Privileged American Jews are safe thanks to ‘Israel’s might’– Roger Cohen

US Politics
on 55 Comments

A week back, Roger Cohen wrote a New York Times column about the “Pride and Shame” of Israel, in which he meditated on the price to Palestinians of Israel’s establishment.

[W]hat of the price paid? Put a gun to my head, or rather my heart, and I will say as a Jew that, yes, Israel was worth the price.

The Jews needed a homeland. History proves that. Assimilation never worked; the Holocaust was no more than a culmination. The United Nations, in 1947, backed such a homeland. And if I, as a Jew, have lived a privileged life in the diaspora, it is in part because of the pride and strength that the new Jew of Israel forged. “Never Again” became more than mere words through Israel’s might.

This sincere liberal Zionist raises an important belief: American Jews would not be safe if it weren’t for Israel. Rightwing Zionists say this all the time.

This is a statement about Jewish identity, and “the new Jew.” There is something inherently effete about western Jewish identity, but that effeteness is now balanced in the world’s view by Israel’s toughness. So the anti-Semites don’t pick on us anymore.

The belief is linked to the idea that American Jews shouldn’t criticize Israeli decisions because the Israelis are on the front lines while we are sitting in armchairs here working on our screenplays. I’ve heard neoconservatives Bill Kristol and Michael Makovsky express this view. And liberal Zionist Jeremy Ben-Ami has expressed it too.

It is related to the old Zionist claim that Jews went to the slaughter in Europe because they couldn’t defend themselves. We needed to make a New Jew who was tough. The Zionist Arthur Koestler moved to Palestine — and learned to swordfight — because he thought Jews in Europe were a “sick race.”

So Zionists reversed the Jewish paradigm. And we are the beneficiaries: Cohen is saying that American Jews get to continue to lead lives of relative luxury — among the wealthiest groups by religion in the U.S., if not the wealthiest; all over the media, and all over the financial and the political establishment — because we have the Israeli army to balance out our effeteness with its toughness. As Tzipi Hotovely said recently, and accurately, American Jews don’t send their children to the army. So don’t tell us how to treat Palestinians…. Roger Cohen is echoing Hotovely’s proscription, but more questioningly.

Is what Cohen says true? Are American Jews safer here because Israel has nukes and has conquered another society militarily?

I say No, for two reasons. First, whatever Israel’s might did for Jewish prestige in the past — the cover of Life Magazine featured sunburned gladiators on Israeli tanks in the Sinai in 1967 after they’d massacred Egyptians, and a Protestant friend tells me she was blown away by it — today its conduct, in the name of “the Jewish people”, is endangering Jews around the world. Israel is contributing to a rise in anti-Semitism. Tony Klug issued a dire warning at J Street last year:

Israel’s neverending occupation of the land and lives of another people is not just seriously endangering Israel, not to mention deepening the despair of the Palestinians. But it is also making the situation of the Jews around the world increasingly precarious.

Second, as Scott Roth pointed out to me, Cohen’s “principle can’t be applied universally.” I.e., if every group of people chose to make itself safe by ethnically cleansing another group and getting nukes, the world would go to hell in ten seconds.

The exception to a universal principle is at the heart of Cohen’s assertion. He is saying what I grew up believing, that Jews are special. We are essential to western civilization. We deserve our prominence and achievements and wealth because we helped lift western society in the industrial age through our international magic of capital and texts and film. Slezkine’s Jewish Century, which transformed “peasants and princes into merchants and priests, replacing inherited privilege with acquired prestige.” All those Nobel Prizes…

But Jews were resented for their status. It fed classic anti-Semitism: the Nazi poster in Yad Vashem of the Jew as a global worm, with spectacles, feasting on Europe’s leaves. And we were vulnerable: The Holocaust killed half of European Jewry.

That can’t happen now because of Israel’s might, Cohen is saying. Never again, Dimona.

I’ll leave my own reformations in Jewish identity for another post. (I agree with the Zionists inasmuch as I found that what I was told that Jews do and don’t do established an urban field for me, and I wanted a physical life.) But Cohen’s column is a throwback to an earlier era; and whatever the role of Jewish exceptionalism in the late 19th century, today that idea is untenable. Textual and financial literacy are too broadly distributed for one group to claim them as its own; human intelligence is large and supple, and lots of people are developing the gifts I was brought up to believe were Jewish. Culture is fungible. My wife says Sigmund Freud saved her life. American Jews have lost their outsider edge. They look more and more like just another privileged caste. (Consider the slackness of the Jewish novel.)

The spirit of our time does not support the idea that racial differences such as they are can justify the vast differences in status that our society has produced. Inequality is a big problem, one we all need to try to fix.

And meantime– back to point 1– Jewish vulnerability is back. Jews are nowhere more unsafe than in Israel and Palestine; and increasingly, American Jews are identified with the Israel lobby that bribes politicians to support Israeli violations of human rights, political conditions that others have a right to despise.

The best thing that could happen to Jewish identity is a new ethos of equality and humility. It will make a lot of people safer too, first of all, Palestinians.

H/t James North.

About Philip Weiss

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

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55 Responses

  1. eljay
    January 11, 2018, 11:43 am

    … He is saying what I grew up believing, that Jews are special. …

    Like all Jewish supremacists (Zionists), Mr. Cohen believes in (the) three fundamental pillars of Zionism:
    – People who choose to embrace the religion-based identity of Jewish are entitled to a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine.
    – Acts of injustice and immorality committed against Jews justify acts of injustice and immorality committed by Jews.
    – Jews are entitled to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them.

    • JWalters
      January 11, 2018, 10:41 pm

      Nicely summed up.

      Given the context, the Zionists’ most bedrock goal of making Palestine a Jewish state REQUIRED sacrificing the Palestinian people. The early Zionist leaders were fully aware of this. They intended to sacrifice the Palestinians from the start.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        January 12, 2018, 8:07 pm

        I wanted to see exactly what Roger Cohen meant by ‘the price of Zionism’ so I read the original column. He was responding to a statement by Tom Segev (another ‘liberal Zionist’), for whom ‘the price of Zionism’ is the inevitable Arab resistance to it, i.e., the trouble caused to JEWS by said resistance. Neither Segev nor Cohen even allude to the price paid by Palestinians. They are not justifying the price paid by Palestinians, only the price paid by Jews. Their viewpoint is totally Judeocentric. Palestinians do not exist for them. So the analogy with Madeleine Albright and Iraq is false. She at least acknowledged the existence of Iraqis.

  2. pabelmont
    January 11, 2018, 12:07 pm

    The test of these theories is with us: Israel is welcoming the white-supremacist (including neo-Nazi) folks which the Trump campaign and election has brought to such prominence. Israel pals around with anti-Semites providing they support Israel.

    Here’s the test: suppose the anti-Semites in the USA become quite open like the black-church burners in the south, like KKK once was, black-shirts, brown-shirts, folks who are proud of their vicious intolerance. I suppose it could happen again, why not? Would Trump or the Koch Brothers oppose it? Would the Jewish Establishment oppose it if these nasties were FoI?

    And in that case, would Israel save us, us American Jews, from these vicious intolerant white-supremacists? From these FoI?

    I hope they don’t really run this particular experiment. And I don’t expect them to run it: Trump et al. have so many other folks to persecute that they really don’t need Jews.

    But if this sad possibility did come to pass, how would those tough guys in Israel save us? Run that by me again? Or do they save us by magically preventing this postulated upsurge in anti-Jewish violence before it starts?

    Got me there!

    • Bumblebye
      January 11, 2018, 3:46 pm

      It goes beyond welcoming. Israel (or its directed supporters) provided funding to the EDL (said to be modeled on JDL). It fosters their extremist positions – especially of course, on islamophobia. It has directly provided intel to them (there is or was video of edl meeting with israeli intel personnel in israel). We know from mw alone that countless extreme right political party members, elected and not, have been entertained in israel. The CAP produced its controversial report on the funding of hate – particularly islamophobia – somewhen around 2011(?) and found a huge amount came from zionist and Jewish foundations and donors. I see the results when I click on profiles of individuals who make provocative comments in very different places on fb. Amongst local and internationally recognised hate groups are right wing extremist israeli groups and fb pages. I consider this to be extremely dangerous – israel’s actions could so easily backfire onto ordinary Jewish people around the world. Unless that is an aim?

      • JWalters
        January 11, 2018, 11:06 pm

        Bumblebye,

        That may be the aim. More exactly, the aim would be conflict regardless of who it consumes. The war profiteers have been bankrolling Israel from the start because they have been investing in conflict. e.g. “War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror”. Consider British WWII reporter Douglas Reed. Also researcher Eustice Mullins.

        Anybody who thinks they’re safe from these guys because they’re a fellow Jew, forget it. Think Bernie Madoff.

  3. amigo
    January 11, 2018, 1:32 pm

    “W]hat of the price paid? Put a gun to my head, or rather my heart, and I will say as a Jew that, yes, Israel was worth the price,”Cohen

    How very Madeline Albright of him.

    1, “If we have to use force, it is because we are America (Israel). We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future.

    Or , we decide what is lawful and what is not.

    2, “I think this is a very hard choice , but the price, We think it is worth it.

    The price was 1/2 a million Iraqi Men Women and Children.What despicable people Americans choose as leaders.Just as their brothers/Sisters in the Apartheid Regime do.

    Sickening, at best.

    • gamal
      January 11, 2018, 2:11 pm

      “The price was 1/2 a million Iraqi Men Women and Children”

      If I recall correctly the price was 1/2 million children plus one million men and women, I don’t know what that is in Americans, but Halliday and Blix called it Genocidal, and that was before the latest war….it’s all long forgotten now and ” Iraqi’s?” i mean who’s counting? one thing’s for sure America doesn’t remember how many it has had..

      • amigo
        January 11, 2018, 3:20 pm

        gamal , you are correct.

        I should remember not to rely on my memory .Such details are important.Thanks for the correction.

      • gamal
        January 11, 2018, 5:43 pm

        “I should remember not to rely on my memory”

        It is not your memory at fault Mo Chara they lie and decieve because they are ashamed of what they do and always crave forgetting I remember when Irish people remembered that they were once a conquered people.

        I got drunk in Macroom tonight you remember the great Liz Cronin, a song from County Cork.

    • CigarGod
      January 11, 2018, 8:30 pm

      But don’t forget…it’s really not as bad as all that, because Iraqi’s are only worth 3/5th’s of an American…so really only 300,000.

      (For those that don’t know…at our nations founding, that was the value placed on blacks…slave or free…didn’t matter.)

      • Jon66
        January 11, 2018, 10:54 pm

        Cigar,
        That’s not true.
        “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.”

        1. From its founding July 4, 1776 with the Declaration of Independence until the second constitution became effective in 1789 there was no reference to 3/5.
        2. Free blacks were apportioned the same as free whites.
        3. The 3/5 is used for apportionment of representatives and taxes. Not “personhood”. Slaves were not considered even 3/5 of a white man.

      • Mooser
        January 12, 2018, 5:08 pm

        “Slaves were not considered even 3/5 of a white man.”

        Jews in America were always considered full persons.
        And nothing more! How did we manage with no US recognition of our Jewish nationality?

    • JWalters
      January 11, 2018, 11:14 pm

      Suppose Roger Cohen was a Palestinian and an Israeli soldier put a gun to his head and said,

      Israeli soldier: “Lord, please accept my humble sacrifice of this wretched Palestinian.”

  4. Naftush
    January 11, 2018, 1:54 pm

    Roger Cohen disserves history by predicating Israel’s right to exist on “need” for a homeland. On grounds of need, many surrogate homelands were potentially offered to Jews at precisely the time of the rise of Zionism. The Jewish masses rejected them all, including America as a Jewish homeland. Only Eretz Israel resonated among Jews as a homeland. So it isn’t about “need” for a homeland. The homeland existed; what was needed was a practical repatriation program. This was found. It was much later that the non-Jewish population began to find, or be equipped with, a national voice of its own.

    • Talkback
      January 11, 2018, 3:44 pm

      Naftush: “The homeland existed; what was needed was a practical repatriation program.”

      In other words. Enforced emigration under colonial gun to make room for foreign settler without the consent of the native population. Of course you would never support such an injustice and violation of the right to self determination. And it is interesting how well you describe the situation for Palestinian refugees and I’m glad that you support their repatriation instead of being a racist supremacist Zionist shmock.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 11, 2018, 3:57 pm

      many surrogate homelands were potentially offered to Jews at precisely the time of the rise of Zionism. The Jewish masses rejected them all, …..Only Eretz Israel resonated

      Naftush fails to mention, during “the rise” of Zionism, the jewish masses also rejected the call to immigrate to what later became Israel.

      it appears the jewish masses, for centuries, had no interest whatsoever in making their way to jerusalem, palestine.

      • gamal
        January 11, 2018, 6:13 pm

        “it appears the jewish masses, for centuries, had no interest whatsoever in making their way to jerusalem, palestine”

        And you see what Israel does to Jews…i fear for them

        Hey Annie you know them kind of gormless trash people, clumsy white guys and then when they open the instrument case you tell the fool that’s not a guitar, man looks kind of simple don’t have time for this….so quick a clock just blew us away…

      • Annie Robbins
        January 11, 2018, 6:23 pm

        omg!! ;)

    • RoHa
      January 11, 2018, 6:17 pm

      “what was needed was a practical repatriation program. ”

      No, it wasn’t needed.

    • Mooser
      January 11, 2018, 7:51 pm

      “The homeland existed; what was needed was a practical repatriation program. This was found” “Naftush”

      ROTFLMSJAO!! And now Israel is the self-sufficient, self-securing nation at peace Jews all hoped for.

    • JosephA
      January 12, 2018, 1:27 am

      This Naftush regularly impresses me with inane commentary. Such mythology is laughable – where do you come up with this crap?

      • Mooser
        January 12, 2018, 5:54 pm

        “The Jewish masses rejected them all, including America as a Jewish homeland. “ “Naftush”

        Yeah, what did America (that shithole country!) ever do for the Jews?

        America even recognized African-Americans and Native Americans as a separate peoples, but they wouldn’t do that for us.

    • Misterioso
      January 12, 2018, 12:54 pm

      @Naftush

      “On grounds of need, many surrogate homelands were potentially offered to Jews at precisely the time of the rise of Zionism. The Jewish masses rejected them all, including America as a Jewish homeland. Only Eretz Israel resonated among Jews as a homeland. ”

      Reality:

      “In 1938, a thirty-one nation conference was held in Evian, France, on resettlement of the victims of Nazism. The World Zionist Organization refused to participate, fearing that resettlement of Jews in other states would reduce the number available for Palestine.” (John Quigley, Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice, as quoted in “The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict,” second edition, published by Jews for Justice in the Middle East, Berkeley, California, p. 21.)

      The Jewish Agency in Palestine was very concerned about the implications of the Evian Conference. “It was summed up in the meeting [of the Jewish Agency’s Executive on June 26, 1938] that the Zionist thing to do ‘is belittle the [Evian] Conference as far as possible and to cause it to decide nothing…. We are particularly worried that it would move Jewish organizations to collect large sums of money for aid to Jewish refugees, and these collections could interfere with our collection efforts’…. Ben-Gurion’s statement at the meeting: ‘No rationalization can turn the conference from a harmful to a useful one. What can and should be done is to limit the damage as far as possible.'” (Boas Evron, Jewish State or Israeli Nation? as quoted in “The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict,” by Prof. John Quigley, second edition, p. 21.)

      On 7 December 1938, during a meeting of the Mapai Central Committee (precursor of the Labour Party), David Ben-Gurion revealed his true feelings regarding the plight of German Jews: “If I knew it was possible to save all the [Jewish] children in Germany by transporting them to England, but only half of them by transporting them to Palestine, I would choose the second…” He attempted to explain his twisted reasoning by adding that he would make such a choice “…because we face not only the reckoning of those children, but the historical reckoning of the Jewish people.” Ben-Gurion also expressed his fear that “‘the human conscience’ might bring various countries to open their doors to Jewish refugees from Germany. He saw this as a threat and warned: ‘Zionism is in danger!'” (Tom Segev, The Seventh Million, Hill and Wang, New York, 1994, p. 28.)

      During another speech to the Mapai Central Committee on 7 December 1938, Ben-Gurion admitted that “in these terrible days of the beginning of the disaster that threatens European Jewry, I am still more worried about the elections at the [Mapai] branch in Tel Aviv.” (Segev, p. 105.)

      On 27 November 1942, the Yishuv newspaper Davar published an article that referred to the extermination of European Jews as “‘punishment from heaven’ for not having come to Palestine.” (Tom Segev, p. 98). As Ben-Gurion so callously put it on 8 December 1942, during a Mapai meeting: “‘They did not want to listen to us’ ….in their deaths they had sabotaged the Zionist dream.’” (David Ben-Gurion at a gathering of Mapai workers, 8 Dec. 1942; quoted by Tom Segev)

      That saving Jews from the Nazis was not the priority of American Zionists was clearly shown during the war. When President Roosevelt became aware of the dire circumstances of European Jews (who were thought at the time to be about 80% of the total number of refugees), he sent his close friend Morris Ernst (a key member of the Democratic party and leader of the New York Jewish community) to London during the middle of the war to see if England and the Commonwealth would join the United States and other countries in taking in a half million Jewish refugees through a generous worldwide policy of political asylum once Hitler was defeated. (Roosevelt felt he could sell the plan to the American Congress if Britain agreed.)

      Ernst returned home jubilant and advised the President that Britain agreed to “match the United States up to 150,000.” Roosevelt replied:”150,000 to England – 150,000 to match that in the United States – pick up 200,000 or 300,000 elsewhere, and we can start with half a million of these oppressed people.” One week later, however, the President informed Ernst that the program had to be abandoned because “…the dominant vocal Jewish leadership of America won’t stand for it…the Zionist movement knows [that it] can raise vast sums for Palestine by saying to donors, `There is no other place this poor Jew can go.'”

      Ernst refused to believe Roosevelt and went about seeking the support of American Jews for the plan. Their response shocked him: “I was thrown out of parlours of friends of mine who very frankly said, `Morris, this is treason. You are undermining the Zionist movement’. [I found] a deep genuine, often fanatically emotional vested interest in putting over the [movement in men] who are little concerned about human blood if it is not their own.” (Morris Ernst, So Far So Good, Harper & Brothers: New York, 1948, pp. 172-177)

      In 1947, Representative William G. Stratton introduced a bill to the Congress aimed primarily at Jewish refugees which would have admitted up to 400,000 displaced persons of all faiths into the United States. Shamefully, however, the Stratton Bill never got past hearings of the House Foreign Affairs Committee because it was ignored by the Zionist lobby which wanted nothing to interfere with the flow of Jews into Palestine.

      The Zionist campaign to force European Jews to go to Palestine (and later Israel) after the war while doing everything possible to prevent them from finding new homes in the United States, did not escape criticism by all American Jews. The Yiddish Bulletin wrote: “…by insisting that Jewish D.P.’s do not wish to go to any country outside of Israel; by not participating in the negotiations on behalf of the D.P.’s; and by refraining from a campaign of their own – by all this they [the Zionists] certainly did not help to open the gates of America for Jews. In fact, they sacrificed the interests of living people – their brothers and sisters who went through a world of pain – to the politics of their own movement.” (Yiddish Bulletin, Free Jewish Club, May 19, 1950)

      The Zionists made it very clear to Truman that their backing would only be forthcoming if he did not impede their efforts to take possession of Palestine by allowing European Jewish refugees to immigrate to the United States. “…an aide sympathetic to Zionism [advised Truman] not to offer haven to Jewish displaced persons in the United States as this would dilute the argument that an independent Jewish state was required to absorb them.” (Charles Smith Palestine And The Arab Israel Conflict, p. 128)

      Ben-Gurion and the Jewish Agency prevented European Jews who had sought temporary sanctuary in Palestine during the war from returning to their homes. Britain was well aware of this and Lord Halifax, British Ambassador to the United States made a point of informing Secretary of State Byrnes “that the Zionists were using every possible form of intimidation to stop Jews from leaving Palestine to go back to Europe and play their part in its reconstruction.” (FR: 1945, Vol. Vlll p. 775; cited by Lilienthal, The Zionist Connection, p. 52)

      Some American Jews publicly criticized the Zionists for using their influence to prevent the admission of Jewish refugees into the United States, including Arthur Sulzberger, publisher of the New York Times who called for a reversal of Zionist policy that put statehood first, refugees last: “Admitting that the Jews of Europe have suffered beyond expression, why in God’s name should the fate of all these unhappy people be subordinated to the single cry of Statehood? I cannot rid myself of the feeling that the unfortunate Jews of Europe’s D.P. [Displaced Persons] camps are helpless hostages for whom statehood has been made the only ransom.” (New York Times, October 27, 1946; quoted by Lilienthal, What Price Israel?, p. 37)

      During an interview in 1951, one of America’s most renowned theologians, Dr. Louis Finkelstein of the Jewish Theological Seminary in Manhattan declared that he had always felt “if United States Jews had put as much effort into getting [Jewish] D.P.’s admitted to this country as they put into Zionism, a home could have been found in the New World for all the displaced Jews of Europe.” (Quoted by Lilienthal, What Price IsraeI?, p. 36)

      On 2 May 1948, in a report delivered to the pro-Zionist American Jewish Conference regarding “Jewish Displaced Persons in the American Occupied Zone of Germany,” Jewish Chaplain Klausner (himself a dedicated Zionist) stated that “The Jews as a group are not overwhelmingly desirous of going to Palestine…we may predict that perhaps 30% of the people will go to Palestine.” (Lilienthal, WPI? p. 260)

      Klausner concluded that the displaced Jews “… must be forced to go to Palestine…. By ‘force’ I suggest a program. It is not a new program. It was used before, and most recently. It was used in the evacuation of the Jews from Poland and in the story of [the refugee ship] the `Exodus’.” Klausner went on to explain what his “program” would involve: “The first step…is the adoption of the principle that it is the conviction of the world Jewish community that these people must go to Palestine. The second step is the transmittal of that policy to the Displaced Persons. The third step is for the world Jewish community to offer the people the opportunity to go to Palestine….”

      The strategy suggested by Klausner to persuade Jews in the Displaced Persons camps to immigrate to Israel was implemented. Its tactics included: “confiscation of food rations, dismissal from work, smashing of machines sent by Americans to train D.P.’s in useful skills, taking away legal protection and visa rights from dissenters, expulsion from the camps of political opponents and, in one instance, even the public flogging of a recalcitrant recruit for the Israel Army. Trucks of the Jewish Agency were known to drive through the Jewish camps in Germany, ‘picking up’ boys and young men. Strange transports left Germany every week for France where, as a first step en route to Israel, the herded people were kept in camps established at Marseilles. In Germany’s D.P. camps, stories were spread that pogroms were taking place in parts of the United States.” (Lilienthal, WPI?, pp. 196-197)

      As they were reluctant to heed the “call of Zion,” Israeli immigration agents had to “encourage” and in some cases, force Eastern European Jews to immigrate to Israel. “The government [of Israel] made great efforts to encourage Jews in Eastern Europe to migrate to Israel. Its immigration agent in Romania reported in 1950: ‘Working through the local leadership and every reliable Jew we have met, we are urging Jews to make application for emigration and for passports.’ Agents tried to get emigrating Jews to Israel. In Poland Israeli officials would ‘send the people directly to the port, so they would not be able to stop en route,’ reported Samuel Eliashiv, Israel’s ambassador to Czechoslovakia. Israel’s consul in Warsaw, Israel Carmel, found that persuasion was difficult. ‘The awakening of the Jews in Poland will not happen by itself,’ he reported in 1949. ‘They must be motivated and organized.'” (Quigley, p. 99)

      • Talkback
        January 12, 2018, 2:03 pm

        Great comment as usual and a great source.

      • Boomer
        January 12, 2018, 3:13 pm

        Thanks for the history lesson.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 12, 2018, 3:41 pm

        it’s really hard to read. mind numbing.

        “…the dominant vocal Jewish leadership of America won’t stand for it…the Zionist movement knows [that it] can raise vast sums for Palestine by saying to donors, `There is no other place this poor Jew can go.’”

        so many could have been saved.

  5. dimadok
    January 11, 2018, 2:15 pm

    Interview with the US neo-Nazi:
    https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5069827,00.html
    Headline: ” No Jews, no 9/11, says leading US neo-Nazi”
    Message: Jews need to go home, to Israel.

    Sigh…

    • eljay
      January 11, 2018, 2:54 pm

      || dimadok: Interview with the US neo-Nazi:
      https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5069827,00.html
      Headline: ” No Jews, no 9/11, says leading US neo-Nazi”
      Message: Jews need to go home, to Israel.

      Sigh… ||

      Zionists like you keep pushing the message that Israel is the “ancient / historic / one true homeland” of Jewish citizens of countries and homelands all over the world. A US neo-Nazi has heard your message and he agrees with it. Your efforts have been rewarded – you should be rejoicing, not sighing.

      • dimadok
        January 11, 2018, 4:06 pm

        Nazis were before Israel, Dreifus centennial jubilee was just a couple of weeks ago, blood libels, crusades…..
        Nothing will prevent the next thing happening to Jews, except state support, statehood and national home.

      • eljay
        January 11, 2018, 5:24 pm

        || dimadok: … Nothing will prevent the next thing happening to Jews, except state support, statehood and national home. ||

        Chanting that mantra makes you feel good about justifying the Zionist evil you advocate, support and defend – and your US neo-Nazi brother-in-arms salutes your resolve – but if the desire to kill Jews is strong enough a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” carved out of geographic Palestine won’t prevent the “next thing” either.

    • echinococcus
      January 11, 2018, 3:00 pm

      Bravo, Dimadok. You hit the head on the nail and walk away with the cigar.

      ” Jews need to go home, to Israel” can only be, as you so well say, a Nazi message.

      • dimadok
        January 11, 2018, 4:02 pm

        Indeed, I hit the nail. But the placement is different here- because of history, bigotry, antisemitic views of Nazis or anyone else, Israel as the national home is justified to be viewed as the safe haven for any Jewish person. Regardless of his opinion, even Mr. Weiss will be welcomed there.

      • echinococcus
        January 11, 2018, 4:18 pm

        Now, Dimadok, don’t start to sound like you’re too slow just after having uttered something right –intended or not.

        Not “because of Nazis”. “Israel as the national home… as the safe haven for any Jewish person” is Nazism itself. By definition. Repeat with me: making a racist, exclusive national home on other peoples’ territory defines Nazism.

        Besides, you’re lying again. Chomsky, Finkelstein, Vilkommerson are all very Jewish persons both by their own and the Zionists’ racist definition and they are barred from even visiting, let alone “safe haven”.

      • amigo
        January 11, 2018, 4:22 pm

        “Indeed, I hit the nail. But the placement is different here”dumaduck

        Indeed it is.

        “A man has survived firing a nailgun into his own brain – in what surgeons worryingly said was not an unheard-of occurrence.

        Dante Autullo of Chicago thought doctors were joking, feeling sure he had only been grazed by the nail when it flew past as he was building a shed. Even when hospital medics produced an X-ray he was sceptical.

        Daniel Autullo, who thought his skull was only grazed in the nailgun accident
        Dante Autullo, who thought his skull was only grazed in the nailgun accident, with neurosurgeon Leslie Schaffer.

        “When they brought in the picture, I said to the doctor ‘Is this a joke? Did you get that out of the doctors joke file?'” the 32-year-old said. “The doctor said ‘No man, that’s in your head.'”

        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/jan/21/man-survives-shooting-nail-brain

      • echinococcus
        January 11, 2018, 5:21 pm

        Amigo,

        Got me confused now. Dante or Daniel (which latter might even imply conversion, you know?)

      • inbound39
        January 12, 2018, 4:31 am

        Problem is it is a delusion to think Israel is a safe haven. It;s own Generals state it cannot survive a saturation missile attack and one direct hit on Dimona renders Israel kaput. It’s definitely no safe haven….more a trap.

      • Sibiriak
        January 12, 2018, 10:26 am

        inbound39: one direct hit on Dimona renders Israel kaput.
        ————————-

        No, a bit traumatized, but hardly “kaput”:

        Should Israel Close Dimona? The Radiological Consequences of a Military Strike on Israel’s Plutonium-Production Reactor

        [..] a successful strike on an operating Dimona reactor that breached containment and generated an explosion and fire involving the core would present effects similar to a substantial radiological weapon or dirty bomb.

        Although consequences would represent only a small fraction of the Chernobyl release, for Israel, a country the size of New Jersey with a population of some six million, the relative economic dislocation, population relocation, and immediate and lingering psychological trauma could be significant… [emphasis added]

        https://www.armscontrol.org/act/2008_05/Dimona#15

      • Talkback
        January 13, 2018, 11:50 am

        dimadok: “Israel as the national home is justified to be viewed as the safe haven for any Jewish person”

        That doesn’t give Jews or any other people the right to immigrate into a country without the consent of its indigenous population, take over this country through war and expell the majority of the indigenous population. Settler colonialism is a crime against humanity.

    • amigo
      January 11, 2018, 3:10 pm

      “Headline: ” No Jews, no 9/11, says leading US neo-Nazi”
      Message: Jews need to go home, to Israel.”dumaduck

      You mean those US neo Nazis who Trump (of the Station) referred to as Nice People.

      • dimadok
        January 11, 2018, 4:03 pm

        I don’t care about Trump and Nice People- I care that antisemitism is alive and well. Here, with US Nazis, there, with Muslim immigrants to Germany, or in the UK with Labor Party.

      • amigo
        January 11, 2018, 5:00 pm

        “I don’t care about Trump and Nice People- I care that antisemitism is alive and well. Here, with US Nazis,” dumaduck

        You should care.

        “You had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest and very legally protest,” the President said of the sea of people who chanted Nazi slogans, carried swastikas and wore combat gear.” Trump

        http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/trump-blame-sides-charlottesville-article-1.3414369

      • amigo
        January 11, 2018, 6:44 pm

        Echi , apologies .I should have Typed , “dimadok Attulo.

        Not sure if HE converted or is a bone a fido Jew.

    • CigarGod
      January 11, 2018, 8:34 pm

      I’m afraid the only thing I have left for you, Dim, is an exploding cigar or a doggy cigar.
      Your choice.

  6. peterkc1
    January 11, 2018, 2:27 pm

    If he wants to support his claims by referring to U.N. support, he should recognize that Israel has not remained within those borders, has not kept Jerusalem as an undivided international city, and has violated international law in its occupation of Palestinian territory. Twisting an event such as the U.N. decision to mean something very different is the work of propaganda.

  7. andrew r
    January 11, 2018, 2:55 pm

    The Jews needed a homeland. History proves that. Assimilation never worked; the Holocaust was no more than a culmination.

    Those apologists for Israel who use the Holocaust as emotional blackmail need to understand that had a “Jewish” state existed in 1939, there’s no guarantee it would’ve saved substantially more Jews than had survived the war in Palestine. Nor is it likely the Jewish Agency leadership would’ve even made a serious effort. In fact, the immigration quotas imposed by the British were used as a cover for their own policies.

    http://mondoweiss.net/2017/04/map-map-on-the-wall-whos-most-existing-of-them-all/#comment-878776

  8. Keith
    January 11, 2018, 4:28 pm

    ROGER COHEN- “The Jews needed a homeland.”

    No they don’t. The creation of a “Jewish” state pays homage to the “Blood and Soil” nationalism of Nazi Germany.

    ROGER COHEN- “History proves that.”

    No it doesn’t. Most of the Jews who remained in the historical “homeland” converted to Islam, which is their right. Cohen’s entire article is based upon Zionist myth-history.

    ROGER COHEN- ” Assimilation never worked….”

    Of course it did. Jews are doing quite well in the US.

    ROGER COHEN- “… the Holocaust was no more than a culmination.”

    More Zionist myth-history. The social role of Jews underwent profound changes with the advent of modernity. The Holocaust cannot be analysed outside the context of World War II in which over 60 million people died.

    Cohen’s article is shameless Zionist propaganda seeking to encourage and justify support for Israel among American Jews. Reality is turned on its head. Strong Israel benefiting a weak American Diaspora? Israel depends upon US imperial support facilitated by American Jewish support to maintain itself in the militaristic manner it has grown accustomed to. Israel needs the Diaspora more than the Diaspora needs Israel. Except, perhaps, for the American Jewish Zionist fat-cats who need Israel as the ideological center of neo-tribal kinship which benefits them alone. The anti-assimilationist tendencies of Jewish Zionism not in the best interest of the Diaspora 99%.

    • Mooser
      January 11, 2018, 5:55 pm

      ” Assimilation never worked….”

      Yeah, yeah, tell it to the people that assimilated us.

      The amount of entitlement we can extract out of that word, assimilation, is staggering.

  9. Keith
    January 11, 2018, 4:42 pm

    PHIL- ” But Cohen’s column is a throwback to an earlier era….”

    Yes, and that is the essence of what Zionism has turned into. Perhaps anti-Semitism was a legitimate concern of the original European Zionists and Israel seen as a solution to that. Additionally, Zionism and Israel was always conceived as a defense against assimilation, a means to maintain Jewish tribal identity. Nowadays, the notion that American Jewish Zionist fat-cats are sincerely worried about anti-Semitism doesn’t ring true. Rather, the intent seems to be to maintain a privileged social role through kinship solidarity.

  10. yonah fredman
    January 11, 2018, 5:58 pm

    It is difficult to imagine Jewish history without the establishment of Israel, but let’s try. I think we’d need to eliminate the Balfour Declaration and imagine a British mandate in Palestine that gave some consideration to the multiple religions of the land of their mandate, but except for some minor protecting of holy sites, the mandate would have been to encourage financial growth and political maturity of the indigenous in the direction of self determination. Thus instead of 400,000 Jews in Palestine in 1939, we would imagine 120,000 Jews there; no Palestinian state yet, but no encouragement of Zionism.
    Then WWII occurs and in the aftermath of the war, Britain leaves Palestine, not in 1947, but probably closer to 1960 or so. In my scenario: a large exodus of Jews from palestine as a result of this independence in 1960, cutting the Jewish population from 120,000 to less than 40,000 primarily ultra Orthodox and those who are willing and able to blend into the ultra Orthodox milieu.

    Difficult to imagine.

    What degree of support was there for Israel in 1947 in America Jewry compared to in 1967. For one thing, the world shrank in the interim. The other side of the world (not quite, but more than halfway to the other side of the world) was quite distant in 1947 and not nearly as distant in 1967. transatlantic travel was not yet common in 1967, but tens of times more common than in 1947. Live television transmission was not a factor in 1947, but became a factor with morley safer videotaping the burning of the vietnamese village around 1967.

    Roger Cohen comes from Europe (certainly South Africa was a European colony and britain, despite the emotional nature of the relationship, is part of Europe.) As such his relationship to Jewish vulnerability is far different than american jews like phil weiss, whose grandparents left the old country back before world war I. as such he is much closer to the Holocaust and the European debacle and does not find the comfort or the exceptionalism of the American Jewish experience.

    Jews are more accepted in America today than they were in 1945. America is much more cosmopolitan today than it was in 1945 and the civil rights movement (in which Jews played a crucial supporting role) opened up society. I would not attribute the change to the existence of Israel.

    I think that the Holocaust and Israel are intimately tied in the psyches of many Jews.

    I think Phil Weiss is fortunate that when he was young his heroes were Vietnamese martyr burning monks and not concentration camp martyrs or Jewish partisans in the forest. I think his instinct is distinctly alienated from Jewish consciousness, that he thinks that when he was cracking wise against the rabbis in his bar mitzvah class that he was on the right track and all that Jewish stuff was a small pond that he was thrilled to leave. I think Judaism would have held him back and he only got as far as he did (before getting fired and then discovering the issue of antizionism) was because he really felt that shooting spit balls at the rabbis was the core truth of what there was to learn in hebrew school.

    There are many Jews who dismiss Jewishness and thrive as a result. They are Jews (part of a process of disappearing Jews, but still Jews as of the moment) and out of sociological curiosity it is interesting to hear how the grandchildren of those who were part of the old world of pre world war I have evolved over the last century. but my sensibilities are far closer to roger cohen’s and he speaks to me in a way that phil weiss can not.

    I think that the conflict with the Palestinians is a god awful mess and that Israel had an opportunity to opt for a two state solution back in 2008 when Olmert was Prime Minister and Livni was heir apparent. They did not. out of hubris they thought they could win an election and they had all the time in the world. they did not. they handed the premiership over to bibi, who was not interested in a two state solution and thus we find ourselves 9 years later with no end in sight and thus the one state solution beckons.

    • Mooser
      January 11, 2018, 8:22 pm

      “Yonah”, that comment was a full twenty inches!

      And that long paragraph where you got right inside Phil’s head!!! (“I think Phil Weiss is…shooting spitballs at Rabbis…”)

      “yonah” if you read ANY ONE of Phil’s essays you would know that Phil was a mild polite youngster, and industrious student, with his lessons always prepared, always ready to slip across the street and pick up a pint for the good Rebbe. So how do you expect us to take you seriously when you write scurrilous crap like that?

      I think you are projecting, “yonah”. Everything about you says you have blown the wet, wadded, bond through many a Bic-pen barrel in your time.

  11. Boomer
    January 12, 2018, 3:25 pm

    re: “Privileged American Jews are safe thanks to ‘Israel’s might’”

    Thanks for the hard work you do, Philip, reporting on moral and social pathology. It must be discouraging work. It’s odd, but seemingly true, that pathology can be successful, whether in DC, NYC, or Israel. It would be nice to think that Darwinian dynamics would, over time, eliminate such pathology. As we remember MLK Jr. it would be nice to think that “the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice,” But despite some claims to that effect, it ain’t necessarily so.

  12. Ossinev
    January 13, 2018, 8:11 am

    @Dimaduk
    “or in the UK with Labor Party”

    YAWNNNNN!

  13. Citizen
    January 13, 2018, 10:02 am

    Good, succinct article, Phil. Lots of effective comments too

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