Oren’s demands make Israel’s liberal apologists squirm

US Politics
on 58 Comments

Michael Oren’s book is driving a wedge right into the Israel lobby. His message that to be a member in good standing of “Jewish peoplehood” you must support Netanyahu, oppose a Palestinian state, and oppose the Iran deal is making Israel’s liberal apologists in the U.S. very unhappy. Especially given all the contempt that Oren has shown for American Jews, as soft, intermarrying social-justice types who don’t know what war is really like.

In Los Angeles, Oren seems surprised by the backlash. He says that some of the criticism is “sad.”

I always thought of myself as a person who can span the divides.

His good friend Yossi Klein Halevy says that American Jewish writers have to stop “demonizing” Oren, and Halevy tries to walk the book back somewhat. But Halevy also can’t stop himself from criticizing American Jews:

If Michael feels that American Jewry is failing Israel at the most dangerous moment in its history, he has the obligation to say so. Ironically, the Israeli-American Jewish relationship has become the reverse of its old problematic dynamic. Where once it was forbidden for American Jews to criticize Israel, now, apparently, it is forbidden for an Israeli to criticize American Jewry.

Is Michael wrong in his assessment of American Jewry?

Naomi Paiss of New Israel Fund explains to Halevy that American Jews don’t like being smeared and don’t want to kiss up to Netanyahu:

Oren equates anti-Bibi-ism w/ antisemitism & US Jewish self hatred. THAT’s what’s unacceptable

In The New Yorker, Bernard Avishai also wants nothing to do with Netanyahu. Oren was once a perfectly plausible figure, Avishai says, goodlooking and fun to talk to, but he wanted to be a player who could “shape” events, and that turned him into a reactionary:

As the Oslo process ground on, and especially once the second intifada began, Oren started drifting to the right—not the ideological right but what might be called the reactionary right.

But Avishai continues to pursue the liberal Zionists’ holy grail: the Netanyahu government is about to collapse and Israeli reason will be restored.

Oren is propping up a government whose “sense of tribe” has taken him to places no liberal should consider going. As Obama put it, deliberately, in “Dreams from My Father,” about confronting the legacy of black nationalism in Chicago, “Our sense of wholeness would have to arise from something more fine than the bloodlines we’d inherited.” And I use “propping up” exactingly: Netanyahu’s government holds a one-seat majority. I hope Oren will be reminded, by audiences at universities and interlocutors at Georgetown dinner parties, that a more convincingly democratic opposition is waiting in the wings, while he himself bears responsibility for the government remaining in power.

Wait, why does the American experience of diversity apply to Israel, a colonizing society with Jewish privilege built in? The Netanyahu government is not going anywhere, and you’d learn a lot more about Israel by reading Max Blumenthal than by reading the New Yorker. Then too, maybe Avishai agrees with Oren that American Jews are soft. He notes that Oren

“saw hard action with the Israel Defense Forces in Lebanon in 1982, a war that he, like most worldly Israelis, only half-believed in, though, like many American Jews who’ve served in the I.D.F., he spoke of the experience as a rite of passage.”

Hard action– many of us remember civilian slaughter.

Josh Michael Marshall at Talking Points Memo is also squirming. In “The Ridiculous Mr. Oren,” he wants Oren’s book to stop being the face of Israel, in a hurry, because the rightwing arguments are feeding BDS and nullifying any argument against the Iran deal:

If you are a Jew and a Zionist and not in serious denial about the world we live in today, you must recognize that the statelessness of the Palestinians in the territories is an anomaly and that the pressure (expressed in diplomatic isolation, boycotts, sanctions and more) against it will only grow. How quickly it will grow, I don’t know. But it will never diminish, though it may be temporarily tamped down by another intifada. Similarly, if you are an Israeli rightist and you think none of this matters because America will always defend Israel, consider a few questions. Do you believe the US is becoming more or less powerful, in relative terms, on the global stage? Second, do you think the trends in the US electorate are toward one more or less supportive of Israel at all costs?

A lot of Marshall’s discomfort comes from the fact that he is part of the Israel lobby in the US discourse; and Oren is making the American Jewish job of standing up for Israel very difficult indeed:

there are insights American Jews have as well, ones that Israeli culture and that complacency with US protection make it very hard for Israelis to see. Again, just speaking for myself but perhaps for others as well, one of the more frustrating aspects of this conversation is trying to send this message to our brethren in Israel and being told in essence to fuck off because America will always protect them. It is something like a father, who has always underwritten his son’s money-losing business ventures, advising him that his latest idea needs serious rethinking and being told, “What do you know? Everything’s worked out for me until now!”

This is also Gilbert Kahn’s concern, at New Jersey Jewish News— Oren is driving a wedge between the right wing pro Israel lobby and the liberal apologists for Israel, and that’s not good for anyone.

Whatever Oren’s agenda, his negative portrayal of America’s relationship with its ally has done Israel a real disservice. He further riled up many of Israel’s friends in the United States against the president, alienated pro-Israel moderates, and, quite undiplomatically, gave the White House more reasons to distrust the current Israeli government. The controversy may be good for Oren — his career, his book sales, his ideology. It may have resulted from his genuine concern over the Iran nuclear deal. It is not, however, constructive for the U.S.-Israel relationship.

Where were these folks when Oren was defending the slaughter in Gaza, or saying on CNN that Palestinian boys killed on Nakba Day in 2014 weren’t really dead? The truth is that Oren is a centrist-liberal in the Israeli Jewish context; and American liberals just don’t like what that country has become.

Sean Hannity loves Michael Oren. Writing in the Jewish Press, this rightwing Israeli also loves Oren– and beats up on American Jews for believing there is such a thing as Palestine.And read some of Oren’s positions expressed to rightwing Israeli Shmuel Rosner. How do they square with liberal Zionists? He says he argued with J Street’s leaders because

a lot of young people were attracted to J Street, and for many of them J Street was the last stop out of the Zionist camp. Not the window in, but the window out. This was our last opportunity to engage with them, before they became JVP [Jewish Voice for Peace] or simply disinterested…

Oren says–and he’s right– J Street is caught in the middle.

J Street is under a lot of duress. I don’t want to defend J Street. They have been a under a lot of pressure, from BDS, from supporters of de-legitimatization. And J Street’s taken this position, ‘we’re not going to support BDS, but we’re open to a discussion about it.’ So, you know, ‘we’re not going to pose a movement that’s designed to destroy Israel, isolate it, kill it’s economy, take away its right to defend itself against thousands of rockets – but we’re willing to discuss it.’

This is just what Ali Gharib wrote, Oren’s book signals the end of liberal Zionism. The camps have polarized. You’re either with Netanyahu or against him.

Please Make a Tax-Deductible Donation to Mondoweiss TodayAnd here’s Oren on American Jewish ideals of social justice (tikkun olam) and charity. How many liberal American Jews are going to send money to Israel to send to Haiti? Is he nuts?

Tikkun Olam has become the dominant idea for a large part of liberal American Jewry, and progressive American Jewry, Israel can’t ignore that. But we have to see it, on the one hand, as an opportunity, but, on the other hand, as a challenge. Because Tikkun Olam, by nature, is a universalist notion. Zionism, Jewish peoplehood, is a particularistic notion. I put it in a very pedestrian way in the book – I say ‘if you have a hundred dollars, do you give it to Birthright, or do you give it to building a school in Guatemala?’ That’s the challenge of Tikkun Olam. And I propose ways in which you can reconcile it. My wife is on the board of IsraAid, a wonderful organization, you probably know it – they were the first on the ground in Haiti, they’re all over the world giving disaster aid. So you can do Tikkun Olam through Israel, through the Jewish people.

 

About Philip Weiss

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

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58 Responses

  1. joemowrey
    July 5, 2015, 2:22 pm

    Another fine analysis by Phil. Agree or disagree with his attitude or conclusions, but he sure can provide a much needed overview. Always appreciated.

    • Philip Weiss
      July 5, 2015, 2:37 pm

      Thanks; I should have thanked James North for all the help he provided on this one….

  2. Marnie
    July 5, 2015, 2:36 pm

    I’m so grateful to Michael Oren for just being Michael Oren! Keep writing Mike – it’s awesome what you’re doing to alienate yourself and the zionist state from the rest of the world, as you both should be.

    The last paragraph about repairing the world was lovely until Mr. Oren got hold of it and said wait a minute, my wife will be glad to help you spend your hard-earned money on acts of charity within Israel only or acts of charity provided to Israel so they can look charitable when they use the 0.000001% of that donation for places like Haiti or how about Nepal!

    ” I say ‘if you have a hundred dollars, do you give it to Birthright, or do you give it to building a school in Guatemala?’ That’s the challenge of Tikkun Olam.”

    No, that’s the problem you have with seeing what is humane and a benefit to humanity, and just a benefit to your buddies. What a dick!

    • Citizen
      July 6, 2015, 6:40 am

      Obviously, the Guatemalan children’s education is not of any significance when compared to sending privileged US Jewish young adults to Israel to booze it up and flirt with young IDF soldiers, maybe to become one–after all, what can Guatemala do for the Zionist cause when they cannot even educate their own children? Plus, their bloodline is corrupt, isn’t it?

      A good global education would help prevent repetition of historical mistakes, “old crapy wine in new bottles,”–Here’s Guatemalan Education: http://www.globaleducationfund.org/guatemala/

      • Marnie
        July 6, 2015, 1:23 pm

        Absolutely Citizen, we can’t have all the brown folks getting educated and uppity!

      • Keith
        July 6, 2015, 3:56 pm

        MARNIE- “Absolutely Citizen, we can’t have all the brown folks getting educated and uppity!”

        The way things are going, soon you won’t have the US 99% getting educated and uppity. The ongoing increases in cost for a University education is increasingly putting University out of reach for many in the middle class. Additionally, many who require educational loans will be locked into debt servitude for years to come, totally dependent on their jobs to pay back these loans not subject to bankruptcy, therefore, making young people afraid to protest or engage in activism for fear of offending their employer. Just one of many ominous changes going on.

      • Marnie
        July 7, 2015, 3:20 am

        @ Keith –
        That’s shameful, but I think in keeping with the plan to have an ignorant majority ignorant, thus with no prospects for decent jobs, will willingly joint the military as the war machine is in constant need of a fresh supply of cannon fodder.

  3. Sibiriak
    July 5, 2015, 3:10 pm

    My wife is on the board of IsraAid, a wonderful organization, you probably know it – they were the first on the ground in Haiti, they’re all over the world giving disaster aid. So you can do Tikkun Olam through Israel, through the Jewish people.

    ————-

    That’s ludicrous and vomitous at the same time.

    • Boo
      July 6, 2015, 7:11 pm

      Correct, and as we all know (or should), they weren’t “first on the ground in Haiti”. They weren’t even in the first wave.

  4. Shmuel
    July 5, 2015, 3:25 pm

    Where once it was forbidden for American Jews to criticize Israel, now, apparently, it is forbidden for an Israeli to criticize American Jewry.

    Klein Halevy’s funny. The very thing “an Israeli” is criticising American Jews for is criticising Israel (or, said Israeli’s particular vision of Israel). So who exactly is “forbidden” from criticising whom? It’s all so complicated.

    I say ‘if you have a hundred dollars, do you give it to Birthright, or do you give it to building a school in Guatemala?’

    A tough decision indeed — sending a bunch of mostly-privileged young adults on a self-indulgent holiday or helping poor kids get a basic education? It’s all so complicated.

    And I propose ways in which you can reconcile it. My wife is on the board of IsraAid, a wonderful organization, you probably know it – they were the first on the ground in Haiti, they’re all over the world giving disaster aid.

    Again, a tough one — sending money where it might actually do some good, simply because you care, or trying to squeeze some PR mileage for Israel out of your 100 bucks along the way? It’s all so …

  5. Donald
    July 5, 2015, 3:38 pm

    JPM linked to this piece in one of his Oren articles–

    http://forward.com/opinion/310338/new-york-times-michael-oren-book/

    It shows Oren was demonstrably and absurdly wrong on the facts in what he wrote about an argument he had with the NYT.

    JPM also talks about the Haiti thing, where again Oren got it wrong on basic facts. I think he is probably right that what that shows is Oren’s sense (on Israel’s behalf) of a massive sense of entitlement.

    I’m not explaining things very clearly here, but if you click on the link to Marshal’s piece and then read some of his links you’ll find it worth your time.

    • tree
      July 5, 2015, 6:46 pm

      Oren’s reputation as a historian is vastly overrated. I remember at one point I was planning to read his 1967 tome, but happened across an except from it in an online publication.

      He was describing a bit of the run-up to Israel’s attack on Es Samu in November 1966, in which Israel sent some 400-600 soldiers, 40 half-tracks and 10 tanks into the Jordanian West Bank to destroy the village of Es Samu, with another 2500-3500 troops mobilized as backup. All of this was apparently in response to the deaths of 3 Israeli soldiers from a grenade that their truck ran over somewhere along the border with Jordan. I’ll quote from a 2013 book on US-Jordanian relations at the time to illustrate the lunacy of Oren’s description:

      Following the border incident of 10 November, Hussein sent an apology[ [my note: more like a condolence and a promise to help find the perpetrators if they came from Jordan] through the American Ambassador to Israel, Walworth Barbour. Michael Oren, in his popular account of the Six Day War, argued that Ambassador Barbour’s failure to deliver this message in a timely manner resulted in the Israeli attack at Samu’a. Oren wrote”Questions could later be raised whether Eshkol would have made the same decision had he received Hussein’s apology in time, whether all subsequent events might have been averted had not Barbour so tragically procrastinated.”

      This is on the face of it a craven attempt at Israeli apologetics and an attempt to blame a US ambassador for a large Israeli operation that obviously took considerable advanced planning. And Oren wants us to believe that condolences from Jordan would have precluded a vicious cross-border attack on Jordanian civilians? In his attempt to exonerate Israel he simply makes then look petty and vindictive.

      But that’s not the half of it. According to the source I quote above, from 2013, and from a similar source written at the same time as Oren’s book, in 2003, the condolences sent through the US Ambassador were only a back-up. King Hussein had personally contacted the Israelis and offered his condolences and help.

      Yet Hussein told Burns that he had communicated with the Israelis and received a positive response; “The last message I received from the Israelis was further to reassure me that they had no intention of attacking Jordan. I received the message on Nov. 13, the very day the Israeli troops attacked at Samu’a.” According to Hussein’s account, the Israelis independently assured the King that they would not attack, just prior to their strike. In this context, the transmission through Barbour was probably a duplicate, and, thus, the ambassador’s clumsy delay was irrelevant.

      https://books.google.com/books?id=PgUqAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA249&lpg=PA249&dq=clea+bunch+jordan&source=bl&ots=YMQwBM2Yix&sig=GtaY3tS_xqvRjyv3bsYKROfOoFc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=R6CZVbHzIZXtoASchYn4BQ&ved=0CFoQ6AEwDQ#v=onepage&q=oren&f=false

      The US archives on this were opened well in advance of Oren’s book in 2003. There is no excuse for him failing to mention these facts, except for propagandistic purposes. He never was a reputable historian who should have been exposed years ago, well before he started making unfounded allegations about certain American Jews.

  6. justicewillprevail
    July 5, 2015, 4:52 pm

    Halevy and Oren, and the others in their camp, just don’t get it – the rules of the game have changed, with the consequence that their tired and threadbare old stratagems don’t work any more. In fact, worse than that, they are thoroughly counter-productive, and only alienate more people , confirming the growing awareness of israel as a rogue state, contemptuous of the US while at the same time demanding endless support for an increasingly and clearly ugly, rotten apartheid system.

    Trotting out lines like ‘israel at the most dangerous time in its history’ is utterly banal, and only betrays the paucity and ludicrously overblown hysteria they routinely deploy, and only insults the audience who have been paying through the nose for a country awash with arms, missiles, advanced weaponry of all kinds, whilst also covering for it with the most egregious lies about its true nature.

    It is impossible for most people to square the reality which is increasingly common currency with the fabulous tales and wild claims that Oren and co make. They are making utter fools of themselves, particularly through their inability to understand how they have exhausted the shallow, implausible rhetoric they have relied on for decades. It just doesn’t work any more, and the more it doesn’t work, they worse they get with their apocalyptic claptrap.

    People are tired of it, the same old gestures and hollowed-out threats disguised as advice, the patronising lecturing, hectoring bluffing from bullies who have held sway for far too long. The emperor hasn’t got the clothes he pretends to, and everyone outside the fantasy-filled lobby knows it. Israel has cut itself off, but its handlers still think the mob threats and rackets still work to keep the crowd at bay and the legislators in line. Forget it, Oren, you’re out of time. It’s over.

  7. surewin
    July 5, 2015, 5:13 pm

    It’s great that Oren is addressing the idea of Tikkun Olam. Some Jews are into it, and some simply are not. Most of those who are not want to hide that fact from the rest of the world. The cognitive dissonance that exists in the minds of people who believe that you can “do Tikkun Olam through Israel” has been intensifying over time. Many Jews have reached the breaking point and are asking the question “what are we about, really?”

  8. Caruthers
    July 5, 2015, 5:37 pm

    In his juxtaposition of “universalist” with “particularist” as a choice of priorities for Jews, Oren echoes Gilad Atzmon’s dichotomy of Athens vs. Jerusalem. Not long ago, this distinction was a forbidden thought and was hysterically denounced as anti-Semitic on the rare occasions when it was voiced.

    The difference between Oren’s notion of “People” and the old German notion of “Volk” is unclear. Why devotion to the former as one’s highest allegiance is held to be noble while devotion to the latter is held to be vile racism is also unclear.

  9. Keith
    July 5, 2015, 5:48 pm

    “Where once it was forbidden for American Jews to criticize Israel, now, apparently, it is forbidden for an Israeli to criticize American Jewry.”

    As I have said in the past, the center of Zionist power is the US, not Israel. Israel needs the Jewish American Diaspora more than the Diaspora needs Israel. The political/economic power is in New York and Washington. The American Jewish elites utilize Israel as an ideological unifier and still do not criticize Israel. However, when Michael Oren starts criticizing these elites, he is stepping over the line and can expect to get slapped down. The Josh Michael Marshall quote puts everything in perspective : “It is something like a father, who has always underwritten his son’s money-losing business ventures, advising him that his latest idea needs serious rethinking and being told, “What do you know? Everything’s worked out for me until now!” Watch it, Daddy is getting pissed!

  10. hophmi
    July 5, 2015, 5:48 pm

    I think that it’s perfectly legitimate to ask, generally, whether self-abnegation is a problem in a community with a 70% assimilation rate, and also reasonable to ask whether those who choose self-abnegation have the right to continue to speak as Jews. There’s a better way to pose Oren’s question. If you have $100 to spend, and your choices are the well being of your own family and the well being of someone else’s, and you do not choose your own family, your priorities may be out of whack, particularly in a tribal world like ours, and an ultra tribal region like the Middle East.

    • Annie Robbins
      July 5, 2015, 6:03 pm

      self-abnegation? is that your new word? how is “those who choose self-abnegation have .. [no] right to … speak as Jews” any different that saying ‘self hating’ jews are not jewish or can’t speak as jews? this rings the bells as all those worn out de jewing posts zionists hasbrats are so fond of.

      it’s reasonable to ask whether you have any right to speak for anyone but yourself.

      If you have $100 to spend, and your choices are the well being of your own family and the well being of someone else’s …your priorities may be out of whack

      so, investing in the betterment of mankind is not a worthy cause? and by “your own family” i presume you include people you have never met nor do you know many of their names? and would that include sending money to some long lost second cousin you’ve never met comes before donating to relief in haiti?

      just checking.

    • Bornajoo
      July 5, 2015, 6:34 pm

      “… and also reasonable to ask whether those who choose self-abnegation have the right to continue to speak as Jews”

      Yippee another great new term! Does that mean I’m a self-abnegator who has self-abnegated into self-abnegation? Thanks so much for my new label Hophmi! I’m going to abnegate all night long!

      On another thread Hophmi had the audacity to ask Ryvka Barnard, the author of the article, what her father (a rabbi) thought of her bds activism! He’s not really happy about certain people (especially those self-abnegator types) speaking for themselves. He can’t help himself.

      Keep up the good work Michael Oren!

      Great article Phil. Many thanks

      • bintbiba
        July 5, 2015, 6:59 pm

        @ Bornajoo ! +1

        “Yippee another great new term! Does that mean I’m a self-abnegator who has self-abnegated into self-abnegation? Thanks so much for my new label Hophmi! I’m going to abnegate all night long!” ;-)

      • RoHa
        July 5, 2015, 9:21 pm

        Self-abnegation makes you blind, Bornajoo.

      • eljay
        July 5, 2015, 9:53 pm

        || RoHa: Self-abnegation makes you blind, Bornajoo. ||

        Are you sure? I mean, how can something that feels so good be so bad for you?! :-)

      • RoHa
        July 6, 2015, 2:48 am

        eljay, surely you know by now that anything that feels good is bad.

      • eljay
        July 7, 2015, 2:27 pm

        || RoHa: eljay, surely you know by now that anything that feels good is bad. ||

        “Well…touché!” Or, errr, don’t. ;-)

      • Mooser
        July 8, 2015, 11:23 pm

        “Self-abnegate” already? Gee, maybe I can write an “Anti-Zionist Rag” and use the phrase….

        ‘First you go Mondoweiss,
        Read the stories once or twice.
        The you’re over come with Jewish self-hate,
        Self-abnegate, self-abnegate, self-abnegate!’

    • surewin
      July 5, 2015, 6:40 pm

      hophmi: Self-abnegation is never a problem. Selfishness is always a problem.

    • Mooser
      July 5, 2015, 7:53 pm

      “I think that it’s perfectly legitimate to ask, generally, whether self-abnegation is a problem in a community with a 70% assimilation rate, and also reasonable to ask whether those who choose self-abnegation have the right to continue to speak as Jews.”

      Do you have a way to stop them, Hophmi? Gonna set up a registry? Hand out credentials?

      • tree
        July 5, 2015, 8:54 pm

        Gonna set up a registry? Hand out credentials?

        I suggest a scarlet A for “assimilationist” (or “abnegator”). He could even put it on a nice yellow background, since it fits with the fascist mindset of his comment.

        BTW, are those American who “marry out” across ethnic lines also “self-abnegators”, or does that sound too obviously white nationalist for hophmi’s taste? Special rules for Jews again, hophmi?

    • eljay
      July 5, 2015, 9:45 pm

      || hophmi: I think that it’s perfectly legitimate to ask, generally, whether self-abnegation is a problem in a community with a 70% assimilation rate, and also reasonable to ask whether those who choose self-abnegation have the right to continue to speak as Jews. … ||

      I think that it’s perfectly legitimate to ask, generally, whether Americans who choose to self-abnegate in favour of Israel lose the right to continue to speak as Americans.

      || hophmi: There’s a better way to pose Oren’s question. If you have $100 to spend, and your choices are the well being of your own family and the well being of someone else’s, and you do not choose your own family, your priorities may be out of whack … ||

      The priorities of Zio-supremacists are definitely out of whack: Those in America choose the well-being of a foreign nation (Israel) over their own, and those in Israel choose the well-being of Jewish Israelis and non-Israeli Jews over the well-being of all their Israeli compatriots.

    • talknic
      July 5, 2015, 11:09 pm

      @ hophmi ” If you have $100 to spend, and your choices are the well being of your own family and the well being of someone else’s, and you do not choose your own family, your priorities may be out of whack”

      If a member of your family is a violent, lying thief, addicted to coveting other folks property, who encourages other members of your family to endanger themselves by illegally settling, thereby breaking a Geneva Convention adopted to protect them from the almost certain violent consequences of occupying another people and you choose to excuse them, your priorities are definitely out of whack!

    • Sibiriak
      July 6, 2015, 12:31 am

      hophmi: I think that it’s perfectly legitimate to ask, generally, whether self-abnegation is a problem in a community with a 70% assimilation rate
      ———————–

      It’s not self-abnegation; it’s self-realization.

      if you have $100 to spend, and your choices are the well being of your own family

      If you are concerned about well-being, you don’t support family members’ (or anyone else’s) ) immoral, criminal enterprises.

    • RoHa
      July 6, 2015, 2:46 am

      ” a community with a 70% assimilation rate”

      I know you want Jews to continue to be a separate group, rather than simply fading away.
      What I don’t understand is why it is so important to you and Yonah.

      Yes, I can understand the hiraeth for a disappearing culture, but is that sufficient reason to get so worked up?

      (Yonah frets about losing “Jewish knowledge”. What is the content of that knowledge, that makes its loss so tragic? Losing aborigine knowledge is a real loss, because that knowledge is valuable. It includes topography, water sources, natural cycles for specific areas, food and medicinal plants, and astounding tracking skills. Is Jewish knowledge similarly practical?)

      So what is your reason for being so worried about assimilation?

      • Mooser
        July 6, 2015, 1:23 pm

        “What I don’t understand is why it is so important to you and Yonah.”

        Isn’t it obvious? Because they think they will be in charge! Does either of them ever speak as if they wouldn’t be? Because Zionism has, as it was inevitably fated to be, becoming an intra Jewish struggle. An attempt by one cohort to regain the power and control they lost when countries assimilated Jews.

        Of course, when there are visible, well established denominations, the cohort being blamed may not be exactly congruous with the people doing the machinations, which probably extends through all the denominations as there are also economic incentives, and incalculable personal motivations, but hey, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

      • Mooser
        July 8, 2015, 11:45 pm

        “I know you want Jews to continue to be a separate group, rather than simply fading away.”

        A separate Jewish group needs Jewish leaders, and Jewish mediators between the Jews and the outside, but more powerful society. A very advantageous and profitable position for some. This role is fast disappearing, and Zionism is the last chance for Jews who wish to rule Jews.

    • yonah fredman
      July 6, 2015, 4:18 am

      hophmi and others- on the subject of self abnegation.

      After hitler’s deeds in europe, Madeline Albright’s family moved to the US and never told little Madeline that they had been born as Jews. They converted and covered up their tracks as much as possible in order to relegate the Jews’ troubles into the past or into someone else’s present, but not into little Madeline’s future.

      That’s an example of self abnegation. The process of acculturation for American Jews has been quite different from that example of self abnegation. I’ve mentioned it recently, but here goes again, Groucho was once offered membership in an exclusive Los Angeles club on condition that he wouldn’t swim in the pool and he wondered whether his daughter might wade up to her knees seeing as she was only half Jewish. I think it is quite common of white Americans to think of themselves as Americans rather than really relate to their ethnic background in a very serious fashion. The dissolution of Jewish identity is thus fulfilling the founding fathers’ vision of a forward looking America rather than a population looking over their shoulder back at the past. Destination: future, origins: irrelevant.

      How popular is the Torah? How popular are the Jewish holidays? In our urban secular society with its emphasis on the individual and the purchasing power of the consumer and the marketability of preferences shown on social media, how does this new world and the torah form a perfect union? they don’t. the taste for torah does not develop without intense work and certainly in a secular society of individualists its attractiveness is limited. these jews were not taught torah and did not reject it. their great grandparents came here and did their best to combine their immigrant roots with the new America that became their promised land, their future and if Hitler had never arisen in europe, i think things would have been far simpler for the average American Jew.

      It is difficult for me to measure how the average American Jew reacted to the Hitler events. My mother’s family only came to America as a result of the Hitler events and my father’s family only came in the 20’s and was more Orthodox than 90% or so of their fellow American Jews.

      On the spectrum of “history is bunk” or “the past is never dead, it isn’t even the past” I am far closer to faulkner than to henry ford. but americans as a rule are closer to Henry ford. I don’t call that a flaw (although the superficiality attributed to the american stereotype is related to this rootlessness), although it is not an attribute that comes without drawbacks. i think american jews partake of that attitude and thus the forward looking dissolution into the american mass is logical and a natural progression, rather than a case of self abnegation.

      • Mooser
        July 6, 2015, 12:30 pm

        Oh yes, I would love to hear these guy on how bad “assimilation” is if the US refused rights to its Jewish citizens! What a freakin’ bunch of hypocrites.

        Perhaps Yonah and Hophmi will now quote all the Jewish writers who said, when Jews lived in ghettos with reduced rights “Oh, isn’t this great. We do just fine with reduced rights and segregation, we love it. Let’s have a pogrom, we love the fact that our lives don’t matter!”

        The US takes the big step, actually considers Jews people and persons with all the rights, (and we have seen what the US can do with people not considered persons) and these guys think it’s all about how you cut your hair, or what kind of hat you wear.

      • Mooser
        July 6, 2015, 1:02 pm

        ” I am far closer to faulkner than to henry ford.”

        You bet you are, Yonah! There’s a whole lot of sound and fury, but everything coming off the mental assembly line is junk.

    • Giles
      July 6, 2015, 8:56 am

      So hophmi’s own “family” consists of Israelis (only the Jewish ones) but not non-Jewish Americans?

  11. Annie Robbins
    July 5, 2015, 6:42 pm

    i’m trying to imagine what it would be like to get bashed over the head an guilt tripped for an american not supporting bush/cheney. bwahh, you’re not being nice to the president! does this kind of argument have much traction with many americans, ever? too much tribal guilt tripping. the nerve. i love it tho, i love all this oren bashing. he deserves it writing a book like this. who does he think he is? someone important no doubt.

    • Citizen
      July 6, 2015, 7:17 am

      Oren thinks he’s the savvy and highly educated Kissinger of the “special relationship,”

    • Mooser
      July 6, 2015, 12:48 pm

      “i’m trying to imagine what it would be like to get bashed over the head an guilt tripped for an american not supporting bush/cheney. bwahh, you’re not being nice to the president!”

      If you have any problem remembering that Annie, just Google some stuff from just before Bush Jr.’s War On Iraq. Yes, a lot of it was about not making Bush feel bad by preventing him from becoming a “War President”

  12. justicewillprevail
    July 5, 2015, 6:45 pm

    Why on earth would American citizens who happen to be Jewish feel that Israeli racist squatters are in any way ‘family’? Perhaps you mean in the mafia sense of blackmail and extortion.
    Self-abnegation – lol, hop has a new word which could only be truly applied to the self-abasement of a people who are inured to the colossal violence and deliberate dehumanisation of those who have the misfortune to have the wrong parentage.
    And ‘assimilation’ – what a wealth of segregationist, paranoid cult-like fear and isolationism lies behind that word. America is built on assimilation, its culture enriched immeasurably by it.
    As a self-elected spokesman for ‘the Jews’ you are doing a spectacularly self-destructive job, hop. Not self-abnegation, just plain old negation. You put me in mind of scientologists. Excommunicate the waverers, doubters and freethinkers! And harass them mercilessly.

    • Mooser
      July 5, 2015, 8:03 pm

      “America is built on assimilation, its culture enriched immeasurably by it.”

      “justicewillprevail” it is apparent that you are not aware of the massive historical atrocity perpetuated upon the Jews by America! No wonder Hophmi is upset!
      Now, think about it it: Did America, ever, once, ask Jewish leaders how much Jews should be assimilated in Ametrica? Did they ever once try to find out what degree of separation, what restrictions on rights, or privileges if warranted, would be “good for the Jews”? Did they once inquire what the Jewish religion required?

      No, they never did, not once. The bastards just went ahead and assimilated us by always including Jews as persons. (Sarcasm off: We know this because we see plenty of others who weren’t so lucky.) So there you go, those Americans never waited around to see what amount of assimilation was right for us, they just went ahead and assimilated us! Certainly, this disregard for Jewish collective stands in a direct line with the Holocaust!

      • Citizen
        July 6, 2015, 7:21 am

        @ Mooser
        It’s not for nothing we have to fight “the silent holocaust.”

      • justicewillprevail
        July 6, 2015, 9:10 am

        Ah, ever the one to get to the heart of the matter, Mooser. You’re right, those dirty, lowdown rats in the US have treated immigrant Jews just like any other citizen and allowed them free association and movement, not to mention equal rights. Shocking, a body blow to the policy directive from Hasbara Central.
        Which makes me wonder – what would America look like under Israeli-style government? Free passage for all white Christians, including the secular ones who have inherited a bible in the family. Everyone else, well they could be herded into some of the smaller, more remote states, put under blockade, forbidden to travel, and their houses regularly demolished, in case they get too comfortable. Water restrictions and their crops uprooted just as a precaution against economic development and self-subsistence. You could have Korean, Mexican, Irish, Italian ghettoes, since there would be no US citizenship, just ‘ethnic’ categories. It would of course be the only democracy in the Americas. Just to top it off, this new state would demand a steady stream of taxpayers money from China or Europe, since they would be defending an essential way of life, and stopping the barbarians. Of course, full participation in these foreign government’s policies would be an essential requisite. And anyone dissenting would be tarred and feathered as an anti-American, the lowest form of prejudice.
        Yep, Israel is a shining example to us all.

      • Kris
        July 6, 2015, 11:10 am

        @justicewillprevail: “what would America look like under Israeli-style government? …..”

        This is excellent.

      • Mooser
        July 6, 2015, 12:34 pm

        The point is, it is completely stupid, and really phony, for Yonah and Hophmi to do this big dance around “assimilation”. Like it was their choice to “assimilate”

        No, “Hophmi” and “Yonah” the US assimilated us, not the other way around, but if it suits you to pretend you are doing the country a big favor by being an American, go ahead.

      • Mooser
        July 6, 2015, 12:44 pm

        “You’re right, those dirty, lowdown rats in the US have treated immigrant Jews just like any other citizen and allowed them free association and movement”

        It’s worse than that! Ever since early about the mid-20th Century, Jews have been forced to leave their enclaves and communities in the cities, and move to suburbs, atomizing the community!

      • Mooser
        July 6, 2015, 1:28 pm

        “You’re right, those dirty, lowdown rats in the US have treated immigrant Jews just like any other citizen and allowed them free association and movement, not to mention equal rights.”

        The poor American friers! Little did they know, as “Jon s” says: “they really meant what they said in their prayers”!!

    • Mooser
      July 6, 2015, 12:58 pm

      “You put me in mind of scientologists. Excommunicate the waverers, doubters and freethinkers! And harass them mercilessly.”

      Yes, the parallels between Zionism and Scientology are eery! To watch the dissolution of Scientology, the best place to start is Tony Ortega’s “The Underground Bunker” website.

  13. piotr
    July 5, 2015, 7:20 pm

    I am not sure about this one, Phil: Writing in the Jewish Press, this rightwing Israeli also loves Oren. The title explains it well: “Michael Oren is Tired of American Jews-and So Am I”. But check this: About the Author: Vic Rosenthal created FresnoZionism.org to provide a forum for publishing and discussing issues about Israel and the Mideast conflict, especially where there is a local connection. Rosenthal believes that America’s interests are best served by supporting the democratic state of Israel, the front line in the struggle between Western civilization and radical Islam.

    By his own admission, Vic Rosenthal is self-hating Jewish-American. Ouroboros comes to mind. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ouroboros

  14. RoHa
    July 5, 2015, 11:52 pm

    “like many American Jews who’ve served in the I.D.F., he spoke of the experience as a rite of passage.”

    American Jews want to serve in the military as a rite of passage? I have heard rumours that the U.S. has some sort of military they could serve in without having to go to a foreign country.
    I’ve even heard hints that the U.S. military, such as it is, occasionally does a bit of shooting at people.

  15. RobertHenryEller
    July 6, 2015, 9:10 am

    Jewish Americans need to figure out two things, and figure them out soon:

    1) Zionists are the greatest threat to Israel, not Iran. Effectively, Israel has already perpetrated a Second Holocaust by turning some six million formerly Jewish Israelis into Zionist Zombies. What is a Zionist Zombie? A former Jew, one who has abandoned the Commandments not to lie, not to steal, not to murder. A Zionist Zombie is a former Jew who has abandoned Rabbi Hillel’s Golden Rule. A Zionist Zombie is a former Jew who has derived the precise wrong lesson from the First Holocaust. Zombie Zionists conclude that the only way to survive is to emulate the Nazis. Zombie Zionists have rejected the true lesson of the First Holocaust, which was to reject Nazism, and adhere to The Ten Commandments and The Golden Rule. Thus in the First Holocaust, six million Jews were simply murdered. In the Second Holocaust six million Jewish Israelis turned themselves into Zionist Zombies. The Walking Dead.

    2) The former Jewish Israelis, the Zionist Zombies, are now the greatest threat to Jewish Americans (as well as to Jews everywhere else). Zionist Zombies threaten the peace and security that Jewish Americans have found and nurtured in the United States. Unfortunately, at least 30% of Jewish Americans are on their way to becoming Zionist Zombies or have already become Zionist Zombies, but siding with Republicans.

    The greatest disgrace I see demonstrated by Jewish Americans in the article above is that Jewish Americans are still reluctant to call out Zionist Zombies like Oren. They are afraid to evidence a schism. They are afraid that schism is a weakness. On the contrary, the willingness of Jewish Americans to openly part ways with Zionist Zombies is necessary, and a strength. Oren’s Jewish American apologists are disgusting, and dangerous to themselves, and any other Jewish Americans who would prefer to remain Jews, rather than become Zionist Zombies.

    • Kris
      July 6, 2015, 11:25 am

      Great post, thank you.

    • Mooser
      July 6, 2015, 12:39 pm

      “They are afraid to evidence a schism. They are afraid that schism is a weakness.”

      Huh? Aren’t we already pretty highly sectarian? We’ve had lot’s of schism’s.

      • RoHa
        July 6, 2015, 8:51 pm

        Of course you have. And schisms are just one of the nasty things you can catch through having sects.

      • Mooser
        July 8, 2015, 11:31 pm

        “And schisms are just one of the nasty things you can catch through having sects.”

        You are right. Maybe that is why so many people have decided to be hetero or homosecular instead. Of course, if you’re bisecular, you’ll never lack a date on Saturday or Sunday mornings.

        But that really exhausts my knowledge of the subject. Hope it helps.

    • Mooser
      July 8, 2015, 11:37 pm

      You know, I think this Zionist Zombie thing may be the advanced stages of the Ziocaine Syndrome. No occultism required.

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