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Questioning Zionism is not allowed within the mainstream Jewish community

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A woman named Amal Altaramasi was killed Friday while participating in the 43rd week of the Great Return March demonstrations at the separation fence between Gaza and Israel. Also Friday, my friend on Birthright texted me a picture of himself smiling atop Masada, thumbs up. He’d learned a new Hebrew slang word, “Sababa.” Cool.

Over 70 years, millions of Jews (and other tourists) have visited Israel over generations and shared in a safe, fun, positive experience without encountering Palestinians or interacting with Palestinian realities and then come home believing they’ve “seen it” and “really know what it’s like.” Israeli tourism has remained strong throughout the near-year of demonstrations in Gaza, suggesting that the Great Return March has very little effect on the regular order of life in Israel, despite the justification of the ongoing blockade of Gaza being predicated on the notion of an imminent existential threat to Israel (and the Jewish people). The existential threat the blockade poses to Palestinians bears no impact on the experience of the average visitor to Israel.

This is one of the reasons why non-Zionist Jews are often so deeply alienated from the mainstream Jewish community: the community is often centered around the Israel experience; we relate to one another through shared experiences, and many of those involve Israel, an Israel without Palestinians. I remember comparing my high school United Synagogue Youth (USY) group experience with a girlfriend who was in B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, another Jewish youth group. She said to me, “Yeah, we don’t do a lot of the religion stuff, but we’re really Zionist,” she told me, adding, “We love Israel!” Of course, we loved Israel too in USY, and Zionism was an integral part of our community education. We wrote letters to Israeli soldiers, we learned Israel advocacy skills through seminars, we hosted Israeli exchange students, we watched the video of Farfour Mouse, the controversial Hamas version of a Mickey Mouse character. Zionism still remains an integral part of how we relate to one another as we grow up, a shared system of beliefs with which we were raised.

Since I’ve become public with my stance as a non-Zionist Israeli Jew I’ve had all kinds of thrilling experiences and interactions with my fellow Jews. A brief list follows:

  • Several people have contacted my parents to ask how they feel about my stance on Palestine, or more specifically, to ask, “What’s wrong with Ilana and why does she hate Israel?”
  • My ex-fiance messaged me once on FB while Israel was bombing Gaza and killing 2000+ people in the summer of 2014 to tell me that the reason I was against Israel’s military action was because I have daddy issues.
  • I was cornered by an old friend from college while coming out of a restroom at a wedding. He was drunk and he wanted to make sure: “You’re not one of those BDS nuts, are you?”
  • I was doxxed by the Jewish Defense League, an FBI-classified extremist group, and people started contacting my place of employment, including one person who came to my place of employment looking for me. One particularly obsessive person told me that my family should have been killed by Hitler.

What it means to openly support Palestinian rights and challenge Israeli militancy as a non-Zionist Jew who was raised in a deeply Zionist community is that it means you have to reject a fundamental pillar of your upbringing, both familial and communal. By rejecting that pillar, or even questioning that pillar, the community rejects you. There is very little room in the mainstream Jewish community for questioning Israel. Very little room for support for the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The only permitted criticism starts with “I’m a Zionist against BDS,” which suggests that the only acceptable way to criticize Israel is if you’re first Zionist and secondly against BDS, and obscures the reality that one need not be Zionist or in opposition to BDS first in order to think it’s wrong that unarmed, nonviolent protesters continue to get shot by snipers with no intervention.

Over 30,000 people have been shot in Gaza since the beginning of the Great Return March demonstrations, and roughly 250 have been killed. At what point do the “Zionists against BDS” own their complicity in the shooting of yet another unarmed, innocent, deeply & violently oppressed person in Gaza? At what point to people enjoying their visits to Israel recognize that their visit exists to whitewash this? It’s amazing how I can see so much labor poured into solidarity efforts across progressive Jewish movements, but that solidarity will never extend to Palestinians and even is limited when it comes to being extended towards Jews and others who support Palestinian human rights – ask Angela Davis and Marc Lamont Hill.

The mainstream Zionist Jewish community deeply alienates Jews who are non-Zionist, because Zionism is accepted as a status quo pillar of the Jewish community. What makes community is shared principles, cultures, beliefs, activities. I believe this is why the response to non-Zionism and criticism of Israel is often so shockingly violent and so shockingly outsized. To be told that I should have been killed by Hitler – on the surface, it seems irrationally violent thing to say, but probe a little deeper and there is a calculated rationality to the violence: Hitler is the worst thing that has happened to Jews in modern memory, so it should have happened to me for … believing that Palestinians deserve human rights. Hidden in the ugliness is an illuminating truth: Believing in Palestinian human rights is a threat. The question is, a threat to whom?

Similarly illuminating is the all-too-common practice of calling Jews who support Palestinian human rights “kapos.” During the Holocaust, the kapos were prisoners, often Jewish people, selected by the Nazis to serve as an “trustee inmates” and administer to other prisoners in the camps. They are often considered by history to be traitors. The practice of calling Jewish people who stand in solidarity with Palestinian this name, then, is predicated on a permissibly racist shared belief that Palestinian human rights inherently endanger Jewish lives. Thus, we must be traitors – but what are we betraying? The ever-charming Israeli talking head Hen Mazzig says we’re “worse than kapos” because we’re “betraying our people” and our lives aren’t even in danger. He’s so close, though: he accidentally points out is Jewish lives are not inherently endangered by Palestinians. By arguing, as Hen attempts to argue, that Jews who support Palestinian rights are worse than kapos because Jews’ lives aren’t under imminent existential threat, he illuminates the glaring flaw in the logic which underwrites the occupation, namely, that the maintenance of the occupation is vital in order to protect Jews.

There is a generally accepted narrative which claims that Jewish lives are inherently in danger from Palestinians, and Palestinians achieving national sovereignty would threaten Jewish existence. Permission to question this narrative is not given in Jewish institutional life. So if- if  – you ask this question in Jewish institutions, or in mainstream Zionist Jewish communities, you are asking a question that is not only not allowed, you are asking a questioning which is a threat. You are questioning an established shared communal understanding which centers and prioritizes Zionism and a Jewish experience that is related to the modern state of Israel as a foundational principle which unifies Jews across denominations, nationalities, ethnicities. If we don’t share this, then what do we share? You are questioning the very thing which unites us. And the very thing which unites us is, of course, the very thing which oppresses and kills Palestinians.

May Amal Altaramasi’s memory be a blessing.

About Ilana Cruger-Zaken

Ilana Cruger-Zaken is an Israeli-American writer currently pursuing her Master’s degree at The New School in New York City. She writes about Palestine and Jewish life between the diaspora and Israel.

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34 Responses

  1. eljay
    eljay on January 15, 2019, 12:48 pm

    … The mainstream Zionist Jewish community deeply alienates Jews who are non-Zionist, because Zionism is accepted as a status quo pillar of the Jewish community. …

    It’s a shame that most Jews have chosen to be hateful and immoral supremacist hypocrites – Zionists – who advocate, support and defend the “right” of Jews:
    – to have an openly and unapologetically colonialist, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist state; and
    – to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them.

    It’s madness that the minority of Jews who advocate, support and defend justice, equality and human rights for all are despised by the despicable majority of Jews – the Zionists.

  2. bcg
    bcg on January 15, 2019, 1:50 pm

    Head up – we have a new tactic from the Zionists: “The game is afoot. Israel, believe it or not, is demanding that seven Arab countries and Iran should pay $250 billion as compensation for what it claims was the forceful expulsion of Jews from Arab countries during the late 1940s.”

    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20190115-the-moral-travesty-of-israel-demanding-arab-and-iranian-money-for-its-own-nakba/

    I think this will be part of an effort to “cancel out” the claims of the Palestinians with counter claims from Israel/Zionist community.

    • eljay
      eljay on January 15, 2019, 2:33 pm

      || bcg: Head up – we have a new tactic from the Zionists: “The game is afoot. Israel, believe it or not, is demanding that seven Arab countries and Iran should pay $250 billion as compensation for what it claims was the forceful expulsion of Jews from Arab countries during the late 1940s.” … ||

      Those countries should counter with an offer to repatriate all Jews expelled from within their borders in exchange for Israel repatriating all non-Jews expelled from within its borders.

    • annie
      annie on January 15, 2019, 2:59 pm

      it’s another tactic to equalize their ethnic cleansing of palestine w/jews who left or were expelled from middle eastern countries. even before they were expelled they tried to make deals w/countries to trade palestinians and they were turned down (at least in iraq). then the tried recruitment and false flag attacks, like the lavon affair, to get arab jews to leave. in morocco when jews wouldn’t leave they made a deal with the govenment, although it’s still not clear.. and then once they got the jews into israel they wanted reparations for what was originally their plans to get the arab jews to arrive. because they needed them to take over and secure the land they stole. so this is nothing new, they have been trying to accomplish this for years.

      • Walker
        Walker on January 16, 2019, 6:40 pm

        This is so true.

        At the time of partition (1948), my mother was teaching at the American School for Girls in Beirut. This school had a number of Lebanese Jewish students. These students were under tremendous pressure to leave Lebanon. The pressure came from other Jews.

  3. amigo
    amigo on January 15, 2019, 2:06 pm

    As the Older generation of zionists die off , (“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”OW.) ,younger Jews will turn away from the scourge of Zionism in far greater numbers and eventually the small number still remaining will find themselves isolated and shunned and be forced to watch their zionist dream dwindling into non existence , helpless to in any significant way affect the outcome.

    The death of zionism will be a day to celebrate and I hope I live long enough to see it.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso on January 16, 2019, 11:35 am

      @amigo

      The “death of Zionism” is well under way and no one realizes it more than its leaders. Panic is rapidly increasing within their ranks. Time, demographics and geopolitics are with the Palestinian Arabs and both sides know it. Already, they outnumber Jews between the River and the Sea. The transplantation of foreign Jews in Palestine and their preplanned dispossession/expulsion of the indigenous Muslim and Christian Arabs by force of arms, several massacres, mass rape and intimidation in order to create an exclusionary, expansionist “Jewish state” has not worked out. Jewish emigration from “Israel” is rapidly increasing and immigration is in free fall. At the same time, the world is seeing “Israel” for the murderous monster it is.

      All as predicted:

      Henry Morgenthau Sr., former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, 1919: “Zionism is the most stupendous fallacy in Jewish history…. The very fervour of my feeling for the oppressed of every race and every land, especially for the Jews, those of my own blood and faith, to whom I am bound by every tender tie, impels me to fight with all the greater force against this scheme, which my intelligence tells me can only lead them deeper into the mire of the past, while it professes to be leading them to the heights. Zionism is… a retrogression into the blackest error, and not progress toward the light.” (Quoted by Frank Epp, Whose Land is Palestine? p. 261)

      Asked to sign a petition supporting settlement of Jews in Palestine, Sigmund Freud declined: “I cannot…I do not think that Palestine could ever become a Jewish state….It would have seemed more sensible to me to establish a Jewish homeland on a less historically-burdened land….I can raise no sympathy at all for the misdirected piety which transforms a piece of a Herodian wall into a national relic, thereby offending the feelings of the natives.” (Letter to Dr. Chaim Koffler Keren HaYassod, Vienna: 2/26/30)

      Lessing J. Rosenwald, president of the American Council for Judaism, 1944: “The concept of a racial state – the Hitlerian concept- is repugnant to the civilized world, as witness the fearful global war in which we are involved. . . , I urge that we do nothing to set us back on the road to the past. To project at this time the creation of a Jewish state or commonwealth is to launch a singular innovation in world affairs which might well have incalculable consequences.”

      • Nathan
        Nathan on January 16, 2019, 9:27 pm

        Misterioso – I think that you should consider re-writing your above comment so that it shouldn’t be so silly. You claim that Freud’s comment (“I do not think that Palestine could ever become a Jewish state”) is an example of a prediction that became true. Since you are commenting on a website that is perpetually complaining that “Palestine became a Jewish state”, perhaps you should understand without outside help that certainly the Freudian prediction turned out to be false. Also the prediction of Henry Morgenthau seems to be utter nonsense. He claims that Zionism impels him “to fight with all the greater force against this scheme”. However, as things turned out, he didn’t put up much of a fight beyond the routine “bla-bla-bla”.

        In the part of the article in which you quote yourself, there are a number of minor inaccuracies. Actually, it’s all quite similar to the “bla-bla-bla” fight that Henry Morgenthau waged so intensely. Israel enjoys a population explosion (and a booming economy). When the state was founded, there were about 650,000 Jewish citizens therein. Today, that number is much more than 6,500,000 (a ten-fold increase in 70 years). It’s rather silly to pretend that there is a trend of diminishing numbers and that there is “panic” among the “Zionist leaders” when in fact everyone knows that the success of Israel is beyond the most optimistic dreams of the most committed dreamers.

      • Misterioso
        Misterioso on January 17, 2019, 10:23 am

        @Nathan

        Vacuous response. Desperate and truly “silly.”

        The eminent Jews of yesteryear whom I quoted nailed it. Bottom line: It’s been 70 years since the entity known as “Israel” was founded and it is still financially and geopolitically utterly dependent on the U.S. and becoming increasingly so. If “Israel” is as you say, “beyond the most optimistic dreams of the most committed dreamers” then I guess Netanyahu will soon announce that it no longer needs U.S. taxpayer funded aid, which now well exceeds $134.7 billion (current, or non-inflation adjusted dollars) since WWII and is constantly growing.

        You state “Israel enjoys a population explosion (and a booming economy).” To ask the obvious, if “Israel” is in the midst of a “booming economy” why does it still have to still rely financially on U.S. taxpayers?

        As for “…a population explosion,” – au contraire!! (BTW, as is common knowledge, “Israel” does not reveal its true Jewish or Palestinian population figures.)

        To wit:
        Newsweek, May 10/18
        “More Israelis are moving to the U.S.—and staying for good”
        “Spurred by the high cost of living, low salaries, and political and demographic trends, Israelis are leaving the country in droves.” By Yardena Schwartz.
        EXCERPTS:
        “Israel celebrates its 70th birthday in May with the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. Yet the country is grappling with an existential crisis—one that doesn’t involve Iranian nukes or Palestinian protests. Spurred by the high cost of living, low salaries, and political and demographic trends, Israelis are leaving the country in droves, trying to build their lives elsewhere, mostly in the United States. Many of these young Israelis are moving to big cities, and yet, even in these often expensive places, they see more opportunities to advance.”

        “The available data is telling, analysts say. Between 2006 and 2016, more than 87,000 Israelis became U.S. citizens or legalized permanent residents, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. That’s up from 66,000 between 1995 and 2005. These figures take into account only those who took the legal route (many Israelis, analysts say, arrive on temporary tourist, student or work visas, then stay). And in addition to the Israelis now living stateside, according to the country’s Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, hundreds of thousands have moved to Europe, Canada and elsewhere.

        “The country’s brain drain isn’t new. For years, many of its most talented scholars and researchers moved to the U.S., where the salaries are far higher and there are more jobs at top-tier universities. One report by Dan Ben-David, an economist at Tel Aviv University, found that the emigration rate of Israeli researchers was the highest in the Western world. Recently, however, the exodus has expanded to include average young people, many of whom say there’s simply no future in Israel.

        “Though this embattled country has become known as the ‘Startup Nation’ —it has more early-stage tech companies per capita than any other country—the average Israeli has little connection to that prosperous field. According to government data, 8 percent of Israelis work in high-tech, which pays up to seven times the national average salary of $2,765 a month (before taxes). Israel has one of the highest poverty rates and levels of income inequality in the Western world. Meanwhile, it also has one of the highest costs of living. Tel Aviv ranks ninth among the world’s most expensive cities, higher than New York and Los Angeles; five years ago, it ranked 34th. The situation is so dire that a 2013 survey by the financial newspaper Calcalist (the most recent Israeli study conducted on this topic) found that 87 percent of adults—many with children of their own—depend on substantial financial support from their parents.

        “In the summer of 2011, these economic pressures spilled onto the streets, as half a million young Israelis spent months protesting against the high cost of living, as well as decaying health and education systems.”

        Aug. 15, 2017, Haaretz.
        EXCERPT:
        “More Israelis Left Israel Than Moved Back in Six Year Record. 16,700 left and 8,500 came back in 2015, the first year since 2009 that more Israelis exited than returned.” By Lior Dattel.

        Also of major relevance:
        “Support for Israel on Campus Drops by ‘Devastating’ 27%: Study” – The Forward, June 21/17

        EXCERPTS: “The Brand Israel Group, a coalition of volunteer advertising and marketing specialists, has released a survey that shows a significant decrease in Israel’s approval rating among Americans.

        “’The future of America no longer believe that Israel shares their values. This is huge! Devastating,’ Fern Oppenheim, a co-founder of BIG, told The Times of Israel. While approval of Israel among American college students dropped 27% between the group’s 2010 and 2016 surveys, Israel’s approval rating among all Americans dropped 14 points, from 76% to 62%.”

        Furthermore, regarding the USA: http://forward.com/news/ national/376097/study-israel- losing-support-among- democrats-minorities- millennials/ The Forward July 2, 2017
        EXCERPT: ”Study: Israel Losing Support Among Democrats, Minorities, Millennials ‘It appears that the more Americans learn about Israel, the less they like it.’”

        http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=20982'%20style='color:#000;The Real News, Jan. 25/18
        EXCERPTS:
        “The bipartisan consensus of support for Israel over the Palestinians is breaking down in the United States.

        “A new study by the leading polling agency the Pew Research Center has found that the partisan divide in Americans’ sympathies for Israel or the Palestinians is the largest it has been in 40 years.”

        Times of Israel, June 21/17:
        http://www.timesofisrael.com/devastating-survey-shows-huge-loss-of-israel-support-among-jewish-college-students/

        https://www.haaretz.com/israel -news/.premium-jewish-agency- chief-warns-young-u-s-jews- more-turned-off-to-israel-1. 5751616

        Haaretz – Jan 22, 2018, by Judy Maltz
        “Young American Jews Increasingly Turning Away From Israel, Jewish Agency Leader Warns”
        “The Jewish Agency’s CEO and director-general called the trend ‘extremely worrisome,’ and said that a new strategy must be undertaken to engage young American Jews with Israel.”

        https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-vast-numbers-of-california-jews-disengaging-from-israel-survey-finds-1.5821675
        Haaretz, Feb. 14/18
        “Vast Numbers of Progressive California Jews Are Disengaging From Israel, Survey Finds.” By Judy Maltz.

        EXCERPT: “Only a minority of young Jews in San Francisco’s Bay Area believe a Jewish state is important and only a third sympathize more with Israel than the Palestinians.”

        Nathan, if I were you, I would give serious consideration to learning Arabic!!

      • Talkback
        Talkback on January 17, 2019, 11:06 am

        Nathan: “Since you are commenting on a website that is perpetually complaining that “Palestine became a Jewish state” …”

        Why would anybody do that? Conquest, ethnic cleansing and dispossession is nothing to complain about, isn’t it Nathan? These are the most proud moments in Zionist racist history and identity. Or was it the Nazi’s? Sometimes it’s confusing.

        Nathan: “When the state was founded, there were about 650,000 Jewish citizens therein.”

        ROFL. Most of the Jews had not even acquired Palestinian citizenship until May 15th 1948. Israel would call them “infiltrators”.

        Nathan: “Today, that number is much more than 6,500,000 (a ten-fold increase in 70 years).”

        And still most of the Jews don’t even live in the Jewish Apartheid State. Go figure. And Israel has the 4th highest child poverty rate amongst developed countries.

  4. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson on January 15, 2019, 2:26 pm

    P.S. ALSO SEE:
    Choice-supportive bias
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    In cognitive science, choice-supportive bias or post-purchase rationalization is the tendency to retroactively ascribe positive attributes to an option one has selected. It is a cognitive bias. For example, if a person chooses option A instead of option B, they are likely to ignore or downplay the faults of option A while amplifying those of option B. Conversely, they are also likely to notice and amplify the advantages of option A and not notice or de-emphasize those of option B.

    What is remembered about a decision can be as important as the decision itself, especially in determining how much regret or satisfaction one experiences.[1] Research indicates that the process of making and remembering choices yields memories that tend to be distorted in predictable ways.[1] In cognitive science, one predictable way that memories of choice options are distorted is that positive aspects tend to be remembered as part of the chosen option, whether or not they originally were part of that option, and negative aspects tend to be remembered as part of rejected options.[1] Once an action has been taken, the ways in which we evaluate the effectiveness of what we did may be biased.[2] It is believed this may influence our future decision-making. These biases may be stored as memories, which are attributions that we make about our mental experiences based on their subjective qualities, our prior knowledge and beliefs, our motives and goals, and the social context. True and false memories arise by the same mechanism because when the brain processes and stores information, it cannot tell the difference where they came from.[3]. . .

    CONTINUED AT – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choice-supportive_bias

    • JLewisDickerson
      JLewisDickerson on January 15, 2019, 3:10 pm

      P.P.S. AND SEE:
      “Fed up with myths, these American Jews are challenging their Israel education” | By Tom Pessah | +972 Magazine | January 13, 2019
      They grew up on the myths of a heroic Jewish state, joined Zionist organizations, and learned the talking points. But something along the way made them question everything.
      LINK – https://972mag.com/young-american-jews/139639

  5. Liz
    Liz on January 15, 2019, 3:01 pm

    The Zionist holding the sign in the photo needs to learn to spell “shields” correctly.

    • eljay
      eljay on January 15, 2019, 3:24 pm

      || Liz: The Zionist holding the sign in the photo needs to learn to spell “shields” correctly. ||

      I’m curious to know why s/he (I can’t tell who’s holding up the sign) thinks children aren’t human.

    • Xpat
      Xpat on January 15, 2019, 3:34 pm

      Liz – It’s “i” before “e” except for the Yisraeli.

  6. annie
    annie on January 15, 2019, 3:09 pm

    My ex-fiance messaged me once on FB while Israel was bombing Gaza and killing 2000+ people in the summer of 2014 to tell me that the reason I was against Israel’s military action was because I have daddy issues.

    “ex” being the operative word, looks like you dodged a bullet there Ilana.

    thanks for your article.

  7. Boomer
    Boomer on January 15, 2019, 3:32 pm

    For a moment I was surprised that even a “non-Zionist Israeli Jew” would be treated in this way, but a bit of reflection led me to realize that it is precisely because of your status that your words elicit an intense response. You can’t simply be ignored or dismissed. Your words are more threatening. Thus you must be rejected.

  8. Mooser
    Mooser on January 15, 2019, 3:40 pm

    BTW, come to think of it, this is one fish which isn’t really rotting from the head. The head is still singing “Don’t Worry, be Happy” and “I Will Survive” but the body has swum away.

  9. Mooser
    Mooser on January 15, 2019, 4:07 pm

    “The mainstream Zionist Jewish community deeply alienates Jews who are non-Zionist, because Zionism is accepted as a status quo pillar of the Jewish community.” Ilana Cruger-Zaken

    And the Jewish community thus achieves an almost unanimous percentage of approval and support for Zionism. We will have to look elsewhere for the reason for the sharply declining numbers of Jewish people in the US. People don’t usually leave such unified communities.

  10. echinococcus
    echinococcus on January 15, 2019, 4:19 pm

    “This is one of the reasons why non-Zionist Jews are often so deeply alienated from the mainstream Jewish community […]
    “the only acceptable way to criticize Israel is if you’re first Zionist” […]

    Of course!

    And the only real reason for it is the damnable absurdity of counting yourself “Jewish” even when you are not religious!

    “By rejecting that pillar, or even questioning that pillar, the community rejects you” […]

    And how come that is a problem at all? Because you asked for it, by accepting as yours a “community” of criminals, or at the very least a collectively criminal “community”. Individuals don’t count in such characterizations, as what counts is the collective action.

    As you so well say, “What makes community is shared principles, cultures, beliefs, activities.” How can you even think of sharing anything with such a collectively criminal organization?
    Why not join the plain human community? It may be news, but a certain number of decent people are not Jewish.

  11. oldgeezer
    oldgeezer on January 15, 2019, 5:05 pm

    That’s a very disgusting picture. It shows the extent to which zionism debases anyone who becomes a cult member.

    They aren’t celebrating a victory. Or an end to war.

    They’re celebrating the ongoing murder of women and children.

    Leave out whether the deaths are the responsibility of Israel or Hamas.

    Different issue.

    Those programmed bots are cheering death and destruction.

    Sick children. Their parents and community leaders should be ashamed of themselves. Since it’s zionism they won’t be of course.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso on January 16, 2019, 2:48 pm

      @oldgeezer

      “Those programmed bots are cheering death and destruction.”

      Well said!!

  12. Xpat
    Xpat on January 15, 2019, 5:14 pm

    Thanks for the insights!
    On your self-designation as living in the “diaspora.”:
    Why do you adopt the Zionist-ideological term for Jewish life outside Israel? Most Jews today are a few generations removed from another Jewish center. We are indeed diasporas of the millennia old North African/Middle Eastern Jewish centers or the thousand year old Jewish centers in Eastern Europe. But we are not a diaspora in relation to Israel. As a former Israeli myself I wouldn’t say I am part of “an Israeli diaspora”, and anyway that is not how “diaspora” is read. It comes across as “Jewish diaspora.” In the real, not manipulative–ideological subversion of the term, Israel is a more recent diaspora than New York. New York has been an important Jewish center since long before Zionism made Israel a large Jewish center.
    More to the point: The U.S. is the diplomatic, military and financial center, of which Israel is the frontier.
    Silly Zionists for getting it the wrong way round.

    • ilanacz
      ilanacz on January 16, 2019, 5:19 am

      Hi, thank you for your comment! I very much agree with you that there are other centers of Jewish life, and indeed I believe that New York is a major cultural hub and often talk about the “New York diaspora Jew,” which I think is a common phenotype amongst American Jew, and it frustrates me greatly that New York – and America – isn’t regarded as the center of Jewish life that it is – and perhaps, to your point, because we’re not talking about it like it is! I greatly appreciate your critique and will take it under consideration with regards to my language.

      Ilana

    • Talkback
      Talkback on January 16, 2019, 8:25 am

      The term “diaspora” is based on a hoax called “exile”. There is no “diaspora”, no “galut”. At most the Jews in Jerulasem were driven out or deported.

      • Keith
        Keith on January 16, 2019, 11:02 am

        TALKBACK- “The term “diaspora” is based on a hoax called “exile”. There is no “diaspora”, no “galut”.

        The myth of the Diaspora is quite real in its consequences, not the least of which was the ideological and psychological separation of the medieval Jews from the surrounding Gentile communities. Both the Jews and the Gentiles believed the Jews to be “foreign”, more closely akin to other Jews in the Diaspora. It is the perception of reality which shapes behavior. Keep in mind also that much or most of the history taught in school is a form of myth-history deviating significantly from the ugly reality of empire.

  13. Ronald Johnson
    Ronald Johnson on January 15, 2019, 5:17 pm

    There is a book about the Israeli terrorizing of Jews in Iraq to induce flight to Israel:

    https://www.amazon.com/Ben-Gurions-Scandals-Haganah-Mossad-Eliminated/dp/1893302407

    Apparently Israel has invested considerable effort with accountants to create a claim, including lost property – not to be paid to aggrieved individuals, but to the state of Israel.

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-said-set-to-seek-250b-compensation-for-jews-forced-out-of-arab-countries/

    This could be acceptable if Israel offers also to compensate Palestinian victims, since 1947, according to the same formula.

    Otherwise, it is pure chutzpah – that the US Congress will surely endorse.

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer on January 15, 2019, 7:34 pm

      Unlike the Palestinians the majority of the 850,000 were not forced out but encouraged and paid by Israel to emigrate to Israel.

      Israeli mob shakedown.

      • Walker
        Walker on January 16, 2019, 6:55 pm

        Yeah, that’s right.

        Quite some time ago I came across a research paper from Ashkelon University in Israel about post-independence days in the city of Ashkelon. One enormous concern at the time was the large number of empty dwellings belonging to Palestinians who had been driven out. They were considered to be an invitation for those Palestinians to come back. Local politicians were quite desperate for immigrant Jews to fill those places up.

        Israel campaigned for many years to get Middle Eastern Jews to leave their homes and come to Israel. As Annie noted above, this included propaganda and false flag terrorist operations like the Lavon affair (Egypt) and other places.

        Quite similar to how Israel acted to get Palestinians to leave, when you think of it.

    • Talkback
      Talkback on January 16, 2019, 8:13 am

      Palestinians should officially endorese these Jew’s right to return to Iraq, etc.

  14. Vera Gottlieb
    Vera Gottlieb on January 17, 2019, 9:36 am

    What is israel afraid of? Afraid of a truth that doesn’t fit all the lies it fabricates? The smell of Nazi-ism getting stronger and stronger.

  15. Keith
    Keith on January 17, 2019, 4:42 pm

    ILANA CRUGER-ZAKEN- “… an established shared communal understanding which centers and prioritizes Zionism and a Jewish experience that is related to the modern state of Israel as a foundational principle which unifies Jews across denominations, nationalities, ethnicities.”

    In other words, a reworking of the Classical Judaic mythos into a modern, secular form. Zionist Jewishness rather than Judaism as the unifier of Jews.

    “Just as the Judaic tradition had formerly told Jews what it meant to be Jewish…so does Zionism in the modern age. Jews who lost hold of the mythic structures of the past were given a grasp on a new myth, one composed of restructured remnants of the old one.” (p176, “Stranger At Home: “The Holocaust,” Zionism, and American Judaism,” Jacob Neusner)

    • Mooser
      Mooser on January 18, 2019, 12:42 pm

      Holey Moley! This neo-Zionism, combined with the burgeoning growth of the US Jewish population, and the ever increasing tendency of Jews in America to live apart and not mix, poses a real danger- to your equipoise, that is.

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