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‘New Republic”s literary editor attacks its senior editor as nasty, ignorant self-hating Jew

Israel/Palestine
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Wieseltier
Wieseltier

We are closely following the reception for John Judis’s excellent new book Genesis: Truman, American Jews, and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli Conflict because Judis is arousing the establishment in ways that other interventions have not.

Two days ago, rightwinger Ron Radosh wrote an angry but serious review calling the book “polemics disguised as history” and saying Judis had made many factual errors because he had a “profoundly anti-Zionist” axe to grind. Radosh is the co-author of his own book on Truman and Israel, and he said he was only noticing Judis’s book because of his stature– Judis is a senior editor of The New Republic– and that of the publisher, Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

Now another shoe has dropped. The Washington Free Beacon has published a letter to Radosh from Leon Wieseltier, the literary editor of The New Republic, congratulating him on the review. Wieseltier admits he knows nothing about Truman but then goes much further against Judis than Radosh does, in an ugly, ad hominem manner. He says that John Judis has discovered his Jewish identity in a critique of Jews, and he has no love for Jews, and he’s a “nasty” ignoramus too. I have seen evidence that Wieseltier authorized the release of this letter. Here it is:

Ron,

What you’ve written is absolutely correct. In some respects I’d have gone further. I am no authority on Truman’s decision (though you are), but I know with certainty that Judis’ understanding of Jewish history, and of the history and nature of Zionism, is shallow, derivative, tendentious, imprecise, and sometimes risibly inaccurate—he is a tourist in this subject. Like most tourists, he sees what he came to see. There is more to be said also about the utter shabbiness of discovering a Jewish identity in—and for the purpose of—criticizing the Jews: it is not only ignorant but also insulting. The magnitude of Judis’ indifference to the fate of the Jews in the very years in which they were being massively slaughtered—the 1940s: now there was a decade of Jewish power!—is quite shocking. (His Abba Hillel Silver is just an early version of [AIPAC leader] Howard Kohr, in consonance with his AIPAC-centric view of the world.) The truth is that no amount of sympathy for Palestinians requires this amount of antipathy to Israelis.

Remember Rosa Luxemburg’s letter to her friend in which she proudly announced that she had no corner of her heart for the Jews? Judis is her good disciple. But my favorite bit of self-congratulation on Judis’ part is his belief that he is heroically defying the Zionist thought-police at the New Republic. For three decades and more we—by which I emphatically mean Marty [Peretz] too—have been publishing criticisms, even bitter ones, of Israeli policies by myself, Michael Walzer, and many others. True, we have not published pieces rejecting the legitimacy of Jewish nationalism or wishing away the Jewish state, and we have published pieces defending Israel against states and non-state actors (and intellectuals arguing on their behalf) who have denied the right of Israel to exist and have used violence in the name of that idea—and all this, I know, makes us highly unsatisfactory as progressives. Israel was indeed a house obsession here—but not any single idea or image of Israel. There has been no conformity of opinion in this office about this subject or any other subject in the two hundred years I have worked here. And now comes Judis’s nasty little book to prove this definitively! By jumping on a bandwagon he has rescued our reputation for freedom of thought!

So, my compliments.

Leon

Wow. Wieseltier can sure bring it! His attack on Judis for having no place in his heart for Jews is very similar to Gershom Scholem’s famous attack on Hannah Arendt.

Though I would say this is further evidence of the crumbling of the rightwing Israel lobby. Wieseltier speaks at AIPAC, Judis is a non-Zionist who supports the two-state solution and gets along with liberal Zionists. The two broke bread together when Marty Peretz ran the magazine, now I wonder what they’ll do when they see each other in the hallway. And the magazine is owned by Chris Hughes, who lives in my town and whose big issue is marriage equality and I can’t believe gives a fig about the Jewish state. The magazine indicated its new direction by running an excerpt of Judis’s book.

As to Radosh’s critique, Judis’s great gift in this book is that he has recognized an important historical pattern and he is insistent on it: Zionist political pressure in London and Washington overwhelmed a postcolonial western principle, self-determination, as well as a sacred American ideal, separation of church and state. That makes his book extremely important and a worthy topic for discussion at the Museum of Jewish Heritage on June 1.

Last night I was reading the part where the British despair about violence between Arabs and Jews in the 1920s and they come up with the Passfield Report calling for a binational state. The Arab leaders were open to it. But the Zionists opposed it, and initiated a pressure campaign in the U.S. and Britain. Leading Jewish intellectuals were recruited; Harold Laski and Lewis Namier said that Lord Passfield had spoken of supporting Arab underdogs against “the powerful and wealthy Jews.” And Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald– already suffering politically from the Depression– then nullified the Passfield report.

Judis describes this pressure as inflicting a “rank injustice” on Palestinians.

From the 1890s, when Zionists first settled in Palestine with the express purpose of creating a Jewish state where Arabs had lived for centuries, until the early 1930s, the responsibility for the conflict lay primarily with the Zionists. They initiated it by migrating to Palestine with a purpose of establishing a Jewish state that would rule the native Arab population.

I think he puts more blame on the Palestinians for the conflict later, but I haven’t gotten to that part yet.

Also, I can’t resist: for another example of Wieseltier’s over-the-top style, see his wedding toast at the wedding of Cass Sunstein and Samantha Power.

Update: Jacob Heilbrunn has a good piece up at the National Interest about Wieseltier’s smear showing Wieseltier’s pattern of tarring writers who criticize Israel, and calling Wieseltier a mummy.

As TNR morphs into a general interest magazine, he is a living mummy, a repository of the ancient feuds that convulsed the New York intellectuals during the 1950s and 1960s. In some ways his vituperativeness evokes a sense of nostalgia. Like the Partisan Review crowd, he specializes in intestine feuds.

For as anyone with a nodding acquaintance with Wieseltier’s writings knows, he has a proclivity not only for extremism, but also for attacking his brethren. To put it more precisely, he is an expert practictioner of what is known as prolicide—in his case, the killing of one’s intellectual children…

Judis has written a mildly critical account that is triggering a furor. That his detractors would respond so extravagantly and violently may say more about their dispositions than his.

philweiss
About Philip Weiss

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

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51 Responses

  1. Krauss
    Krauss
    February 26, 2014, 11:26 am

    Wieseltier has all the hallmarks of a desperate, isolated man.

    The emotional, fulminating rage. The raw fear of betrayal. The intense paranoia, once reserved for the most lethal of enemies; now spread to even the closest of friends in a spree of blind rage.

    In many ways, his erratic behaviour is increasingly starting to align with Israel’s as a state.

    The Western exception to postcolonialism; Zionism, is finally closing and coming to an end.

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      February 26, 2014, 11:42 am

      P.S.

      About your comments surrounding the TNR and Chris Hughes. It’s long been an under-the-radar subject that at least part of the reason why the U.S. media is still so overwhelmingly white in the upper echelons is Zionism. It isn’t the main reason, but it could well be one of the reasons.

      Here is Commentary at the sale of the TNR to Mr. Hughes:
      http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/03/09/new-republic-chris-hughes-peretz-sic-transit/

      Don’t even bother clicking the link, I’ll sum up the argument for you: Can we trust the goys? This is the kind of unreported but ever-present consideration when one Jewish publicist is selling his or her newspaper to someone. That’s why Murdoch picked up his right-wing Zionism early on, in the days before the neocons were even a force. Because he understood that Jews held much of the U.S. media back then(the 70s, when he came to the American media landscape), much more so than now, and in order to buy these assets you needed to calm these fears.

      I think these fears have gotten weaker and as Jewish assimilation has increased, non-Jews are now in a majority of marriages with self-identifying Jews according to Pew, the space for non-Jewish whites has opened up, as many of these(like Samantha Power) has understood these fears and sworn to uphold the principles behind them; hence her crying hysterics. Of course, she isn’t in the news media, but in politics, but the sociological function is the same.

      Hughes’ moves on Israel have thus far been disappointing. Although not a rabid racist like Peretz was(and is), he has nonetheless done relatively little. Excerpting a few paragraphs from the book of his own senior editor is the least he could do.

      If Hughes actually became progressive on the issue, much of his senior staff – mostly Zionist Jews – would have to jump ship as the primary vehicle of the TNR has always been to hold the line on Israel. Which is why people like Jonathan Chait came out of that newspaper, “liberals” who support Apartheid and never had to stand for their support.

      Of course, part of the reason why TNR has been losing relevance is precisely because they cling to a political order which no longer exists among the young left.
      Chris Hughes probably understands this. The question is if he can change his ship’s direction with so many of its staff actively against such a sea change. Does he have it in him to weather the hysterical attacks from neocons and “liberals” like Chait and Goldberg, and you know they’ll use the anti-Semitism card as they fear the loss of yet another bastion of support for Apartheid. So far he hasn’t shown himself willing to do so.

  2. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    February 26, 2014, 11:30 am

    Question: If one calls Judis’s book “nasty” is it the same as calling Judis nasty?

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew
      February 26, 2014, 11:38 am

      I also note that Weiseltier did not use the term self hating Jew, but instead said that Judis (I paraphrase) had discovered his Jewish roots purely for the purpose of attacking Israel. Whereas the phrase self hating Jew is too fraught for use, I think the more involved, “There is more to be said about the utter shabbiness in discovering a Jewish identity in- with a sole purpose of criticizing the Jews, it is not only ignorant but also insulting.” is worthy of some dissection and analysis. It would be applied to Phil also, I assume. And that’s why it’s easiest to sum it up as the pejorative “self hating” Jew, rather than an analysis of these two elements- the discovery of the identity for the sole purpose of criticizing.

      • Krauss
        Krauss
        February 26, 2014, 11:44 am

        Do you even believe your own desperate attempts of saving Wiseltier by bending over backwards to promote an impossibly muddied interpretation of his hysterical attacks?

        I doubt it, but you want us to.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        February 26, 2014, 12:20 pm

        Krauss- You’ve never said anything to me that did not smack of arrogance. Maybe some day we will have a discussion. Maybe not. Probably not. You’re addicted to your arrogance.

      • annie
        annie
        February 26, 2014, 1:13 pm

        Question: If one calls Krauss’s words ‘arrogant’ is it the same as calling Krauss arrogant?

        oh, i guess you answered your own question didn’t you?

      • philweiss
        philweiss
        February 26, 2014, 11:55 am

        Yonah, Wieseltier goes further to say that Judis is a disciple of Luxenburg who had no corner of her heart for Jews. I based my headline also on that smear.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        February 26, 2014, 12:16 pm

        Phil- Just to be clear, do you consider Rosa a self hating Jew? Do you consider Judis similar to Rosa or not?

      • lysias
        lysias
        February 26, 2014, 12:19 pm

        If I were Judis, I would be delighted to be compared to Rosa Luxemburg. Talk about someone who has been vindicated by history.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        Stephen Shenfield
        February 26, 2014, 1:13 pm

        What Rosa Luxemburg wrote was: “I have no special corner in my heart for the ghetto [because] I am at home in the entire world.” The context makes clear that she is expressing solidarity with all human suffering, including but not specially emphasizing Jewish suffering. With typical Zionist mendacity, Wieseltier (Weasel Tear?) distorts her meaning by omitting the crucial word “special” and groundlessly throwing in “proudly,” thereby presenting her humanism as anti-Semitism.

      • marc b.
        marc b.
        February 26, 2014, 12:01 pm

        the eternal return of the headline hairsplitter, purveyor of ‘fortune cookie’ history.

        yes, when you make serial allegations that someone’s actions are ‘nasty’, ‘shabby’, ‘shallow’, ‘ignorant’, ‘insulting’, that adds up to a personal critique, not simply an analysis of his work product. we are in large measure what we do. i’ll be more precise, so that even you can’t confuse the issues. Wieseltier is a scum bag of the Alterman variety. he admits to his own ignorance on the topic of Judis’s book, but then goes on to dismantle his character, or more importantly his Jewish character. (And I’d take one Rosa Luxemburg over ten Freuds any day of the week. She died fighting fascists. Sigmund bravely packed up his oriental carpets and divan and fled.)

        As for Ron Radish, I offer this tidbit of hophmiesque pretzel logic from his PJ Media tantrum:

        Both in this essay and in his book, Judis joins writers like Max Blumenthal and the BDS movement in attacking Israel and questioning its right to exist. Nevertheless, Judis makes assertions in the TNR excerpt that deserve attention, because they show how he uses history not to learn from the past, but for current political purposes.

        ‘he uses history not to learn from the past, but for current political purposes’? isn’t that precisely what ‘learning from the past’ means?

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        February 26, 2014, 12:17 pm

        Yes, Marc B., you are strategically located historically to comment that Sigmund should have stayed in Vienna in 1938. Qu’elle idiot!

      • marc b.
        marc b.
        February 26, 2014, 2:30 pm

        Qu’elle idiot!

        that’s ‘Quel idiot!’, half wit, ‘Quel _!’ being an exclamation in which ‘Quel’ and the following noun have to be in agreement in gender and number. Sigmund, the grasping, narcissistic quack speaks for himself. So far as I’ve read, Sigmund never did anything that wasn’t designed to promote Sigmund. But if you have any documentation showing that he lifted a finger in an attempt to help save the lives of other European Jews, besides his immediate family members and servants, I’d be happy to read it.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        February 26, 2014, 9:53 pm

        Marc B. _ Sorry for my misspelling quel idiot.

        It is entirely feasible that Rosa Lux was a better person than Sigmund and that Sigmund’s acts on behalf of his fellow Jews was paltry and didn’t measure up to Rosa Lux’s acts on behalf of her fellow humans. (My recent words in support of Freud were not support for him as a person or as a Jew, but as an icon and creator of the culture that exists to this day.) Still to attack Ziggy for leaving Vienna in 1938 rather than fighting the fascists is really stupid. Really (reellly, however you want to spell it) stupid (stoopid, how ever you want to spell it.)

      • Jeff Klein
        Jeff Klein
        February 26, 2014, 4:50 pm

        The vile Leon Wieseltier characteristically misquoting Rosa Luxemburg writes, “Remember Rosa Luxemburg’s letter to her friend in which she proudly announced that she had no corner of her heart for the Jews?”

        What she actually said, in a letter to her friend Mathilde Wurm (who was also Jewish) written on 16 February 1917 from her cell in Wronke Fortress:

        ‘What do you want with this theme of the “special suffering of the Jews”? I am just as much as concerned with the poor victims on the rubber plantations of Putumayo, the Blacks in Africa with whose corpses the Europeans play catch. You know the words that were written about the great work of the General Staff, about Gen. Trotha’s campaign in the Kalahari desert. “And the death rattles of the dying, the demented cries of those driven mad by thirst faded away in the sublime stillness of eternity.” Oh that “sublime stillness of eternity,” in which so many cries of anguish have faded away unheard, they resound within me so strongly that I have no special place in my heart for the ghetto. I feel at home in the entire world, wherever there are clouds and birds and human tears.’

      • marc b.
        marc b.
        February 27, 2014, 9:22 am

        well, that’s the problem in a nutshell, isn’t it? Luxemburg’s empathy for and solidarity with ‘others’, and the threat of contamination which naturally (or pathologically for the race police) knocks the Wieseltiers of the world off their pedestal.

        Weiss has now posted heilbrunn’s neat, concise psychoanalysis of the wieseltier-type, for those who believe in that sort of thing, which could also serve as a description of the bitchy misogynist, Freud, although Freud, like Tonya Harding, had someone else do the clubbing.

        he has a proclivity not only for extremism, but also for attacking his brethren. To put it more precisely, he is an expert practictioner of what is known as prolicide—in his case, the killing of one’s intellectual children…

        to heibrunn’s characterization I’d add in paraphrased form Fredrick Crews partial list of criticisms of Freud ‘the scientist’:

        that the analyst/literary critic ignored the contaminating effect of his own prejudices, and that, as a result, he failed to maintain even a minimal demarcation between his own obsessions and those of his patient/the subject of his critique.

      • John Douglas
        John Douglas
        February 26, 2014, 3:26 pm

        It occurs to me that the selections from Wieseltier’s piece could well be employed as the official definition of “Zionist argument structure.”

        P develops a line of reasoning intended to prove a conclusion C, where C is critical of Israeli action and/or Zionism.

        Reject C because P is an anti-Semite.
        Reject C because C, although not anti-Semitic in intent, is anti-Semitic in effect.
        Reject C because P hates himself.
        Reject C because C is ‘reminiscent’ of what a terrible people who did horrible things once said.
        Reject C because terrible people today use P’s argument for their own evil purposes.
        Reject C because P argues for C in order to work out some inner personal turmoil.
        Reject C because P is not an expert about C.
        Reject C because C is vicious, dangerous, evil, malignant and risible.
        Reject C because P is a modern day Q, a person who once said…
        Reject C because the families of those espousing what C critiques were horribly persecuted.
        Reject C because believing C increases the likelihood that the horrible persecution will reappear.

        Where is it written,

        Reject C because P’s line of reasoning fails by virtue of false premises and/or logical structure?

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        February 26, 2014, 7:02 pm

        Replace “Reject” with “Deny”. They live in denial regarding the monster in their family and call that love.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        February 26, 2014, 10:39 pm

        @ John Douglas

        Well done.

      • eGuard
        eGuard
        February 28, 2014, 12:23 am

        yonah fredman: Judis (I paraphrase) had discovered his Jewish roots purely for the purpose of attacking Israel.

        Israel? This is what the letter says, right above: “discovering a Jewish identity in—and for the purpose of—criticizing the Jews”. Jews. Yonah, didn’t you learn how to scroll in torah school? Then you need a bigger screen. Both options are mental.

    • amigo
      amigo
      February 26, 2014, 11:39 am

      Question: If one calls Judis’s book “nasty” is it the same as calling Judis nasty?”jonah

      So you believe that there are anti zionists who are not nasty???.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        February 26, 2014, 12:10 pm

        amigo- To pick a couple easy quick examples just from the comments section- Donald and shmuel are anti Zionists who are not nasty.

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew
      February 26, 2014, 10:06 pm

      I cop to hair splitting on the issue of nasty book versus nasty author. But I feel that since Wieseltier did not use the term self hating, Phil’s use of the term in his headline, is yet another example of the tabloid aspect of this blog.

  3. W.Jones
    W.Jones
    February 26, 2014, 11:40 am

    “Israel was indeed a house obsession” at the New Republic?

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      February 26, 2014, 11:46 am

      It was one of the primary, perhaps the primary, reason why Peretz bought the paper in the 70s. Hughes has to manage that legacy. Can’t be very fun holding a smelling bag like that and pretending it doesn’t stink.
      Who wants to support Apartheid as a liberal?

      Other than those who have been heavily indoctrinated from birth that they must do so or the gas chambers will return, that is. The crazy minority. The Wiseltierians, if you will.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        February 26, 2014, 12:11 pm

        Yes. It means being biased in favor of them. So if in reality they are in the process of imprisoning a native population and are increasing the subjugation, then a person who is biased in favor of the State does not need to be an all-out Neo-con. He merely has to appear “reasonable”.

        Describing the situation accurately would add force to resistance to that situation. To favor the continuing expansion, one must only appear to give “equal weight”. So if 600 children are imprisoned, then it must be “balanced” with extremely bad things down by children, like the IDF lady claiming 3 year olds threw molotov cocktails. Or just don’t mention it at all, because imprisoning kids sounds bad.

  4. lysias
    lysias
    February 26, 2014, 12:01 pm

    Peretz critical of Israel? If he ever was, I bet it was over things like the Oslo peace process.

  5. Balfour
    Balfour
    February 26, 2014, 12:04 pm

    Leon Wiesetier’s dyspeptic rants are the reactions of an aging and desperate man who cannot acknowledge the consequences that result from promoting a politicized ethnic nationalism.

  6. Donald
    Donald
    February 26, 2014, 12:14 pm

    “For three decades and more we—by which I emphatically mean Marty [Peretz] too—have been publishing criticisms, even bitter ones, of Israeli policies by myself, Michael Walzer, and many others. ”

    Hilarious. I had a friend back in the 80’s who, along with me, read TNR. By that time I’d read “The Fateful Triangle” and a book by David Hirst I’d found in a used bookstore, and maybe Jonathan Randall’s book on Lebanon, so I had something to compare with TNR’s coverage of Israel, but never talked about it to anyone. I didn’t know anyone who would care. Out of the blue, a few of us were talking, somehow TNR came up, and my friend said “That magazine never says one nice thing about Palestinians.”

    Only an idiot could have seen TNR as anything other than a hasbara journal back then. Wieseltier is an idiot.

  7. lysias
    lysias
    February 26, 2014, 12:16 pm

    As the son of a Kerrywoman, I hope that Power and Sunstein did not choose to be married in a (Catholic) church in Kerry because of any family connection between Power and County Kerry.

    However, I am glad to learn from Power’s Wikipedia entry that she has seen to it that their two children have Irish names: Declan and Rian.

  8. DaveS
    DaveS
    February 26, 2014, 12:18 pm

    The two-sentence excerpt from Judis’s book at the end of Phil’s article is a most concise and accurate and reasonable account of the last century plus of history. To most of the non-Jewish readers of this website, this must appear like a no-brainer. Of course the Zionist plan to establish a Jewish State where lots of non-Jewish people lived contained the seeds of inevitable conflict. However, as a graduate of a Jewish educational system (a few hours a week supplemental to a regular NYC public school), I can affirm how effective it was in ignoring this obvious fact, which I did not realize until I had a eureka moment as an adult. In fact, suppression of this undisputable truth remains a staple of I-P discussion among the powerful. It is remarkable how they get away with the absurd assumption that the only motivation that could have prompted Palestinians to reject Zionism, that is, being ruled over by (mostly immigrant) Jews, is old-fashioned Jew hatred. The founding generation of Zionists themselves were well aware that military conquest and domination would be required to subdue an uncooperative population, but today it is portrayed as an unreasonable unwillingness to accept Jews in their midst.

    • JeffB
      JeffB
      February 26, 2014, 4:09 pm

      @David

      The founding generation of Zionists themselves were well aware that military conquest and domination would be required to subdue an uncooperative population, but today it is portrayed as an unreasonable unwillingness to accept Jews in their midst.

      The founding generation of Zionists weren’t sure if there was going to be an uncooperative population. Some thought there would be, some thought that a variety of peaceful coexistence proposals might work. When immigration first started the immigrants were wealthy and Palestinians had starvation problems. A inflow of foreign funds was seen as rather desirable. Those attitudes started to change with the communist labor Zionists. But there were Palestinians at the time who saw the benefits of the improved infrastructure. During the late 20s and early 30s Zionism created financial prosperity in Palestine and many of the Palestinians weren’t unhappy with a mutually beneficial colonial arrangement. I would image the average Palestinian was happy that the ethnic tension of the 20s was over. Then the Palestinian anti-colonial movement started, there was some violence and it kept escalating. Instead of backing off, the Zionists got more and more aggressive and by 1939 the first anti-colonial war had ended in a Palestinian defeat.

      I’d say after that point there was a clear understanding that violence was going to necessary. So I think Judis is wrong in dating it to 1890, I’d say a fair date is 1937 when the Israelis start hitting the Palestinians hard to try and terrorize them into submission. Moreover even in 1939, when the war ended, the degree of violence necessary wasn’t clear. Ben-Gurion et al. during the early 1940s certainly started collecting intelligence that would be later used for ethnic cleansing. But I think the literature is pretty clear that at that point in time it was just a possibility among many. There could have been an uneasy bi-nationalism that slowly worked through the issues. Had the Palestinians changed course, had there not been a war in 47 the Nabka likely wouldn’t have happened.

      After the foundation of Israel as a state there have been attempts to try and find a viable compromise. Most of the Palestinian population no longer lived under Israeli control, Israel doesn’t appear to have had much interest in dominating those external and rather clearly was successfully integrating those internal. At that point the work had mostly been done. ’67 provided another opportunity for conquest and Israel took it, and then of course another round of domination was required. And again there certainly were Israelis in ’66 who wanted to target the West Bank, but there were Americans all during the 19th century who wanted Canada. Things don’t have to go the distance.

      Similarly I don’t think today domination is required. But you are absolutely right that as long as the population remains uncooperative it will be. The Palestinians don’t have many cards left, and it might be too late for them to change course. But it might not be, and if they did change course, I think the next century could look a lot better than it likely will as Israel mops up the remaining resistance. But instead they want to fight on to the bitter end and lose everything. There is now way the Zionists of 1890 foresaw how this played out.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 26, 2014, 4:18 pm

        “The Palestinians don’t have many cards left, and it might be too late for them to change course. But it might not be, and if they did change course, I think the next century could look a lot better than it likely will as Israel mops up the remaining resistance”

      • talknic
        talknic
        February 26, 2014, 5:52 pm

        JeffB @ February 26, 2014 at 4:09 pm re-writing history

      • DaveS
        DaveS
        February 26, 2014, 6:03 pm

        JeffB, of course the Zionists in 1890 could not have predicted all the twists and turns the next several decades would bring. But they knew that their idea to create a Jewish State would be rejected, and with good reason, by the local population. You speculate that some of them may have fantasized that the Palestinians would become the first and only people in the history of the world to voluntarily engage in their own ethnic cleansing, and/or agree to their own domination and subjugation by an immigrant group. If you’re right, and there were any such fools, they had only themselves to blame.

        My point is that the Palestinians were well within their rights to resent and oppose the Zionist plan of treating them as inferiors and/or infiltrators in their own land, and that obtuse blindness to this obvious fact is a widespread feature of mainstream discourse today, as well as much Jewish education. I’m not really sure what your point is.

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        February 27, 2014, 1:05 am

        @David —

        There was no need for them to be dominated or subjugated by the immigrant group had they joined in. That’s the point! The domination came out of the resistance to the Zionist project, the Zionist project never required the resistance. And plenty of groups have accepted waves of immigrants that end up with more political power peacefully the Palestinians would not have been the first, second or even thousandth that was fine with immigration.

        Take your own country how much power to the descendants of the French, Welsh, Scottish and British have relative to more recent groups that had no power 300 years ago: European Catholics, Asians and Hispanics?

      • Ecru
        Ecru
        February 28, 2014, 2:01 am

        @ JeffB

        There was no need for them [the Palestinians] to be dominated or subjugated by the immigrant group had they joined in..

        How the hell could they have “joined in” they weren’t Jewish and by definition excluded from the “Zionist project.”

      • eljay
        eljay
        February 26, 2014, 6:05 pm

        >> The Palestinians don’t have many cards left, and it might be too late for them to change course. But it might not be, and if they did change course, I think the next century could look a lot better than it likely will as Israel mops up the remaining resistance.

        Huh. Usually Zio-supremacists are so busy wailing about how the Arabs, the Muslims, “the Hamas”, the anti-Semites and the nuclear Iranians are *this* close to wiping them off the map and pushing them into the sea that they don’t have time for such arrogance.

        Someone appears to have missed the aggressor-victimhood memo…

      • Stephen Shenfield
        Stephen Shenfield
        February 26, 2014, 6:07 pm

        “Had the Palestinians changed course, had there not been a war in 47 the Nabka likely wouldn’t have happened.”

        The Nakba was not a response to the war. The war was a response to (i.e., an attempt to stop) the Nakba, which had been in progress for several months before war broke out. Ever since the Zionists have used the war as an excuse for the Nakba, but this falsifies the sequence of events. What happens later cannot explain what has already happened earlier (outside of science fiction anyway).

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        February 26, 2014, 9:46 pm

        Stephen S- Between November 29, 1947 and April 1948 (the major acts of expulsion of Palestinian Arabs) were December, January, February and March. According to you were these months peaceful? They were not. In fact the war began in the days after the partition resolution and to consider the nakba (meaning the acts of expulsion) as if they occurred at a time of peace is to distort history. One can claim that the attack by the Arab countries was in response to the nakba, but to claim that the war did not begin until after the nakba strikes me as ahistorical (euphemism for falsification).

      • talknic
        talknic
        February 28, 2014, 5:09 am

        @ yonah fredman “According to you were these months peaceful? “

        It’s stupid to make false accusations when we can read what was actually said.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        February 26, 2014, 7:07 pm

        When immigration first started the immigrants were wealthy and Palestinians had starvation problems.

        LOL.

        There could have been an uneasy bi-nationalism that slowly worked through the issues.

        Ever heard of the Biltmore Program?

        The Palestinians don’t have many cards left, and it might be too late for them to change course.

        The Palestinians think in centuries. You just don’t understand their course.

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        February 28, 2014, 10:47 am

        @Talkback

        Ever heard of the Biltmore Program?

        Yes in 1942, this was a commitment from most Zionist groups that bi-nationalism was dead. I had dated the collapse in this goal to 1937 in the above post so I’m not sure how your reference to Biltmore disagrees. Other than this was a declaration of creating a commonwealth so what?

        The Palestinians think in centuries. You just don’t understand their course.

        So far they are having a pretty rough time in a bit more than one. Let’s see if they make it through centuries. Given how much their strategic position deteriorates every decade, I’d doubt it. Take a look at the nations from 500 years ago. For most, where are they now?

      • talknic
        talknic
        February 28, 2014, 5:39 pm

        JeffB // The Palestinians think in centuries. You just don’t understand their course//

        “So far they are having a pretty rough time in a bit more than one”

        Indeed, the period of Zionist colonization

        “Let’s see if they make it through centuries

        Uh? They already have you stupid person. From at least the Roman era. Far longer than the Kingdom of David or Israel or the majority of countries in the world for that matter.

        In fact the far longest period of Jewish history in the region was as Palestinian Jews who actually had the right citizenship, buy land and settle anywhere in their historic homeland.

        Zionist Movement’s demand for a Jewish State took that right away for Israeli Jews. You should be addressing your putrid pet peeves towards those responsible.

        “Given how much their strategic position deteriorates every decade, I’d doubt it”

        Their strategic position strengthens with every small and generous step they make, offering to forgo more and more of their rightful territory for peace http://pages.citebite.com/e9p5s8u2yhcd , showing the world that it is Israel who refuses peace in its illegal lust for a mythical Greater Israel

        Furthermore the Palestinians have the UN Charter and International Law in their favour and have absolutely no legal obligation to forgo any of their legal rights, even in negotiations.

        Meanwhile…. Israel, in breach for 65 years of the UN Charter and International Law it cannot now suddenly start to observe without being sent bankrupt for decades paying rightful reparations and resettling hundreds of thousands of illegal Israel settlers back into Israeli territory, only has the US UNSC Veto vote temporarily protecting it from the consequences of its vile and illegal actions in non Israeli territory.

        The only legal way out of the illegal sh*t hole Israel has purposefully created, is to negotiate a plea bargain with the Palestinians in order to circumvent the eventual consequences of breaking the Law and UN Charter.

        BTW a negotiated settlement doesn’t protect people from being prosecuted for war crimes

        “Take a look at the nations from 500 years ago. For most, where are they now?”

        Interesting point. Palestine existed some 2,000 years ago minimum. It still exists you stupid person.

        The kingdom of David went kaput long ago. Israel has only existed 65 years and has never for a single moment confined itself to its own territories.

        65 years of being in denial, lying, cheating, coveting and having military forces in other folks territory, in breach of the law and the basic tenets of Judaism are starting to catch up. Israel is spending more and more time effort and money putting lipstick on the pig http://wp.me/pDB7k-1a8

      • traintosiberia
        traintosiberia
        February 27, 2014, 7:06 am

        History is about changing the course. In last three decades, a china and Russia and large number of Latin America have. You see the result? The only dinosaur left in the jungle pouting his lips with 1000 tons of muscle power is US economy and nowhere to go. It has not changed.
        Israel has managed to achieve a lot. It has emasculated its enemies destroyed their societies,prevented their rise but it forgot to build a peaceful ,secure,legitimate,normal state even after 60 years of existence.
        Arabs in their days achieved million times more within 60 years of the death of their political and spiritual leader in 7 th century.

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        February 28, 2014, 10:39 am

        @Ecru

        JeffB: “There was no need for them [the Palestinians] to be dominated or subjugated by the immigrant group had they joined in..”

        Ecru: How the hell could they have “joined in” they weren’t Jewish and by definition excluded from the “Zionist project.”

        They could have joined in the way any group of people joins a state that doesn’t perfectly match their culture they start a process of assimilation. Exactly what you see going on in Israel with Russian Christians. They are Christian but they are loyal citizens of the state and support the state. They attend the same schools, live in the same neighborhoods… And they understand they are assimilating so their grandchildren will identify fully as Jewish.

        My wife (Russian Jew) had some issues assimilating. She liked the idea of a cash culture over a check/credit culture better, but she understood she needed to shift. She doesn’t like the idea of brands but she understands thats the culture. And while she still has many of those assimilation issues, she is happy our daughter has trouble even relating to those issues.

      • talknic
        talknic
        February 28, 2014, 5:55 pm

        JeffB “They could have joined in the way any group of people joins a state that doesn’t perfectly match their culture they start a process of assimilation”

        Israeli military and civil law & Israeli racism and bigotry has and still prevents complete assimilation of non-Jewish Israeli Arabs

        “Exactly what you see going on in Israel with Russian Christians. They are Christian but they are loyal citizens of the state and support the state”

        Arab Israelis support their state, they don’t however, nor should anyone, support the apartheid policies of their or anyone else’s state

        “They are Christian but they are loyal citizens of the state and support the state. They attend the same schools “

        Uh huh. Many attending Jew only schools

        “live in the same neighborhoods”

        Israeli Jew only areas do not want non-Jewish Arabs and legislate locally to prevent assimilation

        “And they understand they are assimilating so their grandchildren will identify fully as Jewish”

        Oh FFS. What happened??

        The State of Israel … will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex http://pages.citebite.com/a2t5q7e1l5qrp

        “My wife (Russian Jew) had some issues assimilating. She liked the idea of a cash culture over a check/credit culture better, but she understood she needed to shift. She doesn’t like the idea of brands but she understands thats the culture. And while she still has many of those assimilation issues, she is happy our daughter has trouble even relating to those issues”

        Uh? That has NOTHING what so ever to do with non-Jews assimilating as you foolishly demand, as Jews.

  9. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    February 26, 2014, 12:18 pm

    Wieseltier’s remarks remind me of of the folks who jumped to praise From Time Immemorial, a (vast)propagandist piece disguised as a scholarly book. Numerous Zios supported it, but none (it seems) checked its assertions and none had much but ad hominem response to Finkelstein and others who trashed it.

    What’s going on? My guess? People who’ve been taught from babes-in-arms to regard Zionism as the one-true-religion, and circle-the-Jewish-wagons as the one-true-prescription-for-action (with no room left for truth, ethics, caring for “the other”, etc) have a REALLY HARD TIME dealing with new realization that a lot of other people who should have learnt the same lessons have either not learnt them or quit.

    Quitting the fold (of we like sheep follow Zionism whithersoever it leads, baa-baa-baa three bags full) feels like hate, abandonment, etc., for the Jews who’ve sold-the-farm to move into the promised city on the hill. So they fulminate against the perceived haters.

    But they don’t make sense to those outside the fold, those who’ve not bought the bill of goods.

    And boy-oh-boy does it feel bad (to a Wieseltier) to have people write books which say, in effect, that he’s devoted jis whole life to barking up the wrong tree (and, indeed, an immoral, unethical tree) — this is a hard sell particularly for Jews who dimly remember being told [whether rightly or wrongly] that such things — morality, ethics — once formed pillars of Judaism.

    In any case, the Three Musketeers rallying cry, “All for One and One for All” seems to have been taught so strongly to Wielsetier and others of his kidney that they regard Jews who break away (or never made the promise in the first place) as having broken a sacred covenant (and never mind any older or other covenants).

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew
      February 26, 2014, 12:30 pm

      pabelmont- Recently been reading David Caute’s “Isaiah and Isaac” about the differing attitudes during the Cold War of the two great thinkers; and the fact that Isaiah Berlin blocked Isaac Deutscher’s chances of achieving an appointment at a British school (All Souls). Although Deutscher never was a Zionist, in the aftermath of WWII, he wrote that he saw it differently than he had before.

      Not that something that Deutscher wrote in 1953 defines what Wieseltier writes in 2014, but I think a little historical context is helpful.

  10. February 26, 2014, 1:11 pm

    People are laughing at these ad hominem attacks by irrational Jews on brilliant, honest Jews who criticize Israel. Wieseltier’s days are over – his lack of logic is so obvious and is so blatantly pathological. I just ordered two copies of the book by Judis. I feel that this is all that I can do to influence these irrational Jews who carry so much water for Israel and have such a dominating and domineering effect on our US media. Even Beinart can only get his articles published in Israel (Haaretz) and most of these articles would never see the light of day in the US press. But thank God for Haaretz and Mondoweiss. They show that these are some honest and sane people trying to put things right.

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