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Hitchhiking to Treblinka

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For a long time I have had the words echoing in my mind, “Where were the Jews supposed to go?” said by a friend with Polish roots, and I’ve wanted to go to Poland to face the question. On my latest trip to the Middle East I threw in two days in Poland on the return. And now I want to go back.

I spent my time walking around Jewish Warsaw or what is left of it and visiting the site of the death camp, Treblinka, 60 miles to the northeast. The overall impression I carried away was, Poland is mine, too. Here people to whom I am related were subject to genocide. The memorials to Jewish life in Poland are paltry given how much Jews did for Poland, and how much they suffered there. The absence of Jews is hurting Poland and Jews too, and American Jews ought to do more to commemorate and foster Jewish Poland.

Heroic monument to heroes of Polish resistance to Nazi occupation, Warsaw.

Mila 18 memorial, Warsaw, May 2018.

As to the memorials, we were more than 3 million here once. The museum of Polish Jewish history at the north end of the former ghetto is pretty good if a bit didactic (things are hopeful in the last hall) and not nearly enough. The memorial at the Umschlagplatz, the train platform where the Jews were packed off to Treblinka from Warsaw, is unarresting. The monument to the Warsaw Ghetto uprising is fine; the memorial to Mila 18, the bunker where Jewish resisters committed suicide as the Nazis closed in, is beautiful and poetical, but terribly undersold. Neither has anything on the scale of the dramatic Polish monuments you see to the Polish resistance and uprising.

The former ghetto is underclaimed. No maps. Few markers. A section of the original wall that still exists in a commercial district (Walicow Street) is so unadvertised I didn’t realize “That was the wall” till I got home.

Remnant of the Warsaw Ghetto wall (on Walicow Street, looking south, below Grybowska).

Treblinka, where several hundreds of thousands of Jews and others were murdered from July 1942 to August 1943, is also understated. The museum looks like a hut. Alright– this was a camp in the woods. But not all the displays are in English and they lack the drama that even a little reading about Treblinka’s unending year of horrors will give you. The actual killing center, which the Nazis sought to cover up, making it the subject of forensic archaeology, is not memorably curated. There are oversized all-weather  photographs of the zoo where the Nazis and Ukrainian guards sought to distract themselves and of the crane the Nazis used to move piles of bodies, and there are concrete ties indicating the path of the railroad, and countless stone monuments to the murdered, but the site lacks awful grandeur, and specific information. I walked through the woods and had no sense that Polish villagers smuggled food to the inmates here, and 150 or so people escaped in the forest in the August 1943 uprising. I had no sense of the enormity, the thousands of suitcases piled and rifled, the line of barbers to shave the women’s heads.

Stones for the dead, and Zionist imagery, at Treblinka. May 2018.

It was a Saturday late in May, and a dozen visitors were there, mostly Danes. There does not seem to be much engagement by the living with the place. Though a tape runs through the woods for a mile or so with the names of many of those killed printed on it.

And Treblinka wasn’t easy to get to. I hitchhiked from the Malkinia train station, four miles away, and back too, crossing the historic Bug River by foot, with no knowledge that this was the line of division between the Red Army and the Germans, when they were cutting Poland up.

Walking back, I saw a stork rise from the bank of the Bug. That was the environmental highlight of my  trip, along with the horse chestnuts blooming in Saski Park just outside the unmarked eastern wall of the old Warsaw ghetto.

Poland is surely one of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe. The cab to the airport from downtown was about $12 with tip. My Airbnb was $29 a night. Both nights I ate at an excellent restaurant, traditional with a twist (blood sausage, sauerkraut and wild meat, borscht, herring in linseed oil, beet carpaccio, etc) and it was $25, with wine. The upside of this economy is that Poland seems to have escaped the neoliberal income disparities that have bent the U.S. and western Europe. The downside is the feeling of meagerness. A mantra went through my head: A society will not prosper unless it treats its Jews well. That’s a blackmail I heard down through the years, an understanding murmured or stated in Jewish organizational and communal life. We are an economic engine; America has done so well economically because it has treated Jews well.

Zionist messaging at Treblinka, May 19, 2018.

A major element of the Holocaust was the confiscation of Jewish property. It is a theme in Samuel Willenberg’s devastatring Treblinka memoir that I bought at the site of the camp. The place was swimming in stolen money, jewelry and valuables. Eva Hoffman’s book Shtetl emphasizes how much Jewish capital was driven from the country, or stolen.

Traditional Polish pancake with baby greens and sunflower seeds and egg, CMA restaurant, Warsaw.

Now Poland is all but Judenrein. My Airbnb host told me his mother walked her best friend to the train in ’68 when 20,000 Jews were expelled from Poland– leaving 10,000. There’s tons of antisemitism here now, too, he said. Including the government’s denial that it had any part in the extermination of Jews, that was all the Germans’ fault. Poland has not come to terms with its own role in the Holocaust. So much is clear from Willenberg’s memoir and Yitzhak Zuckerman’s definitive oral history, and Jan T. Gross’s harsh book Fear on the Jewish experience of Poland after the Holocaust, and Eva Hoffman’s more sympathetic book too, as well as this review of Anna Bikont’s book on the massacre in Jedwabne. Poles sometimes said that Hitler was doing them a favor. They massacred the Jews of Kielce in 1946—two years before Deir Yassin.

Of course many, many Poles saved Jews, and many Poles lost their lives doing so. This heroism also is undermemorialized. I am not trying to put down stakes on this historical controversy, so much as comment on the absence of visible pity for the very worst chapter of Jewish history, the 7 years of being hunted.

The museum of Jewish history is plain about what a big role Jews played in Poland’s history when they were welcome here, from the 1200s on. Jews served a vital economic role in the feudal system, and in urbanizing Poland, Eva Hoffman writes in Shtetl. In the 1800’s and early 1900’s, Jews made a flourishing culture in Warsaw and other cities. I think of the great Yiddish works of Isaac Bashevis Singer, but the museum features the music, the theater, the literary gatherings, the publishing, and the industrial innovation too. Even as he was moving from abandoned house to abandoned house in the ghetto, the great resistance leader Yitzhak Zuckerman collected Jewish libraries, and finding three volumes of S.Y. Agnon, managed to escape in them.

And it’s all gone. A professor of Jewish studies once told me that in Israel the remnant salvaged a culture that had been wiped away in eastern Europe. But it’s not the same. They’re different places, different times. One is simply gone. I felt the ache the whole time I was there.

Where should the Jews have gone? They should have gone anywhere they could, of course, to save their lives. I understand why so many Zionists regarded “Eretz Israel” as the great future. I take no part in the sectarian ideological disputes between Bundists and Zionists (and Betar, Gordonia, Poale Zion, Hashomer Hatzair, Dror, etc). So many brave Jews were involved in the struggle to save Jews in Poland; I honor their memory. When the Ghetto was formed, Zuckerman put together a compilation of Jewish history to try to explain to Jews what was upon them. He thought, a big pogrom. A year later his friend Frumka Plotnitzka sent a coded letter to the outside world, signed “special regards from Hashmada Gmura.” Total destruction. Plotnitzka died in the uprising.

Memorial to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943, outside the museum of Polish Jewish history.

Of course today the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising memorial is draped with Zionist propaganda. And the Zionists are shooting unarmed Palestinians at the Gaza fence. Israeli Jews are taking zest in the slaughter of innocent Palestinians; the Palestinians have been successfully dehumanized. Just as Gross and Bikont’s studies say that the Polish gentiles took pleasure in killing Jews, that they were accessories with relish. My visit reminds me, Any people are capable of genocide. It is in our tribal DNA, and certain circumstances can unleash it.

There is such a danger in defining communities on an ethno-nationalist basis. I found support in Poland for my own assimilationist choices. Jews were vulnerable to social ostracization in part because they were self-isolating. One of the themes of the Warsaw memoirs is utter separateness. Survivors were often the best speakers of common Polish (and the most Aryan looking, as the memoirists write) so they were able to vanish into the population. “The impact of Polish prejudices was perforce far more injurious to the Jews than vice versa,” Eva Hoffman writes in Shtetl. But Jewish separation was an “active choice” that created a “solipsism,” she writes. “It also had its consequences. It meant that Jewish  individuals and communities cultivated their own alienness, and that although they were willing to engage in contractual relations with the Poles, they did not wish to enter into a shared world with them.”

Our world is a shared world, and Jews, in my portion of historical experience, exercise too much cultural political and economic power to set themselves apart in an unshared world.

When I first got to Israel I wanted to go back and back, to explore this astonishing Jewish experiment, and understand all the ways it failed; and now I feel the same personal moment about Poland. This was my homeland too, once, and I feel deep connections to its urban culture. I’m told that Jews are coming out of the woodwork in Poland, that the children and grandchildren of Jews who pretended they were gentile during the Holocaust are reclaiming their Jewish past, and that there are more and more Jewish initiatives aimed at cultivating Poland. Advancing  that Jewish future is more meaningful and hopeful than fostering the Jewish state.

H/t James North, Martin Burcharth, Lizzy Ratner, and Scott Roth.

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About Philip Weiss

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

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121 Responses

  1. Citizen
    Citizen
    June 24, 2018, 2:06 pm

    So you can hitchhike safely in Poland? Try it in the USA.

    [email protected] on the coming struggle in Poland over the memory of the Holocaust http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/02/poland-holocaust-death-camps/552455/?utm_source=twb

    • Maghlawatan
      Maghlawatan
      June 25, 2018, 3:37 pm

      Great link

    • Abe Bird
      Abe Bird
      July 6, 2018, 5:28 am

      interesting.
      Another proof that Zionism was right, before and more after the Holocaust. A Jewish state is the basis for the continued existence of the Jewish people, and even a guarantor of the security of Jews in Europe and America, for the Jews who systematically hate Israel.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        July 6, 2018, 11:39 am

        Abe Bird: “A Jewish state is the basis for the continued existence of the Jewish people, …”

        Yes, sure. So, how about a place where they don’t destroy the existence of another people?

      • Abe Bird
        Abe Bird
        July 8, 2018, 1:42 am

        Talkback: What people?
        Just to remind you that “the Palestinian people” was invented along the 70’s as a tool to preserve the Arab struggle to annihilate Israel after the consequences of 1967 and 1973 wars. Until then the Arabs in Palestine were “Palestinian Arabs” and the Jews/Israelis “Palestinian Jews”. The conflict there is between Arabs and Jews, not Palestinian and Jews.

        Palestinian people doesn’t mentioned in 242 (1967) and 336 (1973) UN resolution. Have you asked yourself why?

  2. Citizen
    Citizen
    June 24, 2018, 2:11 pm

    Re: ” The upside of this economy is that Poland seems to have escaped the neoliberal income disparities that have bent the U.S. and western Europe. The downside is the feeling of meagerness. A mantra went through my head: A society will not prosper unless it treats its Jews well. That’s a blackmail I heard down through the years, an understanding murmured or stated in Jewish organizational and communal life. We are an economic engine; America has done so well economically because it has treated Jews well.”

    So, America has done so well economically because it has treated Jews so well, but America’s huge and growing income disparities have nothing to do with its treatment of its Jews? Just asking.

    • John Smithson
      John Smithson
      June 24, 2018, 5:11 pm

      Agree with Citizen partially. Read the essay and was somewhat mystified about this “Mantra”. So a society will not prosper unless it treats its Jews well? How narcissistic, self-centered, and perfectly irrational can you get?

      The USA prospered and continues to prosper because of FREEDOM. Freedom of the press, freedom to assemble, the right to vote. Free enterprise and competition. Etc, etc, etc.

      Its comments like these that just blow me away. I mean aren’t we all supposed to treat each other well, regardless of race, creed, sex, etc. Because it’s not only the right thing to do, it creates a free and dynamic society that grows organically and incredibly in ways we never predicted.

      Treatment or maltreatment of Jews? That’s the reason a society prospers or not? Who the heck told you that? Get over yourself! What a pathetic and narrow view. Move ON and start working on solving problems instead of revisiting the past and blaming others for your problems. Think the Irish should hound the British for past maltreatment? Or any other group that was ever maltreated by another group ever in the history of the world? Forgive and forget for your own sanity’s sake – and possibly your own future survival’s sake.

      Whatever.

      • John Smithson
        John Smithson
        June 24, 2018, 5:29 pm

        Perhaps a better mantra for Jews – ‘a society will not prosper unless it treats its Palestinians well’.

        I recall the bible verse (just looked it up its from Matthew’s gospel): to paraphrase “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” In other words – how you treat the least among you is how you treat GOD himself as he lives is all of us and loves all of us – the SAME. And that’s ALL HUMANS – not just those in your ethnic/social identity group – restricting to a identity group like that is easy/profitable/game-able/etc – but not a stable long term strategy.

        To generalize – one may judge a society by how it treats its most marginalized, most poor, most detested members. Whether that be one ethnic group, the economically poor, the uneducated, etc. Not just Jews, but any ‘low’ group.

        Thus – a society will not prosper unless it treats its ‘fill in the blank’ well. You should be able to put any group in that ‘blank’.

        How can an allegedly smart Jew be so blind to his own ethno-narcissism/rascism?

        Just sayin.

      • Danaa
        Danaa
        June 25, 2018, 5:19 pm

        Just to comment here: Phil did not mean to say that he agreed with that line necessarily, but that it is a common saying among jews. That much is absolutely true – it is a common saying, and it does reflect a shared belief among many Jewish people, even those who would not be caught dead uttering the phrase.

        I think Phil started on the road to contemplating the deeper meaning of this saying, though the thought was perhaps not fully formed. I recall debating this very line with some people, including in Israel, but it’s only relatively recently that I have come to get glimpse of that deeper truth, one that goes more along the lines you quoted from mathews, namely, it’s not really about the jews, as much as it is about tolerance in a society.

        One could make the general statement that societies that fare well – economically and culturally – are those that treat well the minorities that reside within them. Each such minority brings something to the table, a set of talents and aptitudes, and in the long run, despite frictions (which are unavoidable) society will prosper as a healthy civic space.

        America is a testament to that. So is Israel, in the opposite sense. I elaborate on that in a separate comment.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        June 26, 2018, 10:30 am

        Good point, Danaa

        Imperial Spain post 1492 was a good example. It expelled its Jews and the gold from Peru was mismanaged and Spain fell into a very long decline.
        Aurangzeb polarised the Mughal empire by discriminating against Hindus and that started the long death of the empire.

        All caste systems suffer from the promotion of mediocrity.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        June 26, 2018, 12:05 pm

        Watan,

        Your heart may be in the right place but don’t BS us, pretty please. There was no Peru and no Peru gold before the expulsion of the Moors and Jews.
        Almost all were out by 1492.

      • Abe Bird
        Abe Bird
        July 8, 2018, 2:39 am

        John Smithson:

        I like the mantra – ‘a society will not prosper unless it treats its Palestinians well” only if it were existing on the other way around too -“a society will not prosper unless it treats Israelis/Jews well”.

        The civil status of the Israeli Arab civilians is identical and equal to the status of the Jews. The only notable discrimination exists is “The law of compulsory military service” that does not apply to Arab Muslims and Christians. Only the Druze and the Bedouins accepted this commitment by their own volition. Beyond that, we see changes in Arab society in Israel, with more and more of their young people volunteering to enlist to the IDF, despite the harsh social pressure in their villages against it. There are more Arab doctors and professors in governmental and public organization then their relative share in the society.

        As for the Arabs in the occupied territories of Judea and Samaria, which are generally called “Palestinians” since the 70’s, they are not Israeli citizens, but rather a population in occupied territory, with Jordanian and Palestinian identity cards. Israel tends to ease the life of this population with economic support and to allow unrestricted freedom of movement inside the occupied territories and in Israel. The problem is that terrorist organizations, supported by most of this population, exploit this in order to carry out acts of terror against Israel and Jews. In the 1970s, 80s and 90s, the Palestinians rode with their car green numbers throughout Israel as they liked and there was no trace of the dubious border in the past. Since the beginning of the second intifada, Israel has been forced to set up a barrier to terror, which also harms the local population, and in any case Israel takes sufficient care to allow Palestinians to enter Israel and work there every day while taking the risk that terrorists will exploit this for their purposes. There have been many terrorist acts inside Israel done as such. I don’t know if any Western country that would practice with same patience and tolerance against violent population.

        The conflict would already stopped would the Palestinian Arabs accepted the Right of Israel to exist as the state of the Jewish people next to the state of the Arabs, even in 1948 border and cancel their claim for the “right of return”. Both basic demands are made to ensure in the eyes of the Arabs that their fight against the existing of a Jewish state [or a Christian for that matter like the battle against the Assyrians and Eremites in Syria and the Copts in Egypt] on the Islamic territories, what they call “Dahr el-Islam”, House of Islam.

        Why the Arabs demand that Israel will be “a state of all its citizens” [which she is already is as a Jewish state] while they claim for themselves a Judenrein Palestinian state and tell the Israelis not to intervene in their local domestic matters by letting Jews to live in their state?
        Have you ever asked yourself that question?

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      June 25, 2018, 12:25 am

      “A mantra went through my head: A society will not prosper unless it treats its Jews well. That’s a blackmail I heard down through the years, an understanding murmured or stated in Jewish organizational and communal life. We are an economic engine; America has done so well economically because it has treated Jews well.”

      That blackmail has a source. It’s the same blackmail that the zionists use, especially the evangelical ones.

      Genesis 12:3 King James Version (KJV)
      3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

      It makes me wonder who were/are these Hebrews and I find that I can’t buy it. If there is a Creator who made us all, then we’re all the same.

      “A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.” Mahatma Gandhi. Jews are not the weakest members of the united states by any stretch of the imagination. The u.s. is just another nation headed for the trashbin of history, like the zionist state.

  3. Citizen
    Citizen
    June 24, 2018, 2:17 pm

    Re: “The museum of Jewish history is plain about what a big role Jews played in Poland’s history when they were welcome here, from the 1200s on. Jews served a vital economic role in the feudal system, and in urbanizing Poland…”

    The book 200 Years Together has a lot of additional insight on this subject in case anyone here is interested. The book is written by the Noble Prize winner, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  4. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    June 24, 2018, 3:03 pm

    “America has done so well economically because it has treated Jews well.”

    Neoliberalism has destroyed the US.

  5. Liz
    Liz
    June 24, 2018, 4:12 pm

    Such a beautiful essay, Phil. Thank you for sharing it!

  6. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    June 24, 2018, 4:17 pm

    “Advancing  that Jewish future is more meaningful and hopeful than fostering the Jewish state.”

    Zionism dumped the Polish and other Ashkenazi past for a made up.history with nothing to link it to the past. This is one of the reasons Israel has failed. Israelis do not know who they are . They have no values worth speaking of . They are easy prey for demagogues . They are barely Jewish . Their groupthink is trauma .

    • Edward Q
      Edward Q
      June 25, 2018, 1:37 pm

      There is another side of this which is Israel’s treatment of Sephardic Jews. An astonishing article on this blog reported that babies from this community were separated from there parents and either given to Ashkenazi families or used for medical experiments?!!

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        June 25, 2018, 4:24 pm

        Please stop using racist Zionist terminology; these babies were Mizrahi if I remember correctly, i.e. Arabic. Not Sefardí.

      • Edward Q
        Edward Q
        June 25, 2018, 5:48 pm

        echinococcus,

        I am apparently not up to speed on these labels. How do these people refer to themselves?

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        June 25, 2018, 7:46 pm

        Edward,

        Arab Jews generally [used to, pre-disaster] call themselves Mizrahí (Mashreqi) or Maghrebi, according to the geographical origin, while the (up until yesterday) Spanish-speaking Mediterranean diaspora from 15th C. Spain are Sefardís. The Zionists, as part of their malignant social engineering, and with a lot of help from their official Churches, try to group the non-Germanic-speaking [non-speaking today] as an “other” hodgepodge category, regardless of the vastly divergent cultures and habits, under the abusive name of “Sefardí”.

        Not that any of us non-Zionists (and non-religious, hence non-Jews) generally give a rat’s posterior about the exact culture one belongs to. But the way the Zionists are intentionally muddying the waters to further their “pan-Jewish” mythical racism and nationalism is intolerable. A Sefardí, to me, is someone who will speak my ancestral Spanish.

      • Edward Q
        Edward Q
        June 25, 2018, 11:20 pm

        echinococcus,

        This makes sense. The Zionists certainly are busy putting names and labels on everything.

    • druid
      druid
      June 25, 2018, 3:11 pm

      What they really are is Phariseic Talmudists. Nothing to do with mosaic Judaism. In other words a very bad cult. Research this and see for oneself

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 26, 2018, 2:44 pm

        Hey, “druid”, it’s Pharisaic Talmudists. No “e”.

  7. CitizenC
    CitizenC
    June 24, 2018, 4:56 pm

    This is slippery territory. Recall Marek Edelman’s outreach to Hamas that caused such furor in Israel. Edelman was a Bundist and one of the last surviving commanders of the ghetto uprising. He remained in Poland after the war, became a cardiologist, and was satisified with Polish society

    Edelman and Hamas
    https://www.haaretz.com/1.5030288

    Edelman on the Uprising
    http://www.writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/Holocaust/warsaw-uprising.html

    On Polish-Jewish history, see the measured judgments of Antony Polonsky of Brandeis, not memoirists and oral historians. In the interwar period, the Zionist Jewish bloc in parliament opposed liberalism and assimilation, a modern version of religious Jewish anti-gentilism and rabbinical obscurantism.

    https://www.magnes-press.com/Book/Polin+Studies+in+Polish+Jewry.aspx?name=Polin%3A+Studies+in+Polish+Jewry&code=45-978402

    In 1943, at age 10, Israel Shahak and a young friend entered the Umschlagplatz by mistake and talked their way out past the German sentries. Shahak and a few of his family were saved by their Polish Christian friends who were later with Shahak’s help inducted into the “righteous order of gentiles” at Yad Vashem.

  8. Mooser
    Mooser
    June 24, 2018, 5:41 pm

    ” Jews served a vital economic role in the feudal system”

    “Vital”, perhaps, but it didn’t always mean anybody liked you for it. Sometimes, it must be said, we didn’t even like ourselves for it.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      June 25, 2018, 6:31 am

      @Mooser,
      Your link didn’t work for me.
      From A History Of Polish Serfdom: https://www.eurozine.com/a-history-of-polish-serfdom/

      The serfdom system developed within a characteristic social structure. Already at the turn of the 16th century, the nobility constituted 10% of the Commonwealth’s population. At the end of the 18th century the population composition was the following: Nobility – 9% (to compare in France it was 0.7%, while in England 3%), Bourgeois – 16%, Peasants – 75%, Clergy – 0.3%. Twenty-five percent of the nobility were ethnic Poles, over 75% of the bourgeois were Jews.20 The general conclusion of this data is the following: an ethnic Pole was either a peasant or a nobleman (rarely a city dweller). “In Poland two, near-nations appeared – nobles and peasants, and between them there was a Jewish wall.”21

      20. J. Tazbir, Kultura szlachecka w Polsce, Warszawa 1978, p. 55; A. Wyczański, Polska w Europie XVI stulecia, Warszawa 1973, p. 86–88.
      21. M. Wańkowicz, Przez cztery klimaty 1912–1972, Warszawa 1972, p. 456.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      June 25, 2018, 12:03 pm

      “Your link didn’t work for me”

      Sorry, my mistake. It was a link to “Sir Greenbaum’s Madrigal” on You-Tube.

  9. Steve Grover
    Steve Grover
    June 24, 2018, 6:51 pm

    Yeah Poland is a great place for Jews. So it was Jewish persons dream to repatriated to Poland after WWII and enjoy the good life under the communists. The Jewish people are so much better off in Israel or the U.S.
    Phil doesn’t like Jewish communal life which is one of the most enjoyable parts of being Jewish. Since, Phil doesn’t want to be part of Jewish communal life he thinks the rest of us shouldn’t. Jewish Communal life in Israel is easier and it exists all over the Country. I could have been relocated to places with virtually no Jewish Communal life and that would have sucked.

    What Phil doesn’t tell you is that Jewish victimhood was intentionally minimized at concentration camps and ghettos that are in locations that were under Communist regimes after WWII. The victims the Communists liked to say were anti-fascists. I’m sure not a single Jew who was murdered during the Shoah was given a chance to say I’m a fascist to save their ass.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      June 24, 2018, 7:05 pm

      “So it was Jewish persons dream to repatriated to Poland after WWII and enjoy the good life under the communists”

      Of course, you are being sarcastic. Jewish people don’t have nothing to do with Communism or Socialism. Won’t touch it.

      ” I’m sure not a single Jew who was murdered during the Shoah was given a chance to say I’m a fascist to save their ass.”

      Never again! At least we can be certain that won’t happen again.

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        June 25, 2018, 1:15 am

        @Mooser

        “Never again! At least we can be certain that won’t happen again.”

        It may happen again, but when it does, the Jews in Israel will be standing on their feet.

        Mooser. You’ve been on your knees all your life. Time to rise up.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        June 25, 2018, 11:31 am

        Jackdaw: “It may happen again, but when it does, the Jews in Israel will be standing on their feet.”

        So where could it happen? First. In Israel itself. The most dangerous place for Jews in the age of weapons of mass destruction, dirty bombs and biochemical warfare. Secondly, outside of Israel where Jews won’t be standing on their feet.

        Let’s face it. Jews need Nonjews for their protection. But Zionist Jews seem to prefer to p*** the off large scale.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 25, 2018, 11:48 am

        “It may happen again, but when it does…”

        …it won’t be like last time. Jews will be “given a chance to say I’m a fascist to save their ass.”

    • American Perspective
      American Perspective
      June 25, 2018, 11:46 am

      It speaks volumes that a far-right American writer, like Phil Weiss, who is absolutely obsessed with the JQ only discovers the Holocaust at, what? His late 60s?

      Comparisons by supporters of the State of Palestine between the Nazis and Jews started in the late 1940s and are routine on this website. Did you really think the issue when Germany conquered Poland was that there wasn’t sufficient submission to Mohammed, or that Jews suffered from some discrimination?

      The other absurd aspect of Phil’s excellent adventures is what a terrible tourist he is. As with Israel, he seems to think the whole world is the United States. In this case, he’s surprised that signs aren’t in English. Because after all the natural language for all people to speak is English and that Hebrew and Polish are fun little historic relics, but *real* ideas are only expressed in the English language, amirite? This by a writer who identifies as Arab nationalist and spends his day promoting Arab nationalism.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 25, 2018, 1:36 pm

        “This by a writer who identifies as Arab nationalist and spends his day promoting Arab nationalism.”

        Please see the “about” page, “AP”, you’ve got it all wrong.

  10. Jackdaw
    Jackdaw
    June 25, 2018, 12:53 am

    “Now Poland is all but Judenrein. There’s tons of antisemitism here now, too, he said.”

    So just so we’re clear. Poland has lots of anti-Semites, but no Jews.

    This fact alone, explains the need for a Jewish State.

    Phil is passionate and worldly, but he obviously not a ‘deep thinker’, and his coterie, well….

    • annie
      annie
      June 25, 2018, 1:35 am

      just so we’re clear. Poland has lots of anti-Semites, but no Jews. This fact alone, explains the need for a Jewish State.

      because of one country? it would have made more sense to place a jewish state in a section of poland or germany. arab jews could have stayed put where they had been fruitful, prosperous and multiplied for centuries and european countries who could have paid retribution by giving up parts of their land. all of this animosity would have gotten ironed out during and after the marshal plan and like other wars, vietman and korea included, would be part of the last century and on the historical record but largely considered past tense. but no.. here we are 1/5 into the new century and it just keeps getting worse! now we have a real estate mogul heir bartering the sinai (a permanent separation of gaza from the rest of palestine) for what exactly? and if they’re really good they can even have an airport .. someday? are you kidding me. this is like a macabre fellini movie.

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      June 25, 2018, 4:34 am

      Try being a woman living in a ‘man’s world’. We have no value unless of a certain age (20 or less?), size and non-threatening intellect. When we say ‘no’ to a person who isn’t a woman, he will oftentimes believe it means yes. What little autonomy we have over our bodies and reproductive choices are being stripped away by the very beings who would have found a cure for menstrual cramps (that didn’t cause cancer) if they had to deal with it and probably pregnancy, among other things that afflict/affect only women. A taliban bigshot claimed there were only 2 places for women, in the house or in the ground. Certain jews will hold up a flight because he had to sit next to a woman. A friend told me about a guy who was looking for a job where she worked, but as his would be supervisor was a woman, he spent the interview with his eyes closed. I could go on and on but I know who I’m responding to.

      • gamal
        gamal
        June 25, 2018, 8:21 am

        “A taliban bigshot claimed there were only 2 places for women”

        One day Ibni Marwan met the great Layla Akhiliya he asked her

        “What is it in a man women most like”

        “Cheeks like a woman”

        “What else”

        “Hair like a womans”

        “And what else”

        “Sire an older man needs authority or wealth to be successful with women, so Amir al Mumineen a man like yourself”

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        June 25, 2018, 10:55 am

        ?

    • eljay
      eljay
      June 25, 2018, 7:23 am

      || Jackdaw: … So just so we’re clear. Poland has lots of anti-Semites, but no Jews.

      This fact alone, explains the need for a Jewish State. … ||

      No state has a right to exist as a supremacist state of any kind. Nothing – not even the lack of Jews in Poland – justifies the existence of a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      June 25, 2018, 11:28 am

      Jackdaw: “So just so we’re clear. Poland has lots of anti-Semites, but no Jews.

      This fact alone, explains the need for a Jewish State.”

      First of all. Why is there a need for a “Jewish” state, if there are no Jews in Poland? Where’s the logic? About half of world’s Jews if not more than half live in the United states.

      Secondly. There seem to be about 200,000 Jews living in Poland.
      “Working together, the Friends of Jewish Renewal in Poland along with the World Union for Progressive Judaism and the European Union for Progressive Judaism are opening the doors of Judaism to many of Poland’s estimated 200,000 potential Jews and building the framework for renewed religious life.”
      http://www.jewishrenewalinpoland.org/

      Some or even many of them may not actively practice Judaism or do not list “Jewish” as their “nationality”.

      So asccording to your “logic” there is no need for a “Jewish” state. In any case. A “Jewish” state which is not the state of all of its citizens and which differentiates between nationals (only Jews) and citizens to privilige the former is a full bore Apartheid state. There’s no need for an Apartheid state. Except for supremacists.

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        June 25, 2018, 12:11 pm

        ” Why is there a need for a “Jewish” state, if there are no Jews in Poland?

        There are no Jews in Poland, because they were exterminated.

        “Why is there a need for a “Jewish” state

        Jews need to escape from people like you.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 25, 2018, 1:38 pm

        “Jews need to escape from people like you.” “Jackdaw”

        Wow, things must have been pretty tough for you in the US, those 55 years before you made aliyah-oops.

        Did you manage to get out of the US with any money at all, when you escaped to Israel?

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        June 25, 2018, 1:46 pm

        “There are no Jews in Poland, because they were exterminated.”

        If you read the post by talkback, there are in fact jews in poland as we write, almost 1/4 million in fact.

        “Jews need to escape from people like you.” What a repugnant remark, signaling there is no argument for your insistence that there must be a jewish state. However, palestinians could argue quite successfully that they need a state to escape from people just like you, but that ship has sailed because of people just like you and one state for all is what’s left and what’s right.

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        June 25, 2018, 4:55 pm

        @Marnie

        And there are even a few people whom Jew and Gentile find repugnant.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        June 25, 2018, 11:18 pm

        Too late for sweet talk jd.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        June 26, 2018, 10:08 am

        Jackdaw: “There are no Jews in Poland, because they were exterminated.”

        Use your brain, Jackdaw, if you have one. That fact that Jews were exterminated in Poland doesn’t mean that there are no Jews in Poland. There are about 200.000 Jews living there according to Jewish organizations.

        Jackdaw: “Jews need to escape from people like you.”

        From me? Why? Is there anything that I do Jews that “people like you” have been doing to Palestinians?

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        July 1, 2018, 1:59 am

        @Blarnie

        Poland has a core Jewish population of 8000.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_population_by_country

      • annie
        annie
        July 1, 2018, 8:33 am

        i think it’s more like 30k, according to this local jewish community site i visited earlier. i will try to find it.

        edit, here it is: https://culture.pl/en/article/were-here-polish-jews-today

        We’re Here: Polish Jews Today

        ….By comparison, today’s population of Jews living in the country is estimated to be around 30,000.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        July 2, 2018, 9:16 am

        @ Jackdaw:

        “Unofficial estimates range from 10,000 to as high as 100,000. This is not counting most of the 20,000 or more Israelis who have taken Polish citizenship – and hence have full access to the whole EU – but generally don’t live in Poland.”
        https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/01/polish-jewish-relations-warsaw-museum-history-polish-jews

        Still doesn’t justify a “Jewish” state instead of an Israeli state.

  11. JWalters
    JWalters
    June 25, 2018, 1:58 am

    “But Jewish separation was an ‘active choice’ that created a solipsism,’ she writes. ‘It also had its consequences. It meant that Jewish individuals and communities cultivated their own alienness, and that although they were willing to engage in contractual relations with the Poles, they did not wish to enter into a shared world with them.'”

    This deserves exploration.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      June 25, 2018, 8:05 am

      Much has been written about self-imposed ghettos., about anti-assimilation and the choice to remain “separate and apart,” about constructing “a nation within a nation,” etc.

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        July 1, 2018, 2:00 am

        Blame the victim. Got it.

    • Eva Smagacz
      Eva Smagacz
      June 25, 2018, 6:30 pm

      Not on Mondoweiss. Has been tried. Never got very far. Modnoweiss is moderated.

      119/130

      • JWalters
        JWalters
        June 25, 2018, 9:40 pm

        You’re right. At least not so far. Ultimately I trust Phil’s judgement about how fast Mondoweiss can go in informing the American Jewish community, which is a centrally strategic part of his mission. Often too big a movement can cause a major setback.

        But over time it seems to me there has been movement in what gets covered. Phil’s including this point in this article to some extent opens the door on this topic. Editors often rely on reader comments to push the envelope on a topic, which eventually justifies a full article on that topic. So I try to see where Phil’s at, and work with him to advance the more “incendiary” facts.

    • Jackdaw
      Jackdaw
      July 1, 2018, 2:01 am

      Blame the victim. Got it.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 2, 2018, 1:25 pm

        “Blame the victim. Got it.” “Jackdaw”

        Yes, there’s a lot of that going around.
        But don’t be upset about it, “Jackdaw”. It just shows that people find it hard to believe Jews were easy to push around and persecute.

  12. Citizen
    Citizen
    June 25, 2018, 8:51 am

    Treblinka was a long time ago; since then there’s been a sea change in available news delivered in a speedy manner worldwide, however don’t rely on any government to deliver it honestly:

    Why Americans Oppose Investigating the GazaMassacre: a stunning 81.5% of Americans say they never heard about the Gaza Massacre through any channel.
    https://original.antiwar.com/smith-grant/2018/05/29/americans-oppose-investigating-the-gaza-massacre/

    Also, a majority of Americans, unlike their western allies’ population, think that Palestinians are trespassers on Israeli land.

    Seems USA’s 6 mega-corporation main news media operate as a collective Goebbels.

    • JWalters
      JWalters
      June 25, 2018, 10:02 pm

      That is STUNNING! In a way, a very impressive achievement in news management. Yes, they clearly are operating as a collective monopoly, and as such should be broken up under anti-trust laws.

  13. CigarGod
    CigarGod
    June 25, 2018, 11:09 am

    I always appreciate your personal impressions, Phil.
    Sure, it raises a few eyebrows to hear the old “blackmail,” but to me, it is more an ancient wisdom that applies to all humans.
    Human souls do not prosper when we do not treat other cultures well.

  14. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    June 25, 2018, 12:12 pm

    Regarding the tension between the Jews of Poland and the Poles of Poland, a number of factors should be mentioned (studied):
    1. the economic role of the Jews. Certain economic functions were apportioned to the Jews by Kings and by society and these habits although not handed down with the genes were certainly part of the sociology of the Jews in Poland.
    2. culture: When I see the photo of the teenage Native American (ca. 1920) first in his tribal garb and then in suit and tie, forced to become an American, I cringe at the coercion involved, although I confess that the process seems inevitable. Similarly the Jews of Poland who wished to maintain their identity have my sympathy although the forces of history were aligned against them. Just as the state of New York should impose standards of education for the children of ultra Orthodox in 2018, so Poland in 1920 should have imposed such standards of education. But the reaction reflex to reject assimilation is a predictable dynamic involved when traditional societies confront modernity.

    3. demography- the percentage of Jews in Poland rose throughout the 19th century and particularly in the big cities. By the time of the removal of the boot of the czar the situation that existed before Catherine the Great and after WWI were very different in terms of the numbers of the Jews in the urban areas in particular.

    4. diversity. correct me if i’m wrong. In 1939 Poland was far more diverse and less homogeneous than it is today.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      June 25, 2018, 2:02 pm

      Shorter “Yonah”: ‘Those grapes are sour, and we don’t want them’

      You do realize, “Yonah” that when we begin positing Jewish separation as our own choice and more desirable course, it becomes difficult to blame anti-Semites for anything.

      • Nathan
        Nathan
        June 25, 2018, 9:22 pm

        Mooser – You simply don’t have a clue regarding antisemitism. The anti-Semites didn’t hate the Jews because the Jews chose to be separated. Quite the contrary. The anti-Semites were always infurious whenever the Jews tried to be exactly like other Europeans and to fit in. For a very extreme (and recent) example, notice that the Germans forced the Jews to mark themselves, and it was a crime punishable by death for a Jew to remove the yellow badge.

        You have your own agenda, and in your agenda the Jews shouldn’t be a separate group (and they shouldn’t have their own separate state) – but you shouldn’t assume that your agenda is the motivating factor of others. Anti-Semites hate the Jews for totally imaginary reasons. It has nothing to do with what Jews do or don’t do in reality.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        June 26, 2018, 1:25 am

        “it becomes difficult to blame anti-Semites for anything.”

        Mooser, I did try posing a comment suggesting that Jewish ingenuity would overcome the difficulty, but I see that Nathan has already started the work.

        My sarcasm has, once again, been eclipsed by reality.

      • Naftush
        Naftush
        June 26, 2018, 8:18 am

        So a Jew need only affirm h/her Jewishness to make it “difficult to blame anti-Semites for anything”…. Is it only Jewishness that, when affirmed, justifies “anything”? Did Poles’ affirmation of Polishness make “anything” done to them by the Germans and the Soviets “difficult to blame”? American affirmation of American-ness? If Anderson’s claim that everyone today professes nationhood is true, is anyone doing “anything” to anyone “difficult to blame”? Or again, is it just the Jews?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 26, 2018, 12:14 pm

        “Mooser, I did try posing a comment suggesting that Jewish ingenuity would overcome the difficulty”

        There isn’t hardly any difficulty which can’t be overcome with a little Jewish ingenuity. I depend on it in a pinch, and it hasn’t let me down yet, well, not too hard, anyway.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 26, 2018, 1:10 pm

        “Mooser – You simply don’t have a clue regarding antisemitism.”

        Probably not like you do. I mean, look at the way it’s made you reticent, and afraid to express yourself. And your constantly apologetic tone tells me, yeah, I must not know anti-Semitism like you do.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        June 27, 2018, 1:59 am

        “There isn’t hardly any difficulty …”

        Double negative, Mooser.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        June 27, 2018, 11:43 am

        RoHa,

        I don’t like amateur psychoanalysis, but what is it in your past that makes you so vehemently hostile to English as she’s spoke?
        Besides, that particular kind of double negative has venerable Norman roots. Even if it didn’t, why negate its right to the pursuit of happiness?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 27, 2018, 2:05 pm

        ” but what is it in your past that makes you so vehemently hostile to English as she’s spoke?”

        Some days I feel like we are all just Eliza Doolittle’s to his Henry Higgins.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        June 27, 2018, 5:15 pm

        Au contraire, mon cher Mosaire; Higgins was a linguist with an infallible ear, interested in each particular dialect, who started as a student of Miss Doolittle. His teaching her the standard dialect implied no attribution of intrinsic superiority to the standard dialect but a means to take advantage of the class system.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 27, 2018, 8:57 pm

        ” the standard dialect… but a means to take advantage of the class system.”

        Exactly! With his tutelage, we will no longer be a prisoner of the gutter, condemned by every syllable we utter.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        June 27, 2018, 10:21 pm

        Mooser

        Poet!

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        June 28, 2018, 3:20 am

        Yes, all these grammar rules, prepositions, punctuation marks, and so forth, are all just conventional signs. We should get rid of them all. That would make our language resemble the Bellman’s map, which was, we are told, understood by all.

        But enough snarkiness. That does not answer your question. The truth of the matter is that I am one of the people commanded by the Gods to maintain language. For further detail see

        http://mondoweiss.net/2015/04/netanyahu-infamous-cartoon/#comment-762936

        I say “one of the people” because there are quite a few of us. In Britain they managed to make Tesco supermarkets change the “ten items or less” signs.

        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2659948/Tesco-to-ditch-ten-items-or-less-sign-after-good-grammar-campaign.html

        My late brother always carried a black marker pen to correct public notices. The wonderful Lynne Truss* once stood outside a cinema in Leicester Square holding up an apostrophe on a stick to correct a film advertisement.
        She also tells us how lack of punctuation was responsible for the Jameson Raid, and a misplaced comma revealed the true origins of the British Government’s dossier on Iraq.

        And I say “language” because the Gods have given similar divine commissions to speakers of other languages. My wife frequently leads off about bad Japanese, and I have met plenty of Swedes and Germans who attempt to restrain the decay Swedish and German. An Indonesian I met held the view that the writing of young Indonesians was a sign of the End of Days.

        I don’t really understand why the Gods are concerned about the maintenance of these unnecessary languages, rather than promoting English. But the Gods work in mysterious ways.

        And the Normans were a bunch of Frogs who didn’t speak English.

        (* Author of Eats, Shoots, and Leaves”. I heartily recommend this book. It is well written, very funny, and impeccably punctuated.)

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        June 28, 2018, 3:23 am

        Mooser, if we can correct your tortured vowels your life will improve immeasurably.

        You’ll thank me some sweet day.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        June 28, 2018, 6:28 am

        Very good remark, RoHa, about his vowels!

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 28, 2018, 4:00 pm

        “Mooser, if we can correct your tortured vowels your life will improve immeasurably.”

        I hope so, “RoHa” I suffer from irritable vowel syndrome, complicated by decalcomania and arachibutyrophobia.

        Your earlier advice concerning commas was helpful, too. Thanks.

  15. Boris
    Boris
    June 25, 2018, 5:40 pm

    Survivors we’re often the best speakers of common Polish (and the most Aryan looking, as the memoirists write) so they were able to vanish into the population.

    So, if you were not “Aryan looking”, you were doomed. And what if you were, but your children were not? Or parents?

    Hey, what you think about this “Aryan looking” stuff, Mu-mu?

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      June 26, 2018, 1:41 pm

      The Israeli tourism industry obviously thinks a lot about “Aryan looking” stuff, as do all the Brand Israel functions.

  16. Nathan
    Nathan
    June 25, 2018, 8:15 pm

    Phil defines himself as an assimilationist, but it’s just not so. The phenomenon of Jewish assimilationism is typified by a total lack of any interest whatsoever in Jewish matters. In short, an assimilationist doesn’t concern himself with the issue of the Jewish future in Poland, nor does an assimilationist wish “to explore this astonishing Jewish experiment” (Israel). Taking an interest in such topics means that one does have a Jewish identity and that this identity is an important factor in life.

    An interesting example of Jewish assimilationism would be the New York Times during the Holocaust. Both the editor and the owner of the Times were assimilationists, and it was actual POLICY not to refer to the Jews in the reporting of their newspaper. It was so obvious that the Germans had singled out the Jews, and yet the most important newspaper in the world didn’t discuss the issue. (See “Buried by the Times” by Laura Leff).

    The final sentence of Phil’s article is so absurd that it is impossible not to comment on it. No, there is no “meaningful and hopeful” Jewish future in Poland. Jewish life in Poland has been shattered, and it can’t be fixed. In the anti-Israel world, this imagined meaningfulness and hopefulness is just a poor attempt to belittle the centrality and success of Israel in modern Jewish history. Since Phil admits that he’s been drawn again and again “to explore this astonishing Jewish experiment”, it really is silly to claim to be impressed by the future potential of Polish Jewry – but not by the future of Jewish life in Israel.

    • Naftush
      Naftush
      June 26, 2018, 8:24 am

      I find it odd after 41 years in Israel to read that the place is an “experiment.” Only in the Diaspora does one encounter that term. It evokes the notion of pulling the plug on the whole place, which is something a desiderata on this site. How bafflingly incongruous it is for the rest of us. It’s almost as bad as hearing denominationally divided American Jews refer to nationally united Israeliness as a form of “tribalism”.

      • eljay
        eljay
        June 26, 2018, 9:58 am

        || Naftush: I find it odd after 41 years in Israel to read that the place is an “experiment.” … ||

        You’re right, Israel isn’t an experiment: It’s a successfully religion-supremacist state.

        || … Only in the Diaspora does one encounter that term. … ||

        Jewish citizens of homelands other than Israel are not Israeli “diaspora”.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        June 26, 2018, 1:44 pm

        RE: “Jewish citizens of homelands other than Israel are not Israeli ‘diaspora’.”

        Ever hear of dual citizenship?

      • eljay
        eljay
        June 26, 2018, 2:24 pm

        || Citizen: … Ever hear of dual citizenship? ||

        I have. But when a Zionist like Naftush says “Diaspora” he isn’t talking about Israelis – he’s talking about Jews. And Jewish isn’t a citizenship.

  17. Danaa
    Danaa
    June 25, 2018, 11:17 pm

    My meditations on the line of “A society will not prosper unless it treats its Jews well”:

    While this line may be meant in the economic sense (or so it is interpreted by most Jews), what truth there is in this statement is actually a lot deeper.

    The two examples I have in mind are the US and Israel. The former seems to lend support to that statement, while the latter does too, but in reverse.

    A country that treated jews well (by and large) did not do so in vacuum. Usually countries where the Jews fared [relatively] well, was often equally generous towards other minorities in their midst. I am thinking Holland in the days of Spinoza, the Holland that gave refuge to many of the jewish and converso refugees from Spain and Portugal. That Holland did indeed fare well, both economically and culturally. So did the US, which was founded on tolerance (not always equally exercised, to be sure) and it too prospered (again relatively speaking. Nothing is perfect).

    I can bring more examples of Scandinavian countries and even parts of the Middle East before their jewish residents were cleared out for the honor of becoming second class citizens of Israel, where their cultural contributions were despised and their potential economic contributions ignored.

    The thing is, as I mentioned in a comment below to Smithson, what the treatment of the jewish minority demonstrated, is that minorities, when given rights that allow them to contribute to society, generally enrich the culture as well as its economic fortunes. It takes all kinds to make a healthy civic space, and opening the space to those who are minority provides opportunities for the majority. Yes, Jews do contribute to the economic well being of a country because economics and finance are one of their fortes (along with law). But when allowed to integrate into society as equals, they – just like other welcome minorities – also contribute to the culture and to civic models of behavior, especially in a democratic system of governance. No one can deny that America has benefitted enormously from its minorities, be they jewish, or black, or carribean or Cajun, or Asians, or Hispanic. All of them encountered difficulties on the road to integration, but all did, more or less successfully (OK, I am totally glossing over the not so good aspects now, but the fact that not all is well does not detract from the fact lots is well for most people. By no means all…).

    By contrast, those attributes of tolerance and welcoming (eventually) of the minority, be it a model minority or a struggling one, do not show themselves in Israel, a country hardly known for its tolerance. While israel does well enough economically, it does so by rising on top of a neoliberal model that accentuates and deepens inequality. Israel is one of the most unequal countries among OECD nations, beating even America, per last I saw. And their prosperity is so unevenly divided as to give the lie to any sense of shared prosperity. Some prosper much more than others, and that’s basically what jumps at a visitor there. Clearly, their burgeoning ultra-orthodox population is hardly prospering and neither are the Palestinian communities or the ones that are majority Mizrahi (ie descendant from Arab countries). Indeed, the two fastest rising populations are the least prosperous, and these trends are accelerating on a collision course with prosperity as a whole.

    As for the culture, Israelis may think they thrive culturally, and to them, within their own country, that may seem to be the case. But a deeper look at the cultural fabric in Israel will reveal a certain paucity of spirit, noisy spaces where everyone seems to be trying a little too hard. The best of their culture is thoroughly Americanized, as is their civic space. All that even if the cracks in their culture are becoming visible, as the religious space encroaches ever faster on all aspects of life, both individual and collective. Even as the sense of insecurity is palatable everywhere one looks in that society. The culture is both insular and heavily influenced by American trends, to the point one may well wonder just what is israeli culture. Is it eating Humus? is it Channukah songs? is it the proliferating pop songs modeled after American (or European) groups, or is it books and movies, which as good as some are, are seen and read by an extremely small population in the world, even in translation.

    My thought here is that had the country been more open and welcoming to both Mizrahi culture (which it erased) or Yiddish culture (ditto) or Arabic culture 9which it ignores) a far far larger portion of the world’s population would be exposed to it (think Middle East, North Africa, Yiddish speaking populations in US and Europe – at least before it all got erased). AS it stands, hebrew culture stands on its own, shared by about 7M people concentrated in a tiny sliver of land along the Easterm Mediterranean and no more. And Hebrew, as a language, is effectively under assault as more and more Englisized words enter it, not to enrich, not to spread out, but to capture.

    So here is another thought: for a culture or a country to welcome a minority (despite it remaining a minority for whatever reasons) and to integrate it as one among many,, that culture must be secure in its own identity and strength. Had israel been more secure, they would not see a need to discriminate openly and deeply against eg, the Palestinian israelis, for or against the few Christian societies there. If they were more secure, they would be far more willing to come up with equitable solutions to the occupation, because that could only add to their sense of security and it could be a source of pride even, a civilizational one. Had Israel been more secure in itself and its identity, they would not have felt the need to erase Yiddish culture as deeply and methodically as they did. And they would not cast aside any and all contributions brought over by the Mizrahi population, allowing them to feel as something other than second class, despised part of the population.

    Had all this shunning of “the other” and contempt for the “different” (Ie not proper “Ashkenazi) not come about as thoroughly as it did, perhaps there could be now a more prosperous country, well integrated into its own neighborhood and respected by others all around.

    So, indeed, the best example for a country that did not prosper (despite shallow appearances to the contrary) because it did not treat its Jews well, (and therefore not its other minoritries either), is Israel.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      June 26, 2018, 1:04 pm

      “My meditations on the line of “A society will not prosper unless it treats its Jews well”

      It’s the new Prosperity Torah!

    • LeaNder
      LeaNder
      July 10, 2018, 8:25 am

      Danaa, great comment. Vaguely reminds me of an exchange with a Jewish Canadian vs a Jewish American scholar. Multiculturalism vs the Melting Pot ideals. Long time ago.

      There is a trace in Yonah Fredman’s post above. See his no 2. The Canadian, by the way, was a scholar of First Nation Rights vs the usual handling by the Canadian courts. I agree with Nathan too that Phil’s assimilationist position is sometimes not fully convincing.

      No one can deny that America has benefitted enormously from its minorities, be they jewish, or black, or carribean or Cajun, or Asians, or Hispanic. All of them encountered difficulties on the road to integration, but all did, more or less successfully (OK, I am totally glossing over the not so good aspects now, but the fact that not all is well does not detract from the fact lots is well for most people. By no means all…).

      How well will that perception survive the next decades? Both in the US and the “Western World”. Is there a chance that Israel will turn into “a light unto the nations”, a model to follow, how to effectively deal with the respective minorities? Not least Arabs and Muslim .

      to pick up Mooser’s response: my prosperity, not yours or theirs? …

  18. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    June 26, 2018, 7:28 am

    Really nice photos, Phil. Not to mention your bittersweet observations/musings.

  19. jon s
    jon s
    June 26, 2018, 7:42 am

    Phil’s report is well-written and interesting .
    A few comments:
    1.”A society will not prosper unless it treats its Jews well. ” I can easily come up with an opposite example: Spain and Portugal became major world powers and acquired extensive empires AFTER persecuting and expelling the Jews.
    2.” Of course today the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising memorial is draped with Zionist propaganda. And the Zionists are shooting unarmed Palestinians at the Gaza fence. Israeli Jews are taking zest in the slaughter of innocent Palestinians; ”
    What I see in the photo are Israeli flags. That’s “Zionist propaganda”?And Israel Jews generally do not “take zest” in the slaughter of innocents.
    3. “Survivors were often the best speakers of common Polish (and the most Aryan looking, as the memoirists write) so they were able to vanish into the population.” Phil seems to be saying that the more assimilated Jews had a better chance of survival. I know of no such study. In general survival depended on age, physical condition, resourcefulness , geographic location, and ,mostly, pure dumb luck.
    The Nazis and other Anti-Semites regarded assimilated Jews as especially dangerous. In their view those were the Jews who were weaseling their way into German society, and through ties with German women, poisoning the Aryan race, with “Jewish blood”.
    4.I tend to agree that Jewish separation was an “active choice”. Indeed, what Jews wanted was the right to be different, to have different beliefs and customs and holidays, different languages and different food and drink and sexual behavior. Today we would use terms like tolerance and multi-culturalism.
    5.”…understand all the ways it [Israel] failed”. It seems to me that Phil has more of a problem with Israel’s successes than with its failures.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      June 26, 2018, 9:41 am

      jon s: “The Nazis and other Anti-Semites regarded assimilated Jews as especially dangerous. In their view those were the Jews who were weaseling their way into German society, and through ties with German women, poisoning the Aryan race, with “Jewish blood”.”

      Why does that remind me of the self delusional “only democracy in the Middle East” in which intermarriage is not possible for the same reasons?

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      June 26, 2018, 12:57 pm

      “4.I tend to agree that Jewish separation was an “active choice”. Indeed, what Jews wanted was the right to be different… different food and drink and sexual behavior.”

      Tell us more about the ‘different sexual behavior’ of Jews! You’re always beating around that bush, well, light that shrub on fire!

      Do you mean there’s lots more LBGT Jews than any other religion?

      Does the ‘different sexual behavior’ (sounds naughty! Maybe I missed something in Hebrew School?) have anything to do with why there’s so few of us? (Maybe it’s “the fact that Jews couldn’t have sex for nearly half the time…” Which half?)
      I mean, wow, ‘different Jewish sexual behavior’ that’s a real basic reason to keep separate, wouldn’t you say, “Jon s”?

      Or maybe ‘different Jewish sexual behavior’ (And you’ve doubled down on this several times, “Jon s”.) is why the out-marriage rate is 70%.

      But don’t keep hinting about it, c’mon, you’re an IDF reserve medic. Just talk to us like you would talk to the IDF draftees in the “Personal Purity” lecture, explaining why Jewish soldiers have ‘different sexual behavior’ and can’t have sex “nearly half the time”
      Or a class of high-school age boys at your “health” class, explaining how their “sexual behavior” differs from the ‘Arabs’. No doubt you cut off all the tittering, and get those boychiks (See, I told you, we are way out in front when it comes to different sexual behavior’) to take their Jewish sexual behavior seriously.

    • Boris
      Boris
      June 26, 2018, 1:04 pm

      “Aryan looking” does not mean assimilated or not wearing a kippah. It means a person did not look Jewish – i.e. did not have typical Jewish facial features.

      One of the tasks given to Wehrmacht during the German invasion of the Soviet Union was to execute on the spot POWs who were identified as Jews and Commissars. Commissars were identified by their uniform. Jews were identified by their facial features.

      Some Commissars were able to change thier uniforms. They were sometimes betrayed later by their fellow POWs.

      Some Jews did not look Jewish. So they were not immediately executed. However, they were later identified as Jews because they were circumcized. They had this check done in concentration camps.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 26, 2018, 5:50 pm

        But “Boris”, dahling, (As Natashe Fatale might say), “Jon s” has tripled down on Jewish sexual differences. He keeps on saying there’s a big sexual difference between Jews and other people. Is he just being a big tease, or is there something he’s not telling us?

        I only went to Hebrew School til I was Bar Mitzvah. Did I miss something juicy (so to speak) in Continuing Jewish Education?

        Something like that will go a lot further than looks in identifying Jews. What is it?

    • LeaNder
      LeaNder
      July 10, 2018, 8:55 am

      Aryan looking

      The term was as irritating as it it’s unfitting in the Polish context. Admittedly, that startled me most. I would expect Phil to realize that the Poles weren’t “Aryan looking” from the Nazi’s mythical/ideological perspective. At least without further context? Former Germans forced East earlier. Thus deserving the collectively assigned Nazi term too? That argument of course would have enraged an ideologue.

      Fact is: For the Nazis the Poles were of course Slavs, people of a lower racial quality. Expansion East and all? I seriously doubt that the Nazis, even if purely German, thus automatically Aryans, were ever able to distinguish between an Aryan looking Jew and a Slav.

      I am not a fan of present Polish politics, but there is this bit of history:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligenzaktion

      From a German perspective I would have appreciated at least a vague awareness of it.

      • annie
        annie
        July 10, 2018, 10:52 am

        what a creepy link leaNder. the forced disappearance of 100,000 people. i noticed this “(Aryan-looking)” reference:

        Moreover, by way of the Rassenpolitisches Amt der NSDAP (Nazi Party Office of Racial Policy),[12] the racially valuable (Aryan-looking) children of the Polish intelligentsia were to be kidnapped to the Reich proper, for Germanization;[8] Nazi ideology claimed that such non-Slavic acculturation would prevent the generational resurgence of the Polish intelligentsia, and thus prevent the resurgence of Polish nationalism in Germanised Poland.[10]

    • LeaNder
      LeaNder
      July 10, 2018, 8:57 am

      The Nazis and other Anti-Semites regarded assimilated Jews as especially dangerous.

      This is debatable. All that mattered to them were their racial theories.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 10, 2018, 11:23 am

        “The Nazis and other Anti-Semites regarded assimilated Jews as especially dangerous.”

        It must be true. There are Jews who say the same thing.

  20. Naftush
    Naftush
    June 26, 2018, 8:52 am

    So a Jew need only affirm h/her Jewishness to make it “difficult to blame anti-Semites for anything”…. Is it only Jewishness that, when affirmed, justifies “anything”? Did Poles’ affirmation of Polishness make “anything” done to them by the Germans and the Soviets “difficult to blame”? American affirmation of American-ness? If Anderson’s claim that everyone today professes nationhood is true, is anyone doing “anything” to anyone “difficult to blame”? Or again, is it just the Jews?

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      June 26, 2018, 1:16 pm

      ” Or again, is it just the Jews?”

      “Nathan”, you know how it is for us. When you’re a Jew, you’re a Jew all the way, from the day of your bris ’til they cart you away. When you’re a Jew let them do what they can, you’ve got in-laws around, you’re family man!

  21. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    June 26, 2018, 12:29 pm

    “Neither has anything on the scale of the dramatic Polish monuments you see to the Polish resistance and uprising.”

    Obviously. the Poles are still there. It is their country. Judaism has forgotten Poland and invested everything in Israel.
    There is more wisdom in a Yiddish conversation that in a year’s worth of Hebrew in the IDF .
    The pity of it all.

    • Abe Bird
      Abe Bird
      July 6, 2018, 5:18 am

      Fake Nostalgia; Politically maneuvering!

      Poland [or Germany, or Romania] had never been Jewish, and Jews had been never Poles. Your reminiscence is blurred, deformed and misleading.

      Long before Poland, or even the Diaspora, existed, the Jewish people was born in its own Land of Israel, where the Jews are presenting continuously for the last 4000 years, where the Jews spoke and wrote in Hebrew and developed a rich culture of life that has survived to this day and kept the people together. Even the fact that the land of the Jews, the land of Israel [or Palestine in the language of its occupiers] had been eroded and destroyed by some 25 different foreign conquering kings, tribes and peoples, the land and the universe weren’t forgetting its Jewishness.

      A Jew who forgot or erased Poland from his database remained a Jew, including the Jewish values that were created in the Polish diaspora. But a Jew never forgot his authentic Israeli origins, and if he was forgotten, he was no longer a Jew. Certainly not in his being, in his soul, but only as some camouflage for his shallow politics.

      Your baseless saying that “There is more wisdom in a Yiddish conversation that in a year’s worth of Hebrew in the IDF”. Only proves that you are cut off from Judaism and ignorant in Israeliness. Yiddish is written in Hebrew letters and about 40% of its words are Hebrew. Yiddish did not replace Hebrew in the Diaspora, but existed alongside it as a secular language. The Bible was taught in Hebrew in a “Heider” [room] from the age of 3. For example, Moses Mendelssohn of the 16th century spoke only Hebrew [not even Yiddish] until the age of 17, and only when he came to Berlin he did learn German and Latin.

      And by the way, I did not recognize that an army that spoke only English, Polish, or German was smarter than the army that spoke Hebrew. But apparently smart people do not know it.

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder
        July 10, 2018, 12:50 pm

        You are a curious animal, Abe. If I may. No harm meant.

        I am not even sure if you are an argent provocateur, admittedly. Or if are only an orthodox Jew doing his best to walk the ground that best prepares him for the best position in the World to Come? …

        but tell me, why this choice:

        Poland [or Germany, or Romania]

        or for this matter this rather curious coinage.

        “Ashkenazim gentile peoples”

        Hmm, ok I surely must be an Ashkenazim gentile. That’s for sure. The Russians or Polish people too? The Romanians? Maybe you can clarify.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      July 6, 2018, 11:37 am

      Abe Bird “…and Jews had been never Poles.”

      Yes, yes. As they never haven been Germans, like the Nazis claimed. Any other view you share with antisemites?

      Abe Bird: “…where the Jews are presenting continuously for the last 4000 years, …”

      Sure. Like Nonkews, too. But how many years did Jews live there as a majority?

      Abe Bird: “Even the fact that the land of the Jews, the land of Israel [or Palestine in the language of its occupiers] had been eroded and destroyed by some 25 different foreign conquering kings, …”

      ROFL. Don’t you think that it is quite pathetic to claim this land exclusively, because Jews ruled over it a couple of decades thousands of years ago? Whose land was it before the Jews? And how did Jews acquire this land? Let me guess, destroying and eroding it like they since 1948, again?

      Abe Bird: “But a Jew never forgot his authentic Israeli origins, and if he was forgotten, he was no longer a Jew.”

      Finally. You are someone who can prove that any Jew really has “Israeli origin” and any Nonjew hasn’t. Show it, please.

      So much for fake nostalgia.

      • Abe Bird
        Abe Bird
        July 8, 2018, 7:24 am

        – Yes, yes. Jews never been Germans, although they have tried to assimilate into German society in the “Enlightenment era”. Germans detested and rejected them. Eastern European Jews didn’t even try that “Enlightenment” whatever. Sure the anti-Semites had no problem with that phenomena because most of each Ashkenazim gentile peoples were anti-Semites. Rejection of Jews rights made later the rise of the Nazis early after WWI. It’s not my view but historical facts.

        – It’s not a matter of majority or not but national right. If some burglars invading your home you don’t hold the situation and counting who have the majority, you or they. They are just invaders. In few years Muslims will be majority in 5 British main cities [including London] and other cities in Europe, do you think that British will approve your claim for Muslim sovereignty then?

        – No. As said the Jews continued to live in their land although these occupation occurred [For some years Jews being preventd to live in Jerusalem, and under the first years of Crusaders’ occupation and masacres they have slaghtered and escaped the land, but also the Muslims and Orthodox Christians]. And on the other hand, no other local indigenous people had been created [until ~1974 – 1980. Until then they were Southern Syrians and later Palestinian Arabs, next to Palestinian Jews]. The Jews gained their land in long historical process while assimilating among the local tribes on the land of Israel 3600-3000 years ago. So what are you complain now? No people from that era demands its rights from the Jews now. Find me some Jebusite or Amorite and we’ll talk then.

        – Btw, the Arabs of early 20th century admitted that Jews have rights to the land according to Quran but explained their refusal because of their religion commands, not to let the local non-Muslim peoples to have their independence under Islam. That’s the way they brutally deny the right of the Kurds, Turkmans [Muslims but not Arabs], Assyrians, Aramaics, Armenians, Copts, Druze, Yazidis, Chaldeans [Arabs but not Muslims] to have their independence.

        – In 1948 Arabs denied any offer of Partition Plan for Palestine. They have rejected all offers prior and afterwards. They just want all.

        – The origin of the Jewish people is linked directly to 2nd Temple House period, 2000 years ago. The Jewish history is the most documented history, not only in Hebrew writing of the last 3000 years, but also other cultures that lived in certain time and had connection with the Jewish communities, in and out of Israel. Aside from that, there are hundreds of thousands of archeological evidence, in Israel, in the Middle East and Europe to ensure and support the historical line. The Jewish societies where writing their daily life and although much of the text disappeared yet many document are still on hand, and you can see them in many museum around the world, and the top is in Israeli national museum in Jerusalem.

        – Judaism is not a race or blood but people-hood and religion. Gentiles can join the Jewish people by conversion and they turn to be Jews as others. But in late 2000 years of history only few gentiles joined the Jewish people, and far more Jews converted to Christianity because they chose to or forced to. Aside with that, many Jews were massacred in religious attacks against them in the name of Jesus. You can do some math: in 1st century AD the number of Jews in the world was ~7 million – 4 lived in Israel and the other 3 in communities along the Roman Empire and Mesopotamia. Today, after 2000 years, there are only ~14 million Jews. Where they all have gone? After you cut down the number of Jews that were massacred though last 2000 years and the number of Jews that live today, you’ll can realize how many millions of Jews had been assimilated into the Europeans peoples. The Polish story of Poles that reveal their Jewish identity is just a small example in short period of historical time, but it shows that if you do the right research and calculation you’ll see that many Europeans forefathers were Jews and Not vice-versa. Just take for example the Spanish tale – researches found that 20% of the Spanish people are descendants of Jews of the 14th – 15th century.

        https://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/04/world/europe/04iht-gene.4.18411385.html

        – Thank you for questioning. Have you more?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 8, 2018, 2:21 pm

        “Thank you for questioning. Have you more?”

        Yeah. What’s grey, big, and always carries a trunk?

      • eljay
        eljay
        July 8, 2018, 2:50 pm

        || Abe Bird: … It’s not a matter of majority or not but national right. If some burglars invading your home you don’t hold the situation and counting who have the majority, you or they. They are just invaders. … ||

        You are so right: Zionist burglars invaded the home of geographic Palestinians and stole their national right.

        || … As said the Jews continued to live in their land … ||

        Some Jews did live in geographic Palestine and they – along with the non-Jews of geographic Palestine – were geographic Palestinians. Geographic Palestine was their land.

        Jewish citizens of homelands elsewhere in the world were not geographic Palestinians. And no Jews alive anywhere in the 21st, 20th, 19th, 18th, 17th, etc., centuries were or are ancient Israelites. Neither geographic Palestine nor Israel is their land.

        || … Judaism is not a race or blood but people-hood and religion. … ||

        Judaism is a religion. Jewish is a religion-based identity.

        || … Thank you for questioning. … ||

        Thank you for demonstrating that you are nothing more than a Jewish supremacist (Zionist).

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        July 9, 2018, 1:32 am

        I know that Abe will not be moved by moral arguments, but I will set out a couple anyway.

        1.

        Abe’s claims:

        – Jews are a “people” (whatever that is) and a religion. Conversion to Judaism makes a Gentile into a Jew.

        – There have been Jews in Palestine for 4000 years (though he also says “The origin of the Jewish people is linked directly to 2nd Temple House period, 2000 years ago.”)

        – Somehow this means that all Jews have a right to live in Palestine.

        – That is, Northern European Jews, for example, with their Northern European language and customs, have the same rights in Palestine as the native Palestinians Jews.

        My argument:

        – Conversion the Christianity makes the convert into a Christian. Christians don’t, these days, usually think of themselves as a “people”, but I see no reason why they could not be regarded as such.

        – Christians have lived in Palestine since the earliest days of Christianity. Not 4000 years, but a respectably long time.

        – This means that all Christians have a right to live in Palestine.

        – So Northern European Christians (Latvians, say) with their Northern European language and customs, have the same rights in Palestine as the native Palestinian Christians.

        Important Note:
        The right to live in Palestine does not give the right to drive out other people who are living in Palestine

        2.

        Abe’s claims:

        – There have been Jews in Palestine for a respectably long time.

        – Somehow this means that recent Jewish immigrants and their descendants have a right to live in Palestine.

        My argument:

        – There has been an Arab population in Palestine for a respectably long time.

        – This, then, means that recent Arab immigrants and their descendants have a right to live in Palestine.

        Abe does not explicitly deny that there were some Arabs living there whose ancestors lived there long ago. Indeed, he seems to admit it, although he thinks that 1,700 years is a short time.

        (Bizarrely, he does say ”… no other local indigenous people had been created [until ~1974 – 1980. Until then they were Southern Syrians and later Palestinian Arabs, next to Palestinian Jews].” I really do not know what that is supposed to mean, or what significance it is supposed to have.)

        He does say “the difference is that the Jews were returning to their national home”.

        Whether this has any force will depend on what “national home” means, what makes Palestine the “national home” of Jews, and the moral implications of the concept.

        Of course, both these arguments turn on the moral principle of universality. Since Zionists reject the idea that what’s good for the Jew is good for the Gentile, I have no doubt that Abe will reject them.

  22. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    June 27, 2018, 3:50 am

    The picture of the trees at such a site of fathomless evil reminds me of a song by the great PJ Harvey :

    https://genius.com/8375064

    On Battleship Hill Lyrics

    The scent of Thyme carried on the wind
    Stings my face into remembering
    Cruel nature has won again
    Cruel nature has won again

    On Battleship Hill’s caved in trenches
    A hateful feeling still lingers
    Even now, 80 years later
    Cruel nature, cruel, cruel nature

    The land returns to how it’s always been
    Thyme carried on the wind
    Jagged mountains, jutting out
    Cracked like teeth in a rotten mouth
    On Battleship Hill I hear the wind
    Say, “Cruel nature has won again”
    Cruel nature has won again
    Cruel nature has won again
    Cruel nature has won again

    PJ Harvey told The Sun about this song:

    Throughout the songs on the album, nature plays a great role. I’d chosen to look at a lot of ancient folk songs from all over the world. Songs from hundreds of years ago passed down the line in Cambodia, Ireland, Vietnam, Russia. And a theme which comes through in all these countries’ music is your relationship to the land. The lyric: “I hear the wind say, cruel nature has won again,” captures that feeling. No matter what happens to us, nature will always be there. Which is comforting but also quite brutal.

  23. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    July 4, 2018, 2:55 pm

    The mention of Eva Hoffman (despite the specificity of the quote and the lesson Weiss learns) got me to watch five minutes of an interview of her on youtube, and i recalled that i had read “lost in translation” by her some years ago, and after reading this piece I started reading “after such knowledge”. I have not read enough to have distilled her essence, but her perspective is certainly different than the one we hear in the comments section here.

  24. Abe Bird
    Abe Bird
    July 6, 2018, 3:30 am

    Israel had not failed. Jewish overseas communities had been failed for long ago. The time that Israel is getting stronger, the Jewish Diaspora communities are shrinking, losing their spirit and assimilating into the local nations. Jews in Europe experiecne hostility and brutality again, the American society follows. More and more Jews leaving Europe for Israel or another state-Shelter in the Western world.

    Israel became a flourishing country thanks to the Jewish revolution – Zionism. It has become a land that has absorbed Arabs from the region since the beginning of the 20th century, only because of Jewish entrepreneurship and originality. Today Little Israel is a world leading in many fields of science and culture, and no nation in the world can give up the inventions, inovations, developments, applications and products produced in Israel or by Israeli knowlegde.

    But Judaism in Diaspora, especially in the US, is changing its face, apparting from traditional Judaism culture into the social popular fational shallow political forces. Their second and third generation losing it all, waking up to a world that has no link anymore to Judaism.

    I do not know how Poland is “your homeland too” and if the Poles don’t agree with you. Poland is their land not yours. Yet I’m sure you have no link to Polish language, religion, culture and history as you suppose to have to Judaism and its birth-land Israel [if you were raised as Jewish]. But Jews today see Poland as the land of alienation, at least for those who accept that they are really Jewish. The less link back to Israel and Judaism you have, the more connection you’ll find to remoted, invented and replacing links to other communities and culture. Any way, It is an evolutionary internal charge of inherent deprivation in an unhealthy historical consciousness of those who find their refuge out of Judaism and Israel.

    The fact that more and more Poles are discovering their Jewish past only attests to the intensity of the oppression and crimes that Christendom brought on the Jews.

    Jewish initiatives that aimed at cultivating Poland’s primaries are not cultivating Poland but cultivating the Jewish culture that was mostly flourish in pre-war Poland [although most of the Poles were anti-Semites through the 20th-40th].
    The awakening and longing for Jewish culture in Poland based on traditional Jewish sources, rather than pseudo-peace movements of American Jews, attests to the connection and acceptance of the national awakening movement of the Jews, which its great apple is the State of Israel. Following the revival of Jewish culture in Poland mainly by Poles, anti-Semitism there is growing too.

    This anti-Semitism is a reaction to Jewish culture, not Poles culture. This is a basic model of anti-Semitism that we see in recent decades also aimed against Israel. The more successful Israel is, the more new anti-Semites are born, anti-Semic movements are growing and more marginal people join them. This model also works within the Jewish group, who, out of longing for self-destruction and self-defeatingness, join forces with local anti-Semites, as if to say, “Hey, I’m not the Jew who did this to you. I’m a good one”. That self-hate. otto-Antisemitism.
    Chronic anti-Israelism is part of the symptoms of anti-Semitism.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      July 6, 2018, 1:12 pm

      “This is a basic model of anti-Semitism that we see in recent decades also aimed against Israel”

      “Abe Bird”, one of the commenters, an American living in Israel named “Jon s”, has insisted that jews have “different languages …and sexual behavior.

      It would go a long way towards increasing awareness if you explained how “they (Jews) were different… even their sex life.”
      “Jon s” won’t tell us, he’s a big tease. And I didn’t take Continuing Education, so nobody told me.

      • Abe Bird
        Abe Bird
        July 8, 2018, 2:56 am

        “Mooser”: Why don’t you ask him?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 8, 2018, 2:13 pm

        “Why don’t you ask him?”

        I have, several times, but he won’t divulge the esoterotic secrets.

    • eljay
      eljay
      July 6, 2018, 7:35 pm

      || Abe Bird: Israel had not failed. … ||

      I agree that Israel has not failed at being:
      – a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” primarily of and for people who choose to embrace the religion-based identity of Jewish;
      – a deliberately oppressive, colonialist and (war) criminal state; and
      – not as bad as Saudi Arabia, Mali, African “hellholes”, etc.

      However, Israel has failed horribly at being:
      – the “moral beacon” and “light unto the nations” its proponents claim it is;
      – the secular and democratic state of and for all of its Israeli citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally;
      – respectful of human rights and international laws and the protections they are meant to afford all people; and
      – accepting of responsibility and accountability for its past and on-going (war) crimes.

      • Abe Bird
        Abe Bird
        July 8, 2018, 3:53 am

        eljay:
        Thank you for agreeing. But don’t you think that by agreeing with me you shatters all your proxy-claims against Israel?

        – Judaism is people-hood and religion in one bargain. There is a Jewish-People and Jewish-religion [Judaism]. I think that Judaism is the only case where nationality and faith are in one package. So while saying “Jewish state” it means “the state of the Jews/Jewish people”. Herzl chose the first version for his book because its sounds short and better. And Herzl wasn’t a religious man! It is similar to the saying “French state” or “British state”. Israel is a democracy and not a theocracy.

        – How Israel is a colonial? Jews are living in their land for the last 4000 years almost continually. The first Arab invaders conquered the land only 1700 years ago under the colonial Islamic conquests of half of the ancient world. Most of now days Arabs in Palestine are only third / fourth generation of Arab immigrants. The difference between Arabs and Jews is that Arabs came there for the first time ever lately, while Jews returned to their national home. Only after the Arab occupation of the title “Palestinians” in the 70’s, provocateurs started claiming that Jews have nothing to do with Palestine because it belongs to ‘Palestinians’, after relating the name only to themselves. But what can you do when the Ashkenazim [Europeans] Goys chanted against Ashkenazim Jews in the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s “Jews to Palestine”? Because at that time everyone knew, even Jews-haters, that Jews have a land of their own. So knew the Muslims too. But as I previously said, Muslims can’t let others to have their state under their occupation “Dahr el Islam”, which Allah let them conquer.by his gracious.

        – If Spaniards would demand that America will be their Spaniard state and opened a war against the others in America, would any average American would agree and surrender to their demand?

        – Israel obey to international law. Israeli supreme court in highly attached and considers the laws, which you can’t say on PA and Hamas. You may not agree with my claim, but since when international political bodies with automatic majority of non-democratic Islamic and totalitarian states make your rules?

        – Israel is a moral beacon and human right protector especially because she honestly treats her enemies in soft gloves. If Israel acted the way US and Britain than there wasn’t any “Palestinian problem” any more. I guess that West Bank Arabs would have already living in Jordan or Europe, or may be some of them next to your door.

        – Israel never initiated a war out of the blue. All wars were defensive. Have the Arabs not initiated 1948, 1967, 1973 wars then there wasn’t any “Palestinian conflict”. The only war Israel was part of the initiators was the 1956 war, where Britain and France pushed Israel to help them on the Suez Canal crisis and Israel accepted it because Egypt was absorbing new Russian armaments and intended to wage a war later on against Israel. Anyway, the Egyptian closure of Suez Canal was an action of war by international law and reason for the war.

        – Your adherence to baseless epithets for Israel is indicative of irresponsible populism whose only purpose is to support the aggressor side, the Arab side. Have you ever described any Arab state, organization with such terms? I guess not, May be because you think that Arabs can’t be human and act within democratic laws. I think differently. I think that Arabs should adopt democracy into their societies [as other 3rd world states] to ensure the world’s peace. But it can’t be done if some “progressive” elements of the West support their Tyranny and Terror. On the other hand, the Jews, in their eyes, can’t raise their hands against their attackers because Jews have no right to live in their land or to protect themselves.
        I suggest any way for you to learn about the conflict from more reliable not-biased sources.

      • eljay
        eljay
        July 8, 2018, 8:59 am

        || Abe Bird: eljay:
        Thank you for agreeing. … ||

        You’re welcome.

        || … But don’t you think that by agreeing with me you shatters all your proxy-claims against Israel? … ||

        Our agreement that Israel has not failed at being…
        – a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” primarily of and for people who choose to embrace the religion-based identity of Jewish;
        – a deliberately oppressive, colonialist and (war) criminal state; and
        – not as bad as Saudi Arabia, Mali, African “hellholes”, etc.,
        …shatters all your paragraphs’ worth of Zio-claims.

  25. Talkback
    Talkback
    July 6, 2018, 12:02 pm

    Abe Bird: “It has become a land that has absorbed Arabs from the region since the beginning of the 20th century, only because of Jewish entrepreneurship and originality.”

    Really? What numbers are we talking about? And how do this numbers compare to the Arabs that Israel keeps expelled it because it needs to maintain its Apartheid regime?

    Abe Bird: “Today Little Israel is a world leading in many fields of science and culture, and no nation in the world can give up the inventions, inovations, developments, applications and products produced in Israel or by Israeli knowlegde.”

    Yes, yes. For example:

    IDF uses Gaza as a lab and showroom for new weapons and tech it plans to sell – report
    https://www.rt.com/news/431836-idf-gaza-test-weapons/

    Imagine Germany would use Jews as test subjects to test its inventions, inovations, developments, applications and products produced in Germany or by German knowlegde and then brag about it.

    Abe Bird: “I do not know how Poland is “your homeland too” and if the Poles don’t agree with you. Poland is their land not yours.”

    A truly antisemitic statement. Nazis said the same about Jews in Germany.

    Abe Bird: “This anti-Semitism is a reaction to Jewish culture, not Poles culture. This is a basic model of anti-Semitism that we see in recent decades also aimed against Israel.”

    Nope. This anti-sentism is an expression of nationalism based on ethnicity. For example Zionism.

    Abe Bird: “The more successful Israel is, the more new anti-Semites are born, …”

    I agree, if your definition of “succesful” is how Jews oppress and disenfranchise Nonjews. Half a century of making Nonjews suffer under martial law is not something other people can and want to be proud off in modern times.

    Abe Bird: “Hey, I’m not the Jew who did this to you. I’m a good one”. That self-hate.”

    Sure. Remember all the Germans who helped Jews during the Holocaust? That was pure self hate, too, right?

    So being a “good” human being is self hatred according to your pathological version of Jewishness. Don’t be surprised if people hate this version for all the right reasons.

    • Abe Bird
      Abe Bird
      July 8, 2018, 5:16 am

      Talkback:

      1. Here some fingers’ laws to the relevant history of Palestine [which is Hebrew / Phoenician name for those who invaded their territories. It’s not an Arabic term or name]:
      – Most of last millennia the country was almost deserted with few Jews, Christians and Muslims lived under foreign conquerors. In some cities, villages the Jews were the greater communities, such as Jaffa, Akko, Tiberias, and Jerusalem [since 1840 until today]. There were great Jewish communities in Safed, Gaza and Hebron.
      – The Egyptian ruler [1830-1840] brought massive work power from Southern Egypt- Sudan to serve his military needs and he settled them from Gaza up to Um el-Fahem and Haifa. The Ottomans brought many Syrian and Turks to establish train facilities and cutting most of the trees of the country for their operating. The British let the Arabs flow freely from Tran-Jordan into the main land while at the same time blocked the free coming of the Jews from Europe. Many Jews stayed locked in Europe after the US blocked them too and finished at concentration camps. The largest Arab balk of immigration known is towards the end of the 1920’s, when Arab workers from the Horan region in the south of Syria began arriving in the country, including the Sharon, central Israel’s coast, According to the Syrian Governor they numbered between around 35,000. And there many more of such. http://emetnews.org/analysis/the-fabricated-palestinian-history.php , https://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/14732 ,
      – Israel expelled no Arab and maintains no Apartheid regime. So you should solve your problem first.
      – Tell me whom you take your “facts” from and I’ll tell you who you are. You are “Rumor Tradesman” [rt]. Israel highly sophisticated weapons will be shown first when and if needed in wars against real armies or threats. Hamas and allied terror organizations are not really difficult to tackles with regular ammunition, and the cost of revealing the high sophisticated weapon in such conflict is too high and superfluous. Drones and smart fence is not “new weapons”. So why you expect Israel not do defend herself in any weapon when being attacked? [as I have said, because you think that Jews have no right to defend themselves, because they don’t belong to the country].
      – Would you blame Israel for the solution they had found to reveal and locate Gazan tunnels leading into Israel? Are the solution are not Kosher just because they are too sophisticated to tackle the Islamic terror and Israel has no right to use them?
      – Germany use simple known Technics for illegal action – to make genocide for genocide, to murder Jews for being Jews, just shoot them, gas them or burn them. Your “Palestinian” friend studied it well from them, while 10s of 1000s of Arabs from Syria-Palestine joined the Nazi Germany efforts to conquered Europe and annihilate the Jews [just read facts on Haj Amin el-Husseini and his 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar and his collaboration with local Ustaše and with Berlin gang]. Islamic Palestinian terror kill Jews for killing Jews. They have started before there was any “occupation” [1967] and even before Israel was established [1948]. Did the Jews wanted to annihilate the Germans or any other Ashkenazi nation? Did they have terror organizations that bombed Berlin or Munich?
      – Using weapons against humans is disgrace, yet using them for your protection against that disgrace is a need, compulsory and morally. The fact that you don’t understand it makes your claim shallow and shame the intelligence of human beings.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 8, 2018, 2:23 pm

        There’s about, oh 5 1/2 to 6 million Jews in Israel? Enough to fill one medium-sized city?

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