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Oren’s memoir reveals Israel’s elite is hyper-sensitive to U.S. criticism

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Michael Oren’s new book about his years as Israel’s ambassador to the United States will — accidentally for him — turn out to be a big boost to the nonviolent movement for justice in Israel/Palestine. I have read every word, and I hope it reaches the best-seller lists and stays there, as an inadvertent but accurate account of  how Israel’s power elite truly thinks and acts. The book is an extraordinarily revealing look into the highest echelons of the Israeli government, and Oren’s own animosities have prompted him to tell more than he may have intended.

The book is called Ally, and subtitled My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide. A better subtitle would be How Israel’s Government Disrespects Americans, Particularly American Jews, But Is Still Ultra-Sensitive to Criticism.

First reports have already jumped on a couple of Oren’s more ludicrous assertions, such as that President Obama is too soft on “Muslims” because his two Muslim fathers abandoned him, and that American Jewish journalists are too hard on Israel because they are afraid of anti-Semitism if they don’t criticize it. But there are plenty more juicy cherries to be picked from this particular tree.

Let’s start with Oren’s clash with the late Bob Simon, the CBS reporter who stood out as genuine and honest amid the timid mediocrity of most television journalism. Simon, who died too young in a car crash earlier this year, is right at the top of Oren’s long enemies list.

Bob Simon

Bob Simon

Here’s what enraged Oren: Simon, an experienced, courageous newsman who had been captured by the Iraqis during the first Gulf War, started working on a 60 Minutes segment about how Christians were suffering under the long Israeli occupation of the West Bank. Oren went into action immediately, going straight to Jeffrey Fager, the chairman of CBS News. Oren writes, “Fager rebuffed any charges of bias, pointing out that the program [60 Minutes] had positively profiled the Israeli Air Force and Hadassah Hospital.” Right away, this is an interesting revelation, confirming the suspicions of many media-watchers that the mainstream U.S. press regularly does puff-pieces about Israel to ward off criticism.

But Bob Simon kept after the story. He interviewed Oren himself, which turned out to be a painful experience for the ambassador: “A veteran now of hundreds of interviews, many of them hostile, I was shocked by Simon’s venom.” Simon even had the temerity to ask Oren directly why Israel was trying to suppress the story. Oren is predictably outraged at the segment that finally is aired. He notes that Simon is Jewish, which seems to increase his animosity.

Oren’s efforts to muzzle the broadcast were not entirely unsuccessful. He revealed that part of his strategy had been to delay the broadcast until after the football season, when 60 Minutes, which follows the games on Sundays, would have a smaller audience. Simon’s report did not air until April 22, 2012.

The Bob Simon episode is just one example of two major themes in this memoir; Oren’s (and Israel’s) acute sensitivity to any criticism whatsoever, and his rage at American Jews who do not follow the party line. Oren got his marching orders from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu right from the start:

“I have three words of advice for you,” Netanyahu told me in one of our first meetings. “Media. Media. Media.”

And so Israel’s top leader, who is supposed to be preoccupied with his nation’s survival, seems to constantly be calling Oren by cellphone with unimportant PR demands. Oren stumbles with writer’s block on his op-ed articles and letters to the editor. “Netanyahu, his impatience oozing from the phone, upbraided me, ‘Suck it up and get writing.'” The prime minister is also not satisfied with Oren’s TV presence: “Netanyahu judged my initial television appearances as ‘bloodless.’ He was right.'”

In time, Oren gets better at the PR game. As the religious ultra-right in Israel grows, there are reports that “ultra-Orthodox men spat at female Israelis outside of Jerusalem.” An anonymous Obama administration official warned that Israel was becoming another theocratic Iran. Oren remembers, “Though off the record, the remark so incensed Netanyahu that he instructed me to phone congressional leaders and remind them that women have served as the chief justice of Israel’s Supreme Court, the Speaker of the Knesset, and the prime minister.”

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Another time, Oren gets an urgent call from the prime minister’s office, ordering him to get to a secure diplomatic phone immediately. He interrupts his Thanksgiving, sprinting through the Macy’s parade to reach the Israeli consulate on the east side of Manhattan, to learn what the top secret big crisis is: the Palestinian Authority is applying for state status in the United Nations General Assembly. Oren is ordered to start calling U.S. Congressmen immediately to block the move. He heads back to Washington, and at 4 a.m. he and Netanyahu discuss the looming danger.

In this never-ending PR campaign, Oren complains he is regularly stabbed in the back by Bob Simon and many other American Jews. Our next installment will look more closely at his hostility and barely concealed contempt for them.

138 Responses

  1. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia
    July 2, 2015, 2:33 pm

    Oren admits of the presence of the large number of Jews in the media.But he thinks that they are not doing their job.They are antisemitic.They write negative and they separate themselves from settler,IDF,from Rabbi. It seems he wants them to support Israel and identify themselves with rabbi,settlers,and IDF
    He complains since he believes that the Jewish journalist have power to modify the attitude of the audience .but they are not doing it.That is his concern. He also thinks that they are not ding it for they are antisemite .

    Now ADL as reported in Haaretz ( 14/05/2007 ) by Amiram Barkat sees rising antisemtism among Europeans .Europeans believe that “Jewish have too much power in the business and finances”

    So will the Europeans be accused of antismetism if they believed that the Jewish people’s presence in the media was disproportionate to the numbers and they have too much power ( per Oren they have but they dont use the influences for Israel. He wants them to use it for Israel and only for that Israel in particular which is represented by settler,IDF and rabbi )

    • piotr
      piotr
      July 4, 2015, 12:21 pm

      Clearly, it is not anti-Semitic to claim that Jews have power, but to claim that they have too much power. On the list of tough crimes this is “begrudging”. Perhaps this is the most widespread and thus insidious crime.

      For example, it is OK to note that Israel has many settlements in occupied territories, but claiming that there are to many gives you a red card in Oren’s book. Even if you are a hasbara champion of the caliber of Wieseltier, who also implied that IDF killed too many children.

      In all such instances, the correct mental attitude is to acknowledge that there is a lot of X, so the credit should be given and, crucially, support to have more. Incorrect mental attitude always has a reason, evil and/or feeblemindedness.

  2. just
    just
    July 2, 2015, 2:40 pm

    Keep it coming and thank you, James!

    I, for one, am thrilled that you feel that this “book is an extraordinarily revealing look into the highest echelons of the Israeli government, and Oren’s own animosities have prompted him to tell more than he may have intended.”

    It’s about time for all the dirty laundry to be aired and secrets to be dumped. The world needs to see the full unmasking.

    Funnily enough, someone mentioned “invisibility cloak” the other day somewhere around here. Today I read this:

    “Israeli spy expo showcases hidden cameras, invisibility cloaks

    AP – Hidden cameras, invisibility cloaks and mini-drones were among the gadgets on display Tuesday at an exhibition of Israeli surveillance technology, offering a rare peek into the secretive world of Israeli espionage.

    The expo was part of a conference promoting business partnerships between military and civilian industries. About two dozen Israeli companies — some of them founded by ex-intelligence officers — exhibited products used by militaries, police units and intelligence agencies in Israel and around the world.

    It was the first such display of Israeli-made surveillance products in a non-covert setting in Israel, said Ron Kitrey, a retired Israeli military intelligence official who chaired the conference.

    “It’s the tip of the iceberg, what we show here,” Kitrey said. “We would be irresponsible and stupid to show people the roots of the iceberg.”

    The event had the feel of an ordinary industrial expo, with booths lined up one next to the other and company representatives offering candy and brochures to entice visitors.

    A representative of Ametrine Technologies was showing off his company’s product — multi-spectral camouflage fatigues that make soldiers invisible to heat-sensing cameras — when his cellphone rang to the James Bond theme song.

    Bond would feel at home at the booth of Israeli company Pro4Tech. It designs mini-cameras that shoot video, take photos and record audio that are hidden inside ordinary-looking objects, like a fake sprinkler, a fake soda can, a real pen, a necktie, and a coffee cup that contains a compartment for hot coffee.

    Dolev Amit, a company representative, said it sells these gadgets to government agencies only, including Israel’s Mossad and Shin Bet intelligence agencies, and “all the three-letter agencies” in the US, like the CIA and the FBI. …”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.664215?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    Let it all hang out. Give us all the information that we need to fully apply BDS!

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      July 5, 2015, 11:43 am

      Imagine what Goebbels could have done with a devoted Apple App.

    • JWalters
      JWalters
      July 7, 2015, 7:19 pm

      “It’s about time for all the dirty laundry to be aired and secrets to be dumped. The world needs to see the full unmasking.”

      I’d like an interviewer to ask Oren what he was taught as a child about Israel, and whether this influences how he analyzes the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

      This is a fair and relevant question, because there are plenty of Jewish Americans who have testified to being deprived of basic facts, being told erroneous stories, and being taught highly emotional stories. They have testified that this upbringing gave them an extremely unrealistic picture of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

      Recipients of Oren’s analyses have the right to know about his related personal agendas, so they can factor that in for themselves. It should most definitely NOT be hidden.

  3. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    July 2, 2015, 2:51 pm

    RE: “The Bob Simon episode is just one example of two major themes in this memoir; Oren’s (and Israel’s) acute sensitivity to any criticism whatsoever, and his rage at American Jews who do not follow the party line.” ~ North

    FROM WIKIPEDIA (Narcissistic supply):

    [EXCERPT] Narcissistic supply is a concept introduced into psychoanalytic theory by Otto Fenichel in 1938, to describe a type of admiration, interpersonal support or sustenance drawn by an individual from his or her environment and essential to their self-esteem.[1]
    The term is typically used in a negative sense, describing a pathological or excessive need for attention or admiration from codependents, or such a need in the orally fixated, that does not take into account the feelings, opinions or preferences of other people. . .

    • JLewisDickerson
      JLewisDickerson
      July 2, 2015, 2:59 pm

      P.S. ALSO SEE: “Is There a Way Beyond Israeli Madness?” [Will the Chosen People and the Exceptional People Go Down Together?] ~ by John Grant, Counterpunch, 8/31/12

      [EXCERPTS]

      The patient, by the name of Israel, walks into the room and instantly bursts into a tirade of arguments conclusively proving his credentials, and says that he is better than everyone else. – Ofer Grosbard, “Israel On The Couch: The Psychology of the Peace Process”

      The problem Americans have with Israel is that the region it exists in is in the midst of a major political sea change, while Israel is frozen in time and holding on to its militarist, right-wing policies of extending settlements in the West Bank. It’s a policy that harks back to the ideas of the British-trained militarist Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s Iron Wall [now augmented by the US-funded “Iron Dome” – J.L.D.], which is based on the idea a live-and-let-live policy between Jews and Arabs is impossible and, thus, Jews must militarily control and repress Palestinians . . .
      . . . How does a people turn back a racially-oriented demonization program with roots that extend back many decades? How do you ratchet down a nation’s narcissism so people are able to simply see the other as a human being? . . .
      . . . On our part, Americans and the United States need to stop being a permissive yes-man and begin to show Israel some tough love. We need more US criticism of Israel. No doubt this approach will be received with gales of cynical laughter from hardliners … but so what?
      In my mind, the Israeli narcissistic and arrogant mindset would benefit from a little Buddhist detachment, more of the posture that sees the world not of separate individual selves and egos but of human beings as part of a larger flow of life. The Buddhists call the self-obsessed, separatist state-of-mind [i.e. the “pale” of Israel surrounded by Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s Iron Wall augmented by the US-funded “Iron Dome” – J.L.D.] that Israel thrives on and defends with weapons as “the illusory self.”
      “Once one identifies with a permanent self-concept, the pride and craving adhering to this become the pivot from which an egocentric world arises,” writes Gay Watson, a psychotherapist attuned to Buddhism.
      David Loy puts it this way: “To become completely groundless is also to become completely grounded, not in some particular, but in the whole network of interdependent relations that constitute the world.”
      I’m not suggesting Israel become a Buddhist nation. The point is for Israelis, and more important Americans, to figure a way out of the worsening condition of “us versus them” to avoid the need to obliterate them and set off a war that no one really wants. The point is to re-shape our minds to make “the other” less threatening to permit talking.
      I’m not holding my breath that Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman are going to become peace activists.
      But I’m done as an American being a silent stooge while Israeli militarist madness fuels hatred and sets the stage for war.

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/08/31/is-there-a-way-beyond-israeli-madness/

    • JLewisDickerson
      JLewisDickerson
      July 2, 2015, 3:17 pm

      P.P.S. In 1923, Martin Buber published an essay “Ich und Du” (I and You), in which he pointed out that our narcissism often leads us to relate to others as objects instead of as equals. – https://ia700403.us.archive.org/22/items/IAndThou_572/BuberMartin-i-and-thou.pdf

  4. Mooser
    Mooser
    July 2, 2015, 2:54 pm

    Just read the most pathetic thing ever from Josh Marshall at TPM. Mr. Marshall has been following the Oren ibroglio, and the Israeli election. And in this article “The Ridiculous Mr. Oren” Josh Marshall explains his deeply thought out support for the two-state solution and Zionism:

    “I believe all people deserve this but especially with the Palestinian people because, much as each side expresses the bond through bloodshed and hate, I believe the Jewish and Palestinian peoples are inextricably linked together, forever.”

    Gosh, aren’t the Palestinians lucky we are so devoted to them and their land! To me, there’s more than one person looking ridiculous. I wonder has Josh Marshasll received similar announcements being “inextricably linked together, forever.” from Palestinians?

    Somehow, I sorta doubt it. Oh wait, I guess that must be the “bloodshed and hate” part. Some people got no gratitude for us inextricably linking them to the Jews!

    • JLewisDickerson
      JLewisDickerson
      July 2, 2015, 4:05 pm

      JOSH MARSHALL IS DEFINITELY RIGHT ABOUT THIS:
      “Oren comes off as precisely the over-clever asshole Goldberg wants him not to be.” ~ Josh Marshall

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew
      July 2, 2015, 11:00 pm

      Mooser- Two men who love the same woman are inextricably linked. the Palestinians love the land. Now the next temptation is to write “the Jews love the land”, which is obviously untrue, because you’re a Jew and you don’t love the land. thus let me put it this way: it is easy to look at the key texts and see how a philosophy of judaism would have a special place in its heart for jerusalem. it is also easy to note that a large percentage of the world’s jewish population lives in israel at this point in time. the combination of the two leads to hyperbole of “the jewish and Palestinian peoples are inextricably linked together forever.” why hyperbole? forever is a long time. but i would say that many jews feel a keen connection at this point in time to jerusalem and the love of the palestinians for al quds and falestin are self evident.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        July 3, 2015, 8:39 am

        the Palestinians love the land. Now the next temptation is to write “the Jews love the land”, which is obviously untrue, because you’re a Jew and you don’t love the land. … it is easy to look at the key texts and see how a philosophy of judaism would have a special place in its heart for jerusalem.

        You are deploying the usual nonsense. For most of recorded history, there has been no requirement for Jews to live in the ancient land, visit it, or love it. The references to the Land and Jerusalem were treated as allegories that conveyed a spiritual message. That was the state of affairs for thousands of years. In fact, the Torah itself contains the key prophecies which explain why the bulk of the Jewish people have chosen to remain exiled to this very day, including the multitude of literal descendants who you consider to be “assimilated”. No British Mandate is capable of altering that situation. According to Jewish tradition, the Shekinah never even rested on the Temple of Cyrus and most Jews remained in Babylon or chose to settle in places like Alexandria even back then. They were not followers of the small number of zealots, like Ezra and Nehemiah, who were responsible for the establishment of the relatively short-lived “Second Commonwealth”.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 3, 2015, 1:46 pm

        “Mooser- Two men who love the same woman are inextricably linked.”

        But one must ask, Yonah, if a women loves two men, is that big of her? Cause I once married loved two women, and the Judge said it was bigamy!

        “Two men who love the same woman are inextricably linked.”

        Now, of course, the course of true love, rocky or smooth, between any number of men and women is something you know a lot about, huh, Yonah?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 10, 2015, 11:17 am

        “Mooser- Two men who love the same woman are inextricably linked”

        I must tell you Yonah, I have been admiring both the stupidity and the breathtaking inappropriateness of your comment for about a week.

        And I don’t know how you conduct your amorous and marital affairs, but where I come from, kidnapping and raping somebody else’s wife is not usually described as “Two men who love the same woman”.

    • piotr
      piotr
      July 4, 2015, 12:34 pm

      I have checked the link to Josh Marshal. I stopped reading after this sentence: “The latter[influential Jews] are too conflicted and defensive about their identity as Jews not to give thanks that they were born in the same era as Benjamin Netanyahu, the embodiment of the Jewish people who brings together both Maimonides and Herzl into one unified, deluxe Jewish person. (I hate it when that happens!)”

      I hate it when that happens? Begrudging! Red card! See my explanation of the crime of begrudging.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 4, 2015, 12:40 pm

        I wonder how when and why Josh Marshall decided he is a Zionist.

  5. Shmuel
    Shmuel
    July 2, 2015, 3:10 pm

    Oren went into action immediately, going straight to Jeffrey Fager, the chairman of CBS News. … he [Netanyahu] instructed me to phone congressional leaders and remind them…. Oren is ordered to start calling U.S. Congressmen immediately to block the move. …

    What I see is an unbelievable amount privilege and access wasted on petulant idiocy and temper tantrums.

    Great analysis, James. I haven’t read the book, but I know some of its main characters.

    • James North
      James North
      July 2, 2015, 3:17 pm

      Shmuel: Greetings from New York. Oren, who migrated to Israel in his late 20s, can barely hide his disrespect for Jews who stayed in America. In your experience, is his attitude common among people like him?

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        July 2, 2015, 4:00 pm

        Hi James.

        Oren, who migrated to Israel in his late 20s, can barely hide his disrespect for Jews who stayed in America. In your experience, is his attitude common among people like him?

        Yes. For many immigrants (especially those from countries like the US, who don’t “need” to immigrate to Israel), it’s very much about being better, prouder, more dedicated Jews. The disdain for those who haven’t followed the the same path is inbuilt. Apart from calling immigration to Israel “aliyah” (“ascent” — a co-opted religious concept), Zionist youth movements (Oren was a member of one), generally refer to immigration to Israel as “hagshamah” — realisation/fulfilment. How much respect can you have for those who have not realised the sublime ideal that you have? Poor sods. The least they can do is bow and scrape a little when you walk by. And if they fail to, it must be because they have internalised the anti-Semitic contempt that surrounds them in their petty unfulfilled lives as “court Jews” who wouldn’t know national pride if it hit them in the face, or say assaulted them in a best-seller.

      • James North
        James North
        July 2, 2015, 4:17 pm

        Thanks, Shmuel. Oren also seems to mention his experience in Israel’s army, seemingly more often than his story might require. Is this kind of military pride also characteristic of people who move to Israel, (as opposed to, say, ordinary Israelis who are born and raised there)?

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson
        July 2, 2015, 4:14 pm

        RE: “Oren, who migrated to Israel in his late 20s, can barely hide his disrespect for Jews who stayed in America.” ~ North

        MY REPLY: It seems quite similar to the disdain cult members have for people who are not members of their cult.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        July 2, 2015, 5:08 pm

        Oren also seems to mention his experience in Israel’s army, seemingly more often than his story might require. Is this kind of military pride also characteristic of people who move to Israel, (as opposed to, say, ordinary Israelis who are born and raised there)?

        That is my experience. You’ve got your gung-ho native-borns (often called “mur’alim” — literally “poisoned” — even by their comrades), but immigrants, for whom weapons and a militarised society (not exactly West Orange, NJ) are a real novelty, often seem to get a really big thrill out of it.

        It’s also a way of demonstrating belonging — despite their accents and foreign mentalities. I get the feeling that’s really important for super-American Oren. In the context of this book, Oren probably has some trouble convincing US Jews (and non-Jews, and maybe himself*) that he’s really an Israeli (as opposed to one of them), and IDF service is something he can latch onto that makes him a little different.

        *He who lives by pop-psych shall perish by pop-psych,

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        July 5, 2015, 1:41 pm

        are their stereotypes here? yes. where aren’t they? but its you two talking and discussing Oren not he discussing you. the point being- the money from his book is running into his bank and not the other way around and all discussion of the book, his stance, his so-called ‘personality’ are all contributing towards him selling more books.

    • JLewisDickerson
      JLewisDickerson
      July 2, 2015, 3:27 pm

      RE: “What I see is an unbelievable amount privilege and access wasted on petulant idiocy and temper tantrums.” ~ Shmuel

      FROM WIKIPEDIA (Narcissistic rage and narcissistic injury):

      [EXCERPTS] Narcissistic rage is a reaction to narcissistic injury, which is a perceived threat to a narcissist’s self-esteem or self-worth. Narcissistic injury (or narcissistic scar) is a phrase used by Sigmund Freud in the 1920s; narcissistic wound and narcissistic blow are further, almost interchangeable terms.[1] The term narcissistic rage was coined by Heinz Kohut in 1972.

      Narcissistic rage occurs on a continuum from instances of aloofness, and expression of mild irritation or annoyance, to serious outbursts, including violent attacks and murder.[2] Narcissistic rage reactions are not limited to personality disorders and may be also seen in catatonic, paranoid delusion and depressive episodes.[2] It has also been suggested that narcissists have two layers of rage. The first layer of rage can be thought of as a constant anger (towards someone else), with the second layer being a self-aimed wrath.[3] . . .

      . . . Kohut explored a wide range of rage experiences in his seminal article ‘Thoughts on Narcissism and Narcissistic Rage’ (1972).[16] He considered narcissistic rage as one major form among many, contrasting it especially with mature aggression.[17] Because the very structure of the self itself is enfeebled in the narcissist, their rage cannot flower into real assertiveness;[18] and they are left instead prone to oversensitivity to perceived or imagined narcissistic injuries resulting in narcissistic rage.[19]

      For Kohut, narcissistic rage is related to narcissists’ need for total control of their environment, including “the need for revenge, for righting a wrong, for undoing a hurt by whatever means”.[20] It is an attempt by the narcissist to turn from a passive sense of victimization to an active role in giving pain to others, while at the same time attempting to rebuild their own (actually false) sense of self-worth. It may also involve self-protection and preservation, with rage serving to restore a sense of safety and power by destroying that which had threatened the narcissist.[20]

      Alternatively, according to Kohut, rages can be seen as a result of the shame at being faced with failure.[21] Narcissistic rage is the uncontrollable and unexpected anger that results from a narcissistic injury – a threat to a narcissist’s self-esteem or worth. Rage comes in many forms, but all pertain to the same important thing: revenge. Narcissistic rages are based on fear and will endure even after the threat is gone.[22]

      To the narcissist, the rage is directed towards the person that they feel has slighted them; to other people, the rage is incoherent and unjust. This rage impairs their cognition, therefore impairing their judgment. During the rage they are prone to shouting, fact distortion and making groundless accusations.[23] In his book The Analysis of the Self, Kohut explains that expressions caused by a sense of things not going the expected way blossom into rages, and narcissists may even search for conflict to find a way to alleviate pain or suffering.[24] . . .

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      July 3, 2015, 9:22 am

      the top secret big crisis is: the Palestinian Authority is applying for state status in the United Nations General Assembly. Oren is ordered to start calling U.S. Congressmen immediately to block the move.

      The Zionists have played the recognition of statehood game brilliantly ever since 1946. Ambassadors Eliahu Epstein in the USA and Golda Meir in the USSR worked with their P-5 members to keep Transjordan, and the new state created as a result of the union between Transjordan and Arab Palestine, out of the UN for nearly a decade (1955).

      The claim that the joint entity “Jordan” was a foreign occupying power appeared to be totally schizophrenic, since their original protest against its UN membership had been that the two areas were indivisible parts of the same mandated Palestinian territory. Here’s an example of those tactics in action taken from the official documentary record published by the US State Department:

      In view of application of Trans-Jordan for membership in UN received July 5, we have to establish our attitude without delay and I am sending memorandum to President requesting his views. I should appreciate knowing your thoughts in advance of beginning of SC Committee discussion on membership on July 15.
      As you are aware, we have had correspondence with Senator Myers regarding Trans-Jordan and he has introduced resolution containing request that executive take no action in any way recognizing Trans-Jordan as separate or independent state and that US representative on UN be instructed to seek postponement of international determination of status of Trans-Jordan area until future status of Palestine as a whole will be determined.
      We also have received a long detailed legal argument from Rabbis Wise and Silver [on behalf of the Jewish Agency for Palestine] objecting to independence of Trans-Jordan.

      –See Foreign relations of the United States, 1946. General; the United Nations Volume I, Page 411 link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

      Sure enough, when Abdullah tried to join the UN in 1946, he was turned down. The President of the Security Council cited advice from the US Secretary State that Transjordan was considered an integral part of the joint Palestine mandate, which had not yet been legally terminated. He recommended that no action should be taken, until the question of “Palestine as a whole” could be addressed by the UN. See The Minutes of the 57th Session of the Security Council, S/PV.57 pages 100-101 (pdf file pgs 3-4 of 52) link to doc.un.org

    • jon s
      jon s
      July 3, 2015, 5:12 pm

      Hostage,
      “The references to the Land and Jerusalem were treated as allegories that conveyed a spiritual message. ”
      Why not consider the possibility that the Jews praying for a return to Zion for thousands of years – actually meant what they were saying?

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        July 3, 2015, 6:07 pm

        Why not consider the possibility that the Jews praying for a return to Zion for thousands of years – actually meant what they were saying?

        But what were they actually saying? That they wanted God to restore His presence to Zion, the Temple to be rebuilt, universal justice and recognition of divine unity, resurrection of the dead — an End of Days, something extra-historical. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t recall prayers for a nation-state “like all other nations”, to be created by diplomacy and force.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        July 3, 2015, 6:11 pm

        Why not consider the possibility that the Jews praying for a return to Zion for thousands of years – actually meant what they were saying?

        Why don’t you consider the possibility that the Torah doesn’t claim that God will answer personal prayers for an individual’s return to Zion and that it doesn’t command anyone living today to go there?

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        July 3, 2015, 7:44 pm

        Sixty-seven years and Israel still hasn’t resurrected the dead? What are they waiting for?

      • annie
        annie
        July 3, 2015, 7:46 pm

        Why not consider the possibility that the Jews praying for a return to Zion for thousands of years – actually meant what they were saying?

        cuz more of them would have done more than just pray for thousands of years. they would have started traveling there.

      • James North
        James North
        July 3, 2015, 9:49 pm

        Michael Oren in his new book points out that only one out of three Jewish Americans have ever even visited Israel a single time.

      • Kris
        Kris
        July 3, 2015, 9:16 pm

        @jon s: “Why not consider the possibility that the Jews praying for a return to Zion for thousands of years – actually meant what they were saying?”

        Why should what the Jews pray for matter to anyone but themselves? Just as what Hindus or Christians or Wikkans pray for doesn’t matter to anyone else.

        Praying for something, even for a really, really, REALLY long time, doesn’t give you the right to steal it.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        July 3, 2015, 10:51 pm

        James North- According to the Pew poll of October 2013 (page 85) http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/10/jewish-american-full-report-for-web.pdf the number is 43% of American Jews have visited Israel at least once. More than four-in-ten American Jews (43%) have been to Israel, including 23% who have done so more than once. More than twice as many Jews by religion as Jews of no religion report having visited the Jewish state (49% vs. 23%).

      • James North
        James North
        July 3, 2015, 11:33 pm

        Yonah: Thanks for the link. Why do you suppose Oren was so far off — after all, as Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. it is a statistic he should know down to the tenth decimal point?

        Also, I found this sentence from the Pew poll fascinating:

        Among those younger than 30 who have visited Israel, 48% participated in a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip, a program that has been providing free trips to Israel for Jewish young adults ages 18-26 for more than a decade.

        In other words, take away Birthright, and the statistics would shift.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        July 3, 2015, 11:46 pm

        James North- According to the Pew poll of October 2013 (page 85) http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/10/jewish-american-full-report-for-web.pdf the number is 43% of American Jews have visited Israel at least once.

        Sounds like a circular argument. In the first place, who put Pew in charge of determining which persons they should include in a poll of “American Jews” and how did they manage to track them all down?

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        July 3, 2015, 11:00 pm

        annie robbins- The Judaism of the centuries was very passive politically. (Religiously as well: innovation of any sort was discouraged.) As the only passage in the Talmud that anti Zionists are familiar with points out: there was an explicit oath not to move to Israel en masse. How are people who have no religion in a position to comment about the passivity of those who did follow a specific religion? They aren’t. One day someone here calls Jewishness and Judaism a cult and then the next day someone else feels that they can comment on what is important to Jews and Judaism based upon the irrational passivity involved in that religion. You’re an outsider to it, so in fact you are trained in modern individualism and activism and know nothing about the passivity of the Jews throughout the generations.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        July 3, 2015, 11:39 pm

        How are people who have no religion in a position to comment about the passivity of those who did follow a specific religion?

        I think most Buddhists would complain that you are confusing religion with the god idea. I consider secular humanistic Judaism to be a religion and anti-Zionism to be an independent and valid religious creed in its own right. It used to be de rigueur in the days when the Reform movement officially incorporated it in the Pittsburgh Platform.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        July 3, 2015, 11:05 pm

        Shmuel- There is no question that the political activism of the Zionists with their statehood goals was not following the traditional role of Judaism’s relationship to Jerusalem and the land of Israel. But to negate that relationship and play it as if it was totally other worldly is definitely false and should not be abetted by you.

      • talknic
        talknic
        July 3, 2015, 11:12 pm

        @ jon s ” Why not consider the possibility that the Jews praying for a return to Zion for thousands of years …..

        Good point. So, you’re whining at the wrong people you stupid stupid person. Take your pathetic kvetching to the Zionist Movement who only proclaimed sovereignty over a part of the Jewish People’s alleged Historical Homeland and who have been for the last 67 years busy lying to Israelis about non-borders while stealing non-Israeli territory. They’re the one’s who screwed the opportunity under the LoN Mandate for Palestine Article 7 whereby Jewish folk could immigrate to Palestine and attain Palestinian citizenship and buy land and settle anywhere in Palestine.

        “… – actually meant what they were saying?””

        Uh? If they actually meant it they could have for over 2,000 years and the few who actually did mean it probably did or stayed there throughout

        Even Herzl in his life time could have immigrated to Palestine, attained legal citizenship, bought land and settled anywhere in the Jewish People’s alleged Historic Homeland. He didn’t bother. Nor did his family see any need.

        Why are Zionist propagandists so utterly devoid of any intelligence?

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        July 4, 2015, 12:05 am

        James North- Could be that Oren hadn’t studied the post Taglit statistics.

        I never liked Oren. He’s not a Netanyahu clone, but their personalities have much in common and that is not a compliment to Oren.

        I think the idea of this Obama-Iran nuke treaty (I put it in simple terms) is very worrying to most of the American Jewish people who do care deeply about Israel. (clarity: not that most American jews care deeply about Israel. Most of them/us don’t. but of those who do care deeply, this iran nuke treaty is worrying to most of them/us.) And I accept Oren’s assertion that this book was rushed to the publisher because of the threat of this Obama Iran treaty.

        On the issue of the West Bank specifically, there are the Fox watching Jews and the rest and while the rest do not trust the Palestinians, it is only the Fox watching Jews who will rally to Oren’s cause on the issue of the Palestinians, that is to consider the Palestinians people who must wait for the Messiah before real political rights are going to come their way.

        (At this point, because of the turmoil in the neighborhood, (see “villa in the jungle”) and the failure of the withdrawal from Gaza, I do not consider the two state solution as near and thus favor annexation and giving the West Bank Arabs full citizenship. i consider this solution questionable, but since there are only two solutions that allow for a change in the political rights of the West Bank Palestinians: either Palestinian statehood or Israeli citizenship, I must concede that Palestinian statehood seems a mirage and thus Israeli citizenship is a far more real possibility. This does not solve Gaza, and certainly does not solve everything, but in regards to the political deprivation of the west bank Palestinians: this is the only solution that is near.)

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        July 4, 2015, 2:02 am

        But to negate that relationship and play it as if it was totally other worldly is definitely false and should not be abetted by you.

        Yonah,

        I think there are two basic facets to traditional Jewish attitudes to the Land of Israel and Jerusalem, with varying degrees of other-worldliness: one, redemption — the extra-historical Kingdom of Heaven; and the other an immediate (although generally distant), idealised place of immense spiritual power and proximity to the divine — eliciting feelings of longing (not entirely separate from the longing for redemption), love, awe and religious devotion. The physical land was certainly present, but only in relation to the divine or, at the very least, as a place of wonders. The Talmudic assertion that the Rabbis would “kiss the stones of Acre”, as they entered the Holy Land, is emblematic of the connection between the this- and the other-worldy in attitudes to the land.

        Not to draw an absolute parallel between Christianity and Judaism in this context, but I was in a bookshop yesterday, and came across a book called “Visiting the Jerusalems of Italy” — about the various recreations of Jerusalem’s Christian holy sites throughout the Italian peninsula (built in periods when the Holy Land was inacccessible). The blurb begins: “Jerusalem is everywhere …”. I couldn’t help thinking of all of the Jewish “Jerusalems” or “little Jerusalems” throughout the world (including Italy), as well as our “small Temples” (every synagogue) or Hasidic conceptions of the place where the Tzaddik resides as “Jerusalem”.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        July 4, 2015, 2:19 am

        Shmuel- The mourning on the 9th of Av is for something physical, not mere redemption, but something physical was busted and is being mourned on the 9th of Av. The Zionists didn’t invent the 9th of Av, but it is very real and very physical and not just something for the higher realms.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        July 4, 2015, 10:22 am

        but something physical was busted and is being mourned on the 9th of Av.

        The first Temple and the exile happened inline with the prophecies contained in the Torah itself. The second one was a man made undertaking commissioned by Cyrus that was destroyed on account of “hatred without a cause”. Ezra, the Maccabees, and Simon bar Kochba were not Messiahs and neither were Herzl, Weizmann, or Ben Gurion.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        July 4, 2015, 2:30 am

        The mourning on the 9th of Av is for something physical, not mere redemption, but something physical was busted and is being mourned on the 9th of Av.

        But the focus is primarily on the Temple and the “busted” relationship to the divine — as a consequence of sin. The antidote is thus repentance, divine forgiveness and redemption. The book of Lamentations, the central liturgical text of the 9th of Av, thus concludes:

        17. For this our heart is faint, for these things our eyes are dim;
        18. For the mountain of Zion, which is desolate, the jackals walk upon it.
        19. You, O Lord, are enthroned for ever, Your throne is from generation to generation.
        20. Why do You forget us forever, and forsake us for so long?
        21. Return us to You, O Lord, and we shall return; renew our days as of old.
        22. For You have utterly rejected us, and are extremely angry with us!
        Return us to You, O Lord, and we shall return; renew our days as of old.

        “Return us to You.” The theocentricity of the relationship to the city/land is patent.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        July 4, 2015, 3:14 am

        “Praying for something, even for a really, really, REALLY long time, doesn’t give you the right to steal it.”

        That’s my plans buggered, then.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 4, 2015, 12:47 pm

        “Why not consider the possibility that the Jews praying for a return to Zion for thousands of years – actually meant what they were saying? “

        Squelch! Every steaming pile, and he’s got to jump right in it!

        That’s right, “Jon s” they “actually meant what they were saying!” So another words, our relationship with all the countries we have lived in is based on a lie? When we told them Jews could be just like anybody else as far as the State is concerned, we were just playing a game, and all the time we had another agenda?
        Oh wait, I forgot, any doubts you can stir up about Jews, any negative feelings, is grist for your mill. Of course you would say that Jews have an unrevealed against the countries they live in.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 6, 2015, 6:31 pm

        “Why don’t you consider the possibility that the Torah doesn’t claim that God will answer personal prayers for an individual’s return to Zion and that it doesn’t command anyone living today to go there?”

        Gee, this is so hard to decide. Is it some complicated (but oh-so-laudable) religious reason? Or is it because the way “Jon s” thinks concludes with him getting something? (Beersheba and a lot more of the stuff they aren’t making any more of)
        Gosh, religion, or perceived self-interest? Gosh, it’s so hard to know!

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 10, 2015, 11:22 am

        “Why not consider the possibility that the Jews praying for a return to Zion for thousands of years – actually meant what they were saying?”

        Sure, “Jon s”, why don’t we examine a whole lot of Jewish religious writings and prayers on the basis of “actually meant what they were saying”! Yup, let’s do that, “Jon s”!

  6. WH
    WH
    July 2, 2015, 3:20 pm

    What a wretched life, being bullied by Bibi at all hours of the day to pester and alienate people all over the world until the early hours. I guess he got his punishment…

    • jon s
      jon s
      July 4, 2015, 1:24 pm

      Shmuel ,
      You may recall that the Amidah also includes a prayer for “ingathering of the exiles”.

      For those who are unfamiliar with the prayer, scroll down to the 10th blessing:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amidah

      • jon s
        jon s
        July 4, 2015, 1:29 pm

        Talknic,
        I’m wondering about your hysterical comment:
        I counted two “stupid”s , one “pathetic”, one “devoid of any intelligence”.
        Wow, really convincing.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        July 4, 2015, 2:06 pm

        You may recall that the Amidah also includes a prayer for “ingathering of the exiles”

        Yes, a request to God to “Sound the great Shofar … and assemble us from the four corners of the earth” — in the context of “Reign alone over us, Lord” (11th blessing), “Return in mercy to Your city Jerusalem and dwell in it” (14th blessing), “We hope for Your deliverance” (15th blessing), “Restore the worship to Your most holy sanctuary” and “May our eyes behold Your return in mercy to Zion” (17th blessing) (not to mention “Blessed are You Lord who resurrects the dead” — 2nd blessing).

        What is more, in the holiday version of the prayer for the ingathering of the exiles, the purpose is explicitly stated: “Gather our dispersed from the far ends of the earth. Bring us … to Jerusalem, Your sanctuary…. There we will prepare in Your honour our obligatory offerings, the regular daily offerings and the additional offerings”.

        To take the “ingathering of the exiles” out of the general context of the prayers as an indication of a yearning to return to Zion, within historical times, detached from final redemption and the ultimate purpose of devotion to God and restoration of the sacrificial cult, is to completely distort the traditional prayers.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        July 4, 2015, 4:03 pm

        Shmuel,

        My religious knowledge being null, I’ll take your word as to the entirely symbolic meaning of these “return” stories. One may, however, need more serious proof than personal interpretation to let religion off the hook as one major mephitic influence that contributed to the onset of Zionism, possibly as a secondary factor next to German romantic nationalism.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        July 4, 2015, 4:10 pm

        Speaking personally, they were convincing to me because they are based on abundant, self-evident material and they only are additional to the solidly reasoned and fact-checked material. As for “hysteria”, I can see none –a good example for hysteria is to be found in any speech by the Yahoo, Lapidus, Foxman, or any of them.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 4, 2015, 5:25 pm

        Hostage, if “Jon s” could, he would be happy to convince any country he could that all the Jews who live there have a Jewish agenda which precludes even minimal loyalties or civic participation. Cause maybe if they thought that, “Jon s” “best friends” (go kvetch ay Herzl) might turn the Jews over to the tender mercies of the Zionists, wholesale, a transfer.

      • Froggy
        Froggy
        July 7, 2015, 7:35 am

        Mooser : ” …if “Jon s” could, he would be happy to convince any country he could that all the Jews who live there have a Jewish agenda which precludes even minimal loyalties or civic participation.”

        The old style anti-Semites used to believe that Jews, as in American Jews, French Jews, British Jews, held their first loyalties to other Jews and to Israel. (I’m old enough — just — to remember hearing this when I was a small child and into my teens in the US.)

        This calumny wasn’t true, of course, but the anti-Semites believed it was.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        July 4, 2015, 8:08 pm

        I’ll take your word as to the entirely symbolic meaning of these “return” stories. One may, however, need more serious proof than personal interpretation to let religion off the hook as one major mephitic influence that contributed to the onset of Zionism, possibly as a secondary factor next to German romantic nationalism.

        echinococcus,

        I wouldn’t say “entirely symbolic”. For many, belief in redemption was quite real and literal — although supernatural and post-historical. And the place of the physical land in the context of personal devotion and spirituality is undeniable. Equally undeniable, however, is the theocentricity of the relationship to the Land — as a means to approach the divine (too terrifying for some) and a function of eschatological belief (which also included universal justice and universal belief in “pure monotheism”).

        I’m not trying to let religion off the hook, although it was definitely a secondary factor to romantic nationalism and involved the creation of a new, national theology, fundamentally different from the ancient prayers that Zionists (most of whom do not even bother with the new national theology) try to recruit in support of their claim that Jews “always had a [direct, national] connection to the Land”.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 6, 2015, 10:52 pm

        Whenever I see these arguments from “Jon s” I always feel like asking him if he wants to put a figure on exactly how much the Jews are owed for doing the world the inestimably valuable favor of being Jewish. C’mon “Jon s”, how much money, how much land, are we deserving of, just for being our indispensable selves?

      • talknic
        talknic
        July 7, 2015, 2:17 am

        @ jon s July 4, 2015, 1:29 pm

        “I’m wondering about your hysterical comment:
        I counted two “stupid”s , one “pathetic”, one “devoid of any intelligence”.
        Wow, really convincing”

        There’s nothing hysterical about holding a mirror up to you and your kind. The Zionist Movement decided to colonize Palestine. The Zionist Movement armed settlers and assisted illegal immigration into Palestine beyond that allowed under the LoN Mandate for Palestine.

        The Zionist Movement lied continuously at every turn in its attempts to create a Greater Israel. The Zionist Movement proclaimed sovereignty only over a part of the Jewish People’s alleged Historical Homeland, robbing Jews (as Israelis) of the right of the right to settle anywhere in Palestine guaranteed under Article 7 of the LoN Mandate for Palestine.

        The Zionist Movement’s un-democratic, un-elected provisional Government robbed Israelis of their constitution and robbed them of their right to have a legally elected government, under that constitution.

        The Zionist Movement have been for the last 67 years busy lying about non-borders while stealing non-Israeli territory. The Zionist Movement encourages Israeli Jews to illegally settle in contravention of Geneva Convention IV adopted to protect ALL civilians from the high likelihood that they might become collateral in the resistance expected when one occupies another people and their territory.

        So it’s really quite stupid of you and your kind to whine, moan and present pathetic excuses to people who can see a far better course would be for Israel to adhere to the Law and UN Charter, tell the truth, withdraw from all non-Israeli territories taking its illegal settlers with it, stop creating wars, enemies and start living up to it’s Declaration of Independence for once.

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus
      July 5, 2015, 12:49 am

      Shmuel,

      Thank you for taking the time to respond. Makes a lot of sense. What remains strange is the fact that the similar if not identical Medieval Christian group resurrection fantasies, that often also use Palestinian geography (not for nothing is it called Holy Land) did not result in being taken literally, by some sort of Christian Zionism let’s say, even at the hottest tine of the Crusades.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 5, 2015, 11:32 pm

        “Thank you for taking the time to respond. Makes a lot of sense.”

        Yes that was very interesting. Thanks! As for me, I always look to gain, the chance to get something, like a country, before I worry about religion or romanticism.
        And the Jewish religion, having little power of itself, had no choice but to follow the Zionists.

  7. Scott
    Scott
    July 2, 2015, 3:21 pm

    James North, great work. I’ve read about half the book on Kindle, hadn’t gotten to the Simon part. I think in this post you really got the essence of it. Well done.

    • James North
      James North
      July 2, 2015, 3:25 pm

      Scott: There is more to come. It would be a mistake to believe that Oren’s two or three most ludicrous and widely publicized contentions exhaust what’s in this memoir.

      • MRW
        MRW
        July 3, 2015, 1:58 pm

        I agree with Scott, James. I know I won’t have time to read the book, and your account of it is fascinating. Thx.

    • jon s
      jon s
      July 4, 2015, 4:01 pm

      Shmuel,
      As you know, the amidah is only one of numerous examples. Everything from “next year in Jerusalem ” at the seder, to the oath that every Jewish groom makes, just before he breaks the glass and is engulfed by his new bride’s perspiring uncles, to R. Yehudah HaLevi’s poetry.
      As some of the commenters here have pointed out, correctly, it’s not enough to really want something, to prove that it should be yours. The point is that the Jews didn’t come to some random territory, as colonialists or alien invaders. The connections to Eretz Yisrael were always there, part of the Jewish DNA, so to speak.. The modern political movement arose when conditions were ripe, and built on those historic and religious ties.

      • just
        just
        July 4, 2015, 4:37 pm

        “The connections to Eretz Yisrael were always there, part of the Jewish DNA, so to speak.. The modern political movement arose when conditions were ripe, and built on those historic and religious ties.”

        You cannot steal lives and land for a fairy tale or DNA. btw, some (not all!) Jewish people share DNA with Palestinians. Now some of your tribe wants the Golan forever. You’re never satisfied.

        The world is clear:

        “The United Nations Human Rights Council decided on Friday to adopt a resolution condemning Israel over the UN report into the Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.

        41 countries vote in favor of the resolution, while one country – the U.S. – voted against.

        India, Kenya, Ethiopia, Paraguay and Macedonia abstained.

        The fact that India abstained reflects a significant policy change by Delhi; traditionally, India voted in favor of all anti-Israel resolutions in UN institutions. Friday’s abstention is another sign of warming ties between India and Israel since the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014.

        Officials at the Prime Minister’s Office expressed appreciation for the “moral stand” taken by the U.S. against “the hypocritical UNHRC resolution.” The officials added that in recent days Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with the Indian premier, the Kenyan president and the prime minister of Ethiopia and asked them to abstain.

        Netanyahu himself said in a statement that the UNHRC is neither interested “in facts nor in true human rights.”

        The resolution welcomes the UN Human Rights Council report, which found evidence of alleged war crimes committed by both Israel and Hamas during the Gaza conflict in 2014. The resolution calls for the implementation of the report and its recommendations. It also calls for an end to the impunity of Israeli officials responsible for alleged war crimes. …”

        http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.664316

        Give it back. Shame on the US. Shame on Samantha PPPPPower- Sunstein.

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye
        July 4, 2015, 5:18 pm

        I guess Netanyahoo is referring to ‘Jewish facts’ and the world’s only ‘true humans’. Else he couldn’t make that statement and keep a straight face.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 4, 2015, 5:27 pm

        “The connections to Eretz Yisrael were always there, part of the Jewish DNA, so to speak.”

        Are you trying to be stupid? Nobody has found any genetic material which is related to religious beliefs. (Sometimes getting a free country is, tho!)

        Take that “Jewish DNA” crap and shove it. You are an anti-semite!

        There’s nothing wrong with my DNA. The only Jewish gene I have is the one for pattern baldness. And for that, there’s a Yarmulke, so everything works out fine.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        July 4, 2015, 7:45 pm

        Jon,

        The connections to Eretz Yisrael were always there — and were always theocentric, in the 2 ways I have outlined. The modern political movement arose when similar modern political ideologies and movements arose. Obviously, every national movement draws upon and exploits its own cultural resources, but the national tie to the land was thoroughly modern and fundamentally different from the traditional ties to the land.

        When Jews said “next year in Jerusalem”, the intention was to divine redemption, not political independence. When the verse from Psalms 137, “If I forget you, O Jerusalem …” was recited at weddings, it was in the context of remembering the destruction of the Temple (symbolised by the breaking of the glass) and longing for divine redemption. Even Judah Halevi (whose attitude to the Land of Israel was somewhat of an exception) experienced it entirely in religious terms and in the context of hastening redemption (see the end of Kuzari).

        The Zionists didn’t come to some random territory (although for some Jewish nationalists, including Herzl, any territory would have done). They were alien invaders, because that is how they approached the land — disregarding the will of its inhabitants and intending to establish a new polity. Even the greatest religious opponents of Zionism (i.e. virtually all religious authorities prior to the Holocaust) — with the possible exception of Rabbi Hayim Elazar of Munkacz (who discouraged immigration to the Holy Land altogether, for mystical reasons) — did not oppose settling in the Holy Land (although many did specifically oppose non-observant settlement as a defilement of the Land). What they opposed was the replacement of traditional religious belief in redemption with modern political nationalism.

        The connections to Eretz Yisrael were always there — but not in the way you suggest.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        July 4, 2015, 9:35 pm

        Shmuel and Jon S. – On the topic of the Jewish connections to Zion. I think it would be historically inaccurate to treat this topic as merely one involving texts and deep thinkers. It also reflected events. The Shabtai Zevi messianic movement involved people thinking that they would soon get on boats or other transportation and head to a specific place: Israel (land of, not state of). There was much philosophical and theological content to the movement, but when it came to the masses, they were expecting a very physical move to a very physical spot on the globe.
        The failure of that messianic expectation certainly required from those trying to recover from that failure to do what Shmuel is now attempting to label as normative- replace the will for a physical move with the higher content of getting closer to God. Whether or not that is the true meaning of the prayers, the customs and the texts, at one moment the people were willing to believe that the end had come and the trip would soon begin, and in the aftermath, their rabbis were busy telling them: no, you had it all wrong. It’s not coming soon. redemption lies in your heart and not in politics.
        Second: the Zionist movement was a small movement. The masses (millions) left Eastern Europe and headed towards the US and other economically sensible destinations, whereas the Zionist numbers represented single digit percentages of that migration (tens of thousands), probably less than 4% of the total migrations.between 1881 and world war I. It was not a mass movement. Only dedicated individuals were taking the cause of the ancient prayers and turning them into practice.
        Third: Zionism resulted from the breakdown of society that was caused by modernity. (Antisemitism was the outward cause of Zionism, but modernity was an inward cause as well.) The breakdown of the rabbinical authority meant also the breakdown of rabbinical caution. the caution of the post Shabtai rabbis was not likely to survive modernity. It was unclear what would survive the breakdown of rabbinical authority. the innovations of zionism did not reflect the rabbis’ and Shmuel’s strict interpretations of what biblical zionism was permissible and what was forbidden. spurred on by the need to break out of the ghetto, but rejected from wide swaths of society if they dared to hold onto any scintilla of Jewish identity (or even only Jewish DNA or Jewish racial features) this desire to escape the ghetto and hold onto an aspect of Jewish identity resulted in Zionism.
        another aspect that I wish to add is that the modern world of 2015 with its air travel and its photography leading to movies, etc. would have created a reality different from the reality of the limited world of the books that Shmuel describes. Eventually, even if antisemitism had not birthed a serious zionist movement, the sentimental zionism of a Kalisher would have had the added impetus of travel and communication that would make israel (the land and not the state) something that would become more difficult for jews of the book (rather than jews who were ready to toss the book into the ash heap or reform it to the point where it was no longer recognizable) to limit the idea of Zion to merely a thought of mind and not an actual place. with modern technology Zion would not have remained the mere means of devotion to god that Shmuel is depicting. Modern technology would have forced Zion onto the Jewish agenda by the mere facts of photos and air travel.

      • MRW
        MRW
        July 4, 2015, 11:41 pm

        The connections to Eretz Yisrael were always there, part of the Jewish DNA, so to speak.. The modern political movement arose when conditions were ripe, and built on those historic and religious ties.

        Then why did Herzl first suggest taking over Uganda as the Jewish State in the late 1800s?

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        July 5, 2015, 9:13 am

        Then why did Herzl first suggest taking over Uganda as the Jewish State in the late 1800s?

        Herzl’s diary and letters establish the fact that he wanted to be the head of a worldwide Jewish Empire and that he still planned on acquiring the territory of Palestine and anything else he could lay his hands on. He called Zionists who insisted on foregoing the offer of lands in Africa “Miserable eunuchs”. https://books.google.com/books?id=z99L5XBsbdkC&lpg=PA244&pg=PA244#v=onepage&q&f=false

        He employed the Dreyfus Affair for propaganda purposes in Die Welt. After the fact, he revised his initial accounts of the crowds shouting “Death to the traitor” to read “Death to the Jews”. See “Did Dreyfus Affair Really Inspire Herzl?” http://forward.com/the-assimilator/193316/did-dreyfus-affair-really-inspire-herzl/

        Other writers have noted that, at the time, coverage of the affair in Die Welt was more concerned about laying the blame for it at the feet of the Jewish establishment of Europe for having been too “assimilationist” and portraying France somewhat inaccurately as a country that had conspired at all military and civil levels of society against the Jewish people. See for instance Maya Balakirsky Katz, “Revising Dreyfus”, Brill, 2013 https://books.google.com/books?id=Ba0cAAAAQBAJ&lpg=PA325&ots=dOZ1Du0Z8X&dq=&pg=PA325#v=onepage&q&f=false

        Never mind that their faith in the French people and assimilation just might have been vindicated in the end by the Dreyfusards, like Georges Clemenceau, who helped exonerate Dreyfus and who managed to rise to power and lead France through WWI. Despite the anti-Semitic elements of French society, the country had a Jewish Prime Minister, Léon Blum, who entered politics in reaction to the Dreyfus Affair and led three cabinets before and after WWII – long before Israel had its own Jewish Prime Minister. It was his successor’s foreign minister who concluded the agreement with the Irgun that violated the UN arms embargo by supplying the weapons and ammunition involved in the infamous Altalena Affair. See the interview with Yitzhak Shamir published in the Times of Israel. http://www.timesofisrael.com/fire-in-the-hole-blasting-the-altalena/

        I assume that since most of the talkback artists here haven’t made aliyah yet, that they agree with these community spokespersons: “Jewish leaders rebuff Netanyahu’s call for mass migration” (Netanyahu to European Jews: Come ‘home’) http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/16/politics/benjamin-netanyahu-jewish-mass-immigration-rejected/

        There is obviously no Jewish religious obligation to go to Israel.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        July 5, 2015, 4:46 am

        Yonah,

        Good points — especially about modernity and common as opposed to rabbinical sentiment — but Sabbateanism was still a “classical” messianic movement in ways that Zionism never was. I do not deny the physicality, but the physicality as an end in itself. As I wrote in my reply to echinococcus, the belief in messianic redemption was certainly real and literal, but as a means to another end. The masses didn’t have to share the rarefied Maimonidean view of unification with the Divine Intellect to believe that the Holy Land is a place of spiritual fulfilment and devotion — even if their fantasies of that wondrous place (and time) also included feeling safe and having enough to eat.

        Only dedicated individuals were taking the cause of the ancient prayers and turning them into practice.

        This is more or less what Jon was claiming, and it strikes me as a distortion of the motives of early Zionists and a retroactive attempt to give Zionism respectable venerability it simply doesn’t have. What was being put into practice were modern ideas of nation, territory, labour, virility, etc. The prayers were, at best, forced justification for the claim that Jews were really a “normal”, “territorial” nation; at worst, simply the “flavour” of Jewish nationalism, to distinguish it from its German, Austrian, Czech or Hungarian counterparts.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        July 5, 2015, 9:48 am

        On the topic of the Jewish connections to “Zion”

        Baruch Kimmerling (late Israeli sociologist):

        Historically, Jews who defined themselves as religious were deeply divided in the stances they adopted toward modernity, Jewish enlightenment and secularism, Zionism, and, later, the very existence of a “secular” Jewish state. From the beginning, a small religious stream was established within the Zionist movement, and even before the appearance of Zionism, there were rabbis who called for a mass “return to Zion.”

        The real theological revolution, however, occurred in the late 1920s and was led by Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, who reversed the whole Jewish-rabbinical paradigm and causal relationship concerning “redemption.”

        Traditionally, the fulfillment by all Jews of all the “613 commandments” listed in the holy scriptures was the condition for the coming of the Messiah, the return of all Jews to Zion, and full redemption. Rabbi Kook reversed this, declaring that when as many Jews as possible fulfill the single commandment to “settle the holy land,” the Messiah will appear to redeem “his people” politically and theologically, and will make them follow all his commandments and precepts. A cosmic redemption of the “whole world” will then follow.

        This new religious perception granted religious meaning and legitimacy to secular nationalism and the so-called socialist pioneer Jews by making them “tools” of a divine project of religious redemption.

        The Kookian theological logical revolution laid the foundation for the participation of its followers in the secular Israeli state and society in the here and now, and for a collaboration between this segment of religious Jews and the secular Zionists. It must be stressed, however, that the Kookian approach never abolished the ultimate goal of transforming the Jewish polity into a theocratic state ruled exclusively by halachic law.

        It was thus not by chance that the first counterculture to assert itself successfully was the militant national religious culture of Gush Emunim, which created the territorial infrastructure for a new society of national religious settlers in “Judea and Samaria” during the 1970s and 1980s. Territorial settlement was not only part of a national political mission of conquest, occupation, and confiscation of “homeland” territories, and the expansion of the boundaries of the Israeli state, but also laid the infrastructure for the establishment of a moral community to be run according to the laws of Halacha and the judgments of rabbis.

        It seemed that Gush Emunim stood to conquer not only the uplands (both geographically graphically and symbolically) but the hearts of the rest of the Jewish population of the country. Its adherents represented themselves as a replacement for the secular sabra kibbutznik fighter-settlers and, more important, sought to take the latter’s place as the Zionist avant-garde in Israel. From “Judea and Samaria,” the message was to spread over the entire country.

        The national religious revolutionaries, driven by an aspiration for personal fulfillment, bedarchey noam (“a pleasant manner”), and burning faith in their path, and seeing themselves as representatives of the collective interest and the “true and pure Jew,” aimed to establish a modern national halachic state in place of the polity corrupted in the previous stage of the “return to Zion.” The success of this revolution of faith seemed assured, given the absence of any truly attractive competing ideology that could provide an answer to the political and social situation created in the aftermath of the 1967 and 1973 wars.

        In this regard, the settlements and the settlers in the occupied territories were just the tip of the iceberg. Religious Jews and groups who had not “settled” and were not allied with-or were even opposed to-Gush Emunim united behind what they viewed as the sublime aspiration to transform Israel into as “Jewish” a state as possible.

        Although Gush Emunim’s brand of Jewishness was dominated by religious elements, its pioneering spirit and renewed militaristic, settlement security activism charmed even secular elite groups, especially communists and socialists, among whom great ideological crises had brought about deep internal rifts.

        In addition, by opening the frontier and acquiring control over all the land that had been the original objective of Zionist colonization, Gush Emunim reawakened dormant aspirations of the immigrant settler political culture that had lost their validity since 1948. Selective feelings for Halacha thus enabled some secular elites to ally themselves with Gush Emunim, whose deeds they also covertly admired.
        —————–

        (“The Invention and Decline of Israeliness: State, Society, and the Military”)

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        July 5, 2015, 9:51 am

        As you know, the amidah is only one of numerous examples. Everything from “next year in Jerusalem ” at the seder, to the oath that every Jewish groom makes, just before he breaks the glass and is engulfed by his new bride’s perspiring uncles, to R. Yehudah HaLevi’s poetry.

        There are people who live in Jerusalem that still recite “Next year in Jerusalem,” because they consider the modern city and state to be an abomination and NOT the fulfillment of things that Jews have been praying for all of these thousands of years. For the same reasons, there are very devout Jews still living elsewhere around the globe who feel no religious obligation to make aliyah or help in the Zionist conquest of the land.

        The connections to Eretz Yisrael were always there, part of the Jewish DNA, so to speak.. The modern political movement arose when conditions were ripe, and built on those historic and religious ties.

        Entire volumes have been written about the fact that Israel was founded and continues to be governed by non-religious Jews who simply adapted Jewish traditions and myths, like the ones about Masada, to the propaganda needs of the state. They ignored or discarded the parts that didn’t suit their political agenda, e.g. See “Civil Religion in Israel”, by Lieberman and Don-Yehiya.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        July 5, 2015, 1:24 pm

        MRW: The connections to Eretz Yisrael were always there, part of the Jewish DNA, so to speak.. The modern political movement arose when conditions were ripe, and built on those historic and religious ties.

        Then why did Herzl first suggest taking over Uganda as the Jewish State in the late 1800s?
        —————————-

        Cf. Baruch Kimmerling, “The Invention and Decline of Israeliness: State, Society, and the Military”:

        Herzl’s first thought was a collective and honorable conversion of world Jewry to Christianity. His second was to find a place in the world for an ingathering of Jews and establish an independent Jewish state. Inasmuch as he was a completely secular product of the late European colonial world, he envisaged this state in political, social, and economic terms. Among other places, he considered Argentina, with its abundance of free land, natural resources, and good climate. Later, he also considered the British protectorate of Uganda in East Africa, which was politically convenient.

        Initially, he thought Palestine inappropriate owing to its lack of resources and harsh climate. However, as Herzl grew closer to his fellow Jews, he discovered the sentimental and symbolic appeal of Jerusalem and Eretz Israel, which most Jews continued to regard as their fatherland.

        At the time, most Jews still believed in a miraculous messianic return to the Holy Land at the apocalyptic “end of days.” The strength of messianic belief had been evidenced in 1665, when a self-appointed messiah named Shabbtai Zvi made his appearance. Backed by a noted scholar of Jewish mysticism (Kabbalah), Abraham Nathan Ben Elisha Haim Ashkenazi, Shabbtai Zvi managed to provoke mass hysteria among hundreds of thousands of Jews, from the territories of the Ottoman Empire to Poland and eastern and western Europe, by proclaiming the Day of Redemption to be June 18, 1666. Despite the opposition of several rabbis, Jews were ready to march as a mighty army and restore the godly kingdom of David on earth. Eventually, the Ottomans interpreted the millenarian movement as a rebellion and put the “messiah” in jail, where he converted to Islam. The affair was an enormous disaster and has remained traumatic in Jewish collective memory.

        Nonetheless, the hope for the coming of the messiah has never ceased. In 1755, Jacob Frank, a Polish cloth dealer, declared himself to be the reincarnation of Shabbtai Zvi and the messiah. More recently, a similar phenomenon broke out among the followers of the late Brooklyn Hassidic Rabbi Menachem Schneerson. The supposed redemption is linked with a miraculous inclusion of Greater Israel (i.e., the territories occupied in the 1967 war) into the Israeli state and the transformation of Jewish Israeli society into a holy, moral community …

        Despite Orthodox Jewry’s denunciation of him as a new Shabbatean, Theodor Herzl was a practical politician. He concentrated his efforts in three main directions. First and foremost, he raised financial support for the establishment of a national loan fund from great Jewish bankers and philanthropists such as Maurice de Hirsch and the Rothschild family.

        Second, but no less important, he garnered political support and recognition by the great world powers of the right of the Jewish people to establish a national commonwealth in Palestine. Third, he organized the spread of Jewish associations and individuals who shared Zionist views into a viable political and social movement. In 1896, Herzl published his manifesto Der Judenstaat (“The State of the Jews”– Herzl was fully aware of the implications of not calling it “The Jewish State”).

        In this, Herzl argued that assimilation was not a cure, but rather a disease of the Jews. The Jewish people needed to reestablish their own patrimony, with well-to-do western European Jews financing the proletarian Jews threatened by pogroms in Eastern Europe. Herzl’s preferred regime, in this utopian pamphlet, was modeled on the enlightened and liberal Austro-Hungarian monarchy, and, if not at a monarchy, he aimed at least at an aristocratic republic.

        In the state of the Jews, everyone would be equal before the law, free in his faith or disbelief, and enjoy mild social security rights, regardless of his nationality. This pamphlet was followed in 1902 by the utopian novel Altneuland (“Old-New Country”), in which several Arab characters enjoy full rights of citizenship, indicating that, contrary to the usual assertions, Herzl was well aware that the Holy Land was not “empty.”

        ——————

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 5, 2015, 2:32 pm

        Well, as a Jew, I rejoice every day that even if there are conflicts between the religious aspects and the social-political aspects of Zionism, there’s no question of self-interest!
        Yes, we can debate the religious and political aspects of Zionism, but nobody will ever, ever say that material gain or power was involved.

        And in fact, it is very obvious to all that the only question is how much our religion requires us to sacrifice for the good of Palestine!
        There can be no question that Zionism can be motivated by ordinary motives of gain! So I can hold my head up proud, when a discussion of this type takes place here!

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 5, 2015, 11:40 pm

        “Entire volumes have been written about the fact that Israel was founded and continues to be governed by non-religious Jews who simply adapted Jewish traditions and myths, like the ones about Masada, to the propaganda needs of the state.”

        Manipulating Jews with their own religiousness? Using Jewish traditions as propaganda? That doesn’t seem like tribal unity to me!
        It’s so disappointing, too. If I can’t trust “non-religious Jews who simply adapted Jewish traditions and myths, like the ones about Masada, to the propaganda needs of the state”, who the hell can I trust?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 6, 2015, 6:33 pm

        Whenever I hear the term “Jewish DNA” I reach for my Luger.

  8. amigo
    amigo
    July 2, 2015, 3:38 pm

    “Oren went into action immediately, going straight to Jeffrey Fager, the chairman of CBS News. … he [Netanyahu] instructed me to phone congressional leaders and remind them… -”

    As BDS bites and the US sends more messages to Israel , such as the one from Obama re the Boycott of illegal settler products and the Palestinians pursue Statehood at the UN and charges against Israel,s leaders at the ICC , the whole zionist project will fall apart from within as they begin to point fingers at each other and internal squabbles increase.The only problem is what will these madmen do under such circumstances, given they have their fingers on 200 plus nukes.

    • jon s
      jon s
      July 4, 2015, 5:50 pm

      Just, to be clear: I wrote “jewish DNA, so to speak”. In othet words dna as a metaphor for somthing etched in jewish identity..

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        July 4, 2015, 7:51 pm

        “Etched” is another metaphor, and I’m still waiting for someone to tell me what “Jewish identity” is.

        How do these metaphors rebut the claim that the Zionists were alien invaders?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 5, 2015, 2:34 pm

        And “Jon s” wonders why “talknic” calls him “stupid”?

        Hey’ “Jon s” wanna come upstairs and see my DNA etchings?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 5, 2015, 11:43 pm

        “I’m still waiting for someone to tell me what “Jewish identity” is.”

        From what I’ve seen from “Jon s” it seems to mean the world owes you something. Beyond that it can be quite variable. But it always pays off.

        Hey, “Jon s”, do you tell the kids in your history class at the settlement that they have “Jewish DNA”?

      • Froggy
        Froggy
        July 7, 2015, 7:40 am

        jon s : “Just, to be clear: I wrote “jewish DNA, so to speak”. In othet words dna as a metaphor for somthing etched in jewish identity..

        What happens with converts? Do they inherit the ‘Jewish DNA, so to speak’?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 7, 2015, 11:28 am

        “Jewish DNA”

        There you go Ms. Froggy! As far as old-time anti-semitic attitudes go, “jon s” will give you every one! From Jewish innate disloyalty to a DNA which is different from other humans.

      • Froggy
        Froggy
        July 7, 2015, 12:33 pm

        Oy, Mooser : “There you go Ms. Froggy! As far as old-time anti-semitic attitudes go, “jon s” will give you every one! From Jewish innate disloyalty to a DNA which is different from other humans.

        http://www.cryptojewsjournal.org/jewish-dna.html

        Fascinating stuff though. It makes me wonder whether any of us are whatever it is we think we are.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 7, 2015, 1:32 pm

        ” It makes me wonder whether any of us are whatever it is we think we are.”

        My dear Ms. Froggy, my life may not be all oojah-cum-spiff,I may not reside entirely on velvet, and often end up to the neck-bone in the mulligatawny, but still, I think I can asseverate in all honesty that I have been spared that conundrum.
        If there’s one thing I know, and never wonder about, it’s that I’m not what I think I am!

      • Froggy
        Froggy
        July 7, 2015, 2:47 pm

        “I think I can asseverate in all honesty that I have been spared that conundrum.
        If there’s one thing I know, and never wonder about, it’s that I’m not what I think I am”

        Oh Mooser! Are any of us?

        (I keep thinking of my friend, the Eskijew.)

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 7, 2015, 1:51 pm

        As a matter of fact, here’s a good example: For a couple of weeks two months ago, while I was learning the “Chanson de Maxence” I thought I was a young Jacques Perrin. I mean, c’mon, who the heck was I fooling?

  9. surewin
    surewin
    July 2, 2015, 3:41 pm

    It sure is unfortunate that Bob Simon died in that accidental car crash.

    • lysias
      lysias
      July 2, 2015, 3:53 pm

      Can we be sure it was accidental?

      • surewin
        surewin
        July 2, 2015, 4:56 pm

        I forgot the /sarc tag…

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew
      July 2, 2015, 11:04 pm

      Moslem New York driver (paid by the Mossad) caused the accident.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        July 3, 2015, 9:02 am

        Lol. And there are probably many people here who believe that, Yonah.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        July 5, 2015, 4:17 pm

        Well, it wasn’t a member of the crew of the USS Liberty.

  10. Mooser
    Mooser
    July 2, 2015, 3:58 pm

    “In this never-ending PR campaign, Oren complains he is regularly stabbed in the back by Bob Simon and many other American Jews. Our next installment will look more closely at his hostility and barely concealed contempt for them.”

    Uh-oh, I have a bad feeling that poor old Tribal Unity is going to get another beating. I often wonder why she hangs around to be treated like that.

  11. JWalters
    JWalters
    July 2, 2015, 6:44 pm

    Thanks for this fascinating summary of Oren’s book.

    Given the layers of subterfuge in Israel’s reality, is it possible this is Oren’s attempt to actually reveal some truth, but without also dying too young in a car crash?

  12. just
    just
    July 2, 2015, 8:43 pm

    I mentioned airing Israel’s dirty laundry above and presto, this article appears:

    “Israel prefers not to air its dirty laundry

    The norm of distorting and whitewashing the army’s activities was set by David Ben-Gurion in 1952, when he lied to the UN about the Qibya massacre.

    It’s true there are countries in the world where human rights are trampled worse than they are in the occupied territories, and whose civilian populations suffer from more severe repression. It’s also true that Arab citizens of Israel wouldn’t want to exchange their legal, political and social status for that which exists in any Muslim country. But none of those countries presumes to be a light unto the nations or presents itself as an exemplar for the entire world.

    For almost 50 years now, Israel has demanded the right to rule over a population that doesn’t want the colonialist regime that has been imposed upon it. Moreover, it has done so on the strength of a divine order inscribed in the Bible. In the Western world, such arguments provoke ridicule that borders on disgust and are viewed as a cynical façade for the exploitation of military power and an appetite for conquest.

    This is the source of the spreading anti-Israel sentiment among the educated classes of Europe and the United States – this, and not any age-old hatred of Jews. It’s not that anti-Semitism has disappeared; far from it. But enmity toward the Jews isn’t the principal driver of anti-Israel sentiment; revulsion at Israeli colonialism is.

    In the eyes of large segments of Western society, a country that views colonialism as a desirable situation is an anachronism that is destined to disappear. Moreover, were it not for fear of the world’s response, the inequality would also have spread to Arab Israelis, because a not insignificant portion of right-wing voters and leaders view Arab Israelis merely as tolerated residents of a land of which Jews are the only legitimate owners.

    Faithful to the principle that justice is always on the side of its army – except in the case of the 1982 massacre in Beirut’s Sabra and Chatila refugee camps, which cried out to heaven, and even that was only due to Menachem Begin’s unique character – Israel prefers not to air its dirty laundry at all, solely to avoid having to admit that any stain might cling to it. If the killings of 1948-49 could at least be understood in the context of the “it’s us or them” situation that prevailed at the time, this has not been the case from then until today.

    Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, was the one who set the norms: The Qibya massacre of 1953, perpetrated by a paratroop unit under the command of Ariel Sharon, in accordance with operational orders issued by the Central Command, was presented to the United Nations by Israel as a spontaneous action by residents of border communities who had suffered from cross-border attacks from Jordan. The entire country knew the truth and it was reported to UN headquarters in New York by observers stationed here. But official Israel stuck to the big lie. Since then, distortions and whitewashing have become standard practice, changing little between the Six-Day War of 1967 and last summer’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. …”

    the rest @ http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.664191?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    Kind of surprising from Sternhell.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      July 5, 2015, 4:29 pm

      @ just
      Isn’t describing Israel and its activities as “colonial” a way to dilute by comparison with historical European colonialism the reality that a more accurate adjective is national socialism/fascism? 1930’s Germany pursued lebenraum, as Israel does, and there’s the motor platform of choseness, or ethnic supremacy, and ethnic cleansing based on birth status too. And the end goal of Judenfrei morphed into getting rid of the Palestinians? Classic colonialism merely strove to exploit the target natives and their land’s resources, e.g., when England ruled the waves. And, too, if Israel is pursuing classical colonialism, where is it’s home country? It’s absurd to go back 2,000 years to find one.

      • just
        just
        July 5, 2015, 5:46 pm

        “Isn’t describing Israel and its activities as “colonial” a way to dilute by comparison with historical European colonialism the reality that a more accurate adjective is national socialism/fascism?”

        I’m inclined to agree with you about the fascism bit, but not the socialism bit. Israel does little to nothing for its poor, including the few survivors of the Holocaust who are used and abused by the PTB.

      • piotr
        piotr
        July 5, 2015, 6:02 pm

        I do not think so. Nazi analogies evoke Goodwin law, and indeed, the history is much richer than that. After terrible XVII century, Europeans started to think about better ways than mass slaughter, largely justified by religion, and that lead to Enlightenment. But colonialism, accompanied with mass slaughter, slave trade etc. became very profitable and created demand for intellectual justifications, and that included racism. The first genocide of XX century (to my limited knowledge) affected Hereros who stood in the path of progress in German South West Africa (today, Namibia). But exploits of Congo Free State (perhaps top oxymoron in history) some decade prior were much worse. Clearly, the concept of Lebensraum was basically the envy of successful colonialist states.

        Colonialism allowed for democratic rule among the members of “top nation” with brutal ways of controlling other people. Balfour Declaration was made five years after South African Act that allowed to formalize the Apartheid and the invention of concentration camps.

        If you want to find sociologically useful analogies, I recommend the evolution of Southern states in years preceding Civil War. Democracy, oligarchy, intolerance (sometimes murderous), and, of course, the subjugation. Yet it started on high intellectual note, as you can see from the record of the Founding Fathers from Virginia etc.

        I guess there are intellectual connections between Revisionist Zionism and fascism from “the good days of Mussolini, before the Pact of Steel”. But it was more general Zeitgeist. E.g. every self-respecting radical organization in those times had its terror wing, or perhaps even better, a more radical and more pragmatic wings, each with its own terrorist organization.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        July 6, 2015, 9:22 am

        I do not think so. Nazi analogies evoke Goodwin law, and indeed, the history is much richer than that. …The first genocide of XX century (to my limited knowledge) affected Hereros who stood in the path of progress in German South West Africa (today, Namibia). .

        *Then you’d have to invoke Godwin’s law against the father of genocide studies, Raphael Lemkin. He wrote two manuscripts: “Herero” and “The Germans in Africa”. They detailed the genocide in Namibia, the suppression of the so-called “Maji-Maji Rebellion” in Tanzania and the “Duala Massacres” in Cameroon. Lemkin noted that “the Germans introduced the Prussian military system into their rule of the African colonies, a system of cruelty and oppression” and the continuities to Axis practices in Eastern Europe. The papers are part of the collection at the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, the Raphael Lemkin Papers (Box 6, Folder 9).

        *That doesn’t mean that other examples of settler colonialism, like the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand were very different in nature. Frequently the bulk of the indigenous populations were massacred, the remainder were segregated, persecuted, and their culture or way of life was destroyed. John Docker wrote a paper for the US Holocaust Museum several years ago explaining that a review of Raphael Lemkin’s unpublished research notes and papers revealed that he had come to the conclusion that all settler colonial societies were inherently genocidal, without exception. — http://www.ushmm.org/confront-genocide/speakers-and-events/all-speakers-and-events/raphael-Lemkins-history-of-genocide-and-colonialism

        *Likewise you’d have to invoke Godwin’s law against Benjamin Madley. He documented the continuities in “From Africa to Auschwitz: How German South West Africa Incubated Ideas and Methods Adopted and Developed by the Nazis in Eastern Europe”, European History Quarterly, 2005; 35: 429-464

        *The BBC studied the earlier German genocide in the documentary, “Namibia – Genocide and the second Reich”
        *Baruch Kimmerling, Henry Siegman, Israel Shahak, the Jerusalem Post, and Haaretz each documented the fact that Israeli officials, like Ariel Sharon, consciously pursued a public policy modeled on the South African and Namibian Bantustans. See:
        -Kimmerling, Politicide:Ariel Sharon’s War Against the Palestinians
        link to books.google.com
        -Siegman, Sharon and the Future of Palestine
        link to nybooks.com
        -Siegman, Imposing Middle East Peace link to thenation.com
        -Israel Shahak’s Senate testimony and the JPost interviews with Sharon entered as exhibits in “The Colonization of the West Bank Territories by Israel” @ the Library of Congress link to loc.gov
        -The citation to Akiva Eldar, “Sharon’s Bantustans are far from Copenhagen’s hope”, Ha’aretz, 13 May 2003 in the report of the UN Special Rapporteur
        link to unispal.un.org

        The tactics employed to displace the indigenous populations and acquire territory are very similar in every case:

        * 100-Year-Old General: We Razed Arab Villages, So What?
        Brig. Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Pundak: If we hadn’t done it, there would be a million more Arabs and there would be no Israel.
        link to israelnationalnews.com
        * 100-Year-Old Becomes Israeli Major-General
        * 100-year-old finally gets rank of “Major General” that he earned 60 years ago. Nearly 60 years later, Pundak sat flanked by Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and finally received the long-awaited rank. He was the first person in Israeli history to be raised to the rank of Major-General after retirement.
        link to israelnationalnews.com
        * Gen. Pundak: Kill 500 in Gaza and They’ll be Quiet
        Newly promoted 100-year old general who was Gaza Governor supplies his formula for peace.
        link to israelnationalnews.com

        Don’t forget that the methods of racial segregation, oppression, and control employed in the Jim Crowe era in the USA were carried-out after the forced displacement and genocide of the original inhabitants. In many cases the white settlers pursued a living from hunting and fishing, just like their predecessors, but were portrayed as being more civilized or industrious than Native Americans. Officials quite openly admitted the desire to either exterminate them or force them to give up their way of life, and be interned on reservations where they would be required to adopt a new way of life. See Ulysses S. Grant, Second Inaugural Address, Tuesday, March 4, 1873 http://www.bartleby.com/124/pres34.html or Roosevelts Fourth Annual Message, December 6, 1904 http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=29545

        The annexation and Judiazation of Palestinian territory has been accomplished through the same methods of forced eviction, deportation, or confinement in small ethnic enclaves as a result of frequent lightning-style military strikes or incremental accession during prolonged invasions and occupation, followed by the imposition of policies and practices of racial segregation and persecution – including all of the constituent acts of apartheid listed in Article II of the UN Convention. These similarities are no accident.

        Count 3 of the Nuremberg Indictment, i.e. “(J) GERMANIZATION OF OCCUPIED TERRITORIES” charged the Nazis as follows:
        In certain occupied territories purportedly annexed to Germany the defendants methodically and pursuant to plan endeavored to assimilate those territories politically, culturally, socially, and economically into the German Reich. The defendants endeavored to obliterate the former national character of these territories. In pursuance of these plans and endeavors, the defendants forcibly deported inhabitants who were predominantly non-German and introduced thousands of German colonists.
        — See pdf page 73 (printed page 63) of The International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, Trial of the Major War Criminals, Vol. 1 at the Library of Congress link to loc.gov or see the Indictment, Count 3 “War Crimes” at the Avalon Project link to avalon.law.yale.edu

      • tree
        tree
        July 5, 2015, 6:04 pm

        just

        I’m inclined to agree with you about the fascism bit, but not the socialism bit.

        You may not be aware of this, but “national socialism” is not the same as socialism. It is in fact the descriptive given to Nazism, and is the translation of Hitler’s “Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei” or National Socialist German Worker’s Party, which was opposed to socialism, among many other things.

      • just
        just
        July 5, 2015, 6:27 pm

        Thank you, tree. As usual, I might be remiss.

      • lysias
        lysias
        July 5, 2015, 6:45 pm

        Speaking of colonialism, Greece has just struck a blow for national independence from European colonialists. Latest results show 62% No in the referendum

        μπράβο, Έλληνες!

      • tree
        tree
        July 5, 2015, 7:01 pm

        Don’t sweat it, just. I always appreciate your comments here, and find you are seldom remiss. The terms can be confusing for anyone.

      • just
        just
        July 5, 2015, 7:14 pm

        You’re very kind and you teach me well. Thank you, tree.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        July 5, 2015, 8:53 pm

        lysias,

        The Greek people have much more in common with the Palestinians than is assumed from the outside. After all, they had to continue WWII by waging civil war against the local Nazis and collaborators, an especially bloody civil war started by the British who had allied themselves with the Nazis –even before the end of the war. Then the US took over from the British. And it is going on…

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 6, 2015, 12:12 pm

        “You may not be aware of this, but “national socialism” is not the same as socialism.”

        Having just finished re-reading Shirer’s “Rise and Fall…” I can tell you that those who took the “socialism” in Germany’s 1930’s “National Socialism” too seriously sometimes lived to regret it. But most of the time, they didn’t.

      • piotr
        piotr
        July 7, 2015, 12:24 am

        Hostage,

        as your citations show, if you apply cladistic approach to ideologies, contemporary Zionism is not much inspired by Nazism, instead, both were inspired by 19th-century colonialists and racist ideologies. And so does GOP. And yeah, colonialism is a more benign label than Nazi, but not THAT benign. In the struggle between civilized Germans and savage Herero, should we stand with the Germans?

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        July 7, 2015, 1:56 am

        Piotr,

        The affiliations are a wee bit worse, in that all three, the German “national movement”, Nazism and Zionism proceed from romantic early 19th-C German nationalism; the shared background of Blut und Boden, of keeping the race pure, contempt of wussy, weak, decent and traditional people, war as crucible of the new race, contempt for international law and treaties, contempt for rights not based on might, all is already there at the start. Then was added another layer, this time of British inspiration, by building itself up as a colonial movement –a twin colonial movement to Jan Smut’s South Africa. Weizmann was buddy-buddy with Smuts and Cecil Rhodes; he provided what was to develop later the Apartheid system etc. with his loyal Litvak troops. Ralph Schoenmann has collected a nice body of historical references (see https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/document/mideast/hidden/ for references that are a good start for searching further.)

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 7, 2015, 11:49 am

        Oh yes, I remember that well: “Who the hell do they think they are kidding? There is only one way to do this job (displace and dispossess the native people) and it’s not a nice way

  13. hophmi
    hophmi
    July 2, 2015, 10:07 pm

    As usual, you’re being disingenuous. Oren writes that Simon’s claim that he had never before had someone call before a story aired was nonsense, and that Simon edited out the entire content of what Oren said. Of course, you’ve left that out.

    You also don’t deal with the central problems with Simon’s story, which is that in a time when Christians were being ethnically cleansed from Iraq, Simon decided to do (yet another) story about Israel, and failed to include Christians living in Israel proper, who were likely to say positive things about Israel, or Christians in Gaza, who are oppressed by Hamas. He focused on West Bank Christians known to be critical of Israel, and likely to toe the party line because their identities were not shielded. He also refused to allow a full Israeli response, and then disingenuously edited what Oren said.

    • James North
      James North
      July 2, 2015, 10:19 pm

      hophmi: It sounds like you read Oren’s book already. What did you think of it? Is he going to win friends and influence people among American Jews?

      Also, you sound like you have first-hand experience with the effort to censor Bob Simon? Do you work at CBS, or have some other connection? Are you good friends with Michael Oren?

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        July 3, 2015, 12:28 pm

        I read it. I’m just going by what I read in the book. Oren claims to have spoken to Simon for over an hour and a half. It’s basic common sense that it was about more than Oren’s call to Jeff Fager, and also common sense that Oren was far from the first person to complain in advance about a story; I’m sure that even you don’t believe that one. He also says that he recommended to CBS that they disguise the identities of the Palestinians in the West Bank that were interviewed in order to ensure that they didn’t face reprisals so that they could ensure accuracy, which strikes me as completely reasonable for interviews conducted inside of a dictatorship like the Palestinian Authority.

        Lara Logan did eventually cover the ethnic cleansing of Christians by IS for 60 Minutes, albeit after it was essentially completed. One wonders whether more could have been done had Bob Simon done so in 2012. And no, Donald, I don’t think most Americans understand what has happened to Christians in the Middle East. I frankly don’t think they have a clue. They’re far too comfortable here to comprehend it. And regrettably, you guys on the hard left have not raised your voices at all because you’re afraid it will endanger your alliances with Muslim Arabs on issues like Israel-Palestine, and because countries that oppose the United States internationally couldn’t care less.

        And also, Donald, Palestinians in Israel criticize Israel in the foreign press ALL THE TIME, that is, when they’re not doing so from the floor of the Knesset. That’s what is possible when you live in a liberal democracy with civil liberties protection.

        And I’m not Oren’s biggest fan, though I would note that he’s plenty critical in the book of Israel’s failure to advance the two state solution, even as he admits that the conditions are difficult. He’s no rightist.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        July 3, 2015, 1:38 pm

        I frankly don’t think they have a clue. They’re far too comfortable here to comprehend it. And regrettably, you guys on the hard left have not raised your voices at all because you’re afraid it will endanger your alliances with Muslim Arabs on issues like Israel-Palestine, and because countries that oppose the United States internationally couldn’t care less.

        What a load of platitudinous crap. The PA “dictatorship” didn’t build the concrete wall that was used to persecute the Christians in Bob Simon’s report. And of course, it’s not like none of us have ever met or worked with any the Christian parties to the Kairos Palestine Document or that we’ve never condemned ISIS, like everyone else. As usual I don’t hear you complaining about the fact that UN observers have formally advised the Security Council that Israel has been collaborating with Al-Qaeda and ISIS in the Golan for months on end, despite the fact that they’ve massacred Muslim, Druze, and Christians alike in Syria.
        * UN Report: Israel in Regular Contact with Syrian Rebels including ISIS http://www.ibtimes.co.in/un-report-israel-regular-contact-syrian-rebels-including-isis-616404
        * UN reveals Israeli links with Syrian rebels: Reports by UN observers in the Golan submitted to 15 members of Security Council detail regular contact between IDF officers and armed Syrian opposition figures at the border. http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.630359
        * New UN report reveals collaboration between Israel and Syrian rebels http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/New-UN-report-reveals-collaboration-between-Israel-and-Syrian-rebels-383926

        I suppose that’s because Israeli Jews are far too comfortable and don’t have a clue about the fact that both those groups have murdered Jews in Europe. — ‘Competing ISIS & Al-Qaeda place European Jews under greater threat’ http://rt.com/uk/271465-isis-threat-jews-palestine/

      • annie
        annie
        July 3, 2015, 2:10 pm

        common sense that Oren was far from the first person to complain in advance about a story.

        no it’s not. 60 minute has done hundreds (if not thousands of shows, i don’t keep track) what makes common sense is for someone, claiming simon lied on air, to simply find an example of that complaining. why not just make a few phone calls hops?

        what reason would i or anyone have to assume simon would lie on air? not only that i am sure the staff for 60 minutes is quite large, and someone (several someones) would probably know if others had complained about a show prior to it being aired. what’s common sense is that at least someone would leak that information had simon been lying.

        so, thus far, there’s no evidence he lied, merely an allegation. these little rhetorical games ie ; I’m sure that even you don’t believe that one are unimpressive.

        failed to include Christians living in Israel proper, who were likely to say positive things about Israel

        you’re joking right? why would a palestinian christian living in israel likely say positive things about israel? do we read the same news? could he search for one or two palestinian christians? like one that joined the army? sure, but that doesn’t make it likely a palestinian christian would say nice things about israel.

      • Donald
        Donald
        July 4, 2015, 12:37 am

        “And no, Donald, I don’t think most Americans understand what has happened to Christians in the Middle East. I frankly don’t think they have a clue. ”

        There are a large number of Americans who are clueless on virtually every subject, so that means nothing. I know a person who thought you needed a passport to go to New Mexico. I’m not joking. But among those who do know something about the outside world, yeah, I think almost everyone knows that Christians are persecuted in much of the world. When I was a kid this was taken for granted–just as Jews might be taught about the long history of anti-semitism, or so I gather, Christians are often raised on a diet of how Christians (or their particular variant) are persecuted. When I was young it was mostly about the communists, but if you ever bother to read Christian magazines you will constantly see articles about Islam and threats to Christians. Christian magazines on the right love that kind of story, the ones where Christians are the victims persecuted for their faith. The conservative ones often veer far away from the stories that are more controversial, about the US support for countries that hurt innocent people and no, I don’t only mean Israel.

        People who don’t know about this are also unlikely to be keeping close tabs on what 60 Minutes has to say about the Israeli oppression of Palestinians. It seems to upset you and Oren that they say anything at all.

        And no, I don’t think that Palestinians in Israel would necessarily feel comfortable denouncing Israel to an American broadcast show–sure, some might, but many might not want the possible aggravation. And the idea that 60 Minutes wouldn’t give protection to Palestinians who wanted to criticize the PA or Hamas anonymously doesn’t pass the smell test. Also,contrary to popular belief, even in Gaza there are some people who run human rights organizations that criticize Hamas.

    • Donald
      Donald
      July 2, 2015, 11:06 pm

      So do you think Christians in Gaza would not be critical of Israel? And do you think people in the U.S. don’t know about the killings of Christians by radical Islamists in the Middle East? You just don’t want Israel’s crimes covered. And it is interesting that you think CBS wouldn’t give protection to Palestinians who wanted to criticize their own society–got any evidence for that or did you just assume it? And while we are at it, would Palestinian citizens of Israel feel completely safe criticizing Israel to a foreign news group? Would they feel any pressure?

      And it is fascinating that you come to Oren’s defense. Some liberal Zionist you are.

    • diasp0ra
      diasp0ra
      July 3, 2015, 5:26 am

      You seem to be under the misguided assumption that Christians in Israel and Gaza would not be critical of Israel, as if they are not Palestinians and have known nothing but hardship from Israel.

      Again, misdirection without any substance. It’s getting tiresome really.

      FYI, and not to diminish their suffering, but it’s not just Christians being cleansed from Iraq at that point. There isn’t a single ethnic or sectarian group that isn’t under fire in Iraq and Syria, even *shock* Muslims.

      Your claim to caring about Iraqi Christians is disingenuous and transparent. You only seem to care about other groups in the context of “What about X?”. If you truly cared for the Christians living under Israeli control then you should be happy that their hardship is exposed so it can perhaps get a modicum of attention. But all you care about is the reputation of your beloved state.

      I seriously cannot wait until Israel is as maligned as Apartheid South Africa was, and all of these liberal Zionists will weasel their way out of Pro-Israel circles and say “I was pro-Palestine the whole time!”. Good thing the internet exists. And good thing we have long memories. Memories you have tried to eradicate for over 68 years. Unsuccessfully, I might add.

    • eGuard
      eGuard
      July 3, 2015, 7:05 am

      Simon edited out the entire content of what Oren said.

      That’s called journalism. And no, not everything was out. Oren’s aim for censorship was aired.

    • July 3, 2015, 9:29 am

      “Oren writes that Simon’s claim that he had never before had someone call before a story aired was nonsense, and that Simon edited out the entire content of what Oren said ”

      Oren said?

      Please supply one (other) example of someone calling Bob Simon before a story aired.

      • MRW
        MRW
        July 3, 2015, 2:02 pm

        Simon said during the 60 Minutes show that Israel tried to prevent its airing.

    • Froggy
      Froggy
      July 3, 2015, 1:30 pm

      hophmi : “Simon decided to do (yet another) story about Israel, and failed to include Christians living in Israel proper, who were likely to say positive things about Israel….”

      Hardly….

      Christians’ life in Israel not so wonderful
      Op-ed: Pope’s visit was an opportunity to highlight
      distress and discrimination suffered by Christian
      community in State of Israel.

      Farid Jubran
      Published: 05.30.14, 20:51 / Israel Opinion

      Pope Francis’ historic visit to Israel this week, beyond its political and symbolic meaning, was highly important for the Christians living in the country. It was an opportunity to put their distress on the agenda.

      The Christians’ situation in the Middle East is difficult. In Iraq, Syria and Egypt, churches are torched and Christians are slaughtered over their religion as a matter of routine. In some parts of Syria the Islamic Sharia laws have been applied, Christians are forbidden to conduct ritual ceremonies in public and special taxes have been imposed on them.

      On the background of the religious persecution in many of the region’s countries, there is an impression that the Christians’ situation in Israel is good. In his latest AIPAC address, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boasted that Israel was “the one country in the Middle East that protects Christians,” and Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor elaborated on the wonderful treatment of Christians in an article in the Wall Street Journal.

      Comparing between the situation of Christians in Israel and the situation of their brothers in the Middle East is populist and shameful. The “only democracy in the Middle East,” whose leaders say has “shared values” with the countries of the West, should compare the situation of its minorities to the situation of minorities in the countries it has shared values with, rather than to the situation of minorities in Middle Eastern countries.

      There are some 140,000 Christians in Israel, 1.7% of the population. A minority of a minority, exposed to waves of hatred. How can anyone forget the image of Knesset Member Michael Ben-Ari ripping the pages of the New Testament at the Knesset and throwing them into the garbage while uttering harsh words of incitement?

      Jews in Israel fire gunshots inside churches and set fire to monasteries, spray-paint malicious graffiti and slash the tires of Christians’ cars. In the Old City of Jerusalem, religious Jews spit on monks, and in Christian cemeteries gravestones are shattered. Death threats are sent to bishops and heads of Christian communities.

      Dozens of hate crimes – and the authorities stand idly by, apart from a few words of condemnation to do the minimum.

      The state itself restricts the churches’ activity immensely by imposing a strict and discriminating regime of visas for Christian clerics. A priest who wishes to stay in Israel in order to serve in one of the Christian communities will be forced to undergo a humiliating via dolorosa on the part of the authorities until he receives the stay permit, if at all.

      Many Christian clerics have been residing in Israel for several decades and are still restricted to a visa which does not grant them any social rights, despite their years-long service for the community in churches, schools, hospitals, senior citizens’ homes, etc.

      The Christian schools that have existed in this country for centuries, in which generations of Christians, Muslims and Jews have been educated, are suffering from discrimination in the form of significantly low budgets compared to the state schools and a lack of Christian supervisors. In addition, their identity, nature and the autonomy they have always enjoyed are constantly undermined.

      The Christian community itself is divided on the issue of its sons’ enlistment with the army, and the debate is inflaming the situation. The government, instead of acting as the “responsible adult” and encouraging a public discourse, has chosen to side with the enlistment supporters and set the law enforcement authorities on those who oppose it, while launching an intimidation campaign and attempting to undermine the ethnic and national identity of the Christians in Israel.

      The pope’s visit, therefore, serves as a golden opportunity for decision makers in Israel. If all it comes down to is ceremonies, then it was an unnecessary visit. If, on the other hand, the visit serves as a catalyst for a discussion on the acute issues related to the Christians in Israel and on the way to handle them, it will be a blessing for everyone.
      —————————————–
      Farid Jubran is an Arab Christian lawyer and a citizen of the State of Israel.

      http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4525312,00.html

      • JWalters
        JWalters
        July 3, 2015, 6:10 pm

        Thanks for this excellent report. The fundamentalist Christian preachers in America need to include some of these facts in their sermons about Israel.

      • Froggy
        Froggy
        July 3, 2015, 7:25 pm

        JWalters : Everybody ought to read it, along with the comments at the bottom of the page. Horrid.

        I’ve been there, and I saw some of this for myself.

    • MRW
      MRW
      July 3, 2015, 2:01 pm

      hophmi,

      Simon reported on Christians in Gaza. I saw that 60 Minutes show.

    • tree
      tree
      July 4, 2015, 2:22 am

      I find it the height of disingenuousness for hophmi, who has said on this very site,

      “I could care less that Christian killed Christians in endless intraChristian wars. It only goes to show that the religious hatred they showed for the Jews was similar to how they treated one another. ”

      http://mondoweiss.net/2013/03/double-standard#comment-549384

      pretends to be concerned that 60 minutes didn’t adequately cover the persecution of Christians in other countries. His only concern here has ever been making excuses for Israel’s bad behavior.

      Also, for those interested, here’s the link to the 60 minutes program that Oren objected to, and inserted himself into:

      http://www.cbsnews.com/news/christians-of-the-holy-land/

      Its really quite bland, and repeats the falsity that the Separation Wall was responsible for the end of suicide attacks in Israel; it also edited out the Christian call in the Kairos Document for the boycott of Israeli goods (although that is available as an extra on the website) and it gets into very few specifics. There is no interview with Palestinian Christians in Nazareth, but besides Oren assuring us that Israel cares deeply for its Christian citizens, and Ari Shavit doing similar, its likely that by Oren inserting himself into the segment he took time away from the report that could have been used to actually hear from Christians in Israel, who are themselves discriminated against despite their citizenship.

      Oren totally gives himself away at about 12 minutes into the segment, when he says,

      ” Michael Oren: Bob, I’m the ambassador of the State of Israel. I do that very, very infrequently as ambassador. It’s just– that’s an extraordinary move for me to complain about something. When I heard that you were going to do a story about Christians in the Holy Land and my assum– and– and had, I believe, information about the nature of it, and it’s been confirmed by this interview today.

      Bob Simon: Nothing’s been confirmed by the interview, Mr. Ambassador, because you don’t know what’s going to be put on air.

      Michael Oren: Okay. I don’t. True.”

      Note he starts to say “my assumption” but thinks better of it, because if he admits that he assumed a story about Christians in Israel/Palestine would be negative towards Israel then he has to explain why he would think that, other than the fact that he knows that Israel does treat Christians poorly.

      As for Oren’s complaint that his hour and a half interview got edited, the man is a total egomaniac. “60 minutes” is, surprisingly enough, a 60 minute program, including commercial breaks. They usually do 3 or 4 stories each program and that particular story was about 15 minutes long. And Oren thinks that his hour and a half interview should have been aired in its entirety? What a narcissist.

    • Brewer
      Brewer
      July 4, 2015, 2:53 pm

      “Christians living in Israel proper, who were likely to say positive things about Israel, or Christians in Gaza, who are oppressed by Hamas”

      Y’mean like:

      October 2014

      In a Middle East region that continues to suffer from the consequences of violence, the people of Palestine continue to live under occupation and in exile. Palestinian Christians, the descendants of the first Christians, are an integral part of the Palestinian people, continue to suffer, just like our Palestinian Muslim and Samaritan brothers and sisters, we have been denied of our national and human rights for almost a century. From Jerusalem, our occupied capital, we send our urgent message to the whole world and particularly to Europe: We are yearning for justice and peace. Recognizing Palestine and defining Israel’s borders is a first step towards that goal.

      We have endured dispossession and forced exile since 1948, when the majority of Palestine’s Christians were forcibly expelled from their homes in the Holy Land. We have persevered through 66 years of exile and 47 years of occupation, holding on to the message of peace of Our Lord. We are tired of calls for resumptions of negotiations while we can’t reach our churches due to a foreign power and our people continue to be humiliated by an undesirable occupation. We are waiting for the day that our churches will ring celebrating freedom and justice.

      Christians have a duty to resist oppression. We believe the international community and particularly Europe has not done enough in order to achieve a just and lasting peace. You cannot continue holding our right to freedom and self-determination as an Israeli prerogative. We have a natural right to be free and Europe has a moral, legal and political duty to hold Israel accountable and support Palestinian non-violent initiatives to end the Israeli occupation, including the recognition of the State of Palestine on the 1967 border with East Jerusalem as its capital.

      Until when will you continue accepting Israel’s violations of your own resolutions? Until when will you allow that the prospects of peace will continue to be destroyed by Israeli colonization? Until when should we be allowed to be treated as foreigners in our own homeland? Ending Israeli occupation is the only way for Palestinians, Christians and Muslims, to enjoy a life of prosperity and progress. It is also the surest way to secure continued Christian presence in this, our Holy Land, and to grant Israel the security that it continues to demand. Without Justice there can be no peace nor security.

      It is time for Europe to understand that the only way to defeat extremism and terrorism in our region is to bring justice for all, starting by ending the historic injustice inflicted against the Palestinian people, an open wound that continues to bleed as the hopes for an independent Palestinian state are more elusive due to the expansion of Israeli settlements and the many restrictions imposed on our own people, including forced displacement.

      In our Kairos document, we Palestinian Christians declare that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is a sin against God and humanity because it deprives Palestinians of their basic human rights, bestowed by God.

      We believe that recognizing the State of Palestine on the 1967 border is the first step towards changing the current status quo. Banning settlement products and divesting from companies and organizations linked directly or indirectly to the Israeli occupation is also a must. 66 years after the beginning of the Palestinian Nakba and 47 years after the occupation, it is time for the State of Palestine to be free and become a full member of the United Nations. That is why we call upon European governments to fully endorse the just Palestinian quest for freedom and independence.

      The international community, and particularly Europe, have a historic responsibility towards the rights of the Palestinian People. Europe has long championed the values of peace and human rights. Now, Europe can reflect this principled position by helping Palestine.

      From the Holy Land, we call on you to take this principled position to recognize the State of Palestine and to abide by your legal responsibilities towards a nation under occupation, in order to be able to celebrate justice and peace in the land of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.
      _________________________________________________________________________________

      The document is signed by over a hundred Palestinian Church leaders, diplomats, and civil society leaders and organizations, including Archbishop Atallah Hanna, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and Patriarch Emeritus Michael Sabbah, Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

      – See more at: http://www.paxchristi.net/news/statement-palestinian-christian-leaders-europe-must-recognize-state-palestine/3773#sthash.hpJxpUjl.dpuf

      • Brewer
        Brewer
        July 5, 2015, 5:51 am

        I mean, could the message be any clearer? Why do you, Hophmi, remain in denial?? Let me repeat_
        The document is signed by over a hundred Palestinian Church leaders, diplomats, and civil society leaders and organizations, including Archbishop Atallah Hanna, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and Patriarch Emeritus Michael Sabbah, Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
        You are vulnerable on this point and its about time you gave some consideration to other vulnerable points in your acculturated philosophy.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 6, 2015, 6:43 pm

        “You are vulnerable on this point and its about time you gave some consideration to other vulnerable points in your acculturated philosophy. “

        “Brewer” everybody here has an archive, accessible, as you undoubtedly know, by clicking on their name, but for some reason I enjoy typing the word “accessible” (And one of these days I’ll spell it right the first time!)
        Anyway, click on Hophmi’s archive, start at either end or in the middle and you can see if a single fact presented here has made the slightest dent in his consciousness. It’s a stupendous accumulation, an Aegean stable, of denial.

      • Froggy
        Froggy
        July 7, 2015, 7:08 am

        Brewer :

        Excellent find!

  14. Vera Gottlieb
    Vera Gottlieb
    July 3, 2015, 9:11 am

    What does israel have to hide??? Can’t stand criticism….well, if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen.

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      July 4, 2015, 7:07 am

      They have lots to hide. They want the US press to keep portraying them as victims, and to make those they occupy, look like the criminals. It has been successful so far. Oren, is just like the rest of the zionists, they whine and try to intimidate everyone they can, so that they can get their way. Bob Simon is one of the very rare journalists who are courageous enough to stand up to this nonsense. The majority of Americans in the media, toe the zionist line, and never utters the words “illegal settlements” or “Occupation”. Media, media, media.

  15. Kay24
    Kay24
    July 4, 2015, 8:27 am

    The kissing up has started. The way to the WH is kissing up to Israel’s large posterior.
    Hillary joins the loyalty and devotion club. Does this mean more aid, weapons, support, and okaying massacres in Gaza? Nothing changes in US politics.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.664349

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      July 5, 2015, 4:56 pm

      I see much larger US aid to Israel over the next decade, no matter what Israel does that’s not in US best interests. Our political campaign finance system rings the death knell for US sovereignty and best values. All three branches and the Fourth Estate, main media, work towards this scenario daily, with no end in sight. The “consent of the governed” is a joke because of the half dozen corporations’ agendas that control 90% of all news US public has access to routinely.

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