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I’ve published two reports on trips to Israel/Palestine with a former Zionist I called Bill. (Part 1, Part 2.) This is the third “Bill” report, from a trip in September 2013. 

On Wednesday afternoon I went to the American Colony hotel in East Jerusalem and called my friend Bill from the front desk. He said, “Have you made any plans?”

“None,” I said.

“Let’s go to Yad Vashem.”

I waited for him under a locust tree in the driveway. He came out wearing a yellow alligator shirt, and we got a cab to the museum. It was a really hot day. The plaza outside the museum was baking in the sun. An old orthodox woman wearing a wig toiled up to the door in front of us, pushing a dolly, loaded with wreaths.

We decided to go through the museum separately, because I’d been there twice in recent years before but Bill hadn’t been there in 22 years, not since he was 15. Bill is younger than I am, but he went to Israel long before I did. He used to love the place, then rejected it when he was in his 20s. He knew it a lot better than I did, so I liked to observe his responses to the place.

I only saw him a couple of times over the next hour and a half. Then I got to the end of the long tunnel-like structure and heard HaTikvah playing amid photographs of the deliverance of the remnant of European Jewry into Israel, and there was Bill standing out on the famous balcony. The memorial’s two slanting ceilings peel up and apart after the many dark chambers and lift like wings over the balcony, and ah—you’ve been delivered into Israel. The balcony’s famous because you can see the scene of a 1948 Zionist massacre of Palestinians, at Deir Yassin, a village outside Jerusalem.

“This is incredible architecture,” I said.

Bill frowned. “If you say so.”

We walked round to the back plaza. Bill wanted to find the Hall of Remembrance–the place where the names of Jewish towns and individuals are recorded—because he had a distinct memory of going there the last time he’d been here. We looked for it all over. We went up and down the little hills on cobbled walkways.

A group of women wearing Israeli army uniforms walked past, two of them chattering away in perfect American English. Bill spun to watch them.

“That pisses me off.”

I said, “I know.”

But I could understand after all the exhibits of Jewish powerlessness inside, why Jews even three generations on would fetishize the means of delivering violence.

We kept walking and not finding the hall of remembrance.

Bill said, “Do you know what Yad Vashem means?”

“No.”

“The hand and the name. I’ve never understood it. They couldn’t explain it in my Hebrew class in college.”

“You took Hebrew in college?”

“I told you,” Bill said with irritation. “For three years. I went from A to F. And you said, ‘That’s quite an achievement.’”

“Oh right. And why did you go from A to F?”

“It was when I was becoming disillusioned with this place. I was waking up to what it was, and I think I took it out on the language.”

Going from A to F was why I liked Bill. He was completely sincere in his engagement with the conflict. Most people I know who are involved are activists or journalists. The journalists are out to make names for themselves– they want to write the Lenin’s Tomb of Israel/Palestine—and the activists are out to change the world and end apartheid. The journalists will move on to the next book, the activists will move on to other righteous causes. It was more personal with Bill. He had swallowed the Israeli hook when he was a little boy, coming out here with his grandparents. He’d dreamed of being in Israeli politics. Then after his seventh and eighth visits he’d talked to his cousin and begun to change. He was just 20 or so and began wondering why so many Israelis were carrying guns even when they went to the movies. He didn’t get what his relatives meant when they said they were protecting “us.” His ideas shifted quickly; he vowed to stay away. Thirteen years passed, then he came back as an anti-Zionist.

So all Bill’s adult life he was still working that hook out of his gut; Israel was in his soul.

We couldn’t find the hall of remembrance so we went into the basement cafeteria. I got a sandwich and Bill got water. We sat near a window and he said, “What was your favorite thing in the museum?”

“Well it’s a great museum, and I’m always seeing new stuff,” I said. “This time it was a guy talking about how they did the Passover seder in a concentration camp. They didn’t have the Haggadah or the wine or the celery or the matzo, but a group of them walked around saying different parts of the service and they said, ‘In Egypt all we had was the bread of affliction. Not like we have now.’ But of course it was a lot worse for them than for the Israelites in Egypt, and the guy was laughing telling about that, and I was standing there laughing and crying at the same time. I don’t think that’s happened to me in a long time. Why, what was your favorite moment?”

“Treblinka,” Bill said.

“The guy talking about the gas chambers?”

Bill nodded.

It was one of the times I’d crossed paths with Bill. He was watching a video of a survivor describing how the Nazis gassed hundreds of people at one time using carbon monoxide. The man in the video had served on a crew. They had waited as soldiers with dogs herded shorn, naked people into the chamber, they’d heard the agonized screams, then after 20 minutes a German officer said, “They’re all asleep.” The crew opened the doors and removed the bodies and burned them on wooden pallets set on railroad tracks. When the bodies tumbled out, they gave a last audible sigh of smoke or gas.

Bill was standing at the Treblinka screen for a while. I couldn’t take it. I moved on to an artistic rendering of the gas chambers, sculptures of hundreds of people howling and crying and trying to escape. Like 400 little trapped Michelangelos…

“Did you cry at all in there?” I asked.

Bill shook his head.

“Why not?”

“I don’t know. I guess because the thing is so manipulative. It’s all intended to make a point. That we need this place. Americans need Israel.”

I said, “I guess that’s why I enjoy the Berlin room. It’s an argument aimed at me. The assimilationist room. They show what a fancy life Jews were leading and how German they felt, and say what suckers they were.”

It’s an exhibit of a Jew’s office in Berlin before the Holocaust, with a modern telephone on a big wooden desk and the daughter’s school paintings framed on the wall. The video testimonies in the Berlin room are all about how the Jews felt they were fitting in fine, and how that social fabric fell to pieces, and friends and neighbors hung up the phone on them.

I said, “You think you’re accepted and you’re doing well, but it’s a delusion, the west will never accept you.”

Bill drank off one bottle of water and uncapped another.

“So what do you say to that?”

“Well– it could happen again, but I don’t think it will. History doesn’t repeat itself. That’s not how it works. It seems more likely it will happen to other people. So the answer is to protect minority rights.”

Bill frowned. He’s darker and more meditative than I am.

“But– it could happen again,” he said.

“So we could be deluded?” I said.

“I don’t know how many German Jews were deluded. That society went crazy over 10 years. Kathy—“ Bill mentioned a mutual friend– “She thinks it can happen in the U.S., right?”

“Yes. Her father has two passports and he got passports for his kids too.”

Then Bill had to answer an email about a problem back in New York, and I went upstairs and asked a docent what Yad Vashem means. A memorial to names, she said: Yad means hand but it also means a memorial.
I came back down and Bill was off the phone but still frowning.

“Do you think it was all real?” he said. “Those testimonies?”

“You mean, like they’re faked?”

“Like they hired actors or something. Look– it wouldn’t surprise me. When you think of all the shit this country has done in the propaganda department, that wouldn’t be the worst thing by any measure. So they hired attractive people to tell the stories?”

“You’re not denying the truth of the stories.”

“No! Of course not. But I do think a lot of the commentary is intellectually dishonest. You heard what she was saying about Hitler. Cream puffs. Really?”

That was near the beginning, in 1931. I’d attached myself to a group of seven American soldiers in camouflage uniforms who had an official museum guide– the special relationship between the U.S. and Israel in action. When they came to a display about Hitler’s rise to power, the guide had told Hitler anecdotes. Bill had been there too. She said:

“Hitler was an outsider in Germany because he was from Austria. He couldn’t keep a job. He got up at 12 o’clock and he liked to eat cream puffs. If he had been born in any other time or place he would have been a nothing.”

“Cream puffs. Really?” Bill said. “And he got up at noon? Is that all you can say about him? If you’re going to personalize it you could say he was a vegetarian and he didn’t smoke or drink and he was exposed to poison gas as a soldier in World War One.”

“How do you know that?” I said.

Bill got his irritated expression. “I’ve read about this.”

They were closing up. We decided to go to Herzl’s grave. It’s on a hill alongside Yad Vashem, under the pine trees. We walked up a pathway strewn with pine needles. Along the way there are all-weather Zionist displays. One is David Ben-Gurion announcing the new state of Israel. You step on an iron grate in the walk and his voice comes on over a speaker, reading the declaration of the establishment of the Jewish state. It was in Hebrew but I couldn’t help it, a historic chill went up my spine.

The path curls going up around the hill. When it comes out in the sun you see the graves. First there is Jabotinsky, the rightwing revisionist who did more than anyone to define Israel’s relationship to the Arab world with the iron wall policy. The Arabs don’t want us here, so we must build an iron wall and fight them off till they learn to accept us, he said.

There were probably 25 pebbles and stones on the grave– a Jewish sign of respect, to leave a stone.

A hundred yards on, Herzl’s grave was on the summit of Har Herzl. You come out on a broad circular plaza in the sun, and there are more steps going up to the grave. Bill stopped in the gravel looking at the stone from a distance.
“You know, sometimes I think, I’ll be finished with this place when the U.S. just says, ‘You’re on your own. Do anything you want, we won’t pay for it. You can be as racist and militant as you like, but there’s no special relationship any more.’ If they said that I would feel I was done with my work.”

I agreed with him. The black polished granite says simply Herzl, and there were more than a hundred stones strewn atop it. Bill walked around looking at Jerusalem, and I thought about Herzl as a role model: He was an ambitious and assimilating journalist who had little to do with religion and was transformed in mid-career by an encounter with history. He saw the anti-Semitism at the Dreyfus trial and set out to save the Jews. He stopped writing trivial feature stories and threw himself into Jewish political life. He was grandiose, fancying himself a statesman. He met with the czar, pope and Kaiser and shared his complaint about all the Jews hanging around the stock markets and turning into an “intellectual proletariat” who might foment revolution. He wore morning coat and gloves and told the leaders he could rid the big cities of Jews. They probably thought he was crazy. But if Zionism was an understandable response to the Jewish condition in the late 19th century, anti-Zionism was a perfectly acceptable and improved response for Jews in our time. We needed to save the United States and Jews from a dangerous ideology.

I grabbed a pebble and put it on Herzl’s grave. Bill came back with a look on his face.

“If the Arab armies finally take over, what do you think they’d do to this place?” he said.

“I don’t know.”

“You don’t think they’d tear this place apart? They’d blast these graves and then they’d drag the bodies out and piss all over the bones and level this whole hill.”

I laughed but Bill was grinning.

“I know it’s petty, but I bet they’d do that.”

We walked down to the section where leaders of the World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency were buried. Nahum Goldmann, Nahum Sokolow.

“These guys too,” he said. “You don’t think they’d drag their bones out and burn the graves? Look. Maybe it’s petty of me. But every one of these men was responsible for moving out Arabs so they could move Jews in. It was a dirty business. I have to think their graves would be desecrated.”

“Why is that petty?”

“Desecrating graves?”

“What would you do if you were on the council that had to decide what to do with them. They have a place in history.”

“I guess I’d exhume and move them. Bury them respectfully but without any ceremony.”

We left the cemetery and walked south, going through a park to get to the road. Under a tree, 30 Israelis sat in a circle with legs folded while a hippie/shaman figure led them in an exercise. He had dreadlocks and wore harem pants and hopped around doing a clapping exercise. The people clapped their thighs, then their hands rhythmically.

Bill grinned wickedly as we went by.

“Israeli culture. Pattycake. Follow the leader. When I was in Hebrew School we had an Israeli guy that came in and did the same kind of thing. I was eight years old, and we had to pass around an imaginary ball.”

Bill pretended to pick up a squishy heavy flopping ball and pass it to the next child.

“I had no idea what the point was.”

I said, “Building a sense of community.”

We had to run across the road to make the tram going back into town. It was crowded and we hung on to a pole in the middle of the train. I said. “Do you ever think it’s easier for Palestinians in this movement? Ali Abunimah and Omar Barghouti, they have the support of their community. They’re not going against their elders. They’re being cheered on.”

Bill shrugged. “Yeah, I’ve thought about that, but so what? What does it matter?”

“You mean if they were in our shoes they’d do the same thing?”

Bill nodded as if I was stupid. “Yes. It’s about a principle.”

We came down over the famous lyre bridge designed by Santiago Calatrava. “I love this bridge,” I said, craning my neck to see where the pylons and the cables are attached, and how the cables cross one another in the air like strings on a harp. Bill ignored me, gazing glumly out on Jerusalem.

He said, “Does it ever occur to you that if all the Jews actually moved here, the rest of the world would say, Great, now they’re finally all in one place and we can get rid of them?”

“Like, this is our chance?”

“Right. And like– OK, they’ve got nukes, they’re not going to go down without a fight. They’ll probably take out 10 million of us. But still–it would be worth it.”

“I’ve never heard you say that before,” I said.

Bill shook his head. “Not aloud. It’s too dark. But I don’t know why anyone thinks this place is so safe for Jews, it’s not.”

We came down to the Old City and I jumped off the tram. I wanted to go see my rug guy. Bill and I would meet up for a drink later.

 

I walked back through the Old City and visited the rug place then got falafel at my favorite spot across from Damascus Gate and went on to the hostel I stay in in East Jerusalem. It’s housed in an old Palestinian palace with terraced gardens. My friend Issa has a studio next door. I had brought him a gift from the States and we sat and drank whiskey with the door open. He had a giant new Mac chained to the desk with a chain you could drag a truck with so no one would steal it.

I told him what Bill said at Herzl’s grave about pissing on the bones. Issa laughed gleefully.

“He talks like a Palestinian. He makes jokes just like Palestinians.”

“He’s the last person you’d ever think was Palestinian,” I said.

Issa laughed. “That’s the best part of it. It’s funnier when he says it.”

I lay down for a while then I walked up to the American Colony at 9 o’clock. Bill and I sat at the outside bar. He was wearing a mauve alligator shirt. He’d changed out of the yellow one.

“How many of those do you have?” I said.

“I don’t know.”

“Thirty, forty?”

Bill hates small talk. “Maybe.”

“Do you get them on line?”

“No I see one I like and I buy it.”

I told him about my rug dealer. He’s just a kid but he yelled at me for saying I’d come back the last time I’d been out, the previous November– I didn’t come back– and then he went down the list of rugs I’d bought from him other times, and the prices.

“Isn’t it weird that he remembered the prices?” I said.

“No. That’s his business. And you have a relationship with him.”

“It makes me feel loyal to him. But I wonder if I’m being manipulated.”

“You’re not being manipulated. You should feel loyal to him.”

We drank a lot of red wine and ate hummus at the bar and Bill had a rare moment’s pleasure, showing me a picture on his phone that the kennel had sent of his dog back home. But it was soon back to serious talk. He’d taken a picture of Martin Indyk of the State Department in the hotel restaurant, talking intensely with someone Bill didn’t recognize.

“He didn’t have much of a security detail,” Bill said. “When he got up to go, just one guy at another table got up too.”

“Well who wants to get him? Nobody,” I said. “It’s not like he’s Bernadotte, saying they have to give up Jerusalem. They killed him right near here.”

Bill said, “Shamir may have done that job himself. I saw him on Al-Jazeera last night. They were doing a piece on Oslo 20 years later and Shamir said, The Jews have been here longer than anyone else. Four thousand years, so it’s Jewish land.”

Bill scowled at the foolishness and pushed back in his bar stool.

“OK look,” he said. “I’ll admit it. When I came out of that museum, part of me was willing to accept, Jews really do need a place of our own. We won’t be safe till we have a state. In a part of my mind, I’m willing to believe that. But not here! Not like this.”

The bar was empty except for us and a drunk Palestinian businessman across the bar. We bought him drinks and he bought us drinks, and Bill held up his glass acknowledging the gift.

I said, “Bill, you only really come out of your shell when you drink.”

“I know. It’s because—well, you know I’m pretty dark just to start with. I live with a lot of pain. Alcohol helps to ease it.”

The dishwasher came out from the back, an old hippie Palestinian with long silver hair and expensive earphones, wearing black. He got the empty glasses and we got last call and Bill talked to the bartender. They’re like old friends. Then the bartender went away and Bill got that perturbed face that he’d had since Yad Vashem.

“One thing that upsets me? I’ve been to other genocide museums. In Cambodia. In Rwanda. And at the other ones, at the end, they have a memorial to the other genocides and they all talk about the Holocaust. But at this museum they don’t talk about other genocides. It’s like, this is the only one. We own genocide.”

I told him about my mother’s best friend who lives in West Jerusalem. She grew up in Germany and barely escaped the Holocaust, and when my mother sees her she mourns all the other Jews. “She says, ‘I think of all the Jews just like Gloria. Just as smart and funny and warm and poetic, and they were slaughtered. Think of all that was lost.’ But I say to my mom, ‘we weren’t the only ones.’”

“My aunt says the same thing,” Bill said. “She goes, Imagine if the Holocaust hadn’t happened. There’d be a cure for cancer by now. All those brilliant people in Europe, they’d have cracked the code. And I say OK, maybe you’re right, but what about the other side? How do you know they wouldn’t have invented the worst weapons in the world and destroyed millions of people?”

“Your Zionist aunt,” I said. “You came out here with her, right?”

Bill nodded. “In ’91. It was right around now, October, and when we got back it was when Bush was pushing Madrid, and I remember how defensive I got. The world was criticizing Israel. I thought, Why are they saying these things? Then the UN abrogated the Zionism is racism resolution, and they had the Madrid conference. But now when I think about it, that’s when I was starting to wake up, inside.”

The bartender was closing up. He came over and said did we want another round. We each got another red wine. We were alone at the bar.

“Something else happened after that trip that upset me,” Bill said. “When we got back my grandfather said to call my cousin Bessie and tell her about my trip to Israel. I don’t know if I’ve ever told you about this, but I had two cousins that were born in Europe, Bessie and Sarah– sisters. And Sarah got out with her husband before the Nazis really took over and moved to Palestine. But her sister Bessie didn’t get out. She was in Auschwitz. And she survived, and came to New York after.

“So my grandfather told me to call her, and I said, Why? And he said, ‘Bessie will want to hear about your trip to Israel. Call her.’”

“So I called her and the phone rang and rang and rang, but she didn’t answer. So I called my grandfather back and said, ‘I did it, I called her and she didn’t answer.’ My grandfather said, ‘That’s just the way Bessie is. It takes her a while for her to answer the phone. You call her back and just let it ring.’

“So I did. I called back, and this time I let it ring forever, and she finally picked up. I said, ‘Bessie, it’s Bill, your cousin. I’m calling you because my grandfather told me to call you and tell you about my trip to Israel.’
“And she went haywire. It was awful. She started screaming at me. ‘You’re calling because your grandfather told you to call!!?? I don’t want to talk to you!! I hereby ABSOLVE you of your responsibility to call me to tell me about your trip to Israel.’

“And she slammed down the phone.”

Bill slammed a phone into its cradle.

“You shouldn’t have said that about your grandfather,” I said.

“You’re right. I shouldn’t. I was just 15. What did I know? I’m still upset that he put me in that position.”

I said goodnight to Bill and walked up the hill to the hostel. I punched in the code at the gate. The steel door sprang open on the darkened garden, and I  drank in the fragrant air with gratitude.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of Mondoweiss.net and founded the site in 2005-06.

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108 Responses

  1. OlegR on November 16, 2014, 10:40 am

    You are such a golah Jew.

    • Mooser on November 16, 2014, 1:08 pm

      I know. He’s a lucky guy!

      • OlegR on November 17, 2014, 8:42 am

        Mooser i missed you buddy.
        Everything all right, you were gone for so long i was getting worried.

      • Mooser on November 17, 2014, 12:55 pm

        “Mooser i missed you buddy.”

        Oleg, I always hope I’ll be missing you. In all the old familiar places, that this heart of mine embraces, all day through.
        Til then, I’ll be looking at a mess, but I’ll be seeing you.

    • Citizen on November 16, 2014, 4:18 pm

      Phil’s not Max Nordau’s muscular hero? Buber’s “Renaissance” Jew? Berdyczewski’s Nietzschean “new man”? Herzl’s “authentic Jew”? Is he the Hebrew literary talush (rootless person)? Is he a Jewish American, or an American Jew? Aw, just another golah jew?

      • OlegR on November 17, 2014, 8:46 am

        I am not sure he knows exactly what he is.
        But his Jewish aspect is a collection of golah Jew stereotypes.

      • hophmi on November 17, 2014, 10:14 am

        Totally. This Bill guy is like a caricature. Then again, there are a lot of people here like that.

        I especially like the part about how Israelis are followers. Yes, nothing says follower like a meditation session. That, and it’s the exact opposite of the truth.

        Or the part of him that doesn’t trust Holocaust survivors. Survivor guilt. He’s apologizing for his existence. He’s internalized his persecution.

      • Mooser on November 17, 2014, 1:04 pm

        “I am not sure he knows exactly what he is.”

        Well, I’ll have you know, OlegR, that a person who should know once said “I may have been Jesus Christ, but I haven’t decided yet what I am or who I am.”

      • Citizen on November 17, 2014, 1:28 pm

        @ OlegR
        Is your Jewish aspect also a collection of stereotypes? Or are you somehow a unique Jewish human being? More unique than Phil? If so, how so?

      • Citizen on November 17, 2014, 1:30 pm

        @ hophmi

        So who’s persecuting Bill?

      • Mooser on November 17, 2014, 1:37 pm

        “He’s apologizing for his existence. He’s internalized his persecution.”

        Hophmi, this is a first, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. You owe me, as the saying goes, a cup of coffee.

        Hophmi, you said it, man, ‘internalized persecution’ is so unhealthy for a Jew! He needs to let it out! Yes sir, Hophmi externalized persecution is the only way to get over it! Got to externalize the persecution, it’s the only thing which really helps.

    • eljay on November 17, 2014, 7:29 am

      >> OlegR: You are such a golah Jew.

      What is a “golah Jew”? Is that a Jew who believes in justice, accountability and equality instead of Jewish supremacism in a supremacist “Jewish State”? If so, good on him.

      • wondering jew on November 17, 2014, 11:50 am

        I have never heard a Jew in conversation refer to a golah jew, it is a golus jew. in hebrew it is galut. golah jew is some kind of translation of the hebrew into an english phrase that i have never heard that juxtaposition except now.

        the move to concentrate Jews so that they could try to get in control over their own destiny and not be dependent upon the largesse and the kind hearts of others certainly made a lot of sense in 1881 Czarist Russia. In 2014 there are two large jewish communities one in the united states, which is covered by the Pew Report quite extensively and one in Israel where Netanyahu and “no exit” thinking hold sway.

      • Mooser on November 17, 2014, 1:10 pm

        “not be dependent upon the largesse and the kind hearts of others certainly made a lot of sense in 1881 Czarist Russia.”

        So it was a Zionist, General Edmund Allenby who conquered Palestine for the Jews and Zionist colonization to start?
        Yup, Yonah, we did it all ourselves.

      • wondering jew on November 17, 2014, 1:17 pm

        One out of every four comments by mooser contains something serious. this is the one. Yes, indeed, the urge for independence was correct, but the means that it took included taking advantage of geopolitical realities of the world, such as the world powers. in fact if israel today were as conscious of its need for interdependence it would be in far better shape than it is. but the urge for independence was a noble one. possibly an impossible one. but a noble urge.

      • Mooser on November 17, 2014, 1:44 pm

        To get hundreds of thousand of Jews, many survivors of persecution, or at least second-class staus, trapped in Palestine, and then not even give them the security of actual borders to the state, continuously pushing Jews to colonize areas outside the “Israel”, putting them in danger, is a “noble aim”. To not give them one year of peace? To make them, and all their children, occupiers, is a “noble aim”?
        Please, it was a cheap fraud, using yes, geopolitical realities, and trading on the troubles of the Jews. And exploiting, I might add, every split in the Jewish world instead of making any attempt at unity, but let that go for now.

      • Mooser on November 17, 2014, 1:45 pm

        Well, well, look at that, I elevated Yonah’s “urge” to an “aim”. Sorry, Yonah.

      • eljay on November 17, 2014, 1:57 pm

        >> y.f.: … the urge for independence was a noble one. possibly an impossible one. but a noble urge.

        The urge for independence may have been noble. The reality of Jewish supremacism in a supremacist “Jewish State” is anything but noble.

      • wondering jew on November 17, 2014, 2:01 pm

        The move to self emancipate that I was referring to, did not include a specific location for that independent state. It may be impossible to separate the strands of history, but in fact when trying to understand the dynamics of history it is useful to treat the aims or urges as they exist in their simplest form. The dead ended nature of the Jewish presence in Czarist Russia was clear to most people and took three different moves towards resolution: emigration, revolution or self emancipation. the smallest group was in fact those who were serious about self emancipation. and I admit that the eventual location for that self emancipated state led to a place that was already “taken” and involved overabundant dependence on bayonets and on world power bayonets. but the urge towards self emancipation in itself is noble.

      • Mooser on November 17, 2014, 8:02 pm

        ” but the urge towards self emancipation in itself is noble.”

        That is true indeed, Yonah. You must be a great admirer of Rabbi Wise, who started Reform Judaism, in 1881, and helped hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of Jews, to feel they were emancipated.

      • Mooser on November 17, 2014, 11:19 pm

        “I admit that the eventual location for that self emancipated state led to a place that was already “taken” and involved overabundant dependence on bayonets and on world power bayonets. but the urge towards self emancipation in itself is noble”

        Yonah, please stop with your big tough Stern Gang guys with bayonets, usually they just shelled or mortared Arab civilian neighborhoods.

      • Mooser on November 18, 2014, 12:38 am

        Oh, and Yonah, don’t go putting down the British! They helped a lot. For instance, the Stern Gang used to dress themselves in British Army uniforms to attack the Palestinians. Now if that ain’t ‘nobility’ I don’t know what is.

  2. Horizontal on November 16, 2014, 11:49 am

    Great story, Phil. I’m gonna need a while to digest it all.

    Thanks for sharing it here.

  3. pabelmont on November 16, 2014, 11:59 am

    There is something amorphous about being pro-Palestinian — or anti-Zionist — you know, those two somewhat related things. The lack of form arises because there is so broad a palette of possibilities of what to work (or to hope) for. One wants improvement of circumstances for Palestinians, but which improvements, and who is to choose what is “enough”? Not me, surely. And one wants to improve the behavior of Israeli Jews, but, again, how much improvement would be enough, and what’s the right improvement, and who is to say?

    I wonder if there are people who would say that they are pro-Palestinian but not anti-Zionist, or vice versa? You know, working to improve things for Palestinians but who “could care less” about what happens to Israeli Jews or any other Jews as long as they get out of the way of the Palestinians. Or wanting to erase the horror of Zionism without any care for the future of Palestinians?

    Well, there is a whole world to repair. And I/P are part of it (a fairly small part) and they occupy an awful lot of my time. It seems to me that the Palestinians are “my people” to the extent that I care about any “people” outside the USA. And my father told me before he died that he’d never been proud of the Jews until the war of 1967. Go figure.

    • Mooser on November 16, 2014, 1:18 pm

      “Or wanting to erase the horror of Zionism without any care for the future of Palestinians?”

      Look, a person could base their anti-Zionism entirely on what Zionism does to the Jews who embrace it, and what it does to the Jews on which they act, and what Zionism did since it became “the Jewish State”, without pretending to any special sympathy for the Palestinians, except insofar as they are the victims of Zionism.
      Because when I did get a better idea of who the Palestinians are, and what the relation of Palestine has been to the West, and the Jews, for that matter, and how Zionism tries to portray the Palestinians, it just makes it all so much worse, nearly unbearable.

      • bintbiba on November 16, 2014, 1:38 pm

        So much of the mess we’re all in is ‘nearly unbearable’!
        We’re all in this together , whether we like it or not. So together it will have to be …. the getting out of . It may take another generation, and much , much more misery and pain ; eventually some one (s) will have to come on the scene who can push away all the corrupting factors and just do the right thing : Together.
        Philip, you write like a dream. And your friend Bill is muy simpatico as well . Thank you for the telling.

  4. Kris on November 16, 2014, 12:32 pm

    I enjoyed this story so much, thank you!

  5. jon s on November 16, 2014, 4:38 pm

    The name “Yad Vashem” is taken from Isaiah 56:5:
    “I will give them in My house and in My walls a place and a name, better than sons and daughters; an everlasting name I will give him, which will not be discontinued.”

  6. Citizen on November 16, 2014, 4:43 pm

    I’d like to hear a Palestinian’s comments on this story Phil shared with us. Or maybe a few of them. I also Don’t know quite what to take most essentially rom this story when I know my elected leaders and my tax dollars have supported for so long this quest to provide insurance for every Jew living now and in the future because, hey, “It happened in Germany, it can happen here (or anywhere non-Jewish people like myself get power)!”

    A very vague, partially-baked analogy likes cramped in the back of my mind, a small clod, somewhere, perhaps looking for the road it came from, or the wheel that formed it apart–are Jews always to be burdened with the murder of Jesus, and our non-Jews always to be burdened with Auschwitz? I’m so old, when I was born the Final Solution had just found its legs… When I was in kindergarten the Nakba had just found the Palestinians.

  7. DaBakr on November 16, 2014, 6:04 pm

    So, the owner of MW meets up with an anonymous friend named ‘Bill’ in Jerusalem who just happene to have once loved Israel and now has contempt for its Zionist roots and sees it as the “wrong place” for a nation/state for the Jews. And naturally, they both see Yad Vashem as no more then a political ploy where the “great” architecture is great because why? Because it highlights a journey from darkness and death into a rebirth that defied most common knowledge from the time? No. Because the journey into the light created by the bifurcated roof gives some a peripheral view to one of the ’48 wars contentious incidents with both sides still arguing over death figures but nobody denying a tragedy of war occurred there.
    Imagine the reaction in the US if bleeding heart liberals ‘demanded’ a memorial at the WTC ground zero memorial to the hijacker/terrorists that flew the planes into the towers. Imaginbe the reaction of the fire fighters, cops, civilians and emt workers to that and you can begin to imagine what your average Israeli thinks about commemorating Deir Yassin when emerging from Yd Vashm.

    And while there may be no explicit mentions of the ‘other’ genocides that have occurred since ww2 it should be noted that yad vshm has a section devoted to righteous gentiles who risked their lives and limbs in order to do the right thing which, considering that the museum is most likely the first such museum in the world and could not have seen ahead to honour genocides not taken place yet, at least pays tribute to those in the world that knew the difference between evil and good.

    • RoHa on November 16, 2014, 7:10 pm

      “Imagine the reaction in the US if bleeding heart liberals ‘demanded’ a memorial at the WTC ground zero memorial to the hijacker/terrorists that flew the planes into the towers. Imaginbe the reaction of the fire fighters, cops, civilians and emt workers to that and you can begin to imagine what your average Israeli thinks about commemorating Deir Yassin when emerging from Yd Vashm. ”

      So the villagers of Deir Yassin were terrorists who attacked the poor innocent Jews?

      • DaBakr on November 17, 2014, 12:47 pm

        the villagers were not terrorists but there is quite a bit of dispute as to wether members of Arab militia groups were in the town and homes at the time. I don’t need to see links as I am well aware that there are links to support the polar pov’s on the issue.

        And your, “so the….” is begging the question. I did not say that Deir Yassin should not be commemorated. Just not, as PW writes above as the culmination of the yd vshm museum (although I can see why someone admittedly ANTI-zionist might look for things seen as irony through their vision while

    • seafoid on November 17, 2014, 12:51 pm

      Who risked their lives to do the right thing.
      Sounds so easy but there are so few levys in israel.

  8. bilal a on November 16, 2014, 6:28 pm

    The death camp at Treblinka

    Each group of women or men were hurried along from the rear by some German and very often the Kommandant himself – Franz accompanied by a dog. As they approached the gas chamber the people began to back away in terror.

    Oftentimes they tried to turn back. At that point lashes and clubs were used. Franz immediately set upon the condemned his dog which was specially trained to snap at their sex organs. At each gas chamber there were 5-6 Germans besides the “motorists” with their dogs. With clubs and lashes they drove the people into the corridor of the gas chamber and then into the chambers.

    In this the Germans would compete with the “motorists” in brutality towards the people selected to die. Marchenko for instance had a sword with which he mutilated the people. He cut the breasts of women. After the chambers were filled they slammed shut with hermetically sealed doors. The “motorists” Marchenko and Nikolay would turn on the motors.

    The Gas Chambers at Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka– Descriptions and Eyewitness Testimony
    http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/ar/argaschambers.html

    • Kris on November 16, 2014, 10:50 pm

      And? We already know that people carrying out genocide are capable of extreme brutality. We see it in the Old Testament. We see it in accounts of how the Europeans treated the native peoples in the lands they “discovered,” including the Americas.

      We have seen it in the genocides in the Ukraine, the Congo, Cambodia, Japan, China, and many, many other countries. And it doesn’t even have to be in genocides. We see it in the behavior of armed forces, including those of the U.S. and Israel, even today.

      Six million Jews and five million non-Jews were killed by the Nazis 70 years ago. Horrible, but they are beyond our help. On the other hand, Israel’s slow-motion genocide against the Palestinans is still happening at this very moment.

      Instead of immersing yourself in old accounts of the gas chambers, and the suffering of those who died long ago, maybe you should learn about and think about what is happening today. In your name. At this moment.

      Good resources are maannews.net, 972mag.com, electronicintifada.net, etc., as well as youtube.com.

    • annie on November 16, 2014, 11:46 pm

      this ones for you bilal

  9. RoHa on November 16, 2014, 7:07 pm

    “… If Zionism was an understandable response to the Jewish condition in the late 19th century…)

    In the 19th Century Jews were elected to Parliament. A son of a Jew was a popular Prime Minister. Rich Jews hung around the stock market. Jews took part in all facets of life in Australia, and a Jewish immigrant founded one the biggest department store chains.

    • eljay on November 17, 2014, 9:04 am

      >> RoHa: In the 19th Century Jews were elected to Parliament. A son of a Jew was a popular Prime Minister. Rich Jews hung around the stock market. Jews took part in all facets of life in Australia, and a Jewish immigrant founded one the biggest department store chains.

      Whew! For a moment there I thought you were going to suggest that an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine was not an understandable response!

      ;-)

    • Mooser on November 17, 2014, 1:17 pm

      “In the 19th Century Jews were elected to Parliament.”

      Yes, that might be true, RoHa, but it was the fate of the millions of Jews who were immigrating to th US, a country where Jews had no protection whatsoever and were forced to live among non-Jews which really excited the Zionists.
      And now we know what happens to Jews in a society in which they are not organized as Jews and protected by their own! As far as the Zionists are concerned, they just disappeared, didn’t they?

    • wondering jew on November 17, 2014, 1:24 pm

      RoHa- The largest population of Jews was ruled by the Czar and that was the primary reality. The secondary reality of the progress of the West: US, Britain, France and Australia is relevant and especially after 130 years that the progress has been more consistent, the relevance of the freedom in the West can be considered a type of counter argument to the “need” for independence. But in 1881, the primary reality was that of oppression and not the light from the Anglo countries. And in fact the light from the anglo countries was insufficient in the 20’s to provide a place for the Jews who wished to leave the soon to be killing grounds. So the light of the west was in fact insufficient over the short run.

      • Mooser on November 17, 2014, 2:10 pm

        ” But in 1881, the primary reality was that of oppression and not the light from the Anglo countries”

        Funny you should mention 1881. Why, that’s the year Reform Judaism was founded by Rabbi Wise.
        Now, if that doesn’t show you where a lot of Jewish oppression is, I don’t know what will!

      • Citizen on November 17, 2014, 2:20 pm

        In 1881, when the new Czar took over, his political ideal was a nation containing only one nationality, one language, one religion and one form of administration. Many years later, in Israel, Bibi N took over and his regime has shown the same political ideal.

      • andrew r on November 19, 2014, 12:37 pm

        Yonah: But in 1881, the primary reality was that of oppression and not the light from the Anglo countries.

        Yonah, I hope you’re not suggesting that Zionism was the alternative. While some Germanic Zionists (including Herzl) liked the idea of their Ost brethren populating their own state, the first settlements built by the WZO were rigidly selective kibbutzim. I’ve cited this before:

        (p. 260, 304)

        All immigrants who became ill or were injured irreversibly during their stay in Palestine were forced by the PO and, later, by the Jewish Agency, to return to their ports of origin and for this purpose the authorities even agreed to pay for the ticket and other necessary expenses. From the beginning of the 1920s, those who were forced to leave included the chronically sick, who had already been ill in their countries of origin, victims of work accidents who could no longer support themselves, and also large families whose provider had died or become crippled and who were left with no means of support. By this method, among others, the PO and the Jewish Agency fostered the healthy “elements” and weeded out the weak and the ill, in the spirit of Ruppin’s eugenic planning.

        While the British placed quotas on immigration, the Jewish Agency was empowered to allocate the entry certificates (There was one unbreakable stipulation: No communists). As Segev revealed in “The Seventh Million”, the St. Louis that was infamously turned away by the US-controlled Cuban harbor was also rejected by the Jewish Agency. There are reams of material in that book, the thesis on Arthur Ruppin and other studies that leave no doubt the WZO was not building a refuge for persecuted Jews and took in refugees only as an afterthought.

        To take a more macro view of things, it’s common sense that a political movement which was antagonistic to the existing society (the Palestinians, naturally) was not a good way to create a refuge. Those resources used in building settlements in Palestine could have settled Jews in places big enough the local population wouldn’t take it as encroachment. That would have been a more credible attempt at saving them even if hadn’t worked. Zionism was a pet project whose apologists want to retroactively cast as a rescue mission.

        Finally, many more Jews saved themselves moving to the United States before the quotas were enacted, a fact acknowledged by some speakers at the early Zionist Congresses.

        http://books.google.com/books?id=TKOnSTjP1IsC&pg=PA4
        http://www.tau.ac.il/tarbut/tezot/bloom/EtanBloom-PhD-ArthurRuppin.pdf

      • Mooser on November 23, 2014, 11:55 am

        “All immigrants who became ill or were injured irreversibly during their stay in Palestine were forced by the PO and, later, by the Jewish Agency, to return to their ports of origin”

        Oh, I think Yonah knows about that!

      • tree on November 23, 2014, 6:19 pm

        Andrew,

        I’m glad you brought that up again. Not only did the Zionist agencies insist that unhealthy or seriously injured European Jews in Palestine had to return to Europe so as not to be a burden on the Zionist governing bodies, but throughout their history from the early 1900’s up until the Law of Return was passed by the Knesset in 1950, the Zionist agencies engaged in screening activities, both medical and and political, that weeded out the sick, the old, the very young and those without the approved political bent. (The very people most vulnerable and in need of refuge.) These were not the actions of an ideology that was interested in providing refuge. It was interested in political power and conquest and realized that it needed young adult Jews in good health and who could be more easily molded to the ideology in order to achieve that conquest.

        And as you say, a group interested in providing a refuge for Jews would not engage in the antagonistic actions that the early Zionists deployed against the indigenous population. Nor would it discourage the collection of money to help European Jews who wished to go elsewhere than Palestine. Ben-Gurion and others made clear that they considered funds that did not go to Palestine, but instead to directly help European Jews, were a direct threat to the Zionist enterprise. And of course they also fought any international efforts to relocate endangered Jews anywhere else than Palestine. After the war, they threatened Jews in the DP camps with violence and a cutoff of aid and jobs if they refuse to “volunteer” to fight in Israel. They used those Jews mercilessly for their own power interests.

        The hasbara about the need for Palestine as a “refuge” irks me for those very reasons above, and for the clueless parochial view that the only ethnicity that was suffering in Europe was a Jewish one. The view overly generalizes about Jewish suffering which was by no means universal within Europe, or even in Eastern Europe, and act as if no one else was suffering during this time, which is equivalent to a purposeful denial of European history.

  10. hophmi on November 16, 2014, 7:59 pm

    There’s a term for what Bill feels. Survivor guilt.

    • Eva Smagacz on November 16, 2014, 11:52 pm

      Really, Hopmi?

      This is all you took out of this story?
      “Survivor’s guilt”?

    • Mooser on November 18, 2014, 10:57 am

      “There’s a term for what Bill feels. Survivor guilt.”

      You know, Hophmi, I think you’re right. Looks like Bill survived Zionism, and it left him a hell of a mess.

  11. hophmi on November 17, 2014, 12:10 am

    Honestly, I don’t know what motivates a messed up guy like Bill. What other term is there for someone who suggests that Holocaust survivors are making things up and responds to those who wonder what would have happened if millions of Jews hadn’t died by wondering if the victims would have come up with horrible weapons? I guess Phil attracts self haters.

    • eljay on November 17, 2014, 7:42 am

      >> hophmeee: What other term is there for someone who suggests that …

      …atrocities committed by Germans against people of the Jewish faith justifies:
      – Jewish terrorism in Palestine;
      – the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes and lands;
      – the establishment of an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine;
      – a 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction, torture and murder?

      Zio-supremacist is an appropriate term.

    • eljay on November 17, 2014, 7:50 am

      >> hophmeee: What other term is there for someone who suggests that Holocaust survivors are making things up and responds to those who wonder what would have happened if millions of Jews hadn’t died by wondering if the victims would have come up with horrible weapons?

      So what you appear to be saying is that no Jewish person could ever:
      – make up, embellish or mis-remember information; or
      – devise a horrible weapon.

      Interesting.

      • hophmi on November 17, 2014, 5:03 pm

        “So what you appear to be saying is that no Jewish person could ever: – make up, embellish or mis-remember information; or – devise a horrible weapon.”

        That’s not remotely what I said. Most people don’t immediately assume that Holocaust survivors who gave testimony are lying (and yes, it’s possible for survivors to misremember and embellish, which is different from questioning what they say altogether, an assertion that is the province of Holocaust denialists), and no one I know ever suggested as a response to someone who wondered what it would be like if there had been no Holocaust that maybe the survivors would have devised horrible weapons. It’s deeply offensive. Millions of children died in the Holocaust. You’re talking about tens of millions of people who would be alive today.

        It takes someone a little crazy to think, well, maybe it’s better that they’re not here because they might have designed terrible weapons. About the only thing that comes close is the religious fanatic who suggests that the Holocaust was a punishment for assimilation. Bill belongs to that group, in a way. Crazy fanatics.

      • annie on November 18, 2014, 6:48 pm

        It’s deeply offensive. Millions of children died in the Holocaust. You’re talking about tens of millions of people who would be alive today.

        i think it’s unfortunate you’re personally offended (again) hops but the reality is that a large portion of the ancestors of jews who did survive are engaged in perpetrating and supporting a genocide that is currently going on. and when you see and read about the weapons they test on palestinians (like dime weapons, and stuff you can read about on democracy now, which i recall just writing about recently “type of weaponry that’s being used is literally shredding and obliterating people, and particularly children, who are so small and vulnerable “ (unicef spokesperson)- See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/11/contradiction-ambassador-williams#sthash.jstZ0hfM.dpuf ) then yes, it’s a reasonable thing to wonder if those children would have done when they grew up, if they too would have engaged in this cruel decades long ethnic cleansing. and if so, how.

        frankly, it’s not something that had occurred to me tho, ever. but it’s not an outrageous abstract thought. in fact i think i recall some rabbis writing a book justifying killing gentile babies merely because they might grow up to be a future threat. now that is really sick. really really really sick. and they claimed it was from the bible or the torah or some religious book. phew!

        It takes someone a little crazy to think, well, maybe it’s better that they’re not here because they might have designed terrible weapons.

        hm, i must have missed that part of the discussion. i’ll have to go back and read it again.

      • annie on November 18, 2014, 7:00 pm

        hops, i read read. it was a discussion with his aunt..maybe they would have cured cancer, maybe they would have made weapons used to kill people. i don’t think people have not thought that about einstein.

        you’re really making a mountain out of a mole hill and now adding on with your paraphrasing “maybe it’s better that they’re not here”.

      • eljay on November 19, 2014, 1:25 pm

        >> hophmee: That’s not remotely what I said.

        It’s not exactly what you said, but it is remotely what you said.

        >> Most people don’t immediately assume that Holocaust survivors who gave testimony are lying …

        Who said he immediately assumed anything?

        >> Millions of children died in the Holocaust. You’re talking about tens of millions of people who would be alive today. It takes someone a little crazy to think, well, maybe it’s better that they’re not here because they might have designed terrible weapons.

        It take someone completely nuts to assert that’s what he actually said. I challenge you to quote the exact phrase in which he says “it’s better that they’re not here”.

        Also, why are you so certain that out of those tens of millions of people not one person might have devised a terrible weapon, but every one of them would have been a medical genius with a cure for cancer?

      • annie on November 19, 2014, 6:06 pm

        I challenge you to quote the exact phrase in which he says “it’s better that they’re not here”.

        i already scrounged around for anything remotely like that. it’s just not there. he’s shadow boxing. he’s so intent on ‘catching’ someone, (the bigger the fish the better) he’s willing to fabricate crap to argue against (typical strawman) intentionally twisting any and every thing into contortions so he can say ‘that’s the worst thing ever!!!’ massive hasbara fail.

    • Mooser on November 17, 2014, 1:28 pm

      “I guess Phil attracts self haters.”

      Ah, Hophmi, my friend, you say that so matter-of-factly! Sort of like the concept of the ‘self-hating Jew’ has been well understood and integrated in to Jewish life, (gee, further than that, I’ll wager, I bet all the Gentiles know about them, too!) and is available to explain many heretofore mysterious phenomena.

      • hophmi on November 17, 2014, 1:39 pm

        “Ah, Hophmi, my friend, you say that so matter-of-factly! Sort of like the concept of the ‘self-hating Jew’ has been well understood and integrated in to Jewish life”

        I think it’s one term to describe someone who actually wonders whether, if millions of Jews hadn’t died during the Holocaust, they would have just invented weapons of mass destruction. I’ll remember that one the next time I go to funeral: “Hey, look at the bright side. If your loved one would have lived, they might have become a murderer!” Another is deranged. Another is disturbed.

      • Mooser on November 17, 2014, 8:12 pm

        “I think it’s one term to describe someone…”

        I’m sorry, Hophmi, I don’t know what I was thinking of. Of course you want to validate a basically anti-Semitic concept like “self-hating Jew”. I can’t imagine why on earth I thought you might have any objections to it. Sorry to interrupt your feast of reason a flow of soul, Hophmi, carry on.

      • eljay on November 17, 2014, 8:24 pm

        >> hophmeee: I think it’s one term to describe someone who actually wonders whether, if millions of Jews hadn’t died during the Holocaust, they would have just invented weapons of mass destruction. I’ll remember that one the next time I go to funeral: “Hey, look at the bright side. If your loved one would have lived, they might have become a murderer!” Another is deranged. Another is disturbed.

        Self-haters and deranged and disturbed people wonder about stuff dead people may or may not have done.

        Zio-supremacists, by contrast, don’t just wonder about dead “Aye-rabs”, they justify killing “Aye-rabs” because “if your loved one would have lived, they would have become an Israel-hating, anti-Semitic Jew-killer!”

      • Mooser on November 19, 2014, 10:55 am

        ” I’ll remember that one the next time I go to funeral: “Hey, look at the bright side.”

        Exactly! As a matter of fact, I have made my wife promise me she will quote the words of the spiritual that Martin Luther King Jr. quoted( in his famous address in Washington) at my obsequies!

      • hophmi on November 19, 2014, 11:21 am

        “but it’s not an outrageous abstract thought”

        Yes, it is. It’s as outrageous as rabbis who say that the Holocaust happened because of Jewish assimilation and that it’s God’s will in any event. It’s just monstrously presumptuous. These are people’s dead relatives that you’re talking about. Who the hell are you to make negative comments about what they would or would not have done. Would you dare ever presume to say anything like this to the relatives of others who lost relatives in a genocide? Would you say to relatives of Rwandan Tutsis that maybe it’s better that their relatives died, since it’s possible that they would have massacred Hutus in revenge? You wouldn’t dare.

        “you’re really making a mountain out of a mole hill”

        I’m not at all. As usual, you are filled with so much hate, that you are incapable of understanding just how offensive you’re being.

      • annie on November 19, 2014, 8:26 pm

        take a chill pill hops. you’re sounding unhinged.

  12. 666 on November 17, 2014, 7:52 am

    phil …..i have a way to do it ,requires a bit of practice but it will work

    do not enter the building but instead wait out side the entrance all day and watch the people as they enter and again when they leave …..try to use your empathy to read people,s emotional reaction to what they took away from entering the building,might take years and years of personal growth before you get it right…….the ability to see

    • Mooser on November 17, 2014, 1:19 pm

      “years of personal growth before you get it right…….the ability to see”

      How “666” could possibly be a good screen name?

      • Citizen on November 17, 2014, 1:41 pm

        Maybe taking 666 as one’s name involves “the ability to see”? I don’t think judicial notice takes 666 as suggestive of empathy.

      • Mooser on November 17, 2014, 8:16 pm

        Of course, Citizen, it might have been the only three-digit user-name available. You never know.

      • 666 on November 17, 2014, 10:14 pm

        excusa me

        one man,s polk is another man,s salad…………so said…..

        this from the wiki wtf

        1.In Kabbalistic Judaism, 666 is the number which represents the creation and perfection of the world. The world was created in 6 days, and there are 6 cardinal directions (North, South, East, West, Up, Down).

        2.The most common carbon isotope (Carbon-12), the basis of all known life on Earth, consists of 6 protons, 6 neutrons and 6 electrons

        3.The number of prime numbers up to 666 is 121, which is the square of 11, which is the number of prime numbers up to 36

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/666_(number)

      • Mooser on November 18, 2014, 9:02 pm

        Gosh, I had no idea! I mean, about 666. Well, my eyes have been opened. If I ever have a son, I know what he’ll be named.

      • Walid on November 18, 2014, 9:49 pm

        Mooser, don’t be so hasty in wanting to name your future son after this scientific mumbo-jumbo about protons and neutrons. The inspired one who clearly defined its significance lived on the Isle of Patmos where they probably grew the good stuff:

      • Mooser on November 19, 2014, 11:03 am

        “Mooser, don’t be so hasty in wanting to name your future son”

        You are right. I won’t name him after a number. Since my full name is “Derbig Mooser” I will probably name him “Derlittle Mooser”.

  13. NickJOCW on November 17, 2014, 10:03 am

    Thank you for a courageous account. Emotional responses to Yad Vashem can be multi-layered. I found the architecture itself, it’s layout and construction confusing and oppressive, something I felt must be specifically for Jews, and that made me feel uncomfortable like I was intruding on someone’s private grief so I left after barely ten minutes and wandered back to my taxi. It was February 1971. The young Israeli driver was immersed in a book and clearly surprised to see me back so soon. To avoid discussing the monument, I asked him about his book and he said he was reading up on the ‘history and geography of our new territories’. That reply melded with my recent experience and for a moment I felt a cold dark premonition. I still felt it a bit when I got back to my hotel where I found an invitation to attend a dinner with Golda Meir. Almost without thought I composed a polite reply with my apologies, and felt better.

    • Mooser on November 17, 2014, 1:23 pm

      “Almost without thought I composed a polite reply with my apologies, and felt better.”

      No doubt you did the right thing, but still, you could probably have dined out for years on “My Dinner with Golda”.

  14. seafoid on November 17, 2014, 12:55 pm

    I don’t think zionists learn anything at yvs. Never again becomes meaningless. If bibi told them they needed to kill everyone in gaza there would be 90% approval.

    • 666 on November 18, 2014, 3:28 am

      seafoid

      har hof is next door to yad vashem where they murdered 4 in a yeshiva today.do you think never again has become meaningless or do you think israeli,s should burn down the arab east jerusalem neighbours these murders came from

      • annie on November 19, 2014, 3:07 am

        har hof is next door to yad vashem

        wrong location to talk to us about never again:

      • Citizen on November 19, 2014, 3:16 am

        So, 666, you posit the implementation of Never Again is collective punishment? By your logic, if Never Again is a universal standard, shouldn’t the USA be burning down Israel, rather than funding it? Or is Never Again applicable only when your group members are attacked?

      • annie on November 19, 2014, 3:46 am

        By your logic, if Never Again is a universal standard, shouldn’t the USA be burning down Israel –

        you’re much too diplomatic citizen, why not adopt 666 framing to get thru to him. which would be along the lines of “do you think never again has become meaningless or do you think the US should burn down the zionist state these murders came from.”

        and how ugly is that thought?

        666, given israel has killed thousands upon thousands more palestinians than the other way around and the very ground israel chose to honor those genocided souls early zionists massacred scores of innocents (and how gross is that?), you’ve got a lot of nerve spewing your vileness here. it’s seriously disgusting. rude hardly covers it. you’re walking on a thin wire here. watch yourself.

      • Citizen on November 19, 2014, 5:28 am

        @ Annie Robbins

        Additional to the comments above in this thread, there are some really negative common meanings to “666.”

      • Mooser on November 19, 2014, 11:09 am

        Yup, I had a feeling, in spite of all the Kabballah argle-bargle, all would become clear.

        And here he goes with the random letters at the bottom of the comment again. Collect them all, decode the secret message and win big prizes!

      • lysias on November 19, 2014, 11:46 am

        Amira Hass was on Democracy Now! this morning. She mentioned that yesterday’s attack took place on the site of Deir Yassin. She also mentioned that she was unable to enter the synagogue, as it does not admit women.

  15. Egbert Talens on November 18, 2014, 11:10 am

    Remarkable,that someone like jon s has to tell PW and Bill what Yad Vashem — as it is written in PW’s article and everywhere else — means.
    And remarkable that in a Hebrew class in college they couldn’t explain it.
    Jon s misses a point, imho, when explaining Isaiah 56:5 by writing ‘… in My house and in My walls…’.. [The New King James Version gives: … in My house And within My walls…] a place and a name… Isaiah reads: ‘… a memorial and a name, …’. [Possible connection might be the ‘hand’ (yad) in use when reading the scrolls: a stick with a small hand, to hold at a scroll-passage, so as not to lose this passage out of sight…]
    But nowhere is explained why Yad and Shem, Hand and Name, must or should be written: Yad Vashem, which allows for the latter an unexplainable thing: Andname. Could riddle all…

    Apart from this — but nót apart from the subject: God’s care for His people — jon s ‘forgot’ to implement Isaiah’s vision, which greatly dealt with the future developments in Judea, in which the Lord’s unmanned who kept the sabbaths (pl) and chose what did please the Lord and who (says the Lord) keep to my bondage: ‘I give them in My house and within My walls a memory token (yad) and a name, better than…’ .
    Close reading leads to the observation that Yad wa Shem is meant for the strangers, who keep the sabbath and live up to God’s rules. Unmanned hints at eunuchs i.e. slaves… Could this explain the inability or ‘inability’ in Hebrew classes in college, to enlighten e.g. the phrase ‘better than sons and daughters…’?
    Chapter 56 in Isaiah is about the strangers salvation, but not applicable to any stranger…

    • Mooser on November 18, 2014, 2:13 pm

      “Remarkable,that someone like jon s has to tell PW and Bill what Yad Vashem — as it is written in PW’s article and everywhere else — means. “

      Mr. Talens, it so happens “Jon s” is a remarkable guy, and an expert on fashion, too! He knows when not to wrap yourself in the Israeli flag, and when to step out in tefillin, white tallit and tales.

      He’s the Mr. Blackwell of Zionism!

      • RoHa on November 18, 2014, 6:31 pm

        Very sensible. Nothing sticks to tefillin.

      • hophmi on November 19, 2014, 11:12 am

        “Very sensible. Nothing sticks to tefillin.”

        Blood does.

      • Mooser on November 19, 2014, 11:29 am

        “Very sensible. Nothing sticks to tefillin.”

        Okay, RoHa, I’m wise to you. You’re trying to push me into a Kevlar or Gore-Tex reference. But I’m not gonna touch it. No way.

      • Mooser on November 19, 2014, 12:47 pm

        “Blood does.”

        I told you, they would be waving the bloody tallit. Not ashamed to do it at all.

      • Mooser on November 19, 2014, 2:05 pm

        Gee, Hophmi, maybe I haven’t given enough thought to it, but I fail to see how making Jewish worship a political act in the service of Zionist expansionism and annexation could be, as the saying goes “Good for the Jews”.
        But no doubt, you are much more highly invested in the subject, and have your reasons. Will you be taking that bloody tallit and tefillin to your Muslim Outreach meetings?

  16. 666 on November 19, 2014, 6:06 am

    seafood still waiting for your reply

    does never again apply to the murders in the synagogue or the burning down of the arab neighbourhood the murderers came from

    or does never again apply to this 4 days later in 1948

    The Hadassah convoy massacre took place on April 13, 1948, when a convoy, escorted by Haganah militia, bringing medical and military supplies and personnel to Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus was ambushed by Arab forces.[1][2]

    Seventy-eight Jewish doctors, nurses, students, patients, faculty members and Haganah fighters, and one British soldier were killed in the attack

    or does never again apply to

    Deir Yassin massacre

    Date april 9, 1948

    Deaths
    Around 107 villagers and four Jewish militiamen

    The Deir Yassin massacre took place on April 9, 1948, when around 120 fighters from the Zionist paramilitary groups Irgun Zevai Leumi and Lohamei Herut Israel attacked Deir Yassin near Jerusalem,

    • Mooser on November 20, 2014, 4:09 pm

      “seafood still waiting for your reply”

      I think it is important to try and get it right when addressing other posters by name. It can be troublesome, as ‘user names’ can be composed of almost anything, but it’s worth trying to get right.
      Just think how you would feel if people started calling you, say, “665”? Or decided to get a bit nasty and call you “698”? Or maybe just “123” as if it wasn’t even worth remembering? No, not very nice, is it?

      • seafoid on November 20, 2014, 4:30 pm

        I think he must have eaten some lobster that repeated

      • Mooser on November 22, 2014, 6:14 pm

        “I think he must have eaten some lobster that repeated”

        Or swallowed a bad oyster.

  17. 666 on November 19, 2014, 7:30 am

    annie

    interesting that you should use the analogy of the usa burning down the zionist
    state,because 3 of the victims were usa citizens so was the baby that was run over 2 weeks ago

    is it possible that us foreign policy is resposible for the deaths of its citizens in the middle east

    have you asked yourself why that synagogue was targeted.is this a message to jews from america that they must leave israel……….does it mean that the usa will protect its citizens in every country but not american jews in israel

    how ugly is that thought

    • annie on November 19, 2014, 2:41 pm

      66 actually it was citizen juxtaposing your own analogy. i was merely suggesting he use your framing too, to demonstrate how sick your logic was. http://mondoweiss.net/2014/11/yad-vashem/comment-page-1#comment-723675

      does it mean that the usa will protect its citizens in every country but not american jews in israel

      how ugly is that thought

      no more ugly than the usa turning its back on any other american citizen, like rachel corrie or furkan dogan or even abandoning sandra tamari for that matter and scores of other americans. if israel chooses to use it’s jewish american citizens as fodder to start a religious war and have the US support that war or stand with their backs turned while israel escalates their genocide and starts massively slaughtering palestinian AGAIN, don’t count on the way the wind will blow public opinion. you don’t fool me.

      • Citizen on November 19, 2014, 3:48 pm

        @ Annie Robbins
        Seems 666 hasn’t been aware the US has a pattern of being very weak in protecting US citizens who get treated badly by Israel, murdered even.

    • Mooser on November 20, 2014, 10:54 am

      “is this a message to jews from america that they must leave israel”

      Wait a minute, “666” (gosh, there’s some nasty work done at the font!) I didn’t know those “Rabbis” got murdered in Israel! Is that true? Right there in Israel, and the US wouldn’t protect them? Shocking!

      • Mooser on November 20, 2014, 4:13 pm

        I mean, were those four murdered Rabbis in Israel, or in territory occupied by Israel?

  18. Citizen on November 19, 2014, 3:49 pm

    How well did the US treat the survivors of the USS Liberty?

  19. 666 on November 20, 2014, 4:48 pm

    mooser

    regardless of location those 4 rabbi,s were deliberately targeted to send a message.right now there is a rabbibical congress taking place and the timing is no coincidence.in actual fact it is 5 victims and not 4 if what I read in the news is correct

    so the terror attack has political motives and therefore must be replied too in a political manner and not in a religious manner

    the temple mount must be opened to all muslims and they must be allowed to peacefully make there way there on Friday regardless of numbers.let G-d sit in judgement.

    • Mooser on November 21, 2014, 10:30 am

      “regardless of location those 4 rabbi,s were deliberately targeted”

      Oh, I’m sure that will all be explained at the trial.

      What do you think of Jewish religious service being used in the service of Zionist expansionism and intransigence? Pretty thrilling, huh? We’re in the big leagues no, “666”!!
      Isn’t it wonderful the way Judaism can be integrated with colonialism? It’s like 2000 years ago all over again, but this time, we’re gonna do it right!!

  20. 666 on November 23, 2014, 8:05 am

    mooser

    sorry but I have no idea what you are talking about……….please refrain from generalisation… can only respond to simple english

    • Mooser on November 23, 2014, 11:50 am

      “sorry but I have no idea what you are talking about”

      So now we’re even, huh?

      • 666 on November 24, 2014, 3:19 am

        someone is editing my posts, if this continues I will have to resign the 666 username…….would it be annie get your by an [..] chance or some other censorsmactic on the team

      • annie on November 24, 2014, 4:45 pm

        666, fyi, the next time you try posting long 13 (or 15 i can’t recall) digit non-words that make no sense (unlike “censorsmactic” which is somewhat comprehensible) i will be editing it. for the most part, we don’t speak in code here. the next time you reference underwear i will be editing it. the next time you mention prophylactics i will be editing it. however, if you prefer i can simply delete all of those kinds of comments instead, let me know.

        if this continues I will have to resign the 666 username

        speaking of resigning your username, we might be doing that for you sooner than you think. we also know other usernames already emanating from one of the few i.p. addresses you use. watch yourself. and read the comment policy rules.

        ;) cheerio and have a nice rest of the day.

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