sees a link between the way Judaism is taught in Jewish religious schools and Jewish history classes, and what’s now happening in Gaza. Mooser, seems to me, to say there’s no link, but look what happening in Gaza. Seems to me, Atzmon (Former IDF soldier) understands Lindemann’s Esau’s Tears (Modern anti-Semitism and the rise of the Jews, copyright 1997), a tad more than Mooser. Don’t get me wrong, I think both Atzmon and Mooser are valuable humans. Further, I have no doubt Atzmon is a real humanist who happens to be a great jazz player. As for Mooser, well, he says he’s a moose with antlers. And he does jazz up MW. So now I’m left with Phil Weiss… well, he banned Atzmon, welcomes Mooser. Says he wants to appeal for humanitarian reasons to both America’s Jews and Non-Jews. He at least gives real data to anybody in USA who’s trying to understand the I-P conflict and US role in it. That alone makes him a good human being. I say all three deserve to live and prosper, as if I were a Roman chief directing my thumb at the gladiator fight. Yet make no mistake, those innocent trapped people in Gaza dying have loved ones and families just like me and you, as we type protected and comfortable in our homes, here on MW.

      • Keith
        August 1, 2014, 8:02 pm

        PHIL- “So Mooser what do you say to my saying I want to organize with one foot inside the American Jewish community and one foot in the non-Jewish community?”

        Organize? Have I missed something?

      • Mooser
        August 2, 2014, 12:55 pm

        “Organize? Have I missed something?”

        I know, it gave me a start, too. I was thinking, “it isn’t a hard enough job just sticking with the demands of the “about” page, now he wants to organize, already?”. And I’d dial back the Colossus bit, to a foot in the door.

      • Citizen
        August 2, 2014, 1:41 pm

        @ Mooser
        Really? Maybe Phil was mainly sticking with his about page on his blog; after all, one thing he’s definitely doing is organizing and feeding data to his blog so folks can learn things not available in the American media about the I-P situation and the US “special relationship” to it? Anyway, he’s talking about two feet in the door, not one. Got a problem with that? Careful. I know you know America is only around 2% Jewish. And I know you know how the US SC vetoes go on anything Israel, and I know you know US Congress just fed more $ to Iron Kippa, and gave Israel a blank check to replace its Palestinian kid-killing mission munitions stockpile in Israel at even more US expense.

        Why not speak plainly, not behind your Moose pen name, what are you driving at regarding Phil Weiss’s motive or agenda?

      • Mooser
        August 3, 2014, 12:06 pm

        “Why not speak plainly, not behind your Moose pen name, what are you driving at regarding Phil Weiss’s motive or agenda?”

        Okay, you’ve cornered me, and I’ll tell you the truth and straight out, no equivocating or jokes. I think Phil’s motive is to try and make a positive contribution to a terrible situation as best he can, and his agenda? I think his agenda is to be the best journalist and writer on the subject he can be.
        Why, Citizen, do you have an other explanation for why he puts so much work and time into this? Please, let’s hear it.

      • Mooser
        August 3, 2014, 3:14 pm

        Okay, Phil is just running Mondo as a side project, a sort of cash heifer (that’s why it’s always in the red) while he writes the great American Jewish novel.
        Now you know.

      • Mooser
        August 3, 2014, 3:18 pm

        “one thing he’s definitely doing is organizing and feeding data to his blog”

        Does a golem need to eat? Wait a minute, it just hit me! If a Kabbalah Rabbi could conjure up a golem with numerological incantations, it’s the first example of digital programming, isn’t it?! Can’t beat that Jewish intelligence.

      • American
        August 2, 2014, 6:58 pm

        ” Any attempt to moderate or influence them will be to be manipulated by them. The idea that Zionists will somehow be susceptible to my advice, or deal with me honorably or honestly because I am, like them, Jewish, is insulting both to what there is of my intelligence and to my principles.”…Mooser

        Right again. Do not give the scorpions rides on the frogs backs.

    • RoHa
      August 1, 2014, 10:42 pm

      As I said before, wait another hundred years or so before developing a conscience.

  5. Mooser
    August 1, 2014, 5:50 pm

    “We Jews have a lot of blood on our hands, we have been made complicit in these inhuman acts, and we have a responsibility now to do something about it. “

    Gosh, if only somebody could come up with a couple of concrete examples of things Israel might do to at least ameliorate the situation somewhat! I guess we’ll have to talk about it, may take a while before anybody can think of one.

    This, all this breast-beating happaned after Cast Lead, too. It’s part of the process of normalizing what Israel is doing. Well, I guess you can say if murder is reduced to a misdemeanor, it’s still a crime, huh?

  6. Mooser
    August 1, 2014, 5:56 pm

    “All I ask is the following; that you reopen our community to dissenting opinion, that you open up every synagogue, every Jewish community center, every Hillel, every Hebrew School, to a free debate and discussion on Israel, Palestine and the core beliefs of Zionism. I and others like me, want to make our case to you, directly, as Jews to Jews, on why the Palestinians deserve our solidarity, on why Israeli militarism must be opposed, on why the “Jewish State” of Israel necessarily leads to apartheid, and on why the nationalistic and supremacist beliefs of Zionism have led to the corruption of our people with the sins of racism and colonialism.”

    Oh, come on, what are we going (assuming the Orthodox will even sit in the room with us trefe eaters) send Israel a strongly worded note?

    • Pixel
      August 1, 2014, 11:15 pm

      Mooser! I can’t believe I’m here on such an historic day – a day when you’ve written more in one comment section that I’ve ever read before. You’ve GOTTA keep it up. You have a valuable perspective – AND – you’re hysterical. “But then, I’m the only guy who believes the ‘about’ page.” ROTFLMAO

      • Mooser
        August 1, 2014, 11:49 pm

        ” a day when you’ve written more in one comment”

        Sorry, I meant to apologize for the length. Maybe I shoulda gone all Johnny Cochrane on their ass: “If Israel will hate, you must repudiate!”

      • Mooser
        August 2, 2014, 12:59 pm

        So what does repudiation look like? Probably a lot like a cheap storefront Temple, to start with.

  7. German Lefty
    August 1, 2014, 6:35 pm

    Ronan Farrow Daily (08/01/14) praises liberal Zionism.
    Ezra Klein MSNBC policy analyst and editor in chief of Vox.com and Aaron David Miller of the Woodrow Wilson Center, who’s advised six secretaries of state on the Middle East, join Ronan Farrow Daily to discuss the shifting attitudes toward Israel.
    link to msnbc.com

  8. bilal a
    August 1, 2014, 7:42 pm

    attack on first responders

    up close and personal

    link to facebook.com

  9. Keith
    August 1, 2014, 8:16 pm

    “We Jews have a lot of blood on our hands, we have been made complicit in these inhuman acts, and we have a responsibility now to do something about it.”

    Yes, but don’t stop with Palestine. All Americans are to some degree complicit in the crimes of empire. Unfortunately, the power imbalance in our society is so radically out of balance that it is difficult for the 99% to resist the 1%. Worse yet, the 99% seem to take comfort in imperial mythology, their thoughts and actions easily controlled at the macro level, exercising negligible responsibility as citizens, the all-too-willing victims of their own ideological seduction, supporting a system they don’t understand nor want to, and which they basically don’t want to change except to improve their own personal situation.

    • Citizen
      August 2, 2014, 9:29 am

      @ Keith
      I agree. And Phil’s mission to talk to both Jewish Americans and non-Jewish Americans I think is rational considering said complicity, often labeled “the special relationship,” the one raining gifted US missiles down on Gaza’s children, with more Iron Dome funding and replacement munitions now on the way to Israel.

  10. Kay24
    August 1, 2014, 8:22 pm

    Lindsey Graham pleading to NOT caution Israel about the civilian casualties OMGOsh. I have never seen such a vicious lot of people.
    He wants them all dead, like Israel.

    • just
      August 1, 2014, 8:29 pm

      don’t forget, he’s best buds with ‘bomb bomb bomb Iran’ McCain. not really shocking nor awing at all.

  11. Daniel Rich
    August 1, 2014, 9:02 pm

    But it is not just strikes from the air that are the problem. There is more:

    “However, military analysts and human rights observers say the IDF is still using unguided, indirect fire with high-explosive shells, which they argue is inappropriate for a densely populated area like Gaza …

    [Israel's 155m howitzer] shells have a lethal radius of 50 to 150 metres and causes injury up to 300 metres from its point of impact. Furthermore, such indirect-fire artillery (meaning it is fired out of direct sight of the target) has a margin of error of 200 to 300 metres.”

    Read that again: a margin of error of up to 300 metres, plus a lethal radius of up to 150 metres and an injury radius of 300 metres. So that’s a killing and injury zone of close to half a kilometre from the intended “precise” site of impact – in a territory that is only a few kilometres wide and long. In short, one of the main shells Israel is using in Gaza is completely imprecise. Jonathan Cook – Every Israeli Missile Strike is a War Crime.

  12. Daniel Rich
    August 1, 2014, 10:49 pm

    Why are Gaza tunnels ‘smuggle’ tunnels?

    smug·gle

    [smuhg-uhl] Show IPA

    verb (used with object), smug·gled, smug·gling.

    1. to import or export (goods) secretly, in violation of the law, especially without payment of legal duty.

    2. to bring, take, put, etc., surreptitiously: She smuggled the gun into the jail inside a cake.

    So, you’re besieged on all sides, you’ve an oppressor with a mean streak that keeps killing your people like there’s no tomorrow, the collective world community looks the other way, no country comes to the rescue, no Allied forces will ever D-Day on your occupied beach, thus… what to do? Paint a bull’s eye on your back, go sit somewhere in the nearby desert and wait?

    It’s the same like ‘The Apartheid State ‘pummels….’

    Pummel with bombs and artillery shells?

    pum·mel – [puhm-uhl] Show IPA

    verb (used with object), pum·meled, pum·mel·ing or ( especially British ) pum·melled, pum·mel·ling.

    to beat or thrash with or as if with the fists.

  13. Pixel
    August 1, 2014, 11:02 pm

    Benjamin,

    This is great, really great.

    • Pixel
      August 1, 2014, 11:19 pm

      I think it will “speak” to many who really don’t know what to do or where to turn next.

  14. michelle
    August 1, 2014, 11:38 pm

    .
    if it’s okay to treat people that way
    is it okay to treat Jewish people that way
    if so what was ww2 about
    .
    is Israel truly Jewish
    if it walks like a duck ….
    but Israel isn’t behaving like any of
    the good open kind thoughtful ….
    Jewish people i have ‘known’
    (barely know myself let alone anyone else)
    .
    does it matter who it is that is doing wrong
    more to the point is
    this wrong must stop
    right here right now
    even if it’s at the cost of the abuser(s)
    .
    abusers are a touchy lot they don’t
    want to talk truthfully about the issue
    ask any abuse hotline about
    classic abuser behavior
    isolate and dehumanize
    .
    while talking taboo topics
    it’s best to talk one on one
    talking to a group means
    talking to a group mentality
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

  15. talknic
    August 2, 2014, 12:23 am

    Zionists? Jews? Not the point! Talking about the colour of the flames doesn’t put out a fire.

    It’s Israel, THE STATE in breach of binding International Law, the UN Charter and relative Conventions reaffirmed and emphasized in the hundreds of resolutions giving Israel the opportunity to adhere to those binding legal obligations

    It’s Israel, THE STATE dispossessed non-Jewish folk who had a legal right to citizenship in Israel in 1948, refusing their rightful return

    It’s Israel, THE STATE illegally acquiring by war non-Israeli territories “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine” for 66 years

    It’s Israel, THE STATE illegally dispossessing non-Jews from non-Israeli territory, illegally supplanting them with Israeli citizens for 66 years, illegally selling illegal Israeli settlers non-Israeli land in non-Israeli territory.

    It’s Israel, THE STATE who has never been able to afford to pay rightful compensation for its crimes against non-Jews who A) had a right to Israeli citizenship B) its neighbours for the wars it has started, the death damage and destruction, the non-Israeli territory in Palestine it has illegally acquired, the 66 years of illegal facts on the ground it has knowingly and purposefully created.

    It is Israel, THE STATE must be stopped!

    • American
      August 2, 2014, 7:30 pm

      ” It is Israel, THE STATE must be stopped!…talknic

      You are overlooking the point I believe. Zionist , politicians, all people that form blocks of support for Israel in the US and elsewhere in governments must be stopped before Israel can be stopped.

  16. Pixel
    August 2, 2014, 2:57 am

    On a side note, I just realized that we’re only a few weeks away from the start of classes at colleges and universities, here, and that makes me nervous.

    I think there’s every chance that these issues will soon dominate campus life across the country and, this year, may even create battlegrounds in some places that are not just intellectual but also physical.

    • Mooser
      August 2, 2014, 1:05 pm

      “may even create battlegrounds in some places that are not just intellectual but also physical.”

      I can just hear them at the neo-JDL before going out to break up an Israel-critical demonstration: “Remember men, they’ve got the numbers, but we’ve got the chutzpah. And act like a mensch!”

    • American
      August 2, 2014, 8:46 pm

      Its needs to–needs to get to the level of the Vietnam protest.
      Getting banged in the head and peppered sprayed or arrested is only temporary pain.
      Not like being dead forever in gaza.

  17. Citizen
    August 2, 2014, 9:33 am

    “Why I have become less pro-Israel.” (July 29, 2014
    12:46 p.m.
    Israel Is Making It Hard To Be Pro-Israel)
    link to nymag.com

    “A self-hating jew’s guide to answering zionist talking points.”
    link to mg.co.za

  18. Vera Gottlieb
    August 2, 2014, 11:22 am

    I am sick and tired of hearing this bullshit about ‘self hating Jew’. Germans who opposed Hitler…self-hating Germans? IDF tactics strongly reminiscent of Hitler’s SS goons. The persecuted turning into vicious persecutors. Turning Gaza into an open-air shooting gallery. How utterly repugnant. I am ashamed of my Jewish background. Anyone condoning this has blood on their hands and souls too.

    • Citizen
      August 2, 2014, 1:49 pm

      @ Vera Gottlieb
      Yes, where do you think the White Rose would stand on what Israel is doing in Gaza, and what US enables? I know, you know. Thanks for your comment. Please comment more.

      Always amazing to me that any American can complain about the US government, and continually criticize it, but the moment any American criticizes Israel’s conduct they are slurred as either “anti-Semitic” messengers ( in 98% Goy America) or “self-hating (American) Jews.”

    • Mooser
      August 3, 2014, 1:12 pm

      ” I am ashamed of my Jewish background. “

      THEN MAKE ANOTHER ONE!!!!! Nobody can stop you, and if you do it, you might be surprised how many people will join you in making it.
      Don’t let the Zionists do that to you, make you ashamed of being Jewish. THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT TO DO!!

  19. seanmcbride
    August 2, 2014, 12:54 pm

    Annie,

    Notice that Benjamin Silverman targets “the American Jewish COMMUNITY” and “the Jewish COMMUNITY” for his critique — which is a broader concept than the American Jewish establishment or leadership or the Jewish establishment or leadership. He also uses the term “indoctrinated”:

    I understand that the last few weeks may have been hard for you. From a young age we all have been raised – indoctrinated even – on Pro-Israel ideology. Every facet of our Jewish life has been infected with Zionism, from our youth groups, to our synagogues, to our Hebrew schools, to our family Seders.

    Well, one can’t accuse Mondoweiss of not posting articles that are bold and daring.

    Regarding “our people”:

    The exclusion of any dissenting Jewish opinion outside of the most narrow of ultra-Zionism has led OUR PEOPLE into a cul-de-sac of intellectual dishonesty, moral poverty and political thuggery, where questioning is discouraged and obedience is rewarded.

    That’s a courageous article. I shudder to think of the heat he is going to take for expressing these thoughts — or of the heat Mondoweiss is going to take for publishing them. The “community” will not be pleased.

    Gilad Atzmon has dealt with these problems by withdrawing from this “community” and collectivist thinking in general — he’s an individual relating to a world of other individuals. I am sympathetic to that mental style.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 2, 2014, 2:27 pm

      I shudder to think of the heat he is going to take for expressing these thoughts

      hmm, did you read Benjamin Silverman’s bio?

      long-time Palestinian solidarity activist, and self-identified Jewish Ant-Zionist, involved in Jewish Voices for Peace andStudents for Justice in Palestine at The New School.

      i don’t shudder to think what heat he’ll be in, he’s probably used to it by now just like thousands of activists are.

      — or of the heat Mondoweiss is going to take for publishing them.

      really? sean, relax. we’ve been doing this for years. MW will survive the publication of this article. it’s a great article.

      Notice that Benjamin Silverman targets “the American Jewish COMMUNITY” and “the Jewish COMMUNITY” for his critique

      hmm, you mean did i notice the part that said Dear American Jewish Community,?

      yes. of course. i’m not sure what you’re saying. do you think you’re teaching me something i don’t know? i’m at a loss on what your point is sean. why don’t you blockquote something i have said that contradicts the author.

      • seanmcbride
        August 2, 2014, 2:38 pm

        Annie,

        i’m not sure what you’re saying. do you think you’re teaching me something i don’t know? i’m at a loss on what your point is sean.

        You have repeatedly expressed upset and even anger about associating the Israeli government, the Israel lobby and Zionism with the Jewish *community*. I am pointing out to you that Benjamin Silverman just did precisely that in this Mondoweiss article.

        I myself would prefer to use the terms “Jewish establishment” or “Jewish leadership” in this context — but Silverman’s article is quite solid on the whole.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 2, 2014, 2:57 pm

        You have repeatedly expressed upset and even anger about associating the Israeli government, the Israel lobby and Zionism with the Jewish *community*.

        oh sean, now really. let’s be mature about this. do you think i am expressing anger with you? because i can assure you i’m not angry. i’m not even upset. in fact this conversation, like many with you, i find amusing. now, maybe it’s you who’ve been angry and upset for all i know? but i wouldn’t stoop to using that to buttress an argument i was making.

        now, regarding this allegationof yours: “You have repeatedly expressed upset and even anger about associating the Israeli government, the Israel lobby and Zionism with the Jewish *community*. ”

        if this is something i’ve said ‘repeatedly, why don’t you just run along and find an example of what you’re referencing. here, i’ve even entered it into the search engine for you:

        link to mondoweiss.net

        and you might notice there on the first page i’ve blockquoted cecilie surasky, from the very same group the author is a long standing member of, jvp:

        Saying something over and over again doesn’t make it true. The Bay Area JCRC, and local offices of the ADL and the AJC, are not synonymous with the “Bay Area Jewish Community.” In fact, while the Jewish Community Relations Council claims to represent Bay Area Jews, they won’t release the number or names of groups they represent. That certainly makes one wonder if the number is embarrassingly small. And it’s likely shrinking. There is no shortage of Jews around here, from a wide political spectrum, who would be appalled to be associated with an attack on a Muslim group for using a word that Israeli officials use regularly.

        my hunch is, the author is probably closer to my own thoughts regarding the jewish community, that yours. in fact, he might even agree that many jews are the victims or tools of zionism.

      • seanmcbride
        August 2, 2014, 3:04 pm

        Annie,

        You didn’t answer my main point: Jewish dissenters like Cecilie Surasky exercise no influence whatever over American politics. Compared to the Conference of Presidents, and the dozens of establishment Jewish organizations that are members of the CoP, they are inconsequential.

        Certainly the few dissidents out there don’t speak for the mainstream Jewish community — if they did, the policies of that community would be very different than they are now and Benjamin Silverman wouldn’t have found it necessary to write this article.

      • seanmcbride
        August 2, 2014, 3:11 pm

        Annie,

        my hunch is, the author is probably closer to my own thoughts regarding the jewish community, that yours. in fact, he might even agree that many jews are the victims or tools of zionism.

        Your hunch is that Benjamin Silverman agrees with Mooser that Jewish Zionists are the victims of Jewish Zionists?

        Well, why not ask him if he believes that?

        My opinion is that all individuals are responsible for their own individual views. Blaming the views of, say, William Kristol, Douglas Feith, Sheldon Adelson, David Brooks, Haim Saban, Martin Peretz or Jeffrey Goldberg on a sinister outside force strikes me as preposterous — passing the buck in the extreme. A cop-out, and rather a sleazy one.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 2, 2014, 3:25 pm

        Your hunch is that Benjamin Silverman agrees with Mooser

        well in all fairness i don’t quite recall whatever conversation your referencing and what mooser may have said or not said so i am not sure if those are mooser’s words. nor would i claim the author ‘agrees w/mooser’. but i think the idea jews are tools of a zionist agenda is sort of a no brainer and something lots of people would agree with, including many jews. personally, i think jews are targeted and manipulated, the footsoldiers of the zionist agenda. for sure.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 2, 2014, 3:35 pm

        You didn’t answer my main point

        that’s because your main point is full of crap. cecilie surasky is a vital member of group that puts fear in the heart of zionist leaders. the group that bleeds members from liberal zionist groups like j street. the jewish youth are flocking to groups like jvp and sjp in droves. their membership is flourishing on campuses, and conferences are held to try to stop that growth.

        if they were consequential, stand w/us wouldn’t beat a path to wherever it is they’re demonstrating. they also wouldn’t be able to generate 10’s of thousands of signatures on petitions over night, effectively influence and organize around the presby vote, and the list goes on.

        of course, compared to the Conference of Presidents, and the dozens of establishment Jewish organizations that are members of the CoP, they are a small org, but definitely not inconsequential. and i dare say i think the author, who is a member of that group, would agree with me.

        we just do not agree. we’ve had this discussion many times before sean. repetition won’t being me any closer to your myopic view.

        btw, i am neither angry or upset with you. wouldn’t want you using my words to claim otherwise.

      • seanmcbride
        August 2, 2014, 3:40 pm

        Annie,

        that’s because your main point is full of crap. cecilie surasky is a vital member of group that puts fear in the heart of zionist leaders. the group that bleeds members from liberal zionist groups like j street. the jewish youth are flocking to groups like jvp and sjp in droves. their membership is flourishing.

        I would be more sympathetic to your argument if you could mention ways in which dissidents like Surasky have managed to influence the Obama administration, the US Congress, the Republican and Democratic Parties, the mainstream media, etc.

        I admire activists like Surasky, but I am a realist on these matters. They do not speak for the Jewish establishment (or “community”) and they have not had the slightest impact on American Mideast policy. Very sad, but true.

        Perhaps we will indeed have to agree to disagree on these matters. In no way do I want to discourage your own activism — keep up the good fight.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 2, 2014, 4:30 pm

        I would be more sympathetic to your argument if you could mention ways in which dissidents like Surasky have managed to influence the Obama administration, the US Congress, the Republican and Democratic Parties, the mainstream media, etc.

        well sean, i’m not sure if you’ve noticed how many articles have been written lately either about, or referencing, that recent gallop poll mentioning american youth. the 19-32 demographic (off the top of my head, i could have that age bracket skewed). there’s this concern out there (the one referenced by the is gov and ruet as the deligitimization groups or something..allegedly more threatening to the ‘jewish state’ than any military threat). so while you are correct the admin and US congress is locked in, there are some people very concerned about the next generation. some hand wringing going on about how the largest demographic in support of israel is old people and republicans/white.) so my hunch is that the growth of this group and ones like it, is a threat.

        and i don’t agree with you that Cecilie Surasky exercise no influence whatever over American politics. i think they do. and i think it was very telling a group like j street wasn’t even allowed into that big jewish group, i think we’re seeing a push from the left using words like apartheid and bds, which sort of broke thru into the mainstream somewhat this year…albeit not enough, i don’t think that would have happened had members of groups like jvp/sjp been applying pressure these last few years.

        it’s built from the ground up. there’s a swelling in the ranks. and this will bear fruit eventually.

      • Citizen
        August 2, 2014, 5:21 pm

        @ Annie Robbins
        As a practical matter, re American Jews, I see things differently as an American non-Jew. I see I have no effective voice at all when it comes to America’s funding of the Gaza massacre, and general incremental genocide of the Palestinian people as a whole. You see something else? Big question, since America is actually 98% not Jewish? Is there something in the water in S Carolina, for example, that makes American politicians Israel First , right or wrong , the way to go? I don’t get it at all, not sure I even get the distinction between N and S Rebel states,when it comes to rubber-stamping whatever Israel does,

      • Mooser
        August 3, 2014, 1:03 pm

        “it’s built from the ground up. there’s a swelling in the ranks. and this will bear fruit eventually.”

        Exactly, and ‘repudiation’ is doable, practical, and will attract notice. And give people who do want to be Jewish, live out aspects of their Jewishness, but can’t abide Zionism, a chance to do that.
        Judaism belongs to the people who are Jewish. If any Jew (or in my case, a ‘typical Jew’) wants to iterpret and actualize his or her religion with Zionism, they have a right to.

        Oh, I’m not talking about “discriminating against Zionists” They are more than welcome to come to our services. They may not like what they hear, sometimes, and they better not cause any trouble, but sure, c’mon in, we’re having Temple!

      • Mooser
        August 3, 2014, 1:31 pm

        “wants to iterpret and actualize his or her religion with Zionism, they have a right to.

        Oh no. Sorry, should have been without!! Without Zionism. Great job Mooser. I shouldn’t try to think and write.

  20. seanmcbride
    August 2, 2014, 2:14 pm

    Annie,

    I think Benjamin Silverman knows the Jewish “community” better than you do — he speaks as an insider. And he made no effort to blame Zionism on “colonialism” or to filter Zionism through a Marxist critique or any other anti-capitalist or anti-imperialist narrative or conceptual framework — he goes much deeper than that.

    (All serious students of Zionism, by the way, know that many of the early Zionist leaders were themselves Marxists.)

    Regarding Mooser: I am asking him to defend his claim that Jews are the victims or tools of Zionism — an assertion that makes no sense on the surface or after close inspection. So far he hasn’t lifted a finger to explain himself. The worldwide Jewish establishment itself has been the main promoter of Zionism.

    Why don’t you let Mooser speak for himself, debate for himself and express his own thoughts? He has never been shy about about challenging other commenters here (often with a great deal of verbal abuse). I want to understand why he is making the claims that he has made — they make absolutely no sense to me.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 2, 2014, 2:40 pm

      Why don’t you let Mooser speak for himself, debate for himself and express his own thoughts?

      are you suggesting i am censoring mooser? because i am not. it seems to me like he is speaking for himself, in fact he’s made a lot of comments on this thread. maybe he’s just not saying what you want him to say or addressing your obsession. i can’t do anything about that sean. maybe you should take your own advice and let Mooser speak for himself, debate for himself and express his own thoughts?

      i’m not the one hounding mooser, you are.

      Silverman… he made no effort to blame Zionism on “colonialism”

      let me show you how this works, using your own text:

      Sean,

      I think Benjamin Silverman knows the Jewish “community” better than you do — he speaks as an insider. And he made no effort to blame Zionism on Judaism or biblical text — he goes much deeper than that.

      now i get to claim victory!

      • seanmcbride
        August 2, 2014, 2:48 pm

        Annie,

        are you suggesting i am censoring mooser?

        Quite the contrary — I am stating factually that whenever I try to engage in a discussion with Mooser concerning statements he has made that I find curious, you rush in and intervene — speaking for him. Isn’t Mooser capable of speaking for himself and defending his own ideas?

        Regarding “hounding” Mooser — I have been much more civil to him than he has been to many other commenters here (including myself). I am trying to engage him in reasonable discussion about important issues (like the relations between Judaism and Zionism) on which he has expressed strident opinions on Mondoweiss.

        All of us here are open to being challenged about our comments and we should be challenged. Is Mooser an exception in your mind?

      • Annie Robbins
        August 2, 2014, 3:04 pm

        I am stating factually that whenever I try to engage in a discussion with Mooser concerning statements he has made that I find curious, you rush in and intervene

        i’m not rushing sean, i’m just here a lot given to the fact i work here. i find your obsession w/mooser rather fascinating, so i engage. just like anyone could if they wanted. and i’m not speaking for mooser (other than correcting your claim he was ” positing two groups — good American Jews and bad Zionists.” which he didn’t state), i’m speaking for myself. these are my own opinions.

        All of us here are open to being challenged about our comments and we should be challenged. Is Mooser an exception in your mind?

        well, obviously that’s not always the case because if mooser were open to being challenged by you he’d engage w/you more now wouldn’t he? and frankly i don’t believe everyone else here necessarily falls into this category either. there are even people on staff here who don’t engage very much so i can’t categorically claim All of us here are open to being challenged. and mooser is no exception to that.

      • seanmcbride
        August 2, 2014, 3:21 pm

        Annie,

        The fact that you describe efforts to engage Mooser in rational discussion here on a few points that he himself has raised as an “obsession,” when he has posted more than 16,000 comments on Mondoweiss — many of them abusive and obsessively focused on particular individuals — strikes me (and some other people here) as peculiar.

        You need to step back, Annie, and notice that you are not engaging in these interventions on behalf of any other commenter on Mondoweiss. Others here are independent adults and can stand on their own two feet — they don’t need extra help.

        Now: where is Mooser on the issue of Jewish Zionists being the victims of Jewish Zionists? I am interested in hearing his thoughts. When I hear that line of argument I laugh — more than I laugh at Mooser’s standup comedy.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 2, 2014, 4:00 pm

        The fact that you describe efforts to engage Mooser in rational discussion here on a few points that he himself has raised as an “obsession,”

        sean, that is not what i characterized as obsession. i was referencing comments you made on your site.

        strikes me (and some other people here) as peculiar.

        so be it. if it makes any difference i think you’re a little peculiar too. ;)

        You need to step back, Annie, and notice that you are not engaging in these interventions on behalf of any other commenter on Mondoweiss.

        actually sean, i’m not engaging here because of mooser. i’m engaging here because i have a personal beef with your theory regarding zionism=judaism. and as a matter of fact i rarely engage with you about it. it seems to me this is the discussion you most want to have and you initiate and inject into most of the threads you engage.

        now, if someone chooses to engage with you over this topic, so be it. but if they don’t, then so be it.

        and speaking of standup comedy, you telling me what i need to do…..that is funny.

      • seanmcbride
        August 2, 2014, 4:20 pm

        Annie,

        You have repeatedly misstated my views on this:

        actually sean, i’m not engaging here because of mooser. i’m engaging here because i have a personal beef with your theory regarding zionism=judaism.

        That is not my view — that is the view of the contemporary Jewish religious establishment — *not* my view — and that view is exerting tremendous influence on the beliefs and behavior of religious Zionists — Orthodox, Conservative and Reform.

        And this isn’t a “theory” — it’s a fact, amply documented by the official statements of Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jewish leaders over the last half century.

        I think this may be the most important issue of all concerning all the debates about Israel, Zionism and the Israel lobby. Feel free to disgree — but please at least make an effort to represent my views accurately.

        Zionism has morphed into a religion — the contemporary face of Judaism — and religions are impossible to argue with on rational or pragmatic grounds. That is why it is so difficult to make effective headway in changing the views of many leading Israeli leaders and pro-Israel activists.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 2, 2014, 4:43 pm

        sean, i asked you earlier “religious leaders aside, what distinctions do you make between Judaism and Zionism?”

        could you explain please?

        and just to be clear are you saying:

        “Zionism has morphed into a religion — the contemporary face of Judaism —

        …And this isn’t a “theory” — it’s a fact, amply documented by the official statements of Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jewish leaders over the last half century.”

        and this “fact”, can you document Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jewish leaders stating “zionism is a religion, the contemporary face of Judaism”?

        btw, lots of theories are true. i’m just wondering is a secular zionist would agree with you they’re actually practicing a religion called zionism.

      • seanmcbride
        August 2, 2014, 4:52 pm

        Annie,

        What distinctions do I personally make between Judaism and Zionism? Well, I am sympathetic to Enlightenment Reform Judaism of the type that revered universal human values and explicitly discarded nationalism as a key element of Judaism. Very few current establishment Jewish religious leaders would agree with me — that era of Judaism has dissolved and disappeared for the mainstream Jewish religious community, to be replaced by devotion to Jewish nationalism and Israel.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 2, 2014, 5:02 pm

        and what about political zionism? do you see that as a powerful force? worthy of focus?

        one of the distinctions i make between zionism and judaism is one i consider primarily political and the other, regardless of how organized jewry has appropriated judaism to serve the zionist project, is a spiritual endeavor open to interpretation that can easily be practiced by the individual without the appropriation of land, as a communion with god.

        and because it requires individual interpretation it means anyone at anytime can alter the way they practice it. it can morph just as easily away from zionism as it did towards it generationally or otherwise.

      • seanmcbride
        August 2, 2014, 5:36 pm

        Annie,

        and what about political zionism? do you see that as a powerful force? worthy of focus?

        There are few distinctions between political and religious Zionism now — religion gets dragged into discussions about Israel all the time, usually by Jewish religious Zionists and Christian Zionists, usually as a pretext to rationalize or justify Israeli policies, especially with regard to the ever-expanding settlements.

        Political and religious Zionism constitute a single juggernaut — which is why Zionism is often described now as an ethno-religious nationalist movement — not simply an ethnic nationalist movement.

        Many people are not aware of how many prominent Zionists in American life are religious Zionists — that would include Thomas Friedman, Dennis Ross, Elliott Abrams, Douglas Feith, Michael Ledeen, David Brooks and many, many other household names (in the Mondoweiss household). Once you start digging, it’s amazing. For them, this is about BOTH politics and religion.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 2, 2014, 6:05 pm

        and secular jews? basically inconsequential in the grand scheme of things?

      • seanmcbride
        August 2, 2014, 2:57 pm

        annie,

        I think Benjamin Silverman knows the Jewish “community” better than you do — he speaks as an insider. And he made no effort to blame Zionism on Judaism or biblical text — he goes much deeper than that.

        Two passages from Silverman’s article:

        Every facet of our Jewish life has been infected with Zionism, from our youth groups, to our synagogues, to our Hebrew schools, to our family Seders.

        All I ask is the following; that you reopen our community to dissenting opinion, that you open up every synagogue, every Jewish community center, every Hillel, every Hebrew School, to a free debate and discussion on Israel, Palestine and the core beliefs of Zionism.

        But that discussion is not occurring in mainstream Jewish religious institutions — why? — mainstream Jewish religious leaders believe on religious grounds — on beliefs rooted in Judaism — that Zionism is a righteous ideology — the natural expression of Judaism. In fact, they no longer draw any distinctions between Judaism and Zionism at all.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 2, 2014, 3:19 pm

        sean, here’s the problem with your logic. stating Every facet of our Jewish life has been infected with Zionism does not support the notion the author believes Zionism is ” the natural expression of Judaism.”

        those are your words, not silverman’s and nothing you’ve written or blockquoted changes that. in fact, i agree w/silverman, practically everything he said in his article. but i wouldn’t think of using that to claim he agreed with me on the roots of zionism.

        could you please blockquote the part of the article that discusses the roots of zionism? because if the author didn’t address those roots, how do we know what he believes? do we even know if the author is religious or secular?

        he wants a discussion on the “core beliefs of Zionism”, but where did he say those core beliefs are inseparable from judaism?

      • seanmcbride
        August 2, 2014, 3:25 pm

        Annie,

        I didn’t say that Silverman believes that Zionism is the natural expression of Judaism. I said that the *Jewish religious leadership* believes that — and those official representatives of the Jewish community have effectively marginalized and censored dissidents like Silverman and Surasky. Until that belief system is changed, there will be little progress in pushing back against the Israel lobby in the United States.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 2, 2014, 4:07 pm

        so you don’t believe Zionism is the natural expression of Judaism? i misunderstood you, i thought you were trying to build the case the author would agree with you. and i thought you’ve agued time and again that zionism and judaism had essentially been fused together.

        religious leaders aside, what distinctions do you make between Judaism and Zionism?

      • Citizen
        August 2, 2014, 5:54 pm

        @ seanmcbride

        Yep, I see that re the discussion of how much traditional Jewish history/religious teaching–can’t really separate them since they are united, is a major problem. I think Atzmon addresses this, but not this blog.

      • seanmcbride
        August 2, 2014, 7:52 pm

        Citizen,

        Yep, I see that re the discussion of how much traditional Jewish history/religious teaching–can’t really separate them since they are united, is a major problem. I think Atzmon addresses this, but not this blog.

        The mental and emotional blocks in addressing this issue — the mutual ideological infiltration of Judaism and Zionism — are so intense as to be unbelievable.

        Gilad Atzmon is a very smart guy and was able to cut through this mental complex quite easily. He possess a mind unencumbered by the usual narrow cultural conditioning we all undergo.

        Actually, Mondoweiss has published quite a few excellent articles on the problematic relations between Judaism and Zionism — for instance:

        “Reform Judaism and the challenge of Zionism”
        link to mondoweiss.net

        See also from another publication (WRMEA):

        “Abandoning Its Opposition to Jewish Nationalism, Reform Judaism Adopting a Zionist Worldview”
        link to wrmea.org

        The Reform Jewish movement is now in the process of abandoning its traditional opposition to Jewish nationalism and adopting a Zionist worldview—going so far as to encourage American Jews to emigrate to Israel which, in the view of today’s Reform leaders, is “central” to Judaism and is, in fact, the only place where a “full Jewish life” can be led.

        This represents an almost complete reversal of the philosophy embraced by those who created Reform Judaism in the U.S. in the 19th century. The Pittsburgh Platform of 1885, the basic statement of Reform principles, defined Jews as a purely religious community and rejected the idea that they constituted a nation.

      • Mooser
        August 3, 2014, 12:46 pm

        “Yep, I see that re the discussion of how much traditional Jewish history/religious teaching–”

        Yes, a very strict standard of theological, liturgical and political uniformity is enforced by the Jewish Pope. All materials in all Temples are standardized, and teaching methods are rigorously controlled. Regular inspection of Jewish facilities insures compliance! And all Jewish people are compelled to demonstrate satisfactory Scripture Knowledge! And woe to those who pass the test by dint of a list of “begats” inscribed on their shirt-cuffs or middy-blouse!

      • Mooser
        August 3, 2014, 2:57 pm

        “All I ask is the following; that you reopen our community to dissenting opinion, that you open up every synagogue, every Jewish community center, every Hillel, every Hebrew School, to a free debate and discussion on Israel, Palestine and the core beliefs of Zionism.”

        Because if we don’t have the conversation there, it isn’t a Jewish conversation?. Rent a hall. Sound’s to me like you want to go into the lion’s den to discuss what’s for dinner.
        Watch how fast “every synagogue…/…Hebrew School” opens up to the discussion once there’s someplace else Jews can go. I don’t have a damn thing to discuss with them.

        Look, OK, I gotta have blood on my hands because America. Granted. But I’ll be damned to hell and back before I’ll have blood on my hands because of my religion! That shot is not on the board. Anybody want to argue that’s what I owe to my religion? Don’t make me laugh. And don’t give me anything about “having a conversation” with those who feel otherwise. Certainly not on their territory, where they control. Not worth the time.
        Go and do the other, a chance at Judaism without Zionism, and watch how many start washing their hands of the figurative blood they never wanted and joining you.

        After all, if a bunch of Jews, get together in that context, to do something they label as “Jewish”, an objective, a project, well, that thing becomes, by definition, “Jewish” almost doesn’t matter what it is. We’ve already seen that.

    • seanmcbride
      August 2, 2014, 3:34 pm

      Annie,

      but i think the idea jews are tools of a zionist agenda is sort of a no brainer and something lots of people would agree with, including many jews.

      The notion the Jewish nationalists are the victims of Jewish nationalists strikes me as absurd on its face — unless you are making the assumption that Jews are not free and independent individuals who are capable of taking responsibility for their own beliefs and actions — and that would be a highly insulting assumption.

      Many of the leading Jewish neoconservatives (who are militant Jewish nationalists) have Ph.D.’s from elite universities like Harvard, Yale and Princeton. No one is leading them around by the nose or tricking them. Stop looking for some mysterious outside agent to explain their behavior.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 2, 2014, 4:12 pm

        The notion the Jewish nationalists are the victims of Jewish nationalists strikes me as absurd on its face

        then why bring it up? i noticed you didn’t say “The notion the Jews are the victims of Jewish nationalists strikes me as absurd on its face”

        why not? after all, isn’t that what we were talking about?

        and i noticed you didn’t address this question: so you don’t believe Zionism is the natural expression of Judaism?

        just a yes or no will be fine.

      • Citizen
        August 2, 2014, 6:00 pm

        @ Annie Robbins,
        OK, not every Jew is a Zionist. But, what can we do about Zionist $ in US campaign finance system?

      • Annie Robbins
        August 2, 2014, 6:10 pm

        what can we as a country do about our politicians kowtowing to israel? expose them. yell about israeli crimes and how they suck up to zionist money during the election cycle. make loyalty oaths to israel and trips to israel an embarrassment for them. last i heard they still need our vote to get into office.

      • Citizen
        August 3, 2014, 12:15 am

        @ Annie Robbins
        I agree we Americans need to do all you say. I do it daily as much as I can. But SCOTUS has opened the door to even more ways our single votes can be made useless by equating corporations with humans in terms of our political campaign finance system, and surely you realize the real power to win power is not in our votes? There’s a reason why there’s so much talk about a vote not meaning much if all you have to vote for is Tweedledee and Tweedledum, as presented by big money bag donors with a singularly focused special interest. Every day we Americans can read and see that the US Congress can not agree on anything, except more funding and diplomatic cover for Israel, a foreign country that’s not even technically an ally of America and has never shed a single soldier’s live fighting alongside US soldiers.

        When’s the last time a third party candidate became POTUS?

      • Mooser
        August 3, 2014, 12:55 pm

        Sometimes it’s easier to do something yourself than tell other people do something. And if you want to do something, you have to do what you can.

    • Mooser
      August 3, 2014, 12:26 pm

      He (Mooser) has never been shy about about challenging other commenters here (often with a great deal of verbal abuse).”

      Yes, but you don’t know how sorry it makes me to have to do that. I’m sure it hurts me worse than it hurts anybody else. I suffer terribly for it, but what needs doing, somebody’s gotta do.

  21. chester54
    August 2, 2014, 3:51 pm

    Thank you for your truth and bravery, Mr. Silverman. Your leadership on this road is not an easy one for sure, as many of comments reflect, as they reflect exactly the dynamics you speak truth to in the Jewish community. I am not Jewish, but know many who have been punished gravely for speaking up and for simply providing the facts. Indeed, many of us non-Jews of all races are quickly silenced. Bravo to you, the mountain is moving, albeit slowly. Your sisters and brothers in the struggle for human rights for all – not for some – are with you.

  22. seanmcbride
    August 2, 2014, 5:09 pm

    Annie,

    and this “fact”, can you document Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jewish leaders stating “zionism is a religion, the contemporary face of Judaism”?

    Document that particular quote? The point is that they have blended together Judaism and Zionism in their public statements on both Judaism and Israeli politics — erased the line between the two ideologies and made them one. It shouldn’t be necessary to Google up a few thousand articles from the Jewish and Israeli press to convince you of this — you read that press yourself and know the score.

    btw, lots of theories are true. i’m just wondering is a secular zionist would agree with you they’re actually practicing a religion called zionism.

    Not all Zionists are religious Zionists but most Zionists are religious Zionists these days. And the rhetoric of many secular Zionists is grounded in religious myths and symbols — see David Ben-Gurion, for instance.

    Zionism has been heavily religionized — that is why it is impossible to have a rational discussion with so many Zionists — you are arguing with true believers in what in many respects has the attributes of a cult — an Old Testament cult to be specific, based on the concepts of sacred peoplehood, nationhood and territory. One hears that strain of messianic Old Testament rhetoric in Benjamin Netanhayu’s speeches.

    This is the mindset that Jewish dissidents like Surasky and Silverman are up against — it’s a tough nut to crack.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 2, 2014, 6:32 pm

      Document that particular quote?

      can you find one expert source who says “zionism is a religion”. if this is indeed a fact it shouldn’t be that hard. you’ve made the argument this is fact as opposed to theory and buttressed by claims it’s “amply documented by the official statements of Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jewish leaders over the last half century”.

      i just have not heard jewish leaders saying zionism, per se, is a religion. but i understand and agree w/your point ” they have blended together Judaism and Zionism in their public statements on both Judaism and Israeli politics”, i just not understanding how zionism, which began and still very much operates as a political colonialist construct, is now defined as a religion.

      but i’m open!

      i’d also like to make the point that by blending zionism into a religion, for those who do, how that facilitates manipulating the masses. this is one way throughout history religious and political institutions have manipulated cultures and societies into doing their bidding. it is in this way the masses become the unwitting victims of both the religious and political powers of the day. that’s not new at all however laughable you might find the notion.

      but i do make a distinction between political and religious constructs. i don’t believe zionism is a religion. but unlike you i am not claiming my ideas are ‘facts’.

      • Citizen
        August 3, 2014, 12:24 am

        @ Annie Robbins
        Did anybody ever admit Communism was a religion? Yet, wasn’t it perceived as such by many notables with high credentials? Ideology and religion are not the same? I agree only in the sense that one posits a God or G-D, and a heaven for the dead, the other posits a first principle to govern life here on earth, to make earth heaven for the living.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 3, 2014, 4:32 pm

        admit? i didn’t know it was a religion.

        wasn’t it perceived as such by many notables with high credentials?

        who were or were not communists? iow, did communists call it a religion. my point is that is you have an opinion about someone or something that’s perfectly valid, to have an opinion. but to state it was fact and claim lots of notable communists leaders agree with you then it makes sense to quote one while making your claim.

  23. American
    August 3, 2014, 12:22 am

    I just saw the following and it strikes me wrong. Do Jews like this have blood on their hands? Is it bloody to pray for yourselves and your Jewish ‘union and to protect Israel and not a word or prayer for the people your Jewish union in your Jewish state are slaughtering?
    If the Forward represents mainstream Judaism it is in deep doo-doo..
    Completely inappropiate at this time and not excusable just because its under the heading of ‘praying’…it matters what the hell you ‘pray for.’

    link to blogs.forward.com

    Prayers for the State of Israel. Yes, Now.
    By Elissa Strauss and J.J. Goldberg

    I get the impression that a lot of folks are feeling lost and helpless right now as we watch the tragedy unfolding in Israel and Gaza. Especially with Tisha b’Av approaching, people are looking for some way to express what they’re feeling in a manner that joins them with others in a community of spirit, of longing and grief and hope. I gather, too, that many of us are tired of the rancor that divides us when what we really want is to feel the bond of kinship that transcends political differences.
    When we speak together in unison, we become joined in spirit in a way that transcends differences of the moment. (Yes, even gigantic moral differences can be transcended. If we let them.)

    Right now I’m thinking about the Prayer for the State of Israel. Basically the one composed in 1949 by the chief rabbis of Israel, Yitzhak Halevi Herzog (yup, grandfather of) and Ben-Zion Uziel, though some say it was composed for them by the future Nobel laureate author Shmuel Yosef Agnon.
    Prayer for the State of Israel
    Our father in heaven, rock and redeemer of Israel, bless the State of Israel, [that it may be] the first flowering of our redemption. Guard over it with your lovingkindness, envelop it in your peace, and cast your light and truth upon its leaders, ministers and advisers, and bolster them with good counsel before you.
    Strengthen the hands of the defenders of our holy land, and grant them deliverance, O our God, and cloak them in victory; and grant peace to the land and eternal happiness to its inhabitants.
    And watch over our brethren, all the house of Israel in all the lands of their dispersion, and unite our hearts in love and awe of your name, to keep all the words of your Torah, so that we may be a blessing to all the inhabitants of your earth. Fulfill in us the vision of your prophet: For out of Zion will come the Law, and the word of God from Jerusalem. Amen”

    Barf.

  24. BritIrish
    August 3, 2014, 1:27 am

    After 60 odd years of supporting the Gov of Isreal maybe its time to turn our backs and walk away. Constant efforts to reach an accord have failed. Sometimes the best way to end a fight in the playground is to let them be and settle it themselves. When the death toll gets too high on either side, maybe they’ll see reason. Either way, not my circus, not my monkeys

  25. BritIrish
    August 3, 2014, 1:32 am

    Annie
    Zionism is a belief that God chose the Jordan Valley as the promised land of the hebrews, after the departure from Egypt. What isn’t stressed is that Joshua and the Judges practiced genocide to reach that goal, effectively wiping out Cannanite cities. Seems like history is repeating itself after 3000 years

    • Annie Robbins
      August 3, 2014, 3:17 am

      Zionism is a belief that God chose….

      hmm, not for zionists who don’t believe in god.

      Seems like history is repeating itself after 3000 years

      don’t hold your breath. we’ve go the internet now.

      • seanmcbride
        August 3, 2014, 8:54 am

        Annie,

        One can be a secular Zionist and still hold racist views that are based on biblical themes and attitudes.

        Also: religion and colonialism are not mutually exclusive categories — that is a false dichotomy. Some religions, like ancient Judaism and modern religious Zionism, are colonialist and imperialist enterprises from the ground up, at their ideological core. Colonialism can be a subset of religion, an expression of religion.

        Zionism combines religion with colonialism — and even secular Zionists rely heavily on biblical myths, symbols, legends and memes to pursue their objectives. Zionism is a biblical ideology, the product of an Old Testament outlook and value system.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 3, 2014, 5:13 pm

        One can be a secular Zionist and still hold racist views

        obviously!

        that are based on biblical themes and attitudes.

        sure, but they could hold racist views not based on biblical themes also. not all racism is bases on something ancient, albeit racism has been around a longlong time.

        religion and colonialism are not mutually exclusive categories

        yes i know.

        Colonialism can be a subset of religion, an expression of religion.

        obviously, but it’s not a requirement.

        even secular Zionists rely heavily on biblical myths, symbols, legends and memes to pursue their objectives

        not all of them. one can just believe jews should get their own state. there’s no requirement either colonialism or ethnic nationalism be religiously based.

        Zionism is a biblical ideology, the product of an Old Testament outlook and value system.

        sean, i totally accept that you hold a similar concept of what zionism is as those who support it: link to en.wikipedia.org

        Defenders of Zionism say it is a national liberation movement for the repatriation of a dispersed socio-religious group to what they see as an abandoned homeland millennia before.[5][6][7] Critics of Zionism see it as a colonialist[8] or racist[9] ideology that led to the denial of rights, dispossession and expulsion of the “indigenous population of Palestine”.[10][11][12][13]

        whereas, i define it as a critic does. you can repeat yourself til you’re blue in the face. you can also believe that a person who does not believe in god is telling the truth when they claim they have a right to something because the bible says so, as opposed to just going along with the game to get what they feel is their just deserts (notice all those jews lining up to support christian zionists even tho they do not believe jesus will swoop down any day now). seriously sean, we simply disagree. the way you see it there are simply NO zionists, who don’t buy the whole biblical routine, which is simply ridiculous on it’s face considering people like Hertzl was an atheist. even the idea of ‘reviving an ancient homeland’ doesn’t require a belief in religiosity simply because not everything in the bible is religious. for example, lots of people who do not believe jesus was the son of god none the less believe jesus existed as a person. that doesn’t make them religious.

        anyway, i completely get it you won’t back down. but that in itself doesn’t make you right or your understanding of things “factual”. if you want to believe zionism is a religion, so be it!

      • seanmcbride
        August 3, 2014, 10:43 am

        Annie,

        David Ben-Gurion, an atheist and secular Zionist: “The Bible is our mandate.”

        link to mailstar.net

        The ongoing expansion of Jewish-only settlements is based on a biblical mandate to create Greater Israel. The Israeli government supports the settlements. The worldwide Jewish lobby supports the Israeli government. Jewish religious myths are driving the entire project. The worldwide Jewish religious establishment uses Judaism to justify Israeli policies.

        It’s not difficult to connect the dots and see the main themes here.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 3, 2014, 5:37 pm

        It’s not difficult to connect the dots and see the main themes here.

        you seriously crack me up. to repeat: link to mondoweiss.net

        i’d also like to make the point that by blending zionism into a religion, for those who do, how that facilitates manipulating the masses. this is one way throughout history religious and political institutions have manipulated cultures and societies into doing their bidding. it is in this way the masses become the unwitting victims of both the religious and political powers of the day. that’s not new at all however laughable you might find the notion.

        if you honestly think that every politician who has spewed religious doctrine to beef up their political goals/agenda truly believed everything they are telling the masses i have a bridge to sell you in brooklyn.

      • Mooser
        August 3, 2014, 12:27 pm

        Ah, so we’ve just elevated stories from the Bible to “history”? Okay.

      • Mooser
        August 3, 2014, 12:48 pm

        Where’s the video?

      • MHughes976
        August 3, 2014, 12:57 pm

        A good question, but ‘where’s the archaeological record?’ is also pretty good, though the answer tends to get more complicated. But it’s something of a relief to know that there was no genocide in the Hitler sense, at least not by the Israelites, way back then in 1300-odd BCE.
        I think that Zionism is about claims made on behalf of Jewish people in the modern world, or at least the world as it raced on from the fateful meetings of 1905, though ancient world claims are used to back them up.

      • Mooser
        August 3, 2014, 1:41 pm

        The most effective thing, the effective, practical and doable thing that Jews can do, in the context of being Jews, about Zionism, is at least start differentiating themselves, as Jews, religiously, publicly, from Zionists.
        Start from there. Nobody has even offered that yet, and it’s doable.

  26. Citizen
    August 3, 2014, 3:57 am

    @Annie Robbins
    It’s arguable that Zionism reflects a rejection of God, and surely the West’s support of a new state we all know now as Israel also is complicit in such rejection. Basically, the West support of Israel, beginning with Truman beating USSR to the punch in recognizing it in the first place (during the initial stage of the Cold War, USSR rushed to beat US officially, not with a mere letter) is, as a practical matter, the result of US domestic politics–Remember Dewey was thought to be a shoo-in? Truman had no money to run his whistle-stop campaign until Zionists gave him a big bag full. Truman is also on record as stating he had no Arab constituents.
    Certainly none voting in NY at that time, nor writing OP-eds for big US newspapers.

    • Citizen
      August 3, 2014, 4:04 am

      And the Palestinians had no direct representation at the UN when the US & allies decided to partition their homeland and give most of it to Jews. The solution to “the Jewish Question” was to dump the Jews onto the backs of Palestinians. That’s how the Palestinians became political, became Palestinians, not just Arabs ruled by the Ottoman Empire, or Arabs ruled by the Brits. Seems that’s how Christian Guilt works. Say I’m sorry, and go to heaven because you authorized and supported Shoah Jews moving to the Palestinian homeland and booting out the Palestnians, or simply starving and killing them. A Shoah Jew is anyone ever to be born into the tribe, forever. How will this work out?

  27. seanmcbride
    August 3, 2014, 1:54 pm

    Mooser,

    I just noticed this tweet:

    “Fanning the Flames of Hate: Israeli Officials in Their Own Words (10 Examples)”

    link to twitter.com

    link to imeu.org

    which leads to these quotes:

    1. “[A] Jew always has a much higher soul than a gentile, even if he’s gay.”

    – Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan, Deputy Minister for Religious Affairs in the current Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, member of the Jewish Home party. (December 2013)

    2. “Gentile sperm leads to barbaric offspring.”

    – Rabbi Dov Lior, Chief rabbi of settlements in Hebron and Kiryat Arba, head of the Council of Rabbis of Judea and Samaria [the occupied West Bank], and leading figure in the religious Zionist movement. (January 2011)

    3. “[Most of the] Muslims that arrive here do not even believe that this country belongs to us, to the white man.”

    – Eli Yishai, Then-Minister of the Interior in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s coalition government. (June 2012)

    4. “Goyim [non- Jews] were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world; only to serve the People of Israel… Why are gentiles needed? They will work, they will plow, they will reap. We will sit like an effendi and eat… With gentiles, it will be like any person: They need to die, but God will give them longevity. Why? Imagine that one’s donkey would die, they’d lose their money. This is his servant. That’s why he gets a long life, to work well for this Jew.”

    – Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Late influential spiritual leader of the Shas party, which was a part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government from 2009-2012. (September 2010)

    5. “You can’t teach a monkey to speak and you can’t teach an Arab to be democratic. You’re dealing with a culture of thieves and robbers. Muhammad, their prophet, was a robber and a killer and a liar. The Arab destroys everything he touches.”

    – Moshe Feiglin, Current Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset (parliament) and member of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud party. (2004)

    6. “[Non-Jews are] murderers, thieves and senseless… Today they say there are eight billion people in the world. And what are they all? Murderers, thieves and senseless. Did God create the world for these murderers? The world was created for the righteous people who study Torah. That is the purpose of creation … The nations of the world have no redeeming qualities.”

    ……con’t…

    All of these quotes are from Jewish religious Zionists — Jews who have effected a seamless merger of Judaism with Zionism — and most of them are from leading religious authorities in Israel — rabbis — official representatives of Judaism. These kinds of beliefs are commonly expressed in Israel — even at high levels of Israeli society.

    So the question is this: for how much longer will the worldwide Jewish religious establishment be able to continue to support Israel and Zionism without being held responsible by the world for the words and actions of Israelis?

    Why do the leaders of Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Judaism continue to support Israel and Zionism with so much enthusiasm and religious fervor?

    What do you envision as the likely future of Judaism in the United States and Europe?

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