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Einstein’s crime

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Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein

Yesterday Hebrew University unveiled a program to digitize parts of Albert Einstein’s archives. Donald MacIntyre, the Independent’s Jerusalem correspondent, starts his story by telling us how Einstein helped an ex-lover escape Europe. Like many men of power and privilege, Einstein chose to betray his second wife and take on a lover almost half his age. The correspondent did not seek any comments on Einstein’s infidelity. Perhaps this is common knowledge already. Perhaps the Independent has accepted this as expected behavior from the rich and famous.

The focus of the Independent article is a letter that Einstein wrote to a Palestinian newspaper in which he seems to propose a one-state solution and a detailed mechanism for making it work.

By 1930, Einstein was on warm enough terms with the Palestinian editor [Azmi al-Nahashibi of Falastin] to share with Falastin’s readers his chosen peace process – one which firmly excluded politicians. Instead he envisaged a council of two four-strong teams, Jewish and Arab, working in secret, each of a “physician elected by the medical body; a jurist elected by the lawyers; a worker representative elected by the unions; and one clerical man elected by the ecclesiastical body”. Each would undertake not to act out of sectional or national interest but “to take into account… according to their knowledge and conscience the prosperity of the whole inhabitants of the Land.”

When three on each side agreed on a resolution they could make it public. Saying that “aggressive nationalism must be subdued,” he asserts that the council would gradually “lead to a state in which differences will gradually be eliminated and common representation of the interests of the country will be upheld”. Einstein summed up his vision of a future Palestine “only as the scene of peaceful co-operation between the two peoples whose land it is”.

The article did seek quotes from the curator as well as the head of the archive, who comment on Einstein’s Zionism and poo poo his peace plan. The unfortunate  headline exclaims the exact opposite of what is claimed in the body of the article “Even Einstein couldn’t think of a peace plan.” Einstein’s crime is that he did think of a plan; one that put Arabs and Jews on equal footing. Any plan that does not privilege Jews over Arabs could not possibly exist.

“Even,” the first word in the Independent headline, betrays one of the lies of liberal Zionism. There is a conflict in Israel-Palestine not because of the racism inherent in Zionism, but because The Conflict is so complex that nobody, not even the greatest mind of the last century, can ever propose a solution even if he clearly proposes a solution.

jawad

Jawad Ali is an organic dairy farmer in Lahore, Pakistan

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31 Responses

  1. dahoit on March 21, 2012, 11:56 am

    Damn,I always think along the same lines;A Palestinian state for Palestinians,and a Jewish state for Israelis,coexisting on the same land,with Palestinian courts for Palestinians,and Jewish courts for Jews,with joint police patrols,joint army patrols,etc.,with both sides represented and both sides benefiting.Of course its never been done before,and of course complicated,but what other solution is there,other than continuing disaster?

    • Mooser on March 21, 2012, 1:39 pm

      dahoit, I was almost going to write a serious reply to your brilliantly comic comment. You got me, but good. Well, maybe after a couple cups coffee I’ll be more awake.

  2. pabelmont on March 21, 2012, 12:58 pm

    This is like the Daily Show’s take-off of the USA’s anti UNESCO law. “Einstein had no peace plan — except he did!”

    As to Einstein, never forget the “Einstein letter” which warned against Israeli terrorism and fascism. Wonder what Hebrew University made of THAT.

    • Mooser on March 21, 2012, 3:35 pm

      “Wonder what Hebrew University made of THAT.”

      According to the Einstein biography I read (“Einstein for Dummies”) Einstein’s physics theories made him somewhat of a mysterious celebrity, who was constantly sought after to sign political petitions and take political stances. Which he did, by the bucketful.
      It is possible for Einstein to be a physics mayven and political niaf.
      The physics work which brought him to prominence was done when he was young, and the world was much younger, relatively speaking.

      Sort of begs the question of why no rapper has adopted “E=MC!” as their name.

    • DICKERSON3870 on March 21, 2012, 4:41 pm

      RE: “As to Einstein, never forget the ‘Einstein letter which warned against Israeli terrorism and fascism. ” ~ pabelmont

      ALSO SEE: Creating a Warrior State: The Enigma of Israel ~ by Gabriel Kolko, Counterpunch, 3/16/12

      (excerpt) Zionism was supposed to make Jewish existence “normal;” very different than in a Diaspora peopled by goyim, but there is nothing ”normal” in the life and culture of Israel today —which has not lived in peace with its neighbors, much less let the Palestinians have elementary human rights in the lands in which they have lived for thousands of years. If war is the criteria of “normal” existence, then Zionism has become a failed nightmare. It was, when first conceptualized, not supposed to be this way.
      Instead of the original dream of A. D. Gordon, Nachman Syrkin, Dov Ber Borochov, and those influenced by the anti-industrial scouting “wanderfogel” concept (which also played a role in Nazi ideology) or Tolstoy (who influenced some Zionist theorists), it turned out very differently. Israel today, the realization of the Zionist theory, bears little relationship to the original concept, which was much more attune to the fact that Palestine was peopled by Arabs and they were also human beings who deserved to have rights. In its own way, the original Zionist formulations, ignoring the fact there was also a contradiction in wanting to set up a homeland in an area the Jews had not lived for thousands of years and was scarcely Western—as they were themselves now—was much more realistic and fair about the rights of Arabs who were native to that country.
      Instead, Israel today has become a danger to the region and to itself, so much so that it cannot exist much longer with its own contradictions…
      . . . Netanyahu opposes all Palestinian Arab claims for a state of their own and favors measures to restrict the rights of Arabs, whether within Israel or the West Bank. Jabotinsky was very close to Mussolini’s brand of fascism, and the Revisionist youth movement, Betar, maintained a naval academy in Italy from 1934 to 1938. . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/03/16/the-enigma-of-israel/

      P.S. FROM WIKIPEDIA (Ze’ev Jabotinsky):

      (excerpt)…In 1930, while [Ze’ev] Jabotinsky was visiting South Africa, he was informed by the British Colonial Office that he would not be allowed to return to Palestine…
      …During his time in exile, Jabotinsky started regarding Benito Mussolini as a potential ally against the British, and contacts were made with Italy. In 1934 Jabotinsky and the Revisionist Zionist movement set up the Betar Naval Academy in Mussolini’s Italy, which operated until 1938…

      SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ze'ev_Jabotinsky

      P.P.S.

      “…The same biographer, Joseph Schechtman, who was a close personal friend to Jabotinsky, also writes that Jabotinsky was powerfully influenced by Mussolini’s impatient and muscular militarism.” ~ teta mother me, 3/18/12

      SOURCE – http://mondoweiss.net/2012/03/israeli-police-use-attack-dogs-on-palestinian-protesters-in-the-west-bank.html#comment-434454

      • DICKERSON3870 on March 21, 2012, 4:54 pm

        P.P.P.S AUDIO (19:53) – Scott Horton Interviews Gabriel Kolko, Antiwar Radio, 3/20/12

        Gabriel Kolko, historian and author of “World in Crisis: The End of the American Century”; discusses his article “Creating a Warrior State: The Enigma of Israel;” why Zionism and democracy cannot coexist; how Israel’s demographic changes are marginalizing secular Jews; and how the will of the people in Israel is reflected – both in Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination and Bibi Netanyahu’s electoral success.

        LINK – http://antiwar.com/radio/2012/03/20/gabriel-kolko-3/

        P.P.P.P.S. ALSO SEE: The Dilemmas of Israeli Power, by Roger Cohen, New York Times Op-Ed, 2/13/12

        (excerpt). . . Some of the most fascinating pages of “The Crisis of Zionism” [by Peter Beinart] trace the ideological backdrop to the bitter clash between Obama and Netanyahu. Beinart demonstrates the strong liberal Zionist influence of Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf on Obama during his Chicago years. Wolf hated the idea of “an Israel besieged by anti-Semites;” his teaching was “interfaith” and “integrationist.” It cleaved to the liberal roots of American Zionism and the ethical teachings of the prophets who, as expressed in Exodus, commanded Jews not to oppress strangers “having yourselves been strangers in the land of Egypt.”
        The contrast with Netanyahu — raised in the Jabotinsky strain of Zionism by a father who viewed Arabs as “semi-barbaric”* and rejected an “emasculating moralism” [e.g. universal human rights] in favor of a new warrior breed of Jew — could scarcely be greater. . .

        ENTIRE OP-ED – http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/14/opinion/cohen-the-dilemmas-of-jewish-power.html
        * SEE: Netanyahu Family’s Racist History: Like Father, Like Son, by Richard Silverstein – http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2011/07/12/netanyahu-familys-racist-history-like-father-like-son/

  3. LanceThruster on March 21, 2012, 1:49 pm

    There’s also this observation by Einstein —

    from: http://www.opednews.com/articles/ALBERT-EINSTEIN-ON-PALESTI-by-Edward-Corrigan-100110-905.html

    In 1950, Einstein published the following statement on the question of Zionism. This speech was originally given to the National Labor Committee for Palestine, in New York, on April 17, 1938 but republished by Einstein after Israel’s creation.

    I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state. Apart from the practical considerations, my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already had to fight without a Jewish state. [7]

  4. tokyobk on March 21, 2012, 1:55 pm

    Sad that the Einstein vision did not triumph.

    I am sure, Jawad, you are against, forced partitions, cleansing of indigenous people, and racism wherever it happens, yes?

    • annie on March 21, 2012, 2:31 pm

      tokyobk, i suppose you are aware the US has an agenda of supporting the partitioning of baluchistan away from pakistan. what is your point of the link. are you insinuating pakistan is ethnically cleansing baluchistan? is this something you think the UN should focus on right now? the free baluchistan movement? then do i ever have the link for you. make sure you follow the link embedded in the first paragraph.

      http://www.moonofalabama.org/2012/02/six-years-late-the-free-baluchistan-act-arrives.html

      • tokyobk on March 21, 2012, 8:22 pm

        I am making the point that you are helping me make by contextualizing Baluchistan. Mass expulsions, land theft, brutal suppression in Pakistan: “Its complicated,” right?

        If someone is talking about Israel and another changes the subject to Tibet, they are indeed changing the subject.

        If someone is writing from Pakistan about racism and Apartheid, asking what they think about their country which by numbers has been as cruel as anything done in Israel, and which continues de facto and dejure as an Apartheid state, is legitimate.

        You are either for or against expulsions, partitions and racism. I am not only being snarky. Jawad may be a universalist and genuinely progressive.

        And, it is a shame the Einstein model did not survive. Jawad is right.

      • tokyobk on March 21, 2012, 8:28 pm

        Its an interesting link.

        Please tell me you see the similarity of some of the reactions to what settlers say about foreign meddling in their supposedly fairly conquered territory:

        “It is high time that Pakistan’s Parliament looked at the need for a Free Texas (Arizona and New Mexico too) resolution. As to the continued occupation of Iowa by genocidal colonists of European origin this is a matter the International Community has ignored for far too long.”

        And yes to your answers. I think thank that expulsions, racism and indigenous property rights should be addressed evenly throughout the world. In that case, the 3rd holiest site in Islam would be at least half in control of Palestine and the second holiest site, the former Yatrib, would allow a Jew to step his or her foot in it.

  5. annie on March 21, 2012, 2:32 pm

    The Conflict is so complex

    it’s complicated!

    • LanceThruster on March 21, 2012, 2:48 pm

      Sometimes others have a reason to make people think an issue is too complex to understand. This Norman Finkelstein iWitness interview comes to mind.

      from: http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=3&ar=73

      iW: Since Hamas came to power in January this year, it has resisted pressure to recognise Israel. Do you think this is the real obstacle to peace?

      Finkelstein: First of all, we need historical context. For thirty years, from the mid-1970s on, the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) was on record supporting a two-state settlement. That did not bring the conflict any closer to peace, for the very simple reason that Israel does not want to leave the Occupied Territories. So the claim that Hamas is the obstacle is rather curious in light of the fact that for thirty years there was a movement that openly recognised Israel, and it still did not facilitate a resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Therefore, the argument that Hamas is the obstacle is obviously nonsense.

      Right now, they are saying, “We have to support Abbas, and not support Hamas.” Abbas is the successor to Arafat. There has been no change in the official position of the PLO. It is not as if Abbas suddenly said, “I support a two-state settlement.” That has been the position of the PLO since the mid-1970s. So why is it that now we need to bring back Abbas, when in fact you had an Abbas for thirty years without it bringing about a resolution to the conflict.

      Number two: the Hamas government has sent mixed signals about its willingness to recognise Israel. It has certainly made enough gestures to recognising the June 1967 borders, such that you can negotiate with them. But the real question is: what has been the Israeli position? Has any Israeli government, or official, or mainstream political party ever recognised a Palestinian state in the June 1967 borders? And the answer is, flatly, no.

      It is not complicated. The position of Hamas was that any recognition had to be mutual. I think that is perfectly legitimate. Why should recognition be one-sided? Why should they have to recognise the Israeli state, but the Israeli state not have to recognise the right of the Palestinians, not to any state, but to a state within the pre-July 1967 border? No Israeli government has done that. If the Israeli government does not do it, then I agree with Hamas: they should not do it.

  6. skhan on March 21, 2012, 2:42 pm

    Hello All,

    New to the site. Can anyone recommend a good book on Israeli-Palestinian history that isn’t really biased.?

    Cheers.

    • annie on March 21, 2012, 2:52 pm

      the ethnic cleansing of palestine by ilan pappe

      • skhan on March 21, 2012, 2:55 pm

        Hi Annie,

        Thank you for the suggestion. Does this book focus solely on Palestine? I would like a book that incorporates the events of both sides to the conflict.

      • FreddyV on March 21, 2012, 3:45 pm

        @skhan:

        I was going to suggest that you’re looking in the wrong place the find a ‘balanced viewpoint’, but that’s not a fair statement.

        If there were such a thing then there would be some kind of accord, compromise and ultimately peace. It’s quite apparent that there isn’t.

        Bottom line is, you have a bunch of people who weren’t happy about another bunch of people moving in and taking over the neighbourhood against their wishes. Those who moved in felt they had a Divine right to be there still do and those that lived there for centuries don’t agree.

        All the rest is filler, propaganda and bias. The books suggested are good, but mainly support Palestinians (as you can gather from the titles). Interestingly, Norman Finklestein and Ilan Pappe are both Jewish.

      • eljay on March 21, 2012, 3:06 pm

        >> Can anyone recommend a good book on Israeli-Palestinian history that isn’t really biased.?

        “The Lemon Tree” by Sandy Tolan was one of the first books I read relating to the I/P conflict. As well as being a wonderful read, it struck me as being fairly well-balanced. (Othere books and articles I’ve read since then have backed up my impression.)

        >> the ethnic cleansing of palestine by ilan pappe

        That one’s on my “to read” list. :-)

    • LanceThruster on March 21, 2012, 3:12 pm

      Here’s something easily accessed online —

      http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/origin.html

      and I also found Norman Finkelstein’s “Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict” well done.

      http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/169481.Image_and_Reality_of_the_Israel_Palestine_Conflict_New_and_Revised_Edition

    • rpickar on March 21, 2012, 3:30 pm

      skhan,

      I think that, rather than looking for a book on Israel-Palestinian history that isn’t really biased, look at books that tell the Palestinian story wholly, like the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, and the Israeli story wholly. Each side has something to say.

      I think that it’s the conclusion of the commenters on this site that the Palestinians have fundamental facts (photographs, deeds, verified quotes) as well as human rights justice on their side.

      Zionists have a powerful political desire and strong emotions from historical anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. Most importantly, they have extreme power in Western societies, technological, financial, political and media. They have used that power to change the image of the conflict in the minds of the Western world.

      Mondoweiss is about reversing that power and showing the Palestinian perspective to Western readers, with news, analysis, and links to verified information.

      • FreddyV on March 21, 2012, 6:33 pm

        @Robert:

        That’s what I said!

        But you did it far more gently and eloquently. Nicely done sir!

  7. Mooser on March 21, 2012, 3:27 pm

    This article was very enlightening. I was always mystified by one of Einstein’s simplified explanations of relativity: “When you sit on a hot stove, a minute seems like an hour, but when you sit with a pretty girl, an hour seems like a minute!”

    I guess he knew what he was talking about.

  8. Daniel Rich on March 22, 2012, 8:12 am

    So, the light does bend when it travels over Israel…

  9. Justice Please on March 22, 2012, 12:02 pm

    Nice work, Jawad.

  10. Mike Jacobs on March 22, 2012, 4:04 pm

    When I was in the second grade mothers in cars came to the school and took us out of town on a nuclear attack drill. I remember asking questions along with my best friend in the back seat. How could the school ever know in time? If they knew, then everybody would know, and those two lane roads would be packed. Was it a good idea to take children away from their families? This was such an obvious boondoggle that we howled with derision at the stupidity of it all, until we were told to shut up.

    Most of the sane and intelligent people whom I have known during the decades since have agreed that the whole nuclear business, the bombs and the energy plants — all of it, is an insane, greed-driven madness that no democratic process ever agreed to initiate. This whole mess is probably the greatest long-term threat to human life or the viability of our environment, more threatening perhaps than global warming. Even without nuclear war that string of reactors all along the unstable Pacific rim, those spread across the American tornado belt, and those built in the path of a rising sea, these are a deadly legacy to leave future generations. The chances are Messrs Einstein, Oppenheimer, and Teller are not going to be the folk heroes that America’s Jewish-0wned media have assumed is their destiny.

    Mr. Einstein was not a particularly nice or admirable person when his personal life is brought into focus, and since he may well be seen as the initiator of major league crimes against humanity, when he went to the President urging him to make the atomic bomb, it might well be in the interest of American Jewry to stop shoving Einsteins face into public light on an almost daily basis. Had he never lived would nuclear weapons have been dropped on tens of thousands of Japanese civilians? It was his idea. Would scientists have decided to split the atom at all had this been decided by a more open process? Congress never authorized an atomic bomb. Is it smart to keep pushing Einstein as a Jewish ikon and a public fetish to ad nauseum, when this could so easily become a Jewish liability following multiple nuclear disasters at some time in the future?

    • Mooser on March 22, 2012, 7:39 pm

      “more threatening perhaps than global warming.”

      Don’t you see? The post-atomic bomb “nuclear winter” could be the cure for “Global Warming”! It’s all good!

      • Mooser on March 22, 2012, 7:43 pm

        BTW, pal, there are lots of American Jews, Jews who are Americans, and Americans who are Jews.

        There is no such thing as “American Jewry”. Hey, but if you want to hang on to what is basically an anti-Semitic locution, that’s your business.

  11. Mike Jacobs on March 23, 2012, 10:46 am

    You are right Mooser, that word felt antiquated and not quite right when I reread what I had written, but when I looked it up I could find not find evidence that it had evil associations. Perhaps this word has been abandoned today in most Jewish discourse, because secular and religious Jews are today so very very far apart intellectually and socially that no term that covers them both can have any ring of validity. We are after all talking about two groups of people with diametrically opposed points of view on most issues and only theoretical genetics and contentiousness in common.

    Linguistic hair-splitting aside, do you not think that this worship of Einstein is something that should be intentionally cooled down? It is by no means certain that future generations will think that Einstein’s “contribution” was a positive step for life on earth. Those who read will know that he was Jewish, but to continually put him forward as a Jewish hero could unnecessarily make Jews responsible in the mind of the other 98% of Americans for nuclear disasters in the future. His worship seems to serve secular Jewish arrogance at the expense of security for the entire community. Religious Jews might well have decided that it was not right to make an atomic bomb, but they were not included in the decision.

    • LeaNder on March 23, 2012, 12:00 pm

      It is by no means certain that future generations will think that Einstein’s “contribution” was a positive step for life on earth.

      Why do you feel you should single out Einstein and not Leó Szilárd, Ernest Rutherford, Enrico Fermi, Ida Noddack-Tacke, Lisel Meitner, Otto Hahn, Fritz Strassmann, Niels Bohr, or maybe better still Rudolf Peierls und Otto Frisch who warned that the Nazis might develop a nuclear bomb?

      Mr. Einstein was not a particularly nice or admirable person when his personal life is brought into focus

      Interesting: “Mr Einstein”. It’s really rare to find someone who doesn’t like Einstein. Don’t you think judging other people’s personal or private life is a rather difficult thing to do? Are you suggesting under no circumstances should a married man feel attracted to woman other than his then his wife? What kind of punishments and laws would you suggest to establish a strict adherence to this norm?

      • Mike Jacobs on March 23, 2012, 5:18 pm

        You are missing the point entirely LeaNder. Einstein was probably no more morally irresponsible than the men whom Americans admire enough to elect to the presidency. The point is he should not be intentionally singled out as a hero with his face constantly used as a cult fetish when the splitting of the atom was a crime against humanity and a step that many religious Jews would not have chosen. I am not the one singling out Einstein; in fact, I am suggesting that doing so is dangerous. It could have a negative impact for generations of Jews yet unborn when the inevitable nuclear disasters poison the seas, make large areas of once-fertile land uninhabitable, and raise cancer rates for all creatures. It is the assumption that mankind will forever regard those who gave us nuclear power and weapons as a positive step that I question. If as you say “It’s really rare to find someone who doesn’t like Einstein,” perhaps this is because anyone doing so would be immediately slammed as an “anti-Semite,” the kiss of death in American public discourse.

        Mooser said: “There is no such thing as ‘American Jewry’. Hey, but if you want to hang on to what is basically an anti-Semitic locution, that’s your business.”

        Speaking of locutions that carry a hidden agenda, what about your standard term of abuse: “anti-Semite?” Since the vast majority of the world’s Semites are Muslims and Christians, I would suggest that it is this label that is the more out of place in literate discourse.

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