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Orthodox-only Israeli views of Pittsburgh massacre show the danger of mixing church and state

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The October 27 massacre of 11 Jewish worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue is accentuating serious rifts within the global Jewish community, and in the underpinnings of Zionism. The dilemma for Orthodox Jewish leaders in Israel has been, How to acknowledge that the murdered were Jewish, without giving any points to the Conservative movement of which they were part –that is, without conceding that their synagogue is in fact a synagogue. For the Orthodox hold a complete monopoly on the Israeli church-state unity, embodying the “Jewish state” notion in a fundamentalist and inherently illiberal way and refuse to recognize more liberal denominations, to which most American Jews belong, since that might erode their state-power hegemony in Israel.

And so more liberal Jews, who have been calling for Jewish unity and solidarity in response to the most grievous anti-Semitic attack in American history, have gotten a rude awakening. And liberal Zionists are being forced to come to terms with the fact that their Zionism is the means by which that orthodox fundamentalist sectarianism actually works; and their power to oppose such fundamentalism as Zionists is limited.


A joint editors’ letter

Jane Eisner, editor of the Forward

In the wake of the Pittsburgh massacre, two main Jewish editors wrote a joint letter with the message that “we are all Jews”. The main authors were Jane Eisner, Editor-in-Chief of the Forward, and Dovid Efune, Editor-in-Chief and CEO of The Algemeiner, and it was signed by a dozen “leaders in American journalism”.

I will regard this letter in a relatively positive light within the greater context, although it contains cynical exploitations of ‘anti-Semitism’ right from the start. The letter opens by reminding us that “[e]arlier this year, our colleagues at the three leading Jewish newspapers in the U.K. published the same front-page headline and joint editorial voicing concern over rising anti-Semitism in Britain’s Labor party”. That joint editorial went under the title “united we stand”, and was another cynical manipulation by the anti-Corbyn movement, warning of a supposed “existential threat to Jewish life in this country that would be posed by a Jeremy Corbyn-led government”. That Eisner, Efune et al would use this as their model for an editorial concerning real, rather than concocted, anti-Semitism, is a very sad matter.

Nonetheless, I have other fish to fry here, because my story is how the authors were perceived as too liberal by Orthodox Jewish commentators, because they were calling for “solidarity and respect”, rather than Jewish sectarianism. “[A]s journalists,” the editors said, “we hold a variety of opinions about politics in this country and in Israel; the American Jewish community is diverse, and those differences are reflected on the pages of its media”.

In coming together now, we are not erasing those differences, but rising above them, to issue a call for solidarity and respect, and asking our political and communal leaders to do the same. The gunman who invaded a sanctuary on Shabbat did not distinguish among his victims. To him, they were all Jews.
We are all Jews. Let this horrific massacre be a moment of redemption as well as grieving. Let us argue with each other as Hillel argued with Shammai — with civility. Let us acknowledge our common humanity with other Americans who have been subject to unconscionable violence, too.
Jewish media has a long and proud history in America, and we pledge to continue our mission to inform, reflect and bind our communities, even more necessary in this painful time.

The authors were responding (albeit indirectly) to a feud that was taking place in the Jewish community, because of statements by Orthodox Jewish leaders such as Israeli Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi David Lau. Lau refused to recognize that the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh was a synagogue, conceding merely that it was a place containing “profound Jewish flavor”.

Because Lau is Orthodox, a stream that has an overwhelming monopoly on politics in Israel, he would not grant legitimacy to another stream of Judaism – Conservative – that the Pittsburgh synagogue belonged to.

This obviously caused outrage in the American Jewish community, where about two-thirds of religious American Jews are affiliated with either the Reform or Conservative movements, both more liberal than the Orthodox (Reform being most liberal). The Reform movement in the US is slightly larger than the Conservative.


The call for unity is rebuffed by Orthodox Jewish publisher

The editors letter calling for Jewish unity, solidarity and respect, was met with contempt by certain leading Orthodox pundits, such as Jewish Press publisher (and illegal settler) Dovid Schwartz, who wrote an article titled, “How the Left Snookered Jewish Newspapers into Attacking Trump and Legitimizing Non-Orthodoxy”. If this piece were not relating to a very sad and serious event, it would be downright hilarious. But it deserves a special focus, as it shows how serious a risk this “legitimizing of non-Orthodoxy” is perceived to be.

Schwartz points out a supposedly insidious dog-whistle applied by the authors, which no-one out there but Schwartz was sharp enough to notice:

Then came the dog whistle segment: “We also condemn the climate of hate that has been building for some time now […] from irresponsible political leaders who engage in hateful speech and who are abetted by the silence of others.”

Why did no one notice this? Wait for it… because it was a Tuesday!

I believe it’s absolutely OK for Jewish American newspapers to condemn the president’s behavior. But to lure unsuspecting Jewish editors on the busiest day of their production cycle—Tuesday, on a week when they know their readers are hungry for touching and comforting coverage of the Pittsburgh murders – that’s just vile.

I mean, logical, right? Why not wait for Wednesday?

Dovid Efune, editor of Algemeiner

But it gets worse.

At which point Eisner and Efune pulled out their second dog whistle:

“The gunman who invaded a sanctuary on Shabbat did not distinguish among his victims. To him, they were all Jews.”

Shenanigans! The ‘universalist’ Jewish Eisner, Efune et al were using this massacre to attack Jewish sectarianism!

Aye, Eisner and Efune were using ancient Jewish codes to legitimize the illegitimate and suggest a sense of Jewish unity and empathy. Schwartz further elucidates:

The dog whistle is in the Hillel and Shamai comparison.

The Pharisees, forefathers of Rabbinic Judaism, invented a wise method of resolving the severe disputes between those two academies of halachic rulings, stating: “These, and these, too, are the words of a living God.” Both schools strongly argued with one another “leshem shamayim,” for the sake of heaven. Which is why both schools’ rulings were adopted into our Rabbinic law.

How dare the two ‘leftists’ invoke such a comparison? For heaven’s sake! Don’t they know how cheap a trick this is, to enter the deepest recesses of the Jewish soul from the backdoor? And on a Tuesday of all days?

That, Schwartz points out, was really the point of it all – to legitimize other-than-orthodox streams of Judaism – the Reform movement, “which rejects halacha altogether”, and the Conservative movement, “which has taken its latest version of halacha in a direction no self-aware Orthodox person would follow”.

Schwartz suggests that the authors simply “used the blood of a pogrom” to gain “religious equivalency”:

Using the Jewish blood from a recent pogrom to gain religious equivalency, even legitimacy, from an Orthodox newspaper like The Jewish Press was immoral and reprehensible. Both Eisner and Efune should be ashamed of themselves.

That’s not a dog-whistle. That’s just fact, as it were – revealed by Schwartz, protector of the true faith.

The moral of the story – Jewish editors, don’t be so gullible:

Finally, the obvious moral of the story: Orthodox Jewish editors, next time you get an email from the Forward – read it a couple of times before you send it to the printer.

Better yet, one would suppose, Orthodox editors should send it through Dovid Schwartz, he will sniff out the dog-whistles in no-time. Especially on a Tuesday, for heaven’s sake…

Thus, Schwartz “reveals” the nefarious plot of the Jewish “left”, in supposedly duping other Jewish publications (even the Jewish Press itself) to supposedly exploit the Pittsburgh massacre for an illegitimate purpose: criticizing Trump and legitimizing non-Orthodox streams of Judaism.

This is indeed the level at which this discussion exists, as Jewish Orthodox leaders and pundits desperately try to avoid having the Pittsburgh massacre serve as any sort of win for other streams of Judaism.


“Climate of hate” and white-nationalism

Eisner, Efune et al were right to mention the “climate of hate”, even if it was in general and in passing, because the Pittsburgh massacre was directly connected to anti-immigrant white-nationalism – a connection that Jewish leaders seem very wary of mentioning. The white-nationalist shooter was very clear in his awareness of the Tree of Life synagogue being affiliated with the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and of the fact that its aid was to non-Jewish immigrants. Thus, the claims that the attack was solely anti-Semitic are misleading. It was also anti-Semitic, but it was predominantly white-nationalist. In their desperation to change the subject, Israeli leaders such as Education and Diaspora Minister Naftali Bennett (also Orthodox) may try to equate the ideology of the shooter with Palestinian solidarity, but the reality is that it had nothing to do with that.


Chief Israeli rabbi won’t acknowledge the synagogue, Netanyahu tries to do damage-control

Back to the denial by Rabbi Lau, about the synagogue not really being a synagogue but rather a place with a “profound Jewish flavor.” Prime Minister Netanyahu tried to do damage-control for Lau’s denial by saying:

“Jews were killed in a synagogue. They were killed because they are Jews. The location was chosen because it is a synagogue. We must never forget that. We are one”.

But the feud was only one earthquake within a series of seismic shifts that have been occurring in recent years between Israel and American Jews. Last year, bowing to Ultra-orthodox political pressure, Netanyahu backed down from an already government-approved plan to establish an egalitarian (men and women) area of worship for non-Orthodox Jews at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The Orthodox tradition is based on gender separation, and the more liberal streams were calling for gender integration.

Minister of health Yaakov Litzman, leader of the United Torah Judaism party, minced no words in describing how Netanyahu’s reversal was instrumental in alienating the more liberal streams, particularly Reform: “The government’s decision to freeze the Western Wall arrangement sends a clear message to the entire world: The Reform do not and will not have access or recognition at the Western Wall.”

To be sure, the discussion of What Rabbi Lau said and didn’t say is ongoing. This Tuesday, the Connecticut Jewish Ledger published an apologetic piece on Lau, suggesting that he was misinterpreted, and that he did say “synagogue” at a point. Andrew Silow-Carroll, who speaks Hebrew, refers to the original Makor Rishon Hebrew interview with Lau, arguing that his description of the place as one of “profound Jewish flavor” was simply an “emotional” one.

Silow-Carroll does not link to the original interview, and wants us to take his word for it, because he speaks Hebrew and most of his readers probably don’t. But I do. And I’ve looked at the original. Lau is clearly asked to relate to the synagogue definition by the interviewer (this is my translation – note, I prefer to translate the common “profound Jewish flavor” to “definite Jewish character” instead, as I think it is more correct).

“But is it a synagogue?”, the interviewer asks. Lau responds:

 “Jews were murdered in a place that for the murderer was considered a place with a definite Jewish character. A place with Torah books, Jews with Talits, there are Sidur books there, there are people who came there for the need of being near to God. Therefore, the murderer came precisely there in order to murder, and not to another place. This is what the anger and pain are about”.

It’s even worse than Lau downgrading the synagogue to a place of “definite Jewish character”. Lau is even hedging that this is merely the perception from the murderer’s point of view. And Lau is simply ditching the question.

True, in a passing rant, Lau uttered the word “synagogue” in rebuffing the focus in media and social media upon the Orthodox vs other streams in this context:

“There’s no reason to mix this subject in there. We are speaking about Jews who were murdered because they were Jews. What is the question anyway? I cannot hear nor understand what discussion there can be about such a question. They were murdered because of their being Jewish. Does it matter which synagogue or version they pray?”

So yes, Lau did say “synagogue” at a point, in a very general way. Yet when asked very directly about whether the Tree of Life synagogue was indeed a synagogue, he wouldn’t answer it affirmatively.

Thus, Silow-Carroll’s piece is a sectarian whitewash. To his credit nonetheless, he does note that the Israeli Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef did not mention “synagogue” at all in his reference to the attack. Yosef:

“I was shocked to hear about the murder of innocent Jews in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, simply because they were Jews, by an abhorrent murderer who was driven by anti-Semitic hatred. My heart is with the bereaved families and with all of our Jewish brothers and sisters who live in the U.S.”

According to Silow-Carroll, though, this omission is ok, because “his statement clearly embraces the Pittsburgh victims as fellow Jews”.


Zionism and Jewish Orthodoxy

This takes us to politics, and to the political connection between Zionism and Jewish Orthodoxy, which as mentioned has the overwhelming monopoly on politics in Israel. Writing earlier this year on the Israeli “slouch toward Gilead” (on this site), Israeli and formerly Orthodox Yossi Gurvitz noted how “there is one main difference between Israeli Jews and Diaspora Jews: In Israel, Judaism is governed by the state according to the Orthodox thinking”. Gurvitz notes why it is so difficult for the non-Orthodox global Jewish community, which largely supports Zionism, to confront the Jewish Orthodox exclusivity:

“Yet the Zionist majority cannot face Orthodoxy, precisely because it is Zionist”.

Indeed, the Pittsburgh terror attack has exposed the fissures and fears inherent amongst various Jewish communities in the world. The Israeli Orthodox leaders try to limit the damage to their exclusivity, yet in doing so they only expose their hypocrisy. Even Israeli leaders like Netanyahu and Bennett who then try to limit the damage from these statements, cannot but expose the Israeli hypocrisy in pandering to the ideology which is behind the hate.

Letters by more liberal Jews such as the one by Eisner, Efune et al, are generally frowned upon by leaders of the Jewish Orthodoxy, because it is clearly not in their interest that this event, or any event, would erode their religious-political hegemony and monopoly over Israel and Zionism, and those liberal-Zionists can hardly mention that matter directly, as they risk being further alienated by the Orthodox, who have a Zionist monopoly.

Thus, many Jews are beginning to see that it’s hard, maybe impossible, to separate religion and politics in this. Jonathan Cook, writing in The National, notes how

“[f]or the first time, overseas Jewish communities are being faced with a troubling dilemma. Do they really wish to subscribe to a Jewish nationalism in Israel that so strongly echoes the ugly rhetoric and policies threatening them at home?”

Having noted Netanyahu’s bromance with the newly elected neo-fascist Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (who promised to visit Israel and move the embassy to Jerusalem), as well as other close relationships with various fascist leaders, Cook summarizes:

“In short, Israel’s leaders are not simply placating a new wave of white-nationalist and neo-fascist leaders. They have a deep-rooted ideological sympathy with them”.

This is a paradigm wherein the Jewish Orthodox religion is directly implicated, indeed instrumental in, an ultra-nationalist, conservative, far-right, exclusivist, anti-immigrant political wave. And the Orthodox movement doesn’t seem to want to break that, even in the aftermath of the Pittsburgh terror.

This one event may be a cause of some serious soul-searching amongst Jews, as to whether their support of the Jewish State is really something that can be considered benign. The many non-Orthodox Jews may begin to consider whether their idea of “we are all Jews” can so lightly brush upon the Jewish Orthodox religion-and-state marriage, and whether they can continue their support for the Jewish State as part of their “we are all Jewish” notion and wish. They may have to start speaking about Zionism as the elephant in the room. They may need to start talking about the fact that the intrinsic Zionist conflation of religion and state (embodied in the concept of “Jewish State”), is something that Judaism may not be able to survive, if it is to rescue itself from the further plunge into the fundamentalist national-religious abyss, if it is to ensure any sort of legacy of being a religion of peace.

H/t Michael Lesher

About Jonathan Ofir

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

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22 Responses

  1. Marnie
    November 11, 2018, 7:10 am

    “The gunman who invaded a sanctuary on Shabbat did not distinguish among his victims. To him, they were all Jews.”

    If I went into a building with the name Tree of Life Synagogue I would assume the congregants were all jews and not baptist. What a weird comment.

    Speaking of weird, while watching the ceremony at the Champs Elysees all of the dignitaries who arrived to show their respects marking the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1, low and behold among the dignitaries was a yuge zionist turd. As there was no ‘israel’ in 1918, what could he be doing there and what plans might he have to make this about him? Oh, sorry booboo, take a number. tRUMP is going to do that.

    • Mooser
      November 11, 2018, 12:24 pm

      “This is a paradigm wherein the Jewish Orthodox religion is directly implicated, indeed instrumental in, an ultra-nationalist, conservative, far-right, exclusivist, anti-immigrant political wave. And the Orthodox movement doesn’t seem to want to break that, even in the aftermath of the Pittsburgh terror.”

      Exactly. They feel there is no reason the Orthodox should suffer for the sins of other Jews.

      • Maghlawatan
        November 11, 2018, 2:31 pm

        Orthodoxy has never been real world. And with Israel it made a deal with the devil.

    • Mooser
      November 11, 2018, 12:57 pm

      “As there was no ‘israel’ in 1918”

      Zionism attached itself to the British Mandate for Palestine established at the Paris Peace Conference, after WW1 ended.

    • Donald
      November 11, 2018, 2:24 pm

      “If I went into a building with the name Tree of Life Synagogue I would assume the congregants were all jews and not baptist. What a weird comment.”

      No it isn’t. Eisner and her coauthor are criticizing some among the Orthodox who seem to think some Jews are more Jewish than others, by pointing out that antisemites don’t make these fine distinctions. There are other reasons to criticize people like Eisner, but that comment isn’t one of them.

      • Mooser
        November 11, 2018, 5:05 pm

        “some among the Orthodox who seem to think some Jews are more Jewish than others, by pointing out that antisemites don’t make these fine distinctions.”

        But the Orthodox have every reason to try and teach them to make that distinction. They can at least try.

      • Marnie
        November 12, 2018, 12:10 am

        Donald, it was a weird comment IMO. You saying it isn’t is your opinion. And putting yourself in a position to dictate to me what I may or may not criticize is being like Mikhael, but leaving off the comment that his post would make me ‘less stupid’. Thanks Don, but no thanks.

    • Mikhael
      November 11, 2018, 3:09 pm

      Marnie November 11, 2018, 7:10 am Speaking of weird, while watching the ceremony at the Champs Elysees all of the dignitaries who arrived to show their respects marking the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1, …As there was no ‘israel’ in 1918, what could he be doing there and what plans might he have to make this about him

      Heads of state of many other countries which weren’t yet independent at the time, but which were affected in one way or the other by the Great War, either because battles took place on what is now their territory or people from those countries participated in the war in the armies of the Central Powers or the Allies were also present, for example, Muhamadu Buhari, of Nigeria, and Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine.

      This is appropriate because many soldiers from what is now Nigeria served in the British army and many soldiers from what is now Ukraine served in the Russian Army and battles were fought on Ukrainian territory. Likewise, it was correct and appropriate for Netanyahu to attend as there were decisive WW1 battles fought in the territory that is now part of the sovereign state of Israel, namely Be’ersheva, Megiddo, Haifa (and of course, in and around the Israeli capital, JERUSALEM!), and many Jewish soldiers (including relatives of my father) who lived in the formerly Ottoman-controlled territories that would become part of the British Palestine Mandate and later the State of Israel served in both the Ottoman armies as well as the British armed forces.
      My father’s uncle, a native Jerusalemite Jew whose family lived in the Old City for many generations , was drafted into the Ottoman forces and served in Anatolia and the Balkans. His great great grandchildren still live in Jerusalem, Israel’s capital, and were no doubt pleased to see their prime minister representing them at the ceremony marking the end of WW1. It’s been my pleasure to make you a little better informed, and hopefully, a little less stupid. You’re welcome!

      • Mooser
        November 11, 2018, 5:07 pm

        “Zionism attached itself to the British Mandate for Palestine”

      • Mikhael
        November 11, 2018, 6:41 pm

        Mooser November 11, 2018, 5:07 pm

        “Zionism attached itself to the British Mandate for Palestine”

        I forgot to mention the Zion Mule Corps and the Jewish Zionist participation in the British and allied victory over the Turks. My paternal side is from a Sephardic Jerusalemite family some of whose members were drafted into the Ottoman Empire’s military, but many other Jews from Eres Yisrael contributed to the British war effort. Probably hundreds of thousands of Israeli Jews are descended from WW1 veterans, including many who fought in the Land of Israel, so our Prime Minister’s presence at the Remembrance Day events today on Paris was entirely approproiate and moving .

      • Marnie
        November 11, 2018, 11:58 pm

        Aside from self-aggrandizement, you said nothing to me.

      • Jonathan Ofir
        Jonathan Ofir
        November 12, 2018, 2:05 am

        Mikhail, you sought to ‘educate’ Marnie about Palestine, which you call ‘Eres Israel’ also when there was no Israel.
        “It’s been my pleasure to make you a little better informed, and hopefully, a little less stupid. You’re welcome!”, you say.

        You name Jerusalem twice as the capital of Israel – even when you refer to WWI events, snd you put Jerusalem in capitals.
        This appears to be a rather desperate attempt to sugest that Jerusalem is, and always was, Israel’s capital.

        You may nonetheless be aware that Jerusalem was not Israel’s capital when it declared statehood (and it would be strange if it was, since Israel used the UN Partition Plan of 1947 to claim legitimacy in its Declaration, where in the Partition Plan Jerusalem was not part of the Jewish State).
        Israel’s takeover of Jerusalem was not marked as border, and Israel was eventually accepted to the UN on the understanding that it would follow through with relevant resolutions such as 194, which called for a withdrawal from Jerusalem and establishment of international auspices as intended in Partition Plan, as well as return of Palestinian refugees.
        Needless to point out, Israel did not follow through.
        Furthermore, in 1967 Israel took over East Jerusalem and de facto annexed it in violation of international law. It also expanded the municipal boundries about five times over in order to get extra territory on this annexation. 1980 Israel cemented this annexation into quasi-constitutional law, which was deemed nul and void by the UNSC. Any embassy which was there was ordered out, and all eventually moved to Tel Aviv.

        Now, USA under Trump, has made a unilateral move, in contravention of international law, to recognize Jerusalem formally as Israel’s capital and move the embassy there. Guatemala has followed suit, and the newly elected fascist Brazilian President Bolsonaro has in advance promised to do the same.

        I just wanted to make you a little better informed (if you didn’t already know this, and hopefully, a little less stupid (just in case you are), because you seem to be inculcating us with a Zionist righteousness about that ‘eternal capital’ and ‘Eres Israel’ which is devoid of that contention mentioned above.
        By the way, its ERETZ in Hebrew for land, not Eres. Eres actually means ‘poison’ in Hebrew, but it would seem you may be drawing your references from Yiddish, which tends to twist some of the hebrew letters (such as the Tzadik into an S). But I suppose you knew that already, I mean you couldn’t possibly be stupid as you are (unilaterally declared) eligible to educate Marnie.
        You’re welcome!

      • pjdude
        November 12, 2018, 5:12 am

        it should be noted that jerusalem is not the historical capital of israel in fact the first time it was ever the capital was in 1948 after illegally annexing it. in fact jerusalem wasn’t even in the ancient kingdom of israel.

      • Misterioso
        November 12, 2018, 10:36 am

        @Mikhael, et al

        It is important to remember the Hussein-McMahon Correspondence, an exchange of letters in 1916 that led to an agreement between Britain and the Arab leader, Sherif Hussein, in which Britain promised the Arabs independence, including Palestine, in exchange for what proved to be their invaluable assistance in defeating the Ottomans.

        The agreement culminated in Britain making the following promise regarding Arab independence: “The two districts of Mersina and Alexandretta and portions of Syria lying to the west of the districts of Damascus, Homs, Hama and Aleppo cannot be said to be purely Arab and should be excluded from the limits demanded. With the above modification and without prejudice to our existing treaties with Arab chiefs, we accept those limits. As for these regions lying within those frontiers wherein Britain is free to act without detriment to the interest of her ally France, I am empowered in the name of the Government of Great Britain to give the following assurances and make the following reply to your letter: Subject to the above modifications, Great Britain is prepared to recognize and support the independence of the Arabs in all the regions within the limits demanded by the Sherif of Mecca.”

        (As he had promised McMahon, Sheriff Hussein proclaimed Arab independence in June 1916 and the revolt against Ottoman rule began.)

        Furthermore, section lV of the “Memorandum on British Commitments to King Hussein”
        prepared by the Political Intelligence Department of the British foreign Office in 1919 for the Paris Peace Conference states: “With regard to Palestine, His Majesty’s Government are committed by Sir Henry McMahon’s letter to the Sherif [Sharif Hussein] on October 24, 1915, to its inclusion in the boundaries of Arab independence.”

        The Appendix of the Memorandum is even more explicit: “The whole of Palestine,
        within the limits set out in the body of the Memorandum, lies within the limits which H.M.G. [His Majesty’s Government] have pledged themselves to Sherif Hussein that they will recognize and uphold the independence of the Arabs.”

        Also, on 6 January 1922, S.M. Campbell, assistant principal of the Colonial Office, stated categorically (citing a Foreign Office memorandum) that “geographically Palestine is included in the area within which Britain was to acknowledge Arab independence.” (Minute by S.M. Campbell, 6 January 1922, PRO CO 733/8)

        BTW, a committee formed in 1939 to study the Hussein-McMahon Correspondence under the chairmanship of Sir Michael McDonnell, former Chief Justice of Palestine, concluded that “Palestine was included” and in any event, Britain “was not free to dispose of Palestine without regard for the wishes and interests of the inhabitants of Palestine….”

        I also remind you that the 1922 League of Nations British Mandate for Palestine was a Class A Mandate, i. e, Palestine was to be administered by Britain AS A WHOLE until its citizens were able to assume democratic self-rule. By incorporating the Balfour Declaration the mandate did facilitate Jewish immigration to “secure the establishment of the Jewish National Home,” but it did not call for the creation of a sovereign Jewish state or homeland in Palestine or any form of partition. This was made very clear in the Churchill Memorandum (1 July 1922) regarding the British Mandate: “[T]he status of all citizens of Palestine in the eyes of the law shall be Palestinian, and it has never been intended that they, or any section of them, should possess any other juridical status.”

        Regarding the 1922 British Mandate, as approved by the Council of the League of Nations, the British government declared: “His Majesty’s Government therefore now declare unequivocally that it is not part of their policy that Palestine should become a Jewish State.” (Command Paper, 1922)

        Furthermore, In May 1939, the British government issued the MacDonald White Paper, which in accordance with its Class A League of Nations Mandate, declared Great Britain “could not have intended Palestine should be converted into a Jewish state against the will of the Arab population of the country.” The White Paper called for a Palestinian state in which Jews and Arabs would govern jointly based on a constitution to be drafted by their representatives and those of Britain. The constitution would safeguard the “Jewish National Home” in Palestine and if good relations developed between Jews and Arabs, the country would be granted independence in ten years. (Land sales to Jews were to be restricted and the annual level of Jewish immigration was to be limited to 15,000 for five years, following which, Palestinian Arab acquiescence would be required.)

      • Mooser
        November 12, 2018, 11:47 am

        “Aside from self-aggrandizement,” “Marnie”

        Oh, everything “Mikhael” does redounds to his credit.

      • Mooser
        November 12, 2018, 12:32 pm

        “It is important to remember…” “Misterioso”

        As always, thanks, and for the patience and persistence, too.

      • Marnie
        November 12, 2018, 1:12 pm

        @Misterioso –

        “It is important to remember the Hussein-McMahon Correspondence, an exchange of letters in 1916 that led to an agreement between Britain and the Arab leader, Sherif Hussein, in which Britain promised the Arabs independence, including Palestine, in exchange for what proved to be their invaluable assistance in defeating the Ottomans.”

        Wow. It actually would have been more appropriate for Mahmoud Abbas to represent Palestine then, instead of Netanyahoo of a state that didn’t even exist in 1918.

  2. Ossinev
    November 11, 2018, 1:35 pm

    ” low and behold among the dignitaries was a huge zionist turd”

    Did the HZT do his Charlie Hebdo shuffle pushing his way to the front ?

    As for Israel not existing in 1918 well in Ziological terms it has been since forever and has never gone away. (Darwin was an anti you know what )

    • Maghlawatan
      November 11, 2018, 3:32 pm

      In Ziological terms the short period between AD 70 and 1948 throws up nothing of any value. Nothing happened.
      Israelis threw away their links to the past by switching to Hebrew. This was really stoopid.

    • Mooser
      November 11, 2018, 5:11 pm

      ” (Darwin was an anti you know what )”

      Gregor Mendel was worse.

    • Marnie
      November 12, 2018, 12:03 am

      ‘As for Israel not existing in 1918’

      That was a definite trigger for some.

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