My Mistake, Jeffrey Goldberg’s too

I just posted a piece that was co-authored with Elisa Vandernoot, who offered to help me with my blog while I am distracted working on my book on millennialism. I did not proof-read carefully enough and published a comment that I would neither have written nor should I have allowed it to get published under my name. My apologies to anyone I offended.

Jeffrey Goldberg, whose name appears in a list of “self-hating Jews” has responded with vehemence. I respond below:

From Richard Landes, in reference to criticism of the Netanyahu government’s settlement policy from, among others, yours truly:

Alas, the majority of liberal Jewish journalists and writers like Thomas Friedman, David Remnick and Jeffrey Goldberg  don’t have the fortitude, conviction and integrity of their elders. Instead of having independent minds, they have shown themselves to be self-hating.

Actually, that’s not in the context of criticism of Netanyahu’s government settlement policy; it’s in the context of using the settlement policy to blame Israel for the breakdown of the talks. You can be as critical as you want of the settlement policy; I have no problem with that. Indeed much of the criticism makes sense.

But to take the step of blaming it for the failure of the peace process when there are so many far greater obstacles coming from the Palestinian side… that strikes me as both intellectually dishonest, and excessively self-critical, bordering on what I call masochistic omnipotence syndrome. Any serious student of the Arab-Israeli conflict who thinks that the settlements are the main block to a resolution, and that if Israel stopped settlements, indeed uprooted all the settlements including East Jerusalem, that would make the Palestinians eager partners in peace, rather than still more intransigent and eager for war strikes me as self-deluding.

This is sickening rhetoric. People like Landes — who conflate support for Israel with support for settlements — are creating conditions that will ultimately lead to Israel’s disappearance.

I’m not sure where Goldberg gets the notion that I conflate support for Israel with support for the settlements. There’s nothing in anything I’ve ever written to suggest that; and as far as I can make, it’s only Goldberg’s mistaken characterization of the context of my criticism of him that might lead him to such a conclusion. As for the notion that support of settlements will lead to Israel’s disappearance, it strikes me as a position freighted with misconceptions and subliminal threats too complex to deal with here. Under the circumstances, “sickening” strikes me as a bit of overkill.

These types of people are not new in Jewish life. Extremists like Bar-Kochba and the Zealots have always been with us, people who would rather see Jerusalem burn than even consider compromise with those they consider evil. Last week, the Goldblogs went hiking in Ein Gedi, near the Dead Sea, and we talked about the infamous raid conducted on the Jewish community there by the Zealots who had sequestered themselves just up the road at Masada. These Zealots slaughtered 700 Jews — not Romans, Jews — and stole their provisions in this horrible raid. And yet, we still commemorate, even celebrate, the “heroism” of the defenders of Masada today. How misguided!

Okay, I misstated my criticism of Goldberg, but to compare me with the Zealots (whom I deal with in my book on millennialism) is pretty over the top. It seems like he read what I wrote and saw red. It would behoove someone with his position and with his platform to be a bit more careful with his accusations. But I guess what sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander here.

And how misguided is Richard Landes, to argue that Thomas Friedman, David Remnick and Goldblog are “self-hating” because we have differing opinions about the best way to secure Israel’s future.

You’re absolutely right, Jeffery. I didn’t write that, and I regret not having caught it. For one thing, I don’t use the term self-hating any more (never did like it). I’ve written about the problem a great deal, and I don’t think I can be accused of throwing the accusation around promiscuously. My latest meditation on the subject is that the Jews many designate as self-hating are really self-degrading, and that’s the only term I’ve used since.

But I’d go further and say, I don’t consider you, or Tom Friedman to be “self-degrading Jews.” To qualify, you have to compare Israel to South African racist apartheid supporters or Nazis, and as far as I can make out neither has done anything of the sort.

My recent beef with Tom Friedman can be seen in detail here. I’ve actually never read anything by Remnick, although I do find his remark to Yediot Aharonot to be a good example of what I dislike in Friedman. The point I’m trying to make, I tried to lay out in my fisking of Bradley Burston’s bizarre piece arguing that BDS is a form of “tikkun olam.” As for you, you shouldn’t have been on the list at all; I haven’t read you recently and don’t have an opinion. My mistake for not catching that.

There’s nothing wrong with criticizing Israel. People do it all the time. I do it plenty, although not as an act of public breast-beating to build up my liberal bona fides. The problem is when the criticism of Israel drowns out any awareness of the problems on the other side.

The idea that somehow Israel could make peace with the Palestinians if only they were willing to give up enough is, I think, a very dangerous delusion. I have a right to that opinion without being labeled a Zealot. As a liberal friend of mine said to me about the second intifada: “I realized, this is not in our hands.” It’s people like Goldberg and Friedman and Burston who seem determined not only to ignore any such argument, but to blame Israel for any subsequent failure (and to accuse anyone of making the argument of defending the settlements). That’s cruel to Israel, and, on some level, quietly racist, because it refuses to hold the Palestinians to even the most basic moral standards.

If there’s a dialogue of the deaf going on here, it’s partly because people like Friedman and Goldberg (and I suspect Remnick) don’t want to deal with the real issues. So they’d rather scream about settlements and jump on anyone who criticizes them as a settler-loving messianic beserker.

The only hatred of Jews I see in this episode is Richard Landes’s.

What’s this? The blogging equivalent of “I’m rubber and you’re glue…”?

I can’t criticize Jews without being accused of hating them?

Please, Jeffrey, let’s see if we can’t make some lemonade out of these bitter lemons.

69 Responses to My Mistake, Jeffrey Goldberg’s too

  1. Wow, I think the man protests too much (someone should also tell him that temper tantrums are unbecoming in a supposed adult). Maybe Goldberg should ask his friend Castro how to handle such a problem since Goldberg thinks so highly of the man.

  2. Observer says:

    I follow both your websites.

    Your contributing editor was offbase and it was offensive rhetoric. You’re ultimately responsible for what happens in your name. Quit whining, layoff the aggrieved lashing out, and apologize like a person.

    • Richard Landes says:

      i thought i apologized quite distinctly. what’s the whine? we have what seems to be a substantive disagreement. that’s what i was going for. did i miss the target?

  3. Rebecca says:

    You guys are two of my favoritest Zio-bloggers, and probably more like-minded than initially seems to be the case. I for one would welcome a continued exchange about burning issues in contemporary Zionism.

  4. Rob Miller says:

    Dr. Landes,
    Goldberg and his ilk support apartheid and segregation for Jews, and want Israel to withdraw to indefensible borders and give up half of Jerusalem and access to Judaism’s most sacred spots. They want to place racist restrictions on where Jews may live and support those who would make yet another corner of the world judenrein.

    I call that pretty self-hating.

    The comment may have been made without your signing off on it, but it was essentially acurate.

    I can’t imagine why you’re apologizing.


  5. Diane says:

    I’m no postmodern, but lately I’ve been mulling the thought that context/narrative/paradigm is everything when it comes to political thought and debate. People in the liberal camp are epistemologically trapped in their evil-Repubicans narrative and can’t climb out without some great psychic shock to the system. (People on the right may be the same … still thinking through that one). When I was a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, I can remember being absolutely outraged about the Bush v. Gore decision. Nothing you could say to me would convince me that this wasn’t a cynical giveaway by a Republican-leaning court. Lots of other issues fell into the same emotional camp. I hated Bush with a passion – he was an idiot, an embarrassment, incompetant, unqualified, etc. Bush 1 had been a wimpy nonentity. Reagan had been a baffoon. Clinton had been a martyr.

    9/11 shook me out of this narrative stupor. Gradually I started challenging and rejecting the Democratic boilerplate of how the world is. Now I’ve moved so far over to the other side, that I worry about the opposite. Even pro-life talk on the right doesn’t bother me anymore. I used to buy into the argument that even if you don’t like the Democratic candidate, you must vote Democratic to protect Roe v. Wade from bible-thumping backsliders. Sarah Palin would have horrified me in the old days. Today, I’m horrified by the way Democratic folks (women, especially) mock and casually dismiss her in a way that no proper feminist would dream of dismissing any other self-made woman.

    I’m left to wonder if political man’s nature is to forever be trapped in a worldview, until jarred by some cognitive dissonce too profound to ignore, leading them to wander down the opposite road, swinging from extreme to extreme. Or just checking out entirely, using the easy excuse (of the intellectually lazy) that all politics is spin and self-dealing. Is political objectivity even possible? Can we strip away the assumptions to reach some basic political Cogito Ergo Sum? Can we ever hope to actually communicate with the other side?

    • Ray in Seattle says:

      Diane, IMO you’ve published a very honest comment. I’ve undergone a somewhat similar experience regarding my Dem/Lib allegiance – and I now see that Ben below has had a similar experience.

      My view is that one’s worldview is the set of beliefs that define one’s identity. To adopt a new worldview then is to become a different person in terms of the core beliefs that drive one’s conclusions about the world and behavior in it. It’s not something adults do too often in life, some never. By belief I mean the emotional forces we attach to elements of our worldview that drive our behavior – not the intellectual words we use to describe our worldview to others. Such descriptions are less likely to be derived from honest introspection and self-understanding than from a need for approval and group acceptance – such as I see in eded’s comment below (as exposed by RL).

      But honest introspection happens at times, as I believe your comment illustrates.

      • Cynic says:


        Heh, was just going to recommend that Diane research our comments on the belief/emotion paradigm we had many moons ago.

        • Ray in Seattle says:

          Cynic, Sorry if I sound like a broken record on this at times but it does allow me to make better sense of things.

          • Cynic says:

            Back in Aug/Sept of last year in the Not “Self-”Hating Jews, but Jewish Scourges of Jews post I included a link, in a comment, to a lecture by a Brazilian historian/philosopher
            The Structure of the Revolutionary Mind
            I don’t know if you saw it but I have been wondering how much beliefs and emotions are intertwined in the psychopathology he discusses.
            Maybe if we could understand this we could start straightening out the world? :-)

  6. Sol says:

    I found your initial post rather refreshing and this effort, if one can call it that, little more than weak, cowering, and limp.

    The Torah tells us that we are the Chosen People. Judea and Samaria are ours. G-d gave us these lands. They are ours to rule.

    Now G-d has given us a true leader. Not the weak, pathetic Netanyahu, whose only saving grace is his strong and powerful father.

    Lieberman will lead us to triumph and to take what is rightly ours. We will rule and Lieberman will make it so.

    Those who question Israel, who question Lieberman, who question Glick, who question the settlers will pay for their insolence and their attacks on G-d and our people. Even the incompetent Netanyahu has the White House cowering at his feet. We have the Congress. We have the Knesset. Lieberman will lead us to the power and the rule that we have long deserved. It is ours. In the Torth, G-d has deemed it so.

    Goldberg will pay. Remnick will pay. Friedman will pay. Gideon Levy will pay. Burston will pay. Ha’aretz will pay.

    And, you, Landes, you will pay – if you continue to bow at the feet of a self-hating pig like Goldberg.

    • Richard Landes says:

      wow! you really clarify matters. i suspect goldberg thinks i think like you. and yet, here you are, telling me i’ll pay, illustrating quite nicely what someone who does think like you, thinks of me. good grief.

      • Sol says:


        You and all other Israelis who fail to obey Avigdor Lieberman and Yisrael Beiteinu will pay for your insolence. The Torah has told us that Our Leader would come and He has.

        Our Leader, Your Leader, is Avigdor Lieberman.

    • Mark says:

      Whenever I see someone advance the contention that Israel can do whatever it likes in Judea and Samaria because they have been given them by “God”, I am curious what attitude they expect non-Jews to take in response.

      Being an atheist, the idea that some supernatural being is the the arbiter of sovereignty in the middle east seems to me absurd and insane. If that is truly the basis for the existence of Israel, then surely the logical response of non-Jews is that Israel has no legitimacy.

      Do you nevertheless expect our support? I am curious.

      • Ray in Seattle says:

        Mark, I am an atheist and a non-Jew. I have no trouble supporting Israel in this conflict nor does it bother me that many Jews believe they were given the land by their god. That does not make them guilty of stealing it. When I see convincing evidence that they have stolen their land and have not acquired it as legally as any other post-Imperial western power then I’ll change my mind. So far I have not seen such evidence and I’ve been examining the issue closely for several years now.

      • Sol says:

        You are not an Israeli. You are not a Jew. You are not a member of Yisrael Beiteinu. You do not follow the Torah. You do not obey G-d.

        Your opinion is meaningless.

        Only G-d knows. And G-d has given us Avigdor Lieberman.

        • Yonah says:

          Oh, please, this is so obviously an impostor. I don’t know any religious Jew who would see Lieberman as the Messiah since Lieberman is not religious, or at least not Orthodox (all Orthodox Jews cover their heads unless it’s too dangerous to do so. When you look at Jews this is a way to know if someone is Orthodox or not). Furthermore Lieberman has some serious disputes with the Orthodox Jews in Israel on internal matters which they consider crucial to Jewish life (such as marriage and conversion). Any “marriage” between the Orthodoxy and Lieberman is a temporary marriage of convenience.

          Plus I don’t know any Jew who talks in these terms. Our Leader? Where is this coming from? The Third Reich? The entire language of this post – “G-d told us we are the chosen people”, together with “Our Leader” and “we will rule” – reeks of anti-Jewish prejudice. This is obviously someone posing as a right wing religious Jew trying to incite against Jews.

          Choosing Lieberman as a “representative” of this school indicates his ignorance. He chose him because Lieberman is famous outside Israel and he assumes he knows Lieberman’s positions because of his image outside Israel. In fact Lieberman never said anything of the sort. He’s not so much an ideologue as he is ultra hawkish. If there was a chance for real peace Liberman would be ready to make territorial concessions. The leaders of the religious right are other people who this impostor obviously doesn’t know since they are not as famous as Lieberman.

    • Sérgio says:

      Pray tell, Sol, can we pay in installments? Do you accept Visa or just Amex?

      Yours truly, trembling with fear and prostrating myself in the most humble repentance.

      PS: send us your bank account no.

  7. The Engineer says:

    Which will it be? In some paragraphs you defend the notion that Goldberg is a self hating jew and in others you deny believing he is a self hating jew and in some you criticize him for believing that you think he is a self hating jew. You can’t have all the cakes, give them to your friends on all sides of each political fence and then eat them as well. Had you just apologized for your ‘co-authored’ post you would have been in the clear, now, you just come off as clueless.

    • Richard Landes says:

      okay, let me be clear: 1) i don’t think goldberg is a self-hating jew for the reasons i gave – he doesn’t compare israel to s. africa or the nazis. 2) i do think he’s missing some important points, but not having read him recently i’m not in a position to elaborate. i just assume from his response to my having (mistakenly) called him a self-hating jew, that he’s very sensitive on the matter. 3) i don’t criticize him for thinking i think he’s a self-hating jew, i criticize him for presenting my position as one motivated by a “if you don’t support the settlements you’re a self-hating jew.”

      be that as it may, there’s something impt here to work out. we’ll see if this exchange generates more heat than light.

      • Cynic says:


        If you’ll permit me my opinion for what it’s worth. Goldberg is not a self-hating Jew, but an Alter Jew, fearful of what the “neighbours” will think.
        Not having the courage to stand up for the context and facts of the conflict but cringing at the thought of being ostracized by those one has to confront and convince of one’s position.
        Remnick’s article that appeared in the Israeli paper Yediot Ahronot, was very arrogant, like a mother scolding her youngster for a selfish and ungrateful manner.
        Ron Radosh had a good post on Pajamas Media
        David Remnick Joins the Israeli Haters and the Leftist British Intellectuals
        and writes:

        Remnick’s arrogance and hostility to Israel has never been made more apparent. Jonathan Tobin accurately comments that since Remnick has acknowledged that the Palestinians have much of the blame for the failure to achieve peace and a two-state solution:

        [If] Israel already knows that sacrifices of territory won’t bring peace, why should it make unilateral concessions simply to appease an American president who acts as if history began on the day he took office? Shouldn’t the fact that Israel is still faced with a Palestinian foe that is so committed to its destruction that it won’t make peace on even favorable terms influence the discussion?

        Of course Remnick has no answer to Tobin’s question, because despite what an obvious answer is, Remnick’s purpose in making this comment for an Israeli audience is to let them know how he, David Remnick, and the New York intelligentsia for whom he thinks he speaks, is totally fed up with Israel, and particularly its current Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. That is why although he condemns the ultra-Orthodox rabbis who called for Israelis to never rent property to Arabs, he neglects to say that they do not speak for modern Israel, and that the current Israeli P.M. publicly condemned them as did many other mainstream Israeli rabbis. By picking such an example, Remnick reveals that he is consciously singling out an unrepresentative statement made by extremists as typical of Israelis as a whole, and as reason for him to be angry with the Israel that has disappointed him.

        How dare those chutzpahdik Israelis embarrass him in front of New York’s elite?

  8. Sam says:

    You sound like you aren’t familiar with Goldberg’s positions.

    • Richard Landes says:

      you’re right. but what makes you say so?

      • Darth Thulhu says:

        Because if you were familiar with Goldblog positions, especially the testy back and forth exchanges of Goldblog and Sullivan and various thoughtful readers of each of them, you would know that he receives bottomless “you are a self-hating Jew” screeds from the wilds of the internet all. the. time.

        (he also receives bottomless Judenhaas in his inbox, as well, of course, but that’s a different group of psychotic fundamentalists)

        Every. single. time. he is anything less than Sol-esque in blind support for (or silence concerning) further Israeli settlement beyond the Green Line, multitudes hatemail him and spam his inbox calling him a self-hating Jew. Now and again, a few public Jewish worthies publically join in, with enthusiastic dittohead agreement from the Sols of the world in their comments pages.

        Your blog joined that foul chorus, without your intent, and apparently without your awareness that you were, in fact, joining a foul chorus.

        If you were aware of Goldblog’s writings, you would have known that Goldblog has discussed this kind of unjustified response on his blog on numerous occasions. Willing or not, you and your blog joined a never-ending background litany accusing him of being a cowardly traitor, a litany he frequently and fiercely rebuts with exactly the same language that he used today.

        Your blog *did* sound exactly like the throw-democracy-away authoritarian fundamentalist hatemongers posting here, will you or nil you. Consequently, it should not be surprising that Goldblog treated you and your blog exactly as he treats those hatemongers who incessantly bombard him with illogical fantasies of tyrannical expansion.

      • Observer says:

        Probably because you don’t accurately reflect his positions and biases. Like Andrew Sullivan you seem to get it backwards at times.

        Instead of asking us, why don’t you correspond directly with him. Ask him for some of his most representative blog posts.

        You want light, raise the torch. Don’t huff harder.

  9. eded says:

    My daughter just returned from Ramallah after studying Arabic there for four months. During this time, she spent much time with Palestinians and is now firmly in their camp — considering Israel to be an occupier and “out of control.” She has plenty of Jewish friends in both Israel and the US, and they are universally troubled with Israel’s position. Reminds me of the approach to the generational tipping point during the Vietnam War.

    For better or worse, the trajectory of world opinion is changing for Israel and many countries will begin to consider alternatives and workarounds such as Brazil’s movement toward a Palestinian state. If Israel could take the lead and guide the world toward a solution, it would strengthen its position; if it’s perceived as being a drag or obdurate, support will continue to erode; Palestinians will gain strength and build positive world support — a different solution will emerge. It’s a terribly hard place to be and one can argue all sorts of reasons why it shouldn’t be, but as Fred McDowell once sang: “When the Lord gets ready, you’ve got to move.”

    • Richard Landes says:

      tell me, does your daughter assume that Jawaher abu Rahma was killed by tear gas exposure at Biilin? does she believe any claim the palestinians make about the terrible things the israelis have done to them? (Jenin, al Durah, Gaza Beach)? what does she say about the culture of genocidal hatred that Palestinian media encourage? that it’s okay because they’re oppressed? or does she ignore it.

      your argument is a purely honor-shame one, based on public perceptions, not on what’s actually happening. (in h-s culture it doesn’t matter what you’ve done but what people think you’ve done.)

      if public opinion turns against israel then it’s over. she has to align herself with that opinion whether she likes it or not. the possibility that the west is actually hurting itself by perceiving things as they do (ie the palestinian david the israeli goliath) doesn’t seem to register with you. it’s all about bowing to what other people think. and it doesn’t seem to matter to you (or your daughter) that bowing to that pressure might be suicidal for israel.

      the song is not about “when the lord gets ready…” but when public opinion gets ready. i’m not one of those folks who praises naked emperors (of which there are many) just because everyone else does.

      • eded says:

        I don’t buy your position, sir. There’s plenty of instances on both sides that are indefensible. Picking the scab isn’t going to heal the wound.

        • Sérgio says:

          Reallt, “sir”? And lots of people don´t buy your appeasing view and still have some self-respect, decency and interest in truth, instead of swallowing outright lies (aka “narratives”) and moral equivalences.

          And, frankly speaking, “sir”, I don´t even buy your lil´ petty morality tale of your daughter´s revelation., though I can imagine many Monthy-Pyton sketches based on it.

          • Cynic says:

            I am amused when the actions of Brazil’s Lula and his minister of foreign affairs, Celso Amorim, come into focus.
            Most of their behaviour was an attempt at presenting the “new” statesman in the international arena, what with Brazil’s attempt with Turkey at interceding on behalf of Iran’s nuclear policy, with an eye, if one can believe the pundits, to Lula becoming Sec., Gen., of the UN.
            Of course international law relating to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict will be cast adrift just as Lula has snubbed Italy’s request for the extradition of Battisti
            Cesare Battisti has been convicted in absentia of murdering four people in Italy between 1978 and 1979..

    • Cynic says:

      Seeing your daughter was in Ramallah for 4 months did she take a ride to Nablus and visit the Balata refugee camp that the Palestinian Authority continues to maintain, well after gaining control of the area in 1994, after the Oslo accords?
      Try getting some facts about how the Palestinians treat their “refugees” and then decide if it is such a nice camp to be in.
      Read about the restrictions and conditions of Balata and then consider Goldberg et al’s attempt at squaring the circle.

    • Yonah says:

      Look, as an Israeli I will seriously have a dilemma in the next elections. I supported the so-called peace process, realized it was a Trojan horse, still voted Kadima the last elections, but the “international community” put Israel between a rock and a hard place. The offer Olmert made to Abbas in 2008 is a maximalist offer – Israel can’t go beyond it. He offered 95-97% of Judea and Samaria with the rest in land swaps, making it 100%, Gaza which they already fully control, the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem for their capital and an international administration of the holy sites. Abbas rejected it. The Arabs said this proposal proves Israel is not serious about peace. They demand to settle here millions of Muslim Arabs. This will never happen. To expect Israelis to agree to be subjected to Arab Muslim rule is an irrational expectation. If you want us dead for your “peace” just come here and kill us, don’t expect us to commit suicide for you.

      The world should have supported Israel and pressured the Arabs to accept this proposal. Instead it lashed out at Israel. If I elect Kadimah again in the next elections Israel will be expected to start the negotiations from where Kadimah left and offer more, and Israel simply can’t go any further than that without committing suicide. Still you will pressure us just the same to step over the cliff. If I elect Likud you will pressure us even harder and probably sanction us, impose arms embargo and who knows what else. So my options are to either commit suicide with Kadima or be murdered by you if I elect Likud.

      You don’t want peace, come on, you want Israel destroyed and me dead. If you had wanted peace you would have pressed the Arabs to take their own refugees and the millions of their descendants, a result of their own aggression, just as we took a larger number of Jewish refugees from countries ruled by Arabs (in most of which Jews predated the Arab conquest by centuries). But no, you will press only Israel and since Olmert already offered everything Israel can offer all that remains is for us to accept the Arab demands to expell all the Jews from east Jerusalem (Jews lived there until they were expelled by the Arabs in 48-9) and to be demographically overwhelmed by millions of Muslim Arabs.

      So my choices are to either die by suicide or by murder. Which is better?

      When I supported the so-called peace process, – what a farce, – I didn’t think it will mean that we will have to lose our sovereignty and become another Arab Muslim state. This is not peace, this is surrender and annihilation.

      You are certainly right about the trajectory of world opinion, but the world isn’t giving us any real alternatives. It’s not that there is an option for peace – it’s either death or death. For me the next election is a dangerous bet. Kadimah will go full speed ahead to our destruction. They already gave everything without getting anything in return, and after giving everything what more is there to give but our sovereignty which the Arabs demand? Netanyahu will at least stall, and maybe in the meantime some things might change. Maybe the leadership in the US will change, maybe some of the leadership in Europe. If not, then we’ll die. But we’ll die either way. It’s not like you’re giving us any real choice. Either we completely surrender to all the Arab demands, lose our independence and at best be massacred by the millions (at worst live under Arab Muslim rule if you can call it living, I rather die) or you’ll descend on us like vultures.

      I can tell you that if one day the west will have again real journalists and real historians instead of the bunch of the ideologues and propagandists in charge for the last several decades your grandchildren will not be proud of what you’ve done to us. Eliminating Israel will not be considered the greatest moral achievement of the 21st century like some people think right now.

  10. […] actually never read anything by [David] Remnick," – Richard Landes, in a series of posts lambasting David […]

  11. […] UPDATE: Richad Landes responds to the above post here. […]

  12. Ben says:

    Diane’s story could be mine if it were less eloquent. Thanks for putting it so nicely.
    I don’t follow Observer’s admonition to “Quit whining, layoff the aggrieved lashing out, and apologize like a person.” I saw appropriate acknowledgment of fault, acceptance of blame, and even an apology right up at the front of this piece. I don’t see prostrating contrition, but that isn’t called for.
    The public discourse among widely-read journalists and academics about Israel, the Palestinians, and the settlements is important, to put it mildly, much more so than Goldberg’s righteous indignation over an editing error. (I will be curious to see what Goldberg has to say after learning the facts about how he came to be referred to as “self-hating” by the Professor. His “People like Landes” approach, however, might suggest that the error was more in the vein of “just another excuse.”)
    Goldberg’s notion that people who “conflate support for Israel with support for settlements … are creating conditions that will ultimately lead to Israel’s disappearance” looks like it was written by Jeremy ben Ami.
    The Jews were never more vulnerable to genocide than when we were without a citadel. Goldberg ridicules those who commemorate the martyrs’ choice at Masada. Please forgive my lack of sophistication and unawareness…. Leaving aside the more substantive issues of the role of martyrdom, when did commemorating Masada become “misguided”? (I noted last year that the anniversary of the Six Day War was marked in some Jewish periodicals with editorial cartoons suggesting that the stunning military victory was no victory at all for Israel. As if the question of Israel’s survival had nothing to do with the war.)

  13. Gibson Block says:

    “My apologies to anyone I offended” — is different from — “I’m sorry.”

    Your apology is lame and it makes you look vain.

    Instead of apologizing and then explaining why you are not a zealot you play the victim because Goldberg smacked you back. Sorry, that’s just how it looks to me.

    • Observer says:

      That is my take as well. An apology goes starts with “I take responsibility” and ends with “I apologize and will make a better effort next time”.
      That’s it. One stops – no rationalization or (as you put it , then went on to wear the same shirt) “I’m rubber you’re glue”. Stopping gives the other person time to climb back down from your attack. Give you both time to work out and actually hear each other.
      This is how I explained it to my eldest when she was seven.
      I follow you because I agree with you on many points and I enjoy your experiences. I feel the same about Goldberg
      If you’re feeling lonely writing a book, and who hasn’t felt that way when deep in study for weeks at a time, whipping up a blog flame war is not the best answer.
      You and Goldberg have much in common. Correspond with him. The world will be better for it.

    • Rusty says:

      I don’t like the “I’m sorry if YOU were offended” non-apology you see so often, but I don’t think that applies here — at least I felt the post communicated clearly enough “calling someone a self-hating Jew was offensive and though I didn’t write it, it was under my name and I apologize to those it hurt” and not “my words have been misunderstood — sorry if you’re such a sensitive non-PC soul and were offended.”

  14. Ray in Seattle says:

    RL, this thread has me wondering if your post on atheist morality (Nov 14, 2010) – from which I learned that I am a parasite free-riding on the high morals of believers in the Judeo-Christian god of my society – was written by you or someone else. It seemed quite out of character from what I’ve been following here for quite some time. It read like perhaps it was something you’d been holding back on and finally decided got off your chest – perhaps spurred on by Jacoby. I guess I’m finally at the point were my curiosity has exceeded my disappointment.

    • Richard Landes says:

      no, i wrote it. and don’t think i was getting something off my chest. and don’t think that people who behave well for non-religious reasons are parasites… just the ones who think that their behavior has nothing to do with a long and difficult history of religiously-inspired moral behavior, who think they (ie a critical mass of people) could have just picked themselves up by their bootstraps and established a civil polity.

      if you think ancient athens represents just such a phenomenon – and i’ll grant you it’s an impressive phenomenon even if it was pretty nasty to women and slaves – you should read Phillip Slater, The Glory of Hera. As Eli Sagan put it in his brilliant study of democracy in Athens and the US, The Honey and the Hemlock, it’s “Paranoia is the problem. The paranoid position [“rule or be ruled,” which produces prime dividers] is the defense. Democracy is a miracle, considering human psychological disabilities.”

  15. Barry Meislin says:

    Speaking of apologies, I think Goldberg owes Avigdor Lieberman an apology with his oh-so-fashionable Lieberman = Putin slander.

    Until then, the joker doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously.

    As for public opinion changing against Israel it is not surprising, given the massive amount of lying and Palestinian victimology (together with the overt denial of Palestinian goals) that we have been bombarded with day in, day out for the past decade. Certainly, one has the right to choose to believe the lie that the Palestinians only wish live in their own state, in dignity and freedom. And one has the right to propagate it. And the right to feel morally superior in doing so.

    Yes, the moral right to believe in and propagate the lie.

    But I’m not sure why those same people should expect that Israelis (generally—certainly, there are those who do) should believe those same lies, that Israel should acquiesce in committing suicide—unless, of course, Israelis just aren’t as moral as they are (that’s right, survival, when it comes to Israel, is moral turpitude).

    Needless to say, it is heartbreaking that the Palestinians, having not yet succeeded in destroying the Jewish State, continue to suffer so abjectly. (Those four months in Ramallah must have been hell on earth.)

    • Cynic says:

      Needless to say, it is heartbreaking that the Palestinians, having not yet succeeded in destroying the Jewish State, continue to suffer so abjectly.

      Melanie Phillips’ latest article makes some nice points
      The challenge of public diplomacy vis-a-vis the delegitimisation of Israel

      It’s a long read but for example:
      (the emphasis in bold is mine)

      I am not saying that Israel should retain all the disputed territories; it may well be in its own interests to give some of them up. But the point is that Israel has made all the concessions over the years while the Arabs have made none – yet it is Israel, not the Arabs, that is under pressure from the west.

      This is diplomacy as scripted by Franz Kafka.

      The single greatest reason for the endless continuation of the Middle East impasse is that Britain, Europe and America have continuously rewarded the aggressor and either attacked the victim or left it twisting in the wind.

      That’s what needs to be said by Israel and its defenders. But Israel and its defenders themselves have been crippled or cowed by the false analysis of the enemy’s narrative.

      Even many of Israel’s friends spout the demonstrably absurd proposition that a Palestine state would solve the problem, that the impediment to a Palestine state is the ‘settlers’, but that Israel is not taking action to remove the ‘settlers’ — and so therefore they too inescapably agree that Israel is the problem.

      Israel and its defenders have been fighting on the wrong battleground: the one that has been chosen by its enemies. The Arabs brilliantly reconfigured the Arab war of extermination against Israel as the oppression by Israel of the Palestinians.

    • Observer says:

      You say Jeff Goldberg owes an apology but then link us to David Pryce-Jones, twice to the same article.

      We don’t know what Lieberman would actually do if he had all the power and resources as Putin. But what he says now is not promising. And the people who support him clearly want similar power to suppress and destroy those with whom disagree. I tend to believe people when they say things like this. People that want to make others afraid of them nearly always get the opposite result.

      I am no lover of the Arab Palestinians, be they Israeli citizens or not. I fear even the best of them are subversive. But what is happening in Israel now could easily lead to the implosion of Israel as a democracy.

      We have enough autocracies in the world – making the only Jewish state into one?

      That destroys the dream of Zion, a home for all Jews. Not just the ones who opposed Zion for centuries and even now undermine it, claiming they are the only true Jew. You know, Lieberman and his supporters. The ones who reject secular, Reform, and African Jews. Let alone Arabic Jews.

      • Sol says:

        Another self-hating Jew who slanders Avigdor Lieberman, Israel, the Torah, Yisrael Beiteinu, Judea, Samaria, Zionism, and the real followers of Judaism.

        The Torah tells us that G-d has sent us a leader. That leader, as all true Israelis know, is Avigdor Lieberman. He will lead us, the Chosen Race. Lieberman brings the true power and will that Israel has long needed since its inception, the control and dominance that Begin gave away with his foolish gifts to Sadat.

        The Torah says Judea and Samaria are ours. The West Bank is ours. Golan is ours. The Turks, Syrians, and Iranians are the enemy, G-d tells us in the Torah. We will defeat them. They will learn.

        Our rabbis show us now by banning the sale of homes to Gentiles, by keeping our young daughters away from anyone who is not a true Israeli Jew. The Torah tells us that G-d has deemed this so and so these things will be.

        With G-d and Lieberman G-d, Israel will reign supreme and, any and all who doubt G-d, Lieberman, and Israel will learn.

  16. Sérgio says:

    Regarding my country´s pathetic ex-president, Lula, and his midget agent Amorim, they managed to destroy decades of responsible diplomacy with a series of disastrous blunders motivated, most of all, by a childish 1960´s leftist anti-americanism. This same leftism explains his aproximation to the palestinians, because Lula is the worse kind of ignorant, namely, the arrogant type, who thinks he doesn´t need to educate himself about complex issues, that his “street guy intuition” is a reliable guide, which is dayly confirmed by his clique; and he doens´t have a clue about the middle-east, but he just parrots what his intellectual aids say, which is the old-fashioned soviet-inspired mantra that zionism=imperialism= bad.

  17. YM says:

    The fact that public opinion seems to have swayed away from Israel, while none of the basic facts of the conflict have changed one iota, would seem to signal that a greater or higher power is pulling the strings here, as much as some would prefer that this not be so.

  18. George Mauer says:

    I don’t think it’s fair to say that Goldberg refuses to acknowledge that there are far bigger impediments to peace than the settlements. His book is in large part about all those seemingly insurmountable impediments. He does say that it is AN impediment and its silly and morally wrong to pile it onto the list, which is something I frankly agree with.

  19. Rusty says:

    There’s a problem with your analysis. Yes, the breakdown of the “peace process” is far more attributable to Palestinian and other Arab nation’s non-acceptance of a Jewish state in their midst than to the settlement policy. But implicitly you seem to argue that this should constrain how aggressively Jews should fight the policy — you almost say “blather on about it all you want (to build your liberal bona fides) but don’t do anything substantive about it.” Whether or not it helps the peace process, the settlements are a violation of the Geneva Convention. You can occupy the land of an aggressor until they make peace, but settlements are different. It reminds me of the debate about waterboarding: whenever someone argued the law and the clear bright lines that waterboarding crossed under every reasonable interpretation, supporters would talk about the nature of terrorists, ticking-bomb scenarios, etc. To me Jews have a very painful choice: support Israel despite crossing the bright legal lines on settlement or *meaningfully* opposing that policy, which at some point means ultimatums and definitely means giving a U.S. President a pass when he demands a temporary freeze on the settling, regardless of the status of the peace process. I don’t see any inconsistency with this AND supporting some very hardline positions on negotiations with the Palestinians.

    • Sérgio says:


      I´m no expert in International Law, contrary to the host of self-styled pundits that use all possible contortionism of it against Israel, desregarding the realities and complexities of conflicts. So, I could argue that Palestianians and their arab allies are the primary culprits of the ME mess as they rejected the UN partition resolution in 1948. After all, that would have established the Palestinian State more than 60 years ago, avoiding much pain and misery caused by their rejection and ensuing war.

      Moreover, any honest observer should recognize by now that settlements are
      a *side issue* in the conflict; in fact, settlements were dismantled before, like in the Sinai, with the peace signed with Egypt (that LOST A WAR of AGGRESSION AGAINST ISRAEL). Also, in 2005, the Gaza disengagement
      also meant dismantling settlements (all that in the govern led by the oh-so-evil Ariel Sharon), and what happened? Instead of focusing in state building and improving their people´s lives, Gaza was turned into a rocket launch-pad against Israel. So why the heck one should expect that returning the West Bank and the settlements there, as if by magic things will be different and pals will behave, when they aren´t even capable of recognizing Israel as a Jewish State. In fact it is UNREASONABLE to expect that.

      So, give me a break. It´s quite nice to ponfiticate about international law when one is not dealing with a conflict in which your enemy systematically violates it
      when convenient, have genocidal intent and still claim victim status.

      • Ray in Seattle says:

        I’d add to Sergio’s comment that the Disputed Territories have not existed under the sovereignty of any state since the end of the Six Day War. Also that Israel attempted to immediately exchange most of it it with Jordan in return for peace. Jordan refused. Also that the Arab League at Khartoum issued the three famous no’s in response to Israel’s offer to negotiate.

        The Geneva Convention Rule is arguably meant to apply to the occupation of land that was lost by a state as the result of war. Once Israel offered Jordan the land in exchange for peace, I’d say that Geneva rule no longer applied. At that point it was stateless land that Israel had to occupy for its own protection.

        There has never been a Palestinian State. If the Arabs there didn’t want Jews settling there then they should have negotiated for borders in good faith as per Res 242 and allowed the IDF to go home.

        I’m no expert on international law either but this is what makes sense to me.

  20. Ed Bow says:

    A Design for helpful negotiations.
    “I wish to buy a train ticket to Jerusalem”
    “Certainly sir, but first you must pay a non returnable arrangement fee of $100”
    “ If I pay you this fee, will you sell me the ticket”?
    “ Not entirely sir, the arrangement fee allows you access to the ticket counter. The clerk may sell you a ticket but it all depends if seats are available. Sometimes extra charges may be made in accordance with our rules and regulations. Have you read them yet?”

  21. Fnord says:

    Sir. Ive been reading your back-log today, and I am a bit confused. It seems to me that your main argument is that the palestinians are not partners for peace due to their continued opinion that the state of Israel is illegitimiate. This strikes me as odd for two reasons, one formal and one technical: Isnt it true that Israeli PM Nethanyahu officially declared Abbas a viable partner for peace? And, on a practical level, isnt it obvious that in order to alleviate the hate that exists in the palestinian people towards their occupants, these people must be freed from this occupation and given a generation or two to let the memories of opression become history?

    It seems delusional to me to require a Come-to-Jesus moment from either part. What is needed is international force.

    • Sérgio says:

      So, Mr, Fnord, if pals were not consistent rejectionists and were earger to build up their state, how come that when Israel left Gaza and *dismantled settlements* there, the outcome was not state-building activities but rocket launching agaisnst Israel. If this is what to is expected of palestinian oh-so-great desire for peace, why the heck should Israel return the West Bank conquered in a war of legitimate defense. What kind of concession are pals intending to give that they´re not going to use the West Bank to promote terrorism against Israel, when Mr. Abbas is incapable of recognizing Israel as a Jewish State?

      So, can you explain why are you “confused” when all the basic evidence of pal-arab past behaviour shows clearly, flagrant and consistent rejectionism, as in 1948, in the Khartoum conference and more recently in 2000-2001 and 2008? How can you be “confused” when Hamas charter *explicitely* calls for Israel´s destruction and when pal-arab society is permeated by rabid paranoia, anti-western islamism and virulent anti-semitism,, propagated on a dayly basis?

      Frankly, it is really hard to believe you are genuinely “confused”. Please prove me wrong.

    • Yonah says:

      1. Israel offered the Palestinian Arabs 93-97% of Judea & Samaria AKA the West Bank and the rest in land swaps, Gaza which they already rule, the Arab neighborhoods of east Jerusalem and an internatinal governance in the holy sites. If all they want is their own state NEXT to Israel why did they reject this proposal? There were two proposals that offered them all or nearly all their territorial demands – Barak proposal in 2000/1 (in Camp David) and Olmert proposal in 2008 that went further than Barak’s. They rejected both.

      2. Ending the violence and incitement were obligations taken by the Palestinian Arabs from the beginning as part of the Oslo accords and a condition to the continuation of the peace process, but the more control on the territories was transferred to the Palestinian Authority the more the violence and incitement escalated. Instead of peace, the PLO used its autonomy to launch a massive campaign of war popaganda in the media and education system. Yet these Israeli concerns were not taken seriously, in spite of mass casualties on both sides, and the Arabs were not demanded to comply with their obligations.

      3. The hate and incitement are not a result of “oppression”. Their history goes way back to the first half of the 20th century. They have 3 sources: 1. Anti-Jewish motives in Islamic scriptures and the idea that dhimmies must be subservient to Muslims, 2. European anti-Semitism that started reaching the Middle East in the 19th century (at first the blood libel and later anti-Semitic literature such as “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” and “Mein Kampf” and European anti-Semites who disseminated their poison during the colonial era), 3. The collaboration of Amin al Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem, with the Nazis.

      The third was the most influential. After becoming familiar with Hitler’s ideas about the Jews, which Husseini probably believed, he contacted Hitler and offered his assistance in exterminating the local Jews in exchange for German support for a large Arab state headed by Husseini. At first the Nazis rejected his offer, probably as to not upset the British by meddling in their affairs in the Middle East at that time. Later, however, there was no impediment to this alliance and the Mufti became instrumenatl in the Nazi plans. Among other things he helped recruit SS divisions from the Muslims in Bosnia. Between 1939 and 1945 the Nazis boadcasted to the entire Middle East from a radio station in Berlin. Husseini, who moved to Berlin, created a fusion of the Nazi anti-Semitic ideology with the anti-Jewish motives in the Muslim scriptures. For 5 years he broadcasted Islamic-Nazi sermons to the entire Middle East through Radio Zeesen in Berlin. Among the people influenced by these sermons were Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Ruhollah Khomeini, father of the Iranian Islamic revolution, and many other spiritual and political leaders in the Middle East and the Muslim world.

      Through Husseini, the radio station in Berlin and the leaders influenced by it these ideas have become prevalent in Middle Eastern culture and are very much a part of it today, widely disseminated through state sponsored media, the education system, in mosques and by political leaders. Including, by the way, among Israeli Arabs.

      Here you have, for example, an English translation of the charter of Hamas, the local branch of the Muslim Brotherhood (see article 2). The document is replete with classical European anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, including an explicit reference to “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” (see article 32) which is conflated with Zionism throughout the entire region and beyond it in the Muslim world, i.e. Zionism is perceived as an old-age Jewish conspircay to rule the world. In article 7 a genocidal intent is expressed as a religious duty or destiny in a hadith quoted from Sahih al-Bukhari:

      “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla [servant of Allah, y], there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.”

      And here you have a paper by a German scholar, Matthias Küntzel, about the Nazi source of the genocidal Jew-hatred in the Middle East.

  22. incognito says:


    That’s it. One stops – no rationalization or (as you put it , then went on to wear the same shirt) “I’m rubber you’re glue”. Stopping gives the other person time to climb back down from your attack. Give you both time to work out and actually hear each other.


    One can apologize for one thing and clarify another; one can apologize for style and clarify substance. And so on.

    So pls.

  23. Fnord,

    You wrote:

    “Isnt it true that Israeli PM Nethanyahu officially declared Abbas a viable partner for peace?”

    Yes that is true. And it is untrue that Abbas is a viable partner for peace. And that encapsulates the main problem of the situation. Israeli leaders refuse – refuse – to tell the truth about the situation, and are, themselves, literally delusional about the reality of the situation. Severe Stockholm Syndrome.

    You wrote:

    “And, on a practical level, isnt it obvious that in order to alleviate the hate that exists in the palestinian people towards their occupants, these people must be freed from this occupation and given a generation or two to let the memories of opression become history?”

    There is no “occupation” of anywhere by Israel.

    Fatah-PLO-PalestinianAuthority is currently the government of “The West Bank” (Judea Sameria).

    Hamas is currently the government of “The Gaza Strip”.

    Israel has always wanted peace and friendship with the Muslim Arab states, and Muslim Arab communities, in the Middle East.

    It is not Israel that, for over sixty years, has been continuously attacking and trying to annihilate their surrounding Muslim Arab neighbors.

    Israel offered a ‘Palestinian’ Arab state, consisting of “The West Bank”, and “The Gaza Strip”, and half of Jerusalem to Yasser Arafat in 2000. Yasser Arafat refused that offer on the grounds that he demanded all of Jerusalem to be the capital of that proposed ‘Palestinian’ Arab state.

    Jerusalem (Yerushalayim) is the founding city of the founding country, Israel (Yisrael), of the Jewish (Yehoudi) people, and was built, by the Jewish people, approximately three thousand years ago.

    The 1964 PLO Charter, and the revised, currently official, 1968 PLO Charter, which, in August 2010, at the 2010 PLO Conference, Mahmoud Abbas and the members of Fatah-PLO-PalestinianAuthority officially reaffirmed their adherence to, states that the goal of the PLO is the “liberation” of “Palestine” and the destruction of “the Zionist entity”, by any means necessary.

    The Hamas Charter states that the goal of Hamas is the murder of every Jewish person in the world, and the establishment of Islam as the governmental system for the whole world.

    The members of the organizations of the ‘Palestinian movement’ – Fatah-PLO-PalestinianAuthority and Hamas – consciously use deceit as a strategic tactic.

    The use of deceit as a strategic tactic in the effort of waging war against non-Islamic societies is officially sanctioned by authoritative Islam – and, in authoritative Islam, is called Taqiya.

    The founder of the ‘Palestinian movement’ was Amin al-Husseini, who, in 1920, incited and caused murderous anti-Jewish riots in the British Mandate of Palestine, and who, in 1921, was appointed to the position of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem by British officials, and who, in 1928, joined the Muslim Brotherhood, and who, in 1929, organized a massacre of Jewish people in Hebron (the Hebron Massacre), and who, in 1935, founded the Nazi-influenced Nazi-allied Palestinian Arab Party, and who from 1941 to 1945, resided in Germany, and was an adjoined official of the Nazi regime of Germany, and who was a co-architect of the genocide of the Jewish people in Europe by the Nazi regime of Germany, and who, in 1948, as the head of the Arab Higher Committee, coordinated the 1948 Muslim Arab self-proclaimedly intendedly genocidal attack on Israel by the armies of five Arab states, launched several days after Israel was voted a country in the United Nations by a majority vote, and who was the mentor of, and an uncle of Egyptian-born Yasser Arafat (Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini), who, in 1954, in Egypt, under the guidance of Amin al-Husseini, founded Fatah.

    The following are some of the many important facts of the history of the situation that, insanely, are not communicated by the leaders of the government of Israel, and that need to be communicated.

    The British Mandate of Palestine was an area of land that was consisted by what is now Jordan, and by what is now Israel, and by what is now called “The West Bank”, and by what is now called “The Gaza Strip”.

    In 1919, in Paris, at the Paris Peace Talks of 1919, Emir Faisal ibn Husseini and Haim Weizmann signed the Faisal-Weizmann Agreement to establish one Arab state in, and one Jewish state in, that area of land.

    In 1924, British officials created the Arab state of Transjordan in the British Mandate of Palestine, and officially excluded Transjordan from the terms of the Faisal-Weizmann Agreement, in contravention to the Faisal-Weizmann Agreement.

    In 1946, Britain granted autonomy to Transjordan, and Transjordan was renamed Jordan.

    In 1947, the then-newly-formed United Nations proposed the creation of one Arab state in, and one Jewish state in, the part of the British Mandate of Palestine that had not become Jordan. The leaders of the Jewish community in the British Mandate of Palestine accepted that proposal. The Arab League, representing the members of the regimes of the Muslim Arab States in the Middle East, refused that proposal.

    The 1948 Muslim Arab attack on Israel caused 800,000 to 1,000,000 Jewish refugees from Muslim states in the Middle East. The still living members of, and the descendants of, those Jewish refugees constitute approximately fifty percent of the Jewish population – Jewish citizenry – of Israel.

    The 1948 Muslim Arab attack on Israel caused 600,000 to 700,000 Arab refugees from Israel. The still living members of, and the several million descendants of, those Arab refugees have been kept as refugees for over 60 years by Arab leaders and by the leaders of the governments of Western countries, and, in the 1960’s, began to be called “The Palestinians” by members of the KGB and by Arab leaders, and then by Western leaders.

    Since the end of World War II, there have been tens of millions of refugees in the world, almost all of whom have been relocated to, and absorbed into, the countries to which they fled or were expelled (such as several million ethnically German people who were expelled from the Sudetenland of Poland after World War II, and who were subsequently relocated to, and absorbed into, Germany).

    From 1949 until 1967, Jordan occupied (annexed into Jordan) “The West Bank”, and Egypt occupied (annexed into Egypt) the “The Gaza Strip”.

    In 1967, immediately after the armies of several Arab states assembled along the border of Israel in preparation to intendedly genocidally attack Israel, the army of Israel attacked and defeated those armies of those Arab states that were assembled along the borders of Israel, and the army of Israel, in doing so, took “The West Bank” from Jordan, and took “The Gaza Strip” from Egypt.

    Soon afterward, Israel offered to give “The West Bank” to Jordan, and the “The Gaza Strip” to Egypt, in return for a permanent peace treaty with all of the Muslim Arab states in the Middle East. All of the Muslim Arab states in the Middle East refused that offer, and, in response, issued the infamous “Three No’s”: “no peace with Israel, no negotiations with Israel, no recognition of Israel”.

    Subsequently, Israel foolishly, delusionally, did not claim, and make part of the nation of Israel, that land that was rightfully and lawfully theirs, and that they had rightfully and lawfully gained by winning a war that was launched against themselves. Israel, instead, foolishly, delusionally, held on to that land in the form of Israel defining that land as being “disputed” or “occupied” land, which Israel did hoping that, in the future, Israel could use that land as a bargaining chip that they could offer in order to make peace with the many Muslim Arab states that surrounded them and that were trying to annihilate them.

    • Also, Israel did not claim that land, and make that land a part of the nation of Israel, because they didn’t want to expel the Arab people that were living there, and therein, cause harm to people, and because Israel didn’t want to, alternatively, incur a large overwhelming population of genocidally hostile people as citizens of the nation of Israel.

      Israel was in a very difficult situation. Israel was put in that even more difficult situation by the world.

      From 1967 until the mid 1980’s, Israel was administering the “The West Bank” and “The Gaza Strip”, and during that time, and Fatah-PLO-PalestinianAuthority were not in “The West Bank” and “The Gaza Strip”, but were in Jordan, and then Lebanon, and, during that time, there were no restrictions of movement between The West Bank” and “The Gaza Strip” and Israel placed upon ‘Palestinian’ Arab residents of The West Bank” and “The Gaza Strip” by the government of Israel, and during that time, the ‘Palestinian’ Arab residents of “The West Bank” and “The Gaza Strip” were relatively prosperous, and peaceful, and content.

      In the mid 1980’s, the CIA revived Fatah-PLO, which, at that time, had been almost destroyed, and which, at that time, was almost dissolved, and which, at that time, was almost completely powerless, and the United States government, forced Israel into accepting Fatah-PLO into “The West Bank” and “The Gaza Strip”. The leaders of the government of Israel, insanely submitted to that pressure and allowed Fatah-PLO into “The West Bank” and “The Gaza Strip”. The leaders of Israel did so out of timidity toward the members of the government of the United States, and did so out of weariness of being hated by, and being under a cold siege by, the surrounding Muslim Arab states, and the leaders of Israel, in their delusional state of mind, thought that by letting Fatah-PLO into “The West Bank” and “The Gaza Strip”, that might lead to peace between Israel and the Muslim Arab states that surrounded Israel and that had repeatedly tried to annihilate Israel by repeatedly launching military attacks against Israel.

      After Israel allowed Fatah-PLO into “The West Bank” and “The Gaza Strip”, things started to get really bad.

      • The question one might ask is: “Why did the CIA and the government of the United States do that?”.

        The following fact may provide some insight into the reason why the CIA did that.

        Soon after World War II, the then-head of the then-newly-formed CIA, Allan Dulles – who, during the 1930’s, had, with his friend Jack Philby (a manager of the British Mandate of Palestine) illegally provided, and illegally profited from providing, petroleum from Arab states to the Nazi regime of Germany – recruited, into the CIA, as the bulk and core of the founding membership of the CIA, several thousand German former Nazi officials.

        This fact may provide some insight about the fact that the policies of the CIA toward Israel, and the policies of the State Department toward Israel, have been malicious and hostile because of racist antipathetic bigoted prejudice wrong views that are held about, and antipathy that is felt toward, the Jewish people by members of the CIA and by members of the State Department.

  24. Must Watch:

    Melanie Phillips on Israeli TV. The Israelis have lost the narrative.

    Host: “Are you saying, Ms. Phillips, that Israel is defenseless?”

    Melanie Phillips: “Israel has made itself defenseless, over the years.”

    “Melanie Phillips on Israeli TV”


    To leaders of the government of Israel:

    Tell the truth. Communicate the factual currently-94-year history, and current reality, of the situation.

    Tell the truth. Communicate the factual currently-94-year history, and current reality, of the situation.

    Tell the truth. Communicate the factual currently-94-year history, and current reality, of the situation.

  25. […] My Mistake, Jeffrey Goldberg’s too – I just posted a piece that was co-authored with Elisa Vandernoot, who offered to help me with my blog while I am distracted working on my book on millennia… 1 week ago […]

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