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As US media awake to a ‘nightmare’ Israel, NYT brings Blumenthal in from the cold

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We’re in the midst of a sea change in the American mainstream’s treatment of the conflict. US media are beginning to reflect the awareness that the two-state solution is over and that violence around Jerusalem and the West Bank is caused by occupation and fostered by rightwing intolerance inside Israeli political culture– the “nightmare” of greater Israel. There are countless examples of the shift. Last night on MSNBC Richard Engel said many people are angry at the US because of torture and drones, but also “because of Israel/Palestine, and Gaza.”  When Israeli finance minister Naftali Bennett was confronted by Khaled Elgindy at the Brookings Institution last Saturday to explain why Palestinians are “the only group of humans in the world that do not have the right to self-determination,” the Beltway audience was evidently on Elgindy’s side. Leon (AIPAC) Wieseltier is gone from the New Republic. The New York Times is publishing Max Blumenthal. And the New Yorker‘s David Remnick is staying in East Jerusalem.

A roundup:

The New York Times published two anti-Zionists in a forum on the Israeli government’s turn to the right. After more than a year of ignoring his book about tyranny and intolerance in Israel, Goliath, The Times gave Max Blumenthal a platform to explain that Israel has always been rightwing.

Over 60 years before [anti-Arab group] Lehava’s segregationist crusades, there was the socialist Zionist “Conquest of Labor” that organized Jews-only work collectives and boycotted businesses that employed Palestinians. Before the settlements, there was the kibbutz movement whose admissions committees denied residency to anyone but Jews. Before the wave of vigilante “price tag” attacks on Palestinians, there was the Nakba that expelled some 750,000 Palestinians in order to establish Israel’s Jewish majority. And as Marzel mentioned, there is the Jewish National Fund, a para-governmental group founded by Theodore Herzl to provide land exclusively to Jews which recently oversaw a program that would have led to mass expulsion of Bedouin called the Prawer Plan.

If a shift is underway in Israeli politics, it is primarily tonal. Israel’s rightists intend to carry on the Zionist project as originally conceived, but without the pretense of democracy. In a way, their honesty is refreshing.

Blumenthal’s non-marginalization is a crushing blow to Zionists. Liel Leibovitz,who wrote a book saying we are the chosen people, labels Blumenthal an anti-Semite and says that the Times should apologize for the publication. Tablet is marginalizing itself with this kind of smear, as well as draining even more meaning from the term, anti-Semitism.

Bringing the Debate to You

That Times forum also features Diana Buttu bringing news to Americans: Palestinians have always seen Zionism as a colonial movement that forces them off their land; the continuation of these policies will only produce violent reprisals; and the US is supporting Israel against its own interest.

Whoever wins these elections and whatever the composition of the next government, the same situation will prevail for Palestinians.We will continue to live under inequality or under foreign military rule in our homeland. Israel will continue to steal our land, demolish our homes, strip us of our rights and demand our loyalty and subservience to a system and society that seek to oust us.

Israel’s perpetual rightward shift reflects the hubris of America’s spoiled child. Every elected American official pampers and lavishes support for Israel, even as Israel’s actions defy U.S. interests and presidential statements. The world’s unwillingness to halt Israel’s illegal behavior, cements a mindset that illegality is permissible.

It is nonsensical that Palestinians, occupied and stateless, must negotiate their freedom with their occupier and oppressor. It is the role of the international community to make known that it will not tolerate colonialism in the 21st century.

As the New Republic fallout demonstrates, anti-Arab racism is at last becoming problematic in the U.S. mainstream. Six weeks ago the Times ran Rula Jebreal’s op-ed saying that Israel needs a civil rights movement to end a “pervasive institutionalized system of discrimination.” While Foreign Policy readers lately learned of Israel’s Jim Crow conditions from Sayed Kashua in “The Country That Never Wanted Me,” citing facts you used to only hear at Palestinian solidarity events:

 “[N]ot a single Arab town has been established since the State of Israel was founded — in contrast with some 700 Jewish settlements.”

New Yorker editor David Remnick shapes opinion among the elites, and maybe most important in this roundup was his piece last month reporting that Israeli claims to the West Bank have established a “one-state reality” and Israeli political culture is getting scarier by the minute. While few elements of that piece would surprise readers of this site (Naomi Klein talked about the one-state reality long ago), the mood was surprising: Remnick seems to want a trial separation from Zionism, noting pointedly that he was staying in the American Colony hotel in East Jerusalem. He quoted Meron Benvenisti explaining that 1967 was merely a continuation of 1948, and name-checked Ali Abunimah (without interviewing him).

Even better at conveying the “nightmare” was Henry Siegman at Huffpo, “Will Greater Israel Transform Into Greater Palestine?” filled with bleak realist pronouncements about Israel’s future. Israel is losing contact with world opinion and the enlightened are leaving the place (just watch Naftali Bennett’s manic performance at Brookings, dismissing “a little thing called the rest of the world”). Seigman sketches an Algeria-like scenario of decolonization in which political violence plays an important role. Just as political violence played a role in creating Israel.

If the slaughter in the Jerusalem synagogue will make the Palestinian dream of statehood an even more unreachable dream, it will also turn Israel’s illusion of the sustainability of the occupation into a nightmare. For the more hopeless the expectation of Palestinian moderates that non-violent means can bring about the promised and repeatedly denied two-state solution, the more Palestinians will believe that violence is the only way to change Israel’s cost-benefit calculations for its theft of Palestinian territory in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem.

Palestinian violence against non-combatants discredits the Palestinian national cause. But who is to say it may not work for the Palestinians as well as it worked for the Jews in their War of Independence, for it achieved Ben Gurion’s goal of triggering the flight of over 700,000 Palestinians. Palestinian violence may similarly serve to drive many of Israel’s most creative and productive elements to abandon the Jewish state and renew their lives in the Diaspora, a reaction that is already discernible.

Jay Michaelson at the Forward is also bleakly realistic. He confesses that Israeli racism and Sheldon Adelson’s political crudeness have caused him to become “binational-curious.”

Like everyone else in the peace camp, I am dejected by the current state of affairs and pessimistic about the future. I’m exhausted by Israel’s unethical behavior, by renewed (and condoned) Palestinian terrorism and by vulgar, bloviating billionaires dictating policy by checkbook. I am ready to stray from my two-state views, and I am open to all other realistic options.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any.

So Michaelson finds himself shifting. So does Princeton student Maya Wahrman, writing in Haaretz, “Despair is driving me towards BDS.” Wahrman has long condemned boycott of Israel, but if BDS can change Israel’s political climate, she must support BDS.

Some people fear BDS because they think it will be harmful to Israel. I answer that most of Israel’s current policies regarding Palestinians harm Israel because they harm humanity. If we fear anti-Semitism, let us be just, and our strong allies will support us. I suspect that others fear BDS because they are afraid it might actually work. Which makes it all the more promising….

[D]o not immediately disqualify [BDS] because it is harsh on Israel. Nor should you immediately support it without considering the wide-reaching and serious consequences.
I have by no means run the full gamut of important considerations. I do not know if BDS is the answer. But if commercial sanctions effectively pressure the Israeli government and show them that the injustice must end, potentially leading to commitment to a peaceful resolution, then who am I to stand in the way?

All this talk is getting some pushback. I mentioned Liel Leibovitz’s smear on Blumenthal. Even the Times ran Caroline Glick and Jonathan Schanzer in its forum with Blumenthal and Buttu. Even more regrettably, the Atlantic asked Matti Friedman to rehash/expand his argument in Tablet of last August that Israel is a “tiny village” situated on a volcano of Islamic hatred. Friedman says that foreign correspondents hanging out at the American Colony hotel have fashioned/imbibed “the ‘Israel story,’ which is a story of Jewish moral failure”–

Mingling occurs at places like the lovely Oriental courtyard of the American Colony hotel in East Jerusalem, or at parties held at the British Consulate’s rooftop pool. The dominant characteristic of nearly all of these people is their transience. They arrive from somewhere, spend a while living in a peculiar subculture of expatriates, and then move on.

Isn’t that orientalism? Remnick left it at: “a beautiful old hotel in East Jerusalem.”

Wahrman, Remnick, Michaelson, and Siegman all seem to fear the future, how far this could all go, and suggestions that Jews must decolonize. This is the biggest argument for BDS; it respects the human rights of everyone in the country; Those fears are also the greatest argument for democracy I can think of. How many liberal American Zionists would wash their hands of the ideology entirely if they could only be assured that there could be a nonviolent resolution of Israel’s predicament. A lot, I’m sure. (There is one way to marginalize rightwing racists; and that is to grant everyone who is governed by Israel the right to vote for the government of the land. The UK losing Scotland would have swung hard right. The Congress, if Jim Crow were in place, would be absent many progressive urban representatives. Advocates of the two state solution say that the great Palestinian middle and the great Israeli middle just want peace. Well, let them work together, in political combination. Right now Israeli national political candidates have to appeal to religious zealots. Imagine if they had to campaign to Palestinians.)



Philip Weiss

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

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24 Responses

  1. on December 10, 2014, 12:39 pm

    The NYTimes website is chock full of hate filled attacks on Max and what he has to say.

  2. Krauss on December 10, 2014, 1:11 pm

    That is a fair rundown, but don’t forget that the people who forced these Zionists to come to their conclusions were us, people in Palestinian solidarity but even more than us, it was the Palestinians themselves.

    My point in bringing this up is to remind you not to overinvest in the notion of these people’s morality. “Shoot and cry” exists for a reason.

    In the end, these people will be a lagging indicator of where the true progressives are going. These folks are those who can sense where the wind is blowing and as a result, re-adjust their sails. Michaelson in particular goes from hard-left to hard-right in a matter of months.

    If there ever was a significant intifada, you’d know that all these shoot and cry Zionists would drum up support behind the Apartheid state. Remember Jane Eisner’s and J Street’s support for Sodastream.

    These people are fundamentally frauds. Progress, yes, but not of their doing at all. And progress henceforth won’t be due to them, either.

    • Krauss on December 10, 2014, 1:18 pm

      Unrelated: I’ve listened to Bennett’s performance during my commute(download video at home, convert to mp3 and the into the phone it goes).

      I gotta say, maybe it’s stuff you miss while listening but I’m not sure if the audience was so much against him as you imply, Phil. When Bennett talked about demography; the importance of outbreeding the Arabs, he got a lot of cheerful and encouraging laughs. There were similar moments throughout his talk.

      I’ve always thought Bennett is the future of Israeli politics, not Lieberman. He has the youth, he has the fluency in English, he has the brains and he has the unabashed fanaticism. He is also good at being a politician. His party could well succeed Likud in one of the next two elections, maybe even this one.

      And Bennett as PM would also be a nightmare for Israel to defend in front of Western audiences(not the mostly Zionist one at Saban). But here’s the thing: maybe it doesn’t matter. The Israeli Jews don’t need the Arab labor and the feckless EU is unlikely to really boycott the state. Further, Israel can, with time, diversify away from Europe.

      Bennett’s performance at Saban showed that he doesn’t care about the rest of the world, unlike the white junta in South Africa. Maybe he isn’t alone in that sentiment, in Israel.

      • bilal a on December 10, 2014, 9:27 pm

        liberal zionists are also worried about the demographic threat inside the usa:

        Max Blumenthal retweeted
        Charlotte Silver @CharESilver · 10h 10 hours ago

  3. JLewisDickerson on December 10, 2014, 5:38 pm

    RE: “Israel’s perpetual rightward shift reflects the hubris of America’s spoiled child. Every elected American official pampers and lavishes support for Israel, even as Israel’s actions defy U.S. interests and presidential statements.” ~ Diana Buttu

    “Bibi and the Yo-Yos”, by Uri Avnery,, 05/26/11

    [EXCERPT] It was all rather disgusting.
    There they were, the members of the highest legislative bodies of the world’s only superpower, flying up and down like so many yo-yos, applauding wildly, every few minutes or seconds, the most outrageous lies and distortions of Binyamin Netanyahu.

    It was worse than the Syrian parliament during a speech by Bashar Assad, where anyone not applauding could find himself in prison. Or Stalin’s Supreme Soviet, when showing less than sufficient respect could have meant death.
    What the American Senators and Congressmen feared was a fate worse than death. Anyone remaining seated or not applauding wildly enough could have been caught on camera – and that amounts to political suicide. It was enough for one single congressman to rise and applaud, and all the others had to follow suit. Who would dare not to?
    The sight of these hundreds of parliamentarians jumping up and clapping their hands, again and again and again and again, with the Leader graciously acknowledging with a movement of his hand, was reminiscent of other regimes. Only this time it was not the local dictator who compelled this adulation, but a foreign one.
    The most depressing part of it was that there was not a single lawmaker – Republican or Democrat – who dared to resist. When I was a 9 year old boy in Germany, I dared to leave my right arm hanging by my side when all my schoolmates raised theirs in the Nazi salute and sang Hitler’s anthem. Is there no one in Washington DC who has that simple courage? Is it really Washington IOT – Israel Occupied Territory – as the anti-Semites assert? . . . [ANSWER: Yes, it is; and there are many other “occupiers”. Like the military-industrial complex. And, the NRA. And, Big Pharma. And, the too-big-to-fail banks. And, Wall Street. And, the Chamber of Commerce. And . . . (continued ad nauseam) ~ J.L.D.]


  4. JLewisDickerson on December 10, 2014, 6:00 pm

    RE: “If a shift is underway in Israeli politics, it is primarily tonal. Israel’s rightists intend to carry on the Zionist project as originally conceived, but without the pretense of democracy. In a way, their honesty is refreshing.”~ Max Blumenthal

    SEE: “Religious Fundamentalism in Israel”, By Stephen Lendman,, Aug 12, 2009

    [EXCERPTS] Israel Shahak’s (1933 – 2001) “Jewish History, Jewish Religion” argued that while Islamic fundamentalism is vilified in the West, comparable Jewish extremism is largely ignored. . .

    . . . As a leading Israeli human rights activist and Holocaust survivor, [Israel] Shakah reviewed Jewish fundamentalist history, examined its strains, and explained the dangers of extremist messianic ones. They oppose equality of Jews and non-Jews and destroy democratic values by espousing dogma calling Jews superior to all others.

    The earlier influence of fundamentalist Rabbi Abraham Kook (1865 – 1935), or Kuk, was significant. He preached Jewish supremacy and said: “The difference between a Jewish soul and souls of non-Jews – all of them in all different levels – is greater and deeper than the difference between a human soul and the souls of cattle.” His teachings helped create the settler movement, and his son, Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, founded the extremist Gush Emunim (GE) under the slogan: “The Land of Israel, for the people of Israel, according to the Torah of Israel.”

    Like the elder Kook, GE sees state power as a way forward to a new messianic era. It believes that God created the world for Jews. Others are lesser beings. Greater Israel belongs to Jews alone, and holy wars are acceptable to attain it.

    Kook was Israel’s first chief rabbi. In his honor and to continue his teachings, the extremist Merkaz Harav (the Rabbi’s Center) was founded in 1924 as a yeshiva or fundamentalist religious college. It teaches that “non-Jews living under Jewish law in Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel) must either be enslaved as water carriers and wood hewers, or banished, or exterminated.” It gets no more extremist than that and highlights the dangers for Palestinians in Israel and the Occupied Territories. Their lives and welfare are being sacrificed for a Greater Israel for Jews alone.

    Gush Emunim adherents and other Israeli religious zealots plan it. They’re active in politics, hold seats in the Knesset, are Netanyahu government coalition partners (including Shas, United Torah and Yisrael Beiteinu), and are prominently represented in Israel’s military throughout the ranks and rabbinate. Chief military rabbi, Brigadier General Avichai Rontzki, called Operation Cast Lead a “religious war” in which it was “immoral” to show mercy to an enemy of “murderers.”

    Many others feel the same way, prominently among them graduates of Hesder Yeshivat schools that combine extremist religious indoctrination with military service to defend the Jewish State. . .

    . . . Nearly all Hesder graduates perform combat service for up to six years. Today 41 schools operate throughout Israel. In 1991, Hesder was awarded the Israel Prize (the state’s highest honor) for its exceptional service to the nation.

    One commander expressed how many feel in explaining the military’s mission:

    “We are the Jewish people. We came to this land by a miracle. God brought us back to this land and now we need to fight to expel the Gentiles who are interfering with our conquest of this holy land.”

    Extremist Israeli rabbis teach this ideology, and in 2003 Rabbi Saadya Grama’s book, “Romemut Yisrael Ufarashat Hagalut (The Majesty of Israel and the Question of the Diaspora), argued that non-Jews are “completely evil” while Jews are genetically superior. Reform and conservative rabbis condemned it. Extremist orthodox ones endorsed it. Some more moderate ones also saying Grama advocates separating Jews from an intrinsically hostile anti-Semetic world. Rabbi Yosef Blau called the book “a call for a superior people to withdraw from the world and live in isolation while submitting to its enemies and placing trust in God.”

    Others in Israel teach the extremist notion that the ten commandments don’t apply to non-Jews. So killing them in defending the homeland is acceptable, and according to Rabbi Dov Lior, chairman of the Jewish Rabbinic Council:

    “There is no such thing as enemy civilians in war time. The law of our Torah is to have mercy on our soldiers and to save them….A thousand non-Jewish lives are not worth a Jew’s fingernail.”

    Rabbi David Batsri called Arabs “a blight, a devil, a disaster….donkeys, and we have to ask ourselves why God didn’t create them to walk on all fours. Well, the answer is that they are needed to build and clean.” Extremist zealots want them for no other purpose in Jewish society.

    In 2007, Israel’s former chief rabbi, Mordechai Elyahu, called for the Israeli army to mass-murder Palestinians. In fanatical language he said:

    “If they don’t stop after we kill 100, then we must kill 1000. And if they don’t stop after 1000, then we must kill 10,000. If they still don’t stop we must kill 100,000. Even a million. Whatever it takes to make them stop.”

    In March 2009, Safed’s chief rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu called for “state-sponsored revenge” to restore “Israel’s deterrence….It’s time to call the child by its name: Revenge, revenge, revenge. We mustn’t forget. We have to take horrible revenge for the terrorist attack at Mercaz Harav yeshiva,” referring to an earlier incident in which eight students died.

    “I am not talking about individual people in particular. I’m talking about the state. (It) has to pain them where they scream ‘Enough,’ to the point where they fall flat on their face and scream ‘help.’ ”

    In June 2009, US Hasidic Rabbi Manis Friedman [Bob Dylan’s Chabad mentor – J.L.D.] voiced a similar sentiment in calling on Israel to kill Palestinian “men, women and children.”

    “I don’t believe in western morality, i.e. don’t kill civilians or children, don’t destroy holy sites, don’t fight during the holiday seasons, don’t bomb cemeteries, don’t shoot until they shoot first because it is immoral. The only way to fight a moral war is the Jewish way: Destroy their holy sites. Kill men, women and children (and cattle).”

    Views like these aren’t exceptions. Though a minority, they proliferate throughout Israeli society, and are common enough to incite violence against Palestinians, even when they rightfully defend themselves as international law allows.

    • Religious Extremism Threatens Any Chance for an Equitable Solution to the Israeli – Palestinian Conflict

    Israeli extremists are a minority but influential enough to make policy, and therein lies the threat to peace and likelihood of a sovereign Palestinian state. In his book, “A Little Too Close to God,” David Horovitz recalled that before Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination, he attended a Netanyahu-sponsored anti-Rabin rally he described as follows:

    “I felt as if I were among wild animals, vicious, angry predators craving flesh and scenting blood. There was elation in the anger, elation bred of the certainty of eventual success.”

    In his book, “Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence,” Professor Mark Juergensmeyer compared the similarities among religious-motivated extremists, whether Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh or others.

    He related a conversation with Yoel Lerner who was imprisoned for trying to blow up the Dome of the Rock, the Muslim holy site, because he believed that an ancient Jewish temple stood there before it was destroyed.

    He expressed messianic Zionism in saying the “Messiah will come to earth only after the temple is rebuilt and made ready for him,” so Jews must assure it’s done. These views are prominent in high places and throughout Israeli society; that is, religious fervor for a Greater Israel for Jews only, a Jewish state excluding all Arabs with violence an acceptable tool to remove them, and conflict will continue until they’re gone.

    • The Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s (JTA) Report on Jewish Extremists

    On June 24, [2009] JTA wrote a special report on Jewish extremists in which it described “the face of radical Jewish nationalism in Israel….a movement of settler youths, rabbis, leaders and supporters determined to hold onto the West Bank at any cost.” They represent a minority, but are a “vocal and increasingly violent constituency of the Jewish settler movement” rampaging against Palestinians and Israelis, confident that God is on their side, and one day a “Torah-based theocracy (will) triumph over the State of Israel.”

    Rabbi Yisrael Iriel is one of its adherents in preaching Jewish superiority and unwillingness to cede any part of biblical Israel to non-Jews. He’s one of a “small group of (extremist) rabbis who provide the theological and ideological underpinnings for radical settlers.”

    The Israeli human rights group Yesh Din believes they number about 1000 but exert considerable influence nonetheless. They’re an extremist fringe element, determined to use violence to achieve their goals, and are supported by other West Bank settlers. One young adherent expressed their agenda by saying “I think God chose a good and beautiful land for us,” and we’ll fight to keep it. If so, it makes peaceful resolution harder than ever to achieve, especially with political hard-liners in charge and most Israelis supporting them. . .

    . . . Israel’s religious community [is] comprised of two major groups – religious Zionists and Charedim. Governed by their ideology, the former [i.e. the religious Zionists] believe in the special relationship between God and Jews and see Israeli governance from that perspective. They [i.e. the religious Zionists] comprise about two-thirds of the religious community and 8% of the population.
    Representing the other third and about 4.5% of the population, the Charedim [not including Chabad, I assume – J.L.D] see Israel as a secular state like most others in the country. . .

    . . . Though a minoriy, Israel’s religious community wields considerable influence politically, in the military and society overall. Moreover, synagogues and yeshivas are popular places where people gather to discuss issues of common interest and hear the views of their rabbinical leaders.

    The most extreme believe in Jewish sovereignty over all biblical Israel, so foregoing any of it is unthinkable. Thirteenth century Rabbi Moses Ben Nachman was their spiritual godfather. He wrote that Jews “should settle in the land and inherit it, because He gave it to them, and they should not reject God’s inheritance.” Our rabbis say it’s “a mitzvah (commandment) to settle in the land and it is forbidden to leave it.”

    Similar dogma today holds that reclaiming Israel for Jews will foreshadow the coming of the messiah. Rabbi Avraham Kook preached it. Today’s most extreme zealots believe that conceding any biblical land will delay or subvert messianic redemption, so it can’t be tolerated. Palestinians are called enemies for wanting land of their own. Yielding any violates Jewish law they believe. . .


    • Kris on December 10, 2014, 8:23 pm

      Thanks, JLewisDickerson, I’ve always wondered why religious Jewish Zionists are okay with lying, killing, coveting, and killing. Who knew it was because the Ten Commandments apply only to how Jews treat other Jews?!!

      And who knew that many Jewish religious leaders consider non-Jews to be “lesser”?!!

      Everything makes more sense to me, now.

    • annie on December 11, 2014, 10:11 am

      thanks dickerson. these guys have gone mainstream now. it’s irrelevant that they represent a minority in israel if they represent a majority in the knesset. and they are getting there fast. freaks.

  5. pabelmont on December 10, 2014, 7:00 pm

    “if BDS can change Israel’s political climate, she must support BDS.”

    Well, but the point of BDS is FIRST to change the behavior of all governments (or as many as possible) outside Israel. BDS must proceed from Boycott and divestment (small, civil society actions) to sanctions, governmental actions. And it is sanctions, I imagine, that will change Israel’s behavior.

    And I hope that the landslide or sea change or whatever Phil sees happening will in fact happen and move the governments to action.

  6. JLewisDickerson on December 10, 2014, 11:14 pm

    RE: “I’m exhausted by . . . vulgar, bloviating billionaires dictating policy by checkbook.” ~ Jay Michaelson

    MY COMMENT: Dictating policy by checkbook = “despotic control”*

    * FROM WIKIPEDIA AS OF 1/28/14 [Defence mechanisms]:

    [EXCERPTS] . . . In Freudian psychoanalytic theory, defense mechanisms are psychological strategies brought into play by the unconscious mind[4] to manipulate, deny, or distort reality in order to defend against feelings of anxiety and unacceptable impulses to maintain one’s self schema.[5] . . .
    . . . The list of defence mechanisms is huge and there is no theoretical consensus on the number of defence mechanisms. . .

    Vaillant’s categorization of defence mechanisms

    Level 1: Pathological
    The mechanisms on this level, when predominating, almost always are severely pathological. These six defences, in conjunction, permit one to effectively rearrange external experiences to eliminate the need to cope with reality. The pathological users of these mechanisms frequently appear irrational or insane to others. These are the “psychotic” defences, common in overt psychosis. However, they are normally found in dreams and throughout childhood as well.[22] They include:
    • Delusional projection: Delusions about external reality, usually of a persecutory nature [i.e., perceiving legitimate criticism of Israel’s actions as “anti-Semitism” ~ J.L.D.].
    • Conversion . . .
    . . . • Extreme projection: The blatant denial of a moral or psychological deficiency, which is perceived as a deficiency in another individual or group.
    • Superiority complex: A psychological defence mechanism in which a person’s feelings of superiority counter or conceal his or her feelings of inferiority. The inflated feelings of being superior, above the ordinary, and special, along with arrogance lead to difficulties at work and in relationships.
    • Inferiority complex: A behaviour that is displayed through a lack of self-worth, an increase of doubt and uncertainty, and feeling of not measuring up to society’s standards. Despotic control [think “Rosebud” ~ J.L.D.] is a compensation for tremendous feelings of inferiority, unworthiness, self-rejection and often feeling unlovable. . .

    SOURCE –

    • JLewisDickerson on December 10, 2014, 11:25 pm

      P.S. REGARDING “DESPOTIC CONTROL”, SEE: “Israel’s sugar daddy, Sheldon Adelson”, by Brad A. Greenberg,, June 27, 2008

      [EXCERPT] . . . Adelson’s reach hasn’t been limited to charity. In fact, some say he uses money to meddle in Israeli politics, pushing a right-wing vision void of a peace process through his connections with American politicians—Bush called the Republican donor “some crazy Jewish billionaire”—and his free daily newspaper, Israel Hayom, which observers criticize as being stuffed with propaganda for Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu.
      At a formal dinner attended by more than a hundred senior officials of various Israeli and Jewish organizations, guests were offered the opportunity to tell Peres what they considered the biggest challenge facing the Jewish people. Adelson, according to Ha’aretz, declared, “I think Jews should have lots of sex. That is the solution to our demographic problem.”
      After Adelson addressed the conference, Nahum Barnea wrote in his column in Yedioth Ahronoth, “I saw a gambling tycoon from Las Vegas who bought my country’s birthday with three million dollars. I thought with sorrow: Is the country worth so very little? Were the champagne, wine and sushi that were given out for free in the lobby—breaking convention for such events—worth the humiliation?” Barnea went on:

      Adelson is a Jew who loves Israel. Like some other Jews who live at a safe distance from here, his love is great, passionate, smothering. It is important to him that he influences the policies, decisions, and compositions of the Israeli governments. He is not alone in this, either; even back in the days of Baron Rothschild, wealthy Jews from the Diaspora felt that this country lay in their pocket, alongside their wallet. Regrettably, in the latest generation, we are being led by politicians who look at these millionaires with calf’s eyes.

      In Israel, where political, academic, and business leaders tend to be outspoken, there is a striking reticence at the mention of Sheldon Adelson. Even people who are diametrically opposed to his politics refuse to be interviewed. “There is a discernible amount of self-censorship going on,” the liberal Israeli-American writer Bernard Avishai said. “There is no ideological justification for what Sheldon is doing among the Israeli intelligentsia—and a revulsion at an American weighing in so heavily on Israeli politics, in such a crude, reactionary way. But they won’t speak.”

      These details come from Connie Bruck’s masterful and revealing profile of Adelson for this week’s New Yorker. It’s been getting a lot of buzz for its insight into the mindset of a right-wing American Jew whose love for Israel spans from his Lithuanian father too poor to set foot there to his sabra wife. But what really shocked me was a portion a little closer to home for Adelson, whose non-union Venetian was in 1999 being picketed by the Culinary Union:

      Las Vegas’s Temple Beth Sholom was holding a dinner to fête the new mayor of Las Vegas, Oscar Goodman. Adelson, a member of Beth Sholom, had recently pledged two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to the temple’s new-building fund. The dinner was to be held at the Venetian, but Mayor Goodman said that he would not cross the picket line, and synagogue officials decided to go elsewhere. Adelson excoriated Beth Sholom’s rabbi, Felipe Goodman. Rabbi Goodman told the Review-Journal that Adelson had been “so verbally abusive. I was very upset because no one had ever talked to me like he talked to me.” After the dinner took place at the Four Seasons, Adelson withdrew his pledge to Beth Sholom. He gave large sums to the local Chabad, a branch of the Hasidic Chabad-Lubavitchers, for the construction of a new center. . .


  7. sydnestel on December 11, 2014, 12:27 am

    “bi-national curious” – Weiss deserves a Pulitzer for that line!

    • philweiss on December 11, 2014, 10:06 am

      Unnh: you mean that Jay Michaelson deserves a Pulitzer. He wrote it not me!

  8. Stogumber on December 11, 2014, 8:28 am

    I missed the opprtunity to comment on Gitlin/Leibovitz “The Chosen Peoples” in 2013, so may I just add something here?
    There was, at its time, a third “chosen people”, namely the Boers. And relations between Israel and the Boers may have been smoothened by a complicity of chosenness (as Gitlin/Leibovitz believe about Israel/United States). But chosenness didn’t prevent a bad outcome.

  9. wondering jew on December 11, 2014, 12:28 pm

    tablet cites the wiesenthal center which cited blumenthal’s chapter headings because of their zionism = nazism theme. does such rhetoric qualify for antisemitism? Not in my opinion, but it certainly reflects a style that is designed to rub many jewish people the wrong way. when yeshaya leibowitz, an academic, used it, i did not think it was particularly useful and blumenthal would probably cite leibowitz as his shield if not his reason. the decibel level of blumenthal is something that plays well with those that agree with him, but rubs others the wrong way. that in itself does not justify the antisemitic label. i know that zionism = nazism or israel flag equals swastika are quite offensive to many jewish people. the words offend me less than seeing the symbols. those pretty much are like calling my mother names (camus?). them’s fighting words.

    • Mooser on December 11, 2014, 6:00 pm

      ” those pretty much are like calling my mother names (camus?). them’s fighting words. “

      Yonah has been muttering in the corner there, hands working n his pockets, lips twitching and foam flecked, but now he seems to be getting downright pugilistic!
      Ain’t nobody gonna talk bad about Yonah’s Mother (hereinafter referred to as Yo Ma Ma?) And ain’t no M—f—-er gonna call her a French existentialist, neither!

      • just on December 11, 2014, 6:51 pm

        Oh, Mooser.

  10. Mooser on December 12, 2014, 10:46 am

    “Oh, Mooser.”

    I at least, have no desire to rub anybody’s Mother the wrong way, no matter what her creed. Nor would I Sartre-ize her. Not even to see Yonah, “properly attired”, “float like a butterfly, and sting like a bee”

    • RoHa on December 12, 2014, 5:45 pm

      Careful, Mooser. You are verging on “Yo momma reads Derrida” and the like. Don’t go there. When the p word gets used, you are saying things you can’t take back.

      • Mooser on December 13, 2014, 6:45 pm

        ‘A Zionist troll tar is a soaring soul
        As free as a mountain bird
        His energetic fist should be ready to resist
        A dictatorial word
        His nose should pant and his lip should curl
        His cheeks should flame and his brow should furl
        His bosom should heave and his heart should glow
        And his fist be ever ready for a knock-down blow’

      • Mooser on December 13, 2014, 6:47 pm

        “When the p word gets used, you are saying things you can’t take back.”

        These days, with no “edit” button, we’re all saying things we can’t take back!

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