The Palestine-Israel language trap

Middle East
on 158 Comments

Last Saturday I attended a one-day conference on Israeli Settler-colonialism in Palestine organised by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) in Edinburgh. It was a moving and gripping day. All the speakers at the conference acknowledged, each in his own way, that speaking about settler-colonialism in Palestine-Israel clarifies and simplifies the narrative about what is really going on there.

One of the more moving speakers at the conference, Mahmoud Zawahra focused on the idea of resistance and spoke about the many ways that resistance expresses itself in everyday life in Palestine. At the end of his talk Zawahra called on us to support non-violent Palestinian resistance in a variety of ways. Resistance is vital to our survival when someone not only tries to destroy us physically, but attempts to erase us from history and from collective memory by annihilating our very spirit, culture, memory of, and narrative about what we are experiencing.

I came away from the conference with a strong sense of clarity and urgency. I realised that alongside our efforts to liberate the Palestinians from Israeli settler-colonialism through Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) and other means, we must also liberate our language. In fact, liberating our language might be the key to achieving liberation on the ground. In order to mobilise opposition to Israel and put our collective foot down once and for all, we need to get rid of euphemisms and false language and call what Israel does by its real name, ‘settler-colonialism’.

In my writings and talks I have been avoiding the words, ‘occupation’, ‘conflict’ and ‘peace’. These words in the context of Palestine-Israel have long felt false and misleading. Israelis who are more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause use these words extensively, and even mainstream Zionist Israelis live with them reasonably comfortably. Outside Israel the vast majority of analysts and commentators use these words frequently. They are ever-present in titles and contents of articles of even progressive thinkers, and in the verbal narratives used in mass media reports.

‘Occupation’, ‘conflict’ and ‘peace’ are paralysing words that usher us away from the ‘scene of the crime’, and send us on a wild goose chase after ‘peace talks’ — yet another fictitious and fraudulent phrase in the reality of Palestine-Israel. When we use our language to define problems incorrectly, we then apply irrelevant or wrong solutions.

These three words are convenient and safe — indeed an effective tool in Israel’s psychological and propaganda wars. On the propaganda front, they help to obscure reality by trying to tell us that we are dealing with a ‘simple’ case of occupation, and a conflict between two equal groups, and conflicts end when there is peace. The word ‘occupation’ also falsely suggests that the problem in Palestine-Israel dates back only to 1967. As Ilan Pappé reminded us on Saturday, occupations end and conflicts can be resolved through discussions and negotiations. That’s what the less informed observer would expect when he or she hears these words. Things might be bad just now and it might take a while, but because it is an ‘occupation’ and a ‘conflict’, there is always hope for a ‘peaceful’ resolution. Allowing people to believe that it is only a matter of time is an important and effective stalling tactic for Israel while it seeks to complete its settler-colonial project.

On the psychological front these words serve to confuse the general public both inside and outside Israel and paralyse effective activism. Many good people with a social conscience and with empathy have told me over the years that they avoid expressing their feelings and opinions about Palestine-Israel because they don’t feel they understand the issues well enough. ‘It seems so complicated’ is such a common sentiment. Our political leaders, on all sides of politics in the most influential countries in the West are either intellectually lazy, dishonest or cowardly. But this language helps them enforce this paralysis and their lack of willingness to do the right thing and support the indigenous people of Palestine as they are gradually squeezed out by Israel. If we call a crime a crime, we can act against it. But while we say it is something else, we don’t have to act, or we act in an irrelevant way.

Many people already know that language is political. That’s not a new idea. Language isn’t just an innocent and neutral tool for us to communicate with one another. How we talk about issues, the language we use, doesn’t just *express* how we perceive reality, it can and often does *determine* our perception of reality. Language provides the parameters for discussion, and marks the boundary between the sayable and unsayable. Language provides a distinct identity to groups and to ideas, and distinguishes them from other groups and ideas. As our understanding of issues deepens, so does our language, and as our courage (or frustration) grows, we salvage the unsayable and make it sayable. We can dissolve groups with a change of language, and we can cross over from one group to another as we change our language. Listening to language and terminology warns us about the ‘wrong’ people, and lets us know who we should listen to and who we shouldn’t, that is if we don’t want to find ourselves in the fringes of our groups or completely out in the cold. There are plenty of examples of all of these in the way we talk about Palestine-Israel.

Settler-colonialist projects not only take over land and remove the existing inhabitants. If they want to overcome their victims, take what was theirs and get away with the crime, they must also control the language used to talk about what’s happening. Indigenous people’s voices and narratives have traditionally been weaker and less present than those of the settler-colonists groups. (Why this might so is the subject for another article and is probably already the topic of writings about colonialism and settler-colonialism.) If that was not the case, the indigenous people would be more successful in driving the settler-colonialists out and taking back what is theirs. There is a good reason why we say that history is written by the victors. But it’s not just history in hindsight, it’s also the moment-to-moment narrative that is dictated by those who colonise and settle and who are the more powerful side in a story like this.

In terms of language and narrative, Israel has created two effective traps for us. One is the ‘antisemitism trap’ and the other is the ‘specialness trap’. It is almost impossible to speak about Palestine-Israel without worrying about, or at least mentioning antisemitism. Israel successfully tied antisemitism both to supporting the Palestinians and to criticising Israel. Not only are we told that criticising Israel is antisemitism, but anyone who supports the Palestinians has to worry that they might be an antisemite. I have encountered this more times than I can think over the years. People genuinely worry about it, and it stops them from speaking out or expressing their feelings openly. Worrying about antisemitism, discussing it ad nauseam, successfully distracts us and paralyses the struggle for a change on policy on Israel, and delays any decisive action on behalf of the Palestinians.

The ‘specialness trap’ is even more insidious. Jewish Israeli group psychology is very similar to the psychology of a cult. One of the hallmarks of cults is their feeling that they are special and that everything about them, who they are, what they believe, what they do, even their destiny, are special. Moreover, because of this specialness they cannot be judged or evaluated by the same rules that apply to everyone else. They are effectively outside the laws of general society. (Yes, cults fit well under the definition of a Narcissistic Personality Disorder). The state of Israel would like to trick us to think that what it is doing Palestine cannot be judged in the same way and under the same rules as other similar projects. The specialness trap here is designed to continue to make us believe that the Jewish people and the Jewish state are special and that the Palestinians are also special. We are expected to think that the Jews who settled and colonised Palestine are not like any other settler-coloniser in history and the victims, the Palestinians, are not like any other victims in history. Israel has worked hard to make us believe that the Palestinians are ‘bad’ people who deserve what they are getting, or even that they are not a people at all. The dehumanisation of the Palestinians has a long history dating right back to the 19th century.

Insisting on applying the correct label to what Zionism is doing in Palestine namely, ‘settler-colonialism’, frees our language from both traps. It liberates us from confusion about what’s really going on, and from giving Israel a special dispensation. The occupation is real alright, but it isn’t the real problem. It is only a tool in the bigger project of Jewish settler-colonialism in Palestine. The so-called conflict is a result of the resistance of yet another indigenous people to yet another settler-colonialist group. There is nothing special about the perpetrator and nothing special about the victim. To talk about settler-colonialism is to talk about a crime against humanity by humanity. This is not so complicated.

We have to go back to the same line of thinking that made Hannah Arendt so unpopular in Israel. Covering the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem, she sought to learn universal lessons from the holocaust, rather than see it as a special case. She wanted to understand what can lead ordinary people like Eichmann to collude and facilitate such evil against their fellow humans. She recognised that this happens all the time in human experience. She talked about the banality of evil, and called for the development of a more robust framework of international law to cover crimes against humanity.

But Israel hates the idea that the holocaust is just another genocide, another crime against humanity committed by humanity. It has always refused to allow its own people and the outside world to learn a universal lesson from it. Jewish people have been taught to see the holocaust as a unique event in human history, and themselves as the greatest victims in human history. As the historian Benny Morris said in an interview with Ari Shavit in Ha’aretz in 2004, “We are the greater victims in the course of history and we are also the greater potential victim. Even though we are oppressing the Palestinians, we are the weaker side here.” Jewish Israelis and many Jews around the world have been conditioned to believe that anything that happens to anyone else pales by comparison to what has happened to the Jews. This too is convenient, because it means that whatever is inflicted on the Palestinians, however much they suffer even at the hands of Israel, cannot be as bad as what happened to us. I myself used to believe this in my past, and it was a feature of my very identity.

The Palestinians do not have a specialness complex. For them it is a given that the crime against them is a terrible injustice against human beings committed by other human beings, regardless of who they are. Many Palestinians I speak to often ask me with genuine puzzlement why this is happening to them. Most Palestinians are stumped by the world’s lack of action on their behalf and by the universal support for Israel in the face of such overwhelming evidence of the nature of the crime against them.

If we really want to help the Palestinians, we must examine our language, and we must not compromise. We can protest all we like, but if we continue to use words like ‘occupation’, ‘conflict’ and ‘peace’ we simply play within the rules and the traps that Israel has created for us. To resist a paradigm we can’t operate from within it, or we risk being impotent and ineffective.

In science when a theory does not fit empirical reality, the theory has to change or go. It’s bad and fraudulent science to ‘fudge’ or ignore evidence just to keep a theory we like, or that serves us somehow. The empirical evidence on the ground does not fit an ‘occupation’ or a ‘conflict’ theory, but it does fit settler-colonialism perfectly and it’s there for everyone to see.

Israel is a product of an ongoing settler-colonial project that started back in the late 19th century with the creation of the Zionist movement. In fact Zionism is settler-colonialism, and anyone who supports Zionism supports settler-colonialism. To be effective activists for ending Israeli settler-colonialism, we must be good scientists and make sure that the language we use, our theory, fits with the evidence. As long as we are bad scientists, we actively enable a crime against humanity to continue to march uninterrupted and with impunity to its terrible conclusion. This is unforgiveable.

About Avigail Abarbanel

Avigail Abarbanel was born and raised in Israel. She moved to Australia in 1991 and now lives in the north of Scotland. She works as a psychotherapist and clinical supervisor in private practice and is an activist for Palestinian rights. She is the editor of Beyond Tribal Loyalties: Personal Stories of Jewish Peace Activists (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012).

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158 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    August 19, 2016, 12:47 pm

    I don’t “get it”, but good luck to us all. So I/P is a problem of a settler-colonialist Israel. OK. So if Israel was ever “special”, is Israel not still “special” (even as a settler-colonial state)? And if opposing Israel or any of its projects was ever antisemitic, is opposing a settler-colonialist Israel not still antisemitic since, as is (falsely) claimed, such opposition opposes the only country of the so-called “Jewish People”?

    If a person can see his/her way to OK-ing a pre-1967 territory for Israel, and many people can do that while opposing the occupation, such a person will necessarily be OK-ing a settler-colonialist project, for Israel was a settler-colonialist project from before 1947.

    Maybe the thing to do is to join BDS and its goals with a full heart and without saying what you think would be an OK diplomatic outcome (beyond achieving those goals). An end to discrimination, a right of return for all Palestinians to their homeland before 1948, an end of occupation (and with an end of discrimination and occupation apparently an end of apartheid) — all this sounds pretty good to me.

    I guess success of BDS would in some sense roll-back Israel’s settler-colonialist program. Just as the post-WWII history of Germany somehow rolls-back the holocaust.

    • silamcuz
      August 20, 2016, 2:50 am

      I don’t “get it”, but good luck to us all

      Who are you again? Why do you need to get it?

      if a person can see his/her way to OK-ing a pre-1967 territory for Israel, and many people can do that while opposing the occupation, such a person will necessarily be OK-ing a settler-colonialist project, for Israel was a settler-colonialist project from before 1947.

      Please stop trying to speak for Palestinians. They know what they’re doing.

      • Citizen
        August 20, 2016, 9:38 am

        @ silamcuz
        I agree with pabelmont–except for his last sentence here. Germany has now been paying reparations to the third German generation. Not sure how that fits into analogous to a “rolls-back of Israeli’s settler -colonialist program”? I think the sharper point is pabelmont’s rolls back.
        How to do it equitably? I suggest stopping all aid to Israel, which totals $40 Trillion to date for USA, not including Germany’s de jure & de facto reparations to Israel. This will bring Israel up right quick, by the Zionist short hairs.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 20, 2016, 11:29 am

        Listening to language and terminology warns us about the ‘wrong’ people, and lets us know who we should listen to and who we shouldn’t, that is if we don’t want to find ourselves in the fringes of our groups or completely out in the cold. There are plenty of examples of all of these in the way we talk about Palestine-Israel.

        Who are you again? Why do you need to get it?

        Listening to language and terminology warns us about the ‘wrong’ people, and lets us know who we should listen to and who we shouldn’t, that is if we don’t want to find ourselves in the fringes of our groups or completely out in the cold. There are plenty of examples of all of these in the way we talk about Palestine-Israel.

        you have to a special kind of stupid to believe that the Israel’s existence is about establishing a Jewish authority over Palestine

        to answer your question, pabelmont is a long time contributor to this blog who is married to a palestinian. his voice matters.

      • Jon66
        August 20, 2016, 4:54 pm

        Citizen,
        Do you have ANY source which substantiates your $40 trillion figure?

      • Mary T
        August 20, 2016, 7:21 pm

        Who are YOU, and have the Palestinians elected you to silence all those who stand up for them?

      • silamcuz
        August 21, 2016, 12:37 am

        to answer your question, pabelmont is a long time contributor to this blog who is married to a palestinian. his voice matters.

        Okay, thanks for clarifying but to whom does his voice matters though? Since the subject of the conversation is about the Palestinian national aspirations, anyone who isn’t Palestinian or descendant of Palestinians need to take a backseat.

        Maybe the thing to do is to join BDS and its goals with a full heart and without saying what you think would be an OK diplomatic outcome (beyond achieving those goals). An end to discrimination, a right of return for all Palestinians to their homeland before 1948, an end of occupation (and with an end of discrimination and occupation apparently an end of apartheid) — all this sounds pretty good to me. – (Pabelmont)

        I find it incredibly arrogant and entitled for someone who is not a Palestinian to feel he knows what good or not for Palestine.

        Also, is he in any way representing his wife in this conversation? If not, the fact she is Palestinian is irrelevant.

      • silamcuz
        August 21, 2016, 2:03 am

        Citizen,

        How to do it equitably? I suggest stopping all aid to Israel, which totals $40 Trillion to date for USA, not including Germany’s de jure & de facto reparations to Israel. This will bring Israel up right quick, by the Zionist short hairs.

        This is nonsensical. Germany is a sovereign country that is accountable to 80 million of her citizens.

        Find out who represent you, and hold them accountable for their support of Israel instead of suggesting random people/countries on their best course of action. [..]

      • YoniFalic
        August 21, 2016, 9:25 am

        One should probably distinguish:

        Foreign aid to Israel,

        Total aid to Israel,

        Subsidization of Israel, and

        Cost of Israel to the USA.

        I have a cousin, who does currency trading, and therefore looks at debt relations and government monetary policy.

        His current calculation — I asked him yesterday — puts Israel’s cost to the USA at approximately $28-$30 trillion (constant 2015) dollars since 1948.

        Without this cost of Israel, the USA would have a fairly large national surplus and not a national debt.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 21, 2016, 11:39 pm

        I find it incredibly arrogant and entitled for someone who is not a Palestinian to feel he knows what good or not for Palestine.

        silam just (arrogantly) outed himself as not knowing (or recognizing) what the (palestinian) goals of bds are — which pabelmont listed after saying “Maybe the thing to do is to join BDS and its goals with a full heart and without saying what you think would be an OK diplomatic outcome

        https://bdsmovement.net/what-is-bds
        https://bdsmovement.net/call

        mary: Who are YOU, and have the Palestinians elected you to silence all those who stand up for them?

        no, they certainly have not. it’s just his (false flag) shtick to get people to shut up. except the zionists of course, he leaves them alone.

  2. Boomer
    August 19, 2016, 2:27 pm

    Thanks for this analysis.

  3. Tchoupitoulas
    August 19, 2016, 4:15 pm

    Regarding the section on Hannah Arendt above, I will borrow from one of Froggy’s comments on an earlier column on Elie Wiesel, quoting Howard Zinn:

    There have been shameful moments, travesties of Jewish humanism, as when Jewish organizations lobbied against Congressional recognition of the Armenian Holocaust of 1915 on the ground that it diluted the memory of the Jewish Holocaust. The designers of the Holocaust Museum dropped the idea of mentioning the Armenian genocide after lobbying by the Israeli government, among others.

    Our holocaust is MORE IMPORTANT than your holocaust!

    Thanks Avigail.

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      August 20, 2016, 6:13 am

      You’re very welcome Tchoupitoulas!

    • JanetB
      August 20, 2016, 10:50 am

      I belong to an another discussion group and currently there is a thread about anti-Semitism where few people are listing out the various incidents of what they feel are anti-Semitic including BDS. But at the same time, they are being incredibly Islamophobic and anti-Palestinian. I once had a discussion with one these people where I pointed out that the African slave trade and the genocide of the indigenous people of the Americas and Australia were in scale and duration a much greater tragedy than the Jewish Holocaust, boy did she object to that point of view. I no long join discussion on this topic on that board.

      • Avigail Abarbanel
        August 20, 2016, 11:14 am

        Good idea. This does not sound like a real open-minded crowd that is prepared to dicusss things fairly and openly. It sounds like a fearful group without much self-awareness. You’re better out of it… :)

  4. MHughes976
    August 19, 2016, 4:59 pm

    I always enjoy reading your remarks, Avigail, but I’d like to ask what meaning is given to ‘settler colonial’? To me, SC means something like what was going on in Panama 1520 or Masachusetts 1630, with distant external sovereignty asserted and colonists arriving from a mother country which puts or purports to put their activities on a legal basis and provides essential long term support. Israel does not seem to fit this bill at all, so the intended meaning must be somewhat different – I’d like to see it stated.
    Does use of the term SC get us fully clear of the language trap? Might it not be anti-Semitic to object in particular to this example, one among several, of SC? Might Jewish people not have some Special, splendidly unique reason to practise SC?
    I keep hoping you’ll be giving a lecture here in the Deep South of England some time.

    • Boris
      August 19, 2016, 10:33 pm

      Yes, Jewish people have that “Special” reason to settle in their ancestral land from which they were expelled some time ago.

      No, this “Special” reason is not unique. For example, Cherokees have the same reason to re-settle back in Georgia and take some land from peanut farmers. It is simply they have no power to do it. But reason – they do have.

      • mariapalestina
        August 19, 2016, 11:41 pm

        And do Palestinians have an equally “Special” reason to settle in their ancestral land from which they were expelled very recently?

      • oldgeezer
        August 19, 2016, 11:52 pm

        @boris

        There is a big difference between native north americans who can trace their roots a couple of generations to holding that land and the situation of European, or even middle eastern Jews, who have no idea if their forefathers were ever in those lands to begin with.

        Fairh and belief is not fact. And Jewish hold of that land lasted only a moment of time compared to thousands of years for native north americans.

        Jewish fantasies are not title deeds

      • eljay
        August 20, 2016, 9:04 am

        || Boris: Yes, Jewish people have that “Special” reason to settle in their ancestral land from which they were expelled some time ago. … ||

        No they don’t. Geographic Palestine is not the “ancestral homeland” of most of the Jewish people alive in the world today, so they have no valid reason to settle in it.

        Geographic Palestine is, however, the actual ancestral homeland of most of the Palestinian people alive in the world today, including the refugees you Zio-supremacists prevent from returning to the area currently known as Israel. Those Palestinian people have a valid reason to return* to it and/or to re-settle in it.

        (“Actual return, not mytho-religious “return”.)

      • catalan
        August 20, 2016, 10:35 am

        No they don’t. Geographic Palestine is not the “ancestral homeland” of most of the Jewish people alive in the world today, so they have no valid reason to settle in it. Enjoy

        Actually, they do. Many people want to live in a different place from where they were born. One could argue that it is a basic human instinct. The locals for the most part don’t like strangers but that’s how it goes. Many break immigration laws, myself included.
        You cannot make a logical case for why people should not be allowed to move and settle anywhere, including against the wishes of the locals. No such case has ever been made. People will erect barriers and others will find ways to jump over these barriers. Rights and laws have nothing to do with it.

      • Froggy
        August 20, 2016, 12:53 pm

        @catalan

        People don’t have the right to take what doesn’t belong to them.

        Individuals who come to a country as bone fide immigrants don’t expect to overthrow the existing orderso they can appropriate property, establish their own govenment, and impose their culture. People who do that are called ‘invaders’ or ‘occupiers’. The Nazis did that when they occupied our village.

      • eljay
        August 20, 2016, 12:57 pm

        || catalan: … Actually, they do. … ||

        Actually, they don’t.

        || … Many people want to live in a different place from where they were born. … ||

        People want lots of things. Wanting something is not the same thing as being legally or morally entitled to something. “Jewish” is neither a legal nor a moral entitlement to live in geographic Palestine. And while people who happen to be or who choose to be Jewish are legally entitled to live in Israel, that’s only because Israel unjustly and immorally exists as a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”.

        || … Many break immigration laws, myself included. … ||

        And they and you should be held accountable – not celebrated or rewarded- for your unlawful behaviour.

      • catalan
        August 20, 2016, 1:13 pm

        Froggy,
        I do not know what is a bona fide immigrant. I also do not think that all immigrants have the same desires or expectations. I live in New Mexico, a state with a huge number of illegal and legal immigrants. You mentioned culture, well they certainly have changed the culture and continue to do so. It does not bother me but does bother some people. You mentioned government, well they do have their own ideas about government like all people so that is affected too.
        I agree that nobody should lose their home because someone else came. However, there is plenty of available land in Palestine and in New Mexico. I am against all this Nazi and invader stuff. But I think that no case can be made that Jews somehow should not settle on the West Bank or in Sweden; or Hispanixs “should” not settle in New Mexico or Poland. People always hate new arrivals. New arrivals will always come. I agree that ideally war should be avoided. I disagree that there is some higher law that says that you are not allowed to settle here or there.

      • Froggy
        August 20, 2016, 2:56 pm

        @catalan

        Froggy,
        I do not know what is a bona fide immigrant.

        By your admission you don’t believe in the rule of law.

        I also do not think that all immigrants have the same desires or expectations.

        That much is clear. Some come to take over and displace the occupants who already live there.

        Now imagine what would happen if tens of millions of people throughout the world who have seen too much American TV decide to move to Southern California. Millions and millions of them arrive…. No jobs. No housing. Insufficient room in schools. Insufficient transportation. Insufficient social services. But it’s OK with catalan because these people WANT to be there.

        How old are you ? Didn’t your parents ever teach you that you don’t always get what you want ?

        Citizenship /residency is a social contract. At least, that’s the way it is in civilised countries.

        Those Hispanics you refer to haven’t changed the form of government, have they ? (You still have elections over there, don’t you ?) So they open some bodegas.

        The Hispanics haven’t come with the idea that they would change the basic social contract.

        Do you think that Israel has the right to restrict the Palestinians entry to ‘Israel’ ? You seem to be in agreement with the Palestinians’ right of return.

      • Misterioso
        August 20, 2016, 2:57 pm

        Boris

        Just curious. Setting aside Israel’s current belligerent/illegal occupation and brutal oppression/dispossession of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (yes, Israel still occupies the Gaza Strip under international law), do you also believe that foreign Jews had “‘that ‘Special’ reason” to dispossess and expel well over one million of Palestine’s indigenous Arab inhabitants between late 1947 and 1967 in order to create an exclusionary/expansionary “Jewish state?”

        Also, for the record: Today’s Palestinians and their ancestors have lived in the region between the River and the Sea since 7000 BCE.

        To quote the renowned historian/anthropologist and “Holy Land” specialist, Professor Ilene Beatty: “When we speak of ‘Palestinians’ or of the ‘Arab population [of Palestine]‘, we must bear in mind their Canaanite origin. This is important because their legal right to the country stems…from the fact that the Canaanites were first, which gives them priority; their descendants have continued to live there, which gives them continuity; and (except for the 800,000 dispossessed refugees [of 1948 along with the further hundreds of thousands subsequently expelled]), they are still living there, which gives them present possession. Thus we see that on purely statistical grounds they have a proven legal right to their own land.” (“Arab and Jew in the Land of Canaan,” 1957)

      • MHughes976
        August 20, 2016, 4:18 pm

        I’d be interested to see a statement of a universal right to enter territory on the basis of ancestral residence, followed by exclusion, and on nothing else. Does all ancestral connection, recent or distant (maria’s question) qualify? Does it confer a right to exclude others? Is it important or crucial to prove that one’s ancestors were excluded by force? If someone accepts citizenship of another country do they retain all the rights they had on leaving the former country?
        On the historical side I presume that the existence of the Herodian Kingdom of the Jews, which was not a kingdom of Jews only, around 1 CE is not disputed. What is disputed is the existence of a pagan polity conquered – ie the occurrence of a horrible destruction of people living on their ancestral land – by Joshua. Zionist historiography seems rather to conflate these two things, claiming that contemporary Jewish people are heirs both to the destroyed polity of 70 CE and to the destroying polity of (say) 1250 BCE – presenting the first claim on the basis that this sort of destruction should not happen and should always be reversed and the second on the basis that this sort of destruction is sometimes to be celebrated and its results preserved for ever.
        Some claim that there is a special and unique factor in the form of a divine mandate given to people who are Jewish and to no one else.
        In connection with my original questions to Avigail, I don’t see how calling the Zionists ‘settler colonialists’ precludes the rhetoric about ancestral homelands or about divine mandates.

    • johneill
      August 19, 2016, 10:47 pm

      settler-colonialism, to me, makes the whole project sound (accurately) anachronistic. hence reaching 2,000 years into the past for a ‘reason’ to establish a modern religious-nationalist country.

      • Avigail Abarbanel
        August 20, 2016, 11:20 am

        The business about going back 2000 years is just an excuse. The Jews were never exiled from Judea by the Romans. It’s just not what the Romans did. Israeli historians knew this all along but they worked in the service of the Zionist project that sought to invent a Jewish nation where there wasn’t one. Inventing the mythology of 2000 years of exile served to help justify the project to colonise and settle Palestine and help create a cohesive sense of identity among modern Jews, most of whom are descendants of converts into Judaism.

        This whole argument about Jews ‘going back to their ancestral land’ is total bollocks, excuse the bad language… But I am really tired of this nonsense. Besides it’s time that everyone put morals and compassion first. What Israel did and is still doing to the Palestinians is unacceptable and it is our moral duty to stand against Israeli settler-colonialism. It’s been wrong wherever and whenever it was done and Israel’s overtake of Palestine is no different.

      • MHughes976
        August 20, 2016, 4:22 pm

        Of course it’s bollocks and worse. The thought that it is so widely believed and respected makes me near scream.

      • echinococcus
        August 20, 2016, 6:53 pm

        Hughes,

        Of course “settler colonialism” is a proper term here. At least it has been so in describing similar situations since some 800 BC. When people from Byblos and Tyre and other places went and became Carthaginians –independent of but cooperating with the place of origin. Same for Phoceans and Milesians and people from other coastal towns (themselves ancient colonies) forming a colony and acquiring a new identity, same for hundreds of similar examples. That was for the technical aspect, to answer your criteria of a single country/state of origin and continuing administrative subordination to some mother country. For the substance, Avigail answered.

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      August 20, 2016, 5:59 am

      Setter-Colonialism is what people do when walk into someone else’s home and take it for themselves. Growing up in Israel I was brought up on the idea that the means justifies the end when it comes to Jewish survival. Everything was painted in black and white for us. I was told that the holocaust was proof that we can never be safe and was brought up both on the ideas of ‘never again’ (to us!) and that without the state of Israel another holocaust is imminent. I was brought up to believe that everyone hates Jews and always will and that there is no safety except in huddling together — in what I now perceive as a ghetto of our own making.

      I have spoken and written extensively about how trauma in individuals and groups can become the organising principle of group and/or individual identity and can cause people to see the world in such terms. Victims of trauma can isolate themselves from the rest of humanity and live as cults do with the belief that only inside is safe and outside never is. This belief didn’t start with Israel. It is present in Judaism right back to Biblical myths and stories and you’ll find the same themes in Bashevis Singer’s stories as well. The settler-colonial state of Israel was created out of the belief that it’s either ‘us or them’ and that whatever the cost, it’s OK to do this.

      I don’t think so. Having born, raised and educated in Israel I eventually moved away from this mentality. I think it has something to do with my own journey to recover from my personal childhood trauma and then going on to make a conscious effort to recover from my group trauma. I ended up leaving the ‘cult’ and that means I haven’t just left in body, I left its entire mindset, psychology and philosophy of life behind. I choose to not live in fear, to use my life for everyone’s benefit not just ‘my people’s’ and to learn universal rather than ethnocentric lessons from the stories of the people who raised me.

      So, the answer is no! Jews or any one of us, have no right to walk into someone else’s home and take it for ourselves just because we might have suffered. We don’t accept it inside our own societies and I don’t see why we should accept it in the international domain.

      My point in the article was that Israel and the Jewish people who created it and populated are as liable as any of us would be, if we did this to someone else. There shouldn’t be one standard for Jews and one for everyone else. Colonialism and settler-colonialism have been researched and written about extensively. I am not a scholar in this area but I do know that we live in a post-colonial era which means we no longer look at the times of ’empire’ with romanticism but are now able to look at the crimes that were committed with more sober and critical eyes. Israel’s project is still ongoing and it is a disgrace the in a post-colonial era it is allowed to continue. The article was about the way that language allows us (our governments) to ignore or avoid the obvious and therefore to enable what Israel is doing.

      • Raphael
        August 20, 2016, 6:56 am

        I think in some ways, not all ways about the colonialism stuff, but in a way I had a similar Israeli experience.

        I recently moved from Israel after living there briefly. I’m a dual citizen now of both the US and Israel. I was never raised as a religious Jew; and I was always a outsider to the Jewish community; even though I look Jewish. Being raised in the US for a time with my father and my mother separately , after my mother and father divorced; I seen both communities; the Jewish community and the neighborhood my father lived in, and the non Jewish community my mother lived in.

        In the US, it seems to me that Jewishness from a Israeli Jewishness is much different, that in the US. If I was ever going to be a Jew… I would certainly pick Israel though…if I had to pick one or the other. I would have loved to of lived there after I made Aliyah ; but I’m not Jewish; and as a Catholic Jew, I had no civil rights while I was living there; so I left, and moved back to the US.

        But, my spiritual connection to Israel has been renewed, on a inner level. It was a therapeutic experience for me to have lived there; and I’m in the process of learning Hebrew. Are there any modern Hebrew books you can recommend; to help me learn the language?

      • YoniFalic
        August 20, 2016, 8:19 am

        Here is my summary description of Zionism from a course that I teach on the history of modern Jews.

        Zionism is a particularly vicious form of 19th century-style white racist European genocidal colonialism in which European invaders destroy or expel a native population in order to create space to move in the racist Europeans and possibly a favored non-European population to play a servile role.

        There is no place on the planet for such an ideology any more than there is a place for 19th century-style white racist enslavement of people that descend from sub-Saharan African populations.

      • talknic
        August 20, 2016, 8:32 am

        Raphael August 20, 2016, 6:56 am

        27 self mentions http://mondoweiss.net/2016/08/palestine-israel-language/#comment-852077 … WOW!! Going for a record

        Say, the article isn’t about you!

      • MHughes976
        August 20, 2016, 4:35 pm

        The words you use really strike home but I’m still not sure we’re out of the language trap. Settler-colonialism at this rate is really a word for theft and murder, keeping people from their ancestral (here the word is justified!) homes by force and bloodshed, not to mention effrontery and lies. The language trap for the likes of us seems to be that if we use the rather academic term SC we get involved in rigmaroles and if we use more forthright terms we look ourselves like extremists, breaching the decencies of Western discourse. We are made to look – how do they get away with it ? – as if our objection is not to outrageous mistreatment of people who have done nothing wrong but to the blood and ancestry, of all irrelevant things, of the people who perpetrate the outrage.

      • inbound39
        August 20, 2016, 8:20 pm

        Avigail, it has always been my theory that given the settlers in Palestine were survivors of the Holocaust mainly from Occupied Europe and had at the most been incarcerated in camps or at the least suffered extreme persecution, it follows many of these people would have suffered PTSD and other mental issues surrounding the trauma they were subjected to. To my knowledge like other WW2 military personnel they basically were left to their own ends on how to deal with the issues and never had professional help. This being the case, like any dysfunction, it follows that if unaddressed it compounds generation by generation with each new generation adding their own complications to the problem. Israeli’s seem to be preoccupied decades later still with persecution and paranoia. It seems still fresh in their minds which to me points to unhealthy dysfunction caused by the past that was and has never been addressed. Plus a hallmark of abused people is they go on to be abusers, as in Israel’s treatment of Arabs and their land. Israeli’s are subjecting Palestinians to treatment Jews were subjected to decades ago with alarming similarity.

      • Danaa
        August 26, 2016, 8:36 pm

        Raphael, alas, the only thing I can teach is how to forget hebrew. I grew up in that language and it never felt natural to me. Discovering English changed my personality since it takes a word to define a state of mind, and in hebrew many states of mind are missing (there are, for example, woefully few ways to describe tolerance. In fact, one of the words translates – literally – as “put up with” or ‘suffer”). new words are invented in hebrew constantly but no one uses them, and the existing words were defined to match a state of being, or more precisely, a state of being right. Always.

        There is value in knowing more than one language, I often heard that said, and perhaps there is. But not many spoke about the value in forgetting languages that include words that serve to cloud the mind and infringe upon one’s clarity of thought. I have examples, but this isn’t the place.

        That being said, and being cognizant of the power of words and/or their absence, I think that what Avigail wrote is truly insightful, and I regret to see much of that misinterpreted. then again, one can’t expect that the power of words to inform, obstruct, persuade or dissuade, etc. will be clear to all. Indeed, i suspect that deep knowledge of that power, assuming one is not a linguist like Lakoff or Chomsky, comes from deep familiarity, and indeed fluency, in more than one language, even more so if one language was learnt much later than another. Only by having had the experience of an outsider to words that mean so much to an insider, can one come to appreciate what the power of language truly is. More later on this theme, may be, time permitting.

      • Raphael
        August 27, 2016, 9:30 am

        Raphael, alas, the only thing I can teach is how to forget hebrew.

        Perhaps, rachum, or kavnah might mean tolerance or compassion, in Hebrew; I don’t know. I looked up the Hebrew word for longing (longing for compassion, or tolerance?) when I got caught up in the poetry of Nelly Sachs.

        Perhaps, the reason why many Israelis want to forget their modern language, even citizenship, of Israel is because the Hebrew language was corrupted by those that wanted to write out of the official history books… the tolerant more compassionate side of the ancient Biblical Israelite narrative. By writing out the empire vs. creation story. I see no debates about this topic in any modern ways in movies, TV, about Israel.

        For example, Emma Lazarus and Josephine Lazarus were Zionists; but they were written out of the history of Zionism by historians about Zionism, and it seems to me replaced with a patriarchal Zionist perspective …a form of muscle (militant) Judaism. From what I read of Emma Lazarus and Josephine Lazarus there Zionism seemed liberal; not militant.

        Perhaps, the, powers that be, around 1948 wanted to write that form of communication out of the past of Israel, to have a more militant patriarchal society.

      • Dan
        August 27, 2016, 4:07 pm

        “…In fact, one of the words translates – literally – as “put up with” or ‘suffer”).”

        If you’re suggesting that’s unique or surprising it shouldn’t be.
        One of the definitions of suffer(sufferance) is tolerate(tolerance). Also endure/put up with.
        Although the usage is a bit archaic. “He did not suffer fools gladly”

        Insufferable (intolerable) continues in common usage.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      August 20, 2016, 6:52 pm

      In Chapter 2 of the collection edited by Ilan Pappe “Israel and South Africa” (2015) Pappe shows that Zionism is unusual but not unique as a type of SC without backing from the government of a specific mother country. Another example is the activity of the Basel Mission, a European missionary society that established settler colonies in Africa. Another example of a “private” SC project that he does not discuss is Liberia.

  5. silamcuz
    August 20, 2016, 12:53 am

    I find it funny after all these years people are starting to turn towards the idea that Israel, through its own faults, simply do not deserve to exist. This is not anti semitic nor is it genocidal on our part to claim so.

    Palestine will always be whole. The day Palestine is split into two is the day Palestinians cease to exist as a people.

  6. Keith
    August 20, 2016, 12:54 am

    Yet again, a serious comment of mine trashed in moderation. Am I really that threatening? I am becoming confused about what side you are on versus what side I am on. Perhaps an email to clarify my ongoing moderation problems?

    • Danaa
      August 27, 2016, 2:50 am

      Keith, write to Adam. I kind of doubt it was deliberate. More likely a glitch.

      • Keith
        August 27, 2016, 11:54 am

        DANAA- “Keith, write to Adam. I kind of doubt it was deliberate. More likely a glitch.”

        Rather than write to Adam, why not test your glitch theory? Below I am copying and pasting the original comment (more on that later). Let us see if it passes moderation now that this is a more or less dead thread. Here goes!

        Keith August 19, 2016, 7:32 pm
        AVIGAIL ABARBANEL- “…we must also liberate our language. In fact, liberating our language might be the key to achieving liberation on the ground.”

        I agree completely. Failure to correctly identify the problem allows the opposition to frame the debate. For example, the word “reform” is perhaps the most over used propaganda term around. Noxious changes are labeled “reforms” and the battle is lost before it is begun. I disagree, however, that Israel can be correctly defined as a settler colonial state, a much too simplistic description. If it was merely a settler colonial state, much of the situation would have been resolved long ago based upon rational accommodation. Alas, Israel is at the center of the Zionist ideology which combines blood and soil nationalism with a somewhat secularized version of Classical Judaism, ideologically uniting Zionist Jews worldwide. This ideology overwhelms individual rationality in favor of tribal solidarity. Your description of Israeli Jewish psychology as cult-like seems to me accurate and indicates a society that places group ideology well above rationality. In essence, a throwback to pre-enlightenment times.

        I would also suggest that Israel cannot be understood without reference both to it’s function in the American led global empire and to it’s function in resurrecting a form of Jewish Zionist tribalism permitting Jewish Zionists to prosper as the new imperial Mandarins. Or, as Yoni Falic contends, a case can be made that American Jews have successfully “recreated the elite status of Jews in 19th century Central and Eastern Europe.” I personally doubt that this would have occurred without Zionism and the Holocaust. Of course, the specific situations differ, however, there seems to me to be definite similarities, not the least of which is the tribal psychology, kinship nepotism, and an irrational sense of victimhood, all of which tend to be mutually reinforcing.

      • Danaa
        August 28, 2016, 4:42 pm

        And there’s your comment, in its entirety! smart you to have saved it. Nothing like semi-dead threads to recover lost pearls, no?

        I can see some controversialism in it – the jewish mandarins and all that (with which i agree totally, as you well know). Phil said things like that himself, couching them of course, in his indomitably affable style. I can see that some moderator (not annie) might consider the comment dangerously close to some illusory “protocols’ and squash it, so as to not call in the troll squads.

        Either way, the glitch theory may have some merit, though it’s far from proven. We need to try a few more times, don’t we? especially those of us who just love to skate right along the red line……

        Regards, as always.

      • Keith
        August 28, 2016, 8:34 pm

        DANAA- “I can see some controversialism in it – the jewish mandarins and all that (with which i agree totally, as you well know).”

        Yeah, I figured it was something like that. Yet, in a comment on an article on the use of descriptive language, why would that be taboo? Obviously, one doesn’t have to agree with the label, but the political economy of Zionism should be open for discussion, particularly in view of the prominence of Jewish Zionists (Neocons, et al) is establishing and implementing imperial foreign policy. In fact, I would argue that labeling something as being the same as The Protocols is an effective form of censorship which seeks to shield power relations from scrutiny. Labeling anything as an anti-Semitic trope is always intended both as means to squelch the discussion, and as a means to claim anti-Semitism (the mother’s milk of Zionism) where none exists.

        Regards to you.

      • echinococcus
        August 28, 2016, 10:45 pm

        Keith,

        Labeling anything as an anti-Semitic trope is always intended both as means to squelch the discussion, and as a means to claim anti-Semitism (the mother’s milk of Zionism) where none exists.

        Well put. Only, the total anonymity of arbitrary scissors, in the absence of clear rules, leaves you speculating with no clues at all.

    • Mooser
      August 27, 2016, 1:19 pm

      ” I am becoming confused about what side you are on versus what side I am on.”

      And let’s make it clear: “Either you’re a Union Man, or thug for J.H. Blair.”
      Which side are you on, boys, which side are you on?

  7. inbound39
    August 20, 2016, 10:31 am

    Dore Gold has issued a directive banning Foreign Ministry workers from holding contacts with Israeli Journalists…….tightening up the information black out……….http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.737552

  8. Ossinev
    August 20, 2016, 11:29 am

    @Raphael
    You are dribbling again.
    “even though I look Jewish”. Can you clarify by way of a photo or sketch to cement your point . Will be fascinated to discover what a Jew”looks” like ie without the skullcap,the funny top hat , the curly black sidelock rings ,the long beard etc etc. Is it a white skinned Aryan look,a Levantine darker skinned look,a black African look,an Eastern Steppes Mongol look , a Chinese look, a Bangladeshi look etc ad nauseam.

    And whilst you are at it once again WTF is a ” Catholic Jew ” ?

  9. Avigail Abarbanel
    August 20, 2016, 11:32 am

    @Raphael — Thanks for sharing your personal story. I’m glad that you have found some spiritual connection in Israel, but just remember it isn’t ‘our’ country and we have no right to it at all.

    I’m sorry but I don’t have any advice about Hebrew books to offer. I am a native speaker of Hebrew so never looked at textbooks or Hebrew language courses. I’m sure if you google it you’d find plenty available.

    As for ‘looking Jewish’, there is no such thing as a Jewish look. It’s a myth sadly created by historical antisemitism. The Jewish look you’re probably referring to is a particular type of look that was common among Jews in a particular part of Latvia. Hitler picked on that as being the ‘Jewish look’ probably because he considered it unattractive, and it kind of stuck over time. Hitler wouldn’t have needed to use the yellow star if there was a particular Jewish look. You lived in Israel long enough to look around and see that there is no one look for Jews but that the features are a mixture of everything out there.

    Jews have more or less the appearance of the people in which they lived, which obviously casts serious doubts on the whole idea of Jewishness as a race. A race of people should have features in common because they come from a common genetic pool. If Jews look like the people around them in the countries they originate from, what does that tell us about so-called Jewish genetics? So you probably don’t have a Jewish look at all but possibly some kind of Latvian genetic background, and who knows where the Latvian people originated from anyway? It’s not my area… :)

    • Raphael
      August 20, 2016, 12:25 pm

      I have reviewed hundreds of books; I only found mostly American Jewish writers; and one poet Nelly Sachs..her poetry is the best poetry I ever read that interests me about Jewish culture; but I don’t think her work is in Hebrew.

      Your genealogical insights are very helpful; some of my family members came from the kovno area of Lithuania; I think that is in some ways similar to Latvia. They could have come from Latvia; then moved to Lithuania, so if I have that Latvia look, also I could go to the Latvian archive and do genealogical research.

      Most of the bookstores in Israel had only Jewish religious books, or Hebrew books with no translation of books from America it seemed… sort of like a blackout of American culture. If I ever move back to Israel I won’t have to put on their black Hasidic costume; I can simply go into a Latvian persona; to have that look, making my life there much easier.

      Especially, when I’m at the center stage of the whole who is a Jew debate, I at times asked myself if even they have that look… so yes, I did, when I was there have plenty of time to look at Israelis; when they spoke to me, and were on or about their lives. I was amazed at how generally they don’t have that look. American Jews generally have more of that look.

      The authors I read about in Israel in Hebrew seemed rather dull, lacking in art entirely.

      • Mooser
        August 20, 2016, 5:24 pm

        “I have reviewed hundreds of books”

        Any of those “reviews” on-line? Love to see a couple. Please give us a link “Raphael”.

        “Especially, when I’m at the center stage of the whole who is a Jew debate”

        You’re not, and you never were, okay? And I don’t think your status is in any question here, either.

    • Raphael
      August 20, 2016, 12:48 pm

      Everywhere the Earth
      is building its colonies of homesickness.
      Not to land
      on the oceans of addicted blood
      only to sway
      in the luminous music of ebb and flood
      only to sway
      to the rhythm of the unscathed
      mark of eternity:
      life – death –

      Nelly Sachs

    • yonah fredman
      August 20, 2016, 6:13 pm

      Regarding a Jewish face: before we get too scientific, let me offer this joke told in Brooklyn by Russian Jews on the topic of the dangers of returning for a visit to Mother Russia (or Ukraine) after taking up American citizenship:
      “They do not punch you in your American passport, they punch you in your Jewish nose.”

  10. Greta
    August 20, 2016, 1:24 pm

    Thanks Avigail. I admire what you have written and your thoughtful responses. Frankly, I don’t think we go far enough to talk about what Israel is doing in the language that should be used. Israel is committing genocide on the Palestinians. Gaza is a concentration camp. And Israel murders civilians, including children and women.

    I’ve been told several times that I shouldn’t ‘use that language’ when talking about Israeli transgressions. Why not? That is what they are doing to the captive Palestinian population and it’s high time we used the correct language

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      August 21, 2016, 11:30 am

      Hi Greta, Oh, please do use that language. It is entirely accurate.

      Part of my motivation in writing this latest piece was my growing impatience with the controls over our language, while at the same time the Palestinians continue to suffer and to suffer an incremental genocide by Israel. ‘Incremental genocide’ by the way is a phrase coined by Ilan Pappé.

      It’s imperative to search our own motivation before we speak or act. If our motivation is pure and free of the needs of of *our own ego*, and of *malice or poison* — to name but two possible and common motivations that most of us would experience from time to time — then we should not accept any limitation on what we should say, especially when people are victims of cruelty and injustice.

    • RoHa
      August 22, 2016, 9:33 am

      I’m back in Britain, dealing with estate matters, so I can’t write the essay this topic deserves. I will just add some comments to the words of the Master and a blend of the Legge and Moffat translations.

      子路曰:「衛君待子而為政,子將奚先?」
      Zi Lu said, “The ruler of Wei has been waiting for you, in order with you to administer the government. What will you consider the first thing to be done?”

      子曰:「必也正名乎!」
      The Master replied, “What is necessary is to rectify names/a correction of terminology.”

      And correct punctuation, of course.

      子路曰:「有是哉,子之迂也!奚其正?」
      “So! indeed!” said Zi Lu. “You are wide of the mark! Why must there be such rectification?”

      子曰:「野哉由也!君子於其所不知,蓋闕如也。
      The Master said, “How uncultivated you are, You! A superior man, in regard to what he does not know, shows a cautious reserve.

      Think before speaking. Check facts are true and arguments are well-formed. The “superior man” (君子) is the exemplary person, the person we should all aspire to be.)

      名不正,則言不順;
      If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things/what is said cannot be followed.

      言不順,則事不成;
      If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success. /If what is said cannot be followed, then work cannot be accomplished.

      This applies at many levels. If criticism of Israel is called “anti-Semitism”, it will be condemned and rejected regardless of how well founded it may be. If mass murder is called “mowing the grass”, it will not receive the condemnation it deserves. Eliminating moral judgement from language is as dangerous as making wrong moral judgments. Clear, careful thought is necessary, and correct use of language is part of that.

      事不成,則禮樂不興;
      When affairs cannot be carried on to success, proprieties/ritual and music will not flourish.

      Ritual and music are not just the standards and the foundation of the social order, they also serve to develop good character and moral behaviour. When they fail, when we no longer have moral standards, we no longer know what is right and wrong.

      禮樂不興,則刑罰不中;
      When proprieties/ritual and music do not flourish, punishments will not be properly awarded.

      If we are uncertain about what is right and what is wrong, we must be uncertain about the principles and procedures needed to maintain a just society.

      刑罰不中,則民無所措手足。
      When punishments are not properly awarded, the people do not know how to move hand or foot.

      And without those principles and procedures, society will fall into chaos.
      故君子名之必可言也,言之必可行也。
      Therefore a superior man considers it necessary that the names he uses may be spoken appropriately, and also that what he speaks may be carried out appropriately.

      君子於其言、無所苟而已矣。
      What the superior man requires is just that in his words there may be nothing incorrect.”

      Correct use of language, calling things by the right names, is essential to intellectual clarity. Moral order requires intellectual order, so the superior man maintains his intellectual integrity.

      Analects, 13:3

      • Avigail Abarbanel
        August 22, 2016, 10:24 am

        Thank you RoHa. That’s really lovely and I enjoyed reading it.

      • eljay
        August 22, 2016, 11:24 am

        “+1”, writes the inferior man. :-)

      • RoHa
        August 22, 2016, 2:49 pm

        The Master did not say “The superior man remembers his opening parenthesis as well as his closing one”, but he would have approved of the sentiment. He was an editor as well as a philosopher.

      • eljay
        August 22, 2016, 9:16 pm

        “I am once again humbled,” admits the inferior man.

      • RoHa
        August 23, 2016, 3:58 am

        I am indeed humbled. As you noticed, I inadvertently omitted the opening parenthesis in my explanation of the term “superior” man. My inadequate self-cultivation has not developed the virtue of attentiveness sufficiently.

  11. Froggy
    August 20, 2016, 1:42 pm

    Excellent article, Avigail.

    “antisemitism” and “specialness”

    What I don’t understand is how (supposedly) intelligent people permit themselves to be taken in by these specious arguments.

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      August 21, 2016, 12:21 pm

      @Froggy
      Hi Froggy, well, I guess there will always be people who won’t bother digging too deep. Maybe they believe authority, maybe they were not taught or encouraged to ask questions or maybe they even see asking questions, particularly when views are offered by someone they receive as authority, as a wrong thing to do.

      But I also blame the narrative as offered by countries like Israel. I think Israel has done an amazing job conning people. Its narrative is very attractive and it’s like a good Western movie. There is a clear good guy and bad guy in the story and the world is black and white and uncomplicated. I think this is very attractive to a lot of people. It helps that the good guys happen to be white-ish as well…

  12. tidings
    August 20, 2016, 3:49 pm

    Excellent, Avigail, I shall find it very useful to reframe this consciousness by changing the language.

    But what do you think about “light unto the nations” and “chosen people”? I can’t think of alternatives to these–they go beyond language to being stubbornly foundational to Jewish identity. Is there another way to think about this?

    Hazel

    • Stephen Shenfield
      August 20, 2016, 7:14 pm

      Right, Hazel. You have put your finger on the root of all the “specialness” — Jews are a tribe chosen by God to enter into a covenant with Him. That is the start of the story and its whole meaning. The “specialness” can be reinterpreted but I can’t see how it can be overcome without abandoning Jewish identity altogether. Jews have to be special or else they cease to be Jews. Perhaps the second of these options is preferable.

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      August 21, 2016, 12:17 pm

      @Hazel
      Hi Hazel, My thoughts about those concepts is that they are part of a ‘specialness complex’ typical of cults. All sects or cults traditionally think of themselves as special and different to the ‘world out there’. It’s a particular type of trauma-based or narcissism based (or both) social psychology.

      Whether they are/were created as a result of persecution and trauma, or whether because some narcissist managed to gather a group around themselves that develops into a cult (Moses is a big suspect if you read the Torah with modern eyes), cults are all narcissistic in that they think they are special, separate from the world, have a special ‘mission’ of some kind, usually to enlighten the rest of us about something, or to correct our ways (‘our’ being the rest f the world), and that they expect to have special treatment. Cults are typically suspicious of the rest of the world and view it as somehow dangerous to their existence or belief system or both, they require their members to dedicate their lives and talents to the survival of the cult and they punish one way or another people who question or who wish to leave. If you are not ‘in’ you’re ‘out’ and you then join the enemy. Cult psychology and belief system aren’t present only in religious groups. You can find them in street gangs, in groups that hold certain economic views, and even in nationalism to name but a few. It’s a human phenomenon, not unique to any one race, religion or nation, and there are plenty of examples all over the planet. In my opinion Jewishness or Jewish identity is a cult identity.

      Some of the characteristics I listed above correspond with some of the items on the Narcissistic Personality Disorder diagnostic criteria but there are more. However, to diagnose a person they only have to have five of those nine. Arrogance and lack of empathy by the way are also on the list.

      So my point is that I do consider where I come from a cult. I think that Israel and what it is, is the only kind of state that a cult could have created. I believe the two points you list fit really well. BTW, as a person I displayed all the characteristics, and have personally been through a process that is identical to the process of many of my clients who were survivors of cults…

      • yonah fredman
        August 21, 2016, 10:37 pm

        If judaism and Jewish identity is a cult, and you are opposed to cults, are you then anti-jewish? And if you are anti jewish, then why get upset when people call you antisemitic? Why not explicitly say, “I am antisemitic and I’m proud to be antisemitic.”

      • yonah fredman
        August 21, 2016, 10:51 pm

        My own opinion is that the Judaism/Jewish identity construction is a complicated burden and even without the facts of zionism and Israel’s history a perfectly rational perspective on this historical and religious and identity formation construct would be difficult. And though for you it may have proven simplest to reject it from a to z, it ain’t a one size fits all kind of thing. There are pulls and “rewards” that religion, tradition and identity provide for the individual and your choices, reactions and life story are yours and do not describe the totality of possible human experience, not even half, but certainly not all, and your condemnation of all other reactions to being born jewish, all others other than yours, ms abarbanel, they are all unhealthy and only your pure path is the healthy one. Such dogmatism is reminiscent of religious types: narrow minded religious types. Talk of your zero sum solutions. Follow me to the land of post Jewish health or else accept being called a cult, the only cure for which is radical reeducation. Right or wrong, you sound like a dictator.

      • Raphael
        August 22, 2016, 10:45 am

        If Judaism and Jewish identity.

        I don’t think that her article; was implying anti-Semitism. But rather the concept of a Jewish identity, when dealing with Jewish groups that sell themselves as Jewish; if that group so happens to be for her all of Israel, in general, so be it, whom am I too judge.

        I never considered myself a part of a cult group. I think it takes a certain amount of courage for her to confront the psychological issues. I went into brief psychotherapy with a Gestalt therapist before I moved to Israel. And, her advice was, basically, beware of cults. That if cult members try and sell you a idea individually, simply walk away from them. Because, their minds are already made up, any discussions is futile, about say me thinking about my genealogical research, about my family tree, that says I may have a royal lineage on the family tree of king David.

        So for me, it was tremendously important too understand the psychological aspects of moving to Israel; so it was much more therapeutic experience for me; because rejections; did not force me to consciously or sub-consciously say Ok. I will go outside, and go shopping to conform, and go buy a Hasidic costume, and learn Hebrew with a Hasidic tone, and live happily ever after.

        Because, it was not my identity, it was their identity; and I was requested at times to erase my identity as a person to save myself from the aggravation of having to discuss not having a Jewish mother, but having a Jewish father.

        I’m sort of a anarchist, so it was not that difficult for me to jump into the story of Israel, so to speak. For me I enjoy the Zionist part of it; because some of my relatives were Zionist many years ago. But, my Zionism is not their Zionism. Mine is more individualistic, creative , and spiritual; that is not even from modern a Judaism or Zionism, generally, but is rather from my Catholic faith in God. So, if I learn Hebrew; it would be a New Testament type of Hebrew, as a Israelite.

        From what I read about Judaism it is the story of a group of people having a “story” about how to escape injustices. I never was a part of the group; so it was easy for me to not let myself be brainwashed while I was living there.

      • Mr.T
        August 22, 2016, 12:59 pm

        “If judaism and Jewish identity is a cult, and you are opposed to cults, are you then anti-jewish?”

        I guess the switch from the noun to the adjective was intended to be a way to hide your bad faith?? Shame on you.

      • Mooser
        August 22, 2016, 1:17 pm

        “My own opinion is that the Judaism/Jewish identity construction is a complicated burden”

        Oy Vey is mir! It’s sooooo complicated.

        Ever heard this one “Yonah”? “Ess, bench, sei a mensch”

      • RoHa
        August 22, 2016, 3:13 pm

        “And if you are anti jewish, then why get upset when people call you antisemitic? ”

        Usually, when people call you “anti-Semitic”, they mean that you are an evil, irrational, bigot. This is rather irritating for the rational opponent of Jewishness.

        “Why not explicitly say, “I am antisemitic and I’m proud to be antisemitic ”

        Being rational, as a rational opponent of Jewishness, is an achievement, but surely rationality is one of those minimal achievements, like walking in a straightish line when sober, that justifies only minimum pride.

        And yet, when I see how rare rationality is, I think that perhaps a bit more pride would be acceptable.

      • yonah fredman
        August 23, 2016, 9:11 am

        Roha- to clarify. The bad antisemitism says, “the only good jew is a dead jew”, but the new (good?) antisemitism says, “the only good jew is a former jew”.

      • Mooser
        August 23, 2016, 1:06 pm

        “Being rational, as a rational opponent of Jewishness, is an achievement…”

        I’m telling you,”RoHa”, all you’ve got to do is read Eliade, which for you should be no problem. ( It was tough for me. In addition to sounding the words out as I read, I had to look about half of them up. And that didn’t always help.)

        When Eliade gets done filleting Judaism, there’s not enough lox vobiscum left to cover a Dead Sea-Salt bagel.

      • Mooser
        August 23, 2016, 1:17 pm

        “The bad antisemitism says, “the only good jew is a dead jew”, but the new (good?) antisemitism says, “the only good jew is a former jew”.”

        “Yonah”, I agree completely! That is fantastic! Much, much betterer than the old “bad antisemitism”!

        I mean, people trying to kill us because we are Jews? That’s bad, real bad.
        But people trying to turn us into “former Jews”? Heck, that’s no problem, just say “No, thank you, I enjoy being a Jew, But thanks anyway”, and go on about your business.

        In spite of all temptation, to belong to other nations, you re-mai-ain-ain-ain-ain-ain-ain (and etc.) a Jewish man.

  13. Raphael
    August 20, 2016, 4:41 pm

    The ‘specialness trap’ is even more insidious. Jewish Israeli group psychology is very similar to the psychology of a cult. One of the hallmarks of cults is their feeling that they are special and that everything about them, who they are, what they believe, what they do, even their destiny, are special.

    Soon after I landed and was settled into my new apartment in Israel; I joined a organization in Israel. I told him I was not Jewish, by Jewish law. He said, “Lie, and say you are a Orthodox Jew, just about everyone around here is Orthodox.”

    I told him that my great grandfather was a president of a Orthodox synagogue in the US. He then said, “See you are entitled.”

    I could not do it, I could not lie about my own identity as a person. As it turns out; I may look more Jewish then most Jews, or Israeli Jews; I don’t even need to wear black Hasidic costume, to look Jewish.

    It obviously was social engineering at work.

    • Mooser
      August 20, 2016, 5:39 pm

      “The ‘specialness trap’ is even more insidious. Jewish Israeli group psychology is very similar to the psychology of a cult. One of the hallmarks of cults is their feeling that they are special and that everything about them, who they are, what they believe, what they do, even their destiny, are special.”

      Thgank G-d none of that rubbed off on you, “Raphael”!! Why you are just the most egalitarian guy I’ve ever read. One of nature’s true gentleman.

  14. catalan
    August 20, 2016, 5:00 pm

    Millions and millions of them arrive…. No jobs. No housing. Insufficient room in schools. Insufficient transportation. Insufficient social services. But it’s OK with catalan because these people WANT to be there. – froggy
    Since you ask, I am 42. My parents didn’t teach me much, not the greatest parents and let’s leave it that. What little I know is through reading.
    I don’t think that if the whole world is wide open for any human being, everyone will go to Southern California, precisely because of the reasons you mention. I am not advocating a breakdown of social order. Many Americans would go to France. Plenty of English would move to Bulgaria. Yes, a few Africans will move to Southern California, but then some Californians would go to Africa.
    The human being is not meant to be fenced in behind artificial borders. We have overcome many of the barriers in our minds – dogmas, hatreds etc. However, our greatest curb remains the barriers to freedom of movement and settlement anywhere. Until that happens we are slaves.
    And yes, I absolutely believe that Arabs should be able to live in Tel Aviv, just like Israelis should be able to live in Ryadh. Just think of the possibilities.

    • eljay
      August 20, 2016, 7:31 pm

      || catalan: … The human being is not meant to be fenced in behind artificial borders. … And yes, I absolutely believe that Arabs should be able to live in Tel Aviv … ||

      I happy to see you advocating for the immediate removal by Israel of any and all obstructions that prevent non-Jews in, from and wishing to migrate to geographic Palestine from moving and/or returning to it and settling throughout it.

    • Teapot
      August 20, 2016, 8:04 pm

      Hey catalan, so you and silamcuz are pretty much the same person, right?

      CATALAN: The human being is not meant to be fenced in behind artificial borders. We have overcome many of the barriers in our minds – dogmas, hatreds etc. However, our greatest curb remains the barriers to freedom of movement and settlement anywhere. Until that happens we are slaves.

      SILAMCUZ: Unless you principly object to owning private property, and politically opposed to any form of government that view the country as a sovereign territory with violently enforced borders, you are complicit in the private ownership of the Australian landmass. The question of ancestry should not matter here, as all Australians, including aborigines are complicit in the unlawful occupation of the land that does not belong to them, through their allegiance to the Government of Australia. […] Australia is being occupied by a violent military force that militantly guard its borders from Non-Australian citizens seeking to live on the landmass. (July 7, 2016, 7:53 am)

      http://mondoweiss.net/2016/05/auctions-independence-inspired/#comment-846018

      • silamcuz
        August 21, 2016, 12:49 am

        Great minds think alike.

      • echinococcus
        August 21, 2016, 6:35 pm

        Oh sure, Bulga_R

      • inbound39
        August 22, 2016, 7:59 pm

        So…..just thinking out loud here…..when silamcuz says great minds think alike is he saying he has two brains? Maybe one is lost and the other is out trying to find it.

  15. DaBakr
    August 20, 2016, 5:18 pm

    “that is if we don’t want to find ourselves in the fringes of our groups or completely out in the cold. ”

    understatement of the year .

    while @pblmnt often -at least in my view-takes a more pragmatic view on this board-most of the commenters here are so far gone and lost in the “cold” that there is little chance of ‘finding’ them at all. of course the same can be said for extreme right-wing israeli zionists but then the authors ‘quest’ to find a more simplified language thats ‘easier’ for these(anti-zionist/israel) extremists to understand (read: score points) has the smell of stalin or kim jong . no purpose except propaganda can be served in changing the words which have evolved over the past 70yrs of conflict. as many words as the far-left and israel haters think have been ‘created’ by hasbara have been utilized by palestinians to delegitimize the existence of a jewish state. so-in others words, whats the point? more circular arguments, probably

    • Raphael
      August 20, 2016, 7:02 pm

      extremists to understand (read: score points) has the smell of stalin or kim jong

      I don’t think it is what they mean. As I see it, it is a group of inexperienced individuals that mean well, trying to genuinely find a peaceful solution.

      In the US… such as the Vietnam war protestors, the organizers were mostly religious, and pacifism was read like a science. But, when I was in Israel it was like a blackout of all American culture, let alone that of Kennedy liberals, peace activists.

      It seems like today many are atheists, are the organizers, which in my brief look into Israelis history… that might have been fine before 1967. But it seems to me the state of Israel has become a ethno-national state, using religion to police it, and that atheists trying to negotiate on behalf of both sides for the US, and the Arabs, is likely to fail because atheism as far as I interpret it is unpopular in Israel.

      There are millions of books about pacifism,activists, and Jewish activists in the US, that helped actually stop the Vietnam War.

      To really address the language issue it might help to translate all that literature into Hebrew; that in itself will bring out the fundamentalist book burners; but then the debate at least is over ideas instead of the individuals that make up the people that genuinely would like a better world.

    • inbound39
      August 20, 2016, 7:06 pm

      DaBakr, do you not think Israel has done enough to delegitimize itself by breaking International Law so many times,by acting criminally outside its borders, by breaching the Fourth Geneva Convention and also by failing to keep to its signed agreements like Resolution 181. The very fact Israel treats Palestinians in a manner that,Jews, themselves found distasteful and detestable and unacceptable and which ,Jews, themselves demanded Justice over ,delegitimizes Israel megafold does it not? Arabs or Palestinians need not do anything as Israeli actions delegitimize Israel enough….no need for input from anyone else.

      • Avigail Abarbanel
        August 21, 2016, 12:35 pm

        @inbound39
        I agree. Israel’s own behaviour is its own indictment and its own delegitimisation…

        But one of the problems is that people do not look at the evidence. I think a lot of people follow the principle of ‘I’ve Already Decided What I Believe, Don’t Confuse Me With The Facts’… It doesn’t help also when it’s so hard to come across proper evidence or that the evidence is spun to mean something else. E.g. Israel’s attack on Gaza is only Israel defending itself against ‘thousands’ of rockets, surely Israel has the ‘right to defend itself’… and so on and so forth…

        The mainstream education systems almost everywhere and the media everywhere also lie about facts and misrepresents them by underreporting what’s happening to the Palestinians and over reporting what’s happening in Israel especially when people get hurt, or by helping Israel dehumanise and demonise the Palestinians by presenting them negatively in world media, etc.

        Most people don’t stand a chance. It’s a fact that we all have to go outside the mainstream to be educated about what Israel is and does…

      • inbound39
        August 21, 2016, 5:02 pm

        In simple terms Avigail, what you are saying is Israel is in denial. A failure by them to live life on lifes terms and to take responsibility for their own actions. A lack of self reflection and and a persistence in the blame game. Nothing is their fault, they can do no wrong. Classic dysfunction.

    • Mary T
      August 20, 2016, 7:29 pm

      I’m at at a lost as to how to respond to this. Are you drunk?

  16. inbound39
    August 20, 2016, 7:08 pm

    Oh and DaBakr….I judge people based on their behaviour toward myself and others not on their beliefs or race ,colour or creed.

  17. xanadou
    August 20, 2016, 10:14 pm

    Language is less about words, and more about context. The words: occupation and peace adequately reflect the reality and hopes on the ground. But I will agree that “conflict” is a lie hoping to hide the truth of the ongoing genocide; it’s an occupation by a reviled invader, a 68-year old war. The corruption of the context is largely the work of Israeli psychologists and PR intended to distort the reality to serve their long term goals.

    Palestine IS occupied by the Israeli armed forces which allow the participation of rabid settlers in the military/police actions at any time, day or night with no regard for legal niceties: to destroy, abduct, humiliate, kill and steal.

    The term settler-colonialism is an even greater affront to language. It absolves the govt for having had issued a carte blanche for the majority of Israeli citizenry, not just the settlers, co-opted by life-long indoctrination into the occupation as enthusiastic, if ignorant, participants. Who can ever forget the sight of coffee-sipping Israelis draped over comfy sofas dragged onto the hilltops, and the spectators loud and vigorous cheers acknowledging the exploding bombs, earlier adorned with despicable messages written by Israeli schoolgirls, now being dropped on the overwhelmingly unarmed civilians in Gaza?

    And why reference 1967? The original settlers had come even before 19FORTYSEVEN. History knows them as Haganah, Palmakh, the Stern/Lehi gang, and many other SS-like units (who only a few years earlier had “pacified” areas inhabited by native populations, including Jews). “Pacification” – now there’s a word that should never be used in this context, yet one that has persisted into the present in connection with US military undertakings.

    “Many good people with a social conscience and with empathy have told me over the years that they avoid expressing their feelings and opinions about Palestine-Israel because they don’t feel they understand the issues well enough. ‘It seems so complicated’ is such a common sentiment.”

    Truth? Until very recently it was not safe to even try to express one’s feelings. The Israeli narrative had for decades a Soviet-like steel-trap hold over the media and political arenas, and anyone who tried to air the truth got the Paul Findley treatment:
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Findley

    To this day, the Israeli propaganda and retribution machine, and not just via hasbara, has shown itself to be ruthless, if increasingly less effective, thanks to the Internet, and the arrival of a generation substantially removed from the WW2 past to not give in to the intimidation tactics from the b/s of “antisemitism”, and language that gradually has cheapened the tragedy of the six million Jews and their holocaust. (But then, how many have ever heard about Gendrikh Yagoda, Stalin’s henchman responsible for the death of seven million Ukrainians during the Holodomor. Yagoda, with at least 10 million lives on his absent conscience. Or the 27 million Russians slaughtered by the Nazis during WW2. But I digress…)

    The evolution from the unsayable to sayable is a reflection of changing times, mores and the massive Internet library of print and filmed documentation, the indisputable proof of the unconscionable atrocities perpetrated, daily, on the Palestinians; from setting an 18-month old baby and its parents on fire, to the nightly abductions and daily torture of Palestinian children by the shin bet and Mossad, the street executions that one wonders, will they ever be escalated to the mass executions of people trapped in a WW2 Nazi street “kettles”, lined up against the wall and shot? You know, like what the SS used to enjoy to “pacify” the occupied natives just for being on the street. You know, no legitimate excuse, no truth necessary, just capricious fate.

    “Indigenous people’s voices and narratives have traditionally been weaker and less present than those of the settler-colonists groups.”
    Why? Because the Palestinians’ most pressing concerns are the inadequate supply of water, electricity, food, shelter. Not fair access to media, dominated by Israel, who, oops, also control the supply of electricity, and the freedom of movement of foreign media wishing to enter occupied Palestine, or Palestinians trying get to work in Israel, not fair access to the media. Voila! The basic loop is closed.

    Accusations of “antisemitism” is yet more bollocks. As I have responded elsewhere on MW, that is a canard of epic proportions. It’s the Palestinians who are the Semitic people. The Israelis comprise a genetic melange. When the world criticizes Israelis, it entails 97% of Israeli citizenry who are the true antiSemites.

    The claims to being “special” is to resort to psycho-linguistic trickery by those who, at some level know it’s b/s, but use it to cover up the absence of basic humanity when out of legitimate arguments, even if no one but only the pathocracts believe it. The Brits used it, so did the Germans, and now the Americans with their claim to “exceptionalism”. Not because of their legitimate and great many, peaceful, accomplishments, but often heard in connection with their overwhelming military presence in so many countries and conquests. (But I digress, again.)

    Bottom line? As stated elsewhere on MW, the small clique of zionists have allowed themselves to believe their own myth. It’s not about state or nationhood. It’s about using the only common denominator for Jewish Israelis, i.e., their religion, captured by the pathocracts in their quest for domination. Because beyond the shared faith in the sacred, there is precious little that unites the populace, a nationhood is just a facile façade. The zios are the only ones who believe themselves worthy to own the world populated by a vast variety of humanity, seen only as subhuman vermin. A neither new nor improved take on the Nazis view of themselves and their purpose. What goes around…

    The more the context is manipulated, it’s the relevant application of the language that matters. Israel and its wanna-be masters of the Universe are not “special” enough to warrant creating new terms for facts on the ground that are a temporary revival of the failed and untrue. It’s about ending the Palestinian Holocaust. Now.

    (Please pardon the lengthy rant.)

    • inbound39
      August 21, 2016, 5:13 am

      xanadou….it would appear to many outsiders that the Zionists have set themselves a known Mission Impossible knowing it will end in a calamitous finale for themselves.Those that survive will be ostracised by main stream society due to the nature of their crimes. Quite a waste of time and energy and money that could have been spent productively had they had some humility and graciousness toward the gift of land they were given. All they had to do was stay within their declared borders.

      • echinococcus
        August 21, 2016, 11:23 am

        Inbound,

        That “gift” of land (and territory) was made by colonial powers without a right to it or a right to give it away.
        It was bitterly opposed by the owners. As it mathematically was expected to be.
        That thieves and murderers “declared” something or other is totally worthless.
        The point of it all is that even if the Zionists had been nice and well-mannered there’s no way the Palestinians would have digested this (“minimal”?) criminal injustice.

        Had they done so, they would have been a unique case in history. No percentage in repeating a variety of Zionist propaganda.

      • xanadou
        August 21, 2016, 3:20 pm

        Inbound39,
        “Zionists have set themselves a known Mission Impossible knowing it will end in a calamitous finale for themselves.Those that survive will be ostracised by main stream society due to the nature of their crimes.”

        I so hope that this will never come to pass, b/c those who are made to pay for the inhumanity of the psychopaths are usually dupes, if the stories told by those in my family who tried to save as many and as fast as possible, of the Warsaw Ghetto survivors, are any indication.

        Unfortunately, there is little hope in that department that reveals the mind numbing criminal expediency that dominates Israel’s govt., the definitely not ready for any time musical chairs, except for life in max security prisons or mental asylums.
        Those Israelis with the wherewithal to have grasped the monumental lie are leaving for “antisemitic” anywhere, but Israel.
        Sic transit gloria mundi…

      • inbound39
        August 21, 2016, 5:05 pm

        I concur and agree with you xanadou.

      • inbound39
        August 21, 2016, 5:11 pm

        echinococcus yor statement sums it up and is my view also. The UN had no mandate to carve up Sovereign territory against the wishes of the indigenous majority. It is the responsibility of the UN, UK and US who pushed the Partition Plan after the most aggressive lobbying ever seen in the UN committed by Zionists which included death threats, to fix the problem they created.

  18. CigarGod
    August 21, 2016, 9:11 am

    Hi Avigail,
    This topic is very interesting to me.
    I like the settler-colonialist phrase. For those of us involved in the discussion for years, it gives a deep and wide definition. I don’t think you mentioned it, so I was wondering if you felt the term apartheid is included in your phrase. It was once understood well and I thought it still would be a good tool. It is one word. A charged word. S/C is two words without the same conditioned charge at the moment. Trying to weigh it from a marketing perspective, I suppose.

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      August 22, 2016, 10:38 am

      @CigarGod

      Apartheid is a right and proper word and it accurately describes the reality on the ground. Apartheid, like occupation are elements or rather two of the means to the ultimate end of the goal of settler-colonialism, which is the annihilation/removal of the indigenous population for the benefit of the dominant invader group.

      Apartheid is a useful tool for settler-colonisers to identify, separate and segregate the members of group that is ultimately destined for removal by whatever means. Apartheid also allows for control, dehumanisation and breaking any spirit of resistance. I hope that just like it failed in SA, it will also fail in Palestine.

  19. YoniFalic
    August 21, 2016, 11:02 am

    There is another language trap that Avigail fails to mention.

    She and I are both native speakers of Hebrew, in which the word יַהֲדוּת means Judaism, Jewishness, and Jewry.

    Zionism is perverted racist genocidal violence in the name of Jews or of the Jewish people.

    We must scorn anyone that tries to separate Zionism from Judaism. For native modern Israeli Hebrew speakers and for Zios there is no distinction.

    Anyone that equates Islam with Islamist crimes and violence must equate Judaism and Jewishness with Zionist crimes and violence.

    Pointing out the definitions that Zios and Israeli Jews really use can give the discussion of Zionism and of Islamism more connection to reality.

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      August 21, 2016, 12:38 pm

      @YoniFalic

      Thank you for your comment!! That’s exactly right. I cannot see Israel or Zionism separately from its Jewish roots and I have written about this a great deal over the past few years. It’s not very popular but I still hope that people will overcome their fear of being labelled antisemitic and have the courage to look honestly at these issues. Thanks again.

      • Raphael
        August 21, 2016, 3:14 pm

        There is some recent Jewish historical research by scholars about the cultural, and political reasons for the conflicts in America and the Middle East..discussing the ancient historical Israel and modern Israel… that might help to answer the questions from liberal anarchist writers.

        One, a Catholic writer with Jewish ancestry Wes Howard-Brook ( Horowitz). And, one a former Catholic priest that lived in Israel; that was involved in the anti-Vietnam war protests.

        “Come Out My People”: God’s Call Out of Empire In the Bible and Beyond, 2010, Wes Howard-Brook

        Jerusalem, Jerusalem: How the Ancient City Ignited Our Modern World, James Carroll, 2011

        “Jews,” “Judeans” and the Gospel of John: a response to Adele Reinhartz,Wes Howard-Brook

        I was taught by my mother from as long as I can remember to be proud of my Jewish heritage and not to betray it by “selling out” or trying “to pass” as my father did, changing the family name from “Horowitz” to “Howard” and having a nose job (as was the fashion at the time) to “look less Jewish.” I believe that my four decades following Jesus have made me more, not less, grateful for my heritage and the gifts of the Jews to the world.

        http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/07/01/jews-judeans-and-the-gospel-of-john-a-response-to-adele-reinhartz/

      • Keith
        August 21, 2016, 3:57 pm

        AVIGAIL ABARBANEL- “I cannot see Israel or Zionism separately from its Jewish roots….”

        Israel Shahak provided extensive documentation of this in “Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years.”

      • echinococcus
        August 21, 2016, 6:37 pm

        Hey censors,

        How about you come out in the open and say exactly what was your problem with the comment (when you cannot take down the poster)?

      • Mooser
        August 22, 2016, 1:07 pm

        “Israel Shahak provided extensive documentation of this in “Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years.”

        “Keith”, compared to Mircea Eliade, your Sahak is a soft-peddler, a mealy mouth.
        Eliade gives it to us right in the gut.
        I’m still in shock from reading Vols. 2 & 3 of his “A History of Religious Ideas”.

  20. Avigail Abarbanel
    August 21, 2016, 11:19 am

    @inbound39 — Thank you for your comment. You echo precisely the ideas that I discuss in my talk on the psychology of Israeli settler-colonialism. Only one correction, not all of those who have been abused go on to abuse others of course, but even without abuse unresolved trauma gets passed on through the generations (Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma). There is a lot of good research about this in my field of work. (I am a psychotherapist).

    • inbound39
      August 21, 2016, 5:19 pm

      I work a lot within the addiction field and have done for nineteen years now. Those that do not go on to abuse are still caught up in the Don’t Talk, Don’t Trust, Don’t Feel rules of dysfunction and collude with the ongoing problem by detachment and silence. They become immobilized by fear and carry on ignoring the abuse….never happened mindset.

  21. Avigail Abarbanel
    August 21, 2016, 11:36 am

    “Whatever settlers may say— and they generally have a lot to say—the primary motive for elimination is not race (or religion, ethnicity, grade of civilization, etc.) but access to territory. Ter- ritoriality is settler colonialism’s specific, irreducible element.”

    … “Settler colonialism destroys to replace. As Theodor Herzl, founding father of Zionism, observed in his allegorical manifesto/novel, “If I wish to substitute a new building for an old one, I must demolish before I construct.”8 In a kind of realization that took place half a century later, one-time deputy-mayor of West Jerusalem Meron Benvenisti recalled, “As a member of a pioneering youth move- ment, I myself ‘made the desert bloom’ by uprooting the ancient olive trees of al-Bassa to clear the ground for a banana grove, as required by the ‘planned farming’ principles of my kibbutz, Rosh Haniqra.”

    — PATRICK WOLFE. (2006). ‘Settler colonialism and the elimination of the native’. _Journal of Genocide Research_ 8(4), December, 387–409.

    • xanadou
      August 21, 2016, 5:09 pm

      Ms.Avigail,

      “As Theodor Herzl, founding father of Zionism, observed in his allegorical manifesto/novel, “If I wish to substitute a new building for an old one, I must demolish before I construct.”

      What inconceivably frightening idiocy from one of the premier proponents of the mastery of followers of Judaism over the rest of humanity; to equate a human life with a pile of bricks. By that same (absence of) logic, any human who has transgressed should be torn down (killed?) to be replaced by a pure, i.e., dumb and disposable being. (Shades of Fascism, anyone?)

      On a separate note, I welcome your presence on MW. I have recently expressed a long held wish for a professional with exactly your background to join the MW community who might help to understand that depth of the insanity that has such a bizarre hold on adherents of a belief that makes separation from the tribe, and presence of free of persecution independent and constructive critics of the tribe thinkers nigh on impossible, leading to the creation of inanities such as “secular Jew”, “Catholic Jew”, and much more. Or the inability of Israelis to see or admit that they are being deceived by so many of their own rabbies and elected officials, or the brutality of the otherwise cowardly soldiery who, once out of the uniform can and do, in heartwarming numbers, see and work towards the light of truth and reconciliation, or the strange obsession with the distant past riddled with prejudices by all of all. Yes, the dislike/persecution of Jews, and other minorities was real, but I have never heard of public immolations or quartering of Jews for their beliefs, unlike the carnival of carnage between new cults emerging out of Catholicism calcified by corrupt hierarchy, or emerging scientists and thinkers seen to threaten the Catholic dogma. Those days and MO are no more, yet the crutch persists.

      These and other questions may be easy to grasp by the co-religionists, but are an enigma to most of humanity. The sooner and the better non-believers such as I can grasp the underlying motivations, the sooner we will be able to shut down the zios and render them irrelevant.

      What do you think?

      • inbound39
        August 21, 2016, 8:01 pm

        Xanadou…some time back I read a speech Theodor Herzl made where he encouraged Jewish people to create anti semitism as it was a useful tool in making them victims and would therefore garner sympathy for their cause. He was correct in that assumption because after WW2 the Jewish people were looked upon as hapless victims of the German war machine. It was that victimhood and sympathy that has largely led to Israel’s formation and other nations allowing a blind eye to be turned away from Israeli crimes. It is the single most contributor to Israel’s ongoing impunity. The victim card silences most political opposition because no-one wants to be seen as picking on Jewish People. It has become a well worn cloak Zionism uses to conduct its nefarious activities to the point that anti semitism has more or less been rendered useless as a term and the victim card has been worn out as the attrocities become less and less defensible. Zionism and its actions in Israel has destroyed any sympathy the Jewish people had and has become a threat to the survival of all Jewish people as Zionism and its compounding dysfunction has become more and more in its appearance like Nazi Germany WW2. For there to be a safe future for the Jewish people Zionism has to be outlawed and shunned. Judaism has to be allowed to reconnect with its original humanitarian roots of empathy and compassion with Supremacy totally dumped. We as a World are many different peoples with differing beliefs. The one main motivator for peace is knowledge. Our combined knowledge as the species we are. Human beings. Zionism works in no-ones best interest.

    • MHughes976
      August 22, 2016, 12:47 pm

      i’m not sure which character in Herzl’s novel Altneuland makes this remark but the main argument of the book is that the Jewish immigrants, the ‘New Society’, will not drive out or replace the Palestinians or their Islamic culture. They will bring in money, technology and benevolence and make sure there’s enough for everyone, much more than there ever was before. Everything will be terribly mutual. You could say that the Abraham story, which concerns a rich immigrant from Iraq with new tech – domesticated camels – who, with a few wobbles, puts everything in Palestine right, makes the same argument. if the Israelis accept the description of themselves as settler colonialists they may not blush but say ‘Good for us’. Think of Netanyahu’s recent remarks about Arabs who, only in Israel, are prosperous and democratic.

  22. Jiusito
    August 21, 2016, 7:28 pm

    Avigail, I found your article very helpful.

    Two things. I myself came on the aptness of the category “settler-colonialism” by a strange back-to-front route. I had been used to thinking about Palestine-Israel in the conventional terms of “occupation” &c, when I started reading Caroline Elkins’ book “Britain’s Gulag: The Brutal End of Empire in Kenya”. As I read her account of my country’s colonisation of Kenya, it was brought home to me for the first time what a cruel and unjust (and, of course, utterly racist) thing it was. And suddenly it struck me: This is just like what Israel is doing to the Palestinians today! So, instead of understanding “the Middle East conflict” in terms of colonialism, I finally came to understand historic colonialism in terms of Israel-Palestine.

    A second, throwaway point. I was brought up as an evangelical Christian and taught that the founding of Israel was a wonderful reclamation of the Promised Land. It struck me only recently that not only was the land (supposedly) promised forever to the “Children of Israel” but specific parts of that land were promised in perpetuity to specific tribes. I’m curious to know how those Zionists, both Jewish and Christian, who believe in this “promise” address the fact that no Jew today has the faintest idea which of the 12 tribes he or she belongs to and therefore which bit of the Promised Land they might be entitled to live in. I know this is only a debating point!

    • Raphael
      August 21, 2016, 10:14 pm

      Genealogical research is not easy for the Jewish people… I think because most of the records were destroyed. So some people in the Jewish community started to manufacture, as status symbols false family trees, family lines that did not exist. Herzl, was manufactured to be a icon, a new modern day King David.

      Herzl’s family genealogy was mentioned by two Jewish history scholars:

      Some families, including Theodor Herzl’s went so far to invent a distant Sephardic genealogy.

      Amos Elon, The Pity of it All; a Portrait of the German Jewish Epoch, 1743-1933, 260

      Fredrick S. Roden, Recovering Jewishness, Modern Identities Reclaimed, 2016, 18

      • Annie Robbins
        August 21, 2016, 11:08 pm

        So some people in the Jewish community started to manufacture, as status symbols false family trees,

        says the poster who’s informed us several times he’s got “royal blue blood in the line of King David”

        uh huh

      • RoHa
        August 22, 2016, 5:22 am

        Do you mean that some of those millions of genealogies that prove modern Israeli Jews are direct descendants of first Century Palestinian Jews might be fakes?

        Surely not!

      • Mooser
        August 22, 2016, 1:00 pm

        “Herzl, was manufactured to be a icon, a new modern day King David”

        Why, that son-of-a…something. How dare he horn in on your schtik “Raphael”. You’re the real modern day “King David” .

        Right down to the “shikse-goddess” mother.

      • Mooser
        August 22, 2016, 1:49 pm

        “Surely not!”

        “RoHa”, through all the centuries of persecution, expulsion, discrimination, and finally Holocaust and assimilation we have zealously guarded our family genealogies!

        And allowed nothing to interfere with the orderly traceable progression of the generations!

      • inbound39
        August 22, 2016, 7:49 pm

        Some people never know when to throw the shovel away. They are unaware of how deep a hole they have dug or that they are in fact from that point burying themselves. Astounding skill.

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      August 22, 2016, 10:53 am

      @Jiusito

      Thank you for your comment! I think we must not read the Bible literally. The written biblical narrative we have now from what I studied at university (in Israel btw) was put together from Jewish oral traditions fairly late in the story. It’s obviously self-serving and cannot be seen as accurate history.

      Canaan was fully populated, and if we go with the biblical narrative, god supposedly told Joshua to go in there and kill everyone and everything and take the land for the Hebrews because ‘god said so’. To me that is a genocidal god that makes no sense. If there was a real god he/she/it would be universal and would not prefer one group to another. If a so-called god does prefer my group to someone else’s, it is my suspicion that my group conveniently created that god and used his ‘authority’ to justify the unjustifiable. It’s not unlike the paranoid schizophrenic who murders someone and says that god (or the devil) told him to do it… No need to take responsibility for a vile and immoral act if you can say that a divine authority instructed you to do it…

      Given that none of it probably ever happened, and given that the biblical narrative we have now is also based on much more ancient stories from much older cultures than the Hebrew, then I tend to look at the bible as an interesting psychological narrative that might reveal something about the psychology of the people who wrote it, but not so much a record of any real history.

      We don’t even know if the 12 tribes were a real thing. The number 12 as is the number 40 are symbolic numbers that appear in the bible a great deal. No one knows if they represent anything real at all. The whole creation myth of the Jewish/Hebrew people is probably just it, a myth, and nothing more. To build a real genocide on the basis of probably a fictitious one is a terrible thing. The ancient one that probably wasn’t is bad enough. So to justify a new and very real one on that kind of flimsy foundation is beyond me. BTW, no archaeological evidence has ever been found for the story of the slavery of the Hebrews in Egypt, in fact scholars say that those who built the pyramids were no slaves at all. There is no evidence for the story of the Exodus or for that matter most of the history of the Hebrew people as told in the bible. I think I was born into a cult with a very questionable morality and psychology, that created a state in its own image…

      • silamcuz
        August 22, 2016, 11:36 am

        Wow, so it looks like you have figured everything out from the modern Western political ideology of Zionism all the way to Biblical analysis and interpretation.

        Good thing we don’t burn women at the stake anymore.

      • eljay
        August 22, 2016, 2:08 pm

        || Avigail Abarbanel: … If there was a real god he/she/it would be universal and would not prefer one group to another. … ||

        IMO, if there was a real god we wouldn’t have the faintest idea of his/her/its true mindset, intentions or preferences.

        || … If a so-called god does prefer my group to someone else’s, it is my suspicion that my group conveniently created that god and used his ‘authority’ to justify the unjustifiable. … ||

        Amen. :-)

      • Mooser
        August 22, 2016, 3:38 pm

        “IMO, if there was a real god we wouldn’t have the faintest idea of his/her/its true mindset, intentions or preferences.”

        Exactly, “RoHa”. I usually posit the question thusly: “If God exists, how come He has no e-mail address or Facebook page and has never, ever posted a video on You-Tube?”

      • justicewillprevail
        August 22, 2016, 6:18 pm

        Wow, silamc, you are spectacularly offensive. No surprise there, your ignorance is only superseded by your gross lack of manners, and selfish braying. Avigail is one of the most thoughtful, compassionate contributors here and is highly valued for her eloquent insight, developed from her own experiences. That you fail to understand or engage with it, and react so violently and abusively tells us a lot about you. Even funnier, you are the one who is constantly trying to impose your absurd rewriting of history on everybody else., as if you alone had worked it all out, and condescend to lecture us all on your nonsense theories. Your agenda is transparent, troll and divert, with your crackpot, comic book theories, and fake persona. you could learn a lot from someone like Avigail, but you never will. You are way out of your juvenile depth. You owe her an apology, but I don’t expect you even understand how misogynist and racist you come off as.

      • eljay
        August 23, 2016, 7:25 am

        || Mooser: Exactly, “RoHa”. … ||

        Oh, come on! My previous comment didn’t actually read as though it was written by some crotchety, comma-obsessed Australian…did it? ;-)

      • RoHa
        August 23, 2016, 10:45 am

        Crotchety, comma-obsessed Australian?

        I’m sure no such person exists.

      • eljay
        August 23, 2016, 12:14 pm

        || RoHa: Crotchety, comma-obsessed Australian?

        I’m sure no such person exists. ||

        I was speaking hypothetically. :-)

      • Mooser
        August 23, 2016, 2:22 pm

        “as though it was written by some crotchety, comma-obsessed Australian “

        Oh, those Antipodeans with their commastomy bags are harmless enough. As long as he doesn’t develop an unhealthy interest in colons, why worry?

      • RoHa
        August 23, 2016, 5:23 pm

        What about half an interest in looking at colons? Is semi-colonoscopy OK?

      • rosross
        October 15, 2016, 10:07 pm

        Many, perhaps most of the problems with most religions is the literalising of religious writings which were meant as metaphor.

        There is no archaeological evidence for most of the claims in Jewish or Christian teachings. There is no evidence for Jews in ancient Egypt, nor for any Exodus and at the time the Hebrews were supposedly driven out to Canaan, Canaan was an Egyptian colony so it hardly looks like an escape.

        There is also no evidence that the ancient Israel was anything more than a few tents in a nomadic encampment.

        Religious writings, including the Bible, are not history and have no credence in any civil court of law, however important they may be to followers.

        And since much of Jewish and Christian, and for that matter Islamic, can be traced to the ancient Egyptians, there is no doubt that the three have common sources and, as happened in times past and still, drew upon Gods, beliefs, myths prevalent at the time, regardless of source.

        The strength and beauty of religion is in these common sources and destruction comes from dividing them up and pretending that some God with time on his hands, dabbled in real estate, law and general meddling.

        Good on you for having the courage to speak your truth and I am sure everyone appreciates your intelligence and integrity, even if we disagree on some aspects.

  23. Avigail Abarbanel
    August 22, 2016, 2:29 pm

    @silamcuz
    Wow, I hope you were joking. But even if you weren’t I find your comment offensive. Burn at the stake?… No wonder we women had such a hard time.

    No, I haven’t figured out *everything* my friend. I am sharing my thoughts with others. That is all. I find it interesting that you aren’t engaging with anything I say, but rather attack me personally. I am very familiar with this tactic from somewhere… Hmmm…

    • Mooser
      August 22, 2016, 2:55 pm

      “Silamcuz” is on a hopeless quest to portray himself as a “progressive” and “activist”.
      His only impediment is having absolutely no idea what those things are.

    • inbound39
      August 22, 2016, 3:34 pm

      Avigail, when those opposing your view have nothing more than personal attacks to offer we can conclude they have lost the argument. I for one am glad of your contribution to this forum and hope you visit more often. What you bring is sound clarity and knowledgeable truth. It is that truth that makes Zionists squirm because it cannot be attacked. My very best wishes to you and please do not be a stranger….visit here often:)

      • tidings
        September 4, 2016, 4:42 pm

        This is for those of you who’ve posted positive comments about Avigail’s presence on MW, asking her to visit more often and to “not be a stranger.” Since she is unlikely to be so crass as to tell you herself, let me tell you that MW has published other articles of hers, including one in which I interview her for my radio program. Oh no, have I now been crass?
        Hazel

      • Mooser
        September 4, 2016, 4:48 pm

        “Oh no, have I now been crass?”

        Well, only a little, maybe. You didn’t give a link to the articles.

    • MHughes976
      August 22, 2016, 4:06 pm

      A personal attack, really nasty, which seems to breach three of our rules – 1, 4 and 7 – all at once.

    • Boomer
      August 22, 2016, 7:06 pm

      @ Avigail Abarbanel

      “I am sharing my thoughts with others.”

      And your thoughts are much appreciated, by me and (I feel sure) by most of the others who assemble here.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 22, 2016, 11:42 pm

        absolutely

      • Mooser
        August 23, 2016, 1:37 pm

        Writers who make time to respond to the comments on their articles (although that isn’t possible in every case, of course) as Ms Abarbanel does are especially appreciated. And I thank her for that.

    • silamcuz
      August 23, 2016, 12:36 am

      @silamcuz Wow, I hope you were joking. But even if you weren’t I find your comment offensive. Burn at the stake?… No wonder we women had such a hard time.

      Indeed women have long suffered living in the patriarchy that is sustained by white supremacy. But please Avigail, my comment was definitely written in jest, a joke to compliment your immense knowledge and wisdom across a diverse set of issues that in olden times, would have surely seen by the men as a sign of witchery. Hence the burning at the stake punch line.

      • Mooser
        August 23, 2016, 1:43 pm

        “Hence the burning at the stake punch line.”

        Yeah, all progressives talk just like that. Burning women is always good for a few laughs, “Simalcuz”.

        You ‘pivot’ about as well as Donald Trump.

      • Avigail Abarbanel
        August 24, 2016, 4:39 am

        @silmacuz
        Thanks for the apology, if that’s what it is. But you really need to consider how you are wording things. I read your original comment again and your response now is not consistent… I don’t think there was any hint of complimenting me in what you said. So not buying it. Please refrain from talking to women like this even in jest.

      • Mooser
        August 24, 2016, 11:09 am

        “Hence the burning at the stake punch line.”

        A “punch line”? Like this one, of many:

        “Violence is a perfectly natural, God-given right of reacting to injustice, in any form and in any scale. I have yet to know of a better way than to set a person straight through a old-fashioned slap, which is infinitely more efficient and effective compared to modern liberal techniques of preaching and explaining morality, right and wrong etc.” – “Silamcuz” http://mondoweiss.net/profile/silamcuz/?keyword=violence#sthash.W4Wy7FWP.dpuf Plenty more where that came from.

        “Silamcuz” is very progressive, and an advocate for women and “POC”. And quite a comedian.

      • MHughes976
        August 24, 2016, 2:28 pm

        The joke wears thin, doesn’t it?

      • silamcuz
        August 24, 2016, 11:33 pm

        Mooser,

        Violence is a tool, nothing more nothing less. I stand by my comment, all of them, always.

  24. JLewisDickerson
    August 23, 2016, 1:32 am

    “One of the hallmarks of cults is their feeling that they are special and that everything about them, who they are, what they believe, what they do, even their destiny, are special. Moreover, because of this specialness they cannot be judged or evaluated by the same rules that apply to everyone else. They are effectively outside the laws of general society. (Yes, cults fit well under the definition of a Narcissistic Personality Disorder).” ~ Ababarnel

    MY COMMENT: They also have a new weapon in their arsenal. If you refuse to accept their specialness, and instead try to judge/evaluate them by the same rules that apply to everyone else, they will accuse you of being a “moral narcissist”*.

    *Roger L. Simon’s new book on moral narcissism
    By Mike Stopa ~ June 1, 2016
    LINK – http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/06/roger_l_simons_new_book_on_moral_narcissism_.html

  25. Avigail Abarbanel
    August 23, 2016, 4:36 am

    I have a big day with clients ahead and starting very shortly, but just quickly dipped in to see what’s new on the forum here. Before I get on with my day I just wanted to say thank-you for engaging with the article and the discussion. Thank you in particular to those who have my back and who so warmly invite me to contribute more and engage. It feels so nice to be welcome and to be in such warm, intelligent and supportive company. Have a great day everyone. :)

  26. khalidroc
    August 23, 2016, 12:53 pm

    Most ‘Jews’ are not even Semites!!!

    Zionist organisations are becoming increasingly dependent upon the charge of “anti-Semitism” as a political weapon. Anti-Semitism has a very precise definition. It refers to remarks or acts targeting the ethnic group termed Semites, which comprises both Jews and Arabs. The Hebrew Encyclopedia defines anti- Semitism as all manifestations of hatred and racism directed against Semites. The Fact is that anti-Semitism also comprises all manifestations of hatred and racism directed against all Arabs. Zionist media and political forces have warped this definition in several ways.

    They have manipulated the concept of Semitic ethnicity so as to apply to Jews alone, thereby enabling them to level the allegation of anti-Semitism against the Arabs in spite of the fact that they constitute the majority of the Semitic peoples.

    In addition, they have stretched the definition of anti-Semitism to include any criticism of Israel and Israeli policy. Now anyone who speaks out against the aggression and inhumane practices practiced by Israel risks being branded “anti-Semitic”. Thus the label “anti-Semitic” has acquired enormous deterrent power and is used regually by Zionists.

    Now confident in having monopolised the field as Semites, so as to hurl “anti-Semite” at all and sundry who criticise Israel, Zionist leaders can spews the most atrocious racist abuse against others. It’s the pot calling the kettle black.

    “Jews” have no blood-link to the Israelites of the Bible.

    Jewish historian scholars have established that at least 90% of all Jews come from a Turkish-Mongol mix of people and are largely sourced from the Khazar Kingdom. These “Jews” have no blood-link to the Israelites of the Bible.

    The Jewish scholar Arthur Koestler provided overwhelming evidence, for the above in his famous 1976 work, “THE THIRTEENTH TRIBE – THE KHAZAR EMPIRE AND ITS HERITAGE” showing, “that in the 8th century, Khazaria which was greatly made-up of the Turkish-Mongol mixed people known as Khazars, converted to their national religion of Judaism which was based on the Babylonian Talmud.

    These same people then migrated to eastern Europe, especially to Hungary and Poland, taking their Babylonian religion with them. “The Khazar origin of the numerically and socially dominant element in the Jewish population of Hungary during the Middle Ages is thus relatively well documented.” Page 144. “As already mentioned, the trade in fox and sable furs, which had been flourishing in Khazaria, became another virtual Jewish monopoly in Poland. (Page 157 )

    Benjamin Freedman, another Jewish researcher, wrote his famous treatise FACTS ARE FACTS in 1954. Freedman quotes from many historical sources and shows that the vast majority of Jews derive from the Turkish-Mongol mixed people of the Khazar Kingdom of the 2nd to 10th centuries, NOT from Biblical Israelite stock.

    The facts are so clear as to the non-Israelite, racially-mixed origin of the modern day, Jews that the following appeared as a subheading to Freedman’s book. “The historic facts revealed here for the first time provide incontestable evidence that their continued suppression will prove inimical to the security of the nation, the peace of the world, the welfare of humanity, and the progress of civilisation.”

    Indeed, those words have proven to be quite prophetic as we witness the increasing terrorism and violence sparked by the continued blind of Zionist christians and U.S. unilateral aid to the Khazarian-Israelis.

    Relatively recent genetic studies corroborate the historical facts that the Jews are of partly Turkish origin. An article a out of the “Ha’Aretz” Jewish newspaper form Nov. 22, 2001 was entitled, “Study finds close genetic connection between Jews, Kurds.” The article opened, by saying, “The people closest to the Jews from a genetic point of view may be the Kurds, according to results of a new study at, the Hebrew University.

    Scientists who participated in the research said findings seem to indicate both peoples had common ancestors who lived in the northern half of the Fertile Crescent, where Northern Iraq and Turkey are today. Some of them, it assumed, wandered south and settled on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean.” (Abraham) The article goes on to state, “The study’s findings are published in the current issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics.

    The researcher’s used the DNA of 1,847 Jewish men of Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Kurdish descent, Muslims and Christians of Kurdish, Turkish and Armenian descent, various Arab populations, & Russians, Poles and residents of belarus.” Additionally, it has been known for many years that a large proportion of Jews have oriental admixture in their ancestry. So Mongol infusion is also a probable part of their mixed heritage. (…)

    http://www.zaprasza.net/mglogo/a_y.php?mid=650&

    • Mooser
      August 23, 2016, 2:53 pm

      “Additionally, it has been known for many years that a large proportion of Jews have oriental admixture in their ancestry.”

      This most significant fact went unacknowledged for many years, until a wide-awake socio-genetic researcher, (on a break from gathering statistics for Kinsey, as it happened ) noticed the large number of Chinese restaurants in Jewish neighborhoods, and wondered if there was a connection.

      • rosross
        October 15, 2016, 11:53 pm

        @Mooser, what would we do without your wit? Very droll.

    • rosross
      October 15, 2016, 9:23 pm

      You talk about Jews, a religion, and Arabs, a cultural label – when you mean, Jews and Muslims, Christians, Hindus etc., or Arabs and Europeans for example.

      Arab is not a race. Religions do not make a race. Jewish is not a race. Hindu is not a race. Look up the racial differentiations.

      The Jewish pressure to marry ‘in’ has no doubt created pockets of similar DNA but you find the same thing in Parsis and Jains. Any religious group which actively works to prevent intermarriage has similar DNA pockets.

      As to the DNA of members of Judaism, you can find the same sorts of results in members of many other religions which just goes to show that everyone is mixed, and religion is a choice, and the first member of any religion was a convert, logically, and it doesn’t mean much.

      Religions, including Judaism, comprise all races and hundreds of nationalities and a very mixed bag of DNA. Walk the streets of Tel Aviv and you see Israeli Jews who look German, Danish, English, African, Asian, pick a look. Then again, spend time with any Christian, Muslim group and you will see similar differences. Hindus are more likely to be less mixed but even there.

  27. Raphael
    August 24, 2016, 8:20 pm

    I have thought about your reflections on being in a cult. I have no psychotherapy interests; but, I was thinking of the reasons people that were in cults, then get out of cults.

    I was never in a cult; but, it did seem obvious that the two times that I was in Israel; one not as a citizen; then the second time as a citizen; that the mind games (social engineering) of the typical Israeli was in many ways similar to thinking process of the Arabs I was talking to in East Jerusalem. It seems that most in the BDS movements are atheists, or agnostics, funded by rich Arab oil countries…in a sort of pay to play politics.

    Most of the original activist groups in the US that were anti Vietnam war; that are mimicked by today’s activists, were dirt poor back then; and would certainly not rely upon Middle East war money; because they were pacifists. I’m curious when you burnt up your Israeli passport, did you enter a different religion? Or, did you begin psychotherapy? What school of analysis did you undergo?

    Did you have a period of getting away from it all; like living in the desert, or on a Island, or on a mountain top? Or, turning off the TV, if living in a urban environment? I say this with having no intention of ridicule; but perhaps you might have Arab ancestry,that may be a reason…. like some distant grandparent that was Arab. Your name it seems might be a Sephardic name; but do you have the actual genealogical records showing about their history?

    Have you ever considered simply moving on a remote Island for a few years to escape the cult mentality, that is a part of the many years of indoctrination that you have talked about? I was a activists years ago; so I know most of the groups for peace today are run by self serving reasons; that are not actually cults; but for someone that was in a cult, I don’t think advocating for groups like BDS would be much use in the deprogramming process.

    • rosross
      October 15, 2016, 9:17 pm

      Arab is a cultural label, like European. It is not a race, not a nationality, not a people. This issue is not about Arabs, most of whom live in many different countries and are not Palestinian. Being Arab is about as meaningful as being European, in any distinct sense.

      Although for what it is worth, anyone spending time in Israel can see that the culture is more Arab than European even though the colonists are largely of European origin. Israelis have more in common with Palestinians than anyone else, as they will discover when the one-state solution, shared equally by coloniser and colonised alike, becomes a reality.

  28. rosross
    October 15, 2016, 9:13 pm

    Well said. Many fall into the Zionist trap of using the word ‘peace’ when this issue is not about peace, but about justice.

    Others follow Zionist language talking about Jews and Arabs. This is not about Jews, a religion, where most followers do not live in UN mandated Israel or Occupied Palestine, never did and never will, or Arabs, a cultural label, like European, which applies to many people in many different nations and who play no part in the equation of Israeli domination of Palestine.

    This is an issue of Justice involving colonising Israelis and indigenous Palestinians.

  29. rosross
    October 15, 2016, 10:41 pm

    The joke is that so many religions posit man made in God’s image when the reality is that most if not all forms of God, currently presented, represent God made in the image of men, and pretty backward, unenlightened, misogynistic, dysfunctional men at that.

    Luckily S/HE has a great sense of humour.

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