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Thank you, Chief Rabbi. Now I know: Judaism is to blame for the Nakba

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on 176 Comments

Dear Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis,

When it comes to defining Zionism, you have brought crystal clarity.

You have been emphatic and categorical. You have left no room for doubt.

And why am I writing to you today? Well it’s Nakba Day.  And thanks to you, I can now join a perfect straight line between Judaism and the Palestinian ‘Catastrophe’.

However, I imagine you and I will disagree strongly on the implications of that straight line.

Here’s how you explained Zionism in your recent article for the Daily Telegraph.

“…a noble and integral part of Judaism”.

“…one of the axioms of Jewish belief”.

“…one can no more separate it from Judaism than separate the City of London from Great Britain.”

Well, who am I to disagree? After all, you are the Chief Rabbi and your Jewish education far exceeds mine.

Judaism, Zionism, the modern State of Israel – it’s all one thing, all one natural continuum. This is our heritage. This is the faith of our people as it has been handed down to us.

In the past, I’d mistakenly tried to separate Judaism from the consequences of Zionism. I wanted Judaism to be pure, untainted by atrocity.

But how can that be if you are right?

So now let us talk about the Nakba.

The displacement of 750,000 Palestinians from their land. The 400 Palestinian towns and villages destroyed. The four million acres of Palestinian land expropriated. The many massacres of men women and children.

I used to think the moral responsibility for all of this should go to Zionism alone. After all, the last quarter century of Israeli scholarship has confirmed where the blame rests for this tragedy. I wanted the 19th century secular project of Zionism to take the rap for the destruction of Palestinian culture, commerce and life. And so I had attempted to place an ethical firewall around Judaism itself.

But that’s too simple.

Why should Judaism be the only religion incapable of committing crimes in the name of faith and God?

Just as Christian antisemitism cannot be dismissed as an ‘aberration of the true Christian faith’ nor can Zionism be considered an entirely separate phenomenon that we can choose to distance from Judaism.

So, Chief Rabbi, you are right and I was wrong. But the consequences for each of us are very different.

For you, Zionism and its achievements are a matter of pride, a modern Jewish miracle. And those that criticise Zionism must be antisemitic.

For me, the Nakba tells me something quite different. And it’s a painful realisation. As much as I would like Judaism to be un-corrupted it can never be so. And as the Nakba continues to this day so too does the corruption inside the soul of Judaism.

Chief Rabbi, your belief that Zionism and Judaism are one in the same is important to acknowledge. Although you fail to see this yourself, your definition of Zionism makes clear that the moral crisis we face is not just for Jews but for Judaism itself.

My questions on Nakba day are these: Is there a Jewish way through? Is there the Jewish courage to face into this? After atrocity can the soul of Judaism be rescued?

Yours faithfully,

Robert Cohen

This post first appeared on Patheos site last week on Nakba Day

 

Robert Cohen
About Robert Cohen

Cohen is a British writer. He blogs at Micah's Paradigm Shift. http://micahsparadigmshift.blogspot.co.uk/

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176 Responses

  1. oldgeezer
    oldgeezer
    May 22, 2016, 11:48 am

    Judaism is one of the great religions. It is a shame to see it become tainted by mixing it with political beliefs. It likely won’t end well.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 22, 2016, 12:40 pm

      “Judaism is one of the great religions.”

      Umm, doesn’t that sort of beg for the question “And which is one of the near-great, well, not-so-great, and downright yecchy religions?”
      BTW, any other religions sanctioning settler-colonialism, illegal occupation and the rest these days? Co-operating in it? Judaism, the religious institution, hasn’t got the frigging power to raise a peep over it and say “We don’t need this shit, cut it out?” That’s not greatness in religion to me, but let it pass.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        May 22, 2016, 12:51 pm

        Judaism, the religious institution, hasn’t got the frigging power to raise a peep over it and say “We don’t need this shit, cut it out?” That’s not greatness in religion to me, but let it pass.

        Well said, Mooser.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        May 22, 2016, 1:03 pm

        @Mooser

        I am speaking about the legacy of it’s teachings over hundreds and thousands of years. I would agree it has been coopted or hijacked in the modern era. As a non believer I could list some of the not so great religions or more correctly variants but I won’t. They are all qiaint to me to a degree.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 22, 2016, 1:43 pm

        It reminds me of a classic Jewish joke. The Chef Rabbi (stop me if I’ve told it before) is going downstairs for a fresh bar of halvah and trips on the stairs and sprains his ankle. His followers (sou Rabbis and prep Rabbis) crowd around him, and one suggests “It won’t hurt so much if you keep repeating “Judaism is one of the great religions”. The Rabbi said:
        “One of the great religions? Feh, it’s a religion.”

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 22, 2016, 1:48 pm

        “I am speaking about the legacy of it’s teachings over hundreds and thousands of years.”

        Me, I’d rather step in a steaming pile than jump into quicksand. But suit yourself.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        May 22, 2016, 4:29 pm

        Well said indeed, Mooser. Mind you, if any persons manage to talk back to the CR on theological or moral grounds and to be taken seriously they will almost certainly be Jewish. The main Christian and secular groups will agree, mutter quietly among themselves or feel a little embarrassed. The Church of England will be conspicuously useless, I think.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 22, 2016, 6:02 pm

        “well said, indeed”

        I’m not so sure. I don’t think I told that joke correctly.

    • rosross
      rosross
      May 24, 2016, 12:46 am

      I am not sure what ‘great’ means when applied to religions.

      Does ‘great’ mean powerful as in militarily? Does ‘great’ mean old?

      My view of great is that which contributes greatly and immeasurably to the quality of human life and existence and I do not believe any religion has ever done that or does it today.

      Many spiritual teachings are ‘great’ in their wisdom and substance without being defined as a religion. In fact Judaism drew most of its teachings from the ancient Egyptian religions, plural, and also a great deal from Greek philosophy and teaching when the Greeks were instrumental in educating Hebrews.

      So, while aspects of any teachings can constitute great, it is hard to make a case for any particular religion, particularly given the atrocities committed in their name, in the past and still.

      And if you read the history of Judaism, you will find in its earliest times it was just as political as any other religion and equally, if not more bloodthirsty.

      In fact, like all other religions it remains political and particularly bloodthirsty.

      • Antidote
        Antidote
        May 28, 2016, 4:32 am

        I would agree that all Abrahamic religions (and plenty of others, too) are “bloodthirsty”. It is therefore both pointless and misleading to posit some unbridgeable gulf between Judaism and Zionism, or even between Christianity/Islam and colonialism, imperialism, or fascism.

        It all depends on how one reads religious texts that are, in essence, completely contradictory, thus leading to the paradoxical view of any of these religions as religions of peace, and/or of war and genocide.

        From a recent article published in Haaretz on the topic:

        Calls for genocide. Instructions for how to manage sex slaves captured in battle. Death penalty for homosexuals. When you read these words, what comes to mind? ISIS?  Boko Haram? Al Shabaab?
        Keep thinking. Every year, Jews across the world gather weekly to read consecutive portions of the Torah, Judaism’s holiest text, which features the morally repugnant list above as well as many other offensive passages (genocide: Deuteronomy 20:16-17; sex slavery: Deuteronomy 21:10-13; death penalty for homosexuals: Leviticus 20:13). The completion of this annual reading cycle is celebrated on a holiday called Simhat Torah, which begins next week.
        Is there any justification for Jews continuing to celebrate the completion of a book that reads in part like an instruction manual on how to be a terrible person?
        The answer depends on how we approach the text. The Talmud states that the Torah can be a “deadly poison” or an “elixir of life” depending on the mindset of the person who studies it (Ta’anit 7a). For those who approach the Torah unquestioningly as a guidebook, these passages can, quite literally, be “deadly.” One need not look further than the past few months: The ultra-Orthodox murderer at this year’s Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem and the fundamentalist Jews who burned a Palestinian family alive are chilling examples of what happens when people blindly follow the words of a book that advocates homophobia and genocide.
        There is, however, another way to read the Torah — one that turns it into an “elixir of life.” Under this approach, the Torah is not an instruction manual. Instead, it is a mirror that forces us to grapple with all of the beautiful, complicated and ugly parts of our humanity.
        In addition to genocide, sex slavery and homophobia, the Torah contains deeply moral messages about pursuing justice (Deuteronomy 16:20), giving charity generously (Deuteronomy 15:7-8), and caring for the most vulnerable in society, like the stranger, the orphan and the widow (Exodus 22:20-22). By revisiting these drastically contrasting passages within the same holy book every year, we are forced to continually ask ourselves what our position is on these issues, to answer the very first question in the Torah: Where are you? (Genesis 3:9).

        read more: http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/the-jewish-thinker/.premium-1.678337

      • Eva Smagacz
        Eva Smagacz
        May 28, 2016, 6:30 am

        Deuteronomy 21:10-13King James Version (KJV)

        10 When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the Lord thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive,

        11 And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife;

        12 Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house, and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;

        13 And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife.

        Wonder how long before those settlers who take Torah literally, will build a wee dungeons in their properties for their beautiful women captives where they are kept with shaved heads….. All according to God’s will, of course (/sarcasm off).

        But hey, once you are tired of her, all is not lost, because dungeon is reusable and there is no clear prohibition to have more than one captive at the time:

        Deuteronomy 21:10-13King James Version (KJV)

        “And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not deal with her as a slave, because thou hast humbled her.”

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 28, 2016, 12:52 pm

        “It all depends on how one reads religious texts…”

        Why isn’t there a disclaimer on the damn things? You know: “Kids! Do not try this at home!” or something.

  2. Shmuel
    Shmuel
    May 22, 2016, 12:16 pm

    “…a noble and integral part of Judaism”.

    “…one of the axioms of Jewish belief”.

    “…one can no more separate it from Judaism than separate the City of London from Great Britain.”

    Funny how that escaped so many Jews and Jewish leaders — including Rabbi Mirvis’ own predecessor Hermann Adler (chief rabbi of the British Empire, 1891-1911) — when the idea of modern political Zionism was first proposed and promoted by a certain Hungarian journalist. One would have thought that Hermann Adler, Moritz Guedemann (chief rabbi of Vienna), leaders of Hasidic and Misnadgic Judaism in Eastern Europe, and virtually all of the rabbis of Germany (both Orthodox and Reform) would at least have been aware of such an “integral part of Judaism” and “axiom of Jewish belief”.

    • Sibiriak
      Sibiriak
      May 22, 2016, 4:46 pm

      …one can no more separate it from Judaism than separate the City of London from Great Britain.”
      ———————-

      Radically off topic (or symbolic): as a matter of fact the City of London IS in some critical respects separate from the rest of Great Britain:

      On the face of it, the Corporation of London, as it is sometimes known, is merely the municipal authority for City of London, a 1.22 square mile of prime financial real estate located at the geographical center of the physical, sprawling metropolis of greater London.

      But the Corporation of London is far more than a municipal authority. It is a lobbying organization for the financial sector that is so deeply embedded in the fabric of the British nation-state that it has become impossible in Britain, even after the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression, to confront or even seriously check the power of finance. Without understanding the Corporation of London, one cannot properly understand how Wall Street has become so powerful in the United States.

      […]London hosts more foreign banks than any other financial center. In 2008 the city accounted for half of all international trade in equities, nearly 45 percent of over-the-counter derivatives turnover, 70 percent of Eurobond turnover, 35 percent of global currency trading, and 55 percent of all international public offerings. 24 New York is bigger in areas like securitization, insurance, mergers and acquisitions, and asset management, but much of its business is domestic, making London easily the world’s biggest international and offshore financial hub. The head of the Corporation of London is the Lord Mayor of London, not to be confused with the mayor of London, who runs the much larger greater London municipality that contains the City, geographically speaking, but has no jurisdiction over its nonmunicipal affairs. And this separation of powers matters.

      […]The City’s nine thousand odd human residents have one vote each in municipal elections here. But businesses in the City vote too, as if they were human, with thirty-two thousand corporate votes. 25 In effect, Goldman Sachs, the Bank of China, Moscow Narodny Bank, and KPMG can vote in a hugely important British election. The strangeness goes deeper and deeper. In fact the Corporation is so ancient and mystifying that barely any outsiders understand it.

      […]The City’s special privileges stem ultimately from the power of financial capital. Britain’s rulers have needed the City’s money and have given the City what it wants in exchange.

      Over the centuries the City has used this magic formula to carve out for itself privilege after privilege, exempting itself from laws it dislikes and turning itself into a state within a state: a true offshore island partly separate from Britain and protected from tides of history that have swept the British nation-state over the centuries.

      Monarchs, firebrands, and demagogues who tried to roll back the City’s special rights and privileges had occasional successes, but most came to a sticky end, and the City vigorously reasserted its rights.

      It was, one nineteenth-century reformer said, “like some prehistoric monster which had mysteriously survived into the modern world.”

      ————————————-

      Nicholas Shaxson, “Treasure Islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax Havens ” [emphasis added]

      • Pixel
        Pixel
        May 24, 2016, 2:54 pm

        Few people are aware of this and its larger implications.

      • Boo
        Boo
        May 24, 2016, 9:19 pm

        “…one can no more separate it from Judaism than separate the City of London from Great Britain.”

        The proper corollary to this, as far as the Chief Rabbi is concerned, must necessarily be that one can no more separate the City of Jerusalem from Eretz Israel than one can separate the City of London from Great Britain.

        That may be logical to him, but of course it flies in the face of UN Resolution 181. Perhaps a small matter to the Chief Rabbi, but significant to every civilized nation with one notable exception.

  3. Mooser
    Mooser
    May 22, 2016, 12:18 pm

    Dissect, dissect, dissect! Is that all you people ever do?

    IT’S COMPLICATED!

  4. Ozma
    Ozma
    May 22, 2016, 1:16 pm

    Does this make cluster bombs a sacrament?

    • Boo
      Boo
      May 24, 2016, 9:11 pm

      One might also ask whether it makes Willie Pete the agent of a holocaust (in its original Old Testament meaning, of course).

  5. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    May 22, 2016, 3:55 pm

    Zionism, I see from Mirvis, is belief in Jewish self-determination in the land central to Judaism for 3,000 years.
    I have a problem in that I have never seen a definition of self determination that is coherent and plausible and I certainly don’t believe it’s anywhere in the Bible: show me where. However I think it is still possible to show that Mirvis is mistaken rather seriously.
    If the claim is not exclusive to Jews then Zionism, which is denying anything that can be represented as s-d to Palestinians, is not fulfilling the requirements of Judaism.
    If the claim is that only Jews have this right then Judaism claims that non-Jews lack rights that Jews have. This would be a claim by Judaism that I would want to deny and argue against. There is no obligation to accept, indeed no possibility of accepting, all claims of all religions and declining to accept some of them is an expression not of prejudice but of reason.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 22, 2016, 5:55 pm

      “I have a problem in that I have never seen a definition of self determination that is coherent and plausible”

      I thought self-determination is the right of a people to determine their own form of government once those oppressions keeping them from doing so (like occupation and unwilling annexation) have been removed. Another words, even tho the Nazis occupied a country during WW2, they don’t have to stay Nazi-governed after the Nazis are gone.
      It usually doesn’t include inventing a false polity, assembling from all over the world and dispossessing the people there by force, on the basis of religious teachings, or something. That’s something else. It’s something, but it’s not self-determination. One Zionist here, I recall, called it “self self-determination” and for all I know he may be right.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        May 24, 2016, 12:57 pm

        I acknowledge the right of all persons to be enfranchised citizens of a sovereign state, subject in extreme circumstances (Germany 1945) to suspension in a clearly temporary fashion, and that international boundaries should not be changed by seizure on the part of a conqueror. Beyond this there are serious difficulties. If a polity has broken up with no question of reconstitution the best thing may be for the its former provincial boundaries to become international boundaries – but this may be very difficult. If the Roman Empire has broken up, should Britannia become one independent state? What if the northern areas don’t like the southern rulers or would rather join Denmark, which the southerners hate and fear? What if a major city in the north has strongly southern sympathies?
        I can’t see how one can frame a universal right for the people of any and every locality to have the international boundaries they want, and the matter becomes even more complicated and fantastic if not only localities but other common interests, such as language and religion, are brought into the story.
        Self-determination became an important slogan after WW1 but the actual attempts of international lawyers to frame a definition of it seem to me to have resulted in extreme confusion.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 24, 2016, 1:09 pm

        “seem to me to have resulted in extreme confusion.”

        Not really, I venture to suggest, timidly. The fact that we can’t know exactly what self-determination” might be in every possible circumstance doesn’t mean we don’t know what self-determination definitely isn’t.
        Was there a lot of plain old ‘determination” in Zionism? You bet.

    • rosross
      rosross
      May 24, 2016, 12:49 am

      Self determination applies to a literal people or nation. It does not apply to religious followers.

      If it did then all religions would be entitled to self-determination, nationality, and, one presumes, where their religion began. For Jews that would be Iraq and for Christians, Palestine so the Jews would have to move anyway if the religious concept of self-determination held sway.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        May 25, 2016, 8:16 am

        Self determination actually applies to the habitual residents in a certain territory despite their religion or ethnic heritage. We usually consider “the people” living in this territory to be its nation. The citizens of Palestine (“Palestinians”) in 1948 had the right to self determination in Palestine. Not Jewish or Nojewish foreigners (refugees, illegal immigrants, etc.). Everyone living outside of Palestine (whether Jewish) or not had NO right to self determination IN Palestine.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        May 27, 2016, 7:51 am

        There is already complete confusion over the alleged right of s-d even if you consider only the inhabitants of areas. The Flemish area of Belgium would probably welcome the formation of an independent Flemish state, but the city of Brussels, which is within that area, would always desire a political link with French Belgium or with France. Both Flanders and Belgium are areas with inhabitants but if you accord s-d to both the result is contradiction.
        There is also the question of ‘inhabitants at what time?’ The events of 48 went against the wishes of the majority of inhabitants of Palestine: should they be, in the name of s-d, negated now, even though now there is majority support within Green Line Israel for, at very least, the maintenance of a Jewish State within that line, and so with a massively unfair share of Mandate Palestine resources? Is the right of s-d conditional, in this and perhaps other cases, on the nature of past events? But then which past events? I guess R. Mirvis would argue that it was the denial of s-d to the Jews of 70 CE which is the crucial thing and that there had been no valid act of s-d in the area until the glorious days of 1948.
        Again, which inhabitants? The UN Charter is of no help when we ask ‘What are peoples?’ but the UN idea of Trusteeship does seem to refer without reservation to inhabitants generally. But citizens might feel that non-citizens do not have the same rights. But non-citizens have human needs and may have nowhere else to go.
        It is because all these difficulties are always sensed but never faced that the UN Charter and its successor documents have never provided a clear definition of s-d to which we can refer, nor indeed a clear definition of peoples. It is this persistent indefinition that opens the way to awful ideas which have devastating effect or which are little better than preposterous, such as that religious groups are peoples for these purposes. Ros often objects to this idea but how can she prove her point if no one is saying what a people is? If no one is saying what s-d is but we all continue to treat the term with reverence how can we say that Mirvis is wrong?
        Where’s RoHa?

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        May 27, 2016, 9:52 am

        MHughes976: There is already complete confusion over the alleged right of s-d even if you consider only the inhabitants of areas.
        ——————-

        But international law, pace Talkback, does NOT “consider only inhabitants of areas”. So while the “complete confusion” you describe may exist in some imagined philosophical realm, it does not exist in the actual practice of international law.

        In the realm of international law, self-determination is a tightly circumscribed right which in almost all instances is balanced by other competing rights, and usually subordinated to them (eg. to states’ right to territorial integrity.)

        I’m not a saying there are not major complexities and contradictions involved with the right of self-determination– but that’s true of most rights. Most have difficult definitional issues and most compete with other rights.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 27, 2016, 11:54 am

        “In the realm of international law, self-determination is a tightly circumscribed right which in almost all instances is balanced by other competing rights, and usually subordinated to them (eg. to states’ right to territorial integrity.)”

        And you can get the right of “self-determination” by assembling people from all over the globe on an invented ‘peoplehood’ and colonizing a place? Cool.

        “balanced by other competing rights”

        The rights of the conqueror? Divine right?

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        May 27, 2016, 2:51 pm

        Mooser: And you can get the right of “self-determination” by assembling people from all over the globe on an invented ‘peoplehood’ and colonizing a place?
        ———————–

        No. There’s no basis for that in international law.

        The creation of a Jewish State in Palestine was in direct contradiction to the principle of self-determination–and that was explicitly recognized at the time. The United Nations Special Committee on Palestine’s report of September 1947, in appraising the Arab case against partition, concluded:

        With regard to the principle of self-determination, although international recognition was extended to this principle at the end of the First World War and it was adhered to with regard to the other Arab territories, at the time of the creation of the “A” Mandates, it was not applied to Palestine, obviously because of the intention to make possible the creation of the Jewish National Home there.

        Actually, it may well be said that the Jewish National Home and the sui generis Mandate for Palestine run counter to that principle. [emphasis added]

        https://unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal.nsf/0/07175DE9FA2DE563852568D3006E10F3

        ———————————————

        The rights of the conqueror?

        No, the principle of self-determination was formulated to negate any rights of conquest.

        Divine Right?

        Nope, does not exist in international law.

        Just because Zionist ideologues misconstrue and misrepresent the right to self-determination in defense of Israeli policies does not mean that that right should be automatically denigrated by anti-Zionists.

        In fact, it’s central to the defense of Palestinian rights. The ICJ, for example, relied specifically on the right to self-determination in its judgment that the “Wall” and regime of occupation in the West Bank were illegal under international law.

      • talknic
        talknic
        May 27, 2016, 3:46 pm

        @ Sibiriak May 27, 2016, 2:51 pm

        “The ICJ, for example, relied specifically on the right to self-determination….”

        ;-)

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 27, 2016, 4:42 pm

        “No. There’s no basis for that in international law.”

        Thanks for clearing that up.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        May 27, 2016, 6:10 pm

        talknic: @ Sibiriak: “The ICJ, for example, relied specifically on the right to self-determination….” ;-)
        ———————————

        Yes, that’s absolutely true. But there’s two points you are failing to grasp:

        1) According the ICJ, the Palestinian people have a right to self-determination only in their own territory, which the ICJ specifically defines in terms of 1949 Armistice “Green Line” border–NOT United Nations res. 181 recommended partition lines.

        **The ICJ affirmed that the Construction of the wall was illegal wherever it departed from the 1949 armistice line and went into Palestinian territory.

        **Territory OUTSIDE U.N. res 181 recommended partition borders but INSIDE the Green Line was designated by the ICJ as “Israeli territory”, and if the “Wall” had been built there, it would have been perfectly legal.

        **The General Assembly adopted resolution ES-10/13 which:“Demands that Israel stop and reverse the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, which is in departure of the Armistice Line of 1949 and is in contradiction to relevant provisions of international law…

        **The General Assembly adopted resolution ES-10/14: “Affirming the necessity of ending the conflict on the basis of the two-State solution of Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security based on the Armistice Line of 1949, in accordance with relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.

        **Although the ICJ was not specifically asked to address the validity of the “Green Line” border, the ICJ in fact did just that.

        From the ICJ “Wall” opinion:

        68. The question put by the General Assembly concerns the legal consequences of the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. However, in order to indicate those consequences to the General Assembly the Court must first determine whether or not the construction of that wall breaches international law (see paragraph 39 above). It will therefore make this determination before dealing with the consequences of the construction.

        69. To do so, the Court will first make a brief analysis of the status of the territory concerned, and will then describe the works already constructed or in course of construction in that territory. It will then indicate the applicable law before seeking to establish whether that law has been breached. [emphasis added]

        In completing that analysis, the ICJ looked into the political and legal history going all the way back to the mandate period, long before Israel became a UN member.

        [HOSTAGE:] [The ICJ] had to review all of these arguments about the Mandate instrument and the equally silly arguments about the Oslo Accords that had been advanced by the Israeli Foreign Ministry Chief Legal Counsel, Dr. Alan Baker (also a member of the Levy Commission). The Court had to do that as part of its analysis of the legal status of the territory in the Wall case. [emphasis added]

        Moreover, the ICJ specifically cited the UN resolutions sponsoring the Armistice Agreements in determining that the Armistice “Green Line” –not res 181 recommended partition borders–was the dividing line between Israeli and Palestinian territory:

        [Annie Robbins:] i would support two states if israel would start by defining those borders. it won’t.

        [HOSTAGE:] Israel did that when it signed the Armistice Agreements as a provisional measure under Article 40, Chapter VII of the UN Charter. The ICJ cited Security Council resolution 62 and the other relevant resolutions in determining the legal status of the territory. I’ve noted elsewhere that Israel admitted the status of the territory is unchallengeable in the absence of a new round of negotiations and mutual consent. [emphasis added]

        http://mondoweiss.net/2012/02/norman-finkelstein-slams-the-bds-movement-calling-it-a-cult/#comment-425003

        ———————

        2) The second point you are failing to grasp is that the exercise of self-determination does NOT require a plebiscite or referendum, nor does it require democracy at all. Besides, annexation and self-determination are separate concepts; Israel’s and Jordan’s legal annexation of territory sanctioned by a UN- sponsored, internationally recognized armistice agreement, did NOT require a plebiscite or referendum.

        The attitude toward plebiscites has varied enormously since the principle of self-determination was first promulgated, and in most all cases plebiscites have been used by existing powers to legitimize sovereignty arrangements only after the fact .

        Both the first period of decolonization in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in the Americas and the second global period of decolonization after 1945 had very little to do with democracy. In both cases, the basis for decolonization was a principle of natural law according to whichoverseas rule and therefore colonial rule was illegitimate and ultimately illegal. This was not an empirical, but rather an axiomatic principle.

        Decolonization was primarily and increasingly a question of justice, not of majority decisions. Only in relatively few cases was the independence of a country decided by a plebiscite.

        The division of colonial territories into sovereign states had even less to do with democracy. Normally, it was carried out according to the principle of uti possidetis, by simply adopting the external and sometimes also the internal colonial borders as the international frontiers of the new independent states.

        Plebiscites were held only in rare cases, and these frequently had the character of confirmations of independence, and not of decisions for independence.

        It is thus unsurprising that many states created by decolonization did not become democracies, but rather often degenerated into dictatorships and despotisms: Decolonization was no act of democratization , and democracy first had to contend with other forms of government. [emphasis added]

        Jörg Fisch, “The Right of Self-Determination of Peoples: The Domestication of an Illusion” Cambridge University Press 2015
        ————————-

        Basically, you seem to be confusing morality with legality (not legality in theory, but as actually established by UN declarations, the ICJ etc.)

        Israel’s annexation of territory outside of UN res. 181 partition lines, and the violence, terror, and ethnic cleansing that led up to it, are a moral abomination. But the annexation was legal, and the “Green Line” is the legal border in the absence of a final agreement and mutual consent.

      • talknic
        talknic
        May 27, 2016, 8:50 pm

        @ Sibiriak May 27, 2016, 6:10 pm

        Different argument ;-)

        Never the less

        “1) According the ICJ, the Palestinian people have a right to self-determination only in their own territory, which the ICJ specifically defines in terms of 1949 Armistice “Green Line” border–NOT United Nations res. 181 recommended partition lines

        **The ICJ affirmed that the Construction of the wall was illegal wherever it departed from the 1949 armistice line and went into Palestinian territory.”

        Yes. The Palestinians declared their state according to the Green Line. However, Israel hasn’t accepted it. Although provisional borders have changed, Israel’s recognized border hasn’t changed since being proclaimed in its plea for recognition

        In respect to the Armistice agreements and Armistice demarcation lines
        A) The Armistice Agreements were not with Palestine.
        B) The Armistice Demarcation lines were “provisional” borders pending final settlement of the Question of Palestine.
        C) AFTER the Armistice Agreements were signed Israel was still trying on the 31st Aug 1949 to convince the UN to allow it the territories it had acquired by war. Rather strange if the Armistice Agreements already allowed them those territories other than as “provisional”. Maybe someone forgot to tell them.

        “**The General Assembly adopted resolution ES-10/13 which:“Demands that Israel stop and reverse the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, which is in departure of the Armistice Line of 1949 and is in contradiction to relevant provisions of international law…”

        Yes, relative to the Armistice conditions.

        Article IV

        2. The basic purpose of the Armistice Demarcation Lines is to delineate the lines beyond which the armed forces of the respective Parties shall not move.

        “**Although the ICJ was not specifically asked to address the validity of the “Green Line” border, the ICJ in fact did just that.”

        Not the “Green Line” ‘border’, but the Armistice Lines beyond which the armed forces of the respective Parties shall not move.

        ” [HOSTAGE:] Moreover, the ICJ specifically cited the UN resolutions sponsoring the Armistice Agreements in determining that the Armistice “Green Line” … as a provisional measure … Israel admitted the status of the territory is unchallengeable in the absence of a new round of negotiations and mutual consent

        “provisional” … “mutual consent”

        ———————

        ” The second point you are failing to grasp is that the exercise of self-determination does NOT require a plebiscite or referendum, nor does it require democracy at all”

        It requires ” mutual consent”. An agreement between representatives recognized by both parties

        “Besides, annexation and self-determination are separate concepts; Israel’s and Jordan’s legal annexation of territory sanctioned by a UN- sponsored, internationally recognized armistice agreement, did NOT require a plebiscite or referendum”

        It required ” mutual consent” between representatives recognized by both parties. Israel has never reached an agreement with the Palestinians

        “But the annexation was legal, and the “Green Line” is the legal” provisional ” border in the absence of a final agreement and mutual consent

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 28, 2016, 12:24 am

        Oh well, I guess we haven’t cleared that up.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        May 28, 2016, 7:56 am

        [Sibiriak:]” The second point you are failing to grasp is that the exercise of self-determination does NOT require a plebiscite or referendum , nor does it require democracy at all”

        [talknic:] It requires ” mutual consent”. An agreement between representatives recognized by both parties [emphasis added]
        —————————————————-

        Absolute, unadulterated nonsense. Self-determination does NOT require “mutual consent.” As a matter of law, the Palestinians’ right to self-determination, for example, does not require consent from Israeli representatives. The same for any other qualifying people.

        You are making things up out of whole cloth. Just as there is no rule prohibiting the UN from condemning non-member states, there is no rule that self-determination requires “mutual consent”. It simply does not exist in international law.

        Please cite any reference to such a rule in any UN declaration or any or other text of international law.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        May 28, 2016, 8:31 am

        talknic: Not the “Green Line” ‘border’, but the Armistice Line
        ———————————–

        No, the “Green Line” is an internationally recognized border, and has been officially an explicitly labeled as such:

        [Hostage:] The fact that the Armistice lines serve as the legal boundaries of Israel’s civil and military jurisdiction has been driven home repeatedly by the members of the Security Council, General Assembly, and the ICJ.

        See for example:

        *Tripartite Declaration Regarding the Armistice Borders : Statement by the Governments of the United States, The United Kingdom, and France, May 25, 1950

        — link to avalon.law.yale.edu

        * The General Assembly resolutions which say the credentials of the delegation of Israel do not apply to the Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, and the verbatim record of the General Assembly discussion of the matter in resolution 58/292 which indicates the words “pre-1967 borders” had intentionally been adopted to replace the words “Armistice Line of 1949”.

        ————————————–

        Please read that carefully: ” the words “pre-1967 borders” had intentionally been adopted to replace the words “Armistice Line of 1949”.

        The Green Line is an internationally recognized provisional border, dividing Israeli territory from Palestinian territory. It is provisional only in the sense that it can be modified in a final agreement. Otherwise it has all the legal characteristics of a permanent border.

        Most importantly, if there is no final agreement–and there never may be one!–the Green Line remains the legal border. The ICJ made that fact crystal clear. Israel has full sovereign power within the Green Line; outside the Green Line it is a belligerent Occupying Power. Israeli settlement and the extension of Israeli civil law anywhere within the Green Line is completely legal; Israeli settlement and the extension of Israeli civil law outside the Green Line is completely illegal.

        [Hostage: ] […] international armistice lines of demarcation are legal boundaries under customary international law, .especially ones that were adopted under the terms of Chapter VII Security Council resolutions

        While they are open to modification by mutual consent, the same thing can be said for every other border on the planet.

        Neither the 1949 Armistice agreements, nor any subsequent ones, require either party to agree to any changes.

        —————————————-

        [Hostage:] The armistice lines are legally recognized frontiers just like many other internationally recognized boundaries. In fact, the Tripartite Declaration referred to them as “Armistice Borders”. link to avalon.law.yale.edu

        Like every other international border, they can only be altered by mutual consent, but that doesn’t mean that they ever will be legally modified.
        [emphasis added]

        ———————————-

        Again , please read carefully:

        ** “Like every other international border, [the 1949 armistice line] can only be altered by mutual consent, but that doesn’t mean that they ever will be legally modified. ”

        **”While they are open to modification by mutual consent, the same thing can be said for every other border on the planet.”

        So the fact that the “Green Line” can possibly be modified in the future via mutual consent does NOT mean it isn’t a legally binding , international border NOW.

        It is precisely because the “Green Line” is a legal, internationally recognized border NOW that Israeli occupation and settlement in the West Bank is illegal and a denial of the Palestinian right of self-determination.

        Being “provisional”–i.e. open to change via future negotiation–does not change that fact. There is NO legal requirement that there be a new final agreement. In the meantime, the “Green Line” is the legal border.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        May 28, 2016, 10:08 am

        talknic: Israel has never reached an agreement with the Palestinians.
        ———————–

        1) In terms of the “Green Line” (pre-1967 border), that is a completely moot point.

        **Palestine has already recognized Israel within pre-1967 borders–prior to any future negotiations, not as an outcome of them.

        **In its application to the UN, Palestine has declared it’s borders–“the Green Line”, NOT UN res 181 recommended partition borders.

        **Some 133 UN members states have recognized the “Green Line” as the border between Palestinian and Israeli territory.

        2) You are once again trying to have it both ways. You’ve claimed repeatedly that the union of the West Bank with Jordan was a legitimate act of Palestinian self-determination. (but see: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/05/colonialism-historic-palestine/#comment-840705).

        If so, Jordan’s King Abdullah was legitimately representing the West Bank Palestinians in the negotiations with Israel that led to the 1949 Armistice Agreement. That has been your position. But now you contradict yourself trying to argue that there never was an agreement with West Bank Palestinians.

        [Mensch:] b) Why should the Palestinians not demand the 1948 borders?

        [Hostage:] After Israel withdrew from Gaza, the Security Council adopted resolution Resolution 1860 (2009) which says that territory will be part of any Palestinian state. So, Gaza is no longer negotiable.

        The Palestinians asserted a claim to the 1948 borders through a safeguarding clause in the 1949 Armistice agreement.

        However, the West Bank Palestinians were represented in the Jordanian government that signed the agreement.

        It permits Israel to govern the territory until any changes are mutually agreed upon. Resolution 242 does not give Israel the right to violate that agreement. King Abdullah of Jordan did conclude a special agreement that would have provided for a corridor between the West Bank and Gaza and access to Israeli ports, but when the details became public, his Cabinet resigned. See Foreign relations of the United States, 1950. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa, page1095

        Bear in mind that the UN Mediator and nearly every Arab leader who had dealt with Israel in the Armistice negotiations was assassinated – Nokrashy in Egypt, Zaim in Syria, Riad Solh in Lebanon, and Abdullah in Jordan. The diplomatic history of the agreements shows that they were intended to be permanent settlements that would only be subject to minor revisions. The safeguarding clauses simply provided the negotiators with a plausible alibi. In any event, most of the negotiators ended-up being charged by their own Arab and Jewish citizens with permanently ceding away parts of the Arab or Jewish homeland.

        Under international law, an armistice agreement allows the belligerents the same rights and duties as those of an ordinary state. Those rights are not limited to the rules contained in the Hague regulations or the Geneva Conventions. Both Israel and Jordan extended their municipal jurisdiction to the new territories. Despite complaints from the Arab League, that was perfectly legal under the terms of their agreements. [emphasis added]

        http://mondoweiss.net/2011/05/obama-wont-have-to-write-another-speech-for-aipac-on-monday/#comment-320525

        Please read closely: “Both Israel and Jordan extended their municipal jurisdiction to the new territories. …,that was perfectly legal . Extending municipal jurisdiction over a territory legally defines annexation; that extension of Israeli law was legal, therefore, that territory was legally annexed. (Israel can of course cede territory back to Palestine–but it can not be forced to do that. There is no legal requirement that a final agreement ever be concluded.)

        BOTH Israel and Jordan were non-members of the UN when they annexed territory following the 1949 Armistice Agreement. Israel continued to annex territory outside res 181 recommended borders/inside the Green Line and to transfer Jewish settlers into the area AFTER it became a UN member. None of these Israeli actions within the Green Line , before or after Israel became a UN member, have ever been condemned by the UN or held to be illegal by the ICJ.

        —————————–

        TALKNIC: Were it [Jordanian annexation of the West Bank] illegal, the UNSC would be bound by the UN Charter to condemn it, like they did the unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem by Israel.

        Likewise, were Israeli annexation of territory inside the Green Line after the 1949 agreement illegal, the UN would have condemned it, and the ICJ would have affirmed it’s illegality. THAT HAS NEVER HAPPENED.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        May 28, 2016, 10:38 am

        talknic: AFTER the Armistice Agreements were signed Israel was still trying on the 31st Aug 1949 to convince the UN to allow it the territories it had acquired by war. [emphasis added]
        ———————

        Talknic repeats that “31st Aug” argument over and over, even though it’s been refuted over and over.

        See: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/05/colonialism-historic-palestine/#comment-840709

        He is referring to a 1949 letter from the Palestine Conciliation Commission (PCC) which was established by the UN to promote a solution to the Palestinian refugee problem. It consisted of just three representatives, from France, Turkey and the U.S. Pace talknic, its purpose was conciliation, not making definitive judgments of international law!

        This is a classic case of making a mountain out of a molehill. As Hostage pointed out (see link above), that three-member commission had a very weak mandate and most certainly had zero power to allow or disallow any territorial arrangement.

        [Hostage:] The General Assembly eventually replaced that subsidiary organ with yet another one, the Palestine Conciliation Commission with a much weaker mandate.

        I don’t see how anything it said “rebuffed” Israel’s new territorial claims, since the text of Article 40 of the UN Charter itself doesn’t even allow the Security Council to do that under the terms of a Chapter 7 “provisional measure” – and that was the Article it had cited in its resolutions on the cease fire and armistice line…[emphasis added]

        The 1949 Armistice lines could only be changed by mutual agreement. In the absence of such an agreement, they were unchallengeable. Very quickly hopes for any final agreement faded, and the “Green Line” became solidified, politically and legally, as the border between Israeli and Jordanian territory.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 28, 2016, 12:27 pm

        “Absolute, unadulterated nonsense. Self-determination does NOT require “mutual consent.” As a matter of law, the Palestinians’ right to self-determination, for example, does not require consent from Israeli representatives. The same for any other qualifying people “

        Good. I’m glad we cleared that up. That’s what I thought, myself, but it’s nice to have it confirmed.-

        So I must have misunderstood you when you said:

        “In the realm of international law, self-determination is a tightly circumscribed right which in almost all instances is balanced by other competing rights, and usually subordinated to them” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/05/rabbi-judaism-blame/#comment-167015

        My fault, as usual. I should stay away from the complex discussions.

  6. Kay24
    Kay24
    May 22, 2016, 6:59 pm

    Meanwhile the Simon Wiesenthal Center denounces “Israel bashing” Romeo and Juliet play.
    How ultra sensitive these zionists can be, and this is not even about the religion.
    But Israelis can call for the deaths of Arabs, and that is fine. That is not anti Arab nor Anti Muslim.

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/simon-wiesenthal-center-denounces-israel-bashing-romeo-and-juliet-play/?utm_source=The+Times+of+Israel+Daily+Edition&utm_campaign=d5db53ff39-2016_05_22&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_adb46cec92-d5db53ff39-54623881

  7. eljay
    eljay
    May 22, 2016, 7:01 pm

    … Here’s how you explained Zionism in your recent article for the Daily Telegraph.

    “…a noble and integral part of Judaism”.

    “…one of the axioms of Jewish belief”.

    “…one can no more separate it from Judaism than separate the City of London from Great Britain.” …

    Zionism is Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacism in as much as possible of Palestine.

    Mr. Mirvis’ conflation of Zio-supremacism with Judaism and Jewishness and his assertions that supremacism and colonialism are…
    – “noble and integral parts” of the Jewish faith;
    – “one of the axioms of Jewish belief”; and
    – inherent in Judaism,
    …smack of anti-Semitism, “Jew hatred” and blood-libel.

    Why does Mr. Mirvis – a Chief Rabbi – hate Jews so much?!

    • eljay
      eljay
      May 22, 2016, 8:34 pm

      || eljay: Zionism is Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacism in as much as possible of Palestine. … ||

      Correction: Zionism is Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine. …

      But y’all probably already knew that. ;-)

  8. gamal
    gamal
    May 22, 2016, 7:13 pm

    ‘Indeed the causes of discord and rebellion against Religion are that in opposition to the ordinances of the Book of God, people follow the dictates of their own minds and circumstances and introduce innovations, no where to be found in the Book and thus schisms.

    Consequently inspite of the commands of God such persons are considered the leaders of Religion but they who know nothing of it.

    The fact is had falsehood been easy to discern who would go astray, were truth easy perceive people would have little cause to differ or criticize Religion.

    Sadly men have started to co-mingle part truth with part falsehood and Satan exploits this gaining an iron grip on the minds of the dissimulators

    Only such persons can escape its trap who have advanced with Gods help towards sober and rational ways of meditation ‘

    that was

    the complete Khutba 55, Ali Ibni Abi Talib, from his Mesopotamian tour sometime before 666ad.

  9. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    May 22, 2016, 7:13 pm

    Judaism, if we include the Talmud and its three oaths, places a contradiction near its core: We will pray about jerusalem, pray about a return to the land, but refrain from any political activity in that direction. Two dynamics combined to make that contradiction unbearable: secularization, as in the urge to emancipate oneself from the rule of the rabbis, plus antisemitism: the refusal of specific European societies at a specific moment of history to react calmly/reasonably to the phenomenon of jews wishing to enter mainstream society. (I add: the refusal of those secularizing jews to go the extra mile in their denial of their identity as jews, their refusal to get baptised.)

    This emancipation from the rule of the rabbis (and the traditional passivism of the rabbis), when confronted by the seemingly immovable force of antisemitism, resulted in the movement to turn prayers into reality.
    The form of the return to zionism is/was embodied by the Nakba. Those who read the prayers or those who stopped reading the prayers, instead read the book of Joshua and saw this as the map forward.
    The need to undo the Nakba is implied and is frankly difficult to imagine.

    • annie
      annie
      May 22, 2016, 7:59 pm

      We will pray about jerusalem, pray about a return to the land, but refrain from any political activity in that direction.

      you lost me on this. jews refrain from any political activity in the direction of jerusalem? am i missing something?

      The need to undo the Nakba is implied and is frankly difficult to imagine.

      you can’t undo the nakba anymore than one could undo the holocaust. but it can be stopped. are you saying it’s difficult to imagine a time without occupation/apartheid?

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        May 22, 2016, 8:10 pm

        Annie- I should have specified: traditional judaism circa 1789-1917, was passivist. Traditional judaism post 1945 was far less passivist, and traditional judaism 2016 has an entirely new status quo compared to the status quo of 1917.
        I can imagine an end to occupation. I can’t imagine the return of those exiled since 1948.

      • pabelmont
        pabelmont
        May 22, 2016, 8:35 pm

        YF is right. Rabbis taught that the ingathering of Jews to Zion was something for God to do, and not for Jews to do, so much so that they must do nothing to bring it about, not even pray for it to happen. I think Neturei Karta still teach this. And other orthodox groups. some live in Israel and make use of the state but in some fashion deny that it is a Jewish state.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 22, 2016, 8:54 pm

        “Rabbis taught that the ingathering of Jews to Zion was something for God to do”

        And as “Yonah” infers, if those Christians hadn’t “emancipated” us from the Rabbis, and then still insisted on being antisemitic, we wouldn’t have gone all Nakba on those poor Palestinians. So it’s not our fault, you see.

        Of course, I have a hard time seeing a colonial project like Zionism as an expression of weakness and defeat, it seems to make more sense it relation to rising Jewish expectations and means to procure those ends, but let it pass.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        May 22, 2016, 9:38 pm

        you can’t undo the nakba anymore than one could undo the holocaust. but it can be stopped.

        Nothing can be undone; the dead cannot be revived and the hurt cannot be made to forget. Adequate remedy, however, can be offered by evacuating the invaders from Palestinian land and paying reparations, to the last red cent, to the owners of the country –all of them victims. No “negotiations” needed for that.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 22, 2016, 10:12 pm

        “traditional judaism circa 1789-1917, was passivist. Traditional judaism post 1945 was far less passivist, and traditional judaism 2016 has an entirely new status quo”

        “Thank you Chief Rabbi Now I know: Judaism is to blame for the Nakba”

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 22, 2016, 10:17 pm

        “I can imagine an end to occupation. I can’t imagine the return of those exiled since 1948.”

        Sure “Yonah” that’s exactly what every Jew wants to live for in the 21st Century, keeping the Palestinians from justice. And gosh, isn’t the world going to thank us for doing this heroic job!
        That’s what you would condemn the Jewish future to, the perpetuation of injustice (and murder and theft)?
        You really want the Jewish future devoted to that? And you’re sure, of course, based on analysis of our ever-rising demographics and tribal unity, we have the power to do it.

    • Shmuel
      Shmuel
      May 23, 2016, 1:03 am

      It is more than just a matter of who does the redeeming. It is about the focus of that redemption, the attachment to the Land, the role or “mission” of the people and, ultimately, the focus of Judaism itself.

      The photo above actually expresses this very eloquently. Rabbi Mirvis is standing in front of the holy ark (in which the Torah scrolls are kept), with the Ten Commandments (or “Utterances”) represented on its doors. Only the first two commandments, the opening, commandments (which, according to one tradition, were the only two actually spoken by God) that establish the foundation of all the others, are visible: “I am the Lord your God”; and “You shall have no other gods”.

      In traditional, Rabbinic Judaism, God is the focus and purpose of everything: Jewish peoplehood, the Land of Israel, redemption, etc.

      Modernity shifted this focus for many Jews — to ethics, equality, culture, language, nationalism and even blood and soil nationalism. These are all developments with roots both within and without Judaism — as has always been the case, for there are no “pure” cultures. Some have brought out the universal best in Judaism, while others have brought out the worst.

      The vision that Rabbi Mirvis offers, in which Zionism is a “noble and integral part of Judaism” and an “axiom of Jewish belief”, is a far cry both from traditional monotheism and from modern ethical monotheism. That he has so thoroughly embraced Zionism, which is (or at the very least has been) fundamentally unethical, and has fetishised (in an idolatrous sense) both the people and the land — to the point of effectively saying ‘it has always been so’ — is sadly emblematic of the current state of Judaism.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        May 23, 2016, 1:58 am

        “and has fetishised (in an idolatrous sense) both the people and the land – to the point of effectively saying ‘it has always been so’ – is sadly emblematic of the current state of Judaism”. Exactly, IMHO.

    • rosross
      rosross
      May 24, 2016, 12:52 am

      @yonah,

      Since history clearly records Jews being an active part of many, if not most communities and societies, your claims have no substance.

      Read English, European, Australian, American history, and more, and you will find Jews a part of the mainstream society for many centuries.

      Your claims are no more than Zionist propaganda.

      And since Hebrews originated in Mesopotamia, modern-day Iraq, and sourced their religion in Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Greek, Roman and more belief systems, what on earth are Jews doing in Palestine?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 24, 2016, 3:03 pm

        “And since Hebrews originated in Mesopotamia…”

        Did not know that. I knew there is an active Jewish community in Saint Paul, Rochester and Duluth, but had no idea of the antiquity of the tribe in that area.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        May 25, 2016, 1:58 am

        rosross- I was speaking regarding the societies of central and eastern europe between 1789 and 1914, in particular Czarist Russia. If you wish to deal with the societies of 19th century europe then you would be relating to what i am talking about. English, Australian, American history are irrelevant, and you probably realize this and mention them for the sake of obfuscation.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        May 25, 2016, 2:01 am

        We still got a lot to learn. Keep it American. If the Angel Moroni could appear to Joseph Smith in Western NY state to guide him to the Golden Tables buried in the selfsame State, then Duluth is good enough for the God of the Tribe to beget his own Moronoi in. And to tell them to stay put in Crown Heights. There’s no need for any Semotopamia or Falasteen or other sandmonkey place.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 25, 2016, 3:31 pm

        “then Duluth is good enough…”

        They really ought to give Iowa (Hawkeye Iowa, Dubuque, Des Moines, Davenport, Marshalltown, Mason City, Keokuk, Ames, and Clear Lake) a try!
        Even tho I may not ever mention it again.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 25, 2016, 3:38 pm

        “English, Australian, American history are irrelevant,”

        No, the fate of the Jews in those countries is simply too horrible to be talked about. There’s absolutely nothing there Jews or Zionism could learn from.

        I mean, damn, who wants to end up like the Jews of England, America and Australia? They’re irrelevant, well, except as a funding source.

  10. JWalters
    JWalters
    May 22, 2016, 7:29 pm

    A refresher on the link between Zionism and the roots of Judaism.

    Exodus 19:5
    Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine.

    Deuteronomy 7:1-2
    When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations — … seven nations larger and stronger than you — and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy.

    Deuteronomy 20:16-18
    In the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 22, 2016, 9:28 pm

      Okay, I’m heading for higher ground. I can feel the sand shifting under my feet.

  11. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    May 22, 2016, 8:29 pm

    Two things.

    [1] Odd that this great rabbi believes that Zionism is of the essence of Judaism which, if memory serves, came on the scene w/o mention of Zionism, several thousand years before Zionism was announced.

    [2] If, as Israel Shahak has said, strict interpretations of orthodox Judaism call for (and thus are consistent with) cruelty towards non-Jews, it could be said that Zionism (at least the cruelty toward Palestinians part) is indeed part and parcel of Judaism (whether wishy-washy modern secular Jews like it or not). Under this view, the rabbi in the quoted article is correct: Judaism embodies Zionism.

    OK, great, terrific. and the ancient Aztecs (or someone in mezzoamarica) sacrificed people as a religious exercise and people have long been cruel toward others, especially anciently, and the Jews (and perhaps not only the Jews: look at today’s Evangelicals) have retained their cruelty and revel in it.

    I wonder if this is what the quoted rabbi meant.

  12. Marnie
    Marnie
    May 23, 2016, 12:21 am

    I recall a rabbi telling a class of non-Jews that if there were another holocaust, he’d lose all his faith in God. He was only referring to a holocaust that involved Jews; however. It’s my very strong feeling after reading this article and others by or about so-called prominent rabbis, that they believe God belongs to them and them alone. The rest of humanity are then what, the leftovers?

    • pabelmont
      pabelmont
      May 23, 2016, 9:07 am

      Marnie, you ask, What are the rest of humanity, leftovers? The term of art you search for is is: “chopped liver”.

      The rest of humanity are then what, chopped liver?

      Your observation is astute: Rabbis appear to believe that there is only one God for all people, Jews and others, but only the Jews have a special relationship, perhaps the relationship of “ownership”. But in that case, who owns whom, one is tempted to ask. Maybe God owns the Jews (in which case, does He own the Jews alone?) Maybe the rest of humankind are a sort of living stage-setting, like lichens on land or krill in the oceans, outside considerations of morality or ethics or duty to God or protection by God, etc. In the opinions of the learned rabbis, of course, I mean.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        May 23, 2016, 9:33 am

        Rabbis appear to believe that there is only one God for all people, Jews and others, but only the Jews have a special relationship, perhaps the relationship of “ownership”.

        A theological (and eschatological and mystical) conundrum. To limit God to the “God of the Jews” is to deny God’s unity and majesty. How can one truly accept the “yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven” (the essence of the recitation of the “Shema”), while diminishing it and rejecting its unity, which must necessarily be universal? To try and force redemption while denying the divine image of some of God’s children is to deny the essence of redemption, which cannot but be universal, and to confuse the means (a people, a land) with the end. (See e.g. the writings of Elia Benamozegh or Hermann Cohen.)

        A reminder from the prophet Amos (9:7) wouldn’t hurt either: “Are you not as the children of the Ethiopians to Me, O children of Israel? says the Lord. Have I not brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor, and Aram from Kir?”

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 23, 2016, 11:59 am

        “Shmuel” we fucked up.
        Leave God out of it.
        Everybody knows that God does exactly as we tell Him.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        May 23, 2016, 12:20 pm

        Dear pabelmont – I don’t feel chosen enough to use the “chopped liver” idiom and honestly am now worried that Grober will show up with another recipe for the stuff. :(

      • Eva Smagacz
        Eva Smagacz
        May 23, 2016, 4:01 pm

        I think that one interpretation, supported by Talmud, by some important Chabad Rabbi, was that non-Jewish rest of humanity is not “fully” human…..

  13. hophmi
    hophmi
    May 23, 2016, 7:47 am

    Islam is a great religion. It’s a shame that it’s become merged with Islamism, a death cult.

    Anybody here think this rhetoric is OK for Islam? Then why the hell do you think it’s OK to talk about Jews this way?

    Bigots.

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      May 23, 2016, 8:11 am

      “Islam is a great religion. It’s a shame that it’s become merged with Islamism, a death cult.”

      When exactly did that happen Hophni? What happens in your mind or in your opinion doesn’t make it fact. So when did this merger take place and provide proof. Or is this another hit and run?

      Otherwise, criminy Hophni, the only one talking about “Jews” is youse. Get a grip. Also we’re not talking about “Islamism”, Hindi, Baptists, Protestants, etc., because the article is about what this Mirvis fellow is doing to Judaism. When an article comes up about them others, there will be conversation about them. This article is about this fellow who goes by Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis. He’s Jewish. Did you read the article at all or just the comments? What a lame ass thing to post. Actually, if you’re going to bitch to anyone, it should be the nincompoop in the picture above because he, and a lot of other Jews and non-Jews, are stating there is no separation between Judaism, israel and zionism (AKA the apartheid, occupation, racist political ideology that birthed a “nation”), they are all the same with no sunlight between them. You need to let those idiots know they’re wrong and you need to express your disgust with the way they talk about Jews. BIGOTS.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 23, 2016, 11:46 am

        “Marnie” we have to feel bad for “Hophmi”. Look what he’s been reduced to. He came in here shouting that we Jews were the best o0f the West, and today he’s struggling to claim we are not as bad as the worst he can imagine of the Muslims.
        Tomorrow: “Well, at least we’re not anthropophagus!”

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 23, 2016, 12:46 pm

        “You need to let those idiots know they’re wrong and you need to express your disgust with the way they talk about Jews.”

        See, that’s “Hophmi’s” outreach day job, under his real name. After a frustrating day of outreach, he comes here to blow off a little steam, say the things he can’t say all day. A guy’s gotta de-compress from a high-pressure job like outreachin’ his fingers to the bone:

        “Real outreach is not something people involved tend to talk about publicly, because Jews like me face harassment from people like you on the radical left and from Zionists on the radical right and Muslims involved in outreach face harassment from similarly radicalized people in their own communities, “Hophmi” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/04/faithwashing-leadership-institute/#comment-760110

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 23, 2016, 12:59 pm

        “_______ is a great religion. It’s a shame that it’s become merged with _______ a death cult.” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/05/rabbi-judaism-blame/#comment-840603

        Nah… just too obvious. Not even gonna bother.

    • eljay
      eljay
      May 23, 2016, 8:52 am

      || hophmi: Islam is a great religion. … ||

      Meh.

      || … It’s a shame that it’s become merged with Islamism, a death cult.

      Anybody here think this rhetoric is OK for Islam? Then why the hell do you think it’s OK to talk about Jews this way? … ||

      By your own admission, most Jews in the world support Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine.

      If most Muslims were to support whatever hatefulness and immorality drives Islamic State and like-minded supremacists, I would say yes, this rhetoric is OK for Islam.

      The question that follows naturally from all this is: Do you have any evidence to prove your assertion that Islam has become merged with Islamism? If you do, please provide it. Thanks.

      || … Bigots. ||

      Hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist hypocrite.

      • rosross
        rosross
        May 24, 2016, 12:55 am

        Well said, eljay.

    • annie
      annie
      May 23, 2016, 12:03 pm

      you’re a coward hophmi.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 23, 2016, 12:19 pm

      “Islam is a great religion.”

      That reminds me of a classic Muslim joke. The Chief Inman tripped on the steps up to the mosque and sprained his ankle…

    • gamal
      gamal
      May 23, 2016, 12:45 pm

      “Islam is a great religion.”

      oh shit the Saudi’s got to you too, you of all people.

      I often defended Islam fighting drunk in the car park of the Bricklayers Arms, atheism is good too but they don’t fight, copulate or drink enough.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 23, 2016, 1:27 pm

        “atheism is good too but they don’t fight, copulate or drink enough.”

        I didn’t want to be the first to say that, but I’ve noticed it, too. Why do you suppose that is? Just because a guy doesn’t wrap himself in the whole cloth shouldn’t make him a wet blanket.

      • gamal
        gamal
        May 28, 2016, 7:36 pm

        “but I’ve noticed it, too. Why do you suppose that is? ”

        Mooser, they have no faith!

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 28, 2016, 10:36 pm

        “Mooser, they have no faith!”

        The poor sods. That’s a hell of a shape to be in.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 23, 2016, 12:51 pm

      “Islam is a great religion. It’s a shame that it’s become merged with Islamism, a death cult.” “Hophmi” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/05/rabbi-judaism-blame/#comment-840600

      See, that’s kind of stuff “Hophmi” needs to come to Mondo and say. Obviously, it might be a tough sell in his outreachin’ projects:

      “My participation in Muslim-Jewish outreach is with Muslim communities in New York. I am on the board of a new organization called the Jewish-Muslim Volunteer Alliance, which does joint Jewish-Muslim volunteering and holds an annual Iftar dinner each year, and I also sit on the board of an institute within the American Jewish Committee that does Muslim-Jewish outreach, and has done work with Imam Khalid Latif of NYU, mentioned above. -“Hophmi” See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/04/faithwashing-leadership-institute/#comment-760110

      • gamal
        gamal
        May 23, 2016, 7:09 pm

        ” Imam Khalid Latif of NYU,”

        Khalid is all very well, bit ernest for me, you can’t beat the cockney Imam, i’m right though init.

        here poses the unanswerable question, ecce homo,

        https://youtu.be/veibUO1b-jA

      • Eva Smagacz
        Eva Smagacz
        May 24, 2016, 6:06 am

        Gamal, l love your cockney Imam!

      • gamal
        gamal
        May 24, 2016, 6:42 pm

        Eva thats so sweet of you I am going to sleep blushing, cockneys know all the shit that is going down.

        personally i like Slavs, they have Systema, like Lavrov does, its admirable shit really, he taught me how to hit with my crippled left, Slavs or whatever it is you are are like Arabs to me.

        this obviously is a message to Jon this is how its done Jon from the heart, let them think what they want to think,

        I wouldn’t want to infringe apon Eva’s autonomy to colour her thinking Jon my strategy is honesty but I harm no one and never eat alone. i do fight but only when I am attacked and only because i like it.

        i am a pro Jon 40 years in, see how the white people love me, only because i love them too.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 23, 2016, 7:48 pm

      “Islam is a great religion. It’s a shame that it’s become merged with Islamism, a death cult.

      Anybody here think this rhetoric is OK for Islam? Then why the hell do you think it’s OK to talk about Jews this way?”

      (Uh, “Hophmi” I just did a word search for “death cult” on this page. Nobody is talking about Jews this way, except you. The words “death cult” applied to anybody, first appear in your comment.)

    • MHughes976
      MHughes976
      May 24, 2016, 1:35 pm

      I really can’t see your problem, Hophmi. Suppose that the Archbishop of Canterbury had said c.1985 a) that the aims of the Ulster Volunteer Force were noble, integral to and implied by Protestantism and b) that anyone who opposed those aims was an irrational and wickedly prejudiced anti-Protestant little horror. There seem to be three logically possible reactions: he is a) right about both points b) right about the first but wrong about the second c) wrong about both. If a), then viva UVF. If b), then here is a respect in which we must consider Protestantism mistaken. If c), then it is a shame to see the Protestant faith so misrepresented and misappropriated.
      A Protestant version of Mondoweiss would of course favour c). There would be no bigotry in this, rather the reverse, a desire to avoid theological odium. The same lines of argument would apply if Islam or any other religion or ideological system were under discussion.

  14. mcohen.
    mcohen.
    May 23, 2016, 9:01 am

    marmie

    the self righteousness abounds……and leaps too

    israel has endured several nabka,s before 1948.why did it have to take a holocaust to right this historical wrong.

    there are coins with the words “freedom of zion” on them.check it out

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Jewish_Revolt_coinage

    the land of israel belongs to the jewish people.

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      May 23, 2016, 11:47 am

      “the land of israel belongs to the jewish people.”

      No, it really doesn’t. Historically or hysterically, you can’t make a case for this nonsense.

      • mcohen.
        mcohen.
        May 23, 2016, 7:49 pm

        i just have marmite

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        May 24, 2016, 12:40 am

        “I just have marmite”.

        You’ve only said what you believe or desire. A lot of people have lived in this land at one time or another. A coin? WFD.

        Since you like pictures, check these out:

        British Mandate Jerusalemites Photo Library – Facebook
        https://www.facebook.com/BMJerusalemitesPhotoLib

        There’s photographs from the Ottoman Empire too. Cosmopolitan Palestinians enjoying their lives, their homes and Palestine. They didn’t build settlements or walls. They weren’t keeping anyone out. They, like the indigenous peoples of what is now the united states, felt there was room for all.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 23, 2016, 11:53 am

      “the land of israel belongs to the jewish people.”

      “the self righteousness abounds……and leaps too”

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 23, 2016, 1:31 pm

        “Surely you mean this coin:”

        See those nicks in the center? That’s where the medal, worn next to Von Mildenstein’s heart, stopped an assassin’s bullet!

    • eljay
      eljay
      May 23, 2016, 3:19 pm

      || mcohen.: … israel has endured several nabka,s before 1948. … ||

      It hasn’t because it didn’t exist before 1948.

      || … why did it have to take a holocaust to right this historical wrong. … ||

      The [H]olocaust didn’t right anything. The Nazis – hateful and immoral people that they were – wronged many people including Jews so Zio-supremacist Jews – hateful and immoral people that they were and still are – felt they were and continue to be entitled to wrong non-Jews in Palestine.

      || … the land of israel … ||

      …doesn’t exist.

    • talknic
      talknic
      May 23, 2016, 7:36 pm

      @ mcohen. May 23, 2016, 9:01 am

      ” israel has endured several nabka,s before 1948″

      Strange: May 15, 1948

      , “ … the state of Israel has been proclaimed as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947, and that a provisional government has been charged to assume the rights and duties of government for preserving law and order within the boundaries of Israel, for defending the state against external aggression, and for discharging the obligations of Israel to the other nations of the world in accordance with international law. The Act of Independence will become effective at one minute after six o’clock on the evening of 14 May 1948, Washington time.”

      “… why did it have to take a holocaust to right this historical wrong”

      A) The Zionist plan to colonize Palestine began years before the Holocaust http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/8632-jewish-colonial-trust-the-judische-colonialbank

      B) Exactly what ‘historical wrong’ did the Holocaust ‘right’?

      “there are coins with the words “freedom of zion” on them”

      So what? There were bank notes with Palestine on them https://www.google.com.au/search?q=bank+notes+with+Palestine&client=firefox-b&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjx0YP2rfHMAhUEL6YKHRCTDOMQ_AUIBygB&biw=1920&bih=926

      “the land of israel belongs to the jewish people”

      The land of Israel exists only within Israel’s proclaimed and Internationally recognized boundaries (ibid)

    • rosross
      rosross
      May 24, 2016, 12:58 am

      @mchoen,

      Actually, no religion has any rights to any land anywhere, nor any rights to a homeland.

      Religions, beyond metaphor, which applies to all religions, do not make a people, a nation, a race or anything which might be entitled to land.

      The land of Israel no more belongs to Jews than the land of Narnia belongs to followers of C.S. Lewis. It’s all myth and fantasy and no religious book anywhere has any credence in any court of law.

      Here is the crazy bit, if religions did have rights to land it would be where the religion began, and not the country that followers invaded, occupied and colonised, as happened thousands of years in the past and again within the last century.

      For Jews that would be a bit of Iraq and the Christians would have dibs on Palestine.

      • mcohen.
        mcohen.
        May 24, 2016, 9:05 am

        Rosross says

        “Actually relegion has no …….rights”

        That statement will get you killed in some of those very places you mention.respect another persons belief and do not judge.

        Tarry not on the road to hell
        The gatekeeper awaits,judgement book in hand
        For those that shall pass into the promised land.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 24, 2016, 11:52 am

        “Tarry not on the road to hell
        The gatekeeper awaits,judgement book in hand
        For those that shall pass into the promised land.”

        Gosh, you really did go to a Catholic school. I guess the public schools were integrated, so there wasn’t much choice.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        May 24, 2016, 3:02 pm

        It is unreasonable to expect people to agree to claims that conflict with their sense of justice on the basis of religious teachings in which they do not believe.

  15. biggerjake
    biggerjake
    May 23, 2016, 12:45 pm

    2) What is Zionism?

    •Zionism is a relatively new thing.

    •It has only existed for a century.

    •Zionism redefines the true essential nature of the People of Israel, and substitutes for it a completely contradictory and opposite character – a materialistic worldly nation.

    •Their misfortune is lack of what other nations possess, i.e. a state and army.

    •Their salvation is possession of a state and army etc.

    •This is clearly spelled out in the circles of Zionist thought, and among the leaders of the Zionist State, that through changing the nature and character of the People of Israel and by changing their way of thinking they can set before the People of Israel “their salvation” — a state and an army.

    The People of Israel oppose the so-called “State of Israel” for four reasons:

    FIRST — The so-called “State of Israel” is diametrically opposed and completely contradictory to the true essence and foundation of the People of Israel, as is explained above.

    SECOND — Because of all of this and other reasons the Torah forbids us to end the exile and establish a state and army until the Holy One, blessed He, in His Glory and Essence will redeem us.

    THIRD — Aside from arising from exile, all the deeds of the Zionists are diametrically opposed to the Faith and the Torah.

    FOURTH — Aside from the fact that they themselves do not obey the Torah they do everything they can to prevent anyone they get under their power from fulfilling the commands of the Torah, the claims to freedom of religion are lies. They fight with all of their strength to destroy the Faith of Israel.

    http://www.nkusa.org/AboutUs/Zionism/opposition.cfm

    Who knew???

  16. biggerjake
    biggerjake
    May 23, 2016, 1:13 pm

    “Umipnay chatoenu golinu mayartsaynu”

  17. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    May 23, 2016, 1:23 pm

    We might take a moment to congratulate the Austrians on (narrowly) rejecting Islamophobia and angry nationalism

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 23, 2016, 1:53 pm

      “We might take a moment…”

      It was good to see the headline this morning. Things didn’t look very good as late as a few days ago.

  18. W.Jones
    W.Jones
    May 23, 2016, 4:01 pm

    Speaking of the Nakba, this below on a Nakba talk by SJP sounds like a confusing new story. What do you think?

    On Wednesday April 7, Stanford Students for Justice in Palestine decided to cancel our event “The Exiled Palestinians.” This was due to the presence of Alison Weir, who has openly expressed anti-Semitic sentiments. … When asked to remove her materials, she eventually removed her books but left other materials advertising her website.”
    SOURCE: Stanford SJP, https://www.facebook.com/StanfordSJP/posts/1015517068540461

    So someone who you are against attends one of your events, so you shut down the whole event instead of getting security to get the person to leave or rescheduling it? This sounds very Weird.

    Ali A. thanks Stanford SJP for canceling the event while it was going on:
    http://static1.squarespace.com/static/544680b5e4b0149c3cfddd3b/t/57109ce9859fd01f84e74c8a/1460706544676/?format=1000w

    Why was the Nakba Tour Canceled at Stanford?
    April 7, 2016, Berkeley, California
    http://freepalestinemovement.org/2016/04/07/why-was-the-nakba-tour-canceled-at-stanford/
    “When Alison learned we did not yet have any written materials along to provide the audience, she brought some along with her for us to use and also gave us some of her books that we could sell to help raise money for the tour.

    Amena [the guest speaker] then began discussing the situation with the students, and was extremely upset when they told her that she could not speak truthfully about her feelings and the feelings of the thousands of dispossessed Palestinian refugees living in camps about their situation, about the Nakba, and about whether or not Israel has “the right to exist” that Israel partisans claim. “

  19. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    May 23, 2016, 9:04 pm

    Shmuel- i grew up in a milieu where every week the words were chanted, blessing the state of israel, the beginning of the planting of our redemption. I quit believing in torah and that’s the primary reason I am on the other side of the divide than rabbi Mirvis. The body blow of the shoah was worse than the body blow of the exile from spain. Gershon Scholem traces lurianic kabbala to that earlier catastrophe and thus the shabtai tzvi movement as well. So the events of 1666 can be traced back to 1492.
    Calmer, less God intoxicated minds might over a period of 70 years (1945 – 2016 ) achieve a universalistic perspective, but though our people produced some great skeptics, it also produced some intense believers and in what direction would a god intoxicated jew move (or dance) to in the aftermath of such a blackness? He would turn inward, he would turn to his tribe.
    Tribal impulses are right there in the books of moses and in the prayer book. I too agree that the ultimate truth of isaiah and amos universalized even moreso is the desired direction for the future and this tribal impulse seems to lead to a rocky path with stagnant waters. But when analyzing where we are, an ability to put oneself into the shoes of the nonskeptic is an element that should be included.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 24, 2016, 12:01 am

      “I quit believing in torah and that’s the primary reason I am on the other side of the divide than rabbi Mirvis. The body blow of the shoah was worse than the body blow of the exile from spain. “

      Hey, what do you know! Is that the internalized antisemitism and self-hatred we’ve been talking about lately?
      I’m sorry God failed you “Yonah” . I’m sure He is, too.

    • Shmuel
      Shmuel
      May 24, 2016, 1:26 am

      Yonah,
      There are two themes that appear over and over again in your comments: compassion for Jews, and Jewish continuity. In relating to the current state of Judaism as some sort of natural, historical phenomenon (like the last one that almost tore us apart), you seem to show utter disregard for both – in addition to a complete lack of compassion for the non-Jewish victims of the actions of Jews. You are not “on the other side of the divide than Rabbi Mirvis”; you are on the very same side, enabling terrible crimes against Palestinians, as well as the distortion and possibly ultimate destruction of Judaism. Your ability to “put yourself in the shoes of” inevitably seems to result in indulgence of destructive and self-destructive behaviour. Of course I understand why some Jews would act as they have, but that does not make it any more acceptable or any less urgent to change. You and I are poshute yiden, but it is the job of leaders such as Rabbi Mirvis to put a stop to this tragedy, not sanctify it like a new moon (kazeh re’eh ve-kadesh), throwing the full weight of his moral, spiritual and political authority behind it. That is his failure and the failure of virtually all Jewish leaders of our generation.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        May 24, 2016, 11:08 am

        Shmuel- regarding compassion for the future survival of the yahoodis neither you nor I can see the future. So who knows if your path or mine leads to more bloodshed. If you had a wand to turn your compassion for the Palestinians into a reality without bloodshed I would doff my cap to your wand. Someone solid like larry derfner seems to support bds, so I do not scorn it. He has the advantage of 35 years living in israel and a comfort zone of sureness that will never be my portion. Personally I am to the left of the fifty or so relatives and friends I know in israel and reading the polls on certain issues I belong to the 18% who wish to prosecute azaria and the 5% who opposed the gaza war of 2014. But communicating with zionists is not your thang, azoy.

        Mirvis will not wake up tomorrow with Norman finkelstein’s soul replacing his own. To pick on him for fetishizing the Jewish people and land is to use language that might promote the bds agenda, but IMHO is borrowed from books of leftists skeptics and haters of the Jewish tribal tendency. That was the language that prompted my comment.

        But by all means don’t let me interrupt you. Maybe bds is the path and barbed wire communication might be the only way you can handle the bds message. To me it seems the flip side of rush limbaugh, but maybe it’s what works for you.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 24, 2016, 12:05 pm

        “But by all means don’t let me interrupt you.”

        Thanks, that’s very gracious of you.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        May 24, 2016, 12:28 pm

        Personally I am to the left of the fifty or so relatives and friends I know in israel and reading the polls on certain issues I belong to the 18% who wish to prosecute azaria and the 5% who opposed the gaza war of 2014.

        Yet you sound like Naftali Bennett, who said “No one can preach morality to this [the Jewish/Israeli] people” (or Korah, if you prefer, who said “For all the community, they are all holy, and in their midst is the Lord” [Num 16:3]).

        But communicating with zionists is not your thang, azoy.

        On the contrary, but there is no point in communicating if you have nothing to say.

        Mirvis will not wake up tomorrow with Norman finkelstein’s soul replacing his own. To pick on him for fetishizing the Jewish people and land is to use language that might promote the bds agenda, but IMHO is borrowed from books of leftists skeptics and haters of the Jewish tribal tendency.

        So you be the communicator this time. Help me out. How do I express my anguish and urgency (without borrowing from forbidden books) at an ideology that is destroying lives every moment of every day and is being presented as the essence of Judaism, “given to Moses at Sinai” – in order to shield it from the sharp criticism it rightfully deserves? How can I discuss the profound moral failing of Jewish leaders on the most important Jewish issue of the day? Can I use theological language to talk to a rabbi? Can I talk about “avoydo zoro beshituf” (idolatry combined with God-worship)? “Bal toysif” (“you shall not add [to the Torah]”)? How about the more generic, but no-less crucial “Scholars, be careful with your words!”? Can I use the language of history to talk to those who constantly speak in its name? Should I be quoting more Israeli generals? Please help, instead of hiding behind your pintele yid.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 24, 2016, 12:35 pm

        “You and I are poshute yiden, but it is the job of leaders such as Rabbi Mirvis to put a stop to this tragedy, not sanctify it like a new moon (kazeh re’eh ve-kadesh), throwing the full weight of his moral, spiritual and political authority behind it.”

        The Rabbi Mirvis, the story goes, fell and broke his leg descending from the bimah. The 911 was called, and while they waited for the ambulance, concerned congregants crowded round him doing what they could, water, pillow, and asking “Rabbi, are you comfortable?”
        The Rabbi thought for a moment and said “Comfortable? Feh, I don’t know. Anyway, I make a living.”

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        May 24, 2016, 6:48 pm

        Mirvis’s greatest leap is the “we prayed for self determination for thousands of years”, which is a very secular interpretation of the prayer for redemption and replanting the plant of david.

        My argument vis a vis Mirvis is that he is inaccurate as to the emotional causes for zionism attributing the impulse as the result of prayers and texts. I attribute the impulse to history.

        The primary problem with zionism is not its distortion of torah or god, but simply its harsh treatment of the Palestinians. I think there is no ivory tower interpretation of torah and prayers and texts that will set mirvis’s mind right nor certainly the laymen who chose him.
        An ivory tower interpretation of Hatikva instead. To be a free nation in our land, I would add two commentaries: (out of the proper order: our land that we must share with others.) free nation- we yahoodis will not be free while the Palestinians are yoked like this. The freer they are, the freer we will be. I think this is a long long road and not near.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 24, 2016, 9:32 pm

        “To be a free nation in our land,

        Besides the fact that it’s not “our land” exactly what land are you referring to? River to sea? ’48? ’67? You don’t even know where “our land” is, do you?

        ” The problem with Zionism is not distortion of torah or god, but simply its harsh treatment of the Palestinians.”

        The early Zionists had a plan to double the land area and resources of Palestine, but the Arabs wouldn’t accept it.
        Can you imagine anything so backward?
        It’s no wonder the Zionists got “harsh” with them.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 24, 2016, 9:38 pm

        “I think this is a long long road and not near.”

        You tell ’em “Yonah”! The Jewish world will support Israel’s every intransigence, defend every criminal action, and make heroes of the settlers and extremists, as far into the 21st Century as we can.
        I mean, heck, what else have we got to do? And we want to share in the reflected glory of Zionism.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 24, 2016, 11:54 pm

        “Mirvis’s greatest leap is the “we prayed for self determination for thousands of years”, which is…”

        …words you just put in his mouth. The words “self determination” do not even appear in the article.

        You show lots of respect for the Chief Rabbi, “Yonah”

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        May 25, 2016, 1:48 am

        here is the quote: Zionism is a belief in the right to Jewish self-determination in a land that has been at the centre of the Jewish world for more than 3,000 years.
        and another quote:Throughout our collective history we have yearned for a chance to determine our own future.

        Rabbi Mirvis did not say that we prayed for self determination, but merely that we yearned for it.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        May 25, 2016, 2:02 am

        The primary problem with zionism is not its distortion of torah or god, but simply its harsh treatment of the Palestinians.

        Absolutely, but the two are inexorably linked. Ever since Herzl, rebuffed by Western Jews, looked eastward to traditional, Eastern European Jews, ever since Palestine won out over East Africa, Zionism has been anchored to Torah and God — by believers and non-believers alike.

        BDS is all about the “harsh” treatment of Palestinians, yet it is met with the argument that Zionism=Judaism and to oppose one is to oppose the other. Rabbi Mirvis makes precisely this argument, employing religious language of prayer and belief. Judaism thus becomes a shield for oppression; a distortion of the concept of anti-Semitism a weapon.

        It is not enough to say that Jews will not be free until Palestinians are free (a nice sentiment, but convincing only to those who already believe it and consider it a viable option), when Palestinian freedom cannot even be openly discussed because it is a perceived as an attack on Judaism and Jews and therefore forbidden (a courtesy obviously not extended to the Palestinians). Rabbi Mirvis’ “leaps”, religious and historical, are not marginal, but lie at the core of what enables and perpetuates oppression. Secondary to Palestinian suffering of course, is the tragedy that these are our leaders and this is what they have done with our heritage. Furthermore, for those who fear real anti-Semitism, this is the road to self-fulfilling prophecy.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        May 25, 2016, 5:38 am

        Shmuel- two comments. One is an aphorism: “Religion is too important to be left to believers.”
        Second- In Jerusalem almost 6 years ago, I once attended a Friday afternoon protest against the expulsion/eviction of East Jerusalem (Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood) Palestinians from their homes in favor of settlers. As per usual, my participation was tenuous, interested to see what the protests were like, who participated and how I would react to the events. In fact I met some people I knew. But the primary fact that remains most firmly in my memory was the chant by some young Israeli (anarchists?), “we will not kill, nor will we die, just for the sake of Zionism” (lo naharog, v’lo namut, rak bishvil ha’tziyonut) (it rhymes in hebrew and not in English). The intensity of the chanters discomfited me and I realized that this is not a business for on-the-fence people like myself but for the committed (meaning people who don’t give a damn about my degree of discomfort.)

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 25, 2016, 11:02 am

        “Rabbi Mirvis did not say that…”

        First you lie, then you hallucinate.
        Yup, Zionism and Judaism are in good hands.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 25, 2016, 11:07 am

        “Secondary to Palestinian suffering of course, is the tragedy that these are our leaders and this is what they have done with our heritage.”

        And of course, we would never object to the Zionists on the basis that the Jews simply do not have enough people, money resources or unity to accomplish the subjugation of Palestine and the destruction of the Palestinian people.

        That would mean the Zionists are primarily running a fraud on us!
        Nope, we have everything we need to accomplish the theft, the permanent, made legal, will-be-ours-forever Jewish possession of Palestine, river to sea, but we might change our minds so we can be nice to the Palestinians? I don’t buy it.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 25, 2016, 11:21 am

        “The intensity of the chanters discomfited me and I realized that this is not a business for on-the-fence people like myself”

        Very true, “Yonah”. Reminds me of a classic Jewish joke:

        “Ferdinand the Bull saw a good-looking cow, (with a pair of shapely calves) on the other side of a barbed-wire fence. The cow gave him the eye, and Ferdie said “I have got to get next to this udderly gorgeous lady!”
        So he took a run at it, jumped the fence and landed in her pasture.
        “Why, hello there, Ferdinand the Bull”, she coyly mooed.
        “Just call me Ferdinand” he groaned’ “The fence was a little too high”

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 25, 2016, 11:33 am

        “that this is not a business for on-the-fence people like myself but for the committed (meaning people who don’t give a damn about my degree of discomfort.)”

        Huh? I thought those placketed leather skirts and laced-to-the-knee sandals gave Hebrew Slave Warriors an exceptional degree of comfort and, uh… freedom of movement.

        Wasn’t there a famous French Academy painting about it? Called “The Oath of the Horovitzi” if I’m not mistaken.

    • JWalters
      JWalters
      May 24, 2016, 7:26 pm

      “in what direction would a god intoxicated jew move (or dance) to in the aftermath of such a blackness? He would turn inward, he would turn to his tribe.”

      A God intoxicated person would NOT turn to something as parochial and materialistic as a “tribe”. He/she would be well beyond that.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        May 24, 2016, 11:32 pm

        jwalters- were you raised going to church? do you still go to the same church?

      • JWalters
        JWalters
        May 25, 2016, 5:07 am

        yf, no (and no).

        A tribe intoxicated person would turn to their tribe.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        May 26, 2016, 5:42 am

        J Walters, it is useful to hear from those whose concept of god is untainted by church. I too believe in a distant god untainted by concerns of common humans. But intoxication is a precise term in its root word toxic, that’s in the nature of much religious fervor. It’s been a few years since I read William james, but he delineates the unhealthy religious impulse and it is the religious impulse rather than a pure impulse towards god that I am referring to. Most yehudim were in the midst of multiple generation skepticism and identity redefinition processes when the world went black. The specific content of traditional judaism is tribal and the daughters of judaism- Christianity and Islam testify that Judaism as their mother is… well, precisely what- now there’s the rub.
        I think specifically of specific rabbis whose songs play chords that combine tribe and belief in a benevolent creator. I believe God’s benevolence is an optical illusion, so I merely study Jewish sentimental popular religion among those who claim allegiance to what they call the ancient authentic ways.
        Compared to an ideal myth: God the Father of us all, the Jewish myth which includes a historical and indeed a very eccentric god does not measure up. But to deny the power of myths because they don’t measure up to your rational standards- you are denying history and the psychology of religion and stating, this is the way and follow me or be called tribalists.

      • JWalters
        JWalters
        May 26, 2016, 7:56 pm

        yf,

        “it is the religious impulse rather than a pure impulse towards god that I am referring to.”

        So you meant “religion intoxicated Jew” rather than “God intoxicated Jew”. OK. (There’s a big difference.)

        Nowhere did I deny the power of murderous myths.

  20. Avigail
    Avigail
    May 24, 2016, 3:41 am

    Well said Robert. Bravo.

    “Why should Judaism be the only religion incapable of committing crimes in the name of faith and God?”

    That’s right, it isn’t. Remember Joshua and the comprehensive genocide in Canaan? Now that doesn’t mean every Jew is guilty of course, but Judaism as a religion and the identity of Jewishness need to be scrutinised like everything else.

    I have always seen the Jewish roots in Zionism but it was politically incorrect to speak of the two in the same sentence because of fear of antisemitism. There is always a fear that if you implicate Judaism in Zionism’s crimes (or equate the two somehow) it would give Jew-haters all the excuse they need to say ‘Aha, I told you Jews were bad people’ and justify their racism.

    Having been brought up on a morbid fear of antisemitism I am well aware of the intricacies involved, and where those invisible lines are supposed to be drawn in narratives about Israel, Jewishness, Judaism. But I have always been concerned about the intellectual dishonesty we were supposed to all exercise just because of fear.

    So I have been speaking up about problems in Judaism all along in the same breath as criticising Israel and Zionism, and of course no one liked it… In a desperate attempt to distance themselves from any hint of antisemitism they might be accused of, a lot of good people like to talk about these great Jewish values that I know nothing about…

    There are a few good tidbits in the vast world of Jewish traditions and liturgy as there are in every religion. There are also awful things, terrible things, not in the least Judaism’s attitude to women, something that as a woman I have always had a particular problem with. I could go on about it all day. The point is that we should never be censored from exploring and examining anything that is part of our human experience, provided we do this with compassion. But fear of antisemitism is not a justification to tiptoe around difficult issues and around truths.

    This false distinction between Zionism and Judaism, tenuous and misguided as it was, is now breaking down because the very Chief Rabbi (of which country?) is saying what is self-evident to me. He of course wants to equate criticism of Israel with antisemitism but by so doing, he is also breaking down that false distinction everyone was trying to make. We must stand up against this. Criticism of a country is not the same as hating its people, and criticism of settler-colonialism and fighting against it are a moral necessity and a human rights issue. This Rabbi proves that Israel is not a normal country. It is an exclusivist cult with a territory that wants to be above the law and treated differently than any other country out there. I hope this Rabbi finally makes this point clear.

    I never thought Israel was worried about hyping up antisemitism in the world. Israel has always been resentful of Jews living elsewhere. Worried about demographics and the ratio of Jews vs Palestinians, Israel really hopes a surge in antisemitism would make more Jews support Israel and immigrate to Israel. This Rabbi isn’t stupid and isn’t just shooting his mouth. He knows exactly what he is doing, namely stripping Jews around the world of their last defence against real antisemitism. I think all he’ll really cause is more distance between Jews around the world and Israel, and more anger towards Israel among Jews who would like to re-examine and deconstruct their own Jewish identity. Personally I have not felt ‘Jewish’, whatever that even means, for a very long time. I was born to a Jewish family yes, and brought up in the Jewish state, but I will define my own identity thank-you-very-much.

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      May 24, 2016, 4:15 am

      Thank you for everything you wrote but imho you definitely saved your best for the last paragraph!

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 24, 2016, 11:43 am

      “Personally I have not felt ‘Jewish’, whatever that even means, for a very long time. I was born to a Jewish family yes, and brought up in the Jewish state, but I will define my own identity thank-you-very-much.”

      Women are lucky in some ways. I never got that chance. They made good and goddam sure I would know who I was.

      There’s actually a prayer in which we than k God we weren’t made a woman? I wonder why.

    • JWalters
      JWalters
      May 24, 2016, 7:43 pm

      Thank you for your courageous intellectual honesty. That is the true path of redemption and salvation.

  21. Avigail
    Avigail
    May 24, 2016, 4:00 am

    OK, some disambiguation for the befuddled:

    o Zionism IS sitting on a foundation of Jewish religion, values and Jewish identity myths. Therefore Judaism and Jewish identity need to be critiqued and scrutinised.

    o Questioning and critiquing Judaism and Jewishness is NOT the same as antisemitism. Antisemites are racists who do what all racists do. They generalise about a whole group of people indiscriminately. In extremes they call for turning their hated group into a pariah group unprotected by law thus making them vulnerable to abuse, discrimination and exclusion.

    o Israel is a settler-colonial state. Criticising it is an urgent moral and human rights necessity.

    o Criticising Israel is NOT antisemitism. Israel is protecting its settler-colonial project by presuming to speak for all Jews everywhere. To protect itself from urgent and necessary scrutiny, and given that Israel wants to be seen as yet another Western Liberal state, it deliberately causes and promotes this blurring of concepts.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 24, 2016, 3:18 pm

      “OK, some disambiguation for the befuddled:”

      So, let me see if I understand this.
      Am I correct in surmising that as bad as Zionism is, (and the relationship between Zionism and Judaism) it still isn’t bad enough that we lose the privilege of telling people how to talk about it, and what particular rhetorical or political or social weapons to use against it, or not?
      Cool, things aren’t so bad. I still feel in control. We still feel confident handing down instructions, permissions and parameters.

      • JWalters
        JWalters
        May 24, 2016, 7:32 pm

        I don’t read Avigail as saying that only Jews can critique Judaism or Zionism. That claim is pervasive, though, and at a glance this might resemble that.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 24, 2016, 10:26 pm

        “I don’t read Avigail as saying that only Jews can critique Judaism or Zionism.”

        Neither do I. But I do sometimes wonder what would happen if we became more concerned, or frightened, about what people might do rather than what they might say.

  22. Brewer
    Brewer
    May 24, 2016, 4:55 pm

    It is not Judaism per se that gave rise to Zionism. It is just one article of faith that has attached itself to Judaism – the belief that Jewish suffering is unique and cumulative.

  23. Talkback
    Talkback
    May 25, 2016, 8:18 am

    Who cares if it is Judaism? Zionism is still a crime.

  24. anti_republocrat
    anti_republocrat
    May 25, 2016, 5:40 pm

    I suggest people read JewishHistory, Jewish religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years by Israel Shahak for a relatively concise view that explains the rather large element of truth in the CR’s statements. Shahak explained how the tensions between what he called “classical Judaism” and the European Enlightenment have given rise to not only the deception and hypocrisy of political Zionism but the overtly racist chosen-ness of extreme orthodox settlers.

    I see several comments here that touch also on the European Gentile hypocrisy of recognizing the universal rights of individual human beings regardless of race, religion or language, while continuing to tolerate anti-Semitism. Jewish nationalism was inevitable under such conditions. European cultural arrogance, reinforced by not so ancient texts, suppressed or mistranslated to hide them from Enlightenment political authorities, were used to justify special rights for Jews versus Gentiles and led to a colonial/imperial project that naturally focused on the ancestral home and unjust treatment of the people who lived there.

    Shahak believed strongly that the problems can not be corrected until Jewish religious authorities come clean about the ancient texts and discuss them openly, the ugliness along with the noble.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 25, 2016, 5:57 pm

      ” European cultural arrogance, reinforced by not so ancient texts, suppressed or mistranslated to hide them from Enlightenment political authorities, were used to justify special rights for Jews versus Gentiles and led to a colonial/imperial project that naturally focused on the ancestral home and unjust treatment of the people who lived there.” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/recent-comments/#sthash.dai4Zmcx.dpuf

      Try taking the underscore out of your user name.

      • anti_republocrat
        anti_republocrat
        June 4, 2016, 12:24 am

        What’s wrong with the underscore? It’s an artifact of an earlier, different website that did not allow hyphens.

      • annie
        annie
        June 4, 2016, 9:01 am

        it’s a glitch in our system that prevents personal archiving of your comments when a username has an underscore in it.

  25. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    May 26, 2016, 6:12 am

    The strength of the geographic impulse towards jerusalem is not enough to justify the facts of the Nakba, that is the upshot of the argument of Robert Cohen and I agree, that if israel, as in the immigration of jews to Palestine had resulted from a study of books and religious impulse it would have been quite impressive had such a religious impulse occurred, but the number of jews in1914 in palestine ( before wwI caused a change of the rules) was 85,000 and insignificant compared to the immigration to more developed ports. It was the crisis of the jews in between the wars: and the pressure to emigrate coupled with the new anti immigration movement in various western destinations. That’s what caused the surge of immigration to a population of 400,000 in 1939.
    in the aftermath of the exchange: We will forgive god for the slaughter in exchange for redemption here in jerusalem, indeed there is a significant religious aspect to such zionism. Seems to me that the average American jew with their eyes trained on the prize of americanism truly wished Judaism’s disappearance and the wish fulfillment done by Hitler was too much to accept. In any case from a Jewish point of view 70 years is an eyeblink, but from a modern point of view it is a million years ago.

    • eljay
      eljay
      May 26, 2016, 8:35 am

      || yonah fredman: … Seems to me that the average American jew with their eyes trained on the prize of americanism truly wished Judaism’s disappearance and the wish fulfillment done by Hitler was too much to accept. … ||

      1. Jewish Americans are Americans. Why should their eyes be trained on any other “prize”?

      2. Why would an American who chooses to be Jewish wish the disappearance of his faith, without which he would not be the Jew he wishes to be?

      3. What is the number of Jews slaughtered by Hitler that the “average American jew with their eyes trained on the prize of americanism” and wishing “Judaism’s disappearance” would consider acceptable?

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 26, 2016, 4:19 pm

      “average American jew with their eyes trained on the prize of americanism”

      Wow, those must be some pretty gullible Jews, there, “Yonah”. Don’t they know “americanism” (sic) is given to every American Jew at birth? What the hell is this “prize” you are talking about?

      Besides, why are they worried? Can you show me any( just one would do, for a start), examples of Jews who did not get their “americanism”? Any examples of Jews being exiled from American citizenship, or being given reduced civil rights, for being Jewish?

      Sometimes I wonder about you “Yonah”. Was there supposed to be an “All Jews get 20% off on everything!” sign at Ellis Island?

      But apart from that, did you have a point? You seem to be flailing in all directions.

      “We will forgive god for the slaughter in exchange for redemption here in jerusalem,”

      That is very generous, and I’m sure God will be touched and, if He has any sense, grateful we didn’t ask for more!

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        May 26, 2016, 7:32 pm

        This pretense that Americanism is what is written on a piece of paper, but has nothing to do with the prevailing winds of hatred, as existed in many precincts in America in the 20’s and especially the ’30’s is just further historical ignorance. Since in 2016 Jews are in the mainstream without feeling excluded it must have always been so. This is the idiocy that is being expressed here. in fact the idea that America is a Christian country, now heard only in part of the country, was an attitude of much of the country before WWII, and as obstacles were placed in the way of further immigration from Europe of Jews, even when those would be immigrants were desperate, was partially justified based upon the economic needs of a country to keep out economic competition from its labor force, but was also culturally based and biased against certain immigrant groups. Those members of the group that had made it to america and been granted citizenship expressed their disdain for more recent immigrants in a variety of ways, and those who struggled to be accepted by mainstream society, quite often went far to deny their roots and consider those who wished to immigrate in the later years as foreigners. They are foreign Jews who are trying to mess things up for us good Americans. The desire to be accepted by the mainstream christian society involved an unconscious or a not so unconscious denial of roots and disdain for the culture that had birthed them.

        This pretense that immigration is a one time thing that happens by the stamp of some official is nonsense. It is a process that involves deep sociological and psychological changes and as such creates frictions in individuals regarding the society that they have immigrated to and the societies that they have immigrated from.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 27, 2016, 10:55 am

        “This pretense that Americanism is what is written on a piece of paper, but has nothing to do with the prevailing winds of hatred, as existed in many precincts in America in the 20’s and especially the ’30’s is just further historical ignorance.”

        In the 20′ and 30′ discrimination was legal in the US. Jews could also, when it was to their advantage, discriminate too. In fact all kinds of racial and social discrimination was lauded, praised as beneficial. You know, like not out-marrying to insure “Jewish continuity”
        Now “Yonah”, I want you to think real, real hard. Can you possibly think of maybe a couple of people who maybe had it just a tad worse than Jews in the America of the 20’s and 30’s?

        And “Yonah”, let me give you a tip, a hint. When the US finally had to outlaw discrimination, it wasn’t the Jews who were causing the problem. It wasn’t discrimination against Jews which was causing a national problem.

        “Since in 2016 Jews are in the mainstream without feeling excluded it must have always been so.”

        Ah, “Yonah” I thought the idea was that we were supposed to keep away from the “mainstream” to insure continuity nand keep our identity?

        Again, “Yonah” what were you expecting at Ellis Island, a sign reading:

        ‘Jews are no members of the common throng!
        They are all noblemen,
        who have gone wrong!
        Here resume your ranks, and legislative duties,
        And marry our daughters,
        All of whom are beauties!’

      • Pixel
        Pixel
        May 31, 2016, 10:57 am

        Mooser, never stop commenting at MW. Yours is a powerful, incisive, and unique voice. Plus, you make me laugh.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 31, 2016, 12:00 pm

        “Plus, you make me laugh.”

        A flibbertijibbet! A will-o’-the wisp! A clown! Underneath my wimple, there are curlers in my hair!

    • Brewer
      Brewer
      May 26, 2016, 4:23 pm

      “In any case from a Jewish point of view “
      The Zionist ideology is built on a rotten foundation made up of many such shibboleths.
      The briefest perusal of this blog alone should explode the notion of “a Jewish point of view”.
      Deeply ingrained, this concept of “us” and “the other”, the very heart of Zionism and a deep, dark heart it is.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 26, 2016, 4:29 pm

      “But to deny the power of myths because they don’t measure up to your rational standards- you are denying history and the psychology of religion”

      Yup, there it is again: ‘What the world only relinquishes to power ( invade, kill, conquer, booty, colonize, take) and not without a fight, should be given to the Jews on the basis of religious freedom and tolerance!!!!

      You just keep pushing that line, “Yonah” it’s a sure winner. I’m sure telling people Judaism obligates us to do these things is the right course to take.

      Funny, tho isn’t it, the way that “history and the psychology of religion” can do so much, but it can’t make Jews marry other Jews exclusively, and it can’t make them have children in the quantities necessary. Or bring them up Jewish the right way, as soldiers for Zionism.
      Oh well, maybe something doesn’t measure up to their “rational standards”.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      May 27, 2016, 5:52 am

      Yonah: “Seems to me that the average American jew with their eyes trained on the prize of americanism truly wished Judaism’s disappearance …”

      Again, same pseudo arguments are made by white supremacists, Yonah.

      What if they simply don’t care whether Judaism exists or not? I know, I don’t.

  26. Mooser
    Mooser
    May 26, 2016, 4:38 pm

    “Seems to me that the average American jew with their eyes trained on the prize of americanism truly wished Judaism’s disappearance and the wish fulfillment done by Hitler was too much to accept.”

    Wow, talk about Jewish self-hatred, and internalized antisemitism. I am beginning to think it does actually exist.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 27, 2016, 11:09 am

      “Wow, talk about Jewish self-hatred, and internalized antisemitism. I am beginning to think it does actually exist.”

      Gee, looking at “Yonah’s” comments from last night, I can only surmise that “Yonah” is very upset by the fact that Jews born in America receive full citizenship, and doesn’t think that should be the case!

  27. mcohen.
    mcohen.
    May 27, 2016, 9:37 pm

    this thing with mervis is making me nervous because it is a big ask.huge.it lies at the very heart of the judaism…..the question of “israel” as defined in the bible and “israel” as defined by american foreign policy.

    this is not about judaism at all.13 million jews could easily be relocated to detroit.

    american foreign policy does whats good for america and jews need to understand this.but judaism has survived empire more than once in the past by remaining flexible . elastic fantastic.let all jews understand this.
    if zionism is to survive it needs to shift the goal posts.accept what is possible and move forward.
    “israel” in the bible will always exist as a guiding light but “israel” as a sliver of american foreign policy will need to be….

    elastic fantastic.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 28, 2016, 12:20 am

      “there are coins with the words “freedom of zion” on them.check it out
      the land of israel belongs to the jewish people.
      “mcohen”
      – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/profile/mcohen-2/#sthash.Wjajpq36.dpuf

      • mcohen.
        mcohen.
        May 28, 2016, 5:44 am

        Mooser

        What’s your point.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 28, 2016, 12:13 pm

        “What’s your point?”

        The incredible genorousity of Zionism, of course. “The land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people”, and in spite of that, you are willing to be flexible! Maybe even swap some with the Palestinians.

        But there’s one thing you must consider, “mcohen”! Does God want us to be flexible, to be elastic? Do you think God wants us to give away what He gave us?

  28. calm
    calm
    May 29, 2016, 7:27 am

    Can a reader answer this question for me, Please?

    Since the Oslo Accords, has Israel opened any new settlements or have they only expanded existing ones?

    Calm

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      May 29, 2016, 10:15 am

      It’s not an either-or question.

      But first, since everyone here is going to think this is a joke or sarcasm, tell us a little about yourself and why you ask that question in that way.

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      May 29, 2016, 10:50 am

      Ohhhhh who doesn’t love a good game of semantics.

      You say potato, i say potato. Hmmm doesn’t work as well in text.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        May 29, 2016, 11:38 am

        Lol!

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 29, 2016, 1:06 pm

        “Ohhhhh who doesn’t love a good game of semantics.”

        Antisemantics, of course. There’s been an alarming rise in antisemanticism.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        May 29, 2016, 3:20 pm

        @Mooser

        I really can’t believe I didn’t see that one coming. I’m slipping haha

    • annie
      annie
      May 29, 2016, 11:56 am

      calm, can you answer this question for me please?

      If israel gobbles up all the remaining land in occupied palestine would it be better propaganda to do it in the name of “expanded existing ones [settlements]” than it would be if they designated new land grab/theft as “new settlements”?

      for example, if an illegal settlement expands it’s jurisdiction by annexing 10 adjacent illegal outposts and all the land surrounding them would that be less damaging to resolving the issue than designating all those illegal outposts as “new settlements”?

      either way the land is stolen and gobbled up and the settlements are illegal so who really cares whether it’s called ‘expanding settlements’ or ‘new settlements’? do you care, cause i sure don’t.

    • Shmuel
      Shmuel
      May 30, 2016, 11:00 am

      Although the “new settlements” argument itself is fallacious (see e.g. http://mondoweiss.net/2012/08/timeline-how-the-uc-administration-censors-students-and-faculty-who-stand-up-for-human-rights/#comment-491338 ), Netanyahu governments have established those as well (see e.g. http://peacenow.org.il/eng/sites/default/files/NewSettlementsReport.pdf ).

    • annie
      annie
      May 31, 2016, 1:18 pm

      oh look

      Israel Remapped West Bank Land to Pave Way for Settlement Construction —Civil Administration project would allow government to use areas designated as ‘state-owned land’ to expand existing isolated settlements.

      The Civil Administration re-mapped over 15,000 acres in the West Bank last year, which suggests an intention to embark on wide-scale settlement construction.

      ……..

      Judging by the distribution of these areas, one can assess where the state is intending to allow settlements to be built. Thus, 240 acres were mapped near Nokdim. Almost one acre is near the settlement of Gitit. Almost 11 mapped acres near Tarkumiya are not close to any existing settlement.

      Settlement researcher Dror Etkes, who analyzed the data, told Haaretz that “it’s important to realize that these mapping efforts are directed almost exclusively deep into the West Bank and to settlements that are far from the settlement blocs, and to areas designated earlier by Israel as fire zones, even though it’s obvious that they comprise part of the pool of land that Israel is gradually handing over to settlements.

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.722395

  29. calm
    calm
    May 29, 2016, 11:28 am

    Oh! I thought you would know a bit about me if you clicked my name and it would show previous conversations here.

    I am quite serious ….. I keep reading that Bibi has not created new settlements since the Oslo accords and I find it awful confusing to investigate whether or not this is true. I don’t live in the area and “Expansion” is all I read about, but not “New” settlements.

    And, when the claim “Expansion” is used, does that mean the actual land size increased or that only more settlers moved in or the building of new houses?

    Does “Expansion” (not land size but only new houses) break the Oslo Accords?

    I keep reading about security fences ….. Are the Israeli’s getting around Oslo by building security fences outside of the original settlement land base?

    I thank you for offering to assist me. I would really appreciate it.

    Calm

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      May 29, 2016, 12:35 pm

      Others can and maybe will supply links, but the answer to your question is all of the above.

      It’s not even a question really. Nor is it confusing in the least. It’s just a sad ongoing expansionist fact. If you “keep reading” what you say you keep reading, read somewhere else.

      Google “outposts Israel” or “Silwan” or “Jordan Valley Israel” or “Hebron Shuhada” or “E1.” Read Electronic Intifada or If Americans Knew. Allison Deger, here, keeps pretty good tabs on settlement expansion. That may be a decent start.

      Israel expands population in existing settlement footprints, confiscates Palestinian land for new settlements/expanded footprints, AND “buffers” (multiples of actual settlement footprints) those outposts and settlements by destroying adjacent Palestinian agriculture and water resources (cisterns). Israel, as policy, dumps sewage and industrial waste (south of Ma’ale Adumin and outside of/downhill from the Barkan Industrial Park outside of Ariel) outside of settlement footprints. Is that “expansion?” It’s certainly a confiscation for non-Palestinian use.

      Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.

      Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. …….

      But the real punchline to your question is “since Oslo!” Jeez. Beside the fact that “Oslo” long ago stopped having any relevance to anything, somewhere between 200K and 400K settlers have moved onto stolen Palestinian land (both in terms of expanded footprints and expanded population) “since Oslo.” Better to ask, if you ARE serious, “this year?”.

      Oh yeah. I can’t remember specifically if Oslo limited settlement expansion or not (I think it did implicitly because it was explicitly supposed to lead to a 2-state resolution in 5 years which would have ended settlement expansion), but population transfer is black letter illegal under international law and treaty obligations, so the question is moot. Oslo is irrelevant (and a fiction).

      I have to say your questions are pretty odd, terribly open-ended, and jam-packed with a maze of assumptions/screwy context, but that might give you enough to get googling and/or until the really smart/knowledgeable people here engage.

      Now you got me curious. Are you writing a high school essay or something? C’mon. Dish.

      • calm
        calm
        May 29, 2016, 12:52 pm

        Your answer is in an earlier post I aimed at Annie Robbins. (about 15 minutes ago, before I read your reply.)

        It is still with “Moderation”. (Maybe they won’t post it.)

        Calm

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        May 29, 2016, 3:23 pm

        It also retroactively legalizes what were illegal outposts under even Israeli law and calls them new neighbourhoods of existing settlements even when they are a mile, or miles, away from that settlement.

      • calm
        calm
        May 29, 2016, 3:59 pm

        Well, I guess they are not going to post the reply I gave to Annie Robbins ….. Maybe it got lost in Mouse Land.

        I explain again for you since you were kind enough to reply to me.

        I was at a forum and I read a discussion concerning settlements.

        One person made the claim that there were new settlements opening up …..

        And a Pro-Israel person replied that Israel had not opened a new settlement since the Oslo Accords.

        I was kind of shocked by this because I was under the impression that Israel had opened new settlements.

        I keep a personal database of sorts on the Israel/Palestine issue because it interests me immensely. I will link you to it, and will leave it available for your viewing for a short time. Normally I don’t have it open for public viewing.
        http://www.pair-annoyed.com:9090/NEW-Calm-Forums-NEW/showthread.php?t=24623

        Anyways; when I attempted to find “New” settlements within all the articles and commentaries I have collected over the years, I could not find “New”.

        So, that is why I asked the question here.

        Thank you for your interest.

        Calm

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        May 29, 2016, 5:47 pm

        OK calm. Now I understand why your question sounded so squirrely – you were paraphrasing yet another pro-Israel fact-free assertion.

        “No new settlements since Oslo.” is an engineered definitional loophole for international propaganda purposes. In order for a settlement to be legally “new” it has to be approved by the GoI. The GoI doesn’t approve any (well, three since 1996). Ipso facto, no “new” settlements “since Oslo.” They do however build them on confiscated Palestinian land. They just don’t approve them. Typical Israeli BS.

        Yossi Gurvitz describes the process at 972.mag:

        http://972mag.com/the-lie-israel-sold-the-world-settlement-outposts/105185/

        Anybody that says “no new…” really isn’t all there. Maybe a way to respond is to point out that three is not none and ask whoever is making the claim if there is any other part of it they want to correct.

        Please forgive my disbelief above. Your question had an insincere smell of rhetorical bait to it. Lo and behold, the insincerity was real but originated with the GoI.

  30. calm
    calm
    May 29, 2016, 9:29 pm

    @ Ritzl

    Thank You for your reply. It was very kind of you.

    I will take my website off-line now too.

    Calm

  31. just
    just
    May 31, 2016, 10:11 am

    With regard to illegal Israeli settlements:

    “Israel Remapped West Bank Land to Pave Way for Settlement Construction

    Civil Administration project would allow government to use areas designated as ‘state-owned land’ to expand existing isolated settlements.

    The Civil Administration re-mapped over 15,000 acres in the West Bank last year, which suggests an intention to embark on wide-scale settlement construction.

    The mapping was done by a special team called “Blue Line,” working for the Civil Administration.

    The project involves the examination of maps of areas designated as state lands last century.”…

    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.722395

    (Using “civil” wrt Israel seems an oxymoron.)

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