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Deborah Lipstadt says all Muslim countries are intolerant of minorities and anti-Zionist Jews are ‘belated’ Jews

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Deborah Lipstadt, the scholar of anti-Semitism, made some remarkable comments to Peter Beinart at the Forward in March (a discussion I’ve been belatedly mining). Anti-Zionist Jews are “belated” Jews, late to discover they are Jewish. All Muslim-majority societies are intolerant of religious minorities. Satmar Hasidim are possibly anti-Semitic because they’re anti-Zionist; the jury’s out.

The left has a false understanding of the Nakba: Palestinian leaders told Palestinians to leave in 1948 so they could have “free rein to wipe out the Jews” and take their houses and possessions. Though yes, in “certain cases,” Jews kicked out the Palestinians.

Lipstadt says anti-Zionist Jews just discovered they’re Jewish. This is the first of several cracks at Jewish Voice for Peace.

What we’re getting today particularly from groups on the far left, I would say Jewish Voices for Peace, many of whose members, not all, certainly not all, but many of whose members, to quote Howard Jacobson, a line he has in his wonderful and very funny novel The Finkler Question, which won the Mann Booker Prize, You know some of the people there discovered they were Jews when it came time to criticize Israel.

It’s anti-semitic to oppose the existence of a Jewish state, Lipstadt says. Muslim majority countries are intolerant across the board. And those anti-Zionist Jews never set foot in a Hillel.

To my mind, if you were opposing the existence of the state of Israel, in the 30s, even in the 40s, in the 20s certainly, Bundists arguing with Zionists, that wasn’t anti-semitic, that was Jews having Friday night dinner, that was Jews debating with each other. Two Jews, six opinions, four of which are right.

Today– I’m going to speak in very practical not theoretical terms. You have a Jewish state, with what’s the Jewish population, 6, 7 million… 8 million Jews, unheard of and unexpected. I remember when it was 3 million…. Today to say I am against a Jewish state and there shouldn’t be a Jewish state, My first question is, well where should those Jews go? Remember… Helen Thomas said, well let them all go back to Poland. Well as you know… what is it, over 50 percent of the Jewish population of Israel would be considered people of quote unquote color. Morocco, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Ethiopia, etc., etc., places from which many of them were kicked out, let’s also acknowledge that.

The retort will be let’s have one state without any religious identity, one state where everyone is fully equal… Show me, again being absolutely practical, show me one Moslem-dominated state, and here I’m going outside the Middle East, Indonesia, Malaysia, etc., where a religious minority is thriving, where a religious minority lives in peace and in freedom and ability to practice their identity. It doesn’t exist. Maybe there’s one example, but I can’ t think of it.

Suddenly for people sitting in a sound room at Emory University [as she is] or at the City University of New York [Beinart], and I’m not putting this in your mind– people say, let it be one state, let them try! For Jewish Voices for Peace sitting outside in their demonstrations for Open Hillel, which most of them were never members of before they started protesting it… it’s very nice for them to say that, but it just doesn’t work. At the same time I’m arguing there has to be equality. Because it’s a Jewish state, but it’s also established as a democracy. From Ben-Gurion if not earlier, that was inherent to the existence of the state…

The Satmar Hasidim, who are anti-Zionist, may be anti-Semitic.

There’s always the ringer… People like Satmar Hasidim, who have amongst them Neturei Karta comes out of there, and within the Neturei Karta there is the crazies who love to show up at Palestinian demonstrations, at Holocaust denial. A group of them showed up at the Holocaust denial conferences in Iran, etc. Are they anti-Semites? Well I think the jury is a little bit out on that. But it does complicate the matter. But I think it’s an exception which doesn’t prove the rule.

(Wikipedia says there are 60-75,000 Satmar Hasidim.)

Lipstadt on the Nakba. The 750,000 Palestinians, or most of them evidently, left so that their forces could have “free rein to wipe out the Jews.”

Or another answer I often get or read, is that Israel was founded in sin. Because as we know, in certain areas of then-Palestine, the Arab residents left because they were told by their leaders, Leave now so we have free rein to wipe out the Jews and then you’ll come back in a week, in ten days, whatever it was, and get their farms and their businesses and their orchards and their possessions and everything will be yours. But in certain cases the Jewish fighters, whatever group they were associated with, before the consolidation of the fighters as Ben-Gurion did into the Haganah and the IDF, chased the Arabs out, we know that.

So people will say to me, Well it was founded in sin. They chased those people out, even though they say everyone was chased out, which isn’t true. So it doesn’t have a right to exist. So my response to that is Let’s contextualize this historically, let’s look at other countries where that happened with the indigenous citizens, the indigenous residents were treated less than fairly. We can start with the United States of America, the Native Americans, or slavery. For a long time we had slavery in this country, people being owned. Or Canada and its treatment of what is called the First Citizens [First Nations], horrific treatment. Or Australia and the treatment of the aborigines, or New Zealand and the treatment of the Maoris. That doesn’t make it right. I’m not saying these other things and saying therefore it’s right. But when the only country you focus on and you have that myopia, you have to ask, Why the singular focus?

Beinart defends Jewish Voice for Peace. “I’m uncomfortable with casting aspersions on other people’s Jewish identities.” Many are alienated from Zionism and maybe also traditional Jewish practice. But we can disagree with their views without discussing their Jewish identity.

Lipstadt agrees. “There are a myriad of ways of being… connected to… Jewish identity.” You don’t have to be religious, it can be through art, literature, politics, community, social justice. But Lipstadt can’t let it go: Anti-Zionist Jews are “belated” to their Jewish identity

I do find that many people on the left have latched on to this, with a — not all– with a belated discovery of their Jewish identity. And a certain simplistic view of what is going on in the Middle East.

Israel is gonna be an uncomfortable place for non-Jews, but so what. Lipstadt exalts the American ideal of separation of church and state but says you can’t have that in Israel.

It is a Jewish state and that’s going to make me feel, if I were not a Jew, a little maybe less comfortable, a little less belonging, but I shouldn’t face any discriminatory elements because of it… My village should have the same running water and grid and schools… Is it going to be problematic, yes, but you can’t take the American model of separation of church and state, that First Amendment last I checked was still in existence, it’s hanging on by its fingernails, but it’s still hanging on! .. It’s going to be problematic.

I just find it a little bit dare I say chutzpah to sit in the safety of your home not facing this issue and make pronouncements about what should be, and Give it a try… There are far worse human rights problems…

Thanks to Yaakov Shapiro, who brought this interview to my attention. H/t James North and Adam Horowitz. 

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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55 Responses

  1. eljay on June 6, 2019, 1:10 pm

    Deborah Lipstadt says …

    Zionist Deborah Lipstadt spews the usual Jewish supremacist (Zionist) crap. Imagine that.

    • Misterioso on June 7, 2019, 10:10 am

      @eljay, et. al.

      Some pertinent facts:

      “So, what did the Muslims do for the Jews? – How Islam Saved the Jews.”
      Lecture by Professor David J. Wasserstein.
      David J Wasserstein is the Eugene Greener Jr. Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University. This article is adapted from his May, 2012, Jordan Lectures in Comparative Religion at the School of Oriental and African Studies.
      “Islam saved Jewry. This is an unpopular, discomforting claim in the modern world. But it is a historical truth. The argument for it is double. First, in 570 CE, when the Prophet Mohammad was born, the Jews and Judaism were on the way to oblivion. And second, the coming of Islam saved them, providing a new context in which they not only survived, but flourished, laying foundations for subsequent Jewish cultural prosperity – also in Christendom – through the medieval period into the modern world.”

      Dr. Ella Habiba Shohat, Professor of Cultural Studies and Women’s Studies at the City University of New York (CUNY), a self described “Arab Jew” born in Israel of Iraqi ancestry now living in the United States: “Our history simply cannot be discussed in European Jewish terminology. As Iraqi Jews, while retaining a communal identity, we were well integrated and indigenous to the country, forming an inseparable part of its social and cultural life. Thoroughly Arabized, we used Arabic even in hymns and religious ceremonies. The liberal and secular trends of the 20th century engendered an even stronger association of Iraqi Jews and Arab culture, which brought Jews into an extremely active arena in public and cultural life. Prominent Jewish writers, poets and scholars played a vital role in Arab culture, distinguishing themselves in Arabic speaking theatre, in music, as singers, composers, and players of traditional instruments. (“Reflections by an Arab Jew”)

      American diplomat, Wilbur Crane Eveland’s book, “Ropes of Sand: “In attempts to portray the Iraqis as anti-American and to terrorize the Jews, the Zionists planted bombs in the U.S. Information Service library and in synagogues. Soon leaflets began to appear urging Jews to flee to Israel…. Although the Iraqi police later provided our embassy with evidence to show that the synagogue and library bombings, as well as the anti-Jewish and anti-American leaflet campaigns, had been the work of an underground Zionist organization, most of the world believed reports that Arab terrorism had motivated the flight of the Iraqi Jews whom the Zionists had ‘rescued’ really just in order to increase Israel’s Jewish population.”

      Yehouda Shenhav, of Iraqi Jewish heritage and professor of sociology and anthropology at Tel Aviv University: “Any reasonable person, Zionist or non-Zionist, must acknowledge that the analogy drawn between Palestinians and Mizrahi [Arab] Jews is unfounded. Palestinian refugees did not want to leave Palestine….Those who left did not do so of their own volition. In contrast, Jews from Arab lands came to this country under the initiative of the State of Israel and Jewish organizations.” (Ha’aretz, 8 October 2004.)

      Avi Shlaim, born into an affluent and influential family in Baghdad: “We are not refugees, nobody expelled us from Iraq, nobody told us that we were unwanted. But we are the victims of the Israeli-Arab conflict.” (Ha’aretz, August 11, 2005)

      Status of Arabs in “Israel”
      Rabbi Perin, in an eulogy for mass murderer, Baruch Goldstein, in 1994: ‘One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.’ (New York Times, Feb. 28, 1994)

      In April, 2001, during his Passover sermon, Rabbi Ovadia Yossef, the spiritual leader of the Shas party and former Israeli Chief Rabbi, described the Arabs as ‘serpents’ and in his Passover sermon, he stated that ‘the Lord shall waste their seed, devastate them and vanish them from this world. It is forbidden to be merciful to them. You must send missiles to them and annihilate them. They are evil and damnable.’

      Regarding Palestinians residing in the occupied West Bank, Raphael Eitan, then Israel’s Chief of Staff, declared: ‘When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle….(New York Times, 14 April 1983)

      Prime Minister Ehud Barak: ‘The Palestinians are like crocodiles, the more you give them meat, they want more…’ (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 30, 2002)

      “Former Foreign Ministry director-general invokes South Africa comparisons. ‘Joint Israel-West Bank’ reality is an apartheid state”
      EXCERPT: “Similarities between the ‘original apartheid’ as it was practiced in South Africa and the situation in ISRAEL [my emphasis] and the West Bank today ‘scream to the heavens,’ added [Alon] Liel, who was Israel’s ambassador in Pretoria from 1992 to 1994. There can be little doubt that the suffering of Palestinians is not less intense than that of blacks during apartheid-era South Africa, he asserted.” (Times of Israel, February 21, 2013)

      “The Racist Entity That Is Taking Over Israel Must Be Toppled”
      Haaretz, Feb 27, 2011 by Sefi Rachlevsky
      “…Israel has built a world where the Jews are citizens and the Arabs are not, both in the occupied territories and in Jerusalem; where a Jewish man is a citizen and his Arab neighbor is not. Most Jewish first-graders attend ultra-Orthodox and religious schools. The majority of them are educated along the lines of ‘The King’s Torah.’ A Jew is human. A non-Jew is non-human. ‘Thou shalt not kill’ does not apply to non-Jews. And this is not delivered in the form of incitement, but as a simple statement of a fact. As simple as calling a chair a chair.”

      BTW, unable to bear their circumstances and the blatant racism directed towards them by the Ashkenazi Jewish establishment, about 5,000 Moroccan Jews promptly returned to Morocco after arriving in Israel in the late 1940s. In recent years thousands more have returned home and continue to do in order to live a meaningful, peaceful and prosperous life among their Arab/Muslim/Christian brothers and sisters. Morocco is benefitting greatly from their return.

      • pabelmont on June 8, 2019, 11:10 am

        Palestinian (Christian) friends told me of the easy communal getting along between Christians, Muslims, and Jews before 1948 (or probably before 1920). My wife’s hymnal was written “in Arabic” which meant Arabic words and the music from right-to-left (very hard for me to read!)

        My late wife attended Friends Girls School in Ramallah 1938-1944 and said there were Christians, many Muslims, and one Jewish girl in her class.

        It is not necessary to say there was never any anti-Jewish activity in Arab countries to maintain truthfully that Jews lived for a very long time and fairly comfortably among (and were themselves, linguistically) “Arabs”. Think back to Andalusia before the Christian kings returned (reconquista). I don’t think everybody was speaking Castillian Spanish in those days (750 ? -1492). Remember Maimonides (Rambam) ( ) (“He became a prominent philosopher and polymath in both the Jewish and Islamic worlds.”)

      • LiberatePalestine on June 8, 2019, 6:58 pm

        And Maimonides wrote primarily in Arabic.

    • Citizen on June 8, 2019, 9:45 am

      She spews the typical Zionist analogy of Israel doing no more than what was done to the natives in North America, Australia, New Zealand in the 19th Century. But Israel did this occupation and dispossession conduct on the heels of the 1945 Nuremberg Trials, after two world wars (II basically caused by I’s Peace Treaty conditions), in the 20th Century–after Geneva IV. Like so many Zionists, she thinks “Never Again!” is not a universal law principle, but one applicable only to Jewish victims.

      • pabelmont on June 8, 2019, 11:12 am

        Citizen: Exactly! Post-1945 makes a big difference, or should.

      • LiberatePalestine on June 8, 2019, 7:04 pm

        I won’t excuse for one second the American Holocaust or its counterparts in Oceania. But they also do not justify similar projects by German, Japanese, or Zionist fascists.

        Unsurprisingly, the US, having plundered and decimated the Indigenous nations under its settler-colonial occupation, now enables the same monstrous crimes by the Zionist settler-colonial régime occupying Palestine.

  2. just on June 6, 2019, 2:50 pm

    Did she teach this miscreant?

    “Netanyahu Appoints Justice Minister Who Supports Immunity From Indictment for Prime Minister

    ‘First LGBTQ minister’ and Likud lawmaker Amir Ohana promoted the Nation-State Law, and says Muslims are prone to being ‘culturally murderous’ …”

    He’s reportedly one of Yair’s BFF.

    It’s worth remembering this from 2017:

    “Muslims Are Prone to ‘Cultural Murderousness’ and Israel Belongs to the Jews, Says Lawmaker Amir Ohana

    A Likud Knesset member well-regarded by Prime Minister Netanyahu explains why he would have shot the Palestinian assailant from Hebron ‘in the first second,’ and why he thinks right-wing gays like themselves more than left-wing ones …”

    I don’t know why Emory U. tolerates her racism.

  3. annie on June 6, 2019, 2:53 pm

    it’s a tad hypocritical for someone who’s career is completely centered around defending israel and pro israel jews to be referencing the concerns of others as “myopia” or myopic.

    her references remind me of this essay i read the other day (tweeted about here, it’s all so joan peters. there seems to be a revival of this sort of revisionist history. i don’t think it’s going to work.

  4. Steve Macklevore on June 6, 2019, 3:19 pm

    Lipstadt is just another Jewish supremacist, lauded by the academy.

    In a delicious irony, the lady who took down revisionist historian and holocaust denier David Irving spouts her own false history.

    • DaBakr on June 7, 2019, 12:05 am


      The difference between lipstat and Irving is Irving was found in court to not be able to prove his assertions about the Holocaust which is why he couldnt be defame by being called a liar. I doubt very much that lipsrat could be found in any European or western court of lying. One of the points she is making is trying to dispute every single bit of the Israeli historical narrative as illegitimate is the same exact thing as the lying Irving did/does.

      I don’t agree with every statement she made but she isn’t promoting a vast conspiracy theory.

      • Donald on June 7, 2019, 10:35 am

        What she says about the Nakba is a conspiracy theory. She repeats the claim that the Palestinians mostly fled because the Arab leaders told,them to do so and promised they could come back and loot their Jewish neighbors after the war. That’s a slander on the people expelled and it’s a very ugly thing to say. It’s typical of war propaganda, of course, but here she is, still spouting it 70 years later presumably because it makes her feel better about Israel’s origins.

        She then implicitly contradicts herself by comparing Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians with what the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand did to their indigenous populations.

      • Misterioso on June 7, 2019, 11:16 am


        With supporters like Deborah Lipstadt, Zionism and “Israel” need no critics.

        To wit Re the Nakba:
        John H. Davis, who served as Commission General of UNRWA at the time: “An exhaustive examination of the minutes, resolutions, and press releases of the Arab League, of the files of leading Arabic newspapers, of day-to-day monitoring of broadcasts from Arab capitals and secret Arab radio stations, failed to reveal a single reference, direct or indirect, to an order given to the Arabs of Palestine to leave. All the evidence is to the contrary; that the Arab authorities continuously exhorted the Palestinian Arabs not to leave the country…. Panic and bewilderment played decisive parts in the flight. But the extent to which the refugees were savagely driven out by the Israelis as part of a deliberate master-plan has been insufficiently recognized.” (John H. Davis, The Evasive Peace, London: Murray, 1968)

        In 2004, when asked by Ha’aretz journalist, Ari Shavit, what new information his just completed revised version of The Birth of the Palestinian Problem 1947-1949 would provide, Israeli historian Benny Morris replied: “It is based on many documents that were not available to me when I wrote the original book, most of them from the Israel Defense Forces Archives. What the new material shows is that there were far more Israeli acts of massacre than I had previously thought. To my surprise, there were also many cases of rape. In the months of April-May 1948, units of the Haganah were given operational orders that stated explicitly that they were to uproot the villagers, expel them and destroy the villages themselves.” (Ha’aretz, January 9, 2004)

      • Misterioso on June 7, 2019, 11:19 am


        Give it up man!! It’s common knowledge that Lipstadt is a fraud and a purveyor of lies!!

      • DaBakr on June 7, 2019, 1:23 pm


        It is an historical fact that Arab leaders said exactly that. You should know there are newspaper and radio broadcast documenting this. What can be disputed is exactly how many Arabs heeded that call or if they did wether out of malice or just fear from war versus how many were forced out by Israeli jews. Obviously not all Arabs were forced out so it’s hardly an historical slander to say the surrounding Arab armies wanted to extinguish the new state and at the time there was no distinct Palestinian identity as a nation apart from the other Arabs in the Trans Jordan which occupied judea and Samaria for decades. These facts do not deny the emergence of an aggrieved Palestinian identity or their displacement from lands or the war, the conflict, etc. If Israel was devoid of any Arab non jews , at least to the extent that every single arab/Muslim nation is devoid of its jews then I might see a case for slander. Not a single Arab state can say to Israel, “where are your muslims, Christians, Arabs?” The way Israel can ask the same rhetorically to them.

      • Keith on June 7, 2019, 7:21 pm

        DABAKR- “It is an historical fact that Arab leaders said exactly that.”

        BS! Zionist lies are like vampires, it is almost impossible to kill them! No doubt you will resurrect this BS in the near future. Referring to this hoary lie, Norman Finkelstein notes: “This claim was conclusively demolished by British scholar Erskine Childers and Palestinian scholar Walid Khalidi as far back as the early 1960s. They reported that the back files of the Near East monitoring stations of the British and American governments (both of which covered not only all the radio stations in the Near East but the local newspapers as well) contained no evidence of such Arab orders.
        Throughout March and April 1948, the broadcasts of the AHC and neighboring Arab countries were consistently urging the Palestinians to remain in place.”
        (p57, 58, “Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict,” Norman Finkelstein)

      • DaBakr on June 7, 2019, 11:55 pm


        Norman Finklestein being the ONLY historian that has any credibility to refute “zionist vampire lies’. There are dozens of ordinary non Jewish and Jewish scholars but you go with the most controversial and anti- zionist in the lot, naturallly. Illan Pappe next? *

        *on a related note, I just recently read AP and regional press releases of Nassers call to utterly destroy the zionist entity. How much revision do you need to justify your anti-zionist jew hating stance? I don’t have to revise anything to understand what the conflict is about. The Arabs have been totally honest since at the least, ’67 and before. It’s only recently sone Muslim regimes are coming to grips with the existence of Israel in the first place.

        You should note: I almost never accuse Arabs of ‘lying’ about the conflict. A ‘narrative’ is a story and a story is always evolving. But you consistently accuse jews/zionist of lying ‘vampires’ which only serves to expose your ultimate bias (although I suspect you are blind in some ways to this, being all ‘scholarly’ and such)

      • oldgeezer on June 8, 2019, 12:11 am

        ” I doubt very much that lipsrat could be found in any European or western court of lying. One of the points she is making is trying to dispute every single bit of the Israeli historical narrative as illegitimate is the same exact thing as the lying Irving did/does. ”

        You’re stilll a great comedian. No one can be bothered to go to court over something so patently false. Only the indoctrinated buy into her fictional screed.

        “It is an historical fact that Arab leaders said exactly that. You should know there are newspaper and radio broadcast documenting this. ”

        I’m saying bs. Despite… what …hmmm… 25 years of asking no one has ever been able to point ,e to any evidence of this. Granted computers didn’t exist. Nor did the web. Tape recorders and cameras did though. I can look at events that happened over a hundred years ago.

        Where’s your evidence. Maybe it exists but given no one has been able to show it for this long I’m saying bs. And yeah you’re right I won’t buy a single source or event really as life doesn’t work that way but it would be a start.

        Ball is in your court. Take it out of your nether regions and return the volley.

      • RoHa on June 8, 2019, 12:41 am

        Way back in the early 60s, it was Childers’ “The Other Exodus” that put me on the side of the Palestinians.

        Then Moshe Menhuin’s “The Decadence of Judaism in Our Time” confirmed my position.

        I haven’t read either of them for more than fifty years. Perhaps I should dig up copies and see what they said.

      • Peter in SF on June 8, 2019, 4:49 am


        You should know there are newspaper and radio broadcast documenting this.

        Ah, the passive-aggressive educator, a common hasbarist type. Doesn’t even pretend to teach people something they don’t know, but instead shames them for what they “should know”. Because everyone “should” already have absorbed and accepted all the common hasbara lines.

      • Keith on June 8, 2019, 11:07 am

        DABAKR- “There are dozens of ordinary non Jewish and Jewish scholars but you go with the most controversial and anti- zionist in the lot, naturallly.”

        Typical DaBakr ad hominem attack on his betters. All you do is make unsupported claims and hurl insults: “How much revision do you need to justify your anti-zionist jew hating stance?” (DaBakr) Jew hating? Honesty is evidence of Jew hating?

        As for the lying part, what else should I call the endless regurgitation of known falsehoods? Propaganda which is obviously untrue? The Arabs didn’t flee because of radio broadcasts, they fled because the Zionists terrorized them with massacres. Had they fled, who would have been left to massacre? They were terrorized into fleeing and shot if they came back. And yes, you should read “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” by Ilan Pappe. Below is a quote and link from an article published in the Hebrew daily Ha’ir on 6 May 1992. Notice that Israeli historian Aryeh Yitzhaki uses the term “lie” to refer to your “narrative.” A lie which stands reality on its head be making the Zionist Jews the victims of Arab army treachery rather than the ethnic cleansers of the Palestinian Arabs whom the Zionists falsely claimed to want to live in peace among.

        “According to Yitzhaki, about ten major massacres were committed in the course of the War of Independence (i.e. more than fifty victims in each massacre) and about hundred smaller massacres (of individuals or small groups). According to him, these massacres had an enormous impact on the Arab population, by inducing their (departure) from the country.

        Yitzhaki: “For many Israelis it was easier to find consolation in the lie, that the Arabs left the country under orders from their leaders. This is an absolute fabrication. The fundamental cause of their flight was their fear from Israeli retribution and this fear was not at all imaginary. From almost each report in the IDF archives concerning the conquest of Arab villages between May and July 1948 when clashes with Arab villagers were the fiercest a smell of massacre emanates. Sometimes the report tells about blatant massacres which were committed after the battle, sometimes the massacres are committed in the heat of battle and while the villages are “cleansed.” Some of my colleagues, such as Me’ir Pa’il, don’t consider such acts as massacres. In my opinion there is no other term for such acts than massacres. This was at the time the rule of the game. It was a dirty war on both sides. This phenomenon spread out in the field; there were no explicit orders to exterminate. In the first phase a village was usually subjected to heavy artillery from distance. Then soldiers would assault the village. After giving up resistance, the Arab fighters would withdraw while attempting to snipe at the advancing forces. Some would not flee and would remain in the village, mainly women and old people. In the course of cleansing we used to hit them. One was “tailing the fugitives,” as it used to be called (“mezanvim baborchim”). There was no established battle procedure as today, namely that when blowing up a house, one has first to check whether civilians are still inside. In a typical battle report about the conquest of a village we find: “We cleansed a village, shot in any direction where resistance was noticed. After the resistance ended, we also had to shoot people so that they would leave or who looked dangerous.” (Guy Erlich)

      • pabelmont on June 8, 2019, 11:22 am

        DeBakr Says: “Nassers call to utterly destroy the zionist entity. How much revision do you need to justify your anti-zionist jew hating stance? ”

        Where does he get “jew hating” from “call to destroy the zionist entity”? It’s the usual stupidity here. Nasser (assuming he said it) was angry about Israel’s illegal take-over of Palestine, as were many Arabs and all Palestinians, and their “hatred” if such it was was against the usurpeers, noit against all Jews and not against the usrpers because they were Jewsa but because they were usurpers.

        Ask deBakr — if green Martians should invade Israel and throw all the Jewish Israelis “into the sea”, would he be anti-green-Martian (merely) because he was a bigot (as I believe him to be) or because they threw out the Jewish Israelis? And would be have been anti-green-Martians before they took this decisive action or only afterwards?

        Ask him!

      • MHughes976 on June 8, 2019, 4:27 pm

        I don’t think that whether the departure of the Palestinians was or was not prompted by broadcasts etc. matters at all. There was a war zone. People have a right to depart from a war zone, which is a rational enough act. People have a right to leave their homes and to return as they wish and without anyone’s permission: that’s the difference between a home and a prison. It doesn’t matter who prompted them or what reasons the prompters gave or did not give: those departing were acting rationally and within their rights. The exclusion of those trying to return was an immoral act and it was and is the definitive founding act of Israel. It doesn’t matter if there were a thousand broadcasts promising loot or expressing anti-Semitism. Being in receipt of bad messages doesn’t cancel your human rights.

      • Keith on June 9, 2019, 4:23 pm

        MHUGHES976- “I don’t think that whether the departure of the Palestinians was or was not prompted by broadcasts etc. matters at all.”

        Massacres matter. Fleeing terrorism matters and is completely different from responding to Arab military appeals to flee to PERMIT the massacre of Jews. The Zionist propaganda version exonerates the Zionists of intentional ethnic cleansing making it appear that they were the victims of a planned Arab genocide of Jews who merely responded to Arab treachery. Words matter. Framing the narrative matters. Why else would the Zionists misrepresent these events if they didn’t matter?

      • Mooser on June 10, 2019, 11:33 am

        “Ah, the passive-aggressive educator, a common hasbarist type.”

        Zionism is their gnosis. Once they’ve been initiated they achieve omniscience.

  5. Kay24 on June 6, 2019, 4:10 pm

    Someone should have asked this woman why the minority Jews in Iran refused Netanyahu’s offer of thousands of dollars to leave Iran, to join the zionists in his country. They must enjoy being discriminated if they prefer to continue staying in Iran. She is under the illusion that Arabs and Africans are treated like first class citizens in Israel. Silly woman.

    • JWalters on June 6, 2019, 7:12 pm

      Excellent, relevant, undeniable fact.

    • DaBakr on June 6, 2019, 11:55 pm


      The vast majority of Irans 80-90,000 Jewish population did flee after Khomeini initiated a campaign of execution of the most prominent and influential Iranian jews. They were publicly hung as ‘spies’ for Israel with no proof ever shown except they had connections to other jews or relatives in Israel. So many Iranian jews fled it is now estimated there are only between 15,000 to 18,000 left. They are not free to speak publicly except to denounce zionism yet 90% of these jews have family in Israel or the US. Your delusional if you think the dwindling population of jews there have anything but a very limited voice. the Mullah regime doesn’t exactly promote free press, religious freedom, tolerance and democracy. Ask any Muslim woman there who doesn’t want to wear a head covering

      • Kay24 on June 7, 2019, 5:49 pm

        I prefer to believe what this article on USAToday says, rather than the Hasbara version:

        “And, according to Golshirazi and other senior members of Iran’s Jewish community, they mostly enjoy good relations with Iran’s hard-line, theocratic government despite perceptions abroad that Iran’s Islamic rulers might subject them to harsh treatment.

        “The Muslim majority in Iran has accepted us,” said Homayoun Sameyah Najafabadi, 53, who holds the role once held by Elghanian, chairman of the Tehran Jewish Committee.

        “We are respected and trusted for our expertise and fair dealings in business, and we never feel threatened,” he said. “Many years ago, before the royal regime of Pahlavi, by contrast, if it was raining in Iran, Jews were not allowed to go outside of their houses because it was believed that if a non-Muslim got wet and touched a Muslim it would make them dirty.”

        Najafabadi said it may be difficult for Jews and others outside the country suspicious of Iran’s treatment of religious minorities or its views on Israel to accept, but after the execution of Elghanian, Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran’s first supreme leader, deliberately sought to improve relations between Jews and Muslims in the country for the nation’s long-term stability.

        He added that Jews, who have been in Iran since about the eighth century B.C., used to be scattered all over the country but are now largely concentrated in Tehran and other big cities such as Isfahan and Shiraz. In all, he said, Iran is home to about 35 synagogues.

        Najafabadi said most Jews in Iran are shopkeepers, although he said others work as doctors, engineers and in other highly skilled professions.”

        It must be a sore point that these Iranian Jews refuse to move to stolen lands, and turned down thousands of dollars.

      • DaBakr on June 7, 2019, 11:30 pm


        that is a fair, if somewhat optimistic version of events. Of course the remaining jews want to be on the ‘side’ of the hardliners as anything else would mean destruction. Also, as someone with relatives from Persia I can attest that jews are ‘accepted’ much the way American blacks were ‘accepted’ in 60s 70s an onwards. Many feel loved but the undercurrent of Muslim supremacy is always evident. The people of Iran in general are upstanding and fine. The regime is, well it’s the regime. It’s definitely worse then the shah Era as indicated by the fleeing of 3/4 of Iranian jews to Israel or the US. Of course Persian jews are going to renounce zionism publicly while receiving money from their Israeli or US family members and conducting business, medicine or teaching in relative peace and security. But Don’t kid yourself that things have changed for the better amongst Iranian jews. as I said, there is nothing egregious wrong with the article you cite. After all, the Muslim opposition to the regime suffers FAR worse consequences then the remnant of Persian jews….accept for the occasional executions for ‘zionist spies’

      • DaBakr on June 8, 2019, 12:05 am


        Also….why should a community over 2500 yrs old have to feel like they need to move ‘for money’ to another land? The history of jews in Persia isn’t enough? So no, it’s not a sore point. The sire point is the approx million jews dispossessed of their land, money and property in all the arab/Muslim regimes in the ME. Iran, in case you don’t know, has a long and bitter relationship with Arabs although there are millions living peacefully in Iran as well.

    • Misterioso on June 7, 2019, 8:18 am



      • Mayhem on June 12, 2019, 9:51 pm

        @Kay24, cherry picks from the USAToday article to which he has referred.
        Doesn’t quote from the article’s discussion on the difficulties and discrimination faced by Iranian Jews.
        Kay24 should face reality – you can’t get away by fobbing this off as hasbara:
        “Thousands of Jewish families recall traumatic memories of violence, imprisonment, anti-Semitism and chaos after dictator Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini took power” – refer 40 years after Iranian Revolution, LA’s Persian Jews are still feeling the pain.

  6. bcg on June 6, 2019, 4:11 pm

    “Deborah Lipstadt says all Muslim countries are intolerant of minorities”

    Hey Ms. Lipstadt, I have an African-American friend and once I met him for dinner in an ethnic white neighborhood; when we came out of the restaurant the tires of his car were slashed, I saw it with my own eyes. Maybe you could talk to some minorities in non-Muslim countries to see how they’re faring?

  7. Arby on June 6, 2019, 8:32 pm

    The ‘lady’ is ruined.

  8. James Canning on June 7, 2019, 11:31 am

    Is Deborah Lipstadt not aware of the many statements by Christian leaders in Syria, prior to the eruption of the catastrophic civil war, that the Syrian government offered minorities better protection than they could expect from a “democracy”?

  9. dvered on June 7, 2019, 12:18 pm

    How can anti Zionist Jews be belated Jews? Judaism exists for thousands years while Zionism is barely 120 years old. It seems to me that Zionism is the only phenomena belated here.
    As an old wise man said once : “I wonder what makes a professor , Professor?”

  10. tony greenstein on June 7, 2019, 1:58 pm

    Not sure how I am belated. I was born to Orthodox religious parents and my dad was a rabbi. I was a belated comer to anti-Zionism. It took me 16 years!

    Deborah Lipstadt is a junk historian who should be grateful to David Irving because without him she would be nothing.

    • Nathan on June 7, 2019, 2:43 pm

      I’m quite certain that you are familiar with the phenomenon which Deborah Lipstadt calls “the belated Jew”. There are many, many assimilated Jews whose only content vis-a-vis Jewish identity is expressing opposition to the existence of the Jewish state. If there weren’t a Jewish state, then they would have no Jewish identity whatsoever. In your case, Tony Greenstein, things are different. You have a substantial Jewish background, and good for you. But this doesn’t mean that Deborah Lipstadt didn’t hit the nail on the head. She’s absolutely right in her observation that there are many Jews whose anti-Israel position is the sole item of their Jewish identity. This might be true in the case of the author of the above article as well.

      • Mooser on June 7, 2019, 3:26 pm

        Shorter “Nathan”: ‘I’ll tell you what’s wrong with Judaism, there’s too many Jews in it’.

      • Mooser on June 7, 2019, 3:39 pm

        “There are many, many assimilated Jews…”

        Oh, bye-the-bye, “Nathan”, can you tell me what an unassimilated Jew is like?

        What are the standards for remaining un-assimilated? Being willing to ignore US and international law in support of Zionism, or is it something else?

        Have I ever seen any of these un-assimilated Jews? Can you perhaps name a few in the public eye who are apparently un-assimilated Jews?

        Is there some compromise to his religion or culture a Jew makes by becoming assimilated? What is it?

        Or maybe “assimilated Jew” is just another card, like “self-hating” and “internalized anti-semitism”, and finally “belated Jew” in our favorite indoor game, pointless religio-political backbiting.

        And BTW, given the undeniable demographic realities of today’s Judaism, I’m not sure accusations of apostasy and disloyalty will be a very effective form of discipline. But then again, what else have they got?

      • Citizen on June 8, 2019, 11:00 am

        Gee, Nathan, there’s quite a few famous Jewish Americans in US history who praised the virtues of assimilation in America, which they use to call “The Melting Pot.”

        Since those days, that metaphor was changed to “The Salad.” And now, it’s “The Stew.”

        So, you’re a stew guy, eh?

      • Mooser on June 8, 2019, 1:09 pm

        ” If there weren’t a Jewish state, then they would have no Jewish identity whatsoever” “Nathan”

        Hey, “Nathan”, I’m confused. Are you talking about Zionists or anti-Zionists in that sentence?

      • Stephen Shenfield on June 8, 2019, 2:37 pm

        I am one of those ‘assimilated Jews whose only content vis-a-vis Jewish identity is expressing opposition to the existence of the Jewish state.’ I don’t see anything terrible in that. Identity is not determined solely by what goes on in the mind of the individual. Partly it is generated in relations between the individual and others. Inside myself, i.e., outside the context of relations with others, I no longer see any meaning in being born Jewish. It is sufficient for me to be a human being and a socialist. But quite a few others, Jewish or not, see me as Jewish and this inevitably influences me to some degree. And as many of those people assume that being Jewish I identify with the State of Israel I feel compelled to challenge their assumption. But in challenging THAT assumption I involuntarily find myself accepting the other assumption behind that one — the assumption that I am Jewish.

        So yes, that political context preserves a residual Jewish identity in me. It obliges me to oppose Zionism and to do so not only as a human being and a socialist but also as a Jew.

      • Nathan on June 8, 2019, 7:12 pm

        Stephen Shenfield – There isn’t anything “terrible” in your anti-Israel position being the the sole content of your Jewish identity. It’s really clear that Israel is indeed the “only show in town”. There were many Diaspora Jews who found Jewish life to be quite unimportant and uninteresting, and then with the founding of Israel they discovered that there is a topic of Jewish life that has enchanted them. And, of course, there were other Jews (like yourself) who “no longer see any meaning in being born Jewish”, but the issue of Israel brings them to take a position “as a Jew”. How interesting. For those who are pro-Israel and for those who are anti-Israel, it turns out that the topic of Jewish politics is important to them. The focus on politics as the content of Jewish identity is an admission that the Jews are a people on the stage of world history.

      • LiberatePalestine on June 8, 2019, 7:24 pm

        → There are many, many assimilated Jews whose only content vis-a-vis Jewish identity is expressing opposition to the existence of the Jewish state.

        Even if that were true, it wouldn’t constitute a defence of Zionism or the Zionist entity (what you call «the Jewish state»). Your statement says nothing; it merely labels the Jewish opponents of Zionism.

        Why do so many Zionists and their apologists rush to label their opponents (think of «anti-Semite» and «self-hating Jew») rather than addressing the issues responsibly?

      • wondering jew on June 9, 2019, 5:03 am

        Stephen Shenfield- Thanks for your honesty. There seems nothing logically inconsistent or morally wrong with your statement regarding Zionism from the perspective of someone who is nominally Jewish (by which I mean someone whose Jewishness plays a nonessential part in your self identity.) But while it is consistent to have an opinion as a Jew even when Jewishness is not a big thing for you, there are objections that this raises. 1. The flush down the toilet aspect. To a Jew who cares about the Jewish future and seeks a path towards a Jewish future, there is a problem that Israel answers: Jewish continuity. There are not many solutions to the question of Jewish continuity: the two apparent ones are tradition and nationalism. Those who really don’t care about Jewish continuity see no problem. Let the Jews cease to exist, it doesn’t bother you. So of course your apathy towards Jewish survival makes a possible path towards Jewish survival a matter of little consequence. Those who are prepared to flush the Jewish future down the toilet are in a different category than those Jews who seek a path towards continuity. 2. The forgotten i.d. card in your wallet. (There are items other than obsolete i.d. cards that are of zero use or importance, but might still be in your wallet from long ago, but let’s leave it as a forgotten i.d. card to avoid distracting analogies.) Quite often when arguing with antiZionists at some point these interlocutors would find someone on their side of the argument, who “was Jewish” who was also an antizionist and say, “See, there is nothing automatic about Zionism being a consequence of being Jewish”. And then this individual who never mentions his/her Jewishness pulls out this obsolete, never used, never will be used for any other purpose i.d. card and says, as a Jew I am opposed to Zionism. Jewishness does not form a major part in their self identity, but only for this purpose do they pull it out of their wallet, to give their argument some added oomph. And it seems weak. If Jewishness is unimportant to you, make your arguments on things that are important to you, rather than base your argument on something unimportant. If all your Jewishness adds up to is an obsolete i.d. card, then just leave it out of the argument. It seems a distraction.

      • eljay on June 9, 2019, 9:05 am

        || wondering jew: … To a Jew who cares about the Jewish future and seeks a path towards a Jewish future, there is a problem that Israel answers: Jewish continuity. … ||

        The “problem” of “Jewish continuity” is answered by Judaism, religious conversion and choice. As long as there exist people who choose to embrace the religion-based identity of Jewish, the religion-based identity of Jewish will continue to exist.

        Israel is an answer to a “problem” manufactured by people like you who care about Jewish supremacism and a “Jewish future” defined by a hateful and immoral ideology (Zionism) and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”.

      • Mooser on June 9, 2019, 12:26 pm

        Israel is assuring “Jewish continuity” with a 60% out-marriage rate? And that’s in freaking Israel among the Orthodox.

        Hey, “Yonah”, you want some “Jewish continuity”? Try doing something to stop Jews from fleeing Judaism.

        Got any ideas? Remember, anti-Semites used to help with Jewish cohesion, why not adopt some of their ideas?

      • Mooser on June 9, 2019, 1:00 pm

        “Why do so many Zionists and their apologists rush to label their opponents (think of «anti-Semite» and «self-hating Jew») rather than addressing the issues responsibly?”

        Because the labeling works so much better.
        No Jewish person who is accused of “auto-antisemitism”, “internalized persecution” or “Jewish self hatred” can resist those blandishments.
        We experience a deep crisis and paralyzing guilt over our failure to be sufficiently Jewish and immediately become fervent Zionists.
        It’s a happy combination of good religion and good psychology.

      • Mooser on June 10, 2019, 11:55 am

        “Jewishness does not form a major part in their self identity, but only for this purpose do they pull it out of their wallet” “wj”

        It never fails. The most consistent belief among Zionists is that there are too many Jews.

      • MHughes976 on June 11, 2019, 3:57 am

        Well, Keith, I do indeed note that the allegations about evil broadcasts are rarely accompanied by dates and times. But I also think that one of the purposes of the falsehoods is to distract people from the absolute nature of the right to depart from and return to one’s home and to suggest that there could, when there can’t, be excuses for denying that right or for the horrible speech-act of calling returners ‘infiltrators’. Massacres are also outrages against the laws of God and humanity.

  11. Peter in SF on June 8, 2019, 5:10 am

    There are many, many assimilated Jews whose only content vis-a-vis Jewish identity is expressing opposition to the existence of the Jewish state. If there weren’t a Jewish state, then they would have no Jewish identity whatsoever. In your case, Tony Greenstein, things are different. You have a substantial Jewish background, and good for you.

    This is creepy. Nathan, is it your habit when meeting Jews to praise them, when warranted, for how substantial their Jewish background is? How well does that go over?

    By the way, it’s the government of Israel that claims these Jews as its own; in fact, the head of its government famously said recently that Israel is “the national state, not of all its citizens, but only of the Jewish people.” That would include these Jews you’re talking about who use their Jewishness only to oppose the government of Israel. They are invited to participate in Birthright. They can become citizens of Israel simply by showing up.

    • Mooser on June 9, 2019, 12:29 pm

      “How well does that go over?”

      Oh, it happens to be a classic opening gambit in our favorite indoor game, religio-political backbiting.

    • LiberatePalestine on June 9, 2019, 6:24 pm

      It’s on a par with praising or otherwise favouring people just because they are Jewish. Or are not Jewish. Or are or are not of any other religious or cultural background.

      It’s also on a par with taking pride in one’s religious background (imposed from childhood), cultural background (ditto), ancestry, citizenship acquired at birth, inherited wealth, or other accidental characteristics.

      There’s a word for all of the above: chauvinism. Bigotry also comes to mind.

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