Category Archives: Anti-Zionism

Some Saturday Thoughts on the Jews

A Jewish visitor writes:

Robert:

I’ve read a lot on your blog and I appreciate that you can talk about race, ethnicity, Jewishness, and Zionism without necessarily being racist and anti-Semitic. I think one of the reasons why there is no discourse on Israeli policies in the U.S. is because, as you pointed out, the people who tend to be anti-Zionist also tend to have outright anti-Semitic views, which to us Jews is frightening.

But a few thoughts: when you say “holocaust porn” that’s a little bit offensive. It’s one thing to claim that we still perpetuate a victim mentality despite being successful, but out of respect to the survives and the 5.7 million slain and those who survived, you shouldn’t make a joke of what happened.

When you talk about the influence of Jews in the politico-economic and media spheres, I think what you have to say isn’t too far off, but that the “tribal mentality” and “ethnocentrism” happens on an individual level rather than a group conspiracy. I know a lot of prominent Jews and I can swear there are no secret synagogue meetings in which we malevolently plot to hurt gentiles.

It’s just that from a young age we’ve been taught that yes, we consider ourselves special, and that as a people, we should look out for one another. This may be a form of ethnocentrism, but as you yourself as stated, you take pride in being white, so why shouldn’t we take pride in being Jewish?

I also wonder what your theories as to Jews’ relatedness to the rest of the Caucasian population. Jews suppress white nationalism because it often turns populations against us, and until ’48, we had no place to go.

Ashkenazic Jews look white and resemble their European populations because of intermarriage. But we were told we were “Semitic” and “non-Aryan” and thus non-desirable to White nationalists. Yet recent DNA tests have shown that the Y-chromosomes of Ashkenazic Jews (these lines were generally unbroken) are closest genetically to Greeks and Italians, which maybe hints that we share a common pre-Indo-European (maybe Hittite?) ancestor.

Does this make any sense, and would this mean that Jews should stop advancing our own interests and instead join forces with our fellow white populations? I do think that the sense of Jewish victim mentality is calming with my generation and that besides intermarrying, we’re much cooler-headed on other Jewish issues.

I also read somewhere (maybe on the Occidental Observer) that the Jewish drive and Protestant work ethic have converged in America so that we find ourselves fighting on the same side as our Caucasian brethren against radical Islam and China. So maybe perhaps there is hope for Western Civilization, and perhaps some of that hope lies with the Jews.

First of all, welcome to the site! Jews are always welcome to this website.

As far as his first sentence goes, that’s one of the main things I am trying to do on this site.

Jewish ethnocentrism becomes a problem when they discriminate against non-Jews in hiring, promoting and whatnot. That’s not ok. It’s also pretty sickening that the Jews who helped write the Civil Rights Act tried to make it so Jews could continue to discriminate without running afoul of the Act.

There are some anti-Zionists who are not anti-Semitic, but as they get deeper and deeper into it, many anti-Zionists just get worse and worse that way. Also, anti-Semitic stuff is always infiltrating anti-Zionist sites in all sorts of ways. Of course, the Zionist folks who are acting like such bastards over there are indeed a bunch of Jews, and their crappy behavior is all wrapped up in Judaism and Jewish culture.

Nevertheless, US Jews are not stealing Palestinian land, beating up their kids and whatnot, so why not let them off the hook? Any chance I can get to take the non anti-Semitic side, I will gladly do that. We can blame US Jews for supporting Israel to the hilt, but then many Gentiles are supporting them to the hilt too, so it’s not fair to single out US Jews for this abuse.

Truth is that a lot of countries around the world act just as shitty as Israel, and a lot of their co-ethnics in the US support the crappy behavior of their co-ethnics abroad, so there’s nothing unusual about Jews and their ethnocentrism and tribalism.

One problem with Jewish ethnocentrism is that, in a word, that is what all the horrors of Zionism are all about. Zionism is simply Jewish ethnocentrism writ large and encompassed in an entire state and society. It’s Jewish ethnocentrism on steroids. And the most ethnocentric of US Jews are also the “Jewiest” (the most unpleasant to us Gentiles in their stereotypical ways) and also, surprise, surprise, they are also the most Zionist!

The Y-DNA probably comes from the early migrations of the Israelites after the fall of the temple in 0-500 AD. The first places they went to after leaving Israel were places like Greece and Italy.

My understanding is that there is a also a strong line in the Ashk Jews that is related to Kurds, Turks and Armenians. These are probably the ancient roots of the Jewish people, a Semitic people from northern Iraq. Semitic in language, Anatolian in genes. If you look at Armenian people, you will often notice that they look a lot like Ashk Jews. Look at them closely!

Joining forces with your fellow Whites is probably a good idea. Jews always oppose White interests because they think it will lead to some form of White nationalism or White ethnic nationalism which historically turns on the Jews as aliens and non-Whites or non-ethnics. Certainly Jewish movements against White interests dredge up a whole lot of antisemitism among a certain segment of the population. But one might argue that the type of White who gets so upset about these Jewish behaviors doesn’t like Jews much anyway, and even if Jews stopped their nonsense tomorrow, these ethnocentric Whites would just fish around and find some other reason to hate the Jews.

I really believe that these folks need to hate the Jews for some reason, and I am not sure that there is anything that Jewish people can do to win your favor. At some point, you just have to write certain folks off as lost causes.

The new generation of young Jews is ok. I don’t mind them too much. The problem once again is anti-Semitism. As soon as any significant anti-Semitism gets riled up in US society, those very well-behaved Jews will quickly become the Jewiest Jews you have ever met. Besides being anti-humane, anti-Semitism is bad for the Jews in other ways. It tends to bring out the worst most stereotypical behaviors in Jews, which of course causes even more anti-Semitism, which makes Jews act even Jewier, which causes more anti-Semitism, well, you get the picture. You probably know how this story ends, too, and it’s not a pretty picture.

True the Jews are lining up with White interests somewhat against China and against radical Islam. However, most Jews don’t care about China. Only Jewish neocons want to fight China. And I don’t think most Whites care about China either. Yes there is a marriage of interests against Islam or against radical Islam as you put it, between the Jews and the rest of US Whites. This is not a very pretty marriage though. A lot these folks make no distinction between Islam and radical Islam. To them, all Muslims are radical.

5 Comments

Filed under Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Asia, China, Conservatism, Europeans, Islam, Israel, Jews, Left, Middle East, Neoconservatism, Palestine, Political Science, Politics, Race/Ethnicity, Racism, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, The Jewish Question, US Politics, USA, White Nationalism, Whites, Zionism

Poisoning Wells

Repost from the old site. Great old post from 2007.

We deal quite a bit here on this blog on anti-Semitism, in fact, one of the purposes of this blog has been to examine the subject in the clear light of day. One of the problems with research into anti-Semitism is that it has largely been done by Jewish people.

That would be like having paranoids do research on why everyone really hates them and is out to get them and then having everyone accept those preposterous conclusions. Some Gentiles have also researched anti-Semitism, but the only ones that are taken seriously are the ones that toe the Jewish line.

The Jewish line, is, in a word, preposterous. Not that they don’t have reason to feel paranoid. Lots of races and ethnic groups have been picked on and persecuted throughout history. During the Middle Ages, the Jews actually had it good. They were much better than everyone else other than royalty, who were all serfs.

Yet Ashkenazi Jews, sadly, see this whole period as one of unrelenting hatred and persecution. And do the rest of us mourn the serfdom and misery of our ancestors? Of course not.

Jewish and Judeophilic research into anti-Semitism is some of the silliest research ever done. All stereotypes about Jews are “canards”, it turns out, with no basis in truth whatsoever. All complaints about Jews are lies, for the Jews’ history is one of perfection. And on and on.

Now and again someone like Kevin MacDonald comes along and actually tries to do some sensible research in this area, and the result is the typical Jewish swarm attack. MacDonald has been massacred verbally by Jewish activists, such that he says he is going to quit writing about Jews. You see. This was the purpose of the swarm attack all along – to shut him up. And it worked.

Look, let’s get real here. Anti-Semitism exists. Anti-Semites exist. Jews have reason to be suspicious of various things. Gentiles with an inordinate interest in Jews and/or who criticize Jews are often anti-Semites. Often, but not always.

A particularly vicious brand of anti-Semitism infests the Arab and Muslim World, an anti-Semitism terrifying in its passion and frenzied hatred.

In Latin America, there is long-standing Catholic anti-Semitism that is a real thing. There are real anti-Semites in the US. There are White Nationalists and Nazi types and Ukrainian, Polish and Russian nationalist anti-Semites. Jews have been attacked physically many times in the past, and assaults, verbal and physical, continue.

What we really need is a scholarship that points out what’s real anti-Semitism and what is not. This article, Poisoning Wells by By Irfan Khawaja, Executive Director of the Institute for the Secularisation of Islamic Society, goes a long ways towards that. The main thesis here is familiar: anti-Zionists are not necessarily anti-Semites.

Yet he makes a few brave statements along the way. He notes that many anti-Zionists are anti-Semites, and many anti-Semites use anti-Zionism as a shield to hide behind. He also notes that anti-Semites are very real. However, the essay stumbles when Khawaja accuses Nation writer Eric Alterman of anti-Semitism, when he is guilty of no such thing.

The article itself is a nice roundup of the controversy surrounding the so-called “New anti-Semitism”, an anti-Semitism, that, strangely enough, has purportedly infected vast sections of the Left in the West. This is news to me.

The comments at the end of the article are interesting, but the thread gets taken over, as usual, by Jewish Zionist activists engaging in their usual obfuscationist rhetoric.

Leave a comment

Filed under Americas, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Arabs, History, Islam, Jews, Latin America, Left, Nationalism, Political Science, Race/Ethnicity, Racism, Regional, Religion, Reposts From The Old Site, White Nationalism

Jewish Militant Thugs Are Destroying Liberal Internet Forums

Repost from the old site.

Update: Since this piece was linked at Whatreallyhappened, we have gotten a lot of traffic coming to read it. Many are asking for the DU censorship rules and the 149 page hate directory referenced in the post below.

It is due to the psychopaths in the Jewish Israeli Lobby that America has gotten so wrapped up in the Middle East as a supporter of the KKK-Jews in Israel and their criminal wars in the region.

Some question whether the Israeli Lobby is really a Jewish Lobby, pointing to Christian Zionist support for Israel. True, Christian Zionists do support Israel, but they do little political lobbying for Israel, and this is what it is all about (see this article by Jeff Blankfort, who is Jewish, or really any article by him, for more. Blankfort is the Pope of the Anti-Jewish Lobby Crowd).

The Israeli Lobby is all about Jewish money, and I mean Big Jewish Money, not Joe Finkelstein, the librarian down the street, giving $25. Only 2% of the US population, Jews make up 25-30% of its wealthiest members.

That’s no reason to hate Jews. Even if you hate the rich ones, what do they have to do with Joel Cohen, the small businessman next door? Nothing. He’s not a member of the Jewish Millionaires Club, and they don’t give him a check.

Jewish money (generally meant to mean Big Jewish Money) is 60% of Democratic Party money and 35% of Republican Party money. Money talks and bullshit walks. Big Jewish Money is so powerful in US party politics that they are able to dictate the terms on various issues – in particular, US foreign policy in the Middle East (read: unstinting support for the KKK-Jewish state of Israel).

Jewish domination of our media is quite helpful too in furthering the aims of the Jewish Lobby. If anyone bucks the Jewish Lobby, the heavily-Jewish media can be counted on to massacre the miscreants in the press. As the media has the power of life and death over US politicians, most US politicians live in terror of bucking the Jewish Lobby and getting creamed by Lobby journalists in the press.

There is ample evidence that when US politicians buck the Lobby, the Lobby’s press members go to work on them. The result typically is the destruction of the politician or a serious drop in his poll numbers.

Jewish control over the US media was initiated via a conspiracy that took place from about 1890-1920 in the US. At the time, the US media was largely in the hands of Gentiles, many of whom were savage White Gentile racists (See the movie Birth of the Nation for an idea of their mindset).

At the time, there was some serious Jewish money consolidating in the US, mostly back East, while at the same time, most US Jews were terribly poor and living in de facto ghettos, also mostly back East.

This poverty, incidentally, is what gave rise to the Jewish role in the US Left and Labor Movement. While other ethnics may just grin and bear it when exposed to capitalist hyperexploitation, US Jews took offense to being downtrodden proletarians and organized to do something about it. Subsequent generations of Jews never forgot their impoverished origins and have remained on the liberal-Left.

The Jewish role on the US Left gave it a shot in the arm, for which all of us on the Left will be forever in debt to the Jews.

Anyway, during this 1890-1920 period, there were some important meetings with some of the very wealthy Jews that were emerging on the East Coast. They were concerned about the US press being in the hands of racist Gentiles. Logically, they feared that this press would be used to harm the Jews. In order to protect US Jews from anti-Semitism, these wealthy Jews resolved to try to acquire as much US newspaper media as possible.

Thus the New York Times ended up in the hands of the Ochs-Sulzbergers, and there it has stayed ever since. A corollary of Jewish ethnic warfare is that once a business interest is in Jewish hands, it must remain in Jewish hands – that is, it is not to be sold to the Gentiles. If it must be sold, it needs to be sold to other Jews, thereby remaining “Jewish property”.

Since Gentiles lack ethnic solidarity and will typically just sell to the highest bidder, Gentile or Jewish, with time, more and more Gentile interests will be sold to the Jews and few or no Jewish interests will be sold to the Gentiles. This has been one of the Dirty Little Secrets of the Jews for a long time now.

By 1920, a significant portion of the US media was in Jewish hands. The percentage seems to have only increased since then as Jews initiated and consolidated a hold over TV news and newsmagazines. The mechanisms underlying Jewish domination of US broadcast news and newsmagazines are obscure and warrant further research.

Domination of broadcast news may have been ancillary to general Jewish domination of Hollywood, which took place from 1900-1920, via another conspiracy of a few very wealthy Ukrainian-Polish Jews. Like the Jews who tried to grab the newspapers, the ones who nabbed Hollywood were motivated by fears of Gentile racism in the movie industry.

During this period, some US Gentile moviemakers were making some very racist movies (see the reference to Birth of a Nation above) and this deeply worried these Jews. And thus a plot was hatched to grab Hollywood in order to safeguard the Jews.

When TV came online, Jews were a widespread force in Hollywood and members of this group probably moved into the nascent TV industry and dominated it also.

In 1983, an authoritative Jewish source placed the percentage of the US media elite who were Jewish at 60%. It’s probably only increased since then. Even accounting for higher Jewish IQ, there is absolutely no way that 2% of the population could acquire 60% of the media elite based on IQ alone. Jewish ethnic warfare must account for quite a bit of this domination.

Now that we have postulated, proven and explicated Jewish domination of the US media, we can understand why US politicians live in terror of this media.

And it is time to move on to the more mundane realities of the Jewish Lobby, such as the work of the Jewish Lobby on the Internet. While discussing the Jewish Lobby, it is useful, just to head off the usual Jewish Swarm Attack, to question just what percentage of US Jews we are talking about here.

About 30% of all US Jews are politically active in Jewish politics. The other 70% have better things to do with their time.

Interestingly, about 20% of US Jews, mostly the liberal-Left, are pretty much cut off from their increasingly sickening and reactionary Organized Community. These Jews have little attachment to Israel, are not passionate about Jewish issues, and would rather worry about their love lives and their bills than anti-Semitism. A number of them are actively hostile to Organized Jewish politics. Others are just apathetic.

During Israeli wars, such as the recent Lebanon War, many of this 20% will emerge from hibernation and start supporting Israel.

Just how many of the Zionist and pro-Jewish Internet furies are Gentiles? Observation tells us not many are, although there are a large number of US Gentile neoconservative bloggers who are passionately pro-Israel.

Which brings us to the topic of the day – the role of the Jewish Lobby on US liberal websites. I had always assumed that such sites as the Democratic Underground and the Liberal Underground were relatively free of the feverish slanders of the Lobby and its foot soldiers. Turns out I was wrong.

I recently received some correspondence from a man who was quickly banned from both DU and LU for challenging the reigning Zionist Paradigm on these liberal sites. I will let him speak with his own words here:

A year ago I joined the forum Liberal Underground. I don’t dwell on the Israeli/Palestinian issue because it’s not something that dominates my priorities – the Iraq war and labor are my pet issues (I protested in DC ’05) – but I saw a group of pro-Zionist campaigners with an obvious agenda in the forum, squatting like basilisks with tongues at the ready, really distorting the facts whenever Israel came up, and since there was no dissenting opinions rising to the challenge I took them on.

I was very soon labeled an anti-Semite and banned. All I did was state the facts. This was an education for me.

About a month ago I joined the forum Democratic Underground and in the Israeli/Palestinian forum I found the same thing going on, a sort of propaganda campaign to put Israel in the best light and the Palestinians in mud, so I politely and firmly contradicted the nonsense with backed-up facts.

Here again I was called an anti-Semite and banned. I realized that I’d been baited into violating some very strict and narrow rules applying to that forum. A violation of these rules will get you banned:

  • No links to Whatreallyhappened or any sites on an Internet hate site list that’s 149 pages long.
  • No posting that AIPAC (or other Jewish orgs) exercises undue influence in Congress or on our foreign policy.
  • No saying that the attack on the USS Liberty was deliberate.
  • No calling someone a “blind supporter” of Israel, a conservative, or an Israeli-apologist.

I posted an article by Charlie Reese, one of my favorite columnists who’s critical of Israel’s policies and the Iraq war, by way of LewRockwell.com, and the post was deleted with the warning that LewRockwell was a bigoted site and Reese a rightwing conservative, both unsupportable claims IMO.

Reese has some conservative views, but in many ways he’s on the left and progressive. Labels don’t work with him.

The restrictions I listed are accurate and spelled-out in the forum rules, and are also based on comments made by the forum moderator (Lithos).

I don’t see how any meaningful, useful debate can take place under these restrictions, and what’s too bad is that DU is one of the largest and most active boards on the net. Oh well.

Then I discovered a site called Prosemiteundercover. It’s made up of banned and active members of both Liberal Underground and DU, along with Israelis, and their gig is to read, post and archive every anti-Zionist, Israel-critical post on sites like DU, then go on an e-mail campaign to alert and complain to the mods and demand the posts be deleted and the poster banned.

They participate under different usernames and bait the posters that are critical of Israel, hoping to goad them into a hot response that’ll get them banned.

This kind of covert intellectual Jihadism can definitely contribute to mistrust and resentment of pro-Israel Jews in general. But your take is correct IMO, the majority of Jews are reasonable and straightforward, you just have this fanatical and mendacious minority that suffer from cognitive dissonance and anger issues who exercise a disproportionate influence on public discourse and effectively poison the atmosphere.

While anti-Israel criticism on Liberal U. is non-existent in the face of the Israel-firster squatters, on DU in the Israeli/Palestinian forum there is criticism, but it’s restricted to following a narrow and channelized corridor.

And the inability to bring up a range of subjects, facts and events that are inter-related to honest criticism of Israel hog-ties open discussion. Some stridently pro-Israel posters at DU have had their posts deleted and been banned for straying outside the strict rules themselves, many of them landing at Prosemiteundercover.

This might be merely an attempt by the mod there (Lithos) and the Skinner to maintain the appearance of neutrality, but the fact remains that the majority of banned posters and deleted comments are from those critical of Israel, and the Prosemiteundercover (and doubtless other) e-mails and alerts are still read and obviously acted upon by the mod and admin.

As you can see, the Jewish Lobby has total control over DU and LU and God knows how many other good liberal forums. There’s an active Jewish conspiracy driving all of it, as we suspected, involving a Jewish site – Prosemiteundercover – that archives all anti-Israel posts and then organizes campaigns to get the poster banned on spurious and phony grounds.

A good overview of the nonsense involving PSU and DU is here, on a decent site called the Progressive Independent. It appears that the DU is run by a guy named Skinner, who is a Democratic Party guy with a capital D. The US Democratic Party is bizarrely, insanely pro-Israel (due to the Big Jewish Money described above) and this rhetorical straitjacket in the party is mirrored on DU.

Furthermore, the Jewish militants conspire to try to provoke the poster into making overtly racist remarks out of anger – the ultimate goal being to get someone to scream KIKE or some such epithet, a tactic I observed countless militant Usenet Jews engaging in. As soon as they provoke the person into making the racist remark, they pummel them for being “racist”.

Then the worms archive the post for all time in their files and bring it up endlessly to try to permanently destroy the person’s reputation.

There are lots of folks around the world who have gotten pretty good at Dirty Politics, and the Jews are surely counted among the best. After some time in Middle East fora on Usenet, I arrived at the conclusions that Jews were the finest propagandists in the world. I also concluded that I had never met a more flagrantly dishonest group of humans than these Jews.

Just a couple of observations that rumbled through my mind at the time – not trying to make any scientific proofs here.

The conspiracy is working very well, as DU and LU are still under the death-grip of the Jewish Lobby. The Moral Left has a duty to take back these sites from these Jewish psychopaths, or, if not, to resign itself to the reality that US liberalism is morally bankrupt.

64 Comments

Filed under Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Christianity, Conservatism, Democrats, Israel, Israel-Palestine Conflict, Jews, Journalism, Labor, Left, Liberalism, Middle East, Neoconservatism, Political Science, Politics, Race/Ethnicity, Racism, Regional, Religion, Reposts From The Old Site, US Politics, War, Zionism

Israel Is Not the 51st State of America

Repost from the old site.

It is sad that so many ferocious anti-Zionists (and many anti-Semites, let us be honest, though the two sets, anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, have considerable overlap, neither is a subset of the other) have taken to calling Israel the 51st state of America. Many pro-Israeli types have condemned these harsh words that single out the Jewish state for opprobrium and make a grotesque analogy.

The fact is, no matter how many radicals scream that Israel is the 51st state of the US, this is simply not true and we really need to stop saying this as it is making us look bad.

For, in truth, Israel is not the 51st state of America.

It’s the capital! Hell with Washington DC, let’s just shift the whole government apparatus over to Tel Aviv!

8 Comments

Filed under Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Israel, Left, Middle East, Politics, Racism, Regional, Reposts From The Old Site, US Politics, USA

“My Jewish Problem”

Repost from the old site.

My Jewish Problem is a superb article by one of my favorite Jewish writers, Philip Weiss. Weiss writes a lot about Jews in contemporary America, and his views on that subject are taboo-shattering and groundbreaking.

For instance, he has written about Jewish media, monetary and political power in America and the ways in which the behavior of US Jews (especially the ban on all criticism of this group) is producing a groundswell of dammed-up rage amongst ordinary, non-racist US Gentile officer-worker types. In other words, how US Jews are creating anti-Semitism.

This brief article sums up much of my views of, problems with and critiques of US Jewry.

It explains well the paradox of the Jewish neocons’ and the Jewish elite’s hardline support for Israel and the Iraq War, which is juxtaposed, strangely, with the continuing liberalism of US Jews, as shown in surveys that continue to poll Jews as the most liberal ethnic group in the US (about 37% are liberals).

It also explains why Zionist Jews are complaining that the Left has become anti-Semitic, and it shows how the rightwing, neoconservative behavior of the Jewish elite is causing much of the world’s Left to feel distant, alienated and cynical towards the Jews, not to mention outright hostile.

I think he misses the point in places. For instance, he discusses how almost the entire sweep of the Jewish political and journalistic elite supported the Iraq War, from Jewish liberals to Jewish conservatives, and he uses this fact to try to demonstrate that Jews have become much more conservative and cannot really be considered a liberal group anymore.

Yet at the same time, I think only around 57% of Jews supported the war, one of the lower rates around. Within months, that figure was down below 50%, where it has stayed ever since.

I think the real disconnect here is between the Jewish power elite – political, journalistic and organizational – which can be called neoconservative in at least some ways – and the disaggregated, depoliticized masses of US Jewry at large – the Jews you meet on the street and at the coffee shop, who are far less neoconservative, far more antiwar, and far more liberal on foreign policy than their own elite.

I slam the ordinary Jews for not speaking up against their idiot leaders, but as crimes go, it’s not so serious. Anyway, Michael Lerner’s Tikkun Magazine plays this very role to some extent. The nonsense stereotypes that characterize US Jews in general as either passionate pro-Israeli activists or raging neoconservatives or (more typically) both, are unfair and not moored in reality.

But the Jewish elite is exactly that.

How a community’s elite became so disconnected with the community itself is more the story here, one that needs to be written up more than the trite summaries that try to unwrap these sociological jungles into nice little mathematical-like theories that claim to sum it all up while reducing our anxiety about concepts we find it hard to get our brains around. How’s that for a sentence?

Read it and enjoy. Check out the comments too, where the usual suspects who come out of the woodwork for any such piece are on display – like-minded Jewish leftists and liberals, Jewish Zionist activists who viciously attack Philip as a self-hating Jew (I wonder how painful that must feel to a Jew?) and anti-Semitic nutballs.

Especially note the mental gymnastics on display in the comments of Kei and Yuri of to the audient void, a brilliant but difficult little blog.

One of my favorite web pages by Harry Clark mines this same ore very well. Check it out, especially the brief notes titled US Jews Mostly Bankrupt, Jewish Contribution to Rightwing Politics and Ideology and Progressive Judaism. Great stuff.

Now that I think about it, Phil Weiss’s My Jewish Problem is my own Jewish problem, too.

16 Comments

Filed under Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Conservatism, Europeans, Iraq War, Israel, Jews, Left, Liberalism, Middle East, Neoconservatism, Political Science, Race/Ethnicity, Racism, Regional, Reposts From The Old Site, War, Zionism

What Is Zionism?

Repost from the old site.

I was visiting my Mother the other day (she lives 33 miles away) and she had just read some articles on my blog. She made some negative remarks about “Zionists”, at which point I informed her that she was a Zionist. She looked horrified, which is the way any decent person should look when accused of such a thing. I then patiently explained to her than anyone who supported a Jewish state in Palestine was a Zionist.

She looked disappointed. On further questioning, it turned out that she pretty much thought that the founding of Israel was a great big mistake and a crime – like the founding of the USA via the conquest of the American Indians. However, she said you can’t undo history, and people have to try to make do with reality as it is.

I then told her that her views were probably “non-Zionist” – that being someone who disapproved of the Zionist project, but that that we should live with the reality of it, as Israel is there, and it’s not going away. My brother, on questioning, also did not really know what Zionism is, and also qualified as a non-Zionist who thought we needed to deal with reality as it exists, not as it ought to be.

The views that they espouse – “That the creation of Israel was a mistake, but they are there, they’re not leaving, and we have to deal with that” – ought to rationally be considered by progressives as neither Zionism nor anti-Zionism, but non-Zionism.

In the course of my conversations with these two brilliant, highly-educated immediate family members, I realized that even the best and the brightest in the US did not really know what Zionism was.

So, with that in mind, I felt it was time for a post describing exactly what Zionism was and is, its history and its various forms. Obviously, this brief post will barely begin to nudge the edges of this subject, but still it ought to serve as a nice primer.

What is Zionism anyway? I see Zionism every day on the net. In a nutshell, most Zionists, but not all, argue that both the formation of the state of Israel and the settler-colonial project that created it were right, just and proper.

A principal Zionist argument (though not shared by all Zionists) is this:

  1. Jewish land, not Arab land – All of Israel is Jewish land. The Arabs have no right to any of this land.

Several arguments are used to defend this view:

  1. Historical– Jews had a continuing presence in the land for 3,000 years, so therefore it is their land. The Arab presence is illegitimate. When the Zionist project began, there were only a few Arabs in Palestine anyway, and they were the ancestors of Arabs who invaded Jewish land in 640 and have been occupying Jewish land ever since.Arabs never controlled Palestine anyway, and all Palestinians are Arab invading colonists who have no right to be there and need to go back to Arabia where they came from. Jews were completely in their right to reclaim their homeland after so many years in exile.This is one of the most vicious and wicked Zionist arguments, and it is extremely popular amongst the hardest of the hardline, blood-and-soil, organic nationalist types.One can argue that this is the philosophy that it is at the core of the mindset of the leaders of the Zionist movement from 1897 to the present. It is this argument, that, like most primordialist ethnic nationalist projects that rose out of Central and Eastern Europe in the 1800’s, is most similar to Nazism.On the other hand, all modern ethnic nationalisms (in particular Arab nationalism, Indian Hindu nationalism, Lebanese Phalangist nationalism and all of the ethnic nationalist projects that swept Central and Eastern Europe in the 1920’s and 1930’s) came from the same 19th Century core as Nazism, so it is somewhat unfair to single out Zionism in that regard.
  2. Religious – God gave the land to the Jews. It is Jewish land and will always be so. God watches over the Jews and Israel, and no one can mess with them. Anyone who messes with the Jews or Israel gets punished by God. This is obviously a favorite of conservative Zionists, though some secular liberal Zionists use it too, usually cynically in an effort to get Gentile Christians to go along with the project.
  3. Holocaust – Jews needed a safe haven in Israel due to the Holocaust, and it was ok to throw out the Arabs to get this haven. A favorite of liberal Zionists, many of whom are ignorant of the specifics of the project. When questioned, many of this type will insist that no Arabs were thrown out to make the Jewish state. Apparently the land was just empty or something.
  4. Freedom From Persecution – Related to the above. Jews have been persecuted everywhere they have been, so it is reasonable for them to have their own state where they can be safe. A favorite of more liberal Zionists. One of their favorite lines is that Zionism is “affirmative action for Jews”. Micheal Lerner of Tikkun is fond of that phrase.
  5. UN and League of Nations – These two organizations agreed to give away Arab land to Jews for a homeland at different times. Therefore, Israel is legitimate. Once again, a favorite of more liberal Zionists and folks who are fond of the UN and international law.
  6. Self-determination and National Liberation – All other ethnic groups have a right to self-determination on their homeland, and many have developed national liberation movements to obtain their nation-state. Zionism is the Jewish equivalent. This argument is a favorite of Zionist liberals and Leftists.
  7. British Donation – Britain gave the land – British land – to the Jews. Therefore, it is the Jews’ land. This one is also a favorite of more liberal Zionists, because it avoids the question of whether or not Israel is Jewish land.

A number of the National-Religious types (see arguments A and B above – they are typically combined into a highly toxic form called National-Religious Zionism) claim that the land of Israel extends from the Nile to the Euphrates. It encompasses most of Lebanon and Syria, all of Jordan, part of Iraq, all of the Sinai, part of Arabia and all of Kuwait.

There are actually a fair number of Zionists who feel that all (or some) of this should be reconquered.

When an aide to President Truman visited the Holy Land around 1947 to try to understand the Zionist-Arab conflict, he said that all of the Jews he met there held the Nile to Euphrates view. He also noted that they did not like to talk about it too much, and they seemed to want to keep it a sort of secret, as if they were afraid of the reaction of outsiders if they learned of the Zionist plans.

Despite super-liar and modern-day Crusader Daniel Pipes’ articulate lie, The Nile to Euphrates Calumny, Nile to Euphrates Zionists are not mythological, and I have run across them fairly regularly on the Net, especially lately.

Does Mr. Pipes feel that I have hallucinated all of these Greater Israel types? Were they all just Arab agents out to make the Zionists look bad? Inquiring minds want to know. Mr. Pipes or his supporters are encouraged to email me here to explain how it is that I keep running into these nonexistent phantasms.

A lesser view holds that “Eretz Israel” at least covers all of Green Line Israel, all of the West Bank, the Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip. Some also include the Sinai Peninsula (or at least a small part of it up to the Wadi Arish) and southern Lebanon to the Litani River.

A map demonstrating Zionist armed settler-colonialism in action. Note the progressive loss of Arab land to Zionist colonization. This was deliberate and planned from the very start. It all stems from the Zionist principle that all of Israel, the West Bank, Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights is Jewish land and that the local Arabs are “squatting” on Jewish land and live there only at the whim of the Zionist owners.

Presently, the project is to make the remaining Arab enclaves so miserable that the Arabs will leave and then the Zionists can colonize their land.

This is a Minimal Greater Israel view and is very common. It was the “minimal view” adopted by the “progressives” of Left Socialist Zionism under David Ben-Gurion, the founder of Israel. It could logically be called Minimal Greater Israel.

Ben-Gurion’s ideological opponents, Vladimir Jabotinsky’s Revisionist Zionists, held similar views, except that they typically claimed all of Jordan for the Jewish state also.

Vladimir Jabotinsky, the founder of the Revisionist Zionist movement. He authored The Iron Wall in 1923, in which he openly advocated a Zionist settler-colonial movement, to be implemented by armed force backed by an imperial power. The reason armed force was needed, he said, was because of inevitable Arab resistance. Before that, Zionism had been largely focused on buying out the Arabs’ land, then throwing them off the land and settling it with Zionists.

 

A poster for the Irgun Zionist armed guerrilla group. This was one of the three major armed Zionist guerrilla factions in Palestine. It focused on attacks against both the British and the local Arabs. Note that Irgun claimed that not only all of Palestine, but also all of Jordan, was Jewish land, to be cleansed of Arab “squatters”, and to be conquered by force (note the rifle).

Irgun dissolved after the founding of Israel, and since then Mainstream Revisionist Zionism has gone pretty quiet about claims to Jordan. Look carefully at the map to see that Irgun also claimed the Golan Heights for the Zionists.

I have recently met Zionist Jews on the Net who are still upset at the British and the League of Nations for “promising” all of Jordan to the Zionists in the early 1920’s, and then “going back on their word”. Actually neither party did any such thing, and such thinking is based on a misreading of the League of Nations Mandate.

In a recent interview, a leader of the Zionist Organization of America, a very powerful, very militant Jewish Zionist group in the US, noted with a twinkle in his eye that all of Jordan was actually part of Israel and implied that Israel should conquer it at some future time. The attitudes of ZOA fanatics are rampant amongst the neoconservatives who were associated with the Bush Administration.

The notion of Greater Israel, not some phony notions about buffer zones or security zones, is and was the real reason for the occupation and colonies in the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan and the Sinai, and for the occupation of Southern Lebanon.

As you can imagine, this political project, Zionism, terrifies the Arabs and sends them into conniptions. My opinion is that Zionism is poisonous and that no people should have to put up with such a dangerous project, least of all the backwards Arabs.

There is a lot of nonsense about Greater Israel on the Internet, with devious Zionist sophists like Pipes holding that it is just a deranged, paranoid Arab fantasy. On the other hand, many anti-Zionists, especially Islamists, insist that all Zionists hold the radical Nile-to-Euphrates view.

As you can see above, that is not the case. The truth is that some Zionists do hold the Nile-to-Euphrates view, but the Israeli government does not, and most major Israeli political parties and political figures do not either.

The Minimal Greater Israel project described above is much more common and relevant. Anti-Zionists should focus on the minimal project for now and forget about the Nile To Euphrates project until we get some evidence that it amounts to more than the ravings of some Zionist radicals.

Anti-Zionism is a radical position, like Zionism. In general, not only do anti-Zionists strongly oppose the whole Zionist project, but they go usually so far as to say that, ideally, Israel has no right to exist, and should be dismantled in one way or another. The vast majority of Arabs are anti-Zionists in one way or another. If they tolerate Israel’s existence at all, it is only grudgingly.

Anti-Zionists differ on what should be done with the Zionist Jews who have settled in Israel.

Some say that all of those who themselves or whose relatives came to Palestine after 1917, when the Balfour Declaration was signed, have to go back where they came from.

This was the line espoused in the original PLO Charter of 1964 and continues to be espoused by some very radical Arab nationalist types, especially some Arab Communists.

Examples of organizations holding such views are NACAZAI (North American Congress Against Zionism and Racism), headed by Ziad Shaker AlJishi, a Palestinian refugee living in the US, and the the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) militants who run the Free Arab Voice website.

The FAV site is edited by Ibrahim Alloush and Mohammad Abu Nasr. Everyone associated with the FAV website is apparently a member of the political wing of the PFLP.

One of the editors takes the not-so-obvious nom de guerre of Nabila Harb. This pseudonym derives from Nabil Harb, an obscure PFLP cadre from the 1970’s who was part of a small PFLP cell that hijacked a Lufthansa airliner in Spain in an attempt to win the release of German urban guerrillas from the Baader-Meinhoff Gang.

The attempt failed when the plane was stormed by German Special Forces in Mogadishu, killing 3 of the 4 PFLP terrorists, but not before the cell had executed the captain of the plane in Yemen an act of gross criminality and stupidity.

The imprisoned members of the German ultra-Leftist group committed suicide right afterwards, effectively ending the existence of Baader-Meinhoff. But from its ashes would rise its successor, the much larger and more successful Red Army Faction.

However, unlike the PFLP, which is fairly heterodox and not necessarily extremely Arab nationalist anymore, the FAV is a hardline, pro-Saddam Arab nationalist site that is an excellent example of Arab Nationalist “Arab fascism” and “Arab Nazism”, as is NACAZAI. Free Arab Voice would be better characterized as a Palestinian Baathist site.

The 40 year old Dr. Alloush is a son of Palestinian refugees in Jordan. He is a Professor of Statistics and Economics at a university in Amman, Jordan. The mysterious Abu Nasr (a nom de guerre) is the author of the Iraqi Resistance Reports that can be found on the Internet.

The 59-year-old Nasr is a Palestinian who may have left Palestine after the 1967 war, may live somewhere in the West, and may have a PhD. He is fluent in Russian as well as English, which suggests he may have received education in the former Soviet Union. The PFLP was sending its higher-ranking cadres to the Soviet Union for education some years ago.

Alloush also runs an Arab nationalist list on the Net and a Yahoo group by the same name. Alloush has received some notoriety for appearing at a conference of Holocaust Deniers in Lebanon and endorsing their views. In fact, the FAV website foments Holocaust Denial itself. Both Nasr and Alloush are virulently anti-Semitic Arab Communists and excellent examples of “Arab fascism” and “Arab Nazism”, to their eternal discredit.

NACAZAI also holds Holocaust Denial views, in addition supporting the genocidal Khmer Rogue, being strongly pro-North Korea, pro-Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime and in favor of the genocidal ultra-racist Arab-Nazis in Sudan. FAV takes similar positions, except I don’t know how they feel about the Khmer Rogue.

Even worse, a virulently anti-Semitic, Nazi-like position statement by NACAZAI shows that the Zionists and neocons who rant about the anti-Semitic Left are not entirely incorrect. Such beasts do exist.

Other members of NACAZAI include John Paul Cupp, a Communist supporter of North Korea who lives in Oregon, and Kevin Walsh, a Communist white supremacist who was recently arrested in Arizona for threatening to kill President Bush and has been diagnosed as mentally ill under suspicious circumstances (I suspect he may be bipolar). Both Cupp and Walsh are virulent, Nazi-like anti-Semites.

The entire Left should distance itself from Cupp, Walsh, AlJishi, Nasr and Alloush, along with Arab Nazis and Arab fascists in general (which includes a large segment of the Arab nationalist movement) until they pull their heads out and quit preaching racism in the name of anti-racism.

I would like to point out that the ultra-radical views of Nasr and Alloush and some of their colleagues are not held by the PFLP leadership, which envisions a single state in Palestine for both Jews and Arabs (see the recent interview with top PFLP leader Leila Khaled, for example).

The view that all Jews coming after 1917 need to take off was recently reiterated by the late Sheik Yassin, spiritual leader of Hamas, who was assassinated by an IDF missile.

Another related view is held by others, including Ayatollah Khameini, spiritual leader of Iran, who has stated that ideally all of those Jews who themselves or whose relatives came to Palestine after the 1948 founding of the Israeli state have to go back where they came from. It is possible that Hezbollah may hold similar views, due to the close relationship of its leadership with that of the Iranian government.

Other Arab radicals say that Mizrachi Jews (Jews who lived in the Arab World) can stay in the region, but that Ashkenazi Jews, who trace their recent ancestry back to Europe, have to go home.

Many anti-Zionists (especially progressives and Leftists) believe that all of the Jews can stay in Israel, but that they must share the state and land with the Arabs and dismantle the Jewish state.

This view has been espoused by the leadership of the DFLP and PFLP leftwing Palestinian armed fronts, some members of the PLO, the Hamas Charter, an Islamic Jihad leader in an interview 13 years ago, and Libya’s Moammar Qaddafi, who proposed a state called Izratine.

This view has been quite popular with Palestinian Christians and secularists like Edward Said, Mazin Qumsiyeh and Ghada Karmi.

In general, the vast majority of anti-Zionists do not advocate killing all the Jews in Israel, though I have heard some Arab hotheads say that on the Internet. No Arab or Muslim armed group (including Al Qaeda) takes that position, to my knowledge.

Yet this is a staple of Zionist propaganda – that all anti-Zionists and armed anti-Israel groups are all intent on “carrying out a second Holocaust”. If it were true, it would be an excellent reason to support Israel, but there is little evidence for this.

Furthermore, there is a question of how killing 5 million Jewish residents of an industrialized society in a rapid manner in our day and age, given recent human historical memory, is even feasible.

That said, I do not think that Al Qaeda or the groups allied with them are good for the Jews, to say the least. I can’t prove they want to kill all of the ones in Palestine, much less all the ones on Earth, but I do not think these radicals have the best interests of the Jewish people at heart, to put it mildly.

The official Al Qaeda line is that after the liberation of Palestine by Islam, all of the Jews will have to leave. According to Al Qaeda, once the Caliphate is established on Muslim lands, all non-Muslims in these lands will have to either convert to Islam if they wish to remain in Caliphate lands, or leave if they do not convert. Those who will not convert or leave will have to be killed.

For the record, some of those associated with the British Al Qaeda fronts Al-Muhajiroun, The Savior Sect and Al Ghurabaa such as Omar Bakri Mohammad and Abu Hamza have made statements that all Jews on Earth must be killed.

Variations on Qaddafi’s one-state solution, described above, are called the one-state project. That is the position of this blog. There are many variations on this view. Some hold that ideally the region should be an Islamic state and that the Jews should have to live under Islamic Law. This position is held by Islamists and is strongly opposed by this blog.

It is interesting that Qaddafi’s Izratine was considered a slap in the face to Hamas, who apparently are not wild about living in a state with 5 million Jews.

Some high-ranking Hamas members have said as much, admitting that they have had enough misery from the Jews in the region and want a “divorce” from the Jews, hence the popularity of 2 states as an interim solution by some high-ranking pragmatists in the Hamas leadership.

Others hold that the single state should be a “secular state”, which is a great idea except that most citizens of such a state would be anything but secular. Many Arabs (especially Arab nationalists) insist that the single state be an Arab state and that Jews should live as a minority in such a state. Obviously, that view is not popular with Jews at all.

Does the two-state solution look feasible to you anymore? Me either. Note how the Separation Wall actually snakes far into the West Bank to include as many Zionist colonies as possible. Note also the Zionist theft of much of the West Bank (in dark green). The logical progression of history is rendering the 2-state solution a complete non-starter.

Others would grant Jews and Arabs some sort of local rule akin to Switzerland’s cantons. One proposal wants to make the single state a homeland for the Jews and Palestinians, two terribly persecuted peoples. This proposal would retain aliya rights for Jews while allowing all Palestinians to have their own sort of aliya.

It’s clear there are many versions of this single state project. The primary resistance to this project at the moment comes not from Arabs or Muslims but from the very real fears of the Jews in Israel. These reality-based fears will have to be addressed in any such single state solution.

As you can see, there is not much left of the 2-state solution, since Zionist colonialism has devoured much of what was to be the Palestinian state. The remaining Palestinian enclaves are nothing more than disconnected bantustans, surrounded by armed Zionist colonies, bases and roads for colonists. It’s like living in a home but being locked in only one room so you could not access the other rooms in the house.

Getting back to Greater Israel, the Internet is full of statements by Zionist fanatics fantasizing about Greater Israel. They are not made-up lies but instead are well-documented statements. Here is one by David Ben-Gurion (formerly David Green):

David Ben Gurion, Report to the World Council of Poale Zion (the forerunner of the Labor Party), Tel Aviv, 1938. Cited by Israel Shahak, Journal of Palestine Studies, Spring 1981.

“We should prepare to go over to the offensive. Our aim is to smash Lebanon, Trans-Jordan, and Syria. The weak point is Lebanon, for the Moslem regime is artificial and easy for us to undermine. We shall establish a Christian state there, and then we will smash the Arab Legion, eliminate Trans-Jordan; Syria will fall to us. We then bomb and move on and take Port Said, Alexandria, and Sinai.”

Keep in mind that this frighteningly fanatical statement was uttered by the founder of the state of Israel, a socialist, a liberal and a moderate. Note that his rightwing opponents were even more extreme. Note also that his rightwing Revisionist opponents were the forerunners of the modern-day Likud and Kadima Parties, not to mention the many smaller rightwing parties.

104 Comments

Filed under Anti-Zionism, Arab Nationalism, Arab Racism, Arabs, Colonialism, Conservatism, Ethnic Nationalism, Europeans, History, Iran, Islam, Israel, Israel-Palestine Conflict, Jews, Judaism, Left, Middle East, Middle Eastern, Nationalism, Neoconservatism, Palestine, Palestinians, Political Science, Race/Ethnicity, Racism, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, Settler-Colonialism, Terrorism, War, Zionism

Is Israel a Racist State?

Repost from the old site.

Let’s look at this question from a strictly deterministic point of view, absent the avalanche of Zionist bullshit such a question usually provokes. Does Israel, or does Israel not, discriminate, as part of official Israeli state policies and not informal societal policies, against non-Jews?

Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes!

We can argue like Jewish lawyers about the nature and degree of the discrimination, we can compare the shitty little country of Israel to all the shitty countries of various sizes she delights in comparing herself too, but none of that changes the bottom line.

In Israel, discrimination is written into the very existence of the state. If you support Israel, this is the Jim Crow garbage that you are supporting, de facto.

Let’s suppose the US was run like Israel.

Actually, it was for much of its existence. Indians only became citizens in 1920, the year women finally got the vote. Indians were put in boarding schools until recently. Discrimination against Hispanics, to a Jim Crow degree, was rife in the West.

So was open discrimination against Jews in all of the US. And the war against Jim Crow led to open warfare, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the loss of the US South by the Democratic Party as the racists left and went Republican.

Nevertheless, in 2012, we can still make an interesting comparison. Let’s pretend for a moment that the US is Israel. Thanks to Charley Reese for the theme:
*****
Let’s say that the US is a White Christian state, and that this fact is written right into its Constitution. In fact, the US is defined not as the state of its citizens, but as the state of all White Christians everywhere on Earth. It’s Whitey Homeland.

Any White Christian anywhere on Earth can come to Whitey Homeland, the US, and automatically become a citizen. White Christian criminals wanted anywhere on Earth for any crime can flee here and we will protect them. Why? Because they are White Christians.

The White Christian homeland of the US was formed some time ago, when 80% of the non-White Christians were thrown out of the country in a war and their land was seized. Now, 93% of the US is reserved for Whites only, although 20% of America is non-White Christian. This 93% was purchased by an organization called the White Christian National Fund.

Its donors are Whites throughout the world who support the White homeland. Once the WCNF bought the land, they forbade the sale of it to anyone who was not a White Christian.

The non-White Christians who were evicted decades ago linger in refugee camps in Canada and Mexico, where they destabilize those countries and clamor for right to return, which the US refuses to grant. Almost all White Americans are living on land stolen from the non-White Christians, and many are living in homes that were previously lived in by non-White Christians.

In big US cities, a similar development reigned. White Christians were routinely approved for any development they wanted, while non-White Christians were usually denied all building permits, including merely refurbishing or adding on to a home.

Many US neighborhoods were designated, officially or not, as White neighborhoods. By official decree of the state, non-White Christians were forbidden by renting or buying land in these neighborhoods.

Many non-White Christians have refused to live the lands they and their ancestors have lived on for many years. US military jets fly over these lands and spray poison the non-White Christian crops. Non-White Christian towns on White lands are denied all government services.

When they still won’t leave, the US Army shows up in the non-White Christian village and gives the residents 10 minutes to pack up and leave. Then the Army bulldozers begin to destroy every structure in the town.

The US government, at federal and state levels, issues Whiteification Plans, meant to “Whiten” non-White Christian areas. This involves surrounding non-White towns with White towns in order to “Whiten” the area.

Just for a moment, imagine the reaction of every Jewish organization in the US, not to mention the Israeli government, if the US pursued such a course. Recall that the US government on all levels would brutally discriminate against Jews, who, though White, would be non-Christians, and subject to the full brunt of US government racism.

Does anyone doubt that Jews were be screaming about this racism til the cows came home? But then, why do these same Jews support the same racist nonsense in Israel?

6 Comments

Filed under Amerindians, Anti-Zionism, Christianity, Democrats, Government, Hispanics, History, Israel, Jewish Racism, Jews, Left, Middle East, Modern, North America, Politics, Race/Ethnicity, Racism, Regional, Religion, Reposts From The Old Site, Republicans, South, US, US Politics, USA, White Racism, Whites, Zionism

Arab/Muslim Demonization of the Jews

This video is unfortunately from a pro-Zionist viewpoint. Nevertheless, it is accurate. Arab and Muslim (but especially Muslim) demonization of the Jews is complete over the top, does indeed resemble Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda, and is out of all proportion to whatever crimes the Zionists have done.

The pro-Zionist Arab Nonie Darwish says that Palestinians are simply “killing the infidels, like the preacher in the mosque told them to.” There is some truth to that, but let’s point out here that the Zionist did indeed steal their land, and they are continuing to do so.

In general, regional hatred of the Jews goes way over and beyond anti-Zionism into anti-Semitism. Even Arabs that are not Muslim are dripping with anti-Semitism. I was once in with a group of Arab Communists and Leftists associated with the PFLP in Palestine. The anti-Semitism there was off the charts. Most people in the group were either atheists, agnostics, cultural Muslims or Arab Christians. Generally speaking, secular Arab nationalists.

I met a Syrian Arab Christian whose anti-Semitism was so extreme that he would have fit in well at Stormfront.

In short, the conflict is complex. It is not just about land, but it is not just about religion either. It’s about both at the same time, on both sides.

57 Comments

Filed under Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Arab Racism, Arabs, Islam, Israel-Palestine Conflict, Left, Race/Ethnicity, Racism, Religion, The Jewish Question, Zionism

Lenin on Anti-Semitism

Excellent video from Lenin on anti-Semitism.

This is an excellent analysis of the phenomenon, though I do know some true leftwing, liberal and Leftist anti-Semites, they are not common. Actually, they are pretty rare.

However, on the Arab Left, there is a tremendous amount of overt anti-Semitism. I used to associate with some folks who were linked to the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine). Basically Arab Commies. They and their friends were very anti-Semitic, not just anti-Zionist. They were also very anti-Iranian, which is typical of Arab nationalists.

Eventually they accused me of being a “Zionist spy” and threw me out of their little circle (I was doing some media work with them). Pretty paranoid group of people, not that I blame them.

However, anti-Semitism is basically at its heart a rightwing movement. You can see that in that the various anti-Semites who have shown up on this site are by and large rightwingers of one type or another. In particular, they are social conservatives. After all, the Jew is the bearer of modernity in all of its depravity and moral dissolution, no?

Anti-Semites also tend to be anti-Communist, as the Jews brought us Communism, eh? Especially in China. After all, that fellow Mao was a Jew, right?

Those of us on the Left who are not opposed to progress and all of the various social and political revolutions of the last 200 years would error in making enemies of the Jews. Anyway, we on the Left owe a vast debt to the Jews, as they were very important to our movement. And sympathizers with various progressive revolutions from Napoleon’s time on must sympathize with the Jews, as the Jews were typically in the forefront of social progress for one reason or another.

Yes, Jews can be silly, crazy and obnoxious, but even most Jews are well aware of that.

At the end of the day, there really is not much in anti-Semitism for those of us on the Left. There is nothing in it for us, and it’s fundamentally reactionary anyway.

But we can always be critical of the Jews in a good way. After all, nobody does this better than the Jews themselves.

There is a trend on the Right, especially the Jewish Right, to say that Communism was anti-Jewish. Well, the Jewish Right thinks everything is anti-Jewish. As you can see in this video, it is not really so. Yitzak Shamir was correct when we called the Soviet Union an “anti-anti-Semitic state,” perhaps the first that had ever been created. Stalin signed a bill making anti-Semitism a crime punishable by death. Stalin was an anti-Semite? Come on now.

59 Comments

Filed under Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Arab Nationalism, Arab Racism, Conservatism, History, Jews, Left, Modern, Nationalism, Political Science, Race/Ethnicity, Racism, USSR

From Jew to Jew: Why We Should Oppose the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza

Repost from the old site.

Here is a document I received from a progressive Jewish colleague who is associated with the group that published this document, A Jewish Voice For Peace. The group is located in the San Francisco Bay Area in California.

In this struggle, we need all the allies we can get. A real 2-state solution, described below, would, for all its deficiencies, be light years better than the hardline Zionist horrorshow that has America in a death grip. The single-state solution preferred by so many anti-Zionists lacks international support at this time and thus is little more than a pipe dream, whatever moral weight it may throw.

While Hamas was surely the democratic choice of the people, so was Hitler. So was George Bush. So was Ariel Sharon. So what? Many Hamas members are racist anti-Semitic bigots who have no interest in sharing Palestine with Jews.

They have helped spread backwards Islamic fundamentalism in Palestine, which has encouraged abuse and terrorization of secular Muslims and especially of Palestinian Christians. The emigration of Palestinian Christians is to a large degree due to the increasing fundamentalism in Palestine. But see here for some recent commendable positive moves by Hamas towards Palestinian Christians in Bethlehem.

This blog condemns fundamentalism in all forms and all religions everywhere on Earth, from Afghanistan to India to America to Palestine. While Hamas is not Al Qaeda at all, there is much to criticize there.

Furthermore, the activists described above would attack the essay below for “being directed only at Jews” and for being “Jewish-centric”. Yet politics is the art of the possible, and with the region in flames and the conflagration threatening to spread to new lands, the sane people need all the friends we can get at this point.

Those who know quite about the Middle East conflict will find this essay, which is somewhat dated, to be old hat and may wish to skip it.

Those who know little about the Middle East (only 15% of Americans realize that Bethlehem is a mixed Muslim-Christian city in the Occupied West Bank of Palestine) will find it an excellent primer to the conflict, with good, moderate, sensible advice that may be palatable to many politically moderate Americans.

Along similar lines as this article, see Christopher Hedges, Get Carter, in the January 7, 2007 issue of The Nation. Although the 2-state solution may seem like a shameless sellout to the fringe anti-Zionists described above, in the US right now, sentiments like we see both this and Hedges article are regarded by the Israeli Lobby as ultraradical and are attacked with animal-like ferocity.

Note: This publication is seriously dated, dating back possibly to 2002. Nevertheless, it is still quite relevant.

From Jew to Jew:

Why We Should Oppose the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza

Written by Jews for Fellow Jews

A Jewish Voice For Peace Publication

Download the PDF file here

Introduction

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, A Jewish Voice For Peace is the oldest and largest of a growing number of Jewish groups that are convinced that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory must end. There are two compelling reasons for this.

First, we wish to preserve the best part of our Jewish heritage -a deeply-ingrained sense of morality – and pass it on to the next generation, unsullied by the mistreatment of another people. We were brought up to believe that, as Jews, we are obligated to always take the moral high road and we can’t imagine letting this proud ethical tradition die now.

Second, as we will show in this paper, we are convinced that the only way to ensure the security of the people of Israel is for their government to conclude a just peace with the Palestinians. Without some reasonable version of justice being done, there will never be peace, and so we oppose any Israeli government policy that denies the Palestinians their legitimate rights. What those are will be examined shortly.

Is this position “anti-Jewish”? No, it is not (any more than criticizing U.S. government policies is anti-American.) Even as we love all of humanity, we have a special love for the Jewish people and for the warm and compassionate side of Jewish culture. We share with all Jews the trauma of the genocide of our people by the Nazis and our long history of periodic persecution.

We understand the instinct to “circle the wagons” when our people face danger, and we long for the day when Jews in Israel, as everywhere, will be able to lead normal, secure, productive lives. The question is how will that happy day come about? By blindly supporting the Israeli government’s self-destructive path to war and more war? We don’t think so.

We feel that these crucial issues need more discussion within the American Jewish community, not less. They certainly are debated at length in Israel itself, as evidenced by a recent Ma’ariv poll showing that 52% of Israelis support the 2002 Saudi peace plan calling for full Israeli withdrawal from all occupied territories in exchange for peace with the Arab world—in total opposition to the Israeli government’s policy.

It’s time for us to join the debate as well, and help formulate a more reasonable solution to the conflict.

Unfortunately, the ongoing violence in Palestine and Israel has led too many people, on both sides, to adopt blanket stereotypes of one another, turning them into something “less-than-human”. This process of dehumanization then allows people to justify the violence committed by their own side, starting the cycle all over again. This is a classic “lose-lose” situation that can continue on forever.

Is there a way out of this mess? Yes, we think so, but only if we suspend our understandable reaction of automatically blaming the other side. Only then can we objectively assess the root causes of the conflict and the realistic choices there are for resolving it. So, in the interest of peace, and with an open heart and mind, please consider the following facts.

1. THE OCCUPATION

The international community, through the United Nations and other forums, has made it clear that virtually the entire world considers the Israeli occupation of territories it captured in the 1967 war to be wrong and contrary to basic principles of international law.

Every year since 1967 (up until the Oslo Process started), the UN General Assembly passed the same resolution (usually by lopsided votes like 150-2), stating that Israel is obligated to vacate the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, in exchange for security guaranteed by the international community, in accordance with UN Resolution 242.

While the circumstances were much different, the legal basis of these resolutions is the same principle used to force Iraq out of Kuwait—i.e., a country cannot annex or indefinitely occupy territory gained by force of arms.

The only reason that Israel is able to maintain its occupation of Palestinian land is that the US routinely vetoes every Security Council resolution that would insist that Israel live up to its obligations under international law.

One of the original goals of Zionism was to create a Jewish state that would be just another normal country. If that is what Israel wants (and that is a reasonable goal), then it must be held to the same standards as any other country, including the prohibition against annexing territory captured by force of arms.

2. THE SETTLEMENTS

Similarly, all Jewish settlements, every single one, in territories outside Israel’s 1967 boundaries, are a direct violation of the Geneva Conventions, which Israel has signed and is obligated to abide by, as well as UN Security Council Resolutions 446 and 465.

As John Quigley, a professor of international law at Ohio State has written,

The Geneva Convention requires an occupying power to change the existing order as little as possible during its tenure. One aspect of this obligation is that it must leave the territory to the people it finds there. It may not bring its own people to populate the country.

This prohibition is found in the Convention’s Article 49, which states:

The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies

Here’s what former President Jimmy Carter wrote in the Washington Post at the beginning of the current intifada:

An underlying reason that years of US diplomacy have failed and violence in the Middle East persists is that some Israeli leaders continue to create facts by building settlements in occupied territory…it is unlikely that real progress can be made…as long as Israel insists on its settlement policy, illegal under international laws that are supported by the United States and all other nations.

In fact, on December 5, 2001, Switzerland convened a conference of 114 nations that have signed the Fourth Geneva Convention (a conference boycotted by the US and Israel).

The assembled nations decided unanimously that the Convention did indeed apply to the occupied territories, that Israel was in gross violation of their obligations under that Convention, that Jewish-only settlements in those territories were illegal under the rules of the Convention, and that it was the responsibility of the other contracting parties to stop these violations of international law.

To be in such flagrant violation of the norms of international behavior is bad for Israel’s standing in the world, bad for the Jewish people as a whole and, as we shall see, totally unnecessary.

3. ISRAEL’S SECURITY

It is sometimes argued that the settlements are necessary for Israel’s security, to protect Israel from terrorism and the threat of violence. But the reality is that the settlements are a major cause of Israel’s current security problems, not the cure for them.

New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis pointed out the aggressive nature of the settlements as follows:

It is false to see the settlements as ordinary villages or towns where Israelis only want to live in peace with their Palestinian neighbors. They are in fact imposed by force—superior Israeli military force—on Palestinian territory.

Many have been built precisely to assert Israeli power and ownership. They are not peaceful villages but militarized encampments. . .The settlement policy is not just a political but a moral danger to the character of the state.

“But wouldn’t the Palestinians use their own state as a base for even more attacks against Israel?”, it might be asked. For one, the Palestinians have long agreed that their future state would be non-militarized, no foreign forces hostile to Israel would be allowed in, and international monitors could be stationed on Palestinian land in order to verify these conditions.

As for individual acts of terrorism, there is an historical precedent that gives a realistic answer to this question. During the first years after the Oslo agreements were signed, Hamas tried to disrupt the peace process but, because of the prevailing optimism, their influence in Palestinian society diminished and their armed attacks fell off sharply.

What that means for the future is that if the Palestinian people feel that even a rough version of justice has been done, they will not support the more extreme elements in their political spectrum. This is not just guesswork; it already happened with just the hope of justice being done.

Another aspect of this is that if Israel had internationally recognized borders, then they could be defended much more easily than the current situation where every hill in Palestine is a potential bone of contention because of Jewish settlements encroaching on Palestinian land.

If the settlements and their settlers and the military apparatus they require were gone, and the Palestinians were given enough aid by the international community to create a viable economy in their own state, they would naturally be overjoyed and a positive turn of events would be the inevitable result.

4. “BUT DON’T THEY JUST WANT TO DRIVE THE JEWS INTO THE SEA?”

Officially since 1988, and unofficially for years before that, the Palestinian position has been that they recognize Israel’s right to exist in peace and security within their 1967 borders. Period. At the same time, they expect to be allowed to establish a truly independent, viable, contiguous, non-militarized state in all of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

This is what UN Resolution 242 says: “Land for Peace” – and the Palestinian Authority has stated repeatedly that UN Resolution 242 has to be the basis for any long-lasting solution to the conflict.

It is true that some Palestinians advocate that all of historic Palestine should be under Arab control, but there is no support for this position, either in the international community, nor among most Palestinians. Statements to that effect are just hyperbole and do not represent the official Palestinian position.

Similarly, statements by some Palestinians inciting people to violence against Israelis can easily be matched by statements from Orthodox rabbis and fundamentalist settlers calling for death to the Arabs. There are meshuganahs aplenty on both sides.

But since the Palestinians’ official position is clear, why shouldn’t Israel take the Palestinians up on this offer and withdraw from the occupied territories?

Israel is far stronger militarily than all the Arab armies combined and would face no credible military threat from a Palestinian state. And the threat of individual terrorist acts would, of necessity, be much less once the Palestinians felt that they had received a modicum of justice.

What would Israel lose by this obvious solution of just ending the occupation, which they could do tomorrow if they wanted to (or if the US insisted that they do)? The only thing it would “lose” is the dream of some of its citizens for a “Greater Israel”, where Israel’s boundaries are expanded to its biblical borders.

The problem with that dream is that it totally ignores the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and the will of virtually the entire international community. As long as the right-wing settlers and their supporters in the Israeli government insist on pursuing this dream, there will be nothing but bloodshed forever.

The Palestinian people have lived in Palestine for thousands of years and they are not going away. Israel must conclude a just peace with them or innocent blood will continue to be shed indefinitely.

5. NEGOTIATIONS LEADING UP TO THE CURRENT INTIFADA

It has often been asked, “But didn’t Barak offer 95% of the Occupied Territories to Arafat at Camp David and doesn’t his rejection of that offer mean that they don’t want peace?” There are several crucial things to understand here. First, prisoners may occupy 95% of a prison’s space, but it is the other 5% that determines who is in control.

Similarly, the offer Barak made at Camp David II would have left the main settlement blocks and their Jewish-only bypass roads in place.

Along with the extensive areas Israel planned on retaining indefinitely for its military use, this would have dissected Palestinian territory into separate bantustans (“native reservations”), isolated from each other, each surrounded by Israeli-controlled territory and having no common borders with each other or other Arab nations.

The territories would have had no control over their own air space; their main water aquifers (underneath the settlement blocs) would have been taken by Israel; and the Israeli military would have able to surround and blockade each enclave at will.

See this map courtesy of the Foundation for Middle East Peace for a bird’s eye view of the problems of Barak’s plan.

Jerusalem would have been similarly dissected so that each Palestinian island would be surrounded by an Israeli sea. This wouldn’t be an acceptable “end of the conflict” if you were Palestinian, would it? (Israel actually presented no maps at Camp David itself, but this was their offer of two months previous, and only marginal additional territory was theoretically offered at Camp David.)

The other important question here is 95% of what? “Greater Jerusalem” was unilaterally annexed by Israel after the 1967 war, so it was not included as West Bank territory in Barak’s offer, even though it takes up a large chunk of the West Bank, most of it having no municipal connection with the actual city of Jerusalem.

The international community has never recognized Israeli sovereignty over “Greater Jerusalem” and has repeatedly declared that Israel should withdraw from this and all territories it conquered by force of arms in 1967. Barak’s offer also excluded large swaths of the Jordan Valley which the Israeli military would control indefinitely.

Thus the Foundation for Middle East Peace estimates that the actual percentage of occupied land offered to the Palestinians was more like 80%, not 95%.

After the Camp David talks ended without an agreement, did Arafat refuse to negotiate? In a word, no. At the end of Camp David, it was Barak who said that his offers there would not be the basis for further discussions, that they were now “null and void”, and that Camp David was an “all or nothing” summit.

The Palestinians were willing to continue serious negotiations, and did at Taba, even after the current intifada had started.

According to Ron Pundak, an Israeli diplomat who was a key architect of the Oslo Accords:

The negotiations in Taba, which took place moments before Barak’s government lost the elections, proved that a permanent status agreement between Israel and the Palestinians was within reach. (It) led to dramatic progress on all issues on the agenda.

But meanwhile, Sharon had gone to the Temple Mount with 1000 Israeli soldiers in tow, followed the next day by a demonstration of Palestinians (who had no firearms), which was met with totally unnecessary lethal force by the Israeli police, resulting in at least four Palestinians being shot and killed.

This demonstration, which could have been contained by nonlethal means if the Israeli government had wanted to, was the beginning of the current cycle of violence.

6. LOOKING AT CAUSE AND EFFECT

“What about Palestinian crimes? Why don’t you lay equal blame on them?” Certainly, Palestinians have committed grave crimes, and in any process of reconciliation, both sides will have much to answer for. But as Jews, we are responsible to look at Israel objectively, and not just when Israelis are victims of violence.

In order to understand why there is the level of violence we see today, it is necessary to understand how we got to this point.

a) Before the 1967 war. Before the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, there was little organized Palestinian resistance. The majority of the tension was between Israel and the neighboring states. For the most part, violence between Israel and the Palestinians was limited to isolated Palestinian “infiltrations”, as Israel generally referred to them.

The Israeli population may certainly have believed that they were in mortal danger from the armies of their Arab neighbors. But by the mid-1960s, Israeli leaders had a good deal of confidence that they could defeat a combination of Arab forces similar to what they accomplished in 1948, and with greater ease.

History, of course, proved them correct, which calls into question the myth that Israel was fighting a self-defensive war for its very existence in 1967.

b) The 1967 war itself. The myth that the 1967 war was a purely defensive one is further weakened by statements of Israeli leaders themselves.

For example, the New York Times published an article on May 11, 1997 quoting Moshe Dayan’s own diaries, in which he admits that the kibbutz residents who pressed the Government to take the Golan Heights in 1967 did so less for security than for the farmland. Dayan wrote:

They didn’t even try to hide their greed for that land…The Syrians, on the fourth day of the war, were not a threat to us.

Or again from Prof. John Quigley’s landmark book, Palestine And Israel:

Mordecai Bentov, a cabinet minister who attended the June 4 (1967) cabinet meeting and supported the decision to invade Egypt, said Israel’s ‘entire story’ about ‘the danger of extermination’ was ‘invented of whole cloth and exaggerated after the fact to justify the annexation of new Arab territories’.

Even Menachem Begin said:

The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.

In short, the argument of self-defense does not stand up to a close examination of the historical record.

c) Peace Proposals after the 1967 war. In 1969, Nixon’s Secretary of State, William Rogers, proposed a peace plan based on UN Resolution 242, which would have guaranteed Israel’s security within her pre-1967 borders. Israel rejected it out-of-hand. In 1971, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat offered Israel a similar proposal (which did not mention Palestinian rights at all). This was also rejected by Israel.

In 1976, Egypt, Syria, Jordan and the PLO supported a resolution in the UN Security Council affirming Israel’s right to exist in peace and security, as in UN Resolution 242, but with a Palestinian state created alongside Israel. Israel opposed it and the US vetoed it.

Arafat personally reaffirmed his support of a two-state solution in statements made to Senator Adlai Stevenson in 1976, and Rep. Paul Findley and New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis in 1978. The Saudis made similar proposals in 1979 and 1981, which were reiterated in their 2002 peace proposal, adopted by the entire Arab League.

Yet Israel rejected all these peace proposals, and more, even though Israel’s security was guaranteed in each one of them. Why? The historical record is clear that Israel’s desire for additional land has been the single most important factor behind its expansionist policies.

As David Ben-Gurion said in 1938:

I favor partition of the country because when we become a strong power after the establishment of the state, we will abolish partition and spread throughout all of Palestine.

In sum, the 1967 war was not a purely defensive war on Israel’s part, as Begin told us.

The Israeli army met very little Palestinian resistance during the early years of the occupation. In the ‘60s and ‘70s, most Palestinian violence came from groups outside of the Occupied Territories. It is the Israeli desire to retain control over the West Bank, its expanding settlements and land appropriations that have sown the seeds of the situation we have today.

d) The Israeli occupation as the root cause of the violence. The main hallmark of the Israeli occupation has been the forcible expropriation of over half of the West Bank and Gaza for Jewish-only settlements, Jewish-only by-pass roads and Israeli closed military areas.

These expropriations are possible only because of overwhelming Israeli military might and are, in and of themselves, acts of violence—just as armed robbery is an act of violence, even if no one is hurt. Can we really expect that no violent reaction to it would have occurred?

Israel’s former Attorney General, Michael Ben-Yair stated point-blank in Ha’aretz (3/3/02):

We enthusiastically chose to become a colonial society, ignoring international treaties, expropriating lands, transferring settlers from Israel to the occupied territories, engaging in theft and finding justification for all these activities. . . In effect, we established an apartheid regime in the occupied territories immediately following their capture. That oppressive regime exists to this day.

e) How did the current level of violence come about? Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians are well documented in our own media. And, while major Israeli incursions have gotten a good deal of attention, day-to-day excesses of the Israeli military have not been so widely reported. To get an accurate picture of the chain of events, let’s look at the reports issued by human rights groups near the beginning of the current intifada.

Human Rights Watch, for example, stated:

Israeli security forces have committed by far the most serious and systematic violations. We documented excessive and indiscriminate use of lethal force, arbitrary killings, and collective punishment, including willful destruction of property and severe restrictions on movement that far exceed any possible military necessity.

B’Tselem is Israel’s leading human rights group and their detailed analyses of the current intifada can be found at their website.

They concluded early on:

In spite of claims to the contrary, Israel has not adopted a policy of restraint in its response to events in the Occupied Territories…Israel uses excessive and disproportionate force in dispersing demonstrations of unarmed Palestinians…Collective punishment, in the form of Israel’s severe restrictions on Palestinians’ movement in the Occupied Territories, makes life unbearable for hundreds of thousands with no justification.

Collective punishment is illegal under international law.

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights reported the following:

There is considerable evidence of indiscriminate firing at civilians in the proximity of demonstrations and elsewhere (by Israeli troops)…The live ammunition employed includes high-velocity bullets which splinter on impact and cause the maximum harm.

Equally disturbing is the evidence that many of the deaths and injuries inflicted were the result of head wounds and wounds to the upper body, which suggests an intention to cause serious bodily injury rather than restrain demonstrations…The measures of closure, curfew or destruction of property constitute violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention and human rights obligations binding upon Israel.

Amnesty International has also made numerous statements on the current intifada, including the following:

Amnesty International reiterated its long-standing calls to Israel to end its policy of liquidations and other arbitrary killings and urged the international community to send international observers…In these state assassinations the Israeli authorities offer no proof of guilt, no right to defense. Extrajudicial executions are absolutely prohibited by international law.

This attitude of the disposability of Palestinian life has now filtered down to the ordinary soldier. An IDF reservist interviewed on prime-time First Channel Israeli TV (12/14/01) stated:

Nowadays, there is much less of a dilemma. We more or less got a clearance from both the military and the political echelons. Nowadays, we shoot them in the head and no questions asked.

Is this what we want our Jewish legacy to be?

The overwhelming consensus of these reports means that Israeli demands for the Palestinians to “stop the violence” turn reality on its head. The Palestinians have suffered almost four times the fatalities that Israel has in the current fighting, as well as tens of thousands of serious injuries.

Furthermore, answering stone throwing with M-16 military weapons designed for battlefield use, or responding to ineffective Molotov cocktails with very effective armored tanks and attack helicopters is simply not morally justifiable.

It is also important to keep in mind that many of Israel’s current actions have been going on, in various degrees, for the last 35 years – systematic torture of Palestinians in Israeli jails, the forcible and illegal appropriation of over half the West Bank and Gaza by Israel for Jewish-only uses, daily humiliations and abuse at Israeli military checkpoints all over Palestinian land—these have combined to bring Palestinian anger to a boiling point.

In sum, we have seen that Israeli actions have served to seriously escalate the violence, and that Israel’s stubborn refusal to end its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, even to the extent of just stopping its settlement activity, has been a major obstacle to any progress towards peace.

To be sure, Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians have also been major obstacles towards such progress. Occupation and repression can never justify terrorism against civilians, but neither do terrorist acts by a few negate the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination.

The best way to address these crimes is to end the occupation which inspires the Palestinians to commit them. Recent history has demonstrated clearly that support for such crimes, and the number of Palestinians willing to commit them, drops precipitously when the Palestinians have had hope for independence, and risen sharply in response to the intensifying occupation and expansion of settlements.

We must also bear in mind that we are not morally responsible for Palestinian crimes, although we must work to prevent them. But we are morally responsible for Israeli actions taken in our name and with our tax dollars.

7. THE JEWISH PEACE MOVEMENT

One’s opinion on the Israel/Palestine conflict need not be a black or white question; you can support the Israeli people but still criticize their government’s illegal and ultimately self-destructive policies.

We believe that the Jewish peace movement, both in Israel and around the world, has a far better plan to ensure Israel’s security. That plan is to create real peace as a consequence of real justice being done, not a “peace” of victor and vanquished. We recommend that you go to Gush Shalom, Btselem, and Batshalom and read for yourself what thinking Israelis demand of their own government.

Thousands of Israelis, including hundreds of Israel’s top university professors, are convinced their government is committing unpardonable acts and have taken public stands against them.

For example, over 400 reserve combat officers and soldiers in the IDF have publicly stated their moral opposition to Sharon’s increasingly brutal use of force during the current intifada. These “refuseniks” have the sympathy of a growing portion of the Israeli public, now up to 26% of those surveyed in a February 2002 poll. Their statement reads, in part:

We, who sensed how the commands issued to us in the Territories destroy all the values we had absorbed while growing up in this country… hereby declare that we shall not continue to fight in this War of the Settlements.

We shall not continue to fight beyond the 1967 borders in order to dominate, expel, starve and humiliate an entire people. We hereby declare that we shall continue serving in the Israel Defense Forces in any mission that serves Israel’s defense. The missions of occupation and oppression do not serve this purpose—and we shall take no part in them.

Even Ami Ayalon, the former head of the Shin Bet (Israel’s equivalent to the FBI), recently stated in Le Monde:

I favor unconditional withdrawal from the Territories, preferably in the context of an agreement, but not necessarily. What needs to be done, urgently, is to withdraw from the Territories, a true withdrawal which gives the Palestinians territorial continuity.

So if disagreement with the Israeli government is kosher in Israel, shouldn’t it also be a topic of discussion among American Jews? For just one example, a recent survey of American Jewish attitudes showed that 35% of us think that sharing Jerusalem would be an acceptable outcome of peace talks, in total contradiction to the views expressed by the major American Jewish organizations that claim to speak in our name.

Our community does not, and should not, have just one opinion on these questions. What is needed is more discussion, not less, on these crucial matters.

The intifada is not primarily the result of the religious fanaticism, the blind anti-Semitism or the “inherent violent tendencies” of the Arabs. Rather, in our view, it is the inevitable result of the most basic human emotions – their need to be free and to live with dignity in the land of their ancestors.

A Palestinian child who is awakened at dawn by Israeli soldiers demolishing his home and uprooting the family’s olive grove does not need anyone to tell him to hate.

The Israeli Occupation has seriously eroded the Jewish people’s proud moral heritage, developed over the centuries; and, in any case, we are convinced it will never work, even in the most pragmatic terms.

The Palestinians will always resist being under military occupation, and have the right, under international law, to do so. As a result, there will never be real security for Israel until there is a reasonable version of justice for the Palestinians. How could it be otherwise?

8. ISRAEL’S SECURITY – Continued

“But doesn’t Israel have to do something to stop the suicide bombers?” A reasonable question, and here is a most reasonable answer from Gush Shalom’s founder, Uri Avnery:

When tanks run amok in the center of a town, crushing cars and destroying walls, tearing up roads, shooting indiscriminately in all directions, causing panic to a whole population —it induces helpless rage.

When soldiers crush through a wall into the living room of a family, causing shock to children and adults, ransacking their belongings, destroying the fruits of a life of hard work, and then break the wall to the next apartment to wreck havoc there—it induces helpless rage.

When officers order to shoot at ambulances, killing doctors and paramedics engaged in saving the lives of the wounded, bleeding to death—it induces helpless rage. And then it appears that the rage is not helpless after all. The suicide bombers go forward to avenge…

Anyone who believes that Arafat can push a button and stop this is living in a dream world…At best, the pressure cooker can cool off slowly, if the majority of the people are persuaded that their honor has been restored and their liberation guaranteed. Then public support for the ‘terrorists’ will diminish, they will be isolated and wither away. That was what happened in the past.

9. SOURCES OF INFORMATION

A major cause of misunderstanding between the Jewish peace movement and other American Jews is that we rely on different sources of information. If what you know about Israel and Palestine comes from the US corporate press, TV news and/or the mainstream US Jewish press, then your perception of events will be determined by their worldview.

As Jewish media critic Norman Solomon wrote in 2001:

Searching the Nexis database of U.S. media coverage during the first 100 days of this year, I found several dozen stories using the phrase ‘Israeli retaliation’ or ‘Israel retaliated.’

During the same period, how many stories used the phrase ‘Palestinian retaliation’ or ‘Palestinians retaliated’? One. Both sides of the conflict, of course, describe their violence as retaliatory. But only one side routinely benefits from having its violent moves depicted that way by major American media.

If, however, you supplement your information by reading the Israeli press, progressive magazines like Tikkun or The Nation, internet sites like Common Dreams and radio stations of the Pacifica network, then a very different picture of what is going on emerges.

In particular, we suggest that you sign up for our free email news service, the Jewish Peace News , which gives you the latest news and most cogent analyses of Middle East events, much of it from the Israeli press. You can subscribe by sending an e-mail to: jewishpeacenews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

10. SHARON’S CURRENT POLICIES

Ariel Sharon has always opposed real negotiations with the Palestinians, preferring instead to try to defeat them militarily. He has vehemently opposed all Palestinian/Israel agreements and has repeatedly stated that he has no intention of returning a single settlement to Palestinian rule.

Even the editors of the Washington Post (2/22/02) wrote:

During lulls in the conflict, Mr. Sharon frequently has been the first to renew the fight; during three weeks in December (2001) and early January (2002) when the Palestinians responded to a call from Mr. Arafat and stopped almost all attacks, Israeli forces killed a dozen Palestinians.

The obvious conclusion to draw is that Sharon does not want peace or real negotiations, just a vanquishing of his sworn enemies.

Indeed, if Sharon really wanted Arafat to arrest Palestinian militants, then why has he systematically destroyed the Palestinian Authority’s ability to do so? According to the Israeli peace group Gush Shalom:

The Palestinian police and security services have hardly any premises or prisons left in which to put terrorists, even if the decision was taken to arrest them; the bombardments were all too thorough.

Most crucially, in the spring of 2002, Israel commenced its most severe armed attacks yet in the West Bank, involving the following “grave breaches” of the Geneva Conventions— some of them rising to the level of war crimes, according to Human Rights Watch and other monitoring groups.

  • Israeli snipers on the tops of buildings, shooting anything that moves.
  • Ambulances shot at, medical personnel unable to evacuate the wounded, who have then died needlessly from their wounds.
  • Civilian neighborhoods bombed by U.S.-supplied helicopter gunships, F-16 fighter jets and Israeli tanks, causing widespread devastation and, inevitably, many civilian casualties.
  • Palestinian homes crushed by military bulldozers—sometimes, as in Jenin, with the occupants still inside.
  • Wanton destruction of the infrastructure of Palestinian civil society—water pipes and pumping stations, electrical power poles and plants, medical facilities, schools, hospitals, mosques and churches, public buildings, etc., in addition to massive looting and gratuitous vandalization of homes, businesses and governmental offices.
  • The use of “human shields” for Israeli military actions.
  • Journalists shot at who try to document the above gross violations of international law.

And Israel is now constructing a “buffer zone” that will de facto annex about 15% of the West Bank to Israel and break it up into eight separate bantustans, each surrounded by concrete barricades, hi-tech barbed-wire and electric fences, canals, guard towers, etc.

In other words, eight big open-air prisons, which Palestinians cannot get out of, except at the whim of the Israeli authorities. Again, this kind of collective punishment is specifically outlawed by the Fourth Geneva Convention.

A joint statement by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International Commission of Jurists (4/07/02) stated:

We strongly deplore actions by the state of Israel that harm persons protected by international humanitarian law. . . Such actions violate international standards and transcend any justification of military necessity.

Even in practical terms, these Israeli actions are counterproductive. As Gush Shalom writes:

The retaliatory and punitive raids by the army do manage to intercept some potential suicide bombers—but the very same raids and incursions, by demonstrating the brutality of the Occupation, also increase on the Palestinian side, the motivation for retribution, and help the recruitment of new suicide bombers.

Only an end to the Occupation by political means, allowing a fair expression of the basic Palestinian aspirations, can dry up the suicide bombing phenomenon at its source, and provide new hope to the desperate young Palestinians from whose ranks the bombers are recruited.

The recent upsurge in anti-Semitism worldwide is clearly connected with escalated Israeli aggression. As Israel has succeeded in convincing many people that it represents World Jewry, many supporters of Palestinians have directed their anger at Israeli actions against Jewish institutions in their own countries.

Right-wing white supremacist forces have also seized this opportunity to give their anti-Semitic venom legitimacy. Thus all Jews have a stake in seeing the sorts of human rights violations we have just described stopped.

CONCLUSION

Any country has the right and the responsibility to protect its citizens, and Israel is no exception. But its policies for the last 35 years, and especially during the current intifada, have been based on the old adage, “The best defense is a good offense”.

While that’s OK in football, in Israel that has translated into systematic torture or ill-treatment of literally hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in Israeli prisons, according to B’Tselem and other reputable groups. It means wanton cruelty being inflicted every day at military checkpoints, wanton destruction of Palestinian homes, and illegal strangling of Palestinian economic life, leading to extreme deprivation.

And there is no other phrase than “war crimes” to accurately describe many of the actions of the IDF during the attacks against the Palestinian civilian population in the spring of 2002. In short, the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory is simply wrong—brutal, illegal and unnecessary.

We do agree that both sides have done poorly in advancing the cause of peace. As Jews, however, it is incumbent upon us to put our own house in order, above all else. As Americans, our responsibility is doubled.

Our government has, through unprecedented financial and political support, allowed Israel to maintain its occupation and commit human rights violations with complete impunity. Thus, we are both responsible for the escalation and in a unique position to do something about it.

In the long-run, the only hope for a normal, peaceful life for the people of Israel is for their government to end their occupation of Palestinian land, allow the creation of a viable Palestinian state, and live and let live. The only other alternative is the current situation of endless bloodshed, which our silence, among other things, makes possible.

HOW TO DO YOUR PART FOR PEACE

If you have found this paper enlightening, please join A Jewish Voice For Peace and help us in our work. We have been organizing and educating people about the real causes of the unrest in Israel and Palestine since 1996.

Among our many useful projects, we make available to people, free of charge, an e-news service that delivers daily to its readers the best articles on the current conflict, largely from the Israeli press. To sign up for the Jewish Peace News, simply send an e-mail to jewishpeacenewssubscribe@yahoogroups.com.

A Jewish Voice For Peace has made great strides in the past year. In order for us to continue to grow and expand our services and our reach, we need your help. Your donations will make it possible for us to hire new staff members, increase our educational services and vastly expand our media reach. All contributions are tax-deductible.

To get in touch with us, write us at P.O. Box 13286, Berkeley, CA.

7 Comments

Filed under Africa, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Arabs, Christianity, Egypt, Europeans, Islam, Israel, Israel-Palestine Conflict, Jews, Law, Left, Middle East, North Africa, Palestine, Palestinians, Politics, Race/Ethnicity, Racism, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, Reposts From The Old Site, Terrorism, US Politics, War, Zionism