Trending Topics:

The loving rituals of liberal Zionism (and the Birthright breakup)

Middle East
on 30 Comments

In 1986, at age 16, standing near Ben Yehuda’s pedestrian mall, I swayed to Naomi Shemer’s famous 1967 song, “Jerusalem of Gold” (Yerushalayim Shel Zahav) with other young Zionists in Jerusalem on an eight-week high school program. The song was being played on a boombox, and I sang along with other American Jews who had, like me, fallen in love with the city. Rather than hold a lighter up to the music, we held each other’s waists–a little extra squeeze for those we had crushes on–in love with Jerusalem and seemingly with each other, too, as our hips moved to the music, our feet firmly planted on the limestone street.

Shemer’s famous ballad, commissioned by the mayor of Jerusalem at the time, Teddy Kollek, was first sung at an Israeli Song Festival the night after Israel’s independence day on May 15, 1967, just three weeks before Israel’s Six-Day War. After the war, Shemer added a final verse, and the song became a nationalistic war-cry of the Israel Defense Forces–a celebration of Jerusalem’s reunification–when Israel took the Old City and East Jerusalem. “The shofar calls on the Temple Mount in the Old City,” the last verse reads.

The shofar also calls on Jews this week and next, on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, to hear the blast of the ram’s horn, stirring us to repentance and reflection.

But Israel has not repented or reflected on its actions. 2018 has seen even more iterations of Israel’s nationalistic war-cry: the Trump administration’s recent decision to cut more than 200 million dollars in aid for Palestinian refugees, the new nation-state law passed by the Knesset in July that declares Israel the home of the Jewish people, and the U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem in May, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of Israeli statehood.

Of course, the entire notion of Israel has been a nationalistic war-cry–its ongoing occupation, colonization, and ethnic cleansing of Palestine. As the scholar Ilan Pappe has stated many times, Israel’s goal since the 1882 First Zionist Congress was, and still is, “to have as much of Palestine as possible with as few Palestinians as possible.”

But Zionist teenagers don’t think about this, not when they’re singing songs written for them, standing on polished limestone built for them, participating in summer programs planned for them, and when they’re developing a kind of imposed nostalgia all cleverly devised and formulated by adults who hold the same love in their hearts for the tiny country they’ve been told–and continue to believe–is theirs.

No one questioned Israel’s policies towards Palestinians when I was on the eight-week summer program in 1986. If the word Palestine ever came up, it was only in reference to pre-1948 Palestine. In our young minds, there simply was no such thing as Palestine or Palestinians. There were Arabs, but our minds didn’t think about where they lived or why they were there. We talked about Israel as a miracle that had defied the odds against it. Mostly, we talked about love. In a postcard I sent to my parents in Chicago that summer in 1986, I wrote about Jerusalem’s beauty.

“Postcards just don’t do this city justice,” I wrote. “The golden hue everywhere makes me feel that I’ve come home.”

This past summer, several young Birthright participants did reflect and question Israel’s policies towards Palestinians. They left the free trip for Jews 26-and-under because they disagreed with Birthright’s Zionist propaganda. The first group walked off and joined former Israeli soldiers from Breaking the Silence. A couple weeks later, another group walked away. That these young Jews called attention to the propaganda and subsequent defensiveness of the Birthright organization shows a growing fissure in liberal Zionism, a breach in the mythology that has, at times, seemed impenetrable within the Jewish community. It was for me, when I was 16.

One could argue that not much was at stake for the Birthright participants who left. By walking off the tour, they risked having to buy their plane tickets home, but they created a GoFundMe page that covered the costs.  Some said they would be sued by Birthright for leaving the trip, but Birthright denies this.  They also had the inherent privilege, as Jews, to take the trip in the first place and tour the country. But their speaking out also rattled Birthright and the Jewish community, and it’s made the hypocrisy of liberal Zionism more visible. It’s also made me question why the young Birthright participants protested on their summer trip and why I and others, at age 16, remained silent.

On the same summer trip in 1986, several of us sang Shemer’s song spontaneously on top of Masada after hiking up the mountain at sunrise, as so many other Zionist Jews had done before us. We felt like we were the first, naturally, as we chanted the lyrics, “If I forget thee / golden city / Jerusalem of gold…” while the sun threw gold and pink and orange streaks across the sky. A few of us ran off as others carried the tune, and we made out, pressed up against the stone ruins of the mass suicide we had learned about. In between our kisses, leaning on the ancient rock, we whispered, “If I forget thee…,” unclear at the time if these words were meant for each other, or for our beloved golden Jerusalem. I can’t remember the name of the guy I made out with on that summer trip on top of Masada, but I still have etched into my memory every nook and crevice of Jerusalem that I stepped on and played in when I was 16.

This was always Israel’s plan, of course, to get young Zionists like me to fall in love unconditionally with the tiny country. And Israel and its lobby efforts succeeded; we fell in line like good soldiers. We were invested in what we believed was a radicalism of liberal Zionism. We were to donate money, plant trees, buy homes, visit often, shop in the shuk for gifts like earrings and scarves that Arabs made (we were liberals, after all, and had a sense of the “local” people). We would give hand jobs in Bedouin tents when we were teens on Zionist summer programs, perhaps lose our virginity in the holy land, and later, marry a Jew, have kids, and hope for the same things for our Jewish children.

Loving Israel came easy to me. It was effortless, uncomplicated, unconditional, different from loving any other country in the world. My non-Jewish friends who professed their love for America, for example, loved it in a way that was different from the way that I loved Israel. They couldn’t understand my feelings. “You just don’t get it,” I’d tell them, “Israel is the only country in the world you ascend to,” referring to the Hebrew word, aliyah, which means “to go up.” In response, they asked why I talked about Israel like it was my lover. I scoffed at them, though they were right. Another postcard I sent to my parents in 1986 did sound as though Jerusalem and I were in love. “Jerusalem and I are getting along just fine!” I wrote. It was so much more than simply loving one’s country, and you could only understand if you, too, were Zionist and Jewish.

One time in high school, when I was eating a bag of tortilla chips with some non-Jewish friends, I swore I saw the outline of Israel in the broken chips. Pointed on the top with a small slope scooped out on the upper left (Haifa to Tel-Aviv), then swelled a bit (Jerusalem) in the middle, and coming to a longer point on the bottom (Eilat); I didn’t dare tell them. I kept it to myself and ate the chips, imagining the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan River on either side of the little chip as I chewed and swallowed. I couldn’t get Israel inside my body fast enough. I was no different, really, from young, devout Catholics we Jews made fun of, chewing and swallowing a communion wafer in church, ingesting the body and blood of Christ. In high school math class, I doodled little outlines of the Israeli state in my notebook. Bored but also trying to pay attention, I’d write the algebra equation we were instructed to copy down, and then draw the country around it.

My connection to Israel provided me with a direct line to the beginning of the world, unlike Russia and Romania, where my great-grandparents were from. We had no family in Israel (except, perhaps, an aunt who escaped the Holocaust, my mother once told me, but this was never confirmed). That I was from these European countries didn’t mean anything to me. Our link was under a hundred years old; Israel and I had been bonded for thousands. And we fused our emotional and national love into one of person and place, of body and nation. That I loved Israel so fiercely was an entire way of being, the heart of how I functioned in the world. It was the center of everything for me, like the sun to the solar system.

Birthright bolters. Five women facing camera left their Birthright trip. Posted by Breaking the Silence.

Of course, like other upper middle-class liberal Zionists, I did do other things than just pine for Israel. We took pride in our ability to selectively assimilate. Many of us who grew up in the north shore suburbs of Chicago and attended large public schools had many gentile friends. We went to giant keg parties in huge homes on Lake Michigan when parents were out of town–not unlike the party house portrayed in the film Sixteen Candles. We played sports and took pottery classes and had part-time jobs–mine was at Kosher City, the local butcher in Skokie–and volunteered at homeless shelters and went to art museums on the weekends and traveled to other countries with our families.

But when we liberal Zionists hung out together, when it was just us, we felt as though we were home, for it was with each other we could talk about how much we loved Israel without judgment from gentiles who didn’t get it. We Zionists simply had so many shared experiences about Israel. When we weren’t physically in the country, we reminisced and told stories, like the one about Abu Yusef, the Arab–we didn’t call him a Palestinian, though he was, and had lived in Palestine longer than any of us could have ever imagined–who made cheese toasts in pita bread at the campus of the high school program we attended. “Yes, yes, coming,” he’d say, sweating, as we’d patronize him by tipping him an extra shekel while he rushed to satisfy us, the melted cheese dripping down our chins as we ate. Or Elan, the hot soldier many of us wanted to make out with who only made out with Jackie, who annoyed us anyway, because she was so pretty. Or Shlomo, the bald tour guide who protected us on the bus with his M16, and the funny way he’d get mad trying to get us to shut up, his M16 rattling against his thigh, as he told us Israel’s one-sided history from the comfort of air-conditioning.

Now, decades later, when I think about Shlomo, I also think about one of the leaders on the Birthright trip this past summer who called himself a teacher. “Just go. Go to Palestine,” he told the women who left the trip.“Because guess what’s going to happen. You will get killed. You will get raped.” The vitriol with which the Birthright “teacher” spoke of Palestinians was absent on my trip in 1986. Perhaps Shlomo would have talked the same way, had he been challenged by one of us. But none of us would dispute anything we learned on that trip. We were all in an infatuated fugue state, seeing the land through the same Zionist rose-colored glasses.

Our stories–these shared experiences–became a series of rituals that were conceived in these small universes of liberal Zionist utopianism, a kind of bonding that took place on tour buses, campuses, pedestrian malls–all on top of Israeli land we knew was ours. We liked ourselves better when we experienced these things together. We were living our lives for ourselves, sure, but also for each other, and ultimately, for something so much larger than us. And this symbiotic love made us feel both selfless and self-aware, deepening with each return.

We were taught at an early age to think critically, to question the status quo, interrogate ideas and challenge each other, but we were, at the same time, trained to block out any hint of possible dissent. We knew–intuitively, perhaps, without language–never to question Israel’s motives. And my parents, the very people who taught me to think critically, would never forgive me when I applied these questioning skills to Israel. When I did, it was as though I turned on them like a zombie eating their flesh–the very flesh that had created me.

The young Birthright participants who left their trip walked away despite being with a group of Jews who were building their own shared experiences, solidifying their bond with each other and their mutual love for Israel. These Birthright participants have begun to question Israel’s policies at a much younger age than I did. They have preceded me by decades and will have the chance to dismantle Zionism longer.

This growing crack within liberal Zionism is a sign that the mythology is falling apart, the shared stories are unraveling, the inherent hypocrisy is becoming more glaring. Liberal Zionism always sits on top of the occupation, on top of all of Palestine, with or without the blasts of the ram’s horn demanding us to pay attention. We just don’t want to see it.

Liz
About Liz Rose

Liz Rose is a Chicago teacher.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

30 Responses

  1. bcg
    bcg
    September 13, 2018, 2:51 pm

    Since we’re talking about the “growing crack within liberal Zionism” I think this piece that just showed up in Haaretz is relevant:

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-the-state-of-israel-vs-the-jewish-people-1.6470108

    Israel has aligned itself with one nationalist, even anti-Semitic, regime after another. Where does that leave world Jewry?…If Israel still had a moral standing on one topic (sadly probably the only remaining one), it is with regard to the Shoah, but Netanyahu undermined it by making the history and memory of the Holocaust a politically negotiable and tradable commodity. And if that’s not enough, earlier this month, Israel hosted Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte, a man who has proudly compared himself to Hitler.

  2. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    September 13, 2018, 6:16 pm

    RE: “As the scholar Ilan Pappe has stated many times, Israel’s goal since the 1882 First Zionist Congress was, and still is, ‘to have as much of Palestine as possible with as few Palestinians as possible’. But Zionist teenagers don’t think about this, not when they’re singing songs written for them, standing on polished limestone built for them, participating in summer programs planned for them, and when they’re developing a kind of imposed nostalgia . . . ~ Liz Rose

    MY COMMENT: That sort of “imposed nostalgia” is somewhat reminiscent of the neo-Confederates in the southern part of the U.S.

  3. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    September 13, 2018, 7:41 pm

    First Zionist Congress- 1897 not 1882.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      September 14, 2018, 10:58 am

      @wondering jew

      “1897.” Correct

      I remind you that the Zionist plan to take over Palestine and expel the native Palestinian Arab population in order to create an exclusionary expansionist “Jewish state” was put in place during the first Zionist Congress in Basel Switzerland, 20 years before the illegal** Balfour Declaration was issued, about 40 years before the Jewish Holocaust began and 41 years before WWII broke out.

      To quote Theodor Herzl’s diary entry for September 3, 1898: “Were I to sum up the Basel Congress in a word which I shall guard against pronouncing publicly it would be this: at Basel I founded the Jewish state….If I said this out loud today, I would be answered by universal laughter. Perhaps in five years and certainly in fifty, everyone will know it.”

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

      **In violation of the well established legal maxim, “nemo dat quod non habet,” nobody can give what he does not possess, i.e., in 1917, Palestine was a province of the Ottoman Empire.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        September 15, 2018, 8:12 am

        I remind you that the Zionist plan to take over Palestine and expel the native Palestinian Arab population in order to create an exclusionary expansionist “Jewish state” was put in place during the first Zionist Congress in Basel Switzerland, 20 years before the illegal** Balfour Declaration was issued, about 40 years before the Jewish Holocaust began…

        And I remind you that the first Zionist Congress was held in Basel Switzerland because it was originally intended to be held in Germany and the German Jewish community wanted nothing to do with the Zionist Congress.

        A letter in the Financial Times Feb. 22nd raised some interesting issues regarding Shavit’s book, as to what Herzl was planning for the existing population of Palestine, in 1895.

        The Charter of Herzl’s Jewish-Ottoman Land Company (JOLC) contained an article which reserved the right of the Zionists to involuntarily transfer or deport the non-Jewish population of Palestine to other parts of the Ottoman Empire.
        http://www.jstor.org/stable/2537267

        He also proposed creating other colonies throughout Africa

        “Let us accept the chance offered us to become a miniature England. Let us start by acquiring our colonies! From them, we shall launch the conquest of our Homeland. Let the lands between Kilimanjaro and Kenya become those of the first colony of Israel! ”

  4. echinococcus
    echinococcus
    September 14, 2018, 7:41 am

    I guess he best that can be said for this is “better late than never”.
    Now, when are going to wake up to the plain fact that going anywhere in Palestine to “visit” the Zionist entity invaders is criminal trespass and participation in a war crime?

  5. Nathan
    Nathan
    September 14, 2018, 9:29 am

    “This was always Israel’s plan, of course, to get young Zionists like me to fall in love unconditionally with the tiny country”. It’s always enlightening to hear yet a new angle of the anti-Israel narrative. This time, we learn that even falling in love with Israel is some sort of plot. Israel apparently uses “love potion number nine”, and then otherwise absolutely normal kids suddenly find themselves out of control.

    Since our author defines the occupation as being “on top of all Palestine”, we catch the hint that there is no legitimate territory of Israel in her view. She might have stated in clear terms that she doesn’t think that there should be Israel at all. It would have (1) been a noble act of journalistic honesty, and (2) it wouldn’t have been necessary to write about “questioning Israel’s policies”. If you argue that Israel shouldn’t be at all, then it really doesn’t matter what her policies might be. Anti-Israel people are not critics of Israel (i.e. they are not asking her to improve her ways). Telling someone “to take a long walk off a short pier” is not quite the same as a political disagreement.

    • Maghlawatan
      Maghlawatan
      September 14, 2018, 10:21 am

      « Anti-Israel people are not critics of Israel (i.e. they are not asking her to improve her ways). « 

      Basic justice, Nathan. Stop brainwashing kids. Drop the white phosphorus. Follow the laws of war.
      If Tunisia can do it so can Israel.
      I don’t know if the people here are as much anti Israel as rubberneckers of the clusterfuck.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 14, 2018, 1:35 pm

        “Mag”, are you actually asking Zionism, Israel to take responsibility for its own actions or its own ideology? That’s not going to happen.

    • bcg
      bcg
      September 14, 2018, 10:35 am

      @Nathan: Israel is a human rights swamp, as plenty of Israelis will tell you -last year Ehud Barak said that Israel has been “infected by the seeds of fascism” ( https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/ehud-barak-israel-infected-by-seeds-of-fascism-1.5385754 ) – but instead of dealing with those issues you’d rather do the ad-hominem thing.

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      September 14, 2018, 11:36 am

      @nathan

      You just cornered the world market in strawmen.

      What a pile of crap.

    • pjdude
      pjdude
      September 17, 2018, 11:51 pm

      @nathan

      legally speaking there isn’t any piece of israel that was legally gained. all of it was gained through force and coercion. international law prohibits territory gains via force and coercion. this is a simple fact. that you support the jewish terrorist endevor doesn’t somehow make it legal or moral its niether. in a perfect world israel wouldn’t exist. the only rational solution that will work long term is one palestinian state for anyone who wants to live in peace in palestine.

      • Nathan
        Nathan
        September 18, 2018, 3:57 pm

        pjdude – Well, maybe one day the legality of Israel will be taken to court, and then we shall see the judgment of “international law”. Don’t hold your breath. In the meanwhile, your claim that “there isn’t any piece of Israel that was legally gained” is really a matter of debate. In the above theoretical court, there will be claims by the two sides – and no one knows what the outcome might be.

        Since you take an interest in international law, I would suggest that you re-read UNSC 242 which acknowledges “the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force”. It’s self-evident that one of the states “in the area” in 1967 was Israel. I don’t think that the issue will ever come to court, and surely no one can know what might be the outcome of a trial – but don’t be surprised to learn that the world community recognizes as self-evident the right of Israel to political independence. I would imagine that such political independence probably includes some piece of territory. Wouldn’t you?

        In reality, the conflict is political, and any agreement between the two sides will be regarded to be legal. In the absence of a final agreement, the present status quo as established by the Interim Agreement of 1995 is legal (it was signed by the two sides and witnessed by the international community).

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        September 18, 2018, 4:30 pm

        Nathan: “In the meanwhile, your claim that “there isn’t any piece of Israel that was legally gained” is really a matter of debate.”

        Nathan, you are regressing! I proved to you that Palestine was a state under mandate in 1948 after you claimed that its statehood was just a baseless premise to claim that “no one had a right to found another state therein (an illegitimate blow to the territorial integrity of an “existing” state)”. But based on the fact that it had allready been a state you can only come to the honest conclusion that Jews had no right to found Israel and that it had been an illegitimate blow to the territorial integrity of an existing state.

      • Nathan
        Nathan
        September 18, 2018, 5:51 pm

        Talkback – We might conclude through an intellectual exercise that “the Jews had no right to found Israel”, etc. etc. What difference does it make? The Jews succeeded in founding their state, and that’s that. I imagine that you might be able to live with this historic reality. There was an attempt to prevent the rise of Israel by force, but it didn’t work.

        The attack on Israel’s legitimacy here in the comments’ section has many angles. There are those who claim that the Jews aren’t a people entitled to self-determination. There is a claim that King David wasn’t an historic figure. Others might claim that the Balfour Declaration wasn’t legal, and of course we hear all the time that the Jews are an “invasion from Europe”. You try to prove that Palestine was an existing state before 1947, therefore supposedly no one had a right to found a state therein.

        It’s a wonderful hobby debating about these grievances (particularly on the rare occasion when your rival is polite and friendly). But let’s not lose contact with reality. A state is not going to be debated away. A state is founded, and if it succeeds in maintaining its existence, then that state exists, period. There is no need of your approval or your recognition. Moreover, that state will defend its existence. This is the way of the world.

        By the way, the definition of statehood was established at the Montevideo Conference some 80 or 90 years ago. Putting it into my words, a state exists when there is a government that has effective control of territory with a permanent population. So, even if you “prove” that a particular state should not have been born, it really is unimportant (even if we like to debate). A state exists or it doesn’t exist, and it is not an issue if it should have come into existence. Likewise, you can also claim that Mr So-and-so should never have been born, that he is “illegitimate” – but he was born nonetheless, even if you argue that he shouldn’t have been born. And, surely, when he reaches the age of 70, you can give it a break.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        September 19, 2018, 3:13 am

        Nathan, the questions about archaeology, the relation of modern Jews to the ancient Jews, and the moral legitimacy of the founding of Israel are actually relevant to the current situation.

        This is because many modern Zionists appeal to claims about these issues to assert that they, alone, have any right to be in Palestine, and that they have no moral obligations to the Palestinians.

      • eljay
        eljay
        September 19, 2018, 8:50 am

        || Nathan: … A state exists or it doesn’t exist, and it is not an issue if it should have come into existence. Likewise, you can also claim that Mr So-and-so should never have been born, that he is “illegitimate” – but he was born nonetheless, even if you argue that he shouldn’t have been born. And, surely, when he reaches the age of 70, you can give it a break. ||

        I agree that Nazis and other (war) criminals exist even if others argue that they shouldn’t have been born. But I’m quite surprised to see you advocating giving a break to Nazis and other (war) criminals once they reach the age of 70.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        September 19, 2018, 9:11 am

        Nathan: “We might conclude through an intellectual exercise that “the Jews had no right to found Israel”, etc. etc. ”

        No Nathan, it’s not through an “intellectual exercise”. You claimed that “no one had a right to found another state therein (an illegitimate blow to the territorial integrity of an “existing” state)”.

        Territorial integrity is a principle enshrined in the UN charter. There are only a few exceptions in which one can make a case for secession. It would be more justfied if the Nonjews of Israel would found a state within Israel after they were officially denationalized and are only fake citizens.

        Nathan: “The Jews succeeded in founding their state, and that’s that.”

        You don’t have to tell me that you support fist law based on war and expulsion.

        Nathan: “There are those who claim that the Jews aren’t a people entitled to self-determination.”

        I’m still waiting from you to formulate a universal principle that would not only allow Jews to create a state in hist. Palestine. But you and your fellow men always need to create a unique case for Jews and call it antisemitism if somebody doesn’t give into Jewish exceptionalism.

        Nathan: “Others might claim that the Balfour Declaration wasn’t legal …”

        Of course it wasn’t legal. How can a state promise a group of people parts of the territory of a third state?

        Nathan: “You try to prove that Palestine was an existing state before 1947, …”

        I’m not trying to prove anything. The official legal sources speak for themselves. Likewise I would never argue that you are trying to prove that Israel is a state. Don’t be dishonest.

        Nathan: ” A state is founded, and if it succeeds in maintaining its existence, then that state exists, period.”

        The ultimate Apartheid argument. You must be so proud of yourself. Please apply the same reasoning to the Third Reich if you can’t resist.

        Nathan: “By the way, …”

        Sure. It’s not an “intellectual exercise” if you practice it, right?

        Nathan: “… the definition of statehood was established at the Montevideo Conference some 80 or 90 years ago.”

        This definition is not the only known theory of statehood.

        Nathan: “Putting it into my words, a state exists when there is a government that has effective control of territory with a permanent population.”

        Yeah, “government that has effective control” are your own words, because states under occupation can’t exercise effective control. And regading the territory you ommited the word “defined”. Did you twist the wording on purpose?

        So what is Israel’s “defined territory”? I can tell you the defined territory of the state of Palestine, whether pre 48 or post 88.

        Nathan: “A state exists or it doesn’t exist, and it is not an issue if it should have come into existence. ”

        So according to you it was never an issue how the Third Reich or Apartheid South Africa came into existence. That tell’s me a lot.

        Nathan: “Likewise, you can also claim that Mr So-and-so should never have been born, that he is “illegitimate” – but he was born nonetheless, even if you argue that he shouldn’t have been born. ”

        ROFL. One cannot reverse the fact that someone was born. But regarding the legitimacy of illegitimacy of states just have a look at the faith of the Third Reich, South Africa under Apartheid or Rhodesia. And Israel wasn’t born. The founding and maintainance of Israel is simply the nationalized and institutionalized raping of the infant state of Palestine under mandate and its people.

      • pjdude
        pjdude
        September 19, 2018, 12:03 pm

        @nathan you really shouldn’t be relying on the Montevideo Convention. Its one of the most damning pieces of evidence against israel’s legitimacy. its the part of international law that makes territorial conquest illegal. Also given the Us is a signatory the American reconzizition of Israel is unconstitutional. the fact of the matter remains you and yours don’t care about the law and legality. its all about what you want and what you can steal through force. by the way If you understood my point I wasn’t saying Israeli’s should just be kicked out. I was just refution your insane belief that israels formation was in anyway shape legal or just. removing a population that big and that devoted to terrorist tactics would be a nightmare and cause more problems than its worth.

      • Nathan
        Nathan
        September 19, 2018, 7:38 pm

        pjdude – I read your comment that the Montevedeo Conference is “one of the most damning pieces of evidence against Israel’s legitimacy”, and I have to say that I don’t even understand what you are talking about. Obviously, in the anti-Israel alternative reality, there is a debate about Israel’s legitimacy; however, in the real planet on which we live, there is no issue of Israel’s legitimacy. The state exists, and that’s that. There’s no need for your approval.

      • pjdude
        pjdude
        September 19, 2018, 8:35 pm

        @nathan. did you even read my post i explainedit in the past post.. And quit making strawman arguments. no one is claiming israel doesn’t exist. you constantly harping on that just makes you look unintelligent. surely you can make a better argument. actually in the real world we live in Israel’s legitimacy is rather at the crux of the debate. people like you want to pretend it doesn’t matter because you know you can’t win an honest argument. while it has to be accepted after the after the fact in a defacto sense. its de jure legitmacy is important because it responsibilities and rights. the fact that zionists in the US and UK have used threats and smear campaigns to prevent a debate from even happening matters. just because you benefits from a crime nathan doesn’t mean it was ok.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        September 20, 2018, 8:16 am

        Nathan: “pjdude – I read your comment that the Montevedeo Conference is “one of the most damning pieces of evidence against Israel’s legitimacy”, and I have to say that I don’t even understand what you are talking about.”

        Still waiting form you to answer the question what Israel’s “defined territory” is.

        Nathan: “Obviously, in the anti-Israel alternative reality, there is a debate about Israel’s legitimacy;”

        No, it happens in this reality. You must be living in a parallel world. And this one is not anti-Israel in particular, but anti-colonlial in general and pro international and human rights law.

        The dirty game you are playing is obvious. First you try to legitimize the de jure existence of Israel. And after you fail you just point out to its bare de facto existence whis is a based on your inherent support of fist law and the violation of fundamental rights of Nonjews. Maybe in your reality unjust regimes should and do exist forever. But you would be only indirectly whitewashing the Third Reich. Your game is so dirty that you can’t even talk about the fundmantal rights of Nonjews under international and human rights law, but you call them “grievances”. Shame on you!

  6. festus
    festus
    September 14, 2018, 2:37 pm

    Of course there should not be an Israel as The Jewish State.

    My God, have you slept through the last seventy plus years?

  7. annie
    annie
    September 16, 2018, 1:35 pm

    infatuated fugue

    a perfect descriptor for that adolescent love/lust. i too was afflicted with it — only israel wasn’t the target. it’s the perfect time to infuse (brainwash) the young because it’s a common phase people go through between child and adulthood — especially girls.

    to think, as nathan suggests, this was not taken into consideration and utilized in the design of this program, is ridiculous.

  8. Don
    Don
    September 17, 2018, 12:37 am

    Manufacturing History…
    Phil has often compared Israel culturally with the Jim Crow South. The analogy does seem very compelling.

    On You tube look up….
    How Southern socialites rewrote Civil War history

  9. JWalters
    JWalters
    September 17, 2018, 7:54 pm

    Liz Rose, thank you for documenting your experience.

    “Our stories–these shared experiences–became a series of rituals that were conceived in these small universes of liberal Zionist utopianism”

    A perfect picnic rarely just happens. Usually it’s carefully planned.

  10. niass2
    niass2
    September 20, 2018, 3:47 pm

    Was I the only one that rejected it from the beginning? Did all of you really love Judaism when you were young?If so why? As soon as I was forced to deal with this I hid in the bathroom. At Brandeis. In 1977. Every Sunday. I could tell at age six that it was some strange occurrence in the desert and that it was a bunch of brainwashed Freshmen talking nonsense. Something…about something….with weird music and pictures of sand and tales of a garden in the sand…….I did become a fanatic of a certain rock band instead. And lucky my parents never sent me to one of those brainwashing camps that young Jewish people seem to meet their future spouses at. But Judaism never appealed to me ever,it was always imposed as a kind of strange thing with a lot of verbiage and a lot of boring stuff. . It didn’t help that my parents fumbled their way through the holidays with their stupid Maxwell House Bible and it was obvious they had no idea why they were even trying to do. We should have worshiped the wall. It was meaningless and we never ever liked it at all.Now we see its all about hurting people. At least I didn’t waste my time. I had fun on tour instead. That was close, I almost got brainwashed and had to live a life of confusion. Thank u god for sparing me that useless religion. Or any religion for that matter. And thank my parents for never sending me to one of those Jewish Brainwashing Geek Camps. I would have run away anyways. That’s some scary stuff and its good to see that nowadays some young people are awake and can simply reject apartheid and all the associated nonsense that comes a long with this colonial project.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      September 20, 2018, 7:03 pm

      “Was I the only one that rejected it from the beginning?”

      Well, I had a pretty conventional Reform Jewish upbringing, (b. ’53)after-school and weekend classes in Hebrew and mishegos, services , Bar Mitzvah.
      But Zionism had no appeal for me, rather the opposite. And we couldn’t really afford it, anyway.

  11. Citizen
    Citizen
    September 21, 2018, 8:35 am

    Yes, I remember those days in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Many Jewish girls were fond of that coffee table book, The Family Of Man, were not at all beyond having a fling with a non-Jewish boy, but they only loved Israel and their parents and so, would only marry a Jew.

Leave a Reply