Jewish community must ‘welcome’ anti-Zionist, pro-BDS Jews, Beinart says– but Shavit says, Excommunicate them

US Politics
on 126 Comments

Peter Beinart called on the Jewish community last week to admit anti-Zionist and pro-BDS Jews. These young Jews are supporting BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israel) because they hear “the voice of Sinai,” he said.

Ari Shavit, the Israeli author who has become a celebrity in American Jewish spaces, sharply contradicted Beinart. He said that these young Jews must be kept out of community spaces because BDS is an “evil, sophisticated” campaign that is filled with anti-Semitism.

The difference between the two men reflects differences over the definition of Judaism and what Jews owe to their community. Shavit described Judaism as support for Israel. Beinart described Judaism as an ancient and living religion that has often contained anti-Zionist strains.

The two writers spoke June 12 on an all-Zionist and mostly-right-wing panel about “What’s Next for Israel?” at the 92nd Street Y, an organization that has censored Palestinian and anti-Zionist voices. They were introduced by Thomas Kaplan, a billionaire who has supported Israel and has investments that could profit from a war with Iran.

At the end of the discussion, Beinart challenged the hall filled with 500 mostly older folks (and surely almost all Jews, and paying $40 a head) to include anti-Zionists at the table:

“And the last thing I’ll say and this is the most challenging I think maybe for most people, including for me: Our tent, our Jewish community, our proverbial Seder table, is going to have to include the Jewish kids who are not Zionists, including the Jewish kids who are involved in the BDS movement. Because Jewish kids are overrepresented in the BDS movement. You may find that frightening beyond belief, you may find it terrifying. And I understand why you do, but it’s true.”

Beinart then related an anecdote of a campus meeting of Students for Justice for Palestine where most of the group was Jewish, and continued:

“Every generation hears the voice of Sinai anew. This generation– one way it is hearing it makes us radically uncomfortable. We cannot afford to tell them that they are not welcome in Jewish spaces, because then we alienate them not only from Israel but from being Jews as well. We need to welcome them in, we need to argue with them, we need to challenge them, we need to be challenged by them. We may be entering– I take no pleasure in this, I find it a terrifying reality– We are entering, An era in which there is no longer going to be a Zionist consensus in the U.S. Especially if Israel continues on its current path. We will have to remain a Jewish community in that environment and we will have to be welcoming even to those people on the far left or the far right whose views we find deeply, deeply upsetting.”

Shavit responded sharply. He disagreed with Beinart because of his experiences touring campuses in the 18 months since his book My Promised Land came out.

“I’ve been there. I’ve been listening to them,” he said of the BDS supporters. “I’m for free discussion… but BDS in so many places has serious anti-Semitic dimensions….I’ve seen young liberal Jews in such a state because they are aware of that.” (Many Jewish students have said that BDS makes them fearful.)

Shavit said what was needed was a new partnership between American Jews and Israeli Jews that would change Israel’s image in the world. He called it the David challenge: “We have to convince ourselves and others that we are the David. We cannot be perceived as the Goliath.”

How will Israel pull that off? If young American Jews and Israeli Jews worked to bring social justice in Israel and helped Palestine too, it would put Israel on “the right side of history” and show the world, “we are right and we stand for the right kind of things.”

He called it a “Martin Luther King Zionism”: because Martin Luther King fought for his people and for universal values too. “We are the universal tribe,” Shavit explained.

American Jews will want to participate in this partnership because they face an “existential” challenge: they depend on Israel to maintain their Jewish identity. So this is the partnership:

“You help us survive there, we help you survive here.”

(I must say here, I cannot imagine a more dispiriting view of religion and affiliation than Shavit’s.)

Throughout the conversation, Beinart stood up for a view of Jewish religion that was based on ancient traditions and texts– and is therefore very conservative (and not my cup of tea)– but that is freed of the burden of Zionism. He said movingly that it upset him to see gleaming new Holocaust memorials in cities where the Jewish school doesn’t have a gym or a science lab, and people can’t afford to send their kids there without getting a second mortgage. Our community cares more about the dead than the young, he said. He said that the only place he can find translated Torah portions from Genesis and Exodus to give to his children is from ultra-Orthodox publishers in Borough Park, Brooklyn.

Shavit seemed to hold it over Beinart and Dan Senor, a second panelist, that they send their children to the Heschel school in New York. His children do not need a Jewish education to know that they are Jewish; no, that is “easy” for them.

“My 11 year old and 6 year old– they don’t go to the shul in their life. Don’t go to Heschel. They’re Jewish.” But American Jews “have to choose to be Jewish every day.”

Really he was talking about Jewish nationality, and the definition of Israel as a Jewish state. Throughout his comments about Israeli political life, Shavit never included Palestinians as equal members of that society.

It was Beinart who stood up for universal rights. He said that Israel has a “security subcontractor in the West Bank” – the Palestinian Authority – “which allows them to pretend that the West Bank doesn’t exist in the elections”—a point you hear at SJP meetings all the time. And he said that only conservatives really participate in the Israeli elections because Palestinians are the left and though they compose 20 percent of Israeli society they are written out of the governing coalitions (a point I have been making for many years).

He said that because older American Jews never speak to Palestinians, they have little idea why Israel’s image is shifting. He knows why. The BDS movement is growing because young Americans are attracted by Palestinian-Americans’ message. These advocates are “very impressive, very articulate, deeply American,” and they don’t believe in a Jewish state.

“I never met a Palestinian who believed that Israel’s existence is anything but a tragedy and a disaster. Who in their fantasy world would have Israel not exist.”

By deeply American, he said he meant that they don’t have “thick accents,” they don’t see America as a foreign world. They are particularly effective with LGBT and non-white audiences. And when they say all they want is “one person, one vote” and equality, young people agree with them. Meanwhile, the pro-Israel coalition on campus is “Hillel and the college Republicans.”

Beinart was repeatedly applauded for his remarks.

He struggles openly with his tribal affiliation. Shavit does not. The Israeli is surely an excellent writer who composes ideas in an elegant compelling manner. That is why his book did so well here, why he is feted by synagogues across the country. He is a storyteller who knows how to place himself in the edge of the frame; and he has been honest about the ethnic cleansing of Lydda during the Nakba, the chapter the New Yorker published.

But his politics left me cold, and will surely leave a lot of young Jews cold. They are essentially tribal politics. And the real point of his remarks was that the audience must maintain the Israel lobby so that Jews can carry on their society in Israel (because Israel utterly depends on a superpower’s support).

Shavit began the evening by saluting the miracle of American Jewish life alongside the miracle that is Israel. He didn’t know America before he came for the publication of his book, he said. That was a huge emotional event for him: the launching of his international career, with “my beloved friend” the editor of the New Yorker doing downfield blocking for him. He told a story of seeing his book being sold as a Hanukkah gift on the Upper West Side and being so moved that he sat down in a cafe to have a glass of wine and make “my first and last tweet.”

Often that night his understanding of US cultural and political life struck me as self-involved and provincial. Certainly his view of religion is.

BTW, all the panelists at the Y wrung their hands over the young Jews. The hall was filled with older ones. A social revolution is taking place inside Jewish life, in which those who feel true solidarity with Palestinians are the primary movers. There can be no doubt of the truth of Beinart’s statement, the era of Zionist consensus is over.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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126 Responses

  1. Citizen
    June 15, 2015, 2:28 pm

    Wonder when the Catholic Church in USA will wake up? And how about their populist Pope? What’s Walt & Mearsheimer doing these days? They sure are not invited onto the usual cable tv infotainment shows where most Americans get their daily smidgeon of news, if any. Those shows remain full of neocon & PEP pundits.

  2. amigo
    June 15, 2015, 2:57 pm

    “He called it a “Martin Luther King Zionism”: because Martin Luther King fought for his people and for universal values too -” Shavit.

    This attempt to equate zionist with the Black struggle in the US is just about as insulting as it is feeble.Zionists are not sold to slave owners or beaten if they do not work hard enough to please their masters.Au contraire , it is zionists who approach this level of inhumanity in their daily treatment of Palestinians.

    Claiming to be victims is just not cutting the mustard .People are not blind.

    Israel is like the gambler who is down to his last bet and it happens to be the next mortgage payment. He close his eyes , makes the bet and loses it all.

    • Clif Brown
      June 15, 2015, 6:46 pm

      Indeed, to put MLK’s name with Zionism is proof that Zionists are blind to anything but their own agenda. There is a desperate attempt, a real need of Zionists to place themselves in a moral light. Shavit openly admits that the moral dimension is needed for the cause of Israel, but what he will not contemplate is that it can’t be obtained and attempts only more starkly show the thing for what it is – ethnic supremacy. Will we be hearing of “Gandhian Zionism” or “Mandelan Zionism”? I wouldn’t be surprised.

      The horrible holocaust – a moral catastrophe, has enabled Israel and shields (ever less effectively) it to this day. This magical effect of the disaster is the foundation of the impossible attempts at moralizing Zionism. It worked in the past so why not now? Zionism is immoral in itself. The shunning of, right up to the execution of Jews made it appear that Jews throwing innocent people out to replace them with the trope of homecoming and liberation somehow came out as justice. Who cannot feel exhilaration when putting a picture of the piles of skeletal corpses at a concentration camp next to a young Jew of 1950 looking out over Jerusalem, even if a third picture of Palestinians trudging from their land is added?

      Zionism was and is a bad idea. It has come out of the closet of warm emotion that has nurtured it and supports it today, for exactly what it has always been. There’s no recovery and all attempts to pull the comfy blanket back over the head will fail. Tragedy upon tragedy are ahead because fanaticism does not go down without a fight, all the more so when the fanatics see themselves as righteous. There’s no better proof of this than Shavit’s mention of MLK.

  3. George Smith
    June 15, 2015, 3:20 pm

    “Shavit….is surely an excellent writer who composes ideas in an elegant compelling manner.” –Philip Weiss

    Correction: He USED to be an excellent writer. Now every topic he touches is “a turning point in history” or some such overblown rubbish. There is a single chapter of straightforward, non-hyperbolic, sincere writing in My Promised Land: a reprint of his 1991 essay On Gaza Beach (translation in the New York Review of Books: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/1991/jul/18/on-gaza-beach/). He was young then. Now he’s able to write without embarrassment and shame: “I know that if not for [the ethnic cleansing of Lydda in 1948] the State of Israel would not have been born….[T]he filthy work [enabled] my people, my nation, my daughter, my sons, and me to live.” A new genre in liberal Zionist punditry: “ethnic cleansing and weeping,” as Shlomi Segall aptly put it in a letter to the editor of the New Yorker.

  4. Annie Robbins
    June 15, 2015, 3:56 pm

    This from shavit:

    American Jews will want to participate in this partnership because they face an “existential” challenge: they depend on Israel to maintain their Jewish identity. So this is the partnership:

    “You help us survive there, we help you survive here.”

    why would American Jews face an “existential” challenge depending on Israel to maintain their Jewish identity?

    why would American Jews need to depend on Israel for anything? why would American Jews need help from israeli jews to help them survive in america? this seems crazy. i think it’s more likely israel presents a burden on american jews. a very big burden. it seems much more like a one way street.

    israel needs and depends on american jews to keep the support from america flowing in because israel can’t survive without america. they can’t stand on their own because they depend on massive amounts of crime to keep their enterprise afloat. cut the cord, that would be my advice. why hitch your soul to a ship that’s sinking because it refuses to stop oppressing another people. it’s awful.

    • Philip Weiss
      June 15, 2015, 4:08 pm

      he’s saying the core of Jewish identity is now ISrael so US Jews need Israel to be Jewish. I agree it’s crazy. But he would say my secular Jewish intermarried identity means… I’m not a Jew, I guess. He’s said this kind of thing before. W’re endangered in the US.
      http://mondoweiss.net/2013/11/american-endangered-shavit

      • Annie Robbins
        June 15, 2015, 4:22 pm

        phil, i just got back to the hardware store and all i could think about was how they hunted him like a dog and cowardly shot him in the back and crushed him into a wall with their vehicle as if it was some sporting kill game or some video game http://mondoweiss.net/2015/06/palestinian-under-israeli. what kind of humans raise their children to do things like this? and then leaving him to die slowly crushed. it’s beyond gruesome. and for this shavit says american jews need israel for their jewish identity???? hello, american jews need israel like they need holes in their head. israel is not “jewish identity”, that’s the stupidest thing i ever heard. a recipe for anti semitism. what a burden for a jewish person to feel obligated to be associated with.

      • yonah fredman
        June 15, 2015, 7:42 pm

        The key to Shavit’s philosophy or outlook is concern for Jewish continuity. Childless intermarried Jews with Christmas trees count as Jews to me, if we need to make a minyan to daven, I’d count you Phil. (Although I’d have to wince at counting you when I think of that Passover post that makes me gag and rebel.) But to survival continuity oriented Jewishness, you’ll be gone after this generation and therefore you don’t count.

        But 43% of American Jews view support for Israel as essential to one’s Jewishness and you seem to be calling them crazy.

        As Richard Dawson used to say, “Survey says…”

        Let’s go to THE survey. Pew poll of 2013.

        Let’s try to keep the discussion moving forward, not reverting to sloppy habits of barbershop conversation, but instead attempt to define our terms. Let’s define something and then continue the discussion from point A and then to point B and so on.

        For example on the issue of who is a Jew I would refer to the Pew poll immediately after citing the Halacha.

        And also to our discussion here which is regarding what is essential to being Jewish.

        link to Pew poll: http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/10/jewish-american-full-report-for-web.pdf

        On page 55 of the Pew poll pdf, the following alternatives were offered to those polled as to what is essential to being Jewish and the percentages are those that considered the alternatives as essential.

        Remembering the Holocaust 73 76 60
        Leading an ethical and moral life 69 73 55
        Working for justice/equality 56 60 46
        Being intellectually curious 49 51 42
        Caring about Israel 43 49 23
        Having good sense of humor 42 43 40
        Being part of a Jewish community 28 33 10
        Observing Jewish law 19 23 7
        Eating traditional Jewish foods 14 16 9

        (The three numbers are those who thought it essential among all Jews and then dividing the responses between those who consider themselves Jewish as a religion and those who consider themselves Jewish, but of no religion.)
        Some of the alternatives seem to ridicule the effort. Eating traditional Jewish foods is essential to being Jewish? (matzo, i can understand, but knishes, not really. ) It kind of mocks the whole enterprise of trying to determine the essential. But nonetheless. Lets look at some of the numbers.

        Remembering the Holocaust scores real big, whereas observing Jewish law is under 20%.

        The be a good person and build a better world score 69% and 56%.

        But now let’s return to the issue at hand. Support for Israel is essential to 43% of those questioned. Are you, Phil Weiss, saying that those 43% are crazy? In essence you are.

      • Donald
        June 15, 2015, 9:32 pm

        Caring about Israel could mean a lot of things–in a way, Phil cares about Israel. But I suppose most of the responders meant “supporting Israel” and quite possibly “supporting Israel no matter what they do”. Anyway, I was struck by how low the numbers are–less than half and among the non-religious, all the way down at 23 percent.

      • eljay
        June 15, 2015, 9:46 pm

        y.f.: Remembering the Holocaust 73 76 60

        It’s disturbing and sad that to 73% of Jewish people polled the most essential part of their Jewish identity is remembering (not suffering or surviving) a tragedy.

        Leading an ethical and moral life 69 73 55
        Working for justice/equality 56 60 46
        Being intellectually curious 49 51 42
        Having good sense of humor 42 43 40

        None of these is specific to being Jewish, but they’re good things to have as a part of an identity. Zio-supremacists fall short (or fail completely) when it comes to the first two entries.

        Caring about Israel 43 49 23

        It’s sad and disturbing that 43% of Jewish people polled consider…
        – coveting a piece of land; and
        – advocating, engaging in and/or defending the supremacism and the (war) crimes that the coveting encompasses,
        …to be important parts of a Jewish identity.

        Being part of a Jewish community 28 33 10
        Observing Jewish law 19 23 7
        Eating traditional Jewish foods 14 16 9

        These would appear to be the most essential to a Jewish identity.

        Support for Israel is essential to 43% of those questioned. Are you, Phil Weiss, saying that those 43% are crazy?

        Actually, it’s “Caring about Israel”. But why restrict the options to “crazy”? The 43% includes Zio-supremacists (who are hateful and immoral, but not necessarily crazy) and likely also includes misinformed / misguided non-Zionists.

      • oldgeezer
        June 16, 2015, 1:22 am

        @yonah

        Are you sayin the 57% who don’t wrap their identity in Israel are wrong?

        It seems so shallow to me to wrap your identity in any state given that history has shown that states are, at best, temporary in nature.

        Thousands of years of Jewish culture and existence of a racist state that is at odds with international law is the core of your identity. I accept that may be true for you or others but I find such a shallow and meaningless existence to be more than a little sad.

      • RoHa
        June 16, 2015, 1:50 am

        “Support for Israel is essential to 43% of those questioned. Are you, Phil Weiss, saying that those 43% are crazy?”

        I hope he is, because they are.

      • jon s
        June 16, 2015, 3:25 am

        I agree with Prof. Beinart that Anti-Zionist Jews should be seen as a legitimate part of the community, should “have a place at the table” , assuming that they don’t cross certain lines, and despite the irony that boycott-supporters worry about being boycotted in the community.

        A while ago, in one of his Haaretz columns,probably in response to a call for Zionist and anti-Zionist Jews to get together and thrash out their differences over Israel, Beinart wrote that , on the contrary, he’d like to see Zionist and anti-Zionist Jews get together and, for a change, NOT argue over Israel. Instead, discuss the weekly Torah portion .
        (I’m paraphrasing from memory, but that was his idea…)

      • Hostage
        June 16, 2015, 8:25 am

        I agree with Prof. Beinart that Anti-Zionist Jews should be seen as a legitimate part of the community, should “have a place at the table” , assuming that they don’t cross certain lines, and despite the irony that boycott-supporters worry about being boycotted in the community.

        I don’t worry about being boycotted by your stupid community. I object to these so-called Jew-ish Federation “communities” grabbing the majority of the millions of taxpayers dollars available from Homeland Security grants to physically harden and secure your bastions of hate and discontent and promote your stupid pro-Israel racist creed using additional multi-year Homeland Security “Interfaith Bridge Building” grants” to promote Hillel’s exclusionary “Israel guidelines” under the misnomer “Religious Pluralism in a Time of Extremism: The Campus Responds,” while excluding the creeds of Anti-Zionist Jews and Palestinian Christians and Muslims who demand equal rights under the law, both here in the USA and in Palestine. See “Jewish Groups Grab Huge Share of Grants” http://forward.com/news/158866/jewish-groups-grab-huge-share-of-grants/ and “Grant Helps Campuses Build Interfaith Bridges” http://www.hillel.org/about/news-views/news-views—blog/news-and-views/2008/03/11/grant-helps-campuses-build-interfaith-bridges and ““Hillel Explains When ‘Open Hillel’ Will Result in Disaffiliation” http://www.jewishpress.com/news/hillel-explains-when-open-hillel-will-result-in-disaffiliation/2014/02/20/

        You are operating a tax scam to send the majority of the money raised straight to Israel to support or offset the costs of that country’s illegal settlement enterprise in violation of the IRS code. See 26 Billion Bucks: The Jewish Charity Industry Uncovered http://forward.com/news/israel/194978/26-billion-bucks-the-jewish-charity-industry-unco/ and IRS 1985 EO CPE Text “J. Activities That Are Illegal Or Contrary To Public Policy http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/eotopicj85.pdf

        It’s utterly preposterous for Hillel, the Jewish Federations, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Education, and the Department of State to violate the separation of Church and State and prescribe their (per)version of Jew-ish orthodoxy and call everyone else anti-Semites. Maybe you’re stupid enough to not notice that it’s all illegal and unconstitutional, but the rest of us know what’s really going on.

      • echinococcus
        June 16, 2015, 3:48 am

        I agree with Prof. Beinart that Anti-Zionist Jews should be seen as a legitimate part of the community, should “have a place at the table” , assuming that they don’t cross certain lines, and despite the irony that boycott-supporters worry about being boycotted in the community.

        Are you joking, “John S”? Which self-respecting Jew would sit at the same table with Zionist criminals and allow the bastards to add chutzpah to arrogance by setting “lines not to be crossed”? Only if forced by grandpa at an unfortunate family dinner where the guests were a surprise…

        he’d like to see Zionist and anti-Zionist Jews get together and, for a change, NOT argue over Israel. Instead, discuss the weekly Torah portion

        .

        I’m not exactly an expert but having sometime done a little work on the Septuagint I had the impression that there are at least three commandments that clearly disqualify the Zionists, in very plain language not to be discussed away: no murdering, no stealing, no false witness.

      • bryan
        June 16, 2015, 6:00 am

        Jon s: “Anti-Zionist Jews should be seen as a legitimate part of the community, should “have a place at the table” , assuming that they don’t cross certain lines”

        This whole concept of “crossing of lines” is exceedingly strange. Granted, every democratic forum needs to maintain certain standards (e.g. refusing to accept violence, physical intimidation, racism, character assassination, slander, bad language, ad hominem attacks). Indeed I believe the prohibition of crossing lines and red lines derives from the time when British MPs might wear swords, and were not permitted to approach closer than two sword lengths from where the opposition sat to ensure that debate was non-violent.

        But it seems these are not the sort of lines that you are concerned about (and such tactics seem to be widely espoused in the defence of Zionism). But why on matters of policy or approach why should there be “sacred cows” that are unchallengeable – in any democratic forum, at least (as opposed to the staged rituals that took place in the meetings of the Soviet politburo). As times change even the most cherished of ancient traditions and dogmas need to be challenged, and quite literally anything should be permitted to be debated. (E.g in a British Socialist context whether the Red Flag should be sung at conference, whether the party should espouse the common ownership of the means of production, whether nuclear deterrence should be retained, whether the trade union sector should maintain influence over policy etc.). In the Israel context there are major issues to be debated not closed down as sacrosanct (e.g. whether Jerusalem should be the capital, whether settlements contribute to security, whether the state can be Jewish and democratic, whether a 1S, 2S or status quo solution is in Israel’s best interests, whether sanctions are appropriate and if so whether they be applied within or beyond the “green line”.

        What in your view are the “certain lines” that it is forbidden that American Jews be allowed to cross (or as you so eloquently put it “delegitimize their membership of the community”) ?

      • yonah fredman
        June 16, 2015, 7:00 am

        jon s. – Off topic, too lazy to find your question. You asked why I called Daniel Pearl a shahid. The word means martyr. and Pearl was a martyr, as in killed because he was witness to the Jewish faith. (shahid comes from the same word, i believe as sahaduta, which is aramaic for witness.) It was an affectation I was using to praise Pearl and his sacrifice of his life.

      • eljay
        June 16, 2015, 7:45 am

        || jon s: I agree with Prof. Beinart that Anti-Zionist Jews should be seen as a legitimate part of the community, should “have a place at the table” , assuming that they don’t cross certain lines … ||

        What “certain lines” – advocating justice, accountability and morality? condemning Zio-supremacism and all of its past and on-going (war) crimes? – should anti-Zionist Jews avoid crossing?

        And if anti-Zionists should cross these “certain lines”, what would be their punishment? Would they be stripped of their Jewishness? Executed for disloyalty to or treason against the “Jewish State”?

        Very curious to know. Hope you’ll provide a detailed reply. Thanks.

      • Mooser
        June 16, 2015, 12:37 pm

        “The key to Shavit’s philosophy or outlook is concern for Jewish continuity.”

        Nonsense, Yonah! Complete nonsense. Listen to the man’s own words:

        “My 11 year old and 6 year old– they don’t go to the shul in their life. Don’t go to Heschel.” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/06/community-zionist-excommunicate#sthash.aQdL0Za1.dpuf “Ari Shavit”

        Doesn’t seem like a whole lot of concern for Jewish continuity to me. Not even the basics. If they don’t go to schul how will they be Bar Mitzvah You want they should be like that awful Alice Cooper? Schul is always out for those kids!

      • Mooser
        June 16, 2015, 12:44 pm

        ,” assuming that they don’t cross certain lines,”

        Oh yes, I am going to let thieves and murderers tell me what the rules are for my religion, so they can facilitate their theft and fraud! Not while I have breath, you….

        Who says you get to draw the lines, macher?

      • Mooser
        June 16, 2015, 1:16 pm

        “It was an affectation….”

        You bet it was, Yonah. And not, by any means an attractive one.

      • michelle
        June 16, 2015, 9:15 pm

        .
        all life has a place at the table
        the trouble started when some
        began taking from the plates of others
        .
        G-d Bless
        .

    • yonah fredman
      June 15, 2015, 9:39 pm

      You are right that caring about Israel can mean more than one thing. I believe that Magnes Zionist cares about Israel. I believe Phil cares about America and the Palestinians. If the region lucks into letting the Jews stay, fine, but otherwise I think Phil feels it would be justice for most of the Jews to leave Palestine back the way it was before the Zionist invasion. Let them move elsewhere and let the Jewish languages disappear. Phil is fine with that.

      Yes, for sure the numbers are not what one would think if one listens to Abe Foxman.

      • talknic
        June 16, 2015, 12:17 am

        yonah fredman

        “If the region lucks into letting the Jews stay, fine, but otherwise I think Phil feels it would be justice for most of the Jews to leave Palestine back the way it was before the Zionist invasion. Let them move elsewhere and let the Jewish languages disappear. Phil is fine with that.”

        Say …. if you don’t back why you think Phil feels that way, people might think you’re just another a lying, false accusing, jerk.

      • oldgeezer
        June 16, 2015, 12:53 am

        @talknic

        yonah clearly shows to the world what he is.

      • echinococcus
        June 16, 2015, 1:03 am

        Mr Fredman says:

        Let them move elsewhere and let the Jewish languages disappear. Phil is fine with that

        Who has done more to kill and make disappear the Jewish languages?
        The Zionists, of course! The well-documented and regrettably successful effort started by a Congress decision, implemented by arch-Zionist Eliezer Perlman, had his children as ginea pigs. It was directed at killing Yiddish first, and we are there. That scelerate nationalism has succeeded in imposing an invented monster of a tongue and kill Yiddish, Spanish and even Arabic.
        Mr Fredman, it’s interesting to see you prove every day that human shamelessness is limitless; please don’t stop.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 16, 2015, 1:47 am

        shorter yonah: ‘phil phil phil phil phil’

        triple yawn

      • Philip Weiss
        June 16, 2015, 11:40 am

        Hi Yonah, I dont think the JEws should leave Israel and Palestine. I am also pro-immigration in the U.S. esp with regard to folks who are already here; I think people like to cross borders, and should be enabled to. As to Jewish languages disappearing, my chief response is that I am not going to change my life in order to preserve such languages, any more than I am trying to preserve disappearing cultures elsewhere. It’s the way of the world under globalizatoin/the internet, and I lament it, but I refuse to be guilted about the fact that I am not reading Bialik in the original Yiddish. Beinart chooses to send his kids to Jewish schools; if my wife and I had had kids we’d never have done such a thing, as my parents did not bend over backwards wrt my Jewish education. There were obviously consequences to all these choices, but I don’t moralize about them; people made them for good reason….

      • Mooser
        June 16, 2015, 1:03 pm

        “shorter yonah: ‘phil phil phil phil phil’”

        When I think of Yonah’s keen insight into the mind of Phil Weiss, and Hophmi’s masterpieces (like “The Phils Will Fall Away” ) I think maybe it deserves it’s own word. I think I’ll call it “philpul

      • jon s
        June 16, 2015, 2:41 pm

        Yonah, Thanks for your reply, I figured that you meant something like that; that he died, as we say, “al kiddush Hashem”.

      • jon s
        June 16, 2015, 3:01 pm

        To those who asked what I meant about crossing certain lines, I mean pretty extreme positions and actions. Gilad Atzmon comes to mind as a person who crossed into the realm of Holocaust denial and blatant anti-Semitism (aside from calling Phil Weiss a Zionist!) and, obviously opted out and lost his place in the community.

      • jon s
        June 16, 2015, 3:09 pm

        Hostage, that’s three “stupid”s in one comment.
        Reminds me of the comment in which you referred to the study of Jewish sources as “all that shit”… and claimed to have read it all.

      • Hostage
        June 16, 2015, 3:53 pm

        Reminds me of the comment in which you referred to the study of Jewish sources as “all that shit”… and claimed to have read it all.

        I’ll let readers see what you said to Annie and my response and judge for themselves: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/injustice-washington-synagogue#comment-770292

        I was referring to the portions of the Torah that many Israeli’s and Zionists employ to justify genocidal attacks against non-Jews living in modern day Palestine. I certainly do consider those passages to be some pretty contrived and spurious shit and the Israelis who take them literally to be some of the stupidest people on Earth. Just for the record, I have read the JPS Tanakh, The Soncino Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, and Rashi’s Commentaries. Like many secular Jews, I think that parts of that collection do constitute some good examples of ancient literature on aspects of ethics and philosophy, but that parts of it cannot be adapted or applied to the views and habits of modern civilization or sanctified as “Holy” writ.

      • eljay
        June 16, 2015, 3:14 pm

        || jon s: To those who asked what I meant about crossing certain lines, I mean pretty extreme positions and actions. Gilad Atzmon comes to mind as a person who crossed into the realm of Holocaust denial and blatant anti-Semitism … and, obviously opted out and lost his place in the community. ||

        OK, so, if a Jewish person does something horrible like deny the Holocaust – or, I dunno, disobey his gawd’s commandments – he “loses his place in the Jewish community”.

        Two questions:
        – Who determines what constitutes a horrible-enough action to merit a “loss of place in the Jewish community”?
        – What does a “loss of place in the Jewish community” actually entail?

        Not expecting a detailed reply, but hoping for one just the same. Thanks. :-)

      • Hostage
        June 16, 2015, 4:06 pm

        So, if a Jewish person does something horrible like deny the Holocaust (or maybe even disobey his god), he “loses his place in the Jewish community”

        I believe that the term Jew-ish was originally coined to describe secular persons or Christian converts whose religious status was disputed, i.e. “Jewish” as distinguished from a “Jew”.

      • Mooser
        June 16, 2015, 4:43 pm

        “That’s three stupids in one comment”

        Az tzvei zuggen shiker, leigst zich der driter shloffen!

      • James North
        June 16, 2015, 4:49 pm

        Moose: Translate, please?

      • Mooser
        June 16, 2015, 5:10 pm

        It sort of translates as: “And how many times do you need to be told?”

      • Annie Robbins
        June 16, 2015, 7:47 pm

        I think I’ll call it “philpul“

        mooser you’re hysterical!

      • Annie Robbins
        June 16, 2015, 8:05 pm

        jon, regarding that discussion hostage linked to when we were talking about Shavuot. wiki mentions

        Shavuot is one of the lesser-known Jewish holidays among secular Jews in the Jewish diaspora, while those in Israel are more aware of it.[3][4] According to Jewish law, Shavuot is celebrated in Israel for one day and in the Diaspora (outside of Israel) for two days. Reform Judaism celebrates only one day, even in the Diaspora.[5]

        ……

        Modern observances

        A synagogue sanctuary adorned in greenery in honor of Shavuot
        Shavuot is unlike other Jewish holidays in that it has no prescribed mitzvot (Torah commandments) other than traditional festival observances of meals and merriment; and the traditional holiday observances of special prayer services and the required abstention from work.

        it may have been because of the way (not knowing the name) i described it as “staying up all night studying jewish laws or something” (paraphrasing) if reform jews only celebrate it one day it might explain one reason why it was unrecognizable.

        also, why would you say phil has “lost his place in the community.”

        your jewish community perhaps. more philpul.

      • yonah fredman
        June 16, 2015, 11:05 pm

        Phil- A number of reactions to your comment, even though they are not linear, I hope they move the conversation forward.

        I watched a video clip of some Israeli panel show where Yeshaya Leibowitz posed the question of whether the Jews had evolved out of something called a nation into something else. (I think he was referring particularly to those Jews who did not speak Hebrew or Yiddish as their first language, that is Jews of the Diaspora.)

        And then there’s the famous Groucho Marx line:
        When one club offered to waive its no-Jews rule for Groucho, provided he abstained from using the swimming pool, he remarked, “My daughter’s only half Jewish, can she wade in up to her knees?”

        Thus the Jews are evolving and the Pew survey shows that those devoted to Jewish belief (rather than in the generally accepted beliefs in goodness and working for a better world) are barely 20% of the population and as such the other 80% will continue to evolve towards assimilation and “disappearance”.

        The identity of Jews with the Lower East Side and the immigrant experience has shriveled to nearly nothing over the last 40 years. How many Jews wax nostalgic when they see Mandy Patinkin in the Jewish subplot from “Ragtime”. To younger Jews the Holocaust too will fade as an organizing principle.

        I don’t think Zionism is akin to MLK’s philosophy, but I do think it has many parallels to Malcolm X’s philosophy. The name changes of the black Muslims is paralleled by the name changes of Zionism. But my point is this quote from the eulogy by Ossie Davis: “Malcolm was our manhood, our living, black manhood!” And in the aftermath of the helplessness and catastrophe of the Hitler destruction, to many Jews (I’m thinking of Saul Bellow http://mondoweiss.net/2011/11/bellow-diaspora-jews-support-israel-because-it-restored-our-manliness-after-the-holocaust) Israel was their manhood. But as time goes on and the yoke of the goyim becomes a memory of ancient history, we see Israel not as an expression of manhood, but more like a grown man acting like an adolescent. The machismo that we tolerate from a fifteen year old male as a necessary part of growing into adulthood, we consider to be stunted in a thirty year old. (Although we still celebrate such machismo in the movies, this is more a question of art as wish fulfillment rather than an evolved attitude towards adulthood.)

        And as the number of those who have the Holocaust at the center of their Jewish identity will drop, so will the number of those who have “caring for Israel” at the center of their Jewish identity, because there is no longer a need to react to the humiliation of the destruction, when it is past tense rather than present in our blood cells*.

        ( * blood cells. I was reading the letters of Norman Mailer and in his correspondence with Jack Henry Abbot (I suppose philosemitism is not a prominent attitude in the prisons), defended Israel with a statement: “You don’t know the profound and fundamental stunting of existence that got into the blood cells of every Jew after Hitler had done his work.”) http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2009/mar/12/norman-mailer-letters-to-jack-abbott/

      • RoHa
        June 17, 2015, 1:51 am

        “whether the Jews had evolved out of something called a nation”

        But what was that thing called a “nation”?

        ” into something else.”

        And what could that be?

      • RoHa
        June 17, 2015, 1:53 am

        ‘It sort of translates as: “And how many times do you need to be told?”’

        I got that completely wrong. My guess was something like “Through Yog Sothoth shall Cthulhu regain his power”.

      • Mooser
        June 17, 2015, 12:05 pm

        ” The machismo that we tolerate from a fifteen year old male as a necessary part of growing into adulthood, we consider to be stunted in a thirty year old.”

        Yonah, you are lucky nobody reads your TLTSDR comments. Okay, what Israel does is like a kid who stays out to late, and doesn’t do his homework. I mean, it isn’t as if Israel is killing people or anything.

  5. michelle
    June 15, 2015, 4:06 pm

    .
    if a Jewish male is excommunicated does he get his foreskin back
    .
    there was a Jewish community split a long time ago
    and from it was ‘born’ the christian community
    .
    one wonders are the Jewish people trying to wipe themselves off the map
    .
    for real though
    it seems like G-d will decide who & what we are
    no matter what group we are or aren’t a part of
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

    • Mooser
      June 16, 2015, 12:48 pm

      “if a Jewish male is excommunicated does he get his foreskin back”

      There have been some medical attempts to repair circumcision. At least, I see it advertised on the web. But I’m pretty sure a person is on their own in seeking remedial treatment, even if they are excommunicated.
      However, I am not aware of the latest changes due to ACA.

      • talknic
        June 16, 2015, 1:37 pm

        “There have been some medical attempts to repair circumcision”

        All they’ve been able to do thus far is graft a hood/covering. The erotogenic nerve endings cannot be replaced or duplicated and although the glans does become a little more sensitive thru being protected, the repaired hood doesn’t fully reverse the keratinization of the glans or result in any noticeable mucosal increase lost thru circumcision (some 33–50%).

      • Mooser
        June 16, 2015, 4:46 pm

        “All they’ve been able to do thus far….”

        Gee, thanks, “talknic”. A man can dream, can’t he?

    • jon s
      June 16, 2015, 3:53 pm

      Phil,
      One slight correction: Bialik is known mainly as a Hebrew writer, not Yiddish.

      Hebrew doesn’t need you to change your life in order to preserve it. Hebrew is doing fine. So it’s not a matter of changing your life, it’s more of an opportunity you could have had to enrich it.

      As to Yiddish, it’s true that Zionists often saw Yiddish as an adversary, and fought for Hebrew, but that’s not what almost killed Yiddish: It was the Nazis , who annihilated the mass of Yiddish speakers. Today Yiddish survives as a living language , mainly among the Haredim (Ultra-Orthodox).

    • jon s
      June 16, 2015, 4:11 pm

      Hostage,
      Thanks for the clarification.
      I had a grandfather, of blessed memory, whose main interest in life -aside from his family- was studying the Torah, and that’s basically what he did for 80 years ( he died at 86). He never boasted about having read it all.

      • Mooser
        June 16, 2015, 4:47 pm

        “I had a grandfather, of blessed memory, whose main interest in life -aside from his family- was studying the Torah,”

        Oh, tell that schmoozer to get a job, and stay away from the kids!

      • Keith
        June 16, 2015, 6:00 pm

        JON S- “I had a grandfather, of blessed memory, whose main interest in life -aside from his family- was studying the Torah….”

        The Torah, not the Talmud?

      • Mooser
        June 16, 2015, 6:51 pm

        “The Torah, not the Talmud?”

        Remember, they made a movie about it and the King David Hotel bombing called “Torah, Torah, Torah” if I’m not mistaken.

      • yonah fredman
        June 16, 2015, 10:23 pm

        Keith- Among Orthodox Jews the study of all holy Jewish subjects is called Torah.

      • Mooser
        June 17, 2015, 11:27 am

        Gee, Yonah, if Phil Weiss is all the things you and Hophmi say he is, why does he consistently print your comments on his blog?
        Wait, I know, he does it just to watch you make a fool of yourself! You are right, a guy who would do that doesn’t deserve to be part of the community.

      • Mooser
        June 17, 2015, 12:06 pm

        “Jon s” ran away, post haste, from Hostage’s detailed accusations of fraud. He doesn’t want to deal with that.

    • michelle
      June 16, 2015, 9:35 pm

      .
      Wen der tati/fater gibt men tsu zun, lachen baiden.
      Wen der zun gibt men tsu tati/fater, vainen baiden
      .
      Gotteniu
      .

      • jon s
        June 17, 2015, 4:56 am

        translation?

      • RoHa
        June 17, 2015, 5:46 am

        When the father gives “men” to the son, they both laugh.
        When the son gives “men” to the father, they both cry.

        But what does “men” mean, and what dialect is it?

      • michelle
        June 18, 2015, 2:02 pm

        .
        When the father gives to his son, both laugh. When the son gives to the father, both cry.
        Oh G-d!
        .
        http://www.pass.to/glossary/Default.htm
        .
        G-d Bless
        .

      • RoHa
        June 18, 2015, 7:06 pm

        I actually almost understood some Yiddish? Wow!

        But what is “men” doing in the sentence? Is it a sort of dummy object for “gibt”?

      • michelle
        June 18, 2015, 11:51 pm

        .
        Hello RoHa
        i hope you’re doing well
        m
        .
        i found the Yiddish to English pages
        reading Moosers posts
        i’ve no understanding for the reason ‘man’
        is included my guess is it would equate to
        ‘of himself’ though really i don’t know
        .
        music and languages are some of the subjects
        that i have no skills for though i find myself drawn
        to them moth to light
        .
        i wish the world knew the language of the deaf
        then more of us could share with each other
        .
        G-d Bless
        .

      • Mooser
        June 19, 2015, 12:12 pm

        “i found the Yiddish to English pages
        reading Moosers posts”

        Since what little Yiddish I know I know as spoken language, I use “The Gantseh Megilla” to get standard spellings. There are some other Yiddish glossaries on the Web, too.

    • jon s
      June 16, 2015, 11:20 pm

      Annie, I didn’t say that Phil lost his place in the community, I said the opposite: that I agree with Prof. Beinart, that Anti-zionists should NOT be excluded.

      • Mooser
        June 17, 2015, 10:49 am

        “that I agree with Prof. Beinart, that Anti-zionists should NOT be excluded.”

        Why on earth should we let criminals thugs and murderers tell us who should be “excluded”.
        Where do you get the idea you will choose who is excluded? What power do you have to rule Judaism?

      • Mooser
        June 17, 2015, 11:30 am

        And “Jon s” you tell your buddies to stay the hell away from my pets. All my cats and dogs are ‘chipped’ (I get worried, Dora is almost reddish in certain lights) We will know, and prosecute.

    • jon s
      June 18, 2015, 2:19 am

      What Hostage did here:
      http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/injustice-washington-synagogue#comment-770292
      was to fuse two comments, from different commenters.
      The second part , “It’s quite sad…” was indeed, mine. But the first part, “To rectify…” was from someone else (Annie, I think…)

  6. Trygve
    June 15, 2015, 4:21 pm

    The subject of Steven Salaita is off-topic, but this is the section of Mondoweiss where news of his dismissal was covered .

    On Saturday, the American Association of University Professors voted overwhelmingly to censure the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign over its ouster of professor Salaita. A portion of the association’s comments: the university has “not adhered to generally recognized principles of academic freedom and tenure.”

    http://www.democracynow.org/2015/6/15/headlines#61513

    • Annie Robbins
      June 15, 2015, 4:26 pm

      thank you trygve, we (staff) have been following this and of course the recent court decision requiring the university to turn over all their emails to CCR defending salaita in his lawsuit. more excellent news.

  7. Hostage
    June 15, 2015, 4:22 pm

    The two writers spoke June 12 on an all-Zionist and mostly-right-wing panel about “What’s Next for Israel?” at the 92nd Street Y, an organization that has censored Palestinian and anti-Zionist voices.

    Well I’m still trying to figure out how that’s supposed to be legal. The 92nd Street Y is on the list prepared by the Jewish Daily Forward of all non-profit organizations that received Homeland Security grants from 2007-2010. https://www.scribd.com/doc/64279009/The-Jewish-Daily-Forward-s-List-of-all-non-profit-organizations-that-received-Homeland-Security-grants-from-2007-2010#scribd

    The FEMA Urban Areas Security Initiative Nonprofit Security Grant Program
    Guidance And Application Kit explains that:

    “Recipients of FEMA financial assistance are required to comply with several Federal civil rights laws, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. These laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, natural origin, and sex in the delivery of services.

    That should mean that they are not allowed to discriminate against Jewish people on the basis of their anti-Zionist religious creed or Palestinians on the basis of their national origin or religious beliefs in the delivery of services or use of their government-subsidized facilities and accommodations. http://www.fema.gov/pdf/government/grant/uasi/fy09_uasi__nsgp_guidance.pdf

    Likewise, recipients of New York State Homeland Security Grants must comply with the Non-Discrimination Requirements: Pursuant to Article 15 of the Executive Law (also known as the Human Rights Law) and all other State and Federal statutory and constitutional nondiscrimination provisions. That means the recipients will not discriminate in employment or use of public accommodations because of race, creed (religion), color, sex (including gender identity or expression), national origin, sexual orientation, military status, age, disability, predisposing genetic characteristic, marital status or domestic violence victim status, and shall also follow the requirements of the State Human Rights Law with regard to non-discrimination on the basis of prior criminal conviction and prior arrest. See for example, the New York Human Rights Law: http://www.dhr.ny.gov/law and the standard New York State Division Of Homeland Security And Emergency Services Grant Contract: http://www.dhses.ny.gov/grants/documents/AppendixA-1.pdf

    The New York JCRC page about the Homeland Security Urban Nonprofit Security Grant Program Updates explains that the applicants have to stay prequalified through the New York State Grants Gateway http://www.jcrcny.org/securitygrants/securitygrantsindex.php There’s nothing there that provides an exception for Zionism.

  8. John Douglas
    June 15, 2015, 5:00 pm

    I will concede the possibility (and only that) that I am not able to understand Shavit because I’m American and he’s Israeli. I’m from French-Canadian and Scottish parents whose ethnic identities I care little about and he adheres to a tribalist (and so by its nature a discriminatory) sense of himself and the Other.

    Conceding the possibility of this barrier to understanding, I still find it hard not to marvel at the utter superficiality and/or cynicism of this,
    “Shavit said what was needed was a new partnership between American Jews and Israeli Jews that would change Israel’s image in the world. He called it the David challenge: “We have to convince ourselves and others that we are the David. We cannot be perceived as the Goliath.”
    The project is not to change what “we” (the Goliath) are doing but to convince ourselves and others (contrary to obvious facts) that ‘we’ are not doing it. Is this really what he is saying? It’s an exhortation to self-deceive and propagandize.

    • diasp0ra
      June 16, 2015, 5:27 am

      I find it quite telling that what needed to change according to him was the image and not behavior of Israel.

      It’s similar to someone apologizing for being caught rather than for the crime itself.

  9. Keith
    June 15, 2015, 5:01 pm

    PHIL- “The difference between the two men reflects differences over the definition of Judaism and what Jews owe to their community. Shavit described Judaism as support for Israel. Beinart described Judaism as an ancient and living religion that has often contained anti-Zionist strains.”

    Very interesting article. When you say “what Jews owe their community,” I assume you are referring to the JEWISH community? That is what both Beinart and Shavit are referring to. Both wish to see a perpetuation of Jewish solidarity in relation to the surrounding non-Jewish majority. Shavit sees support for a modified Zionism as a form of Martin Luther King chauvinism binding the community together. This would continue to emphasize the Holocaust and an exaggerated fear of anti-Semitism as motivational tools. Beinart appears to believe that Israeli based Zionism is losing its appeal and would like to see a return to Jewish solidarity based upon renewed religious observance of an updated Orthodox Judaism which he refers to as Modern Orthodox. Interesting.

    In regards to Shavit, as an Israeli, American Jewish support for Israel and Zionism is critical. As for his Martin Luther King Zionism, however, it is difficult to tell if he is merely trying to assuage his American audience or if he is serious. If serious, he is delusional. The Israeli religious Jews are not like Peter Beinart and his Modern Orthodox beliefs. These are ultra Orthodox fundamentalists who believe it is a sin to yield even one inch of the “redeemed” sacred soil of Israel. Furthermore, they truly believe that non-Jews in the land of Israel are foreigners to be tolerated at best. And they are growing in numbers and power. There is no way that Israel could liberalize Israeli society without precipitating massive social unrest. It is hard to believe that Shavit isn’t aware of this, therefore, I have to assume that he is merely attempting to concoct a more liberal image for American Zionists to secure ongoing support in the short term.

    In regards to Beinart, his attempt to update Classical (medieval) Judaism into a more modern form as a basis for a return to religious based tribalism is an interesting idea. On one hand, he seems to realize that “Jewishness” based upon the sacralization of the Holocaust and exaggerated fears of anti-Semitism has a limited life based upon current reality. Good. Now, I don’t think he is contemplating his Modern Orthodoxy as being simply another religion. His emphasis is on strong community ties and it is safe to assume his primary concern is Jewish kinship as a consequence of devote adherence to Jewish rituals. No doubt some would find that appealing, however, it seems to me doubtful that very many young Jews, particularly secular Jews, would find this “new” old time religion appealing. It should also be remembered that few Jews were attracted to Zionism prior to the Holocaust, hence, I don’t see either of these alternatives as having a significant impact.

  10. michelle
    June 15, 2015, 5:29 pm

    .
    does Israel need a big war to re rally support
    or to divert attention for their usual conduct
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

  11. MHughes976
    June 15, 2015, 5:34 pm

    It would be very, very hard to regard all passages in the Hebrew Bible as Judaic if the ‘definition’ is support for Israel.

    • Boo
      June 16, 2015, 11:30 am

      Yes, your comment is very similar to what struck me when I read this:

      “Beinart described Judaism as an ancient and living religion that has often contained anti-Zionist strains.”

      Zionism is a puling babe in arms compared with Judaism; yet I suppose it’s reasonable to say the triumphalist strain of Judaism that manifests itself periodically throughout the Old Testament is, in a way, broadly parallel to Zionism.

      If we acknowledge this broad parallel, what’s abundantly clear is that all the Old Testament prophets are anti-Zionist.

      • jon s
        June 17, 2015, 5:28 am

        Boo,
        All the Old Testament prophets are Anti-Zionists? that’s a pretty weird and anachronistic statement.
        Including Moses, who led the people to the land of Israel? including Ezekiel?
        From the vision of the dead bones, chapter 37: 12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. 14 And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD.”

      • bryan
        June 17, 2015, 6:58 am

        jon s – I’m not religious but I guess you are not either else you would not be quoting a history book / set of ancient legends / ethical manual to defend the modern political program of Zionism. However I rather gathered that the Bible (apart from all that demonstrably nonsensical rubbish about millions of people with all their herds wandering in the harshest of deserts for forty years) provided no basis for Zionism and the most ardent of Zionists rejected it as far too compassionate to provide a basis for a virile militaristic nationalism operating in the 20th century.

        According to Tim Keller: “The Hebrew word for “justice,” mishpat, occurs in its various forms more than 200 times in the Hebrew Old Testament. Its most basic meaning is to treat people equitably. It means acquitting or punishing every person on the merits of the case, regardless of race or social status. Anyone who does the same wrong should be given the same penalty.

        Mishpat, then, is giving people what they are due, whether punishment or protection or care.

        But mishpat means more than just the punishment of wrongdoing. It also means giving people their rights. Deuteronomy 18 directs that the priests of the tabernacle should be supported by a certain percentage of the people’s income. This support is described as “the priests’ mishpat,” which means their due or their right. Mishpat, then, is giving people what they are due, whether punishment or protection or care.

        This is why, if you look at every place the word is used in the Old Testament, several classes of persons continually come up. Over and over again, mishpat describes taking up the care and cause of widows, orphans, immigrants and the poor—those who have been called “the quartet of the vulnerable.”

        In premodern, agrarian societies, these four groups had no social power. They lived at subsistence level and were only days from starvation if there was any famine, invasion or even minor social unrest. Today, this quartet would be expanded to include the refugee, the migrant worker, the homeless and many single parents and elderly people.”

        See: http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/practical-faith/what-biblical-justice

      • Kris
        June 17, 2015, 10:46 am

        Bryan–excellent comment, thank you, and thanks also for the link to relevantmagazine.com.

      • Mooser
        June 17, 2015, 10:53 am

        “Jon s” – I’m not religious but I guess you are not either else you would not be quoting a history book / set of ancient legends / ethical manual to defend the modern political program of Zionism.

        Bingo “bryan”! “Jon s” can pimp Judaism a mile-a-minute. He’s always got a use for it. (‘Now get out there b—-, and bring me some money and land’)

  12. WH
    June 15, 2015, 5:50 pm

    It’s so revealing that every time Shavit opens his oleagenous mouth to say what is needed for Israel, it all comes down to PR and image – the way they have to be seen, not the way they actually have to be.

    • jon s
      June 18, 2015, 2:34 am

      Bryan,
      I was responding to Boo’s comment . There’s really no way to know for sure what the prophets who lived thousands of years ago would have thought of todays politics. However, if you want to play that game, and guess what they would have thought, you should base it on what they said.Based on their words, it’s doubtful that they would have all been anti-Zionist

      • Mooser
        June 18, 2015, 6:06 pm

        “Based on their words, it’s doubtful that they would have all been anti-Zionist”

        So we should blame the Prophets for Zionism? You will say anything to avoid responsibility.

  13. Kris
    June 15, 2015, 5:57 pm

    I’ve been there. I’ve been listening to them,” (Shavit) said of the BDS supporters. “I’m for free discussion… but BDS in so many places has serious anti-Semitic dimensions….I’ve seen young liberal Jews in such a state because they are aware of that.” (Many Jewish students have said that BDS makes them fearful.)

    Always crying “antisemitic, always encouraging the kids to get “in a state.” Shavit is so out of touch he can’t understand that acting like hysterics only encourages ridicule and contempt.

  14. eljay
    June 15, 2015, 8:52 pm

    At the end of the discussion, Beinart challenged the hall … to include anti-Zionists at the table:

    “And the last thing I’ll say and this is the most challenging I think maybe for most people, including for me: Our tent, our Jewish community, our proverbial Seder table, is going to have to include the Jewish kids who are not Zionists, including the Jewish kids who are involved in the BDS movement. … “

    Why would the Zio-supremacist Jewish community want to include the non-Zionist Jewish community?

    Why would the non-Zionist Jewish community want to abandon morality (incl. justice, accountability and equality) in order to be part of the Zio-supremacist Jewish community?

    Why doesn’t the Zio-supremacist Jewish community stop being hateful and immoral and join the non-Zionist Jewish community?

  15. diasp0ra
    June 16, 2015, 5:32 am

    Martin Luther King zionism? Joke of the decade. How can you have a Martin Luther King version of a supremacist movement?

    For that matter, how can you have a liberal version of a supremacist movement? Would anyone take someone who claimed to be a liberal white supremacist seriously?

    • Hostage
      June 16, 2015, 9:55 am

      Martin Luther King zionism? Joke of the decade. How can you have a Martin Luther King version of a supremacist movement?

      While the hypocrisy of the juxtaposition may seem absurd, truth is stranger than fiction sometimes. MLK and the members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference were ardent Christian Zionists. Stokely Carmichael and other leaders of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee SNCC spoke out against White Supremacy and Zionism in the same context and accused Israel of committing atrocities against Arabs, e.g. See SNCC Draws Fire For Zionist Charge http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=dP4cAAAAIBAJ&sjid=LpsEAAAAIBAJ&pg=7108%2C2404791 The SNCC and other civil rights groups thought that Ashkenazi rule over the Arabs was simply another example of white minority rule over people of color. MLK labeled them “young militants” and anti-semites. He spoke about the necessity of security and territorial integrity for Israelis, but like Netanyahu, he claimed that Arabs only needed security on another, economic, level that would end their hunger, backwardness, and illiteracy. He repeated the usual hasbara talking points about transforming the desert into an oasis and called Israel a shining example of democracy and brotherhood. – See A testament of hope: the essential writings and speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr, Harper Collins, 1991, Martin Luther King, Martin Luther King (Jr.), James Melvin Washington, pages 670-671

      • MHughes976
        June 16, 2015, 1:11 pm

        MLK wrote two letters on Sept.29, 1967 – the recipients being Cook and Eisendrath, I think – making unequivocal commitment to Zionism. It depressed me to read them. I think that he also signed, along with a dozen other Protestant clergymen, a letter congratulating Israel on its military success. I’m not sure that he had always had that sort of opinion: his Easter Sermon of 1959, written not long after his visit to the ME, seems much more neutral in tone. The key influence was surely Reinhold Niebuhr, to whom Zionism was an essential component in rescuing the Protestant faith from the deadly embrace of Hitler.
        MLK left a terrible legacy in this respect. The whole Received Idea of the Civil Rights Movement has been built around ‘King good, Carmichael bad’.

      • MHughes976
        June 18, 2015, 5:18 pm

        Meanwhile, it is interesting to ask how King in his own mind, or his many resolute Jewish supporters in theirs, could have reconciled the Dream whereby everyone ‘is judged by the content of character’ – rather than by ethnic characteristics – with a Zionist system in which an ethnic characteristic, ie the religion of ancestors, is a very important determinant of the rights someone is judged to have.
        I conjecture that King and those who influenced him saw universal rights only or mainly within a local frame, or at any rate a frame defined by the culture of the place: American Blacks were entitled to all the rights established for Americans. (If you had asked King ‘who are your people?’ I’m pretty sure he would have replied ‘Americans, of course’.) American culture is celebrated as an improved or sacred version of the failing, demonic culture of Europe, hence has an especial duty to correct the anti-Semitism of European Christendom. So ‘Jews and Gentiles’ receive an especial mention in the Dream speech, wholly referring to the sufferings of Jews under Hitler and not by one blink of eye or tremor of voice referring to the sufferings of Palestinians: they are just too different. Imagine the impact if King had, inconceivably, referred not to ‘Jews and Gentiles’ but to ‘Jews and Palestinians’.

      • lysias
        June 18, 2015, 5:42 pm

        Surely King disapproved of colonialism (and neocolonialism) as practised against blacks in Africa. How could he have thought that colonialism practised against Arabs was any different?

      • yonah fredman
        June 18, 2015, 8:27 pm

        MHughes- Permit me to just relate to a sentence of yours rather than the essence of your comments. the suggestion that King should have said, “Jew and Palestinian” rather than “Jews and Gentiles” is anachronistic, for the Palestinians were not widely known as such (and it’s not quite clear that most of them knew themselves as such). but that’s semantics. there’s no question that King was seeking a New testament ring with his Jews and gentiles and saying “Jews and Arabs” would have lacked that Pauline ring.

      • MHughes976
        June 19, 2015, 2:22 pm

        Let me think about what you say, Lysias. Yonah, you’re absolutely right.

  16. tony greenstein
    June 16, 2015, 10:46 am

    This is all very interesting but I wonder how relevant it all is? I barely know who Ari Shavit is. Maybe that’s because I am in the UK.

    I became an anti-Zionist over 40 years ago, having been born into an Orthodox Jewish family (dad was a rabbi). Why? Because I became a socialist and my first political activity was the campaign to stop the South African rugby team, the Springboks, from touring Britain. I found socialism and universalism couldn’t be reconciled with Zionism, which always asked how Jews benefited. I’m pleased to hear that Hannah Arendt, despite flirting with Zionism, was detested by people like Gershom Scholem because of her universalism. Zionism is narrow, parochial, self-centred. It failed to rescue anyone from the holocaust, prioritising building the state. 3-4 million survived because Jews had established links with non-Jews that were stronger than the Nazis’ anti-Semitism.

    Historically there have been many Jewish identities – the identity of the trader, the money lender, the revolutionary and working class activist and now Zionist. I suspect that Zionism is the last Jewish identity. There is no longer a material basis for a separate Jewish existence and today you are Jewish, either because you identify with Israel or conversely because you don’t identify with Israel. This is why the idea of the Jewish community welcolming in the BDS Jewish supporters isn’t going to happen. Zionism has colonised the Jewish communities. It may be less effective today than 30 years ago, but Jewish identity today is not based on any material differences but on a political identity of extreme and narrow nationalism.

    We are the Jews of conscience whereas Zionism has no conscience. It tricks asylum seekers in Israel in to leaving the State and they are termed ‘infiltrators’ who are a threat to the racist Jewish nature of the State. Israel today is the logical outcome of a State that defines itself on ethnic/volkish lines rather than on the territorial principle. It is no surprise that Israel’s friends in the region are Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan, not forgetting al-Nusra and Isis.

    Israel will not last forever and when it has gone I suspect much of what is termed Jewish identity will have gone too.

    • Mooser
      June 16, 2015, 4:56 pm

      “Israel will not last forever and when it has gone I suspect much of what is termed Jewish identity will have gone too.”

      I think you are very wrong. When Israel is gone,(or at least freed from Zionism) Jewish people will have much, much less, to be ashamed of, much less conflicting them, a whole lot less stupid pretense to keep up, and a lot less to hide. I think the end, or the de-Zioninising of Israel will lead to a growth, a flowering of Jewish identity in many ways, some religious some not. If I’m wrong, call me a nut.

      • Ian Berman
        June 16, 2015, 5:27 pm

        Some of my best friends are nuts.

        Ending the Zionist project would allow Judaism to flourish as the religion is one of understanding and tolerance and a philosophy of how to live together. Maintaining a Zionist Israel is diametrically opposed to all of that.

        I care because what the Zionists do with the Star of David on their banner reflects upon me, whether I want it to or not. I cannot stand idly by while these horrors are committed in my name and with my tax dollars. No one should suffer for a nationalism conducted with my religion.

        Being anti-Zionist is not anti-Semitic, it is pro-Semitic. It will allow Judaism to again live in moral harmony.

      • talknic
        June 16, 2015, 5:34 pm

        @ Mooser

        Quite. The Zionist Movement‘s illegal policies are driving a wedge between Jewish folk. In my opinion it is by far the worst threat Judaism has ever faced

      • bintbiba
        June 16, 2015, 5:58 pm

        Mooser,

        You are a very wise man !
        I sincerely hope that you are right , as that would be the ideal resolution to a very tragic outcome of many sad and disastrous events over the centuries .. for too many people !

        .” I think the end, or the de-Zioninising of Israel will lead to a growth, a flowering of Jewish identity in many ways, some religious some not” –

        See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/06/community-zionist-
        excommunicate#comments

      • Mooser
        June 16, 2015, 6:44 pm

        “Some of my best friends are nuts.”

        Thanks, all. I just blurted it out. Thought I was the only one who thought that.

      • Mooser
        June 17, 2015, 10:34 am

        I was haunted by Tony Greenstein’s last line, and thought about it for almost an entire minute before I fell asleep last night. I began to wonder, what is this irresistible force which is pulling me willy-nilly, back to Jewish observance? After much introspection, I realized it came down to two things, both very important:

        1) the idea of a little hat which covers the spreading desertification of my pate becomes ever more attractive with increasing age.
        2) I don’t ride much any more, and I gotta get my leather fix somehow.

      • ritzl
        June 17, 2015, 6:17 pm

        Great comment, Mooser.

        And you’re definitely not nuts… imho, of course. :)

      • RoHa
        June 17, 2015, 7:28 pm

        Best reasons for it I’ve seen so far, Mooser.

        I should point out, though, that there are other ways of assuaging your … um … “leather interest”, and they do not involve listening to a lot of dreary old men with beards mumbling in foreign tongues.

      • Mooser
        June 18, 2015, 6:12 pm

        “I should point out, though, that there are other ways of assuaging your … um … “leather interest”

        Perhaps, but how many of them involve covering my bald spot?

    • Bornajoo
      June 16, 2015, 5:10 pm

      Great comment Tony Greenstein. Thanks

    • yonah fredman
      June 16, 2015, 10:08 pm

      Tony Greenstein- Regarding Hannah Arendt. She definitely opposed Ben Gurion Zionism and the 1942 (?) Biltmore program. But your referencing her deserves to be balanced by this quote of hers. After she started getting pilloried by the mainstream Jewish community after the Eichmann articles, she was offered a type of protection by the anti Zionist American Council for Judaism. She rejected their offer with the following: ““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.”

      The quote is from 50 years ago, and who knows what a 120 year old Arendt would tell us if she were still alive, but her tone of catastrophe at the prospect of Israel’s disappearance is certainly not harmonious with your own attitude.

      • yonah fredman
        June 16, 2015, 10:20 pm

        Further Tony Greenstein- Gershom Sholem did not detest her for her universalism. He did not detest her period. Neither did he detest universalism. His protectiveness towards the Judenrat’s reputations on the basis of “love of Israel” does not really qualify as a rejection of universalism. Unless you have some quotes that would back up “Gershom Sholem detested her for her universalism” you are really off base with this assertion.

      • Mooser
        June 17, 2015, 11:00 am

        Yonah, You don’t know how much I would like to sing to you the song Allen Sherman sang to David Susskind in “Shticks and Stones” (1:00)

        “Gimme Dan Cohen
        And I don’t care….”

  17. Ian Berman
    June 16, 2015, 2:21 pm

    Thank you for an excellent article Philip. Articulate and elucidating as always.

    Time and again I find the comments very enlightening too. The results of the 2013 Pew Poll are incredibly revealing.

    Remembering the Holocaust 73 76 60

    Leading an ethical and moral life 69 73 55

    Working for justice/equality 56 60 46

    Being intellectually curious 49 51 42

    Caring about Israel 43 49 23

    Having good sense of humor 42 43 40

    Being part of a Jewish community 28 33 10

    Observing Jewish law 19 23 7

    (1st # is all Jews, 2nd is Religious Jews & 3rd is Non-Religious Jews)
    http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/10/jewish-american-full-report-for-web.pdf

    These results tell us that religious Jews find their sense of persecution the most common factor in their faith.

    An ethical and moral life is second, but who are the 27% that do not believe that is part of being Jewish. Those are my crazies, Philip.

    Observing Jewish Laws is all the way at the bottom. Now I guess people interpret that as observing traditions, but I would argue is about observing Jewish morality.

    So what the results tell me is that for most people, being Jewish is an identity, wrapped in persecution, with some credence to the morality of the religion, but a vague understanding of what that morality is and how it should apply.

    No wonder American Jews are so supportive of Israel while ignoring the crimes against humanity from 1948 through today. They want to wear the Star of David as a team logo while failing to understand their own religion.

  18. jd65
    June 16, 2015, 3:19 pm

    The title of this article reads, in part, “[Beinart says], ‘Jewish community must welcome anti-Zionist [Jews].” In the article itself (I assume functioning as support for the article’s title) Weiss quotes Beinart as saying, “[Our Jewish community]… is going to have to include the Jewish kids who are not Zionists…” Personally, I don’t feel that “not Zionist,” is the same as “anti-Zionist.” Not by a long shot. Call this a “semantic” point. Call me nit-picky. But Beinart is usually very specific in his wording, as we all should be when possible. So I think it’s important. I feel that saying that Beinart welcomes anti-Zionists, when he actually said he’d welcome those who were “not Zionists,” gives Beinart the appearance of being more “progressive” than he actually is. In addition to, of course, the problem of it being simply incorrect. Or maybe Beinart explicitly stated what Weiss quoted him as saying in the article’s title at another point in the discussion? But I didn’t find that in the article. Just saying’…

    • Ian Berman
      June 16, 2015, 3:49 pm

      How does a non-Zionist differ from an anti-Zionist? Especially since the context revolves around BDS which would be hard not to define as anti-Zionist?

      • jd65
        June 16, 2015, 4:34 pm

        Hey Ian, thanks for responding to my post. I guess you’re one that feels I’m being “semantic” and “nit-picky.” And I gather you feel that the prefixes “non” and “anti” essentially have the same meaning. I don’t agree w/ that. At all.

      • Ian Berman
        June 16, 2015, 4:51 pm

        Just asking you to define or describe the difference since you raised the issue. I tried to in my own mind, but there doesn’t seem to be much so I am curious what you think.

      • jd65
        June 16, 2015, 5:49 pm

        Hey Ian, this reply is coming from my email notification of comments to this thread. I tried to reply to you before after my last post, but the reply function at this site is weird and problematic (as I think/hope others know). Arrrgggghhhhhh… :)

        I touched on your request for me to clarify a little bit in my post to Hostage… (i.e.: “not” isn’t necessarily “pro” or “anti.” It’s just… not. Ha!)

      • Ian Berman
        June 17, 2015, 5:24 am

        jd65, I still don’t see an explanation in your comment under Hostage’s thread.

        Does a non-Zionist not support Israel, but does not advocate change? Leave the country as it is? Or do they call for changes in Israel’s or the US policies? If the latter, how is that different from an anti-Zionist? If the former, how is that not a de facto pro-Zionist despite what they call themselves?

      • jd65
        June 17, 2015, 12:20 pm

        Hey again Ian. I think I shoulda taken my own advice and not engaged in this forum. I really think this type of format – forums generally – is simply not something I function well in. And that’s on me. Or maybe I’m just something of an idiot.

        If I tell you I’m “not Buddhist,” what does that tell you about my attitude toward Buddhism? Right. Nothing. And it sure doesn’t tell you that I’m an “anti-Buddhist.” If I tell you I’m “not from Iowa,” what does that tell you about where I’m from? Right. Nothing. And I don’t think the context of the conversation necessarily changes that. Particularly when we’re talking about pull quoting in a piece of journalism.

        Don’t really know what else to say, and I don’t really wanna spend more time on it. I guess shouldn’t’ve brought it up in the first place seeing as no one has re-iterated any thoughts on the main issue in my mind: a misquote in the TITLE of the article. Peace to you Ian…

    • Hostage
      June 16, 2015, 4:23 pm

      Personally, I don’t feel that “not Zionist,” is the same as “anti-Zionist.” Not by a long shot. Call this a “semantic” point. Call me nit-picky. But Beinart is usually very specific in his wording, as we all should be when possible. So I think it’s important.

      Then its up to Beinart to include a caveat, because “anti-Zionists” are included as a subset of “not-Zionists”.

      • jd65
        June 16, 2015, 5:25 pm

        Exactly: “…“anti-Zionists” are included as a subset of “not-Zionists.” This is correct. In fact, the subsets of who would be considered “not Zionist” are quite vast. One such subset would be neo-Nazis. And I think it’s a reasonable assumption that that particular subset would not be welcome at Beinart’s Jewish Community table for a seder. They certainly wouldn’t be welcome at mine. So, assuming he didn’t mean all people no matter what so long as you’re “not Zionist,” Beinart would have to “include a caveat” for us to know that he would also welcome anti-Zionists.

        Looks like this is gonna get weird language-wise, so maybe I’ll say this: My guess is that Beinart is not comfortable saying that he would welcome anti-Zionists to his table because he believes anti-Zionism is generally “over the line.” And this is why he carefully said “not Zionist” and not “anti-Zionist.” At the same time I’m admitting that, yes, this is absolutely an assumption on my part and I could be totally wrong. If someone can direct me to something written by Beinart or a talk he has given where he sates that he’s ok w/ anti-Zionists I would absolutely want to see it.

        I consider myself to be anti-Zionist; not a “non-Zionist.” The prefix “non” is neutral. As in I’m also a non-opera listener, but that doesn’t mean I’m anti-opera listeners. And I’m not comfortable w/ misquoting Beinart and making it seem, however unwittingly, like he welcomes anti-Zionists to his table when my guess is that he does not. Again, I may be completely wrong here and this is all conjecture based on listening to many of his talks and actually meeting him in person a couple times. But this all stems from what I see as a misquote used in the TITLE of this article above.

      • echinococcus
        June 16, 2015, 7:12 pm

        jd65,

        You are right about Beinart, of course, but where have you seen or can you imagine any Neo-Nazi Jewish people who are non-Zionist? If there were something more fictional than fiction that would be it.

      • jd65
        June 16, 2015, 9:49 pm

        @ echinococcus: “You are right about Beinart, of course… Thanks for letting’ me know I’m not alone in how I perceive Beinart.

        can you imagine any Neo-Nazi Jewish people who are non-Zionist? If there were something more fictional than fiction that would be it.” Ryan Gosling in The Believer, anyone? Scary shit…

      • Mooser
        June 17, 2015, 11:04 am

        As I remember, for a while there were a few “not-a-Zionist”s around here for a while. Don’t forget about the “not-a-Zionist”s!

      • echinococcus
        June 17, 2015, 12:46 pm

        Mooser,

        They are evolving. Good for them, everybody should. I can observe that most not-a-zionist types I know have become “Zionist-qui-moi?”

      • Mooser
        June 18, 2015, 6:14 pm

        “Zionist-qui-moi?”

        And why not? Good for them.

  19. Shmuel
    June 16, 2015, 3:47 pm

    “I’ve been there. I’ve been listening to them,” he said of the BDS supporters. “I’m for free discussion… but BDS in so many places has serious anti-Semitic dimensions….I’ve seen young liberal Jews in such a state because they are aware of that.

    Really? So how did you (Shavit) come up with the next bit?

    Shavit said what was needed was a new partnership between American Jews and Israeli Jews that would change Israel’s image in the world. He called it the David challenge: “We have to convince ourselves and others that we are the David. We cannot be perceived as the Goliath.”

    Bible lesson time (Beinart’s excused — extra credit for his understanding of the Sinaitic Revelation).

    1 Samuel 17 (trans. Robert Alter):

    Goliath:

    And the champion sallied forth from the Philistine camps, Goliath was his name, from Gath, his height was six cubits and a span. A bronze helmet he had on his head, and in armor of mail he was dressed, and the weight of the armor was five thousand bronze shekels. And greaves of bronze were on his legs and a spear of bronze between his shoulder blades. The shaft of his spear like a weaver’s beam, and the blade of his spear six hundred iron shekels. And his shield bearer went before him.

    David:

    And Saul clothed David in his own battle garb and put a bronze helmet on his head and clothed him in armor. And David girded his sword over his garments, but he was unable to walk, for he was unused to it, and David said to Saul, “I cannot walk in these, for I am unused to it.” And David removed them. And he took his stick in his hand, and he chose five smooth stones from the creek and put them in the shepherd’s pouch he had, the satchel, and his slingshot was in his hand, and he came forward toward the Philistine.

    Granted, the former is a Philistine from Gath (although the latter is a shepherd from Bethlehem), but convincing people that Israel is the ruddy, good-looking lad with a stick and a satchel, while its enemies are over eight feet tall, battle-seasoned and armed with the latest defensive and offensive weapons is a really really long shot — even for “an excellent writer who composes ideas in an elegant compelling manner” (at least according to Phil).

  20. rindmeshreb
    June 16, 2015, 7:24 pm

    Shavit’s assertion “We are the universal tribe.”: Seems an oxymoron to me. Isn’t a tribe by definition anything but universal?

    • Mooser
      June 17, 2015, 10:24 am

      “Shavit’s assertion “We are the universal tribe.”: Seems an oxymoron to me. Isn’t a tribe by definition anything but universal?”

      Sure, maybe it’s an oxymoron, maybe, not to put too fine a point on it, it’s a really stupid thing for Shavit to say. But it makes him feel good to say it, and it makes his listeners feel good to hear it.
      That’s what matters.

  21. iResistDe4iAm
    June 19, 2015, 11:17 am

    He called it a “Martin Luther King Zionism”

    Surely a more appropriate analogy would be a “George Corley Wallace Zionism”.

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