‘NY Jewish Week’ speaks bluntly of ‘Israel firsters’ in US politics

US Politics
on 114 Comments

A few years ago writers got in trouble for using the phrase “Israel Firster.” Now an outright supporter of Israel, Gary Rosenblatt, uses that phrase in the Jewish Week in a piece titled, “Israel-Firster’s Seen Edging Toward Trump.” Rosenblatt says that some voters care more about Israel than the U.S.

Among “Israel firsters” — those who vote primarily on what they believe is best for Israel — I find more and more people saying they may well vote for Trump, based on their dislike and distrust of Clinton and their reasoning that Trump will stand up for Israel more forcefully and openly than Clinton.

They note that Trump is against the Iran deal, highly critical of Obama, heaps praise on Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, wants to see the settlements expand, and pledges to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

This is important because the issue of dual loyalty is inherent in Zionism, especially as Israel has evolved, to be totally dependent on the United States and on Jews inside the United States to compel American politicians to support Israel. And it is good that this issue is coming into the mainstream conversation.

It’s good that American Jews will begin openly saying of other Jews that their first loyalty is Israel. It makes such a stance untenable: it will make it impossible for people who act on “what they believe is best for Israel” to hold high position in foreign policy-making in the U.S. government. It demonstrates that the neoconservatives are losing oxygen slowly. And that those critical of Israel are having greater influence in the discourse.

Talking about dual loyalty was verboten for a good 30 years, ever since Gore Vidal attacked the Podhoretzes for dual loyalty in the Nation, and the scorn turned on Vidal; and the charge was said to be an anti-Semitic canard about the international Jew. (Scott McConnell treats that story in his new book Ex-Neocon). But the problem still exists; the existence of Israel Firsters was an important factor in the drive to go to war in Iraq, and in opposition to the Iran deal; and in order to fight that crowd, you have to be able to state publicly what they’re up to. A great number of American Jews have pointed out the dual loyalty problem, from Rabbi Melissa Weintraub to Peter Beinart to John Judis to Eric Alterman (list here). Last year Chuck Schumer told a Jewish audience there was a difference between American interests and Jewish interests over the Iran deal, and he had to back the American interest, and then he voted against the deal, and some charged dual loyalty. Of course the issue is inherent in the rise of the neoconservatives, as both Norman Podhoretz and Irving Kristol said in the 1970s that there was a “Jewish interest” (Kristol’s words) in the U.S. having a big defense budget so that it could help Israel. Some of those advocates became White House aides. Elliott Abrams said that Jews must stand apart from any society they are in except Israel, and he helped make US Middle East policy. And just last month Dennis Ross, the longtime peace processor, told a New York Jewish audience in what was presented as an off-the-record discussion that American Jews “need to be advocates for Israel” and not for Palestinians.

So it’s good an American Jewish publication is acknowledging the question. Maybe we can have a mature conversation about the true agenda of many advocates in the Israel lobby at last. Maybe Dennis Ross won’t be considered to be the next secretary of state.

About Philip Weiss

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

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114 Responses

  1. Ossinev
    July 1, 2016, 1:33 pm

    The JSIL Firsters here in the UK meanwhile continue to do their bit particularly faced with the growth and impact of BDS. Now even the Chief Rabbi (ie in the UK) and the former Chief Rabbi(ie in the UK) are jumping on the bandwagon.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36676018

    Like desperate starving marooned sailors who they are frantically gnawing at anything that looks remotely like a bone in order to expose (they hope) some anti – semitic marrow.

    In response the Labour Left to give some credit are fighting back.

    http://www.thecanary.co/2016/07/01/anti-racism-report-spun-anti-corbyn-propaganda-media-says-report-author/

    Ken Livingstone and Norman Finklestein simply and clinically called out the attempt to smear individuals within the Labour Party as being anti semitic for criticising JSIL as a straightforward propaganda ploy by the Zionists/JSIL Firsters to undermine what they saw as being an anti JSIL left wing Corbyn led Labour Party.

    Unfortunately Corbyn is not a hard puncher and is simply incapable of political street fighting . Instead of telling the accusers that they were a bunch of hypocritical dual loyalty liars he mistakenly decided to show the “real democratic” side of the New Labour face by suspending Livingstone and holding a totally pointless inquiry.

    Still as has been pointed out so often in Mondoweiss publicity is a double edge sword and the more the JSIL Firsters here and in the US whinge, weep and wail about poor old JSIL being demonised the more they expose the dirty smelly 68 year old underwear of their cherished racist colony.

    BOYCOTT UGLY APARTHEID ISRAEL
    SUPPORT BDS
    TELL YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS ABOUT

    • pabelmont
      July 2, 2016, 3:53 pm

      The people who chiefly get hurt in the bursting of economic “bubbles” (USA’s mortgage bubble of 2000-2008 & USA’s securitization-of-slave-ownership 1837-ish) are those who hitched their wagons to an ever-more-valuable “market” for the bubbling securities. Bankruptcies, suicides, etc., often follow.

      The people who will chiefly be hurt when the JSIL-First hitch-a-wagon-to-Israel with its ever-more-absurd-and-strident cries of anti-semitism bubble bursts will be Jews (in Israel and elsewhere) especially those who’ve actually been JSIL-Firsters themselves.

      Read Blumenthal’s recent book on Lincoln and read about the vitriol, the mob violence, etc. of the anti-anti-slavery folks (reminiscent of today’s anti-anti-Israel, anti-anti-occupation, anti-anti-settlement folks).

      One hopes a bloody outcome will somehow be avoided.

  2. Raphael
    July 1, 2016, 1:35 pm

    I was thinking of my aliyah experience, in relation to others that moved to Israel. Now as a citizen, of both the US and Israel; I think much of the politics of the Middle East.

    I think, why, people are extreme in views is more out of fear, then anything else. When, I moved into my first apartment in Israel, I lived in a Russian Jewish community; which in my view has been russified (As I reflect on it).. they have been russified by the external forces of russification.. In the community, day to day… it was the Soviets that defined them, more then Jewish history, is my point….there was not much that would remind me that I was even in Israel, the day to day language was in Russian.

    I think most American Jews are similar; they only want to be Americanized;even the Israel firsters; because they want to be in the club of the far extreme political right club. To me it is all quite sad; the inability; to have a individual character, or, point of view; as if they can only communicate with slogans, even among their own community, day to day.

    • Mooser
      July 1, 2016, 2:41 pm

      “To me it is all quite sad; the inability; to have a individual character, or, point of view;”

      Here’s a crazy idea.
      What if American Jews were indeed “Americanized” since, oh, about the time the place became the “United States”, fully able, both politically, legally, and socially, to “have a individual character, or, point of view”, and Zionism is the use that many American Jewish Americans, in different degree, chose to put it to, and spend its fruits on?

      • Raphael
        July 1, 2016, 3:45 pm

        A difficult question.

        From my interpretation of Jewish history; your question proves that for American Jews; that the slogan Israel firsters; is simply that a slogan.

        Why? Well, for me, my parents were divorced; my father the ideal American Jew; my mother the ideal shikse goy, blond beauty. When , I would visit him; no mention of the Mt.Zion, next Year Jerusalem. Not God, no religion, no culture of Judaism, no nothing.

        Most of the people he knew were Jewish super rich Jews or basically upper middle class, so they were representative, if not of every American Jew probably most Jews in America, that want to be in that class that came from the old country.

        I would not be surprised if most American Jews; ever even knew of the various historical meanings of the name of Zionism or, that the person who coined the term “Zionist” was Nathan Birnbaum (1864 – 1937). For example, I wonder how many AIPAC firsters would know the answer; or even bother to want too, ask the question.

      • Mr.T
        July 1, 2016, 4:05 pm

        “my mother the ideal shikse goy”

        Wow, what a “son” you are, using such a vile, sexist slur.

      • Mooser
        July 1, 2016, 4:24 pm

        “A difficult question.”

        Yes, difficult. Very difficult. And, if you don’t mind me saying so, before you do, it’s complicated. Very complicated. So complicated.
        And so likely to turn into a battle of wills between the generations.

  3. Mooser
    July 1, 2016, 2:18 pm

    “I think most American Jews are similar; they only want to be Americanized”

    And a lot of non-Jewish Americans also think Jews can be citizens, with no political or legal disabilities, and able to participate fully in American life. And mark my words, someday, and someday soon, that will happen!

    But then again, look at the American Jewish support for Zionism. Absolutely amazing what we can accomplish while mired in a second-class status.

  4. Raphael
    July 1, 2016, 4:55 pm

    My mother, the ideal shikse goy…

    It is simply the thoughts that are in the mind of a half Jew; mirroring the Orthodox views; that are in the minds of many Jews, perhaps, half or more of the population; some, of which I met in my life.

    I was making conscious, there (right wing Jewish) sub-conscious thoughts of me, and it is my attempt at answering a historical question, about American Zionism; from my perspective as a mischlinge (mixed-blood) Jew; though, I was born many years, after the Holocaust; to understand my identity as a person.

    If my mother is not Jewish, that means to them; I’m a goy.

  5. yonah fredman
    July 1, 2016, 6:10 pm

    Although vidal’s attack on Podhoretz’s israel priorities was valid, vidal’s rhetoric included ugly jew hatred unrelated to israel as well.

    • echinococcus
      July 1, 2016, 10:55 pm

      I’m sure you had written a detailed, reasoned, referenced indictment about that “ugly jew hatred” by Vidal, of all people. And the dog just ate it before you clicked “Post Comment”, and you are unable to remember what it is… Let’s all judge and see where that racism is and what exactly it is. You do that or eat shhhh.

      • yonah fredman
        July 2, 2016, 8:11 am

        Vidal wrote a piece in the nation called “Some Jews and the Gays”. In it he responds to the anti gay rhetoric of Midge Decter by indulging in anti Jewish rhetoric of his own. Here’s the link to the piece: https://www.thenation.com/article/some-jews-gays/
        and here’s the most memorable line of that sort: “ No matter how crowded and noisy a room, one can always detect the new-class person’s nasal whine.”

      • Keith
        July 2, 2016, 10:24 am

        YONAH FREDMAN- “Here’s the link to the piece: link to thenation.com”

        You have an unrivaled ability to see anti-Semitism in everything and everyone, and to grossly misrepresent what others say. The only “Jews” Vidal refers to are the homophobic neocons who refer to themselves as the “new class.” That you can interpret an article in which Vidal calls for an alliance of Jews, Blacks and homosexuals as anti-Semitic is highly indicative of your irrational mindset. Personally, I thought that Vidal was pandering to non-neocon Jews who are not in any danger from some future pogrom as Vidal seems to think. I encourage my fellow Mondoweissers to use your link and judge for themselves both Vidal’s alleged anti-Semitism and your irrationality and anti-Gentile bias.

      • echinococcus
        July 2, 2016, 12:34 pm

        Linking to a well-reasoned, well-built and as usual well-written article is not indicating “where that racism is and what exactly it is”.

        The statement “ No matter how crowded and noisy a room, one can always detect the new-class person’s nasal whine” is something that can be experienced by anyone. No relationship to “jew hatred”.

        Get us solid proof or eat sh****

      • Nicholas
        July 2, 2016, 3:52 pm

        I too, read Vidal’s essay linked by yonah, and designated by him as “ugly jew hatred.” To put it simply, there is no “there”, there, and it’s not even close. Now I’m left wondering…is yonah a complete imbecile, or just ridiculously stupidly dishonest for making his “ugly jew hatred” allegation when there is none evident.

        Perhaps the other commentators should be polled to help me make up my mind on the imbecile vs dishonest quandary? I’m leaning toward dishonesty as few who would ever take the time to read Vidal could possibly be that big of an imbecile.

      • Mooser
        July 2, 2016, 5:40 pm

        “That you can interpret an article in which Vidal calls for an alliance of Jews, Blacks and homosexuals as anti-Semitic is highly indicative of your irrational mindset”

        Have you seen this one from “Yonah”:

        “thus began the process of shedding judaism and becoming true blue Yankee doodle americans. (The image that comes to mind is jolson in blackface abandoning his cantor father for the glamour and creativity and freedom of show biz.)the separatism declared by the law and the rabbis fell to the wayside – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/profile/wondering-jew/?keyword=Jolson#sthash.mVdZEkty.dpuf

        That one threw me for a loop. ( I’d love to hear “Yonah” tell me how “the separatism declared by the law and the rabbis” was supposed to work for Jews in the US. But let it pass, another day, perhaps. I hope I never have to hear why “Yonah” chose the Jolson analogy. ) I’m just glad this is all in text, so nobody can hear my “no-class nasal whine”

      • Mooser
        July 2, 2016, 6:09 pm

        “Get us solid proof or eat sh****”

        The proof is right in the sentence: “nasal”.
        He’s lucky he didn’t say: ‘a guttural nasal whine’. That’s first-degree, premeditated anti-Semitism, there.

      • Boomer
        July 2, 2016, 7:04 pm

        re: Yonah Fredman: ”

        Vidal wrote a piece in the nation called “Some Jews and the Gays”.

        Thanks for the link. That brings back memories of the era. For those of us who lived through it, is interesting to reflect on that time, with the benefit of perspective. Yet it isn’t only of historical interest: it remains timely. Well worth reading.

      • echinococcus
        July 2, 2016, 8:21 pm

        is yonah a complete imbecile, or just ridiculously stupidly dishonest

        It should be a matter of Guinness Book of Records that the matter has not been adjudicated since he started as, if I recall correctly, ‘The Wondering Jew”

      • yonah fredman
        July 2, 2016, 11:04 pm

        I agree with norm Podhoretz that the attacks by vidal against norm and his wife were antisemitic, but I will concede that the fervent antizionist crowd which constantly spits its contempt, might expect the recipients to consider their spit as if it was rain. Maybe I was adding vidal’s signature patrician sneer, his “I am a true american” and you are disloyal immigrant guests, into my reading of his words of scorn. Maybe it is his defense of American firsters of 1941 which bias me against him. Maybe it is his defense of timothy mcveigh, maybe his conspiracy theories, which make me see the sinister in his playful harmless words. But I’m with Podhoretz on this.

        I will try to find “empire lovers strike back” by vidal in the nation and ” the hate that dared not share it’s name” by Podhoretz in commentary in 1986, to reach a calmer opinion. Until then it seems that vidal is the perfect inkblot, seen as a jew hater by Zionists and seen as eminently fair by those who hate israel. (Note: Scott McConnell exonerates vidal for his antizionism, but still finds some of his anti Jewish rhetoric troubling.)

      • RoHa
        July 3, 2016, 12:37 am

        “You have an unrivaled ability to see anti-Semitism in everything and everyone, ”

        I dunno, Keith. Hophmi seem pretty good at it too. Do you think they take lesson?

      • echinococcus
        July 3, 2016, 2:34 am

        Jonas,

        So “you agree with Podhoretz”, do you? You surprise me…
        OK, what exactly and precisely is “antisemitic” in what Vidal writes, and why exactly?
        You two, with Hophmi, went way too far with your careless slandering and whining and sleazing, in the absence of any censorship.

        Anyway, either you come up with solid proof or you eat the same shhhh as your alter ego Hophmi. If you don’t respond, expect me to remind you every time I can –about human self-respect.

      • yonah fredman
        July 3, 2016, 3:46 am

        What if the new class were gentiles mixing with jews and I would write “every time you go to a party you always hear that laconic monosyllabic somewhat brain damaged midwest accent.”

      • Annie Robbins
        July 3, 2016, 3:57 am

        yonah, are you referencing this:

        It is startling that Decter has not yet learned that there is no hormonal difference between men who like sex with other men and those who like sex with women. She notes, “There is also such a thing as characteristic homosexual speech.… it is something of an accent redolent of small towns in’the Midwest whence so many homosexuals seemed to have migrated to the big city.” Here one detects the disdain of the self-made New Yorker for the rural or small-town American. “Midwest” is often a code word for the flyovers, for the millions who do not really matter. But she is right in the sense that when a group chooses to live and work together, they do tend to sound and look alike. No matter how crowded and noisy a room, one can always detect the new-class person’s nasal whine.

      • Annie Robbins
        July 3, 2016, 4:14 am

        and to answer your question — if you, (not unlike decter), were to write “every time you go to a party you always hear that laconic monosyllabic somewhat brain damaged midwest accent” i might lob a rhetorical response similar to vidal’s — just for the heck of it to give you a taste of your own medicine.

      • yonah fredman
        July 3, 2016, 3:55 am

        I also object to vidal’s use of the term “huckster”.

      • yonah fredman
        July 3, 2016, 4:04 am

        Jolson picked his mode of leaving his cantor father behind, by adopting two types of conformity: conformity to the racism of his day and exchanging his Jewish identity for the oppressed, but emotionally unrepressed black man. That this was the first talkie and at the same time a document of the desire to assimilate is one of the grand coincidences of cinematic and American jewish history.

      • yonah fredman
        July 3, 2016, 5:27 am

        An analogy: two teens are dissing each other’s mothers: your momma’s so fat when she sits around the house, she sits around the house. The younger brother of one of these teens hears his mother being disrespected in this way, does not appreciate the cleverness of the game, holds a grudge against the teen who insulted his mother (disregarding the tit for tat context). Yes, when decter insults gays and vidal responds by insulting jews, believe it or not, not everyone is laughing. That’s human nature. But here all we have is hardy har har, can’t you take a joke? And if i can’t take a joke it must mean that I’m anti gentile. Gimme a break. Gore vidal made his name calling Buckley a nazi on tv, he was don rickles with a large vocabulary, a patrician’s snobbish sneer and a smirk: see I can insult you and get away with it. Maybe the great referee in the sky sees it different, but some of us humans down here might take him a tad too seriously and when Buckley threatens violence, even 48 years later I root for buckley.

      • Mooser
        July 3, 2016, 1:18 pm

        “and when Buckley threatens violence, even 48 years later I root for buckley.”

        Of course you would! A right-wing nasal whine confers as much “authenticity” as a “Yiddish accent”!
        And authenticity always knows its own!

      • Mooser
        July 3, 2016, 2:01 pm

        “Jolson picked his mode of leaving his cantor father behind,”

        “Yonah”, if you can, try not to confuse the actual events of Jolson’s life, and “The Jazz Singer” a movie loosely based on his experience.

        Those are not actual films (as wonderful as some of the scenes still are) of the Jolson home at the time. Nor was the dialogue recorded verbatim.

        Jolson was a beloved American singer who could draw tears from his audience and great sympathy for his blackface character.

      • echinococcus
        July 3, 2016, 2:05 pm

        when Buckley threatens violence, even 48 years later I root for buckley

        says Jonas Fredman.

        But of course you do, that’s not information. “Liberal” Zionists and any other reactionaries always flock together to support the use of violence against free speech.

      • Mooser
        July 3, 2016, 5:54 pm

        Turns out “The Jazz Singer” was a play on Broadway, the role originated by George Jessel, before Jolson ever got to it.

      • RoHa
        July 4, 2016, 12:34 am

        “Gore vidal made his name calling Buckley a nazi on tv”

        Er … he had written a novel or two before then, and they did attract a bit of attention. (I actually read one – Julian – shortly after it was published.) So I suspect he already had a name, and that was why he was invited on to the programme.

      • RoHa
        July 4, 2016, 1:44 am

        Mooser, I know that you and Annie are trying to persuade Yonah that Vidal was not an anti-Semite, but Yonah knows that it has been academically proven that everyone is an anti-Semite. So I reckon you’ve got Buckley’s.

      • Mooser
        July 4, 2016, 2:21 am

        “Gore vidal made his name calling Buckley a nazi on tv, he was don rickles with a large vocabulary, a patrician’s snobbish sneer and a smirk:”

        William F Buckley Jr. of course, was the salt of the earth, a man of the people.
        The man who said :

        “I am prepared to say that anybody who would permit Israel to go down militarily is probably motivated by anti-Semitism.”

      • echinococcus
        July 9, 2016, 3:37 pm

        Mr Fredman,

        It’s been 5 days now since you were last called to present solid evidence for your “antisemitism” attack or admit it was plain, vile slandering. No human self-respect, eh? That’s what is common to all Zionists.

        Also, which side are the mods on?

      • Mooser
        July 10, 2016, 12:37 am

        “Also, which side are the mods on?”

        The Moderators will be on the side of Mondoweiss, I would think. The Moderator’s are there to protect the website.

      • echinococcus
        July 10, 2016, 10:14 am

        Very good, Mooser! I totally agree: their job is not to edit Misplaced Apostrophe’s.
        Their job is ostensibly just as you said. Each one of them must have a totally different idea than the others of MW’s vital interests. Not being an owner, I can afford to laugh.

      • Mooser
        July 10, 2016, 3:03 pm

        “Each one of them must have a totally different idea than the others of MW’s vital interests.”

        I wouldn’t like to think that. I would think that those taking on the task would co-ordinate and be aware of what may come through comments which may be a danger to the site.

    • MRW
      July 2, 2016, 12:01 am

      vidal’s rhetoric included ugly jew hatred unrelated to israel as well

      Just as ugly as what Israelis and Israel-Firsters write and say about Palestinians today. So what’s your point?

    • yonah fredman
      July 3, 2016, 9:42 am

      My original statement was wrong to accuse vidal of ugly jew hatred, it should have accused him of highly questionable jew taunting.

      • Marnie
        July 3, 2016, 12:02 pm

        “highly questionable jew taunting”. That’s it Yonah, hit him with your best shot.

        Is there no end to your scurrilous attacks?

      • Annie Robbins
        July 3, 2016, 12:20 pm

        ok, thanks for stepping down from your original statement somewhat. i’m reluctant to get too deep into this because i am not that familiar w/vidal — and weary of appearing to defend that which i do not know. but an accusation of “ugly jew hatred” should always warrant an example.

        here all we have is hardy har har, can’t you take a joke? And if i can’t take a joke it must mean that I’m anti gentile.

        but nobody said you were “anti gentile” in the context of this conversation. people queried your allegation and when your rationale was less than forthcoming you resorted to “concede”[ing] your challengers “constantly spits its contempt”— and this is coming from a master in the art of spitting contempt (you).

        decter insults gays and vidal responds by insulting jews

        but in your analogy it was the little brother who upped the ante. decter was a vile and insulting woman (as was her daughter rachel) and even wiki’s description of her article “characterized homosexuality as socially deviant and personally destructive” — and the title of his article stated “some jews” btw. she had a loud mouth and she was inciting w/a megaphone. but then the house of cards flails and falls completely when he dares to trounce her w/ “new-class person’s nasal whine”. i don’t know the buckley nazi stuff, but this vidal/decter complaint seems to me a case of pot calling kettle black. and she (along w/her squad) is a “lively huckster”, it describes her perfectly. who does she think she is insulting and judging the gay community?

        one can’t expect to sit on the top of the heap and hurdle insults and expect not to get shit thrown back at you and scream racism when it happens. the rightwing jewish community’s public face is massively inflammatory (comes down like rain). try blaming them for some of this stuff — they call it upon themselves and want to use “anti-semitism” to deflect. not impressive.

  6. eljay
    July 1, 2016, 6:19 pm

    Among “Israel firsters” … I find more and more people saying they may well vote for Trump, based on their dislike and distrust of Clinton and their reasoning that Trump will stand up for Israel more forcefully and openly than Clinton.

    They note that Trump … heaps praise on Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, wants to see the settlements expand, and pledges to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. …

    It’s a good thing Trump has vowed to be neutral on I-P.

  7. Raphael
    July 1, 2016, 6:22 pm

    Yes, difficult.

    I read a book by Josephine Lazarus; the sister of Emma Lazarus, The Spirit of Judaism (1895).

    I think it talks about the question you raise, perhaps. How, a ideal Judaism can transform America. I think the book has been ignored by most American Jews; and, I’m guessing, almost, if not all Israeli Jews.

    • Mooser
      July 1, 2016, 11:46 pm

      “I think it talks about the question you raise, perhaps. How, a ideal Judaism can transform America.”

      Well, I was hoping we could start out by, you know, obeying the law, and not considering ourselves above the law and morality when it comes to Zionism.
      And taking responsibility, or at the very least, give an honest accounting for what has already been done.
      We can leave off the transforming-America-by-ideal-Judaism til later.

    • MRW
      July 2, 2016, 12:04 am

      The guy who fired Phil at The Observer is his son-in-law, and wrote his 2016 AIPAC speech.

      • lysias
        July 3, 2016, 8:50 am

        And that guy is said to be one of those behind Trump’s firing his campaign manager.

    • RoHa
      July 2, 2016, 4:14 am

      Do Americans want to be transformed by ideal Judaism, and will you still do it if they don’t?

      • Raphael
        July 2, 2016, 12:22 pm

        I was forced to be Jewish by non Jews. My name is Jewish my history is Jewish. And having been attacked because I was Jewish forced me to be a Zionist; much different then the Israeli Firsters and also much different then a typical Israeli or an American Zionist.

        I think AIPAC is an extreme right wing group. AIPAC is to me, even counter to even historical Zionism. See Daniel and Jonathan Boyarin, Lazarus, Syrkin, Reznikoff and Roth. I’m more of a spiritual anarchist Zionist, a pacifist of sorts.

        Also read: Diaspora and Zionism in Jewish American Literature Lazarus, Syrkin, Reznikoff and Roth, by Ranen Omer-Sherman.

      • echinococcus
        July 2, 2016, 1:47 pm

        Raphael,

        No one “forced” you to be Jewish. If you are religious, this is a choice.
        Lots of people have Jewish-sounding names –even some Catholic priests. Even Cardinal Lustiger. Enormous numbers of non-religious plain-human non-Jews, too. So please stop prevaricating.

        Also, no one here but the Zio-nationalists give a rat’s what-you-know what precise variety of Zionist you are.

      • Mooser
        July 2, 2016, 5:55 pm

        Raphael, why on earth would I want to read a bunch of books about what Zionism could be or should be? Or what it is to you. Why not deal with what it is?

        “Lots of people have Jewish-sounding names –even some Catholic priests. Even Cardinal Lustiger.”

        Oh darn, I mean, it’s not really my business, but it was nice to think we had a friend at the Vatican.

      • RoHa
        July 3, 2016, 12:43 am

        Were you forced to be a Jew by the same people who are forcing you to distribute punctuation marks at random throughout your comments? (I can’t imagine you are doing it of your own free will.) If so, we must track down these monsters and exterminate them.

      • Mooser
        July 3, 2016, 1:33 pm

        ” If so, we must track down these monsters and exterminate them.”

        That such harsh judgements should come from a man who has typographical emoticons in his own archive is very distressing. I can only repeat what I told the erring trigonometrist, : “Go thy way, and sine no more.”

      • RoHa
        July 4, 2016, 12:24 am

        Typographical emoticons may be horrific, but they do not, as far as I can tell, constitute a barrier to communication. On the contrary, they add an extra bit of information. Bad punctuation, on the other hand, leads to confusion. Wouldn’t you agree? :)

      • Annie Robbins
        July 4, 2016, 1:31 am

        roha, i took the liberty of extracting a bunch of completely unnecessary comas and semicolons from two of his comments. i could not get through the comment with them in it. there must have been 20 in the first paragraph. also, that one remained. my theory is it must have something to do w/numerology and the number of digits or something. who knows.

      • Mooser
        July 4, 2016, 1:39 am

        “Wouldn’t you agree?”

        NO!
        And come to think of it, considering HTML, they can even be dangerous!

    • Boomer
      July 2, 2016, 6:02 pm

      re “The Spirit of Judaism” by Josephine Lazarus, mentioned by Raphael

      Thanks for the reference to the book. I infer that it has been out of print for some time, but now, thanks to the Web, I find that it is readily available. Thus far I’ve only skimmed it a bit, but it does look interesting. Dated, yet still relevant. I’m sure that I’ll learn something, not only about that era but about the mindset of some people, even today.

      As for transforming America, it’s clear that the the huge influx of immigrants from eastern and southern Europe in the decades immediately before and after she wrote did indeed transform American society in many ways. To what extent that transformation relates to an “ideal Judaism” as understood by Lazarus, I don’t know, but I look forward to reading the book.

  8. yourstruly
    July 2, 2016, 12:06 pm

    As America and its allies face the blowback from the wars that Israel-firsters have promoted in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere, it should be clear by now that these I-F’ers are at least partly responsible for the mass murders in Orlando, Paris, Brussels and Ankara. For had they put the interests of America, not to mention the rest of the world, before the interests of the settler-state Israel, there’d have been no Afghanistan war, no Iraq war, no Libya war, no Syria war. And without said wars, no blowback! Just think of it, history shaped by a tiny nation of six million people (80% Jews), along with its mostly Jewish I-F’er U.S. supporters. Antisemitism? Only if nothing is done about this.

    • echinococcus
      July 2, 2016, 2:05 pm

      Yourstruly,

      Excellent characterization of the Zionist responsibility in the US wars.
      Yes, the Zionists have us in a chokehold and expanding war and mayhem, but “American interest” is an empty excuse anyone can use –one only has to pretend that it is a sincere belief about where the national interest lies.

      National interest as seen by many favors high crimes against humanity even where Zionist interests are not involved.

    • Nicholas
      July 2, 2016, 4:32 pm

      “Orlando, Paris, Brussels and Ankara”? Why do you omit the 9/11 attacks upon the WTC? Have you not read Bin Laden’s “Letter to the America” ?

      • RoHa
        July 3, 2016, 12:50 am

        Certainly not. Gentlemen do not read letters not addressed to themselves.

    • Raphael
      July 2, 2016, 5:34 pm

      I have this gut feeling that if the Cold War never ended that terrorism would not be in the news 24/7. In other words, after the cold war ended many many people in the war industry were unemployed, or about to be. So, in desperation they created a scapegoat, to justify future wars; or propaganda similar to the Cold war propaganda; like the war on terror, slogan.

  9. Ossinev
    July 2, 2016, 1:09 pm

    @Raphael
    “I was thinking of my aliyah experience, in relation to others that moved to Israel. Now as a citizen, of both the US and Israel; I think much of the politics of the Middle East”

    It sounds as if you had a really ” spiritual” experience you know what with your fellow ancestral Jews having being driven out by those nasty Roman centurions with their qualitative edge swords and siege machines and all that.

    I wonder if you wonder if all those Palestinian refugees in the Middle East with their children and grandchildren ” think “of you and all the other Zionist colonisers on their “aliyah ” fling and long to have the spiritual experience of going back to their stolen lands and homes.

    Oops sorry forgot you were “forced to be Jewish”. So presumably you were also forced to have an”aliyah” experience.

    I think you need to see a specialist in driveltherapy.

    • MRW
      July 2, 2016, 3:04 pm

      “I was thinking of my aliyah experience, in relation to others that moved to Israel. Now as a citizen, of both the US and Israel; I think much of the politics of the Middle East”

      Raphael is lucky. He’s alive. Many, many, many , Palestinian kids are not.

    • Raphael
      July 2, 2016, 6:24 pm

      That us so sad; that Palestinians would like to return to Israel. Though I’m now a citizen of Israel I probably will not go back there to live. I think from what I read originally, they wanted the Jews and Palestinians to live with each other in peace; but then some extreme right wing war hawks thought otherwise. I’m not Jewish technically and while I was living there I was a second class citizen. I was able to become a citizen because my father is Jewish.

      My own opinion is that I think present day Israelis and Palestinians would live together fine. both are generally very right wing to the point of fanaticism. In fact, when I was there I seen many Jews hiring what I’m guessing are illegal Palestinian workers. the workers and their employers got long fine.

      • Mooser
        July 2, 2016, 7:43 pm

        “My own opinion is that I think present day Israelis and Palestinians would live together fine. both are generally very right wing to the point of fanaticism.”“Raphael”

        Gee, I’m just a little confused. Could you give some examples, or cite some manifestations, of Palestinian right-wing politics? “To the point of fanaticism”?

        Could you be a bit more specific? And of course, you being from there, it would really help.

      • Mooser
        July 2, 2016, 7:56 pm

        “In fact, when I was there I seen many Jews hiring what I’m guessing are illegal Palestinian workers. the workers and their employers got long fine.”

        No wildcat strikes? No labor agitation? No union organizing, leading to a vote, joining the union, (The International Brotherhood of Illegal Palestinian Workers, Local 204) negotiations, and finally a new contract, or a walk-out? None of that left-wing stuff like that?

        I guess those Palestinians are really right-wing. Regular right-to-work (illegally) folks.

      • RoHa
        July 3, 2016, 12:48 am

        “I think from what I read originally, they wanted the Jews and Palestinians to live with each other in peace; ”

        The early Zionists wanted a few Palestinians to live in peace and do the grunt work. But not next door, of course.

  10. Raphael
    July 2, 2016, 6:00 pm

    No one “forced” you to be Jewish. If you are religious this is a choice.

    On or about 1933 to 1935 the Nazis created laws that defined a Jewish person from race rather then religion. That disoriented many that thought they were Germans, or German Jews… simply having a Jewish ancestor made them a target and they then became “Jewish” all the sudden… even though they had no religion. First, Hitler came after the mischlinge, that is what I am a mixed Jew.

    There is excellent book if anyone cares to read about it, a few Jewish history scholars have talked about this topic.

    Recovering Jewishness: Modern Identities Reclaimed Hardcover – February 22, 2016, Frederick S. Roden

    Cardinal Lustiger identified as both Jewish and Catholic. He said a Jewish prayer at his father’s funeral.

    • Mooser
      July 2, 2016, 7:06 pm

      “On or about 1933 to 1935 the Nazis created laws that defined a Jewish person from race rather then religion.”

      I wouldn’t worry, “Raphael”. I’m no lawyer, but I’m very sure those laws don’t apply to you.

      • echinococcus
        July 2, 2016, 8:16 pm

        Well Mooser, I’m no lawyer either: that explains our ridiculously amateurish and faulty interpretation.

        For a real lawyer like our new friend, I imagine Nazi laws keep their validity forever: they are compulsory in the sense that any Real Jews who become aware of them must unconditionally conform to them.
        For the Real Lawyers, the Nazi laws mean that any and all Real Jews conform to the pseudo-racial definition of the tribe.

        As demonstrated by the Real Jews who Allahiya’ed, and their definition of Jewish.

    • echinococcus
      July 2, 2016, 8:17 pm

      Looks like you are so confused that without the Nazi laws you wouldn’t know if you want to be just human or tribal.

      • Mooser
        July 7, 2016, 6:35 pm

        “you wouldn’t know if you want to be just human or tribal.”

        And it’s even harder trying to determine which of the Ten Tribes you should belong to!

      • echinococcus
        July 10, 2016, 10:20 am

        Mooser,

        Ten? Is belonging limited to the Lost Tribes only?
        What if one is from a Found Tribe?
        The more so as the overwhelming majority are obviously from a Newfound Tribe.

    • eljay
      July 2, 2016, 9:29 pm

      || Raphael: … On or about 1933 to 1935 the Nazis created laws that defined a Jewish person from race rather then religion. … ||

      “Jewish” is a religion-based identity. A person can choose to be Jewish; a person can choose not to be Jewish.

      No-one should ever be forced to be Jewish; no-one should ever be forced not to be Jewish.

      No-one should ever suffer acts of injustice or immorality because s/he is Jewish; no-one should ever suffer acts of injustice or immorality because s/he is not Jewish.

      The Nazis might disapprove, but I don’t care. Why do you feel that Nazi laws deserve to be legitimized?

      • Raphael
        July 2, 2016, 10:31 pm

        I identify with those that were Mischling Jews. They were part of the Holocaust, but, most of their stories are unreported. When, I was living in Israel, I would have people tell me; if I’m not Jewish I should convert, or leave.

        But, from what I read about other mischlinge Jews; they would still not feel welcome even if they converted. There is a Hebrew word for a convert to the religion of Judaism called Ger, which when translated into English is foreign resident. So if anything; if I converted that would make me feel worse. I would be converting to the very thing, I’m trying to not be part of.

        Eugenics, was the political movement that would target half Jews; it was popular in the US, as well as, pre state Israel, starting in the early twentieth century, and even before the state of Israel was founded; just as Ezra did years ago in the Bible.

      • yonah fredman
        July 3, 2016, 1:19 am

        Raphael-
        When we were in high school and believed that the laws were incumbent on us, we fantasized about finding out that we really weren’t jewish, would we convert? and the answer was no way. the torah is too heavy a burden.

        the identity thing, is tough to define, everybody has their own set of parents, their own way of relating to their jewishness or to their jewish roots.

        though i reject a reasonably large percentage of the torah, i can imagine a torah scroll being opened before me and though i am not in awe per se, i feel as if the letters are “special”, not magic, but not mundane. if someone lacks that awe, that irrational adoration of a text out of some romantic notion of “holiness”, then i suppose the jewish thing is merely historical. to me the history of the 20th century is intense and even for someone with many family branches and only a solitary root in jewishness, i would think that curiosity about this historical earthquake would be rather intense. i would even think that multiple roots would help a person have perspective on the earthquake, view it from the outside and not just the inside, but that would be for a deep person.

        by the way, shoah is far preferable to holocaust, because of the holy sacrifice implied by holocaust and i object to the term. shoah means desolation. the yiddish churban for destruction is also good. but sorry to get bogged down in semantics. the previous points were much more heartfelt than this verbal excursion.

      • Mr.T
        July 3, 2016, 10:18 am

        “by the way, shoah is far preferable to holocaust, because of the holy sacrifice implied by holocaust and i object to the term. shoah means desolation. the yiddish churban for destruction is also good.”

        Holocaust is by far the better term.

        First, if you use “churban” no one is going to know what the hell you’re talking about, and when you tell them, they’ll say, “You mean the holocaust??”

        “Shoah” is very bad, if you’re talking about the entire holocaust, because it’s only referring to half of the people murdered in the holocaust and spits on the other half (save for when the term is being used in the rare occasion where the distinction between non-Jews and Jews killed in the holocaust is relevant.)

      • echinococcus
        July 3, 2016, 2:17 pm

        Mr. T,

        What need is there in the first place for some trademarked, only-me, derailed esoteric term? Except, of course, nationalist self-glorification and commercialization of the dead.

        “Genocide” is a good enough term. It explains forcefully, in plain English.

      • Mr.T
        July 4, 2016, 12:11 pm

        “‘Genocide’ is a good enough term.”

        I won’t go that far, because there are very legitimate (especially scholarly) reasons, to distinguish genocides from each other, and to distinguish between the murders of the Jews by the Nazis and their murder by non-Jews. I would agree with you that the abuses from the use of any terms is lamentable and should be avoided.

  11. Raphael
    July 2, 2016, 9:54 pm

    Hannah Arendt, was from Germany. She later wrote a book called Eichmann in Jerusalem. After that book she became a heretic to extreme right wing Israelis. She was covering the trial in Israel as a reporter, If I remember correctly; which I think was also very controversial , because, her coverage of it was gaining as much attention, then even the trial itself.

    She wrote many things about Jewish politics. One publication is called the Jewish Writings.
    The Jewish Writings – February 26, 2008

    In it she says that a militant right wing group (Irgun Zvai Leumi) is a terrorist right wing organization.

    Another thing to read is, Etan Bloom, Arthur Ruppin and the Production of the Modern Hebrew Culture, 2008.

    It is a excellent book by a Israeli, that defines how right wing extremists used every trick in the book to use the scapegoat mechanism to attack not only Arabs, but also mischlinge Jews, and Sephardi Jews, in short; they needed scapegoats, to gain political power.

  12. yonah fredman
    July 3, 2016, 1:03 am

    Scott Mcconell’s article was linked on this page before, but for some reason that link has been deleted, so here is the link to his article. If you’re too lazy to read it i will find the negative adjectives that he finds regarding vidal’s anti podhoretz presentations. but he does not give him the clean bill of health this mw crowd give vidal’s rhetoric. http://www.theamericanconservative.com/2012/08/06/why-i-owed-gore-vidal-an-apology/

    • Annie Robbins
      July 3, 2016, 1:35 am

      was linked on this page before, but for some reason that link has been deleted

      nope. i just checked out the last few pages of trashed comments. nothing there resembling this link.

      he does not give him the clean bill of health

      here’s the end of the article. is this what you’re talking about?:

      it now seems clear there are other factors to be weighed in assessing the Vidal piece. The target of Vidal’s ire was plainly not Jews in any general sense, but the Podhoretzes and their loyalties to Israel and the problems such loyalties posed for America. It’s not as if, in 1986, there were an whole slew of Tony Judts and M.J. Rosenbergs and Philip Weisses writing about this subject with verve and passion and judiciousness and sensitivity. No leading political scientists had excavated the workings and explored the consequences of The Israel Lobby. The subject of the U.S.-Israel relationship, if not taboo, was kept far off the national radar screen.

      By writing something over the top, and easily perceived as anti-Semitic, Vidal had fired an illumination flare at a subject which richly deserved his readers’ notice. How then to balance the torts in this case: accusing the Podhoretzes of not being real Americans because of their ties to Israel is reprehensible, but so too are Israel’s policies of occupation and ethnic cleansing. The Podhoretzes use of their considerable talents and cultural influence to defend these policies—and, more, to render debate about them out of bounds, is reprehensible as well.

      In any case, Jerry Brown lost the New York primary and was deprived of Gore Vidal’s strategic advice. I had the lesson reinforced that it is seldom a bad career move for someone with a Mc in their surname to accuse someone of anti-Semitism, especially if there’s any basis for the charge. If Vidal deserved no credit for the tone of his polemic, he clearly does for its foresight, especially the insight that Israel’s belligerence, then seemingly a secondary or even tertiary factor in the determination of American foreign policy, would begin to weigh more heavily so long as we remained so closely tied to the country. Today this seems almost beyond dispute. In any case, had I the chance I would have told Vidal that my column was written out of conviction and at the time quite genuine affection for the Podhoretzes, but also some laziness and at least some subconscious sense that it would please those with a chance to favor my career. And for that I was sorry. I would tell him also that his piece, while still over the top, at least worked towards some important truths.

      • yonah fredman
        July 3, 2016, 2:38 am

        i must have found the article on my own.

      • Annie Robbins
        July 3, 2016, 3:39 am

        you referenced the article up thread but didn’t link to it.

        (Note: Scott McConnell exonerates vidal for his antizionism, but still finds some of his anti Jewish rhetoric troubling.)

      • Marnie
        July 3, 2016, 11:53 pm

        Annie –

        You have the patience of a scholar. I’m always impressed by the breadth of your posts.

      • Annie Robbins
        July 4, 2016, 6:15 am

        what a sweet thing to say marnie. thank you.

  13. Raphael
    July 3, 2016, 2:24 am

    The early Zionists…

    I was thinking of the powers that be; not the general Israeli employer. You may be correct, about grunt work; I did not have that long to look at the labor market, from my apartment in Israel.

    The Palestine worker told me he was from a part of the county, around 50 miles away, when he was working in my apartment, making repairs for my landlord. He could have been from the West Bank; from the way he defined it to me on a map. Where, I was living, there were no Palestinians living next door to me. My guess is, even the Arab workers I seen in drug stores etc., were catching the bus to work.

    One thing that shocked me; in the US it would be huge news. Contracted labor from other counties would get a Visa, if they would work for one set fee, for the entire 5 years. I will not say the amount; but, lets say it was about half of a low paying minimum wage job, for a year, here in the US.

    • RoHa
      July 3, 2016, 5:25 am

      “I was thinking of the powers that be; not the general Israeli employer.”

      I was thinking of Herzl and the early Zionist theorists who, in Basel in 1887, decided to take Palestine away from the native inhabitants.

      I’m sure they would have approved of the labour situation you describe.

      • Raphael
        July 3, 2016, 11:02 pm

        Herzl, wanted a multicultural, and multilingual state. He was much more “liberal” then today’s right wingers.

        See… Recovering Jewishness: Modern Identities Reclaimed: Modern Identities Reclaimed
        By Frederick S. Roden, 2016

        “The new national home would not be ‘Jewish’ but a multicultural, multilingual state like Switzerland, even though most citizens would probably continue to speak German.”

      • Sibiriak
        July 3, 2016, 11:55 pm

        Raphael: Herzl, wanted a multicultural, and multilingual state. He was much more “liberal” then today’s right wingers. […] “The new national home would not be ‘Jewish’ but a multicultural, multilingual state like Switzerland, even though most citizens would probably continue to speak German.” .

        ———————

        In any case, the creation of such a fanciful multicultural Switzerland-like, German-speaking state/Jewish home in overwhelmingly Arab Palestine would perforce have required the negation of the native inhabitants right to self-determination, since they were strongly opposed to any such plans.

        (The First Zionist Congress in Basel was in 1897, not 1887. It declared:

        Zionism aims at establishing for the Jewish people a publicly and legally assured home in Palestine. For the attainment of this purpose, the Congress considers the following means serviceable:

        1. The promotion of the settlement of Jewish agriculturists, artisans, and tradesmen in Palestine.

        2. The federation of all Jews into local or general groups, according to the laws of the various countries.

        3. The strengthening of the Jewish feeling and consciousness.

        4. Preparatory steps for the attainment of those governmental grants which are necessary to the achievement of the Zionist purpose.)

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Zionist_Congress#Basel_Declaration

      • echinococcus
        July 4, 2016, 1:10 am

        Raphael,

        Who gives a F&%^ F&%^?
        Talk about invasion, theft and genocide.

      • Mooser
        July 4, 2016, 1:23 am

        “Herzl, wanted a multicultural, and multilingual state. He was much more “liberal” then today’s right wingers.”

        So what? What on earth does Herzl have to do with it?

        You seem intent on avoiding some very basic facts, and introducing diversions and irrelevancies.

      • Mr.T
        July 4, 2016, 10:56 am

        “Herzl, wanted a multicultural, and multilingual state. He was much more “liberal” then today’s right wingers.”

        Ha! He had no right to impose any kind of state superior to the wishes of the people who actually lived in Palestine, as they were the only people who had a valid claim on it, but planned the invasion and genocide anyway. He was worse than many of today’s right wingers, and among the most evil men who ever lived.

      • RoHa
        July 4, 2016, 10:29 pm

        If that’s what Herzl wanted, his immediate followers certainly didn’t get the message.

        (Sorry. 1897. Aging memory.)

      • Sibiriak
        July 8, 2016, 9:00 pm

        Raphael: Herzl, wanted a multicultural, and multilingual state.

        —————-

        Cf. Hostage:

        A letter in the Financial Times Feb. 22nd raised some interesting issues regarding Shavit’s book, as to what Herzl was planning for the existing population of Palestine, in 1895.

        The Charter of Herzl’s Jewish-Ottoman Land Company (JOLC) contained an article which reserved the right of the Zionists to involuntarily transfer or deport the non-Jewish population of Palestine to other parts of the Ottoman Empire.

        http://www.jstor.org/stable/2537267?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

        ——————-

        Note: The above comment by Hostage has been erased from the archive. No link available, except to the article with missing comments:
        http://mondoweiss.net/2014/02/slaughter-settler-spokesman/

  14. Raphael
    July 5, 2016, 10:52 pm

    In any case, the creation

    These Rare Texts Will Remind You What Israel Once Aspired To Be
    Posted on May 10, 2016 by Ameinu Office
    By Chaim Seidler-Feller and David N. Myers

    Sixty-eight years ago, in the face of intense pressures from within and without, powerful voices were heard calling for the anchoring of robust democratic principles in the foundation of the new State. They figured in Israel’s Declaration of Independence, which called for “complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.”

    Within the confines of our State, citizens of the Arab people continue to live — for most of them this war is loathsome. Their rights as equal citizens we are duty-bound to uphold. We look to peace. Our hands are extended to them as partners in building the homeland.

    This striking call to recognize Jews and Arabs as equals was offered in the shadow of the Holocaust and in the face of an ongoing conflict understood as a war of survival.

    http://www.ameinu.net/blog/israel/these-rare-texts-will-remind-you-what-israel-once-aspired-to-be/

    • Annie Robbins
      July 6, 2016, 1:49 am

      This striking call to recognize Jews and Arabs as equals was offered in the shadow of the Holocaust

      unfortunately this is untrue and was not what was offered. it was merely what was printed in these texts. although it may have been written and printed in sincerity by the authors, the state never offered “full equal rights shall be extended to all citizens irrespective of their religion or race” ~ did it?

      the final paragraph in your link:

      The passage of time has not been kind to these notions. Citizens in Israel today confront stiff challenges to the values of democracy and equality. Rather than lapse into despair, they would do well to recover the range of foundational principles that were present at the birth of the state and are contained in the above texts. They represent an important antidote to the current scourge of chauvinism and a repository of some of the most exalted ideals of the Jewish and Zionist traditions.

      it takes more than rare texts of some peoples aspirations to make a tradition. a tradition is “the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way.”

      there’s simply no evidence of the information in these texts ever becoming “Zionist traditions” ~ not that i can see anyway. however, they were “principles that were present at the birth of the state” — a brief presence that never took hold perhaps.

      • MHughes976
        July 6, 2016, 5:42 am

        Not only no evidence, but clear signs that ‘equal rights Zionism’ was impossible. Z as we have always known it claims political rights in Palestine for people who are Jewish regardless of having ever been there. It does not accord that right to anyone else. So then and there, from the very beginning and basic formulation of the idea, there is an inequality of rights.
        There could not be a kinder and gentler variant, giving comparable rights to others with a connection to the Land via recent residence, property or ideology, because that would always, from 1897 until now, have made it impossible to aspire to a permanent Jewish majority.
        The basic inequality was bound to expand drastically. It led to the exclusion of the mass of Palestinians after 48, something that would have been impossible has there been any serious belief that they too had a right to be there.
        It is true that Israel has a long-term need for a non-Jewish population which, when it is small enough, will be supported, even subsidised, to constitute living proof that Z is a humane ideology and that comparisons with Nazism are invalid.
        i read the reference to Ameinu. Those people are self-deceivers.

      • Raphael
        July 6, 2016, 3:39 pm

        Honestly, It seems like a difficult question; but, and important one for me anyway. I did not meet too many left wing Israelis, there. Though, I also told myself I was not going to get involved in politics, until a year passes.

        I’m not of the Jewish religion. My father whom is Jewish was a agnostic, or atheist. He probably knew about Jewish history… but he kept it to himself. It seemed to me, that the country was more of a theocracy, then a democracy, while I was living there. I’m a Christian Jew… but, if I publicly said I was a Christian, it is illegal. If I identified as a Jew, that is also illegal. I have to be one or the other, either a Christian or a Jew under Israeli law.

        From my interpretation of it as I’m learning Hebrew; is that even the language has been corrupted. That most Israelis cannot even read, modern Hebrew in a newspaper; but they speak it. It is possible that many left winger Jews did believe what was said in the Hebrew writing; but they could not read it. 44% of all Jews in Germany in 1933 were intermarried; so, they probably were like intermarried Jews here… more liberal, or left wing.

        From what I read the Meretz Party, which I would of probably joined if I was living there, is also marginalized by the right wing religious, and secular (Sabra) Jewish community.

      • Raphael
        July 7, 2016, 2:19 pm

        Present day liberal Jews in Israel, seem to possibly be saying the texts were a part of the founding of the country. See a Forward article::

        Can Liberals in Israel and America Overcome Alienation — From Each Other?
        J.J. Goldberg, July 1, 2016

        Alienated liberal Jews in Israel need to reach out to create bonds with alienated liberal Jews in America, of the sort that currently connect empowered Jewish conservatives in the two countries. That was the basic consensus that emerged from what’s believed to be Israel’s first-ever conference on combating alienation from Israel among American Jewish liberals. It took place in Tel Aviv on June 30.

        Labor Party lawmaker Michal Biran offered her own testimony to the enduring gap. “I was not very interested in the whole Diaspora-Israel issue until I was elected to the Knesset,” said Biran, a Tel Aviv University political scientist who first entered Israel’s parliament in the 2013 elections. Since then, she said, political missions and lecture tours abroad have opened her eyes to the dilemmas Israel poses to mainstream American Jewish liberals.

        “The main thing is the trust issue,” Biran told the conference. “Jews in the Diaspora used to see Israel as something that they were proud of, that they trusted to use the money they sent wisely.”

        But, Biran continued, “lately they think Israel treats them like a stupid rich uncle.” She cited the Netanyahu government’s alliances with conservatives overseas “who come from racist and anti-Semitic traditions and only like us because they hate Muslims more than they hate us.”

        On the other hand, she acknowledged, “we also find progressive Jews who identity with the oppressed — as they should — but hate Israel.”

        Biran singled out Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s campaign against the Iran nuclear deal as an example of official Israel’s disregard for Diaspora interests. “I’ve met people who had tears in their eyes when Netanyahu spoke in Congress against the Iran deal and forced them to choose between their American identity and their Jewish, pro-Israel identity. What we need to do is to make space for people to be critical from within the tent, without being forced out.”

        Speaking after Biran, the conservative-leaning Israeli journalist Shmuel Rosner argued that “people who talk about Diaspora Jewish alienation” are frequently using it as a cover, when their real goal is changing Israeli policies they dislike. “You can’t expect Israel to change its policies because they alienate some people in the Diaspora,” he said.

        “Israel does need to change and become better at being the Jewish homeland,” Rosner said. “The mechanism is simple: Convince Israelis that you are committed to strengthening the bonds and not changing their policies.”

        Infeld, the former Hillel executive, countered sharply. “I do not expect the Israeli government to change its behaviors because they are alienating the people they intend to alienate,” he said. “I worry about two things. I worry about the alienation of part of my people. And I worry about the policies of my government.”

        “I believe the policies of the current Israeli government are creating a chasm in the Jewish people, both in Israel and the Diaspora,” Infeld said. “But there’s a difference between the two sides of the chasm. The unliberal side have so much in common that they have places they meet, shuls where they pray together. The other side, the alienated liberals in America and the ‘stinking leftists’ in Israel, don’t speak to each other. Remember, it was the ‘stinking leftists’ who created the State of Israel.”

        http://forward.com/opinion/israel/344099/can-liberals-in-israel-and-america-overcome-alienation-from-each-other/?attribution=home-conversation-headline-6

      • Annie Robbins
        July 7, 2016, 3:00 pm

        maybe i am missing something raphael because the forward article you linked to seems like a bunch of handwringing about jews not becoming alienated from eachother. is that the purpose of ameinu too? because if you go to their site it says “a strong liberal voice in America promoting a more progressive Israel”.

        Present day liberal Jews in Israel, seem to possibly be saying the texts were a part of the founding of the country

        so what? the fact there were “texts” means nothing if nothing materialized resembling those texts. it only proves there were individuals who perhaps aspired to this, unless it was just words to glease the wheels of UN and international approval for a state.

        it seems to me, like the article, the primary concern of the forward article (and ameinu for that matter) is making jews feel good about themselves to make the state stronger. there’s just nothing i’m reading that convinces me there’s a goal or priority of making the aspirations in the texts materialize.

        for example, there are dozens of discriminatory laws in israel that could be overturned — any evidence there are actions or workshops or conferences to lobby the government to change this legislation to create a state recognizing “Jews and Arabs as equals”? because if not what’s the point of saying ‘but zionism has a rich tradition’ of something it has no tradition in whatsoever?

        “the policies of the current Israeli government are creating a chasm in the Jewish people” as well as creating a chasm between all people of conscience and justice and the only way to change that is to change the policies of the current Israeli government. not a bunch of kumbaya getting jews to love embrace eachother. frankly, that’s not really a priority of mine. it’s kind of a side issue.

  15. Raphael
    July 7, 2016, 7:10 pm

    so what?

    Israel, does not seem to have poets or activists like Allen Ginsberg or Jerry Rubin, Kunstler, or Leonard Cohen.

    Then again, who would want to move there? It seems like, day to day, to be like a military compound, for the people actually living there.

    Perhaps, while they are running a militaristic state they can justify having no art. But, with no art there will always be wars.

    Even King David was a artist and a poet; but, he also would be marginalized, if he was around today.

    • Annie Robbins
      July 7, 2016, 7:21 pm

      raphael, what are referencing?

      and regardless of your point — i have been to israel, they definitely have art and artists there. some very impressive art actually. of course that was in 09, maybe they all left the country, but i doubt it.

      they have some impressive spoken artists too.

      • Raphael
        July 8, 2016, 12:55 am

        Thanks, if I ever go back there on vacation, or too live there… I will try and meet them. I’m guessing they are in Tel Aviv.

        I actually met Allen Ginsberg many years ago at Naropa University.

  16. Raphael
    July 10, 2016, 12:32 am

    The Charter of Herzl’s

    Here is a excellent interpretation of, Israeli history, from a scholar of Jewish history.

    By Shaul Magid June 29, 2015
    “1913: Seeds of Conflict”: New Doc Explores Little-Known History of Palestine

    In his 1967 book Israel: An Echo of Eternity, Abraham Joshua Heschel refers to “the jungle of history.”

    If history is a “jungle”—nature at its most beautiful but also its most unforgiving—then an historian is an explorer: she must try to make order of chaos and find meaning in dense overgrowth. It is thus appropriate that Ben Loeterman’s new film “1913: Seeds of Conflict” deploys an agricultural metaphor.

    History is a jungle.

    First, Sokolowsky’s film “The Life of the Jews in Palestine” was made, containing the earliest moving images of Palestine; second, Arthur Ruppin’s speech at the Zionist Congress that year focusing on “conquest of the land” through land purchasing that set the Zionist nationalist agenda on a new course; and third, a local skirmish between an Arab who stole some grapes near the Jewish colony of Rehovot on his way to selling his produce and a Russian-Jewish guard who beat him brutally not for, as the guard later said, “stealing grapes from a Jewish colony but stealing grapes from the Jewish people.” Two people died: one jew and one Arab.

    The central figure in the first case was German-Jewish immigrant Arthur Ruppin (1876-1943) who developed an intricate plan of Jewish colonies that would create an infrastructure of a future state. In 1890 this came to a head with a land dispute between members of the Jewish colony of Rehovot and Bedouins who had been living and farming that land (but had no Ottoman deed to prove ownership). The Jews bought the land outright and demanded the Bedouins leave without compensation. The Bedouins refused.

    The case went to the Ottoman courts in Istanbul, but jurists threw it out of court deeming it a local dispute not worth addressing. The Bedouins had to leave and Rehovot continued to expand.

    And thus seeds of conflict were sown.

    http://religiondispatches.org/1913-seeds-of-conflict-new-doc-explores-little-known-history-of-palestine/

    • Mooser
      July 10, 2016, 1:09 pm

      “And thus seeds of conflict were sown.”

      By German-Jewish immigrant Arthur Ruppin (1876-1943) who developed an intricate plan of Jewish colonies that would create an infrastructure of a future state. Thanks, glad I got that straight.

      • Raphael
        July 12, 2016, 5:12 pm

        A book exists about a alternative counter story too the right wing Zionists vision that is so popular in the US and Israel. The book is by Amy Dockser Marcus, 2008… Jerusalem 1913: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

        I, as a American Zionist that is very different then a Israeli Zionist and that is different then a AIPAC Zionist, find it interesting that other American Zionists such as Emma Lazarus, Josephine Lazarus are basically unspoken about at the very least. but my gut feeling is that it is a part of history that is forgotten because of the Americanization of the Jews when they moved here.

        All the current debate over Israel must be as much of a struggle for American Jews (if not, even more of a struggle) as it is for me as a half Jew who was forced to be Jewish because I was attacked for being Jewish.

        I could not assimilate too America because I was always a outsider, with having a Hebraic name. When I became a citizen of Israel I did not even have to request to change my name to a Hebraic name because I was born with one that I was able to document back many generations. The name is also all over the place on store signs in Israel when I was living there.

        As a citizen of Israel I’m not allowed to travel to countries mentioned about here that other American Jews travel too. So, I have no alternative then to be a liberal anarchist Zionist as I identify with my Jewishness at this present time of history.

        Many right wing Zionists changed there names to Hebrew names in Israel to be a part of the patriarchal tribal society they were envisioning for the future of Israel.

        Having a Israeli passport does not change things for me that much because I was born with a Hebrew name so most people especially in this global village of a world probably assume, or assumed, that I’m a right wing Zionist because of that name and/or that I then moved to Israel and changed my name to a Hebrew name to be a part of that ultra right Jewish culture.

      • Annie Robbins
        July 12, 2016, 6:07 pm

        mooser, it occurs to me raphael wants to mention (again) his claim that he was forced to be jewish. why do you think that is — the repetition of this claim?

        i’m always weary of new posters who spend an inordinate amount of bandwidth providing us w/their alleged bio which has little to nothing to do with the topic.

        and in case anyone is interested i extracted about 30 commas and other unnecessary punctuation marks from his last comment.

      • RoHa
        July 13, 2016, 3:13 am

        I, of course, appreciate the effort.

        But I also like capital letters in the proper places.

  17. Mooser
    July 13, 2016, 12:22 am

    ” why do you think that is — the repetition of this claim? “

    I think he’s just trying to keep the conversation full of irrelevance and absurdity.

    And empty his commastomy bag all over us.

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