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My personal journey of transformation

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I was born in Romania during World War II. My family immigrated to Israel when I was six, in the wake of the Holocaust. I grew up in Tel Aviv and spent years on a kibbutz. I was part of a “socialist Zionist” youth movement, “HaShomer HaTzair”. While serving in the army, I volunteered to teach immigrants in the Negev, mainly from North Africa. I continued on as a teacher and a principal until I moved to the US. There I taught at a Jewish day school and created curricula for Jewish and Zionist organizations. In 1995 I moved back to Israel and lived in Jerusalem. I was a liberal Zionist and felt strongly connected to Israel. I believed that Israel should withdraw from the occupied territories and blamed the settlements and the settlers. I was against wars, racism and discrimination. I felt that I had good values. I didn’t know how much I didn’t know. I did not know that I lived behind an invisible wall.

As a child, like any child, I was influenced by people and institutions around me: teachers, youth leaders, pictures, ceremonies and the entire environment in the country. My education began in 1st grade or I’d better say the indoctrination began then. Starting in 1st grade, on Fridays, before dismissal, the teacher used to pass around the “blue box”, asking for donations (which were mandatory…) made to the Jewish National Fund (JNF). We knew that JNF were reclaiming the desert, planting trees, creating parks. Not a word about being the sub contractor of the regime that expelled the indigenous…

We had bible studies 3 to 5 hours a week, 2nd to 12th grades. The bible was used as a history document that gives us, the Jewish people, the right to live in the promised land. A secular society is using a great collection of ancient writings, while god is in a position of a real estate agent.

We learned ancient Jewish history, how 2000 years ago the Jews had been exiled and since then, we the wandering Jews, were hoping to return to our homeland. The national anthem is based on this core idea: The hope of 2000 years has been in the yearning souls of Jews. There is only one little fact: the Romans did not exile the Jews. The Romans did not exile anybody. The situation in the country was really bad, and whoever had the means, the luck or the courage, left for better places. Most people stayed behind. Are they maybe the Palestinians…?

We learned modern Jewish history in Europe, mainly in eastern Europe, especially in Russia. There the antisemitism was terrible, including pogroms. There Zionism evolved to save the Jews. Wasn’t it also the nationalist trend in the 18th,19th, 20th centuries, which the Zionist movement was part of? Many Jews from eastern Europe were trying to find better places to live. The majority immigrated to the US, also to Canada, Argentina, Australia, South Africa and more. Until 1925 only 1% went to Palestine. There was a call for the Jews, as a “people without a land”, to go to a “land without a people”. We learned that those who did go, were the pioneers, idealistic young people that sacrificed their own comfort for the sake of their people. They were “the new Jew”, physically strong, upright, suntanned and not religious. We admired them. They worked hard, built villages and kibbutzim, dried swamps, paved roads and struggled for Jewish work instead of cheap Arab work. They were tired and hungry, yet danced and sang at nights. So romantic… we admired them!

We learned about the Balfour Declaration, offering a home to the Jewish nation, as a great help to the Zionist movement, except that colonialist England gave out land that did not belong to them.

The war of independence in 1948 was a cornerstone of a great victory. The newly born state, bravely fought against 7 Arab countries that wanted to destroy it and throw the Jews to the sea. We did not know that mostly volunteers came from these “7 Arab countries”, that the Jordanians were the only real trained army. We learned how the Holocaust survivors came to rebuild their lives in Israel. The fact that the Europeans committed these horrible crimes and that the indigenous in Palestine were the ones paying for it, did not cross my mind. Arabs were described as a primitive cowards, who took off their shoes and ran away. Or they were described as cruel people, hosting you nicely, and once you turn to leave they stab you in the back. We were told the Zionist narrative only, expressed in Israeli literature, poetry, songs, history and ceremonies. That is only the Ashkenazi, Israeli narrative. The expulsion of over 700,000 Palestinians, and over 400 villages that were razed to the ground and replaced by Jewish towns, villages and kibbutzim or JNF forests and parks, were not part of the story.

There was a struggle in Palestine. My enemies were the Arabs and the British. I belonged to a particular society and I knew who I was. It was my identity.

I graduated from high school and, as a young woman, who considered myself an idealistic person, volunteered to teach in a town, south in the Negev, where Jews from Arab countries had been sent. Until then I was rarely exposed to Mizrahi Jews and knew nothing about their culture. In fact, I didn’t know if they had any… With the best intentions, I taught them what I knew: East European and Ashkenazi literature and the Zionist narrative, the way I had been taught. I did it honestly with all my heart. As I continued on teaching, I did it only in towns with less privileged people from Arab countries. I believe that it made me a better person and less racist, as I taught and also learned from them. There is so much to say about the issue of Jewish Arabs, which I will skip in this article.

As a young adult in the sixties, working full time and raising my own children, I was not involved in any political activity. In fact, I did not pay any attention to daily news. There was no TV, there was news on the radio about 3 times a day, and I didn’t read papers. The media was dictated by the government anyway, more than it is today, when at least the internet plays an important role.

The 1967 war pushed me a little more into thinking about what my political stand was. As I had mentioned before, the West Bank occupation, the settlements, the right wing settlers, were for me the main political wrong doing. It was not that I ignored the Nakba, I did not know this term at all and 1948 remained holy in my mind.

What does it mean to be an Israeli liberal Zionist? In this piece of land, Israel/Palestine, the population is divided about half and half: Jews and Palestinians. There are the Palestinian citizens (the “1948 Arabs”) and the Palestinians under military regime in the occupied territories. Through most of my life I did not have any contact with Palestinians. Not one friend, acquaintance or neighbor, none. The Palestinians were on the dark side of the moon. I never went to Arab towns, definitely not to the West Bank or Gaza (before the blockade). Sometimes, while driving to the north I would stop at one of the Arab restaurants which are located along the roads, to eat some good Arabic food. I lived in Jerusalem, the “united Jerusalem”, where 40% are Palestinians, (residents, not citizens) I never went to East Jerusalem. I saw Palestinians cleaning the streets, planting flowers to beautify my city, building, carrying products in the supermarkets and washing dishes in restaurants, but I really, did not see them.

“Where a man cannot look, he cannot feel, and where a man cannot feel he has not really looked. Without both he will never understand” (Richard Forer, Breaking Through).

A deep fear has been instilled in our veins. I did not dare to cross the street to the Palestinian side. There is no need for formal segregation in Israel. It is implied perfectly by this deep fear. Two completely separate entities. This is a perfect way to dehumanize the other. “They” become demons, and you keep out!

It was November 2008. I heard on the news that the court ruled to evict two Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah. I knew nothing about this matter. I vaguely knew where Sheikh Jarrah was, even though it is neighboring side by side with the Hebrew University, Hadassah hospital and the French Hill (where I lived a couple of years in the 1990s, not being aware that I was a settler living in a settlement…) sites which are busy locations in Jerusalem. What I knew was that two families were thrown to the street. It infuriated me. Then I heard that there was a group of people protesting the eviction. I did not join. I was not familiar with Palestinian neighborhoods and in Jerusalem city maps, these neighborhoods are blank.

And… I was afraid… My daughter Daphna, insisted on going there. I joined her, I had to protect her… Yes, we found Sheikh Jarrah. This was THE FIRST TIME in my life, at the age of 64, after living in Israel for 58 years, that I had conversations with Palestinians! I realized that not my daughter was to be protected, the Palestinians are those who need protection. My journey had begun. Sheikh Jarrah was my doorway to end the fear. I joined the weekly protests on Friday afternoons, where I met Palestinians and Jewish Israeli activists. It was then that I started my inquiry. I wanted to see, I wanted to know.

My first tour was with “Ir Amim” to east Jerusalem. I was shocked. It is a third world city. In this “united Jerusalem” the Palestinian neighbourhoods don’t look like the Jerusalem that I lived in. We were driving on narrow, bumpy, unpaved roads, of course no side walks, very poor and far from sufficient schools, no playgrounds, piles of garbage which are rarely collected and most houses neglected. There is a tremendous effort to Judaize east Jerusalem and house demolitions is one of them. Demolishing Palestinian houses that had been built without permit, is the pretext, as permits are not given… We met Palestinians and listened to their frustrating, sad stories. Their status as residents can be revoked easily, which indeed has been done. Since Oslo accords 140,000 Palestinians lost their residency, because they dared to go abroad, they lost their right to return home.

I joined “Machsom Watch” touring the north part of the West Bank. Poverty, restrictions, checkpoints that separate Palestinian villages and towns from each other and look like passages for cows. Through these checkpoints, Palestinians are waiting for hours from 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, to get to work on time, go to school or to a hospital. They are processed like herds of animals.

I went with a “Breaking the Silence” tour to Hebron. This is one of the biggest cities in the West Bank with about 200,000 Palestinians and a few hundred messianic settlers. It was hard to believe what my eyes witnessed. The once, vivid city market, turned into a ghost town. The stores are closed, with locked and welded doors. The streets are divided: the larger part for Jews only, and a path (cars are not allowed) for Palestinians. The apartments are fenced on all sides, protected from the stones that settlers throw at them regularly. The occupants don’t have access to the street and they climb over the roof and then down a ladder to go to a store, school or hospital. Hebron with its roadblocks concrete barriers guard towers and border police patrol is well controlled… I felt anger, shame, sadness and pain.

On a Friday demonstration in Sheikh Jarrah, a guy was asking people whether they were willing to volunteer and join Ta’ayush to South Hebron Hills. I did not know what Ta’ayush was. I signed anyway and joined. I showed up at the meeting point, on Saturday, at 6:00 in the morning and off we headed south in a van. From that Saturday on, this was what I did on every Saturday for a few years.

Working together with Palestinians, (Ta’ayush=together) doing whatever was needed: harvesting, cleaning cisterns, rebuilding what had been destroyed and more. Being part of Ta’ayush has been one of the most meaningful times in my life, one of the most meaningful things I have ever done.

It has been hard work to examine my own mind. Many questions that leave me wondering how could I have not thought about them. My solid identity has been shaken and then broken… I have been an eyewitness to the systematic oppression, humiliation, racism, cruelty and hatred by “my” people towards the “others” and what you see, you can no longer unsee…

People ask for solutions. I don’t have one. I have a vision: A state for all its citizens with equal rights. A true democracy.

About Tzvia Thier

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63 Responses

  1. geokat62
    April 11, 2015, 3:48 pm

    This woman has a pure soul!

  2. bintbiba
    April 11, 2015, 3:50 pm

    One more true humanist has her say.

    Tzvia… welcome to our hearts !

    And you are so beautiful !!

    • ziusudra
      April 12, 2015, 2:54 am

      Greetings bintbiba,
      You personally are the one to share her Menschkeit with.
      A true Jiddsche Euro mothering Mama. I personally don’t believe that she is the only one in or out of Israel. She is a leader of this suffrage of other People.
      Take care, bint.
      ziusudra

    • kghuneim
      April 21, 2015, 6:15 am

      It’s amazing how the term “Anti-Semitism” is being expoited. The word “Semite” is an Arabic word that means “Most Elite” (i.e.No-body can cross them) , with this in-mind, how can anyone accept for others to be semite over him/ her. Maybe they should change this phrase. And please do not start with the word Anti, if you decide to choose another phrase.

      • eljay
        April 21, 2015, 9:40 am

        || kghuneim: It’s amazing how the term “Anti-Semitism” is being expoited. ||

        You should see how Zio-supremacists exploit the Holocaust!

        || Maybe they should change this phrase. ||

        They already have: “Jew hatred” is now en vogue.

  3. Rosebud
    April 11, 2015, 3:54 pm

    I fell in love with this woman when I first saw the video of her, handing out fliers, on Mondoweiss last year. I just hope that more and more people come to hear her story!

  4. just
    April 11, 2015, 4:10 pm

    I think of you so often, Tzvia! I check in on Ta’ayush often. I have shared your interview with Phil and the other article about you countless times with countless people.

    “In and out of love with Israel: Tzvia Thier’s story”

    http://mondoweiss.net/2014/11/israel-thiers-story

    “‘I was a Zionist till I was 64. I want to hit myself’” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/?s=interview+with+tzvia#sthash.gQ3LWwQ5.dpuf

    This, too will be shared. You write that “what you see, you can no longer unsee…”. True, but you have shared what you saw, and if people have the courage to see through your eyes and listen to your heartfelt words, they will/can transform too.

    Thank you so much for writing.

    1S1P1V!!!

  5. StanleyHeller
    April 11, 2015, 5:22 pm

    I believe this is Tzvia speaking yesterday at the demonstration in New York City for Yarmouk
    https://youtu.be/oC0ggrWinA0

    Lots more video from that event here:
    https://www.youtube.com/user/strugglevideomedia/videos

    • just
      April 11, 2015, 5:38 pm

      It is the indomitable Tzvia!

      Thanks so much, Stanley~ for the links, and for your work for justice.

  6. Bornajoo
    April 11, 2015, 6:16 pm

    A wonderful and inspirational person.

    Thank you Tzvia

  7. JWalters
    April 11, 2015, 6:25 pm

    These first-person testimonials are very valuable. They ALL tell how the writer was kept in ignorance by a large, coordinated campaign of deception.

  8. Mooser
    April 11, 2015, 7:09 pm

    The passage : “And… I was afraid… My daughter Daphna, insisted on going there. I joined her,…/…My journey had begun” is my favorite. Wonderful, so nice to hear it happened like that! Thanks.

    • MHughes976
      April 14, 2015, 12:12 pm

      There’s nothing wrong with a state that happens to have a majority which is ‘something or other’, – and in that case it certainly should be the reality, and if not the reality should be a goal, that those who are ‘something else’ have full civil rights. But it cannot be a legitimate objective to constitute the state so that the ‘somethings’ will always predominate. I think that it may, in order to maintain peace and order, be permissible to make a transitional arrangement whereby different groups will be the majority in different parts of the same polity. but if the polity really is to be the same that arrangement will have to be transitional only.

  9. michelle
    April 11, 2015, 7:40 pm

    .
    more proof that there is good in the most unlikely places/groups
    .
    we/the world needs to learn to choose
    what is right over what their ‘group’ is doing
    or it will never stop stinking
    .
    one by one
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

  10. Citizen
    April 12, 2015, 6:57 am

    Wonder what Ms Thier thinks of the Goldhagen thesis re his book “Hitler’s Willing Executioners”? Would she think it relevant to her own experience, the average German’s experience growing up in Germany back in the day? Further, re how culture partners with government–20,000 Americans had already died in Vietnam before the anti-war movement broke out & remember, Hillary, Kerry, all those other “leaders” who signed on to Bush Jr’s war on Iraq? Now so many of the same “leaders,” still going strong, now pushing for war on Iran?

    • Hostage
      April 16, 2015, 12:44 pm

      Wonder what Ms Thier thinks of the Goldhagen thesis re his book “Hitler’s Willing Executioners”? Would she think it relevant to her own experience, the average German’s experience growing up in Germany back in the day?

      I would thinks so, since her use of the term Judaize has an exact historical parallel to the Nazi program of “Germanization” – which was one of the major war crimes tried by the post-WWII Tribunal. She said:

      There is a tremendous effort to Judaize east Jerusalem and house demolitions is one of them. Demolishing Palestinian houses that had been built without permit, is the pretext, as permits are not given… We met Palestinians and listened to their frustrating, sad stories. Their status as residents can be revoked easily, which indeed has been done. Since Oslo accords 140,000 Palestinians lost their residency, because they dared to go abroad, they lost their right to return home.

      Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention covered all of the crimes involved in population transfers. The process of acquiring a territory by evicting its population, either through military attacks or occupation, and implementing a policy of apartheid or genocide are the primary examples of war crimes and crimes against humanity listed in the Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity.

      Count 3 of the Nuremberg Indictment, i.e. “(J) GERMANIZATION OF OCCUPIED TERRITORIES” charged the Nazis as follows:

      In certain occupied territories purportedly annexed to Germany the defendants methodically and pursuant to plan endeavored to assimilate those territories politically, culturally, socially, and economically into the German Reich. The defendants endeavored to obliterate the former national character of these territories. In pursuance of these plans and endeavors, the defendants forcibly deported inhabitants who were predominantly non-German and introduced thousands of German colonists.

      — See pdf page 73 (printed page 63) of The International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, Trial of the Major War Criminals, Vol. 1 at the Library of Congress http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/pdf/NT_Vol-I.pdf or see the Indictment, Count 3 “War Crimes” at the Avalon Project http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/count3.asp

      “In their verdict, the four Allied judges found that the main aim of the Nazis, i.e., the conquest of living space, had been amply proven by the prosecution. Therefore, they viewed the atrocities committed during the war as consequences rather than ends— but did not refer to these policies as a program of genocide:

      The evidence shows that at any rate in the East, the mass murders and cruelties were not committed solely for the purpose of stamping out opposition or resistance to the German occupying forces. In Poland and the Soviet Union these crimes were part of a plan to get rid of whole native populations by expulsion and annihilation, in order that their territory could be used for colonization by Germans.

      — See Reassessing the Nuremberg Military Tribunals: Transitional Justice, Trial Narratives, and Historiography page 109-110 https://books.google.com/books?id=znQ72M_MuU0C&lpg=PA107&ots=jTFFOVeRQT&pg=PA109#v=onepage&q&f=false

      • Hostage
        April 16, 2015, 1:15 pm

        P.S. Recently Jeb Bush wrote:

        The Obama administration treats announcements of new apartment buildings in Jerusalem like acts of aggression.

        http://www.nationalreview.com/article/415929/israel-and-iran-president-obama-mistakes-friend-and-foe-jeb-bush

        The Obama administration was reacting to Netanyahu’s election campaign stop in “Har Homa” which was built on West Bank land that was illegally annexed to the Jerusalem municipality by Israel long after the 1967 Six-Day War. It’s important to remember that, after Israel annexed East Jerusalem, it was Nixon’s Ambassador to the UN, Charles Yost who advised the other members of the Security Council that our government nonetheless considers East Jerusalem occupied territory:

        97. . . . The expropriation or confiscation of land, the construction of housing on such land, the demolition or confiscation of buildings, including those having historic or religious significance, and the application of Israeli law to occupied portions of the city are detrimental to our common interests in the city. The United States considers that the part of Jerusalem that came under the control of Israel in the June 1967 war, like other areas occupied by Israel, is occupied territory and hence subject to the provisions of international law governing the rights and obligations of an occupying Power. Among the provisions of international law which bind Israel, as they would bind any occupier, are the provisions that the occupier has no right to make changes in laws or in administration other than those which are temporarily necessitated by his security interests, and that an occupier may not confiscate or destroy private property. The pattern of behaviour authorized under the Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 and international law is clear: the occupier must maintain the occupied area as intact and unaltered as possible, without interfering with the customary life of the area, and any changes must be necessitated by the immediate needs of the occupation. I regret to say that the actions of Israel in the occupied portion of Jerusalem present a different picture, one which gives rise to understandable concern that the eventual disposition of East Jerusalem may be prejudiced, and that the private rights and activities of the population are already being affected and altered.
        98. My Government regrets and deplores this pattern of activity, and it has so informed the Government of Israel on numerous occasions since June 1967. We have consistently refused to recognize those measures as having anything but a provisional character and do not accept them as affecting the ultimate status of Jerusalem.

        link to un.org

        For over 50 years the international community of states worked on a definition of the crime of aggression. During that time, both Republican and Democratic administrations ratified the Kellogg-Briand Pact, the Montevideo Convention, The Organization of American States Charter, The Geneva Conventions, and the United Nations Charter. Each of those conventions prohibit the acquisition of territory by war or through annexation by an occupying power:

        The invasion or attack by the armed forces of a State of the territory of another State, or any military occupation, however temporary, resulting from such invasion or attack, or any annexation by the use of force of the territory of another State or part thereof,

        — Definition of Aggression, United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3314 (XXIX) and “Article 8 bis Crime of aggression,” in the amended Rome Statute.

  11. DoubleStandard
    April 12, 2015, 8:09 am

    My sympathies that she was too weak to fight anti-Israel indoctrination. Some people can’t be saved.

    “People ask for solutions. I don’t have one. I have a vision: A state for all its citizens with equal rights. A true democracy.”

    That’s called the 1SS you idiot.

    • just
      April 12, 2015, 12:29 pm

      DS~ your derogatory and personal attacks are really disgusting.

      Please acquaint yourself with the policy @ MW

      http://mondoweiss.net/policy

    • justicewillprevail
      April 12, 2015, 4:14 pm

      Thanks for emphasising Tzvia’s point so well re the utter ignorance of zionists like you. And also making her journey that much sweeter and courageous.

    • Mooser
      April 12, 2015, 5:12 pm

      ” anti-Israel indoctrination.”

      Now, there’s a coffee-spewer if I ever saw one. Yup, it’s that “anti-Israel” indoctrination!

      Listen, DoubleStandard, if one afternoon at a Palestinian protest can tear away a lifetime of pro-Israel indoctrination, and one gotten in Israel itself, you better worry. Remember, it was her daughter who introduced her to this. That ol’ Pro-Israel indoctrination doesn’t seem to be working so good anymore.

    • Mooser
      April 12, 2015, 5:19 pm

      “That’s called the 1SS you idiot.”

      And why is she an “idiot” for favoring what adds up to, as you so percetively pointed out as “the 1SS”. Why, is there something wrong with “A state for all its citizens with equal rights. A true democracy.”

      Maybe I don’t understand, DS, are those goals incompatible with a Jewish State? Do you think Jews would be at a disadvantage in such a state? Is it because we’re not smart enough, good enough, or, goddammit, people just don’t like us, sort of the worlds ‘anti- Stuart Smalley’? But with illegal nuclear bombs, of course.

      • DoubleStandard
        April 12, 2015, 7:01 pm

        You don’t understand — none of the people at this website do. The entire of idea of Israel was a Jewish-majority country. You should do some serious reflection when so much of your intellectual energy is spent thinking of ways to bring down a tiny country that’s fought 3 wars for its existence.

        And we obviously would be at a disadvantage in such a state. That’s why the concept of Israel came into being in the first place. The end of permanent minority-dom for Jews. Why not just call for 1 state in the entire world and then call everyone who is against such a proposal a “racist”?

        I called her an idiot cause her statement is stupidly contradictory. She says I don’t favor a political solution, but then calls for an equal rights state in all of Palestine, which is indeed a political solution called the 23rd Arab majority state.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 12, 2015, 7:50 pm

        You don’t understand — … The entire of idea of Israel was a Jewish-majority country.

        we all understand perfectly. “the entire idea” still doesn’t make it ok. not when you have to break the law to do it.

      • echinococcus
        April 12, 2015, 8:04 pm

        DoubleStandard: “The entire of idea of Israel was a Jewish-majority country…. a tiny country that’s fought 3 wars for its existence…. That’s why the concept of Israel came into being in the first place.

        Very, very good! You explained very clearly and succinctly exactly why this state must be destroyed.

      • eljay
        April 13, 2015, 7:18 am

        || DoubleStandardeee: You don’t understand — none of the people at this website do. The entire of idea of Israel was a Jewish-majority country. … ||

        Correct. Israel was established not as a secular and democratic state of and for all of its Israeli citizens, immigrants, ex-pats [sic] and refugees, equally, but as a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” primarily of and for Jewish Israelis and non-Israeli Jews.

        What you don’t understand – what none of you Zio-supremacists understands* – is that supremacism remains unjust and immoral even when Jewish people are the ones engaging in it.
        _____________
        (*Actually, I’m pretty sure that you do understand but, because you’re hateful and immoral supremacists, you just don’t care.)

      • Mooser
        April 13, 2015, 10:04 pm

        “You don’t understand — none of the people at this website do.”

        Is this where you shriek: “Leave Israel aloooooooone” and run sobbing from the room, and decide to make ali-ooops?

      • Mooser
        April 13, 2015, 10:08 pm

        “And we obviously would be at a disadvantage in such a state.”

        I know! Look what happened to the Jews in America, where they are a tiny, tiny, minority. And with no protection from the government , and no land of their own. Every last Jew in the US was wiped out, weren’t they? Awful to think about their fate.

        “And we obviously would be at a disadvantage….”

        Wow, self-hatred, internalizing the opinions of the persecutors, is always so sad to see.

      • yonah fredman
        April 13, 2015, 10:20 pm

        Anyone who thinks that the new Palestine after the dissolution of Zionism is going to resemble the US is living in a dream of unicorns and candy canes and rainbows and happy pretty people singing kumbaya.

      • Kris
        April 14, 2015, 12:58 am

        @DoubleStandard: “You don’t understand — none of the people at this website do. The entire of idea of Israel was a Jewish-majority country.”

        Aw, DoubleStandard, I DO understand! Israel is so much like the Confederate States of America, aka the Confederacy! I absolutely get it! The entire idea of the CSA was to continue their benign (and biblical!) tradition of black slavery. The entire idea of Zionist Jews is to steal the land of the Palestinians and maintain a system of ethnic privilege for Jews.

        Why anyone would fail to realize that Zionist Jews and white southerners should be allowed to achieve “their entire idea” is something I just don’t understand. It’s not even as if blacks or Palestinians were even completely human; more like untermenchen, really.

        Besides, as you rightly observe, the Zionist Jews (and the CSA!) have fought WARS to achieve their goals, so they deserve to prevail, just as the Third Reich did.

      • OyVey00
        April 14, 2015, 1:16 am

        Anyone who thinks that the new Palestine after the dissolution of Zionism is going to resemble the US is living in a dream of unicorns and candy canes and rainbows and happy pretty people singing kumbaya.

        I think that we can agree on. It’d more resemble the anarchic situation in Lebanon or South Africa and would probably ultimately end up as a failed state.

        But then why not a real 2SS? Real as in a Palestinian state with connected territory, own water supply and an own army. Apart from prolonging the status quo and a 1SS ending in misery, this is the only viable solution which doesn’t involve holocausting the Palestinians.

      • Sibiriak
        April 14, 2015, 2:17 am

        Kris : “@DoubleStandard: “You don’t understand — none of the people at this website do. The entire of idea of Israel was a Jewish-majority country.”

        Aw, DoubleStandard, I DO understand! Israel is so much like the Confederate States of America, aka the Confederacy! I absolutely get it! The entire idea of the CSA was to continue their benign (and biblical!) tradition of black slavery.”

        ———-

        Strictly speaking, an ethnic-majority state need not be an ethnic-supremacist state that oppresses minorities.

        It is certainly possible to conceive of a Jewish- majority state with full civil rights for minority groups. That, however, is not the reality in Israel. But it could be a goal.

      • Walid
        April 14, 2015, 6:45 am

        “She says I don’t favor a political solution, but then calls for an equal rights state in all of Palestine, which is indeed a political solution called the 23rd Arab majority state.” (DS)

        It’s actually 22 states in the Arab League that already include Palestine and Syria whose membership has been suspended since a couple of years and its seat occupied by the unofficial Syrian opposition that is backed by the US and the Gulf States.

        There are 4 or 5 of them that calling them “Arab State” is a bit of a stretch since there isn’t much of anything Arabic about them. As Oldgeezer mentioned, there isn’t much that binds them as a group other than religion and the classical Arabic language used to communicate with other Arab states. So far since 1945 their collective claim to fame has been centered around a failed attempt at boycotting Israel and at militarily attacking fellow member states such as Libya, Syria and Iraq. 4 of the group have formally recognized Israel and several others have overt and covert relations with it. Only Syria and Lebanon are still in a state of war with Israel, so the Israeli self-pittying claim of existential threat of facing 22 or 23 Arab countries is absurd.

      • RoHa
        April 14, 2015, 7:14 am

        “Anyone who thinks that the new Palestine after the dissolution of Zionism is going to resemble the US is living in a dream of unicorns and candy canes and rainbows and happy pretty people singing kumbaya. ”

        Far better for it to resemble Norway. And the best way to get closer to that end is for the Israeli Jews to start working on reconciliation with the Palestinians now.

      • eljay
        April 14, 2015, 7:58 am

        || y.f.: Anyone who thinks that the new Palestine after the dissolution of Zionism is going to resemble the US is living in a dream of unicorns and candy canes and rainbows and happy pretty people singing kumbaya. ||

        I expect that any solution involving one or two secular and democratic states of and for all of their citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally, will require hard work and a commitment to justice, accountability and equality.

        I have hope that the non-Zionist people in Israel and Palestine – non-Jews and Jews alike – will make the effort, do the work and uphold the commitment.

        It’s been very clear for almost 70 years that Zio-supremacists – living a fantasy in which their supremacist “Jewish State” is a “moral beacon” even as it continues to steal, occupy, colonize, oppress, torture and kill – don’t give a f*ck.

      • Kris
        April 14, 2015, 9:50 am

        @Sibirak: “It is certainly possible to conceive of a Jewish- majority state with full civil rights for minority groups. That, however, is not the reality in Israel. But it could be a goal.”

        Why could a majority of any ethnic or religious group be an acceptable goal? How would that be achieved, other than by getting rid of people who adversely affected the demographic goal?

        Or are you thinking of something like the U.S. south, where the “majority” that was maintained was the voting majority, not the demographic majority? The voting majority was maintained by not letting black people vote, and then by gerrymandering voting districts to neutralize the votes of blacks.

        A goal of a “Jewish majority” nation sounds about as acceptable as a goal of an Aryan majority nation. What am I missing here?

      • Kris
        April 14, 2015, 10:14 am

        @yonah: “Anyone who thinks that the new Palestine after the dissolution of Zionism is going to resemble the US is living in a dream of unicorns and candy canes and rainbows and happy pretty people singing kumbaya.”

        Good comment, yonah. It certainly will take at least a few generations for the virulent racism of Israeli Jews to die down, but the process can be supported by strict enforcement of the law, by intensive efforts at education, and by world opinion and actions against racism and discrimination in Israel/Palestine.

        It will help that most of the Palestinians are guided by a religion that stresses submission to the will of God, who, in their view, commands mercy, compassion, and respect toward the “other.”

      • lysias
        April 14, 2015, 11:01 am

        Kris, I recently read the new book The Fall of the Ottomans by Eugene Rogan. I was interested to read that the Young Turks’ objective in launching the genocide of the Armenians was to ensure that in no province of their empire would Armenians be more than 5 or 10 percent of the population. If memory serves, Ilan Pappe says in The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine that Ben Gurion’s plan was for Palestinians to be no more than 20% of the population of the new Jewish state. The two sound similar to me.

      • Mooser
        April 14, 2015, 12:07 pm

        “Anyone who thinks that the new Palestine after the dissolution of Zionism is going to resemble the US is living in a dream of unicorns and candy canes and rainbows and happy pretty people singing kumbaya.”

        That Yonah, is entirely up to the Zionists, isn’t it? After all, the Zionists have all the power, all the money and the land. What happens is their responsibility.

        Or is the inability to take responsibility one of those “differences in sexual behavior” our friend “Jon s” was talking about?

        Man, what a sleazy way of dealing with the world, Yonah. You Zionist SOBs (and you, Yonah, went there and participated in the criminality, did you not?) made the mess, you better clean it up.

        Or maybe….oh, forget it.

      • Mooser
        April 14, 2015, 12:15 pm

        “But then why not a real 2SS? Real as in a Palestinian state with connected territory, own water supply and an own army.”

        Well, look who’s enmity toward Jews (which should be “slapping me in the face”, remember) suddenly thinks they will be good partners in a 2s solution! Well what do you know.

        “OyVey00” you are such a phony, and hardly smart enough to attempt it. Why not come clean?

        “this is the only viable solution which doesn’t involve holocausting the Palestinians.”

        Dude, you are going to have to try much, much harder. Get some advice.

      • Kris
        April 14, 2015, 5:28 pm

        @Ooveyoo: “But then why not a real 2SS? Real as in a Palestinian state with connected territory, own water supply and an own army. Apart from prolonging the status quo and a 1SS ending in misery, this is the only viable solution which doesn’t involve holocausting the Palestinians.”

        So this is “the only viable solution which doesn’t involve holocausting the Palestinians”???? HOLOCAUSTING THE PALESTINIANS???????

        I can think of another “solution” that is just as “viable” as “holocausting the Palestinians.” That would be “holocausting the Zionist Jews.” Mass murder is not a “viable solution to anything, Ooveyoo. As the veils fall away from Zionism’s face, what is revealed is truly horrifying.

        Here are two solutions that would be viable:

        1. Isolating, in comfortable, super-secure, re-education camps on federal land in the U.S., all Israelis who are unwilling/unable to live in peace and justice with the Palestinians. Mental health professionals would monitor their progress, and as they learned to use coping skills other than whining, self-pity, racism, and self-aggrandizement, they would move into sheltered half-way houses where they could continue to heal. Those who acted out their violent impulses would, of course, be confined in prisons or mental hospitals, as appropriate.

        Or how about an extended occupation of Israel by military forces from a coation of countries, combined with a strict embargo and sanctions, which could be gradually lifted as Israelis demonstrated that they had learned to respect and abide by the law.

      • RoHa
        April 14, 2015, 6:41 pm

        Now “holocaust” is a verb! Oy vey!

      • RoHa
        April 14, 2015, 6:44 pm

        “Isolating, in comfortable, super-secure, re-education camps on federal land in the U.S., all Israelis who are unwilling/unable to live in peace and justice with the Palestinians.”

        Sounds like a plan. No one’s using North Dakota for anything, are they? I’m sure you could find a place there. Maybe next to an Indian Reservation.

      • OyVey00
        April 14, 2015, 11:36 pm

        I can think of another “solution” that is just as “viable” as “holocausting the Palestinians.” That would be “holocausting the Zionist Jews.” Mass murder is not a “viable solution to anything, Ooveyoo. As the veils fall away from Zionism’s face, what is revealed is truly horrifying.

        Viable = possible

        It’s quite possible (albeit unlikely due to the foreseeable political backlash) for the Israelis to shoah the Palestinians, while the reverse is currently impossible due to the lopsided military strength of the two factions.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 15, 2015, 12:15 am

        Viable = possible

        http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/viable

        Dictionary
        viable

        Full Definition of VIABLE

        1
        : capable of living; especially : having attained such form and development as to be normally capable of surviving outside the mother’s womb
        2
        : capable of growing or developing
        3
        a : capable of working, functioning, or developing adequately
        b : capable of existence and development as an independent unit
        c (1) : having a reasonable chance of succeeding
        (2) : financially sustainable

      • OyVey00
        April 15, 2015, 7:24 am

        @Annie

        From your link: Viable: capable of succeeding

        Which is exactly what how I was using it, or not?

      • Sibiriak
        April 15, 2015, 7:31 am

        Kris: “@Sibirak: “It is certainly possible to conceive of a Jewish- majority state with full civil rights for minority groups. That, however, is not the reality in Israel. But it could be a goal.”

        Why could a majority of any ethnic or religious group be an acceptable goal?”
        ————-

        1) Israel within “1967” borders already has a Jewish super-majority. So the goal would be full civil rights for all non-Jewish Israelis (along with social and economic equality and other goals.)

        2) The desire of a people (ethnos) to be a political majority may not be the most enlightened of desires imaginable, but if such a goal does not entail the violation of the civil and individual rights of other groups (but it often does), it’s certainly not the worst of political goals. In Russia for example, where I live as a foreigner, the Russian people see Russian majority-status in Russia as a non-negotiable given–they would certainly never accept minority status.. That kind of attitude is quite prevalent globally.

        All over the world there are movements for peoples, nations, indigenous groups etc. to create or maintain political entities in which those groups are majorities–call if self-determination of peoples, a “cardinal principle in modern international law”– and in many states the majority status of a particular people/nation/ethnos is simply taken for granted.

        ——————–
        ” How would that be achieved, other than by getting rid of people who adversely affected the demographic goal?”

        It could only be achieved –morally– in a territory where a group was already a majority. That was/is the great evil in Zionism– a “Jewish homeland” in Palestine *required* ethnic cleansing on a massive scale. And ethnic-cleansing continues to this day.

        —————–

        “A goal of a “Jewish majority” nation sounds about as acceptable as a goal of an Aryan majority nation. What am I missing here?”

        Simply this: A Jewish majority already exists (built on innumerable past crimes) in “pre-1967 Israel” , i.e. Israel excluding the Occupied Territories. Those territories could become the sovereign lands of a Palestinian state, and Israel could be transformed from an ethno-theocratic militarist state into a liberal-democratic state with a Jewish-majority. “Could” meaning those could be acceptable goals, not that they are realistic ones. But then again, a single state comprising Israel, the West Bank and Gaza isn’t so realistic either at this point.

    • oldgeezer
      April 14, 2015, 1:31 am

      @DS

      Bet ya can’t list the 23 Arab majority states. Give it a try.

      Bet ya don’t realize how racist you are by treating all Arabs as a monolithic group. A hint would be that it’s as racist as me considering all Jewish people as a monolithic group.

      Bet you don’t realize your principles are more in line with David Duke than they are with any moral person.

      In fact I’ll bet you don’t realize what the phrase double standards mean in that for you the lack of double standards means special privilege and exemption from both morality and equality for your chosen tribe. No reference to Jewish people being chosen… I literally mean the grouping you chose to identify with.

      You are a living, breathing example of double standards.

      • eljay
        April 14, 2015, 7:41 am

        || oldgeezer: You are a living, breathing example of double standards. ||

        Like all Zio-supremacists, he personifies the double standard of “do unto others what you would not have others do unto you”. He chose his name well.

      • Mooser
        April 14, 2015, 12:10 pm

        “A hint would be that it’s as racist as me considering all Jewish people as a monolithic group.”

        Yes, sort of funny isn’t it, that Zionists are so freaking eager to make sure Jews are seen as a monolithic group. I wonder why? Maybe Zionists are racist?

  12. just
    April 12, 2015, 9:11 am

    A bit O/T: A really fascinating piece by Yuliya Komska @ The Guardian:

    “My grandparents rejected the Holocaust survivor label. They weren’t alone

    For many, living through Nazism does not make them ‘survivors’. But not everyone accepts or understand this aversion to the term

    94-year-old Miriam Arndt resists being called a Holocaust survivor. “Survivors are the people who were hidden by Christians and who somehow made it or who escaped from the concentration camps”. Her usual response when people refer to her as one? “I correct them. I say that I am not a survivor, that I just happened to be in Berlin [until 1937], I had a very good time, and I was very well protected”.

    Miriam is not the only one uncomfortable with the term. I had never thought of my grandparents, Jews from Kiev, Ukraine, as Holocaust survivors either – and neither did they. But my colleagues at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum – where I spent the summer of 2000 as a lowly research assistant – questioned such reserve. “This kind of modesty-slash-denial is quite common in your part of the world”, a helpful co-worker explained.

    “For decades, you were told that the Nazis had murdered ‘Soviet citizens’”, he continued, alluding to the language of the Extraordinary State Commission reports. Set up by the Soviet government in 1942, the commission tallied Nazi atrocities yet downplayed the destruction’s disproportionate impact on Jews. …

    …Back in 2000, the colleague at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum asked if I had added my grandparents’ names to the Holocaust Survivors database: “You owe it to them, before it’s too late”.

    He typed in our last name to double-check. “There! John, or Jan, Komski”, the colleague looked up, satisfied. But it wasn’t my grandfather, just someone who shared his name. I read: “John Komski, born 1915, a gentile Polish resistance fighter and former Auschwitz inmate”. John’s oral history detailed camp life, executions, and hunger. It had nothing to do with my grandparents’ lineage or fates – my grandfather considered himself a war veteran and my grandmother described herself as a former evacuee – and everything with survival in that visceral sense to which Miriam refers. “Well anyway”, the colleague went on matter-of-factly, “your grandparents’ names should be here too

    I spent the rest of the summer mulling over this remark – a mixture of reproach and collector’s zeal. I wanted to be faithful to my grandparents’ humility, their respect vis-à-vis those who had endured a worse fate, their regard for how specific experiences can irrevocably mold personal identities, and their restraint with such fraught designations as “survivor” – especially in the age of “popular trauma culture”.

    From his perspective, I must have remained my grandparents’ debtor in perpetuity. Because now it is too late: both died some years ago, and I still haven’t added their names to the registry. I probably never will.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/apr/12/my-grandparents-rejected-holocaust-survivor-label#comment-50326869

    • mariapalestina
      April 13, 2015, 3:13 pm

      I too became a great admirer of Tzvia when I saw that earlier video of her handing out fliers. And on the same (O/T) theme of dubious survivors, I agree it is ridiculous for all Jews who were in Europe during the Hitler years to be considered Holocaust survivors. By that reasoning I could claim to be a survivor of Hitler too, since my family’s home in England was lucky to escape being destroyed by Hitler’s bombs, while neighbors were not so fortunate.

  13. Annie Robbins
    April 12, 2015, 12:09 pm

    it’s so wonderful to read the words of beautiful glorious Tzvia Thier. thank you!

    • Mooser
      April 13, 2015, 10:18 pm

      I’m still full up on naches from the mother-daughter part (“Yes, we found Sheikh Jarrah.”) That lumped my throat just as much today as when I first read it. Wonderful!

  14. Rich Forer
    April 12, 2015, 12:54 pm

    Tzvia, Thank you for sharing your journey. it is always a positive step for mankind when people can go beyond their indoctrination which, sadly, is not very often. In your article you quoted from my book: “Where a man cannot look, he cannot feel, and where a man cannot feel he has not really looked. Without both he will never understand.” I am happy you felt moved to share a tiny bit of my vision. However, the name of my book from which you quoted is “Breakthrough: Transforming Fear into Compassion – A New Perspective on the Israel-Palestine Conflict. ” Thank you again and keep up the good work. Rich

  15. eljay
    April 13, 2015, 11:24 am

    I continue to have much respect for Ms. Thier.

  16. michelle
    April 16, 2015, 6:50 pm

    .
    is Israel the ‘new’ god
    are ‘we’ to be the followers of ‘Israel’
    shall all praise Israel as the living god
    shall all bow to those who wear the mark of Israel
    .
    And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
    And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
    Matthew 3
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

    • Walid
      April 16, 2015, 8:28 pm

      “We have Abraham to our father…” (michelle)

      That’s where all our problems started; not a very illustrious ancestor one could brag about.

      • michelle
        April 17, 2015, 2:12 pm

        .
        i heard the problems started with an apple from a forbidden tree
        people should listen when G-d Says No
        .
        G-d Bless
        .

      • Mooser
        April 20, 2015, 10:20 pm

        “i heard the problems started with an apple from a forbidden tree”

        That episode has always troubled my otherwise placidly reverent soul. Why didn’t God know that Eve, being the first woman, would do exactly the opposite of what she was told? Always wondered about that.
        Anyway, God bless her for it.

    • Mooser
      April 20, 2015, 10:27 pm

      “Matthew 3”

      Oh my! Oh my, oh my. I think somebody possibly owes us a little exegesis?

  17. michelle
    April 27, 2015, 3:21 am

    .
    aren’t we here to define our own boundaries
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

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