‘In every important way Israel has failed’– leading American Zionist says No mas

Middle East
on 120 Comments

Israel is “a failure,” the Zionist dream has curdled into Jewish selfishness, a major Jewish leader writes in an important article published yesterday. “After a life and career devoted to Jewish community and Israel, I conclude that in every important way Israel has failed to realize its promise for me,” David Gordis states.

Gordis is a former executive at the American Jewish Committee, a central organization of the Israel lobby, and former president of the Hebrew College and a former vice president of the Jewish Theological Seminary. He published his article yesterday at Tikkun under the title, “Major American Jewish Leader Changes His Mind About Israel.”

Gordis, who is in his late 70s (and the uncle of rightwing Zionist Daniel Gordis), writes that he completely believed in Israel when it was founded and through his adult life, but that the spiral of that society into occupation and Jewish particularism has caused him to change his mind. It’s a political, spiritual and religious failure: Israel is “distorted by a fanatic, obscurantist and fundamentalist religion which encourages the worst behaviors rather than the best.”

His indictment includes American Jews. “The establishment leadership in the American Jewish community is silent in the face of this dismal situation, and there are no recognizable trends that can move Israel out of this quagmire.” Peter Beinart said this about the establishment four years ago while Max Blumenthal laid out the problem in Israel’s political culture in comprehensive detail in Goliath three years ago and was promptly censored by every mainstream organ, from NPR to the New Yorker to the New York Times to the cables and public television– yes; “Frontline” features Dennis Ross and Ari Shavit as its spokespeople on Israel, to make the funders happy.

Read Gordis’s article in full. Here are some excerpts:

The Israel of today is very far from anything I dreamed of and worked for throughout my career….

Jews had returned to the stage of history after the devastation of the Holocaust. Israel was to be the great laboratory for the rebirth of an ancient tradition in a new land and in a country committed to being a model of democracy and freedom for the world.

What happened? We can debate the reasons but the bottom line for me is that it has gone terribly wrong. On the positive side, Israel’s accomplishments have been remarkable.  Israel has created a thriving economy, and has been a refuge for hundreds of thousands of the displaced and the needy. Israel has generated a rich and diverse cultural life and its scientific and educational achievements have been exemplary. In spite of these achievements, however, Israel in my view has gone astray. And it in in the area for which Israel was created, as a Jewish state, embodying and enhancing Jewish values that I see this failure..

The political culture is rotten.

Israel’s occupation of the West Bank is nearing a half century in duration. Netanyahu’s “facts on the ground” steps to make a two-state solution impossible are bearing fruit, and there still appears to be no significant opposition to these policies in Israel itself. A number of smaller organizations supporting a two-state solution have emerged, notably J-Street and Americans for Peace Now, but recent steps by the Israeli government to delegitimize these groups are proceeding. The bottom line as I see it: The right has triumphed; the left has been defeated.

The spiritual culture is rotten. The Jewish experience balanced particularism and universalism traditionally. Not in Israel. The emphasis below is Gordis’s.

Present day Israel has discarded the rational, the universal and the visionary. These values have been subordinated to a cruel and oppressive occupation, an emphatic materialism, severe inequalities rivaling the worst in the western world and distorted by a fanatic, obscurantist and fundamentalist religion which encourages the worst behaviors rather than the best.

And most depressing of all for me, is that I see no way out, no way forward which will reverse the current reality. Right wing control in Israel is stronger and more entrenched than ever. The establishment leadership in the American Jewish community is silent in the face of this dismal situation, and there are no recognizable trends that can move Israel out of this quagmire. So, sadly, after a life and career devoted to Jewish community and Israel, I conclude that in every important way Israel has failed to realize its promise for me. A noble experiment, but a failure.

This article is a huge blow. Michael Walzer has had similar misgivings lately published in a book; but he has not stated the matter as emphatically as this. But I predict apres Gordis, the deluge.

Rabbi Michael Lerner of Tikkun says that he published the article as submitted by Gordis, who is today a senior scholar at SUNY Albany:

We publish it with the same sadness that Gordis expresses at the end of this article, because many of us at Tikkun magazine shared the same hopes he expresses below for an Israel that would make Jews proud by becoming an embodiment of what is best in Jewish tradition, history, and ethics, rather than a manifestation of all the psychological and spiritual damage that has been done to our people, which now acts as an oppressor to the Palestinian people.

One last point. From his American Jewish Committee days, Gordis reflects that that Israel lobbying organization had political tensions built in.

its lay leadership tending center-right and its professional staff clearly center left.

This is always the tension in these organizations. Right now I bet J Street staff is composed of people who understand the failure of Israel, while the leadership clings to HaTikvah Zionism so as to influence the Democratic Party an iota. Americans for Peace Now surely has young staff who believe in one state.

120 Responses

  1. Krauss
    February 24, 2016, 12:31 pm

    I swear, I’m sounding like hophmi now, but Phil you’re bringing this on yourself.

    This article is a huge blow

    No, it’s not. It’s an old geezer who is just one single old geezer. I know you desperately want to see a ‘huge shift’. Just like you told us that I/P would be a huge issue in the democratic primaries. What happened? Nothing. Even the so-called radical Bernie Sanders refuses to utter the word Israel together with the name Sheldon Adelson.

    We have these existential outbursts from time to time, what should we make of them? It is merely an emotional valve for people who are trying to reconcile their supposed liberalism with staunch support of racial Apartheid.

    As I say: whenever there is a lull in the conflict(like now) or where there is a totally 100% Jewish space(like Tikkun), these “liberal” Zionists come out and start their bleating.

    But by the time their help is needed with BDS, when Israel is butchering children is Gaza, where are all these enlightened liberals? Siding with the Jewish Apartheid militant state.

    It’s been said before and it must be said again: it’s no longer possible to wait for a Jewish awakening. The young Jews will get there, but we don’t have time to wait 30-40 years before they become the masters of their communal establishment. We have to draw the conclusion that the vast majority of older Jews(50+) are either indifferent or will go down with the ship of Jewish apartheid. The writing’s all over the wall.

    If you’re 50 today, you still have a decent 25 years in the establishment. Just look at Madeleine Albright or the Koch Brothers or for that matter someone like Hillary Clinton. Our elites are getting older. We don’t have time to wait for the young, we have to organize within the communities that are receptive to change and as much as it pains you, the Jewish community over the age of 50 isn’t one of them.

    • jaspeace2day
      March 1, 2016, 3:25 pm

      A little chip or perhaps spark is better than none though but over-all I agree with you, we can’t wait for the evolution of the young but it is surly time to stop just writing about it and actually do something…and so it goes.

  2. eljay
    February 24, 2016, 12:51 pm

    Mr. Gordis seems upset that Zio-supremacism and the “Jewish State” project have gone too far and that Israel isn’t the “kinder, gentler” religion-supremacist state of his dreams.

    But he doesn’t seem to be bothered by the fundamental injustices and immorality behind the ideology and the project. The impression I get is that if Israel were to clean up its act, he wouldn’t hesitate to renew his Zio-supremacist membership.

    I’d put this one on par with Trump’s promise of “neutrality” on the I-P issue: Sounds great, means little.

  3. Ossinev
    February 24, 2016, 2:16 pm

    @Krauss

    Whilst like you I would not categorise this as a “huge blow” it has to be seen as a realistic and positive statement of the facts by someone who appears to have been a reasonably high profile and presumably unquestioning American Zionist in the past . I particularly noted his use of the words “laboratory” and “experiment” when describing Israel. I expect the rabid Zionists in Israel and the US will really be pissed of at the use of these nouns to describe their beloved Land of Creation.

    As for Rabbi Gordis I think you have to acknowledge his courage in coming out particularly given his age. He could simply have stayed silent and remained a self loving older generation Jew but now faces the usual “self loathing ” slanders.

    Younger American Jews who are alive to the reality of Israel and Zionism IMHO also do need older “role models” like Rabbi Gordis to encourage them to go forward and at least attempt to sever the US-Israel umbilical Zionist cord.

    • echinococcus
      February 25, 2016, 2:55 pm

      Younger American Jews who are alive to the reality of Israel and Zionism IMHO also do need older “role models” like…

      a hole in the head.

      Nobody needs tribals with strong bonds to Zionism, even if only residual.

      What they need are people with clear ideas who can go at it hammer and tongs, people who never fell for Zionism, see exactly what it is and can express it clearly without the appearance of still being friends and family with the enemy.

      Besides, “Younger American Jews” are an insignificant minority that need way, way more work per capita than the general-American (who may well also be either Jewish or of Jewish heritage, why not?)

      • echinococcus
        February 25, 2016, 11:19 pm

        Apologies for missing the end-of-quote sign.

  4. pabelmont
    February 24, 2016, 3:25 pm

    Gordis: “and most depressing of all for me, is that I see no way out, no way forward which will reverse the current reality. Right wing control in Israel is stronger and more entrenched than ever. ”

    To me this means that until recently Gordis [1] saw the bitter truth (probably for a very long time, he is not blind), but [2] for that very long time clung to a hope that things might get better.

    I think he wants a better world, not just a jack-booted Disneyland for Jews. I am with him, even though I never entertained his former dreams.

  5. broadside
    February 24, 2016, 3:26 pm

    Every article like this comes w the obligatory nonsense.

    Gordis: A noble experiment, but a failure.

    It was never a noble experiment, it is — to paraphrase Wilford Brimley — what it was always meant to be.

    Weiss: This article is a huge blow.

    Here we go again….

    • Whatt
      February 24, 2016, 6:30 pm

      Yes it was never a noble experiment. They are trying now to save some of their personal legacy. I care less about them.

    • ritzl
      February 25, 2016, 2:19 pm

      True dat, broadside, but granting Gordis-types their fading past conceits while fully embracing their harsh current reality eliminates the chaff and focuses the discussion on the harshness of the reality.

      Imho, as people embrace the reality of the ongoing wrongness of current Israel these rationalizing Zionist conceits get automatically contextualized appropriately.

  6. hophmi
    February 24, 2016, 5:11 pm

    Not a huge blow from not a major Jewish American leader. It’s defeatism from someone who is losing his damn mind if he thinks that the ADL is right-wing and that Abe Foxman is a defender of the right-wing. He’s also changed his mind about his religious practice; he used to be traditional; now he describes himself as radical. Whatever.

    • Annie Robbins
      February 24, 2016, 7:45 pm

      ADL is right-wing and that Abe Foxman is a defender of the right-wing.

      finally we agree on something!

      • hophmi
        February 25, 2016, 8:29 am

        Either you didn’t read what I wrote or you’re being a jerk. Abe Foxman isn’t right-wing and doesn’t represent right-wing anything.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 25, 2016, 11:56 am

        that would depend on your definition of right wing. i don’t consider supporting and funding the militarization of our (domestic) police forces a ‘liberal’ or left concept. anyway, i was making a joke.

    • Mooser
      February 24, 2016, 11:10 pm

      “Not a huge blow from not a major Jewish American leader.”

      Gosh, and I thought “Hophmi” only practiced his special brand of outreach on Muslims. I see you do outreach to Jews, too.

      Yup, with ol’ “hophmi” reaching out, we’re all gonna get along. What a technique!

    • oldgeezer
      February 25, 2016, 9:30 am

      @hophmi

      Left or right one thing for certain is that Foxman was a failure when it came to the purported role of the organization he led. Under his leadership the organization participated in propagating hatred against Muslims. Under his leadership the organization participated defending the racist laws and actions of Israel. If any other country had laws, or undertook actions, even remotely approaching the crimes of Israel he would have gone ballistic but for he turned his back on every purported principle the organization had to protect a right wing racist state,

  7. gamal
    February 24, 2016, 6:12 pm

    “Present day Israel has discarded the rational, the universal and the visionary. These values have been subordinated to a cruel and oppressive occupation, an emphatic materialism, severe inequalities rivaling the worst in the western world and distorted by a fanatic, obscurantist and fundamentalist religion which encourages the worst behaviors rather than the best.”

    Zionism has gifted you your very own Saudi state, “a huge blow” your sorrow hasn’t even started yet, they wont be blows they will be lashes.

    • Froggy
      February 25, 2016, 12:27 pm

      gamal :: ‘Zionism has gifted you your very own Saudi state….’

      Jeez, Gamal. I hadn’t thought of it that way, but you’re right.

    • ritzl
      February 25, 2016, 2:26 pm

      “…very own Saudi state. …”

      #snortslikepig

      :))

    • Lasher
      March 18, 2016, 5:41 pm

      Yep, and I’m gleefully waiting to get at it!

  8. David Doppler
    February 24, 2016, 6:40 pm

    I find the attitude of washing his hands of it all very unimpressive. What I dedicated my life to I now see was wrong. Oh well, I wash my hands of it.

    We Americans – Jewish and non-Jewish – are stained with the wrongs done by Israel to the Palestinians, and we need to atone for them and rectify those wrongs, to the extent we can, sooner rather than later. And it’s not by acknowledging that it’s now one state, and, gee, let’s look the other way and change the subject while the right wingnuts’ final solution to the Palestinian problem is ground out by our “closest ally” in a “low grade civil war,” punctuated by periodic bouts of excessive violence.

    • gamal
      February 24, 2016, 7:04 pm

      “I find the attitude of washing his hands of it all very unimpressive. What I dedicated my life to I now see was wrong. Oh well, I wash my hands of it.”

      look the meal was crap, I now realize, yes if anything I ate too much but before the bill arrives, lets be clear I ain’t paying,

      call me a cab

    • Froggy
      February 25, 2016, 12:52 pm

      To be fair, David Gordis made that statement knowing that by saying what he has, he is bringing the hounds of hell down on himself.

      Though I would like to ask him just what he thought was happening in that new, (supposedly) modern state that had set itself up with what is in effect a state religion.

      • MHughes976
        February 25, 2016, 2:14 pm

        I suspect, though I don’t know the scene, that he will be treated as an eccentric old man to be more or less ignored rather than as a dangerous opponent to be reviled. I might like to know how he conceived the Noble Experiment? As the introduction of multi-cultural demicracy to the ME?
        If there really had been a noble intention which has gone wrong or been betrayed why is it so far out of the question to recall people to what they had originally meant? Why this elegant despair?

      • echinococcus
        February 25, 2016, 11:32 pm

        What’s wrong, intolerable, inhuman and a heinous crime is to expose the nature of Zionism, protected from outsiders’ eyes for so long a time by the tireless efforts and masterful hypocrisy of Labor Zionists to the light of the day.
        See now, the right wing has gone and done it and they’ll even endanger the fruit of this huge operation. Under Labor, didn’t we advance the same racial supremacist agenda, the same continuous landgrab and genocide?
        So look here, folks, I’m getting out –until the Zionists manage to bring back a human-faced Zionist occupation.

  9. Whatt
    February 24, 2016, 6:46 pm

    I read that he was involved in the American Jewish Committee.
    Well well…in the mid 1980s in Berkeley, me a Diaspora Palestinian, I was invited along with a Palestinian Israeli (1948) psychology student to speak about possibilities of peace by the Bay area chapter of the AJC on the prodding by the liberal zionist director of the American Friends Service Committee at that time (Quakers). So we spoke, it was supposedly a moving experience, many questions, some old ladies cried and hugged me etc.
    There was a guy, named John Rothman who seemed to be a wheeler and dealer there, came to me, appeared curious, and empathetic, and acted nice in front of the old ladies. He asked a few social questions etc. Low and behold, a few days letter an article in the “Jewish Bulletin (if I recall the name correctly) comes out penned by this John Rothman, attacking the local AJC leadership for providing a forum for dangerous PLO terrorist sympathizers etc etc. ( in those days the PLO was the big No No. )Within a month or two the director of the local chapter of the AJC, a man I only remember his first name as “Joel” was sacked from his position. I remember him as a kind and bearded man, who wanted to provide a forum and a question and answer with the other side. it was a great lesson to me.
    John Rothman became famous and moved up the Zio-ladder, as an extreme Zionist ideologue, wrote books and became a talk-show host in the San Francisco bay. He is one of the worst of the worst right-wing Zionist ideologues out there, while pretending to have a liberal point of view in other arenas, as a good Bay Area guy.

  10. talknic
    February 25, 2016, 4:16 am

    “What happened?”

    Simple. The Zionist Federation, using Herzl’s fantasy for publicity, decided to Colonize Palestine in 1897, instituting the Jewish Colonial Trust, a pyramid scheme that depends on more and more land and more and more money and more and more lies to survive

  11. oldgeezer
    February 25, 2016, 9:40 am

    “And most depressing of all for me, is that I see no way out, no way forward which will reverse the current reality. – See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

    Nor I. Israel revels in it’s crimes and racism. It clearly has no intent to stop perpertrating either. It is beyond redemption.

    • rosross
      February 26, 2016, 12:36 am

      Which is why it is so important that Jews and Judaism separate themselves from Israel and make it clear that the Israeli state does not represent the religion or its followers.

  12. Nevada Ned
    February 25, 2016, 9:50 am

    The American Jewish Committee published Commentary magazine for decades. Commentary was edited for a third of a century by Norman Podhoretz, an influential neoconservative.
    It’s an important organization in the Israel Lobby.

    As for Rabbi Gordis, it’s better late than never. And I think his statement is important because of who he was. And because he’s saying it in public. Even some of the hard-core Zionists are beginning to wake up.
    And it took a considerable amount of courage on his part to express his views in public and without equivocation. Certainly he’ll be getting a lot of grief about betraying his people, etc etc.

  13. yonah fredman
    February 25, 2016, 8:25 pm

    “First, the Jewish experience has balanced the rational with the affective, the assertion with the question, where often the question emerges as the more important. Second, it has embraced both particularism with universalism, probing Jewish interiorities but looking out to the larger world, recognizing the common humanity of all people. Third, it has shaped positions which looked to the past for sources and inspiration but at the same time projected a vision for a world transformed in the future into something better than its current reality.”

    Gordis has asserted the inherent tensions of a healthy Judaism or a healthy Jewish experience. We would never hear about these tensions from Phil Weiss, who does not recognize these tensions as his. He disowns the affective, the assertion, the particularism and the past and in fact yawns at the disappearance of a Jewish future. Thankfully he is willing to quote Gordis.

    • Mooser
      February 26, 2016, 11:17 am

      Shorter “Yonah”: ‘We are Jews, so you can only look at what we say, not what we do!’

      And it is axiomatic, of course, that everybody else must only consider our internal stresses, and never look at how we interact with them.

      Isn’t that pretty much the line you’re pushing “Yonah”? Won’t work, “Yonah”, when you make a “nation” and a State, out of your religion, all it does is subject the religion to political speech, as part of the “Jewish State’s” ideology and politics, not provide the state with the protections afforded religion.

      You Zionists have succeeded, at your own insistence, in making antisemitism into political speech. You’ll have fun living with the results of that.

      • ritzl
        February 26, 2016, 11:49 am

        Brilliant Mooser. So true and sad and dangerous.

      • yonah fredman
        February 26, 2016, 3:34 pm

        Mooser- I said nothing of the sort, but I will try to respond to your diatribe. (die a tribe).

        from this perspective (the mw comments section and the typist in brooklyn) the simplest conclusion is that Zionism has failed. the fact that it oppresses so many today cannot be redeemed by past achievements. the specific achievement that i have in mind is relatives who were saved by moving from poland to palestine in the 1930’s. that was a zionist achievement. the current repression is more relevant than something that occurred about 80 years ago.

        the majority of my immediate family and of my friends from high school live in israel and i have spent key moments in Jerusalem and hope to spend more key moments in jerusalem. the direction of israel vis a vis the nakba has never shocked me as much as israel’s direction vis a vis the west bank and gaza. the advent of Bibi Netanyahu is particularly harmful but i feel that the general direction of israel has been wrong headed since the time that ben gurion undercut sharett in the early 50’s.

        i read a jabotinsky biography recently. in it i found a quote; ‘even our vegetarian friends must admit by now that we will have to fight a war if we wish to stay in Palestine.” (paraphrase). Zionism was an act of aggression, but also an act of survival, an act of necessity. the evolution in the aftermath of ben gurion and sharet was not pre determined, but neither is it surprising.

      • yonah fredman
        February 26, 2016, 3:49 pm

        the quote from hillel halkin’s bio; “even our vegetarian friends must realize by now that we are faced with only two possibilities: either to forget about Palestine or to fight a war for it.”

      • Kris
        February 26, 2016, 3:59 pm

        It’s okay, yonah, don’t work so hard, we get it. You rejoice at the triumph of Zionist Jews, which is based on Palestinian suffering, but you also feel a tiny bit of discomfort about it because you are such a nice guy.

        It is like being happy about Passover, when Jewish babies were spared while so many non-Jewish babies were killed, or Purim, when Jews avoided massacre, and celebrated by killing thousands of non-Jews. It is about prioritizing. Duh.

      • talknic
        February 26, 2016, 5:06 pm

        @ yonah fredman – – demonstrates the toxic pervasiveness of Zionism

        “the majority of my immediate family and of my friends from high school live in israel and i have spent key moments in Jerusalem and hope to spend more key moments in jerusalem.”

        UNSC res 476

        1. Reaffirms the overriding necessity to end the prolonged occupation of Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem;

        2. Strongly deplores the continued refusal of Israel, the occupying Power, to comply with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly;

        3. Reconfirms that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and also constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East; link to wp.me

        “… i feel that the general direction of israel has been wrong headed since the time that ben gurion undercut sharett in the early 50’s

        Why start halfway thru the book. The Zionist Federation began its pyramid colonization scheme in 1897, it hasn’t stopped

        “Zionism was an act of aggression … “

        It was and still is an aggressive financial pyramid scam, relying on more and more territory and more and more facts on the ground legal and illegal and more and more lies and more and more gullible people to keep it alive

        ” … but also an act of survival, an act of necessity”

        Herzl didn’t think so. He could have in his life time immigrated, gained legitimate citizenship, bough land and settled anywhere in the Jewish People’s alleged Historical Homeland. He didn’t bother. Nor did his family. What he wrote after all, was just a fantasy

      • Mooser
        February 26, 2016, 5:09 pm

        “but I will try to respond to your diatribe. (die a tribe).”

        “Diatribe (die a tribe)”

        Look, “Yonah” bubele, put it all in your autobiography, along with how the crosses on churches scare you, and I’ll be sure and read it, you bet.

      • RoHa
        February 26, 2016, 6:13 pm

        “Zionism was … an act of necessity.”

        What necessity?

      • Mooser
        February 26, 2016, 7:45 pm

        “What necessity?”

        You need ask? Where would “Yonah” be without it?

      • eljay
        February 26, 2016, 10:15 pm

        || yonah fredman: … Zionism was an act of aggression, but also an act of survival, an act of necessity. ||

        Acts of survival and necessity: Fleeing from and/or fighting your oppressor(s).

        Not acts of survival or necessity: Terrorism, ethnic cleansing and decades worth of past and on-going (war) crimes committed deliberately and with impunity to realize the creation, expansion and maintenance of religion-supremacist state in as much as possible of Palestine.

      • oldgeezer
        February 26, 2016, 11:07 pm

        @Mooser

        Where?

        My guess is that he would be in New York supporting the oppressor and dehumanizing the oppressed. Oh and acting as one of the many millions around the world who are living proof that there was no necessity.

      • echinococcus
        February 26, 2016, 11:41 pm

        Mr Fredman pretends not to have read the True Zionist Bible and User’s Manual, ie Vladimir Zhabotinsky’s Iron Wall. Oh no, he just inadvertently stumbled on a quote in a “bio” of his leader. Pull the other one.

      • rosross
        February 27, 2016, 1:19 am

        @ Mooser,

        Eloquently put.

      • rosross
        February 27, 2016, 1:21 am

        @yonah,

        There was absolutely no necessity for European Zionists to colonise Palestine. None at all. It is pure propaganda to suggest that it was.

        Many of those who left Europe emigrated to a variety of countries without needing to become illegal colonists in Palestine. And many also opted to stay, quite safely, in Europe.

        The theft of Palestine can never be justified on any count.

      • yonah fredman
        February 27, 2016, 5:21 am

        rosross- I come from 4 grandparents (most of us do). one branch came to america and survived. two branches were wiped out by the european hitler slaughter and one branch survived by going to Israel. do you wish for me to wish that this one branch that survived by going to Israel would not have had that refuge? are you denying that the Jewish population of Palestine went from 85,000 in 1920 to 400,000 in 1939 and a majority of those who made that move would have been murdered if that refuge had not been available to them.

      • yonah fredman
        February 27, 2016, 5:27 am

        kris- why do you not embrace your identity as a hater of Judaism, which is after all, one of the earliest forms of antisemitism. maybe you are right and Judaism will disappear due to the fact of the negativity of its holidays. but if the topic is zionism to be specific my brand of zionism and for you to bring up the topics of the content of the Jewish holidays and tell us how backwards Judaism is, and then the next day start shooting off your mouth about how the zionists are not even willing to define antisemitism… let’s be honest, lady, you hate the jewish religion and those who partake in the jewish religion and if that is not a form of antisemitism, then what is it?

      • oldgeezer
        February 27, 2016, 8:02 am

        @yonah

        “…. murdered if that refuge had not been available to them. … – See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

        It’s speculation but had they not escaped I personally believe many of them would have died.

        Israel had nothing to do with their survival however as it did not exist.

      • eljay
        February 27, 2016, 10:05 am

        || yonah fredman: … are you denying that the Jewish population of Palestine went from 85,000 in 1920 … ||

        Funny, I thought there was no such thing as Palestine back in 1920. Huh.

      • RoHa
        February 27, 2016, 11:49 am

        Yonah, you cannot justify the evil of Zionism by claiming that it enabled the survival of European Jews fleeing from the Nazis.

        1. As far as I know (and no doubt MW experts on the topic will correct or confirm me on this) the purpose of Zionism was to set up a Jewish State to “normalize” the status of Jews as a “nation”, and not as “safe haven”. If this is so, then Zionism is not justified, even if it later proved useful for protection of Jews. benefits are a very dubious basis for excusing an intrinsically evil act.

        2. If I am wrong, and the purpose of Zionism included setting up a “safe haven”, then it is still not justified. There is no right to survive at the expense of a third party. (I have argued this before.)

        If you do not agree, please present your counter-arguments.

      • Mooser
        February 27, 2016, 12:25 pm

        Thanks, “rosross”.

      • Mooser
        February 27, 2016, 12:47 pm

        ” lady, you hate the jewish religion and those who partake in the jewish religion and if that is not a form of antisemitism, then what is it? “

        I’m not going to soil the page with quotes, but for those who are interested Here is “Yonah” on “Christain%”

        And here is “Yonah” on “cross%”: “Truth: I really don’t like seeing crosses around people’s necks, on buildings or in paintings.” – See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

        “Certainly the presence of crosses, statues and images of saints are one of the reasons why Christianity might be mislabeled as idol worship. But there is a valid reason.” – See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

        And plenty more. You wanna judge them, “Yonah” they can judge you. Ever thought of that?

      • Mooser
        February 27, 2016, 12:53 pm

        “why do you not embrace your identity as a hater of Judaism, which is after all, one of the earliest forms of antisemitism.”

        “Yonah” if it wasn’t for the Internet, you would either have no one to talk to or no teeth. You should get on your knees and thank God for CAT5 cable.

      • Kris
        February 27, 2016, 1:08 pm

        @yonah: “kris- why do you not embrace your identity as a hater of Judaism, which is after all, one of the earliest forms of antisemitism.”

        Please read my comment again, yonah. What I said was that you excuse horrible cruelty when it benefits Jews. I say this based on your comments here at mondoweiss. Is it “antisemitic” to say this?

        Is it fair to call what the Jews in Israel/Palestine have been doing for 70+ years “Judaism”?

      • Mooser
        February 27, 2016, 1:25 pm

        “Is it fair to call what the Jews in Israel/Palestine have been doing for 70+ years “Judaism”?”

        You mean they just call it “The Jewish State” to confuse us? Sub rosa they are all Anglicans?

        Hey, if all the Jews in Israel, “the Jewish State” say what they are doing is “Jewish” and/or “Judaism”, how the heck can I disagree with them? Why, it’d be antisemitic to say it’s not “Jewish” or “Judaism” if the very people who are doing it (shit, they oughta know!) say it’s “Judaism”, “Jewish” and the highest form of it.
        I certainly, even as a Jew, can’t contradict them, they know lots more, way more about “Judaism” and “Jewishness” than I do. I’m just a follower, they are the leaders.

      • rosross
        February 27, 2016, 7:41 pm

        @Yonah,

        Many European Jews emigrated around the world and a very high percentage to Australia and Canada as well as the US, as well as some to the UK.

        There was absolutely no need for any of them to choose to be colonists in Palestine.

        UN mandated Israel was never necessary as a refuge and certainly never just. It involved the theft of someone else’s country.

        Those Jews who went to Palestine should have become Palestinian citizens. Creating their own religious State on Palestinian land, murdering and dispossessing Palestinians to do it and then holding those left in brutal subjugation for more than 70 years is one of the worst crimes in modern history.

        If the colonising of Palestine had not happened, those Jews who wished to leave Europe, and many did not, and have lived there safely ever since, then there would just be larger groups of Jews in other countries – legal migrants, and now, established citizens of dozens of countries around the world, instead of brutal occupiers in a doomed religious State.

        The most dangerous place that a follower of Judaism can live today is UN mandated Israel or Occupied Palestine. It was a doomed experiment from the beginning and an egregious wrong.

      • yonah fredman
        February 27, 2016, 11:19 pm

        RoHa- Zionism was a movement towards self emancipation. The specifics of let us be a normal nation might have been the overarching purpose, but it developed in reference to threats to safety of Jews specifically in Czarist Russia, where the rulers of the country expressed and practiced disdain towards their Jewish subjects.

        We cannot depend on the kindness of strangers particularly in the time of increased nationalistic feelings and thus we must depend on ourselves. that is Zionism’s essence.

        History reveals that Zionism was too little too late in regards to the cataclysm that history or European history or Europe had in mind for Europe’s Jews. But the impulse towards self reliance was spot on. The fact that all Zionism could do was save a few hundred thousand rather than millions is a result that Zionism was too little too late. But the impulse to organize a self reliant self defense was an urge towards life and worthy.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 28, 2016, 12:15 am

        the impulse to organize a self reliant self defense was an urge towards life and worthy.

        so we’ve come full circle:

        Shorter “Yonah”: ‘We are Jews, so you can only look at what we say, not what we do!’

        And it is axiomatic, of course, that everybody else must only consider our internal stresses, and never look at how we interact with them.

        Isn’t that pretty much the line you’re pushing “Yonah”? Won’t work, “Yonah”, when you make a “nation” and a State, out of your religion, all it does is subject the religion to political speech, as part of the “Jewish State’s” ideology and politics, not provide the state with the protections afforded religion.

        You Zionists have succeeded, at your own insistence, in making antisemitism into political speech. You’ll have fun living with the results of that.

      • yonah fredman
        February 27, 2016, 11:21 pm

        rosross- in the 20’s and 30’s the doors to the western democracies were open barely a crack and millions of Jews would have escaped if those doors had been open. it is ignorance or callousness for you to think that the Jews of Europe in the 30’s had all sorts of wonderful options.

      • yonah fredman
        February 28, 2016, 1:08 am

        annie robbins- I really don’t understand what your point is.

        My point is that Zionism was born out of a real need. this does not justify every act of Zionism, it merely states that its birth was in response to a need and was a human urge towards survival.

        i have no idea what your response is to my basic assertion, you have just written a few paragraphs of vitriol that have no relation to what i wrote. maybe if you draw a few lines so that i understand how what you said was based on what i wrote, maybe i’d understand what you are responding to.

        until that explanation: shorter annie robbins- zionism harmed the palestinians and therefore is evil and therefore i can spew vitriol all i want, without relating to the history of its birth.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 28, 2016, 2:34 am

        i don’t use words like evil. the blockquote was the original response to you from mooser, you do not hear your self. i recall originally writing a response to your comment that started this subthread but i don’t see it here so i’ll start again. perhaps i wrote it and got distracted and never posted.

        let’s start here Gordis has asserted the inherent tensions of a healthy Judaism or a healthy Jewish experience. We would never hear about these tensions from Phil Weiss, who does not recognize these tensions as his.

        and lets review what you copied of gordis, in it’s context:

        What happened? We can debate the reasons but the bottom line for me is that it has gone terribly wrong. On the positive side, Israel’s accomplishments have been remarkable. Israel has created a thriving economy, and has been a refuge for hundreds of thousands of the displaced and the needy. Israel has generated a rich and diverse cultural life and its scientific and educational achievements have been exemplary. In spite of these achievements, however, Israel in my view has gone astray. And it is in the area for which Israel was created, as a Jewish state, embodying and enhancing Jewish values that I see this failure. Throughout history, at its best, Jewish life and thought have successfully navigated between three pairs of values that are in tension with one another. First, the Jewish experience has balanced the rational with the affective, the assertion with the question, where often the question emerges as the more important. Second, it has embraced both particularism with universalism, probing Jewish interiorities but looking out to the larger world, recognizing the common humanity of all people. Third, it has shaped positions which looked to the past for sources and inspiration but at the same time projected a vision for a world transformed in the future into something better than its current reality.

        Present day Israel has discarded the rational, the universal and the visionary. These values have been subordinated to a cruel and oppressive occupation, an emphatic materialism, severe inequalities rivaling the worst in the western world and distorted by a fanatic, obscurantist and fundamentalist religion which encourages the worst behaviors rather than the best.

        gordis did not assert “the inherent tensions of a healthy Judaism or a healthy Jewish experience.” gordis claimed “AT ITS BEST” ‘Jewish life and thought had successfully navigated between 3 pairs of values that are in tension with one another.’ so there is no inherent tension between 1st, 2nd and 3rd qualities because they only exist in spurts, when they exist that is. he says

        it is in the area for which Israel was created, as a Jewish state, embodying and enhancing Jewish values that I see this failure.

        and i got pissed when you said the impulse to organize a self reliant self defense was an urge towards life and worthy. because it is irrelevant. and do you know why? because the results failed. it wasn’t worthy. wallowing in all these things israel could have been because of some supposed positive worthy “impulse” is an exercise in mental masterbation.

        and that’s what this means ‘We are Jews, so you can only look at what we say, not what we do!’

        it doesn’t matter now what the impulse was. it doesn’t matter if Zionism was born out of a “real need” or in response to a “human urge towards survival”, because it is a failure. and even, according to gordis, it was the area for which Israel was created (embodying and enhancing Jewish values) that he see the failure. so why discuss it?

        oh, i know why. so you can bash phil over the head for not recognizing 3 (definitely not-inherent) pairs of values that are in tension with one another’ when jewish life it at it’s best? it’s just so missing the point.

      • talknic
        February 28, 2016, 3:42 am

        @ yyonah fredman February 27, 2016, 11:19 pm

        Interesting theories. However, neither Herzl or his family saw any need to move to the Jewish People’s Historical Homeland.

      • RoHa
        February 28, 2016, 7:59 am

        Yonah.
        “it developed in reference to threats to safety of Jews”

        So you are saying early Zionism did include setting up a “safe haven”. That is option 2.

        “But the impulse to organize a self reliant self defense was an urge towards life and worthy.”

        The impulse was to take a land away from the native inhabitants and set up the “safe haven” there. This sort of “self reliant self defence” is not worthy. As I pointed out before, there is no right to survive at the expense of others. Not even for Jews.

        (Incidentally, my earlier comment was supposed to say “Post hoc benefits are a dubious basis…” Somehow the italics failed to appear.)

      • Dan
        February 28, 2016, 10:38 am

        @Talknic
        “Interesting theories. However, neither Herzl or his family saw any need to move to the Jewish People’s Historical Homeland.”

        Guess he made a mistake then, since his daughter, Margarethe (Trude) was killed by the Nazis.

        But since he died in 1904; had argued against Jews moving to Palestine (or elsewhere) in a disorganized way, before the movement had the support of the European powers and/or the Ottomans; was interested in a solution (as he saw it) for all Jews, not just himself; felt that his talents were best employed in Europe, organizing the movement and working the halls of power to gain support for a state; had no particular attachment to Palestine, and would have been content with a Jewish state elsewhere, you really can’t blame him.

        As to his family, after his death – I don’t know their political views, do you?

      • eljay
        February 28, 2016, 10:51 am

        The point y.f. is struggling to make was once made quite concisely by “liberal Zionist” R.W.: “The nakba that occurred in 1948 was accompanied by the independence, the liberation, of the Jewish community. So, I primarily celebrate … “

      • Mooser
        February 28, 2016, 12:50 pm

        “We cannot depend on the kindness of strangers particularly in the time of increased nationalistic feelings and thus we must depend on ourselves. that is Zionism’s essence.”

        Ah! That scintillating fragrance, what can it be? It’s “Zionism’s essence”! take a big whiff!

        And we better hope it acts as an aphrodisiac. If we Jews are going to cease “depending on the kindness of strangers” we better start schtupping, and not stop.

        And oh yeah, (pace “niass2”) make sure to lock the Temple bathrooms during Hebrew School classes. They’re not gonna get out of it that easily.

      • echinococcus
        February 28, 2016, 1:47 pm

        Reb Feldman again

        We cannot depend on the kindness of strangers particularly in the time of increased nationalistic feelings

        That’s why , against increased nationalistic feelings, you develop a Nazi-grade crazy nationalism without a nation. So very logical.

      • Mooser
        February 28, 2016, 2:28 pm

        “That’s why , against increased nationalistic feelings, you develop a Nazi-grade crazy nationalism without a nation.”

        That’s exactly what caused me to lose faith in Zionism. I mean, c’mon, making the nation, that’s the easy and fun part. If we can’t even bother to do that

      • Mooser
        February 28, 2016, 2:42 pm

        “depending on the kindness of strangers”

        Ummmm, “Yonah” old pal, do you know where that quote comes from? No, it’s not from the Torah.
        Look, “Yonah” it’s not as bad as positing yourself (which you did until stopped) as the “failure to communicate” guy.
        But really, do you want to be known as “Zionism’s very own Blanche Dubois”?

        Of course, when I left my home and family, I was no more than a boy, in the company of strangers, in the quiet of the railway station, running scared, laying low, seeking out the poorer quarters where the ragged people go.

      • yonah fredman
        February 28, 2016, 3:33 pm

        eljay- I do not see the Nakba as something to celebrate. I wrote specifically about Zionism before 1945.

        Hannah Arendt dissented from the Zionist movement in 1943 after the Biltmore Program, with its Jewish statehood intentions announced. (hereafter referred to as Ben Gurion Zionism). She was not a cultural Zionist but recognized that this intention to declare a Jewish state went against the reality of the large nonJewish population and she sensed the inference of what took place in the Nakba.

        I view Zionism pre 1945 as a positive. I consider the acts of 1947-1949 inevitable given the history of the moment and the momentum created by the facts pre 1945. The middle east has in general deteriorated in terms of Muslim tolerance towards nonMuslims since 1948 and thus the difficulty of any type of Jewish sovereignty without wide scale expulsions is difficult to imagine. (Part of the process of preparing for the future, carried out on the ground, even between settlers and West Bank Palestinians, is trying to make a shared future easier to imagine.) Because I know Israel survived as a sovereign Jewish state between 49 and 67 without an occupation and was about to adjust to a nonmilitary rule towards nonJewish citizens, it is easy to imagine Israel without the post 67 occupation, but much more difficult to imagine an Israel without the Nakba.

        Most of the people I grew up with feel no qualms about celebrating the fifth of Iyar, Israeli independence day. I have mixed feelings on that day.

      • RoHa
        February 28, 2016, 3:46 pm

        Mooser, a man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest. So it is with Yonah.

      • Mooser
        February 28, 2016, 5:23 pm

        “a man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest.”

        Oh, sorry, I was just casting about for a better “stranger” quote for “Yonah”. After all, when a guy talks to darkness, his old friend, again, he better have a vision softly creeping (which “left its seeds while I lay sleeping”? Let’s not go there) instead of creepily drawling “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers”

      • eljay
        February 29, 2016, 7:42 am

        || yonah fredman: … I view Zionism pre 1945 as a positive. I consider the acts of 1947-1949 inevitable given the history of the moment and the momentum created by the facts pre 1945. The middle east has in general deteriorated in terms of Muslim tolerance towards nonMuslims since 1948 and thus the difficulty of any type of Jewish sovereignty without wide scale expulsions is difficult to imagine. … ||

        Zionism: ” … the national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel … “

        yonah, I appreciate your reply, but cannot accept that Zionism – Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine – could ever have been “a positive”. No form of supremacism, however well-intentioned, can be “a positive”.

        No-one should ever be denied the choice to be Jewish. But the right to choose to be Jewish does not entitle all Jews or any subset of Jews the right to a “Jewish State”.

      • hophmi
        February 29, 2016, 10:56 am

        Such utter chutzpah. It’s antizionists, not Zionists, who have politicized antisemitism by systematically degrading its definition in order to mask their own hateful rhetoric. You have a guilty conscience, Mooser.

      • eljay
        February 29, 2016, 11:30 am

        || hophmi: Such utter chutzpah. It’s antizionists, not Zionists, who have politicized antisemitism by systematically degrading its definition … ||

        That’s rich, considering how you Zio-supremacists incessantly:
        – conflate Jews and Judaism with Israel and Israel with Jews and Judaism; and
        – use accusations of anti-Semitism to defend Israel and yourselves against valid criticisms of your past and on-going (war) criminal actions and human rights violations.

      • RoHa
        February 29, 2016, 11:43 am

        Hophmi, please do tell us the original definition of “anti-Semitism”, and explain how those evil anti-Zionists have degraded that definition in order to mask their own hateful rhetoric.

        Inquiring minds want to know.

      • echinococcus
        February 29, 2016, 12:25 pm

        Hophmi

        I don’t know about antisemitism –I’ll give you the essential consensus on racism, since the time of Athenian democracy, which is today’s operational definition of racism. It is discriminating against individuals based on some accident of birth of the group they belong to.

        This is exactly what your genocidal movement Zionism and you personally are doing. No way out of that.

        So if “antisemitism” is discrimination between anyone that the user of the word classifies as “Jewish” by birth versus other people, whatever the user of the word “Jewish” promoting such discrimination imagines it to be, it is racism and must be fought against.

        You personally do discriminate between “Jews”, whatever the definition to you, and others. So you are a despicable racist.

        Religion is not an accident of birth because rational beings can evaluate and refuse (or accept, or change… well, that’s not exactly rational but we’ll take it in good faith.) Any attacks on acquired traits like religion are perfectly kosher.

      • Mooser
        February 29, 2016, 12:52 pm

        “It’s antizionists, not Zionists, who have politicized antisemitism by systematically degrading its definition in order to mask their own hateful rhetoric.”

        Of course, the idea that Zionism, by it’s own rhetoric, by it’s own actions, and by the way it affects people, and its effects (Thanks, RoHa!) pretty much defines itself, is absurd.

        And then there’s the even more ridiculous idea that the people which are affected by Zionism, the people who interact with it, who feel its effects, have the right to form their own definition of it as it relates to them. Of course they should use the definition which most advantages Zionism! Even better, a definition which immunizes Zionism from criticism! Of course they should.

        “You have a guilty conscience”

        ROTFLMSJAO! You know, “Hophmi”, I sorta did, til I met you and the rest of the zionist herd of ilk here. I sorta did. “Hophmi”, you are right, I owe you for that. You have, my friend, pretty much relieved me of that little impediment.

      • Mooser
        February 29, 2016, 1:01 pm

        “You have a guilty conscience, Mooser.”

        Oh, I’ll get along. I have always depended on the kindness of strangers, you know.

      • Mooser
        February 29, 2016, 7:54 pm

        “in the 20’s and 30’s the doors to the western democracies were open barely a crack and millions of Jews would have escaped if those doors had been open. it is ignorance or callousness for you to think that the Jews of Europe in the 30’s had all sorts of wonderful options.” “Yonah Fredman”

        “Yonah”, in the 20th century the doors to their own country were open barely a crack and millions of Palestinians were murdered, dispossessed, and made refugees it is ignorance or callousness for you to think that the Palestinians in the Zionist era had all sorts of wonderful options.

      • Kris
        March 1, 2016, 4:05 pm

        @yonah: “Most of the people I grew up with feel no qualms about celebrating the fifth of Iyar, Israeli independence day. I have mixed feelings on that day.

        Mixed feelings? Jews form a state through ethnic cleansing, massacres, and terrorism, and your feelings are “mixed”?

        Are you trying to say that unlike most of the people you grew up with, you are not morally dead yet?

      • rugal_b
        March 1, 2016, 4:32 pm

        “Jews form a state through ethnic cleansing, massacres, and terrorism” – Kris

        Exactly the same manner how the US, Australia, Canada, NZ was formed. Aborigines in Australia for example refuse to take part in Australia Day, which according to them is Invasion day rightly so. I hope the natives in America would also wake up from their slumber and be more politically/socially conscious. They have as much right to the all land in America, as Palestinians in Palestine.

        Also, I find your framing the founders of Israel as simply Jews to be problematic, as this particular part of their identity barely had any influence on their largely secular, Western nation-state based endeavor. In fact, most of them were irreligious atheist.

      • Sibiriak
        March 2, 2016, 2:51 am

        rosross: Many European Jews emigrated around the world and a very high percentage to Australia and Canada as well as the US, as well as some to the UK.
        ———

        Jewish immigration into most countries was severely restricted–even after Hitler’s genocidal intentions had become increasingly clear.

        In 1938 Hitler annexed Austria, threatening the lives of some 200,000 Austrian Jews (in addition to the Jews in Germany). The plight of Jews under Hitler’s control became a huge political issue in the West. Many proposals were made to facilitate Jewish emigration, yet most faced insuperable opposition.

        There is a very large literature on this topic, and while I’ve only delved into a part of it, I certainly haven’t read anything that denies the reality of severe obstacles to Jewish immigration. The following quotations are taken from Richard Breitman’s “FDR and the Jews.”(all emphasis added).

        At the cabinet meeting on March 18, less than a week after the Anschluss, Roosevelt asked what the United States could do for Austria’s political refugees. The Nazis persecuted political opponents in Austria, but they directed most of their hatred against Austrian Jews.

        *****

        Roosevelt proposed two immigration initiatives: combining the quotas of Germany and Austria, and introducing a bill to increase the quotas. When the president asked the cabinet whether Congress would vote to increase the German quota, Vice President Garner said that if Congress could vote in secret, it would halt all immigration. No one challenged this assessment.

        FDR apparently concluded that he should bypass Congress. Despite some cabinet reservations, the president combined the small immigration quota for Austria with the much larger German quota for a single annual quota of 27,370. Since America had not come close to filling the German quota, the combined quota would give Austrian applicants a much better chance of getting visas. Roosevelt could say that the laws remained unchanged, but Jewish immigration from the new Greater Germany would increase if American consuls cooperated.

        In fiscal 1939, the United States filled this combined quota, substantially increasing Jewish immigration. Still, there was an eleven-year waiting list for American visas: by then, some 300,000 Germans and Austrians sought entry to the United States.

        —————————

        Evian Conference

        Because it was politically impossible to increase immigration quotas, Roosevelt pushed for an international conference to look for other solutions.

        [Breitman:] The Roosevelt administration tried to make its initiative attractive for foreign leaders. It asked for no financial commitments from any government for refugees; rather, private organizations would support the effort. Moreover, “no country would be expected to receive more immigrants than were permitted under existing laws.” At the insistence of the British, the administration also kept Palestine off the agenda of the refugee conference.

        *****

        In part, opposition from an isolationist, restrictionist Republican Party and a minority faction of like-minded Democrats kept FDR from doing more. Conservative Democratic representative Martin Dies of Texas denounced FDR’s plans for an international conference and increasing immigration from Germany and Austria

        *****
        In early July, some 200 delegates, diplomatic observers, journalists, and representatives of Jewish and other organizations from various countries, including Germany, gathered in Évian, creating a circus atmosphere for public speeches directed to home consumption. Quarrels among the many Jewish representatives from different groups, each seeking a visible role and with little agreement on priorities, led to disillusionment.

        […]The fundamental problem at Évian was not Jewish dissension, but the resistance of world leaders to assuming responsibility for resettling refugees, most of them Jewish.

        Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Panama stated that they wanted no traders or intellectuals, code words for Jews. Argentina said it had already accommodated enough immigrants from Central Europe. Canada cited its unemployment problem.

        Australia said that it had no “racial problems” and did not want to create any by bringing in Jewish refugees. Imperial countries such as Britain, France, and the Netherlands said that their tropical territories offered only limited prospects for European refugees.

        League of Nations High Commissioner Sir Neill Malcolm was openly hostile to the idea of a new refugee organization. The high point of the conference was perhaps the offer by the representative of the Dominican Republic to take in 100,000 refugees.

        The Washington Post headlined one story on the conference, “ ‘YES, BUT—’.” It noted, “it has been a disappointment, if not altogether a surprise … that delegates take the floor to say, ‘We feel sorry for the refugees and potential refugees but—.’ ”

        Benito Mussolini’s press spokesman, Virginio Gayda, said that FDR had called the conference only because he was of Jewish origin: its only message was “nobody wants the Jews.”

        ————————————

        Palestine

        Roosevelt’s humanitarian concern for the plight of Europe’s Jews, combined with the political impossibility of increasing Jewish immigrations to the U.S., Britain, Australia etc., led Roosevelt to support increased Jewish immigration into Palestine. His underlying anti-Arab prejudice and ignorance of the realities in Palestine were typical of liberal supporters of Zionism during that period.

        [Breitman:]The subject of Palestine arose at the informal international meeting on November 17. British ambassador Sir Ronald Lindsay cunningly suggested to Welles that Britain would allow the United States to take in more German Jews by waiving most of its unfilled immigration quota to the United States (about 65,000). Lindsay may have sought to deflect American pressure on the British to admit more Jews to Palestine. Only Congress could approve an exchange of quotas and FDR had just publicly reaffirmed the quota limit for Germany. Welles said that many American Jews opposed a risky attempt to change the German quota. 50

        Earlier— just before Kristallnacht— Britain had repudiated its 1937 endorsement of partition. In yet another postponement of a final decision, Britain announced that it would sponsor a round-table conference between Jews and Arabs in London in 1939. If they failed to reach agreement, Britain would unilaterally decide Palestine’s future.

        In response, FDR told Lindsay that the British should instead tell some of the Arab leaders from Palestine and some adjoining countries that

        Palestine and Transjordan constituted only a small portion, probably not over 5% of their territories. Some Jews were in Palestine and others were clamoring to go there. Their coming to Palestine and Transjordan would not hinder the Arabs as there was plenty of land for all. Some of the Arabs on poor land in Palestine could be given much better land in adjoining Arab countries. The struggle between the Jews and the Arabs in Palestine was self-defeating for both Arabs and Jews. Lindsay spoke of the opposition of the Arab world and the Moslem world, and the Chief [FDR] belittled this opposition and thought it due largely to British indecision and conflicting policy.

        […]The British denied that there was vacant arable land in other Arab territories and rejected any forcible transfer of Arabs from Palestine on political and moral grounds “in order to make room for immigrants of a race which has, in great part, not lived in Palestine for many centuries.”

        ————————-

        Even after 1942, when the reality of Hitler’s extermination millions of Jews became undeniable, opposition to Jewish immigration continued to make Palestine a major focus, however misguided, of those hoping to save Jewish lives.

        [Breitman:] In mid-March 1943, the President’s Advisory Committee on Political Refugees presented proposals that paralleled those of Jewish organizations. The committee suggested moving refugees out of Spain, so that the Spanish government might accept new arrivals from France. It recommended that the Allies should persuade Turkey to admit refugees from the Balkans temporarily. They should also guarantee to all neutral countries that accepted refugees the costs of maintenance and postwar repatriation, and resume admission of refugees to sites in Western Hemisphere countries and territories.

        Separately, James G. McDonald, chairman of the committee, wrote that for most Jews remaining in Europe, Palestine offered the only alternative to death. He believed that Palestine, no longer threatened by Erwin Rommel’s army, could absorb more Jews, and that the British White Paper was not immutable.

      • Mooser
        March 2, 2016, 11:47 am

        “Jewish immigration into most countries was severely restricted–even after Hitler’s genocidal intentions had become increasingly clear.”

        What makes this situation ever more horrible and outrageous is that during that time (“Hitler’s” time, right?) everybody else in Europe was free to move anywhere they wished, away from danger, towards security, away from tyranny, toward democracy and freedom, and away from economic devastation and toward prosperity!

        Get real, would’ja?

      • Sibiriak
        March 2, 2016, 1:00 pm

        Mooser: …during that time (“Hitler’s” time, right?) everybody else in Europe was free to move anywhere they wished….
        ———–

        Read again:

        Roosevelt asked what the United States could do for Austria’s political refugees.

        “Political refugees” of any sort, not just Jewsish refugees. Rosross made a point about Jewish immigration, and it just so happened that many of those Austrian “political refugees” were Jewish. I’m not sure what the reason for that was; perhaps you could explain.

        In any case, I was just responding to rosross’ suggestion that there was no reason for Jews to try to emigrate to Palestine, since they could emigrate to many other countries. That wasn’t necessarily true, and the fact that not just Jews had limited options hardly changes that fact.

      • Keith
        March 2, 2016, 1:18 pm

        SIBIRIAK- “Jewish immigration into most countries was severely restricted–even after Hitler’s genocidal intentions had become increasingly clear.”

        Commenter Tree has commented extensively on this in the past. I am once again going to quote her insofar as she comments much less frequently now.

        “In the 1920’s, well before Hitler came to power, and in fact while he was serving time in prison, the US passed laws restricting immigration based on country of origin, in an attempt to maintain the numerical prevalence of Western and Northern European stock over newer Southern and Eastern Europeans, and Asians. German immigration, although limited by quotas, was not banned, and in fact from the 1930’s to early 1940’s its estimated that 140,000 German Jews immigrated to the US, and the total German Jewish immigration to other countries was on the order of 450,000 or 70% of the total German Jewish population of 600,000.

        Jews were not restricted as Jews from immigrating to the US and they were the overwhelming majority of the immigrants arriving in the US from Germany during this time. Overall, from 1931-39, over 20% of all US immigrants were Jews, which was the highest Jewish percentage of any decade in US history. In 1939 alone, over 50% of ALL US immigrants were Jews.

        During this same period, approximately 40,000 to 50,000 German Jews arrived in Palestine. This was only 10% of the total German Jewish immigration. Not only that, but the Zionists in Palestine, who were in charge of determining who exactly was allowed in to Palestine under British quotas had a selection process that put greater weight on whether a particular Jew was a Zionist, in good health and capable of materially aiding the Zionist cause and economy over the need or vulnerability of that particular Jew. Thus, sometimes a Jew from the US or the Americas were given preference over a German or Eastern European Jew, and young adults were given preference over the elderly or young children.

        It should also be noted that during the time of the US immigration quotas, Ukrainians, who were dying in the millions from the forced starvation of the Holodomor, were almost completely cut off from any immigration to the US. Poles, who were as a nation suffering from the Soviet Union’s Great Terror were also nearly completely cut off from US immigration, as were other Eastern and Southern Europeans. The majority of the Europeans who were victimized by the massive curtailment of US immigration opportunities that occurred in the 1920’s and onward were religiously Catholic or Eastern Orthodox.

        It should also be noted that during this time any immigration to the US from Asian countries was COMPLETELY prohibited, and those Asians who had immigrated earlier were prohibited from becoming naturalized US citizens.

        I’m sick and tired of the lie that Jews were singled out for prohibition, and the lie that others were not as negatively impacted by the country restrictions as Eastern European Jews. The US restrictions doomed Ukrainian kulaks, Polish nationalists and others well before they doomed Eastern European Jews.” (Tree) link to mondoweiss.net

      • Sibiriak
        March 2, 2016, 1:51 pm

        Keith: Tree has commented extensively on this in the past.
        ———–

        Yes, I’ve read her posts on this topic. I agree with them almost entirely. Her posts quoting Yosef Grodzinsky got me reading more on the subject of the post-war DP’s as well.

        (Cf. link to zcomm.org)

      • Keith
        March 2, 2016, 6:25 pm

        SIBIRIAK- “Yes, I’ve read her posts on this topic. I agree with them almost entirely.”

        If so, it seems strange that you would begin your comment by saying that “Jewish immigration into most countries was severely restricted–even after Hitler’s genocidal intentions had become increasingly clear.” This gives the impression that it was JEWISH immigration per se that was restricted. This is factually incorrect and sounds like the Zionist hasbara we continuously hear. You then quote at length from from Richard Breitman’s “FDR and the Jews,” which, based upon your quotes, focuses exclusively on restrictions of Jewish immigration. All of this, taken out of context, gives the impression that it was primarily the Jews who faced immigration restrictions from the callous non-Jews in the West. The anti-Semitic Goyim simply stood by while the Jews were murdered. The “all the world hates the Jews” meme. Your comment is in stark contrast to the one by Tree which I quoted.

        SIBIRIAK- “In any case, I was just responding to rosross’ suggestion that there was no reason for Jews to try to emigrate to Palestine….”

        Really? Seems to me that you could have simply stated that there were immigration restrictions affecting all of those not of Northern and Western European origin which prevented most Eastern European Jews from immigrating to the West, hence, many Jews immigrated to Palestine in desperation. Instead, you used rosross as a pretext for a biased, Judeo-centric perspective.

      • echinococcus
        March 2, 2016, 9:11 pm

        Sibiriak,

        All that writing and researching and no emphasis on who, exactly, fought tooth and nail, in public, to severely restrain the quotas to the immigration of specifically Jewish refugees, both before and after the genocidal intent was manifest: the Zionist Organization of America, and its British counterpart, that’s who. Again, the Zionists were fighting intensely to restrict the quotas.

        I don’t have time go back to books and dig into all kinds of sources, but here is a nice link with good bibliography that you can follow back.

        link to marxists.de

        See especially Sections “Sacrificing Europe’s Jews” and “Fighting Asylum”.

        It really looks like this fact that the doors had been closed by the very Zionists, openly fighting to abandon the weak and elderly to the genocide and oblige the young in military age to go to Palestine to shoot Arabs (and some English, duh) would be the central piece of something you seem to have seriously researched, no? How do you explain its being silenced in your posts?

      • Sibiriak
        March 3, 2016, 1:16 am

        Keith: If so, it seems strange that you would begin your comment by saying that “Jewish immigration into most countries was severely restricted–even after Hitler’s genocidal intentions had become increasingly clear.”
        ————
        No, not strange. Rosross raised the issue of Jewish immigration. I replied with some information about Jewish immigration.

        This gives the impression that it was JEWISH immigration per se that was restricted.

        Sorry if you got that impression. The first line of the first quote says:

        At the cabinet meeting on March 18, less than a week after the Anschluss, Roosevelt asked what the United States could do for Austria’s political refugees

        There is no suggestion that ONLY Jews were at issue.

        You then quote at length from from Richard Breitman’s “FDR and the Jews,” which, based upon your quotes, focuses exclusively on restrictions of Jewish immigration.

        Jewish immigration was precisely the issue rosross raised. Naturally, I selected quotes that focused exclusively on that issue.

        All of this, taken out of context, gives the impression that it was primarily the Jews who faced immigration restrictions from the callous non-Jews in the West.

        You are projecting things into the text which are not there. You get that impression because you are looking for it.

        Breitman actually defends FDR against the very kind of attacks you allude to. The quotes I posted show Roosevelt taking reasonable steps to deal with the problem of political refugees, including Jews. There is absolutely ZERO reference in those quotes to a Jew vs non-Jew divide. Instead, the reference is to a divide between non-Jews exemplified by liberals like Roosevelt and an ” isolationist, restrictionist Republican Party and a minority faction of like-minded Democrats kept FDR from doing more. ”

        Note: “isolationist, and [immigration] restrictionist” does NOT mean simply “anti-Semitic”. There were many valid reasons (and some not valid ones) to oppose U.S intervention in overseas wars and to oppose immigration during a time of high unemployment. Frankly, you are completely misreading Breitman.

        The anti-Semitic Goyim simply stood by while the Jews were murdered. The “all the world hates the Jews” meme.

        Again, you are projecting. Nowhere is that meme to be found in my comments or the Breitman quotes. You are creating a STRAWMAN.

        Your comment is in stark contrast to the one by Tree which I quoted.

        Tree was addressing a different point:

        “I’m sick and tired of the lie that Jews were singled out for prohibition, and the lie that others were not as negatively impacted by the country restrictions as Eastern European Jews. –

        I completely agree with her: Jews were not singled out for prohibition and others were equally negatively impacted by country restrictions.

        Nothing I wrote contradicts that, and nothing she wrote contradicts what I argued. I never argued that Jews were singled out. Period. To suggest otherwise is blatant strawmanning. I focused on Jews because the issue was Jewish immigration. Simple as that.

        Seems to me that you could have simply stated that there were immigration restrictions affecting all of those not of Northern and Western European origin which prevented most Eastern European Jews from immigrating to the West, hence, many Jews immigrated to Palestine in desperation.

        I could have simply stated that, but I preferred to back up the point with some concrete facts.I prefer that mode of argument to merely making unsubstantiated assertions.

        Instead, you used rosross as a pretext for a biased, Judeo-centric perspective.

        LOL! Rosross made a point about Jewish immigration. Why don’t you accuse him of making Judeo-centric points?

        In any case, I’m glad we can agree on all the substantive points: Although Jews were not singled out, immigration restrictions prevented many Jewish political refugees from immigrating to the U.S., Australia, Britain, Canada, Latin America etc, hence, many Jews immigrated to Palestine because there was no other practical option.

        And note: none of those facts justify the Zionist colonization of Palestine and the creation of a Jewish state there.

      • Sibiriak
        March 3, 2016, 2:08 am

        @Keith Two additional points, the first one minor.

        You wrote:

        Seems to me that you could have simply stated that there were immigration restrictions affecting all of those not of Northern and Western European origin …

        and

        …there were immigration restrictions affecting all of those not of Northern and Western European origin which prevented most Eastern European Jews from immigrating to the West

        [emphasis added]

        To be clear, as the Breitman quotes illustrate, the main issue for a number of years, particularly after the 1938 annexation of Austria and the events of Kristallnacht, was emigration from Germany and Austria, not Eastern Europe.

        [Breitman:] …here was an eleven-year waiting list for American visas: by then, some 300,000 Germans and Austrians sought entry to the United States.

        Roosevelt wished to change the immigration laws to facilitate increased immigration from Germany/Austria. Anti-immigration politics prevented that.

        ————————

        You wrote:

        All of this, taken out of context, gives the impression that it was primarily the Jews who faced immigration restrictions from the callous non-Jews in the West. The anti-Semitic Goyim simply stood by while the Jews were murdered. The “all the world hates the Jews” meme. [emphasis added]

        That meme certainly exists. It’s part of the whole “Holocaust religion”, “New Anti-Semitism” etc. ideology that rose to prominence post-1967 . Both of us have posted on this .

        Some of the key books representing that “anti-Gentilist” polemic are:

        David S. Wyman , “The Abandonment of the Jews

        MontyPenkower “The Jews Were Expendable

        Rafael Medoff, “FDR and the Holocaust: A Breach of Faith

        There are many others.

        But Breitman’s “FDR and the Jews” is NOT in that category.

        Breitman’s book actually sets out to challenge the “biased, Judeo-Centric” attacks on Roosevelt and Western policy in general.

        I’m not saying his book is the final word on the issue or anything of the sort. It has it some major flaws, imo.

        But it’s certainly not promoting the anti-Gentile memes you are suggesting it does.

      • Keith
        March 3, 2016, 11:00 am

        SIBIRIAK- “No, not strange.”

        Well, you would say that wouldn’t you?

        SIBIRIAK- “Rosross raised the issue of Jewish immigration. I replied with some information about Jewish immigration.”

        Yes, as I said, you used rosross comment as an excuse to make a lengthy comment about immigration restrictions affecting Jews taken out of context to imply that these immigration restrictions were specifically targeting Jews. Your implication was obvious to others as well, hence, Mooser’s comment.

        SIBIRIAK- “Again, you are projecting. Nowhere is that meme to be found in my comments or the Breitman quotes.”

        No? “Benito Mussolini’s press spokesman, Virginio Gayda, said that FDR had called the conference only because he was of Jewish origin: its only message was “nobody wants the Jews.”

        SIBIRIAK- “But it’s certainly not promoting the anti-Gentile memes you are suggesting it does.”

        I haven’t read Breitman’s book and never suggested that it promoted anti-Gentile memes. I said that “You then quote at length from from Richard Breitman’s “FDR and the Jews,” which, based upon your quotes, focuses exclusively on restrictions of Jewish immigration.” My comment was direct to you, your choice of words and your specific quotes from the book which seemed to me to reinforce the “all the world hates the Jews” meme.” I stand by my comments and find your claims of merely responding to rosross disingenuous.

      • Sibiriak
        March 3, 2016, 1:33 pm

        Keith: No? “Benito Mussolini’s press spokesman, Virginio Gayda, said that FDR had called the conference only because he was of Jewish origin: its only message was “nobody wants the Jews.”
        ———————————

        Breitman used that Mussolini quote to show how Fascist anti-Semites were using Western policy failures to promote their fascist antisemitic propaganda.

        Your idea that Breitman or I actually believe that Mussolini crap is beyond stupid.

        Surely you realize that when an author quotes a Mussolini spokesman, he’s not necessarily endorsing his viewpoint????

        ———————

        [Keith:]your specific quotes from the book which seemed to me to reinforce the “all the world hates the Jews” meme

        Which specific quotes?? Certainly not the Mussolini quote.

        Let’s see, is it Breitman’s claim that “there was an eleven-year waiting list for American visas: by then, some 300,000 Germans and Austrians sought entry to the United States.” ?

        Does that reinforce the “all the world hates the Jews” meme?

        Or: “opposition from an isolationist, restrictionist Republican Party and a minority faction of like-minded Democrats kept FDR from doing more.”

        Or was it this one that I highlighted: The British denied that there was vacant arable land in other Arab territories and rejected any forcible transfer of Arabs from Palestine on political and moral grounds “in order to make room for immigrants of a race which has, in great part, not lived in Palestine for many centuries.

        No, probably not that one.

        Perhaps this: James G. McDonald, chairman of the committee, wrote that for most Jews remaining in Europe, Palestine offered the only alternative to death

        You tell me. Which quotes “reinforce” the meme that “all the world hates the Jews?”

        Frankly, you’re becoming like the Zionists who keep finding anti-Semitism where it doesn’t exist. You keep finding anti-Gentilism where it doesn’t exist.

        Breitman certainly doesn’t believe “all the world hates the Jews”.

        I certainly don’t believe it.

        Look, after three posts now, you haven’t challenged on the facts anything I or Breitman wrote.

        All you done is put forth the ridicuous strawman that I believe “all the world hates the Jews”.

        In other words, just a groundless ad hominem attack.

      • Sibiriak
        March 3, 2016, 2:10 pm

        KEITH: … your choice of words and your specific quotes from the book which seemed to me to reinforce the “all the world hates the Jews” meme.”
        —————

        You’re suggesting I believe “all the world hates the Jews”?

        That’s your argument?

        You can’t be that stupid.

      • Keith
        March 3, 2016, 4:52 pm

        SIBIRIAK- ”You can’t be that stupid.”

        I am smart enough to recognize a highly skilled, Judeo-centric propagandist when I see one.

      • Mooser
        March 4, 2016, 12:16 am

        “I am smart enough to recognize a highly skilled, Judeo-centric propagandist when I see one.”

        Oh crap, I’m caught again, like a rat in a… oh, wait, “keith” said “highly skilled” – That lets me out. I’m still safe, but that was too close for comfort!

      • Sibiriak
        March 4, 2016, 9:17 am

        Keith: I am smart enough to recognize a highly skilled, Judeo-centric propagandist when I see one.
        ————————-

        Well then, you might want to take a look in a mirror–you are as Judeo-centric as they come.

      • talknic
        March 6, 2016, 6:06 pm

        @ Dan February 28, 2016, 10:38 am

        @Talknic
        “Interesting theories. However, neither Herzl or his family saw any need to move to the Jewish People’s Historical Homeland.”

        “Guess he made a mistake then, since his daughter, Margarethe (Trude) was killed by the Nazis”

        In his lifetime the Nazi party wasn’t active

        “But since he died in 1904; had argued against Jews moving to Palestine (or elsewhere) in a disorganized way, before the movement had the support of the European powers and/or the Ottomans; was interested in a solution (as he saw it) for all Jews, not just himself; felt that his talents were best employed in Europe, organizing the movement and working the halls of power to gain support for a state; had no particular attachment to Palestine, and would have been content with a Jewish state elsewhere, you really can’t blame him.”

        So tell yonah fredman

        “As to his family, after his death – I don’t know their political views, do you?”

        Nope. I do know none fled to Palestine

      • Dan
        March 6, 2016, 10:14 pm

        @Talknic

        “In his lifetime the Nazi party wasn’t active”

        Nobody has claimed that it was.
        Herzl turned out to be prescient though.
        His belief that the Jews needed to get out of Europe turned out to be correct. Do you disagree?

        “So tell Yonah Fredman”

        No need to. My comment doesn’t contradict what Yonah wrote.

        “Nope I do know none fled to Palestine”.

        So what. His wife and children didn’t start the Zionist movement.
        Do you even know if they agreed with Theodore Herzl regarding Zionism?
        If you don’t know, why bring it up?

        Herzl wrote the following in Der Judenstaat. You can get the full paragraph by Googling it.

        “Immigration is consequently futile unless we have the sovereign right to continue such immigration.”

        By “sovereign right” he meant the support of the imperial powers for his plan for a Jewish state. I believe his main focus was on the Ottoman gov’t.
        By the time he died he hadn’t secured that “sovereign right”.

        I echo Sibiriak. I don’t understand what point you are trying to make.

        You often challenge posters, appropriately at times I think, by questioning what relevance their comments have to the legal issues surrounding the I/P conflict. I ask the same of you.

      • talknic
        March 7, 2016, 6:23 am

        @ Dan

        //“In his lifetime the Nazi party wasn’t active”//

        “Nobody has claimed that it was”

        How does one make a ‘mistake ‘ about something of which one knows nothing, something that didn’t exist?

        “Herzl turned out to be prescient though”

        So he didn’t make a ‘mistake’. How confusing

        “… His wife and children didn’t start the Zionist movement”

        So what. Surely if the danger was such as described by Yonah, Herzl would have at least seen to the safety of his wife and children while he swanned around the dangerous halls of power

        “Herzl … Immigration is consequently futile unless we have the sovereign right to continue such immigration.”

        By “sovereign right” he meant the support of the imperial powers for his plan for a Jewish state. I believe his main focus was on the Ottoman gov’t.
        By the time he died he hadn’t secured that “sovereign right”.”

        So he was prescient to this day where the rogue state of Israel is busy dispossessing non-Jews from non-Israeli territories

        “You often challenge posters, appropriately at times I think, by questioning what relevance their comments have to the legal issues surrounding the I/P conflict. I ask the same of you”

        Strange. I’ve been answering

      • Keith
        March 7, 2016, 11:04 am

        DAN- “I echo Sibiriak. I don’t understand what point you are trying to make.”

        I suspect that Talknic is trying to make the point that Zionism was not a rescue project. The intent always was to preserve the exclusivist nature of Classical Judaism in nationalist form, the religious binding of the Jews transmogrified into the blood solidarity of the manufactured Jewish peoplehood. Had the Zionist devoted their resources to rescuing Jews as opposed to creating a Jewish state, it is highly likely that fewer Jews would have died. How many fewer is a matter of conjecture, however, Zionist opposition to Jewish immigration into the Western democracies rather than Palestine is well known. Had they worked on rescue rather than creating a Jewish state, more Jews would have been saved, Israel would likely not have been created as a Jewish state, and the Middle East and the world would be a better place. As for Herzl, it could be argued that he sacrificed his family on the alter of Jewish nationalism.

      • Dan
        March 8, 2016, 7:05 am

        Talknic

        “How does one make a ‘mistake ‘ about something of which one knows nothing, something that didn’t exist?”

        Sensing danger but not knowing exactly what form that danger will take are two different things. Let’s say you want to move from your neighborhood because it is deteriorating, but decide to wait until a new house is fully completed, when you could have made other arrangements. While you are waiting someone sets fire to your house. Not moving earlier, delaying, was a mistake. The fact that you didn’t know it would be a fire doesn’t change that.

        “So he didn’t make a ‘mistake’. How confusing.”

        Being prescient and then taking action based on that are also two different things.

        You can have the last word on this.

  14. rosross
    February 26, 2016, 12:28 am

    It is a stretch to claim that anything Israel has achieved is remarkable, given the fact that the country is funded to the tune of billions by the US. What country would not be boosted by such financial underpinning?

    And, since Israel has taken as immigrants many educated at some of the best universities in Europe and the US, it has been artificially boosted in terms of talent. The deterioration of the Israeli education system does not promise much for the future.

    A small nation which has exploited the labour and wealth of Palestine, been boosted by foreign funds and foreign well-educated immigrants, would be gauranteed some level of commercial success.

    However, there have been many tyrannies throughout history which have succeeded through the subjugation and exploitation of others and admiring such ‘success’ is generally denied. To claim it for Israel makes a mockery of what is real success – democratic, civilized, enlightened societies and that is something Israel is not and never has been.

    And there can be no way out for any culture founded on religious elitism and bigotry and the denial of rights of the people whose land has been stolen.

    • rugal_b
      February 27, 2016, 1:24 pm

      I agree with you completely Ross. The US and its allies spent so much money and effort helping Israel because by helping Israel, they are helping themselves also. In addition, its not like the US used money saved from its own good honest work. It used money and resources it itself stole from the natives and black Americans to help Israel steal Palestine. The whole affair is rotten to the core and cannot in any way be salvaged. All stolen land needs to be given back, and all social and political systems that supported stealing of land must be overthrown completely. This means not just Israel, but also the US, Australia, NZ and Canada. Anyone without native ancestry must cease to call themselves people of whatever nation they reside and start acknowledging that they are settler colonialists who are committing crime and oppression through their silence.

      • rosross
        February 27, 2016, 7:50 pm

        @rugal,

        It is not fair to compare colonising wrongs of past times in the US, Australia, NZ and Canada with what Israel is doing, because all of these countries have given full and equal rights to their indigenous people, and in many cases, more rights.

        We see colonisation as a wrong in the modern age and it is, but mostly it is a wrong on Israel’s count because the indigenous Palestinians are denied freedom and justice as full and equal citizens.

        That is not the case in the other countries you cite. It is impossible to turn back the clock and ‘give back land.’ And how far do you go back if you tried?

        North American and South American Indians came from somewhere else, so did Maoris and so did Australian Aborigines, the latter killing or driving out an earlier people.

        We all came from somewhere else and if colonisation had not happened, Homo Sapiens would still be crammed somewhere in Africa. Colonisation was a part of our evolution and a vital part of our evolution.

        Other colonising nations along with giving extra rights, have admitted to the wrongs inherent in their foundation despite the fact it was centuries ago, long before people even accepted such rights and, in fact, when ordinary people had very few rights anyway and women even less.

        In the case of Australia, our indigenous people, some 570,000 out of 24million, most of them of very mixed ancestry and minimal Aboriginality, have more than $12 billion spent on their problems every year; many communities have had land given back to them and it is land no-one can enter without their permission; they get royalties from mining, something other Australians cannot claim or get and they have a raft of additional benefits, which, I might add, apply to anyone who registers as indigenous even if they have no Aboriginal ancestry at all but are merely accepted by a community, and even when they do have Aboriginal ancestry, it can be one great-great-great grandparent who is the link.

        So, no, there is not crime and oppression in other developed nations founded through colonisation as there is in Israel which refuses to admit to the wrongs inherent in its foundation, make redress and give the Palestinians full and equal rights and compensation in the way that the others have done.

        The cult of multiculturalism has done great harm encouraging people to consider themselves to be victims because they can find a droplet of indigenous ancestry. The British managed to get over being colonised, brutally, many, many times as has no doubt every nation on earth.

        The wrongs still are Israel in Palestine; China in Tibet; Indonesia in West Papua and a few others besides. Israel is the only one claiming to be a developed democracy and the one who has denied its indigenous people the most.

      • rugal_b
        February 29, 2016, 3:32 am

        Rossross, what you wrote is extremely offensive, racist, and all in all ignorant. It is completely fair to compare the US, Australia, Canada et al with Israel because apart from minor superficial differences, these are all establishments with the same roots, with same modus operandi working for the same long-term goal. White people are unwelcome invaders in America and Australia the same exact way the white European Jews in Palestine. Are you saying, just because white people have been doing it for longer, and is way more successful in killing off the native population, destroying their way of life, and muting their languages, everything is alright?

      • rugal_b
        February 29, 2016, 4:39 am

        Please remember that everyone without native ancestry has as much as right to the land on American, Australia, Canada etc as American Jews on Palestine…absolutely ZERO. The least progressive whites can do is acknowledge the fact that they are settler-colonialists whose privileged existence is made possible only from the death and suffering of millions of Natives and their descendants. I just don’t get why white people can’t just stop for a second and take a hard look at themselves and see the reality around them. Progressive Jews have no problem seeing the flaws of Zionism and their role in the ongoing oppression of Palestinians, and many have taken up to fight Israel and join hand-in-hand with Palestine to right the wrongs of their fellow Jews.

      • Mooser
        February 29, 2016, 8:00 pm

        “I just don’t get why white people can’t just stop for a second and take a hard look at themselves and see the reality around them.”

        And this is where the organ swells, and to the accompaniment of a dirge-like theme over an obstinato bass, “rugal b” launches (once again) into his hit song: “A Whiter Shade of Fail”

  15. Shmuel
    February 26, 2016, 1:51 am

    The bottom line as I see it: The right has triumphed; the left has been defeated.

    This is a fallacy or, at the very least, a facile and comfortable explanation.

    As Gershom Gorenberg put it, recently:

    [I]t seems that for many left-leaning secular Israelis, it’s so much more comfortable to identify the colossal mistake of the settlements with strange-looking hilltop youth than with a bare-headed prime minister – this one, or the others back to 1967.

    And the world looks simpler if you can believe that there’s a line on one side of which are people who agree with you on everything – and on the other, those who disagree on everything.

    That picture, though, is factually mistaken and politically self-defeating. It leads you to underestimate opponents and alienate potential allies. It evades the need to rethink what Zionism means. Along with international pressure, we need some intellectual pressure to look with clear eyes at how we’ve gotten into the quagmire we’re in now. [emphasis mine]

    Of course this goes far beyond the settlements, as Rabbi Gordis himself notes.

    What happened? We can debate the reasons

    Can we? Far too slowly, and still only on the edges of Jewish life. This is the primary Jewish issue of our time. Why is the “spiritual culture” in Israel — and, by extension, in all of the Jewish communities and institutions that support Israel — “rotten”? What exactly is rotten about it and how can we fix it? If Rabbi Gordis is prepared to participate in, or even lead this conversation, say at the next meeting of the Rabbinical Assembly, in which he is a leading member (who also commands respect as the son of Robert Gordis, former president of the RA and eminent Conservative rabbi and scholar), we may be onto something.

    • rosross
      February 27, 2016, 8:32 pm

      What is ‘rotten’ is support for occupation, colonisation and apartheid.

      It can be fixed by ending the occupation tomorrow, creating one state with equal rights for all, by admitting to the wrongs inherent in the foundation of the Israeli theocratic State on Palestine, saying sorry and paying compensation to those wronged.

      That will fix it. Same deal as apartheid South Africa.

  16. Avigail Abarbanel
    February 26, 2016, 2:29 am

    Well, I am really glad that this fellow is ‘seeing the light’ but the so-called ‘Zionist dream’ was morally and in every way wrong right from the start *because it was a settler-colonial plan*. There was no ‘noble plan’…

    Would these people ever get it right?? I find myself so impatient and unimpressed by these late bloomers into this issue… Bah…

  17. Talkback
    February 26, 2016, 2:56 am

    Since it only took him 68 years to realize this Zionist brainwash has also failed.

  18. rosross
    February 28, 2016, 7:04 pm

    @ Yonah,

    You said: RoHa- Zionism was a movement towards self emancipation.

    Zionism and those who support Zionism completely overlook the fact that religions don’t get self emancipation, as in, homelands, States, nationhoods because they are religions.

    No religion comprises a people, a nation or a State. Even Israel, despite claiming to represent Jews and Judaism does neither because most Jews do not live in Israel, never did and never will.

    Jews, like all religions comprise all races and dozens of nationalities and they always did beyond the first few converts – the first Jew, like the first Christian, Moslem etc., by necessity being a convert when the religion was invented>

    Orthodox Judaism in fact always rejected the concept of a literal state of Israel, saying it was only religious metaphor, which is of course the truth. Everything taught in any religion is metaphor.

    So, with Jews spread around the world then and still, comprised of countless nationalities and races, there never was and never would be a Jewish group which deserved self-determination, anymore than there would be a Christian, Hindu, Moslem or any other religious group which deserved self-determination.

    The concept created by Zionism was a delusional lie. No wonder the State of Israel was and is doomed.

  19. Boomer
    February 29, 2016, 9:29 am

    I appreciate the fact that Philip reported this fellow’s epiphany, and I don’t want to discourage hope that motivates constructive action (such as maintaining this site). Still, I would note that “every important way” may be defined in different ways by different people. Israel continues to be a success at stealing Palestinians’ land. Israel (together with AIPAC et al.) continues to be a success at controlling American politicians, as demonstrated most recently by the anti-BDS legislation that Obama signed. Israel continues to procure the financial, military, and diplomatic backing of the U.S. Those successes seem pretty important to me.

    • bryan
      March 2, 2016, 1:50 pm

      Boomer – you have not cited examples of Israeli success but rather examples of the success of a portion of the Jewish (and non-Jewish, Christian Zionist) community in the USA – people who by definition provide distant sympathetic support to a project they do not wish to physically join (and in the case of Christian evangelicals, cannot join because of having the wrong DNA). Even the land expropriation “successes” of Israeli settlers are impossible without the funding and political influence of distant sympathisers. Your argument undermines the case some have attempted to make for the success of Israel as a refuge for a persecuted people, which relies for its very survival on the support of people who have absolutely no need for a refuge and no intention (whatever Adelson says about regretting not serving in the IDF) of experiencing the hardships of being 21st century colonial expropriators and human rights violators.

      • Mooser
        March 2, 2016, 4:42 pm

        “a project they do not wish to physically join (and in the case of Christian evangelicals, cannot join because of having the wrong DNA)”

        There is no DNA test which can determine is a person is Jewish. Admission, or citizenship in Israel is not based on any kind of DNA test or analysis.

        I don’t know where people get those funny ideas about “DNA”.

      • YoniFalic
        March 7, 2016, 10:18 am

        I have not found any evidence of Adelson’s Zionism before his marriage to Miriam, who comes from a viciously Zionist family. (At least my family was left, i.e., fascist.) The Farbsteins were true E. Euro Nazis.

        The Genealogical Science: The Search for Jewish Origins and the Politics of Epistemology by Nadia Abu el-Haj of Columbia is a great scholarly book on the racist nonsense that Jewish genetic anthropology. It makes John Entine (Abraham’s Children) and Harry Ostrer (Legacy) look like total fools.

        For shorter readable analysis see Genetic markers cannot determine Jewish descent by Raphael Falk of Hebrew University.

        BTW, I consider Nadia Abu el-Haj one of the preeminent Jewish studies scholars in the world even if she does not consider herself a specialist in Jewish studies.

      • Mooser
        March 7, 2016, 11:14 am

        “For shorter readable analysis see ‘Genetic markers cannot determine Jewish descent’ by Raphael Falk of Hebrew University.”

        Arumgeflickt! I’m done for! I thought, I really did, that in the last analysis, a simple blood test, and an appeal to Tribal Unity, and a few Yiddish catch-phrases would save me. OMG, they will probably look at my archive, instead!

        That fatted calf is just going to have to hit the gym. He won’t get any help from me.

Leave a Reply