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If I had to live in Israel again, ‘it would actually drive me insane’ — Shaul Magid

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Rabbi Shaul Magid is an Israeli-American, and a leading scholar of Jewish studies at Indiana University, long associated with liberal Zionist causes. Last month he spoke in New York at a Center for Jewish History panel on Israel-Diaspora relations. Most of the panelists called for a renewal of the relationship between Israeli and US Jews.

But Magid said the relationship was necessarily adversarial, and all but pronounced Zionism a dead letter. Zionism needs a “radical recalibration” if it is to go on; and as to Israel, where he lived for 10 years:

I often think what it would be like for me to live there again, and given the political reality and given my own inclinations, I think it would actually drive me insane.

But Jews are doing fine in the U.S., said Magid. Here are some of his remarks.

 

“I’m going to be the buzzkill, I think. It’s a negative tension [between Israeli and American Jewry] and there are four reasons why. Somewhere, first of all, [David] Ben-Gurion said one of the greatest challenges to Zionism will be a robust Diaspora, because he understood that the instability of the Diaspora was that which keeps Zionism alive and fresh, and this notion of the negation of the Diaspora is something that is so built into Zionist thinking and Zionist education, that in a sense, in one way, contemporary America is Ben-Gurion’s worst nightmare.

“The second thing is I think Ben-Gurion made three mistakes, three understandable miscalculations, and the three miscalculations gave us what I think we have in the present state of Israel. The first miscalculation was that Diaspora Jews would come. The second miscalculation was that the Arabs would leave. And the third miscalculation was that the haredi [ultra-Orhtodox] would secularize. Those are three calculations that he made in the state.

“And it was understandable in the 1930s, when the Diaspora was in such a precarious state, that if there was a Jewish state, why wouldn’t Jews come? If there’s a Jewish state, why would the Arabs stay? And why would the haredim live in a secular Jewish society?

“But the truth is the Arabs didn’t leave, the Jews didn’t come, and the haredi didn’t secularize, and in some way the state of Israel is the result of that. And given the fact that all of the procrastinations aside with the 2013 Pew Poll [showing younger American Jews becoming distant from Israel], I think Jews have learned successfully to be in America as Jews. The haredim have learned how to live in America, the assimilated Jews have learned to live in America, non orthodox Jews have learned to live in America… If you think about it, something that Ben-Gurion could never have imagined, that you would have now in Berlin, in New York, in Los Angeles– Israeli diasporas, Jews who grow up in Israel that choose to live outside Israel. That’s something that was beyond his imagination.

“So I think that history has given us a situation where for that relationship, for that negative tension to become a positive tension, there has to be a kind of to my mind a radical recalibration of what Zionism actually is. And I don’t think it can be the Ahad Ha’am model. Because the Ahad Ha’am model of Israel as a spiritual center is a hierarchical one. [Simon] Rawidowicz, the two centers–… it’s not something that’s taught, but I think the reality is that it’s something that is…. I think that’s where we are…

“I am an Israeli  citizen. I… served in the Israeli army during the first intifada. And my son served in the army during the second intifada. I lived in Israel for a little over ten years. For the first nine and a half I never contemplated moving back. I actually chose to move back to the U.S., ironically, to become a scholar of Jewish studies. That was the reality. If that’s the profession that you want, then Israel’s not the place to live…

“So I don’t feel guilty about my decision. I have two children that moved back to Israel and lived there for six and seven years and subsequently moved back to the U.S. I go there once or twice a year for various reasons, professional reasons. I have a whole life there, friends that I’ve known for 30 years. I often think about what it would be like for me to live there again, and given the political reality and given my own inclinations, I think it would actually drive me insane.

“I don’t really feel guilty…. I think you can live a full Jewish life in Israel in a particular way. I think you can lead a full Jewish life in America too.”

P.S. I’ve been waiting for Gaza/Netanyahu to shake loose liberal Zionists. At a deep level, many thoughtful Jews are saying, Enough. And Magid is an Israeli, who sees other Israelis voting with their feet.

Note the primacy he grants American Jewish political values over Israeli values. That’s the revolutionary thrust of his comments. American Jews have figured out better than Israeli Jews how to live in the world, and enough of this American deference to Israeli Jews. The Israeli Jews are living a full Jewish life “in a particular way.” That’s a put-down. They are provincials. American Jews have a far broader engagement.  Magid makes a point as a Jewish historian to include assimilating Jews like myself as part of Jewish civilization (married to a non-Jew, measuring my actions by codes that are not necessarily Jewish, listening to non-Jewish song).

These comments are a condemnation of Israel’s political decisionmaking by a leading scholar who used to be in its army.

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About Philip Weiss

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

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83 Responses

  1. American Perspective
    American Perspective
    June 18, 2018, 11:45 am

    Apparently it’s a “condemnation of Israel’s political decisionmaking” that Israel hasn’t become the United States. Weiss is blown away by this new information and thinks the idea that Israelis live “in a particular way” is some kind of put-down.

    You guys must be fun at parties.

    • bcg
      bcg
      June 18, 2018, 1:06 pm

      @American Perspective: there’s a great deal of content here, both in the article and the video. If you had to say something about that content, what would it be?

      • American Perspective
        American Perspective
        June 18, 2018, 2:38 pm

        An American Jew is an American Jew. And Israeli Jew is an Israeli Jew. A small number of folks have created a hybrid of those identities. This particular speaker hasn’t.

        How is any of this new? Life in Israel (everything from the metric v. Imperial system, the geography, the demographics, the climate, the economy, the history, the role of religion, etc . . .) is different.

        Why would that be a surprise or remarkable to anyone?

        The delusional “utopia” that you guys have about Israel, or delusion that Israel is the United States leads to very poor analysis.

        If Philip Weiss, until this speech, thought Israel was the United States or that American Jews are Israeli Jews – then it calls into question everything he’s ever written about his State of Palestine and his Arab nationalist cause.

        If you guys want to have a racially pure State of Palestine and want to promote an “authentic” Arab identity – you’d be better off understanding your enemy well. If you thought Israel was the U.S. or that Israeli Jews were American Jews then you’ve been operating under a delusion and virtually everything you’ve advocated is simply wrong.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        June 18, 2018, 3:00 pm

        Dude

        You are full of shit. And Israel is a kip running apartheid.

        BTW I had to laugh at the notion of Mondo as far right. Unless far was used instead of very.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        June 18, 2018, 3:12 pm

        American Perspective: “If you guys want to have a racially pure State of Palestine and want to promote an “authentic” Arab identity – you’d be better off understanding your enemy well.”

        The Palestinian nation has been a constitutive people since 1925. It is neither defined by faith nor ethnicity. Unlike the so called “Jewish nation” which is a fake nation, because it isn’t a citizenship. So much for racial purity and the fact that there’s no legal possibilty in Israel to intermarriage.

      • ckg
        ckg
        June 18, 2018, 3:36 pm

        If Philip Weiss, until this speech, thought Israel was the United States or that American Jews are Israeli Jews – then it calls into question everything he’s ever written about his State of Palestine and his Arab nationalist cause…If you guys want to have a racially pure State of Palestine and want to promote an “authentic” Arab identity – you’d be better off understanding your enemy well.

        Say what? This is the most inane comment ever on this site.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        June 18, 2018, 4:25 pm

        Life in Israel (everything from the metric v. Imperial system, the geography, the demographics, the climate, the economy, the history, the role of religion, etc . . .) is different

        .
        Stupid argument. Same could be said of Europe and Australia. Israel insists it is the home.of all Jews and that they are aliens in any country but Israel.

        The delusional “utopia” that you guys have about Israel, or delusion that Israel is the United States leads to very poor analysis.

        You are right. Israel is an aparteid state and the US is not. At least we can agree the two do not share common values

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 18, 2018, 4:39 pm

        “An American Jew is an American Jew.”

        And if American Jews stop supporting Israel, politically and financially, the whole thing goes to Hillel in a hand-basket, pretty quick.

        So you keep emphasizing how different Israeli Jews are. Why, I bet you could convince us Israel’s interests and policies are inimical to American Jews, that it would be in the interests of American Jews to vocally repudiate Zionism.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 18, 2018, 5:51 pm

        Yup “AP” is a Dr. Pangloss. The best of all possible Israels.

      • Misterioso
        Misterioso
        June 18, 2018, 9:22 pm

        @American Perspective

        “The delusional ‘utopia’ that you guys have about Israel, or delusion that Israel is the United States leads to very poor analysis.”

        Sigh.

        No reasonably well informed person could possibly conclude that the entity known as “Israel” is utopian or comparable to “the United States.”

        It would, however, be correct to conclude that the entity known as “Israel” is utterly dependent on the U.S. for its survival.

        The U.S. certainly has its problems. (Check out Caligula and his gang currently occupying the White House with Zionists Sheldon Adelson, Haim Saban and AIPAC, et al, pulling their strings through bribery.) However, America’s current shortcomings do not even remotely approach those of the fascistic, racist, expansionist, ethnic cleanser, brutal/illegal occupier entity known as “Israel” whose monstrous ongoing and accelerating human rights crimes committed against the indigenous Palestinian Arabs are well documented.

      • American Perspective
        American Perspective
        June 18, 2018, 9:48 pm

        Misterioso –

        “It would, however, be correct to conclude that the entity known as ‘Israel’ is utterly dependent on the U.S. for its survival.”

        That’s an absolutely delusional thing to write. What is the basis for this claim?

        “The U.S. certainly has its problems . . . . However . . . .”

        Ah! The old Whataboutery.

        And, by the way, other than Zionists, does the United States have any problems? Or is the United States such a utopia, that all countries in the world should do exactly what it does?

    • June 18, 2018, 4:19 pm

      AP – Parties a twit like you wouldn’t be invited too – back to your frozen hungry man dinner, a bud light and another episode of Fouda.

      Phil’s observations and assessment of the changing sentiments towards Israel and Zionism by American Jews with ties to Israel are of interest to us here at Mondo. If you’re not interested then buzz off.

    • bcg
      bcg
      June 18, 2018, 5:57 pm

      @American Prospect: Now I understand – I sort of agree. A lot of American Jews think they have some kind of cosmic connection to Israeli Jews, which is partly why we send Israel billions in aid every year. We both seem to agree that this imagined connection is delusional – I’m all for educating American Jews on this point.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      June 18, 2018, 11:49 pm

      @American Perspective

      “That’s an absolutely delusional thing to write. What is the basis for this claim?”

      Well let’s see. To be brief and hurried: $12 million in “no strings” aid each and every day, protection at the UNSC via its veto ensuring that the entity known as “Israel” is not declared a criminal state and expelled as it should be; the powerful well financed domestic Zionist lobby, including tax deductible donations, which puts the interests of the entity known as “Israel” above America’s, (e.g., as I noted in my previous post, Sheldon Adelson, AIPAC, et al, bribing our politicians, including, as is well documented, Trump) and for perfectly understandable reasons, e.g., the illegal invasion/occupation and destruction of Iraq and the ongoing dispossession/oppression/killing of Palestinians, creates justified enemies of America.

      Surely, by now, you must be aware that at an increasing rate, Americans, especially youth, including, most importantly, Jews, are becoming utterly disgusted with Zionism and its spawn, the entity known as “Israel,” and are regularly, in rapidly growing numbers demonstrating in favor of the Palestinians on university campuses and city streets, as are people around the world. Meanwhile, Jewish immigration to Israel is in free fall and emigration is soaring. Hardly a surprise!!

      Indeed, it is now obvious to thinking people that inevitably, in its own best long term economic and geopolitical interests, America will soon have no option other than to end its “special relationship” with the entity known as “Israel.” In about 20-25 years: three billion Muslims worldwide, 600 million Arabs, including about 10-12 million Palestinians between the River and the Sea, 150 million Iranians and 150 million Turks. The writing is on the wall. Sooner or later, all nations act in their own best interests and America will not be an exception.

      Also, the current relationship between the U.S. and the entity known as “Israel” brings to mind those that existed between France and Algeria, Britain and Rhodesia, Belgium and the Congo. And we all know what happened to them.

      • American Perspective
        American Perspective
        June 19, 2018, 11:16 am

        Misterioso –

        I’m going to push back, and hard. You’re presenting pretty standard far-right Arab nationalist ideas, with which Mondoweissers agree, so it’s important to emphasize how delusional you are.

        You mentioned “no string aid”, United Nations votes, and tax deductions. Then you started discussing demographics. Last you implied that Moslems support Arab nationalism and that Arabic speakers are on the side of the State of Palestine.

        AID

        With respect, you’re simply wrong about “no strings aid”. The United States is heavily involved in Israeli politics – we worked extremely hard to prevent Israel from genociding Gaza (this has been a bi-partisan policy maintained by Presidents Bush, Obama and Trump), we dictate the scope of Israel’s military campaigns against the Syrian Arab Republic (and the Islamic Republic of Iran). The United States has worked hard to provide civil liberties to Arab nationalists in Israel and has pushed hard against the role of religion in politics in Israel.

        You may disagree with any or all of that – but to claim that American aid has been cost-free to Israel is an entirely ignorant thing to say.

        And it should also be obvious, but in case you’re not aware the “aid” is military assistance (the United States is allied with Israel). The military assistance is spent exclusively in the United States. So the numbers don’t tell us much because the United States has a sovereign currency and American engineering is just really, really expensive. Compare our Space Launch System (10s of billions, years late) with SpaceX’s Falcon 9 (under a billion dollars, entirely new technology categories, built in a decade). We spend 45 billion a year to maintain our presence in the Korean peninsula – that ‘aid’ isn’t the basis of Korea’s booming economy either.

        Israel will get along just fine without that “aid” (as Nash Dom Izrael and Yisrael Beiteinu have been arguing for years). Three billion dollars a year, even if it were given directly to Israel as aid, is less than 1% of the Israeli economy – which is growing 4.5% annually. The loan guarantees mattered in the 1980s, but Israel has never defaulted on its sovereign debt in over 70 years, so the whole issue is academic.

        UNITED NATIONS VOTES

        The powerful State of Palestine rules the world. It bends the United Nations to its every little whim, it controls OPEC and OIC and dictates the agenda of the International Community. There are some obscure areas like the Security Council where Israel pushes back through its allies. But on the whole, no change would happen at the United States without a U.S. veto. If anything it may open opportunities – let me explain why.

        Hegemony, especially when irresponsibly exercised, inevitably results in a backlash.

        Right now, because of the State of Palestine’s overwhelming military power and unmatched financial strength- no countries except the United States of Israel bother to resist. But your assumption that this will continue forever seems . . . improbable. For example, there was an important election in Colombia this week about the State of Palestine. The main issue in the election was whether Colombia should go to war against the State of Palestine’s local proxies (Venezuela and the FARC) or submit. The Colombian people voted against the State of Palestine in massive numbers.

        So the idea that the State of Palestine’s world-spanning military and political hegemony is sustainable and will last forever is overoptimistic. History is a wheel, not an arrow.

        TAX DEDUCTIONS

        The Third Sector in the United States is huge, growing and very popular. Exempt entities that send money overseas to Israel grow in number every year. If you see some grassroots movement to remove the exemption from Churches, Synagogues, and folks who disagree with American policy you’re living in a different country than I am.

        DEMOGRAPHICS

        As with much of what I read on Mondoweiss, you present factual claims that are either true or untrue. The hardline Mondoweiss folks (and their allies in Palestine) need to know what the truth is so that they can calibrate their strategy to the material reality, not their ideological hopes.

        With respect to Israel we have the hard numbers, and we know that the population is booming through natural growth and immigration in numbers unmatched anywhere in the OECD. More importantly, the quality of the immigration is stellar. You can point to Roman Abramovich and the billionaire or two who takes citizenship and residence in Israel each year. But more broadly, the primary sources of immigration to Israel are France, Ukraine, and Russia – in other words, immigration to Israel tends to be young, well-educated, and worldly. They tend to be entrepreneurs not gardeners (compare Northern California to Southern California).

        If you’ve been to Israel recently and seen the national bird, you wouldn’t make these factual claims. Delusional ideological imaginations about Israel doesn’t help your cause. Arab nationalists can fight Israel more effectively if they are reality-based.

        With respect to American demographics – I know you’re wrong just by looking around. Young American Jews are more Republican, more conservative, more religious, more pro-Israel than they’ve ever been. In the past 20 years, support for Israel went from being a niche issue to part of the standard canon of the Republican Party and the centrist wing of the Democrat Party.

        Millenials are a mainstay of the Trump Administration, which is full of young Jewish guys like Jared Kushner, Steve Miller, Steve Mnuchin, Wilber Ross (well, maybe “young” is an exaggeration), etc . . . Pitting your hopes on the far-left of the Democratic Party seems risky. What if the demographic transition doesn’t take place? What if Israel makes peace with Palestine and the Arab nationalist cause falls of the radar? What if causes closer to home become important to Leftists?

        So your demographic argument about Israel is delusional. And with respect to the United States is just flat-out wrong.

        ELVENTY BILLION PEOPLE AGREE WITH ME!

        As for the 3 billion Moslems argument and 600 million Arabic speakers argument – you know how silly that is so I won’t flatter you by refuting it.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        June 19, 2018, 12:04 pm

        “I’m going to push back, and hard. You’re presenting pretty standard far-right Arab nationalist ideas, with which Mondoweissers agree, so it’s important to emphasize how delusional you are.”

        Do you realize this is a web site and not a 12-step group?

        I don’t think anyone could use an intervention except for maybe your friend (JeffB – honey, is that you?)

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 19, 2018, 12:55 pm

        “(JeffB – honey, is that you?)”

        “Marnie”, I think it’s much more probable more than one Zionist is a good typist.

      • zaid
        zaid
        June 19, 2018, 4:53 pm

        American Perspective mission beside spamming is to provoke Mondoweiss members to reply with Antisemetic comments in order to claim this website is Racist.

        Meanwhile the raciat and violent zionists in Israel continue to behave like they always did.

        This is from today:

        “As members of the Dawabsha family exited the court room in the central city of Lod, a group of young far-right activists began chanting “Ali on the grill,” referring to the infant who was burned to death in the attack. The boy’s grandfather, Hussein, walked by without responding.”

        Times of Israel

      • American Perspective
        American Perspective
        June 19, 2018, 5:18 pm

        Zaid —

        Why would reading a dissenting view (or your disagreement with the policies of the Israeli government) result in you expressing antisemitism?

        Do you think people who hate the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and disagree with the government State of Palestine should respond with Islamophobia? I can report personally that the hatred that I (and all people of goodwill) feel toward the Syrian Arab Republic and the Arab nationalist ideology would never result in me expressing racism. It’s just not the American way. We’re better than that. And, Zaid, you’re better than that.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        June 19, 2018, 5:40 pm

        Zaid

        Israel is a car crash. It will never be a normal country

      • gamal
        gamal
        June 19, 2018, 5:59 pm

        ” is to provoke Mondoweiss members to reply with Antisemetic comments in order to claim this website is Racist”

        it’s like Simalcuz went to college,

        “Hegemony, especially when irresponsibly exercised, inevitably results in a backlash.”

        I would guess he is mid-course, probably snorting Aderall in the back row and not taking notes, “backlash” is nearly a classic.

      • zaid
        zaid
        June 20, 2018, 1:32 am

        Just this week we read the news of Israelis protesting selling homes to Arabs, seperating Jews and Beduins in pools, an Israeli MP calling Jews the superior race and now celebrating the burning of a Pestinian baby.

        Even Nazi Germany didnot sunk that low.

      • Donald
        Donald
        June 20, 2018, 9:03 am

        The bit about the US trying very hard to prevent Israel from genociding Gaza was an interesting new development in AP trolling— just the other day he was talking about how Israel is a liberal democracy but nobody claims it is ( except when he and others do) and now he talks about how all decent people like himself hate Arab nationalism, while he doesn’t seem to mind the country that he says wants to commit genocide.

        Maybe AP has progressed further than I realized, but the random number generator they are using to simulate free will is making it hard for the AP program to pass the Turing test in a convincing way.

      • American Perspective
        American Perspective
        June 20, 2018, 10:04 am

        Donald —

        It speaks volumes that commentators on this far-right Arab nationalist website are so unfamiliar with your enemy.

        If my primary political concern was to maintain the racial purity of Palestine and to promote some “authentic” Arab identity, I would be obsessed with fully understanding what my enemy thinks. I would be exquisitely nuanced about Israeli policy (and, if American like me, how that relates to the United States) and how folks will react to various strategic decisions.

        I’m going to respectfully suggest that in the week I’ve participated on this website, you guys seem completed unmoored from reality.

        You didn’t realize that generally speaking Israelis hate the people of Gaza and there are strains within Israel that want to genocide the whole area? Does that blindspot explain the awful decisions made during “The Great Return March”? Did you guys think Israelis were British colonial officers, Boer activists, or left-wing American Ashkenazim? Shouldn’t heavy decisions like war and peace be made with an informed understanding of your enemy and not based on bad analogies?

        And why aren’t you more informed about American policy toward Israel? You don’t know how much we’ve spent and invested to have influence with our Israeli allies – virtually all of which has been used to help the people of Gaza and to protect Arab nationalists living in Israel from discrimination?

        More power to you if you’re just learning what some Israelis feel about Gaza and how we in the United States have related to this issue for the first time. But I’m going to respectfully suggest that if the race-purity of Palestine is so important to you – you should spend less time making bad analogies and delusional assumptions; and spend more time learning the material reality of life in Israel and the realpolitik of our relationship with our allies overseas.

        I think Mondoweiss would do more for the Arab nationalist cause if on a weekly basis it had a “Israeli” corner, where folks here can learn what Israelis (not Danish dissidents, or American Ashkenazim, or intersectional feminists overseas) think about the situation. Understanding your enemy will make you a better advocate for race purity and help promote a more “authentic” Arab identity.

      • eljay
        eljay
        June 20, 2018, 10:27 am

        || Donald Johnson: The bit about the US trying very hard to prevent Israel from genociding Gaza was an interesting new development in AP trolling— just the other day he was talking about how Israel is a liberal democracy but nobody claims it is ( except when he and others do) and now he talks about how all decent people like himself hate Arab nationalism, while he doesn’t seem to mind the country that he says wants to commit genocide. … ||

        His intense obsession with “race/racial purity” is also interesting, if somewhat distubring. And all this after only 8 days of being on MW. Accusations of anti-Semitism and “Jew hatred” can’t be too far off.

      • Donald
        Donald
        June 20, 2018, 10:35 am

        “If my primary political concern was to maintain the racial purity of Palestine and to promote some “authentic” Arab identity, I would be obsessed with fully understanding what my enemy thinks. I would be exquisitely nuanced about Israeli policy (and, if American like me, how that relates to the United States) and how folks will react to various strategic decisions.”

        Very few people here have the goal you suggest they have. There might be a few— if so, they can argue with you. I don’t think it is the goal of front pagers. I agree people should understand Israelis. They are people who like many throughout history are benefiting from settler colonialism and need to be pressured to cease practicing apartheid. And America has been helping them.

        “You didn’t realize that generally speaking Israelis hate the people of Gaza and there are strains within Israel that want to genocide the whole area?”

        Um, preaching to the choir here. And I don’t see how you could spend time at Mondoweiss and misunderstand the viewpoint here this badly unless, of course, you are a troll and are just saying random things to get a rise, as you have with me. Most people here including me see Israel as a place where a significant faction would commit mass slaughter and complete the process of ethnic cleansing if allowed and yes, the US has probably stopped them from going as far as they would like while still allowing them to get away with murder.

        Anyway, you got me to take the bait. Trolls are good at that sort of thing.

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye
        June 20, 2018, 10:48 am

        @American Psycho

        Who the heck is pushing far-right arab nationalism on this site? Who is pushing arab racial purity?
        Not a single person, above or below the articles. The Palestinians and their supporters want an end to israel’s oppression and crimes against them. They want to see justice.

        You haven’t bothered with any links to even a single site in support of your very peculiar views. Your arrant nonsense isn’t worth the attention of MW commenting community. Begone!

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        June 20, 2018, 12:49 pm

        Human rights for individual Palestinians would be a good start.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 20, 2018, 12:55 pm

        “Accusations of anti-Semitism and “Jew hatred” can’t be too far off.”

        Not yet, tho. “AP” is still in the ‘Mondo-ought-to’ stage, full of editorial advice, all disinterested and based on his web-publishing experience as a commenter at Mondo.

        After giving Mondo a reasonable amount of time to implement his suggestions, and finding them not complied with, he will have a solid basis for his accusations.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        June 20, 2018, 3:41 pm

        Bumblebye: “Who the heck is pushing far-right arab nationalism on this site? Who is pushing arab racial purity?”

        American Perspetive is in full attack mode to distract from him pushin far-right Jewish nationalism and his own racial purity fantasies. Just ask him, if Nonjews have a right to return, too.

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      June 19, 2018, 2:02 am

      I don’t think this guy sounds any different than any other ‘liberal zionist’ variety. He goes back 1 or 2 times a year. He still refers to himself as an israeli citizen. He goes back for ‘professional reasons’. And of all places he could teach, it’s Indiana??? One of the weirder racist states north of the mason-dixon line I’ve ever been to. It doesn’t sound like he’s had an epiphany.

      • Xpat
        Xpat
        June 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

        Marnie –
        Shaul Magid is an impressive intellectual and a real progressive. I recommend you read up on him. Not every academic in Indiana is a weird racist. :)

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        June 21, 2018, 12:54 am

        Eliot,

        Shaul Magid is an impressive intellectual and a real progressive

        and a Zionist and a settler, not really ex because he keeps his illegitimate Azrael citizenship and goes back regularly, and a proud ex-combatant in repressing the broken bones Intifada… very “progressive”. I’m duly impressed. Sounds like the regular MW liberal genocidaire fare.

        Not every academic in Indiana is a weird racist

        I don’t know if he’s “weird”, and there are very decent persons in Indiana but this one is a Zionist so he’s at least a plain, non-weird racist.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        June 21, 2018, 1:55 am

        A real progressive would be able to get the get already and be through with zionism. The term liberal has been co-opted by zionists who don’t want to be seen as being the same as netanyahu and co and the settler vermin trash. Okay, so he’s a ‘liberal zionist’

        “Not every academic in Indiana is a weird racist. :)”

        I know, there’s non-white academics in indiana too. ;^)

      • American Perspective
        American Perspective
        June 21, 2018, 10:47 am

        Danaa —

        I was with you until “inferior”.

        The particular political, economic and cultural arrangements we have in place right now work for me personally. And our 20 trillion dollar economy growing 4% a year doesn’t hurt!

        And I think the white middle class in the United States have it pretty sweet.

        But I’m going to push back hard when you start describing other models as “inferior”.

        Quebec isn’t “inferior” because they chose a different political model than we have- they’ve decided the preservation of their Catholic heritage and use of the French language is the alpha and omega of their identity.

        Mexico, with its state religions, patriarchal culture, violent political life and lack of personal and other freedoms isn’t “inferior”. And I certainly would never express the hatred that I (and all people of good will) feel toward the Mexican government as bigotry toward Mexican-Americans – and I’ve never seen a protest at a Cinco de Mayo celebration.

        You’re obviously a patriot and you seem to feel any country which doesn’t choose what you call the “Values” (by which you mean our particular political and cultural arrangements) is Inferior. More power to you. And it’s adorable that you think moving to the United States is the natural ambition of all people on earth.

        But I would respectfully suggest that if that’s the case, why are you such a far-right hardliner about the State of Palestine? If Quebec and Israel are “inferior” because notwithstanding their high rating on the Democracy Index, they aren’t like the United States – then what do you think about the “Inferiority” of the State of Palestine which is rated lower than non-democratic Mexico?

        Is Gaza also “inferior” because they don’t have the equivalent of our First Amendment freedoms?

      • Danaa
        Danaa
        June 21, 2018, 4:34 pm

        AP, you put your reply to me under the wrong thread and I did not see it till now. yes, the thread only go to second level, but….

        Glad you took on the “inferior” part of my comment. For some reason, I can’t find that word in my own comment. yes, I put in the words “archaic/primitive” as a way to refer to halachic law, but that did not mean that a state run according to bilingual and/or multi-religious laws is something I’d consider “inferior”. Quite the contrary, actually, as to me a bi-national or multi-ethnic or bilingual states appear to adopt the higher values embodied in concepts such as “universal”, “humanistic”, “tolerant” and, indeed “liberal”.

        Had israel chosen to run itself as a bi-national state, with equality under the law for its citizens who speak different languages and practice different religions, I’d have much less objection to its continued existence as one that bracketed itself into the apartheid-like, illiberal, anti-universalist, uber-nationalistic country that it is.

        Not only that but though i do consider halachic law to be a vestige of medieval, more primitive times in the development of humans, that won’t lead me to endorse prohibiting said practices by some community that so wishes. The halacha, like the Sharia, are pre-ordained ways to impose rules – often anachronistically opposed to modern modes of behavior and values – on communities that want to live that way. In the US there are ultra-orthodox communities that follow halacha to the letter. Just as there are Amish and mannonite and Mormon communities. But the understanding is – and courts often interpret it so – federal law overrides religious dictates where there are conflicts (OK, brushing aside for a moment the difficult cases of children custody by those who exit those communities).

        In israel, this is not the case. halachic law supercedes State law in many cases (go see the Hebrew movie “Gett” to get an idea of the complexities this causes in divorce cases alone). It is that which leads me to conclude that indeed, israel is an “inferior’ state among other modern nation-states, when it comes to “values”. That’s because the old and the archaic supercedes the modern and enlightened in practice (never mind the fine words issued by zionist spokespeople). I would say the same about an Afghanistan run by the taliban for example, though no one would for a moment choose to describe such a taliban-run state as “modern” or “liberal”>

        Whatever the halacha represented once, 100’s and millenia of years ago, now it is an anachronism for any pluralist state. Most countries move to enshrine the rights of minorities in the states, often by law. They prohibit discrimination on the basis of ethnicity or religion, and more do so as time passes. but in israel, if anything, the trends go the other way. It is becoming more nationalistic and parochial, not less.

        Separation of religion and state is the better value IMO, and that goes for Catholic, muslim and jewish states. America and Canada are so run. Mexico has still not separated itself entirely from Catholicism and neither had ireland, but they are both getting there, in those few areas where religion dictates still override state law. Israel, OTOH, is moving in the opposite direction, and demographic pressures only accelerate the process. In 20 years, it will be a full-fledged theocracy, even as Iran, its nemesis, will likely become much more liberalized. These predictions are born well by recent trends as anyone who cares to look into them can find out for themselves.

        I also predict – along with many others – that as the immutable process of theocrathgization unfolds, slowly but surely the die-hard secular part of the israeli population will seek to cast its fortunes elsewhere, leaving behind an israel, even more mired in the clutches of an old, old xenophobic, superstitious and supremacist set of values.

      • annie
        annie
        June 21, 2018, 11:50 pm

        Whatever the halacha represented once, 100’s and millenia of years ago, now it is an anachronism for any pluralist state. Most countries move to enshrine the rights of minorities in the states, often by law. They prohibit discrimination on the basis of ethnicity or religion, and more do so as time passes. but in israel, if anything, the trends go the other way.

        most civic national democracies definitely. but israel isn’t a civic national country, it’s an ethnic nationalist [apartheid] country claiming to be a democracy.

        AP, you put your reply to me under the wrong thread and I did not see it till now.

        isn’t it interesting how so many of our pro israel commenters (catalan definitely comes to mind, as well as others) oh so coincidentally, and commonly, post responses either in other subthreads or initiate new threads. oh so coincidentally it also happens to be an effective form of spamming. it’s really not that complicated figuring out how to post one’s comment in a subthread. but it’s so interesting how 99.9% of the people who have not figured out how to do that just happen to be advocates of israel. inadvertently of course /s.

        always great to hear from you danaa. and here’s where you mentioned inferior:

        problem is, Israel appears like such an inferior construct by comparison that one wonders why anyone who could emigrate from there hasn’t done so yet.

        i don’t ever wonder why palestinians who are still there have not emigrated, bless their souls.

      • Danaa
        Danaa
        June 22, 2018, 2:51 am

        Annie, ah, I did mention “inferior” – by name too. Funny, since it was so obvious in the context where it was mentioned (ie, Israel as an “inferior construct” – stated/implied in relation to America), I just glossed over it, as one does over a self-evident truism. But heck, it made for a good trap for the un-vary, even if unintentionally.

        Do you recall a long form commenter we used to have, who cluttered the boards with chapter and verse full of history and histrionics, who would sometimes, not unlike AP, take a word or a sentence and run with it all the way around the block, covering the entire Jewish/Christian/Muslim history and then some? I can’t recall the name. Does it ring a bell by any chance? AP is running the danger of falling into that kind of MO – in time (hear that AP? don’t even think about it)…….

      • annie
        annie
        June 22, 2018, 8:08 am

        was that richard? was he the one who claimed to be a zionist muslim from some village in lebanon that taxi visited and no one had heard of him or his family or something?

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye
        June 22, 2018, 9:11 am

        @Annie – ì think it was a Robert something, I used to remember it. I recall noticing his name as a times of israel columnist. Better there than here with his nonsense!

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 22, 2018, 11:57 am

        “Do you recall a long form commenter we used to have…”

        That might be “JeffB” or it could be “Mikhael” who advocated serial monogamy as a demographic tool for Zionism. “Hophmi” once could be counted on to destroy untold column-inches, but has ‘fallen away’ of late.

      • Danaa
        Danaa
        June 22, 2018, 2:31 pm

        Bumblebye is on the right one, I think. the name “Robert” rings a bell and I do recall that claim of being from some village in Southern lebanon that was then summarily refuted. Something like “Werdine” comes to mind, now that I think of it.

        That trick of pretending first hand know-how of shiite life and lord was quite the rouse, wasn’t it? especially from one who spoke like no Muslim ever…..

        Annie is also right, but it was I’m sure now – “Robert” not “Richard” (who recalls the days of a certain Witty long gone bye….). Ah, trips down the memory lane…….

        We like so need a curated “Talmud” of the best sayings of MW commentators through the ages. perhaps both good and bad, with a generous helping of Mooser lore to spice up the desert! If only time allowed! such pearls were cast, so many swines scurried around catching this and that. So little beef (sorry, I’m hungry right now, though not for meat).

        Mooser, JeffB had touches of the individual I had in mind (length especially) though he wasn’t “the one”, and may said JeffB continue to stay away (Inshallah!). It’s great not to have to miss some people. Lets hope AP does not go to consult those illustrious writings….

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 22, 2018, 4:03 pm

        “had touches of the individual I had in mind (length especially) though he wasn’t “the one”,”

        I’ve forgotten more of them than I can remember. They are all pretty much the same.

        If I could organize a touring revue with some of them, each declaiming his classic comments, I would call it “The Sophisticates”

      • Keith
        Keith
        June 22, 2018, 5:07 pm

        DANAA- “Something like “Werdine” comes to mind, now that I think of it.”

        Link To Robert Werdine’s commenter profile: http://mondoweiss.net/profile/robert-werdine/1/

      • annie
        annie
        June 22, 2018, 10:41 pm

        that’s it! i was sorta close.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 23, 2018, 1:25 pm

        Is there a way to access the list of all the user names in the Comment Archive?

        I can reach them from Google, if I remember each user name. Can a list be accessed?

      • Danaa
        Danaa
        June 23, 2018, 6:49 pm

        Mooser, I don’t think you can get a list of names, though the archives do allow access to names if you remember them. I once tried to look up a name that I sort of recalled but a search on the MW site did not give me what I wanted. Google was able to help, even though I had to go to page 3.

        Perhaps, if there is such a list and someone else knows how to bring it up, I’ll be glad to know that also. There were some great past commenters we don’t see around any longer, not to mention certain epic exchanges.

        I do think some people get jaundiced about commenting after a while, given the despondency of the situation for Palestinians. It’s like we all know where it’s going, yet all any of us – active and less active – can do is serve as witnesses. Call things out in the name of sanity and what’s left of morality. Make sure the world does not move on as easily as all that. Even though it’s intent on moving on.

        I think these thoughts is why I wish there was time enough to curate all those great comments of the past. There was and is no better site for the cumulative wisdom – and outrage – over what’s been happening than MW. The comments archive – as disorderly and vast as it is – is no doubt a blueprint for the demise of a civilizational model (catch all here) – as it drags down one of the so-called great religions with it.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        June 23, 2018, 9:40 pm

        Danaa,

        Hostage’s comments could be made into a book or a film. There have also been some great articles.
        I guess once people figure out what Zionism is they don’t necessarily wish to keep up to date with the details Following the decline is hard . Israel is a brutal study in human delusion.

        It will collapse but as Mr Keynes said about something else the market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.

    • Danaa
      Danaa
      June 21, 2018, 6:06 am

      Israel hasn’t become the United States. Weiss is blown away by this new information and thinks the idea that Israelis live “in a particular way” is some kind of put-down.

      That Israel did not become the US is hardly the point. rather the point Phil makes is one about VALUES. As in Democratic and Universal values. It is true that israel is neither a true democratic state (one for ALL its citizens), neither does it have the separation between religion and state required for nearly any modern enlightened state (ie, it is run by archaic/parochial halachic Laws rather than civil/legal laws). It has accordingly failed to enshrine either free speech or respect for human rights in its constitution. A constitution that doesn’t exist and cannot come into existence precisely because the principles above straight out conflict with “Israel as a Jewish state”. A state that ultimately is bound to be run according to those anachronistic, primitive medieval laws that religions end up imposing.

      So yes, israel is bound to turn into a jewish mirror image of the Ayatollah-run state of iran. In the not too distant future that’ll become obvious to all, if it isn’t yet.

      And yes, the Jews of America have the best of all worlds. They can be citizens of the enlightenment, they are protected by a robust constitution that respects theirs as well as anyone else’s rights, they are free to speak and to associate however they care, and they can, at the same time, define themselves as ‘something Jewish”.

      Oh yes, they can also thrive economically, intellectually, and if they so care, spiritually, just as many other groups of people do.

      So what’s not to like?

      problem is, Israel appears like such an inferior construct by comparison that one wonders why anyone who could emigrate from there hasn’t done so yet.

      So indeed, “Israelis living in a particular way” is the nicer way of a put-down. I could think of a lot worse. Shall I, AP? or have I done so already?

  2. eljay
    eljay
    June 18, 2018, 12:20 pm

    … I think Jews have learned successfully to be in America as Jews. The haredim have learned how to live in America, the assimilated Jews have learned to live in America, non orthodox Jews have learned to live in America…

    It seems awkward – maybe even patronizing – to praise those Americans who have chosen to embrace the religion-based identity of Jewish for their ability to live as Americans in their homeland of America.

    • annie
      annie
      June 18, 2018, 8:32 pm

      not sure if i read it as praise eljay, as much as i read it as a matter of fact. and certainly there’s many israel jews (and others too) who think this is a bad thing because, some would argue, jews should be forever set apart (like some call assimilation genocide for jews– lehava comes to mind).

      and even tho, historically, there have been eras and places where jewish life and cultured have flourished, it seems to me a primary emphasis is routinely placed on a reflection of collective suffering. and it’s this aspect, as a scholar, i think he was discussing when he made that statement. that’s why i wouldn’t call it praise. it is an argument against the idea that “jews in the diaspora” will always live in disharmony, agitation, not fitting in, at a disadvantage or somehow ‘less than a full jew’ (a topic also discussed in a q&a w/the panel) in the diaspora vs israel.

    • Keith
      Keith
      June 18, 2018, 10:03 pm

      ANNIE/ELJAY- (Magid quote)- “… I think Jews have learned successfully to be in America as Jews.”

      An honest interpretation of what he is really saying is that Zionist Jews have learned how to maintain a discreet psychological separation from non-Jews in our inclusive (at least in theory) multicultural society. They have largely avoided assimilation and maintained a strong Jewish identity, usually manifested in strong solidarity with Israel and their fellow Jews.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 19, 2018, 12:40 pm

        “They have largely avoided assimilation…”

        The way I see it, assimilation was extended to us, signed sealed and delivered (no postage due) at Rhode Island. (Remember, US was fully capable of assigning lesser designations to people- slaves Native Americans, Hispanics, Asians.)

        It’s what we have done with the assimilation given to us, the rights, legal protections and right to privacy and “separation of church and state” all of which worked to our advantage.

        I would think that given history, that freely extended assimilation in the things that matter, legal rights
        should be reciprocated in some way.

      • Keith
        Keith
        June 19, 2018, 5:30 pm

        MOOSER- “The way I see it, assimilation was extended to us, signed sealed and delivered (no postage due) at Rhode Island.”

        Assimilation is a two-way street. While equal rights and the opportunity to assimilate may have been extended, The Zionists reject assimilation. Israeli Zionists have embraced apartheid, American Zionists have embraced kinship peoplehood. A Jacob Neuser quote for you followed by a comment. Notice how Neusner differentiates between “Jewry” and “Jews,” the collective versus the individual. And just as I continue to recommend “Jewish History, Jewish Religion” by Israel Shahak, I also recommend “Stranger at Home” by Jacob Neusner. He is a Zionist with an interesting perspective.

        “In so far as this Jewish liberalism was nonsectarian and hostile to the things that concern Jews as Jews – as in those Jewish welfare federations which articulately state their purpose as humanitarian to the exclusion of Judaism – Zionism has rejected that liberalism. It has done so because of its critical view of the Emancipation. Unlike the Jewish liberals, Zionism saw the Emancipation as a problem, not a solution. It was dubious of its promises and aware of its hypocrisies. It saw Emancipation as a threat to Jewry and in slight measure a benefit for Jews. The Jews’ problem was that Emancipation represented dejudaization.” (p199, “Stranger at Home: “The Holocaust,” Zionism, and American Judaism,” Jacob Neusner)

        Please note that what Neusner is saying is that the Emancipation threatened the people apart, sectarian nature of Classical Judaism. Zionism is intended to return to the people apart mode (sectarian) of Classical Judaism through a reworking of the classical myths into a nationalistic support for Israel with all that entails.

      • philweiss
        philweiss
        June 19, 2018, 6:00 pm

        Neusner is a very conservative guy, and his social formulations are not ones many Jews heed

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 19, 2018, 6:16 pm

        “Assimilation is a two-way street.”

        That’s what I thought I said. Actually, a three way intersection. Assimilation having been handed to us, we have an obligation to see others are not denied it, as we could have so easily been.

        But now we’re fighting it out with the African Americans, for the leftover scraps of the American Dream, according to “Commentary”. Guess that 2009 financial collapse hit us harder than I realized.

      • Keith
        Keith
        June 19, 2018, 6:49 pm

        PHIL- “Neusner is a very conservative guy, and his social formulations are not ones many Jews heed”

        Interesting comment. Proof by labeling? (a very conservative guy) I am not sure what you are referring to in regards to unpopular social formulations. His analysis of Zionism and its relation to Judaism is consistent with and lends support to Israel Shahak’s analysis. Norman Finkelstein quotes him in “The Holocaust Industry.” Since he is a Zionist, there is a lot I disagree with. Yet, I also find much insight in his book in regards to Judaism and Zionism. I would also point out that at the time of publication, Neusner was University Professor and Ungerlieder Distinguished Scholar of Judaic Studies at Brown University. So yes, I recommend “Stranger at Home” (along with “Jewish History, Jewish Religion”).

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 19, 2018, 6:55 pm

        “They have largely avoided assimilation and maintained a strong Jewish identity,”

        Seems to me, that by your very own ‘US is neo-liberal empire’ analysis, the problem (in the US) is that they have assimilated all too well.

      • Danaa
        Danaa
        June 21, 2018, 4:08 pm

        Keith, I think you have just convinced me to buy Neuser’s book as a companion to Shahak’s (which I already have and read). Phil’s points are taken as well, adding to some intersting insights from the conservative angle.

        Re your comment about the curious attitudes towards emancipation within the Jewish community: I have to concur about the strangely diluted enthusiasm with which emancipation was welcome. That from a viewpoint of one that’s gone through the Israeli secular school system. Though it was quite a while ago, in my recollection, emancipation in history classes was presented as something of a “mixed bag”, because it ushered in the ultimate danger confronting jewish people in Europe – which was always encapsulated in one word: assimilation. Lessons about the periods where emancipation swept through the shtetl were quickly followed by lessons about the lingering anti-semitism, leading up to the Holocaust. That while introducing zionism as a “way out”.

        I am sure that the teaching of jewish history nowadays in israeli schools has, if anything, further emphasized the latter (zionism) at the expense of the individualistic/liberal values embraced by the former (emancipation).

  3. Stephen Shenfield
    Stephen Shenfield
    June 18, 2018, 1:30 pm

    Don’t go overboard. He’s still trying to “recalibrate” Zionism — not fight it. And he is still defensive about leaving Israel, he worries about what Israelis will think of him. And he doesn’t seem to regret serving in the IDF.

    • Keith
      Keith
      June 18, 2018, 6:46 pm

      STEPHEN SHENFIELD- “Don’t go overboard. He’s still trying to “recalibrate” Zionism — not fight it.”

      I agree. And a very interesting question is why? All of this talk about Israel and the Diaspora eventually boils down to how to maintain internal Jewish kinship solidarity. Why else? The essence of Zionism for the Zionist Diaspora is the re-creation of Jewish tribal bonds after Judaism splintered and could no longer perform that function. It is a rejection of full multicultural assimilation in favor of an ideologically unified people. In Zionist mythology, the Holocaust represents death and destruction, Israel redemption and safety. And Jewish/Zionist solidarity has been very successful for the Jewish/Zionist elites.

      • annie
        annie
        June 18, 2018, 8:57 pm

        And a very interesting question is why? All of this talk about Israel and the Diaspora eventually boils down to how to maintain internal Jewish kinship solidarity.

        keith, after listening to most of the q&a (and some of the main addresses) i realized the central focus of the panel was the relationship between the two communities — which makes sense because there’s a big split and it’s freaking some people out (donors). so likely, given this is the center for jewish history with lots of big donors, that “Jewish kinship solidarity” is the purpose of the panel. why? because they want the next generations to keep funding israel. because israel would have a very hard time existing without support from the US and it’s the american zionist lobbies guarantee that support.

      • Keith
        Keith
        June 18, 2018, 9:50 pm

        ANNIE- “why? because they want the next generations to keep funding israel. because israel would have a very hard time existing without support from the US and it’s the american zionist lobbies guarantee that support.”

        Yes, but why is support for Israel in spite of its actions so important to American Zionist Jews? Prior to World War II and the Holocaust, Zionism was relatively unpopular with the majority of Jews. They desired assimilation, not the return to the mythical sacred soil of the Holy Land. Hell, even after the war, most of the Jewish DPs wanted to go to the Western Democracies rather than Israel and had to be coerced into going. Not all, but most.

        It seems to me that Zionism has created a psychological unifier to recreate the analog to medieval Judaism in secular form. This unique sense of a kinship community in the midst of a multicultural society has provided organizational solidarity and power-seeking purpose which has served the Jewish Zionist elites very well and the entire community generally well. Shaul Magid appears to be attempting to disentangle American Jewish Zionism from Israeli Jewish Zionism, or at least thinking about it. Phil says that most of the panelists wanted a renewal of support for Israel.

        The point being that they are talking about a manufactured sense of Jewish peoplehood as a people apart in the midst of an inclusive multicultural society. Not physically apart as in medieval times, but psychologically apart. That is the meaning of his referral to “a full Jewish life.” Jewishness not defined by the Judaic religion. Jewishness as distinct and apart from non-Jewishness. Formerly, the Judaic religion provided the ideological basis for this, but no longer. Now it is Zionism. I don’t know to what degree Shaul Magid is aware of the power dynamics involved in advocating Zionist defined Jewishness, but he is advocating for that with or without Israel as the symbolic redemption from the Holocaust.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 19, 2018, 9:07 pm

        .” Not physically apart as in medieval times, but psychologically apart.”

        That’s awful. That ‘psychological apartness’ can really fuck up a marriage.

        Amazing, the capacities we Jews have, for physical, financial and legal closeness while remaining “psychologically apart”.
        Frightening.

      • Keith
        Keith
        June 20, 2018, 12:21 am

        MOOSER- “Amazing, the capacities we Jews have, for physical, financial and legal closeness while remaining “psychologically apart”.

        I am not referring to a marriage, nor to a completely assimilated Jew who considers Judaism just another religion. I am referring to a Zionist Jew who truly believes that all (most?) Gentiles are intrinsically anti-Semitic. One who joins Jewish organizations, sends their kids to Jewish schools and Jewish summer camps, and associates primarily with other Jews. Formal financial, legal and other business dealings hardly infer “closeness.” In medieval Europe, Jews had to superficially interact with the surrounding Gentile community to fulfill their service Nomad function (Yuri Slezkine). An interesting question is why a supposedly assimilated guy like you takes such umbrage at virtually any discussion of the dynamics of Jewish success and power. Are you implying that kinship doesn’t exist? Or that ideologically constructing group cohesiveness requires some extraordinary capacity too exotic to contemplate? Jewish Zionism is quite real and a primary reason for American support for Israel, certainly a valid topic for Mondoweiss. My impression is that most of the Jewish Mondoweiss commenters, and virtually all of the Zionist commenters, consider “Jewishness” to be something other than belief in the Judaic religion. No?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 20, 2018, 11:28 am

        “I am referring to a Zionist Jew who… “

        “A Zionist Jew”? Oh, come on, “Keith”, there’s just gotta be more than one that meets all the conditions.

  4. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    June 18, 2018, 1:34 pm

    @ejay
    … I think Jews have learned successfully to be in America as Jews. The haredim have learned how to live in America, the assimilated Jews have learned to live in America, non orthodox Jews have learned to live in America…

    It seems awkward – maybe even patronizing – to praise those Americans who have chosen to embrace the religion-based identity of Jewish for their ability to live as Americans in their homeland of America.

    So the Jews,like the Catholics,like the Muslims hell even like the Pilgrim Fathers have learned to be in America. Still that bottom line of we are unique,we are special,we are different from all other religious cults = the Zionist umbilical cord.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      June 18, 2018, 4:58 pm

      ” I think Jews have learned successfully to be in America as Jews.”

      Jews were accepted (1790) and certified as white in America, to put it crudely. America having other native, racial and religio-ethnic fish to fry at the time. Never a single legal disability, more like an engraved invitation.

      We didn’t have a whole lot to do with it. If Washington had written back: ‘Oh, that reminds me, I need to put you people in ghettos, thanks for reminding me’, what could they have done? Tell Haym Salomon to call in the loans?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 19, 2018, 1:12 pm

        And if anybody has any doubts the Jews have learned to live successfully in the US, I give you the June 2018 issue of Commentary Magazine, titled “African Americans vs. American Jews”

        My favorite article is: “Who REALLY Invented Jazz? Was a Good Man Strong-armed?”

  5. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    June 18, 2018, 4:52 pm

    Mondonut, American Perspective, the 2 Jons- Hasbara is shit.

    • June 18, 2018, 5:41 pm

      They may all be the same person or sitting next to each other at hasbara central earning a few shekels each to post pro Zionist lies.

      https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-23695896

      https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/israeli-students-get-2000-spread-state-propaganda-facebook

      Watch “Cash Tweet: Israeli students paid to defend country online” on YouTube
      https://youtu.be/dTtoRrHRt3o

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        June 18, 2018, 10:39 pm

        Ya’ni.

        They are all indoctrinated. And they can’t leave the script. It’s groupthink.
        Does this remind you of anything ?

        https://m.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/cycling/paul-kimmage-twenty-years-on-from-the-calvary-of-the-1998-tour-de-france-cycling-still-has-a-cross-to-bear-37018184.html

        “On the Tuesday evening, as Roussel was being interviewed by the police, one of the older Tour riders was being interviewed by the L’équipe journalist Philippe Brunel. The ‘Brunel’ interview, a long-form Q&A, was a regular feature in the paper and followed familiar lines: the glory of cycling, the magic of the Tour and the major talking points of the race.

        This one was different.

        Jaded from the hypocrisy, the rider spoke truthfully about the demands of his profession and confessed what every racer in the peloton knew but was too scared to say: that Willy Voet – the Festina masseur who had been caught ferrying the drugs to Ireland – was not the villain being portrayed, but a kind and decent man who had been simply acting to orders.

        That the abuse of EPO, a blood-boosting hormone, had been widespread in the peloton since 1994 and that the scandal enveloping Festina might easily have happened to other teams.

        It was a remarkable testimony of frankness and honesty and Brunel was buzzing when he left the hotel. He had been reporting on the sport for decades but no active racer had ever given him what this guy had: the ‘family’ secrets; the A to Z on doping; the power of ‘Omerta’ and the code of silence. ‘This will change the game,’ he thought.

        . . . And then his phone rang.

        It was the rider, pleading for the interview to be pulled. His team manager had noticed them conversing in the lobby and was threatening to sack him for “professional misconduct”. “I’m really sorry,” he gushed. “I’m not denying what I said but I’ve a wife and kids to support. I hope you understand.”

        The interview was binned.

        They met the following morning, shortly before the start, and the rider was full of remorse. “Last night I acted like an intelligent human being,” he sighed. “This morning I’m a fucking idiot again.”

        But he was in good company.

        When the ’96 Tour winner, Bjarne Riis, was asked for his impressions, he insisted that “it wasn’t up to me to respond”. Then the Eurosport commentators, Stephen Roche and David Duffield, announced that they would not be addressing the controversy in depth because they only “dealt with facts”.

  6. June 18, 2018, 4:55 pm

    ” I think Jews have learned successfully to be in America as Jews. The haredim have learned how to live in America, the assimilated Jews have learned to live in America, non orthodox Jews have learned to live in America…”

    Wow – according to the leading scholar and racist Magid, Jews are an amenable/adaptable group. They have learned to live as equals with non-jews. Why would Magid not conclude that Jews could therefore learn to live as equals with Palestinians? A leading scholar should be able to make that connection or has his racist views clouded his judgment or ability to reason.

    Not much to learn from this racist and leading scholar other than he thinks Zionism needs to undergo a radical recalibration which I assume does not mean Zionism needs to end/die.

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus
      June 19, 2018, 1:59 am

      Hunter

      according to the leading scholar and racist Magid, Jews are an amenable/adaptable group. They have learned to live as equals with non-jews. Why would Magid not conclude that Jews could therefore learn to live as equals with Palestinians?

      Where do you read that “as equals”?

      To me the whole thing rather has a definite odor of the smug “separate but equal” more than anything else. Any people who extort our money and resources to their exclusive advantage are surely acting as our betters.

      The difference between that attitude and the one exhibited against the Palestinians is one of degree only.

      • Brewer
        Brewer
        June 19, 2018, 6:34 pm

        “I think Jews have learned successfully to be in America as Jews. The haredim have learned how to live in America, the assimilated Jews have learned to live in America, non orthodox Jews have learned to live in America…”
        ….from where I sit (the Historical bench) this is one of the silliest among an entire genre of lachrymose, self-absorbed statements invented by those culturally infused with an obsolete, unjustifiable sense of (and obsession with) “apartness”.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 19, 2018, 7:05 pm

        ” The haredim have learned how to live in America, the assimilated Jews have learned to live in America, non orthodox Jews have learned to live in America…”

        Amazing, isn’t it, when we reflect on the fact that America imposes a different set of restrictions and disabilities on each of those sects. And somehow, they all learned.

      • June 20, 2018, 9:27 am

        Echi – I agree with your point. Israel represents all Jews, so we’ve been told, and Israel has a “special relationship” with the US evidenced by, for examples, the enormous amount of US aid they receive, the anti BDS laws they have been able to enact (despite being in direct violation of the US Constitution) and their exemption from having to register Israeli influenced orgs as foreign agents.

        American Jews, therefore, are subjected to this special relationship making them separate (special – sui generis) but equal with American non Jews.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        June 20, 2018, 1:38 pm

        Hunter,

        Being a lawyer, of course you know that “separate but equal” was thrown out because it only can mean unequal.

  7. Citizen
    Citizen
    June 18, 2018, 8:32 pm

    “America Is a Christian Nation” Billboards Come Down in Dallas After Complaints http://po.st/D5v4Xk via @hemantmehta

    “Israel is a Jewish Nation” Come Down In Tel Aviv After Complaints.

  8. gamal
    gamal
    June 19, 2018, 7:03 pm

    ” I think it would actually drive me insane”

    oddly Tarafa wrote, kind of echoing ‘Ecclesiastes 1:18’

    “Too much wisdom is folly; for time will produce events, of which thou canst have no idea; and he, to whom thou gavest no commission, will bring thee unexpected news” (unexpected news)

    where does Magid live now?

    “For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow”

    If your sanity relies on being unrealistic it can’t last…as it says in the Quran 2:267-9

    “O you who have attained to faith! Spend on others out of the good things which you may have acquired, and out of that which We bring forth for you from the earth; and choose not for your spending the bad things which you yourselves would not accept without averting your eyes in disdain. And know that God is self-sufficient, ever to be praised.

    2:268 Satan threatens you with the prospect of poverty and bids you to be niggardly, whereas God promises you His forgiveness and bounty; and God is infinite, all-knowing,

    2:269 granting wisdom unto whom He wills: and whoever is granted wisdom has indeed been granted wealth abundant. But none bears this in mind save those who are endowed with insight.

    2:270 For, whatever you may spend on others, or whatever you may vow [to spend], verily, God knows it; and those who do wrong [by withholding charity] shall have none to succour them.

    2:271 If you do deeds of charity openly, it is well; but if you bestow it upon the needy in secret, it will be even better for you, and it will atone for some of your bad deeds. And God is aware of all that you do.”

    wisdom is easy its what you are anyway wisdom in flesh and blood, don’t forget who you are and freak out, the American nightmare is nearly over.

    • Maghlawatan
      Maghlawatan
      June 19, 2018, 10:20 pm

      Tarafa was very smart. He would love to have met JK Galbraith, I imagine. “The conventional wisdom gives way not so much to new ideas as to the massive onslaught of circumstances with which it cannot contend. ”

      Law of nature. IMeanwhile Israel thinks there is a God who cares about it.

  9. Boomer
    Boomer
    June 20, 2018, 9:46 am

    “Living in Israel would drive him insane.” How nice for him, in that case, that he doesn’t have to live there. He doesn’t feel guilty, he says. Oddly enough, I do. I guess being Israeli-American means never having to say you are sorry.

    By the way, per WaPo:

    “The Trump administration withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday in protest of what it perceives as an entrenched bias against Israel and a willingness to allow notorious human rights abusers as members.”

  10. echinococcus
    echinococcus
    June 20, 2018, 1:01 pm

    Summary: some Zionist invaders aren’t too happy with other Zionist invaders. Not, mind you, because they have invaded Palestine (they are proud of having “served” breaking the bones of those they robbed “during the First / Second Intifada”) but because they aren’t comfortable with the crude style.

    So, using their unlimited freedom of movement (in contrast to citizens of all the rest of the world), this gourmet fraction of the invaders is waiting it out in the good ole States. As an irritant to us, until the Zionists whom they prefer return to power in Palestine, at which time the Magids will go back and restart at their job of robbing and genociding.

    There is not a word there to interpret otherwise: it’s nothing but irrelevant Demollican-versus-Repucrat bitching over style.

    Not in Phil Weiss’ words either! We know his otherwise commitment to some de-Zionization of Palestine but is he, here, similarly talking more about style (DemoVsPublican) than substance? He’s “been waiting for Gaza/Netanyahu to shake loose liberal Zionists” who will adopt “American values”. Those American values of Phil’s sound more like Democrat-vs-Republican style issues, too. If there were anything worth writing home in “American values”, America wouldn’t be the executioner of the rest of the world she is; it wouldn’t be the principal in the US-Zionist partnership for invasion and genocide.

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