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Student who exposed ‘leftist’ teacher is honored at Knesset, while teacher gets violent threats

Israel/Palestine
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Adam Verete (left) and Sapir Sabah

This is a story about a young Israeli high school teacher and a student who accused him of making inappropriate “left wing” political comments in class.  It is being widely covered in Israel, but this kind of tale, although it speaks volumes about the repressive political and social culture in the Jewish state, rarely makes it to the mainstream or even the Jewish press here in the United States. That is one reason why when a fine journalist such as Max Blumenthal writes a disturbing but accurate account of antidemocratic trends in Jewish Israeli society, many people find his reports unbelievable: they never heard of such a thing in their cherished and largely imagined Israel.

Sapir Sabah sent a letter of complaint about her teacher, Adam Verete, to the Minister of Education, Shai Piron.  The letter accused Adam Verete of using his classroom to express “extreme radical views” which Sabah felt are inappropriate for a classroom.   She claimed that Verete would belittle her when she attempted to disagree with him during class discussion.  Sabah also asserted that among the ideas that were presented by her teacher was that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) was an immoral army.

The school board initially asked Verete to resign after Sabah’s letter became public, but he refused to do so, claiming that he never imposed his opinions on his students and that he only brought controversial political topics into the classroom to encourage creative thinking and force students to confront these important issues.  Verete also responded by saying that he never called the IDF an immoral army, an idea he said he does not believe and never expressed within or outside the classroom.

The Ministry of Education held a hearing on the matter in which Verete testified.  It found that the teacher had made both legitimate and inappropriate remarks in his class, but there were no grounds for dismissal, thus overruling the local board.

Many of Verete’s students came to his defense, saying that he is a wonderful teacher and that he never made the statements Sabah attributed to him in her letter to the Minister of Education, nor did he ever attempt to intimidate her or belittle her views in the classroom.

After the letter of complaint written by Sabah was published on the Facebook page of the right-wing former Member of Parliament, Michael Ben-Ari,  the controversy became national news.  Sabah was invited to the Knesset, were she was lavishly praised by many right-winger members.  

And while the student, Sapir Sabah, was visiting the Knesset as a guest of Member of Parliament Shimon Ohayon and was being praised for her actions opposing her teacher, there was a discussion containing violent threats posted on her Facebook page against Adam Verete.  Sabah herself participated in this discussion.

Subsequent to the visit, some members who hosted Sabah condemned the violent threats against Adam Verete that were expressed on Sabah’s Facebook page.  All their comments, however, ignored Sabah’s connection to the threats.

According to Ha’aretz Sabah’s page,

… referred to a plan by some reservists to come to the ORT high school in Kiryat Tivon where Verete teaches for a ‘presentation of the IDF’s morality.’ In the discussion that followed, some commenters discussed an attempt to hurt Verete. ‘Yeah, he should get the crap beaten out of him,” wrote one, and another said that they should really ‘stick it to this collaborator with the enemy.’ Another contributor urged that ‘a big organized group should come to the school every day, until he understands that he’s not wanted on the land of Israel.’ Yet another: ‘There’s only one way to deal with leftists – with force, just like with the Arabs.’

One person wrote, ‘There should be a show of support for Sapir. Everyone should go up to the school to show all those haters of Israel what’s what,’ while another said, ‘We should just stand near there and grab this Adam Verete for a little ‘talk’ – after which he’ll understand in one way or another. … Tell us what days and hours this Adam Verete is at the school and we’ll be able to do it.’ ‘Great, just check when he teaches and what time. Friday morning would be best,’ answers another. ‘On Friday there are no excuses – the leftists are going to get screwed.’ Some of the comments were deleted, apparently just Thursday, after word of them got around on social media.

One user tried to offer another perspective. ‘Do you see how you’re reacting to this? We’re in a democratic country! I don’t support the left but it doesn’t make sense to me that you’re calling him all these names. There are ways to deal with other views – not through incitement but by confronting them with other opinions, backed up with rational explanations.’ In response, Sapir Sabah wrote to him: ‘Sorry to inform you that no one cares what you think.’

Or Kashti and Yarden Skop reported Sabah’s Knesset visit in the same Ha’aretz article.

During Sabah’s visit to the Knesset, Deputy Transportation Minister Hotovely told her she ‘is glad we have students like her whose values rebel against a teacher who conveys messages that hurt IDF soldiers.’ Culture Minister Limor Livnat posted a supportive message for Sabah on her Facebook page, saying “I shook her hand and congratulated her for her courage. She deserves a big like!’ Sabah also had her picture taken with Deputy Interior Minister Akunis, who praised her to the media.

Hotovely said on Thursday that she ‘does not see any connection between legitimate protest activity, which is what Sabah did, and calls for violence. I call upon all youths to maintain the boundaries of legitimate protest and not to slide over into incitement.’ On Wednesday it was reported that Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon also welcomed Sabah, but an official close to the minister said the following day that ‘Sabah greeted the defense minister when he arrived at the Knesset, and he responded courteously, and that was the end of their encounter.’

On Wednesday Ohayon, a member of the Knesset Education Commmittee, told Sabah, ‘It’s uplifting and makes me feel good to know that there are students like you who stand up for their beliefs.’ On Thursday he wrote, “I was appalled to read the calls on Facebook to come to the school and grab Adam Verete for ‘a little talk.’ My view is that Adam Verete does not belong in the education system, but as the chairman of the lobby to improve the status of teachers, I decry the possibility of the use of violence. Sapir’s action was brave, because it was in a legitimate and democratic framework of a letter to a [education] minister. Violence is not legitimate.”

Still, Ohayon ignored the fact that these threats came in response to a post by Sabah, and that she took part in the discussion. Akunis and Livnat [two members who praised Sabah at the Knesset, ig] have yet to comment on the matter, and neither ORT nor the Education Ministry responded to an inquiry from Ha’aretz.

So the trend in Israel is antidemocratic, and teachers like Verete are under pressure to not raise issues in the classroom that may lead students to question the occupation and the militarism of the Jewish state.  But could not the same criticism be true in the United States?  Why single Israel out in this respect?

Well, given the recent vote in the New York State Senate imposing financial penalties upon university students and faculty that espouse boycotting Israel, I can very well envision a group of pro-Israel legislators hosting a student who protested against a teacher who questioned the Israeli claim to be the only democracy in the Middle East or to possess the most moral occupation army in the history of the world.  But I cannot imagine a similar hate-fest and the violent threats on Facebook.

Oh, yes, I already hear the pro-Israelis protesting, that my retort is not funny but rather evasive, and that my humor is even a bit antisemitic (or in my case self-hating).  

What they obviously really want to know is how a teacher would fare if he or she questioned the U.S. war on terror, the President’s kill list or ubiquitous spying on citizens.  My answer is that even in the little ultra-conservative  New York village where I live, the teacher would be given much fairer treatment than Verete was given, despite the presence of vehement opposition to progressive views.   And I do not believe there would be any violent threats.

And even if I am wrong, Does it make the present climate of political repression in Israel more justifiable because it is more liberal than a little New York village?

The hate fest and violent  threats are very typically Israeli and they are totally unjustifiable.

[Editor: Avigail Abarbanel, a graduate of an ORT school, wrote about this case for us in “Oppression by consensus in Israeli ‘democracy'”.]

Ira Glunts
About Ira Glunts

Ira Glunts is a retired college librarian who lives in Madison, NY. His twitter handle is @abushalom

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196 Responses

  1. February 8, 2014, 11:27 am

    ille pappe ll.
    let’s bring him over here and see if they let him speak at one of our “open” universities and see how israels american agents hush him up just like they did pappe.

  2. seafoid
    seafoid
    February 8, 2014, 11:37 am

    Verete is the future of Judaism.
    He knows the rottenness of Zionism from the inside.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      February 8, 2014, 2:18 pm

      @ seafoid
      But Tomorrow Belongs To Me, Sabah.

      • Mndwss
        Mndwss
        February 8, 2014, 3:28 pm

        “But Tomorrow Belongs To Me, Sabah.”

        seafoid often post links to videos that shows the start and end of a state like Israel.

        Tomorrow belongs to me Cabaret:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29Mg6Gfh9Co

        Hitler Youth Der Untergang Scene:

      • NickJOCW
        NickJOCW
        February 9, 2014, 9:21 am

        I stayed in the Schlosshotel Im Grunewald in Berlin in the early 70s. It was late, I had gone to bed, but an all male dinner was finishing with this kind of singing. It was eerie.

      • SQ Debris
        SQ Debris
        February 9, 2014, 1:05 pm

        Feels more like The Tin Drum than Cabaret. Generations of Israel’s soldiers are raised in the ideological bell jar this story illuminates. It helps with the dehumanization riff. Incidentally, the start of this article refers to Israel as the Jewish state. Why the buy-in on that misrepresentation? It’s the zionist state.

    • Ecru
      Ecru
      February 8, 2014, 11:29 pm

      You’re much more optimistic than I am Seafoid ’cause I think, once Zionism crumbles and the world finally sees it for what it is, Judaism tainted by association and collaboration will be relegated to a minor cult that most people will want to have nothing to do with.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 9, 2014, 4:33 am

        I think we will see an outpouring of disgust from regular Jews when TSHTF.

        All those decent Jews in places like Cleveland living humble lives . Those people were never ever informed about what Israel was doing.
        Hoenlein Dersh Foxy etc used them.

        the lady in the yellow top and
        all her friends are just pawns

      • Ecru
        Ecru
        February 9, 2014, 4:55 am

        @ seafoid

        I think many Jews will react just the way you predict but the problem won’t be with them it’ll be with the non-Jews who have had 70 years of being told “Israel=Judaism.” I’m not sure they’re going to be in a forgiving mood when they come to see how badly the Zionists have been using them. And articles like this in the MSM, revealing the depth of Zionist xenophobia even when they try to give it positive spin, won’t help Judaism’s PR at all.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26067980

        And what young Jew, with the option open to them, will want to be associated with what may become a deeply unpopular and despised “cult.” Zionism really is the enemy of the Jews.

  3. justicewillprevail
    justicewillprevail
    February 8, 2014, 12:00 pm

    Wow, this is how fascism is incubated. Public denunciations of ‘unpatriotic’ people, the braying mob on a witch hunt for anyone who doesn’t conform to the ideology of the state. Coming from the mouth of a child makes it even more disturbing. And at the same time, zionist agents are trying to pass a bill in the US outlawing free speech when it concerns Israel. Do they really have no idea where this is heading, and how desperately ugly and disturbing it has become. If this is the only way to defend what they have wrought, then it is clearly not worth defending, the original project has become perverted, cruel and unsustainable. How anyone can defend this is beyond me, and how deaf and blind do you have to be to defend this behaviour?

    • Mndwss
      Mndwss
      February 8, 2014, 4:03 pm

      It is strange to read about a society like the one that Avigail Abarbanel describes israel as.

      How far are they from guillotinering people.

      Israel needs a White Rose. One that survives.

    • Daniel Rich
      Daniel Rich
      February 8, 2014, 4:53 pm

      @ justicewillprevail,

      Q: Wow, this is how fascism is incubated. Public denunciations of ‘unpatriotic’ people, the braying mob on a witch hunt for anyone who doesn’t conform to the ideology of the state.

      R: That might be very true, but if we’re honest, I can’t say that the We/US has been acting any different since 9/11, cos ‘we gotta kill ’em over there, so we don’t have to kill ’em over here…’.

      You know, that ‘pot, cattle kettle, black thingie…?’

      The following says anything you need to know about he most moral army on the planet [including their chest-beating admirers]: “… referred to a plan by some reservists to come to the ORT high school in Kiryat Tivon where Verete teaches for a ‘presentation of the IDF’s morality.’ ”

      A warning that you’re gonna ‘surprise’ me? Oh, wow. Great, I’ll act accordingly…

  4. Naftush
    Naftush
    February 8, 2014, 12:05 pm

    What a twisted article. A teacher preaches against the country’s defenses and is *not* terminated, and the author sees this is proof of anti-democratic leanings. As for the contemptible language on Facebook, it compares notoriously with plenty of commentary on Mondoweiss, but oh yes, aimed in the other direction. Case closed. Move on.

    • amigo
      amigo
      February 8, 2014, 12:56 pm

      ” Case closed. Move on.” Naftush

      Don,t leave zio.

      You will like it here.

      • Naftush
        Naftush
        February 9, 2014, 3:31 am

        I won’t leave yet. This blog is advertised as a venue of “war for ideas.” Is it that, or is it an echo chamber?

      • February 9, 2014, 10:05 am

        Naftus. You don’t care that Zionism has turned Jews into racist rednecks?

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        February 9, 2014, 10:59 am

        Naftush,

        Name a single comment you’ve made where you didn’t simply espouse racist/fascist views.

        You also equated the calls for violence on the civilian, Verete, by the Israeli thugs on FB (along with that gnome, Sabah) to comments here.

        Since you are an imbecile and can’t back up that claim, you are a troll.

        Indeed, it’s a War of Ideas. Do you think your baseless accusations and support for extreme Jewish nationalism qualifies as reasoned debate?

        You are just a vandal. If you had more to say, you’d have said it by now. Instead, your comments are a few lines each and done in a hit-and-slither away, style.

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      February 8, 2014, 1:21 pm

      @Naftush- Or, similarly, a person slams the blog they’re commenting on and doesn’t summarily get banned.

      Yup. Twisted. It’s outrageous I tell you. OUTRAGEOUS!!

      What a TOTAL lack of self-awareness, or fatal case of target fixation, or something.

      I think you just added another anecdotal definition of Zionism to the mix.

      • Naftush
        Naftush
        February 9, 2014, 3:36 am

        “Slams the blog they’re commenting on and doesn’t summarily get banned” — Wow. There’s a war of ideas for you.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        February 9, 2014, 2:35 pm

        My bad. I misread your comment.

    • annie
      annie
      February 8, 2014, 1:35 pm

      What a twisted article. A teacher preaches against the country’s defenses and is *not* terminated

      please explain. i thought the Ministry of Education held a hearing on the matter and there were no grounds for dismissal, thus overruling the local board. and

      Many of Verete’s students came to his defense, saying that he is a wonderful teacher and that he never made the statements Sabah attributed to him in her letter to the Minister of Education, nor did he ever attempt to intimidate her or belittle her views in the classroom.

      there’s also this:

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.571597

      In Verete’s first hearing, which was recorded and reported on in Haaretz, ORT first claimed that Verete had admitted that he had said that the Israel Defense Forces was not a moral army, and that his statements had been one-sided and extreme. They said he had asked ORT to consider whether to continue employing him. However, the recording contradicted ORT’s statements.

      Ahead of Thursday’s hearing, Sfard sent ORT’s leadership a letter in which he noted that recent statements to the media by the director general of the ORT network, Zvi Peleg, in which he reiterated the claim that Verete said the IDF was not a moral army, “shows the clearly prejudiced opinion the director general holds with regard to the issues to be clarified at the hearing.”

      Sfard said Peleg may have made these statements because “he understands that there is nothing wrong with what Verete said in the class, and he is therefore disseminating a mendacious version that will allow him to continue the political persecution he began.”

      so please explain what evidence you have wrt : ” preaches against the country’s defenses “

      • Naftush
        Naftush
        February 9, 2014, 3:41 am

        Adv. Michael Sfard spoke as one side in an adverserial proceeding. Mr. Peleg spoke as the other. Mr. Verete is back on the job. Case closed.

      • amigo
        amigo
        February 9, 2014, 7:56 am

        “Mr. Verete is back on the job. Case closed.” naf-Tush

        Read the head line again.

        “Student who exposed ‘leftist’ teacher is honored at Knesset, while teacher gets violent threats”.

        This is a discussion about the Israeli Knesset rewarding fascist behavior amongst it,s children.

        “This Court is in recess” .

        Case not closed.

    • just
      just
      February 8, 2014, 1:39 pm

      Naftush– pray tell me how Mr. Verete was “preaching”?

      Then tell me why he should have been terminated, since you seem to feel that any criticism of the “state” should result in punishment.

      From the article: “…claiming that he never imposed his opinions on his students and that he only brought controversial political topics into the classroom to encourage creative thinking and force students to confront these important issues.”

      Heaven forbid that anyone ‘educated’ in the Israeli school system be allowed to think for themselves.

      Such a shamocracy you support. Keep on praising the brainwashing of Sabah and others. Perhaps you’ll be invited to the Knesset, as well.

      PS– the IOF is “immoral”.

      • Naftush
        Naftush
        February 9, 2014, 3:44 am

        “You seem to feel that any criticism of the “state” should result in punishment.” Quote me or drop the charge.
        “The brainwashing of Sabah and others” — You grant a high-school student the power to brainwash? And what “others”?
        “PS– the IOF is ‘immoral.'” Where does the IOF figure in this?

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      February 8, 2014, 2:22 pm

      @ Naftush
      So, maybe the teacher should be terminated quickly, like the White Rose,eh? What say you, Zionist, observant Jew, Israeli since 1977? From Brooklyn?

      • Naftush
        Naftush
        February 9, 2014, 3:56 am

        Teacher not terminated. Commenter not from Brooklyn.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        February 9, 2014, 7:31 am

        @ Naftush

        My comment was responsive to your earlier comment:
        “What a twisted article. A teacher preaches against the country’s defenses and is *not* terminated, and the author sees this is proof of anti-democratic leanings.”

        I responded:
        “So, maybe the teacher should be terminated quickly, like the White Rose,eh? ”
        You answered: “Teacher not terminated. ”

        You didn’t answer my question. You said the teacher preached against the country’s defenses, yet was not (at least yet) terminated. I merely asked you, should the teacher be terminated, given your assumption he “preached against the country’s defenses”?

        And where’s the evidence the teacher was “preaching?” Or was he just doing his job, making his students think about their own assumptions regarding aspects of their country’s conduct, and the principals involved pro and con?

        Or do you think a teacher has a duty to reinforce the POV of his country’s government on all matters relative to its conduct and the principles the government uses to justify its conduct? And if he doesn’t do so, and is snitched on by a student to government officials, is their any danger of a chilling effect on free speech and its core role in a diplomacy itself based on an informed citizenry?

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        February 9, 2014, 7:46 am

        @ Naftush

        She told the authorities she objected, inter alia, to his questioning of the notion the IDF was the most moral military force in the world, when compared to the conduct of the military of any other country.

    • jon s
      jon s
      February 8, 2014, 2:42 pm

      Naftush,
      Mr. Verete certainly did not “preach against the country’s defenses”. Criticism of immoral actions of the IDF is ultimately beneficial to our defenses, it makes us stronger.
      In the classroom I share my personal views with my students, when appropriate. I try to encourage open debate, without imposing my opinions. I think that a teacher who is afraid to speak his mind, or who pretends to be “neutral” on the issues – is not doing his job properly.
      Hopefully the Verete case will prove to be a positive landmark, showing that a good teacher can speak his mind, without fear of being dismissed. On the other hand, the attitude of ORT has been cowardly and despicable.

      • Naftush
        Naftush
        February 9, 2014, 3:46 am

        “Criticism of immoral actions of the IDF is ultimately beneficial to our defenses, it makes us stronger.” Yes. But Mr. Verete, if quoted accurately, handed down a sweeping pejorative judgment on the IDF as such.

      • amigo
        amigo
        February 9, 2014, 6:56 am

        “Yes. But Mr. Verete, if quoted accurately, handed down a sweeping pejorative judgment on the IDF as such.”naf-tush

        “If quoted Accurately” ???.Do you question the validity of those invited to address the Knesset.Tut, tut, be careful what you say.

        BTW , IDF means ” defense forces” .

        IOF (Israeli offense Forces ) is far more appropriate)

      • just
        just
        February 9, 2014, 2:00 pm

        IOF means Israeli Occupation Force to me.

        Israeli Offense Force works well, too.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        February 9, 2014, 7:48 am

        @ Naftush
        Also, if quoted accurately, the student handed out sweeping accolades, absolute top praise for the IDF as such.

      • jon s
        jon s
        February 9, 2014, 3:41 pm

        Naftush, Not so. what he said was that the IDF has performed immoral actions. That’s not “sweeping ” at all.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      February 8, 2014, 3:43 pm

      . As for the contemptible language on Facebook, it compares notoriously with plenty of commentary on Mondoweiss, but oh yes, aimed in the other direction

      Either cite ant example of personal threats being made against anyone on this blog or retract that blatant lie.

      I know it won’t be easy, for a Zionut to admit the truth. They didn’t teach you that in Hasbara boot camp.

      • Mayhem
        Mayhem
        February 8, 2014, 8:06 pm

        @shingo, of course there aren’t direct personal threats being made against anyone on this blog because they would be removed by the moderators.
        But there is plenty of abusive language, hate speech, offensive remarks and the occasional anti-semitism by those who resort to gutter tactics instead of open and honest discussion.

  5. American
    American
    February 8, 2014, 12:20 pm

    ”And while the student, Sapir Sabah, was visiting the Knesset as a guest of Member of Parliament Shimon Ohayon and was being praised”

    Hosted by the Knesset huh? Great way to reward and inspire their extremist.
    Circling the toilet bowl more and more.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      February 8, 2014, 3:47 pm

      Hosted by the Knesset huh? Great way to reward and inspire their extremist.

      Yeah, reminiscent of how the Brown Shirts were indoctrinated and rewarded in the 1940s.

  6. ToivoS
    ToivoS
    February 8, 2014, 1:14 pm

    Shades of the former Soviet Union when school children that exposed their parents and teachers for having deviant political views were publicly hailed as heroes.

    • piotr
      piotr
      February 8, 2014, 1:38 pm

      I am not sure if that practice was frequent, I know only one remotely similar case. However, there is an excellent analogy with Cultural Revolution. Youngsters were encouraged by Mao to form vigilant groups that would track rightist deviations among professors, managers, bureaucrats etc.

      http://www.1930shanghai.com/items/428169/item428169store.html#item

      • ToivoS
        ToivoS
        February 9, 2014, 7:48 pm

        piotr, thanks for that insight. I never lived in the Soviet zone and have to accept that my knowledge was definitely influenced by anti soviet propaganda. However I should have used the Mao era attacks on teachers in China as a better example.

        China was where I did have have some personal experience. In 1980 I spent 6 months working in Shanghai and Peking. I was working with academics and teachers. I heard one story after another where my colleagues had been publicly denounced by their former students egged on by the Red Guards during the cultural revolution. This was a period right after many of them had been restored to their previous positions. It was the beginning of the thaw and they were quite willing to describe to a westerner what they had experienced.

        At the time I was willing to accept that those “excesses’s’ were simply the result of Stalinist influence.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      February 8, 2014, 2:25 pm

      @ ToivoS
      Hitler Jungend and Bunde Deutsche Mädchen also were taught to expose their parents, teachers, anybody, for having deviant political views and those children were publicly hailed as heroes.

      • piotr
        piotr
        February 8, 2014, 5:19 pm

        Wiki: Its full title was Bund Deutscher Mädel in der Hitler-Jugend (League of German Girls in the Hitler Youth).

        Mädchen is a diminitive form of Mädel and there were Mädchengruppen etc.

      • lysias
        lysias
        February 8, 2014, 7:14 pm

        Mädchen is not a diminutive form of Mädel. Both words are originally diminutives of the word Magd (= English “maid”), with different diminutive suffixes -chen and -el (variant of -lein) appended.

        I’m not sure why the Nazis used the form Mädel for their girls’ organization. Mädchen is a much more common word. Perhaps it has to do with the Nazis’ predilection for archaic words. The -el suffix is common in South German dialects, like Austrian German. Maybe it has to do with the fact that the Nazi party arose first of all in Bavaria.

      • Daniel Rich
        Daniel Rich
        February 8, 2014, 8:57 pm

        @ lysias,

        Q: Maybe it has to do with the fact that the Nazi party arose first of all in Bavaria.

        R: I have never been able to pinpoint any moment in time that the NDSAP referred to itself as ‘Nazi Party.’ Have you?

      • lysias
        lysias
        February 9, 2014, 3:40 pm

        @Daniel Rich: “Nazi” was just a shortening of the full name of the party, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP, not NDSAP). The nickname was not just used by enemies of the party. One of the party’s own publications was entitled “Der Nazi Sozi”.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        February 10, 2014, 9:13 am

        @lysias

        Mädel is also common in Austria, where ze Führer came from. But I think the main reason is that “Mädel” can include females who are older than “Mädchen”. It’s not common to call girls older than 14 years “Mädchen”.

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder
        February 10, 2014, 10:29 am

        lysias, I doubt you are correct. My suspicion is that Mädel versus Mädchen may have to do with local variants originally. Although I would need to check the etymology more closely. I am with piotr on this.

        So, strictly they are variants: in any case, Mädel is used much more colloquially than Mädchen.

        Context is pretty important. For instance I could use: “Hallo Mädels /Hi girls” if I meet a group of girlfriends, but I would never use “Hallo Mädchen”, I doubt anyone would. But I also am aware that some ladies don’t like it. …

        Below an interview with a scholar concerning the Nazi party’s, “occupation of words”, and some misguided over-sensibilities. Initially the lady alludes to the arguments that you cannot use Mädel anymore since the Nazis used it and ends on Mädels versus calling someone Hitler. According to him the use of Mädel is fine but calling someone Hitler is not. I absolutely agree.

        Nazi Worte im Sprachgebrauch, Mädel verpflichtet.

        I couldn’t agree more. Seriously why should I worry that the Nazi’s used some words I use too, if it is not a very specific context reminiscent of their mindset? It’s pretty amazing to look at the whole series of pretty innocent words on these type of lists over the time.

        Lysias, I read quite a few Nazi publications but never encountered the colloquial use Nazi anywhere. A fast check concerning Archive Org’s “Der Nazi Sozi” shows that the publication listed thus in fact is called:

        “Die Nationalsozialistischen Briefe” /The National Socialist Letters.

        I doubt you are correct in this context too.

        But I guess I’ll get myself a copy of the 2 volume dictionary on the issue from 2007 (one of the scholars is interviewed above), saves a lot of time.

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder
        February 10, 2014, 11:10 am

        Ok, I was too fast. Der Nazi Sozi was an early recruitment tool “for the most stupid” among potential party members or supporters, this scholar cites another scholar.

        I wasn’t aware of it.

      • ziusudra
        ziusudra
        February 9, 2014, 12:31 am

        Greetings Citizen & Piotr,
        Lysias traf es genau.
        (L. hit de nail on de head.)
        ziusudra

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        February 9, 2014, 7:54 am

        Pol Pot, himself a history teacher, did his best to just shoot all the teachers and intelligentsia… All told he murdered over 1.5 million he thought were a threat to his agenda.

      • lysias
        lysias
        February 9, 2014, 3:41 pm

        Thank you. I’m glad to have my instincts on this confirmed.

      • Daniel Rich
        Daniel Rich
        February 10, 2014, 2:46 am

        @ lysias,

        “Nazi” was just a shortening of the full name of the party, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP, not NDSAP). The nickname was not just used by enemies of the party. One of the party’s own publications was entitled “Der Nazi Sozi”.

        Thanks for your answer and apologies for late reply. It is not a nickname. I have used it a zillion times over the years, but never with any kind intentions. The use of the word is to instantly instill fear and draw a picture of something horrible [without having to go into any detail]. So, I feel like a parrot, saying things without exactly knowing why I say them. ‘Nazi, Nazi, Nazi…’

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        February 10, 2014, 9:33 am

        @ Daniel Rich.

        In German the letter “t” in “National” is pronounced like “ts” (like in the English word “shorTS”). But “National” can’t be shortened to “Nati”, because it would be pronounced like a normal “t” (like English “parTY”). So it’s “Nazi” to maintain the “ts” loud.

  7. Sycamores
    Sycamores
    February 8, 2014, 1:50 pm

    the Adam Verete case stunk to high heaven from the first day i read about it.

    Sapir Sabah the poster child for fascism.

    how sickening it is to read about ministers praising this girl.

    according to Verete and students he didn’t say any of the things sapir sabath accused him off, unless there is other things that i didn’t make the headlines. considering what i did read about were lies according to Verete and students i wouldn’t believe one word out her mouth.

    does this sound familiar:

    Many German parents and teachers during the nazis year were frightened that their children would report them to the Gestapo, which gave young people a power that they enjoyed and abused.

    i’m not surprise israel government is banning the nazi word probably trying to fool israelis that such practices don’t go on in israel.

  8. Walid
    Walid
    February 8, 2014, 2:30 pm

    Also discussed in the comments section on Avigail Abarbanel’s thread, was the letter signed by 250 Israeli high school teachers in 2012 objecting to the Ministry of Education tours of Hebron to brainwash the kids; I’m wondering what became of that campaign.

    From Haaretz Feb 2012:

    “… Udi Gur, a literature teacher from Jerusalem and one of the initiators of the teachers’ letter, told Haaretz Sunday that “we might be at the beginning of an era when citizens must pay a personal price in order to stop the nationalistic wave.

    “We hope that other teachers won’t fear, because we have no intention of backing down due to threats,” Gur continued. “The educational system is under attack by extremist political forces, aiming to trade education for indoctrination. We won’t allow that to happen.”

    The teachers oppose Sa’ar’s plan to spend millions of shekels – the amount was undisclosed by the Education Ministry – to fund the tours. “You claim that the purpose of these tours isn’t political,” the letter reads. “But in your visit to Shiloh you announced their aim openly: ‘It’s good to come to the settlements. Its good that the settlements flourish. One should not allow the Arabs to harbor the illusion that one day there won’t be Jews here. Jews will always live here and any other illusion is an obstacle to peace.’ That is the reason we’re called to visit the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Shiloh. By using the national education system, you wish to strengthen and perpetuate the Jewish settlements in these areas. To this end, the reality in Hebron is presented in a partial and tendentious manner. Concealing the political reality is a political action.”

    More on the Zionist indoctrination of young minds:

    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/teachers-oppose-ministry-s-hebron-heritage-tours-1.411235

  9. Balfour
    Balfour
    February 8, 2014, 3:28 pm

    The sun over Hebron is summery warm.
    The Ibex of the Negev run free
    But gather together to greet the storm.
    Tomorrow belongs to me.

    The branch of the sabra is prickly and green,
    The Kinneret gives its gold to the sea.
    But somewhere a glory awaits unseen.
    Tomorrow belongs to me.

    The babe in his cradle is closing his eyes
    The blossom embraces the bee.
    But soon, says a whisper;
    “Arise, arise,
    Tomorrow belongs

    To me!

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      February 9, 2014, 7:58 am

      @ Balfour
      Christopher Isherwood would be pleased with your rendition, the adapted scene for a new movie, Cabaret II.

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      February 8, 2014, 8:05 pm

      Yeah. Sad indeed, not so much for living in a cave (traditional and highly tuned to the climate, i.e. natural a/c), but rather because Kerry offers no economic alternative in his current “plan,” other than her working in the hospitality or fast food industries. What a joke.

      Link Tagline: Nawal Jabarin wants to be a doctor when she grows up. For now, she lives in a cave with 14 siblings, in constant fear of military raids. We meet the Palestinian children living under Israeli occupation

      What a loss to the human potential. By Israeli/US design, no less.

    • Bumblebye
      Bumblebye
      February 8, 2014, 8:30 pm

      The author, Harriett Sherwood has just left the I/P Guardian posting, but has had now two articles that are very poignant. The first was “Goodbye Gaza”:
      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/25/goodbye-gaza-harriet-sherwood-palestine-israel

      • just
        just
        February 8, 2014, 8:38 pm

        I’m sorry that this HUMAN and wonderful writer is leaving.

        I wish her well– thanks concernedhuman and Bumblebye.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        February 9, 2014, 7:58 am

        @ just
        ditto

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        February 9, 2014, 10:21 am

        Check out the Ziotrolls in the comments.

        Truly sick.

  10. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    February 8, 2014, 4:31 pm

    RE: “Student who exposed ‘leftist’ teacher is honored at Knesset, while teacher gets violent threats”

    MY COMMENT: I hope the US and Israel don’t decide that Adam Verete is a “militant” and send an Apache® helicopter gunship to take him out with a Hellfire® missile!

  11. smithgp
    smithgp
    February 8, 2014, 4:59 pm

    Look at Sapir Sabah’s pretty face. If she’s not of Mizrahi (Middle Eastern Jewish) parentage, my eyes are deceiving me. Whether or not I’m right in Sabah’s case, it is one of the many heartbreaking illnesses of Israeli Jewish culture that the Mizrahi citizens, heavily recruited by Zionist agents to the new country, but subject to severe social discrimination once they got there, have repudiated the natural sympathy they should feel for their Palestinian brethren.

    • Ira Glunts
      Ira Glunts
      February 8, 2014, 5:59 pm

      George, you are correct about Sapir Sabeh being Mizrahi. And I have seen this fact mentioned in the press and in the social media as relevant to the debate. The invitation and lavish reception she received at the Knesset some claim helped the politicians that invited her build up their cred with the Mizrahi community.

      • MahaneYehude1
        MahaneYehude1
        February 8, 2014, 6:17 pm

        @Ira Glunts:

        Indeed, Sapir is Mizrahi, probably Moroccan, as her family name indicates: Sabah in Arabic means Morning, but I don’t think this fact is relevant to the debate.

      • amigo
        amigo
        February 9, 2014, 7:15 am

        “Indeed, Sapir is Mizrahi, probably Moroccan, as her family name indicates: Sabah in Arabic means Morning, but I don’t think this fact is relevant to the debate.”mehane

        I agree, rewarding children for being fascists is self destructive at any time of day.

      • Walid
        Walid
        February 9, 2014, 8:02 am

        Mahane, from your knowledge of Arabic, would the proper designation be “Maghrebi” since her roots are in the Maghreb (the West) as the country is called rather than Mizrahi that designates “from the east”?

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        February 9, 2014, 8:29 am

        would the proper designation be “Maghrebi” since her roots are in the Maghreb (the West) as the country is called rather than Mizrahi that designates “from the east”?

        That all depends on your orientation (so to speak). Where the hell is the “Middle East” anyway?

        The North African communities indeed referred to themselves as “Edot ha-Ma’arav” (communities of the west), as opposed to “Edot ha-Mizrah” (communities of the east). In Israel, the encounter with European-Ashkenazi Jews (also comprising easterners and westerners in their original context) however, required a single term for the Jews of Arab/Muslim lands, and Mizrahi is the one that was eventually adopted and even embraced by the “Mizrahim” themselves — even those from the western shores of Africa.

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        February 9, 2014, 9:29 am

        Walid says:
        February 9, 2014 at 8:02 am
        Mahane, from your knowledge of Arabic, would the proper designation be “Maghrebi” since her roots are in the Maghreb (the West) as the country is called rather than Mizrahi that designates “from the east”?

        Sometimes I’ve seen the formulation “eidot ha mizrah ve safon afrika” but it’s too much of a mouthful. Technically, you’re correct though.

        But it’s the same lazy categorization that talks of “North/South” cultural dichotomies. So is Australia part of the global South and North Korea part of the global North?

        I saw someone wearing a T-Shirt that said “ani mizrahi, mizrah eropaa’i” (“I’m Eastern, Eastern European”). If you look at a map, a descendant of Moroccan Jews whose ancestors also lived in Spain is “Western,” then and a descendant of Jews from Poland is “Eastern.”

      • MahaneYehude1
        MahaneYehude1
        February 9, 2014, 10:33 am

        @walid;

        First, I wrote she is probably Moroccan because her family name is Sabah. Most (not all) of the Jews named Sabah came from Morocco.

        Indeed, Morocco is located west to Israel and the Moroccan Jews call themselves in general Mughrabim (Ma-aravi-im – meaning: from Maghreb) but in Israel all Jews from Arab countries are called Mizrahim (Edot Hamizrah). Look how Shas party leaders, most of them from Morocco (Der-yi) or Tunisia (Ishay) refer to themselves as representatives of Mizrahim, although in their official name they call the Mizrahi “Sefaradim” meaning Jews originated from Spain (Sfarad).

        By the way, Walid, did you read today Spain government decision?

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        February 9, 2014, 10:54 am

        http://www.timesofisrael.com/spain-offers-citizenship-to-descendants-of-1492-expellees/

        Spain gives RoR to Jews (expelled in 1492):

        ‘The bill proposes to allow dual nationality, enabling people who can prove Sephardic ancestry to also retain their other citizenships.

        So when will the Jewish State give the RoR to the 800K Palestinians it ethnically cleansed in 48′?

        Spain should consider it’s ethnoreligious character just like Israel does and put a quota on Jews in the country. (All countries should emulate Israel in this way).

        Ethnocracy for all!

        The law potentially allows an estimated 3.5 million residents of countries where many Sephardic Jews eventually settled, such as Israel, France, the United States, Turkey, Mexico, Argentina and Chile, to apply for Spanish nationality.

        http://www.jpost.com/Jewish-World/Jewish-Features/Spain-grants-right-of-dual-nationality-to-Sephardic-Jews-340839

        Why do Zionist Jews demand other countries allow a RoR when they (Zionist Jews) do not allow the same in Israel?

        Why do non-Jews have to allow a RoR if Jews will not do the same for the victims of Zionism?

      • Walid
        Walid
        February 9, 2014, 12:32 pm

        Mahane, if you are referring to the news that Cliff reported, no I hadn’t heard of it until I read it here. It’s positive news for Jews, I guess, and it repairs some of the sins of 1492 or was it 1494?

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick
      February 8, 2014, 7:23 pm

      972 mag in fact had an article in which they talked about the ethnic underpinnings of a young Mizrahi girl denouncing the nice Ashkenazi man. Where’s the New York legislature to tell us about academic freedom? Also I have never understood why this generation of Mizrahis are so anti-Arab, it’s not like they have ever lived in an Arab country.

      • Inanna
        Inanna
        February 8, 2014, 8:40 pm

        Also I have never understood why this generation of Mizrahis are so anti-Arab, it’s not like they have ever lived in an Arab country.

        Most likely a form of compensation, a blah chick. Remember these Jews lived with Arabs as Arabs for centuries, had the same culture and were integrated into the Arab community in the same way other non-Muslim minorities were. However, once the call to Zion became a politcal-nationalist one with many Mizrahis going to Israel, they found their Arab-ness denigrated. What better way to fit in to their new society than to internalise the prejudices of the Ashkenazi elite, to denigrate where they came from and the people they had lived among and to become even more Israeli than the Israelis.

      • ziusudra
        ziusudra
        February 9, 2014, 12:59 am

        Greetings Inanna,
        Why haven’t the Mizrahi Iranians left Iran since 45 till date?
        ziusudra

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        February 9, 2014, 8:01 am

        @ zisudra
        Some did, when the Iranians toppled the US tyrant stooge, the Shah Of Iran. Watch Shahs Of Sunset on cable reality TV. (If you can stand the characters therein).

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        February 9, 2014, 9:53 am

        ziusudra says:
        February 9, 2014 at 12:59 am
        Greetings Inanna,
        Why haven’t the Mizrahi Iranians left Iran since 45 till date?

        Most of them have. Not just “some” as Citizen writes, but the vast majority. There are approximately 10,000 Jews remaining in Iran today (over half are above the age of 40). If you count mixed households (usually Iranian-Jewish women married to Muslim or Christian men, whose offspring are Jewish according to Jewish religious law, but raised as Muslims) then Iran’s Jewish population is about 15,000.

        Prior to the downfall of the Shah in 1979, nearly 80,000 Jews made their home in Iran and they fared quite well under his rule. After the Revolution about 30,000 Iranian Jews made aliyah to Israel, with the remainder dispersing mostly to Beverly Hills, Great Neck, Long Island and North London. Many Persian Jews also made aliyah prior to the 1979 Revolution, before and after the founding of the State of Israel. Prominent Iranian Israelis include ex-president (and convicted sex offender) Moshe Katzav, Dan Halutz and Shaul Mofaz (both former chiefs of staff and the latter ex-defense minister) and Hebrew pop star Rita, who recorded a hit album of Persian standards a few years back.

      • Walid
        Walid
        February 9, 2014, 3:06 pm

        “Why haven’t the Mizrahi Iranians left Iran since 45 till date?”

        ziusudra, they are happy to be living in Iran. Israel has tried on several occasions to lure them into moving to Israel first with $6,000 per family and only 125 Jews tool up Israel’s offer. Then about 5 years back there was a second blitz to entice Iranian Jews with $60,000 per family in addition to other frills such as cheap mortgages and it still didn’t work. The presence of Jews in Iran screws up the Zionist narrative on how the Jews have always been persecuted in Muslim countries.

        The first to blow a hole in that narrative were the Lebanese Jews that reportedly contributed cash to the war effort to help fight the Zionist in 1948 and by continuing to refuse to leave Lebanon and those that eventually did (almost 20 years after Israel’s independence) they emigrated to Europe and the Americas but not to Israel as they despised the Zionists more than the Arabs did. Then came the Iraqi Jews that also refused to leave (3 years after Israel’s independence) until they were coerced into leaving by the Zionists. Of those Iranians that did leave when the Shah’s gravy train was derailed, most did not opt to go to Israel but to the US. You had the same occurrence that happened in Tunisia when it got its independence (8 years after Israel’s independence) and half the Jews that left opted to go to France while the other half chose Israel.

        Getting back to the Iranian Jews that BTW are allowed to visit relatives in Israel and still go back home to Iran or to phone them from Iran, they enjoy a few other things that are driving the Zionists up the wall: the 25,000 Jews have a Jewish member of parliament to represent them, 30 functioning synagogues, many with Hebrew schools, kosher restaurants, several kosher butchers, an old age home, a Jewish Library with 20,000 titles and a Jewish hospital that last week received a cash grant of $400,000 from President Rouhani; 7 years ago, Ahmadinejad had also donated a large sum to the Jewish hospital.

        That should explain why they haven’t left Iran.

        Jonathan Cook wrote about Israel’s frustration a few years back:

        http://electronicintifada.net/content/israels-jewish-problem-tehran/7089

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 9, 2014, 4:13 am

        They had no choice, Inanna. Child psychology has so much material on peer pressure and identity. Even the strongest families give in.

        The Ashkenazim brought a deeply traumatised culture with them. They fashioned the language around it. The Mizrahim had to leave their culture behind to fit in. Danon is the perfect example of the third generation.
        A Mizrahi who speaks Ashkenazi paranoia.

        I am reading a book on Urdu poetry at the moment – it goes so deep. Compare Hafez or Mir to Hophmi. Judaism has that depth too but the bots dumped it in favour of their IDF cult.
        Insane.

      • jon s
        jon s
        February 9, 2014, 4:14 pm

        Walid, You’re misinformed . The small Jewish community in Lebanon was not anti-Zionist, and some of them did immigrate to Israel. I don’t know where you got the story of them “contributing” to the Arab war effort. If it’s true at all, it sounds more like extortion.
        The Jews of Iraq certainly were not ” coerced” by the Zionists. They were practically expelled.

      • Walid
        Walid
        February 11, 2014, 12:44 am

        jon s: “I don’t know where you got the story of them “contributing” to the Arab war effort. If it’s true at all, it sounds more like extortion.
        The Jews of Iraq certainly were not ” coerced” by the Zionists. They were practically expelled.”

        Of course it couldn’t have been much of a contribution as the effort itself wasn’t that much; I think Lebanon’s contribution was something like a few soldiers that crossed the border, conquered a nearby vacant schoolhouse and sat on it until armistice. Lebanese Jews weren’t anti-Zionist in the sense that they actually worked against it, but they assuredly were not all all for it. The Jewish population of Lebanon kept increasing annually after Israel’s independence until the early sixties when it started slowly diminishing with overall Lebanese emigration for better economic opportunities elsewhere and took a sharp drop with the Lebanese civil war of 1975 with the hundreds of thousands that also left the country. During the Israeli invasion of Beirut in 1982, the Jews continued refusing to leave until an Israeli ship shelled Beirut’s synagogue and even at that, most of those that left did not choose to go to Israel. All this happened a full 33 years after the creation of Israel, so that should tell you something about how the Jews there felt about Lebanon and Israel. It has been estimated that about a couple of thousand Jews return every summer (on foreign passports) to visit with family and friends.

        As to Iraq, same story. Iraqi Jews were not going along with the call to take them to Israel until a couple of bombs placed in the Jewish quarters went off and the deal that was made between the Zionists and the corrupt Iraqi government officials that profited from abandoned Jewish properties.

        Just about the only country that actually expelled Jews and that did it in 3 waves, was Egypt. The rest of the stories about expulsions were Zionist propaganda.

      • Ellen
        Ellen
        February 9, 2014, 5:39 am

        Inanna, weren’t all various groups/tribes of the Arabian peninsula, today’s Irak, Syria, etc. what we now call Arabs? And the Jewish groups (yes there were more than one) simply the ones who did not accept Mohammed and Islam?

        Instead of Jews who lived among Arabs, but rather Arabs who are Jewish and not Muslim.

      • jon s
        jon s
        February 11, 2014, 2:58 pm

        Walid,
        Forgive me for recycling a comment I wrote on this a few months ago:

        Iraq effectually forced the Jews to leave:
        – the 1941 pogrom, known as the the “farhud” traumatized the community.
        – Iraq’s intervention in the 1948 war brought anti-Jewish incitement to a fever-pitch.
        -The Iraqi regime took steps to make life in Iraq impossible for the Jewish community: they were dismissed from the civil service , boycotted economically, bank accounts were frozen , access to public facilities, including schools and hospitals – denied. Then the regime declared that the Jews could leave, within a one – year deadline, while relinquishing their property. In this situation the Jews scarcely needed “encouragement” (in the form of bombings ) to leave. It was pretty clear that they had to.
        -Initially the Iraqi goverment demanded that the flights evacuating the Jews touch down in Cyprus , in order to maintain the fiction that they are not enabling immigration to Israel. In the later stages the pretense was dropped and flights arrived directly from Iraq to Israel.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        February 9, 2014, 6:06 am

        However, once the call to Zion became a politcal-nationalist one with many Mizrahis going to Israel, they found their Arab-ness denigrated. What better way to fit in to their new society than to internalise the prejudices of the Ashkenazi elite

        Perhaps repeating, in a sense, the internalisation of European anti-Semitism by Ashkenazi Zionists.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        February 9, 2014, 8:05 am

        @ Shumel
        Sort of like the 110% German, German Jews? The Prussianization of the Arab Jews?

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        February 9, 2014, 9:37 am

        Sort of like the 110% German, German Jews? The Prussianization of the Arab Jews?

        No, like attitudes toward Jewish “parasitism” or “cosmopolitanism”, or general disdain for Jewish (especially Eastern European) “Unheimlichkeit“.

        I think many Mizrahim internalised Ashkenazi disdain for their Arab (but also Persian or Bukharan or Kurdish) language and culture, complicated by its identification with that of the enemy.

        The Ashkenazi Zionist disdain for their own former culture (Yiddish, religious tradition, etc.) and project for the creation of a “new Jew” is not the same as their disdain for Mizrahi culture, but there is some overlap. Ironically, I think they were far more successful in eradicating their own culture than that of the Mizrahim, perhaps because they felt less threatened by it, or perhaps because it was part of their alibi for being in the Middle East in the first place (cf. Zionist orientalism, adoption of food, dance, clothing [Hashomer], etc.).

      • Walid
        Walid
        February 11, 2014, 1:47 am

        Shmuel: “Perhaps repeating, in a sense, the internalisation of European anti-Semitism by Ashkenazi Zionists.”

        Shmuel, maybe it was a form of payback; French mid-18th century history says that the more cultured Sephardi of Portugese roots, that in general were financially successful, viewed and treated the German Ashkenazim with contempt and disdain, refusing any association or intermarriage with them or to share with them their synagogues. The Sephardi holding important financial posts in most European port cities, dressed differently and were actually very elegantly dressed, beardless and thought of themselves as the Jewish aristocracy that were the real Jews. The Ashkenazim on the other hand were among the lowest classes, poor, overtaxed and limited to working in very small businesses or making small loans. Isaac de Pinto’s 1762 letter to the vehemently anti-Jewish Voltaire describes the difference between the 2 groups. Maybe de Pinto was trying to prove that the Sephardi were actually as “white” as the Europeans.

        Ironic how in time and in Palestine, the Ashkenazim treated the Mizrahi.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        February 11, 2014, 2:20 am

        Walid,

        I don’t think 18th-century Sephardi airs had much to do with it, if only because the Mapai crowd probably didn’t see any real connection between the Arab Jews and the European Sephardim of London or Amsterdam.

        The Sephardi disdain for Ashkenazim actually goes back quite a bit further, to Spain itself, and was probably related to a general Arab disdain at the time for the “primitive” cultures of Christendom. Spanish Jewish scholars such as Abraham Ibn Ezra, who visited the Jewish communities of Ashkenaz (France, Germany), wrote of their appalling ignorance and lack of refinement: they couldn’t even read most works of science and philosophy (in Arabic), and even their Jewish religious scholarship was poor and their Hebrew poetry (without the benefit of knowledge of Arab poetry) utter garbage.

        These feelings of superiority (which also included a certain amount of solidarity, leading to the massive project to translate Arabic masterpieces into Hebrew) were further exacerbated by the expulsions and the need of the Sephardi refugees to maintain their dignity in conditions of adversity. It thus became a part of their communal ethos. The real cultural and economic abyss between later Sephardim (mostly returnees to Judaism, after having lived as members of the Christian elite in Spain and Portugal for generations) and their Ashkenazi counterparts didn’t give them much reason to change these attitudes.

      • Walid
        Walid
        February 11, 2014, 7:30 am

        “The Sephardi disdain for Ashkenazim actually goes back quite a bit further, to Spain itself, ”

        Shmuel, thanks for talking it farther back than I knew. I had understood it to be happening then as a result of the Marranos coming out of the shadows and into their own with the elegant dress and lifestyle to blend in with the European bourgeoisie and that part of the show was to turn up their nose to the Ashkenazim as a show much more than an actual feeling of disdain; that’s what I meant about them acting “white” as surely there must have been poor Sephardi too. A few years later, there was an interesting debate about the emancipation of the Jews in the French National Assembly with some arguing against elevating their status from the one that included actors, hangmen and executioners. That 1789 debate that’s still around, was centered on whether the Jews were a nation or a religious cult with the traditional accusations against them that because of the mortgages they held, they were taking control of all of Alsace. Regrettably today, nothing has changed in the accusations against them.

      • Walid
        Walid
        February 9, 2014, 8:17 am

        “… they found their Arab-ness denigrated.”

        Not only denigrated, Inanna, but actually extinguished on the express orders of Ben Gurion that wanted them de-Arabised as soon as possible. They were practically reduced to speaking it and to listening to recordings of Um Kulthum “en cachette”. But good habits can’t be killed by the Zionists; look at our friend Mahane here that was born in Israel and still gives you the feeling that in spite of the diet of Zionism that he has been force-fed, as a Kurd, he is closer to you and I as Arabs than he is to European Jews.

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        February 9, 2014, 9:01 am

        Walid says:
        February 9, 2014 at 8:17 am
        “… they found their Arab-ness denigrated.”

        Not only denigrated, Inanna, but actually extinguished on the express orders of Ben Gurion that wanted them de-Arabised as soon as possible.

        Ah, gimme a break. Ashkenazim also had to learn Hebrew. Were the German Jews de-Germanized on the express orders of BG and separated from their natural kin, the Germans? Mizrahim and Ashkenazim belong to one nation. You’re talking as if Mizrahim were separated from our ‘watan” rather than united with fellow Jews. Very screwed up.

      • Walid
        Walid
        February 9, 2014, 4:54 pm

        Mikhael, instead of a break, I’ll direct you to information that contradicts your assertion that the Ashkenazim and Mizrahim were one people. According to prominent Zionists, they never were and never will be. I’ll spare you Israel’s ugly Mizrahi history with the DDT and the children kidnappings and stick with how the Ashkenazim looked down on the Mizrahim with utter disgust. I’ll also spare you the tons of data to that effect by Y. Shenhav, Ella Shohat, Sami Michael, Shimon Ballas, Eli Amir and poet Ronny Someck and give simply a small part of an essay on the subject by the primo Zionist that you surely know and respect, Meyrav Wurmser. It’s actually about how the Mizrahi are actually against Zionism but I’m only highlighting the section that contradicts what you said about the unity between the two groups. Here’s a small piece of it (Mahane is going to be unpleasantly surprised on how the Askenazim valued the worth of a Kurdish Jew):

        “… This is the immigration of a race we have not yet known in the country. We are dealing with people whose primitivism is at a peak, whose level of knowledge is one of virtually absolute ignorance and, worse, who have little talent for understanding anything intellectual. Generally, they are only slightly better than the general level of the Arabs, Negroes, and Berbers in the same regions. In any case, they are at an even lower level than what we know with regard to the former Arabs of Israel. These Jews also lack roots in Judaism, as they are totally subordinated to savage and primitive instincts. As with Africans you will find among them gambling, drunkenness, and prostitution … chronic laziness and hatred for work; there is nothing safe about this asocial element. [Even] the kibbutzim will not hear of their absorption.[13]

        Gelblum was not alone. Post-Zionist Mizrahim quote one of Israel’s leading intellectuals in the 1950s, Karl Frankenstein, a celebrated professor at Hebrew University and the man considered the father of the Israeli education system. Frankenstein expressed outright racist attitudes towards Mizrahim, writing, “We have to recognize the primitive mentality of many of the immigrants from backward countries.”[14] He further suggested that Mizrahi Jews have the mentality of primitive people who are somewhat mentally disturbed.[15] Israeli sociologist Yosef Gross argued in the early 1950s that Mizrahi immigrants suffered from “mental regression.”[16] One of the worst examples of the anti-Mizrahi discrimination involves The Ashkenazi Revolution published in 1964 by writer Kalman Katzenelson in which the author argues that the Mizrahim suffer from irreversible genetic inferiority that endangers the superiority of the Ashkenazi-Zionist state. He called for the establishment of an apartheid regime that, among other limitations, would abolish their political rights. He also objected to mixed marriages and demanded the prohibition of the Hebrew language because it resembled Arabic too greatly. Instead he demanded that Yiddish become the national language because of its supreme Germanic origins. His book was a bestseller until Ben-Gurion banned it.[17]

        The sentiments expressed by these intellectuals, the Mizrahi post-Zionists argue, were not uncommon. There were racist attitudes toward the Mizrahi Jews even among the highest political levels. Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion described the Mizrahi immigrants as lacking even “the most elementary knowledge” or “a trace of Jewish or human education.”[18] Furthermore, he said, “We do not want Israelis to become Arabs. We are bound by duty to fight against the spirit of the Levant that corrupts individuals and society.”[19] Likewise, Abba Eban, one of Israel’s most eloquent diplomats, noted that “one of the great apprehensions which afflict us is the danger of the predominance of immigrants of Oriental origin forcing Israel to equalize its cultural level with that of the neighboring world.”[20] In 1949, Shoshana Frasitz, a member of the Knesset, said of the Mizrahim, “You know that we have no common language with them. Our cultural level does not fit with their level; their lifestyle is the lifestyle of the middle ages.”[21] Nachum Goldman, chairman of the Jewish Agency and president of the World Zionist Organization in the late 1940s and 1950s, said, “A Jew from Eastern Europe is worth twice as much as a Jew from Kurdistan,” and continued, “We should return a hundred thousand of the Jews of the East to their countries of origin.”[22] Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir once asked, “Shall we be able to elevate these immigrants to a suitable level of civilization?”[23]

        http://www.meforum.org/707/post-zionism-and-the-sephardi-question

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        February 9, 2014, 8:40 pm

        Walid, you forgot to note that Iranian Jews are allowed to make and drink alcohol, as well.

        I can’t decide why the Iranian Government is not persecuting them properly. Is it some fiendishly cunning Iranian plot (we know that Iranians have been bazaaris for 2,000 years) or is it simple incompetence?

        It certainly could not be because they have no interest in persecuting Jews. Everyone (and especially Muslims) wants to persecute Jews, even when they don’t know what Jews are.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        February 9, 2014, 9:17 pm

        The photo in November of Iranian Jews supporting Iranian nuclear program. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4455539,00.html

        Do you really think this rally came from their heart or do you think that maybe someone in the Iranian government thought it was a good idea. To me they look like captives. Showing the world how they love their captors. (The willingness of the few to stay is not indicative of the benevolent regime, anymore than the willingness of Palestinians to stay in Israel is indicative of a benevolent regime.)

        Somehow the realism that pervades this web site’s comments section in regards to Israeli propaganda goes flying out the window when discussing Iranian propaganda.

        Here’s wikipedia on Iranian Jewish population.

        At the time of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, 80,000 Jews were living in Iran. From then on, Jewish emigration from Iran dramatically increased, as about 20,000 Jews left within several months of the revolution alone.[31] The vast majority of Iran’s Jewish population, some 60,000 Jews, emigrated, of whom 35,000 went to the United States, 20,000 to Israel, and 5,000 to Europe (mainly to the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland).[36]
        Some sources put the Iranian Jewish population in the mid and late 1980s as between 50,000–60,000.[37] An estimate based on the 1986 census put the figure considerably higher for the same time, around 55,000.[38] From the mid-1990s to the present there has been more uniformity in the figures, with most sources since then estimating roughly 25,000 Jews remaining in Iran.[39][40][41][42][43] However, a 2012 census put the figure at about 9,000.[44]

        Go interview some Iranian Jews who will tell you what they think of the regime and how it treats the Jews, before you swallow whole whatever Tehran tells you. And certainly before you parrot Tehran and innocently expect that everyone should nod in agreement because you are merely stating the truth.

      • MahaneYehude1
        MahaneYehude1
        February 10, 2014, 12:13 pm

        @Walid:

        In response to your comment:
        http://mondoweiss.net/2014/02/knesset-violent-threats.html/comment-page-1#comment-639453

        I agree with you that the relations between Ashknazi Jews and Mizrahi Jews were not always well and I very familiar with it. But, all your stories are from the 50’s -60’s. Israeli society has changed, Walid, and I don’t think that this issue is so important. I know that there are people, also in Israel, that want to revive this issue but the reality is different. With time, there is a full integration of the Mizrahi Jews in the Israeli society and I personally can’t see the differences. We are raising now the third and forth and maybe the fifth generations, and all the differences became dimmed. That is the reason why I didn’t response to all comments about the Mizrahi student and the Ashkenazi teacher. These facts are not relevant to the discussion.

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        February 10, 2014, 3:54 pm

        Walid says:
        February 9, 2014 at 3:06 pm

        “Why haven’t the Mizrahi Iranians left Iran since 45 till date?”

        ziusudra, they are happy to be living in Iran.

        I guess that’s why there are only about 10,000 Jews left in Iran, many of them elderly and all of whom have relatives in Israel and the West (prior to the 1979 Revolution there were 80,000 Jews in Iran). I guess that’s why that even prior to the Revolution, when they could emigrate freely under the Shah, some 50,000 Jews left Iran, mostly for Israel.

        It’s because they were all happy in Iran.

      • Walid
        Walid
        February 11, 2014, 2:16 am

        Mikhael: “I guess that’s why that even prior to the Revolution, when they could emigrate freely under the Shah, some 50,000 Jews left Iran, mostly for Israel.”

        No, not mostly for Israel but for Los Angeles and “Shah-days” had been relatively good for the Jews. You are doing what most Zionist keep doing, which is denying that some Jews went to Israel for no other reason than to make their religious aliyah. This was a point being contested by some Iraqi Jews that complained of being grouped along with the Iraqi refugees that were allegedly expelled, thus negating their aliyah. I think you are of Iraqi roots so you should know what I’m talking about without any need of my digging up links for you.

      • Walid
        Walid
        February 11, 2014, 6:45 am

        “I agree with you that the relations between Ashknazi Jews and Mizrahi Jews were not always well and I very familiar with it. But, all your stories are from the 50′s -60′s. ”

        Of course, Mahane, nobody ever said that today it’s still like it was in the first horrible of days of Israel’s unwelcoming ways. I was just refuting the assertion made here that relations between the 2 groups were always very amicable, which of course proved to be a load of bullshit. Nonetheless, I’m still willing to wager that if you, I and an Ashkenazi were to be in the same room, you’d feel much closer to me than you would toward the other guy. Your occasional notes in excellent Arabic shows what’s there lurking in your genes. Likewise, I’d feel the same towards you with your roots to Kurdistan al-Iraq than towards an American or a Frenchman; that too is in my genes. Don’t let the Zionists convince you otherwise.

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        February 11, 2014, 9:00 am

        Walid says:
        February 9, 2014 at 4:54 pm
        Mikhael, instead of a break, I’ll direct you to information that contradicts your assertion that the Ashkenazim and Mizrahim were one people. According to prominent Zionists, they never were and never will be.

        Most of those in the upper echelons of power in the nascent Israeli state were Eastern European Ashkenazim who condescended to new immigrants from Arab and other Middle Eastern countries, and they certainly thought they had a better cultural product than the new immigrants (Labor Zionism, kibbutz, modern Hebrew language, etc. as opposed to centuries’ old religious tradition and mores) but then again they regarded their recent immigrants who were their fellow Eastern European Ashkenazim, Yiddish-speaking survivors of the death camps with perhaps even more disdain (Ben Gurion famously gave an audience to a Holocaust survivor who was testifying to him about the atrocities she had undergone, and all he had to say was she is speaking “safa zara, tsoremet” –a strange, grating language. He was referring to his mother tongue!

        I’ll spare you Israel’s ugly Mizrahi history with the DDT and the children kidnappings

        Good. Because (1) in the case of the DDT, there were indeed widespread lice infestations among new immigrant children arriving en masse to Israel. back in the 1950s, people were less sophisticated about the toxicity of DDT. Ashkenazi immigrants from Romania were also sprayed with DDT. Guess what? My Jerusalem-born aunt (my father’s sister, of Syrian-Jewish family) was a nurse with the health service and she also sprayed immigrant kids (from Morocco, Rumania, Poland, Iraq, etc. ) and she married her boss, a doctor who was born in Iraq. Was spraying kids with DDT the best way to deal with lice infestation? No. But it had nothing to do with humiliating immigrants because they were “Arab Jews” or “Jewish Arabs” or whatever. (2) The kidnapped children myth. This has been thoroughly investigated and it looks like in the majority of the cases, many infants born to Yemenite0-Jewish immigrants died in the transit camps due to the poor sanitary conditions, etc. and in a few isolated cases, some corrupt social workers may have placed some kids with Ashkenazi families without parental consent. No evidence of any systemic, government plot. Orders of magnitude less scandalous than similar tragedies of poor children being sold for adoption in places like Ireland (see the recent movie Filomena) and Australia (where the government stole Aboriginal kids from their families and placed them with white families).

        Ashkenazim looked down on the Mizrahim with utter disgust.

        Ashkenazim are people and people sometimes act shitty towards other people. Way to generalize, dude.

        I’ll also spare you the tons of data to that effect by Y. Shenhav, Ella Shohat, Sami Michael, Shimon Ballas, Eli Amir and poet Ronny Someck

        Good, because these folk are not a representative sample of the average Mizrahi in Israel and have basically carved out a nice for themselves in academia by playing identity politics and being aggrieved.

        give simply a small part of an essay on the subject by the primo Zionist that you surely know and respect, Meyrav Wurmser. It’s actually about how the Mizrahi are actually against Zionism but I’m only highlighting the section that contradicts what you said about the unity between the two groups.

        I read the piece a while ago, and I thought you were smarter than that and had better reading comprehension than that. It’s not at all about “how the Mizrahi are actually against Zionism” but it’s about a small group of self-styled “intellectuals” of Mizrahi background who’ve made a career of being the house post-Zionists/anti-Zionists.

        Here’s a small piece of it (Mahane is going to be unpleasantly surprised on how the Askenazim valued the worth of a Kurdish Jew):

        One can always cherry-pick and find examples of this or that bigoted statement that certain figures made. The fact that some Jews absorbed the cultural prejudices from other peoples is not earth-shattering news, none of it undermines the fact that mainstream Zionism regarded the Oriental Jews as part of the same unitary Jewish nation and that Mizrahi Jews also regarded themselves as such. Do you want me to make generalizations about Arabs and their attitudes towards Jews and blacks, not to mention the sectarian and ethnic minorities in their own midst? I can easily cherry-pick the most bloodcurdling and racist statements.

        One of the worst examples of the anti-Mizrahi discrimination involves The Ashkenazi Revolution published in 1964 by writer Kalman Katzenelson in which the author argues that the Mizrahim suffer from irreversible genetic inferiority that endangers the superiority of the Ashkenazi-Zionist state.–He called for the establishment of an apartheid regime that, among other limitations, would abolish their political rights. He also objected to mixed marriages and demanded the prohibition of the Hebrew language because it resembled Arabic too greatly.

        A self-published book written by a crank that barely sold any copies (far from being a best-seller) and would have long ago been forgotten if its memory wasn’t kept alive on the Web by people like you. To the extent that it was noticed at all when it came out, it received universal condemnation in Israel. Ben Gurion was made aware of it by the Police Minister (a Sefaradi/Mizrahi Jew), Behor Sheetrit, and replied that the newspapers shouldn’t even be giving attention to it.

        Furthermore, he said, “We do not want Israelis to become Arabs. We are bound by duty to fight against the spirit of the Levant that corrupts individuals and society.”

        Absolutely. BG was invested in forging a Hebrew identity, see above.

        “You know that we have no common language with them. Our cultural level does not fit with their level; their lifestyle is the lifestyle of the middle ages.”

        Entirely taken out of context, but reflecting some politically incorrect truths of the period regarding the new olim. Of course, Mizrahi immigrants to Israel were a heterogenous lot back then. Iraqi Jews tended to have high cultural and educational achievements, most of the Moroccans who came to Israel in the 1950s/1960s came from a lower socieconomic background, the middle classes moved to France, and the few uber wealthy remained in Morocco for the most part.

        Nachum Goldman, chairman of the Jewish Agency and president of the World Zionist Organization in the late 1940s and 1950s, said, “A Jew from Eastern Europe is worth twice as much as a Jew from Kurdistan,” and continued, “We should return a hundred thousand of the Jews of the East to their countries of origin.”

        There’s no primary source available for this comment, s I’ll assume it’s fabricated.

        Golda Meir once asked, “Shall we be able to elevate these immigrants to a suitable level of civilization?”

        An entirely legitimate concern at the time and one that applied to masses of Eastern European Ashkenazim as well. In the end , we see that the Hebrew-speaking descendants of Yiddish-speaking shtetl dwellers of Poland and Judeo-Berber-speaking Morrocan immigrants do indeed live better, safer and healthier lives in Israel than their ancestors did in those countries.

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        February 11, 2014, 1:13 pm

        Walid says:
        February 11, 2014 at 2:16 am

        Mikhael: “I guess that’s why that even prior to the Revolution, when they could emigrate freely under the Shah, some 50,000 Jews left Iran, mostly for Israel.”

        No, not mostly for Israel but for Los Angeles and “Shah-days” had been relatively good for the Jews.

        The 1950s/60s emigration of Iranian Jews was primarily to Israel. The 1970s emigration was more to the US, where middle and upper middle class Iranian students Jewish and Muslim alike studied by the thousands. Post-Revolution more Iranian Jews found their way to Beverlyu Hills, Great Neck and Golders Green, though nearly all are pro-Zionist. Few support the regime and they all report that the dwindling number of their relatives who remain in Iran support it.

        You are doing what most Zionist keep doing, which is denying that some Jews went to Israel for no other reason than to make their religious aliyah.,s, the re This was a point being contested by some Iraqi Jews that complained of being grouped along with the Iraqi refugees that were allegedly expelled, thus negating their aliyah. I think you are of Iraqi roots so you should know what I’m talking about without any need of my digging up links for you.

        For many religious Jews, the religious motive is inseparable from the Zionist motive. Some of my extended family by marriage is of Iraqi-Jewish heritage, but my father’s side was half Sephardic (the kind that continued to speak Ladino as well as Arabic in Galilee and Jerusalem and had from the 16th century in the Holy Land essentially since the Expulsion from Spain) and half Arabic-speaking Jews from Syria (known colloquially as “SYs” in the Jewish community of my Brooklyn childhood my , with ancestry partially derived from Spain on that side too. My mother’s family were Ashkenazic Hungarian-speaking Jews prior to their aliyah.

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        February 11, 2014, 1:26 pm

        Walid says:
        February 11, 2014 at 6:34 am

        Sorry, Mikhael, I mistook you for one with roots to the Mizrahi good-guys from Iraq. Great people whether Arabs or Jews, no matter what Ben Gurion and his ruffians thought of them

        Iraqi Jews are great people, some of them are salt of the earth, some of them are refined and cultured. Few of them share the elitist opinions of the likes of Yehuda Shenhav, Naeem Giladi or Ella Shohat. Most are dyed-in-the-wall Zionist.

        My so-called “Arab” heritage is a little west of Iraq, where my “fellow Arabs” in Syria are busy beheading and gassing each other.

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        February 11, 2014, 1:36 pm

        Mahane here that was born in Israel and still gives you the feeling that in spite of the diet of Zionism that he has been force-fed, as a Kurd, he is closer to you and I as Arabs than he is to European Jews.

        Kurds were never Arabs. The Jews who lived in Kurdistan were never Kurds, and spoke a Jewish version of neo-Aramaic, lishna didan prior to their mass aliyah.
        To the extent that Mizrahim are closer to Arabs than they are to European Jews, the less sophisticated elements among us announce a frustrated impatience with what they see as Ashkenazi naivete and are fond of saying that if they were fully in control of the state they would teach the Palestinian Arabs a good lesson,because Mizrahim understand Arabs much better after having lived among them for so long. I don’t like to make essentialist generalizations about the Arab mentality, but I’ve my “Arab Jewish” (snicker) relatives express these sentiments and been told I take after the Ashkenazi side on account of my dovish tendencies. Are these the good habits you’re talking about?

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        February 11, 2014, 5:21 pm

        Walid says:
        February 11, 2014 at 6:45 am
        [quoting Mahane Yehuda]
        “I agree with you that the relations between Ashknazi Jews and Mizrahi Jews were not always well and I very familiar with it. But, all your stories are from the 50′s -60′s. ”

        Of course, Mahane, nobody ever said that today it’s still like it was in the first horrible of days of Israel’s unwelcoming ways. I was just refuting the assertion made here that relations between the 2 groups were always very amicable, which of course proved to be a load of bullshi.

        There was nothing for you to refute, because nobody ever made the assertion that that relations between the two groups were “always very amicable.” Heck, there’s always been inter-Ashkenazi tensions (Yekkes, Litvaks, Galitzianers, Hassidim, Mitnjagdim going at each other) the same for internal Mizrahi divisions (Jews with roots from Halab look down on the Shamis in Syria, Yemenite Jews are also divided into Baladis and Shamis and feud among each other, everybody mocks the Kurdim as blockheads–no offense Mahane if you are reading this–not everybody can
        be a Sefaradi Tahor/Halabi/Hungarian roots!–;-))
        None of this belies the fact that Jews see themselves as constituting one people and have for much of our history, long before the emergence of modern political Zionism and the rebirth of Israel as a state.

        your occasional notes in excellent Arabic shows what’s there lurking in your genes. Likewise, I’d feel the same towards you with your roots to Kurdistan al-Iraq than towards an American or a Frenchman; that too is in my genes

        People generally acquire language because they have been exposed to it in their youth through family or had excellent teachers and/or persevered in their studies of it, not because it’s “in their genes”. Despite being descended from generations of Arabic, Ladino, Yiddish and Hungarian I can barely speak a full sentence in any of those languages. Without knowing MahaneYehuda I conjecture that if he knows excellent Arabic, it’s because he studied hard (if he’s an Israeli of Kurdish Jewish descent, his parents or grandparents probably spoke “Lishan Didan”, the Jewish version of neo-Aramaic which is nearly dead) or because he was exposed to ARabic during his youth by Arabic-speaking friends or acquaintances. It”s not because of any “Arab gene”. I know many Ashkenazim who speak flawless Arabic , fusHa and ‘amiyyeh. Are you serious about an “Arab gene” that magically bestows linguistic ability? Why can’t the New York-reared 2nd and 3rd gen. Chinese Americans I grew up with speak Chinese well? Was there a defect in their Chinese genes?

        If Arabs feel such a warmth towards each other because of their alleged shared genes, even extending to their fellow “Jewish Arabs” why are they constantly slaughtering each other? Why are your “Jewish Arabs” in Israel marrying at a rate of nearly 50% the Ashkenazim who they supposedly have nothing in common with resulting in such handsome creatures such as yours truly?

      • rightcoaster
        rightcoaster
        February 11, 2014, 9:15 pm

        Bravo!

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        February 9, 2014, 9:16 am

        Inanna says:
        February 8, 2014 at 8:40 pm Remember these Jews lived with Arabs as Arabs for centuries, had the same culture and were integrated into the Arab community in the same way other non-Muslim minorities were.

        Not quite. Certainly, there have been ups and downs in the history of Jews in Arab (and other Middle Eastern) societies, with periods of relative tolerance and periods of persecution. Certainly, on the whole, for much of the past millenium, Jews fared better under Muslim (Arab and non-Arab) rule than under Christian rule. Nevertheless, under shari’ah law, Jews were still subject to the dhimma code, which did not put them on an equal footing with Muslims. Depending on which country they lived in and during which time period, they were subjected to oppressive measures and forced conversions too. As for living “with Arabs as Arabs”, for much of their history in Arab countries (by choice as much as by coercion) lived in the Harat al yahud or the mellah–just as their Ashkenazi brethren lived in a Judengasse or European ghettoes for the same reason. Jews in Arab countries also traditionally spoke their own, Jewish dialects of Arabic, written in Hebrew and with an admixture of Hebraic vocabulary–analogous to Yiddish or Ladino. For example, Baghdadi Jews spoke their own distinct variety of Arabic and only in the early 20th century did most of them start to abandon it.

        denigrate where they came from and the people they had lived among and to become even more Israeli than the Israelis.

        Mizrahi Jews can’t become “more Israeli than the Israelis” because we are Israeli.

      • Walid
        Walid
        February 9, 2014, 5:09 pm

        “Mizrahi Jews can’t become “more Israeli than the Israelis” because we are Israeli.”

        Intellectual Mizrahi Jews from Iraq once remarked that they were more Arab than the Arabs. You are missing a lot of connecting dots about your roots, Mikhael.

      • gamal
        gamal
        February 9, 2014, 5:12 pm

        Recalling the great national poet

        “He quotes Bialik‟s cry, “I hate the Arabs, because they remind me of the Mizrahim” ”

        http://www.academia.edu/3552232/Mizrahi_Representations_in_Contemporary_Israeli_Memoir

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        February 10, 2014, 4:26 pm

        Walid says:
        February 9, 2014 at 5:09 pm

        “Mizrahi Jews can’t become “more Israeli than the Israelis” because we are Israeli.”

        Intellectual Mizrahi Jews from Iraq once remarked that they were more Arab than the Arabs. You are missing a lot of connecting dots about your roots, Mikhael.

        Most of the minority of anti-Zionist Mizrahim tend to be of Iraqi-Jewish roots (e.g., Yehuda Shenhav, Sami Mikhael, Ella Shohat), however, even they are not a representative sample of most Jews of Iraqi/Babylonian heritage. Ask the avreage Israelis with family roots in Iraq if they knowwho these people are and you’ll get blank stares.

        Analogous to their fellow Jews in Germany in the 19th/20th century who thought that assimilation was the key to acceptance and would end centrues of Jewhatred, some Iraqi Jews thought an embrace of 20th century Arabism would endear them to their non-Jewish countrymen. (Although more secular Iraqi Jews were drawn to Communism than pan-Arab nationalism.) They were disabused of this fantasy by farhouds, repression and dispossession. Most Israeli Jews of Iraqi-Jewish heritage, like most other Mizrahim in Israel, fully identify with Zionism.

        I’m not missing anything about my roots. I am proud of my Jewish heritage on both sides of my family–my mother’s family lived in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire (present-day Slovakia) and she arrived in Israel after WW2. Her ancestors changed their language from Yiddish to German in the mid-19th century and later switched over to Hungarian and became Magyar patriots, even adopting Hungarian names. It doesn’t make me a “Jewish Hungarian” who has been cut off from his Hungarian roots, and I am not a “Jewish Arab” who has been cut off from his roots. I was born in the States to Israeli parents, I was raised in American consumer culture (albeit in a Hebrew-speaking home). Despite Israeli parents and the fact that my father is from a family that lived in Israel/Palestine for generations (his Sephardic ancestors came from Spain in the 1500s and settled in Galilee, his great grandfather moved from Alleppo to Jerusalem in the 1870s) my American birth and upbringing forever mark me as “American” in Israel. So what? People reflect the majority culture they are raised in. Jews in Arab countries were influenced by Arabic culture, Jews in Europe absorbed European culture, Jews in America absorb American culture. It doesn’t mean we aren’t one people.

      • Walid
        Walid
        February 11, 2014, 6:34 am

        “… I am proud of my Jewish heritage on both sides of my family–my mother’s family lived in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire (present-day Slovakia) and she arrived in Israel after WW2. ”

        Sorry, Mikhael, I mistook you for one with roots to the Mizrahi good-guys from Iraq. Great people whether Arabs or Jews, no matter what Ben Gurion and his ruffians thought of them.

      • rightcoaster
        rightcoaster
        February 9, 2014, 10:58 pm

        “…Remember these Jews lived with Arabs as Arabs for centuries, had the same culture and were integrated into the Arab community in the same way other non-Muslim minorities were. …”

        Not such a cheery coexistence, Inanna, as you would wish. The Jews did not live as Arabs, but as Jews, dhimmi, second-class by law. Today I was looking at some possible travel destinations in Morocco, and came across this about the anti-Jewish pogroms in 1912 in the mellah of Meknes. http://www.loebtree.com/meknes.html. “…It was walled and locked at night, for in Nissan 1911 the Mellah was attack[ed], and was under s[ie]ge for 3 months until the intervention of the French. …The signing of the Protectorate Treaty with France on 30 March 1912 sparked a revolt of tribal [A]rabs. The Sultan was under s[ie]ge at his palace in Fez. The small French garrison on site could barely defend itself while awaiting reinforcements.

        On April 17, the populace changed its objective and attacked the Mellah. The Mellah’s gates yielded to attacks by bullets and axes, and the Mellah was pillaged by the tribesmen. The French had previously confiscated the weapons of the [J]ews following smuggling accusations. Fortunately, the [J]ews managed to escaped through an unwatched gate and seek refuge in the royal palace. They remained there with virtually nothing to eat until April 28 when the French reinforcements arrived and liberated the Mellah. Many homes had been burned. About 150 Jews died and many were injured. ”

        This is not unique, but all too typical. 1911 and 1912 both long predated Israel, even the Balfour Declaration. There’s a reason the mellahs of Morocco were located close to the seat of government, it was for protection. The gates of mellahs were sealed at night, not to keep the Jews in, but for their protection.

      • gamal
        gamal
        February 10, 2014, 1:32 pm

        “The gates of mellahs were sealed at night, not to keep the Jews in, but for their protection”

        Do Israeli’s lock their doors? Do you think any propertied people in Morocco didnt lock themselves in at night. Perhaps check out Fatima Mernissi autobiographical works.

        “In 1907, the French found a pretext for full-scale invasion of Morocco when a few Europeans in Marrakesh and Casablanca were killed. After 3,000 French troops occupied Casablanca, the mellah was pillaged.

        From 1907-1912, French and Spanish soldiers took control of increasingly large areas of the country. The French gained effective control over Morocco with the signing of the Treaty of Fez in 1912, establishing the majority of Morocco as a French protectorate. Spain was given control of Northwest Morocco and in 1923 the city of Tangier became an international zone.

        In August 1941, the Vichy Government of France enacted laws that discriminated against Moroccan Jews. It set quotas on the number of Jewish doctors and lawyers, ejected students from French schools and forced many Jews living in the European quarters to move to the mellahs.

        The Moroccan Sultan, Mohammed V, told Jewish leaders that in his opinion Vichy laws singling out the Jews were inconsistent with Moroccan law. He believed that Jews should be treated equally with Muslims. He emphasized that the property and lives of the Jews remained under his protection. Due to his strong stance, Vichy administrators did not implement the discriminatory laws and regulations energetically.”

        http://www.projetaladin.org/holocaust/en/muslims-and-jews/muslims-and-jews-in-history/history-of-the-jews-in-morocco.html

      • rightcoaster
        rightcoaster
        February 10, 2014, 7:24 pm

        I think I get your drift, Gamal: it was all the fault of the French or of the Jews:
        RC: “The gates of mellahs were sealed at night, not to keep the Jews in, but for their protection”

        GAM: Do Israeli’s lock their doors? Do you think any propertied people in Morocco didnt lock themselves in at night.

        RC: What does this have to do with anything? These are not doors, Gamal, I’m talking about the gates of the mellah. The entire quarter was locked up to prevent the terrorists of that era from pillaging and murdering. Are today’s terrorists tamer, more benign that they should be allowed inside the mellah?

        GAM: “In 1907, the French found a pretext for full-scale invasion of Morocco when a few Europeans in Marrakesh and Casablanca were killed. After 3,000 French troops occupied Casablanca, the mellah was pillaged.

        RC: Are you saying that the FRENCH pillaged the mellah of Casablanca in 1907? Who massacred the Jews of Fez in 1912? Again the French? See next about Fez, same time:

        ” Bay Of Plenty Times, Volume XL, Issue 5849, 23 August 1912, Page 3

        IN MOROCCO Terrible Sufferings of the Jews

        The Jews appear to have suffered exceptionally in Fez during the recent trouble there. The correspondent of a French paper wired recently as follows from…

        Fez is quiet. French troops hold the town, and several mutineers have already been shot, but the situation in the neighbourhood does not look promising all the same. The descriptions of the fate of the Jews in Fez are gruesome. Their quarter, in which 12,000 inhabitants lived, has been entirely laid waste, and not a soul is left. Not a house has been spared, not a stick of furniture but what has been smashed or burned.
        The wretched people sought refuge in the Palace of the Sultan, who had one of its gates opened to let them in. They are now huddled together, half starving. Hundreds were massacred, but there is not food or even bread enough to go round among survivors. Scores of women and children have found no other refuge but in the Sultan’s menagerie…
        From another correspondent in Tangier: Nearly all the native troops under French officers in the Gharb district have deserted. The news of the massacre of Frenchmen at Fez has been received with great satisfaction by the tribes, and a feeling of unrest prevails all over the country between Tangier and Fez.
        A friend writes from Fez that the acts of cruelty committed by the frantic mob in the Jewish quarter were simply horrible. Children had their heads chopped off in their parents’ presence, while others were tortured to death in ways too awful to describe. Over 200 bodies have been buried, and there are a good tally still missing.
        http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=BOPT19120823.2.5

        The problem, Gamal, is that you and the naive and silly romantics here think that there was no basis for Zionism, that the Arabs and Jews have sung kumbaya together for centuries,and that is beyond nonsense, it is beyond fantasy, it is outright flasehood, deliberate.

        You expect the Jews of Israel, many of whom are quite recently removed from the Arab anti-Jew pogroms of the 20th C (not to mention those of earlier centuries) to ignore the bloody and bloodthirsty realities of their existence under Arab (as in Christendom) domination, subjugation, humiliation, and destruction. To embrace the Palestinian Arabs many of whom and whose governments are sworn equally to inflict the same or worse.

        Where do you get the khutzpah to consider all Jews so stupid, so credulous? Annie Robbins is a prominent part of this website. She has children. Were she an Israeli Jew, to what mechanism would she entrust their safety for the next 50 years or so? If she were to look around her and see chaos, murder, de-civilization, and un-civilization — would she trust the safety of her kids and of their kids, to a PA? To a Hamas? When Morocco was not safe exactly 100 years ago?

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        February 10, 2014, 7:32 pm

        “Jews in Arab countries were influenced by Arabic culture, Jews in Europe absorbed European culture, Jews in America absorb American culture. It doesn’t mean we aren’t one people.”

        Yes it does. How can such culturally and linguistically different groups be “one people” in any normal sense?

      • rightcoaster
        rightcoaster
        February 11, 2014, 9:26 pm

        RoHa, you’re way off-base. Americans of Italian descent think of themselves as Italian, as well as American, and retain as little Italian as 3rd-gen Jews retain Yiddish or Ladino. Polish-Americans who have never been anywhere near Poland are Polish to themselves. Ditto the Slovak-descended (I know some of them, too). Not all, surely, but some, even many.

        Of course, everybody is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.

        While I can’t speak with “authority” for elsewhere, the USA is probably fairly typical as a melting pot in some ways, but it’s not a homogenizer. On a business trip to Venezuela I was struck by the number of Italian surnames I encountered. It was birds of a feather ethnic solidarity, 50 years after their fathers and grandfathers had arrived, and despite speaking Spanish their ethnic ties extended to their preferential partners in Europe: Italian companies.

        The “one people” despite differences is very real, very true among Jews. And ex-pat Indians, ex-pat Chinese, and I think just about everybody else.

      • American
        American
        February 9, 2014, 3:03 pm

        ”Spain gives RoR to Jews (expelled in 1492):
        ‘The bill proposes to allow dual nationality, enabling people who can prove Sephardic ancestry to also retain their other citizenships.””>>>

        Good lord!..does this reach back 7 centuries ago not show us what absurd and Orwellian heights the cult of Jewish victimhood has ascended to?
        If this keeps on it will only recreate more 1290, 1492, 1640, 1930…..huge, huge mistake. They should stop now.

      • Whizdom
        Whizdom
        February 9, 2014, 3:22 pm

        This is playing big in Israel as 1000’s of Sephardi are looking into this, shocking to the Ashkenazi elite who couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to leave the paradise they have created.

      • Walid
        Walid
        February 9, 2014, 5:14 pm

        They yanked them out of their Arab countries because they urgently needed manual labour to work the farms vacated by the expelled Palestinians and now they may have to start looking for replacement help. Maybe they should postpone expelling those 50,000 Africans until the picture with Spain clears up.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        February 9, 2014, 3:32 pm

        There has been a rather amusing series in Haaretz (I’m not much good at providing links) called ‘Blood is fiction’, in which one of their journalists attempts to reclaim his Spanish nationality, finding that the whole process means almost nothing.

      • puppies
        puppies
        February 9, 2014, 6:28 pm

        @Walid – Only a tiny number of the Spanish Jews (=Sefardi) resided in Arab countries, as their distribution essentially covered the Ottoman empire plus some of the presence in Morocco.

        As for Sefardis having a right to Spanish citizenship, that’s an old one. Any of them could gain the citizenship during the last at least 40 years or so.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        February 11, 2014, 11:37 am

        I’m talking to myself (some would say that’s typical) because of a shortage of reply buttons down the thread.
        I think that the Haaretz ‘Blood is fiction’ story is very useful and shows us how this Spanish action, or publicity stunt, will end in tears or bitter laughter or in nothing much. If Spanish citizenship is to be offered to anyone with even one Sephardic ancestor, a possibility discussed in the Haaretz series, then everyone holding an Israeli passport is a very plausible candidate. then almost everyone who is regarded as Jewish and then hordes of people who are not. (If I’m descended from maybe one Sephardic Jew one of whose earlier descendants moved from Amsterdam to London in Good King Charles’ golden days I’d not be surprised.) If a certain level of Sephardic blood is required then there will be horrible parody of the Nazi demand for documents proving Aryan descent since a certain date or else the sort of pseudo-medical tests that are satirised in some accounts of Occupied France. If the whole thing is rapidly forgotten there’d be no surprise either. If the more general point that though ancestry is very much an objective reality ‘blood’ is still fiction came to be believed, that would be good.

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        February 11, 2014, 1:40 pm

        MHughes–

        I saw it in The Forward.

        http://forward.com/articles/191376/can-sephardic-jews-go-home-again–years-after/

        and I’m reposting the link.

        It’s a PR stunt by Spain.

        A second passport can be useful for Israelis who want to work and travel in EU countries for as stretch, but few Israelis will go to Spain permanently, especially now. Their economy is a mess compared to Israel’s.

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        February 10, 2014, 4:32 pm

        American says:
        February 9, 2014 at 3:03 pm

        ”Spain gives RoR to Jews (expelled in 1492):
        ‘The bill proposes to allow dual nationality, enabling people who can prove Sephardic ancestry to also retain their other citizenships.””>>>

        Good lord!..does this reach back 7 centuries ago not show us what absurd and Orwellian heights the cult of Jewish victimhood has ascended to?
        If this keeps on it will only recreate more 1290, 1492, 1640, 1930…..huge, huge mistake. They should stop now.

        You’re confused. There is no more Jewish victimhood in this day and age. We live as a free nation in our own country; how can we be victims? This is due to the success of Zionism. There are those who wish to see us as victims, however, and dispossess us of our home and country.

        This recent legislation is nothing but a public relations move by Spain, there are no and will be no legions of descendants of the 1492 Expulsion banging down Spain’s doors for entry. Spain’s economy is in a shambles and Sephardic Jews live in prosperity in Israel, the US, Latin America and elsewhere (including other EU nations with better economies than Spain’s).

        Read this slightly comic article about one Sephardic journalist’s quixotic quest to get a Spanish passport and you see it’s just an empty gesture.

        http://forward.com/articles/191376/can-sephardic-jews-go-home-again–years-after/

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        February 10, 2014, 4:52 pm

        There is no more Jewish victimhood in this day and age.

        I guess Misha Arens didn’t get the memo:

        But there is one word that when applied to a potential victim may not itself break any bones but may well be a prelude to stones and to broken bones, broken skulls, shots in the head, gas chambers and extermination. That word is delegitimization. It is something that Jews throughout the ages have learned only too well and that their enemies have learned to use with lethal effect. It is a declaration of open season against the delegitimized victim.

        For centuries Jews have been delegitimized as the killers of Jesus, and therefore deserving of punishment for the crime of deicide. As such they were not entitled to the protection the law provided for others. Such delegitimization brought about expulsions and pogroms. The first step taken by Hitler’s Germany in its campaign against the Jews of Germany was to delegitimize them, by disenfranchising them, discharging them from state and academic positions and prohibiting them from practicing their professions. After that came seizure of property, boycotts and other economic sanctions, expulsions, ghettos, mass executions and gas chambers.

        The Boycott, Disinvestment, Sanctions campaign against Israel is a blatant attempt to delegitimize the Jewish state. The word delegitimization is sanctimoniously omitted from the initials of BDS, but it is undeniably the foundation and the ultimate aim of this campaign.

        http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.573266

        A “free nation in its own country” sucks it up and deal with threats as they are and as they come, instead of invoking pogroms and gas chambers just because a couple of pension funds and a church or two have decided to change their investment portfolios.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        February 12, 2014, 9:55 pm

        “Americans of Italian descent think of themselves as Italian, as well as American, and retain as little Italian as 3rd-gen Jews retain Yiddish or Ladino. Polish-Americans who have never been anywhere near Poland are Polish to themselves.”

        Yep. As I have said before, being damned silly is not a minority sport. It’s widespread.

        But are you saying that if a bunch of disparate people think of themselves as “one people”, then they are “one people” in the normal sense?

        If so, what happened to all the stuff about common culture, common language, and so forth, that was supposed to be the criterion for “peoplehood”?

    • Mikhael
      Mikhael
      February 9, 2014, 8:56 am

      George Smith says:
      February 8, 2014 at 4:59 pm
      Mizrahi citizens, heavily recruited by Zionist agents to the new country

      You’re insulting Israelis of Mizrahi descent by insinuating that we are Zionists solely because we were “recruited,” as if we have no volition or agency of our own. It didn’t take too much persuasion from Zionists, because Mizrahim have always been instinctually Zionist, but atrocities like the 1941 Baghdad farhoud and the 2nd-class dhimmi status their ancestors endured for centuries didn’t hurt.

      Bear in mind also that not only did Jewish olim from the Middle East and North Afrca support Zionism, but also those who had lived in pre-state Eretz Yisrael (those with deep roots in the Old Yishuv, like my father’s family, as well as those who arrived in the late 19th/early 20th centuries) were part of the Jewish national renewal. There was high Mizrahi Jewish participation in the underground movements (and most of them tended to affiliate with Etzel, rather than Haganah).

      repudiated the natural sympathy they should feel for their Palestinian brethren.

      You don’t get it. The natural instinct of Israelis of Mizrahi-Jewish heritage is to identify with their Israeli-Jewish brethren (“sisteren” too). Often, the brief of many Mizrahim against left-wing Ashkenazim is that the latter are too concerned with the plight of Palestinian Arabs.

      While it’s true that Ms. Sabah is a shrill child who shouldn’t be honored by the Knesset, Mizrahim have good reason to be Zionist.

      • smithgp
        smithgp
        February 9, 2014, 12:46 pm

        Mikhael:

        1. You’re not denying Arab Jews were heavily recruited by Zionist agents, are you? Conversely, I’m not in the least denying that many Arab Jews emigrated to Israel willingly, even when (as was frequently the case) it meant giving up all their possessions.

        2. Doesn’t your response to my distress that Arab Jews repudiated their natural sympathy for Palestinian Arabs make my point? Of course, and entirely expectedly, the Arab olim identified with other Israeli Jews. The Mizrahim indeed had good reason to be “Zionist,” in the sense of fully embracing their new country; and the same applies to their descendants. But does it follow that they should abandon their natural sympathy with Palestinian Arabs. Wouldn’t one expect exactly the reverse? Our own immigrant communities in the US don’t generally become enemies of the ethnicities of their origin. That Arab olim have felt compelled do just that is a pathology of ethnocratic states. That at least is the argument I’m putting forth here.

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        February 11, 2014, 5:59 am

        Doesn’t your response to my distress that Arab Jews repudiated their natural sympathy for Palestinian Arabs make my point? …But does it follow that they should abandon their natural sympathy with Palestinian Arabs.

        No, my response should highlight your cluelessness and confusion. The “natural sympathy” Mizrahi Jews have is for their fellow Jews, not the Palestinian Arabs or any other Arabs who have attacked them over the years. When my father’s late Uncle Nissim was slashed in the 1929 Jerusalem riots by an Arab who was part of a mob chanting “filastin baladna wa al yahud kalabna” (Palestine is our land and the Jews are our dogs) , why would you suspect that his “natural sympathies” would lie with such fine people? Do you think the ’29 Arab rioters distinguished between so-called “Jewish Arabs” and other Jews? Fortunately, my great uncle survived, lived into his late 80s and became a great-grandfather several times over (I had the fortune to meet him many times on family visits to Israel as a kid and I vividly remember the scars on his face and forearms that he used to ward off the attack). Many other Jews in 1929 were not so lucky as he was, and many of the victims were Mizrahi Jews.

        He and his brothers and children, descendants of a veteran Mizrahi Jewish family went on to participate in the underground struggle against the British as part of Etsel and Hagana (there was a bitter rift in the family because one brother fought in Hagana rather than Etsel), helping bring more Jews in from Syria and Europe and they all enlisted in the nascent IDF as well. Their story is the story of almost all the Mizrahi Jews who lived in Israel before the founding of the state and afterwards. If anything, Jewish opposition to Zionism has historically always been concentrated among Ashkenazim, whether for leftist political reasons or for arcane theological reasons. The few Mizrahi anti/post-Zionists that are constantly cited here on Mondoweiss are a fringe minority of elitist academics.

    • Mikhael
      Mikhael
      February 9, 2014, 9:35 am

      George Smith says:
      February 8, 2014 at 4:59 pm
      Look at Sapir Sabah’s pretty face. If she’s not of Mizrahi (Middle Eastern Jewish) parentage, my eyes are deceiving me.

      She is indeed of Sefaradi/Mizrahi Jewish heritage, but another facile stereotype you’re playing with is the notion that you can tell who is Mizrahi/Sefaradi/Mashriqi/Mahgrebi Jewish vs. who is Ashkenazi by their facial features alone. Often Ashkenazi are thought to be Mizrahim and light-featured Mizrahi Jews and Arabs are assumed to be Ashkenazim.

      As for her “pretty face,” at the risk of being a male chauvinist “lookist,” I wouldn’t say she is particularly attractive. There are many prettier girls in Israel, whether Mizrahi , Ashkenazi, Ethiopian or Arab than Ms. Sabah. I don’t my opining on this matter will affect her self-esteem though, because I doubt she will ever read this and she seems pretty confident in herself.

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        February 9, 2014, 10:20 am

        She is an Arab whose ancestors converted to Judaism. I think that is hilarious.

        Her community (Mizrahi) are all Arabs who hate other Arabs (but non-Jewish) to out-Zionist White Jews.

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        February 11, 2014, 6:24 am

        Cliff says:
        February 9, 2014 at 10:20 am
        She is an Arab whose ancestors converted to Judaism. I think that is hilarious.

        Her community (Mizrahi) are all Arabs who hate other Arabs (but non-Jewish) to out-Zionist White Jews.

        I think it’s hilarious that you think being Arab and being white are incompatible, and you’re a sad specimen if you find the idea of anyone converting to Judaism so ludicrous. Jews do have some degree of descent from the host populations that their ancestors lived among throughout the Diaspora. It would be unnatural to expect that they remained completely genetically isolated from their non-Jewish neighbors over 2,000 years, so yes, prior to the establishment of Islam as a state religion in Arab lands (after which conversion to Judaism was unlawful upon pain of death), there were Arabs in Arabia (Yemen, Himyar) who accepted Judaism and intermarried with the Jews who lived among them.

        That said, an Israeli Jew of Yemenite-Jewish heritage with some remote pre-Islamic ancestor who accepted Judaism is not an Arab. You might as well argue that the many Native Americans and African-Americans with Celtic or Northern European ancestors are in essence Scottish or English.

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        February 11, 2014, 10:50 am

        I think it’s hilarious that you think being Arab and being white are incompatible, and you’re a sad specimen if you find the idea of anyone converting to Judaism so ludicrous.

        I didn’t say Judaism was hilarious or converting to Judaism was hilarious. I said it’s hilarious that a racist Arab Jew is racist against Arabs. Her ancestors did not spontaneously become Jewish.

        They did not arise from Jewish primordial ooze. They were Arabs and converted to Judaism – a religion, nothing more/nothing less.

        That said, an Israeli Jew of Yemenite-Jewish heritage with some remote pre-Islamic ancestor who accepted Judaism is not an Arab. You might as well argue that the many Native Americans and African-Americans with Celtic or Northern European ancestors are in essence Scottish or English.

        You’re an Arab Jew. I think you should stop hating that part of yourself.

        Native Americans aren’t European. They are Native Americans.

        African-Americans aren’t European, they are African-American.

        An Arab Jew is an Arab who is Jewish. Judaism is a religion.

        A Palestinian Christian who’s an Arab doesn’t suddenly become a part of the Christian race upon conversion. There is no Christian race or ethnic group. There are all kinds of Christians.

        There are all kinds of Jews. Chinese Jews. Indian Jews. All these peoples are not uniquely Jewish. Neither are you.

        It’s just your warped mentality that makes you think you’re a different species of human being.

        ‘I find it hilarious’ that you call me a Nazi but it’s you delusionally insisting that you’re not an Arab or any Mizrahi of Arab descent is not an Arab. You must think you belong to a Jewish race. THAT is hilarious.

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        February 11, 2014, 7:53 am

        Cliff says:
        February 9, 2014 at 10:20 am
        Her community (Mizrahi) are all Arabs who hate other Arabs (but non-Jewish) to out-Zionist White Jews.

        So many wrong thingssin one sentence . (1) She is an Arab Jews whose ancestors formerly lived in Arab countries do not by and large regard themselves as Arabs nor were they historically so regarded by the Arabs among whom they lived. The bestowing of “Arabness” upon them is a new tactic and a pathetic attempt to sow disunity among Israeli Jews, who as of 2014, are increasingly intermingled with each other. Nearly half of Israeli Jews come from mixed Mizrahi/Sefaradi/Ashkenazi backgrounds, like yours truly. (2) (Mizrahi) are all Arabs Leaving aside the falsehood that Jews from Arab countries are essentially Arabs, the “Mizrahi” label also includes Jews from non-Arab countries like Iran, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, and India who come from non-Arabic-speaking backgrounds. (3) who hate other Arabs (but non-Jewish) Israeli Jews of Mizrahi background don’t by and large “hate” Arabs. Taking pride in one’s Jewish heritage and love of Israel are not the same as hating Arabs.
        (4) “ “White” Jews. Since when is a Jew of Syrian or Iraqi roots automatically non-white? My late father was of Syrian-Jewish heritage and had red hair, fair skin and freckles and green eyes, so did most of his his siblings. Many Muslims and Christians from the Levant share the same features. In all the time our family lived in the US, he was never perceived as anything other than white. I suppose a racist of the white nationalist variety would automatically exclude any Arab (or Jew, whether Mizrahi, Sefaradi or Ashkenazi) from “whiteness” and it looks like you align yourself with that camp from your comment.

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        February 11, 2014, 10:40 am

        mik said:

        So many wrong thingssin one sentence . (1) She is an Arab Jews whose ancestors formerly lived in Arab countries do not by and large regard themselves as Arabs nor were they historically so regarded by the Arabs among whom they lived. The bestowing of “Arabness” upon them is a new tactic and a pathetic attempt to sow disunity among Israeli Jews, who as of 2014, are increasingly intermingled with each other. Nearly half of Israeli Jews come from mixed Mizrahi/Sefaradi/Ashkenazi backgrounds, like yours truly. (2) (Mizrahi) are all Arabs Leaving aside the falsehood that Jews from Arab countries are essentially Arabs, the “Mizrahi” label also includes Jews from non-Arab countries like Iran, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, and India who come from non-Arabic-speaking backgrounds. (3) who hate other Arabs (but non-Jewish) Israeli Jews of Mizrahi background don’t by and large “hate” Arabs. Taking pride in one’s Jewish heritage and love of Israel are not the same as hating Arabs.

        It doesn’t matter what she or other Arab Jews regard themselves as.

        They are Arabs. Converting to Judaism does not change their DNA.

        It also doesn’t matter that other Arabs regarded them as Jews first and foremost. Mizrahi Jews are Arabs. They converted to Judaism because Judaism is a religion. There is no such thing as Jewish DNA.

        There’s no need to ‘sow disunity’ among Israeli Jews. Israeli Jews find plenty of those reasons themselves in their contest to out-fascist themselves.

        If an Indian Jew is regarded as Mizrahi that is fine, it doesn’t change the fact that that Jews in particular is Indian, whose ancestors converted somewhere along the lines.

        Taking pride in Jewish ‘heritage’ in the context of Zionism, clearly means hating non-Jews. Zionism is hate. This little Zionist gnome and her buddies on FB are hateful, because the Israeli Jewish community is fanatically nationalistic and hatred of non-Jews is the norm.

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        February 11, 2014, 10:46 am

        “White” Jews. Since when is a Jew of Syrian or Iraqi roots automatically non-white? My late father was of Syrian-Jewish heritage and had red hair, fair skin and freckles and green eyes, so did most of his his siblings. Many Muslims and Christians from the Levant share the same features. In all the time our family lived in the US, he was never perceived as anything other than white. I suppose a racist of the white nationalist variety would automatically exclude any Arab (or Jew, whether Mizrahi, Sefaradi or Ashkenazi) from “whiteness” and it looks like you align yourself with that camp from your comment.

        Being White means being European. That’s what pretty much everyone on the planet regards ‘White’ as.

        That’s what I meant. Since when is anyone who uses the term ‘White’, automatically a Nazi (which is what you slippery sloped claimed I am)?

        Since when would your Arab-Jewish father ever be regarded as White?

        I’ve seen Palestinians with those same characteristics. My mom looks white too (we’re Indian).

        I think most people here understood my meaning, but you really went full-retard and split hairs just to be a dick.

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        February 11, 2014, 2:35 pm

        Cliff says:
        February 11, 2014 at 10:50 am

        I said it’s hilarious that a racist Arab Jew is racist against Arabs. Her ancestors did not spontaneously become Jewish.

        What makes her an “Arab Jew”? The fact that some of her ancestors used to live in an Arab country and spoke a Jewish dialect of Arabic? To be an Arab one must (A) speak Arabic (most young Israeli Jews whose parents or grandparents lived in Arabic-speaking countries do not speak Arabic and (B) idnetify with the Arab nation and culture. Clearly this young woman does not match these criteria. Moreover, her ,i>Jewish ancestors were not accepted and integrated into the Arab-Muslim society they used to live in. She is not an Arab.

        They did not arise from Jewish primordial ooze. They were Arabs and converted to Judaism – a religion, nothing more/nothing less.

        There were, in what is now Yemen, prior to the establishment of Islam as a state religion. Those pre-Islamic converts to Judaism (a religion), in so doing, joined the Jewish nation and married with Jews who had migrated into Yemen.

        Judaism – a religion, nothing more/nothing less.

        There is a modern English word called “Judaism” which refers to the ancestral; religious beliefs and practices of the Jews, an ancient people that have traditionally practiced different variants of that religion for millenia. Non-believing, non-practising agnostic Jews like me who no longer believe in God or the Torah are just as much Jews as people who practice and believe in the dogmas of what is now called “Judaism” in the English language.

        You’re an Arab Jew. I think you should stop hating that part of yourself.

        I’m very proud of my ancestors who preserved their Jewish national and cultural identity during centuries of living under Arab and Muslim rule, just as I am proud of my Ashkenazi and Sefaradi ancestors who lived under Chritsian rule in Europe and preserved their Jewish identity as well.

        Native Americans aren’t European. They are Native Americans.

        African-Americans aren’t European, they are African-American.

        Most of them have European descent as well to some degree. If they choose to ignore it and focus on their African or indigenous American roots and culture, that is their right to do so. Some Jews from Arab countries (Yemenite Jews, primarily) are descended in part from the indigenous Arabic speaking people of the Arabian peninsula through the conversion of pre-Islamic Arab populations during the time of Dhu Nawas who mixed with Israelite Jewish populations thathad migarted to the Yemen. Other Jews from countries that were later conquered by Muslim Arabs, e.g., Moroccan Jews, are in part descended from Berber converts to Judaism, who in turn were later Arabized, and who also mixed with Israelite exiles into what later came to be known as the Maghreb. Iraqi Jews are primarily descended from exiles from the Land of Israel, prior to the Arab conquest of Mesopatamia, their ancestors spoke Aramaic. Levantine Jews (SYrians, Lebanese) as well are descended from populations that in previous centuries spoke Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic before those countries were Arabized, they were also augmented by large numbers of Sefaradi Jews from Spain who settled among them. All of these people are now being called “Arab Jews” (not by themselves, except for a small fringe) by Mondo-style fellow travelers who want to separate them from their co-nationals in Israel. But Mizrahim ain’t buying it.

        An Arab Jew is an Arab who is Jewish. Judaism is a religion.

        An Arab Jew is largely a fiction, see above. Judaism is indeed a religion, see above, but the Jews are a people. Being a jew is not contingent on believing in Judaism, the religion. Atheists and agnostics like me, who are of Jewish ancestry and identify with Jewish culture are fully Jews, despite having little patience for “Judaism” or any religious belief system.

        A Palestinian Christian who’s an Arab doesn’t suddenly become a part of the Christian race upon conversion. There is no Christian race or ethnic group. There are all kinds of Christians.

        That’s nice. But there is a Jewish nation and there is a Jewish civilization and there is a Jewish culture. There is not a Jewish “race,” just like there is no “Greek race,” or “Arab race. ” But there is a Greek nation, there is a Greek civilization, and there is an Arab nation and there is an Arab civilization.

        There are all kinds of Jews. Chinese Jews. Indian Jews. All these peoples are not uniquely Jewish. Neither are you.

        And all of the above have maintained their links and identity as part of a Jewish nation (Chinese Jews have nearly completely disappeared as a distinct group, but some remnants of the ancient Kaifeng community are reemerging now) through Diaspora and dispersion.

        It’s just your warped mentality that makes you think you’re a different species of human being.

        You’re the one who is warped if you see anything I wrote endorsing the view that I think I am sort of different species of human. Like many members of the human species, I am affiliated with a nation and a culture. National and cultural identity can be dual and overlap too. I have complete pride in my Mizrahi AND Ashknenazi ancestors who lived in lands of exile, none of it derives from their being “Arab” or “Hungarians”. These were societies that mistreated my people and I am proud they preserved their distinct Jewish national and cultural identity through adversity. However, I was born in the USA, a country that I admire and in whose culture I was raised. My Israeli-Jewish identity is not incompatible with my American identity and values.

        ‘I find it hilarious’ that you call me a Nazi

        I didn’t use the word Nazi at all. First time I typed it was just now. I said that your conflation of “White” with Jews who lived in Europe and denying that status to Mizrahi Jews (or Muslim or Christian Arabs for that matter) is the same kind of shit white nationalists believe in, although of course they would also deny that Ashkenazi Jews can be white as well.

        but it’s you delusionally insisting that you’re not an Arab or any Mizrahi of Arab descent is not an Arab.

        Again, for better or for worse, I don’t speak Arabic. I regret that I don’t, as it’s a useful language to know, similar to Hebrew, but it’s not as if it’s my cultural patrimony by right any more than Hungarian is, the language my other set of grandparents spoke. Both Arabic and Hungarian are languages that my ancestors on both sides had to know because they lived in countries where those languages dominated. As a Jew, however, only Hebrew is my national language, and I am glad to know if more or less fluently. But I speak neither Arabic nor Hungarian and I am not less in touch with any aspect of my Jewish identity for it, but as a Hebrew speaking Jew who lives much of the year in Israel, I am fully in touch with my heritage. Although it would be neat to know Arabic well (just as it would Hungarian–or Mongolian for that matter) neither language belongs to me. How can I be an Arab if I don’t even speak Arabic? What nonsense! It’s only slightly more useful for Israelis to know Arabic (whether Mizrahi or not) because we border Arabic-speaking countries. If Israel bordered Hungary, I would think Hungarian would be the more important language to know.

        You must think you belong to a Jewish race. THAT is hilarious.

        You must really be an idiot, because I did not invoke “race” even once. You seem to have the impression that there is an “Arab race”, though. Guess what? There isn’t. An Arab culture (with regional variations), yes. An Arab nation –debatable–but many believe there is. An Arab race? No. The same goes for Jewish culture and nationhood. It exists– independent of race and religion.

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        February 11, 2014, 3:52 pm

        Cliff says:
        February 11, 2014 at 10:40 am It doesn’t matter what she or other Arab Jews regard themselves as.
        They are Arabs. Converting to Judaism does not change their DNA.

        Being an Arab is not contingent on having a specific kind of DNA, and your stating so shows your preoccupation with racial theories. Arabness is a culture and some would say a nationality; it is not a biologically inherited trait. That said, the cradle of Arabic culture is in (not surprisingly) the Arabian pPeninsula, most people who identify as Arabs do not have roots in the Arabian Peninsula but are descended from other peoples who were conquered, colonized and Arabized.

        The only large Jewish community with roots in the Arabian Peninsula existing today is the Yemenite Jewish community, they are to some extent descended from pre-Islamic Arab converts.

        It also doesn’t matter that other Arabs regarded them as Jews first and foremost.

        Sure it does. They on the whole never identified with Arabness and were not accepted as Arabs. (Some tried to, in modern times, a minority.) They were not Arabs.

        Mizrahi Jews are Arabs.

        Some Mizrahi Jews lived in countries where Arabic became the dominant language through Arab colonization and conquest and adopted dialects of that language, just as their non-Jewish neighbors did. Other Mizrahi Jews, e.g.., those living in Iran, Uzbekistan, Georgia, India, Kurdistan, did not speak Jewish dialects of Arabic but rather Jewish dialects of Persian, Tat, or Georgian.

        They converted to Judaism because Judaism is a religion.

        Most of their ancestors lived in the ancient kingdoms of Judea and Israel and at one point practiced Canaanite religions, which became the Hebrew religion, and subsequently evolved into what we now know as Judaism in its various forms. Mizrahi Jews share this in common with their close kin, Ashkenazim. Both groups married with people of non-Jewish origins from the host populations who did convert to Judaism (during the periods before Xtianity and Islam became entrenched as state religions and repressive measures against Jews like conversions to Judaism were established).
        There is no such thing as Jewish DNA

        Right. Who said there is? There is no such thing as “Arab DNA”. either. No gene exists that codes for “Jewishness” or “Arabness.” Your comments suggest an unhealthy preoccupation with DNA and race. That said however, there are genetic markers that are shared by geographically distant Jewish populations (Ashkenazim, Sefaradim, Mizrahim) that show their shared ancestry and which do not show up in statistically significant proportions among non-Jews among whom Jews lived.

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        February 12, 2014, 3:30 am

        Cliff says:
        February 11, 2014 at 10:46 am
        Being White means being European. That’s what pretty much everyone on the planet regards ‘White’ as.

        Being “white” (which is an inexact cultural construct) means that one has identifiable physical features that are thought of as white and being regarded as white. It doesn’t mean being European or being of European descent. (Especially as Europe is home to many Europeans who are also non-whites.) Much of the Middle East is composed of indigenous white people of various ethnicities, Jews, Arabs, Assyrians, Kurds who are not of of European descent.

        That’s what I meant. Since when is anyone who uses the term ‘White’, automatically a Nazi (which is what you slippery sloped claimed I am)?

        Nope. You’re the one, who brought up the word “Nazi.” I have no reason to believe that you are a supporter of the German National Socialism, which is what the word Nazi refers to. Hence, I never used the word. You do say things that are in accord with white nationalist beliefs. White Nationalists have narrow definitions of who is white and who is not, and exclude from “whiteness” certain ethnic groups that are in large part composed of white people, such as Arabs and Jews (and lump Ashkenazi Jews whose ancestors lived in Europe in the “non-white” category as well). The only difference is that you seem to be reassigning Ashkenazi Jews as white while continuing to exclude all people of Arabic-speaking category to some non-white category no matter what theyir physignomy is.

        Since when would your Arab-Jewish father ever be regarded as White?

        My Israeli-Jewish father (who spoke Arabic badly but understood nearly everything as his parents used it primarily as a language to keep secrets from him and his siblings) would always have been regarded as white by anyone who looked at him. Of course, since he was not a racist, his “white” identity was not important to him. Of course, any white nationalist racist, upon learning of his background would consider him a non-white because he as a Jew, regardless if his background was Mizrahi or Sefaradi. (Just as they would consider my Ashkenazi mother non-white as well.) Of course, any white nationalist racist would consider any of the white indigenous white people of the Maghreb, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq (whether of Jewish ethnicity, Berber Arab ethnicity, Assyrian ethnicity or Kurdish ethnicity) to be non-white. Since we’ve established that you don’t hold those white nationalist principles in high regard then why are you so insistent that these peoples of the Middle East and North Africa cannot be white by definition?

        I’ve seen Palestinians with those same characteristics. My mom looks white too (we’re Indian).

        If you’ve seen such people, then you’ve seen white people. And if your mom looks white (despite being of partial Indian descent–I take it you are referring to indigenous American Indians)then she is also white. One can be white and Indian. They are not mutually exclusive. Many Arabs who have recently started identifying as members of a Palestinian nationality are indeed white. If they look white, then they’re white. “White” is not an ethnic group, “white” is not a nationality. Only white nationalists seem to think so. (And perhaps black nationalists too.) Oh, and you don;t think so, because we know you’re not a white nationalist. This seems to be a North American nuttiness, the idea that an Arab can intrinsically never be classified as white. In Latin America, which is home to many people of Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian descent, people of Arab background are generally considered to be white.
        One can be white, and one can be Arab. One can be white, and one can be Jewish.

      • smithgp
        smithgp
        February 9, 2014, 1:02 pm

        Mikhael again:

        1. It’s unfair to accuse me of playing with a sterotype. As a good American, I know very well that appearance is a very unsure guide to ethnicity. I advanced my conjecture about Sapir Sabah with a candid admission that I could be wrong.

        2. I offered that Sapir Sabah is pretty not only because that’s my opinion, but also to head off any idea that my opinions followed from a negative stereotype of Mizrahim. My reaction to her face was an immediate feeling of empathy, as is my reaction to most faces that I encounter for the first time, before any encounter with the attached character. And even after learning something about her, my reaction is not personal condemnation of her or her ethnicity, but the sadness that I’ve described in my response to your earlier comment above..

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        February 11, 2014, 6:02 am

        George–

        There are plenty of Ashkenazi of Eastern European descent that resemble her and plenty of light-feartured Mizrahim. (Plenty of light-skinned Arabs too.) Many Americans have this ludicrous and clueless notion that “whiteness” (whatever that means) and “Arabness” are mutually exclusive categories.

        Just look at Cliff’s moronic comment above.

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        February 11, 2014, 6:28 am

        As a good American, I know very well that appearance is a very unsure guide to ethnicity.

        The clue to this young Israeli Jew’s background would lie in her surname, not her physical appearance. The Arabic language name, Sabah, would indicate that at least one of her paternal ancestors lived in a country where Arabic was the dominant language at one point, someone offered that she might be Morroccan, but if you spell it “Sabagh” it could be Syrian or Lebanese Jewish as well.

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        February 11, 2014, 10:54 am

        Occam’s Razor.

        She’s probably Arab.

  12. ritzl
    ritzl
    February 8, 2014, 10:26 pm

    @Innana- Someone wrote a comment here saying, iirc, Israel is the most totalitarian society ever. Maybe not ever, but in searching for that comment (I couldn’t find it) there’s a lot of agreement around that. So not only, as you say, compensation to fit into a normal society, but compensation to fit into that kind of a stridently-enforced, singular mindset.

    The pressures must be extreme. At least unlike what most of us (“Westerners”) have every had to deal with.

  13. Accentitude
    Accentitude
    February 9, 2014, 6:35 am

    A great eye opening article by Mr. Glunts….until he decided to use racist terminology such as “the Jewish State” which only serves to further push Israel into right wing ultra nationalism at the expense of non-Jews.

    • American
      American
      February 9, 2014, 2:43 pm

      Perfectly appropiate to use “the Jewish State”….that is what Israel demands be used for itself , so you can hardly call that description racist.
      No one has pushed Israel into right wing ultra nationalism except its right wing and ethnic supremist supporters in Israel and elsewhere.
      Put the blame where it belongs.

      • Accentitude
        Accentitude
        February 10, 2014, 2:46 am

        Israel is not and never will be the “Jewish state” because not every Jew is an Israeli and not every Israeli is a Jew. There are millions of Jews around the world and not even a fraction of them consider Israel as their homeland. Furthermore, calling it the “Jewish State” goes against its own vision of being the so-called “only western democracy in the Middle East” by drawing nationalism along religious lines. As Lincoln once said, a democracy is a “government of the people, by the people and for the people”; a country governed by its people. Clearly such is not the case when non-Jewish citizens of Israel are considered a cancerous sore and are denied their social equality. By carelessly using the term “The Jewish State” one is promoting continued racism and repression against non-Jewish citizens of Israel by implying that Israel is a state for Jews only. Again, this goes against the very definition of a Democracy. Such statements have the danger of inflaming racially motivated violence against non-Jews in a military state where Children are already indoctrinated from birth to hate anyone who isn’t Jewish, as evident by the ridiculous claims of Sapir Sabah against her teacher.

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        February 11, 2014, 7:17 am

        Accentitude says:
        February 10, 2014 at 2:46 am
        Israel is not and never will be the “Jewish state” because not every Jew is an Israeli and not every Israeli is a Jew.

        That’s nonsense. Greece defines itself as the Greek state (Elleniki Demokratia i.e., the “Hellenic Republic” )–the nation-state of the Greek people. Greece offers citizenship top any person anywhere in the world of ethnic Greek heritage. However, not every Greek citizen is a Hellene, an ethnic Greek. There are ethnic minorities in Greece, Turks, Slavic-speaking Macedonians (who aren’t allowed to call themselves Macedonians), Albanians, Roma, and Jews in Greece, who are by and large not seen as Greeks by their fellow citizens despite having citizenship and enjoying equal civil and civic rights and do not define themselves as Greeks (Greek citizens, yes. Of course, there are many ethnic Greeks in the Greek Diaspora who culturally and ethnically define themselves as Greek and are so regarded as Greek by their neighbors, who are not and never will be Greek citizens. This is exactly analogous to the situation of Jews in the Jewish Diaspora and Israel. One can make similar analogies with other ethnic-based nation-states and their national minorities and their relationships to their overseas Diaspora communities–e.g., China, Armenia many other countries. So not every Greek is a Greek citizen.

        There are millions of Jews around the world and not even a fraction of them consider Israel as their homeland.

        Clearly, quite a large fraction of them do consider Israel as their homeland. A large and growing fraction in places like the US may no longer do so, but that “fraction” is in the process of leaving the Jewish fold through outmarrying. Their descendants may be people of partial Jewish descent , but they will not be counted among “millions of Jews.”

        Furthermore, calling it the “Jewish State” goes against its own vision of being the so-called “only western democracy in the Middle East” by drawing nationalism along religious lines.

        Jewish nationality and the religion of Judaism (inits many guises) are two separate and distinct things. Regardless, Israel is the only true democracy in the Middle East because it fulfills all the basic requirements of democracy. To paraphrase Churchill, Israeli democracy is an inherently imperfect system, except for all the others (to paraphrase Churchill). All of its citizens enjoy the right to the franchise and have free speech rights, there is an independent judiciary free of the executive and legislative branches, there is due process etc. No other country in the region fully matches Israel in granting these rights to its citizens; some like Lebanon, have a semblance of democracy.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 11, 2014, 8:16 am

        Mikhael:

        Greece offers citizenship top any person anywhere in the world of ethnic Greek heritage.

        Let’s take a closer look at this.

        According to Wikipedia:

        A child of a Greek citizen acquires Greek nationality automatically at birth.

        Since Greek citizens have various ethnic and religious roots, so do Greek nationals. Citizenship and nationality are the same. Ethnicity and nationality are NOT the same.

        And since nationality and citizenship are equivalent concepts, “the nation-state of the Greek people” means a state for all it’s citizens, not a state for a separate Greek ethnicity defined apart from citizenship.

        In stark contrast, there is no Israeli nationality under Israel law and according to ruling Zionist ideology. Citizenship and nationality are decisively different. Israel, therefore, is defined as a state for a separate Jewish ethnos, NOT a state for all its citizens.

        An ethnic Greek born outside of Greece may acquire Greek citizenship by naturalization if they fail to qualify for simple registration as the child of a Greek citizen. […]The applicant must prove that at least one parent or grandparent was born a Greek national.

        Since a Greek national can be a person with any ethnic/religious roots, it follows that the legal definition of an “ethnic Greek” is ultimately based on citizenship (=nationality), not ethnic or religious roots.

        In contrast, Israeli immigration law offers citizenship to Jews whether or not they have any relations who are Israeli citizens , [and proof of Jewishness often involves some sort of religious confirmation (eg. letters from Rabbis regarding a relative’s Jewishness, proof of conversion etc.)]

        In conclusion, the Greek state is a democracy; the Israeli state is an ethnocracy with some liberal democratic and theocratic elements.

        If this analysis is wrong, please correct me.

      • rightcoaster
        rightcoaster
        February 11, 2014, 12:44 pm

        Article 3 of the Greek Constitution makes it as much a theocracy as Israel. Article 14 allows seizure of newspapers, limits freedom of the press. There may be other stuff limiting democracy.

        Israel has no formal constitution, but its Basic Laws appear to recite a good list of rights for all, including Arab citizens.

        As for ethnostates, there are several neighboring “Arab Republics” and either “Islamic Republics” or countries where Islam is the normative or official religion. Egypt and Syria are Arab republics, Jordan an Arab monarchy with Islam as the official religion.

        Would you rather be a Muslim Arab of any flavor in Israel or a Jew of any flavor in any of these Arab Republics?

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        February 11, 2014, 9:49 am

        Sibiriak says:
        February 11, 2014 at 8:16 am
        Mikhael:
        If this analysis is wrong, please correct me.

        Your analysis is wrong, I am correcting you.

        Ethnic Greeks who have never been Greek citizens and whose parents are entitled to apply for (and often obtain) Greek citizenship. Thousands of Pontic Greeks from the Ukrainian Crimea (who speak an entirely different dialect of Greek if they speak Greek at all and whose ancestors migrated to that region more than a millenium ag), Greek Cypriots, etc. can get Greek citizenship.

        A large amount of the Pontic Greek community resettled during the fighting and after the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923 and as part of the Greek and Turkish population exchange. Records find that 182,169 Pontic Greeks were displaced as part of population exchange.[5] Many of the Pontic Greeks left for the Soviet Union, which had been the site of earlier Pontic migrations and thus had family connections. Much of the rest migrated to Greece where they were given full citizenship rights (Pontic Greeks who migrate from Russia today receive similar privileges).http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Pontus

        And since nationality and citizenship are equivalent concepts, “the nation-state of the Greek people” means a state for all it’s citizens, not a state for a separate Greek ethnicity defined apart from citizenship.

        Israel being the nation-state of the Jewish people does not preclude it being a state for all of its citizens. Non-Jewish citizens have the same civic rights as Jewish citizens. This is a fact. If they feel excluded because Israel defines itself as a Jewish state, then this is something they have to deal with. Other ethnic minorities who are citizens of other nation-states manage to cope. Greek citizens who are members of ethnic minorities in Greece enjoy the same civil rights in Greece as their fellow citizens who are ethnic Greeks, but they are not Greeks. Despite the presence of an ethnic Albanian minority in Greece who are Greek citizens, a citizen of Albania who is an ethnic Albanian, whose parents were never Greek citizens and who was born in Albania does not enjoy the right to immigrate to Greece, but an ethnic Greek born in Albania (which also has a large ethnic Greek minority) who is not descended from Greek citizens, whose family has lived in Albania for generations, does have a right to obtain easy Greek citizenship that his fellow Albanian citizen does not. The fact that an ethnic Greek citizen of Albania can obtain Greek citizenship with relative ease while an ethnic Albanian citizen of Albania cannot does not prejudice the rights of the ethnic Albanians who are already citizens of the Greek state. The fact that Jews from outside Israel can obtain Israeli citizenship with relative ease while non-Jews from outside Israel cannot does not prejudice the rights of non-Jews who are Israeli citizens. This is just nonsense.

        In stark contrast, there is no Israeli nationality under Israel law and according to ruling Zionist ideology. Citizenship and nationality are decisively different. Israel, therefore, is defined as a state for a separate Jewish ethnos, NOT a state for all its citizens.

        Yes, citizenship and nationality are two legal separate categories in Israel. And…so what? How would the status of Israel’s non-Jewish ethnic and religious minorities change if they acquired “Israeli” nationality? It’s just a word. Nevertheless, it’s entirely right and just that Jews from abroad can and should get easy access to Israeli citizenship. This is a Jewish state and Jewish immigrants deserve preferential access to citizenship in a Jewish state, like ethnic Greeks get preferential access to citizenship in the Greek state, like ethnic Germans get it in the Budesprepublik, etc., etc. That does not limit the legal and civil rights of the non-Jews living in Israel who already are citizens of the state. Non-Jewish citizens of Israel born abroad are still entitled to Israeli citizenship through their parents (e..g., Detroit-born Palestinian activist Huweida Arraf holds an Israeli passport through her parents, who retained their Israeli citizenship all these years) and she still enjoys all the civic rights in the state she is determined to undermine as Jewish citizens.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 11, 2014, 11:07 am

        Mikhael:

        Your analysis is wrong, I am correcting you.

        You’ve failed.

        I quoted Wikipedia:

        An ethnic Greek born outside of Greece may acquire Greek citizenship by naturalization if they fail to qualify for simple registration as the child of a Greek citizen. […]The applicant must prove that at least one parent or grandparent was born a Greek national.

        You did not challenge that description which shows that for the purposes of immigration an “ethnic Greek” is defined as someone having a parent or grandparent who was born “a Greek national”.

        There is no other definition or test of Greek “ethnicity” given. (Can you provide one, so that we can make sense of your claims?)

        But what is a “Greek national”. Answer:

        A child of a Greek citizen acquires Greek nationality automatically at birth.

        You did not challenge that description either, and as you yourself stated, Greek citizens have various ethnic and religious roots.

        Therefore, as I stated, it follows that the legal definition of an “ethnic Greek” is ultimately based on citizenship (=nationality), not ethnic or religious roots, and that is completely different than in Israel, where citizenship is NOT equivalent to nationality, and the legal definition of a Jew is NOT ultimately based on citizenship.

        Those conclusions still stand.

        Particular historical exceptions such as Pontic Greeks in 1923 and similar do not alter the basic difference between Greek and Israeli legal concepts of citizenship and nationality.

        Again, I could be wrong, but you have not demonstrated that yet.

        More importantly, even if Greece did share certain ethnocratic qualities with Israel that would simply show that ethnocentrism and/or ethnocracy were not unique to Israel. Has anybody made that claim that they were? I certainly haven’t run across it.

        The key point you seem to be unable to confront is that in Western Europe, nationality became dissociated from ethnicity/religion and became based on citizenship. This was not so much the case in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. Nevertheless, the Western citizenship-based liberal-democratic model has become hegemonic. Israel’s ethnocracy does not fit that liberal-democratic mode.

        [ Mikhael:] like ethnic Greeks get preferential access to citizenship in the Greek state, like ethnic Germans get it in the Budesprepublik, etc., etc.

        What does your “etc., etc.” refer to? You are trying to turn some supposed exceptions to the liberal-democratic model into representative cases. They are not.

        In a Western-style liberal-democratic state, nationality is based on citizenship. Nationality is not based on ethnicity or religion, as it is in Israel. Israel is NOT a western-style democratic state.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        February 12, 2014, 7:20 am

        @ Accentitude
        But your memo comment shouldn’t be directed at American, who speaks the truth here, but to AIPAC and Israel. As American says, “Put the blame (of conflation) where it belongs.

  14. yrn
    yrn
    February 9, 2014, 9:35 am

    MW as always is so out of context.
    as usual the AntiZio trolls, had the opportunity to compare Israel to their beloved Nazi Germany, as they are used to get their daily fuel from the articles.

    The debate in Israel regarding this issue is completely not political, but more regarding the freedom of speech.
    While Adam Verete is considered as the Hero by some political streams (he could be from the right wing or the left wing, but this is completely not relevant ), he was not fired and there was never any intention to fire him by the ministry of education,
    but on the contrary, The main hero in this case is really Sapphire Sabah . Her complaint focused not only that “the IDF is unethical .” or ” country ” , but had focused on thesis of shutting up people .
    Sapphire ‘s complaint was and is reserved to the issue that a class should be aloud to Listen to ALL spectrum of opinions from extreme right to extreme left. In fact, according to her testimony , Adam Verete kept her mouth shut in an abusive way. at list Adam Verete had the dignity to apologized for his behavior .
    meaning he behaved in an anti – Democrat way and became a hero of freedom of expression ?!?! . It’s not exceptional in some quarters on those who push for freedom of speech, use it as a shelter when they are the once that are shutting up people.
    Sapir Sabah had a lot more courage to get out against her teacher , she was not fighting for her political views , but the right to attend school without teacher who try to wash her ​​brain no matter what political side they hold.
    I am proud of my Israeli society, that raises up issues like that, that shows how open , democratic, pluralist and rational our society is.
    ira glunt, to cut and paste articles from news papers is not journalism, its a parrot intelligence (I hope Parrots will excuse if I abused them).

    • Cliff
      Cliff
      February 9, 2014, 10:15 am

      settler troll said:

      I am proud of my Israeli society, that raises up issues like that, that shows how open , democratic, pluralist and rational our society is.

      You have no clue what democratic or pluralist or rational means.

      Your society is not a democracy. Your society is an ethnocracy.

      Your society is not rational. Your society is Zionist.

      Your society is no pluralist. Your society is Zionist.

      Adam Verete’s students (PLURAL) stood up for him and contradicted everything that little Zionist gnome, Sabah, said.

      There will never be a classroom where every single person is content with the discussion. In fact, I think in a close-minded, fascist society like Israel (where people like you, on FB, call for violence and expulsion for people like Verete), this is especially true.

      the right to attend school without teacher who try to wash her ​​brain no matter what political side they hold

      Seems like her brain is plenty washed with Zio-propaganda. Read her FB comments, she had no problem with all the calls for violence and truly anti-democratic and fascist punishments.

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        February 11, 2014, 7:36 am

        <blockquote Cliff says:
        February 9, 2014 at 10:15 am

        Your society is not a democracy. Your society is an ethnocracy.

        So unlike what the Palestine cultists propose to replace Israel with per the Palestine National Charter, Article 1:

        Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people; it is an indivisible part of the Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arabnation.

        How multiculti!

        Adam Verete’s students (PLURAL) stood up for him and contradicted everything that little Zionist gnome, Sabah, said.

        Cliff, this is above your simpleminded brain, but here goes:
        Adam Verete teaches in a school that is part of the ORT network and thus identified with the Mizrahi stream of religious Zionism (Mizrahi, in this sense connected to the worldwide “Mizrachi” movement. Mizrachi is an acronym derived from letters in the Hebrew phrase “MerkaZ RuHanI”–meaning “spiritual center” and additionally having the meaning of “Eastern”–not to be confused with Mizrahi Jews (who may or may not identify with Mizrahi Zionism). So the Zionist school Mr. Verete teaches in did not sack him despite his pronounced point of view in the classroom. Most of the students who defended their teacher’s right to express his views in the classroom, I am sure, would also regard themselves as Zionist, and most will be enlisting in the IDF in about a year’s time.

        There will never be a classroom where every single person is content with the discussion.

        No, there won’t. That’s why the Israeli democratic system allowed Mr. Verete to retain his teaching position.

        In fact, I think in a close-minded, fascist society like Israel

        The one in which where Mr. Verete retained his teaching position to continue spreading his views.

        (where people like you, on FB, call for violence and expulsion for people like Verete), this is especially true.

        I missed where yrn called for violence and expulsion against Mr. Verete.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        February 11, 2014, 10:11 am

        Adam Verete teaches in a school that is part of the ORT network and thus identified with the Mizrahi stream of religious Zionism

        Really? I think you’re confusing ORT with AMIT.

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        February 11, 2014, 4:01 pm

        You’re right, I was thinking of AMIT schools. Still, ORT Israel technical/vocational schools are very much part of mainstream Israeli society; many ORT students come from the kippa seruga-wearing dati leumi sector. The principal of the Kiryat Tivon school is representative of that tendency.

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        February 11, 2014, 11:01 am

        @Mik

        I missed where yrn called for violence and expulsion against Mr. Verete.

        I said people who are like him, called for violence – including Sabah.

        I didn’t say he called for violence – but judging by his comments here, I wouldn’t put it past him or other Zionist commentators. You guys always deny Zionist crimes (or whitewash them) – so it’s safe to assume that you support murder.

        Also, on MW comments are filtered. I can’t imagine a sincere call for violence on civilians being allowed through.

        Although I do recall something comparable – a comment made by dimmadok(sp).

        You characterize Verete’s point of view as ‘pronounced’ – LOL. It’s obvious you are on the same wavelength as the Jewish supremacists on FB and on the Israeli right.

        The fact that Verete’s comments garnered so much attention and that he was even up for review is proof that Israel is a fascist country. This should not have been news. There was NO story.

        A crazy little brainwashed Jewish Arab racist (against Arabs) won a date w/ the Israeli right. She was honored by them. It’s amazing that you’ve spun this as a Brand Israel moment. I guess when you’re that delusional though, every single horrible thing has a silver lining.

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        February 12, 2014, 4:13 am

        Cliff says:
        February 11, 2014 at 11:01 am You characterize Verete’s point of view as ‘pronounced’ – LOL.

        Verete called the IDF immoral and encouraged his students to evade service, as he did. I think that is a pretty pronounced point of view. His student claims that he intimidated her in the class and belittled her views when she sought to challenge him in class discussions and that was in large part the substance of her complaint. I was not present at his lectures, so I do not know who was telling the truth. Nevertheless, he retained his position at the state-subsidized school in which he teaches and continues to draw his from the coffers of the state he disparages after inquiry into his pedagogical conduct. You and your crowd compare this incident to Nazi Germany and post videos of Hitlerjugend–really?!–I had no idea that in Nazi Germany teachers could badmouth the state and still keep their lives, much less their jobs. In the good ol’ USA people lost their jobs and were blacklisted for over a decade for a lot less during the McCarthy years.

        It’s obvious you are on the same wavelength as the Jewish supremacists on FB and on the Israeli right.

        It’s not obvious to me, as I’ve advocated a Palestinian-Arab state in most of the disputed territories along the lines since I was a teenager in the 1980s, long before this was a mainstream position in Israel and I was always called a Leftist by my right-wing friends and relatives (most of whom are Mizrahi).

        The fact that Verete’s comments garnered so much attention and that he was even up for review is proof that Israel is a fascist country. This should not have been news. There was NO story.

        It’s a story because blogs like Mondoweiss and 972 mag are inflating the incident out of proportion.

        A crazy little brainwashed Jewish Arab racist (against Arabs) won a date w/ the Israeli right. She was honored by them. It’s amazing that you’ve spun this as a Brand Israel moment. I guess when you’re that delusional though, every single horrible thing has a silver lining.

        On the other extreme, people like Mikhael ben Ari and Ohayon (both Israelis of Mizrahi-Jewish descent) are capitalizing on it to make this little loudmouth girl a hero too.

        Again, no Arabs were involved in the story. Ms Sabah is not an Arab, she’s an Israeli Jew. That’s her primary national identity. The fact that some of her ancestors likely spoke an Arabic dialect for a few centuries doesn’t render her primordially Arab any more that some of my ancestors spoke Arabic and Hungarian makes me inherently Magyar or Arab.

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        February 12, 2014, 11:28 am

        Mik said:

        I think that is a pretty pronounced point of view.

        Nope. Only in a fascist nationalistic society like Israel is ‘evading’ service in a settler-colonial police force seen as a ‘pronounced point of view’.

        Rejecting IDF service is a moral act.

        Mik said:

        His student claims that he intimidated her in the class and belittled her views when she sought to challenge him in class discussions and that was in large part the substance of her complaint. I was not present at his lectures, so I do not know who was telling the truth. Nevertheless, he retained his position at the state-subsidized school in which he teaches and continues to draw his from the coffers of the state he disparages after inquiry into his pedagogical conduct. You and your crowd compare this incident to Nazi Germany and post videos of Hitlerjugend–really?!–I had no idea that in Nazi Germany teachers could badmouth the state and still keep their lives, much less their jobs.

        I never said this non-story was an example of Nazism. So tl;dr your pretentious filibuster.

        You weren’t there – but you consider refusing IDF service to be ‘a pronounced act’.

        I think it’s safe to say that you believe all the bullshit the racist Arab Jew (against Arabs), Sabah, is spewing.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      February 11, 2014, 10:34 am

      @ Mikhail (no reply button)

      Maybe this is helpful in explanation of the nationality situation in Israel–it’s a comment by a poster EvilDoer from 3 years ago on Jews Sans Frontieres:

      “Nationality has generally two meanings, one is well defined, a civil status as national of a country (effectively a passport bearer) and he other is fluid, a belonging to a separate community by birth. It is the second concept that defines ethnic nationality.

      States are obliged by international treaties to recognize the first type of nationality. So Israel issues Israeli passport, in which ‘Israeli’ is listed as “Nationality” in English, apposite to “Ezrahut” in Hebrew, which means ‘Citizenship’.

      Most countries do not recognize legally the second concept of nationality. An Arab or Jewish immigrant to France or the US acquire the state’s nationality and that’s it. If they have a second passport they have a second nationality, but it is still a second nationality in the first sense. Within civil society, of course, the second form of nationality can still carries meaning. Thus, it can be meaningful that you are “Irish American” and it is certainly meaningful in France that you are Arab. But there is no legal meaning. And it can meaningful that you are a Kurd, even though a Kurdish nationality in the first sense doesn’t exist.

      A few countries recognize an additional communal status that distinguishes between nationals of the state internally. Many states recognize religious confession as a legal status (Germany, Lebanon, etc.) and confession is often close to ethnicity. Belgium recognizes separate linguistic communities. While technically not a nationality, it is quite close to it. (And of course, apartheid South Africa recognized color! But that is not in the same ballpark)

      Israel registers separately both religious confession and nationality in the second sense in the population registrar. That makes Israel already a) a member of a minority of states that accord legal status to the internal breakdown of its population a) an even smaller minority that has a double breakdown, in fact I am not sure any other state exists in that group. But in addition, it is unique about Israel, that,

      * Jews belong automatically to both the Jewish confession and the Jewish nationality.
      * The state of Israel does not recognize an Israeli nationality in the second sense (which means that Israeli nationality is only valid abroad).
      * The Jewish nationality is the nationality of the state ( a Jewish state).

      Now, if you query the development of this system, it is born of the needs of Israel’s settler colonialism to

      a) legally distinguish the settler from the native, and yet
      b) avoid recognizing the native as a legal category, and yet
      b) look like a democracy with equal rights for all.”

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        February 11, 2014, 4:36 pm

        Citizen says:
        February 11, 2014 at 10:34 am Israel registers separately both religious confession and nationality in the second sense in the population registrar. That makes Israel already a) a member of a minority of states that accord legal status to the internal breakdown of its population a) an even smaller minority that has a double breakdown, in fact I am not sure any other state exists in that group.

        Citizen, There is nothing morally problematic at all in registering different population elements thus: “Citizenship–Israeli–Nationality–Jewish–Religion–Jewish” or “Citizenship–Israeli–Nationality–Arab–Religion–Muslim” or “Citizenship–Israeli–Nationality–Arab–Religion–Christian” as is done in Israel. After all, Arab and Jewish citizens of Israel belong to different nationalities. As I am a member of the Jewish nationality (despite my non-adherence to Jewish religion), by definition I cannot be a member of the Arab nationality. I would not ask of my fellow Israeli citizens of Arab nationality (le’om) to deny their Arabness, how is it inappropriate to classify them as such?

        If they invented some category of Israeli “le’om” (nationality) it would still be tantamount to Jewish “le’om” because “Israel” in any case has been traditionally identified with Jewishness. Jews have referred to “am yisrael”–“the Nation of Israel” for centuries. They were not referring to the citizens of the nation-state of Israel. Likewise, in many European languages, variations on Israel was normative or polite language to refer to Jews. For example, the Consistoire central israélite de France, which was set up by Napoleon toi represent France’s JewsAlliance Israelite Universelle schools in the French colonies, the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde, the American Israelite newspaper; all Jewish communal institutions that existed well before the establishment of the modern state of Israel. So inventing a category of Israeli nationality to be shared equally by Israel’s Jewish and non-Jewish citizens sounds to me to be be semantically equivalent to imposing a Jewish identity on them without their consent. They’re Israeli citizens, like me, that’s enough.

        Now, if you query the development of this system, it is born of the needs of Israel’s settler colonialism to

        a) legally distinguish the settler from the native, and yet
        How is classifying native Jews (like my late father’s family, veteran members of the Old Yishuv) as Israeli citizens of Jewish nationality “distinguishing the settler from the native”? I have longer roots in the country than many Arabs who have started calling themselves “Palestinians”.

        avoid recognizing the native as a legal category, and yet

        How is according recognition to Arab citizens of Israel by defining them as being of Arab nationality in the population registry avoiding recognizing these putative “natives”? Israel is not Turkey, which used to call its Kurdish population “Mountain Turks” and denied that they constituted a separate ethnicity within Turkey.

        b) look like a democracy with equal rights for all

        It only looks that way because it is that way. Jewish citizens and non-Jewish citizens of Israel have the same legal rights.

  15. giladg
    giladg
    February 9, 2014, 9:56 am

    Mr. Verete is one of those types who prefer others do the hard work. Did Mr. Verete go to the army at 18 years and commit the 3 years or did he squeal out of doing the service to his community he was required to do? No surprise that he did not do national service. He played the games, went for psychological evaluations and he knew what to say and act in order to receive the “appropriate” results that suggested Mr. Verete is not fit for duty. Since when has the left ever built anything and made the long term sacrifices? You on the left only know how to destroy what others are built. It is much quicker to break things down than to build things them. Typical leftist trash. Talking to you Mr. Verete.

    • justicewillprevail
      justicewillprevail
      February 9, 2014, 1:40 pm

      Neo-fascists like to fetishise military organisations and their accoutrements.

    • amigo
      amigo
      February 9, 2014, 2:18 pm

      “No surprise that he did not do national service. He played the games, went for psychological evaluations and he knew what to say and act in order to receive the “appropriate” results that suggested Mr. Verete is not fit for duty.” Gildog

      Source???.

      “You on the left only know how to destroy what others are built.”gildog

      Wait a minute, is that not what you zionist criminals did.

      Time it is undone.Not a stone upon a stone.

      • giladg
        giladg
        February 9, 2014, 3:45 pm

        The Zionists build up the country. Go read Mark Twain’s book. There was very little built and developed, until the Zionist arrived. And if you are referring to Palestinian villages that were destroyed during war time, most of those were small villages with not may inhabitants. Even when Twain visited Jerusalem in 1867, the population of this city was only 14,000, so imagine how sparse the rest of the country was just 70 years later.
        Ask Verete how he got out of the army. He will refuse to tell you.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        February 9, 2014, 8:44 pm

        “The Zionists build up the country”

        Even if this is true, it does not give the Zionists the right to take it away from the Palestinians and drive the Palestinians out of their homes, farms, and factories.

      • smithgp
        smithgp
        February 9, 2014, 9:20 pm

        Gee, Gilad! I didn’t think of this. Let’s do the math: 700,000 Palestinians expelled. 500 Palestinian villages and towns depopulated. That’s 1,400 Palestinians expelled per village/town on average. I can’t believe I’ve been making such a big deal over so few inhabitants! Well, I’ve learned my lesson, thanks to you. I’m going to turn in my Delegitimizer Identity Card and follow Mark Twain’s advice: I’ll become a Zionist!

      • Accentitude
        Accentitude
        February 10, 2014, 5:33 am

        Seems that Gila Dog is taking a page out of Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer by trying to white wash history ;)

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        February 10, 2014, 11:38 am

        @ giladg

        Why don’t you go read another work by Mark Twain, a dramatic work that clearly shows he railed against the Zionist justification of “a land without people for a people without land,” even if he never heard of that slogan: Here, let me make it easy for you, as you’ve forgotten: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/01/morris-zionism-aliyah.html

        You Zionists always ignore this other part of what Mark Twain had to say.

      • rightcoaster
        rightcoaster
        February 10, 2014, 8:08 pm

        Cliff — Regardless of how it came about, Israel is here and is not going away, and Israel has been a resounding success in a neighborhood of unmitigated failures. That is true on any objective measure anyone can think of, even you, and on most subjective ones as well. Compare, for example, GDP/capita of Israel to Syria or Egypt or Lebanon or Jordan or ….. from 1960 to today.
        http://www.tradingeconomics.com/israel/gdp-per-capita

        Mark Twain was terrific as a wealthy white guy, very comfortable. I love his books. But he was not subject to the stuff that led Jews toward Zionism. How do you think he’d have come out, had he been? It’s relatively easy to satirize from the comfort of a 19-room Hartford house. How would you have come out, had you been? I’m lucky. My Dad got out of Rumania eleven years before he’d have been transported across the Dniester and murdered with the rest of his town. His older brothers came over earlier, after the Kishinev pogroms. What would you have done if America were closed off to you, and you were a European or Mizrakhi/Maghrebi Jew?

      • rightcoaster
        rightcoaster
        February 10, 2014, 8:44 pm

        Cliff, you shared with us the smug and comfy satire of Mark Twain via Gutenberg project. Here’s one a lot less comfortable and smug, by Aaronson, written in 1916: With the Turks in Palestine. I got it because it comes up really early when browsing Gutenberg. He was the child of a wave of settlers who escaped from Europe’s Jew-haters to Palestine, and bought land (or got it from a wealthy benefactor who bought it, I can’t recall) and developed it in agriculture. The story quite emphatically supports, by first-hand experience, Twain’s earlier view of Palestine as very backward. It also says it was not home-free-the-bunch for these Jews, either, living under Ottoman rule. But it was these and later Jewish immigrants that did, in fact, make the desert bloom — an accomplishment that still escapes the neighbors one hundred years later.

        I gave you before an example of Israel’s resounding success compared with its far-less-successful neighbors on GDP/capita, and I said there were less-objective measures as well. Here is one: The UN Human Development Index http://hdr.undp.org/en/countries , the UN being known as a great friend of Israel. Israel ranks 16th in the world — ahead of Britain, France, Spain. And miles (or centuries) ahead of any of its benighted neighbors. Yet you and the Mondoweiss gang single-mindedly attack, deride, and attempt to help destroy this solitary example of civilization and success in the region. The Zionist experiment, this “Zionist entity” has shown how to create success from the rubble and dereliction of the Ottoman Empire and WWI, on economic, social, political, and any other measure. What’s wrong with you?

      • annie
        annie
        February 11, 2014, 1:00 pm

        Israel has been a resounding success in a neighborhood of unmitigated failures. That is true on any objective measure anyone can think of

        a thief can steal his neighbors land and home and possession, lock the neighbor in the basement and throw away the key, and we could all praise the thief accomplishments and admire how much wealth he’s accumulated too. but by any measure it doesn’t amount to my concept of “success”.

        well, a successful thief perhaps. you’re in no position to speak with authority on how “anyone” would objectively measure success.

        also, regarding Alexander Aaronsohn, i assume you know:

        Aaronsohn returned to Palestine in July 1913 intending to make Zionist propaganda to spread to the United States.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Aaronsohn

        and you’re using this as a source? and his siblings were zionists spies for the british against the ottoman empire. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaron_Aaronsohn

      • rightcoaster
        rightcoaster
        February 11, 2014, 1:57 pm

        “a thief can steal his neighbors land and home and possession, lock the neighbor in the basement and throw away the key, and we could all praise the thief accomplishments and admire how much wealth he’s accumulated too. but by any measure it doesn’t amount to the true meaning of success.”

        Annie the above from you is well-written, clever, and really, really stupid. What is your measure of success, if not economic and social progress, security for the citizens, and all of the attributes of democracy? You dismiss the enormous success of Israel relative to its neighbors by mis-labeling and dismissing it as thievery. Why hasn’t any one of the neighboring states done nearly as well? You whine about the poor Palestinians under occupation (and it is not a situation anyone should have to exist under). Yet not one of the neighboring states comes anywhere close to Israel on any measure of progress. Why have none of the neighboring states ranked above 100 in the UN (great friend of Israel) Human Development Index, while Israel is ranked 16th, ahead of Britain, France, Spain, Italy?

        You betray your ideologues’ blinders, the hermetically sealed mind of the allegedly liberal. And you have, unfortunately, the wit and education to be convinced that you are correct. That’s the kind of stupidity I mean; you have plenty of IQ points, you just squander them.

        As for Aaronson, your blinkered exceptionally narrow and insight-free comments only further reinforce my conclusion about you. Read the book, not Wikipedia. And as far as being a spy for the British against the Ottomans, so was Lawrence of Arabia; and the USA allied with the Brits in WWI — I guess you would rather we had sided with the Sick Man in stead? The Sick Man who after 500 years produced the shitty environment that has led to the incapacity of all those neighboring states, plus much of North Africa, to form modern nation-states? Or perhaps you will prefer to blame the European colonialists, who worked those miracles in just decades instead of centuries?

      • American
        American
        February 11, 2014, 1:37 pm

        @ rightcoaster

        To give some prespective to your brag – Israel has a GDP somewhat less then that of the US state of Missouri. That makes it about as powerful on the world economic stage as Missouri by itself would be.
        I dont know what accounts for people like you having the delusions you do……..brainwashing I suppose.
        We keep trying to introduce you to reality and facts but you keep rejecting them.
        Vanity,vanity,vanity…..its a real killer diller.

  16. amigo
    amigo
    February 9, 2014, 11:08 am

    “Sapir Sabah had a lot more courage to get out against her teacher , she was not fighting for her political views , but the right to attend school without teacher who try to wash her ​​brain no matter what political side they hold.”yrn

    Oh, please cut the crap.Are you suggesting it requires bravery to snitch (to the zionist entity authorities)on a teacher who in her(the student) tainted view appeared to be anti Israel.

    Like, was she going to be taken at 3 am and beaten up and left out in uncovered buildings in inclement weather until the Israeli authorities got her to deny the “anti Israel self hating Jewish Teacher ” said bad things about Israel.

    Read all about who is who in the Israeli Education System.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Israel#Israeli_Pupils.E2.80.99_Rights_Law

    Watch that myopia.It can cause severe blindness.

  17. Shmuel
    Shmuel
    February 9, 2014, 12:38 pm

    What’s the world coming to when teachers slaughter sacred cows and teenagers try to save them?

  18. yrn
    yrn
    February 9, 2014, 2:10 pm

    Shmuel
    The white angel of humanity.
    What’s the world coming to when teachers slaughter freedom of speech and teenagers try to save them?

    Would you declare your divine sentence if it was the other way around and the teacher had right wing political views and was trying to shut up a left wing student.
    You are the same hypocrite as usual.

    • Cliff
      Cliff
      February 9, 2014, 2:33 pm

      @settler

      From the article:

      One user tried to offer another perspective. ‘Do you see how you’re reacting to this? We’re in a democratic country! I don’t support the left but it doesn’t make sense to me that you’re calling him all these names. There are ways to deal with other views – not through incitement but by confronting them with other opinions, backed up with rational explanations.’ In response, Sapir Sabah wrote to him: ‘Sorry to inform you that no one cares what you think.’

      Who is this student who supposedly cares about free speech? It sure isn’t Sapir Sabah.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        February 9, 2014, 5:20 pm

        @ Cliff
        Yeah, I noticed what she said there. What was that Ron White, the standup comedian said? Something like 50% of the people fall below the mean average IQ test score? I guess that’s also why Goering, at Nuremberg, said it was easy to manipulate “the people” to get what you want. I think only one of the Nuremberg defendants had a higher IQ than Goering: Schacht, the Nazi finance minister (although maybe Seys-Inquart too?).

    • Shmuel
      Shmuel
      February 9, 2014, 2:41 pm

      If it isn’t yrn, my favourite stalker.

      What’s the world coming to when teachers slaughter freedom of speech and teenagers try to save them?

      Sapir wasn’t feted at the Knesset because she stood up for free speech. The story is very simple: teacher criticised the state and army in a way she didn’t like, and she did her patriotic duty by exposing him.

      Would you declare your divine sentence if it was the other way around and the teacher had right wing political views and was trying to shut up a left wing student.

      Chill out. It was just an observation about role and generational reversal. Had it been the reverse, they both would have been following the time-honoured pattern: teacher defends the establishment; student challenges it.

      You are the same hypocrite as usual.

      And a shavua tov to you too.

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        February 11, 2014, 9:18 am

        Sapir wasn’t feted at the Knesset because she stood up for free speech. The story is very simple: teacher criticised the state and army in a way she didn’t like, and she did her patriotic duty by exposing him.

        She wasn’t “feted by the Knesset” either. Mikhael ben Ari, who is a former Knesset member, along with some of his pals, went to the stationers and presented her with an official-looking certificate in Kiryat Tivon, her hometown. No official Knesset comment on Ms. Sabah’s outbursts at all.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        February 11, 2014, 9:26 am

        She wasn’t “feted by the Knesset”

        I didn’t say she was feted by the Knesset, but at the Knesset: http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.572935

  19. Marc
    Marc
    February 10, 2014, 10:38 am

    “He who cannot remember the past is doomed to repeat it”. Abba Eban quotes George Santayana in his essay ‘The Eichmann Trial in Retrospect “, June 1962

  20. hophmi
    hophmi
    February 10, 2014, 10:49 am

    Again, if a high school teacher in a military town in the US started preaching about how the US military is immoral, he’d be run out of town very quickly.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      February 10, 2014, 6:33 pm

      Says who? On what evidence? Source? What do you know about American high schools, even those in towns or cities with a military base close by?

  21. Tuyzentfloot
    Tuyzentfloot
    February 10, 2014, 3:22 pm

    Obviously the student was exercising her right to free speech, which reminds me of this free speech precedent
    Ouch, subtle.

  22. Mikhael
    Mikhael
    February 11, 2014, 9:10 am

    gamal says:
    February 9, 2014 at 5:12 pm
    Recalling the great national poet

    “He quotes Bialik‟s cry, “I hate the Arabs, because they remind me of the Mizrahim” ”

    A slander against Bialik that was debunked during his lifetime. The false quote is a paraphrase of Bialik’s editor,Aryeh Leib Stemyatatsky, who jokingly said in Bialik’s presence “I don’t hate Arabs, because they remind me of Frenkim” (which is a semi-pejorative against Sefardi /Mizrahi Jews).

    Somehow this became attributed to Bialik saying “I hate Arabs because they remind me of Sefaradim”.

    No evidence Bialik ever said anything of the sort, although the myth died hard.

    http://www.haaretz.co.il/1.934678

  23. Mikhael
    Mikhael
    February 11, 2014, 3:18 pm

    Sibiriak says:
    February 11, 2014 at 8:16 am

    Mikhael:

    Greece offers citizenship to any person anywhere in the world of ethnic Greek heritage.

    Let’s take a closer look at this.
    According to Wikipedia:
    A child of a Greek citizen acquires Greek nationality automatically at birth.
    Since Greek citizens have various ethnic and religious roots, so do Greek nationals. Citizenship and nationality are the same. Ethnicity and nationality are NOT the same.

    Israeli citizens have various ethnic and religious roots too, and children of Israeli citizens (whatever their national” i.e., ethnic roots are, whatever their religious roots are, acquire Israeli citizenship at birth. Although born abroad, I acquired Israeli citizenship at birth. An infant born abroad to Christian and Muslim Arab citizens of Israel also acquires Israeli citizenship at birth. The key difference is that this automatic transmission of citizenship only lasts one generation (whether Jewish or non-Jewish Israelis), grandchildren of Israelis (of any nationality or religion) don’t immediately acquire Israeli citizenship however, Jews can apply for Israeli citizenship and almost always receive it under the Law of Return.

    And since nationality and citizenship are equivalent concepts, “the nation-state of the Greek people” means a state for all it’s citizens, not a state for a separate Greek ethnicity defined apart from citizenship.

    Ethnic Greeks from abroad are included under this umbrella whereas non-Greeks are not. This is right and proper.

    In stark contrast, there is no Israeli nationality under Israel law and according to ruling Zionist ideology. Citizenship and nationality are decisively different. Israel, therefore, is defined as a state for a separate Jewish ethnos, NOT a state for all its citizens.

    A Jew anywhere in the world should have the right to get Israeli citizenship and once he or she does, then he/she and any non-Jewish citizen of Israel have exactly the same rights and obligations (well, let’s face it, non-Jewish citizens of Israel have the same rights, but fewer obligations, i.e., most Arabs don’t do mandatory military duty). Non-Jewish citizens of Israel have more rights under Israeli law (e.g., the right to vote in Israeli elections) than Jewish non-citizens have. When Jews from abroad become citizens they have the same rights as their Jewish and non-Jewish fellow citizens. Therefore, Israel is a state of all of its citizens if all of its citizens are equal under the eyes of the law.

    Since a Greek national can be a person with any ethnic/religious roots, it follows that the legal definition of an “ethnic Greek” is ultimately based on citizenship (=nationality), not ethnic or religious roots.
    In contrast, Israeli immigration law offers citizenship to Jews whether or not they have any relations who are Israeli citizens , [and proof of Jewishness often involves some sort of religious confirmation (eg. letters from Rabbis regarding a relative’s Jewishness, proof of conversion etc.)]

    And it also includes people with no known ancestors who were ever citizens of the modern Hellenic Republic of Greece who are eligible to receive Greek citizenship, people born to ethnic Pontic Greeks in Crimean Ukraine and other parts of the former USSR can immigrate to Greece solely on the basis of their ethnic ties to other Greeks, not based on the fact that they are descended from Greek citizens.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=KNCEtbceZ5kC&pg=PA188&lpg=PA188&dq=pontic+greeks+immigration+to+greece&source=bl&ots=y_3k25F5BC&sig=t_dIFVczNZB1lJJkd9bDrWpIAbE&hl=en&sa=X&ei=RYL6Ut3LAorXygH904DgDA&ved=0CEYQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=pontic%20greeks%20immigration%20to%20greece&f=false

    In conclusion, Israel is a liberal and democratic nation-state of a Jewish ethnos AND the state of all its non-Jewish citizens, as Greece is a democratic nation-state of a Greek ethnos and the state of its non-Greek ethnic minority citizens.

    However, many propose that it be replaced with an exclusionary Arab ethnocracy as per the first line of the Palestine National Covenant…
    Article 1:

    Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people; it is an indivisible part of the Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation. , reinforced in the 2003 Draft of the Palestine Constitution ARTICLE 1

    Palestine is part of the large Arab World, and the Palestinian people are part of the Arab Nation. Arab Unity is an objective which the Palestinian People shall work to achieve.

    …or an Islamist theocracy

    ARTICLE 4

    Islam is the official religion in Palestine. Respect and sanctity of all other heavenly religions shall be maintained.
    The principles of Islamic Shari’a shall be the main source of legislation.

  24. rightcoaster
    rightcoaster
    February 11, 2014, 8:51 pm

    @ rightcoaster
    To American:
    This will be out of sequence because the Reply function is not available.

    AMER: “To give some prespective [sic] to your brag – Israel has a GDP somewhat less then that of the US state of Missouri. That makes it about as powerful on the world economic stage as Missouri by itself would be.”

    RC: You badly need an economics lesson; you are clearly another example of the failure of the American education system. I did not speak of total GDP, but of GDP per capita. That’s the proper measure of the economic performance as seen by the population. In total GDP, size matters. Egypt, for example, has a total GDP of about the same as Israel’s, around $250 billion — but a population of 86 million vs 8 million.

    AMER: ” I dont know what accounts for people like you having the delusions you do……..brainwashing I suppose.
    We keep trying to introduce you to reality and facts but you keep rejecting them.
    Vanity,vanity,vanity…..its a real killer diller.”

    RC: What facts did you introduce, American? You did demonstrate the fact of your abysmal ignorance, but what else? If you can coherently explain just what are the delusions to which you refer, for example, perhaps we will all benefit from your exposing us to more facts.

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