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The trojan horse of liberal Zionism

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There are many Zionist myths we would do well to dispel, but perhaps none of them is more directly damaging to building a movement in effective solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for self-determination than the myth that liberal Zionism is on their side. (A very useful book debunking this myth has been written recently, of which I coauthored a summative review.) The Zionist left in Israel, and liberal Zionism more broadly, speaks in the language of universalism: democracy, rights, and even justice. However, rather than challenging Israel’s unjust and illegal policies and practices, “liberal” Zionists end up defining the limitations to how Israel is challenged, if not themselves implementing policies that maintain the consistent repression of the Palestinian people. Liberal Zionism plays the role of the Trojan horse that effortlessly enters the camp; it’s important that the Palestine solidarity movement learn to recognize it as a warning sign of the legions advancing behind it.

Prior appearances

As the book mentioned above attests, the history of the state of Israel is loaded with examples of how the Zionist left and its liberal counterparts around the world (most significantly the U.S. government) have informed and shaped unjust Israeli policies by playing this role of the Trojan horse. I will mention only two of the most recent and significant.  

The first example is the Oslo Accords. Palestinian protest against Israeli repression, including extrajudicial killings, mass detentions, house demolitions and deportations, culminated in 1987 with the first intifada. The Zionist left was in political power in Israel when the “conflict” was “resolved” with the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993. Palestinian rejection of the Oslo Accords is now quite common knowledge due to the end of that agreement in 2000, when the second intifada erupted in protest against the increase of those same repressive conditions. During their implementation, every aspect of living under occupation – such as Israeli settlement building, the enclosure of the Gaza Strip, lack of access to water, electricity and freedom of movement – worsened rather than being alleviated. And notably, when the second intifada erupted out of this suffocating and oppressive “peace,” it burst the liberal bubble. Those who had joined the ranks of the Zionist left fled, many now swelling the ranks of the right, which has since easily adopted its rhetoric.

The second example of Zionist left policies advancing Israeli violence and suppression is Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza strip. In the wake of the first intifada, during the “peace” of the Oslo Accords, Gaza was completely enclosed and became the outdoor prison (and most densely populated place in the world) that it is today. Israel’s unilateral withdrawal, promoted as a way to support Palestinian autonomy, was eagerly supported by the Zionist left. What it did, however, was to create an isolated Palestinian enclave that could be blockaded, attacked with white phosphorus, and starved of food, water and electricity. It created a testing ground for control and occupation by armed drones which now provide the lucrative export of goods and services for Israel’s arms industry. And it created the enclosed space in which 1.7 million people are entrapped, terrorized and killed by 160 airstrikes in just one night of Israel’s current assault. 

The pattern of Zionist left support for policies that maintain and advance Israeli state building through repression and violence repeats over and over. While the current circumstances are different in their specifics, the same kind of danger lies ahead.  

The Trojan horse returns – mapping the current battle ground

A state that perpetrates collective punishment and incites the racist violence that we see in Israel today is hard pressed to defend its democratic claims. Israel explains its violence as retaliation. What it consistently fails to explain is its ethnic cleansing of most of the indigenous population and then preventing it from returning. Or its more than 50 laws that discriminate against Palestinian people in all areas of life, including their rights to political participation, access to land, education, state budget resources, and criminal procedures. The most formidable challenge to false claims of democracy is the success of the Palestinian people to be heard despite the impunity of the Israeli state to attempt to silence them. The Palestinian will simply has not capitulated as Israeli strategists hoped and expected it would by now.  

The level of state violence Israel currently reigns on the Palestinian people occurs in the context of additional challenges to its legitimacy at the diplomatic level and from the civil society call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel. On the diplomatic front, during negotiation efforts, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority leveraged nonmember observer-state status won at the United Nations in 2012 by joining 15 international bodies. This new status also enables the Palestinian Authority to go to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and charge Israel with war crimes, an option of which Israel is well aware. In June, after seven years of division and rivalry, the two main Palestinian factions had joined to create a Palestinian unity government, a major blow to the division of Palestinians that Israel both orchestrates and encourages to great benefit. Likewise, the success of the Palestinian civil society call for BDS continues to gain significant ground with states, corporations, unions and associations around the world, creating both political and economic pressure on Israel.  

With all of these gains made in the face of outrageous odds, we can count on liberal Zionist interventions to support Israel in maintaining power. An excellent example was offered by the founder of the Center for Middle East Peace in Washington, D.C., S. Daniel Abraham. In mid-January as “peace negotiations” began to falter, he warned in a Ha’aretz article against undermining negotiations with settlement expansion in light of the Palestinian gains made above:

If Israel continues with its policy of settlement expansion and is viewed as not being forthcoming with the Palestinians, Israel’s friends will then be hard pressed to counter the treacherous international efforts to isolate it. Unfortunately, economic and legal sanctions against Israel and Israelis will become prevalent. Ultimately, Israel will find itself on the defendant’s seat in international tribunals. The delegitimization campaign against it will worsen. Isolation will grow. Friends will become few. Even though Israel won’t be solely responsible, it will still have to face this difficult reality.

 And he offers his analysis (my emphasis is added):

My many years of involvement in the peace process teach me that the approaching decision is unlike previous ones. This is a watershed moment after which Israel will face a completely different situation – one which will be governed by new realities much less favorable than those Israel faces today. If Kerry’s mission fails, Israel will miss a historic window of opportunity to achieve an agreement that is optimal from its viewpoint. In the future, Israel may be forced to accept a bad agreement or live without an agreement, thereby compromising its Jewish or democratic character….

Abraham’s comments came after the move made by Israel in November 2013, during the negotiation process, to push forward plans for nearly 20,000 new settlement units – at which the United States was likewise dismayed. Based on their liberal Zionist stances, these players similarly saw Israel as undermining an opportunity for reaching an “agreement that would be optimal from its viewpoint” and were trying to save Israel from itself. 

Attempts to preserve Israel’s economic and political power are not expressions of support for Palestinian rights or self-determination. Demonstrations against the same negotiations had occurred on the streets of Ramallah demanding that they not be pursued. Initially, every Palestinian political party except Fatah had rejected the talks. Unable to participate in the same way, Palestinian refugees living in diaspora gathered on the Internet to voice their rejection of the negotiations via petition. In their statement in solidarity with the California prisoner’s hunger strike, just after the negotiations were announced, the Palestinian Youth Movement asked that we “refuse all options that detract from the fundamental right to resist and fight for decent living for our families and people.” 

If the negotiations brokered by Kerry had ‘ended the conflict,’ it would also have made those voices once again virtually inaudible to the international community. This silence is crucial to those who would deny the Palestinian people the right to return to the land they or their families were removed from during the expulsion of 750,000 people in 1948. Beyond the basic moral need to right this wrong, there are grievous material needs to address: some of those people are now currently trapped in the Gaza Strip, others are still in refugee camps throughout the region, and still others are now surviving the unimaginable circumstances of being ethnically cleansed from Syrian camps. 

There are numerous other reasons that Palestinian people would be opposed to the negotiations: Control over the borders of what would become a Palestinian state is not something Israel is willing to cede. Jerusalem has been virtually surrounded by settlements. The West Bank has been divided by those same settlements, shrunk by the wall, carved up into enclaves and its water taken. This fragmented and dispersed people would become part of a Palestinian ‘economy’ even further reliant on Israel than it is now. Extensive planning has gone into a Palestinian Economic Initiative that outlines the trademark neoliberal ‘structural reforms’ of an outward-facing economy – in this case, outward toward Israel first. As with previous “peace” strategies, what would be gained from this plan is a new form of subjugation of the Palestinian people, the suppression of the Palestinian struggle, and without their call to hear, the withering of the Palestine solidarity movement.  

And where does the Zionist right land on all this? Amos Yadlin, head the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv and a former chief of Military Intelligence, also thought that the Israeli push for settlements during negotiations was a set up for “losing the blame game.” He did not expect Palestinian acceptance of the negotiation agreements or a third intifada, because he assessed they would think neither to be in their interests. However, he agreed with the assessment of what he called a “diplomatic intifada” which could include a claim made in the ICC and more BDS successes. His suggestion, made at the end of January, 2014, is a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, essentially enforcing a “two-state solution” in which it retains complete control.  

[If the Palestinians] are unlikely to approve an agreement that will end the conflict, forfeit Palestinian claims of a “right of return,” and take into consideration Israel’s security demands – then Israel should get the US, France, Germany and England behind the idea of unilateral Israeli steps toward a two-state solution. 

The seemingly disparate propositions of the Zionist left and right converge and reinforce each other in this crucial way: they both deny Palestinian demands and basic rights in order to maintain a Jewish exclusionary state by creating alongside it a Palestinian auxiliary state-let. If Israel has a “partner” that will capitulate to these requirements, “peace” is a viable strategy. Otherwise, it will beat back and diabolize Palestinian resistance, weaken or destroy the new Palestinian unity government, and when they can claim “no partner,” unilaterally impose the same outcome. 

Maps are more useful if we read the keys

The project of building, maintaining and expanding an exclusive Jewish state in Palestine through exclusion, subjugation and expulsion of the Palestinian people has been unrelenting. The specific strategies employed in this process by the Zionist left (and right, although their outright violence has been more consistent) have evolved over time in response to conditions created by the determination of the Palestinian people to resist it. Identifying these strategies, understanding the impact they have, and challenging them accordingly makes solidarity efforts more useful.

With the recent and seeming demise of the prospects for a two-state solution through negotiations, and the Palestinian civil society call for BDS heard far and wide, it is increasingly common for the Zionist left in Israel, liberal Zionists more broadly (American Jews predominantly), most governments, and an increasing number of corporations and large non-governmental organizations (i.e. Oxfam) to claim support for Palestinian human rights while also safeguarding Zionism and a Jewish state in Palestine. This position leads to a variety of forms of support for “boycott” including “growing Jewish support for boycott” that are not actually responses to the call made by Palestinian civil society. Rather than supporting the demands put forward by those they are claiming to defend, they adopt and adapt the strategy of boycott in ways that support their own interests. But one cannot “advocate” for Palestinian rights and defend an undemocratic Jewish state at the same time; this undermines rather than creates the conditions for meaningful resolution.

That’s why it’s unhelpful, for example, to assume that any presence of boycott in the mainstream press will advance the Palestinian struggle for self-determination. There was a wave of this activity in the U.S. and Israel as negotiations were faltering this past spring. 

Jonathon Cook was appropriately wary to claim there had been an increase of commentary critical on Israel in the New York Times, but noted as a milestone their publishing of Omar Barghouti’s op-ed on BDS. It is a milestone that the NYT found it advantageous to give a platform to him and the boycott movement; the discussion of boycott has become inescapable. However, it is because of the widespread, liberal interpretations of boycott against Israel that they were able to create a platform for “debate” that mirrored and magnified justification for the two-state solution under negotiation rather than the actual BDS demands:

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall

2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

Each one of the BDS demands is supported by international law, which Israel systematically breaks with impunity, regardless of how many UN resolutions are ratified along the way. It is therefore less astonishing that the NYT would title the collection of letters to the editor in response to this debate with the seemingly evenhanded question: “Is a Boycott of Israel Just?

Likewise, the news piece on Israeli TV, reported about on the independent Israeli web magazine +972 as impressive, read much like a commercial offering the Israeli public an argument for how a two-state solution (and end of the ‘67 occupation in its current form) would be good for business and technology (because that’s where boycott is having an impact) and therefore more beneficial to the growth of the Israeli state.  

Overcoming silence and misrepresentation in the media can serve as a major breakthrough in shifting the public opinion necessary to overcoming Israeli impunity. However, we must take the historic and consistent strategies of liberal Zionism into account when assessing which kind of press will shift public opinion by shedding light on the validity of Palestinian demands, and which kind of press will serve as a Trojan horse. Otherwise, we risk being deceived by yet another use of the call for “peace” – or even “Palestinian rights” – as a strategy for maintaining an exclusively Jewish and undemocratic Israeli state. 

Suggestions upon sighting a Trojan horse

When the Oslo Accords were signed, any dissention from this “peace program” was quelled or judged as absurd. Critiques of the Accords, discussions about Zionism as a political project or ideology, and the colonial history and expulsion of 1948 were all taboo. The Palestine solidarity movement of the past was floundering without a publicly acknowledged raison d’être which the public could understand and rally around. 

The second intifada rejected and broke this enforced silence and made incredible headway in exposing its rhetoric. A task of a Palestine solidarity movement is to not feed, and to help to deflect, any “solutions” that would undermine these accomplishments. In this moment of horrific escalation of Israeli military violence – coinciding with horrific vigilantism – genuine support for the Palestinian struggle for self-determination can be shown by joining in the rejection of Israel’s racist exclusion and repression, naming the Trojan horse when you see it, and climbing down out of it if you are inside. Here are some ideas for action:

Expose Trojan horses in the press; write letters to the editor that challenge the assumptions of support for “peace” or Palestinian rights that risk further entrenching the normalization of unequal relations between peoples in the region.

Cease support for and openly oppose diplomatic proposals or organizing campaigns or that can be used to justify a two-state solution which does not comply with Palestinian demands, including addressing the Palestinian right to return. This includes boycotts that focus on goods produced in the West Bank while not including goods produced inside of Israel. 

Cease support for and openly challenge the purpose of organizing that reinforces the idea that Jewish positions on Israel/Palestine range only from the Zionist right to the Zionist left.  

Join protests around the world in support of the Palestinian struggle for self-determination.

Attempts to quell Palestinian resistance to injustice continue to escalate. Hopefully they will not “end” with yet another form of the same repression. International solidarity efforts can increase the odds of meaningful resolution by becoming more effective at echoing Palestinian demands. Let us not allow ourselves to be duped into supporting more of the same, even when it appears innocently dressed. 

Mich Levy
About Mich Levy

Mich Levy has been active in movements to overcome exclusion and violence -- from domestic violence and violence against women to racism, colonialism, imperialism and war -- since the first U.S. invasion of Iraq. She is co-founder of the community-based self-defense project Home Alive and of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network. Her current project, We Tip the Balance, is a way to continue learning with others how to build the world we want to live in together.

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105 Responses

  1. hophmi
    hophmi on July 16, 2014, 11:03 am

    Ah yes. One leftist cites the book of the another leftist in service of defining any movement that does not agree with the BDS movement as a Trojan horse.

    Yes, by all means, keep pushing the perspective that Jews and Palestinians should not coexist with one another unless it’s on the sectarian terms you set out for them.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on July 16, 2014, 11:23 am

      ” One leftist cites the book of the another leftist”

      And I bet they are Jewish leftists too. All the Jews are Commies or fellow-travelers, and a lot of them are Socialists! Can’t trust those leftists!

      Sounds like Hophmi is pining for the good ol’ days of the John Berkowitz Society.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius on July 16, 2014, 12:00 pm

        It’s funny, hophmi has been uncharacteristically quiet these days. When it comes to children being shelled on beaches, or disabled women being murdered, he has nothing to say.

        But somehow he gets all exercised about ‘twitter trends’ – a few days ago – and now about ‘leftists’ who don’t buy into the lib-zio fairy tale.

        I have my priorities, and Hophmi has his.

      • Chu
        Chu on July 16, 2014, 1:15 pm

        When Israel shells the Gaza outdoor prison camp and it’s helpless civilian prisoners, most zionist apologist trolls cowardly hide in their caves.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on July 16, 2014, 3:21 pm

        “It’s funny, hophmi has been uncharacteristically quiet these days. When it comes to children being shelled on beaches, or disabled women being murdered, he has nothing to say.”

        We are in the period which is known as the “hang time”. That’s the amount of time between when Israel does something, and all the zio-bots get their equivocations, special pleadings and sophistries organized.
        Of course, they do have the option of skipping any unpleasant thread. After all, they need time to hunt out the “leftists”.
        Thank Gawd we were never associated with any of that. It’s unAmerican!

      • hophmi
        hophmi on July 16, 2014, 3:23 pm

        “It’s funny, hophmi has been uncharacteristically quiet these days. When it comes to children being shelled on beaches, or disabled women being murdered, he has nothing to say.”

        Not at all. I just don’t operate under the illusion that every civilian death in war is a purposeful murder of some kind as you do.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on July 16, 2014, 8:30 pm

        “It’s funny, hophmi has been uncharacteristically quiet these days.”

        Oh, no, Hophmi is busy alerting us Jews world-wide about those antisemitic attacks on Paris synagogues. He’s not wasting any time,

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer on July 16, 2014, 8:35 pm

        You left out the mock missile. You require balance. :)

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr on July 16, 2014, 1:43 pm

        @mosr
        you are the one who is always mentioning the ‘Jewish’ aspect of your own imaginings as if your supposed Jewishness gives you bona fides to be the chief wise-guy and Jewish-comedian-in residence on this blog.
        The comment was about using one politically slanted [left] opinion to support another similarly biased and/or slanted piece. While there is nothing uncommon about this practice it should be called out for what it is and is not. Is it leftist? I would say so. As for any other additional speculation…that can be left to others, such as moos I suppose.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on July 16, 2014, 3:02 pm

        My gosh, what a devastating reply! I feel as If I’ve been filleted.

        “My “supposed” Jewishness! Yup, always count on a Zionist for wanting to keep the dead-wood, the half-timers, the not-with-the-programs, out of the tribe. And, of course, being qualified to make the distinctions, and enforce them.
        Especially over the internet.
        After all, there’s just so damn many of us. We really need to lose a few of the, uh, non-essential Jews, don’t we. No doubt you’ve got ’em on the list and they never will be missed.

        As for you, “Dabakr” I leave you with an ancient Yiddish invocation: ‘May a pupick grow in your belly-button!’

      • Mooser
        Mooser on July 16, 2014, 3:11 pm

        “you are the one who is always mentioning the ‘Jewish’ aspect of your own imaginings”

        Hey, what can I say? As a young man, I dreamed dreams and as an old man, I see visions.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius on July 16, 2014, 3:53 pm

        @ hophmi

        ”Not at all. I just don’t operate under the illusion that every civilian death in war is a purposeful murder of some kind as you do.”

        No, but you’ve got NOTHING to say at all about the fact that the state you shill for has killed 2OO people in a week, most of them women and children? Nothing at all? That’s not important for someone who regularly posts on this board. And it’s not like you’re busy with other things – no, you’ve been posting here alright, about twitter ‘trends’ and ‘leftists’. Because clearly that’s a priority right now? So you manage to avoid all the many threads about the Gaza slaughter and yet someone come on to voice your concern about ‘leftists’?

        I think mooser is right – you’re waiting for the official lie from Hasbara HQ.

      • on July 16, 2014, 4:57 pm

        Not at all. I just don’t operate under the illusion that every civilian death in war is a purposeful murder of some kind as you do.

        Right hophmi. Israel is accidentally killing all those people. Some excuse to hang onto.

      • bilal a
        bilal a on July 16, 2014, 8:57 pm

        @mooser, Zionism has always been a leftist nationalist movement opposed by religious Judaism until very recently most likely due to rabbinic funding.

        and yes, there were ‘jewish (and non-jewish) commies’ who didnt flinch from burning Nuns in their convents.

        “A few days later the communists gave the priest a terrible beating, and then they crucified him. It took him an hour to die, in great agony..
        Pictures of churches desecrated, communists who dressed up mockingly in church vestments to perform mock Masses, and mummies from a Salesian convents dragged into the street “to try and intimidate loyal Catholics into submission” ”
        http://www.amazon.com/Catholic-martyrs-Spanish-Civil-1936-1939/dp/0935952969
        http://jewishcurrents.org/december-12-the-naftali-botwin-company-8271

      • Mooser
        Mooser on July 17, 2014, 5:42 pm

        Ah, so Zionism is “leftist”. I’ve always been under the impression that Zionists are pretty much ambidextrous.

    • eljay
      eljay on July 16, 2014, 12:32 pm

      >> Yes, by all means, keep pushing the perspective that Jews and Palestinians should not coexist with one another unless it’s on the sectarian terms you set out for them.

      Israelis and Palestinians should co-exist on terms of justice, equality and accountability. Zio-supremacists can’t stand the thought of that.

    • Sumud
      Sumud on July 16, 2014, 2:15 pm

      Gee hophmi why don’t you pop over to the thread about the 4 boys on the beach that Israel shot up today.

      Rationalise it for us. What’s the hasbara spin? Explain please, the necessity of it all and why they are the terrorists not the IDF. Blame Hamas

      Or perhaps you can just fake some humanity and cry some crocodile tears.

      http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/israeli-palestinian-children.html

      • hophmi
        hophmi on July 16, 2014, 2:43 pm

        You seem to think that Israel has to kill zero civilians to prove it minimizes casualties. Less than 1 in 8 targets have resulted in a death, civilian or militant, so far, and this is in one of the world’s most densely populated places. So I’d say the numbers speak for themselves and prove that the IDF goes out of its way to minimize civilian casualties.

        The IDF has said that the navy misidentified the kids on the beach as Hamas fighters, who have fired rockets from that area before. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/07/16/dispatch-israeli-strike-kills-four-children-at-a-gaza-beach/

        If you believe that all Israelis and all IDF soldiers are evil people, then you’re going to try and argue that they were purposely targeting children, because the IDF is evil, after all, and evil people would purposely target children for no reason, and would do so right in front of dozens of journalists there to cover the story, because, hey, they are JUST THAT EVIL.

        If you’re honest, then you’re going to take the most reasonable explanation, which is that the IDF made a mistake, as is common during war.

      • annie
        annie on July 16, 2014, 2:54 pm

        The IDF has said that the navy misidentified the kids on the beach as Hamas fighters

        yeah, because hamas fighters hang out on the beach playing soccer in the middle of the afternoon. or doesn’t the israeli navy have binoculars?

        w/15 wounded and 4 dead, that was a large target. but then by your reasoning (“Less than 1 in 8 targets have resulted in a death”), instead of 4 dead in one target (the 15 wounded kids do not count in your miraculous statistic), there were 2 targets, the wall and the children. so that cuts the percentage down to 2 deaths per operation. shall we applaud the most moral army in the world for keeping the death toll so low?

        is there anything the israel state does you won’t defend hops?

      • Mooser
        Mooser on July 16, 2014, 4:07 pm

        “is there anything the israel state does you won’t defend hops?”

        I thought the part where Hophmi (no naval service) tells the retired Naval Officer, ‘Well, I bet you hit things unintentionally all the time, too!’
        I’m sure he made a new friend for Israel there.

      • just
        just on July 16, 2014, 2:55 pm

        You’re kidding.

        Now that the Israeli narrative about Palestinians using civilians as “human shields” has been thoroughly debunked, now you admit that Gaza is “densely populated”.

        How many contortions/distortions do you have left in your game of trickery, deceit, and lying???

        And yes, Israel and the IOF/IAF/Border Police/Shin Bet are “evil” (not all Israelis, but the ones doing this and supporting this grotesquerie definitely are.) And because there were journalists present and it was caught on tape, you call it a “mistake”– Israel and her supporters denied the murders of the 2 lads on Nakba Day, even though there were cameras…they denied the awful abduction of Mohammed, even though there were cameras there. Now this one was caught by international journalists, and you call it a mistake instead of what it is– WAR CRIMES.

      • hophmi
        hophmi on July 16, 2014, 3:06 pm

        “yeah, because hamas fighters hang out on the beach playing soccer in the middle of the afternoon. or doesn’t the israeli navy have binoculars?”

        Maybe the Hamas fighters were nearby, and it was a misfire. But Annie, as I said, you already believe that the IDF is evil, so no matter what, you’re going to accept whatever explanation seems most evil. That’s who you are. The IDF never makes a mistake, right? Because war is perfect in every way, and every Palestinian victim is killed on purpose. Because Israelis are evil people. And also because you need it to be a murder for your cause.

        It’s your logic – the Zionists control the Western press and do lots of hasbara, but they purposely fire on children in a place where all the journalists are staying because they are evil and purposely target children, even though the macro numbers suggest exactly the opposite is true. It’s important to make them look at evil as possible, because then, you can argue that it’s ok (or something you can’t condemn) when terrorists fire, completely on purpose, on Israeli civilans.

        So, for Annie Robbins, the game is to find whatever explanation is necessary to support the view that the IDF is evil.

        “Now that the Israeli narrative about Palestinians using civilians as “human shields” has been thoroughly debunked”

        By who? It’s no narrative. Hamas has told people to disregard Israeli instructions to evacuate, and they fire their rockets from civilian areas. Both of those are true facts. William Booth, the Washington Post’s reporter in Gaza, said that Hamas militant have fire rockets from close to his hotel in Gaza City.

        “They denied the awful abduction of Mohammed”

        Oh please. You’re lying. The vast majority of Israelis did not deny that Mohammed Abu Khdeir was killed by Jewish extremists.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on July 16, 2014, 3:26 pm

        “How many contortions/distortions do you have left in your game of trickery, deceit, and lying???”

        just, if Hophmi is going to snag a better spot in the Zionist hierarchy, he has to build up his resume? And how better? When asked, “And what have you done for the Jewish people, Hophmi” in his big job interview, he will proudly present his Mondo archive!

      • talknic
        talknic on July 16, 2014, 3:46 pm

        @ hophmi “Hamas has told people to disregard Israeli instructions to evacuate … .”

        Quote verbatim … please …. thx

        Meanwhile: The actual statement says NOTHING about disregarding Israeli instructions to evacuate their soon to be bombed homes.

        First, the ministry calling all our people not to deal or pay attention to the psychological warfare carried out by the occupation through rumors that broadcast across his media and delivering publications and communications on the phones of citizens, and the lack of response for each of these means, which aims to weaken the domestic front in light of great steadfastness of our people to face the aggression. link to moi.gov.ps

        Zionist weasel worded failures are so cute!

      • talknic
        talknic on July 16, 2014, 4:06 pm

        @ hophmi “Talknic, your quote says exactly what I said”

        The fact that you can tell such a putrid lie when the posts are there for all to see and compare is quite amazing! It appears you really are quite insane!

      • lysias
        lysias on July 16, 2014, 2:56 pm

        The IDF has said that the navy misidentified the kids on the beach as Hamas fighters, who have fired rockets from that area before.

        This retired naval officer would like to know how you mistake small children playing soccer on the beach for Hamas fighters.

        Do you really expect the IDF to tell the truth about an incident like this one?

      • hophmi
        hophmi on July 16, 2014, 3:07 pm

        “This retired naval officer would like to know how you mistake small children playing soccer on the beach for Hamas fighters.”

        So, I’m guessing in your time in Navy, you never heard of anyone missing a target or hitting something they didn’t intend to hit. Never happened, right?

      • Mooser
        Mooser on July 16, 2014, 3:29 pm

        Hophmi: “Because war is perfect in every way…”

        This is big news! Israel has declared war! Who has Israel declared war on, Hophmi? Between who and Israel does a state of war exist? Did a state declare war on Israel?

        But thanks for making that clear, Hophmi. I thought when you made war on a territory you already militarily controlled, it has another name.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on July 16, 2014, 3:33 pm

        “So, I’m guessing in your time in Navy, you never heard of anyone missing a target or hitting something they didn’t intend to hit. Never happened, right?”

        Gosh, Hophmi, I bet you just made a life-long friend with a retired Naval Officer. I’m sure you two will be drinking beer and shooting off deck artillery together in no time, and giggling “whoops, misfire” after each shot. I bet that’s just how he ran things, hey, you hit stuff you don’t want to all the time.

      • talknic
        talknic on July 16, 2014, 3:37 pm

        @ hophmi “So, I’m guessing in your time in Navy, you never heard of anyone missing a target or hitting something they didn’t intend to hit. Never happened, right?”

        Seems to only and often happen when the IDF slaughter Palestinians. Otherwise it’s terrorism and purposeful targeting of Israeli civilians with un-guided home made rockets.

        Say… if they’re un-guided…..

      • hophmi
        hophmi on July 16, 2014, 3:41 pm

        “just, if Hophmi is going to snag a better spot in the Zionist hierarchy, he has to build up his resume? And how better? When asked, “And what have you done for the Jewish people, Hophmi” in his big job interview, he will proudly present his Mondo archive!”

        Mooser continues to assert that I derive some kind of financial benefit from my activity here. I do not, for what must be the thousandth time. I find these repeated attempts at defining me this way amusing. Most people who know me have no idea I post here, and the ones who do know think I’m wasting my time talking to people this closed-minded and in the case of some, unremittingly nasty.

        I’m here for a couple of reasons. The first is to learn what there is to learn from people with a different perspective, particularly with regard to Judaism in America and its meaning, which, much as disagree with Phil’s view, is nevertheless part of an ongoing discussion in the mainstream of the Jewish community. The second is to test my perspective on Israel against the criticism of others. The third is to follow the growing trend of antisemitism in the pro-Palestinian movement, which I believe is a major problem for Jews and Palestinians alike.

      • hophmi
        hophmi on July 16, 2014, 3:53 pm

        Talknic, your quote says exactly what I said. What did the Arabic press release say?

        http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4541484,00.html

        “Gaza’s Interior Ministry called on residents to ignore the IDF’s “knock on the roof” procedure – wherein the Israeli military fires a small round to signal residents to evacuate their homes before a strike.

        “We call on the people to not cooperate with these messages, not leave their homes, and continue their lives.”

        According to Hamas’ Interior Ministry, “The IDF phone messages were intended to cause panic and weaken the home front.” The announcement contained hotline numbers that Gaza residents were invited to contact “if the need arises.”

        Hamas demanded locals to refuse the calls to evacuate their homes – some of which have hidden caches of rockets in their basements – out of the assumption that Israel would not strike residential homes, especially not in population centers.

      • talknic
        talknic on July 16, 2014, 4:00 pm

        @ hophmi ” Most people who know me have no idea I post here..”

        Little wonder, being proved wrong time and time again is nothing to advertise, especially if you do it for free

        “I’m here for a couple of reasons. The first is to learn what there is to learn …”

        Have you learned that Israel LIES about not having proclaimed its borders? Have you learned that Israel illegally encourages Israeli Jews to illegally settle in Occupied Territories that are not yet Israeli? Furthermore that Israel sells them land in territories that’re not yet Israeli?

        What exactly have you learned apart from how to deny, ignore, repeat BS, obfuscate, lie et al

        “The second is to test my perspective on Israel against the criticism of others”

        And when your perspective fails the test, you ignore it. Clever stuff!

        “The third is to follow the growing trend of antisemitism in the pro-Palestinian movement, which I believe is a major problem for Jews and Palestinians alike”

        What’re you doing here?

      • lysias
        lysias on July 16, 2014, 5:09 pm

        Alon Ben-David is not as gullible as hophmi:

        Alon Ben-David, a senior military affairs journalist with extensive Israeli military sources, said information he had seen indicated that the military had identified the beach shack as belonging to Hamas and fired at it.

        Mr. Ben-David speculated that the second blast had been aimed at the children running away, who might have been mistaken for militants. But he added that given the military’s technologically advanced surveillance equipment, “it is a little hard for me to understand this, because the images show that the figures are children.

      • hophmi
        hophmi on July 16, 2014, 5:15 pm

        Ben-David did not accuse the Israelis of deliberately firing on children.

      • libra
        libra on July 16, 2014, 5:31 pm

        hophmi: Maybe the Hamas fighters were nearby, and it was a misfire.

        Translation: If can’t afford the Dersh, I’m your man.

      • tree
        tree on July 16, 2014, 6:18 pm

        But Annie, as I said, you already believe that the IDF is evil, so no matter what, you’re going to accept whatever explanation seems most evil.

        No, Annie is aware that the IDF lies consistently so she is not likely to believe an organization that lies on a routine basis. If you want an example of blatant lying by the IDF, I would remind you of another incident in Gaza in 2003 when an Israeli tank fired on children playing soccer and killed a Palestinian boy.

        11-year-old Khalil al-Mughrabi was shot dead in Rafah by the Israeli army two years ago as he played football with a group of friends near the security fence. One of Israel’s most respected human rights organisations, B’Tselem, wrote to the judge advocate general’s office, responsible for prosecuting soldiers, demanding an inquiry. Months later, the office wrote back saying that Khalil was shot by soldiers who acted with “restraint and control” to disperse a riot in the area. However, the judge advocate general’s office made the mistake of attaching a copy of its own, supposedly secret, investigation which came to a quite different conclusion – that the riot had been much earlier in the day and the soldiers who shot the child should not have opened fire. The report says a “serious deviation from obligatory norms of behaviour” took place. In the report, the chief military prosecutor, Colonel Einat Ron, then spelled out alternative false scenarios that should be offered to B’Tselem. B’Tselem said the internal report confirmed that the army has a policy of covering up its crimes. “The message that the judge advocate general’s office transmits to soldiers is clear: soldiers who violate the ‘Open Fire Regulations’, even if their breach results in death, will not be investigated and will not be prosecuted.”

        Of course the Chief Military Prosecutor was not punished in any way for her falsity and after leaving the IDF she was appointed as an Isreali judge.

        http://www.richardsilverstein.com/2010/04/07/judge-who-approved-kam-gag-order-perverted-justice-in-2003-palestinian-idf-shooting/

        This is not just an allegation that the IDF lied. Through an error in sending an internal memo to BTselem, it is a direct proof from the IDF itself that the IDF knew the truth and purposely lied about a child’s death and did nothing to pursue either justice or the possibility of this type of thing happening again and again.

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye on July 16, 2014, 3:23 pm

        @hophmi
        “The IDF has said…”
        I suppose their word is the only ‘gospel’ you’ll ever believe in, eh, hoph.

        Do you think we’re stupid enough to fall for their crap? Wouldn’t the international journalists at the hotel have been reporting that they had in fact, seen/heard rockets launching from nearby? I think it’s about time Your Royal Trolliness got dumped from this site for sheer heartlessness and total moral blindness.

      • lysias
        lysias on July 16, 2014, 3:30 pm

        That reporter interviewed on RT said that Hamas has been active on the beach, during night-time hours. The firing on the kids took place in broad daylight, in the afternoon.

      • hophmi
        hophmi on July 16, 2014, 3:31 pm

        “I suppose their word is the only ‘gospel’ you’ll ever believe in, eh, hoph.”

        Not at all. But I don’t reject it immediately as you do, because as I said, the numbers prove beyond any shadow of the doubt that the IDF is minimizing casualties. 1600 targets; about 200 deaths, and that includes everybody, civilians and militants. Seems to me that if the IDF is looking to kill people, they’re doing a very bad job.

        “Wouldn’t the international journalists at the hotel have been reporting that they had in fact, seen/heard rockets launching from nearby?”

        William Booth said that there have been rockets fired from near his hotel before. Is your standard that the IDF, in the middle of a war, has to wait for Hamas to fire a rocket before hitting a target?

      • eljay
        eljay on July 16, 2014, 3:38 pm

        >> hophmeee: … Is your standard that the IDF, in the middle of a war, has to wait for Hamas to fire a rocket before hitting a target?

        1. Aside from children playing on a beach, what target did the IDF hit?
        2. Glad to see that you’re okay with Hamas, in the middle of a war, not having to wait for Israel to fire missiles and other munitions into Gaza before it (Hamas) can launch its own rockets at targets.

      • hophmi
        hophmi on July 16, 2014, 3:43 pm

        “Seems to only and often happen when the IDF slaughter Palestinians. Otherwise it’s terrorism and purposeful targeting of Israeli civilians with un-guided home made rockets.

        Say… if they’re un-guided…..”

        If they’re un-guided, what, exactly?

        The launchers haven’t made much of a secret of where they expect them to land, or did you forget that? Maybe you also think that sending unguided missiles into civilian areas is ok as long as they’re unguided.

      • hophmi
        hophmi on July 16, 2014, 4:20 pm

        You posted this quote from Gaza’s Interior Ministry:

        “First, the ministry call[s] all our people not to deal or pay attention to the psychological warfare carried out by the occupation through rumors that broadcast across his media and delivering publications and communications on the phones of citizens, and the lack of response for each of these means, which aims to weaken the domestic front in light of great steadfastness of our people to face the aggression”

        What is it that you think they were referring to? They’re referring to Israeli warning.

        And what did the Arabic say? Ynet seems to think it said something even more clear than that.

      • just
        just on July 16, 2014, 4:48 pm

        ‘Knocking on the roof’ is being called by some a war crime. It’s not a gentle knock/warning. And where should people ‘evacuate’ to, hophmi? They don’t have a nearby shelter or safe room……It’s a terror tactic, followed by massive destruction and death.

      • hophmi
        hophmi on July 16, 2014, 5:03 pm

        “‘Knocking on the roof’ is being called by some a war crime. It’s not a gentle knock/warning. And where should people ‘evacuate’ to, hophmi? They don’t have a nearby shelter or safe room……It’s a terror tactic, followed by massive destruction and death.”

        In the vast majority of bombings in Gaza, no one has been killed. So I’m not sure what you’re referring to. The IDF does precision bombing, so I assume the IDF expects people to simple to go away from the target.

        If knocking on the roof is a war crime, that goes to show just how useless international law is. If the target it legal, how could it be a war crime to warn the people who may be inside the target to leave? Would it be better if they didn’t knock?

        Of course it’s not gentle, Just. The idea is to get the people out so that they don’t get killed.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976 on July 16, 2014, 5:15 pm

        We’re talking, I think, about actions taken without sure knowledge as to effect and consequence, and therefore with a certain probability of hitting an intended or legitimate target and a certain probability of hitting an undesired, ethically forbidden or ‘innocent’ one. The moral requirement must be that of the three outcomes, legitimate casualties, no casualties and innocent casualties, the first probability be reasonably high and the last be reasonably low. Over the campaign in general it is clear that Israel’s policies make it absolutely certain that ‘innocents’ will die in conspicuously large numbers, and a conspicuously large casualty list is incompatible (on normal assumptions) with a reasonably low probability, in the average incident, that these regrettable casualties will occur. That is to say that the campaign has a reckless aspect.
        Therefore we have to expect each incident to be somewhat reckless unless there is special reason to think it ‘reasonable but unfortunate’. It is hard in all the circumstances, including the broad daylight mentioned by lysias, to see a special reason here. Therefore the death-dealing on the Gaza beach seems to be pretty reckless.
        The moral problem with the Hamas rockets is the extremely low probability of their hitting a legitimate target, tempered by the low probability of any casualties at all.

      • lysias
        lysias on July 16, 2014, 6:48 pm

        Tree, how dare Palestinian boys play soccer! They’re not supposed to have any fun.

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye on July 16, 2014, 7:17 pm

        According to journalists who witnessed the atrocity, it was some 20yards from the hotel. If rockets had been fired at night from the beach, I’m pretty damn sure it was a lot further down the beach than that.
        Also, on one occasion when he was wheeled out as army spox, LtCol Lerner stated that they had been told that militants would be at that particular spot at that particular time! (What, kicking a ball around with their little brothers/nephews/kids? Does that make the kids ‘collateral’? If they aren’t on active duty, aren’t they legally civilians at that point?) That was on World Service news, however later, on R4 news, he had wound his neck in and wouldn’t speculate on why they shelled that particular spot.

      • on July 16, 2014, 4:59 pm

        ” So I’d say the numbers speak for themselves and prove that the IDF goes out of its way to minimize civilian casualties prove that the IDF goes out of its way to minimize civilian casualties”.

        Wow.

        80% of Israel’s victims are noncombatants. Yes. The numbers speak for themselves.

        How much longer can dupes like hophmi hang onto their delusions? Doesn’t reality have to intrude at some point? It’s crazy

      • Mooser
        Mooser on July 16, 2014, 8:03 pm

        “How much longer can dupes like hophmi hang onto their delusions?”

        Sometimes I wonder if Hophmi and the other balmochas have woken up to the fact that their archives, every word of it, belong to Mondoweiss. Can be used any way Mondo pleases, and there’s not a thing they can do.

      • Shingo
        Shingo on July 16, 2014, 5:01 pm

        . Less than 1 in 8 targets have resulted in a death, civilian or militant

        Rubbish, 80% are civilians. Including infrastructure targets does not change that Hop.

      • hophmi
        hophmi on July 16, 2014, 5:06 pm

        “Rubbish, 80% are civilians. Including infrastructure targets does not change that Hop.”

        You’re misreading what I wrote. First of all, 80% civilians is Hamas’s number. Second, my comment was not about comparing civilian and militant deaths. My point was that taking into account total deaths, civilian and militant (around 200 right now), the ratio of death to target is well under 1 to 8.

      • just
        just on July 16, 2014, 5:11 pm

        “Almost 80 per cent of Palestinians killed in Gaza by Israeli bombardments have been civilians, the UN has said.”

        http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israelgaza-conflict-80-per-cent-of-palestinians-killed-by-israeli-strikes-are-civilians-un-report-says-9606397.html

      • Citizen
        Citizen on July 16, 2014, 7:39 pm

        @ hophmi
        You seem to be acknowledging the population density of Gaza yet ignoring Israel’s bombing of Gaza. 80% of Palestinian deaths and wounded are civilians. That’s with guided missiles.

      • Talkback
        Talkback on July 17, 2014, 9:12 am

        If you’re honest, then you’re going to take the most reasonable explanation, which is that the IDF made a mistake, as is common during war.

        Yes hophmi, everybody knows how innocent the military wing of your terrorist organisation is.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on July 16, 2014, 3:51 pm

      O BTW, Hophmi, just loved all your comments about the “attack on the Parisian Synagogue”. Your righteous indignation, and sense of vindication is palpable! Too bad it wasn’t true, huh? Oh well, for a few glorious moments of triumphant victimization, you gave it all you got. Good on ya, Bro! Everyday you grow like an onion!

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius on July 16, 2014, 4:00 pm

        Like I said above, hoph has been curiously silent over the past week, yet up he pops when he thinks he can roll out the ‘Jewish victimhood’ line.

        And btw Hophmi what is a ‘civilian area’? Isn’t Gaza a civilian area given that nearly 2 million people live there? Or do only Isarelis have the right to call themselves civilians? Including the tens of thousands of IDF reservists who live in ‘civilian areas’?

    • seafoid
      seafoid on July 16, 2014, 4:07 pm

      “keep pushing the perspective that Jews and Palestinians should not coexist with one another unless it’s on the sectarian terms you set out for them.”

      Yeah hoph

      as long as the Jews are in charge and the Palestinians get slaughtered every 12-18 months everyone is hophy
      Apartheid is going to go down real well on Main St.

  2. American
    American on July 16, 2014, 11:16 am

    I SUPPORT PEDOPHILES –BUT —-I ABHOR CHILD ABUSE

    That is liberal zionism.

  3. Mooser
    Mooser on July 16, 2014, 11:26 am

    And always remember folks, if you need any information about Judaism, if you would “knowledgeable”, always ask a Zionist. Because they are so disinterested, and their only motive is what’s best for the Jewish peoples.

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones on July 16, 2014, 2:01 pm

      Mooser,

      Probably the best answer is that there are different variants of Judaism, including non-nationalist ones. Interestingly, isn’t it true that the official rabbinate in Jerusalem is not actually doctrinally nationalistic?

      • Mooser
        Mooser on July 16, 2014, 4:04 pm

        “Probably the best answer is that there are different variants of Judaism”

        I would think, given the history of the Jews, there are more different variants of Judaism than there are kinds of bagels. Maybe a lot more.

        Look, somebody here asked the other day, more or less, ‘what’s wrong with the Jewish religion, that people don’t like us and we invented Zionism?’
        It’s a big question, but I gave it some though, and I came up with the answer. Hey, no big deal, it’s what I do, (Gordian Knots slashed while-u-wait, prices plainly posted on the chalk-board)
        Anyway, you know what’s wrong with the Jewish religion? It’s got people in it. Get rid of the people and it’d be perfect. No, it really doesn’t matter what religion they are, they’re still people.

      • Citizen
        Citizen on July 16, 2014, 7:42 pm

        So, if people are still people, it’s OK to kill them–like the 80% civilians in Gaza? Just joking of course.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones on July 17, 2014, 2:50 am

        Mooser,
        One of the focuses of ancient Judaism was the history of God’s relationship with one nation. In that era, such a unique focus was natural – most other religions were polytheistic. As Hostage of blessed memory pointed out, Judaism also held within itself the seeds of universalism, and a vision that Abraham’s faith would cover many nations. At this point, since many nations really do look to Abraham’s God, perhaps this can be a basis to address all kinds of issues in a constructive way.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on July 17, 2014, 5:49 pm

        “At this point, since many nations really do look to Abraham’s God, perhaps this can be a basis to address all kinds of issues in a constructive way.”

        I will pray (and like a Roman with my eyes on fire, too, if it’ll help) this will come to pass. It’s gonna take a miracle, but I’ve heard it said that one hundred-thousand miracles are happening every day!

  4. W.Jones
    W.Jones on July 16, 2014, 11:40 am

    Israel’s unilateral withdrawal, promoted as a way to support Palestinian autonomy, was eagerly supported by the Zionist left. What it did, however, was to create an isolated Palestinian enclave that could be blockaded, attacked with white phosphorus, and starved of food, water and electricity. It created a testing ground for control and occupation by armed drones which now provide the lucrative export of goods and services for Israel’s arms industry.

    You are not wrong about what happened after the withdrawal.

    However, would it be better if the withdrawal had not happened? Wasn’t the withdrawal itself a positive step forward?

    Shouldn’t the best answer have been that the Israeli state would withdrawal and also not bomb people and blockade them, rather than what happened?

    In that case, isn’t it true that the withdrawal itself that the liberal nationalists supported was good, but the abusive actions afterwards were bad?

  5. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    Maximus Decimus Meridius on July 16, 2014, 12:05 pm

    Very good article. Where are all the ‘lib zios’ joining others in protesting this bloody onslaught? Come to think of it, where have they been over the past seven years, when Gaza has been subjected to a sadistic siege, with massacres by air, land and sea every couple of years.

    Too busy fretting over the ‘soul of Israel’, probably.

    The Guardian’s lib-zio supreme, Jonathan Friedland, was on the BBC today, defending that channel from accusations of extreme pro-Israel bias. It was all about ‘an exchange of fire on boht sides’, ‘the Jewish people’s need for a homeland’ blah blah blah. Lib-zios are worse than worthless – when push comes to shove, they are Likudniks wrapped in a layer of hypocrisy.

    BTW there have been several huge protests outside BBC buildings over the past few days, and petitions demanding an end to the bias have garnered thousands of signatures. So much so that the Beeb has been forced to acknowledge the anger. That’s a start, one hopes.

    http://stopwar.org.uk/events/london-protest-15-july-stop-bbc-biased-reporting-on-gaza#.U8ail7HHjxw

  6. pjdude
    pjdude on July 16, 2014, 12:26 pm

    you can be liberal. you can be zionist. you cannot be both. their goals are fundementally opposed. liberalism is about freedom for all. zionism is about freedom for jews only.

  7. Shingo
    Shingo on July 16, 2014, 12:37 pm

    Brilliant article.

    As I always say, a liberal Zionist is just a right wing Zionist without the honesty .

    • Chu
      Chu on July 16, 2014, 1:24 pm

      ha, ha. so true.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on July 16, 2014, 7:49 pm

        But, see, it’s complicated. Oy it’s so complicated. Such complications, you wouldn’t believe how complicated. So it’s not simple.
        Surely we can agree on that?

  8. American
    American on July 16, 2014, 1:48 pm

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mj-rosenberg/gaza-burns-to-please-fat-_b_5591145.html

    Gaza and Lobby Politics
    mjrosenberg

    ”Everyone knows that the only way to permanently end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is by Israel getting out of the territories occupied after the ’67 war in exchange for ironclad security arrangements guaranteed by the United States.
    The territories Israel would evacuate would become an independent Palestinian state.
    So why does the conflict continue? No, not because the Palestinians refuse to recognize Israel. They have,repeatedly.
    It continues because the one nation in the world which can make mediate such a deal, the United States, will not do so because it fears retribution from big donors mobilized by the lobby. That is why the Kerry mission failed. It is why every peace initiative going back to Oslo has failed. Every U.S. position has to be cleared by the donors. (I was working at AIPAC in 1982 when President Reagan himself telephoned its executive director to clear a proposal the United States was planning to issue.)
    Big donors will not permit the United States to even call for a settlement freeze, let alone for ending the occupation, making any negotiations ridiculous. Why should Palestinians negotiate over the final disposition of the West Bank when, even while the negotiations are going on, Israel continues to gobble up more land and expel Palestinians from homes on that land?>>>>

    I am going to give mj a 30 day break from my ridicule of his liberal zionism in exchange for this bit of truthiness.
    Maybe on second thought I will only give him a 2 week break…2 weeks to organize his liberal zionist for a march on Capitol Hill and the WH…..they know damn well their protest should be aimed at the politicians.
    So someone explain to me why they arent doing that.
    Its a no brainer.

    • Citizen
      Citizen on July 16, 2014, 7:46 pm

      I noticed MJ Rosenberg equated AIPAC with Gun Lobby, failing to point out only the former was a 5th column lobby benefiting a foreign country. He did get the reason for Gaza in flames right–the big Zionist donors.

  9. W.Jones
    W.Jones on July 16, 2014, 2:26 pm

    One liberal nationalist scholar whose works have been repeatedly posted on Mondoweiss, took the view that the state’s creation was necessary as a “safe haven”- (as if creating a religious-oriented state in the center of the Midde East would make things more safe) and that the problem was that hundreds of thousands of natives were forcibly expelled rather than paid off to leave.

    The problem is inherent in that model of population “transfer”- it is a failed plan from the start, because in reality hundreds of thousands of people would not agree to be paid to leave their ancestral homes. And besides, where would such enormous wealth come from that was so great it would persuade them to leave voluntarily? The creation of a single-community state was destined inherently to have conflict.

    But what may be more frightening is that while the liberal nationalists, like J.Slater and many others (perhaps including FDR?), may have had illusions about the success of peaceful expulsion, there were many nationalistic realists who understood that expulsion would not be peaceful.

    Look at Ben Gurion and many others when they described the process of expulsions in harsh miliatristic terms. They must have and did expect Palestinians to fight back.

    Isn’t that frightening from the perspective of Palestinians, when it comes to deciding how they can react? That the State’s policy makers, in their decades of fighting against the Palestinians like in Gaza, expect rockets and fighting etc. as the reaction when it comes to their initiatives and policies. By fighting back, they are doing what their conquerors expect they will do. It creates a rather helpless situation.

    Naturally, trying to get the attention of human rights activists is a much better way. But this is very hard when you consider the media situation, and even if they succeed in connecting with human rights activists, it doesn’t mean that the international community and world courts are going to act very quickly, unfortunately. This is something the State’s policymakers take into account too.

    • Citizen
      Citizen on July 16, 2014, 7:48 pm

      What’s your point?

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones on July 17, 2014, 3:01 am

        Israeli policymakers did not share their “game plan” very openly before the Nakba was carried out, did they? War was the excuse they used for it.
        How do you know that the Israelis haven’t laid out a game plan for the next “phase” too?

        For their part, aren’t Palestinians in a kind of Catch 22, since the game plan must have taken into consideration potential resistance too?

      • Mooser
        Mooser on July 17, 2014, 8:04 pm

        “For their part, aren’t Palestinians in a kind of Catch 22, since the game plan must have taken into consideration potential resistance too?”

        Gosh, maybe they should surprise the Israelis by all curling up in a ball and dieing? What is your point?

  10. jenin
    jenin on July 16, 2014, 2:34 pm

    really great article. I myself am torn about how to deal with liberal Zionists and this has given me a lot to think about on the subject

    • seafoid
      seafoid on July 16, 2014, 4:05 pm

      I think “liberal Zionist” makes as much sense as “socially conscious paedophile” .
      Zionism is so damaged.

      • Citizen
        Citizen on July 16, 2014, 7:50 pm

        On Imus In Morning, a conservative Zionist said this morning that “liberal Zionist” was an oxymoron. Actually, it’s not. Imus of course has no clue. He’s yet to hear the acronymn “PEP.”

      • jenin
        jenin on July 17, 2014, 9:25 am

        seafoid–I agree with you from a philosophical perspective. What I mean more is what approach is best to “win” them over, for lack of a better word. Maybe it’s impossible because, as I’ve said before, for them, zionism comes first, human rights second–so if forced to give up one, it will be human rights.

  11. Brown-Eyed Girl
    Brown-Eyed Girl on July 16, 2014, 2:59 pm

    I eavesdropped on an interesting conversation between my supervisor and another co-worker. I am sure you will forgive me as my co-worker’s office is across a very narrow hallway and the door was open. My supervisor is Jewish, and an ardent Zionist –this I have known for a long time. He is a very liberal man, on everything except Israel/Palestine. As for my other co-worker, I knew he was of German ancestry, as he told me that he has ancestors who were barons in Germany and he can, and possibly, did, get German citizenship.

    Last week I asked my co-worker how his son, who recently graduated from college, was doing and he said his son had an internship. Then I heard him telling my supervisor his daughter was leaving for Israel on a Birthright trip! I thought how nice for his daughter that she has America as a home, she could possibly claim Germany as a home and now she is being introduced to her new home in Israel; probably right on top of what used to be a Palestinian family’s house or olive garden.

    Today my liberal, on everything except I/P, supervisor asked my co-worker how his daughter’s trip was going. He said she had been to the desert and seen the Bedouins, everything was fine, and she would be going to Jerusalem soon. My supervisor said he was in Jerusalem in 1969 and how great it was and how you could not be in Israel and not see Jerusalem. Co-worker said he was slightly worried about his daughter getting hurt but was glad she was going everywhere with her group. Supervisor said, “Yes, the groups are very careful to keep them out of dangerous places, like public buses.” I missed the next part of the conversation but then, I heard them talking about what must have been Israel’s missile defense, and supervisor said, “what else gets you criticized for having something that works, if you stop someone from shooting the ball in the basket, no one complains when you for doing your job on the court.” And he laughed. Slightly-less hard-line co-worker said he believed most people on both sides want peace but a small minority on both sides don’t. Hard-line supervisor went on about how Israel could not negotiate with the other side because it was not a government but rogue agents like Al-Quieda and you don’t know who you can negotiate with, who has all the power. He said Egypt had been helping Israel keep “them” from smuggling weapons but they aren’t being so helpful as of now. Slightly less militant co-worker said strongly, “Yes, but that is true for BOTH sides. You can say the same thing about the settlers.” Hard-line supervisor said, “At least the settlers are part of a state, they can be controlled.” Less hard-line co-worker said, “Well, they have said for years during negotiations that they will stop building settlements, but they keep on building them; they have not stopped building them.”
    Hard-line supervisor said, “Look I don’t want to have this discussion here, all I am saying is…” and I did not hear the rest. But, I thought to myself, “No, Dude, you don’t want to have this conversation with me!”

    It was an interesting conversation, and boy, did I ever want to join it. I wanted to ask my co-worker how he thinks it must feel to Palestinians when white girls from America come to the land they and their parents, and their grandparents were born in and are being kicked out of, bombed, and displaced from. How is it right his daughter has so many countries she has citizenship and can claim citizenship in and Palestinians aren’t citizens where they were born or are second-class citizens there.

    As for my hard-line Zionist supervisor, I want to ask him how he can be so open, liberal, and tolerant in the way he treats people here and be so indifferent and out-right hostile to Palestinians. He used to be a mental-health/social worker. He probably treated and had more empathy for the insane,the drug-addicted, and felons than he does for a Palestinian child. Why is that?

    It was a very interesting conversation. Very interesting, indeed.

    • Daniel Rich
      Daniel Rich on July 16, 2014, 3:47 pm

      @ Brown-Eyed Girl,

      This is going to be a very rude reply and I do apologize for making/saying it.

      You are the reason why people die, because you sit, watch and listen. Get off your behind and [really] do something about injustice.

      *I will turn my other cheek if you choose to slap me in he face. I won’t hold it against you.*

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones on July 16, 2014, 4:30 pm

      As for my hard-line Zionist supervisor, I want to ask him how he can be so open, liberal, and tolerant in the way he treats people here and be so indifferent and out-right hostile to Palestinians. He used to be a mental-health/social worker. He probably treated and had more empathy for the insane,the drug-addicted, and felons than he does for a Palestinian child. Why is that?

      You are asking about consistency where there is not consistency.

      He might not give you the real answer if you ask him, although it may provide some clues.

      • Citizen
        Citizen on July 16, 2014, 7:56 pm

        I guess you never depended on your job to provide a home for you and yours? Brown-Eyed-Girl is in such a position, it seems to me. Her German descent American co-worker is just an opportunist. Their boss is PEP. Only in America–or at least, more so in America.

      • Daniel Rich
        Daniel Rich on July 17, 2014, 1:12 am

        @ Citizen,

        Q: I guess you never depended on your job to provide a home for you and yours?

        R: I’m self-employed [not good with bosses]. I didn’t mean for BEG to go shoot off her mouth, I meant pro-actively do something about the IP mess.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on July 16, 2014, 7:58 pm

        “He might not give you the real answer if you ask him, although it may provide some clues.”

        I shouldn’t wonder if his answer came in pink, on a slip.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones on July 17, 2014, 10:20 pm

        Sometimes you can find ways to approach difficult topics in a limited way. eg.
        – What do you think about thwat is happening over there?
        A. — Gazans are shooting rockets, and the Israeli army is doing the right thing.

        – Yes, I think it’s a problem too. It’s remarkable how much effort you have devoted to helping mental patients and felons. Do you think that the amazing tools that we have gained from social work can help us to address what is happening there?
        A. — Yes. They are controlled by Islam and hatred. The Israeli army is doing the right thing.

        ==================================================

        There you go, Mooser. The question can be approached in a round about way, but it doesn’t mean that you are going to get the right response where the person admits that there is a problem with their own approach, or that they will even answer a question in a direct way.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on July 16, 2014, 7:57 pm

      Browned Eyed Girl, your supervisor is most probably suffering from the Ziocaine Syndrome. It is an unfortunate condition. Many people think a few PEP pills (Progressive Except for Palestine) won’t hurt them, but many end up with a fully developed Ziocaine Syndrome condition. Very few effective treatments, unfortunately.

  12. Daniel Rich
    Daniel Rich on July 16, 2014, 3:38 pm

    Liberal Zionism = Firefighter with flamethrower

  13. Stephen Shenfield
    Stephen Shenfield on July 16, 2014, 5:19 pm

    The “Trojan horse” metaphor is not very apt because it implies that left/liberal Zionism is a ruse consciously designed by some Zionist HQ to infiltrate the enemy camp. That is not how things happened.

    Liberal Zionists are not of course on the side of the Palestinians, but had they been the dominant force in Israeli politics they might have reached a compromise based on withdrawal to the Green Line and a Palestinian state (or something not all that far removed from it) alongside Israel. But they were not the dominant force and they are now marginalized, the ground cut from beneath their feet by the success of the Zionist right in destroying the conditions for anything even faintly resembling a Palestinian state.

    Now they (like everyone else) face the stark choice between supporting and opposing Israel as it currently exists (“actually existing Zionism”). Some of them will give up their liberal pretensions, which are hypocritical but not insincere, and merge into the new ultra-Zionist consensus, but others will abandon Zionism. Most of the anti-Zionist activists in Israel are former liberal Zionists. The more of them who make that transition the better — who knows, it might make a difference. So I think it is better to appeal to the better half of their conflicted souls than simply denounce them.

    • Mich Levy
      Mich Levy on July 17, 2014, 7:05 am

      The metaphor of the Trojan horse does not imply that there is a Zionist HQ that deploys the Zionist left; it implies is that liberal Zionism is a form of Zionism and shows how different forms of Zionism reinforce and complement each other.

      You say that “Liberal Zionists are not of course on the side of the Palestinians.” But there isn’t a Palestinian “side.” There is a struggle for dignity, justice and well-being. The system of oppression that the Palestinian people are fighting is much bigger than the Zionist right, and much bigger than Zionism. If the struggle for dignity, justice and well-being is won for Palestinians, we all win.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on July 17, 2014, 8:10 pm

        “The system of oppression that the Palestinian people are fighting is much bigger than the Zionist right, and much bigger than Zionism.”

        Yeah, especially because Zionism doesn’t run Israel, and since it’s all so much bigger than Zionism, why should the Zionists do anything to relieve the Palestinians until everybody else does their part, which is so much bigger than Zionisms. Sure, Okay?

        “There isn’t a Palestinian side” Yup, go ahead and disappear those Palestinians.

        1

  14. Citizen
    Citizen on July 16, 2014, 7:58 pm

    Yeah, it’s hard for a conscious soul to contemplate that their perceived insurance policy is based on putting the boot on another’s innocent neck.

  15. oldgeezer
    oldgeezer on July 16, 2014, 9:15 pm

    @hopmi

    I’m wondering if you could help me understand your position. Was it a misfire or did the navy mistake the kids for fighters.

    You switched back and forth between excuses so often it became quite confusing. I’m figuring it was in between. Someday said let’s rattle their cages and didn’t care enough about human life to consider the potential consequences.

  16. can of worms
    can of worms on July 17, 2014, 12:25 am

    Speaking of trojan horses, Hadash (a supposedly non-Zionist party) is now “call[ing] on the Israeli government to answer the call of chairman Abu Mazen
    to negotiate a peaceful solution for this conflict”!

    In other words: (1) calling on more support for Abbas, the collaborator; (2) in orser to “negotiate” a “peaceful solution” (???) ; (3) in a supposed “conflict” (ehh?) — (4) all in order to maintain the ethnocratic “Jewish State”, and avoid a solution of desegregation, compensation & equal civil rights for all.

    Trojan horse anyone?

  17. dbroncos
    dbroncos on July 17, 2014, 12:42 am

    Abolishing Zionism should become the center of the I/P debate. The much talked about “cycle of violence” is still misunderstood and makes no sense outside the oppressive requirements of Zionism. Most Americans are still in the dark about what Zionism is, what it means and how it contradicts our professed values.

  18. seafoid
    seafoid on July 17, 2014, 7:09 am

    Beinart on why liberal Zionsim is no different to the regular version

    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.605514
    “I’m not a pacifist. Although the images of Gaza’s dead sicken me, I could support this war if I believed it was aimed merely at safeguarding the right of Israelis to live free of terror. That’s why I found it easier to justify Ehud Olmert’s Gaza War in 2008. Because back then Israel had a prime minister who genuinely wanted to end its unjust, undemocratic dominion over millions of Palestinians.”

    It’s all about the weasel words.

  19. eljay
    eljay on July 17, 2014, 7:32 am

    >> seafoid: Beinart on why liberal Zionsim is no different to the regular version

    Beinart has made it clear that he supports a “kinder, gentler” supremacist “Jewish State”. I bet if you asked him, he – like R.W. – would say that ethnic cleansing is “currently not necessary”.

  20. MHughes976
    MHughes976 on July 17, 2014, 8:15 am

    Just to revert to the question of the Trojan Horse. The Troy in question might be left-wing opinion in the West.
    Zionism, to me, is belief in an exclusive right in the Holy Land for people who are Jewish, liberalism or moderate leftism a belief that rights are equal, maybe with minor or temporary exceptions, for all. These are pretty obviously contradictory ideas, so the suggestion that they can be combined is and always has been self-delusive at best, maybe approaching hypocritical – and anything very powerful yet slightly hypocritical is extremely dangerous. Unless, that is, we can appeal to the ‘temporary exception’ clause.
    The postwar left, of which Chomsky is most distinguished survivor, did believe that creating Israel would be a step, therefore in a way by nature temporary, towards a socialist world. It is hard now to think that this was a seriously and passionately held belief, but I’m sure it was. So much respected were its advocates, so massive was the sympathy with Jewish people, that this idea was warmly welcomed into the citadel, with first a very illiberal and then a very right-wing idea nestling in its belly. Anyone who tried to play the part of Lacoon and warn of danger would find it very hard to avoid being strangled by accusations of anti-Semitism.

    • seafoid
      seafoid on July 17, 2014, 11:13 am

      Zionism is an immature 19th century ideology of Blut und Drang that never evolved beyond Jewish narcissism.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976 on July 17, 2014, 5:54 pm

        Still it had, for a long time, almost uncontested popularity in liberal and progressive circles, among the very people who though Blut ideology such a terribly bad idea.
        Actually it’s quite hard to think of a Laocoon who tried to warn the left-thinking people of my young days that they were going wrong. Or of a Sinon who sold the Zionist idea to leftish or liberal-minded people knowing full well how utterly contrary to liberalism it was. None was needed. We deceived ourselves.

      • lysias
        lysias on July 17, 2014, 5:57 pm

        Thanks for the reference to Book II of the Aeneid. I recently read through the whole epic for the first time since college days, and the later books do drag. But Book II is as powerful as any poetry I know.

  21. wondering jew
    wondering jew on July 17, 2014, 6:31 pm

    You might disagree with Liberal Zionism, but I do not think the Trojan Horse analogy is a good one or a useful one. I think it is a way to justify avoiding dialogue with Liberal Zionists. I think that if one favors the right of return or a one state solution, both of which Liberal Zionists oppose, that it is easy enough to negate dialogue with them, without resorting to stupid analogies.

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