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Corey Robin revisits Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem

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Corey Robin has a deeply interesting article in the June 1, 2015 edition of The Nation wherein he wrestles with the issues first raised 52 years ago by the publication of Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem. I’ve been chewing on it like a dog on a bone the last few days.

What is it about Arendt’s reportage of the Eichmann trial that still draws fireworks today?

Eichmann and the Holocaust

Adolf Eichmann was born in Solingen, Germany, on March 19, 1906. During World War I his family moved to Linz, Austria. Hitler, too, had spent student years in Linz; as had Wittgenstein. Adolf Eichmann was the only one of five sibilings who failed to complete high school or vocational school.

Eichmann joined the Austrian Nazi Party in April 1932, and by that November he joined Heinrich Himmler’s SS, the paramilitary force that provided security at Nazi meetings and rallies in Linz. Having lost his salesman job for an American oil company in early 1933, and the Nazi Party being banned in Austria, Eichmann left for Germany. There he attended a several-week SS training camp.

The first anti-Jewish laws were passed in Germany in 1933 amid escalating violence: Jews were barred from the Civil Service and all government employment.  Extra-judicial arrest powers of the state, first instituted after World War I, were expanded and appropriated by the Nazi party, permitting the Party to arbitrarily arrest anyone and detain them in concentration camps with no court oversight. Hannah Arendt, who was gathering evidence of Nazi anti-Semitism, was also briefly arrested and imprisoned by the Gestapo in 1933. She was later detained a second time in occupied France as an enemy alien by the Vichy regime, before managing to make her way to New York.

At the Sixth Party Congress in 1934 Hitler proclaimed that from the beginning, the goal of National Socialism was to be the sole political force in Germany.  “The aim must be [for] all Germans [to] become National Socialists,” he said.  Rudolf Hess, the deputy party leader put it this way: “Thanks to your leadership,” he said, addressing Hitler, “Germany will achieve its goal, to be a Homeland …  for all Germans of the world.” [See Reifenstahl’s Will to Power  @24:00]  A Nazi ruled homeland for racially pure Germans …. and no others.

In a police state, they say, the worst elements rise to the top. Eichmann proved to be a successful striver in this system.  Between 1933 and 1939, through violence, economic pressure, deprivation of citizenship, and discriminatory laws, Germany encouraged Jews to emigrate.  The Nuremberg Race Laws were enacted in September 1935, depriving Jews of German citizenship. Of the approximately 437,000-522,000 German Jews in Germany in 1933, approximately 250,000 had left by the outbreak of war. [160,000 to 180,000 German Jews were killed during the war; by 1950 approximately 37,000 Jews remained in Germany]

In 1937 Eichmann traveled with a delegation to British Mandatory Palestine to assess Palestine as a possible destination for Jewish emigration from Western Europe. Nothing came of this. After the Anschluss of Austria by Germany in March 1938, Eichmann was posted in Vienna to encourage and facilitate Jewish emigration from Austria. In 18 months, Eichmann’s organization processed 180,000 emigrating Jews from Austria.  My wife’s family was touched by this.  My mother-in-law, who lived in Vienna with her family, was expelled from school and subsequently sent to live with a family in Britain. Her brother was sent to Holland in preparation to go to Palestine, but found his way to New York instead; her father was humiliated and forced to clean the sidewalk with a toothbrush by SA thugs–he emigrated to Shanghai by boat from Italy; and her mother flew to New York from Belgium shortly before the outbreak of war.

With the outbreak of war all emigration stopped. By late 1941 the Nazi policy shifted from forced deportation to extermination. On January 20, 1942 the head of the SS secret service, Reinhard Heydrich, assembled the heads of the various German civil and war departments at Wannsee in Berlin to discuss implementation of the Final Solution. In the Mandel/Pierson film dramatization of the conference starring Kenneth Branagh (favorably reviewed by historians), Eichmann sits to Heydrich’s right.  Eichmann issued a memorandum memorializing the meeting in euphemistic, but unmistakable language. (Unfortunately the film is now under a paywall, but you can get the gist of it here) At the Wannsee conference Auschwitz is identified as the primary killing center for the Holocaust in Western Europe. Construction on the gas chambers and crematorium began in October 1941. By March 1942, a never ending stream of trains transported victims from all over Europe.

In March 1942 trains began arriving daily.

Between 1.3 to 1.5 million were murdered at Auschwitz. More than 90% of the victims were Jews. Throughout the war, Eichmann was in charge of logistics for coordinating and transporting Jews to concentration camps. In addition to Auschwitz, 450,000+ were killed at Belzec, 200,000 at Sobibor, 700,000 to 900,000 at Treblinka, 60,000 in Minsk, and 152,000 in Chelmno. These Polish camps accounted for approximately 50% of the Holocaust victims, with the rest taking place in the killing fields further East (outside Eichmann’s jurisdiction).

After the war, Eichmann lived under two assumed names in Germany until 1950, at which point he was helped by sympathizers to obtain a Red Cross humanitarian passport and entry papers to Argentina. His family joined him in Buenos Aires in 1952, and Eichmann found employment at Mercedes-Benz, rising to department head. In May 1960 Eichmann was captured by Israeli Mossad agents and brought to Jerusalem for his reckoning.

Eichmann in Jerusalem

Eichmann’s trial began on April 11, 1961 and presentation of all evidence was concluded by August 14, 1961. The prosecution presented 112 witnesses, including many survivors of the Holocaust. The goal of the prosecution was not just to focus on Eichmann and his actions, but to paint a comprehensive picture of the Holocaust. Eichmann testified in his own defense.
The facts of the trial were not in dispute. The prosecution proved that Eichmann had visited Chelmo extermination camp, Auschwitz, and Minsk, and that he witnessed a mass shooting of Jews at Minsk, and that he was therefore aware of the fate that awaited his deportees. It was undisputed that he did not himself kill any Jews.
Here is how the Wikipedia entry characterizes Eichmann’s defense:

In his testimony throughout the trial, Eichmann insisted he had no choice but to follow orders, as he was bound by an oath of loyalty—the same superior orders defence used by some defendants in the 1945–1946 Nuremberg trials. Eichmann asserted that the decisions had been made not by him, but by Müller, Heydrich, Himmler, and ultimately Hitler. [Robert] Servatius [Eichmann’s German attorney, paid for by Israel] also proposed that decisions of the Nazi government were acts of state and therefore not subject to normal judicial proceedings.  Regarding the Wannsee Conference, Eichmann stated that he felt a sense of satisfaction and relief at its conclusion. As a clear decision to exterminate had been made by his superiors, the matter was out of his hands; he felt absolved of any guilt. On the last day of the examination, he stated that he was guilty of arranging the transports, but he did not feel guilty for the consequences.

The judges reached a verdict on December 12, 1961.  They entered findings that Eichmann did not personally kill anyone, that he was responsible for the dreadful conditions on board the deportation trains, and that he was instrumental in obtaining Jews to fill those trains.  The Judgment found him guilty of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes against Poles, Slovenes and Gypsies.  He was also found guilty of membership in three organizations that had been deemed criminal at the Nuremberg trials: the Gestapo, the SD intelligence agency, and the SS.

The judges also concluded that Eichmann had not merely been following orders, but believed in the Nazi cause wholeheartedly and had been a key perpetrator of the genocide. Three days later, on December 15, 1961 the judges found that, although they were not required to impose the death penalty in light of their findings and verdict, they believed death was the appropriate penalty.
Eichmann was executed by hanging in the early hours of June 1, 1962 in a prison in Ramla.
Arendt’s coverage of the trial and the Jewish reaction
Hannah Arendt was a popular and first rate philosopher, political scientist, and public intellectual. She had studied with Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers in Germany. In 1951 she had published an important work on the emergence of Nazism and Stalinism: The Origins of Totalitarianism. In 1958 she followed up with The Human Condition, a powerful investigation (influenced by her phenomenological mentors) into our political being-in-the-world as a distinct mode of human experience.
She was Jewish and beloved, respected, and admired in the Jewish community.
When Eichmann was captured she approached the New Yorker magazine to cover the trial. The editors agreed to send her to Jerusalem to write about the trial. Her coverage, published as a series of five articles, did not appear until February and March of 1963.  The five New Yorker articles were then collected into a book, published as Eichmann in Jerusalem: a Report on the Banality of Evil later in 1963.
The articles and the book hit a raw nerve in the Jewish community. Reaction was harsh and swift, and “a half-century later [it] shows no signs of abating,” says Corey Robin. Arendt was no longer beloved, respected, and admired by the Jewish community.
There have been two main criticisms of Eichmann in Jerusalem. First, there was criticism that Arendt unfairly (and unkindly) criticized Jewish leaders who coordinated and cooperated with Eichmann and his machinery. The outcome would have been better had the Jews been leaderless, said Arendt.  As Norman Podhoretz viewed the case, in Robin’s words: “The Nazis destroyed a third of the Jewish people. In the name of all that is humane, will the remnant never let up on itself? Exhausted from their wanderings, were the Jews not at last entitled to their Zion in ease?” This criticism of the Jewish elders lost its sting over time and faded as the elders of the Holocaust generation faded away.
Corey Robin

Corey Robin

The second criticism, that Arendt underestimated Eichmann’s extreme anti-Semitic hatred, and that she was wrong to call Eichmann’s evil “banal,” remains very active to this day. I direct you to Corey Robin’s comprehensive article for the details.

A trial, Arendt reminded us, is about what the accused did.  Eichmann felt no remorse because he did not consider himself to have acted from base motives. In his view he followed orders and did not act from hatred, and that absolved him of moral and legal responsibility. The man was unclear on the concept of moral and legal culpability, according to Arendt.  Eichmann was guilty, and deserved to hang, precisely because his actions in shipping millions of men, women, and children to their deaths was a crime against humanity and constituted war crimes. And this was because of what he did, not because he did it with a base conscience. He is guilty because the entire Holocaust project was a crime that implicates everyone who participated in it, whether they gave the orders or followed the orders. The shading of individual responsibility must lie in individual actions.
That seems correct. The trial was about the actions of Eichmann in knowingly shipping millions to be gassed and incinerated, it was not about the depravity of his heart. The depravity of his heart was irrelevant. More importantly, Arendt felt that Eichmann’s actions could not be explained by an insane hatred of Jews, by Eichmann’s fanatical anti-Semitism. That too seems right: Eichmann would have been just as zealous and enthusiastic about shipping the Jews of Europe for resettlement in Madagascar (considered as late as 1941) if that policy had worked out.
So why all the fuss? We can see the importance that Israeli leaders continue to attach to the presence and palpability of anti-Semitism in Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu’s obsession with Iran and its anti-Semitic pronouncements. Down-playing the role of anti-Semitism presents “a dire and existential threat to Jewish well-being,” says Deborah Lipstadt (according to Robin). We can see the same obsession in Ari Shavit’s book My Promised Land: the world hates the Jews, and always will; that’s why we need a Jewish state.
Robin:

If it can be shown that anti-Semitism was not present at the nadir of Jewish history, what justification can there be for a Jewish state today? Hence attacks on Arendt for a claim she never made.

That’s a provocative question, and Robin does not develop it: does the justification of a Jewish state require the existence of anti-Semitism?

There is, of course, considerable attachment to the notion of the existence of anti-Semitism in the Jewish community. Netanyahu uses it to convince French Jews to move to Israel; American philanthropic and political organizations use it to raise money. Netanyahu uses it to fight any lifting of sanctions on Iran. Israel uses it (“the Arabs all hate us and want to push us into the sea”) in order to maintain the occupation. All of these are tainted with motive; a claim of anti-Semitism is convenient for these causes.

Which is not to say that anti-Semitism does not exist. But if anti-Semitism is not an existential threat to Israel or Jews in the Diaspora today, or ceases to become an existential threat in future, does this undermine the justification for a Jewish state? Is an ethnic state by and for Jews, with a sizable Palestinian minority, a viable thing in a world without anti-Semitism?

Which brings Corey Robin to the religious heart of his article.  Eichmann’s real moral failing, which is beside the point for his guilt or innocence, but which made him such a dangerous man, said Arendt, was his inability to empathize, to imagine himself in the shoes of the other and to take that into account–really take it into account as he goes about his actions.

People objected because they did not want to be judged. They did not want to be judged for their actions during the Holocaust, and they instinctively feel that a virulent anti-Semitism inoculates Israel against criticism for its actions.

What would it mean for Netanyahu and his government to empathize with Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank: to really put themselves into their shoes. Evil is thought-defying, wrote Arendt in a letter, because “it can overgrow and lay waste the whole world precisely because it spreads like fungus on the surface.” In other words, says Robin, Arendt was raising old Jewish demands of mindfulness about life, the knowledge that it is our smallest actions of which heaven and hell are forged.

What she was really being criticized for, suggests Robin, is “The intransigence of her ethic of everyday life, her insistence that every action matters, that we tend to the minutes of our practice–not the purity of our souls but the justness of our conduct and how it will affect things; if not now, when all is hopeless, then in future, when all will be remembered.”

Robin quotes from Arendt’s famous letter to Gershom Scholem:

Let me tell you of a conversation [with Golda Meir] about the disastrous non-separation of church and state in Israel. [She] said: “As a socialist, I, of course, do not believe in God; I believe in the Jewish people.” I found this a shocking statement and, being too shocked, I did not reply at the time. But I could have answered: The greatness of this people was once that it believed in God, and believed in him in such a way that its trust and love towards Him was greater than its fear. And now this people believes only in itself? What good can come of that?

What good indeed.

This post first appeared on Roland Nikles’s site two days ago under a slightly different headline.

About Roland Nikles

Roland Nikles is a Bay Area writer and attorney. He blogs here: rolandnikles.blogspot.com. And you can follow him on twitter @RolandNikles

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115 Responses

  1. neggy
    May 25, 2015, 1:58 pm

    Interesting how you left out the Sassen interviews, the tapes of which still survive. In them, Eichmann brags that he was not simply taking orders but actually that he was a “thinking” member who helped to plan the extermination, claiming he was an idealist.

    It’s also interesting how you equate decisions that had at least direct and significant strategic (denying an enemy sanctuary by displacing and demolishing villages of enemy sympathizers) and tactical (clearing villages in Operation Nachshon (including Deir Yassin) to halt enemy raids against vital convoys traveling along the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem coastal road) impact on the conduct and success of the Jews in the Palestine civil war (where hostilities were begun by the Arab side under Abdel Qadr al Husseini, a man with the dubious honor of being recognized for his mutilation of his enemies) with the deliberate, gratuitous, unprovoked, and militarily counterproductive expulsion and later mass-murder of the Jews in and around territory occupied or annexed by Germany.

    At worst, you could compare it instead with the clearly worse behavior of Czechoslovakia in 1945 regarding the disposition of the Sudeten German population as well as the Benes decrees declaring the seized property of those expelled as reparations for a war brought on by that population. But then, I don’t expect Mondoweiss or her commenters to have the integrity or consistency to condemn the Czechs with anything resembling the force or frequency of her condemnation of Israel.

    I happen to be bothered by neither case.

    I think it is apposite to quote Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s letter to his subordinate during the Vicksburg campaign:

    “If they want eternal war, well and good; we accept the issue, and will dispossess them and put our friends in their place. I know thousands and millions of good people who at simple notice would come to North Alabama and accept the elegant houses and plantations there. If the people of Huntsville think different, let them persist in war three years longer, and then they will not be consulted. Three years ago by a little reflection and patience they could have had a hundred years of peace and prosperity, but they preferred war; very well. Last year they could have saved their slaves, but now it is too late.
    All the powers of earth cannot restore to them their slaves, any more than their dead grandfathers. Next year their lands will be taken, for in war we can take them, and rightfully, too, and in another year they may beg in vain for their lives. ”

    But that is war.

    • Donald
      May 25, 2015, 4:40 pm

      You seem to be replying in part to some other post. That seems a little weird. But anyway, you make it clear that you do support ethnic cleansing and defend it by quoting Sherman on his lack of sympathy for Confederate slave owners while condemning us for not spending time condemning the actions of Czechs which don’t personally bother you.

      I’m enjoying this.

      • neggy
        May 25, 2015, 6:50 pm

        Mais non, you have me all wrong, chief. I agree with Ben-Gurion, Benes, and Sherman. If you reread what Sherman was saying, it was that the people of the south encouraged and perpetuated a war that it could not win, and that in doing so, they exposed themselves to all the punishments that would be meted out by the victor. If you read the full text of the letter, you can see that he holds out hope for the southerners, who he still considers his, albeit misguided, countrymen, and therefore that if they lay down their arms, he is happy to have mercy on them.

        He is not saying that he would like to force people from their homes and alienate their property, but that the south should be aware of the consequences should the Union’s patience and mercy run out, that is, in the case that the south tried to take up guerilla tactics.

        In the Czech case, Henlein’s Sudeten Nazi party, in accord with the Nazi party policy of “Heim ins Reich” connived with the German Nazis (and with overwhelming support among the ethnic German population of the Sudetenland) to dismember the Czechoslovak state by waging a guerilla war using terrorist groups called Freikorps in order to provoke a government response that served as Hitler’s pretext to invade.

        Again, the group that started the war lost the war and paid the price by losing their homes, property, and their rights to live in the Czechoslovak state as enforced by the Potsdam agreement and the Benes decrees.

        For Israel, the Palestinian Arabs initiated hostilities upon news that the partition proposal had been endorsed by the UN general assembly, and moreover, they invited with open arms fighters from Egypt, Syria, Bosnia, Iraq and elsewhere in the form of several thousand irregulars.

        Again, they lost the war, and instead of surrendering like the Germans and the Confederates, they preached a doctrine of ‘war forever’ with the Jewish state, and the Jewish state still restrained itself from expelling the remaining Arab nationals still within its borders at the end of the war, something that the Czechs didn’t do even with a formal German surrender.

        I understand and frankly agree with both the Czech policy and the Israeli policy, and I have even more sympathy with the Israeli policy by merit of the fact that the exodus of the aggressor population was generally only gone when either fleeing by themselves or being removed as a consequence of direct military considerations.

        The Czech expulsion was retributive and preventive, to deprive Germany of ever again having a pretext to invade, while the Israeli policy was dictated in the course of ongoing hostilities, often as militarily necessary or at least expedient measures.

        The real interesting comparison regards the treatment of those attempting to return. In both cases, those who became refugees were denied any right to return and explicitly or implicitly divested of their property with no compensation, though Isael has proposed to provide monetary compensation in exchange for renunciation of a claim to return.

        The Czechs aren’t nearly so nice.

      • Donald
        May 25, 2015, 10:41 pm

        No, I understood you just fine. You have a tribal morality–you imagine one side in a given conflict as “good” and the other as “evil” and you justify collective punishment for members of the “evil” side. You were clear about this in the first post. The Confederate analogy was also clear– there’s no connection in moral terms between the Palestinian case and the Confederate one, but you wanted to invoke it anyway.

        But once you invoke the notion of collective punishment, pretty much all of morality is a joke. It’s just a matter of who is stronger–the moral talk is just gibberish, or maybe propaganda for people weak-minded enough to want to justify atrocities in moral terms, rather than simply saying we do this because we can.

      • just
        May 25, 2015, 11:08 pm

        You’re not at all well, neggy. Both of your comments are proof of that.

        (Nice entrance, btw)

      • echinococcus
        May 26, 2015, 9:43 pm

        No joke, Mr Naggy.
        There was no obligation for anyone in Palestine to accept a partition proposed by others for the benefit of non-Palestinian invaders. With 20/20 hindsight we may now say that the most unfortunate thing for the post-1945 world has been the pity and tolerance of most Palestinians towards the Zionists (confusing them with Jews) and the British suppression of the subsequent revolt against the Zionist colonization. Had the colonization been circumscribed and brought under Palestinian control while relatively weak, the damage would have been very limited.
        But then, there is always something; no use speculating over what could have happened.
        At any rate, armed Zionists anywhere in Palestine were legitimate targets.

      • neggy
        May 27, 2015, 6:58 am

        Mr. Echidnasaurus, no, they were not under any obligation not to fight against partition (although sniping unarmed Jewish civilians at the edges of towns and on buses was a pretty bad way to start doing that). However, by attempting to take the land allocated to the Jews by force, they placed their own fate in the hands of their enemies. Moreover, by beginning the war with attacks on civilian targets, they made it legitimate for their enemies to do so as well.

        Hitler used area bombing on London, Portsmouth, Southampton, Plymouth, Exeter, Bristol, Bath, Cardiff, Birmingham, Coventry, Nottingham, Norwich, Ipswich, Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool, Hull, Middlesbrough, Sunderland, and Newcastle, which legitimized the much more effective firebombings of Hambourg, Schweinfourt, Dresden, and Berlin.

        These are wars of survival, not wars over a city or province or two. If you initiate such a war, then you must accept the outcome if you lose and not complain about how mean and evil the other side was for doing what was necessary to survive.

        You never explain what the Jews should have done in 1947 when their communities came under attack.

      • echinococcus
        May 28, 2015, 3:54 am

        Now is of course the turn of #107b, the myth of the poor, undefended armed colonial settler bands. Yeah. Bursting with French and Czech arms, all militarized and totally covered by the British even while murdering their personnel. Yee ha.
        Let’s not forget #11, too:
        “Take the land allocated to the Jews”
        Allocated, eh? Who by? Mr Balfour and the rest of HMG? When was it theirs to give away?
        How is it anyone’s but the Palestinians’?
        There is no allocation: the Palestinians rejected the partition proposal.

        I want to come into your house, allocate myself all the house (minus a Weitz quota in the septic tank) then shoot you dead for not accepting it. When do we start?

        “Beginning the war with attacks against civilian targets” is what had been the daily work of the cowardly Zionist invaders, covered by the British authority, since the start of the Zionist invasion. Does your Ziobubble Academy teach that it all starts in 47?

        If you initiate any war, now, you must accept, as the Zionist entity did, to put in harm’s way your entire civilian population. In fact, the Zionist entity desires that and that is why they insist in not ending the war against the Palestinian people since 11/1947.

        You never explain what the Jews should have done in 1947 when their communities came under attack.

        Why, were the Jews directly involved? That is news! I know that the part of my family who lived in Palestine refused to accept Zionism and had to move out when it started to overfill with the barbarian Zionist riffraff. There was, however, no problem for the Palestinian Jews.

        “Communities under attack” oh oh. Poor little defenceless armed bandits, with all the armaments salvaged from all Europe and the money of all the big bankers and the US, confronted to the shoe-throwing big bad Ayrabs!

        For the Zionist invaders, though, your question (where I suppose you abusively call them “the Jews”) is absurd. No need to even ask: what should they have done? Go back to their own countries, duh! The very moment they were told they were no longer welcome.

        Ever heard that one about rape, where it says “No means no”?
        In the country’s language, it’s “Laa!” Put it in your dictionary.

      • Kris
        May 28, 2015, 12:24 pm

        @echinococcus: “I want to come into your house, allocate myself all the house (minus a Weitz quota in the septic tank) then shoot you dead for not accepting it. When do we start?”

        That’s it in a nutshell, thank you.

    • lyn117
      May 25, 2015, 9:33 pm

      Notice how neggy leaves out a few massacres committed by zionists in 1947 before Husseini returned to Palestine in 1948. Also the whole thought and planning zionists had given to how to get rid of Arabs from Palestine in the decades before 1948. Or that the demolition of villages supposedly to deny “enemy sanctuary” occured well outside the borders of that part of Palestine designated by UN resolution 181 as the Jewish state – no attacks on civilians is justified by any rule of war, when it’s a war of aggression like the one the zionists conducted, no attacks on foreign military positions are justifiable either – the Arabs would have been perfectly justified in putting military personnel in villages to protect them. Which they didn’t do in the case of Deir Yassein which wasn’t harboring Arab fighters.

      Well I guess neggy had to chime in with some justification for mass murder and ethnic cleansing.

      • neggy
        May 26, 2015, 12:16 am

        The “Zionist massacres” before Husseini returned? Non, ma chérie. It would not be at all difficult for you to pull up the events in chronological order and to realize that you are mistaken. Attacks on Jews began (again) immediately following the UN vote for partition and were not preceded by Jewish attacks on Arab communities. The Irgun and LEHI were fighting the British at that time.

        Benny Morris states that the Arabs were initially even winning during the first few months and that the Jews were rather demoralized.

        Usually your side does not dispute these facts and instead attempts to justify them on the grounds that the Arabs had a right to defend their land from UN partition or something, which is crap imo but at least historically defensible…

        Regardless, I don’t see how one side’s war aims or plans discounts the act of aggression on the other side unless you are seriously arguing that the Arab attacks were in self-defense against an imminent Zionist military onslaught (aka bullshit).

        During WW1, France’s initial War Plan, Plan 17, would have had the French crossing the rhine within a week of the outbreak of hostilities, but can you sit here and tell me with a straight face that Germany’s attack on France through Belgium did not amount to aggression?

      • Donald
        May 26, 2015, 1:38 pm

        Neggy is just another partisan who uses morality when it helps his position and ignores it when it does not. He is also pompous in a way I’ve occasionally seen before, always from someone defending some form of Western violence against civilians. I’m curious about where this style comes from.

      • neggy
        May 26, 2015, 2:50 pm

        Donald, I will have you note that NY is east of Alabama and that Czechoslovakia was east of Germany. I’m not defending an “Indian removal act” but rather a “Nazi removal act”, though in this case, Nazis indigenous to the Czech-German border region.

      • tree
        May 26, 2015, 3:22 pm

        The “Zionist massacres” before Husseini returned? Non, ma chérie. It would not be at all difficult for you to pull up the events in chronological order and to realize that you are mistaken.

        Its not hard to pull up the events in chronological order but they prove that lyn is right and neggy is wrong. Quelle surprise! (Not.)

        1947

        November 29: UN General Assembly recommends slight variant of UNSCOP partition plan by 33 to 13 votes with 10 abstentions. Arab representatives walk out of Assembly.

        November 30: Haganah calls up all Jews in Palestine aged 17 to 25 to register for military service.

        December: Haganah emissaries in Czechoslovakia reach agreement with Skoda arms firm on supply of arms.

        Haganah launches Plan Gimmel, designed to destabilize Palestinian population and occupy strategic positions in country. (My note: Plan Gimmel was formulated in May 1946.)

        December 2: Palestinians begin three-day strike protesting UN partition resolution. Intercommunal clashes result in death of eight Jews and six Palestinians.

        December 5: U.S. State Department announces U.S. embargo on arms shipments to Palestine and the Arab states.

        December 6: Irgun attacks Jaffa suburb of Abu Kebir

        December 8: Britain recommends to UN termination of Palestine Mandate on 15 May 1948 followed by creation of independent Jewish and Palestinian states two week later.

        December 8-16: Arab League, meeting in Cairo, declares partition of Palestine illegal; it decides to put at disposal of Technical Military Committee 10,000 rifles, 3,000 volunteers (including 500 Palestinians), and additional £1,000,000.

        December 13: Irgun carries out five raids on Palestinian residential areas in Jerusalem, Jaffa, and village of Tireh (Haifa district), killing 21 Palestinian civilians and wounding 67 others.

        December 15: British turn policing of Tel Aviv and Petah Tikva over to Jews, and that of Jaffa over to Palestinians.

        December 17: Jewish Agency Executive reports American Jews will be asked for $250 million to meet needs of Jewish Community in Palestine.

        December 19: Haganah attacks village of Khisas (Safed district), killing ten Palestinians.

        December 20: Haganah attacks village of Qazaza (Ramleh district).

        December 28: Irgun announces negotiations for “united front” with Haganah.

        December 29: Irgunist grenade attack on Palestinian crowd at Herod’s Gate in Jerusalem kills 13 civilians.

        December 30-31: Irgunist grenade attack on Palestinian workers in Haifa refinery kills 6 and wounds 42. In reprisal, workers kill 41 Jewish refinery workers. Haganah then attacks village of Balad-al-Sheikh, near Haifa, killing 17 Palestinians and inuring 33.
        1948

        January: British sell 20 Auster planes to Jewish authorities in Palestine.

        British disband 3,200-strong Transjordanian Frontier Force (TJFF), recruited mainly from among Palestinians.

        Abd al-Qadir al-Husseini, Palestinian guerrilla commander, secretly returns to Jerusalem after ten-year exile to organize resistance to partition.

        http://btd.palestine-studies.org/content/chronology-1947-1948

        So at least 63 Palestinians had been killed by the Irgun terrorists, or by attacks against their villages by the Haganah PRIOR to the arrival of al-Husseini.

        Neggy will now apologize for his/her errors?

      • tree
        May 26, 2015, 3:49 pm

        Additional note about the chronology: I only posted the chronology up to the arrival of Abd al-Qadir al-Husseini, since that was sufficient proof that neggy was wrong. I highly recommend reading the whole chronology to get a sense of the timeline.

        BTW, the Irgun had been committing terrorist acts against the Palestinians since the late 1930’s; neggy was wrong yet again in stating that the Irgun had only attacked the British up until the UN Partition Plan. See here:

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

      • talknic
        May 26, 2015, 6:29 pm

        @ tree

        I’ve not checked thru the references in your time line, just advising … the time/date of documents/statements/events in Palestine can have a different date/time attributed depending on where they’re lodged or reported

        E.g., at “six o’clock on the evening of 14 May 1948” in Washington, it was 00:01 May 15th 1948 in Palestine.

      • neggy
        May 26, 2015, 6:34 pm

        Oh goodness, Tree, you left out the sniper attacks by Arab irregular forces on Jewish communities and buses.

        I don’t dispute that Raziel’s Irgun was involved in attacks on Arab targets _in the late 1930s_ starting with reprisals during the Arab revolt. However, keep in mind also that after Begin became leader, the Irgun’s exclusive target 1944 til the partition vote was British forces and auxiliaries.

        You left out Amin al Husseini’s declaration of war against partition as well.

        Here: “According to Benny Morris, much of the fighting in the first months of the war took place in and on the edges of the main towns, and was initiated by the Arabs. It included Arab snipers firing at Jewish houses, pedestrians, and traffic, as well as planting bombs and mines along urban and rural paths and roads.[23]”

        en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1947–48_Civil_War_in_Mandatory_Palestine

      • neggy
        May 27, 2015, 11:18 am

        Also, Señor tree, I’d like to know your opinion on this list, which includes attacks by Arabs, Jews, British, and even the French:

        http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_killings_and_massacres_in_Mandatory_Palestine

        This happens to support my contention regarding Arab initiation of violence, though the Jews certainly did not shy away from using violence once they resolved to pursue a policy of reprisal.

        This is Irgun’s crappy official webpage explaining the history of the havlagah policy and precisely when and why it was lifted with the consent and endorsement of Rosh Betar and Commander-in-Chief of the Irgun Ze’ev Jabotinsky:

        http://www.etzel.org.il/english/ac03.htm

        I know you will shout “Zionist propaganda” etc., but I think it might be interesting, even for a partisan like yourself, to look at the Irgun’s deliberations, policy, and reasoning for when and why they did what they did they did 1938-1939.

      • Mooser
        May 27, 2015, 5:19 pm

        “I know you will shout “Zionist propaganda” etc., but I think it might be interesting, even for a partisan like yourself, to look at the Irgun’s deliberations, policy, and reasoning for when and why they did what they did they did 1938-1939.”

        It’s not “propaganda”, not at all! It very clearly shows they were thugs and murderers, rather like the SA or SS.

      • neggy
        May 27, 2015, 6:13 pm

        Actually, it doesn’t. It demonstrates that it took years of Arab attacks on Jewish communities before the Irgun undertook a policy of reprisals with attacks on Arab communities.

        Mooser, ya didn’t read the article or the timeline, and it’s ironic also that you call the Jewish fighters Nazis while the Arab fighters of the time were Actually Receiving Weapons from the Nazis and Italian fascists (1936-1939). Let’s not do the whole namecalling thing.

      • Antidote
        May 27, 2015, 9:56 pm

        neggy:

        “Hitler used area bombing on London, Portsmouth, Southampton, Plymouth, Exeter, Bristol, Bath, Cardiff, Birmingham, Coventry, Nottingham, Norwich, Ipswich, Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool, Hull, Middlesbrough, Sunderland, and Newcastle, which legitimized the much more effective firebombings of Hambourg, Schweinfourt, Dresden, and Berlin.”

        a well established myth

        http://www.spectator.co.uk/books/9062821/the-bombing-war-by-richard-overy-review/

      • Mooser
        May 28, 2015, 6:29 pm

        “Let’s not do the whole namecalling thing.”

        The Irgun was not a private army working under the auspices of a political movement Zionism? The Irgun was not devoted to carrying out the aims of Zionism through violence? (And all under cover of Judaism, too. One of the most disgusting acts of religious fraud carried out in a long time.) That puts them up their with the SA in my book.

      • tree
        May 29, 2015, 5:41 am

        Also, Señor tree, I’d like to know your opinion on this list, which includes attacks by Arabs, Jews, British, and even the French:

        Point one, I’m not a “senor”. I’m female.

        With a quick perusal I find the list you linked to be slanted, incomplete, and erroneous in places. First off, their designation of responsible party is partisan in some instances. The “Battle of Tel Hai” was by no means a “massacre” as described by the list, what with nearly equal fatalities and similar armaments on both sides. Despite the Zionist myth making regarding Trumpeldor, the dispute was about the killing of Palestinian-owned cattle by Jewish convoys to Tel Hai, and the demand for compensation by the owners. Unfortunately, neither side could speak the other’s language, and no one today knows who fired the first shot or why. Thus to call it a massacre and to claim that “Arabs” were the responsible party is to twist the truth to fit a propaganda narrative.

        Second, the “french air raid” on Tel Aviv in June 11 was actually a German bombing of Haifa and Tel Aviv, which was directly related to the British presence in Palestine and aimed at military targets, although a nursing home in Tel Aviv was hit, causing the 13 deaths your list mentions, while it fails to mention the one death in Haifa . Your list fails to mention the greater loss of civilian life in September 1940, when Italian bombers caused the death of 125 when retreating from British counter-attack and dropped their bombs over Tel Aviv, or the 40 deaths from Italian bombs in Haifa in July, 1940 and the 44 additional deaths in Haifa in another September, 1940 bombing.

        I don’t think the bombings, which were the result of WWII fighting between GB and the Axis Powers, belong in such a list but if they do then all of them do, not just selective ones, erroneously attributed.

        http://www.academia.edu/533616/Haifa_is_still_Burning_Italian_German_and_French_Air_Raids_on_Palestine_during_the_Second_World_War

        The list also clearly states that it only “includes all casualties that resulted from the initial attack on civilians or non-combat military personnel,” but then goes on to describe 4 separate attacks on Jewish military convoys as “massacres”, with the responsible party being “Arab” in all cases, despite the fact that the first raid listed in December 1947 is listed elsewhere on Wikipedia as in dispute as to who fired the first shot, with the Jewish unit saying it was the Arabs, but the British (who were accompanying the Jewish unit) saying it was the Jewish forces who fired first.

        And oddly its numbers killed column doesn’t always agree with its “notes” column. The numbers column lists 14 killed on December 2, 1947 but the “notes” only mention the 8 Jews killed and not the 6 Palestinianskilled, and the “1933 Palestine riots” list 20 killed, but no notes as to who the casualties were, even though it links to another Wikipedia article that lists 26 Palestinians killed by the British in suppressing the riot. Something tells me that if the casualties had been Jewish, it would have been mentioned in the “notes” column.

        And then of course there are the list’s omissions. Many incidents of Irgun violence against civilian targets go unmentioned during the 1940’s. It does mention several of the Irgun attacks on Palestinian civilians in 1939, but fails to note that Irgun clearly stated that those attacks were in “retaliation” for the 1939 British White Paper and were not “reprisals” for violence committed against Jews.

        And as for the Irgun website, I think I perused it several years ago. Not for its factual content. I doubt it has little. But I was fascinated with the mindset that excused terror, violence and extortion as moral attributes.

        Here’s a few selected incidences of Irgun violence from the period from 1946, just after their bombing of the King David hotel, which killed many more civilians than military personnel, until just before the announcement of the UN Partition Plan, as reported to Dr. Ralph Bunche, newly appointed UN Mediator after the death of Count Folke Bernadotte at the hands of the Irgun. It clearly shows their criminal practices, their extortion of Jews, and their unprovoked attacks against Palestinians during the time that you claimed they only attack the British:

        September 14, 1946, Jaffa. Jewish terrorists robbed three banks in Jaffa and Tel Aviv, killing three Arabs. Thirty-six Jews were arrested.

        October 2, 1946, Tel Aviv. British military units and police seized 50 Jews in a Tel Aviv cafe after a Jewish home was blown up. This home belonged to a Jewish woman who had refused to pay extortion money to the Irgun terrorist gang

        .November 9 through November 13, 1946, Palestine. Nineteen persons, eleven British soldiers and policemen and eight Arab constables, were killed in Palestine during this period as Jewish terrorists, using land mines and suitcase bombs, increased their attacks on railroad stations, trains and even streetcars.

        January 2, 1947, Palestine. A wave of terror swept Palestine as Jewish terrorists staged bombings and machine gun attacks in five cities. Casualties were low. Homemade flame-throwers were used in several cases. Pamphlets seized warned that the Irgun had again declared war against the British and Arabs of Palestine.

        March 10, 1947, Haifa. A Jew, suspected of being an informer, was murdered by Jewish terrorists.

        March 30, 1947, Tel Aviv. The Stem gang killed the wife of a British soldier.

        May 8, 1947, Tel Aviv. A Jew was ambushed and shot to death by an Arab group near Tel Aviv, and three Jewish-owned Tel Aviv shops whose owners refused to contribute money to Jewish terrorist groups were burned down.

        May 22, 1947, Palestine. Arabs attacked a Jewish labor camp in southern Palestine, retaliating for a Haganah raid on the Arabs near Tel Aviv, May 20. Some 40,000 Arab and Jewish workers united the same day in a one-day strike against all establishments operated by the British War Ministry.

        August 16, 1947, Palestine. Arab-Jewish clashes have brought death to l2 Arabs and l3 Jews and heavy property destruction this week in the regions of Jewish Tel Aviv and Arab Jaffa. Interracial strife was renewed on August 10 when Arabs killed four Jews in a Tel Aviv cafe, in reprisal for the deaths of two Arabs in a Haganah raid in Fega two months ago. Haganah responded to the Arab actions by bombing a house in an Arab orange grove near Tel Aviv, killing eleven Arabs, including a woman and four children. British military curfews imposed on August 13 on slum districts between modern Tel Aviv and Jaffa have failed to prevent mounting casualties. British military authorities, citing captured intelligence and statements from Jewish defectors from terrorist organizations, state that it now appears that the Jewish terrorists are beginning to attack Arabs where ever they found them because Jews wish the Arabs to be driven out of Palestine entirely.

        August 18, 1947, Palestine. The shops of five Jewish merchants in Tel Aviv were destroyed by the Irgun because the owners refused to give money to that organization.

        November 14, 1947, Palestine. Jewish terrorists killed two British policemen in Jerusalem and two soldiers in Tel Aviv to raise the total casualties in three days of violence to 10 Britons and five Jews killed and 33 Britons and five Jews wounded. The outbreaks began after British troops killed three girls and two boys in a raid on a farmhouse arsenal near Raanana on November 12. The terrorists retaliated yesterday by throwing hand grenades and firing a machine gun into the Ritz Cafe in Jerusalem.

        November 22, 1947, Haifa. Another Arab was murdered in Haifa by the Stern gang following their execution of four Arabs near Raanana November 20 in retaliation for the British shooting of five Stern gang members on November12. Arabs retaliated against this killing at Raanana by wounding five Jews on a bus near Tel Aviv on November 20.

        Taken from this link:

        http://www.al-nakba-history.com/origins1948/unterrorismchronology.html

    • JLewisDickerson
      May 26, 2015, 2:18 am

      Telegram of William T. Sherman to Ulysses S. Grant, October 9, 1864

      Description

      William T. Sherman, a major-general for the United States Army during the Civil War, sent this telegram to the head of the United States Army, General Ulysses S. Grant. The letter was sent from just outside of Atlanta, on October 9, 1864. Sherman discussed the practical difficulties in holding such land in the Georgia region with major Confederate military leaders like John Hood, Nathan Forrest and Joseph Wheeler in the area. Sherman particularly reiterated his belief that it was necessary to destroy roads, houses and “make Georgia howl,” as that (i.e., “total war”) was the most efficient military strategy. Food was not a worry either, as the Union Army could forage the state when needed. Sherman believed that destroying property and roads was necessary as the manpower it would take to occupy them would have been extraordinary, and foraging from citizens was necessary to supply the army, not a personal action. Many in the Confederacy objected to Sherman’s policies as illegitimate warfare.

      Allatoona 7:30 p.m.
      Oct. 9th 1864
      Lt. Gen. Grant
      City Point
      It will be a physical impossibility to protect this road now that Hood, Forrest, Wheeler and the whole batch of Devils are turned loose without home or habitation. I think Hoods movements indicate a direction to the end of the Selma and Talladega road to Blue Mountain about sixty miles south west of Rome from which he will threaten Kingston, Bridgeport and Decatur and I propose we break up the road from Chattanooga and strike out with wagons for Milledgeville Millen and Savannah.

      Until we can repopulate Georgia it is useless to occupy it, but utter destruction of its roads, houses, and people will cripple their military resources. By attempting to hold the roads we will lose a thousand men monthly and will gain no result. I can make the march and make Georgia howl. We have over 8,000 cattle and 3,000,000 pounds of bread but no corn, but we can forage the interior of the state.

      W.T. Sherman

      M. Genl.

      SOURCE – http://history.ncsu.edu/projects/cwnc/items/show/143

      • JLewisDickerson
        May 26, 2015, 2:39 am

        P.S. FROM WIKIPEDIA (Total war):

        [EXCERPT] . . . During the American Civil War, Union Army General Philip Sheridan’s stripping of the Shenandoah Valley, beginning on September 21, 1864 and continuing for two weeks, was considered “total war”.[by who?] Its purpose was to eliminate food and supplies vital to the South’s military operations, as well as to strike a blow at Southern civilian morale. Sheridan took the opportunity when he realized opposing forces had become too weak to resist his army.
        Union Army General William Tecumseh Sherman’s ‘March to the Sea’ in November and December 1864 destroyed the resources required for the South to make war. General Ulysses S. Grant and President Abraham Lincoln initially opposed the plan until Sherman convinced them of its necessity.[13]
        Scholars taking issue with the notion that Sherman was employing “total war” include Noah Andre Trudeau. Trudeau believes that Sherman’s goals and methods do not meet the definition of total war and to suggest as much is to “misread Sherman’s intentions and to misunderstand the results of what happened.”[14] . . .

    • Walker
      May 26, 2015, 2:33 pm

      I think it is apposite to quote Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s letter . . .

      Oh, Sherman said that, but Ben-Gurion did it. There is a big difference. Furthermore, the conquest of Palestine was attended by numerous massacres of civilians, unlike Sherman’s march to the sea. Finally, the South was defending slavery as well as their homes, while the Palestinians were just defending their homes.

      • neggy
        May 26, 2015, 6:40 pm

        Absolutely, I agree. Sherman was too merciful, as was Ben-Gurion. Where are you condemnations of Edvard Benes and the Czechoslovak state?

    • Boo
      May 26, 2015, 4:03 pm

      “Evil is thought-defying, wrote Arendt in a letter, because ‘it can overgrow and lay waste the whole world precisely because it spreads like fungus on the surface.’ ”

      Here I must demur slightly, both for the sake of mycologic accuracy and the analogy. Almost all fungus spreads under the surface (as mycelia) and remains invisible until its fruiting bodies begin to show on the surface. Therefore, the entire corpus is infested with fungus and unsalvageable by the time one first notices the appearance of the fruiting bodies.

      I trust it’s clear that the excesses of Zionism are the point of the analogy. And, recollecting that Semites comprise more than just one particularized group (many of whom these days have little or no actual Semitic DNA), one must note a startling — and damning — paradox, the nature of which need hardly be explained.

      Yes, it seems the fungus has blossomed into toadstools; todesstuhls, or perhaps les fleurs du mal, one might well say. N’est-ce pas, mon cher neggie?

      • neggy
        May 27, 2015, 11:26 am

        Zionism didn’t flourish in secret. It openly called for the mass migration of Jews. Here’s an extract from Jabotinsky’s testimony to the peel commission:

        I do not know whether it is a question of re-housing one-third of the Jewish race, half of the Jewish race, or a quarter of the Jewish race; I do not know; but it is a question of millions. Certainly the way out is to evacuate those portions of the Diaspora which have become no good, which hold no promise of any possibility of a livelihood, and to concentrate all those refugees in some place which should not be Diaspora, not a repetition of the position where the Jews are an unabsorbed minority within a foreign social, or economic, or political organism. Naturally, if that process of evacuation is allowed to develop, as it ought to be allowed to develop, there will very soon be reached a moment when the Jews will become a majority in Palestine. I am going to make a “terrible” confession. Our demand for a Jewish majority is not our maximum — it is our minimum: it is just an inevitable stage if only we are allowed to go on salvaging our people. The point when the Jews will reach a majority in that country will not be the point of saturation yet—because with 1,000,000 more Jews in Palestine to-day you could already have a Jewish majority, but there are certainly 3,000,000 or 4,000,000 in the East who are virtually knocking at the door asking for admission, i.e., for salvation.

    • Don
      May 26, 2015, 7:34 pm

      “Interesting how you left out the Sassen interviews, the tapes of which still survive. In them, Eichmann brags that he was not simply taking orders but actually that he was a “thinking” member who helped to plan the extermination, claiming he was an idealist”

      Naggy, you might want to consider actually reading Arendt’s book.

      She addresses the Sassen interview…”In the disorganized, rambling notes he made in Argentina in preparation for the interview with Sassen, …he had issued a fantastic warning to “future historians”….” fantastic because every line of these scribblings shows his utter ignorance of everything that was not directly, technically and bureaucratically, connected with his job, and also shows an extraordinary faulty memory. ”

      A few pages earlier, she says…”…his inability to speak was closely connected with an inability to think (she italicized “think”…”

      • neggy
        May 27, 2015, 11:30 am

        You are aware that more of the Sassen interview tapes were recently found and written about, and there is no question that Arendt was incorrect in her statements.

        Here is an interview with the scholar who uncovered the “new” information in the Archives:

        http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/10/the-lies-adolf-eichmann-told/381222/

      • Mooser
        May 28, 2015, 6:31 pm

        “You are aware that more of the Sassen interview tapes were recently found and written about, and there is no question that Arendt was incorrect in her statements.”

        Will Hannah Arendt be going on a speaking tour with Tony Judt?

  2. Keith
    May 25, 2015, 5:26 pm

    “Down-playing the role of anti-Semitism presents “a dire and existential threat to Jewish well-being,” says Deborah Lipstadt (according to Robin).”

    Perceived anti-Semitism is the mother’s milk of Zionism. It is the ideological glue which defines, unites and motivates Jewish tribalism, keeping Zionist Jews psychologically separate from the surrounding Gentile communities. It is this Jewish kinship which is a key component of organized Jewish Zionist power-seeking and Jewish Zionist material success. Zionism is the modern, secular equivalent of Classical Judaism. Apparently Deborah Lipstadt feels that this tribal unity is essential to Jewish well-being (power) and that the lack of tribal feelings of kinship due to lack of fear of anti-Semitism would result in Jews simply becoming part of the surrounding Gentile community instead of psychologically remaining a people that chooses to regard Gentiles as irrational Jew-haters would constitute “a dire and existential threat to Jewish well-being.” She is probably correct.

    • catalan
      May 25, 2015, 6:23 pm

      “instead of psychologically remaining a people that chooses to regard Gentiles as irrational Jew-haters” Keith
      I can’t speak for other Jews but I do like some Gentiles. Michael Jordan, Steven King and last but not least, Kim Kardashian. See, for any one that looks like her I can overlook the irrational Jew-hatred. Oh, and I am a big fan of all things Chinese.
      Keith, seriously, you need to meet some regular Jews. We are not all bankers or Hasidim. There are some regular people. Quite a few intermarry and those they don’t mingle. Gotta read other stuff besides counterpunch.

      • Citizen
        May 26, 2015, 7:12 am

        @ catalan

        Like who? Philip Roth? Interesting picks, those Gentiles you like. Mighty big of you. Are they “some regular people”? “A big fan of all things Chinese”–Really? I guess you thought you were being funny?

        What do you read as antidote to Counterpunch?

      • Keith
        May 26, 2015, 11:10 am

        CATALAN- “Keith, seriously, you need to meet some regular Jews.”

        Most Jews which I have interacted with have been very nice. Hence, you can imagine how shocked I was when I first began commenting on Mondoweiss and was introduced to some power-seeking East Coast Ashkenazi who were absolutely vicious with charges of anti-Semitism. And while you may be a regular guy(?), Hophmi is not, charges of anti-Semitism and Jew hatred coming fast and furious. This is one reason that I am now more careful in differentiating between Jews in general and the East Coast power-seekers. Not that all Jews on the East Coast are power-seekers or that power-seeking is the exclusive domain of those on the East Coast, but that I detect a concentration of Zionist fundamentalism in the Washington/New York area, the epicenter of global power and high-stakes power-seeking.

        I continue to maintain that perceived anti-Semitism is the mother’s milk of Zionism and that the main concentrations of Jewish Zionist power are inherently anti-Gentile, emphasizing Jewish uniqueness and Gentile irrational anti-Semitism. This is a form of manufactured peoplehood which defines an ideologically based community with shared goals and objectives. Likewise, if the Jewish community splits over Israel as Phil predicts, I predict that the Zionist Jews will have the preponderance of money, organization and power.

        Finally, let me emphasize that, like Israel Shahak, I view Zionism as a throwback to the role played by Classical Judaism, albeit in quasi secular form. I highly recommend “Jewish History, Jewish Religion,” by Israel Shahak.

      • Keith
        May 26, 2015, 1:06 pm

        CATALAN- “Keith, seriously, you need to meet some regular Jews. We are not all bankers or Hasidim. There are some regular people. Quite a few intermarry and those they don’t mingle.”

        What luck! Over on the “Crisis of the American Jewish community” thread, Hophmi made a comment which I find provides much enlightenment on this very topic. First, I will provide the quote, then deconstruct it to see what Hophmi can (inadvertently) teach us.

        HOPHMI- “As usual, there’s a central paradox in your analysis, JVP Jews by and large are just leftists who happen to be Jewish, and they are not the future of the Jewish community. They are radical assimilationists who, as every analysis shows, will by and large not perpetuate Judaism in any meaningful way in the next generation or two. So they don’t matter in the long run.” http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/crisis-american-community#comment-770250

        Do you see it Catalan? The differentiation between those who “just happen to be Jewish” and those who are part of the Jewish community. Between those “radical assimilationists” versus those who “perpetuate Judaism” in a meaningful way. Perpetuate Judaism? The reform Jews of JVP don’t perpetuate Judaism in a meaningful way, but atheist Zionists do? It should be obvious that Hophmi is hardly concerned with the religious practice of Judaism, rather, his concern is for the perpetuation of JEWISHNESS, that is Jewish tribal solidarity. That is the essence of Zionism. Of course, Hophmi lives in New York where such attitudes appear common. Unlike Albuquerque where you are free from tribal machinations. You are a lucky man, Catalan. Better to be a free man in Albuquerque than a Zionist cadre in New York!

      • Danaa
        May 26, 2015, 1:30 pm

        Catalan, I think you didn’t get Keith’s point. he did not imply that ALL Jews dislike/fear ALL non-Jews ALL the time. Rather he was saying, I think, that a belief in the IRRATIONALITY of anti-semitism is the glue that holds the Israel project together, both in israel and among Israel Jewish supporters outside. That, ias Keith said. is the essence of Zionism as the rightful secular inheritor to its religious counterpart – “Classic Judaism”.

        The existence of such a belief may not seem to apply to individual jewish people who, as you say, live just fine among the gentiles, sometimes intermarrying, always associating. It may, indeed not apply to you, and I see no reason to dismiss the sincerity of your assertion that it doesn’t. Where this belief does apply, is in the more collective sense AND the way in which this collective sensibility sips into individuals, often unbeknownst to them, at least untill there is reason for it to come to the surface.

        Going beyond Keith’s point, I do maintain that the belief in the IRRATIONALITY and UBIQUITY of anti-semitism is, in fact, the secret key that opens the doors to the heart of hearts of the jewish sense-of-being not quite in and sometimes OUT of the world (of other humans). yes, for some Jews the OUT leads directly to a sense of being ABOVE the world, while others hear just a vague echo that tags on strings not quite visible and rarely felt. So, while no two individuals experience the same effect, they will all respond – one way or another – upon hearing the sound of the turn of the key in the secret keyhole.

        I know this is the key because I used it to open doors a crack that in no time widened to let loose all manner of furies. I lost one friendship on account of a seemingly innocuous conversation with a super-liberal, super-educated, totally non-Israel supporting (almost an anti-zionist) Jewish person. The conversation took a turn (at my initiation) towards jews during the Middle Ages and, at one point, I made the claim that in most, if not all, cases, the many examples of jewish persecution (at the time anti-semitism was not yet a coined, loaded word) could be explained quite simply in the context of the times, the unique place accorded to the jews in many countries, the special professions they had and the need of various rulers to divert attention from their own culpability in making their people miserable and/or the totally rational desire to not pay back loans they received to conduct various wars. Coupled with the interests f the catholic church (forever needing an identifyable enemy), the Jews not being integrated into the feudal system and their own choice to NOT assimilate, and the fact that foreign elements were hardly tolerated anywhere in middle age Europe, there were plenty of perfectly rational reasons that could explain why Jews were first invited in, then (sometimes 100-200 years later!) persecuted and/or expelled. And, my argument went further, the Jews as diverse groups in different countries were not even persecuted nearly as severely (to the point of complete obliteration) as were other sects during the same time. In pther words, persecution of the jews is a historical fact, fully explainable in the contexts of the times and places, rather than it being any more irrational than any other xenophobic impulse among the populace.

        At the time, I expected a retort with a counter- example or two of cases where rational explanations alone could not suffice. Instead, my very erudite and usually tempered friend launched into a crazy sounding diatribe that came seemingly out of the blue. He did not have a single argument to proffer, instead preferring to accuse my not-quite-prepared self of buying into abject anti-semitism mixed with self-hatred.

        Then it was silence which, to this day has not been bridged.

        Make of this what you will, but upon further exploration of the “key” (why, how could I resist?) I found it seemed to work every single time, and especially well with israelis/ex-Israelis. The implication of rationality in this one domain brought out a burst of irrationality. Mercifully, after that first experience I learnt to not let it escalate, so , I managed, after some trials and tribulations, to keep [some] friends even as I kept chugging at the key, pretending it’s stuck. Yes, to this day, if you wonder.

      • mohandeer
        May 26, 2015, 1:43 pm

        Catalan: You are truly generous and quite obviously not an Israeli. In Israel, there are many moderate Jews, but they are certainly not the majority. The hard right Zionists have as was the case of the Hitler Youth, quite literally brainwashed many Israeli Jews into believing the existential threat of anti-semitic, Jew hating contingents on every border and in every country. I don’t know what news you’ve been reading other than Counterpunch but you really need to get out more. Do you even read the many reports of Jewish dissent both in the US and Israel of this pervasive and twisted narrative that the hard-liners are spouting. For much of Israel, it is no longer about being a Jew following the Judaic faith, reading the Torah or Talmudic discussion, it’s about being a Jew with all it’s historic baggage almost like a knee jerk reaction. Most of our Jews in the UK had never heard of the Nakba, such was their ignorance of their own history, it just isn’t taught. I wasn’t too thrilled to learn of the origins of my own Christian religion, but the facts spoke for themselves. We move on from seeing other people, even Hassidic communities, as being of some other worldly planetary inhabitants and simply accept our differences. That is not the case for the majority of Israelis. Wake up man , you are a world away from Israel, far too many no longer have a religion.

      • just
        May 26, 2015, 1:45 pm

        @ Keith: “Not that all Jews on the East Coast are power-seekers or that power-seeking is the exclusive domain of those on the East Coast, but that I detect a concentration of Zionist fundamentalism in the Washington/New York area, the epicenter of global power and high-stakes power-seeking.”

        Keith, please tell me that you left out Newport Beach, Orange County, LA, Aspen, Disneyland, and Hollywood on purpose!

        I do appreciate your contributions here. :)

      • Keith
        May 26, 2015, 3:49 pm

        JUST- Disneyland as the epicenter of global power and high-stakes power-seeking? An interesting idea, to say the least. Now that you mention it, there was something odd about the place.

      • Mooser
        May 26, 2015, 3:58 pm

        “At the time, I expected a retort with a counter- example or two of cases where rational explanations alone could not suffice. Instead, my very erudite and usually tempered friend launched into a crazy sounding diatribe that came seemingly out of the blue. He did not have a single argument to proffer, instead preferring to accuse my not-quite-prepared self of buying into abject anti-semitism mixed with self-hatred.”

        You touched off a Ziocaine Syndrome event. That can be very dangerous.

      • catalan
        May 26, 2015, 4:09 pm

        “Like who? Philip Roth?”
        Citizen,
        Actually I am kind of a fan of Phillip Roth, especially American Pastoral and the Human Stain. When I read Juno Diaz’s “Oscar Wao” a few years back I wrote to him and told him that he reminds me of Phillip Roth (I also suggested something about the ending, I was younger and less humble). Juno responded that he is flattered.
        If I may dare, you shouldn’t take Roth literally. He writes about the stranger trying to fit in, with big sexual and Freudian undercurrents. But remember, he is a writer trying to sell books. He doesn’t actually think like that. It’s acting in a sense.
        I was serious about liking Chinese culture.
        That doesn’t mean I approve of the craziness of the three gorges dam. I meant it more at he human level.
        As far as liking Gentiles I grew up in a place practically without Jews except for my family. Well I live in Albuquerque so you can connect the dots about how I feel about them. I was trying to say, there is no choice for people like me but to try to integrate.

      • catalan
        May 26, 2015, 5:31 pm

        “Better to be a free man in Albuquerque than a Zionist cadre in New York! – “Keith
        I sure have made a lot of bad, even terrible decisions. However, moving from the east coast to Albuquerque wasn’t one of them. After ten years, for good or bad, I am a desert man.

      • Keith
        May 27, 2015, 12:33 am

        CATALAN- “Actually I am kind of a fan of Phillip Roth, especially American Pastoral and the Human Stain.”

        American Pastoral? Human stain? Surely you jest! Philip Roth’s greatest novel is easily “Portnoy’s Complaint.” It is my source of insight into the Jewish psyche! It is how I became convinced that you guys are just as warped as me! Enjoy the desert, you kosher cactus flower!

      • Mooser
        May 27, 2015, 5:23 pm

        “Philip Roth’s greatest novel is easily “Portnoy’s Complaint.”

        “And now you know the worst thing I ever did….”

        Very true about “Portnoy’s Complaint”. Never really understood myself or my culture till I read that. It’s my guide to the perplexed.

      • Keith
        May 28, 2015, 5:35 pm

        MOOSER- “And now you know the worst thing I ever did….”

        A rather extreme example of not keeping kosher, don’t you think? Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me!

      • Mooser
        May 28, 2015, 6:39 pm

        “A rather extreme example of not keeping kosher,”

        I am no expert on the intricacies of Kashruth, but I’m sure you are right, in one way or another. Let’s not think about it.

      • Mooser
        May 29, 2015, 10:53 am

        “I can’t speak for other Jews but I do like some Gentiles. Michael Jordan, Steven King and last but not least, Kim Kardashian.”

        Wow, “Catalan”, you move in the best upper sets. You are in with the in crowd. I’m pretty impressed by the people you know, and I bet they like you just as much as you like them.

      • catalan
        May 29, 2015, 4:56 pm

        “I’m pretty impressed by the people you know, and I bet they like you just as much as you like them. -” Mooser
        When did I say I know them? I said I like them. Know vs like are different, right?
        However, I know what you are trying to do here. You are “diverting” the attention of Giles, who KNOWS that Jews like us actually network with each other. You see, all this dislike between us is a smokescreen for the naive Gentiles, wink-wink. In reality, we just love one another, like all Jews. See Giles, we just pretend.

    • catalan
      May 27, 2015, 11:50 am

      “It is how I became convinced that you guys are just as warped as me! – “Keith
      No, you can’t compete with us. We invented crazy. Trust me. Just be grateful.

    • neggy
      May 27, 2015, 12:14 pm

      You write like an anti-semite. I don’t mean that as a slur or even to address your argument (to the extent that it exists). If you replace the word “Zionist” with “Jew”, it sounds like the various antisemitic excrescences of the far right and left from before WW2.

      Perceived anti-Semitism is the mother’s milk of Judaism. It is the ideological glue which defines, unites and motivates Jewish tribalism, keeping Jews psychologically separate from the surrounding Gentile communities. It is this Jewish kinship which is a key component of organized Jewish power-seeking and Jewish material success. […] Apparently Deborah Lipstadt feels that this tribal unity is essential to Jewish well-being (power) and that the lack of tribal feelings of kinship due to lack of fear of anti-Semitism would result in Jews simply becoming part of the surrounding Gentile community instead of psychologically remaining a people that chooses to regard Gentiles as irrational Jew-haters would constitute “a dire and existential threat to Jewish well-being.” She is probably correct.

      See, it’s like something right out of Droumont or Proudhon…

      I don’t understand why people use the term “Zionist” when they are not referring to Israel at all. It can only mean “Jew” in this context.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 27, 2015, 1:06 pm

        If you replace the word “Zionist” with “Jew”, it sounds like the various antisemitic excrescences of the far right and left from before WW2.

        but, in your ‘example’ you didn’t replace the word zionist with jews. you changed “perceived anti-Semitism is the mother’s milk of Zionism” to this:

        Perceived anti-Semitism is the mother’s milk of Judaism. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/revisits-eichmann-jerusalem/comment-page-1#comment-770557

        thereby replacing zionism with judaism or conflating jews with judaism — thereby flipping keith’s argument on it’s head, bolstering his previous point when he said:

        The differentiation between those who “just happen to be Jewish” and those who are part of the Jewish community. Between those “radical assimilationists” versus those who “perpetuate Judaism” in a meaningful way. Perpetuate Judaism? The reform Jews of JVP don’t perpetuate Judaism in a meaningful way, but atheist Zionists do? It should be obvious that Hophmi is hardly concerned with the religious practice of Judaism, rather, his concern is for the perpetuation of JEWISHNESS, that is Jewish tribal solidarity. That is the essence of Zionism. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/revisits-eichmann-jerusalem/comment-page-1#comment-770557

        You write like an anti-semite. I don’t mean that as a slur or even to address your argument

        obviously you mean that as a slur (that’s your whole point) and are evading the argument altogether. perhaps you are incapable of making your own argument. but if you’re going to make it the least you could do is give examples that demonstrate your allegation instead of propping up the one you’re trying to oppose or shame.

        hasbara #fail your argument is nothing more than the tired old canard that anti zionism is anti semitism. boring.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 27, 2015, 1:35 pm

        reading allison’s new article citing new Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/netanyahu-fighting-annexing

        what is Zionism all about? Zionism is really about going back to Zion, going back to Jerusalem, going back to all those biblical places. We need to start talking about the peace process without removing people from the settlements.” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/netanyahu-fighting-annexing#sthash.0xYnVCYK.dpuf

        this is the new zionism, conflating zionism w/judaism. they are not the same thing tho that is intended hasbara impetus. because the accusation of anti semitism is the mother’s milk of israeli hasbara. of course they would like to use this accusation against anti zionists. but they (zionism /judaism) are distinct. one is a political construct, the other — a religion.

      • neggy
        May 27, 2015, 2:25 pm

        Annie, I am making a comment on the style of the writing, that is, the tune and not the words. I am not saying that Zionism and Judaism are identical, but that the paranoid style that he uses to describe Zionism sounds almost exactly like the paranoid style used by antisemites in the past. You are introducing a red herring.

        Imagine if I came here sounding off on the adherents of Arabism or Islamism using exactly the words used by Keith. I would be hounded out as a deranged conspiracy theorist or a racist.

        Because you apparently didn’t read Keith’s original post, you missed the part that I had to elide in order to avoid it sounding silly:

        “Zionism is the modern, secular equivalent of Classical Judaism.”

        It is Keith himself who is making these statements of, if not identity, at least isomorphism.

        I don’t understand why my pointing this out is a slur. I am giving Keith the benefit of the doubt here by saying that he writes like an anti-semite, not calling him one per se.

        I’m willing to leave the door open for him to agree that maybe he’s speaking too emotively or that he made a mistake and got carried away, but instead of addressing it, you accuse me of identifying Zionism with Judaism. No, I am not. That was clearly not the point of what I wrote.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 27, 2015, 2:54 pm

        instead of addressing it, you accuse me of identifying Zionism with Judaism.

        i did address it, and you did “identify” zionism with judaism in your analogy. i also read keith’s original post stating “Zionism is the modern, secular equivalent of Classical Judaism” in the context of his argument (as the [proposed i would add] modern unifying feature of jewishness) and commented on it.

        I don’t understand why my pointing this out is a slur.

        you are not “pointing” anything out, you’re making an accusatory claim based on an false rhetorical analogy (which i demonstrated). claiming someone “writes like an anti semite” based on their “the style of the writing” vs the content of the argument is ridiculous.

        Imagine if I came here sounding off on the adherents of Arabism or Islamism using exactly the words used by Keith.

        but keith didn’t come here sounding off on judaism, he was sounding off on zionsim (a political construct, which unlike a religion, is fair play) . and please define arabism. last i heard it is not a mirror image of zionism. too much shooting from the hip.

        I am not saying that Zionism and Judaism are identical, but that the paranoid style that he uses to describe Zionism sounds almost exactly like the paranoid style used by antisemites

        “style” aside (and addressing content) wouldn’t you agree keith’s description you highlighted [“Zionism is the modern, secular equivalent of Classical Judaism.”] resembles that of Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely? care you address the merits of the argument? or are you too hung up on the style insult to wade out of your rhetorical fallacies?

      • Keith
        May 27, 2015, 3:30 pm

        NEGGY- “You write like an anti-semite.”

        You libel like a Zionist.

        NEGGY- “I don’t understand why people use the term “Zionist” when they are not referring to Israel at all. It can only mean “Jew” in this context.”

        I am primarily concerned with American Jewish Zionists, less so Israeli Zionists, not Christian Zionist, nor non-Zionist Jews, nor anti-Zionist Jews. I am attempting to analyze Zionist ideology and Zionist organizational dynamics. This is a discussion which Zionists always try to squelch.

        NEGGY- Quotes Keith: “Zionism is the modern, secular equivalent of Classical Judaism.”

        How can that conclusion be construed as anti-Semitic? Prior to the enlightenment, virtually all Jews practiced a relatively consistent form of Judaism referred to as Classical Judaism. During the enlightenment, Jews splintered between Orthodoxy, Conservative and Reform Judaism, along with Secular Jews. Zionism functions to reunite the various groups into a unified whole in support of Israel. Giving you the benefit of the doubt that you are not a Zionist troll, you should read Israel Shahak and engage in some contemplation regarding your rigid and hostile attitude toward Gentiles. A couple of quotes from “Jewish History, Jewish Religion.”

        “Historical Judaism and its two successors, Jewish Orthodoxy and Zionism, are both sworn enemies of the concept of the open society as applied to Israel.” (p13) “The persistent attitudes of classical Judaism towards non-Jews strongly influence its followers, Orthodox Jews and those who can be regarded as its continuators, zionists.” (p99, “Jewish History, Jewish Religion,” Israel Shahak)

      • neggy
        May 27, 2015, 3:38 pm

        Both Arabism and Islamism are also political ideologues. My analogy works just fine. You also left out the assertion that Keith made that posits an isomorphism between Zionism and “classical Judaism”. You ignore these things because you will never accept that anything written on your side of the argument smells fishy and resembles other kinds of writing.

        That is your problem. You seem to think that whenever anyone asserts that something sounds like it was ripped out of a turn-of-the-century antisemitic pamphlet, he is trying to maneuver in order to evade criticism of Israel or Zionism.

        That is false. If you can’t recognize the form (if not the content) of antisemitic conspiracy theory so long as it is targeted at Zionism, then you have a huge blind spot.

        Again try the substitution in there with Arabism and Arabs and you get something outrageous and lurid about a different group of people. It depends on applying Jewish stereotypes to “Zionists”.

        I once saw a comment on this site saying that even if the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are fabricated, the Zionists are using it as a playbook in Israel. Are you kidding me? Where, realistically, do you think that comment leads? You’re either blind, don’t care, or, I am reluctant to say this, a bigot yourself.

        But anyway, it is quite interesting that you chose only to respond to this thread of comments but to none of the ones in which I provided facts.

      • neggy
        May 27, 2015, 3:43 pm

        Keith, you know that Israel Shahak is accused of being an antisemite too, not for reasons related to Zionism at all, but because he libels Judaism as a religion. Anyway, thanks for allowing me to conclude now that you are indeed just an antisemite and that your quarrel with the Jews has nothing to do with Israel.

        You let the mask slip, and Israel Shahak is not going to save you.

      • neggy
        May 27, 2015, 4:52 pm

        Also, Keith, if you want, here’s a journal article explaining an example of how Shahak operated:

        http://www.edah.org/backend/coldfusion/search/document.cfm?title=A Modern Blood Libel&hyperlink=jakobovits1%2Ehtml&type=Document&category=Jews and Gentiles: “Other” in Modern Orthodox Thought&authortitle=Rabbi&firstname=Immanuel&lastname=Jakobavits&pubsource=Tradition%2C 8:2 1966&authorid=433

      • Keith
        May 28, 2015, 12:09 am

        NEGGY- “Keith, you know that Israel Shahak is accused of being an antisemite too, not for reasons related to Zionism at all, but because he libels Judaism as a religion.”

        Of course Israel Shahak is accused of being an anti-Semite. That pretty much is the Zionist argument in a nut shell. Anyone who disagrees with or opposes Zionism is an anti-Semite. You posit Zionist Jews and anti-Semites and that is it. The notion that Israel Shahak hates Jews is ludicrous. And his analysis of Zionism as a throwback to the anti-Gentile chauvinism of Classical Judaism is right on the mark as your obvious hostility indicates. Furthermore, the Blood and Soil aspect of Israeli fascism is amply demonstrated by the historical record. Surely you are aware of Zionist overtures to the Third Reich pre-World War II? To help you out I provide a quote:

        “Consequently, the Zionists brought Baron Von MILDENSTEIN of the S.S. Security Service to Palestine for a six-month visit in support of Zionism. This visit led to a twelve part report by Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda, in Der Angriff (The Assault) in 1934 praising Zionism. Goebbels ordered a medallion struck with the Swastika on one side, and on the other, the Zionist Star of David. In May 1935, Reinhardt Heydrich, the chief of the S.S. Security Service, wrote an article in which he separated Jews into “two categories.” The Jews he favored were the Zionists: “Our good wishes together with our official good will go with them.” (p49, “The Hidden History of Zionism,” Ralph Schoenman)

        Zionist collaboration with Fascism is well documented, as is the obvious current Zionist ideological rigidity. You have no argument worth making, hence, you continually resort to labeling and libeling. Anti-Semitism once referred to Jew hatred. Nowadays Zionists downplay Jew hatred (the “old” anti-Semitism) and are mostly concerned with labeling opposition to Zionism and Israeli actions as anti-Semitism as a means of squelching discussion and criticism. And that is exactly what you have done. Yet another example of the complete lack of intellectual and moral integrity of Zionists.

      • Donald
        May 28, 2015, 12:18 am

        I have a different question, Annie. Is the rule about justifying or denying the Nakba no longer in force?

        I suppose if that is the case we can look forward to the comment section attracting people like neggy defending the slaughter of innocent Palestinians because other Palestinians murdered Jewish civilians And then maybe we’ll get people who actually defend terrorist attacks on Jewish civilians the way neggy justifies the Nakba and wishes Ben Gurion had been less merciful. Neggy would be happy. And you can see that’s where he wants to go. The only way one can defend the Nakba, other than denying it happened, is to claim that this group of innocent people over here can be murdered because that group of innocent people over there were murdered. Get people to argue about which set of murders is justified.

        To me this seems like trolling.

      • Mooser
        May 28, 2015, 6:52 pm

        “Is the rule about justifying or denying the Nakba no longer in force?”

        Maybe the Mods got tired of trying to prevent Zionism from being defended entirely by lunacy and logorrhea? I believe that led to complaints about the paucity of Zionist voices on Mondo.

      • Philemon
        May 28, 2015, 10:08 pm

        “To me this seems like trolling.” Well, duh!

        Mooser May 28, 2015, 6:52 pm
        “Is the rule about justifying or denying the Nakba no longer in force?”

        Well, you know, they’re were those staged photos… Nope, the Nakba ain’t that sacred.

        Neggy writes; “You seem to think that whenever anyone asserts that something sounds like it was ripped out of a turn-of-the-century antisemitic pamphlet, he is trying to maneuver in order to evade criticism of Israel or Zionism.”

        Hmmm…

        “That is false. If you can’t recognize the form (if not the content) of antisemitic conspiracy theory so long as it is targeted at Zionism, then you have a huge blind spot.”

        Neggy, please do tell us all about the form or the content of the conspiracy theory you think is “targeted at Zionism,” and also tell us the reasons. The reasons might be interesting.

        Antisemitism doesn’t work anymore. Nobody is remotely antisemitic these days.

        Or maybe you’re Rip Van Winkle?

      • Mooser
        May 29, 2015, 10:57 am

        Ah yes, those clever Zionists. As Annie said, a religion is hard to criticize, but a political ideology is fair game. So all the Zionists have to do is mix more and more religion into their Zionism, make the entire thing Judaism-based (which, given the source material, is not hard to do)! And then Zionism, no matter what it does, will be immune from criticism!
        Yup, that’ll work.

  3. jimpres
    May 25, 2015, 5:52 pm

    The term ‘Polish camps’ is incorrect. The German Nazis established the ‘ camps’ on occupied Polish soil. The camps were not Polish as implied by the comment. Please correct the error.

    • mohandeer
      May 26, 2015, 1:25 pm

      Dachau was at first a deportation camp mainly for Poles but also German Jews – it is located north of I think Berlin. It is most decidedly in Germany.

      • neggy
        May 26, 2015, 7:19 pm

        Uhhh no. Dachau was originally for political prisoners in Germany. Anybody familiar with the history knows this…

        Also, it’s in the south, near Bavaria, while Berlin is in Brandenbourg, the region coterminous with the old margraviate of Brandenburg.

  4. Interested Bystander
    May 25, 2015, 7:59 pm

    It’s inteded as “camps in Poland.” Thanks jimpers.

  5. JLewisDickerson
    May 25, 2015, 11:43 pm

    RE: Rudolf Hess, the deputy party leader put it this way: “Thanks to your leadership,” he said, addressing Hitler, “Germany will achieve its goal, to be a Homeland … for all Germans of the world.” ~ Roland Nickles

    SEE: Why “Homeland”?, by Thom Hartmann [VIDEO, 09:18]
    Published on Sep 24, 2014
    Thom Hartmann explains the origins of the term “homeland” and why he doesn’t like it being used to describe the United States.
    LINK [VIDEO, 09:18] – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCSwNW-axM0

    • Citizen
      May 26, 2015, 7:41 am

      I was amazed when they rolled out “Homeland.” Put Chernoff as head, if memory serves; Heimat is the origin, along with the Zionists “homeland” as in Balfour letter. 99% of all Homeland Security funds going to protect US citizens’ communities in America have gone to Jewish communities, to better secure synagogues, Jewish schools, playgrounds, etc. Anybody here ever watch the German film series “Heimat”? I had it with English subscript–a dozen or so video tape segments.

      • JLewisDickerson
        May 27, 2015, 1:29 am

        Heimat 1984 NR [6 DVDs]
        Our best guess for you: 4.9 stars
        Average of 7459 ratings: 3.5 stars
        Often compared to “Roots” as a historical saga, this internationally acclaimed miniseries chronicles the joys and heartbreaks of a German family from the end of World War I to 1982. Five years in the making, the 16-hour epic is set in a village near Luxembourg and centers on single mother Maria Simon (Marita Breuer) and her extended family as they endure tumultuous times and adapt to change. Dieter Schaad, Rudiger Weigang and Michael Lesch co-star.
        Netflix DVDs – http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/Heimat/70036261
        ALSO ON YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=heimat+part+1984+mielekamp
        Internet Movie Database (8.9/10) – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087400/

        Heimat 2: Chronicle of a Generation 1992, 1416 mins [7 DVDs]
        Our best guess for you: 3.7 stars
        Average of 2517 ratings: 3.2 stars
        Keeping the spirit of his groundbreaking Heimat: A Chronicle of Germany intact, experimental German filmmaker Edgar Reitz presents the second installment of episodes in his epic television miniseries, set in a bustling Munich of the 1960s. After leaving the small village of Schabbach, young composer Hermann Simon (Henry Arnold) comes of age in a changing city populated by artists, musicians and other creative personalities.
        Netflix DVDs – http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/Heimat-2-Chronicle-of-a-Generation/70045920
        Internet Movie Database (8.9/10) – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105906/

      • JLewisDickerson
        May 27, 2015, 2:17 am

        P.S. Unfortunately, the YouTube Heimat does not have subtitles and the Netflix DVDs (except for Heimat 2) are not currently available.

      • Interested Bystander
        May 28, 2015, 3:59 pm

        @JLD: Just watched episode 1 of Heimat. I was not aware of this before, so thanks for the link. Very interesting use of black/white and color. Flies are used to good effect. Paul, returning from the war, starts out like Septimus in “Mrs. Dalloway” but seems to recover fully. I didn’t quite get the father smashing the radio near the end, or Paul walking away from his family without a word. But it’s compelling. I’m Looking forward to watch the rest.

    • Mooser
      May 27, 2015, 5:32 pm

      Oddly enough I’m re-reading Shirer’s “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” right now.

  6. JLewisDickerson
    May 26, 2015, 12:33 am

    RE: “On January 20, 1942 the head of the SS secret service, Reinhard Heydrich, assembled the heads of the various German civil and war departments at Wannsee in Berlin to discuss implementation of the Final Solution. In the Mandel/Pierson film dramatization of the conference starring Kenneth Branagh (favorably reviewed by historians), Eichmann sits to Heydrich’s right.” ~ Roland Nickles

    MY COMMENT: I watched this film again recently via DVD from Netflix. Stanley Tucci played Eichmann.

    Conspiracy, 2001 R 96 mins
    Our best guess for you: 4.8 stars
    Average of 126980 ratings: 3.6 stars
    On January 20, 1942, at the height of the World War II, 15 government officials and SS Commanders attended a conference on the outskirts of Berlin. It was a simple meeting, which — by the end — would decide the fate of 6 million lives. This BBC movie is based on the only surviving record of that meeting, which would stand as the blueprint for Hitler’s final solution. Kenneth Branagh won an Emmy for his performance as Reinhard Heydrich.
    Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Colin Firth, Stanley Tucci
    Netflix format – DVD
    Netflix listing – http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/Conspiracy/60022602
    Internet Movie Database (7.8/10) – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0266425/

  7. JLewisDickerson
    May 26, 2015, 1:10 am

    RE: We can see the importance that Israeli leaders continue to attach to the presence and palpability of anti-Semitism in Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu’s obsession with Iran and its anti-Semitic pronouncements. Down-playing the role of anti-Semitism presents “a dire and existential threat to Jewish well-being,” says Deborah Lipstadt (according to Robin). We can see the same obsession in Ari Shavit’s book “My Promised Land”: the world hates the Jews, and always will; that’s why we need a Jewish state. ~ Roland Nickle

    SEE: “Israel’s Defense Chief OK’s Hundreds of Israeli Deaths”, By Ira Chernus, CommonDreams.org, 11/11/11

    [EXCERPTS] “If we take out the Iranian nuke facilities, sure, they’ll strike back at us,” Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said yesterday. “But if every American stays in their home when the Iranian rockets start falling, well, it will be uncomfortable. It won’t be a picnic. But we won’t have 220,000 Americans killed. Not even 22,000. So let’s stop the fear-mongering. We’ve got vital interests to protect.” . . ,

    No, of course Panetta didn’t say that. It would be unimaginable. But Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak did say much the same thing in a radio interview just the other day.

    . . . An essential motive of Zionism from its beginning was a fierce desire to end the centuries of Jewish weakness, to show the world that Jews would no longer be pushed around, that they’d fight back and prove themselves tougher than their enemies. There was more to Zionism than that. But the “pride through strength” piece came to dominate the whole project. Hence the massive Israeli military machine with its nuclear arsenal.
    But you can’t prove that you’re stronger than your enemies unless you’ve also got enemies — or at least believe you’ve got enemies — to fight against. So there has to be a myth of Israel’s insecurity, fueled by an image of vicious anti-semites lurking somewhere out there, for Zionism to work. Since the 1979 Iranian revolution, Iran has gradually risen to the top of Israel oh-so-necessary enemies list. Iranophobia is rampant in Israel, as one Israeli scholar writes, because “Israel needs an existential threat.”
    Anyone who has grown up in Israel, or in the U.S. Jewish community (as I did), and paid attention knows all this. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/11/11-2

    • JLewisDickerson
      May 26, 2015, 1:15 am

      P.S. ALSO SEE: “Three Myths of Israel’s Insecurity And Why They Must Be Debunked”, By Ira Chernus, TomDispatch.com, 4/17/2011

      [EXCERPTS] Here are the Three Sacred Commandments for Americans who shape the public conversation on Israel:

      1. For politicians, especially at the federal level: As soon as you say the word “Israel,” you must also say the word “security” and promise that the United States will always, always, always be committed to Israel’s security. If you occasionally label an action by the Israeli government “unhelpful,” you must immediately reaffirm the eternal U.S. commitment to Israel’s security.

      2. For TV talking heads and op-ed pundits: If you criticize any policies or actions of the Israeli government, you must immediately add that Israel does, of course, have very real and serious security needs that have to be addressed.

      3. For journalists covering the Israel-Palestine conflict for major American news outlets: You must live in Jewish Jerusalem or in Tel Aviv and take only occasional day trips into the Occupied Territories. So your reporting must inevitably be slanted toward the perspective of the Jews you live among. And you must indicate in every report that Jewish Israeli life is dominated by anxiety about security.

      U.S. opinion-shapers have obeyed the Three Commandments scrupulously for decades. As a result, they’ve created an indelible image of Israel as a deeply insecure nation. That image is a major, if often overlooked, factor that has shaped and continues to shape Washington’s policies in the Middle East and especially the longstanding American tilt toward Israel. . .

      . . . Ironically, that myth gets plenty of criticism and questioning in the Israeli press from writers like (to cite just some recent examples) Merav Michaeli and Doron Rosenblum in the liberal newspaper Haaretz, and even Alon Ben-Meir in the more conservative Jerusalem Post. In the United States, though, the myth of insecurity is the taken-for-granted lens through which the public views everything about the Israel-Palestine conflict. Like the air we breathe, it’s a view so pervasive that we hardly notice it.

      Nor do we notice how reflexively most Americans accept the claim of self-defense as justification for everything Israel does, no matter how outrageous. That reflex goes far to explain why, in the latest Gallup poll matchup (“Do you sympathize more with Israel or the Palestinians?”), Israel won by a nearly 4 to 1 margin. And the pro-Israeli sentiment just keeps growing.

      Our politicians, pundits, and correspondents breathe the same air in the same unthinking fashion, and so they hesitate to put much pressure on Israel to change its ways. As it happens, without such pressure, no Israeli government is likely to make the compromises needed for a just and lasting peace in the region. . .

      . . . If American attitudes and so policies are ever to change, one necessary (though not in itself sufficient) step is to confront and debunk the myth of Israel’s insecurity.

      ● Three Myths in One

      Israel actually promotes three separate myths of insecurity, although its PR machine weaves them into a single tightly knit fabric. To grasp the reality behind it, the three strands have to be teased apart and examined separately.

      Myth Number 1: Israel’s existence is threatened by the ever-present possibility of military attack. In fact, there’s no chance that any of Israel’s neighbors will start a war to wipe out Israel. . .

      . . . Myth Number 2: The personal safety of every Jewish Israeli is threatened daily by the possibility of violent attack. In fact, according to Israeli government statistics, since the beginning of 2009 only one Israeli civilian (and two non-Israelis) have been killed by politically motivated attacks inside the green line (Israel’s pre-1967 border). Israelis who live inside that line go about their daily lives virtually free from such worry. . .

      . . . Myth Number 3: Israel’s existence is threatened by worldwide efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state. . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175380/tomgram%3A_ira_chernus%2C_the_great_israeli_security_scam/#more

  8. JLewisDickerson
    May 26, 2015, 1:55 am

    RE: A trial, Arendt reminded us, is about what the accused did. Eichmann felt no remorse because he did not consider himself to have acted from base motives. In his view he followed orders and did not act from hatred, and that absolved him of moral and legal responsibility. The man was unclear on the concept of moral and legal culpability, according to Arendt… What would it mean for Netanyahu and his government to empathize with Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank: to really put themselves into their shoes. Evil is thought-defying, wrote Arendt in a letter, because “it can overgrow and lay waste the whole world precisely because it spreads like fungus on the surface.” In other words, says Robin, Arendt was raising old Jewish demands of mindfulness about life, the knowledge that it is our smallest actions of which heaven and hell are forged. ~ Roland Nikles (sorry about all those other versions)

    SEE: “Our Mania for Hope Is a Curse” | By Chris Hedges | Truthdig.com | May 24, 2015

    [EXCERT] . . . Those with power have always manipulated reality and created ideologies defined as progress to justify systems of exploitation. Monarchs and religious authorities did this in the Middle Ages. Today this is done by the high priests of modernity—the technocrats, scholars, scientists, politicians, journalists and economists. They deform reality. They foster the myth of preordained inevitability and pure rationality. But such knowledge—which dominates our universities—is anti-thought. It precludes all alternatives. It is used to end discussion. It is designed to give to the forces of science or the free market or globalization a veneer of rational discourse, to persuade us to place our faith in these forces and trust our fate to them. These forces, the experts assure us, are as unalterable as nature. They will lead us forward. To question them is heresy.

    The Austrian writer Stefan Zweig, in his 1942 novella “Chess Story,” chronicles the arcane specializations that have created technocrats unable to question the systems they serve, as well as a society that foolishly reveres them. Mirko Czentovic, the world chess champion, represents the technocrat. His mental energy is invested solely in the 64 squares of the chessboard. Apart from the game, he is a dolt, a monomaniac like all monomaniacs, who “burrow like termites into their own particular material to construct, in miniature, a strange and utterly individual image of the world.” When Czentovic “senses an educated person he crawls into his shell. That way no one will ever be able to boast of having heard him say something stupid or of having plumbed the depths of his seemingly boundless ignorance.”

    An Austrian lawyer known as Dr. B, whom the Gestapo had held for many months in solitary confinement, challenges Czentovic to a game of chess. During his confinement, the lawyer’s only reading material was a chess manual, which he memorized. He reconstructed games in his head. Forced by his captivity to replicate the single-minded obsession of the technocrat Czentovic, Dr. B too became trapped inside a specialized world, and, unlike Czentovic, he became insane temporarily as he focused on a tiny, specialized piece of human activity. When he challenges the chess champion, his insanity returns.

    Zweig, who mourned for the broad liberal culture of educated Europe swallowed up by fascism and modern bureaucracy, warns of the absurdity and danger of a planet run by technocrats. For him, the rise of the Industrial Age and the industrial man and woman is a terrifying metamorphosis in the relationship of human beings to the world. As specialists and bureaucrats, human beings become tools, able to make systems of exploitation and even terror function efficiently without the slightest sense of personal responsibility or understanding. They retreat into the arcane language of all specialists, to mask what they are doing and give to their work a sanitized, clinical veneer.

    This is Hannah Arendt’s central point in “Eichmann in Jerusalem.” Technocratic human beings are spiritually dead. They are capable of anything, no matter how heinous, because they do not reflect upon or question the ultimate goal. “The longer one listened to him,” Arendt writes of the Nazi Adolf Eichmann on trial, “the more obvious it became that his inability to speak was closely connected with an inability to think, namely, to think from the standpoint of somebody else. No communication was possible with him, not because he lied but because he was surrounded by the most reliable of all safeguards against the words and presence of others, and hence against reality as such.”

    Zweig, horrified by a world run by technocrats, committed suicide with his wife in 1942. He knew that from then on, the Czentovics would be exalted in the service of state and corporate monstrosities.

    Resistance, as Alexander Berkman points out, is first about learning to speak differently and abandoning the vocabulary of the “rational” technocrats who rule. Once we discover new words and ideas through which to perceive and explain reality, we free ourselves from neoliberal capitalism, which functions, as Walter Benjamin knew, like a state religion. Resistance will take place outside the boundaries of popular culture and academia, where the deadening weight of the dominant ideology curtails creativity and independent thought. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/our_mania_for_hope_is_a_curse_20150524

  9. Citizen
    May 26, 2015, 10:18 am

    The banality of evil: ordinary individuals who simply accept the premises of their state and participate in any ongoing enterprise with the energy of good bureaucrats. On a cable tv news channel a few days ago, the guy who presented to Bush Jr Administration the Intel regarding Iraq threat, was asked what he thought about Bush Jr staff cherry-picking the Intel and disregarding the Intel that did not fit when publicly declaring their justification to attack Iraq. He said his job was just to present the objective, full range of intel. He never showed the slightest recognition he had any other duty, then or now. Banality of Evil is not limited to history’s Nazi administrators. I think that mentality is often characterized as “compartmentalizing.” I’ve always found Arendt’s notion of following the deed, not the creed, more compelling. It’s actually another version of means v ends, eh? I guess the metaphor of survival of the fittest in the row boat at sea is instructive; yet neither Eichmann nor this American guy who presented the intel to the neocon staff were really in survival mode, merely in big career maintenance & ambition mode. That makes the evil more banal. Bibi is a perfect example, so is Obama.

  10. Marnie
    May 26, 2015, 12:06 pm

    “As a socialist, I, of course, do not believe in God; I believe in the Jewish people.” I found this a shocking statement and, being too shocked, I did not reply at the time. But I could have answered: The greatness of this people was once that it believed in God, and believed in him in such a way that its trust and love towards Him was greater than its fear. And now this people believes only in itself? What good can come of that?”

    None at all.

  11. DaBakr
    May 26, 2015, 11:09 pm

    well, getting through that torturous the Nation article on Arendt was way too much time spent on intellectual gymnastics and effort simply to reach the conclusion the Eichmann was a raving psychopath who lived in a fantasy world where he pretended he never meant Jews any harm at all. And he was pissed off he didn’t rise higher in the reich to boot! Sometimes a psychopath is just a psychopath Hannah

    • neggy
      May 27, 2015, 11:54 am

      It’s actually now been confirmed in the book “Eichmann before Jerusalem” that he was consciously lying to give that impression, so he wasn’t even in a fantasy world. He was conscious of what he was doing and proud of it. It was only after he was captured that he began to sing a different tune.

    • Marnie
      May 27, 2015, 12:08 pm

      Netanyahu is a raving psychopath who lives in a fantasy world where he pretended he never meant Palestinians any harm at all. And he was pissed off he couldn’t be president of the US to boot! This guy is just a psychopath DB.

      • DaBakr
        May 27, 2015, 4:03 pm

        @mr
        very creative. but the obverse would be to use your same technique on -say-a character like Stalin and paint him as a rational and reasonable, forward thinking man. Or you (and PW) can paint the mullahs who control Iran with an iron fist as ‘reasonable, peace-seeking men who haven’t threatened anybody with war or violence since they consolidated power in the late 70s.
        And ‘poor Assad’ and his beautiful jet-setting western educated wife having such a hard time ‘protecting’ Syrian ,minorities.
        I got you marnie, wink wink. I see how this works.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 27, 2015, 4:29 pm

        Netanyahu is a raving psychopath who lives in a fantasy world where he pretended he never meant Palestinians any harm at all. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/revisits-eichmann-jerusalem/comment-page-1#comment-770614

        ….very creative. but the obverse would be to use your same technique on -say-a character like Stalin and paint him as a rational and reasonable – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/revisits-eichmann-jerusalem/comment-page-1#comment-770614

        actually the obverse would be painting netanyahu as rational and reasonable. but if you’d like to sync him w/stalin i won’t complain.

      • Mooser
        May 27, 2015, 5:29 pm

        “I know you will shout “Zionist propaganda” etc., but I think it might be interesting, even for a partisan like yourself, to look at the Irgun’s deliberations, policy, and reasoning for when and why they did what they did they did 1938-1939.” “Neggy” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/revisits-eichmann-jerusalem/comment-page-1#comment-770638

        Poor misunderstood Irgun! If only we made some effort to understand them, and their “reasoning”.

      • neggy
        May 27, 2015, 6:07 pm

        Mooser you do such incredible acrobatics trying to understand (justify) Hamas’s suicide bombings of civilian targets. Shouldn’t you at least have the courtesy to touch your toes and see what Irgun did and why it did it?

      • Danaa
        May 27, 2015, 8:35 pm

        Actually, netanyahoo and his voters + nutty coalition members + supporters and tribal apologists in the US (including Christian zionist mad variety) are the modern version of biblical psychopaths. I am not sure why anyone even bothers to engage with them who put up apologies for the thuggeries and high crimes committed by these brutes and supported by oligarch friends far and wide. Corruption is the least of their crimes. If only there was a court to try them who are the the true criminals against humanity!

      • eljay
        May 27, 2015, 9:43 pm

        || Mooser: Poor misunderstood Irgun! If only we made some effort to understand them, and their “reasoning”. ||

        Irgun’s “reasoning” and actions are easily explained by JeffB’s handy Zio-supremacist formula:

        “Morality” = goal + methods

      • Mooser
        May 28, 2015, 6:56 pm

        “Mooser you do such incredible acrobatics trying to understand (justify) Hamas’s suicide bombings of civilian targets.”

        Gosh “Neggy”, I’m flattered you went through the trouble of checking my comment archive, but after all that research, why didn’t you link to any of my quotes justifying “Hamas’s suicide bombings of civilian targets”. After all, that could make people think you were, ah, firing from the hip, so to speak.

      • Mooser
        May 29, 2015, 4:48 pm

        “Irgun’s “reasoning” and actions are easily explained by JeffB’s handy Zio-supremacist formula:”

        “The Holocaust justifies the Nakba completely.” JeffB. Ver-freakin’-batim!

      • eljay
        May 30, 2015, 10:29 pm

        || Mooser: “The Holocaust justifies the Nakba completely.” JeffB. Ver-freakin’-batim! ||

        Exactly. You take a goal (supremacist “Jewish State”), you add some methods (Holocaust-justified terrorism, ethnic cleansing, occupation, colonization, devastation, etc.) and – voilà! – you get “morality”.

        Easy peasy lemon squeezy (’til the juice runs down your leg).

  12. Antidote
    May 27, 2015, 9:31 pm

    “The Nuremberg Race Laws were enacted in September 1935, depriving Jews of German citizenship.”

    It’s a common enough and persistent error which has been debunked repeatedly by serious historians over decades – to no apparant avail. I have corrected at least once before, when it was disemminated by, ironically, “legal expert” Hostage (a frequent commenter here)citing. Again:

    “The centerpiece of the anti-Jewish legislation was enacted in September 1935 as the Reich Citizenship Law and the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor, together known as the Nuremberg racial laws. […] The Reich Citizenship Law … did not alter the status of Jews as citizens (Staatsangehörige), conceding citizenship (Staatsangehörigkeit) to all German nationals, including Jews, and thus retaining for Jews the rights and protections traditional citizenship conferred. Instead, the law stigmatized Jews as citizens of lesser worth by creating the elevated position of Reich citizen (Reichsbürger), which only those with German or related blood could hold. Reich citizens were to be the sole bearers of political rights, but those rights were not defined and, considering the centralization of dictatorial political power, were basically meaningless. In fact, the Reich citizenship warrants were never issued.”

    Henry Friedländer: The Origins of Nazi Genocide (1997), p24

    http://mondoweiss.net/2013/03/falsehood-recycles-barghouti#comment-543497

    see also this passage (which deals with Daniel Goldhagen’s popular but incompetent contribution to the scholarship of the Third Reich) from an interview with German historian Hans Mommsen:

    “[Goldhagen] construes an unlinear continuity of German antisemitism from the medieval period onwards, and he argues that
    Hitler was the result of German antisemitism. This, however, and similar suggestions are quite wrong, because Hitler’s seizure of power was not due to any significant impact of his antisemitic propaganda at that time. Obviously, antisemitism did not play a significant role in the election campaigns between
    September 1930 and November 1932. Goldhagen just ignores this crucial phenomenon.

    Besides that, Goldhagen, while talking all the time about German
    antisemitism, omits the specific impact of the volkish antisemitism as proclaimed by Houston Stuart Chamberlain and the Richard Wagner movement which directly influenced Hitler as well as the Nazi party. He does not have any understanding of the diversities within German antisemitism, and he does not know very much about the internal structure of the Third Reich
    either. For instance, he claims that the Jews lost their German citizenship by the Nuremberg laws, while actually this was due to Hans Globke’s collaboration with Martin Bormann in changing the citizenship legislation late in 1938. ”

    sourve: Yad Vashem, An Interview With Prof. Hans Mommsen
    Ruhr –University Bochum
    December 12, 1997, Jerusalem
    Interviewers: Adi Gordon, Amos Morris Reich, Amos Goldberg

  13. Interested Bystander
    May 27, 2015, 10:15 pm

    Thanks, Antidote.

    Here is a link to an english translation of the 1935 Race Laws from Rice University. Article 2 states that only those “with kindred German blood” may be citizens, and that citizenship must be “obtained by the grant of Reich citizenship papers.” The Supplemental Decree of 11/15/35 states: (1) Until further provisions concerning citizenship papers, all subjects of German or kindred blood who possessed the right to vote in the Reichstag elections when the Citizenship Law came into effect, shall, for the present, possess the rights of Reich citizens.”

    I read this to mean that those not of “kindred blood,” e.g. Jews, have been deprived of citizenship and must apply to get citizenship papers–which would of course not be granted to Jews.

    Based on this, it is not clear to me that Henry Friedlaender is correct in the paragraph you quote.

    • Antidote
      May 28, 2015, 7:46 am

      Thanks for your comment, IB

      I think Friedländer is correct, though. I’m reposting the rest of my comment from the MW to which I linked above. The main point is that Reichscitizenship was not solely linked to blood:

      “Article 2 of the Reich citizenship law:

      1. A citizen of the Reich is that subject only who is of German or kindred blood AND [my emphasis] who, through his conduct, shows that he is both desirous and fit to serve the German people and Reich faithfully.
      2. The right to citizenship is acquired by the granting of Reich citizenship papers.
      3. Only the citizen of the Reich enjoys full political rights in accordance with the provision of the laws.

      So yes, Jews (as well as Roma, Sinti and African Germans, but not Danes, Poles, Greeks etc) were excluded from full citizenship and political rights (including voting rights). But so were all German citizens/subjects who did not exhibit the right “conduct”. This is why article 116 of the Basic Law of the FRG reads, as you [commenter “hostage”] quote:

      “The above mentioned group of people mainly includes German Jews and members of the Communist or Social Democratic Parties.”

      Obviously, most members of the German Communist or Social Democratic Parties weren’t Jews.

      As far as I can tell, Israel does not link full citizenship to “conduct”, or no more so than do other democracies, including the US.”

      So Reichscitizenship was based on TWO criteria: blood AND ideology {conduct]. Linking full citizenship to “conduct” is, of course, not unique to the National Socialists. The analogy to the Soviet Union, also a one party system in which the party decided what was good for the state and the people, is obvious. And even in the Soviet Union passports identified the ethnicity of the citizen, and recognized Jews as an ethnicity (Soviet passports identified the holder as “Jewish” , “Russian, “Ukrainian” etc but not as “Greek Orthodox”, “Protestant” etc) – with obvious similarities to Israeli practice in this respect.

      • Antidote
        May 28, 2015, 8:14 am

        I should add that “conduct” could overrule the blood restrictions wrt the elevated category of Reichsbürger. In such cases, the category of “honorary Aryan” was invoked and even applied to entire peoples, such as the Japanese. Hence, Germans of Jewish ancestry affected by the Nuremberg race laws such as Luftwaffe General Erhard Milch could later end up as a defendants at the Nuremberg Trials

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

      • Interested Bystander
        May 28, 2015, 12:13 pm

        Antidote: I can’t say I follow what you are saying. Section 2, which you quote (slightly different translation) pretty categorically says you can’t be a citizen if you are not of “German or kindred blood.” Article 2 (para.2) also specifies that “the right of citizenship is obtained by the grant of Reich citizenship papers.” As I noted–and you do not address–the need for Reich citizenship papers *for people of German or kindred blood* was excused by the supplemental decree of November 14, 1935….. but not for Jews. This made the whole “right conduct” clause pretty irrelevant. Bing a Jew (“lack of kindred or German blood” … which of course was total BS) was wholly sufficient to deprive you of citizenship by the plain meaning of this law. Conduct had nothing to do with it.

      • Antidote
        May 29, 2015, 1:06 pm

        IB – again, the confusion stems from the fact that Nazi-legislation of 1935 introduced two different categories of citizenship – Reichsbürger (with full political and voting rights) and Staatsangehörige (without those rights). Both were German citizens according to both German and international law. Explicitly excluded from Reichsbürger-status by the 1935 legislation, German Jews were thus denied the right to vote in the 1936 elections but they were nevertheless still German citizens. Germans who were allowed to vote in the 1936 elections were, however, NOT allowed to vote for anything else but what was on offer on the ballot – i.e. National Socialism. Under the circumstances, the full voting and political rights of the Reichsbürger were nothing but a chimera.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_election_and_referendum,_1936

        German Jews could also no longer hold political offices or be civil servants, although an exception was made for teachers. Jewish lawyers and physicians were allowed to practice until further restrictions were introduced at the end of the decade.

        Among historians, it is generally understood that the Reichs-citizenship legislation afforded considerable leeway wrt who did or did not qualify for full citizenship, as I outlined above, and this applies to both Jewish and non-Jewish Germans. Your objection is:

        “Being a Jew (“lack of kindred or German blood” … which of course was total BS) was wholly sufficient to deprive you of citizenship by the plain meaning of this law. Conduct had nothing to do with it. ”

        Yes and no. The Nazis had as many problems defining who was or wasn’t a Jew as did, and still do, the Zionists. Whether a German Jew, his parents, or grandparents, practiced Judaism (clearly a matter of personal or ancestral conduct rather than “blood”) did make a difference even though it contradicted any notion of “scientific racism”. See, for instance, Mariken Lenaerts, National Socialist Family Law (2014), p. 81-85:

        “the First Supplementary Decree [of the Reichsbürgergesetz of 1935] provided clarification on who was to be considered Jewish. In order to determine this, the status of the grandparents was decisive. Generally speaking, a person was considered to be Jewish when he or she had three or four full-Jewish grandparents. [….] Persons with only one or two full-Jewish grandparents were considered jüdische Mischlinge (Jewish half-breeds). The National Socialists were at a loss as to what to do with this group. Technically, they were neither Jewish nor Aryan, but a bit of both, and treating them as Jewish would imply a loss of German blood. […]

        Grandparents were considered to be full-Jewish when they (had) adhered to the Jewish religious community, which – all in all – was an unusual factor to take into consideration as it specifically concerned a racial matter and not a religious one. […] Furthermore, this approach led to inconsistencies which could have far-reaching consequences, especially with the so-called Achteljuden, in particular Dreiachteljuden (persons with three Jewish great-grandparents) […] A person with three Jewish great-grandparents could be considered of German or kindred blood, a Vierteljude or second-degree halfbreed (one Jewish grandparent), Halbjude or first-degree half-breed (two Jewish grandparents) or Dreivierteljude (three Jewish grandparents), which counted as Jewish, depending on the division of Jewish great-grandparents and whether they had raised their child as a Jew. […]

        With the Reichsbürgergesetz and its First Supplementary Decree one of the fundamental principles of National Socialism as expressed by point 4 to 6 of the Party Principles of 1920 was established by law, though in somewhat mitigated form. However, it should be noted that fanatical Nazi officials tried several times to extend the definition of Jew, by including half-Jews and sometimes even quarter-Jews. Hitler, who was advised on this matter by Rassereferent Bernhard Lösener, never agreed to this, as this would affront the Aryan side of the family of the half-Jew or quarter-Jew. Apart from that, a considerable number of quarter-Jews fought in the German army. Lösener had drafted a lost with twelve arguments that pleaded against equating half-Jews with full-Jews. Whether Hitler was also relatively generous to this group of people because of uncertainties with regard to his own lineage is impossible to prove.”

        Being a soldier or officer in the Wehrmacht did not automatically bestow the status of Reichsbürger with full political and voting rights for Jews, or even non-Jews.

        on the subject of Jews in the Wehrmacht see

        http://www.jewishmag.com/158mag/hitler_jewish_soldiers/hitler_jewish_soldiers.htm

        At any rate, while I agree with you on the BS-factor regarding the “blood” issues, and also on the indisputable fact that the majority of German Jews, by any definition, were only second-class citizens after 1935, they continued to be citizens and shared the loss of political rights with other minorities. As to other restrictions, such as access to higher education, it is clear that women – hardly a minority and mostly of “German and related blood” – were even more adversely affected. Jewish access to higher education was strictly reduced but still higher than their demographic proportion in the German population (less than 1%) , but

        “After 1933 only 10 per cent of the matriculants (Abiturienten) were allowed to be women. […] According to Hitler, marriage should even be a requirement for women to obtain citizenship.” (Lenaerts, p. 46)

        Ironically, this would have denied German citizenship to Leni Riefenstahl whose films were of considerable value to Hitler and the National Socialists. Consistency and logic was not a strong point of National Socialism.

        While it is clear that Jews played a central role in Nazi ideology, the customary focus on Jewish suffering tends to distort reality, and history. Even though German Jews did not lose citizenship by the 1935 legislation, formal citizenship did not necessarily offer protection from severe human and political rights violations in Germany, other European countries, the Soviet Union, or the US. How did race affect political and voting rights of American citizens before, during, and long after the short-lived Third Reich?

        http://www.crmvet.org/info/votehist.htm

        Or take the so-called “Mexican Repatriation” , a euphemism that refers to

        ” a mass migration that started in the late 1920s, but increased substantially during the Great Depression, when as many as two million people of Mexican descent were forced or pressured to leave the US. This event occurred during the latter end of the Herbert Hoover Presidency and into Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s second term.[1] The event, carried out by American authorities, took place without due process.[2] The Immigration and Naturalization Service targeted Mexicans because of “the proximity of the Mexican border, the physical distinctiveness of mestizos, and easily identifiable barrios.”[3]

        Studies have provided conflicting numbers for how many people were “repatriated” during the Great Depression. The State of California passed an “Apology Act” that estimated 2 million people were forced to relocate to Mexico and an estimated 1.2 million were United States citizens. Authors Balderrama and Rodriguez have estimated that the total number of repatriates was about one million, and 60 percent of those were citizens of the United States. These estimates come from newspaper articles and government records and the authors assert all previous estimates severely undercounted the number of repatriates (Balderrama). An older study conducted by Hoffman argues that about 500,000 people were sent to Mexico. His data come from the “Departmento de Migracion de Mexico” or “Mexican Migration Service,” which is said to be a reliable source since the Mexican government had many ports along the border in which Mexicans were required to register and could do so free of charge (Aguila and Hoffman).

        The Repatriation is not widely discussed in American history textbooks;[4] in a 2006 survey of the nine most commonly used American history textbooks in the United States, four did not mention the Repatriation, and only one devoted more than half a page to the topic.[4] Nevertheless, many mainstream textbooks now carry this topic. In total, they devoted four pages to the Repatriation, compared with eighteen pages for the Japanese American internment[4] which, though also a gross violation of the rights of citizens, affected a much smaller number of people, even by the more conservative estimates for the Mexican deportations.[1]

        These actions were authorized by President Herbert Hoover and continued by FDR who was the 32nd President of the United States (1933–1945) and targeted areas with large Hispanic populations, mostly in California, Texas, Colorado, Illinois, and Michigan.”

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

        This “repatriation” affected about as many Mexican – American citizens as there were Jews in Germany (according to the 1933 census) – about 500 000. The latter of course did not yet have a “country of origin” quite eager to have them” back”.

        And what about the legality of expropriating that many people without proper compensation?

        I conclude with some notes on a court case involving art confiscated from a German Jew during the Third Reich that demonstrates the continuing relevance of the citizenship issue:

        “one cannot but question the assumption that the original owner had been deprived of her German citizenship before the painting was confiscated and she left Germany in 1939. As a Jewish German, the owner had definitely been relegated to second class citizenship by the racist Reichsbürgergesetz of 1935 which deprived Jews of their political right but not their German citizenship as such. While there were also outright denationalisations of Jewish [and non-Jewish] Germans on the basis of other statutory provisions, it would have to be proven that the owner was subjected to such an individual act of persecution. It is also problematic to assume that the confiscation violated international law as it existed in 1939, an assumption that was not challenged on appeal either. Before the human rights revolution of 1945 the treatment by a state of its own citizens, including racial discrimination, was considered as an internal affair in almost all cases, and certainly with regard to expropriations without compensation. Even today, customary international law does not prevent a state from confiscating the property of its own citizens, nor is there any universal human rights treaty to this effect, at best, the prohibition of confiscations is among the minimum standards for the treatment of foreigners. If the original owner still had German citizenship when the painting was taken, the confiscation did not violate international law. If she had already been denationalized and thus in all likelihood become stateless, international law did not protect her from expropriations either”

        Immunities in the Age of Global Constitutionalism, ed. Anne Peters et al, 2014, p. 96

        Expropriation was a major and early motive of National Socialist anti-Jewish legislation and practice. To achieve this goal legally and without provoking an international outcry it would have been counterproductive to deny German citizenship to German Jews. Once Germany was at war and opposed by the same powerful alliance that defeated her in 1918, such considerations no longer mattered

      • Interested Bystander
        June 1, 2015, 8:07 pm

        Antidote: Here is William Shirer @p. 207: “The so-called Nuremberg Laws of September 15, 1935, deprived the Jews of German citizenship, confining them to the status of ”subjects.” Until you point to some of those “serious historians” who have “debunked” this over the decades, I’m going to stick to this version–which is exactly consistent with the wording of the laws.

    • Antidote
      June 3, 2015, 10:36 pm

      IB – I think I answered your question and objection already, at great length, and cited several “serious historians” above. If you think Shirer is beyond question because his journalistic bestseller has been and is still widely read, I obviously can’t help you. Stick with whatever you like, as do most people here and everywhere else. . You can inform yourself about criticism of Shirer’s work by “serious historians” in many places, including Wikipedia

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

      • Antidote
        June 3, 2015, 10:38 pm

        sorry, my reply got posted above your comment

  14. Danaa
    May 28, 2015, 4:38 am

    The commenter with call sign “neggy” (as in “nag-gy?) has now accused keith of being an anti-semite (same old same old trot) plus has denied the narqba p;us committed high crimes and misdemeanorts against logic, history, morality and factuality. I vote to get rid of him/her. Unless a little dose of stupid is needed to liven things up, of course. Unfortunally, sometimes itseems that without the neggies, the naysayers and the hop-hommies conversation just doesn’t seem to get going, alas.

    Personally, I feel that anyone who resorts to the trollish tried and true “anti-semitism” rubbish, should not be allowed to post here. They can post elsewhere where their counter-factual, misbegotten diatribes and libelious nonsense are accepted. Like zoa. Or the times of israel. Or the “new witches of salem” (not sure there’s such a peiodical but there should be!).

  15. yonah fredman
    May 28, 2015, 8:20 pm

    While Corey Robin writes this:

    “Hannah Arendt had a long and complicated relationship with Zionism, at times supporting the idea and taking great risks on behalf of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, at times excoriating it as a fascist enterprise. In Eichmann, she leans in the latter direction.”

    For balance sake: I include Arendt’s reaction to the American Council for Judaism’s offer of “protection” in the aftermath of the Eichmann book:
    “You know that I was a Zionist and that my reason for breaking with the Zionist organization was very different from the anti-Zionist stand of the Council: I am not against Israel on principle, I am against certain important Israeli policies. I know, or believe I know, that should catastrophe overtake this Jewish state, for whatever reasons (even reasons of their own foolishness) this would be the perhaps final catastrophe for the whole Jewish people, no matter what opinions every one of us might hold at the moment.”

    • yonah fredman
      May 29, 2015, 10:54 am

      The quote is from “Hannah Arendt: For Love of the World” by Elisabeth Young-Bruehl.

      • Mooser
        May 29, 2015, 2:01 pm

        I’m sorry, Yonah, was that quote from Hannah Arendt supposed to make a point? Would you mind explaining what it is?

      • yonah fredman
        May 29, 2015, 2:12 pm

        Many antiZionists around here wrap themselves in the flag of Hannah Arendt, who was not an antiZionist and to whom the Jewish state was something that was precious to her on some level and this fact of her position is omitted for a nefarious purpose: that of obfuscation of Arendt’s actual point of view.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 29, 2015, 4:41 pm

        this fact of her position is omitted for a nefarious purpose

        hmm, that seems to contradict your earlier comment:

        While Corey Robin writes this:

        “Hannah Arendt had a long and complicated relationship with Zionism, at times supporting the idea and taking great risks on behalf of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, at times excoriating it as a fascist enterprise.

        – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/revisits-eichmann-jerusalem/comment-page-1#comment-771038

        so which is it? was the fact of her on again off again affair with zionism “omitted for a nefarious purpose” or was it spelled out in black and white?

      • Mooser
        May 29, 2015, 4:59 pm

        Ah, the depth of Yonah’s compassion, and his willingness to show it:

        “though I love standing in Jerusalem and breathing its air and walking its streets, the militarism of the Zionist movement and the ugliness of the settler movement add up to a very unfortunate bad joke” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/harrowing-transfixing-blumenthal#sthash.f5Hx4gMV.dpuf

        Ha-ha-ha. Joke’s on you, Palestinians. “Psysch!!

  16. Citizen
    May 29, 2015, 10:13 am

    What would you do if you woke up one day and you were told to accept giving away more than half of your homeland to recent squatters from foreign lands? Did either Britain as Mandate administrator or UN without your representation there have right to do that?

    • Mooser
      May 30, 2015, 11:37 am

      “What would you do if you woke up one day and you were told to accept giving away more than half of your homeland to recent squatters from foreign lands?”

      ROTFL! As a matter of fact, my demented next-door neighbor is trying this right now.

  17. MHughes976
    May 29, 2015, 7:11 pm

    The questions raised by Arendt at the Eichmann trial seemed to be:
    1. Is it possible for someone to become involved in major crimes not because of what they think but of what they don’t think: ie not because they mean to harm the victims but because they don’t give any thought to the victims while furthering – out of ambition, careerism or conformism – the policies of some organisation?
    2. Was Eichmann like that?
    3. Is anti-Semitism of its nature bound to be responsible for more evil and extreme results than any other ideology?
    Bev-Gurion was anxious to answer 3. affirmatively with Eichmann as his prize exhibit – Arendt, by answering the first two questions affirmatively, attempted to show that he had no rational proof of his claims.
    I think that the first question does have a pretty obvious ‘Yes’ answer, but that does not mean as much as Arendt thinks: it may still be true that that oppressive organisations will trust with a degree of discretion and responsibility only those who to some extent sympathise actively with their aims. Indeed I feel pretty sure that Eichmann, though he was never a policy maker, must have been promoted in part because of his obvious readiness to treat people badly if they were Jewish: ie he took a prejudiced and negative attitude to Jewish rights. What other kind of person would the machine for which he worked have been looking?
    On the other hand the Ben-Gurionists never showed that other political machines with equal ruthlessness but different aims could not have found Eichmanns of their own.

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