Israel has always been crazy

Israel/Palestine
on 158 Comments

It’s not a big claim to fame but I have been saying for years that Israeli society is crazy. I escaped from Israel largely because of that… Phil Weiss’s analysis [Psst! Is Israel Going Crazy?] is correct except for one point and that is that those sentiments he describes have always been there. It’s not like it’s something new that just sprang up recently.

I have grown up with this all around me. I recognise the language. I was brought up (I was born in 1964) to believe that the ‘Arabs’ (the word ‘Palestinian’ was largely not used in my childhood) could not be trusted, that ‘they’ are not like ‘us’, that they are treacherous and would stab me in the back if I relaxed and trusted them. We were always kept apart from the Palestinian citizens of Israel, let alone the Palestinians living in the West Bank or in Gaza. Gaza in fact was a symbol of a cursed, hellish place. When someone annoyed you you said to them Lech le’Aza, ‘Go to Gaza’, the equivalent of ‘go to hell’. That was part of normal day-to-day Hebrew in my youth. Like I mentioned in the past, the first time I met a Palestinian as an equal human being was in Australia in my early thirties…

Without knowing it, I grew up with classic colonial rhetoric. Colonisers motivated by fear and possibly guilt, have always demonised the people they have hurt. For some people it is easier to inflict suffering if they don’t see the other as a fellow human being. Dehumanisation helps to reduce empathy and shut down the conscience. It is being done everywhere where there is injustice and abuse.

The difference now is that that these largely informal but widespread social attitudes to the colonised have now found themselves back in power. Drunk with their newfound freedom, coming out of the shadows with no need to hide themselves any longer, free from the tyranny of worrying about ‘world public opinion’, they are out celebrating and feasting; Politicians outdoing one another acting out and giving life to their most depraved, murderous fantasies. And they are out-of-control. But please do not make the mistake of thinking that these feelings and urges belong to a lunatic fringe. They do not. They are supported by the majority of Israeli-Jews and as Phil rightly says, they are led from the front by top politicians. These politicians are now changing the legal system to create an environment that fits these attitudes better and where they can be unleashed legally, and thrive.

Israel has always been mad and bad. How could it not be when it is based on a fearful, traumatised, paranoid, settler-colonialist culture with a sense of eternal entitlement, and when it is built on the ruins of the indigenous culture it has worked so hard to eliminate? Israel has always done bad things, terrible things. Ask the Palestinians, the asylum seekers, the poor, women… But previously things were done in secret. When Israel was young and poor and needed the world, it was keen to present an image of legality, reason, refinement, intellect and democracy to fit with the Western world it so wanted to be a part of. What was always right under a thin veneer, but that almost every Israeli Jew knew and supported, is now brought out into the open. Israel is simply leading itself and its culture to its logical conclusion. What is happening now was always inevitable. It is the next logical step. It is impossible to sustain a split reality of a civilised, legally-minded, educated, cultured, refined, enlightened society while colonialism continues to rage with its atrocities and injustices. Enlightenment can only truly exist on a foundation of justice and freedom. Anything else is self-serving and short-lived nonsense. Most Israeli academics not only support their regime, they benefit from it. Watch the majority of them say nothing about these new developments.

As ugly and as dangerous as these developments are, it is a good thing that the truth is finally out. Israel should have never been supported in the first place, but it’ll be increasingly harder for anyone to continue to support a country that is following the path Israel does now. Like all sick societies, Israel is its own biggest enemy and it feels invincible, justified and does not give a damn about what others think about it. This is a lethal cocktail.

I never trusted that country. I was always terrified of it becoming truly and openly fascist. As a woman I never liked the way religion has played such a central role in Israeli society and was always worried that it would eventually take over completely. I always felt oppressed by the atmosphere of suspicion and harshness and the obsession with ‘security’ and control, which has tragically infected the entire Western world.

I was afraid of it 23 years ago when I left and thought it’d come sooner. It took a little longer than I thought, but it is finally happening. Fascism cannot take hold unless the sentiments that feed it are widespread. Watch how many secular Jews with dual citizenship will start leaving, and it is time to start really worrying for the Palestinians… It is quite possible we will start to see a trickle of Jewish refugees from Israel, members of more enlightened groups who will begin to be openly persecuted and hunted. It would be a chilling irony when Jewish refugees are out there again seeking asylum but this time from the ‘Jewish’ state…

And to think that once upon a time I was worried that I was too extreme or unreasonable with some of my predictions about Israel… It’s all in its psychology and it’s always been there. I told you so.

About Avigail Abarbanel

Avigail Abarbanel was born and raised in Israel. She moved to Australia in 1991 and now lives in the north of Scotland. She works as a psychotherapist and clinical supervisor in private practice and is an activist for Palestinian rights. She is the editor of Beyond Tribal Loyalties: Personal Stories of Jewish Peace Activists (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012).

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158 Responses

  1. seafoid
    December 2, 2014, 10:42 am

    Great piece, Avigail

    “When Israel was young and poor and needed the world, it was keen to present an image of legality, reason, refinement, intellect and democracy to fit with the Western world it so wanted to be a part of. ”

    http://www.amazon.com/Israel-50-Years-Magnum-Photographers/dp/0893817740

    “Without knowing it, I grew up with classic colonial rhetoric. Colonisers motivated by fear and possibly guilt, have always demonised the people they have hurt.”

    There has to be more than just that. Behind everything is the Holocaust. All the rhetoric about Auschwitz borders and the justifications for the use of brutal violence in Gaza because the Jews didn’t have guns in Bialystok. What Shulman says

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/nov/20/gaza-murderous-melodrama/

    “One has to bear in mind that Israelis live in a largely mythic world, a somewhat modified and vastly simplified version of the Iliad. In this starkly polarized vision of reality, in which Israelis are by definition innocent victims of dark, irrational forces operating against them, heroic death in war always makes sense, and violent coercion is the option both of necessity and of choice. ”

    There is a complete lack of coherence in that worldview- how can the suffering of WW2 justify the persecution of the Palestinians ?
    And why is peace so scary ?
    Why is permanent war more attractive ?
    Why do parents send their kids to school to be brainwashed ?

    • Daniel Rich
      December 2, 2014, 2:35 pm

      @ seafoid,

      Q: … heroic death in war…

      R: Yes, those ‘6 million’ would have formed a formidable army…

      • seafoid
        December 4, 2014, 12:27 pm

        They wouldn’t have. There were 30 million Poles and look at what happened

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      December 5, 2014, 2:54 am

      Thanks very much Seafoid. I appreciate it. I want to respond to your last comment and
      questions and the end of your comment:

      “There is a complete lack of coherence in that worldview- how can the suffering of WW2 justify the persecution of the Palestinians ? And why is peace so scary ? Why is permanent war more attractive ? Why do parents send their kids to school to be brainwashed ?”

      As a matter of fact there is complete coherence in that worldview if you look at it from the pov of the psychology of trauma. Trauma causes the human brain to be extremely skilled at dealing with emergencies, drama, disasters, war, etc. A traumatised brain and by extension a traumatised society has no infrastructure to dealing with peaceful and calm circumstances. Since to our limbic brain what is familiar is safe (even if it’s crap), and what is unfamiliar is dangerous (even if it’s healthier and happier), in trauma the safer situation is the troubled one not the peaceful one. Traumatised people are incapable of relaxing and always worry that if things are peaceful and calm, something terrible is just around the corner. Jewish Israeli psychology is precisely like that.

      I talk about this in great detail in my talk The Psychology of Israeli Settler Colonialism. Trauma also creates something that in family therapy we call ‘destructive entitlement’. It means believing that our own suffering justifies inflicting suffering on others. This has been identified as a key mechanism in what we call in family therapy, ‘intergenerational transmission of trauma’. It obviously applies in groups and societies in general. Jewish Israeli parents do not see their children as being brainwashed. Only those of us on the outside see it that way. What they see is that their children are taught what they think is the correct way to look at the world and their place in it. What they failed to see is that their worldview is not a legitimate one, but rather the sad and unwell worldview generated by trauma. If you understand any cult, you understand Israeli society. Yes, when people have trauma war is more attractive because they think it is what is going to preserve them. They might crave peace but it is no more than an unattainable fantasy to them and a dangerous one at that. The most important principle in life to someone with trauma is survival, and at all cost. Paradoxically of course, trauma will often lead people to a path of self-destruct but this is only another expression of the self-contradictory nature of a psychology driven by trauma. Israel is entirely motivated by the idea of the survival of the Jewish people at all cost. Since trauma also causes a serious impairment in empathy (it is now observed in brain scans!), it is possible to inflict terrible harm on others in order to survive. The limbic (mammal) logic behind it is while I am at risk for my life, empathy and compassion are a luxury I can’t afford.

      Of course our prefrontal cortex tells us otherwise, but guess what? Trauma causes us to have limited access to the higher functions of the PFC, which is why compassion, empathy, self-awareness etc, are impaired. It’s lethal cocktail. It’s human (not specifically Jewish) and it is extremely dangerous when entire societies (with a lot of fire power and a well organised state bureaucracy) are based on this kind of psychology as I think Israel is, the US and for example, Germany during and between the two World Wars…

      • seafoid
        December 5, 2014, 3:55 am

        Thanks Avigail. I think that makes a lot of sense.
        There’s a lot of psychology in how Israel behaves, how the disconnect on social media during the summer happened, why they can’t sell hasbara much any more- there’s just too big a gap between normality and how they think.

        And the notion tha if they left Europe and went back to the Altneuland they could start over and lewave the past behind- they brought it with them. So naive. Trauma’s fingers stretch far into the future. Ben Gurion never understood that.

        And the homemade memes they developed to explain the world to themselves in the language they didn’t ever speak before turning up in Palestine were no match for the emotional power of the trauma of the Shoah. They are still fighting WW2. Even the mizrahim, which is even worse

        It is all so sad . Not just for the Palestinians but also for the Jews over there.

    • DoyDoy
      December 11, 2014, 9:42 am

      I only wish I could write as well as those who send in reply’s. I agree with almost every reply . Posted. It is so sad the way Israel and there practice of genocide continue.

  2. seafoid
    December 2, 2014, 10:44 am

    Also

    Gnarls Barkley sings the ballad of Yossi Israeli

    • Kay24
      December 2, 2014, 10:51 am

      Good one Seafoid. You nailed it again.

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      December 5, 2014, 5:00 am

      This is long before the holocaust too. The culture has always been trauma based. To heal from trauma and the worldview it creates requires conscious effort and it is extremely hard, sometimes I think it’s the hardest thing anyone ever has to do. It involves people renegotiating their entire identity and belief system (been there myself, which enabled me partly to heal from what I also perceive as my Jewish trauma, the stuff passed on to me through having grown up and educated in Israel) and is a very difficult thing to do.

      Most people with trauma focus on the outside, try to change things externally, thinking it would made things better, e.g. creating a Jewish safe haven in the form of the state of Israel. Like you rightly say, it does not work and trauma reverberates for generations. You can’t ‘leave it behind’. It goes with you wherever you are until you begin to engage actively with healing. My own profession (psychotherapy) unfortunately has been most unhelpful to people with trauma and actually leading people astray but offering ‘quick fixes’ or crap ‘therapies’ like CBT, or encouraging people to practice Mindfulness long before they are neurologically capable of doing it, which is all very harmful. Many people with trauma are not told they have it and the mental health system focuses on each of their symptoms in isolation instead of looking at the meta-diagnosis and dealing with that. Awful and very painful stuff. I work with trauma a great deal in my practice. Extrapolate to Israel from that and you see the parallels…

  3. just
    December 2, 2014, 10:55 am

    The truth is out.

    I really appreciated this:

    “Israel has always been mad and bad. How could it not be when it is based on a fearful, traumatised, paranoid, settler-colonialist culture with a sense of eternal entitlement, and when it is built on the ruins of the indigenous culture it has worked so hard to eliminate? Israel has always done bad things, terrible things. Ask the Palestinians, the asylum seekers, the poor, women… But previously things were done in secret. When Israel was young and poor and needed the world, it was keen to present an image of legality, reason, refinement, intellect and democracy to fit with the Western world it so wanted to be a part of.”

    Huge thanks and props, Avigail Abarbanel.

    • seafoid
      December 2, 2014, 11:01 am

      Just

      I think Gaza will be defined as the turning point. As they do, not as they say, and they are barbaric.
      and bombing hospitals and schools while whining about what happened 70 years ago.
      Their biggest mistake was signing up to Oslo.
      Because Europe at least expected good faith. And they just can’t do good faith.

      • just
        December 2, 2014, 11:26 am

        I believe that you are correct, seafoid.

      • gracie fr
        December 3, 2014, 3:38 pm

        From recent events it would appear that “inter-cultural horizons” are narrowing drastically in Israel, folding back upon themselves into a restricted Talmudic/Zionist moralism. The religious nationalists have seized the day (almost) and we can see the idea of a true democratic country fading before the eyes of the world in real time. I should think those people who think of themselves as open-minded pluralists/multiculturalists might contemplate fleeing like rats would a sinking ship, if given the opportunity.

        How bad does the situation have to get before even those brave dissenting voices loose courage and walk away…..???????

  4. Mooser
    December 2, 2014, 11:03 am

    Reminds me of an incident happened many years ago.
    Stop me if I’ve told you about it before. Oh, I have?
    Anyway, I was down at the Bummertown Ferry dock, when I heard Hebrew, and noticed what turned out to be an Israeli family. Ah! Tourists from Israel bamboozled into taking a commuter ferry for a pleasure cruise. I wished them shalom, and welcomed them to the Goldenah Medina. They said the boat was ugly, vibrated badly, and the trip was too short.
    The family matriarch then asked me, “And you, a Jew,, have you been to Israel?”
    Somewhat non plussed,( whatever that means) I had to admit that I hadn’t.
    She gave me the nastiest look imaginable, and with rising anger, shouted “And why not?!?”

    • just
      December 2, 2014, 11:28 am

      ;((

    • Kris
      December 2, 2014, 12:47 pm

      What did you say then, Mooser?

      • Mooser
        December 2, 2014, 3:21 pm

        “What did you say then, Mooser?”

        I screamed “Look over there! Oh my God!” and when they did, ran the other way. “Surprisingly quick in flight for such an ungainly looking creature”, that’s me. You can look it up.

  5. Horizontal
    December 2, 2014, 11:07 am

    Interesting post, Avigail.

    As an American, I’m naturally concerned by my country’s tragic embrace for this failed experiment, but I wonder why so many politicians here seem to exhibit the exact same symptoms that are plaguing Israel, yet there is no Holocaust-induced trauma to explain it?

    As openly racist & crazy as Israel now appears, I have yet to see any step-back from American pols, unless Senator Warren returns from her recent trip with some dramatic, new announcement. But otherwise, it’s still as if all this isn’t happening at all.

    Any ideas?

    • Daniel Rich
      December 2, 2014, 2:49 pm

      @ Horizontal,

      Q: …yet there is no H holocaust-induced trauma to explain it?

      R: That’s why you won’t find any ‘Wounded Knee Memorial Museums’ in Beijing, Moscow or downtown Mumbai, like you’ll find them in the rest of the world.

      Prof. Finkelstein called it an ‘industry for a reason, a very good reason.

    • jaspeace2day
      December 2, 2014, 3:12 pm

      MONEY

    • Mooser
      December 3, 2014, 11:02 am

      “Any ideas?”

      Well, many researchers thought, incorrectly, that the Ziocaine Syndrome had, possibly, a hereditary or genetic etiology. However, as cases of Ziocaine Syndrome-by-proxy were reported and diagnosed, a hereditary component was eliminated.
      It’s a malady purely behavioral in origin, any poor schmuck who wants to can get it.

      • seafoid
        December 3, 2014, 12:03 pm

        Apparently Ziocaine Syndrome is infectious in synagogues and certain schools.

      • seafoid
        December 3, 2014, 12:04 pm

        And it has been linked to PTSD

        Post Torah Shortsightedness Disorder

      • Mooser
        December 3, 2014, 12:14 pm

        “And it has been linked to PTSD “

        Remember what the doctor said when the patient told him “Doc, it hurts when I do this”?

      • Mooser
        December 3, 2014, 12:19 pm

        “Apparently Ziocaine Syndrome is infectious in synagogues and certain schools.”

        As in other behavioral maladies, a “disease model” may be used in diagnosis, even if no actual germs are involved.
        But I must stress that biological infection, chemical intoxication, and genetic make-up have all been eliminated as a cause.

      • Daniel Rich
        December 3, 2014, 5:15 pm

        @ Mooser,

        Off topic.

        Q: “Doc, it hurts when I do this”?

        R: A guy with huge toad on his head sits in a Doc’s office.

        ‘What seems to be the problem?’ asks the medicine man.

        ‘I got this tumor growing outa my a**,’ replies the amphibian.

      • Mooser
        December 4, 2014, 6:10 pm

        “I got this tumor growing outa my a**,’ replies the amphibian.

        And the Doctor promptly replies: “If it hurts when you do that, cut it out!”

  6. Kay24
    December 2, 2014, 11:16 am

    Okay, this must have made the zios crazier:

    “French lawmakers voted in favour of recognizing Palestine as a state on Tuesday, a symbolic move that will not immediately affect France’s diplomatic stance but demonstrates growing European impatience with a stalled peace process.

    The motion, which echoes similar votes in Britain, Spain and Ireland, received the backing of 339 lawmakers with 151 voting against.

    While most developing countries recognize Palestine as a state, most Western European countries do not, supporting the Israeli and U.S. position that an independent Palestinian state should emerge from negotiations with Israel.

    But European countries have grown increasingly frustrated with Israel, which since the collapse of the latest U.S.-sponsored talks in April has pressed on with construction of settlements in territory the Palestinians want for their state.
    Palestinians say negotiations have failed and they have no choice but to pursue independence unilaterally. ” Haaretz

    Signs are many are willing to take the small step, now if only it could translate to stronger support. I think it is time the Palestinians went to the UN and made a bid for Statehood.
    It is long overdue, and the support is stronger.

    • Walid
      December 2, 2014, 11:28 am

      Kay, not going to happen while President Abbas is there. Despite what’s been happening all week, he is still threatening to go to the UN.

      • Kay24
        December 2, 2014, 12:12 pm

        Abbas makes a little noise occasionally, but is like a stagnant pool going nowhere.
        So disappointing. We have to wonder why he seems reluctant to make waves, and risk making the US and Israel mad at him. He seems to be working more for the occupier than the occupied.

      • Mivasair
        December 3, 2014, 1:19 am

        Not only that, but it’s just impossible at this point. On the ground, geographically, in terms of roads, towns, villages, settlements, etc, etc, it just cannot happen without displacing 100,000’s of Jewish settlers who will not leave peacefully. Israeli demographer Meron Benvenisti said over 30 years ago that regretfully the “2-state solution” had already been made impossible by the settlement enterprize.
        Recent European expressions of recognition of a Palestinian state are more a way to signal loss of support for Israel than any kind of actual recognition of an actual state.

      • Horizontal
        December 3, 2014, 10:24 am

        His reluctance to make waves puzzles me as well. He’s either playing a very long game or has been co-opted in some way with a very large carrot.

        Good news about France; looks like Belgium may be next:

        rt.com news

        You’d think between this happening and how Israel is behaving that Abbas could capitalize on events in a more dynamic fashion, wouldn’t you?

    • chet
      December 2, 2014, 3:19 pm

      “…I think it is time the Palestinians went to the UN and made a bid for Statehood. ”

      Unfortunately the US veto in the UNSC will always be there to prevent Palestinian statehood — I believe that Abbas was recently dissuaded from any moves with the threat of its use.

    • RoHa
      December 2, 2014, 6:35 pm

      Sweden as well. Britain and France are the big hitters in that group, but Spain and Sweden aren’t chopped liver either. Ireland is, but it may have some influence on those Americans who pretend they are Irish.

    • NickJOCW
      December 3, 2014, 12:05 am

      …overwhelming vote by general assembly calls for Israel to join nonproliferation treaty…

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/dec/04/un-tells-israel-nuclear-inspectors

  7. eljay
    December 2, 2014, 11:34 am

    >> Israel has always been mad and bad.

    Not surprising, seeing as how:
    – Israel was conceived as a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”;
    – it was realized as such by means of Jewish terrorism and the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population from their homes and lands;
    – with foreign political, financial, military and economic support, it has remained engaged for over 60 years and with impunity in an ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression theft, colonization, destruction, torture and murder;
    – it refuses to honour its obligations under international law;
    – it refuses to accept responsibility for its past and ON-GOING (war) crimes; and
    – it refuses to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

  8. just
    December 2, 2014, 11:38 am

    “Netanyahu fires Livni and Lapid, moving closer to elections
    Prime minister to hold press conference later Tuesday.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.629648

    crazy.

    • Kay24
      December 2, 2014, 12:15 pm

      The outcome of this election is almost predictable – Chickenshit will still rule the roost.

      One article in Haaretz says this election will show if the country is zionist or extremist. I think both. Both types crazy.

      • eljay
        December 2, 2014, 12:31 pm

        >> Kay24: One article in Haaretz says this election will show if the country is zionist or extremist.

        So, Israel is down to only two options:
        – “regular” Jewish supremacism; or
        – full-on Judeofascism.

        It’s a shame we may never get to know a secular and democratic Israel – a state of and for all of its Israeli citizens, immigrants, ex-pats and refugees, equally. Zio-supremacists simply won’t allow it.

      • Kay24
        December 2, 2014, 1:57 pm

        It is a shame. Their must be many who disagree with zio policies, but have no voice, or clout, to make a difference. I think Israel is beyond the point of no return. It will only get worse in that asylum, and it’s neighbors will suffer as a result.

      • seafoid
        December 2, 2014, 2:25 pm

        Livni said the choice was to be zionist or extremist but surely the answer is both. She helped run cast lead so she is a moderate wtf.

      • just
        December 2, 2014, 4:04 pm

        thanks, eljay.

        It’s a crying shame, and we made it so.

    • a blah chick
      December 2, 2014, 12:36 pm

      Didn’t Butcher Bibi argue that raising the threshold would prevent coalitions from being held “hostage” by the smaller parties? Methinks the reason for the raising of the threshold was not completely truthful, go figure.

      As for Tzipi-do-dah and Vapid Lapid I’d dance in the street if I thought their firings would do any good. But they’re just two non entities trying to hang onto their proximity to power. They laid down with the dogs and now all they have to show for it are the fleas.

      Over on 972mag Ami Kaufman says that these elections are happening because Sheldon Adelson wants them.

      • just
        December 2, 2014, 4:06 pm

        “As for Tzipi-do-dah and Vapid Lapid I’d dance in the street if I thought their firings would do any good.”

        rotflmao! over and over. you are brilliant, abc.

    • Teapot
      December 2, 2014, 1:10 pm

      Netanyahu really can’t handle criticism, can he? It’s scary to think that this five-year-old prone to temper tantrums is leading a nuclear-armed nation.

  9. MHughes976
    December 2, 2014, 12:02 pm

    I think that Zionism has always – at least since it was fully defined in 1905, long before Hitler was heard of – been irrational in that its basic idea, that Jewish people, and they only. have an inherent right (birthright) to a share of sovereignty in the Holy Land, is indefensible and plainly contrary to all normal ideas of human right and never had any chance of being implemented without extreme violence. It’s very rational, though, in that it has brought great successes and victories to which no short-term end is in sight.
    If I behave ‘crazily’ but am always rewarded and not only crazily but self-righteously and am usually praised then there’s method in my madness.

    • Daniel Rich
      December 2, 2014, 4:39 pm

      @ MHughes976,

      Q: …and never had any chance of being implemented without extreme violence.

      R: Yeah, that’s like leaving your shtetl to pursue a dream, by turning other people’s lives into a living nightmare.

      • Mooser
        December 3, 2014, 11:22 am

        “R: Yeah, that’s like leaving your shtetl to pursue a dream, by turning other people’s lives into a living nightmare.”

        Just one small plea for my brethren in those shtetls. How well-informed do you think the Zionist agents who facilitated the emigration to Palestine were? Do you imagine (on the basis of tribal unity?) that they told the people they were encouraging to leave (did they get a commission? Hostage would know) the objective truth as far as it concerned them and their choices) about the status and activities of Zionist-Jewish colonization in Palestine? I rather doubt it.
        Isn’t that one of the oldest colonial tactics? Tell people anything, tell ’em it’s a veritable Garden of Eve, tell ’em the British government has given them Palestine, but get them there. After that, well, nobody wants to die, so make sure there’s plenty of weapons so they can defend their ‘rights’.

      • eljay
        December 3, 2014, 11:30 am

        >> Mooser: … Tell people anything, tell ‘em it’s a veritable Garden of Eve, tell ‘em the British government has given them Palestine, but get them there.

        “Ah, yes, the old ‘land without a people for a people without a land’ trick!”

        >> After that, well, nobody wants to die, so make sure there’s plenty of weapons so they can defend their ‘rights’.

        Perpetually in danger…aaand loving it!”

      • Daniel Rich
        December 3, 2014, 5:23 pm

        @ Mooser,

        When life is harsh and the nearby communities unfriendly and murderous [at times], I too would seek a better future elsewhere. Is that why, of those who left, most landed on the shores at ‘Lady Liberty’s’ feet instead of the bleached beaches of the ‘promised land?’

        This world seems to be made up out of ‘leaders’ and followers.’ Does that mean ‘followers’ are relieved of their duty to remain vigilant and hold their ‘leaders’ to accountability?

      • Mooser
        December 4, 2014, 6:19 pm

        “Does that mean ‘followers’ are relieved of their duty to remain vigilant and hold their ‘leaders’ to accountability?”

        Yes, but hasn’t Zionism and Israel been one existential crises after another. Under those conditions it is very difficult to call leaders to account.

  10. Sycamores
    December 2, 2014, 12:26 pm

    great piece,

    another area where Israel insanity prevails is insulting its closest allies from John Kerry to France recognizing the Palestine state (non binding).

    however i don’t think Phil Weiss is the co-editor of Mondoweiss because he thinks Israel was a bastion of sanity, at least anytime in the last decade or so.

    • Mooser
      December 3, 2014, 11:13 am

      “however i don’t think Phil Weiss is the co-editor of Mondoweiss because he thinks Israel was a bastion of sanity, at least anytime in the last decade or so.”

      I swear, I’m the only person in the world naive enough to believe the “about” page.

  11. Daniel Rich
    December 2, 2014, 2:32 pm

    ‘Whites’ killing ‘Blacks’ – Commenters agree on ‘racism.’

    Apartheid State’s goons killing Palestinians – Commenters accused of ‘antisemitism’ {Palestinians/Muslim/Arabs excluded] .

  12. JLewisDickerson
    December 2, 2014, 2:33 pm

    RE: “Without knowing it, I grew up with classic colonial rhetoric. Colonisers motivated by fear and possibly guilt, have always demonised the people they have hurt.” ~

    SEE: “How the Power of Myth Keeps Us Mired in War”, by Ira Chernus, TomDispatch.com, 01/20/11

    [EXCERPT] . . . White Americans, going back to early colonial times, generally assigned the role of ‘bad guys’ to ‘savages’ lurking in the wilderness beyond the borders of our civilized land. Whether they were redskins, commies, terrorists, or the Taliban, the plot has always remained the same.
    Call it the myth of national security — or, more accurately, national insecurity, since it always tells us who and what to fear.
    It’s been a mighty (and mighty effective) myth. . .

    SOURCE – http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175344/

    AND SEE: “Is Israel a ‘Jewish Nation’? Is the US an ‘American Nation’?”, by Ira Chernus, CommonDreams.org, 1/31/14

    [EXCERPT] . . . All countries define themselves, Hind Khoury, a former Palestinian minister and ambassador, told Rudoren. “Why doesn’t Israel call itself at the U.N. whatever they want to call it — the Jewish whatever, Maccabean, whatever they want. Then the whole world will recognize it.” But, Khoury added, “We will never recognize Israel the way they want, I mean genuinely, from our hearts. … Why for them to feel secure do we have to deny our most recent history?”
    “For them to feel secure” — There’s the heart of the matter, as Americans should easily understand. Israeli Jews, like white Americans, have always known that their claim to the land they call their own is dubious.
    Ever since the first Europeans arrived in what would become the United States, they have paraded an endless array of papers, all claiming to be treaties signed by native peoples ceding their lands to the conquerors. “You see, we have a right to this land,” the whites proudly proclaimed. Never mind that most of the treaties were either coerced, signed by native peoples who did not understand them, or outright fraudulent. They gave at least the appearance of legal right.
    Israel has a somewhat stronger case with UN Resolution 181, passed in 1947, providing for “independent Arab and Jewish States” in Palestine. But the right of the Jews to have their own state in Palestine has still remained a matter of contention (pardon the understatement) ever since.
    Why did so many white Americans find it so important to be able to waive those pieces of paper “proving” their “legal right” to the land? Why do a sizeable majority of Israeli Jews favor the demand that Palestinians acknowledge Israel as “the nation-state of the Jewish people”? Obviously, both peoples are insecure about their right to their land. If they can get the former inhabitants to relinquish their rights, it gives the appearance, at least, that the vanquished concede to the victors a moral right to the land they have taken. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – https://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/01/31-0

    • Mooser
      December 6, 2014, 11:42 am

      ” I’m not Jewish, so I can’t comment on what that must be like.”

      How do you know? Since nobody, (apart from the religion and that’s not to definite, either) really knows what “Jewishness” consists of, you might have some, or even a lot. So why rule it out?

      • seanmcbride
        December 6, 2014, 12:42 pm

        Mooser,

        One definition of one type of Jewishness: Jewishness is an obsessive preoccupation with being Jewish. It’s a recursive mental condition which spirals inwardly and endlessly around a core in which there may well be no there there. People who are subject to this condition can’t stop talking about the fact that they are subject to this condition. You will be able to come up with many examples if you stop to think about it. The term “ethnocentrism” seems inadequate to describe what is going on.

        Yes, there are other varieties of Jewishness that are more weighty and meaningful and less neurotic — with a solid core.

        The ethnocentrism index: the number of times one mentions one’s ethnic identity, issues, problems, conflicts and enemies — especially in mixed company (with ethnic outsiders). Some folks are off the charts.

      • Mooser
        December 6, 2014, 6:18 pm

        “One definition of one type of Jewishness: Jewishness is an obsessive preoccupation with being Jewish.”

        Nice to know. If I am ever wondering whether a person has an “obsessive preoccupation with being Jewish.” I’ll come and ask you about it. You seem to have an obsessive preoccupation with the subject, and all the knowledge necessary to make the judgement.

        That is, if you’re not busy having a navel engagement with a cop.

      • seanmcbride
        December 6, 2014, 6:56 pm

        Mooser,

        All of your posts are preoccupied with Jewish issues, problems, conflicts and crises. If all of my posts were preoccupied with ethnic Irish or English issues, problems, conflicts and crises, you would surely take note.

        The truth is, most of the non-Jewish contributors here barely mention their ethnic identity at all — they are not bogged down in ethnic politics or ethnic angst — and they are not approaching the Israeli/Palestinian conflict from the standpoint of pursuing their personal ethnic agendas. Not only are they not excessively ethnocentric, they are barely ethnocentric at all.

        Most Americans have moved beyond the stage of ethnic navel-gazing in their relations with the world — they have sloughed that off. They tend to find endless wrangling over ethnic issues and conflicts to be boring and annoying.

        One of the great disasters of Zionism is that it has pushed contentious arguments and battles about Jewish identity to the front and center of American politics and the world stage.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 7, 2014, 4:28 pm

        sean, there you go again with your “most americans” agree with me type crowd agreement allegations to make your insults more compelling.

        most of the non-Jewish contributors here barely mention their ethnic identity at all — they are not bogged down in ethnic politics or ethnic angst —…Most Americans have moved beyond the stage of ethnic navel-gazing

        cough. just thought i’d point out that if we had a serial poster aiming to continually define christianity as a religion as supporting zionism we’d have a lot more self defined christians people speaking personally as christians, as we do when conversations of church divestment and other related topics come up. but since we don’t have anyone seemingly obsessed with defining christians it doesn’t really come up that often. doesn’t it occur to you if you weren’t writing your allegations all the time you wouldn’t get the response you’re getting? and then you seek to blame the responder of “mention their ethnic identity”.

        i mean really sean, could your argument be more clueless? and who is “bogged down in ethnic politics or ethnic angst” when this argument of yours has been going on continuously for years. you seem as bogged down by it as anyone here. it’s like a dog w/his favorite bone.

        and wtf is this: “One definition of one type of Jewishness: Jewishness is an obsessive preoccupation with being Jewish – ”

        it rather begs the question whose definition? because i googled it and nothing came up. is it your definition? you say something like this and then scold the person who responds as being a “navel gazer”. but it’s you who you keep poking and poking away at the navel.

        besides, why not just take it as a compliment sean, since you’re so convinced you’re an expert on jews?

        You seem to have an obsessive preoccupation with the subject, and all the knowledge necessary to make the judgement.

        so what else do you want? “You seem to have… all the knowledge necessary to make the judgement.”

        you win sean, you’re the expert. you of all people are the defining expert of what it means to be a jew. now, can we move on or do you plan on continuing your analysis, again, and then accusing people of navel gazing when they respond?

      • Mooser
        December 6, 2014, 6:20 pm

        As I remember, Sean, you had no trouble delineating Judaism, and I would assume, Jewishness, in a list of five characteristics. Do you remember what they are?

      • seanmcbride
        December 6, 2014, 6:55 pm

        Mooser,

        In our previous discussions about the relations between Judaism and Zionism, I pointed out truthfully and accurately that the worldwide Jewish religious establishment over the last half century has fully embraced Zionism and merged Judaism and Zionism into a single messianic ethno-religious nationalist ideology based on ancient Torah memes.

        The three key memes: sacred territory, sacred peoplehood and sacred nationhood, all supposedly sanctioned by the Old Testament God. The entire Greater Israel project is being propelled by this belief system. Since we last explored this topic, these trends in Israeli society and Zionist culture have accelerated and intensified (as reported in the Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, Times of Israel, Ynet News, etc.).

        If these developments trouble you, take it up with the Jewish religious establishment — especially those representatives of Judaism who are members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 7, 2014, 4:01 am

        oh there you go again sean, confusing “worldwide Jewish religious establishment” with judaism and jewishness. some people just never learn.

        If these developments trouble you

        do they trouble you? and if so, why not take it up with “the Jewish religious establishment” why even bother communicating with jews who are not in “the establishment” since that’s all you seem to recognize?

      • W.Jones
        December 7, 2014, 9:20 pm

        “That is, if you’re not busy having a navel engagement with a cop. ” Mooser to Sean.

        What is that supposed to refer to?

      • oldgeezer
        December 8, 2014, 1:09 am

        I am an atheist who was at least theoretically raised as a wasp. I don’t mention it as I can’t imagine anything that’s more boring. I really don’t care about anyones identity. I do care about how they behave and the difference between right and wrong

      • Mooser
        December 8, 2014, 7:24 pm

        “All of your posts are preoccupied with Jewish issues, problems, conflicts and crises.”

        Thank you Sean, I know I can get a little, well, redux, in my charming proletarian prolixity, but I do try to stay “on topic”. Please let me know if I stray too far afield.

      • Mooser
        December 8, 2014, 7:36 pm

        “but it’s you who you keep poking and poking away at the navel.”

        Nobody better poke at my navel. My Momma don’ tol’ me, when I was in knee pants, that I had the (and I quote, thank you) “cutest little pupick in the world”, and as far as I know, there has not been a single creditable challenge to her judgement in the ensuing interim. And that’s a long time.

  13. kma
    December 2, 2014, 3:19 pm

    I totally agree with the article, though I see Phil Weiss as someone who struggles with identity and Mondoweiss often serves as a gathering place for those Americans who are part of a change which isn’t easy. I’m not Jewish, so I can’t comment on what that must be like. Mondoweiss is two things: some of the best news on Palestine and Israel, and kind of an art form for discussion by those who are Jewish in America during these times. I appreciate both.

    As for “asylum seekers” from the “Jewish state”, it is true already, and there are people such as Ilan Pappe who admit that they moved to other countries because they found it hard to live in Israel. I also see a funny trend locally where I live: growing up in the 70’s, Jews were like everyone else here, you went to their houses and they went to yours, and they may have gone to Hebrew class but didn’t speak it unless they moved to join the IDF (which typically turned them into anti-zionists later on), and no one paid any attention to Israel. I did not know what a Palestinian was, and hadn’t even heard the word “zionism”. But today, in an area with a lot of high tech jobs and a lot of foreign immigrants (mostly Asian), I see a large number of Israelis with accents and I will guess that many of them were raised the way Avigail Abarbanel was, and there seems to be some collusion between our politicians and Israel to encourage more of it (for military-industrial-complex and/or police-state reasons?). At first I was afraid of offending them by wearing my social justice for Palestine on my sleeve… but this is not the Jewish state, and they are welcome to talk to me about it whether they think they know better or not. I can wear a Palestinian flag here. They can move here too. It will never be Israel here. And this cements the connections between our own ethnic cleansings and apartheid systems, very clearly! I know exactly what is right and what is wrong. Maybe if they immigrate here, they will get some sense of it too, but I will not let the town I grew up in become more like Israel.

    and… as for the France move, while I have no say in choices between one state or two states and understand well why 2SS is further from reality than 1SS, either would be better than the “final solution” or 100% ethnic cleansing. but what is really going on is very funny: Israel is caught screaming that if you support 1SS, you are anti-semitic, and yet, if you support 2SS, you are also anti-semitic.
    I just love watching things evolve.

  14. just
    December 2, 2014, 3:39 pm

    Whiner and inciter in chief:

    “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a televised statement to the Israeli public on Tuesday following his moves toward new elections, saying that the current government had been forced on him – and that it was impossible to run a state this way.

    Hours before his address, Netanyahu fired Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Finance Minister Yair Lapid from the cabinet, moving another step closer to government elections. Meanwhile, the Knesset is set to vote Wednesday at noon on dissolving itself.

    “I turn to you, the citizens of Israel, this evening because under the current situation, from within the current government, it is impossible to lead a state. My responsibility as prime minister is to do that. To preserve security, to develop the economy, to lower the cost of living – to take care of you, the citizens of Israel.”

    “These are things that I did over the course of four straight years in the previous government. I believe that was one of the best and most stable governments in the history of Israel. It did not overlook any part of this nation,” he added.

    “I must tell you that in the current government, it has been much harder to do things for the good of the public. Although during Operation Protective Edge, I led the operation with the defense minister and the chief of staff – we acted with determination and consideration, and I was not put off by criticism or background noise. But this government has been much harder. It is hard to do other things related to the welfare and security of the citizens of Israel,” Netanyahu added.

    “Unlike its predecessor, the current government, from the day of its inception, was a contrarian government,” he said. “It was forced on me because the results of the election – a simple reason – meant that a ruling government under my leadership did not receive enough seats. Maybe because of other reasons, this government had friction and directional differences. It behaved under threats and ultimatums.”

    “Livni is the last to talk about responsibility,” Netanyahu added, responding to the former justice minister’s criticism of her dismissal. “In May of this year she met with Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) against the cabinet’s decision… later she added and said, while serving as justice minister: Netanyahu’s boycott on Abu Mazen is foolish. Today, a little while ago, she attacked the government again. Livni and Lapid have one thing in common – they talk about new politics, but in practice they practice old politics.”

    “In recent weeks they have joined forces to lure the religious factions to oust an the prime minister while sitting in the government. By the way, these are the same ultra-Orthodox parties that Lapid frequently claims that he refuses to sit with them [in the government]… the finance minister, who failed managing the economy, secretly joined forces with the justice minister against an incumbent prime minister – in one word, it’s called a putsch. It is impossible to run a government in this state.”

    “This is not an easy thing to do, what I’m doing tonight,” Netanyahu continued. “Frequent elections are not a good thing, but a government with no governability that includes ministers who are working against it from the inside, is much worse.””

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.629648

    Spiraling into oblivion. Down the drain. bye- bye.

  15. just
    December 2, 2014, 3:57 pm

    Israel has always been crazy.. so is the US.

    “Following accusations of sex assault and fraud, four religious seminaries in Jerusalem have agreed to refund tuition to 13 American families.

    The four girls seminaries — Pninim, Binas Bais Yaakov, Chedvas Bais Yaakov and Keser Chaya, which are located in Jerusalem and have a large number of American students — were sued in August in Chicago in a class action suit filed by families demanding their money back for the current academic year, after they became aware of sexual assault allegations against the rabbi who was running the seminaries at the time.

    The plaintiffs, who did not claim Rabbi Elimelech Meisels had assaulted their daughters but who pulled their daughters from the seminaries after allegations by other girls surfaced, reached an out-of-court settlement with the seminaries last month. The seminaries agreed to refund tuition fees for the current academic year, the plaintiffs’ attorney Shneur Nathan confirmed to Haaretz.

    Meisels, who is described in the suit as an American with a residence in Jerusalem, was accused by plaintiffs of sexually assaulting an undetermined number of American and Canadian girls at the seminaries between 2004 – around the time he “founded or co-founded” the seminaries – and 2014. Meisels has denied the allegations, according to an August article by JTA. Through his attorney, Meisels declined to comment to Haaretz.

    According to the seminaries, Meisels is no longer in charge of operations.

    In addition to Meisels, three other individuals, all of them American citizens, were also named as defendants – Yaakov Yarmish, a member of the seminaries’ management, who is based in Israel; Rachel Slanger, who according to the suit is Meisels’ sister and is based in the U.S.; and Rabbi Tzvi Gartner. According to the suit, Yarmish and Gartner were “believed to be in control of Peninim of America Inc.,” the non-profit that handles financing for the institutions in the U.S., along with Meisels. Gartner is also a member of an Israeli beit din, or rabbinical court, established in wake of the accusations.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/1.629377

    why is Peninim of America Inc. a non-profit?

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      December 5, 2014, 2:31 am

      I know Just. In fact I and a lot of others have been thinking that the psychology that guides Israel is extremely similar to that of the US. Both are settler colonialist societies built on a massive crime… I have been avoiding making public comments about the US. I think Americans understand their society better than I ever will and can make much more insightful comments than I can. But from my own experience there and my observations, I think the two societies have a great deal in common, sadly…

      • just
        December 5, 2014, 3:05 am

        It is incredibly sad. So many indigenous people have suffered and died for our greed.

        Thank you for being here, Avigail.

      • Avigail Abarbanel
        December 5, 2014, 5:03 am

        Thank you Just and thanks for being there too.

  16. just
    December 2, 2014, 5:07 pm

    Vive la France!

    “French MPs recognise Palestine as state
    France’s lower house of Parliament votes 339 to 151 in favour of symbolic motion to recognise statehood of Palestine.”

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2014/12/french-mps-hold-palestine-vote-201412261417482498.html

  17. American
    December 2, 2014, 9:44 pm

    ” And to think that once upon a time I was worried that I was too extreme or unreasonable with some of my predictions about Israel… It’s all in its psychology and it’s always been there. I told you so”……..Avigail

    Glad to see you here Avigail.
    And yes indeed, you did tell us. And I believed you.
    Like another commenter asked though—-what now?

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      December 5, 2014, 2:27 am

      Hello again American and thanks! What now? I don’t think we have much of a a choice but to up the pressure on Israel through boycott, divestment and sanctions. Israel will not ‘get a clue’ and will not change from within. If the majority of Israeli Jews wish to hurt themselves, taking their country down the self-destructive path of fascism that’s fine. But they do not have the right to drag others with them. So if they don’t stop, we have to make them…

      • American
        December 5, 2014, 8:58 am

        Thanks for reply Avigail.

        I agree with this too:

        “Israel will not ‘get a clue’ and will not change from within”

        And just observing over the years it has seemed to me that the more the world has catered to Israeli demands the more we have ‘legitimized and ‘encouraged their trauma and that destructive entitlement you described.
        I don’t know anything about psychology or how you cure a paranoid or paranoid society or culture but I am pretty sure it isn’t by agreeing with them that everyone is out to kill them and loading them up with weapons.
        So yep, the world has to stop feeding the evil wolf side of Israel.

  18. John D
    December 3, 2014, 6:34 am

    Zionism was a reaction to the heightened level of nationalism in Europe in the 19th Century.
    In particular, pan-Germanic nationalism – the kind that led to Nazism – was strong and led individuals like Herzl to believe that a separate homeland for Jews was essential.
    Predictably, extreme nationalism – as previously seen in Europe and, latterly, the US – has been mirrored by the Zionists, who have now created a form of ideology which can only be described as National Judaism, based upon similar concepts of blood, soil and race.
    Hitler and the Nazis have triumphed where “Israel” is concerned.
    Their appalling ideology has finally flowered in full in “Israel”.

  19. Kathleen
    December 3, 2014, 11:23 am

    Avigail ..incredible piece. So clear, spot on.

    “Without knowing it, I grew up with classic colonial rhetoric. Colonisers motivated by fear and possibly guilt, have always demonised the people they have hurt. For some people it is easier to inflict suffering if they don’t see the other as a fellow human being. Dehumanisation helps to reduce empathy and shut down the conscience. It is being done everywhere where there is injustice and abuse. ”

    Sometimes tough to argue with those around you when you are young and growing up in a ethnocentric and sounds like racist environment. I had the ability as a young person to argue with my Archie Bunker type step father. He was a racist towards blacks. I argued with him endlessly from the age of 12 about his racism. Had to say that most of the Catholic school nuns I was brought up with cultivated the “we are all born in the image and likeness of God” (not Catholic now ) instilled deeply in me this core sense. Which combined with my all inclusive union member mother had me marching in the streets focused on civil rights issues at 15. Can imagine if one is brought up hearing the adults in one’s life always demonizing the “other” how it would be tough to shed some light on what is really going on. Racism.

    Avigail “And they are out-of-control. But please do not make the mistake of thinking that these feelings and urges belong to a lunatic fringe. They do not. They are supported by the majority of Israeli-Jews and as Phil rightly says, they are led from the front by top politicians. These politicians are now changing the legal system to create an environment that fits these attitudes better and where they can be unleashed legally, and thrive.”

    Polls during the latest Israeli massacre of Palestinians in the Gaza showed that the majority of Israeli Jews supported the assault. Along with the support of the US congress. Which has been the case for decades.

    Avigail “And to think that once upon a time I was worried that I was too extreme or unreasonable with some of my predictions about Israel… It’s all in its psychology and it’s always been there. I told you so. ”

    So many have been writing about, talking about, witnessing, now documenting with cameras, phones etc what has been going on in the illegally occupied territories and East Jerusalem for decades. Many. You sound as if you have been saying this for quite some time and have been among the ranks of those seeking justice for a very long time. Edward Said 60’s, 70’s (deceased), Vanessa Redgrave( 70’s), Former President Jimmy Carter( 70’s), Norman Finkelstein (80’s), Archbishop Tutu (90’s), Art Gish (80’s,) Phil (early 02), Medea Benjaman (took a public stand 07 or so) Max ()6 or so), …the ranks are growing. As I pointed out with so many others on Phil’s thread…the issue of Israel’s embedded apartheid system continues to be exposed.

    • John O
      December 3, 2014, 1:25 pm

      Rogers and Hammerstein put it well in “South Pacific”, with their song “Carefully taught” (often omitted from productions of the show). This is not the greatest piece of video, but I hope it conveys the message:

      • Kathleen
        December 4, 2014, 1:58 pm

        Yes indeed “carefully taught” Firmly believe that all prejudices, elitism, ethnocentric stances are all taught. So sad that some of this is so deeply cultivated enough so that people actually believe. We all have so much more potential!

    • OyVey00
      December 4, 2014, 2:13 pm

      I’ve been “carefully taught” that race is a social construct and that all human beings are equal. My eyes have convinced me otherwise.

      • Mooser
        December 4, 2014, 3:35 pm

        “My eyes have convinced me otherwise.”

        You might feel different if you weren’t staring at your own duodenum quite so much.

        Oh, and do tell us, where do you think the Jews belong on the scale of inequality, and relative worth of different races your eyes see so plainly. Like to tell us, maybe give us a ranking with several other groups?
        I await your answer with baited breath.

  20. OyVey00
    December 3, 2014, 2:11 pm

    Interestingly, up until the end of WWII (in fact probably until the late 50s) every Western government would have acted exactly like Israel. Israel is like a time capsule that survived the hijacking of Western politics by leftist egalitarian ideology.

    So maybe it isn’t Israel that went crazy, but the rest of the Western world instead? Think about it.

    Well, in my opinion both are crazy. There has to be a healthy middle ground between xenophobic ultranationalism and radical egalitarianism.

    • Mooser
      December 3, 2014, 6:45 pm

      ” Israel is like a time capsule that survived the hijacking of Western politics by leftist egalitarian ideology. “

      Oh, I see, you must mean the “leftist egalitarian ideology” which emancipated Jews, separated church from state, and allowed Jews to be regular citizens.

      Man, you’re right, that’s some bad stuff, there. So glad Israel escaped that hi-jacking.

    • Mooser
      December 3, 2014, 6:53 pm

      “and radical egalitarianism.”

      Oh yeah, I think I see a time capsule from the fart of darkness. Why, “radical egalitarianism” would leave “OyVey00” completely unprotected! He’d be the same as anybody else! Now I ask you, is that fair?

      • OyVey00
        December 4, 2014, 7:29 am

        I’m not the same as anybody else though. That’s the problem.

        A country made up of 50 million OyVey00s would be significantly different from a country made up of 50 million Moosers. I’m sure you agree.

        The problem with egalitarianism is that it posits that such a difference does not exist and that – for example – an Indian, a Jew, a Nigerian and an Englishman are all interchangeable and do not differ from each other bare skin color and superficial cultural traits.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 4, 2014, 5:36 pm

        egalitarianism ….– an Indian, a Jew, a Nigerian and an Englishman are all interchangeable and do not differ from each other bare skin color and superficial cultural traits.

        not sure what definition of egalitarianism you are applying here.

      • Mooser
        December 4, 2014, 6:25 pm

        “I’ve been “carefully taught” that race is a social construct and that all human beings are equal. My eyes have convinced me otherwise.” OyVey00

        That seems to me the most unambiguous declarations of racism I’ve ever seen. OyVey00 is contending that his “eyes” have convinced him race is not a social construct, but a scientific fact, and explains the inequalities and differences in human beings.

      • OyVey00
        December 4, 2014, 8:01 pm

        not sure what definition of egalitarianism you are applying here.

        The one that gets taught in our schools.

      • RoHa
        December 4, 2014, 9:12 pm

        “an Indian, a Jew, a Nigerian and an Englishman are all interchangeable”

        If the Jew is the Englishman, they would be interchangeable.

      • eljay
        December 5, 2014, 8:55 am

        >> OyVey00: The problem with egalitarianism is that it posits that such a difference does not exist and that – for example – an Indian, a Jew, a Nigerian and an Englishman are all interchangeable …

        An Indian, an Israeli, a Nigerian and an Englishman. Unlike those four, “Jew” is not a bureaucratic nationality.

      • Mooser
        December 5, 2014, 11:14 am

        “an Indian, a Jew, a Nigerian and an Englishman are all interchangeable”

        Of course, the problem is figuring out which of the three is Jewish. Do they walk into a bar and meet up with a Priest, a Rabbi and an Imam?

      • Mooser
        December 5, 2014, 11:23 am

        “The one that gets taught in our schools.”

        You mean the one all the right-wing trash you read is telling you (on the basis of no evidence whatsoever) is getting taught “in our schools”. Oh, BTW, which schools are you talking about? Indoctrination in first grade, or college studies in anthropology or social sciences?

        But you know, I’m too fond of little Fritz to send him down a weasel-hole after you.

      • Mooser
        December 10, 2014, 1:37 pm

        “A country made up of 50 million OyVey00s would be…”

        Yeah, better get started, Dad. You’ll have to marry more than one woman, of course, which will be big of you.

    • eljay
      December 3, 2014, 8:21 pm

      >> OyVey00: … There has to be a healthy middle ground between xenophobic ultranationalism and radical egalitarianism.

      I vote for justice, accountability and equality as that healthy middle ground.

      • OyVey00
        December 4, 2014, 7:14 am

        I agree, especially on [i]accountability[/i].

      • Mooser
        December 4, 2014, 3:39 pm

        “I agree, especially on [i]accountability[/i].”

        And according to your comment above, you think yhis “accountability” can be assigned by race:

        “I’ve been “carefully taught” that race is a social construct and that all human beings are equal. My eyes have convinced me otherwise.” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/12/israel-always-crazy/comment-page-1#comment-727375

        You really must tell us more about how accountability intersects with the relative inequality of human beings, and the reality of race. Be very interesting to hear about.

      • Avigail Abarbanel
        December 5, 2014, 2:18 am

        And I would like to add compassion if that’s OK… What is missing in OyVey00 ‘s narrative is compassion. If all human beings were capable of compassion and empathy, no particular laws would be needed to safeguard anyone because we would all be doing it instinctively. Time to bring compassion and empathy to the discussion table.

        Also re OvVey00’s comment: equality or egalitarianism do not mean sameness! I think it is a big point that he and others on the Right often get wrong. But my suspicion is that they know this but would rather live according to our mammal brain principle that tells us to stay clear of different because it is dangerous…

      • just
        December 5, 2014, 2:51 am

        Exactly.

        Compassion and empathy seem entirely missing; it’s past time to restore them~ it will restore all of us @ the same time.

        Walk a mile in another’s shoes.

      • seafoid
        December 5, 2014, 4:27 am

        Just

        A Zionist would just interpret that as carte blanche to steal the shoes claiming anti-Semitism on the part of the shoe owner.

      • OyVey00
        December 5, 2014, 7:27 am

        What is missing in OyVey00 ‘s narrative is compassion.

        If I hadn’t any compassion with Palestinians I wouldn’t be here.

        If all human beings were capable of compassion and empathy, no particular laws would be needed to safeguard anyone because we would all be doing it instinctively.

        But they are not. Only few people have compassion for total strangers and this is not something one can change by just talking about it. The best you can do by talking is shaming people for not having empathy, which might improve their behavior towards others, but doesn’t address the core issue that they lack empathy in the first place.

        Time to bring compassion and empathy to the discussion table.

        Being biological traits, one surefire way to increase compassion and empathy among the population would be eugenics. I don’t know any leftist who advocates for that though.

        Also re OvVey00’s comment: equality or egalitarianism do not mean sameness! I think it is a big point that he and others on the Right often get wrong. But my suspicion is that they know this but would rather live according to our mammal brain principle that tells us to stay clear of different because it is dangerous…

        I’d gladly elaborate this further, but for some reason it seems like pointing out differences between peoples gets your comments censored here. Hmm, I wonder why?

      • Mooser
        December 5, 2014, 11:17 am

        “Time to bring compassion and empathy to the discussion table.”

        Oh, there’s always plenty of that here. The Zionists beg for it all the time. Sometimes I wonder if they have “compassion and empathy” mixed up with ‘getting away with murder’, but at any rate, they are all about empathy and compassion.

      • Mooser
        December 5, 2014, 11:26 am

        “I agree, especially on [i]accountability[/i].”

        Oh, they always love” accountability”! The “Arabs” must be held accountable for their assaults on the Jewish people, and refusal to let them return to their ancient homeland in peace and security! Oh, they are all about “accountability”

      • Mooser
        December 5, 2014, 11:28 am

        “There has to be a healthy middle ground between xenophobic ultranationalism”

        Ah yes, “xenophobic ultranationalism”! That must be what made the Palestinians resist the Zionists.

      • Mooser
        December 5, 2014, 11:33 am

        ” mammal brain principle that tells us to stay clear of different because it is dangerous…”

        ?! Put a female Doberman in heat in a room with a male Chihuahua and tell me how scared mammals are of difference.

        I mean, how scared of difference are we, really? An awful lot of men marry women.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 5, 2014, 4:22 pm

        for some reason it seems like pointing out differences between peoples gets your comments censored here. Hmm, I wonder why?

        nope, some of your comments are being censored for other reasons. you’re just too thick in the brain to figure out what that is or you know perfectly well what that is and you’re playing the suggestion game again, something you excel in.

        and by all means please link to sources that informs you how empathy and compassion are “Being biological traits”. this should be fun. ..

      • Mooser
        December 5, 2014, 6:54 pm

        “Time to bring compassion and empathy to the discussion table.”

        “Being biological traits, one surefire way to increase compassion and empathy among the population would be eugenics. I don’t know any leftist who advocates for that though.” OyVey00, out of his own pie-hole.

        Of course! Employing “eugenics” in the service of those “biological traits” compassion and empathy. Gosh, what well-educated, modern, up-to-date, wide-awake scientific ideas you have, OyVey00! Do tell us more.

    • pulaski
      December 4, 2014, 10:08 am

      Ah, yes, any good Dopper must snuff out that candle of the Enlightenment whenever it shows its dangerous flame.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afrikaner_Calvinism

      • Mooser
        December 4, 2014, 11:43 pm

        Ah, the good old Yiddishe Dopper. Thanks.

    • Mooser
      December 4, 2014, 5:16 pm

      “Israel is like a time capsule that survived the hijacking of Western politics by leftist egalitarian ideology.”

      Why, if that “leftist egalitarian ideology” had been prevented from the “hi-jacking of Western politics”, the Jews could have achieved their destined status in the rightest hierarchy, as promised to them by the rightests, huh?
      But then Hitler did lose the war, and our chance to go on benefiting from right-wing inegalitarianism in Europe was lost forever.

  21. John Salisbury
    December 3, 2014, 4:20 pm

    I remember hearing you on ‘Late Night Live’ with Phillip Adams some years ago Avigail.Peter Sleezak accompanied you.I was full of admiration for you Especially when you related stories of how your family had ostracised you for your brave stand.With you all the way.

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      December 4, 2014, 4:40 am

      Thank you John. That’s very kind. That interview was during my Australian book tour in June 2012. Hard to believe it’s 2.5 years ago now…! It’s really nice to get some positive feedback on that interview because it was very late at night and I remember being extremely tired…

  22. chrisjj
    December 3, 2014, 4:57 pm

    A perfectly reasonable and well thought out article spoiled by an inflammatory picture. How am I supposed to share this and expect my Facebook Friends, who are on the fence over Israel/Palestine, and expect them to read this article linked to from a picture that suggests, to them, that I think all Jews in Israel are Nazis?

    • Annie Robbins
      December 3, 2014, 5:51 pm

      chris the photo was captured by the times of israel, iow, it’s part of the news and repeated on many sites like this http://jpupdates.com/2014/11/30/israeli-ministers-opposed-jewish-nationality-law-shown-ss-uniforms-fb/

      if you want to share the article without the photo just copy the url and post it somewhere including a quote from it.

      • chrisjj
        December 3, 2014, 10:28 pm

        I understand that it’s s photo that is widely shared on the internet but I don’t think its appropriate for this article. As I say, it conveys the wrong message for the general audience who might otherwise be educated by this opinion piece.

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      December 4, 2014, 4:50 am

      I can relate to your comment Chris and fair enough too. However, my contribution has to be looked at in context. It is a response to Phil Weiss’ article from the previous day that also had this photo. The images were created by people on the extreme right in Israel against those they perceive to be Lefty politicians. It was distributed in Israel itself. If you share my article maybe it is worth offering a short explanation about the photo, to dispel any fears about spreading unnecessary venom. I think the story behind the photo in fact illustrates really well the theme in the two articles, namely that Israel is going fascist. The extreme right there, which is increasingly gaining political power resorts to this kind of imagery. I think people need to know the background to the photo rather than have an oversensitive and now somewhat outdated reaction. Like Max Blumenthal says in an interview also published on this site yesterday, it’s time the world starts to look at Jews for what they are, ordinary human being capable of everything any human beings are capable of…

      • Mooser
        December 4, 2014, 3:42 pm

        “The images were created by people on the extreme right in Israel against those they perceive to be Lefty politicians.”

        Exactly, I would think they would have been photo-shopped with Russian Army uniforms, or maybe Red Army.

  23. Kay24
    December 4, 2014, 6:46 am

    The time is NOW President Obama. Do something NOW.

    “U.S. mulls harsher action against settlement construction
    It isn’t clear how the early election will affect the White House’s decision, as they are looking into the effect penalizing Israel would have on Netanyahu’s prospects at the polls.
    By Barak Ravid 06:00 04.12.14 0

    U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration is examining taking action against the construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, rather than making do with issuing denunciatory statements”. Haaretz

  24. Theo
    December 4, 2014, 8:41 am

    One of the problems Israel has is that it has just too many political parties in the Knesset and the government. An european system of any party not having at least 5% of the votes will not have seats in the parlament should work wonders on the political scene.
    Abbas is a bought and paid for quisling, he will never risk the 30 silver pieces by going against the interests of the occupiers and their bosses in Washington. Although his term as elected president of the palestinians expired 8 years ago, he is still fast in the saddle and will not risk a new election.

  25. just
    December 4, 2014, 9:44 am

    “On December 4 , 1948, the New York Times published a letter by a group of Jewish dignitaries, including Albert Einstein and political theorist Hannah Arendt, protesting a visit to the United States by Menachem Begin and denouncing his Herut (Freedom) party on the grounds that it was, as they wrote, “a political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties.”

    Begin’s visit, they argued, was “obviously calculated to give the impression of American support for his party” ahead of general elections in the newly-formed State of Israel, which had come into being as the British Mandate formally ended at midnight, May 14, 1948.

    Herut had been formed out of the Irgun Zvai Leumi, one of the Jewish resistance organizations fighting the British prior to independence. But Herut, the letter to the Times claimed, was “a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine.”

    “It is inconceivable that those who oppose fascism throughout the world, if correctly informed as to Mr. Begin’s political record and perspectives, could add their names and support to the movement he represents,” the letter read. Never mind the party’s rhetoric following Israel’s independence: their past actions spoke volumes, they wrote.”

    ww.haaretz.com/news/features/this-day-in-jewish-history/.premium-1.629813

    • Mooser
      December 5, 2014, 3:25 pm

      Makes me wonder, while many books have been written about Zionism, has there ever been a book which looks at, details the history of, and analyses the long history of Jewish anti-Zionism?

      It might help to lessen the feeling of isolation in individuals who reach their own conclusions about Zionism which are opposed to the current imperial wisdom, besides being very interesting.

      • Citizen
        December 10, 2014, 11:16 am

        @ Mooser
        Here’s some info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Zionism#Jewish_anti-Zionism

        Doesn’t look like there’s a broad, general history of anti=Zionism, at least in English.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 10, 2014, 12:36 pm

        mooser, here’s an interesting article about the (anti zionist) international Jewish Labor Bund.

        http://972mag.com/remember-the-jewish-labor-bund/60337/

        As it turned to electoral politics in its later years, it obtained 40 percent of the Jewish vote in council elections across large cities in Poland in 1938. “That same year in Warsaw, the Bund took 17 out of 20 council seats won by Jewish parties in the Municipal elections” Yitzhak said proudly.

        and here’s a book about them http://www.amazon.com/International-Jewish-Labor-Bund-after/dp/0813551684

        possibly doesn’t cover include the anti zionists religious components mentioned in citizen’s link as the bund was a secular labor movement but it appears they were quite popular.

        The Jewish Labor Bund was one of the major political forces in early twentieth-century Eastern Europe. But the decades after the Second World War were years of enormous difficulty for Bundists. Like millions of other European Jews, they faced the challenge of resurrecting their lives, so gravely disrupted by the Holocaust. Not only had the organization lost many members, but its adherents were also scattered across many continents. In this book, David Slucki charts the efforts of the surviving remnants of the movement to salvage something from the wreckage.

        Covering both the Bundists who remained in communist Eastern Europe and those who emigrated to the United States, France, Australia, and Israel, the book explores the common challenges they faced—building transnational networks of friends, family, and fellow Holocaust survivors, while rebuilding a once-local movement under a global umbrella. This is a story of resilience and passion—passion for an idea that only barely survived Auschwitz.

        also, i read in Ben Hecht’s book Perfidy, the book that covered 1954–1955 Kastner trial, that the jews of hungary were not particularly pro immigration (not zionists), or (paraphrasing from memory) iow considered somewhat dispensable by the zionist/jewish agency, could be they got wiped out disproportionately.. don’t quote me on that but i know there was something in the book about it. maybe someone here has more authority on this than i do. i wish hostage was here.

      • Mooser
        December 10, 2014, 1:44 pm

        Thanks, Citizen and Annie, for the links and info!

  26. Citizen
    December 5, 2014, 8:44 am

    Tweets have been directed against Mondoweiss for posting the photoshopped image, saying Mondoweiss is a jew-hater site. Said tweets don’t mention the Israeli bill actually discussed on MW.

    • Mooser
      December 6, 2014, 6:25 pm

      “Tweets have been directed against Mondoweiss for posting the photoshopped image, saying Mondoweiss is a jew-hater site.”

      See, Phil Weiss has no identity problem.
      Lot’s of people are very convinced they know who he is.

  27. joer
    December 5, 2014, 1:34 pm

    I realized something was seriously off-crazy, if you will, many years ago during the first Intifadah when Rabin-the dovish alternative to Likud was voted in, and he ordered the army to break the bones of protesters instead of shooting them. That was his big humanitarian gesture…and he was shot because he was too easy on the Arabs.

  28. John D
    December 5, 2014, 4:29 pm

    I found the contribution by Avigail on the role of trauma in present-day Isreali mentality most thoughtful and thought-provoking.
    As an ignostic humanist, I do not subscribe to any religious belief systems.
    From my perspective, they are all equally bogus.
    However, if other people choose still to believe in them, that is up to them.
    If they do no real harm to themselves or others, then why worry about it?
    Of course, when we examine the historic record and look at the world of today, it becomes all too apparent that religious belief has largely been a curse on humankind.
    The persecution of Jews and consumers of other religions over time has been appalling.
    I can understand why Jews and others feel they are under attack from an uncaring world.
    However, there are others who do care about what happens to humankind.
    There are a brave few in Israel too who care about what happens to Palestinians.
    We all need to celebrate those who care and takefar less notice of those who do not.

    • Mooser
      December 8, 2014, 8:10 pm

      “There are a brave few in Israel too who care about what happens to Palestinians.
      We all need to celebrate those who care and takefar less notice of those who do not.”

      Can you talk louder, about those in Israel who care? I can’t hear you, there’s an F16 flying overhead, strafing and dropping bombs. I’ll try to take less notice of it, but it’s hard.

      • John D
        December 8, 2014, 8:33 pm

        I have in mind people like Jeff Halper of ICAHD, Rabbies for Justice for Palestinians and the members of Breaking The Silence, among others. They are there; they may be less influential than in the past but that does not mean they no longer care. We all thought segregation in the US would last for ever. We all thought apartheid would continue for ever in South Africa. We all thought the iron curtain would stay across Europe for ever. Where are they all now?

      • Mooser
        December 9, 2014, 12:40 pm

        “They are there; they may be less influential than in the past but that does not mean they no longer care.”

        Oops, I turned into a pink mist halfway through that.

  29. Citizen
    December 5, 2014, 6:47 pm

    On Fox News now, at 650PM EST: How can you argue against sanctions against Iran but support sanctions on Israel? Panel discussion: Yochi Dreazen: “It’s befuddling. Strange, even if only symbolic sanctions against Israel.”

    Amy Walter: “It’s explosive.”

    Steve Hayes: “Obama is refusing to deny possibility of sanctions against Israel even though Israel faces extinction. Bibi must bravely face up Obama on this.”

    On Ash Carter:

    WH controls policy. Need to mollify restless Pentagon. Hagel couldn’t keep lid on. We are functionally allies with both Iran & Syria & Russia against ISIS.

  30. John D
    December 5, 2014, 9:46 pm

    As someone who already supports BDS, I think it is great news if the White House are actively considering sanctions against apartheid Israel, just like the ones before against apartheid SA.
    How many UN resolutions has Israel broken?
    Have they taken down the apartheid wall as ordered to by the International Court?
    Maybe the days of utter impunity for Israel are finally coming to an end.
    You can all thank the idiotic zionists if it does happen.
    Don’t blame anyone else.

  31. Moto
    December 6, 2014, 3:54 am

    It has infested the rest of the western world, because Zionist Jews run the governments and the media of those western nations. Unfortunately, very few politicians on those affected countries are game to raise objections against the influence of this fifth column in the domestic and foreign policies of those nations.

    The most adept and successful students of Nazi methodology, are Zionists and a significant number of the Jews of Israel.

    The United States is nothing more than a Western Wing of the Knesset.

  32. piotr
    December 6, 2014, 7:09 pm

    OyVey: “Interestingly, up until the end of WWII (in fact probably until the late 50s) every Western government would have acted exactly like Israel. Israel is like a time capsule that survived the hijacking of Western politics by leftist egalitarian ideology.”

    It is puzzling to me how the political life of “Western democracies” in the last 50 years can be characterized as “hijacking”, “egalitarian” and “leftist”. It is not like those countries were overrun by a bloody red revolution. Nevertheless, there were significant changes. Balfour Declaration was formulated in the same period as the passing of South Africa Act (5 years prior) that lead to constitutional basis of Apartheid. During the subsequent decades colonial rule was in full swing, white farms in Kenia and Rhodesia expanding while the natives were forcibly removed from most fertile areasand so on. I guess that one of the first “radical egalitarian” changes was to abandon the idea that mass starvation of colonial subjects (or the Irish) should not be alleviated, lest the subject people succumb to sloth after receiving aid.

    The question is: why did it end? Epidemic of idiocy? Hijacking by malevolent imps? Or actually some rational reasons?

    • Mooser
      December 7, 2014, 1:19 pm

      “It is puzzling to me how the political life of “Western democracies” in the last 50 years can be characterized as “hijacking”, “egalitarian” and “leftist”.”

      “piotr” do you not know what “OyVey00” is talking about?
      In the 50’s and 60’s, the US passed a number of far-reaching Civil Rights bills, which were signed into law. That is the “hijacking”, by “egalitarian” and “leftist” forces “OyVey00” is talking about.

      By now, the insidious sophistication of right-wing arguments against the equal rights have become so ridiculously tertiary and indirect, “OyVey00” may not even know that is what he is talking about. But all the right-wing fressers he listens to walk around shaking their heads about the ‘leftist takeover’, so he does, too. They’ve even got themselves convinced being for bigotry makes them daring rebels!

      • piotr
        December 13, 2014, 11:42 pm

        I think you agree that there was no hijacking involved in the passing of Civil Right bills, and that these laws are not particularly egalitarian. For example, there were complaints that school integration affected only the poor Whites, so education remained segregated by income.

      • Citizen
        December 14, 2014, 11:00 am

        @ piotr
        As it does still significantly today; back then school integration was implemented almost exclusively on the lower class whites; it was the “busing issue.” Everybody with memory knows it was Archie Bunker’s kids who got bussed, not the Scarsdale kids.

  33. seanmcbride
    December 6, 2014, 7:47 pm

    Mooser,

    For an informative discussion of the role of “the Land of Israel” (sacred territorialism) and “the People of Israel” (sacred peoplehood, the chosen people, mystical ethnocentrism) in the Jewish tradition (and the tradition of Judaism), see:

    “History of the Jews and Judaism in the Land of Israel”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_and_Judaism_in_the_Land_of_Israel

    “Israel, People of” (Jewish Encyclopedia)
    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/8269-israel-people-of

  34. seanmcbride
    December 7, 2014, 10:04 am

    Mooser,

    FYI — published just three days ago in the Jerusalem Post — and typical of the views of Jewish religious Zionists:

    “Zachor: The sanctity of Eretz Yisrael” (Moshe Dann, The Jerusalem Post, December 4, 2014)
    http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Zachor-The-sanctity-of-Eretz-Yisrael-383716

    >>>The relationship between the Jewish People and Eretz Yisrael is a fundamental component of Judaism.<<<

    The relationship between the Jewish People and Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel) is a fundamental component of Judaism. Exile from our homeland dominates Jewish consciousness. We remember it like someone who still feels pain in an amputated limb. Exile whispers: Can we ever be whole again? But why do we need a homeland? Isn’t being a People and practicing Judaism enough? The laws of Shmita provide an answer. These Torah-mandated laws which take effect at the end of a seven-year cycle restrict Jews in Eretz Yisrael from agricultural work, even that done in private gardens….

    Without nationhood/nationality Jews cannot fulfill the mission and purpose which God gave the Jewish People.

    Without Torah and Eretz Yisrael, we lose our connection to the process of redemption, our opportunity and obligation to transform the world….

    The core of Jewish civilization is living Torah, bringing ethical monotheism to the world, rebuilding Eretz Yisrael and reestablishing Jewish nationhood. That dream did not begin with Theodor Herzl, or with his successors….

    Reestablishing the State of Israel and regaining most of Biblical Israel in 1967 created a new context and opportunity for the Jewish People. Metaphorically, we had the possibility of bringing together two separate realms of Jewish existence – a physical presence in our historic homeland with its spiritual essence. Israel as a nation and Judaism as a religion form a dynamic whole; one without the other is incomplete. That explains why the Covenant between God and the Patriarchs includes Eretz Yisrael….

    Possession of Eretz Yisrael by the Jewish People confirms and is a manifestation of God’s presence and the purpose of the Jewish People.

    I get it that you and Annie disagree with this interpretation of Judaism — but you and people who share your views exert little influence on the Jewish religious establishment — the leading organizations which have represented majority Judaism for the past half century.

    Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban would feel perfectly comfortable with the views expressed in this article — as would most leaders of the Israel lobby and the Jewish lobby.

    • Annie Robbins
      December 7, 2014, 4:00 pm

      I get it that you and Annie disagree with this interpretation of Judaism —

      and we get that you agree with this interpretation of Judaism. as well as the Jewish religious establishments’, Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban’s for that matter. what more is there to say!?

      • Mooser
        December 8, 2014, 8:04 pm

        Annie, if Sean is correct about some of these things, and he is, I don’t see how you have any choice, if you hope to retain a shred of ethical credibility, you must give up practicing Judaism. Abandon it totally.
        Are you willing to do that, Annie?

      • W.Jones
        December 12, 2014, 12:38 pm

        Annie,

        When Marc Ellis talks about Constantinian Judaism a lot, an allusion to the Israelis’ relationship between nationalism and religion, my claim is by labeling it “Constantinian”, Ellis sees the roots of the nationalism in Christianity or in Christian empires.

        To explain, when I talk about “nationalism” I really mean nationalism in the Israeli context. Lots of times I could go through a writer’s comments and pick out things that should be said better or I might disagree with. But I do not really find what others say on these topics offensive, either. I think that ancient Judaism is broad enough to include many concepts. One of them is a kind of nationalism that Sean focuses on. I think Mark Braverman does a fine job talking about this topic in his writings. I like what Braverman has to say on the topic of religion and the conflict. I don’t see Ellis as trying to address the problems of nationalism in ancient Biblical stories nearly to the same extent Braverman does.

        And ANNIE, I thought you did a good job in one of your comments to me here, pointing out that secular Jews were much less likely to have nationalist militancy. And I think that secular folks’ comparative lack of militancy reflects the religious aspect of the conflict.

        Additionally, I want to make a distinction. I see ancient Judaism as holding an inner Messianic prophecy of universalism. As Hostage said, in the Messianic era, Judaism would cover all nations, and would be a religion of them all. As God promised to Abraham that he would be a father of many nations. This is also what St Paul wrote.

        BUT, regarding the roots of modern nationalism, it’s worth noting that the ancient Israelite religious community also had an intolerant side in practice. The community saw themselves as having a special relationship with God and as special nation. And although I don’t see that as necessarily bad or problematic, that thinking could create a problem when you address other nations based on that perspective, if it leads to thinking that they are less special. This potential problem of evaluating nations’ worth as unequal is a theme that Mark Braverman discusses. I think that this nationalistic side of the religion is a relevant issue, one that Mondoweiss does occasionally address, and one that Sean sees as important too.

        To give a few examples of the topic’s importance, Danaa grew up reading the Old Testament in Israeli schools. I myself was seriously “pro-Israeli” growing up in the way many militant pro-Israelis are, as I associated ancient Israel with the modern state. A third example is the Exodus story. The book and movie interpreted modern Israel history as a repetition of the ancient Biblical story. Yet that ancient story was not merely one of the ancient nation’s political redemption, but also one of conquest of the other communities already in the land. By envisioning modern history through that ancient story with its positives and negatives, the ancient story’s own aspects become relevant for today. A major problem, as far as the supposed Biblical justifications for the conflict are concerned, is that the ancients dealt with/conquered pagan societies and aimed at having a society for Abraham’s God in the land. Yet now in that land, the other two societies are already worshiping that deity, while the Israeli state is not a theocracy.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 12, 2014, 1:54 pm

        LOL. mooser i just saw your December 8, 2014, 8:04 pm comment (not sure where this will land) trying to figure out the context of new comment that just landed in this thread. i am so not practicing any religion!!!! nor do i have the inclination. the only time i have practiced anything that could be remotely construed as “practicing” religion was sitting zazen for a number of years in my youth. basically, the practice of no thought and the more you try practicing it the further from it one becomes. so it’s more like a non practice. actually, now that you mention it, it is a bit like “Abandon it totally.” ha!

        oh, here’s a funny little factoid. i bought a first edition of r.crumbs illustrated genesis last year, awesome graphics! http://www.amazon.com/The-Book-Genesis-Illustrated-Crumb/dp/039306102

        i have flipped thru it but still have not ever gotten around to reading it, or any other bible for that matter.

        btw, regarding a recent claim, i have never made a statement that could be construed as “secular Jews were much less likely to have nationalist militancy” nor has the thought ever occurred to me. whoops! somebody putting words in my mouth out of context to buttress their ideas.

      • W.Jones
        December 12, 2014, 7:23 pm

        Dear Annie,

        You are right when you say:

        i have never made a statement that could be construed as “secular Jews were much less likely to have nationalist militancy” nor has the thought ever occurred to me. whoops! somebody putting words in my mouth out of context to buttress their ideas. –

        I misunderstood what you were implying in your conversation with me here:
        http://mondoweiss.net/2014/10/significant-domestic-process#comment-716899

        There, I wrote: “PEPs are more often secular or nonreligious and do not usually profess a divine land mandate like Christian Zionists do.”

        You responded:

        “? source? or is this just your hypothesis? because i suspect there are many reform jews who consider themselves progressive who are peps, like that rabbi in st louis marching with mike brown supporters in ferguson…

        i just asked for your source and if this was your theory given that i happen to know there are many many many reform american jews who support israel and consider themselves progressive.”

        In the course of that conversation, it was CITIZEN (not you) who pointed out: “Despite the heavy influence of AIPAC matrix, the Pew Poll of last January appears to show America’s secular Jews are more critical of Israeli settlements & more in favor of the two-state solution” http://mondoweiss.net/2014/10/significant-domestic-process#comment-716899

        By the way, Crumb’s comic book on Genesis looks good.

        Peace.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 12, 2014, 7:55 pm

        yes, of course i remember that conversation.

        please refrain from putting your own words in my mouth and claim they are mine. thanks.

        – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/10/significant-domestic-process#comment-716650

        as it happened several times during that exchange. no biggie, i just found it frustrating repeating myself so many times and not being heard.

      • Mooser
        December 13, 2014, 7:28 pm

        . “I see ancient Judaism as holding an inner Messianic prophecy of universalism.”

        Yes, but you have always been one of the world’s premier chumps, so you would think a meshuggana thing like that. Go ahead, be a schmendrick, I can’t stop you.

      • Mooser
        December 13, 2014, 7:48 pm

        “oh, here’s a funny little factoid. i bought a first edition of r.crumbs illustrated genesis last year, awesome graphics!”

        Annie, everybody knows you only passed your Scripture Knowledge test by dint of a list of ‘begats’ inscribed on your middy-blouse.

        Besides, doesn’t your moderation here have a religious aspect to it? Let us examine Solomon 6:11, which begins: “I went down into the garden of nuts…”

      • piotr
        December 13, 2014, 11:47 pm

        Concerning “Judaism holding an inner promise of universalism”: I think that this is standard Christian doctrine. I guess your attitude to Torah is more in line with Manicheism.

  35. John D
    December 7, 2014, 11:20 am

    I think Sean McBride is absolutely right.
    It has always struck me that one of the over-riding sentiments from Jewish survivors of the Third Reich was the despair they felt that the Nazis had inverted Jewish religious beliefs by making the so-called “Aryan” race the “chosen” race of history which meant that the Jews and others were cast in the role of untermensch or subhumans by the Nazis.
    Their despair was heightened by the apparent utter impunity seemingly enjoyed by the Nazis when inflicting appalling levels of inhuman cruelty on others. Sound familiar?
    The Nazis too elevated concepts of blood, soil and race with an expectation of a Greater – or Eretz – Reich stretching from the ocean (Atlantic) to the ocean (Pacific). Sound familiar?
    They too insisted on liebensraum or settler space for their volk. Sound familiar?
    Today, what we are witnessing in Israel is a direct legacy of the Nazi philosophy, which could be categorised as National Judaism. Similar levels of military aggression are routinely pursued by Israel as their forebears in the Nazi Luftwaffe, Kriegesmarine and Wehrmacht.
    Perhaps some consumers of Judaism feel they have an entitlement to behave as badly as their Nazi predecessors but their neo-nazi “soap” references to Arabs spells out a myopic and dystopic society for all Israelis and Jews globally in the medium- to long-term.

    • Mooser
      December 7, 2014, 2:49 pm

      “It has always struck me that one of the over-riding sentiments from Jewish survivors of the Third Reich was the despair they felt that the Nazis had inverted Jewish religious beliefs by making the so-called “Aryan” race the “chosen” race of history which meant that the Jews and others were cast in the role of untermensch or subhumans by the Nazis.”

      Well, I’m sure something struck you. Maybe you’ll have the concussion treated someday.

      Would you like to provide us with any cites, links or quotes demonstrating that the “over-riding sentiment”, “the despair” of Holocaust survivors, was that Aryans had displaced them as the “”chosen” race”?

      Be very interesting to see.

  36. John D
    December 12, 2014, 2:15 pm

    To W. Jones above – and others who consume Judaist religious ideology – has it never struck you that it is all utter nonsens?
    That Moses never existed and that events like the Exodus are completely fallacious?
    There is no “god” or Yahweh or Allah or any of the other 10,000 human-created nonentity gods.
    Why are people fighting and literally dying for the sake of completely bogus ideologies?
    H. L. Mencken said “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the public”.
    You can say the same with added emphasis where religious ideologues are concerned.
    Aping the worst aspects of Nazism by inventing a form of National Judaism does not help.
    All the illegal occupiers should go back home to Eastern Europe and North America.
    That is where they truly belong; not in south west Asia.
    They are not Asiatics; the Palestinians are.

  37. Citizen
    December 14, 2014, 11:08 am

    For what it’s worth in this thread, doesn’t St Paul (Saul) interpretation of Jesus juxtapose bipolar Judaism with universal or uni-polar Christianity? Isn’t that the main point between a tribal God and a Universal God? On the secular plain of logic, the universal does not discriminate at all ( a la Kant).

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