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Liberal Zionists’ vision of religious segregation puts them to the right of western neo-fascists — Max Blumenthal

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I counsel my anti-Zionist friends to make nice to liberal Zionists so that we bring them on board and form a coalition to bust the Israel lobby. Well Max Blumenthal ain’t buying. He spoke yesterday in Pittsburgh. You got to love his “table” line. It’s genius: The liberal Zionist claim that Israel could become an apartheid state is like saying, This table could become a table. It’s like the line feminists used to such great effect: A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. From the University of Pittsburgh student paper. Excellent reporting by Andrew Shull on a speech aimed at liberal Zionists:

Blumenthal, speaking for an hour in Posvar Hall to a crowd of about 100 people, argued that liberalism and Zionism are incommensurate ideals. He said Israel, from the launching of its state, was formed to be an ethnic state, a state that favors the ethnic majority.

“It was essentially founded to become an apartheid state,” Blumenthal said.

…He maintained that a two-state solution, favored by most peace seekers on the Israeli left, amounts to segregation, and the liberal ideal of multiculturalism isn’t shared by liberal Zionists.

“That puts them to the right of neo-fascists [in the West],” Blumenthal said.

He said that even far right figures in America and Europe would not adopt the policies the Israeli liberals adopt toward Palestinians.

…Blumenthal also aimed to take down a few key myths he said exist regarding liberal Zionism.

First, he argued that the “golden age” of Israel, the period between its founding and the start of the Six-Day War in 1967, was marred by ethnic cleansing, massacres and a “war of expulsion” precipitated by a pervasive “colonial” mentality.

He pointed to numerous liberal leaders who committed war crimes and expelled Arabs from their homes.

Blumenthal said that while right-wing Zionists are often blamed for the tension between the Israelis and Palestinians, the Israeli right and Israeli left cooperated throughout all of Israeli history.

During this time period, Blumenthal said right-wing Zionists held the attitude that “Secular Zionism is the donkey. They will ride the donkey until they establish a Jewish theocracy.”

Blumenthal also argued that it was a myth that the liberal Zionists were “pro-peace.”

Finally, he brought 40 pages of quotes featuring Israeli liberals saying that “time is running out” before Israel will become an apartheid state.

“That’s like saying this table could become a table,” he said.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of Mondoweiss.net and founded the site in 2005-06.

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104 Responses

  1. Woody Tanaka on September 27, 2012, 12:32 pm

    “Excellent reporting by Andrew Shull on a speech aimed at liberal Zionists:”

    Well, I disagree on “excellent.” The repeated presentation of the views of the pro-israel activist, in response to Max’s points, was the worst sort of fake balance considering that the pro-israelist wasn’t even at the speech.

    But it is great that they highlighted Max’s remarks.

  2. seafoid on September 27, 2012, 12:47 pm

    “He said that even far right figures in America and Europe would not adopt the policies the Israeli liberals adopt toward Palestinians.”

    I can’t see the Swiss SVP locking up all resident Yugoslavs on 1 August Yom Kippur style

  3. seanmcbride on September 27, 2012, 1:01 pm

    I keep looking for counterarguments by liberal Zionists to the points made by Max and other clear thinkers and truth tellers. So far none have been forthcoming — not from J Street, not from Peter Beinart, not from anyone.

    So far the Israeli government under all regimes, and the Zionist enterprise as a whole, have occupied a point on the political spectrum to the right of white nationalists like David Duke.

    And yet many Americans have been able to square this fact of life with their supposed liberal beliefs. Cognitive dissonance this extreme will eventually lead to a nervous breakdown. Call that a formal prediction and bet.

    • EscapeVelocity on September 27, 2012, 11:31 pm

      Dude, the Western Left loves tribalists and racists……just not white European Christians. Their political coalition is dominated by an assortment of tribalists and racists.

      They supported and continue to support the racist African National Congress, when they were racist terrorists and now that they are racial supremacists in control of the government.

      You are very confused it would seem.

      • aiman on September 28, 2012, 1:50 am

        “Dude, the Western Left loves tribalists and racists……just not white European Christians.”

        Interesting you fail to acknowledge that this recent invention of “white European Christians” it also a tribal and racist identity. If only fundamentalists were consistent…

      • Krauss on September 28, 2012, 2:45 am

        Dude, the Western Left loves tribalists and racists……just not white European Christians. Their political coalition is dominated by an assortment of tribalists and racists.

        While I agree that much of the left is way too hypocritical on ethnic nationalism(simple rule to remember: the left supports ethnic nationalism, as long as it’s not for whites. I would prefer a more consistent stance. Nationalism should be out, period), there are varying degrees of nationalism.

        Eurocentric nationalism tends to be pretty vicious, but yes, there are some other variants(like Chinese nationalism during the past 50 years) which can rack up quite a few lives. If it’s mostly Chinese people that die shouldn’t be an ameliorating factor: a life is a life.

        Still, I think that more and more parts of the left is getting more moderate on these issues and understands the problems inherent by having the simple-minded attitude that “well ethnic nationalism is fine because it’s based on a defence against Western aggression”. Reality is usually far more complicated. Even Mandela refused, to the bitter end, to distance himself from Gadaffi.

        And then there’s the anti-Semitism of Chavez, for instance. There are many more instances across the third world.

        From my point of view, there’s a split. The racemongers, those who are obsessed by race to a degree that is pathological, are a minority but increasingly radicalized. It’s just hard to pretend that the U.S is controlled by white supremacy. If it was, why allow immigration that is 90 % non-white? There are many facts to easily refute that argument.

        Since most of the support for these kinds of nationalisms have been based on the earlier thesis that white supremacy is all around is and all-powerful(which if true, would have meant that the 1965 immigration act would never have passed and the fact that more minority births are now occuring rather than white births would never have been allowed) will eventually meet the wall of reality. And then what? You’ve enabled a bunch of nationalists, latino, black, asian etc. How are these people going to co-exist?

        My bet is that as Asians become more numerous and more accomplished, much of the ire now targeting whites will switch to Asians.

        Still, over the long term, I’m very optimistic about America. There’s a cultural knot down the road that needs to be resolved, and I think many underestimate the size and complexity of it, but in the end; it will be resolved.

      • aiman on September 28, 2012, 3:42 am

        Krauss, some good points but I don’t think you need to entertain EscapeVelocity’s concerns, particularly not critiquing the fact that he himself espouses subjectivity. Also it is not as simple as the Left choosing targets. While the Left can be faulted on this, and rightly so, the reactions of the Left have actually escalated in response to precisely such accusations during the Iraq War. For example, check out the Euston Manifesto where prominent former members of the left supported an illegal and genocidal war and blamed the anti-war left for not opposing all nationalisms. In doing so they privileged their own nationalism. It is far better to oppose all forms of nationalism but since there is a hierarchy of power it can lead to terrible consequences for those on the bottom rung. So opposition to other forms of nationalism should be based on where one is himself standing. That’s why the best criticisms of nationalism come not from the left but those who actually belong to a community and are working from within. These people will never be heard in the media. Instead we will have certain symbols like Hirsi Ali who project imperial values from the top and further solidify power hierarchies.

      • EscapeVelocity on September 28, 2012, 10:51 am

        That is correct Klaus. In fact the most liberal and tolerant peoples on the planet are white European Christians….but alas. No non-whiteEuropean tribalism is too crass to support against the whiteEuropean Christians.

        Just one example of many, the Native American movements, ethnic cleansing of tribal lands, which continues to this day. The recent Mohawk cleansing of non-Mohawks from their territory near Montreal. Nary a peep out of the Western Left criticizing this. Let’s not fasciliate this in Israel/Palestine, which the Road Map and Oslo both called for the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Gaza and the West Bank.

        We are balkanizing our polities in the Anglo Sphere and Europe, and violence will be esculating because of it. Multiculturalism has failed as Merkel, Sarkozy, and Cameron all have stated.

        In the US we need to promote assimilation to Anglo Christian American norms, not balkanizing the polity, promoting tribalist loyalties and separatism, but that isnt good for Leftwing political power, so it is unlikely to happen.

      • Cliff on September 28, 2012, 12:28 pm

        Mohawks ethnically cleansing non-Mohawks? Oh dear stop the world from spinning while I have a conniption!

        Hey guys, I think EscapeReality is trying to tell us closed-minded, hypocrites that the anti-colonialist Left is anti-Pilgrimitic!

        You and the horrible new troll Bing Bong aren’t typing together in some Zio-sweatshop are you?

      • EscapeVelocity on September 28, 2012, 2:16 pm

        Are you anti-colonial or are you pro immigration, diversity promotion, and multiculturalism?

        Is “reverse colonization” good? Is diversity promotion, multiculturalism and mass immigration not good for non-Europeans?

        The mask is slipping on your Anti-Europeanism and Anti-Westernism.

        Im just holding you to your principles and values. You say that you are anti-colonial, and yet I dont see your objection to mass immigration into even indigenous European lands of “Others,” the disempowerment of Europeans in their indigenous homelands via special preferences and privileges for “Others,” and conversely the empowerment of the colonists via diversity promotion and multiculturalism.

        Why is Mohawk ethnic cleansing and xenophobic racist culturalist immigration policy acceptable?

      • Cliff on September 28, 2012, 4:41 pm

        Mohawk blah blah is not the issue, EscapeReality.

        It is – much like the other Zionist memes of disassembling and whitewashing of Israeli crimes – your exploitation of Mohawk blah blah as a rhetorical ‘point scoring’ tool. Then again, being a Zionist tool yourself, one naturally follows the other.

        But keep asking yourself those hard-hitting questions with the fake Zionist indignation we’ve come to see from the clowns at Iran180, et al.

      • tree on September 28, 2012, 4:50 pm

        Let’s not fasciliate this in Israel/Palestine, which the Road Map and Oslo both called for the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Gaza and the West Bank.

        No, the Road Map and Oslo call for the end of Israel’s violation of international law by removing its Israeli citizens from occupied territory. It does not specify removing “Jews” from Gaza and the West Bank, it specifies removing illegal settlements by Israeli citizens. The fact that Israel has only encouraged and funded Israeli Jews settling in the occupied territories and not settlements by their minority citizens should not be twisted to imply ethnic cleansing in the Road Map or Oslo. Making such an argument is the height of sophistry.

      • tree on September 28, 2012, 5:20 pm

        The recent Mohawk cleansing of non-Mohawks from their territory near Montreal.

        Hadn’t heard of this, but with your specious and deceptive statement regarding the “ethnic cleansing of Jews” from the occupied territories, I guessed that you were possibly mischaracterizing here as well. I googled and came up with this:

        http://www.globalmontreal.com/land+dispute+between+mohawk+community+and+developer+revives+memories+of+1990+conflict/40421/story.html

        from 2010.

        And this, from 1990:

        http://www.canadahistory.com/sections/eras/pcsinpower/oka.htm

        Sounds much more like a land dispute between the local Mohawk tribe and a developer to me. I don’t see any “ethnic cleansing” here. Is there some other thing, unfindable with an rudimentary search on Google, that you are referring to? Or is this just more of your sophistry?

      • ColinWright on September 28, 2012, 6:16 pm

        ‘EscapeVelocity’ seems to be a good example of who’s an Israel supporter these days.

      • Walid on September 29, 2012, 3:23 am

        Tree, your links are to the 1990s Kanesatake (Oka, north of Montreal)) sacred burial grounds-golf club controversy. Velocity was talking about another Mohawk reserve, Kahnawake (Caughnawaga, south of Montreal) of 18 months ago, that decided to evict 26 non-Amerindians from the reserve that’s just a notch above being a ghetto.

        Because of its reserve status, it is under federal ward protection laws and enjoys various sales and other taxes abatements (somewhat like the settlements in occupied Palestine), which makes it an ideal place to live for non-Amerindian freeloaders (somewhat like the freeloader settlers on the WB).

        The band council decided on the eviction of 26 non-Amerindians to put a stop to the ongoing squatting and it created an uproar by the hundreds that had intermarried with natives and are now living on the reserve because they feared they’d be next.

        About the evictions of the 26:

        http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/02/10/inside-the-kahnawake-evictions/

      • Shingo on September 29, 2012, 9:56 am

        The mask is slipping on your Anti-Europeanism and Anti-Westernism.

        It probably looks that way from behind your pro fascist mask.

        You say that you are anti-colonial, and yet I dont see your objection to mass immigration into even indigenous European lands of “Others,”

        What indigenous European lands are you referring to?

        the disempowerment of Europeans in their indigenous homelands via special preferences and privileges for “Others,”

        Who are the “others” and which Europeans are being disempowered and disempowered via special preferences and privileges for “Others,”?

        conversely the empowerment of the colonists via diversity promotion and multiculturalism.

        What colonists have promoted diversity and multiculturalism or are you suggesting these are unforeseen benefits of colonialism?

        Why is Mohawk ethnic cleansing and xenophobic racist culturalist immigration policy acceptable?

        Who suggested it was?

      • andrew r on September 30, 2012, 12:03 pm

        Multiculturalism has failed as Merkel, Sarkozy, and Cameron all have stated.

        Germany tried monoculturalism in the 30’s and 40’s and that didn’t do so hot, either.

      • andrew r on September 30, 2012, 12:08 pm

        You say that you are anti-colonial, and yet I dont see your objection to mass immigration into even indigenous European lands of “Others,” the disempowerment of Europeans in their indigenous homelands via special preferences and privileges for “Others,” and conversely the empowerment of the colonists via diversity promotion and multiculturalism.

        This is not even hasbara anymore, it’s outright white nationalist. Here’s your theme song

      • andrew r on September 30, 2012, 12:22 pm

        Here you go.

        link to theglobeandmail.com

        Let’s get this straight, you have no problem with reservations to begin with, but some white people getting evicted from a reservation gets your panties in a twist. So basically, what’s yours is mine and what little I left you is mine as well.

    • Tex Tradd on September 29, 2012, 12:10 am

      Well I am neither a liberal nor a Zionist, yet I think liberal Zionism in Peter Beinart’s formulation holds the best chance of a workable resolution for Israel and Palestine. I don’t know the specifics of what solution Beinart might have proposed, but generally speaking it seems to me that liberal Zionism allows for a recognition of the rights of Arabs, but also that the Jewish Israelis have needs and rights that have to be respected in any just solution, and they have valid reasons for thinking this would not be the case if they are a minority.

      Let’s say you are a Jewish Israeli who wants justice and peace for everyone, not just Israeli Jews. You do the work to understand multiple perspectives on Zionism, including the most trenchant critiques. You force yourself to learn various histories of how the land has come to be yours, and you don’t shy away from taking seriously the most cogent arguments undermining the moral legitimacy of how the country was established. In short, you do the work to truly understand the perspectives of anti-Zionists and post-Zionists, and the case they make for a new dispensation that would replace Zionism with an eventual Arab majority via the right of return.

      What then? Would you feel confident that this new dispensation would support dissenting views on how to manage the inevitable problems? Would you expect free speech and a freewheeling press and a relatively independent judiciary to be supported and nurtured in the new post- (or anti-) Zionist situation? Or would you shudder at thinking for your and your children’s prospects in such a situation?

      If it is true that Palestinians who have been involved in actual terrorism against civilians are celebrated as heroes by many in the West Bank, to the point where streets are named after them, why should liberal Zionists trust the Palestinians and Arab Israelis who might come to have majoritarian power in the new post-Zionist or anti-Zionist country? Isn’t there are good chance a post or anti-Zionist country turns into an Arab majority via the right of return?

      I guess I am one of the remaining people who still hope for a two state solution, with probably some of East Jerusalem or Al Quds as the capital of Palestine, next to an Israel where Zionism evolves to recognize the need for Arab Israelis to be full participants in the country, with equal rights de facto and not just de jure. I see liberal Zionism, or something like it under another label, as the likeliest way to achieve this.

      We have to recognize that whatever our sincere beliefs about the injustices done by Zionists, the solution has to come via compromise with Zionism. Zionists are not going to vote themselves into a situation where they are a minority in a country run by people with weak liberal traditions and institutions, who view Zionism as the major source of evil in the region, if not the world.

      • seanmcbride on September 29, 2012, 10:26 am

        Tex Tradd,

        I agree overall with your vision of what might be an ideal peace settlement between Israel and its neighbors (I am still theoretically a two-stater), but I think there is little chance that it will be realized — Israeli culture is moving inexorably towards the hard religious-fascist right. The Zionist establishment is not listening to even relatively mild dissenters like Peter Beinart.

        A massive and aggressive intervention from the outside by the United States and Europe to *impose*, by force, a reasonable solution might save the day, but the Israel lobby will not permit that to happen unless it radically reverses course. But there are no signs of that happening.

        So: I am predicting a catastrophe in the region and for the world at large over the issue of Zionism. Regarding the scope of the catastrophe — imagine the worst. And the world will probably blame Zionists for what happens.

      • EscapeVelocity on September 29, 2012, 6:33 pm

        We have to recognize that whatever our sincere beliefs about the injustices done by Zionists, the solution has to come via compromise with Zionism. Zionists are not going to vote themselves into a situation where they are a minority in a country run by people with weak liberal traditions and institutions, who view Zionism as the major source of evil in the region, if not the world. – Tex

        That is exactly what is happening with European Christians. Their post colonial guilt will wear thin soon enough though….and then it’s on.

      • philweiss on September 29, 2012, 6:56 pm

        what about leadership. De Klerk epiphany?

      • Tex Tradd on September 30, 2012, 4:53 am

        Mr. Weiss, I have never been to Israel, but I have pored over history and human nature for decades. Likely the best we should hope for would be an enlightened Israeli network to come to power with the sort of moral imagination that seizes the historical moment.

        Such a group would have to think expansively within Zionism to rescue Zionism (shades of Burke!) and to change the current dispensation to include rather than exclude, to share Jerusalem, and to live up to the highest humanistic aspirations of the early exemplars of the movement.

        Perhaps by forging a pan-Semitic mythopoesis that references and appeals to partially shared ancestry, language, and spirituality, bold leaders could seize the moment and push Zionism to evolve in ways that the Arab Israelis could relate to. I think many Palestinians and Arab Israelis believe they have Jewish ancestry, and this could help shore up a resonant and powerful new basis for inclusion.

        Having said that, I don’t see why the Jewish Israelis should be willing to become a minority in the country. For all it’s serious flaws, Israel has recognizably robust liberal and democratic institutions and culture that I am unaware has viable counterparts among the Palestinians at this time. I just don’t think Jewish Israelis should or would have faith that their rights would be respected in a post or anti-Zionist dispensation.

        Frankly, the experience of white South Africans in recent years does not make for an altogether happy tale either. J.M Coetzee had spoken out against apartheid but I believe had to leave South Africa after his novel Disgrace shed an unflattering light on conditions there. I might expect the situation of dissident Zionist intellectuals to be not altogether dissimilar in a post or anti-Zionist Israel.

        True, over the long term, the demographics may be in favor of Arab Israelis anyway. Forward thinking Zionists should be working hard to prepare for this eventuality.

        Perhaps I am thinking too narrowly about the possibilities of Israeli Zionists to recognize and respond to the valid claims of the indigenous Arabs. Maybe there is a Palestinian Mandela and an Israeli DeKlerk. Yet I suspect Norman Finkelstein is right when he argues by way of analogy that while true justice might in theory entail allowing homeless people to move in to our houses, what people will actually do for the homeless is rather less than this.

  4. annie on September 27, 2012, 1:08 pm

    yep, the messiah’s donkey. max is a very effective communicator and students listen to him. it’s great he’s out there speaking the truth.

  5. yourstruly on September 27, 2012, 1:28 pm

    assuming the liberal zionist is progressive on everything except palestine (PEP), does that make the liberal nazi a PEJ (ie. someone who is progressive on everything except Jews)?

  6. seafoid on September 27, 2012, 2:09 pm

    Half of the people in Erez Israel are not Jewish yet the space is run like a Jewish theocracy. Imagine if the shoe was on the other foot. Imagine if Jews were forced to work Saturdays and forced to observe all Muslim and Christian holidays with no days off for Jewish holidays.

    • W.Jones on September 27, 2012, 6:52 pm

      How do Lib. Z’s avoid admitting this is a problem? Maybe they can only downplay it, blaming things on religious conservatives instead of seeing this as a natural result of dedicating a state to only one group?

      • seafoid on September 28, 2012, 12:55 pm

        They just don’t talk about it. I was talking to an Israeli last week who said “nobody does anything in this country on Yom Kippur” . I think their concept of “this country” more or less excludes the Palestinians.

        Out of sight, out of mind .

      • W.Jones on September 28, 2012, 11:53 pm

        “nobody does anything in this country on Yom Kippur”
        Meaning nobody is active on the holiday in deference to it, and in saying this he mentally discounted Palestinian citizens?

      • seafoid on September 29, 2012, 3:46 pm

        He doesn’t consider Palestinians at all. He’s a Yank Orthodox who lives in Beit Shemesh.

        He said Yom Kippur was great for prayers.

        It’s all so absurd.

      • Shmuel on September 29, 2012, 4:06 pm

        Right after Yom Kippur, I had a disturbing conversation with a very liberal Zionist I know quite well, who spent the holiday on a settlement, “for the progressive and inclusive synagogue services”. When she finished describing how wonderfully liberal and uplifting the prayers were, I remarked on the location (expecting her to agree and commiserate about the “settlerisation” of religious Zionism). Instead, she said that she could “see Jerusalem” (i.e. the settlements in East Jerusalem that Israel calls “neighbourhoods”) from the window and, besides, it was “Jeremiah country” (a reference to the identification of the Palestinian village of Anata with the biblical Anatot).

        I went to bed very depressed.

      • seafoid on September 30, 2012, 2:43 am

        This colleague of mine is a part time rabbi. His dream is to study Torah all day. It’s very sad to see how the code behind the Torah has been filleted in favour of a focus on prayer and process. The latter is meaningless without the former.

        In any religion prayer is the culmination of the approach but in Israel the key foundation stone seems to be the Army. Without the occupation and the soldiers abusing the Palestinians there would be no calm in which to focus on coming closer to G-d.

        It’s as if the birds have been silenced and the ignorant believe the atmosphere is more pleasing to G-d.

  7. on September 27, 2012, 2:26 pm

    And to those who still “can’t” (yarright) see the absurdity of getting irredeemed Zionists “on board” against Zionism: When is your “duh” moment?

  8. piotr on September 27, 2012, 2:57 pm

    I still think that there was a golden age. For example, in 1956 IDF formulated a doctrine of purity of arms and the duty to reject illegal orders, and some soldiers were punished for killing hapless villagers by following such orders. (Some punishments were fines lower than one shekel, but I assume that shekels were worth much more 56 years ago than now). So Israel was making various strides to improve itself.

    Perhaps it was like ante-bellum South in 1800 versus 1860. Economy was based on slavery, but early on Southern intellectuals wrote many Federalist papers, designed Bill of rights (initially as the Bill of Rights of the Commonwealth of Virginia) etc. Defending slavery for 60 years sucked intelectual life out of the South.

    • W.Jones on September 27, 2012, 6:58 pm

      Piotr,

      Maybe, since there were alot more leftist socialists dedicated to the cause then.

      But maybe not. While the very democratic Federalist Papers were being drawn up and long before the Civil War, Indians were being driven out. Likewise, the Nakba occurred in the time period you mention, and this was the biggest expulsion rather than later. I am not sure it was simply a downhill plane into something much different. My guess is that the downhill slide you see is simply a natural result of setting up a state for one religious community.

      Had the Federalist papers and democratic documents on the other hand emphasized freedom and empowerment for specifically “white Americans”, then the analogy you draw would be closer.

  9. ColinWright on September 27, 2012, 3:14 pm

    piotr says: ‘I still think that there was a golden age. For example, in 1956 IDF formulated a doctrine of purity of arms and the duty to reject illegal orders, and some soldiers were punished for killing hapless villagers by following such orders. (Some punishments were fines lower than one shekel, but I assume that shekels were worth much more 56 years ago than now). So Israel was making various strides to improve itself.’

    It’s pretty bad when your ‘golden age’ consists of fining soldiers less than $0.25 for murder. The dizzying heights Israel reached…

    But hey. You’ve got a point about the value of the shekel. Maybe the fine would be as much as $4 in today’s money.

    • proudzionist777 on September 28, 2012, 4:41 pm

      @piotr.

      You got it ass backwards, piotr.

      AFTER the October 1956 Kfar Qassem massacre, Judge Halevy created the legal precedent that IDF soldiers must refuse to obey a manifestly illegal order.

      Yes. The soldiers who obeyed orders and carried out the massacre were fined but their immediate superiors were sent to prison, a fact you left out.

      • Shmuel on September 29, 2012, 3:40 am

        Yes. The soldiers who obeyed orders and carried out the massacre were fined but their immediate superiors were sent to prison, a fact you left out.

        The court of appeal (April 3, 1959) reduced Malinki’s sentence to 14 years and Dahan’s to 10. The Chief of Staff further reduced them to 10 and 8 years, then the Israeli President reduced them to 5 years each. Finally, the Committee for the Release of Prisoners ordered the remission of one third of the prison sentences, resulting in all the convicted persons being out of prison by November 1959. (Lipmann) Soon after his release, Malinki was promoted and put in charge of security for the top secret Negev Nuclear Research Center. In 1960, Dahan was placed in charge of “Arab Affairs” by the city of Ramla (Bilsky, p322).
        —Wiki (sorry)

        Not bad for the murder of 48 unarmed civilians “including 6 women and 23 children aged 8–17”: sentenced in October ’58 and out by November ’59 – with government jobs practically waiting for them. The “grush” fine is actually a very appropriate metaphor for the treatment given to all of the defendants.

      • ColinWright on September 29, 2012, 6:51 am

        proudzionist777 says: “…Yes. The soldiers who obeyed orders and carried out the massacre were fined but their immediate superiors were sent to prison, a fact you left out.”

        Bingo. I knew what I would find.* Facts which you left out:

        “…The court of appeal (April 3, 1959) reduced Malinki’s sentence to 14 years and Dahan’s to 10. The Chief of Staff further reduced them to 10 and 8 years, then the Israeli President reduced them to 5 years each. Finally, the Committee for the Release of Prisoners ordered the remission of one third of the prison sentences, resulting in all the convicted persons being out of prison by November 1959. (Lipmann) Soon after his release, Malinki was promoted and put in charge of security for the top secret Negev Nuclear Research Center. In 1960, Dahan was placed in charge of “Arab Affairs” by the city of Ramla…”

        So they served short sentences, resumed their careers, and were promoted. Presumably, eventually retired, honored and respected. After all, this is Israel we’re talking about. Killing Arabs is never a serious offense — in fact, the city of Ramla seems to have regarded it as a job qualification.

        *Now ask me how I knew what I would find. I knew because I always assume Israel really is the cesspit of utter evil I claim it is — and I always turn out to be right. What was it somebody said about ducks?

      • proudzionist777 on September 29, 2012, 7:38 am

        @Colin

        Is that Jimmy Carter I see in your cesspool of evil? Sure it is!

        “On March 31, 1971, Calley was sentenced to life imprisonment and hard labor at Fort Leavenworth.
        Of the 26 officers and soldiers initially charged for their part in the My Lai Massacre or the subsequent cover-up, only Calley was convicted.

        Many in America were outraged by Calley’s sentence; Georgia’s governor Jimmy Carter instituted “American Fighting Man’s Day” and asked Georgians to drive for a week with their lights on.

        Indiana’s governor asked all state flags to be flown at half-staff for Calley, and Utah’s and Mississippi’s governors also disagreed with the verdict.[

        The Arkansas, Kansas, Texas, New Jersey, and South Carolina legislatures requested clemency for Calley. Alabama’s governor George Wallace visited Calley in the stockade and requested that Nixon pardon him.

        After the conviction, the White House received over 5000 telegrams; the ratio was 100 to 1 in favor of leniency. In a telephone survey of the American public, 79% disagreed with the verdict, 81% believed that the life sentence Calley had received was too stern, and 69% believed Calley had been made a scapegoat.

      • eljay on September 29, 2012, 8:04 am

        >> Of the 26 officers and soldiers initially charged for their part in the My Lai Massacre or the subsequent cover-up, only Calley was convicted.

        And that, IMO, was an utter travesty of justice.

        Y’know, when someone in my country (Canada) commits a crime, I expect accountability. I don’t excuse the criminal’s actions simply because someone in Israel or the U.S. has committed a similar or more heinous crime.

        Zio-supremacists, on the other hand, never fail to reach for examples of similar – or worse – human behaviour elsewhere in order to defend the actions of their Zio-supremacist “co-collectivists” and of their oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist state.

        Reach for the bottom, boys.

      • Ellen on September 29, 2012, 8:42 am

        Proud zio, comparing the slaughter in Kfarr of unarmed children and civilians with the horrific My Lai massacre illustrates just how evil, truly evil the Kfarr Qassem massacre was. No less than Mylai. It is here your analogy ends.

        As for Sgt. Calley. Nixon had him later released, not Carter. And it was the revelations of that horrible incident that finally pushed any remaining public support of the criminal Vietnam war off the cliff.

        Calley and others charged have never since held a public job. He has never presented himself as a scapegoat for the war crimes.

      • Ellen on September 29, 2012, 9:09 am

        Travesty, yes. But captain Medina was also convicted.

      • proudzionist777 on September 29, 2012, 9:21 am

        Read my post a little more carefully regarding Jimmy Carter.

        My point is that military justice is an odd bird. Always was and always will be.

        My point is that Calley was following orders and that the American public and government felt that an injustice had been done to Lt. Calley.

        My point is that singling out Israel for committing war crimes and singling out Israel for a weak prosecution of her war criminals is unfair.

      • proudzionist777 on September 29, 2012, 9:27 am

        @eljay

        Wasn’t the ICC investigating alleged Canadian war crimes against detainees in Afghanistan?

        What ever happened to that inquiry?

      • Shmuel on September 29, 2012, 10:41 am

        My point … My point … My Point …

        Your original point was that piotr had unfairly characterised the Israeli treatment of the Kafr Qasem massacre (“their immediate superiors were sent to prison” and an important “legal precedent” was created), although piotr had not suggested that the “10 prutot” fine had been the only sentence meted out – just the most egregious.

        When challenged, you just switched on the automatic pilot: others (the US, Canada, maybe the ICC) are equally flawed, and what do you expect from “military justice”? What a world, eh?

        The topic under discussion, if I am not mistaken, was liberal Zionism, and whether Israel had ever (i.e. pre-67) enjoyed a “golden age” of enlightenment and morality. Piotr brought up a good example, which you unsuccessfully tried to discount with a half-truth, before changing the subject.

        I’ll save Mooser the trouble: http://jewssansfrontieres.blogspot.it/2008/07/how-to-make-case-for-israel-and-win.html

      • eljay on September 29, 2012, 4:07 pm

        >> Wasn’t the ICC investigating alleged Canadian war crimes against detainees in Afghanistan?

        The ICC was considering a probe into the allegations, yes. And I say: Good!

        Perhaps you were expecting me to start whining and objecting just because the supremacist “Jewish State” also engages in immoral and unjust behaviour. Sorry to disappoint you. :-(

        >> What ever happened to that inquiry?

        No idea. Let me know what you find out.

      • ColinWright on September 29, 2012, 4:19 pm

        proudzionist777: “My point is that singling out Israel for committing war crimes and singling out Israel for a weak prosecution of her war criminals is unfair.”

        No, it’s extremely fair. First, other nations more or less are like Topsy: they just growed. France doesn’t need to prove she has a moral right to be France — she’s just there.

        Israel, on the other hand, is a moral project. Supposedly, she’s a good thing — else why create her? She wasn’t just ‘there’ — she’s a conscious construct.

        Second, we go to remarkable lengths to perpetuate her. If the US just turned off the tap for a few years, Israel would wither up and blow away.

        That makes us responsible for her actions. France, we could just forget about for a while — and when we came back, she would still be there. Israel, not so. She needs to be continuously fed, or she will die. That means it needs to be demonstrated that it actually is a good thing for her to be there.

        And of course, the truth is just the opposite. That Israel is there is a very bad thing.

      • Donald on September 29, 2012, 4:23 pm

        “My point is that Calley was following orders and that the American public and government felt that an injustice had been done to Lt. Calley.”

        That’s your point? It’s true that Calley became something of a folk hero to some idiot Americans–you can read about that in a book I’m too lazy to look up about the My Lai massacre. And yes, it’s true, both the US and Israel are largely hypocritical when it comes to prosecuting their own war criminals.

        The one tiny point one could say for those who thought (wrongly) that Calley got a raw deal is that it’s the low-ranking war criminals who end up in court, if anyone ends up in court at all. The generals and secretaries of defense and presidents and prime ministers don’t have to worry. (Though I think a low-ranking general–one star–was demoted after Abu Ghraib.)

      • Shmuel on September 29, 2012, 4:29 pm

        The one tiny point one could say for those who thought (wrongly) that Calley got a raw deal is that it’s the low-ranking war criminals who end up in court, if anyone ends up in court at all.

        Yossi Sarid wrote a short story about letting Dahan (the Mizrahi immigrant) take the rap for the Kafr Qasem massacre. The phenomenon later became known in Israel as “blaming the guard at the gate (shin gimmel)”.

      • proudzionist777 on September 29, 2012, 5:23 pm

        @Colin

        You didn’t answer my question. Is Jimmy Carter in your cesspool?

      • proudzionist777 on September 29, 2012, 5:32 pm

        @Donald

        “..US and Israel…”

        Okay. Name a country that isn’t hypocritical when it comes to prosecuting their own war criminals?

      • ColinWright on September 29, 2012, 5:34 pm

        prdzionist777: ‘@Colin

        Is that Jimmy Carter I see in your cesspool of evil? Sure it is!…’

        Gee! I get to steal my neighbors car! Somebody burglarized a house up in Pinole.

        That’s your logic.

      • proudzionist777 on September 29, 2012, 5:39 pm

        @Colin

        “France doesn’t need to prove she has a moral right to be France — she’s just there.”

        Perhaps you’ve forgotten French Colonialism, which was a moral project.

        Colin. Can you leave Israel alone for ten minutes?

      • ColinWright on September 29, 2012, 5:43 pm

        prdzionist says: “…My point is that Calley was following orders and that the American public and government felt that an injustice had been done to Lt. Calley.

        My point is that singling out Israel for committing war crimes and singling out Israel for a weak prosecution of her war criminals is unfair.”

        This sounds like you’re saying Israel ‘vas only obeyingk orders.’

        Well, why not? All Zionist arguments are invalid, so you might as well try that one on.

      • piotr on September 30, 2012, 12:04 am

        I actually suggested that in 1956 Israel attempted some improvements in the aftermath of a massacre, and while immediate penalties to soldiers were symbolic, an important legal doctrine was formulated. It may be interesting if this doctrine was ever used, i.e. any soldiers were ever exonerated for not following illegal orders.

        Another attempt for improvement was an investigation in the aftermath of Sabra and Shatila massacres, or making a doctrine that some parties are too racist to be legal. Later Ariel Sharon became prime minister, and Kahanist ideology is alive and prosperous. Clergy cursing the faithful who rent appartements to infidels seems quite Kahanist to me (and this is clergy on state payroll!) Dahiya doctrine seems like a genocide incorporated into military ideology.

        Golden Age is a myth that can play a constructive role if there are enough of genuine pieces in the tale. Like the fact that soldiers who refused orders on Qafr Kasem were not tried. Positive legacy is that refuseniks of today get rather short sentences.

      • proudzionist777 on September 30, 2012, 2:15 am

        Palestine was created by the League of Nations and Jews were invited to settle there with the full backing of the Mandatory Government. Jews did that and 25 years later the situation deteriorated and a civil war ensueded with thousands or Jewish and Arab casualties. The Arabs of Palestine lost that war. A Jewish State was declared on only 70% of Mandatory Palestine. Most Arab refugees from the civil war were not allowed to return to their homes.

        Theft?

      • proudzionist777 on September 30, 2012, 2:22 am

        No. Colin. My point is that My Lai and Kfar Qassem were identical incidents. That in all wars there are war crimes and to single out Israel is unjust.

        Oops. There was a recently a ‘My Lai massacre’ in Syria (that must have gone undetected on you radar).

      • proudzionist777 on September 30, 2012, 2:26 am

        @Colin

        “conscious construct”

        Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan were all conscious constructs. They weren’t ‘just there’. Are we responsible for their actions too?

      • Shmuel on September 30, 2012, 4:16 am

        It may be interesting if this doctrine was ever used, i.e. any soldiers were ever exonerated for not following illegal orders.

        The principle of a “patently illegal order” has been used a number of times in Israeli jurisprudence – generally by the court, to reject the “following orders” defence (e.g. in the bus no. 300 and Na’alin shooting incidents), rather than by defendants charged with disobeying such orders.

        Refusal to obey orders is relatively rare in the IDF, although there have been some notable exceptions on the left and the right – both citing the Kafr Qasem decision. To the best of my knowledge, the “black flag” or “patently illegal order” defence has never been accepted by an Israeli military or civilian court. This is hardly surprising, as even the Israeli Supreme Court generally pays deference to the “expert opinions” of the security services.

        I think the “relatively short sentences” meted out to refuseniks and general reluctance of the army to pursue cases of refusal (except in the case of refusal to serve altogether) is purely pragmatic, unrelated to legal considerations. If a soldier (especially reserve soldiers, who make up the bulk of refusers) doesn’t want to serve in the OT or participate in the removal of a settlement, his commander will usually try to find some alternative duty rather than create a head-on clash.

      • proudzionist777 on September 30, 2012, 10:23 am

        @piotr

        As you know, the Kahanist party has been banned in Israel and incendiary ‘rabbis’ like the authors of the Kings Torah, have been arrested.

      • Shegetz on September 30, 2012, 11:30 am

        As you know, the Kahanist party has been banned in Israel and incendiary ‘rabbis’ like the authors of the Kings Torah, have been arrested.

        No one was arrested. Merely detained. Case closed. No charges.

        http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/156296

      • Ellen on September 30, 2012, 2:00 pm

        no ProudZio that was not your point. Your point was the standard, “look at them!!!” defense. Which is no defense, no argument. (You need more Hasbara training.)

        The discussion veered onto the premise of purity of arms (a “golden age” in the IDF) where rejecting illegal orders that amount to war crimes were recognized, but and that soldiers were charged for such crimes

        Then Colin followed up with It’s pretty bad when your ‘golden age’ consists of fining soldiers less than $0.25 for murder. The dizzying heights Israel reached…

        And low and behold you chirped in with: Look over there! The Mylai massacre! You, know…the “everyone does it so why are you picking on Israel” line. (Sounds like a deranged teenager.)

        Your point was to divert attention to the crimes of others.

        Your point has nothing to do with Colin’s illustration that in the so-called “golden age” war criminals in Israel got off with really nothing and were later promoted in society.

        What goes on in other countries is really besides the point, irrelevant to the discussion.

        You had no point to make at all.

      • proudzionist777 on October 1, 2012, 11:41 am

        @ellen

        “Your point was to divert attention to the crimes of others.”

        No. And I know better than you what my point was.

        My point was that this site applies double standards with regards to Israel.

        By it’s nature, a double standard only addresses half the problem, never the whole.

      • proudzionist777 on October 1, 2012, 11:47 am

        Rabbi Shapira was arrested and questioned ‘with a warning’, which sounds like he was read his ‘Miranda rights’.

        http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3925115,00.html

      • Woody Tanaka on October 1, 2012, 12:27 pm

        “Palestine was created by the League of Nations”

        Bull, pudracist. Palestine has existed for hundreds if not thousands of years prior to the League of Nations.

        “Jews were invited to settle there with the full backing of the Mandatory Government.”

        But not with the approval of the people whose land it was and in trust for whom the Mandate was created. Thus, any act by the Mandate Government to permit the zionist hordes to invade was illegitimate from the start.

      • eljay on October 1, 2012, 1:26 pm

        >> Jews were invited to settle there with the full backing of the Mandatory Government.

        “Invited to settle [in Palestine]” does not equal “invited to employ terrorism and ethnic cleansing in order to set up an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist state [in Palestine]”.

        “Self-determination” doesn’t equal that, either.

  10. ColinWright on September 27, 2012, 3:24 pm

    “…Finally, he brought 40 pages of quotes featuring Israeli liberals saying that “time is running out” before Israel will become an apartheid state.

    “That’s like saying this table could become a table,” he said…”

    I’d say that one of the essential differences between apartheid and what Israel seeks is that apartheid genuinely sought peace, a new equilibrium.

    This isn’t to defend it. The ‘peace’ was to consist of impoverished blacks existing as subjugated labor pool for all eternity — but the intention was authentic enough. There was to be order and peace — just not an order and peace that was exactly in line with liberal ideals.

    It’s fairly obvious to me that Israel, on the other hand, wants to oppress the Palestinians for all eternity. She doesn’t want them to be submissive — that, she got long ago. She wants to grind her boot into their face in some kind of sick reenactment of the history of Jewish oppression.

    And it’s to go on and on forever. It’s the difference between me training my dog to sit and come, and me burning him with cigarette butts.

    So no — Israel isn’t an apartheid state. It’s infinitely worse than that. Racial distinction and subjugation isn’t especially new — but Israel’s something new alright.

  11. MHughes976 on September 27, 2012, 4:41 pm

    I think Zionism is a bit more subtle than a simple desire for endless oppression would be. The basic proposition is that Jewish people have a right to be there which inherent and eternal, others a right only by Jewish grace and generosity and this creates three levels of response to the Palestinians. At the top level they are welcome companions, free to be promoted to certain senior positions (judicial, police) and to be rich, so long as they accept that they ought to be grateful and to accept minority status. You can’t be generous unless you have beneficiaries. This is the Altneuland idea. At the second level, they have to be regarded as corporately non-existent: they are not a real people and just don’t count. There is no real need to refer to them: you don’t always have to or want to think about people who are dependent on your generosity. This is the Judenstaat idea, latterly the idea that the Palestinians should be humanely relocated. At the third level there is the recognition that the first two attitudes will lead to irreconcilable opposition from some people – at this point we meet the Amalekite idea. This is quasi-religious but in a way just another logical consequence of the idea that ‘they have no right to be here’: intruders are bound to resent rightful owners – unfortunate but there it is. One can only sigh over the bitter and violent forms that this resentment will sometimes take, savagery and barbarism turning against civilised people doing no more than patiently claiming their rights. Generosity is generosity only if it results from pure benevolence and benevolence is never more pure than when some of those you try to feed will always want to bite your hand.
    I agree with Blumenthal and admire him for saying that Zionism is not degenerating: it is what it always was and has no morally significant variants. (Jewish ‘territorialism’, advocated by Israel Zangwill and a few others, conclusively rejected by the 1905 Zionist Congress and ever since then politically trivial, is another matter: but it is a mere antique.) But I don’t think Zionism and apartheid are all that commeasurable, except that both are terrible moral mistakes produced by tragic circumstances and misleading visions.

  12. chinese box on September 27, 2012, 8:54 pm

    Liberal zionists’ insistence on total separation (by any means) is pathological.

    • ColinWright on September 29, 2012, 5:47 pm

      chinese box says: ‘Liberal zionists’ insistence on total separation (by any means) is pathological.’

      Of course it is. The weird thing is that the insistence is somehow deemed acceptable, whereas if anyone else advanced such a claim, they’d either be seen as a criminal or a fruitcake, depending upon the seriousness of their threat.

  13. DaveS on September 27, 2012, 10:42 pm

    My heart is with Max but my brain is not, or perhaps vice versa. There are many different shades of “liberal Zionists,” by which Max presumably means people who believe in the Jewish State concept but at least give lip service to liberal ideals. That group is far too broad to generalize. When he talks about “liberal Zionists” committing war crimes, he apparently is referring to Labor Party leaders like Ben-Gurion, Rabin, Peres, Meir, etc. Rejecting and condemning these people is appropriate, but on the other side of liberal Zionism are people like Finkelstein, Avnery and Slater. These three, and many others, would also fit most definitions of “liberal Zionists,” because they approve of or at least tolerate the notion of a Jewish State, but their bona fides as critics of Israel cannot be doubted. Who would want to question their contributions?
    Then there are the obvious fakers. Alan Dershowitz no doubt considers himself a liberal Zionist – I oppose the occupation, he would thunder – but he is clearly a dishonest shill for the worst Israel has to offer. IMO, Peter Beinart, while not in the company of Finkelstein et al., did show enough honesty in his book that he deserves Phil’s entreaties rather than Max’s scorn.
    On the substance, I agree with Max, and his table analogy is perfect. When liberal Zionists say that Israel will become an apartheid state if it fails to end the occupation and provide equality for its non-Jewish citizens, I ask how long they are willing to wait – 64 years of inequality and 45 years of occupation are not enough? What is their timetable and deadline? However, Max’s condemnation of them all as insincere racists to the right of Attila is a bit severe. I also know that I made the journey from Zionist to liberal Zionist to anti-Zionist, and if someone along the way accused me of being a racist for supporting the idea of a kinder and gentler Jewish State, it certainly would not have sped my progress.
    Finally, the whole debate has to be over something concrete – changing and ultimately reversing the nightmare. Who is suffering most here? The Palestinians under occupation. Anyone who is willing to fight against the big O has to be welcomed into the tent. While Max is right to forcefully and persuasively argue that there always has been something inherently unfair with the very notion of the Jewish State, he should not push away those who disagree now but would join to fight the worst forms of oppression and even could eventually be persuaded by his analysis. It is this type of liberal Zionist that Phil is talking about.

    • kalithea on September 28, 2012, 12:14 am

      There is no such animal as a good Zionist. Liberal Zionists are more dangerous than hard-core Zionists because they give people false hope and do it so convincingly. I don’t believe in coddling/babying liberal Zionists or giving them a badge of courage. They need a good verbal slap instead.

      Why is it that you never or rarely hear the word “Zionist” on cable news? The sound of the word “zionist” spoken aloud in the mainstream is like the sound of nails on a chalkboard–it makes everyone CRINGE. That’s why Ahmadinejad can’t get enough of the word, because he knows its effect. “Zionist” is like a dirty word; it has very ugly connotations. Everything about Zionism spells injustice, INJUSTICE, OPPRESSION, bigotry and delusion. You’ll never see a billboard outside of Israel that reads: ZIONISM is GOOD, because all Zionists have one thing in common: understating the dirty, little ideology that unites them. Instead they must defend it with shabby excuses for discrimination, the victim card/milking guilt and a tragedy that Palestinians were not responsible for and veiled supremacy: we’re civilized; they’re inferior and savages; we’re the endangered victims and they’re the threat to our existence.

      • DaveS on September 28, 2012, 8:57 am

        kalithea, you say that Zionists “must defend it with shabby excuses for discrimination, the victim card/milking guilt and a tragedy that Palestinians were not responsible for and veiled supremacy: we’re civilized; they’re inferior and savages; we’re the endangered victims and they’re the threat to our existence,” you brilliantly sum up a common modus operandi. But which of these “liberal Zionists” do you think adheres to this formula: Norman Finkelstein, Uri Avnery, Jerry Slater? All of them? Seriously?
        I also disagree with your assessment that Zionism is universally regarded as a dirty word outside Israel. I think it is virtually synonymous with Israel, and its adherents proudly use the word. As MW has announced, there will soon be a debate between Dershowitz and Beinart about whether Zionism is in crisis. No one is shying away from the word, and the unstated assumption of both debaters is that Zionism is a good thing that should not be in crisis. The vast majority of the hundreds of people who fill the hall will be on the side of one debater or another; only a few will reject the ideas of both from an anti-Zionist perspective.

      • kalithea on September 28, 2012, 12:55 pm

        The individuals you mentioned don’t have to roll around in the mud like their hard-core Zionist counterparts because they’re selling the “purity” of Zionist snake oil instead. But the truth is that what they’re selling will NEVER come to fruition and either they’re hopelessly deluded or they’re just trying to embellish Zionism to salvage its reputation and the reputation of the tribe. And whatever of these two motives they have; what they’re doing is WRONG. Finkelstein, by the way, showed his cards when he opposed BDS. I mistakenly assumed he was anti-Zionist as I became familiar with him during the Gaza invasion, but gradually I’ve lost all respect for him.

        Secondly, I really don’t give a “ratz azz” what Zionists discuss/debate amongst themselves as long as they’re Zionists of ANY stripe. One side is totally off the deep end and the other side suffers from staggering hypocrisy. So what if they don’t consider Zionism a bad word in their Zionist world where everything is backwards and nothing is what it appears to be? I’m talking about the status of Zionism and Zionist in the vernacular of the general population not in the Zionist world.

        The “Z” word is as jarring as no doubt the “N…zi” word was to many in its inception. It sounds bad and feels bad. It’s UGLY.

      • American on September 28, 2012, 1:03 pm

        “”kalithea, you say that Zionists “must defend it with shabby excuses for discrimination, the victim card/milking guilt.

        “But which of these “liberal Zionists” do you think adheres to this formula: Norman Finkelstein, Uri Avnery, Jerry Slater? All of them? Seriously?”…David Samel>>>>>

        The zionist do milk the victimhood meme. Of the liberal zionist you
        mentioned Slater uses it based on what he has written is the inherent anti semitism that could resurface and ”collective guilt” of the non Jewish world.
        Surely you haven’t forgotten his famous melt down here?

        Here is the problem with ‘liberal’ zionist….they, as Slater does and has written numerous times, believe that the ” Greater Good” for the Jews in the final anaylist trumps all others interest and justifies the seizing of Palestine for a Jewish nation.
        If you believe in the Greater Good for your group coming at the disposession and expense of others, then it’s no different than the Nazis concept of the Greater Good of Germany and Germans in expelling and eliminating Jews.

        Most liberal zionist when you strip them to their core believe they are ‘special victims’ and justify Israel on that even if they want it to be a kinder and gentler kind of Greater Good for the Jews.

        There is no way around that.

      • seafoid on September 28, 2012, 5:04 pm

        Slater and Avnery. Fink is not a Zionist.

      • wondering jew on September 29, 2012, 5:08 pm

        Modern Zionism was born from an impulse towards group survival. Its earliest founders sensed the danger coming towards European Jews and advised a group effort towards self defense. This effort was focused on a land that was already settled (and thus the injustice of the effort), but the choice of that specific place was necessary in order to inflame a mass will and donations from a wealthy elite, both of which were necessary to accomplish such a goal.

        By the time the danger coming towards European Jews had spent most of its fury (there were many examples of European antisemitism after 1947, but in comparison with 1939 to 1945 these were minor) , there was already a critical mass of Jews in Palestine and that critical mass with its dangers and needs became the new focus of Zionism.

        This is the original Zionism and this is what has my respect.

        (Israel has had 64 years or so to transition from its original needs and forms to adjust to a post colonial world and try to incorporate an attitude of equality into its ethos. It has largely failed to meet this need to transition and is headed in the wrong direction for the most part.)

  14. kalithea on September 28, 2012, 12:51 am

    Snap out of it! Zionism is bad any way you spell it. Yes, the shocking truth is absolutely what’s required and the only answer to this injustice. Quit pretending you can salvage something while you witness everyone falling into a bottomless pit of their own making. Quit helping them dig that hole by giving them a more effective SHOVEL autographed “liberal Zionist”. Liberal Zionism is snake oil that Liberal Zionists just love to peddle gaining fame and fortune while the suffering of its victims continues indefinitely.

    • ColinWright on September 28, 2012, 8:06 pm

      ” Liberal Zionism is snake oil that Liberal Zionists just love to peddle…”

      A Zionist is anyone who supports the perpetuation of a state in Palestine in which continued Jewish domination is assured.

      If you’re for that, you’re a Zionist. If you’re not, you’re not a Zionist. All the appellation ‘liberal’ signals to me in this context is that the Zionist in question would prefer to see a velvet glove over the fist.

      • ColinWright on September 29, 2012, 5:40 pm

        Incidentally, I queried Finkelstein on this very point a while back (before he broke ranks, so to speak). Did he support the right of Israel to exist?

        He replied that he opposed all nationalisms.

        …which I think is something of a cop-out, as whatever one may think of it, nationalism isn’t going away any time soon. To equate Zionism with nationalism in general is sort of the equivalent of giving it an indefinitely suspended sentence. It’s saying, ‘well, it should be kept until we’ve fixed all the problems.’ It is, in short, a way of being a Zionist without saying as much.

  15. on September 28, 2012, 1:52 am

    “he should not push away those who disagree now but would join…”
    There seems to be a widespread belief around here that to work together with anyone one has to somehow hide one’s program, moderate one’s language etc. Not so. Solid alliances and respected compromises always have (and can only be successful) by frank and principled statement of each one’s goals. If, say, I want to destroy the Zionist entity and eventually get rid of all religion, I must state it right at the start. Pussyfooting and playing nice are wasted anyway, because what pushes people to ally themselves with you is not your attitude; only the facts, the events do that. You cannot push away allies. You can stab them in the back, trap them or be trapped, trample them to the ground, etc. You cannot “push them away” because you didn’t pull them in the first place.

    • ColinWright on September 29, 2012, 5:51 pm

      sardelapasti says: “..Not so. Solid alliances and respected compromises always have (and can only be successful) by frank and principled statement of each one’s goals. If, say, I want to destroy the Zionist entity and eventually get rid of all religion, I must state it right at the start…”

      I dunno about that. Look at our (all too successful opponents). Think the Evangelicals remind the Israelis that they only support Israel because once all the Jews are back there, Jeebus will come and they’ll all stop being Jews? Think Netanyahu tells Evangelical leaders exactly what he thinks of their silly-ass faith?

      I doubt it.

      On the other hand, a while back (quite a while back) the current Pope went to Istanbul, and did more or less as you advocate. He delivered what I recall thinking was a theologically sound, frank but polite statement of Christianity’s position vis-a-vis Islam. It was kind of refreshing. None of the puerile ‘we all really agree — let’s hug’ tripe but none of the bigoted cant that inhabits the other end of the spectrum either.

      More or less what you would advise. It didn’t go over well.

  16. Mooser on September 28, 2012, 11:27 am

    “I counsel my anti-Zionist friends to make nice to liberal Zionists so that we bring them on board and form a coalition to bust the Israel lobby.”

    Jeez, Phil, you aren’t supposed to say out loud that it’s your nonemolumented job to run interference for Zionism. No doubt you are able to make a solipsicated distinction between the Israel lobby and Zionism I am unable to distinguish.

  17. MRW on September 28, 2012, 11:42 am

    Max is unleashing the dog.

  18. MHughes976 on September 28, 2012, 11:50 am

    I would probably sign a petition saying ‘End the Occupation!’ but I don’t think I could sign one saying ‘Don’t jeopardise Zionism! Respect the founders’ ideals! End the Occupation!’ The second would in effect contain propositions that I consider false, so that endorsing them would be a lie on my part. Even the first would trouble me, since I don’t think ‘occupation’ is the right word for a process of conquest, but I think that you can’t always stop and argue about right and wrong wording. In the same way I couldn’t expect LibZios to accept my contention that Zionism is – any way you spell it, as kalithea says – a profound moral mistake. Many of them would probably say ‘We can’t make common cause with the likes of you’, some of them even saying ‘with anti-Semites like you’. So they would consider themselves pushed away. My replies would be ‘How can you think me an anti-Semite if we agree about so much?’ and ‘We need to keep talking’. Meanwhile the hardline Zionists will see, as another bonus of the occupation/conquest programme, that it divides their critics into two mutually critical and mutually suspicious camps, so will happily plan to build another settlement tomorrow. The road is hard and steep.

    • kalithea on September 28, 2012, 1:26 pm

      “The road is hard and steep.”

      Because those liberal Zionists, and I can’t stand those two words strung together, keep clinging to something that never existed when Zionists first flocked over from Eastern Europe to colonize Palestinian land, doesn’t exist today and will never exist tomorrow as reality has demonstrated conclusively, and still they persist in not going all the way to let go of the Zionist “cult”. Therefore because their “noble” cause is non-existant, we should rightly assume that their main agenda is to protect the reputation of Zionism and the tribe rather than their primary obligation and the primary obligation of us all to defend and uphold justice and the humane and moral high ground. And you can’t honestly commit to the latter by hanging on to Zionism. It’s just totally disingenuous and hypocritical.

      • MHughes976 on September 28, 2012, 3:16 pm

        Absolutely. Zionism calls for discrimination of a kind that liberalism seeks to abolish.

      • seafoid on September 28, 2012, 5:01 pm

        “You are a white. The Imperial Wizard. Now, if you don’t think this is logic you can burn me on the fiery cross. This is the logic : You have the choice of spending fifteen years married to a woman, a black woman or a white woman.”

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lzUsNrvWAQ

        It’s a pity there are so few Israeli Jews today who can think like Lenny Bruce

      • Ellen on September 29, 2012, 8:57 am

        A pity that there are so few anywhere that can think like Bruce.

  19. on September 28, 2012, 11:17 pm

    All right, look at what some Zionists (no other word comes to mind, unless it is an accident without human agency…) are doing inside the solidarity movement:

    http://othersite.org/palestine-abandonned-by-its-own-leadership-letter-from-paul-larudee-to-al-awda-list/

  20. DaveS on September 29, 2012, 8:31 am

    seafoid, Norman would not describe himself as a Zionist but he certainly favors the two-state solution which would leave intact the Jewish State. Does that not qualify him to be shunned as a liberal Zionist?

    kalithea, your purity is admirable, but your view is myopic. You insist that Zionist causes the same reaction as Nazi? Not in the real world. The elites who decide what happens embrace or at least tolerate Zionism and are repulsed by Nazism. You may not give a ratz azz about them, but they are causing immense suffering to Palestinians.

    sardelapasti, you implicitly accuse me of advocating “pussyfooting” and hiding one’s program when I really said that “Max is right to forcefully and persuasively argue that there always has been something inherently unfair with the very notion of the Jewish State.”

    A few years ago, I attended an event on Gaza at the Brecht forum with several speakers, including Phil. Medea Benjamin gave an impassioned speech, saying let’s put aside our differences – one-staters and two-staters – and work together to end the siege of Gaza. Treating two-staters as verboten treif untouchables doesn’t strike me as constructive.

    My main point was that Max was wrong to lump together as “liberal Zionists” both Labor PM’s who have committed terrible crimes and honest, decent two-staters who have made invaluable contributions to exposures of those crimes. While I agree that Zionism is incompatible and even irreconcilable with liberal ideals, there are not enough people who agree with us to have an impact on ending Zionism. Persuading others to join our ranks, rather than condemning them for not having done so, is essential. Even more importantly, there are more immediate goals to be achieved, such as ending the Occupation, the siege of Gaza, the stranglehold of the Israel Lobby, and the media bias in favor of Israel.

    • on September 29, 2012, 11:52 am

      Samel,

      “you implicitly accuse me of advocating ‘pussyfooting'”…. Not at all. It is true that my writing is hard to understand without multiple edits to reorganize the wording, though: My point about “While Max is right… something inherently unfair with the very notion of the Jewish State, he should not push away those who disagree now..” is that you cannot “push away” anyone if their interests coincide with yours for part of the way. We now have hundreds of years of accumulated experience of alliances with potential enemies; not a single example of damage due to clearly stating one’s own program, while the reverse action, that of moles and sugar-coaters, is a recipe for disaster. Any agreement to some “Jewish” state, for us outside Palestine, is motivated not by what the Zionists will accept but only by a possible request on the part of Palestinians.

    • Donald on September 29, 2012, 4:16 pm

      “your purity is admirable,”

      Kind of tangential, but I doubt real purity exists. Most of us are probably blind on some point or other. Zionism was a bad idea with the seeds of the Nakba there from the start, but political Islam is a bad idea and most nationalisms are at least a questionable idea and frequently turn into rancid excuses for hating someone who isn’t part of the group. People who condemn one form of evil are sometimes blind to another form–that’s something you’ll find on every point of the political spectrum. Liberal Zionists are like some liberal Americans. American patriotism has often been the excuse given for various human rights crimes and you often find liberals who try to take it back for the forces of liberalism, by imagining some idealized American patriotism. But how could there even be a US without our own Nakbas against Native Americans? If there are some liberal Zionists who dream of some version of the ideal that could have turned out better, they are no more delusional than most of the rest of us, so long as they face up to what actually did happen. Slater and Finkelstein (the latter doesn’t appear to be a Zionist anyway, just a bad tempered 2SS supporter and BDS critic) are about as honest as humans come in facing up to the reality of what Zionism has actually been.

      • ColinWright on September 29, 2012, 4:50 pm

        Donald says: “…“your purity is admirable,”

        Kind of tangential, but I doubt real purity exists. Most of us are probably blind on some point or other. Zionism was a bad idea with the seeds of the Nakba there from the start, but political Islam is a bad idea and most nationalisms are at least a questionable idea and frequently turn into rancid excuses for hating someone who isn’t part of the group…”

        Well, yeah — but there are a few points I’d make. First, nationalism is here. To act as if it isn’t is futile. One just has to accept it — and try to tame it. We’re all children of nationalism.

        Second, political Islam may or may not be a bad idea — but I suspect it’s a logical necessity. Islam — much more so than either Judaism or Christianity — contains a whole formula for social organization. To propose completely secular politics in an Islamic society may ultimately be an oxymoron — and indeed, attempts to create secular states in Islamic countries have been uniformly unsuccessful. As a rule, they turn into weak and unstable tyrannies.

        One could compare it to nationalism — which had its hiccups, most spectacularly in the World Wars, in Naziism, and in Japan’s ferocious rampage. It too is still working it out — and hopefully, so will political Islam. Islam has demonstrated in the past that it is capable of producing stable, long-lived, productive societies, so I think it’s at least theoretically possible that it will do so in the future, and I’m inclined to applaud any sincere effort to realize that goal that doesn’t involve barbequing live children.

        Finally, I’ll object to your equation between these movements and Zionism. Nationalism and Islam are massive movements, involving billions of people. People just are nationalist in sentiment, or Muslim. Moreover, at least in principle, it’s possible for these phenomena to exist without acute oppression. Danes can be as patriotic as they please — no one’s ox needs to get gored. Islam long ago demonstrated its ability to tolerate religious minorities.

        Not so with Israel. There have been very few voluntary Zionists — most ‘Zionists’ went to Israel because they weren’t given much choice in the matter, and that was often arranged by the Zionists themselves. People are not naturally Zionists — indeed, that’s a problem Israel has. There isn’t really a nation there. There are Yemeni Jews, and economic refugees from Russia, and descendants of Holocaust survivors, and the ultra-Orthodox, but there’s not really a Zionist people. The EU is the Borg Collective by comparison.

        Second — and more damning — unlike nationalism and Islam, Zionism does necessarily imply the oppression and deprivation of another people. Specifically, of course, the Palestinians, who have the misfortune of having happened to inhabit the spot of ground where the Zionists decided they needed to site their little project.

      • Donald on September 29, 2012, 5:06 pm

        “Finally, I’ll object to your equation between these movements and Zionism.”

        There’s not necessarily a direct comparison between Zionism and these other things, though I think the history of Israel resembles US history in many respects–the sense of entitlement that the newcomers had, the idea that they had a right to the land even though it was already inhabited, the self-righteousness, etc…

        I hedged on nationalism, since it can come in harmless forms. But Zionism could too–the cultural Zionism of Judah Magnes would have been harmless, from what I understand of it (which isn’t that much, admittedly). The form of Zionism which predominated led to the Nakba.

        Islamic states seem like a bad idea to me for the same reason that Christian states or Jewish theocratic states seem like a bad idea. They can come in various forms and maybe the moderate sort of Islamist will build successful societies, as might be true in Turkey (I’m too ignorant to say) and one can wish people in Egypt well since they have the Muslim Brotherhood in power for now. But if you favor one religion it seems likely that there will be at least some discrimination against members of other religions or of no religion at all. I hope that the Muslim Brotherhood will make the Copts feel safe and won’t impose conservative values on secular Egyptians, but I guess we’ll find out.

  21. kma on September 29, 2012, 3:42 pm

    Phil says: “I counsel my anti-Zionist friends to make nice to liberal Zionists so that we bring them on board and form a coalition to bust the Israel lobby. Well Max Blumenthal ain’t buying…”

    what exactly are you saying? we all “make nice” to liberal zionists and liberal anti-abortionists and liberal racists and liberal Democrats and liberal neo-liberals every day of our lives when we go to school and the doctor and drop our kids off at their friends’ houses and have dinner with our neighbors… I do not act differently only to “convert” someone or because I have x-ray-future vision and can see that they someday will feel sorry on their deathbed. what are you suggesting?

    zionism is racism. I’m guilty of not fighting racism and sexism and ageism and enviro-ism as much as anyone. I don’t feel good about that.

    and whose “tent” is it that we are supposed to be welcomed into? what does it mean to “welcome” zionists into the “tent”? is the fight against a lobby the territory of one group? is Jeff Blankfort in that group?

    • ColinWright on September 29, 2012, 5:00 pm

      Phil says: “I counsel my anti-Zionist friends to make nice to liberal Zionists so that we bring them on board and form a coalition to bust the Israel lobby.…”

      My own suspicion is that someone is going to get taken here. Either those of us who think Israel is evil root and branch are going to get seduced into agreeing to a ‘nice’ Israel that settles for ‘only’ four-fifths of Palestine plus perks, or the ‘liberal Zionists’ are going to get suckered into supporting a program that implies the eventual dissolution of Israel.

      I favor the latter, obviously — but I can’t really see how there’s a complete community of interest. I suspect the parting of the ways will come pretty fast. The ‘liberal Zionists’ will say, ‘well, yes, that is unjust — but it’s necessary for Israel’s security’ and I will say ‘well, yes, that does jeopardize Israel’s security — but it’s what’s just.’

      Sooner or later everyone is going to have to decide. Which side are they on? Meanwhile, of course, we can all pretend if we want to.

      P.S. Yes! I realize this isn’t consistent with my other posts!

  22. bilal a on September 30, 2012, 1:28 pm

    Blumenthol/MW argue consistently for a generalized liberal ethos to apply to both Israel and all others, but what if true self determination and liberty, that is, self government without the imposition of an external ethical frameset , does not result in the corporate controlled sham democracy of the West?

    In other words, if the one state solution resulted in a Muslim Brotherhood victory with the Jewish community having real independence and self government, and the religious Jews and Muslims both joining to elect an Abrahmaic based constitution, what would be wrong with that ?

    Corporate Sham Democracy is not the End of History, nor is Ikwonni Babbittvile of the Morsi type, we must evolve a better system.

  23. proudzionist777 on October 1, 2012, 11:27 am

    ‘…what would be wrong with that ?’

    Nothing. Unless you’re a woman having to sit in the back of the bus with a rag on your head.

  24. Xpat on October 1, 2012, 11:07 pm

    “time is running out”
    This could be the motto of Zionism, liberals and rightwingers.
    -I’ve heard Naomi Chazan, on of the leaders of the liberal Zionist, use this on different occasions with regard to the “closing window” for peace/2 states etc.
    -Netanyahu just used that idea with his bomb cartoon at the UNGA.
    It’s always the 11th hour, the 90th minute, the last chance.

    I wonder if other ideologies have the same urgency of standing on the precipice.
    Simon Rawidowicz famously wrote about Jewishness as living in a state of fear that this might be the last generation of Jews. In that sense, Zionists make excellent Jews.
    There may be a mindset problem for Zionists to concede to themselves that the window has already closed, it’s past midnight and it’s a new day.

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