I hereby chuck my right to Jewish national self-determination

Israel/Palestine
on 90 Comments

Okay, here goes.

I’m renouncing my right to Jewish national self-determination.

OMG!

There. I’ve done it.

It didn’t hurt.

I’m still here.

I’m still Jewish.

But what was it? And how did I get it in the first place?

And just why do our Jewish leaders like to talk about it so much?

I understand, thanks to various pronouncements from the Jewish community, that as a Jew I have the right to something called Jewish national self-determination.

Thanks chaps. It sounded nice. At first.

Apparently, every nation has this right, and I, as part of the Jewish nation, have it too (at least until my voluntary renunciation, just now).

It means (or ‘meant’ before I gave it up) that I have the right to live in a Jewish State that will protect and privilege me as a Jew. In fact I can move there tomorrow, permanently, if I wanted.

The theory goes that I need this right because such protection can’t be guaranteed anywhere else in the world with any long-term confidence. All I have to do is open a book on Jewish history to know how true this is. Deep down, there are just too many people that hate us. So, how ever bright things might appear at any given moment, there’s no real future for me here that doesn’t require the insurance policy of a Jewish nation state. And take special note of the European mid-twentieth century to see how fragile ‘civilisation’ really is.

Thanks to the backing of just about every Jewish religious denomination and every Jewish communal organisation, and everyone in a position of Jewish leadership, I’ve learnt that Jewish national self-determination (also known as Zionism) is an unshakable right and today an indivisible part of my Jewish identity. You question it at your peril.

However, despite all that, I’m chucking it in. You can have it back. I don’t need it. And I’ll tell you why.

But first you need to know a bit more about how it all works.

The Jewish national ‘back story

Despite our two thousand years of dispersal, migrations, expulsions and mixed ethnicity, we are still, the theory goes, a ‘nation’. And the thing that binds my people into this nation is our common origin in a part of the world we describe as ‘The Promised Land’ according to our holy scripture. If you recall your Old Testament stories, it was ‘Promised’ to our ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and to their descendants.

Yes I know our rabbis successfully reshaped Judaism to adapt to our changed circumstances.

And I know they worked out how to move away from the practice of a land based and Temple cult religion.

I haven’t forgotten how they replaced animal sacrifice with prayer and study and ethical action.

I know how they adapted the remaining biblical commandments to life outside of the Promised Land.

I know, I know, I know.

But it turns out this was just a ‘holding pattern’ and not a spiritual evolution. Merely a necessary, but unwelcome, aberration from our true history as a nation. In truth we were all desperate to get back to our land as soon as possible.

The fact that the rabbis of the 19th and early 20th century had fundamental objections to Zionism shouldn’t distract from the essential truth that Zionism is essential to Judaism – or ‘axiomatic’ as Chief Rabbi Mirvis likes to say.

As for all those previous rabbinic objections, I understand it was something to do with our rabbis thinking that our exile was spiritual and moral as well as physical. And yes they liked to push the idea of a ‘return’ into the messianic ‘long grass’ for fear of us mortal Jews forcing the hand of God.

But in the end they all came round to the idea of Jewish national self-determination. Even those Liberal and Reform rabbis that had been so keen make a distinction between nation and religion. Rabbis have always been skilled at adapting to current political conditions.

And don’t worry if you’re not a religious Jew (and the early Zionists thinkers and pioneers certainly weren’t). The cultural and historical connections to the land are more than good enough to make the case for our national ‘return’.

What’s more, we’ve always had a presence in the Promised Land, however small, all through the period of our dispersal. So actually, when you come to think of it, we never really left.

I hope you’re keeping up.

Because all of this has become highly topical in Britain in the last 18 months as the acceptable parameters of debate on Israel/Palestine have become smaller and tighter and those outside of the acceptable circle of discourse have found themselves hounded and vilified.

Let’s see how it’s happened.

The new international religion

We live in an era of human history where ‘rights’ have become the new international religion. That means you can get into big trouble for denying people anything they consider a ‘right’ as an individual or as a group or, in this particular case, a ‘nation’. In fact, taking away or denying people’s ‘rights’ is about the worst crime you can commit in today’s post-enlightenment Western culture.

So it’s not surprising that denying the right to Jewish national self-determination has now been co-opted into the definition of antisemitism.

Today, if you question the concept of Zionism or the way in which the modern State of Israel is set up, you will quickly find yourself accused of being antisemitic. It is (in theory) okay to criticise particular aspects of Israeli government policy but not the fundamentals of its existence as that becomes a crime against Jewish human rights.

The accusation of antisemitism goes something like this:

“How can you deny the Jewish people their right to national self-determination while defending that right for everyone else? Why should Jews be the only people in the world that you say cannot have this right. That’s antisemitic!”

It’s powerful rhetoric and it’s deployed to close down rather open up debate about a just peace in Israel/Palestine. Most of the time it works. And for the pro-Israel lobby and our Jewish communal leadership, it’s become vital that it does.

The battle of competing human rights

The reason we hear so much about Jewish national self-determination is because it’s become the only way to justify and distract from Zionism’s inherently problematic past and present.

In the last couple of decades the framing of the Israel/Palestinian conflict has changed radically. After nearly 50 years of the Occupation of the West Bank and the annexation of East Jerusalem, and nearly 10 years of the Israeli blockade of Gaza, the conflict is becoming understood in a new way.

It’s no longer about competing nationalisms. It’s no longer about different narratives about the history of the land.

Instead, it’s about who has rights and who does not. Who is denying those rights and who is resisting (sometimes peacefully and sometimes violently). This applies to Palestinians living in the West Bank and also East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. The lack of rights also relates to Palestinian Israelis (20% of the population) and to the refugees, and their descendants, displaced and not allowed to return to their homes in Israel after 1949.

As the demand grows for Palestinian human rights to be addressed, defenders of the Jewish State have hit back with their own human rights narrative. In this way it’s become a war no longer over territory but over rights. And that takes the whole debate onto a higher, and more tangled, moral plane.

Liberation movement or settler colonialism?

But does the right to Jewish national self-determination really stack up?

Is our story the same as other nationalist liberation movements? In the mid-20th century were we like the Italians or Germans of the mid-19th century? Or the Czechs and Hungarians after WW1?

The awkward truth is that the usual definitions for national liberation movements don’t work when you try and match them to the situation faced by Jews at the end of the 19th century.

We weren’t living in the same land. We weren’t a majority in any land where we did live. We were (and still are) made up of different ethnic groups. The nearest to a shared language and common culture was the Yiddishkeit of Eastern Europe. So it’s difficult to make historical comparisons.

To achieve our Jewish national self-determination required another people, indigenous to the land we wished to ‘return to’, to make way for us. That’s not how national liberation movements are meant to work.

So Jewish national self-determination is a very useful phrase in the ‘Age of Human Rights’. It succeeds in distracting attention from how Zionism played out in practice, however understandable and even noble its intentions once were for the oppressed Jews in the shtetls and ghettos of Eastern Europe.

The concept of Jewish national self-determination successfully turns a settler colonial project (as the early Zionist pioneers were unembarrassed to describe it) into a movement for Jewish liberation. And a national movement for ‘Jewish liberation’ sounds so much better to modern ears than ‘settler colonialism’.

So there’s a huge moral and political conundrum with the idea of Jewish national self-determination once you strip away the layers of collective denial and communal self-justification. And that’s before you question the very idea of a Jewish nation, an idea which has its own set of historical challenges and internal contradictions.

Facing my critics

So I’m turning my back on the whole idea of Jewish national self-determination.

I can see how it’s emotionally compelling for many Jews. But it’s also intellectually ropey at best; an ethical nightmare for Judaism; and a catastrophe for the Palestinians.

But none of this will silence my critics.

They will quickly point out that Israel is not the only country built on a settler colonial past (assuming they accept that premise). You could use the same arguments against the legitimacy of the United States or Australia. Why pick on Israel? Because you’re antisemitic!

It sounds like a fair challenge. Israel certainly isn’t the only country with a settler colonial past. But for Israel this is not only a matter for the historians.

This is a here and now issue.

Israel is still in denial about the nature of its foundation, and the consequences and responsibilities it has towards the people it dispossessed. Secondly, its commitment to democracy remains limited. It effectively controls the lives of 4.5 million Palestinians (either directly or indirectly) through the Occupation and the blockade of Gaza. It discriminates against its own Israeli Palestinian population too. And it refuses to take the slightest responsibility for the Palestinian refugee community it did so much to create. This is a 24 hour a day assault on human rights. It’s not a page from ancient history.

So I’m not picking on Israel unfairly or holding it to a double standard. What’s unfair and inconsistent is to ignore all of this.

The other favorite argument in support of Jewish national self-determination is from the What if… School of History.  It goes like this:

What if there had been a Jewish State in 1933 or 1940. That would have saved millions of Jewish lives. That’s why we needed Jewish national self-determination then and why we still need it today. If you deny this right you’d have been happy to condemn millions of Jews to death. And you’d do the same thing tomorrow.

There are alternative What if… questions I could ask. What if Chamberlain had stood up to Hitler at Munich? What if America, Britain and Argentina, had opened their doors to refugees fleeing the Nazis? What if the RAF had bombed Auschwitz? What if Hitler had been assassinated?

There are innumerable different courses history could have taken and changing one element of the story doesn’t prove that the outcome you may desire would have happened. There were millions of Jews and millions of other non-Jewish civilians who were killed by the Nazis or their allies. The scenarios that might have saved them are endless. A Jewish State was never the only or best alternative to what happened.

Where do we go from here?

So I’ve renounced my right to Jewish national self-determination. It’s gone. I’m done with it.

But I recognize that something else has to take its place. Something a lot more coherent and a lot more beneficial to Jews, Palestinians and everyone else we live beside in this global village.

I don’t want Jewish national self-determination but I do want equal rights, equal respect, equal protection and equal opportunity wherever I live. And along with those rights should go the responsibility to champion and protect them for my neighbors too.

Today there is a Jewish majority in Israel with a common language and culture. Those six million Jewish Israelis have rights and they need safety and protection like the citizens of any country. The Jewish Settlers on the West Bank also have rights that need protection even if you don’t like how those rights have been accrued. But none of our Jewish rights can be guaranteed at the expense of another people. The way to protect Israel’s (partial) democracy is to expand it, not to deny it to others.

Rejecting Jewish national self-determination is not the same as wanting the destruction of the State of Israel or wanting its Jewish citizens thrown into the sea. That’s just more apocalyptic language aimed narrowing acceptable debate and stifling an honest conversation.

The call for equal rights does not exclude Jews in Israel or anywhere else. And whatever the exact arrangements to bring about equal rights it would be ridiculous and anti-democratic to think that there would be not be a strong Jewish character to Israel, or whatever we call the territory, just as there would be a strong Palestinian character to it too. But that has to be based on mutual respect and protection not on institutional discrimination.

Universal answers

Having cast away my right to Jewish national self-determination I still feel just as a Jewish as I did before. And I am just as connected to other Jews through a shared faith, a shared history, a shared sensibility. And with that comes a bias towards the oppressed and the discriminated against which is informed by my faith and my understanding of Jewish history.

Our Jewish story is unique. We don’t fit the definitions of other national minorities. So, the resolution of our oppression has to look different too. It needs a universal rather than a nationalist approach. That’s how you secure real Jewish self-determination everywhere not just in one place. It’s called equal rights and we fight for it for ourselves and for others wherever we find ourselves.

This is not some naive utopia I’m promoting. This way of thinking will save the Jewish people, not destroy them. This is common sense as well as common decency.

And that’s always a good place to set out from.

This post first appeared on the Patheos site

About Robert Cohen

Cohen is a British writer. He blogs at Micah's Paradigm Shift. http://micahsparadigmshift.blogspot.co.uk/

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90 Responses

  1. AddictionMyth
    December 7, 2016, 11:57 am

    True but freedom of speech and religion is the sine qua non of enduring peace and prosperity. I agree, I would rather live in a country that guaranteed equal rights to all, including robust free speech and religion (not the weak tea they serve in Europe), than a country in which I had more rights. First what’s the fun of that – and secondly – it will always end up backfiring. For example the anti-BDS laws (try doing the same to protect muslims or blacks) will only end up creating another Holocaust. As has happened many times before – as Europe well knows.

  2. John O
    December 7, 2016, 12:14 pm

    “They will quickly point out that Israel is not the only country built on a settler colonial past (assuming they accept that premise). You could use the same arguments against the legitimacy of the United States or Australia. Why pick on Israel? Because you’re antisemitic!”

    They’re not so quick to point out examples of where settler colonialism failed – such as the French in Algeria or the British in Kenya.

  3. Ossinev
    December 7, 2016, 12:42 pm

    A thoughtful balanced if ever so slightly tongue in cheek article. Like the author but as a Christian (albeit severely lapsed ) I too have decided to give up my National Right to Self Determination in what was my Christain Ancestors Homeland. I am not sure that all those non lapsed Christians round the world ( aproxd 2 billion? ) actually realise that Jewish /Zionist Aliyahs have effectively set an international legal precedent which by implication means that they can claim a right of return to the birthplace of their religion irrespective of whether they are Welsh,Japanese,Inuit or whatever.
    BTW
    “I haven’t forgotten how they replaced animal sacrifice with prayer and study and ethical action”

    Not so sure that this is fully the case. We still have “kosher ” slaughter here in the UK which is IMO by definition primordial despite the best efforts of practitioners to dress it up as somehow less cruel than conventional slaughter ( as if they give a shit ).. The reason that it ( along with Muslim Halal slaughter ) is not banned as it should be (it is quite simply ritual barbarism ) is for fear of being accused of being surprise surprise anti – Semitic or Islamophobic.

  4. Mooser
    December 7, 2016, 1:23 pm

    .” Those six million Jewish Israelis have rights and they need safety and protection like the citizens of any country. The Jewish Settlers on the West Bank also have rights that need protection”

    “like the citizens of any country”. Okay, in my country they would have the right to a fair trial, and no cruel or unusual punishments.

  5. echinococcus
    December 7, 2016, 1:30 pm

    Today there is a Jewish majority in Israel with a common language and culture. Those six million Jewish Israelis have rights and they need safety and protection like the citizens of any country.

    Sure they do, each one of them in his/her/his parents’ (often multiple) countries. In the exceptional case of a lapsed protection, in the US that has guaranteed such protection.
    Not in Palestine, except for genuine war refugees. Descendants of legitimate Palestinian Jews are local anyway.
    Anyway, the only ones that have a say about that are the Palestinians, collectively and in the absence of duress. Meanwhile, whoever feels like s/he’d prefer to live peacefully can emigrate anytime to any of a number of desirable destinations, unlike Palestinians. And they do; a lot.

    The Jewish Settlers on the West Bank also have rights that need protection even if you don’t like how those rights have been accrued.

    These rights haven’t been and cannot be accrued. These invaders are not protected persons under the current law –why do you think they are under military protection and why do you think they are military siege personnel themselves? The only solution is to pull them out while the going is good.

    Also, how come these are “Jewish” settlers? They may personally be Jewish, I wouldn’t know, but the religion is not a body of law regulating invasion. They are Zionist settlers; their religion or absence of it is totally irrelevant.

  6. Mooser
    December 7, 2016, 2:18 pm

    “Our Jewish story is unique. We don’t fit the definitions of other national minorities”

    Maybe Mr. Cohen will buy those “Jews sui generis!” buttons I had made during the Charlie Hebdo imbroglio.

  7. gingershot
    December 7, 2016, 3:56 pm

    The Palestine Annexation Law which passed 1st reading today in the Knesset is a windfall opportunity for snapping the trance about Israel and ‘Political Judaism’ as a positive force in either the US or Israel

    Lets ALL take a good hard look at Political Judaism – in Israel as well as America

    Let’s look at Israelis now as the Kahanists they are rather than how we might wish them to be. While we’re at it lets look at our Kahanist Israel Lobby/Jewish Lobby as they are, rather than what we blind ourselves to

    While we do it, let’s keep in mind that our media has been so distorted by the Lobby that most Americans literally can’t THINK about Israel and the Lobby critically at all – it is propaganda known as ‘obsfuscation’ where the public literally does not have enough data points to even think intelligently about the issues – and know that that is a ‘manufacturing of consent’/’thought policing’ of incredible importance. This obsfusction is a deliberate program of propaganda on the American people. Gee – thanks, Lobby!

    Kahanist Political Judaism, such as today’s Annexation of Palestine with the Palestine Annexation Law, is Apartheid, and Apartheid is actually a crime against humanity as recognized by the UN, Geneva Conventions and all international law

    Seeing Israeli Jews as ‘bad’ (great article by carolina landsmann regarding this ‘Opinion: Are Israelis the Bad Ones?’- she says ‘YES’) and shaming them because of their behaviour is actually a healthy, ‘mentally well’ thing to do – so congratulations to one and all who can get there.

    Yes, shaming Jews – unimaginable and unthinkable as that may be to so many.

    Imagine a world in the US without the ‘Political Judaism’ of Neocons/Israeli Lobby/Jewish Lobby – such as no war against Iraq, no near war against Iran, no war in Syria, no Clean Break-motivated wars at all

    Imagine the US with No Kahanist Anti-Muslim Islamophobia cottage Industry of the Flexian Neocons (‘The Shadow Elite’, by Wedel) like Gaffney, Perle, Krauthammer, Kristol, etc, etc – whipping up America for wars against Muslims, just like the Israelis do against ‘their’ internal Muslims Palestinians) and external Muslim enemies – the rest of the ME

    Imagine a world in Palestine without Kahanism/(Zionism as practiced by Israelis) and Kahanist Settlers – imagine 1P1V1S and think HOW MUCH better that would be

    Imagine a Trump administration that CANNOT muster the poltical cover to get behind and support 1- this fresh Palestine Annexation Law, Bennett, Smotrich, and Bibi 2- ginning up a war with Iran (like Flynt and Ledeen want to do) after tearing up the Iran Nuclear Deal

    Imagine America free of Joint Sessions of Congress called by Bibi, free of Bibi’s Putsch, and the masses of AIPAC-lobbyists sluicing money to their ‘contributors’

    Imagine an American presidential poltical campaign without a ‘One Issue’ Saban behind Hillary and ‘One Issue’ Adelson behind Trump

    Imagine America free of the Israel Lobby, with it’s Kahanist ‘Clean Break’ foreign policy/warfare and support of Kahanist Israel

    It’s a WAY better place.

    Please support President Barack Obama as AIPAC’s girl Hillary(DONE), the Israeli Lobby/Jewish Lobby, and Israelis(DONE) are removed from power on the American political landscape

    • JWalters
      December 7, 2016, 8:17 pm

      “The Palestine Annexation Law which passed 1st reading today in the Knesset is a windfall opportunity for snapping the trance about Israel”

      On the one hand it’s hard to see how such a major event would not get serious coverage in the mainstream media. On the other hand …

    • Yakov Hirsch
      December 8, 2016, 9:38 pm

      gingershot
      December 7, 2016, 3:56 pm
      “Let’s look at Israelis now as the Kahanists they are rather than how we might wish them to be. While we’re at it lets look at our Kahanist Israel Lobby/Jewish Lobby as they are, rather than what we blind ourselves to

      While we do it, let’s keep in mind that our media has been so distorted by the Lobby that most Americans literally can’t THINK about Israel and the Lobby critically at all – it is propaganda known as ‘obsfuscation’ where the public literally does not have enough data points to even think intelligently about the issues – and know that that is a ‘manufacturing of consent’/’thought policing’ of incredible importance. This obsfusction is a deliberate program of propaganda on the American people. Gee – thanks, Lobby!”

      Elor Azaria to the rescue. Grab some popcorn gingershot. You’re going to enjoy the show after the verdict.

      • Maghlawatan
        December 8, 2016, 11:16 pm

        Yacov that is true on MSM

        But not on social media where the narrative cannot be controlled by Israel.
        the other thing is that Israel has gone way beyond the point where it even cares about image.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMG7Fze6sgQ

        Meanwhile did you ever Joanie talking about pokah? She was heavy duty Zionist. Vile lady

      • gingershot
        December 10, 2016, 3:59 pm

        Yakov – oh yeah, absolutely – and the ‘Azaria Trial’ is going to pale by comparison to the optics of the onrushing ‘Amona Evacuation’ spectacle. It is the tsunami, and it is upon Israel AND the Israel Lobby

        Israel is in ‘Strategic Checkmate’ – it CANNOT give up Occupied Palestine. All else was bluff. The Apartheid is FIXED IN PLACE

        Mad King Bibi and the Messianics will ONLY have power taken from them, they will NEVER relinquish it.

        It is the ‘Mother of All Jewish Clusterf*cks’ if I may put it so crudely – but the CF is a good thing – the Kahanist Settlers (no reasoning with these whacks) vs the Sane.

        The Sane are preventing a catastrophe for the Jewish people, and by catastrophe I do not mean 1P1V1S and the loss of Israeli Apartheid, which is a good thing, I mean something even worse.

        What could be worse than the loss of Israel for the Jewish people? Well – the loss of Israel AFTER a long Jewish civil war (Ehud Barak calls it a ‘Bosnian-type Civil War’) waged by the hopeless Messianics vs Everybody Else, as the Messianics are rooted out in dozens of ‘Amonas’, but with tens or hundreds of thousands of people, some of them prepared for ultimate ‘Bennett Sacrifice’.

        The CIS are the people preventing the 2nd Masada, ‘Bennett’s Masada’, where the faithful are supposed to make ‘sacrifices of their life’ for Eretz Israel. Bennett has already called for it – he and Smotrich and their Rabbis are ALL IN

        That’s why the Commanders for Israeli Security created itself, and that’s why the smart set from Unit 8200 split in Dec 2012 in the incredible power vacuum of the stuffed in motion Israeli attack on Iran in Sept/Oct 2012, as Palestine clawed it’s way to access to the ICC. Israel was checkmated and Diskin knew it, so did Col Liron Libman and the IDF legal teams (Published, Wikileaks Embassy cables). Obama and Kerry are talking to THESE Grandchessmasters, the Israeli genius-level – not Bibi. Obama/Kerry have said so in public a number of times now.

        As Hagai El Ad and many others have said Israeli Apartheid will be cured ONLY by outside intervention (namely the looming UN Sec Co Res which Obama is greenlighting, plus UN measures to follow including the CIS) and the cure for Apartheid is 1P1V1S. Power will be taken from Israel/Bibi/Smotrich/Bennett – not conceded. The Apartheid will collapse around the CIS. The CIS will prevent the catastrophe of the Jewish people/Settlers called for by Bennett (‘The Sacrifice’, ‘the 2nd Masada’)

        In the violent 1st Amona partial evacuation in 2006 Jews went on a pricetagging vendetta against even the Israeli police involved in the action.

        ‘Jewish on Jewish’ violence like this – rather than ‘Jewish on Palestinian’, is the underlying dynamic now. Same thing in the Diaspora minus the violence – the ‘civil/societal ‘war’ in the Diaspora’ is just beginning.
        Strategically – Israeli Jews have been successfully turned unto/against themselves – basically Kahanist Settlers versus Sane People/CIS rather than using Palestinians, Iranians, Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis, or even Russians as vents. The Messianics against the Sane – but it’s on the Jewish dime now and not lashing out at Russia (via Vicki Nuland and the Neocons), lashing out at Iran (all the Neocons, Hillary, Trump administration), Palestinians, Lebanese, Iraq (via ISIS support out of the Jordanian camps) on and on

        1- ‘Diskin/CIS UN Ch7 Plan’ to create the 1P1V1S in preference to a fullscale ‘Israeli Civil War’ (Amona writ large) and casualties/catastrophe to the Jewish people that would entail – most recently warned about by PM Ehud Barak, also Tamir Pardo
        2- Marwan Barghouti elected to the Central Committee while in jail- what’s to stop Barghouti from being elected to Presidency sitting in jail while the entire Palestinian people are sitting in jail in occupied Palestine? – the answer is NOTHING
        2- Palestinians meeting with Obama regarding the UN Sec Co Resolution NOW
        3- Scattered reports (JPOST, Haaretz) of a desperate Bibi/Bennett agreement they’re floating to try to hold off on the 2nd/3rd readings/finalization of the Palestine Annexation Law until Trump is in place. WON’T WORK
        4- ‘The Neocons and Apartheid Israel are GOING DOWN TOGETHER’ – it’s a TWO-FER, two birds with one stone. Here’s hoping they’ll enjoy each other’s company in their own special circle of h*ll
        5- ‘Political Judaism’ is OVER – in Israel as well as the US – we just need to get it done in time (we’re on schedule) so the Trump administration has it’s b*lls removed in one fell swoop (it’s Neocon balls Pompeo, Mattis, Bolton?!, Carson, Sessions, etc are metaphorically speaking whacked off as Trump and the Neocons/Israel Lobby is hit by the tsunami of Israeli Aparthied’s collapse) , so the Neocons in the Administration cannot gin up the almost likely attack Iran they’re drooling to make happen. Clip Trump’s wings, so to speak
        6- ‘Mad King Bibi of the Rabbinic Hermit Kingdom of Judea and Samaria’ is hitting REALITY, and the Kahanist Neocons are along for the ride. Like Thelma and Louise!
        7- Dr Strangelove aka Chuck Krauthammer and the whole Neocon movement is KAHANIST, folks. Hillary is just a Velvet Gloved-Kahanist. SNAP!
        8- Breivik, Wilders, LePen,the Kahanist Alt Right, Velvet Glove Kahanist-Hillary, the Settlers, Neocons, and Apartheid Israel = ONE BIG BAG. One Big FAT bag of Kahanists.

        So yep, things are looking PEACHY- Courage is contagious!

        ps: Amona P4 =- ‘Preemptive Protection of Palestinians from Pricetagging’ – during and following the Amona Evacuation is an EXPECTED anticipatory move by Israel – Israel must preempt these attacks and call up WHATEVER amount of Shin Bet/IDF/police manpower needed and spare no expense. Failure to do so will be INCLUDED in demands that the ICC include these pricetagging warcrimes and terror (essentially a form of state sponsored terror) will we all KNOW will be attempted

        O-b-f-u-s-c-a-t-i-o-n

  8. RoHa
    December 7, 2016, 6:21 pm

    It looks as though Mr Cohen has been reading and memorising my comments. I am glad he has learned from them.

    But he can’t renounce his right to Jewish national self-determination. There is no such right to renounce.

    • Mooser
      December 7, 2016, 7:39 pm

      “But he can’t renounce his right to Jewish national self-determination. There is no such right to renounce.”

      So Cohen renounces a right he never had, and this renunciation somehow bolsters the “rights” of Israelis and settlers.
      Okay.

      • RoHa
        December 7, 2016, 11:41 pm

        “this renunciation somehow bolsters the “rights” of Israelis and settlers.”

        I don’t think he got that bit from me.

    • Mayhem
      December 8, 2016, 6:54 am

      In immigrating to Israel the ongoing aspiration of Jews was not to exchange their Jewish identity for an Israeli identity, but to come to Israel to give the Jewish component of their identity the possibility of more complete realization, also in public life.

      This aspiration has driven the Zionist movement from the start. This aspiration stands at the basis of the struggle for preserving the Jewish character of the state. This aspiration is recognized in international law as the right of nations to self-determination. It is this right the Palestinians (and Roha) must recognize if they want to get beyond the current stalemate.

      Refer The Right to Self-Determination

      • eljay
        December 8, 2016, 8:49 am

        || Mayhem @ December 8, 2016, 6:54 am ||

        The right of self-determination belongs to the inhabitants of a geographic region, not to people all over the world – citizens of homelands all over the world – who have embraced the religion-based identity of Jewish.

        If the state is:
        – Palestine, the bureaucratic nationality is Palestinian and preferential immigration must be granted equally to all people up to n-generations removed from the geographic region comprising Palestine.
        – Israel, the bureaucratic nationality is Israeli and preferential immigration must be granted equally to all people up to n-generations removed from the geographic region comprising Israel.
        – “Jewish”, the bureaucratic nationality is “Jewish” and preferential immigration must be granted equally to all people up to n-generations removed from the geographic region comprising “Jewish”.

        In its current form, “Jewish State” is a religion-supremacist construct primarily of and for people who hold the religion-based identity of “Jewish”.

        (It’s also a colonialist and (war) criminal enterprise, but we’ll set that aside for the moment.)

        Religion-supremacist “Jewish State” has no right to exist. And no-one should be expected or required to recognize or accept the existence of a religion-supremacist – or any other type of supremacist – state.

      • Maghlawatan
        December 8, 2016, 11:06 am

        The state does not have a Jewish character. It is trauma driven.

      • echinococcus
        December 8, 2016, 12:19 pm

        Eljay,

        A small logical problem, past your perfectly valid introductory sentence.
        Hard to get what kind of nationality “bureaucratic nationality” is, but even assuming it as meant for “administrative”, the problem becomes obvious with

        A

        – Israel, the bureaucratic nationality is Israeli and preferential immigration must be granted equally to all people up to n-generations removed from the geographic region comprising Israel.

        where the population of origin (whose n generations may have preferential rights) is indicated as being the illegally settled initial Zionist invaders, as opposed to

        B

        – “Jewish”, the bureaucratic nationality is “Jewish” and preferential immigration must be granted equally to all people up to n-generations removed from the geographic region comprising “Jewish”.

        But the population of “bureaucratic nationality” of origin A is itself population B.
        To make it clearer, the only title of A to self-determination (on other people’s land) is being from “Jewish”, none other.

        It’s not as if you were unaware of the howling illogic of this memorable mental pretzel, either. In fact, as you just posted the following

        Small examples of Zio-supremacism successfully wiping Palestine off the map and pushing it into the sea

        (http://mondoweiss.net/recent-comments/#sthash.ofVkcpmL.dpuf)
        As you know that the initial Zionist arrival intended just that, you can’t have been unaware that no self-determination can be imagined for any Zionist invasion whatsoever –not even by dubbing it “bureaucratic”.

      • eljay
        December 8, 2016, 12:52 pm

        || echinococcus: Hard to get what kind of nationality “bureaucratic nationality” is … , but even assuming it as meant for “administrative”, the problem becomes obvious … ||

        No problem. Although the geographic region of Palestine did once exist, for almost 70 years the geographic regions of (Partition-borders (P-b)) Israel and Palestine have existed and the right of self-determination belongs to their respective inhabitants.

        All citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees (CIERs) of P-b Israel must be Israeli and equal, and any preferential immigration to P-b Israel must be granted equally to all people up to n-generations removed from P-b Israel.

        All citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees (CIERs) of P-b Palestine must be Palestinian and equal, and any preferential immigration to P-b Palestine must be granted equally to all people up to n-generations removed from P-b Palestine.

        “Jewish State” – a state of and for all people who undergo a religious conversion to Judaism or are descended from someone who underwent a religious-conversion to Judaism – is a religion-supremacist construct. It has no right to exist.

        || … It’s not as if you were unaware of the howling illogic of this memorable mental pretzel … ||

        No illogic. P-b Israel as not-a-“Jewish State” includes its refugees and extends preferential immigration equally to Jews and non-Jews from P-b Israel. All Israelis get to decide Israel’s future – that’s democracy and self-determination in action. And if that happens to lead to reunification with Palestine, that’s also democracy and self-determination in action.

      • echinococcus
        December 8, 2016, 2:43 pm

        Eljay,

        Although the geographic region of Palestine did once exist, for almost 70 years the geographic regions of (Partition-borders (P-b)) Israel and Palestine have existed and the right of self-determination belongs to their respective inhabitants

        I see that we fully agree! The way I describe your stance is that you (as well as a few others on this site) aim to legitimize and “normalize”, as they say, the colonial rape of Palestine on behalf of its invaders; ordering the Palestinian people, unconsulted as a collective, to “get over it”, the recommendation coming this time from the “anti-Zionist” side. You do protest –only at its “excesses”, sentencing the owners of Palestine to better camouflaged slavery and US-imposed illegality.

        This is not a concession to the reality of the moment, a temporary bump in the road: you see it as a definitive settlement of all claims –unilaterally imposed by the invader and its imperial protector.

        If this were the attitude of the Palestinian resistance and its other “supporters”, there would be even much less of a reason for the Zionist entity to ever even dream of any concessions: they certainly don’t need any.

        The only thing the “normalizers” seem to be even more insistent about may be establishing some legitimacy for the violation of the UN Charter and other similar instruments, in the name of “international order” dictated by imperialist powers. Can I call that the UN-US Golden Calf?

        It’s not an unusual view; in fact it is dominant, at least in the US. With friends like these…

      • eljay
        December 8, 2016, 2:56 pm

        || echinococcus: … The way I describe your stance is that you (as well as a few others on this site) aim to legitimize and “normalize”, as they say, the colonial rape of Palestine on behalf of its invaders … ||

        You’re free to describe it any way you like.

        || … ordering the Palestinian people, unconsulted as a collective, to “get over it” … ||

        Yup, I want Palestinians – incl. refugees – to “get over it” by returning to and living in their respective secular and democratic countries (Israel or Palestine) with full and equal rights. Shame on me.

        || … You do protest –only at its “excesses”, sentencing the owners of Palestine to better camouflaged slavery and US-imposed illegality. … ||

        I protest the lack of justice, accountability and equality and I want all three applied to I-P. You’re free to describe it any way you like.

        The rest of your post is just the sound of you bashing yourself over the head with your plastic hammer. Go easy on yourself.

      • echinococcus
        December 8, 2016, 3:27 pm

        Eljay,

        I protest the lack of justice, accountability and equality and I want all three applied to I-P.

        Your liberal democracy-exporting enthusiasm is touching, but “justice” sure don’t belong in there for the owners of all Palestine. What have they got to say, anyway?

      • Mooser
        December 8, 2016, 3:35 pm

        Shorter “Mayhem”: ‘2 billion Jews acting with unity can do whatever they want!’

        Jews have pretty much decided to leave Zionism to the “Mayhems” of Judaism. Are there 2 billion of those?

        Oh, BTW, aren’t a lot of settlers and Israelis in Jerusalem violating Israeli law, too? And for that they “accrue” rights?

      • eljay
        December 8, 2016, 3:37 pm

        || echinococcus: … Your liberal democracy-exporting enthusiasm is touching, but “justice” sure don’t belong in there for the owners of all Palestine. … ||

        Not sure why you think they don’t deserve justice. Anyway, best of luck with your delusion of forcibly dismantling the state of Israel and driving almost all Jews out of the Levant.

      • echinococcus
        December 8, 2016, 4:58 pm

        Eljay,

        Still typical: you can’t even imagine that justice means restitution of their entire country –except in liberal-interventionist cloud-cuckoo-land. Once they have American-style or Zionist-style “democracy”, what would they do with their country anyway?

      • echinococcus
        December 8, 2016, 6:13 pm

        Eljay,

        You’re the one who will need a hell of a lot of luck in getting anything done “peacefully” with the Zionists.
        But preaching normalization only serves the purpose of trying to keep everyone peaceful with US-imposed “democracy” talk –while the genocide progresses. Has nothing to do with peace.

      • eljay
        December 8, 2016, 8:55 pm

        || echinococcus: … You’re the one who will need a hell of a lot of luck in getting anything done “peacefully” with the Zionists. … ||

        Why do you assume things will get done peacefully? I certainly don’t, although it would be nice if things could get done peacefully.

        || … But preaching normalization only serves the purpose of trying to keep everyone peaceful with US-imposed “democracy” talk –while the genocide progresses. … ||

        So stop preaching normalization.

      • RoHa
        December 8, 2016, 8:57 pm

        ” the right of nations to self-determination.”

        You and your Zionist ilk keep claiming this right, but I never see you give any arguments for it.

        You never provide a moral argument for the right as a moral right. You never discuss any possible moral limitations on the right.

        You claim it is a right in international law. Can you tell us:

        (a) Where the right of nations to self determination (where self determination includes the right to set up a state) is documented in law?
        (b) What the definition of “nation” is in that law?
        (c) How “the Jews” fit that definition?
        (d) Whether the right is an absolute or limited right?
        (e) If limited, what legal limitations apply?

        Of course, even if it is an absolute right in law, that does not mean it is morally permissible. (I might have an absolute legal right to throw the elderly widow out of the house, but exercising my right may be totally immoral.)

        “It is this right the Palestinians (and Roha) must recognize if they want to get beyond the current stalemate. ”

        Flattering to see that my recognition is also required. I didn’t realise I was so powerful.

        But the obligation is not on the Palestinians to recognise this imagined right, but on the Israeli Jews to develop a sense of morality, and recognize that they have find a way to realise “the Jewish component of their identity” that does not infringe the rights of the Palestinians.

      • eljay
        December 8, 2016, 9:24 pm

        || echinococcus: … Still typical: you can’t even imagine that justice means restitution of their entire country … ||

        I can imagine that that’s what it means, but I don’t know for certain that that’s what it means.

        || … Once they have American-style or Zionist-style “democracy” … ||

        Why should they have American-style or Zionist-style “democracy”?

        || … what would they do with their country anyway? ||

        It would be up to the CIERs of each country to do democratically with their respective countries whatever they want.

      • echinococcus
        December 9, 2016, 12:29 am

        eljay,

        Why should they have American-style or Zionist-style “democracy”?

        Because forcing people to put up with their (unsayably stronger) invader and murderer in the name of “democracy” with nary a plebiscite goes in the category “Geoge Bush / Samantha Power democracy”.

        What have these babies been so bitterly fighting for these 100 years? What you think of as “democracy”, worth sacrificing other people’s all –or full control of their country?

        There aren’t three camps in this war: either the colonial invaders and their genocide, or the owners of the land.

      • eljay
        December 9, 2016, 8:19 am

        || echinococcus @ December 9, 2016, 12:29 ||

        If transforming Israel from a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” into a secular and democratic Israeli state of and for all of its Israeli citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally and holding the state and its (war) criminals accountable for their past and on-going (war) crimes is “Geo[r]ge Bush / Samantha Power democracy”, then in this instance at least I support “Geo[r]ge Bush / Samantha Power democracy”.

        I prefer that to a “plebiscite” that involves forcibly:
        – dismantling the state of Israel; and
        – driving out of the Levant 92-95% of all Jews currently in it.

      • echinococcus
        December 9, 2016, 9:44 am

        Eljay, insisting:

        If transforming Israel from a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” into a secular and democratic Israeli state of and for all of its Israeli citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally and holding the state and its (war) criminals accountable for their past and on-going (war) crimes

        against the will of the owners of the place, on the owners’ land, acquired illegally and by ongoing atrocities. You see your Hollywood-image of “democracy” and “equality” of invader and invadee as being some Holy Cow, to be imposed willy-nilly on those who value their land and customs, or anything else different from your own fixation, and that, precisely,

        is “Geo[r]ge Bush / Samantha Power democracy”

        then in this instance at least I support “Geo[r]ge Bush / Samantha Power democracy”

        You didn’t have to confirm.

        I prefer that to a “plebiscite” that involves forcibly:

        [“Why do you assume things will get done peacefully? I certainly don’t, although it would be nice if things could get done peacefully.” said a certain Eljay, when challenged about his objection to my “forcibly” http://mondoweiss.net/profile/eljay/#sthash.TsQPgW2i.dpuf
        so make up your mind]

        – dismantling the state of Israel;

        So, you will bestow “democracy” on the lucky local yokels without dismantling the racial-supremacist, constitutionally genocidal state abusively called ‘Israel’. This starts sounding more and more like a Broadway musical.

        and
        – driving out of the Levant 92-95% of all Jews currently in it.

        The “Levant”? We’re talking about Palestine. I know, it all sounds far away.

        Anyway, who said it’s that bad?
        A plebiscite doesn’t “involve” necessarily any of that. Seeing that you have a magic wand that convinces Zionists to comply, just lift the military occupation and all repressive measures, guarantee implementation of the results, and ask nicely. None of us know for sure the outcome of a plebiscite as none of us know the outcome of all-out regional or world war.

        I’m sure the generous and legendarily hospitable Palestinian people would agree to keeping a larger percentage of Zionist invader offspring (not “Jews”).

        What I’m way more certain of, though, is that the invader Zionists, having become the kind of population they are, will either use their 2nd or 3rd passport or the US invitation if they have any brains, or shoot it out if they have none.

      • eljay
        December 9, 2016, 10:25 am

        || echinococcus: … You see your Hollywood-image of “democracy” and “equality” of invader and invadee as being some Holy Cow, to be imposed willy-nilly on those who value their land and customs … ||

        If you say so.

        || … I prefer that to a “plebiscite” that involves forcibly: [“Why do you assume things will get done peacefully? I certainly don’t, although it would be nice if things could get done peacefully.” said a certain Eljay, when challenged about his objection to my “forcibly” … ||

        What of it? I haven’t pretended than a transition away from Zio-supremacism and colonialism to secularism and equality will be easy or peaceful.

        || … So, you will bestow … ||

        I won’t bestow anything on anyone. You keep attributing to me powers of influence I do not have (and which I’ve never claimed to have).

        || … driving out of the Levant 92-95% of all Jews currently in it. The “Levant”? We’re talking about Palestine. … ||

        OK, so you’re going to expel 92-95% of all Jews currently in geographic (pre-Mandate) Palestine from there to…where?

        || … Seeing that you have a magic wand that convinces Zionists to comply … ||

        There you go again, attributing to me powers I do not possess (and which I’ve never claimed to possess).

        || … None of us know for sure the outcome of a plebiscite as none of us know the outcome of all-out regional or world war. … ||

        Are you sure you don’t know? You seem to know everything else.

      • Mooser
        December 9, 2016, 12:57 pm

        I wish we could stop talking about “expelling” people from Israel. If I am not mistaken, almost all Jewish Israelis are free to leave Palestine if they want to.

      • echinococcus
        December 9, 2016, 2:03 pm

        Eljay,

        If you say so

        Yeah, as “go on saying that I am me, I’ll just humor you if you say so.”
        Not only I say so, you say so in your next sentence:

        I haven’t pretended than a transition away from Zio-supremacism and colonialism to secularism and equality will be easy or peaceful.

        So lemme see: you have no major problem with the same violence if it is necessary for what *you* call secularism and equality, *your* darling that’s worth untold destruction and death; you are, however, indignantly opposed to what you call

        forcibly dismantling the state of Israel… and driving out of the Levant 92-95% of all Jews currently in it.

        Besides, of course there can be no driving out a population infinitely more fanatical than any French colons in Algeria –lemme see how many of those invaders you call “Jews” are voluntarily remaining as equals with the fellaheen. And of course you again ignored what in my message contradicted your use of the word “expel” and the statement in it of the fact that all the invader riffraff have somewhere to go comfortably enough.

        Anyway, now we have your priorities absolutely clear:
        – No forcible dismantling of the Zionist entity
        – but yes, if necessary forcible imposition of democracy and secularism, whatever that may mean in Palestine (which you are afraid to name for fear of intruding on whatever portion of Zionist conquests are legitimate *to you*.)
        – Avoiding at all costs to drive out (even by giving them the scare of equality) the invaders and murderers, who all have somewhere to go (don’t forget the American guarantee) because they are “Jews”,
        – The collective will of the invaded population (and in fact that of the blood-thirsty supermajority of the Herrenvolk, too) is to be ignored, and a referendum bitterly opposed, for fear of offending the dream of “democracy and secularism.”

        I am glad to finally having got you to spell out what your ludicrous ‘UN-legalism’, forbidding travel to Palestinians in their own country, was based upon.

      • echinococcus
        December 9, 2016, 3:26 pm

        Mooser,

        If I am not mistaken, almost all Jewish Israelis are free to leave Palestine if they want to.

        Who are the “almost”? I just can’t imagine –wait, wait, don’t tell me! The Almost is called Mordechai Vanunu.

      • eljay
        December 9, 2016, 3:57 pm

        || echinococcus: … So lemme see: you have no major problem with the same violence … ||

        I do have a problem with the same violence. I would like to see no violence. You, on the other hand, seem to relish the thought of violence.

        || … And of course you again ignored what in my message contradicted your use of the word “expel” and the statement in it of the fact that all the invader riffraff have somewhere to go comfortably enough. … ||

        You’ve said you want to expel from geographic (pre-Mandate) Palestine 92-95% of all Jews currently in geographic (pre-Mandate) Palestine. But you haven’t said to where you plan to expel them.

        || … Anyway, now we have your priorities absolutely clear … ||

        Those appear to be your priorities. They’re not mine.

        || … I am glad to finally having got you to spell out what your ludicrous ‘UN-legalism’, forbidding travel to Palestinians in their own country, was based upon. ||

        I didn’t spell anything out – you did.

        You’ve been hitting yourself on the head much too hard. It’s time to put down the plastic hammer.

      • Donald Johnson
        December 9, 2016, 4:16 pm

        I haven’t looked tried to look it up, but I assume the majority of Israeli Jews were born there. It is therefore their home. They are practicing apartheid, so they should be pressured to stop and if they don’t want to live in equality they should leave, but nobody said the whites had to leave South Africa.

        Also, on a pragmatic level if you want to win support from the outside world and from some Israeli Jews you would push for equal rights for everyone. If you prefer the supposed justice of a mass expulsion then you should oppose the BDS movement, because they call for equal rights for everyone and model themselves after the anti apartheid movement.

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

      • Mooser
        December 9, 2016, 5:34 pm

        “Who are the “almost”?”

        I don’t know exactly. It wouldn’t be anybody with a dual-citizenship and a foreign passport. I wonder who will get stuck holding the bag.

      • Mooser
        December 9, 2016, 5:50 pm

        “It is this right the Palestinians (and Roha) must recognize if they want to get beyond the current stalemate.”

        No, all the Palestinians have to do is wait a bit as you and your ilk alienate more and more Jews, (and so many others) and support for Zionism collapses.

        Really, “Mayhem” when giving the “Jewish component of their identity the possibility of more complete realization,” consists of destroying the Palestinians and stealing their stuff, not every Jew will find that as self-actualizing as you do.

      • RoHa
        December 9, 2016, 7:55 pm

        “when giving the “Jewish component of their identity the possibility of more complete realization,” consists of destroying the Palestinians and stealing their stuff, not every Jew will find that as self-actualizing as you do.”

        Can you be sure of that, Mooser? Maybe you should try it, first. Sure, you think it’s a bit repugnant, now, but if you loosen up, get a few drinks inside you, who knows? Aren’t you just a little curious about what it’s like?

      • RoHa
        December 9, 2016, 8:20 pm

        Eljay, echinococcus, do you mind?

        The Zionists are busy putting together a set of arguments that wil completely destroy my position on self-determination. With all the commas in the right places.

        I will be totally crushed and humiliated. I will have to retire to a Buddhist monastery and seek Enlightenment.

        And I don’t want to miss this because of your everlasting Punch and Judy show getting in the way.

        So, for the sake of my future Buddhahood, give it a rest, guys. Please.

      • echinococcus
        December 9, 2016, 8:39 pm

        Eljay,

        I would like to see no violence. You, on the other hand, seem to relish the thought of violence.

        False, read more carefully.

        You’ve said you want to expel

        False. Submit their status to plebiscite –that’s the law.

        from geographic (pre-Mandate) Palestine 92-95% of all Jews

        Not “Jews”, stop that despicable Zionist trick.

        currently in geographic (pre-Mandate) Palestine.

        Calling Palestine “Palestine” does some strange damage to your throat.

        But you haven’t said to where you plan to expel them.

        I’m not expelling anyone. The message you’re responding to and other explain why none of them would have any trouble relocate comfortably.

      • echinococcus
        December 9, 2016, 9:07 pm

        Donald Johnson,

        I haven’t … tried to look it up, but I assume the majority of Israeli Jews were born there. It is therefore their home.

        How so? The American system of automatic citizenship by being born on US soil is not necessarily the law everywhere. It is not (not at all!) automatic in the Zionist entity either, if you’re not “Jewish” and your parents non-citizens according to the illegal Zionist administration. Just try it.

        Same about several other countries, European and not.

        The only ones who can decide about the system to adopt are the collective Palestinian people, who are not consulted.

        Also, on a pragmatic level if you want to win support from the outside world and from some Israeli Jews you would push for equal rights for everyone.

        That’s being done by many (an extremely valuable effort) in the framework of a(n im)possible compromise solution but it does not interfere with the basic rights of the Palestinian people and cannot limit Palestinian self-determination.

        I If you prefer the supposed justice of a mass expulsion
        I see you heard Eljay’s mendacious statement. I always say that only a proper, representative plebiscite would answer the question of who the Palestinian people, as a collective, agree to host. Period. I gave a couple warnings for those who did not follow closely enough the decolonization era events.

        then you should oppose the BDS movement, because they call for equal rights for everyone and model themselves after the anti apartheid movement.

        Boycotting and calling for sanctions is what anyone can do on his own. The “official” BDS movement is free to have its own bylaws even if it is being called by people working under Zionist occupation, within reach of both the Zionist army and the puppet administration, even if local operations only seem to target nothing but pre-67 occupation.
        I have nothing against collaborating with it, but only if each participating party makes its objectives clear. No reason for opposing it, but a lot of reasons for continuing it and applying it to more targets, too.

        Also, “equal rights” is a strange term for normalizing the domination by armed, US-supported genocidal invaders over the disarmed sole owners of the sovereignty. Such a fiction may be useful as a compromise, though: the devil is in knowing what means you have to wring a compromise from US+Zionists. Good luck.

      • eljay
        December 9, 2016, 9:20 pm

        || RoHa: Eljay, echinococcus, do you mind?

        The Zionists are busy putting together a set of arguments that wil completely destroy my position on self-determination. With all the commas in the right places.

        … for the sake of my future Buddhahood, give it a rest, guys. Please. ||

        No problem. I’ll leave silamcuz echinococcus to his toy hammer and his angry-man word games. He can pretend he won, and you can earn your Buddahood. :-)

      • Annie Robbins
        December 9, 2016, 10:28 pm

        uh o, i wonder who the purity patrol w/his little hammer will go after next.

      • echinococcus
        December 9, 2016, 10:45 pm

        OK, Annie. I take it that denying legitimacy to the Zionist invasion is irrelevant for many here, while many are doing their best to establish it as a given.
        Always good to know who one’s talking with.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 9, 2016, 11:11 pm

        OK, Annie. I take it that

        you take what you wanna take echi, you always have.

      • Mooser
        December 10, 2016, 12:03 pm

        “Maybe you should try it, first. Sure, you think it’s a bit repugnant, now, but if you loosen up, get a few drinks inside you, who knows? Aren’t you just a little curious about what it’s like?”

        Me? Absolutely not! I’ll have you know, “RoHa”, that I am so committed to peace I have given up playing croquet, and sworn to live with mallets toward none.

      • Mooser
        December 10, 2016, 12:05 pm

        “So, for the sake of my future Buddhahood, give it a rest, guys. Please”

        I’m sorry, “RoHa” it’s just that, well, to be frank, I never thought you looked Buddhist.

      • RoHa
        December 11, 2016, 5:05 am

        Perhaps not now, but once I’ve spent a few years asking “Does a cow have Buddha nature?” and attained Enlightenment, I’ll look very Buddhist indeed.

        First, though, I need to have my ego crushed by those Zionist arguments about nations. I’m sure the arguments will be presented soon.

        Any minute now, actually.

      • RoHa
        December 11, 2016, 5:10 am

        I’m glad you have no mallets, Mooser. They’re just not cricket.

      • Mooser
        December 11, 2016, 12:46 pm

        “Does a cow have Buddha nature?”

        I wouldn’t know how to answer that, either. I’d be afraid of committing a Bhudda libel.

      • Mooser
        December 11, 2016, 12:54 pm

        .” I take it that denying legitimacy to the Zionist invasion is irrelevant”

        “Echin”, how many times do I have to tell you – the only legitimacy Zionism needs is the united support of 2 billion Jews! Heck, I bet 200 million could do it.

      • gamal
        December 11, 2016, 1:59 pm

        ” “Does a cow have Buddha nature?” and attained Enlightenment”

        As you well know the question was “when will the grass become enlightened” its all Japanese and I refer you to the short shrift the questioner famously received.

        “Does a cow”

        the main Mahayana text, elementary text, on tathagatagarba, sugatagarhba, Buddha Nature is the Uttara Tantra (Shastra): (i accurately reproduce the punctuation in my English texts those are Maitreya’s commas, it is a primitive translation)

        It is uncreated because its nature
        is without beginning, middle, or end
        It is said to be spontaneity
        since it is peace, holder of the Dharmakaya

        It’s realization is not due to any external cause since
        it has to be realized through ones pure apperceptive cognition
        it is knowledge since it is realization of these three
        it is great compassionate love because it shows the way

        it is ability becuase it removes
        suffering and defilement (klesa)by jnana (direct perception as “knowledge”)and compassion
        through these first three there is value for oneself
        and through the latter three is value for others”

        since it is not possible to know others status the Cow could well be a Buddha, give it a beer and rub down just in case, think of the merit.

      • Mooser
        December 11, 2016, 3:36 pm

        “As you well know the question was “when will the grass become enlightened”

        When one brings the lighter near the bowl, the grass becomes enlightened. And that’s no bud libel, either.

      • gamal
        December 11, 2016, 5:32 pm

        “And that’s no bud libel, either.”

        obscure reeference?

      • RoHa
        December 11, 2016, 5:56 pm

        It’s a famous koan from the Huwenhao collection.

        A monk asked, “Does a cow have Buddha Nature?”

        Loha replied, “Moo.”

        Contemplate that while we wait for the devastating arguments for the right of nations to self-determination.

      • RoHa
        December 11, 2016, 10:41 pm

        For those who are not familiar with it, this is a reference to the koan:

        A monk asked Zhàozhōu, “Does a dog have Buddha nature or not?”
        Zhaozhou said, “Wú”.

        (In full:
        僧問趙州,狗子有佛性也無。

        州云,有。

        僧云,既有為什麼卻撞入這箇皮袋。

        州云,為他知而故犯。

        僧問:狗子還有佛性也無?

        師云:無。

        問:上至諸佛,下至螻蟻皆有佛性,狗子為什麼卻無?

        師云:為伊有業識在。)

        The answer “無” is pronounced “Wu” in modern Chinese, and “Mu” in modern Japanese. However, I am given to understand that in Zhàozhōu’s time, it was pronounced more like “mew”. When a dog attains Enlightenment, it becomes a cat.

    • Yakov Hirsch
      December 17, 2016, 12:49 am

      gingershot December 10, 2016, 3:59 pm
      “Yakov – oh yeah, absolutely – and the ‘Azaria Trial’ is going to pale by comparison to the optics of the onrushing ‘Amona Evacuation’ spectacle. It is the tsunami, and it is upon Israel AND the Israel Lobby.”
      Gingershot, thanks for response, i enjoy your comments.

  9. JWalters
    December 7, 2016, 8:08 pm

    Thanks for this excellent article, systematically cutting through the barrage of “apocalyptic language aimed at narrowing acceptable debate and stifling an honest conversation.” So much stifling, so much hidden history, so much secret stuff.

  10. Talkback
    December 8, 2016, 7:21 am

    “I’m renouncing my right to Jewish national self-determination.”

    There’s no such “national” right because “Jewish” is not a nationality/citizenship and will never be. One cannot and will not become “Jewish” by acquiring the citizenship of any existing or newly created state.

    “The Jewish Settlers on the West Bank also have rights that need protection even if you don’t like how those rights have been accrued.”

    Sure, the same rights to protection that people have all over the world, when they illegaly enter a country. Nothing more, nothing less. But definetly no right to stay there or build and live in settlements. And no criminal has a right to be protected while commiting a crime.

  11. Stephen Shenfield
    December 8, 2016, 8:38 am

    Accepting for the sake of argument that Jews can be regarded as an ethnic group, the Zionist argument that they are the only such group whose right to ‘national self-determination’ is contested is clearly false. There are many ethnic groups whose right to ethnic statehood is promoted only by weak lobbies or not at all — European minorities (Bretons, Basque, etc.), in the Caucasus (Abkhaz, Osset, Avars, Lakh etc.), Japan (Ainu), almost all ethnic groups in Africa (stigmatized as ‘tribes’), Kurds… In making this argument Zionists compare Jews only with the major European nations (England, France, Germany, Italy, etc.), evidently considering it beneath their dignity to take notice of all the others.

    The Romanies provide a very significant parallel because they too are scattered, have been persecuted (also victims of Nazi genocide), and have an ancient homeland (in the Punjab). If there were a movement to ‘restore’ a Romany state in the Punjab at the expense of its current inhabitants, would opponents of that movement be ‘anti-Romany’? In advocating a right of ‘return’ to an ancient homeland for Jews but not for Romanies, are Zionists not discriminating against Romanies?

    The argument that if the State of Israel had been established in 1933 or 1940 it could have saved the Jews of Europe from the Nazis seems to be based on a belief in the magical powers of states as such. Until it was close to defeat Nazi Germany was militarily much stronger than a newborn Israel could possibly have been. If Rommel had not been defeated by the Allied powers in North Africa, he would easily have overrun any newly independent Jewish state in Palestine. Only the Allied coalition was capable of standing up to and eventually defeating Nazi Germany and thereby saving part of European Jewry (including my parents).

    • Citizen
      December 8, 2016, 4:29 pm

      @ Stephen Sheffield, thanks for your informative comment; I was aware of the Roma & a few others, but that’s quite a list. I guess they all need their own Adelsons and Sabans, eh?

  12. Ossinev
    December 8, 2016, 9:34 am

    @gingershot
    “Seeing Israeli Jews as ‘bad’ (great article by carolina landsmann regarding this ‘Opinion: Are Israelis the Bad Ones?’- she says ‘YES’) and shaming them because of their behaviour is actually a healthy, ‘mentally well’ thing to do”

    Have recently watched a”Storyville” documentary on the BBC about Beitar Jerusalem football club and the “La Familia” extremist right wing organisation within its fan base. Until then had been only vaguely aware of issues regarding “Arab” players playing / not playing for the club. The programme however was a real eye opener – an illustration of just how feral Jewish Israeli society ( now irredeemingly way right of centre ) is becoming. There were of course positives as in every situation = the quiet dignity and humanity of the now ex Team Captain , now ex – Team Coach and now ex – Club Chairman in the face of ugly abuse and threats for welcoming the two Chechen (NB not Arab) Muslim players.The fact that they are now “Ex” sums up the reality of what Israel has become as we move into the now ex two state Apartheid phase in the colony`s existence. Well worth a watch (caution bad language in abundance from guess who ) and wouldn`t it be great if young American Jews got see some of their supposed co – religionists in action in the Light unto the Nations.

    • Citizen
      December 8, 2016, 4:33 pm

      Gives added meaning to Jessie Owens, eh? Maybe they could do an epilogue in the new movie about him, “Race”? It could star the Beitar Jerusalem fan club, for all the world to see in all its glory.

  13. Vera Gottlieb
    December 8, 2016, 10:04 am

    Zionism/self determination is one thing. Persecuting Palestinians another. Too much is being covered up under “Zionism”.

    • Maghlawatan
      December 8, 2016, 11:08 am

      SelF determination is OK between consenting adults. But Zionist self definition requires denying rights to Palestinians. That is how Israeli identity functions. We can only be who we are by denying who you are.

      And that is absurd. Zionism is fake. There is no Jewish state that can exist in peace given how Israel educates its kids.

  14. Ossinev
    December 8, 2016, 1:20 pm

    Credit where credit is due (no play on words intended ). Robert may have given birth the new Zionaclasm movement. Perhaps a call is in order to fellow Jews in Europe , the US and elsewhere who abhor what is being done by Zionists in Israel in the name of Judaism to show their mettle by organising / signing a petition style declaration renouncing their own”right” to “Jewish National Self Determination”

  15. rosross
    December 8, 2016, 6:00 pm

    No-one has ever explained why one religion, Judaism, should have rights to self-determination. Surely if one religion has this right then it would and should apply to all religions.

    Religions comprise all races and dozens of nationalities and that is why they don’t qualify as a race, people, group – beyond the religion – or for self-determination.

    This Zionist fantasy and lie has done so much damage in the Middle East and needs to be put to rest. Religions do not get land rights, homelands or self-determination, none of them.

    The problem with espousing the concept of Jewish self-determination, is that it says for a Jew, the first loyalty is to the religion, and the State which claims to represent the religion, Israel, and the country of citizenship, or birth, comes second, if indeed it comes anywhere at all.

    Now, more than one religious group has taken and does take this view, so putting religion before State is not particular to Judaism, but none of them have turned it into a machine to manipulate the political and social system of the country in which they live, as happens in the US to a troubling degree, and in some other countries, to lesser degrees, nor have they sought to establish their own religious State which competes with their loyalties.

    As to renouncing the Jewish right to self-determination – there is no such right, beyond Zionist propaganda and religious mantra.

    • Maghlawatan
      December 8, 2016, 11:25 pm

      Rosross

      It’s because they had no country when Europe was arranging itself into states.
      Israel is very interesting because they had to make a nation out of scraps. And the nation they made is exclusive, suspicious, self pitying , violent and deluded. It is very hard to change a religious minority with a history of being treated like a pariah into a modern nation.
      Because it involves changing a pariah into one of the normal kids.

      Zionists belive in tabula rasa, that you can start over.
      Israel says that you can’t.

    • Mooser
      December 9, 2016, 12:02 pm

      .” Surely if one religion has this right then it would and should apply to all religions.”

      Yes, that was the principle behind the Partition of India when the Raj ended.

  16. HarryLaw
    December 9, 2016, 9:22 am

    Jewish National self determination was granted in 1948, on borders set by the United Nations and agreed to by the new Israeli Government led by Ben Gurion.
    Paragraph 13 of the Declaration provides that the State of Israel would be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex;.
    The fact that Israel has unilaterally extended its borders contrary to International Law and continues to do so with impunity, puts its long term existence in jeopardy. Because the UNSC is unwilling to put a stop to this state of affairs, and the Palestinians don’t have the power to do so. One can only assume that the train crash such a blinkered approach entails, will in fact happen, to the detriment of everyone.

    • Mooser
      December 9, 2016, 5:39 pm

      “the State of Israel would be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel”

      Always wondered what that meant, if anything. Or what it was supposed to obfuscate or excuse.

  17. yonah fredman
    December 10, 2016, 2:59 am

    Modern zionism was one response to the crisis situation faced by European jewry at the end of the 19th century. There were a few aspects to this crisis. 1. Ambivalence regarding identity. As jews confronted the allure of emancipation offered by Voltaire and the enlightenment, there arose the question of the new versus the old. Taken as a pure doctrine, jews only had to cast off their chains of Jewish identity and society would embrace them. Baptism had been offered previously to the jews, but the enlightened ones conceded that accepting the lies of the majority religion to replace the lies of your birth religion is a type of humiliation and hypocrisy. Whereas discarding all religion should involve no such humiliation. You have nothing to lose but your chains. Unfortunately religions do not just disappear because someone makes a clear argument or writes a convincing pamphlet. Religion’s pull is much deeper than that and our atomized urban existence bears little resemblance to the socially intricate lives of our forebearers of 200 years ago, so although an avant garde casts off the chains of religion with ease, a society evolves and the offer of the enlightenment was countered by the jews, how’s about you give us equality and we get to choose for ourselves how quickly or slowly we evolve to a new relationship with our Jewish religion and identity. 2. Confrontation with nationalism. On a weather map the meteorologist would show the cold dry front of rationalism clashing with the hot humidity of romanticism. Whereas the rationalist said throw away your past and join us in a unified future, the romantics said, the past and identity are important and you do not fit in our idea of our nation, you are strangers. 3. Demoralization- in israel Joseph singer’s the ashkenazi brothers, when the charismatic twin brother throws away his judaism and dances at the ball, the secularized Jewish women flattered him, “you don’t look Jewish at all”, the highest compliment. Everything of cultured gentile society is first class. Everything Jewish was boorish and vulgar. 4. Violence- for the most part European Jewish history was peaceful in the early and mid 1800’s. But with the assassination of the czar in 1881, occasional violence against jews became common instead and the gathering storm which eventually created an opportunity for lenin and his dictatorship of the proletariat also sent the Jewish population into a turmoil of political starvation resulting in a great migration to the United states and a handful of other destinations.
    That this migration would also result in a right of self determination movement was inevitable. How strong that movement was or how weak it was is a different question, but the vast change of one third of the population moving would automatically result in turmoil and the mixing of ideas with the worldly ideas and the question of adopting not the gentile’s identity, but a new old identity. We are no longer jews, but hebrews. (The intellectual haskala movement denigrated yiddish and endorsed hebrew as the language of Jewish enlightenment, when a movement that saw the turmoil as an opportunity to put an end to this confused phase of Jewish history by casting off the mistakes of clerical ism and adopt the new pride of nationalism, this new old elitist language was joined by the idea of the new old nation in israel.)
    How serious did the jews consider zionism before herzl? Not very. But the combination of his effort, additional turmoil in Mother Russia after the failed revolution of 1905 and the idea became less of a dream and more of a program. The collapse of the ottoman empire, the existence of colonialism as a dynamic world force, then world War I, the Balfour declaration and the league of nations mandate turned a movement into part of the British empire. Jewish population in palestine was about 85,000 in 1920. It doubled to 170,000 in 1929 ( due to almost closed doors of America in the face of Polish Jewry’s need to escape the newfound jew hating pride of reborn poland. )
    And then of course the rise of hitler and palestine ‘s Jewish population doubled again to stand at 400,000 in1939.
    the specific concepts of self determination or even the nationalistic aspect found in Jewish tradition had little to do with this migration. The idea was born out of crisis in the 1890’s and the population showed up based upon an emergency situation.

    • yonah fredman
      December 10, 2016, 7:34 am

      Then of course comes the Shoah, unless u prefer something like churban. (Holocaust seems to connote something holy and is an unfortunate word.) I don’t know what it’s like to be armenian or Tutsi or Cambodian, but I’m not sure what Jewish elements complicate the genocide (digestion ) process. I spoke to an armenian 70 years after his shoah and I saw him grope for a reaction. I’ve seen little kids orphaned by the pol pot auto genocide. It’s really a shit load of shit. If the crisis of the migration between 1881 and 1939 was intense, the mental crisis of reacting to 1939 to 1945, after V-E Day, is actually mind boggling. The torah both its chosenness/godly purpose motifs and its wrathful prophets of doom motifs are really scant help. Maybe some people are capable of learning kindness by contemplating mass murder, I see it as bad news.

      Anyone who thinks the 600,000 jews of Palestine in 1947 did not obey the dictates of history is an idiot. To me it’s as clear as a knee jerk reaction. That doesn’t make life easier for the Palestinians but it explains the series of events that occurred.

      Self determination of nations or a religion that thinks it’s a nation, at this point I realize all kind of fancy legal explanations are offered by us and demanded by the world. Good for you. Meanwhile what occurred was a historic inevitability given the facts.

      Given the nakba and the 70 years since there is probably a way forward, but it is not clear to me at the moment. Apparently jews who view the crises of 1881-1939 and post 1945 as irrelevant to 2016 feel they are saints for disregarding the past that they don’t give a shit about. .

      • Mooser
        December 10, 2016, 1:13 pm

        “And then of course the rise of hitler and palestine ‘s Jewish population doubled again to stand at 400,000 in1939.”

        “Anyone who thinks the 600,000 jews of Palestine in 1947”

        “Yonah”, don’t get so caught up in writing your comments that you forget to check your figures. Aren’t you leaving out at least two “0” (zeroes) on your figures of Jewish population?

      • echinococcus
        December 10, 2016, 1:56 pm

        Reb Feldman, no need to sweat so much trying to find a word; perhaps a hint about the English language may help: the word is genocide. No need for special designations.

        The English word is established by the work of Raphael Lemkin, of Yiddish mother tongue, so I hope you don’t start yelling “antisemite”.

        See:
        https://treaties.un.org/doc/publication/unts/volume%2078/volume-78-i-1021-english.pdf

        Meaning what the Nazis did to different people in the war and you guys are now doing to the Palestinians, starting 1 year before the Convention was approved.

      • RoHa
        December 10, 2016, 7:21 pm

        Yonah, do I read you aright? You seem to be saying “Don’t blame the Zionists. The poor dears couldn’t help it. The Dictates of History made them do it.”

        Who else can use that excuse?

      • eljay
        December 10, 2016, 8:08 pm

        || yonah fredman: … I spoke to an armenian 70 years after his shoah and I saw him grope for a reaction. I’ve seen little kids orphaned by the pol pot auto genocide. It’s really a shit load of shit. … ||

        No doubt. But I don’t see how being horribly abused as a child entitles a man to to kidnap women, chain them in his basement and “self-determine” himself in them. Not only is he doing unto others acts of injustice and immorality he would not have others do unto him, he can’t even justify his evil as retribution because his victims are not to blame for his past suffering.

      • Mooser
        December 10, 2016, 9:10 pm

        “Who else can use that excuse?”

        Anybody and everybody.
        So we must ask, “Who else can use that excuse legitimately”?!?

        Right, “Yonah”?

      • Mooser
        December 10, 2016, 9:25 pm

        “. I spoke to an armenian 70 years after his shoah and I saw him grope for a reaction. I’ve seen little kids orphaned by the pol pot auto genocide. It’s really a shit load of shit”

        Charming, “Yonah”. Would you say the same thing about the Holocaust? “It’s really a shit load of shit”? Charming, Yonah

    • Mooser
      December 10, 2016, 6:52 pm

      “Modern zionism was one responses…”

      “Yonah” if you have the time, can we hear a little about Ancient Zionism? Or maybe Medieval Zionism? You know, all those Zionisms which preceded “Modern Zionism”.

  18. Mooser
    December 10, 2016, 11:54 am

    u.” Meanwhile what occurred was a historic inevitability given the facts.”

    Sad, but true, “Yonah”. Every year there are fewer and fewer Jews. It’s that historical inevitability you talk about.

    Do you see that situation reversing itself? When out numbers fall below a certain number, we simply won’t have the necessary number of people to hold a state by violence.

  19. Sibiriak
    December 11, 2016, 9:16 pm

    Today, if you question the concept of Zionism or the way in which the modern State of Israel is set up, you will quickly find yourself accused of being antisemitic.
    ————————

    UK adopts antisemitism definition to combat hate crime against Jews

    The government is to formally adopt a definition of what constitutes antisemitism, which includes over-sweeping condemnation of Israel, with Theresa May saying the measure will help efforts to combat hate crime against Jews.

    Britain will become one of the first countries to use this definition of antisemitism, as agreed last May at a conference of the Berlin-based International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), the prime minister will say in London.

    A Downing Street statement said the intention of such a definition was to “ensure that culprits will not be able to get away with being antisemitic because the term is ill-defined, or because different organisations or bodies have different interpretations of it”.

    The IHRA’s definition reads: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

    More detailed guidance on this, released by the IHRA in May, said this could include criticisms which target Israel, if this was “conceived as a Jewish collectivity”. It added: “However, criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.”

    The guidance says it could be considered antisemitic to accuse Jews of being more loyal to Israel or their religion than to their own nations, or to say the existence of Israel is intrinsically racist.

    * * *

    A spokeswoman for Corbyn said he and Labour agreed with the IHRA’s definition.

    * * *

    Police forces already use a version of the IHRA definition to help officers decide what could be considered antisemitism. [emphasis added]

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/dec/12/antisemitism-definition-government-combat-hate-crime-jews-israel
    ———————————-

    The guidance document examples of antisemitism include:

    Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.

    […]
    Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
    […]
    Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

    • Keith
      December 11, 2016, 10:08 pm

      SIBIRIAK- “…Theresa May saying the measure will help efforts to combat hate crime against Jews.”

      Ah yes, “hate crime.” A special category created to exaggerate crimes with Jewish victims. If we forget this nonsense and just compare crimes against Jews versus crimes versus non-Jews, what does this show? Well, we don’t know, do we? I strongly suspect that crimes of violence against Jews are probably lower than crimes of violence against non-Jews. But, of course, people like Theresa May feel no need to substantiate the need for all of these laws criminalizing behavior subjectively judged to be “anti-Semitic.” Hate crimes statistics are propaganda, nothing more. And these laws against “anti-Semitism” reflect Jewish power, not Jewish victimhood.

      • Keith
        December 11, 2016, 10:14 pm

        I might further add that when it comes to state violence, violence against Jews is virtually non-existent, whereas, violence against non-Jewish minorities is rampant, particularly in the US.

      • Sibiriak
        December 12, 2016, 12:34 am

        Keith: Ah yes, “hate crime.” A special category created to exaggerate crimes with Jewish victims.
        ———————

        In fairness, I’d say that neo-progressives (the identity politics Left) deserve a large amount of blame for promoting the “hate crime” concept (along with concepts like “safe spaces”, “non-platforming”, “trigger warnings” , etc.) and its use to suppress reasonable debate and the free exchange of ideas.

  20. Avigail Abarbanel
    December 13, 2016, 4:09 am

    Well said Robert, I love this piece. Avigail

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