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Renouncing my Israeli citizenship

on 129 Comments
Welcoming ceremony to Jews making "aliyah" to Israel, at the Nefesh b'Nefesh site

A recent welcoming ceremony for Jews making “aliyah” to Israel, at the Nefesh b’Nefesh site

On October 19, 2010 my plane landed in Israel and instantaneously I was awarded Israeli citizenship with identification card # 012706735, solely because I am Jewish. Through reflection and study I have come to realize that this act was a travesty of justice. There are several million Palestinians and their descendants who cannot enter and/or live and move freely in their native historical homeland.

For several decades I believed, as most Jews do, that the establishment of the Jewish State of Israel was an answer to the Nazi Holocaust and other persecutions of Jews through the centuries, such as the Russian pogroms, the Spanish Inquisition and the Crusades. However, none of these atrocities were carried out by Palestinians and none of them justify the atrocities and other injustices perpetrated upon the Palestinian people by the Zionist Movement and the State of Israel for over a century. I am referring to the racist colonization of Palestine, the Nakba/Catastrophe of 1948 whereby the establishment of Israel as a state was accompanied by the destruction of hundreds of Palestinian Arab villages, massacres of thousands of men, women and children and the forced exile of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland. Subsequently Israel has embarked upon an aggressive, Nazi-like expansion and a brutal, inhuman, military occupation of nearly half a century.

As a serious student of the Nazi Holocaust, I can only be horrified at the disgrace that the State of Israel and its Jewish supporters continue to bring upon the memory of Jewish Holocaust victims. It’s a moral abomination to emulate Nazi tactics in the name of the Jewish people and their alleged security: cowardly massive bombings and slaughter of civilian populations who have no air force to protect them, collective punishment and torture, mass incarcerations, destruction of thousands of homes, and the vicious blockade and ghettoization of Gaza.

Israel is not becoming an apartheid state—it already is one with separate and unequal laws and policing for its Jewish citizens on one hand and for its non-Jewish, mostly Arab citizens and victims of the occupation on the other hand.

It is with a newfound clarity of thinking and analyzing a very emotional tragedy that I have thrown off the shackles of Zionist propaganda and am proudly and publicly renouncing my Israeli citizenship effective immediately. At the same time I denounce the ongoing colonial oppression of the Palestinian people, a terrible injustice that is greatly facilitated by US tax dollars supporting the vast Israeli military machine. I also encourage other Jews to educate themselves and to stand on the side of the oppressed.

Lenny Lapon

I am an activist and a retired public school teacher living in Springfield, MA

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129 Responses

  1. jenin on July 21, 2014, 4:40 pm

    Lenny, very nice post. thank you for your courage and ability to see the truth. Best of luck to you.

  2. Pixel on July 21, 2014, 4:41 pm

    I applaud your courage.

  3. just on July 21, 2014, 4:47 pm


  4. pjdude on July 21, 2014, 4:51 pm

    thank you for showing what true courage is. all to often people get labeled as courageous for doing the easy thing. I can not imagine how hard this must have been for you. MAy peace always favor you and yours

    • Naftush on January 5, 2015, 8:05 am

      Where exactly is the courage here? Nearly 800 people renounced Israeli citizenship in the past year; did the Elders of Zion persecute them for it?

      • annie on January 5, 2015, 12:26 pm

        Nearly 800 people renounced Israeli citizenship in the past year

        do you have a link? i’d like to read it.

  5. eljay on July 21, 2014, 4:56 pm

    Kudos to you, Mr. Lapon, for choosing morality over supremacism.

  6. RobertB on July 21, 2014, 5:16 pm

    Lenny…I applaud your humanity, your stand, your courage…!!!

    Its is a pleasure to see you & others like you on the side of justice, human rights, truth, fairness & humanity. And NOT on the side of Apartheid Israel’s nazi IDF.

    The truth is on the side of the oppressed!

  7. seafoid on July 21, 2014, 5:16 pm

    Good man , Lenny.
    Israel seems to have taken a Ziocaine overdose over the weekend.

  8. Justpassingby on July 21, 2014, 5:20 pm

    Good job Lenny, people like you are the heroes during these times!

  9. bpm on July 21, 2014, 5:28 pm

    Written by a true Jew. Thank you.

  10. nettee on July 21, 2014, 5:32 pm

    Good job I have a French Passport(thanks husband)
    My Israeli passport together with my Israeli ID and army release papers(1976) are already in an envelope to be given back to the Israel Embassy in Brussels.

    • Qshabanah on July 22, 2014, 10:23 am

      Thank you both for taking such a courageous stance against injustice! Cheers

    • kalithea on July 22, 2014, 11:25 am

      It’s the humane thing to do given the cruelty we’re witnessing and the endless injustice that Palestinians have suffered for Zionism’s benefit. I applaud you and Lenny Lapon.

      This restores one’s faith in humanity. I can only pray it’s contagious. Bravo again and again!

  11. Kay24 on July 21, 2014, 5:40 pm

    57 percent Americans say Israeli attack on Gaza is okay:

    So who really conducts these polls, and from where are the people polled?

    An official from the PA said this was unfortunate, and that the American people have been fed with the Israeli narrative by the media for years. So true.

    • CloakAndDagger on July 21, 2014, 5:48 pm


      So who really conducts these polls, and from where are the people polled?

      More importantly, how are the questions phrased?

    • seafoid on July 21, 2014, 5:55 pm

      57% is low considering AIPAC’s work.
      What would the % have been 10 years ago ? Much higher, I presume.

      • Justpassingby on July 21, 2014, 5:58 pm

        as seafoid say, thats low for americans!

      • Kay24 on July 21, 2014, 6:13 pm

        This what makes it dubious:
        “Forty-three percent of those questioned said Israel’s using about the right amount of force, with 12% saying they’re not using enough. Nearly four in 10 said Israel is using too much force in Gaza.

        “Attitudes toward Israeli military action have been extremely stable over the years,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “In 2012, an identical 57% thought that Israel’s actions against Hamas in Gaza were justified. And in 2009, the number of Americans who felt that way was only a few points higher, at 63%.”

        After seeing the horrors in Gaza and the massacre of kids playing soccer, and babies being torn to shreds, I cannot imagine it will be stable.
        There might be even a temporary drop in numbers.
        So who controls these polling companies?

      • American on July 21, 2014, 6:27 pm

        When a network does the polling ask who controls the network.
        When Pew does a poll you have to ask if the Pew Think Tank, also part of the Pew Foundation, helped it along. And with Pew you also have to ask why their top two editors are all over the country ‘promoting religion’ and writing books about it.
        You really have to beware most polls today because everyone is out to ‘influence public opinion’ not actually show it as it really is.

      • Kay24 on July 21, 2014, 6:33 pm

        I suspected that even polling companies are zio corrupted.

        They control the US and we know it.

      • W.Jones on July 22, 2014, 1:36 am

        I am suspicious with the poll, because where are all the Americans who would answer “No opinion”? I think many Americans don’t have a serious opinion about the conflict or know alot about it.

      • kalithea on July 22, 2014, 11:46 am

        I’m neither suspicious nor surprised by the poll at all given the American masses lack of independent thought. Take all Appalachia bordering states and states like Texas, Florida, S.C., Miss., LA, the Dakotas, Wyoming, Missouri and then the Israel biased NY and even a large part of California and what do you get? Radically conservative, Zionist-biased or superficial and dumb or all the above.

      • W.Jones on July 22, 2014, 3:12 pm


        I am saying that the tally comes out to about 100% of the people having an opinion. I think that in reality many Americans don’t have a serious opinion. It’s not something I hear everyday Americans talking about at food counters, gas stations, supermarkets, etc. I think that the poll answers would have at least 10-20% saying they have no opinion. And even those with one arent hardcore.

    • michelle on July 21, 2014, 10:42 pm

      polls are for people who can’t be bothered to think for themselves
      G-d Bless

  12. Kay24 on July 21, 2014, 6:22 pm

    Well, the US State Department has issued a travel warning for Israel, Gaza and the West Bank. No surprise, but as usual Israel will be disappointed the dollars are not coming in.

  13. sjabulhawa on July 21, 2014, 6:45 pm

    Thank you, Lenny.
    Much love,

    • lennylapon on July 21, 2014, 7:56 pm

      Thanks, Susie
      I just got your novel “Mornings in Jenin” and will be reading it shortly.
      Take care

  14. Kay24 on July 21, 2014, 6:55 pm

    Lenny, what you decided to do, took a lot of courage, and a whole lot of soul searching.
    It is not easy to let what you have connected with, since you were little, go so easily.
    But I can understand your disgust at what is happening, and recognizing Israel is not the place it was before. It looks very ugly and mean, right now.

  15. atime forpeace on July 21, 2014, 7:11 pm


  16. Speedy on July 21, 2014, 7:19 pm

    Seems like you did not do your research prior to moving. You sound like a simpleton.
    I hope you returned your absorption package.

    • Kay24 on July 21, 2014, 8:11 pm

      And then comes the mean comment, that shows harbarats can be sore, and resort to personal attacks, when they don’t like the truth, or that someone does not agree with them.

    • Mooser on July 21, 2014, 8:34 pm

      “Seems like you did not do your research prior to moving.”

      And what, pray tell, would this “research prior to moving” have shown him?

    • Bumblebye on July 21, 2014, 8:37 pm

      Why? With all the zio propaganda yelling ‘come on in, the water’s lovely’?
      Compensation for false selling.

    • eljay on July 21, 2014, 9:05 pm

      >> Speedeee: Seems like you did not do your research prior to moving. You sound like a simpleton.

      He was brainwashed by Zio-supremacism, but eventually came to see it for the hateful and immoral ideology it is and, rightly, he abandoned it. You can make the same just and moral choice as he did. Don’t be afraid.

    • adele on July 21, 2014, 10:12 pm

      Why should he return it? He had already paid for it fair and square with his U.S. taxes.

  17. justicewillprevail on July 21, 2014, 7:31 pm

    Good. Perhaps you could make a (symbolic) gesture of returning your citizenship to a Palestinian who deserves the rights that come with statehood far more than foreign nationals. That should choke the ziobots.

  18. samlebon2306 on July 21, 2014, 7:52 pm

    Shalom and bravo.

  19. concernedhuman on July 21, 2014, 8:17 pm

    Awakening !!

    Shalom brother.

  20. jimby on July 21, 2014, 8:17 pm

    Thank you Lenny, that is a fine gesture, but WHAT TOOK SO LONG? This mad dog Israel has shown itself as a racist hound of hell for a very long time. Nakba, the invasion of Lebanon in 1982 gave insight into the true nature of the state and the people. Then the rise of the Koch party, Meir Kahane, Baruch Goldstein, Cast Lead, etc etc should have pulled the scales from so many more eyes. Even though it has become exponentially worse, the nature of the state has been clear for a long long time. However I do congratulate you for freeing yourself from the bondage of Zionism.

    • kalithea on July 22, 2014, 12:06 pm

      the bondage of Zionism

      That’s exactly it, for both Jews and Palestinians, except that for Palestinians it’s a prison of pain and for Jews it’s an addiction that voids their humanity.

  21. gamal on July 21, 2014, 8:52 pm

    You are a very brave and principled man, I hope you don’t suffer too many repercussions, but what of those who only have Israeli nationality like scores of Mizrahim and Palestinian citizens of Israel?

    I have an Egyptian passport from the 70’s when, still in the throes of independence, they used to use real gold leaf on the embossed symbols, it never fades, unlike the hopes of liberation, none the less the peoples of the MENA will liberate themselves and you Mr. Lapon have made a more than trivial personal contribution to this great struggle. Respect.

  22. wondering jew on July 21, 2014, 9:18 pm

    I have to assume this guy is pulling our leg and he was already of this opinion when he made aliya less than four years ago. This conversion from oleh to citing Israel for Nazi like expansion is not believable in a retired school teacher, unless he taught with crayons to pre schoolers. No, I believe this guy was of this opinion before he made aliya and this is just a put on.

    • Qualtrough on July 21, 2014, 10:55 pm


      So you believe that he purposely obtained Israeli citizenship almost four years ago in order to make a PR splash now? Patient guy he is, much to admire in that too.

      • wondering jew on July 21, 2014, 11:43 pm

        Q- Until I read an explanation of what he thought when he made aliya and an explanation of an evolution that occurred to a retiree in a period of less than four years to go from oleh to “Nazi like expansionism”, I’m saying either this guy is stupid, has a screw loose or he’s lying.

      • tree on July 22, 2014, 12:22 pm

        Susan Nathan moved to Israel in 1999, as a Zionist, then came face to face with the racism and inequality there, and ended up moving to the all Arab Israeli town of Tamra in the Galilee in 2002, and then wrote a book explaining her evolution, so the idea that 4 years is too short a time to see the true face of Israel has no real merit except as sour grapes. I assume that Lenny was a retired teacher when he moved to Israel. He was probably looking for a place to retire and was encouraged to move there with tales of how great it was.

        Some people are more perceptive in seeing what’s really going on around them, and some continue to have an attachment to their blinders, or they have no problem with racism when its directed at someone other than them. And some people resent others for seeing more clearly than they do, and feel the need to cast aspersions.

      • wondering jew on July 22, 2014, 12:27 pm

        how old was susan nathan in 1999? a youngster, i’ll betcha. i don’t buy lenny’s story that he had some kind of change since he made aliya. I believe he made aliya fully cognizant of all the things he hates now about Israel and he implies that he went wide eyed like a young innocent thing and opened up his eyes and read chomsky and realized the truth. I don’t buy it. if you are buying it, then it’s only because it fits. this is no youngster. this is a retiree. With his cant lined up like ducks for years now.

      • eljay on July 22, 2014, 12:49 pm

        >> tree @ July 22, 2014 at 12:22 pm

        Great comment, tree. y.f. seems almost desperate to de-bunk Lenny’s story (or Lenny himself) – as though doing so will make him feel better about his inability/unwillingness to renounce Zio-supremacism.

      • tree on July 22, 2014, 2:59 pm

        how old was susan nathan in 1999? a youngster, i’ll betcha.

        You lose your bet by a wide margin. She moved to Israel when her children were all grown, which means she was around retirement time, or close to it. She was not a youngster. You’re grasping at straws in your nastiness, yonah.

      • tree on July 22, 2014, 6:12 pm

        A picture of Susan Nathan from sometime prior to the Summer of 2009. I’d guess she’s in her mid to late 60’s in the pic, which would make her in her fifties, at the youngest, in 1999.

      • Mooser on July 22, 2014, 1:00 pm

        ” I’m saying either this guy is stupid, has a screw loose or he’s lying.”

        You know that the only person there for you to describe is yourself, really, when you are writing comments? I mean, you are, in some dim way, aware of that, maybe? No, I don’t think so.

    • mijj on July 22, 2014, 12:48 am

      wow! .. so, is it really true that Zionists are given magical telepathic abilities!?

    • Marnie on July 22, 2014, 4:37 am

      Wow. This comes as quite a shock. The old make aliyah and when the timing is right, for good PR and all, renounce israeli citizenship! Who cares what anybody thinks, this was his decision and how does it affect you anyway, besides the leg cramp?

  23. SQ Debris on July 21, 2014, 10:29 pm

    HURRAY FOR LENNY! This had to be a very difficult decision. It’s one thing to take a political stance. It’s quit another to vote with your life. Great respect and very best wishes.

  24. DrPalestine on July 21, 2014, 10:36 pm

    Thank you for your honesty. For being a fair and good human. May we overcome abusers of the Jewish faith and establish a lasting peace together.

  25. Paldi5 on July 21, 2014, 11:17 pm

    I don’t have Israeli citizenship. But if I do and don’t know it, or if it is ever offered, I renounce it.

  26. liyana on July 21, 2014, 11:33 pm

    Congratulations. I have much respect for you.

  27. Citizen on July 22, 2014, 12:25 am

    Good job, Lenny Lapon. I’d like to fax your succinct yet eloquent notice to Mr Goldstone. Wonder what’s he’s thinking now about OP Protective Edge? By not standing up for his own findings re OP Cast Lead, I’d say he contributed to the massacre going on now.

    • kalithea on July 22, 2014, 12:25 pm

      Exactly. Like absolving a murderer who’s set free and then kills again. The difference being, Israel commits serial massacres. The judge succumbed to Zionist pressure instead of the rule of law. Pathetic.

  28. Nevada Ned on July 22, 2014, 12:25 am

    FWIW, I think Lenny was genuinely convinced years ago that Israel was a good place to join, and became disillusioned. He is not alone.
    When I lived in New York City, I met several American Jews who moved to Israel, but then changed their minds and moved back to the US.
    Up to a million Israelis live abroad, including 600,000 in North America.
    In a survey a few years ago, a shockingly high percentage (70-80%) of Israeli Jews said they had a second passport (for emigration).

    It’s no secret that quite a few Israeli Jews have moved to Germany, enough that the Israeli government lobbied the German government to restrict Jewish immigration to Germany.

    Don’t forget one person who moved to Israel (temporarily) in the 1950’s…Noam Chomsky!

    • wondering jew on July 22, 2014, 12:51 pm

      Nevada Ned- Your link to this so called survey in which 70-80% of Israelis claimed to have a second passport linked instead to a claim by Juan Cole that 70% of Israelis have such a passport. I think Juan Cole is wrong, but your link is certainly not linked to a survey. If you find some real resource rather than a quote from Juan Cole, I would appreciate it.

      • tree on July 22, 2014, 3:57 pm


        I didn’t find the survey itself, but I have seen multiple references to it. The description of it is not quite accurate, but in the ballpark, as they say. The percentage in the survey refers to those Israelis who either have approached a foreign embassy in Israel, or intend to, in order to obtain a second passport.

        I’ll use this quote from a 2012 op-ed in Arutz Sheva, since I assume that you won’t view it as some “unreliable” anti-Zionist source:

        A 2008 survey by the Jerusalem-based Menachem Begin Heritage Center found that 59 percent of Israelis had approached or intended to approach a foreign embassy to inquire about or apply for citizenship and a passport. Today it is estimated that the figure is approaching 70 percent.

        I don’t know where they get the 2012 estimate from, but I’ve seen reports that the 2008 trend was continuing, which would make the 2014 70-80% figure realistic. There may in fact be a later survey which directly supports the figure but I found the 2008 one in a quick Google search.

        Feel free to peruse the Menachem Begin Heritage Center site if you want a link to the actual survey. Perhaps its easier to find the survey in Hebrew. In English the site is hard to navigate and the search function is useless, giving an error message on any word search, so its not worth wasting any more of my time there.

      • wondering jew on July 22, 2014, 5:41 pm

        A fact and a survey which you can’t find, is not really a link, but more like a symptom of a hint of a link. The paragraph you quoted is referring to people who are thinking of applying for a second passport. thinking of applying for a passport or thinking of inquiring about such a passport is obviously not the same as holding a passport. But facts are not facts until they are presented with some real link and some real survey and not a hint of a symptom of a smell of a link.

      • tree on July 23, 2014, 2:08 pm

        But facts are not facts until they are presented with some real link and some real survey and not a hint of a symptom of a smell of a link.

        No, facts are facts whether there is a “link” or not, otherwise there would have been no facts in the history of mankind before the internet. A link may prove or disprove something to be a fact, but the existence or lack of a link is not dispositive in itself.

        At this point, the existence of the survey and what it said are simply inadequately confirmed as far as you are concerned, even though there are multiple reliable reports of the existence of such a survey and a reporting of what it said, which is exactly what I said it was, and slightly different than what Nevada Ned said it was, as I noted.

        My error was in thinking that you actually cared about facts in this instance, thus I did a search for you. You don’t really care about facts, as usual. From your response its clear that you were simply fulfilling your self-appointed role as the argumentative website malcontent.

  29. Taxi on July 22, 2014, 1:10 am

    Bravo, Lenny, you just saved your soul.

    I am right now dancing to bless your exit from israel, just like the brainwashed deluded israelis danced to welcome your colonialist entry. And judging from the picture above attached to this article, the zionist dancers got nothing on the moves I’m busting out for you right now :-)

    From the bottom of my heart, thank you for choosing justice over colonialism.

  30. rhiannon23 on July 22, 2014, 4:03 am

    I’ve been wondering for days now why the current crisis is getting to me so much. I’m neither Jewish nor Palestinian; I’m German. And that may very well be part of the reason (aside from the fact that every decent person should be appalled at what is happening right now).
    I have been brought up with awareness of the immense crimes my nation has committed against Jews and other ‘undesirables’. In various school subjects we’ve addressed the topic from every angle imaginable. We’ve been taught to examine propaganda, to think freely and ethically, to recognise injustice where it happens and to never allow anything like WWII and the Holocaust to happen again.
    This is why I am so shocked that a nation like Israel with its historical background is taking a course that has long moved them from oppressed to oppressors. I am not saying that the crimes committed against Palestinians are directly comparable to the Holocaust; however, in principle very similar ideologies are behind this, ideologies that are inhumane and discriminating and, to me, a shock to be found in the 21st century.
    I do hope that the voices against Israel’s Gaza politics are getting stronger – from outside of Israel but also, more importantly, from within. After all, there were Americans who didn’t support the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, there were Yugoslavians who didn’t condone the treatment of Kosovo Albanians, and there were Germans who opposed the Nazi regime.
    Thank you for this article!

    • Marnie on July 22, 2014, 10:09 am

      Rhiannon –
      It’s a shame that the only thing israel wants (demands) from Germany is money and weapons. I think israeli children would greatly benefit from the education your children receive.

      • rhiannon23 on July 22, 2014, 12:45 pm

        Thank you!
        I think it’s a shame that there is so much hateful propaganda in Israeli media. I just read an article yesterday (on times of isreal, I think) where the author basically accused foreign journalists – who were doing nothing but their job by stating the facts and asking some critical questions – of anti-Semitism.
        When citizens are fed that sort of perspective all the time it’s no surprise you see clips on TV of near Gaza border citizens demanding “death to Arabs”.
        It just makes me really sad to watch all of this and have no means to do anything.
        (And ugh, I have no idea why I have that icon which I’ve never picked. WordPress is weird like that. I think it may have been from a very old account set up on this computer but not with the same email address)

    • just on July 22, 2014, 10:39 am

      Thanks for your perspective.

  31. Marnie on July 22, 2014, 4:33 am

    You are so right.

  32. Exchequer on July 22, 2014, 5:58 am

    A million or two more like this guy and we might even have a trend on our hands.

    • Mooser on July 22, 2014, 8:36 pm

      “A million or two more like this guy and we might even have a trend on our hands.”

      Have you seen the figures for the number of Israelis living abroad? The number trying to leave? But, I’m with you, Exchequer, may their tribe increase.

  33. wondering jew on July 22, 2014, 8:38 am

    I challenge the veracity of this post. I made aliya about four years before this guy and my i.d. # begins with 3288xyzab, how did this guy get an i.d. # that begins 0127xyzab? I believe that this is a work of fiction and MW was duped.

    • just on July 22, 2014, 9:00 am

      oh please…

      he might be more or less special than you.

    • Marnie on July 22, 2014, 10:11 am

      Maybe he didn’t want to use the real number for privacy sake (DUH) and maybe its simply he’s right and your wrong (about so many things) – get used to it.

    • Mooser on July 22, 2014, 8:40 pm

      “I challenge the veracity of this post.”

      You don’t challenge squat. What do you have to challenge it with? Squat! What are you going to say, Yonah, ‘This story is as phony as the Paris-Synagogue-Attack story?’
      Yes sir, Yonah Freedman as a judge of veracity. Who Yonah could be so humorous in these terrible times?

      • wondering jew on July 22, 2014, 9:10 pm

        In fact the post deleted a major fact: that this was not Lenny’s first aliya, even though the first time did not involve citizenship, this was his second aliya.

        Lenny treated us to a bunch of cant, and it was printed here because he made aliya and a photo of Jews dancing after making aliya seemed like a great post to Phil Weiss. Otherwise this post added nothing except cant cant cant. When you can’t, you can always cant.

      • just on July 22, 2014, 9:33 pm

        you know what yonah? I really think that you are being excessively ridiculous.

        Lenny is right ‘here’– I believe him (not that there was even a question in my mind!), and find your discomfiture borderline hilarious, more than a little pathetic, and somewhat paranoid.

        PS I think Lenny has ‘moved on’ wrt this subject– perhaps you should accept it, and move on as well.

      • Mooser on July 23, 2014, 11:59 am

        ” and a photo of Jews dancing after making aliya seemed like a great post to Phil Weiss”

        And they were all sitting around the Mondowiess offices,( high atop Mondoweiss Tower No. 1) bemoaning the fact that there’s been absolutely no news out of Palestine this week, which seems to have settled in to a long summer vacation. “There’s nothing going on!” said Phil, tearing his Bryl-Creamed locks and renting his clothing. “We’ll have to make something up, quick, where’s the dancing Israelis photo?”

  34. lennylapon on July 22, 2014, 8:59 am

    You should work for Mossad, Yonah–maybe you already do. The reason for my low number is that I spent most of 1971 in Israel as a temporary resident, but not a citizen and they kept the same number.

    • just on July 22, 2014, 9:05 am

      Nicely done, Lenny!

      Bless you sir. I hope you continue to participate here– yours is an important voice, imho.

      • Marnie on July 22, 2014, 10:12 am

        Thank you Lenny.

    • wondering jew on July 22, 2014, 9:22 am

      Tell us more of your story, Lenny. Did you change from a Zionist enthusiast to a “nazi like expansion” in the course of less than 4 years. what were your opinions in 1971? what were your opinions in 2010? How much time did you spend in Israel in 1971? It doesn’t ring true, that you were of no opinion in 2010 and now you have woken up to the reality and written this post.

      • lennylapon on July 22, 2014, 12:27 pm

        Yonah, I can’t do all your homework for you, but I will guide you (I’m not wanting to be condescending but I’m not about to write a 10 or 20-page essay just yet on my “conversion” to anti-Zionism”) I already told you in a reply to one of your previous posts that I was in Israel for MOST of 1971, arriving in January, leaving in December with a 6-week hiatus out of the country in August-September.
        I have been a leftist since the Vietnam war and was against the occupation in 1971. I used to sit in the library at Kibbutz Sarid and read a “left Zionist” English-language journal there for hours and hours.
        In 2010 I was still a leftist but had still compartmentalized Israel and Zionism somewhat out of the picture, although I knew of and was usually silent about Israeli/Zionist/Jewish atrocities, especially publicly.
        I left Israel in June, 2011 and began reading non-Zionist and anti-Zionist sources that I have referred to elsewhere in my comments to this thread. The terrible and yet-again bombings of Gaza and its people hastened my decision (made about a year ago) to renounce my Israeli citizenship at this time.
        Where are you coming from, Yonah?

      • wondering jew on July 22, 2014, 12:37 pm

        Lenny- I accept your explanation. This is a Mondoweiss product. The photo of arrivals in Israel dancing and your story, complete with the Nazi analogy three times. It’s just cant to me, Lenny. Cant that only got printed here, because of the ten month aliya that you made.

        the current campaign that includes the deaths of hundreds of Gazan civilians is sufficient cause for alarm and recalibration of priorities and directions. i have four siblings and close to twenty nieces and nephews who live in Israel and thus my ability to make aliya and then leave it behind with a flurry of Nazi, Nazi, Nazi is limited by the circumstances of my life.

        When I hear Nazi, Nazi, Nazi I turn off. And then when I hear, I made aliya, but since then I saw the light, man, it rings false. But I’m sure if I met you in person you could convince me of your honesty and even in the short paragraph here now, I know you better than I did from your i.d. (t.z.) number and the date of your arrival. It seemed like showmanship as if this gives you license to spout cant. that’s where I’m coming from.

      • Mooser on July 22, 2014, 9:09 pm

        “thus my ability to make aliya and then leave it behind with a flurry of Nazi, Nazi, Nazi is limited by the circumstances of my life.”

        I understand your concern for your relatives, but how does lying to yourself help them? Wouldn’t knowing the facts about Israel make you all better at assessing the risks, and understand why your claims to Palestine are so tenuous and contested?

      • wondering jew on July 22, 2014, 9:13 pm

        mooser and the word fact in the same sentence, a juxtaposition of the absurd. you aren’t about facts. you are about humor sometimes and about nothing but rumors of the existence of facts at other times.

      • kalithea on July 22, 2014, 12:33 pm

        No, I’d rather know more about you and why you’re prowling around here when you obviously hate what is accomplished here? What’s your game exactly?

      • Marnie on July 22, 2014, 2:28 pm

        You’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel here. It doesn’t ring true because you don’t like it, that’s all.

      • Mooser on July 22, 2014, 8:46 pm

        Marnie, don’t you know Zionists have both the right, and the responsibility, to judge every other Jew? Your ancestry, your religious education, your commitment, your politics, your religiosity, all must abide their questioning.
        It is up to them to weed out the phony, the inadequately committed, the casual, in short, all those who don’t make the grade. This is the heavy responsibility which has devolved upon them.

  35. jrfinkel on July 22, 2014, 9:18 am

    Herein lies a tragic contradiction. As progressive/left/sane Jews leave Israel (I have met so many who have left and will never return), there remain fewer and fewer to resist the shift to the right. Rabid racism, which was always present but considered too impolite for general public discourse, is now open, common, and prominent. What was once said behind close doors (“Kill the Arabs”) is now shouted in the streets and in the Knesset.

    • kalithea on July 22, 2014, 12:49 pm

      There is no tragic contradiction with Zionism; there is only tragedy. Jews of all stripes; liberal, progressive, center and right are allowing this tragedy to unfold. This outcome was willed and meant to happen. There is however an examination of conscience to be made at some point, because when people as a mass allow this kind of injustice to occur for so long; it begs the moral question: How could people like us commit such an atrocity?

      • jrfinkel on July 22, 2014, 3:20 pm

        I was not speaking of a “tragic contradiction within Zionism.” I was speaking of the contradiction arising from the fact that those who are fed up with Zionism are leaving. There are fewer people left to challenge and destroy it.

        My hope has always been that, just as Zionism was the (conscious) negation of actual Jewish experience, the development of an Israeli (as opposed to Jewish) nationality could be the negation of Zionism. I’m afraid I was wrong…at least in the short run.

        Also, it has taken me far too long to understand how the basic contradiction between the objective conditions (which demand a single state) and the subjective conditions (which demand two states) has been unfavorably resolved by the creation of a single, apartheid state.

        The entire discussion of 1-state/2-states is now all but moot. The struggle becomes one of anti-apartheid and freedom and justice for all.

        New contradictions will arise, of course, but I do not see them clearly at the moment.

      • eljay on July 23, 2014, 7:29 am

        >> jrfinkel @ July 22, 2014 at 3:20 pm

        Good post.

      • chinese box on July 23, 2014, 7:44 am


        “Also, it has taken me far too long to understand how the basic contradiction between the objective conditions (which demand a single state) and the subjective conditions (which demand two states) has been unfavorably resolved by the creation of a single, apartheid state. ”

        Perfectly stated, the truth in a nutshell…

        I’ve been enjoying your posts. I think some people here are a bit jumpy and assuming that a new posters are hasbarists without actually reading the entire content of their posts for comprehension. I hope that doesn’t put you off from participating here.

      • jrfinkel on July 23, 2014, 10:52 am

        I should point out that it was the Israeli activist, Tikva Honig-Parnass, who explained to me this fundamental contradiction some years ago.

    • Frankie P on July 23, 2014, 3:51 am


      “Rabid racism, which was always present but considered too impolite for general public discourse, is now open, common, and prominent. What was once said behind close doors (“Kill the Arabs”) is now shouted in the streets and in the Knesset.”

      And where were the progressive/left/sane Jews, and what was their reaction when they were exposed to the rabid racism and the behind-doors calls for genodice of the Arabs? And how could those Jews be considered progressive, left, or sane if they allowed that behavior to go on unchallenged? I grew up in the US, a country that has seen and continues to see much racism, but if I had been exposed to calls for the genocide of blacks, native-Americans, or any other race in my youth I would have spoken out strongly against whoever expressed such racist ideas. As a matter of fact, nearly all my friends and families, progressive, conservative, anarchist, or Martian, would have done the same. Sick country you speak of, Sir.


      • chinese box on July 23, 2014, 10:31 am

        @Frankie P.

        Many of them may have spoken out against it “behind closed doors.” We’ll never know.

        However, my sense is, by and large, the Israeli left (over the last 50 odd years) has been far more focused on creating a socialist society for Jews than on a just settlement vis a vis Palestine. And a vague desire for “peace”. The J14 protest bears that out–they didn’t want the occupation as part of the agenda. The Gideon Levys and Jeff Halpers of Israel seem to be a small fraction of the left in that nation.

        So this is where I disagree with jfinkel. I feel that if the Israeli Left was at all capable of orchestrating and implementing a just solution it would have happened years ago. At this point the boat has already sailed.

      • jrfinkel on July 23, 2014, 11:47 am

        In my view, Israel–and by this I mean Israel’s leaders–have never been “focused on creating a socialist society” for anyone. It was capitalist from the start. The kibbutz movement was relatively small and based on communal ownership by Ashkenazi Jews. But this has all but been destroyed by the neo-liberal, capitalist economic policies imposed over the last 20 years or so.

        By the way, Ze’ev Sternhell, in his Founding Myths of Israel, identifies the origin of Labor Zionism in what he calls “Nationalist Socialism.” (He cannot bring himself to call it “National Socialism.”)

        As he explains, Labor Zionism was a reaction against both the liberalism of the Enlightenment and the democratic socialism of Marx. Whereas Marxist socialism seeks to mobilize human labor to liberate itself (and all humanity), Nationalist Socialism seeks to mobilize human labor to build and glorify a state: in this case an ethnically pure and exclusive state.

      • chinese box on July 23, 2014, 12:44 pm


        Thanks for the response…I was just giving my own general impression; I can tell you know a lot more about kibbutzim, etc. (not one of my areas of knowleddge). In any case I agree that any socialist project there has failed completely:

        I think part of the problem is defining who and what the Israeli Left consists of. It’s a rather amorphous term. From what I’ve read “leftist” seems to constitute more of an all purpose epithet in Israel for someone you despise than it does any actual large, organized group. Who is the Israeli Left exactly? Peace Now? The J14 protesters? The wealthier, educated residents of greater Tel Aviv? 972 mag? Breaking the Silence? Does it include someone like Shimon Peres who’s been actively complicit in the occupation and war crimes? All of the above?

  36. Qshabanah on July 22, 2014, 10:15 am

    A very honorable stance. Thank you for speaking out for the oppressed.

  37. sayem on July 22, 2014, 11:02 am

    The world is still livable because of you guys. Thumbs up for your courage and understanding.

  38. Pixel on July 22, 2014, 11:08 am

    Lenny, if it doesn’t already exist, how about considering creating a website where. others making the same decision can share their stories, perhaps as statements?

    Just a thought.

    • lennylapon on July 22, 2014, 11:14 am

      That’s a great idea, Pixel. I don’t have the knowhow to do it. Perhaps someone else can. I was also thinking to have a public event where others who have renounced or want to renounce their Israeli citizenship could speak to it.

      • just on July 22, 2014, 11:16 am

        Those are both grand ideas!

        I am almost certain that you are not alone, Lenny.

  39. lennylapon on July 22, 2014, 11:10 am

    Thanks to all of you who have written very kind comments. (Thanks also to those who have written nasty ones, since I do actually enjoy pissing off people who need it.) Some people have asked me for sources that influenced me, so I’d like to name several:
    I would like to refer you to a few non-Zionist sources, some Jewish, some Palestinian, some neither: writings by Edward Said, Noam Chomsky, Ali Abunimah (He’s outstanding!), Norman Finkelstein, Haymarket Books,,, Emile Habiby, Remi Kanazi, Moustafa Bayoumi, Ilan Pappe.
    Ghassan Kanafani and Jewish Voice for Peace. These are ones I’ve learned from. I’m sure there are many more that I’ve either forgotten or haven’t had a chance toread yet.

    • W.Jones on July 22, 2014, 11:53 am

      Interestingly Chomsky has said that he is what was once considered Zionist (the Buberites and nationalist anarchist movement), but that he would no longer be able to live there because the country has changed so much.
      Personally I think that this is still considered “Zionist”, but nonetheless he agrees with you.

    • lennylapon on July 22, 2014, 12:52 pm

      oops, (Stanley Heller) is a great resource also.

    • RobertB on July 22, 2014, 2:33 pm

      Lenny…here is one source that you may want to consider.

      • jrfinkel on July 22, 2014, 2:48 pm

        I do not consider Alison Weir (If Americans Knew) to be a particularly trustworthy source. Your mileage may vary.

      • RobertB on July 22, 2014, 3:35 pm

        Alison Weir…is more than trustworthy! She happens to expose your beloved zionism & your Apartheid Israel … in a very truthful & detailed manner!

      • jrfinkel on July 22, 2014, 4:24 pm

        The fact that you refer to “[my] beloved zionism [sic]” leads me to believe that you have not read anything I have written. Or, if you have read it, you have not understood it.

        In point of fact, Alison Weir misrepresented the writings of the late Israel Shahak and did not correct herself when her errors were pointed out to her. This is why I find her to be an less than trustworthy source.

        Your mileage may vary.

  40. brwencino on July 22, 2014, 12:25 pm

    Yes, Lenny and others, it takes a true sense of justice and courage to do what you did. Now, consider the next step. Is it really just Israel and so called Zionists who support these supremacist and racist policies against “the others”? Or, is it the worldwide organized Jewish community itself? Not just AIPAC and its ilk, but virtually every Jewish religious and secular institution. I realize that folks like Mondoweiss, Jewish Voice For Peace and a very few other groups and individuals who identify as Jewish try to resist these policies, but another way of resisting (and I believe a more effective way) is to shed the Jewish identity as I and others have done; in other words—QUIT. As someone once said, “You have nothing to loose but your chains.” No, I am not a Marxist, but I am a humanist who does not wear an ethnic cloak.

    • Mooser on July 22, 2014, 9:18 pm

      “but another way of resisting (and I believe a more effective way) is to shed the Jewish identity as I and others have done; in other words—QUIT.”

      I thought of trying that for a second once, but I realized it would be of no use. You can pick me out a mile away. I could deny it all day long and people would still know. Besides, what identity would I have left? I’d be a zelig! There, you see what I mean? I can’t go two paragraphs without betraying my origins.

      And why, what on earth for, would I give the Zionists that kind of satisfaction? They don’t want anti-Zionist Jews around, then come and throw us out.

      • brwencino on July 22, 2014, 10:50 pm

        What an interesting response.! Is this to say that “all Jews look alike?” I don’t think so! Also, it is not a matter of giving Zionists satisfaction or not. It is a matter of what it means to be a humanist without hiding behind an ethnic cloak.

      • Mooser on July 23, 2014, 12:06 pm

        “It is a matter of what it means to be a humanist without hiding behind an ethnic cloak.”

        Does the ACA mean the surgery is now covered? Oh, it wouldn’t matter, would it? A psychic once told me I have a ‘Jewish aura’, there’s no getting around that!

      • Mooser on July 23, 2014, 12:22 pm

        “(and I believe a more effective way) is to shed the Jewish identity as I and others have done; in other words—QUIT. As someone once said, “You have nothing to loose but your chains.”

        Whoo-boy! Those aren’t chains brother! Have you ever considered getting rid of those heavy, out-dated phylacteries, and trying something in a light-weight synthetic?

  41. kalithea on July 22, 2014, 1:05 pm

    When I look at that photo, it makes me think of people dancing on someone’s grave. The thought of those Israeli soldiers partying before they went off to slaughter so many innocents; the count is now over 500 dead in Gaza in this massacre alone; turns my stomach.

  42. John Salisbury on July 22, 2014, 4:11 pm

    Lenny whilst there have been many mistakes along the way there is at base something quite profound about the nature of the country that is definitely your home now.”We hold these truths..” etc…America is inclusive whereas Israel is the exact opposite.

    • Mooser on July 22, 2014, 9:02 pm

      Thanks, John. Somebody, above in the thread mentioned “the negation of Zionism”.

      I’ve always thought “the negation of Zionism” has been staring Zionism in face since practically since Zionism was invented! If the question for Zionism was “Under what system do Jews live best, are subject to the least oppression, and no official repression, where can Jews live as they please, worship as they please work as they please without having to answer to anybody because they are Jewish?” If that was the question, the negation of Zionism was staring them right in the face. The American Constitution, and the lives of Jews in America.
      But I’m not sure that question even entered their minds.

      • wondering jew on July 22, 2014, 9:06 pm

        Mooser- You are ignoring history and living in your own fantasy as if history never occurred. Zionism was “invented” in in 1881 or 1897. The doors to America were slammed shut (not literally, but opened merely a crack) between 1920 and 1945. Your solution would have worked if America’s doors had always been open. But they weren’t.

      • Mooser on July 23, 2014, 12:09 pm

        “The doors to America were slammed shut”

        Yonah, that didn’t matter to my family, they came here illegally. Slipped past ‘immigration’ in a leaky old boat, is what they tell me. But that was two generations before me, maybe more.

      • Mooser on July 23, 2014, 12:15 pm

        ” Your solution would have worked if America’s doors had always been open.”

        And I can hardly see how America’s immigration policy prevented the Zionists from adhering to the principles which make for the best conditions for Judaism and Jews. Of course, if they did the goddam thing would never have gotten started.

  43. RobertB on July 22, 2014, 4:52 pm

    I find Alison Weir to be trustworthy and “ifAmericansknew” is way more trustworthy than the rest of the zionist controlled MSM.

    You are entitled to your opinion!

    • jrfinkel on July 22, 2014, 5:12 pm

      Personally, I find Bob Weir to be way more trustworthy than Alison Weir. But that’s another subject.

      • tokyobk on July 23, 2014, 6:06 am


  44. RobertB on July 23, 2014, 2:49 pm

    The violence didn’t begin with
    the three abducted Israeli settlers

    If Americans Knew
    July 21, 2014

    Updated: July 22, 2014

    Since Israel began its latest offensive “Operation Protective Edge” on July 8, 2014, 632 Palestinians and 29 Israelis have been killed, as of July 21 (the numbers continue to grow). Although the media is largely portraying Israel’s actions as defensive, violence in the region did not begin with the kidnapping and murder of the three Israel settlers on June 12, 2014. In fact, Israel has been kidnapping and murdering Palestinian adults and youth on a regular basis for decades (read about how the conflict was started), yet this is rarely covered in U.S. news.

    It’s also important to recognize that rocket attacks from Gaza began decades after Israel had already been militarily occupying Palestinian territory. The first rocket (largely home-made projectiles that rarely caused any death, injuries, or even damage) was fired from Gaza in April 2001 – after Israeli forces had already killed 35 Gazans that year, and had repeatedly shelled Gazan neighborhoods. From April 2001 through July 2014, rockets killed approximately 29 Israelis. During the same period, Israeli forces killed over 4,700 Gazans.

    Here are the facts:

    From January 1 to May 31 of this year, Israel kidnapped 2,330 Palestinians and held them in Israeli prisons. During these months, there were an average of 203 Palestinian children in Israeli jails on any given day. Palestinians help captive by Israel can be denied access to a lawyer for up to 90 days, and torture is routine. But the media only expresses outrage when Israelis are kidnapped and held prisoner by Palestinians.

    – From January 1 to June 12 of this year, Israelis killed approximately 30 Palestinians, 4 of them children. None of the Israeli killers were held accountable for the murders. Mainstream media outlets almost never reported on any of these killings. Yet everyone was made aware of the names of the three Israelis abducted and murdered in June.

    Since “Operation Protective Edge” began (June 8 through July 22), Israeli forces have killed 632 Palestinians, 155 of them children. During this time, Palestinian resistance forces killed 29 Israelis, none of whom were children. Approximately 76 percent of the Palestinians killed during this period were civilians, while approximately 7 percent of the Israelis killed were civilians.

    Israel actually rejected a legitimate ceasefire offer, not Hamas. The ceasefire Hamas has offered Israel would ensure that Gazans have the same freedoms that most people view as basic human rights (right to trade with other nations, right to travel freely, right to worship at Holy places, etc).”

    Click to view full infographic:

  45. shams on July 23, 2014, 3:46 pm

    Congratulations, Lenny. I’ll bet you sleep fantastic now.

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