100 Most Recent Comments


CigarGod
June 30, 2015, 10:20 am

In a rational mind, fear based Whatifery and Whataboutery, gives no value either way.

James North
June 30, 2015, 10:20 am

“Grober”: Why are you so eager to urge Israelis to continue a violent occupation while you sit safely in your north Chicago suburb? (And are you sure your real last name isn’t “Bartman”?)

diasp0ra
June 30, 2015, 10:15 am

While I applaud Mr. Jarrars intention and solidarity why did he have to paint it over somebody else’s work? The call for freedom for prisoners has been a part of the wall for years, it has become part of the image for liberation.

Should the wall have the rainbow flag on it? For sure. I just disagree that it had to come at the expense of another artist whose message is no less important than jarrars.

With that said, since it was already painted it saddens me that it was painted over.

eGuard
June 30, 2015, 10:11 am

Grover: I responded to James North, eljay and Kris

…. but you had spoiled it yourself just before. And Annie already finished that one btw.

CigarGod
June 30, 2015, 10:07 am

So perfectly makes the argument that criticism of behavior…whether of Israeli or Jew…is not anti-semitism. But, the beautiful part, too me, is the superiority inherent in the religion, which invites critical discussion.

I also appreciated the comment…that I’m sure the Z-Kids will be checking…paraphrasing: every other modern colonizer, except Israel, has formed a single, equal state; because the superiority in the religion won’t allow it.
For those who continually like to point out that Muslims are about 300 years behind the rest of the 1st world, this gives pause for thought, to consider how we qualify those for 1st world inclusion.

Hostage
June 30, 2015, 10:06 am

Yet another UN report, giving us terrible crimes committed by Israel. Like others before it, it has been dismissed by Israel, and it will not be held accountable for atrocities and violence against MOSTLY civilians who died by the hundreds. The US will shield Israel at the UN, if it decides to pass any resolutions against Israel, and the Israelis will live on uncaring, to inflict more pain on those they occupy.

Oh no, the US and the UN Security Council are mostly irrelevant. This UN HRC report is in the public domain and anyone can incorporate it by reference in their own Article 15 communications with the ICC. The ICC Prosecutor already has Article 12(3) declarations in hand and an Article 14 state referral from Palestine. The Office of the Prosecutor has scheduled a team to arrive in Israel in just a few days from now as part of its preliminary examination to see if any crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC have been committed. Never mind that it has dozens of Article 15 communications from governments and NGOs, like the Arab League, HRW, AI, et al reminding it that the ICJ advised that Israel’s wall and settlements violated portions of the Geneva Convention that are reflected in Articles 7 and 8 of the Rome Statute.

It’s time for Palestinian Solidarity activists to get serious about applying political pressure on the Prosecutor. Despite all of her public denials, she and her predecessor have played politics and employed jargon and sophomoric legal nonsense to avoid taking action against Israeli officials. If she drags her feet yet again, we should start demanding that she be removed from office for a “serious breach of duty” in accordance with Article 46 of the Statute and Article 24 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence: i.e. “Repeatedly causes unwarranted delay in the initiation, prosecution or trial of cases, or in the exercise of judicial powers.”

just
June 30, 2015, 9:58 am

Agreed, CigarGod.

Thanks again, rosross.

CigarGod
June 30, 2015, 9:50 am

Now, that’s a beautiful contribution!

just
June 30, 2015, 9:49 am

I’m going with Citizen’s reply, RoHa:

“I imagine Sweden did not want to suddenly find itself at war with Israel?”

I also imagine that Sweden knew that Israel would act abominably and in an uncivilized and heavy- handed way… far better for them to further reveal their inherent barbarism and routine disdain for international laws.

Sweden has recognized Palestine as a state and I’ll never forget Margot Wallström and her Ikea comment…

“The foreign ministers of Israel and Sweden went to war on Friday over Stockholm’s decision to recognise Palestinian statehood, using scathing Ikea furniture put-downs as their weapon of choice.

A day earlier, the Swedish parliament officially recognised the State of Palestine, following a pledge to do so by the country’s new prime minister Stefan Lofven.

In the wake of the announcement, Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s foreign minister, ridiculed the move, saying: “Sweden must understand that relations in the Middle East are much more complicated than self-assembly furniture at Ikea.”

Margot Wallstrom, his Swedish counterpart, responded with her own furniture-based gag.

“I will be happy to send Israeli FM Lieberman an Ikea flat pack to assemble. He’ll see it requires a partner, co-operation and a good manual”, she quipped.”

link to telegraph.co.uk

I would hope that Israel would change course, but I’m a realist. They obviously won’t change of their own free will, and so it’s up to the rest of the world’s people to effect any positive course correction. It’s a downer today that we awaken to find this that Kay24 posted:

“WASHINGTON — After a grueling legislative battle, US President Barack Obama signed into law a controversial trade measure that also contains landmark legislation combating the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement in Europe.” – See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

So, we have to redouble our efforts.

There’s 535 voting members of Congress and millions of us…

Here’s a good report from RT:

Hostage
June 30, 2015, 9:41 am

Worrisome during reporting that Palestinians were referred to as the “people of Gaza” all of the time. As if the West Bank did not belong to Palestinians and was not occupied.

From the standpoint of the crime of apartheid, the Netanyahu regime has been totally successful in pursuing its goal of divide and rule over isolated ethnic enclaves. The Israelis didn’t wait until the summer to throw a tantrum, they started applying sanctions and withholding customs revenues the minute the new unity government was sworn into office in the Spring. That was another violation of UN Security Council resolution 1860 (2009), which stressed that Gaza is an integral part of Palestine; called for the unimpeded provision and distribution throughout Gaza of humanitarian assistance, including food, fuel and medical treatment; and encouraged tangible steps towards intra-Palestinian reconciliation, including support of mediation efforts of Egypt and the League of Arab States.

The reason that Fatah and Hamas have worked out five or six unsuccessful unity agreements is because the Palestinian people will not accept the legitimacy of either party governing alone or in isolation from the other and its constituents; and because Israel is still illegally interfering in the exercise of the Palestinian right of self-determination in violation of international law.

Mayhem
June 30, 2015, 9:39 am

First of all Robert Pape’s pronouncements are nearly 10 years old. Referring to the Islamic juridpudential ruling from the Maliki School of Islamic Jurispudence:
As for the means of attack, there are five basic possibilities, one of which is to ‘attack the enemy using oneself as an “intelligent” bomb’.
The Tamil Tigers may have invented suicide bombings whilst fighting a secular nationalist cause. Since then it has been introduced among the Muslims through Hezbollah from where it spread to the Palestinians and then to Al-Qaeda.
Who is to say that Zaidan does not subscribe to the 72 virgins hadith?

aiman
June 30, 2015, 9:31 am

Thank you Adam. You have experienced so much and followed the course of truth and humanity, the cornerstone of every rightly understood ethical tradition and yours.

aiman
June 30, 2015, 9:30 am

Thank you for sharing your very insightful comments, roross, and firm commitment to universalism. Mondoweiss seems brighter with you in it.

just
June 30, 2015, 9:09 am

rosross~ I have to thank you for your many enlightened and valuable contributions here on this thread. I very much appreciate your thoughtful insights.

@ yonah’s “But I agree that compassion is the highest value and the first step.”

That’s truly wonderful to read and know! ;-)

eusebio
June 30, 2015, 8:53 am

Diplomacy the peace in Palestine and Israel

just
June 30, 2015, 8:30 am

Thanks, Shingo! Big ditto to your comment~ Annie is amazing in oh, so many ways.

Link to listen to Annie and Scott:

link to scotthorton.org

Citizen
June 30, 2015, 8:26 am

Me too

just
June 30, 2015, 8:17 am

UNWRA produces a lovely video that I found via Ship to Gaza Sweden:

“#SOS4Gaza: Message in a Bottle tells the story of Bayan, Mahmoud, Hala, Nidal, Bashar, Mina and Shahd, a group of Palestine refugee children from Beach Camp in Gaza. Frustrated by the bleak conditions in which they live, the children decide to put messages expressing their hopes and dreams in bottles, which they send out to sea in the hopes that help will come. Their message cannot wait.”

yonah fredman
June 30, 2015, 8:13 am

Avigail, Thank you for clarifying your position. You seem much more compassionate towards those Jews who feel a need or an inclination for identity than you did in your previous statement.

when I read your first and last names I react Jewishly: Avigail conjures thoughts of David: his machismo, womanizing and warmaking. Abravanel- I know as the Abarbanel, whose name I have to google to realize it is Don Isaac Abrabanel and the specifics of his career, birthplace and exile (?). The Abarbanel, where I come from, is mostly known for his commentary on the Bible and the famous joke: If you study the Abarbanel on the Pentateuch you will end up a heretic (apikoros), because all his questions are up front and his answers all come at the end, and therefore with the tendency to fall asleep while studying on Friday nights, one will only read the questions and not the answers, and end up questioning and leaving the fold. This joke is told with a wink. These Jewish associations to your name can be organized into a paranoid structure and there are those (too many) who teach Judaism in such a way. But I value these little facts and I mourn that so few are raised with the consciousness of reading the Bible and knowing who Avigail or the Abarbanel is and what it’s like to study the Abarbanel on a Friday night. It is not as universal a value as compassion, but I value Jewish knowledge and I mourn its disappearance among vast landscapes of current Jewish ignorance. But I agree that compassion is the highest value and the first step.

rosross
June 30, 2015, 8:08 am

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.

just
June 30, 2015, 7:57 am

Coincidentally, I just read an article in Haaretz that is very relevant:

“Why I Broke the Silence

… When I was drafted into the IDF I was trained to conduct warfare, and specialized in sniping and identifying targets. I was hoping I could use my knowledge to help defend the country, but when the moment of truth arrived, I was sent to the occupied territories to control a civilian population. As with “mapping,” though many of the names of our tasks indicated a supposed defensive importance, most turned out to be means of strengthening our military control over Palestinians.

During my service, my initial reaction was to keep doing as I was told. Once my service was over, I just wanted to go on with my life and forget what I had learned, so that I could reintegrate into my society. It was only later, when I had traveled far away from Israel, that I had the courage to rethink my time in the army. Conversations with people from around the world made me realize that sending 18-year-olds to control another nation was not a necessary part of life. It was a decision made by this country’s leadership, and as such, it could be questioned.

Though I still believed it was my duty to do everything I could to protect my nation, the new threat I saw was different. I realized that not saying anything meant that I was helping to reinforce most Israelis’ false perception in regard to the IDF and Israel’s role in the territories. By doing so, I was making sure that we – the Israeli public – carry on making decisions on the basis of false perceptions. And that can’t do any good.

So two years after I completed my service, I broke my silence. It wasn’t easy. Most Israelis truly believe that what we’re doing in the territories is defending our existence. The silence about the truth is so strong, because daring to question this common belief is viewed as an attack on the soldiers on the ground. My family was no exception; they thought I had abandoned my values and turned against my fellow soldiers. It took time, patience and conversation until they understood that I wish to share my experiences to encourage people around me to question and talk openly about our government’s policies, which are carried out by soldiers like me.

These days, brave soldiers who fought in Gaza last summer, and whose eyewitness accounts were published in Breaking the Silence’s compilation of testimonies, are criticized for breaking their silence. This is not because of the content of their testimonies, but simply because of their decision to testify at all. I request that we return to the basic idea at the foundation of our activities at Breaking the Silence. I wish to reinforce that behind the publication of our testimonies is a basic, perhaps even naive, idea. We hope that by sharing our experiences, we may help enable genuine public debate on the way we fight in Gaza, and the moral price we pay for ongoing military control over the occupied territories.

When I reflect on the passionate, challenging, and sometimes painful debates that have taken place over the past month, I feel that we may have even succeeded.”

link to haaretz.com

Shingo
June 30, 2015, 7:46 am

Off topic

I just listened your interview with Scott Horton Annie. It’s so lovely to hear your voice for the first time. You sound more lovely and wonderful than I even imagined.

I could listen to endlessly. More please!!

just
June 30, 2015, 7:41 am

“The lesson I was taught from the holocaust or any other persecution was ‘never again to us’. I believe in never again to anyone. I am a member of the human race. We can have our individual traditions, faiths, cuisines and customs. I love diversity and thrive in it but I personally do not require a particular label or a particular tribal affiliation to be well.”

That’s it, in a nutshell~ thanks Avigail.

Being a member of a particular and, in this case, a group that thrives on paranoia (among many things) is not always healthy at all. Too many people tend to neglect/abandon their personal health and moral compass for the ’cause’ of the group. If the polls that demonstrated 95% support for the massacre in Gaza 2014, and subsequent reelection of Netanyahu don’t give anyone a hint about the cult-like nature of Israel, then perhaps you’re not paying attention. Groupthink is not something that I admire, nor is it something that I aspire toward.

“Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative viewpoints, by actively suppressing dissenting viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences.

Loyalty to the group requires individuals to avoid raising controversial issues or alternative solutions, and there is loss of individual creativity, uniqueness and independent thinking. The dysfunctional group dynamics of the “ingroup” produces an “illusion of invulnerability” (an inflated certainty that the right decision has been made). Thus the “ingroup” significantly overrates its own abilities in decision-making, and significantly underrates the abilities of its opponents (the “outgroup”). Furthermore groupthink can produce dehumanizing actions against the “outgroup”.”

link to en.wikipedia.org

The majority of the group also turned in fury against the members of the tribe that protested the massacre~ some have to have bodyguards. Dan Cohen is regularly assailed for his honest and human reporting from Gaza. And, don’t get me started on the MSM reportage about Palestine and Israel. Thankfully, we have MW and all of the voices that are given (finally) a place to ‘speak’. As Adam put it yesterday:

“Now, we’ve published over 1,000 authors—from the U.S., Palestine, Israel and around the world—and are finding wonderful new voices all the time. This has been one of the most rewarding parts as we play our part in shifting the discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

I’m motivated to continue my work with Mondoweiss—to continue documenting and analyzing the Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people—because I believe it is essential work towards reaching a just and peaceful outcome in Israel/Palestine. Reporting the unreported news from Palestine, covering the growing grassroots BDS movement, and highlighting voices, experiences and analysis frequently kept out of the mainstream discourse forward are our contribution to this broader movement.”

– See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

Sincere thanks, Avigail.

Kay24
June 30, 2015, 7:40 am

What an interesting story. Thank you Adam for sharing it with us. The part about your experience growing up in a Jewish household is very telling. You represented how many American Jews are brought up, and instructed, as kids. You have been able to brilliantly overcome those prejudices, and experience first hand, the other side of the story. It must have been eye opening, to realize that the Palestinians are simply long suffering human beings, trapped and under occupation, and not the evil enemy as conveyed to you. You have been able to help the Palestinians in many ways, and have reached out to so many around the world. You have been able to overcome many obstacles to continue this amazing work. Good luck.

I wonder how your parents feel today, seeing their son do this amazing work for humanity.

Sibiriak
June 30, 2015, 7:16 am

Avigail Abarbanel: I do suspect that those who went to the US and started to colonise it were in fact very damaged people. Their puritanical protestant belief system says a lot about the kind of people they were. So I do think there must have been trauma there. (emphasis added)

—————-

Your definition of trauma , it seems to me, has become so broad, so widely-applicable, that your argument that aggressive, exploitative, oppressive, non-compassionate, predatory social actions are rooted in “trauma” has lost all explanatory power, all empirical falsifiability, and is in danger of becoming tautological.

Kay24
June 30, 2015, 6:55 am

Obama loves Israel THIS MUCH. Sometimes the “good cop” shows it’s true colors this way.

“WASHINGTON — After a grueling legislative battle, US President Barack Obama signed into law a controversial trade measure that also contains landmark legislation combating the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement in Europe.”

link to timesofisrael.com

rosross
June 30, 2015, 6:38 am

Yonah,

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

rosross
June 30, 2015, 6:33 am

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.

bryan
June 30, 2015, 6:28 am

Thanks, Avigail, for the response, which makes some sense. I was unhappy about the statement that “Trauma and its ramifications lies at the heart of the Israeli nation” since, whilst there is clearly a process of Zionist indoctrination the problem seems to transcend both purely Israeli institutions and the legacy of trauma.

Whilst I see what you are getting at, you might want to review the wording, since if someone said to me that the problem is that British “culture is organised like a cult” I would immediately respond with “which British culture are you referring to?” and “cultures are not organised” but constantly develop and evolve in apparently haphazard ways depending upon a host of changes (social, technological, economic, demographic etc). There is doubtless something one can isolate as British culture but it is also a melange of numerous sub-cultures which react with each other, and I suspect the same is true of Jewish culture. Shlomo Sand (“Why I stopped being a Jew”) insists there is no secular Jewish culture, let alone anything organised, though of course when we get into religious sub-cultures the opportunities for manipulation and the exploitation of vulnerabilities by religious authorities increases immensely.

rosross
June 30, 2015, 6:18 am

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. :)

rosross
June 30, 2015, 6:05 am

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.

rosross
June 30, 2015, 5:49 am

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.

link to civilwar.org

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.

bryan
June 30, 2015, 5:42 am

Let me clarify Froggy.

The historic sufferings of individuals belonging to non-Jewish peoples who were starved, impoverished, lynched, enslaved, brutalised etc. were no different from the sufferings of individual Jews who were persecuted. murdered, exterminated etc. (*) Over the long course of history many peoples have suffered as much and often far more than the average person of Jewish faith, who may have despised, stigmatized, subject to periodic expulsion and occasional haphazard violence, but was often a member of an economically privileged group within society. Over the history of the African slave trade there is no question as to whether it would have been preferable to be Negro or Jewish. However for a few years Jews were subject to a systematic and mechanized process of slaughter with the intent to wipe out a people – a process that is “relatively unique” in history and deserves of recognition.

(*) the process of comparing national sufferings is a pretty pointless exercise – as Shakespeare so eloquently put it in the Merchant of Venice in his comparison of Jewish and Christian suffering. Unfortunately he then descended into a diatribe about the desirability of vengeance (rather than social action) as the means to right wrongs.

rosross
June 30, 2015, 5:34 am

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.

Avigail Abarbanel
June 30, 2015, 4:31 am

yonah fredman, I do not seek to convert anyone into anything. People need to believe in what sustains them and gives them comfort. Life isn’t easy, even if all is well around us, and all not is well around us… What I think is that kindness and compassion must be the principles that we base everything in life on, our economics, business, work, how we run countries, everything. This is all I really believe in. Jewishness the way it is seen and celebrated in Israel is a cult and it was damaging to me personally. It’s also damaging to those living there and more than anything it is damaging to the Palestinian people. Jewishness requires that we believe that our survival comes above everyone else’s and that it is OK to do anything in the name of *our* survival. That’s why I was taught that it was fundamentally OK to take all the land but without the people. The lesson I was taught from the holocaust or any other persecution was ‘never again to us’. I believe in never again to anyone. I am a member of the human race. We can have our individual traditions, faiths, cuisines and customs. I love diversity and thrive in it but I personally do not require a particular label or a particular tribal affiliation to be well.

If we put compassion, empathy and kindness above and below everything else, we should be OK.

Avigail Abarbanel
June 30, 2015, 4:24 am

Trauma is evident in the belief system that people carry, their attitude to themselves, how they see the world and what they think about human nature. People who suffer trauma tend to see all of the above in unforgiving, fear-based, bleak terms.

So if someone thinks that life is all about getting ahead, that it’s ‘dog eat dog’ out there, that everything depends on the individual and society has no obligation to take care of its members, that fundamentally the world is an unkind and unsafe place and that being strong is the only way to survive in it and that amassing wealth is the most important thing in life… I’d say that trauma is the organising principle behind that belief system. People without trauma see both the half empty and half full parts of the glass. People with trauma tend to focus on the half empty. As a recoverer from trauma myself, I lived through it and out the other end towards a more balanced view of life. It’s by the way to do with the human brain and we can all be traumatised if put in certain situations…

Avigail Abarbanel
June 30, 2015, 4:20 am

I cannot comment properly on the US or American history lysias, I am very ignorant in this area. But I do suspect that those who went to the US and started to colonise it were in fact very damaged people. Their puritanical protestant belief system says a lot about the kind of people they were. So I do think there must have been trauma there. There must be something written about this by sociologists and historians in the US?

Avigail Abarbanel
June 30, 2015, 4:17 am

rosross

“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 only highlighted the bit above but the truth is that your entire comment is brilliant. Thank you and I agree with everything you are saying. It’s a shame we cannot commit or jail a country isn’t it??? :)

Avigail Abarbanel
June 30, 2015, 4:12 am

Hi just, you’re very welcome! I like your comments. They are always interesting and thought provoking. I can’t tell you which comment I was referring to in my response… It gets a little bit out of control when the discussion gets bigger and it’s hard to follow or find the threads. Maybe if you look at yours again, mine might make sense in relation to one of them? :)

Glad that you do not live in Israel. It is a terrible, unforgiving, harsh, pressure cooker of a place. Not good for anyone in my opinion… I am very happy here in Scotland. I love this country and it is a huge relief for me to finally be with the *people* rather than a member of the colonising group, after 27 years in colonised Palestine and another 18 years in colonised Australia… I am finally home here. Not to mention I can’t stand hot climates and the cooler environment here is so much better for me…

Avigail Abarbanel
June 30, 2015, 4:04 am

rosross, I recommend any book by Shlomo Sand, especially ‘The Invention of the Jewish People’. Yes, the Zionist deliberately created a nationhood together with all its mythologies.

Something that a lot of people don’t know is that in Israel there is no such thing as ‘Israeli’ nationality. On my birth certificate it says that my nationality is ‘Jewish’. On the birth certificates of Palestinian citizens of Israel the nationality is specified as ‘Arab’. Also, although I do not follow any religion, my birth certificate says that my religion is Jewish… In other words, whether I like it or not, the state of Israel declared for me that I am religiously and ethnically Jewish. Israel bases citizenship on a *racial* definition of Jewishness. If your mother and maternal grandmother are Jewish you are entitled to Israeli citizenship immediately under the ‘law of return’. This law covers only Jews, not Palestinians despite the fact that Palestinians have been living in Palestine for thousands of years whereas most Jews there are immigrants. Can you see the problem here?? But in any case I do recommend Shlomo Sand’s books to you. They might make things a bit clearer.

aiman
June 30, 2015, 4:01 am

Hostage: “Surely, in your very first endorsement of Giles comment (“Professor F is a brave and moral man, a great man, but has a blind spot when it comes to the power of the Lobby.”) on June 28, 2015, @ 11:36 am. You said:”

aiman: ‘Excellent point Giles. By that standard, why did the U.S. Govt use Saddam Hussein’s crimes as an example when it has done much worse or the same? Because there was no Iraq Lobby except for charlatans entertained by Bernard Lewis’s school of journalism and politics. As you rightly pointed out and Prof F ruled out, it is the Israel Lobby and I’m afraid it’s not on the blind spot but right in front for the world to see. Chomsky’s pupils will continue to diminish this fact even if as in the case of Prof F they are moral and great persons.’

Yes I stated the above.

“As I’ve pointed out, neither Chomsky nor Finkelstein deny the power of the Lobby. There’s oddly no mention in your comment about the fact that the US threatened to topple the Provisional Government of Iraq when it tried to ratify the Rome Statute during the US occupation; that the US threatened to move NATO headquarters over a Belgian indictment of General Tommy Franks for crimes he allegedly committed on the territory of Iraq; the fact that Germany and France registered formal protests at the UN over continued US requests from the Security Council for waivers of ICC jurisdiction after evidence of torture and prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib prison came to light; the fact that DoD Secretary Rumsfled reportedly authored a memo agreeing with the Bernard Lewis school of journalism and politics that described how the USA was going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran; and the fact that the USA insisted on a local tribunal to handle the cases of Sadaam Hussein and the members of his regime in accordance with municipal laws.”

Nor have I claimed that “they deny the power of the lobby”. That’s a straw man. Power, of course, is relative. I wrote they will “continue to diminish this fact”. A lot of difference between “deny” and “diminish”. Diminish or downplaying the power of the Lobby is a Chomsky custom. Even you wrote the Lobby stands at 2 in C’s estimation, a very convenient position like the 2SS. Also it is irrational to expect someone else to offer examples that you presented save by the powers of telepathy!

The Bernard Lewis school is foremost a Zionist school just so we’re clear. Speaking of example, elsewhere you asked me to comment on three or four cases where the Lobby allegedly didn’t get its way. Well not only do I not believe in the omnipotence of the Lobby nor do I believe that you actually considered that lack of actions in invading Iran for example was due to the Liberal Zionist lobby from which Obama draws his primary support. The Israel Lobby is split into two broad branches atm.

“That’s because is was known as “the American Zionist movement” before W&M wrote their book and Chomsky had written all about his own involvement in it. He noted the fact that, unlike its leadership, the rank and file was opposed to a Jewish state and did not officially endorse the idea until 1942.”

What it was called is not the point (see Ilan Pappe’s response to Chomsky’s W&M thesis critique in the aftermath). Where Pappe notes: ‘Chomsky never paid too much and enough attention to the impact of AIPAC on American policy. He identified other factors and grounds, but failed to highlight something which was next door. Nor did he ever write anything of significance of the Christian Zionists. Chomsky also claims that a two state solution is still viable and opposes sanctions on Israel. Interesting positions but hardly ones the invalidate the counter positions.’

“I take it that his remarks in the video and in the film that I cited discussing the power of the Lobby and condemning the warmongering members of American Jewry were not obtained either grudgingly or under duress.”

No, NF’s remarks are those of a polemicist. Polemicists are about bang and fury, and can be contradictory, though NF’s most consistent views of the Lobby are best treated as the ideological input of Chomsky himself. Also things of general consideration: who is the audience or what did NF say about the matter subsequently, etc. etc.

aiman: There is no “dialectical pairing”. Let’s not enter into the realm of non-Zionist or anti-Zionist tribal mysticism aka absolute bullsh*t.

“There’s no tribal monopoly on the related dialectical traditions in Greek, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and even Secular Western philosophy. ”

Actually there is Hostage. By you yourself. My response was triggered by your own contention of tribal monopoly when you remarked to Giles: “I would also suggest that you get a translator to assist you in deciphering Jewish dialectics, hyperbole, and idioms.”

Make up your mind: do people need to hire a translator to decipher Jewish verbal gymnastics or there is no tribal monopoly?

“Finkelstein clarified his statement, saying, “When it comes to broad regional fundamental interests, Iraq, Iran, South Arabia oil, it is U.S. national interests that take priority,” he said. “When it comes to a local question like Israel and occupied territories, there I think it is true that it’s the lobby that is destroying U.S. policy because the obvious question you would ask yourself is, I think, ‘What does the U.S. stand to gain from the settlements that Israel is building?’ The answer quite obviously is nothing.”

— link to sundial.csun.edu

“I think anyone who has seen the films, video, and controversial statements he made in regard to Mearsheimer’s and Walt’s thesis is that he actually said that: sometimes the Lobby takes priority and sometimes it does not on broader non-regional issues, like US international criminal liability.”

No, it just proves NF is inconsistent.

On the basis of what NF said in this article, I believe the following: Anyone with a modicum of reading comprehension knows that NF is discounting the role of the Lobby to put it most politely if not outright denying it.

Sibiriak
June 30, 2015, 3:52 am

Donald: “Just wanted to say this was a really fascinating comment. Your whole subthread here was great. It ought to be a front page post.”

———–

I second that; not only fascinating, thought-provoking and cogent, but very well-written as well.

echinococcus
June 30, 2015, 3:48 am

Kris,

That observation is so self-evident that only someone like Mr Fredman could try to object to it.

rosross
June 30, 2015, 3:44 am

bintiba, thank you for your comment.

rosross
June 30, 2015, 3:43 am

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.

rosross
June 30, 2015, 3:38 am

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.

aiman
June 30, 2015, 3:13 am

Mooser: “Okay, glad we got that out of the way. So now, let’s go ahead and do it, using the most tenuous and tendentious of ethnic insinuations!:”

aiman @ June 29, 2015, 3:27 am: “On the subject of Israel, the social location, exposure to ideology/thinkers of the writer matters absolutely. It is not at all ethnicity but social location and the history of your comments do reveal your or mine or somebody else’s social location. Growing up in a Jewish background or being located within ideological circles of Jewish writers/thinkers is of paramount relevance given the centrality Israel holds in modern Jewish every day life. It informs biases, sentiments and is well illustrated by the positions people advocate or whose side they mourn more (even soldiers who occupy).”

I think you’ve let your paranoia, to put it most politely, get the better of you. You’ve just called me a “bigot”. I don’t mind mascots running around but don’t suffer gate-keepers gladly. But I’ll try to stick to the point even though I believe your issues are much larger and may have to do with your own self so this is perhaps just an opportunist jab. There is nothing controversial in what I’ve said. This point, regarding the wisdom of even sending a Jewish person to cover the Occupation by NYT for example, has already been debated here. However, I spoke of “social location not “ethnic insinuations”. One has every right to look at ideological patterns and the idea that the US is not interested in prosecuting Israel because it is itself mired in sins or prevented by law is a common argument on the Jewish Left. I came to a fellow poster’s defense because it is not bigoted to make such an assumption.

“How much do you know about Hostage and his “background”?”

If Mondoweiss was not the “War of Ideas in the Middle East” but a mentorship program, I may have briefly entertained your own insinuation. I am responding to arguments. My focus is not even American Jews or their identity, my whole drive is the suffering of the Palestinians. If people, whether they are hailed as saints or not, can work with sarcasm, calling others “illiterate”, “bigot” and “stupid”, I can call them out on it by giving them less than polite responses with a hefty dose of reality check. But I must admit it is the sheer disingenuous character of the responses that is most catalyzing, and that includes your own.

rosross
June 30, 2015, 3:01 am

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.

Citizen
June 30, 2015, 2:02 am

Good question, especially since Sweden recently said only it could legally intercept the current flotilla on the high seas and also that it supported the flotilla’s aims. I guess not enough to send a Royal Swedish Navy escort, eh? I imagine Sweden did not want to suddenly find itself at war with Israel? Now wouldn’t that raise some eyebrows, even in the gullible USA.

Citizen
June 30, 2015, 1:57 am

Apparently there is no consensus that Israel’s blockade is legal and that interception on the high seas other than by the lead/flag ship’s flag state, in this case Sweden, is legal. Israel’s high court ruled both Israel’s blockade is legal at it is at war with Gaza’s Hamas regime, and some authorities say therefore Israel can intercept any ship on the high seas known to be bound for Gaza. Excessive force is also questionable. link to en.wikipedia.org

The US has vetoed attempts to hold Israel accountable at the UN for its conduct re the Gaza flotillas.

rosross
June 30, 2015, 1:57 am

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,

superior

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.

RoHa
June 30, 2015, 1:44 am

“Ms. Abarbanel does seem to be saying that Jewish religion, culture and identity are paranoid and cult-like.”

She does.

Now the two interesting questions are

(a) Is she right?

and

(b) If so, what, if anything, should be done about it?

yonah fredman
June 30, 2015, 1:40 am

Certainly as a Jew reflecting upon the Jewish WWII experience, I feel more in common with an Armenian reflecting upon the events of 1915 than I feel with the Russian reflecting on the Great War. Ukranians reflecting on the starvation imposed by Stalin are more similar to the Jewish WWII experience than the Russian experience of WWII. Russia is a nation of such wide boundaries that has suffered more in recent years from Communism, capitalism and backwardness, that WWII is indeed ancient history.
In fact to the Jewish young, WWII would also be largely attributed to history, if not for the demands of support for Israel. Israel’s constant conflict requires militarism to support its efforts and as such requires a rationale for its constant effort and the history lesson provides that rationale.
134 years ago the primary Jewish population was in Eastern and Central Europe and scattered elsewhere. Today the primary Jewish population is in America and Israel. America with its amnesia regarding yesterday as its motto and Israel with its obsession with memory. To compare the experience of today’s Jews trying to build a perspective on the past and compare it to the Russian experience is to compare vastly differing circumstances.

Kris
June 30, 2015, 1:33 am

yonah fredman, thank you for clarifying this for me. Ms. Abarbanel does seem to be saying that Jewish religion, culture and identity are paranoid and cult-like.

rosross
June 30, 2015, 1:33 am

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.

RoHa
June 30, 2015, 1:32 am

“One historian quipped that “Gentile” is the only time in history that an overwhelming majority accepted the name given to it by a very small minority.”

But only when it is needed to contrast with Jews. We don’t go round thinking “I’m a Gentile” or worrying about our Gentile identity.

Citizen
June 30, 2015, 1:32 am

@ just
Israel says its maritime blockade of Gaza is legal under international custom because it is at war with Gaza ‘s HAMAS regime, it blocks only the Gaza coast, blocks everybody.

Annie Robbins
June 30, 2015, 1:30 am

i know, it’s awful. sadism.

RoHa
June 30, 2015, 1:29 am

So you mean a state inhabited by two nations (n-nations or c-nations).

1. Citing Czechoslovakia as an example does not help a lot. That country was composed of a Czech area and a Slovak area. As I understand it, in Palestine, before the ethnic cleansing, even the areas with the most Jews had a preponderance of Arabs, although there were areas with very few Jews.

2. So what would be the difference between a “bi-national” state in which there are no distinct national areas and a state in which all citizens have equal rights, etc.?

“But when I think of the Jewish immigrants,…Not the images of an invading horde.”

Not the usual image, but, as soon as they signed up to Zionism, they were invaders nonetheless

rosross
June 30, 2015, 1:27 am

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

Kris
June 30, 2015, 1:19 am

@sibiriak:

Russians celebrate their victory in the Great Patriotic War. They commemorate on various holidays the heroic deeds of anti-fascist fighters.

The suffering and heroism of the Russians in WWII should humble us all. Every time I see a packet of garden seeds, I think of the great Russian scientists who starved to death rather than eat the heirloom seeds they were guarding for posterity:

In September 1941, when German forces began their siege of Leningrad, choking food supply to the city’s two million residents, one group of people preferred to starve to death despite having plenty of ‘food.’

As the invading Germans poured into the city (now St Petersburg), scientists and workers at the Institute of Plant Industry barricaded themselves inside their vaults. They weren’t trying to save their lives but rather the future of humanity. For, they had the unenviable task of protecting the greatest seed collection in the world from both hungry Soviet citizens and the rampaging German Army.

As the siege dragged out for 900 days, one by one these heroic men started dying of hunger. And yet not one of them touched the treasure trove of seeds they were guarding – literally with their lives. link to in.rbth.com

Yours was an excellent comment, Sibiriak, thank you.

bryan
June 30, 2015, 1:15 am

Perhaps Steve as a regular contributor on this site (I was going to say a masked sniper operating from behind the barricades) would like to make a significant contribution to the work of Mondoweiss. Perhaps he might also like to avail himself of the opportunity to explain why he believes the the struggle for Palestinian rights is important (or not particularly) to him. An honest account of his experiences and stance on the matter would surely pass the generous moderation guidelines so often afforded on this site especially if he paid the piper enough to call the tune in the standard Zionist fashion.

Annie Robbins
June 30, 2015, 1:09 am

i’m sorry for any confusion, i didn’t mean to imply you made a claim that no children were killed during the month of august 2014. that was what your link said. in fact, it’s called the “remember these children 2014 memorial” and it clearly stated “no palestinian deaths reported” for the month of august. it also says “Last updated July 25, 2014″ so i’m not sure how every death could be recorded on both sides for the year of 2014.

edit: it just looks like it’s incomplete. and it’s a sensitive topic. i put your link back, but they should fix it.

Citizen
June 30, 2015, 1:07 am

@ just
@ Mooser

triage |trēˈäZH, ˈtrēˌäZH|
noun
(in medical use) the assignment of degrees of urgency to wounds or illnesses to decide the order of treatment of a large number of patients or casualties.
• the process of determining the most important people or things from amongst a large number that require attention.
verb [ with obj. ]
assign degrees of urgency to (wounded or ill patients).
ORIGIN early 18th cent.: from French, from trier ‘separate out.’ The medical sense dates from the 1930s, from the military system of assessing the wounded on the battlefield.

Where are the many monuments to Roma history in the world?

@ Avigail Abarbane

Is there another people who have turned their own history into a sacred mythical narrative book similar to Torah? And turned oral explanation of that book into delineation of ethical conduct relationships with The (lesser) Other, such as the Talmud? Did you read Atzmon’s book The Wandering Who? Or Esau’s Tears?

Generally, where is the mother country of colonial Israel?

SmartRat
June 30, 2015, 12:49 am

Annnie Robbins: – I did not make the claim that no Palestinian children were killed during the month of August 2013. I believe you are responding to the wrong person.

Every death is recorded now on both sides.

Annie Robbins
June 30, 2015, 12:10 am

SR, your link claims no palestinian children were killed during the month of aug 2014. around 500 children were slaughtered last summer between July 8 and August 27. not 137 Palestinian children “in the last year”.

Citizen
June 30, 2015, 12:08 am

Always good to know where my tax money goes.

Sibiriak
June 29, 2015, 11:55 pm

catalan: ….most Russians start crying when they hear their famous songs from that era.
——————

No they don’t. That’s silly. I live in Russia; I’ve traveled extensively in Russia; I’ve talked to literally thousands of Russians, including many young people at the University I work at–and I can say without out any fear of exaggeration , your notion of on-going Russian trauma is udder tripe.

How you come up with this silliness that Russians are less traumatized than Jews….

Look, WWII was a trauma for Russia, obviously, but it’s not as if Russians are still traumatized by it today. Russians celebrate their victory in the Great Patriotic War. They commemorate on various holidays the heroic deeds of anti-fascist fighters. They watch endless movies and televisions shows depicting (mythologizing) the unvanquishable spirit of Soviet soldiers and partisans and common citizens. In none of these celebrations, commemorations, and cultural productions is there any expression of on-going trauma.

Another point: I’ve never met any Russian that holds any animosity toward the German people— they blame the war on Fascism, not German anti-Slavism or anything of the sort. Russians enjoy German art, music, culture. Russians are very eager to travel to Germany. Next to English, German is the second most popular language for Russians to study. There is no on-going trauma involved.

And, btw, if there is any kind of living trauma in Russia, it’s not about the losses of WWII, but about the 1990’s, when a horrific “shock therapy” program was imposed on the Russian people, which lead to an economic, demographic and social disaster involving millions of deaths and destroyed lives, a social disaster the extent of which is largely unknown in the West, although it was in large part caused by the West

traintosiberia
June 29, 2015, 11:40 pm

More is on the way

“” Sometimes, however, that cautious statesmanship seems to doom those best intentions to the trash heap of chaos. In this case, that chaos might be triggered by the barely contained secret that the United States will not only renew its defense aid agreement with Israel when it expires in 2017, but that it will likely be INCREASED significantly beyond its current three billion USD. The posturing and denial swirling around this poorly concealed secret is almost fodder for a tragic comedy: no one is willing to admit this is meant to be a ‘kiss and make-up’ defense deal to put Israel more at ease with the Americans engaging Iran. Netanyahu himself staunchly declares that even if a new deal is reached and for significantly more money that it will still not change Israel’s overall opposition to American engagement with Iran. In other words, the U.S. is going to give more money and weapons to an irritated Israel in order to keep it ‘calm’ about allowing Iran the chance to dabble with nuclear energy. Iran, of course, is not going to be blind to this development. From its side it will no doubt see its own international agreement as trying to constrain its ‘national defense sovereignty’ while then watching the Americans follow it with another with Israel that will subsequently arm it to the teeth, with an anticipation and expectation of Iranian misbehavior. Saudi Arabia will undoubtedly clamor onto Israel’s coattails to also gain new advantages and ‘cooperation.’ Keep in mind this current situation emerges from the ‘positive’ diplomacy of engaging Iran, with the intention to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons capability and making it more responsibly tied to the global community.”By Professor M Crosston. link to journal-neo.org

SmartRat
June 29, 2015, 11:38 pm

In the last year, 137 Palestinian children were murdered by Israelis. In the same time 2 Israeli children were murdered.

Seems to be a disparity there of some sort, but of COURSE, it has absolutely nothing to do with bigotry…

Because, after all, Israel doesn’t target civilians randomly, only the Palestinians do that, according to Israel – and you can believe them!

link to rememberthesechildren.org

RoHa
June 29, 2015, 11:34 pm

Those were the days, when you could go out on a raid, slaughter the men and boys, and carry off the girls for a harem.

Try it now and you get the Politically Correct mob nagging at you. Bunch of killjoys.

rhkroell
June 29, 2015, 11:23 pm

I’m wondering if Phil or any of his many politically progressive readers are finding FBI cookies on their laptops, having problems calling anyone, at times, problems using FaceTime — quite often — sending iMessages, etc.? Am I being targeted by pro-Zionist trolls, for some reason, you think . . . . or . . . . am I just being paranoid?

Donald
June 29, 2015, 11:11 pm

“If I did for Pakistan what Oren did for Israel, people would regard me as a traitor to the United States, e.g., move there, change my name, renounce my citizenship, join the military, fight the Indians at Kargil, serve as a spokesperson for the Pakistan Army, oppose human rights inquiries into the alleged human rights violations by the Pakistani government, describe reformers at home as “a unique problem,” and make Pakistani nationalism my life’s creed (attacking critics of that creed as racists). The taint of those actions would follow me like a cloud for the rest of my days.

By contrast, when Michael Oren does it for Israel, he’s on the receiving end of adulation and awe for decades.”

Just wanted to say this was a really fascinating comment. Your whole subthread here was great. It ought to be a front page post.

RoHa
June 29, 2015, 10:51 pm

Not interested. But, unlike Gelett Burgess, I would like to see a purple cow.

Though not be one.

Mooser
June 29, 2015, 10:46 pm

Was he really saying that Hostage, of all people, couldn’t think for himself?

Elliot
June 29, 2015, 10:45 pm

Piotr: “Amazingly, this point of view was largely (but never universally) accepted by “Galut”, and this happened quite gradually.”

There is a precedent for this. One historian quipped that “Gentile” is the only time in history that an overwhelming majority accepted the name given to it by a very small minority.

RoHa
June 29, 2015, 10:26 pm

So where’s the Royal Swedish Navy? They take part in the anti-piracy actions off the Horn of Africa, so why not in the Eastern Med?

Mooser
June 29, 2015, 10:22 pm

(Who would pay the compensation? Maybe that guy with all the casinos would be happy to shell out a few beans.)

Sure! I mean, how much could it possibly amount to?

yonah fredman
June 29, 2015, 10:22 pm

lysias- I am assuming that the survival of the Jews (as a group) and of their religion is a positive. There are many who believe that that survival is a negative. Abarbanel is one who believes that Jewish survival was/is a negative.

yonah fredman
June 29, 2015, 10:19 pm

Kris- Here is the quote from Abarbanel: What is missing from my interview with Hazel is my view that Jewish culture is organised like a cult. The exclusivist, insular mentality based in a fearful, mistrustful, inward focused view of the world, self preoccupation and self centrelines and what I call a ‘specialness complex’, are all part and parcel of Jewish religion and by extension of Jewish identity. This predates Israel and the holocaust. – See more at: link to mondoweiss.net
How have I misunderstood this quote? I have not. She is opposed to Jewish culture, the Jewish religion and Jewish identity.

echinococcus
June 29, 2015, 10:16 pm

Exactly, RoHa. Remind me why the good old times were better –because there was so much compassion toward the slaves, that’s why.

Mooser
June 29, 2015, 10:11 pm

” “Avigail Abarbanel- You are opposed to Jews and Judaism. “

Gosh, Yonah, isn’t it awful that Jews are opposed to Jews and Judaism? What do you think causes that? Exposure to X-mas lights?

RoHa
June 29, 2015, 10:04 pm

“the genocides of Canaanites and Amalekites and all sort of other ites (and their male animals, too)”

But sparing at least some of the women.

Deuteronomy 20:14, Deuteronomy 21:10-14, Numbers 31:17-18

Keith
June 29, 2015, 10:00 pm

KRAUSS- “I’m not sure if you use the term “diaspora Jews” ironically or not, but I nevertheless wonder how long it must take for people until they finally stop seeing themselves as a “diaspora”.

Let us begin by noting that the concept of “Diaspora” is part of the social mythology of Classical (medieval) Judaism, Jewish Zionism, and any other Jewish group that chooses to see itself as separate from a non-Jewish host community. It is a community based belief in apartness which can continue as long as the Jewish elites are able to maintain this particular belief system. Truly assimilated Jews do not consider themselves to be a wandering Diaspora, however, may go along with the traditional usage. Jewish Zionism seeks to oppose complete assimilation of Jews into the host non-Jewish community and to maintain a distinct Jewish community (tribe).

Mooser
June 29, 2015, 9:37 pm

“It’s typical of fanatics not to be able to see two sides of an issue, to totally idealize one side and demonize the other”

Oh please. What is the “other side”, that Jews are more important than Palestinians?

Keith
June 29, 2015, 9:34 pm

GILES- “Not The Lobby? If not The Lobby, then what?”

From what I have gathered skimming some of these comments, your implicit definition of “The Lobby,” a vague, ill-define entity, is overly broad. There is a strong pro-Israel bias among segments of domestic concentrations of power. The entire military-industrial complex for one. Additionally, many successful Jews have a strong Israel bias without actually being part of a specific lobby. In other words, to include huge segments of the imperial elite as part of an Israeli lobby is tantamount to saying that the imperial elites are part of the Lobby, hardly a useful definition. Also, the fact that Chomsky apparently perceives much of what you call The Lobby as part of domestic and transnational concentrations of power hardly seems a reason to cause ongoing anti-Chomsky, anti-Finkelstein, anti-etc. animus. No need to create villains where there are none.

W.Jones
June 29, 2015, 9:06 pm

Annie,

How did you not realize this or the way of thinking? UNICEF helps kids all over the world. Some of them of course are “Arabs”, especially Palestinian ones living in refugee camps across the Near East. And since “the Arabs” must not be assisted, how can someone donate to UNICEF?

Steve Grover
June 29, 2015, 8:40 pm

Annie,
I responded to James North, eljay and Kris and you chose not to publish the response. How about saying something like “Steve Grover responded to x, y and z but as moderator, I chose not to publish the response.”?

Hostage
June 29, 2015, 8:27 pm

False. Point out where I misstated C’s and F’s stated positions on the matter of the Lobby.

Surely, in your very first endorsement of Giles comment (“Professor F is a brave and moral man, a great man, but has a blind spot when it comes to the power of the Lobby.”) on June 28, 2015, @ 11:36 am. You said:

Excellent point Giles. By that standard, why did the U.S. Govt use Saddam Hussein’s crimes as an example when it has done much worse or the same? Because there was no Iraq Lobby except for charlatans entertained by Bernard Lewis’s school of journalism and politics. As you rightly pointed out and Prof F ruled out, it is the Israel Lobby and I’m afraid it’s not on the blind spot but right in front for the world to see. Chomsky’s pupils will continue to diminish this fact even if as in the case of Prof F they are moral and great persons.

As I’ve pointed out, neither Chomsky nor Finkelstein deny the power of the Lobby. There’s oddly no mention in your comment about the fact that the US threatened to topple the Provisional Government of Iraq when it tried to ratify the Rome Statute during the US occupation; that the US threatened to move NATO headquarters over a Belgian indictment of General Tommy Franks for crimes he allegedly committed on the territory of Iraq; the fact that Germany and France registered formal protests at the UN over continued US requests from the Security Council for waivers of ICC jurisdiction after evidence of torture and prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib prison came to light; the fact that DoD Secretary Rumsfled reportedly authored a memo agreeing with the Bernard Lewis school of journalism and politics that described how the USA was going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran; and the fact that the USA insisted on a local tribunal to handle the cases of Sadaam Hussein and the members of his regime in accordance with municipal laws.

It is well known Chomsky never took much interest in the subject of the Lobby till W&M came along.

That’s because is was known as “the American Zionist movement” before W&M wrote their book and Chomsky had written all about his own involvement in it. He noted the fact that, unlike its leadership, the rank and file was opposed to a Jewish state and did not officially endorse the idea until 1942.

NF for his part closely stuck with Chomsky at first though gives a few grudging murmurs now and then.

I take it that his remarks in the video and in the film that I cited discussing the power of the Lobby and condemning the warmongering members of American Jewry were not obtained either grudgingly or under duress.

There is no “dialectical pairing”. Let’s not enter into the realm of non-Zionist or anti-Zionist tribal mysticism aka absolute bullsh*t.

There’s no tribal monopoly on the related dialectical traditions in Greek, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and even Secular Western philosophy. The latest UN report, like the Goldstone report before it, contains a separate subsection on the West Bank and East Jerusalem which fall completely outside the scope of Finkelstein’s logical {because [AND] NOT because} pairing in this instance:

“The US will of course side with Israel, not because of the Israel lobby, but because whatever Israel did in Gaza, the US routinely does around the world on an infinitely greater scale. ”

The US has obviously prevented the adoption of sanctions over Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem and its colonization of East Jerusalem and the West Bank, even though “it is not currently doing those same things around the world on an infinitely greater scale”. For example:

“As I’ve already said, fundamentally I think that’s mistaken,” he said. “The U.S. supports Israel when it’s useful to U.S. fundamental interests. However, and here I have to be a little bit more settled in the argument because that’s what the evidence requires, I do think it’s the case that the U.S. supports Israeli policy in the occupied territories due to the lobby.”

Finkelstein clarified his statement, saying, “When it comes to broad regional fundamental interests, Iraq, Iran, South Arabia oil, it is U.S. national interests that take priority,” he said. “When it comes to a local question like Israel and occupied territories, there I think it is true that it’s the lobby that is destroying U.S. policy because the obvious question you would ask yourself is, I think, ‘What does the U.S. stand to gain from the settlements that Israel is building?’ The answer quite obviously is nothing.”

link to sundial.csun.edu

Anyone with a modicum of reading comprehension knows that NF is discounting the role of the Lobby to put it most politely if not outright denying it.

I think anyone who has seen the films, video, and controversial statements he made in regard to Mearsheimer’s and Walt’s thesis is that he actually said that: sometimes the Lobby takes priority and sometimes it does not on broader non-regional issues, like US international criminal liability.

Mooser
June 29, 2015, 8:19 pm

“Mormons believe in God, right? But apparently don’t believe he can figure out who belong to him?”

Baptize them all, and let God sort them out?

RoHa
June 29, 2015, 8:19 pm

Yonah, “You are opposed to Jews and Judaism. You aspire to a day that this cult is broken apart, so that the individuals can join the universalist religions of modernism or Christianity or Islam. You are not against individual Jews only against Jewish identity. ”

You say that like it’s a bad thing.

yourstruly
June 29, 2015, 8:13 pm

One is either on the side of the slave (oppressed) or the slaveowner (oppressor). This holds no matter one’s nationality, ethnicity, religion, race or gender.

In Palestine/Israel the Palestinians are the slaves, since it is their homeland that is being occupied (occupying another people’s land is a form of enslavement), which means Jewish Israelis (being that they are the occupiers) are ipso facto the slaveowners.

Kris
June 29, 2015, 8:11 pm

Thanks for the info, just.

@jon s:

Let’s see: you have no facts, no evidence, no documents, no witnesses. Not even any allegations of a massacre from the Palestinian side. You’re just concocting an allegation, 67 years later, out of thin air. I’m not denying that horrible deeds were done in that war: massacres, executions of prisoners, expulsions and ethnic cleansing-on both sides.

jon s, it is odd that Just was able to come up with information about what happened in Beersheba and you couldn’t, even though you are a “history” teacher and actually live there. And could you provide links to your claim of “ethnic cleansing-on both sides.” Thanks.

@jon s:

To return to Beersheva, 1948: what was the Egyptian army doing here in the first place? They had invaded , to prevent the establishment and survival of Israel, and the IDF was there to repulse them.

Um, the Egyptian army was in Beersheva, a PALESTINIAN town. Israel invaded the town, attacked the Egyptian soldiers, killed prisoners of war and civilians, and carried out Israel’s signature ethnic cleansing and land theft.

BTW, if you decide to move back the the U.S., you might want to consider these states link to slate.com if you’re going to continue your “teaching” career.

echinococcus
June 29, 2015, 8:08 pm

Youll observe that the trauma is largely tales of historically unverifiable trauma transmitted from one generation to the other at a most impressionable, tender age.
Americans didn’t have that kind of tradition so far, but you never know: kind of telling 9/11 stories hundreds of years from now, from grandpa to grandchild –but with no mention of any of our wars.
Beside, perfectly good counterbalancing stories to the Jewish “trauma”, like the genocides of Canaanites and Amalekites and all sort of other ites (and their male animals, too) are freely available in the Old Testament. Not that they are read often.

echinococcus
June 29, 2015, 8:01 pm

Mr Fredman,

In what way are you different from a 14th century Jewish convert to Christianity in Spain who seeks to convert the other Jews to his newfound belief?
First, your anachronism: with the Reconquista still ongoing, in the 14th century the wider conversion was to ambient Islam; it was not forced and provided a big step forward toward universalism. 100+ years later, though, conversion to Christianity was kinda obligatory but there, again, what’s your problem with this very human tendency to help others?

just
June 29, 2015, 7:52 pm

Here’s another one that made me peal with laughter:

“Report: Netanyahu ‘smuggled’ to medical appointments in disguised vans
Shortly before and after March elections, prime minister was taken to appointments in disguised pita delivery van and pest-control van.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was “smuggled” to medical appointments in disguised vans shortly before and after elections.

Netanyahu, 65, in both cases had routine prostate examinations that found “nothing uncharacteristic for a man of his age.”

In the first instance, shortly before the March 17 elections, he was transported to Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center, a ultra-Orthodox hospital in the Tel Aviv suburb of Bnei Brak, in what appeared to be a pita delivery van, Israel’s Channel 2 reported.

Shortly after the vote, Netanyahu was taken in a disguised pest-control van, with his security guards dressed as pest controllers around the vehicle.”

link to haaretz.com

It’s SO weird. Pita and pests and prostates…..oh my!

Annie Robbins
June 29, 2015, 7:44 pm

We did not put money in the UNICEF boxes, however, because (so we were told) “UNICEF teaches Arab kids to hate Jews”.

wow, not one but 2 families. i never heard of anything like this as a child, just that unicef helped starving children. i didn’t even know they were ‘arab’.

Annie Robbins
June 29, 2015, 7:42 pm

you’re so sweet citizen ;)

JWalters
June 29, 2015, 7:40 pm

Perhaps Mondoweiss could add an Archive category for these conversion stories. They are very powerful, and could be particularly useful to young Jewish Americans trying to find their way amidst the conflicting claims.

ckg
June 29, 2015, 7:35 pm

@Citizen– Michael Douglas, the son of Kirk, starred in the gun-nut cult film Falling Down which the Chapel Hill murderer of three Muslim students obsessively watched. Besides one scene where the Douglas character encounters an antisemitic Neo-Nazi, the film also includes a shocking scene where the Douglas character physically and verbally abuses a Korean immigrant. Korean-Americans were most unhappy with the release of the film. I can only think that this is the scene that inspired the Chapel Hill killer.