Yakov Rabkin’s devastating critique of Zionism: it is opposed to Jewish tradition and liberalism

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Last year one of the most important books on Zionism, ever, was published in English by Pluto: What Is Modern Israel? by Yakov Rabkin, a professor of history at the University of Montreal. The central theme of the book is how Zionists have exploited Judaism and western traditions to offer Israel as a liberal democracy when it is actually a nationalist colonialists project hanging on by its paranoid fingernails.

Rabkin has expertise. He is a religious academic, and it is his Judaism that has brought him to embrace universalist cosmopolitanism when it comes to interpreting history in our century. Given his background, he has been able to defy what he calls the “climate of intellectual terror that surrounds the Question of Israel.”

In reading his book, it struck me that the greatest service I could provide to a reader is to roll out Rabkin’s deadly insights about the nature of the “Jewish state,” and the essential antagonism of Judaism and Zionism. What follows is a long sequence of Rabkin’s observations and findings, all of which aim to end that climate of terror and allow westerners to speak freely about the Zionist era. Let’s go.

Zionism has four essential goals, Rakin says. 1, “to transform the transnational Jewish identity centered on the Torah into a national identity like that of other European nations.” 2, “To develop a new vernacular language.” 3, “To displace the Jews from their countries of origin to Palestine. 4, “To establish political and economic control over Palestine.”

Thus, Zionism is a case of “imposed modernization typical of western colonialism,” a policy rejected by both Arab and traditional Jewish populations.

Politically, Israel has been able to rely on the solid support of the elites of Western nations, in part due to Zionism’s colonialist aims: “The essentially European character of this recently established settler colony, which resembles in many ways the United Kingdom’s former colonies throughout the world, also explains Western support of Israel. Its self-ascribed identity as a ‘Jewish state’ brings de facto legitimacy to the renewal of ethnicity as the criterion for belonging.”

Rabkin notes the popular trend we’ve been chronicling: “Western partiality toward Israel suffers from a democratic deficit: contrary to their elites, the majority of the citizens of the Western nations consider the state of Israel as a threat to world peace.”

The distinction between left and right wings of Zionism is far less meaningful than is Zionism’s hostility to liberalism:

[I]t would surely be more useful to speak of a division between liberal cosmopolitanism and ethnic nationalism. Zionism, meanwhile, is fundamentally hostile to liberal cosmopolitanism, which explains why the Zionist “left,” in Israel and elsewhere, has gone largely over to the “right.” What unites the two camps—their conviction of the legitimacy of Zionism—is more substantial than the stylistic or tactical differences that divide them.

Rabkin links the rise of Zionism with the secularization of Jewish identity in modernity, and the Jewish aspiration to normal experience among the nations:

Jewish secular identity acquired a socio-cultural dimension: those who consciously rejected Judaism could preserve, at least for a while, a specific language (Yiddish), and a few cultural markers. This new identity was conjugated in a wide range of political options, often of socialist or nationalist inspiration. By consummating the break with tradition, the concept of the secular Jew, at variance with the traditional Jewish vision, made it possible to redefine the Jews as a “normal people” and thus became the cornerstone of Zionism.

But it was a special definition of peoplehood.

The concept of the Jewish people that Zionism relied on had little in common with traditional definitions of the term. Religious scholars know that: “the Torah, and only the Torah, makes of the Jews a collective identity.”

Jewish tradition has long put exile at the center of Jewish existence. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch:

Torah… obliges us, until God shall call us back to the Holy Land, to live and to work as patriots wherever He has placed us, to collect all the physical, material and spiritual forces and all that is noble in Israel to further the wealth of nations which have given us shelter.

But the new secular Jewish identity gained popularity in Eastern Europe and especially Russia, and it “eliminated the religious—and thus normative—dimension of Jewish identity and retained only its biological and cultural dimensions.”

At the same time as it countered Jewish religion, Zionism also countered liberalism: “Zionists consider a liberal, multicultural society as a major obstacle to the expansion of a Jewish national conscience.”

Zeev Sternhell:

“To accept the liberal concept of society would mean [for Jewish nationalist intelligentsia] the end of the Jewish people as an autonomous unit.”

Thus, Rabkin says: “The main threat to Zionism is European liberalism, which offers Jews an individual choice but, according to many Zionists, denies them the opportunity to live a true national life.”

Zionism is at root a response to challenges of liberalism: “far more Israelis take up residence in the world’s liberal democracies than citizens of those countries immigrate to Israel.” That goes for Russian Jews too:

“Out of the 1.2 million Jews who emigrated from Russia at the turn of the 20th century, a mere 30,000 made Palestine their destination, and of those, only a quarter remained there.”

The Jewish tradition of exile is so strong that when Soviet Jewry was allowed to emigrate, Israel was required to carry out “a full scale diplomatic campaign in an effort to prevail upon its allies (primarily the United States and Germany) to limit immigration to their countries of Soviet Jews.”

Rabkin says Zionism was pioneered by assimilated, secular Jews who felt that emancipation had freed them to penetrate the highest levels of European society, and found they were rejected, so they sought a nation like other nations out of this frustration. Torah had been the basis of Jewish unity till Zionism. But when they went back to the land of Israel, “they would no longer need to follow [Torah’s] precepts, for their national consciousness, as experienced in the land of Israel, would be sufficient to sustain that unity.”

Israel allowed these Jews to forgive themselves assimilation: because they were assimilating into “normal” history:

“Only the state of Israel offers the Jews the ultimate freedom to reject totally their spiritual heritage and become a ‘normal people.’ The new Israeli identity appears to facilitate collective assimilation while sparing those who adopt it the feeling of guilt often linked to assimilation on an individual basis.”

Rabkin quotes Rabbi Amram Blau saying that Zionism brought greater injury to the Jews than to the Arabs:

“The Arabs may have lost their land and their homes, but by accepting Zionism, the Jews lost their historic identity.”

And he quotes Meron Benvenisti, former deputy mayor of Jerusalem, characterizing the two-tier system of rights for Jews and occupied Palestinians as “Herrenvolk [master race] democracy.”

The elevation by Zionists of the volk as the exclusive subject of Jewish history led rabbis to denounce this “cardinal element” of Zionist ideology, Rabkin says. He quotes an Austrian rabbi:

“There is no Jewish nation… [Jews] should cultivate the ancient Hebrew language, study their rich literature, know their history, cherish their faith, and make the greatest sacrifices for it; they should hope and trust in the wisdom of divine providence.”

Zionism depends on anti-Semitism, and it also fosters it.

“Political Zionism intentionally stirs up anti-Semitism,” I. M. Rabinowitch wrote in 1974. “From the very beginning, it has been the policy to deliberately incite hatred of the Jew and, then, in feigned horror, point to it to justify a Jewish state.”

Rabinowitch said that Zionism contains the “most fertile seeds for proliferation of anti-semitism” – an element of dual loyalty. Rabkin then quotes a former Israeli diplomat describing the role of Jews in the west as “an Israel-vassalized diaspora.”

Here Rabkin is unintimidated by the climate of intellectual terror. The vassalizing of the diaspora goes beyond double allegiance to “a form of exclusive allegiance to the state of Israel.” (Remember Dennis Ross calling on U.S. Jews to be “advocates” for Israel, not for Palestinians.) Rabkin says:

“The unconditional defense of Israel into which certain community leaders have dragooned the Jews tends to expose them to criticism, which in turn justifies Zionism and makes the state of Israel indispensable as an insurance policy. Even proudly secular Israelis find this policy suicidal for the future of the diaspora…

“The denigration of Jewish life outside of Israel has long been a feature of Zionist thought and practice. The mobilization of the diaspora to justify whatever political or military action Israel might undertake constitutes its critical element.”

Not that Zionists knew how to deal with Palestinians. The Zionist activists in Europe never knew the “tolerant variety of nationalism” that arose in the US and Canada that distinguishes between nation, religion, society and state. Rather, the two slogans adopted by the Zionist pioneers clearly illustrated their intentions: “conquest through labor” and hafrada (separation).

“In other words, the Zionist movement adopted a policy of separate development that remains in force up to the present, and explains in large measure the perpetuation of the conflict with the Palestinians and the isolation of the state of Israel in the region.”

These undertakings have led to great Israeli insecurity. Today the term “security” has replaced the concept of self-defense that was widely employed before the creation of the state.

“Israel, often held up as a place of refuge, and even as the ultimate refuge, may well have become the most precarious place of all for the Jews… Now, in contrast to the early years of Zionism, the sense of victimhood has become, over the last few decades, an integral part of Israeli Jewish identity.

“Some of those who have persisted in seeing themselves as victims have come to realize that they are actually victims of the Zionist enterprise, which has subjected them to interminable wars and, in the case of the Arab Jews, chronic social and economic inferiority.”

These conditions generate paranoia, which Rabkin traces to a biblical curse: “you shall flee though none pursues” (Leviticus).

Israeli Jews are aware at some level that their country is based on unstable foundations:

The sense of fragility is fed by awareness of Palestinian hostility, and of the hostility of the region’s population as a whole, a hostility often attributed to so-called “essentialist” causes—Islamic religion and irrational Jew-hatred—rather than to perfectly understandable social and political ones, such as the anger generated by discrimination, dispossession, and deportation of the indigenous population.

Israeli leaders’ demand that others recognize Israel as a Jewish state “testifies to the fragility of the Israeli state, for all its power and prosperity, as felt by many Zionists.” While Zionist fears of becoming a minority cause them to encourage discriminatory immigration policies that only exacerbate the problem.

“Jewish self-hatred” — rejection of Jewish tradition– has been a hallmark of the Zionist ideology of national revival. And this too undermines any sense of Israeli permanence.

“Jewish tradition teaches that the Jews must take into account the impression they may make on others, even those who have persecuted them in the past… But the Zionist education system from its inception has promoted the use of force, self-affirmation, and combativeness. The Zionists looked upon the requirement to behave as moral exemplars with scorn and ridicule, caring little for the impression they, and later their state, make upon the world, and above all upon its immediate neighbors. Ben-Gurion formulated the proposition thus: ‘What matters is what the Jews do, not what the goyim think.’”

Thus Zionism produced a state that rejected “Judaism and its humility.” The new Zionist/Israeli culture sees itself as resolutely European. “So it was that dozens of songs, nursery rhymes, and children’s stories were translated from Russian into Hebrew during the early years of Zionist settlement.” But not Arab songs!

Zionists used violence to strip Jews from their religious tradition:

“Many of the founders of Jewish armed groups, in both Russia and Palestine, also recognized that the use of force was a way of tearing the Jews from Jewish tradition.”

The Holocaust played an important role. “In Israeli politics, the lesson is conveniently drawn from the Shoah that an unarmed Jew is worth no more than a dead Jew,” Rabkin quotes an Israeli historian. Rabkin adds warningly: “However, another lesson that could be drawn from the tragedy that befell the Jews of Europe would be to encourage distrust of powerful states that scorn individual morality, practice racial discrimination and commit crimes against humanity.”

Civic spaces in Israel are associated above all with “death for the fatherland,” a linkage that goes back to the beginning of Zionist colonization, Rabkin says, and he notes, Hannah Arendt’s warning about Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann’s not being guilty of “crimes against the Jewish people,” but of his being a normal response to an evil bureaucratic system carries “a universal meaning, which should stand as a warning to any state that adopts ethnic discrimination as state policy.”

“There can be little doubt that after the Nazi genocide, the use of force became an article of faith for a large number of Jews. To cast doubt upon the legitimacy and efficacy of force is, in Zionist circles, tantamount to treason.”

That article of faith has caused Israel to abrogate international law: “Since the proclamation of the state, Israeli policy has remained constant. It reflects the imperative to perpetuate a state established against the will of the native Arab population and situated predominantly on lands that had once belonged to that population….Israel’s behavior, the incarnation of the principle ‘might makes right’ has undermined the very bases of international public law conceived to reduce conflict and promote peace.”

Rabkin is clear about the racist character of such Israeli institutions as the Jewish National Fund: “This institution has played a crucial role in the development of the Zionist state. In response to an anti discrimination action brought against the JNF in 2004, the organization confirmed that ‘the loyalty of the JNF is given to the Jewish people and only to them is the JNF obligated. The JNF, as the owner of the JNF land, does not have a duty to practice equality towards all citizens of the state.'”

Among Haredi Jews, the criticism of Zionism is alive:

“While the respected Israeli intellectual Boaz Evron argues that ‘Zionism is indeed the negation of Judaism,’ the words that, for decades, have been inscribed on the walls of the Haredi quarter of Meah Shearim in Jerusalem echo this basic position: ‘Judaism and Zionism are diametrically opposed to each other.’”

And of course, Zionism’s international reputation has been transformed:

“Zionism as a symbol of the struggle against racism and for human rights has acquired the characteristics of an ideology that produces Jewish racism and an institutional system that has much in common with South African-style apartheid.

“The Zionist state, which was to have been an instrument of national liberation, has in reality become a skilled manipulator that has attempted to monopolize control of the land, the water, and the country’s other resources.”

Many Zionists have become disaffected: “Emigration affects primarily the best-educated strata of the population. An estimated 25 percent of Israeli academics work in the United States.”

They understand that Zionism is out of step with history: “[T]he post-modernist trend presages the collapse of Zionism, in which nationalism is perceived as a form of oppression that must give way to the affirmation of otherness and multiculturalism.”

Rabkin sees Israeli political culture as growing more and more authoritarian:

[T]he totalitarian current gives no sign of abating. If probing questions about certain Israeli policies are sometimes tolerated, not only are all fundamental critiques of Zionism delegitimized, but likewise any individual who might have dared to formulate such criticisms in the past. Such people are systematically excluded from community activities…

Let us recall that the leaders of socialist Zionism made the decision to assassinate Jacob de Haan [in 1924] above all because he “spoke ill of the movement to the outside world.”

This totalitarian culture has special implications for American Jews, those who uphold Zionist doctrine, and those who don’t:

[S]ensitivity to any criticism of Israel can easily be explained by the fact that for many people allegiance to Israel has long replaced Judaism as the anchoring principle of Jewish identity. But in the diaspora, this allegiance extends to an ideal, even imaginary, state rather than to the real and existing state of Israel, that economic and military power that dominates the region. Still, there also exists a Jewish identity whose sole content is to criticize and even to denounce the state of Israel…

The author shares in the hope for Israel to transform itself:

A former speaker of the Knesset, Avraham Burg, believes that converting Israel into a state of its citizens, and erasing its Jewish nature, is “our only hope for survival.” Prominent poet and intellectual Yitzhak Laor argues, “We don’t have to leave this place or give up our lives… we have to get rid of Zionism.”

Rabkin quotes other Jewish anti-Zionists on the urgency of this idea:

In accepting the idea that the structures of Zionism could simply be dismantled, Rabbi Moshe Sober emphasizes its psychological aspect—and expresses guarded optimism about its practicality: “A solution is not impossible; it is not even particularly costly. But it will never be achieved unless we can allow ourselves to forget for a moment our cherished beliefs for which we have sacrificed so many lives, and look instead at the actual realities of the situation. We must stop treating Israel as a romantic dream and learn to see her as a heterogeneous country in which two fiercely proud ethnic populations of similar size are struggling for control….”

Sober’s understanding leads to the acknowledgment of apartheid: “All discussion of the occupation simply conceals another reality, [Sober] concludes. Israel has in fact become a binational state that denies political rights to one of those nations.”

Rabkin is also critical of Israel’s need for geo-political supremacy in its region. Here too he sees racism:

Although both Israel and the United States possess nuclear weapons, they deny Iran the right to acquire similar weapons, arguing that its rulers are irrational religious fanatics. Clearly the principle of double standards is at work, reflecting the revival of the concept of so-called civilized countries that, against empirical evidence, are claimed to possess a monopoly on rationality in international politics.

The sense of superiority has nothing to do with Judaism or anti-Semitism. It is inherent to Zionism, which is opposed to liberalism.

References to Judaism and to Jewish tradition are of little help in understanding the contemporary Israel; quite the contrary, they are more likely to mislead, for Zionism and the stte that incarnates it are revolutionary phenomena. It is easier, in fact, to understand that state’s politics, structure and laws without reference to either the Jews or their history…. It is thus imprecise to speak of a “Jewish state” or a “Jewish lobby”: “Zionist state” and “Zionist lobby” would be more appropriate.

Israel has… succeeded in making the Zionist outlook—by definition anti-liberal—acceptable to the general public as well as in the media and the academic world, even in countries with a long liberal tradition where the state, rather than confessional or “tribal” loyalty, theoretically ensures the rights of the citizen…. [T]he JNF, which for a century has been establishing segregated settlements that are out of bounds to Arabs, enjoys not only Canadian fiscal benefits, but the personal participation of top federal officials in the organization’s fundraising efforts.

We must criticize U.S. Jewish leaders for being such willing servants of this ideology, damaging both U.S. and Israeli notions of citizenship:

The leaders of major Jewish organizations in the United States and elsewhere routinely act on behalf of Israel… Those leaders appear to have bypassed the limits of the “double loyalty” Jews are often accused of harboring, insisting that loyalty to the state of Israel must prevail over all others, including that toward their own country.

This leads to the increasingly overt transformation of Jewish organizations around the world into Israeli vassals. Moreover, by emphasizing the primacy of an ethnically and denominationally defined “Jewish nationality,” the state of Israel turns its back on the idea of an “Israeli nationality” that would reflect that multicultural society that has taken shape on this land in the Eastern Mediterranean over the last century…

Israeli leaders ignore borders, intervening in the political process of other countries, particularly in the United States where Israel often plays Congress against he White House. In the Middle East, the IDF pays no heed to borders, striking targets in its neighboring countries, interventions carried out with impunity…

Rabkin’s conclusion is that Zionism is itself a prescription for unending conflict:

“Israel, for all its embrace of modernity, remains bound by the Zionist ideology, which ensures that in spite of its respectable age it remains a daring frontier experience rife with conflict within and without.”

For those who want more of Rabkin’s sharp insights, here is a great youtube of him taking apart a Zionist ideologue, Dennis Prager.

About Philip Weiss

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

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53 Responses

  1. Keith
    June 27, 2017, 5:02 pm

    PHIL- “…the nature of the “Jewish state,” and the essential antagonism of Judaism and Zionism.”

    So, Yakov Rabkin represents the consensus definition of the nature of Judaism? Get serious. Don’t misunderstand, the article makes a lot of good points, however, Rabkin’s liberal Judaism hardly reflects the history of Judaic thought and action, particularly during the period of Classical Judaism. And do all of the Jews represented by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations agree with Rabkin’s characterization of Judaism? I tend to agree with Israel Shahak that Zionism represents a throwback to the anti-liberal, anti-assimilation ideology of Classical Judaism, albeit in secular form. The anti-Gentile nature of Zionism has its roots in Classical Judaism. It does not represent a departure from some mythical, benevolent Judaism of Rabbi Hillel. Instead, it is more reflective of the medieval ideology of Maimonides. Trying to claim some “essential antagonism of Judaism and Zionism” is nonsense.

    • objak
      June 27, 2017, 8:19 pm

      Your position with Judaism is exactly that of the Islamophobe to Islam. That will never change. You have your book or two and your online sources and your absolute conviction that the essence of Judaism is malevolent anti-gentilism.

      Fortunately, the strain of Judaism the rabbi outlines and Phil interprets (which by the way provided the first detailed anti-and non-Zionist arguments) is only getting stronger in its -return- to mainstream Jewish discourse.

      This very healthy development will help return your eternal beef to the obscure margins, which is its proper place.

      • echinococcus
        June 27, 2017, 11:46 pm

        “Rabkin’s liberal Judaism hardly reflects the history of Judaic thought and action, particularly during the period of Classical Judaism. And do all of the Jews represented by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations agree…?
        …agree with Israel Shahak that Zionism represents a throwback to the anti-liberal, anti-assimilation ideology of Classical Judaism, albeit in secular form. The anti-Gentile nature of Zionism has its roots in Classical Judaism. It does not represent a departure from some mythical, benevolent Judaism of Rabbi Hillel. Instead, it is more reflective of the medieval ideology of Maimonides. Trying to claim some “essential antagonism of Judaism and Zionism” is nonsense.”

        So Keith had abundantly qualified his statements. None of them seems to refer to some universalist new strain you are describing. Even taking your word for it and accepting that the relatively recent universalist tendencies have any following, how would it invalidate what Keith is saying?

      • Bont Eastlake
        June 27, 2017, 11:58 pm

        There are surely problematic ideals within strains of Judaism, however none of which indicts the core theology of the religion which is based on universal justice and fairness of God to all of His subjects in his wrath and in his compassion. That I feel was the core message that was preached by Abraham, Jacob, Moses and many other early proponent of the monotheistic faith thousands of years ago.

        However, Objak I feel the issue with Judaism is not that it will never change, its the opposite. It has changed considerably from the time of Abraham and Moses, leading to the development of a dysfunctional form of religion as Keith described.

        I also disagree with your statement on Islam and Islamophobes. Islam has no need for change. Interpretations of the Quran and Hadith may vary according to each person, but the theological framework as preached by the Prophet Muhammad is still considered as a direct message from God that transcends space-time. Islamophobes are nothing more than racists trying to play philosophers and intellectuals.

      • Keith
        June 28, 2017, 1:17 am

        OBJAK- “Your position with Judaism is exactly that of the Islamophobe to Islam.”

        You are full of crap, as usual, “TOKYOBK”. You have changed your screen name, however, your commenter profile is still for TOKYOBK. Why are you attempting to hide behind a new screen name?

        OBJAK (TOKYOBK)- “You have your book or two and your online sources and your absolute conviction that the essence of Judaism is malevolent anti-gentilism.”

        Anti-Gentilism runs strong and deep in both Classical Judaism and Zionism. The very notion of eternal and irrational anti-Semitism is anti-Gentile in the extreme as it posits essentially irrational and evil non-Jews, does it not? As for my “book or two and online sources,” that is a book or two more than you have ever referenced. Apparently your bias is gospel.

        So why the subterfuge with the screen name, Ben? Ashamed of Tokyobk’s comments are you? You would have been better off changing the comments rather than the screen name. And we are all painfully aware of how much you desire to emphasize the Jewish side of your family tree. Shame on you!

      • objak
        June 28, 2017, 4:11 am

        I changed my screen name because I no longer live in Tokyo. And made no attempt to change anything else because I am not hiding from anyone or anything least of all from you. I accept your apology for odd accusations (which by the way define you).

        I have been very interested in the response to a figure like Lisa Sarsour. Every time she roots her ideas of social justice within Islam she gets a flood of comments from non-Muslims telling her how she has to be wrong or lying because Islam cannot be a religion of peace or progressive ideas.

        You are that type. Obviously.

      • objak
        June 28, 2017, 4:19 am

        And Keith, there is no point debating you. I am sure you know a lot about a lot of things. Judaism is not one of them.

        You have your story and your sticking to it. Any Jewish ethnocentrism reflects the real Judaism any universality is a ruse.

        Bont: Judaism, like other faiths is always changing. I recommend Aaron Hahn Tapper:s book -Judaisms- on this subject.

        *Linda Sarsour.

      • MHughes976
        June 28, 2017, 6:49 am

        Religion and religious symbolism and all things Biblical seem to be of increasing importance in Israel, from what I can see at this distance. Moreover religious support for Israel in the West seems to be very strong. So I’m sure that Keith is right that Rabkin stands far outside the majority in his religious views, let alone the consensus. But he may not be claiming to advance the majority view of Judaism but only the authentic one. It is always possible that the authentic interpretation is followed only by a minority or even a remnant. Authenticity is everywhere very easy to assert but very hard to demonstrate rationally.

      • Keith
        June 28, 2017, 10:46 am

        OBJAK- “You are that type. Obviously.”

        All of your comments to me boil down to ad hominem attacks against me. When have you ever actually even attempted to discuss the issues? And you dishonestly attempt to conflate me with attacks on Linda Sarsour, just as you once outrageously attempted to conflate me with the Einsatzgruppen. Remember that? You have no argument, only misrepresentations and insults.

        OBJAK- “Any Jewish ethnocentrism reflects the real Judaism any universality is a ruse.”

        No, any strain of Judaism (or secular Jewishness) which reflects universalism is a minority viewpoint and represents a welcome change from the Judeocentric, anti-Gentilism of Zionism and Classical Judaism. I have never said otherwise. In fact, universalism is what Reform Judaism was moving towards prior to the victory of Zionism over the hearts and minds of organized Jewry. Actions speak louder than words. One has only to look at the actions of the “Jewish” state to see how Israeli Jews supported by a majority of American and European Jews feel about non-Jews. This is your idea of universalism?

        OBJAK- “Judaism is not one of them.”

        Saying that I know little about Judaism and implying that you do is hardly a persuasive argument. Besides, we are talking history, not theology. And you have yet to say anything significant or accurate in regards to Jewish history. In fact, while I differ with Rabkin on Zionism as a departure from historical Judaism, I agree with his characterization of Zionism. Perhaps you should comment on the article rather than focusing exclusively on me. Apparently, I have some special significance for you? Mooser will be so jealous!

        OBJAK- “I changed my screen name because I no longer live in Tokyo.”

        You are a sports franchise which needs to change its name when it changes cities? Yes, well, whatever. You were living in Tokyo when you formed Eliezer? Jeez, the commute must have been a bummer.

        By the way “objak”, have you met our new commenter, Joni Falic? Perhaps you can have some lively discussions with him in regards to Jewish history. Just a thought.

      • Mooser
        June 28, 2017, 11:02 am

        “I am sure you know a lot about a lot of things. Judaism is not one of them.”

        And Judaism is completely invulnerable, and completely impervious to what non-Jews think of it or about it. It has no effect on us at all! You tell ’em “objak”!

      • Mooser
        June 28, 2017, 11:34 am

        “By the way “objak”, have you met our new commenter, Joni Falic?”

        And when he arrives, in a big yellow taxi, we’ll look at Jews from both sides now!

      • Mooser
        June 28, 2017, 12:28 pm

        “You were living in Tokyo when you formed Eliezer? Jeez, the commute must have been a bummer.”

        For Shinto-Judaism, anything is possible! It unites the world under the eight-branched candelabra of benevolence.

  2. JosephA
    June 27, 2017, 10:21 pm

    This professor seems incredibly thoughtful and well-reasoned. Bravo! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Nevada Ned
    June 28, 2017, 1:42 am

    Since I’m not Jewish, I won’t offer an opinion about what Judaism “really” means. I have noticed that my Jewish friends have very little interest in religion – any religion.

    The new book by Yakov Rabkin may have an impact on roughly 10% of American Jews, but will leave the other 90% cold.

    (OK, OK, I just made up these percentages but they’re probably roughly correct).

    The book may still be valuable in reaching that 10%, who may not be reachable any other way.

  4. JWalters
    June 28, 2017, 4:25 am

    My deep thanks to Yakov Rabkin for his factual, logical, and moral analysis of Zionism, and for his courage and decency in standing up to the “climate of intellectual terror that surrounds the Question of Israel.”

  5. echinococcus
    June 28, 2017, 6:39 am

    “Judaism” is this, “Judaism” is that…

    Trying to assign this or that identity to an ideal representation of what is just a social phenomenon is nonsense. The Professor’s admirably thought-out analysis is not more authentically “Judaic” than that of a murderous religious “settler” or a “liberal” occupier.

    At the end of the day, the way to describe “Judaism”, as it really is, is to count the number of “Jewish” institutions and people who support the Zionist version and that of those who oppose it*; better yet, to count the respective effectiveness in terms of armaments, government influence and dollars available. That gives you an extremely clear answer to what “Judaism” measurably is today.

    I believe there is not a single temple or congregation or “community center” anywhere that is outspokenly anti-Zionist except the Neturei Karta and a few individuals like the Professor and other curios. I’d love to be proved wrong on this basis –the only measurable one.

    —–
    * Speaking against Zionism while squatting in Palestine, as the legendary fundamentalists do, places them in the Zionist camp.

    • echinococcus
      June 28, 2017, 9:06 am

      PS. Reading “Objak”, above, I now realize that the specialists in Judaism like him have not the foggiest idea about Judaism, ie the verifiable, real-world thing, and no proof to anything they say.

      • Mooser
        June 28, 2017, 11:07 am

        “Echin”, you have won a gross of “Jews sui generis lapel-buttons.

      • Keith
        June 28, 2017, 1:44 pm

        ECHINOCOCCUS- “PS. Reading “Objak”, above, I now realize that the specialists in Judaism like him….”

        He is not a specialist in Judaism, he is supposedly a scholar of Far Eastern history, although his comments lack anything even approaching either scholarship or reasoned argument, relying primarily on dishonest ad hominem attacks.

      • Mooser
        June 28, 2017, 3:41 pm

        “and no proof to anything they say.”

        Or as Joni Falic sang:

        “It’s Jewish illusions they recall, they really don’t know Jews at all”

      • echinococcus
        June 29, 2017, 12:50 am

        Come on, he sure is the pontiff re Judaism here. Also, I always keep in mind the illustrious association: “Oliver Benjamin Karp co-founded Eliezer, the Jewish Society at Yale University in 1996 with Rabbi Shmully Hecht and Newark, NJ mayor Cory Booker” says the Allgemeiner; more brilliantly specialist than that nobody can gather together.

      • Keith
        June 29, 2017, 12:06 pm

        ECHINOCOCCUS- “Come on, he sure is the pontiff re Judaism here.”

        Perhaps not Judaism per se, but Jewishness for sure. I never bothered to check out Ben Karp before your comment. Had I realized! Eliezer has been renamed Shabtai Society in honor of their funder Benny Shabtai who also is heavily involved with the Friends of the IDF. Previous guest speakers include Michael Oren and Alan Dershowitz. This is an ELITE group. Apparently Karp and Rabbi Shmully Hecht were instrumental in getting the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA) reconstituted as the Yale Program for the Study of Antisemitism (YPSA). Good grief, Ben is a career anti-Semitism sniffer outer! That explains a lot including his ongoing dishonesty. He no longer lived in Tokyo when he took the screen name of TokyoBK, so changing over to “Objak” because he no longer lives in Tokyo is bogus. The name change is trivial, of course, but why the deception? And why does he continue to single me out and misrepresent virtually everything I say? Reminds me of Bruce Wolman!

      • echinococcus
        June 29, 2017, 6:38 pm

        Keith,

        And why does he continue to single me out and misrepresent virtually everything I say?

        He is not singling you out. He’s just doing his job. As a high-level cadre of the Propaganda-Abteilung (not the shadow of a doubt about that!), he doesn’t wear uniform like the lowly cavemen; he has to be nuanced, spreading his venomous little insinuations and stuff as not-entirely-Zionism and according to each case.

  6. RoHa
    June 28, 2017, 8:18 am

    ‘Rabkin quotes Rabbi Amram Blau saying that Zionism brought greater injury to the Jews than to the Arabs:

    “The Arabs may have lost their land and their homes, but by accepting Zionism, the Jews lost their historic identity.”’

    Oh, the poor things!

    The troubles of the Palestinians are slight compared with the suffering of the Israeli Jews.

    • John the Savage
      July 3, 2017, 5:26 am

      I’m guessing Rabbi Blau said this in the 1940’s, long before the Occupation and much else. Obviously he wasn’t trying to minimize Palestinian suffering (which he would anyway have known little about) but as a Rabbi he is responsible for his people’s spiritual welfare, and opposition to the ideology of Zionism is part of that job.

  7. RoHa
    June 28, 2017, 8:26 am

    “The author shares in the hope for Israel to transform itself”

    And is there any basis for thinking that Israel will transform itself?

    • Bont Eastlake
      June 28, 2017, 10:09 am

      America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand all transformed themselves to be democratic multicultural multiethnic countries with equal rights to all citizens, despite starting as white supremacist, settler colonial states.

      If those countries can do it, I don’t see why Israel can’t.

      • Mooser
        June 28, 2017, 12:25 pm

        “If those countries can do it, I don’t see why Israel can’t.”

        Oh, you bet, Israel should do it just like America, Canada, and New Zealand did it?

      • Bont Eastlake
        June 28, 2017, 12:51 pm

        Mooser,

        Well, I suppose it could also follow in the footsteps of South Africa. Or it could just implode and start a chain reaction of institutional collapse of all Western-based nation states, or possibly all nation-states.

      • Mooser
        June 28, 2017, 3:59 pm

        . “Or (Israel) it could just implode and start a chain reaction of institutional collapse of all Western-based nation states, or possibly all nation-states

        Wow, we better make sure no harm comes to Israel, because if Israel goes, the whole world goes?

      • RoHa
        June 28, 2017, 10:07 pm

        Israel can, but is there any reason for thinking it will?

      • Bont Eastlake
        June 29, 2017, 12:47 am

        Roha,

        The why part is impossible to know for sure, but we can make some educated guesses based on historically similar political situations. The Israeli population are, relative to their Arab neighbours, immensely privileged economically.

        Therefore they are more sensitive to negative changes to their economy especially if the shift is caused by outside factors they cannot control. I propose that economic sanctions by their trade partners will have an immense impact on the behavior and thought process of the Israeli public, even if the sanctions do not cripple Israel like it does to Gaza and Westbank. Sanctions will bring mass anxiety to the public and it will be harder for the government to use ideological propaganda alone as means to power.

        Cultural shifts among foreign backers of Israel and domestic population also may contribute to shifts in government policy. Racism is no longer cool anywhere and similar awareness is rising against Islamophobia. With social media and internet providing voice for the marginalized peoples, and mainstream adoption of progressive narratives it will be increasingly costly in terms of politics to support overt oppressive policies.

        People want food on the table and prefer to feel good about themselves. If BDS succeed in disrupting the Israeli economy, in tandem with the mass awakening of political conciousness through digital media, Israel will change.

        However, my feeling is, there are so many countries entangled together in a massive, messy web of oppression. Israel’s imminent ideological collapse will be the catalyst for the collective uprising against these countries. I foresee the end of Westphalian nation-states starting with Israel.

      • Bont Eastlake
        June 29, 2017, 1:16 am

        Mooser,

        I meant institutional collapse as in loss of public trust on their government and society in general. Imagine your 60 and homeless, would you care about political institutions, governmental policies, media narratives, fashion trends,interest rates etc? Nothing will no longer mean anything for you to drive you to do anything for the interests of the state. All you probably want is a home to go to, family to be around with and be under God’s good grace.

        That form of conciousness that comes with being detached from all privileges of being a citizen, and a member of society will no longer be isolated among the most disenfrancised. It will spread among the populace as capitalism start to squeeze their labor output more violently so make up for the continued loss of morale.

  8. Keith
    June 28, 2017, 12:41 pm

    “The Jewish tradition of exile is so strong that when Soviet Jewry was allowed to emigrate, Israel was required to carry out “a full scale diplomatic campaign in an effort to prevail upon its allies (primarily the United States and Germany) to limit immigration to their countries of Soviet Jews.”

    Attributing Soviet Jewry’s preference for the US and Germany over the collapsing USSR to a tradition of exile is dubious, to say the least. What is does show, however, is that empirically the mythological Jewish longing for Israel and Jerusalem is utter nonsense. Yet, our Zionist commenters keep repeating this obvious falsehood.

  9. Keith
    June 28, 2017, 1:26 pm

    PHIL- “Rabkin quotes Rabbi Amram Blau saying that Zionism brought greater injury to the Jews than to the Arabs:”

    No it didn’t. This is shameless apologetics.

    PHIL- “Not that Zionists knew how to deal with Palestinians. The Zionist activists in Europe never knew the “tolerant variety of nationalism” that arose in the US and Canada….”

    Yeah, we sure knew how to deal with the American Indians. Those that survived got the vote eventually.

    PHIL- “Thus Zionism produced a state that rejected “Judaism and its humility.”

    To be God’s chosen people and be humble? Hardly requires comment.

    YAKOV RABKIN- “References to Judaism and to Jewish tradition are of little help in understanding the contemporary Israel….”

    I agree with Israel Shahak that references to Classical Judaism are essential to understanding Israel. How many of the “settlers” believe that God gave them the land of Israel in a strict covenant? And that they are redeeming the land? “It became apparent to me, as drawing on knowledge acquired in my youth, I began to study the Talmudic laws governing the relations between Jews and non-Jews, that neither Zionism, including its seemingly secular part, nor Israeli politics since the inception of the State of Israel, nor particularly the policies of the Jewish supporters of Israel in the diaspora, could be understood unless the deeper influence of those laws, and the worldview they both create and express is taken into account.” (p1, “Jewish Histrory, Jewish Religion”, Israel Shahak)

    Upon a more thorough reading, I have concluded that this article and the book is a bit of a muddled mess containing both truth and more than a little wishful thinking and dubious analysis.

  10. Misterioso
    June 28, 2017, 5:15 pm

    http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/Israel-is-becoming-a-fascist-state-US-cant-save-the-day-497775

    “Israel is becoming a fascist state, US can’t save the day”
    By Joy Bernard
    The Jerusalem Post, June 24/17

    “Opposition leader Isaac Herzog doesn’t think the American efforts to revive the peace talks will bear fruit and warns that Israel is slowly slipping into fascism. “

    • Citizen
      June 28, 2017, 9:11 pm

      Jared Kushner’s recent meeting with Abbas supports Bernard’s claim. When Abbas asked Kushner to present the USA’s stance on the core issues, Kushner presented Netanyahu’s (with whom he had just had a prior meeting). Assad was really annoyed.

  11. gamal
    June 28, 2017, 5:25 pm

    “References to Judaism and to Jewish tradition are of little help in understanding the contemporary Israel; quite the contrary, they are more likely to mislead, for Zionism and the stte that incarnates it are revolutionary phenomena. It is easier, in fact, to understand that state’s politics, structure and laws without reference to either the Jews or their history…. It is thus imprecise to speak of a “Jewish state” or a “Jewish lobby”: “Zionist state” and “Zionist lobby” would be more appropriate.”

    Firstly this is pretty much consonant with what Rabbis have taught me regarding Judaism.

    Secondly and with some trepidation let me share a little of some work I have doing elsewhere, not in English so forgive me I will be concise:

    In Arabo-Islamic culture the ultimate other is the Arab, the Ur one perhaps, I will spare you my hilarious rendition of the tale of ‘Amr, the Bakr and the King of Hira, and while pointing out that this is hardly reflective of my own approach or view, but you may find it interesting, the real Arab come from Najd, here is an Islamic assessment of the Ur-Arab, from the Najdi Hadith (linked below), to someone like me this is very funny, not to the Author though, enjoy.

    “Musaylima was a forceful speaker, and soon gained a huge following in Central Arabia. However the historians record that when he tried to imitate the miracles of the Prophet (s.a.w.) disaster would result. Children brought to him for cures would become sicker. When his wudu water was poured over crops, the land would turn sterile. Wells that he had used would turn salty. However the power of tribalism caused many to pay no attention.

    Talha al-Namari came to Najd and said: ‘Where is Musaylima?’ At this the people said: ‘Careful! Call him the Messenger of Allah!’ So he replied: ‘No, not until I have seen him.’ So when he came to him he said: ‘You are Musaylima,’ and he replied, ‘Yes.’ He said: ‘Who comes to you?’ and he replied: ‘Al-Rahman’. He asked: ‘Does he come in light or darkness?’ ‘In darkness.’ Whereupon he said: ‘I bear witness that you are a liar and that Muhammad tells the truth, but a liar of your tribe is dearer to me than a truth-teller of his.’ So he joined Musaylima until he was killed at the Battle of Aqraba. (Tabari, II, 277).

    Incidents like this are revealing in two ways. Firstly, they show the characteristic feature of Musaylima’s aqeedah: Allah resembles a physical being who can ‘come’. Secondly, they reveal the immense, blind power of Arabian tribalism as this still existed in Najd.

    As leader of a rival religion, he and his Najdi enthusiasts were in a state of baghy, heretical revolt against due caliphal authority, and Abu Bakr (r.a.) sent an army against them under Khalid ibn al-Walid. In the year 12 of the Hijra Khalid defeated the Najdis at the Battle of al-Aqraba, a bloody clash that centred on a walled garden which is known to our historians as the Garden of Death, because hundreds of great Companions lost their lives there at the hands of the Najdis. The battle ranged the egalitarian spirit of Islam against the old Arab tribalism, as was shown by the fact that the banner of the Muhajirun was held by a freed Persian slave, Salim, while the banner of the Ansar was held high by Thabit b. Qays. The Muslim battle-cry was not the invocation of a tribe or an ancestor, instead it was, ‘Ya Muhammad!’ (Tabari, 281.) The pseudo-prophet was killed by Wahshi, the Ethiopian slave who, even though he had killed Hamza ibn Abd al-Muttalib, had made good his Islam, and was now an honored member of the community. The killing of the prophet of Najdi pride by a man of such humble origins was a powerful symbol of the principles that were at stake. (See Abdallah ibn Muslim Ibn Qutayba, Kitab al-Ma‘arif [Cairo, 1960], p.206; Ahmad ibn Yahya al-Baladhuri, Futuh al-buldan [repr. Beirut, n.d., p.86.])”

    http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/misc/najd.htm

    • RoHa
      June 29, 2017, 6:50 am

      Gamal, your command of both the Buddhist and the Islamic traditions always impresses and educates me.

      • gamal
        June 29, 2017, 12:59 pm

        You are too kind I have squandered my life on such things, I know little else.

        Also I met Lindsay on Elgin Avenue, having walked there from Clerkenwell, 3 hours, because no one will take money for the bus or train you need an Oyster. Lindsays’ alcoholism saved him from incineration, he was in a Shebeen, he has a stick now, walks with difficulty, had he been at home no hope, but Ray aka Moses is missing, I saw loads of A4 sheets with photos of young families almost all Arab, missing? locally they say the death toll is at least 150-200. Muslims in London are not intimidated and are quite militant in a London manner, loads of guys in gallabiyas, square beards with rucksacks, the girls in hijabs with skin tight leggings and some attitude, I got told off twice by young Muslim women for “jaywalking”, we country people are very naive.

  12. Tony Greenstein
    June 28, 2017, 6:09 pm

    ‘Rabkin links the rise of Zionism with the secularization of Jewish identity in modernity’. Clearly this is true to some extent but it is also the FAILURE of secularisation that led to Zionism. When Haskalah, the Hebrew Reformation failed in Odessa and the Pale of Settlement because of the pogroms and anti-Semitism then Zionism was born with Pinsker and Hovvei Zion.

    Zionism was a reaction to Emancipation and a rejection of it. Both Herzl and Nordau hated it. Emancipation meant the individualisation of Jews not their formation as a nation.

    Yes Zionism was a rejection of Judaism BUT it also norowed from it – its flag and its idea of the centrality of Jerusalem. It used the religious attachment as a means of building a political movement and in that sense it both adopted and rejected the religion. It also changed Judaism in the process.

    • Keith
      June 29, 2017, 12:50 am

      TONY GREENSTEIN- “Zionism was a reaction to Emancipation and a rejection of it. Both Herzl and Nordau hated it. Emancipation meant the individualisation of Jews not their formation as a nation.”

      Excellent comment, Tony.

  13. Citizen
    June 28, 2017, 7:38 pm

    “For those who want more of Rabkin’s sharp insights, here is a great youtube of him taking apart a Zionist ideologue, Dennis Prager.”
    Prager’s been on talk radio for years, always pushing how much he’s a patriotic American and speaking in behalf of we Americans; needless to say, he conflates Israel with America continually, day in, day out, in every nuance he speaks–most of his call-in audience has not the slightest clue he’s a rabid Zionist ideologue. They seem to be totally unaware of the boilerplate hasbara rhetoric he constantly uses whenever Israel comes up in any discussion on his show.

  14. Sisyphus
    June 28, 2017, 8:26 pm

    Some while ago I posted a request for something to read that might give, or attempt to, a whole picture of Zionism’s ascent to such a powerful force. Thomas Suarez recent book STATE OF TERROR (How Terrorism Created Modern Israel) was recommended. I read it with interest. I also note that the photographer for the picture of Yakov Rabkin is Suarez himself. [Hence the incentive to ask a further question.] As persuasive as Suarez is,I wonder if there is some cherry picking of evidence and reports? I had not known of the hundreds acts of terror nor of the fact that some terrorist leaders became Israeli Prime Ministers … and so on. The land grab for the whole of Palestine (forget partition) is evidenced over and over again. Suarez is meticulous and the evidence is sublime. I have looked for critiques of the book and except for a notable cringe worthy extremist there is not much . I have not read any sustained critique of his book.
    So … three more questions:
    1) why is there so little attention being paid to these archival releases from Kew
    garden … in the world? … in North America?
    2) have the Israelis responded to the revelations in Suarez’ book?
    3) is there a similar book from an Israeli point of view? Has Israel ever released archived material covering that era?

    I strongly recommend Suarez’ book.

    • Citizen
      June 28, 2017, 9:39 pm

      Thanks, Sisyphus
      Book Review: State of Terror–How #Terrorism Created Modern #Israel, by Thomas Suárez http://mondoweiss.net/2016/10/terror-thomas-suarez/

    • Donald Johnson
      June 28, 2017, 9:50 pm

      I haven’t read Suarez’s book and I don’t doubt he has uncovered new material, but I got the general impression that there was a lot of terrorism committed by Zionists in the 30’s and 40’s from reading David Hirst’s book many years ago. This was an early edition from the 70’s before the Israeli revisionists started publishing. I found it in a used bookstore. That along with Chomsky’s The Fateful Triangle turned my views upside down, though I was already getting a little suspicious of the pro Israel propaganda that I mostly had believed. Some of it was so over the top, like the idea that the Palestinian refugees all fled solely because they were ordered by their leaders to do so and the Zionists all begged them to stay. That just sounded a little too convenient. You can be almost comprehensively ignorant about a subject and still find some of the propaganda just a little too silly to swallow. But someone I know in real life repeated the story to me just a year or two ago as though it were true. A successful Big Lie never dies,because some people want to believe it

      I strayed from the point, which is that at least some of this terrorism committed by Zionists has been known in the West for decades, but in the US at least it was mostly not talked about.

      I liked the original post, but have nothing to add.

      • Keith
        June 29, 2017, 12:31 am

        DONALD- “A successful Big Lie never dies,because some people want to believe it.”

        A truism if there ever was one! Spot on, Donald!

    • Keith
      June 29, 2017, 12:44 am

      SYSYPHUS- “Thomas Suarez recent book STATE OF TERROR (How Terrorism Created Modern Israel) was recommended.”

      “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” by Ilan Pappe is also a valuable resource.

  15. Talkback
    June 29, 2017, 12:16 pm

    From the article: “Amram Blau saying that Zionism brought greater injury to the Jews than to the Arabs:

    “The Arabs may have lost their land and their homes, but by accepting Zionism, the Jews lost their historic identity.”

    Yes, yes of course. One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish historic identity according to Judeonazi Rabbi Yaacov Perin. Or was it a Jewish fingernail?

  16. JLewisDickerson
    June 29, 2017, 4:29 pm

    A FEW OTHER VIDEOS:

    1:07:29
    Yakov M. Rabkin “From left to right: Evolution of Israeli society”
    Юдаїка в Києво-Могилянській академії
    2 years ago436 views
    From its inception, Israeli, and more precisely, Zionist society had been seen as an embodiment of leftist ideas of collective endeavour and solidarity. The Kibbutz appeared as the very incarnation of the Zionist dream, earning the State of Israel appreciation and support from socialists around the world. Nowadays, right-wing coalitions govern Israel. During the recent election campaign, the incumbent Likud warned in its final slogan: “It is Us or the Left: only Likud, only Netanyahu.” The Zionist state has become a source of inspiration for right-wing groups in Europe and countries of European colonization. The lector tried to outline and explain this momentous transformation.
    LINK – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYDHqpHeAZc

    46:14
    Yakov Rabkin public talk: Can an Observant Jew Also Be a Critic of Israel?
    JewishVoices
    8 months ago174 views
    Yakov Rabkin, an observant Jew, dispels the notion that every Jew is a Zionist and therefore a natural advocate for the State of Israel. In fact, there is a thriving critique of Israel among religious Jews.
    LINK – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZtkN4bHj30&t=54s

    1:01:45
    Yakov M. Rabkin “Revolutionary and Evolutionary Trends in Contemporary Jewish History”
    Юдаїка в Києво-Могилянській академії
    2 months ago53 views
    Contemporary Jewish history has been rich in both revolutionary events and more gradual but no less significant evolutionary processes. This talk will look from this perspective at several points in Jewish history, including the growth of Hasidism and the sharp opposition it provoked, secularization and assimilation, the emergence of Orthodoxy and non-Orthodox movements in Europe and North America, Zionism as well as the crystallization of a Jewish nationality in the Soviet Union and the State of Israel. An important and often neglected aspect of this history is the fate of Jews in the lands of Islam in the context of imperial expansion and colonialism.
    LINK – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Baz5RJPu3GU

    58:06
    Yakov Rabkin public talk: Christian Zionism and the idea of a “Chosen People”
    JewishVoices
    8 months ago166 views
    The Christian idea of Jews physically returning to the Holy Land predates modern Jewish Zionism by many centuries. The idea that the return is in accordance with biblical prophecy and that the gathering of Jews is a prerequisite for the Second Coming of Jesus, dates back to the Reformation. Moreover, some Christian groups in Britain, Germany and the United States have believed that they replaced the Jews as God’s “Chosen People.”

    • Mooser
      June 30, 2017, 11:40 am

      “Moreover, some Christian groups in Britain, Germany and the United States have believed that they replaced the Jews as God’s “Chosen People.””

      SUCKERS!!!!

  17. Matt McLaughlin
    June 30, 2017, 10:03 pm

    I try to absorb all Rabbi Rabkin puts out. Try Don Lewis too to appreciate how far up field Protestants were, decades before Herzl, all awhile prohibiting Jews from Parliament.
    http://assets.cambridge.org/97805215/15184/excerpt/9780521515184_excerpt.pdf

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