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Amos Oz would never stand in the street in Tel Aviv shouting ‘Kill all the Arabs’

Israel/Palestine
on 68 Comments
Avigail
About Avigail Abarbanel

Avigail Abarbanel was born and raised in Israel. She moved to Australia in 1991 and now lives in the north of Scotland. She works as a psychotherapist and clinical supervisor in private practice and is an activist for Palestinian rights. She is the editor of Beyond Tribal Loyalties: Personal Stories of Jewish Peace Activists (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012).

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68 Responses

  1. Steve Grover
    Steve Grover
    September 14, 2016, 12:33 pm

    So according to Amos Oz, Avigail Arbarbanel is an Anti-Semite. And of course he would be correct. Fret not Avigail, for you are joined by Phil Weiss.

  2. Citizen
    Citizen
    September 14, 2016, 2:03 pm

    “Israel has a right to exist. Israel has a right defend itself.”

  3. Citizen
    Citizen
    September 14, 2016, 2:16 pm

    Gives new meaning to The Wizard of Oz

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      September 15, 2016, 6:41 pm

      @Avigail

      I don’t always fully agree with your articles but then your expertise is beyond mine.

      Your definitiom of antisemitism is the best I have seen and it closely mirrors my observations of it’s usage (other than when it’s merely used as an excuse).

      For some reason I can’t reply to your post but I can add a comment.

      • Avigail
        Avigail
        September 17, 2016, 5:49 am

        Thanks you @oldgeezer! I’m not sure about expertise. But simply by virtue of having been born and raised in Israel I grew up with antisemitism as an absolutely central concept in my education and identity. Having also had the privilege and freedom to reflect on everything, I feel I can speak about it now more clearly. Interestingly enough, I have never in my entire 52 years enountered any antimsemitism. I have lived in three countries so far. Thanks again!

  4. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    September 14, 2016, 3:11 pm

    Being a Zionist may, perhaps, once upon a time have meant supporting the creation of “a Jewish home (or state) in Palestine as a refuge for Jews. “A” home, “a” state, “some” state.

    But even before 1947, this ideology survived only as a slogan for innocents, because the new driving doctrine was that a Zionist demanded “a big Jewish state”, all of Palestine. And, even more, they wanted it without non-Jews. The Zionists wanted the geography without the demography, the land without its people. This is quite different from wanting (and “deserving”) “a” home, “a” state, “some” state. This is what the war of 1948 showed, and the war of 1967 perfected.

    So after Britain appeared (Balfour) to promise to Jews a national home within Palestine whilst preserving the rights of the Palestinians (the “existing non-Jewish population”), and after UNGA 181 suggested one form of partition, again with rights of existing populations protected, the Zionists demanded, and took by force, most of Palestine and expelled most of the Palestinians. So much for “deserved” (unless in their own eyes). And so much for protecting existing populations.

    But Zionists are dishonest, so they continue to say they have a right to what they have taken by force, calling “this state” “a state”, and for them to say that “this Israel has no right to exist” is deemed to mean “no Israel would have a right to exist”. Thus, if Palestinians would — I don’t say they would, I say “if” — allow a small purely Jewish enclave to exist within Palestine, maybe 1/4 the size of Palestine, this would satisfy the “a state” formula but would not satisfy today’s Zionists who want it all. (BTW, the Jewish population of Israel is about that of NYC and would fit in NYC, about 1/10 the size of Palestine I once figured. I wonder if I was right on the arithmetic.)

    Just want it to be clear. And to be more clear, wishing to remove (or reconfigure or repopulate) today’s Israel is not, in my view, antisemitic; it is merely a wish (a very Jewish sort of wish at that) to repair the world, to repair a great and terrible damage done by the greedy Zionists.

    • Rusty Pipes
      Rusty Pipes
      September 14, 2016, 3:26 pm

      And that’s not even accounting for the settlers who have a second home in Brooklyn.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        September 14, 2016, 4:56 pm

        There’s 200,000 American Jews living in Israel as dual citizens, 60,000 of them are WB & Golan Heights illegal settlers–they are funded by both US & Israeli taxpayers, their homes subsidized, and a slew of other freebies. There’s more American Jews in the IDF than in US military service. Trump has set up 3 US election bases–with a 4th planned, in Israel, including OT. He will get their votes. Native Jewish Israelis feel a bond with Trump. They agree with him, not so most Jews born & raised in USA–to them, his “America First” echoes Lindbergh. Megadonors like Sheldon Adelson have been in the fence, but now, unlike Sheldon, most, including neocons notables, are going with Haim Saban’s Hillary.

  5. Rusty Pipes
    Rusty Pipes
    September 14, 2016, 3:38 pm

    UC Berkeley’s chancellor just cancelled a student-led course about Palestine: a Settler-Colonial Analysis. Unsurprisingly, Amcha Initiative was behind mobilizing Zionists to oppose it.

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      September 14, 2016, 9:02 pm

      Wow. Wonder if other student-led classes have been cancelled by Chancellor whim, or is this the only one?

      If this is the only one, isn’t that the sound of a line being crossed? Or was that line crossed long ago?

    • Avigail
      Avigail
      September 15, 2016, 3:32 am

      @Rusty Pipes — do you have a link to this story? I would appreciate it if you do. These are such worrying trends but they also show things up for what they are. Sometimes things have to get ridiculously bad until people wake up and do something. It’s common in my profession…

      • Boomer
        Boomer
        September 16, 2016, 8:38 am

        Thanks for the link. Disturbing but not surprising. From DC to the Bay Area, from Manhattan to Manhattan Beach, the Zionist narrative dominates our elites. No other narrative is permitted. I used to be puzzled when Israeli leaders would say things like “there was no Palestine” and “there are no Palestinians.” Now I’ve begun to understand. Juan Cole isn’t specifically addressing Palestinians in a recent post about our election, but his comments are relevant:
        http://www.juancole.com/2016/09/parrot-presidential-election.html

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        September 16, 2016, 9:14 am

        Good one Boomer. Thanks. It’s amazing how seamlessly the Zios fit or try to fit into Cole’s observation on perceptual manipulation with their “Palestine never existed.” schtick. It’s like they innately know the formula, but then screw it up with their breathless “explicit-ness.”

      • Boomer
        Boomer
        September 20, 2016, 9:58 am

        PS re the domination of the Zionist narrative in the U.S. media:

        We know that this domination exists in many ostensibly “liberal” arenas as well as on the Right, though for most of us it probably seems more outrageous when it is manifest in supposed bastions of free thought and free speech such as UC Berkeley. I, for one, sometimes forget about or discount another niche of our culture and media: the “Christian Zionist.”

        Normally I listen to NPR or music in the car, but yesterday I happened to hear a bit of discussion of this episode at Berkeley on the “American Family Network.”
        It was an amazingly ugly discussion that seemed to equate any discussion of Palestinians as proof of the worst kind of anti-Semitism and likely terrorism.

        The AFN claims to be a “Christian” outfit. I was reared in a mainline Protestant church, and still feel some connection with it, but I don’t recognize the stuff they were disseminating as Christian. I guess I’m out of touch. While the “Zionism” of such groups is clearly not central to the Zionist enterprise, it adds some useful numbers at election time, perhaps more so than I had realized. The phrase “useful idiots” comes to mind, but I perceive their influence to be more actively malign than that may convey. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Family_Radio

  6. Stephen Shenfield
    Stephen Shenfield
    September 14, 2016, 4:32 pm

    Oz is confusing the geographical concept of ‘country’ with the political concept of ‘state regime.’ Russia, Germany, and Palestine are names of countries. The Soviet Union, the Third Reich, and Israel are names of political regimes. Surely it is legitimate to be against the existence of a particular political regime that has committed terrible crimes?

    I don’t know whether Oz is really unable to grasp this distinction or whether he is deliberately muddying the waters.

    • MHughes976
      MHughes976
      September 14, 2016, 5:52 pm

      Yes, indeed, Stephen. Oz doesn’t want a political Palestine, without any special status for those of Jewish race, to exist, except perhaps in a small corner of geographical Palestine: which has to be a negative anti- or miso- attitude towards the aspirations of many Palestinians. Just the sort of thing he doesn’t like when dirrcted against Jews.
      Oz makes Avigail and many of us ‘anti-Semitic’ by definition. He’s entitled to do that, but he cannot assume, just on the strength of his way of using the word, that we are in the wrong, since that requires substantial moral argument.
      The W of Oz – one of my most distressing recent discoveries has been that the charming Frank Baum, author of the book, advocated annihilation of the American ‘Indians’ in one of his newspaper columns.
      I look forward to the day when Avigail gets a BBC television platform.

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      September 15, 2016, 12:54 am

      “I don’t know whether Oz is really unable to grasp this distinction or whether he is deliberately muddying the waters”.

      It has to be a deliberate action because as you said so well there is a difference, a night and day difference, between regimes and geography. He is no different than netanyahoo, et al; because he is a writer by profession, he can make a pile of shit seem like a bed of roses. Really excellent article.

    • Avigail
      Avigail
      September 15, 2016, 3:36 am

      @Stephen Shenfield — It is a moral duty to oppose whoever or whatever is harming others. We don’t need to justify to anyone standing against what is evidently a crime against humanity. The West already recognises settler colonialism and colonialism to be crimes. The problem is that the world is not yet ready to see that Israel is a settler-colonial regime and therefore illegitimate and criminal. This is Israel’s last bastion of defence, to continue to mislead the world (and many of its own people) about its true nature, or when that occasionally fails, say that they have the right to be settler-colonialists and hurt others because of Jewish historical persecution. In family therapy we call the latter, ‘destructive entitlement’. It’s when someone thinks they have a right to inflict suffering on others because they themselves had suffered…

  7. bintbiba
    bintbiba
    September 14, 2016, 5:56 pm

    Thank you Avigail ,for your incisive , penetrating analysis and your uncompromising integrity.

    I pay homage and tribute to your intellectual and human decency.

    Thank you !

    • Avigail
      Avigail
      September 15, 2016, 3:42 am

      @bintbiba — Good morning! Thank you for such a lovely comment and the sentiment. I am glad that we are allies and working together for the same goal. xx

      • bintbiba
        bintbiba
        September 15, 2016, 5:27 pm

        @ avigail

        <3

  8. jd65
    jd65
    September 14, 2016, 7:01 pm

    Excellent job Avigail :) This short article is straight to the heart; no chaff, no hedging. I’ve read some other stuff from you here at MW and, honestly, had a hard time getting through and disagreed w/ some of your ideas pretty seriously. But this above piece is spot on. Thanks again…

  9. Dan From Away
    Dan From Away
    September 14, 2016, 7:55 pm

    @ Steve Grover…

    What is your working definition of the term “antisemitism”?

    • Avigail
      Avigail
      September 15, 2016, 3:53 am

      @Dan Walsh — I don’t know what Steve Grover’s definition of antisemitism is (I’m still not sure whether he was literal or sarcastic). But I can tell you the definition that I was taught growing up in Israel and that most Israeli Jews believe. Antisemitism according to what Israelis are taught is a deep seated mental illness that all non-Jews potentially suffer from. If it’s not out it’s latent but it’s always there and is passed on with the ‘mother’s milk’ among non-Jews. It’s incurable and it can flare up without warning.

      Antisemitism has a special word and isn’t just ‘racism’ because hatred of Jews is perceived as a special thing and not the same as hatred of other groups. There is a dreadful specialness complex that goes with Jewishness (religious or not). It means that everything that concerns Jews is not the same as any other group. So hatred of Jews is special, Jewish suffering is special, and also of course Israel is special and Jewish supporters of Israel and Jewish Israelis believe that Israel should have special treatment. Together with the specialness goes also the concept of better or greater. So for example, antisemitism is supposedly far worse than any other form of racism and the same applies to Jewish suffering. It’s not just a special breed of suffering it’s also greater, etc. As a psychotherapist it is hard for me not to see the similarities between these kind of characteristics and what we call Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Social psychologists, sociologists or anthropologists would easily identify the characteristics of a cult here.

      Having said all of that the word ‘antisemitism’ or ‘antisemite’ is casually flung by many Jews at anyone who isn’t completely in love with Jewishness, or anyone who is critical about anything that Israel does.

      The principle is that internal criticism is tolerated up to a point, but no one is allowed to criticise from outside. What I, (and many people with my background), have been doing in my case for the past 15 years or so, is ‘air the dirty laundry’. This is the worst crime you can commit in a cult because from the cult’s point of view you expose it to the world and make it vulnerable. Hence the accusation of antisemitism towards people like me. It’s nothing to do with my particular ethnicity. I’m just not good for the Jewish people from their perspective, I ‘give ammunition’ to the antisemites and therefore I join the ranks of Jewishness greatest enemy, antisemitism…

      Does this make sense at all??

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        September 15, 2016, 3:06 pm

        Antisemitism was one of the primary movers of European history in the first half of the 20th century . Oppression by the czars ensured the large role a small group of jews played in the Russian revolution and antisemitism was one of the primary tenets of the nazi regime. If jews continue to use this term rather than some other term that came into the vogue later in history, there’s history there that favors the “older” term. Because the jews are not a race, the term “racism”, is not an exact fit.

        Because the jews are partially identified by the Jewish religion, opposition to that religion becomes partially identified as opposition to the jews. There is of course “the problem” of post religious Jewish identification. This habit has ebbed and flowed in america and maybe elsewhere, and lacking the texts of a religion or the strict facial characteristics of the western definition of the nonwhite races, some condemn post religious Jewish identity and label it a psychological illness. This too is in opposition to the jews and is a form of enmity.

      • Steve Grover
        Steve Grover
        September 15, 2016, 4:01 pm

        If I were being sarcastic I would have said this what happens to a person when they give up kishke for haggis.

      • Raphael
        Raphael
        September 15, 2016, 10:16 pm

        Anti-Semitism is a very troubling question for me, because, I was a victim of it as a non-Jew. I never had the territorial group vengeance protections that come with belonging to the Jewish club, or belonging to any club at all.

        I guess my outsider status growing up as a American anarchist; prepared me for my new way of life as a Israeli American.

        I think most American Jews have never experienced anti-Semitism in a violent way by physical attacks; as I have, other, then perhaps mostly name calling if wearing a Jewish costume.

        So, for me surviving anti-Semitism became a matter of life and death. So, I became a Israeli to understand how it is to be a Jew, day to day, even though I’m not a Jew by religion. But, I don’t think that the anti-Semitic types would care much about my arguments that I’m a Israelite, or Hebrew…but not a Jew.

        I see your point though… by me being a anarchist with some Jewish ancestry trying to ask American Jews questions, as a non-Jew; and that the reasons I was not entertained by them generally in the Jewish communities in the US…when I had that thought would be more compassionate, because I was not in the club.

        If anything my self knowledge about my life as a non Jew Israelite ( a non Jewish Jew) was threatening to them, because, I was no longer a sort of useful idiot, that could be used as a shield, or… I had taken away their ability too literally go out of their way to perceive me a convenient straw man.

      • talknic
        talknic
        September 16, 2016, 7:24 am

        @ Raphael September 15, 2016, 10:16 pm

        “Anti-Semitism is a very troubling question for me, because, I was a victim of it as a non-Jew”

        Oh please, go away. This site is not about you. Go write an autobography (sic) or something

      • eljay
        eljay
        September 16, 2016, 8:05 am

        || Raphael: Anti-Semitism is a very troubling question for me, because, I was a victim of it as a non-Jew. … ||

        Homophobia is a very troubling question for me because I was a victim of it as a non-gay person. Back in school, the bully used to call me “fag” and “queer” when he picked on me. :-(

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 16, 2016, 12:57 pm

        “I think most American Jews have never experienced anti-Semitism in a violent way by physical attacks; as I have,

        Oh My God! This is incredible! The only living survivor of anti-semitic attack, and he is posting here, at Mondoweiss

        This is incredible! Oh, the insight he will bring to all of the issues.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        September 16, 2016, 2:24 pm

        Fredman yet again:

        Because the jews are not a race, the term “racism”, is not an exact fit.

        No sh|t. So who, apart from Rosenberg and such, still thinks that one needs a race to practice racism?
        Guess who –the Zionists and their brainwashed offspring like Fredman.

        some condemn post religious Jewish identity and label it a psychological illness.

        It sure is a mental illness if “they are not a race”, as Fredman says, and have not a single cultural element in common. No-brainer.

        This too is in opposition to the jews and is a form of enmity

        Any opposition or enmity, Fredman, that is not based on racist discrimination, i.e. in civilized parlance not based on a characteristic of birth but on an acquired trait (like, say, the mania of calling oneself “post-religious Jewish”, or the fact of being religious) is absolutely kosher.

      • Keith
        Keith
        September 16, 2016, 7:48 pm

        AVIGAIL ABERBANEL- “Social psychologists, sociologists or anthropologists would easily identify the characteristics of a cult here.”

        And the difference between a cult and a religion? Zionism, like Marxism, is like a religion without a godhead, although Zionism has melded with Classical Judaism. Jewishness is a manufactured ethnicity which seeks to instill solidarity through the demonization of non-Jews, the purpose of which is to create de facto power-seeking nepotism. Zionism and Israel cannot be understood without reference to empire and the relationship of Israel to empire and of American Zionist Jews to imperial power. You highlight the madness to their method, however, don’t ignore the method to their madness. The degree of Jewish Zionist power within the imperial elite is extraordinary by any measure.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 17, 2016, 1:20 pm

        “Back in school, the bully used to call me “fag” and “queer” when he picked on me.”

        Yup, our bully did the same to me. He later became a well-regarded psychologist, and always considered it his first successful diagnosis.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        September 18, 2016, 2:52 am

        “This site is not about you.”

        It wasn’t in the old Pre-Raphaelite days, but surely it should be now.

        What could be more important than Raphael’s tortured “self-identity”?

  10. eljay
    eljay
    September 14, 2016, 8:38 pm

    criticizing Israel, legitimate, whether I like it or not, whether I join it or not. Saying that Israel should cease to exist or should not have come to being, this is crossing the line.

    Israel exists and should continue to exist:
    – within its / Partition borders;
    – as a secular and democratic state of and for all of its Israeli citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally; and
    – until such time as its voting public democratically decides it should cease to exist.

    Oppressive, colonialist, expansionist, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist “Jewish State” should not have come into being and should cease to exist. To say otherwise is to hypocritically advocate one brand of supremacism.

  11. ritzl
    ritzl
    September 14, 2016, 8:55 pm

    Yeah well, a lot of people say Syria, Libya, Iraq, Iran, and maybe Lebanon shouldn’t exist, either with words or vile deeds. What’s the “anti-” word for that (so we can all start saying it) and why should we care about Israel any more, or less, or differently?

    Yeah, yeah. Cue the profoundly sophist and artfully irrelevant “43 Arab countries…” rationalization cloud.

    • Avigail
      Avigail
      September 15, 2016, 4:00 am

      @ritzl — Quite right! We need to help Israel see that it is no different from anyone else. See my comment above to Dan Walsh about the ‘specialness complex’.

      • sakura
        sakura
        September 20, 2016, 1:55 pm

        read your article for the first time.good to know there are people who are aware of the difference between right and wrong.

  12. Boris
    Boris
    September 14, 2016, 10:46 pm

    Palestinians as indigenous to Palestine as Americans to America.

    Anybody who supports the right of Cherokees to return to their ancestral lands in Georgia should support the right of the Jews to return to their ancestral territory.

    However, I understand that some peanut farmers may be against this idea.

    • ahadhaadam
      ahadhaadam
      September 16, 2016, 3:57 am

      That modern day Jews originate in Palestine is merely a theory, and a weak one at that. The fact that European Jews have white skin while Ehtiopian Jews have black skin is strong evidence that they have no common ancestry and in fact are mostly European / African in origin. Either way, one has no right to “return” unless he can provide some proof that he (a) originates in that area (b) was expelled. Palestinians can prove both while Jews can prove neither. That’s the difference between a substantiated admissible claim and a weak theory. Just ask any judge if he would award a house to someone who claims to have lived there 2,000 years ago but provides no proof.

      • jd65
        jd65
        September 18, 2016, 12:31 am

        @ ahadhaadam:

        That modern day Jews originate in Palestine is merely a theory, and a weak one at that. The fact that European Jews have white skin while Ehtiopian Jews have black skin is strong evidence that they have no common ancestry and in fact are mostly European / African in origin. Either way, one has no right to “return” unless he can provide some proof that he (a) originates in that area (b) was expelled. Palestinians can prove both while Jews can prove neither. That’s the difference between a substantiated admissible claim and a weak theory. Just ask any judge if he would award a house to someone who claims to have lived there 2,000 years ago but provides no proof.

        Someone give this guy the Congressional medal of Badassery :)

        Nice post, ahadhaadam.

      • Boris
        Boris
        September 21, 2016, 7:33 am

        Migration of Jews through Europe is well documented. To deny it is to deny the entire history of Western Civilization.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 21, 2016, 12:44 pm

        “Migration of Jews through Europe is well documented. To deny it is to deny the entire history of Western Civilization.”

        Oh, you bet! We got the hell out of Palestine.
        And not only did Jews migrate through Europe, our Jewish religion migrated with them, and attracted many other people.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        September 21, 2016, 1:31 pm

        Oh boy, now we have another trick: recognizing migrations across Europe but not the mass conversions. Neat

      • Boris
        Boris
        September 21, 2016, 10:43 pm

        Mass movement of Jews through Europe started after the Judean wars. Jews humiliated Romans when a small Judea was fighting for years against Roman legions.

        Being a Jew during those times was not a good thing. Emperor “Hadrian even wanted to erase Jews from history – he renamed the area to Palestine in 125 AD.

        Then there was a rise of Christianity which made Jews in murders of Christ.

        So, not too many people were willing to convert to Judaism for political reasons. Plus, most people were illiterate, something that is not acceptable to Judaism. There were really a handful of conversions – like some of the Khazar elites, for example.

        Then Jews were expelled from various countries. If there were conversions, it was FROM Judaism, not TO Judaism.

        All of this is well documented.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        September 22, 2016, 1:12 am

        “Migration of Jews through Europe is well documented. To deny it is to deny the entire history of Western Civilization.”

        Nonsense. It would just be to deny a portion of European history, just as denying the migration of Gypsies would be denying a portion of European history.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        September 22, 2016, 7:50 pm

        Mass movement of Jews through Europe started after the Judean wars.

        Totally without historic documentation.

        Jews humiliated Romans when a small Judea was fighting for years against Roman legions.

        Some Judaeans, more specifically the Jewish Al Qa’ida of the time, did that mainly by harassing and repeatedly massacring their own, more civilized and Hellenized, co-tribals. Read Tcherikover and follow his sources. Again and again.

        Emperor Hadrian even wanted to erase Jews from history

        Those were the habits of imperial times: there was no UN or LoN or Geneva Conventions, and collective punishment was poured on conquered peoples who failed to submit.
        Note that the collective punishment this time was very limited –to an expulsion from the city of Jerusalem.

        Nothing to compare, though, with the extreme cruelty of expulsion, spoliation, ethnic cleansing and continuing genocide of the Palestinians by the Zionist entity and the US in our times. This certainly aims at totally erasing the Palestinian people.

        – he renamed the area to Palestine in 125 AD

        That has always been the name of the same area of Palestine as today, technically one of the three Syrias.
        Hadrian only restructured the administrative divisions. One wonders where you read your classics. Or if.

        Then there was a rise of Christianity which made Jews in murders of Christ.

        Did you neglect to read the New Testament? Just because it’s the best-seller of all times if for no other perceivable reason.
        If one assumes the only available, perhaps fictional descriptions to be correct, then it is entirely correct that the majority of the Jews assembled for the occasion on the square did vote by acclamation for the execution of the guy Yehoshuah. Barbarians.

        So, not too many people were willing to convert to Judaism for political reasons. Plus, most people were illiterate

        Even if it were true, it seems that neither of these reasons prevented the obvious collective conversions among different populations.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 23, 2016, 12:30 pm

        “Some Judaeans, more specifically the Jewish Al Qa’ida of the time, did that mainly by harassing and repeatedly massacring their own, more civilized and Hellenized, co-tribals.”

        I have always wondered what example of Jewish self-government was supposed to make me enthusiastic about Zionism.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        September 23, 2016, 5:49 pm

        Jewis people chose to move and to remain outside Palestine from an early time, long before the Roman-Jewish wars. Everyone knows about the Jews of Alexandria and it’s clear from Philo’ ‘In the Embassy’ 23 that there was a fairly substantial Jewish community in Rome – though he says that in origin many had been slaves and then freedmen he suggests that they were now fairly prosperous. The New Testament shows widespread Jewish colonies and synagogues in many places, Rome included. It’s often supposed that Paul’s plan to visit Spain per Epistle to Romans shows that there was already a strong Jewish population there – and that is not implausible. Jewish traditions about Judah ha-Nasi in the late 100s CE indicate that top-level Jewish-Roman relations were not that bad. The successive Empires created opportunities and benefits as well as oppressions. These events were the beginning of an international presence that was chosen as well as enforced – and never enforced by bans on Jewish presence throughout Judaea, though it does seem as though the centre of Jewish life moved to Galilee where many synagogue buildings are found. These facts are not much of a foundation for a right to exclude Palestians in the 20th century, are they?

      • annie
        annie
        September 23, 2016, 6:31 pm

        There were really a handful of conversions

        boris, this begs the imagination. you’ve been listening to too many fairy tales. think logically.

    • Raphael
      Raphael
      September 17, 2016, 1:21 pm

      A while back I read about American Indian injustices; but it was mostly by radical Christian scholars or theologians. As far as I recall, I did not see any official BDS like Jewish movements that were activists for the Indians,ever…from when the conflict started to when the colonialism settlement ended, and the last wild American Indian was kicked off his land.

      My guess is most of the activism from Jewish groups in the US is a reaction to the anti-Semitism or possible future anti Semitism that might happen that they are afraid of. The Arab lead BDS activist groups may have scared the more progressive minded political Jews, or been simply paid influence money by rich oil Arab money to create groups with that has Jewish leadership to either be paid to be advocates in a legal way, or to lobby for the rights of Arabs in the Middle East… or it may simply a reason to say to the Arab world, and to the US world in general that they are not like AIPAC Jews…. as if that would solve the problem.

      I can see more why Israeli Jews might want to be activists for the Arabs; because the Arab problem is in their backyard. I personally don’t think American Jewish activism for Arabs is sincere.

      I think the Arabs would be much better off saving their oil money for humanitarian efforts into philanthropy used for Arab rights in the US… and instead to negotiate with Israelis directly and not via American lead Jewish BDS groups. If they need legal advice about how to lobby in the US they would be better of simply hiring a law firm on K Street in DC that works in that field.

      I was not living in Israel that long, and I purposely told myself I would not get involved in politics the first year I was living there as a new citizen. To, say the least, politics got shoved in my face daily; but I still bent over backwards to minimize my abilities as a activist. If I ever move back to Israel I will certainly make it a point to look into these groups, but not to assist the Arab cause because I’m a pacifist; I’m opposed to all forms of conflicts even if in the name of restorative justice.

      But, more out of personal reasons of survival will I at least look at the Arab problem, because, I’m a Christian Jew. And, most of the Christians in Israel are Arabs; so I would be more interested in how a average Israeli deals with their sub-conscious reactions when around Christians, and how some Israelis might react or act when they are around Christians that are not Arabs.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 23, 2016, 1:44 pm

        ” I personally don’t think American Jewish activism for Arabs is sincere.”

        What about American Jewish activism for Palestinians?
        Is that sincere?

      • annie
        annie
        September 23, 2016, 6:23 pm

        My guess is …. The Arab[Palestinian] lead BDS activist groups may have scared the more progressive minded political Jews, or been simply paid influence money by rich oil Arab money to create groups with that has Jewish leadership to either be paid to be advocates in a legal way,

        you’re an idiot. nobody here cares what you “guess”. you just throw anything and everything out there for the heck of it don’t you. spare us this garbage! there are no arab sheldon adelson’s purchasing jewish influence. the only well funded side in this conflict is the zionist side. the rest, for the most part, is unpaid for homegrown activism. like this, it’s free:
        http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/worldwide-protest-israeli/

        it’s just people who care, for free.

    • sakura
      sakura
      September 21, 2016, 2:15 pm

      The peanut farmers are also humans just like you.if a person wants his rights as a human,he should first acknowledge the rights of other humans.i cant go and kick a person out of his house just because that house had once belonged to my ancestor.the jews idea of the holy land is just like that.

    • talknic
      talknic
      September 22, 2016, 1:09 pm

      @ Boris September 14, 2016, 10:46 pm

      “Anybody who supports the right of Cherokees to return to their ancestral lands in Georgia should support the right of the Jews to return to their ancestral territory”

      Uh huh. Keep flapping those wailing Ziogums, one day your argument might fly, meanwhile reality tells us you’re full of Ziopoop

      http://images.google.com.au/images?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rlz=1R1GGGL_en___AU346&um=1&sa=1&q=chinese+jews&btnG=Search+images&aq=f&oq=&start=0

      http://images.google.com.au/images?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rlz=1R1GGGL_en___AU346&um=1&q=Sophie+Okonedo&sa=N&start=21&ndsp=21

      http://images.google.com.au/images?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rlz=1R1GGGL_en___AU346&um=1&sa=1&q=japanese+jews&btnG=Search+images&aq=f&oq=&start=0

      http://images.google.com.au/images?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rlz=1R1GGGL_en___AU346&um=1&sa=1&q=Kaifeng%27s+Jews&btnG=Search+images&aq=f&oq=&start=0

      You really have to feel sorry for people like Boris. Ignorance might be bliss, but it’s only bliss for the ignorant

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        September 22, 2016, 2:57 pm

        Anyone of Cherokee descent, except those who have accepted citizenship in other countries, can live anywhere in the United States, including Georgia, with full voting rights. If anyone of Palestinian descent, except those who have accepted citizenship in other countries, could live anywhere in Palestine with full voting rights that would be a great step forward.
        ‘Return of the Cherokee’ could mean many things. I don’t think that the most radical, the restoration of the former Cherokee territory in its entirety to a fully sovereign power which enfranchised only those of Cherokee descent, is morally right. That, I’d say, is because all Cherokee people have accepted a social contract in which the franchise is not so restricted by race, because it would cause more misery than happiness and because it is not demanded by the people of the Qualla Boundary and cognate places.
        I don’t think that people who are citizens of one country have a right of return to such other countries as were birthplaces for some of their ancestors, even if some of these ancestors became refugees.

    • Boris
      Boris
      September 23, 2016, 6:10 am

      You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 23, 2016, 1:37 pm

        “You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.”

        Exactly. And if the horse knows better than to drink from that poisoned spring, I’ll follow his example.

        Oh, BTW, considering the situation with water in Palestine, is that really (besides not understanding it) the folk saying or proverb you want to bring up, “Boris”?

  13. Kay24
    Kay24
    September 15, 2016, 6:20 am

    Now imagine if this was a Synagogue burnt by a Muslim. Oy vey!

    Criminal who allegedly burnt Mosque in Florida is a pro Netanyahu/Drumpf supporter.

    http://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/suspected-orlando-mosque-arsonist-professed-support-trump-netanyahu-social-media

  14. talknic
    talknic
    September 15, 2016, 7:11 am

    “Saying Israel should not exist is anti-Semitic”

    Meanwhile … bettyberenson September 10, 2016, 6:44 pm

    “From the river to the sea,
    Palestine will never be.”

  15. iResistDe4iAm
    iResistDe4iAm
    September 15, 2016, 11:08 am

    “South Africa was bad. The Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories is bad, in a totally different way. You need a different prescription.” ~ Amos Oz

    Translation:
    South African Afrikaners were supremacists.
    Israeli Zionists are supremacists, in a totally different way.
    As Israeli Zionists are the only righteous supremacists, you need a different prescription.

  16. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    September 15, 2016, 4:00 pm

    “too blind or too scared to acknowledge reality?”

    I think the latter. I previously believed Oz to be a moderate and a realist with an independent way of thinking on the I/P conflict and a limited sense of shame with regard to the actions of JSIL . His recent BBC “interview” prompted me to do some more digging which unearthed the following gem quote at the bottom of his Wiki page:

    “Oz supported Israeli actions in Gaza during the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict, criticizing Hamas tactic of using human shields, saying: “What would you do if your neighbor across the street sits down on the balcony, puts his little boy on his lap, and starts shooting machine-gun fire into your nursery? What would you do if your neighbor across the street digs a tunnel from his nursery to your nursery in order to blow up your home or in order to kidnap your family?”

    “Puts his little boy on his lap and starts shooting machine gun fire into your nursery” How can a supposed “intellectual” spew out such drivelling crap ?

    We have therefore someone who is perceived as the foremost living JSILi author and a “moderate ” sometimes viewed as a “traitor” spewing out the same Hasbara garbage as the deranged right wingers in his beloved state. He is either in self denial , is totally deluded by the Hasbara or is too much of a coward to admit to the truth.

    I think he is a coward who like so many of his fellow JSILis has retreated back into the comforting and eternal victim womb when faced with the horrific reality of what his beloved Light unto the Nations has become.

    Unlike Oz true intellectuals show integrity and courage.

  17. Raphael
    Raphael
    September 15, 2016, 8:03 pm

    The way I interpret settler colonialism is more complex then is currently known; and it seems to me it is a universal problem not based in Israel at all; though Israel has some aspect of colonialism that is because of a “court Jew” problem that Israel has never had the courage to confront in itself, as a new nation.

    Israel, and Zionism has become the “scapegoat” for the settler mentality that is everywhere in the world, in that it is in the Arab psyche, as well as, it is in the American psyche that began from the Puritans in early America too a time, even, before the Bible was ever written… going back even further in history pre history, in a way too the Near Eastern countries, which seem to me to be like the first proto colonist settler countries; some 5000 years ago.

    Ironically, with just about every country on that map in the Near East that had the first ever agricultural structure back then….which was where, and how colonialism seemed to have begun… with the back then final creation of a Babylonian city and the Tower of Babel, to today flash forward to what it is in this modern technological global age.

    Most if not all this Near Eastern countries would not let me as a new citizen of Israel even visit, as a Israeli American, because they are Arab countries opposed to Israel.

    I know virtually nothing about the religion of Islam. I don’t believe “anything” I read or see in the major media about Islam. I think I read something like it is a religion of peace; and that the Islamic terrorists are a small sub group of that religion; that is fanatical.

    When I was in East Jerusalem, before, I became a citizen of Israel; the Arab people that were Muslim Israelis, seemed to be peaceful, day to day. I was not on a tourist program; so I had to work my way through the maze of the 1967 Green line politics; between the Arab and Israeli communities while I was there.

    I’m a Zionist; but, I define my own Zionism which in many ways different then American Zionism or Israeli Zionism. Are there any Zionists in Israel that are spiritual, or religious that are not right wing fundamentalists? I’m curious, in case, I ever move back, or go on a vacation too Israel again.

    • Raphael
      Raphael
      September 16, 2016, 6:30 am

      Haaretz
      Mysterious 6000-year-old Fortresses Found in Jordan Show Surprisingly Advanced Early Society
      Sep 16, 2016

      Settlements with double-fortified walls and irrigated terraces were unexpected deep in the Early Bronze Age desert.

      These fortified settlements may be the earliest of their kind in the Levant or even all of Southwest Asia, the archaeologist heading the study suggests.

      The inhabitants of these settlements were not the first people using this region, Müller-Neuhof adds. There is evidence of temporary hunter-herder camps during the Neolithic era. Nonetheless, this is the first evidence of year-round occupation of at least some of the sites, which were first discovered during surveys in the area of north-eastern Jordan by the Orient Department of the German Archaeological Institute between 2010 and 2015.

      Six years of subsequent research revealed much previously unexpected evidence of elaborate socioeconomic activity in the region, including extensive flint mining and advanced agricultural techniques.

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/archaeology/1.742318

  18. Keith
    Keith
    September 16, 2016, 7:22 pm

    AMOS OZ- “Because no one of them ever said after Hitler that Germany should cease to exist, or after Stalin, that there should be no Russia.”

    After Hitler, Nazi Germany ceased to exist. And Zionist Israel should go the way of Nazi Germany and cease to exist as a Zionist entity, becoming, instead, a state of all of its citizens. As for the former USSR, US foreign policy long sought the breakup of the former Soviet Union, and currently seeks to breakup Russia for geopolitical reasons. Wrongly, of course, but Uncle Sam is seeking it nonetheless, just as the US has broken-up many countries when it suited it. Currently, US/Israel are seeking to breakup the entire Middle East so that the empire, of which Israel is an integral part, can control the area. Additionally, all of these bogus “trade” agreements more or less eliminate national sovereignty in favor of international capital. Amos Oz is a propagandist with little, if any, understanding of the reality on the ground.

  19. sakura
    sakura
    September 21, 2016, 2:14 pm

    The peanut farmers are also humans just like you.if a person wants his rights as a human,he should first acknowledge the rights of other humans.i cant go and kick a person out of his house just because that house had once belonged to my ancestor.the jews idea of the holy land is just like that.

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