Israel’s Tightening But Weakening Grip

Israel’s near-seven-decade oppression of the Palestinian people has cost it popular support worldwide and led Zionists to rely more and more on paid-off political allies to shield Israeli interests, observes Lawrence Davidson.

By Lawrence Davidson

Zionism’s range of influence is shrinking. One can see this progression worldwide. At a popular level the Israelis have lost control of the historical storyline of Israel-Palestine. They may teach their own citizens their version of the story, the one wherein the Jews have a divine and/or historical right to all of Palestine’s territory. But beyond their fellow Zionists and the loony Christian Right, no one else believes this story. Significantly, an increasing number of Jews no longer accept it either.

None of this means that the Zionists are not still influential. Yet their influence no longer has a broad popular base. It is now largely restricted to Western government circles. Of course, that is still impressive, and such lobby power does a lot of damage in the West through the corruption of elites and the perversion of state policies. We are seeing examples of this in the many stories of American police officers being trained by Israelis while (coincidently?) episodes of police brutality in the U.S. multiply.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a security meeting with senior Israeli Defense Forces commanders near Gaza on July 21, 2014. (Israel government photo)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a security meeting with senior Israeli Defense Forces commanders near Gaza on July 21, 2014. (Israel government photo)

It is to be noted, however, the Zionist ability to maintain a close connection between Western governments and Israel is now based on their ability to spread around enormous sums of money, and not on what once was popular emotional admiration for the “Israeli experiment.” In truth the Zionists are left with a narrowing base of support for a country that is increasingly seen as, at best, inhumane and racist and, at worst, ruthless and criminal.

Zionism’s internal reaction to the loss of popular support is to defensively circle the wagons ever more tightly and press on with transparently illegal policies of settlement expansion and oppression.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the secular-political leader of this hunker-down strategy. However, for Jews worldwide what is perhaps more alarming, and certainly as depressing, is the role played by Judaism’s religious representatives – members of Israel’s rabbinic officialdom – who keep publicly calling for, and religiously justifying, the slaughter of Palestinians. Here are some recent examples:

In early March of 2016 Israel’s chief Sephardic rabbi, Yitzhak Yosef, announced that it is “a religious imperative” to execute “Palestinian assailants” as soon as they are apprehended, despite more judicious directives given by Israel’s military high command and law courts. Yosef then managed to show himself utterly out of touch with the history of Palestinian resistance (which he incorrectly mixes up with modern terrorism) when he declared that “It deters them too. The moment a terrorist knows that if he comes with a knife he won’t return alive, that will deter them. That’s why it’s a mitzvah [a blessing] to kill him.” There is, of course, no evidence that such a policy of on-the-spot executions deters Palestinian violence.

Yosef’s call for on-the-spot executions is actually a follow-up to a statement made by his predecessor, Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, in 2007. At that time Eliyahu pronounced that “there was absolutely no moral prohibition against the indiscriminate killing of civilians during a potential massive military offensive on Gaza.”

In December 2015, Chaim Kanievsky, an important “ultra-Orthodox” Israeli rabbi, instructed the members of United Hatzalah, a West Bank settler-run ambulance service, that when confronted with a Palestinian “terrorist” who has “a life-threatening condition, they should leave him or her to die.”

This pronouncement has sparked a lively debate among some Israeli rabbis, but the resulting impact on the practice of Israeli ambulance crews has been to give them an excuse to disregard their obligations under international law, and leave injured Palestinians untreated.

This attitude has long been evolving, and it has even produced the equivalent of “saintly” figures. For instance, there is the American Zionist settler Baruch Goldstein who in 1994 killed 24 Palestinian worshipers and injured another 125, at the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron. The settler community at Kiryat Arba has erected an elaborate tomb to Goldstein with an epitaph that reads, in part, that he had “clean hands and a pure heart.” The tomb remains today a site of pilgrimage for Zionists of genocidal inclination.

All those Zionists who justify the murder of Palestinians lawfully resisting unlawful occupation are themselves in violation of international law. Those who rationalize this behavior by evoking violent and wrathful biblical images go further and put themselves in the same category as Al Qaeda and ISIS fanatics.

An Existential Dilemma

Zionism did not start out advocating slaughter. The original Zionist preference for the disposal of the Palestinians was “transfer” –  the removal by force or economic inducement of the Palestinians from conquered Israeli territory into the surrounding Arab lands. This scheme, in its forceful guise, was put into effect during the 1948 and 1967 wars. This certainly cleared out some of the indigenous population, but by no means everyone: there are today some 6 million Palestinians living under Israeli control.

For most of those who have remained, policies of enforced poverty, enforced immobility and daily harassment have made life miserable. It has also encouraged continuous violent resistance among Palestinians and a corresponding growing frustration among Israeli Jews. This frustration soon began to encourage Zionists, both secular and religious, to replace the traditional notion of transfer with newer visions of slaughter.

An Israeli soldier prepares for a night attack inside Gaza as part of Operation Protective Edge, which killed more than 2,000 Gazans in 2014. (Israel Defense Forces photo)

An Israeli soldier prepares for a night attack inside Gaza as part of Operation Protective Edge, which killed more than 2,000 Gazans in 2014. (Israel Defense Forces photo)

The participation of the rabbis, who play the role of “spiritual guides” for millions of Orthodox Jews, in preaching a call to murder creates an existential dilemma for the adherents of the Jewish religion – existential because it speaks to the religion’s evolving nature.

In terms of its present adherents, it places them in the same situation experienced by many Catholics and Protestants during the eras of the Crusades and Reformation wars. It was in those eras that official religious institutions and leaders espoused and religiously rationalized wholesale slaughter.

Today we have created standards, supported by international law, that render such repulsive behavior illegal. But the Zionist leadership seems not to care about such standards and laws.

There are certainly those among today’s Jewry who understand the watershed nature of this turn of events. In August 2014, the American rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun Magazine, called on his fellow Jews to “mourn for the Judaism of love and generosity that is being murdered by Israel and its worshipers around the world, the same kind of idol-worshipers who, pretending to be Jewish [are] actually assimilated into the world of power.”

The organization of Rabbis For Human Rights attempts to ally with Palestinians so as to keep alive the notion that there are still Jewish religious leaders who understand the potentially humane essence of their religion. Organizations such as Jewish Voice for Peace give an alternative for Jewish laity who want to work against Zionist policies.

In the meantime, increasing numbers of Western Jews have silently broken with Israel and the Zionist movement. They have retreated to a passive apolitical position, rendering Israel no aid. Unfortunately, Jews in active opposition to Zionism, be they rabbis or laity, while growing in number, are still insufficiently organized to challenge Zionist political influence in official circles.

The existential problem that now confronts Judaism is the logical consequence of the World War II era alliance made by the religion’s leadership and the secular ideology of Zionism.

There are clear historical reasons why this alliance was made: a millennium of anti-Semitic persecution in the West culminating in the Nazi Holocaust; the existence of the national state as the premier model for collective self-protection; the colonial tradition that rationalized European control of non-European lands; and finally an age-old religious devotion to biblical tales of wandering and conquering Israelite tribes.

This offers the context within which the modern Jewish religion got captured by the Zionist movement, but whatever you think of these reasons, none of them, nor all of them together, mitigate the predictable disastrous consequences, laced with racism, chauvinism, intolerance, and violence, that was bound to follow Judaism’s collaboration with Zionism. As Rabbi Lerner says, the end product of all of this sends him into mourning.

An Israeli strike caused a huge explosion in a residential area in Gaza during the Israeli assault on Gaza in 2008-2009. (Photo credit: Al Jazeera)

An Israeli strike caused a huge explosion in a residential area in Gaza during the Israeli assault on Gaza in 2008-2009. (Photo credit: Al Jazeera)

In the eyes of increasing numbers, the country of Israel is a pariah state, and the behavior of its rabbinical officialdom may have already thrown its religious establishment into similar disgrace.

Those Jewish organizations that stand against the Israeli debacle are like candles burning in an otherwise political-religious darkness. Their struggle will go on. Indeed, it may never cease until Israel’s racist behavior ceases.

But right now, it has become evident that it is not only the existence of the Palestinians that Zionism threatens. It also has put in danger whatever humane instincts are left within organized Judaism.

Lawrence Davidson is a history professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Foreign Policy Inc.: Privatizing America’s National Interest; America’s Palestine: Popular and Official Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli Statehood; and Islamic Fundamentalism.

41 comments for “Israel’s Tightening But Weakening Grip

  1. Northern Observer
    July 29, 2016 at 11:20

    After reading the comments I am glad to know that Israel has nuclear weapons. The level of ideological reasoning, delusions and masochism on display here is really dispiriting.

    • John P
      July 29, 2016 at 16:03

      Northern Observer, You reap what you sow and from the start the Zionist movement like most settler movements considered the indigenous peoples inferior or a problem. The native North Americans helped the first white settlers in NA, showing them how to grow corn and seeing them through the winters, but once established, the settlers encroached more and more aggressively into native lives.
      As I have stated before, the Jews from the Ottoman times had political power, and when the empire collapsed, they didn’t want these foreign trouble makers (Zionists) coming in and upsetting the apple-cart.
      Zionists even abused their own people by pushing governments not to accept the boat loads of European Jewish refugees. Rather they wanted them to go to Palestine to fulfill there colonial project.
      A coupleof decades ago they decided that immigration to Israel was not fast enough to overcome the Palestinian growth rate so Zionist spies in western countries gave Israel secrets which in time were passed onto the Russians, accepting Russian Jewish immigration in return.
      And Israel was responsible for the theft of nuclear material, used for making bombs, from a US storage site. They threatened to use nuclear bombs ’73 when Egypt fought to take back the Sinai. The shame is that the Egyptians took their Sinai only and stopped. Meanwhile the nuclear threat, forced America to rush almost every tank in it arsenal to Israel in a mad 48 hour Blitz. Living near Detroit, I heard these planes flying low over my home carrying these goods and wondering what was going on.
      There are many Jews who haven’t succumbed to the Zionist fear mongering and have quite normal lives within open societies. I even know Jews who went to Israel in earlier times and got out because of its militaristic, and racist character and have had very good lives over here.
      As stated before, Alan Hart’s book title, “Zionism: the Real Enemy of the Jew” says it all. If you don’t see the truth in that then perhaps you should seek therapy.
      The world is different today, and bad behaviour travels around the world at near the speed of light. More and more young people are seeing the truth, Israel has no soul, it’s all tunnel vision for a political prize. A lot of sensitive, humanitarian people won’t like it.

  2. Fergus Hashimoto
    July 28, 2016 at 22:01

    It’s time for those stupid Zionists to understand that only Muslims have a right to commit ethnic cleansing and genocide.

  3. John P
    July 27, 2016 at 11:27

    More word via The Palestinian Chronicle and The Times of Israel

    Even if it goes nowhere it brings the situation further into the public eye.

  4. John P
    July 26, 2016 at 18:55

    BIG NEWS, Palestinian president to sue Britain over Balfour declaration.

    Goggle Middle East Eye

  5. July 26, 2016 at 14:45

    Well Lawrence, What do you care about human instincts in Judaism when you feel that the Bible is full of fairy tales?

  6. Brad Owen
    July 26, 2016 at 05:42

    The “Zionist hold upon Western Governments” has it backwards. Zionism is the creation of Cecil Rhodes and his RoundTable Group in the 19th century, to establish a Beach Head in the middle of Muslim territory to maintain the Western Governments’ hold upon colonies and preclude the rise of another Muslim Empire. These Imperial Monotheist religions have been in violation of the Natural Cosmology long enough and it appears The Gods are moving to end this perversion of Cosmology (like They did with Akhenaten’s Monotheism…which may have caused the Jews to leave Egypt in the first place???). They have been engineering Mandalas (Crop Circles) in the fields of Great Britain and the sands of the Middle East to slowly change the Consciousness of humanity (Michael the Lerner should be pleased with the activity of “The Elohim”). One merely has to lay eyes upon these Mandalas for them to start working upon the consciousness. The internet (probably Their idea planted into the minds of scientists and engineers) greatly facilitates the spreading of the influence of these Mandala engines of change. The Sky Spirals may be injecting energies into the Earth (may even be “Birfrost” deploying???). Unfortunately, the monotheists were very thorough in erasing our paganistic Tribal memories…but they never succeeded with erasing the memories of the First Nations around the World, and they, and their Shamans,are speaking up about what’s happening.

  7. Sergio Weigel
    July 26, 2016 at 03:01

    Great article! There is a good book about this: The End of Judaism by Hajo G. Meyer, in which one of the last Auschwitz survivors makes the case that Israel and zionism are completing what the German Nazis had started – the destruction of Judaism (especially secular Judaism). A very good read. It’s also a nice testimony of a flourishing secular Jewish culture in Europe prior to the war.

    I’ve been saying this for years to Israeli friends in heated online debates, but it usually falls on deaf ears followed by accusations of my “patronizing European attitude” and that I just don’t understand their situation. Well, I think I do. Israelis are a society suffering from a condition of collective PTSD combined with an outdated 19th century ideology (zionism), which is as fiercely chauvinist and racist as naziism was. The dissociative state of the average Israeli mind is remarkable. They can be absolutely smart, educated, and good people as long as you don’t talk about the occupation/apartheid. If you do, their brain will appear to be shutting down and taken over by some sort of defensive emergency survival program, which will forever protect and shield them from discovering the truth about themselves. It appears to be entirely out of their conscious control.

    I’ve given up on discussing these things with Israelis. I am convinced that this apartheid regime will collapse on its own, at the latest after US imperialism will have collapsed (I give it another four years give or take) and then the current generation of young Israelis will learn the truth the hard way. But they will and I am still optimistic that peace and a one-state-solution of secularity will prevail. The only reason that this hasn’t happened yet is outside meddling and support of the zionists and their fierce brainwashing of Israelis (and partly “Westerners”) by the Anglo-American empire.

    All this has an expiry date though and a proper secular Jewish culture isn’t lost – yet.

  8. jfl
    July 26, 2016 at 00:03

    In fact, it has become apparent that Israelis are Jewish Salafists and Takfiris :

    Israelis:Judaeism::Xtian Fundamentalists:Christianity::Wahabis:Islam

    The viciously distorted religious views of these sects enable them to discount right of the rest of humanity, minimally, to live in peace, with all the other rights that these violent religious minorities each claim that their god has granted only to their exceptional selves.

  9. jfl
    July 25, 2016 at 23:14

    Chris Chuba, ‘I find that the articles that condemn Zionism don’t ever really come out and say what they consider is a just, and permanent solution, they just fume against Zionism.’

    How about

    1. All the members of the UNSC recognize the Palestinian State on at least its 1967 boundaries and the Palestinians’ right to self-determination in Palestine.
    2. The Russian and/or/both the US Navy break Israel’s illegal blockade of Palestine along the Gaza shoreline
    3. The nation’s of the world rebuild Gaza and offer whatever is required in the way of assuring that Israel can no longer deal the Palestinians death, devastation, ans destruction at will.
    4. The nations of the world construct the tunnel / bridge required to join Gaza and the West Bank.
    5. The nations of the world see to it that all the illegal Israel/American settlers on Palestinian lands are removed to Israel.

    That would be a good start, and would go very far in eliminating the psychosis sown among Arabs in the Middle East by Israel’s occupation of Palestiine and attempted genocide of the Palestinians.

    Never Again!

    • Sergio Weigel
      July 26, 2016 at 03:15

      So, essentially you favor a two-state solution? I don’t. I consider the very idea of a two-state solution to be a ruse brought up by the supporters of Israeli settler colonialism, which is designed to eventually cleanse the area from Palestinians (or at least try – demographics still play against the settlers). I also doubt that any solution being implemented by outside pressure will have a lasting effect.

      Personally, I’d suggest a one-state solution based on a federal construct similar to Switzerland, with both Israeli and Palestinian cantons that are fairly independent on a lot of issues (from taxes to religious laws etc.), but put under one federal and secular constitution. Everybody who is a citizen of the “Confederacy of Palestine and Israel” can live and work where they want. There wouldn’t be a Jewish state anymore (which is moronic anyway since Jews are a religious and not an ethnic group), but different cantons, some more religious towards Judaism, Islam, or Christianity, some more secular, all of them in economic, but friendly competition with each other. Both Hebrew and Arabic would be official languages, both taught at school, etc.

      I know this seems to be impossible right now, but remove any outside support from both Israelis and Palestinians and you’d be surprised how quickly practical solutions would pop up and the willingness to implement them. The problem is that the Israeli side is constantly enabled by the so-called “West”. Once they are on their own, they would have to find a way to survive, and giving up the idiots’ idea of a “Jewish state” is the only working strategy.

      • July 30, 2016 at 03:51

        while i am sure we disagree o who is more right or more wrong, who is to blame more etc… your solutions BIG PICTURE wise are totally correct. outside money and minds should come in and help the palestinians civilize and increase employment and producitvity. a happy productive society is less suicidal, and also less disempowered.. more happy. i don’t think russian force is needed. israel’s “blockade” or whatever you call it is merely them trying to keep serious weapons out of the territory.

        israel has NO Interest in controlling palestinians just keeping them peacful…

        the US government is much more to blame with regard to urban/black misery in america than israel for palestinian misery. the palestinian mafia is to blame for their problems more… israel would help gladly if they had serious negotiating partners. the US news media LIES about everything. look at hillary clinton getting a free pass and bernie being slimed. money is lying to you all..

        but yes we need to help build a future for palestinians… whic means wwe need to help them free themselves from palestinian moronic rule…

    • July 30, 2016 at 03:46

      while i am sure we disagree o who is more right or more wrong, who is to blame more etc… your solutions BIG PICTURE wise are totally correct. outside money and minds should come in and help the palestinians civilize and increase employment and producitvity. a happy productive society is less suicidal, and also less disempowered.. more happy. i don’t think russian force is needed. israel’s “blockade” or whatever you call it is merely them trying to keep serious weapons out of the territory.

      israel has NO Interest in controlling palestinians just keeping them peacful…

      the US government is much more to blame with regard to urban/black misery in america than israel for palestinian misery. the palestinian mafia is to blame for their problems more… israel would help gladly if they had serious negotiating partners. the US news media LIES about everything. look at hillary clinton getting a free pass and bernie being slimed. money is lying to you all..

      but yes we need to help build a future for palestinians… whic means wwe need to help them free themselves from palestinian moronic rule…

  10. Tim
    July 25, 2016 at 19:31

    Look for the Jewish heart. What is Passover?? It is a 3,000 year old Jewish celebration of child murder.

    • Zachary Smith
      July 25, 2016 at 21:36

      That’s a low blow.

      Example: what is the Christian Eucharist? It’s ritual cannibalism.

      Example: what is the crucifix worn by so many Christians? It’s a 2000 year celebration of a man being slowly tortured to death.

      • Chet Roman
        July 26, 2016 at 01:04

        Let’s be fair. The crucifix is not a celebration of a man being tortured to death but a reminder and celebration that Christ died for our sins. Simply put, without Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins, no one would have eternal life. Jesus Himself said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). In this statement, Jesus declares the reason for His birth, death, and resurrection—to provide the way to heaven for sinful mankind, who could never get there on their own.

        I’m not a believer but that is what it represents to Christians not a reminder of slow torture.

        The Egyptian slavery and liberation by G-d under the leadership of Moses celebrated on Passover is a myth and has been debunked even by Israeli archeologists. But then Christians celebrate the birth of Christ on the wrong date according to many historians. Go figure.

        • July 30, 2016 at 03:38

          you are an idiot. jesus was a smart jew. you have missed the whole point of his teachings.. i literally learned in high school how careul one must be when reading in translation YOU HAVE bet your SOUL your life itself on SECONDARY translated sources that you do not understand. eternal life in the ancient world, would be being remembered by your offspring, jews kaddish for example.. your nihilistic mistake leads you to lead an empty essentially pagan which is to say primitive and benighted life…. good luck

  11. David G
    July 25, 2016 at 18:02

    A counterweight to what may be declining Israeli influence in the U.S. and Western Europe is strengthening links with China, which is a big market for Israeli surveillance and oppression technologies, and which couldn’t care less about the historical and human-rights baggage in either direction.

    • July 30, 2016 at 03:36

      yes . i HOPE china emerges to balance american domination. i hope israel allies tightly with china. china doesn’t give a crap what america wants and thinks… thank god. america has been taken over by fascist corporate scum. and the left has been deviated away from real social/socialist change to identity politics of which antisemitism is the most dangerous and destructive form… as jews allied with black people in the US in the 60’s for example SCARED the shit out of the owners. and so they killed MLK and Malcolm. the jews do not own the media, you idiots, the germans do: see bertlesman… for example, you sheep …

  12. falcemartello
    July 25, 2016 at 13:59

    I luv how this guy whitewashes the crimes of the anglo-zionist that between 1948 -1967 zionist were not like they r now . They would use financial inducement. I guess he has never heard of the Stern gang and also he has never heard of the blatant assassination of the Swedish Duke. In the late 40’s. Just luv how the anglo-zionist like to white wash their vile ,fascistic and racist past.

  13. Zachary Smith
    July 25, 2016 at 12:52

    It also has put in danger whatever humane instincts are left within organized Judaism.

    Is there such a thing as ‘disorganized Judaism’?

    Be that as it may, the Zionists are really pushing the limits on what they can get away with. Their murder and theft is indeed becoming well known, but now forcible rape can be added to the mix. So long as the woman is pretty and a gentile. You see, soldiers get these “urges”, and since gentiles aren’t really people anyhow,…….

    “[W]ar removes some of the prohibitions on sexual relations, and even though fraternizing with a gentile woman is a very serious matter, it was permitted during wartime (under the specific terms) out of understanding for the hardship endured by the warriors. And since the success of the whole at war is our goal, the Torah permitted the individual to satisfy the evil urge, under the conditions mentioned, for the purpose of the success of the whole.”

    The fellow who wrote that is now the Israeli Defense Force’s Chief Rabbi. The official explanation is that it’s ok because he wasn’t in uniform when he said it.

    When you’re God’s Favorite People, you get to write your own rules.

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 25, 2016 at 13:39

      It’s one thing to be preached down to, but another thing when agendas are stuffed inside religious ideology. Thanks for posting this Zachary, as usual you provide valuable information that makes me come back to this site day after day to learn things.

    • Ol' Hippy
      July 25, 2016 at 14:46

      It’s sort of like the US government; “what we say goes”, as said by Bush I after invading the gulf, and declaring ‘a new world order’. A war that could have probably have been avoided without Israel pulling all sorts of strings; and they’re still doing. How does one prosecute the most powerful states for war crimes?

    • Chet Roman
      July 25, 2016 at 21:10

      And let’s dismiss the notion that this Israeli rabbi was some kind of exception:

      Israeli Rabbis, Shapira and Elitzur who wrote the “King’s Torah”, said that the commandment against murder ‘refers only to a Jew who kills a Jew, and not to a Jew who kills goyim. All civilians of the enemy population ‘rodef,” or villains are therefore fair game for slaughtering.”

      Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, former Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel who died in 2013 said that Palestinians are “snakes” and “accursed, wicked ones” and that “It is forbidden to be merciful to them. You must send missiles to them and annihilate them.”

      Rabbi Ovadai Yosef was also head of the important Shas political party: “The sole purpose of non-Jews is to serve Jews… Why are Gentiles needed? They will work, they will plow, they will reap. We will sit like an effendi and eat. That is why Gentiles were created.” this officially feted and honored figure went on to not just compare but equate the souls of all non-Jews to those of donkeys.

      Maybe some will claim that Rabbi Ovadia Yoset is somehow not representative of the majority of Israelis or those in power. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu expressed his “profound grief” at the passing of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, calling him one of the “great halachic authorities of our generation.”

      “Rav Ovadia was a giant in Torah and Halacha and a spiritual leader for tens of thousands,” Netanyahu said. “He worked hard to enhance Jewish heritage, and at the same time his rulings took into consideration the times and the realities of renewed life in the State of Israel. He was imbued with a love of Torah and his people. I very much appreciated his warm personality and his direct manner.”

      “The Jewish people lost one of the sages of the generation,” Netanyahu said, sending condolences to his family, students and “many devoted followers.”

      And let’s not forget the “dancing Israelis” filming the attack on 9/11. When interviewed on Israeli TV one of the Israeli agents said that “they were only there to film the attack”. Hmmm.

      • July 30, 2016 at 03:33

        “rodef” does not mean villain

        you are antisemitic and ignorant

  14. Dean Blake, J.D.
    July 25, 2016 at 12:28

    The author certainly has a point of view, but the conclusions demonstrate a real lack of understanding of Judaism and Zionism, and reverts to old tropes like Goldstein while ignoring 2,000+ individually murdered Israeli Jews by Arabs or Sirhan Sirhan’s murder of RFK. Goldstein’s ‘tomb’ is no longer a site of pilgrimage as the Israeli government has had it destroyed. It was just a gravestone, not a tomb.
    Leaning on Rabbi Lerner from the left in Berkeley, California as a standard bearer of Jewish values is rather like relying on Mad Magazine for a source of American values. The wide-sweeping generalities of this article really demonstrate a lack of understanding and a definite Xtian perspective on the issues despite the facts. Judaism has not changed. Zionism is dedicated to self-determination for Jews, that hasn’t changed. Self-preservation is the first precept of both. There is no racism involved as stated. In fact, it is a conclusion but not refereed to in the article at all prior to its statement of conclusion.
    ‘Idol worshipers’ !?!? pretend Jews !?!? that’s an old anti-Semitic trope.
    I don’t understand how the editors of the page countenanced publishing this drivel or how this man keeps tenure at a “University”.

    • Zachary Smith
      July 25, 2016 at 13:19

      The Zionist poster says Rabbi Learner is Bad, Bad, and Bad, so it must be true. Here is more information about that Bad Person.

      Here are a couple of headlines from the Bad Person’s online magazine:

      Occupation Forces Demolish Palestinian Homes in Jerusalem (again and again and again)

      Could Hillary Be Any Worse? Sure, add Tim Kaine to the Ticket–by David Swanson

      Now DO NOT go to the Tikkun site because it has not been approved by our Zionist poster. Here is the place you must avoid at all costs:


      As for the Good Jewish Terrorist, here is something from the wiki.

      In 1999, after the passing of Israeli legislation outlawing monuments to terrorists, the Israeli army dismantled the shrine that had been built to Goldstein at the site of his interment. In the years after the dismantling of the shrine, radical Jewish settlers continued to celebrate the anniversary of the massacre in the West Bank, sometimes even dressing up themselves or their children to look like Goldstein.[8][34][35][36]

      In 2010, Jewish settlers sang songs in praise of Baruch Goldstein’s massacre demonstratively in front of their Arab neighbours, during celebrations of Purim. A phrase from one song reads “Dr. Goldstein, there is none other like you in the world. Dr. Goldstein, we all love you… he aimed at terrorists’ heads, squeezed the trigger hard, and shot bullets, and shot, and shot.”[37]

      What a nice bunch of people! Going to a terrorist’s grave and kissing the tombstone isn’t anything to be concerned about.


      The really nice Zionists have managed to keep the USS Liberty story almost entirely out of sight of Americans. But back home, they delight in honoring the motor boat which launched the torpedo (which was likely responsible for a big part of the deaths) at the US Naval ship.

      On the basis of that same report, an Israeli court of inquiry completely exonerated the government and all those involved. No one was ever court-martialed, reduced in rank, or ever reprimanded. On the contrary, Israel chose instead to honor Motor Torpedo Boat 203, which fired the deadly torpedo at the Liberty. The ship’s wheel and bell were placed on prominent display at the naval museum, among the maritime artifacts of which the Israeli navy was most proud. . . .

      Like I said, the little unventilated outhouse of a nation-state is populated by lots of really nice people.

      • Peter Loeb
        July 26, 2016 at 07:17


        I do not share Lawrence Davidson’s basic premise that
        Israel’s grip is weakening is weakening.

        though published in 1991 describes the growth of those movements
        at that time as though with pride. This work provides a view from
        the inside as if with jubilance of one celebrating
        the KKK, which after all, used a cross! If you have the stomach
        this is an important book as the radical right continues
        to grow.

        Michael Prior’s book THE BIBLE AND COLONIALISM: A MORAL
        CRITIQUE provides the bases for Judaism and Christianity as
        related to the Bible. The complete grasp of a theologian
        not only on Scripture but on biblical scholarship is of great
        value. Prior evaluates Zionism and its radical movements
        as well.

        Hannah Arendt observes in her essay ZIONISM RECONSIDERED
        that “western Zionists…were a fraction of those sons of
        wealthy Jewish bourgeois families who could afford to see
        their children through the university…” Arendt’s other observations
        are as pertinent today as in 1945 when they were so eloquently

        As is clear, neither candidate in the current presidential elections
        in the US can afford (literally) to oppose Israel.

        One can only hope that Palestinians survive the onslaught they
        have been subjected to from the beginning of Zionism’s colonial
        invasion with the delight in the brutality as described in the
        Bible. After all, their brutality is by divine mandate and therefore
        immune to criticism.

        Norman Finklestein’s analysis of the US Jewish communities in
        the first chapters of THE HOLOCAUST INDUSTRY are
        a must for evaluation. (Both of Mr. Finklestein’s
        deceased, were survivors.)

        —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA. USA

        • Miller
          August 4, 2016 at 09:32

          “After all, their brutality is by divine mandate and therefore immune to criticism.”

          This statement speaks volumes. Zionism as it is currently practiced is expansionary by nature. It is the fulfillment of God’s promise and that means the entire region described in the OT as the promised land. Present day Israel is no where near controlling that entire region but make no mistake, that is the end goal.

          Like the Jewish tribes of old, this is to be done by force as needed, no amount of brutality negates the legitimacy of the undertaking.

          “No one, from the simplest person to even the Prime Minister, has the right to cede even one granule of the Land of Israel! The Holy One, blessed be He, gave it to us! To us alone He gave it!”

    • Chris Chuba
      July 25, 2016 at 13:23

      I found it interesting that the author chose to say … “there are today some 6 million Palestinians living under Israeli control.”, as opposed to ‘occupation’. Does this mean that he finds it unacceptable for Israeli Jews govern Arabs within the pre-1967 War borders?

      I am not unsympathetic to the Palestinian Arabs, I read an article in Consortium where I find it plausible that Israelis might be using water as a weapon in the occupied territories and Gaza but I don’t have anything close to a well developed idea on how to make things better. I find that the articles that condemn Zionism don’t ever really come out and say what they consider is a just, and permanent solution, they just fume against Zionism. Some hint at the demographic end of the state of Israel which I consider totally unreasonable. No state is going to commit suicide, it is totally unreasonable to even put that on the table. I would love for one of these articles to come right out and make a proposal of some kind.

      • Zachary Smith
        July 25, 2016 at 14:47

        I read an article in Consortium where I find it plausible that Israelis might be using water as a weapon in the occupied territories and Gaza but I don’t have anything close to a well developed idea on how to make things better.

        It turns out that the internet is a very large place full of many other articles telling how the government of Israel not only strictly rations water to the Palestinians, but also allows the ‘settlers’ to blow up water systems and pollute/poison other water supplies. I’d suggest you are 1) not looking very hard and 2) not thinking very much about “how to make things better”.

        The first big land grab was in 1948. Israel does exist, but it ought to pay reparations to the people it drove away – and to descendents of those it murdered to terrorize the exodus of Palestinians. As for the “occupied” territories, it ought to simply leave.

        Did you catch that last part? LEAVE.

        Israel has nuclear weapons. It has the most modern armed forces in the region. It is in no danger at all – except for the prospect of being halted in it’s string of thefts and murders.

        • Chris Chuba
          July 25, 2016 at 17:36

          I brought up the water management issue because I find it plausible. It is true, I am not looking that hard regarding Israel / Palestinian issues because I am fully engaged examining what we are doing in Syria, our nuclear negotiations with Iran, and our relations with Russia. That takes a lot of time.

          If I did google searches and skimmed the results on those three issues, I’d be one of those clowns that would say, ‘Assad is guilty of genocide and must go’, ‘we can’t negotiate with Iran because they want to kill us and are the #1 supporters of terrorism’, and ‘Putin spends all day trying to humiliate us’. I don’t believe in any of these things because I have invested time and effort to overcome our media bias.

          Israel, well, it’s a relatively stable area and therefore lower on my list of things to be concerned about. I’m not saying that Palestinians are treated fairly. Withdraw to pre-1967 borders? It would be easy for me to tell them to do that, they did it in Gaza and got rocket attacks. So obviously there is more to it than that. They need a stable govt, so then the WB Palestinians would demand work visas and then Israel would say that Hamas will infiltrate that stream and compromise security for them. I’m not one of these people who say Israel can do no wrong but I also don’t see an easy way for Israel to solve these problems unilaterally.

          • Zachary Smith
            July 25, 2016 at 21:45

            It would be easy for me to tell them to do that, they did it in Gaza and got rocket attacks

            Well sir, that remark convinced me you truly don’t know anything about the situation. Good luck with your reading though – whenever you find the time.

            … I also don’t see an easy way for Israel to solve these problems unilaterally.

            As it happens, I do. Israel will murder the Palestinans if they get the chance. Since that’s not a high probability event, I expect their “real world” unilateral solution will be another death march. Problem! Solved!

        • Peter Loeb
          July 26, 2016 at 07:35

          ZACHARY SMITH…

          Zionism/Jews” ought never—NEVER—to have invaded Palestine
          in the first (second or third) place.

          See Hannah Arendt cited in my comment above as well as
          other sources.

          Perhaps they should have gone to Arkansas as was once very
          temporarily considedred. I am not sure the folks in Arkansas
          would have appreciated it more than the Palestinians (aka “Arabs”) have.

          —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

          • Rob Roy
            July 28, 2016 at 12:01

            I think you mean Argentina.

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 25, 2016 at 13:34

      Thane Eugene Cesar is a better bet to who killed RFK, as opposed to Sirhan Sirhan.

      The last time I checked the Palestintian’s never tried to sink a U.S. Navy ship, but in 1967 the Israeli’s did, when they attacked the USS Liberty. What a great ally!

      I doubt there is much gain to be made by arguing with you, but this site is not the place to sell your Israeli propaganda. Have a nice day.

      Ex-USN (1968-72 active duty) Joe Tedesky

    • common tater
      July 25, 2016 at 14:38

      Dean Blake
      the internet has empowered those who do not own mass media outlets.
      now we have points of view from angles that were at one time blocked.
      having points of view from varying angles allows the audience to make up it’s own mind.
      we have had the point of view favoured by you for a long time, and that point of view is not standing up to scrutiny.

      p.s. a Semite is defined as anyone who speaks or spoke a Semitic language.
      i.e. Semitic languages include Aramaic, Amharic, Tigrinya, Assyrian, Silt’e, Arabic, Hebrew, including a long list of now extinct languages.
      to have negative opinion of zionism is not anti-Semitic, since zionism is not a Semitic language but an ideological movement.

    • b.grand
      July 26, 2016 at 01:00

      Dean Blake, J.D., quick with the hasbara. Wouldn’t want to let any criticism of Israel penetrate the lack-of-consciousness!

      The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States –

    • John P
      July 27, 2016 at 12:49

      What a joke Dean, so the Palestinians aren’t supposed to think about self-preservation and self-determination. Jews and Arabs lived in peace before Zionism was invented.
      Yes, Jews were very badly treated in the earlier days and of course Nazism was absolutely evil. In my mind major triggers were religious (Christian vs Jewish views of a supposed history) and visible cultural splits between wealth, & power vs post depression poverty. Observing the splits within the RNC and DNC we have a view of the chaos wealth disparity can induce.
      When you treat people badly they will react. Jews sadly became more insular, and self absorbed a behaviour now exploited by Zionists who instill further fears to push their cause. Many Jews haven’t succumbed to the Zionist ploy.
      Without justifying violence, the Zionist treatment of Palestinians is likewise, a fertilizer for violent reactions from some Palestinians. It’s human nature. You take their land, you withhold their access to good water, food (“putting them on a diet”), destroy their infrastructure (homes, hospitals etc), settlers burning Palestinian crops and olive trees, scaring isolated rural Palestinians with KKK like behaviour, fire bombing homes, and on and on, there is an ultimate cost.
      International law is being broken, but the west doesn’t seem to care, they want the money from PACs, they want it from wealthy Zionist who have a cause. How many average people can afford to pay donate to government.
      So Alan Hart, a friend to both Arafat and Meir, is right when he titled his set of books, “Zionism: the Real Enemy of the Jews”. The first Palestinian to blow himself up among Jews came after the Goldstein atrocity. Goldstein, an associate of the terrorist group Kach, and a major in the Israeli reserve army.
      Then we have war with Lebanon for no reason. A Black September member, an enemy of Arafat’s PLO, attacked the Israeli embassy in London, and in response Israel attacked Lebanon in ‘82 to remove the PLO and hold the land south of the Litani river which Zionist believe belongs to Greater Israel. From that occupation Israel grew Hezbollah. Israeli soldiers permitt5ed and watched their Phalange friends massacre unprotected Palestinians at Sabra and Shatila and nothing much was done to rap Israeli knuckles. Israel supported Hamas in the early days to undermine Arafat and Fatah until the Gaza election and to Israel’s surprise Hamas won. So a new war started to rebalance Israel’s desires (divide and conquer) in occupied lands.
      And then we have Egyptian archeologists who insist that no Egyptian King was ever addressed as Pharaoh. Nor was Egypt ever call Misr (the name in the old Biblical texts). In the ancient tales of Osiris and Isis, it was called el Gibt which in time became Egypt. As for Pharaoh it was probably a derivative of Faraon, the chief of a village, Mizraim, in SW Saudi Arabia, an area where Jews once lived. That is very close to the likes of Misr. But that’s another story hidden from view for political reasons, but pertinent to a full understanding of the region. But these revelations are clouded by modern day politics to fulfill what some want the religious books of today to say.

    • Tfs
      July 28, 2016 at 13:13

      Only an eejut like you actually believe RFK was murdered by S’S.

      Even one of JFKS friends, himself shot on that day attended a recent parole hearing for S’S. He stated that even though S’S had fired a gun that day, he was in no possible position at anytime to cause the fatal shot.

      You not really off to a good start in your argument are you?

    • July 30, 2016 at 03:27

      i like the ” israel’s near seven decades of abusing palestinians” headline

      it is sad that even this site lacks Interest in INVESTIGATING in israel… using second hand, UN and NGO sources which are often shown to be wrong or intentionally misleading upon further research….

      the plot, evil really is to divide the left from jews

      jewish westerners, have always led progressive reform, from spinoza to heschel, to sanders to marx, to jeremiah the prophet…

      Nazis allied with powerful muslim warlords in the late 1800s and that goes on until today.

      Germans I mean, not Nazis technically until Hugo Boss made uniforms in the 1920’s for them.

      the left now , based on lies, equates israel with evil.. and misses the real evil global corporate take over

      that has led to poor robert parry having to hide on this tiny site any real good journalism and writing because the corporate overlords got rid of him…

      it is VERY sad that even robert parry buys the bullshit narrative that israel is an apartheid sate.

      as a left wing jewish american who has spent many months of many of my years of life in israel

      i KNOW the story is made up. israel is the MOST just and fair society in the world. everyone yells and laughs with everyone. the arabs in general and muslims in particular have been sold out by the coward corporatists of the world. and piles of money are kept away from them, because if they went ahead and spent on and built up a viable society in te “territories” than the US would not sell half as many weapons all over the world, and the oil cartels would not keep progress at bay. YOU ARE ALL MORONS who are missing the real story. you are all failing the poor arab muslims by serving the rich arab and german and generally white, often american merchants of death. and now you all got suckered into hillary clinton and trump… wake up honest people. and liars, go to hell…

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