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Anti-Zionism is a rejection of racism and imperialism, not just criticism of Israel

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We applaud Jewish Voice for Peace’s (JVP) recent statement, “Our Approach to Zionism,” for its “unequivocal opposition to Zionism.”  We share the values and goals of justice, equality, and freedom that JVP outlined in its statement.

We wish to register, however, some of our concerns with parts of JVP’s statement, “Our Approach to Zionism.” First, the statement links its discussion of Zionism to collective Jewish pain and trauma. Second, it gives credence to the idea that Zionism is a nineteenth century ideology that emerged from Jewish life, not a colonial ideology developed to expand western imperialism in Palestine. JVP segments Zionist ideology into its cultural, religious and political strains. While they oppose the “political” Zionism that led to the establishment of the Zionist state in Palestine, they do not spend significant effort tackling the other two strands, and as such imply tacit approval of the latter strains. Moreover, the statement goes further to redefine “anti-Zionism” as a “loose term referring to criticism of the current policies of the Israeli state, and/or moral, ethical, or religious criticism of the idea of a Jewish nation-state.” Meanwhile, ever since the general strike of 1936 and the great Palestinian revolt against the British mandate, anti-Zionism has been defined as the rejection of Jewish-only colonies, created on Palestinian land through expropriation and forced expulsion of indigenous Palestinians for the purpose of building the economic and demographic conditions for establishing a colonial nation-state in Palestine. It was only natural that massacres, genocide, and eventually apartheid would inevitably ensue where the colonizer has sought to establish dominance over the colonized.

A quick reading of history, as Ghassan Kanafani and others have done, reveals Zionism preceded the nineteenth century and had always been a partner of colonialism and Western imperialism. After the occupation of Egypt, Napoleon marched over 30,000 troops onto Jaffa and Acre. A French report published after the military attack of 1799 stated that Bonaparte wants “to restore to the Jews their Jerusalem.” We agree that Zionism has established an apartheid state. But we would go further and state that the apartheid relationship – the colonial distinction between different kinds of humans – is at Zionism’s core. This racist movement’s colonial roots were no secret, nor were they exogenously imposed. As the biographer of Herzl wrote, he knew that he would be “going further than any colonialist had so far gone in Africa,” and would “temporarily, alienated civilized opinion” as they, in Herzl’s 1896 words, would “occupy the land.” As he continued, “By the time the reshaping of world opinion in our favor has been completed, we shall be firmly established in our country, no longer fearing the influx of foreigners, and receiving our visitors with aristocratic benevolence.”

We therefore see the historical sequence differently. Zionism did not merely emerge as one amongst many Jewish responses to antisemitism, but as part-and-parcel of European imperialism. It received British support precisely because it would create a colonial outpost at the crossroads of Asia and Africa, and on the shores of the Mediterranean, a body of water nestled between three major continents. The idea was always to give strategic access to the Mediterranean coast while denying it to Palestinians, with the exception of the Gaza ghetto, while expelling Palestinians to British-created Jordan. This colony would perpetually tie that outpost, with existential dependency, to imperialism. Thus, whatever the subjective intentions of non-political Zionists during the era of colonization and settlement, they were taking part in and contributing to a broader colonial project. A rejection of all forms of Zionism, not just political, is thus critical to true solidarity grounded in justice, anti-racism, and anti-imperialism.

We agree that the creation of Israel and Zionism has led to a racist hierarchy amongst the Jews living in Palestine and has been a recurrent tool to break the ties of Jewish communities living in Arab lands – from Tunisia to Egypt to Yemen to Iraq. We see this as an organic outgrowth of the Zionist project of denigrating the whole of the “Orient” and the cultures and ways of life which live in the region. One of the biggest proponents of anti-Semitism has been the Zionist movement.  It bombed synagogues in Iraq and Tunisia. Later in the 1980s, in the midst of the Lebanese civil war, in which both Israel and the US were directly implicated, the Palestine Liberation Organization stood guard in front of Lebanese synagogues in the Jewish quarter, only to be obliterated later by Zionist bombs targeting these buildings to ensure that Jews had no safe havens in their native countries and outside of Palestine. And as Hannah Arendt described in detail, during WWII Zionists allied with Nazi leaders and conspired against the Jewish resistance leaders in Warsaw to guarantee complete rupture of Jewish continuity in Europe and outside of Palestine.

Anti-Zionism, then, is a politic founded on the denial of the colonial relationships of oppression in Palestine, and by extension rejects the continued existence of the European Jewish state in Palestine. It is a stance which rejects the right of people from Europe to invade and take over those lands and set up a hierarchy of peoples within them. Anti-Zionism is not merely criticism of current Israeli policies or even the idea of a Jewish nation-state. It is a rejection of an imperially-imposed, racist, settler-colonial state.

Zionism is also not limited to Palestinian dispossession and occupation. Zionism has carried out multiple and ongoing attacks on surrounding and further afield Arab states, from Egypt, to Syria, to Lebanon and Tunisia, including decades-long occupations of the Levantine region and extensive assaults on Lebanon. It has helped assassinate Arab radical leadership, including the Moroccan Marxist militant Mehdi Ben Barka, George Hawi, and Mustafa Ali Zibri. It has provided arms and training to right-wing, fascistic, anti-Communist, racist, and antisemitic regimes, from apartheid South Africa, to the dictatorships of the Southern Cone and Central America in the 1970s and 1980s, to ongoing and massive arms sales to the right-wing US allied Indian government, to cozying up to the crypto-fascist Bolsonaro regime in Brazil. It also partnered with the military junta in prosecuting a genocide in Guatemala that resulted in the murder of 200,000 people, mostly indigenous Mayans.  Zionists aided and trained the Lebanese Force and Falanges, the Southern Lebanese Army, and Al Qaida factions, and even coordinated directly with the Islamic State.  In this, Israel has carried out an agenda which it has been loyal to from its founding: turning itself into the spear’s-tip of empire across the Third World and against Third World national and social liberation struggles. We consider these facts highly relevant to constituting an anti-Zionist politic, which has historically been inseparable from a broader internationalist and anti-colonial position which rejects the influence of Europe and the US empires in the affairs of the countries of the Third World.

Of course, we recognize and applaud JVP’s efforts in finally joining the ranks of the anti-Zionist movement after many years of incoherence that functioned to strengthen the Zionist colonial project under the mask of “liberal Zionism.” However, historical and ideological clarity are important. Anti-Zionism is an internationalist politic, one to which our own predecessors, Palestinian and Jewish, have made important contributions. We uphold that legacy, and warmly embrace this important step from Jewish Voice for Peace in developing an ever-sharper analysis of Zionism as part of a shared struggle to rid the region of Israel and all the reactionary precipitates of the Zionist project. Thus, we wish to push our ally even further, so that JVP may understand anti-Zionism for what it is, a liberationist ideology grounded in anti-imperialism and anti-racism. This view of anti-Zionism has only one logical conclusion, a total rejection of all forms of Zionism and the embrace of true decolonization.

Eyad Kishawi, Palestinian activist and member of Al-Awda

Max Ajl, Tunis, Tunisia

Liliana Cordova-Kaczerginski, Madrid, Spain

Eyad Kishawi

Eyad Kishawi is a Palestinian activist and member of Al-Awda.

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Max Ajl

Max Ajl is an activist with the International Jewish anti-Zionist Network and an editor at Jadaliyya and Viewpoint. Follow him on Twitter: @maxajl.

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Liliana Cordova-Kaczerginski

Liliana Cordova-Kaczerginski is a former Matzpen activist. Born in Argentina, she lived in Israel/Palestine for 14 years beginning in 1969. She currently lives in Madrid, Spain.

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37 Responses

  1. gamal on January 29, 2019, 6:14 pm

    “Zionism is also not limited to Palestinian dispossession and occupation”

    and in practise Zionism has prostituted anti-racism in the form of anti-semitism scares to oppress and attack Muslims and denigrate socialists and confuse ‘white’ people, its only friends are either imperialists, deranged and soft anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racists or bought and paid for, long past time JVP started to get serious, black people are deeply offended.

    “Fake Labour accounts fueling “anti-Semitism crisis”

    by using Arab and Muslim sock puppets to mouth anti-semitism..how low can you go

    https://electronicintifada.net/content/fake-labour-accounts-fueling-anti-semitism-crisis/26441

    and we really do hail the victories in Syria, Afghanistan and hopefully Iraq, like Maduro said Fucking yankee time to fucking go home and sort out your own disaster at home and take your dirty settlers with you.

  2. RoHa on January 30, 2019, 1:14 am

    “Second, it gives credence to the idea that Zionism is a nineteenth century ideology that emerged from Jewish life, not a colonial ideology developed to expand western imperialism in Palestine.”

    “A quick reading of history … reveals Zionism preceded the nineteenth century and had always been a partner of colonialism and Western imperialism.”

    But that does not exclude the possibility that it is an ideology that emerged from Jewish life, as well as being a colonial and imperialist ideology.

    As for “developed to expand western imperialism in Palestine”, I am not totally convinced that the “Western” bit was so important to the Zionists, even if it was important to their Western imperialist supporters. Perhaps a slightly more detailed reading of history would clarify that.

    And whilst Zionism preceded the nineteenth century, it is that century which saw the full flowering of the movement.

    • dianeshammas on January 30, 2019, 3:31 pm

      I feel comfortable with the JVP statement , particularly with Max Ajl as one of the co-authors. I know Max from our extended stays in Gaza and his plethora of op-eds his work is well-researched. Many of Herzl’s statements and the origin of Zionism paraborrowed from German idealism, albeit seemingly counter-intuitive. German idealism with its notion of Uber mensch and the notion of super race and all the ugly eugenic and nativist rhetoric. This is not to say, some of the early followers of Zionism was a reaction to Jewish life in Czarist Russia, but adopting this European superiority and later technological superiority made them useful allies of the UK and the US whose imperialist aims were to interfere in the politics of MENA region and thwart genuine liberatory movements from realizing their end goals.

      • echinococcus on January 30, 2019, 3:58 pm

        “I feel comfortable with the JVP statement”

        “UK and the US whose imperialist aims were to interfere in the politics of MENA region and thwart genuine liberatory movements from realizing their end goals.”
        §
        If you feel comfortable with the JVP statement, which contains a very explicit declaration of support to NATO, main instrument to further the “imperialist aims” of the US and UK, then you are jake with US imperialism.
        §
        If you don’t approve US imperialism what makes you give a get-away-with-murder pass to JVP?

    • Keith on January 30, 2019, 6:48 pm

      ROHA- “But that does not exclude the possibility that it is an ideology that emerged from Jewish life, as well as being a colonial and imperialist ideology.”

      Let us begin with the obvious. The father of Zionism is Herzl, not Napoleon. There is no continuity whatsoever between these early attempts by Gentiles to encourage Jewish migration to Palestine – huge failures all – and the Jewish Zionism of the late 19th century. Jewish Zionism which gave us the Jewish state was a reaction to modernity and the “threat” of assimilation. It represents a reworking of the myths of Classical Judaism into modern secular form. The notion that Israel represents the culmination of Gentile imperialism/colonialism on the Middle East is preposterous. Israel is a Jewish project, albeit supported by Western imperialism. And Max Ajl has a history of claiming that the Jewishness of the Jews involved is irrelevant, economic determinism overwhelming ideology and religion. Apparently, Diane Shammas is a supportive colleague.

      • gamal on January 30, 2019, 7:51 pm

        “Let us begin with the obvious. The father of Zionism is Herzl, not Napoleon”

        Napoleon opened the age of invading the ‘near east’ and conquering it.

        As a European alive during the full refulgence of European settler colonization Herzls Zionism is fundamentally European.

        What is the “Jewishness of Jews” and how does that account for Zionism, as distinct to Europe’s effort to conquer the Cosmos, ongoing but looking a bit shaky right now but who knows.

      • Nathan on January 30, 2019, 8:43 pm

        Keith – You might try and find a copy of Mahmoud Abbas’ PhD thesis that he wrote in Moscow in 1982. There you can see that Napoleon is presented as promoting the idea of a Jewish state which is meant to be a tool in the hands of western imperialism. You’re absolutely right when you call this “notion” preposterous, but do take note of the fact that this is the Palestinian narrative. This article makes other preposterous claims taken from Mr Abbas’ doctorate that you didn’t think worth mentioning in your comment. Actually, the article contains an Holocaust-denial argument which should have merited its disqualification by Mondoweiss – but, alas, any anti-Israel line is acceptable in this blog. Anyway, it should be mentioned that the Nazis aspired to kill all the Jews everywhere; hence, the accusation that there was a conspiracy to end Jewish life outside of Palestine is indeed Holocaust-denial (taken from the PhD thesis of Mr Abbas). There was a plan to murder the Jews of Palestine, and “Einsatzgruppe-Egypt” had been set up to follow Rommel’s army into Palestine.

        Very often in the comments’ section, it is claimed that there is no intention to destroy Israel. The claim is that there is a necessity of having a “regime-change” in Israel. Suddenly, we read in plain English in a Mondoweiss article about “a shared struggle to rid the region of Israel and all the reactionary precipitates of the Zionist project”. That’s sounds to me like the destruction of Israel (and other very extreme goals), and yet no one felt the need to register a mild protest.

        The article mentions a 1905 quote from Herzl. That was really funny. You would expect that intellectuals who are so busy with anti-Zionist activism would know that Theodore Herzl died in 1904. Well, the silly mistake is just a little reminder that the article as a whole is sloppy history at the same level of Mr Abbas’ doctoral thesis.

      • RoHa on January 30, 2019, 11:45 pm

        Though I think Verdi should take a bit of the blame.

      • echinococcus on January 31, 2019, 2:31 am

        “Max Ajl has a history of claiming that the Jewishness of the Jews involved is irrelevant, economic determinism overwhelming ideology and religion”

        Yeah but does he claim that this Jness of the J is irrelevant as a tool for mobilizing the cannon fodder needed to colonize, or irrelevant as a tool for providing a permanent resident worker population to get rid of the natives? “In principle”, as the idiom goes, who exactly is used to colonize is irrelevant. As for the Jewishness of the Zionists who sit in or direct the colonial governments, that might play a more significant role –if, that is, the owners of governments were sensitive to the religion and ideology they feed to the riffraff.

  3. Misterioso on January 30, 2019, 9:09 am

    Just released:

    https://www.youtube.com/user/JVP18

    Jewish Voice for Peace Video

  4. jrg on January 30, 2019, 10:40 am

    Also, let’s not overlook the symbiosis between one form of racism and another. The massacres, dispossessions and expulsions to which the Sephardic Jews in Arab countries were subjected in the late 1940s and early 1950s strengthened the State of Israel by increasing its population by about 500,000 (about 25-40% at the time) and lending plausibility to the Zionist argument that a Jewish homeland was needed in Israel because Jews were always going to be threatened by persecution elsewhere. In fact, Palestinians and other opponents of Zionism have a vested interest in combating anti-Semitism whenever and wherever it arises in the Diaspora for just that reason; after the Pittsburgh massacre and the wave of assaults on Jews in France, Israeli spokesmen jumped on those atrocities to try to seize back the moral high ground.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius on January 30, 2019, 2:48 pm

      ” lending plausibility to the Zionist argument that a Jewish homeland was needed in Israel because Jews were always going to be threatened by persecution elsewhere.”

      But Israel’s existence was the reason for those events. If Israel didn’t exist, those Jews would have gone on living in Arab countries, more or less at peace with their neighbours, as they had done for centuries.

      Not to mention that if they had the chance, most of these Jews preferred to go to France and other Western countries rather than Israel.

      • MHughes976 on January 30, 2019, 4:30 pm

        It’s true that much effective rhetoric was generated, as jrg says. It is also true that the cause of Palestinian rights would be helped were everyone to see that those who support that cause would like to see anti-S swept away. But we have not swept away the rhetoric that sees us as ‘the new anti-S’. There is a way to go.

  5. genesto on January 30, 2019, 2:07 pm

    Considering Zionism’s psychological underpinnings, it’s hard to imagine ending its colonial enterprise with confiscation of only the West Bank. Zionism is a threat to the Middle East and beyond.

  6. MHughes976 on January 30, 2019, 4:17 pm

    I think that the JVP statement, especially with Celia Surasky’s eloquent amplification, is good stuff, though I would like to see a definition of Z and a distinct reason for rejecting it. Political and religious Z are not exactly different streams of thought: the religious ideas(and I would say the cultural ones too) are given as reasons for the political ones. I don’t see any reason to regard anti-Z as loosely defined: surely it is, fairly crisply, the negation of Z, a claim for exclusive political rights all but solely on grounds of ancestry or religion, presumably for the reason that those grounds are not legitimate and that the results are cruel.
    It may be that well-meaning people got this wrong because of the horrors of Jewish experience, not because of imperialist influence. But wrong it still was and is.
    It is possible to hope for regime change in Israel giving Palestinians their rights without wanting regime change in the West or a wholly new international order.

  7. Citizen on January 30, 2019, 5:03 pm

    Yes, politics makes strange bedfellows, as it did when Zionists collaborated with Hitler’s SS, as documented, for example, in Blacks The Transfer Agreement. Too, when Zionists urged Roosevelt not to open up the mass immigration gates to Jews fleeing Hitler. And now we can see Israel making nice with hard right regimes, such as was produced by the US coup in Ukraine, and AltiRight regimes gaining favor in Western countries all praise Israel as their model.

  8. CHUCKMAN on January 30, 2019, 6:17 pm

    “Anti-Zionism is a rejection of racism and imperialism, not just criticism of Israel”

    Of course, absolutely.

    And also a rejection of the anti-liberalism which dominates Israel.

    I’m referring to “liberalism” not as a political alignment, but in its true sense, in the great Western tradition of supporting democratic and human values.

    Israel represents direct conflict with those precious values.

  9. jrg on January 30, 2019, 9:54 pm

    Maximus:

    “But Israel’s existence was the reason for those events.”

    Maximus, I have a problem with this statement. Very few, if any, of us at Mondoweiss would accept a contention that the Holocaust was the cause of the Naqba; the Zionists in Israel are held entirely responsible for their own misdeeds. Why should the same yardstick not apply to the perpetrators of the crimes against the Sephardim in Arab countries? You can’t have it both ways. The Holocaust does not excuse Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians, and the Naqba does not excuse the atrocities against the Sephardim.

    • echinococcus on January 31, 2019, 1:22 am

      First, just to avoid confusion due to Zionist propaganda terms, only a minority of those you mean are Sefardí. Mostly they are Arabs, of Jewish religion or ancestry.

      Then, this is the direct, and intended, consequence of Zionist crime against humanity, that of invading Palestine, attacking a number of Arab nations, and organizing vast spy operations within these nations to cause both panic among the so-called Jewish citizens and heavy reactions by their governments. Don’t forget: when you start war, you’re sure to get it, as well as the full responsibility of all consequences, including provoked overreaction. No call to parrot and defend Zionist propaganda.

    • oldgeezer on January 31, 2019, 7:57 am

      @jrg

      I agree. Where there were crimes, atrocities or not, against any Jewish people it is the responsibility of the perpetrator(s). The same holds true for Israel. And the Palestinians are not remotely responsible for crimes perpetrated by other countries. After all these deaths and decades the balance weighs very heavily against Israel.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius on January 31, 2019, 11:28 am

      “The Holocaust does not excuse Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians, and the Naqba does not excuse the atrocities against the Sephardim.”

      That isn’t what I was saying. I was taking issue with your claim that the crimes committed against these Jews – and I completely agree that the those responsible for said crime are indeed the perpetrators – lent “plausibility to the Zionist argument that a Jewish homeland was needed in Israel because Jews were always going to be threatened by persecution elsewhere.”

      How could Israel be needed as a ‘homeland’ to protect Jews when the crimes you mentioned were directly caused by the existence of Israel? Especially when, as I said above, most of these Jews, if they had the choice, went to Western countries, not the ‘Jewish homeland’.

  10. Boris on January 30, 2019, 10:22 pm

    Napoleon my ass!

    According to the esteemed authors, when Jews say, as they were saying for thousands of years – “Next Year in Jerusalem” – it was colonialism, imperialism, racism, communism, whatever-else-ism???

    What a bunch of morons!

    • echinococcus on January 31, 2019, 1:41 am

      “… when Jews say, as they were saying for thousands of years – “Next Year in Jerusalem” – it was colonialism, imperialism, racism, communism, whatever-else-ism???”
      §
      Of course it can’t be any of these, Tawarischtsch! Because, you see, the Western colonials, English and French and German and all, had kept saying for millions of years “Next Year in Africa” — since the exile of mankind from Africa!
      §
      So you see, the colonial murderers are simply returning. Not colonizing (or practicing any of the sports of “imperialism, racism, communism, whatever-else”.) Just like a certain Russian named Boris, who one morning decided to occupy Palestine where he had as much of an “origin” as Bismarck in Africa.
      §
      By the way, seeing that you declare yourself an atheist, for the life of me I can’t see you reciting that prayer in good faith every year.

      • Boris on February 1, 2019, 9:08 am

        “… the Western colonials, English and French and German and all, had kept saying for millions of years “Next Year in Africa” … ”

        well, this is something that only a worm would know…

      • echinococcus on February 1, 2019, 9:16 am

        Seeing that worms are so sure of their biological origin 2,000 years ago, no matter the evidence, they sure can do that, too.

    • Talkback on January 31, 2019, 6:20 am

      Boris: “Napoleon my ass!”

      Your obsession or even fixation with this body part is quite revealing.

      Boris: “According to the esteemed authors, when Jews say, as they were saying for thousands of years – “Next Year in Jerusalem” – it was colonialism, imperialism, racism, communism, whatever-else-ism???

      That’s not what the author said. And I always thought that wanting to meet in Jerusalem on the one hand and colonizing and conquering Palestine and expelling its Nonjewish native population on the other are two different things.

      But you have changed my mind, Boris. “Next Year in Jerusalem” could actually mean the latter.

    • eljay on January 31, 2019, 8:02 am

      || Boris: … According to the esteemed authors, when Jews say, as they were saying for thousands of years – “Next Year in Jerusalem” – it was colonialism, imperialism, racism, communism, whatever-else-ism??? … ||

      There’s nothing wrong with Jews saying “Next Year in Jerusalem” for thousands – even millions – of years.

      There’s everything wrong with Jewish supremacists deliberately and unapologetically doing evil (terrorism, ethnic cleansing, oppression, colonialism and sundry (war) crimes) unto others because they believe they are entitled to do so.

      || … What a bunch of morons! ||

      What a bunch of hateful and immoral Zionist hypocrites.

      • Mooser on January 31, 2019, 3:58 pm

        “According to the esteemed authors, when Jews say, as they were saying for thousands of years – “Next Year in Jerusalem” – it was colonialism, imperialism, racism, communism, whatever-else-ism???”

        I don’t know where Zionists get the crazy idea that a “Jewish State” is entitled to the protections of a religion. But when it comes to arguing themselves into a self-serving, self-righteous conclusion, there’s nobody like them.

      • YoniFalic on February 1, 2019, 8:10 am

        Boris is so ignorant of Judaism that it is almost vicariously embarrassing to read his silly comments.

        לשנה הבאה בירושלים‎ (Next year in Jerusalem) is a phrase expressing a wish for the rebuilding of the Temple, the resumption of the Temple sacrifices, and ability to participate once again in the pilgrimage festivals. The sentiment does not indicate any desire for a bogus “return” to Palestine reconceived as the mythical Land of Israel.

        Ancestors of the Yiddish-speaking Rabbinical Jewish Slavo-Turk communities from West Slavia to the region of the Black and Caspian Seas were not descendants of ancient Judeans but descended from local pagan populations that converted to various forms of Judaism since the Persian imperial period.

        Ancient populations practicing Judaism never considered Judea or Palestine to be their homeland, which is a completely fabricated modern concept.

        Philo of Alexandria never made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. He seems to have been happy in attending services at the Judaic Temple at Leontopolis.

        I have made this point previously. The Jerusalem Temple was only one of several completely acceptable Judaic Temples in antiquity.

        “Next year in Jerusalem” was added to the Yom Kippur Service around 300 CE when the Armenian Kingdom made Christianity its official religion and started to encourage conversion of subjects to the official religion.

        As Movses Khorenatsi points out, much of the subject population of the Armenian Kingdom descended from converts to Judaism. To undermine the practice of Judaism, the government destroyed the Judaic Temple at Casifia near the Caspian Sea. Once this last functioning Judaic Temple was destroyed, the Temple Atonement service was no longer possible anywhere on the planet, and the Galilean Patriarchate added the phrase to נעילה (Neilah) in the Yom Kippur Service.

        Isaac of Tyrnau added the phrase to the Passover Service because Passover more than the other pilgrimage holidays memorializes the creation of the Jewish/Judaic community, for which the high priest conducts the atonement service. Isaac of Tyrnau was dealing with incorporation of many new former Hussite converts into the Jewish community. It almost certainly facilitated the acceptance of these new converts to emphasize the communal creation aspect and to point out that in Messianic times the entire human race would practice Judaism.

        In other words, the phrase really points out that Eastern European Jewish communities did not descend from Judeans and don’t belong in Palestine. Slavo-Turks like Boris and like me can make a pilgrimage now and them, after which they return whence they came — rather like the Haj in Islam.

      • Keith on February 1, 2019, 2:56 pm

        YONIFALIC- “Boris is so ignorant of Judaism….”

        Of course Boris is ignorant of REAL Jewish history when he has been constantly exposed to Zionist myth-history. History interpreted through the distorting lens of self-serving ideology. In addition to Philo of Alexandria, you can add Maimonides who had ample opportunity but, in his final days, preferred Egypt to the “sacred soil” of Jerusalem.

        But how about recent history? In spite of the efforts of the early Zionists, very few Jews wished to settle in Palestine. Indeed, even in the 1930s when Hitler came to power, in spite of US immigration restrictions on most folks, only 10% of German Jews fleeing Hitler chose Palestine, 90% going primarily to the US and the UK. Even after the Holocaust, most Jews desired the US or UK, many being coerced to go to Palestine by the Zionists who gained control of the camps. Even then, the early settlers preferred Tel Aviv on the coast to the inland backwater of Jerusalem. Israel and Zionism have only become truly popular among Jews recently now that Zionism and Zionist Jews have gained considerable power within empire.

      • YoniFalic on February 2, 2019, 7:12 am

        I must add that religious history is not really history but an adjunct to religious faith. Historians uncover the true history of a religion or of the peoples associated with a religion.

        Biblical Judaism (like later Egyptian Orthodox Christianity) is probably almost entirely a creation of the mostly convert-origin Alexandrian Judaic population. The Hasmoneans encouraged Biblical Judaism in their kingdom in order to delegitimize the Persian-sponsored elite they supplanted. Pre-Biblical Judaism probably looked mostly like a form of Zoroastrianism.

        Even though Judah Hanasi redacted the fake Oral Law into codices of the Mishnah in order to compete with Christianity, which was the codex religion par excellence, Mishnaic Judaism is a mostly Mesopotamian creation, into which Biblical Judaism is grafted in the role of a backstory.

        Mishnaic, Talmudic, and finally Rabbinic Judaism obtained little traction either in Judea or in the other regions of Palestine, whose population gradually became Christian and then Muslim.

        Islam is far more similar to the popular Biblical Judaism of the time of Jesus than is Rabbinic Judaism.

      • Mooser on February 2, 2019, 12:31 pm

        I think we should let “Boris” have the final word:

        “Times changed, today many Ukrainians, Russians, etc. are finding and screaming about their Jewishness – like having a Jewish great-great grandfather – all with a goal of going to Israel or getting help from Chabbad as Jews.” (link)

  11. oldgeezer on January 31, 2019, 7:48 am

    @boris

    Tell that to these guys. Yes it was colonialism and yes it still is.

    https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jewish-colonial-trust

  12. echinococcus on January 31, 2019, 7:59 am

    Ms Shammas,

    It would be good to know if you mean Max Ajl is a co–author of the JVP statement on another thread here that is shilling for NATO aggression, which would be quite surprising for Max Ajl, or if you mean not the JVP statement but the one above this. At any rate, something is wrong here. Mondoweiss censors even simple questions like these.

  13. Ossinev on January 31, 2019, 9:54 am

    @Boris
    Boris: “According to the esteemed authors, when Jews say, as they were saying for thousands of years – “Next Year in Jerusalem” – it was colonialism, imperialism, racism, communism, whatever-else-ism???

    I am sure that their new best buddies the whacko US Evangelicals are longing for the same next year in Jerusalem scenario so that they can get all those pesky Jews together in one place carry out their mass conversion and return them to the path of true righteousness.

    The pact with Evangelicals is a true illustration of the absloute shallowness and hypocrisy of Jewish Zionism.

    If eg a left leaning Labour Christian politician here in the UK were to call for the need for Jews to be converted to Christianity there would be howls shrieks wailings moanings eternal victim impact statements galore at this outrageous balatant “Anti – Semitism “

    • Boris on January 31, 2019, 12:54 pm

      You know, Oss, I spoke to Baptists a couple of times (typically at pro-Israel events) and they had always denied that they want Jews to convert. They had a strong belief that God had selected Jews to serve him and that’s good enough for them.

      So, yours is a typical straw man argument.

      And, on the top of that, totally irrelevant to the point I was making.

  14. Ossinev on January 31, 2019, 2:26 pm

    @Boris
    “You know, Oss, I spoke to Baptists a couple of times (typically at pro-Israel events)”
    Not a good start. I doubt that Baptists go about proselytizing at pro – Israel events. Wandering around an asylum preaching to inmates would be ill advised. Still on the plus side you seem to be accepting that Evangelicals aiming for the mass conversion of the Chosen People at least in the good old USA are not Anti – Semites and by default that this categorisation should not be included eg in the catch all IHRA definition.
    – unless of course it a “left wing” Labour politician here in the UK who supports the Palestinian cause who has the audacity to call for it.In which case as I said shrieks moans teeth gnashing eternal victimhood(sob) etc etc

    BTW the use of words like “ass” and “moron” are definitely straight from the “straw man” toolbox.Typical.

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