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‘I know how the brainwashing works’

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Recently Jerome Slater passed along the following statement from a London friend named David, saying, “I think it should be widely read.” The writer requested anonymity because of relatives in Israel. He comments on our site as “Bornajoo.” –Editor.

I was born into a poor Jewish family in the slums of the East End of London in the early 60’s, one of four brothers. My father was an Indian Jew and my mother an Iraqi one. They met in India and moved to London in 1960. We lived right in the middle of the Haredi community in Stamford Hill. I was sent to Hebrew and Jewish studies classes nearly every evening until I was around 13.

My first visit to Israel was when I was 5 years old just a year after the Six Day War. I was taken to the Wailing Wall and the Old Town in Jerusalem which was only in Israel’s possession less than a year at that point. When I was 11 years old my first cousin was killed in the Maalot School Massacre of 1974. After that point we grew up hating the Arabs even more than before, there was Jewish influence all around me. There was no crack where the light could get in, it was a closed bubble and no other thoughts were possible. So I know how the brainwashing works.

Then my older brother who went on holiday to Israel when he was 19 (I was 17) visited our family who lost their daughter/sister in Maalot. The 3 brothers (not surprisingly) all had careers in the army.

Instead of coming home they convinced him to join the Israeli army. So he enlisted and was trained in the Golani regiment. These same cousins tried to get me to join up. They told me that “you get a gun, you can kill Arabs!” That’s when I realized what the cycle of hate is. Just as these cousins were hurting at the loss of their sister and could only think about Arab blood, then so did each Palestinian who had his brother, father, uncle killed by the Israelis.

Less than a year later Ariel Sharon sent my brother to Lebanon to fight in the 1982 “war”. While he was there I decided to go and travel around Israel for a few months on my own. I literally went everywhere. It was this trip that first opened my eyes and made me realize that the story wasn’t quite adding up. I will provide just a few examples of many:

–Waiting at a bus stop in Netanya I saw dozens of Palestinians walking in from the West Bank (the days before the Wall and checkpoints) to wait around in the heat for Israeli building contractors to come and pick them up to go and work on some building site for a cash pittance. I still remember the way that they were chosen and poked with a stick and herded onto an open backed pick up truck. It reminded me of images from a previous era in Europe. Then I noticed that it was the Palestinians (both Israeli and occupied) working in the toilets, cleaning the streets, doing the hard slog on building sites, cleaning tables….they were the convenient sub-human slave class.

–While in a hostel in Eilat I was sharing a room with an Israeli and a German. The Israeli told us that we should hide our wallets and passports well because there were Arabs working in the hostel who would try and steal them while we slept. He suggested putting them under our pillows. When we woke up the German realised his cash and passport was gone – and so was the Israeli. We called the police. When they arrived they rounded up the 3 young Palestinian boys who worked at the hostel and began punching them and beating them right in front of us. I was shocked and deeply upset. The whole time we were trying to explain that it was the Israeli who was the real culprit but the poor Palestinians had to take a beating until the police finally understood what we were telling them.

–Later when visiting my family in Haifa my cousin said to me (I’ll never forget these words) “Why you don’t come and live in Israel? We can open a car wash. It’s a good business here. You just need a piece land, 1 machine, 2-3 buckets, 1-2 Arabs….”. Well at least the Arabs made it to number 4 on the list.

–While visiting my uncle in Ashkelon, who was a police commander in Gaza, I told him that I was not feeling comfortable about the way that the Palestinians were being treated. He said to me that these Arabs are simple naïve people, it’s impossible to give them their own country. They are too stupid to have their own country. It was better for them to work for us here. We give them jobs and security. What else do they want?

I think that to be honest my uncle, who was actually a nice man in all other ways, summed up the attitude of the majority of the Israeli public at that time and was the attitude of so many I was speaking to. They felt that they could deal with the Palestinians with impunity. It was already an apartheid state at that time. Since then they have learned to steal more of their land and kill them with impunity. And they wonder why and how they have ended up with the situation today with Hamas et al.

I spent a couple of months on a Kibbutz in the Gilboa region and while I was there a friend and I wanted to go hiking in the hills and visit some Palestinian towns and villages. Even the moderate lefty Kibbutzniks told us that we were crazy and we would probably be killed. We ignored them and went off for a few days. We went to Jenin, we hiked, we hitched rides, we visited several small towns and villages and also went to Nablus. All of the people we met were warm, kind, gentle, lovely and hospitable human beings. To be honest it was a breath of fresh air after living with the hard, aggressive and brash Israelis for so long. These were just normal human beings with the same dreams, hopes and aspirations as the rest of us. I’m not sure I’ve ever met a friendlier, kinder and more hospitable people. After that I regularly visited the Palestinian areas on my visits to Israel, which are more or less impossible now. If anyone asked I always told them the truth that I was Jewish. My head is still attached to my body.

After spending a few horrid months in Lebanon and with just 6 months to go of his army service, my brother decided to desert and come home. We hid his rifle in a place which would be revealed after he got home, we picked up some clothes and bought an air ticket from Cairo to which we were going to get the bus. But he made one mistake. He told our cousins about what he was going to do and to say goodbye. Unfortunately they called the military police and had him arrested. He was sent to a hard labour prison for 6 months and then had to complete his final 6 months after that which was increased by a further 3 months. When he finally got home we heard some of the horror stories of the Lebanon “war” or should I say slaughter. I wont go into details but numerous crimes were committed and there was no mercy, rules or justice for a whole number of innocent civilians. So when I see the slaughters in Gaza I know that the purpose is to pummel the population into submission. Infrastructure is purposely destroyed, civilian casualties are purposely high. The aim is to place the poor wretched inhabitants into a state of utter hell to create a sense of hopelessness and disillusionment with their leaders. This is what they did in Lebanon and what they have done 3 times in Gaza.

I am very open with my own views which have changed considerably since my early brainwashed days. However I am NOT popular with any of my Jewish family and friends in Israel or here in the UK. I travel to Israel a couple of times a year. I have loads of family there and many friends. I have noticed that the Israelis have become increasingly more racist and right wing, especially since the influx of Russian immigrants and the Netanyahu governments. Even my 74 year old auntie said while the Gaza slaughter was going on that “they should kill them all, they are all worms!” I find it increasingly more difficult to have a proper debate because it ends up with you being shouted at and it feels extremely threatening. I have been told to leave quite a few Israeli houses in my days. When I read Gideon Levy’s description of what he has to deal with I have nothing but total respect for him and his courage and bravery. My brief and insignificant experiences there gave me a glimpse of what he must endure just to try and do his job and report the TRUTH.

My frustration is sometimes unbearable. It leads to anger. Why can’t they see that if you treat other human beings in this oppressive, brutal and humiliating way that apart from being morally and ethically disgraceful it can only lead to a radical reaction? I was telling them 30 years ago that if I was one of them and was treated like that I would be making bombs to kill Israelis (that didn’t go down too well). Why is it that they have learned to dehumanize these poor people to such an extent that they can now just drop 1 ton bombs on apartment blocks and kill anyone with impunity because “a terrorist was seen nearby”? There is no feeling, no empathy at all for these poor people from most Israelis. When one group of humans loses the ability to feel empathy for another group of humans then genocide is just a step away. The current Israeli regime has betrayed everything I stand for as a Jew. We have to be better than everyone else. But these days Israelis and other Jews are, as an excuse, increasingly comparing their own brutality to the supposedly even worse brutality of other regimes. The very fact that this is being used as an argument only demonstrates just how severe the moral and ethical decay really is.

I have predicted nearly every move that Netanyahu is going to make when so-called peace discussions are about to take place; either announcements of more settlements or a provocation to bring about a reaction which in turn provides the smoke screen for slaughter. Why is it that just a few of us can see it but the majority of Israelis cannot see that they are being brainwashed by fear, fear of Hamas, fear of Iran and now conveniently ISIS.

My prediction for the future? This might sound too far fetched…but I honestly believe it’s more of a possibility than anything else IF this government or an even more right wing version stays in power. There will be no two state solution and there will not be an inclusive one state solution. Israel has no intention of giving up land, they want to annex all of it. I believe that they will find a “legitimate” way to “transfer” as many Palestinians as possible under the pretext of security. It will be based on terror cells operating in the West Bank and ISIS or similar group will be implicated. Some bombs may go off. This will lead to an increased military presence and eventually the expulsion of the Palestinians from those areas which they will say is “crucial for security”. They want to do this in order to achieve the Greater Israel which is the goal they have always wanted to achieve regardless of how many Palestinians they have to kill or remove in one way or another. After all we have seen a 1000 acres of West Bank land being stolen as punishment for the kidnapping of the teens. Any excuse will do, inch by inch, yard by yard, acre by acre.

Is there hope? Only if the Americans stop them. They are too far gone to stop themselves. This is why in my opinion all efforts have to be focused on educating the Americans and especially the American Jews. But I’m not optimistic at all.

Bornajoo

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51 Responses

  1. just on October 20, 2014, 11:39 am

    Bornajoo– an incredible piece in its entirety.

    Thank you for your honesty and graciousness.

  2. bintbiba on October 20, 2014, 11:57 am

    Bornajoo !!!! I am too overwhelmed with your piece to speak. You brought tears and you uplifted the heart… though the conclusion of your letter is as depressing as we have been feeling, in view of events . You are a very brave man. I am very old… could volunteer to be surrogate aunty , in spirit !!!

  3. Horizontal on October 20, 2014, 11:59 am

    These first-person accounts are always fresh and real. Thank you so much for sharing yours. As an American, I can only agree with your conclusion that we Americans need to wake up to the slaughter that we’re underwriting.

    You say you are not optimistic, but you are relatively young, and therein lies the glimmer of hope that can resolve this: The younger generation is open to seeing Israel in a new and more realistic light. Yes, there are plenty of forces besides older generation Zionists that are preventing this from happening — Christian Zionists, defense contractors, people in power who don’t want to give up what they’ve got, but hopefully with time a new dynamic can begin to emerge.

    Congratulations on finding the strength to listen to your heart.

    • W.Jones on October 20, 2014, 1:41 pm

      Horizontal,
      I agree with the value of the younger generations. Unfortunately, when it comes to Israelis, in surveys they are becoming increasingly intolerant. About 30% of young Israelis don’t think Christians should have a right to their religion in the country- a higher percentage than older generations’ answer.

      I am not saying that it isn’t important to change young minds for the better.

      In America, on the other hand, younger generations, especially liberals, are gradually taking a somewhat better view.

  4. ivri on October 20, 2014, 12:00 pm

    Why be so negative? The people you met in Israel see only mayhem all around and bless their good fortune that they are instead in a Western style country. Rather than immigrate to Europe and live in slams there outside their roots here “The West” came to them – allowing them to continue traditional life style in the place where they were born AND enjoy the benefits that comes with living in a Western-style democracy. Not ideal (what is?) but far better than most of the neighbors and the Arab immigrant-communities in Europe. It`s called realism.

    • annie on October 20, 2014, 12:56 pm

      ivri, what he describes here is not “western style”. why even use that term?

      “bless their good fortune”? did you even read the same article i read?

      • ivri on October 20, 2014, 3:19 pm

        I read the same article as you Annie but rather than deal with the random set of anecdotes in it – a different person may encounter opposite ones – I thought it would be more useful (and fair to both Israel and its Arabs) to provide a context

      • adele on October 20, 2014, 3:53 pm

        Ivri, like all racists, associates “western style” with “civility”… the type of civility that recently murdered in cold blood 500 Palestinian children in Gaza, and left an additional 3,000+ children permanently maimed for life. Not to mention the “western-style” state-sponsored Israeli terrorist settlers that ran over little Palestinian girls of just 4 and 5 year old this past weekend in Sinjil.

        That is Ivri’s beloved “western style” Israel and for which he sold his little racist soul to.

      • In2u on October 21, 2014, 10:05 am

        “bless their good fortune”? did you even read the same article i read?”

        A 2012 book on power-hungry narcissists suggests that narcissists typically display most, and sometimes all, of the following traits:[7]

        An obvious self-focus in interpersonal exchanges
        Problems in sustaining satisfying relationships
        A lack of psychological awareness (see insight in psychology and psychiatry, egosyntonic)
        Difficulty with empathy
        Problems distinguishing the self from others (see narcissism and boundaries)
        Hypersensitivity to any insults or imagined insults (see criticism and narcissists, narcissistic rage and narcissistic injury)
        Vulnerability to shame rather than guilt
        Haughty body language
        Flattery towards people who admire and affirm them (narcissistic supply)
        Detesting those who do not admire them (narcissistic abuse)
        Using other people without considering the cost of doing so
        Pretending to be more important than they really are
        Bragging (subtly but persistently) and exaggerating their achievements
        Claiming to be an “expert” at many things
        Inability to view the world from the perspective of other people
        Denial of remorse and gratitude

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

      • Mooser on October 22, 2014, 12:53 pm

        In2u, I think many people would find your comparison to “power hungry narcissists” unsettling.
        After all, what one person may see as narcissism, another might think are the natural prerogatives and perquisites of an entitled aristocracy.

    • amigo on October 20, 2014, 1:44 pm

      “You just need a piece land, 1 machine, 2-3 buckets, 1-2 Arabs….”

      Let,s edit that slightly!!.

      “You just need a piece of land, 1 machine, 2-3 buckets , 1-2 Jews…”

      Imagine saying that in a Western country.

      Jaysus, uncle abe would have a heart attack.Presses would roll.Paperboys would be shouting , read all about it.Europeans caught referring to Jews as labourers.
      My , what has the world come to.

      Dont expect any condemnation of this display of racist bigotry from ivri and co.They probably practice this form of hatred.

    • Horizontal on October 20, 2014, 3:44 pm

      Ivri, you presumably read the article and the worst thing you can find about the situation is Bornajoo’s attitude?

      Thanks for shining an extra extra bright light on the problem.

  5. pabelmont on October 20, 2014, 12:20 pm

    Wonderful writing and feeling.

  6. MHughes976 on October 20, 2014, 12:22 pm

    I agree with you about the long-term plan – what else can it be? However, I don’t think it can be carried out completely unless and until there is a massive re-settlement plan which the Western countries will have to pay for. Campaigns against ‘terrorists’ don’t seem able to make people move en masse – there will have to be some, maybe rather pathetic, carrot as well as ferocious stick. The idea must be to bring the time around when Western and Middle East countries are ready to put up the money and the surviving Palestinians, or a small group that will act as trickle starting a flood, so desperate that they accept.

    • Bornajoo on October 20, 2014, 1:00 pm

      @Mhughes976

      The IDF regularly declare areas “closed military zones” when they are deemed to be a security threat. As we saw in the film Five Broken Cameras, Emad Burnat was ordered to vacate his own home as it was declared to be a closed military zone. First some homes, then villages then whole areas…..

      Yes what else could the long term plan be? I think we know and they will try and get there one way or another

  7. annie on October 20, 2014, 12:58 pm

    what an incredible article. the whole thing. thank you so much bornajoo.

  8. oldgeezer on October 20, 2014, 12:59 pm

    Very powerful yet also very sad. Thank you :)

  9. W.Jones on October 20, 2014, 1:59 pm

    My first comment is that BornaJ may wish to edit his name- the term “Joo” is a pejorative that is sometimes used by Israeli nationalists to misportray the views of their detractors.

    Secondly, this is noteworthy: Is there hope? Only if the Americans stop them. They are too far gone to stop themselves. This is why in my opinion all efforts have to be focused on educating the Americans and especially the American Jews. But I’m not optimistic at all.

    I would like to see a similar article to yours describing the “programming process” for American liberal PEPs that Annie described earlier. (http://mondoweiss.net/2014/10/significant-domestic-process/comment-page-1#comment-717058)

    I can understand how Israelis are becoming increasingly intolerant- they are like guards in a prison, who mentally “grow into” that role, which affects them. But what about American PEPs? What are the factors that reinforce their militant nationalism?

    If they have been “programmed”, then what drives the programming and why does the programming work? To give a contrasting analogy, even though people were “programmed” for centuries to accept monarchy, they eventually passed power to parliaments instead. So being programmed, by itself, does not explain why the programming works.

    Let me give an analogy from my own experience. I was “programmed” to support Israeli fighting against Palestinians- I was a liberal who thought in terms of Israeli democracy against Palestinian terrism. But then I learned about wars in the Mideast being driven by profits and I heard a talk by human rights activists explaining the occupation Palestinians were going through, and it changed my thinking on the issue. That’s because for me, as a liberal, human rights are more important than nationalism.

    • Bornajoo on October 21, 2014, 9:41 am

      @W.Jones
      Thanks for pointing out the name issue. I wasn’t aware of that connotation. I will consider editing my name

      “What drives the programming”. That’s a great question. It’s something I’m trying to get a handle on too. If we can find out what drives the programming then I assume it would be easier to help de-programme? I just had a visit from some Israeli cousins and one of them was a 17 year old girl who told me she was looking forward to going to the army. It’s actually quite hard to describe just how programmed she was and there was no way through at all. It’s a programme that comes with a very effective firewall. It doesn’t accept argument, criticism, disagreement or dissent. The moment it detects any such activity a shield appears and blocks it out. I’m worried at just how effective the brainwashing machine has become, much more effective than in my early days, it seems. The difference with you was that you were willing to listen to the other point of view. Today that willingness to listen is also disappearing and without that then how can we expect any change to come from within? That’s why I firmly believe that the Americans are the only ones that can force the necessary change upon them

      • American on October 21, 2014, 11:26 am

        ” That’s why I firmly believe that the Americans are the only ones that can force the necessary change upon them – “”

        The Americans (Gov.) will have to be forced to change first——before they will force Israel.

        Thomas Jefferson recommended “a decent respect for the opinion of mankind.”
        Exactly what Zionist and Washington doesn’t have.
        They are going to have to be ‘taught’ that lesson.

      • W.Jones on October 21, 2014, 1:17 pm

        Bornajoo,

        I agree. In the case of Israelis, I think that the factors include a “siege mentality” because they are in conflict with Palestinians. When you fight someone for decades, it wears down critical thinking and creates a “rallying effect”. People can tire of wars too, but in the case of the Israelis, conflict is sustained because their society is in the continued process of taking over Palestinian-owned territory. Also, being a prison guard affects one’s mentality- if you are “managing” other people you see as foreign and risky, your mind unfortunately “grows into” that role. People who become prison guards in American prisons, for example, are affected by it.

        Since they play such a big role in public policy, I think that it’s important to understand the motivations behind American PEPs, who do not live where the conflict is going on.

        I had this discussion with Annie here:
        http://mondoweiss.net/2014/10/significant-domestic-process#comment-716633

        She would (or could) not give me a more in depth answer than repeating, correctly, that they are “programed to support israel in a more extreme and familial way”. However, why is it that the programming works so well, even for Marxist PEPs? In Marxist thought, people are motivated by social interests, and one must ask why nationalist programming works so well for some people but not others, like other liberal Americans.

        Annie proposed that PEPs are more likely to be Reform, rather than nonreligious. That suggests that religion can be a factor. Yet most of the Reformed surveyed did not respond that God gave the land to their religion.

        Another idea, advanced by Gilad Atzmon, is that their culture and community is very closed, even regardless of the issue of Israeli politics. The problem is that many people, myself included, are reluctant to blame Jewish culture. Max Blumenthal and Adam Horowitz made a petition saying that Atzmon was anti-semitic for advancing that kind of critique.

        The relevance is that many of us end up dialoging with American PEPs, just as you do with your cousins, or else end up addressing their ideas through exchanges in the public arena. I do agree with Annie that we should not put all our energy into it, but rather be active on issue. On the other hand, as you pointed out, understanding and addressing the underlying motivations behind militant nationalism could aid in encouraging a more objective, pro-peace mindset.

      • W.Jones on October 21, 2014, 1:21 pm

        I meant to say:

        Another idea, advanced by Gilad Atzmon, is that their culture and community is very closed, even regardless of the issue of Israeli politics. The problem with Atzmon’s critique is that many people, myself included, are reluctant to blame Jewish culture.

      • Mooser on October 22, 2014, 12:57 pm

        “myself included, are reluctant to blame Jewish culture.”

        Like I always say, W Jones: You tell me what’s in “Jewish culture” what it consists of that is not common to the culture around it, and then we will know what to blame it for and what not to blame it for, won’t we?

      • Mooser on October 22, 2014, 1:18 pm

        .” If we can find out what drives the programming “

        Okay, I hope this isn’t anti-Semitic to say, but I’ve heard it’s driven by the needs of a colonial project which is becoming more and more desperate and untenable.

  10. ejran on October 20, 2014, 3:05 pm

    Thank you for this. Thank you for your courage and your honesty.

    I am sad to agree with your pessimism. I see no hope soon either. I see Israel exploiting ISIS to the max. I see how ISIS is great for Israel, great for finding yet another reason to fight “muslims” (conveniently and slowly erasing the Arab identity and replacing it with a muslim identity. Muslims in Gaza. Muslims in Syria. Muslims are the enemy. 9/11 did this- equating muslims with terrorists. But every ten or so years you need to reinforce things. Every ten or so years another major disaster is needed, another enemy whose eradication requires putting security before justice, security before democracy.)

    A muslim in the west today is what a jew was once in Europe. How convenient.

    Israel’s greed and cruelty and brutality and deceit know no limits, and it’s terrifying. Terrifying. Terrifying to think of where this will lead if it keeps going in the same direction. Nothing is unthinkable. Everything is justified in the name of the magic word, security. So much blood. So much humiliation. So much theft and murder and torture and terrifying injustice. It’s ok, they are worms to be crushed. “Beasts walking on two legs,” Menahim Begin said of palestinians. It’s ok, we need to fulfill God’s plan. It’s ok. It’s God’s plan. God wants this- we don’t need legitimacy. Persecution paranoia- the Palestinians are another hitler out to get us. They hate us because we’re jews, because we’re jews. They’re another enemy of the jews. We need to kill them. All of them. In the name of God. In the name of homogeneity. The other is a threat. (ISIS? Israel?)

    I see no hope. I see no hope. I want to see hope. I see it in your post, but it also makes me even more hopeless. Conspiracy is real. Justice doesn’t automatically win just because it’s justice. The end of this is nuclear war. I fear for myself everywhere on the planet- from human greed in general, but also from Israeli madness. A madness that needs psychiatric treatment. I’m sick of religion and identities and nationalism and all this blood, all this blood in the name of god and land and money and lies. I’m sick of wars that are waged because they are so profitable. Extremely profitable for Israel. Billions of dollars from war- all these weapon sales, all this military advising. Have you watched Yotam Feldman’s “The Lab”? I’m sick of brainwash. I wish I were an astrophysicist. I wish every politician could be made to study Carl Sagan. Sagan is hopeful. He believes human beings will be smart enough to not destroy themselves. He says the earth is our cradle and one doesn’t stay in the cradle forever; the stars are waiting. He believes we humans will get over our technological adolescence and our reptilian aggression, thirst for power, fear of strangers; that although we already have the means for our own destruction we will grow wise enough to undo them, to realize that human differences and conflicts disappear in the face of the search for intelligent life elsewhere in the cosmos. It makes me want to cry.

    • Bornajoo on October 20, 2014, 7:40 pm

      @ejran
      I can ‘feel’ your words in your post. I know those feelings well. “a madness that needs psychiatric treatment”. I couldn’t agree more. I have often described israel as mentally ill nation caused by its own history of suffering and trauma. But they have gone on to abuse those supposedly in their care as we so often see in the cycle of abuse. But normally once the abuse is exposed someone steps in and rescues the abused. But in this case the abuser is receiving unwavering and unconditional support from a very powerful big brother. It’s like the school bully being allowed to just do what he wants to anyone he likes by the headmaster

      It’s completely sick

  11. ASBizar on October 20, 2014, 3:06 pm

    You are the awake conscience of the humanity.

  12. catporn on October 20, 2014, 4:22 pm

    “I think it should be widely read.” Amen to that, it’s always great to hear from someone that’s seen through all the bullshit indoctrination, even more so when it started so young and with such intensity, to the humanity that exists on the other side of it.
    First hand accounts of the disparity, segregation and systemic racism are essential in the fight against misinformation.
    Thank you for sharing.

  13. jdc2408 on October 21, 2014, 12:58 pm

    I just watched this debate from earlier this year, it’s a bit off topic for this article but it very much relates in that israel supporters try to use big words, forceful tones in trying to defend the indefensible. If anyone can honestly take General Hayden seriously after watching this, I doubt there is much hope for them. Dershowitz’ argument is essentially the same with big words thrown in there. They both seem to have something to lose by losing the arguements. To me more than just public opinion. Hopefully the link works for those who are interested or haven’t seen it. http://youtu.be/lnF_BGc1M18

  14. wondering jew on October 21, 2014, 5:52 pm

    Hello bornajoo, You addressed me on a different thread but I will answer you here. Firstly we come from different sides of the tracks. I am Ashkenazi and your roots are not in Eastern Europe. You do not relate your relationship to halachik judaism. I was raised a rabbi’s son and have spent my life at a distance from that background, but essentially orbiting that planet.

    No, I do not send links from MW to my siblings and nieces and nephews. For the most part I find non face to face interactions regarding the middle east with relatives to be unproductive and when i get face to face i realize the limitations of what i could possibly say to change their minds. You seem to be in an “in your face” personality and that is not me now, maybe 20 years ago, but now. but even 20 years ago it was support of rabin rather than acquiescence to hamas that was my rebellion.

    consider this P to King 4, a first move in our conversation.

    • ziusudra on October 22, 2014, 1:52 am

      Greetings jonah fredman,
      ….i am Ashkenasi……
      There was only one Ashkenaz & that was the dude in the O.T. Only those that started migrating to Greece in 200BC went there calling themselves Sephardim, another bible figure. In the 10th C., they called their ‘Schools’ Ashkenaszi; the Germans started calling them Ashkenazi. You are a descendent of East European Jews which is an ethnicity; an east euorpean of the Jewish faith. You can go a step further & ask your dad if you hail from Poland, Russia even Germany, with your ‘man’ German suffix? It is satisfying for mankind to know from whence they come, even Jews.
      take care, mein Freund
      ziusudra

    • Mooser on October 22, 2014, 1:03 pm

      .“I am Ashkenazi and your roots are not in Eastern Europe.”

      You mean his parents came from Muslim lands where Jews were treated better than Eastern Europe?

    • Mooser on October 22, 2014, 1:05 pm

      “You seem to be in an “in your face” personality and that is not me now, maybe 20 years ago, but now. but even 20 years ago it was support of rabin rather than acquiescence to hamas that was my rebellion.”

      An “acquiescence to hamas “? Aw doesn’t Yonah have a nice way of saying you are next door to a terrorist!

    • Mooser on October 22, 2014, 1:10 pm

      “Firstly we come from different sides of the tracks. I am Ashkenazi and your roots are not in Eastern Europe”

      Bornajoo, when you come from the wrong “side of the tracks” (I am still stunned Yonah used that locution) there’s not much you can do. Believe me, people from the right side of the tracks always know.
      Good work, Yonah!

    • Mooser on October 22, 2014, 1:14 pm

      “consider this P to King 4, a first move in our conversation”

      Yonah, your comments are ipecac to my ears.

  15. Bornajoo on October 23, 2014, 6:36 am

    Hi Yonah
    Sorry for the late reply.
    My mother’s family left Iraq when she was quite young and they moved to Bahrain. She loved growing up there and still describes that period as her “golden years”. But in 1947 (when events in Palestine led to the Naqba) there was a riot against Jews. A family friend was killed (the only fatality). Most Jews decided to leave and my mother’s family then went to India where she met my father (Indian jew of Iraqi descent). They came to live in the UK. Her brothers and sisters chose to go to israel. I’m so glad my parents didn’t follow them there

    But even though we were in London the brainwash programme was very effective. It was only until I travelled there and saw the real facts on the ground that made me realise I was indeed brainwashed. I wasn’t influenced by any “lefties” and I hadn’t read any books with alternative versions to the mythology. I didn’t even know they existed at that time. It was simple; the facts on the ground immediately dispelled the myths.

    I’m not sure that being sephardic or ashkenazi has anything to do with it. Israel is committing crimes against humanity against a vulnerable and defenceless people but the majority go along with it. Why? Is it because they simply cannot accept that truth or they do accept the truth but just don’t care?

    Have you seen Yoav Shamir’s film Defamation? Further up the comments we’ve been discussing how the programming works. I think that this film explains quite a lot.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=au1w7a_fbZY

    I have already posted this link on another post but to anyone who hasn’t seen it I really recommend watching this film. It also explains the brick wall attitude of a whole number of Jewish acquaintances who just refuse to budge in their defence of Israel, which is unforgiveable.

    In fact in the film, one of the schoolgirls on the Auschwitz trip actually says that when they see images of the Holocaust it raises their tolerance to other bad things. She goes on to say that when she sees the IDF demolish a Palestinian house she is kind of made to believe that it’s not so bad because Arabs still have a lot of houses and many worse things happened to the jews. There is another part where one of the guides admits that Israelis can never be normal because they only remember and perpetuate death. I’ll even go so far as to say that the 17 year old Israeli cousin who was just here visiting was dangerously brainwashed, actually “damaged” and she’s looking forward going to the army next year. People like this, backed by immense power and sophisticated weaponry are being unleashed on a whole group of vulnerable and defenceless people. They are carrying out unspeakable acts against them. These actions are pure evil, there are no other words to describe them, sorry. So what makes these people so evil and able to inflict this never ending suffering upon these poor people??

    well I have to get back to my original moment of enlightenment from over 30 years ago. At that time Hamas didn’t even exist which today is used as the main excuse for all Israeli crimes. It’s very convenient now to completely forget the period before Hamas and just pretend that the history of this issue is all about Hamas which is what the hasbara machine tries to do. We need to strip out all of the layers of camouflage and get to the core of the issue. What I saw back then still explains everything to me clearly and is the only explanation as to how one group of people can treat another in this way and yes I’m going to use the infamous example of how it was possible for the Nazis to treat the Jews in the way that they did. I’m afraid it comes to down to racial superiority. If there was equal respect for the Palestinians as equal human beings from day one then we wouldn’t be where we are today. When you do not consider them as equal human beings then and only then is it possible to degrade their human status to a lower level in a process known as dehumanisation. Once dehumanisation occurs then the rest follows. This is unfortunately my conclusion based on my own real life experiences. Israel is not heading into apartheid, apartheid was already fully operational decades ago

    Over to you

    • wondering jew on October 23, 2014, 4:53 pm

      bornajoo- thank you for your response. i will respond later at greater length, but i just wanted to let you know that i read it.

  16. wondering jew on October 23, 2014, 8:12 pm

    bornajoo- Yes, there is propaganda, group think, at play in Israel. Yes, there is a widespread tendency to dehumanize the Palestinians. This tendency is too easy to fall into in much of Israeli society.

    Rather than attack this head on, let me cite this article from 972,
    http://972mag.com/most-israelis-oppose-palestinian-state-new-poll-shows/97833/

    Although the prime topic of the article is the rejection by most Jewish Israelis of the idea of a full withdrawal to the 67 lines, I would like to focus on the self identification of Israelis in the poll. we are told that of the 505 Jewish Israeli people polled, 304 identified as right wingers, 125 as centrists and 68 as leftists, or approximately 60% right, 25% center and 13.5% left wingers.

    Why do you think these people ended up with those political “allegiances”? I would assume that for the most part, people tended to agree with their families or peer groups. I’m sure there were those who started out to the left and then became more right wing and there were those who started out to the right and then become more left wing.

    Would i call all those who identify as right wing as being more easily brainwashed than those who identify as center or left wing? No. Certainly those who come from right wing and stayed right wing, their environment influenced them to maintain a certain attitude and certainly those who come from the left wing and stayed left wing were also influenced by their environment.

    Both you and I spent most of our formative years outside of Israel and so the environment of our backgrounds was not dictated by a school curriculum of the mandated sort that exists in Israel. But nonetheless, we were both influenced by schools, peers and families.

    In the immediate aftermath of the Yom Kippur War I would have referred to myself as a right winger and for example when the disengagement agreement of 75 was signed by rabin, i was opposed. by the time of the sadat visit to israel in 77 i was supportive of the peace effort and very pleased with the camp david accords and envisioned the need to speak to the PLO.

    Was I less brainwashed than my peers who were opposed to the Sadat Begin peace? I would say, not. I would say that my personality was possibly a bit more rebellious and a bit more adverse to acceptance of the words of the “authorities” and my personality was more in tune with the imagination required to dream of peace than those of my peers.

    Yes, there is a lot of propaganda and group think involved in all attitudes on this issue.

    Currently my optimism regarding the future is at an ebb and i feel almost irrelevant to the discussion. (That is: those who control Israel’s government and those in America who speak for the mainstream of the community are really not interested in my opinions.)

    I also feel irrelevant to the discussion here at MW, where the editors and most commenters have an ambivalent or a negative attitude towards religion and nationalism including almost all manifestations of Jewishness that are not universal in their essence.

    That’s all for now.

    • Mooser on October 23, 2014, 9:28 pm

      ” Yes, there is a widespread tendency to dehumanize the Palestinians.”

      Thank God they don’t take it as far as, you know, actually killing them! Just call them names a lot.

    • Mooser on October 23, 2014, 9:52 pm

      “I also feel irrelevant to the discussion here at MW, where the editors and most commenters have an ambivalent or a negative attitude towards religion and nationalism including almost all manifestations of Jewishness that are not universal in their essence”

      Did you just say you would feel relevant to the discussion at a site where an unambivalent positive attitude towards religious nationalism includes almost all manifestations of Judaism that are supremacist in their essence? Okay, sure.

    • Bumblebye on October 24, 2014, 8:24 am

      Yonah maybe your positive feelings wrt “religion and nationalism” would evolve if you spent a bit of time on a site like “The Occidental Observer”. While being part of an ethno-religious in-group wrt zionism and Jewishness might be all warm and fuzzy, on that site you would be the out-group. There you might discover an ambivalent or negative attitude towards “religion and nationalism” in yourself! Unless it’s confined just to other peoples ethno-religious nationalism. Anyhow, it could give you an inkling of why most people here tend towards negative opinions of it.

      • wondering jew on October 24, 2014, 4:56 pm

        bumblebye- precisely my point. i didn’t say that you are wrong, maybe you are right. maybe jewish pride to pick a nontechnical term is as wrong as white pride or as black pride. it is difficult to tell from here. since a major or the major portion of my contact with the human race is with jews who consider jewish pride a positive, i hardly see how adopting the: “you people are no better then kevin macdonald” as my own credo would do anything but wreak havoc with my life.

        personally i consider the momentum of jewish survival to be unstoppable and the specific direction of jewish survival known as zionism is stoppable, but at a steep price to all involved, and in fact some kind of compromise will be reached with zionism as well.

        i think the future of jewish survival past my predictable life span is not my primary concern, as in, I cannot prove what the future will be, i can only testify to my emotions and thoughts.

        I was born 10 years after the abyss directly descending from 3 out of 8 great grandparents who got murdered for being jewish, thus to me: jewish survival is a credo. that i have in fact not pursued the “jewish survival” lifestyle: I have no kids and i do not belong to a synagogue and i do not dress in a yarmulka, means that i view the credo with a degree of alienation.

        because of this alienation i am forced to construct the analogy between flora and fauna destroyed by harvesting the rain forest and the civilization of the jews, that just like these flora should not be destroyed, for who knows what they might cure, so it is with the civilization of the jews, plucking this civilization from history might deprive history of wisdom and even a cure.

        but this is a leap of sorts. the fact is: i was raised by people who had their eyebrows singed by hitler’s dragon breath and to me, the urge for jewish pride is a must, and to compare it to kevin macdonald is not recognizing the human needs of those whose eyebrows were singed by the dragon breath.

        the need for moderation or involving other concepts beyond jewish pride, i admit freely and advocate. but the kevin macdonald equation elicits contempt from me.

      • Bumblebye on October 24, 2014, 8:04 pm

        Oh Yonah! Fer Evan’s sakes!
        I was (obviously cackhandedly) attempting to point out that extreme ethno-religious chauvinism has victims. Doesn’t matter which group practices it, all those who do not belong or who refuse to follow along, will be discriminated against. As we know, in Israel and in occupied Palestine that discrmination against those who cannot belong is enshrined in law. And the majority of those in the ethno-religious in-group wish the discrimination could be even worse. Since ’67 the situation has been progressively deteriorating and shows no signs of abating. The hate is taught from nursery school onwards. You’ve just mentioned what that kind of racism has led to before. What happens when it comes to the boil in I/P? I’m sure it’ll be ramped up further over the next couple of years and I’m also sure there are a bunch of folk over there who would love to ensure the fait accompli takeover with massacres and mass expulsions on the centenary of Balfour. It seems all too possible as Israeli people and politicians move further and further rightwards, with nothing to check that.

      • Mooser on October 26, 2014, 1:27 pm

        “since a major or the major portion of my contact with the human race is with jews who consider jewish pride a positive”

        Gosh darn it, Yonah, I think all those NY State and US Federal laws forbidding contact between Jews and other people should be overturned! They are a relic of earlier centuries!

  17. Bornajoo on October 24, 2014, 7:08 am

    @yonah
    Thanks for responding. I think it’s important that we get your opinion on these issues and even those that oppose the views of most of the people on MW. I tend to agree with the majority view on MW because their views match my own direct experiences. Hence why I immediately felt at home and comfortable on the MW site. I’m very new to blogging and any kind of political activity and until now have confined my efforts to trying to change the minds of friends, family and acquaintances, most of them Jewish, but not all.
    I also feel that you are someone who can and may eventually be able to drop the last remaining mental barriers you have which stop you from accepting the actual reality of the situation. You remind me of my oldest brother and not that long ago he was where you are now but he finally came around!
    Yes let’s focus on the Israeli self identification in that poll and thanks for sending the article from 972.
    That same elder brother has 4 kids ALL of them ardent hard core Zionists and even scarier to me than the youth I met in Israel. How did this happen? Well even though I argued for many years until my face was blue my brother and his Israeli wife were determined to send their kids to a Jewish faith school in London which I was completely opposed to. So it was obvious to me what was going to happen, and it did. These 4 kids are impossible to speak or argue with. They only have Jewish friends, they are completely brainwashed and they are terrifying people. Only the older one, thankfully, is a bit more wordly and has other friends except hard core Jewish zionist ones. They absolutely hate my guts and wish I was dead simply for not sharing their views and I’m not exaggerating. When the most recent slaughter in Gaza was taking place they were calling for the total death and destruction of ALL ARABS everywhere, not only the Palestinians. They have all been on the indoctrination program in Auschwitz and other places and they are no different to the Hitler Youth. I find it all completely sickening.
    Israeli society is continually fed a cocktail of fear, paranoia and racial hatred by successive right wing governments and it’s absolutely no surprise to me that a whole load of people on the left have moved to the right and those who were on the right are moving further to the extreme right. Netanyahu, Bennett, Lieberman, Russian immigrants, American settlers are all spewing their poison out all over what is already a sick and mentally damaged society. And these people have Guardianship over millions of poor, defenseless and completely innocent people, unless you call fighting for dignity and freedom a crime?
    I would like to once again return to the example of my 17 year old cousin who was just here visiting for 2 weeks. She is a typical example and representation of a huge swathe of Israeli youth. What she shows is just how effective the brainwashing program actually is. She as so right wing, so racist, so intolerant, so paranoid, so fearful and so nationalistic it was impossible to even think about bringing her back from the abyss where she now stands. And this is the future generation that is supposedly going to live side by side in peace with the Palestinians?? At least with some of the older generation, as we saw in the The Gatekeepers, there was a realisation that none of the brutal oppressive policies have actually worked and peace and trust was the only long term solution. The fascist right wingers have now sabotaged any chance of that well in advance by producing new and more advanced right wing prototype youths straight from the hasbara factory pre programmed to hate and dehumanise even more than before
    So we have reached the stage where we should all forget any idea that any change will come from within Israel that will be strong enough to finally relieve the prolonged suffering and injustice to the Palestinians. That’s never going to happen. It will only happen by outside pressure and that’s where I will focus my efforts.
    The key to the whole issue in my opinion is mainstream opinion in the USA which is where you live
    You say that your opinions are irrelevant to that mainstream opinion but I know that just from the small amount of headache I’ve been giving certain people here that it all does make a difference. Every email and letter you write does make a difference. It’s one more reply that has to be given and it’s another reminder that not everyone agrees. I also believe that as Jews our opinions may carry a bit more weight and we have more chance of dodging the accusation of anti semitism

    • seafoid on October 24, 2014, 8:51 am

      Powerful stuff bornajoo.

      I often think about how much Israelis lose out on by growing up in a dysfunctional society

    • wondering jew on October 24, 2014, 5:07 pm

      It seems likely to me that the compromise with Zionism will be found and that it will be American policy that will change to force Israel to compromise. I personally go visit Israel and do not shy away from buying Israeli products, so I from my actions see no support for BDS. When I am in Israel I avoid occupied territory except in the case of Jerusalem, although this past summer because it was tense from moment one until i left in the midst of the war, where on principle i do not avoid the territories.

      I do not write my congressman to tell him that he has to change his attitude towards Israel to reflect the 38% of Israelis who call themselves centrists or leftists who reflect my views. in fact i opposed the war and that puts me in the 5% who opposed the war, and i certainly would not write him to tell him that he has to represent the 5% and not the ari shavit’s and tzipi livni’s, even if my models are larry derfner and bradley burston.

  18. talknic on October 24, 2014, 8:37 am

    The unwashed takes on new meaning :-)

    Unwashing is a traumatic experience that brings into question a lot of things in a lot of places people fear to go.

    When one’s parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, Rabbi, teachers, political leaders have been brainwashed over generations, who does one turn to, trust, believe, believe in and; turning back once you’ve accepted the first unwashed truth is a betrayal of one’s self. One can see self betrayal in the inability of some folk to look you in the eye.

    Zionistas will never admit anything, complete denial is necessary to keep those loose ends away from prying eyes and tugging fingers. Tug any of the loose ends and it will lead to a complete breakdown in the Israeli propaganda narrative. Example …

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

    Are we to believe the people who drafted the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel were actually un-aware of Plan Dalet under which Arab inhabitants of what would become Israel were being cleansed?

    Let’s tug at this same loose thread … The Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel were being invited to stay in the Declaration. Can’t be denied. A few weeks later, if the same number of Arabs who fled the violence of war were to return, they’d be a demographic threat. It simply doesn’t add up!

    Same loose thread .. Right of Return .. the Israeli demand for a Peace Treaty with Palestine before allowing any Right of Return at all. Remember, they are the “Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel “ who fled. I.e., Israelis!

    Think about it … What would a peace treaty with Palestine mean for them if they are NOT citizens of Palestine?

    None of it adds up

    • Bornajoo on October 26, 2014, 4:39 pm

      @talknic
      I have to say that after all this time I knew all of the “facts” but since reading your website and comments I’ve realised that I wasn’t even aware of some of the historical key facts. Then again neither were the New Historians who I relied on until now! The fact that Israel DID declare its borders, that the 67 lines are not borders and the issue with the right of return. Yes of course, they fled Israel!

      It’s quite astounding that after nearly 70 years the real truth is still either hidden or misunderstood. It’s all smoke and mirrors, lies and deception. Hence a propaganda machine working overtime to keep the skeletons firmly in the closet.

      It’s almost as though the legal advisers of the PA have been on the Zionist payroll.

      Mind you, wouldn’t surprise me.

      • talknic on November 6, 2014, 1:45 pm

        @ Bornajoo

        “It’s quite astounding that after nearly 70 years the real truth is still either hidden or misunderstood.”

        It’s not hidden, it’s left out or purposefully distorted, thereby misunderstood.

        ” a propaganda machine working overtime to keep the skeletons firmly in the closet”

        Since circa 1897. The Zionist movement is extremely well practiced at putting people and money and twisted words in mouths in the right places at the right time to suit their agenda. All the while keeping the legal football in the air thru negotiation and dispute.

        The Zionist Federation’s Colonial Trust was after all a business that profited immensely by loaning early Jewish settlers the money to go colonize Palestine.

      • Bornajoo on November 6, 2014, 2:59 pm

        @Talknic

        They are without a doubt the world leaders in hasbara. What a great job they have done, they definitely get the gold medal in this area. My own attempts of trying to convince certain individuals about truth and reality can only be described as futile. It’s so hard trying to break through it.

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