The ‘New York Times’ is dead set on marginalizing Jewish anti-Zionism

US Politics
on 66 Comments

The New York Times is pointedly ignoring an important news story: the rise of Jewish anti-Zionism. A battle is taking place among Jews over the dead end that Jewish nationalism represents, but the paper of record is doing all it can to pretend that battle isn’t happening, or that only lunatics are engaged, and thereby suffocate an explosive discussion.

Two days ago Haaretz ran two stunning op-eds by American Jewish historians Hasia Diner and Marjorie Feld titled, “We’re American Jewish Historians. This Is Why We’ve Left Zionism Behind,” saying that they cannot go comfortably into Jewish spaces that deny the Nakba any more. Diner, a professor at New York University, related a struggle that will resonate in the hearts of many other American Jews:

The Israel that I loved, the one my parents embraced as the closest approximation to Eden on earth, itself had depended well before 1967 upon the expropriation of Arab lands and the expulsion of Arab populations. The Law of Return can no longer look to me as anything other than racism. I abhor violence, bombings, stabbings, or whatever hurtful means oppressed individuals resort to out of anger and frustration. And yet, I am not surprised when they do so, after so many decades of occupation, with no evidence of progress.
I feel a sense of repulsion when I enter a synagogue in front of which the congregation has planted a sign reading, “We Stand With Israel.” I just do not go and avoid many Jewish settings where I know Israel will loom large as an icon of identity.
Marjorie N. Feld

Marjorie N. Feld

Then yesterday Haaretz ran a great piece by Gideon Levy titled, “Stop living in denial, Israel is an evil state,” which cited the detention of Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour and the cruel imprisonment/detention of the Palestinian hunger striker Bilal Kayed as examples of “evil.”

Levy quoted Eva Illouz, a Hebrew University professor who has also used the term “evil” for Israeli practices and who described the occupation as “slavery.”

Two days ago, Haaretz ran a piece by Yitchak Laor characterizing Israeli society as fascist: “the volk has come to overshadow all other institutions – democracy, the law, the army. Not to mention Palestinian blood.”

Not all the coverage is happening in Israel. Last year the Washington Post ran an op-ed by two Jewish scholars at Harvard and Yale explaining that though they love Israel they must support boycott of Israel in order to end the “permanent subjugation of Palestinians” — even if that boycott brings about a single state.

This list of outright Jewish dissidents grows longer and longer by the moment. But none of them gets a platform in the New York Times. That’s because the leading American newspaper is pointedly refusing to cover Jewish anti-Zionism.

And not just refusing: but actively stigmatizing. Today the Times has a long piece by Linda K. Wertheimer about the Middle East conflict on campus that casts Palestinian solidarity activists, including Students for Justice in Palestine, as anti-Semitic.

Many universities are grappling with how to balance students’ right to protest with Jewish students’ fears that their culture is under attack…. S.J.P. members insist they are anti-Israel, not anti-Semitic — a debatable distinction to those who cannot separate the state of Israel from their Jewish identity.

The article fails to acknowledge that many SJP members are Jewish, and that these Jewish students do separate the state of Israel from their Jewish identity. It fails to state that many Jews are pro-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). It fails to acknowledge a statistic that Jeffrey Goldberg, the dean of US Jewish journalists, stated to Haim Saban, the dean of Jewish donors, last year:

Our oldest daughter is a freshman at a liberal arts college in New England, a pretty well-known school. And she reports to us that J Street at that street represents the Zionist right [and] that the largest Jewish organization — 25 percent of this campus is Jewish — the largest Jewish organization is a group called Jewish Voice for Peace, which is an Orwellian name for a group that opposes Israeli’s existence.

In the Times article, Jewish Voice for Peace and Open Hillel are only mentioned in a parenthesis. That’s blatant marginalization.

And though Wertheimer cites a poll showing that Jewish undergraduates face anti-Semitism, if you look the survey up you will see that the pollees were young people “who applied to go on a ten-day educational Israel experience with Taglit- Birthright Israel.” That’s not all Jewish students, that’s Zionist-oriented students.

The Times is contemptuous of any news event that features Jewish opposition to Zionism. It behaves like an ostrich; it wants to believe this can’t be happening.

A few months ago Gideon Levy was in the United States. A journalist who has gotten death threats from his fellow Jewish Israelis, he gave an impassioned speech in Washington; and there was a line of journalists seeking to interview him afterward.

Not the New York Times. The New York Times does not care that Gideon Levy, leading Israeli journalist, has had death threats. Jodi Rudoren never wrote about Levy when she was the New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief (outside of quoting him once or twice). Instead she touted rightwing Zionist Yossi Klein Halevi, whom she extolled as a guide to Israeli life during her Zionist victory lap last winter.

One of the journalists who interviewed Levy in Washington was Max Blumenthal. Blumenthal first went to Israel on the Zionist propaganda journey, Birthright; ten years later, he wrote a book called Goliath that anticipated the crackup we are seeing today in Israeli political life, by boldly outlining the fascistic currents in that society. But Blumenthal is an anti-Zionist, and his important book has been completely ignored by the paper of record. Just as the Times has done everything it can to pretend that Israeli leadership is not splitting right now over “fascist” trends in the society.

The New York Times has several Zionist columnists, including Roger Cohen and David Brooks. Brooks is one of four Times staffers whose children have served in the Israeli Defense Forces. It goes without saying that it does not have an anti-Zionist columnist.

Yes, the New York Times lately praised Ben Ehrenreich’s new book, The Way to the Spring. But Ehrenreich’s Jewishness isn’t mentioned. You’d think that the Times would want to interview him about his book and ask him the Jewish question. Nope. Not interested. (Only Bob Herbst mentioned that on our site: “Ehrenreich… was compelled to document [the occupation] as a way of standing up against injustice that is a strong part of his identity as a Jew.”)

Earlier this year the Times ran a forum on whether anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. It included an excellent piece by Lisa Goldman saying, No way. But Lisa Goldman was pointedly non-Zionist in her assertions; that is to say, she did not take a position on whether Israel should be a Jewish state. Both anti-Zionist pieces– i.e., we don’t think Israel should be a Jewish state– were by writers in an Arab-American tradition. (Sherene Seikaly of Jadaliyyah and Omar Zahzah). Publishing a critique of Zionism from a Jew is just too loaded for the Times.

Three years ago the Times ran this important op-ed by Ian Lustick, who is Jewish, titled the Two-State Illusion, saying that Israel and Palestine need to be liberated from a failed paradigm that has only encouraged expansion and corruption; but Lustick’s p-o-v was decidedly Realist. He was silent as to the discrimination inherent in Zionism.

And while the Times ran pieces critical of Israel by the late Tony Judt, it always slighted Judt’s assertion that Zionism is an anachronism; it simply could not give airtime to a central accomplishment of that intellectual leader’s career.

Two years ago the Times did run this piece on anti-Zionist Jews (among them Chip Manekin, Alissa Wise and Corey Robin); but it is the exception that proves the rule. And it was in the Beliefs column, a long time ago.

The Times is simply incapable of covering this important news. It knows what will happen if it treats this story honestly: the discussion is explosive. After the American Jewish professors wrote in Haaretz that they were putting Zionism behind them, Jeffrey Goldberg was quick to go on the attack. He said he was giving up on Haaretz because the newspaper’s “cartoonish… anti-Semitism can be grating.” His tweets got wide coverage in the Jewish world. The New York Times is worried about exposing itself to that kind of criticism from its principal readers, and advertisers too. The Times grants Goldberg tremendous power; it fell over itself to respond recently when Goldberg claimed he was misrepresented by half a sentence in a magazine article.

“It is no exaggeration to say that for a century [the NYT] has served, in effect, as the hometown paper of American Jewry,” former Timesman Neil Lewis wrote. That’s a big responsibility now that the Jewish establishment is being rocked by assaults on Zionism. Sadly, it has required the Times to serve as Pravda, actively suppressing discussion of important news.

Thanks to Yakov Hirsch and Adam Horowitz and James North. 

About Philip Weiss

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

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66 Responses

  1. CitizenC
    August 3, 2016, 5:28 pm

    What, pray tell, is “Jewish anti-Zionism”? It is proper to speak of “Judaic anti-Zionism”, referring to the religious rejection of Zionism. whether classical Orthodox or classical Reform. Otherwise, “Jewish anti-Zionism” is meaningless, because the notion “secular Jew” is meaningless.

    See for instance this July 30 piece by Eric Walberg on the inadmissability of “Jewish anti-Zionism”

    http://ericwalberg.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=635:renouncing-jewishness-shlomo-sand-and-gilad-atzmon&catid=41:culture-and-religion&Itemid=94

    • Philip Weiss
      August 3, 2016, 5:43 pm

      What a clever party trick, CitizenC. Do you do that one before or after the 72 virgins and the Jesus is the son of the lord?

      • echinococcus
        August 3, 2016, 6:01 pm

        Mr Weiss,

        I certainly did not expect you to answer a serious and documented statement with a flippant quip that would be seen as totally irrelevant by a lot of people.
        Where does it hurt? Is “peoplehood” the only reason you exist?

      • CitizenC
        August 3, 2016, 7:35 pm

        Really Phil. I read the Haaretz piece about the 2 historians a few days ago. Another exercise in “Jewish identity”. It will be news when it stops being a “Jewish debate” and the Jewish critics start acting as secular citizens, joining the rest of us and opposing Israel and the US Jewish establishment as a mortal threat to us all. The Times might even be forced to cover it.

      • CitizenC
        August 3, 2016, 7:53 pm

        See Elmer Berger’s “Memoir of an Anti-Zionist Jew” for a hilarious account of an encounter between Berger and Dorothy Thompson and Turner Catledge of the Times about their “Hitler on the Nile” coverage of Nasser in the 1950s. The Times did not then fear being a “Jewish paper”. Not mentioned in the Neal Lewis piece, though I thank you for that reference. Here is the direct link

        http://www.cjr.org/feature/the_times_and_the_jews.php?page=all

      • silamcuz
        August 3, 2016, 11:53 pm

        72 virgins Phil? Do you know that is a racist myth that was invented as a way to denigrate Muslims and Islamic theology?

      • inbound39
        August 4, 2016, 12:44 am

        Re CitizenC……To me the statement falls in line with Israel’s assertion that 242 did not mean ALL the territories. It is pure semantics….I am anti semantic.

      • Mooser
        August 4, 2016, 3:49 pm

        “72 virgins Phil? Do you know that is a racist myth”

        ‘Splain it to us, “Silamcuz”!

      • gamal
        August 4, 2016, 8:12 pm

        “‘Splain it to us, “Silamcuz”!”

        and i had my hand up all this time, may i be excused for this ejaculation

        as Shabestari said

        “this is not a Ka’aba

        for idiots to circle round

        nor a mosque for the coarse to clamour in

        This is The Tavern of Ruin”

        i personally don’t believe even Samson and his fast flowing cataract would have a hope against 72 virgins, its a recipe for disaster, disproportionate really.

        but anyway Simulcra is going to put you racist bastards right any second now.

        i could actually give you an enjoyable Muslim story of my first experience of this memo-trope,
        involving 4 Azharites, a Luknow madrasa graduate and world renowned Ghazal expert but frankly you don’t deserve it (obviously Mooser does i mean the rest of you american clintonite Jihadi’s) (i am drinking Katie’s Hurriya oil olive straight from the bottle)

      • gamal
        August 4, 2016, 8:32 pm

        also you might enjoy this, i don’t know how to make previews viewable and should really send this privately to Annie but trust me follow this link for your own good America,

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbpGDItZ00A&feature=youtu.be

      • RoHa
        August 4, 2016, 10:20 pm

        Gamal, I know we don’t deserve it, but please tell us the story anyway.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 5, 2016, 10:06 am

        thanks for the nasrallah video gamal

        oh, and sila should go lecture memri for posting saudi al nusra jihadist Al-Muhaysini’s pep talk before battle for aleppo: “Where Are the People Who Want 72 Beautiful Wives from Among the Virgins of Paradise?”

        AHHHH! btw, did everyone hear the exciting news that nusra has changes its name (al sham) and gone moderate and all with permission from al qaeda, whom they are (allegedly) breaking up with? and now, reportedly, saudi arabia and qatar can fund nusra! (as if they have not been already) and they’ll be moderate enough to join the negotiations and maybe even the US can get behind them (shocked) to over throw assad. i call it getting ready for clinton. sorry to go ot.

        p.s. i am shocked to find out the 72 virgins thing is a myth. all this time i thought it was true. what’s next? are we going to be informed mary was not a virgin?

      • Mooser
        August 5, 2016, 11:58 am

        “Where Are the People Who Want 72 Beautiful Wives from Among the Virgins of Paradise?”

        I will never understand this kind of theology. The highest ideal is to go insane and broke while being mercilessly chivvied by 72 women who have never even been dumped?
        72 beautiful virgins, that means 72 computers, 72 charge-cards, 72 Lexus’s, 72 wardrobes, 72 McMansions (in the exclusive suburb of Purdahsville) every one with a mortgage… this is heaven? 72 beautiful virgin brides means 72 Mother’s-in-law!
        I’m sorry, I try to be open-minded, but I just can’t see it. I was married to two women at once, once, and everybody thought that was big of me.

      • echinococcus
        August 5, 2016, 12:11 pm

        Annie.

        “are we going to be informed mary was not a virgin?”
        In your shoes, I’d avoid going there in this here blog.
        They already act up when you call the Old Testament by its English name.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 5, 2016, 12:19 pm

        what’s the old testament by its english name? i thought it was just called the old testament in english.

      • echinococcus
        August 5, 2016, 1:43 pm

        “i thought it was just called the old testament in english.”
        It still is, capitals or not.
        Only, you get reactions and pointed renamings into Hebrew in the responses, when you call it that in English, in English-language messages.

      • silamcuz
        August 5, 2016, 2:18 pm

        Mooser

        I will never understand this kind of theology. The highest ideal is to go insane and broke while being mercilessly chivvied by 72 women who have never even been dumped?

        Good, because you don’t need to understand it. It’s not theology. It’s BS concocted by people with vested interests in presenting Islam and Muslims as horny sex-crazed maniacs obsessed with virginity and young “pure” women.

        Seriously, use your brain. Do you honestly think Muslims, especially the women would take their own religion seriously if this sort of sex with virgins BS is part of the sanctioned doctrine?

        Also, this is the age of information where every fact and counter-fact can be checked instantaneously through the internet. So your willful ignorance kinda betray your prejudiced mindset.

        Some good reading material for you:

        Does the Quran really promise Islamic martyrs 72 virgins?http://www.justislam.co.uk/product.php?products_id=216

        Is it true that suicidal bombers get 72 virgins in heaven?
        https://www.quora.com/Is-it-true-that-suicidal-bombers-get-72-virgins-in-heaven

        Debunking the ‘Suicide for 72 Virgins’ Myth
        https://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2007/03/04/debunking-the-suicide-for-72-virgins-myth/

      • RoHa
        August 5, 2016, 8:08 pm

        “are we going to be informed mary was not a virgin?”

        She self-identified as a virgin. That’s all you need to know.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 5, 2016, 10:08 pm

        allegedly. i don’t think she wrote an autobiography — last i heard anyway.

      • yonah fredman
        August 5, 2016, 9:23 pm

        Harold Bloom suggests one of two English names for the old testament: the Original Testament or the Hebrew Bible.

      • oldgeezer
        August 6, 2016, 12:11 am

        @yonah

        I’m sure Harold means well but I will wager that Christians won’t be bothered to follow his suggestion within our lifetime. That leaves the issue as to how I could possibly collect if I am right.

      • echinococcus
        August 6, 2016, 12:16 am

        Reb Fredman,

        I don’t like the idea of shady characters trying to reinvent and engineer English after having done a job on Old Hebrew. It’s been the OT for over 1,000 years in English.

      • echinococcus
        August 6, 2016, 12:36 am

        The story of Mary’s alleged virginity, just like alleged secular Jewishness, depends on the power of who does the alleging for you.
        One has to cross THE Church, or Zionism, Inc. I’ll take the former any day: the Clergy are tough babies but they have not yet been reported to murder opponents in practically every country.

      • echinococcus
        August 6, 2016, 1:00 am

        Old Geezer,

        Nothing to do with Christians or lions. Just a question of the English language as we knew it.

      • MHughes976
        August 6, 2016, 5:02 am

        The term ‘Hebrew Bible’ is used quite a lot, though I don’t think it was Harold Bloom’s invention. The standard edition these days, published in Stuttgart, is ‘Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartienisia’, not ‘Vetus Testamentum’. It’s not really a question of which language we ourselves are using: ‘Old Testament” can be translated into Korean or come to that into Hebrew, it’s a question of what view we take of the book’s status. Though there seems to me to be nothing derogatory about ‘Old Testament’ – if ‘Original Testament’ were used then ‘Developed Testament’ would be a proper counterpart, which would not bring a smile to Harold Bloom’s face – the phrase ‘Jewish Canon’ might be more accurate. Though in truth what most people mean when they refer to these books is the Protestant Canon with the recognised books in a significantly different order and with the books recognised as ‘deuterocanonical’ by the Catholics omitted. If we started using the term ‘Protestant Canon of pre-Christian scripture’ we wouid be intolerably clumsy and moreover Harold Bloom would not react well.
        The exclusion of the books known to us as apocrypha and pseudepigrapha represents a view of the history of ideas which should be quite controversial.
        ‘Virgin Mary’ means remarkably different things to Catholics and Protestants.
        Perhaps one reason why the NYT doesn’t want even to think about Jewish anti-Zionists is that their existence threatens to move the boundaries of Jewishness.

      • echinococcus
        August 6, 2016, 9:36 am

        Hughes,

        Of course if you are discussing religion or theology or textual criticism you’ll use the term that best conveys the exact status of the text you are discussing. Your summary was very instructive.
        Of course, to underline the fact that as bibles go, the Hebrew one has no New Testament even I would call it the Hebrew bible, in context –the problem’s not there.

        Here we (the lesser beings among the readership) are no theologians and there is no call to deviate from street English in the contexts we’re swimming in. So the tribal nationalists can stop trying to change other people’s language, as if they were Birman generals. Just because Old Testament sounds un-Jewish to them.

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2016, 4:41 pm

        “Seriously, use your brain.”

        I just did, and told you- they couldn’t give me 72 beautiful virgin brides if they came on a Sevres plate with watercress around them.
        I’m all for womens, don’t get me wrong, but 72 at a time is more than I, personally, can handle. Some of those tough-guy terrorist types, well, maybe s they’re up for the big game, but it just seems like bigamy times 36 to me, and I would decline.
        Politely, and with real regret, (and I suppose I would have to buy 72 nice dumping-you gifts, and return 72 packets of ardent, innocent-but-compromising-if-some-dirty-minded-gossip-blog-got-them letters, and 72 keepsakes, consisting of a plaque of wood with “My Balsam Pines Fir Yew”, burnt into it.) I would be forced to concede, ‘those wedding bells shall not ring out’.

        As much as I hate to leave those 72 bundles of purity on the half shell weeping at the alter, there would be 72 happy mothers-in-law, none of whom thought I was good enough for their precious little princess anyway.

        But don’t get me wrong “Silamcuz”, if other people want to try that, or if they think offering 72 brides is a way to motivate soldiers, to me, it’s just like they’re driving a big truck. I can’t stand in their way.

    • JoeSmack
      August 3, 2016, 8:00 pm

      I don’t think it was fair for Eric Walberg to throw Atzmon and Sand in the same article. Sand’s critiques of Zionism are what an actual critique of Zionism and identity politics looks like. Gilad Atzmon’s narrative is, simply put, anti-Jewish. Zionism is seen as an outgrowth of Jewish culture alone, alongside Marxism and communism. It is no wonder that Atzmon has such a strong far-right following.

      Sand, if I am understanding him correctly, is pointing out that the notion of a secular Jewish identity is based on a nationalist myth concocted by pro-Israel groups, and he is upset that as a non-practicing Jew, his Jewish status gives him racist privileges in Israel. That is not the same as saying Zionism is an outgrowth of Judaism, but rather that the notion of a singular, united, international secular Jewish identity is an outgrowth of Zionism.

      More importantly, there is something called Jewish anti-Zionism (the Bund, etc.). I think the bigger point is whether or not Jews who oppose Zionism, whether out of Jewish values or anything else — like others who oppose Zionism — are doing so in a way that does not marginalize other anti-Zionist voices. In my opinion, many have not been careful, arguing that their Jewishness makes their opposition more legitimate and their voices more important; and it is not just them, but Palestinians and others who also think it is appropriate to privilege Jewish voices.

      But there are others who are Jewish and oppose Zionism out of general humanistic values that are not contradictory to the values of secular Jewish culture that has developed throughout the world. What’s wrong with that?

      • echinococcus
        August 3, 2016, 10:36 pm

        Joe Smack,

        First of all, how can one admit all the facts (and mostly solid fact they are) exposed by Sand and fail to draw conclusions akin to those that Atzmon does? “Anti-Jewish”? Is that your problem? We’re supposed to evaluate his argument on the merits of what he says –before giving a damn if it ends up “Anti-Jewish”, whatever that means.

        Now for the Bund: I’ll trouble you to observe that the Bund’s position is very specifically Yiddish-speaking, Ashkenazi anti-Zionism, and a very solid one, too. Not “Jewish” (or let’s call it “pan-Jewish”).
        This hypernationalist switcheroo of the part for the whole has been going on for way too long.

      • CitizenC
        August 3, 2016, 11:16 pm

        You have misread Sand, or perhaps not read him at all. He isn’t “upset that as a non-practicing Jew, his Jewish status gives him racist privileges in Israel.” He doesn’t consider himself a “Jew” at all. He says quite clearly that there is no such thing as a “secular Jew” or such “culture”, the idea is retrograde nonsense. This is what racialist anti-semitism said after all.

        The Bund was not “Jewish anti-Zionism”, it was Yiddish anti-Zionism, arose in Jewish quasi-national conditions in Poland. American Jewish people no longer have anything to do with Yiddish culture, or any other distinctive ethnic culture, however much they cultivate separatism and distinction.

        “Jews who oppose Zionism, whether out of Jewish values or anything else”. There are no “Jewish values”. Gideon Levy laughed at the idea when JVP maundered on about it at the Israel Lobby conf 2 yrs ago. “There are no ‘Jewish values’, only universal values” he said.

        The socialism of the Yiddish movements was a universal idea, articulated by Yiddish speakers, which did not make it “Jewish”, any more than German socialists made socialism German. See internationalism.

        The historical Jewish presence on the left did not make the left a “Jewish” idea. Socialism, communism, civil rights, were not “Jewish values”. The Jewish presence was historically contingent and has declined with Jewish socioeconomic advance.

        Until the 1967 war, this confusion did not exist. The New Left of the early 1960s was heavily Jewish, but they did not want to be a “Jewish” movement, they wanted to appeal to all. That vanished with the June, 1967 war, since which time secularism has been obliterated by identity politics.

        These aren’t theoretical questions of no practical import, but supremely practical, determining strategy, rhetoric and tactics on a daily basis.

        Another Mondo uproar in the offing. Time to quit, for good

      • Donald Johnson
        August 4, 2016, 11:25 am

        There are such things as secular Jews, seeing that there are people who identify as Jewish and are secular.

        People have all kinds of identities and don’t have to fit into categories that others approve.

      • Dan
        August 4, 2016, 7:23 pm

        Mr Johnson, the voice of reason, puts an end(at least temporarily one hopes) to the whole silly debate, and demonstrates that “brevity is the soul of wit”

      • echinococcus
        August 4, 2016, 11:14 pm

        Johnson,

        There are such things as secular Jews, seeing that there are people who identify as Jewish and are secular.

        People have all kinds of identities and don’t have to fit into categories that others approve.

        How nice and convenient! You can just invent yourself any bullshit “community”, convince it by expert propaganda that they are “ein Volk” instead of disparate grouplets with some nominally common religious superstition for those among them who believe it only, and lash out at the world in the name of that “identification” with nary an element of common language or culture, distinct from the disparate cultural grouplets that have at some point had that religion.

        The flimsy distinction between “Jewish” (pan-Jewish) nationalism and Zionism is totally lost on a lot of people who managed to escape indoctrination in the US schools or the Zionist swamp. Support of that fictional peoplehood is support of Zionism.

      • Mooser
        August 5, 2016, 11:43 am

        “How nice and convenient! You can just invent yourself…”

        God bless the USA! What a country! The Goldenah Medina! A man can be what he wants here. And associate with like-minded people.

      • Mooser
        August 5, 2016, 2:53 pm

        “A giveaway of what, precisely?”

        I don’t understand what is so hard to accept about the fact that Zionism might cause people to say some not-nice things about all Jews.
        We didn’t do very much to encourage them to think there was a distinction, did we?

    • jd65
      August 3, 2016, 11:06 pm

      Hey CitizenC: What, pray tell, is “Jewish anti-Zionism”?… “Jewish anti-Zionism” is meaningless, because the notion “secular Jew” is meaningless. Well, you may think it’s meaningless. And I can understand why some may think it’s “meaningless.” Even I myself have moments when i think it’s meaningless. See here (On Leaving from top of page): http://thepalestineconflict.blogspot.com/p/blog.html

      But unless you’re completely self-absorbed, uninformed and have been living under a rock your question “What, pray tell, is ‘Jewish anti-Zionism?,” is intellectually dishonest transparent nonsense. Never mind the B.S. arrogant “pray tell” condescension.

      However, I will say that when I read the headline to this article, The ‘New York Times’ is dead set on marginalizing Jewish anti-Zionism, I will say that my first thought was, “Oh, really? Did I miss something? Does Alison Weir now have a weekly column alongside Maureen Dowd? The NY Times now gives lots of space to non-Jewish anti-Zionist pieces now?”

      • CitizenC
        August 4, 2016, 10:03 am

        JD, while something calling itself “Jewish anti-Zionism” may exist, it is indefensible, simply prejudice and privilege, as the politics of “Jewish anti-Zionists” shows. As Eric Walberg argued in the piece I cited at the outset.

        “If those who call themselves anti-Zionist Jews without having lived in Israel, and without knowing its language or having experienced its culture, claim a particular right, different from that of non-Jews, to make accusations against Israel, how can one criticize overt pro-Zionists for granting themselves the privilege of actively intervening in decisions regarding
        the future and fate of Israel? The Jewish signifier undermines the anti-Zionist one.”

        Nor can “Jewish anti-Z” be sustained citing Israeli ex-patriates.

        Above all:

        “Assimilation is not like extermination, despite Golda Meir’s cries of “Wolf!” Non-religious Jewishness will continue to evaporate, along with Christian and Muslim identities for those who abandon their faith. There is no shame in calling oneself an ex-Christian or ex-Muslim. ”

        That is normal, not the obsessive cultivation of distinction, difference and separatism of today’s Jewish left, which obstructs Palestine politics, just like the obscurantist rabbis who burned Mendelssohn’s German bible translation and murdered a Reform rabbi obstructed liberalism.

      • johneill
        August 4, 2016, 10:51 am

        Citizen, they can claim the right to criticise israel because it presents itself as the end-all-be-all of Jewish life, representing Jews worldwide. So in discussing israel, Jewish voices are necessarily privileged. In israel they’ve ‘granted themselves’ this privilege – forcing a moral choice on other Jews to accept or reject zionism, & what results.

      • jd65
        August 5, 2016, 4:45 pm

        @ johneill:

        Citizen, they can claim the right to criticise israel because it presents itself as the end-all-be-all of Jewish life… Assuming the “they” in that sentence means Jews, I’d personally say it’s not a right, but an obligation. Every person has the “right” to criticize whatever they want. Free speech and all that jazz :)

        [Israel is]… forcing a moral choice on other Jews to accept or reject zionism, & what results. Agreed.

    • tony greenstein
      August 4, 2016, 10:16 am

      CitizenC’s arguments remind me of the well known anti-Semitic Jazzman, Gilad Atzmon.

      His phrase ‘It will be news when it stops being a “Jewish debate” and the Jewish critics start acting as secular citizens.’ Is a give away. I don’t know whether he is Atzmon or just a false flag.

      The term ‘Judaic’ is another give away.

      Jewish anti-Zionism is very much a secular current. That is the point. It is not the Neturei karta religious opposition to Zionism. I respect NK though they are politically stupid (Tehran conference on Holocaust, demonstration in support of Jobbik in London) but of course they are not secular.

      As a Jew I oppose Zionism on political not religious grounds. How, I hear asked, can I define myself as a Jew if I’m not religious? Probably the same way as the Jewish workers of the East End who invaded a synagogue in protest at the attacks on their strike by a Rabbi did. Being Jewish has never meant just the religion. The religion reflected what Jews did, it didn’t, despite the religious myths, define the Jews. So the Bund were vehemently secular and anti-fascist and socialist but they weren’t religious.

      Today many Jews, especially the young, define their Jewish identity in opposition to Zionism whilst try to live out the anti-racist traditions of diaspora Judaism.

      Citizen C, who is an anti-Semite i.e. an anti-Jewish racist, will understand none of this because his paradigm is attacking Jews not supporting Palestinians.

      • CitizenC
        August 4, 2016, 10:44 am

        No, the racism is entirely on the “Jewish” side, constituting “the Jew” as an ontological category, just like racialist anti-Semitism.

        This is Jewish hate speech pure and simple, and entirely typical of the “left” today

      • Mooser
        August 4, 2016, 7:00 pm

        “will understand none of this because his paradigm is attacking Jews not supporting Palestinians.”

        It does seem to me that realistically, all Zionism does is open up the Jewish religion and culture to political speech and its freedoms.
        Zionism doesn’t get to extend the respect or tolerance people may extend to religion to a political ideology (and what kind of?) and colonial project done in the name of the religion and the people.
        And there’s a more disturbing aspect, too.
        We were all ready to throw Judaism into the mix, even call it the prime mover of Zionism, when Zionism appeared to be winning, sweeping the field. Now, we want a big distinction? I’m not sure it can work that way, no matter how much we want it to.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 5, 2016, 3:00 pm

      What, pray tell, is “Jewish anti-Zionism”?

      although not often, the nyt will publish palestinian anti zionists voices. but routinely when they publish critics of israel they primarily quote jewish zionist voices — not anti zionist ones. when they cover the campus bds situation they generally will not include jewish critics of israel. when they reference students for justice in palestine they don’t mention there are a lot of kids who are jewish in that student group. they routinely leave the impression jews are zionists.

      jewish anti zionists are jewish people who are not zionist whether they be secular or religious.

      the underlying issue as i see it is the cadre of folks who do not recognize the identity of secular jews as a legitimate identity. it’s an atzmon argument — and yes i think it’s anti semitic at its core because i think not allowing people to self identify however they choose is anti (against) that persons self identity. when you claim a persons self identity is meaningless you deny the person. it’s not different than saying ‘palestinians do not exist’ or denying a trans persons sexual identity or whatever. it’s rude and none of my business how or why a person self identifies.

      who am i to tell a jewish person who doesn’t believe in god they are not jewish? seriously, why should i f’ing care? jewish anti zionism are jewish people who self identify as anti zionists, obviously. that’s the way it was referenced in the article and using it as a segue to insert the ‘no such thing as secular jews’ into the thread, right at the top, is a threadjack.

      i’ve said it time and again, i wish atzmon had his own friggin comment section so all his fans could debate the merits of his ‘secular jews is meaningless’ arguments there.

      • echinococcus
        August 5, 2016, 3:51 pm

        who am i to tell a jewish person who doesn’t believe in god they are not jewish? seriously, why should i f’ing care?

        Because it creates a pseudo-racial “people / nation” where there is none and that is precisely what the ideology called Zionism is made of. Without such a crazy claim, Zionism wouldn’t ever found any support anywhere outside of the Tsarist area.

        and yes i think it’s anti semitic at its core because i think not allowing people to self identify however they choose is anti (against) that persons self identity. when you claim a persons self identity is meaningless you deny the person.

        Sounds exactly like the PC American arguments about “hurt feelings”. Doing something against people choosing to self identify is of course against that self identity, and a pail is a bucket, but all that cannot amount to discrimination against anyone for racial or ancestral belonging. Not at all.
        Antisemitic” it cannot be as it does not oppose anyone’s characteristics at birth.
        There is no discrimination for the fact of having been born with a “Jewish” name or from this or that ancestry.
        It is directed at a late-acquired, consciously acquired, idea, as such fair game for any criticism and critique. This is a reasoned, grounded opposition to the contention that there is any common cultural basis for people who do not follow the religion. That can be determined objectively. Let them call themselves Ashkenazi or such instead of Jewish, how about it?
        That’s all that can be ascertained objectively.
        All the rest is in the domain of hurt feelings.

        it’s not different than saying ‘palestinians do not exist’

        Oh yes it is and how. Palestinians have a record of singly traceable origin if not personal origin and residence, not as hostile invaders, in Palestine.

        or denying a trans persons sexual identity

        That, as opposed to the Jewish nationhood, is nobody’s business but the single subject’s.

        it’s rude and none of my business how or why a person self identifies

        Of course it’s rude! The business of dissecting absurdity, something you do so well yourself, and criticizing malignant political movements hurts a lot of feelings.

      • Mooser
        August 5, 2016, 3:56 pm

        “i wish atzmon had…”

        …realized that not everybody talks like and reasons like Israelis, before he simply flipped Zionism’s rhetoric on its head. And started talking about Israelis like Israelis talk about anybody else. It didn’t really work for him.

      • MHughes976
        August 5, 2016, 4:04 pm

        I can’t quite see why CitizenC is so concerned about the wording of Phil’s claims. For Phil, the people he mentions are ‘Jewish anti-Zionists’; for CC the same people are divided into ‘Judaic’ and (I presume) ‘ex-Jewish’. CC may believe that ‘secular Jews’, ‘lapsed Catholics’ and the like are people trying unsuccessfully to have it both ways when it comes to religion. He may have a point here, but Phil was not discussing the logic or consistency of these people about religion, but their increasingly anti-Z views and the way the growth of their numbers is being concealed by the NYT. No one has really challenged him on his main claim, though I was wondering whether the names he mentioned were quite enough to carry his point.

      • RoHa
        August 6, 2016, 2:11 am

        Annie, as you know, I grew up in a time when concern about identity meant looking for a telephone booth where one could shed one’s glasses and suit, and then emerge to save the day. Thus, I regard all this talk of self-identity and self-identifying as petty-minded, narcissistic, self-indulgent, logically incoherent, twaddle.

        “i think not allowing people to self identify however they choose is anti (against) that persons self identity. when you claim a persons self identity is meaningless you deny the person.”

        What does “deny the person” mean? When I tell the Korean plumber that, self-identifying notwithstanding, he isn’t a member of the Royal Family of Lesotho, does he vanish in a puff of kim chee scented smoke?

        No.

        Then am I telling him that he is not human?

        No. I am telling him that his ideas about himself are wrong. And why is that unacceptable?

        “it’s rude and none of my business how or why a person self identifies.”

        It is not always easy to be polite when telling people the truth, but it is sometimes necessary to save people from their own damned silliness. And even more necessary when said silliness adversely affects you. (Such a strain to remember which made-up pronoun applies to which self-identity.)

        But since this self-identity stuff seems to be the current fashion, I am going to self-identify as a fifteen year old girl. I’m looking forward to sharing the showers in the girls’ changing room at high school.

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2016, 6:42 pm

        ” Thus, I regard all this talk of self-identity and self-identifying as petty-minded, narcissistic, self-indulgent, logically incoherent, twaddle.”

        Gosh, “RoHa” something just occurred to me.

        Do you think it might be a privilege to be able to not be concerned (or claim to not be concerned) with your own (or for that matter, the others) identity?

        It does, (all that identity stuff) indeed seem like a burden. Now, let’s think real hard: why would a person be relieved of any concerns about identity, or think it was a petty concern? Can you think of a reason?

      • RoHa
        August 7, 2016, 2:28 am

        “Do you think it might be a privilege to be able to not be concerned (or claim to not be concerned) with your own (or for that matter, the others) identity?”

        No, I think it is a natural state of affairs. Of course, if you are in an unnatural state of affairs, surrounded by crazy people who are obsessed with “identities” and insist in trying to foist one on to you, it would probably hard work to escape from the nonsense. Then you might feel it is a privilege.

        ” why would a person be relieved of any concerns about identity,”

        By the knowledge that there will always be a telephone box handy.

  2. hophmi
    August 3, 2016, 6:40 pm

    Did you get turned down for a job at the Times by a Jewish editor? I can’t think of another reason for your ridiculous, racist-tinged critiques of the Times.

    • Mooser
      August 3, 2016, 7:26 pm

      ” I can’t think of another reason for your ridiculous, racist-tinged critiques of the Times.”

      You can’t? Maybe “this analysis is nothing new. It is typical of Phil’s writing, which suggests, as it always does, the Phil has internalized anti-Jewish hatred, and like those secularist Jews in Europe who looked down upon their brethren or converted to Christianity to escape their Judaism, Phil adopts the classic tropes of the self-hater. Self-hatred is a disease. It is a sad disease borne of many generations of persecution, but it is a disease. And Phil is afflicted with it, as many Jews have been in the past. And it is usually the self-haters who cause the worst damage to the Jewish community, precisely because of how small it is.” – “Hophmi” http://mondoweiss.net/profile/hophmi/?keyword=fall+away#sthash.157OYbQ9.dpuf

      That must be it! Of course, I fail to see how self-lovers will benefit the Jewish community beyond the borrowers from sperm banks.

      • Mooser
        August 3, 2016, 9:24 pm

        “Hophmi” you said: “Print it Mooser, I’m proud of it and it’s true!”

        I just wish you could suggest some kind of cure for Phil. And the rest of us need to know if we’ve caught the “sad disease” of Jewish self-hatred.
        What are the first symptoms, reading or commenting at Mondo?

      • inbound39
        August 4, 2016, 12:49 am

        There is no holding Mooser back when he is on a roll

      • Mooser
        August 4, 2016, 3:26 pm

        “There is no holding Mooser back when he is on a roll”

        “Print it, Mooser. I’m proud of it and it’s true!”- “Hophmi”

    • RoHa
      August 3, 2016, 10:37 pm

      And yet again.

      This is a standard ploy. The trick is to attribute people’s ideas, beliefs, and attitudes to psychological and/or circumstantial factors, and thus suggest that the belief is not rationally founded and may be dismissed.

    • Mr.T
      August 4, 2016, 10:46 am

      “I can’t think of another reason for your ridiculous, racist-tinged [sic] critiques of the Times.”

      I think the fact that the Times has positioned itself as a defender of Israel and its evil ideology (owing, no doubt, to the number of misguided, unthinking, knee-jerk, or evil supporters which the Apartheid State has in the NY Metro area) is a clear reason to critique it.

    • Mooser
      August 4, 2016, 3:34 pm

      ” I can’t think of another reason for your ridiculous, racist-tinged critiques of the Times.”

      Might be hard to come up with something new after the first 115 times you came to the same conclusion.

      • inbound39
        August 5, 2016, 5:21 am

        I realise Hophmi made the statement but your ability to be called and turn it against him is worthy of praise Mooser.

      • Mooser
        August 5, 2016, 10:32 am

        “but your ability to be called and turn it against him”

        Thanks again, “Inbound39”, but the only “ability” it takes to turn “Hophmi’s” comments against him is the ability to copy’n paste.

  3. ckg
    August 3, 2016, 9:44 pm

    I almost stopped reading the NYT article when it referred to “Jewish Voices for Peace.” If the author and editor can’t even get the organisation’s name right, how much could they possibly know about it?

    • echinococcus
      August 3, 2016, 11:57 pm

      When you consider that NYT’s title to glory is that is always gets titles and names pedantically right while obfuscating or missing everything relevant, well…

      • RoHa
        August 4, 2016, 7:38 pm

        The NYT has a title to glory?

  4. Robert J Molineaux Sr
    August 3, 2016, 10:28 pm

    Not mentioned is the anti-zionist sentiment of certain orthodox groups. In the early 80’s several hundred Satmar seminary students arrived by bus, blocked 1st avenue and demonstrated against Israel in front of UN headquarters. No police were visible, and the NYT mentioned it in a very brief note in an inside page.

  5. Atlantaiconoclast
    August 4, 2016, 12:02 am

    I am heartened to hear that there is an increasing number of Jews willing to critique Zionism. However, all that is necessary for Israel to continue to be the apple of every politician’s eye is for a sizeable percentage of powerful, influential Jews and a large number of Christian Zionists to continue to uphold the special relationship.

    But the good news is that even Christian Zionists are capable of changing their mind about Israel, once they learn the truth about the negative effects of the special relationship on their nation. I wish anti Zionists would focus as much on changing the minds of Christian Zionists as much as they do Jews. Once a majority of them, especially the more patriotic ones, realize Israel is not so good for the US, that special relationship will end.

  6. yourstruly
    August 4, 2016, 2:40 am

    The NYT won’t cover Jewish anti=Zionism because its editors realize that once the general public learns how many Jews reject Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim that he speaks for all Jews, the fear of being being called an anti-Semite or a self-hating Jew for supporting justice for Palestine will vanish – “How can I be an anti-Semite (or self–hating Jew) when so many Jews are with me in this movement for justice?” Next those who previously held back from criticizing Israel (closet anti-Zionists) for fear of being labeled anti-Semitic will be asking what Israel’s role in other Middle East conflicts has been, and how much their prior silence on these issues contributed to so much death and destruction? As this begins to take place throughout our land, Israel’s (not its people’s) days will be numbered. Empire too will be in serious trouble – for having provided Israel with unconditional support for more than half a century. The public will want to know how this relationship came about, who & what’s to blame, and there’ll be demands that those responsible be put on trial. Fear of such an outcome is what keeps the NYT from reporting on the rapidly growing Jewish pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel/anti-Zionist movement. Strange their fear, because the longer the Times’ editors/publishers persevere in ignoring said movement, the worse the outcome for them. But it’s not too late, if only they open up and spill the beans – about, Zionism, Israel and our nation’s role in the conflagrations afflicting the Middle East, not to mention the whopper the NYT’s propagates about Israel’s leaders speaking for all Jews.

  7. Krauss
    August 4, 2016, 2:41 am

    It’s a generational issue. By the time the young Jews of today become 40-50, Israel will already be so far to the right that they won’t need American support.

    The country has never been safer from outside aggressors and nobody in Israel believes the propaganda/bullshit/lies that Iran is the new Nazi Germany.

    I’ve always maintained that Israel’s single biggest threat is not external, but internal. If they inevitably slide into isolationism, will they endure that? How will the state, founded by secular athetists for the most part, handle its transition into religious fundamentalism?

    These are the most foundational questions for Israel over the next 30 years.
    In a sense, even if American Jewry sours, Israel will no longer need them as much as it used to need them. It can handle its own.

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