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Israel can handle any threat in the Middle East, but it will go down without young American Jews — Shavit

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Two days ago, the pro-Israel group the American Jewish Committee held a “great debate” on the two state solution between two Israeli journalists: rightwinger Caroline Glick, who is against a Palestinian state, and centrist Ari Shavit of Haaretz– who is for a Palestinian state in “a long time.”

Shavit said fearfully that Israel was in danger of losing American Jews and American progressives, and these groups are more vital to Israel’s survival than anything else. Israel can deal with any threat in the Middle East, but it cannot lose America.

If we endorse a kind of arrogant approach as if there are no other people– no Palestinians, no progressive Americans, no Afro-Americans, no Latino Americans, no young Americans– we are endangering ourselves. There is nothing more dangerous. Believe me, we will deal with all the threats of the middle east. We are strong, we are sophisticated, we are innovative, we will deal with that. But if we lose, if we erode our alliance with the west–

Shavit especially fears the impact of Israeli rightwing political culture on young American Jews.

This kind of attitude will endanger the ability of young American Jews to stand by Israel and identify with Israel. The only way to win Jewish minds and hearts– and non-Jews, but I begin with the Jews– is to prove that Israel is a benign Israel, that it’s fully democratic, that it’s America’s small endangered sister, that we are  frontier democracy supported by your great democracy. If we endanger that, we endanger everything.

Shavit called the American public the “front line,” because Israel has always depended on two political principles: 1, reliance on a superpower; 2, having the moral high ground. It is in danger of losing both.

He called out Glick as a zealot who has support only inside the “Jewish bubble” in Israel and America.

Your message, your line is totally ineffective when it comes to the front line… We live in this Jewish bubble. The bubble is very strong because of this extraordinary success of the American Jewish community. But once you go out of the bubble and you talk to young people, America is changing, the demography is changing, people’s minds are changing…

We already destroyed ourselves in our history because of zealots. We have that gene in us.

He said he goes out to college audiences “fighting BDS” and and sees what Israel is up against.

“It’s not enough to have all this great feeling of, ‘Oh they hate us, and we are just.”… We are not in the ghetto anymore shouting, ‘Gevult, the goyim hate us.'” Zionists now have a responsibility to go out and convince people outside the Jewish bubble. “Fundamentally historically we are the underdog,” he said. And “We are the David.” But the world does not see Israel that way, and the country is in great danger.

We must find a wise way to change the present condition… I’m deeply worried by the fact that the dynamics within Israel and sometimes within the community here are taking us further and further away from the west… The great success of Zionism throughout the years was based on this combination, that we are just, but we must be realistic and understand in what world we live.

Shavit said he shivers when he thinks of the early Zionists. They had “a brilliant diagnosis” of the world, anticipating anti-Semitic violence in Europe. And they had two leading principles.

“One was always always to have a superpower on our side. First it was the British, then the French, then this great great alliance with the United States of America for which I am so full of gratitude. And when I heard the way some people talked about [Treasury] Secretary [Jack] Lew the other day, one of Israel’s greatest friends, this kind of dangerous attitude among our community, not having enough gratitude, not having enough respect.

“We cannot survive a day without America, with all due respect to our heroism. And America is a democracy, and the alliance is based on shared values. If we risk that, if we approach this disrespectful approach that we saw the other day. And first of all I so feel embarrassed as an Israeli and  a Jew that this has happened to us…

“If we endorse a kind of arrogant approach as if there are no other people– no Palestinians, no progressive Americans, no Afro-Americans, no Latino Americans, no young Americans– we are endangering ourselves. There is nothing more dangerous. Believe me, we will deal with all the threats of the middle east. We are strong, we are sophisticated, we are innovative, we will deal with that. But if we lose, if we no progressive Americans.

Shavit said Ben-Gurion was tough in battle, but he also understood that Israel “always always captured the moral high ground.” He maintained that credit by always appearing to be looking for peace. If Israel does not continue to do that, “we will find ourself on the wrong side of history.”

But Shavit’s own Rx for Israel the “frontier democracy” is not going to excite a progressive young American audience, or progressive Jews. Because his language was so undemocratic. When he said that Israel’s Jewish majority was in danger from Arab population numbers, he sounded like a white southerner from the Jim Crow era. The Zionist dream was to have a “massive Jewish majority” so as to have “Jewish sovereignty.” But right now Israel is “down to 75 percent Jewish in Israel”, he said. In 2025, that number will be 70 percent.

“If you are to add even 1 million Arabs into that fragile formula,” Israel will stop being Jewish or stop being democratic, Shavit said.

He also said that Israel cannot endorse the “two-state solution” now, but– “a two state vision, two state option, and two state dynamics.” Option means to keep the possibility of two states open by not building too many settlements “beyond the [settlement] blocs”. Dynamics means helping out Palestinians, bringing water to Gaza and building Rawabi, the new city deep in the West Bank. Israel must undertake such projects–

so the Palestinians go on a very long and gradual process of nation-building. Very slow, very cautious, it will take a long time. We have to go very slow, it’s trial and error all the time.

Imagine how Zionists would have greeted such a patronizing policy on the part of the British back when they were seeking self-determination!

Also, consider Shavit’s urgent comments about Israel’s dependence on young American Jews and on America in the context of two intellectual debates in our country:

–The debate over the Israel lobby. While Shavit credits American democratic processes, he is saying that having American Jews “stand by” Israel so as to maintain the support of the superpower is absolutely vital to Israel’s survival. That’s the lobby.

–Shavit’s own book, My Promised Land. His energetic renewal of Zionism, embraced by the New Yorker and Charlie Rose, was plainly a political undertaking aimed at capturing “the moral high ground,” as Shavit put it, preserving Israel’s image in the west. Only the Palestinian solidarity left, Jerry Slater, and Nathan Thrall in LRB pointed this out.

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35 Responses

  1. Kris
    Kris
    June 10, 2015, 11:21 am

    Sad and bizarre. Shavit still thinks that “appearing to look for peace” is a strategy that will continue to fool anyone.

    • amigo
      amigo
      June 10, 2015, 12:16 pm

      “Sad and bizarre. Shavit still thinks that “appearing to look for peace” is a strategy that will continue to fool anyone. Kris

      I had to duck when that jumped right off the screen at me.

      Once a zionist , always a zionist, liberal , radical or otherwise.When a zionist stands up and demands equality and a “Sovereign ” viable state for Palestinians , then he /she will no longer be a zionist.

      • just
        just
        June 10, 2015, 1:25 pm

        I’d like to hear them demand Justice for Palestinians, too.

        …”so the Palestinians go on a very long and gradual process of nation-building. Very slow, very cautious, it will take a long time. We have to go very slow, it’s trial and error all the time.

        Imagine how Zionists would have greeted such a patronizing policy on the part of the British back when they were seeking self-determination!”

        Bingo, Phil! It reeks to high heaven!

        Ari might be interested in this new poll of Jewish Americans:

        “Poll finds uneasy support for Obama among U.S. Jews, widespread disdain for GOP
        J Street survey says Hillary Clinton beats Jeb Bush 68%-30%; Netanyahu remains popular but the Jews are backing Iran deal.

        The poll of 1,000 American Jewish adults, conducted by Jim Gerstein of GBA Strategies, finds that American Jews remain solidly Democratic, are mostly supportive of President Obama’s Middle East policies but are nonetheless worried that the United States is “on the wrong track.” Only 39% of American Jews believe the United States is “going in the right direction” compared to 61% who said they “feel things have gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track,” as the poll questionnaire states.

        The uneasiness does seem to extend to Obama’s attitudes towards Israel: 57% approved of Obama’s policies towards Israel but a high 43% concurred with a harsh statement that said that Obama “unfairly undermines Israel’s interests and does not sufficiently support the Jewish State.” Obama’s overall approval rating is 56%, compared to 44% who disapprove, a figure that is higher than the overall population but not as good as in previous polls. Congress fares much worse: 21% approve of its conduct, 79% disapprove.

        The poll has a particular and personal silver lining for Benjamin Netanyahu: His overall favorability ratings are higher than Obama’s, Clinton’s or the Democratic Party’s. Netanyahu gets favorable marks of 48%, similar to those of his “competitors,” but far less “unfavorable” ratings from American Jews – only 27% compared to around 40% for the other three.

        Republicans, on the other hand, are relegated to the bottom of the heap: The GOP itself is favored by 20%, compared to 68% who view it unfavorably. Only 13% have a favorable view of Jeb Bush, only 9% of House Speaker John Boehner and only 7% of Senate leader Mitch McConnell.

        The poll finds that very few Jewish Americans consider Israel or Iran to be among the country’s top priorities. Only 7% listed Israel as one of America’s top two priorities and only 6% mentioned Iran. 45% said that the economy is one of the country’s top two priorities, 29% cited ISIS and 25% opted for government spending and the deficit.

        The poll did not measure attitudes towards the Israeli government per se; 78% expressed support for an Iran deal compared to only 22% who opposed it, though critics could contend that the formulation of the question did not adequately represent the concerns of its opponents nor mention Israel specifically. …

        The poll found unequivocal support for a two-state solution by 72% of U.S. Jews. Eighty-four percent said they would support an “active role” by the U.S. to help resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict. Seventy percent of American Jews approve of the president publicly voicing disagreements with the parties to the conflict, provided he includes both sides; only 46% support voicing disagreements with Israel alone. Fifty-six percent lined themselves behind Obama’s public critique of Netanyahu policies on settlement growth and his Election Day “Arabs coming in droves” statement. Similarly, 69% support American pressure on the sides to the conflict, but only 44% support applying pressure on Israel alone – a figure that could be considered high in and of itself.

        According to the poll, 62% of American Jews define themselves as Democrats or Democrat-leaning, compared to 24% who are Republicans or lean towards that party. 10% define themselves as completely independent. 38% define themselves as liberal, 35% as moderate and 19% as conservative. In the 2012 elections, according to this poll, Obama beat Mitt Romney by a margin of 62%-25%.

        Finally, according to the demographic makeup of the poll, 35% of adult American Jews are members of synagogues, but only 11% go to shul once a week or more. Ten percent are Orthodox, 20% Conservative and 37% Reform. Forty-one percent participate in any kind of Jewish activity and 43% have been to Israel.”

        http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/.premium-1.660584?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    • MRW
      MRW
      June 10, 2015, 12:39 pm

      My sentiment exactly.

      Shavit said Ben-Gurion was tough in battle, but he also understood that Israel “always always captured the moral high ground.” He maintained that credit by always appearing to be looking for peace.

      (1) That was 70 years ago.

      (2) Israel has failed to make peace for 70 years. Millennials and Gen-Xers know it.

      (3) Millennials, in particular, have been studied for their purchasing power by advertisers and marketing firms. The shock to advertisers and marketing firms was that their finding was global; race, religious, gender, immaterial to the findings. Selling to them, selling anything to them, comes down to one over-arching position or stance: tell the truth or you lose them. Truth surpassed every other thing, from community to technology to brand loyalty or product benefits, to such an extraordinary degree that the global advertising company McCann (in 120 countries) changed its logo to ‘Telling the Truth since 1920′. (or something like that.)

      (4) Israel still thinks you can use 60s Mad Men techniques. I find it stunning that a country that claims no sunlight between itself and the US can be so out of touch with the age it’s living in. That it thinks PR can change the perception and reality of what it’s actually doing. The list of truly idiotic (and tacky) PR campaigns over the last 15 years is risible. Is this because the people within the Jewish community who hand out the dough here are older and their brains are fossilized in 20th C techniques? Gonna’ be interesting to see what the octagenarian Adelson and septuagenarian Saban approved this last weekend to fight BDS.

      • John Douglas
        John Douglas
        June 10, 2015, 11:16 pm

        Shavit: “The only way to win Jewish minds and hearts . . . is to prove that Israel is a benign Israel, that it’s fully democratic, that it’s America’s small endangered sister, that we are frontier democracy supported by your great democracy.”

        To “prove” these things?? What is blatantly false cannot be proven, it can only be propagandized and believed in error. What he means is, “To fool American Jewish minds into thinking these things.” Could he really mean this? Watch him praise Ben-Gurion for, “. . . always appearing to be looking for peace.” Appearing! Let’s hand it to the guy, he doesn’t mince words. Next step? “We need to lie as expertly as Ben-Gurion or we’re doomed.”

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus
      June 13, 2015, 7:50 pm

      It will continue to fool if done well. He’s not talking about fooling people committed to finding out things: he’s talking about giving his allies in Western governments a good pretext to pretend that they believe the “peace efforts” and a pretext to the lethargic part of the population not to research.
      That’s why I keep saying that the Beinart-type Zionists are the sleaziest and most dangerous.

  2. hophmi
    hophmi
    June 10, 2015, 11:44 am

    You’ve reviewed Shavit’s position enough. I’d like to hear your take on your fellow one-stater Glick’s, most specifically her assessment that a Palestinian state would become a magnet for ISIS-like forces because Mahmoud Abbas has no real power base and because ISIS is just on the other side of the Golan Heights. Putting aside the rest of her vision for the moment, this seems to me to be a perfectly reasonable critique of your position and Shavit’s, which is that you (and others like Yosef Munayyer) can talk about a utopian one-state democratic solution (or a two-state solution) until you’re blue in the face, but you can’t expect to have much credibility when there is little reason to believe that your vision can come to pass, and certainly little reason to believe that moderate Muslims and non-Muslims would be safe in such a scenario.

    I think Shavit is wrong on several accounts; it is true that Israel’s rightwing shift is causing it to lose the support of some younger American Jewish progressives. But it’s easy to overstate the problem. First of all, there is a lot of nuance to the position of young American Jewish progressives. Some are J Streeters, and dead set against BDS. A few are JVPers, but probably not more than 10 or 15 percent, if that, and the reason JVPers seem like a larger group is because they’re often found on campuses where the vast majority of the Jewish community is not politically active. On campuses where the Jewish community is politically active, it’s a different story. There is no shortage of young pro-Israel Jews at Columbia, for instance.

    The other problem with Shavit’s analysis is that while some young American progressive Jews may be abandoning Israel (and to a large extent, Judaism itself), they are simply more than outweighed by an exploding population of young, orthodox Jews who are generally very supportive. For two-staters like me who agree with Shavit that Israel needs a two-state vision (and no, your analogy to the Zionists and the British is not apropos, because the Zionists were far further along in the state-building process in the 1930’s and 1940’s than the Palestinians are now, and the quality of the Palestinian state has a direct effect on Israeli security), this is a worrying and somewhat depressing trend, but referring to young American Jews as if they were a monolithic group is silly. The end result may be what you’re seeing, which is that Israel will recognize that this relatively small group of young progressives are not worth cultivating in the first place, because they’re not likely to play a big role in the future anyway, not as supporters of Israel and not as Jews.

    • MRW
      MRW
      June 10, 2015, 12:46 pm

      her assessment that a Palestinian state would become a magnet for ISIS-like forces

      Oh yeah. Because Palestinians are sooooo dumb that they would accept nationhood by welcoming Muslim-claiming warlords into their new nation to destroy what they’ve fought 70 years to gain. Right. That’s the ticket.

      Glick isn’t the smartest knife in the drawer, as her past actions and pronouncements on behalf of Israel have shown.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        June 10, 2015, 11:21 pm

        What does it matter whether Palestinians are smart or dumb? ISIS is ISIS. And the Palestinians certainly have not avoided Islamic radicals in the past.

        Why does Gaza need to be part of the state? Because your goal is to achieve a Muslim majority.

    • Sibiriak
      Sibiriak
      June 10, 2015, 3:36 pm

      hophmi: ” I’d like to hear your take on your fellow one-stater Glick’s….”

      ————-

      Glick does not in fact support a “one-state solution”.

      As Beinart points out:

      ” Glick….wants only Palestinians in the West Bank to receive equal voting rights since Gaza is already a ‘de facto Palestinian state.’ (Not de facto enough for the United States government, which still considers Gaza under Israeli occupation, but never mind.)

      http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/05/21/caroline-glick-s-one-state-solution.html

      If you exclude Gaza, you are not talking about a single-state.

  3. eljay
    eljay
    June 10, 2015, 11:48 am

    Shavit said fearfully that Israel was in danger of losing American Jews and American progressives, and these groups are more vital to Israel’s survival than anything else. Israel can deal with any threat in the Middle East, but it cannot lose America.

    Mr. Shavit isn’t concerned about the fate of Israel. What worries him – what he fears cannot survive without the support of America and American Jews – is supremacist “Jewish State”.

    Shavit called Gideon Levy an ‘enemy of the Jewish people’ for wanting secular, democratic state

    Shavit: Gideon, You want a secular, democratic state. You’re worse than the extremists among the Palestinians.

    • MRW
      MRW
      June 10, 2015, 12:48 pm

      He doesn’t want to lose Daddy’s annual allowance. Israel, the original trust-fund baby country.

  4. Harry
    Harry
    June 10, 2015, 12:25 pm

    I understand Shavit’s need to occupy the “moral high ground”, but his book, “My Promised Land”, did not succeed in doing so. The quote I remember as most telling is regarding the catastrophic tragedy of Lydda and the exodus of Palestinians there:

    “If need be, I’ll stand by the damned. Because I know that if it wasn’t for them [those who forced the ethnic cleansing], the State of Israel would not have been born. If it wasn’t for them, I would not have been born. They did the dirty, filthy work that enables my people, myself, my daughter and my sons to live.”

    There is morally higher ground than saying “I’ll stand by the damned”.

  5. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    June 10, 2015, 12:32 pm

    “He called out Glick as a zealot who has support only inside the “Jewish bubble” in Israel and America.”

    If that statement doesn’t deserve a pot/kettle analogy then nothing does.

  6. Balfour
    Balfour
    June 10, 2015, 12:45 pm

    “We already destroyed ourselves in our history because of zealots. We have that gene in us. ”

    What is Shavit making references to? The creation of the “Two Kingdoms” ?

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew
      June 10, 2015, 9:45 pm

      Balfour- Shavit is referring to the destruction of the 2nd temple which is blamed on the zealotry of those who figured on defeating Rome.

  7. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    June 10, 2015, 12:46 pm

    “Shavit said Ben-Gurion was tough in battle, but he also understood that Israel “always always captured the moral high ground.” He maintained that credit by always appearing to be looking for peace.”

    They never had the moral high ground, merely the First World’s permission to be their “beachhead” in the Middle east. To that end Israel’s sponsors were willing to overlook a great deal. Also I like how Shavit says BG had to “appear” to be making peace. Smoke and Mirrors.

  8. Krauss
    Krauss
    June 10, 2015, 1:00 pm

    The tone you have on Shavit throughout the article reminds me of Rudoren writing about a settler in the NYT. You quote him tons, call his efforts “energetic” and obviously approve of his analysis and words in large measure, even if you depart on the outcome.

    Not saying you’re on his side, but we’ve seen this fawning before. Remember that interview you did with that mega-settler a few years back(who had like 7 kids and was worth many millions)? Same thing.

    Shavit doesn’t come with anything new to the table. And rememeber, this is the same guy:

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

    Please stop Rudoring him, thanks.

    • annie
      annie
      June 10, 2015, 2:04 pm

      You quote him tons, call his efforts “energetic” and obviously approve of his analysis and words in large measure

      obviously approve of his analysis? maybe we read different articles.

      But Shavit’s own Rx for Israel the “frontier democracy” is not going to excite a progressive young American audience, or progressive Jews. Because his language was so undemocratic. When he said that Israel’s Jewish majority was in danger from Arab population numbers, he sounded like a white southerner from the Jim Crow era. The Zionist dream was to have a “massive Jewish majority” so as to have “Jewish sovereignty.” But right now Israel is “down to 75 percent Jewish in Israel”, he said. In 2025, that number will be 70 percent.

      “If you are to add even 1 million Arabs into that fragile formula,” Israel will stop being Jewish or stop being democratic, Shavit said.

      He also said that Israel cannot endorse the “two-state solution” now, but– “a two state vision, two state option, and two state dynamics.” Option means to keep the possibility of two states open by not building too many settlements “beyond the [settlement] blocs”. Dynamics means helping out Palestinians, bringing water to Gaza and building Rawabi, the new city deep in the West Bank. Israel must undertake such projects–

      so the Palestinians go on a very long and gradual process of nation-building. Very slow, very cautious, it will take a long time. We have to go very slow, it’s trial and error all the time.

      Imagine how Zionists would have greeted such a patronizing policy on the part of the British back when they were seeking self-determination!

      – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/06/without-american-shavit/comment-page-1#comment-773433

      and you think phil’s use of the word “energetic” to describe shavit’s book is used in a complimentary fashion?

      –Shavit’s own book, My Promised Land. His energetic renewal of Zionism, embraced by the New Yorker and Charlie Rose, was plainly a political undertaking aimed at capturing “the moral high ground,” as Shavit put it, preserving Israel’s image in the west. Only the Palestinian solidarity left, Jerry Slater, and Nathan Thrall in LRB pointed this out. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/06/without-american-shavit/comment-page-1#comment-773433

      i suppose you think he’s complimenting him here too http://mondoweiss.net/2014/03/zionists-promoting-netanyahus

      phil has written many article’s about and referencing shavit and his book, none of which i thought was complimentary. and this site has published many articles slamming him (and rudoren for that matter).

  9. Citizen
    Citizen
    June 10, 2015, 1:46 pm

    So, Israel hangs on the power of the Israel Lobby. Such power in so few hands. Taboo in main media supports this too.

  10. RobertHenryEller
    RobertHenryEller
    June 10, 2015, 1:46 pm

    I apologize, if I offend anyone, for posting the following here, because I did indeed post this comment in response to the article on Rich Cohen’s Tablet piece. But it seems appropriate to post it here as well, given what Shavit is saying. Pardon me.

    Rich Cohen, the author of “Ebb Tide in the Golden Country,” the article discussed here, makes but one reference to Zionism:

    “Which is why, for many of our grandparents, Zionism held little sway. ”

    Cohen does not discuss the history of Zionism, either as it has been practiced and made manifest in Israel, nor how it has manifest itself in the U.S., through AIPAC, et el, influence on U.S. government and foreign policy.

    Cohen does not want to consider that what he calls anti-Semitism might be anti-Zionism. Instead, he offers us his dangerous, psychotic projections about how President Obama feels about Netanyahu. (Cohen says nothing about the disgusting implications of how Netanyahu treats President Obama, which strike me as coming straight out of the assumed privilege arrogance of right-wing white American racism. How much of Cohen’s “golden era” of American Judaism might be his subconscious knowledge of his own White privilege conferred upon Jewish Americans by the predominantly Anglo-Saxon Christian American culture?)

    There has certainly been, and still is, anti-Semitism. But anti-Zionism, as it now exists, is largely a distinct, a separate, matter.

    I recommend to my fellow Jews that, rather than worrying about anti-Semitism, they worry about how un-Jewish, even anti-Jewish, so much of manifest Zionism is. Specifically, how can so-called Jews remain Jews if they abandon 30% of the Ten Commandments (Thou shalt not lie, thou shalt not steel, thou shalt not kill.) as well as abandoning Rabbi Hillel’s Golden Rule.

    I believe that Zionists, particularly right wing Zionists, pose a far greater threat to Jews and Judaism than traditional anti-Semites. I would even suggest that it is right-wing Zionists who hate Judaism itself, as they have abandoned essential Jewish teachings and philosophy (I don’t care how Orthodox they are.).

    I find myself feeling that Zionists have perhaps destroyed as many Jews as the Nazis did, for I cannot recognize so many Zionists as Jews. In fact, I have long felt that Israel has become the last place on Earth in which I could live as a Jew.

    If Jewish Americans have something to worry about, it’s that the distorted, uncritical support for Israel manifest through AIPAC, Sheldon Adelson, Haim Saban, Norman Braman does not ultimately help Israel, or Zionism, or Judaism. The Israel Lobby’s support for U.S. policy in the Middle East, overall, does not help the United States, or our fellow Americans, or ourselves.

    Humanism is fighting an uphill battle in the U.S., but the trend of American thinking, if not the political power, is toward greater humanism. If Jews anywhere, particularly Jewish Americans, choose to badly taint our own humanism with uncritical support of Zionism, we will have reason to feel less comfortable in America. But instead of concentrating on that feeling as coming from anti-Semitism, we should realize that feeling is part of the feeling of threat that many on the right in American seem to be feeling and expressing. Any comfort Jewish Americans get from leaning right will be false and fleeting. Whatever real threats Jewish Americans, or Jews anywhere, face, abandoning the essential humanism of Judaism and Jewish Culture will not make us safer.

    Zionism itself may not have been a bad idea. But the historical implementation of Zionism, the actual practice of Zionism today, have created and manifest problems for Jews and Judaism that exceed the problems of traditional anti-Semitism. If Jews are held to a higher standard, Jews have always held themselves to a higher standard. I do not wish to live to a standard of “what everybody else does.” If I am only no worse, then neither am I any better. What argument do I then have for special consideration? What value does my protection and preservation hold for the world?

    • just
      just
      June 10, 2015, 1:54 pm

      Thanks for your thoughtful post, RHE.

      via Dan Cohen, I found this:

      “Jerusalem (AFP) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that a Palestinian-led campaign to snub Israeli goods sought the “elimination” of the Jewish state, following a boycott row with French telecoms giant Orange.

      “I think it’s important that the international community stop giving the Palestinians a free pass,” Netanyahu said after meeting Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek.

      “They’re engaging in BDS, which calls for the elimination of Israel,” said Netanyahu of the grassroots Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. …

      Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the State of Israel,” Netanyahu added.”

      https://news.yahoo.com/boycott-movement-aims-destroy-israel-pm-184433604.html

      https://twitter.com/jvplive/status/608669775221420032

      There you have it: “Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the State of Israel,” Netanyahu added.”

      What “free pass” is this maniac talking about?

      • eljay
        eljay
        June 10, 2015, 2:08 pm

        Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the State of Israel,” Netanyahu added.”

        1. Like all Zio-supremacists, Bibi “King of all Jews” Netanyahu says Israel when what he really means is supremacist “Jewish State”.

        2. A lot of things in this world (supremacism, ethnic cleansing, murder, rape, etc.) are incompatible with justice, accountability and equality. A conflict between the former and the latter should always be resolved in favour of the latter.

      • annie
        annie
        June 10, 2015, 2:08 pm

        Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the State of Israel,” Netanyahu added.”

        oh my, that’s a radical statement!

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        June 10, 2015, 8:00 pm

        ‘”Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the State of Israel,” Netanyahu added.’

        There we have it, from the horse’s mouth. Not only the creation, but the very existence of the state of Israel is immoral. It perpetuates injustice. Accordingly, it should cease to exist.

        By that one sentence N has annulled the claims that Israel has a “right to exist”, and that there is any moral legitimacy to Israel.

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew
      June 10, 2015, 9:49 pm

      HRE- Again with the “so called Jews”. This rhetoric displays a self absorption that will make you fit right in here at mw.

      • Kris
        Kris
        June 11, 2015, 12:07 am

        yonah, could you please explain what is self-absorbed about the post you’re commenting on? Do you mean it’s self-absorption to be concerned about the glaring differences between Judaism and Zionism? Could you explain what makes someone a “Jew”?

        RobertHenryEller wrote:

        I recommend to my fellow Jews that, rather than worrying about anti-Semitism, they worry about how un-Jewish, even anti-Jewish, so much of manifest Zionism is. Specifically, how can so-called Jews remain Jews if they abandon 30% of the Ten Commandments (Thou shalt not lie, thou shalt not steel, thou shalt not kill.) as well as abandoning Rabbi Hillel’s Golden Rule.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        June 11, 2015, 6:26 pm

        Kris- A jew is someone born to a Jewish mother. (If someone is born of a Jewish father and considers him/herself Jewish, I personally would be split on the issue, realizing that the Orthodox Jews that I come from will not accept that person as Jewish, but realizing that identity in 2015 is not determined by standards of the Talmud or Jewish law, but is a bit more complicated than that.)

        If a person is born Jewish but accepts Jesus as the son of God, or accepts Jesus as the Messiah or accepts the New Testament as replacing the Torah, or accepts the Koran as replacing the Torah as the ultimate word of God, by their beliefs they have removed themselves from the category of Jewish, until such time that they discard those beliefs. Once they discard those beliefs they are again Jewish and do not require conversion. If a child is born from a mother who is Jewish by birth but Christian in belief, if that child does not accept the mother’s beliefs then the child is Jewish.

        If someone converts to Judaism, I am split. If they are converted by an Orthodox rabbi I accept their conversion. If they are converted by a Reform rabbi, I will be split, realizing that the community that I come from will not accept them as Jewish, but again accepting the idea that identity in 2015 is not as cut and dried as Jewish law and some recognition of a person’s self definition must be included into the considerations of a person’s identity.

        The self absorption was merely in the term “so-called” that HRE placed before Jews. Because HRE feels that supporters of Israel are immoral he feels that they can no longer call themselves Jews. This is a creation in his own mind. He is absorbed by his own mind.

        (As far as I can tell Meyer Lansky was an immoral person, but he was Jewish and did not forfeit his Jewishness as a result of his immorality. I feel that Zionism is not immoral, but those like HRE who consider it immoral should grant Zionists the same status as Meyer Lansky.)

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        June 12, 2015, 1:50 am

        I absolutely agree with you this time, Mr. Fredman:

        I feel that Zionism is not immoral, but those like HRE who consider it immoral should grant Zionists the same status as Meyer Lansky

        i.e. in the slammer.

        Sometimes you display unerring moral judgment.

    • ejran
      ejran
      June 15, 2015, 1:35 pm

      “I do not wish to live to a standard of “what everybody else does.” If I am only no worse, then neither am I any better. What argument do I then have for special consideration? What value does my protection and preservation hold for the world?”

      Thank you.

  11. amigo
    amigo
    June 10, 2015, 3:30 pm

    OT but possibly notable , given all the hits Israel is taking lately.

    https://news.yahoo.com/eu-looking-labeling-israeli-settlement-products-133834852.html

    From 28 hours ago.

    You have to scroll down to find the article on EU labeling of illegal settlement goods.

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      June 10, 2015, 3:51 pm

      Another story linked to yours… How those wonderful generous racist Israeli’s provide medical services to those in need. I guess they were swamped patching up ISIS terrorists.

      https://news.yahoo.com/israel-bars-shot-palestinian-treatment-180527556.html

      • amigo
        amigo
        June 10, 2015, 7:39 pm

        “Another story linked to yours… How those wonderful generous racist Israeli’s provide medical services to those in need. I guess they were swamped patching up ISIS terrorists.” OG

        Thanks for the link.

        Just more proof that the Zionist plan of “slow ethnic cleansing ” is still in place.

        I am concerned that when the judgment day comes , I will have the bad luck to be in line behind all the zionists.

        Hell , I will never get into heaven.On the positive side, my sins will seem minuscule compared to their,s.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        June 10, 2015, 7:46 pm

        @just

        Oh I figure I did enough by the age of 21, if not earlier, to preclude entry to anything that may follow this life. The decades since have been slower as I’m slower. ;)

  12. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    June 11, 2015, 6:35 pm

    I would be interested in a debate or a dialogue between Peter Beinart and Ari Shavit to suss out their differences. From what I read I think beinart would favor a US non-veto on a new UNSC resolution and Shavit would oppose such a resolution. (On Iran their differences are more marked, Shavit is still trying to get Obama to put the brakes on the Iran deal and Beinart considers that a fait accompli.)

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