Debunking the 2 claims: anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism, and BDS unfairly singles out Israel

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on 223 Comments

There are two claims one commonly hears from people opposed to any serious action taken in favor of Palestinian rights.

The first is that old standby, that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. This claim is meant to intimidate; the intent is to prevent the root of the problem from being discussed. One starts off privileging the Zionist position as unassailably correct and then one can discuss to what extent Palestinians have rights that can be granted after negotiation.

The second claim is closely related: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) unfairly singles out Israel and therefore (you guessed it) is anti-Semitic.

It is possible and maybe even useful to write long detailed rebuttals of both these charges, but it would probably be more useful to keep them short. A long rebuttal to a blunt one-sentence false accusation might actually make it seem like it had merit. So here are the short ones.

Is anti-Zionism a form of anti-Semitism? If it were, then that would mean all Palestinians were morally obligated to endorse their own ethnic cleansing. That is the only logical conclusion. Not only are Palestinians being asked to accept that they can never go back to their homes and villages, but they are implicitly being asked to bless the ideology that justified their ethnic cleansing– or else they are anti-semites. That is nakedly racist.

You can go on from there and go into whatever details you want, but that is all the argument you need.

Does BDS single out Israel unfairly? This will take a bit more discussion. No, it doesn’t, because Israel is singled out for billions of dollars in U.S. aid each year and singled out for absurdly one sided praise by our politicians and singled out for diplomatic support by the US when it commits war crimes.

On the negative side, some people refuse to buy their hummus.

Furthermore, look at how we single out other countries in the region. We single out Syria and Libya for support for rebels, with horrific results; we single out Yemen for support for Saudi bombing; and we commonly impose draconian sanctions on countries — sanctions that hurt the ordinary people far more than they hurt the leaders. We single out Gaza in supporting the Israeli and Egyptian blockade. Would Israelis prefer to be singled out in one of these other fashions?

And why, given all the morally questionable and even barbaric policies the US has in the Middle East, would anyone single out the BDS movement for special negative attention from virtually every local government in the US? We are helping starve Yemen; and my local Westchester County legislature singled out BDS for condemnation.

The phrase is stupid and fundamentally racist, as only supporters of Palestinian rights are singled out and accused of bigotry for using a common nonviolent protest tactic.

About Donald Johnson

Donald Johnson is a regular commenter on this site, as "Donald."

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223 Responses

  1. Kay24
    July 30, 2017, 1:22 pm

    As US tax payers surely we are able to object to those billions of dollars going to an occupier, who has been condemned by us many times, for violence against civilians, and for the illegal settlements they keep building, without heeding international laws. We also have the right to boycott openly this nation, in support of it’s victims. This is all keeping in line with our democracy, and human rights policies that we keep preaching to other nations. I have no idea if those doing the bidding of Israel by passing anti BDS resolutions do it because of the shekels they are given as reward, or if they are made to feel they should be loyal to the mothership. The zionists have reacted badly to violent and non violent protests, and that leave no other choice but to boycott and sanction it, just like other pariah nations. The zionists may prefer the world to ignore it’s crimes, the occupation, and the land grabs, but the rest of the world will not work that way. Israel should realize that apartheid S. Africa learned that the hard way.

    • Rob Brady
      August 1, 2017, 2:01 pm

      Question: does BDS single out Israel unfairly?
      The answer to this one is simple: there is no denying BDS singles out Israel – but not unfairly. Israel is a singular case and deserves singular attention not because its a Jewish regime but because its a colonialist regime, one that dominates by force of arms, an area of the middle east it has chosen to occupy. This occupation has led to an unspeakably grotesque persecution of the people of Palestine which gets worse and worse as the months go by. For decades the regime has consistantly ignored all diplomatic initiatives aimed at seeking an end to the conflict and justice for the people of Palestine. Sanctions are therefore the only peaceful way to bring pressure for change – and is perfectly legitimate.

      • Kay24
        August 4, 2017, 9:14 am

        It is one of the, if not the only, longest occupation and land grabs in history. Israel certainly deserves being singled out, because no amount of Accords, agreements, world condemnation, and criticism, seem to make them get the message, and change their evil ways.

  2. Citizen
    July 30, 2017, 1:41 pm

    This article needs to be spread on all social media as an antidote to hasbara. Thanks, Donald!

  3. amigo
    July 30, 2017, 2:20 pm

    Israel could care less if we pick on other criminal states, they just want us to leave them to their crimes.Jews have a right to do as they please and anyone who complains is an antisemite. Ordinary logic would suggest that ignoring the crimes of the so called “Jewish ” state , because it is Jewish would be classic antisemitism but zionists make a science out of turning standard logic on it,s head.

    By way of easing the suffering of those Zionists who believe I am an antisemite , I faithfully promise to become an anti Egyptimite /Turkeyite/Saudi Arabiaite and all the other criminal entities that Israel,s apologists are continually pointing out.

    As soon as Israel get,s the hell out of Occupied Palestine , I will get right on the job and kick some Egyptian Ass.

    For you Israel haters —suck on this.

  4. Annie Robbins
    July 30, 2017, 2:47 pm

    The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command….And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth.

    Orwell, 1984.

    it makes perfect sense for BDS, a palestinian led movement, to single out their oppressors vs all the other oppressors in the world. to think otherwise is illogical. and it makes perfect sense for the global community to respond to the US singling out Israel for decades as the number #1 recipient of US ‘aid’ to fund their atrocious apartheid, oppression and theft.

    all others will not accept the lie which has been imposed—the records do not tell the same tale—and the lie will not pass into history and become truth. israel lies exposed for the world to see.

  5. JosephA
    July 30, 2017, 3:02 pm

    Donald,

    Thank you for this daily dose of logic, reason, and sanity in an unusual world.

  6. Keith
    July 30, 2017, 3:42 pm

    Folks, on a related topic, I have responded to Senator Cantwell’s reply to my initial email to her concerning the Israel Anti-Boycott Act. Below I link to my original letter and to her reply followed by my response. For those of you who haven’t read the text of the bill, I encourage you to follow my link to that. The summary doesn’t capture the extreme hostility displayed to the United Nations Human Rights Council. Link to text: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/720/text

    Original letter: http://mondoweiss.net/2017/07/shockwaves-progressive-community/#comment-885122

    Cantwell reply: http://mondoweiss.net/2017/07/information-citizens-penalties/#comment-886203

    “This is in response to your reply to my email concerning the Israel Anti-Boycott Act (S. 720). In view of your ignoring the recommendations of the ACLU in regards to the potential negative consequences of this bill, the question needs to be asked what is the purpose of this legislation which you support? How exactly does this serve the best interest of your constituency, the people of the State of Washington? The rather obvious answer is that it does not. The one true beneficiary from this proposed legislation is the State of Israel insofar as it lends even greater U.S. support for Israel’s continued illegal occupation of Palestinian lands seized during the 1967 war which Israel initiated. This AIPAC inspired legislation now includes the European Union and the United Nations as “nations” under the original legislation. The original legislation includes penalties which may potentially be invoked as high-powered AIPAC lawyers seek to squelch cooperation with the United Nations Human Rights Council in regards to their efforts to get Israel to comply with international law and common decency. If nothing else, it provides a basis for deep-pocketed Zionists to engage in lawfare type intimidation.

    Why is it that the US remains so commited to protecting Israel from the consequences of its actions? How much longer will this 50 year occupation go on? How much longer will Israel’s non-Jewish citizens be treated as second class citizens or worse? How much longer will Israel unleash its powerful military against the more-or-less defenseless people of Gaza killing thousands with full U.S. support? How much longer will the U.S. support the blockade of Gaza, a human rights tragedy pushing Gaza to the very edge of livibility? Perhaps it would more accurate to ask how much longer will the U.S. Congress kowtow to the Israel lobby? This bill is the latest example of AIPAC interferring in our political system for the benefit of a foreign power. And to side with AIPAC against the United Nations Human Rights Council says volumes about U.S. values and priorities. So, once again I urge you to withdraw your support for this AIPAC inspired legislation which benefits only Israel at the expense of the United Nations and those seeking justice for the Palestinians.

  7. amigo
    July 30, 2017, 5:25 pm

    Israel can blame itself for what they view as being unfairly singled out.

    The constant claim of being the only democracy (it is anything but democratic) in the Middle East.It,s tiresome claims to have the most moral army on earth and the constant bragging that the rest of us would all be dead were it not for Israel,s generosity in sharing their technical superiority (they are not ) with the world.

    Israel is the squeaky wheel that has to be attended to until the ear splitting and irritating noise departs the stage.

    You don,t like the blow back–then modify your behaviour–you all know how and you will be treated just like any nation that obeys international law and treats others with common decency and respects their right to self determination and the right to have their property returned on which they can move freely around without let or hindrance , not to mention threat of being shot for no other reason than not being of the right religion.

  8. eljay
    July 30, 2017, 6:58 pm

    Israel is an oppressive, colonialist, (war) criminal and (religion-)supremacist state and it should be treated accordingly.

  9. Sweetling
    July 30, 2017, 8:22 pm

    Thanks for this refutation to the two fallacious arguments thrown my way in the past year, and I quote:

    1. Calling Israel’s existence into question (anti-Zionism) is an “irredeemably flawed” position.

    2. My passion on the topic and support of BDS “raises eyebrows”.

    Both charges come with the necessary implied addendum that I must have some special antipathy or shame toward Jews, and both are meant to disqualify and dismiss my views without further inquiry.

    A Jewish friend who is otherwise a strong progressive seems to understand the problem, sort of, but he has not ever come out strongly and clearly for Palestinian rights, dignity, and safety. I have hammered him on his PEPism, his hypocrisy:

    If you are passionate and totally woke about, say, Black lives, and how they are not to blame for their position in America, intentionally created and maintained by mostly European colonists and their heirs…

    But Palestinian lives at best cause you to shake your head at all the damned NUANCE over there, and if the angry brown people would just stop lobbing rockets and throwing stones at the mostly European colonists and their heirs…

    Perhaps you’d better check your privilege, and your bias. Ask yourself whether the fundamental historical rules of power, money, racism, and oppression somehow warp and twist in the Middle East, or whether you’ve been fed the wrong narrative and are still licking the long-rancid crumbs off your plate.

  10. Jon66
    July 30, 2017, 10:26 pm

    ““To attack Jews is anti-Semitism, but an outright attack on the State of Israel is also anti-Semitism,” the Pope told a World Jewish Congress delegation. “There may be political disagreements between governments and on political issues, but the State of Israel has every right to exist in safety and prosperity.”” Pope Francis

    “Peace for Israel is one thing. Peace for the Arab side of that world is another thing. Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all of our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel, and never mind saying it, as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous ex ample of what can be done, how desert land almost can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality.” MLK

    Antizionism is not antisemitism. Donald

    • eljay
      July 31, 2017, 9:13 am

      || Jon66 @ July 30, 2017, 10:26 pm ||

      The pope’s comment implies support for Jewish and “Jewish State” supremacism. He should be ashamed of himself for hypocritically defending this particular brand of injustice and immorality.

      MLK’s comment is a wonderful example of donkey fellatio. I hope he didn’t hurt himself.

      Donald is correct: Anti-Zionism – opposition to Jewish supremacism, its construct and its unjust and immoral actions – is not anti-Semitism. (Unless one anti-Semitically conflates all Jews with Zionism, which is something Zionists are very fond of doing.)

    • Donald Johnson
      July 31, 2017, 11:45 am

      Argument from authority–Jon66

      I noticed you didn’t try to engage my argument, presumably because it is easier to make the case for Zionism if you utterly ignore the most basic human rights of Palestinians–in fact, the two passages you cite don’t even acknowledge their existence, other than vague references to political issues and in MLK’s case “the Arab side”, which probably means the surrounding countries more than the Palestinians. The Pope Francis quote is incredibly feeble, because of that “there may be political disagreements between governments and on political issues”. Taken at face value, his quote says that Israel’s right to exist in safety and prosperity is absolute, but the rights of Palestinians (who again aren’t even mentioned) are political issues, presumably things we can argue about and disagree on. King’s comment is worse. It is actually the opposite of the truth. Israel was not then and is not now an example of how a desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. That claim only makes sense if you think of Palestinians as non-existent or as subhuman.

      It doesn’t matter who says the things you tell me King and Pope Francis have said. Taken literally, they are dehumanizing to the Palestinians. I suspect I understand the politics of it. The Pope is the head of the Church which has a long and discreditable record of antisemitism–only in the post WWII era did they face up to it. As Marc Ellis as said in other posts, this is the problem that pops up with well-intentioned liberal Christians when the issue of Palestinians comes up. They have just gone through a period of self-examination where they look at their own history and how they have contributed to 2000 years of oppression of Jews and now they are faced with the problem that Israel is oppressing the Palestinians. If they take a stand they will be accused of falling back into Christian antisemitism. So they talk mush instead. I don’t know enough about what MLK knew or didn’t know about the Palestinians, but he might have believed the guff that was being spread back then about how the refugees only fled on Arab orders, hoping to come back after the Jews were expelled so they could loot the Jewish homes. He gives no indication of understanding anything about what was done to the Palestinians and the part about Israel being an oasis of brotherhood is sheer nonsense.

      One reason I kept my post short is because if I got into all the counterarguments of who said what it would turn into a book and you really don’t have to do this to see that the counterarguments are wrong. Your reply, an argument from authority, shows that you understand this.

    • Talkback
      July 31, 2017, 4:52 pm

      Mahatmi Ghandi, 1938:

      “It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct. The mandates have no sanction but that of the last war. Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home. …

      And now a word to the Jews in Palestine. I have no doubt that they are going about it in the wrong way. The Palestine of the Biblical conception is not a geographical tract. It is in their hearts. But if they must look to the Palestine of geography as their national home, it is wrong to enter it under the shadow of the British gun. A religious act cannot be performed with the aid of the bayonet or the bomb. They can settle in Palestine only by the goodwill of the Arabs. …

      Let the Jews who claim to be the chosen race prove their title by choosing the way of non-violence for vindicating their position on earth.”

      • Jon66
        July 31, 2017, 9:57 pm

        From the same letter.
        “But I do not believe in any war. A discussion of the pros and cons of such a war is therefore outside my horizon or province.But if there can be no war against Germany, even for such a crime as is being committed against the Jews…”
        ” If I were a Jew and were born in Germany and earned my livelihood there, I would claim Germany as my home even as the tallest gentile German may, and challenge him to shoot me or cast me in the dungeon; I would refuse to be expelled or to submit to discriminating treatment. And for doing this, I should not wait for the fellow Jews to join me in civil resistance but would have confidence that in the end the rest are bound to follow my example. If one Jew or all the Jews were to accept the prescription here offered, he or they cannot be worse off than now. And suffering voluntarily undergone will bring them an inner strength and joy which no number of resolutions of sympathy passed in the world outside Germany can. Indeed, even if Britain, France and America were to declare hostilities against Germany, they can bring no inner joy, no inner strength. The calculated violence of Hitler may even result in a general massacre of the Jews by way of his first answer to the declaration of such hostilities. But if the Jewish mind could be prepared for voluntary suffering, even the massacre I have imagined could be turned into a day of thanksgiving and joy that Jehovah had wrought deliverance of the race even at the hands of the tyrant. For to the godfearing, death has no terror. It is a joyful sleep to be followed by a waking that would be all the more refreshing for the long sleep.”

        Ghandi’s advice. Don’t take up arms. Embrace your death.- I don’t think he was too much of a fan of the Jews. He foresaw the genocide and counseled prayer.

      • Talkback
        August 1, 2017, 9:45 am

        jon66: “Ghandi’s advice. Don’t take up arms. Embrace your death.- I don’t think he was too much of a fan of the Jews. He foresaw the genocide and counseled prayer.”

        You obviously don’t know that he preached the same to his own people.

        And the issue is the conflation of being against a certain national ideologiy vs. hatred towards humans of a certain group.

      • Jon66
        August 1, 2017, 11:18 am

        Talkback,
        There was no risk of the genocide of the Indian nation by the British. The British were not calling for the destruction of the Indians.

      • Mooser
        August 1, 2017, 4:01 pm

        “Jon 66”: “There was no risk of the genocide of the Indian nation by the British.”

        Every heard of a place called “The Punjab”, jonny?

      • RoHa
        August 1, 2017, 9:09 pm

        Not even Colonel Dyer intended to kill everyone. Nor did the British intend to drive out all the Indians and take their land. And Ghandi had the US fashionable set and the US press on his side as well.

      • Talkback
        August 2, 2017, 11:00 am

        jon66: “Talkback,
        There was no risk of the genocide of the Indian nation by the British. The British were not calling for the destruction of the Indians.”

        Ghandi advocated the idea of voluntary suffering. Is ist antisemitic, because he not only adressed Indians but also Jews? Do you prefer Ben Gurion’s “there’s a big catastrophe – and that’s power” (1942)?

      • yonah fredman
        August 3, 2017, 9:02 am

        MHughes- interesting that you would mention carmichael, who changed his name to kwame toure. Not nearly as crystal clear as malcolm, nor nearly as literate as James baldwin, I find his oratory on youtube eloquent sometime. But a raving antisemite. Embarrassingly so. Uses the phrase Zionist and jew interchangeably and he is rabid on the topic.

      • yonah fredman
        August 3, 2017, 9:24 am

        Quoting gandhi to a jew contemplating the shoah is a variety of sadism.

      • Mooser
        August 3, 2017, 4:55 pm

        “Quoting gandhi to a jew contemplating the shoah is a variety of sadism.”

        “yonah”, you have got to put that on a T-shirt!

        Or maybe Rembrandt could paint it.

      • Talkback
        August 4, 2017, 2:28 am

        yonah: “Quoting gandhi to a jew contemplating the shoah is a variety of sadism.”

        I quoted Ghandi to show that he was against Zionism. Then a Zionist stepped in to exploit the shoa and the accusation of antisemitism (aka the ultimate Hasbara trolling) by quoting Ghandi’s advice he gave in 1938 to Jews about voluntary suffering.

        If you are interested in real sadism when it comes to contemplating about Nazis and the Shoa as G-d’s punishment against Jewish assimilation then enjoy Rabbi Yosef Tzvi ben Porat’s wisdom and the two parts of “Holocaust — where was G-d?” on youtube. Watch the second part after the first one suddenly stops with an error.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-0iyi_LMB8

    • Eva Smagacz
      August 2, 2017, 3:41 pm

      Jon66,

      Your quote from Martin Luther King
      has been considered a fabrication:

      See: http://azvsas.blogspot.co.uk/2010/01/how-zionists-fabricated-letter-by.html?m=1
      17/17

      • Annie Robbins
        August 2, 2017, 4:24 pm

        the letter/quote has been roundly debunked as a fake:

        CAMERA, the ardent Zionist organisation, which specialises in advocating censorship and the McCarthyite sacking of lecturers, has accepted that the letter is a ‘fabrication/hoax’ and accuses the Anti-Defamation League and its representative Michael Salberg (hints of knives and competitors!) of not doing its homework when Salberg cited the quote on July 31, 2001 to a Congressional Subcommittee. Having checked the “source” (Saturday Review, August 1967) even CAMERA are satisfied there was no such letter, though they claim it was in accord with his views!

        http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=8&x_article=369

        CAMERA ALERT: Letter by Martin Luther King a Hoax

        and then they go on to claim martin spoke the words at a dinner before his death in a town there is no record of him visiting at that time. everyone knows hasbrats continue to repeat lies about what martin allegedly said. and there are NO copies of this alleged encounter magazine in existence, it’s all a lie fabricated after martin died by a cia funded publication https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encounter_(magazine) .

      • Mooser
        August 2, 2017, 4:57 pm

        Next, “Jon66” will claim Costanza’s Dictum applies: “It’s not a lie if you believe it.”

      • MHughes976
        August 3, 2017, 3:15 am

        There is no doubt that King expressed support for Israel’s security in the conventional terms of the time – and he did not make this suppprt conditional on any improvent in the situation of Palestinians. He tended to be discreet about this but sometimes went further – he didn’t have to sign a pro-Israel newspaper manifesto at the time of the 67 war, but he did. I’ve given references previously. He must have thought about the matter quite a lot.
        What I don’t think he ever said in writing or in a public speech was that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism, and I don’t think he ever would have gone that far because it would have meant the open breach with Carmichael that both always avoided. The famous letter was faked just because his explicit authority on this very point was needed.

  11. bryan
    July 31, 2017, 4:23 am

    Most of all we need to accept that anti-Semitism which undoubtedly does exist and is as deplorable as any other form of bigoted racism is highly complex and transcends an irrational hatred of the adherents of one particular religion.

    I was surprised when reading an article in the Independent a couple of days ago which outlined the immense hardship that numerous naïve and unsophisticated British pensioners had suffered by investing in a binary funds scam that lies completely outside the control of British financial regulators. See http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/online-scam-thousands-pounds-life-savings-trading-binary-options-fraud-pensioners-fca-a7865856.html

    Hidden towards the end of the article was the following remarkable analysis:
    “Lawyers say that the cross-border nature of the platforms means that any regulation would have to be coordinated on an international scale. Prospects of that happening look dim at the moment, but there are signs that individual authorities are starting to take action. In Israel – where many of the platforms originally appeared to be based – the cabinet last month approved a bill to ban the entire binary options trading industry.”

    Then comes a quote from Shmuel Hauser, chair of the Israel Securities Authority, as reported in the Times of Israel: “Beyond the terrible economic harm to citizens around the world, sellers of binary options are causing increasing, accelerating ruinous damage to Israel and are inflaming anti-Semitism and anti-Israel feeling,”

    That seems to be a common-sense acknowledgement that hostility to Jews and the Jewish state is sometimes directly exacerbated by the immoral actions of financiers, lobbies, politicians and generals. It fits with analysis of the statistics of anti-Semitism provided by the Community Security Trust in the UK that show a high degree of correlation with those occasions when the IDF actions cause the slaughter of civilians in Gaza.

    It is especially urgent that we rigidly separate out “old” anti-Semitism (the sort of prejudice that can lead a writer in the Sunday Times to complain about the greed of female Jewish BBC journalists) from that entirely different beast: the “new” “anti-Semitism” that often comprises perfectly reasonable criticism of the nefarious activities of Zionism and of some Zionists.

  12. JustJessetr
    July 31, 2017, 7:09 am

    Thank you, Governor Cooper. Fighting bigotry and letting Jews themselves define what is anti-Semitism, just like one must let Blacks and Asians define what is racism, is supporting progressive values.

    https://www.jta.org/2017/07/30/news-opinion/united-states/north-carolina-governor-signs-anti-bds-legislation

    • Sibiriak
      July 31, 2017, 9:27 am

      JustJessetr: … just like one must let Blacks and Asians define what is racism…
      ———————————-

      Are you out of your mind?

      • JustJessetr
        July 31, 2017, 8:53 pm

        No, giving people the benefit of the doubt that they are being discriminated against, and not speaking for them, is part of the bedrock of social justice. Why don’t you support Blacks, Jews, and Asians when they speak out against bigotry? I’m sure you will point out Jews who agree with you, but there are a great many who don’t. Human rights are for everyone, not just those you agree with.

      • Sibiriak
        July 31, 2017, 11:15 pm

        JustJessetr: … giving people the benefit of the doubt that they are being discriminated against, and not speaking for them, is part of the bedrock of social justice.
        ———————————–

        In a secular-liberal democracy based on the rule of law, all charges of discrimination must be substantiated with evidence.

        Requiring that substantiation is not a matter of “speaking for them”–it’s a basic principle of democracy and justice.

        Why don’t you support Blacks, Jews, and Asians when they speak out against bigotry?

        I do support speaking out against bigotry. But you claimed something quite different, namely that each possible separate identity group–e.g. “Blacks” and “Asians” and “Jews” according to your identity group categorization scheme– get to “define what is racism” . That is a completely illogical, invalid and unworkable notion.

        Human rights are for everyone.

        Yes, indeed–human rights are universal. And separate identity groups don’t get to define for themselves what human rights are any more than they get to define for themselves what racism is.

      • JustJessetr
        August 1, 2017, 8:08 am

        If evidence is what you want, evidence is what you deny. Governments across the world are weighing in that anti-zionism is anti-Semitism. but you just think that’s just the power of the evil Jewish Lobby. And that’s why I think it’s bigotry.

        And of course it’s all up to the oppressed to define what is oppression. that’s how grassroots movements get started.

      • JustJessetr
        August 1, 2017, 9:13 am

        “Yes, indeed–human rights are universal. And separate identity groups don’t get to define for themselves what human rights are any more than they get to define for themselves what racism is.”

        Then who does? Ultimately, who is the final judge? Everyone can read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but who has the ultimate deciding authority? Someone everyone must respect and follow? Who exactly?

      • oldgeezer
        August 1, 2017, 9:15 am

        @justjesstr

        ” Human rights are for everyone, not just those you agree with.”

        And not for Palestinians according to Israel and it’s supporters.

      • Talkback
        August 1, 2017, 9:36 am

        JustJessetr: “Human rights are for everyone.”

        That must be the reason why you unconditionally support the right to return also for Palestinians.

      • Mooser
        August 1, 2017, 12:55 pm

        “Then who does? Ultimately, who is the final judge? Everyone can read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but who has the ultimate deciding authority? Someone everyone must respect and follow? Who exactly?”

        Look, I apologise for “Justjessetr”, but the thing is, when for 2500 years you have been the dominant group on earth, and nobody has ever given you even a dirty look, you tend to think you are the arbiter on everything.
        No trauma ‘long us!

      • Sibiriak
        August 4, 2017, 12:34 pm

        JustJessetr: Ultimately, who is the final judge? Everyone can read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but who has the ultimate deciding authority?

        —————————-

        The ultimate authority is human reason , which transcends any particular group.

        Therefore it’s of course up to the oppressed group, in the end, to decide what is oppression

        That is a self-defeating proposition since you need a definition of oppression before you can identify which groups qualify for the “oppressed group” designation. A valid definition of oppression cannot presuppose the very thing it is meant to define.

    • JustJessetr
      August 4, 2017, 8:09 am

      “Then who does? Ultimately, who is the final judge? Everyone can read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but who has the ultimate deciding authority? Someone everyone must respect and follow? Who exactly?”

      I waited three days for an answer to this. No one could come up with one.

      Therefore it’s of course up to the oppressed group, in the end, to decide what is oppression. If significant numbers of Jews have weighed in with enough supporting feeling that anti-Zionism is or leads to anti=Semitism, then to reject that claim is bigotry.

  13. Qualtrough
    July 31, 2017, 7:13 am

    Traditionally, anti-semitism referred to hatred or dislike of Jews qua Jews. More recently Zionists have weaponized the term in an effort to quash any criticism of their colonial project in the Middle East. So any criticism of Israel is ipso factor anti-semitic. Anyone whose opinion is worthy of respecting knows that the latter application is bogus, so the sting of being labeled an anti-semite is slowly fading. In fact, one of my proudest moments on this forum occurred when Hopfmi did just that. Just as bad money drives out good, this bogus anti-semitism sadly dilutes the value of legitimate claims of anti-semitism. One more unintended consequence of Zionism.

  14. Nathan
    July 31, 2017, 7:38 am

    When one raises the question if “anti-Zionism is an expression of anti-Semitism”, generally the context of the question is western society. In other words, are European (or American) anti-Israel activists motivated by anti-Semitic sentiments? That, obviously, is the issue at hand.

    In the above article, the context has been switched on us. The author pretends that the real question is if the Palestinian opposition to Zionism is an expression of anti-Semitism – and that’s being tricky. The Palestinians are in a conflict with the Jews, and in the heat of debate they might express some classical anti-Semitic accusations (as you can see in the original Hamas Charter) – but anti-Semitism (a form of racism) is not at the root of this conflict. The interesting issue of debate should obviously be the perspective of the non-Palestinians/non-Arabs who support the Palestinian struggle. Are some of them motivated by anti-Semitism?

    Maybe someone could rewrite the article without the use of a magician’s “the hand is quicker than the eye” (switching the context of the question without anyone catching it). The question is not if the Palestinian struggle is anti-Semitic. Let’s stick to the obvious intention of the issue: Are there anti-Zionist activists (in the west) who are motivated by anti-Semitic prejudice?

    • eljay
      July 31, 2017, 8:48 am

      || Nathan: … In the above article, the context has been switched on us. The author pretends that the real question is if the Palestinian opposition to Zionism is an expression of anti-Semitism – and that’s being tricky. The Palestinians are in a conflict with the Jews … ||

      In the above comment, the author anti-Semitically conflates all Jews with Zionism in order to make his point that Palestinians are in conflict with “the Jews” when, in fact, they are in conflict with Zionists and their colonialist, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist construct. That’s being tricky.

    • JosephA
      July 31, 2017, 9:11 am

      The native Palestinians are NOT in conflict with the Jews. The indigenous Palestinians are in conflict with the zionists!

      Get your terms straight, please.

      Judaism does not equal zionism. There are also (crazy) Christian zionists.

      Zionism is a damaging, racist ideology that is antithetical to Jewish values (and all human values), due to the inherent settler-colonialist supremacy.

      One cannot have a rational or productive debate if the meaning of basic terms being discussed is understood to be different by all sides.

      • Nathan
        July 31, 2017, 7:46 pm

        JosephA – The Palestinians are in conflict with the Jews. You could take a peek at the Hamas Charter that was published in August 1988. There you would see that they are quite busy with the “Zionists” and the “Zionist invasion”, but they are also quite busy with the “Jews” whom they define as the terrible enemy. In article 20, for example, in describing the cruelty of their enemy, they tell us that “the Jews made no exception for women or children”. The charter is full of quotes from the Quran and the Hadith, and the one quote that you hear all the time appears in article 7: “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him….” Actually, in this quote, they are defining all the Jews of the world as their enemy (not just the Jews living in Israel), supposedly based on a quote from the prophet.

        I would imagine that you might claim that Hamas published a new charter in 2017. Yes, that’s true. So, we might have to agree that all the Jews were the enemy from 1988-2017 (however Hamas has stated that the new charter does not cancel the validity of the old one).

        You might find it interesting to know that there are a number of slogans in Palestinian society. If you listen carefully to the chanting of the massive demonstrations, you might pick up what is being said: “Khaibar, ya yahud – jeish Muhammad saya’ud” (O, you Jews, [remember what happened in] Khaibar. The army of Muhammad will yet return). In short, the Jews are the enemy, just like the struggle of Muhammad against the Jews in Khaibar.

        It’s been very clear since 1929 that the Palestinians see the Jews as their enemy. Then, in 1929, much of the Jewish community (perhaps even the majority) were Jews who had been living in Palestine for many, many generations. They were not “Zionist invaders” or “colonialists”. They were local people. However, during the riots of 1929, the Arabs attacked the entire Jewish community of Palestine. The most known incident is the murder of some 66 Jews in Hebron. These were Jews from Hebron who had been living there for generations. All Jews of the country were defined as the enemy.

        Donald Johnson – I read your comment in which you stated that some of the western anti-Zionist activists are motivated by anti-Semitism. If so, the headline of your article should be corrected. Instead of “debunking”, we should be told that (in your judgment): “for some, anti-Zionism is motivated by anti-Semitism”.

      • Donald Johnson
        August 1, 2017, 12:44 am

        No, Nathan, I don’t want to rewrite the title because I wasn’t writing about antisemitism, but about anti-Palestinian racism. I wanted the post to be relatively short because I wanted to make a couple of points as clearly as possible. If I got into the issue about who really is an antisemite it would be a different subject. Tony Klug’s piece and the comment section underneath it is the natural place for that discussion.

        I am repeating myself, but for the sake of clarity there is a difference between saying ” some people who criticize Zionism are or might be antisemites” and ” antizionism is a form of antisemitism”. The problem is that a great many people on the pro Israel side conflate these two points, but as I point out in the post, the second claim is actually racist against Palestinians. I think in some cases the racism might be subconscious, but in any case the accusation creates a context where Israeli rights are placed on a pedestal and Palestinians and their sympathizers are considered guilty until proven innocent. And they are only innocent if they grant Israel’s right to expel enough Palestinians to create a Jewish state. I think that is the idea. The pro Israel side wants to frame the debate in such a way that people feel they have to walk on eggshells when criticizing Israel.

        It’s a point which in the US mostly goes unacknowledged because people feel they have to steer clear of any criticism of Zionism or be branded antisemitic. So I wanted to make that point without getting into the question of who really is an antisemite, because in the US any discussion of BDS nearly always focuses on that rather than the racism on the other side.

        My short little post and the points I wanted to make would get swallowed up having to explain this.

      • The Hasbara Buster
        August 1, 2017, 8:02 am

        Nathan: you claim “The most known incident is the murder of some 66 Jews in Hebron. These were Jews from Hebron who had been living there for generations. All Jews of the country were defined as the enemy.” Thank you for providing that precise example, which illustrates how wrong you are.

        In fact, when an Arab mob attacked the Jews of Hebron, they explicitly offered the local rabbi that if he turned over the Ashkenazi Jews, the Mizrachi Jews (i.e., those who “had been living there for generations”) would be spared. It’s true that after the rabbi declined the offer, they did kill a few Mizrachim, but a genuine effort was made to separate the “Jews of the country” from those who had come from abroad in a colonizing enterprise.

        Now you may say the Hamas charter promises to kill all Jews. Yes, that is true, but it is also true that Hamas does not act on its charter. Anti-Zionist Jews like Norman Finkelstein have visited Gaza and no one has attempted to kill them. As for the anti-Jewish chants on the streets, this must be seen in its context. Israeli Jews massively chant “the Jews are lovely, the Arabs are the sons of whores,” or, more crudely, “death to Arabs,” and everyone understands they mean the Palestinian Arabs, not the citizens of the United Arab Emirates. In short, it would be an exercise of extreme political correctness to require the Palestinians to clarify “we mean Israeli Jews, not those foreign Jews who don’t support them” every time they curse the Jews after being tear-gassed or skunk-sprayed by soldiers with a Star of David on their helmets.

      • Talkback
        August 1, 2017, 9:23 am

        Nathan: “The Palestinians are in conflict with the Jews. You could take a peek at the Hamas Charter that was published in August 1988 … Actually, in this quote, they are defining all the Jews of the world as their enemy (not just the Jews living in Israel), supposedly based on a quote from the prophet.”

        What do you mean by “they”? The charter was written by a lonesome loony and nobody in the Hamas has ever refered to it.

        What about these quotes:
        Article 6: “Only under the shadow of Islam could the members of all regions coexist in safety and security for their lives, properties and rights. In the absence of Islam, conflict arises, oppression reigns, corruption is rampant and struggles and wars prevail.”

        Article 32: “Under the shadow of Islam it is possible for the members of the three religions: Islam, Christianity and Judaism to coexist in safety and security. Safety and security can only prevail under the shadow of Islam, and recent and ancient history is the best witness to that effect”

        What abouth the actual Hamas charter?
        Hamas presents new charter accepting a Palestine based on 1967 borders
        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/01/hamas-new-charter-palestine-israel-1967-borders

        Did Zionist revoke the Biltmore Program (1942) or the declaration where it says:
        “Our call goes out the the Jewish people all over the world to rally to our side in the task of
        immigration and development and to stand by us in the great struggle for the fulfillment of the dream of
        generations – the redemption of Israel.

        Nathan: “It’s been very clear since 1929 that the Palestinians see the Jews as their enemy.”

        Nope. Much earlier. When it became public what Zionist planned to do in Palestine and when the first High Commissioner of Palestine was a Zionist Jew.

        It seems that you are trying to shift from hostility towards Jews because of Zionism towards hostility towards Jews as Jews. You have to obscure that what happened was a reaction to Zionism not to Jews as being Jews.

      • Nathan
        August 1, 2017, 7:54 pm

        Talkback – You’re absolutely right that the position of Hamas is that “safety and security can only prevail under the shadow of Islam”. Ever since the seventh century (with the rise of Islam), the political position of the Islamic world has been that all must surrender to Islam. One could be a Jew or a Christian in the Arab (Islamic) world only on condition that one accepts the supremacy of Islam. Obviously, that is the position of Hamas in the here and now: Jews may live under Islamic rule, but it is forbidden for Jews to be the rulers (or to have their own state) You didn’t say that the quote from the Hamas Charter is positive or negative in your eyes. My impression is that it’s fine with you (but correct me if I’m wrong). Anyway, this is the essence of conflict: It is unacceptable that what was once Islamic territory (dar al-islam) should revert to territory ruled by non-Moslems (dar al-harb). Moreover, with the advent of Islam, the former civilizations are really quite irrelevant; therefore the Jewish aspiration to renew their ancient state is regarded as an affront to Islam.

        The new charter indeed speaks about the 1967 borders. However, at the same time, it is quite clear that the entire country must revert back to Palestinian rule. It might seem to be a contradiction, but it’s not a contradiction in Islamic thinking. It is possible to reach an agreement with the non-believers when you have no choice (the non-Moslems are so strong that it’s hopeless to defeat them right now). It’s called in Arabic a “hudna”, and quite often Hamas spokesmen declare their willingness for a “10 year hudna” with the Zionist enemy based on the 1967 borders. It is also possible to renew the hudna if need be. However, by Islamic law, as soon as you are stronger than your enemy you must end the hudna and renew the jihad. So, the new charter of Hamas is actually quite consistent with Islamic law: They accept the 1967 borders (that’s the hudna), but all of Palestine must be under Arab rule (when they shall be strong enough to defeat the Jews).

      • Nathan
        August 1, 2017, 8:17 pm

        Hasbara Buster – It’s not true that the Ashkenazim of Hebron were recent arrivals from abroad. They were the old Jewish community, just like the Mizrachi Jews. Moreover, it is not true that there was a proposal to turn over the Ashkenazim and to spare the Mizrachim. Finally, it is not true that just a few Mizrachim were murdered in the terrible incident.

        The promise to murder all the Jews of the world (according to the Hamas Charter) is an end-of-time concept. In the end of time, the laws of nature will change and even the stones and the trees will speak and reveal where the Jews are hiding. The source of this belief is the Hadith, a collection of stories supposedly told by the prophet Muhammad (hadith in Arabic means story). In the here and now, a Hamas person can meet with a Jew, or a Jew could visit Gaza. However, my point in mentioning the Hadith quoted in the Hamas Charter was to indicate that the Jews are the enemy. People writing here in the comments section repeat all the time that the issue is the struggle only against the “Zionists”. No, it’s not so. The Jews were the enemy of the prophet, and that “fact” is very relevant in the Arab world.

      • gamal
        August 1, 2017, 9:39 pm

        “The source of this belief is the Hadith” a hadith that has no Quranic basis is pretty weak stuff, best not to source anything to ahadith,

        “a collection of stories supposedly told by the prophet Muhammad” No, absolutely not, thats a fucking howler.

        “(hadith in Arabic means story)” you can’t even google

        “In the here and now, a Hamas person can meet with a Jew, or a Jew could visit Gaza” we concur

        “However, my point in mentioning the Hadith” I think that has been transparent from the get go

        “quoted in the Hamas Charter was to indicate that the Jews are the enemy” well not at all as you say its eschatological, when things are by their nature a bit messed up in Muslim and Christian versions, hieronymous boschish, they were frankly very foolish to mess with that but its not the big deal you want to make of it.

        “People writing here in the comments section repeat all the time that the issue is the struggle only against the “Zionists”. ” yet again we concur

        ” No, it’s not so. The Jews were the enemy of the prophet” perhaps his main problem by far was the Arabs, and Abu Bakrs, and Umars and Uthamn, all killed by rebel Arabs, Muslims ones some of the time, we conquered a huge empire while continuously fighting civil wars, for not one moment in their long long history have Arabs ever stopped inciting against one another and fighting,

        In which many Arab and Arabian Jews participated, in fact the classic Arabian exemplar of fealty to an oath was a Jew, its very famous story, “Kill you prisoner, there will be no treachery here today”..

        Edward Said once a wrote a thing on Islam as culture, rather than religion, thats why its so hard to talk to outsiders because of their over religiousing Islam, their calumnies hardly end there, refusing to understand how a very different culture operates, I can’t do it any more, same conversation a million times. The questions are getting stupider though laced with fiqhi terminology.

        “and that “fact” is very relevant in the Arab world” leaving aside the ill founded argument you put together how would you address this problem having identified its “relevance in the Arab world”

        what should you and your American friends do about it Nathan? War?

      • The Hasbara Buster
        August 2, 2017, 8:57 am

        @Nathan

        I suggest that you read the article on the Hebron massacre at the Jewish Virtual Library, which supports my assertion:

        Rabbi Slonim, who had tried to shelter the Jews, was approached by the rioters and offered a deal. If all the Ashkenazi yeshiva students were given over to the Arabs, the rioters would spare the lives of the Sephardi community.

        And, in spite of your denial, the overwhelming majority of the victims were recent arrivals. Out of 67 Jews murdered, no fewer than 35 were born in the Russian empire, only 18 were born in present-day Israel (but most of them to foreign parents), 7 were born in North America and the rest came from a variety of countries, including Hungary, Bulgaria, Turkey and Iran. You can review a list of the victims (here) and you would be hard-pressed to name more than 7 or 8 victims who can be said to have lived in Hebron “for generations.”

        The rioters clearly targeted Zionists, not Jews.

        I find it baffling that you’re not aware of such well-known historical facts. And I find it even more baffling that you repeatedly make “It’s not true that…” claims on events you haven’t the slightest idea about.

      • Talkback
        August 2, 2017, 9:15 am

        Nathan: “Obviously, that is the position of Hamas in the here and now: Jews may live under Islamic rule, but it is forbidden for Jews to be the rulers (or to have their own state)”.

        Name one single country with any other religion than Islam which allows a Jewish minority to create a state within this country, especially since “Jewish” wouldn’t be even a non discriminating term for a citizenship.

        Nathan: “You didn’t say that the quote from the Hamas Charter is positive or negative in your eyes. My impression is that it’s fine with you (but correct me if I’m wrong). You didn’t say that the quote from the Hamas Charter is positive or negative in your eyes.”

        I was simply quoting different articles to counter your claim that Hamas sees Jews as such as an enemies. But you have to shift the issue, don’t you?

        Nathan: ” It’s called in Arabic a “hudna”, and quite often Hamas spokesmen declare their willingness for a “10 year hudna” with the Zionist enemy based on the 1967 borders.”

        Sounds more honest than to sign an armistice agreement and then invade these countries in 1956 and 1967 to illegaly annex some of their territories.

        Nathan: “However, at the same time, it is quite clear that the entire country must revert back to Palestinian rule.”

        Sounds like Zionism that wants to revert back the entire country to Jewish rule. But it isnt. “Palestinians” doesn’t refer only to Nonjews. “Palestinians” are a constutive people which includes natives Jews (and their descendants).

      • eljay
        August 2, 2017, 10:09 am

        || Nathan: One could be a Jew or a Christian in the Arab (Islamic) world only on condition that one accepts the supremacy of Islam. Obviously, that is the position of Hamas in the here and now: Jews may live under Islamic rule, but it is forbidden for Jews to be the rulers (or to have their own state) … ||

        Jews are not entitled to a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”. Similarly, Muslims are not entitled to a religion-supremacist “Muslim/Islamic State”. I condemn both forms of supremacism. Zionists like you hypocritically condemn the latter and advocate the former.

      • Talkback
        August 2, 2017, 3:23 pm

        eljay: “Jews are not entitled to a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”.”

        Is a group of foreign settlers whose immigration is enforced upon the native population entitled to create a state within a state against the wishes of the native population and despite the fact that this group neither intents to represent the majority of the citizens of the newly created state nor to consider them to be nationals, because they have a different faith?

        If yes, please explain.

    • Talkback
      July 31, 2017, 9:45 am

      Nathan: “The Palestinians are in a conflict with the Jews.”

      To be in conflict with Jews doesn’t mean that it is antisemitic. Because on the one hand Jews might have started the conflict by declaring that they some way or another are going to violate the right to self determination of the citizens of the mandated state of Palestine. And on the other hand even if Palestinians hated Jews it doesn’t necesserely mean that they hate them for simply BEING Jews, but that they hate them because of what Jews as Jews DID or still DO to them.

      Nathan: “Are there anti-Zionist activists (in the west) who are motivated by anti-Semitic prejudice?”

      Who cares if their activisim doesn’t express antisemitism? See what I did there? Now its up to you to define antisemitism.

      • Misterioso
        July 31, 2017, 11:48 am

        @Eljay, JosephA and Talkback

        Well and truly stated!!

        Food for thought:

        http://www.tothepointanalyses.com/

        “BDS, Human Rights and the Jews – An Analysis” (29 July 2017) by Professor Lawrence Davidson

        “Part I – BDS at Twelve”

        EXCERPTS:
        “As of July 2017, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israeli racism and apartheid is 12 years old. This means that over the last dozen years, a worldwide grassroots movement has grown up – a movement of civil society – that has organized active opposition to Zionist racism and Israeli oppression. While the vast majority of governments have either ignored or assisted Israel’s violations of international law and the basic principles of human rights, millions of ‘civilians’ have refused to follow their leaders on this issue.

        The BDS movement is now far ranging. It presses for divestment from companies that support or do business with Israel, particularly those that operate in the Occupied Territories. It urges the boycott of all Israeli products, from foodstuffs to cosmetics. It protests the appearance of Israeli cultural organizations outside of Israel. It urges the boycott of Israeli academic institutions that lend support to the state (an effort that, in 2015, Israeli president Reuven Rivlin called a ‘strategic threat of the first order’). And, it discourages tourist and artist visits to Israel, particularly by well-known celebrities. For more information about specific BDS achievements over the last 12 years, go to website of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights.

        “In all these efforts the movement has proved increasingly successful. Some surveys have suggested that as many as one-third of Americans and eighty percent of Canadians support BDS. The movement is also strong in Western Europe and growing in Australia and Latin America. Thus, no one should sell this ongoing campaign short. Certainly, the Israeli government does not. Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy devotes a lot of time and money to ‘push back’ against the BDS movement. Israel’s attempt to counter this growing popularity is grounded on a simplistic, libelous campaign that seeks to identify the BDS movement as a new form of anti-Semitism.

        “At least among the general population, there are two things that make this a very hard sell: (1) a lot of BDS supporters are Jewish, underlining the fact that the Zionist state and Judaism are not the same thing, and (2) the State of Israel continues to reinforce the BDS characterization of it as a racist state by public acts of discrimination against Palestinians.

        “As more people come to support BDS, fewer people support Israel. A survey released in mid June 2017 by an organization known as The Brand Israel Group, “a coalition of volunteer advertising and marketing specialists” who consult for pro-Israel organizations, indicated that ‘approval of Israel among American college students dropped 27% between the group’s 2010 and 2016 surveys’ while ‘Israel’s approval among all Americans dropped 14 points.’ Brand Israel’s conclusion: ‘the future of America no longer believe that Israel shares their values.’ This is the case not because of any big increase in anti-Semitism, but due to ever-growing evidence of Israeli racism.”

        “That support can extend to becoming Israel’s ally in the effort to defame and then try to destroy BDS. The argument that BDS is a modern form of anti-Semitism has become the backbone of an effort to make it illegal. As noted above, the BDS movement is not anti-Semitic. It is anti-Zionist, which in fact makes it anti-racist. There is plenty of evidence that the Zionists do indeed practice racism in Israel and its Occupied Territories, and therefore, in truth, the Zionist charge against BDS creates a paradox. It requires you to accept that a supporter of BDS can simultaneously be anti-Semitic and anti-racist. Alas, in the absence of voter pressure, this absurdity does not matter to most U.S. politicians. Nor does the fact that outlawing BDS constitutes an obvious violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”

        “Despite this Zionist contention that Israel and the Jews are equivalent, we know that this cannot be literally true. Israel’s sins cannot be the sins of the Jewish people as a whole. At the beginning of this essay I indicated that increasing number of Jews are actively supporting Palestinian rights and thus opposing both Israel’s undermining of the principle of human rights and its erosive effect on the moral status of the Jewish people.

        “However, the logic of the situation does make one thing literally true, and that is that the Zionist ideology, as it has evolved in practice, is a dangerous enemy of Jewish morality. As long as Zionism stands against human rights while at the same time insisting that Israel stands in for the Jews, it must be the enemy. Ignorance of this logic is also an enemy. Therefore, it is time to heed the call of Rebecca Vilkomerson, head of Jewish Voice for Peace: ‘Seventy years into the ongoing dispossession and displacement of Palestinians, fifty years into Israel’s military occupation, and ten years into the siege of Gaza, we think it is time for American Jewish communities [and those in the rest of the world as well] to have some really uncomfortable conversations.’ ”

    • Donald Johnson
      July 31, 2017, 12:03 pm

      “In the above article, the context has been switched on us. ”

      Exactly. The whole point of the “antizionism is antisemitism” claim is to force the issue into a context where the only question is whether advocates of basic Palestinian human rights must be anti-Semites and it does this by asserting it as an obvious truth right from the very start. I “changed the context” by pointing out that if it is an obvious moral truth then it applies to everyone and so it logically follows that Palestinians must be morally obligated to cheer for their own expulsion. You don’t like it. Well, too bad, because that’s the standard claim.

      You tell us that the real issue is whether there are anti-Zionist activists in the west who are motivated by anti-Semitic prejudice. Well, if that’s the real issue then people should state that plainly, but they don’t want to, because they like the blanket claim that antizionism is necessarily antisemitism too much to give it up. They don’t want to say that some antizionists are motivated by moral consistency on basic human rights issues, while others might be motivated by antisemitism. They want it to be a blanket charge against all antizionists.

      As for whether some are motivated by antisemitism, I think so. Am I going to write it? I did so, several years ago. But it is interesting that to you, that should have been the real focus of the article that I wrote–what I chose to concentrate on is somehow secondary, not worth talking about at all, a distraction from the real issue. Evidently a false charge of antisemitism which is racist when examined is not important.

      Which brings me to what could have been a followup–why is it that in the Western mainstream we talk so much about antisemitism amongst pro-Palestinian activists (and I agree it should be discussed) and almost never about the explicit or implicit racism amongst those who support Israel? That is almost universal. And that’s the real point of my post–even people who see themselves as wishing the best for both sides (and often sincerely so) often adopt a subconsciously racist attitude about whose rights are beyond question and whose rights are subject to negotiation. And which forms of bigotry deserve to be written about and which ones don’t. So we end up with politicians both liberal and conservative claiming that BDS is antisemitic, because they adopt the views I write about in this post. But you don’t want me to write about that. It’s not important to you.

    • RoHa
      August 1, 2017, 12:35 am

      “Are there anti-Zionist activists (in the west) who are motivated by anti-Semitic prejudice?”

      Their motives are irrelevant.

      The truth of an accusation does not depend on the motives of the accuser.

      If an MW commenter accuses me of being a Jew-hater, it makes no difference whether he does so because he has carefully examined my comments or because he is a loony who thinks every non-Jew is a Jew-hater.

      Either I am a Jew-hater or I am not, regardless of who (if anyone) accuses me and regardless of the motives of the accuser.

      The same goes for critics of Israel. Either their criticisms are true or they are not. The motives of the critics do not affect the facts about Israel.

      • Jon66
        August 1, 2017, 8:09 am

        RoHa,
        The “facts” may not change, but the interpretation of them does.
        For example, the fact is Israeli forces attcked the Liberty. Some here then take as fact that the attack was intentional. Others believe it was accidental. Now either the attack was or was not accidental, but which fact you choose to accept is certainly influenced by motivation.
        If Russia became more LGBTQ friendly, the progressive community would embrace it. With Israel its dismissed.

      • Talkback
        August 1, 2017, 9:09 am

        jon66: “Now either the attack was or was not accidental, but which fact you choose to accept is certainly influenced by motivation.”

        Yep, by the motivation to either tell or to hide the truth. Having read all the facts the only question that is left is, if this was sanctioned by the US (presidency) or not.

      • echinococcus
        August 1, 2017, 9:13 am

        For example, the fact is Israeli forces attcked the Liberty. Some here then take as fact that the attack was intentional. Others believe it was accidental

        If the so-well-named “others” really believe it, that is definitive evidence of profound oligophrenia.
        One still could make a case that believing that goat pee cures cancer, or that the earth is flat, is a matter of uninformed opinion. Not so much re the attack on the Liberty.

      • RoHa
        August 1, 2017, 9:52 am

        Interpretation of the facts is influenced by motivation, but so what?

        Motivation for an accusation does not affect the truth of the accusation, and therefore it is irrelevant whether or not critics of Israel are anti-Semites or not.

        In your example, if the attack on the Liberty was intentional, then it is true to say so, regardless of who says it, or why that person says it.

        This constant harping on “anti-Semites” is just argumentum ad hominem.

      • Jon66
        August 1, 2017, 11:27 am

        Roha,
        Please see the two posts above, Talkback and Echi. As you see they both assume the truth of the accusation based upon an interpretation of facts. Their anti-Zionism is a motive behind the interpretation and frames how they see the “truth” of the accusation. The motives of the accuser affect the context and details that are included in framing the accusation.

      • Mooser
        August 1, 2017, 11:54 am

        “Their anti-Zionism is a motive behind the interpretation and frames how they see the “truth” of the accusation”

        Better get used to it. There’s no law against being anti-Zionist.

      • The Hasbara Buster
        August 1, 2017, 12:15 pm

        @Jon66

        Even if the interpretation of the facts is affected by the motives of the critics, what you must prove is that the interpretation is wrong.

        For instance, it is a fact that on 9 April 1948 over 90 Arabs were killed in Deir Yassin. Certain Zionists’ interpretation is that it was a battle, while the antisemites’ interpretation is that it was a massacre committed by Jews. In this case, the antisemites’ interpretation is right. What differece do their motives make?

      • Annie Robbins
        August 1, 2017, 1:33 pm

        the truth of the accusation based upon an interpretation of facts

        so when we hear the recording of the israeli pilot saying it’s an american vessel we can interpret that fact by denying the recording or interpreting his words as to mean what?

        let’s look at a fact; gravity makes objects fall to the ground. is that a truth based on interpretation? or does it become he said she said based on ideological motivation? the truth of an accusation is based on facts, not the interpretation of them. it doesn’t all of a sudden not become a fact a murder murdered because he/she said they didn’t based on their motivation to be free or their motivation not to pay reparations.

        facts and truth don’t change because of how they are interpreted. one can choose not to believe them based on ones motivation, but the truth of an accusation is based on what happened, not the way someone interprets what happened.

        did Elor Azaria murder abdel al-Sharif? yes he did. can you interpret this as self defense? of course. but that won’t change the truth, that Azaria murdered al-Sharif.

        the truth can’t be altered by interpretation, only ones perception of the truth can be altered by interpretation.

      • Mooser
        August 1, 2017, 3:53 pm

        “Either I am a Jew-hater or I am not,”

        I like to think you just get a bit irritated with us from time to time.

      • Mooser
        August 1, 2017, 5:57 pm

        “Their anti-Zionism is a motive…”

        Unlike Zionism, which inculcates a perfect objectivity and habit of disinterested inquiry in every one of its adherents. And there’s no motive for bigotry, either.

        The fact that Zionism is an ideology designed to get something by taking it from others, and that it what Zionism has been steadily doing, is just a side issue, and can’t be used to impugn the motives of Zionists, too. You bet.

      • Jon66
        August 1, 2017, 6:00 pm

        Annie,
        There is a consensus amongst the scientific community that gravity is a law of nature. There is no similar consensus about the Liberty. That’s my point exactly.

      • RoHa
        August 1, 2017, 8:23 pm

        T and E may be motivated by anti-Zionism, but that does not affect the truth of the accusation. They accuse Israel of deliberately and knowingly attacking a US ship. This is a claim of fact. If Israel did that, their accusation, their claim of fact, is true. The same accusation would be true If Moshe Dayan made it as a deathbed confession. The motive is irrelevant.

        Forget about “truth”, and concentrate on establishing truth.

      • RoHa
        August 1, 2017, 8:49 pm

        Consensus among the scientific community only impresses those who don’t know any science. The consensus among the scientific community has been, at various times, the geocentric model, the phlogiston theory, the idea that continents may go up and down, but not side to side, and the idea that stomach ulcers are all caused by stress.

        Scientific progress usually comes through some annoying smart-alec* conducting an experiment that proves the consensus wrong. Then there is a lot of faffing around while everyone tries to rejig things to accommodate this result, and they end up with a new consensus. Which will probably be overturned in due course.

        Science is not democratic, and is not a body of absolute truths. It is a method for building up working hypotheses in the attempt to discover the truth about the world.

        *The obnoxious little squit will probably get tenure for that, and he’s half my age, has far fewer publications, and has a terrible haircut. I’ve been in this department for (continued on page 94)

      • RoHa
        August 1, 2017, 8:52 pm

        Mooser, there will be soon.

      • Jon66
        August 1, 2017, 9:34 pm

        Roha,
        That’s why the answer to Annie’s question, “let’s look at a fact; gravity makes objects fall to the ground. is that a truth based on interpretation? ” is YES. The fact is objects fall down. It is the current scientific interpretation that this is due to a force called gravity.

        So in a case like the Liberty, where the truth depends solely upon knowing the motives and knowledge of the actors, how can establish the truth if there is no record of their thoughts?

      • RoHa
        August 1, 2017, 10:57 pm

        And that interpretation might be correct. Perhaps things do fall because of a force which attracts things together.

        It may be very difficult to establish the truth, but that does not affect the issue. The point is that the motivation of the accuser is irrelevant to the truth of the accusation.

      • oldgeezer
        August 1, 2017, 11:11 pm

        Roha ignores the fact that science admits that it is an evolution of knowledge as new discoveries are made and old mysteries solved.

        Much better he claims to be one who ignore experts and be cave dwellers and luddites.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 2, 2017, 12:00 am

        where the truth depends solely upon knowing the motives and knowledge of the actors, how can establish the truth if there is no record of their thoughts?

        the truth of what happened at the liberty does not depend solely upon knowing the motives and knowledge of the actors anymore than the truth of the sun shining on your face depends on how you perceive it. you would never claim (one assumes) the israelis didn’t bomb the liberty would you?

        would it occur to you to say “the truth of whether the israelis bombed the liberty depends solely upon knowing the motives and knowledge of the actors?” no, it doesn’t. why? because the truth of it is that the israelis bombed the liberty. regardless of however you feel about it. you are confusing people’s opinions or perceptions about it with “truth”. you think because israel denies something that denial holds as much weight as the truth, it doesn’t.

        if you care to believe the sustained bombing and murder of the crew at sea of the liberty was some kind of accident i have either two choices, to think you are stupid or a liar. the circumstances and recordings and testimonies have thoroughly convinced me of the truth of what happened and i am not of any mind to think the attack was unintentional. besides, i learned early on not to believe in the words of liars, and israeli gov officials lie with impunity whenever it serves them. the country was built on lies and carnage, among other things. one does not have to know the motives of killers to determined they’ve killed anymore than one has to know what a tree thinks when if falls in the forest to determine a tree has fallen in the forest. it’s irrelevant what motivations they had for attacking a ship at close range flying an american flag on a clear day. it could have been the most noble cause in the world, like stealing the golan or whatever. it’s irrelevant. the israelis attacked the liberty knowing it was our ship, and there are recordings and eyewitnesses to prove it.

        either way, there is only one truth as to what happened. the truth doesn’t depend on whether it’s believed or not.

      • RoHa
        August 2, 2017, 6:11 am

        “Roha ignores the fact that science admits that it is an evolution of knowledge as new discoveries are made and old mysteries solved.”

        ?

        I thought that was implicit in the description I gave. I consider scientific method to be the best available to learn about the physical world.

      • Talkback
        August 2, 2017, 8:48 am

        jon66: “So in a case like the Liberty, …

        When Mondoweiss published the article “Israeli paper investigates 50-year-ago attack on ‘USS Liberty,’ while US papers leave it in the letters column” where all the evidence was laid out you dodn’ post a single comment!

        Now you are trying to highjack this topic in hope that your nonsense will face the less resistance. And you accuse me of “interpretating facts” motivated by Anti-Zionism. Well interpret this:

        Israeli fighters intentionally jammed 5 (five!) US emergency frequencies and not a single Egpytian.

      • echinococcus
        August 2, 2017, 9:51 am

        John #,

        So in a case like the Liberty, where the truth depends solely upon knowing the motives and knowledge of the actors, how can establish the truth if there is no record of their thoughts?

        By looking at the record and the acknowledged recordings, which is more than enough to dismiss out of hand the yapping and fake-philosophizing of the murderers’ faithful hounds like “Jon” the so-manieth.

  15. AddictionMyth
    July 31, 2017, 9:22 am

    “anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism” – I agree – keep it short. However I use different arguments. First it will backfire by turning off young Jews and just wait until they start putting them in prison. And another ‘unintended’ consequence is that it gives haters a free pass – “I support Israel – I can’t be an anti-Semite!” You bet Trump and a bunch of neo-Nazi Eastern European leaders will soon be trumpeting this.

  16. Elizabeth Block
    July 31, 2017, 10:16 am

    There was a Guantanamo prisoner who had been cleared for release but was still in prison. Someone at the Pentagon said it would help if he would express some appreciation for the United States.
    I’m not making this up.
    And I would compare it to expecting Palestinians not to be anti-Zionists.

  17. Misterioso
    July 31, 2017, 10:52 am

    All so predictable.

    Prophetic comments by five eminent Jews:

    Then Secretary of State for India and the British cabinet’s only Jewish member, Lord Edwin Montagu’s response to Prime Minister Lloyd George following issuance of the illegal 1917 Balfour Declaration: “All my life I have been trying to get out of the ghetto. You want to force me back there.”

    Henry Morgenthau Sr., renowned Jewish American and former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, 1919: “Zionism is the most stupendous fallacy in Jewish history….The very fervour of my feeling for the oppressed of every race and every land, especially for the Jews, those of my own blood and faith, to whom I am bound by every tender tie, impels me to fight with all the greater force against this scheme, which my intelligence tells me can only lead them deeper into the mire of the past, while it professes to be leading them to the heights. Zionism is… a retrogression into the blackest error, and not progress toward the light.” (Quoted by Frank Epp, Whose Land is Palestine?, p. 261)

    Asked to sign a petition supporting settlement of Jews in Palestine, Sigmund Freud declined: “I cannot…I do not think that Palestine could ever become a Jewish state….It would have seemed more sensible to me to establish a Jewish homeland on a less historically-burdened land….I can raise no sympathy at all for the misdirected piety which transforms a piece of a Herodian wall into a national relic, thereby offending the feelings of the natives.” (Letter to Dr. Chaim Koffler Keren HaYassod, Vienna: 2/26/30)

    Albert Einstein, 1939: “There could be no greater calamity than a permanent discord between us and the Arab people…. Let us recall that in former times no people lived in greater friendship with us than the ancestors of these Arabs.”

    Lessing J. Rosenwald, president of the American Council for Judaism, 1944: “The concept of a racial state – the Hitlerian concept- is repugnant to the civilized world, as witness the fearful global war in which we are involved. . . , I urge that we do nothing to set us back on the road to the past. To project at this time the creation of a Jewish state or commonwealth is to launch a singular innovation in world affairs which might well have incalculable consequences.”

  18. Vera Gottlieb
    July 31, 2017, 10:53 am

    I often read about ‘self hating Jews’ – to which I reply…and those Germans fighting against Hitler, self-hating Germans??? israel needs to grow up and tolerate criticism, in many instances well deserved. As someone wrote…Zionism is giving Judaism a bad name.

    • Kay24
      July 31, 2017, 12:16 pm

      “You are either for us, or against us”….if they find that you are against Israel’s occupation, land grabs, or human rights violations, you are either an anti-semite or self hating. All they want to do at that point is to stifle/threaten/intimidate you. Zionism.

      • JosephA
        August 1, 2017, 9:27 am

        When someone disagrees with your argument and they resort to name calling, that is an ad-hominem attack. This is a sure sign that you are winning the debate, if the other side has nothing substantive to argue.

  19. catalan
    July 31, 2017, 12:19 pm

    “Uncritical Jewish identification with oppressive Israeli policies fuels anti-Semitism”
    I must be one of the rare Jews that actually loves anti-Semitism. If the regular commenters on Mondoweiss or Al-Jazeera actually started LIKING Jews, I would be really scared. I would be, like, holy crap, what’s wrong with me? But them not liking me, that shows me the world is in order. Why would I want bad people to like me? That would mean I am bad as well.

    • echinococcus
      July 31, 2017, 4:36 pm

      Greenstein,

      Well stated, as Misterioso says.
      But then, what if you had encountered an “antisemite” among supporters of Palestinian resistance?

      First of all, you still haven’t clearly defined “antisemite”, as far as I can see. Are we talking hostility against people for the fact of having certain nominally religious people in their ancestry, i.e. hostility to a group because of inborn characteristics (i.e. racism), or are we talking some opposition to religion, or a specific religion, or the company people keep, etc –all acquired traits and as such eminently open to criticism? That should be made exceedingly clear before getting in this discussion.

      Then, even if some persons helping the resistance against Zionism had a racist animus against people calling themselves “Jewish”, what of it?

      Is our main objective to hunt so-called antisemites, or even some racially motivated people, or is it to help Palestinians liberate themselves from the Zionist abomination? A clear answer would be extremely welcome, especially considering the antics of different support organizations to the Palestinian fight.

  20. Tony Greenstein
    July 31, 2017, 1:05 pm

    Nathan is muddled at best and disingenuous at worst. He says:

    ‘When one raises the question if “anti-Zionism is an expression of anti-Semitism”, generally the context of the question is western society. In other words, are European (or American) anti-Israel activists motivated by anti-Semitic sentiments? That, obviously, is the issue at hand.’

    No it’s not the issue at hand. The context is both outside and inside Palestine. I have never met an anti-Zionist activist motivated by anti-semitism. There are of course some anti-Semites who use support for the Palestinians as a cover for their racism. But they are far outweighed by anti-Semites who are pro-Zionist and use their support for Israel as a cover for their anti-Semitism.

    People like Pastor John Hagee, Steve Bannon of Breitbart and Trummp, Viktor Orban of Hungary, Glenn Beck, Marine Le Pen – indeed most anti-Semites are pro-Zionist and what is worse Israel fetes them. Glenn Beck who uses the Christ Killer trope was feted by being allowed to address the Knesset and was given a raptorous reception.

    You see Nathan’s dishonesty, which is typical of most Zionists in his statement that ‘The Palestinians are in a conflict with the Jews’. No they are not. I’m not in conflict with them nor are diaspora Jews. Israeli colonists and the Israeli state is in conflict with them, not because the colonists are Jewish but because they are usurpers of the indigenous population.

    In other words Nathan has a racist mindset. Perhaps he would have described the Anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa as being a ‘conflict with Christians’ rather than White Europeans?

    More generally, the anti-Zionism=anti-Semitism smear assumes all Jews support Israel and Zionism. That is a typically anti-Semitic stereotype but then again Zionism has never had a problem with genuine anti-semitism

    • Misterioso
      July 31, 2017, 3:08 pm

      Heads up!!

      1.
      New website:

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

      “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) is a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality. BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.”

      2.
      http://www.tothepointanalyses.com/

      “BDS, Human Rights and the Jews – An Analysis” (29 July 2017) by Professor Lawrence Davidson

    • Misterioso
      July 31, 2017, 3:15 pm

      @Tony Greenstein

      Well and truly stated!!

    • oldgeezer
      July 31, 2017, 8:59 pm

      @Tony

      Well said.

    • Nathan
      July 31, 2017, 9:00 pm

      Tony Greenstein – It’s a true statement that “the Palestinians are in a conflict with the Jews”. I’m certain that we can agree that the enemy of the Palestinians is the “Zionist entity”. Some of the citizens of that entity are Arabs, and some are Jews. The Palestinians, however, are not in conflict with the Arabs. They are in conflict with the Jews. It’s really quite simple. If you prefer to drop the article (“the”), that’s fine. The Palestinians are in conflict with Jews, and that statement is true even if you are not included.

      By the way, since you mentioned the Diaspora, it should be noted that there have been occasions in which the Palestinian struggle did include the Diaspora. Perhaps the most famous incident is the hijacking of the Air France plane to Entebbe in the name of the Palestinian struggle. Those who were held hostage were holders of Israeli passports AND all other passengers whom the hijackers believed to be Jews. The other passengers were released. There was another case of the hijacking of an Italian cruise ship. An American Jew (Leon Klinghoffer) in a wheelchair was shot and thrown into the sea. It would appear that, indeed, the Palestinians see themselves in conflict with the Jews.

      You seem to think that the conflict is “not because the colonists are Jewish”. Well, I might be muddled, but you certainly do not have a good understanding of the conflict. You might want to read over the Hamas Charter of 1988 just to get an introduction to the conflict from the Islamist perspective. Your hostility to Israel, so I imagine, has its roots in the radical left. The Palestinian hostility includes Islamic roots as a main factor – and the image of the Jews is therefore part of the picture.

      • JosephA
        July 31, 2017, 11:02 pm

        Nathan,

        You are breaking the Ten Commandments of logic/reason.

        You can’t tell me that the Palestinians are in a conflict with the Jews and then reference the Hamas charter. That’s intellectually dishonest. The indigenous Palestinians are in a struggle for freedom against a Zionist occupation force of settler-colonialists, backed by a powerful army.

        Hamas does not represent all Palestinians.

        Also, if you read the book by Tom Suarez, you would see that the “Jewish terrorism” (this is what the British called it) was the cause of that attack you referenced.

        In fact, the Zionist terrorism was an attempt to bait the Palestinians into armed conflict. Both the Zionist terrorists and the British were amazed at the time just how peaceful the Palestinians were having to face such violent acts on a regular basis by the Zionist terrorists.

        Read the book “State of a Terror” by Tom Suarez, then if you can refute a single point from his book I will personally pay you $500. $500 for the first honest refutation, $750 for the second, and $1000 for the third.

        At the worst case, I will lose this argument, and some hard earned money. In the best case, you will get an education.

        If you don’t want to buy his book, I will buy it for you.

        Start here: paldocs.net

      • RoHa
        August 1, 2017, 12:42 am

        “It would appear that, indeed, the Palestinians see themselves in conflict with the Jews.”

        I am inclined to agree with you on that point. The Zionist project declared itself Jewish, Zionist invaders declared themselves Jews with the intent of creating a Jewish State, that State claims to speak for all Jews, and it seems that most of the world’s Jews (or at least the mouthpiece organizations) support Israeli crimes.

        When so many Jews have declared themselves enemies of the Palestinians, it is hardly surprising if the Palestinians see themselves in conflict with the Jews.

      • Mooser
        August 1, 2017, 12:05 pm

        ” – and the image of the Jews is therefore part of the picture.”

        That’s why you are here, “Nathan”. To correct that inaccurate and bigoted “image of Jews”.

      • The Hasbara Buster
        August 1, 2017, 12:46 pm

        @Nathan

        You state: “Some of the citizens of that entity [i.e. the ‘Zionist entity’] are Arabs, and some are Jews. The Palestinians, however, are not in conflict with the Arabs. They are in conflict with the Jews.” This is not true. In fact, the Palestinians are in conflict with all agents of the State of Israel, be they Jewish or Arab. For instance, Israel’s Border Police is made up, to a large extent, of Bedouins and Druze Arabs, and the Palestinians have attacked both. In a recent incident, two Palestinians stabbed to death Border Police agent Hadas Malka, who was Druze, and the attack was hailed by all Palestinian factions. This is undeniable proof that the Palestinians’ problem is with Israel, not with the Jews. I hope you can ackonwledge your mistake.

      • The Hasbara Buster
        August 1, 2017, 2:23 pm

        @Nathan

        You claim:

        there have been occasions in which the Palestinian struggle did include the Diaspora. Perhaps the most famous incident is the hijacking of the Air France plane to Entebbe in the name of the Palestinian struggle. Those who were held hostage were holders of Israeli passports AND all other passengers whom the hijackers believed to be Jews. The other passengers were released.

        This is not true. In the Entebbe hijacking, a total of four non-Israeli Jews were forced to join the hostages, and then only on suspicion of being dual-nationality Israelis traveling under another passport. On the other hand, several dozen American, French and Moroccan Jews were released by the hijackers. Ilan Hartuv, one of the hostages (Google him) is on record stating: “There was no selection applied to Jews: Entebbe was not Auschwitz.” Similarly, Ada Lazarovitz, another hostage, declared “the French, including the Jewish ones, were placed on one side, and the Israelis on the other.” The tale that the hijackers targeted the Jewish passengers, rather than the Israeli ones, is just hasbara peddled by the Israeli government.

        Therefore, the Palestinians are in conflict with Israel, not with the Jews. Is it too much to ask you to acknowledge just that?

  21. Pawtiger
    July 31, 2017, 2:21 pm

    Donald, please make the following simple editorial clarification. Where it says:

    we commonly impose draconian sanctions on countries that hurt the ordinary people far more than they hurt the leaders

    Change it to read

    we commonly impose draconian sanctions on countries–sanctions that hurt the ordinary people far more than they hurt the leaders

    this will make the referent of “that” unmistakeable.

    • Donald Johnson
      July 31, 2017, 10:03 pm

      I see what you mean, but I don’t actually have editorial control here. I send things in and someone else posts them. Hopefully most people know what I meant to say.

  22. MHughes976
    August 1, 2017, 8:14 am

    Donald produces an argument about anti-Semitism which no one has challenged directly: well done. The conventional line of thought seems to go the other way: Zionism is so clearly and obviously valid that any who say ‘They had and have no right to do this to me’ can only be motivated, since they have no remotely good reasons, by prejudice, presumably anti-Semitism. Thus the Palestinians have never had anyone but themselves to blame for not accepting that Jewish rights, derived from ancient times, have and always have had at least a certain priority over theirs, derived from being born there to parents who were born there and lived there, notwithstanding the fact that it is this kind of right that is normal in most places. This is to make Jewish rights especially sacred, i.e. to appeal openly or under some disguise, usually rather blustering disguise, to religion. The idea of Divine Donation of the Land and the correlative idea that those whom the land has vomited out have, to say the least, no right of return, is never more than a millimetre under the surface. The fact that this idea is so exceptional, that it is so cruelly operated on the ground and so widely and fiercely defended in the rest of the world, makes critique of it exceptionally important. It’s a question of concentrating on something important rather than picking on something arbitrarily.

    • Donald Johnson
      August 1, 2017, 11:13 am

      “The conventional line of thought seems to go the other way: Zionism is so clearly and obviously valid that any who say ‘They had and have no right to do this to me’ can only be motivated, since they have no remotely good reasons, by prejudice, presumably anti-Semitism.”

      Yes, and the corollary is that Palestinians are lesser beings, though since in the modern era amongst self-described liberals you can’t say explicitly racist things, they dance around it instead, saying as little about the Palestinians as possible. My local legislature passed an anti-BDS proposal a couple months ago and it is basically about how awful the BDS movement is and how wonderful Israel is. There is not one word mentioning the Palestinians and the only indirect allusion to them is a call for interfaith dialogue. Dialogue about what? If you went by the resolution, it could only be about how wonderful Israel is and whether we are being insufficiently supportive.

      The interesting thing about my post is that it was necessary to say it at all. It would be too obvious to need spelling out for a Palestinian or for that matter any other group victimized by a settler colonialist state, but most of us in the West are immersed in language that privileges the Israeli viewpoint–their rights are sacrosanct, beyond question, and Palestinians are treated as a problem, not people with equal rights, but people who are an embarrassment and who need to be finessed in some fashion that doesn’t inconvenience the Israelis, the people who matter, too much. Nobody in liberal circles wants to go back to full fledged 19th century racist thinking, so they don’t usually want to say that the Palestinians deserved to be expelled, but they also don’t want to talk about it if at all possible.

      Basically, with Western liberals what drives this is guilt over the long history of Western antisemitism. The expulsion of the Palestinians is, using Al Gore’s phrase about a different subject, an inconvenient truth. So you get comments like the one by Pope Francis that jon66 quoted above.

    • Mooser
      August 1, 2017, 12:01 pm

      ““The conventional line of thought seems to go the other way: Zionism is so clearly and obviously valid that any who say ‘They had and have no right to do this to me’ can only be motivated, since they have no remotely good reasons, by prejudice, presumably anti-Semitism.””

      Exactly! See “Jon 66” at 11:27 am., above.

    • Jon66
      August 1, 2017, 9:49 pm

      Hughes,
      Donald defines a situation with two possible outcomes. If Zionism, the return of the Jewish people to Israel, prevails then the Palestinians must suffer. He does not allow for a third option, the peaceful co-existence of both Jews and Palestinians within a state that recognizes rights of both.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 2, 2017, 1:13 am

        Zionism, the return of the Jewish people to Israel

        this is not the definition of zionism. let’s be realistic jon

        If Zionism, the colonial enforcer of apartheid, prevails then the Palestinians must suffer.

      • Donald Johnson
        August 2, 2017, 7:14 am

        Um, Jon, where did you get that interpretation of my beliefs? You made it up. My ideal solution , not that this matters, is a 1ss with equal rights for everyone, not a zero sum game. Failing that, if the Palestinians were willing to settle for a 2ss why would I object? But it would have to be one they were happy with, not one shoved down their throats by the US.

        I get the distinct impression you can’t argue fairly on this topic, so you fall back on argument from authority and straw men projections to make yourself feel good. But the issue is pretty straightforward. It is people in the Zionist side who insist that everyone chant antizionism is antisemitism and some of them even require Palestinians to say this — Bari Weiss in the NYT today is an example. It shows a level of arrogance that is astonishing and yet most of us in the West treat that slogan as though it had to be taken seriously. Frankly, it should be treated as racist. The only excuse for individuals who believe it is that in the US at least are told this so often people often just accept it without thinking through the ( obvious) implications. Btw, I don’t think all people on the Zionist side are this clueless. I would be surprised if Peter Beinart, for instance, jumped all over Linda Sarsour for saying nasty things about Zionism, but Bari Weiss in the NYT today thinks it is ” hate” for a Palestinian- American to do this.

        And as Annie said, actually existing Zionism is not about everyone living in the same state with equal rights. I gather there were some cultural Zionists in the early days who wanted Jews to move there without taking land or rights from the people already there. If that version of Zionism had been the dominant one, this blog wouldn’t exist.

      • MHughes976
        August 2, 2017, 10:05 am

        I was thinking of Donald’s core argument here that the complaint of a Palestinian who had suffered the impact of Zionism could not be dismissed as anti-Semitic because there is so much obvious reason in it. I don’t that this has been confronted, and I don’t see how any remotely liberal Zionist really could confront it. The question of the most desirable outcome is a different one, I think. I accept that the presence of reason in one’s complaint does not by itself prove that there is reason in one’s response.
        However, let me first applaud you for drawing our attention to the two most important Christian voices in all this. The Pope seems to have committed himself to the idea that the Covenant of Sinai is still valid – I believe it’s in his Evangellii Gaudium message, though I haven’t chased down chapter and verse. He’s not going far beyond his recent predecessors, though. This seems to commit the Catholic Church with iron bonds to strict Zionism and indeed to discountenance any ‘liberal’ stuff about 2 states or equality of religions.
        Thank God I’m a Protestant, and but there I come up against Martin Luther King and his mentor, Reinhold Niebuhr, for whom the Covenant of Sinai was the model,of sacredness and the fountainhead of morality and whose commitment to Israel was full.

      • Talkback
        August 2, 2017, 10:42 am

        jon66: “… the peaceful co-existence of both Jews and Palestinians …”

        Yes, for example the Zionist creation of a state through war and a Jewish majority through expulsion.

      • Jon66
        August 2, 2017, 11:26 am

        Donald,
        “Is anti-Zionism a form of anti-Semitism? If it were, then that would mean all Palestinians were morally obligated to endorse their own ethnic cleansing.”

        Why?
        This is what I mean when I say that you have set up only one answer to your question. There are Palestinians living in Israel who support Zionism. There are American Indians who support the US government. It is possible to support Zionism without endorsing all of its actions. It is possible to support the US and understand it’s imperfections.
        I don’t believe that all who oppose Zionism are anti-Semitic any more than all who oppose marriage equality are anti-gay.

        I don’t believe that all people who oppose Zionism are anti-Semitic.

      • eljay
        August 2, 2017, 11:33 am

        || Jon66: Donald,
        “Is anti-Zionism a form of anti-Semitism? If it were, then that would mean all Palestinians were morally obligated to endorse their own ethnic cleansing.”

        Why? … ||

        Because to oppose their ethnic cleansing would have meant they were anti-Semitic.

        || … There are Palestinians living in Israel who support Zionism. … ||

        1. If they are living in Israel, they are not ethnically-cleansed from Israel.
        2. Could you please provide a link to a quote from a Palestinian living in Israel who supports:
        – Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine; and
        – second-class status for non-Jews?

        Thanks.

      • Mooser
        August 2, 2017, 12:06 pm

        “Thank God I’m a Protestant, and but there I come up against Martin Luther King and his mentor, Reinhold Niebuhr, for whom the Covenant of Sinai was the model,of sacredness and the fountainhead of morality and whose commitment to Israel was full.”

        And isn’t it wonderful that Martin Luther King’s and Reinhold Niebuhr’s “model of sacredness and the fountainhead of morality” have influenced Zionism so greatly, and given Zionism a firm bedrock of principle?

      • MHughes976
        August 2, 2017, 12:30 pm

        A few more things – I think that Donald assumes that the ideology or principles that justify what the Palestinians have suffered is properly called Zionism. This seems to me to be a normal use of words. If one says that it was a further ideology, not implied by Z, then it is still the ideology that was acted upon, and acted upon by those generally called Z’ists.
        If another name for these ideas is (rather confusingly) demanded then there is still a rational complaint about their actual situation, the situation imposed by Israel, even if that other name is used. It’s that complaint which the likes of Donald and me support as of the most obvious moral validity and it is that complaint which is not anti-Semitic in the sense of resulting from mere prejudice.

      • Donald Johnson
        August 2, 2017, 1:04 pm

        Finally, Jon, an actual response to what I wrote. But you are missing the point. Yes, in real life people are complicated and can’t be lumped into nice clean categories as required by ideologies. And I don’t doubt that some Palestinian citizens of Israel support the state.

        But it is the Zionist side (not all of you) who came up with that lovely slogan that antizionism is the same as antisemitism. You acknowledge that this isn’t so and that Palestinians, for instance, can object to the ideology without being antisemitic. Good.

        The problem is that the form of Zionism which prevailed is the one which wanted a majority Jewish state in a land where that would not have been possible without getting rid of a lot of Palestinians. I doubt many Palestinians think that the Nakba was morally justified, even if they happen to be citizens of Israel and happen to be reasonably content with their lives. As I said in my previous response, yes, there were some Zionists who had no intention of forming a state that involved pushing out enough Palestinians so the Jews would have a majority. I sympathize with people who feel a religious or cultural connection to the land or who wanted a refuge from antisemitism. Where it went wrong was with the people who thought they had a right to expel Palestinians to achieve their dream.

        As for whether everyone can live together in peace, I hope so. One step people could take towards that would be acknowledging the massive injustices that were a part of Israel’s founding. The insistence that antizionism is a form of antisemitism is taking a giant step in the wrong direction.

      • Mooser
        August 2, 2017, 1:12 pm

        “I don’t believe that all people who oppose Zionism are anti-Semitic. “Jon 66” today.

        “Jon 66” yesterday:

        ” Their anti-Zionism is a motive behind the interpretation and frames how they see the “truth” of the accusation. The motives of the accuser…”

        Everybody has “motives” except Zionists, of course, who view the entire thing from a disinterested objective viewpoint. You fight it out along that line “Jon 66”

      • Mooser
        August 2, 2017, 1:15 pm

        “I don’t believe that all who oppose Zionism are anti-Semitic any more than all who oppose marriage equality are anti-gay.” “Jon 66”

        You must tell us about those ‘not anti-gay’ reasons to oppose marriage equality. I’ve never heard them.

      • Donald Johnson
        August 2, 2017, 1:20 pm

        MHughes–“I think that Donald assumes that the ideology or principles that justify what the Palestinians have suffered is properly called Zionism”

        Yes. As I just wrote Jon, sure, I gather there were other forms of Zionism that didn’t involve somehow getting rid of enough Palestinians to form a majority Jewish state. But those alternate forms are not the ones that prevailed. Most people nowadays mean Zionism as the ideology that produced Israel.

      • Jon66
        August 2, 2017, 1:39 pm

        Eljay,
        You ask me to find support for your definition of Israel/Zionism.
        Here are some examples of support for Israel as the Zionist state it is right now, warts and all.

        “He mentioned that he was raised to believe that Jews are the enemies of humanity and the Palestinians.

        However, he continued, that was “until I came to experience what the Jewish nation really is…through witnessing the true democratic model in an ocean of darkness.”

        “I came from hell,” and “I love what Israel stands for.” “Mossad Hassan Yousef, son of Hamas leader.

        “I am a proud Israeli – along with many other non-Jewish Israelis such as Druze, Bahai, Bedouin, Christians and Muslims, who live in one of the most culturally diversified societies and the only true democracy in the Middle East. Like America, Israeli society is far from perfect, but let us deals honestly. By any yardstick you choose – educational opportunity, economic development, women and gay’s rights, freedom of speech and assembly, legislative representation – Israel’s minorities fare far better than any other country in the Middle East.” Ismail Khaldi

        From a poll of Palestinian citizens of Israel.
        “Even as over 76 percent rejected the right to define Israel as a Jewish state — with more than 57% saying they strongly disagree with the idea — most Arab Israelis (60.5%) described their personal situation as “good” or “very good” and 55% said they are “proud citizens” of the State of Israel, according to the survey.”
        So a sizable minority support the Zionist definition.

      • eljay
        August 2, 2017, 1:47 pm

        || Jon66: Eljay,
        You ask me to find support for your definition of Israel/Zionism. … ||

        Actually, I asked you to please provide links to quotes. But thanks for the effort. :-)

        The first two guys sound entirely like propagandists: Israel is a “true democratic model” and “only true democracy” that’s better than bottom-of-the-morality-barrel states in the Middle East…oh, and let’s not mention its past and on-going colonialism and (war) crimes.

        If the survey is correct, it’s depressing to know that ~24% of Palestinian Israelis are content to live as second-class citizens in a supremacist “Jewish State”.

      • Donald Johnson
        August 2, 2017, 1:56 pm

        Well, that didn’t last. Here I thought Jon was getting reasonable but now he is citing the equivalent of Ben Carson on race relations in America.

        If we were only discussing the situation of Palestinian citizens within Israel and they were the only Palestinians anywhere in the world, then this blog wouldn’t exist. They are discriminated against, but sure, every society has warts. Maybe this wart defense needs an essay.

        But those aren’t the only Palestinians. Many were expelled from their homes and millions now live under apartheid in the WB or under a very harsh blockade set up by Israel and Egypt. Apparently when Jon was talking about living in peace in one country he was only referring to minority groups ( emphasis on minority) within Israel. If Jews were under blockade in Gaza or under apartheid in the WB I doubt we would be talking about warts here.

        And Jon apparently wasn’t referring to everyone living in peace in a single unified state. He was ignoring the massive human rights violations and just focusing on people who are citizens inside the 67 lines.

      • Mooser
        August 2, 2017, 2:01 pm

        “If we were only discussing the situation of Palestinian citizens within Israel and they were the only Palestinians anywhere in the world, then this blog wouldn’t exist. They are discriminated against, but sure, every society has warts.”

        Holy shit! I take your point, but; there’s a big difference between the societal wart of social discrimination or snobbery and a system of discriminatory laws in Israel.

        Another words, segregation and the Jim Crow legal system were just “warts” on the US, nothing more?

        ” Maybe this wart defense needs an essay.”

        Sure, and with a little work you could portray these “warts” as beauty marks.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 2, 2017, 2:24 pm

        It is possible to support Zionism without endorsing all of its actions. It is possible to support the US and understand it’s imperfections.

        jon, the term “imperfections” implies a blemish or flaw on an otherwise healthy (or perfect) state of being. “without endorsing all of its actions” implies the majority, or bulk of its actions, are endorsed. for a jewish citizen of israel, this might make sense. but from a palestinian perspective, the idea of the occupation being an imperfection is laughable. or considering or disagreeing w/the routine bulldozing of homes as “understanding zionism’s imperfections”.

        There are Palestinians living in Israel who support Zionism.

        they are rare. so rare you could even get your own tv show promoting ones self — and even Lucy Aharish has never defined herself as Palestinian ( http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.652936), so i am not sure she qualifies. the times of israel ran an interview with one but it was such an anomaly they changed his name for his own safety, or so they claim. http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/interview-with-a-palestinian-zionist/

        I don’t believe that all who oppose Zionism are anti-Semitic any more than all who oppose marriage equality are anti-gay.

        did you just juxtapose opposing zionism w/opposing marriage equality? strange indeed. one (zionism) has been the cause of endless suffering while the other (marriage equality) never hurt a soul.

      • Jon66
        August 2, 2017, 3:19 pm

        Annie,
        According to the poll it’s 24%. I wouldn’t call one of four “rare”.
        The fact that some Palestinians are so fearful of anti-Zionists that they must hide their names doesn’t speak to the problems with Zionism.

        Donald,
        No, I do not think a single state is a viable option.
        These Palestinians represent a significant minority viewpoint. You really can’t dismiss 24% of the Israeli Palestinian population. In my view, there would be two states and Zionism would not be the guiding movement in the Palestinian state.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 2, 2017, 4:10 pm

        what poll? does the poll actually mention “zionism” at all? can you link to it please?

        The fact that some Palestinians are so fearful of anti-Zionists that they must hide their names doesn’t speak to the problems with Zionism.

        TOI:

        *Hussein is a pseudonym. His real name is withheld for safety purposes.

        it’s not a “fact” a pseudonym was adopted for “Hussein” because “Palestinians are so fearful of anti-Zionists that they must hide their names”. the way it is phrased by TOI the pseudonym could have initiated by the author. we really do not know.

        the author Nadiya Al-Noor, has her own blog at TOI and she is not palestinian nor does she live there. and TOI posts on the top

        facts and any media content here are presented solely by the author, and The Times of Israel assumes no responsibility for them. In case of abuse, report this post.

        iow, no fact checking — for all we know this “hussain” could be a fictional person or an israeli collaborator.

        plus, all of her “articles” read like the finest pro zionist hasbara known on the internet: http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/author/nadiya-al-noor/

        and guess what! her FB page https://www.facebook.com/InfestedWithNargles “Nadiya Al-Noor” reveals “I am White and Jewish in ethnicity” and works for “CAMERA on Campus”. how unique, a pro israel jewish person spouting off hasbara!

        she lives in NY and claims she’s a muslim convert. seriously jon, this “hussain” is the only evidence of a zionist palestinian i could readily find, besides the news anchor. and contrary to you, i think this does speak to the problems with Zionism.

        anyway, could you please link the poll?

      • Donald Johnson
        August 2, 2017, 3:29 pm

        “Holy shit! I take your point, but; there’s a big difference between the societal wart of social discrimination or snobbery and a system of discriminatory laws in Israel.”

        You’re right. I was leaning over backwards to be fair– the Palestinian citizens in Israel do have the vote at least and if you just took their plight in isolation and there was no occupation and no Gaza blockade and there had never been a Nakba, we wouldn’t be talking about Israel very much. But there is an occupation which is an apartheid like system and all the rest and Jon seems determined to ignore it.

        I am, and this isn’t snark, disappointed. I thought he was talking about a 1ss. Silly of me. He only meant the current situation wasn’t so bad as far as he was concerned and was not talking about some future situation where everyone has equal rights.

        Annie caught that bit about gay marriage. That should have been a clue to me Jon wasn’t really conceding anything much.

      • Mooser
        August 2, 2017, 3:57 pm

        ” I was leaning over backwards to be fair”

        That’s what I thought. But it was just a bit startling.
        Thanks for response, Donald.

        (Yes, I thought “Jon 66” ‘anti marriage-equality is not anti-gay’ is quite revealing. He must have a very low opinion of marriage)

      • Donald Johnson
        August 2, 2017, 4:41 pm

        “You really can’t dismiss 24 percent of the Israeli Palestinian population.”

        We are going down a rabbit hole here. If that 24 percent is okay being second class citizens it’s no skin off my nose, but it doesn’t prove anything about the morality of Israel’s actions in the WB or Gaza or the ethnic cleansing in 48 and so on. Also, in America you could get 24 percent of the population supporting almost anything. Trump, for instance.

        Also, I wouldn’t care myself about living in a Jewish state if I had the same rights as everyone else and there were no other major human rights issues at stake.

        This all seems like it is wandering rather far from the point. The point is that many on the Zionist side ( and again to be fair, not all) want to define the issue in such a way that Zionism is beyond question and anyone who questions it is an antisemite. This is a racist lie. This doesn’t change because some Palestinian Israeli citizens give answers to poll questions that make you feel better.

      • YoniFalic
        August 2, 2017, 6:52 pm

        One can’t conclude from a poll that says 76% oppose something that the other 24% support that something.

  23. JosephA
    August 1, 2017, 9:31 am

    I would like to ask any zionist to tell me, in their own words, “what does zionism mean to you”? How does a zionist define their beliefs about zionism using their own words? Maybe if I heard it in their own words I could try to understand their viewpoint. In my mind, it’s racist and immoral, but I am trying to keep an open mind.

    • Mooser
      August 2, 2017, 2:07 pm

      “How does a zionist define their beliefs about zionism using their own words?”

      The same way you tell when spaghetti is done. You throw it at the wall, and if it sticks, it’s ready to serve.

    • Nathan
      August 16, 2017, 7:43 pm

      JosephA – You asked for a definition of Zionism. Yonah gave you his version, and his main point was the issue of “Jewish powerlessness”. Perhaps in the wake of anti-Semitic persecutions (and in the wake of the conflict with the Arabs) it would seem logical that the issue is the ability of the Jews to defend themselves. However, it is not the issue at all. When you read the 1902 novel of Theodore Herzl (“Altneuland”), you can see that he didn’t even envision that the future Jewish state would need an army.

      Zionism is a movement that wished to define Jewish life in the modern world. It aimed to create a future for the Jews based on the cherished memories of the past. The basic idea is that the Jews are an ancient people, and the center of their collective narrative is the yearning to return to Jerusalem.

      The name of the movement (Zionism) and the revival of the Hebrew language can give you a very good hint as to what it’s all about. Zion is the synonym for Jerusalem, and Hebrew is the language of the Torah. In other words, the renewal of Jewish life in modern times will be a reflection of the ancient Jewish past.

      Actually, you should just read the Declaration of Independence from May 1948. There the narrative on which Zionism is based is given in detail: An ancient people that created the Bible was exiled from its land, but always yearned to return…. If you prefer a more poetic (and a very short) version, you could find a translation of Ha-Tiqva (the Hope), the anthem of the Zionist Movement (and now the national anthem of Israel). The main point of the poem is based on a contrast from the Book of Ezekiel 37. See if you can catch it.

      BTW, in English, “Zionism” or “Zionist” is always capitalized. Those are the rules of correct spelling in English. I understand that your refraining from capitalizing it is a type of protest or a kind of belittling. There’s no need for such silly games. You express your opinion about Zionism (or about what you imagine Zionism to be) all the time in very clear terms.

      • JosephA
        August 16, 2017, 10:31 pm

        Oy vey, Nathan. Thank you for the response, it actually made me chuckle.

        Now that you and Yonah have defined zionism in your own words, would you mind please telling me if you believe it’s rational or moral to expel the native inhabitants of Palestine (the Palestinians) from their land?

        If you read Herzl, you would know that he would have seriously been happy with a Jewish state in Argentina.

        I reject that zionism defines Jewish live just as how I reject that ISIS/ISIL defines Muslim life. This is not a false equivalence. Equating zionism with Jewish life is a good example of a false equivalence. Your arguments are unfortunately rife with fallacy.

        What do you suppose I imagine zionism to be? Is zionism not racism? (It certainly is). Is zionism Judaism? (It certainly is not!!) Is zionism antithetical to Judaism? (Certainly, yes).

        I use clear terms because I know better. I know what it means to grow up surrounded by positive Jewish values and respect for other humans. Zionism (see, it is capitalized there because it was the first word in the sentence – thanks for the grammatical help BTW) is not moral, not Jewish, and really is in fact retrograde, racist, and probably the single greatest threat to Judaism since WWII.

        I rest my case, stranger.

        Dropping the mic . . . now.

      • yonah fredman
        August 17, 2017, 12:47 pm

        Joseph A- (Raising a topic after a two week hiatus on this thread deprives me of continuity with my frame of mind at the time of the first comment, but…)

        Seeing as the expulsion of the Palestinians occurred at a moment a handful of years after the need so self apparent between 1939 and 1945 raises questions of morality and psychology. But first politics and rationality:
        Ben Gurion saw himself trying to navigate the enterprise towards viability and stability. And kicking out the Palestinians was a key aspect to his construction of the Israeli future, our Israeli present tense. I view it as rational. I try to imagine a future for Israel at peace with its neighbors and beginning a process of reconciliation with the Palestinians and I in fact do not see such a process on the horizon, so from this perspective the rationality of the decision by Ben Gurion is antithetical towards the “future” and as such you might be tempted to label it as irrational. But I do not consider it irrational.

        I don’t think Ben Gurion thought in terms of morality, he thought in terms of history, statesmanship, viability, stability. From a moral point of view, Zionism was bad news for the Palestinians. Zionism harmed the palestinians and such harm cannot be ignored.

        there was more than one cause for the development of zionism. the move to secularization was perforce a move to redefine what it means to be a jew. the haskala, the yiddishist movement, certainly assimilation of ideas from the world including socialism, but an attempt to synthesize ideas of the world with an evolving but persistent sense of Jewish identity, all these must be included to try to capture the jewish culture and consciousness in the period between 1881 and the beginning of the destruction of european jewry in 1939. i don’t think an urge towards jerusalem was unnatural. it was there in the texts and the traditions and the prayers. with the advent of photographs, motion pictures and then talkies, with the vast mobility of people moving from eastern europe to america, there was bound to be some movement towards zionism and if not sovereignty, a changed, much more intense relationship with the land of the bible, with the focus of so many prayers, was bound to occur given the dynamic of the at times opposing forces of identity and secularism, one way of fulfilling both identity and the need to pull away from the rule of the rabbis was to establish a jewish movement outside their domain, which explains much of the dynamism of the haskala and the yiddishists and the yiddish socialists and also of zionism.

        it is an interesting question of how judaism and zionism would have evolved without the cataclysm that awaited them and the worsening situation in certain countries (poland, for example) for Jews between the wars. Something seemingly trivial like the US immigration policy had a very definite impact on the doubling of the Jewish population in Palestine between 1920 and 1929, so neglecting the “refugee” aspect of the influx of jews into Palestine is to deny the historical context. but back to my point regarding a gradual development of a Jewish homeland in Palestine without statehood, but with a view towards slowly building a Jewish center in the land near Jerusalem might have developed in an acceptable fashion at a reasonable rate if the world had remained sane rather than gone nuts as a reaction to the depression of 1929.

        in the present tense, i idealize the imagination of reconciliation but am confronted by the reality of conflict and stubbornness and myopia and autism, and realize that my impulses are not harmonious with the natural dynamic of the mainstream of jewish politics in Israel and among its most involved supporters in America and I wonder how I would react if i didn’t have so many relatives who live there and whose future I “worry” about. In fact I do have many relatives there and though to the mondoweiss comments section most of them are just interlopers who could easily return to america, in fact they are israeli and I have a stake in their future and thus cannot react to my opposition to the dominant Israeli politics by detaching myself. By no means is that near my state of mind, despite my decision not to live there. And thus the thrust of Zionist thought cannot be dismissed, even though my own thoughts are towards idealizing reconciliation.

  24. yonah fredman
    August 1, 2017, 12:55 pm

    JosephA:
    Zionism is based upon three premises:
    1. Jewish powerlessness has been revealed by recent history to be untenable. Passivity in the face of Jewish powerlessness is unacceptable.
    2. Jewish self emancipation is the best way of remedying powerlessness. (This means Jews need a state, so they can have an army.)
    3. The place for the state should be Israel.

    While premises one and two are easy enough (Premise 1 is self evident. Premise 2 depends upon a reading of politics and human history up to and including 2017, that is not self evident, but easy enough), Premise 3 is not logically implied by the first two assumptions.

    The major problem comes with the implications of Premise 3: the necessity of Jewish self rule requires a limitation on the rights of Palestinians.

    It is primarily this implication that you reject.

    In fact it is difficult to imagine a Jewish state in Israel that does not (on some level) limit Palestinian rights. Squaring the circle, so to speak, figuring out how to reconcile Jewish statehood and Palestinian self respect, is not easy to imagine. But when the thrust of Zionist thought does not see this conflict as a problem, then the imaginers are thrust aside and denigrated, this makes a nearly impossible task even more difficult.

    • eljay
      August 1, 2017, 1:59 pm

      || yonah fredman: … Zionism is based upon three premises:
      1. Jewish powerlessness has been revealed by recent history to be untenable. Passivity in the face of Jewish powerlessness is unacceptable.
      2. Jewish self emancipation is the best way of remedying powerlessness. (This means Jews need a state, so they can have an army.)
      3. The place for the state should be Israel.

      While premises one and two are easy enough (Premise 1 is self evident. Premise 2 depends upon a reading of politics and human history up to and including 2017, that is not self evident, but easy enough), Premise 3 is not logically implied by the first two assumptions.

      The major problem comes with the implications of Premise 3: the necessity of Jewish self rule requires a limitation on the rights of Palestinians. … ||

      I believe this bit of supremacist blather is what is abnormally but correctly referred to as “begging the question”.

      WWII revealed the powerlessness of a lot of people and the only just and moral solution to their powerlessness was and remains the universal and consistent application of justice, accountability and equality.

      The solution to Jewish powerlessness was not and is not a supremacist “Jewish State” just as the solution to the powerlessness of Romani, homosexuals and the disabled was not and is not a supremacist “Romani / Gay / Disabled State”.

      “Jewish self rule” was not and is not a “necessity” and Palestinians were not and are not required to suffer for it.

      • Talkback
        August 2, 2017, 9:29 am

        eljay: ““Jewish self rule” was not and is not a “necessity” and Palestinians were not and are not required to suffer for it.”

        I think you only will be pleased, if Israel is dismantled. *cough*

      • eljay
        August 2, 2017, 9:53 am

        || Talkback: … I think you only will be pleased, if Israel is dismantled. *cough* ||

        Nope, that’s your and echinococcus’ thing. A two-secular-and-democratic-states solution does not require Palestinians – or Jews – to suffer.

      • Mooser
        August 2, 2017, 11:11 am

        ” A two-secular-and-democratic-states solution does not require Palestinians – or Jews – to suffer.”

        I knew that new technology developed in Canada, which doubles the land area and resources of any area at the push of a button would change our lives soon.

        And of course, Zionists would never ever say they were suffering if they weren’t.

      • eljay
        August 2, 2017, 11:24 am

        || Mooser: … I knew that new technology developed in Canada, which doubles the land area and resources of any area at the push of a button would change our lives soon. … ||

        Two states or one, it’s the same land area and resources. But echinococcus’ plan to remove 95% of Jews from geographic Palestine would definitely change lives.

        || … And of course, Zionists would never ever say they were suffering if they weren’t. ||

        Losing supremacist status and gaining equality does not qualify as “suffering”. Not in my book, anyway.

      • Mooser
        August 2, 2017, 11:55 am

        “But echinococcus’ plan to remove 95% of Jews from geographic Palestine would definitely change lives.”

        They won’t have to be “removed”. They will scatter in the wind at even the real scent of losing their colonial advantages, or any kind of accounting. You gonna beg them to stay?
        I say their right to give up on a colonial project is in a grand tradition and should not be infringed upon!

      • eljay
        August 2, 2017, 1:22 pm

        || Mooser: … They won’t have to be “removed”. They will scatter in the wind at even the real scent of losing their colonial advantages, or any kind of accounting. You gonna beg them to stay? … ||

        Nope. If some (many? most?) Zionists choose to leave geographic Palestine rather than become citizens of one of two secular and democratic states, that’s their choice.

        If some (many? most?) Palestinian refugees choose to accept compensation in lieu of return to geographic Palestine, that’s their choice.

        If the voting publics of Israel and not-Israel choose not to unify their two states into one, that’s their choice.

        My opinion is merely my opinion. :-)

      • Mooser
        August 2, 2017, 2:12 pm

        “Nope. If some (many? most?) Zionists choose to leave geographic Palestine…”

        Israel will not have the resources to keep itself going. It’s a very high-maintenance state.

      • echinococcus
        August 2, 2017, 3:08 pm

        But echinococcus’ plan to remove 95% of Jews from geographic Palestine…

        It’s not a plan; it’s not “Jews” but illegitimate invaders, no matter the religion; it’s not removal but asking permission from the owners of the country through a proper plebiscite; it’s not “geographic” Palestine but Palestine period.
        Let’s see what next you guys will invent to normalize colonial invasion.

      • Talkback
        August 2, 2017, 3:08 pm

        Eljay: ““Jewish self rule” was not and is not a “necessity” and Palestinians were not and are not required to suffer for it.”

        Eljay: “Nope , …”

        According to you “Jewish self rule was not and is not a “necessity” and Palestinians were not and are not required to suffer for it”. The end of Jewish self rule is the end of Israel. So it seems that you like Israel to be dismantled.

        Eljay: “… that’s your … thing.”

        I recently told you that it is up to the Palestinians what they want. At least try to be a little honest.

      • Mooser
        August 2, 2017, 4:07 pm

        “Two states or one, it’s the same land area and resources”

        That was my point. It doesn’t magically get any bigger or get any more water or resources when you call it “two states”.

      • eljay
        August 2, 2017, 8:56 pm

        || Mooser: “Two states or one, it’s the same land area and resources”

        That was my point. It doesn’t magically get any bigger or get any more water or resources when you call it “two states”. ||

        Then we agree to agree. I like that. :-)

      • Bont Eastlake
        August 2, 2017, 11:52 pm

        Mooser,

        If you understand that the land is a finite resource, why are you still supporting the legitimacy of a two state solution which will involve partial theft of the land instead of complete theft? Theft is theft isnt it?

        The Palestinians cannot be held responsible for the welfare of their oppressors. Why should they cede their rightful ownership of the land have lived on, for generations, to appease Western political sensibilities?

        What we have in Palestine is not a conflict, it is a crime. Israel is completely in the wrong in every action past and present and they need to hold accountable. Giving in to the two state solution is like letting the robber keep half his loot as long as he stop robbing people.

      • Talkback
        August 3, 2017, 8:50 am

        Mooser: “That was my point. It doesn’t magically get any bigger or get any more water or resources when you call it “two states”.”

        Silly point. Do both state have access to the same resources?

      • Talkback
        August 3, 2017, 9:02 am

        Eljay: “If the voting publics of Israel and not-Israel choose not to unify their two states into one, that’s their choice.”

        And if the voting public of not-not-Israel decides to remain supremacist, colonialist and occupy land beyond partition borders it is its choice, too.

      • eljay
        August 3, 2017, 9:14 am

        || Bont Eastlake: … Why should [Palestinians] cede their rightful ownership of the land have lived on, for generations … ||

        Because according to you their ownership of those pieces of land is fundamentally irrational.

      • Bont Eastlake
        August 3, 2017, 9:18 am

        Talkback,

        Its not a silly point at all. Resources at any given location is finite, therefore the laws of accessing these resources must be equitable to all depending on them to live.

        Having two states makes it impossible for equitable laws to be created and enforced for the benefit of the people living on the landmass known as Palestine. It is also an injustice to those native to the land to be deprived of their rightful access to the resources despite living in complete accordance of local legal systems for centuries, if not millenia.

      • eljay
        August 3, 2017, 9:54 am

        || Talkback: And if the voting public of not-not-Israel decides to remain supremacist, colonialist and occupy land beyond partition borders it is its choice, too. ||

        If you say so. I certainly don’t.

      • Bont Eastlake
        August 3, 2017, 10:40 am

        Eljay

        Irrationality does not mean to injustice. Palestinians, i.e. human beings that are native to the landmass of Palestine through ancestral ties to the land, have a collective ownership of it that they can choose to cede or share with non-Palestinians. Their very existance on the land of Palestine legitimize their claim.

      • eljay
        August 3, 2017, 10:53 am

        || Bont Eastlake: Eljay

        Irrationality does not mean to injustice. Palestinians, i.e. human beings that are native to the landmass of Palestine through ancestral ties to the land, have a collective ownership of it that they can choose to cede or share with non-Palestinians. Their very existance on the land of Palestine legitimize their claim. ||

        According to you private ownership of the land is fundamentally irrational. If no-one owns it, no-one has the authority to “cede or share” it. So there’s no injustice if others come to partake of it.

        I don’t agree with this but, then, I’m an anti-Zionist and not a “pro-Palestinian activist” like you.

      • catalan
        August 3, 2017, 11:28 am

        “Palestinians, i.e. human beings that are native to the landmass of Palestine through ancestral ties to the land” Bont
        I wish I was ancestral to any land – but I live in New Mexico and am apparently of Slavo-Turkish origin (even though my ancestors spoke Spanish), so I guess I am a stranger here. Although I do feel pretty connected to the trees in my backyard and would hate to lose my house.
        I guess a lot of people feel like you have to live where you were born (within a certain radius perhaps?). But then what if you were born in El Paso – you are a step away from Mexico, and thousands of miles from Washington, DC, and yet they say you are “American” and not Mexican. I was born in Sofia, which is much closer to Serbia than the geographic center of Bulgaria, so why am I Bulgarian and not Serb? I always get confused with who is native to what. I also do not understand the mystery “ties” that people have to a “land”. Like, I don’t have any ties to anything. I just go to work and come back home. People must have some special connections to things.

      • echinococcus
        August 3, 2017, 12:23 pm

        “Catalan”

        Clown. Of course the Sefardí are not Slavo-Turkic in origin. Rather Berber or possibly Celtiberian.

      • catalan
        August 3, 2017, 3:52 pm

        “not Slavo-Turkic in origin. Rather Berber or possibly Celtiberian.” Echi
        So according to you, I am Berber. Either way, not sure what my business is here in native American country. Still, I like it, and plan to stay. I am very light skinned though so these Berbers must have played around quite a bit.

      • echinococcus
        August 4, 2017, 12:00 am

        “Catalan”

        Not according to me, not “I am”, not different colored, no matter if it were, and you’re all wrong as usual.

      • Talkback
        August 4, 2017, 6:34 am

        eljay: “I don’t agree with this but, then, I’m an anti-Zionist and not a “pro-Palestinian activist” like you.”

        Rofl, if you were an anti-Zionist they would all sing the Hatikva. You just abuse antizionist arguments like the condemnation of settler colonialism and supremacism to make a case for Israel within 48 borders. Because when it comes to the supremacism and settler colonialism that led to the the creation of Israel you simply whitewash it like a true Zioinst by reasuring everyone that Palestine was partitioned [which it wasn’t], Israel accepted [which was lip service] and then internationally recognized [like to other regimes that followed a supremacist colonialist agenda in the last century and were successfully dismantled].

        You even make the claim that Israel wouldn’t be longer Zionist if it would abandon its supremacism and settler colonialism. As if there was a need for a state of Israel for Non- or Post-Zionist. And you also claim that the two states could be even reunited, if that was the decision of their voters. True, why not, if Israel would be Non-Zionist, right? But if all of your arguments were honest than you could direcly make the truly anti-Zionist case for the one state solution given the fact that Jews right now are a minority in Palestine even without the refugees whose right to return you demand. But you don’t, cause you are an anti-Zionist, right?

        When you say that you are not a “pro-Palestinian activist” it simply means that you don’t want to deal with the fact that the creation of Israel was a violation of the right to self determination of the citizens of Palestine and the territorial integrity of Palestine. Zionist didn’t even have a majory mandate of their future citizens and need to ethnically cleanse the nonjewish majority of the citizens of Palestine.

        I know, when ever someone questions your “anti-Zionist” position to point out its incohereny and in my opinion fundamental dishonesty you have to either ignore the questions or response with your “Sure, what ever you say” idiocy. What will it be this time? Oh, the suspense …

      • Talkback
        August 4, 2017, 6:39 am

        Bont: “Talkback, Its not a silly point at all.”

        You are actually explaining to Mooser why the point he is making is silly.

      • Talkback
        August 4, 2017, 7:26 am

        eljay: “If you say so. I certainly don’t.”

        But it’s based on the logic of your argument. You wrote: “If the voting publics of Israel and not-Israel choose not to unify their two states into one, that’s their choice.

        Whose else choice is it, if the voting public of Not-Not-Israel chooses to remain supremacist, colonialist and occupy land beyond partition borders? It’s their choice if they make this choice, isn’t it?

      • eljay
        August 4, 2017, 9:06 am

        || Talkback: I know, when ever someone questions your “anti-Zionist” position to point out its incohereny … ||

        There is no incohereny in my anti-Zionist (not “anti-Zionist”) position.

        || … you have to either ignore the questions or response with your “Sure, what ever you say” idiocy. What will it be this time? Oh, the suspense … ||

        “What comes around goes around – I’ll tell you why.”
        (Ratt)

      • eljay
        August 4, 2017, 9:15 am

        || Talkback: … But it’s based on the logic of your argument. … ||

        Your comment was based on your deliberately shitty interpretation of the logic of my argument.

        || … You wrote: “If the voting publics of Israel and not-Israel choose not to unify their two states into one, that’s their choice. … ||

        That’s right. As you know – and I know you know this – I advocate a solution comprising two secular and democratic states. The right to keep the states separate or to unify them should be up to the democratic will of the voting publics of those two states.

        You are suggesting that their democratic will should include a right to adopt / revert to colonialism and supremacism. I strongly disagree: No secular and democratic state should adopt / revert to any form of supremacism or colonialism.

      • Talkback
        August 4, 2017, 12:20 pm

        eljay: “You are suggesting that their democratic will should include a right to adopt / revert to colonialism and supremacism.”

        Not at all, I’m suggesting that if it is THEIR democratic will to prolong occupation, colonialism and supremacism than this is obviously THEIR choice and it was up to them to make this choice. And since international recognition seems to be so important to you I don’t see, why they can’t continue to make the same choice they made since 1948 as long as the state is internationally recognized.

        Eljay: “The right to keep the states separate or to unify them should be up to the democratic will of the voting publics of those two states.”

        So the same goes for the democratic will to prolong occupation, colonialism and supremacism. There is nothing wrong with colonialism and supremacism as long as it leads to the creation and maintainance of Israel. Otherwise it would needed to be dismantled like a major settlement, cause one can’t enforce a colony within Palestine or its partition without supremacism and settler colonialism.

        eljay: “There is no incohereny in my anti-Zionist (not “anti-Zionist”) position.”

        Your best counter argument so far! So short and precise that it explains why it doesn’t even look like one.

        Since I don’t think that you are up for this debate I’m going to take a different approach which is more antizionist according to your antizionist standards.

        1.) Your condemnation of Israel’s surpremacism and colononialism means the dismantlement of Israel. Because The end of its supremacism and colonialism would mean the withdrawal of all Jewish settlers and their descendants from all of Palestine. One OBVIOUSLY can’t impose a settler state upon a country without being supremacist and colonialist.

        2.) In September 1948 Israel annexed the territories beyond 1948 borders:
        1. Any law applying to the whole of the State of Israel shall be deemed to apply to the whole of the area including both the area of the State of Israel and any part of Palestine which the Minister of Defence has defined by proclamation as being held by the Defence Army of Israel.
        http://www.geocities.ws/savepalestinenow/israellaws/fulltext/areajurisdictionpowersord.htm

        Out of the 161 states that recognize Israel de jure 148 states recognized it after this annexation and only 14 before. But the latter didn’t withdraw their de jure recognition because of the annexation. And Israel was never condemned for it by the Security Coucil) So all 161 states that de jure recognize Israel recognize it de jure within the green line until a final agreement has been reached.

        Of course if the voters of Israel choose not to come to a final agreement it is their choice.

        See? My position is even more “antizionist” than yours. Lol.

      • Mooser
        August 4, 2017, 1:27 pm

        “Silly point. Do both state have access to the same resources?”

        How would you arrange that? In this situation, not abstractly.

      • Mooser
        August 4, 2017, 1:47 pm

        “You just abuse antizionist arguments like the condemnation of settler colonialism and supremacism to make a case for Israel within 48 borders”

        A case he will have,( if your characterization of it is accurate,) a harder time making to Israel then anybody else! Sort of adds a quixotic aspect.

      • Talkback
        August 4, 2017, 2:04 pm

        Mooser: “How would you arrange that? In this situation, not abstractly.”

        I wasn’t supporting it. I found the notion silly. But I’m not longer sure If I even understood it.

        Did you know that the creators of the partition plan knew that an Arab state wasn’t viable on his own, because most of its industry and the most fertile agricultural production (13 times more was produced by Palestinians) was located in the territory proposed for the Jews? The partition plan was NOT a clear cut seperation into two state but an economic union.

      • echinococcus
        August 4, 2017, 2:41 pm

        Mooser,

        Stuff and nonsense, denying the right of colonial settlement is fundamental; insisting on the local population’s self-determination against colonial intrusion is more than fundamental.

      • echinococcus
        August 4, 2017, 3:10 pm

        Talkback,

        And if the voting public of not-not-Israel decides to remain supremacist, colonialist and occupy land beyond partition borders it is its choice, too.

        Eljay hasn’t yet received the memo that said voting public of illegal invaders already decided that policy plus genocide, is implementing it and supports it to the tune of >90%.

        Oh, they won’t any longer because Eljay decreed a “should”: “I strongly disagree: No secular and democratic state should adopt / revert to any form of supremacism or colonialism.”
        Eljay should go give a “should” to the UN, the US Gov and the Zionist entity right now then; that will stop them.

      • Mooser
        August 4, 2017, 3:40 pm

        ” insisting on the local population’s self-determination against colonial intrusion is more than fundamental.”

        That’s what I’m saying. Nothing will suddenly double the land area and resources of Palestine, and make the Zionist colonial intrusion anything other than what it is. I wouldn’t look for help for the two-state solution in an even division between the two states.

      • Talkback
        August 5, 2017, 3:41 pm

        echi: “Eljay hasn’t yet received the memo that said voting public of illegal invaders already decided that policy plus genocide, is implementing it and supports it to the tune of >90%.”

        I’m afraid to tell you that you didn’t receive Eljay’s memo.

        A democratic secular state within 48 borders enforced by Jewish settlers upon the Palestinans through war is a firmly antizionist project and neither supremacist nor settler colonialism. That’s why they accepted the partition plan and were very eager to carry it out.

        Jews only expelled Nonjews and conquered territories beyond partition borders, because they suddenly mutated into supremacist, colonialist Zionist after they heard voices of rejection by people who don’t even exist. It was a catastrophe, but not one they brought upon themselves.

        I don’t know exactly what happened and why – you know how secretive Eljay is about it and how he ignores related questions. But If I understand him we just have to answer their cry for redemption of Eretz Israel and then they would transform back into being antizionist. So stop turning the real victims into perpetrators. It’s antisemitic! Their involuntary mutation is even internationally recognized!

    • Mooser
      August 1, 2017, 5:04 pm

      “Zionism is based upon three premises:”

      And 180 million Jews, working in unison and harmony towards the Zionist ends.

      • catalan
        August 4, 2017, 4:47 pm

        “possibly from a computer generated composite repeated to illicit jealous or anger? ”
        Why be jealous or angry?All statistics – HDI, happiness, longevity show that Israel is one of the best places in the world to live in. Same with American Jews, who are the wealthiest group in one of the richest countries. Gaza and the West Bank are on the other hand, according to the same statistics, some of the worst places to live in. I love this situation.

      • Talkback
        August 5, 2017, 12:37 pm

        Catalan: “Gaza and the West Bank are on the other hand, according to the same statistics, some of the worst places to live in. I love this situation.”

        Sure, Nazis loved, too, how other people suffered under their occupation. And in the case of Israel Zionist even completely acquired Palestinians industries and agriculture in 1948 through war, too.

      • catalan
        August 5, 2017, 1:44 pm

        Talkback,
        In a response to me you stated that by your own estimation you are very intelligent while I am stupid. I accept that of course but I do wonder: why not harness this amazing brain power of yours to liberate the Palestinians? Why do you bother replying to mental midgets like myself on blogs that are already pro – Palestinian?

      • Mooser
        August 5, 2017, 7:08 pm

        Careful, “Talkback”, it’s a trap! “catalan” is trying to provoke you, and if you react, he’s gonna tell the IDF to go all survival-ensurance (sic) on your ass.

      • Talkback
        August 6, 2017, 5:21 am

        catan: “In a response to me you stated that by your own estimation you are very intelligent while I am stupid.”

        ROFL. Are you nuts? You made a pretty stupid comment about people being jealous about Jewish intelligence and success. In response to the stupidity of your comment I responded to Mooser’s similar estimation of your intelligence:

        “Maybe [catalan] is just trying to debunk the myth that Jews as such are intelligent. So far his being very succesful”

        And you responded with “I am of course not smart. … I am very happy to be stupid …” and made my point.

    • JosephA
      August 2, 2017, 1:28 am

      Hello Yonah,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts about zionism. If zionists had made your first two points their core beliefs, I would likely be a zionist today. It is important to note that your points 1-2 assume that the Jews are living in societies dominated by Christians.

      The fact that Jews lived most peacefully for well over 1,000 years in the Middle East, with their brothers-in-humanity, this tells me that had the Christians in Europe not slaughtered the Jews and harassed them for hundreds of years, zionism would have no need to exist in the first place.

      As for point #3, If only the Uganda Proposal plan was successful, the Palestinians would be living with freedom and dignity today.

      Point #3 (“the place for the state should be Palestine”) requires Jews to subordinate their humanity to nationalism, and it really perverts points #1-2, rendering them almost moot, considering that the modern state of Israel does not advance Jewish interests around the world – quite the opposite!

      • catalan
        August 2, 2017, 8:50 am

        “the modern state of Israel does not advance Jewish interests around the world – quite the opposite!” JosephA
        I feel that it advances my interests very much. It is nice to know that if someone gets any funny ideas about harming Jews, Israel can take them out. I am all for free speech and expressing dislike for Jews on the internet. That tells me we are doing great – people are jealous of our intelligence and success.

      • RoHa
        August 2, 2017, 9:39 am

        “If only the Uganda Proposal plan was successful, the Palestinians would be living with freedom and dignity today.”

        But some Ugandans might not be so lucky.

      • Keith
        August 2, 2017, 11:05 am

        JOSEPH A- “… this tells me that had the Christians in Europe not slaughtered the Jews and harassed them for hundreds of years….”

        A sane person would be embarrassed to utter nonsense like this. This is the myth-history of a powerful group capable of defining the narrative to turn privilege into victimhood. The primary “victims” in medieval Europe were the peasants, the Jews relatively privileged. Frequently, “pogroms” were nothing more than peasant uprisings. Two quotes for you:

        “There was nothing particularly unusual about the social and economic position of the Jews in medieval and early modern Europe. Many agrarian and pastoral societies contained groups of permanent strangers who performed tasks that the natives were unable or unwilling to perform.” (p4, “The Jewish Century,” Yuri Slezkine)

        “…during the whole of the classical period the Jews, in spite of all the persecutions to which they were subjected, formed an integral part of the privileged classes.” (p52, “Jewish History, Jewish Religion,” Israel Shahak)

      • Mooser
        August 2, 2017, 12:40 pm

        “… this tells me that had the Christians in Europe not slaughtered the Jews and harassed them for hundreds of years….”

        And this was made even more galling considering the Christians left each other entirely alone, or always had amicable methods to settle their enmities. Amity, and emnity, together in perfect harmony, like the song says.

      • Mooser
        August 2, 2017, 12:45 pm

        . “That tells me we are doing great – people are jealous of our intelligence and success.”

        “catalan”, I commend you for your effort to reduce that jealousy. You are doing a great job. You seem to have completely eliminated it in relation to you.

        “It is nice to know that if someone gets any funny ideas about harming Jews, Israel can take them out.”

        Nope, I can’t see anything there to excite any jealousy of your intelligence or success. A little pity, maybe, or some contempt. Good job, “catalan”!

      • catalan
        August 2, 2017, 1:47 pm

        “A little pity, maybe, or some contempt.” mooser
        Mooser,
        since the creation of Israel, Jews outside of Israel are enjoying unprecedented success, acceptance and tranquility. Before Israel, we had persecution, pogroms, Holocaust, and discrimination. After Israel, we are liked to such a degree that countries open their doors specifically for Jews – e.g. Germany’s invitation to the Soviet Jews, and Spanish and Portuguese invitation to Sephardic Jews. The notion that Israel increases antisemitism is just absolutely ludicrous in light of the evidence. The smallest expressions of antisemitism are condemned by almost everyone. Israel has dramatically improved the quality of life of all Jews.
        Indeed, it ensures your survival too.

      • Mooser
        August 2, 2017, 2:13 pm

        “Indeed, it ensures your survival too.”

        Are you really this stupid, “catalan”?

      • Talkback
        August 2, 2017, 3:11 pm

        Yes catalan. Now make a list of what Jews have done to Nonjews in Palestine and still are doing to them.

      • catalan
        August 2, 2017, 3:16 pm

        “Are you really this stupid, “catalan”?” Mooser
        Like Socrates, I accept my complete ignorance. But answer this, so you think it is a complete coincidence that since the founding of Israel, Jews went from a detested and despised minority to the most liked and admired group in the West? Just look at it – both Ivanka Trump and Chelsea Clinton married Jews. Our college acceptance test scores and grades are the highest of any minority. Being Jewish has become from a massive liability and danger to a huge asset in exactly the same period that Israel has existed.
        I personally think that Israel has something to do with this immensely positive change.

      • amigo
        August 2, 2017, 5:30 pm

        “But answer this, so you think it is a complete coincidence that since the founding of Israel, Jews went from a detested and despised minority to the most liked and admired group in the West?”catalan

        To answer Mooser, question , you are stupid.

        2011

        “BBC Poll: Israel Among World’s Least Popular Nations

        The annual BBC World Service poll finds Germany most popular; only countries less popular than Israel are North Korea, Pakistan and Iran.
        read more: http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/bbc-poll-israel-among-world-s-least-popular-nations-1.525890

        2013

        “Germany is the most positively viewed nation in the world in this year’s annual Country Ratings Poll for the BBC World Service.

        Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and Iran came out worst in terms of how they are viewed globally”

        http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-22624104

      • catalan
        August 2, 2017, 6:02 pm

        “Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and Iran came out worst in terms of how they are viewed globally”-amigo
        Who cares about polls, i.e. questions asked by agenda-driven observers to those that are crazy enough to answer strangers on the phone? The relevant thing is business, and Israeli business with India, China, Russia, Turkey and Brazil is booming – and that’s where the future is. Look at the video of Netanyahu with Modi dipping their feet in the Mediterranean, or the welcome that was given to Netanyahu in China. The point is, Jews are well liked in the countries where there are many of them – i.e. the United States, France, UK, and Germany; and Israel is doing incredibly well, with a Human Development Index ranking ahead of Belgium, France, Luxembourg, and Italy. Impressive!

      • echinococcus
        August 2, 2017, 7:33 pm

        Sure, so-called Catalan. In the future, we should make sure to force pollsters to only consult big businessmen like CEOs and such, economy ministers and recipients of bribes about their idea of the Zionist entity and their idea of “human development.
        Who wants to know what no’count, ordinary people think, anyway?

      • amigo
        August 2, 2017, 8:13 pm

        “Who cares about polls, i.e. questions asked by agenda-driven observers to those that are crazy enough to answer strangers on the phone? “catonahottinroof.

        Sure f–k the polls when we have your opinion.

        I bet if a poll came out espousing the virtues of so called Israel , those strangers on the phone would not be crazy.

        Thanks for the daily giggles catalan.You are a gem.

      • The Hasbara Buster
        August 2, 2017, 9:47 pm

        @catalan

        Since Israel’s creation, the situation of gays has improved dramatically. Back in 1948, they were socially shunned, they had to enter heterosexual marriages so that they wouldn’t be discriminated against and in many cases they ended up committing suicide, even when they had rendered valuable service to their countries, as was the case with Alan Turing.

        Today, gays can openly discuss their sexual identity, marry each other and even boast of their same-sex partners in fashion magazines.

        Same goes for blacks. Could anyone fathom a black President back in 1948? But in 2008 Obama was elected to the office. It took Israel 60 years to take a man of color to the US’s top executive post, but finally they managed to.

        The situation of the disabled has also improved dramatically. As has that of nonsmokers, and that of women. All these minorities have benefitted from the birth of Israel.

        But of course, there will always be antisemites who claim that these advances have to do with a huge social change in the Western world, whereby prejudice against Jews, blacks, gays, women, etc., is no longer acceptable, rather than with the miracle of Israel’s inception.

      • Talkback
        August 4, 2017, 10:21 am

        Mooser: ““catalan”, I commend you for your effort to reduce that jealousy. You are doing a great job. You seem to have completely eliminated it in relation to you.”

        Maybe he is just trying to debunk the myth that Jews as such are intelligent. So far his being very succesful.

    • eljay
      August 3, 2017, 9:53 am
      • catalan
        August 4, 2017, 3:49 pm

        “Maybe he is just trying to debunk the myth that Jews as such are intelligent. So far his being very succesful.” Talkback
        I am of course not smart. Michael Spivak and John Milnor are smart. I do have one ability which is to accumulate some major wealth through my business. As it happens, I am very happy to be stupid and wealthy. Everything is vanity anyway but might as well wait for the end in comfort.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 4, 2017, 4:30 pm

        I do have one ability which is to accumulate some major wealth through my business.

        or so he repeatedly claims. he keeps reminding us how rich he thinks he is. anyone can say anything about their own bio online, but rich people rarely brag about their wealth publicly, so i’m leaning towards thinking this is all part of the fake online persona — possibly from a computer generated composite repeated to illicit jealous or anger? i have no idea.

      • oldgeezer
        August 4, 2017, 4:36 pm

        @annie

        He usually claims to work for a municipality.

      • Mooser
        August 4, 2017, 5:46 pm

        ” i have no idea.”

        I believe he is quite genuine. A pathetic Bulgarian who moved to the US, got citizenship, and is now happily assimilating to the right-wing views of white New Mexico. While taking simpering advantage of any stereo-type which he thinks might accrue to his advantage.
        We’ve even got a name for it; “catalan” is an alrightnik.

    • Talkback
      August 5, 2017, 3:55 pm

      Yonah Fredman: “JosephA:
      Zionism is based upon three premises:
      1. Jewish powerlessness has been revealed by recent history to be untenable. Passivity in the face of Jewish powerlessness is unacceptable.
      2. Jewish self emancipation is the best way of remedying powerlessness. (This means Jews need a state, so they can have an army.)
      3. The place for the state should be Israel.”

      There is another one:
      0. No assimilation and no intermarriage with Nonjewish woman who don’t want to convert.

      Please read this text about radical/fundamental Islam and compare it to Zionism:
      “Islam provides the one and only solution to all questions in this world, from public policy to private conduct. It is not merely a religion, in the Western sense of a system of belief in God. It possesses an immutable law, revealed by God, that deals with every aspect of life, and it is an ideology, a complete system of belief about the organization of the state and the world. This law and ideology can only be implemented through the establishment of a truly Islamic state. The empowerment of Islam, which is God’s plan for mankind, is a sacred end and can be pursued by any means necessary. At various times, these have included persuasion, guile, and violence.”
      http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=752

  25. Sally Parker
    August 1, 2017, 3:03 pm

    Sounds pretty dicey accepting billions of dollars from anti-Semitic Americans. If Zionists can’t stand the way us flaming “anti-Semites” want to set limits on how they spend taxpayers’ money, maybe they should stop accepting it.

  26. Ossinev
    August 2, 2017, 1:54 pm

    @Catalan
    “It is nice to know that if someone gets any funny ideas about harming Jews, Israel can take them out”

    Come on Goyim punks make our day !! Hilarious stuff – keep it flowing.

  27. aloeste
    August 3, 2017, 12:29 am

    how many more years will you continue with your anti-zionist wet dreams?

    yawn.

  28. MHughes976
    August 4, 2017, 6:17 am

    It’s been claimed that Israel’s real actions in messing up the Palestinians and the results of those actions exceed what Zionism required. If that is so and if the likes of Donald and me complain solely of those actions and results then we are not even anti-Zionists, let alone anti-Semitic.

    • Mooser
      August 4, 2017, 1:19 pm

      “It’s been claimed that Israel’s real actions in messing up the Palestinians and the results of those actions exceed what Zionism required”

      Doesn’t Zionism also have a mission to reclaim the Jewish soul, and make us like other peoplehoods? Who can say what a thousand years of persecution requires before it’s a beautiful day in the Jewish peoplehood??

    • Talkback
      August 4, 2017, 2:18 pm

      MHughes976 : “It’s been claimed that Israel’s real actions in messing up the Palestinians and the results of those actions exceed what Zionism required.”

      From the Declaration of Establishment of State of Israel:
      “WE APPEAL to the Jewish people throughout the Diaspora to rally round the Jews of Eretz-Israel in the tasks of immigration and upbuilding and to stand by them in the

      *** great struggle for the realization of the age-old dream – the redemption of Israel. ***”

      It has ever been about “Eretz Israel” not only the smaller state of Israel. And it is not even the maximalist Zionist position. See this version:
      http://www.a-w-i-p.com/media/blogs/articles/Articles6/ZIO_eretz_israel.jpg

    • echinococcus
      August 4, 2017, 4:01 pm

      Hughes,

      It’s been claimed that Israel’s real actions in messing up the Palestinians and the results of those actions exceed what Zionism required

      To make such a claim, one must first run a thought-experiment: how else can any action to establish the State of a non-existent “Jewish” nation (not just some Ashkenaze ethny) develop?Acting as an instrument of the imperial powers then instrumentalizing them, worldwide fake-nationalist hysteria to create and gather other nominally Jewish nationalists, settler colonialism and dominance, repression of the local population’s resistance and genocidal practice are all necessary, a mathematical certainty the moment you formulate the goal of a “Jewish state”; theocracy is optional.

      • MHughes976
        August 5, 2017, 8:29 am

        I’m glad of all three above replies but let us make an effort to please some other colleagues. Let us stipulate, though it’s rather tedious, that in our usage, temporarily at least, ‘Zinonism’ stands for ‘claims to Jewish rights in Palestine that stop completely short of justifying wrong done to Palestinians’. This may not be normal usage but anyone is entitled to use words in any way, so long as one makes oneself clear.
        If that is the stipulation about that word, the fact remains that wrong was done to Palestinians and that an ideology exists which justified and continues to justify that wrong. We now need, at least for temporary purposes, a new word for this ideology: I’ll pull ‘strongisraelism’ out of thin air. The word may come from thin air but the reality is there in full force. Strongisrealism is morally wrong and indeed cruel and very much still in operation: and it needs no prejudice or irrational race feeling to see that, indeed it takes a dose of prejudice to stop one’s seeing it. Which was a point and feature of Donald’s main argument, though now in different words.
        We can also search for Zionism in the tediously stipulated sense but may find that nothing modest and gentle enough to fit the bill ever seriously influenced events or ever even existed: definitions don’t guarantee that anything to which they apply exists.
        If you challenge substantial truths with mere changes in the use of words the most you achieve is rewriting of the same truths to the same real effect but in different words: hardly worth the effort.

      • Talkback
        August 5, 2017, 4:41 pm

        MHughes976: “Zinonism’ stands for ‘claims to Jewish rights in Palestine that stop completely short of justifying wrong done to Palestinian.”

        Zionism in Palestine stands for claims to Jewish rights to disenfranchise Palestinians by force.

      • RoHa
        August 5, 2017, 9:06 pm

        Just in case you missed it, MHughes isn’t saying that is what the word “Zionism” means. He’s saying “Let’s pretend it means this”.

        You are, of course, quite correct in your version of what Zionism really is.

      • echinococcus
        August 5, 2017, 10:46 pm

        Hughes,

        I like that method of destroying weaselwords. May I try it somewhere else –of course with author attribution?

      • Talkback
        August 6, 2017, 3:41 am

        @ RoHa

        Don’t forget the context. He wrote: “It’s been claimed that Israel’s real actions in messing up the Palestinians and the results of those actions exceed what Zionism required.”

        And I’m countering this claim by defining Zionism in Palestine. Messing up the Palestinians started with the illegal immigration of settlers under British de facto occupation.

      • RoHa
        August 6, 2017, 6:53 am

        “And I’m countering this claim by defining Zionism in Palestine. ”

        As it should be countered.

        I’m just trying to make sure that no-one thinks that MHughes makes or agrees with that claim. He’s just showing that nothing follows from that claim except a pointless re-definition of “Zionism”.

      • MHughes976
        August 6, 2017, 8:42 am

        Thank you, RoHa. Yes indeed, Talkback, I was trying to protect Donald’s argument, which is an appeal to moral intuition, from a riposte based merely on redefining words. Thanks for kind words, echino, though I don’t think I’ve any copyright or title deed (perhaps Jack Green can advise me) in this matter.

      • Talkback
        August 6, 2017, 11:36 am

        RoHa: “I’m just trying to make sure that no-one thinks that MHughes makes or agrees with that claim. He’s just showing that nothing follows from that claim except a pointless re-definition of “Zionism”.”

        My apologies to MHughes. I was lazy when I simply quoted him as if this was his position.

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