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Jewish organizations’ response to Black Lives Matter platform demonstrates inability to engage with reality in Israel

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The Movement for Black Lives has been receiving both widespread praise and criticism over the content of their new platform, particularly in response to their use of the word “genocide” to describe the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians. Some of the movement’s critics, including some of the largest Jewish communal organizations in the United States, have even condemned The Movement for Black Lives’ language “in the strongest possible terms.” Their harsh responses are indicative of skewed priorities regarding the struggle for social justice, both in the U.S. and in Israel.

In their condemnation of the platform’s use of the terms genocide and apartheid, the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) did so “as deeply committed Zionists.” URJ also misrepresented The Movement for Black Lives by claiming that the platform “falsely suggests American Jews…must choose between their commitment to combatting racism in the United States and their Zionism.” But the platform actually makes no mention of “Jews,” let alone American Jews, nor does the platform mention Zionism. And while the URJ extrapolates from the platform’s stance on Israel, the URJ doesn’t directly address why they reject the use of the terms genocide and apartheid.

Other pro-Israel critics of the platform, claim that the oppression of Palestinians doesn’t match the definition of genocide as dictated by international law.

According to the United Nations, the legal definition of genocide (adopted, aptly, in 1948) includes:

“…any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

killing members of the group;

causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

[and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Based on this definition, the U.N. Office specifically concerned with the prevention of genocide further outlines a framework made up of factors that may be used to identify the risk of genocide in any given situation, noting that “what is significant is the cumulative effect of the factors.” Additionally, amidst the Israeli military’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza during the summer of 2014, the same U.N. Office issued an official statement expressing profound concern, not only over the disproportionate killing of Palestinian civilians by Israeli forces, but also over the prevalence in Israeli public fora of inciting violence against Palestinians.

It’s unclear why critics of The Movement for Black Lives’ platform, including multiple city-wide chapters of the Jewish Communal Relations Council (JCRC), think that the systematic ethnic cleansing of Palestinians does not fit the only internationally recognized definition of genocide. Beginning before the Nakba and continuing today is a decades-long process of the mass killing of Palestinian civilians with impunity, of frequent home demolitions, and of the deprivation of basic resources needed for the population to thrive — all of which is carried out by the State, and done so on the basis of its victims’ Palestinian identity. It’s difficult to imagine how much more severe the State’s actions against Palestinians would need to be in order to constitute genocide — and it seems that institutions condemning the use of the word are unwilling to meaningfully confront the concerns of the activists who used the term.

Stating that The Movement’s language is “offensive,” Zionist critics imply that the state-sanctioned oppression of Palestinians must necessarily reach levels comparable to the Holocaust in order for it to be considered genocide. This disturbingly suggests that Palestinian civilians would need to be killed on the scale of millions — instead of the current rate of thousands killed every couple of years by the Israeli military — in order for even ostensibly liberal communal institutions to recognize it as genocide.

It’s reasonable to debate whether or not the State of Israel’s ongoing treatment of Palestinians can be accurately described as genocide. What is not reasonable is the haste with which some of our communal institutions, while failing to further engage with urgent questions of genocide and apartheid in Israel, have disregarded the work of The Movement for Black Lives.

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52 Responses

  1. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    August 8, 2016, 2:01 pm

    According to the UN definition, the pogrom of Kishinev was an instance of genocide. It seems to me that this is not the street meaning of genocide. There is a problem of the numbers game. Is 10,000 dead civilians genocide? Is 100,000? Is 1,000,000? There is a certain coldness in starting down that road. But the fact is that I do not consider Kishinev or the Farhud to be instances of genocide and so the UN definition is not really what I mean when I, a nonlawyer, use the term genocide.

    It is now 2 years after the Gaza conflict, in which Israel killed hundreds of civilians including children. I do not need to call it genocide to condemn it, and I actually am able to respect people who do not condemn it, but I do. As in: Israel under Bibi should (must?) negotiate a modus vivendi with Gaza despite its Hamas “owners”, so that another occasion of “mowing the lawn” is not put into effect by the Israeli government.

    If you feel that adding the word “genocide” contributes to a discussion about Gaza, let me hear your argument.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      August 8, 2016, 2:52 pm

      “According to the UN definition, the pogrom of Kishinev was an instance of genocide. It seems to me that this is not the street meaning of genocide. There is a problem of the numbers game. Is 10,000 dead civilians genocide? Is 100,000? Is 1,000,000?”

      I get it “Yonah”, good offer! You will trade so many Jewish corpses for each Palestinian.
      After all, all those Jewish corpses belong to you and are yours to use in the service of Zionism. Rise, dry bones, and serve Zionism. Get a move on, nothing is sacred, get moving.

    • Mr.T
      Mr.T
      August 8, 2016, 2:57 pm

      “…and I actually am able to respect people who do not condemn it…”

      And I’m sure there are people who are able to respect other people who do not condemn the Holocaust. BFD.

      “If you feel that adding the word ‘genocide’ contributes to a discussion about Gaza, let me hear your argument.”

      Sure. It helps to properly label the actual thing which those who are doing the condemning and the respecting are condemning and respecting. Faced with the abject, unmitigated evil that JSIL perpetrates, you lie to yourself because you don’t want to face the fact that you’re able to “respect” people who approve of acts of genocide. You want to believe that you’re a good person when, under that metric, you’re not, so it’s easier to lie to yourself. Using the word “genocide” condemns your attempt to do so and also rhetorically flips you the bird for trying to do so.

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus
      August 8, 2016, 3:13 pm

      Argument my *, Mister Friedman. The Convention on Genocide was written by Lemkin himself, to follow up on the genocide of Jews, Gypsies and other perceived racial minorities. It is designed to call it before it is completed, capisce?
      You in your Zionist bubble, cut off from normal people by a lifetime of separate life and totalitarian indoctrination, have no idea of the “street meaning” of even “bread” or “dog”, let alone genocide.

    • YoniFalic
      YoniFalic
      August 8, 2016, 3:57 pm

      I have a JD-PhD. I focus on international anti-genocide law and on the history of modern Jews.

      Neither the Kishinev riot nor the Farhud count as examples of genocide under international antigenocide law, but Zios planned genocide of Palestinians from the 1880s, started execution in 1947, and continue to this day to perpetrate genocide. There is in fact no genocide more copiously and clearly documented from planning through execution, and I spent several years in studying the Holocaust.

      Zionist leaders like Herzl (ambivalently) and Nordau (clearly) were in general pro-Euro genocide of brown or darker peoples.

      Salo Baron taught us to be skeptical of the Jewish Leidensgeschichte, and I recommend the wiki page on Kishinev, which is more or less accurate.

      Philip Weiss blogged Zipperstein on the Kishinev Pogrom.

      Yerushalmi and Cesarani tell us that Jews refuse to accept the facts of their history and simply make up stuff.

      Cesarani’s article addresses the Jewish historical noise factor in discussions of history with modern Jews (not just Zios).

    • inbound39
      inbound39
      August 8, 2016, 5:41 pm

      Ariel Sharon was a convicted genocidaire for his actions in the deaths of Palestinians in Shatilla et al in Lebanon. Massacres of Palestinians in villages goes right back to before 1948. Herzl called for removal of Palestinians by any means,as did Jabotinsky. Ben Gurion made no secret he preferred Palestinians dead rather than remain in Palestine.

      • jon s
        jon s
        August 11, 2016, 5:06 pm

        Sharon was , indeed, guilty for being indirectly responsible for the massacre in Sabra and Shatila.

        Herzl did not call for the removal of Palestinians by any means. On the contrary, he dreamed of peaceful coexistence.
        Jabotinsky, likewise, did not seek the removal of the Palestinians.
        Ben Gurion never said that he prefers Palestinians dead.

      • Mr.T
        Mr.T
        August 11, 2016, 6:08 pm

        “Sharon was , indeed, guilty for being indirectly responsible for the massacre in Sabra and Shatila.”

        Quick question, jon. When you speak of Hitler, do you make it a point to say that he was only “indirectly” responsible for the Holocaust?

        “Herzl did not call for the removal of Palestinians by any means. On the contrary, he dreamed of peaceful coexistence.”

        He was a delusional Orientalist trading in the most bigoted of views about the Palestinians. At the end of the day, though, he conspired with all the rest to inflict upon the people of Palestine an alien government, run by an alien people, based on his alien supremacist ideology. What would the reaction of such a raging bigot be to the Palestinians told him to shove his plans to steal their land where the sun doesn’t shine?? Likely removal by any means. After all, they’re unimportant being non-Jews and all.

        As for the terrorists Jabotinsky and Gurion, their vile views are well known on this subject that your denials are laughable.

      • jon s
        jon s
        August 13, 2016, 7:46 am

        MrT,
        The perpetrators of the Holocaust were for the most part, directly under Hitler’s command, while the perpetrators of the Sabra and Shatila massacres, the Lebanese Phalangists, were indirectly under Sharon’s authority..

      • jon s
        jon s
        August 13, 2016, 8:02 am

        As for Herzl, he didn’t seek the removal of the Arab population. See his “Altneuland”:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Old_New_Land

        Regarding Jabotinsky and BenGurion , you’ll have to do better than “their views are well known”.
        Neither of therm proposed removing the Arab population.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        August 13, 2016, 8:45 am

        @jon s

        Sharon was directly responsible for the safety of those civilians.

        That such a vile criminal could be elected pm speaks loudly about Israeli culture and lack of morals.

      • YoniFalic
        YoniFalic
        August 13, 2016, 9:22 am

        Herzl was a vicious white racist Euro propagandist justifying genocide of the native population. Here is a famous passage from Altneuland.

        Kingscourt und Friedrich beeilten sich auch fortzukommen. Sie fuhren auf der schlechten Eisenbahn nach Jerusalem. Auch auf diesem Wege Bilder tiefster Verkommenheit. Das flache Land fast nur Sand und Sumpf. Die mageren Äcker wie verbrannt. Schwärzliche Dörfer von Arabern. Die Bewohner hatten ein räuberhaftes Aussehen. Die Kinder spielten nackt in Straßenstaube.

        Kingscourt and Friedrich hurried to get away. They traveled on the miserable railroad to Jerusalem. Even on this route scenes of the deepest depravity. Flat land almost only sand and swamp. The spare cultivated fields as if scorched. Colorless villages of Arabs. The inhabitants looked like robbers. The children played naked in the street dust.

        “Verkommenheit” is something rotten, neglected, ruined; “sand und sumpf,” an infertile land, not cultivated by “civilized” people; scorched fields and the neglected, colorless villages reminds us of a country devastated by war; the inhabitants are either second-class human beings or not human at all; they are criminals, homeless, dishonest, not trustworthy.

        Altneuland is racist colonialist literature, which serves the purpose of justifying the rule of colonizers over savage people. The book is a legitimization narrative, whose content has little connection to the reality of early twentieth century Palestine.

        In @jon s’s mind a German Nazi comic book would depict the highest hopes of the human race if the story described an Aryan superman who slaughtered sinister Jewish rapists and saboteurs.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 13, 2016, 3:08 pm

        “Herzl was a vicious white racist Euro propagandist justifying genocide of the native population”

        You think that’s bad?
        Why, the man wasn’t even frum!

        (Thanks, “Yoni”)

      • YoniFalic
        YoniFalic
        August 14, 2016, 6:26 am

        Such an excellent comment and such an appropriate skewering of “Jewish” omphaloskepsis!

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 14, 2016, 5:45 pm

        “an appropriate skewering of “Jewish” omphaloskepsis!”

        Did I do that? Man, you make it sound worse than brit periah!

        Anyway, I don’t need it, my Mom (guilty compensation, perhaps) told me my puppik was perfect, and well worth gazing at.

      • Mr.T
        Mr.T
        August 15, 2016, 3:38 pm

        “The perpetrators of the Holocaust were for the most part, directly under Hitler’s command,”

        Then surely you make it a point to point out that for those who participated and who weren’t directly under Hitler’s command that he was only indirectly responsible, right?

        “…while the perpetrators of the Sabra and Shatila massacres, the Lebanese Phalangists, were indirectly under Sharon’s authority..”

        Except that the Israelis were perpetrators of the massacre, as they provided perimeter security to prevent the Palestinian victims from reaching safety, as well as equipping the killers and giving material support by supplying nighttime illumination. If we’re in the era of prosecuting nonagenarians as accessories to a couple hundred thousand murders because they worked in the accounting office of a concentration camp, then surely the Israelis’ role in the massacre is more than enough makes them simply perpetrators without consideration for this “indirect/direct” nonsense.

        And, besides, Hobeika was Israel’s man (until he was going to blow the lid off the whole “Sharon wasn’t responsible for the Sabra and Shatila genocide” lie the you’re peddling here, leading the light unto the nations to murder him in cold blood.)

      • Mr.T
        Mr.T
        August 15, 2016, 3:58 pm

        “As for Herzl, he didn’t seek the removal of the Arab population.”

        No? He was a delusional bigot who thought they would thank him for inflicting the Zionists on the Palestinians. But he also talked about “spirit[ing] the penniless population across the border” in part by “while denying it any employment in our [sic] country.” Sounds like he favored removal to me.

        “Regarding Jabotinsky and BenGurion , you’ll have to do better than “their views are well known”. Neither of therm proposed removing the Arab population.”

        As for Jabotinsky, well, Benny Morris disagrees with you. But even if we credit the people who excuse this criminal, he still wanted to make a Greater Israel on both sides of the Jordan where Jews were a majority. Either he was so dumb he couldn’t count to twenty without taking off his socks, or he envisioned a massive ethnic cleansing or genocide of Arabs, because that’s the only way his sick fantasy would numerically work.

        As for Gurion, “We must expel the Arabs and take their places and if we have to use force, to guarantee our own right to settle in those places ­ then we have force at our disposal.”
        and “During the assault we must be ready to strike the decisive blow; that is, either to destroy the towns or expel its inhabitants so our people can replace them” and the genocidal Plan Dalet are all well known and say all that needs to be said.

      • YoniFalic
        YoniFalic
        August 15, 2016, 10:16 pm

        “The perpetrators of the Holocaust were for the most part, directly under Hitler’s command,” –

        This claim is hardly a proven fact and constitutes one of the most contested issues in Holocaust studies.

        Just look at the debate over Jedwabne and some of the so-called “Holocaust by Bullets” discussion.

        It is possible that the absence of a direct command from Hitler to perpetrate the Holocaust is an indication that at least in the early stages of the Holocaust Germans were followers more than instigators of mass murder as the German military forces moved eastward while frightened or angry Eastern European and liberated Soviet nationalities began to slaughter Soviet officials and Jews without distinction.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 15, 2016, 11:51 pm

        I should warn you guys, “Jon s” is from Beersheba, and he’s got a vicious left kick. And he’s fast with a chair, too.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 16, 2016, 1:05 pm

        “The perpetrators of the Holocaust were for the most part, directly under Hitler’s command,”

        I believe “The Rise and Fall…” notes that investigators, even with the possession of a lot of the Nazi archives, had a hard time finding a piece of paper in which Hitler directly authorized the Holocaust.

    • talknic
      talknic
      August 8, 2016, 9:15 pm

      @ yonah fredman “If you feel that adding the word “genocide” contributes to a discussion about Gaza, let me hear your argument”

      Try something else …

      Killing one person with the intentions described under the Internationally accepted legal definition, i.e., that of the UN whose membership is composed of the vast majority of the world’s states, is enough to qualify a single death as a genocidal act https://www.google.com.au/search?q=Genocide+definition+UN

      If you feel that not including genocide in the dialogue contributes to a balanced discussion about Gaza, let us hear your argument

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        August 8, 2016, 11:32 pm

        Well, I’ve done more thinking than before about the word “genocide” and I really don’t know enough about the Farhud and Iraq, but it seems clear that given various pronouncements by the Czar’s ministers, the pogroms after the May Laws of 1882, were in fact genocide.

        The use of the world “genocide” like the use of the Nazi analogy, has consequences of the zero sum game. How can we talk to them? How can we think about them? They must be utterly defeated.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        August 9, 2016, 12:05 am

        It could be that the zero sum argument is ultimately most just or most predictably the way that history will travel. But I am opposed to the zero sum game argument.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        August 9, 2016, 12:13 am

        talknic: Killing one person with the intentions described under the Internationally accepted legal definition […], is enough to qualify a single death as a genocidal act.
        ————–

        So, if a Palestinian kills or attempts to kill a a single Jewish Israeli with the intentions described in Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, that act can be legitimately and usefully labelled an act of genocide or attempted genocide?

      • talknic
        talknic
        August 9, 2016, 8:59 am

        @ Sibiriak ” So, if a Palestinian kills or attempts to kill a a single Jewish Israeli with the intentions described in Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, that act can be legitimately and usefully labelled an act of genocide or attempted genocide?”

        Same rule applies to all. However, the intentions of ‘a Palestinian’ is not the same as a set of state policies. In one instance a person commits the crime, in the other a state commits the crime.

      • Donald
        Donald
        August 9, 2016, 9:50 am

        From what I’ve read, it does seem like the Russian pogroms ought to qualify as genocide in the legal definition, since sometimes officials participated and the pogromists were treated very lightly by the government. I remember reading that after the 1905 pogroms the Tsar thought they were the result of honest citizen outrage. He didn’t plan the pogroms, but approved of them. Mob violence by Arabs against Jews might also qualify if there is some government sympathy or support for the violence. But I’m not a lawyer. Still, morally speaking to me the Russian treatment of Jews in the Czarist era is on a similar moral level to Israeli treatment of Palestinians and maybe that’s an analogy people should use more often.

        I also agree that there is a legal and a ” street” definition of genocide, the latter restricting it to acts of mass murder intended to wipe out much or all of some group. As for whether it does good or harm using the word in the I-P case, I don’t know. It depends on how it comes across to people not yet committed to one side or the other. Personally I stick to words like ” apartheid”, ” war crimes”, and ” ethnic cleansing” because the street definition fits Israel’s behavior.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        August 9, 2016, 10:14 am

        talknic: In one instance a person commits the crime, in the other a state commits the crime.
        ————-

        Are you claiming that the legal definition of genocide includes a requirement that there be a state actor? Non-state actors cannot commit genocide by definition? Where is that spelled out?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 9, 2016, 12:24 pm

        “The use of the world “genocide” like the use of the Nazi analogy, has consequences of the zero sum game. How can we talk to them? How can we think about them? They must be utterly defeated.”

        Gosh, “Yonah”. Maybe the Zionists could have thought of that when they started planning and acting to do away with the Palestinians.

        Unless, of course, you can buy off the appellation of “genocide” with enough dead Jewish souls. You can prove we are owed a genocide.

        “Yonah”, why, in 2016, are Jews organized as Jews killing anybody?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 9, 2016, 12:35 pm

        “But I am opposed to the zero sum game argument.”

        So you admit that Christianity and Judaism are both true, and right! And a person can be Jewish and Christian!

        No zero-sum-games for “Yonah”! He wants things ‘universal’.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        August 9, 2016, 8:37 pm

        Sibiriak,

        Sorry for butting in but that really looks like an unnecessary question. No need for sophistry. It is already spelled out in the Genocide Convention. When an organization (or whoever) can organize and implement

        any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; forcibly transferring children of the group to another group

        it is called genocide no matter the number of victims at a given timepoint, and that is it.
        How relevant is the question, is the party committing it an individual or not/state actor or not? Most of the time it’s been a state actor, but if it happens not to, so what?

        Also, it is not an abstract discussion to water down with what-ifs, it is about what Falic has very ably condensed as

        Zios planned genocide of Palestinians from the 1880s, started execution in 1947, and continue to this day to perpetrate genocide. There is in fact no genocide more copiously and clearly documented from planning through execution

    • Eric
      Eric
      August 8, 2016, 10:48 pm

      This is what Raphael Lempkin, Polish Jewish jurist, said in 1944:

      By “genocide” we mean the destruction of an ethnic group…. Generally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation. It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan would be disintegration of the political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups….
      (Axis Rule in Occupied Europe ix. 79)[2][7].

      Does that definition in any way remind you of what the Zioinists have done in Palestine since 1948?

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      August 15, 2016, 11:58 pm

      ‘If you feel that adding the word “genocide” contributes to a discussion about Gaza, let me hear your argument. ‘

      When there’s 200 million Jews in the world, there’s no danger in defining genocide down, is there?

  2. Qualtrough
    Qualtrough
    August 9, 2016, 10:42 am

    ‘Help’ from the BLM movement will only hurt the Palestinian cause. To date the movement is known by most for disrupting public events and inconveniencing people, most recently in the UK of all places, where they tried blocking the road to Heathrow airport. That tactic gains zero adherents and alienates many people who might otherwise have been sympathetic to their cause. Palestinians receive enough bad press already without tying this albatross around their necks.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      August 9, 2016, 2:28 pm

      “‘Help’ from the BLM movement will only hurt the Palestinian cause.”

      Yeah! If those darn Palestinians had only waited a moment, the KKK, the Republican Party, and the Daughters of the Old South were all about to endorse BDS. But now, of course, they won’t.

  3. Vera Gottlieb
    Vera Gottlieb
    August 9, 2016, 11:35 am

    And the Zionists will stoop so low as to smear their own.

  4. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    August 9, 2016, 4:17 pm

    Anybody have the QUOTE from the “platform” of BLM? Perhaps “genocide” been “edited out” but the thing this essay links to doesn’t evidently contain “genocide”.

    • annie
      annie
      August 9, 2016, 4:51 pm

      pabelmont, the first link goes to the platform’s cover page. there is a dropdown up on top that says “platform” and from there go to “invest-divest” : https://policy.m4bl.org/invest-divest/

      there are 3 references to genocide. the relevant one is

      The US justifies and advances the global war on terror via its alliance with Israel and is complicit in the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people. The US requires Israel to use 75 percent of all the military aid it receives to buy US-made arms. Consequently, every year billions of dollars are funneled from US taxpayers to hundreds of arms corporations, who then wage lobbying campaigns pushing for even more foreign military aid. The results of this policy are twofold: it not only diverts much needed funding from domestic education and social programs, but it makes US citizens complicit in the abuses committed by the Israeli government. Israel is an apartheid state with over 50 laws on the books that sanction discrimination against the Palestinian people. Palestinian homes and land are routinely bulldozed to make way for illegal Israeli settlements. Israeli soldiers also regularly arrest and detain Palestinians as young as 4 years old without due process. Everyday, Palestinians are forced to walk through military checkpoints along the US-funded apartheid wall.

      the other 2 are in this paragraph:

      Somalia has not only experienced extended military intervention as a result of AFRICOM but has been treated as an experimentation site for the U.S. devastating drone policy. The Democratic Republic of Congo as a region has had a long history of U.S. intervention that have coincided with some of the worst genocides in the world. Not only have U.S. backed African intervention armies committed atrocities but U.S. private companies extract the worlds wealth from Congolese soil. And as is true here, women and the most vulnerable in our communities pay the price of U.S. intervention and the accompanying genocides and civil wars. The U.S. must make room for African-led development and peace-making that is led by grassroots decision-making of the most marginalized and directly affected. We insist on African leaders and demand resources be made to begin the process of community-building at home.

  5. talinvart
    talinvart
    August 9, 2016, 4:28 pm

    In fact, Raphael Lemkin, a Polish Jew, coined his term “genocide” in 1944, in reference to the mass murder of ethnic Armenians by the Young Turk government of the Ottoman Empire 1915-1923. R. Lemkin cited the mass annihilation of Armenians as a seminal example of genocide. By the way, to date, the Israel government has not recognized the Armenian Genocide as a historical fact.

  6. larick
    larick
    August 9, 2016, 5:31 pm

    Yonah, Thank you for reminding me of the bizarre mentality that in its obfuscation and raking the sand clear, leaves huge plain footprints with clear signatures. “Zero sum” between who? The Israeli gov’t shouts to the world that they have “no partner in Peace” while occupying the whole of Palestine and ceding only nominal “garbage pickup” to the so-called PA, who is banging down their door begging for a “free” 28% landlocked Bantustan. Those who look into these things a little have seen the pattern of Israel spurning all peace deals from any quarter in favor of a progressively voracious dispossession of Palestinians and a predatory oppression of their rights. So who is playing “zero-sum”? After 100 years of this game, “the jig is up”; “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” (- A. Lincoln) When the fastest growing Jewish organization in the U.S. is JVP and pro-BDS, this should be obvious, even to Zionists.

  7. YoniFalic
    YoniFalic
    August 10, 2016, 9:31 am

    People that babble ignorantly about Czarist anti-Jewish genocide, pogroms, and May Laws almost invariably don’t read Russian, have not read the primary sources in any language, and know the Czarist Empire from Jewish/Revolutionary anti-Czarist propaganda, which is generally as vacuous and false as Jewish/Zionist anti-Palestinian propaganda.

    Czarist Poland was the poison pill that killed the Czarist Empire. Czarist Poland was too advanced relative to the rest of the Empire for the Empire to integrate it.

    The Czarist Empire was willing to concede the financial sector to Czarist Polish Jews, but it was not willing to concede whole professional or economic sectors like medicine, law, engineering, and commerce to Czarist Polish Jews (or to the Polish Szlachta [nobility]).

    To the anger of Czarist Polish Jews, the Empire was willing to slow development to make sure various ethnic groups (not just Jews) did not have locks on various economic or intellectual niches.

    Nevertheless, Czarist Polish Jews were one of the groups that advanced most rapidly and probably overtook the former Polish Slachta in relative wealth in the late 1880s or early 1890s. Czarist Polish Jews were generally angry that they did not advance fast enough. (Czarist rules and laws tended in effect and often in intent to favor Czarist Polish Jews over the Polish Szlachta, which was viewed as highly disloyal.)

    The Czarist government (mostly correctly) considered traditional Czarist Polish Jewish economic practices highly exploitative and extractive with respect to peasants and former serfs. The Czarist government wanted to modernize commerce in former Polish territories and did not want bad economic practices to spread from former Polish territories to the rest of the Empire.

    In collaboration with maskilim (Jewish reformers), the Czarist government attempted to reform Jewish primary and secondary education.

    Eventually on the eve of the Revolution the Czarist government authorized and collaborated in creating a Yiddish technical university obviously for Czarist Polish Jews.

    (In this case the Empire made a special exemption to allow Yiddish instruction, to which many Jews objected. Yiddish was not on the list of languages in which the Czarist Empire allowed universities to hold classes.)

    Nevertheless, the Czarist Empire was undergoverned. As Zipperstein has pointed out, the Czarist government did not instigate pogroms, but it was slow to crush them — which it generally did brutally. Pogroms did not specifically represent non-Jewish on Jewish violence. There were also Jewish on non-Jewish pogroms, Jewish on Jewish pogroms, and non-Jewish on non-Jewish pogroms. Common wisdom refers to Czarist brutality against Jews because of popular Jewish “hasbarah” against Czarism.

    In general of the various groups in the former Polish territories, Polish Jews and Polish Germans probably did best and advanced much faster than all other groups within the Czarist Empire.

    On the other hand, we should not exonerate the Czarist Empire of the charge of genocide. The Czarist Empire was a European colonialist state and like the French, British, and Belgian Empire definitely did commit genocide in new conquered non-European regions — especially when the subject population was Muslims.

    As with other European white racist colonialist genocidal regimes, treatment was non-uniform, but some Muslim ethnic groups like Circassians were subjected to genocide. Czarist genocide policies is one of the reasons Circassian Muslims are found in Israel.

    A good number of Czarist Polish Jews like Daniel Chwolson served the cause of Czarist genocidal colonialist imperialist and acted as orientalist propagandists justifying conquest of non-Europeans and their genocide.

    The State of Israel continues to teach Czarist racist genocide-justifying Orientalism to this day.

    Anyway, here are the May Laws. Unlike genocidal racist practices of Zionist “Jewish” invaders in Palestine, the May Laws had no issues with existing Jewish settlements or communities.

    “As a temporary measure, and until a general revision is made of their legal status, it is decreed that the Jews be forbidden to settle anew outside of towns and boroughs, exceptions being admitted only in the case of existing Jewish agricultural colonies.”

    “Temporarily forbidden are the issuing of mortgages and other deeds to Jews, as well as the registration of Jews as lessees of real property situated outside of towns and boroughs; and also the issuing to Jews of powers of attorney to manage and dispose of such real property.”

    “Jews are forbidden to transact business on Sundays and on the principal Christian holy days; the existing regulations concerning the closing of places of business belonging to Christians on such days to apply to Jews also.”

    “The measures laid down in paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 shall apply only to the governments within the Pale of Jewish Settlement.”

    Outside of Chernigov and New Russia, there was not much of an issue of new Jewish settlement, and in these two non-Polish areas attached to the Pale of Settlement the Czarist government seems to have been concerned with Jewish real estate speculation.

    The Sunday closing rule was meant to lessen the effects of unfair Jewish competitive practices. It’s far from clear how effective the rule was in practice or in effect.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      August 10, 2016, 12:08 pm

      Thanks, “Yoni”!

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        August 23, 2016, 2:33 am

        Mondoweissers forever blaming antisemitism on the victims.

  8. YoniFalic
    YoniFalic
    August 10, 2016, 9:53 am

    It is important to scorn the ignorant Jewish Leidensgeschichte whenever it appears.

    Racist “Jews” and Zios use a false story of Jewish suffering to justify the extraordinary compensation of permitting racist Eastern European invaders to create a state in the ME even if such creation necessitated the genocide of the native population.

    I would recommend a series of blog posts that outline the most egregious falsehoods of the Jewish Leidensgeschichte and the banning of any commentator that persists in spewing such nonsense.

    This article is interesting for it simultaneously clings to the Jewish Leidensgeschichte while it undermines the Leidensgeschichte: PAST IMPERFECT: CONFRONTING JEWISH HISTORY.

    Here is an interesting example of Muslim anti-Crusader propaganda that seems to have been integrated into the Jewish Leidensgeschichte.

    Jews fought side-by-side with Muslim soldiers to defend Jerusalem against the Crusaders.[4] Saint Louis University Professor Thomas Madden, author of A Concise History of the Crusades, claims the “Jewish Defenders” of the city knew the rules of warfare and retreated to their synagogue to “prepare for death” since the Crusaders had breached the outer walls.[5] According to the Muslim chronicle of Ibn al-Qalanisi, “The Jews assembled in their synagogue, and the Franks burned it over their heads.”[6] One modern-day source even claims the Crusaders “[circled] the screaming, flame-tortured humanity singing ‘Christ We Adore Thee!’ with their Crusader crosses held high.”[7] However, a contemporary Jewish communication does not corroborate the report that Jews were actually inside of the Synagogue when it was set fire.[8] This letter was discovered among the Cairo Geniza collection in 1975 by historian Shelomo Dov Goitein.[9] Historians believe that it was written just two weeks after the siege, making it “the earliest account on the conquest in any language.”[9] However, all sources agree that a synagogue was indeed burned during the siege.

    In general over the last millennium Euro Jews have not been a poor and oppressed group. In general they were de jure or de facto part of the 2nd Estate and in at least one case in France they seem to have been treated as members of the 1st Estate.

    • Keith
      Keith
      August 10, 2016, 6:12 pm

      YONI FALIC- “In general over the last millennium Euro Jews have not been a poor and oppressed group. In general they were de jure or de facto part of the 2nd Estate and in at least one case in France they seem to have been treated as members of the 1st Estate.”

      Glad to hear you say this. I have said similar things in the past and have been labeled a Jew hater for my opinion that much of what historically has been considered anti-Semitism is the consequence of power struggles in a turbulent and violent Europe, the Jewish elites an integral part and willing participants in these violent upheavals. Quoting Israel Shahak on Jewish historiography:

      “All modern studies on Judaism, particularly by Jews, have evolved from that conflict, and to this day they bear the unmistakable marks of their origin: deception, apologetics or hostile polemics, indifference or even active hostility to the pursuit of truth. Almost all the so-called Jewish studies in Judaism, from that time to this very day, are polemics against an external enemy rather than an internal debate.” (p22, “Jewish History, Jewish Religion,” Israel Shahak)

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        August 23, 2016, 2:34 am

        Don’t you get it, Phil? Your site attract Judaeophobes, and you’re silent. For shame.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 23, 2016, 9:21 pm

        “Your site attract Judaeophobes, and you’re silent. For shame.”

        This analysis is nothing new. It is typical of “Hophmi’s” writing, which suggests, as it always does, the “Hophmi” has internalized anti-Jewish hatred, and like those secularist Jews in Europe who looked down upon their brethren or converted to Christianity to escape their Judaism, “Hophmi” adopts the classic tropes of the self-hater. Self-hatred is a disease. It is a sad disease borne of many generations of persecution, but it is a disease. And “Hophmi” is afflicted with it, as many Jews have been in the past. And it is usually the self-haters who cause the worst damage to the Jewish community, precisely because of how small it is. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/profile/hophmi/?keyword=fall+away#sthash.HQ8WxfVu.dpuf

      • Keith
        Keith
        August 24, 2016, 10:58 am

        MOOSER- “…“Hophmi” adopts the classic tropes of the self-hater.”

        I disagree. No greater love hath any man than Hophmi for himself. What he truly hates is the unvarnished truth about Israel and empire.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 24, 2016, 11:33 am

        “I disagree.”

        “Hophmi” told me:

        “Print it, Mooser. I’m proud of it, and it’s true. That’s why you obsessively link to it.” http://mondoweiss.net/profile/hophmi/?keyword=print+it#sthash.tV89nmQH.dpuf

    • Donald
      Donald
      August 10, 2016, 6:19 pm

      So I got my copy of Figes’s book on Russia from 1891-1924 “A People’s Tragedy” and on page81 he agrees that contrary to popular myth, the Russian government never organized pogroms. He just says the authorities rarely brought pogromists to trial,because of their hostility to Jews. On page 197, regarding the pogrom in Odessa in 1905, he says,citing an investigation by Witte that the police were heavily involved and when Witte tried to prosecute the police chief, the Tsar intervened. The Tsar was pleased with the pogroms and thought they were the result of the people’s righteous anger with troublemakers who he thought were mostly Jews. Figes also mentions how the police headquarters in St. Petersburg was putting out pamphlets blaming Jews for ruining the country and calling on the people to kill them. The Minister of the Interior subsidized these pamphlets.

      I don’t read Russian. Maybe Figes made all this up.

      • YoniFalic
        YoniFalic
        August 11, 2016, 12:49 pm

        Figes has some problems with Russian.

        http://www.mhpbooks.com/orlando-figes-in-trouble-again-for-gross-inaccuracies-and-misrepresentations/

        I have to admit that I am in favor of the “big picture” of the Russian Revolution, but I prefer to start with the poison pill of attempting to incorporate a large part of Poland into the Russian Empire.

        The definitive histories of late Czarism and of the interaction of late Czarism with Polish Jews have yet to be written.

        Any work that does not treat Polish Jews as full-fledged historical actors is flawed, and any discussion of pogroms in 1904-5 that does not address the Russo-Japanese War is simply broken.

        Globalization did not start with the Internet. Lots of ethnic Russian, Polish Jews, and Czarist government officials were quite aware of Jacob Schiff’s activities to organize Jewish bankers to undermine the Czarist War effort.

        When we look at early Jewish revolutionary violence that goes back to the 1850s and that murdered a good number of Czarist officials and when we add the international revolutionary anti-Czarist propaganda in the international press as well as complaints from the peasantry about Jewish economic predation, should we be surprised that a lot of Czarist subjects began to see a transnational conspiracy against the Czarist Empire?

        The 1905 Revolution unleashed a lot of violence and not only non-Jewish on Jewish pogroms. There were a good number of non-Jewish on non-Jewish pogroms including attacks on Armenians.

        English-speakers learn primarily about anti-Jewish pogroms (without context) because of the exceptional Jewish literacy at that time period and because of Jewish omphaloskepsis.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 23, 2017, 12:27 pm

        “because of Jewish omphaloskepsis.”

        A serious condition, resulting, I’m almost certain, from the bite of the tsitsa fly.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      August 23, 2016, 2:11 pm

      “In general over the last millennium Euro Jews have not been a poor and oppressed group.”

      Scholars divide the Jewish people in Europe four groups economically, the small group who were truly “comfortable” a somewhat larger group who did “all-right”, and the great mass who “made a living” or tried to.

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