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Fearing breakup of Israel lobby, liberal Zionists stress the power of Jewish unity

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The partisan divide over Israel has never been greater (as Pew documented this week). Republicans love Israel, while Democrats are ambivalent. The difference represents a fundamental political divide: Democratic liberals know about the occupation and they don’t like it, and that’s driving them to have far greater solidarity with Palestinians than Israelis, by nearly two to one.

You might think that the liberal Democratic shift would hearten liberal Zionists who are trying to end the occupation. Finally, U.S. politicians will criticize Israel, and force change. But no; there is panic among liberal Zionists writing in the Forward. More than they hate the occupation, they hate the possibility of Israel turning into a political football. For that could lead to Israel ultimately losing its protection by the U.S. from all international criticism.

They warn that Jews must stick together, because that is how we exercise power, by speaking in one voice to the U.S. establishment.

Jane Eisner, the editor of the Forward, wrote last week, “Trump Has Handed The Israel Lobby To Evangelicals. That’s Terrifying.” What’s terrifying to Eisner is the possibility that a powerful institution Jews built, the lobby, will be undermined: “as ‘pro-Israel’ becomes synonymous with conservative Republicans, American Jews — still largely identified with the Democratic party — will move away,” she says.

Eisner urges American Jews to stay true to the lobby. “[T]here are many ways to love and support Israel,” she says, even if you don’t like Netanyahu; and she tells Jews there’s an organization for them: AIPAC.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee remains the largest, richest and dominant Israel lobby in Washington, and its “big tent” approach still defines support for Israel in Congress and beyond. AIPAC prides itself on being bipartisan, and its annual convention attracts scores and scores of lawmakers from both sides of the aisle. While the number of yarmulke-wearing Orthodox Jews attending that convention has increased over the years, AIPAC still finds support in all Jewish religious denominations, and has actively courted other faith groups into its fold.

But after Trump’s unlikely victory, AIPAC is now directly challenged by Christians United for Israel, an evangelical lobby with a more hard-line and partisan approach that aligns with those setting the agenda in the White House.

AIPAC has long supported settlements and occupation and discrimination– whatever the Israeli government wants. But if AIPAC loses Democratic Jews, then Israel will become politicized; and Israel could come under a lot of pressure. Eisner is endorsing the idea that the lobby is an institution of Jewish influence, on the Democratic side anyway (and she downplays Sheldon Adelson’s influence on the right).

Yehuda Kurtzer, a Zionist speaker who appears at J Street gatherings, issued a very similar warning in the Forward this week: “The biggest threat to the Jews? The Partisan divide.”

Kurtzer says “Jewish power” derives from Jews sticking together.

People don’t like talking about Jewish power out loud because, despite good intentions, it either sounds anti-Semitic itself or gives fodder for anti-Semites. But Jewish power in America has been essential to Jewish thriving in America, and it has required instruments of solidarity — and specifically, the technique of presenting to the rest of the world an image, even if a facade, of communal unity.

That is an astute analysis. But as Kurtzer concedes, Jews now feel secure enough in the U.S. that they don’t need to huddle in a Jewish collective. And this loss of collective identity concerns him:

I fear that the foundations of Jewish power in America, which in turn allow individuals to thrive in American politics, depend more heavily on this group identity than its critics like to admit.

Israel is obviously near the root of Kurtzer’s concern. When Jews don’t collectivize as Jews, some of them make coalitions with “anti-Semites on the left.” Those coalitions, he says, “give a pass to violence against Jews in the name of anti-Zionism, and… otherwise discredit the Jewish national rights that are accorded to all other ethnic groups.”

That’s pretty much the same thing centrist and rightwing Zionists say about anti-Zionists. Kurtzer is angered by Jewish Voice for Peace, for delegitimizing Israeli democracy.

Both Kurtzer and Eisner are nostalgic for the age when Jews lobbied together and suppressed their differences. Americans for Peace Now would seem to have a similar rationale, I presume: that being a member of the Conference of Presidents, and therefore on the board of AIPAC, is justified because Jews will only have influence if they speak with one voice. Though AIPAC and the Conference have supported the settlement project that APN has so vigorously documented and opposed.

The next generation of Jews doesn’t place the Jewish collective over liberal coalitions. Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow both demonstrate against AIPAC and the Jewish establishment. These young people have chosen solidarity with Palestinians over solidarity with Zionists; and it seems to be moving the Democratic base.

Eisner and Kurtzner’s panic is in the end an expression of the crisis of Zionism. After 50 years of occupation, you’re either with Netanyahu/Trump or against them. The middle ground is disappearing.

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About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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64 Responses

  1. eljay
    eljay
    January 24, 2018, 1:02 pm

    … Yehuda Kurtzer, a Zionist speaker … speaks openly about Jewish power in America …

    People don’t like talking about Jewish power out loud … But Jewish power in America has been essential to Jewish thriving in America … I fear that the foundations of Jewish power in America, which in turn allow individuals to thrive in American politics …

    I wonder if Mr. Kurtzer will be labelled an anti-Semite for suggesting that such a thing as “Jewish power” exists.

    What I do know is that because Mr. Kurtzer wrote…
    – “Jewish power” instead of “the power of the Jews”;
    – “Jewish thriving” instead of “the thriving of the Jews”; and
    – “the foundations of Jewish power” instead of “the foundations of the power of the Jews”,
    Nathan will accuse him of “avoiding the fact that the Jews are a people”.

  2. amigo
    amigo
    January 24, 2018, 1:36 pm

    Zionism = Dead man walking.The only question is , how long it will be on death row and how many more reprieves it will get.Can,t be too many left.

  3. Rusty Pipes
    Rusty Pipes
    January 24, 2018, 2:43 pm

    But hasn’t Chomsky told the Forward that the Israel Lobby doesn’t exist?

  4. Stateless American
    Stateless American
    January 24, 2018, 2:44 pm

    AIPAC is now directly challenged by Christians United for Israel,

    Really? Even though CUFI executive director David Brog is Ehud Barak’s cousin?

  5. annie
    annie
    January 24, 2018, 3:15 pm

    i think Mr. Kurtzer is in a quaundary . he reveals an odd need to do a ‘balancing both sides act’ wrt what he portrays as anti semitism on both the left and the right. first, let’s check out these 2 sides:

    after generations of monitoring and tracking the hatred against Jews as one of the defining features of mainstream Jewish institutional behavior — we now have a divide in the American Jewish community between the anti-Semites on the right ……the burgeoning white nationalist and “alt-right” movements….and the anti-Semites on the left …. those who give a pass to violence against Jews in the name of anti-Zionism, and who otherwise discredit the Jewish national rights……

    i can’t quite help but think there’s code written into “give a pass to violence against Jews in the name of anti-Zionism” — meaning support for resistance to occupation. so Kurtzer’s quandary is that he can’t tell that nazi’s marching in the street in charlottesville are worse than bleeding heart liberals (human rights activists who believe in equal rights for all people):

    whenever I speak about this issue, any audience is likely to agree and still argue that the worse anti-Semites are on the other side, and that to say otherwise is to engage in moral relativism.

    he speaks of “today’s version of anti-Semites”, he speaks of “the moral framework of the tradition” (of holding others accountable) but what he fails to grasp is that this split, this divide, has run simultaneously with the redefinition of antisemitism. where is the “tradition” in backing this definition of anti semitism? there is none. new ground is being broken and it’s unacceptable to those who fundamentally disagree that anti semitism = anti zionism.

    so what does that mean, what does it signify when the rules of the game are updated to paint with a broad brush one side the equivalence of a jew hater for not being a zionist?

    it really balances things out? not so fast. we have the nazis on the right and anti zionists on the left and only then can Kurtzer’s jewish handwringing truly begin in earnest.

    unity people! over what kurtzer claims is “”First and foremost “. if you want unity, try going back to the traditional definition of anti semitism.

    • festus
      festus
      January 24, 2018, 3:47 pm

      “..after generations of monitoring and tracking the hatred against Jews..”

      The problem in a nutshell.

      No other group does anything like this.

      When your identity depends on believing you are an unfairly set upon group and that group spends massive time and effort to identify those who hate you, do you really think they will possibly reach any other conclusion than the belief they began with?

      • inbound39
        inbound39
        January 24, 2018, 8:36 pm

        The other side of the coin is, I suggest, that when people look for something and no matter what they turn up, fail to adequately support their quest , they end up grasping at anything until ,all around them, people cease to believe them. That is where Zionism is at right now.

  6. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    January 24, 2018, 3:23 pm

    I think the LZ’s are in agony because they know that they (and the less liberal Z’s) have replaced any other aspect of Jewish communal identity with the newish religion of Israel-boosting, which they were persuaded to use to replace other aspects of Jewish communal identity such as Judaism, and a vague moral-and-ethical helpfulness which might be called Tikkun Olam.

    They are frightened because if Israel sinks (or even if only Israel-boosting sinks), they will (or fear they will) be left with nothing, no identity, and that is indeed scary because Israel-boosting has given them purpose, community, power, etc.

    I suggest we encourage LZ’s (especially Jane Eisner, whose voice is heard) to add Tikkun Olam (or whatever) to their list of daily concerns so that as Israel-boosting is seen to be hollow or worse, they will have something really Jewish to hang on to in its place. It will help with the transition. They will know when the transition is well under way when they begin to care in an active fashion for the whole Palestinian people.

    • JWalters
      JWalters
      January 24, 2018, 10:23 pm

      Jane Eisner is right that AIPAC is the “richest” Israel lobby in Washington. And if it were not for their financial control and coercion of Congressional candidates, and their financial control and coercion of America’s press, then their claim for any sort of morality would be laughed out of town in the face of Israel’s glaring history of massive crimes and atrocities. Jane Eisner’s appalling shallowness reveals the scared little girl still inside.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      January 25, 2018, 3:07 pm

      Meanwhile, more and more American people, especially all important youth and the educated in general, are waking up and viewing Israel as a rogue and pariah. It’s only a matter of time before their elected officials see the handwriting on the wall.

      http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=20982'%20style='color:#000;

      The Real News, Jan. 25/18

      “US Bipartisan Support for Israel over Palestinians Is Breaking Down, New Study Shows”

      “The bipartisan consensus of support for Israel over the Palestinians is breaking down in the United States.

      “A new study by the leading polling agency the Pew Research Center has found that the partisan divide in Americans’ sympathies for Israel or the Palestinians is the largest it has been in 40 years.

      “Roughly four-fifths of Republicans sympathize more with Israel than the Palestinians, whereas just around one-quarter of Democrats sympathize more with Israel.

      “And this partisan divide is growing. Since 2001, the percentage of Democrats who support Israel over the Palestinians has declined from 38% to 27%. In these same 17 years, the percentage of Republicans who support Israel over the Palestinians has increased from 50% to 79%.

      “This is a very significant shift. In the past several decades, it has simply been assumed that both major US political parties and their adherents supported Israel. This bipartisan backing continued despite Israel’’s systemic discrimination against the Palestinians, its illegal five-decade military occupation, and its expansion of settlements in violation of international law.

      “The new Pew study shows Democrats are nearly just as likely to sympathize with the Palestinians as they are with Israel. This has changed rapidly since 2016. The number of self-described liberal Democrats who support Israel over the Palestinians has fallen from 33% to 19% in the past two years. Today, liberal Democrats are almost twice as likely to support the Palestinians.

      “The Pew study also shows that young Americans are more likely to sympathize with the Palestinians. And the more highly educated a person is, the less likely they are to support Israel.

      “The largest base of religious support for Israel comes from white Evangelical Christians, many of whom have an apocalyptic view of the country.

      “Yet while liberal Democrats increasingly support the Palestinians and given Israel’’s many human rights violations and extremely right-wing and xenophobic government, at the same time, their elected officials are still overwhelmingly pro-Israel.”

      “This study does show a major shift in popular views among Americans, but politicians are still far from responding to those popular views.

      “Pew polling reveals Israel has become a right-wing issue, with 79% of Republicans supporting it compared to just 27% of Democrats”

  7. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    January 24, 2018, 3:37 pm

    I suppose, “Whose side are you on?” is the ultimate question to be tossed at liberal zionists. But then why does mw’s editor indulge in petty cultural antisemitism: we snuck up to the rich Jews’ windows and saw the garish interior decorations. Why does mw publish antisemitic motifs, judas’s kiss? Why does mw publish screeds calling all zionism a cult?
    Why? Because it is self indulgent and feels good. Why? Because mw’s antizionism is part of an assimilationist package deal. Why? Because mw preaches to its choir and preaches at and disdains anyone not in the choir. Yes leftist zionists are in a tough spot. But no. MW has disqualified itself from helping them to decide how to proceed.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      January 24, 2018, 4:22 pm

      ” Yes leftist zionists are in a tough spot. But no. MW has disqualified itself from helping them to decide how to proceed.”

      You should have read the “about” page. Try another site for the guidance you seek. Good luck.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      January 24, 2018, 4:29 pm

      “Why? Because it is self indulgent and feels good.
      Why? Because mw’s antizionism is part of an assimilationist package deal.
      Why? Because mw preaches to its choir and preaches at and disdains anyone not in the choir.”
      “Rev. Dr. ‘yonah fredman’

      Hallelijah! Right on, Rebberend! Preach it, brother!

    • annie
      annie
      January 24, 2018, 5:12 pm

      yonah likes the format of asking questions and then answer them. speaking of

      self indulgent and feels good. Why?

      i think the term “liberal” in “liberal zionist” is self indulgent and feels good. think of robert kagan calling himself a liberal. what does that even mean? like liberally bombing other countries for democracy’s sake. and then people like interchanging the terms left and liberal. so you can be a lefty warm and cozy self indulgent apartheid loving war monger and feel good about it by calling yourself a liberal zionist.

      But then why does mw’s editor indulge in petty cultural antisemitism: we snuck up to the rich Jews’ windows and saw the garish interior decorations.

      that reminds me, there’s been a LOT of sneaking up to rich jews windows lately given the double murder (or murder suicide depending on whose investigation to believe) of the canadian billionaire couple (even justin trudeau went to the memorial along with 5k other folks).

      gruesome affair, made all the more strange by 150+ lawsuits against his company by bigwigs like teva and small fries like family members who swear he’s cheated them out of their fortune, juxtaposed by their massive generosity to the toronto community.

      anyway, i sort of missed whatever mw reference you were referring to yonah w/the garish furniture. was it phil’s musings on martha’s vineyard over the holiday? because it would be hard to get more garish than gazing at the couple (she was on the board of Simon Wiesenthal Center), even wapo was caught gazing, and phil didn’t go near it — thus far anyway.

      MW has disqualified itself from helping them to decide how to proceed.

      i’d really like to know how those decisions take place. do they have “leftist zionist” elections and pass out ballots? or isn’t it the case each decides on his own and if they sneak a peak at mondoweiss and come away scathed and bent in a wayward direction towards anti zionism there’s just not a heck of a lot you can do about it?

      so, back to the canadian billionaire couple double murder v suicide. any theories?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 24, 2018, 6:21 pm

        “back to the canadian billionaire couple double murder v suicide. any theories?”

        Maybe the Sherman’s got caught up in one of those “assimilationist package deals” gone sour?

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        January 24, 2018, 6:52 pm

        annie- Here’s phil’s quote: “My host and I went for a walk and you could trespass on the big estates because no one was there, and at one sprawling compound with a Jewish name on the sign out by the road, we stuck our noses in the windows to check out the (garish) furnishings, and someone came to the door to ask if we needed anything.”
        I can’t comment on the double murder. don’t know much about it.

      • annie
        annie
        January 24, 2018, 7:39 pm

        i have no idea why you think that is “petty cultural antisemitism” yonah. he was with extended family (non jewish extended family). they didn’t “snuck up to the rich Jews’ windows”. they took a walk where “you could trespass on the big estates because no one was there”. i’m sure there are lots of non jewish big estates on martha’s vineyard (jackie o comes to mind). why is it, when he mentions he notices a jewish name on the road sign, it turns it into a walk sneaking up on rich jews? i don’t think they thought anyone was home. the story, as i read it, was how the lady said “merry christmas”. which i thought made her sound very friendly.

        and excuse me but lots of big estates have garish furniture. why did you think that was particularily jewish, his mention of that? did that set you off? because if i was wandering around the country side sneaking up on empty estates and taking a peak in the windows (yes i have done things like that for sure) i might expect to see garish furnishings. like say … balmoral castle. or is the word garish racist only when applied to jews? please explain why this was “petty cultural antisemitism”. i’m serious, enlighten me.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        January 24, 2018, 7:08 pm

        I like Phil Ochs’s song, “love me I’m a liberal”, but he hanged himself and so I don’t take his dogma as life affirming.
        Regarding Zionism, I’ve been reading a collection of essays/interviews of Isaac Deutscher, released under the name of the key essay, “the nonjewish jew”. He is not a Jew lover when he talks of the Yahudim of the west who have much money and a few taboos, but I do not react to him as strongly as I do to Phil’s occasional forays into scorn of Jews with money. I suppose the biographer of Trotsky is allowed some leeway that I don’t allow Phil. Also Deutscher was raised orthodox and rebelled and so his rejection of tradition was done by himself based on knowledge rather than done by his grandparents leaving him with no language in common with the tradition. Also his ideology is socialism and Phil’s ideology is assimilationism and whatever the weekly progressive or dominant zeitgeist happens to be.

        I’d be interested in the reactions of the local Marxist “jewhater” to Deutscher’s writings.

        Deutscher also mentions that 100 years after his death people (Leibniz) still could not mention Spinoza’s name. Who’s to blame for that? Surely the Jews who excommunicated him, the denizens of mw comments would have us believe.

      • annie
        annie
        January 24, 2018, 8:05 pm

        carrying on about “Phil’s occasional forays into scorn of Jews with money” w/nary an example of said scorn! like coming to a fist fight with your hands tied yonah. phff

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        January 24, 2018, 8:36 pm

        Here’s phil’s most famous antisemitic post. http://mondoweiss.net/2015/04/forgiving-anti-semites/

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 24, 2018, 10:16 pm

        “I like Phil Ochs’s song…/… would have us believe.

        And “yonah” takes time out from his indictment of Phil Weiss and Mondo as anti-semitic, to make his regular diary entry in “Yonah’s Complaint”.

      • Keith
        Keith
        January 24, 2018, 10:27 pm

        YONAH FREDMAN- “Here’s phil’s most famous antisemitic post.”

        Be honest, Yonah, whining about (non-existent) anti-Semitism gives meaning to your life.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        January 25, 2018, 4:56 am

        Actually, keith, one of the keys here is perception. The choir sees no antisemitism. But liberal zionists probably will. If Phil cared about talking to lz’s, rather than preaching at lz’s, he would care how he would be perceived. But he doesn’t. He only cares about communicating with his choir, who as in your case couldn’t care less.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        January 25, 2018, 5:06 am

        Isaac deutscher, btw, keith, wrote in “who is a jew” that he fears that antisemitism is not through in the welfare states of the west. When they fail, the socialism of fools will marry the proletariat to the lower middle class as happened in Germany in the 20’s and 30’s. I do not fear the near term failure of the American economy, and the more familiar (American) scapegoats of anti immigration and racism are the first reactions rather than the old time European familiar scapegoat. But you have your cut and paste yuri slezkine quote handy to avoid all serious thought on the subject.

      • eljay
        eljay
        January 25, 2018, 8:19 am

        || Keith: … Be honest, Yonah, whining about (non-existent) anti-Semitism gives meaning to your life. ||

        It’s odd that a real, honest-to-goodness Jew like y.f. – who despises assimilation and fears anti-Semitism – wouldn’t hop on the first plane back to his ancient / historic / eternal / one true homeland and spend the rest of his Jewish life living happily, comfortably and – thanks to Captain Israel – securely in the “Jewish State” among his Jewish people.

      • Keith
        Keith
        January 25, 2018, 10:34 am

        YONAH FREDMAN- “The choir sees no antisemitism.”

        You, on the other hand, revel in it.

        YONAH FREDMAN- “But you have your cut and paste yuri slezkine quote handy to avoid all serious thought on the subject.”

        Yes, the use of quotes and references from scholars the sign of a lazy mind. Something no one can accuse you of.

        Enough of this! I have already indulged your conceits more than you deserve.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        January 25, 2018, 5:16 pm

        Keith. Bien sur, as they say. But spare us 3 words for Isaac Deutscher.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        January 25, 2018, 5:28 pm

        Eljay- didn’t anyone teach you how to act like a mensch?
        I have 4 siblings and a dozen or so nieces n nephews living in what I call falestin. Does morality require me to care about them? Actually it’s called biology not morality. Does morality require I put them over my thoughts of self? You seem to think so. I disagree. The individual is encouraged to seek his fullest self, that is the modern commandment.
        As far as antisemitism, I do not think fleeing David duke and the cockroaches of the alt right is a wise strategy and your suggestion is slimy in regards to the strategy you advise for me.
        I think the hatred I saw in Charlottesville was scary, but I think the powers of light should not succumb to those who smirk.

      • eljay
        eljay
        January 25, 2018, 5:46 pm

        || yonah fredman: Eljay- didn’t anyone teach you how to act like a mensch? … ||

        I’m not of the Jewish people so, no, no one ever taught me how to “act like a mensch”.

        || … I have 4 siblings and a dozen or so nieces n nephews living in what I call falestin. Does morality require me to care about them? Actually it’s called biology not morality. Does morality require I put them over my thoughts of self? You seem to think so. … ||

        I seem to think what now? Did you bump your head or something?

        || … As far as antisemitism, I do not think fleeing David duke and the cockroaches of the alt right is a wise strategy and your suggestion is slimy in regards to the strategy you advise for me. … ||

        Advise? Contrary to your slimy misinterpretation of my comment, I didn’t advise you to do anything.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 25, 2018, 5:52 pm

        “yonah”
        why can’t you get it through your head that you spending each day indicting Phil Weiss for antisemitism, on the blog that he set up tells anybody (and especially any Jew) everything they need to know about Zionism and Zionists?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 25, 2018, 6:01 pm

        “I have 4 siblings and a dozen or so nieces n nephews living in what I call falestin. Does morality require me to care about them?” “yonah fredman”

        Both morality, and biology, and reality should make you care very much about their situation. You should be screaming at the Zionist organizations, and furious with organized Jewish religion.

        But no, it’s all Phil Weiss’s fault. Yeah, I can see that you Zionists really know how to think things through.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 25, 2018, 6:06 pm

        “Isaac deutscher, btw, keith, wrote in “who is a jew”

        Good point, “yonah”! If Jews are entitled to redemption of their homeland, the right to take property and lives from Palestinians, we really need to know exactly who is a Jew, and who is not!
        After all, we want the right people to have those incredible privileges. And what if the wrong people start getting them? What if a person went to Israel killed some Palestinians, and took their house and land and wasn’t a Jew! That would be wrong!

        But nobody will; tell us who is, and who isn’t a Jew!
        “Yonah” when you come up with the thing that enables us to tell Jews from non-Jews, please pass it along to us.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 25, 2018, 6:43 pm

        ” like coming to a fist fight with your hands tied yonah. phff”

        But “Annie” look who “yonah” brought with him, as ‘seconds’! An entire herd of irrelevants: Phil Ochs, Isaac Deutscher, Trotsky,Leibniz, Spinoza, the proletariat, the lower middle class, and David Duke!

        Phil will be trampled in the stampede!

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        January 25, 2018, 6:52 pm

        mooser- who needs to google isaac deutscher to find out who he is.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 25, 2018, 9:07 pm

        “mooser- who needs to google isaac deutscher to find out who he is.” “yonah”

        He grey, and very large, and always carries a trunk.

        (BTW, “yonah” the comment in which you indicted Phil Weiss for “preaching to the choir” and wrote the entire comment as a call-and-response Gospel sermon (3:37pm) is classic, one for the ages!)

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        January 26, 2018, 12:52 am

        To mooser a war of ideas question: who was greater buddy Hackett or don rickles. A war of ideas question over his head: is Isaac deutscher guilty of anti gentilism? How does deutscher explain jew hatred?

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        January 26, 2018, 3:19 am

        Mooser: ““yonah”
        why can’t you get it through your head that you spending each day indicting Phil Weiss for antisemitism, on the blog that he set up tells anybody (and especially any Jew) everything they need to know about Zionism and Zionists?”

        Mooser, please notify me, if Yonah ever comes up with a rational definition of antisemitism.

      • Keith
        Keith
        January 26, 2018, 11:04 am

        YONAH FREDMAN- ” How does deutscher explain jew hatred?”

        Okay, you big tease, how does Deutscher explain Jew hatred? The whole point of a discussion is to discuss, not to provide a Judeocentric reading list. The one Deutscher quote I am familiar with has to do with Jews jumping out of a burning house and is pure BS. By the way, the NEW anti-Semitism doesn’t involve Jew hatred, it involves criticism of Israel and/or examining Jewish power in the current political economy which is then used to INFER Jew hatred. The notion that Mondoweiss anti-Zionists are mostly Jew-haters is absurd.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 26, 2018, 1:46 pm

        “To mooser a war of ideas question: who was greater buddy Hackett or don rickles”

        “yonah”, you have been getting more and more grandiose lately.

        Can’t wait to see what we get from you once the manic phase passes.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 26, 2018, 1:53 pm

        “By the way, the NEW anti-Semitism doesn’t involve Jew hatred, it involves criticism of Israel and/or examining Jewish power in the current political economy”

        Exactly, and here’s the beauty part, “Keith”! You know what gives those accusations of anti-semitism their ‘bite’? What makes an accusation of new anti-semitism so terrible?
        Why, the fundamentally philo-Semitic nature of the Western World, of course! (Except for those few leftist cranks endorsing the new anti-semitism)
        Or so Zionists seem to think, as far as I can tell.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        January 26, 2018, 3:10 pm

        Keith- your answer and attitude suffice to impress those who are familiar with deutscher to label you accordingly.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        January 26, 2018, 4:49 pm

        From remnants of a race:
        “It was in Poland and Romania with their 4 million Jews that the Jewish issue was most acute before the war. Much more than in other countries, and even of Germany, anti semitism was a popular movement. It embodied all sorts of moods and motives: the jealousy felt by the underdeveloped Polish middle classes for their Jewish rivals and competitors; the socialism of the ignorant and especially the declasse, in which Jews were blamed as a sinister and mysterious capitalist power; the deeply rooted clerical hatred of the Jew as ” Christ’s enemy”; and finally the fear of the Governments of Communism spreading among the vast mass of utterly impoverished Jewish artisans and outright paupers. The gentile working classes and the peasantry in those countries, on the whole, remained unaffected by persistent antisemitic propaganda. But they also remained aloof from the Jews and more or less indifferent to their fate. The Gulf of separatism between jew and gentile, was at least in part, responsible for the uncanny passivity and indifference with which the mass of gentiles watched the apocalyptic slaughter of the Jews.

        “Nor is this the whole picture. The grave of the Jewish middle class became the cradle of a new gentile middle class in eastern europe. At the height of the slaughter a Polish paper wrote: “The Nazis are solving the Jewish problem in our favor in a way in which we could never have solved it.”

        This was written in The Economist in January of1946. “The non-Jewish Jew and other essays” was published by Verso press in 2017 on the 50th anniversary of deutscher’s death in 1967, at the age of 60.

        It is fine to draw distinctions between anti zionism and anti semitism. But to draw these distinctions one certainly should have some history under one’s belt. To deny the new antisemitism is a valid stance. But to belittle the role of antisemitism in the first half of the 20 th century is just plain ignorance and to assume that 2017 America reveals the true nature of the world or specifically of 1940 eastern Europe is stupid and malicious.

        Deutscher cites causes and effects. None of which are: it’s an inborn trait of esau to hate jacob. As a socialist and as a jew he condemns jew hatred as the socialism of fools. As a pessimist and a skeptic regarding capitalism he sees the decay of capitalism ending in ruins with the possibility of grave consequences for the jews.

        Kevin macdonald- old or new antisemite? Pat buchanan? Louis farrakhan? Stokely Carmichael? I’d argue a mixture of both.

        Penetrating analysis alone cannot predict the future pitfalls in America or elsewhere. But avoiding analysis is malicious nonsense.

      • annie
        annie
        January 26, 2018, 6:09 pm

        the mass of gentiles watched the apocalyptic slaughter of the Jews.

        they did?

        the jealousy felt by the underdeveloped Polish middle classes for their Jewish rivals and competitors

        it’s normal for the have nots to be jealous of the haves. or rather i should say it’s not unusual. or for people to be jealous of their competitors (especially when their competitors are doing better than they are). this is not really racist per se. unless the so-called advantage is all in their heads. jealousy isn’t the same as racism nor inherently connected to it. it’s a human instinct, one often experienced early in life in connection to ones siblings comparing who gets what.

        It is fine to draw distinctions between anti zionism and anti semitism. But to draw these distinctions one certainly should have some history under one’s belt.

        nah, i think you have that a**backwards. anti zionism and anti semitism are already 2 different things with 2 different definitions. therefore, it would be more appropriate to claim:

        It is fine to draw comparisons between anti zionism and anti semitism. But to draw these comparisons one certainly should have some history under one’s belt.

        and frankly yonah, thus far i am not seeing you drawing any valid comparisons, or any worthy of consideration.

        would it be your contention that palestinians are jealous of jews for stealing palestine and all their resources and keeping them locked up and selling palestinians back their own water (and other resources) at high prices and therefore this has some similarity to a typical form of anti semitism or something? really? where are your comparisons of this guy you’re citing? the one we’re supposed to google?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 26, 2018, 7:04 pm

        “yonah” what on earth was all that brew-ha-ha and all those hysterical comments about? Why didn’t you just say “I’ve got a book report I’d like to enter into the Archives”?

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        January 26, 2018, 7:07 pm

        Annie- first of all deutscher was referring to Polish gentiles’ apathy and his assertion stands, while your question mark is ignorant.

        Second- I did not mention one Palestinian in my comment . Accusing Palestinians of antisemitism is not my thing. You’d be hard pressed to find that as my theme. (Hard pressed but not impossible.) But I do discuss white Americans and their obliviousness to antisemitism, black Americans and their occasional (kwame toure and brother Louis Farrakhan and jesse jackson) indulgence in jew hatred.

        What drew me to this post was Phil Weiss lecturing liberal zionists about what to do and the either/or of the situation and my statement, that his casual use of antisemitic language and indulgence of antisemitic motifs means that lz’s of good hearts and or of questionable motives can dismiss him.

        For this I am scolded and told that I revel in jew hatred, by ideological soul mates of Kevin Macdonald and those who marry socialism with jew hatred and think they are wise men and not fools. (August bebel once called antisemitism the socialism of fools).

        Deutscher, in fact, is no zionist despite his obvious feelings for the slaughtered, and despite the analogy of the man jumping out of the building, escaping from a fire. He asserts that zionism was a middle class eastern European Jewish hobby, whereas deutscher’s working class comrades of Jewish persuasion were foes of zionism and he dismisses the equation out of hand.

        I am not asserting the equation, merely asserting that if Phil Weiss were interested in winning minds and hearts he wouldn’t indulge in childish silliness. But though Weiss claims the importance of the liberal zionist, he can barely deign to talk to them/us, because he’d have to take time out from his scorn and petty adolescent spitball indulgences. He has his own Web site and he doesn’t feel like acting and he truly disdains Jews who care about Jewish continuity and so he let’s us see into his heart. Liberal zionist might or might not be the key here, but Phil Weiss won’t waste any emotions trying to prove his sentimental credentials. He has none. He is happy to watch the Jews and their languages disappear.

        Jeremy Haber, who shows no such disdain, does not convince many liberal zionist to think twice, so Phil is probably right that censoring himself won’t win many hearts or minds.

      • Keith
        Keith
        January 26, 2018, 7:15 pm

        YONAH FREDMAN- ” But to belittle the role of antisemitism in the first half of the 20 th century is just plain ignorance….”

        Who, pray tell us, has belittled the role of anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe in the first half of the 20th century? Please provide quotes and links.

        YONAH FREDMAN- “…to assume that 2017 America reveals the true nature of the world or specifically of 1940 eastern Europe is stupid and malicious.”

        Once again, please provide quotes and links to provide substance to this strawman you continually attack.

        You should be aware, but apparently aren’t, that the first half of the 20th century was a uniquely turbulent time. World War I was hugely destructive, the world entered a severe depression and the Russian Revolution scared the capitalists to death. By the way, have you ever heard of Genrikh Yagoda? https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3342999,00.html Also, modernity was late in arriving in Eastern Europe and the old economic function of the Jews was being challenged. Ever heard of the Holodomor? Then the rise of Blood and Soil nationalism (which inspired the Zionists). So a lot of bad stuff was going on and a lot of people got killed including well over 20 million Soviets during WW II. To focus almost exclusively on the fate of the Jews in a Judeocentric manner in Eastern Europe during this time frame is extraordinarily myopic, but it is what you do to buttress your ideology of victimhood. You assume that conditions in Eastern Europe in the first half of the twentieth century reveals the true nature of the world. It doesn’t. And to turn a blind eye to American Jewish power and to the abuse of that power by Israel and empire is typical Zionist apologetics. There is no legitimate defense of Israel’s actions, or of the actions of the militaristic, neoliberal American empire.

        YONAH FREDMAN- ” As a socialist and as a jew he condemns jew hatred as the socialism of fools.”

        Does he say anything about Jewish hatred of Gentiles? Anything at all?

        “A series of contrasts is set up in the mind of the shtetl child, who grows up to regard certain behavior as characteristic of Jews, and its opposite as characteristic of Gentiles. Among the Jews he expects to find emphasis on intellect, a sense of moderation, cherishing of spiritual values, cultivation of rational, goal-directed activities, a “beautiful” family life. Among gentiles he looks for the opposite of each item: emphasis on the body, excess, blind instinct, sexual license, and ruthless force. The first list is ticketed in his mind as Jewish, the second as goyish.” (P107, “The Jewish Century,” Yuri Slezkine)

        “Everywhere, classical Judaism developed hatred and contempt for for agriculture as an occupation and for peasants as a class, even more than for other Gentiles- a hatred of which I know no parallel in other societies. This is immediately apparent to anyone who is familiar with the Yiddish or Hebrew literature of the 19th and 20th centuries.” (p52-53, “Jewish History, Jewish Religion,” Israel Shahak)

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 26, 2018, 8:02 pm

        He (Phil Weiss) has his own Web site and he …”

        “yonah” you could have your own website, in 15 minutes, and for free. Blogger, WordPress, you name it.

        It never occurs to you that coming to Phil’s website day after day, to insult him in the space Phil provides for you makes you look, well, nuts? And very, very jealous, and obsessed.

        “so Phil is probably right that censoring himself won’t win many hearts or minds.”

        Good, you thought it out to the correct conclusion. So we’re done with this now? Great! You’ll call off the Special Investigation into Phil’s collusion with Russian anti-semitism?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 26, 2018, 8:09 pm

        “Among the Jews he expects to find emphasis on intellect, a sense of moderation, cherishing of spiritual values, cultivation of rational, goal-directed activities, a “beautiful” family life. Among gentiles he looks for the opposite of each item: emphasis on the body, excess, blind instinct, sexual license, and ruthless force.”

        No wonder intermarriage is so popular.

    • Donald
      Donald
      January 24, 2018, 6:34 pm

      “Yes leftist zionists are in a tough spot. But no. MW has disqualified itself from helping them to decide how to proceed.”

      What site or book or magazine or writer would you recommend for this? I am not being snide.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        January 24, 2018, 7:40 pm

        Jerry Haber is not someone I listen to, necessarily, but he is someone I respect in a way that I don’t respect mw.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        January 24, 2018, 8:34 pm

        Larry Derfner, Bradley Burston and even Gideon Levy are liberal Zionists that I listen to, although they ruffle feathers from time to time.

        If Not Now is a bit further than me to the left, but I listen to them, to see their take.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        January 25, 2018, 12:05 am

        Yonah “he is someone I respect in a way that I don’t respect mw.”

        But you keep trying to get that girl, even though she’s said, uh – no thanks. Well Yonah, keep trying! You might get lucky one of these years.

      • Donald
        Donald
        January 25, 2018, 12:12 am

        I was thinking more of which nonZionists you like, but thanks.

        Haber, I think, is non Zionist. Or rather, a cultural Zionist who doesnt support the statehood idea as part of his Zionism, if I understood him correctly. I used to read him regularly and gradually stopped as he seemed not to post that much. But there were a few posts in 2017 as I just saw. But I agree he is very good, someone who just radiates intelligence and decency. I suppose if I wanted to convince a liberal Zionist to really re examine the ideology Haber would be the person I would recommend.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 25, 2018, 6:46 pm

        “but he is someone I respect in a way that I don’t respect mw.”

        “Groucho Fredman”: ‘I could never respect a blog which lets me comment so much!’

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        January 26, 2018, 1:21 am

        Jerry haber is a cultural zionist. There used to be a term post zionist, you don’t see it much, I don’t think.
        I am far less zionist today than I was before cast lead. In the following way: I get a perverse kick watching zionists get apoplectic about Gideon levi.
        I think ehud olmert or tzipi livni could have negotiated a 2 state solution, so I see the problem as bibi.
        Jeremy haber is far more tolerant of Jvp than I am. I react emotionally to the pugnacity of max Blumenthal and Norman finkelstein… has he grown up since seig heiling in defamation, I hope so. I suppose gershon Baskin is a zionist, but his involvement in Gaza negotiations gives him cred. I think gaza is a foul up by israel and blame is first to bibi, but I can’t help but think how dysfunctional the region is. And can’t anybody play this game of politics and diplomacy? Doesn’t seem so. I think kissinger in 73, 74 had a tougher gig than negotiating some modus operandi in gaza, but Kerry and Obama didn’t have the weight of Nixon kissinger and of course bibi loves the status quo. And now trump. It’s down the drain for at least 3 more years.

    • eljay
      eljay
      January 24, 2018, 8:05 pm

      || yonah fredman: … Why does mw publish antisemitic motifs … ||

      I don’t know why MW publishes the anti-Semitic things Zionists say, such as:
      – repeatedly conflating Israel and Zionism with all Jews and all Jews with Israel and Zionism; and
      – asserting that all Jews are responsible for the actions of some Jews.

  8. Nicholas
    Nicholas
    January 24, 2018, 4:14 pm

    So how much longer will we be reading about this oxymoron, “liberal Zionists”? A person can be a liberal, and favor human rights, including self determination, freedom of speech, equality before the law, and those other thingys found in the Bill of Rights. Or a person can favor and promote Zionism, which apparently opposes all these rights being granted to Palestinians for sure, and in some instances all other Gentiles as well. But no one can favor and promote both Liberalism, and Zionism.

    Instead of ever identifying those who favor Zionism as “Liberal Zionists”, it’s time to end this pretense by IDing them as “Zionist hypocrites pretending to be Liberal”, or perhaps as “insincere Liberals more interested in promoting Zionism”, or anything that accurately describes the actual political views of these phonies. Because there absolutely is not such thing as a “Liberal Zionist”. And it’s dishonest to pretend otherwise.

    Maybe it’s a little bit like the Supreme Court Justice describing pornography as (paraphrasing), “I can’t define it, but I sure know it when I see it.” So called “liberal Zionists”, ie those Rabbis in Ferguson supporting BLM but then going back to their congregations and espousing support for Israel, are the most contemptible dishonest phonies out there. And they need to be explicitly called out at every opportunity.

  9. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    January 24, 2018, 5:21 pm

    Zionism is too extremist to command the loyalty of left wing overseas Jews. The leadership of Israel does not care about rights. Lefties do. Israelis are traumatized. Us Jews are not. There is no possible unifying theme. Zionism is lies and cruelty.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZj9bi7YNmI

  10. Keith
    Keith
    January 24, 2018, 6:09 pm

    YEHUDA KURTZER- “But Jewish power in America has been essential to Jewish thriving in America, and it has required instruments of solidarity — and specifically, the technique of presenting to the rest of the world an image, even if a facade, of communal unity.”

    For how long have I been saying this? Whatever the original intent of the early Zionists, Zionism in its present form represents a power-seeking collective dependent upon the kinship solidarity of neo-tribalist Zionist Jews. That is why most Jewish fat-cats support Israel and why there are no anti-Zionist Jewish billionaires. It is all about power.

    Speaking of courting power, I link to a video of Nikki Haley groveling before AIPAC: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48617.htm

  11. Marnie
    Marnie
    January 25, 2018, 12:02 am

    The power of jewish unity – long story short – every jew must have blood on their hands.

    But if times get too tough, evangelical christians will do just fine.

  12. biggerjake
    biggerjake
    January 25, 2018, 10:44 am

    I’m sure it’s a result of my average intelligence and a lack of sophistication but try as I might, I just don’t understand this sentiment:

    “People don’t like talking about Jewish power out loud because, despite good intentions, it either sounds anti-Semitic itself or gives fodder for anti-Semites. But Jewish power in America has been essential to Jewish thriving in America, and it has required instruments of solidarity — and specifically, the technique of presenting to the rest of the world an image, even if a facade, of communal unity.”

    “People don’t like talking about Jewish power out loud…” Well now, I guess they don’t like talking about Catholic power or Christian power or Atheist power because I never hear those terms either. I must admit I don’t like the sound of any of those ideas because it begs the question, Why do Jews or people of any other religion in the US need “power”? What kind of power? Power over whom? Is there a zero sum religion based struggle afoot that I have been unaware of?

    “But Jewish power in America has been essential to Jewish thriving in America, and it has required instruments of solidarity — and specifically, the technique of presenting to the rest of the world an image, even if a facade, of communal unity.” Really? Jewish power is necessary in order for Jews to thrive in the US? So Jews must stick together to make sure that they hold a supremacist position? They can’t just work hard and study hard and succeed based on merit? And this image or façade of communal unity is necessary because it…? Scares the non-Jews? It makes the non-Jews like the Jews better? It shows that it’s Jews first, Americans second?

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      January 25, 2018, 6:32 pm

      They can’t just work hard and study hard and succeed based on merit?

      That’s good enough for most things, like “thriving”. That is, for social assimilation, employment, education, going into business. If you want to support Israel’s intransigence and use the US gov. for the Zionist project, well, it’s going to take more than that.

  13. James Canning
    James Canning
    January 25, 2018, 6:07 pm

    I think Aipac and Cufi both steadily erode the national security interests of the US in the Middle East, due to their lobbying power.

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