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Liberal Zionism ends with a pinch

Israel/Palestine
on 74 Comments
Netanyahu and Lapid welcome Lieberman back into the government

Netanyahu and Lapid welcome Lieberman back into the government as Foreign Minister, photo by Reuters

This photograph, which appeared in the New York Times and Haaretz yesterday, is why Peter Beinart is closing Open Zion.

Because liberal Zionism is screwed.

Because Yair Lapid– whom the liberal Zionists embraced as their great rising star in the elections last January– is pinching the cheek of a nascent/latent/patent fascist (who was disgraced but has bounced back).
Because this is what Zionism has produced, and any smart intellectual knows that this is where the road goes.
Because the wind is at the back of the anti-Zionists, just as Jeffrey Goldberg said.
Because Goldberg and Beinart have found, just as I found, and many thousands of privileged Israelis have too, that life and career mean a lot more here in the liberal diverse US, than the unseemly prospect of being teamed with religious nationalist idiots, including Yair Lapid who sees Arabs as an “internal threat”.

PS. Here’s what Jeffrey Goldberg wrote 2-1/2 years ago, decrying the settlements as a corruption of Zionism’s nature, but fearing that my side, which sees expansion and ethnic cleansing as inherent to Zionism, was winning the argument. He was right then, and of course my side has only gained strength:

The official position of this blog (yes, we have official positions here) is that the settlements should be fought as if there was no such thing as anti-Zionism, and anti-Zionism should be fought as if there were no such thing as the settlements. This, I think, reflects the centrist position. A centrist on the question of Israel believes that the settlements represent a corruption of Jewish ideals, but that Israel remains the physical manifestation of a righteous cause. The right, of course, believes that settlements are an expression, not a corruption, of that cause. The left, on the other hand, believes that settlements are a manifestation of Zionism’s true nature. I disagree with that argument strenuously. But I will say this, though: The left position on this question has the wind at its back.

P.S. Here is Ethan Bronner of the NYT, who I’m told is/was a liberal Zionist, saying last month that the Israeli government began sending out settlers within seconds of the end of the ’67 war and that there are now 600,000 Jews east of the Green Line, and “I dont see any government in Israel being willing to move them from their homes… If the Zionist movement means anything, it means you build.”

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About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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74 Responses

  1. W.Jones
    W.Jones
    November 13, 2013, 12:12 pm

    Perhaps this is your logic, Phil

    Nationalism X believes that it has a right to its homeland and statehood for itself, so it will naturally go in that direction, rather than naturally abandoning its general claim to both halves of the homeland.

    Only an alternate belief or outside force of comparable strength would change this natural result of Nationalism X so that it accommodated Nationality Y.

    That outside force could be:
    Nationality X’s equally strong beliefs in universalism: that Nationality Y has an equal right to statehood in its homeland.

    Equal material, economic, and political force of Nationality Y.

    International forces for equality no less powerful and committed to the issue than Nationalism X.

    What do you think?

    • pabelmont
      pabelmont
      November 13, 2013, 2:07 pm

      W Jones. Not bad, but consider that whereas Palestinian nationalism is reactive to the threat (1930s til now) of loss of the well-defined homeland, Israeli nationalism began and continues as a get-what-you-can without a well-defined national homeland. Thus, some Israeli Jews believe/feel/wish that Israel == Mandatory Palestine, others believe/feel/wish that Israel == Mandate-plus-Jordan, others Israel == whatever the most expansive Biblical definition was.

      No Israeli Jew believes that Israel == ONLY ancient Judah or ONLY ancient Israel. (These are too small).

      Some Israeli Jews would accept Israel == Green-Line Israel.

      NOW: What would make the existing Israeli government STOP expanding and actually retreat back to green-line (or beyond)? Not Israeli morality, for sure, because just look — it may exist for all I know but it doesn’t persuade in that direction. Big international pressure could obviously do it. But that has not manifested itself. Not yet. Only hope.

      So Palestinians must wait and encourage international pressure on Israel. My guess? It’ll be a long wait, but as Israel gets more and more hubristic territorially (and more racist and fascistic internally), the bubble will burst, international pressure will descend, and the purpose and goal of the application of that pressure may well EXCEED a roll-back of Israel to green-line. WHY NOT? By that time the world’s people and governments will be well and properly outraged (as some of us are already). If International pressure EVER manifests itself, it may be more like the Philippines Typhoon than like a Sunday afternoon breeze.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        November 13, 2013, 9:43 pm

        Pabelmont,

        The most favorable thing about Palestinian nationalism isn’t really that it is reactive, as you say, which is true as well. The nicest thing about Palestinian nationalism is that it is actually very inclusive. Namely, the Palestinians define themselves as the population before the massive changes of the 20th century. Thus, there was a real population of Palestinian Jews who are also Palestinian. In other words, Palestinian nationalism in its core does not exclude Jews, Christians or Muslims per se. In fact, a few Palestinian nationalist leaders have been Jewish.

    • Bandolero
      Bandolero
      November 13, 2013, 6:51 pm

      I think “liberal zionism” is an oxymoron, just as “liberal fascism”.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        November 13, 2013, 9:57 pm

        Bandolero,

        Are nationalism and liberalism contradictory? Perhaps it depends on the context. Ghandhi was a nationalist in a way, and he was also liberal.

        If the Zionists had zero outside help, were persecuted by Europe in 1948, fled to Palestine where they took refuge among the Palestinians, fought against the British, and then created a binational state, theoretically they could be considered liberals. This kind of dream is not unimaginable- many Palestinians really were sad to hear about the Holocaust in Europe just like there are Palestinians even today who think it was bad. For centuries many refugee populations have migrated to new areas and actually I believe that the refugees could have lived among Palestinians peacefully like they had before WWI. The nationalists even called their newspaper the “Palestine Post” and repeatedly used the word “Palestine” didn’t they?

        Granted, given the circumstances, this liberal vision was not nearly reality. The nationalists had the numbers, means, and strong desire to achieve a singular statehood, and they did.

      • Bandolero
        Bandolero
        November 14, 2013, 1:21 am

        W.Jones

        The nationalists had the numbers, means, and strong desire to achieve a singular statehood, and they did.

        Yes, I do think that happened. A couple of European nationalists wanted to achieve a singular statehood in Western Asia, and they did. Surprisingly, some people of Western Asia have some ressentiments against that racist European colonial project in Western Asia.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        November 15, 2013, 5:41 pm

        Surprisingly, some people of Western Asia have some ressentiments against that racist European colonial project in Western Asia.

        Excellent crypto-point, Bandolero. When they promote the State system, its supporters – whether liberal or right wing – never touch on how the West Asians are supposed to have felt about the new “hoped-for” “arrangement”. It’s as if there is no reason to even think about their opinion.

  2. seafoid
    seafoid
    November 13, 2013, 12:31 pm

    Jerusalem scene is the newsletter of St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group who run a Hospital in East Jerusalem. This season’s newsletter contains the following:

    “on one visit I met a mother who had arrived carrying her little boy. Her journey to the Hospital took 2 days on foot. Eventually she found a way through the desert hills and around the blocklades and arrived exhausted and desperate. Her child had all the characteristics of a potentially lethal and rapidly growing tumour behind the eyeball”.

    The Palestinians are the jews now. In a parallel universe the ADL would fight for them and liberal zionism would not be an oxymoron .

  3. American
    American
    November 13, 2013, 12:31 pm

    ”This, I think, reflects the centrist position. A centrist on the question of Israel believes that the settlements represent a corruption of Jewish ideals, but that Israel remains the physical manifestation of a righteous cause”

    I dont know what a centrist position on Israel could be unless it’s a “compromised position’ that says anti semitism or the Jewish holocaust makes the stealing of another’s land and their disposession a ‘righteous’ deal.
    There might be a ‘realist position’ that now that Israel is there it is impractical to dismantle it and create an upheaval of 6 million people. Thats basically been my past position.
    But a righteous cause it wasnt and aint. A ”delusional’ cause is whats it been.

    Whatever Herzl’s original idea of zionism was–and he was slightly daft if you ask me—‘misguided’ is the best you can say for it.
    It’s hasnt and isnt working out for anyone except the zionist cultist.
    And it gets crazier every day.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      November 13, 2013, 1:18 pm

      Jewish self determination would have been righteous if they had had any land.But they didn’t, did they? And here we are, looking now at apartheid. Righteous apartheid. This time is different. Not.

      • American
        American
        November 13, 2013, 2:29 pm

        seafoid says:
        November 13, 2013 at 1:18 pm

        Jewish self determination would have been righteous if they had had any land>>>>>>

        The need for self determination is a myth also….constructed by the zionist on the myth that Jews were always innocent victims and hated by others…..so Jews needed to ‘seperate’ from the others.
        But they havent ‘seperated have they?
        They are in ‘their nation’ of ‘self determination’ but what is it?
        They are still totally dependent on the world of others for their survival.
        What they have ‘determined’ for themselves is a rouge, racist and supremist state that must constantly have dispora Jews currying favors with and buying and minpulating the others world in order for their ‘ self determination’ to survive.
        Well, not ‘acceptable ‘to the decent majority of the world…right to self determine revoked.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        November 13, 2013, 8:04 pm

        “But they havent ‘seperated have they?

        Have they sepArated?

    • pabelmont
      pabelmont
      November 13, 2013, 2:13 pm

      The “compromised ideal” says that the guy who stole all the money in the bank to found an orphanage for disadvantaged kids is (on the whole) a philanthropist rather than a criminal. He is, really, both.

      But when he shows by his behavior that he continues to rob banks — apparently without limit, and using maximum viciousness in the doing — many people are going to stop valuing the philanthropy so highly and consider the criminality a bit more.

  4. Krauss
    Krauss
    November 13, 2013, 1:09 pm

    Sometimes a picture does say more than a thousand words.

    But here’s my chief complaint: this was predicted from a long distance from the very onset by people like us. When you launch your campaign at Ariel, cutting 16 miles into the West Bank – in effect bisecting it into bantustans which was the purpose of the settlement – and then say it can never be overturned, ever, you’re not a liberal.

    Yair Lapid worked as a slightly neurotic psychadelic drug for people like Alterman, JJ Goldberg and other Zionists who want to believe almost anything to sustain their fantasy of a liberal Israel. The question is not how Lapid is now essentially a fraud – he always was – but how to prevent the ongoing discussion from taking on the shape of this discourse but in the context of the general conflict. Namely, that we, once again, know what matters but that we don’t have to wait years, probably decades, before we get to this kind of moment. In other words, to speed up the process of the corpse of ‘liberal Zionism’ and bury it once and for all as the delusion simply cannot be sustained anymore.

  5. eljay
    eljay
    November 13, 2013, 1:27 pm

    >> Jewish self determination would have been righteous if they had had any land.

    If they had the land AND it was already Gentile-free so that no-one had to be expelled in order for a pure and “Jewish State” to be created, sure.

  6. piotr
    piotr
    November 13, 2013, 1:57 pm

    “the physical manifestation of a righteous cause” — it seems that this is a realist position in the sense of “Platonic realism”. The cause exists independently of its physical manifestation, but with luck, it may indeed manifest physically. Better yet, the cause is “righteous”, and it remains so regardless of any imperfections that a physical manifestation may have. For example, a triangle with sides of length a, b and c has the area as described by Heron’s formula, but a particular drawing of a triangle may have lines that are crooked, or the surface is not perfectly flat and the area is different; Heron’s formula remains correct. http://www.mathopenref.com/heronsformula.html

    The weird thing about the “centrists” is that they often think that they are good because they are centrist, this goodness is so obvious that does not require explanations. But indeed, what is the “righteous idea” exactly? After all, if formulated in the right wing manner it really demands to build settlements and to get rid of the natives in the most expeditious manner possible (with some disputes about what is possible and what is not). And it is very simple: Jews have 4 thousand years of history and the strongest bond with the Holy Land than any other people — do not be fooled by sham and hysteria of so-called Palestinians (the word Fakestinian has some circulation). So Goldberg should somewhere explain what is the correct idea, and why settlements form a corruption.

    • Ellen
      Ellen
      November 13, 2013, 2:36 pm

      So Goldberg should somewhere explain what is the correct idea, and why settlements form a corruption.

      The settlements and taking from existing fellow human beings is an expression of Zionism. Fellow human beings you refer to as “So-called Palesinians” are victims of the Zionist grab for land belonging to imaginary kingdoms of thousands of years ago. (A non-existent reality.)

      The mindset of living in a world of past kingdoms and dehumanizing your fellow on this planet for the Zionist project has horribly corrupted a people to commit crimes against humanity in the name of Zionism:

      “After Dyan’s blitz into the city (Lydda) an embedded reporter from the New York Herald Tribune surveyed the damage: “the corpses of Arab men, women, and even children strewn about in the wake of the ruthlessly brilliant charge.” “Practically everything in their way died,” a Chicago Sun-Times reporter wrote of the Israeli forces, describing Operation Dani as a “Blitzkrieg.”

      …Palestinian Arabs were instructed to take shelter in the Dahmash mosque near Ramle were slaughtered by forces under Rabin and Allon’s direct command, then left to rot in the July heat. About twenty to fifty more Palestinian men sent into the mosque by Israeli forces to extract the corpses and bury them were shot dead in the graves they had just dug.

      …Others, according the Amos Kenan, a famous Israeli writer and bon vivant who participated in the conquest of Lydda, took further liberties.

      “At night,” Kenan casually recalled in a 1989 article for the Nation “those of us who couldn’t restrain ourselves would go into the prison compounds to fuck Arab women.”

      A few soldiers caught up in the orgy of violence succumbed to psychological trauma. As Rabin later recalled, “Prolonged propaganda activities were required after the action….to explain why were were obliged to undertake such hard and cruel action.”

      …..Goliath, Max Blumenthal, pp 37-38.

      • marc b.
        marc b.
        November 13, 2013, 2:49 pm

        About twenty to fifty more Palestinian men sent into the mosque by Israeli forces to extract the corpses and bury them were shot dead in the graves they had just dug.

        and where was it that similarly gruesome conduct took place? let me think. no. the analogy is objectionable on its face.

      • jon s
        jon s
        November 13, 2013, 2:56 pm

        Ellen,
        What’s the relevance of posting this description ? One could easily find detailed descriptions of atrocities perpetrated by the Arab side in 1948.

        And what do mean by “imaginary kingdoms”?

      • Ellen
        Ellen
        November 13, 2013, 3:34 pm

        jon s. the relevance is to illustrate what crimes extreme nationalism/religious nationalism leads to. Zionism has shared that history with other “isms.” It did from the start.

        (Does the possibility to post crimes of others make Zionist crimes less real, less true? Or are you telling us it is justification?)

        That is the corruption of Zionism and it must be examined. Pitor asked what was corrupt about the settlement project. That descriptioin was an example of actions kicking it off, which continues today. The settlement project is driven by similar spirits.

        As to your second question, can you give evidence of the “Kingdom of David.” Was it a “Kingdom” or was it yet another tale grown bigger with time and distance — just as all peoples love their tales of past glory. (US Americans have Paul Bunyan and Davie Crockett. :)

        There is no evidence of such a Kingdom and and little evidence of a unified Jewish people in the Middle East 2000 years ago, let alone 4000 years ago. And there is no evidence of any Exodus from Egypt. But more of a sustained drought, prompting migration of people, from which the stories we enjoy today arose.

        BTW, Icelanders have a documented history going back 10,000 years. Not all stuck around. Do you think that people who can show genetic relation to the Icelandic population have the right to return? (Now do not go into all the talk of the Holocaust, etc.)

        If you are into thinking about a culture documented to go back so long.

      • Ellen
        Ellen
        November 13, 2013, 3:48 pm

        Btw, jon s. “The Arab side” may and surely did commit crimes or atrocities in 1948 as the Zionist troops started the cleansing campaign.

        But none were on the scale and duration of the Zionist crimes against a people. And they were not taking land from anyone.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        November 13, 2013, 8:51 pm

        “Icelanders have a documented history going back 10,000 years.”

        One too many zeroes. There seem to have been a few Irish Monks living there around 700*, but the main settlement was the Norsemen in the late 800s/early 900s. The documents come from about 300/400 years later.

        (*Those buggers get everywhere.)

      • amigo
        amigo
        November 14, 2013, 9:19 am

        ” There seem to have been a few Irish Monks living there around 700*, but the main settlement was the Norsemen in the late 800s/early 900s. The documents come from about 300/400 years later.

        (*Those buggers get everywhere.)”RoHa.

        You got something against Irish Monks??.

      • irishmoses
        irishmoses
        November 14, 2013, 7:52 pm

        So let me get this straight. My Irish heritage not only gives me a irrevocable Right of Return to my Ancient Irish Homeland, but also to my Ancient Homeland in Iceland. Cool! (literally). I spent a week on the Emerald Isle a few years back looking for a suitable spot to claim as my own but I was unable to find a location with the Southern California Mediterranean climate I prefer. I may have missed it due to the constant rain during my mid-summer visit.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        November 14, 2013, 9:25 pm

        “My Irish heritage not only gives me a irrevocable Right of Return to my Ancient Irish Homeland, but also to my Ancient Homeland in Iceland.”

        Undeniably.
        The monks left, but later other Irish settlers followed the Norsemen. Ireland was part of the Viking world and so had plenty of contact with Iceland, and there are plenty of Icelanders with Irish ancestry.
        http://www.historyireland.com/pre-norman-history/the-arctic-irish-fact-or-fiction/

        If I remember correctly, President Vigdís Finnbogadóttir claimed descent from an Irish Princess.

        (For a tourist brochure she wrote a little piece that began, “Everyone knows that the Elves live in the stones…” This is probably the most interesting, honest, and worthwhile thing any politician has ever written.)

      • irishmoses
        irishmoses
        November 15, 2013, 12:04 pm

        Hilarious and informative article RoHa. My search for my Irish roots deepens.

        Do the Irish have something equivalent to Birthright? I’d appreciate a free trip and educational tour to cement my cultural identity before I claim my plot in my Ancient Irish Homeland. It would be nice if there were Irish-American settlements I could live in to ease my transition.

        Please keep me updated.

      • American
        American
        November 16, 2013, 4:27 pm

        ‘Do the Irish have something equivalent to Birthright?…….irishmoses

        Sort of– but it only goes back as far as a great grandparent and he/she had to be born in Ireland and a registered citizen there –and a few other down the line things.
        http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/WP11000024

      • irishmoses
        irishmoses
        November 14, 2013, 11:37 am

        Ellen,

        Ari Shavit’s recent New Yorker article, Lydda, 1948, showed the intent to remove the Arabs Israeli-captured territory was there from the very beginning. His interviews of the Israeli commanders of the Lydda Valley campaign revealed that their pre-war training including instructions that ‘the Arabs would have to go’, that ‘their generation’s responsibility would be to rid the country of Arabs’. During the war they received clear instructions from their superiors to ‘expel all Arabs’ because the war presented ‘a one-time opportunity to solve the Arab problem’. The commander who carried out the Lydda expulsion order admitted to Shavit that he and his brigade had also expelled all the Arabs from the cities of Tiberius and Safed just a few weeks prior.

        Yitzhak Rabin remembered receiving the order to expel the Arabs from David Ben-Gurion himself. Rabin signed the expulsion order which said, “The inhabitants of Lydda must be expelled quickly, without regard to age.”

        I counted at least four separate Israeli massacres of civilians in the Lydda operation: The original assault on the city, the jamming of over 4000 civilians into the large mosque, the attack on the small mosque, and then the induced massacre of 3-400 civilians after the Israelis forced the 50,000 Arab population of the city to walk 15 miles to the east to Jordanian army positions in 100 degree heat with little or no water.

        Lydda was no accident.

  7. hophmi
    hophmi
    November 13, 2013, 1:58 pm

    “Because Yair Lapid– whom the liberal Zionists embraced as their great rising star in the elections last January– is pinching the cheek of a nascent/latent/patent fascist”

    Phil, sometimes you read a little too much into pictures. They’re members of the same legislative body. They can disagree and be friends at the same time.

    And again. If Mahmoud Abbas shakes head with Ismail Haniyeh, does that mean that there are no Palestinian moderates?

    • Xpat
      Xpat
      November 13, 2013, 5:10 pm

      The bigger question is, would you see Yair Lapid giving a welcome home pinch to a returning Palestinian minister. No, you wouldn’t, because there are no non-Jews in the Israeli cabinet. There are settlers and Russian-Israelis, just no Palestinian citizens.
      Which just proves the point. Liberal Zionism means that the State of Israel is for Jews only. Palestinian citizens of Israel not given government ministries; they are just tolerated

    • Stephen Shenfield
      Stephen Shenfield
      November 13, 2013, 6:41 pm

      Exactly, Hophmi! Just like MK Hanin Zoabi, who belongs to the same legislative body as Netanyahu, Lieberman and Lapid. They disagree with her but they are friends at the same time. Do you have any photos of the four of them together that will prove your point?

      Elliot, some Israeli cabinets have included a token Palestinian minister in a technical role.

      • Xpat
        Xpat
        November 13, 2013, 7:58 pm

        Elliot, some Israeli cabinets have included a token Palestinian minister in a technical role.

        In the current and previous cabinets – not one minister or deputy minister.
        In earlier cabinets (I checked back to 2000), it was typically one deputy minister or one junior ministry for a period of a year or so). Not a member of the kitchen cabinet, the septet or the security cabinet.
        “A token Palestinian minister” is right.

  8. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    November 13, 2013, 2:28 pm

    So do you really think Peter Beinart who is part of the better late than never crowd is all ready over his short effort to help Israel save itself?

    • hophmi
      hophmi
      November 13, 2013, 2:33 pm

      Um, no Kathleen. I don’t think Beinart intimated that he was.

    • Ellen
      Ellen
      November 13, 2013, 2:40 pm

      Not yet. It is a long process for most.

      Realities still too painful to deal with and we are wired to stay away from pain.

    • marc b.
      marc b.
      November 13, 2013, 2:56 pm

      beinart’s a careerist to the core. or better yet the intellectual equivalent of the air socks you used to see at airports. no rush to pick a position, although it didn’t take him long to figure out that his decision to become . . . whatever it was exactly he thought he was at open zion, was a mistake.

      • joemowrey
        joemowrey
        November 13, 2013, 5:24 pm

        Well said marc b. I love the air sock analogy. Beinart will always move in the direction that pays him the most.

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        November 13, 2013, 6:21 pm

        As someone else pointed out the timing of Open Zion just happened to be lined up with when his book came out. Really do not believe for one second that Beinart’s epiphany about the apartheid state of Israel has anything to do with a sincere empathy felt towards the plight of the Palestinians. I believe it is all about Israel for him.

      • marc b.
        marc b.
        November 14, 2013, 10:38 am

        RE: the timing. that’s much more likely to be correct than my original statement. which makes him even less appealing as an ‘intellectual’.

        btw, there are a series of great articles on the perversion of the scientific method, the bankruptcy of the ‘creative’ class, etc., all undermined by the profit motive and the brittleness of elite egos. see recent pieces in the economist and the atlantic which sum up the phenomenon. beinart seems to fit the bill, both pimp and whore cloned into one human being. bletch.

  9. Shmuel
    Shmuel
    November 13, 2013, 2:53 pm

    the settlements should be fought as if there was no such thing as anti-Zionism, and anti-Zionism should be fought as if there were no such thing as the settlements

    What a sleazy paraphrase of Rabin’s “We will fight terrorism as if there were no peace process and pursue peace as if there were no terrorism.”

    • marc b.
      marc b.
      November 13, 2013, 2:57 pm

      sleazy, maybe. definitely too many syllables.

    • philweiss
      philweiss
      November 13, 2013, 3:10 pm

      Shmuel it’s the White Paper paraphrase, right? Fight the Nazis, fight the White Paper

    • jon s
      jon s
      November 13, 2013, 3:12 pm

      Rabin’s quote is a take on Ben Gurion’s “Support the British as if there is no White Paper and oppose the White Paper as if there is no war”.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        November 13, 2013, 3:20 pm

        Right, although I presume Goldberg had Rabin’s version in mind. If he was thinking of BG, it’s even sleazier.

  10. jon s
    jon s
    November 13, 2013, 3:38 pm

    Just looking at the language, not the content, note how succinct BG’s original was, and how the later quotes deteriorate stylistically.

    • marc b.
      marc b.
      November 13, 2013, 4:30 pm

      4 out 5 pedants agree, jon: Goldberg is brutal, stylistically.

  11. Xpat
    Xpat
    November 13, 2013, 8:00 pm

    If it’s any comfort, I bet Yair Lapid can’t stand Avigdor Lieberman. This pinch was as false as they come.

    • Shmuel
      Shmuel
      November 14, 2013, 3:33 am

      I bet Yair Lapid can’t stand Avigdor Lieberman. This pinch was as false as they come.

      It’s hard to tell with politicians. These guys are colleagues, and whether or not they actually like each other often has very little to do with their public personas or purported political/ideological differences (which may or may not be sincere or as marked as they appear). Both Lieberman and Lapid are backslappers who enjoy the good life. I wouldn’t be surprised if they get on like a house on fire.

  12. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    November 13, 2013, 11:10 pm

    “Because Yair Lapid– whom the liberal Zionists embraced as their great rising star in the elections last January–”

    Some more nonsense from Phil Weiss. Like liberal Zionists embraced Lapid as their great rising star before the elections. After the elections, granted, it is the habit of liberal Zionists to see hope where others see none, so some liberal Zionists took heart from Lapid’s 2nd place showing. The possibility that Lapid would head a leftist government with those to the left of him was floated and Lapid quickly shot that down, “I will not make a government with the Zoabis.” No one who heard that comment could think of Lapid as a liberal Zionist. (The disdain for Zoabi is shared by most liberal Zionists, but what was clear was that Lapid planned to join Likud. To join the left would not have been natural, because Lapid ran as a centrist, whose emphasis was economics, but whose foreign policy was to the right of Kadima, if not as far to the right as Likud.)

    Then Phil compounds his nonsense by stating- This is why Peter Beinart is quitting Open Zion. Give me a break. What drivel. Propaganda with no basis in reality.

    • piotr
      piotr
      November 14, 2013, 11:56 am

      The alliance between Lapid and Naftali Bennet shows that whatever “liberalism” there is in Lapid, it is not very deep, to put it mildly. Lapid has some liberals in his party, but that party lives and dies on his popularity so they do not matter too much.

      JJ Goldberg did not explain what is wrong with settlements FROM HIS PERSPECTIVE. I suspect that for Lapid it is simple: settlements are wrong if they cause more problems for Israel then benefits, and if not, they are OK. He does not fight for them or against them. For that matter, this is the case with Kadima and Labor too, except that there are differences in the estimates what constitutes a problem for Israel (and benefit).

  13. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    November 13, 2013, 11:42 pm

    On the topic of liberal Zionism. I think it is clear that any Zionism that is not as binational as Buber’s Zionism, would have entailed losses for the Palestinians. The need for the Jewish masses under the rule of the Czar in 1881 to find some piece of land where they could determine their own fate was apparent to clear thinkers who lived at the time and still apparent today, regarding the eventual fate of those masses and the possibilities of somehow avoiding that fate.

    As individuals those masses preferred the United States and other destinations rather than the masters of their own fate that self determination on a piece of land seemed to promise. But those who thought of the masses rather than only of themselves as individuals, naturally thought in the direction of self emancipation.

    The choice of the land for such an enterprise was naturally Palestine (choice of a land inferred that Jews would choose to move there as more than a mere refuge, but as a preferred destination). This choice of Palestine naturally meant that the Palestinians were about to lose out. If there was any question about this consequence, Ben Gurion’s ascendance (compared to Chaim Weizman) assured that the nakba would occur. (To imagine a Palestinian/Arab leadership that would have accepted partition to the extent of imagining a peaceful transfer from British soldiers to a partitioned reality, is to imagine something unnatural.)

    The loss entailed in the nakba and accepting that loss as necessary, whereas rejecting the expansion of 67 as unnecessary is really the trademark of the liberal Zionist. Think Yeshaya Leibowitz. I have not done sufficient research to sift his writings for negative views of the IDF before 67, but certainly his well known quotes mark a clear divide between the necessities of 48 and the lack of necessity of the occupation begun in 67. This is the paradigm of the liberal Zionist.

    (Regarding the nakba: If I imagine time travel to the nakba and how I would have handled the situation, it is difficult to imagine being strong enough to resist the commands of a Ben Gurion, yet I am very pleased not to have participated in the atrocities that were entailed in the exiling. My split from Liberal Zionism or my split from centrist Zionism occurred after the war on Gaza of 08-09, with the realization that if I was the prime minister I would not have ordered that war. At first this realization was accompanied by the possibility that the Israelis were lucky to have Olmert and Livni and Ehud Barak as their leaders rather than me. But though I am not sure that I am right or how I would have handled the confrontation with Hamas in Gaza, I now prefer for the Israelis my own leadership vis a vis Gaza rather than the war that was fought. 1948 is a bit too far away and an accepted part of the past as compared to 67 or 2009. Also 1948 was a bit too near to 1939-1945 for me to declare unequivocally that the reaction of Ben Gurion or those under him to the events were not colored by a reaction to those events and that my reactions would not be similarly colored.)

    (For the record I must note my difference with Y. Leibowitz regarding east Jerusalem. Leibowitz did not like the Kotel or what Jews did/do at the Kotel, whereas I “love” the Kotel/Western Wall and consider the Kotel and a certain spot on the wall of East Jerusalem as “central” to my relationship to the God chip and feelings of transcendence.)

    • irishmoses
      irishmoses
      November 14, 2013, 1:02 pm

      Yonah Fredman said:

      ***”On the topic of liberal Zionism. I think it is clear that any Zionism that is not as binational as Buber’s Zionism, would have entailed losses for the Palestinians. The need for the Jewish masses under the rule of the Czar in 1881 to find some piece of land where they could determine their own fate was apparent to clear thinkers who lived at the time and still apparent today, regarding the eventual fate of those masses and the possibilities of somehow avoiding that fate.”***

      Excellent post Yonah. Well worth reading in its entirety. You perfectly set out the liberal Zionist position, as did Ari Shavit in his recent New Yorker article, “Lydda, 1948”, which essentially boils down to: “We had to do it. It was them or us.”

      I see several moral flaws in your/that argument:

      1. Why would Jews be any more entitled to a country of their own, cleansed of the indigenous inhabitants than say Vietnamese Boat People, Cambodian refugees, Ukranian Kulaks, or any other large, oppressed population?

      2. Why, other than for some obscure, ancient religious connection, was Palestine the necessary choice? Other choices were considered and available. e.g. Argentina and Mexico had huge areas available for immigrant groups. The British Uganda offer of 5000 square miles in the Mau Plateau was almost uninhabited, nearly the size of the UNR 181 Jewish State portion of the partition, and very suitable for settlement and agriculture. That was refused in favor of dispossessing the Palestinians.

      3. Balfour, as ratified by the League of Nations in 1923, gave Jews only the right to establish a homeland within Palestine and without impinging on the rights of non-Jews. UNR 181 set forth a specific portion of Palestine for a partitioned Jewish state with the condition that non-Jews within that state would be treated equally. That means that Israel had no right to take more than the portion allotted for a Jewish state and certainly had no right to ethnically cleanse 80 percent of the non-Jews from that portion.

      4. But, you say:

      “(To imagine a Palestinian/Arab leadership that would have accepted partition to the extent of imagining a peaceful transfer from British soldiers to a partitioned reality, is to imagine something unnatural.)”

      The flaw in that argument is that Israel had more than sufficient military force to control its legal portion of the UNR 181 partition. Had it simply established its state on that portion, without kicking out all those scruffy Arabs, it would have taken the moral and legal choice. Nothing in the accurate history of either the civil war or the war against the “Arab armies” indicates any possibility that Palestinian or organized Arab League forces posed any existential threat to Israel. It was simply no contest from the very beginning.

      5. The problem from early on was that the true Zionists (Jabotinsky, Weizmann, Ben-Gurion, et al) wanted nothing to do with a binational state whether under a united Palestine or under a partitioned one. That meant they had to remove all those scruffy Arabs. That was immoral and meant that Israel was to be founded on a war crime of massive scale for which there is no rational legal or moral justification, nor any justification based on extreme necessity.

      6. Accepting the inevitability of that founding war crime, as you and other liberal Zionists do, makes it possible, even necessry for you to justify virtually any subsequent oppressive act against the Palestinian people (those scruffy Arabs you’d prefer stayed on their side of the tracks). For instance, you say “tsk tsk” about the settlements but are you willing to force all Israeli Jews out of their illegal settlements and back to Israel? Of course not. You believe land swaps will do just fine, and by the way, Jerusalem is all ours since God gave it to us. What about the 2 million Palestinians that still remain as refugees in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan (not to mention the Gaza cesspool you’ve created). Where are they supposed to go? I suspect your solution is to leave them where they are or have other Arab nations solve the problem as they are really nothing more than mere Arabs anyway.

      The problem with liberal Zionism is that it was founded on an immoral premise and any half measures you and they now offer only continue the immorality.

      There were some righteous Jews that were telling you that from the very beginning: Yitzhak Epstein, Ahad Ha’am, Nathan Goldman, and later Marin Buber, Arthur Ruppin, Judah Magnes, and others, but you wouldn’t listen. Now you have no real way out of the morass. Illiberal Zionism will continue inexorably on its immoral path and only God knows where it will all end up.

      • Misterioso
        Misterioso
        November 14, 2013, 4:40 pm

        With respect.

        To be precise:

        The Balfour 1917 Declaration (incorporated into the 1922 League of Nations British Mandate) did not give Jews the right to establish a “homeland” in Palestine. It referred to a Jewish “national home,” which as Chaim Weizmann understood fully, was not a state or homeland (“the Balfour declaration was built on air.”)

        Also, the mandate was a class A Mandate, i.e., Palestine was to be governed by Britain as a whole until its citizens could assume democratic self-rule. There was no call for a Jewish homeland/state or any form of partition.

        This was made very clear in the Churchill Memorandum (1 July 1922) regarding the British Mandate: “[T]he status of all citizens of Palestine in the eyes of the law shall be Palestinian, and it has never been intended that they, or any section of them, should possess any other juridical status.”

        For the record, regarding the British Mandate: As approved by the Council of the League of Nations, the British government declared: “His Majesty’s Government therefore now declare unequivocally that it is not part of their policy that Palestine should become a Jewish State.” (Command Paper, 1922)

        The League of Nations British mandate did, however, facilitate massive immigration of Zionist Jews into Palestine, mainly from Poland, Russia and Europe who intended to create an expansionary/exclusionary Jewish state through whatever means necessary.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        November 14, 2013, 8:25 pm

        Excellent response, irishmoses.

        “The problem with liberal Zionism is that it was founded on an immoral premise and any half measures you and they now offer only continue the immorality.”

        And, as you suggest in point 1, the flaw is the idea that Jews are more important than other people.

      • irishmoses
        irishmoses
        November 15, 2013, 12:14 pm

        Thanks RoHa.

        Note the lack of response from Yonah. Too bad. His long post was actually pretty good as it provided an articulate and valuable insight into the Liberal Zionist view and mentality; how they rationalize the whole sad history.

        I was hoping for some exchange but in re-reading my response it may have seemed a bit too personal. I need to temper my frustration when I respond.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        November 16, 2013, 1:21 am

        hello irishmoses,

        I have not had the patience to go through your response methodically, so I will react piecemeal now and maybe more later.

        1. The Jewish nationhood. Just writing those words, I know I will get the goat of RoHa, who also has responded to your response. I think that today when the vast grouping of nonIsraeli Jews is located in the west, where assimilation is a “problem” for the Jews rather than for the hosts, that the concept of Jewish separate status seems absurd in the context of the present tense. But Zionism was not born in 2013 Brooklyn, Australia or Los Angeles. It was born in Eastern and Central Europe in 1881 and 1897. To the Jews of Eastern Europe their separate status was self evident. (Herzl had to learn of his separate status the hard way- apply to a German fraternity and be informed that he was not German even though he spoke that language.) Any student of history would be hard pressed to find a modern day analogy that might define the status of the Jews under the rule of the Czar in 1881 in terms that are comprehensible without citing the Roma, which as an amateur I consider a nation.

        The groups you mentioned: Vietnamese boat people, Cambodian refugees, Ukranian kulaks all had a homeland and no element of separateness (think Roma) compared to those oppressing them.

        2. I specifically addressed why Palestine rather than Alaska (Michael Chabon’s novel) or Argentina or Uganda? That is in order to raise funds and encourage noncoerced immigration (rather than coerced- avoiding a catastrophe- immigration) it was necessary to think in terms that would attract passion, funds and people. Nothing other than Jerusalem could have accomplished that.

        (The Uganda idea is beguiling to those of us who sadly try to imagine circumstances that might have forestalled the death of millions. Since Hitler’s march into the Soviet Union in June of 41 was a surprise, a hypothetical Uganda that was accepting Jewish refugees would have done little to save certain populations which include some of my dead great grandparents and great aunts and uncles.)

        3. There were 100,000 Jews living in Jerusalem, in an area surrounded by territory that was given to the Arab state in the partition plan. After December of 47, this population was besieged, without sources of food and water. Your proposal that the soon to be born Israel, should have merely accepted its borders as under the partition plan, would have condemned those Jews in Jerusalem to starvation or exile. Fighting for the Jewish population of Jerusalem was natural and is not something you have seemed to consider. The partition boundaries were not a viable proposition for a situation of war and to pretend that they were is to ignore historical realities.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        November 16, 2013, 2:00 am

        “1. To the Jews of Eastern Europe their separate status was self evident. ”

        But why does this separate status entitle Jews to a country of their own, cleansed of the indigenous inhabitants?

        “Since Hitler’s march into the Soviet Union in June of 41 was a surprise, a hypothetical Uganda that was accepting Jewish refugees would have done little to save certain populations which include some of my dead great grandparents and great aunts and uncles.)”

        And did the unhypothetical Palestine do much to save them?

        “The partition boundaries were not a viable proposition for a situation of war and to pretend that they were is to ignore historical realities.”

        And to pretend that the war was not brought about by the Zionists is also to ignore historical realities. They invaded Palestine from Europe. They declared the intention of forming a state which would subjugate or expel the Palestinians. They set out to create that state, and set in motion the necessary ethnic cleansing.

      • irishmoses
        irishmoses
        November 16, 2013, 2:24 am

        Yonah,

        Thank you for responding. It’s easy to provide facile, simplistic answers when you a non-Jewish outsider. Hearing your response gave me more of an insight into how Jews’ view this history.

        I want to let your response sink in a bit. I’ll respond tomorrow. I apologize for my uncivil tone in my first response.

  14. Misterioso
    Misterioso
    November 14, 2013, 4:20 pm

    Bottom line:

    While Britain laid the ground work, the United States, with assistance from other countries has created a monster in the Middle East that has perpetrated endless horrors against the idigenous inhabitants prior to, during and after its inception and is now increasingly viewed by its enablers as a geopolitical liablity, a millstone around their necks. The next five years will be eventful.

  15. irishmoses
    irishmoses
    November 14, 2013, 7:43 pm

    Good points Misterioso although I’m not sure what the distinction really is between a Jewish national home and a Jewish homeland. In any case, it was clear that there was no intent to create a Jewish state in Palestine or that Palestine was being set aside exclusively for the Jews.

    The clause on immigration did not dictate massive Jewish immigration but left that up to the discretion of the British.

  16. irishmoses
    irishmoses
    November 16, 2013, 2:33 pm

    Yonah,
    I’ll respond by your number:

    1. I think the concept of Jewish nationhood is really the seminal flaw in Zionism. Certainly the Jews were historically separate in terms of religion and culture and suffered discrimination and even oppression because of those differences. But the solution wasn’t a separate Jews-only nation state; the solution was to move to a safer place as did millions of Russian Empire Jews. By 1930 those Jews had chosen the US and the western democracies over Palestine by a ration of something like 40 to 1. The Zionist experiment in Palestine was dying on the vine. Moreover, there were influential Jews who were working toward that end: Leon Pinsker in the early days, Ahad Ha-am and others who were finding alternative places for Jews to go, like Argentina. Jabotinsky, Weizmann, and the Palestine-only Zionists hated that because it was creating a diaspora when they wanted a gathering-in of all Jews to Palestine.

    In some ways the Vietnamese Boat People, who were primarily ethnic Chinese, were like Jews. They established “homelands” in in many countries, including Vietnam. Sometimes it didn’t work out and they had to leave for safer places. The Mormons are another example. The claim for Jewish uniqueness and special entitlement (for a separate nation state no less) doesn’t really work.

    2. You say Palestine was the chosen destination because “… it was necessary to think in terms that would attract passion, funds and people. Nothing other than Jerusalem could have accomplished that.”

    Per my earlier point, by 1930 it hadn’t worked. Jews were going almost anywhere but Palestine. What ultimately saved Palestine Zionism was the “…coerced- avoiding a catastrophe- immigration” that Hitler’s rise to power generated. And, most of the Jews that came to Palestine did so only as a poor second choice. Their preference for New York City over Jerusalem is indisputable.

    As to the Uganda option, it could have provided a destination for Jews once the immigration quota problems started. Hitler was attempting to move Jews out of German territory even by late 1939 (Madagascar Plan, forced exportations to France and other countries, etc.) so if Uganda had been available, it could have provided a solution. Palestine was no longer an option after 1937 because the British had severely restricted Jewish immigration.

    Sadly, you are correct that once Hitler moved east (Poland in late 1939, Russia in 1941) the fate of Polish and Eastern European Jews was sealed. Uganda would not have helped.

    3. “There were 100,000 Jews living in Jerusalem, in an area surrounded by territory that was given to the Arab state in the partition plan. After December of 47, this population was besieged, without sources of food and water. Your proposal that the soon to be born Israel, should have merely accepted its borders as under the partition plan, would have condemned those Jews in Jerusalem to starvation or exile.”

    Not at all. The fight to resupply the Jerusalem Jewish population was legally valid and necessary as Jerusalem was not allocated to either the Jewish or Arab state. But doing that didn’t require the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinian Arabs nor did it require the seizure of over half the land allocated for the Arab state. It required keeping a corridor open to Jerusalem which was achieved by April 1948.

    “The partition boundaries were not a viable proposition for a situation of war and to pretend that they were is to ignore historical realities.”

    So you are saying that historical realities made it necessary for Israel to take almost 80 percent of Palestine for itself and forcibly remove 80 percent of the Arab population to insure a viable Jewish state. That’s what was done but it was neither necessary, nor legal, nor moral.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      November 16, 2013, 9:15 pm

      “In some ways the Vietnamese Boat People, who were primarily ethnic Chinese,”

      As far as I can tell, most of the Vietnamese Boat People who came to Australia didn’t look Chinese, didn’t have Chinese names, and don’t seem to claim Chinese ancestry.

      But that doesn’t give the Eastern European Jews any special entitlements.

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew
      November 17, 2013, 11:11 am

      irishmoses- You raise some valid points, but I reject some of your assertions.

      1. I reject the assertion that the Zionist project was dying on the vine in 1930. Yes, compared to the thriving movement that Zionism was turned into by 1037 by the Haavara agreement and the influx of Jews from Germany, the Zionist project was weak in 1930, but… The preWWI Jewish population of Palestine was 85,000 and the 1929 Jewish population was 170,000, double the number. Quite small compared to the migration to America which was hovering near the 4 million mark by 1929, still double is not quite withering on the vine.

      2. Regarding the siege of Jerusalem- I did not mention this in order to justify the nakba, the exiling of the Palestinians, I cited it in order to bring us back to the reality that the partition plan’s borders were not designed for a war situation. The exiling of the Palestinians during the early part of the war, was a smart tactic for a war situation. The decision to not allow the refugees of the war to return is in a separate category, a political decision of questionable morality that most Zionists back because they cannot imagine a peaceful situation that allows for the return of the refugees neither today nor in 1949. I spoke to that decision and called it a decision of Ben Gurion Zionism rather than Weizmann Zionism. The facts of the nakba speak for themselves: 1. Israel was established and it is difficult to imagine its situation had it allowed the return of the refugees. But 2. The sin of the nakba was not the original exiling which was reasonable in a war situation, but the refusal to allow the refugees’ return when the war was over. (The exile from Lydda and the exiles that occurred after July 48 were in a separate category because whereas the earlier exiling of the Palestinians could have been temporary, if the will of Ben Gurion had been in that direction, but the exiling of later in the war, was distinctly accomplished with nothing temporary about it.) Thus the conduct of the war for the most part makes sense, but the conduct vis a vis the refugees was not limited to the war period but was extended afterwards and that is the questionable act rather than the war itself.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        November 17, 2013, 11:59 am

        Much of what you say is very well said. I agree that the permanent sin was the refusal of return to those who had left whether at gunpoint or ‘voluntarily’ in the sense that they had chosen, as anyone might, to flee a war zone. Which of these categories was bigger isn’t really a central point.
        Expulsion or rounding up of a civil population may be necessary to win a war and it does not of necessity have permanent effects. That too is true. But it is also very ugly and doubtless illegal by contemporary standards. Most of us British do not look with pride on the concentration camps we set up at certain times in Africa.

      • irishmoses
        irishmoses
        November 17, 2013, 3:57 pm

        MHughes976 said:
        ***”Expulsion or rounding up of a civil population may be necessary to win a war and it does not of necessity have permanent effects. That too is true. But it is also very ugly and doubtless illegal by contemporary standards. Most of us British do not look with pride on the concentration camps we set up at certain times in Africa.”***

        I see a couple of problems with your statement. First, in what wars was it necessary? Second, when it was employed was it effective? Third, you seem to be agreeing with Yonah’s premise that Israel first expelled all the Arabs, then, post war, made a separate decision to not allow them to return.

        I assume you are referring to the Mau Mau and Boer rebellions. Are you saying that tactic was necessary and effective in stopping the rebellions? Were whole cities emptied of their inhabitants as in Palestine? The US Army attempted something similar in South Vietnam with its Strategic Hamlet program. Its main accomplishment was that it drove the mainly neutral peasants onto the side of the Viet Cong/Viet Minh. It certainly wasn’t used in Iraq or Afghanistan.

        It certainly wasn’t necessary in Palestine as the Israelis militarily had the upper hand from the very beginning of the conflict. The only difficulty they faced was in supplying Jerusalem and their remote settlements deep in the Arab State portion of Palestine. They soon solved that with better convoy protection and better routes.

        Your acceptance of Yohah’s two-decision premise should be rethought in view of the overwhelming evidence that the Zionists intended to permanently cleanse their portion of Palestine of its Arab population from well before the war started. Their pulverization of 530 Arab villages and towns makes their intent obvious. They made sure they would not have any homes to come home to. In the major cities they accomplished that by systematic looting of the empty Arab homes and by immediately filling them with Jewish civilian occupants.

      • irishmoses
        irishmoses
        November 17, 2013, 1:01 pm

        Jewish immigration to Palestine was averaging less than 5000 per year during that period and was decreasing in the late 1920s. In 1927 more Jews left than came in. Weizmann was very concerned.

        “…the partition plan’s borders were not designed for a war situation. The exiling of the Palestinians during the early part of the war, was a smart tactic for a war situation.”

        Jonah, you are desperately trying to justify the unjustifiable. You need to face up to facts and examine the actual history not the Zionist narrative. Ethnic cleansing is such a serious war crime that it is defined as a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions; a crime against humanity. How can you call that merely a smart tactic in a time of war?

        2. The expulsion of the Palestinians from their towns and cities was not done for tactical reasons. It was done to reduce the Arab population of the Jewish state which was a goal of the Zionists from the very beginning, from Herzl on. Weizmann secretly tried to convince the British to transfer the Arabs to Transjordan well before WW2.

        3. The expulsions began in January of 1948. By April, after the first major arms shipments were received from the Czechs, the ethnic cleansing went into high gear. Six cities were cleansed of Arabs before the war against the Arab League forces even started. Some 400,000 Palestinians had been forced out of their homes and their portion of Palestine before May 15. The Israelis destroyed half the 500 plus Arab towns and villages that they ultimately would destroy before the start of the Arab war. You don’t pulverize all the buildings in a village or town if you think you might let the residents return after the war is over. Don’t try to make some false dichotomy between the expulsions and the refusal to allow the Palestinians to return. The goal of Zionism, from Weizmann through Ben-Gurion clear to the present day was and remains an Arab-frei Israel, or as close to Arab-frei as possible.

        Until Jews in general face up to this continuing war crime that is being committed in their name and demand that it stop it will only get worse.
        Unfortunately, denial is more powerful than that river in Egypt.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        November 18, 2013, 11:39 am

        irishmoses- Certainly the idea of ethnic cleansing is part of the thinking of Herzl and others. Certainly Ben Gurion’s goal of exiling the Arab populations can be determined by his later actions to have been his original purpose. If you see no purpose in seeing the difference between the actions in the early part of the war and the actions during the later parts of the war and the refusal after the war, then you wish to focus on Ben Gurion’s mind and the overall thrust of Zionist history. It is probable (viewed from today) to see the overall policy in its clarity as one that aimed towards ethnic cleansing. I think that there can be clarity in differentiating between phases of the war, if not vis a vis Ben Gurion’s mindset then in the mindset of the reader of the history.

      • talknic
        talknic
        November 17, 2013, 2:06 pm

        @yonah fredman “Thus the conduct of the war for the most part makes sense, but the conduct vis a vis the refugees was not limited to the war period but was extended afterwards and that is the questionable act rather than the war itself.”

        It ” makes sense” to start a war based on unproven speculation?

        Plan Dalet was based on speculation. That there would be a war when Israel declared. It was put into action in the weeks leading up to declaration. It exacerbated and escalated the civil war that existed prior to declaration.

        By 00:01 May 15th 1948 (ME time) when Israel’s independence became effective http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/documents/newPDF/49.pdf Jewish forces were already outside the territory slated for, proclaimed by and recognized as asked by the Israeli Govt May 15th effective 00:01 May 15th 1948 (ME time)

        At precisely 00:01 May 15th 1948 (ME time) the civil war became a war waged by an International entity the independent State of Israel, on what remained of Palestine. Exactly the opposite of the requirements of the UN Charter and in breach of International Law

        The Arab States had a right to go to the protection of what remained of Palestine, including Jerusalem which had not been legally separated from Palestine at that time. ( corpus separatum , has still not been legally separated from what remained of Palestine see UNSC res 476)

        Israel started the 1948 war. 65 years later Israeli troops have still not withdrawn from all non-Israeli territory and Israel has illegally acquired huge chunks of non-Israeli territory, illegally claiming it as their own.

        ” The decision to not allow the refugees of the war to return is in a separate category, a political decision of questionable morality that most Zionists back because they cannot imagine a peaceful situation that allows for the return of the refugees neither today nor in 1949.”

        VERY questionable morality!

        We appeal – in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months – to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.

        Are we to believe the Jewish Agency, the Jewish People’s Council and the Zionist Movement did not know what was already happening under Plan Dalet in the weeks leading up to and AS THEY WERE WRITING the Declaration? Did they not know that non-Jewish homes, farms, villages were being razed!!

        The non-Jewish population were ALL being asked to stay and only a part of the non-Jewish population fled. Are we to believe that the part of the non-Jewish population who fled were miraculouly so numerous in a few weeks, that they were a demographic threat to Israel?

        It requires only a modicum of thought to see that the wholly holey, moldy olde Hasbara is quite illogical and that the Declaration is duplicitous as are the reasons for not allowing non-Jewish return.

        Then…

        We extend our hand to all neighbouring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighbourliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.

        While waging war on what remained of Palestine? Razing villages, inside and outside of Israel. Dispossessing the very people they were inviting to stay. Dispossessing the very people they were asking to accept this new ‘peace loving’ state.

        Either someone’s thinking was seriously F*CKED UP! Or they were lying in which case their =thinking was seriously F*CKED UP!

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        November 17, 2013, 7:44 pm

        “Thus the conduct of the war for the most part makes sense, but the conduct vis a vis the refugees was not limited to the war period but was extended afterwards and that is the questionable act rather than the war itself.”

        No, the war itself was immoral. It was the result of the Zionist invasion of Palestine, carried out with the intention of forming a state which would subjugate or expel the Palestinians. Without that initial, evil, intention, there would have been no partition, and no war. The Zionists were already making war against the Palestinians before the Arab armies stepped in.

  17. irishmoses
    irishmoses
    November 17, 2013, 9:52 am

    The Hoa Vietnamese Chinese were the main business community in SVN. After NVN took over their businesses and property were seized. Roughly half of the boat people refugees were Hoa. Not unlike the Jews, Hoa business success and ethnic/cultural separateness made them unpopular and envied in SVN. They became the perfect scapegoats.

    • Keith
      Keith
      November 17, 2013, 5:37 pm

      IRISHMOSES- “Not unlike the Jews, Hoa business success and ethnic/cultural separateness made them unpopular and envied in SVN.”

      Indeed, the experience of the Diaspora Chinese in Southeast Asia has great relevance to the Jews of Europe. Kevin MacDonald, a controversial author, discusses the Chinese expats, along with other Diaspora groups, in the preface to “A People That Shall Dwell Alone.” The two groups have many similarities of experience, a primary difference being that the Chinese avoided politics. Surely, this type of analysis provides better insights than the quasi-religious, fundamentalist belief in eternal and irrational anti-Semitism. But, since knowledge and insight are at odds with Zionist mythology, one can understand why this type of comparison is not pursued. Perhaps some of Mondoweiss’ Jewish anti-Zionist scholars would care to look into this?

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      November 17, 2013, 7:46 pm

      “Roughly half of the boat people refugees were Hoa.”

      So the boat people were not primarily ethnic Chinese. But again, regardless of their ethnic makeup, we can still ask why they were not entitled to a Boat-People-only-homeland in, say, Tasmania?

  18. irishmoses
    irishmoses
    November 17, 2013, 7:27 pm

    Haven’t read MacDonald and won’t based on his Wikipedia page which cites his extreme white-supremacy political affiliations including board membership for the American Freedom Party.

    Looks like he started out as competent academic but later crossed the line into borderline if not outright anti-Semitism. It may well be that much of his research and work is valid but he seems to have crossed the line which, for me at least, makes it impossible to trust any of his work since his motives are questionable. Sort of a self-inflicted tarring with your own brush.

    We’ve seen this happen with some other otherwise very competent people. They go a step too far and cross over the line between research and propaganda. They then end up trying to defend the indefensible. It’s sad to watch.

    Of course they are other competent folks that get tarred just because their work is controversial and angers a particular interest group. Finkelstein is a prime example.

    It’s a difficult subject, and you want to give the person the benefit of the doubt and allow him his academic freedom, but MacDonald clearly has thrown his lot in with a very questionable crowd.

    You get judged by the company you keep.

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