@jon66 but if someone feels strongly that it is wrong to benefit from prior genocide, then it seems inconsistent to live in the US.
By your reasoning it'd be inconsistent to live almost anywhere in the world. That's Homo Sapiens for you - the story of evolution through massacres. Which of course, the Tanakh you are no doubt fond of ,gave the blueprint for (mind you, with a special dispensation for the Israelites, cf, the "old jews". Massacres are bad when others do them, but when "the god of israel" commands the Israelites to do it, why, there's no such thing as enough killing, is there? or did I miss something?).
You should really read harari's take on Homo Sapiens (tiny booklet, so it's popular...). Of course, harari, being israeli and all, failed to take the next step in his reasoning about what happens to species who reach the top of the food chain too fast....though this could be a bit deep for you.
Yoni makes a perfectly good point, namely that at some point it time - say the post WWII Nuremberg trials, genocides became officially unacceptable to most of humanity. Of course, Pol Pot did not get the message, but then neither did the modern day israelites. And while Yoni did not participate in Pol pot's expungions of its population, he did participate in israel's IDF, which has conducted massacres in Gaza, by all accounts (stopping only because.....the world...blah, blah. Look hard in israel and you'll find little remorse).
Humanity, despite occasional slippages, did make some progress over the eons. We find human sacrifice in poor taste, for example. And slavery has been sent to never never land. And the genocides of natives in the process of colonialization are no longer kosher, which means that the American Indians are viewed as the white hats and the settlers' hats have become kind of grey (if not altogether black). Same in Australia and the same in Canada. What was done once is frowned upon now, which is really all post-genocidal generations can do - read their own history with introspection and with trepidation.
But not so in israel, which is the point I keep adding over Yoni's argument. We may not be able to resurrect the many dead Palestinians who paid the price for Israel becoming the "land for Jews only, because we say so", but a civilized country would find a way to accept the blemish upon its own history and to seek to repair the world which they have destroyed (Tikun Olam, right?). But to this day, not only do they not repent or show signs of moral contrition (much less willingness to offer actual reparations) but they continue the enterprise of ethnic cleansing, which occasionally breaks into outright massacres. Which also means that many in Israel must continue to serve - as reservists - in its brutal army of killers. At least in America he will not be asked to kill more Indians (though yes, we can talk about inner city police brutality and DAPL, but those are not exactly "massacres", are they?). And while American military continues to do bad things around the world, those are not quite the same as "settler colonialism" (at least I didn't get the invitation to settle in Iraq or Afganistan......).
May be it'd help your immortal soul were you to cut out the pilpul about "Nuremberg was in the past and so were the Indians" and consider my points which are about israelis of the present, who, for the most part (we can quibble about the percentage), will not even flinch were "a final solution to the Palestinian problem" be instituted (as long as it was relatively "humane". I'll give them that). From your line of argument I gather you may not mind all that much either (though being American and all you'd prefer it wasn't done in broad daylight).
Here is a recap of recent polling in Israel. Doesn't look good for the Arab Israeli parties...
Gruvitz comes from the direction of Meretz, not Balad. As a member of meretz (cf. remnant of the israeli "left") obviously he preferred the vote sharing because, back in 2015, it could have garnered another seat or two for either Meretz or the Joint List. Since he believes - as he would - that meretz gives Arab israelis the best chance of becoming equal citizens, he'd consider the loss of even one seat a detriment.
At the time, Balad vetoed the vote sharing because zionist liberal is still zionist (ie, they still believe israel can be a "mostly" jewish state even if not THE Jewish state). Perhaps in another universe - say the one Rabin lived in, Palestinians israeli parties could tacitly, if not overtly, prop up a minority left government. That, however is not likely to happen anytime again, in any future we can see.
Balad in particular would view supporting meretz as just anothert lipstick on a pig, since meretz's entire existence is predicated on "gilding the lily " of the pretend democracy israel presents to the world.
I disagree with Yossi calling it an "own goal" since in retrospect the jewish Nationality law was passed easily, and one or two additional "left leaning" seats (who would have presumably voted against such law) would not have made any difference to the outcome. More likely, it was Balad that read the situation correctly, even if that is a rather nihilistic viewpoint. IOW, a little more or little less "left soup" only helps israel's image PR, even as the country is firmly marching towards its own sunset as the religious/zealous marches right, complete with its "zieg heil" meme universe.
There is a danger balad will be prevented from voting, in which case most Arab parties may boycott the elections. Many palestinians would welcome this scenario since at least it would show israel in all its true naked reality as a supremacist state (which it is). And one that's rapidly becoming theocratic too.
The Indians have learned the hard way that smoking a peace pipe with white men leaders who tell mostly lies, only helps usher in the deadly reality that was in store for them all along. Now many in the Arab israeli population feel that smoking the peace pipe with the likes of meretz (which whispers sweet nothings in their ear about "equality" etc) is akin to accepting a pipe dream.
So that's the nihilistic view - Israel has a meeting with destiny of its own making. Nothing will change that. Might as well hurry it along.......
PS of course, it is in the nature of the "left" anywhere to hope against hope. So Gurvitz sometimes speaks as if he believes there was any real hope for any outcome other than the present one. Reminds me a bit of the American left. If one is cocooned within it, things look hopeful - somehow, Bernie will be the candidate and will win the presidency. Somehow the Deep State will allow that to happen. Somehow the democrat party will not be as craven as it's always been. Somehow ponies and rainbows will rain upon us all. Me, I support everyone who agitates for good things because hope helps lower the blood pressure.
@echi..” Sometimes there is interest in what the enemy thinks, sure. It will always come at the price of reinforcing and consolidating, in the readers’ mind, the unquestioned pillars of basic propaganda
I'd take exception to this statement, for three reasons:
1. In principle, an outlet that's open to a variety of viewpoints ends up promulgating reasoned discussion in the end (ie, after one wades through the chaffe, and the riff-raff have been discouraged);
2. We either believe that the palestinian viewpoint is grounded in reason (including moral reason) or we don't. Meaning, if a position is just, allowing debate only ends up reinforcing the justness.
3. Preaching only to the choir stifles the conversation and ends up discouraging many who have much to contribute. When strictly one viewpoint is allowed and anything else is outside the pail, that is exactly the definition of propaganda.
Going back to Gurvitz - applying a label, such as "zionist" to him just because he happens to live in the place where he was raised, is irrelevant. To Israelis that label means little, since they are not yearning for zion any longer. In their own mind they are living it. Zionism means something specific to Americans and others who live outside the country, as they are the ones who may be busily justifying the right of jews to have a country where they are a majority by virtue of evicting and dispossessing others. The ones who actually live there - the argument about the right to have had a country in the first place is immaterial, since there is not going to be an exodus from israel just for moral reasons.
That being said, for the people who are israelis there are serious disputes about how they move forward, even as they continue to benefit from colonialism. Gurvitz has much to say about this topic as he lives the reality of it, and through people like him we learn just how deeply entrenched the current impass is. He is telling us, the world, that no matter what our political leanings are, no matter how strongly we feel about can and should be done, the fact is Israelis are moving to the right, and have been for some time. They are also becoming more religious as well as more zealous. And while we may abhor the situation there, the israeli jews who live in Israel are not about to pick up stakes and leave any time soon.
As for MW, it's hard not to notice that the majority of responses are invariably generated in response to the occasional zionist who wanders in. Pieces written by Palestinians don't generate many comments precisely because most find the situation just as appalling as the writers, so what more can they say? but should a zionist commentator wander in, the flood gates will open, and many times one can get some excellent insights, new reasonings or new perceptions of events.
As for israelis who live in israel - I only wish we'd have more of them posting and commenting. After all, this site is focused on the I/P situation, which is over there, and is taking place in two languages not spoken by the vast majority of people who read and comment in MW. I suggest we need to hear the perspectives from over there much more than yet another, say, Jewish person's lamentations in the US (not to discount those, of course). Gurvitz is one whose opinions and insights can only help the ones keen on understanding the reality on the ground. We need more such input not less, whether or not we agree with everything said..
YoniFalic correctly draws a major distinction between the Americans and israelis - the former will, in general - conservative and liberal alike - admit and accept that a great evil was done to the American Indians. Even serious conservatives and fundies will be quick to express remorse. Not only that but in nearly all schools the genocide of the Indians is touched upon in history classes and is hardly ever excused by anything more than "bad things happened in the world".
These days to have Indian blood - even a smidgen (as apparently Elizabeth Warren professes - is something to be proud of. People who do genealogy peruse family history in search of a drop of Indian blood. It's almost like a mark of distinction, of deeper connection to the history of the American land., something that can only be had through native heritage.
Even Hollywood movies no longer present the American Indian as anything worse than noble, even when still "a bit of a savage"; or at best as epitomizing a deep wisdom, at one with nature.
Now pivot to little ol' israel. Do you see any difference? do you see any true respect demonstrated through culture and history to the palestinians heritage? the pre-Yishuv people who lived, farmed the land and created culture there? is there any formal acknowledgement of the special status of palestinian israelis in the history books? are children writing essays about the injustice done to the Palestinians? is there an acknowledgement of the massacres and expulsions in the name of "Judaizing" the land as the original sin?
most importantly - will there ever be a day when Israelis will proudly proclaim their own Palestinian ethnic heritage? now, some would say, yes - give it another hundred years. But others would say, others who understand distinctions based in religion, an arcane and archaic one, they will say that the arrow is pointing away from such future outcome. That it is the spirit of the zealots that are taking over. That to Jews, miscegation as the ultimate crime will remain as that - a crime against what they see as their "peoplehood' all mixed up with their god-worshiphood (ie, even when they don't believe, there's still that worshiphood of self-peoplehood).
I think YoniFalic may agree that Israelis will always take the stand of Custer, never the Shoshonis or the Apaches. Certainly we see little pointing in any other direction, a conciliatory one, a more gracious one, which is what Yoss Gurvitz seems to maintain as well. He decries what he sees, and has been doing that consistently, and there's much to decry every day, everywhere.
The better comparison for israelis is that they are now and will always be like the Turks, who have denied and will continue to deny that there was anything untowards done to the Armenians, other than "they just picked up and left of their own accord, and unfortunately some ended up kind of dead.....".
At the end of the day the difference between people is not so much in the amount or degree of evil committed by their ancestors, but in the way the evil is perceived as that, an evil. One which every generation and every individual has to come to terms with, each however best they can. Standing firm in their denial of evil built into their culture singles Israelis out as a deeply spiritually unenlightened people. Even if individuals rise above that as some do. History, when finally revised centuries hence, will judge those individuals well, even if their numbers are not great.
Actually, you are being unfair to Gurvitz. He is and always was, an iconoclast. You can't smear him with the same brush you smear everyone else (rightly or not). In Israel, he is among a very small, special population of those who were once religious, orthodox even, and then left the fold. Those refugees from orthodoxy can be the most radical, and Yossi is, by all accounts, a radical in the Israeli context.
You should take a tour through his posts. No two are alike. None can be categorized into this or that ideological bin. I would also say, that Gurvitz, having escaped "the fold" brings insights into Israeli society that few can.
I would not call him a "liberal zionist" though I am not sure what I'd call him, if anything.
My advice is that sometimes it's a good idea to stay away from easy labels. Not everyone is black or white. Not everyone even relates to color.
Frankly if I were to take a trip to israel (assuming they'd let me in, which is by no means certain) Yossi Gurvitz is one of the people I'd like to meet. I think we could have an interesting conversation and those are nothing to sneeze at.
Levy provides examples of how order was restored, and even forgiveness achieved, in other cases of historical injustice:
You don’t need to be an optimist in order to believe in it. Morris is convinced that the Arabs will never forgive Israel for what it did to them. The Jews quickly forgave the Germans for much more horrible crimes. The blacks in the United States and in South Africa forgave the whites. France and Germany became allies right after World War II.
This is interesting - bringing in the concept of "forgiveness" as a criterion for whether or not the future can be different from the past, and whether the hatchet can be buried.
WE never know of course, and cannot know, until events happen. But there are indications that some are more capable of forgiveness than others.
The Vietnamese certainly could be crowned as the most forgiving of people given their graciousness towards American visitors after the horrors that were visited upon them by the US. The South African blacks have shown willingness to live with the white, though I am not sure there was actual "forgiveness".
But the jews never did forgive the Germans, no matter how many Jews and israelis visit Germany. In their soul of souls there has been no real forgiveness. Not for the germans of then and not for the Germans of now. Most Jews of israel still believe that if you scratch under the surface of a German you'll find a Nazi. They may not always say it out in the open, but the conviction, that hard core distrust is always there.
And not just the Germans. I maintain that Jewish history and Jewish texts, such as the Talmud, are not exactly replete with "forgiveness". Indeed, if one were to carefully read the Passover haggadah - the original, not the reform version in the US - the one thing that's missing is, in fact, forgiveness.
It is Christianity that brought in the concepts of "forgiveness" starting with jesus' words on the cross "forgive them for they know not what they do". It is Christianity, in the protestant version, that brought forth the concept of "grace" (interpreted broadly). Yes, there are words attributed to Hillel, and there are admonishions to kindness in the Talmud (as well as the opposite). But there's not much forgiveness in the Tanakh and little evidence that the god as portrayed there had much use for that, except among certain very chosen individuals.
I think that it is the Jews of Israel who'll find it most difficult to forgive the Palestinians, should they ever chance to live side by side. That, while I also believe, based on countless anecdotes, that it is the Palestinians who have the greater capacity to forgive.
We can argue this back and forth for all eternity, but for me, I only wish we could put my thesis to the test.
Israel/Palestine is but one aspect of a larger problem.
Keith, baby steps are perhaps better than no steps?
The Empire - which is, as we know, has entered its declining years is a huge subject. Something you swould know better than many. It's like an onion - the more layers you peel, the more is left to peel. Plus it's a moving target, so naturally it's difficult for some who don't feel versed in foreign policy to offer serious take on the issues. The current kerfuffle with Russia is just the tip of the iceberg. Plus, looking into the Empire's shenanigans, will almost immediately bring up the Deep State, which will in turn start an excursion into global economics.
So the lady is a civil rights advocate who comes from the legal direction. Lets give her a little break? just for a while?
An aside: where I/P as an aspect of the Empire is all the more complicated because in this case Israel is not even behaving as a "proper" vassal. Sometimes they seem to lead the Empire by the nose. Other times they get swatted down some, only to re-emerge all the more ascerbic and arrogant. I am not sure there has ever been - historically - a similar situation, where it is hard to draw the line between master and minion. the fact that so many neocons are of jewish background, even as neocons in general are the ones advocating brow beating the rest of the world, makes things still more complicated.
No wonder only some dare wade into this torrid little pool of intrigue stacked upon and within intrigue, like nested Russian dolls.
Annie, I think one key point in DrJaye's remark was this the average Jewish person. WE all know them - they are our neighbors, colleagues, family members and friends. They know "something bad" is happening in Israel and to Israel, but they don't want to even raise the issue.
I speak of well over 80% of the people who are and/or who identify as having jewish heritage in the US (and needless to say, much the same is true of perhaps a similar 80% of the general non-Jewish population).
People have lives. They have worries. They have challenges. Most say they have little time for what is euphemistically labeled "politics". Which is a [mis]nomer for anything people may potentially disagree about and/or is bound to raise "controversy". Naturally the israel/palestine thingy falls under the rubric of "politics".
While it is perfectly understandable that most people have no time for - mental or physical (or, rather, they don't put time aside) for "politics", I'd say that there are situations where some engagement in part of this "politics" is, in fact, essential. As in essential to individual well-being as well as the collective one.
Jews are brought up for a very simple reason - they have an [obvious] dog in this fight. As in a big, bad, menacing dog. They cannot and should not turn away from it, because it is a threat to all the values they hold dear. The evil that israel has and is becoming is a boomerang bound to reflect on all who share any kinship with people who live in that part of the world. It may be far, but it is also near. In this case, for all too many the "personal is political" line is all too true. Just as much as the reverse "the political is personal".
By the same token, I'd level the same "J'accuse" at the Christians and especially christian zionists. They are very much part of the battle that's being wage for their own souls - which, being fundamentalists, is presumably important to them. IT will not do to let them off the hook. IT will not do to let the likes Of Cruz to keep bablling incoherently about "our ally, who shares our values".
And frankly it won't do for the many non-Jews who "acquired" a "dog in the fight' by virtue of marrying into a jewish family. They too are now part of the campaign to save this country's values, or what's left of them.
The real ally of the killers of Palestinians is silence. Silence because to speak up is to go to an uncomfortable place. I also happen to believe that it is our duty - all of ours - Jewish and not - to not just comfort the afflicted but to 'afflict the comfortable" (somebody said that once, supposedly, no?). Silence of many "average" people, who nonetheless know "something'. Enough to turn away from the subject.
I know how much criticism was directed at the Germans of the 30's for "being silent" while bad things were raging all around them. For letting fascism take hold in their country. For ignoring what was said about "inferior races" and untermenschen. That much maligned "ordinary German" - that's what our friends, families, colleagues and neighbors risk becoming, once history's verdict is in.
To counter that risk we all have to do things that are not comfortable and even risk relationships, possibly work promotions.
I think it is especially time for the closet anti-zionists to come out into the light. Perhaps this article will help, but it should be one of many, not just a once in while occurrence.
the issue is that Israel’s whole existence – its laws, its economy, and its culture – are built on a foundation of dispossession and racism, and its “practices” are simply a reflection of that history.
Well, she had to put in "some practices" caveat, didn't she? this being a NYT column she already bit a big piece, so the "reminiscent of" is just enough of a hedge to provide some room to maneuver in the face of the sure to come onslaught.
The day when a journalist, columnist or elected representative can come out with the full statement as you have put it here, is not yet here. But it is on the horizon, which is more than we could have said a few years back.
Of course, for most of us here, the waiting has been and is tortuous.