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Total number of comments: 624 (since 2014-07-08 09:31:01)

Journalist, editor, blogger who believes in justice.

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  • 'A traumatized society is dangerous'
    • @ Mooser,

      I must say you are a 'star' at misreading, misinterpreting and running with balls never thrown.

      The reference to 'brainwashing' was in regard to Judaism and its effect on people, unconsciously if not consciously.

      You seem to refer to yourself as a secular Jew, correct me if that is my mistake, but sound very, very, very secular and not very Jewish but you still retain the connection to the religion by calling yourself Jewish - that my friend is how brainwashing works.

    • @ Catalan,

      Variations on the theme of religion are common. I know plenty of Muslims who take every opportunity to drink alcohol when out of country and strict Indian vegetarians who order forbidden foods when away from home.

      One presumes when a home environment allows flexibility then flexibility is what you get.

      And for what it is worth, the Greeks were instrumental in educating Hebrews in the first place and the first educated Jews were very Hellenized.

    • @ Mooser,

      For what it is worth the obsession with the achievements of children and the supposed greater intelligence of the group is not particular to Jews although Judaism has turned it into something of an art form.

      Spend time with Indian Jains or Parsees and you get the same ego-driven attitudes and culturally, try the Chinese for 'my son the doctor, my daughter the lawyer/concert pianist' crap.

    • @ Froggy,

      Your story about the ill friend simply demonstrates what everyone knows but many Jews and no Zionists will admit - Judaism is a religion, not a race and it never was a race, or a nationality, or a people, beyond religious metaphor in the same way that other religions see themselves as a distinct group.

    • @Mooser,

      If one uses the English language then the use of the term, secular in combination with a religion is not just an oxymoron it is impossible.

      Referring to one's self as a secular Christian, Jew, Moslem is like referring to one's self as a religious atheist. If one is an atheist one cannot be religious. If you call yourself Jewish, Christian Moslem etc., and align yourself with a religion then you cannot be an atheist or secular.

      Those who are atheists drop the religious terminology completely and separate themselves from the religion so there are no atheist Jews. There are no doubt atheists who were once Jews or Christians etc., but they are just atheists.

      Those who call themselves secular or atheist Jews are just Jews who do not practise the religion but remain members of the religion, i.e. Jewish.

      I realise this is not how you and many Jews might see it, but in a sane, logical world, this is how it is.

      I can call myself a unicorn and believe it all I like but it does not make me one. You can call yourself a secular Jew but that does not and will never make you one - you are Jewish or you would drop the label entirely.

    • @Mooser,

      I seem to have problems communicating with you or you seem to have problems understanding what I am saying.

      The reference to ancestry was simply to say that we do inherit from our ancestors, culturally, genetically and cellularly and it is therefore interesting to know what we can about them in order to better understand ourselves.

      Patently, for many that is not possible either because it is not possible or because they are not interested. Whether Jewish, Rastafarian, Christian, Hindu or any of hundreds of nationalities and numerous tribes, all of us can gain insight, if and where we can attain this knowledge.

      It is not required, but it is useful.

    • @Mooser,

      I really did not understand what you were saying in response to my post.

    • @Avigail,

      Just to clarify that I read your excellent responses regarding the realities of Israel and I am aware of those facts having worked alongside Israelis for many years and spent time there.

      It is of course, completely illogical as a position but logic has a raw and brutal face when we are trying to defend the indefensible as Israelis and their supporters are seeking to do.

      In pointing out the logic, to those of open mind, as are most here, one hopes that they too might question the use of the term secular or atheist Jew and consider the wrongs inherent in a system which discriminates on the basis of an illogical interpretation of religious affiliation.

    • @ Avigail,

      Perhaps I lacked clarity. I understand how Israelis/Zionists/Jews interpret being Jewish but I was making the point that being a secular or atheist Jew, no matter what people believe, is impossible.

      Those Jews who call themselves Jews are Jews because by the use of the label they remain members of the religion, but they are non-practising as opposed to secular or atheist, or they would not call themselves Jews.

      I think this was touched on before but Judaism is not unique in having religious ethnicity; a sense of tribalism etc., because it exists in other religions, but it is unique in turning what is religious metaphor into literal expression which denies the human rights and freedom of a group of people who do not belong to the religion. And it does so, purely because they do not belong to the religion.

      No doubt the need to find some impossible way to 'justify' occupation, colonisation and apartheid in Palestine, also fuels this delusional stance that a religious affiliation can be interpreted beyond the religion.

    • @Avigail,

      Great post in reply to Froggy.

      I think there were many 'useful' tips the Zionists picked up from the Nazis but I think it was Zionism, not Nazism which invented the concept of religion equating with 'race.'

      It was not hard for the Nazis to identify any link to Judaism in German citizens, but the fact remains that some Jews fought in the German army - a figure of 150,000 mentioned - and a few were members of the SS so the Germans could not have been quite as fanatical about it as we have been led to believe.

      Finnish Jews also fought alongside the Nazis.

      However, the Zionist/Israeli belief in what constitutes Jewishness is I suspect more practical than a real belief in another 'genocide.'

      Most of Israel's Jews, to my understanding, classify themselves as secular although I gather the breeding rate of real Jews is much greater and that figure may now just constitute many, but, since most Jews did not live in Israel or ever want to live in Israel, boosting numbers with Jews was difficult, unless Jewishness was made into a 'race' and one ancestor was enough to get you citizenship even if neither you, your parents or even they practised the religion.

      This is how so many Russians got to be Israelis. Find someone with a tenuous link to a Jewish ancestor who is looking for a new option and you have a ready-made pool of 'Jews' to stack the numbers in the country.

      I have read recently that many young Israelis are returning to the countries from which their parents or grandparents emigrated - mainly Russia and Germany.

      I still remain astonished that the modern world could, for so long, accept such racism and that someone with a Jewish great-grandparent gets instant citizenship and someone without, despite tracing family ancestry in Palestine back for centuries, cannot.

    • @Froggy,

      The Poms say they hate the French which is why they spend so much time there. :) I love France and never had a problem with the French, including Parisians.

    • @Mooser,

      I would just add, there are no secular Jewish communities.

      Secular means 'not connected to any religious or spiritual matters,' and Judaism is a religion so anyone retaining the use of the label, Jewish, remains a member of the religion and is connected to something which is religious.

      You can be a non-practising Jew, just as you can be a non-practising Moslem, Christian or Hindu but as long as you use the religious label you are a member of the religious community to lesser and greater degrees of course, but a member all the same.

      Those who are truly secular, drop the religion entirely and no longer call themselves Jewish, Christian, Moslem etc.

      The use of the name means that, for whatever reason you remain in the religion and therefore cannot be secular.

      Zionism invented the term secular Jew based on religious racism. It is oxymoronic and like atheist Jew, a blatant impossibility.

    • @Bornajoo,

      Have compassion for those who cannot break free. It is not easy and I suspect the younger generation are more likely to be more screwed up because they are the ones straddling the divide, belonging nowhere and that creates enormous confusion and often, anger.

      You see the same sort of thing in the children of any group who have been taught that not only do they not belong, that they are other and they must remain other.

      While Judaism has a greater foundation of 'fear of the other' and rejection of the other, there is no doubt that many religions inflict this misery on their children, and always they are the religions which are expressed in more divisive or fundamental ways.

      Hinduism, Jainism, Islam, Amish and fundamentalist Christians, all demand, like Judaism, separation from the wider community and marriage within the community and the tragedy of this is that young people grow up living in an artificial and unhealthy cocoon of belief which draws upon attitudes and prejudices centuries old, and which has no place in a modern, democratic nation.

      It is one of the worst aspects of religions which demand allegiance beyond spiritual expression.

      With such religious beliefs, members will always be 'cuckoos in the nest' of a modern, more enlightened and liberal world and that can never be psychologically healthy.

      I realise it is a fantasy but I wish for a world where religious studies are not available until the age of 18 and where all religious dress is illegal until the age of 21.

    • @ Keith,

      Brilliant comment.

    • @Avigail,

      But of course, Arab is not a nationality, there is no country called Arabstan from which Arabs come. Arab is a cultural/regional definition like European or Asian.

      But of course the Zionists would not use Palestinian which is a nationality for the indigenous people they were forced to accept as citizens, hence the erroneous use of the term, Arab.

      If one is to use the term Arab for indigenous Palestinians then Israelis should be referred to as European since most colonists came from Europe.

    • @catalan,

      You cannot compare Jews to Norwegians because Jew is a religious label and Norwegian is a nationality.

      You can compare Jews to Catholics, Hindus, Moslems, Protestants, Quakers etc., but not to a nationality.

      You can compare Israelis to Norwegians for each is a nationality.

      Jews comprise, like Christians and others, all races and dozens of nationalities. If you drop Judaism or convert to it, you do not change race or nationality - it is a religious label.

      The Zionists invented the game of 'Jewish' as nationality because many of them were secular but still believed in Jewish superiority or exceptionalism and wanted to exclude non-Jews, or those with no Jewish links, and the indigenous Palestinians in particular.

      The only way there can be a Jewish nationality is for Israel to change its name to Jewdistan. Then everyone would be Jewish although that would also remove exceptionalism.

    • @ bryan,

      Excellent post in response to Mooser.

      This particularly:

      That is why Zionism is a cure worse than the illness it addressed, yielding not security but insecurity, not peace but eternal war, not self-preservation but a new spectrum of existential threats, not contentment but paranoia, schizophrenia and institutionalized trauma.

    • @Mooser,

      You do have a tendency to misinterpret and misread.

      I did not say parents brainwashed - I said the religion did. Sure, the parents play a part but it is the influence of the religion which does the brainwashing.

      If you went to Hebrew School and participated in Bar Mitzvah then yes, you were brainwashed to some degree.

    • @Bryan,

      The problem with seeking to make the Jewish experience of holocaust greater than that of any other, or of a different magnitude is that it gives birth to the sort of religious exceptionalism which fuels the atrocities Israel commits today.

      Yes, many, probably most people believe as you do, but given the censorship on discussing the experience of Jews at the hands of the Nazis, and this is not the place to do it in any depth, the fact is that it is purely belief that the Jewish experience was 'beyond' any other and calculated in the way you suggest.

      A little research reveals that in 1933 there were around 500,000 Jews in Germany and on the eve of war, around 180,000 - many did leave Germany because the Government encouraged them to do so and actually worked with Zionists to begin the colonisation of Palestine. Most however went to the US and other countries.

      So, there is an argument to be had on how 'exceptional' their experience was but it remains largely irrelevant in face of the realities today for no exceptional experience of suffering will ever give a group the right to inflict suffering and injustice on others. That is the core point.

      Besides which, Jews are not a people, they are a religion. Poles, Roma, Russians are peoples - Jews are not, just as homosexuals, also targeted by the Nazis were not a people.

    • @Mooser,

      There is nothing clever about the dissemination of belief and neither does there need to be, particularly when someone is brought up in a religious system and culture.

      The most powerful messages a child receives are non-verbal and much of what we come to 'believe' is transferred to us unconsciously. Religions are designed to reinforced their beliefs, teachings and expectations - that is dissemination.

      Yes, it is the thread which connects because just as a person brought up as a Catholic who, as an adult opts to be non-practising, will convey Catholic beliefs to their children, consciously and unconsciously, so too will someone brought up in a Jewish culture, of any form.

      If it were not consciously or unconsciously important to that person to retain beliefs and teachings of Judaism they would drop the religion entirely and no longer call themselves a Jew, or they would convert to another religion and thereby dilute the Jewish teachings with some other form of religion.

      As someone with a great-grandparent who dropped Judaism completely, I can assure you, the Judaic attitudes and beliefs of Jewish relatives, descended from his siblings, whether they are Orthodox, non-practising or Reform, are very different to the attitudes and beliefs of the descendants of the 'drop-out.'

      Judaism is a religion. Drop it or convert to another and you are no longer a Jew. Anyone who calls themselves a Jew is supporting, expressing and maintaining, to lesser and greater degrees, the beliefs and attitudes of the religion.

      NB: that is not to say that such beliefs, experiences, attitudes may not be at work to some degree in descendants which is why family ancestry research is invaluable. It is important to know if one has Catholic, Baptist, Jewish, Cathar etc., or Irish, Armenian, Russian etc., ancestors because we carry culture with us in unconscious ways and often we can understand ourselves better if we know who our ancestors were and what sort of experiences they had.

    • @ echinococcus,

      The misunderstanding seems to arise from your definition of trauma as would be defined in a hospital emergency department, when that is not what is being raised here.

      The definition of trauma, is physical, as in a medical emergency situation of physical trauma, and also at a mental level, psychological experience of trauma, which is the trauma being referred to here.

      However, as has been learned through psychology, experiences of trauma can be handed down to the next generation and beyond through family, society, culture, religion, nation etc., and while the 'experience' or effect of the original trauma will have lesser and greater impact on individuals, it remains trauma all the same.

      I have long believed that we also have a capacity to inherit trauma and experiences, no doubt very good ones as well as very bad although the latter seem to make a more powerful template, at the cellular level and more recent research into biology and physiology is beginning to say the same thing.

      Trauma is in essence shock, deep suffering and if one has a familial culture of trauma and an inherited 'experience' of trauma and it is not just supported but encouraged by the environment, i.e. Judaism as a religion or Irish and Armenian societies with their 'refusal' to let go of the past and heal from it, then the 'trauma' will be kept very much 'alive' and handed down through centuries, if not thousands of years.

      So, to make the distinction - we have a real trauma where someone literally, physically and emotionally suffers a terrible shock, grief, pain, suffering etc.

      That trauma as a cellular experience is handed down to children and where the individual does not process the traumatic experience in a healthy way, the children will be 'encouraged' also, to not resolve or release their inherited cellular experience of trauma and will maintain it, perhaps even endowing it with greater power through familial, social or religious belief.

      Much of this is likely to be done unconsciously.

      Certainly, the individual who suffered the original trauma can be said to have suffered the most and their trauma is more real, although given the capacity for the human mind to 'block out' suffering, it may in fact be less real, at least consciously.

      But inherited trauma is real in its own way and often far more difficult to release and resolve because it is harder to identify. Just as someone who has blocked out terrible abuse as a child will find it more difficult to release an heal than someone who has a memory of the trauma, so too, can descendants of someone deeply traumatised, find it harder to heal. That then breeds ongoing dysfunction.

      As the saying goes, 'the sins of the fathers,' and I would add mothers, perhaps even more so because DNA crosses the placenta from the baby to the mother and lodges in her body and brain and DNA also crosses over to the baby, are inherited. 'Sin' being to my mind, ignorance or unresolved pain.

      I also think that logic suggests that this is what is being talked about in this article and discussion, and does not refer to the literal, personal experience of trauma anyway.

    • @echinococcus,

      there is nothing imaginary about mental dysfunction even if the 'real' causes cannot be clearly identified. There are patterns which apply to trauma and which can be identified as being at work.

      I don't think anyone was saying or suggesting this was a literal trauma suffered by each individual but an inheritance of trauma, real and imagined, handed on through religion and culture.

    • But not just fear, everything. Anything we pretend is not there or cast into the shadow, will come back to bite us and those around us… -

      I agree Avigail but I would suggest that when we pretend something is not there our motivation to do so is fear. Why would we repress anything we do not fear?

    • I also put plus for Mooser's comments. :)

    • Avigail, it is clear to most, I am sure that you are explaining and not excusing, but also important to clarify that distinction.

      I find on contentious issues that conflating the two is common. No doubt this happens more often when emotional responses are involved and many people do feel strongly emotional in regard to issues of injustice and particularly to gross injustice.

    • talknic,

      Zionism is an offshoot of Judaism and therefore inherited both the sense of being exceptional, other, superior, different etc., and the sense of being threatened by all non-Jews and the belief in trauma and victimhood, entrenched in the religion for millennia.

      Zionism may be a secular offshoot of Judaism, but it was sourced in the belief that Jews were a group, people, nation, pick a word, which should be together, i.e. colonists in Palestine in essence.

      So, while Zionists were not traumatised by the experiences with the Nazis, they had inherited the psychological trauma dysfunction of Judaism, passed down culturally even if not religiously and, given what recent research is showing, cellularly.

      However, while Jews were beginning to boycott Nazi Germany, the Zionists were more than happy to work with the Nazis to further their plans for Palestine.

      Jewish belief as I understand it, and please correct me anyone who thinks I am wrong, has taught that the true 'place' for all Jews was Palestine (or any of the religious names attributed to Palestine, like Judea etc.,) although given the opposition of orthodox Jews to the creation of a literal State of Israel, one presumes this was only ever meant as metaphor.

      Non-practising Jews as Zionists, literalised Judaism and worked for a Jewish State, one presumes, to display to others, the exceptionality of followers of Judaism.

      There were other potential sites for this 'State,' including Australia and South America, but the Zionists were pretty much fixed on Palestine. My understanding is that the Zionists talked to the Nazis about their plans for Palestine and received a 'warm' reception because the Nazis were keen to get rid of as many Jews as possible.

      Quote: The Haavara Agreement – see transcript of Circular 54/1933 of the Reich Ministry of Finance, August 28, 1933 below – was an official contract between the Third Reich authority and Zionist Authority benefiting the interests of both parties. Haavara was intended to promote both the emigration of German Jews and the export of German products to Palestine.

      In 1935 the steamer “Tel Aviv” made its maiden voyage from Nazi Germany to Haifa with Hebrew letters on its bow and a Nazi flag fluttering from its mast. The Captain of the Zionist-owned ship was a member of the Nazi Party. A passenger described the spectacle as a “metaphysical absurdity.”

      As a result of the Agreement, German exports arrived in Palestine at bargain prices with the help of Jewish capital and Jewish commerical assistance. It boosted the Nazi economy at a time when Jews worldwide were boycotting German goods. Goods worth a total of 139.5 million Reichsmark were transferred by 1939. The Agreement also made it possible to settle a large number of German Jews in Palestine. The outbreak of war in September 1939 ended the transfer practice.

    • Yonah,

      You said: I wonder what kind of combination of pressures and attempts to ease the trauma would be necessary to cajole the Jews into letting go of their security mindedness. I do not think that someone who rejects almost everything about Judaism and Jewishness can be the one to assure them that the trauma is over.

      There are many people who dropped Judaism with absolutely no sense of needing to stay in the religion for protection or because of any trauma.

      Judaism requires a belief in trauma and threat which is why many remain members of the religion even if they do not practice it - of course it would be hard to find Jews who can be assured the trauma is over, because to remain a member of the religion, requires never letting go of the belief that one is threatened, a permanent victim, or not traumatised.

      You have answered your own question. Those like Avigail, who can recognise that unhealthy aspect of Judaism have absolutely no problem letting it go and one suspects she is not alone.

      However, after thousands of years of having a religion brainwash you into believing you are exceptional and other than non-Jews and must remain so and because of your special nature, self and religion, are threatened by non-Jews, it is hardly surprising that only the strongest and most balanced will be able to break free.

    • topkyk,

      A discussion on the treatment of Australian Aborigines is off-topic but you have just so much wrong and seem to have mixed up White Australia Policy, which was about immigration and sourced in a fear of the Chinese, with indigenous issues.

      You have also mixed up only white boarding schools with a South African practice - never an Australian practice.

      Neither was white-only adoption.

      You have so much wrong that even if the digression were relevant, which it isn't, there would be no point.

      I refer you to Trove, the Australian National University site for further reading. Also try First Sources for transcripts of State and Federal Government reports and Aboriginal Protectors reports.

    • tobykyk,

      I tried to explain, and clearly failed, that my comment was in the context of comparing Israel's behaviour in this day and age and the behaviour of the US in this day and age.

      What Americans and others did in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries has to be understood in context.

      American Indians might only have gained the vote in 1924 but they gained the vote. The US has been slower than most to give rights and African Americans only struggled through finally in the 1970's. So yes, the US has been backward.

      In 2015 Israel still refuses its indigenous people the vote or rights. That was the point.

      I never said the US did not push out or kill natives. You have misread and misquoted.

      Australia did not repopulate natives to reserves from the outset. I suspect I know more about this than you do.

      When the English arrived in 1788 they had a policy of befriending and using Aboriginal knowledge. If you want to do the research you can find English Government reports to that end, before and after that date.

      From the time the English claimed Australia and sure, by modern standards they had no right to do so, but this is 1788, Aborigines under English law, were English citizens.

      Aborigines got the right to vote in Australia when everyone else did. Yes, there is much misinformation and the 1967 referendum is largely misunderstood, but they are the facts.

      I refer you to Trove, the Australian National University site for original records, articles, reports from 1788; also to the UK Government historical sites and to a site called First Sources, which contains recent transcripts of original records by Governments, States, Federal and Aboriginal Protectors, where you will find there was never a white-only policy and Aborigines were never put into reserves as American Indians were.

      The White Australia policy came into being in 1901 when English rule ended and Australia became a Federation and it had nothing to do with Aborigines. It resulted from immigration fears, mainly in regard to the Chinese, who had arrived in large numbers in earlier decades for the Gold Rush.

      Australia, no doubt because of its convict beginnings has always been more egalitarian than most. When it became independent people feared their ability to retain modern, Western, English values, and with China so close, immigration became a focus of fear and hence the policy to manage immigration.

      Policies began to be dismantled in 1949 and ended fully by 1973.

      Please cite your sources for the comment:
      .....but in fact your country had white-only and boarding school/white adoption reservation policies until the 19-70s and still has restrictions on Aboriginal communities on reservations.....

      It would be news to me.

      We do not have reservations we have communities, where a tiny minority of Aborigines opt to live in remote areas. The Government has spent between $300,000 to $500,000 putting in bores for water, providing power, building homes and facilities. For what it is worth, in WA for instance, there are 274 such communities with 12,000 people involved and some of them have as few as four residents, so not even a family, let alone a community.

      Living in such communities is optional. Most of the 670,000 indigenous do not. and nearly 70% of them are in mixed marriages with 95% of them of very mixed race, some with only one great-great Aboriginal grandparent to make them eligible to be indigenous.

      The only 'rules' which can apply would be in terms of where land rights are accorded, no-one, can enter that land unless a member of that community. This involves other indigenous and all non-indigenous.

      Indigenous Australians have every right that the rest have and more. They get additional welfare, benefits and monies for health, education, housing, sports etc.

      Australia has never had white-only boarding schools - I think you have us mixed up with South Africa, which certainly did.

      Again, what are your sources for white adoption policies? News to me. In the past children of mixed race were the ones taken into care and the only ones who wanted to adopt were non-Aboriginal. This may have changed somewhat but in the main, culturally, Aborigines do not adopt. You find similar attitudes in African cultures.

      I could not access your NSW government link but doubt a site on environment would contain anything of value in regard to Australia's colonial history.

      Aborigines were certainly dispossessed, sadly that was the way of being colonised. They were pushed out by growing numbers as they pushed out an earlier group of people on the continent.

      But Australia never had the active pressure, or force, of policy that you had in the US.

      However, like you, most indigenous have intermarried and intermixed with rates of intermarriage as high as 90% in some urban areas and most indigenous Australians living in the greater community. Australia by the way has the highest and fastest immigrant intermarriage rate of any nation and it is even higher for indigenous.

      If you want to make comparisons between US and Australian indigenous histories I suggest you do some research on the latter.

    • aimann,

      Ayn Rand had Jewish ancestry and she donated personal funds to Israel.

      Taking up Avigail's insight into the cultish nature of Judaism, a nature which seems to permeate and persevere even when people do not practice the religion, one begins to wonder how much of it might have been at work in the Russian version of communism, which contained and developed further, a truly dark side.

    • Froggy, your personal stories are powerful and the point you make with them profound.

      It is easy, if one wishes, to find cause for victimhood if being a victim provides what you perceive as benefits.

      Terrible things happen and one has a choice to make the best of them.

      However, what I do not understand is why people in the name of a religion, tribe, caste, country, nation etc. etc. would claim the mantle of victimhood because of something their parents, grandparents or distant ancestors suffered, centuries ago or thousands of years in the past.

      I mean, we don't claim guilt if a parent commits a crime, although enormous pressure has come from the Zionists to do that to Germany. One presumes when Israel is called to account for its atrocities, most Israelis will say: 'But I did not know.' And the answer will be: 'So many Germans said and they were not allowed that excuse.'

      Particularly, as citizens of democratic nations, we are responsible for what our State does. Never more so than in this age of the internet and easy information access.

      But in general, we do not call the crimes of our ancestors our own, so why call their suffering our own?

    • Avigail, well said.

      I have studied many religions, including Judaism, but gave them all up many years ago and decided to stick with God, or what I defined as God.

      I could appreciate the nuggets of wisdom in all of them, the same nuggets actually, indicating the same origin which I suspect is innate human spirituality, but as a woman the misogyny in all of them, including Buddhism by the way, turned me off.

      Sadly, all religions, at least at this point in history have more to do with men than any God and the God involved is one made in the image of those men.

      But Christianity at its best remains exceptional in embracing all, whether a part of the tribe, group, religion.

      The saying:' Do unto others as you would have them do unto you', can be found in varying form in many religions including Judaism.

      But the Christian version does stand out because it is pro-active in ways many of the others are not for they say:

      'Do not do unto others what you do not want done unto you.'

      The other interesting thing about Judaism is the influence of the Greeks on the Jews given that it was the Greeks who were instrumental in educating Jews in the Middle East and many Jews became more Greek in thought than their religion would like. Perhaps that also fuelled the rise of the Jesus stories, for they are likely to be just stories, given that no contemporary historian, scribe or official ever mentioned him.

      Jesus was not mentioned by the Romans or by Herod. The first mention came nearly 300 years later which seems a tad odd. What makes it even odder is that most of the attributes of Jesus can be traced to older saviour/redeemer gods, including birth date, miracles, family etc., like the Roman Mithras and the Egyptian Horus.

      In fact, the Catholic attributes for Mary are word for word for the Egyptian Goddess, Isis and the Lord's Prayer has been translated from Egyptian hieroglyphics.

      So, while Christianity picked up much from the pagans and the Old Testament from the Jews, most of it, certainly the Jesus material, was not Jewish, even if he did exist, but sourced in ancient Egypt and the Great Goddess religion. Christianity's Judaic roots are transplanted and flimsy.

      And perhaps this is why the Christianity, birthed in the 'Jesus teachings' was so radically different to Judaism - it did not come out of Judaism.

      Then again, the Hebrews also drew on Egyptian, Sumerian, Babylonian, Mesopotamian religions as well.

      I like to think that buried deep in all of them is the same thing - a spiritual connection which reaches beyond this material world and when we can pick off the heavy layer of patriarchal 'stitching' we will have something of value.

    • All religions have a basis for compassion, generally expressed in the responsibility to help and support others. Sadly, many also have a system of 'brownie points' for 'doing good,' and Hinduism and Jainism have turned this into something of an art form, but compassion has certainly been seen as important in all religions.

      Where Christianity was and is exceptional is that the teachings of Jesus, well, they are not actually his original teachings even if he did exist literally, but the teachings of many other saviour/redeemer Gods and Mother Goddesses - many being traced back to the ancient Egyptians- embrace everyone, regardless of religion.

      Jewish, Hindu, Moslem from my reading require compassion and charity for other members of the religion and that is it. Christianity teaches that compassion and charity should be given to all. That was exceptional two thousand years and remains exceptional today.

    • Froggy,

      The biggest problem with celebrating the escape of Hebrews from the Egyptians, beyond the fact that it never happened because despite being consummate scribes, the ancient Egyptians never mentioned Hebrews in their country, nor such an escape, which, one presumes, would have annoyed the Egyptians mightily and someone would have made a note of the event, is that it is yet another Jewish 'poor benighted us' story.

      Another fly in that 'ointment' is that at the time the Hebrews supposedly escaped from Egypt to lay waste and slaughter the Canaanites, Canaan was an Egyptian colony and no doubt, guarded by Egyptian soldiers.

      However, religious fantasies are fine since really, most religions are fantasy not history and the mistakes began to be made bigtime when people, actually men, turned fantasy into 'reality.'

      Except that this fantasy is another Jew as victim story, forever needing to flee from the evil domination of others. A religion which needs to fabricate such stories has a serious shadow.

      It is therefor hardly surprising that Israelis, locked into their religious soup of paranoia, delusion, victimhood and fear, should be utterly controlled by the shadow and turned inexorably into what the shadow expresses - all those, real and imagined, who supposedly have done them harm. How else could so much of Israeli behaviour be so like that of the supposedly greatest enemy, the Nazis? It is, pure, terrible, tragic, shadow work.

      That is the danger of religions which teach superiority and victimhood and the danger in particular of those which become cultish.

    • Mooser, I think you ran with a ball not thrown there but you made me smile.

      My question was 'how many?' What percentage? Of course people have written books, made documentaries and commented, but my question was, 'how many?'

      If say 1% or less of the American Jewish population has 'given advice' it is a very different matter to say 80% giving advice or speaking out. It is easy to ignore a small voice and harder to ignore a large one.

      Given the power of American Jews, yes,yes I know they are not a cohesive unit but let's go with something called American Jews involved in Zionism/Israeli/Jewish agendas which lobby politicians and influence Government in Israel's favour, then it means a great deal to know if a minimal number have spoken out against what Israel is, or a majority.

      I suspect, given the influence of the above cited organisations that those speaking out are a small and easily ignored minority. But I thought you might know.

    • Thanks Avigail, I am not surprised. I remain in awe of the few Israelis of courage who continue to speak out despite the vitriol and threats they receive.

      I suspect what is difficult is that US publishers have a disproportionately high rate of Jewish ownership/interests which would add further censorship. I don't know about the UK.

      But it is clear that high levels of censorship are applied often in publishing to anything which is critical of Israel, and for that matter, anything which seeks for open debate on the Jewish experiences at the hands of the Nazis.

      I mentioned before that I have Israeli friends who have said that they fear to speak, particularly during the last attack on Gaza, but it is also a fact, as anyone who takes an interest in this issue and comments widely on social media and news sites, that Zionist/Israeli/Jewish 'entities' actively seek out and attempt to silence those who speak out by hacking websites and emails.

      I can only reflect on the terrifying levels of fear which must drive such actions.

    • This piece is a classic demonstration of the power of denial in order to defend the cult!

      bumblebye, has it in one - poor little me!

      This poor, innocent, well-meaning Jew is so misunderstood and so victimised by others because they are misguided.

      He or she, I was not sure, is incapable of processing the experience in terms of the reality of Israel's occupation, colonisation and apartheid.

      Certainly, as an Israeli or Jew one can 'rationalise' apartheid and refuse to accept it and one can also 'rationalise' why Israel was established on Palestine and 'justify' it through religious history etc. etc. etc. but one cannot 'rationalise' away the reality of the occupation and the continued colonisation and dispossession of the Palestinians. Well, one can try, as the writer attempts to do so, but deal with reality, face the truth? Never.

      And this is Israel's tragedy. It has brainwashed its Jewish citizens, sought to brainwash as many Jews as it can, and rampages on with the fantasy that there is a Jewish diaspora when there is not!

      Most Jews do not live in Israel, never did and never will. And another factor in the inexorable destruction of Zionist Jewish Israel is that many young Israelis, tired no doubt of being pariahs, or aware enough to know the State is racist and rotten, are emigrating back to the countries their parents or grandparents left. One of the biggest communities is in Berlin which stands as a heartening example of the ability of human beings to heal and forgive and to move on.

    • Yes, I agree. We lose our humanity when we lose compassion for others and fail to see and honour their humanity. When this happens it is always sourced in fear but fear will never be released until it is faced.

    • I just read this and thought it might be of interest:

      National narrative under scholarly analysis
      Palestine in Israeli School Books
      Ideology and Propaganda in Education
      By Nurit Peled-Elhanan
      “Hey, guess what, young Israeli soldiers are wearing cameras on
      their helmets as they search Arab houses looking for terrorists.”
      “Really?” “Yeah, its great, you should see the pictures”. “Wow,
      that’s cool”.
      I paraphrase an overheard conversation between American visitors in a
      restaurant in Jaffa. It came to mind as I began to read this book. Remember that
      old American saying derived from General Sheridan as he suppressed the
      indigenous people in favour of settlers, ‘The only good Indian is a dead Indian’?
      Once it is believed that Indians are savage, inferior, uncivilised and a hindrance
      to the fulfilment of those with God (and a specially designed historical narrative)
      on their side it becomes much easier to pull the trigger when you have them in
      your sights.
      The proficiency in linguistics of Nurit Peled-Elhanan enables her to make points
      of historical, political, national, cultural and personal significance: points that
      engage our emotions: points that disturbingly, for some, challenge the many
      myths sustaining a system that dehumanises even the believers of those myths.
      To pull those triggers is dehumanising. To read, learn and inwardly digest this
      book just might rehumanise some of the people with fingers on triggers.
      I wonder; to how many Israeli university undergraduate booklists will this book
      be added? Will it be studied by trainee teachers? Knowing and having worked
      with some Israeli teacher trainers I have hopes that it will. The power to approve
      school textbooks does not, however, lie with them and despite attempts by a
      valiant number of Israeli academics and journalists to draw attention to the role
      of ideology and propaganda in education the official narrative continues to be
      deeply internalised.
      Some of the labels that we use in order to classify ‘others’ and to signpost the
      histories that keep us comfortable with ourselves can be misleading, even
      wrong, but also very sticky. Like the UK Israel has many sustaining myths that
      come with some very sticky labels. I doubt if there remains a serious historian
      who believes that the Romans expelled the Jews from Palestine after the
      destruction of the temple in Jerusalem or the later Bar Kokhkba Revolt and yet
      the notion of ‘returning’ after expulsion is an embedded belief-a sticky label- that
      helps legitimise the establishment of the state in a form that raises one group
      above another. And this is a state that, while reducing the status of the people it
      found there, has managed to promote the idea that it is ‘The only democracy in
      Cliff Jones Critical Professional learning
      the Middle East’. Can you be a democracy and yet raise one group of citizens
      above another? And, you might ask, how can a country claim for itself the power
      to charge its critics with being anti-Semitic when it pursues policies that humiliate
      and demonise ‘others’ who are at least as Semitic?
      You know that you have been labelled as inferior when you are forced to accept
      being re-named and re-classified by a more powerful invading group: when your
      capacity to self-define is lost to others. For example, to be labelled Welsh is to
      accept being called ‘foreigner’ in the Germanic language of the invaders of
      Britain. It is insulting but eventually you accept it because you lack the power to
      resist the new narrative. ‘Israeli Arabs’, however, whenever they cross over the
      border, refer to themselves as Palestinians. They have not accepted their reclassification.
      Nurit’s analysis of the discourse within Israeli (Jewish)
      schoolbooks makes clear that not only do two contradictory realities exist but
      that the internalisation of the official Israeli narrative is so crucial for self
      legitimacy that it must squeeze out, suppress and subdue historical narratives
      that contradict it.
      Nurit’s book reveals how Palestinians are represented negatively within the
      Israeli national narrative, specifically in school textbooks. The high quality of her
      scholarship, including the amount of carefully detailed evidence she provides,
      will make it difficult for propagators of the official narrative to attack and
      contradict her. So, we should ask, what might be the effect of this book?
      The Israeli historian Shlomo Sand’s book The invention of the Jewish people
      (2009) generated very strong pro and con reactions and, incidentally, huge
      sales in Israel. His intention to normalise or to de-exceptionalise being Jewish in
      Israel was probably weakened because in straying from his area of expertise he
      enabled those he had upset to pick holes in part of his thesis. Nurit does not
      stray from her area of expertise. She uses it on a specific topic: a topic that
      might be thought to be small and narrow but that actually unlocks matters of
      huge significance. In discussing Israel as a democracy she introduces us to the
      word ‘ethnocracy’. School textbooks reinforce the idea that Israel is an ethnically
      based state: a state for Jews: a racially ring-fenced democracy. I have often
      wondered how schoolteachers taking classes round the Diaspora Museum in
      Tel Aviv deal with the display just inside the entrance that makes the contrary
      point that Jews are racially disparate. There is plenty to argue and become
      upset about.
      What she has to say about the rationalising, even the justifying, of massacres
      carried out by Israeli forces reminds me of yet another conversation, this one
      between me and a strong supporter of the official narrative. We were arguing
      about the Dier Yassin massacre in 1948 when most of the inhabitants of a
      Palestinian village were killed. My interlocutor:
      “It is emerging now that they were warned to get out so why did
      they stay to be killed?”
      This was presented to me as a debate winning argument. It was, in other words,
      their own fault that they were killed. As Nurit explains in the book, it is not a case
      Cliff Jones Critical Professional learning
      of hiding history but, rather, a case of setting examples of such massacres
      within a discourse of what had to happen in order to establish a state for
      exceptionalised people.
      Visiting Yad Veshem, the holocaust museum, I found to be a deeply emotional
      experience. American money has since paid for its expansion. Foreign
      dignitaries are taken there. Its impact upon them must be very powerful. I bet
      that Tony Blair has been. He is, after all, charged with bringing peace to the
      area, though he has never visited Gaza. During these visits does anyone have
      pointed out to them by their guides that this museum, which remembers an
      appalling crime against humanity, which humbles us, which reduces visitors to
      tongue-tied silence, which commits us to dedicate our lives to never, ever, ever
      allowing anything like that to happen again, is built on a pleasant shallow hillside
      overlooking what was once Dier Yassin?
      Why should any of this matter to us? Is it not merely “a quarrel in a far away
      country between people about whom we know nothing”, as Chamberlain said
      about the German invasion of Czechoslovakia? It matters because “education,
      education, education” is really about “society, society, society”. Let us not fall
      into the trap of assuming that Israel is exceptional in its portrayal of and teaching
      about ‘others’. ‘British’ history is mostly ‘English’ history. The histories of, for
      example, the USA, Argentina, Brazil, Tibet or Australia are not taught to children
      from the perspectives of indigenous, invaded peoples. To do that would be
      discomforting. We are suckers for reassuring narratives. They absolve us from
      sin. Remember the profound words of that archenemy of the working classes,
      Winston Churchill: “History shall be kind to me, for I shall write it”.
      The book also matters to us because we collaborate with the distorters of history
      in an area that we have chosen to make special. The ‘Holy Land’ is not merely a
      tourist destination. We imbue it with so much meaning that the shape, nature,
      focus and intent of its discourse have the power to control how we make sense
      of humanity.

      Do buy, read, disseminate and argue about this book: a book to which I have
      done scant justice. I have used the word ‘exceptional’ a number of times. I wish I
      could say that Nurit Peled-Elhanan is not exceptional. Unfortunately, she is. I
      met her briefly when she did some work on a programme that I directed in Israel
      working with teachers across cultural, religious, ethnic and political boundaries.
      She is a co-recipient of the 2001 Sakharov Prize for Human Rights and the
      Freedom of Thought awarded by the European Parliament. I knew before I met
      her that her daughter had recently been killed by a suicide bomber. What I did
      not then know was the huge extent of her intellectual capacity to focus upon and
      reveal the power of official discourse and narrative to create the conditions for
      killing. After reading this book no one should think that discourse analysis is only
      for ivory tower academics. It has the potential to relax a few trigger fingers.
      The book is published by I.B. Tauris (
      ISBN 978-1-78076-505-1.
      This review first published in Post 16 Educator

    • tokyobk,

      Okay, clarification.

      The US gave full and equal rights to indigenous Americans and never set out to actively disenfranchise them as Israel does to the Palestinians.

      There is no doubt that in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries the colonists with the help of Government set out to take the land.

      However, as I said, you need to take that in context and in light of the times. It was not considered wrong then and it is now. And rightly so. However, we cannot turn back the clock.

      Israel was imposed on Palestine in the 20th century when people did know better. Here in the 21st century Israel maintains occupation, colonisation and apartheid - all egregious wrongs.

      No other country founded in colonisation has done that in the modern age.

    • Mooser,
      Perhaps in recent times colonies require a sponsor but not in the past. Having read quite a bit of African history in the countries where I have lived, it is very clear that tribes would travel, often very far, invade and occupy and colonise, generally killing or enslaving the people they found there.

      A modern fantasy is that only Anglos and Europeans colonised. Since American Indian DNA ca be traced to the Russian steppes, it is pretty clear they wandered across the Alaska land-bridge when it existed, and colonised, possibly killing or driving out an earlier group.

      The DNA for Australian Aborigines is the same as that of southern, Dravidian Indians, and having lived in India for many years it was something I noted and was therefore not surprise by the more recent DNA discovery. So, either Aborigines colonised southern India or Indians colonised Australia. There is an argument for the latter in that there is evidence of an earlier group who either died out, were killed, driven out or interbred.

    • Avigail, that is an excellent description of cults. And it is easily applied to Judaism in general and most, if not all, expressions of the religion.

      One of the things about which I am curious, and I see this as related to the 'cult' aspect of Judaism and Zionism, is the way many, Israelis in particular, but also Jews elsewhere, call themselves Jews when patently they are not because not only do they not practice, very often their parents and even grandparents were not practising and some even go so far to call themselves atheist which is oxymoronic in extreme.

      As someone who has traced back English Jewish ancestors to the late 17th century, and beyond to Holland and Russia, I am well aware that if someone wishes to drop the religion they can make a choice to no longer be Jewish, as my great-grandparent did. Siblings retained the religion and so did many of their descendants and so the family tree, contains today, Jews and non-Jews.

      I would add, Greek Orthodox, Lutheran, Protestant, Baptist, Huguenot and Catholic were also dropped along the way, but in no other circumstance do people label themselves as members of a religion in which they have no belief, and, one presumes, as atheists, reject in entirety.

      Why would someone who does not want to practice the religion and in essence, rejects the religion, call themselves a Jew, particularly where the only link may be one great or great-great grandparent as many Russians did to gain Israeli citizenship? Your use of the term 'cult' provides me with an answer I have long asked, because cult beliefs can permeate further, if held unconsciously.

      One other irony in Israel, and a few have touched upon this reality, is that the greatest threat to the State are the orthodox Jews, and not the Palestinians. Well, a threat to the sort of State most non-practising 'Jewish' Israelis want.

    • Mooser,

      I can't reply directly to your comment about Israelis not taking advice kindly from other Jews and you may well be right. But my question would be, or rather, what I would question, is how many Jews within the international community, have tried?

      Having followed this issue for some decades I can see that in the past decade there has been growing awareness amongst Americans in general and American Jews in particular, in regard to the reality of what Israel is and does but I doubt any strong, concerted effort has been made to try to talk some sense into Israelis, or to force some sense into them given that the 'purse-strings' which enable Israel to survive are influenced if not controlled, by American Jews in the main.

      But, if you are correct then the inevitable one-state solution will simply come into being and what happens, happens.

    • Annie Robbins,

      Such conversations are difficult because comments do not follow on and are often in response to something others have said. Clarity is difficult and no doubt I err as much as anyone.

      When I said, the first step to mental health from mental dysfunction is recognising something is wrong and taking responsibility for embarking on a healing path, I was making a general comment about what works best.

      Patently, as anyone who has lived with or worked with the mentally ill knows, many are simply not capable of this and that makes it so much harder and refers back to where Avigail made the comment that Israel is not capable of change and change must therefore be forced.

      However, it is difficult to force change on a mentally ill individual, if indeed it can ever be done, so whether that can happen to a nation is questionable.

      That is why I went on to say that it is important that those the 'patient' trusts, be involved, to soothe and calm and ease the process. This would be less necessary if the patient had the ability to recognise something was wrong and to initiate change.

      So, I don't see it as backing away since I never saw 'self responsibility' as an absolute, or even likely in the first place. But clearly I did not explain my position well enough.

      In terms of the Palestinians and the issues of peace and justice, I have never believed this issue is about peace - it has always been about justice.

      I am not convinced Israelis think it is about peace - they just use the term because it is a moveable feast of impossibility and it serves their agenda where mention of the word justice would not.

      And no, Israelis cannot be on any healing path without accepting their actions have been and are unjust and the Palestinians deserve justice.

      And Israelis will never accept that they are in the wrong until people they trust start telling them so, i.e. other Jews.

      My use of the word 'soothe' was in the context of Israelis being calmed by those they trusted, other Jews, and understanding that Jews were not at threat, that Israel was not required as a safe haven, the irony being it is the most dangerous country in the world for Jews, so they could diminish fear and then be capable of more rational thinking.

      A concept of justice requires sanity and rational thinking. Most Jewish Israelis at this point in time are neither sane, nor rational.

      I see a one-state solution as inevitable in a few years when Israel's economy is crippled by BDS. The only way to lessen the trauma, suffering and bloodshed that could involve, is by Jews beginning now to connect with Jewish Israelis and help them to a more rational place, i.e. prepare them for the inevitable.

      I was not saying that such actions of calming and soothing would bring about justice, simply that Israelis need to be calmer to even contemplate justice. There will be one-state. It is just a matter of how much more misery and suffering comes with it.

    • tokyobk ,

      If you read my post, as you suggest, you would see I was talking mainly about the wounds of the American Civil War and its history of slavery.

      I don't think a discussion on the treatment of Indians is relevant either to what I wrote, or to this thread.

      I do understand the American use of reservations, but as an Australian, I assure you, the English had no such policy from 1788 until 1901 and when an Australian Government existed from 1901, neither did they.

      I have knowledge of realities today for Canadian indigenous but do not know as much about their history as I do of the US and Australia. My understanding is the most brutal treatment of indigenous was done by the US. Having said that, the Africans have a long history of brutal treatment of indigenous and in fact began slavery because of it. I have spent decades living in a few African countries but that too is a digression.

      Thanks for the links to the site but it is of course a less than objective one. My history reading in regard to the US came from books, not the internet, and was fairly broad and academic.

    • Mooser,

      You said: That’s too bad, because there is no such thing as “American Jewry”. There are several Orthodox sects,Conservative denominations, Reform denominations, and a few others, both frum and rum. Now, since these are for all practical purposes different religions, which one were you thinking of appealing to to heal Israel’s wou…. Wait a fuckinminute, Israel is the one that’s “wounded”?

      Perhaps I have not been clear enough. When I referred to American Jewry I meant in terms of the numbers of Jews in the US, the next largest group I think to Israel, or perhaps actually the largest group of Jews because many, or perhaps most, Israeli Jews are non-practising, lapsed, calling themselves secular or even atheist, the latter two making it impossible for them to be a member of any religion, let alone Judaism.

      I was also referring to the fact that it is the large number of American Jews who fund Israeli settlements in Occupied Palestine and offer financial support to Israel, personally and through putting pressure on the US Government.

      So, the term, American Jewry did not mean that there is a coherent or contained group holding all Americans who belong to the Jewish religion, but rather that substantial and powerful group, based in the US which has most enabled Israel on its destructive path and therefore, has the most power to push Israel to move onto a constructive path.

      And the reference to Israel's 'wounds' comes from the theme of this thread and the article which triggered this conversation, i.e. A traumatized society is dangerous.

      Trauma indicates wounds, whether of individual, religion, culture or nation.

      Israel is a highly dysfunctional, at times insane, culture and society, because of the wounds it has inherited from Judaism and made worse through Zionism and its role as occupier, coloniser and apartheid State.

      Israel is mentally sick as a State and as a society and culture and that means it is wounded.

    • Yonah, I have studied cults and I do not think there is any doubt that the term applies to many forms of religious expression, whether Judaic, Christian, Islamic, Hindu and no doubt others.

      But it applies in the specific in other religions and in the general for Judaism, as Avigail has said.

      You have mentioned variations on the theme of Judaism in your family and I think what would be interesting is how many of the cult factors are at work in all of them. Having worked with Jewish Israelis and spent time in Israel, and been closely involved with European, American, British, Australian Jews, and even the occasional Indian Jew, I would say all expressions of Judaism, culturally and across your family 'board' to lesser and greater degrees, have the following cult factors:

      [1] Authoritarian Leadership - depending upon how Orthodox, this comes from rabbis but is also applied by the family and community and in the case of Israel, the State.

      [2] Exclusivism - ranging from Ultra-Orthdox, down on a sliding scale of major to lesser, exclusivity is part and parcel of all forms of Judaism, and exists in extremity in Israel.

      [3] Isolationism - to lesser and greater degrees, the Ultra Orthodox at the top and a sliding scale depending on nationality but all variations on the theme of Judaism have aspects of isolationism, of remaining separate, i.e. a demand that people marry only Jews.

      [4] Opposition to Independent Thinking - a sliding scale from the Orthodox to the Reform, with the latter having little opposition to Independent thinking. Although, having said that, it depends what the independent thinking is about and many of the most enlightened and liberal Jews will still seek to force certain views, particularly in regard to Israel and Zionism, consciously and unconsciously.

      [5] Fear of Being “Disfellowshiped” - on a sliding scale but present across the spectrum of variations on the theme of Judaism. Conscious or unconscious, the fear of being rejected by other Jews, the term 'self-hating Jew' invented by Zionism and used to cow and control.

      [6] Threats of Satanic Attack - Across the spectrum of Judaism to lesser and greater degrees, but not Satan in the Christian form, but Satan as 'others,' non-Jews, Goys. The fear of attack from non-Jews is written deep into Judaic theology and dogma and carved even deeper into Jewish religious culture.

      In terms of Israel it has entered the realms of abject and dysfunctional paranoia.

      I would say Avigail is spot-on in the use of the term, 'cult.'

    • Good post, Avigail. And you are spot-on. If Israel had not been seeking to impose the Judaic cult on others then no-one would really care what Judaism was or did because the dysfunction would be confined to members of the religion.

    • Bryan,

      I think what needs to be clarified is that there is the holocaust experience of all those who were imprisoned or killed by the Nazis - Romanies, Poles, Russians, homosexuals and members of Judaism, and there is the Jewish experience of holocaust which Zionism has sought to make particular and the only experience of holocaust as a means to 'justify' the colonisation of Palestine.

      However, given the levels of censorship on this issue, I do not think anyone can categorically claim that the Jewish experience of Holocaust transcended the sufferings of Irish, Ukrainian, Cambodians, Armenians and African Americans...

      It certainly ranks as one of the worst experiences of holocaust, but I suspect they are all equally ghastly.

      Unfortunately, maintaining the view that somehow the Jewish experience of holocaust was greater than any other and therefore exceptional and therefore grants all Jews because of it, exceptional victim status, just plays into Zionist propaganda and has been responsible for the ghastly suffering of the Palestinians for nearly 70 years.

      And Jews were not subjected to a systematic slaughter to wipe out a people because Jews are not a people, they are members of a religion, and while the Nazis had access to many they certainly did not have access to all and many Jews were not at threat even during the Second World War.

      The Nazis actually offered opportunities to be rid of Jews in Germany and in fact had discussions with the Zionists as well. Jews died in camps where Poles, Romanies, homosexuals, Russians and political dissenters also died.

      Hitler may have hated Jews but history also records he was happy to be rid of them early in the piece.

      However, it serves no good purpose to anyone, Jews, Israelis, Palestinians or the rest, to seek to make the Zionist case that somehow what happened to Jews was unique. Tragically it was not the first, worst or even worse, the last.

      Supporting the concept that Jewish experiences of holocaust make them all exceptional, also just fuels the Zionist propaganda that all Jews around the world, citizens of dozens of countries, somehow are under threat.

      Most important at this time is not a ranking of human suffering, there is plenty of that to go around, but the application of logic, common sense, reason and human decency to an appalling situation which needs to be resolved.

      In essence, what happened to Jews under Hitler, and in fact all of the,' who did what when and to whom', is irrelevant in face of the fact that Israel's occupation, colonisation and apartheid must end.

      One could argue that waving the Jewish holocaust flag is tasteless and hypocritical in light of what Jewish Israelis have done and continue to do to Palestinians, supposedly in the name of those Jews who suffered under the Nazis.

    • just,

      thanks for taking the time to comment on my posts. This is a complex issue and one never knows if connections are being made. Unless someone says so.

    • Citizen, a 'mother' country is not required for one to be a coloniser. The definition of coloniser is
      " One who settles in a new region."

      The presumption that a 'mother' country is required to be a coloniser is an invention of Zionist Israel as part of the propaganda campaign to pretend Israelis are not colonisers, because they were not 'sent' from another country.

      If it is correct that we all began in Africa, then all human beings, bar a few not yet identified Africans, are descended from colonisers. Many parts of the world were below sea-level much longer than others, so, one presumes, their colonisation came later.


      the policy and practice of a power in extending control over weaker peoples or areas

      Israel is undoubtedly a colonial enterprise, involving colonists, mainly European, and engaging in still, colonial rule.

      However, it really is unimportant splitting hairs on the issue given that, in the modern age, occupation, colonisation and apartheid are considered to be wrongs.

    • Yonah,

      Avigail is opposed to what Jewish identity and Judaism have become because it is destructive, and unjust.

    • Yonah, pointing out what is wrong about an individual, nation, culture or religion does not mean one is opposed to them.

      Avigail identifies the 'cultish' aspects of Judaism which has become more extreme in Zionist Israel. All religions are imperfect and all have done great damage and many still do.

      My sense is that Avigail is not about Jewish identity but about destructive, unhealthy forms of Jewish identity. I see the goal not as being without religion or converting to another religion but about making Judaism the best and healthiest it can be.

      There is no doubt that a paranoid belief in victimhood and suffering is unhealthy. There is no doubt that any group, religious, racial or State which encourages a belief in the inferiority of others, is unhealthy and potentially dangerous. The worst of Judaism does this. Zionism is the worst of Judaism.

      And what is wrong with being modern? The backward aspects of all religions, including Judaism are misogynistic, unjust, racist, bigoted and intolerant. The modern world is a more enlightened world than it was twenty, thirty, fifty years ago and far more so than centuries in the past. Religions must also evolve and develop and become more enlightened if they are to survive.

    • Avigail, Scotland is wonderful - and yes, you are either suited to cooler climes or warm.

      But, as an Australian, who has lived around the world in fact, I think it is a tad harsh to include Australia as a coloniser in the same breath as Palestine.

      Australia has done what other colonisers like the US, Canada, NZ etc., have done and admitted to the wrongs inherent in is foundation, although I would say, wrongs as judged from today and not from the times, and accorded full and equal rights to its indigenous people, and in fact, more rights.

      As well as a PM saying sorry and spending billions, averaging $12billion annually today, in trying to resolve problems in the small minority who are still struggling, and handing back huge tracts of land - 20% of the continent I think. Nearly 70% of indigenous Australians are in mixed marriages and most of them are more Anglo, European, African, Asian than Aboriginal, which means racism has not been an issue on either side.

      It is a digression, I know, but I thought your throwaway line had a high potential for misunderstanding.

      Every nation on earth exists because of colonisation, including Scotland, it is just long ago and far away. Either the Scots colonised Ireland or vice-versa and the Scots anyway are Celtic, like the Irish, and are not home-grown. Well, since we all began in Africa, none of us are except perhaps for a few Africans.

      Enjoy Scotland. I have ancestors from there - Glasgow and Edinburgh in the main and have always liked the Scots, as adventurous (colonisers in many places); but intelligent and with a strong sense of justice and human rights, perhaps less so when they were colonising Australia, Canada, US, NZ, South Africa etc. :)

    • Avigail, I know Shlomo Sand's writings, although I have not read the book cover to cover but yes, I should.

      I also know that there is no Israeli citizenship but that the birth certificate says Jewish or Arab.

      Jewish is a religious label and Arab is cultural. Neither are a race or nationality.

      The Zionists, who were largely non-practising, or lapsed, more commonly called secular, clearly wanted to find a way to exclude those who were not Jewish, one presumes because they believed that even one distant Jewish ancestor conferred 'superiority' of some kind.

      Thinking about this, and here is the irony, that Israelis are always complaining that people are trying to make them illegitimate and yet in having no Israeli nationality or identity they make themselves illegitimate.

      With a great-grandparent who dropped Judaism to marry a good Scottish Protestant, I have always been appalled at the concept that I could probably make a case for Israeli citizenship and yet someone whose great-grandparent was driven out of Palestine after their family had lived there for thousands of years, could not.

      Zionism was founded in religious bigotry and racism in ways which should never have been tolerated and which can no longer be tolerated.

    • While not American, I have spent a lot of time in the country with friends and family there, and read a lot of American history.

      My sense is that the US has two unhealed wounds - the Civil War being the worst of them, and slavery. Both are of course connected although it is not true that the Civil War was about slavery even though most believe it was.

      The American experience of internecine conflict was truly traumatic and not just because it split families and turned brother against brother etc., but because the US was a nation founded on myth and fantasy and high levels of naivete about what the nation was and was meant to be.

      The level of slaughter in the Civil War was truly terrible. The Civil War in terms of death was not just an American tragedy, it was a human tragedy. I think on a per capita basis it was the bloodiest civil war in history. One in four soldiers who went to war, never returned.

      Quote: The Civil War was America's bloodiest conflict. The unprecedented violence of battles such as Shiloh, Antietam, Stones River, and Gettysburg shocked citizens and international observers alike. Nearly as many men died in captivity during the Civil War as were killed in the whole of the Vietnam War. Hundreds of thousands died of disease. Roughly 2% of the population, an estimated 620,000 men, lost their lives in the line of duty. Taken as a percentage of today's population, the toll would have risen as high as 6 million souls.

      In terms of trauma, the young nation - the equivalent really of an adolescent - suffered at levels beyond imagining. I think that wound has been an unconscious bond with Jews and Israel.

      And, like Judaism, American mythology has taught that this is a group of people 'chosen by God' and who are 'a light unto the world.'

      'How could God do this to them? How could such a terrible war happen to people who were sent to be a light unto others? How could such good and noble people deserve such suffering?' Etc. etc.

      It is perhaps not surprising that the US has long supported Israel without question, nor that Americans have been less curious than others, at least until recent years, to ask questions about how Israel was founded and how it functioned.

      It is also not surprising that many illegal Israeli settlers are American and that combining the two cultures, American and Israeli, has increased levels of fanaticism.

      The combination of American unresolved trauma and Jewish unresolved trauma has created not just dysfunction, but often, insanity and an incapacity to reason.

      Which suggests, and not just because of their numbers, that American Jewry has the most important role to play internationally in seeking to heal Israel's wounds.

    • Well, in my experience committing someone who is mentally ill is really only a stop-gap solution to provide breathing space and an opportunity to put in place a plan for healing. It is the same with medication for severe mental dysfunction which can get people over a 'hump' but is not a solution in itself and in fact, if treated as such, can do more harm than good.

      I don't think those who are mentally dysfunctional should be gaoled and no, we cannot do it with a country. In truth, we are severely limited in what we can do with a country and that is why increasing involvement by Jews is so important because one presumes, if anyone can 'reach' Israelis, they can.

      Where mental illness serves a purpose it can help if the purpose is removed. With Israelis, they believe the purpose is to 'protect' a safe haven for all Jews in the world, despite the fact that even during Hitler's time, not all Jews were threatened anyway. In addition, Israelis believe the Arab world is a threat, and Iran, ignoring the fact that Iranian Jews have largely refused every entreaty to move immigrate.

      The more that Jews, internationally, can get the message across that no, we don't need an Israel as safe haven, and in fact what Israel is and does gives Judaism and Jews a bad name, the less 'purpose' Israel will have and the more opportunity it will have to simply be itself - a nation founded through colonisation, which has a right to continue to exist, as did all, but which does not have a right to continue to exist as an occupier and coloniser, nor as an apartheid State.

      I suspect there is a greater chance of bringing the weight to bear of Jews internationally than changing the minds of international Governments. That influence from Jews can lay the foundation for a peaceful transition when BDS brings about a one-state solution.

      And when Jews internationally can assure Israelis, who have been brainwashed to believe that all Jews are always under threat, that there is no threat being a citizen in most, if any countries around the world, the more Israelis will calm down, relax and lose their paranoia and that will enable people to make reasoned decisions about what they want to do and where they want to live when a one-state solution is put in place.

      I see the increasing involvement of Jews worldwide on this issue as not just saving Israelis and Israel from the worst of itself, but saving the integrity and soul of Judaism and of Jews, who do live in the shadow of Israel, whether they want to or not.

      First we must soothe and calm the 'patient' and that can be best done by those the 'patient' most trusts. For Israel that is other Jews.

    • bintiba, thank you for your comment.

    • I have also long been interested in this issue and also interested in the mythologies which underpin cultures. We all have them and I think gaining some understanding of the core myths in any national or religious culture takes us a long way toward understanding how things become as they are and why people do what hey do.

    • Brian,

      Given the necessity for brevity, I think Avigail's argument touches upon factors at work, as opposed to offering a complete explanation.

      Unresolved trauma, whether in an individual, nation, culture or religion, is most common when there is a capacity to survive, if not thrive, without resolving any trauma and more so when the trauma serves a purpose.

      For an individual, the role of victim and 'sufferer' can be a means of managing, if not controlling their world and those around them.

      In the case of Israel, a nation founded, so everyone believed and as Israeli colonists had to believe, because of trauma suffered by others and the dangers of being a victim, it was a requirement, from the beginning, that Israel as a nation and Israelis, well, Jewish Israelis, had to continue to stand as the most traumatised and the most victimised people in human history.

      It was and is irrelevant as to how much truth there might be in that belief, but, without the belief, without the capacity to remain victim, Israelis would have had to face the full and brutal reality of what they were doing and what was being done in their name, i.e. the murder and dispossession of the Palestinians in the first place and the continued dispossession, murder and subjugation of the Palestinians.

      Now, realities can be denied and expelled from consciousness but they will always be present in our unconscious and subconscious, to lesser and greater degrees. Repressed in such a way, they simply become stronger and stronger and will be expressed unconsciously whether wanted or not.

      The more the truth of Israel's foundation was denied and repressed, the more powerful became the need for victimhood, and the more necessary it became for that 'reality' to become bigger, greater, deeper, worse than any other. How else can terrible wrongs done to others be justified without one calling upon an even more terrible wrong for one's self.

      So, yes, many people do suffer terrible traumas and many do get over it, but not when there is a conscious and unconscious demand that they cannot get over it.

      From the moment that Zionist soldiers began ridding Palestine of its people and Zionist settlers began moving into Palestinian homes and onto Palestinian land, the myth-making began which would make living with the truth of the State's foundation, bearable.

      As time went on and others did not speak up in defence of the Palestinians, or to condemn Israel for what it was doing, the State and its Jewish citizens, settled back into a cocoon of enabling that could only ever get worse.

      What is interesting is why so many Jews who had never suffered persecution, as was the case for many living in the US, UK, Australia, Canada and elsewhere since the mid 19th century, should have supported Israel and its treatment of the Palestinians for they had no inherited trauma to call upon.

      The fact that many, not all, but many, chose to pick up the 'mantle' of victimhood, fits with what Avigail is saying. Perhaps it was a shared dream of Judaism, and let's remember, most people around the world supported the Israeli State in the beginning, although most had absolutely no knowledge of the wrongs done to create it, which found fertile soil in a religion which, had always seen itself as 'other,' as separate and as victim. You only have to stand at the Wailing Wall and listen to a litany of wrongs done to Jews thousands of years in the past to understand that Judaism has a culture of victimhood.

      So, with a religious culture ready to receive a Zionist/Israeli culture of victimhood, and a closed society dictated by the religion (as by the way many religions do) which made an open and pluralist society impossible; a need for war so more of Palestine could be taken which fuelled the sense of being threatened; a need to subjugate the Palestinians and keep them a minority (which of course they never were and still are not) which also fuelled fear and a sense of being victimised, even though it was self-inflicted; an unconscious if not conscious awareness that what they were doing was wrong, which fuels guilt, which fuels fear, which fuels anger, which fuels victimhood and further separates, the ingredients were all in place from the beginning to make Israel what it is.

      The only thing which could have saved Israel from itself was honest criticism from the world at large and that did not happen and has yet to happen fully. A Zionist Israeli State sourced in religious bigotry was always doomed. Some Jews and some Israelis always saw that. More Jews can see it now, but so much damage has been done by decades of silence and enabling.

      Another curious question is why the US, the one nation, because it basically funds Israel's survival, which could have taken a stand and brought Israel to a place of reason long ago, has done nothing but sit back and watch this 'slow motion train smash.'

      Whatever the factors at work, as Avigail says, Israel is incapable of helping itself and incapable of bringing change and that means, change and justice must be forced upon it, peacefully, through BDS.

    • I wonder if there is still a lot of guilt in Europe or whether the pressure from the Zionist/Israeli quarters and to a lesser degree, Jewish quarter, maintains an illusion that two generations and more on, people still feel guilty.

      European guilt pre-supposes a collective nature which is not a reality and never has been, even with the establishment of the EU.

      I don't think the Spanish for example, or the Belgians or Scandinavians feel guilty for what Germany did in the Second World War, or even the French. I am not even sure Germans feel guilty anymore and why should they? The Japanese do not flail themselves for wrongs done by their ancestors.

      I suspect pressure to censor open discussion of the Jewish experience of holocaust has people mouthing politically correct responses but I seriously doubt that guilt is present. Particularly given the hypocrisy which now stares the world in the face in general, and the Germans in particular, of Israel's behaviour in the name of Jews and Judaism.

      Then again, if Germans today were immersed in guilt for the actions of others in the past, it would represent the same sort of emotional and psychological dysfunction which is so damaging in Israel. A healthy psyche processes and releases guilt, shame, regret and I suspect many of those Germans who were actually involved in any wrongs have done that.

      I see no reason why their children or their grand-children should inherit any of that guilt. No doubt, culturally and at cellular levels they have been influenced by the experiences of their ancestors but that does not make them responsible.

      The Germans have been 'flayed' for too long for the wrongs of the past, to a degree where it becomes meaningless and for some tedious and unfair. It is a pity, I believe, that open and frank discussion and questioning of the Jewish experiences at the hands of the Nazis, has been prevented in many countries and generally censored, to lesser and greater degrees around the world, because it is only when we can talk, freely, openly, honestly and question everything, that we can begin to heal. That applies to individuals, nations, cultures, societies and religions.

      How could Zionist and Jewish Israelis, carrying on their shoulders an 'ark' of memory, bolted tightly shut, ever come to terms with the contents and the memories when it was deemed not to be revealed? Psychological health comes from opening such 'boxes' and carefully sifting through each memory and experience so that they can be seen clearly, processed and released.

      It is the shadow denied which in time controls us and Israel stands as a classic truth of that psychological reality, enabled as the State has been, by a world which has not cared enough to say: 'You must look. Yes it will hurt, but you must look.'

      For no event or circumstance can ever be fully understood unless we understand the parts played by all concerned. Israel's tragedy is that it has never had any true friends.

    • For one thing, when Americans treated Indians badly it was a different age and time with different view of indigenous people and in fact, different views of colonisation. That does not make it right but it needs to be considered in light of the times.

      In addition, Americans never set out to actively disenfranchise Indians and Indians were given full and equal rights as citizens.

      Much of the worst of the genocide against the Indians was the result of a greater force of colonists conflicting with a resisting force of indigenous, as opposed to a conscious, concerted effort to refuse them freedom or justice.

      Having said that, the Indians were a minority, as were other indigenous in most colonising nations. It is Israel's 'poor' fortune that the indigenous were and remain a majority, as it was for the South Africans. Then again, each knew that fact when the began their colonial ventures.

      Israel was founded centuries later, in a more modern age where there was an understanding of the wrongs of colonisation, particularly in regard to indigenous rights, and the Zionists set out from the beginning to drive out as many Palestinians as they could and to create a situation where they could never have any real say or power, for reasons, Avigail cites above.

      Neither did the US, or for that matter, other colonisers like Australia, Canada, New Zealand push their indigenous into concentration camps and bantustans and kill them if they resisted, as Israel does.

      Even South Africa, which did push indigenous into bantustans, did not lock them into concentration camps like Gaza and bomb them if they resisted.

      The brutal force of Israel's occupation must place it as the most venal and murderous of any in the modern age - certainly of any democracy.

    • Sibiriak, having also spent a lot of time in Russia I agree with you. Good comment.

    • Yes, a lot of sense and you touch on one of the core problems referring to Jewish ethnicity. There can and is, of course ethnicity in religions, all of them to lesser and greater degrees, i.e. a group with common national or cultural tradition.

      Catholics have an ethnicity which is different to Anglicans, for instance, but the difference with Judaism, although really it is Zionism, is that the term has taken religious metaphor and made it literal and embraced ethnicity as national, i.e. a people or nation.

      I don't know if the Zionists did this on purpose but since many, maybe most, were non-practising Jews, later called secular, perhaps they did in order to seek to make Jewish more than a religious label, despite the fact that if one drops the religion or converts, one does not change race or nationality.

      The Zionists sought to make being Jewish racial, when of course it is not because Jews, like Christians comprise all races and hundreds of nationalities, and in the doing they mad it elitist and encouraged a belief that anyone with a Jewish ancestor, even a grandparent or perhaps great-grandparent, was superior to one without, which is how so many Russians got instant citizenship in Israel.

      It was and is of course religious racism which immediately disenfranchised most of the Palestinians who were Muslim or Christian. There were a few Jewish Palestinians who immediately became Israelis but most were forever locked out because they were of the wrong religion.

      Israel does not actually represent Jews or Judaism although it claims to do so. It represents Zionism which is an offshoot of Judaism, although one devoid of religion since it allows secular or even atheist Jews, a religious impossibility. But it does so in order to increase numbers to maintain a majority.

      There does seem something very wrong in a system which allows a European with one Jewish grandparent, who does not practice Judaism, to have citizenship in Israel when a non-Jewish Palestinian holding keys to his family home in Jerusalem, cannot.

      Getting the terminology correct is crucial. Most Jews do not live in Israel and never did and never will. This is not a conflict between Jews and Muslims; or Arab indigenous and European colonists, this is a conflict between Israelis and the indigenous people of the land they have colonised.

    • Perhaps a better comparison are Romanies, who, while not discriminated against because of their religion as Jews were, suffered on a per capita basis at even higher levels because of their race.

      The Romanies are still often discriminated against and yet they seem not to have created a culture of trauma and victimhood.

      Which is where Avigail's point comes in that Judaism has provided fertile soil, tilled deeply by Zionism, for a trauma which can never heal and a victimhood which cannot be relinquished.

    • Well said, and the support and even encouragement by the US and other nations is shameful.

    • Avigail provides great insight into what is at work in Israeli dysfunction, but I would just make the point that the oppressed and subjugated have justice on their side and that makes people strong and resilient.

      The Palestinians have justice on their side and have always had justice on their side and that makes it easier. They are resisting, fighting, dying for their rights and their land. They are suffering with purpose.

      I have no doubt that beyond the one-state solution they will have work to do but just as soldiers fighting in a just war suffer less mental trauma, so do those fighting to free themselves from occupation.

      Israel on the other hand is in the wrong and as the occupier has always been in the wrong. Human beings in general are not silly and even where people may apply huge levels of denial, they still know, unconsciously if not consciously, when they are doing wrong.

      The European Zionists arrived as colonists following on Zionist soldiers killing and dispossessing Palestinians. They moved onto their land and into their homes. Such actions rarely make for a soul or psyche at peace.

      Since then, because Zionism demanded a majority of Jews so Jews could remain in control, non-Jewish Israelis have been treated as second-class citizens and the remainder of the Palestinians have been held under military occupation which has become more brutal with every passing year.

      Israeli's have developed a split personality by necessity because they have been told there were no Palestinians and yet they are all around them. Most know that occupation is wrong and so is colonisation and yet they must force themselves to support it, or, risk what they are told is annihilation by doing what every other colonising nation has done - one state with equal rights for all, where Jews are not in control.

      South Africans had the same fear of blacks which is why they created apartheid. All of it is sourced in the most terrible fear and fear breeds and demands irrationality.

      I suspect so many Israelis have come to hate Palestinians, and anyone visiting cannot ignore how openly that hatred is expressed, not because they really believe they are sub-human, or that they never really existed and have no right to be there, but because they stand as a silent, constant witness of Israel's wrongdoing. Few humans are able to feel good about themselves when they know they are acting badly.

      Behind anger is always fear and often, by the side of fear is guilt.

    • This is an excellent article and a reminder that whatever can be done to begin a process of healing before the one-state solution becomes a reality, as it will through BDS, will be crucial in reducing suffering when it happens.

      Having long studied psychology and Judaism and the history of this conflict, these are conclusions I reached long ago. More so having spent time in Israel and working with Israelis.

      But just as it is difficult to help someone who is mentally dysfunctional if they do not believe there is anything wrong with them, so it is even harder with a culture, society and nation. The first step to mental health from mental dysfunction is recognising something is wrong and taking responsibility for embarking on a healing path.

      I could not agree more in regard to the enabling. Israel has done what it has done, does what it does and has become what it is because it has had no true friend to speak the truth. Israel has been aided and abetted on this path by dysfunctional individuals, whether Zionist, Jewish or Christian and by nations with their own agendas. Although since nations do not have friends, they have interests, the latter is not surprising.

      Israel has been locked into a soup of fear, paranoia, dysfunction, propaganda and denial where the existence of the Palestinians and their rights as the indigenous people of the land on which Israel sits have been too long denied in the name of religious prejudice.

      Just as someone who is mentally ill finds a place of safety and will fight if anyone tries to draw them out, so does a nation. The world has created the Israel we see today and the world now needs to find a way to fix the problem, to heal the sickness.

      We can have an individual committed if they are a danger to themselves or to others but we cannot do that with a nation. Other ways must be found to break through to those few Israelis who have remained functional, and to connect with the many, who would be functional if they did not feel so frightened.

      I have been told by more than one friend in Israel that those who speak out against what Israel does are threatened and vilified. That must end, for the sake of all involved. Perhaps it is time for those who consider themselves to be friends of Israel to speak the truth.

  • We must break out of the paranoid survival myth
    • Israel is not a mini-superpower by any stretch of the imagination. Israel is in many ways a satrapy of the US and it could not survive without having the superpower which is the US, popping it up. Neither could it survive without the billions of dollars the US provides to fund it as a colonial enterprise.

      Israel is a tiny country with very little in the way of natural resources and it has acted in ways to ensure the resentment if not hatred, of those it needs most - the indigenous people of the land it has colonised, and its neighbours in the region.

      South Africa was bigger, richer, stronger and more independent than Israel can ever be and yet BDS crippled its economies in 17 years. We are about 7 years into BDS for Israel and it will be unlikely to hold out for many more.

      South Africa could provide itself with food, fuel and water. Israel cannot.

      Israel has served a purpose as a US military 'base' in the Middle East but that has only been important because of oil. With the US now becoming able to provide all of its required energy, with some left over to sell, Middle Eastern oil is less important. That makes Israel less important. Nations do not have friends, they have interests.

      In addition, while being slow on the uptake, the US has finally realised that China has been busily going about its business in Africa and that the US focus needs to be, not on the Middle East but on China.

      Another factor is that many American Jews are growing tired of being caught in the putrid backwash of Israel's behaviour and in fact some 70% of younger Jews are marrying out. The older generation who held dreams and fantasies of Israel and kept handing over money, are dying out. The younger generation do not want to know and most do not want to be Jewish.

      In addition, at some point it will dawn on the Americans that in fact their greatest threat is neither Russia nor China, but the potential for violent dissent within the nation itself.

      With 318million Americans armed with 300million guns, many of them military weapons and levels of poverty and semi-poverty the highest of any developed nation; working conditions and wages for many at Third World levels; a fear and hatred of Government unknown in any other developed nation; a crumbling infrastructure which will add more chaos and inconvenience to the pot, and an increasingly informed and angry population who want the Israeli billions spent at home, US policy will change and it might change quickly.

      Every nation needs to look first to itself for stability and anyone and everyone will be sacrificed to that cause if need be, including Israel.

      The 'special relationship' will end in a week at the point that Americans in general begin to resent the money and lives spent on Israel and the disproportionate power wielded over their Government by Jews, Zionists and Israelis.

    • aiman, I appreciate and I am touched by your comment.

    • CigarGod, Islam is 600 years younger than Christianity. It is also, largely a religion of less developed, if not backward countries.

      If we looked at what Christianity was doing in 1415 we would have a better comparison. Ditto for Judaism, a religion with its own history of aggression and violence.

    • Mooser,

      A sense of or pretension to, superiority are the same thing.

      Of course the sense is a pretension because no-one is superior to anyone else, certainly not because of a religion. We can see some people are superior in terms of their behaviour and some cultural, religious, national, social practices are inferior to others but as human beings we are all equal, at least in terms of our value as human beings.

    • Mooser,

      You said: There’s a little problem there, I think. Since antisemites have, at one time and another, accused Jews of everything, anything, and then some, and in every possible context, (individually, as a religion, as organized groups of some kind within the Jewish people, whatever) any indictment of Israel or Zionism is bound to resemble an antisemitic indictment in some way. Not sure there’s a way around that. But I know it can’t confer any immunities.

      This is a good point, although those who take an 'anti' position, whether it is religiously based as anti-Semitism is, or racially based, or politically based (more common in the US than elsewhere); or tribally based, do tend to accuse the 'other' of everything, anything and then some because that is how the 'other' can be retained as enemy.

      When this is taken too far you get beliefs that the 'other' is subhuman, as many believed of African Americans; Nazis believed of non-Aryans; many Israelis believe of Palestinians.

      But the problem with 'anti-semitism' as a form of racism, for racism is racism whether racial, religious, tribal etc., is that because of the Zionist/Israeli exploitation of the Jewish experience of holocaust at the hands of the Nazis, the term is even more inflammatory.

      Some countries will not allow open discussion of the Jewish experience of holocaust and those who try are called anti-Semitic as a given. Zionist Israel has taken it a step further, because it wants people to believe it represents Jews and Judaism - it doesn't - by labelling those who criticise Israel as anti-Semitic. The inappropriate use of the term and its overuse has rather diluted its power or relevance.

      The use of the term is in the main, not sourced in any reality but is an attempt to censor comment and criticism of Israel. This is a particularly Zionist/Israeli approach.

      Many people criticise the US for its wars against Iraq and Afghanistan and its use of drones, but that is not interpreted as being anti-Christian because the nation claims to be Christian. It is not even interpreted as being anti-American, simply because it is a valid criticism and statement of fact.

      Many people criticise strongly the worst aspects of Christianity or Islam, or even Hinduism, but they are not then labelled 'anti,' that religion.

      Calling those who question the negative aspects of Judaism and/or Israel is not anti-Semitic and calling it so, will not make it so.

    • Annie Robbins,

      Perhaps I should have clarified, but one would have thought that the 'sense of being superior' was a logical extension of the Judaic teaching that Jews are 'chosen.' I don't know about you but my sense of anyone 'being chosen by God' in a religious sense gives a sense of superiority, conscious or unconscious.

      It also creates a sense of being 'other,' and needing to remain 'separate,' and it is very clear that all of this is at work in Israel where the only reason why we are having this conversation is because Israel has refused to do what every other coloniser has done and create one State with equal rights for all.

      Why? Because Israeli Jews believe they must be a majority and in control? Why? Because non-Jews are inferior. Anyone who spends time in Israel or works with Israelis cannot help but be aware of this sense of superiority.

      Logic suggests, that those Jews, and most have done and many still do, also support this maintenance of control and for the same reasons.

      I could have qualified by saying that in times past Catholics and Protestants had similar senses of superiority but it was never entrenched in their religions in quite the same way it has been and is in Judaism.

      That is a statement of fact and stretching it to anti-Semitism, is, to my mind, the acts of those looking to find anti-Semitism where it does not exist.

      Anti-Semitism is being hostile toward Jews because of their religion. I do not believe my statements could be interpreted in that light since they were sourced in something the religion actually teaches.

      The definition is,


      1.higher in rank, status, or quality:

      I do not think anyone can deny this is how most Israelis see themselves in regard to non-Jews, and in this case, the Palestinians.

      And to me it is logic that if members of Judaism support Israel without voicing concerns that they see it in the same way.

      I did not mean it to apply to all Jews in the world but I thought that was a given since we are here discussing Israel. Of course not all Jews are like this and I count many as friends and family who do not.

      Neither was my alternative, universally applied. Yet again there is a situation where people have interpreted according to sensitivities of their own and not objectively, nor in context.

      What you call my premise is not my premise, it is your projection resulting in a misinterpretation of what I was saying.

      I did not present it as inherent nature - you interpreted, or misinterpreted what I said to reach that conclusion.

      And no, I was not at all suggesting that about Lilian. My comment was general, not personal, and not as you perceive it.

      But yes, I should have clarified given the capacity for such misunderstandings on the topic.

      And inferiority complexes are always the shadow of superiority and vice-versa. Any group, which, for any religion, believes it cannot marry 'out' of the group and is in fact traumatised when children do, will be in the grip of such shadows. This is something I have seen a work in Hindus in regard to caste and in many Jews in regard to their religious beliefs. It is not unique to Jews by any means and is part of the human condition where people come to believe that they must be exceptional, i.e. other, apart, separate, different - superior, for that is what it means at core, whether that is recognised or not.

      And of course, as I have already said, it is not particular to Judaism or Jews. And in truth, if Zionist had never existed and Palestine had never been colonised, I suspect Jews like Hindus would have worked through the 'separation' demands of their religion as many others have done and as everyone ultimately must do if we are to live in a civilized world.

      The problem for Judaism is that Zionism has turned this component of the religion into the core of their version of the religion and from that has come the worst of human nature and actions. And because Zionism and Israel claim to speak for Jews and Judaism, the religion and its followers have been caught in the backwash, particularly since many, if not most, have been silent for most of the past six and more decades as those wrongs have been inflicted on the Palestinians.

    • The problem is not Judaism as long as those who speak for Judaism and Jews around the world speak out against Zionism and Israeli apartheid.

      That has begun to happen and that is good, but Israel is where it is today and in the mess it is in because not enough spoke out sooner. Israel has become what it is because of silence and support from Jews around the world.

      I am not sure it can be kept completely separate, unless Jews in the main take a clear stand on the issue. And even then, all of those responsible for what Israel has done and has become must be accorded a share, whether Jews, Christians or nations which, through omission or commission, have allowed Israel to do things which would never have been tolerated in any other colonising nation.

      Israel has not created itself. Zionism alone has not created Israel. Many have played a part.

    • Lillian, one of the enormous difficulties with this issue, for Judaism, Jews and anyone interested in justice for the Palestinians and a better life for that matter, for Israelis, is that the definition of anti-Semitism is so blurred and wrongly applied.

      What was the slightest bit anti-Semitic, subtle or not, about what I said? As a student of psychology I know that few things can ever be resolved or healed, unless they are brought out of the shadow.

      Zionism grew out of Judaism and claims to represent it. Understanding what it was and is in Judaism which could give birth to Zionism and all done since in its name to the Palestinians, is vital if change is to be wrought.

      When the term anti-Semitic is flung into the ring, and I know Americans have more of a kneejerk reaction in regard to such perceived prejudice than many other cultures, it really is a form of censorship.

      Unless you clearly articulate where you perceived a 'tinge' of what you call subtle anti-Semitism and can make a case for it, then the claim serves only to censor and edit and that does not serve anyone's cause, neither Judaism's or Israel's.

      Your goal is freedom in Palestine and Israel but the best way to achieve that is to connect with Jewish Israelis responsible for what has happened and what is happening - and we all know things have gotten a lot worse - and that can only be done by tracing the origin of the beliefs and attitudes which had set them on this path.

      There will be freedom for the Palestinians, that is inevitable. But unless Israelis and their Jewish supporters are a part of that process, and that requires understanding, then world opinion through BDS will impose a one-state solution. Without high levels of understanding and healing, that outcome may cause huge suffering for many.

    • Is not one of the major problems the concept that followers of Judaism constitute a people?

      One can argue that all religions constitute 'people' a metaphor, but this has been literalised in Judaism and Zionism to create an environment where non-Jews can never be included because there is a singular discrimination in regard to Jews being a people.

      No other religion has done this and while one may theorise as to why Judaism has, the fact remains, that the concept of Jews as a people, and some even say nation, is what fuels the sense of elitism which refuses to allow non-Jews to be included in Israeli society in any equal way.

      Judaism, like Christianity and other religions, takes converts and always has and that is why Jews comprise, like most religions, all races and hundreds of nationalities. Beyond religious metaphor, Jews are neither a people nor a race although Zionism talks as if they are, and it is this belief which has prevented Israel from doing what all other colonisers have done and what is both just and sensible, creating one state with equal rights for all, indigenous and colonised.

      Israel demands Jews remain in control, in essence, a minority with superior rights to non-Jewish Israelis and this position is founded on the belief that Jews are a separate entity and must remain so.

      I have no doubt that American Jews would be horrified if that nation established a concept of itself as a Christian State, opting not for democracy but for theocracy, and rendering all non-Christians second-class citizens and yet this is what many Jews have supported in Zionist Israel.

      An enlightened, modern nation, embraces all religions and agnostics, atheists as one and as equal citizens and that is because while some religions may also be elitist, none separate themselves with the concept of being a 'people' or a 'nation' simply because they share a religious affiliation.

      Jews are no more a people than any other religion and as a religion have no rights to a homeland. This Zionist belief has created the misery and injustice that we see today and this belief, in all its forms, Judaic and Zionistic, must be discarded for the sake of the Palestinians, and one could argue, for Judaism and Jews.

      If one drops Judaism one does not change race or nationality and neither does one if conversion is embraced. Religion is simply religion and in an enlightened world has no place in State or in society in general. Religion is a set of spiritual beliefs for private expression and within a particular religious community and it should never be imposed across a society or a nation. At least not if one wishes to be democratic and civilized.

      The modern, democratic, developed world stands as an example and not theocratic Saudi Arabia one assumes, to Israelis as to most.

    • Zionism by its nature is racist and that can never be kind. Judaism by its nature has been elitist but many religions are, although it has become dogma and theology in Judaism to a greater degree, but elitism while hardly constructive, does not have to be religiously racist.

      Many religious followers, understandably, believe they have the best religion and they are better than others because of that membership, but that does not mean they cannot co-exist alongside other religions amicably and, increasingly, co-operatively. We are barely 50 years away from a time when Catholics and Protestants would barely speak and were horrified at intermarriage.

      But the elitism of Judaism was contained in religious belief. The problem with Zionism is that it is not really religious even though it claims Judaism and Jews as its own. Zionism was founded by lapsed or non-practising Jews in the main, or what has come to be called secular, but of course there is no such thing as a secular Jew anymore than there is a secular Christian or Moslem. If you claim the religious label then you belong to the religion and you are definitely not secular. If you were secular, you would do what so many have done and simply drop the religion and never call yourself Jewish again.

      Zionism also invented the 'atheist Jew,' an oxymoron of immense proportions if not complete impossibility. One cannot be an atheist Jew anymore than one can be an atheist Christian or Moslem, it is patently ridiculous.

      But because Zionism is a 'racist' belief system it became important to establish a criteria of superiority and that was any link to Judaism, including a great-grandparent or more, even if the family had not practised the religion for generations. Such a 'Jew' had rights in UN mandated Israel which a non-Jew, whose family had lived there for thousands of years, did not have.

      Zionism is in essence a distortion of Judaism and without a religious soul, is soulless. It is hardly surprising that when the foundation of a State of Israel was mooted that orthodox Jewry rejected it entirely, saying that such a State was only ever meant as metaphor. I understand some orthodox groups retain that view.

      Zionism was never Judaism and the tragedy, both for Israel and Judaism, is that Zionism is a travesty of religion in general and Judaism in particular. It is a religious distortion which has created enormous misery and suffering for millions and which gives Judaism and Jews a bad name.

    • Yes, while one may be aware of the suffering of ancestors and in fact have inherited cellular and cultural 'experiences' sourced in that suffering, the fact is that just as none of us are responsible for crimes committed by our parents, grandparents or ancestors however far back one wishes to go, so neither do we take on their mantle of suffering and victimhood.

      Most Jews do not live in UN mandated Israel or Occupied Palestine, never did and never will. There are few Jews alive today who suffered under the Nazis and there are many, many Jews whose ancestors were not even in Europe at the time of the Second World War so how can they claim any connection to that suffering?

      They cannot. The Romanies suffered terribly under the Nazis and on a per capita basis, their genocide was greater, but one does not hear them claiming victimhood because of what ancestors experienced.

      The Zionists began planning their colonisation of Palestine in the late 19th century, around 50 years before Hitler even appeared, and the experience of followers of Judaism at the hands of the Nazis, proved enormously useful in 'furthering their case.' But the plan had been fixed long, long before.

      Whatever suffering Jews had at the hands of the Germans, the fact remains it had nothing to do with the Palestinians and even if it had, gave them no right to invade and colonise their country. More to the point, no right to refuse them freedom and justice for nearly seventy years.

      Zionism is a particularly unpleasant offshoot of Judaism, as the KKK was from Christianity, but the fact remains many, perhaps most Jews have supported the Zionists and the terrible suffering inflicted on the Palestinians. At least until recent times.

    • The concept of a 'chosen people' was, I suspect, like most of all religions, originally meant as metaphor and it has been literalised.

      Most of the damage done by all religions is done because what was once spiritual symbol and metaphor has been turned into a literal reality.

      No God who might possibly be at work, would ever select one religion as superior to others and see its followers as superior. Such beliefs are the work of men who make God in their small and petty image.

      The misogyny in all religions is sourced in the same reality of men re-interpreting metaphor, myth and symbol to serve their own fear and ignorance driven agendas.

      All religious books are collections of fantasy, myth, metaphor, symbol, fairy tales and the odd possibly historical fact. None of them have credence in any court of law. And since there are billions of human beings and many religions and plenty of atheists, the writings of no religion can be applied to humanity in general and nothing said in any religious book can have meaning to anyone but those who follow the religion.

    • Judaism has provided fertile soil for elitism because it has brewed within religious dogma, over thousands of years, this belief that followers of the religion are superior to others and set apart, and that Jews have been victimised. The opposite of a victim is an egocentric victor and these are the two sides of the same coin of the religion.

      One can stand at the Wailing Wall and listen to Jews wailing about wrongs done to members of the religion thousands of years ago. Judaism is in many respects a long whinge and moan about how followers of Judaism have suffered and the role of Jews as being victimised, in essence, for their superiority, is entrenched religious dogma.

      Zionism has fed on this belief but the State of Israel was founded on this belief of Jewish superiority and the inferiority of all non-Jews which has morphed into the deranged belief that Palestinians are not only inferior, but sub-human. Either the Zionists got away with a few Nazi handbooks to study, or, Israel suffers from the same problems that the Nazis did - a belief in superiority. Whether race as defined by Nazis, or for that matter, Apartheid South Africa , or religious superiority as defined by Zionists and now, most Israelis and too many Jews, racism is racism.

      For too long Jews in general have remained silent in the face of constant atrocities and wrongs committed in the name of their religion, beginning in 1947 and with that silence they have made themselves complicit in all that has been done.

      In recent times more have begun to speak out and separate themselves from the actions of Israel and Zionism and that is all to the good but one wonders if it is happening because more Jews have found a sense of justice and moved away from the sense of themselves as superior, or because they are being hit by the 'backwash' of growing world outrage and horror at what the Israeli State is and does.

      Whatever the answer, the creature that is the State of Israel, is first and foremost the responsibility of Zionists, whether Jewish or Christian, and then the responsibility of Judaism.

      If enough Jews cared about justice, rule of law, human rights and common decency, particularly in the US, then Israel could be hauled into line tomorrow because it is Jewish pressure and influence in the United States which maintains the money-pit from which Israel drinks and which funds its continued occupation, colonisation and apartheid in Palestine.

      There is no doubt that within a few years BDS will cripple Israel's economy as it did South Africa and end this horrendous injustice in a one-state solution, but there is also no doubt that pressure from Jews to stop the funding of Israel's occupation, colonisation and apartheid will bring justice sooner and will serve to create greater sanity in Israel when the one-state solution is put in place.

      Israel is a pariah and rogue state because those who have called themselves friends, whether individuals, nations or religions, have allowed it to commit atrocities and human rights abuses , and even at times, supported it in the doing.

      Israel has become a debased and dangerous State because of what others have allowed it to do. On that count Israel cannot be completely blamed for the monster it has become, but, those who have played a part in its creation will be increasingly blamed if they do not act to stop it.

  • 'Six Jews sitting in the White House discussing the Palestinian state'
    • What a pity for the US. If those Jews were Islamic, or Hindu or disproportionately represented racially, like Chinese there would be questions asked.

  • Oren pushed Random House to hurry his book so American Jews will 'intercede' to stop Iran deal and save millions of Jews
    • Israelis are quite deranged. They have been for a long time living in that soup of Zionist bigotry and propaganda. They are, as most people in the world agree, a great danger to everyone including themselves.

  • 'Obama coffee' is black and weak -- racist tweet from wife of Israel's vice premier
    • This does not surprise me. On visits to Israel I was shocked at the blatant racism toward Palestinians in particular and non-Jews and blacks in general. Zionism is to Judaism what the KKK was to Christianity.

  • Does Israel have a toxic personality? Ask Michael Oren
    • If Israel were an individual s/he would have been committed and locked up long ago for the sake of all concerned.

      How can a nation founded in religious bigotry and paranoid fear and rage, not be toxic? How can a brutal military occupier bent on murder and dispossession not become debased and toxic? How can an apartheid State sourced in a belief that a particular religion gives superiority over all and the indigenous people, because they are not European, as non-Jews are sub-human, not be toxic and a force for evil?

      Israel is not a Jewish State it is a Zionist State and Zionism is a fascist, racist distortion of Judaism. How can that not be toxic?

  • It's the borders, stupid (forget the BDS hysteria)
  • Soldiers expel 200 Palestinians from pool to allow settlers to bathe
    • Illegal settlers is the correct term. Many of them are Americans.

    • It is an indication of just how brainwashed, deluded, bigoted and out of touch most Israelis are, particularly the fanatical illegal settlers. All grist for the BDS mill though so we should be grateful to them. Israel has perfected the art of the 'own goal.'

  • White House says US can't stop 'tsunami' of boycott and isolation if Israel won't end 'occupations'
    • For the sake of most, and that includes Israelis and Palestinians, the sooner a one-state solution is forced on Israel the better.

      Yes, there are religious zealots on both sides but they are a minority and on the Palestinian side, we have yet to assess how much the radicalism is sourced in subjugation and occupation and given the nature and history of the Palestinians, it is fair to guess, that is the major factor.

      Most Jewish Israelis are not really Jewish anyway or are so lapsed and non-practising that the relevance of a theocratic, religious state of Israel is not that important.

      Anyone who spends time in Israel and Occupied Palestine or time even with Jewish Israelis knows that Israel is a Middle Eastern culture and society and that Israelis have more in common with Palestinians than anyone else.

      The new state, whatever it might be called, will become I am sure, a thriving democracy and that is something everyone deserves, Israelis and Palestinians alike.

      This occupation, colonisation and apartheid debases and destroys Israeli culture and strengthens the indigenous Palestinians who have and have always had, justice, time and numbers on their side.

  • Chomsky and BDS
    • The Palestinians have time, justice and numbers on their side. They cannot lose. If Israel tried to ethnically cleanse Palestine world outrage would impose a one-state solution in a nano-second. And even if Israel killed all of the Palestinians there are still 8million in the diaspora waiting to come home and world outrage would ensure that they did.

      Israel lost this colonial war long ago. It cannot win. It cannot remove the Palestinians; it cannot maintain occupation, colonisation and apartheid; it cannot hold out against justice and human rights.

    • Well, the US is actually not the most powerful or most wealthy country that has ever existed - both the Roman and British Empires can lay claim to that.

      And given the political corruption in the US it is hardly any wonder that it is as ineffective as it is.

      But I agree with you on Chomsky.

    • Which suggests, at some level, conscious or unconscious, they also believe that Jews must remain a majority in Israel and therefore, that they also discriminate on the basis of religion. They are holding to a fantasy that Israel will be able to continue on in the same vein when it is patently impossible.

      They know that BDS will end Israel's occupation, colonisation and apartheid and that in fact, it is the only power which can, just as it did in South Africa, so they dissemble, because, in a one-state solution the majority will be non-Jews. One could only be concerned about that if there was a belief in the superiority of followers of Judaism, whether lapsed or practicing, otherwise, one would not care.

    • This is not about Arabs and Israelis anymore than it is about Arabs and Europeans, that being what Israelis are in essence... this is purely a colonial war waged by Israel against the indigenous Palestinians.

    • More to the point, Israel demands a satrapy - in other words, Israel has complete domination over air, land and sea borders so the Palestinian 'state' would be a farce, an utterly powerless farce.

      And separate but equal is apartheid, or at least, the idealised version of it. Apartheid, pronounced Apart Hate, was in fact a policy of separate development, but one where the coloniser had and held all the real power.

    • Absolutely correct. I am not sure why Chomsky is backtracking but his dissembling is dishonourable.

    • The one-state solution looks excellent for the Palestinians. Even if no Palestinians return from the diaspora, they will still be a majority in the one-state solution. And as a majority, one presumes, they will allow some to return.

      Israel's rejection of the Palestinians is sourced purely in religious bigotry which is no more acceptable than racial bigotry.

    • If Israelis can use the unjustified 'argument' that because some members of their religion lived in Palestine thousands of years ago, after emigrating from Mesopotamia, modern-day Iraq, where their religion began, they have a right of 'return' which transfers down for millennia then surely that is an argument in full support of the Palestinian right of return across decades?

      There is only one reason Israel opposes the right of return, and in fact opposes a one-state solution and that is because of religious bigotry and a belief that followers of Judaism are superior and must be a majority.

      The laws which apply to Israel are those which apply to any democracy, the bar Israel has set for itself - human rights, international law and justice.

      And none of them will tolerate continued occupation, colonisation and apartheid.

    • Jewish = religion.
      Arab = culture.
      Palestinian = nationality.
      Israeli = nationality.

      This is a colonial war waged by Israelis against indigenous Palestinians. It is not waged for Jews and it is not waged against Arabs.

      Israel uses the generic term 'Arab' to disenfranchise the reality of the Palestinians and it uses the religious term 'Jew' to pretend that this is a war for Jews and Judaism. It is not.

      Israel does not represent Jews or Judaism. If it represents anything religious it is Zionism.

      And yes, one state with equal rights for all regardless of religion is the only just outcome.

    • " There is no reason to expect Israel to accept a Palestinian population it does not want.”

      Why? On what grounds does Israel reject its indigenous people? On the grounds of religious bigotry and a belief that Jews must be a majority because they are superior. There are no other grounds.

      South Africa wanted the same because they believed the blacks to be inferior. Israel's problem is no different - the indigenous people are and will remain a majority.

      Israel's 'solution' is apartheid but the world will no more tolerate apartheid sourced in religious bigotry than it did South Africa's sourced in racial bigotry.

      If Israel had not been founded on religious discrimination it would have done what every other coloniser has done, create one state with equal rights for all - a true democracy where there is no bias toward religion or race.

      Israel has worked very hard to 'stack' the numbers with so-called Jewish immigrants who can find a Jewish grandparent or great-grandparent and so demonstrate their superiority! It is such a disgraceful reflection of the 'Aryan' approach that one can only presume it is deep shadow at work. But whatever it is it is wrong.

      In a modern world we do not and cannot discriminate on the basis of anything - race or religion and Israel's bigotry will not be tolerated anymore than South Africa's was.

    • I would just make the point that the article plays into Israeli propaganda by perpetuating the myth that a religion can create a people. Judaism, like Christianity, comprises all races and dozens of nationalities. There is no more a Jewish people than there is a Christian people although one can understand that the religious culture of each, and indeed, religious teaching, would make use of the word 'people.' But it does not apply and it has never applied.

      Zionism made use of the term 'people' as literal and not as the metaphor which Judaism would have it. Orthodox Jewry rejected the concept of a literal State of Israel because they said, quite rightly, that it was religious metaphor and never meant to be made a physical reality.

      As long as Jews are called a people, the people of Palestine, the Palestinians are disenfranchised. In the same way that Zionist/Israeli propaganda does not call them Palestinians, but Arabs, a generic and cultural connection which is as insulting to their Palestinian reality as it is to deny a German or Italian their nationality and culture by dismissing them all as Europeans.

      Most Jews do not live in Israel, never did and never will. There is no Jewish race, no Jewish people - it is a religion. You convert and you are Jewish - you do not change race or nationality. You drop the religion and you are not Jewish - you do not change race or nationality.

      Until the correct terminology is used to define this colonial war by Israelis against indigenous Palestinians, the fantasy that Jews somehow comprise a people with a right to a homeland will continue.

      Although even if being Jewish or Christian did make a people it would never be justification to deny the rights of members of other religions, nor to colonise their land.

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