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‘NYT’ writer who claims Zionism and human rights are intertwined ignores Palestinians

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“Jews are welcome to fight for human rights–as long as they check their Zionism at the door,” laments James Loeffler in his May 14, 2018, op-ed piece in The New York Times.  Loeffler’s essay, The Zionist Founders of the Human Rights Movement,” published on the day the U.S. Embassy moved to Jerusalem–the same day Israel killed 60 Palestinian protesters–argues that Zionism and human rights are historically intertwined.  According to Loeffler, the “modern left” has forgotten “that Zionism and the modern human rights movement share a braided history.”  Loeffler’s essay, however, is a justification of liberal Zionism, and a convenient one, too, leaving out the Palestinian point of view while Israel celebrated the embassy move on its 70th birthday.  

Loeffler, an associate professor of history at the University of Virginia, and author of Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century, has written his essay from the familiar perspective of Zionists who claim to be liberal but who do not consider the Palestinian point of view as they shape their political worldview.   He is eager to point out that Zionists were always part of the human rights movement. But, much like the embassy move, his article placates Israel and the notion of Zionism without so much as acknowledging what it means to the very people that Israel occupies–and who continue to be murdered at the Gazan border.

The cover of Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century

Loeffler writes that Zionism is currently “on trial in the court of human rights,” and, citing several examples, calls attention to Zionists who, in his view, have been shunned from human rights activities.  Starbucks, for example, canceled its partnership with the Anti-Defamation League regarding its anti-bias training. Amnesty International U.K. backed out of an event with the Jewish Leadership Council in London due to the Jewish organization’s support of Israel.  And Jewish students in Charlottesville, where Loeffler teaches, were “refused admission to the minority student coalition because of their Israeli ties.”  Zionists are portrayed as victims in these scenarios–a convenient tactic that ignores the Palestinian victims of Zionism.

Of course, the only way Zionism and human rights can coexist is to completely erase Palestinian history. When this happens–and it does, regularly–it becomes easy for someone like Loeffler and other Zionists to make a seamless connection between Zionism and human rights.  For them, Zionism is not oppressive, but is viable and vital movement, and therefore does not enter their consciousness to consider that Palestinians have suffered as a direct result of Zionism.  

Rather than ask the critical question of why so many in the international community feel that Zionism and human rights are incompatible–indeed, why so many feel they are staunchly opposed to each other–he digs his heels into a Zionist history, citing several examples of “Jewish human rights pioneers” who, in his view, embody this “braided” history.  Ultimately, however, each of his examples falls short.  The only way that Loeffler can justify the compatibility of Zionism and human rights is to ignore Palestine completely.  

Take, for example, Hersch Zvi Lauterpacht, the Polish international lawyer who, according to Loeffler, “crafted influential drafts of the Israeli Declaration of Independence, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights.”  The emphasis on the italicized word “and” indicates, for Loeffler, an unopposed, harmonious compatibility in Lauterpacht’s various ventures.  But Loeffler fails to consider that Palestinian history is missing from these treaties. The Israeli Declaration of Independence, proclaimed on May 14, 1948, occurred seven months before the announcement of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, on December 10, 1948.  Palestinians are totally invisible in the Israeli Declaration of Independence. Had Lauterpacht perhaps considered, at the time, Palestinian historical events, he might have understood how a document like the Israeli Declaration of Independence would be incompatible with human rights when it is predicated on an invasion and occupation of another people.

Lauterpacht was, in fact, a staunch Zionist.  According to the 2012 Goettingen Journal of International Law, Lauterpacht attended the 1929 opening ceremony of Hebrew University.  He wished to settle in Palestine. He ultimately remained in England, however, because Hebrew University could only offer him a part-time position.  His involvement with Zionism and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights doesn’t show a “braided” history; Palestinians simply don’t come up.

The other two “Jewish human rights pioneers” Loeffler mentions are Raphael Lemkin, a Polish-Jewish lawyer who coined the word “genocide” and initiated the U.N. Genocide Convention.  According to Loeffler, he also fought for a “Jewish homeland in Palestine.” Amnesty International’s founder, Peter Benenson, “spent his childhood in Anglo-Zionist circles in Jerusalem and London,” and rescued Jewish children after Kristallnacht.  Each of these examples show impressive accomplishments, but Loeffler has plucked them out of a history that excludes Palestinians.

Loeffler’s essay falls in line with the tradition of liberal Zionist discourse that supports human rights while ignoring Palestinians.  I experienced this erasure years ago, when I attended a day-long seminar for high school teachers at the Holocaust Museum in Skokie, Illinois.  The topic was “Identifying Genocide,” and we looked at examples of genocides in different countries and were given an impressive list of resources.  Absent from the document, of course, was any mention of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, because, for the Zionists who work at the Holocaust museum, they don’t exist.  

I was in the midst of transitioning from a Zionist to an anti-Zionist way of thinking at the time I attended the “Identifying Genocide” seminar at the Holocaust Museum.  I became upset at the glaringly obvious omission of Palestinians. During the expensive kosher-catered lunch, I asked one of the seminar leaders, “When will we be talking about Gaza?”  The leaders turned to each other, befuddled, not knowing what to say. They said nothing, and went onto the next question. I got funny looks the rest of the afternoon. It didn’t matter, for I was finally undoing Zionism and seeing the existence of Israel–indeed, its very essence that I grew up loving more than anything else–from a Palestinian perspective.

Another example of how Zionism can appear to fuse with human rights–by omitting any mention of Palestine–can be seen in the current exhibit at the museum, “Speak Truth to Power: Human Rights Defenders Who Are Changing the World,” based on Kerry Kennedy’s book.  According to the website, the exhibit “highlights over 40 human rights defenders from over 40 countries, spanning 6 continents.”  One of the contributors is Palestinian lawyer Raji Sourani, who writes in the book that “never before has the overall human rights situation deteriorated as dramatically” as in Gaza.  

I was curious how the museum is reconciling this support of human rights with Palestinian rights, so I called them to inquire.  I asked the Chief Curator of Collections and Exhibitions, Arielle Weininger, if the exhibit includes Palestinians. She answered, “There is more in the book than in our exhibit.”  Like Loeffler’s essay, human rights and Zionism are compatible at the Holocaust Museum, too, only when Palestinians are omitted.

Loeffler’s essay actually obfuscates the issue of ever considering that the very essence of Zionism could possibly be opposed to Palestinian human rights.   Instead, Loeffler justifies the success of Zionism and the Jewish nation, falling in line with typical liberal Zionist discourse:

Israel rightly claims with pride its status as a vibrant if imperfect democracy up to the green line. Across that nonborder, however, the Israeli occupation presents an ongoing challenge to Jewish democracy. That ethical dilemma cannot be wished away by demonizing human rights organizations as enemies of the Jewish nation.

Here, at least, Loeffler acknowledges the occupation, which is more than some Zionists will do.  But it’s not enough. Loeffler is making the Israeli occupation about the survival of Israeli identity and not about Palestinians.  The worst part of the occupation, for Loeffler, is its threat to a Jewish democracy, not the displacement and expulsion of Palestinians that paved the way for this supposed democracy.  

Loeffler also applies the familiar liberal Zionist rhetoric to point out that Israel is criticized more than other countries.  He chastises the U.N. Human Rights Council, “a body that has condemned Israel more than any other country combined, including Syria, North Korea and Iran.”  And he reduces the notion that “Zionism is racism” to a “horrible meme” that began when “Jewish leaders raised the subject of anti-Semitism at the United Nations in the 1970s.”  Loeffler’s essay misses the opportunity to consider a point of view different from a liberal Zionist perspective.  Instead, he defends Zionism, suggesting that it’s the human rights community who needs to “recalibrate its moral compass” to include the “braided” contributions of Zionism and human rights.  This is easy to do, of course, when all of Palestinian history is excluded.

Of course, an entire world of writers have long been talking about Palestine, but have been excluded from Zionist discourse.  Edward Said wrote about this directly, in his 1979 essay “Zionism From the Standpoint of its Victims:”

Very little is said about what Zionism entailed for non-Jews who happened to have encountered it…To the Palestinian, for whom Zionism was somebody else’s idea imported into Palestine and for which in a very concrete way he or she was made to pay and suffer, these forgotten things about Zionism are the very things that are centrally important.

But Said goes even further, acknowledging the Zionist point of view despite his having been displaced as a direct result of Zionism:

I can understand the intertwined terror and the exultation out of which Zionism has been nourished, and I think I can at least grasp the meaning of Israel for Jews.

Said understood what Israel meant to the Jews, but his point of reference–the Palestinian consciousness–continues to be absent from Zionist discourse.  

Ultimately, liberal Zionists like Loeffler need to decide if they will ever be willing to let go of their Zionism and embrace the human rights community that includes all people.  The Palestinians remain invisible in Loeffler’s account of a history that actually cannot exist without them: the 700,000 expelled and ethnically cleansed in 1948, the ongoing occupation of 2.5 million Palestinians living in the West Bank, the 1.8 million in Gaza, the recent murder of over 100 Palestinians at the Gaza border who posed no threat, and a full-scale erasure of a people’s land and culture.  Loeffler’s history of Zionism and human rights simply cannot be credible when his version of this history refuses to acknowledge all of its participants.

Liz Rose

Liz Rose is a Chicago teacher.

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20 Responses

  1. Marnie on May 17, 2018, 10:45 am


  2. Donald on May 17, 2018, 11:06 am

    Loeffler is an unconscious racist. It is necessary to go into the details as you have done to show why, but it boils down to this— Palestinians don’t matter if their rights conflict with liberal Zionist ideals. That is racism and it should be labeled as such.

  3. eljay on May 17, 2018, 12:08 pm

    For years Jim has selflessly volunteered to work with the homeless and underprivileged in his community.

    For years Jim has also kidnapped women, chained them in his basement and raped them.

    Jim is a criminal has a “braided” history.

    • joycejamie on May 18, 2018, 3:00 pm

      Nicely put eljay. My thanks to Liz Rose. I had a reply to Loeffler on my list of things to do, but Rose did it well. The only thing I would add: Racism — ” …the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to dominate others ” Kinda inherent in the idea that the Jewish people have the right to dominate non-Jews. Maybe Zionism could exist with all the human rights for everyone without the preference for one ethnic group/religion, but so far we haven’t seen it

      • eljay on May 18, 2018, 6:31 pm

        || joycejamie: … Racism — ” …the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to dominate others ” Kinda inherent in the idea that the Jewish people have the right to dominate non-Jews. Maybe Zionism could exist with all the human rights for everyone without the preference for one ethnic group/religion, but so far we haven’t seen it ||

        And you won’t see it, because Zionism is a supremacist ideology.

        Zionists have this strange notion that being a Jewish supremacist is somehow more just and moral than being any other type (anti-Jewish / -black / -gay / -immigrant) of supremacist. But it isn’t.

        It is, however, just as hypocritical: Like all other birds of their hateful and immoral feather, Zionists believe that they are entitled to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them.

  4. rhkroell on May 17, 2018, 1:15 pm

    “Ultimately, liberal Zionists like Loeffler need to decide if they will ever be willing to let go of their Zionism and embrace the human rights community that includes all people.”

    Zionists — regardless of what they may profess, at times — do not recognize universal human rights. Myths of common ancestry and being God’s “chosen” people separate them irremediably from the rest of humanity.

    Anthony D. Smith, Professor of Ethnicity and Nationalism at the European Institute, London School of Economics, suggests that hundreds of different ethnic groups have cultivated a myth of ethnic election or chosenness. “Even in antiquity,” he writes, “Jews were by no means the only people to have believed that they were ‘chosen.’ Intimations of such ideas can be found over a millennium earlier in Egypt and Mesopotamia . . .” (“Chosen Peoples,” ETHNICITY [An Oxford Reader], ed. by Hutchinson, John and Anthony D. Smith, Oxford: Oxford UP, 1996, p. 190).

    After the sack of Constantinople in 1204 CE, “a defensive Hellenic population became even more convinced of its elective status and imperial mission —as if the destiny of the world hung on the correct liturgical observance of the only true Christian doctrine in the only genuine Christian empire” (p. 193).

    “The Welsh myth of election pictured the community in Wales as . . . a latter-day chosen people, whose original form of Christianity had been transplanted to ancient Britain by Joseph of Aramathea. Together with the Welsh language, folk poetry and medieval bardic contests, these beliefs helped to nurture a sense of unique Welsh identity, especially after the English conquest and the incorporation of Wales” (p. 195).

    Warfare and a warrior ethos are common among so-called “chosen” peoples. “The elect consist of righteous warriors under their redeemer-princes and faithful caliphs, and ethnic chosenness is born on the spears and shields of missionary knights such as the Hungarian or Catalan nobility. As with the battles of the ancient Israelites against the Philistines, memories of victory and defeat became incorporated into the sacred history of a chosen people and its warrior deity” (p. 197).

    • Misterioso on May 18, 2018, 10:19 am

      Of course “Zionists were always part of the human rights movement.”

      Here’s just a few examples of their “humanitarianism” when it came to Palestinians:

      In 1891, Jewish philosopher, Ahad Ha’am, described the behavior of Jewish settlers in Palestine: “They treat the Arabs with hostility and cruelty, unscrupulously deprive them of their rights, insult them without cause, and even boast of such deeds; and none opposes this despicable and dangerous inclination.” (Ha’am, Ahad, by Am Sheideweg, Berlin 1923, vol.1, p.107; quoted by Hirst, The Gun and the Olive Branch, p. 24)

      Ha’am concluded that this aggressive behaviour on the part of Jews stemmed from anger
      “…towards those who remind them that there is still another people in the land of Israel that have been living there and does not intend to leave.” (Hans Kohn, Zionism Reconsidered, Michael Selzer, ed. London: 1970, p. 195; quoted by Nur Masalha, Expulsion of the Palestinians…, p. 7)

      Theodor Herzl’s diaries not only confirm that his objective was the establishment of a “Jewish state” in Palestine, but that it would be an expansionist state. In the year of his death he described its borders as being “…in the north the mountains facing Cappadocia [Turkey], in the south, the Suez Canal [Egypt] in the east, the Euphrates [Iraq].” (Theodor Herzl, The Complete Diaries, 11 p. 711)

      Herzl contended that his “Jewish state” would protect Europe and its superior culture from the uncivilized East. “We should there [in Palestine] form a portion of the rampart of Europe against Asia, an outpost of civilization as opposed to barbarism.” (Theodor Herzl, Judenstaat, The Jewish State, 1896, p. 26)

      Even more revealing as to how Herzl intended to deal with Palestinians is the “Charter for Zionist Colonization of Palestine and Syria” which he drafted sometime between the summer of 1901 and early 1902. Much to his disappointment, however, he was denied the opportunity to present it to the Ottoman Sultanate. Article Vl of the charter called for Istanbul to grant the Zionists, in the form of the Jewish-Ottoman Land Company (JOLC), “complete autonomy, guaranteed by the Ottoman Empire” while Article III gave them in effect, the right to deport the native population to other areas of the empire. Article 111 “[pertained] to the Palestinian and other Arab owners and inhabitants of the three categories of land to be purchased/owned by the JOLC – the large and small private landholdings, the Sultan’s state domain, and the land for which there is no title.”

      Israel Zangwill, the influential Anglo-Jewish essayist and ardent Zionist, first believed that the Palestinians would simply “fold their tents and slip away.” It was Zangwill who first voiced the lie that Palestine was a “land without a people, waiting for a people without a land.” (Zangwill, Israel, “The Return to Palestine”, New Liberal Review 11, Dec. 1901 p 627, quoted by David Hirst, p. 19)

      In 1905, Zangwill contradicted himself during a talk in Manchester when he observed that Palestine was “already twice as thickly populated as the United States…. [W]e must be prepared to either drive out by the sword the [Arab] tribes in possession as our forefathers did or to grapple with the problem of a large alien population….” (Zangwill, Speeches, p. 210, quoted by Nur Masalah , Expulsion of the Palestinians…., 1992, p. 10)

      In the February 1919 issue of the League of Nations Journal, Zangwill proposed that the Palestinians “should be gradually transplanted” in Arab countries and at a public meeting in the same year he remarked that “many [Palestinians] are semi-nomad, they have given nothing to Palestine and are not entitled to the rules of democracy.” (Jewish Chronicle, Dec. 12 1919, quoted by Masalha, Expulsion…, p.14)

      In 1920, Zangwill proposed in The Voice of Jerusalem, that there should be an “‘Arab exodus’…based on ‘race redistribution’ or a ‘trek like that of the Boers from Cape Colony,’ which he advocated as ‘literally the only way out of the difficulty of creating a Jewish State in Palestine.’” He continued: “We cannot allow the Arabs to block so valuable a piece of historic reconstruction….To fold their tents and silently steal away is their proverbial habit: let them exemplify it now.” (Zangwill, The Voice of Jerusalem, p. 103, quoted by Masalha, EOTP pp. 13- 14)

      Other Zionist leaders saw the future Jewish state in Palestine not only free of Arabs, but the first step towards the creation of a much larger country. In 1918, Ben-Gurion described the future borders of the Jewish state as: “to the north, the Litani River; to the northeast, the Wadi’Owja, twenty miles south of Damascus; the southern border will be mobile and pushed into the Sinai at least up to Wadi al-`Arish; and to the east, the Syrian Desert, including the furthest edge of Transjordan.” (Teveth, Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs, pp. 34-34; cited by Masalah, Expulsion…, p. 87)

      In 1930 (when Jews privately owned only about four per cent of Palestine), Arthur Ruppin, a pivotal figure in political Zionism wrote that displacement of Arab farmers was inevitable because “land is the most necessary thing for our establishing roots in Palestine. Since there are hardly any more arable unsettled lands in Palestine, we are bound in each case of the purchase of land and its settlement to remove the peasants who cultivated the land so far, both owners of the land and tenants.” (Rashid Khalidi, Blaming the Victims)

      Let’s, not forget the Revisionist Zionists, precursor of today’ Likud, led by Vladimir Jabotinsky, founder of the fascistic Betar movement or Brown Shirts: “We Jews, thank God, have nothing to do with the East….The Islamic soul must be broomed out of Eretz-Yisrael.” (Ya’acov Shavit, “The Attitude of Zionist Revisionism towards the Arabs.” (Zionism and the Arab Question (Hebrew) p. 74; quoted by Nur Masalha, Expulsion of the Palestinians, p. 29.) Nor did he hide his racism. To him, Palestinians were “yelling rabble dressed up in gaudy, savage rags” (Joseph Schechtman, Rebel and Statesman: The Vladimir Jobotinksy Story, the Early Years, New York: T. Yoseloff, 1956, p. 54) and in his view the colonization of Palestine by European Jews would “push the moral frontiers of Europe to the Euphrates.” (Shlomo Avineri, The Making of Modern Zionism, p. 180; cited by Michael Palumbo, The Palestinian Catastrophe, faber and faber, London. Boston, 1987, p. 13).

      • rhkroell on May 18, 2018, 4:05 pm

        Thank you, Mysterioso, for compiling and sharing these passages from a variety of historical sources which reveal in a clear and vivid manner that most (or many, if you prefer) Zionists were in the past and still are today both believers in their ethnic and cultural superiority to Arabs and/or, in fact, God’s “chosen” people, an ethnic group with exclusive rights to whatever area they believe to be the biblical “Promised Land,” real estate granted exclusively to the ancient Israelites to whom these modern Zionists believe they are the sole rightful heirs.

        Like the Aryan supremacists of the early 20th-century — and the Anglo-Saxon racists of the late 19th-century before them — their beliefs are both demonstrably false and patently dangerous. When (if ever) do you anticipate young “Jews” will compel their parents and grandparents to pull their heads out of that dark, dank cavern into which they have thrust their heads? Is this a project — a future development — non-Zionists can realistically expect young “Jews” to carry out successfully in the near (or even the distant) future?

  5. Dan From Away on May 17, 2018, 2:09 pm

    I have never consider Zionism to equal racism: to my mind Zionism is an exponent of racism.

    Moreover, given the deeply engrained chosen-tribal nature of Zionism it is folly to think Zionists will ever come to their senses and chose to fold themselves into the global community.

    Stanley M. Elkins, writing in “Slavery: A Problem in American Institutional and Intellectual Life” pointed out that the Confederate masses universally believed that the almighty was on their side and with each (early) Southern victory this idea was driven ever more deeply into the Southern world view.

    Later in the war as the Confederate army suffered defeat after defeat and provisions became scarce and then unavailable Southerners were forced to re-think their earlier hubris. If the almighty was with them in the beginning but was no longer with them then maybe slavery was evil after all. This epiphany had a devastating effect on Southern morale and goes a long way towards explaining the abject nature of the Confederacy’s capitulation.

    Zionists would do well to study the American Civil War in detail.

    • Maghlawatan on May 17, 2018, 3:01 pm

      Great call. The Confederacy, like Zionism , was a groupthink issue. “The conventional wisdom gives way not so much to new ideas as to the massive onslaught of circumstances with which it cannot contend”, as JK Galbraith said.

    • Mooser on May 17, 2018, 7:51 pm

      ” the abject nature of the Confederacy’s capitulation.”

      Yeah, for a month or two, if that long. Then it was time to rise again.

    • echinococcus on May 18, 2018, 12:15 am

      given the deeply engrained chosen-tribal nature of Zionism it is folly to think Zionists will ever come to their senses and chose to fold themselves into the global community.

      This is precisely why no amount of study of the Confederates, no amount of facts, no lengths of logical argument will make them stop. Ever. Until they are coerced.

  6. pgtl10 on May 17, 2018, 4:46 pm

    Across that nonborder, however, the Israeli occupation presents an ongoing challenge to Jewish democracy.


    Translation: I ain’t want them brown illegal immigrant Palestinians voting in my elections!

    Why doesn’t James Loeffler come out and admit his racism instead of hiding it in phrases like “Jewish democracy”. I doubt he would think highly of a “White Democracy”.

    • Mooser on May 17, 2018, 7:50 pm

      ” I doubt he would think highly of a “White Democracy”.”

      Depends on whether or not a ‘White Democracy” has Jews in it, I would think.

  7. Keith on May 17, 2018, 6:14 pm

    ” He is eager to point out that Zionists were always part of the human rights movement.”

    Surely not in Israel. Only in the Western multicultural societies where it advanced Jewish-Zionist interests. This is yet another example of how Jewish Zionists dominate the doctrinal system, controlling the mythology which shapes society’s perceptions of reality.

    • Sibiriak on May 20, 2018, 1:43 am

      Keith: …Jewish Zionists dominate the doctrinal system, controlling the mythology which shapes society’s perceptions of reality.

      For a while, it seemed that the internet and social media were presenting a challenge to Establishment control of society’s perceptions of reality.

      But important steps are being taken to wrest back that control.

      FACEBOOK May 17, 2018

      Announcing New Election Partnership with the Atlantic Council

      Facebook is investing heavily to prevent our service from being abused during elections. We’re doubling the number of people who work on safety and security and using technology like artificial intelligence to more effectively block fake accounts – the source of many bad ads and a lot of misinformation. In addition, we’re more actively working with outside experts, governments and other companies because we know that we can’t solve these challenges on our own. For example, last month we announced an independent commission [including the Hewlett Foundation, the Omidyar Network, and the Charles Koch Foundation ] to help fund and organize research into the impact of social media on society — starting with elections.

      Today, we’re excited to launch a new partnership with the Atlantic Council, which has a stellar reputation looking at innovative solutions to hard problems. Experts from their Digital Forensic Research Lab will work closely with our security, policy and product teams to get Facebook real-time insights and updates on emerging threats and disinformation campaigns from around the world. This will help increase the number of “eyes and ears” we have working to spot potential abuse on our service — enabling us to more effectively identify gaps in our systems, preempt obstacles, and ensure that Facebook plays a positive role during elections all around the world.

      Facebook will also use the Atlantic Council’s Digital Research Unit Monitoring Missions during elections and other highly sensitive moments. This will allow us to focus on a particular geographic area — monitoring for misinformation and foreign interference and also working to help educate citizens as well as civil society.

      Finally, we know that tackling these problems effectively also requires the right policies and regulatory structures so that governments and companies can help prevent abuse while also ensuring people have a voice during elections. The Atlantic Council’s network of leaders is uniquely situated to help all of us think through the challenges we will face in the near and long-term.

      This effort is part of an broader initiative to help provide credible and independent research about the role of social media in elections, as well as democracy more generally. We look forward to working together to protect free and fair elections across the world.



      • Keith on May 20, 2018, 3:44 pm

        SIBIRIAK- “For a while, it seemed that the internet and social media were presenting a challenge to Establishment control of society’s perceptions of reality.”

        Not to me. When it comes to the internet’s revolutionary potential, I have been Mondo’s odd man out since 2011. The internet was developed by the military and is currently more-or-less controlled by elements of the Deep State. The initial freedom was a come-on to get you hooked. Not only are Facebook and Google huge spy machines where you spy on yourself, but the evolved dependency on the internet by organizations and individuals means that the web is actually a potent new form of social control. We are a bit off topic, hence, I have provided a link to a relevant article on “Keith’s NO EMPIRE Blog” where I discuss this in more detail.

  8. Jim Holstun on May 19, 2018, 6:04 am

    I wrote Professor Loeffler this. No response yet.

    Dear Professor Loeffler:

    UN Resolution 3379 wasn’t exactly a “horrible meme that went viral: ‘Zionism is Racism.’” Rather, it was a formal resolution that declared “that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” A little reductive, yes, in larger historical perspective, but the binational Zionism of Ahad Ha’am was not exactly thriving in 1975. Do you think this claim was true, or false? It appears to me that Zionism did and does discriminate on ethno-sectarian grounds.

    So many of the “memes” regarding the ethnic cleansing of Palestine turn out to be a little tendentious, I find. For instance, Nasser’s declaration that he would drive Israel into the sea, which he never said. But it’s a useful little meme, which provides cover for the fact that Zionists (racist or non-racist, I don’t know) literally drove Palestinians into the sea in Haifa and Jaffa.

    No doubt your human rights activists did believe in two states for two peoples, and it is interesting to read about them and their evident belief that human rights are compatible with one group of nations carving up a colony for the benefit of a favored minority. But perhaps those peoples should themselves have been allowed to have a say in the decision of one state or two? This is a rather important human right, and is enshrined in Article I, Section 2 of the United Nations Charter.

    “Across that nonborder, however, the Israeli occupation presents an ongoing challenge to Jewish democracy.” Isn’t the prior challenge to life, well-being, and human rights of the occupied Palestinians? I’m reminded of antebellum arguments that slavery was just so damaging to the democracy and morality of the white South.

    Jim Holstun

    Professor of English

    SUNY Buffalo

  9. on May 19, 2018, 12:04 pm

    “What is sophistry? It’s a kind of slick pseudo-logic, a set of arguments that are superficially persuasive but deeply and dishonestly flawed. The hallmark of sophistry is the contrast between how much sense it seems to make and how little sense it actually does make when you stop to think about it. Someone making a sophistical argument seems incredibly logical and rational. Even as the arguments they make are revealed under scrutiny to be patently absurd, an uncritical listener might easily be tempted to believe them.”

    There is a movement to associate the policies of Hitler/Nazis to today’s left. The idiot Loeffler uses the same tactic. They point to associations or elements of a shared (braided) history to make sweeping assertions or form unfounded conclusions that are void of any in-depth objective thinking/analysis.

    The idiot Loeffler and the idiot Dinesh D’Souza (the author of “The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left”) are sophists – people who reason with clever but fallacious arguments.

    Loeffler – Zionists can’t be racists because they have fought for and often led the movement for human rights – therefore Zionism is not about racism and Zionists are not racists.

    D’Souza – Nazis were leftists because they promoted animal rights, abortion, anti capitalism, and the nationalization of education and healthcare – therefore today’s leftists are Nazi fascists.

    Both Loeffler and D’Souza pick and choose associations and elements of a shared history (braided) and ignore the overwhelming facts that run counter to their claims. Loeffler ignores (as the author points out) the fact that Palestinians have and are suffering great harm and violence at the hands of Zionists because they are Palestinians – and – D’Souza ignores the overwhelming evidence that the Nazi Party leaders “paid mere lip service to socialist/leftist ideals on the way to achieving their one true goal: raw, totalitarian power.” –

    I’d love to ask Loeffler to debunk the D’Souza claim that the leftists of today (which necessarily includes Liberal Zionists) are beholden to or cut from the same cloth of the Nazis of yore.

    Sophists – targeting the uninformed with clever but fallacious arguments knowing most will not dig in and debunk/reveal the fraud. Loeffler, D’Souza and a host of others are shameless in promoting their underlying agendas which invariably do harm to the evidence/facts/truth.

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