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Sex, lies and corruption: Israeli politics from Ben-Gurion to Netanyahu

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Last week, the Israeli police recommended indicting Prime Minister Netanyahu on two separate corruption charges. The cases have been under discussion for a long time now. Jonathan Cook previously demonstrated a pattern of this corruption over a year ago claiming the scandals “reflect corruption at the heart of Israeli society”.

I will not go into further detail regarding Netanyahu in this writing, as I will explain later. Right now, I want to relate to another publication from last week, and draw a comparison to Netanyahu. This is an interview with Israeli author Tom Segev, who has just published a new book called “David Ben-Gurion: A State at All Costs”. He was interviewed by Ofer Aderet in Haaretz, and the piece is titled “In Bed With Israel’s First Prime Minister: Historian Exposes David Ben-Gurion as You Never Knew Him”. 

Indeed, as the title suggests, the novel aspect of this new book appears to be the new discoveries about Ben-Gurion’s sex life – where he had four mistresses, and where one of them was a steady sexual relationship lasting 40 years from 1926. Segev managed to reach these details through archives that were saved under the name of the mistress Rivka Katznelson. Segev’s curiosity about the relationship surged when the archive of the Israel Defense Forces and the Defense Ministry, which has a file under the name “Rivka Katznelson,” refused to open it to the public “for reasons of personal privacy.” Segev nonetheless managed to access Katznelson’s personal material in the Genazim archive, after Katznelson’s niece gave her consent to his perusal of the documents.

What I found even more interesting than Segev’s revelations, were his appraisals in the interview, of why this mattered, and what he thought of Ben-Gurion in light of this.

Segev responds to the question of where the boundary runs between cheap gossip and material of historical value, and why he interested himself in Ben-Gurion’s sex life: “The first answer is the standard one – that if the leader isn’t faithful to his wife, maybe he’s not faithful to his voters, either. If he cheats on her, maybe he cheats on them, too,” he says.

That’s fair enough. And this brings us immediately to the bridging notion between marital unfaithfulness and cheating in general. Corruption is cheating, in general, so I would say there’s a connection.

But interestingly, Segev opines that “Ben-Gurion was not a corrupt person”. He says this just after comparing him to Netanyahu:

“Ben-Gurion has become very popular in recent years,” he notes. “There’s hardly a day when he isn’t mentioned in a newspaper.”

(Aderet): What’s the reason, do you think?

(Segev): “There are powerful longings for a leader with integrity. The explanation, of course, lies in one word: Netanyahu.”

So for Segev, Ben Gurion is still “not corrupt”, and he’s indirectly suggesting he was a leader with integrity (albeit beset by “weaknesses and distress” as he calls it).

Segev again alludes to Netanyahu in pointing out just how Ben Gurion was “not corrupt”:

“He didn’t smoke cigars, didn’t drink champagne, and he chose to go third-class on a ship and share his cabin with other people”, Segev says.

Segev lightly mentions that it still  is possible to talk about corruption in connection with Ben Gurion:

“For example, there’s a problem regarding the house he bought in Tel Aviv, because it can’t be definitely established that he paid back all the loans he received from the Histadrut [labor federation] and from the bank. He also didn’t always pay for the thousands of books he bought”, Segev says (detailed reference for this here).

But all in all, Segev appears to believe that Ben-Gurion was definitely not corrupt – supposedly because he didn’t smoke cigars or drink champagne, even though he had systematic extra-marital affairs and even though he didn’t pay for his books and house.

Alright, let’s pause there.

We know that smoking cigars and drinking champagne are not crimes in themselves. It is always about something other than the appearance. It does not matter if Netanyahu did not ever cheat on his wife. Still, he could be corrupt by other means. The champagne and cigars don’t corrupt him per se. It’s about a bigger picture, that can have many appearances.

Now, was Ben-Gurion really a “man of integrity”?

When I was about 15, I had attended a lecture by the legendary professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz. Leibowitz is the one who coined the term ‘Judeo-Nazis’, and was hailed as “one of the greatest figures in the life of the Jewish people and the State of Israel in recent generations” by Former President Ezer Weizman, who added that he was “a spiritual conscience for many in Israel.” Leibowitz said something at that lecture which I never forgot. It was one short sentence:

“Ben-Gurion was a man of many virtues. Truth was not one of them”.

At the point, I was ignorant of the details of Ben Gurion’s deceptions. Nonetheless, Leibowitz’s sentence was etched in my consciousness, perhaps due to the shock effect of having this heroic persona (Ben-Gurion) simply being called a liar. It was only many years later, that I began to learn about the details of Ben Gurion’s corruption on the grand national scale.

In 1937, Ben-Gurion wrote to his son Amos how acceptance of Partition (it was the Peel Commission partition plan) was not an end but a beginning:

“My assumption (which is why I am a fervent proponent of a state, even though it is now linked to partition) is that a Jewish state on only part of the land is not the end but the beginning. When we acquire one thousand or 10,000 dunams, we feel elated. It does not hurt our feelings that by this acquisition we are not in possession of the whole land. This is because this increase in possession is of consequence not only in itself, but because through it we increase our strength, and every increase in strength helps in the possession of the land as a whole. The establishment of a state, even if only on a portion of the land, is the maximal reinforcement of our strength at the present time and a powerful boost to our historical endeavors to liberate the entire country.”

In other words, Ben-Gurion knew fully well, that any acceptance of a partial territory is not committing. It’s just a means of getting some legitimacy, from which to grow power and with which to eventually “liberate the entire country”.

When it came to 1948 and the Israeli Declaration of Independence, the US Truman administration wanted to know precisely what borders the Declaration referred to (as it was vague in territorial matters, although referring to UN 181 ‘Partition Plan’ as its ‘legitimacy’ and that it was ‘irrevocable’). Jewish Agency agent Eliahu Sasson thus wrote a memo to President Truman, stating that “the state of Israel has been proclaimed as an independent republic within the frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution of November 29th, 1947” (resolution 181). It took Truman only a few minutes to make the official recognition.

But Ben-Gurion knew that such ‘frontiers’ were only a start, and not an end.

It turns out, that in April 1947, five months before the 1947 UN ‘Partition Plan’, Ben Gurion was proposing his own ‘partition map’ to the British Cabinet. This also appears in Segev’s new book, and he managed to track down the map in the British National Achive (it is provided in the Haaretz article). The map is strikingly similar to the ‘Green line’ of the 1949 ceasefire lines (which ended up being 78% of historical Palestine), albeit appropriating the whole of the Gaza strip to the Jewish State.

Segev opines that “Ben-Gurion already had the results in his head”.

And why was the west Bank not part of the Jewish State in Ben-Gurion’s map? Well, let’s remember, that this still had to resemble “partition” rather than a complete Zionist takeover. The British had their own plans, which involved what has been referred to as the policy of “Greater Transjordan”. The Jordanians would get a part of Palestine, and in return, they would not unleash their force against the Jewish State.

Israeli-British historian Avi Shlaim:

“The policy of Greater Transjordan implied discreet support for a bid by Abdullah [King of Transjordan], nicknamed ‘Mr Bevin’s little king’ by the officials at the Foreign Office [Bevin was Foreign Secretary], to enlarge his kingdom by taking over the West Bank. At a secret meting in London on 7 February 1948, Bevin gave Tawfiq Abul Huda, Jordan’s Prime Minister, the green light to send the Arab Legion into Palestine immediately following the departure of the British forces. But Bevin also warned Jordan not to invade the area allocated by the UN to the Jews.  An attack on Jewish state territory, he said, would compel Britain to withdraw her subsidy and officers from the Arab Legion. [….] If Bevin was guilty of conspiring to unleash the Arab Legion, his target was not the Jews but the Palestinians. [….][B]y supporting Abdullah’s bid to capture the Arab part of Palestine adjacent to his kingdom, Bevin indirectly helped to ensure that the Palestinian state envisaged in the UN partition plan would be still-born.” 

So Ben-Gurion was aware that imperialist concerns need to be taken into account. And he went with it for a while. It is doubtful that without such arrangements, the nascent Israel could actually have succeeded to conquer so much more of historical Palestine as it did in 1948.

But as Ben-Gurion wrote to his son above, “this increase in possession is of consequence not only in itself, but because through it we increase our strength, and every increase in strength helps in the possession of the land as a whole”. And then came 1967, and the task was territorially completed.  

All these things are colonialist conspiracies which are corrupt in their very essence. In fact, Israel’s second Prime Minister Moshe Sharett had noted this aspect clearly:

“I have learned that the state of Israel cannot be ruled in our generation without deceit and adventurism. These are historical facts that cannot be altered”, he said

So even according to Sharett, Ben Gurion had to be a deceitful leader.

Now, has this essentially changed much? I would say not. The deceit that Zionism applies in order to cover up for its colonialist designs to erase Palestine is a constant factor, and the goal is always corrupt. It’s even genocidal in its very essence. Author and journalist Ben Ehrenreich:

“The question about genocide– yes, it’s an incremental genocide. And I think that’s a word that gives a lot of people pause and it certainly should. We don’t see the absolutely mass slaughters, although in Gaza I think we’ve seen something very much like it that we usually associate with genocide. But– the attempts to erase a people, to just erase them, to erase their history, I think follow a logic that can only be called genocidal.” 

(Image: Carlos Latuff)

So what is the place of corruption at the level of bribery, extra-marital affairs, unpaid bills, cigars and champagne measured against that grand-scale horror? Indeed, the bigger picture brings these things into perspective.

This is why Netanyahu’s personal corruptions, measured against the grand scale, are somewhat irrelevant to Palestinians. And it’s not like there’s hope ahead, even if he does resign. Haaretz journalist Gideon Levy wrote last week that “we may miss Netanyahu yet”, listing the options, and focusing particularly on the ‘centrist liberal’ Yair Lapid, whom I call ‘the pretty face of ultranationalism’ – the man with the motto “maximum Jews on maximum land with maximum security and with minimum Palestinians”. Levy says about Netanyahu that “his heirs may steer clear of cigars and champagne, but none of them can fix Israel’s great corruption – the institutionalized state corruption arising from 50 years of occupation”.

I think Levy is being too generous, too mild, even too apologetic. That corruption goes back way further than 50 years.

Personally, I have generally refrained from going into detail of Netanyahu’s personal corruptions in all my writings so far. I have instinctively felt, that doing so contained the danger of distracting from the greater national corruption. This is also why I haven’t gone into detail here. I’m not saying Netanyahu’s personal corruption or Ben-Gurion’s personal corruption are irrelevant. But if you really think about the Palestinians, they have been nationally raped by Zionism from the start. You can’t do that and still be a “man [or woman] of integrity”.

Jonathan Ofir

Israeli musician, conductor and blogger / writer based in Denmark.

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26 Responses

  1. on February 20, 2018, 1:18 pm

    Just for the record: UNGA resolution 181 did NOT authorise the creation of Israel, it merely endorsed UNSCOP’s report and conclusions as a recommendation.

    “U.N. Special Commission on Palestine (UNSCOP) was created to examine the issue and offer its recommendation on how to resolve the conflict. UNSCOP contained no representatives from any Arab country and in the end issued a report that explicitly rejected the right of the Palestinians to self-determination. Rejecting the democratic solution to the conflict, UNSCOP instead proposed that Palestine be partitioned into two states: one Arab and one Jewish.” (Jeremy R. Hammond’s The Israel-Palestine Conflict)

    In other words, Israel’s creation was a fraudulent act, nothing less.

    • Misterioso on February 21, 2018, 11:27 am

      @Paranam Kid

      For the record:

      “By direct order of the White House, every form of pressure, direct and indirect, was brought to bear by American officials upon those countries outside the Muslim world that were known to be either uncertain or opposed to partition. Representatives or intermediaries were employed by the White House to make sure that the necessary majority would at least be secured” (Welles, Sumner, We Need Not Fail Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1948, p. 63.)

      “On November 22nd, 1947, the UN rejected the partition of Palestine. A second vote, four days later, also rejected partition, so Truman asked that the final vote be delayed for three days, until after Thanksgiving. Truman had entered the White House only on Roosevelt’s death in 1945 and needed American Zionist support to win the 1948 election. Over the next few days, he bullied five of the weaker UN members into changing their vote. That is how partition was passed on November 29th, 1947.” (James Bowen Irish Times 8 December 2007)

      To quote James Forrestal, then U.S. Secretary of Defense: “The methods that had been used….to bring coercion and duress, on other nations in the General Assembly, bordered closely onto scandal.” (Millis, Walter [Ed.] “The Forrestal Diaries ” [New York: The Viking Press, 1951, p. 363)

      The UNSCOP majority report was accepted and on November 29, the General Assembly passed Resolution 181 recommending acceptance of the Partition Plan by 33 to 13 votes with 10 abstentions (including Britain). It was to come into effect two months after the end of the British Mandate and called for the creation of a Jewish state on 56 percent of Palestine (including its most fertile lands), an Arab state on 42 percent with the remaining 2 percent to be allotted to Jerusalem and adjacent communities (including Bethlehem) as a corpus separatum. Notably, the General Assembly dismissed the fact that Palestine’s indigenous Arab Jews were emphatically opposed to partition.

      48% of the total land area of mandate Palestine was privately owned (‘mulk khaas’) by Palestinian Arabs. Total Jewish privately owned land was between 6% and 7%. About 45% of the total land area was state owned (i.e., by its citizens)* and it was comprised of Communal Property (‘mashaa’), Endowment Property, (‘waqf’), and Government Property, (‘miri’.) The British Mandate kept an extensive land registry & the UN used the registry during its early deliberations. It has in its archives 453,000 records of individual Palestinian owners defined by name, location & area. *Only 30% of Jewish immigrants had taken our citizenship and tens of thousands were illegal immigrants.

      Although the Philippines initially opposed partition and Liberia and Haiti wanted to abstain, the United States and the Zionists pressured these countries to vote in favour, thereby gaining the necessary two-thirds approval. “Under threat of a Jewish boycott of Firestone rubber and tire products, Harvey Firestone told Liberia that he would recommend suspension of plans for the expansion of development there if Liberia voted against partition.” (Michael Cohen, Palestine and the Great Powers, 1945-1948, Princeton, N.J., 1982, p. 295-300)

      David Niles, the Zionists’ point man in the White House, managed to minimize the influence of the State Department on formulating the U.S. position in the debate over the Partition Plan: “…David Niles was able to have Truman appoint a pro-Zionist, General John Hilldring, to the United Nations’ American delegation to offset the views of the appointees from the State Department. Through Hilldring, Niles established a direct liaison between the United Nations and Truman; indeed, U.S. positions were occasionally relayed directly from the White House without the State Department’s having been consulted. Thus, for example, after a private conversation with Chaim Weizmann, Truman phoned the U.N. delegation and told them to reverse American backing for the Arab claim that the Negev (southern Palestine) should be part of an Arab state; the United States would support its inclusion in the Jewish state as recommended in UNSCOP’s majority proposal.” (Charles D. Smith, Palestine and the Arab/Israel Conflict, p. 139)

      • on February 22, 2018, 12:36 pm

        Thanks for this expansive reply, Misterioso. The coercion and blackmail that are still a hallmark of the wheelings & dealings of the US & Israel today were very much the run of the mill pre-vote activities back then too.

        Nevertheless, UNGA res. 181 only recommended partition, as you state yourself. The vote you refer to, after coercion & blackmail, was a vote to accept res. 181, i.e. a vote to accept recommendation of partition. But that still did NOT approve partition, or the creation of a Jewish state. Partition & creation of Israel were only approved AFTER the Zionists confronted the world with the fait accompli of the creation.

        So the Zionists reference to res. 181 as the green light is nothing less than bogus.

    • Nathan on February 22, 2018, 3:54 pm

      Paranam Kid – As you pointed out, “U.N. Special Commission on Palestine (UNSCOP) was created to examine the issue and offer its recommendation on how to resolve the conflict”. And so it was – UNSCOP examined the issue and offered its recommendation. Its majority recommendation was partition. There was also a minority recommendation which called for a single state in Palestine. It would seem obvious that your problem with the recommendation is that it’s not the recommendation that you would have liked.

      Perhaps, a movement calling for the canceling of UNGA 181 could be organized. Similar to the very impressive movement calling for the canceling of the 1917 Balfour Declaration, it might have a significant impact on the outcome of events in the Middle East.

      • on February 23, 2018, 9:12 am

        Nathan, I understand you will push the Hasbara narrative any time because you guys know your state lacks legitmacy just because of its Apartheid and slow, incremental genocide.

        Nevertheless, UNGA res. 181 resolution recommended partition. Period.
        That resolution was voted for positively, which means the recommendation was accepted for what it was: a recommendation, no more, no less. Period.

        The Zionists at the time, like you 70 years later, interpreted that to be the green light for the creation of Israel; it was NOT.

        The subsequent vote to recognise Israel was merely a formality after the Zionists had fraudulently created their country. Yes, fraudulently because at the time of creation no green light for that had been given, the UNGA certainly had no authority to do so. If there is a document dated pre 14 May 1948 that explicitly authorises the creation of Israel please point me to it.

        Now, 70 years later, Israel is still struggling to shake off the lack of legitimacy, which is only getting worse by the day.

        Save your effort to try to get that criminal Balfour Declaration cancelled, you would only make a fool of yourself. Your sick racist state is here to state, as a state only, because its polity racist genocidal polity will not survive.

      • Nathan on February 25, 2018, 8:38 pm

        Paranam Kid – As you can see, I agreed with you that the Partition Plan was just a recommendation (read my comment again). In your judgment, there was no “green light” to found Israel if UNGA 181 was just a recommendation. However, that is really strange logic. If the Partition Plan is just a recommendation, then there is no need for a “green light”. If there is no binding UN decision (it’s just a recommendation), then there is no “red light” either.

        You’re right that there is no document that authorizes the founding of Israel. I didn’t know that a state needs authorization in order to come into existence. States come into existence when there is a government that has effective control over territory. It’s the abc’s of political science.

      • annie on February 25, 2018, 9:06 pm

        States come into existence when there is a government that has effective control over territory. It’s the abc’s of political science.

        really? so if we put a no fly zone over baghdad we could declare a new state?

    • mondonut on February 23, 2018, 12:46 pm

      @Paranam Kid

      As luck would have it , the UN is not charged with either creating countries or authorizing the same. They can however choose to recognize a country after formation.

      The Israelis created the country of Israel, and the UN chose to recognize it. Presuming that Israel is “fraudulent” is a specious argument.

      • eljay on February 23, 2018, 1:57 pm

        || mondonut: … The Israelis created the country of Israel … ||

        Zionists from all over the world created the country of Israel in geographic Palestine.

        || … and the UN chose to recognize it. … ||

        …within the Partition borders that were assigned to it and within which it declared its statehood.

        || … Presuming that Israel is “fraudulent” is a specious argument. ||

        There’s nothing legitimate about an Israel that:
        – was established, exists and operates as a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”;
        – militarily occupies and colonizes territory outside of its / Partition borders;
        – is an unapologetically belligerent and (war) criminal state; and
        – refuses to honour its obligations under international law.

        But I suppose Zionists can (and inevitably do) point out that Israel – the self-professed “moral beacon”, “light unto the nations” and “Western-style democracy” – isn’t as bad as Saudi Arabia, Mali, African “hellholes”, etc.

      • Mooser on February 23, 2018, 5:12 pm

        “The Israelis created the country of Israel, and the UN chose to recognize it.”

        Oh, yes, the UN recognized a lot of what the Zionists did and are doing.

        @”eljay”: article’s last paragraph, esp. last 3 lines.

      • mondonut on February 23, 2018, 6:32 pm


        ||Zionists from all over the world created the country of Israel … ||
        Nice of you to agree that the UN does not create or authorize the creation of States.

        || within the Partition borders that were assigned to it… ||
        Nope, partition borders were never assigned. Nor were borders part of UNGA Resolution 273.

        || There’s nothing legitimate about an Israel that: ||
        I guess there is some point in moving the goalposts from fraudulence to legitimacy. But nonetheless, your oft repeated refrain has no bearing on legitimacy., nor would it matter as legitimacy is also a specious argument.

      • eljay on February 23, 2018, 8:57 pm

        || mon donut: @eljay

        Nice of you to agree that the UN does not create or authorize the creation of States. … ||

        Nice of you to agree that Zionists worldwide managed to illegitimately carve a colonialist and religion-supremacist state out of geographic Palestine.

        || … Nope, partition borders … ||

        Yup, were accepted by Israel.

        || … I guess there is some point in moving the goalposts from fraudulence to legitimacy. … ||

        No goal posts were moved. There’s nothing legitimate about an Israel that:
        – was established, exists and operates as a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”;
        – militarily occupies and colonizes territory outside of its / Partition borders;
        – is an unapologetically belligerent and (war) criminal state; and
        – refuses to honour its obligations under international law.

      • on February 24, 2018, 12:38 pm

        @Eljay: you nailed him down very nicely there, esp. with that letter that destroys their Hasbara b*llsh*t regarding borders.

      • mondonut on February 24, 2018, 3:08 pm


        || Yup, were accepted by Israel. ||
        Again with the shifting, your arguments (among other nonsense) were that Partition Borders existed and that the UN “assigned” borders to Israel. None of that is correct. Nor is it correct to imagine that countries require some sort of “green light” from the UN to attain legitimacy.

        Regardless of the attached letter and regardless of what the Israelis initially declared as their borders, the UN does not “assign” borders to anyone. Nor did borders, real or imagined, have any bearing on gaining membership in the UN.

        That the Israelis considered their borders approved by the UN was certainly a miscalculation on their part, as evidenced by the subsequent attack by several UN member states.

      • eljay on February 24, 2018, 6:01 pm

        || mon donut: @eljay …
        Again with the shifting … ||

        Nothing has been shifted.

        || … your arguments … were that Partition Borders existed … ||

        … frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947 …

        Borders were proposed, approved and accepted.

        And the fact remains that there’s nothing legitimate about an Israel that:
        – was established, exists and operates as a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”;
        – militarily occupies and colonizes territory outside of its / Partition borders;
        – is an unapologetically belligerent and (war) criminal state; and
        – refuses to honour its obligations under international law.

        Ta beigne est rassis.

      • echinococcus on February 25, 2018, 12:04 am


        Borders were proposed, approved and accepted

        proposed by colonialist and imperialist murderers, approved by their bought lawyers and diplomats, the tinpot client colonial banana dictators and the Zionists… and accepted by Eljay and other supporters of the continued violation of the basic rights of colonized peoples.

      • annie on February 26, 2018, 12:59 am

        obtained, done by, or involving deception, especially criminal deception.

        deception? heavens no — not israel. and no criminality involved in the least. it was all on the up and up and totally transparent. how very “specious” of one to argue otherwise.

  2. Citizen on February 20, 2018, 5:15 pm

    There’s nothing quite like the history of how the Palestinian people have been screwed over in the 20th & 21st Centuries to make one aware of how the world works for anyone or any group without lots of class influence, privilege and/or money.

    • Kay24 on February 20, 2018, 6:59 pm

      Right now we are seeing the US hammering the final nail in their coffin. After handing Jerusalem on a golden platter to the zionists, they (Niki Hayley today) seem to be mad that the Palestinians are not grateful and accepting the empty bowl, that is being offered by the US and the zionists.
      The vicious Niki Hayley added insult to injury at the UN saying they don’t have to accept it, or like it, and that their decision about Jerusalem “will not change”, and that defect and slime ball Jared Kushner sat behind her, knowing he had pleased his zionists friends.

      The Palestinians have indeed been screwed over, again and again, and they have lost everything.
      There is enough of blame to go around, even the Arab nations who continue to ignore the plight of the Palestinians, while they wheel and deal with the US and the zionists. Who would have thought that the keepers of the two Holiest Mosques, will have sinister connections to the zionists? Next, we shall see Netanyahu join the Saudis in their sword dance.

      Meanwhile the man responsible for the theft of Palestinian lands, and the killings of their children, and his greedy wife, are under investigation. Thieving must be in their blood.

  3. Ossinev on February 21, 2018, 6:35 am

    It would appear that the Yahoo`s days are indeed numbered:

    So what options has he got. Well really there is only one and in his mind the tried and trusted one. Yep he will start a war. Gaza has become old hat and does not provide the backdrop of a major apocalyptic threat to Eretz Israel with him as the brave tried (no not that type of trial) and trusted saviour.

    Methinks a major Syrian “defensive” campaign may be on the cards and remote aerial bombing alone will not create that heroic backdrop. No it would need to include some form of boots on the ground with him as the Commander in Chief out there on the field of battle with his troops. He must have some worries however over how the IDF child snatch divisions will fare against adults with guns and bullets as opposed to slapping hands..

  4. wondering jew on February 21, 2018, 10:35 pm

    Single-minded nationalism was Ben Gurion’s guiding force. It was and is cruel to the competing nation. I do not consider it to be lacking in integrity. The ideal guiding force would create a system that does not involve cruelty. Was Lenin lacking in integrity because his system created the gulag? I don’t think so. One must judge Lenin by the fruits of his system, but I think the concept of integrity is a separate issue.

    • on February 22, 2018, 12:40 pm

      It was not just single-minded nationalism, it was very much single-minded racism of the purest sort. Only a single-minded racist pursuing a racist ideology would be able to create a racist state that emulates the excrescence of the worst kind of racism: Nazism.

    • Mooser on February 24, 2018, 2:47 pm

      “Was Lenin lacking in integrity because his system created the gulag? I don’t think so. One must judge Lenin by the fruits of his system” “yonah fredman”

      And that gulag system worked out so well for Russia, didn’t it? Cleansed the State of many enemies, and ensured progress with convict labor. No corruption.

  5. Greta on February 22, 2018, 11:49 am

    It’s amazing that Jonathan fails to mention another series of crimes that are directly traced to Ben Gurion, written about extensively by Naimi Giladi, an Iraqi Jew who once worked for Mossad. For not only did Ben Gurion ‘dispose’ of Palestinians, he seemed to have no problems disposing of his fellow Jews, either literally or figuratively, as long as he could get them to come to Israel. If they didn’t come, he made sure temples were blown up in Iraq and Jews were killed.

    It’s important to read as Ben Gurion’s grand plan was to replace Palestinian labor with second-class Iraqi and Moroccan labor.

    • annie on February 22, 2018, 3:55 pm

      greta, regarding your amazement at jonathan’s so-called failure. although i read about Giladi’s assertions years ago, as far as i can remember, other than in the comment section, i didn’t write about iraqi jews until jan. 2012 and even then i didn’t bring up giladi. (full disclosure, personally i do believe mossad engaged in false flag operations in baghdad especially considering the targeting of the american library there mirrors israel’s lavon affair targets in alexandria and cairo — too much coincidence there)

      but here’s what i find interesting, the statement i cited from the Ramat Gan Committee of Baghdadi Jews lists several demands:

      D) We demand the establishment of an investigative committee to examine: 1) if and by what means negotiations were carried out in 1950 between Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri as-Said, and if Ben-Gurion informed as-Said that he is authorized to take possession of the property and assets of Iraqi Jewry if he agreed to send them to Israel; 2) who ordered the bombing of the Masouda Shem-Tov synagogue in Baghdad, and if the Israeli Mossad and/or its operatives were involved. If it is determined that Ben-Gurion did, in fact, carry out negotiations over the fate of Iraqi Jewish property and assets in 1950, and directed the Mossad to bomb the community’s synagogue in order to hasten our flight from Iraq, we will file a suit in an international court demanding half of the sum total of compensation for our refugee status from the Iraqi government and half from the Israeli government.

      isn’t that rather extraordinary they, iraqi jews themselves, would be asking these questions if there was no controversy regarding what you imply has already been explicitly determined? it strikes me as rather extraordinary because one might think they wouldn’t frame this as undetermined given so many of them, especially of course their elderly, were there.

      and 5 days after we published this ali abunimah wrote about this too quoting the very same statement from the Committee of Baghdadi Jews in Ramat-Gan

      and even he states “The role of Israel and Zionist undercover agents in helping precipitate the departure of Jews from Iraq has long been suspected.”

      suspected? it appears even abunimah doesn’t express the certainty you do (even tho, like me, he may share it). in his article he cites Giladi and runs a video of an interview with him.

      he also asked the Committee of Baghdadi Jews in Ramat-Gan:

      Were you aware of the account of Naeim Giladi?

      We didn’t know Naeim Giladi’s work, but of course what happened in Iraq in the 1950s is an open wound for us, and we wish an investigation about the connections between Nuri as-Said and Ben-Gurion.

      do you think it represents a failure of Committee of Baghdadi Jews in Ramat-Gan to still have uncertainty regarding what happened in iraq? even they didn’t outright accuse ben-gurion. does that amaze you?

      either way, this topic has always fascinated me and over the years i have researched it a lot. so thanks for bringing it up. however, i don’t consider it jonathan’s failure not to include it in this article (nor does it amaze me he didn’t), but i do think it deserves an article all on its own.

      for more history on this era i recommend this essay by Yehouda Shenhav

  6. THOMASWADAMS on February 27, 2018, 9:09 am

    No, I do not think so. Because “nuking” Palestinians in such close
    proximity to the beloved Jews, whether in “settlements” or not, would
    certainly obliterate many Jews too. I doubt you are serious in thinking
    that nukes might be used, all things considered. Now would be the
    optimum time for my urging to become reality; guided by voting
    indications at the U.N. ,the great majority of Governments is in
    sympathy with the Palestinians, sixty years has been a very long time
    for them to have suffered all this inhumane atrocity. Peoples of the
    World get this and it would not take very much for the World, or enough
    of them, to place the Jews between the proverbial rock and the ultimate
    very hard place. The Palestinian support at the U.N. will demand that
    the U.N. give recognition to the Palestinian State. Were the
    Palestinians presently trapped in the camps, to move peacefully upon the
    Jews en-mass, it would end their suffering. Once their State is legally
    recognised ,in these circumstances, the door will be opened for other
    Governments to act. For starters those Governments would not stand by
    and watch whilst the Jews cut them down like grass; those days would be
    over. Palestinians will re-occupy their rightful homelands, and if the
    God of Judaism objects then he/she could manifest and make clear
    his/her wishes, but do not hold your breath. Thank you for responding,
    regards Thomas.

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