On Charlottesville and Jewish memory

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This is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page.

Charlottesville and White nationalism have brought the issue of monuments commemorating the fallen to the forefront. The ongoing debate is about how history is interpreted and how it functions in the present. Much of how we remember is related to the way we want to feel about ourselves. It is also about the future we hope to bequeath to our children.

The White supremacists in Charlottesville are nostalgic for a world that may or may not have existed. Thinking of the past as better and to be revived in the present is dangerous on many levels. Those who want the past back are fooling themselves and others, too.

Commemoration is like that and more. Often remembrance is a form of denial.

Robert E. Lee, and his statue, is a case in point. Portrayed as a heroic General who reluctantly fought for a principled cause, history says something quite different. Lee was a slave-holder, and evidently a cruel one at that. After the end of the Civil War, Lee was largely unrepentant. His view of former slaves stayed much the same as it did during slavery.

There are other monuments to question than the those who celebrate the Confederacy in Charlottesville. A recent article in the New York Times draws attention to a small museum dedicated to Indonesia’s former dictator, Suharto. Located in a small town amid the palm trees and rice fields of central Java, the title of the article is telling: Suharto Museum Celebrates Dictator’s Life, Omitting Dark Chapters.

Jews are very present in the movement to oppose white supremacy. Along many others, Jews were involved in opposing white nationalism in Charlottesville. Yet, Jews have our own history to struggle with as well. Where and how the memory of our own suffering is portrayed is crucial to the Jewish future. It is hotly contested as well.

The issue here is not to create analogies but rather to see connections between historical commemorations and the present. On the Jewish side of things, it isn’t about Jewish suffering itself but how commemoration of that suffering functions in the present.

I think of Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Israel as, among other things, a monument. At Yad Vashem, the dark chapter of Jewish life is highlighted, as it should be. Israel as the chapter after the Holocaust is assumed, as it should be. But part of that chapter of Jewish life after the Holocaust, the Nakba is omitted. More and more Jews and non-Jews are asking about this part of Jewish life after the Holocaust and after the creation of the state of Israel.

In its history, the Holocaust stands alone. But the Holocaust’s afterlife is something else. What does this monument to the Holocaust say to Palestinian refugees and Palestinians who continue to live under an ever tightening Israeli occupation? Some might think such a question blasphemous. Is it?

Israel’s Holocaust museum also devotes time and energy to injustice, atrocity and genocides in history and the present. Its laudable aim is to avoid such events in the future. Yet Yad Vashem is located right in the middle of ethnically cleansed Palestinian land. It thrives amid a permanent Israeli occupation. What does this say to Jews who rightfully want to commemorate the Holocaust? Is the occupation of Palestine the lesson Jews learn from the Holocaust?

The Western Wall in Jerusalem is another monument that needs questioning in light of Charlottesville. Ostensibly part of the ancient destroyed Temple, its present configuration is defined internationally as existing on occupied Palestinian land. Moreover, the plaza designated for Jewish prayer was cleared of Palestinian housing and residents right as Israel occupied East Jerusalem after the 1967 War.

The fiftieth anniversary of the 1967 war raised critical questions about Israel’s continuing occupation. Does our remembrance of the destroyed Temple, like the 1967 War, need to be reframed?  After all, praying on occupied land with a history of being cleansed of its inhabitants presents a formidable challenge if one believes in a God of Justice.

In Jerusalem, as in Charlottesville, the struggle between opposing forces can sometimes hide what binds them together. History is like that sometimes. How we remember is telling. What we forget in that remembering is crucial. Can Israeli and Jewish life become whole again when its central historical monuments represent Jews as victims only, especially in a time of Jewish empowerment?

Charlottesville should we be a wakeup call for Jews. The White supremacist chants – “Jews Will Not Replace Us!” – could be heard in the city and beyond. But, then, Jews have replaced Palestinians in too many parts of Israel.

About Marc H. Ellis

Marc H. Ellis is retired Director and Professor of Jewish Studies at Baylor University and author of The Heartbeat of the Prophetic which can be found at Amazon and www.newdiasporabooks.com

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32 Responses

  1. Mooser
    August 16, 2017, 10:52 am

    “Jews Will Not Replace Us!”

    Probably not. We would have to do double the work in nearly half the time.

  2. Paranam Kid
    August 16, 2017, 12:01 pm

    I have not yet been able to understand how, leaving the Zionists & Zionism aside, the Jews in Israel & in the rest of the world are able to look at Yad Vashem, contemplate deeply the meaning of this memorial, and yet deny their apartheid, collective punishment (Slowocaust) of the Palestinians, war crimes, crimes against humanity, in fact some of the excesses of Nazi Germany & former white supremacist South Africa.

    How can those extremes be married within the same country & within the same collective mindset? Even if one accepts that it is due to the Zionists, how can the liberal & secular Jews in Israel and elsewhere, esp. in the US, accept to have these injustices, crimes, committed in their name?

  3. JosephA
    August 16, 2017, 6:30 pm

    Professor Ellis, thank you for the thoughtful article. It is much appreciated.

  4. Nathan
    August 16, 2017, 10:35 pm

    Professor Ellis raises the issue of celebrating the Confederacy, reminding us that Robert E. Lee was a cruel slave owner. I wonder why Professor Ellis didn’t bring to our attention the much bigger issue: The two sides in the terrible Civil War were fighting in a country that they had permanently occupied from its native population. Both sides were the result of a European colonial project which had utterly destroyed the peoples and the civilizations of an entire continent.

    So how could it be that Professor Ellis didn’t remind us of the stolen land on which he lives? Well, it’s quite simple. It didn’t even occur to him. He has his sense of history. He doesn’t see himself or the rival parties of the Civil War as a colonial project or as an invasion. He has decided that the agenda is just Robert E. Lee, the cruel slave-owner.

    Professor Ellis now wonders why the Yad va-Shem Museum omits the Nakba. Well, it’s quite simple. He has his agenda, but he shouldn’t imagine that this is the only agenda. I never would have imagined that there is a connection between the Holocaust and the Nakba, and I would have been very surprised if the Yad va-Shem Museum would have ever dealt with such an issue. Perhaps Professor Ellis is of the opinion that the State of Israel was born out of the Holocaust, and therefore the resulting conflict with the Arabs is a Holocaust-related issue. However, the State of Israel was born DESPITE the Holocaust – and, so, the conflict with the Arabs has absolutely nothing to do with the Holocaust.

    It was ironic to learn that “Yad Vashem is located right in the middle of ethnically cleansed Palestinian land”. Obviously, “right in the middle of ethnically cleansed Palestinian land” is a code-word for the illegitimacy of Green Line Israel. If the State of Israel is illegitimate, then why would Professor Ellis care what is the content of the Yad va-Shem Museum? An illegitimate state has an illegitimate parliament which, therefore, had no authority to enact the Yad va-Shem law. Instead of pretending that the issue is the Yad va-Shem Museum and Robert E. Lee, it would be helpful if our author would just express himself straight to the point.

    • echinococcus
      August 16, 2017, 11:34 pm

      “Nathan”,

      Keep your dirty nose in your own doo-doo, i.e. the invasion, theft and genocide of Palestine. Discussing US history ain’t gonna clean that.

    • Sibiriak
      August 17, 2017, 2:14 am

      Nathan: So how could it be that Professor Ellis didn’t remind us of the stolen land on which he lives? Well, it’s quite simple. It didn’t even occur to him.
      ——————–

      Nonsense. Of course Ellis is fully aware of America’s dark colonialist history. In fact, the omission of Native American victimization and the omission of Palestinian victimization are part and parcel of the same ideological project, not contradictory elements.

      In another piece about the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Ellis writes:

      The national advertising campaign accompanying the museum’s anniversary is fascinating in and of itself. The campaign focuses on the ‘extraordinary brand’ the museum – and the Holocaust – represents.

      That’s according to Lorna Miles, chief marketing officer for the museum. In her words: ‘I do feel that the museum has an extraordinary brand, and that its reputation is impeccable. And my job as the chief marketing officer is not just to protect the brand, but also to promote it.’

      When Miles promotes the museum she promotes the Holocaust, too. The museum’s ‘extraordinary brand’ is the Holocaust. Or is the Holocaust the museum’s product to sell?

      If the Holocaust is a commodity, it must be marketed like any other commodity. Like, for example, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream or DisneyWorld.

      It’s interesting to speculate what Miles thinks ‘protecting’ the museum/Holocaust brand entails. No doubt, this has to do with protecting the museum’s Holocaust narrative – making sure what’s allowed into that narrative and what must, at all costs, be kept out.

      The most obvious narrative intruders are the Palestinians. They’ve been symbolically knocking on the museum’s doors since its opening. If Palestinians were let in, if only as the victims of the victims, what would that portend for the museum and the Holocaust brand?

      Including the Palestinians would certainly sully the Holocaust brand – from a certain perspective. From another point of view it might revive the Holocaust brand by investing it with honesty. I doubt the museum will take that risk.

      The Times article contains interesting nuggets about the future of Holocaust consciousness itself. First off, the amazing attendance figures of the Holocaust museum. As of last July, 34 million people have come to the museum – more than 1.5 million a year. That’s a huge number to be sure.

      The breakdown along religious/ethnic lines: about 90% of the museum visitors were non-Jewish. I assume that the great majority of them are Christian in background. This raises the issue of what the museum’s primary function is. Is it to commemorate the Holocaust or inculcate the majority Christian population with Holocaust memory for political reasons?

      The Times article doesn’t provide a breakdown of where the museum-goers come from. The international component is important, though. Exporting the Holocaust beyond Jewish and American shores is an important – and political – goal of Holocaust consciousness.

      34% of the museum visitors were school children. This means that a significant proportion of the children’s visits were organized through schools they attend. Thus the Holocaust museum, funded by the national government, is likewise recognized and officially sanctioned by the American education industry.

      The Americanization of the Holocaust continues apace. The museum-goers are educated about the Holocaust in America’s capital. The museum carries the implicit – and sometimes explicit – sense that America saved Jews from annihilation. If it didn’t then, it should have and would today, another tip of the hat to Israel as a beacon of light besieged by those who would do it harm.

      The museum’s corollary message is important.The Holocaust could only have happened in Europe because, in America, our protected freedoms and history of tolerance, prohibits events such as these. The museum doesn’t get into the messy historical details of the history of Native Americans and African slaves. The story line of American innocence, now buoyed by the Holocaust, remains.

      http://mondoweiss.net/2012/12/prophetic-branding-holocaust/

      • LHunter
        August 17, 2017, 12:28 pm

        Way to long for Nathan to read especially if he has any indication that what you offered refutes his earlier post.

        They only come to provoke then scurry away like ….

    • eljay
      August 17, 2017, 7:21 am

      || Nathan: … Perhaps Professor Ellis is of the opinion that the State of Israel was born out of the Holocaust … However, the State of Israel was born DESPITE the Holocaust … ||

      Mr. Ellis tells it the way your Zionist co-collectivists tell it*: The “Jewish State” of Israel was established as a “safe haven” for Jews in the aftermath of the Holocaust.
      __________________
      (*When they’re not busy telling the alternate tale – the one in which people who choose to be Jewish are “returning” to their “ancient homeland”.)

      • Misterioso
        August 17, 2017, 11:47 am

        For the record:

        It is important to remember that the Zionists were planning the dispossession and expulsion of Palestine’s native Arab inhabitants decades before the Holocaust occurred.

        “We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border….Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.” (Theodor Herzl, diary entry, 12 June 1895)

        Israel Zangwill, the influential Anglo-Jewish essayist and Zionist, 1901: [W]e must be prepared to either drive out by the sword the [Arab] tribes in possession…or to grapple with the problem of a large alien population….”

        In May 1911, Arthur Ruppin, one of early Zionism’s leading figures proposed to the Executive of the Zionist Organization, a “population transfer” of the Arab peasants from Palestine. 

        In 1918, David Ben-Gurion, described the future borders of the Jewish state as: “to the north, the Litani River; to the northeast, the Wadi’Owja, twenty miles south of Damascus; the southern border will be mobile and pushed into the Sinai at least up to Wadi al-`Arish; and to the east, the Syrian Desert, including the furthest edge of Transjordan.” (Teveth, Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs)

        In the February 1919 issue of the League of Nations Journal, Zangwill proposed that the Palestinians should be “transplanted” in Arab countries and at a public meeting in the same year he remarked that “many [Palestinians] are semi-nomad, they have given nothing to Palestine and are not entitled to the rules of democracy.” (Jewish Chronicle, Dec. 12 1919).

        Although its origins can be traced back to Herzl and other early Zionists, Plan Dalet (Plan D)began to take concrete form in 1937, when the Jewish Agency’s Transfer Committee was established by Yosef Weitz and others. The committee’s purpose was to devise a plan that would lead to the “transfer” of the Arab population out of Palestine so that Jews would become a large majority. This would be accomplished by “promoting measures designed to encourage the Arab flight.” Weitz did not mince his words: “…there is no room for both people together in this country….The only solution is a Palestine…without Arabs. And there is no way than to transfer the Arabs from here to the neighbouring countries, to transfer all of them; not one village, not one tribe, should be left.” (Yosef Weitz, My Diary and Letters to the Children, 1965).

        Ben-Gurion, 1937: “”[a] partial Jewish state is not the end, but only the beginning. The establishment of such a Jewish state will serve as a means in our historical efforts to redeem the country in its entirety.”

        During a meeting of the Jewish Agency Executive on 12 June 1938, Ben-Gurion again advocated expulsion of the Palestinians: “I support compulsory transfer. I don’t see in it anything immoral.” (Benny Morris, “Refabricating 1948”)

        In 1944 and 1947, the basis of Plan D was formulated by Israeli staff officer Yigal Yadin. He described its top priorities as “the destruction of Arab villages near the Jewish settlements and the expulsion of the inhabitants [along with] the domination of the main arteries of transportation that are vital to the Jews and the destruction of Arab villages near them. [Plan D also called for the] siege of Arab towns that are located outside the [Jewish] state created by the UN resolution [e.g., Acre and Jaffa].”

        In December 1947, a Jewish official with the Palestine government was asked by Glubb Pasha, the British commander of Jordan’s Arab Legion if he was concerned about the fact that the Jewish state would have so many Arab inhabitants. The official replied: “Oh no! That will be fixed. A few calculated massacres will soon get rid of them.” 

        According to The Official History of the Haganah, Plan D instructed the Haganah that “[Palestinian villages that resist] should be destroyed…and their inhabitants expelled beyond the borders of the Jewish state. [As well,] Palestinian residents of urban quarters which dominate access to or egress from the towns should be expelled beyond the borders of the Jewish state in the event of their resistance.”

        Ben-Gurion knew what had to be done to drive out Palestine’s native inhabitants. At the beginning of 1948, he wrote in his diary: “During the assault we must be ready to strike a decisive blow; that is, either destroy the town or expel its inhabitants so our people can replace them.” (Yoram Nimrod, “Meetings at the Crossroads: Jews and Arabs in Palestine During Recent Generations,” in Hebrew, Haifa: University of Haifa, 1984). 

        According to Plan D, areas outside of the UN proposed Jewish state, including Jaffa and the towns and villages of Qalqilyah, Tulkarm, Acre, Nazareth, Lydda, Ramleh, Bethlehem, Beit Jala, and Hebron were to be put under siege and occupied. Also, all of the villages between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and the Palestinian sections of the Holy City, including its environs were to be conquered. (Benzion Dinur, ed. Sefer Toldot Ha-Haganah).

  5. jon s
    August 17, 2017, 2:14 pm

    It wouldn’t be difficult to provide numerous quotes by Zionist leaders expressing the desire to live in peace with the Palestinian Arab population.
    Indeed all the major “classical” mainstream Zionist leaders and thinkers such as Herzl, Weizmann, BenGurion and Jabotinsky – all of them expressed the intention to live in peaceful coexistence with the Arab population.
    As I’ve pointed out the quote from Herzl has nothing to do with Palestine and the Palestinians.

    http://mondoweiss.net/2017/07/transferring-palestinians-palestinian/#comment-887133

    • eljay
      August 17, 2017, 3:06 pm

      || jon s: … all the major “classical” mainstream Zionist leaders and thinkers such as Herzl, Weizmann, BenGurion and Jabotinsky – all of them expressed the intention to live in peaceful coexistence with the Arab population. … ||

      Well, sure: That approach goes over a lot better than telling people straight off that you want to steal, occupy and colonize their lands so that you can establish a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” and relegate them to second-class status.

      I imagine that pedophiles trolling school zones find it easier to lure children with friendly smiles and lollipops instead of creepy stares and dirty language.

    • amigo
      August 17, 2017, 3:28 pm

      “It wouldn’t be difficult to provide numerous quotes by Zionist leaders expressing the desire to live in peace with the Palestinian Arab population.” jon s

      Don,t let us get in your way Jon.

      • MHughes976
        August 17, 2017, 5:50 pm

        The logic of the situation is surely that creating a new political majority with extensive, newly created property rights had to involve substantial displacement of the existing population. If this could have been done by deals with the surrounding polities all the better. Even if there had to be short term disruption then good relations with the neighbours would still be sought as soon as possible. Everyone would benefit in the end, The leaders no doubt considered that they had a degree of good will towards the “Arabs’ and had no wish to make them suffer unnecessarily. This degree of good will is of course compatible with outrageous injustice and cruelty.

      • Mooser
        August 17, 2017, 7:18 pm

        “Don,t let us get in your way Jon.”

        “amigo” is it possible that “Jon s” doesn’t know how insulting he is? I doubt it. He blandly throws one piece of crap after another hoping something will stick to the wall.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 17, 2017, 4:19 pm

      i’m not seeing your point jon. is your comment in response to something in particular ellis wrote in the article? or are you simply initiating a topic you’d like to discuss, or in this case continue discussing? how do these zionists leaders’ expressions of their so called “desire to live in peace” with palestinians relate to

      The ongoing debate is about how history is interpreted and how it functions in the present. Much of how we remember is related to the way we want to feel about ourselves. It is also about the future we hope to bequeath to our children.

      do you mean these expressions of intention to live in peaceful coexistence with the Arab population, is how you’d like the history of israel or zionism to be interpreted or remembered? does it have to do with the way you want to feel about yourself? is this what you’d like to bequeath your children, this idea israel was founded by people who desired to live in peace with inhabitants of the region they were colonizing?

      i believe history, for future generations, will be more reflective of socially generated media than in the past (where the elite controlled the headlines and therefore lead public opinion). so unless the internet is severely curtailed or shut down i believe the history of israel and zionism will be more reflective of the apartheid reality vs lofty allegations and rhetoric from forefathers of an ethnic nationalist regime.

    • Keith
      August 17, 2017, 5:11 pm

      JON S- “Indeed all the major “classical” mainstream Zionist leaders and thinkers such as Herzl, Weizmann, BenGurion and Jabotinsky – all of them expressed the intention to live in peaceful coexistence with the Arab population.”

      What’s this? Your “Iron Wall” of Hasbara?

      • Misterioso
        August 17, 2017, 8:36 pm

        @Keith

        Re Jabotinsky:

        Vladimir Jabotinsky founded the Revisionist Party, the precursor of the Irgun and Stern Gang terror groups as well as today’s Likud party. It called for the “revision” of the British mandate to allow the forcible Zionist colonization of Transjordan and its union with Palestine to create one Jewish state. He also advocated that Zionism should concentrate solely on the creation of a Jewish state encompassing the borders of biblical or Eretz Israel and if London did not provide its full hearted support, Jewish forces should be mobilized to be used against British troops.

        Jabotinsky’s chauvinistic, militaristic and authoritarian views appealed mainly to young Jews, especially those in Europe, where he formed youth groups known as Betar whose practices such as wearing brown shirts and using distinctive salutes were taken from Italian fascism. Revisionist Zionism was becoming more popular during the late 1920’s and much to the dismay of Palestinian Arabs, Betar groups were being formed in Palestine.

        Jabotinsky did not mince his words: “We Jews, thank God, have nothing to do with the East…. The Islamic soul must be broomed out of Eretz-Yisrael.” (Ya’acov Shavit, “The Attitude of Zionist Revisionism towards the Arabs.” in Zionism and the Arab Question (Hebrew) p. 74; as quoted by Nur Masalha, Expulsion of the Palestinians, p. 29.)

        Nor did he hide his racism. To him, Palestinian Arabs were “yelling rabble dressed up in gaudy, savage rags” (Joseph Schechtman, Rebel and Statesman: The Vladimir Jobotinksy Story, the Early Years, New York: T. Yoseloff, 1956, ibid.) and in his view the colonization of Palestine by European Jews would “push the moral frontiers of Europe to the Euphrates.” (Shlomo Avineri, The Making of Modern Zionism, p. 180; cited by Michael Palumbo, The Palestinian Catastrophe, faber and faber, London. Boston, 1987, p. 13).

    • Misterioso
      August 17, 2017, 5:17 pm

      @jon s

      Setting aside the abundance of statements by other leading Zionists that I quoted regarding their intention to dispossess and expel Palestine’s native inhabitants, Herzl’s statement in 1895 in effect summed up what he perceived their fate would be following his convening of the first Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland in 1897.  

      Herzl’s diary entry for September 3, 1898: “Were I to sum up the Basel Congress in a word which I shall guard against pronouncing publicly it would be this: at Basel I founded the Jewish state…. If I said this out loud today, I would be answered by universal laughter.  Perhaps in five years and certainly in fifty, everyone will know it.” (Quoted by David Hirst, in The Gun and the Olive Branch, p. 20)

      His diaries not only confirm that his objective was the establishment of a “Jewish state” in Palestine, but that it would be an expansionist state.  In 1904, the year of his death he described its borders as being “…in the north the mountains facing Cappadocia [Turkey], in the south, the Suez Canal [Egypt] in the east, the Euphrates [Iraq].” (Theodor Herzl, The Complete Diaries 11 p. 711 quoted by Wright, Facts and Fables, p. 107)

      Even more revealing as to how Herzl intended to deal with Palestinians is the “Charter for Zionist Colonization of Palestine and Syria,” which he drafted sometime between the summer of 1901 and early 1902. Much to his disappointment, however, he was denied the opportunity to present it to the Ottoman Sultanate.  Article Vl of the charter called for Istanbul to grant the Zionists, in the form of the Jewish-Ottoman Land Company (JOLC), “complete autonomy, guaranteed by the Ottoman Empire” while Article III gave them in effect, the right to deport the native population to other areas of the empire.  (Walid Khalidi, “The Jewish-Ottoman Land Company: Herzl’s Blueprint for the Colonization of Palestine,” JPS, Vol. XXll, No. 2, Winter 1993, pp. 32-34)                                                                                                       

      Although unsuccessful in pursing his JOLC Charter with the Turkish sultan, Herzl never discarded it. “On 14 May 1904, in the penultimate entry of his Diaries, he addresses a memorandum to a senior Austrian foreign ministry official.  In this note, he solicits the participation of the Austrian government in an international effort to persuade Turkey to grant a charter very much along the lines of the JOLC.  He adds a detail absent in the JOLC version examined above: he envisages ‘a settlement area in Palestine and the vicinity large enough for five to six million Jews.'” (Khalidi, ibid, p.42)              

      Enough said.

    • RoHa
      August 17, 2017, 8:49 pm

      We can see what they said, and we can see what they did.

    • amigo
      August 18, 2017, 8:42 am

      “It wouldn’t be difficult to provide numerous quotes by Zionist leaders expressing the desire to live in peace with the Palestinian Arab population.” Jon S

      So Jon, for the purposes of discussion , we will allow that BG was this saintly peace loving zionist who was willing to live in perfect harmony with the Palestinians.

      So , what went wrong.Who steered Israel away from this wonderful humanistic and inclusive Godly plan.

      It shouldn,t be too difficult to point out those who ignored the great defender of equality and rights for all .

      We,ll wait Jon S.

      Oh , and don,t forget to include those who stole the land you squat on and sold it to you.In my country as with most real democracies –receiving (or buying stolen goods is a crime.

      • jon s
        August 18, 2017, 10:37 am

        Herzl in his utopian novel Altneuland envisions a state which is liberal and secular. From the plot:
        Löwenberg and Kingscourt spend the following twenty years on the island, cut off from civilization. As they stop over in Palestine on their way back to Europe in 1923, they are astonished to discover a land drastically transformed. A Jewish state officially named the “New Society” has since risen as European Jews have rediscovered and re-inhabited their Altneuland, reclaiming their own destiny in the Land of Israel. The country, whose leaders include some old acquaintances from Vienna, is now prosperous and well-populated, boasts a thriving cooperative industry based on state-of-the-art technology, and is home to a free, just, and cosmopolitan modernsociety. Arabs have full equal rights with Jews, with an Arab engineer among the New Society’s leaders, and most merchants in the country are Armenians, Greeks, and members of other ethnic groups. The duo arrives at the time of a general election campaign, during which a fanatical rabbi establishes a political platform arguing that the country belongs exclusively to Jews and demands non-Jewish citizens be stripped of their voting rights, but is ultimately defeated.

        Ben Gurion:
        WE APPEAL – in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months – to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.(from the Declaration of Independence. BG wrote the final draft)

        We do not wish, we do not need to expel the Arabs and take their place. All our aspirations are built upon the assumption — proven throughout all our activity in the Land — that there is enough room in the country for ourselves and the Arabs.(from a letter to his son Amos, 1937)

        In our state there will be non-Jews as well — and all of them will be equal citizens; equal in everything without any exception; that is: the state will be their state as well. …The attitude of the Jewish State to its Arab citizens will be an important factor—though not the only one—in building good neighbourly relations with the Arab States. If the Arab citizen will feel at home in our state, and if his status will not be the least different from that of the Jew, and perhaps better than the status of the Arab in an Arab state, and if the state will help him in a truthful and dedicated way to reach the economic, social, and cultural level of the Jewish community, then Arab distrust will accordingly subside and a bridge to a Semitic, Jewish-Arab alliance, will be built… (Ba-Ma’Araha Vol IV, Part 2, pp. 260, 265, quoted in Fabricating Israeli History, Efraim Karsh, p.67)

        Jabotinsky :
        https://en.idi.org.il/media/5103/jabotinsky-idi-2013.pdf

      • eljay
        August 18, 2017, 11:00 am

        || jon s: Herzl in his utopian novel Altneuland envisions a state which is liberal and secular. … ||

        Reality strayed immediately and far from Herzl’s fantasy.

        || … From the plot:
        Löwenberg and Kingscourt spend the following twenty years on the island, cut off from civilization. As they stop over in Palestine on their way back to Europe in 1923 … ||

        It’s odd that they were able to stop over in a Palestine that, according to Zionists, never existed.

        || … A Jewish state officially named the “New Society” has since risen as European Jews have rediscovered and re-inhabited their Altneuland, reclaiming their own destiny in the Land of Israel. … ||

        That’s a mighty cute way of saying European Jews decided to steal, occupy and colonize Palestine and establish in it a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”.

        || … Ben Gurion: … In our state there will be non-Jews as well — and all of them will be equal citizens; equal in everything without any exception; that is: the state will be their state as well. … ||

        If this were true, the whole point of “Jewish State” would be irrelevant. But it’s not true, and that’s why Israel was established and continues to exist as a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” – a state primarily of and for Jewish Israelis and non-Israeli Jews.

      • Mooser
        August 18, 2017, 11:36 am

        And “jon s” shows us how admiration for Zionism is a lot like admiring the Old South. Why look at what they did, when you can look at their idealized (and premature) picture of themselves?

        And BTW, it just makes Zionism’s hypocrisy all the starker.

      • Mooser
        August 18, 2017, 12:21 pm

        “eljay”, it is, I must admit, almost a morbid fascination for me. I would give a lot to know what “Jon s” thinks he is doing. Maybe he will tell us one day.

      • MHughes976
        August 18, 2017, 12:24 pm

        The desire to live in peace but strictly on one’s own terms is not particularly godly but may cover a rather awful mixture of disregard of rights, brutality and self-righteousness.
        I do accept that it has almost always been part of Zionism to desire the existence of a noticeable non-Jewish minority in the Jewish State, at least for a long time. The exclusive rights claimed for people who are Jewish include the right, and almost a duty, to share benefits up to the limits of own needs. That’s why it is so characteristic of Zionist leaders’ remarks to include both generous and menacing elements. But whatever anyone says in mere words, as RoHa notes, the objective of creating a new and large majority with extensive control of resources means ‘population transfer’ and indeed eljay-style supremacy, the supposed necessary condition of Jewish safety.

      • eljay
        August 18, 2017, 2:16 pm

        || Mooser: “eljay”, it is, I must admit, almost a morbid fascination for me. I would give a lot to know what “Jon s” thinks he is doing. Maybe he will tell us one day. ||

        I’m curious to know, too. One thing’s for sure: He’s no Jack Green!

  6. Mooser
    August 18, 2017, 10:29 am

    And a search for “Micheal Signer Zionism” yields almost nothing. I like that.

  7. amigo
    August 18, 2017, 12:01 pm

    Jon S , as they say in the construction business !!.

    “It,s all about the finish”.

    You remind me of the folks at Fox News.

    Their slogan is , “Fair and Balanced”. Clearly that is a nice bit of propaganda to whitewash their one sided view of everything.

    Btw , I asked you to name the people who wrecked BG,S eutopian plans and all you respond with is more apologetics for zionism and it,s decades old crimes.

  8. Citizen
    August 19, 2017, 10:19 am

    See recent NYT article about What Robert E. Lee Wrote to The Times About Slavery in 1858

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