Zionism is blocking the path to peace

Israel/Palestine
on 22 Comments

“If you want to dispossess a people, the simplest way to do it is to tell their story and to start with ‘secondly’.” — Palestinian writer Mourid Barghouti

The importance of context

The most dangerous threat Palestinians face in their struggle for freedom and human rights, besides the Israeli war machine, is the absence of historical context, or any context for that matter, in political discussions and media coverage of the conflict. This deliberate omission is demeaning, demonizing and dehumanizing.

When people talk about the current state of unrest, “the Third Intifada,” they typically start the conversation with Palestinian stabbings of Israelis. There rarely is a discussion of what might have triggered such anger. Likewise, when the media covered Israel’s 2014 assault on Gaza, they started their reporting with Hamas “militants” firing rockets at Israel, omitting the inhumane, seven-year Israeli blockade of Gaza, and positioning Israel as merely defending itself.

Even when talking about the rise of the Palestinian Liberation Organization or the emergence of Hamas, or when the “O-word” is finally used, people naively believe the conflict between the two peoples started in 1967, when the Israel military occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip. They ignore altogether the Nakba and the refugee crisis the Zionist creators of Israel orchestrated.

This narrow focus not only is careless, it is dangerous–making impossible a full understanding of the nature of the conflict and its causes and factors, as well as the negotiation of a just and lasting solution to the impasse.

What the absence of historical context does—intentionally or unintentionally—is lead people to believe that Israel is merely responding to provocation, that Palestinians are only those living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. So when talking about the causes of the conflict, it is easy to reach the conclusion that “merely” the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza is the cause and ending it would be the ultimate solution. But what about Palestinians who live in Israel as second-class citizens? What about Palestinians living in refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria in degrading conditions, often without the basic right to work in many types of jobs? What about the internationally recognized right of return to their lands that were unilaterally annexed by Israel in 1948? And finally, what about Palestinians who have been accepted as citizens in countries like the United States, but who are denied the ability to visit their ancestral homeland?

Root causes and understanding Zionism

I recently wrote a piece titled “It’s the occupation, stupid!” explaining Palestinians’ position on the current state of unrest. The conflict is not an independent action, but rather a reaction to institutionalized violence and harassment by Israeli settlers and soldiers, expanding illegal Israeli settlements, the segregation wall and military checkpoints—all which play a vital role in dividing Palestinian communities and ruining their social and economic structure. But in that commentary, I only scratched the surface. I didn’t explain the conflict; rather, I described the forces driving Palestinian frustration and desperation.

We could aimlessly argue back and forth about the so-called “Palestinian incitement,” or “Israeli security necessities,” or how “Palestinians teach their children to hate” (a supremacist, demonizing and dehumanizing statement in itself), with total disregard to Palestinian lives and Israeli policies. However, to truly understand the conflict, one must recognize and comprehend the ideology behind it: political Zionism. Today, political Zionism is woven into the very fabric of Israeli society. It is a leading force, significantly shaping the Israeli mindset and policies on all levels.

Political Zionism emerged as a movement in the late 1800s, with Theodor Herzl its founder. Herzl created the movement as a reaction to anti-Semitism, which was swamping Europe at the time. For Herzl and political Zionist leaders who came after him, the answer to anti-Semitism was not integration or a homefront fight against racism, but expulsion—the expulsion of Jews from Europe to a “Jewish homeland,” and the expulsion of the non-Jewish indigenous population from that homeland (which explains the cooperation and transfer agreement between Zionists and the Nazis during the 1933 international boycott of Germany). However, what is interesting is that political Zionism was not the only form of Zionism that emerged as a reaction to anti-Semitism. A competing movement also started called “cultural Zionism.” While both types concurred on the necessity of creating a Jewish homeland, they disagreed on the nature, structure and methods of creation.

For political Zionists, a homeland meant a political state where Jews must hold an absolute majority. For such a state to be created, the land had to be cleansed of its non-Jewish indigenous people. On the other hand, cultural Zionism sought the revival of a universal Jewish spirit, Hebrew language and Judaic culture. It desired a cultural homeland with intellectual centers, not a political state with borders and a Jewish army to enforce those borders. Cultural Zionists were dissidents within political Zionism and urged equality between Palestinian Arabs and Jews in Palestine, mainly through the formation of a binational state. The source of this dissention was the bleak future that would inevitably result from political Zionism, which unfortunately has become today’s reality: a heavily militarized, undemocratic Jewish state driven by blind chauvinism.

Abuse, exploitation and blind nationalism

Political Zionists abused Jewish suffering to appeal to and impose their ideology on Jews so they could carry out their colonial project in Palestine without much fuss. Many Jewish intellectuals, such as Albert Einstein, recognized that if political Zionists succeeded in creating a “Jewish state,” they would do so at the expense of the non-Jewish inhabitants of the land, who would be forced out. In addition, he understood that Jews in a Jewish state would naturally develop blind nationalism, which ultimately would result in the suffering and abuse of Palestinians, who were in fact the majority inhabitants of historic Palestine.

In April 1935, Albert Einstein addressed the National Labor Committee for Palestine, stating:

“If Palestine is to become a Jewish national center, then the Palestinian settlement must develop into a model way of life for all Jewry through the cultivation of spiritual values.

Under the guise of nationalist propaganda Revisionism [right-wing branch of Political Zionism] seeks to support the destructive speculation in land; it seeks to exploit the people and deprive them of their rights…

Furthermore, the state of mind fed by revisionism is the most serious obstacle in the way of our peaceable and friendly cooperation with the Arab people, who are racially our kin.”

Past and present

Indeed, the destruction of land, the exploitation of people and the deprivation of rights are what followed and still is happening. In 1948, Zionist militias expelled more than 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and erased more than 530 Palestinian villages and towns from the face of the earth, ethnic cleansing at its best. Near the end of the 1948 war, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 194, which stated that Palestinian “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property.” Israel has yet to comply.

Resolution 194 was passed to recognize the efforts of UN peace mediator Folke Bernadotte, who had helped save Jewish lives during the Holocaust. He was assassinated by the Zionists in September 1948.

In 1967, when Israel won the Six-Day War, it occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and annexed East Jerusalem, which is also considered an occupied Palestinian territory under international law. The UN Security Council then passed Resolution 242, calling on Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territories. Israel has yet to comply.

Desmond Tutu, who fought apartheid in South Africa, compared Israel’s oppression of Palestinians to the abuse of black South Africans under apartheid. “I have witnessed the systemic humiliation of Palestinian men, women and children by members of the Israeli security forces,” Tutu said in a statement. “Their humiliation is familiar to all black South Africans who were corralled and harassed and insulted and assaulted by the security forces of the apartheid government.”

This is today’s reality in historic Palestine (Israel and Palestinian territories): apartheid. There are three classes of citizens: Jews, with all privileges and entitlements; Palestinian second-class citizens of Israel, who have some rights but are institutionally discriminated against; and stateless Palestinians living in the Bantustans of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, who are deprived of virtually all rights.

Noam Chomsky went even further, calling Israeli policies toward Palestinians “much worse than apartheid” in South Africa.

The path to peace

Therefore, it is no surprise to see Israelis sitting on top of a hill, drinking beer and cheering as they watch their army bombing Gaza and lighting the night sky; to see Jewish youths full of hate, taking to the streets and chanting “Death to Arabs!” (even when they wish us death, they cannot bring themselves to call us Palestinians); and to see Israeli ministers calling for genocide against Palestinians, from Interior Minister Eli Yishai urging people “to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages,” to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked declaring “the entire Palestinian people is the enemy” and calling for the destruction of Palestine’s “elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.” To top it off, she called for the death of Palestinian mothers, who give birth to “little snakes.” Should you be surprised to hear Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asserting the “need to control all of the territory for the foreseeable future,” to “forever live by the sword”? This is blind nationalism, blind chauvinism. This is political Zionism.

Political Zionism is an ideology that is inherently racist, supremacist, and exclusivist. If you seek to understand the conflict, if you believe in and strive for a just peace in Israel-Palestine, this is where your fight starts. Ultimately, until Israelis break away from the chains of Zionism, until Palestinians regain their dignity, humanity, and civil, political and human rights, this land will see no lasting peace.

Originally written for We Are Not Numbers.

About Mohammed Alhammami

Mohammed Alhammami is Gaza project manager for the youth storytelling initiative We Are Not Numbers.

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22 Responses

  1. Marnie
    November 24, 2015, 2:11 am

    Zionism = an ideal consisting of racial superiority and purity. How could any non-Jew possibly survive within such an ideology. Answer = they can’t. Zionism is no different from white supremacy movements from the KKK to Nazism to aryan nation or any other movement promoting the rights of one and eliminating the rights of another and going as far as to just eliminate altogether the other.

  2. Rashers2
    November 24, 2015, 1:34 pm

    There’s really not much to say about or add to Mohammed Alhammami’s article, except to thank him for his clarity and articulacy.

  3. chrisjj
    November 24, 2015, 4:12 pm

    And unfortunately there are still prominent supposedly pro-Palestinian advocacy organizations in the USA who have refused to publicly condemn Zionism as a form of racism, not to mention as the root cause of the conflict. I don’t think I have to name those organizations as most here will know who they are.

  4. talknic
    November 24, 2015, 8:26 pm

    Bravo.

    Tho in the interests of accuracy

    “… United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 194, which stated that Palestinian “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date … etc etc”

    UNGA res 194 did not discriminate between non-Jewish Israeli refugees, non-Jewish or Jewish Palestinian refugees or Jewish refugees from the Arab States.

    UNRWA the organization established some twelve months later to help implement UNGA res 194, cared for Jewish refugees in Israel until 1952, when the Israeli Govt took over that responsibility. One should note that having taken citizenship in a country other than that of return, for example Israel, one is no longer a refugee, one has no right to return

    The UN Security Council then passed Resolution 242, calling on Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territories

    UNSC res 242 was to achieve peace between UN Member states. This is reflected in its mention in the two peace treaties thus far achieved. UNSC Res 242 doesn’t mention Palestinian territories nor do the peace treaties. The UN can only censure full Members, Palestine is not a full member of the UN. The only mention in UNSC resolutions is to “the question of Palestine”.

    However, the idiotic notion that UNSC res 242 did not refer to “all” and/or “the” is dispelled in subsequent UNSC resolutions especially UNSC res 252 and its EIGHT reminders, UNSC res 476 being the most encapsulating IMO http://wp.me/pDB7k-W8

    • oldgeezer
      November 25, 2015, 12:00 am

      This is the only reason why zionist whine about beighbouring states not granting Palestinian refugees citizenship. They knw that if that is done and accepted the problem is removed from their hands. The legal right to returned is annuled.

      Similarly they whine what about Jewish refugees from arab states knowing fully well that they caused them to lose the RoR.

      Always a game within a game. Lipstick on a pig.

  5. YoniFalic
    November 26, 2015, 8:42 am

    I am puzzled why Mondoweiss allows writers to post errant historical nonsense according to the Jewish studies faculty here at Columbia but invariably moderates out any attempt to address the error even if the error has previously been addressed on Mondoweiss. (I did not even know that Zipperstein had addressed erroneous claims about Czarist anti-Semitism until I read an article on Mondoweiss.)

    Political Zionism emerged as a movement in the late 1800s, with Theodor Herzl its founder. Herzl created the movement as a reaction to anti-Semitism, which was swamping Europe at the time. For Herzl and political Zionist leaders who came after him, the answer to anti-Semitism was not integration or a homefront fight against racism, but expulsion—the expulsion of Jews from Europe to a “Jewish homeland,” and the expulsion of the non-Jewish indigenous population from that homeland (which explains the cooperation and transfer agreement between Zionists and the Nazis during the 1933 international boycott of Germany). However, what is interesting is that political Zionism was not the only form of Zionism that emerged as a reaction to anti-Semitism. A competing movement also started called “cultural Zionism.” While both types concurred on the necessity of creating a Jewish homeland, they disagreed on the nature, structure and methods of creation.

    The consensus of serious scholarship holds that antisemitism was on the decline until the founding of the USSR, in whose government “Jews” had a prominent role — especially in the planning and perpetration of atrocities.

    Increasing antisemitism, Hitler, and the Holocaust all seem to be a reaction to this role.

    The differences between cultural Zionism and political Zionism were minor. The Cultural Zionists wanted funding for a new “Jewish” education while the Political Zionists had no interest in fighting that battle.

    If I remember correctly, Berkowitz discusses the tempest in a teacup in Zionist Culture and West European Jewry Before the First World War

    Cesarani addresses common false beliefs about “Jewish” history among “Jews in this article.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1PzrttiPfjMUktoUWtqQ3ZJUUk/view?usp=sharing

    • Keith
      November 26, 2015, 12:14 pm

      YONIFALIC- “The differences between cultural Zionism and political Zionism were minor.”

      Since cultural Zionists such as Arendt, Einstein and Chomsky opposed the creation of a Jewish state, I would hardly consider that a minor difference.

      • YoniFalic
        November 27, 2015, 4:29 am

        The list of cultural Zionists is just wrong. Arendt was a Zionist because she needed a job. Zionists and anti-Zionists both try to claim Einstein. I googled Chomsky and “cultural Zionism”. I found this article on Mondoweiss.

        http://mondoweiss.net/2010/05/chomsky-and-zionism

        Michael Berkowitz discusses the conflict between cultural Zionism and political Zionism. To me it seems like a minor dispute about the direction of Jewish education.

        https://books.google.com/books?id=6RsoLUSMn2QC&pg=PA50&dq=Berkowitz+Western+Zionism+before+WW1+%22cultural+zionism%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjtybncm7DJAhUBfSYKHe3AAM8Q6AEIHTAA#v=onepage&q=Berkowitz%20Western%20Zionism%20before%20WW1%20%22cultural%20zionism%22&f=false

        The YIVO article on Weizmann is telling on the insignificance of the dispute between cultural and political Zionists.

        http://www.yivoencyclopedia.org/article.aspx/Weizmann_Chaim

        Initially he was a practical and cultural Zionist. After 1917 he was a political Zionist. The article fails to mention that by the 40s when the white racist invaders became strong enough to destroy or to expel the natives, Weizmann had no problem with that agenda.

        Ahad Ha’am followed the same development in his approach although he died in 1927. After 1917 . For the most part, when he lived in Palestine, he worked for Weizmann, who had already become a political Zionist.

        http://www.yivoencyclopedia.org/article.aspx/Ahad_Ha-Am

        Ahad Ha’am’s understanding of Jewish history was completely broken, and his concerns about the natives were purely tactical. Ahad Ha-Am failed to reject Zionism as white racist genocidal European colonialism.

        Ahad Ha-Am had made the case that the brutal treatment of Arabs as meted out by some Jews could, if not stopped, ruin the prospects of Zionism and rob it of its moral standing and legitimacy.

        As the white racist colony became stronger, Ahad Ha-Am became less concerned. Among the “Cultural Zionists” concern about the natives was confined to a small group, none of whom believed the natives were equal to white Europeans or had a right of democratic self-determination except perhaps Judah Magnes.

        Really there is only one conclusion. All forms of Zionism are evil and just represent an attempt to legitimize one of the most vile and disgusting forms of white racist genocidal colonialism, in which white racist European invaders destroy of expel the natives in order to move in more white racist invaders along with favored non-Europeans, who can serve as ersatz native collaborators.

        In this case of this instance of genocidal European colonialism, the native Palestinians represented a direct link to Greco-Roman Judean antiquity both in their colloquial Arabic, which was relexified Judean Hebrew Aramaic and in their culture which preserved much of late Greco-Roman Judean customs and practices. For destroying this treasure trove of potential knowledge about antiquity, the white racist invaders including my family deserve to be hated at least for the next millennium. White Christians that support the invaders are either racist, unbelievably stupid, or utter morons.

      • Boomer
        November 27, 2015, 10:04 am

        @ Yoni Falic. Thanks for another of your informed and informative posts. I have one comment regarding your observation, “White Christians that support the invaders are either racist, unbelievably stupid, or utter morons.”

        Yes, it is true that there are some of those. They may matter at the margins, due to their numbers, but of more significance are those, found especially among the political class and the media elite, who cynically pursue what they judge to be their own best interests, without regard to truth, justice, or morality.

      • Keith
        November 27, 2015, 3:15 pm

        YONIFALIC- “The list of cultural Zionists is just wrong.”

        Well that settles that! If you simply say that I am wrong, who am I to argue? The problem is, what little argument you present concerning Arendt, Einstein and Chomsky contradicts your conclusion. You admit that Hannah Arendt was a Zionist of a sort, don’t deny that she opposed a Jewish state, yet deny that she could be described as a cultural Zionist. You dismiss Einstein because he was claimed by both sides. Illogical. The Zionists claim Einstein because of his work and advocacy for the Hebrew University in Palestine. The anti-Zionists claim Einstein because of his stated opposition to a Jewish state. Sounds like a cultural Zionist to me! And denying that Chomsky was/is a cultural Zionist referencing a Mondoweiss article where Norman Finkelstein describes Chomsky as a cultural Zionist is an interesting argument to say the least.

        Yoni, I am not interested in arguing who is included in all of the sub-classifications of Zionism. Generally speaking, all of those who advocate for a Jewish state are considered political Zionists. All of those who advocate for a Jewish presence in Palestine without a Jewish state are generally referred to as cultural Zionists. Arendt, Einstein and Chomsky all opposed the creation of a Jewish state. All of them experienced some degree of anti-Semitism and were aware of the Holocaust and to some degree it influenced their attitudes towards the creation of a Jewish cultural sanctuary. Your conclusion that “All forms of Zionism are evil and just represent an attempt to legitimize one of the most vile and disgusting forms of white racist genocidal colonialism….” is both factually incorrect and, frankly, repugnant. I have no idea where you come off libeling these three who I have correctly labeled as cultural Zionists.

        It seems to me that you have an agenda and a lot of bias. As for the cultural aspect of Zionism, that could have been easily achieved without political Zionism, without a Jewish state, with far fewer Jews in Palestine, and without the unholy alliance between the Jewish state and imperialism. Speaking of imperialism, you seem to suffer from myopia in regards to the empire. It is one thing to condemn Israel’s atrocious behavior, quite another to ignore the role of empire in enabling that behavior, and in engaging in other reprehensible behavior at least as bad as Israel. And while you act like an anti-Zionist on steroids, I have yet to detect a whiff of anti-imperialism. If you are living in the US now, then perhaps you should share some of that righteous indignation.

        I am going to end this with a couple of quotes pertaining to cultural Zionism. The first is from your link to Finkelstein, the second a website I Googled. I might add that at least some of the strands of cultural Zionism seem somewhat similar to the attempt by Native Americans to salvage what remains of their culture from the Western homogenization juggernaut through the creation of museums, etc., something which I generally approve of.

        “The accurate term is a CULTURAL Zionist, meaning he (like his father) was (and remains) committed to the revival of Hebrew culture in Palestine.” (Norman Finkelstein) http://mondoweiss.net/2010/05/chomsky-and-zionism

        “Ahad HaAm’s solution was cultural Zionism: the establishment in Palestine of small settlements aimed at reviving the Jewish spirit and culture in the modern world. In the cultural Zionist vision, a small number of Jewish cadres well versed in Jewish culture and speaking Hebrew would settle in Palestine. Ahad HaAm believed that by settling in that ancient land, religious Jews would replace their metaphysical attachment to the Holy Land with a new Hebrew cultural renaissance. Palestine and the Hebrew language were important not because of their religious significance but because they had been an integral part of the Jewish people’s history and cultural heritage.” http://countrystudies.us/israel/10.htm

      • YoniFalic
        November 27, 2015, 4:37 pm

        @Keith

        If you read the Berkowitz link, you would find that the minor and trivial dispute between Cultural and Political Zionists pertained to the pre-WW1 period long before Arendt, Einstein, or Noam Chomsky became involved with Zionist politics. Chomsky’s father might have had some connection to Cultural Zionism, but Kultur has German connotations that are quite different from those associated with culture in English.

        http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/kultur

      • YoniFalic
        November 29, 2015, 9:19 am

        BTW, unlike me Finkelstein cannot read primary sources in Hebrew, Yiddish, German, Polish, or Russian. Finkelstein was just repeating misleading apologetics that depended upon listener ignorance of the real history of Kulturzionismus and the actual meaning of Kultur in German.

        There are no decent Zionists. All Zionism is evil whichever current of this vile ideology is under discussion.

        In all of Zionist history, there is no equivalent (not even Judah Magnes) of Otto Strasser, who claimed to be an anti-racist Nazi his whole life and was expelled from the NSDAP by Hitler in 1930.

        Jacob Israël de Haan is close to Otto Strasser, but he became an anti-Zionist before Zionists assassinated him. Otto Strasser unlike de Haan found something of value in German Nazism beyond the racism. De Haan was clear that there was nothing but racism and evil in Zionism.

      • Keith
        November 29, 2015, 8:28 pm

        YONIFALIC- “Finkelstein was just repeating misleading apologetics that depended upon listener ignorance….”

        In my brief one sentence quote of Finkelstein, he merely affirms that Chomsky considered/considers himself to be a cultural Zionist, and what that entailed. So, are you going to wave your “scholarly” credentials at Finkelstein and tell him that he doesn’t know how his friend describes himself? And I am supposed to take your word that you know better than Chomsky what a cultural Zionist is? That “There are no decent Zionists,” and that Chomsky’s beliefs are “evil” and “vile”? Arendt and Einstein too? Or are you going to claim they were not Zionists of a sort? How about Israel Shahak and Jeff Halper? This is yet another insulting and over the top comment from you.

        YONIFALIC- “There are no decent Zionists. All Zionism is evil whichever current of this vile ideology is under discussion.”

        You have all the subtlety of a baseball bat. Focusing exclusively on Zionism as the fount of all evil raises more than a few red flags for me. Perhaps your comments are intended more to scare Zionists about hate speech on Mondoweiss rather than to educate a general audience? How many times do you need to say “evil” and “vile” in one short comment?

        YONIFALIC- “BTW, unlike me Finkelstein cannot read primary sources in Hebrew, Yiddish, German, Polish, or Russian.”

        Most people who tout their credentials do so because they realize that their arguments are too weak to stand alone. Am I supposed to be impressed? Yoni, I don’t care how many languages you speak, nor that you think those who differ from you are ignorant. I am not a scholar, nor do I pretend to be, but I think I am capable of recognizing a Manichean mindset when I see one. In your case, rather difficult to miss.

      • echinococcus
        November 30, 2015, 1:03 am

        Keith,

        And I am supposed to take your word that you know better than Chomsky what a cultural Zionist is? That “There are no decent Zionists,” and that Chomsky’s beliefs are “evil” and “vile”?

        So far, he sees way clearer than Chomsky. Of course there are no decent Zionists –at least limitedly to their Zionism.
        First, it necessarily entails a racist/nationalist construct of religion, no different than the Bronze Age myths of 12 brothers founding 12 tribes or the Nazi definitions. As Falic already warned, Kultur does not mean culture. In this case, it is bare nationalism without even the usual (and anyway always fallacious) trappings of nationalism.

        Then, one really must buy a blind spot the size of a ballfield to avoid seeing the lame dissimulation by –admittedly traumatized– Ukrainians like Ahad Haam, Ginzberg to this world, or the American pacifist-priest-turned-invader, asking for the “right” for half of a Palestinian state. That, i.e. the exact same fiction used for the partition, is what the hooey called cultural Zionism is all about.
        As for Arend and Einstein, are they consistent proponents of some structured doctrine?

        All of those who advocate for a Jewish presence in Palestine without a Jewish state are generally referred to as cultural Zionists.

        Well, screw them. Who authorized that kind of a nationalist presence there? The owners of the land and sovereignty?

      • YoniFalic
        November 30, 2015, 5:57 am

        When I was trying to formulate understanding of Zionism after Operation Cast Lead, I wrote an email to Finkelstein to ask why he was so dependent on Yosef Gorny’s rather tendentious history of Zionism and the Arabs. He wrote back that he did not read the languages and the he made a mistake in trusting Gorny.

        The inability to use such primary sources is hardly a fatal flaw with Finkelstein’s oeuvres because he is a political scientist that looks primarily at issues of the American or English-speaking Jewish community. Finkelstein gets into trouble when he strays from English-language primary sources.

        I provided a source that gave a detailed account of pre-WW1 Kulturzionismus, which has no connection to anything Finkelstein or Chomsky believed the movement was. As an organized movement, Kulturzionismus lasted about 4 years. It was mostly concerned with appearances and with supplanting traditional E. European Jewish religious education to prepare “Jews” to seize their own country while they avoided trap of becoming a gunpowder colony. (German “Jews” and some “enlightened” E. European “Jews” were very concerned that European gentiles found E. European “Jews” to be crude and uncultured in the German Kultur sense.)

        The Kulturzionisten were at least as much white racist genocidal European invader colonists as any other group of Central and Eastern European Zionists.

        Whatever American “Jews”, who called themselves cultural Zionists thought Kulturzionismus was, their beliefs had no connection with reality. Liberal Zionists babble nonsense about Kulturzionismus when they try to claim that there was a current of Zionist thought that was not racist, genocidal, or bloodthirsty. They might as well claim there once existed a “good” Zionism supported by unicorns.

        American “Jews” who have not read Buber’s WW1 writings (hardly ever translated) are usually unaware that he was an extreme bloodthirsty German nationalist as well as a Zionist. I doubt anyone that does not understand late 19th and early 20th century German Kultur has a clue why German “Jews” touted Buber as such a great and deep thinker. (E. European “Jews” generally considered him superficial and dishonest.)

      • MHughes976
        November 30, 2015, 2:04 pm

        If Chomsky mistakenly thinks that his views are close to those of certain historical figures anyone who knows better is entitled to point this out: none of us is necessarily authoritative on whether our views resemble those of others. If he insists on applying to himself the label or name commonly applied to them we may say that his usage is misleading but not that it is false or illogical since to use a name is not to make a statement about the world and no one owns words.

      • Keith
        November 30, 2015, 4:26 pm

        ECHINOCOCCUS- “In this case, it is bare nationalism without even the usual (and anyway always fallacious) trappings of nationalism.”

        Stealth nationalism? Chomsky, Einstein and Arendt who opposed the creation of a Jewish state are crypto nationalists because of Yoni Falic’s definition based upon his opinion of early 20th century Eastern European Zionists? Therefore they are “vile”, “evil” and “genocidal” by virtue of Yoni’s definition? You have no problem conflating Chomsky, Einstein and Arendt with Ben-Gurion, Jabotinsky and Dershowitz because all Zionists are more-or-less the same? And all of this is tied together by “Bronze Age myths” and/or “Nazi definitions”? Jeez, it is hard to know how to respond to this insanity, this Manichean obsession with the demonization of anyone and everyone who comes within 10 feet of the word Zionism, the history of American cultural Zionism swept aside as you and Yoni pursue your Holy War. This over-the-top wave of invective harkens back to the days when Hayati and 3bancan ran amok.

      • echinococcus
        November 30, 2015, 7:57 pm

        Keith,

        Not very logical. This has nothing to do with “demons” or angels. You continue conflating outright Zionists (“Kulturzionists” who were imagining a “right” to be in Palestine where their ass had no business at all, or asking for “binational state” nonsense on other people’s land) with some confused and shaky figures like Chomsky, Einstein etc. who did speak in principle against the establishment of the Zionist state in its actual form without ever being adamantly against Zionism as a fake nationalism. Don’t you go on thinking that bandying impressive names is going to make us shrivel in awe, either: I don’t know enough physics to really appreciate Einstein, Arendt bores me no end with her wishy-washiness, I’m less than overwhelmed with Chomsky’s indecision and I resent authority anyway, so you better either start discussing it on the merits and exact historic data instead of famous names or Great Men. As Falic is doing.

      • Mooser
        December 1, 2015, 12:03 pm

        Keith, don’t you hear the wail of a saxophone? I just try to respect the burden that an ex-Israeli bears. Can you blame them if they start to apply the same perspective they have always seen Zionism and Israel apply to the rest of the world (and especially, of course, the Palestinians) to Israel? I can’t.

      • YoniFalic
        December 1, 2015, 1:41 pm

        @mooser

        Keith is just unbelievably stubborn. He seems unable to accept that (possibly lapsed or non-practicing) Jewish and Christian Germans used to use Kultur as metaphorical battle ax or rally cry against Unkultur, which in the Christian German mind meant at least Slavs and Ostjuden while Jewish German racists, of course, included the native population of Palestine in the list of populations that represented Unkultur.

        The history shows that the native Palestinians almost invariably welcomed deeply religious immigrants, who simply wanted peacefully to live in the Holy Land.

        In contrast, the kulturzionistische Programm of emigrating to Palestine

        (1) without ever explicitly expressing a desire to create a state (but secretly intending to do so as Ahad Haam and Buber really wanted) for the sake of aggressive kulturelle Erneuerung (cultural renewal) unconnected to religious faith and

        (2) without ever asking the permission of the native population, who according to Wilsonian doctrine had the right of democratic self-determination, which should have included the right to define the national character of the country,

        is simply a stealth demographic war, whose parameters and goals had already been delineated by the 1890s as a sneakier form of racist genocidal European colonialism, in which white racists Europeans emigrate to Palestine, become the majority, force out or destroy the native population, and then move in more white racist Europeans as well as favored non-Europeans to serve as ersatz native collaborators.

        It is not hard to find pre-Balfour Zionist literature from the 1880s, 1890s, 1900s, and 1910s that clearly state the intention of replacing the native Palestinians with white racist European immigrants.

        Zionism only differs from earlier white racist European genocidal colonialism in being more extreme and in making a claim that the white racist European genocidaires were the true natives.

        It is an idea that German Nazis seem to have absorbed or duplicated later because in developing a program of racist genocidal colonialism in Eastern Europe and the USSR, the German Nazis often claimed that they were returning to the lands of their Aryan ancestors. After a territorial conquest the German Nazis often sent teams of archaeologists into the conquered lands to search for evidence of ancient Germanic settlement.

      • Keith
        December 1, 2015, 4:54 pm

        MOOSER- “Keith, don’t you hear the wail of a saxophone?”

        Sax and the married moose? Do you have a link?

    • Mooser
      November 26, 2015, 12:31 pm

      Thanks for posting the link to Cesarani , Yoni.

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