Trending Topics:

What’s wrong with colonialism?

Middle East
on 234 Comments

I remember many years ago sitting through a seminar at Macquarie University in Sydney during my Honours studies in Politics. That particular seminar focused on Western colonialism in the South Pacific, and modern Western imperialism in general. I remember one thing vividly from that class that remained etched into my mind. It was a question that the lecturer asked us repeatedly and insistently. ‘Why is it so important for indigenous people to maintain their identity? What is so bad with a particular way of life or culture disappearing?’

At the time I could not think of an answer. In fact none of us was able to answer it. I remember feeling like a rabbit in the headlights. Every bit of me told me this was very wrong, but I couldn’t explain why. It was the mid-nineties, and only four years after I had moved to Australia from Israel. I was ignorant about what colonialism or settler-colonialism are, and their legacy. I was still blind to the Zionist settler-colonialism in which I grew up, and did not register the fact that by virtue of being white, I automatically embraced the settler-colonial power structure in Australia too.

The entire topic was taught in a sanitised way, and in what I now recognise as an apologist Western attitude with a strong white Western bias. That lecturer did not ask his question to get us to think critically about colonialism. He really meant for us to consider that there is nothing wrong with cultures disappearing and being replaced with other cultures, not by a natural, organic process of social and cultural evolution, but by force and coercion employed by someone coming in from elsewhere.

I didn’t understand at the time that the disappearance of a culture by force is always in the context of psychopathic control, that it is in effect a rape, an exercise of pure power; that it is always in the service of, and for the benefit of the coloniser’s ruling classes. Colonialism is never for the benefit of the colonised, and it is always carried out in the context of a system of violence, control, and domination.

Colonisers do not knock on the door of the colonised, and ask politely if it is OK to borrow a cup of sugar and a couple of eggs. There is no equality of power, and the colonised cannot respond politely that they have nothing to give, or alternatively choose to offer the cup of sugar and two eggs. The key factor here is choice. The colonisers step in with superior weaponry, efficient bureaucracy and organisation, all supported by an ideology of superiority and entitlement, and they take. It’s theft of land, resources, culture. It is rape on every level. It is taking what isn’t theirs without asking permission, and without concern for the impact that this has on the ones from whom they are taking.

Colonisation is an exercise in objectification. Others exist only as a resource for the coloniser, not in their own right. In psychotherapy, we recognise this easily as a psychopathic power structure that is harmful and extremely dangerous to the victim. It can lead to psychological annihilation, and often to death, either directly, or as a longer-term consequence of the psychological destruction.

Colonisation ultimately has to be accompanied by a ‘policy of elimination’, as Patrick Wolfe calls it. Without a policy of elimination the exercise cannot succeed. There will be resistance. Colonialism is ultimately about the bottom line, material gain. Or in the case of Israel’s settler-colonialist project in Palestine, in the service of the goal of establishing and securing an exclusively Jewish state in the whole of historic Palestine. As many colonisers throughout history have learned the hard way, colonialism can backfire. When too many resources have to be diverted to quashing resistance, it can end up in a loss rather than gain for the coloniser. The dynamic of resistance is at the heart of the success or failure of colonial projects. An effective policy of elimination is therefore crucial for colonial success because it tackles the problem of resistance directly.

Elimination does not just mean killing a lot of people, or eliminating an entire people. A policy of elimination means also, the annihilation of the indigenous people’s identity, or ‘spirit’. The spirit of a people (or of an individual for that matter) isn’t something that can be quantified or measured. But it is nonetheless as real and as tangible as the art, craft, customs and traditions, cuisine, history, relationships, and stories that a culture contains. It’s about how a culture expresses its own unique experience of life.

Cultures are never monoliths. They are diverse and multifaceted, but are still identifiable as different and unique from other cultures. A culture to a group, is what an identity is to an individual. Take that away, and only a shell is left. Humans do not live well as shells, either as groups or as individuals. It’s like being a zombie, an animated physical form devoid of a soul. Culture and identity are both driven by, and are an expression of the essence of existence, the ‘life force’ if you will of a group or an individual. They are intertwined. Damage one, and you compromise the other.

In the lives of individuals, the equivalent of colonialism is the experience of being affected by someone with a personality disorder. So many clients with such a history describe being left feeling ‘like a zombie’, an empty shell. In psychotherapy, we have to help these clients reconstruct their sense of identity and self by helping them rediscover what is important to them, what their interests are, their values, feelings, thoughts and beliefs, and how they like to express them. It’s a huge job.

Kamel Hawwash’s excellent article, ‘Israel implements a deliberate policy to terrorise Palestinian children’ (Middle East Eye, 4th January 2018) made me think of how cunning Israel is in its attempt to destroy the essence of the Palestinian people, their very ‘life force’, their spirit. Attacking children is an aspect of the policy of elimination that isn’t focused on numbers, but on breaking the spirit of resistance.

One of the biggest injuries you can inflict on adults is to render them powerless to protect their own children. As Hawwash says, “The knock on the door, the shouting of a name, the forced entry into a bedroom, can happen to any Palestinian child and without warning. No regard for age or circumstance is given.” If the Israeli forces can rape their way into a family’s home and do whatever they wish to the children, what power does the parent have left to protect the children?

The trauma this produces, the way it breaks the spirit of people, is beyond what anyone can imagine. Only when you work closely with clients who were put in that situation do you catch a glimpse of the devastation this causes. The guilt and the trauma are beyond what even excellent psychotherapy can help repair. Most parents would not be able to even conceive the idea of not being allowed to protect their own children. But this is both the threat and reality that every single Palestinian parent both in the colonised West Bank and in Gaza are living with.

Leaving parents powerless to protect their children destroys families and chips away at the social ties and links that are such an important aspect of what makes a culture what it is. This is calculated and intentional, and I believe it falls under the UN definition of genocide along many other Israeli practices. But then again when is settler-colonialism not a type of genocide?

To answer that nasty question of that lecturer whose name I do not remember, What’s wrong with the disappearance of a culture (due to colonialism)? What is wrong with it is precisely the same thing that is wrong with a rape.

About Avigail Abarbanel

Avigail Abarbanel was born and raised in Israel. She moved to Australia in 1991 and now lives in the north of Scotland. She works as a psychotherapist and clinical supervisor in private practice and is an activist for Palestinian rights. She is the editor of Beyond Tribal Loyalties: Personal Stories of Jewish Peace Activists (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012).

Other posts by .


Posted In:

234 Responses

  1. Avigail Abarbanel
    January 17, 2018, 10:47 am

    I should have also pointed out how American leaders past and present have been expressing fear that ‘Muslims’ or others would ‘destroy’ their way of life. If colonialism is so benign, then why would the US, UK or other (ex colonial and present colonial Western states) worry so much about *their way of life* changing…? Just a thought.

    • Mooser
      January 17, 2018, 12:30 pm

      ” worry so much about *their way of life* changing…?”

      Should’a heard ’em during the years of large Jewish immigration to the US. They were in a panic over it. Or at any rate, we like to think so.

      • Avigail Abarbanel
        January 17, 2018, 12:53 pm

        I know. I researched it. Same was the case in Australia in the 30s…

    • pabelmont
      January 17, 2018, 1:00 pm

      Avigail, the answer is easy: In the view of oppressors, getting culturally erased is not bad for little brown peoples but would be horrible for big strong white people. Get it?

      And lest I forget, thanks for a bang-up essay. Perfect. Colonialism as rape. And perhaps many more people will now say #MeToo about colonialism.

      But this does not explain the expressions of fear among the white supremacists. That fear (or that surmise if this is pre-fear on their part) may come about because they have joined the bandwagon of colonialism, of minimizing/oppressing.erasing other lesser peoples, and by easy projection can imagine that those peoples would want to do the same thing back to them. (Whether the oppressed would have the power to do such a thing does not arise, because this fear is not realistic but merely psychological, sins of thought and action coming home to roost as fears of reprisal.)

      • Avigail Abarbanel
        January 17, 2018, 1:44 pm

        That’s a very good point. One standard for white people and another for the rest… This has always been the colonial mindset. I remember seeing books published in the UK at the time when Australia was being colonised. The Australian Aborigines were described as basically non-human and were seen as either a scientific ‘curiosity’ or an ‘object’ of loathing and ridicule. Indigenous people were always seen this way. It helps to dehumanise if you are going to destroy someone or take something from them. Then it’s easy to overcome any guilt, if there is any there at all…

        I think you are spot on that psychologically many people who do wrong tend to fear the same being done to them. Your explanation seems right to me. There are other possible explanations for this in my profession. One of them is that once you know something can be done (because you maybe did it), then you know it *can* be done and if it can be done, it can be done to you too… We don’t tend to fear anything we haven’t already experienced or otherwise witnessed. Being a perpetrator falls into the category of knowing it is possible… I think your explanation is better though…

  2. eljay
    January 17, 2018, 12:23 pm

    … Colonialism is never for the benefit of the colonised, and it is always carried out in the context of a system of violence, control, and domination. …

    I’ve used (and been criticized for using) the kidnapping-and-rape analogy because that’s what Zionism’s “Jewish State” project most resembles to me: An unjust and immoral desire for possession…
    – justified by a powerful and irrational sense of entitlement;
    – realized and maintained through the use of brutal force; and
    – utterly opposed to any just and moral resolution.

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      January 17, 2018, 12:59 pm

      Absolutely and I am sorry you were criticised for it. As far as I am concerned it is a given and the facts and the impact speak for themselves. It’s a no brainer. Re Palestine, it is time to start to have this conversation and start getting away from focusing on the identity of the victim or the perpetrator (coloniser). It’s not important. Everyone’s focus should be the crime. If we don’t do that we imply that there are worthier victims than others and that somehow perpetrators committing the same crime should also be treated differently. Surely we don’t want to say this, do we?…

      • pabelmont
        January 17, 2018, 1:03 pm

        Ahem, calling Israeli behavior criminal, calling it rape, oes sometimes get called antisemitism, which is (among those same namecallers) counted as a higher crime. Just sayin’. Not agreein’.

      • eljay
        January 17, 2018, 1:11 pm

        Well, I wasn’t bucking for sympathy, but thanks. :-)

        More importantly, thank you for your excellent article. I do agree that the focus should be the crime and that the laws addressing it should be upheld in all cases. (Justice, accountability and equality, universally and consistently applied.)

    • Mooser
      January 17, 2018, 1:43 pm

      “I’ve used (and been criticized for using) the kidnapping-and-rape analogy”

      I would think that’s pretty kosher as analogies go:

      the punishment of a gentile who studies Torah is like that of one who engages in intercourse with a betrothed young woman, which is execution by stoning. “

    • Jerry Hirsch
      January 19, 2018, 8:30 pm

      Certainly the Arab conquest of Palestine in the seventh century had all the qualities you now criticize the Jews for. The critical difference being that the Jews are indigenous to that land while the Arabs are indigenous to the Arabian Peninsula.

      • Mooser
        January 19, 2018, 10:29 pm

        “The critical difference being that the Jews are indigenous to that land”

        “Jerry”, go read your Bible. Go on, nobody will put you on trial for it.

      • Keith
        January 20, 2018, 12:19 am

        JERRY HIRSCH- “… the Jews are indigenous to that land….”

        The Ashkenazi are indigenous? Cut the crap, Jerry, the Ashkenazi founders of Israel are European invaders.

      • Talkback
        January 20, 2018, 6:51 am

        Jerry Hirsch: “Certainly the Arab conquest of Palestine in the seventh century had all the qualities you now criticize the Jews for. ”

        Another example of how corrupted and unjust Zionism in modern time is. It’s about 14 centuries back. Or at least one century and before 1919. What’s next, Jerry? That you are going to point out that the genocides in the bible had all the qualites of genocides in recent times?

        Jerry: “The critical difference being that the Jews are indigenous to that land while the Arabs are indigenous to the Arabian Peninsula.”

        ROFL. The critical difference is that some ancient Jews WERE indegenous to this land, some Jews today still are, the vast majority are foreign settlers, the vast majority of Palestinians are indigenous and only 5% of them have Arabian ancestry. Onlike Zionist Jews the Arabians were not into settler colonialism and only into conquest and control.

      • eljay
        January 20, 2018, 9:33 am

        || Jerry Hirsch: Certainly the Arab conquest of Palestine in the seventh century had all the qualities you now criticize the Jews for. … ||

        The Arab conquest of Palestine happened in the 7th century. The Jewish colonization of Palestine happened in the more-enlightened, post-WWII 20th century and continues in the 21st century.

        (BTW, thanks for risking the wrath of ZioHQ and acknowledging that Palestine existed in the 7th century.)

        || … The critical difference being that the Jews are indigenous to that land while the Arabs are indigenous to the Arabian Peninsula. ||

        The critical difference being that in the 20th century…
        – some people who had chosen to embrace the religion-based identity of Jewish; and
        – considerably more people who had chosen not to embrace the religion-based identity of Jewish,
        …were indigenous to Palestine.

      • MHughes976
        January 20, 2018, 12:06 pm

        How can one possibly argue that an act morally equivalent to rape is mitigated by the fact that the perpetrators had ancestors in the area?

      • Mooser
        January 20, 2018, 12:56 pm

        ” in the seventh century”

        Ah, the good old seventh century! Came between the sixth and eighth century, if I’m not mistaken. Funny how they usually come in numerical order, isn’t it?

      • Jerry Hirsch
        January 20, 2018, 2:45 pm

        Keith,

        https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms3543#f10

        “There is consensus that all Jewish Diaspora groups, including the Ashkenazim, trace their ancestry, at least in part, to the Levant, ~2,000–3,000 years ago.”

        That some intermarried with European women does not change the fact of the Jews indigenous roots in Israel.

        In addition half the Jews in Israel originated from North Africa and the Middle East from which they were ethnically cleansed by the Arabs after 1948.

      • Jon66
        January 20, 2018, 3:06 pm

        Hughes,
        “How can one possibly argue that an act morally equivalent to rape is mitigated by the fact that the perpetrators had ancestors in the area?”

        How can one argue that ACTUAL hijacking, murder, suicide bombing, indiscriminate rocket attacks, stabbings, etc., are justified because one had ancestors in the area?

      • Jerry Hirsch
        January 20, 2018, 3:26 pm

        Eljay, you sound like a broken record. Continually confusing religion with ethnicity. The Jews are an ethnicity just as the Arabs are. The Jews are in fact far less religious than you imagine. They were recently confirmed as being the least religious of any group worldwide.

        https://www.haaretz.com/jewish/jews-least-observant-int-l-poll-finds-1.5287579

      • eljay
        January 20, 2018, 3:49 pm

        || Jon66: … How can one argue that ACTUAL hijacking, murder, suicide bombing, indiscriminate rocket attacks, stabbings, etc., are justified because one had ancestors in the area? ||

        The Palestinians don’t just have ancestors in the area – they are in the area. They were and are indigenous to it. Many (most?) Zionists are not, but you’ve spent the past ~70 years stealing, occupying and colonizing as much of it as possible while expelling or oppressing as many Palestinians as possible.

        You, sir, are no jackdaw. And if Nobel Prize winner Konrad Lorenz were alive today, he’d tell you the same thing.

      • Mooser
        January 20, 2018, 6:07 pm

        “How can one argue that ACTUAL hijacking, murder, suicide bombing, indiscriminate rocket attacks, stabbings, etc., are justified because one had ancestors in the area?”

        You need to ask the Zionists about that. You left out “assassinating Swedish diplomats” from your list.

        Gosh, “Jon66” you are monumentally dumb. I don’t think anybody but a helpless infant would trust you with a scalpel.

        Oh BTW “had ancestors in the area”? Well, yes, the Palestinians had that too, but they lived there, themselves and not their ancestors, at the time.

      • Mooser
        January 20, 2018, 6:13 pm

        ” The Jews are in fact far less religious than you imagine. They were recently confirmed as being the least religious of any group worldwide.” “Jerry Hirsch”

        Gosh, if that is true, how on earth will Israel keep the Jewish people motivated to support Zionism? It isn’t like we have some legal proof or documents which conclusively show what property we had. Without that, all we have to support Zionism is religious belief.

        And gee, we don’t even really know who is Jewish and who is not. “Jerry Hirsch”, who are “the Jews”? How can I tell a real Jew, so we know who deserves a chunk of Holy Land?

      • Mooser
        January 20, 2018, 6:18 pm

        “The Jews are an ethnicity just as the Arabs are.” “Jerry Hirsch”

        So how do you tell a Jew from an Arab? Or from a French person or an American?
        What is the definitive signs and characteristics of ‘Jewish ethnicity’.

        I mean, if we can’t tell Jews from other people, how do we know the Zionists aren’t just a bunch of people claiming to be Jews to take advantage of a power vacuum Mandate Palestine. A Jewish ethnicity which can’t be definitively recognized is no good at all.

        And most of all, you need to tell us how each person can tell for themselves if they are a Jew or not. We’ve got to be able to know our own for this ethnicity nation thing to work.

      • RoHa
        January 20, 2018, 7:14 pm

        “Ah, the good old seventh century! Came between the sixth and eighth century, if I’m not mistaken. Funny how they usually come in numerical order, isn’t it?”

        Coincidence? I think not! I smell a conspiracy.

      • RoHa
        January 20, 2018, 7:24 pm

        “You left out “assassinating Swedish diplomats” from your list.”

        And British diplomats. Don’t forget Lord Moyne.

      • RoHa
        January 20, 2018, 7:31 pm

        “What is [ sic] the definitive signs and characteristics of ‘Jewish ethnicity.”

        Didn’t some guys in the 1930s draw up charts and table to help with that?

        “And most of all, you need to tell us how each person can tell for themselves if they are a Jew or not. ”

        It would be really helpful. I’m pretty sure I’m not a Jew, but sometimes, in the dark watches of the night, I do have twinges of doubt.

      • Jon66
        January 20, 2018, 8:13 pm

        Eljay,
        “The Palestinians don’t just have ancestors in the area – they are in the area. ”
        That avoids the question.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 20, 2018, 10:40 pm

        That avoids the question.


        personally, i think your question is flawed because it sets up a false equivalence. while it’s legitimate to ask how one could argue that an act morally equivalent to rape is mitigated by ‘perpetrators had ancestors in the area’ (because that is common hasbara pawned off as a legitimate explanation for a so called ‘jewish right’ to the land, routinely) palestinians have no equivalent propaganda to your hypothetical question. ie, they don’t say ‘our resistance to ethnic cleansing, apartheid and occupation’ is justified because ‘we have ancestors in the area’.

        so, in my mind, your question is not even worthy of an answer any more than me asking you why you beat your wife is worthy of an answer.

        you want a better response, ask a better question.

      • Jerry Hirsch
        January 20, 2018, 9:27 pm

        Talkback,

        “the vast majority of Palestinians are indigenous”.

        Robert F. Kennedy reporting from Palestine in 1948.

        “The Jews point with pride to the fact that over 500,000 Arabs in the 12 years between 1932 and 1944, came into Palestine to take advantage of living conditions existing in no other Arab state. This is the only country in the Near and Middle East where an Arab middle class is in existence.”

        http://robertkennedyandisrael.blogspot.com/2008/06/bobby-kennedy-in-palestine-boston-post.html?m=1

        http://jcpa.org/article/robert-kennedys-1948-reports-from-palestine/

      • Annie Robbins
        January 20, 2018, 10:25 pm

        Robert F. Kennedy reporting …..“The Jews point with pride to the fact that….

        israeli hasbara agents telling kennedy something is a fact doesn’t make it a fact. i think this fabrication about palestinians arriving em masse in the decade before the founding of the state to take advantage of jewish enterprise was thoroughly debunked after the joan peters book.

        kennedy was 23 in ’48. how much history of the region do you think he knew before he got there and jews started ‘pointing’ things out to him w/pride. this kind of revisionism is not too in vogue today. You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. i think the lifespan of this particular lie myth, is over.

      • RoHa
        January 20, 2018, 9:42 pm

        All this stuff about Jewish “ethnicity” is irrelevant. Modern European Jews may or may not be descendants of Palestinian Jews. Either way, modern European Jews had no right to invade Palestine, take over the land, and drive out the people who were living there.

      • eljay
        January 20, 2018, 10:58 pm

        || Jon66: Eljay,
        “The Palestinians don’t just have ancestors in the area – they are in the area. ”
        That avoids the question. ||

        No, it addresses the question. As usual, you just don’t like the answer. Pull your pants back up.

      • Maghlawatan
        January 21, 2018, 2:44 am

        “Either way, modern European Jews had no right to invade Palestine, take over the land, and drive out the people who were living there.”

        At the very least they should have paid compensation. Under no circumstances should they have invaded Gaza and the West Bank.
        Zionism is not focused on sustainability . It’s a trauma-driven ideology.

      • Talkback
        January 21, 2018, 3:59 am

        Jerry Hirsch: “Continually confusing religion with ethnicity. …”

        Say Jerry, when did Jews became Jews according to your opinion?

        Jerry Hirsch: “The Jews are an ethnicity just as the Arabs are.”

        ROFL. Whose confusing religion with ethnicity? Who knew that not only Jews can become member of an ethnic group through religious conversion, right? Next thing that you are going to claim is that Jews are a nation like Palestinians and therefore one can become Jewish by acquiring citizenship.

        Jerry Hirsch: “Robert F. Kennedy reporting from Palestine in 1948.

        “The Jews point with pride to the fact …””

        I stopped right there. Can you tell why? According to this nutcases Nonjews don’t reproduce at all.

        Here’s a report from the UN in 1947:
        “16. The Arab population has increased almost entirely as a result of an excess of births over deaths. Indeed, the natural rate of increase of Moslem Arabs in Palestine is the highest in recorded statistics,1 a phenomenon explained by very high fertility rates coupled with a marked decline in death rates as a result of improved conditions of life and public health, The natural rate of increase of Jews is also relatively high, but is conditioned by a favorable age distribution of the population due to the high rate of immigration.”
        https://unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal.nsf/0/07175DE9FA2DE563852568D3006E10F3

      • Talkback
        January 21, 2018, 4:02 am

        jon 66: “How can one argue that ACTUAL hijacking, murder, suicide bombing, indiscriminate rocket attacks, stabbings, etc., are justified because one had ancestors in the area?”

        Who justifies the violence of settler colonialism which is against a whole people and who justifies the native’s violent reaction against some settler colonials?

      • Talkback
        January 21, 2018, 4:11 am

        Mooser: “What is the definitive signs and characteristics of ‘Jewish ethnicity’.”

        Being a descendant from Nonjewish settlers from Ur who settled in Canaan?

        Mooser: “How can I tell a real Jew, so we know who deserves a chunk of Holy Land?”

        Mooser, it’s not something that Jews “deserve”. According to Zionists it is their birth right, including the right to expell, denationalize, disenfranchise, dispossess or oppress Nonjews and punish them with draconian laws.

      • Talkback
        January 21, 2018, 5:23 am

        Jerry Hirsch: “The Jews are in fact far less religious than you imagine. They were recently confirmed as being the least religious of any group worldwide.
        https://www.haaretz.com/jewish/jews-least-observant-int-l-poll-finds-1.5287579

        Just another distortion. The Haaretz article says that the Gallup poll DIDN’T include Israel. So much for “worldwide”. It also pointed out that 80% of Israeli Jews believe that God exists and 70 percent believe that Jews are the “Chosen People”.

      • Jon66
        January 21, 2018, 10:29 am

        Annie,
        I did not mean to emphasize the question if ancestors, but rather the justification/mitigation of violence against civilians.
        To rephrase it, In order to further your political aims: Does the motivation mitigate acts morally equivalent to rape? Can you mitigate/justify violence targeting civilians?
        Are acts ‘morally equivalent to rape’ more or less severe than actual acts of murder or violence?
        But I don’t see how you can condemn Goldstein and not condemn Mughrabi. Is the killing of Mohammed Khdeir worse than the killing of Einat Haran? There is no justification for targeting civilians.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 21, 2018, 12:59 pm

        To rephrase it, In order to further your political aims: Does the motivation mitigate acts morally equivalent to rape?

        jon, for the purpose of this discussion, in relation to this argument, the crime of rape is allegorical. in both the attacks you referenced, one in ’78 the other’79, both from roughly 4 decades ago, as well as the killing of the illegal settler rabbi more recently, allegorically speaking, the perpetrators of all those attacks are the victims of rape. wheras, their attacks were not morally equivalent to rape.
        only if one strips the context away from decades occupation, ethnic cleansing, the consequence of violent colonization (all the morally equivalent to rape), could one formulated a question such as yours — which posits colonizers as civilians. allegorically, it doesn’t work.

        16-year-old Samir Kuntar, who led the 1979 Nahariya attack, 19-year old Dalal Mughrabi, and 22 year old Ahmad Jarrar whom israel alleges perpetrated the recent attack on the illegal settler, allegorically speaking, all of them are victims of unspeakable humiliations, child sexual assault and mutilation. their entire childhoods stripped away.

      • Mooser
        January 21, 2018, 12:30 pm

        “Eljay, you sound like a broken record…”

        “Jerry”, you sound like a classic 78rpm record that’s been smashed to flinders so it can be returned for credit. ( And clear the field for modernist composers.)

      • Talkback
        January 21, 2018, 12:40 pm

        jon66: “I did not mean to emphasize the question if ancestors, but rather the justification/mitigation of violence against civilians.”

        To create a state in Palestine without the consent of its majority population and only through war to acquire the territory and expulsion to become a majority was not possible without violence and terrorism against Palestinians. To keep them pre or post 1967 under martial law the Jewish Apartheid Junta needs to commit violence against a whole people, against EVERY Palestinian civilian every single day, hour, minute and second.

        So please spare us your condemnation of Palestinian violence against Jewish civilians. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of Jewish violence against Palestinians, inluding their expulsion, dispossession, disenfranchisement, ritual kidnapping; imprisonment without charge, trial or visitors; torture and demolition of their property and livelyhood.

        When Palestinians would stop attacking Jewish civilians there would be no equivalent response. Jews would continue with their violence and their violation of international law and human rights including the violent prevention of Palestinians who want to return. Including the violence it takes to maintain illegal settlements. Including the violence it takes to control the Westbank. Including the violence to revoke residential status of Nonkews. Including the violence which is needed to protect violent settlers when they attack Palestinians.

      • Mooser
        January 21, 2018, 1:15 pm

        “any more than me asking you why you beat your wife is worthy of an answer.” “Annie”

        I can’t help but notice, “Annie”, that you didn’t even bother to ask him when he stopped beating his wife. After all, we can still hear the blows and the screams.

      • Mooser
        January 21, 2018, 1:19 pm

        “Are acts ‘morally equivalent to rape’ more or less severe than actual acts of murder or violence?”

        Well, Zionist Rabbis recommend rape by Jewish soldiers, but not every Jewish person can live up to strict observance of the commands.

        “Jon 66”, you are in way over your head.

      • Mooser
        January 21, 2018, 1:22 pm

        “but sometimes, in the dark watches of the night, I do have twinges of doubt.” “RoHa”

        You do? That’s the first indicator. The sure sign.

      • MHughes976
        January 21, 2018, 1:34 pm

        I still ask what moral effect, even relevance, the presence of ancestors has, at least by itself, in justifying actions which are, by the argument under discussion, equivalent to rape. I don’t think I’ve been answered. I think provisionally that the relevance is nil: I see no connection with any normal moral principles – if there is an argument that I’m missing it hasn’t even been outlined. I would say the same, in reply to jon, about reference to ancestry in attempted justification of terrorism or other atrocity.
        More generally, I think that ancestry has only limited relevance to human rights. I am sure that many Jewish people and many others have ancestors who were born in Palestine. Probably got several myself. This fact gives no rights to anyone unless there is some number or proportion or period of history or circumstances of arriving or leaving that makes all the difference. But I cannot see any serious argument to any such effect.

      • Mooser
        January 21, 2018, 1:50 pm

        “According to Zionists it is their birth right, including the right to expell, denationalize, disenfranchise, dispossess or oppress Nonjews and punish them with draconian laws.”

        They only talk about “rights” to obfuscate the lack of Zionist power.

      • jon s
        January 21, 2018, 3:09 pm

        It’s remarkable how much the extremists on both sides echo each other, each side denying the other’s legitimacy . The Palestinians are not a real people and are not indigenous. No, the Jews are not a real people and are not indigenous.
        This country is the homeland of both Jews and Palestinians and both are indigenous and should enjoy equal rights.

      • jon s
        January 21, 2018, 3:13 pm

        Annie, how was the child-killer Samir Kuntar a “victim”? He was a Lebanese Druze, who had never lived a day under Israeli occupation.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 21, 2018, 4:20 pm

        i’m not convinced kuntar was a child killer jon. (retired) Brig. Gen. Zvi Sela, former senior officer in both the israeli police force and prison system, and a psychologist, he wasn’t convinced either https://www.haaretz.com/1.5038032

        “We turned Kuntar into God-knows-what – the murderer of Danny Haran and his daughter, Einat. The man who smashed in the girl’s head. That’s nonsense. A story. A fairy tale. He told me he didn’t do it and I believe him. I investigated the event within the framework of the next book I am writing, about hostage-taking incidents. As far as I am concerned, it was no more than a newspaper report. I sat with him; he was very intelligent. He was a squad commander at 17. He told me that his motive for infiltrating Nahariya was to take hostages. He said [his organization] knew that would both humiliate Israel and get them media publicity.

        “He told me: ‘If I had wanted to kill Danny and his daughter, I would have shot them in the house. I took them to the boat because I wanted hostages. I had no interest in hurting them. After I got them into the boat, wild gunfire started and I went back to help my squad on the shore. Danny, the father, kept shouting, “Stop firing, you crazy people.” He and his daughter were found shot in the boat. I was on a small rise, shooting at your forces, and the boat was 20 meters away in the water, with Danny and the girl.'”

        So you say that Kuntar did not murder Haran and his daughter?

        “That is what he says, and in my opinion there is support for the fact that they were killed by fire from the Israeli rescue forces. You can accuse him all you like, but it was obviously the rescue forces that opened fire. There were all kinds of legends about Kuntar.

        as for kuntar’s upbringing, frankly i don’t know much about it. his mission to take hostages in order to trade israel who hundreds held in their jails, i really have no idea. the year before israel had invaded southern lebanon, killed thousands, internally displaced hundreds of thousands. so i don’t know his personal story that lead to him leading that mission. but one should ask, who risks their life and the life of others to release people from the fortresses israel has set up to imprison, maintain and perpetuate the continued colonization of the levant?

      • Mooser
        January 21, 2018, 3:43 pm

        “This country is the homeland of both Jews and Palestinians and both are indigenous and should enjoy equal rights.” “jon s”

        It’s easy for you to say that “Jon s”. You’ve got an American passport and citizenship in your pocket in case equal rights does come to pass.

        And aren’t you lucky to have the Mondoweiss comment section to say what you are afraid to say to actual Israelis. Israelis who understand the real price Jews will pay for Palestinian equal rights!

      • Mooser
        January 21, 2018, 4:05 pm

        “It’s remarkable how much the extremists on both sides echo each other, each side denying the other’s legitimacy”

        All things being equal.

      • Talkback
        January 21, 2018, 5:05 pm

        jon s: “It’s remarkable how much the extremists on both sides echo each other, each side denying the other’s legitimacy .”

        What’s not remarkable is your attempt to create a fake symmetry.

        jon s: “The Palestinians are not a real people and are not indigenous. No, the Jews are not a real people and are not indigenous. This country is the homeland of both Jews and Palestinians and both are indigenous ….”

        The Palestinians are a constitutive people, the Jews are not. The Palestinians (including Ottoman Jews) are indigenous, Jewish settlers who immigrated under British gun were not.

        jon s: “… and should enjoy equal rights.”

        Palestinians should have the right to return even if Jews become a minority (which they allready are in hist. Palestine), right?

      • Mooser
        January 21, 2018, 7:49 pm

        ” (including Ottoman Jews)”

        “Jon s” would do well to remember that many Ottoman Jews settled, very comfortably, near Davenport, Iowa, under a ‘status-of-forces’ (SOFA) agreement.

      • eljay
        January 21, 2018, 8:00 pm

        || jon s: It’s remarkable how much the extremists on both sides echo each other, each side denying the other’s legitimacy . The Palestinians are not a real people and are not indigenous. No, the Jews are not a real people and are not indigenous. … ||

        So lame, jon s, comparing the indigenous population of Palestine to the Jewish supremacist (Zionist) foreigners who covet/ed the territory.

        || … This country is the homeland of both Jews and Palestinians and both are indigenous and should enjoy equal rights. ||

        Assuming that “this country” is Israel, it’s the homeland of its Jewish and non-Jewish Israeli citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally. If it is the homeland of (all) Jews, that’s only because it currently exists as a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” construct.

      • Jon66
        January 21, 2018, 8:42 pm

        Annie,
        The ‘rape’ is allegorical but the crimes against civilians actual.
        I thought the point as Avigail said was, “Everyone’s focus should be the crime. If we don’t do that we imply that there are worthier victims than others and that somehow perpetrators committing the same crime should also be treated differently. Surely we don’t want to say this, do we?…”
        “Settler-colonialism (or colonialism in general) can no more be justified than a child abuser, a rapist, or a home invader excused for having had a tough childhood. ”
        Can we really excuse men like Kuntar because they may have had a ‘tough childhood’.

      • jon s
        January 22, 2018, 10:41 am

        Annie, even if we assume , for the sake of the argument , that Kuntar did not bash in Einat Haran’s head (though her brain matter was found on the but of his gun), he did take a 4 year old girl hostage. If a terrorist kidnaps a child to use as a hostage or human shield and that child is killed in the ensuing firefight, her blood is ultimately on the terrorist’s hands.

      • echinococcus
        January 22, 2018, 2:41 pm

        The Zionist lowlife still can’t hear plain English from the Nuremberg principles: ALL damage resulting directly or indirectly from an act of invasion or from a war of aggression is the direct responsibility of the aggressor period.

        Ýou have a problem with Zionist invaders or their offspring getting harmed as a direct or indirect consequence of the Zionist invasion and wars of aggression? Take it up with your own goddam family and stop screeching already.

    • eljay
      January 20, 2018, 6:19 pm

      || Jerry Hirsch: Eljay, you sound like a broken record. Continually confusing religion with ethnicity. … ||

      You sound like screeching distortion. Jewish is a religion-based identity. There’s no confusion about it.

      • Jerry Hirsch
        January 20, 2018, 9:20 pm

        Eljay, then by your logic Theodore Herzl wasn’t a Jew. Clearly you are confused.

      • eljay
        January 20, 2018, 10:52 pm

        || Jerry Hirsch: Eljay, then by your logic Theodore Herzl wasn’t a Jew. Clearly you are confused. ||

        I don’t see how. The religion-based identity of Jewish is acquired by:
        – undergoing a religious conversion to Judaism; or
        – being descended from someone who underwent a religious conversion to Judaism.

        Perhaps you’re suggesting that neither of these conditions applies to Mr. Herzl. Or perhaps you are confused.

  3. Keith
    January 17, 2018, 12:58 pm

    AVIGAIL ABARBANEL- (Lecture Quote)- “Why is it so important for indigenous people to maintain their identity? What is so bad with a particular way of life or culture disappearing?”

    Jeez, this is a big topic! The short answer is that it depends upon the factors causing the cultural change. During the Industrial Revolution and Enlightenment, European culture was radically transformed to accomodate the changed circumstances. Old social mythology replaced with new social mythology necessary to facilitate social control by a new group of elites. Capitalist businessmen and financiers gradually wrested control of European society from the nobility and church. The new mythology/culture justified and acculturated the citizenry to the new institutions of social power and control.

    In the case of modern imperialism, crucial aspects of the indigenous culture are replaced with Western concepts reflecting the Western view of Western superiority and indigenous inferiority. Local leaders are frequently sent to the Western imperial states to be educated and indoctrinated in Western cultural mythos. Many Third World finance ministers, for example, have Economic PhDs from Western elite Universities and fully suscribe to neoliberal doctrines. High ranking military officers are sent to the US for training. And these Third World elites look to the West for their rewards. And for the ideological justifications for adopting policies which benefit Western corporations while harming their people.

    In the case of Israel, the Zionists went to great lengths to destroy as much of historic Palestinian culture as possible, villages destroyed, Arabic names replaced by Hebrew names, olive trees replaced with pine trees, Zionist atrocities denied, etc. One consequence is that this Middle Eastern country is oriented to European cultures and values, not to its Arab neighbors. And as more American Jews make aliyah, rather than returning to their mythological cultural roots, they are destroying the culture and replacing it with the homogenized culture of Western capitalism, the bazaar replaced with McDonald’s.

    To conclude, colonialism/imperialism is all about elite power-seeking. And any system which exults elite power-seeking is destructive to all that it controls.

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      January 17, 2018, 1:13 pm

      @Keith — Well said!

      • Rob Roy
        January 17, 2018, 2:01 pm

        Avigail, incisive and important article. Commentators: thoughtful discussion. Thank you all.

  4. Avigail Abarbanel
    January 17, 2018, 2:09 pm

    @Rob Roy — Thank you for a very kind comment.

  5. Avigail Abarbanel
    January 17, 2018, 2:28 pm

    On the part of the Zionists and other supporters of Israel there are two optional arguments: One, it wasn’t settler colonialism. Two, it *was* settler-colonialism, and it is harmful, but it’s justified/OK because the survival of the Jewish people depends on it. The first argument can be easily refuted with historical facts. The second is a moral one.

    Can settler-colonialism be justified under any circumstances? (that is assuming that I accept the argument about the survival of the Jewish people, which I do not, and I did grow up on the rationale that the exclusively Jewish state of Israel is absolutely vital for Jewish survival).

    Settler-colonialism (or colonialism in general) can no more be justified than a child abuser, a rapist, or a home invader excused for having had a tough childhood. I don’t see that working in the criminal justice system. My mind is simple enough to ask why we do not apply in the international arena the same laws we apply in the criminal justice system, and I am not saying it’s perfect. Obviously not. But thanks to how things are working now at least here in Scotland, I am able to leave my house in the morning, go where I need to go, do what I need to do, drive back and expect to be alive and unharmed as a female who is a migrant to this country, looks a wee bit darker than the average person here and speaks with a different accent. The same is not true for a Palestinian in Palestine, or for a Syrian, or for a lot of people caught up in a colonialist system, or its aftermath or in any supremacist system anywhere.

  6. Keith
    January 17, 2018, 5:29 pm

    FOLKS- As I said in my initial comment this is a big topic. It is also a very important topic which is too little discussed. Because of its relevance both to the Palestinians and to imperial geostrategy in general, I am going to delve a little deeper. Hang with me.

    Many Mondo commenters may be unaware of the extent to which post World War II the US consciously sought to extend its cultural influence and worldview not only to the Third World but to Europe as well. The CIA and State Department financed cultural groups/magazines which supported the US worldview. More significantly, the US opened up other cultures to US cinema or else. Economic aid to post war France was tied to opening up France to American movies, the prime transmitter of American mythology. It seems to have paid off. I am now going to provide three quotes from “The Grand Chessboard” to show the geostrategic importance Zbigniew Brzezinski placed upon culture.

    “Rome’s imperial power, however, was also derived from from an important psychological reality….Cultural superiority, taken for granted by the rulers and conceded by the subjected, thus reinforced imperial power” (p11)
    ….
    “The overseas British Empire was initially acquired through a combination of exploration, trade, and conquest. But much like its Roman and Chinese predecessors or its French and Spanish rivals, it also derived a great deal of its staying power from the perception of British cultural superiority. That superiority was not only a matter of subjective arrogance on the part of the British ruling class but was a perspective shared by many of the non-British subjects. In the words of South Africa’s first black president, Nelson Mandella: “I was brought up in a British school, and at the time Britain was the home of everything that was best in the world. I have not discarded the influence which Britain and British history and culture have exercised on us.” Cultural superiority, successfully asserted and quietly conceded, had the effect of reducing the need to rely on large military forces to maintain the power of the imperial center.” (p21)
    ….
    “In brief, America stands supreme in the four decisive domains of global power….and culturally, despite some crassness, it enjoys an appeal that is unrivaled, especially among the world’s youth….”
    (P24, “The Grand Chessboard,” Zbigniew Brzezinski)

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      January 18, 2018, 4:36 am

      Very useful Keith, thank you! Colonisers cannot maintain their power if they allow indigenous people to continue their culture and belief system. So as per the examples you offer, colonialism and imperialism are always also cultural, not just military or economic.

      • Maghlawatan
        January 18, 2018, 9:21 am

        https://youtu.be/jbVjjc-qJAA

        “Epistemic closure is when a community cannot open to new perspectives. ”
        This is a huge problem in Israel.
        Israeli Jewish identity is defined by dissing non Jews.

        Reminds me of something Tony Schwartz wrote

        https://www.theguardian.com/global/commentisfree/2018/jan/18/fear-donald-trump-us-president-art-of-the-deal

        “the face of fear, it is a physiological fact that our most primitive and selfish instincts emerge. Control of our behaviour shifts from the prefrontal cortex to the emotionally driven amygdala – sometimes referred to as “fear central”. As we move into fight-or-flight mode, we become more self-centred, and our vision narrows to the perceived threat, which in the modern world is less to our survival than to our sense of value and worthiness. We lose the capacity for empathy, rationality, proportionality and attention to the longer-term consequences of our actions.

        This is the reactive state Trump has tapped into with his followers and which he has prompted in his opponents. It serves none of us well. Think for a moment about the immense difference between how you feel and behave at your best and your worst. It is when we feel safest and most secure that we think most clearly and expansively. It’s also when we are most inclined to look beyond our self-interest, and to act with compassion, generosity, consideration and forgiveness.”

        Israel is full of scared Jews.

        Something else that is germane:

        “Gatsby is a cautionary tale about thinking you can remake yourself.”

        Israel was no tabula rasa.
        It is all about trauma.

  7. amigo
    January 17, 2018, 7:31 pm

    Avigail , perhaps you should add , “or what is right with Colonialism ” to allow our MW Israel defenders to chime in.

    Your Headline leaves them no chance to respond.

    Great article .

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      January 18, 2018, 4:13 am

      Thanks Amigo! Yes, it is like giving pedophiles, rapists or any perpetrator of crimes against humanity the platform to argue the merits of what they do. Yet this is exactly what was happening in a lot of areas were we have already changed our minds. I’m sure that some readers will be familiar with arguments such as: women have smaller brains than men and they are too childlike and emotional to vote to go to university or hold public office, slavery is absolutely essential to the economy and in any case these black people are not really human, or it is OK for poor people’s children to work in mines. They do not need education anyway and someone has to do it… etc. It is just a matter of what we collectively decide is unacceptable. Israel’s settler colonialism in Palestine needs to be named for what it is, recognised and treated like the crime it is. There is no other side to this story. There never is when there is an imbalance of power and the power is abused.

      • Jerry Hirsch
        January 20, 2018, 9:38 pm

        Avagail, the Jews have a 3,000 year history in the land of Israel. To call them occupiers in their indigenous lands is an insult to rational thought. The evidence of their longterm habitation is enormous and can’t be denied by a logical thinking person.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 20, 2018, 10:15 pm

        ah contraire jerry hirsch, the vast majority of them do not have a 3000 yr history in the region. over time, most of them never set foot there nor even tried to go there nor did the vast majority of their parents or grandparents or greatgrandparents. most jews, throughout history, just didn’t make the effort. and that’s the truth of it.

      • eljay
        January 20, 2018, 10:27 pm

        || Jerry Hirsch: … the Jews have a 3,000 year history in the land of Israel. To call them occupiers in their indigenous lands is an insult to rational thought. … ||

        The indigenous inhabitants of geographic Palestine have a long history in geographic Palestine. To assert that all people in the world – citizens of homelands all over the world – who have chosen to embrace the religion-based identity of Jewish have “a 3,000 year history” in geographic Palestine is an insult to rational thought.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 20, 2018, 11:47 pm

        this is for jerry:

        Russian Jews have a historic right on which to base their land settling activity in the Crimea. This was the opinion expressed by Dr. Simon Dubnow, well known Russian Jewish historian, in an interview with the representative of the “Menorah.”

        If the question of Jewish right to colonize Crimea is raised it must be remembered that the Jews have a right to claim to be autochthons of all the northern coast of the Black Sea. As early as the ancient Bosphorean empire, before the Christian era, colonies of Hellenized Jews have flourished on the Black Sea coast. Inscriptions which have been found there dating back to the first cenutry prove the existence of organized Jewish communities in this region. These Hellenized Jews were followed by the Byzantine Jews in the fifth century of the Christian era. The Khazar empire, the leading classes of which adopted Judaism, existed between the eighth and eleventh centuries. Then, settlements of Jews and Karaites existed in this region between the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries. Finally, the Jewish colonies have existed there since the nineteenth century. The historic rights of the Jews to colonize Crimea and the entire Black Sea coast from Odessa to the Caucasus cannot be doubted and it is certainly desirable in a region where for two thousand years our ancestors have, under the Greeks and the Scythians, engaged in agriculture, that the Jews should again cultivate the land. However, the modern Scythians are more dangerous than the ancient-“Time# Danaos et dona ferentes” (I fear the Danaos even if they bring me gifts) he declared.

        sound familiar? https://www.jta.org/1926/12/30/archive/russian-jews-have-a-historic-right-on-which

      • oldgeezer
        January 21, 2018, 12:10 am

        @Jerry

        You really believe the crap you’re spouting?

        While some Jews may have a 3000 year old history in the area, Jews as in each individual member of the group do not. It’s ludicruous to suggest they do.

        An emotional attachment does not make a history. Does not make one indiginous.

        The absolute absence of any rationality is yours and that of those who would agree with you. Yeah sure all Chinese Jews have been indiginous to the area. The fact that I need to type Chinese Jews shows the pure fabrication of Jews as an ethnicity.

      • Keith
        January 21, 2018, 12:47 am

        JERRY HIRSCH- ” … the Jews have a 3,000 year history in the land of Israel.”

        What Jews? The ones who converted to Islam? Surely you don’t mean the Ashkenazi invaders.

      • RoHa
        January 21, 2018, 12:52 am

        Annie, the general idea seems to be “if some Jews lived there in the past, all Jews have a right to live there now”.

        Has anyone ever offered an argument to support this idea?

      • Annie Robbins
        January 21, 2018, 3:51 am

        Has anyone ever offered an argument to support this idea?

        sure, zionists.

        btw, jews have a long history here in the bay area. maybe some of them will make a compelling argument to claim it sometime in the future, certainly it’s been the ancestral homeland for a lot of them — along with nyc, LA and many other regions on this continent (and other continents too, clearly).

      • Talkback
        January 21, 2018, 3:44 am

        Jerry Hirsch: “Avagail, the Jews have a 3,000 year history in the land of Israel. To call them occupiers in their indigenous lands is an insult to rational thought. The evidence of their longterm habitation is enormous and can’t be denied by a logical thinking person.”

        To call Jewish settlers who settled in Palestine under British de facto occupation since 1917 and in the West Bank under Israeli occupation since 1967 “indigenous”, “longterm habitants” and having “a 3,000 years history” in a land that was only called “the land of Israel” for a short time in history are examples of the usual Zionist orwellian perversion of language and nothing else but the rationalization of Zionist settler colonialism and its crimes against the real indigenous majority Nonjewish population.

      • RoHa
        January 21, 2018, 6:13 am

        “Has anyone ever offered an argument to support this idea?

        sure, zionists.”

        I’ve never seen one. Zionists use the idea, promote the idea, base their claims on the idea, but they don’t provide an argument from basic principles to support the idea. They do not offer:

        Premise1
        Premise 2
        Premise 3 …
        Therefore “if some Jews lived there in the past, all Jews have a right to live there now”.

      • Mooser
        January 21, 2018, 2:16 pm

        “Has anyone ever offered an argument to support this idea?”

        Why sure! Haven’t you heard of the parts of Africa which were deemed “white man’s country” Not to mention the “burden” it imposes.

        Of course, in colonialism, the only argument needed to support ‘this idea’ is the power to carry it out (not a whole lot required, considering the lopsided distribution of advantages in crucial areas, guns germs, steel) , and the power to make it stick. I don’t know that anybody has ever done that predicated on a sentimental religious attachment to a place.

        Also helps to have lots and lots of easily-extracted resources in the colony, too. Besides Dead Sea sand. ( Oh, and being square in the path of global warming won’t help either, but let it pass.)

  8. ritzl
    January 17, 2018, 9:41 pm

    Annie wrote a contending response comment on the “Zionist safe space” contention in the teaching of Hebrew in Chicago-area schools, equating it to the teaching of communism.

    She didn’t go far or deep enough, imo. The “Zionist safe space” contention is the equivalent of teaching colonialism as a positive in Chicago-area schools.

    Far, far worse.

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      January 18, 2018, 4:31 am

      Thanks ritzl! This sounds positively awful. Justifying the unjustifiable. Like I said above, people still do it until we decide collectively that something is unacceptable and act accordingly. Israeli settler colonialism is still largely acceptable so there is a platform for its apologists to speak its ‘merits’ or ‘benign nature’… When all kinds of abominable practices are still acceptable their defenders have no fear, shame or reservation in defending them. What these all have in common though is that they completely ignore the suffering the practice is causing. It is quite psychopathic actually.

      • ritzl
        January 19, 2018, 7:33 pm

        Hi Avigail.

        QUITE psychopathic.

        But I think that Zionism/Israel is perhaps the only example of settler colonialism that maintains, at least, its “benign nature” – replete with staunch advocates.

        See Mooser’s link below. ONE mother of a black student in a private Lutheran school got a misguided thought experiment on slavery “de-curricularized.” Everybody knew it was misguided/dead wrong. Not so – YET – about Zionist settler colonialism. Is it coming? I think it is – timeframe TBD, but it’s coming.

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      January 18, 2018, 4:33 am

      BTW ritzl, who is Annie?

      • Mooser
        January 18, 2018, 4:37 pm

        “equating it to the teaching of communism.”

        I think “Annie’s” somewhat unclear comment about ‘teaching communism’ was in the context of Soviet Russia, that is, if the USSR used Russian-language instruction to recruit agents for the Soviet State.

      • ritzl
        January 19, 2018, 6:55 pm

        Annie Robbins. See just below.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 18, 2018, 4:48 pm

      ritzl, here’s the discussion http://mondoweiss.net/2018/01/curricularizing-program-suburban/#comment-903763

      thought i’d mention that it was not my intent to “equate” zionism with communism, per se. in a conversation about promoting zionism in the classroom (vs teaching it) a reader advocated classroom can be a safe place for students to feel comfortable with their Zionism. to which i asked

      shall chicago also offer high school classes where students can have safe spaces to feel comfortable in their communism? it’s one thing to learn about political constructs, it’s another to promote it at the taxpayers expense.

      and the reason i chose communism vs socialism or colonialism or any other kind of ism is because in this country communism is demonized and most high school kids already know that. whereas, both zionism and colonialism is a tad more benign (or promoted) here in elementary schools.

      • Mooser
        January 18, 2018, 6:30 pm

        “I think” “Mooser”

        I should have saved myself the trouble. I didn’t get it right.

      • ritzl
        January 19, 2018, 10:42 am

        Hi Annie. Thanks for the added insight.

        I wasn’t quibbling with your wording. I took your comment to mean you were comparing “safe spaces” to be a hollow claim in the sense of:

        “Would you also want/allow a safe space for X?” Where X is some discredited political theory (whether by conception or implementation).

        I thought communism was completely illustrative of your point, but when I read Ms. Abarbanel’s article it just seemed that colonialism was a like-to-like comparison to Zionism.

        What school would provide a “safe space” to celebrate the moving Native Americans to reservations, or other such wholly harmful (by conception) belief systems? None, imho.

        I thought your comment was right on point.

        Cheers. :)

      • Mooser
        January 19, 2018, 12:01 pm

        “What school would provide a “safe space” to celebrate the moving Native Americans to reservations, or other such wholly harmful (by conception) belief systems? None, imho.”

        Sorry, but a lot of them would.

        When the US declared segregated schools illegal, instead of working for integrated schools, parents choose “religious schools” or private schools which catered to their political views.

        And by now, there are thousands of graduates from segregation-creationist colleges with teaching certificates.

      • ritzl
        January 19, 2018, 7:09 pm

        Hi Mooser. Interesting article.

        A) It’s interesting that ONE [named] Mom (of a black student) raised enough of a ruckus that policy was changed.

        B) Even if the “name three good reasons for slavery” (with a complementary requirement to “name three bad reasons for slavery”) experiment in critical thinking (assumption on my part) was not highly questionable, it was interesting that that experiment was conducted to step on black sensitivities, only. Imagine a “name three good reasons for the Holocaust (or Armenian genocide, or Ukrainian famine, or, or, or…)” thought experiment. But somehow it’s OK (in somebody’s head) to contemplate that kind of scenario for black folks. Weird. So much work to be done.

        You’re so right about “identity schooling.” Sad. Point taken.

  9. ritzl
    January 17, 2018, 9:42 pm

    Great article.

  10. JosephA
    January 17, 2018, 9:53 pm

    Powerful essay. Thank you very much!

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      January 18, 2018, 4:33 am

      Thanks JosephA. I appreciate it.

      • Nathan
        January 18, 2018, 10:43 am

        Avigail Abarbanel – When reading your article, I couldn’t help but notice that some basic element is missing. A critical analysis of colonialism by an activist should include (in my humble opinion) some sort of suggestion as to what you think should be done about it. Talking about problems has some importance, but surely the bottom line has to be some course of action.

        So, what is your advice? Are you suggesting that the colonists be sent back to wherever they came from? If so, should we be organizing the bureaucracy that would facilitate this goal? Since “the dynamic of resistance is at the heart of the success or failure of colonial projects”, are you suggesting that we join the resistance movements in order to hasten the failure of colonialism?

        It’s hard to imagine that the point of the article is just to cry “oy-oy-oy”. There certainly should be some hint as to the nature of activism that might be helpful, but there isn’t any. The bottom line seems to be missing from many articles in this website. Perhaps you could add the bottom line here in the comments section.

      • amigo
        January 18, 2018, 11:24 am

        “Criticism” is about making suggestions that are meant to help out in improving or correcting some shortcomings. For example, you might tell someone that he should improve his driving by taking some lessons. “nathan

        Here we go again with the driving lesson analogy and Israel,s “Shortcommings”.This is the same mindless zio bs you responded to on Tony Greenstein,s Thread 2 or 3 days ago.Come up with something new.

        Give it a rest nathan.It is not our job to tell you lot what is right or wrong.You should know it.

        However , all Israel has to do is obey international Law and get their lawless asses out of the territory they are occupying and end the theft of Palestinian lands .

        Oh and take the illegal squatters with them on their way back to the so called state of Israel.

        How,s that for constructive criticism .

        Also if you want to know what the agenda is , click on the “About ” button at the top of the page.Mooser pointed that out to you on the Tony Greenstein thread.

      • Nathan
        January 18, 2018, 1:55 pm

        Amigo – You might want to consider the possibility of giving an honest comment. You suggest that Israel get out of the occupied territory, and then you mention going back to “the so-called state of Israel”. Your referring to Israel as such was your way of saying “it’s illegitimate”. In other words, you are being tricky. You pretend that you have constructive criticism (getting out of the territory) but you really mean that there shouldn’t even be an Israel. What’s the problem? Just give your real position in full. Are you afraid of something? Moreover, I don’t think that the “About” page is the full picture either.

      • Talkback
        January 18, 2018, 2:33 pm

        Nathan: “Are you suggesting that the colonists be sent back to wherever they came from?”

        The only question a colonial mindset can dishonestly ask as long as he needs to disenfrenchize the native population and deny them their rights including equality and return.

      • amigo
        January 18, 2018, 4:09 pm

        “Are you suggesting that the colonists be sent back to wherever they came from?” nathan

        I agree , that sounds somewhat harsh but with sound planning , the blow could be softened.

        The first problem for these bigoted supremacists will be having to be treated as equals .No more special privileges such as Jews only roads to drive on or Jews only apartments or communities.No sireee, they will have to get used to having goys living not just in their Jewish communities but G-d forbid , right next door.Oh the shock.

        Might I suggest , they try behaving the way citizens of a real democracy are required to . Ie , start treating their fellow Israeli “Arab ” citizens , (Palestinians) as human beings .Get used to the normality of everyday life in a real democracy before jumping in head first and suffering the realization of no longer being privileged.

        Might I also suggest a day trip to the occupied territory to witness for themselves ,what is being done in their name.Make sure they stay over night so they can witness the nightly raids and arrest of minors by the so called “Most moral army.Awareness of the actions of the criminal Apartheid so called democracy will ease the pain of returning to whence they came.

        As to the legitimacy of Israel , I don,t believe it is possible for a state to be both legitimate and an Apartheid.

        Don,t bother to respond nathan.You are an apologist for the zionist regime and as such are lower than a snakes under carriage and every bit as slimey.

      • RoHa
        January 18, 2018, 6:35 pm

        “Give it a rest nathan.It is not our job to tell you lot what is right or wrong.You should know it.”

        Since they obviously don’t know it, it is our duty to tell them. We know they don’t listen, but we have the duty nonetheless.

      • Mooser
        January 19, 2018, 10:06 pm

        “Moreover, I don’t think that the “About” page is the full picture either”

        “Nathan” a charge of about-page non-compliance is serious.

        As I’m sure you know, “Nathan”, websites which are not in accord with their “about” page can be charged in Federal Court, and their owners mulcted for heavy damages, and the readership sanctioned.

  11. Abuadam
    January 18, 2018, 12:22 pm

    Bottom line is equal rights in one state for everyone. Very simple.

    The problem with the Israelis is that they know what they did to get their present status and therefore cannot trust anyone else when given the power will do the same as they did to the Palestinians. Very simple.

    Doesn’t take a genius to figure out Israel

  12. Avigail Abarbanel
    January 18, 2018, 1:32 pm

    @Nathan — The purpose of the article is to change the conversation. In public discourse, even among well-meaning activists, people still hold back on using the term *settler-colonialism*.

    Israel isn’t special. It is as bad as all colonialists, and settler-colonialists, past and present who are struggling to deal with resistance, gain legitimacy, and whitewash a crime, while continuing to commit unspeakable crimes and perpetuate injustice.

    Zionism is a settler-colonial project and a *crime against humanity* that isn’t in the distant past, but is ongoing. I want everyone to start talking about it, instead of getting caught up with whose who. A crime is a crime. There are no worthy or unworthy victims. There are no perpetrators who deserve special treatment. It’s the crime we need to focus on, which is what the article is about.

    The solution is clear, and it doesn’t require me to spell it out. End the settler-colonial structure aimed at creating and maintaining an exclusively Jewish state, and replace the Jewish state with one state, secular, and democratic in Palestine for all its people.

    I have a strong suspicion that you are an apologist for Israel and are trying to deflect the topic. I have a good detector for deflection. It’s part of being a psychotherapist and also of being a seasoned activist in this area. You know perfectly well what my point was in this article, you probably just don’t like it…

    • eljay
      January 18, 2018, 1:40 pm

      || Avigail Abarbanel: … I have a strong suspicion that you are an apologist for Israel and are trying to deflect the topic. … You know perfectly well what my point was in this article, you probably just don’t like it… ||

      Guys like Nathan and Jon66 present an inquisitive and seemingly reasonable face for Zionism. But they remain fundamentally Zionist and – as you noticed – they tend mostly to distract and deflect.

      Guys like DaBakr, Jackdaw, Mayhem and JeffB dispense with the pretences altogether.

      It’s like a Zionist “good cop / bad cop” routine.

      • Avigail Abarbanel
        January 18, 2018, 5:57 pm

        Thanks for that. I should get on the discussion a lot more often. It sounds interesting and quite eventful a lot of the time.

        Zionist tactics are well known to me. I come from there. They really end up quite vague and unclear because they really don’t have anything to say. If you support Israel you support a crime against humanity. There is no way around the sickening logic — that I too grew up with — that everything and anything is permissible for the sake of the survival of the Jewish people, because we are special and have some kind of a special mission for which we have to survive no matter what. It doesn’t matter who suffers, and who is sacrificed in the process. It’s all just collateral damage for a cause that is supposedly ‘greater’.

        Growing up on the un-decosntrcuted and un-examined immoral Biblical myth of Joshua committing genocide in Canaan; growing up without asking any questions about who died and how many, and what was done, so that the Jewish people can survive, doesn’t lend itself to the development of universal values. It took me a long long time to wake up to the meaning of it all.

        When it comes to people like Nathan and others like him, I think it’s important to confront them with one question only, blunt and clear: “Do you believe that it’s OK to hurt other people for the Jewish people to survive?” I am sure the answer would be yes. Hell, Benny Morris said so as clear as day a decade ago or more. This is the end of the discussion for me. You cannot debate with people who believe that the world is only a nasty place, that Jews are always at risk of annihilation, and that therefore universal morals and values do not apply. I left this cult a long time ago and have nothing to say to these people.

        One of the most common bits of feedback I receive about my writing in any context is that it is extremely clear. I believe I say exactly what I feel and think. I don’t think anything I say is veiled or obscure in any way. I just don’t do that. So there is nothing more for Zionists to say to me. What can they say? I just want them to be as straight as I am, and tell the truth. But the truth doesn’t look good and they will hold on to their deceit all the way to the end, although it screams clearly from all of Israel’s actions. They just won’t name it and engage in pseudo intellectual debates about something that is not up for debate. A crime is not something you debate. I don’t see Jewish people or Israel giving Nazi war criminals an opportunity to argue their case for why ‘race science’ is reasonable and genocide is a perfectly OK thing to commit. I don’t see us debating with pedophiles the merits of abusing children. We should not debate with Zionists the merits of settler-colonialism. there is nothing to debate. There are no two sides to a story of abuse and a crime committed in the context of a gross imbalance of power.

        These people live with a morbid fear of the bogie man of antisemitism, and this is what drives their individual and group psychology. I can’t deal with people like that. They don’t stop for a second to feel any kind of compassion towards the Palestinian people. They are self-absorbed. No matter what the conversation is, they try to steer it to themselves and to their victimhood complex. Like DT they have to be the centre of attention. I unfortunately know this stuff intimately as I was indoctrinated right in the heart of it. This isn’t about analysis of my text or my reasoning. It’s about the crime committed and the suffering it causes. Only a person with no heart, who is self-absorbed and has no capacity for real empathy, doesn’t see that in my article.

        Like I said below, I want to change the conversation. Not interested in talking about Israel or Jewish people or Zionists. I want to talk about the unacceptable crime that is being committed, why it is being supported by everyone who has power, and what we need/must/can do to stop it. I don’t care who the victims are, Palestinians or Martians. I don’t care that the perpetrators are Israeli Jews and their American, British, French, German, Australian and other supporters. All perpetrators are very much alike, and a crime is a crime!

      • Jon66
        January 18, 2018, 6:17 pm

        Avigail,
        “Do you believe that it’s OK to hurt other people for the Jewish people to survive?”

        ‘Do you believe that it’s OK to hurt other people for the Palestinian people to survive?

      • Mooser
        January 18, 2018, 9:52 pm

        “‘Do you believe that it’s OK to hurt other people for the Palestinian people to survive?” “Jon66”

        Please explain how Palestinian survival requires “hurting” anybody?
        How would equal rights for Palestinians “hurt” the Israelis? How would Palestinian survival hurt the Israelis?

        Please answer “Jon 66” Two simple questions.

      • Nathan
        January 18, 2018, 9:59 pm

        Avigail – You claimed that the solution is ending the Jewish state and replacing it with a single state. However, it’s not the solution. The grievance of colonialism pre-dates the founding of Israel by a few decades. The grievance of colonialism is about the immigration of Jews to Palestine – so the ending of the Jewish state is not the remedy. The Jews would have to leave. I would imagine that this is not news for you. You call me an apologist, but it’s just a ploy on your part to avoid admitting that indeed the end of “colonialism” in your imagination would mean the expulsion of the “colonists”.

      • Mooser
        January 18, 2018, 11:08 pm

        “colonialism” in your imagination would mean the expulsion of the “colonists”

        “Nathan” forget it. Israel cannot keep Jews in Palestine by force or by law. If changes leading to more Palestinian rights make Israelis decide to move, it is absolutely illegal to prevent them from leaving.
        No Jewish person should be forced to live there.

      • Mooser
        January 18, 2018, 11:19 pm

        “It’s like a Zionist “good cop / bad cop” routine.”

        It’s getting hard to tell the crackers from the matzohs.

      • RoHa
        January 18, 2018, 11:52 pm

        No, Nathan. There are other routes to the end of conflict. One would be for the Jews to apologise for invading Palestine and taking over the country, etc., and then working with the Palestinians to create a single, just, society with equal rights for all.

        The colonists do not have to be expelled. They can dismantle the colonial structure and assimilate with the natives.

      • gamal
        January 19, 2018, 12:16 am

        “Israel cannot keep Jews in Palestine by force or by law”

        When a visiting ambassador asked the great Sheikh Ahmad Kuftaro,

        “How many of the people of Syria are Christians?”

        Kuftaro replied “All Syrians are Christians and I am their Mufti who represents the interests of all 23 million of them”

      • Talkback
        January 19, 2018, 5:14 am

        Nathan: “The grievance of colonialism pre-dates the founding of Israel by a few decades. The grievance of colonialism is about the immigration of Jews to Palestine – so the ending of the Jewish state is not the remedy. The Jews would have to leave.”

        Nathan’s pathetic false dilemma. Either except a Jewish settler state or expell all Jews. There’s nothing inbetween. And again, it’s only about Jews, Jews, Jews and Jews. No word about restoring Palestinian rights and the fact that Nonjews have to kept expelled by the Apartheid Junta.

      • Mooser
        January 21, 2018, 1:06 pm

        “Do you believe that it’s OK to hurt other people for the Jewish people to survive?”

        Gee, does anybody ever wonder if, considering the amount of Jews in the world and how many “other people” there are in the world, if hurting people for Jewish survival is really a good idea?
        The sheer numerical odds would, I think, indicate a more win-win kind of solution for Jewish survival might be sought.

    • Nathan
      January 18, 2018, 2:28 pm

      No, Avigail, there is no deflection. My intention is straight to the point. I want to hear in clear words what is the intention of the author. You have stated now in the clearest of terms that the Jewish state must come to its end and be replaced by another state. You should have said so in the article. Now, that you have stated the bottom line, it is possible to conduct a discussion or a debate. The one-state solution that you suggest is not really a solution. You have defined colonialism as the Jewish state, and therefore (in your view) ending that state is supposedly a solution. However, you haven’t defined colonialism as the Palestinians define it. For the Palestinians, the arrival of the Jews into the country is colonialism. The replacement of Israel will not be the end of conflict (“solution”) from their point of view. The grievance of colonialism might be resolved for you, but this is not about your grievances. So, the demise of Israel is your position, but it’s not the solution.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 18, 2018, 3:58 pm

        My intention is straight to the point. I want to hear in clear words what is the intention of the author.

        no, you were not “straight to the point” at all. had you been straight to the point you simply would have opened by asking what her intention was, you didn’t. you went on some screed about how a “basic element is missing”, as if any kind of critical analysis requires the analyst the offer up recipes for resolution (it doesn’t). in fact, there are university courses on Comparative Foreign Policy Analysis, that do not require a students personal opinions. that is not what an analyst does. so this whole thing about what “should be included” could have simply been avoided by saying, ‘what do you think should be done about it?’ — but you didn’t.

        you turned your intro into an evaluation not of the critique, but the author. and found it lacking because what you (and only you) allege should be there. so, that’s you setting your measly trap. and now when she gives her evaluation, you’re moving in for the kill so to speak. asking for her intent. and claiming, you’ve been straight to the point at that!!!

        you crack me up nathan. you don’t want to discuss the topic, you want this to be about the author. divert divert divert…let’s talk about your intent. because it’s fairly clear it isn’t finding out hers. it’s cornering her, slandering her. come on, you can do it. spill the beans nathan.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 18, 2018, 4:13 pm

        btw, aside from your “stated now in the clearest of terms that the Jewish state must come to its end” (note how you morphed that out of “End the settler-colonial structure aimed at creating and maintaining an exclusively Jewish state…”)

        there’s this:

        However, you haven’t defined colonialism as the Palestinians define it. For the Palestinians, the arrival of the Jews into the country is colonialism. The replacement of Israel will not be the end of conflict (“solution”) from their point of view.

        yeah, we all recognize this bs from the other day. ask how palestinians define something. and then any answer you get becomes ‘you’re not objective, that’s your opinion and therefor biased’. it’s like a non stop circle jerk w/you guys.

      • Avigail Abarbanel
        January 18, 2018, 6:11 pm

        I have nothing to debate with you @Nathan. See above. There is no debate here. I do not debate with anyone who is an apologist for a crime. When you are able to be honest and say exactly what you think; when you are capable of *unconditional* compassion and empathy for victims of settler-colonialism, including the Palestinians people who are victims of the Jewish state of Israel, you can find me and we can maybe have a real conversation.

      • Nathan
        January 18, 2018, 9:37 pm

        Annie Robbins – Avigail was willing to offer a recipe for solution. She called for ending the Jewish state. Her recipe isn’t really a solution, because she doesn’t admit or she doesn’t realize that ending the existence of Israel is not the end of conflict (the Jews who arrived after 1917 would have to leave). Sadly, she has decided to end the conversation. However, it was admirable that one of the writers at Mondoweiss had the honesty to say in clear words that the agenda is the demise of Israel. It is rather silly. It’s so obvious that you oppose the very existence of Israel, and that you have no vision of peace with Israel.

      • Talkback
        January 19, 2018, 5:20 am

        Nathan: “Her recipe isn’t really a solution, because she doesn’t admit or she doesn’t realize that ending the existence of Israel is not the end of conflict (the Jews who arrived after 1917 would have to leave).”

        Again, Nathan and his false dilemma: Either except Jewish settler colonialism or support the expulsion of all Jews and their descendants who arrived after 1917. And the same time he has no problem that the Jewish Apartheid Junta’s solution is to keep Palestinians expelled.

      • oldgeezer
        January 19, 2018, 9:47 pm

        “Nathan

        So help me out herein trying to understand what you are saying.

        Since the parties that comprise the GoI have offical positions based on the nonexistance of a Palestinian state (and actual state and not a bantustan) then it’s fair and reasonable to suggest that the GoI has no interest or vision in peace with the Palestinians. Right?

  13. Mooser
    January 18, 2018, 11:16 pm

    However, it was admirable that one of the writers at Mondoweiss had the honesty to say in clear words that the agenda is the demise of Israel.”

    Uh-oh, now “Nathan” is going to unseal his indictments, and give the evidence to the Grand Jury!
    The charge: “Thinking bad thoughts about Israel, and making “Nathan” cry.”

    C’mon, “Nathan”, toughen up. Were the Belgians bothered by all those stories about the Congo? Did the French give up because a few people were concerned about the Algerians? Did South Africa get all famischt about civil rights when it came time to grab the diamonds and gold in South Africa? It’s a tough business.

  14. Avigail Abarbanel
    January 19, 2018, 2:13 am

    Oh the spin, the spin… it’s hopeless, which is why I don’t bother. I don’t like having words put in my mouth, or for my words to be transformed into what they’re not. Like I said, and like anyone whose head is clear can see, I am very clear in my writing. I say what I mean, and I mean what I say. No hidden undercurrents, or meanings or hints. I have no capacity for flare or artistic spin. I am pretty simple.

    I’m Amazed (but not surprised) by how I’m told that I am saying the colonists should leave, when I’m clearly not saying that. I’m amazed yet again how the ‘end of the exclusively Jewish settler-colonial power structure’, morphs into ‘demise of Israel’… Zionists cannot see beyond the deeply ingrained paradigm of ‘everyone hates the Jews, and wants to kill them all’. Everything has to be twisted to mean that…

    The truth is that mainstream Jewish identity, and certainly Jewish Israeli identity depends on this paradigm. Lose that belief, and Jewish identity collapses… Everything depends on it. If Jewish people did not believe that their demise is imminent, that the ‘end is nigh’, then there would not be any need for an exclusively Jewish state. It is such a doomsday cult belief system and Israel is the product of it. Once again for anyone with any doubts about me, I am from there and grew up in it. I know how hard it is to find an individual identity and shed that toxic group identity that depends so much on a belief in the end of the people. It is because I know this that I call for action and pressure from outside and support the BDS. I do not believe the the Palestinians can wait until Israel has done its soul searching and woke up out of its stupor into reality. Right here right now, through someone like this Nathan, you are getting an authentic taste of what mainstream Jewish identity is.

    • Talkback
      January 19, 2018, 5:29 am

      Avigail: “I’m Amazed (but not surprised) by how I’m told that I am saying the colonists should leave, when I’m clearly not saying that.”

      Nathan is only distracting from his support to keep the natives expelled. Just think about the inherent racism of his false dillema. He wants everyone to trick into believing that expelling Nonjews and keeping them expelled is a lesser crime than expelling Jews.

    • Keith
      January 19, 2018, 2:08 pm

      AVIGAIL ABARBANEL- ” Zionists cannot see beyond the deeply ingrained paradigm of ‘everyone hates the Jews, and wants to kill them all’.”

      Yes, and this belief that non-Jews are inherently anti-Semitic represents a strong anti-Gentile bias intrinsic to Zionism.

      • Mooser
        January 19, 2018, 3:49 pm

        “Yes, and this belief that non-Jews are inherently anti-Semitic represents a strong anti-Gentile bias intrinsic to Zionism.”

        Are those really the odds (“The Jews” vs. well, everybody) the Zionists want us to play by?

        Yet, the fact is, Zionism could have got nowhere without significant Gentile support and cooperation, and couldn’t exist today in its present situation for a month without US superpower largess.

      • Keith
        January 19, 2018, 8:19 pm

        MOOSER- “Are those really the odds (“The Jews” vs. well, everybody) the Zionists want us to play by?”

        Shhh! Jewish kinship is a secret only discussed inside the tent. Outside the tent it is an anti-Semitic trope, illegal in parts of Europe. The Talmud not for everyone’s eyes. Seems to be highly successful so far.

      • Mooser
        January 19, 2018, 10:25 pm

        “Shhh! Jewish kinship is a secret only discussed inside the tent.”

        “Jewish kinship”? It reeks to me of desperation. ‘You have to be a Jew, kid, everybody else hates you’.
        There’s an implicit assumption in all of this that if everybody else didn’t hate us, we would all immediately abandon the religion.

      • Keith
        January 20, 2018, 11:23 am

        MOOSER- “There’s an implicit assumption in all of this that if everybody else didn’t hate us, we would all immediately abandon the religion.”

        Not the religion, Zionist neo-tribalism, the internal solidarity of a people apart.

      • catalan
        January 20, 2018, 12:16 pm

        “Not the religion, Zionist neo-tribalism, the internal solidarity of a people apart.”
        I am for sure not a Zionist then. I feel more internal solidarity with the average random person from Benin than with the commenter Mooser.

      • Mooser
        January 20, 2018, 6:38 pm

        “I feel more internal solidarity with the average random person from Benin than with the commenter Mooser.”

        “catalan” you don’t have any choice. Tribal unity demands solidarity! If you don’t like Jews, there’s no reason to remain one. You could always become a Unitarian-Universalist.

    • Nathan
      January 21, 2018, 9:32 pm

      Avigail – You have written in one of your comments to me that the Jewish state must come to its end. So, it’s not so amazing that the “end of the exclusively Jewish settler-colonial power structure morphs into [the] demise of Israel”. I don’t know why, suddenly, you are denying your own point of view. Yes, ending the Jewish state means the end of Israel. That’s your point of view, and you should confirm it.

      • Sibiriak
        January 22, 2018, 3:34 am

        Nathan: Yes, ending the Jewish state means the end of Israel.
        ————————————————————–
        Ending the “settler-colonial structure aimed at creating and maintaining an exclusively Jewish state ” wouldn’t necessarily mean the end of Israel. It depends on how that was done. (A two state solution, for example, would not be incompatible with that formulation.)

        However, ending the Jewish population majority in Israel/a single Palestinian state would most likely result in the the end of Israel. Faced with the reality of being a minority group in a majority Arab/Muslim state, many Jews would leave, creating an ever stronger Arab Palestinian majority. Why would that strong Arab Palestinian majority not exercise its democratic rights and get rid of the Israeli name, flag, constitution etc. leaving nothing left that could properly be called “Israel”?

      • Talkback
        January 22, 2018, 8:40 am

        Nathan: “Yes, ending the Jewish state means the end of Israel.”

        Sure, like ending the Aryan or Boer’s state meant the end of Germany and South Africa, right?

      • eljay
        January 22, 2018, 10:41 am

        || Nathan: … Yes, ending the Jewish state means the end of Israel. … ||

        Ending the “Jewish State” means the end of Jewish supremacism. That’s a good thing…unless you’re a Zionist hypocrite who objects to supremacism unless Jews do it.

        Ending the “Jewish State” does not have to mean the end of Israel. But if Israel were to be ended by democratic will, that would be fine. If it were to be replaced by a secular and democratic state, that would be fine, too.

        If it were to be replaced by a different form of supremacist state, that would be unjust and immoral. I would condemn. But you can bet your boots that this new construct would have its equivalent of hypocrite Zionists defending it and spewing all manner of whataboutism to justify its and their actions.

      • Mooser
        January 22, 2018, 2:07 pm

        “You have written in one of your comments to me that the Jewish state must come to its end”

        Don’t worry, “Nathan”, the world cannot exist without a Jewish State. It is an indispensable necessity to the modern world.

  15. MHughes976
    January 19, 2018, 4:04 pm

    To say that something is wrong is to define what a better situation would be like, ie one in which the wrongful elements were absent. But we should not confuse an idea of a better situation with a plan to bring that better situation about, which is another matter.
    My understanding of Avigail (some of whose views of colonialism I don’t fully share) is that she answers the question of ‘what is wrong with steady elimination of a culture?’ by saying ‘it’s just like continual rape’. The better situation therefore would be one where force and contempt were replaced with cooperation and respect, which does imply equal rights, which in turn implies the end of Palestinian disfranchisement. It is objected that the Palestinians will not consider this possible unless the Jewish population is massively reduced in numbers and cultural power with, as it were, the rapists raped. But we cannot for ever refrain from trying to help or rescue victims by the fear that they will turn into victimisers. Avigail comes from a therapeutic point of view, so she doesn’t despair of finding a positive way.

    • Mooser
      January 19, 2018, 10:15 pm

      “My understanding of Avigail (some of whose views of colonialism I don’t fully share)”

      My dear “MHughes976”, I am overjoyed to hear that your colonization went well for you, and left you better off. But that doesn’t always happen.

      • DaBakr
        January 21, 2018, 2:15 am

        Wow. What a deep discussion is going on here on old MW. I guess the events of recent weeks have really driven the Zionist/israel haters to the brink. Now your all going as bat shit crazy as the 90% (which Annie likes to dispute with links to whatever research supports it. I could just say most but it wouldn’t be as dramatic) of Jews worldwide that identify as Zionist. Unrwa’s jig is up. Abbas finally lost it and got honest. The Tamimis pr stunt kind of-sort of worked but didn’t. And Modi? Soon to be followed by Xi. And you folks are talking about Jews having to leave Israel? That’s not crazy? Time to pull back, reassess tactics. Nobody is going anywhere except In certain MW commenters revenge fantasies.

        btw, loved how all the blame and shame was being heeped on the white man and suddenly someone brings up….China! Why stop there? Japan. Moguls , Arabs,(but they’re white and don’t try and tell an Arab otherwise unless it’s to criticize Israel or you’ll be assaulted) And if one really wants to get their colonial guilt trip on-do some real history and read about the African kingdoms predating Egyptian history. Oh, and the aztec and maya but who’s counting the red men over the pond anyway? Palestinian peoples have more cultural identity then they ever had before. Nobody is trying to destroy their identity, just their demands.

        Funny too that author uses the colonialist construct of ‘psychotherapy’ to boil all of these poor colonized people’s down to their being “raped” .(Wouldn’t be surprised if most of these colonized people thought it was more psychobabble then helpful. that’s a white persons brain, neurotic and fearful) Victimhood 101. How can anybody beat the Jews when the deck is so stacked? And besides, many Palestinians have made it very clear that they are willing to die if it would bring the Jews closer to being ousted from all the land from river to sea. Bravery, they don’t lack.*

        *now mssr can chime in how I’m “muttering” again. It’s reassuring to know he cares.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 21, 2018, 4:25 am

        Now your all going as bat shit crazy as the 90% (..) of Jews worldwide that identify as Zionist.

        DaBakr (and everyone down at hasbara central), again, when your intention is to express “you are” as in ‘you are all going as bat shit crazy as.. Jews worldwide that identify as Zionist.’ the correct spelling/abbreviation is

        you’re

        “your” means “belonging to or associated with the person or people that the speaker is addressing.” it’s o so complicated, the distinction.

        there’s so much other weird stuff in your comment worthy of decimation (think easy prey — piranhas devouring fresh meat etc) but i’ll leave it to others for now. enjoy:

      • Mooser
        January 21, 2018, 3:59 pm

        “*now mssr can chime in how I’m “muttering” again.”

        I should call Guiness Book of World Records. ‘World’s Longest Continuous Mutter!’

      • DaBakr
        January 22, 2018, 1:06 am

        @annie

        If I had to apologize for every time the auto correct on the pad misspelled, mis-corrected, misidentified and otherwise screwed up a perfectly good comment I would have no time to contribute to mw esteemed comment board. so, like it or not, I’ll probably use the wrong tense unintentionally in the future. if you prefer, you can moderate me out. But at least I should list some of the incidents more absurd then your, you are, you’re, etc.

        A few days ago, responding to a comment about threats traded between Hezbollah and IDF, instead of nasrallah, it corrected as. mahogany. Therefore, I wrote, “when mahogany launched the operation…” .
        In another, it replaced ‘loose ends’ as ‘square blogs’ . Obviously, nobody understood the comment
        So, yours and you’re (which also often auto corrects as, ‘hooters’ for some reason. don’t take my word for it, it’s an actual thing) are just part of technology, which we all know Israel is ENTIRELY responsible for ;) outpacing age.

        . yours truly

        p’s. you’re a very good debater. if this comment board was comprised mostly of logic you would be mw’s least expendable asset. logic, ironically, is fungible here.

      • Mooser
        January 22, 2018, 6:33 pm

        “If I had to apologize for every time the auto correct on the pad misspelled, mis-corrected, misidentified and otherwise screwed up a perfectly good comment…” “DaBakr”

        …you couldn’t produce those stream-of-resentment mutterings fast enough, and they pay you only by the column-inch.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 22, 2018, 6:43 pm

        gee, i have no auto correct whatsoever so i don’t have to deal with any of that. one could choose to just turn it off.

        and speaking of this hypothetical 90%, did everyone read just’s new comment linking here?: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-jewish-agency-chief-warns-young-u-s-jews-more-turned-off-to-israel-1.5751616

        i’m sure Alan Hoffman, the CEO and director-general of the Jewish Agency, would be thrilled and quite relieved to hear dabkr’s 90% assessment. if he could believe it that is.

      • Talkback
        January 22, 2018, 7:35 pm

        DaBakr: “I guess the events of recent weeks have really driven the Zionist/israel haters to the brink.”

        Poor DaBakr. His whole conviction of the legitimation of Zionism/Israel is based on his conviction that everybody hates it.

      • DaBakr
        January 23, 2018, 12:44 pm

        @annie
        Turn it off. Now I know.

        It is still amusing to read again that I’m perceived as more of a professional ‘hasbarist’ with possible multiple identities. But where I come from, it’s not a bad word. As a former Israeli the author should know that at least as many amusing epithets apply to her, wherever it is she chooses to live.

        As per the “90%”… take the percentage of pro-zionist commenters here on old MW and apply that in the inverse. I know that’s a tricky one for commenters to grasp here but think about it. Shouldn’t be too hard for all the logical ones.

  16. Avigail Abarbanel
    January 21, 2018, 9:08 am

    @Annie Robbins, just wanted to send a ☺️ and 👍🏼 for your comment to this Hasbara agent. Well done!

  17. Avigail Abarbanel
    January 21, 2018, 3:42 pm

    Great and lively discussion here. Thank you everyone for taking an interest! Some people’s comments make me smile. People have a great sense of humour.

    The one thing I notice about Zionists in this discussion is that none of them, not for a second, expresses any kind of empathy for the Palestinians. They express extraordinary (and oh so familiar) self-centerdness. They have no leg to stand on but they will continue to protest even when they stand trial in the Hague as most willing agents of psychopathic systems tend to do. I think the lack of empathy is very telling.

    I have mentioned it before but will mention it again here. In family therapy there is a term: ‘destructive entitlement’ (coined by Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy). It is the belief that it is OK to inflict suffering on others if you yourself suffered. This belief is involved, in the context of families, (surprise, surprise) in the mechanisms behind multigenerational transmission of trauma. That’s how trauma is transmitted from one generation in a family to the next. Jewish perception of eternal victimhood and suffering makes it OK to inflict suffering on the Palestinians and never feel any kind of empathy or remorse for it.

    And for Mr Jerry Hirsch somewhere up there, who is talking about the 7th Century —
    Well, how about Joshua’s story in the Bible? That’s before the 7th Century… That was a genocide in the land of Ca’naan, very openly and unapologetically decreed and described by supposedly God, for the sole purpose of giving a fully populated land to the Hebrews. The Hebrews were commanded to kill everyone, and take everything. Hmmm… I often wonder why this is never critiqued or questioned for its morality. It doesn’t really matter if it’s history or not, but as Jewish identity myths go, this is taught un-deconstructed, and unchallenged morally or on any ground. The fact is that Jewish identity myths always contain the principle that anything and everything is permissible for the survival of the Jewish people. All those Zionists in this thread keep proving me right. Anyhow, I’d say that if we want to go back in time, then even then we started it…

    I think maybe, let’s just focus on the present day progressive settler-colonialist crime in Palestine, which is advancing for one purpose only: to take all the land and resources for the exclusively Jewish state and somehow, one or way or another get rid of the indigenous people.

    It is a crime, and this is how it should be looked at. Jews or green Martians, it matters not who is doing it. A crime is a crime and perpetrators don’t have any excuse on any ground. Victims of crime need to be protected and saved from perpetrators. This is what my article is about.

    • Mooser
      January 21, 2018, 3:49 pm

      ” unapologetically decreed and described by supposedly God, for the sole purpose of giving a fully populated land to the Hebrews.”

      I’ve heard it said, seen it inscribed on a few shirt-cuffs and middy-blouses, that God later modified his opinion, and made these promises conditional. The squawk was over something called “righteousness” or “whoring after false gods”, stuff like that.

      Of course, if we wish to read the Bible as inerrant, instead of a story, we can always put it down to an ecumenical impulse.

    • Mooser
      January 21, 2018, 4:19 pm

      “They express extraordinary (and oh so familiar) self-centerdness.”

      Seems to me they iterate, over and over, all the reasons why a Jew think Jews are entitled to Zionism, and stress all the things Jews can gain from Zionism and occupation of Palestine.

      Now, why on earth would a person do that if they thought it was an anti-Semitic world? Wouldn’t they have all kinds of arguments about how Zionism benefits everybody else? In fact, argue that it is actually a great sacrifice for Jews, which we are undertaking for their non-Jewish benefit.

      Zionists always sound to me like people who have an idea the world is ready to smother Jews with love, pelf and assistance as soon as we enumerate our “rights” in Palestine. Which they base on Jewishness, whatever that is.

      Or maybe Zionists think ‘The world hates the Jews,but they hate Arabs more at this time so they will favor us’?

      I’ve never been able to figure it out. Well, except as a fraud, a long con on Jewish people.

      • Avigail Abarbanel
        January 22, 2018, 5:06 pm

        @Mooser — Zionist Israel does not really trust anyone. In the end they believe they would be abandoned and be alone ‘as Jews always have been’. But they will take whatever is offered for as long as it’s offered. They aim is to complete the settler-colonial project so any help is welcome along the way no matter who it comes from, even far-right Nazi types and Christian fanatics who are waiting for the rupture…

      • DaBakr
        January 23, 2018, 1:00 pm

        @a
        So, your a disgruntled former Israeli. Why should any Zionist express sympathy for the commenters opinions on this site when the vast majority of them are slavering for either revenge, the destruction of the Zionist nation, the recognition that Zionism is equal to Nazism, apartheid and other heinous ideologies? You have no sense at all that Israel is a nation among more then twenty, many of which were created in the same way. you write as if these other arab nations, some far more false then anybody can conjure up against Israel have nothing to do with the endless ‘suffering of the palestinian peoples.
        . If I’m a “Hasbarist agent” then you are a shill for the billion dollar Palestinian PR industry pretending to be a hand wringing, guilt ridden ex-zionist who has come to her senses. What a hilaria

      • Mooser
        January 23, 2018, 2:12 pm

        “So, your a disgruntled…”

        “DaBakr”, haven’t you been warned about this? It’s “your”, indicating possession, or “you’re” a contraction for “you are”.

        “What a hilaria”

        Why are you down on Cybelenes? Whats wrong with day of merriment and rejoicing in the Cybele-Attis cult and in the Isis-Osiris cult?

      • amigo
        January 23, 2018, 3:06 pm

        “So, your a disgruntled former Israeli ” duhbakr

        Surely you mean a disgruntled former Jewish Israeli which is in itself an oxymoron.Most former Israeli Jews I have met are pleased as punch to be out of the area referred to as , “RAR”, (Rogue Apartheid Regime ).

        There are in fact , tens of thousands of disgruntled former Palestinian , “Israelis” and have every right to be so.

        Of course you only include Jews when referring to Israelis , right dubakr.

      • Talkback
        January 23, 2018, 4:24 pm

        DaBakr: “You have no sense at all that Israel is a nation among more then twenty, many of which were created in the same way.”

        Zionist ethics in a nutshell: If others commit a crime, than Jews have a right to commit the same crime, too.

        But name 20 countries that were created after 1945 as the result of settler colinonialism. After that name the Aüartheid countries amongst them.

        Here’s a hint:
        “Israel is the only state in the world that can be called an apartheid state,” the South African delegate told the Israeli delegation and UN members convened at the Palais du Nations.”
        https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/01/israel-flak-human-rights-record-geneva-180123180839181.html

  18. Talkback
    January 22, 2018, 8:51 am

    It may not be new to others, but I just realized that Zionists never talk about the rights and obligations of the state of Israel, but only of the alleged rights of the “Jewish people”. It seems that “Jewish people” transcend statehood in the way that everything goes.

    While a state cannot acquire territory through war and annex it the whole case becomes different if one just claims that this is the “ancestrial homeland of the Jewish people”.

    While a state cannot claim illegally annexed territory as its capita, the whole case becomes different if one just claims that it is the “capital of the Jewish people”.

    While a state cannot legally transfer its citizens into occupied territory (or “disputed” territory like the occupier needs to word it) the whole case becomes different if one just claim that “this is the land of the Jewish people” or “the Jewish people have the right to live everywhere in their ancestrial homeland”.

    While a state and its land collectively belongs to all of its citizens in the whole case becomes different if one just claims that it belongs to the “Jewish people”.

    Same goes for “Jewish democracy”, etc.

    It’s NEVER about an UN member state which has to abide by international law and human rights. It’s never about an indegenous population vs. foreign settlers that immigrate under a de facto or de jure occupation. It’s only about the “Jewish people”. If Jews hadn’t expelled Nonjews they would have created a Jewish dictatorship just to rule over its Nonjewish majority.

  19. Avigail Abarbanel
    January 24, 2018, 3:41 am

    Do I need to say anything to the Zionists on this threat? Don’t think so. The tactic as usual is to go into personal attacks on the messenger and the messenger’s character.

    If you can discredit the messenger’s very character, you don’t have to listen to anything they say. An effective and familiar cult tactic to avoid any possible challenge to a cultish group’s belief system.

    My thanks to the Zionist commentators for giving me more material for my project on the Zionist Cult. Very helpful!

  20. Avigail Abarbanel
    January 24, 2018, 3:47 am

    “Suppose an individual believes something with his whole heart; suppose further that he has a commitment to this belief, that he has taken irrevocable actions because of it; finally, suppose that he is presented with evidence, unequivocal and undeniable evidence, that his belief is wrong: what will happen? The individual will frequently emerge, not only unshaken, but even more convinced of the truth of his beliefs than ever before. Indeed, he may even show a new fervor about convincing and converting other people to his view.”

    — Leon Festinger et al. When Prophecy Fails. (P.4)

    But there is hope and a reason why we should persist in exposing Israel and educating others:

    “when people are committed to a belief and a course of action, clear disconfirming evidence may simply result in deepened conviction and increased proselyting. But there does seem to be a point at which the disconfirming evidence has mounted sufficiently to cause the belief to be rejected.” — Leon Festinger et al. When Prophecy Fails. (P.13)

  21. echinococcus
    January 24, 2018, 9:43 am

    Avigail,
    Very interesting, the two Festinger quotes. What would me even more instructive is the relative frequencies of the two reactions. Personally speaking I don’t remember witnessing a single occurrence of the second possibility (for anything momentous) in a relatively long and unsheltered life.

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      January 24, 2018, 1:26 pm

      Festinger reached that conclusion from observing a few examples of cults in history where there was good documentation for research. It turns out that eventually, if the disconfirmation of the belief system persists, eventually people do walk away from the belief system. I am not holding my breath about Zionism though and although I think we should continue to do our work, I also think the Palestinians don’t have time to wait until Israel gets a clue…

      There are too many people in power, in Israel’s own military-industrial, money elite who profiteer from the situation as it is now. Even if a large number of people in society woke up to the truth, I believe there will be powerful resistance to change there.

      • jon s
        January 24, 2018, 4:49 pm

        Avigail,
        Zionism was not a form of colonialism because the Jews immigrating to Israel/Palestine were settling in the Jewish historic homeland. The British taking over India, the French ruling Senegal, the Belgians in the Congo- had no religious or historic attachment -preserved for centuries – to those territories. In 1903 the British came up with the “Uganda Plan” and the Zionist movement faced a moment of truth: had the Zionists accepted Uganda, that would have been a manifestation of colonialism. As we know, the Zionists rejected the offer of Uganda or any other alternative to the land of Israel.
        Another significant difference is the absence of a “Mother Country”. In colonialism there was always a Mother country which encouraged the colonialist settlers, backed them and protected them with military force. Profits flowed back to London and Paris and Brussels. In Zionism there was no such Mother Country. Profits, if there were any, did not flow back to Europe but were reinvested in the country, And the Zionist immigrants initially had no military force to provide security, they were unarmed.
        It is true, of course, that the Zionists sought political alliances with the imperialist powers of the time. Trying to recruit Big Power support was seen as the rational way to achieve the movement’s goals , as any rational political “player” would do.
        As for myself, (and many on the Israeli Left) I don’t think that I can be accused of lack of empathy with the Palestinians. The Palestinians were certainly victims of an injustice from their point of view, and many of them live today under a rather brutal occupation. Over the years I’ve devoted considerable time and effort to trying to understand and empathize with the Palestinian narrative, without being alienated from our own people.

      • amigo
        January 24, 2018, 5:45 pm

        “The Palestinians were certainly victims of an injustice from their point of view, ” Jon S

        And from your point of view ????.

        “Over the years I’ve devoted considerable time and effort to trying to understand and empathize with the Palestinian narrative,”Jon S

        Do you even know the name of the Palestinian Family that used to live where you now squat.What would you tell them if they showed up with the legal document proving they were illegally evicted from their home.

        How would you show your empathy for their plight .How would you convince them their dispossesion was not the result of colonialism.

      • Mooser
        January 24, 2018, 6:35 pm

        “Zionism was not a form of colonialism because the Jews immigrating to Israel/Palestine were settling in the Jewish historic homeland.”

        This horseshit again “Jon s”? (for the 86th time)

        Okay, now tell us why, whatever the historical association some Jews have with Palestine, these associations give us any moral or political rights in the area, let alone the right to make war on the people living there, and make Judaism a murderer?

        Or will you tell us ‘Jews can’t be murderers in their historic homeland’ since they can’t be thieves or invaders either, apparently.

      • Mooser
        January 24, 2018, 6:38 pm

        “As for myself, (and many on the Israeli Left) I don’t think that I can be accused of lack of empathy with the Palestinians”

        “Jon s” lives in Beersheba. An American citizen, BTW. You never know, he might have more “empathy” for Palestinians than he has for Eritreans.

        “Over the years I’ve devoted considerable time and effort to trying to understand and empathize with the Palestinian narrative, without being alienated from our own people”

        Shorter “Jon s”: ‘I’m a terrible, pants-peeing moral coward. You understand, don’t you’

      • eljay
        January 24, 2018, 7:11 pm

        || jon s: … Zionism was not a form of colonialism because the Jews immigrating to Israel/Palestine were settling in the Jewish historic homeland. … ||

        Geographic Palestine was not (and still is not) the ancient/historic/eternal/one true homeland of people all over the world – citizens of homelands all over the world – who choose to embrace the religion-based identity of Jewish.

        Zionism was indeed a form of colonialism because those Jews who left their actual homelands all over the world to settle in the foreign land of Palestine were doing so in order to help realize the Zionist goal of a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine.

      • Avigail Abarbanel
        January 25, 2018, 5:50 am

        OK, for flat Earth society member @Jon s — Here is an (imperfect) analogy that might encourage you to think beyond cult survival. Imagine a house invader. That is a homeless man (can also be a woman) who has a family with innocent children. They’ve all been homeless for a long time for no fault of their own. This man decides that the way to help his family survive and stop their suffering is to enter and take an occupied home where a family already lives. The plan is to take it bit by bit in small chunks, in the hope that no one would really notice much. They also planned to gain some sympathy for themselves while this is going on. That home was not chosen randomly. Some ancestors of the homeless family used to live in the area, and some even in previous incarnations of this same house.

        First the homeless family comes in and takes a small space in the house. They start to redecorate and put some of their stuff there. Then they begin to take a bit more space. By that stage the existing family notices and starts to protest. So the homeless family starts to fight back, and spreads rumours around the neighbourhood that the people living in that house are bad and that they want to kick them out. They say that they were homeless for a long time and abused by a lot of people and that all they wanted is a place where they would be safe and to be left alone to live their lives.

        People in the neighbourhood now feel a bit confused, especially because they like the members of the homeless family better, because they are white, and the owners of the house are black. The neighbours also want to appear to be kind and understanding to the homeless white family, and are taking on their cause, helping them buy furniture and supplying means to fight the owners of the house.

        The owners of the house protest and present documents that prove that they are the owners, but everyone feels sorry for the long-suffering white homeless family and just ignores what the owners say. The invading family print new documents that say they are now the owners of the house, and show them to the people of the neighbourhood. They say, ‘Oh that’s OK then, there are papers. They sign those papers making them ‘legal’.

        While this is happening, the white family begins to take more and more of the house, and brings in more relatives from elsewhere. They are not homeless but they tell them they are not safe where they are and should really be living with their family and help out, instead of mixing with potentially dangerous outsiders.

        The invading white family continues to confine the original owners to ever smaller spaces in the house, and limits their access to facilities like toilets, showers and the kitchen. They are also not allowed to use certain hallways, while the white family use them, and there are areas of their own house they cannot enter into at all. Some of their possessions were taken by the white family and never given back. Some were destroyed and replaced by new things brought in by the white family and their supporters.

        If the black family resists or tries to get some support from outside, the white family uses violence against them, and punishes members of he family regardless of age by sticking them in the basement of the house for indefinite periods of time. They also kill a few at a time to make sure that the black family is demoralised and also that there are less of them. They haven’t killed them all yet, which would be the logical thing to do, because they are still worried about what the neighbours might think about them. But they would if they knew that there would be no reaction. The white family succeeded in talking about what they did as a ‘conflict’ and say they want ‘peace’. But really what they want is for all the original owners to leave so that their family can take ownership of the whole house once and for all, and live happily ever after with their own people.

        In the West, a house invasion would be considered a crime. The perpetrators will be prosecuted and the legal owners of the house whoever they are, would be on the right side of the law. This does not work in international law. Israel is getting away with an act that in our own societies would be seen as a serious crime.

        Having been homeless or having had historical ties to a place makes no difference to the nature of the crime. Jon s you are justifying the unjustifiable and are completely oblivious to the hypocrisy and lack of compassion to the victims that underpins everything you say. You are driven by irrational tribal loyalty (fuelled by traditional Jewish fear of non Jews) that blinds you so much, that you cannot see the obvious.

        I was there and I know what it’s like inside the cult. I also what it looks like on the other side. I know the psychological mechanisms that enable people with your belief system to continue to live and look at yourselves in the mirror every day. But even as a psychotherapist I really cannot grasp how genuinely honest and good people can live like this, except if deep down they are driven by a fear they might not even be conscious is there. We have all been raised on the horrors of the ghost of antisemitism… We were groomed to be frighted of it as if it was a living monster that will get us and devour us. The only protection is huddling together in one place. Can you even see how primitive all of this is? There is nothing sophisticated about Jewish identity and Zionism. They are based on ancient human fear of a dangerous world, and on the experience that there is nowhere safe except in the little ghetto, Sheitel, group.

        I know I won’t convince you. I have already cited Festinger and it’s clear that people don’t leave cults or change their belief systems that easily, especially if that belief system presses some survival buttons. I also know how psychologically difficult the journey out of the cult is as I have made it myself. At the end of the day you have to live with yourself. I couldn’t live with myself while I placed the alleged survival of my own little tribe above everything else. We are members of the human species and need to care about everyone not just ourselves and those close to us. If we don’t it means we let down our own potential and what we are capable of being just because of fear for our own survival. Why are you so afraid Jon s?

      • Mooser
        January 25, 2018, 7:40 pm

        ” That is a homeless man (can also be a woman)…”

        “Jon s” is an American citizen. Born in the USA. He’s far from “homeless”.

        It is privilege he wants, not “survival”, and he feels he can claim that privilege on the basis of being Jewish.

      • Mooser
        January 25, 2018, 8:09 pm

        “Why are you so afraid Jon s?”

        Well, “Jon s” is an “Israeli history teacher” in one of the segregated Beersheba schools. His livelihood, his place to live, his reputation, possibly his life, depend on conforming to the Zionist narrative. That’s a little more immediate than “the ghost of anti-semitism”.

    • oldgeezer
      January 26, 2018, 12:50 am

      @Mooser

      No jon s is a propagandist, thief and war criminal squatting on the land and blood of others. He lives contentedly with those who murder innocents based upon their appearance with a corrupt judicial system that praises those murderers for being heroes. He denies his victims their basic human rights based on the presumption some of them are bad and I’m entitled to privilege because of the circumstances of my birth. Jon s is grovelling in the bottom of the gutter with the lowest of the low and it’s time to stop pussyfooting around about exactly what he, and those like him, are.

      Most of us know there is no diference between a zionist and liberal zionist yet we enable in inherently greater evil of liberal zionism by trying to pretend that they have a measure of humanity. They don’t. They’re smiling and mouthing platitudes while grinding the necks of Palestinians into the dust with their boots.

      • Mooser
        January 26, 2018, 1:26 pm

        “No, jon s is a…/…their boots.”

        But “Jon s” is sure that will be no barrier to friendship and communication. He told us he would never lie to us, and he never calls anybody (except “yonifalic”, of course) bad names.

  22. Avigail Abarbanel
    January 25, 2018, 6:24 am

    @Mooser — if you are still around I have to respond to a comment of yours from five days ago. You ask how Jews can know they are Jews?… this made me laugh. I don’t see myself as a Jew in any way. I am not religious, do not follow any Jewish customs or traditions and really have no label for myself except human.

    BUT, the state of Israel tells me I am ‘Jewish’ because it says so on my birth certificate. The state of Israel had the audacity to state on my Israeli birth certificate that my ‘Religion’ is ‘Jewish’ and that my ‘Nationality’ is also ‘Jewish’. Can you imagine telling a newborn what their religion is? I am told from birth that I belong to a fictitious Jewish nation. All the while in Israel the definition of Jewishness is de facto ‘racial’, because in order to be a citizen of Israel you just have to prove that your mother and possibly maternal grandmother are Jewish… How that is proven is by birth certificates and other documents. And it’s all just crap anyway, that un-decostructed, racist, imperialistically-minded bureaucrats once upon a time put on paper when they were still labelling people by religion or ‘ethnicity’ on official documents. And of course if it is printed on paper, then it must be true… (rolling eyes emoji here). I am not Jewish, but I am told that I am because I have ‘Jewish blood’.

    People like the ones we are responding to in this thread have no leg to stand on. Anyone can call themselves Jewish if they wish, but it’s the state of Israel that has taken upon itself now to decide who is and who isn’t a Jew. Except for a few ‘legit’ converts that the Israeli Rabbinate actually approves of, it’s a matter of blood only. And that is of course complete fiction…

    • jon s
      January 25, 2018, 4:41 pm

      Avigail,
      1.I don’t understand why you attempt long-distance psychoanalysis on a person you’ve never met, instead of addressing the points I raised regarding differences between Zionism and colonialism. I could try to imagine the psychological background which led you to your present attitude towards your former people, but I would rather not.

      2.Your vaguely offensive use of the term “cult”: I went to the trouble of checking the definition in the Oxford dictionary:
      cult
      NOUN
      • 1A system of religious veneration and devotion directed towards a particular figure or object.
      ‘the cult of St Olaf’

      1. 1.1 A relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or as imposing excessive control over members.
      ‘a network of Satan-worshipping cults’

      2. 1.2 A misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular thing.
      ‘the cult of the pursuit of money as an end in itself’

      • 2A person or thing that is popular or fashionable among a particular group or section of society.
      ‘the series has become a bit of a cult in the UK’

      So, who are you referring to as a cult? Jews? Zionists? Israelis? Please explain your choice of terminology.

      3.Yes, we are all members of the human species, but people –most people- identify as members of groups:nations, ethnic groups, religions , etc. and tend to take pride in their group’s heritage and achievements and culture. People tend to feel more comfortable with other people with whom they share a common language and traditions and values than with strangers. It’s quite natural, though we should be careful not to descend into chauvinism and xenophobia.

      4. You pretend that you know me, that I lack compassion and live in fear. Where have you observed those traits in my comments? And where is your compassion?

      • Mooser
        January 25, 2018, 8:04 pm

        “I don’t understand why you attempt long-distance psychoanalysis on a person you’ve never met”

        Oh, I see, the 2400 comments in your archive are just a clever ruse, and give us no clue to who you might be, “Jon s”

      • jon s
        January 26, 2018, 2:00 am

        Avigail,
        I also must ask you whether you use this line -“We are members of the human species and need to care about everyone not just ourselves and those close to us.”- only in regard to your former people . Does it apply, say, to the Palestinians?

        And regarding compassion, many of us here in Israel are just this week involved in an effort to prevent the expulsion of African asylum-seekers, motivated mainly by compassion and human decency.

      • Mooser
        January 26, 2018, 1:32 pm

        “I also must ask you whether you use this line -“We are members of the human species and need to care about everyone not just ourselves and those close to us.”- only in regard to your former people . Does it apply, say, to the Palestinians?” “Jon s”

        You don’t know, do you, “Jon s”?

        (No, this is where “Jon s” will tell us what Avigail would be doing if she really cared about Palestinians. BTW, doesn’t “Jon s” slide suavely into Zionist male chauvinism? Nice and smooth.)

      • Mooser
        May 15, 2018, 11:54 am

        ” I could try to imagine the psychological background which led you to your present attitude towards your former people, but I would rather not.” “Jon s”

        Yes, you better not. It sure wouldn’t reflect too well on Israeli culture and psychology, would it?

    • Mooser
      January 25, 2018, 8:01 pm

      “You ask how Jews can know they are Jews?… this made me laugh”

      Well, I take the subject much much more seriously. It is something I would never joke about. Now, for the question we must answer:

      How do you tell who is or isn’t Jewish?

  23. Mooser
    January 25, 2018, 7:45 pm

    “4. You pretend that you know me, that I lack compassion and live in fear. Where have you observed those traits in my comments? “

    Let’s scroll up just a bit in this thread:

    “Over the years I’ve devoted considerable time and effort to trying to understand and empathize with the Palestinian narrative, without being alienated from our own people.”

    “Shorter “Jon s”: “If ‘my people’ say it’s a soccer ball, it’s a soccer ball, not a head’

  24. Avigail Abarbanel
    January 26, 2018, 6:30 am

    @Jon s — You say:

    “Yes, we are all members of the human species, but people –most people- identify as members of groups:nations, ethnic groups, religions , etc. and tend to take pride in their group’s heritage and achievements and culture. People tend to feel more comfortable with other people with whom they share a common language and traditions and values than with strangers. It’s quite natural, though we should be careful not to descend into chauvinism and xenophobia.”

    Jewish culture and by extension, the *exclusively Jewish* state of Israel, are by definition chauvinistic and xenophobic.

    I shouldn’t need to present to you my ‘credentials’ Jon s, but will do it anyway just for the record: I was born, raised, and educated in Israel (born in Tel Aviv and grew up in Bat-Yam, attended Yitzhak Sade primary in Bat-Yam, and Ort Yad Singalovsky high school in Yad Elilyahu). I served my two years in the Israeli army. I was trained as a מ״כית and later worked as a draftswoman in מה״ד in the army’s central HQ in Tel-Aviv. I was very close to the machinations of Israel’s first invasion of Lebanon in 1982 under Ariel Sharon. My maternal grandparents were holocaust survivors. I am a native Hebrew speaker, and my entire family is in Israel. I am not speaking from reading a book, or from being ‘brainwashed’ by evil antisemites. I am from there, it appears a little more than you are, if as Mooser says you were indeed born in the US and immigrated to Israel later.

    I thank you for the definition of ‘cult’, but the dictionary definition you provide is far from complete. Cult psychology isn’t always about religion or in a religious context. The psychology of cult is where individuals are required to submit their individual sense of identity and their belief system to that of the group. In fact individual identity and belief system, if they are even there, are replaced by those of the group, and this is a requirement for belonging in the group. In other words, conformity and loyalty to the group are the price of belonging. Cults vary in their tolerance of dissent, but to some degree or another cult psychology involves a strong requirement for conformity to the cult’s most essential and central tenets. By contrast groups that do not have cult psychology, do not need group members to think, believe, do, eat, say, dress, or behave the same.

    Cult members are required to offer and use their lives, talents, and energy for the purpose of group survival. In fact group survival is at the heart of every cult, and it is the most important and cherished value a cult member is required to uphold, alongside a belief system that rejects the outside world and sees it as hostile to the cult. Cults do not mix with the ‘world’ outside, which tends to be seen as misguided, evil, wrong, or just hostile to the cult. Cult psychology contains a belief in ’specialness’, that is that the group is special in some way and that it is destined for something special that isn’t shared by others outside the cult. It also includes a belief that the cults knows something that the world outside the cult doesn’t know.

    All documented cults have this in common. They also have in common both language (terminology) and procedures for punishing those who have gone too far in questioning the cult’s belief system, who expose the cult’s belief system to the outside world, or who decide to leave the cult. Punishment can take the form of being ‘labeled’, and if that doesn’t work exclusion. Jewish religion has the exact identity of a cult, Zionsim by extension also has the same psychology albeit without the religious elements, and the state of Israel certainly has all the elements of a cult. It is very difficult for people inside a cult to see where they are because cults do tend to insulate their people and filter if not the information they receive from the ‘world’, then how they interpret it.

    Just because it’s ‘human’ for people to put their own group first, doesn’t mean that it is right. Doing this in the case of Zionism and the state of Israel has led to ethnic cleansing, and the creation of a state that segregates and discriminates between ‘Jews’ and non Jews on the basis of some fictitious idea of ‘ethnicity’, or worse, ‘race’. Now, Mooser here raised the really good and unanswered question of what makes a Jew a Jew, and since we both know Israel considers it de-facto a blood thing, we can also see how nonsensical it is. There is no such thing as a Jewish ‘race’. I haven’t noticed in any blood tests ever that my blood was different from that of any human. Yet that is exactly why the state of Israel considers me Jewish (as per my birth certificate which I mentioned in a comment to Mooser above).

    As for pride in one’s heritage or culture? I don’t have a problem with this at all. In fact I enjoy living in a world that is filled with a variety of ways of expressing the experience of life. But does this have to involve taking someone else’s home? I don’t think so, yet this is what we did. We did this for one reason only, because we were brought up to believe that the Jewish people are entitled, that we have more of a right to survive than anyone else, that no one else’s suffering was or is ever greater than our own, and that anything and everything is secondary to the survival of the Jewish people, including the suffering of others. I can’t see how you could possibly tell me that this isn’t true or that this isn’t a cult…

    I looked again through my comment to you and I really do not think I psychoanalysed you, although I am sorry if you felt offended by me. I am a psychotherapist but am not a psychoanalyst, so do not analyse people. I did ask you what you were afraid of, because to put your group survival ahead of universal values has to be driven by fear. What else is there?

    I don’t have to know you personally to know this. It’s enough to have come from there myself. Who are you as an individual, and what do you really believe? Do you really believe that your group has more right to survive than anyone else’s? What kind of intellectual contortions do you, and other so-called left leaning people in Israel, have to make to reconcile liberal views that you believe you hold, with ethnic cleaning and settler-colonialism? (Zionism isn’t merely colonialism. It is *settler-colonialism* namely, replacing the indigenous people with your own group.)

    I have lost my tribal loyalty by choice, and to do that had to deal with the fear that was given to me through my upbringing. I was brought up in the Israeli education system to believe that Jews are never safe with anyone other than their own people, and that Israel is the only barrier all Jews have between annihilation and survival. I was therefore taught that for each of us our purpose was to protect the state at all cost, and use everything about ourselves and our very lives to make sure it continues to exist and survive. I have found this too oppressive while I lived there. But when I also learned the nature of the group I belonged to, and the lies I was brought up on, I couldn’t possibly continue to be a member of the group. I went to study in Bar-Ilan University (בחוג המשולב למדעי החברה) because religious studies were part of the curriculum. Having grown up secular I wanted to understand what Jewish religion was. They taught us well and honestly and it made me question so much. I also got to an age where I felt I wanted to choose my own purpose, rather than have the purpose of my existence as a protector of Israel and the Jewish people, dictated to me by the group.

    Since the state of Israel labeled me ‘Jewish’ on my birth certificate, I will use ‘our’ and ‘we’ here: I do not believe that our group has more of a right to survive than anyone else’s. When I learned about the crime against our fellow humans (a crime against humanity) that we began to commit in the late 19th Century in the name of our group survival, I couldn’t continue to collaborate.

    When I renounced my Israeli citizenship in 2001, this was the statement I was trying to make: I no longer want to be a member of a group that does that, or collaborate with the crime, especially not in the name of or as an expression of my very identity as a person.

    At the end of the day this is about each one of us looking at our own belief system with complete honesty, and either sticking by it, or changing it. If you Jon s choose to stick to your belief system, you also have to accept that your your left-wing values, and your support for the crime of ongoing settler-colonialism are You have to accept that you are aiding and abetting it simply by living in Israel and not fighting to change the belief system the drives this chauvinistic, xenophobic and ultimately racist project. If you are OK with that, then that’s fine with me. But you need to be honest about it and not pretend that you have these lovely left-wing values while living and supporting a fundamentally racist cult state.

    • Tuyzentfloot
      January 26, 2018, 9:01 am

      Just because it’s ‘human’ for people to put their own group first, doesn’t mean that it is right.

      I would be cautious about rejecting that people put their own group first whatever that group is. The issue is how whether you do more for say your family over other people, it’s how steeply your concern falls away as the distance increases (yourself — your family and friends — larger family –your business –your tribe — nation — world). That includes to what extent you’re treating those further away as enemies , as lower beings or as disposable.

      Of course there are issues where people create distinctions of inside/outside where others think there should not be any distinction at all or at least (pragmatically)not as large. For instance it is a common principle that a state should treat everyone who is part of that state at an equal level (maybe not for everything), and that this should be extended to some aspects of individual interaction. So distinctions man/woman , upper class/lower class(that’s the UK), black/white have become unpopular. But worldwide tribal loyalties are still omnipresent and in time of conflict they can become dominant.

      I think Israel’s main problem is worse than a class based system with first rate citizens and second rate citizens. It’s more extreme , more towards the caricature where there are Jews and there are antisemites, and as far as (a lot of) Jews are concerned the antisemites can all go and die, even if some of these antisemites are citizens. I honestly think it’s closer to YouKnowWho in Germany. Or Sparta, but with more effort to cover things up because times have changed.

      • Avigail Abarbanel
        January 26, 2018, 2:13 pm

        @Tuyzentfloot — Fair comment, thank you.

        Here is my take on tribal loyalties: Tribal loyalties is what we developed as self-aware mammals in a very hostile, frightening and dangerous world. Until not that long ago in our history we were a main food source for large predators.

        We are carrying this very same mentality into the modern world, and it’s killing us not just physically but in spirit too. It’s causing all of us to commit crimes against members of our own species, and inflict so much unnecessary suffering not to mention waste so much human potential. (Don’t get me started on what we are doing to other species on this planet…).

        Every human being has basic needs that include the need for safety and belonging, love, physical sustenance, opportunity to develop our potential, etc (not necessarily in this order). There is absolutely no reason for us not making this freely available to everyone, regardless of where they are born.

        We continue completely unnecessarily to recreate a hostile world, and then feel justified in using our primitive tendency to huddle in groups for protection. It did work for our ancestors for the purpose of physical survival but not much else. Our mammal brain doesn’t care if we are happy or fulfilled, or if we behave justly towards others. It also cannot plan ahead or think rationally and compassionately. It is busy keeping us alive for one purpose only: the survival of the species.

        Groups that have cults psychology are poorly developed in a sense that what motivates them underneath all the rhetoric, philosophy or whatever else they dress it up as, is the survival of the species. That’s all. There is nothing sophisticated about this. But we are not just mammals. We have executive functions in the brain that include natural compassion to others, a conscience, an understanding of how we impact on others and a concern about it, universal ethics that doesn’t depend on law, the ability to plan ahead, make rational decisions, and see the bigger picture beyond just our own narrow survival.

        Groups that are not cults do not require conformity as the price of belonging, and do not feel threatened by diversity of views. They see diversity as making them stronger in the same way that genetic diversity leads to better resistance to illness and better health in general. They are also cooperative, and have a positive view of the world around them.

        Israel is the exact opposite of that. I am just so tired of these so-called left-minded people in Israel dressing things up to be what they are not. At least the right-wing fanatics say what they think and do not try to hide. You know what to expect from them… It’s the Left-wing ones that worry me more because of their lack of self-awareness and their ability to glue together two things that don’t work. I want them to be honest with themselves, and the rest of us. It’s impossible for them to say they care about humanity, and at the same time support something like the *exclusively Jewish*, settler-colonialist state of Israel. If they admit the cognitive dissonance, and do the right thing instead of trying to live with an impossible mind bend, they would have to question the entire basis on which (Israeli/Zionist-style) Jewishness, and therefore Israel, exist. This requires immense courage and I do not see much courage coming out of Israel or devout Zionist circles around the world. All I see is fear.

  25. jon s
    January 29, 2018, 6:13 am

    Avigail,
    Thank you for your response, which was at least courteous, without the personal insults so prevalent on this forum.
    Just to reciprocate with some personal background: I was born in the US( though my father and grandfather were born in Jerusalem), grew up in Tel Aviv, served in the IDF as a medic.I live in Beersheva and teach History and Civics .
    I asked about your use of the term “cult”, and looked up the definition. From your answer I understand that in your view “cult ” applies to Zionism (the political movement ), Israel (the state and most of its population) and the Jewish people, three partially overlapping “cults”. It seems to me that your choice of the term is just a way to use a term with negative connotations. One could easily use the same “cultish ” characteristics you mention to describe the various anti-Israel organizations which have also developed their own terminology are also constantly on the lookout for deviants and enemies and so forth.
    But let’s move beyond the terminology: you’ve abandoned all three: Zionism (the idea and the practice), Israel (leaving and renouncing your citizenship) and your Jewish identity ( which is the abandonment most difficult for me to understand, seems to me to be a case of “throwing the baby out with the bathwater”). Did you sever all ties with your family and friends and local institutions? Do you ever visit? Do you ever find yourself missing the Hanukkah candles or Shavuot cheesecakes or a favorite falafel place ? Ever find yourself singing Shlomo Artzi or Meir Bannai or Tislam in the shower or when driving on the highway? I note that you’ve chosen to keep your name, an illustrious name in Jewish history. I’m not trying to provoke, just trying to understand how such a total renunciation works.
    For myself, I dislike fanaticism. The people who see complex issues in black and white, Israel always evil, the Arabs and Palestinians always innocent (or the other way around, like the Israeli extreme Right…)I always try to understand different viewpoints and narratives, I see nuances and shades of gray. We’ve seen the consequences of the fanatical mind-set: totalitarianism and terrorism, violence and misery. Not for me.
    So I prefer not to be alienated from our people’s identity, heritage and culture. I prefer to stay here ,to do my modest part in the good fight, for peace and social justice and democracy and not to desert from the battlefield.
    There are more points that I disagree with: Why is Jewish culture by definition chauvinistic and xenophobic? Yes, that tendency obviously exists, but our rich culture also includes the opposite, universalist and humanist values. And I certainly don’t believe that we have more rights than anyone else or that we have a monopoly on suffering.

    • eljay
      January 29, 2018, 8:26 am

      || jon s: … I dislike fanaticism. … I always try to understand different viewpoints and narratives, I see nuances and shades of gray. We’ve seen the consequences of the fanatical mind-set: totalitarianism and terrorism, violence and misery. Not for me.
      So I prefer not to be alienated from our people’s identity, heritage and culture. I prefer to stay here ,to do my modest part in the good fight, for peace and social justice and democracy and not to desert from the battlefield. … ||

      You’ve upped your fight rhetoric from “peace” to “peace and social justice and democracy” but you continue to avoid fighting for the universal and consistent application of justice, accountability and equality because – like all Zionists – you want to ensure:
      – that Israel remains a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”;
      – that it gets to keeps as much as possible of what it has stolen;
      – that it is absolved of its obligations under international law (incl. RoR); and,
      – that it and Zionists are absolved of responsibility and accountability for past and on-going (war) crimes committed.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 29, 2018, 9:56 am

        We’ve seen the consequences of the fanatical mind-set: totalitarianism and terrorism, violence and misery. Not for me.
        So I prefer not to be alienated from our people’s identity, heritage and culture.

        yet the inherently violent zionist terrorist state he supports has now commingled with jewish identity, heritage and culture. so… jon is contradicting himself.

      • Mooser
        January 29, 2018, 12:00 pm

        “So I prefer not to be alienated from our people’s identity, heritage and culture.”

        What’s a matter, “Jon s”, your Bar Mitzvah didn’t take? When do you become a man?

    • Mooser
      January 29, 2018, 11:53 am

      “Thank you for your response, which was at least courteous, without the personal insults so prevalent on this forum.”

      “OK, for flat Earth society member @Jon s…” “Avigail Abarbanel”

      “Jon s” of course, never descends to personal insult.

      • Mooser
        January 29, 2018, 12:12 pm

        “Thank you for your response, which was at least courteous, without the personal insults so prevalent on this forum.” “Jon s”

        Did you read past this little zinger, “Jon s”?:

        ” I am from there (Israel), it appears a little more than you (“Jon s”) are, if as Mooser says you were indeed born in the US and immigrated to Israel later. “Avigail Abarbanel”

        Ouch! I think the term “interloper” covers it, “Jon s”. Or “carpetbagger”. No doubt there are some choice Hebrew epithets…

    • Talkback
      January 29, 2018, 1:44 pm

      jon s: “We’ve seen the consequences of the fanatical mind-set: totalitarianism and terrorism, violence and misery. Not for me.”

      Good for you that you chose to become an Antizionist.

      • Avigail Abarbanel
        January 31, 2018, 4:00 am

        Sometimes I really like sarcasm. I like your comment @Talkback…

      • Talkback
        January 31, 2018, 10:17 am

        Thank you Avigail. But I wasn’t sarcastic at all. I was just decontextualizing a hypocrite’s words.

    • Mooser
      January 29, 2018, 4:17 pm

      “I… served in the IDF as a medic.” “Jon s”

      “Jon s”, that makes your reaction to “yonifalic” even more disgusting. Didn’t think that was possible.

    • Mooser
      January 29, 2018, 4:34 pm

      “But let’s move beyond the terminology: you’ve abandoned all three: “

      No “Jon s”, she hasn’t abandoned anything. All you are doing is pretending you have the power to take those things away from her. It’s really lame, and very chauvinist.

      “Do you ever visit? Do you ever find yourself missing the Hanukkah candles or Shavuot cheesecakes or a favorite falafel place ? Ever find yourself singing Shlomo Artzi or Meir Bannai or Tislam in the shower or when driving on the highway?”

      Compared to those things, can Palestinian lives even compete?

      And you say, “Jon s”, you’re not a “fanatic”?

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      January 30, 2018, 3:24 pm

      @Jon s — My family would have nothing to do with me because of my views. My mother cut off all ties with me when she heard that I renounced my Israeli citizenship. I have been blacklisted and am unable to visit Israel. I don’t celebrate religious festivals because I’m not religious but in any case most Jewish festivals are offensive to my values. (You can read my article on Hanukkah from a few years ago here on Mondoweiss.) I don’t miss anything and have not felt any sense of nostalgia for anything Jewish it Israeli for many years.

      You say you do your bit for democracy. I have no doubt that you mean well. But you’re an intelligent man. Democracy? How can a country call itself a democracy when it only exist for one group? Israel is just as much a democracy as apartheid South Africa was a democracy— for whites only. Israel is a democracy for Jews only, which means that, well… what do you think it means? Ancient Athens hailed as the cradle of democracy was a democracy only for citizens and only for men. I can’t be a member of a society like that.

      I think you need to learn more about Jewish religion and Jewish identity if you don’t understand why I call it xenophobic, chauvinistic, racist. Jewishness is exclusivist and preoccupied with itself. I guess you have to journey out of the group to see it more clearly. And of course there’s the huge issue of ethnic cleansing and ongoing settler colonialism. I can’t live on stolen land and support the exclusively Jewish power structure. You seem to live comfortably with yourself, so be it. We’re different people.

      • Mooser
        January 30, 2018, 5:19 pm

        “I think you need to learn more about Jewish religion and Jewish identity if you don’t understand why I call it xenophobic, chauvinistic, racist.”

        To “Jon s”, those are the good things about it.
        And he’s convinced if he just explains Jewish xenophobia, chauvanism and racism correctly, the world will honor us for it, and declare us a natural aristocracy!!

      • Steve Grover
        January 31, 2018, 12:49 pm

        Avigail was a woman who thought she was a loner
        But she knew it wouldn’t last
        Avigail left her home in Eretz Yisrael
        For some Scottish grass
        Get back, get back
        Get back to where you once belonged
        Get back, get back
        Get back to where you once belonged
        Get back Avigail, go home

      • James North
        January 31, 2018, 1:04 pm

        Mooser: You’ve taught your sock puppet to sing!! Congratulations. Now raise his purported age to at least 16.

      • Steve Grover
        January 31, 2018, 1:20 pm

        Way past 21.
        I think I’ll go down to ole Kansas Stew
        and bring back the 2nd cousin of Johnny Cockeroo
        Ain’t that a man?

      • eljay
        January 31, 2018, 1:24 pm

        Stevie was a guy who thought he was Judean
        So he stole some Palestine
        Did a lot of evil, never caring that his
        “Jewish State” is just a crime

        Get out, get out
        Get out from where you don’t belong
        Get out, get out
        Get out from where you don’t belong
        Get out, Stevie, go home

      • Mooser
        January 31, 2018, 1:41 pm

        .“Now raise his purported age to at least 16.”

        Maybe I should try lowering his BAC to .16, first. He’s much too farshnoshket and staggering from one thread to another.

      • Steve Grover
        January 31, 2018, 2:17 pm

        But staggered is the most stable conformation of n-butane.

      • Steve Grover
        January 31, 2018, 3:26 pm

        Eljay’s dazed and confused for so long it’s not true
        Wants something to do, so he hates the Jews
        Lots of people talk and few of them know
        Soul of an anti-Semite was created below

        You hurt and abuse telling all of your lies
        Run around sweet Eljay, Lord how he hypnotize
        Bigot little Eljay, I don’t know where you’ve been
        Digusting anti-Zionism, there you go again

        Every day Eljay works so hard wasting time on Mondoweiss
        Try the truth Eljay, but you push it away
        Don’t know where Eljay’s going, only know just where he’s been
        Anti-Semite Eljay, Israel is here to stay!

      • eljay
        January 31, 2018, 3:51 pm

        || Steve Grover @ January 31, 2018, 3:26 pm ||

        That’s so cute! The rhyming sucks (again), but I’m impressed by your determination to anti-Semitically conflate Zionism with all Jews and all Jews with Zionism in order to label me an anti-Semite for being anti-Zionist.

        Keep up the good work, you ol’ Jew hater, you!

      • Kaisa of Finland
        January 31, 2018, 3:57 pm

        “Eljay’s dazed and confused ..”

        “Ah ja voi jo kauhistu, tämä on se suuri ahdistus..”

        (“Ah and oh, get horrified already, this is the great anxiety..”)

      • Mooser
        January 31, 2018, 4:13 pm

        Shorter “Steve Grover”:

        ‘If I can’t get him banned for sock-puppetry, I can still get “Mooser” banned as a time-waster and one hell of a maudlin parodist!!’

      • Kaisa of Finland
        January 31, 2018, 4:40 pm

        Eljay:

        “The rhyming sucks (again)..”

        Indeed :) !! And for some reason after reading it, the song above started to play in my head.. (Allthough in that, the ryhming is perfect..)

      • Steve Grover
        January 31, 2018, 4:47 pm

        Yes Eljay,

        Anti-Zionism=Anti-Semitism no matter how much JVP tries to bullshit that away.
        An’ the rhymin’ might such, but it keeps up with Jimmy Page’s riffs and that is all that counts!
        https://giphy.com/gifs/ZKjTKFmtiZwwE/html5

      • Kaisa of Finland
        January 31, 2018, 5:10 pm

        Steve:

        “Anti-Zionism=Anti-Semitism no matter how much JVP tries to bullshit that away..”

        That is your own opinion and I may fully disagree.

      • Talkback
        January 31, 2018, 5:39 pm

        Steve Grover: “Anti-Zionism=Anti-Semitism no matter how much JVP tries to bullshit that away.”

        That would imply that the bullshit you claim would be a rational argument.
        Having said that. I have never read any rational argument from you. To equate being against an ideology with being against a human group is actually a fascist propaganda claim. Suits you.

      • Mooser
        January 31, 2018, 6:06 pm

        “Anti-Zionism=Anti-Semitism no matter how much JVP tries to bullshit that away.”

        And that gives Zionism complete immunity! After all, who would dare offend the Jews? Who can withstand an accusation of anti-Semitism in a world which loves Jews like an indulgent parent.

        Damn, I think “Grover” has stumbled on a formula which makes Zionism impregnable. Simply call every criticism of Zionism an insult to the Jews. That should work.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 31, 2018, 6:32 pm

        no matter how much JVP tries to bullshit that away

        and don’t forget webster’s dictionary… i guess they bullshitted that away too!

        lol, you can’t this sh*t up.

      • eljay
        January 31, 2018, 6:43 pm

        || Steve Grover: Yes Eljay,

        Anti-Zionism=Anti-Semitism no matter how much JVP tries to bullshit that away. … ||

        Yup, and that’s why you Zionists keep doing everything in your Jew-hating power to anti-Semitically conflate Zionism with all Jews and all Jews with Zionism. You don’t even try to bullshit that fact away.

        || … An’ the rhymin’ might suc[k] … ||

        There’s no “might” about it.

      • eljay
        January 31, 2018, 6:49 pm

        || Kaisa of Finland: … for some reason after reading it, the song above started to play in my head … ||

        I really like the sound of the Finnish language (suomi?)! :-)

      • eljay
        January 31, 2018, 6:54 pm

        || Mooser: … Damn, I think “Grover” has stumbled on a formula which makes Zionism impregnable. Simply call every criticism of Zionism an insult to the Jews. That should work. ||

        Add in JeffB’s assertion that all Jews are responsible for the actions of some Jews and – Ta dah!!! – you have a sure-fire way of keeping Jews everywhere safe for all time (or at least for a Thousand Years).

      • Mooser
        January 31, 2018, 7:07 pm

        “Anti-Zionism=Anti-Semitism”

        Gee, in an anti-Semitic world, that makes anti-Zionism a win-win, a two-fer. A chance to oppose Israel, and give the Jews a little tsuris too.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        January 31, 2018, 9:09 pm

        Eljay:

        “suomi?”

        Yes, 100% correct :) The language is suomi and the country is Suomi. (In Finnish only names of the countries are written with a capital letter – the languages and the people with small.. :) )

        “I really like the sound of the Finnish language..”

        I am very happy to hear that! When I lived in Denmark, my friends (and my host family) used to say, Finnish sounds like shooting with a machine gun :)

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      January 30, 2018, 3:29 pm

      (Read the comment below first) One more thing Jon s— I have acquired the name Abarbanel through my first husband. I kept it for no particular reason, so I’m not a ‘genuine’ Abarbanel. Names mean very little. What matters is who people are, their values, what they do with their life. I have always disliked modern Abarbanels basking in the reflected glory of the original Abarbanel. People can’t take credit for what their ancestors did. They also don’t have to be tainted with their crimes if they make the right choices when it is their time.

      I realise you don’t understand me. But maybe one day you’ll be able to see things more clearly and in particular the impossible contradictions you are living with. I’m fine where I am.

  26. Avigail Abarbanel
    January 30, 2018, 3:36 pm

    Does anyone know how I can delete a comment? I was writing on my phone and everything temporary went a bit crazy so one of my comments is duplicated… :o

    • gamal
      January 30, 2018, 4:01 pm

      “Does anyone know how I can delete a comment?”

      not possible as

      “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
      Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
      Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
      Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”

      it’s in the comments policy..

      • Avigail Abarbanel
        January 31, 2018, 3:57 am

        Thank you @gamal and also for putting a smile on my face :)

    • Mooser
      January 30, 2018, 10:45 pm

      ” so one of my comments is duplicated…”

      I looked, and I didn’t see a duplicate comment in your archive. Maybe they removed it already. If not, feh it happens to everybody now and then.

      Thanks for participating in the thread “Avigail”.

      • Avigail Abarbanel
        January 31, 2018, 10:22 am

        Thanks Mooser. It’s my pleasure and it’s actually an honour to have an interest in stuff I write! BTW, why did you place my name between quotation marks? Just curious… It is my real name. :)

      • Avigail Abarbanel
        January 31, 2018, 11:27 am

        Mooser —Yeah it looks like the duplicate has been removed along with another comment I wrote… oh well. It’s all good.

      • Mooser
        January 31, 2018, 12:00 pm

        ,“why did you place my name between quotation marks?”

        You know, I almost included an explanation of that.
        “Avigail Abarbanel” is easily recognizable as a name.
        But some people have user names which are just, well, just “just”. Or something else hard to recognize as a name. So I got in the habit of putting user names in quotes. That’s all there is to it.

        “—Yeah it looks like the duplicate has been removed along with another comment I wrote… “

        That can happen, too. But don’t worry, at Mondo, everybody drinks in moderation. And I don’t blame them a bit.

  27. jon s
    February 4, 2018, 3:48 pm

    Avigail,
    I can hardly imagine what it’s like to sever ties with your family and friends, with your people and your culture. Although I note once again that you do hold on to your name, a name so illustrious in Jewish history, and now borne by a person who has chosen to detach herself from that heritage. As to the holidays, I celebrate all of them and I would sure miss them if I didn’t. As you said, we certainly are different.
    I don’t think that Israel is a perfect democracy. In fact, these are dark days for democracy here, with new anti-democratic measures virtually every day. I still think that it’s important to be here and to take part in the struggle for democracy and for peace and social justice.

    • Mooser
      February 4, 2018, 5:36 pm

      ” Although I note once again that you do hold on to your name…”

      And “Jon s” goes for the Zionist charm offensive.

    • eljay
      February 4, 2018, 6:05 pm

      || jon s: … Although I note once again that you do hold on to your name … ||

      What name other than her actual name do you think she should have?

      || … I don’t think that Israel is a perfect democracy. … ||

      But you do know that it’s a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” and you’re OK with that.

      || … I still think that it’s important to be here and to take part in the struggle for democracy and for peace and social justice. ||

      Yup, because if you struggle for those three things you never have to struggle for justice, accountability and equality.

  28. jon s
    February 4, 2018, 4:03 pm

    Avigail,
    Of course I read your essay on Hanukkah. I even commented on it at the time.

    • Mooser
      February 4, 2018, 8:00 pm

      You even commented on it? Was it another one of your little socio-political billets-doux?

      ” and now borne by a person who has chosen to detach herself from that heritage”

      God, you are a fool, “Jon s”. Ms. Abarbanel is moren’likely too nice to regale us with intimate details about “that heritage”, and why she “detached” from it.

Leave a Reply