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Liberal Zionists are ‘terrified’ (yet again) by Israel’s rightward shift

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In recent days the idea of a two-state solution has been dealt yet another fatal blow in Israel. Netanyahu’s biggest rival, Benny Gantz of the Blue and White Party, said he would move forward on a plan to annex the Jordan Valley if he becomes prime minister.

That puts a strong majority of the Israeli political establishment in favor of some annexation of the occupied West Bank that was supposed to become the Palestinian state. And it shows that a centrist Jewish leader believes there is No political hay to be made in appeals to the left. He has to appeal right to gain seats.

Tammy Zandberg is frankly “terrified” by Gantz’s collapse. The leader of the leftwing party Meretz warns American progressive Zionists that the “crumbling” of the two-state solution threatens Israel’s relationships to Arab neighbors, and could bring more violence to Israel and Palestine.

“We warned Blue and White not to play with this card,” she says. “I’m terrified by the option, and the fact that it is being thrown so easily by a center candidate is very worrying.”

Gantz’s shift puts the entire burden of maintaining a two-state solution on the Jewish left, she says: the new political slate of four liberal Zionist parties, Meretz/Labor/Gesher/Democratic Party.

But how broad are the shoulders of that slate? It is polling at a mere 8 to 10 seats out of 120. No wonder Gantz isn’t appealing to the left wing. The Israeli left has been smashed.

“Meretz running by itself for the first time in 1992, got 12 seats,” observes Evan Gottesman of Israel Policy Forum. The former proponents of the peace process in Israeli politics don’t even talk peace. “Labor has completely stopped talking about the diplomatic arena, security, the conflict with the Palestinians,” says Eli Kowaz of IPF. “And that is something that they were really leading for many, many years. They’ve become… a really niche social economic focused party.”

Zandberg agrees: “What used to be called the peace process is totally stuck.”

Trump has accelerated the crumbling of the two-state solution, Zandberg explains. Liberal Zionists always counted on the White House to do lip service to a Palestinian state somewhere in the future. Now Trump’s alignment with rightwingers and settlers in Israeli politics has facilitated the destruction of the liberal Zionist camp. And Gantz goes along with it — shifting right in an anticipation of Donald Trump’s long-awaited deal of the century.

Yossi Alpher tells Americans for Peace Now that the worst development in Israel is the “ongoing legitimization of Kahanist-fascist political actors on the far right.”

The only hope for the two-state solution is support from the Palestinian Joint List, the political bloc that polls far stronger than the Jewish liberal parties. Alpher:

[T]he only hope for a viable Israeli left wing advocating a two-state solution could well become some sort of Jewish-Arab alliance based on Meretz and the less extreme members of the Joint Arab List. This would reflect at one and the same time the shrinking of the Zionist left and the persistence of the Joint Arab List in hanging together and gaining votes (projected at between 13 and 15 mandates in the coming election).

This helps explain the hero’s welcome that Aida Touma-Sliman, a Palestinian legislator in the Joint List, has gotten from liberal Zionists in America recently. Palestinian votes are all that is keeping the two-state solution alive.

But bear in mind: Touma-Sliman is not a Zionist and wants Israel to be a state of its citizens, not the “nation state of the Jewish people,” and she regards the West Bank as “apartheid.”

Peter Beinart and Aida Touma-Sliman recording a podcast, Jan. 2019. From her twitter feed.

Touma-Sliman’s importance to liberal Zionists is a healthy reminder of… liberalism.

In the United States these Jewish organizations are all for refugee and minority rights, but they abandon those principles when it comes to the Jewish state.

Those liberals make excuses for rightwing Israeli policies by saying that Israel is afflicted by Netanyahu the same way the United States is afflicted by Trumpism.

But Gantz’s collapse strips away that excuse, as does the continuing rightward shift in Israeli politics.

This ought to be a wakeup call to liberal Zionists (or yet another one). How many of them will accept that their natural alliance with the likes of Aida Touma-Sliman means that they should abandon Zionism as an ideology? I am hopeful that some will see the light.

Henry Siegman made that shift from being a Zionist leader, and his latest column on Israel’s shifting culture avoids excuses. The two-state solution ended under Barack Obama, who caved to the rightwing Israel lobby, AIPAC, which had a strong following inside the Democratic Party.

The root of the problem is Zionism itself, Siegman writes:

Yet deeper and more troubling questions are raised by the choices that now face Israel, including whether the original idea of the Zionist movement of a state that is both Jewish and democratic is not deeply oxymoronic, a question that not only Israelis but Jews outside of Israel must address.

Are Jews to take pride in a Jewish state that adopts citizenship requirements that mirror those advocated by white Christian supremacists?

Gantz’s collapse ought to be prompting reflection. And reflection’s natural result: action.

Philip Weiss

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

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70 Responses

  1. bcg on January 23, 2020, 2:03 pm

    The Henry Seigman article that Phil mentions at the end is well worth reading –

    https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2020/01/22/is-apartheid-the-inevitable-outcome-of-zionism/

    That new [Palestinian] leadership would have to shut down the Palestinian Authority, which its present leaders allowed Israel to portray as an arrangement that places Palestinians on the path to statehood, of course in some undefined future. Israel has deliberately perpetuated that myth to conceal its real intention to keep the current occupation unchanged. The new Palestinian leadership would have to declare that since Israel has denied them their own state and established a one-state reality, Palestinians will no longer deny that reality. Consequently, the national struggle will now be for full citizenship in the one state that Israel has forced them into.

    • Misterioso on January 24, 2020, 11:17 am

      @bcg, etal:

      Briefly:
      Unless “Israel” is prepared to incur the consequences of what would be the inevitable unprecedented wrath and utter disgust of the world by carrying out another massive brutal expulsion of indigenous Palestinians following its proposed annexation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Jordan valley, it will have painted itself into a corner, i.e., establish a true apartheid “state” ala former South Africa, or one with an ever growing Palestinian population along with as has been occurring for some years, declining Jewish immigration and rapidly increasing emigration.

      Between late 1947 and summer of 1967, by means of well documented armed might, several massacres, mass rape and intimidation, Zionist forces of foreign origin dispossessed and expelled about one million, two hundred and fifty thousand Palestinians from their ancient homeland – including their ancestors, a DNA proven continuous presence of about 15,000 years.

      Despite this catastrophe, Palestinians now constitute about 50% or more of the total population between the River and the Sea and their numbers continue to grow rapidly. Apart from an emphasis on family, this is due to the fact that their daughters have one of the world’s highest fertility rates. I well remember a now passed elderly and dear Palestinian friend telling me with a smile on his face that his people have a “secret weapon, the wombs of our women.”

      • Misterioso on January 24, 2020, 12:34 pm

        @bcg, etal

        In my posting above, I meant to write “.. following its proposed illegal annexation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Jordan valley,…”

      • James Canning on January 24, 2020, 1:49 pm

        Israel appears determined to avoid “annexing” areas of the occupied West Bank with too many Muslims.

      • RoHa on January 25, 2020, 3:44 am

        “Unless “Israel” is prepared to incur the consequences of what would be the inevitable unprecedented wrath and utter disgust of the world by carrying out another massive brutal expulsion of indigenous Palestinians following its proposed annexation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Jordan valley,”

        I wish I believed that there would be consequences.

  2. Misterioso on January 23, 2020, 4:15 pm

    The truth regarding the relationship between America and the entity referred to as “Israel.”

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/israel-is-not-americas-ally/

    “Israel Is Not America’s Ally” The American Conservative, March 8, 2019, by Daniel Larison

    “Andrew Sullivan comments on the U.S.-Israel relationship and the role of ‘pro-Israel’ lobbying groups in our politics in a new essay. There are several things that I think Sullivan gets wrong, but perhaps the most significant and pervasive error in the piece is his repeated description of the relationship an ‘alliance.’ He notes that the U.S. gets nothing in return for the extensive military and diplomatic support that it provides, he acknowledges that the U.S. ‘suffers internationally’ on account of its close relationship with Israel, and he marvels at how badly its government under Netanyahu has behaved towards the U.S. Nonetheless, he writes, ‘I would defend the alliance despite this, because of my core belief in a Jewish state.’ The trouble with all this is that there is no alliance and Israel is not our ally. Its government does not behave as an ally does, it has never fought alongside U.S. forces in any of our foreign wars, and its interests are not aligned with ours as an ally’s should be. There is no formal treaty and no binding obligations that require our governments to do anything for the other.

    “There are few words in U.S. foreign policy debates used more frequently and with less precision than ally and alliance. Our politicians and pundits use these terms to refer to almost every state with which the U.S. has some kind of security relationship, and it always grossly exaggerates the nature and extent of the ties between our governments. The exaggeration in Israel’s case is greatest of all because it is routinely called our ‘most important ally’ in the region, or even our ‘most cherished ally’ in all the world. These are ideological assertions that are not grounded in any observable reality. Dozens of other states all over the world are better allies to the United States than the ‘most cherished ally’ is, and they don’t preside over an illegal occupation that implicates the U.S. in decades of abuses and crimes against the Palestinian people living under that occupation, but none of them enjoys the lockstep, uncritical backing that this one state does. The effect of this constant repetition is to make the U.S.-Israel relationship seem extremely important to U.S. interests when it is not, and that serves to promote the ‘illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists.’ It is this illusion as much as anything else that prevents a serious reassessment of the relationship.

    “Israel is one of America’s regional clients, and it is the one that the U.S. indulges more than any other, but that is all that it is. As such, it receives far more support than it needs to and far more than makes sense for the U.S. to give, and the overwhelming political support that the relationship has is out of all proportion to the value of the relationship to the United States. In fact, like several other regional clients Israel has increasingly become a liability for the U.S., and the relationship should be changed accordingly.”
    ____________________________________________________

    Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago.

  3. yogurt on January 23, 2020, 6:30 pm

    Liberal Zionists remind me of that orchestra in the movie “Titanic” that keeps playing music even as the ship is sinking into the Atlantic Ocean. Zionism is a sinking ship and the Liberal Zionists need to get on the lifeboats that are Anti-Zionism and BDS.

    Enough with the lukewarm acceptance of Palestinians. Enough of the bombastic pro-Israel apologies, Zionism has made it’s ugly presence even more manifest and if liberal Zionists don’t abandon it, things will become grotesque beyond human imagination.

  4. brent on January 24, 2020, 2:04 am

    An organized campaign for free and equal rights under the law by Palestinian citizens of Israel, modeled on precepts detailed by MLK, with marches, placards and civil disobedience, would bring Israel’s left and American Jews alive and change everything.

    • Mooser on January 24, 2020, 11:41 am

      “Brent” is a “longtime follower of Palestine Question”.

  5. James Canning on January 24, 2020, 11:20 am

    Israel has no legal right to “annex” any portion of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, and there appears to be no reason whatever to expect Israel to be willing to annex the entire West Bank.

  6. IsraelShamir on January 24, 2020, 12:07 pm

    Very good, Phil! Indeed, One Palestine/Israel from Jordan to the Sea, One person – one vote. No apartheid, no bantustans. This is the way!

    • Mooser on January 25, 2020, 1:30 pm

      “One Palestine/Israel from Jordan to the Sea”

      My using-atomic-laser-holograms-to-double-the-land-area-and-resources-of-“Israel/Palestine” idea is gaining a real constituency.

  7. DaBakr on January 24, 2020, 12:58 pm

    MW has zero credibility to determine what exactly defines ‘liberal’ Zionism except how it can be wedged in to MW an co.s notion of what a liberal Zionist is and how that can help to de-legitimize Israel to those foolish enough to buy in. There have been too many op-Ed pieces over the years for mw to claim it has any true credibility except for its anti-Israel bono fides. Stick to a Zionist being pretty much a Zionist.

    • Misterioso on January 24, 2020, 5:23 pm

      @DaBakr

      In fact, as is patently obvious, “Israel” is doing a first class job of delegitimizing itself.

    • eljay on January 24, 2020, 6:29 pm

      || @Daa: MW has zero credibility to determine what exactly defines ‘liberal’ Zionism … Stick to a Zionist being pretty much a Zionist. ||

      You’re absolutely right, Baker-man. There’s no point to quibbling over degrees of Zionism when it’s abundantly clear that every single Zionist – from “do the dirty work” hard-core to “hold their noses” liberal – is a hateful and immoral hypocrite who believes that the religion-based identity of Jewish grants to those who choose to embrace it the “right”:
      – to be supremacists;
      – to have a supremacist state; and
      – to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality (a.k.a. “necessary evil”) they would not have others do unto them.

    • oldgeezer on January 24, 2020, 8:48 pm

      @dabakr

      Now you’re making sense. A zionist is a zionist. A racist supremacist. The flavours are all distinctions without a difference.

    • Talkback on January 24, 2020, 10:05 pm

      DaBakr: “… that can help to de-legitimize …”

      Finally! A Zionist who can legitimize the creation of Israel in Palestine. Please explain it to me without using the words “Jew”, “Jewish”, etc, so that one could legitimize, too, if Nonjews did the very same in Israel.

      (If you actually can’t, don’t answer. There’s no need to embarrass yourself like any other Zionist did so far.)

      • Nathan on January 25, 2020, 12:34 am

        Talkback – There is no need to legitimize the founding of Israel. You seem to believe that your approval is a necessary component in the formation of political entities. It’s just fine that the State of Israel was founded and that Talkback doesn’t agree. Even though there is really no need to explain to you the existence of Israel, nevertheless it’s would be just fine if Israel’s existence is explained to you in terms of “Jewish”, “Jews”, etc.

      • RoHa on January 25, 2020, 3:47 am

        “A Zionist who can legitimize the creation of Israel in Palestine.”

        I’m all agog with expectation!

      • Talkback on January 25, 2020, 11:27 am

        Nathan: “There is no need to legitimize the founding of Israel.”

        That’s just your way of saying, that you can’t.

        Nathan: “You seem to believe that your approval is a necessary component in the formation of political entities.”

        Lying seems to be as natual to you as breathing.

      • Mooser on January 25, 2020, 1:47 pm

        “it’s would be just fine if Israel’s existence is explained to you in terms of “Jewish”, “Jews”, etc.” in high dudgeon “Nathan”

        I am Jewish (if not, a “Jew as such”) and that’s the way “Israel’s existence” was always explained to me. And that’s the way we explain it to everybody else.

      • Talkback on January 26, 2020, 10:15 am

        Addendum to my response to Nathan:

        Nathan: “Even though there is really no need to explain to you the existence of Israel, …”

        What does that even mean? ‘explaining the existence of Israel’ How it was created? Well, I don’t need that explanation at all. It was through terrorism against the Goverment of Palestine and its Nonjewish citizens, followed by a full scale war against, massacres of and expulsion of the majority of them who were denationalized, dispossesed and disenfrenchasized.

        And if the same happens to Jew, it’s just a fact and not morally wrong or illegal at all, too, correct?

    • RoHa on January 25, 2020, 3:48 am

      Any suggestions as to who does have “credibility” to determine what exactly defines ‘liberal’ Zionism?

      And what gives them this “credibility” ?

  8. jon s on January 24, 2020, 1:35 pm

    I wonder whether Phil is comfortable with being complimented by “Israel Shamir”.

    • echinococcus on January 24, 2020, 7:03 pm

      Jealous, Johnny?

      The day a well-known, highly regarded and highly gifted intellectual will compliment you, of all people, let us know.

      • jon s on January 28, 2020, 5:07 am

        echi,
        ” Highly regarded and highly gifted intellectual” – Just to be sure : you’re referring to “Israel Shamir”, Anti-Semitic Holocaust denier and meshumad? If not , please correct me.

      • Talkback on January 28, 2020, 11:02 am

        jon s: “Just to be sure : you’re referring to “Israel Shamir”, Anti-Semitic Holocaust denier …”

        Here’s what Shamir says of slanderers like you:
        “I have written hundreds of pages on the topic, but for the benefit of the reader I’ll sum it up. Naturally, as a son of Jewish parents and a man who has lived in the Jewish state, deeply and intimately involved with Jewish culture, I harbour no hate to a Jew because he is a Jew. I doubt many people do. However I did and do criticise various aspects of Jewish Weltanschauung like so many Jewish and Christian thinkers before me, or even more so for I witnessed crimes of the Jewish state that originated in this worldview.

        As for the accusation of “Holocaust denial”, my family lost too many of its sons and daughters for me to deny the facts of Jewish tragedy, but I do deny its religious salvific significance implied in the very term ‘Holocaust’; I do deny its metaphysical uniqueness, I do deny the morbid cult of Holocaust and I think every God-fearing man, a Jew, a Christian or a Muslim should reject it as Abraham rejected and smashed idols. I deny that it is good to remember or immortalize such traumatic events, and I wrote many articles against the modern obsession with massacres, be it the Jewish holocaust of the 1940s, the Armenian massacre of 1915, the Ukrainian “holodomor”, Polish Katyn, Khmer Rouge etc. Poles, Armenians, Ukrainians understood me, so did Jews – otherwise I would be charged with the crime of factual denial which is known to the Israeli law. It takes Evans and Sweeney to feign indignation.

        I am not offended easily by morons. However, this ‘denier’ rhetoric keeps many of my erstwhile associates at arm’s length; no one likes being labelled, and I do not wish these labels to be rubbed off onto my friends, especially those like Julian Assange who never were interested in the subject. My Zionist opponents are obsessed with race and holocausts; I am not.”
        https://www.counterpunch.org/2011/02/01/bbc-joins-smear-campaign-against-assange-and-wikileaks/

      • Mooser on January 28, 2020, 2:51 pm

        ” and meshumad? “ “Jon s” using the same slander he used on Yoni Falic.

        “Jon s” do you really think you are doing yourself any good with this “meshumad” crap? Or is “meshumad” an Israeli ‘personal status’ determined by the Rabbinate? Is there a list?

        But than again, it’s good to see you aren’t burdened by any antisemitic tropes about ‘Jewish tribal loyalty’ or respect for IDF vets.

      • Mooser on January 28, 2020, 3:06 pm

        “you’re referring to “Israel Shamir”, Anti-Semitic Holocaust denier and meshumad?” Chief Rabbit “Jon s”

        And what did this awful Israel Shamir say to provoke this:

        “Indeed, One Palestine/Israel from Jordan to the Sea, One person – one vote. No apartheid, no bantustans”

        A formulation implicit with the very generous assumption that Israelis are capable of such a thing. But for that “Jon s” puts him on the sicari bounty list.

        Or perhaps, (and this is so unfair, and there should be appeals and review) he is no longer “a Jew, as such”.

      • RoHa on January 28, 2020, 9:35 pm

        What’s a meshumad?

      • echinococcus on January 28, 2020, 9:45 pm

        Johnny S,

        Translate any foreign theological nonsense, please. This site is in English, which seems to be your first language anyway.

        Also, before you call “anti-Semitic” an ancestrally (or “biologically”) Jewish guy, fully acceptable according to even the invaders’ tribal authority, make sure that you are at least as “Jewish”, by your own racial and racist definitions, as him or me.

        If you use his conversion to deny that he is fully Jewish, then you MUST deny as arrant nonense the claim of any and all irreligious people with “Jewish” ancestry, whatever that means, to be called “Jewish”.

        If the definition is religious, your “anti-Semitism” accusation is absurd. If your definition is racial, no one with solid “Jewish” ancestry credentials like Atzmon, Shamir, and the thousands of other slandered people can be called “anti-Semites”.

        The above is plain, linear, simple, basic logic.

        Your absence of even that absolutely minimal amount of logic places you in a category that shines by a total absence of any intellectual ability, in stark contrast to Mr. Israel Shamir, a first-rate thinker, author and translator. See
        https[nospace]://www.u[nospace]nz.com/ishamir/wikipedia-vs-my-real-biography/

      • echinococcus on January 28, 2020, 9:48 pm

        “What’s a meshumad?”

        Apostate. American invader Johnny S doesn’t appear to know enough primary-school English to translate his Josh-speak.

      • Mooser on January 28, 2020, 10:53 pm

        “What’s a meshumad?”

        It’s something “Jon s” smears people with and runs away. It is pretty much the equivalent of calling the person a ‘ni**er-lover’

        Funny, it’s always IDF combat veterans “Jon s” has this meshumad beef with.

      • wondering jew on January 28, 2020, 11:27 pm

        Yes, skepticism or secularism and Jewishness is a bit of a quandary, insofar as one approaches the topic purely logically. But the human species does not live by logic alone and thus, Jew as an opposite to Christian is one of the accepted definitions and associations that have been built over centuries and to claim that this binary vision is illogical does not change its power. When someone Jewish converts to Christianity they are putting themselves on the other side of a line that has been drawn in the sand for hundreds of years. When they do it for convenience sake it is one thing, when they do it out of belief it is another. But it’s a red line and they’ve crossed it.

      • Mooser on January 29, 2020, 12:00 pm

        “But it’s a red line and they’ve crossed it.”

        “Yonah” thanks for validating my definition.

        BTW, “wj” is talking out of his ass. There is no Jewish Inquisition which penalizes or excommunicates when Jews “cross a line” in their thinking. Maybe “wj” thinks we need one. If there are so many “red lines” in Judaism, why are there so many denominations?

      • Mooser on January 29, 2020, 12:14 pm

        “Jew as an opposite to Christian is one of the accepted definitions and associations that have been built over centuries…” “wj”

        ROTFLMSJAO!! And yet, (who can explain it?) when these two diametrical opposites are brought together, a certain inexplicable attraction seems to assert itself… and before you know it, a chain reaction which results in fractional isotopes takes place… so much for opposites. A broch tzu Columbus!

      • jon s on January 29, 2020, 3:34 pm

        RoHa, sorry for using a term some readers here are not familiar with. “Meshumad ” is a derogatory term for Jewish apostates, especially those who turned against their former brethren and even instigated anti- Jewish persecutions . There are numerous historical examples such as Nicholas Donin , Johannes Pfefferkorn and others.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_Shamir

      • Talkback on January 29, 2020, 4:13 pm

        jon s: “Meshumad ” is a derogatory term for Jewish apostates, …”

        Ah, so it is a religion based identity and the “Jewish nation” is just a Zionist invention. Got it.

        But what if I was never a religious person and also refuse to call myself a “Jew” and prefer the the identity “being a human individual being amongst others”? I find that tribalism in the 21st century is a regressive psychological defect.

      • Talkback on January 29, 2020, 4:26 pm

        wj: “But it’s a red line and they’ve crossed it.”

        How can that be a red line, if Judaism is not solely a religion? I was told “once a jew, always a jew” until I found out that this is just a cheap parlor trick to intimidate little children.

      • Mooser on January 29, 2020, 5:10 pm

        “What’s a meshumad?”

        Oh, it’s delicious! If my Mom was still extant, I would get her recipe and send it to you.

      • Mooser on January 29, 2020, 5:44 pm

        “Meshumad ” is a derogatory term for Jewish apostates, especially those who turned against their former brethren”

        And there’s a second vote for my 10:53pm definition.

      • wondering jew on January 29, 2020, 6:07 pm

        I should have said ” in my opinion”. If someone endorses the messiahhood of jesus or the divinity of jesus, i consider that person still Jewish in terms of sociology and of course enmity of david duke and louis farrakhan. And if they have kids their kids are jewish. And if they abandon those beliefs they are jewish without converting. Edith Stein and her ilk may have Jewish habits (so to speak), but her beliefs were no longer jewish. And to lavel her a meshumad would be accurate.

      • Keith on January 29, 2020, 6:29 pm

        JON S- “Just to be sure : you’re referring to “Israel Shamir”, Anti-Semitic Holocaust denier and meshumad?”

        Your wikipedia link has a lot of people calling Israel Shamir a Holocaust denier but little else. Do you have specific quotes where Israel Shamir denies that 5-6 million Jews perished in the Holocaust?

      • echinococcus on January 29, 2020, 6:31 pm

        Johnny S now peddling — what else — Ziopedia.
        Just after that had been shot down.

      • Mooser on January 29, 2020, 6:37 pm

        ” And to lavel her a meshumad would be accurate.”

        I was taught that since Jews were so persecuted and there were not that many of us left, so the widest possible inclusion and tolerance should be practiced. I was also taught that intra-religious back-biting was a nasty habit.

        And I wonder how long the “meshumad” concept can survive in a 60-70% out-marriage environment.

      • Mooser on January 29, 2020, 10:21 pm

        “But what if I was never a religious person and also refuse to call myself a “Jew” and prefer the the identity “being a human individual being amongst others”?”

        Judaism is very inclusive and universal that way. It doesn’t matter what you do or think, as long as you support Zionism.
        And if you can write a check to Zionism, you’ll be ordained.

      • RoHa on January 30, 2020, 12:23 am

        ‘There is no Jewish Inquisition which penalizes or excommunicates when Jews “cross a line” in their thinking. ‘

        Benedict Spinoza might raise an eyebrow when reading that line.

      • Talkback on January 30, 2020, 8:39 am

        Mooser: “It doesn’t matter what you do or think, as long as you support Zionism.”

        So much for the non existence of a Jewish inquisition.

      • Talkback on January 30, 2020, 9:06 am

        wj: “If someone endorses the messiahhood of jesus or the divinity of jesus, i consider that person still Jewish in terms of sociology […] And if they have kids their kids are jewish. And if they abandon those beliefs they are jewish without converting. Edith Stein and her ilk may have Jewish habits (so to speak), but her beliefs were no longer jewish. And to lavel her a meshumad would be accurate.”

        The definition of Jews ihas similarties to quantum fluctuation. You only know what definition is true, if you need to choose the one that’s opportune in that moment.

      • Mooser on February 8, 2020, 5:45 pm

        ” The definition of Jews has similarities to quantum fluctuation”

        There’s always Terra-Hertzls, (measures Jewish ‘ancestral homelands) Peta-Herzls (so be nice to animals!) Exa-Herzls (keeps track of Jewish divorces) and (I kid you not) Zetta, and Yotta-Herzls, (who were Herzl’s sisters, I guess.) to try and quantify the quantums.

      • echinococcus on February 8, 2020, 7:13 pm

        “But the human species does not live by logic alone” says Reb Friedman.

        Correct. The species in general also needs other things to survive.

        But some of the species, like Reb Friedman, feel like dying whenever they experience an encounter with logic.

      • RoHa on February 8, 2020, 11:02 pm

        “But the human species does not live by logic alone”

        But the species should.

        As long as it isn’t formalised in Polish notation.

      • Mooser on February 9, 2020, 11:42 am

        “As long as it isn’t formalised in Polish notation.”

        Got news for you, “RoHa”. You want logic, you had better brush up your Polish

      • RoHa on February 9, 2020, 7:04 pm

        I already know about those guys, Mooser. I used Andrzej Grzegorczyk’s surname.

      • Mooser on February 10, 2020, 11:57 am

        “I already know about those guys… I used Andrzej Grzegorczyk’s surname.”

        Perhaps logic demands that, but give it back to him when you’re done with it.

      • RoHa on February 10, 2020, 9:26 pm

        I already have done, Mooser. It’s not the sort of thing I want to keep around the house. Scares the cat.

    • oldgeezer on January 24, 2020, 8:46 pm

      @jon s

      I wonder how Israel, Israeli’s and zionists are confortable being complimentedby David Duke.

      You go first.

      • jon s on January 28, 2020, 5:02 am

        old geezer, I would be exteremely uncomfortable being complimented by David Duke, an indication of the dangerous course our country is headed.

    • Mooser on January 27, 2020, 12:35 pm

      “A native of Novosibirsk , Siberia, Israel Shamir moved to Israel in 1969, served as paratrooper in the army and fought in the 1973 war.”

      But that’s not enough for “Jon s”. “Jon s” belongs to the Israeli Left, and has no respect for IDF service.

  9. CHUCKMAN on January 25, 2020, 8:44 am

    “Israel’s rightward shift”?

    Just where does anyone see room for a shift?

    We see activity and hear words from Israel in keeping to every detail with 1930s Europe.

    Denying it only enables it.

  10. echinococcus on January 25, 2020, 11:40 am

    “Gantz’s collapse”?
    What collapse? A butcher of the Palestinian genocide just repeating what was always his policy — physically and in person a mass executioner.

    “…occupied West Bank that was supposed to become the Palestinian state.”

    “Supposed” according to whom?

    The Palestinian state is not a thing but a word, a tool to pull endless negotiations to the infinite while buying time to perfect the genocide of the Palestinians. Indian treaties. Officially designated as such by genocidal Labor.

    Repeating lies by Zionists without challenging them only helps the Labor colonialist murderers (and the various “left” fig leaves for Zionist invasion — but I am being too polite.)

  11. Ossinev on January 30, 2020, 8:14 am

    @WJ
    “And if they have kids their kids are jewish”

    Always fascinated by this claim.

    Please please advise WJ as an expert on this. I am an Atheist. Does this mean that I have Atheism in my sperm and that I have passed it on to my children ?

  12. IsraelShamir on February 8, 2020, 2:33 pm

    I am very grateful to the members who defended me in this exchange. Indeed we supporters of peaceful and equal coexistence of Jews and non-Jews should be a broad church (if I may use this term without upsetting some persons too much). I actually wrote my own biography for those wishing to proceed beyond the Wikipedia: https://www.unz.com/ishamir/wikipedia-vs-my-real-biography/

    • jon s on February 8, 2020, 5:01 pm

      “Israel Shamir” denies being an Anti-Semite and Holocaust Denier . Where ? On a website that promotes Anti-Semitism amd Holocaust Denial. Figures.

      • Talkback on February 8, 2020, 5:59 pm

        Well, jon s, there goes another one of your fallacies:
        https://www.counterpunch.org/2011/02/01/bbc-joins-smear-campaign-against-assange-and-wikileaks/

        But I’m sure that you have something that could substantiate your accusation. Not that I claim that it doesn’t or couldn’t exist. But you and your likes are know for slandering others. So show us that you are not lying this time, jon s.

      • Mooser on February 8, 2020, 9:47 pm

        “Jon s” why would you put down a person who is willing to double the size of Palestine, so everybody can share it?

        Or do you intend to keep both whole Palestines for the Zionists?

      • eljay on February 9, 2020, 2:48 pm

        || jon s: “Israel Shamir” denies being an Anti-Semite and Holocaust Denier . … ||

        If Israel Shamir is an anti-Semite and and a Holocaust denier, he should be ashamed of himself.

        Meanwhile, you are very much a Jewish / “Jewish State” supremacist who openly – and hypocritically – opposes justice, accountability and equality when it comes to I-P. The least you could do is have the decency to be ashamed of yourself.

      • RoHa on February 9, 2020, 7:12 pm

        This is the sort of thing that Mayhem was complaining about. Instead of showing that Shamir is wrong, Jon s falls back on the standard smears*.

        This, of course, makes me think that Shamir is right and that Jon s knows it.

        (*Without quoting anything that could be counted as Holocaust denial even by the loose and vague criteria for that accusation.)

      • Talkback on February 10, 2020, 8:56 am

        RoHa: “Instead of showing that Shamir is wrong, Jon s falls back on the standard smears.”

        Zionism 101.

      • Mooser on February 10, 2020, 12:17 pm

        “Jon s falls back on the standard smears.”

        Why, of course! If “Jon s” can show us that Shamir is a bad Jew and disloyal to Zionism, why, we will have to despise Shamir, too.

        I mean, c’mon, what kind of person isn’t loyal to his people?

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