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Germany has lost the right to act as a referee on anti-Semitism

on 40 Comments

Last week, the German Parliament passed a resolution that demonizes the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel. Other countries, England and France for example, have taken a similar formal stand against BDS. More nations, such as Canada and the USA, are toying with the illogical option of delegitimizing their own long-held constitutional principles to guard the interests of a foreign country.

But, especially in the case of Germany, even though the decision is only a non-binding gesture, it is morally and esthetically revolting. Israel’s entire claim to its right to an independent racially-defined nation state is rooted in the mythical claim to an ancestral home and the equally mythical claim to descent from a single Semitic tribe that once inhabited it. With the factual revelations of the likes of Shlomo Sand, such claims lost any rock-bottom basis they might have sought to claim; their strength shifted to moral and esthetic aspects of that well-entrenched myth. Hence, morality and esthetics have gained the high ground in the relevant debate, relegating the legal issues to the background. Israel is the valiant realization of the romantic dream of the long-suffering Jews who were exiled from the Holy Land, the accepted myth holds. Buying into that, as most people in the West, especially evangelical Christians, have, requires much imagination, romanticism and ideology that skews rationality.

With the light now focused on the international debate regarding the legitimacy of Israel’s historical claims and with it having successfully pushed out the Palestinian presumed competitors in the international arena out of the Sumo wrestling circle, the entire cheering audience, nearly all the Western World, has little to go on other than the visible muscle power of the two wrestlers. In this light, the legitimacy of the referees becomes critical. To start with, such referees were supposed to have matched two equivalent competitors, a total fallacy in our case. And the referees are supposed, prima facie, to take a neutral stand. That is why the credentials of German politicians in judging what is and what is not anti-Semitic are critical, especially in terms of, again, morality and esthetics. Imagine American experts advising the Vietnamese and Cambodians on their roles in rejuvenate their forest canopies after the end of that war. Or, to take a more current example, imagine Myanmar’s ruling generals advising neighboring countries on how to settle Rohingya refugees.

Listen, my German friends! You have lost any moral right to even have an opinion on the matter, especially when arbitrating between two presumably Semitic peoples. It is not only morally wrong. It is esthetically ugly beyond a normal person’s ability to countenance. Just stay out of the damned mess and keep your mouth shut.

You, German politicians, have admitted your responsibility for all the anti-Semitic evil actions against the Jews that your predecessors have committed. That is admirable. And you rightly continue to pay compensations for the harm done in your names. But that has been limited only to the harm done to part of the direct victims of your predecessors. What you owe us, the Palestinians, is to stand tall and admit to colluding with all the other guilty Western Powers in making us, the Palestinians, your indirect substitute objects of blame. You all colluded with the Zionist settler colonialist project to push the Jews out of Europe and to assist them in claiming our homes as theirs. Ergo, we the Palestinians became, and are still viewed by you, Israel and the world at large as surrogate Germans who ought to pay up in kind for all Germany’s inherited guilt and to continue to suffer for its past criminal acts against the presumed Jewish branch of the Semitic race. And now you dare to pass judgement on us for peacefully demanding our rights under international law. Now you have the audacity to ascribe to me your predecessors’ innermost ugly sentiments in order to aid and abet our continued victimization as surrogate Germans and anti-Semites.

You guys are mixed up. Your attempt at atonement to the Jews is backfiring. From where I stand you look ridiculously and utterly uncouth, even when you think you are joining an international chorus. You are not only ethically wrong. You are esthetically ugly. Get this straight: Germany has lost the right to act as referee on the dark issue of anti-Semitism. “Never again” is the outcry of humanity at large. No one, including you and Netanyahu and his rabidly fascist supporters, has the right to assign Nazi guilt to far-fetched strawmen like the Palestinians. As a member of that aggrieved nation and a human being committed to peacefully demanding my equal rights and peace of mind, I hereby command you to step aside and to stop stoking the fires of hate by painting us, Palestinians, with Europe’s past bloody colors of anti-Semitism. Your only proper role is to apologize, not only to the Jews but to humanity at large. And to pay compensations, not only to the Jews but also to your secondary and indirect victims like us, the Palestinians. And, in addition to compensations for the harm that your predecessors have done us indirectly, you should pay an equivalent fine for your current depraved, uncouth and vulgar behavior. I dare you to reverse your steps and to start acting humanely. You can pay what you owe humanity at large to UNRWA.

Hatim Kanaaneh
About Hatim Kanaaneh

Dr. Hatim Kanaaneh is a Palestinian doctor who has worked for over 35 years to bring medical care to Palestinians in Galilee, against a culture of anti-Arab discrimination. He is the author of the book A Doctor in Galilee: The Life and Struggle of a Palestinian in Israel. His collection of short stories entitled Chief Complaint was released by Just World Books in the spring of 2015.

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40 Responses

  1. Stephen Shenfield
    Stephen Shenfield on May 31, 2019, 6:33 pm

    Suppose we cast off the racist idea of collective national guilt and consider the responsibility of individuals. We find that even a German boy who was 11 in 1945 and dragged into the last-ditch defense of Berlin is now 85 years old. And surely the guilt of such a youngster is not all that great. A young man who fought in the East and possibly massacred Jews there would have been at least 21 in 1945 and if still alive would now be 95 years old. So only a tiny minority of extremely elderly Germans can bear substantial guilt for the Holocaust. A few more years and they too will be dead. Should we continue to malign existing generations of Germans, not to mention those still unborn, simply for being Germans?

    And if we switch focus to what has happened since 1945, how many countries have Germans invaded? The only case I can recall is East Germany’s participation in the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia. How many countries has the USA invaded? But we don’t hang a guilt trip on ourselves simply for being American, even though many Americans now alive took part in massacres in Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Iraq, etc. How many countries have the Israelis, who are Jews, invaded? But we denounce indiscriminate moral condemnation of ‘the Jews’ as anti-semitism, don’t we?

    It saddens me to find a Palestinian, someone for whom I previously had respect, aligning himself with this anti-German bigotry. The Germans oppose Palestinian rights not because they don’t want to acknowledge the full scope of their misdeeds; they have been browbeaten into this stance by the Zionists, whom they hope to placate and thereby relieve the unfair burden of guilt under which they labor — not realizing that whatever they do the Zionists have no intention of ever stopping milking the cow of German guilt. It is true that the Palestinians are to some degree indirect victims of the Germans’ ancestors, but I doubt that many Germans understand that.

    • eljay
      eljay on May 31, 2019, 7:25 pm

      || Stephen Shenfield: … How many countries have the Israelis, who are Jews, invaded? … ||

      Israelis are Jews and non-Jews.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        Stephen Shenfield on June 1, 2019, 6:23 am

        Israelis are Jews and non-Jews.

        The non-Jews are not fully part of the political structure that determines foreign and military policy. Very few of them serve in the armed forces. Only to a very small extent do they share responsibility.

      • eljay
        eljay on June 1, 2019, 9:24 am

        || Stephen Shenfield: … The non-Jews are not fully part of the political structure that determines foreign and military policy. Very few of them serve in the armed forces. Only to a very small extent do they share responsibility. ||

        I get what you’re trying to say but I still don’t agree that Israelis are Jews. Not for…
        – national identity (Israeli Jews and Israeli non-Jews are Israelis); or
        – responsibility for (war) crimes committed (which should lie with the Jews and non-Jews who advocate, engage in, support and/or defend them).

    • JohnSmith
      JohnSmith on May 31, 2019, 9:48 pm

      || Stephen Shenfield: The racist idea of collective national guilt…. ||

      Most Americans did not take part in massacres in “Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Iraq.” To the extent that Americans fell en masse for lies and claims about Iraq, etc., we should keep that in mind and remember it. That’s part of what history is–remembering what happened and being ashamed when a society falls for lies and hatred in some sort of national psychosis.

      But we have Germany choosing to side with the most visceral and vicious kind of hatred and injustice in both Nazi Germany and today’s Germany and Israel.

      The important issue is the wrong of a country like Germany attacking people who speak for peace and humanity–in both Nazi Germany and now in today’s Germany.

      That isn’t some issue of “collective guilt” that people should play stupid semantic games with or dumb theorizing about which individuals should feel guilt. It’s an issue of a country working to silence basic human decency. And whether any Nazis or Nazi collaborators survive in Germany today, every German should today feel ashamed / guilty about the bigoted anti-Palestinian obscenity that is their policy.

      Nazi anti-Semitic policies and modern Germany’s anti-Palestinian policies are definitely things that should have a negative effect on the country’s reputation, just like any evil committed by any nation. That’s racist? To point out racist evil?

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso on June 1, 2019, 8:29 am

      @Stephen Shenfield, et. al.

      Must watch just released video!!

      Mabruk to the Jewish disrupters!!!

      Video: “Activists in Germany disrupt Israeli intelligence officer” Electronic Intifada, May 30/19
      Riri Hylton Activism and BDS beat, 30 May 2019

      “On the day the German Bundestag passed a motion equating BDS with antisemitism, two German BDS activists disrupted a Hasbara talk. They made clear that crimes against humanity will not be tolerated and that the fight against antisemitism will not be abused and misused to whitewash these crimes.

      “The talk was given by Major (Res) Arye Shalicar – former IDF spokesperson and head of foreign relations in the Israeli Ministry of Intelligence. Shalicar participated in the deadly attack on the Mavi Marmara and the two recent massacres in Gaza.

      “In memory of the 2,200 lives lost, the 551 children and the 89 entire families who were obliterated during the Gaza massacre of 2014.”

    • Hatim Kanaaneh
      Hatim Kanaaneh on June 2, 2019, 8:57 am

      Stephen Shenfield: I do concede the point in principle. Still, in its payment of compensations to Israel, Germany, as a nation and a state, accepts bearing collective responsibility for past actions of the previous generation. And, when the current chancellor declares that all Jewish institutions in Germany require police protection, for German politicians to shift the blame, in any measure, on the Palestinians and their (mostly decent) supporters, is unjust and uncouth. It is a misplaced racist attempt to appease Israel and Zionism. I cannot here make the argument better than the following article does:

      • Stephen Shenfield
        Stephen Shenfield on June 3, 2019, 7:12 am

        Yes, it is unjust. Having assumed an unjust burden as a trans-generational national collective, the Germans unjustly try to lighten that burden by scapegoating Palestinians. But at the root of it all is the principle of collective national guilt or responsibility. And its natural corollary — the principle of collective national victimhood, which led to the blood money going not only to people who really did suffer under the Nazis but also to corrupt leaders of Jewish organizations who did not and to the Zionist state, strengthening its financial position at a crucial juncture.

  2. Donald
    Donald on May 31, 2019, 6:39 pm

    This was absolutely brilliant. On target in every respect.

    On a much lesser scale, incidentally, I think some liberal American Christians commit the same sin. They ( or we, since I am one) recognize the past history of Christian antisemitism and correctly feel responsibility for making sure that Christianity is never again used to justify antisemitism.

    But where it goes off the rails is when people feel the need to defend Israel. And when such people presume to tell Palestinians what fraction of their rights they are entitled to claim, well, it gets “ aesthetically ugly.”

    Love that phrase. It hits the nail on the head.

  3. annie
    annie on May 31, 2019, 7:15 pm

    Go Hatim!

  4. Boris
    Boris on May 31, 2019, 9:16 pm

    Listen, my Semitic friend!

    Antisemitism has nothing to do with Semites. It is a term for hatred of the Jews.

    Once you understand this, you will see that the base premise of your article is wrong.

    • eljay
      eljay on June 1, 2019, 7:46 am

      || Boris: … Antisemitism has nothing to do with Semites. It is a term for hatred of the Jews. Once you understand this, you will see that the base premise of your article is wrong. ||

      That’s right. And that’s why holding human beings who have chosen to be Jewish to the same ethical and moral standards as human beings who have not chosen to be Jewish has nothing to do with anti-Semitism.

      Once you understand this, you will see that the base Zionist premise of smearing with destructive accusations of anti-Semitism people who oppose Jewish / “Jewish State” supremacism, colonialism and (war) criminality is not just wrong but deliberately unjust and immoral.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso on June 1, 2019, 9:15 am


      Criticizing Jews as Jews is anti-Semitic. However, criticizing Zionist Jews is fully warranted.

      • hipocampelo
        hipocampelo on June 1, 2019, 7:28 pm

        Misterioso: I fully agree with you.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on June 1, 2019, 5:09 pm

      “Antisemitism has nothing to do with Semites. It is a term for hatred of the Jews.”

      That’s cause Jews aren’t Semites any more, but are just another kind of white people now?

      • Boris
        Boris on June 1, 2019, 8:05 pm

        No, Mu-mu, Jews are Semites.

        And I wrote “antisemitism”, not “anti-Semitism”. When the term was invented in Germany, Jews were the only Semites in Europe.

    • annie
      annie on June 1, 2019, 10:58 pm

      boris, hatim didn’t mention semites. germany determined the palestinian led boycott movement (BDS) was anti semitic. to that, hatim says:

      Germany has lost the right to act as referee on the dark issue of anti-Semitism. “Never again” is the outcry of humanity at large. No one, including you and Netanyahu and his rabidly fascist supporters, has the right to assign Nazi guilt to far-fetched strawmen like the Palestinians.

      the premise of the article is correct and your argument, whatever it may be, makes no sense.

      • jon s
        jon s on June 2, 2019, 1:35 am

        Annie, BDS is primarily a campaign of anti-Israel activists in the West. It certainly does not benefit the Palestinians, and the Palestinians themselves don’t boycott Israel.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on June 2, 2019, 12:29 pm

        ,” and the Palestinians themselves don’t boycott Israel.”

        ROTFLMSJAO! Just like the victims of armed robbery who refuse to boycott their attackers.

      • Boris
        Boris on June 2, 2019, 4:05 pm

        annie, there are quite a few references to Semites in this article.

        “Never Again!” was clearly a Jewish slogan born on the ashes of the Holocaust.

        So, it seems like you, Jew-haters, appropriate everything from the Jews.

  5. Citizen
    Citizen on June 1, 2019, 3:30 am

    The reasons behind Germany’s condemnation of BDS via @MiddleEastEye

  6. Ossinev
    Ossinev on June 1, 2019, 6:15 am

    “Other countries, England and France for example, have taken a similar formal stand against BDS.”

    Can`t speak for France but I am certainly not aware of “any formal stand” stand against BDS here in the UK. Bring it on – it would certainly stir a seriously big hornet`s nest.

    I think Hatim may be thinking of the adoption of the grotesque IHRA definition which has been “formally” adopted by UK political parties but which has no formal legal basis or standing.

  7. Jon66
    Jon66 on June 1, 2019, 7:15 am

    Not to worry. Some Germans are very supportive of BDS.

    • annie
      annie on June 1, 2019, 11:20 pm

      there are many germans who support bds, the vast majority are from the left, not associated with this political party. if you think a small neonazi political party in germany is going to tarnish the global BDS movement you’d be wrong.

  8. Citizen
    Citizen on June 2, 2019, 5:03 am

    Germany’s Cities Split With “anti-Semitic” BDS Movement: German cities split with ‘anti-Semitic’ BDS boycott movement

  9. Nathan
    Nathan on June 2, 2019, 7:20 pm

    Mondoweiss should be able to disqualify an article if it’s (1) poorly written and (2) nonsensical. We learn in the second paragraph that the Bundestag decision against BDS is “revolting”. Then, immediately afterwards in the very next sentence, we hear that Israel’s claim to statehood is based on myths. Surely, the editor must have noticed that there is a very strange line of thought here; but, alas, if an article is anti-Israel then it is printable here.

    The author claims that the Germans together with the other western powers “all colluded with the Zionist settler colonialist project to push the Jews out of Europe”. This claim also appears in Mahmoud Abbas’ PhD thesis from 1982, and the idea behind it is that the Holocaust was a plot of the Europeans (together with the Zionist Movement) to bring the Jews to Palestine. Many intellectuals in the Arab world repeat this version of Holocaust denial, but it’s really strange that Mondoweiss allows for its publication here. It’s one thing to be anti-Israel, but there’s no justification for accepting an article that presents a claim that the editor surely knows to be false.

    It might be of interest to point out to the readers that “Semitic peoples” and “Semitic tribes” is 19th century racial nonsense. The only correct use of the adjective “Semitic” is in the realm of linguistics. There are Semitic languages (Hebrew, Arabic, Maltese, Aramaic, Amharic) that share certain common traits, and that’s all.

    I understand that every author who writes a book against Israel is immediately an “authority” who wins the praise of all the anti-Israel activists. Nevertheless, it should be stated that Prof Shlomo Sand is an expert in the history of cinema. Even though he’s a university professor, his book about the “invention of the Jewish people” is propaganda, not research into the history of the Jews in the Middle Ages. Prof Sand is not capable of reading the sources from which one writes about Jewish history.

    • Keith
      Keith on June 2, 2019, 9:52 pm

      NATHAN- “Prof Sand is not capable of reading the sources from which one writes about Jewish history.”

      What sources? Why is Sand not capable of reading these sources?

      • Nathan
        Nathan on June 4, 2019, 7:12 am

        Keith – Allow me to be the first person to tell you about historical research. History is about written evidence. You find some text, and then you draw your conclusions from it. It is self-evident that the scholar who is reading this text knows the language in which it is written. For example, if you are writing about the Bar-Kokhba rebellion, obviously you can read the Latin text of Cassius Dio, and obviously you can read the letters written to and from Bar-Kokhba during the war (in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek).

        Prof Sand writes about the Khazarians, claiming that they are the source of European Jewry. He doesn’t have the training to analyze such an issue. He can’t read a text written in the 8th century. He is an historian of the modern period (he knows French). His book (“Who Invented the Jewish People”) is a political statement – not professional historic research.

      • Keith
        Keith on June 4, 2019, 4:43 pm

        NATHAN- “History is about written evidence.”

        The most important aspect of history is the objective interpretation of the historical facts, something which Zionist myth-history completely lacks. Two quotes, then a concluding comment and quote.

        The view that Jewish history is a separate area of study has already had many negative results, but in the twentieth-century history and especially the history of Zionism, its consequences have been truly appalling. Very often this approach has paralyzed any critical sense and any effort at critical analysis, has perpetuated myths flattering to Israel’s collective identity, and has led historians of Zionism to lock themselves up in an intellectual ghetto where there are no means of comparison or criteria of universal validity. Such exclusiveness can lead to ignorance.” (pX, The Founding Myths of Israel,” Zeev Sternhell)

        “Classical Judaism had little interest in describing itself or explaining itself to the members of its own community, whether educated (in talmudic studies) or not. It is significant that the writing of Jewish history, even in its driest annalistic style, ceased completely from the time of Josephus Flavius (end of first century) until the Renaissance, when it revived for a short time in Italy where Jews were under strong Italian influence. Characteristically, the rabbis feared Jewish even more than general history, and the first modern book on history published in Hebrew (in the 16th century) was entitled “History of the Kings of France and of the Ottoman Kings. It was followed by some histories dealing only with the persecutions that Jews had been subjected to….(p19)
        All modern studies on Judaism, particularly by Jews, have evolved from that conflict, and to this day they bear the unmistakable marks of their origin: deception, apologetics or hostile polemics, indifference or even active hostility to the pursuit of truth. Almost all the so-called Jewish studies in Judaism, from that time to this very day, are polemics against an external enemy rather than an internal debate.”
        (p22, “Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years,” Israel Shahak)

        The reality, Nathan, is that Zionist history is by and large myth-history desperately searching to justify the Zionist interpretation of the biblical narrative. Your ad hominem attack on Sand is simply a typical Zionist attack on empirical reality. Ashkenazi Jews are Eastern European converts to Judaism, period. If you wish to argue which Eastern European converts, perhaps Yoni Falic will oblige. As Joel Kovel notes:

        “All of the historiographical exertions by generations of Zionist apologists cannot confer legitimacy on a project in which a variegated people held together by texts and a common faith, and whose actual ethno-national geneologies had been formed all over the map, suddenly decide after two thousand years that they have a real claim on a part of the earth just because it is the center of their Biblical identity. A two thousand-year-old claim would be laughed out of any secular court — all the more so for the Ashkenazi Jews who comprise the main body of Zionists and have little discernable link to the ancient inhabitants of Palestine.” (p36, Overcoming Zionism: Creating a Single Democratic State in Israel/Palestine,” Joel Kovel)

      • Nathan
        Nathan on June 5, 2019, 4:27 pm

        Keith – There is no such thing as an “objective interpretation” of historical facts. Everyone has an ax to grind, and Prof Sand is no exception. Actually, if you have read his book, you might have noticed that he openly admits what exactly is his ideological ax. However, this isn’t the issue that I raised. I really don’t care if he is anti-Zionist or whatever. I know that he does not have the background in medieval history to be able to evaluate the roots of the Jewish communities. He can’t read a document in Greek or Arabic or in any of the relevant languages of the era. He’s an expert in the history of cinema.

        I see that it’s very important for you and for many other commentators to state that the founding narrative of Israel is a myth. I suppose that is the reason that Prof Sand’s book is so “important”. But I have to admit that it’s quite baffling. If I were to take seriously the point of view of Prof Sand’s book (that the Jews of today are the descendants of converts, therefore they are not the children of the exiled Israelites – and hence they had no right to found a Jewish state), then I would have to assume that if it could be proved that the Jews are the descendants of ancient Israel, then Prof Sand would have to accept Israel’s legitimacy.

        But we all know that it really doesn’t make any difference. Prof Sand rejects Israel’s legitimacy, no matter what (and you, too). So, why would you care if the European Jews are converts or Israelites? (By the way, the Arabs “know” that the Jews of today are the children of the Jews of antiquity. It’s everywhere in their literature, so they have no difficulty in rejecting Zionism while at the same time admitting that the Jews are indeed that cursed people of the Quran).

        Anyway, take note of the fact that the real issue at hand is political science. The State of Israel has been established, and there is Israeli citizenship. In political science, it doesn’t make any difference who your ancestors were. Let’s do things your way and determine that the citizens of Israel are not the Biblical children of Israel. So what? Is the state going to be disestablished? No. The state is a fact of life, and it has the right to determine who will be a citizen, and it has the right to protect its citizens. It also has the right to present its founding narrative, to take pride in its identity – and there is no need for the approval of outsiders.

      • RoHa
        RoHa on June 6, 2019, 2:07 am

        “It also has the right to present its founding narrative,”

        It has the right to present the truth about its founding. There is no right to tell lies.

        ” to take pride in its identity ”

        There is no right to be proud of an identity which is one of injustice and immorality, “necessary evil” and disrespect of human rights, criminality, and religion/ethnic-based supremacism.*

        (*Phrasing adapted from Eljay.)

      • Keith
        Keith on June 6, 2019, 10:53 am

        NATHAN- “I see that it’s very important for you and for many other commentators to state that the founding narrative of Israel is a myth.”

        It seems to be critically important for you Zionists to establish Zionist myth-history. To claim that Zionist Jews are returning to their “ancestral homeland.” For Benzion Mileikowsky to Hebraize his last name and his son to brandish an ancient ring with the name Netanyahu on it. To establish the myth of a land without people for a people without land. For Joan Peters fraud to be warmly received and highly praised. We look to our history and our past actions and the consequences thereof to guide us in our current behavior and the consequences thereof. As Orwell put it: “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” Zionist myth-history misrepresents historical reality in order to justify the present and shape the future. Why else all of the BS about Ashkenazi Jews returning to their ancestral homeland? Why not acknowledge the reality that the atheist founders of Israel were Eastern European converts to Judaism who VOLUNTARILY adopted the Judaic religion and the lifestyle which went with it? A lifestyle, I might add, which was superior to that of the medieval Gentile peasants. A lifestyle no longer possible with the advent of modernity, hence, the development of Zionism. But instead you make an unjustified ad hominem attack on Shlomo Sand. Does one have to speak ancient Egyptian to conclude that the Red Sea didn’t part to let Moses lead his people out of Egypt? Or that Benzion Mileikowsky’s ancestral homeland is somewhere in Eastern Europe?

        NATHAN- “The State of Israel has been established, and there is Israeli citizenship.”

        Yes, but the Blood and Soil nature of the Jewish state can be changed to make it a state of all of its EQUAL citizens. Justice demands no less. And a good place to start would be to stop slaughtering the people of Gaza and to lift the siege. Case closed.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on June 6, 2019, 5:37 pm

        “Yes, but the Blood and Soil nature of the Jewish state can be changed to make it a state of all of its EQUAL citizens”

        That would be a very good idea, seeing how the blood is getting thinner and thinner.

    • bcg
      bcg on June 3, 2019, 9:25 am

      @Nathan: “Israel’s entire claim to its right to an independent racially-defined nation state is rooted in the mythical claim to an ancestral home and the equally mythical claim to descent from a single Semitic tribe that once inhabited it.”

      That seems correct to me. The land of Israel is much more the ancestral homeland of the Palestinians than it is the ancestral homeland of some Jew born in New Jersey or France or Russia.

      • Nathan
        Nathan on June 4, 2019, 7:54 am

        bcg – Israel has come into being, and she seems quite capable of maintaining her existence. That’s it. There really was an ancient Kingdom of Israel, or it’s just mythology – well, it’s an interesting intellectual topic of discussion, but it’s totally irrelevant in our world of politics. The state exists, and the citizens thereof are Israelis. In the anti-Israel world, there seems to be a belief that Israel could be debated away by claiming that her founding narrative is fiction.

      • eljay
        eljay on June 4, 2019, 1:45 pm

        || Nathan: … In the anti-Israel world, there seems to be a belief that Israel could be debated away … ||

        In the anti-rapist world, objections to the hateful and immoral activities of Joe the rapist aren’t an attempt to “debate away” Joe’s existence.

        The problem isn’t that a state exists, it’s that the state:
        – is deliberately and unapologetically colonialist, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist; and
        – commits its acts of “necessary evil” with impunity.

        The problem with Zionists is their horribly misguided belief that the religion-based identity of Jewish is a free pass for those who choose to embrace it:
        – to be supremacists;
        – to have a supremacist state; and
        – to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on June 3, 2019, 11:35 am

      “There are Semitic languages (Hebrew, Arabic, Maltese, Aramaic, Amharic) that share certain common traits, and that’s all.”

      Because they are the peoples descended from Noah’s son Shem, called Semites. There’s no 19th century racial nonsense about it!

      ” Prof Sand is not capable of reading the sources from which one writes about Jewish history.”

      And I thought a cat could look at a king.

      • Nathan
        Nathan on June 4, 2019, 6:38 am

        Gee, Mooser, I would never have thought that a person who finished high school would need an explanation about language and descent. There is no connection between the language you speak and your DNA. Language is an acquired trait, whereas DNA is inherited. So, the belief that the language you speak is an indication of who your ancestors were (i.e. your DNA) is indeed 19th century racial nonsense.

        The adjective “Semitic” describes a family of languages, and that’s all.

  10. Mooser
    Mooser on June 4, 2019, 12:53 pm

    “The adjective “Semitic” describes a family of languages, and that’s all.”

    Exactly! It is the family of languages which trace their origin back to the Semetic peoples, engendered by Shem, the son of Noah after the flood.
    Naturally, these people will have the same (to some extent) DNA. That’s why they sorta talk the same.

  11. just
    just on June 7, 2019, 2:55 pm

    Thank you for this article, Dr. Hatim Kanaaneh.

    wrt BDS & Germany:

    “Rapper Talib Kweli rejects German demand to denounce Israel boycott

    American rapper Talib Kweli has refused to cave in to demands from a German festival that he denounce the BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – movement for Palestinian rights.

    As a result, he was disinvited from the July festival’s lineup.

    Kweli is saying that he refuses to “censor myself and lie about BDS for a check.”

    Germany’s lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, recently passed a resolution equating BDS with anti-Semitism.

    The smear against a nonviolent movement that rejects all forms of racism prompted protests by Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip and denunciation from across Palestinian society.

    Modeled on the global solidarity campaign that helped end apartheid in South Africa, the BDS movement explicitly opposes all forms of bigotry, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

    This week Kweli revealed that he received an email from Philipp Maiburg, artistic director of the Open Source Festival in the western city of Düsseldorf, highlighting the Bundestag motion and demanding the artist’s position on BDS.

    “As you know, there are many discussions around the BDS in Germany and artists which have signed to it. There has also been a lot of confusion even with much bigger festivals than ours,” Maiburg wrote.

    “The new situation now is that since 17 May 2019, there is now an official statement from the German government signed by all parties which basically officially declares the statements and methods of the BDS as anti-Semitic.”

    Although the Bundestag resolution is nonbinding, Maiburg asserted that “All administrations of regions or cities, as well as representatives of public institutions, are asked not to give BDS any room or platform.”

    “As we are also working with public funding we have no other choice than to ask you for an official statement concerning your position towards the BDS,” he added. …

    “This is fascism”
    Kweli said he was being asked to “denounce BDS or else not perform” and posted a public response to Maiburg’s letter on his Facebook page.

    “By lying and saying that BDS is an anti-Semitic movement, the German government is engaging in fascism and doing a disservice to the German people,” Kweli wrote.

    “Boycotting, divesting and sanctioning are peaceful solutions to the crisis that destroys Palestinian homes and lives. It is the opposite of terrorism.”

    “It worked to make South Africa a fairer and more equal nation and it could work in Israel if its opponents were not so anti-black and anti-Muslim.”

    Kweli is unapologetically refusing to abide by the festival’s demands.

    “I would like to perform in Germany but I don’t need to. I’d rather be a decent human being and stand up for what’s right than censor myself and lie about BDS for a check.”

    He also took to Twitter to affirm his stance after Israel supporters started attacking him.

    “The German government is demanding that artists who perform at Open Source Festival, a publicly funded event, denounce BDS as anti-Semitic. BDS is not anti-Semitic. This is fascism. I will not be censored,” Kweli tweeted. …

    … Standing up for Palestine
    This is not the rapper’s first principled stance for Palestinian rights.

    In 2014, Kweli canceled plans to perform in Israel after appeals by Palestinian rights campaigners.

    He has also voiced his support for Palestinian rights through his music. …”

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