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James Baldwin and the Jewish State

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For James Baldwin, nothing started or stopped at the borders of the United States.  His comments about Black-Jewish tension in the country of his birth took on worldly dimensions, offering unusual insight into domestic race relations, international affairs, and conflict in the Middle East.

Baldwin wasn’t a policy wonk, but, befitting a person of his stature, he commented regularly on contemporary issues of global import.  Public figures don’t normally escape questions about Palestine and Israel; Baldwin was no exception.  The few times he spoke about the region reveal a thinker of significant prescience and a skilled rhetorician who doesn’t allow audiences the luxury of comfort.

His most notable assessment of Zionism and Israel arose in context of a 1984 controversy surrounding then-Democratic presidential candidate Jesse Jackson, whose campaign represented a milestone in Black and progressive politics.  Jackson used the epithet “Hymietown” to describe New York City in what he thought was an off-the-record conversation with a journalist.  (“Hymie” is an anti-Jewish slur.)  When the comment was reported, it erupted into scandal.

Baldwin, who claimed that “Jesse is singled out for particular reasons,” discussed the controversy at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, featured in The Cross of Redemption, an anthology of uncollected talks, essays, and reviews (Baldwin was a stringent, at times unforgiving, reviewer).  Because the Q&A is transcribed, we get to witness Baldwin speaking extemporaneously.

It is a remarkable document, in part because the audience doesn’t seem to get what Baldwin is saying.  Rather than dispensing platitudes about conflict and peace, he identifies Zionism as a concern of Western imperialism:

Whenever Israel is mentioned one is required, it appears sometimes to me, to maintain a kind of pious silence.  Well, why?  It is a state like other states.  It has come into existence in a peculiar way.  But it does not, does not, become a state because people who wrote the Balfour Declaration, or Winston Churchill, or for that matter anyone in Europe, or in the Western world, really cared what happened to the Jews.  I wish I could say differently, but I would be lying if I did—it came into existence as a means of protecting Western interests at the gate of the Middle East.

Baldwin reinforces this point when somebody from the audience questions the validity of implying that Israel “was set up to protect oil interests in that area.”  Baldwin responds:  “I said to protect the vital interests of the Western world, and I don’t mean to be sardonic or cynical, but I would be lying to you and lying by my own experience if I said to you that the Europeans—the English, the Dutch, the Germans, the French—impressed me as having any vivid concern for Jews.”  He returns to the theme of Jewish people being either disposable or instrumentalized in traditions of Western capitalism.

For Baldwin, Zionism isn’t an atavistic cultural or religious attribute, but the modern articulation of an age-old colonial logic.  “In order to be a Zionist,” he notes, “it is not necessary to love the Jews.  I know some Zionists who are definitely anti-Semitic.”  This point impugns some of Zionism’s basic premises: that Israel embodies Jewishness; that Israel is a necessary response to anti-Semitism; that Israel offers a utopian model of nationhood.  Among other uses, the ideology shows how likely, even necessary, it is in imperialist cosmologies to uncouple humans who occupy a territory from the economic utility of nation-states that exist in their name.

What does it mean to be an anti-Semitic Zionist?  (Baldwin is correct, by the way; evangelical Christian leaders, Western heads of state, and Gulf Arab billionaires all in some way fit the label.)  It shows, to begin with, that Zionism cannot deliver on its claim to preserve the well-being of Jewish people around the world.  It is first and foremost a state and as such will be oriented toward the interests of a domestic elite.

Moreover, the mere possibility of an anti-Semitic Zionist illustrates that the state isn’t a pastoral sanctuary, but an entity implicated in the same violence it purports to mitigate.  A rupture facilitates interplay between colonization and capitalism:  confuse a people with the state, a formation devoted to inhuman pursuits, and the people will never live up to any kind of idealization; the state is incapable of—and uninterested in—the resolution of trauma.

Anti-Semitic Zionists are possible because Israel benefits a chauvinistic ruling class; members of that class give zero shits about the health of the state’s inhabitants.  In fact, given the conditions of violence and accumulation in the Imperium, it’s logical to dislike Jews and love Israel.  The alt-right didn’t select Israel as a model of statecraft at random.

Baldwin wasn’t alone in this sort of analysis.  For over a century, Palestinian thinkers, along with a plethora of decolonial voices, have similarly implicated ethnonationalism.  Baldwin didn’t need to specialize in the region or have personal history there to cultivate an incisive critique of Zionism.  He appears to have a sensual understanding of its peculiar violence.  And why not?  He understood capitalism, colonization, and imperialism.  He understood messianism and exceptionalism.  He understood American racism.

A close follower of Baldwin may have anticipated his approach.  He’d expressed displeasure with Zionism and its reification of whiteness before the UMass event.  His thoughts on Black-Jewish relations are too complicated for a single article (or for my range of comprehension), but, if they’re possible to summarize, the following line does the trick:  “One does not wish…to be told by an American Jew that his suffering is as great as the American Negro’s suffering.  It isn’t, and one knows that it isn’t from the very tone in which he assures you that it is.”

This line, revealing a man who is weary but unbowed, isn’t meant to hierarchize suffering for the sake of racial credibility.  In a 1979 Nation article, Baldwin locates whiteness not in physiognomy or genetics, but in social relations:  “The Jew, in America, is a white man.  He has to be, since I am a black man, and, as he supposes, his only protection against the fate which drove him to America.”

Baldwin views Jewish aspirations to whiteness as a foolish conciliation to inherently hostile forces:  “But the state of Israel was not created for the salvation of the Jews; it was created for the salvation of the Western interests.  This is what is becoming clear (I must say that it was always clear to me).  The Palestinians have been paying for the British colonial policy of ‘divide and rule’ and for Europe’s guilty Christian conscience for more than thirty years.”  (Note that Baldwin dates injustice to 1948, not to 1967.)

The reference to Palestinians is important.  Baldwin, who describes himself as “pro-Arab,” refuses to omit them from the conversation, which means he refuses to render what is stupidly called “the conflict” an inherently Jewish concern (something anti-Zionists are apt to do, if only unwittingly).  He underscores the point:

there is absolutely—repeat:  absolutely—no hope of establishing peace in what Europe so arrogantly calls the Middle East (how in the world would Europe know? having so dismally failed to find a passage to India) without dealing with the Palestinians.  The collapse of the Shah of Iran not only revealed the depth of the pious Carter’s concern for “human rights,” it also revealed who supplied oil to Israel, and to whom Israel supplied arms.  It happened to be, to spell it out, white South Africa.

Here Baldwin reduces a baroque analysis to its essentials.  Zionism facilitates global structures of white supremacy and so cultural or religious investment in the ideology hinders an ethical politics.  Of course Israel sided with white South Africa.  Of course Israel expedites US and European machinations in the so-called Middle East.  That’s why it was created.  Destroying Palestine was a prelude to reactionary alliances.

Last week, Facebook revealed that an Israeli consulting firm has meddled in elections throughout the Global South, what a company spokesman called “a staggering diversity of regions.”  Baldwin wouldn’t have been surprised and neither should anybody else.  Israel, after all, is a longtime interloper in US elections.  In a world bifurcated according to geographies of wealth and deprivation, Israel serves the transnational class of war partisans, mercenary firms, and arms merchants.

Baldwin recognized what too many luminaries in the Western left ignore:  Israel isn’t a reconstructed product of its surroundings or a benign ideal unmoored from some noble origin; it is a portal to limitless imposition of discipline onto an expendable, alien world.

This article was first published on stevesalaita.com on May 19, 2019. 

Steven Salaita
About Steven Salaita

Steven Salaita's most recent book is Inter/Nationalism: Decolonizing Native America and Palestine.

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102 Responses

  1. just
    just on May 28, 2019, 10:21 am

    Thank you for celebrating a great man and writer in this very important way, Steven. I studied him and his writings at length @ University and learned and absorbed so much. You’ve certainly added much to my understanding~ something of great importance that was not discussed at all! James Baldwin wrt Palestine/Israel, Zionism, and anti- Semitic Zionism. Well, he certainly opened the door and I get to walk through it now, thanks to you. Your writing is mesmerizing.

  2. Rob Roy
    Rob Roy on May 28, 2019, 1:43 pm

    Dr. Salaita, thank you for a most informative article. Excellent, as always.

  3. hophmi
    hophmi on May 28, 2019, 2:16 pm

    “Moreover, the mere possibility of an anti-Semitic Zionist illustrates that the state isn’t a pastoral sanctuary”

    Eyeroll. How many red herring arguments can you made? Zionism never posited that Israel would be a “pastoral sanctuary.” The “mere possible of an anti-semitic Zionist” no more undermines the foundation of Zionism than David Duke’s support for the Palestinians undermines the Palestinian cause.

    • eljay
      eljay on May 28, 2019, 2:27 pm

      || hophmi: … Zionism never posited that Israel would be a “pastoral sanctuary.” … ||

      This doesn’t happen often but you’re absolutely right! Zionism has always and only ever been about Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of (geographic) Palestine.

      || … The “mere possible of an anti-semitic Zionist” no more undermines the foundation of Zionism … ||

      It’s hard to imagine how a foundation that extends to the very bottom of the morality barrel can be undermined.

    • MHughes976
      MHughes976 on May 28, 2019, 4:01 pm

      I too think that it’s quite possible logically for someone to be an anti-Semite, particularly in thinking that Jewish influence in the West is bad, and a Zionist in thinking that Jews deserve to be sovereign in the Holy Land – which these days might be called Orbanism. I too don’t see why the existence of Orbanism disproves Zionist pastoralism, the idea (which may be false on other grounds, of course) that Jews in Israel live an idyllic life finally safe from their enemies.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso on May 29, 2019, 11:26 am

      @hophmi

      The “’mere possible [possibility] of an anti-semitic Zionist’” no more undermines the foundation of Zionism than David Duke’s support for the Palestinians undermines the Palestinian cause.”

      Zionism “undermines” itself, i.e., as the historical record clearly attests, it was based on the violent dispossession and expulsion of the indigenous Palestinian Arabs by Zionist Jews of foreign origin in order to create an exclusionary, racist, expansionist Jewish state between the River and the Sea. As Polish born David Ben-Gurion (real name, David Gruen) stated in a letter to his son in 1937: “When the Jewish state comes into being, we will expel the Arabs and take their places.” He also declared in a speech to the 20th. Zionist Congress, on Aug. 7,1937: “In many parts of the country new Jewish settlements will not be possible unless there is transfer of the Arab population, which is what makes possible a comprehensive [Jewish] settlement plan.” This policy of “transfer,” initiated by Theodor Herzl in 1896, and promoted by Joseph Weitz in 1940, was implemented in 1948.

      David Duke’s “support” for the Palestinians is another kettle of fish, i.e., a convenient tool he uses to attack Jews. He doesn’t care about the dispossession and suffering of Palestinians.

      • jon s
        jon s on May 29, 2019, 4:04 pm

        Misterioso,
        The “quote” from Ben Gurion “in a letterr to his son” is fake. In fact both BG and Herzl expressed the desire for peaceful coexistence with the Arab population.
        And what’s the point of recalling BG’s “real name”? Lots of people changed their names, from Lenin ,Trotsky and Stalin to Marilyn Monroe , Kirk Douglas and Elton John.

      • Keith
        Keith on May 29, 2019, 7:31 pm

        JON S- “In fact both BG and Herzl expressed the desire for peaceful coexistence with the Arab population.”

        Well, both would say that if it furthered their ultimate objectives, wouldn’t they? Actions speak louder than words and the facts on the ground put the lie to their statements of desiring peace with the Arab Palestinians, something which would threaten their dreamed of Jewish state.

        As for that one controversial quote, Benny Morris responds: “… Morris later wrote that “the focus by my critics on this quotation was, in any event, nothing more than (an essentially mendacious) red herring – as elsewhere, in unassailable statements, Ben-Gurion at this time repeatedly endorsed the idea of ‘transferring’ (or expelling) Arabs, or the Arabs, out of the area of the Jewish state-to-be, either ‘voluntarily’ or by compulsion.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1937_Ben-Gurion_letter

        The facts are rather clear and any competent Israeli history teacher should be aware of this. So why the pilpul?

      • RoHa
        RoHa on May 29, 2019, 9:45 pm

        Jon s, you will be astonished to learn that I actually agree with you on one point. When people change their names, I think we should refer to people by the changed name.

        That is why I object to this modern practice of calling Spinoza “Baruch”. He preferred “Benedict”, and that is the name he was known by until very recently.

        “Baruch” was the name the synagogue used when cursing him.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976 on May 30, 2019, 8:34 am

        The wish for massive population transfer and the wish for the continued presence of a small, ideally grateful, remnant make rather an outrageous pair but it is possible to cherish both wishes in the same brain at the same time.. Without transfer, no stable majority, without happy remnant no shining proof of humanism.
        Transfer sounds much nicer than exclusion, of course.

      • jon s
        jon s on May 30, 2019, 8:47 am

        RoHa, After the last few days in Israeli politics I’ll never be astonished by anything.

      • eljay
        eljay on May 30, 2019, 9:19 am

        || jon s: … both BG and Herzl expressed the desire for peaceful coexistence with the Arab population. ||

        It is strange that a man can chain women in his basement and express a desire for “peaceful coexistence” with them but all they’ll do is spit in his face.

      • jon s
        jon s on May 30, 2019, 1:35 pm

        Eljay,
        Some friendly advice: your woman-chained-in-the-basement fantasy- give it a rest.

      • annie
        annie on May 30, 2019, 2:04 pm

        why jon? it works so well.

      • eljay
        eljay on May 30, 2019, 2:10 pm

        || jon s: Eljay,

        Some friendly advice: your woman-chained-in-the-basement fantasy- give it a rest. ||

        Doing evil unto others is no fantasy of mine, jon s. Some friendly advice: Look in the mirror.

        It’s interesting – but perhaps not surprising – that you are more troubled by an analogy than you are by the very real acts of “necessary evil” – colonialism, (war) crimes and religion-based supremacism – that you as a Zionist hypocritically advocate, engage in, support and/or defend.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on May 30, 2019, 4:51 pm

        ” After the last few days in Israeli politics I’ll never be astonished by anything.”

        Yeah, yeah, somebody put a fainting couch under “Jon s” ass give him a string of pearls to clutch..
        Oh my God, a re-adjusting of the power shared between the racist secular right, the religious right, and the military. It’s a regular brave new Israeli world, which has such screechers in it.

      • jon s
        jon s on May 31, 2019, 4:07 pm

        Keith,
        The clear fact is that the BG quote from the letter to his son is a fake.
        As to his willingness to support population transfer at that time, the context is important: the issue at the time was the Peel Commission report, which called for partition , the establishment of a tiny Jewish state and population exchanges. BG had decided to come out in favor of the plan, with reservations.

      • jon s
        jon s on May 31, 2019, 4:14 pm

        eljay,
        Don’t exaggerate. Your woman in the basement fantasy is a very minor concern of mine. You know what? Go ahead and use it as much as you want.

      • eljay
        eljay on May 31, 2019, 5:33 pm

        || jon s: eljay,

        Don’t exaggerate. Your woman in the basement fantasy is a very minor concern of mine. … ||

        I’m not exaggerating in the least. The analogy (a fantasy in your mind, not mine) troubles you more than the very real acts of “necessary evil” – colonialism, (war) crimes and religion-based supremacism – that you as a Zionist hypocritically advocate, engage in, support and/or defend.

        || … Go ahead and use it as much as you want. ||

        How Zionist of you to (self-)determine on MW what I may or may not do.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on May 31, 2019, 6:05 pm

        “You know what? Go ahead and use it as much as you want.”

        Gee, really got to admire that masterful Israeli personality. “Jon s” controls everything!

      • Keith
        Keith on May 31, 2019, 7:26 pm

        JON S- “The clear fact is that the BG quote from the letter to his son is a fake.”

        No, it is not and you should know this. There were words crossed out in the original letter which altered the meaning of the text. Who crossed out the words is speculative. Population transfer (ethnic cleansing) is what actually happened and is the ONLY conceivable way Zionism could have taken control of Palestine. To suggest that Ben Gurion and the Zionists somehow blundered into achieving a Jewish state while desiring to be good neighbors with the Palestinian Arabs is an insult to the intelligence. You have heard of Plan Dalet have you not? Once again, why the pilpul? Creating a Jewish state required the ethnic cleansing of the native Palestinian Arabs which is precisely what the Zionist Jews did. Case closed.

        “Morris later explained, “The problem was that in the original handwritten copy of the letter deposited in the IDF Archive, which I consulted after my quote was criticized, there were several words crossed out in the middle of the relevant sentence, rendering what remained as “We must expel the Arabs”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1937_Ben-Gurion_letter

      • Mooser
        Mooser on June 1, 2019, 11:45 am

        ” In fact both BG and Herzl expressed the desire for peaceful coexistence with the Arab population.”

        But they are both pretty much inveterate bullshitters, for one thing. They would say anything, at any time, which they thought might advance and excuse Zionist actions.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on June 1, 2019, 12:51 pm

        “Jon s”, some friendly advice: Your ‘Stuart Smalley of Zionism’ schtik is wearing very thin.

      • gamal
        gamal on June 1, 2019, 4:32 pm

        ” Your ‘Stuart Smalley of Zionism’ schtik is wearing very thin.”

        better watch it man he might debunk you, it’s all jameson and howling wolf tonite, “i asked for water ….oh ho tell me baby when you coming back home” sitting on top of the world…i actually waiting for backdoor man…he don’t make no excuses not too proud to howl or lament the little red rooster ..when you debunk yourself well then you will be free.

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw on June 2, 2019, 2:28 am

        @Mister0

        “When the Jewish state comes into being, we will expel the Arabs and take their places.”

        There’s a dirty lie!
        Jeez. How many times to we have to go over the same ground?

        The quote reads, “But if we are compelled to use force – not in order to dispossess the Arabs of the Negev or Transjordan, but in order to guarantee our right to settle there – our force will enable us to do so.”

        BG wasn’t talking about expelling the Arabs from Palestine, he was talking about ‘pushing away’ a tribe of Negev Bedouin who were opposing Jewish settlements in the Negev.

        Also, ‘ We must expel the Arabs’, runs against the tone of the whole letter which speaks of cooperation with the Arabs? Quotes like, “They will derive benefits from our assistance if they, of their own free will, give us the opportunity to settle in all parts of the country.”

        Why is BG even thinking of benefits when he wants to expel the Arabs. Makes no sense.

      • jon s
        jon s on June 2, 2019, 4:20 pm

        Keith, BG was not stupid and was not likely to write a sentence which contradicts the rest of the letter.
        See here:
        https://books.google.co.il/books?id=SN2FJRMll8oC&pg=PA46&hl=iw&source=gbs_quotes&vq=%22%27We+must+expel+Arabs+and+take+their+places+.+.+.+and+if+we+have+to+use+force+not+to%22#v=onepage&q=%22'We%20must%20expel%20Arabs%20and%20take%20their%20places%20.%20.%20.%20and%20if%20we%20have%20to%20use%20force%20not%20to%22&f=false

        Of course I’m aware of Plan Dalet. It was a plan for achieving victory in a ferocious war launched by the Arab side to prevent the implementation of the partition plan and annihilate the Jewish population. Atrocities were committed by both sides, including massacres and ethnic cleansing. What needs to be done now is to find a way to live in peace, not focus on who did what to whom 100 years ago or70 years ago…

      • Keith
        Keith on June 2, 2019, 5:55 pm

        JON S- “Keith, BG was not stupid and was not likely to write a sentence which contradicts the rest of the letter.”

        Well, I am not stupid and I can evaluate the facts on the ground. Who was ethnically cleansed, the Zionist Jews or the Palestinians? Ethnic cleansing which was 100% consistent with Zionist objectives of creating a Jewish state. Yet, you continue to parse the words in this letter to spin reality into Zionist mythology. It is Palestinians who were driven from Palestine, not Jews. Yet, you keep regurgitating propaganda. There will never be any hope for peace and justice for the Palestinians as long as Israeli (and American?) Jews stick with this myth-history. You need to accept reality for what it is before you can move forward.

        JON S- “It was a plan for achieving victory in a ferocious war launched by the Arab side to prevent the implementation of the partition plan and annihilate the Jewish population.”

        Annihilate the Jewish population? You mean like the Palestinian massacre of Jews in Deir Yassin? It wasn’t the Jews being massacred, Jon, and the war was started by the Zionists, not the Palestinians. And it was Jewish Zionist power which caused the UN to create the partition plan, which the Zionist accepted rhetorically, then violated physically. Suggest you read “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” by Ilan Pappe, then get your head screwed on right.

        JON S- ” What needs to be done now is to find a way to live in peace, not focus on who did what to whom 100 years ago or70 years ago…”

        Due to the asymmetric power relations, Israeli Zionist Jews could end the conflict unilaterally if they wanted to, but they don’t. The present situation is more than acceptable to the prosperous Zionist Jews in Israel and the US, and your Zionist misrepresentation of the history of the situation is one of the means by which you Israeli Jews use to justify the current reality. Your “history” is an extremely dishonest myth-history with a clear and dishonorable Zionist agenda. So spare me your phony concern about finding a just solution to the plight of the Palestinians, something which you strongly oppose except rhetorically.

      • eljay
        eljay on June 2, 2019, 6:40 pm

        || jon s: … Of course I’m aware of Plan Dalet. It was a plan for achieving victory in a ferocious war launched by the Arab side to prevent the implementation of the partition plan and annihilate the Jewish population. … ||

        I don’t doubt that “the Arab side” wished to prevent the unjust and immoral partitioning of geographic Palestine.

        But do you have any valid proof that “the Arab side” wanted specifically and only to “annihilate the Jewish population”?

        || … What needs to be done now is to find a way to live in peace, not focus on who did what to whom 100 years ago or70 years ago… ||

        It’s funny how easily you say stuff like that but if someone were to suggest right now that all of geographic Palestine should be one peaceful, secular and democratic state of and for all of its citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally, a Zionist like you would waste no time focusing on what happened to “the Jews” 70 or 2000+ years ago.

      • jon s
        jon s on June 3, 2019, 3:46 am

        Eljay,
        I’m very much peace-oriented. Convince me that one state is the best recipe to achieve a peaceful future for the country – and I’ll be with you. Right now I don’t think that there’s any such prospect. The Palestinians themselves intend to establish an Islamic state, not a secular one.

      • Marnie
        Marnie on June 3, 2019, 6:22 am

        @jon s

        Oh, Jonny. ‘What needs to be done now is to find a way to live in peace, not focus on who did what to whom 100 years ago or70 years ago…’

        I didn’t know you had an active funny bone. Good one.

        What has happened in the last 100 years and continues to happen as of this minute is extremely important and should be focused on 24/7 because the crimes commited by the zionist state occur 24/7. What is ridiculous for you and your partners in whine are doing is nothing but a waste of time; to spend a minute on what supposedly happened thousands of years ago to a supposed people who no longer exist. The majority of those people were cast out – not by european terrorists with the help of a world that couldn’t be bothered to intervene, but by the Most High thousands of years ago. Fast forward to the last 100 years or so when a bunch of idiots who believe they are descendants of those idolators who again were cast out by the will of God mind you, are entitled to a country that was never their country to begin with. Funny stuff.

      • eljay
        eljay on June 3, 2019, 5:01 pm

        || jon s: Eljay,
        I’m very much peace-oriented. … ||

        And you’re very much justice-, accountability- and equality-averse.

        But, hey, I get it: What Zionist wouldn’t be oriented toward a “peace” that…
        – allows Israel to remain a religion-surpemacist state;
        – allows Israel to keep as much as possible of what it has stolen, militarily-occupied and colonized;
        – absolves Israel of its obligations under international law; and
        – absolves Israel of responsibility and accountability for past and on-going (war) crimes committed?

        So, do you have any valid proof to support your assertion that “the Arab side” wanted specifically and only to “annihilate the Jewish population”?

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr on June 3, 2019, 5:59 pm

        @ej

        Really. I don’t follow ‘jons’ in particular but he has a point. Where does this odd off-kilter analogy to women chained, raped, locked up, etc come from. Ironically, if you examine all the terrorist activities, militant actions and alleged massacres from both sides post ’48 you will find very little evidence of mass rape from either Arab or Israeli Jewish combatants or militants. Occasionally, yes. But the exception, not the rule. you might examine and hone your arguments. There are no “women locked up and chained…..” in the Israeli /Arab conflict. Read whatever you want into that fact. The mass sexual perversion, rape, slavery and murder was on public / social media display during the short reign of the extremist Islamic so-called caliphate of IS. While the left leaning msm raised questions about which side was more or less aligned by ideology or pragmatic security situations the fact remains IS ideology lies FAR outside the goals of the PA, PLO, Hamas, Israel US or Putin conflict. The point being : if you want to sexualuze religious supremacism leave the I/P conflict out. There is IS, Taliban, the mullahs and sexual slavery in Northern African regimes. Your analogy, at least, makes sense there. Otherwise, the argument of sexism and orthodox religion is valid in treatment of women across board

      • annie
        annie on June 3, 2019, 7:53 pm

        if you want to sexualuze religious supremacism leave the I/P conflict out.

        rape is commonly used in analogous discourse without inherent sexualization implied:

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw on June 4, 2019, 12:57 am

        @Keith

        You may very well be stupid.

        The letter was written in 1937 during the British Mandate, and the expulsion/flight of the Arabs was in 1948.

        You are ‘walking back history’, which is unscholarly.

      • eljay
        eljay on June 4, 2019, 8:05 am

        || @Dak: @ej

        Really. I don’t follow ‘jons’ in particular but he has a point. … ||

        @aBr

        Really. I expect (feigned?) stupidity from guys like jon s, Jon66 and Nathan but not from you. I have no respect for your choice to be a hateful and immoral Zionist hypocrite, but I do have (and would like to continue to have) some respect for the fact that you’re not an idiot.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr on June 4, 2019, 10:28 pm

        @ej

        There were and are vicious and horrendous wars where rape was specifically used as a weapon. The I/P conflict is not one of them. Neither from the Arab or Israeli side. Sure, making rape analogies is legitimate in certain context but, especially, after the explosion of the ,me too phenomenon it just strikes me as gross. And I’d say the same to any zionist using rape analogies to apply to Palestinians. I think you can find plenty of evidence that both sides in the conflict have gone to great measures to assure that rape is not tolerated and an exception if it occurs. It also trivializes actual rape which is a universal crisis and issue. But call me an idiot for thinking rape analogies where rape is not a weapon in the conflict is simply hyperbole (and if somebody starts posting a ream of stats on rape in Israel I’ll understand that I probably irritated them. I’ll also remind them of the specious book written and widely applauded by MW by the Princeton professor about how IDF policy of NOT raping and not murdering Palestinian women was being used as a tool to dehumanize them. That is how absurd the issue is)

      • eljay
        eljay on June 5, 2019, 8:11 am

        || @Daa @ June 4, 2019, 10:28 pm ||

        Well, so much for that bit of hope.  :-(

        || … But call me an idiot for thinking rape analogies where rape is not a weapon in the conflict is simply hyperbole … ||

        I’ll call you an idiot for (feigning?) stupidity about how analogies work.

  4. CHUCKMAN
    CHUCKMAN on May 29, 2019, 8:48 am

    “Whenever Israel is mentioned one is required, it appears sometimes to me, to maintain a kind of pious silence. Well, why? It is a state like other states. It has come into existence in a peculiar way. But it does not, does not, become a state because people who wrote the Balfour Declaration, or Winston Churchill, or for that matter anyone in Europe, or in the Western world, really cared what happened to the Jews. I wish I could say differently, but I would be lying if I did—it came into existence as a means of protecting Western interests at the gate of the Middle East.”

    A profound set of truths still not acknowledged by most.

    Baldwin comes through in this piece as a remarkably insightful mind.

    Thanks for this.

    • edthespark
      edthespark on May 30, 2019, 6:08 pm

      At first glance one could agree but then you count all the american military bases in the middle east and you realize that israel is expendable.What israel does have is intelligence gathering capabilities and research and development of military hardware that is world class.The truth is the jews are in israel because it is birthplace of judaism and salaita would do well to remember that.

      “it came into existence as a means of protecting Western interests at the gate of the Middle East.”

      • eljay
        eljay on May 30, 2019, 7:57 pm

        || edthespark: … The truth is the jews are in israel because it is birthplace of judaism and salaita would do well to remember that. … ||

        The actual truth is:
        – some Jews – and considerably more non-Jews – were in geographic Palestine because that was their actual homeland;
        – supremacist Jews in homelands elsewhere in the world decided that they wanted to establish a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of geographic Palestine; and
        – mid-20th century circumstances, guilt and religious delusion enabled them to realize their hateful and immoral “dream”.

        Zionists would do well to understand this. But they can’t won’t precisely because they are Zionists.

      • RoHa
        RoHa on May 30, 2019, 9:12 pm

        “The truth is the jews are in israel because it is birthplace of judaism ”

        It is also, allegedly, the birthplace of Christianity. Do all Christians have a right to go and live there?

  5. jon s
    jon s on May 31, 2019, 4:47 pm

    RoHa,
    First of all, if any Christian wants to move to Israel and be a peaceful, law-abiding resident or citizen, I have no problem.
    Secondly, the relationship of the Jewish people to Israel, the historic homeland, is not at all similar to Christian ties to the country.
    Did Christians pray , for centuries, at least three times a day fo a return to Zion?
    Do Christian holidays reflect the agricultural cycle in Israel?
    Do Christian grooms, at their weddings , vow “If I forget thee. O Jerusalem…?
    Do Christians sing “next year in Jerusalem?”
    Do Christians pray facing Jerusalem?
    I could continue with more examples…(see, for one, Psalm 122.)

    • eljay
      eljay on May 31, 2019, 5:36 pm

      || jon s: … the relationship of the Jewish people to Israel, the historic homeland … ||

      …is manufactured because geographic Palestine was not and still is not the “historic homeland” (or “ancient homeland” or “one true homeland”) of all people in the world – of citizens of homelands all over the world – who have chosen to embrace the religion-based identity of Jewish.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on May 31, 2019, 6:09 pm

      “The truth is the jews are in israel because it is birthplace of judaism”

      Okay, now tell us who “the jews” are. I mean, look, if being Jewish entitles you to material rewards, there will be a lot of phonies trying to get in on the action. How do we tell the real Jews from people just trying to take advantage?

      • RoHa
        RoHa on June 1, 2019, 1:19 am

        “How do we tell the real Jews from people just trying to take advantage?”

        Isn’t there some specific combination of nose, funny hat, and Hammond organ that is a definitive marker for Jewishness?

      • Mooser
        Mooser on June 1, 2019, 12:23 pm

        … Hammond organ…”

        My schula mater, North Shore (of Longgoneland) Synagogue, had a Hammond organ (a C-3 and PR-40, no Leslie)
        in the choir loft. ( I don’t think many Temples used one, or there would have been a Hammond S-3 model.)
        Probably donated by a member who wanted it out of the house. No doubt long gone by now.

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw on June 2, 2019, 2:31 am

        Hey Mooser,

        I’m from the South Shore.
        We’re landsmen!

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw on June 2, 2019, 2:48 am

        @Mooser

        BTW. What reformed temple was that?

      • Mooser
        Mooser on June 2, 2019, 12:01 pm

        “What reformed temple was that?”

        Good ol’ North Shore.

        “Eunice”, you mustn’t blame them for having a Hammond organ at one time. I’m sure they were unaware of its connotations.

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw on June 3, 2019, 1:21 am

        @Mooser

        Get my name right.

        It’s Eunice Kearnes-Butz.

        North Shore Synagogue!
        The land of MILFs and money!

        And yes, Mooser. I am funnier than you are.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on June 3, 2019, 11:01 am

        ” I am funnier than you are.”

        Yes you are. You’re hysterical.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on June 3, 2019, 11:58 am

        “We’re landsmen!”

        Not me. Tho related to a peer, I can hand, reef or steer, and ship a selvagee.

    • RoHa
      RoHa on May 31, 2019, 6:44 pm

      So being the birthplace of the religion is not a sufficient condition. I hope Ed takes note.

      Can you tell me how those othe conditions (praying, etc.) give a right to live in a territory, and take it from the people who have been living there for centuries?

      What does “historic homeland” mean? (I’ve asked several times, but got no answer. Is it a secret?)

      Suppse there were a group of Brazilian Christians who prayed facing Jerusalem, and so forth. Suppose, further, that ten million of them migrated to Israel with the intention of not being peaceful, law abiding citizens, but of setting up a Christian country there. Would you still welcome them, and acknowledge their right to do so?

      • eljay
        eljay on May 31, 2019, 7:28 pm

        || RoHa: … Can you tell me how those othe conditions (praying, etc.) give a right to live in a territory, and take it from the people who have been living there for centuries?

        What does “historic homeland” mean? (I’ve asked several times, but got no answer. Is it a secret?) … ||

        Canadian jon s: How about those Toronto Raptors?! Man, they are killing it!

      • eljay
        eljay on June 1, 2019, 9:04 am

        || jon s: Eljay,
        Whoa, are you now accusing me of being a Canadian? ||

        You’re welcome.  :-)

    • RoHa
      RoHa on June 4, 2019, 8:12 am

      No, that doesn’t help a lot.

      The One True Dictionary offers a principal definition of homeland, and a subsidiary one.

      1 A person’s or a people’s native land.
      ‘he left his homeland to settle in London’

      1.1 An autonomous or semi-autonomous state occupied by a particular people.
      ‘they have been fighting for an independent homeland for nearly 30 years’

      (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/homeland)

      Obviously the principle meaning – the place where one is born – means that various Jews have various homelands, since Jews are born in many countries.

      The second meaning can apply to Israel, as long as we accept the idea that Jews are “a people” and we don’t require the overwhelming majority of “the people” to occupy the country.

      But neither of these include the “historic” bit.

      I note that you have failed to answer my question about the Brazilians.

      • jon s
        jon s on June 10, 2019, 7:32 am

        RoHa,
        First of all, I need to apologize for not replying sooner. The end of the school year entails various time-consuming obligations, but today I can enjoy the nice Shavuot holiday and also get back to this:
        Of course I would not agree to millions of Brazilians not willing to be peaceful citizens migrating to Israel.
        My trusty old Webster defines “homeland ” as “the country where one was born or makes one’s home”.
        What I wrote , and appears below, was an attempt to shed light on the “historic” part, with the Dead Sea Scrolls as illustration. In any case, whether you accept the significance of the history or not, Israel is home to millions of people , Jews and Palestinians who came here or were born here , many of them third or fourth or fifth generation locally born, who need to find a way to live together, to achieve peace.
        And , yes, the Jews are “a people”. As I pointed out once, even Shakespeare refers to the Jews as a nation (anticipating Jewish nationalism in the 16th Century?)

      • Mooser
        Mooser on June 10, 2019, 12:12 pm

        “And , yes, the Jews are “a people”.”

        And you can prove that by standing on one foot with your mouth shut until Israel has some kind of a government.

        Next you’ll be telling us how Israel’s IDF-Right-Religious coup fulfills the ancient prophecies.

      • RoHa
        RoHa on June 11, 2019, 3:00 am

        I know about end of University year. The heartbreak of reading the final exam scripts, the dismal task of trying to make the results look slightly less of a total disaster when submitting the grades to the admin people , the shoving of lecture notes into the filing cabinet while promising myself that I’ll organize them properly before next year starts, and so forth.

        So I assume you are doing much the same.

        But it seems not quite fair that you would not cheerfully step aside for the Brazilians. Their claim to the land seems to be based on the same principles as yours, and just as strong.

        And, whatever Shakespeare meant by “nation”, and how that supports the idea that Jews are a “people” (if it does), we do not need to take his word for it.

        “Jews and Palestinians … need to find a way to live together, to achieve peace.”

        The problem is that the Jews don’t want to live together with Palestinians.

        Finally, put not your faith in Webster. Trust only the OED.

  6. MHughes976
    MHughes976 on June 1, 2019, 4:12 am

    There is a tradition of orienting Christian churches so that we pray towards Jerusalem. Jerusalem plays a very important part in Christian thought and imagination, though the Book of Revelation set us on the path, not always but often followed, of focusing on a ‘new Jerusalem’ created by divine intervention and of using rather surrealist language and spiritual symbols in the descriptions and discussions. This does not imply unconcern with the Jerusalem of current reality. Some of the poetry is quite good.
    As RoHa in effect notes, being in the state of mind where one responds deeply to certain ideas, traditions and symbols or prays in certain terms is only being in a state of mind. This could well be the explanation of further states of mind, such as a desire to see the Holy Land or revel in the relics of its history.
    I think everyone would accept this sequence, religious sentiment to desire for presence, equally as an explanation for much Jewish and much Christian behaviour. But the sequence from states of mind or spiritual states to rights is a very different matter. I don’t think that the Christian spiritual connection is any less spiritual or any less of a connection than its Jewish counterpart.
    But surely there is no valid sequence of that kind. I can’t argue simply from my state of mind or spirit to your obligation to let me possess or destroy something.

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew on June 1, 2019, 4:49 pm

      MHughes- there are a billion Christians on the planet and the New Testament is vague enough regarding Christianity’s continuity from Judaism or Torah or Jewishness circa 33 CE, so that it is not difficult to imagine a group of 10 million (or 1% of those billion) who view living in the Holy Land as their destiny and best way of following Jesus and worshiping the father. so if you tell me that some churches pray towards Jerusalem, I am hardly shocked.

      The Jewish obsession with the land (to use a negative word) is certainly not distant from the prayers, books and rituals of the Jewish religion. Clearly the most important book to the Jews is the first part of the bible: the five books of the torah, which tell a story of coming to the land, leaving the land and then the exile of slavery, then the freedom, then the contract between nation and god and then an unfulfilled journey to return to the land. a cliff hanger that emphasizes the land as the goal, to be fulfilled in the next episode. the most important prayer of the jews is first the shma, in the second stanza of the shma there it is again: the land and the threat of loss of the land. the second most important prayer is the 18 blessings, that mentions Jerusalem and the ingathering of the exiles and the return to zion that our eyes long to see. the most important holiday is passover and the seder may be about liberation, but it is also about jewish nationhood, jewish freedom and the return to the land.
      in actuality my zionism stems from recent history. i think to emphasize the bond of the jews to the land while leaving for a later lesson the historical context of the zionist movement is to study ideology in its pristine form, meaning imaginary laboratory conditions. that’s not how zionism developed. it developed under a specific context of world history from 1881 to 1948.
      certainly in 2019 the history of its development sounds like history, ancient history: before the advent of tv, let along cell phones. and as such the explanation of israel’s right to exist is going to ignore the immediate phase before israel’s birth, because that is ancient history that might be viewed as an anomaly, and instead we/they emphasize: this has always been our primary goal: to return to Zion. that is not true, in good times it was not primary. but 1881 to 1945 were not good times.

      But let me cite one more angle: before Zionism the most significant communal act, by the Jewish world was the Shabtai Zevi movement, a debacle and an utter failure, but what were his followers suggesting: a return to Zion. the arc of Jewish history to point in the direction of a return to Zion is not some sort of strange manifestation of Jewish identity, but a natural extension of the Jewish identity.

      The Palestinians of course feel ignored by this Jewish narrative and the expulsion of hundreds of thousands is certainly not necessarily implied by the Jewish connection. Not implied in theory, but in practice, historically more than implied, implicated. the Jewish return to Zion of 1948 included an expulsion. an expulsion made easier by reading certain texts and concentrating on certain rituals and prayers and so all that I cited will be read by the exiles as ignoring them. And the predominant Jewish narrative of ignoring the exiles is insufficient. So all that I described is only the first step of asserting why we are there. How to go from the Jewish presence in the location to how to get along in the neighborhood is a project that will demand courage and thought and imagination.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976 on June 1, 2019, 6:53 pm

        I think we have a lot of common ground, Yonah.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on June 1, 2019, 7:14 pm

        “the Jewish return to Zion of 1948 included an expulsion. an expulsion made easier by reading certain texts and concentrating on certain rituals and prayers”

        I see.

        ” How to go from the Jewish presence in the location to how to get along in the neighborhood is a project that will demand courage and thought and imagination.”

        And “courage and thought and imagination” are exactly what we should expect from a theocracy which perverts the Jewish religion to advance the Zionist project?

      • eljay
        eljay on June 1, 2019, 9:21 pm

        || wondering jew: … How to go from the Jewish presence in the location to how to get along in the neighborhood is a project that will demand courage and thought and imagination. ||

        Zionists will never be courageous enough, thoughtful enough or imaginative enough to apply justice, accountability and equality to I-P. Because Zionists will always insist that the religion-based identity of Jewish grants to those who choose to hold it the right:
        – to be supremacists;
        – to have a religion-supremacist state in as much as possible of geographic Palestine; and
        – to do “necessary evil” unto others.

      • RoHa
        RoHa on June 4, 2019, 8:15 am

        “The Jewish obsession with the land …the land as the goal,”

        “it is also about jewish nationhood, jewish freedom and the return to the land.”

        “the arc of Jewish history to point in the direction of a return to Zion is not some sort of strange manifestation of Jewish identity, but a natural extension of the Jewish identity.”

        Yonah, I have to say that returning to a bit of land is a pretty prosaic goal for a religion.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on June 4, 2019, 3:41 pm

        “Yonah, I have to say that returning to a bit of land is a pretty prosaic goal for a religion.”

        “RoHa”, any religion must prioritize it’s goals. Religion, spirituality, prayers, traditions, morals, even converts, can be made as needed, but Holy Land is like real estate, they ain’t making any more of it.

      • RoHa
        RoHa on June 5, 2019, 1:32 am

        “Holy Land is like real estate, they ain’t making any more of it.”

        And yet they could. Gather up some rubble, dump it in a shallow part of the sea (Monaco will tell you how to do this) and you’ve got a new bit of land. Then get an Irish priest, give him twenty quid and a bottle of Jamesons, and he’ll sprinkle a bit of holy water and say a few words to sanctify the land. And there you are. New Holy Land.

        (Though the Holy Ground is more to my taste.)

    • jon s
      jon s on June 2, 2019, 3:56 pm

      MHughes,
      You certainly know more about Christian theology and practices than I do , so I’m interested to learn that there’s a tradition of orienting churches towards Jerusalem. In Jewish tradition, ALL prayers are directed towards Jerusalem. WJ mentioned the “18 blessings” prayer (which actually includes 19 blessings…), and I mentioned other examples , and there are many more. With all respect, it seems to me that the significance of Jerusalem, Zion, the Land of Israel, in Jewish prayers and practices is greater than in Christianity.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on June 3, 2019, 11:23 am

        “With all respect, it seems to me that the significance of Jerusalem, Zion, the Land of Israel, in Jewish prayers and practices is greater than in Christianity.”

        I bet “Jon s” has a gartel embroidered with ‘This machine kills Palestinians.’

  7. jon s
    jon s on June 1, 2019, 8:26 am

    Eljay,
    Whoa, are you now accusing me of being a Canadian?

    • Mooser
      Mooser on June 1, 2019, 12:28 pm

      “Whoa, are you now accusing me of being a Canadian?” “Jon s”

      Yeah. So spread your tiny wings and fly away, and take the snow-job with you where you came from on that day.

  8. jon s
    jon s on June 1, 2019, 8:34 am

    Before I reply to RoHa on the historic homeland issue, a technical query:
    I used to be able to search commenters archives, including my own. Is that no longer possible, or am I missing something?
    I would appreciate an answer without the usual insults and name-calling.

    • RoHa
      RoHa on June 1, 2019, 9:56 am

      Alas, no. It is no longer possible. We were promised a search function a long time ago, but it never came. If we had one, I would be able to check whether I have received a clear answer in the past. As if is, I have to rely on my memory, and that is an uncertain instrument.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on June 1, 2019, 12:15 pm

      ,” or am I missing something? I would appreciate an answer without the usual insults and name-calling.”

      Yup, “Jon s” is still firmly in control of the thread.

    • annie
      annie on June 1, 2019, 12:42 pm

      the only way to access the wealth of information in our commenters archives is to scroll endlessly. i’ve made several complaints about it but it makes no difference.

      one can draw whatever conclusion one wants from that.

      here’s one earlier enquiry: https://mondoweiss.net/2018/08/updating-encryption-technical/comment-page-1/#comment-945062

    • Mooser
      Mooser on June 1, 2019, 4:51 pm

      “on the historic homeland issue”

      There’s no issue. It’s a bunch of bullshit cooked up by Zionists to ensnare ill-informed Jews and sell to ill-informed non-Jews.

      • Marnie
        Marnie on June 2, 2019, 8:07 am

        Yep, absolutely true.

  9. Ossinev
    Ossinev on June 1, 2019, 1:53 pm

    @Ejay/Roha

    Not sure about the “historic” homeland. For sure though Zioland was/is and forever shall be (pending implosion) a classic example of a “hysterical” homeland.

    Tick tick.

  10. jon s
    jon s on June 1, 2019, 5:01 pm

    RoHa,
    What do I mean “historic homeland”?
    The Israel Museum in Jerusalem is the site of the Shrine of the Book, which displays the Dead Sea Scrolls. The centerpiece of the display is the well-preserved Isaiah scroll, which has been dated at ca. 125 BCE.
    Anyone who reads Hebrew today can read the scroll without too much difficulty . So a person like myself, who identifies as a Jew and reads, writes and speaks Hebrew and lives in Israel can read a scroll written in the 2nd century BCE by a scribe who also identified as a Jew, whose language was Hebrew and lived here, probably not too far from his scroll’s present day location in the museum.
    So sometime around 125 BCE the scribe laboriously copied “…and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” And now , in 2019 ,we can read those words .
    I realize that this is probably not the kind of answer you anticipated, but dictionary-style definitions can always be looked up.
    See here:
    http://dss.collections.imj.org.il/isaiah

    • Mooser
      Mooser on June 1, 2019, 5:35 pm

      “I realize that this is probably not the kind of answer you anticipated”

      On the contrary, I think that is exactly the kind of bullshit answer, depending solely on an assumption of shared bigotries, we were all expecting. The “Jewish” claim supersedes all others.

      And why does this give you (or Zionism) the right to kill Palestinians and steal their land?

      Wait a minute, you are quoting the old “beat their swords into plowshares” in favor of the Zionists? You are taking the Stuart Smalley thing way too far.

    • gamal
      gamal on June 1, 2019, 5:54 pm

      ” neither shall they learn war any more.”

      I remember the Jewish spiritual “I ain’t going to study war no more”

      “I realize that this is probably not the kind of answer you anticipated” he not authentic like you are, just English.

      “read those words” yeah but not live by them, “read them” Andre writes….

      “Israel is a European ‘outpost’ in the Middle East. The mindset of most of its inhabitants is predominantly European. Talk to people in Tel Aviv, Haifa, even Beersheba as well as in the non-religious parts of the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem, and you will most likely come to the same conclusion.

      The ‘political awareness’ of the white, European Israeli Jews, is precisely on the same level as that of the Europeans, meaning near zero”

      https://off-guardian.org/2019/06/01/israeli-indifference-is-killing-people/

      • Mooser
        Mooser on June 2, 2019, 12:11 pm
      • Mooser
        Mooser on June 2, 2019, 3:22 pm

        “I remember the Jewish spiritual “I ain’t going to study war no more”

        Here is my favorite version. I played the grooves out of the recording when I was young.
        It snuck into the house on an anthology of ‘American folk music’ I was gifted by my Aunt.

        I think “Lord, Keep Me Day by Day” by the Caravans was on it, too.

      • jon s
        jon s on June 2, 2019, 3:30 pm

        gamal,
        I read the essay you linked to, found myself laughing out load by how far off-base the writer is.

    • edthespark
      edthespark on June 2, 2019, 9:21 am

      Thank for the post about the dead sea scrolls.Interesting.There will come a day when those words will become to reality.Let the scrutiny continue because truth will triumph.

      • jon s
        jon s on June 2, 2019, 3:32 pm

        ed, you’re welcome and Amen.

  11. Jackdaw
    Jackdaw on June 2, 2019, 2:39 am

    @Steven Salaita

    What you and James Baldwin didn’t know, was that religious Zionists had been making Aliyah to Eretz Yisroel for 800 years before the discovery of oil in Middle East.

    Also, the Zionist founders had been casting around to all the Great Powers in search of a patron. They proposed Zionism to the Ottomans, the Germans and the British.

    Chaim Weizman even got approval of Zionism from the leader of the Arabs, Emir Feisel.
    https://mfa.gov.il/mfa/foreignpolicy/peace/mfadocuments/pages/the%20weizmann-feisal%20agreement%203-jan-1919.aspx

    Oil was not the concern of the Zionists, sanctuary from anti-Semitism was the Zionist main concern.

    Beep beep.

    • Jackdaw
      Jackdaw on June 2, 2019, 2:04 pm

      And BTW.

      The only oil field s that Great Britain was aware of in the Middle East, was in Iraq. A oil pipeline to the Mediterranean would help exploit that new resource, but there was no reason to believe in 1917 that an Iraqi pipeline would use Haifa as a terminus in the Mediterranean.

      That was an afterthought.

      https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Flookaside.fbsbx.com%2Flookaside%2Fcrawler%2Fmedia%2F%3Fmedia_id%3D39751087806&imgrefurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FOtto-dei-Simpson-39751087806%2Fphotos%2F&docid=uYVcbChs0DEctM&tbnid=JOsWF0l7_O-GaM%3A&vet=10ahUKEwjyv9ONscviAhWQRBUIHTOhAvkQMwhmKAQwBA..i&w=712&h=960&client=safari&bih=441&biw=853&q=otto%20simpson&ved=0ahUKEwjyv9ONscviAhWQRBUIHTOhAvkQMwhmKAQwBA&iact=mrc&uact=8

    • jon s
      jon s on June 2, 2019, 3:26 pm

      Something here does not make sense: If the primary concern of the West was to preserve strategic interests such as oil, why support a project which was bound to antagonize the vast majority of the population in the region?

      • Keith
        Keith on June 2, 2019, 6:43 pm

        JON S- “Something here does not make sense: If the primary concern of the West was to preserve strategic interests such as oil, why support a project which was bound to antagonize the vast majority of the population in the region?”

        Are you sure that you are an Israeli history teacher? Empires don’t take control by being nice to the people they subjugate. They support despotic rulers who rely on imperial power to stay in power. They divide and rule. The Zionist founders sought imperial support from the get-go (See Jackdaw’s comment above). They presented the future Israel as a Western imperial outpost in the midst of the Arab rabble, something which continues. Without imperial support (first Britain then the US) Israel would not exist as a Jewish state. Both Israel and the empire want the surrounding Arab states to be fragmented and weak and could care less about winning friends on the Arab street. Initially, there was concern, however, when Israel effectively destroyed pan-Arabism during the Six Day War, this concern abated.

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw on June 3, 2019, 1:16 am

        Look Jon,

        What Steven is ignorant of, is the fact that Great Britain wasn’t interested in the scant resources of the Levant, but in checking France in the Middle East. Palestine would serve as a buffer between French Syria and the Suez Canal.

        Steven’s game is obvious.
        He has it in mind that if #BLM, LGBT, the Congressional Black Caucus, et al, begin to unite against Israel, than maybe there will be real political pressure against Israel somewhere down the road.

        So, to that end, Steven, and his cohorts resurrect and repurpose dead black men like King and Baldwin, and use them for their own political ends.

        What Steven also fails to understand is that the global warming will destroy the planet in 11 years, and that destruction will include his Palestine.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on June 3, 2019, 11:07 am

        “…the global warming will destroy the planet in 11 years, and that destruction will include his Palestine.”

        Gee, Palestine gets destroyed by global warming, while Israel’s climate becomes more moderate and slightly wetter, leading to a restoration of the Biblical land of milk and honey.

        Hardly seems fair, somehow.

    • Keith
      Keith on June 2, 2019, 6:26 pm

      JACKDAW- “…sanctuary from anti-Semitism was the Zionist main concern.”

      Rubbish. The primary concern of the original Jewish Zionists was the “threat” to Jewish “peoplehood” posed by the enlightenment and assimilation. And prior to the Holocaust, Zionism was unpopular with the majority of Jews who preferred England and the US to Palestine. The early Zionist elites were very critical of the Jews in Diaspora and considered those Jews who did not wish to make aliyah as useless.

      • eljay
        eljay on June 2, 2019, 7:18 pm

        || Keith: … The early Zionist elites were very critical of the Jews in Diaspora and considered those Jews who did not wish to make aliyah as useless. ||

        Well, sure. Apparently there’s not much point to being Jewish if you can’t fulfill the Zionist mandate of being a “strong fighting Jew” who’s willing to do “necessary evil” (or at least “hold his nose” while others do it) in order to secure Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of geographic Palestine.

      • Citizen
        Citizen on June 4, 2019, 5:46 pm

        @ eljay

        Reminds me of Himmler’s speech to his SS officers. The model Nazi, like the model Zionist, “the new German,” or “the new Jew.”

  12. Ossinev
    Ossinev on June 2, 2019, 7:42 am

    @WJ
    “How to go from the Jewish presence in the location to how to get along in the neighborhood is a project that will demand courage and thought and imagination”

    Your words “Jewish presence in the location” are interesting and it would appear that you are at least recogonising what others see as as obvious contradictions.

    On the theme of “in the location” and “in the neighbourhood” a straightforward question then.

    Is Israel a Middle Eastern country ?

  13. Ossinev
    Ossinev on June 2, 2019, 1:41 pm

    @Jackdaw
    “religious Zionists had been making Aliyah to Eretz Yisroel for 800 years before the discovery of oil in Middle East”

    With their priority being not to escape Anti – Semitism but to live out a Biblical fairy tale:
    “For generations of religious Jews, aliyah was associated with the coming of the Jewish Messiah. Jews prayed for their Messiah to come, who was to redeem the land of Israel from gentile rule and return world Jewry to the land under a Halachic theocracy”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aliyah.

    Jackdaw still no response from WJ so grateful for your view. Is Israel , Halachic or otherwise , a Middle Eastern country ?

  14. Ossinev
    Ossinev on June 3, 2019, 2:03 pm

    @Mooser
    “”Might be hard to tell right at the moment”

    Will the moment ever come? The constant Zionist mantra of “the only democracy in the Middle East”LOL as opposed to the “only Middle Eastern Democracy” has always suggested to me that Zionist Jews perceive of Israel as being some sort of island of Western “standards” and Western “culture” that`s to say European standards and culture in a sea of barbarian Middle Eastern peoples – much like white Africaners and Rhodesians in the apartheid (Mark 1) era viewed their colonies as being islands of civilisation in a sea of black “neanderthals”

    Would love to see the likes of Max Blumenthal on film going around Tel Aviv especially putting the direct question particularly to the younger generation of Israeli Jews and to witness their reactions.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on June 3, 2019, 5:22 pm

      “Will the moment ever come?”

      Of course it will, if a government cannot be formed, those two bulwarks of Israel’s Jewish democracy, the IDF and the Orthodox, will take matters in hand and preserve order.

  15. Citizen
    Citizen on June 4, 2019, 6:10 pm

    It’s important to remember that the SS honestly believed they were the victims, switching the roles of executioners and victims. There’s tons of evidence of that, e.g., the interview documentary from National Geographic available on the History Channel.

    Innocent Raper & guilty rapee is more than an analogy.

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