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Gideon Levy (unintentionally) lays bare the contradictions of liberal Zionism

Israel/Palestine
on 59 Comments

Usually Gideon Levy’s razor-sharp commentaries in Haaretz get to the heart of the matter, but I think he blew a gasket with his latest, comparing the P.A.’s bid for statehood to early Zionist politics. Sure, there are a few tenuous comparisons to be made and it’s an intriguing thought experiment…

The Palestinians are the new Jews and their leaders are amazingly similar to the former Zionist leaders… They are now the ones whose cause is just in the eyes of the world. The same world that understood in November 1947 that the Jews (and the Palestinians ) deserve a state, understands in September 2011 that the Palestinians finally deserve a state… Look at them and look at us. They are what we once were.

…But there’s a huge elision in this comparison –– no direct statement that the early Zionist political program was predicated on a premeditated campaign to ethnically cleanse Palestine of its indigenous non-Jewish population. This is where liberal Zionism consistently runs afoul of reality, a stubborn unwillingness to come to grips with or even acknowledge the crimes of 1948. As the world witnesses gravediggers Bibi and Obama bury the corpse of the “peace process,” the only path to a just, equitable outcome will run through truth, reconciliation, and land/power-sharing that comes to terms with the entire history of Zionist dispossession of the Palestinian people.

Matthew Taylor
About Matthew Taylor

Matthew A. Taylor is co-founder of PeacePower magazine, and author of "The Road to Nonviolent Coexistence in Palestine/Israel," a chapter in the book Nonviolent Coexistence.

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59 Responses

  1. seafoid
    seafoid
    September 22, 2011, 10:07 am

    I thought it was a poor effort from Gideon Levy.

  2. Xpat
    Xpat
    September 22, 2011, 10:14 am

    Matthew – I think you are off the mark here. Do you know for a fact that Gidon Levy disagrees with Ilan Pappe’s thesis?

    Although Levy has a worldwide audience through the translated Ha’aretz site, he is addressing Israelis. He astutely draws parallels between 1947 and 2011 drawing on political trivia that that will resonate only with Israelis.
    As always, Prophet Gidon is pounding on the Israeli bubble, trying to cut through the indifference and connect Israelis to the rest of the world.

    The question of Israel’s Original Sin is for another time and place.

    Israel at its birth was considered a model society, far more than Palestine at its birth. It bequeathed the world socialist and feminist values, the kibbutz and the moshav, absorption of immigrants and equality of women – a lighthouse of equality and social justice. The Palestinians are now in an inferior position: Their society is more corrupt and less egalitarian than ours, nor did they establish a state-in-the-making for themselves, with impressive institutions such as the ones we had.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      September 22, 2011, 10:47 am

      Original Sin by Beit Hallahmi is a rollicker that charts Israel’s demise because it failed to do the decent thing in 48.

  3. Whizdom
    Whizdom
    September 22, 2011, 10:20 am

    More WB settlers getting all militant. “Amalekites” is a heavily laden term in religious Judaism, with some interpretations that it is a religious duty to kill “Amalekites” (and their children and livestock, if I remember scripture correctly)

    In today’s papers:

    “Our enemies are like Amalek (a biblical villain),” said Marzel, chairman of the rightist movement Our Land of Israel.

    “But we must remember that the best defense is offense. We can’t stay close to our fences. If the Arabs can come to us, they must learn we can come to them.”

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4126152,00.html

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      September 22, 2011, 10:34 am

      http://www.tabletmag.com/news-and-politics/77378/girls-at-war/?all=1

      his notorious essay “Baruch Hagever,” praising Baruch Goldstein’s 1994 murder of 29 Arabs in the Cave of the Patriarch. Goldstein, he wrote, was, following the five halakhic principles: sanctifying God’s name, saving life, revenge, eradication of the seed of Amalek, and war

      What Amalek has is azut hakodesh—nerve, maddened by the holy spirit. “Even though Amalek knew that we are the chosen people, they fought against us,” said Roni. “That is why we need to destroy them.”

  4. Whizdom
    Whizdom
    September 22, 2011, 10:24 am

    In fairness, many Zionists in the pre-state era were emphatically for a bi-national state. Judah Magnes and Henrietta Szold among them. Darker forces prevailed.

    • James
      James
      September 22, 2011, 12:42 pm

      darker forces prevailed…. just like yesterday with obama’s speech… darker forces prevailed….

  5. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    September 22, 2011, 10:38 am

    Zionism at earliest moment based “on a premeditated campaign to ethnically cleanse Palestine of its indigenous non-Jewish population”? I agree. But it is far from clear that the WORLD understood this. UNGA-181 is not written that way; it calls for respect for the “other” living within each country. recall that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was being negotiated/written at this time, the WWII had just finished and had more to it than just the Holocaust, the Geneva Conventions of 1949 were being negotiated including the Fourth, with its intention to protect civilian persons in time of war.

    No, expulsion was a secret program that Ben Gurion and others carried in their hearts but scarcely mentioned in public.

    And BG also wanted far more WATER than the 1947 UNGA-181 land promised, he wanted to extend Israel to the Litani river in Lebanon which had plenty of water. (In my view, Phil tends to ignore the WATER side of Zionism, historically and today. It is HUGELY important. But little discussed, rather hidden by Israelis, a rather big elephant which is badly hidden in the closet.)

  6. American
    American
    September 22, 2011, 10:57 am

    “Israel at its birth was considered a model society, far more than Palestine at its birth. It bequeathed the world socialist and feminist values, the kibbutz and the moshav, absorption of immigrants and equality of women – a lighthouse of equality and social justice. “…Gideon

    To describe a country born of terrorism and dispossessing the people who lived there as a model society at it’s birth?

    I don’t know of any other group of people on earth, ever, anywhere, who lie about themselves with every breath they take.
    I’d like to see a clinical psychiatric diagnosis of the delusional and psychopathic elements of zionism and one on the fanatic christians become a big topic on the net info highway.
    Revealing it as the insanity it is should scare the hell out of the world that any leadership anywhere supports them or even listens to them.
    But the bottom line is –what do you do about people like this when their sickness affects so many others?

    • philweiss
      philweiss
      September 22, 2011, 11:06 am

      every society does that american. we did it too. states are born with illusions. there is truth in many of these myths.
      even i must honor the feelings and impulses of early zionists. many of them were idealists and racially-as-narrow as any american. now these same zionists are stuck in attitudes we killed off in the 60s

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        September 22, 2011, 11:22 am

        Phil

        Settler colonial states in particular are born with illusions. The people come from somewhere else and they need these crutches. How else to justify genocide and dispossession? The US and Israel are in the same boat.

        Northern Sun have a bumper sticker that covers the cognitive dissonance nicely

        http://www.northernsun.com/n/s/Was-Columbus-A-Terrorist-Sticker-(5009).html

        “Was columbus a terrorist or an illegal alien”

        For an American raised on the American narrative I guess he was neither.

        In actual fact he was both !!!!

        Cue the beach boys

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4dxHyhRDlc

        States that arise from the sovereign will of the natives tend to be more grounded although of course they have their outliers too. Nobody in Slovenia believes their nation was chosen by God. Why bother? Isn’t the sun going down like it always has good enough?

      • Chaos4700
        Chaos4700
        September 22, 2011, 11:23 am

        That’s a bit self-serving. I don’t know about you, but if I were alive in the US in the 18th or 19th centuries, I would have been a staunch abolitionist and outspoken against US militarism waged against Native Americans. Just because people have done something doesn’t mean they must do something and it CERTAINLY doesn’t mean you give them retroactive permission after the deed is done.

        What makes your romanticism of early Zionism, taken in its isolation from the very real consequences and full implications (as you are doing here) different from Witty when he does it? Yes, you and he very much reach the same conclusion but I don’t think you should ignore the fact that you’re reaching a different conclusion in spite of your romanticism of what was going on prior to 1947 (whereas what Witty holds up is simply an unfettered progression of that denial of reality).

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        September 22, 2011, 3:30 pm

        It was always a sham socialism. The kibbutz was socialist except in the question of land ownership- there was no socialism for the Palestinians who were dispossessed to make way for the socialist Jewish paradise.

        There is nothing romantic about dispossessing an entire nation. There is no progressive way to do it. You have got to kill people and listen to the screaming of the children and even 60 years on you have to have a formula of words to justify what you did.

        When Israel can do without the hasbara it will be a normal country.
        Bukra fi mishmish.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        September 22, 2011, 11:46 am

        I think that Gideon is right to remind us that Israel began with an extraordinarily good reputation in the West. I lived in a very off-centre Western location, far from the cultural high spots of Paris, NY or even London and I was marinated and pickled in the placid, unchanging ideas (which have changed so much since) of the Church of England. I learned about the ME from the BBC and also from the ‘Church Times’. There was a faint but distinct sense of religious approval, mingled – I now think – with class sympathy, since some Israeli leaders looked very like English gentlemen. Also there was a deep sense of respect – to my sense now the most powerful, dangerous force – for successful Israeli militarism against the background of an increasingly besieged British Empire.
        So I don’t think that Israel let the likes of me down by ceasing to be noble and morally exalted. Our respect for Israel was more of an expression of our own moral flaws – including complacency and self-deception – than of our good judgement – and we couldn’t even say, as many Jewish people at the time reasonably could, that the events of WW2 had left us desperate. We saw what wasn’t there. We didn’t see the injustice visited on ‘the Arabs’ even though it stared us in our blank faces.
        The bi-nationalists and moderates like Magnes were I think also a little self-deceptive, not seeing their own marginality. Zionism could never have accepted Palestinians as equals.

      • Donald
        Donald
        September 22, 2011, 12:12 pm

        Mhughes–That was very well put. With some small changes it also describes the way various American Christians have reacted to Israel, both among evangelicals and more liberal ones (though there are and have been some in both camps, especially the liberal camp, who see and understand the Palestinian plight.)

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        September 22, 2011, 12:25 pm

        You didn’t see the injustice because it wasn’t presented. Magnum is a great photo agency and they have some great books on Israel but you won’t see any Bob Capa or Chim or Cartier Bresson pictures of Lid or Beisan being ethnically cleansed or the murders at Deir Yassin. Those people didn’t fit onto the European narrative of a European victim tribe finding new life. They were shunted into Gaza and Transjordan

        They didn’t count. They still don’t count. How else can you explain Gaza ?

        Anyway the victim tribe didn’t create anything new. They just went deeper into collective psychosis. There is no escaping history.

      • James
        James
        September 22, 2011, 12:48 pm

        “You didn’t see the injustice because it wasn’t presented. ”

        and that is still the case today… the people that come to mondoweiss can read about it regularly, but if anyone is under the illusion that mainstream america knows about the horrific nightmare that is going on with those 2nd class citizens in or around israel, they are kidding themselves…. the mainstream media is loath to present a view of reality which tells us the mainstream media is not a place to get informed…

        there are many people living mhughes976 reality 30 or 40 years later : “We didn’t see the injustice visited on ‘the Arabs’ even though it stared us in our blank faces.”

      • American
        American
        September 22, 2011, 2:28 pm

        “Anyway the victim tribe didn’t create anything new. They just went deeper into collective psychosis.”

        That’s it exactly. They have gone ‘beyond” the kind of others ‘self determination” they try to compare themselves to.

      • pabelmont
        pabelmont
        September 22, 2011, 6:55 pm

        There is a strange psychology whereby people will decide to be allies or friends with someone on a class or color or religious basis and then completely ignore horrific information which might (and, had it been heard first and without the c-c-r stuff, would) have turned them entirely off.

        TRY THIS:

        I just love Hitler and the Nazis, they are such nice white, Christian men, such nice manners! and — the Germans — so cultured!

        AND THEN IGNORE the attacks on all of Europe and the Holocaust, etc.

      • libra
        libra
        September 22, 2011, 8:10 pm

        pabelmont, your example is specious. Hitler’s popularity outside Germany, to the extent he had his admirers, was largely pre-war and certainly before the Holocaust was common knowledge.

        Whilst hard-core Zionists may be prey to the syndrome you describe, the reality is that they know broad support for Israel couldn’t survive if the wider public was aware of the way the Palestinians are really treated. Hence the distortions and bias in the media.

      • American
        American
        September 22, 2011, 2:12 pm

        “every society does that american. we did it too.”

        I know Phil, I come from a long line of American terrier colonialist.
        American idealist, myths, truth, Jewish idealist, myths, truths, –matters only in which ones they chose to live up to.

        I know you are defending Jewish morality and ethics.
        So I’ll Ditto for you that a lot of Jews signed up for zionism for idealist reasons.
        But it makes no difference except to be able to say it wasn’t all of us or we were just like societies that came before us or we got fooled.
        And that’s always the way it is with these things.

        What I’m saying is you deal with the crazies you have on your plate right now, today. No matter how they got crazy or where they came from or you go backwards.

  7. hophmi
    hophmi
    September 22, 2011, 11:02 am

    ” no direct statement that the early Zionist political program was predicated on a premeditated campaign to ethnically cleanse Palestine of its indigenous non-Jewish population.”

    Matt, you have a pathetic self-hatred that shines through. Can you see nothing else about the founding of Israel except that some other people didn’t get what they wanted?

    “This is where liberal Zionism consistently runs afoul of reality, a stubborn unwillingness to come to grips with or even acknowledge the crimes of 1948.”

    Will the Palestinians be coming to grips with the crimes of their leader, Hajj, Husseini in 1944? Will they be coming to grips with the crime of blowing up Israeli children in the 1990s and 2000s? Will they be coming to grips with Hamas’ anti-Jewish charter?

    Or is it only the Jews who must atone for their sins in this world?

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      September 22, 2011, 11:12 am

      The hoppster just descended into farce.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        September 22, 2011, 4:02 pm

        Indeed Woody.

        I wonder what Hop would say if one were to describe the Holocaust as a case of some people not getting what they wanted?

      • pabelmont
        pabelmont
        September 22, 2011, 7:56 pm

        shingo: “I wonder what Hop would say if one were to describe the Holocaust as a case of some people not getting what they wanted?”

        Yes, especially if someone, somewhere, could find evidence of a Jew (perhaps a Banker) who did something that actually injured a German. I believe there was a lot of propaganda to the effect that Jewish bankers were injuring Germany (just as, today, there is a lot of similar propaganda — or reportage if you prefer — relative to Goldman Sachs and others injuring Americans), and, maybe, there was a grain of truth in it. SO WHAT — DID IT, EVEN IF TRUE, JUSTIFY THE HOLOCAUST? (IMHO, no. But that’s just me. Skinheads take another view.) (And many Israelis, adopting skinhead-type logic, think that a variety of things — and not only Palestinian resistance to Zionist takeover — justify Jewish terrorism 1945-48, today’s settlements, the permanent exclusion of the 1948 refugees, special treatment of Israeli Arabs, etc.)

    • Cliff
      Cliff
      September 22, 2011, 11:23 am

      Another nonsensical anti-intellectual hate-fest from a village idiot.

      Your only response to the author’s comments is that ‘some people’ didn’t get what they wanted?

      You boil down the ethnic cleansing of 800k Palestinians as them ‘not getting what they wanted.’

      So lets establish one thing: you are a sophist.

      That identifier sums up every single post you make at MW.

      Zionist crimes during the mandate period and the subsequent war dwarf Palestinian crimes. The Palestinians were not defended by their leadership and did not vote to ‘destroy the Jewish state’ or any such nonsense.

      Suicide bombing began in 1994 and has ceased for several years. It is a blip in the timeline of violence between the two parties. Zionist violence is constant because Israel is COLONIZING Palestinian land.

      You cannot do something like that without a military occupation.

      Hamas anti-Jewish charter is meaningless. Hamas is not incinerating 300 Palestinian children and justifying it regularly in mainstream political culture.

      There is no parallel between crimes we could, for arguments sake, summarize as ‘Palestinian’ and crimes which objectively are purely Zionist.

      You didn’t say anything meaningful as always. You deny the Nakba. You can’t back up any damn thing you say with sources. And you make disgustingly anti-Arab and Islam phobic comments constantly.

      You still have not substantiated your comment that Palestinians supported Hitler.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        September 22, 2011, 11:54 am

        “Another nonsensical anti-intellectual hate-fest from a village idiot.

        Which you spend several paragraphs responding to.

        “Your only response to the author’s comments is that ‘some people’ didn’t get what they wanted?”

        My response is that the author wants one people on this earth to “come to terms” with a history that is similar to that of the most of the world’s nation-states (except less bloody).”

        “You boil down the ethnic cleansing of 800k Palestinians as them ‘not getting what they wanted.’”

        No, actually, what the Arabs of Palestine wanted was one state for themselves with a subservient Jewish minority. That they’ll never get.

        “So lets establish one thing: you are a sophist.”

        Let’s establish one thing: you’re a hothead.

        “That identifier sums up every single post you make at MW.”

        Right. Whatever floats your boat, hothead.

        “Zionist crimes during the mandate period and the subsequent war dwarf Palestinian crimes. The Palestinians were not defended by their leadership and did not vote to ‘destroy the Jewish state’ or any such nonsense.”

        No, it’s true, people in a dictatorship cannot vote. Then again, Zionists did not vote to “ethnically cleanse” anybody (since all of this premeditation took place before the founding of the state), so there’s no reason they should have to “come to grips” with anything if the Palestinians don’t have to either.

        “Suicide bombing began in 1994 and has ceased for several years. It is a blip in the timeline of violence between the two parties.”

        If you call the suicide murder of a thousand people a blip, it shows how callous you are to Jewish suffering.

        “Hamas anti-Jewish charter is meaningless. ”

        I guess if you don’t care about anti-Jewish hatred, it’s meaningless to you. It’s not meaningless to me.

        “And you make disgustingly anti-Arab and Islam phobic comments constantly.”

        Whatever. I’ve never made a single anti-Arab or Islamophobic comment here. This blog is, on the hand, full of anti-Jewish comments.

        “You still have not substantiated your comment that Palestinians supported Hitler.”

        You still are beating that gluestick.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        September 22, 2011, 12:49 pm
      • hophmi
        hophmi
        September 22, 2011, 12:57 pm

        Exactly how is noting that Arab states are not great allies of the United States anti-Arab?

      • DBG
        DBG
        September 22, 2011, 1:32 pm

        basically if a ‘zionist’ poster says the word Arab or Muslim on here they are accused of being an islamophobe (that is if it gets threw the mondocensors)

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        September 22, 2011, 1:57 pm

        Basically Zionist posters here, no quotations needed because you ARE Zionists, are racist to one degree or the other. You rely on memes and are intellectually dishonest.

        From the religious nuts to the might makes right pissant eee, you are all cut from the same cloth as the settlers. You justify the nakba by a lie that Palestinian civil society wanted to kill all Jews in the mandate or that they wanted Jews to live as dhimmis.

        There is nothing you’ve said on this blog that wasn’t shaped by your ethno religious cult, hive mind mentality.

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        September 22, 2011, 2:27 pm

        Which you spend several paragraphs responding to.

        Writing several paragraphs doesn’t expend that much energy. Shocking, I know.

        My response is that the author wants one people on this earth to “come to terms” with a history that is similar to that of the most of the world’s nation-states (except less bloody).

        The author is Jewish. You called him self-hating. You do not know what his other views are. You don’t know that he only thinks Zionist Jews should ‘come to terms’ with their original sin (the Nakba).

        This is the SAME STALE argument you use in EVERY SINGLE thread on MW.

        Verb, noun, disassemble. That’s all you do. You’re a pathological narcissist. The world doesn’t revolve around you. Just because someone cares about this issue does not mean that they are motivated by antisemitism (which, is of course the issue here since you’re a mindless phony).

        And Israel is still colonizing. Israel has no definitive borders. Israel is entering the 45th year of it’s military occupation of Palestinian land. Israeli settlements are expanding with no end in sight. Israel’s original sin did not end in 1948. It continues and that is why people like the author give a damn about the conflict.

        And given that you’re a hateful petulant child, he has nothing to prove to you and does not need to answer your repulsive ‘self-hatred’ slur.

        No, actually, what the Arabs of Palestine wanted was one state for themselves with a subservient Jewish minority. That they’ll never get.

        No, actually you have nothing to back up that hateful lie. Nothing. Just as you have nothing to back up your claim that ‘Palestinians supported Hitler’.

        Let’s establish one thing: you’re a hothead.

        Normal people with basic human decency like myself will be repulsed by a disgusting sophist like you.

        No, it’s true, people in a dictatorship cannot vote. Then again, Zionists did not vote to “ethnically cleanse” anybody (since all of this premeditation took place before the founding of the state), so there’s no reason they should have to “come to grips” with anything if the Palestinians don’t have to either.

        Actually, we don’t need a ‘vote’ to determine what Zionists are thinking. We can look at their actions. Israel has been occupying and colonizing Palestinian land for 45 years. You have a Jewish Law of Return which says Jews can come steal land from Palestinians in the OT. I think it’s clear what everyday Israeli Zionist Jews think of the ethnic cleansing of the Nakba and the on-going ethnic cleansing of present-day Palestinians.

        If you call the suicide murder of a thousand people a blip, it shows how callous you are to Jewish suffering.

        Who the hell are you to call anyone callous? In every discussion on MW you disassemble and whitewash Zionist crimes by comparing this conflict and Palestinian suffering to something else unrelated. That is how callous YOU are. Palestinians die at a factor of five and ten times more than Israelis.

        First, you characterize Israeli casualties as JEWISH casualties. Hamas isn’t carrying out regular terrorist attacks against Jews in Iran. Or Jews in America. Or Jews in Europe. The conflict is between Zionism and the indigenous population it displaced.

        As a matter of fact, suicide bombing is a blip. Meanwhile, Palestinian suffering is constant. Israel is occupying and colonizing Palestine not the other way around, putz.

        I guess if you don’t care about anti-Jewish hatred, it’s meaningless to you. It’s not meaningless to me.

        Anti-Jewish hatred isn’t the issue. The Hamas charter as a meaningful roadblock to peace is the issue. It isn’t. The occupation and on-going ethnic cleansing and colonialism of Jewish nationalism is the issue. The second-class citizenship and institutional and cultural racism of Israeli society is the issue.

        Palestinians are a virtually defenseless population. The rockets killed 6-8 people leading up to the Gaza massacre in 2008. Israel killed 1300+ people, mostly civilians, mostly children in 3 weeks.

        So, it’s not anti-Jewish-whatever that matters. It’s that you thing a Jewish fingernail (which really means within a ZIONIST context) is not worth the lives of 300 Palestinian children.

        Whatever. I’ve never made a single anti-Arab or Islamophobic comment here. This blog is, on the hand, full of anti-Jewish comments.

        Actually you have, and you’ll continue to make them. You whitewashed a cartoon by a ultra-Zionist organization (StandWithUs), that characterized Palestinian identity and nationalism as a snake. You did so until finally getting an email response from the artist himself.

        That is how pathetic you are. You’ll defend something as obviously repugnant as a cartoon snake colored as the Palestinian flag as benign. I think you even tried to say the ‘red’ was really a ‘pink’. That was your argument. Apparently, you’re so steeped in your cult-mentality you couldn’t see the black and green and white.

        The only people who would ever feasible side with you, after closely following these types of back-and-forth on MW are Christian Zionists, Jewish fundamentalists and Zionist, and the various assortment of European and American ultra-nationalists. The run-of-the-mill racist will also find solace in Zionism as it allows him or her to legitimize their hate as defending the Jewish people against a barbarian horde.

        You still are beating that gluestick

        Sure. I’ll keep bringing it up as frequently as you make an idiot out of yourself.

      • American
        American
        September 22, 2011, 2:41 pm

        The main reason Arab States aren’t great allies of the US is because of Israel.
        Thanks for reminding us.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        September 22, 2011, 2:44 pm

        “Basically Zionist posters here, no quotations needed because you ARE Zionists, are racist to one degree or the other. You rely on memes and are intellectually dishonest.”

        I want to thank you, Cliff, for revealing your intellectual limitations and intellectual laziness so fully.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        September 22, 2011, 2:58 pm

        “Writing several paragraphs doesn’t expend that much energy. Shocking, I know.”

        I see. So you decided to write several more.

        “The author is Jewish. You called him self-hating. You do not know what his other views are. You don’t know that he only thinks Zionist Jews should ‘come to terms’ with their original sin (the Nakba).”

        I know he’s militantly anti-circumcision. That’s a good start. And I think it’s pretty clear from his statement that he believes soul-searching is mostly for the Jews, not the Palestinians.

        “Just because someone cares about this issue does not mean that they are motivated by antisemitism (which, is of course the issue here since you’re a mindless phony).”

        Can you write a complete sentence without ad hominem? Clearly not. But again, I said he was self-hating. I didn’t say he was antisemitic. You said that.

        “Israel’s original sin did not end in 1948. It continues and that is why people like the author give a damn about the conflict.”

        Israel’s original sin is no different (and a lot less bloody) than America’s, and that of lots of other countries in this world. I’m waiting for any one of them to be scrutinized and vilified in the same way.

        “And given that you’re a hateful petulant child . . .”

        Blah.

        “No, actually you have nothing to back up that hateful lie. ”

        Blah, blah.

        “Nothing. Just as you have nothing to back up your claim that ‘Palestinians supported Hitler’.”

        Blah, blah, blah.

        “Normal people with basic human decency like myself will be repulsed by a disgusting sophist like you.”

        Blah, blah, blah, blah.

        “The conflict is between Zionism and the indigenous population it displaced.”

        Hmm. Argentina, 1994. Declarations by Hamas that they would go after Jews outside of Israel. Hamas’s charter, discussing Jews, not Israelis. I could go on.

        “Israel is occupying and colonizing Palestine not the other way around, putz.”

        Blah x5.

        “The Hamas charter as a meaningful roadblock to peace is the issue. It isn’t. ”

        So says you. I say different.

        “The rockets killed 6-8 people leading up to the Gaza massacre in 2008. Israel killed 1300+ people, mostly civilians, mostly children in 3 weeks.”

        So, is Israel supposed to wait for more casualties before defending itself?

        “It’s that you thing a Jewish fingernail (which really means within a ZIONIST context) is not worth the lives of 300 Palestinian children.”

        That’s what YOU say. That’s not what I said.

        “Actually you have, and you’ll continue to make them.”

        Actually I haven’t. The only one someone brought up was a comment about the reliability of US alliances with Arab states. If that’s Islamophobic, then every criticism of the US’s alliance with Israel would be antisemitic.

        “You whitewashed a cartoon by a ultra-Zionist organization (StandWithUs), that characterized Palestinian identity and nationalism as a snake.”

        I failed to see the symbolism. I’m not into comic books. When it was pointed out to me (because I actually emailed the artist to find out), I admitted my error, which is a lot more than you people ever did. And again, if criticism of a national movement is Islamophobic and anti-Arab, then I guess you’re admitting that criticism of Zionism is antisemitic.

        “Sure. I’ll keep bringing it up as frequently as you make an idiot out of yourself.”

        LOL. The idiocy is all yours, Cliffy. Blahx6.

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        September 22, 2011, 6:01 pm

        Uh, is ‘Cliffy’ supposed to hurt my feelings? You and your rapier wit!

        I failed to see the symbolism. I’m not into comic books. When it was pointed out to me (because I actually emailed the artist to find out), I admitted my error, which is a lot more than you people ever did. And again, if criticism of a national movement is Islamophobic and anti-Arab, then I guess you’re admitting that criticism of Zionism is antisemitic.

        You didn’t admit your error. You emailed the artist. The artist of the cartoon had to tell you that red, white, black and green colored onto a snake represented the Palestinian flag. No one in that thread needed you to get the artist’s statement. It wasn’t necessary.

        You were doing damage control and defended the cartoon until the very last moment your position became so clearly ludicrous. And of course, afterwards you’re now saying it wasn’t racist anyway.

        This isn’t some great work of art and you don’t need to read comic books to get the imagery.

        That discussion is simply one example. There are other examples. And what is your response?

        “Blah blah blah blah.”

        Actually I haven’t. The only one someone brought up was a comment about the reliability of US alliances with Arab states. If that’s Islamophobic, then every criticism of the US’s alliance with Israel would be antisemitic.

        Actually, you have.

        That’s what YOU say. That’s not what I said.

        It doesn’t matter whether you said it explicitly. It’s what you believe and that belief is expressed in every one of your ridiculous whiny, anti-Arab and Islamophobic posts.

        So, is Israel supposed to wait for more casualties before defending itself?

        Israel isn’t defending itself. It is using these attacks as an opportunity to further it’s grip over the Palestinians.

        Any kind of action taken by the Palestinians against their colonized status – whether it be legitimate violence, illegitimate violence and non-violent protest – is met with disproportionate force.

        Israel doesn’t tolerate non-violent protest from Palestinians. So it’s not a matter of defending Israeli civilians. That is not the purpose.

        And during the same period Israel killed a couple hundred Palestinians in Gaza ANYWAY. In the lead up to the truce of 2008.

        This violence is not isolated. There is a historical context. This is a colonial conflict. Not a conflict between a bastion of democracy and Islamofascism.

        Hmm. Argentina, 1994. Declarations by Hamas that they would go after Jews outside of Israel. Hamas’s charter, discussing Jews, not Israelis. I could go on.

        Doesn’t matter. If Hamas’s purpose was to kill Jews then why doesn’t it kill the Jews of CODE Pink? Why didn’t they kill Norman Finkelstein? Hamas has had plenty of opportunities to kill Jews simply because they were Jews (and not Israelis and not Zionists).

        Their fight is with Zionism and their antisemitism is reactionary.

        Israel’s original sin is no different (and a lot less bloody) than America’s, and that of lots of other countries in this world. I’m waiting for any one of them to be scrutinized and vilified in the same way.

        That’s not the point.

        The point is that Israel is still colonizing land and still ethnically cleansing. Israel has no definitive borders. Israel is not in the territories for security. Israel is in the territories for expansion.

        1948 is not an isolated incident vis a vis Zionist expansion. So Israel’s original sin is on-going and continually whitewashed by racist hypocrites like you.

        And no one has to be a one-man Amnesty International. You sure as hell do not balance every single thing you say, which is why you pay more attention to the Hamas charter and ignore the on-going theft of Palestinian land. There are plenty of examples of Israeli immorality and criminality. Your standard response is that “so? in blah blah, worse is happening, so blah blah blah”

        You’re a hypocrite and you assume people who criticize Israel would not readily criticize the US or Iran or Sudan or every other country you think we ignore.

        People are interested in this conflict for a number of reasons that do NOT have to be spelled out. They are obvious.

        I know he’s militantly anti-circumcision. That’s a good start. And I think it’s pretty clear from his statement that he believes soul-searching is mostly for the Jews, not the Palestinians.

        Who cares. And I think the soul-searching is for Zionist Jews. I don’t see why he’d think Norman Finkelstein has soul-searching to do.

        Everything you write is utter garbage.

      • Donald
        Donald
        September 22, 2011, 6:23 pm

        ” I’m waiting for any one of them to be scrutinized and vilified in the same way.”

        Israel gets way more in the way of mindless adulation in the US than it does scrutiny. And its ethnic cleansing and apartheid days aren’t over with. And other countries with bad human rights records are in fact subjected to harsh criticism (and sometimes even harsher bombing attacks or sanctions). Plus we don’t give them billions of dollars every year.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        September 22, 2011, 6:27 pm

        “Uh, is ‘Cliffy’ supposed to hurt my feelings? You and your rapier wit!”

        No, it’s meant to apparently “get a rise out of you.” As if this took effort.

        “You didn’t admit your error. You emailed the artist.”

        I did indeed admit my error.

        “You were doing damage control and defended the cartoon until the very last moment your position became so clearly ludicrous.”

        I wasn’t doing damage control. It’s a politically partisan comic book. It’s not, like, Mein Kampf, or the Hamas Charter or something.

        “It’s what you believe and that belief is expressed in every one of your ridiculous whiny, anti-Arab and Islamophobic posts.”

        Presumptive much?

        Your ad hominem deserves a nonsense answer. Actually, it doesn’t deserve even that.

        “Doesn’t matter. If Hamas’s purpose was to kill Jews then why doesn’t it kill the Jews of CODE Pink?”

        Are you serious? Do you know the political orientation of every person killed in the Sbarro bombing? In the Dolphinarium? In Netanya? Are you telling me that if there was a CODEPink Jew in Sbarro’s the bomb would have magically excluded them?

        Asking me why Hamas does kill CODEPink Jews in Gaza is like asking me why the Catholic Church didn’t kill Pablo Christiani and arguing it means the Catholic Church could not have been antisemitic in the Middle Ages.

        “The point is that Israel is still colonizing land and still ethnically cleansing. Israel has no definitive borders. Israel is not in the territories for security. Israel is in the territories for expansion.”

        Then by all means explain why Israel has not annexed the territories yet and why there are still Palestinians in the West Bank.

        “You’re a hypocrite and you assume people who criticize Israel would not readily criticize the US or Iran or Sudan or every other country you think we ignore.”

        You don’t. In fact, what I heard out of the anti-Zionist community at the height of the activism on Darfur was that it was all a Zionist plot and all anti-Arab activism. Where’s the criticism of Ahmadinejad? Where’s the criticism of al-Bashir? Show me where. It’s not here.

        “Everything you write is utter garbage.”

        Feeling’s mutual.

      • Chaos4700
        Chaos4700
        September 22, 2011, 6:37 pm
      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        September 22, 2011, 6:39 pm

        “Exactly how is noting that Arab states are not great allies of the United States anti-Arab?”

        You did not state that the existing Arab states are not great allies of the United States (which is, in itself, a lie which, given the context, can only be seen as anti-Arab bigotry) but made a statement which asserted that the fact that a state is Arab run, means it cannot be a good ally of the US:

        “Why would America want another Arab-run state in the Middle East? Because the others are such great allies?”

        This is clearly a bigoted statement.

        As I noted to DBG:

        If that isn’t clear enough, let’s change up the statement a bit, but use different human institutions, and maybe it will be clearer:

        “Why would Americans want another Jewish-run investment firm on Wall Street? Because Bernie Madoff and Goldman Sachs were so good for the US?”

        Now you get it?

        Now you get it?

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        September 22, 2011, 6:57 pm

        I wasn’t doing damage control. It’s a politically partisan comic book. It’s not, like, Mein Kampf, or the Hamas Charter or something.

        You were doing damage control. You’re doing damage control right now by dismissing it as ‘politically partisan’. Characterizing Palestinian identity as a snake against ‘Captain Israel’ is racism.

        Your ad hominem deserves a nonsense answer. Actually, it doesn’t deserve even that.

        Calling you an idiot is not ad hominem. You are an idiot. I’m just stating facts.

        Are you serious? Do you know the political orientation of every person killed in the Sbarro bombing? In the Dolphinarium? In Netanya? Are you telling me that if there was a CODEPink Jew in Sbarro’s the bomb would have magically excluded them?

        Asking me why Hamas does kill CODEPink Jews in Gaza is like asking me why the Catholic Church didn’t kill Pablo Christiani and arguing it means the Catholic Church could not have been antisemitic in the Middle Ages.

        Israelis are required to serve in the military. Israel is occupying and colonizing Palestinian land. I don’t think Hamas has Zionist-seeking missiles so they will instead attack civilians of the country that is stealing their land.

        I don’t think Native Americans had it out for Christians either.

        And yes, if Hamas’s true enemy were Jews, then they’d have killed Norman Finkelstein. They didn’t. Their fight is with Zionism and their anti-Jewish rhetoric/mantra is reactionary.

        It is nothing like Nazism. Since you decided to put the Hamas Charter in the company of Mein Kampf.

        This is superficial and dishonest but hey, you’ve mastered the art of talking out of your ass!

        Then by all means explain why Israel has not annexed the territories yet and why there are still Palestinians in the West Bank.

        Israel can’t get away with an ethnic cleansing on the scale of 1948 in a single (more or less) go.

        The Nakba occurred during war. It was the result of an opportunity the Zionist leadership took.

        Are you saying there isn’t any colonizing going on? That Palestinians aren’t being dispossessed?

        Again, you resort to superficial, dishonest one-liners.

        Why is Israel in the territories? Why does Israel allow citizens to settle the territories? Etc. etc.

        Like I said, everything you write is garbage. You can’t substantiate anything you say with a straight face (sincerity). It’s all a gotcha-comment/superficial comparisons/etc.

        There isn’t any difference between the stupid shit you write and the rantings of Jewish fundamentalist settlers.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      September 22, 2011, 11:39 am

      “Will they be coming to grips with the crime of blowing up Israeli children in the 1990s and 2000s? Will they be coming to grips with Hamas’ anti-Jewish charter? ”

      Hophmi

      Were the Jews of the Vilna Ghetto communally responsible for the violent acts of individual Jewish resistance fighters? Did they deserve what they got?

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        September 22, 2011, 12:17 pm

        “Were the Jews of the Vilna Ghetto communally responsible for the violent acts of individual Jewish resistance fighters? Did they deserve what they got?”

        It’s not remotely a comparable situation. The Palestinians do not live in a ghetto and are not dying by the hundreds every day. Moreover, poll after poll demonstrated widespread Palestinian support for suicide bombing.

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        September 22, 2011, 2:30 pm

        Palestinian civil society does not support suicide bombing.

        Israeli Jews supported the Gaza massacre in which 300 children were incinerated among other wholesale destruction and suffering.

        Then there is the occupation going on 45+ years and the continued colonialism.

        Then there is the Jewish Law of Return, where Jews from all over (and amazingly here in the US, the supposed land of the free where you’d think AMERICAN Jews might have learned that colonialism and stealing was wrong) can go and take what is not theirs in the OT.

        Max Blumenthal, whom you stalked like the weirdo that you are, showed us what everyday American Jews think of values like freedom. We saw what this sample of teenagers on their Birthright Tour thought about American values and Israeli values.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        September 22, 2011, 3:02 pm

        “Palestinian civil society does not support suicide bombing.”

        False. http://www.pewglobal.org/database/?indicator=19&country=168

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        September 22, 2011, 6:20 pm

        Palestinian civil society is not defined by that one poll, which asks whether suicide bombing is ever justified.

        The poll results show that a majority of Palestinian Muslim respondents (Christians were not polled) “often/sometimes” justified.

        That doesn’t mean they support suicide bombing.

        That would be like saying Americans think war is great and support war – based on polls that say a majority of Americans think war is often/sometimes justified.

      • Chaos4700
        Chaos4700
        September 22, 2011, 6:39 pm

        So how many Palestinian children do you think should be put to death again, hophmi? Give us a number.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        September 22, 2011, 7:17 pm

        False. link to pewglobal.org

        Wrong Hophmi. Read the questiono that was asked.

        It asked respondents if they personally felt “…this kind of violence is often justified to defend Islam, sometimes justified, rarely justified, or never justified?”

        They were not asked if they felt suicide bombing was ever justified to resist Israeli occupation of Palestine.

      • Chaos4700
        Chaos4700
        September 22, 2011, 7:57 pm

        Which is ironic, really, because if you ask Witty, eee, hophmi, etc. “How much violence is justified to defend Judaism,” their answers wouldn’t be ANY weaker. Their responses would be — have been — even MORE virulent.

        They’ve all made comments about how the Nakba — how ethnic cleansing, how mass executions and targeted attacks on civilians, purges of non-Jewish communities and seizures of land to carve out a state specifically for Zionist colonists — how they believe, unabashedly, that all of that was justified.

        Hamas doesn’t even say a FRACTION of that needs to be done to their Zionist Jewish oppressors. I haven’t heard ANYWHERE where Hamas insists that Jews must be slaughtered, right down to the children, like Zionists do routinely.

    • American
      American
      September 22, 2011, 2:38 pm

      “Or is it only the Jews who must atone for their sins in this world?”

      Humm…tell me hop, do you think Jews have ever committed any sins…done bad things as a group or religion or culture or part of their group like zionist do/did bad things?

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      September 22, 2011, 4:10 pm

       Will the Palestinians be coming to grips with the crimes of their leader, Hajj, Husseini in 1944?

      What grips? Husseini wasn’t even elected to his position. He lost the election and was put in power by the British, then exiled from 1937 until he died. 

      nWill they be coming to grips with the crime of blowing up Israeli children in the 1990s and 2000s?

      They already have. Unlike Israel’s ongoing occupation, ethnic cleansing and mass murder, the Palestinians stopped those attacks and continue to pay the price for it.

       Will they be coming to grips with Hamas’ anti-Jewish charter?

      The same charter than Meshal says is no longer relevant?

      Or is it only the Jews who must atone for their sins in this world?

      When all else fails, remember to refer to Israel as “the Jews”. Of course, Israel has never has to prone for their sins, seeing as the US is always there to reward them.

  8. seafoid
    seafoid
    September 22, 2011, 12:06 pm

    Rosh Hashanah message from the spinmeister in chief

    http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/2011/Rosh_Hashanah_message_President_Peres-Sept_2011.htm

    Hopefully, the coming New Year will herald the realization of our aspirations for peace, greater security and economic growth

    Israel will have to choose between peace/security and economic growth.
    Because it won’t be able to manage the 2 together. Apartheid cannot bring economic growth. Ask Pik Botha

  9. Richard Witty
    Richard Witty
    September 22, 2011, 12:32 pm

    “no direct statement that the early Zionist political program was predicated on a premeditated campaign to ethnically cleanse Palestine of its indigenous non-Jewish population. This is where liberal Zionism consistently runs afoul of reality, a stubborn unwillingness to come to grips with or even acknowledge the crimes of 1948. ”

    Its also is where the far left consistently runs afoul of reality, a stubborn and consistent exageration of a military contingency into an ideological strategem.

    Ilan Pappe is not a reliable historian. He is a religious one, a preacher. And, in relying on his work exclusively for your “reality”, you are a willing convert.

    The prohibition from return is the consequential action, not the exagerated concept of a conspiracy to ethnically cleanse articulated over a century, or even a few months.

    • mig
      mig
      September 22, 2011, 2:48 pm

      RW :

      “Ilan Pappe is not a reliable historian.”

      ++++ Because he did go to study IDF archives, and write few books about findings ? So is fault of IDF archives or Pappe then ? Has anyone else entered to IDF archives to do the same ? Yes indeed, and story is quite same by all writers.

      • Chaos4700
        Chaos4700
        September 22, 2011, 6:40 pm

        Of coruse it’s not because of that! Ilan Pappe isn’t a reliable historian because he refuses to acknowledge that, as a Jew, he himself is vastly superior to any non-Jewish historian.

        And so Witty can’t take any stock in him.

  10. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    September 22, 2011, 3:37 pm

    RE: “the contradictions of liberal Zionism:…liberal Zionism consistently runs afoul of reality, a stubborn unwillingness to come to grips with or even acknowledge the crimes of 1948.” ~ Matthew Taylor

    SIGMUND FREUD SEZ (posthumously): Acknowledging the crimes of 1948 would induce beaucoup cognitive dissonance, and almost everyone likes to avoid cognitive dissonance (emotional pain). It’s human nature!
    Subconscious Mind – A List of Defense Mechanisms
    Here we explore a list of defense mechanisms employed by the subconscious mind to ward off anxiety and protect the conscious mind from emotional pain
    …For example, when a person would like to do one thing, but instead can’t seem to help but do another, it indicates that there’s a conflict between the conscious mind and some part of the subconscious mind…
    …Another term for such internal conflicts is Cognitive Dissonance — Two cognition’s (elements of knowledge)… usually one conscious and the other subconscious… are in direct conflict with each other.
    The two opposing cognition’s are located on neural networks in the brain. They create anxiety that steadily intensifies until the subconscious mind employs a solution from its list of defense mechanisms…
    List of Defense Mechanisms
    • Compartmentalization
    • Compensation
    • Denial
    • Displacement
    • Fantasy
    • Intellectualization
    • Projection
    • Rationalization
    • Reaction Formation
    • Regression
    • Repression
    • Sublimation
    • Undoing
    ALSO SEE – http://mondoweiss.net/2011/09/the-privileged-divide-non-jews-want-to-talk-the-issue-jews-dont.html#comment-365465

  11. munro
    munro
    September 22, 2011, 7:52 pm

    Andrea Dworkin covered the same terrain in Ms Magazine 1990 (Phil, link may interest you)
    http://www.nostatusquo.com/ACLU/dworkin/IsraelI.html

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