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Tom Stoppard’s first Jewish play leaves Zionism offstage

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This week I went to see Sir Tom Stoppard’s new play Leopoldstadt, which opened in London’s West End earlier this month. It’s a big play in every sense. Its large cast plays an extended Viennese family across three generations and half a century of deteriorating Jewish history. It’s profoundly moving, especially in its final scenes, and shows the impossibility of escaping the consequences of Jewish identity, however hard you might try.

But what struck me most was Stoppard’s treatment of Zionism. Or more precisely, his lack of treatment and seeming lack of interest in the idea that has come to dominate Jewish self-understanding and transform debates and arguments about antisemitism.

Jewish 20th century history is so often presented as one long justification for the project of Jewish national renewal. It’s a narrative which today dominates mainstream Jewish community life and deeply influences political attitudes towards Israel by Western countries. So it was curious to see such a major artistic telling of Jewish experience leaving Zionism offstage. I expected to see it waiting in the wings as a potential redemptive finale or at the very least an answer to the human costs of being Jewish. Instead, Stoppard chooses his own tragic reading of the Jewish predicament, keeping his characters locked within their own family tragedy.

Morality and ethics

Tom Stoppard is rightly regarded as one of Britain’s greatest living playwrights. I first discovered his work at school in the early 1980s when we studied his television play Professional Foul which contrasted Czech political dissidents with ethically detached, self-serving academic philosophers from the West. Despite the subject matter, Professional Foulis full of comic moments as well as footballing metaphors. My English teacher took us to see what was then Stoppard’s latest West End stage play The Real Thing so we could see in a theatre what the adjective ‘Stoppardian’ really meant. Around the same time, I read his earlier plays Jumpers, Travesties, and Night and Day and I fell in love with his word play, his playfulness with big ideas, and the stage comedy he creates through misunderstandings and ambiguity. Time and again he’s returned to themes of morality and ethics and how personal relationships and circumstances intersect with politics, history and the wider world. Leopoldstadt is certainly Stoppardian, but the comedy is less frequent and the darkness far greater.

Last play

Stoppard is now 82 and believes Leopoldstadt may well be his last play.

As well as being his last, it’s also his first Jewish themed play and the closest in subject matter to his own family story.

Tom Stoppard was born Tomas Straussler in Zlin in the former Czechoslovakia in 1936. He recently told John Wilson on the BBC arts programme Front Row how his parents had fled the Nazis to Singapore and after his father died his mother had married a British army officer called Stoppard. Tomas became Tom, growing up in England and learning little or nothing about Judaism or his family history or what became of his parents’ relatives.

“I once asked my mother to write down what she remembered and she said ‘wrongly or rightly, I decided to draw a line and not look back’…so I grew up as an English schoolboy…and colluded with my other identity”.

It wasn’t until the early 90s, after he made contact with a distant cousin, that Stoppard began to learn about his wider family. He discovered that all four of grandparents and all of his mother’s sisters had been murdered in the Holocaust. It was 2017 before he began sketching out ideas for a play that would draw on the predicament of Jewish existence in the first half of the 20th century. He told the BBC that his play was not in any way a reaction to the Labour/antisemitism rows which have dominated media reporting of the Jewish community in the last few years.

Vienna

Despite its origins, Leopoldstadt isn’t strictly autobiographical. It’s set in Vienna and follows the fortunes of a prosperous, highly assimilated and intermarried extended Jewish family from 1899 to 1955. In the opening scene when we first meet the Merz and Jakobovicz clans, the children are dressing the family Christmas tree in an opulent apartment with servants on hand. It’s a perfect illustration of the religiously ambiguous, multi-dimensional identity that’s been created in just a few decades following the Jewish emancipation in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The family is wealthy, privileged and highly cultured. As Hermann Mertz says:

“My grandfather wore a caftan, my father went to the opera in a top hat, and I have the singers to dinner…”.

Hermann has married Gretl, a Catholic, and he’s commissioned Gutav Klimt (the real life Viennese artist) to paint her portrait. Meanwhile, their son, Jacob, is both baptised and circumcised. We see young Jacob attempting to top the Christmas tree with a Star of David before having his mistake pointed out by his Jewish grandmother.

Promised Land

In was in this same cultural environment that Theodor Herzl published his Zionist manifesto Der Judenstaat in 1896, and a copy is on hand in the Merz family apartment. However, Hermann describes it as “idiocy” and is literally putting his money on Culture as the route to Jewish acceptance:

“When we make money, that’s what the money is for, to put us at the beating heart of Viennese culture. This is the Promised Land, and not because it’s some place where my ancestors came from. We’re Austrians now. Austrians of Jewish descent!”

Hermann’s brother-in-law, Ludwig, no Zionist either, points out that it’s the antisemites of Vienna that are the most enthusiastic supporters of Herzl’s pamphlet: “A State for the Jews? Good idea. Get them out of here!”. However, Ludwig does recount a visit to his family in Galicia (Eastern Europe) where he observed (derogatorily) that Herzl’s book was “going around like an infection”.  It’s “ordinary Jews” says Ludwig, that really understand what antisemitism means. Hermann remains unconvinced. He doesn’t buy the story of perennial Jewish catastrophe: “…centuries don’t come round again like seasons.” The humbler and persecuted Jewish masses living in the East are never referred to again throughout the performance.

Inevitably, there is much dramatic irony to be felt by anyone watching this play. The characters’ comment on their past and their confidence in the future but we the audience know what’s in store for this overly optimistic generation.

No advocates for Zionism

As the story progresses and we see the children of 1899 grow to be adults, every possible Jewish route to integration, acceptance and respect is tried out – apart from Zionism. The Jewish nationalism proposed by Herzl finds no advocates or champions within the large family of grandparents, siblings and cousins across three generations. Intermarriage, cultural patronage, Hapsburg patriotism, psychoanalysis and socialism are all explored, along with their limited success or ultimate failure. Ludwig is a university mathematician who seeks truth and comfort in numbers. His games of cat’s cradle with the children become a metaphor for the Jewish condition as the string turns in to multiple patterns and changing shapes:

“Each state came out of the previous one. So there is order underneath. Mathematical order! But how can we discover it?”

Meanwhile, whenever Zionism crops up in conversation it’s knocked back and mocked. In a scene set in 1924, Jacob Merz, now a wounded First World War veteran, chides his cousin Nellie for her socialist leanings and recommends (ironically) that she joins the Jewish foothold in Palestine:

“Given time, instead of having to join other people’s revolutions, you could rebel against your own ruling class.”

Nellie replies: “There are more important things now than being a Jew.” But Jacob gets the last word and foretells the darkness approaching: “You wave your flag, the Jews will get blamed anyway.”

Time goes on and we reach Kristallnacht ‘the night of broken glass’ in 1938. The family are once again gathered in the Merz apartment but are now impoverished, forced out of employment, their business assets stolen by Austrian Nazis. The Klimt portrait of Gretl Merz no longer hangs on the wall. A Brown Shirt arrives to evict them just as all escape routes become closed across Europe. The same becomes true of escape to America or British Mandate Palestine.

Survivors

The play ends in 1955 as three surviving cousins meet in the old Merz home. Rosa is a Freudian analyst in New York, having left Austria in the 1920s; Nathan has returned to Vienna, having survived Auschwitz, to be a Mathematics lecturer like his great uncle Ludwig; and Leonard, the son of Nellie (the socialist) who escaped to England just before the horror, is there as part of a tour of humourists organised by the British government. Leonard is the closest character we get to Stoppard himself.

Nathan makes the play’s one last jibe at Zionism as he recalls the Vienna he returned to 1949. In the same breath, he couples the classic British film noir thriller ‘The Third Man’with the establishment of the State of Israel. The father of modern Zionism and the ruthless racketeer Harry Lime are sharing the same space in Nathan’s mind:

“Orson Welles was up on the Big Wheel. Theodor Herzl’s coffin was being dug up for reburial in Jerusalem.”

So right to the very end there is no respectful presentation of Zionism. Ten years after the war, with the Jewish State now established, there’s still no suggestion that Jewish nationalism is, or could be, the only sane idea left to battle antisemitism after culture, intermarriage, patriotism and socialism have all seemingly failed.

History’s shadows

I’d love to ask Sir Tom if his decision to play down Zionist themes in the Leopoldstadt was a conscious or unconscious decision. Why does no character in the play adopt a Zionist disposition? Perhaps Israel and Zionism were never central to Stoppard’s late in life discovery of his Jewish heritage. Then again, we know from an interview with the play’s director Patrick Marber, that he’s a writer who enjoys research and reads newspapers avidly. So it’s difficult to believe Stoppard is not fully aware of the place that Zionism occupies in the modern Jewish psyche or its victory in the battle of big ideas during the Jewish experienced 20th century. Or was he perhaps fearful of politicising his story by drawing in a modern minefield of political controversy that could alienate his most likely audience?

In the play’s final scene, the character Nathan observes of his English cousin Leonard (Stoppard’s alter ego) that:

“…you live as if without history, as if you throw no shadow behind you.”

It occurred to me the Holocaust and the creation of the modern State of Israel are shadows that are cast both behind and in front. There is a great deal to be explored by an artist who knows how to wrestle with the personal and the political and with ethics and morality in the private and public spheres.

Stoppard is a great artist and is free to choose how to tell his story. In the end he must follow his interests and his dramatic instincts. But I hope this isn’t his last major play or his last Jewish themed work. Jewish history does not stop at the Holocaust. Today Zionism/Israel has created for Jews new ethical dilemmas, new ambiguities, new constructions of reality which may also prove to be false messiahs. That’s got to be a play worth writing.

This article was originally published by Robert Cohen on his blog on February 22, 2020. 

Robert Cohen

Cohen is a British writer. He blogs at Micah's Paradigm Shift. http://micahsparadigmshift.blogspot.co.uk/

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46 Responses

  1. wondering jew on February 24, 2020, 3:45 pm

    1955 Vienna Jewish survivors, who had been banking on assimilation and got rebuffed by Hitler? To them zionism was absurd. Zionism in america only became mainstream after 67.

    • jon s on February 25, 2020, 9:54 am

      WJ , “Rebuffed by Hitler”? Quite an understatement…
      My mother-in-law was born in Vienna, remembers Hitler’s entrance, and survived thanks to the Kindertransport. Now 90 years old and happy to live in Israel with her children
      grandchildren and greatgrandchildren.

      • eljay on February 25, 2020, 11:08 am

        || jon s: … My mother-in-law was born in Vienna … Now 90 years old and happy to live in Israel … ||

        Good for her that despite being foreign-born she’s able to enjoy living in the land of geographic Palestine’s indigenous people, hundreds of thousands (millions?) of whom are prevented by Zionists from returning to their homes and lands.

      • hai_bar on February 25, 2020, 11:35 am

        My late Grandmother was born in Sabbarin, Haifa. Remembers the Zionist entrance and terror they inflicted, until Sabbarin was no more. Now it’s been 9 years since she died, reminiscing until the end her childhood in an ethnically-cleansed Village. Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren live in diaspora, mostly in Jordan camps.

        Nice to hear your mother in law is doing well. Is she living with her happy family near Haifa by coincidence?

      • jon s on February 25, 2020, 4:36 pm

        Eljay ,my mother in law is living in her people’s historic homeland, as are all Israeli Jews, foreign-born or native-born.
        Hai_bar, she lives about half way between Haifa and Tel Aviv. I’m very much aware of the catastrophe and tragedy that your grandmother’s generation went through. We should all recommit ourselves to achieving peace.

      • eljay on February 25, 2020, 7:00 pm

        || jon s: Eljay ,my mother in law is living in her people’s historic homeland, as are all Israeli Jews, foreign-born or native-born. … ||

        Geographic Palestine was not and still is not the historic / ancient / ancestral / eternal / lost / one true homeland of people all over the world – citizens of homelands throughout the world – who have chosen to embrace the religion-based identity of Jewish.

        And the fact remains: Despite being foreign-born, your mother-in-law is able to enjoy living in the land of geographic Palestine’s indigenous people, hundreds of thousands (millions?) of whom are prevented by Zionists from returning to their homes and lands.

        || … We should all recommit ourselves to achieving peace. ||

        We should all commit ourselves to achieving justice, accountability and equality, everywhere and always. But it’s no surprise that you prefer to advocate a Zionist “peace” that:
        – allows Israel to remain a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”;
        – allows Israel to keep as much as possible of what it has stolen, occupied and colonized;
        – absolves Israel of its obligations under international law; and
        – absolves Israel of responsibility and accountability for its past and on-going (war) crimes.

      • RoHa on February 26, 2020, 8:32 pm

        Of course, we know that all this “homeland” stuff* is a congregation of elderly shoemakers.

        It’s just a smokescreen to try to hide Zionist rapacity.

        (*Of which I have just produced a characteristically brilliant and penetrating analysis.)

      • jon s on February 27, 2020, 4:12 pm

        RoHa , why in the world do you have a problem with elderly shoemakers?
        Seriously, I’ve meant to ask you whether you’ve ever actually visited Israel/ Palestine?

      • echinococcus on February 27, 2020, 6:22 pm

        Exposed again and again, the mind-blowing ignorance of the disgusting American “history-professor” who says he is officially working as a brain-washer of the clueless invader offspring:

        “I’ve meant to ask you whether you’ve ever actually visited Israel/ Palestine?”

        The guy isn’t even aware that “actually visiting” Palestine (any part of it) without an explicit invitation by its owners, the Palestinian people, is complicity in a war crime, as per various parts of international law, most especially Geneva Convention IV. There is no legal authority to perform border control.

        The suggestion above is also incitement to and complicity in crime.

      • Mooser on February 27, 2020, 6:43 pm

        “a congregation of elderly shoemakers.”

        Who told their children, “When we are gone, this awl will be yours.”

      • RoHa on February 28, 2020, 12:12 am

        I hope Jon s knows what I really mean by my reference to the ancient craftsmen.

      • Mooser on February 28, 2020, 11:52 am

        “I hope Jon s knows what I really mean by my reference to the ancient craftsmen.” “RoHa”

        Good thing the Mods didn’t! Personally I don’t think characterizing the Bible, in parts, as a “sandal opera” should be beyond the pail.

  2. jon s on February 28, 2020, 2:40 am

    Echi, I’m talking about visiting as a tourist, certainly welcomed by and beneficial for the Palestinians.

    • Mooser on February 29, 2020, 1:37 pm

      “Echi, I’m talking about visiting as a tourist, certainly welcomed by and beneficial for the Palestinians.”

      “Jon s”, you are talking about visiting Israel, and then having Israelis show “Echin” the happy natives.

      Why don’t you tell us how he can visit the Palestinians as a tourist without having Israel in control of the visit?

      • catalan on February 29, 2020, 2:51 pm

        Israel was visited by 4.6 million tourists last year and I think its tourism industry will survive the non-visiting of echi and you. I highly recommend it – Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Eilat, the Golan. It’s just a magical place full of happy people (through they can be a little rough sometimes). Fabulous food, beaches and weather.

      • echinococcus on February 29, 2020, 7:45 pm

        Well, Mooser, seeing that I cannot get more than one comment out of ten past your friend Weiss, I do appreciate your jumping in — problem is that this also creates the false impression that there is any kind of give and take here.

      • Mooser on March 1, 2020, 2:49 pm

        “I do appreciate your jumping in…”

        I know all about give-and-take. I remember the arguments I used to have about visits to Israel with my parents, more than 50 years ago.

        Parents: “If you don’t shape up, young man, we will send you to military school”
        Me: “You can’t fool me, there’s no such thing as a Reform Jewish military school, not yet, anyway”
        Ps: “Don’t force us to send you to Israel to work on a Kibbutz!”
        Me: “No need, I’m already a pretty good kibbitzer.”
        Ps: “Not kibbitz, you shaigetz ainer! I said kibbutz! Don’t you even know the difference?”
        Me: “Me? Know the difference? You called me your little boychik for years. There’s a lot of differences I don’t know…

      • Keith on March 1, 2020, 2:50 pm

        ECHINOCOCCUS- “Well, Mooser, seeing that I cannot get more than one comment out of ten past your friend Weiss….”

        I suspect that Phil has relatively little input into the moderation policy which, I believe, is more-or-less established by Adam Horowitz. The comments section has undergone a relentless swing to the right becoming solidly neo-Zionist. Except for Israel, there is little difference between a neo-Zionist and a Zionist. Currently, Zionists are more than amply represented and allowed to perpetuate long discredited Zionist myth-history. I cannot comment freely even to the extent of responding to personal smears. My future comments, if any, will be few and far between.

      • Mooser on March 1, 2020, 4:57 pm

        “The comments section has undergone a relentless swing to the right becoming solidly neo-Zionist.” “Keith”

        If the neologism “neo-Zionist” is not familiar to readers, here is a Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-Zionism

        “Neo-Zionism is a right-wing, nationalistic and religious ideology that appeared in Israel following the Six-Day War in 1967 and the capture of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Neo-Zionists consider these lands part of Israel and advocate their settlement by Israeli Jews.”

        Doesn’t seem like the Mondo comment section I know.

      • Keith on March 1, 2020, 8:54 pm

        MOOSER- “Doesn’t seem like the Mondo comment section I know.”

        I hadn’t planned to comment for a while, but since you have misrepresented me I regret I must. We have covered this before, Mondo loyalist Mooser. I don’t care what Israeli super nationalists call themselves. I am referring to what I describe as American neo-Zionism, essentially Zionism without Israel, all other Zionist beliefs intact. Once again I link to my mini essay titled “American Neo-Zionism.” https://saskck.blogspot.com/2019/01/neo-zionism.html

      • echinococcus on March 2, 2020, 1:02 am

        Keith,

        Good essay on your blog. ( https://saskck.blogspot.com/2019/01/neo-zionism.html )

        “Neo-Zionist” seems to express well what it is but the term seems to have been taken by another variety of the same flower. At any rate, no real need to openly adhere to Zionism either, and the exact name is unimportant. Tribal

        “Jewish nationalism” (which is myth nationalism), Zionist or not, is the same big family. I agree as to the probable person in charge, Horowitz already having some past baggage but Phil Weiss still is the figurehead and bears all responsibility for the site.

      • Mooser on March 2, 2020, 11:59 am

        ” Perhaps instead of “neo-Zionism” I should have said American “crypto-Zionism?” Would it really have mattered?” “Keith”

        What do words matter when two strong men stand touching noses for a week at a time, and never see eye-to-eye?

        “Currently, Zionists are more than amply represented and allowed to perpetuate long discredited Zionist myth-history.” “Keith”

        Perhaps other people do not find those posts as persuasive as you do, and so are not as alarmed about them.

      • Mooser on March 2, 2020, 12:26 pm

        “but since you have misrepresented me I regret I must” “Keith”

        Yeah, me and Wiki. And 660,000 entries on Google.

    • catalan on March 1, 2020, 6:27 pm

      Keith,
      You have expressed your perspective with clearness and lucidity. Global capitalism and finance are the source of the problems in the world and Jews are a privileged caste.
      You can’t expect everyone to agree with you regardless of how strong your opinion is. Disagreement exists by definition in a free society. On this section, only about 5 percent of all comments do not share the anti-Israel, anti capitalism views. Why be so intolerant towards a tiny group of people?
      As to the privilege of global Jewry your arguments are sound. It’s just that I happen to be a member of that group and your theories don’t match the practice of my life. So your theory is at least partially wrong.

      • Keith on March 2, 2020, 12:06 am

        CATALAN- “Why be so intolerant towards a tiny group of people?”

        What utter bullshit! To classify reference to empirical reality as “intolerance” is pure pulpil. Your comment has nothing to do with my comments on this thread. You are engaging in yet another anti-Keith smear. You and Mooser have more in common than either of you would acknowledge. Perhaps instead of “neo-Zionism” I should have said American “crypto-Zionism?” Would it really have mattered?

      • catalan on March 2, 2020, 8:28 am

        Keith,
        I was referring to you intolerance towards “the small group of people” who are not anti Israel here on the blog. If you examine the most recent 100 comments you will notice only a tiny number that are not anti Israel and yet that seems to upset you.
        I was not referring to Jews, I have no intention to argue with you about that.

      • Mooser on March 2, 2020, 12:43 pm

        You (“catalan”) and Mooser have more in common than either of you would acknowledge.”

        We’re probably related. Whenever I asked my family where we came from, they never, ever mentioned Bulgaria as a possibility.

      • Keith on March 2, 2020, 2:29 pm

        CATALAN- “If you examine the most recent 100 comments you will notice only a tiny number that are not anti Israel and yet that seems to upset you.”

        More pilpul from Catalan. Your ad hominem comment that I am “so intolerant towards a tiny group of people” refers to my critique of the current Mondoweiss comments section? It is intolerant to be dismayed that a once vibrant comments section now routinely has Zionist comments charging the Palestinians as terrorists who won’t compromise with the peace loving Israeli Jews who only want to live in peace with their Arab brothers? That we have retrogressed to the point where the relatively insignificant (British appointed) Mufti of Jerusalem is resurrected as proof of Palestinian hostility? Even as I am smeared as a de facto anti-Semite and not permitted to respond? Obviously, my impression of the current state of the Mondoweiss comments section disagrees with your’s, hence, I am “intolerant.” You should be happy that once this thread is done I will be rarely commenting, if at all. At least all of my comments on this thread went through, an increasingly rare treat.

      • Mooser on March 2, 2020, 4:32 pm

        “At least all of my comments on this thread went through, an increasingly rare treat.”

        Don’t worry “Keith” Your complete vindication is coming.

  3. jon s on March 1, 2020, 6:26 am

    Roha, you haven’t answered my question as to whether or not you have ever been here.

    • Mooser on March 1, 2020, 1:18 pm

      “Roha, you haven’t answered my question as to whether or not you have ever been here.”

      And you, weaselly as ever, won’t say where “here” is. Are you asking “RoHa” to visit the Palestinians, or visit Israel?

      And what would “RoHa” see which might change his mind concerning the basic premises of Zionism and its dispossession oppression of the Palestinians?

    • RoHa on March 1, 2020, 9:35 pm

      Sorry, that one slipped past me.

      I think that all questions asked in the comment section should be answered.

      And the answer is “No, I haven’t visited Palestine/Israel”. As I said before, it isn’t necessary to visit the scene of the crime in order to condemn it.

      I admit the idea of being caught in a honey-trap, in the form of a compromising situation with a young female person, is enticing, but I don’t think I’m important enough for Mossad to bother.

      What difference do you think it would make if I had visited?

      • Mooser on March 2, 2020, 2:05 pm

        “I think that all questions asked in the comment section should be answered.”

        Even rhetorical questions like “where shall I go? What shall I do?”

      • jon s on March 2, 2020, 2:09 pm

        RoHa,
        1. Investigators and researchers often do endeavor to see locations associated with the subject of their research , if possible.
        2. I don’t know if a visit would make a difference. You might hate Israel even more , but I think that you would enhance your knowledge and have more of a “feeling” for the issues.
        3. I don’t know about any honey-trap but I’ll take you out for a beer, my treat.

      • RoHa on March 3, 2020, 2:16 am

        I’m not sure what more “feeling” for the issues I need.

        Thanks for the offer of the beer, but I’m holding out for the full works.

      • RoHa on March 3, 2020, 2:27 am

        Mooser, who would ask rhetorical questions? What’s the point?

      • Mooser on March 3, 2020, 1:10 pm

        “What’s the point?”

        Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

      • jon s on March 3, 2020, 3:34 pm

        RoHa,
        Ok, I give up. I’ll treat you to the full works.

      • Mooser on March 4, 2020, 11:36 am

        “Ok, I give up. I’ll treat you to the full works.”“Jon s”

        Because anybody can be bought for a bagel and a beer.

      • RoHa on March 4, 2020, 8:05 pm

        A bagel and a beer?

        I want the full treatment Epstein gave his guests, along with complimentary copies of the video recordings.

      • eljay on March 4, 2020, 8:12 pm

        || RoHa: … I want the full treatment Epstein gave his guests, along with complimentary copies of the video recordings. ||

        I’m pretty sure:
        – you don’t need to go to Israel for that; and
        – if you did go to Israel for that, jon s wouldn’t be your guide to guilty pleasures.

      • RoHa on March 5, 2020, 1:59 am

        But I want the Israeli government to pay for it.

  4. Ossinev on March 1, 2020, 12:34 pm

    @Catalan
    Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Eilat, the Golan.
    Yup why not come and see all the stolen lands and goods with a guided tour by the psychopath villains. The actual owners will be kept well out of sight and securely concentrated and hidden in their ghettoes.

    • catalan on March 1, 2020, 1:39 pm

      Ossibuchi,
      Israel is in the midst of a tourism boom approaching 5 Million tourists; most from the EU – Italy, Greece, Spain. It’s them you are having a problem with, not me. I visited long time ago. Also, why so humorless. I met plenty of Palestinians in Israel, in restaurants, buses, malls. You might get a little perspective. It’s a big wide world out there. The real human world is full of colors unlike that of Mondo where everything is between saints and rapists.

      • eljay on March 2, 2020, 7:37 am

        || catalan: … The real human world is full of colors … ||

        …but Zionists – like any other supremacist group – selectively work very hard to separate the colours into “us” and “them”.

  5. Ossinev on March 2, 2020, 6:58 am

    @Catalan
    ” I met plenty of Palestinians in Israel, in restaurants, buses, malls. You might get a little perspective. It’s a big wide world out there. The real human world is full of colors unlike that of Mondo where everything is between saints and rapists”

    I am assuming that the Palestinians you are referring to were/are Israeli citizens albeit second class citizens after the Nationality Law. Have you actual been to Gaza – I think not. Have you actually been to the occupied West Bank and met/interracted with any of the Palestinians you refer to in their Apartheid situ – I think not. Happy to be corrected on both counts. As for the saints and rapists comment revisit it and think again. You are unknowingly doing what you are accusing Mondoweiss contributors of doing.

    As for Israel being part of the “big wide world out there”. LOL

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