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Jews Against Israel
December 8, 2004 5:47 PM   Subscribe

Jews against Israel.
posted by BuddhaInABucket (109 comments total)

 
Happy Hanukkah!
posted by joelf at 5:57 PM on December 8, 2004


point of personal privilege (before I get attacked for this post): I know too much about Israel to have a solid stance for or against it on either side. The real reason for this post is that I'm reading about the history of Israel for a class and when I found out that there was Jewish opposition to Israel, I became curious about whether it still existed: It does, that interested me, I (hopefully correctly) assume it interests other people, and hence this post. Enjoy!
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 6:02 PM on December 8, 2004


I know too much about Israel

I found out that there was Jewish opposition to Israel


These two sentences are incongruous. There has always been a strong and vociferous opposition to Zionism with the Jewish community, particularly among the ultra-orthodox.
posted by loquax at 6:09 PM on December 8, 2004


You were under the impression that all five million adherents to a particular religion feel the same on a particular issue?
posted by Saucy Intruder at 6:10 PM on December 8, 2004


That is to say "within a portion of the Jewish community..."
posted by loquax at 6:10 PM on December 8, 2004


loquax- I should have said that I know a lot about the state of israel today as opposed to its inception.

saucy intruder- I'm gonna go ahead and be honest here, but no, it hadn't occured to me... and I'm gonna bet that it hadn't occured to other people, too. On that note, I should have included this link, too.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 6:13 PM on December 8, 2004


(More like 13 million Saucy Intruder)
posted by loquax at 6:14 PM on December 8, 2004


Next you're gonna tell me not all Christians love the Pope. And all Muslims don't revere Ali. And all Buddhists don't believe in...
posted by gwint at 6:16 PM on December 8, 2004


As one who has no stake in Israel (either for or against), I think it's good that the distinction be made between Jews and Zionists.

This answered a couple of questions I had, BIAB. Thanks.

(However pedantic, loquax's point stands: from what I understand, there's long been opposition from within the Jewish community to the very concept of a Jewish state)

Saucy - many, many more people who adhere to a single group feel the same about particular issues. I actually think it's a fair assumption many people have that 'all Jews are for a Jewish state', if they don't understand the basis of opposition to it. The basis of any group - religion, culture, social club - is commonality.
posted by cosmonik at 6:20 PM on December 8, 2004


You were under the impression that all five million adherents to a particular religion feel the same on a particular issue?

To be fair, most non-jews tend to assume the vast majority of us jews are strongly pro-Israel. Maybe most are; I'm not.

And everyone reveres Ali. He's The Greatest.
posted by liam at 6:20 PM on December 8, 2004


Lunatics Against Israel.
posted by hama7 at 6:25 PM on December 8, 2004


Sorry, didn't mean to sound like a jerk, although I guess I sort of did. Nothing personal, apologies!

Here's a link to a brief history of orthodox anti-Zionism, and a little bit of a Talmudic background. Very tough to find much rational info amongst the garbage found when searching anything related to "Zionism" and "Jews".
posted by loquax at 6:29 PM on December 8, 2004


Heh-- and welcome back, hama7.
posted by trharlan at 6:32 PM on December 8, 2004


The important thing to recognize here is that not everyone is aware that there is, in fact, this anti-Zionist viewpoint. Journalists love to depict Israel vs. Palestine as a "he said, she said" debate, where everyone agrees to disagree.

Not only does this blind us to the nature of the conflict, it blinds us to possible resolutions.
posted by mek at 6:34 PM on December 8, 2004


I saw a documentary made by one of these Jewish groups. Their basic complaint is that, according to the Torah, the Jews will return to Israel only once God deems them worthy and sends the Messiah. Apparently, these conditions were not met in 1948. I may actually have the religious details wrong, but basically they claim that God decides when the Jews return to Israel, not the Jews, and that the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 was against the Torah.

This is one type of Jew against Israel.

There are also, of course, Jewish people who are against the violent oppression of the Palestinian people, the militarization of the Holy Land in general, and sending their children off in tanks to defend right-wing orthodox settlers.
posted by scarabic at 6:36 PM on December 8, 2004


Don't forget Jews for Jesus and Jews for Allah.
posted by Arch Stanton at 6:37 PM on December 8, 2004


Israel vs. Palestine

Except that Jewish anti-Zionism has nothing to do with the Palestinians. It relates to the Torah's forbidding the Jews to create a state, and the loose religiosity of the current Israeli state. It would have opposed a Jewish state anywhere in the world, not just in its present location. There may be Jews opposed to Israel's actions, but this is not anti-Zionism, it is anti-Israelism, if anything. To be secularly anti-Zionist is the equivalent of believing that say, Sri Lankans or Canadians should not be allowed to have a country of their own and disperse among the other countries.

On preview, scarabic, the first example you cite is a Jew against the concept of a Jewish state, an anti-Zionist. The second is a Jew against the current Israeli government, an anti-Israeli (government, presumably). Two monumentally different things.
posted by loquax at 6:44 PM on December 8, 2004


I know that. Thank you.
posted by scarabic at 6:56 PM on December 8, 2004


This is all news to me... thanks BuddhaInABucket.
posted by letitrain at 7:03 PM on December 8, 2004


On preview, scarabic, the first example you cite is a Jew against the concept of a Jewish state, an anti-Zionist. The second is a Jew against the current Israeli government, an anti-Israeli (government, presumably). Two monumentally different things.

Huh? Israel is a product of Zionism -- not to mention that current Israeli policy toes a conisistently Zionist line. Criticism of Zionism is unto itself a criticism of Israeli policy, it's even a critique of Israel's validity as a nation-state, particularly one dedicated to Jewish racial hegemony -- and it's a potent indictment of the current administration, in particular.

In this regard your statement seems a little off.
posted by undule at 7:06 PM on December 8, 2004


Well, you didn't seem to differentiate between them enough. Religious anti-Zionists are not anti-Israel, as you said, but anti-Zion. They and secular opponents of Israeli policy are not two sides of the same coin, they're on different planets. But, hey - no problem!
posted by loquax at 7:06 PM on December 8, 2004


Christians believe that the Messiah had come and gone but will return. Jews believe he has not yet come...in sum: both are waiting.

Ultra Orthodox have always been against a secular state and have great advantages living in Israel, a secular state, freeing them up to be against a secular state.

As there are orthodox Jews who do not believe in a secular state called Israel, so too there are Israelis who are strilctly secular...Nice that there is this diversity, but the Other forms of Jewishness--Reform and Cnservative are treated as though second-rate in Israel, a country that still has the impress in running things as the Orthodox insist. Reform and Conservative Jews have a much better situation in America.

There are too of course Christian Arabs and Israeli Arabs and so on ...
posted by Postroad at 7:14 PM on December 8, 2004


It's seems that it's pretty easy to think that all Jews are pro-Israel and pro-Zionist. I'm guilty of this.

It seems to me that the Jews that aren't Zionists are pretty quiet about it. It can't be easy to be Jewish and anti-Zion, much like it would be to be an American and anti-War on Terror, but probably much, much harder.

I don't know a whole lot about Zionism, but it seems to me that Zion isn't really a place at all, it's a state of mind.

I once got into a very, very intense online argument (heh) with a young and fervent Zionist, stating my interpretation of the concept of Zion as a state of mind and being rather than a geophysical place or Nation-State.

Her arguments were classically cyclical. "Palestinians are animals! They blow up our cafes and buses! They're murderous animals! We must fight back!"

My argument in response was "Who says you must fight? Why Israel? If Zion is a state of mind, why couldn't Zion be anywhere on the globe? Why fight, kill, and murder for what basically amounts to icons, totems, and idols in the form of a city, a place, or a country? Why not leave and seek peace rather than staying and seeking conflict?"

And she couldn't even approach answering me without reverting back to the same, old, and so incredibly tired argument of violence requiring a violent response, be it defensive, retributative, or pre-emptive.

Granted, this is a grossly simplified paraphrased version of the argument, and the full dialog of that argument is even grossly simplified in light of the complexity and history of the whole problem.

But I still ask the question: "Why Israel and/or Palestine?" (Above and beyond the religious, historical and symbolic importance.)

What's more important? Lasting peace? Or the tentative - and always temporary - ownership of Jerusalem and surrounding regions, and all the symbology and Holiness that entails? What's more important? The mere symbols of Holiness, or actually living a Holy life?

If I were a prophet and leader of the Jewish people, I'd be asking countries if we could bring our industriousness, ingenuity and economy to their lands. I'd ask Chile, or Argentina or maybe even Canada or others if they'd like to have us and accept us as their guests, and build a new Zion built on peace rather than war.

And if any segment of humanity is capable of uprooting a small nation and rebuilding it anew, it would certainly have to be the Jews. I say this without even a hint of antisemitism, and certainly not to make light of the many Diaspora, but in complete admiration.
posted by loquacious at 7:17 PM on December 8, 2004


undule - Israel is a product of Zionism.

Yes but my point is that religious Jewish anti-Zionists (such as the ones linked above, I believe) couldn't care less if the product of Zionism was Israel, or a Jewish homeland in Antarctica, or Africa or wherever. That they're against "Israel" is utterly beside the point. In that philosophy, they share very little with those that oppose settlement of the West Bank, or the wall, or any other policy implemented by the Israeli government. Presumably secular anti-Israelis, and the UN and everyone else support a people's right to self-government and political independence, right? The anti-Zionists don't, at least not for Jews. That is the difference.
posted by loquax at 7:19 PM on December 8, 2004


undule, one can think that Israel should exist as a state, but deplore the actions of its current government.

loquacious, I don't know what to say about your post except to say that I find it orthogonal, at best, to the issues at hand.

Israel is already where it is--in an area of the world that roughly corresponds to Roman Judaea. It has homes, schools, businesses, universities, hospitals, etc. You say that "if I were a prophet and leader of the Jewish people" you would suggest moving the entire country. I would point out that it's not "the Jewish people's" decision to make; it would be up to the residents of Israel, and they're not going anywhere. Nor are they likely to want a "prophet" as their leader.

Most of the current national borders of the Middle East were pulled out of the British Foreign Office's ass in the early 20th century, anyway.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:25 PM on December 8, 2004


There is also Jews against the Occupation, another group more invested in solidarity with Palestinians than with Messianic rationales against the Israeli state.

From their mission statement:
Judaism is a cultural and religious identity, which must not be equated with Zionism, a political movement.
posted by dkg at 7:27 PM on December 8, 2004


loquacious: Is it really possible for Israel to relocate now? How many millions of people live there? It's nice to suggest that, but I can't imagine it happening.

What's more, since Israel is a fairly functional democracy surrounded by fairly dysfunctional non-democracies, it seems as though we'd want that to continue, even if we disagree with some aspects of the way they run things. Free elections, free speech, good economy, these are good things. Is it really impossible to improve the situation without throwing those good things away?

It may be blunt, but it should be said: if we disagree with Israeli foreign policy, maybe we should move to Israel and vote. If we aren't willing to do that, then we should think long and hard about whether we want to support Israel or its enemies. I personally choose Israel. I guess one could choose its enemies if one wanted.
posted by koeselitz at 7:27 PM on December 8, 2004


loquax: I was discussing how Israel is portrayed by the media, which is 99% of the time in the context of Israel vs. Palestine conflict articles. But thanks for the tangential rant.

However, you do make a good point; we must not confuse anti-Zionism with anti-Israelism. Also, we must not confuse different possible varieties of anti-Zionism. It is perfectly acceptable to be against the Israel Zionist movement while still accepting basic Zionist tenets, and instead believing that, as Arch Stanton observed, the conditions for the Jewish homeland may not have been met in 1948.

Being completely against the concept of a Jewish homeland is another, more extreme variety of anti-Zionism, though it probably does find some representation as well.
posted by mek at 7:34 PM on December 8, 2004


I'd ask Chile, or Argentina or maybe even Canada or others if they'd like to have us and accept us as their guests, and build a new Zion built on peace rather than war.
There's something to be said for not being anyone's guests. Especially considering history.
posted by kickingtheground at 7:43 PM on December 8, 2004


I went to see a film on Sunday co-sponsored by a local film group, a local peace activist group, and Not in My Name, "a predominantly Jewish organization [that] is deeply committed to a peaceful and just resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict."

The film, Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land offered a very enlightening look at how the US media portrays the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and why it does so.

Afterwards, a speaker from Not in My Name suggested an experiment: Read the op-ed section of Haaretz every day for a couple weeks, and count up all the articles that criticize the Israeli occupation and US involvement. Then read the US newspaper of your choosing and count how many op-ed pieces or articles do the same.

The goal of the co-sponsors is to show the movie to as many people as possible, and offered a loan of the film to anyone who wanted to have a screening, if you are in Chicago and interested.
posted by jennyb at 7:46 PM on December 8, 2004


Hello! Thank you for posting this, sir.

Nice to meet all of you. I'm Esther! I'm a Jewish anti-Zionist from Cleveland, and I went to Palestine last year and am heavy into immigrant support and Palestine solidarity here at home. I won't discuss the tragedy of Palestinian life under Naqbah and occupation in this post, but perhaps in a future one.

I think that Jewish anti-Zionists should fight anti-Semitism within the Palestine solidarity movement as well as challenging Zionism through debate and nonviolent activism. One good example is the best Jewish anti-Zionist blog is by the excellent Mark Elf.

Jewish anti-Zionism: It's a tough row to hoe! But I absolutely love it. I'll be fighting this fight for the rest of my life. There is nothing on earth that is more Jewish than being a voice in the wildnerness, defending what you feel is best for the Jewish people and the peace and justice of people of the world.

To me, to be Jewish is to be an anti-fascist. The stories of the Holocaust I remember best are the stories of resistance. I've always identified with the phrase soldiers have written on their weapons and other tools: This machine kills fascism. After 9/11, I started to learn about Zionism and the similarities that certain aspects of the political culture of the militarized Israeli state have to the rapidly developing U.S. cultural reaction. I fear hints of fascism in these developments, because a culture of fear of external attack is the primary engine necessary to manufacture consent for fascist policies and processes.

I am so proud of the Jewish people and I care about them so much. It's the same narcissistic pride that drives the settlers at their outposts, I guess. But I believe that the Jewish people are smart enough, strong enough and brave enough to make decisions based on reality instead of on ideological fabrications. I also believe that I have the right to engage in dialogue and debate with anyone in the world to advocate my opposition to Zionism. Jewishness thrives through dissent and is a religion of questioning and dissent.

All forms of Judaism - Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, and secular - do not permit a courageous and righteous person to refuse reasonable suffering for one's ethics and to glorify God. In other words, you really are supposed to work for the betterment of the world, even if it is inconvenient to you.

I learned that Judaism from my father's stories...invented tales of maneuvers in the Pennsylvania Army that taught a lesson of first aid or health or safety; and Jewish history, told from a fervently Zionist, and humanist, point of view. It's distinct from the false history I was taught in Hebrew school. And it is worth saving, in Israeli culture if not in a theocratic Israeli state.

As a Jew living in the United States, I am faced with the fact that the growing community of anti-Semites uses the contradictions and crimes of Zionism to advance its deadly goal. Jews all over the world are at risk from anti-Semites who recruit their fellows by citing Israel's war crimes against Palestine right alongside their racist philosophies.

I'm also faced with the fact that Yiddish is a dying language because the dominant discourse among Jews deliberately chose Hebrew to replace it and Europe's indigenous Jewish culture along with it. The socialist Jewish discourse of people like Emma Goldman, the folk consciousness that gave birth to people decades later like Bob Dylan, was transcribed largely in Yiddish. It is a dying discourse.

I'm pretty loud about my opinion on these things because I want the rest of the world to know that Jews disagree on this topic, that we live to disagree, that nothing is ever settled finally among us.
posted by By The Grace of God at 7:56 PM on December 8, 2004


Also: I'm a SECULAR anti-Zionist Jew. Nothing to do with either of these links. Mark's blog will take you to some good non-religious anti-Zionist blogs by Jews. There are a whole bunch of left-wing Palestine solidarity groups and movements full of secular, progressive anti-Zionist Jews.
posted by By The Grace of God at 8:02 PM on December 8, 2004


However, you do make a good point; we must not confuse anti-Zionism with anti-Israelism.

Well at least so much as you're speaking about Jewish born Anti-Zionism -- as a goy or an Amalek, criticizing the Israeli state on Zionist grounds is valid, necessary even. I find it consistently depressing that Americans are so accepting of a nation dedicated to racial and religious purity -- particularly one that was founded in an area previously occupied by non-jews, who are then 'relocated'.

But hey, what do I know? I too live in a country stolen from it's indigenous peoples.
posted by undule at 8:07 PM on December 8, 2004


Wow, BTGOG, thanks for your comment.
I've definitely gotten a lot more insight from the links and comments within this post than what I learned from my own forays into the subject. Hurrah for MeFi!
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 8:09 PM on December 8, 2004


Sidhedevil: Points taken, and it is orthogonal.

koeselitz: Certainly, it's not easy to imagine. It's about as likely a scenario as me growing wings and flying out of my own butt.

But it's not unimaginable, and that which we can imagine, we can try. Yeah, we're talking about a project so large it would probably be the greatest engineering and logistical feat, ever. But it's not impossible.

kickingtheground: Of course. If it makes it easier for the purposes of this exercise, imagine an entirely unpopulated and unclaimed country. This country is defensible, resource-rich, temperate and habitable. This imagined country exceeds Israel in any and alll criteria for a country or land, except for the fact that it is not Israel, and it is not a "Holy place". Imagine if Israel bought part of a country, or was gifted the outright ownership, no debt asked for or given.

Why not?
posted by loquacious at 8:10 PM on December 8, 2004


that's what MeFi is for! Yay Matt for finally opening accounts!! :))
posted by By The Grace of God at 8:10 PM on December 8, 2004


I don't know a whole lot about Zionism, but it seems to me that Zion isn't really a place at all, it's a state of mind. Indeed you don't know a whole lot about Zionism, because bluntly, nobody, from the "Zionism is racism" crowd to the most fervent settler in Kiryat Arba could agree with that. The land of Israel is crucial to Zionism and has been ever since it was decided that moving to Uganda wasn't a good idea.

Personally, I subscribe to what you might call the Haaretz school, in that I believe in the right of Israel to exist in peace, while being opposed to most of the actions of the Israeli government, which I find unjust and calculated to prevent that peace. This gets me into a great many arguments with virtually everyone I know who calls themselves a Zionist. I think that Zionism has its roots in the project of 19th century nationalism/colonialism, but nonetheless Israel is now here, and nobody is going to sort anything out without acknowledging that fact.

However, the groups you link to are far further outside the Jewish mainstream than me. The "on a different planet" remark was most apt.

BTGOG: what the hell is a nice Jewish girl/boy like you doing singing in a gospel choir?
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 8:11 PM on December 8, 2004


Gospel music kicks much ass and is a beautiful way that people praise God. It's a rich musical wellspring of American Music, with which I am deeply in love. It's a scene where amateur musicians can perform with national stars and it is a reminder that the earth is full of wonderful musicians.
posted by By The Grace of God at 8:13 PM on December 8, 2004


If I were a prophet and leader of the Jewish people,

No offense, but I'm glad you aren't.

I'd be asking countries if we could bring our industriousness, ingenuity and economy to their lands

We're also good at math! And taking money! If you don't kill us, we'll make you rich!

Her arguments were classically cyclical. "Palestinians are animals! They blow up our cafes and buses! They're murderous animals! We must fight back!"

My argument in response was "Who says you must fight? Why Israel? If Zion is a state of mind, why couldn't Zion be anywhere on the globe? Why fight, kill, and murder for what basically amounts to icons, totems, and idols in the form of a city, a place, or a country? Why not leave and seek peace rather than staying and seeking conflict?"


OMG you are SO SMART and SO RIGHT and you totally won that argument! Stupid Jew-girl! Hey, why don't you run for the prime minister's post? You seem to understand things so clearly. Especially the Jewish religion. You're totally right, it really is just a bunch of icons and totems. How stupid we Jews are! And that bit about Zion--nailed it, man! Zion is a state of mind, just like how, for example, the United States is, because it's only a country if we all think it is...wait, I'm confused. Can you explain that again?

Thanks for showing us the way, loquacious! Don't forget to dash off a new book of the Torah on your way out!
posted by clockzero at 8:16 PM on December 8, 2004


Although my background is jewish, I'm an atheist.

I don't support Israel because of their aggression against the Palestinians, who I believe deserve a homeland. I feel the US should remain completely neutral in the middle east, since our support for Israel has only made the rest of the middle east our enemy.
posted by mike3k at 8:20 PM on December 8, 2004


no, it hadn't occured to me

Come on. In this day and age, there's a [somebody] for/against [something] for everything.

For example:
Jews for Judaism
Jews for Morality
Jews for Justice
Jews for Life
Jews for Conservative Politics
...and of course, Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:21 PM on December 8, 2004


Wow, clockzero. That's... um... yeah.

A lot louder than I would've said it. And also: very, very true.
posted by koeselitz at 8:22 PM on December 8, 2004


that's what MeFi is for! Yay Matt for finally opening accounts!! :))
"Gospel music kicks much ass and is a beautiful way that people praise God. It's a rich musical wellspring of American Music, with which I am deeply in love. It's a scene where amateur musicians can perform with national stars and it is a reminder that the earth is full of wonderful musicians."
Thanks, Matt!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:23 PM on December 8, 2004


Oh boy, a "jews against" thread.

http://www.jewsagainstcircumcision.org/
posted by telstar at 8:24 PM on December 8, 2004


Yes, I'm an earnest dork, C_D. And we just had a kick ass rehearsal for our upcoming Christmas Concert, this Saturday. :)
posted by By The Grace of God at 8:29 PM on December 8, 2004


Wow, clockzero. That's... um... yeah.

A lot louder than I would've said it. And also: very, very true.


What's true? He didn't say anything, he only spilt bile.
posted by undule at 8:32 PM on December 8, 2004


big ups to BTGOG for sharing. Israel frustrates me, because at a fundamental level I cannot understand why someone's - anyone's - religious belief in entitlement to something - anything - could or should be used as grounds to do anything... particularly the uprooting and oppression of millions of equally human individuals with equally valid beliefs. I totally understand and am in full agreement with the situation of the Palestinians being a basis for anti-Zionism, it's absolutely shocking when one confronts the full details of the Palestinian experience today... and it seems reminiscent of not one, but many of history's saddest and most shocking reminders of humanity's capacity for doing seemingly great evil.

If someone can explain to me why it makes sense for religious entitlement to dictate or justify political or military action, I would love to hear it. Seriously. Or if you can explain why that's never part of the discussion.

"Last night God spoke to me in a dream... and he told me that according to him, your car belongs to me - actually, it has always belonged to me. Where are your keys?"

(not to reduce the rich heritage and spirituality of Judaism to a glib fictional anecdote, but at the same time, an article of faith is an article of faith, is it not?).
posted by Embryo at 8:34 PM on December 8, 2004


cosmonik--
As one who has no stake in Israel (either for or against), I think it's good that the distinction be made between Jews and Zionists.

I disagree. I think that making that distinction in that way is problematic. Perhaps it would be better simply to state that the two terms are not equivalent.

sorry if I missed someone's comment on this already
posted by clockzero at 8:38 PM on December 8, 2004


clockzero: Well, that was sure well thought out, empathic, and well tempered. Sorry, what was your point? I think I missed it due to all your half-assed wailing and teeth-gnashing.

Is there something particularly antisemitic about being anti-violence? How about paying a sincere compliment? WTF? What crazy-assed bizarro land did I wake up in where suggesting seeking alternative solutions to achieving peace and avoiding violence isn't wisdom, secular or not?

You presume and assume a hell of a lot about what my meanings were, what my intents are and sound a whole lot like the girl I was arguing with, which is just depressing. Excellent debate. Lamer.

See, this is the problem with religion, and why I'm agnostic. People just take stuff way too seriously and literally. And then they start fights over it, and start killing each other. For what? Wampeters, Foma, and Granfalloons?
posted by loquacious at 8:39 PM on December 8, 2004


And props to BTGOG. I think I shall not regret adding her to my contacts page.
posted by loquacious at 8:41 PM on December 8, 2004


By the Grace of God, are you pulling our leg?
posted by sophie at 9:02 PM on December 8, 2004


I definitely used my whole ass, loquacious.

My points are as follows, since you asked:

1. I don't know a whole lot about Zionism, but it seems to me that Zion isn't really a place at all, it's a state of mind.

This is merely an opinion, and that of someone who is ill-informed, by their own admission. Zion is, in fact, a place, and your assertion to the contrary comes with no qualification.

2. Her arguments were classically cyclical. "Palestinians are animals! They blow up our cafes and buses! They're murderous animals! We must fight back!"

My argument in response was "Who says you must fight? Why Israel? If Zion is a state of mind, why couldn't Zion be anywhere on the globe? Why fight, kill, and murder for what basically amounts to icons, totems, and idols in the form of a city, a place, or a country? Why not leave and seek peace rather than staying and seeking conflict?"


I wasn't there when this exchange took place, but you've certainly painted her as rabid and illogical, and yourself as calm, cool, and reasonable, to say nothing of your flippant allusions to things which are of great importance to Jewish Israelis. It's kind of tacky to quote yourself like this, man. If you have an opinion, just say it. Don't refer to that one time when you were totally enlightened about something. I made fun of you about this for your own sake, my friend: I thought you might choke on your own pomposity.

3. What's more important? Lasting peace? Or the tentative - and always temporary - ownership of Jerusalem and surrounding regions, and all the symbology and Holiness that entails? What's more important? The mere symbols of Holiness, or actually living a Holy life?

You're certainly free to think whatever you like constitutes a holy life, but it seems like you're implying that you know how holy the lives of other people are, and that those of Zionist Jews are not up to snuff. This is not your call to make.

4. If I were a prophet and leader of the Jewish people, I'd be asking countries if we could bring our industriousness, ingenuity and economy to their lands. I'd ask Chile, or Argentina or maybe even Canada or others if they'd like to have us and accept us as their guests, and build a new Zion built on peace rather than war.

This is just arrogant. We do not need or desire your leadership. And as someone pointed out above, it's not the same living on someone else's largesse, as the "guests" of other people, and to imply that this is acceptable just for Jews is insulting. Perhaps you did not mean it to be as arrogant as it seems, and it was just phrased poorly. I don't know.

5. And if any segment of humanity is capable of uprooting a small nation and rebuilding it anew, it would certainly have to be the Jews. I say this without even a hint of antisemitism, and certainly not to make light of the many Diaspora, but in complete admiration.

Um, thank you for the "admiration," you callous fool. Why should we, of all the people in the world, be called upon to do this? I suppose perhaps you admire black people for their athletic ability, too? What you apparently don't understand is that Jews are human in much the same way you are. We are not better or worse at nation-building than anyone else.

You presume and assume a hell of a lot about what my meanings were, what my intents are and sound a whole lot like the girl I was arguing with, which is just depressing.

Well, we're all pretty much the same. Maybe you should just accept the fact that people will form opinions about things you say.

See, this is the problem with religion, and why I'm agnostic. People just take stuff way too seriously and literally.

Well...there it is, eh? I don't think you care at all about the situation in Israel. If you think it's not serious, maybe you shouldn't talk about it, because a lot of people take it very seriously.

There, does that clear things up?
posted by clockzero at 9:06 PM on December 8, 2004


How wonderful and amazing, btgog- I too am a secular anti-zionist/Israel Jewish girl who loves gospel music and sings in such a choir. What a small, blue world we live in.
posted by TheGoldenOne at 9:08 PM on December 8, 2004


Comments like thisL Israel frustrates me, because at a fundamental level I cannot understand why someone's - anyone's - religious belief in entitlement to something - anything - could or should be used as grounds to do anything. Seem to miss the point.

Lets make this clear:

1. Judaism is both a nationality and a religion (you can be a Jew but not be religious, for example).

2. Zionism is the belief that Jews as a people should have a homeland, specifically a nation in the area of historic Israel/Palestine. Anti-Zionists do not believe that Jews should have a homeland in the Middle East, or not have a homeland at all.

3. Israel is a state that was the result of the Zionist endevour. It is a state for the Jewish people, but it is not a theocracy (most people in the state are not religious or atheist). You can be against the choices made by that state without being against the state itself. You can say that you think Israel's actions towards the Palestinians are wrong without saying that Israel should not exist. If you are an Israeli citizen, you can vote to change the policies of the state, or run for office yourself, regardless of your nationality (Jewish, Christian, or Muslim)

There are Jews against all of these things: Judaism as a nation, Zionism, and current Israeli policies. Those against the first are outside the mainstream, those against the second generally are acting out of strong religious or philosophic objections covered in this post, but there are many, many Jews (and Israelis) who fall in the last catagory. They are not anti-Zionists any more than Democrats are anti-American.
posted by blahblahblah at 9:18 PM on December 8, 2004


clockzero said: I think that making that distinction in that way is problematic.

Please extrapolate. For me it is useful, and I fail to see a downside. It removes the false equivalency many people hold between Jews and Zionists, and adds an element of clarity to the debate.

Also; what difference do you infer between two terms being 'distinct' vs. two terms being 'not equivalent' (in the context of Jews vs. Zionists)?
posted by cosmonik at 9:23 PM on December 8, 2004


blah3: Judaism is not a nationality, it's a religion and/or a cultural or ethnic identifier. You are not a citizen of Judaism - you are a member. Israeli is a nationality.
posted by cosmonik at 9:29 PM on December 8, 2004


So according to you cosmonik, there's no such thing as a secular Jew?
posted by Krrrlson at 9:31 PM on December 8, 2004


blahblahblah, I agree with everything you just wrote, and it is a great deconstruction of how many paths there are to various opinions about Israel. But I don't understand what it has to do with my point, which is: Israel's actions AND existence are manifestations of religious beliefs which, like many religious beliefs, include a priority of perogatives.

That is to say: the perogatives of those with religious beliefs that (to each Zionist individuals' interpretation) support and/or call for the creation and preservation of Israel as a Jewish state/holy land hold precedence over those with different beliefs and/or perogatives, including the perogatives of the non-Jewish residents of today's Israel pre-1948 and the perogatives of today's Palestinians who desire to live in a way that allows them to exist in self-determination (i.e., freedom).

That, to me, seems based in a sense of religious and/or ethnic supremacy, and that, to me, seems wrong - especially given the power that Israel and its proponents have to put its sense of self-priority into (horrific) action.

I also would argue that Israel, until non-Jews are given the same rights as Jewish people, is indeed a theocracy. Which is not to say that it might not also be a "democracy" (which has always been selective depending on what the word "people" in "by the people, for the people" is defined as by those who control access to power).
posted by Embryo at 9:33 PM on December 8, 2004


To go with that last comment I want to add that the list of people with religious stake in Zionism includes Jewish and Christian believers alike (among, no doubt, others), but as blahblah correctly pointed out, not all members of either category posses the sense of religious supremacy that empowers them to force their perogatives onto others who don't share them.

Regardless, these actions are rightfully called oppression, and they should not be considered 'OK' in a healthy national or global community, and that is why it mystifies me how few Americans are really willing to call Israel on the basic wrongheadedness of its actions.
posted by Embryo at 9:37 PM on December 8, 2004


Cosmonik, nationality is not the same thing as being part of a state.

For example, Judaism is considered a nationality - although the Jews did not have a nation for a very long time. Kurds are of Kurdish nationality, even though there has not been a Kurdish state for a very long time.

For a long history of Jews as a nation, see wikipedia.
posted by blahblahblah at 9:38 PM on December 8, 2004


cosmonki: Well, I think fundamentally I agree with you. The removal of that equivalency is what's important. I was just wary of the way you phrased it because you said a distinction should be made between Jews and Zionists--but this would be a false distinction, because it makes it seem as though the two cannot exist simultaneously.

The distinction I think you and I both want to make is that Jew is not a term interchangeable with Zionist, rather than that Jews and Zionists are two distinct groups. Does that make any sense? In one case, we're saying that the two groups are not identical, and (it seems to me) in the other case we're saying that the two groups are necessarily discrete.
posted by clockzero at 9:40 PM on December 8, 2004


Krrrlson - No! That's not what I'm saying at all...hence my statement that Judaism is a religion OR a cultural/ethnic identifier (i.e. for secular Jews). Of course a great many jews are secular.

On preview: thanks for the link, blah3...I should be aware of this distinction. I understand regarding the nationalities of Kurds and Armenians, etc. as members of nations. I just never thought of Judaism in the same light, since I always saw it more as cultural/ethnic rather than political or nationalistic. For example, you can convert to Judaism and consider yourself a Jew, but can you convert to Kurdish nationality? Perhaps I just have a narrow view of nationalism. Thanks again for pointing out the distinction.

On preview of On Preview: clockzero...we are in agreement. I never meant to make it seem the two can't co-exist, or that one can't be both. They ain't mutually exclusive.
posted by cosmonik at 9:46 PM on December 8, 2004


Ah, I seem to have misread you. Sorry.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:59 PM on December 8, 2004


Cosmonik. Nations without states are very possible, and nationality does blend into ethnicity, there is no clear line. Remember, the nation-state itself is a recent phenomenon dating back less than 200 years. Before that, states were based on feudal, rather than national, borders.

The rebirth of a sense of a Jewish nation actually occured in parallel to the rise of the sense of a German nation among the scattered states of the Holy Roman Empire. At the time, however, the Jews had no homeland in which to create a nation-state, while the Germans (and Italians and others) did. The persecutions and pogroms of the 19th century convinced many Jews that they would only be safe when they had a state of their own, giving rise to Zionism as an attempt to create such a nation-state.

And for embryo and others, there is nothing inherent in Zionism that has any religious element -- the founders of Zionism were, in large part, secular socialists. Just because some elements of the religious and national right use the term Zionist to refer to their actions, does not mean that Zionism is in itself a colonial or expansionist enterprise.
posted by blahblahblah at 9:59 PM on December 8, 2004


BTGOG, Your earnestness in this thread made me think you could be having a good laugh at us. Your tone seems different in this thread as opposed to previous threads. My apologies if I'm wrong, something just seems a little odd here.
posted by sophie at 10:08 PM on December 8, 2004


The reason many are touchy about the semantics of anti-Zionist debate is that, for years, anti-Zionism has been a front for anti-Semitism, particularly in the former Soviet Union. It continues to be used in this way today. Hence the sometimes unfounded accusations of anti-Semitism, in response to which both honest debaters and closet anti-Semites alike have picked up the sarcastic retort: "Now that I've criticized Israel I'm sure to be accused of anti-Semitism."
posted by Krrrlson at 10:09 PM on December 8, 2004


wait, blahblahblah, you're saying that Zionism is colonialist/expansionist, right?

If so, I agree, and in retrospect maybe the religion aspect truly is a red herring - regardless, it is the chief justification in the minds of most Americans who react complacently to our government's empowerment of Israel, and it seems like deconstructing it is not useless.
posted by Embryo at 10:14 PM on December 8, 2004


Jewish people who are against [...] and sending their children off in tanks to defend right-wing orthodox settlers.

Settlers from places like Brooklyn and Baltimore, not Tel Aviv or Galilee.
posted by davy at 10:17 PM on December 8, 2004


An interesting sidenote: Hungarian voters just narrowly rejected an automatic right to citizenship for ethnic Hungarians - essentially a Hungarian 'right of return.'

Just a little reminder that the dilemna between a democratic state being fundamentally about its citizenry or its nation is one that a great many countries continue to deal with. It is a problem that Americans largely have not had to deal with, having killed of the natives and become a 'nation of immigrants,' but one that is very real for a great many countries, not just Israel.
posted by kickingtheground at 10:24 PM on December 8, 2004


Speaking as a secular, anti-Zionist Jew, I find it continually frustrating how easily and frequently Jews are identified as a pro-Zionist, pro-Israel monolith. Thanks for sharing, BIAB...anything to let people know we're out there!

It can be quite frustrating, or at least baffling, when I'm reminded that for many people, Jews can seem like one big fat Zionist bloc. And it can be quite frightening, those rare moments when a glimmer of anti-Semitism creeps in from the left, triggered by the actions of Israel. And then there's the corresponding problem of conflating anti-Zionism or criticism of Israel to anti-Semitism, and so on and so forth.

BTGOG, blahblahblah, Embryo, and others: high-fives.

Cosmonik: while many may convert to Judaism, it can be quite difficult to convince other Jews that you're legit. My mom - liberal Reform through and through - finds Jewish converts to be, at best, weird. She certainly doesn't accept them.

And BTGOG: that same mom of mine sang in choir herself. Gospel choirs are terrif.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:35 PM on December 8, 2004


There's nothing like a good impassioned argument in favour of the Jewish state of Isreal to make me cheer the Palestinians in their fight for statehood.

but then...

There's nothing like a good impassioned argument in favour of a Palestinian Palestine to make me cheer a strong Israel.

The solution for the middle east isn't one or the other or even some silly power sharing nonesense. No American or European brokered peace treaty is going to solve anything either. All for one simple reason which everyone knows, namely that the real estate in question is biblical ground zero.

I propose, and have been proposing for quite some time - a land swap. Move all Israel-At-All-Cost Israelis and Palestine-At-All-Cost Palestinians to the south pacific atoll of Tuvalu. Move the Tuvaluvians to the middle east.

Here's why: Tuvalu does not appear in the Torah, the New Testament, the Koran, the Book of Latterday Saints, Dianetics or any other western religious potboiler . If, as all parties seem to claim, the conflict is about security and equitable access to land, let them sort it out on history poor Tuvalu.

The Tuvaluvians come out winners also. The effects of global warming are expected to wash out their current homeland sometime over the next century.

Not that I wish the Israelis or Palestinians anything worse than they're already doing to each other.

In the interest of full disclosure: I am a non-practicing Jew with family in Israel. My mother is orthodox and I went to a Lubavicher day school for a couple years when I was much much younger. My girlfriend is Catholic, I opposed the invasion of Iraq, peace marched in London, and believe bacon to be the most delicious treat.

All the while, I don't understand why my goyish friends and workmates expect me - on the basis of my religious background - to have an opinion on the situation in Israel (a country I have never seen nor have any desire to).
posted by dismitree at 10:36 PM on December 8, 2004


Embryo - sorry, I am saying that Zionism is not inherently colonialist/expansionist. We disagree on this point, clearly.

Zionism is colonialist only to the extent that you believe that any Jewish homeland is a colonial enterprise. In 1948, there were 650,000 Jews and 300,000 Arabs living in the land alloted for the Jewish state under the UN partition. Would creating this state have been colonalist?

Zionism is not inherently expansionist -- there is no "grand plan" inherent in the idea, although certain people use Zionism as cover for their religious/national asperations to control more land at the expense of the Palestinians. The rejection of partition by the Arab states and the war they declared led to the first expansion of Israel. The 1967 war led to the second. These were not wars required by a Zionist ideal. Once again, this does not excuse the settlers who want Israel to expand and call it Zionism, it simply does not mean that Zionism is incompatible with more limited borders, or a settlement with the Palestinians. Expansionism is about Israeli policy, not Zionism.
posted by blahblahblah at 10:36 PM on December 8, 2004


Oops. I meant "Zionism is compatible with more limited borders and a settlement with the Palestinians. Expansionism is about Israeli policy, not Zionism itself"

Too many double negatives. Sorry.
posted by blahblahblah at 10:39 PM on December 8, 2004


And it can be quite frightening, those rare moments when a glimmer of anti-Semitism creeps in from the left, triggered by the actions of Israel.

From what I've seen, it's more than a glimmer and it's becoming less rare, and frankly it doesn't matter in the least what it's triggered by.
posted by Krrrlson at 10:45 PM on December 8, 2004


Also, I note at least three people who have identified themselves as "Anti-Zionist Jews," but I am still not sure how you folks are defining this. Do you define yourself as anti-Zionist because:

(a) You believe that the state of Israel's policies with regard to the Palestinians, immigration, voting rights, etc are currently wrong/immoral?
(b) You believe that Israel should not exist as a Jewish nation-state for religious reasons (ie "only the messiah can declare a Jewish state")
(c) You believe that the establishment of a Jewish nation-state in the Palestine Mandate was wrong (and would the original UN borders have been acceptable?)
(d) You believe that having a Jewish nation-state of any sort is immoral or, alternately, that the whole idea of the 19th century Zionist movement was immoral

I would still say that answer (a) is not anti-Zionist. As I stated above, that is like saying disagreeing with the Iraq war means you are anti-American. I am curious for those anti-Zionist Jews who answer b, c, or d, however, as to what they would have liked to see the 1948 UN plan look like, and what they feel would have been a better approach to the post-World War II situation of the Jews in Europe and the Middle East.
posted by blahblahblah at 11:07 PM on December 8, 2004


blahblahblah raises an interesting distinction between Israeli-ism and Zionism themselves, as in policy (of the former) vs ideals (of the latter). This is certainly something I hadn't considered. (Thanks also for your comments re. Judaism as a nationality...I shall endeavour to broaden my definition)

On preview: I see that anti-Semitism coming from the left too, and it scares the hell out of me. Talk about being in need of distinction.

Off topic: Wow. An Israel thread over 70 posts, and it hasn't degenerated into anti-anything rhetoric and I hope I haven't just jinxed it.
posted by cosmonik at 11:08 PM on December 8, 2004


blahblahblah: I consider myself anti-Zionist in that I feel that establishing a Jewish nation-state was never a good idea, and doomed to end in violence and pain. So, (d).

However, now that Israel does exist, the reality we face is that there are indeed people living there, who have lived there for their entire lives, and so on. As such, I am not "opposed" to its existence in any practical sense. For comparison, I believe that a theocracy is a terrible idea, but that does not mean I am "opposed" to, say, Iran's existence as a state. I just wish that it could mutate into a less corrupt government that could rule its consituents with more fairness, wisdom, and freedom.

I really should just stick with "anti-Israel," seeing as how "anti-Zionist" in this context raises more issues without clarifying the useful bits: namely, now that Israel and the Palestinian Territories exist, what to do about the whole mess?

Note: I am very tired right now and no doubt being quite obtuse. I apologize.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:29 PM on December 8, 2004


Clockzero:
There, does that clear things up?

Yes, thank you. It's coherent. And now you're using your whole ass. I'm going to have to stand by my judgement that the prior was half-assed. Man, those flames were weak. I've had hotter sauce in a McDonald's burrito in Iowa. Also, I'm sorry. I hope you can accept my apologies for my half-assed reply, as well. It was equally uncalled for.

This is merely an opinion, and that of someone who is ill-informed, by their own admission

Yup.

Zion is, in fact, a place, and your assertion to the contrary comes with no qualification.

I stand corrected.

I wasn't there when this exchange took place, but you've certainly painted her as rabid and illogical,

No, she certainly used the words "animals", "murderers" and "they are all" a whole bunch of times in various combinations. The logic was circular, and she was pretty darn rabid. I did not and do not mean to suggest that all Israelis are of the same voice.

and yourself as calm, cool, and reasonable,

I think I was pretty reasonable. This is the part that confuses me. More below.

It's kind of tacky to quote yourself like this, man. If you have an opinion, just say it. Don't refer to that one time when you were totally enlightened about something. I made fun of you about this for your own sake, my friend: I thought you might choke on your own pomposity.

Eh, look in the mirror. I say that grinningly, with advice accepted. It's all too easy to let go of everything when you grab the conch. (See also: Soapboxes are slippery. Avoid standing on them.)

This is just arrogant. We do not need or desire your leadership. And as someone pointed out above, it's not the same living on someone else's largesse, as the "guests" of other people, and to imply that this is acceptable just for Jews is insulting. Perhaps you did not mean it to be as arrogant as it seems, and it was just phrased poorly. I don't know.

Um, thank you for the "admiration," you callous fool. Why should we, of all the people in the world, be called upon to do this? I suppose perhaps you admire black people for their athletic ability, too? What you apparently don't understand is that Jews are human in much the same way you are. We are not better or worse at nation-building than anyone else.

I didn't mean it that way at all. Terribly phrased. I beg your pardon. There wasn't any subtext, and I didn't even make the connection how potentially insulting it would to imply such a thing. I wasn't being sly or trying to refer to how modern Israel was founded, nor was I trying to conjure allusions to racial epithets involving miserliness or any such cruft. There wasn't any intended subtext. I'm honestly trying to understand, and you've helped a little. The space I'm coming from and the things I'm suggesting are merely creative problem solving exercises and attempts to understand more about the situation through them.

Can I ask you an honest question, and ask for an honest response? When I said "...I'd be asking countries if we could bring our industriousness, ingenuity and economy to their lands...", if I had said it about, say, she United States, would it have been less offensive? How about California? What if I was Israeli or Jewish?

I was being sincere. I honestly find many things about Israel to be very impressive, admirable and fascinating. Especially in engineering and industry. There are parallel fascinations with, say, Japan. I just used poor words and phrasing to express this, because I was at a lack for them.

Anyways, onward.


The following are the parts about all this that confuse me.

to say nothing of your flippant allusions to things which are of great importance to Jewish Israelis.

I don't mean to devalue the spiritual importance of any religious symbology. Ritual is important, symbology is important, and religion and spirituality are important.

You're certainly free to think whatever you like constitutes a holy life, but it seems like you're implying that you know how holy the lives of other people are, and that those of Zionist Jews are not up to snuff. This is not your call to make.

If a Zionist or any religious affiliation feels it's ok to kill people or wage war, then it is of concern to the world community and individuals of that community, and not particularly holy in any book I've ever read or heard of.

If you think it's not serious, maybe you shouldn't talk about it, because a lot of people take it very seriously.

I do take it very seriously, and it is serious. The problem threatens to engulf the whole world with it's heat. This isn't of concern to only Jews and Arabs. Which is all the more reason why whomever on whichever side of the fence presumes to be the more intelligent should employ some flexibility, grace, compassion and creativity at solving the number one problem at the bottom of this whole clusterfuck. Which is:

Why are you people killing each other? Why are there little kids on both sides being blown up and shot full of holes?

What patch of ground, what building, what fragment or artifact of history or what ritual is so serious and important that someone would take the life of another one of God's own creatures to simply keep a hold of it?

And I think that's about as clear and simple as I can fairly put it. Why is it that this part always gets drowned out?
posted by loquacious at 11:57 PM on December 8, 2004


Blah3, okay, sorry for the confusion, but it seemed like you were bringing colonialism and expansionism into the discussion from far left field, which made it seem like you must have had some particular reason for introducing them, such as.. thinking they played a role.

But if that's not why, then it must be because you were suggesting that the only way religion could play a role was if it was expansionist in nature. But is that really true? I don't think Israel needs to be about expansionism to be about religion, or even vice-versa. From my understanding (which is admittedly a peripheral one), the religious issue is about a homeland, one promised by a particular idea in the Jewish scriptures - by God, even - an idea that, unlike other often-ignored Biblical concepts, seems extremely relevant even today in reaction to anti-Semitism. I guess it just seems like there's a big difference between wanting to expand your home, and wanting to have one in the first place.

And in that sense, the pro-Israel struggle is totally understandable. But it seems to me that there is quite a gap between [believing] that Jews as a people should have a homeland, specifically a nation in the area of historic Israel/Palestine and believing that it should be granted at the expense of the nearly 1/3rd of the residents of that particular region, who would be demoted to second-class citizens and physically and violently forced from their homes.

The usual explanation for this type of oppression is a socialized belief in entitlement, i.e. white supremacy (actually often manifested in expansionist Christianity) fueling the cultural conceit that justified (or even mandated) the enslavement and displacement of any native population the Europeans happened to come across. This particular issue is one of entitlement to, as you've said, a nation in the area of historic Israel/Palestine. Does it seem unreasonable for it to follow that religion is part of the motivation when the Jewish religion holds that the Jewish nationality just happens to be entitled to that particular land-area?

Given this understanding I would agree emphatically that Zionism and colonialism are two separate forces at play here. In fact, it seems remarkably similar to the relationship between colonialism and Christianity, as I noticed earlier... and that somehow seems illuminating for me just now.

But let me posit something further, because I see that my semi-definition of Zionism above doesn't explain why Zionists would choose to support oppressive actions based on their religious beliefs without being circular (although circular religious thinking is not out of the question).

I had suggested that white supremacy had an empowering role in early colonialism, which also took advantage of Christianity by empowering and encouraging its advancement and diffusion (i.e., domination) as a means of nationalistic and economic expansion. Could Zionism be connected also, similarly, to colonialism via white supremacy, given that America (undoubtedly the main colonialist force here) is a direct descendant of the white supremacist and pro-economic impulses that today's right-wing political ventures harken back to? There is an economic interest, supported by American politics, in gaining (and expanding) the American (or even just Western) foothold in the Middle East that Israel became, and was always designed to be.

It is my understanding that a large part of why Israel actually was created (not ideologically but practically) was that Zionists knew that it suited America's strategic interests for them to be there in the Middle East. They knew that they would not be abandoned as a simple matter of, perhaps, savvy politicking. This was part and parcel to the Zionist movement's success in advancing its goals post-WWII (although certainly not singularly responsible), but even more a part of why Israel has received the kind of support that it does ever since. $51 million a day is a big investment.

So, does Zionism (or, for that matter, Christianity) become colonialist if it uses colonialism as a tool to achieve its ends? And is Zionism racist if supremacy is the foundation for its success and dominant presence in the Middle East? It seems to me that these ideas are all linked together, but it is the inclination to dominate that seems most problematic, and that's certainly not an issue of religious belief or economic desire, and it is certainly linked nowhere but in American sensibilities - and not religious ones, but secular ones. Zionism seems to me to have have actively brought these issues onboard.

on Preview, in the interest of avoiding the fullfillment of cosmonik's jinx, I want to avoid the perception of possible anti-racist rhetorical thinking by clarifying what my assumptions are: that there is an explanation for the actions of human communities, that mutual aid is as powerful as mutual struggle in the interactions of human communities, and that intentional, long-term, collective imbalances in power between human communities is an anomaly in violation of the force of mutual aid - one that, in Earth's history, tends to be rooted by socially constructed standards that change people's perceptions of what constitutes a "human community". Hence, the social construct of white supremacy and its role at the root of the not-quite-total cultural and economic global control that the West (i.e., cultures controlled by white people) enjoy - also known as the spoils of colonialism. Just to connect all of my dots.)
posted by Embryo at 12:00 AM on December 9, 2004


There was one more dot that I wanted to connect in the second thesis of my post: If Zionism is empowered by religious belief empowered by white supremacy, then why were its founders secular ones? What was their role? Were they using Zionism to get enough people on board to support secular (political or colonialist) aims? This is the fulfillment of the Christianity/colonialism parallel. I don't know enough about who these people were or what they were about to give the answer, and I'd love to hear what you think.
posted by Embryo at 12:07 AM on December 9, 2004


It is my understanding that a large part of why Israel actually was created (not ideologically but practically) was that Zionists knew that it suited America's strategic interests for them to be there in the Middle East. They knew that they would not be abandoned as a simple matter of, perhaps, savvy politicking. This was part and parcel to the Zionist movement's success in advancing its goals post-WWII (although certainly not singularly responsible), but even more a part of why Israel has received the kind of support that it does ever since. $51 million a day is a big investment.
To say that Israel was founded as an American outpost strikes me as rather odd. America's current support for Israel is, indeed, very significant, but it dates back only to about '73, at the earliest. American Jews supported Israel from the beginning, and their assistance was instrumental. The American government did not: indeed, America initially only recognized Israel as a state de facto, and the first country to recognize Israel de jure was the CCCP. In '56, Israel attacked Egypt with France and England as allies, and it was American pressure that forced a pullback. In '67, the Israelis were fighting primarily with French fighter-jets, and it was French assistance that allowed Israel to develop nukes. Only in '73, and later after the Egytian-Israeli peace agreement, that US aid really started to play a significant role.

If anything, Israel was created as a result of Europe's post-holocaust guilt, and resultant sense of obligation, towards the Jews.
posted by kickingtheground at 12:17 AM on December 9, 2004


a large part of why Israel actually was created (not ideologically but practically) was that Zionists knew that it suited America's strategic interests for them to be there in the Middle East. They knew that they would not be abandoned as a simple matter of, perhaps, savvy politicking.

Embryo, can you please link to something that explains this "understanding"? Because I have honestly never heard anything like it in my life.

Does it seem unreasonable for it to follow that religion is part of the motivation when the Jewish religion holds that the Jewish nationality just happens to be entitled to that particular land-area?

Yes, if only because "the Jewish religion" is not a coherent whole. And you know the first Zionists were largely secular - Orthodoxy took most of the19th Century to come on board, and some of them never have. You also mischaracterise that entitlement as an exclusive entitlement, which is also a matter for debate among Zionists.

The mention of colonialism does not come out of left field. Zionism did not develop in a vacuum. In the 19th century many groups of people got the idea that nations should have homelands. I don't think anyone needs an explanation of nationalism here, yes? It was also an acceptable idea then (as indeed through all preceding history) that colonisation was a great way to secure such a homeland. The land of Israel seemed like a great idea as a candidate, yeah? (BTW, I wasn't kidding about Uganda, which was very briefly considered at one point). Anyway, the idea of the national home, settled if necessary, does not require Judaism; it's not unreasonable however to see Zionism as the Jewish-flavoured version of it.

To add some more context, persecution was still alive and well in Europe and made the matter of a national home for Jews seem like a very practical and pragmatic one.

I see you use this label "supremacy" but I do not understand what you mean by, and to the extent that I usually see that word used in the phrase "white supremacy", I am on the verge of being severely offended.

Also, could we cut back on the very long jargon-filled sentences? Your "on preview" seems to say that Zionism constructs others as less than human. Is that what you mean? It's very hard to tell.

If Zionism is empowered by religious belief empowered by white supremacy, then why were its founders secular ones?

Oy gevalt. Neither of those two things - religious belief and white supremacy (ick!) - has any necessary connection to Zionism, so your whole question makes little sense. As even a cursory reading would show, the relationship between Zionism the political project and Judaism the religion has never been a unanimous one. Zionism itself is not a unitary movement, never mind Judaism. And linking it to white supremacy is a kind of wrong-thinking I can't begin to understand. Hmmm, where do you fit Ethiopians into that? Which white supremacist movements accept Jews? Which Zionists see themselves as belonging to a white group that includes others?

Please tell me that you are using these words in some specialised sense known only to you.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:26 AM on December 9, 2004


Kickingtheground: You're right, I didn't mean to suggest it was strictly an American outpost - well, in two ways; a) it wasn't, there were many parties with vested interest in the creation of Israel for many different reasons. And b), I should have used the word "Western" instead of "American" in the text that you have quoted above, because that was just plain inaccurate. Also, I should have laid the history out as you have.. it needs to be included in my analysis.

Let's say, then, that the creation of Israel was a result of the support of Europe, willing to support and invest in Jewish goals as a result of the holocaust. But as I've said, the reasoning on the Zionist side seems to me to be a separate issue, and western (including American) economic strategy and expansionism was certainly a part of the thinking, because it was seen as a supporting circumstance, given that it provided an economic interest for the power brokers of the West to help Israel to be strong and secure given what would undoubtedly be a hostile response by the residents of the region. Given this context, the eventual explosion in American support seems to make a lot of sense considering the simultaneous rise of the American military industrial complex.
posted by Embryo at 12:36 AM on December 9, 2004


loquacious--Thank you for being so gracious in your response.

Can I ask you an honest question, and ask for an honest response? When I said "...I'd be asking countries if we could bring our industriousness, ingenuity and economy to their lands...", if I had said it about, say, she United States, would it have been less offensive? How about California? What if I was Israeli or Jewish?

I am more than willing to, but I'm not sure what this means. I don't think it's remotely reasonable to conceive of any nation willingly picking up and moving away. Are you asking if I think it would be acceptable for the Israelis to move to a new Zion in the central valley or something? What do those last parts mean? I don't know what you think it would be about your hypothetical Judaism or Israelitude would affect things.

I was being sincere. I honestly find many things about Israel to be very impressive, admirable and fascinating. Especially in engineering and industry. There are parallel fascinations with, say, Japan. I just used poor words and phrasing to express this, because I was at a lack for them.

I don't doubt your sincerety. Two things: first, you needn't be too concerned with asserting how admirable you think Israel is. Fetishizing a nation or group of people is perhaps as dehumanizing as making monsters of them. Second, I think you may be making a mistake like the one cosmonik and I discussed further up. You said: "If I were a prophet and leader of the Jewish people," and "And if any segment of humanity is capable of uprooting a small nation and rebuilding it anew, it would certainly have to be the Jews." To be Jewish is not to be de facto Israeli. Not all Jews live in Israel, and not all Jews are Israelis, whatever being Israeli means to you. The technical and industrial capabilities of the Israeli nation are not resultant from some abstract quality called Jewishness.

If a Zionist or any religious affiliation feels it's ok to kill people or wage war, then it is of concern to the world community and individuals of that community, and not particularly holy in any book I've ever read or heard of.

I agree, in that any large-scale conflict is of interest to the world community; I think it's accepted that there are certain times when it is appropriate to kill people, e.g. when you are engaged in battle with them. It's not "ok"; I mean, you can't really talk about the morality of things like war with the same terms you use to describe everyday events. Different frames of reference, IMO. The point you're rebutting here, though, I made in reference to this:

What's more important? Lasting peace? Or the tentative - and always temporary - ownership of Jerusalem and surrounding regions, and all the symbology and Holiness that entails? What's more important? The mere symbols of Holiness, or actually living a Holy life?

I think the Palestinians probably want to control Jerusalem, also. Personally, I want lasting peace. I also think Israel need not be abolished for that to happen. So, in other words, I think what you're presenting may be a false dichotomy.

Why are you people killing each other? Why are there little kids on both sides being blown up and shot full of holes?

What patch of ground, what building, what fragment or artifact of history or what ritual is so serious and important that someone would take the life of another one of God's own creatures to simply keep a hold of it?


First off, I'd suggest you not use phraseology like "you people"; it sounds very accusatory. The nature of war is to kill; whether the dead are children or adults is a matter of circumstance and design. The Israelis do not deliberately target non-military personnel in the way Palestinian para-military factions tend to as part of their political schema, but since these groups are essentially civilian militias, the Israeli army probably ends up killing people who have little or nothing to do with the intifada. I hope you weren't looking for a justification.

Second, the patch of ground is, I think, your home; if someone broke into your house and forced you out at gunpoint, you'd be within your rights to try and kill them, though perhaps you would not (I don't mean this as an allegory to any particular real-world group). You're asking interesting questions, and as someone who is neither Israeli nor Palestinian, I may not be able to give you the sort of answers you're looking for.
posted by clockzero at 12:55 AM on December 9, 2004


In 1948, there were 650,000 Jews and 300,000 Arabs living in the land alloted for the Jewish state under the UN partition.

To my knowledge, that statement is completely false. What source are you using for this? Wikipedia, for one, seems to contradict this figure. I can't find anything else reliable online at the mo -- it's late. (perhaps this)

Which white supremacist movements accept Jews?


These fellers.
posted by undule at 1:08 AM on December 9, 2004


Joe's Spleen -

It sounds like I lost you more and more the more I went on, so I'll try to clarify the points of contention. As you know, there are a lot of folks who believe as I do that racism has a role in Zionism, and I know that there are a lot of folks who disagree, so while I am eager to explain my perspective to you, I would ask that you try to take my outlining of my intellectual process as an offer to try to reach understanding. I hope you'll continue to respond by pinpointing where you think our assumptions differ so we can maybe reach some level of mutual understanding by the end, because I would love to understand why my perspective seems to border on the offensive for you.

The definition of white supremacy is this (with particular wording from this workshop written by Elizabeth Martínez, February 1998):

White Supremacy is an historically based, institutionally perpetuated system of exploitation and oppression of continents, nations, and peoples of color by white peoples and nations of the European continent, for the purpose of maintaining and defending a system of wealth, power, and privilege.

This is different in a sense from the usual connotation of the phrase "white supremacy", which tends to include mainly movements like the KKK. This is a broader definition, more accurate than the word "racism" in describing the above system of exploitation. As the workshop text also states, "white supremacy" defines a power relationship between two entities.

Given that definition, I hope you understand where I'm coming from when using that term. I'm not sure which of your last paragraph to still respond to, given that the answer to Which white supremacist movements accept Jews? is, to me, "America". And given this context, I'm not sure if it matters whether Zionists are aware of their privilege or not - and surely, not all are white - because I'm not positing that it is Zionism that is acting in a racist way. At issue is its collaboration with colonialism, which does, in my view, utilize socially constructed distinctions (in this case, whiteness and race) to justify committing atrocities.

My original point, then, was that America's support that makes Israel's struggle (and, moreover, its oppressive activities) possible is rooted in colonialism. (Which has as much (if not more) to do with being the economic exploitation wing of white supremacy than it does with finding places for each oppressed group to live, in my estimation. In fact, it is in some ways the exploitation of colonialism, and therefore white supremacy, that is what historically has allowed these groups of people to find homelands.) Again, it is in the economic interests of the brokers of power for people with whom they have a common identity to be spreading their ideas and economic influence.

Embryo, can you please link to something that explains this "understanding"? [RE: future American support of Israel]. Because I have honestly never heard anything like it in my life.

To be honest, although I am about to go hunt for a link, I heard about this in a lecture delivered by Noam Chomsky last night, where he cited a particular person with a major role in the creation of Israel as specifically citing such an understanding. I wish I had the specific information so I could verify it. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Take it for whatever it is worth to you. I used it as a part of my analysis because it seemed to make sense. I will email or call Mr. Chomsky tomorrow to get something more solid unless someone can offer something to support that point.

Yes, if only because "the Jewish religion" is not a coherent whole. And you know the first Zionists were largely secular - Orthodoxy took most of the19th Century to come on board, and some of them never have. You also mischaracterise that entitlement as an exclusive entitlement, which is also a matter for debate among Zionists.

I didn't mean to suggest that all Jews interpret Jewish scripture the same way - I only used the phrase "Jewish religion" there because blahblahblah had outlined Jewishness as manifesting in two distinct entities, an ethnicity and a religion, and the point I was making was to note that they no doubt do interact. Zionism doesn't have to be Orthodox or represent something monolithic to exist based on an interpretation of Jewish scripture. I don't know what you mean about exclusivity, could you clarify?

To add some more context, persecution was still alive and well in Europe and made the matter of a national home for Jews seem like a very practical and pragmatic one.

I agree, and I included this in my outline.
posted by Embryo at 1:21 AM on December 9, 2004


As you know, there are a lot of folks who believe as I do that racism has a role in Zionism...

You must be shitting me. Do you even know what the ethnic makeup of Israel is? Do you know how many 'Arab Jews' (from Sephardi communities in Iraq, Morocco, etc) Israel absorbed after 1948 when the governments of those countries became openly hostile to their Jewish population? And let's not forget Israel's absorption of Ethiopian Jews as well.

Israel's problems with the Palestinians and Arab countries are based solely on nationalistic and political grounds. To say that it's because of some racial basis is stupid for the sole reason that a large number of Jews in Israel are virtually indistinguishable from Muslims in neighboring countries.
posted by PenDevil at 2:21 AM on December 9, 2004


PenDevil, I'm speaking about the entire system of economic, cultural, and military power that supports Israel, especially as it exists in America -- not about something as simple as a racial bias. The entire system is racially biased, and this manifests itself in our relationships and interactions within systems where white people are granted (or take) power over members of other racial groups. Like I said, those are my assumptions. It has more to do with America than with Israel (or its racial makeup), but we're talking about who holds power in both places. I think it's complex, but dismissing racism entirely seems to be out of the question from my point of view.
posted by Embryo at 2:45 AM on December 9, 2004


"In 1948, there were 650,000 Jews and 300,000 Arabs living in the land alloted for the Jewish state under the UN partition."

Yes, but what about in 1848? Certainly, there was an organized Zionist effort to colonize the region, in the hope of forming a Jewish state.

"Would creating this state have been colonalist?"

Must...resist...obvious...comeback!
posted by insomnia_lj at 5:18 AM on December 9, 2004


... where white people are granted (or take) power over members of other racial groups

And your assumptions would still be wrong because Sephardim (aka Arab Jews) account for around 50% of Israeli's population.
posted by PenDevil at 5:41 AM on December 9, 2004


Hi, this is just to say that I am not trolling in my statements in this thread. On this issue I'm always speaking in seriousness.
posted by By The Grace of God at 6:41 AM on December 9, 2004


Again, PenDevil, I don't think that the end beneficiaries of colonialism's involvement are the actual population of Israel itself. Zionism, perhaps - but it is enabled by colonialism that both supports Israel's struggle (via giant heapings of foreign aid invested since the 70s) and uses it to further its own supremacist political and economic agenda (via the politicization and militarization of Israel's interactions with its neighbors). The idea is that colonalism empowers and rationalizes atrocities by using supremacy to create the "other", throughout history, and that Zionism could be a tool of colonialism the same way that colonialism is a tool of Zionism.

In that sense, the actual racial distribution of Israel's population is not as important as the American population's perception of it, and America percieves Israel to be a state populated by Jews, an ethnic group of people that it essentially views as white. Which explains not colonialism's support for Israel (which is based in economic interest) but, rather, the support of the American public of their government's empowerment of atrocity.
posted by Embryo at 7:07 AM on December 9, 2004


Embryo, your posts become more nonsensical and tautological with each passing day.
posted by gwint at 8:28 AM on December 9, 2004


Between the years 250 C.E. and 1948 – a period of 1,700 years – Jews experienced more than eighty expulsions from various countries in Europe – an average of one expulsion nearly every twenty-one years. Jews were expelled from England, France, Austria, Germany, Lithuania, Spain, Portugal, Bohemia, Moravia and seventy-one other countries.

Just one reason why I support the existence of a Jewish homeland in Israel, not anywhere else.

I think the anti-semitic masking as anti-zionism nation needs a state. Is Uganda still available?
posted by redneck_zionist at 10:41 AM on December 9, 2004


So, the way to deal with being expelled from Europe is to expel Palestinians from their homes? Doesn't seem like a just solution. And this is the problem we currently see. The Palestinians have now been expelled (or at least their leadership) from many countries, and now they are the Jews of the Arabs. Ironic, no?
posted by chaz at 10:53 AM on December 9, 2004


Hungarian voters just narrowly rejected an automatic right to citizenship for ethnic Hungarians - essentially a Hungarian 'right of return.'

There's a BBC article about the German policy.

the dilemna between a democratic state being fundamentally about its citizenry or its nation is one [...] that Americans largely have not had to deal with, having killed off the natives

That's why I favor a Law of Return for every country whose emigrants helped kill off America's natives until say 1900, especially those from the British Isles, France, Spain and Germany. Note that I'm not urging the deportation of millions of white people, only saying they should have the option to voluntarily go back where they came from.
posted by davy at 11:53 AM on December 9, 2004


Redneck_zionist wrote: "Between the years 250 C.E. and 1948 – a period of 1,700 years – Jews experienced more than eighty expulsions from various countries in Europe" [...and then...] "Just one reason why I support the existence of a Jewish homeland in Israel, not anywhere else."

Nonsequitur. From that one could just as easily and rationally conclude that the Jewish homeland should be the Rhineland, Poland or Murcia (places they were expelled from), or that the Jews should therefore have a homeland in China (one land that did not expel its Jews, by the way).
posted by davy at 12:06 PM on December 9, 2004


So, the way to deal with being expelled from Europe is to expel Palestinians from their homes?

Well, how do you expect to keep a Jewish majority in the government without artificially limiting the non-Jewish population?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:10 PM on December 9, 2004


I don't know, I'm just saying that every conflict has an injustice at its heart, even though by now it's been distorted by all kinds of crazy shite. So I'm not sure I can really be convinved by redneck's assertion that European wrongs plus Israeli wrongs make a right. I'm not saying that Israel should go away because its founding was brutal (pretty much every nation has a similar history if you go back far enough), but I just don't think that the opinion that because of European expulsions, Israel should be supported, is good enough. In my mind, that opinion can only lead to further conflict.

I prefer the realistic approach, which says that mistakes were made in the past, but for reasons of survival, but continuing to make the mistake of not treating Palestinians as equals will only lead to further conflict.
posted by chaz at 12:17 PM on December 9, 2004


So I'm not sure I can really be convinved by redneck's assertion that European wrongs plus Israeli wrongs make a right.

Don't put words into my mouth, chaz. I didn't say or imply "plus Israeli wrongs make a right."

It's not only the European expulsion. There is the Jewish expulsion from many Arab countries, as well.

If a Jewish homeland were established on Mars, eventually there would be an attempt to try to expel Jews from there. Some people like the idea of an alternate homeland or no homeland at all. That's not the way I see it.

Whatever the eventual borders are for the Jewish homeland of Israel, Jews will continue living in that democracy for a long time to come.
posted by redneck_zionist at 2:21 PM on December 9, 2004


thanks for engaging, gwint.
posted by Embryo at 2:37 PM on December 9, 2004


I'm sorry, redneck, that's just what I took from your post. You said that one reason you support the Jewish homeland being in Israel is because of European expulsion of Jews throughout history. Being that there is no way to create a Jewish-majority homeland in Palestine without the expulsion of the native population, can you not see where I would have got that from? You simply cannot have a Jewish-majority homeland in Palestine/Israel without expelling large numbers of people, in effect replicating what happened in Europe. Since I assume you support something because it is "right", I would have to assume that your position is something along the lines of what I wrote. If you have an alternative explanation, please let me know.

As for the Jewish expulsion, the link you provided clearly states that the expulsion was a reaction to the Palestinian expulsion, which I think speaks more to my point then to yours.
posted by chaz at 2:39 PM on December 9, 2004


redneck, no amount of explusions, anywhere, justifies expulsion and apartheid, anywhere - at least not in and of themselves, which is the bewildering conclusion that you seem to have come to. unless there are more dots to connect.
posted by Embryo at 2:40 PM on December 9, 2004


Sorry, just read the link you provided more closely, redneck, and I see that it talks about multiple factors, not just the tit-for-tat expulsion. But I still wonder how you judge the idea of expulsion, is it bad for everyone, or just bad when it happens to Jews? And if it is universally unacceptable, why do you support a state whose existence is predicated on expulsion of the native population?
posted by chaz at 2:42 PM on December 9, 2004


So, here's an utterly stupid and ignorant question to try and completely derail this thread. Why were the jews expelled from all those countries throughout history? I will admit not having the time right now to go and research a little, being on a completely separate deadline that this thread has put me firther behind on, maily because it has been extremely educational.

I also have to put one question forward to truly show either my ignorance or my brainwashing by anti-semitics. Does the Jewish faith preach that those who are decendant of the 12 tribes of Israel are "God's Chosen People" and are thus "better than," or something to that effect, all other people who are not of that antecedent bloodline? I guess this is just the thing that seems to hurt me more often than not, because I try and ask and get cast dispersions on for voicing an honest question about something I managed to pick up in my head growing up and didn't know if it was something someone tried to "jokingly" misinform me with, or if it was something that was actually true.

And yes, I am an idiot.
posted by daq at 2:48 PM on December 9, 2004


daq: each expulsion is its own little mix of circumstances. Reasons have varied from the imperial (no more resistance in this Roman province) to the religious (if they won't convert to Christianity, get rid of them) to the financial (if his majesty boots out all the Jews, the royal debts to the rich ones don't have to be paid) to the political (here's some Jewish refugees for your Palestinian ones).

The chosen people thing: "chosen" means "chosen by God to obey his Law". Lucky us! It does not mean chosen for temporal or material success. It means chosen to bear the obligations inherent in following the Law. So yes, you can hear Jews refer to themselves as a chosen people but it doesn't mean what anti-semites would have you think it means.

The descendants part is because the original covenant was between Abraham and his descendants. However, you can convert if you really want to, and then you can be chosen too.

You might find this article on Wikipedia helpful. Check out the Talk page and you can get a sense of the scope for argument about what this means.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 3:37 PM on December 9, 2004


You're not an idiot for admitting you don't know something. It takes balls to admit you don't know something, especially in a forum like this one.

I stayed out of this exchange last night, but kept checking back periodically. For some reason I found myself extremely pissed by the whole affair, but I can't pinpoint why.

To qualify my following comments, I feel I should highlight that I'm an unobservant Jew who digs Jewish culture and study. I'm also a Zionist, whatever that means to everyone else. To me it means that my grandfather found a home in 1949 where no one herded Jews into the local synagogue and set it on fire. I guess it's a simple as that. Israel is frequently a dangerous place, but while living there, my family never worried about being targets of violence because of their religious affiliation.

I'm sure that one could probably identify a myriad of causes for each major expulsion in Jewish history. I think it always boiled down to hatred and fear of "the other." Jews were different, they killed Christ, they drank the blood of Christian children, blah blah blah. Hear one excuse, hear them all... (Dark humor.) People hated Jews, and that's that. Maybe they still hate Jews. Maybe they mask their hatred of Jews in a vociferous condemnation of Zionism, because it's not politically correct to come out and say that they hate Jews anymore. I don't know. This is a complicated question for Jews and non-Jews to figure out.

"Does the Jewish faith preach that those who are decendant of the 12 tribes of Israel are "God's Chosen People" and are thus "better than," or something to that effect, all other people who are not of that antecedent bloodline?"

I think ancient Jews created the "chosen people" myth in order to advance a notion of nationalism and cohesion in a bunch of disparate tribes. The only way they could survive as a group was to have a common myth to believe in. It's worked pretty well, I think, since Jews still exist after all history has put them through.
posted by miss kitten at 4:08 PM on December 9, 2004


But I still wonder how you judge the idea of expulsion, is it bad for everyone, or just bad when it happens to Jews? And if it is universally unacceptable, why do you support a state whose existence is predicated on expulsion of the native population?

Fair question, chaz. Yeah, expulsion/extermination is ugly for anyone. If that thought upsets you enough maybe you should find a worthy Native American cause to donate to.

Think about this: Jews have been wandering for centuries from place to place. It's like continuously losing a game of musical chairs, where the Jews are always left standing (if they are lucky enough) and have to always move on to the next game in another land. Jews have had to play this sad game far longer than any other people. So when the Jews finally get an opportunity to sit down for a while in their own homeland, it sticks in many peoples craw. It's just so terrible that someone else has to stand for a while. Tough luck.

Blame the Jews again and again. Better yet, push them into the sea and be done with it once and for all... Guess what? Never again. Repairing the world? Maybe tomorrow.
posted by redneck_zionist at 9:44 PM on December 9, 2004




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