My journey from Zionism to Palestine solidarity

Features
on 107 Comments

Today’s post by Mondoweiss co-editor Adam Horowitz is part of our Be The Mondoweiss Megaphone campaign, aimed at raising funds and extending the site’s influence to many more people. A theme you will see over and over in this campaign is the importance of sharing with others your personal feelings and stake in justice for Palestinians.

Be the Mondoweiss Megaphone

Be the Mondoweiss Megaphone

 

Adam’s story below shows the kind of simple self-disclosure that helps to build community and a stronger movement. We ask you to follow Adam’s example and share your story with those in your community of why justice for Palestinians is important to you — and share the many facts and articles you read on Mondoweiss every day. Send us your story at [email protected] and we will assemble a collection of readers’ stories. 

Be the Mondoweiss megaphone by taking action: choose a method for reaching out regularly to friends, and make a donation today. Your generosity makes an immense difference in our work for justice.

I grew up in the suburbs outside Philadelphia in a conservative Jewish household (conservative in both the religious and political sense). Although I never went to Israel while growing up it certainly played a large part of the political discussion around the house—entirely in support of Israel. One example of the milieu I grew up in: each year at Halloween the teachers at my elementary school handed out boxes for kids to collect pennies for UNICEF as they went trick-or-treating, but I was not allowed to because my father said the money would support Palestinians. Looking back I find that shocking, but at the time it felt like common sense in the community I grew up in.

As I got older I started to become more politically aware and active, and once I went to college I started reading on my own about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As soon as I read Edward Said and Noam Chomsky it was clear there was another side to the story I had been raised with. And once my eyes were open to the realities of Israel’s history and the ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people, it was clear to me which side I was on.

I finally visited Israel/Palestine for the first time in 2005, and it was a transformative experience. Although I had been active on the issue for several years at that point, including receiving a Master’s Degree in Near East Studies and working in activist groups and NGOs, nothing fully prepared me for the emotional shock of seeing the occupation and inequality in person. Visiting Hebron for the first time was overwhelming, seeing the visceral hate the settlers and Israeli military hold for the Palestinians whose city they have taken.

Later in 2007 I had a chance to lead a delegation of Americans to help with the Palestinian olive harvest in the West Bank and stayed in the village of ‘Anin, a small farming community penned in by the Separation Wall. During this trip I had the incredible opportunity to experience Palestinian hospitality. My hosts knew I was from the U.S. and assumed I was Christian. When I told them I was Jewish they were surprised. At this point the only Jews they had met were settlers or soldiers, but surprise quickly turned to fascination and we talked for hours. I was embraced by a community literally under siege by a government said to be operating in my name. I was thankful, humbled and infuriated to the point of tears. I came away knowing that I wanted to share the stories of the people that I met, and the realities of life under Israeli occupation.

Adam at Yad Vashem looking out at the remains of the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin which was destroyed by Zionist forces during the Nakba.

Adam at Yad Vashem looking out at the remains of the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin which was destroyed by Zionist forces during the Nakba.

Although I always had an interest in writing, and published some articles while in graduate school, Mondoweiss is my first job in journalism. Working at Mondoweiss has been an incredible privilege. More than anything I appreciate the opportunity to work with all the site’s amazing writers. When I started with Phil in 2008, he and I wrote everything. Now, we’ve published over 1,000 authors—from the U.S., Palestine, Israel and around the world—and are finding wonderful new voices all the time. This has been one of the most rewarding parts as we play our part in shifting the discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

I’m motivated to continue my work with Mondoweiss—to continue documenting and analyzing the Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people—because I believe it is essential work towards reaching a just and peaceful outcome in Israel/Palestine. Reporting the unreported news from Palestine, covering the growing grassroots BDS movement, and highlighting voices, experiences and analysis frequently kept out of the mainstream discourse forward are our contribution to this broader movement.

I come to this work primarily as someone concerned with supporting and defending Palestinian human rights. At the same time I also recognize that I have a stake in this outcome as a Jew as well. As long as Israel conflates the meanings of Zionism as a political project and Judaism as a religion and faith community, I feel as though I am implicated in all we report on.

I look forward to a day when Israel/Palestine is free. This will hopefully mean not only long-overdue justice to the generations of Palestinians who have been dispossessed in the name of Israel, but also a chance for the Jewish community to chart a different path forward, away from nationalism, and towards a more just future.

Please support Mondoweiss today with a tax-deductible donation.

Please support Mondoweiss today with a tax-deductible donation.

 

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

107 Responses

  1. amigo
    June 29, 2015, 11:48 am

    Adam , thank you for sharing your journey to MW.

    I am heading into my 7th decade in the near future and having first realised some 25 years ago , where the real problem lay in Israel/Palestine , and watched with horror the brutal treatment of Palestinians , I deeply hope for a resolution to this conflict in my lifetime.I have doubts about that but what I do not doubt , is that the resolution will come as long as people like you and Phil and Scott and Kate and Allison and Alex and Annie and all the others who so tirelessly work on behalf of the Palestinian people as well as your own people , who hopefully will eventually see it that way .I also do not doubt the resilience and bravery of the Palestinian people to rid themselves of the yoke of Zionism with the co operation of like minded Jews.

    I will make a contribution , which is a small price to pay if it enhances, even in a small way, the efforts you and all those who make MW possible.

    Thank you again for enlightening us here in Ireland.

    • eljay
      June 29, 2015, 2:15 pm

      +1 to amigo’s post. I will be making another donation to MW in the very near future.

      • Citizen
        June 29, 2015, 5:57 pm

        Ditto

      • Adam Horowitz
        July 3, 2015, 10:38 am

        Thanks so much everyone for the kinds words and the support!

  2. Steve Grover
    June 29, 2015, 12:12 pm

    Thanks for sharing how you became a Chomsky chump.

    • James North
      June 29, 2015, 2:12 pm

      “Grober”: Why are you living in your parents’ garage in the north Chicago suburbs instead of in Israel?

      • amigo
        June 29, 2015, 2:22 pm

        “Grober”: Why are you living in your parents’ garage in the north Chicago suburbs instead of in Israel? ” James North

        Steve is the “Apple” of their eye.

    • eljay
      June 29, 2015, 2:18 pm

      || Steve Grover: Thanks for sharing how you became a Chomsky chump. ||

      The world needs more Chomsky chumps and fewer Zio-supremacist assholes. :-)

    • Kris
      June 29, 2015, 2:22 pm

      Lately there seems to have been an uptick in the number of comments like Steve’s that not only do not contribute to discussion or offer any information, but have a spiteful tone.

      Why do Zionists choose to come across as so unlikeable in internet forums?

      • eljay
        June 29, 2015, 2:40 pm

        || Kris: … Why do Zionists choose to come across as so unlikeable in internet forums? ||

        They are blatantly and unapologetically (and hypocritically) supremacist, which makes them pariahs, which makes them bitter. And in their bitterness they lash out.

        Aggressor-victimhood is a tough gig… :-(

      • Annie Robbins
        June 29, 2015, 2:52 pm

        as frustrating as it’s been for me dealing with this over the years, i somehow crossed over into some zone where i realize how showing these features of zionist communication is beneficial to our movement. generally, it’s so bereft of common logic, knowledge, and ordinary human compassion it’s mindblowing sometimes.

      • JWalters
        June 29, 2015, 7:34 pm

        Annie, I support your strategy. Persistent irrationality is indeed frustrating, especially initially. In my personal experience it led me to look into the source of such tenacious irrationality. This put me into a “zone” of understanding, which led to more effective tactics for dealing with it. I no longer expect such a person to change from my comments. But I can show up their irrationality starkly, clearly, and definitively. Hopefully this will help others avoid spinning their wheels in frustration, and help new arrivals to a discussion quickly see this “mind blowing” reality.

      • Steve Grover
        June 29, 2015, 8:40 pm

        Annie,
        I responded to James North, eljay and Kris and you chose not to publish the response. How about saying something like “Steve Grover responded to x, y and z but as moderator, I chose not to publish the response.”?

      • Mooser
        June 30, 2015, 11:13 am

        “as frustrating as it’s been for me dealing with this over the years”

        To improve “Grober’s manners, or Hophmi’s, or Yonah’s all Mondo has to do is get an editor named Phil Whittaker or Phil Williamson. The abuse from Zionists would stop immediately.

      • Mooser
        June 30, 2015, 11:30 am

        “Why do Zionists choose to come across as so unlikeable in internet forums?”

        Gosh, if you became convinced that all Jews are like those Zionists, wouldn’t you be in favor of having them go away to their own country and not bother us any more? It’s more humane than the other alternatives!
        After all, if Jews can live peacefully and communicate well with others, and still have the right to as much or as little Jewish religion as they please, what need of Zionism?

    • bryan
      June 30, 2015, 1:15 am

      Perhaps Steve as a regular contributor on this site (I was going to say a masked sniper operating from behind the barricades) would like to make a significant contribution to the work of Mondoweiss. Perhaps he might also like to avail himself of the opportunity to explain why he believes the the struggle for Palestinian rights is important (or not particularly) to him. An honest account of his experiences and stance on the matter would surely pass the generous moderation guidelines so often afforded on this site especially if he paid the piper enough to call the tune in the standard Zionist fashion.

    • eGuard
      June 30, 2015, 10:11 am

      Grover: I responded to James North, eljay and Kris

      …. but you had spoiled it yourself just before. And Annie already finished that one btw.

      • James North
        June 30, 2015, 10:20 am

        “Grober”: Why are you so eager to urge Israelis to continue a violent occupation while you sit safely in your north Chicago suburb? (And are you sure your real last name isn’t “Bartman”?)

    • a blah chick
      July 1, 2015, 9:09 am

      Steve Grover June 29, 2015, 12:12 pm
      Thanks for sharing how you became a Chomsky chump.

      You say that like it’s a bad thing.

  3. Kathleen
    June 29, 2015, 2:29 pm

    Thanks for sharing your waking up story Adam. Thanks for Mondoweiss

  4. Annie Robbins
    June 29, 2015, 2:48 pm

    adam, that was awesome. i especially agree with you about what a privilege it is, the opportunity to work with amazing writers. i’ve met so many people here (in comments too) i admire and have developed some lasting friendships that mean more to me than i can describe.

  5. Citizen
    June 29, 2015, 6:05 pm

    I found Mondoweiss in 2008, but I was looking for such a place since 1967. Back then, I felt terribly alone.

  6. Shmuel
    June 29, 2015, 6:25 pm

    each year at Halloween the teachers at my elementary school handed out boxes for kids to collect pennies for UNICEF as they went trick-or-treating, but I was not allowed to because my father said the money would support Palestinians.

    My upbringing was Orthodox and we didn’t celebrate Halloween, but we sometimes gave (kosher) candy to the kids who came to the door. We did not put money in the UNICEF boxes, however, because (so we were told) “UNICEF teaches Arab kids to hate Jews”.

    Looking back I find that shocking, but at the time it felt like common sense in the community I grew up in.

    Even at the time, it seemed kind of odd to me that 1) the United Nations Children’s Fund (the UN! kids!) would actually be teaching anti-Semitism; and 2) everyone in the whole world (even the parents of the Jewish kids doing the collecting in our neighbourhood) except us seemed to be OK with that. Was that really how the world worked? It did not feel at all like common sense in the community or family I grew up in, but if people I respected said it was so, it must have been so.

    • Annie Robbins
      June 29, 2015, 7:44 pm

      We did not put money in the UNICEF boxes, however, because (so we were told) “UNICEF teaches Arab kids to hate Jews”.

      wow, not one but 2 families. i never heard of anything like this as a child, just that unicef helped starving children. i didn’t even know they were ‘arab’.

      • W.Jones
        June 29, 2015, 9:06 pm

        Annie,

        How did you not realize this or the way of thinking? UNICEF helps kids all over the world. Some of them of course are “Arabs”, especially Palestinian ones living in refugee camps across the Near East. And since “the Arabs” must not be assisted, how can someone donate to UNICEF?

      • German Lefty
        June 30, 2015, 5:48 pm

        But, Annie, don’t you have a Christian background? The claim that UNICEF teaches Arab kids to hate Jews was probably only widespread in the Jewish community.

      • Mikhael
        July 3, 2015, 12:00 am

        Perhaps some in the Jewish community confused “UNICEF” with “UNESCO”. Growing up (mostly) in Orthodox enclaves like Boro Park, Brooklyn and IsraeI, I was nearly completely oblivious to Haloween or the tradition of UNICEF and never heard of people in the Jewish community, Zionist or otherwise objecting to UNICEF collection boxes. I know that donated to to UNICEF after the 2004 tsunami and Haiti earthquake, and I encouraged my siblings to do the same, and we’re all as Zionist as can be). To my knowledge, UNICEF, unlike some other UN agencies and bodies, doesn’t have any explicitly anti-Israel agenda, and the Israeli government itself donates to it (and was the recipient of UNICEF aid in the early years of the state). UNESCO, on the other hand, was rightly perceived as being anti-Israel in the 1980s, and it invited Yasser Arafat to address its general assembly (well before he pretended to recognize Israel). Lately UNESCO has moderated its stance somewhat, cooperating with Israel on preservation of world heritage sites, and initially sponsored an exhibit detailing the connection of Jews to Erets Yisra’el, but then backed down due to pressure.

      • Mikhael
        July 3, 2015, 12:05 am

        (Here’s part of my receipt I just found in my gmail account from 2010, looks like I donated a modest sum to UNICEF for flood relief in Pakistan in 2010. (I always try to make donations in multiples of $18)

        Dear Michael,

        Thank you for your online contribution to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF in support of UNICEF’s relief efforts in Pakistan.

        No goods or services were provided in exchange for your gift, making it tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

        Once again, thank you for your support.

        Sincerely,
        UNICEF USA

        Please print and retain this message as a record of your contribution.

        Transaction Summary
        Transaction Date:

        8/10/10

        Gift Information

        Level:

        Enter an Amount

        Amount:

        $36.00

        Contact Information

        Donor Title:

      • Mikhael
        July 3, 2015, 12:08 am

        A little googling reveals that the former head of UNICEF was Israeli and that Israel has been on UNICEF’s executive board.
        BUt I guess Mondoweiss wants to peddle the idea that Zionists hate UNICEF.

        http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/PressRoom/2013/Pages/Israel-UNICEF-1-Jan-2013.aspx

      • talknic
        July 3, 2015, 10:20 am

        @ Mikhael

        “I guess Mondoweiss wants to peddle the idea that Zionists hate UNICEF”

        Uh huh …. https://www.google.com.au/search?q=%22There%20is%20a%20persistent,%20yet%20unfounded,%20rumor%20in%20the%20Jewish%20community%20that%20United%20Nations%20Children%27s%20Fund%22

        Say …. do you have any evidence to back your assertion re MW? I’ll wait…

      • talknic
        July 3, 2015, 10:33 am

        Hasbara never rests

        @ Mikhael

        “never heard of people in the Jewish community, Zionist or otherwise objecting to UNICEF collection boxes. “

        You should get out more often https://www.google.com.au/search?q=UNICEF%20orange%20collection%20boxes%20%20Anti-Israel

        “UNESCO, on the other hand, was rightly perceived as being anti-Israel in the 1980s, and it invited Yasser Arafat to address its general assembly (well before he pretended to recognize Israel).”

        A) rightly perceived by who and on what basis?
        B) It was an official recognition.

        ” initially sponsored an exhibit detailing the connection of Jews to Erets Yisra’el, but then backed down due to pressure”

        Because the exhibition was an Israeli Government sponsored propaganda exercise

      • Mikhael
        July 13, 2015, 12:38 am

        @ Mikhael

        “I guess Mondoweiss wants to peddle the idea that Zionists hate UNICEF”

        Uh huh …. link to google.com.au

        I guess your link proves exactly what I said, that some pro-Israel American Jews confused UNICEF with UNESCO. I was largely oblivious to Halloween throughout most of my American childhood in any case; in Boro Park, I think the event was practically non-existent, it was just Orthodox and Hassidic Jews. I remember some Halloween candy kids coming to our house in either Nebraska or Staten Island being politely told by my Orthodox mother that we couldn’t participate because it was against our religion (without telling them what the religion was). Later that night, we had shaving cream and eggs on our front door.

        Say …. do you have any evidence to back your assertion re MW? I’ll wait…

        The evidence that Zionism and Zionists are opposed to UNICEF comes from Adam Horowitz and commenter “Shmuel”. The evidence that this is false is the fact that Israel is a donor to UNICEF and the past head of UNICEF was Israeli, and that many Israeli Zionists (like yours truly!) contribute happily to UNICEF.

      • Mikhael
        July 13, 2015, 12:40 am

        @talknic

        More evidence of UNESCO’s (but not UNICEF’s) clear anti-Israel bias is its recent naming of the al Aqsa Mosque as topping the list of world’s most endangered cultural sites.

      • Shmuel
        July 13, 2015, 2:19 am

        The evidence that Zionism and Zionists are opposed to UNICEF comes from Adam Horowitz and commenter “Shmuel”.

        Adam Horowitz and commenter “Shmuel” told stories from their childhoods (his from Philadelphia, mine from Montreal). “Evidence” of nothing more than a negative attitude to UNICEF among some Zionists in at least two places in North America (about 35 years ago, in my case). The generalisation “that Zionism and Zionists are opposed …” is yours.

    • Mooser
      June 30, 2015, 11:21 am

      “…. but if people I respected said it was so, it must have been so.”

      Luckily, that’s one problem I never had.

      • German Lefty
        June 30, 2015, 5:44 pm

        Because you have no respect for anyone?

      • Mooser
        June 30, 2015, 6:30 pm

        “Because you have no respect for anyone?”

        You got me, there. Yes, I am sadly deficient in that area. I’m a born Litvak, an ahzes ponim,a shaigetz ainer! , and when they told me about Zionism in Hebrew School and elsewhere I thought it was, well, not the answer, to put it gently. Wanted no part of it.

        But yes, in general I do lack respect. Can’t deny it. When I got my first bike, my Mom said it was “a shondah for the family” I kept on telling her it was a Honda, but she never got it.

      • just
        June 30, 2015, 6:59 pm

        I really hope that you meant that as a joke, German Lefty.

        Nothing could be further from the truth, imho.

      • Mooser
        June 30, 2015, 10:23 pm

        “Nothing could be further from the truth, imho.”

        I respect people who have had a change, have come to new conclusions about Zionism, sometimes at a personal cost, and often at the price of being spurred into action. For better or worse, it wasn’t that way for me, I did not like it as soon as I knew what it was. You know, beware of any enterprise that requires a new suit of clothes, but always bring a change of underwear.

      • just
        June 30, 2015, 10:58 pm

        I know you do, Mooser. You’re a mensch~ one that I really appreciate.

        ;)

      • German Lefty
        July 1, 2015, 4:51 am

        just: “I really hope that you meant that as a joke.”

        Of course, I meant it as a joke. Mooser makes jokes all the time, too.

      • Mooser
        July 1, 2015, 12:18 pm

        “Of course, I meant it as a joke. Mooser makes jokes all the time, too.”

        That’s disappointing. I thought it was a compliment.

        But let me inform you, I am not making jokes! Dad, I’m serious!

      • just
        July 1, 2015, 1:06 pm

        Thanks, German Lefty! I thought so ;-))

      • Mikhael
        July 1, 2015, 3:19 pm

        Mooser June 30, 2015, 10:23 pm
        I respect people who have had a change, have come to new conclusions about Zionism, sometimes at a personal cost, and often at the price of being spurred into action.

        It’s good to respect people who have reconsidered their opinions, Kasim Hafeez, after researching the issues, came to new conclusions about Zionism. You must have a lot of respect for him.

        http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/06/04/218564.html

      • Mooser
        July 2, 2015, 12:25 am

        Ah, our Israeli family values man is back!

      • Mikhael
        July 2, 2015, 10:07 pm

        Mooser July 2, 2015, 12:25 am
        Ah, our Israeli family values man is back!

        Yes, I work hard to support my children from all my marriages, and also take care of an elderly mother. These are normal human family values, they don’t make me exceptional.

        But I’m very glad to see how broad-minded you are and how much respect you have for people like Kaseem Hafeez, a once-radical Muslim who researched the issues, came to his own conclusions and reconsidered his opinions on Zionism.

        Other Muslim supporters of Israel who have made the ideological journey from excoriating the Jewish state include Tawfik Hamid (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tawfik_Hamid).

        Of course, many other Muslims and Arabs (whether, Muslim, Christian or Druze) never had to make that journey and always supported the Jewish people’s right to national self-determination in a small state of their own in part of their historical homeland.

        But again, it’s very heartening to learn, from your own declaration, how open-minded and accepting of the diversity of views regarding Zionism in the Muslim/Arab world and how people have chnaged their opinions about it.

      • Mooser
        July 3, 2015, 10:10 am

        “Yes, I work hard to support my children from all my marriages”

        Sure, I know “Mikheel”, all your ex’s live in Texas.

      • Mikhael
        July 13, 2015, 12:47 am

        Mooser July 3, 2015, 10:10 am Sure, I know “Mikheel”, all your ex’s live in Texas.

        What is that, country music? I listened to it for all of 2 seconds. Can’t abide it. I did have the misfortune to live in the American Midwest for a couple of childhood years, where I think some people listened to country (I don’t know), but the poles of my existence are NYC and Israel, and that’s where my exes are.

        But again, I’m so glad you respect individuals who have changed their minds on Zionism, like the Muslim supporters of Israel I mentioned.

  7. JWalters
    June 29, 2015, 7:40 pm

    Perhaps Mondoweiss could add an Archive category for these conversion stories. They are very powerful, and could be particularly useful to young Jewish Americans trying to find their way amidst the conflicting claims.

  8. Kay24
    June 30, 2015, 7:40 am

    What an interesting story. Thank you Adam for sharing it with us. The part about your experience growing up in a Jewish household is very telling. You represented how many American Jews are brought up, and instructed, as kids. You have been able to brilliantly overcome those prejudices, and experience first hand, the other side of the story. It must have been eye opening, to realize that the Palestinians are simply long suffering human beings, trapped and under occupation, and not the evil enemy as conveyed to you. You have been able to help the Palestinians in many ways, and have reached out to so many around the world. You have been able to overcome many obstacles to continue this amazing work. Good luck.

    I wonder how your parents feel today, seeing their son do this amazing work for humanity.

    • Adam Horowitz
      July 3, 2015, 10:50 am

      Thanks Kay24. I know this pieces gives a certain of view of my parents, but they have actually been incredibly supportive. My dad passed away when I was 18, so I was never able to talk to him in depth about Israel/Palestine, but he was a large part of getting me politically active through his advice and his example. I’m also very lucky that my mom is very supportive of my work. We don’t always agree, but she really appreciates the work that we’re doing here and sees how important it is.

  9. aiman
    June 30, 2015, 9:31 am

    Thank you Adam. You have experienced so much and followed the course of truth and humanity, the cornerstone of every rightly understood ethical tradition and yours.

  10. jon s
    June 30, 2015, 2:10 pm

    To Adam’s credit at least he mentions peace as a goal (“peaceful outcome”).
    Peace is a term which doesn’t appear here too often.

    And I’ll take this opportunity to make the following statement:
    I am NOT running for the Republican presidential nomination.
    (I like to be different from everyone else).

    • eljay
      June 30, 2015, 2:15 pm

      || jon s: … Peace is a term which doesn’t appear here too often. … ||

      It appears here frequently.

      What never, ever appears here is a Zio-supremacist advocating justice, accountability and equality.

    • Annie Robbins
      June 30, 2015, 2:21 pm

      jon, adam said “I believe it is essential work towards reaching a just and peaceful outcome in Israel/Palestine.”

      you said once (to eljay) you didn’t believe it was possible for palestinians to have both justice and peace and therefore one had to choose and you chose peace over “any notion of perfect justice.”

      in your own statement you moved the goal post from “justice” to “perfect justice”. either way it’s the elimination of justice to come to peace. and i am just wondering if you would accept that for jews? no reparations from germany, no rights, nothing. roll over and we can have peace. or what kind of peace do you believe is possible with no justice, no reparations, no i am sorry, no nothing. just stands for justice. no justice generally means no peace. and, it’s just not true people have to choose between the two.

      btw, eljay responded to you at the time, and you didn’t answer him http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/putting-israels-humanitarian#comment-768519

      • Mooser
        June 30, 2015, 10:09 pm

        “and i am just wondering if you would accept that for jews?”

        Always seemed to me pretty obvious what the Zionists would accept for the Jews by looking at the statement from Herzl:
        “The anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries our allies”.

      • German Lefty
        July 1, 2015, 5:17 am

        “The anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries our allies.”

        -> Wow! Thanks for that quote, Mooser. It will be very useful for me when I argue with Zionists. Telling Zionists that Zionism is bad for Palestinians doesn’t work. As you can see in this thread, Zionists couldn’t care less about justice. That’s why it’s necessary to explain to them that Zionism is not just bad for Palestinians but also bad for Jews. Only then, there’s a chance that they will change their mind on Zionism.

      • Mooser
        July 1, 2015, 2:06 pm

        “Wow! Thanks for that quote, Mooser.”

        If you are going to use it in argument, please Google it, and make sure of the context in which it was said, and other relevant information concerning the quote.

        At any rate, I don’t think Herzl envisioned a situation in which individual Jews, affluent and secure, would have to be inveigled, one-by-one, to make aliyah. I think they were looking to get us wholesale, via a deal with their “best friends”.

    • German Lefty
      June 30, 2015, 4:17 pm

      Jon S: “Peace is a term which doesn’t appear here too often.”

      To anti-Zionists, the primary goal is justice. Once there’s justice, things will start to normalise and peace will come sooner or later.
      In the reverse case, it’s very different. Peace would not lead to justice. Peace without justice would be the perpetuation of injustice. In other words: Every Zionist’s wet dream.

      • catalan
        June 30, 2015, 5:46 pm

        “To anti-Zionists, the primary goal is justice. Once there’s justice, things will start to normalise and peace will come sooner or later. – ” German lefty
        There is a problem with your thinking – peace is quantifiable and measurable. Justice is not. What is just to one person, very often is not just to another. Thus, I think it is just for me to pay less taxes, but someone with less money would disagree.
        Regardless, even you would agree that the kicking out the Germans of the Sudetenland and east Prussia was unjust. Likewise with the confiscation of Karelia from Finland. Yet in both of these cases these injustices led to peace.
        Finally, peace is more important than justice. Peace means you can commute home without getting shot. You can get over an injustice.

      • echinococcus
        June 30, 2015, 6:37 pm

        “Catalan”
        No one doubts that *you* can get over injustice. Committed unto others.

      • just
        June 30, 2015, 6:38 pm

        You’re wrong, wrong, wrong catalan when you have the audacity to write that “Finally, peace is more important than justice.”!!!

        There can be no peace without justice. None. The Palestinians have lived under unbearable Israeli domination for seven decades!
        They are entitled to justice, peace, respect, freedom, a return to their lands, etc.

        “We cannot sacrifice justice for sustainable peace. Rather, justice is the foundation.”

        Michael T. McRay (M.Phil. in conflict resolution, Trinity College, Dublin) is the author of “Letters from Apartheid Street,” lectures at Lipscomb University and has visited Israel-Palestine numerous times.

        http://www.tennessean.com/opinion/

        Or as Ramzi Jaber says:

        “As I said before, the arc of history always bends towards justice and our cause is just.

        Please keep up on the path of BDS/ICC/ICJ towards 1S1P1V. (remember that the “J” in ICJ is for JUSTICE) Fight on. Resist, peacefully. We shall overcome.”

        – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/06/munayyer-beinarts-historic#comment-772483

        You could always have the misfortune of “getting shot” in NM, catalan. Palestinians have no freedom to “commute”, and no jobs to “commute” to~ even if they were allowed even a teensy bit of movement. You take the justice you have for granted. It’s not an option for people that are Occupied to dismiss justice like you did with your comment. btw, the Palestinians are at risk of being shot/ killed by the state of Israel or its illegal settlers every minute of every day.

      • JWalters
        June 30, 2015, 6:46 pm

        It seems to me that peace based on justice is the most durable. You can have peace without justice if you exterminate your victims. Otherwise even their descendents may seek justice. And even the “successful” perpetrator may be plagued by a guilty conscience.

      • Mooser
        June 30, 2015, 6:51 pm

        “There is a problem with your thinking – peace is quantifiable and measurable.”

        It sure is, “catalan”. So why don’t we measure peace in villages not ethnically cleansed, and people not slaughtered, and land not taken!

        Or do you have some mystical measurement of peace which includes doing those things? Would you like to tell us by what measurable and quantifiable doing those things can be measured as peace. Or was the Nakba the “justice” part?

      • Mooser
        June 30, 2015, 6:57 pm

        “Regardless, even you would agree that the kicking out the Germans of the Sudetenland and east Prussia was unjust. Likewise with the confiscation of Karelia from Finland. Yet in both of these cases these injustices led to peace.”

        Really? I guess the Sudentan was no longer troubled, nor Finland after that. Brought lots of peace, diden’t it?

      • amigo
        June 30, 2015, 7:40 pm

        “Or do you have some mystical measurement of peace which includes doing those things? Would you like to tell us by what measurable and quantifiable doing those things can be measured as peace – ” Mooser

        Mooser , Catalan is vying for a Nobel Peace Prize to add to his cache of accolades.He wants to be the first Romanian,American, Arizonian Accountant to earn the prize .

        Don,t spoil his dreams.

      • echinococcus
        June 30, 2015, 7:45 pm

        I guess the Sudentan was no longer troubled, nor Finland after that. Brought lots of peace, diden’t it?

        That is patently unfair from you, Mooser: The obvious problem is that it was enacted by Czechs and Poles and such who only displaced the people, instead of by clean Zionist professionals. They sure know about the Peace of the Cemeteries.

      • Mooser
        June 30, 2015, 9:33 pm

        “Catalan” doesn’t need a Nobel Prize.
        He just wants us all to know he is an all-rightnik.

      • Sibiriak
        July 1, 2015, 12:32 am

        Walters: ” It seems to me that peace based on justice is the most durable.”
        —————

        True. But it’s also true that peace generally requires the acceptance of *some* injustice.

        And there are certainly many situations where the attainment of a full measure of justice is either impossible or not worth the costs.

      • German Lefty
        July 1, 2015, 5:08 am

        @ catalan

        “What is just to one person, very often is not just to another.”
        -> Well, there’s something called international law, which determines what is just and what is unjust. However, Zionists keep pretending that it doesn’t exist.

        “Regardless, even you would agree that the kicking out the Germans of the Sudetenland and east Prussia was unjust. Likewise with the confiscation of Karelia from Finland. Yet in both of these cases these injustices led to peace.”
        -> So, what? This doesn’t disprove my statements. I have never claimed that peace without justice is impossible. I wrote that peace without justice is not a desirable outcome.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federation_of_Expellees

        “Peace means you can commute home without getting shot. You can get over an injustice.”
        -> Getting shot while commuting home is certainly unjust. However, this shouldn’t be a problem for you. Because, as you said yourself, you can get over an injustice.

      • German Lefty
        July 1, 2015, 5:19 am

        catalan: “Finally, peace is more important than justice.”
        -> Only a perpetrator would say that.

      • German Lefty
        July 1, 2015, 5:49 am

        Sibiriak: “It’s also true that peace generally requires the acceptance of *some* injustice. And there are certainly many situations where the attainment of a full measure of justice is either impossible or not worth the costs.”

        True. However, the Zionists use statements like “Justice is not worth the costs.” or “Perfect justice is impossible.” as a PRETEXT to prevent ANY effort on achieving justice and to get away with their injustice.

        I would say that international law sets GENERAL standards of justice. However, the DETAILS of how to exacly implement international law need to be discussed and may include a few things that are perceived as unjust by individual Palestinians. You can’t please everyone. Example: After the toppling of the Zionist regime, there’s a referendum on the number of states. 60% of Palestinians vote for a one-state solution and 40% of Palestinians vote for a two-state solution. The latter may perceive the reunification as unjust, because they don’t want to share a country with the former perpetrators.

      • Mooser
        July 1, 2015, 4:30 pm

        “That is patently unfair from you, Mooser: The obvious problem is that it was enacted by Czechs and Poles”

        Yes, and unless my memory is faulty (it better not be, I just finished “Rise and Fall…”) a German named Adolf Hitler had something not quite so peaceful to say about it.

      • echinococcus
        July 1, 2015, 7:45 pm

        unless my memory is faulty (it better not be, I just finished “Rise and Fall…”) a German named Adolf Hitler had something not quite so peaceful to say about it

        Your memory seems to be working A-OK, Mooser. The abovenamed sure outperformed anyone we know. I was talking, however, about the return ticket from the shorter-lived Reich settlements, which is the deep “injustice” put to work by our Catalonian friend.

      • ejran
        July 5, 2015, 2:43 pm

        “Peace without justice would be the perpetuation of injustice”.

        Exactly. Peace between an oppressor and the oppressed is not possible. As long as there is oppression, the oppressed will want to resist, and the oppressor will use that to say that they are under constant threat, the other side doesn’t want peace, the other side is a terrorist, and “peace” is only achievable by getting rid of the oppressed: incarcerating as many of them as possible, at the smallest pretext of throwing stones, forcing them into ghettos, making their lives “so miserable that they transport themselves willingly”, or worse, and definitely an option, killing many of them whenever the chance arises. Every few years, finding or creating a pretext for a brutal offense, called a “war”; not only does it result in dead Palestinians, because of the disproportionate force, but it also brings the economy billions of dollars because of the sales of weapons that have been tried and tested. “The destruction of Palestinians is now a highly profitable industry,” Gilad Atzmon writes of the Israeli war machine. Gaza is a graveyard, israeli youth chanted last July. For many, it was a success. 2000 dead Palestinians is a success. “This is not an Arab village, this is a dead place. Maybe, in our rosiest dreams, this is what a Palestinian village would like like,” said military philosopher Shimon Naveh as he walked through a mock Arab village built for military training, empty of any soul (in Yotam Feldman’s “The Lab”).

        Security for Israel is the opposite of peace. Security for Israel is only achievable through unspeakable injustice.

    • Mooser
      June 30, 2015, 7:00 pm

      “And I’ll take this opportunity to make the following statement”

      Yes, “Jon s” is announcing he has found the deed and purchase agreement for Beersheba! And the official annexation papers! A momentous statement indeed!

      • jon s
        July 1, 2015, 5:04 pm

        I realize that I’ve stated my view in rather stark terms, but I still think that it’s basically true: Israelis and Palestinians can have either justice or peace (and I hope they choose the latter).
        What each side would consider “justice” – would never be accepted by the other, and I suspect that “justice” would be little more than a code-word for retribution and vengeance. The road to “justice” will be paved with corpses.
        Our focus should be on reconciliation , on reaching peace agreements that the mainstream on both sides can live with. The extremists, the fanatics on both sides, can continue to daydream about achieving ultimate justice, just leave the rest of us alone.

      • eljay
        July 1, 2015, 8:48 pm

        || jon s: I realize that I’ve stated my view in rather stark terms … ||

        You’ve stated your view in Zio-supremacist terms.

        || … but I still think that it’s basically true: Israelis and Palestinians can have either justice or peace … ||

        They can have both.

        || What each side would consider “justice” – would never be accepted by the other … ||

        So don’t apply subjective interpretations of justice to the matter. Use established, objective (international) laws to resolve it.

        || … I suspect that “justice” would be little more than a code-word for retribution and vengeance. ||

        Your suspicions aside, if “justice” is a code-word for evil deeds, it’s not justice. (Similarly, if morality is a code-word for “goal + methods” (as per JeffB), it’s not morality.)

        || The road to “justice” will be paved with corpses. ||

        It doesn’t have to be.

        || Our focus should be on reconciliation , on reaching peace agreements that the mainstream on both sides can live with. ||

        Focus on justice, accountability and equality and peace will follow.

        || The extremists, the fanatics on both sides, can continue to daydream about achieving ultimate justice, just leave the rest of us alone. ||

        People like you – and not the people who want justice, accountability and equality – are the real extremists and fanatics.

      • RoHa
        July 1, 2015, 10:32 pm

        “Our focus should be on reconciliation”

        A first step to reconciliation is admission of guilt. Can Israelis admit that the basic ideas of Zionism (“Jews have a right to take over Palestine”, “We matter and you don’t”, etc.) were wrong, and that they wronged the Palestinians?

        Or are they just going to witter about “narratives”?

        https://alethonews.wordpress.com/2010/01/28/%E2%80%9Ccontested-histories%E2%80%9D-%E2%80%9Ccontested-narratives%E2%80%9D-what-kind-of-nonsense-is-this/

      • just
        July 1, 2015, 11:16 pm

        +1, RoHa!

        Thanks for linking to that simply true and memorable piece by Khalil Nakhleh.

        It’s hard to believe that it was 5 1/2 years ago.

      • Kris
        July 2, 2015, 1:24 am

        @jon s: “Israelis and Palestinians can have either justice or peace ….The road to “justice” will be paved with corpses.”

        Israel’s present road is already paved with Palestinian corpses. “Justice or peace” is a false choice. The Palestinians are entitled to both and will have both.

  11. German Lefty
    June 30, 2015, 4:04 pm

    Why Do Jewish Camps Erase the Green Line on Israel Maps?
    The study found that 58% of the post-1967 maps used in Palestinian Authority schoolbooks in the occupied territories show the polity “Palestine,” incorporating everything between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, including present-day Israel. There is no mention of Israel.
    But the Israeli books examined in the study came off even worse. Seventy-six percent of the post-1967 maps in them show Israel as the area between the river and the sea, with no mention of the P.A. and no notation of the Green Line that separates Israel from the West Bank and Gaza.
    http://forward.com/news/310838/how-do-jewish-camps-draw-the-green-line/

    • talknic
      July 1, 2015, 1:27 am

      @ German Lefty ‘The study found that 58% of the post-1967 maps used in Palestinian Authority schoolbooks in the occupied territories show the polity “Palestine,” incorporating everything between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, including present-day Israel.

      Arguably correct. The “Question of Palestine” as it is officially referred to by the UNSC is not yet answered.

      “There is no mention of Israel”

      It’s not the Question of Israel !

    • echinococcus
      July 1, 2015, 4:05 am

      German Lefty

      The study found that 58% of the post-1967 maps used in Palestinian Authority schoolbooks in the occupied territories show the polity “Palestine,” incorporating everything between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, including present-day Israel. There is no mention of Israel.

      To add a question to Talknic’s most appropriate remark: what illegality are the 42% of these schoolbooks propagating? Do those 42% have maps like the collaborationist maps in 1942 in occupied France, trying to legalize German occupation? When have the Palestinian people accepted the partition proposal, or even the initial Zionist invasion?

      • German Lefty
        July 1, 2015, 4:26 pm

        It looks like you misinterpreted the intention behind my comment. I don’t blame Palestinians for not including Israel in their maps. I don’t recognise Israel as a state either.
        The problem is that many Zionists demonise Palestinians for having maps without a Green Line. However, as the study shows, it’s actually the Zionists themselves who have even more maps without a Green Line. Here’s a tweet that was sent by German Zionist politician Volker Beck:
        https://mobile.twitter.com/volker_beck/status/589169942857121792
        He writes: “Where exactly is Israel on this map by the Palestine Conference? In the sea?”
        In reply to his tweet, I sent him several maps by Zionists that don’t have a Green Line either. Then, Beck talked his way out by claiming that he doesn’t speak Hebrew and therefore doesn’t know what the words on the maps mean.

      • echinococcus
        July 1, 2015, 7:58 pm

        German Leftie,

        No misinterpreting at all; I didn’t imply that you were blaming any Palestinians either.
        It’s just that you commented well and properly on the second part of your quote and there was like a need to put a word in the first part of it. All cool –Beck looks more and more like a US politician, by the way.

  12. German Lefty
    June 30, 2015, 5:10 pm

    @ Adam
    I would like to know what your parents think about your anti-Zionism. Are they still supportive of Israel? Did they break off contact with you? Could you convince them to side with the Palestinians?

    • Mooser
      July 1, 2015, 12:38 pm

      “I would like to know what your parents think about your anti-Zionism.”

      I believe Adam Horowitz is no longer a minor, and is of age to make his own decisions.

      • German Lefty
        July 1, 2015, 3:47 pm

        Sure, Mooser. That’s beyond debate. Nevertheless, I would find it interesting to know in how far Adam’s anti-Zionist views had negative consequences on his private life. For example, the mother of German anti-Zionist Evelyn Hecht-Galinski is very Zionist and broke off contact with her daughter over her anti-Zionism.

      • Mooser
        July 2, 2015, 12:29 am

        When my Mother found out I was anti-Zionist, she said I should come back and live at her house! “But Mom” I said, “Your house is too small, there’s not enough room…”

  13. John O
    July 1, 2015, 4:17 am

    Donation made. Thanks to Steve Grover for spurring me to make the donation right now this minute as soon as I read his post above.

  14. Bornajoo
    July 2, 2015, 8:08 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story Adam. And many thanks for everything that you and the whole MW team do.

  15. just
    July 2, 2015, 8:28 pm

    About justice ~ here’s Refaat Alareer:

    “When will Dad come back?

    The last time my little niece Raneem saw her dad was when the Israeli shells were falling on the heads and houses of more than 10,000 Palestinians in Shujaiya, east of Gaza City, last summer. My brother Mohammed took the time to help guide many families to shortcuts in a desperate attempt to escape the flying shrapnel and debris.

    Mohammed kept close to his wife, his baby son Hamza and his daughter Raneem. “I will be back. Soon,” he assured his weeping kids and worried wife. “I will be back. I promise.”

    Bringing his family and many others to a relatively safer place, he thought he should go back to help others evacuate.

    My brother Mohammed never came back.

    He never came back. Not because he did not keep his word, but rather because the Israeli occupation has developed a policy of destroying people and their relationships. Israel made sure my brother Mohammed and a couple of thousand Palestinians would never get to see their family members ever again.

    Ever since, Raneem has been asking about her dad. “When will Dad come back? Why does Baba not come back?” she keeps asking. …

    ….Betrayed by the world?
    The cost of putting up a defense in Gaza is that all Palestinians in Gaza are being punished. Israel has tightened the siege on Gaza.

    Egypt has tightened its siege on Gaza.

    The Palestinian Authority has tightened its siege on Gaza.

    The stupidity those parties are displaying is unprecedented. Collective punishment against Palestinians has never worked. And the rules of logic say, it is foolish to do the very same things and expect different results.

    But Israel, in its arrogance, the PA’s Mahmoud Abbas, in his cravenness, and Arab regimes, in their complicity, seem to have agreed that a good Gaza is a starved Gaza.

    With the delay of reconstruction and the clear complicity of Abbas and his cronies and the UN and its army of mercenaries living off the Palestinian plight, Raneem and Hamza and tens of thousands will never get to go back to the house where they lived their happiest days with the most loving person they will ever know.

    Raneem will have to live with the horrible memories of seeing her house become a pile of rubble.

    The likes of my niece Raneem and little nephew Mohammed are purposefully being punished by Israel and the international community — first by destroying their houses and lives, and then by providing Israel with the impunity and excuses it wants, and finally by delaying the process of justice. They want these little kids to live in ruins and destruction.

    Ironically, Palestinian children are expected to grow up and like Israel or see a future where peace can be achieved when the murderers of their parents and destroyers of their houses go unpunished and unaccountable.

    Unless Israeli war criminals are brought to justice and the occupation ends, my fear is that these children will grow up feeling that they were betrayed by the world. We owe it to them to change that vision.

    This essay is included as an afterword in Gaza Unsilenced, an anthology co-edited by Refaat Alareer and Laila El-Haddad and published by Just World Books.”

    For the rest of this essay, go to https://electronicintifada.net/content/when-will-dad-come-back/14659

  16. Irfan
    July 3, 2015, 1:23 pm

    Thanks for this. I was particularly intrigued by the UNICEF part of the story, because I had a similar experience when I was a kid, and thought my experience was idiosyncratic. I grew up in the north Jersey suburbs (West Orange) in the 1970s. One year, probably Halloween of 1974, Jewish students at my school refused to accept UNICEF boxes for trick or treating on the grounds that the money collected would or might “go to Arab kids.” As far as I remember, it was a one-time thing; it happened that year, but not thereafter. I’d always assumed it was a response to the 1973 war. (Actually, the event I’m describing may well have taken place just before Halloween of 1973; I’m not sure.)

    Eventually the school stopped giving out UNICEF boxes altogether (whether for related reasons or not, I don’t know). And of course, eventually, Halloween essentially went extinct on its own for reasons unrelated to politics, so the issue became moot. Interesting to learn that the practice was more widespread than my neighborhood, however. That’s the first I’ve heard of it in 40 years.

    • James North
      July 3, 2015, 1:38 pm

      Irfan: You grew up in the same town at roughly the same time as Michael Oren, Israel’s former ambassador, who just published a memoir. He says he experienced anti-Semitism in West Orange. What do you remember?

      • Irfan
        July 4, 2015, 4:47 pm

        Oren is fourteen years older than me, so he grew up in the West Orange of the 1960s, whereas I grew up in the WO of the 1970s and 1980s.

        Frankly, it was a pretty racist place. It’s very possible that in the 1960s, anti-Semitism was as bad as he says it was. By the 70s, anti-black racism was far more prevalent (think: aftermath of Newark, 1967). And I was certainly on the receiving end of a fair bit of anti-Arab/anti-Muslim animus, along with a dash of anti-black racism. (I’m neither black nor an Arab, but I was often mistaken for an Arab, and also fell into the default n-word category.)

        That said, it wasn’t an overwhelmingly traumatic experience for me, and I find it hard to believe that it was one for him. It was a pretty ordinary suburb, as was the racism, for whatever that’s worth.

      • James North
        July 4, 2015, 10:16 pm

        Irfan: Thanks for taking the time to reply. Phil Weiss is looking into certain of Oren’s claims about West orange, and he plans to post soon.

      • Irfan
        July 5, 2015, 6:57 am

        James,

        You’re welcome. I have mixed feelings about my home town’s getting its fifteen minutes of fame in this way. In the nineteenth century, we gave the world General George McClellan. In the twentieth, we gave the world Michael Oren (and…Lawrence Taylor). At this rate, I hate to think what the twenty-first century will bring.

        On the other hand, we did give the world Thomas Edison, Carole King, and Whoopi Goldberg. Talk about a mixed bag.

      • Mooser
        July 5, 2015, 1:57 pm

        “Phil Weiss is looking into certain of Oren’s claims about West orange, and he plans to post soon.”

        Great! I am looking forward to another in the series “Watching the Nudibranch!”

    • just
      July 3, 2015, 2:00 pm

      I’m so glad that you’re here again!

      Irfan, how’s life @ Al Quds University? I’m very glad that you made it through the “checkpoint hopping”.

      • Irfan
        July 4, 2015, 5:02 pm

        Thank you! I try to visit here as often as I can. I have to admit that checkpoint hopping is pretty easy with an American passport. The people around me get detained, but I just breeze on through.

        Life’s good at Al Quds. I’m teaching a political philosophy class of about 30 and taking an intensive Arabic class myself in East Jerusalem. The class I’m teaching might be called “Classics of Political Philosophy…and the Occupation.” It’s amazing what kind of insight you get if you read, say, Machiavelli in relation to the Israeli Occupation. I find myself wondering: did Yigal Allon, Yitzhak Rabin, and Menachem Begin get their ideas from Machiavelli? Or did they just re-invent Machiavelli on their own?

        My students are often skeptical of me and of the material, but very intense and engaged. It somehow reminds me of teaching at the City University of New York, which I did for awhile. It’s not at all like teaching in suburban New Jersey (my usual gig), where students are politically disengaged, uninformed, and apathetic.

      • just
        July 5, 2015, 7:41 am

        Irfan~ thank you for your illuminating posts. All of the US is a “mixed bag”. It’s both good and bad. But the important and salient conversations don’t happen in many places unless some “troublemaker” like me shows up and is often tossed around and out. It’s not surprising that you find that:

        “My students are often skeptical of me and of the material, but very intense and engaged. It somehow reminds me of teaching at the City University of New York, which I did for awhile. It’s not at all like teaching in suburban New Jersey (my usual gig), where students are politically disengaged, uninformed, and apathetic.”

        It’s a symptom of the suburbs, and a testament to the brain – draining and brainwashing of the average American. I’m glad that you’ve found engaged people and students. I very much value your comments and I thank you. I also appreciate your reference to Machiavelli.

        P. S. I wish I could give many Palestinians an American passport.

  17. Mooser
    July 5, 2015, 2:01 pm

    “It’s a symptom of the suburbs, and a testament to the brain – draining and brainwashing of the average American.”

    That’s right! In the Goldenah Medina anybody can make it. Anybody can be an all-rightnik! Anybody who says Jews don’t enjoy complete equality in this area in America is going to have to argue with me!

Leave a Reply