Anti-Judaism, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism

In the last thread an issue came up that I think worth its own discussion. I have a brief discussion of this at Reflections from the Second Draft that tries to distinguish various kinds of Judeophobia, using definitions that I think are more valuable in thinking about our current predicament than the current discussion of anti-Semitism as racist and anti-Judaism as religious. Those definitions are below.

As for the discussion to follow, I’d like to lay out the following ground rules:

1) no ad hominem arguments.

2) try and avoid long disquisitions. say what you have to say as clearly as possible without invoking big names. (if you want to append a reading list alright, but if you’re presenting a thought articulate it to us in your own words.

3) don’t assume chasms where they appear to be.

4) accept and explore the chasms when they actually appear.

5) “The sail of thinking keeps trimmed hard to the wind of the matter.” (Wittgenstein)

And in this case, the “matter” is figuring out why we’re being walloped by Islamists in a cognitive war that progressive/liberal/civic forces should be winning hands down.

On Judeophobia

Much confusion surrounds the discussion of hostility to Jews and Judaism, especially since the phenomenon goes back millennia. Suggested below are some guidelines for thinking about these complicated issues from a medievalist who, following Gavin Langmuir, distinguishes between anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism in a significantly different manner from modernists (who emphasize the question of race).

ANTI-JUDAISM: Anti-Judaism is a dislike of Judaism based on zero-sum relationships: in order to feel good about myself, I need to feel bad about Jews. We (Christians, Muslims, seculars) are better because you are worse; we are right (e.g. about the sacred text) therefore you are wrong; our faith is true because we rule (triumphalism); we have honor because you must lower yourselves before us; we have replaced you as the true Chosen People (supersessionism/replacement theology). When Augustine worked out the theology of the Jew as humiliated and wretched survivor, bearing witness to the Christian Truth, he embodied this honor-shame anti-Judaism. When Muslims worked out the Dhimmi laws, systematically disadvantaging Christians and Jews, they gave this emotional need a legal expression.

At its mildest, anti-Judaism, like any other dislike of a religion or tradition, is a common phenomenon that it is hard to get too indignant about. There’s no arguing about taste, and most people succumb to the temptation to think they make themselves look bigger by making others look smaller.

At its worst, however, anti-Judaism is a compulsive discourse of superiority that needs to see and feel the domination over Jews in order to be satisfied, a religious imperialism. Violent manifestations include bullying, humiliating rituals (kissing a pig’s ass on Good Friday, not walking in the rain lest dirt washing off from the Jew render the Muslim impure), and the occasional pogrom. Jew-hating often serves as a form of scape-goating drug that cuts the pain of suffering (by making Jews feel even more pain), inflicted by the very people who suffer at the hands of those who manufacture and feed them their Jew-hatred. In the world of hierarchy where everyone gets dumped on by those above, and dumps on those below, having someone for everyone to dump on becomes a psychological and social necessity.

ANTI-SEMITISM: Whereas anti-Judaism tends to stay in the realm of “normal” if lamentable reactions of envy and resentment, anti-Semitism expresses a deeper paranoia. People drawn to this kind of discourse feel that the very existence of the Jews threatens “us” with annihilation: “exterminate them or be destroyed ourselves.” In order for us to breathe, you must be eliminated.

Such beliefs involve a whole range of phobic fantasies of child-sacrifice, blood rituals, and international conspiracies to enslave mankind in order to justify the (defensive) genocidal impulses. The potential for violence in anti-Semitism is both constant and profound. Unlike the milder forms of anti-Judaism, which still see Jews a human beings, however disliked or despised, anti-Semitism tends to see Jews as at once super-human (maintaining vast conspiracies over millennia, supernatural figures of evil like the devil, the Antichrist, the Dajjal), and sub-human (vermin, bacteria, apes, pigs).

And anti-Semitism has strong tendencies towards genocidal violence. When you believe that the Jews are planning to massacre or enslave all the rest of mankind (Protocols of the Elders of Zion), you have a “warrant for genocide.” The common Arab argument that they cannot be anti-Semitic since they are Semites is at once facetious and dishonest. The Palestinian leader Haj Amin al Husseini had no problem allying with the anti-Semite Hitler during the war, and subsequent Arab leaders have drawn eagerly from European anti-Semitic discourse (blood libelsProtocolsdehumanizing language). The widespread acceptance of this argument among otherwise intelligent and educated Westerners (including many academics), is a sign of the auto-stupefaction to which politically correct thinking sentences us.

ANTI ZIONISM: Zionism is the Jewish people’s national liberation movement. It is also one of the most left-wing, socialist liberation movements on record, with exceptionally high levels of demotic behavior (reviving a dead language, radically egalitarian kibbutzim, extensive social services, egalitarian law courts). Despite many questions raised about the advisability or legitimacy of Zionism during its first half century, by Jews as well as Gentiles, after Europe slaughtered millions of Jews and the other nations of the world stood by, few people deny the justifiable claim of Jews to be able to defend themselves.

Anti-Zionism, however, argues that the Jews should not have a state, and that the current one is illegitimate, partly as a result of its displacement of the Arabs who lived there in 1948, partly as a result of its constant current aggressions against its neighbors. Were one not to check reality, one would assume that anti-Zionism represented a post-Holocaust form of anti-Semitism articulated by right-wing fascist ideologues hostile to egalitarian experiments in sovereignty and eager to continue their assault on the Jews.

Why, then, do progressives believe that Israel’s claim to be the only Jewish state should be trumped by the Palestinians’ right to become the 23rd Arab (and explicitly Muslim) state? Anti-Zionism then, depending on how virulent or mild its form, qualifies as a form of anti-Judaism or anti-Semitism in that it grants to others what it does not grant to Jews, despite the past history of the nations (including the Arab nations) treatment of that eternal “other.”

Criticism of Israel within the norms of criticism of other nations, therefore, is not anti-Zionism. It is the double to quadruple standards by which Israel is held to the highest standards and found fatally wanting, and the Palestinians are held to the lowest standards, and found worthy. Indeed, the evidence suggests that inveterate anti-Zionists have anti-Jewish prejudices as well.

The notion that Israel shouldn’t exist can come from a wide range of (often mixed) motivations. One can, for example, argue practically that from the point of view of zero-sum power politics, Israel’s presence is too irritating to continue to exist in the midst of Arabs, upon whose oil wealth we depend. Or one can take the moral “high ground” and argue that no nation should be built on the act of displacing another, that Israel is an anachronism in a world growing increasingly secular. It does seem odd though to invoke such pacifist, secular, and universalist notions in a conflict where violent displacement and religious fanaticism is the very currency of anti-Zionist Arab discourse.

In any case, these arguments are not necessarily either anti-Jewish or anti-Semitic as defined above. And certainly criticism of the Israeli government’s policies can hardly be considered either anti-Semitic or anti-Zionists, since Israeli Zionists are among of the most self-critical ideologues in the world. The line between legitimate criticism (however Zionists might find it misguided) and anti-Zionism gets crossed when the critic holds Israel to such high standards that no country, certainly not one at war, could meet them, and conversely holds the Palestinians and other Arab states to such low standards that they encourage the most immoral kinds of behavior (suicide terrorism).

When anti-Zionism enters into the realm of paranoid conspiracy theories (as it has in the Arab and Muslim world, and has begun to occur among the radical left, when one views the US government as ZOG (Zionist Occupied Government), then anti-Zionism steps over into the realm of a news strain of anti-Semitism. While, strictly speaking, not all anti-Semitism is anti-Zionist (e.g., Richard Nixon, Jean-Marie Le Pen), the vast majority of virulent anti-Zionists are anti-Semitic. In Europe today, most Christian and post-Christian anti-Zionists seem to be motivated more by anti-Jewish prejudice than anti-Semitism, although their harsh attitude towards Israel has begun to spill over into the more virulent kinds of hate. In any case, their hostility to Zionism enables, even fuels, the most virulent Arab anti-Semitic anti-Zionism. And since these violent and public hatreds endanger Europeans, the irrationality of encouraging seems all the more worthy of thought.

NB: Hostility to Jews of both kinds discussed here go back millennia, and the historian can draw from a relatively broad range of examples from which to make generalizations. The evidence suggests that the Jews, while often the first victim, are rarely the last. What starts with the Jews does not end with them. Once the machinery of persecution of Jews gets set in motion, its manipulators readily move to other targets. In the Christian Middle Ages this often meant a shift from persecuting Jews to persecuting Christian dissenters (“heretics”), and the worst period of anti-Semitic paranoia in Europe (late Middle Ages) was also the worst period of inquisitorial persecution. The pattern repeated with Nazi totalitarianism, and the dynamic caught in the famous remark of Martin Niemöller: “When they came for the Jews…”

One can even argue that Jew-hatred tends to harm not only the Jews, but more surprisingly perhaps, those who fall into such obsessions. With a formal zero-sum relationship with Jews as a public statement, most other social relations end up forced into such hierarchical structures. With a paranoid attitude comes self-destructive behavior for all involved. In 1492 the Spanish kicked the Jews out of their country; in the subsequent century, despite vast wealth coming in from their ruthlessly exploited colonies abroad their economy lost ground to their much smaller former possession, for example, the Netherlands (where Jews fled) and which tiny nation became a formidable economic and cultural power in the 17th century.

Similarly, when the Arab Muslim nations became free of Jews after the establishment of Israel in 1948, despite enormous wealth from petro-dollars, their economies failed dramatically in comparison with other nations around their stage of development. As with anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism has served as a “weapon of mass distraction,” that has relegated Arab and Muslim commoners to poverty, oppression, and humiliation. However tasty Judeophobia might be in the mouth, it turns bitter in the stomach.

103 Responses to Anti-Judaism, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism

  1. Walter Sobchak says:

    Does this lead into a review of:

    “Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition” by David Nirenberg
    http://books.wwnorton.com/books/Anti-Judaism/

    He wrote an article about it in the Chronicle on January 28, 2013:
    “Anti-Judaism as a Critical Theory”
    http://chronicle.com/article/Anti-Judaism-as-a-Critical/136793?msource=MAG10

    Adam Kirsch gave it a very favorable review: “A World Without Jews: An exhilarating new intellectual history argues that anti-Judaism is at the heart of Western culture” http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/books/123971/a-world-without-jews

    Nirenberg is a prof at the U of Chicago
    http://history.uchicago.edu/directory/david-nirenberg

    The article contained a lot of academic bafflegab.

    It led me to wonder if his aim were to take Edward Sa’id’s machinery and apply it to the Jews.

    I think I know about how you think about these things, so I would like to have your take on the book.

    • Richard Landes says:

      I noticed this at the time it and have been meaning to read his work. He is an excellent medievalist (we had the same professor at Princeton). I just read his piece for the CHE. It’s very good if vague. Look forward to reading the book which i have on Kindle. Feel free to quote from it here where relevant.

  2. SerJew says:

    comments in italic, rl

    “The line between legitimate criticism (however Zionists might find it misguided) and anti-Zionism gets crossed when the critic holds Israel to such high standards that no country, certainly not one at war, could meet them, and conversely holds the Palestinians and other Arab states to such low standards that they encourage the most immoral kinds of behavior (suicide terrorism).”

    The absurd high standards *demanded* of Israel is more like a trap so as to bash her when those impossible standards aren’t achieved.

    of course the irony here is that the Jews hold themselves to very high standards as well, thus setting up the marriage of pre-modern sadism and post-modern masochism: accuse Jews of the worst things and there are Jews who will say, “alas! you’re right.”

    BTW, this perverse mechanism is exactly the same as happened to German Jews after the emancipation: *demand* of hyper-perfection and success, that even if achieved were either resented or not taken as the result of talent and hard-work, hence used as yet another weapon against Jews. A specially nasty example is the infamous Judenzahlüng in WWI.

    fascinating example, including the non-publication of the truth (which reminds me of al Durah). apparently the accusation is too valuable to let go of… but why?

    I think the only way one can be anti-Zionist without being also anti-Semitic is if one was against ALL nations and then acted accordingly against all of them, EQUALLY.

    which is what makes the unstinting support for Palestinian nation self-determination so remarkably inconsistent.

    • SerJew says:

      “of course the irony here is that the Jews hold themselves to very high standards as well, thus setting up the marriage of pre-modern sadism and post-modern masochism: accuse Jews of the worst things and there are Jews who will say, “alas! you’re right.””

      Exactly. And that was particularly tragic in the Jewish-German case. Fact was that Jews were amazingly successful and in usually were more Germans (including the chauvinism) than the supposed “pure-breed aryans”; but that was never enough and it only created more resentment and paranoid accusations. I also think there’s a link to Ruth Wisse’s notion of Jewish ‘moral solipsism’ (in her book “Jews and Power”), the tendency of which Jews tend to behave hyper-morally even when dealing with immoral people that don’t deserve it or even that openly want to destroy them. It’s really crazy and it still rages on.

      As for the Judenzahlüng, that was a real stab in the chest of German Jews, who fought an died bravely for the “fatherland”. That follows the perverse logic of anti-Semites.

      • @ SerJew

        SerJew said:

        “I also think there’s a link to Ruth Wisse’s notion of Jewish ‘moral solipsism’ (in her book “Jews and Power”), the tendency of which Jews tend to behave hyper-morally even when dealing with immoral people that don’t deserve it or even that openly want to destroy them. It’s really crazy and it still rages on.”

        As far as the Diaspora Jews are concerned, should we call it Stockholm syndrome psychology turned into a habit?

        • SerJew says:

          Can be, Dionissis. A kind of self-defense mechanism. But it can be self-destructive too. That was the case in Germany. And, more recently, during the Oslo “peace-process” illusion.

          • SerJew says:

            More precisely, I was thinking about the link to self-criticism and self-examination, which is surely a trait of Jewish culture. It surely led to great success after the emancipation, as it provided Jewish culture, as Hyam Maccoby observed, with cultural resources that were specially valuable in modern societies. Thence the amazing number of Jewish mathematicians, physicists, lawyers, journalists, musicians, etc

          • @ Serjew

            “More precisely, I was thinking about the link to self-criticism and self-examination, which is surely a trait of Jewish culture. It surely led to great success after the emancipation, as it provided Jewish culture, as Hyam Maccoby observed, with cultural resources that were specially valuable in modern societies. Thence the amazing number of Jewish mathematicians, physicists, lawyers, journalists, musicians, etc”

            So, due to a positive characteristic of Jewish culture (tendency towards self-criticism) the Diaspora Jews are more liable than other non Jewish groups to fall victim of the Stockholm syndrome psychology, when they are faced with implacable hostility. Makes sense?

          • Richard Landes says:

            i think it might be the other way around. if we use the notion of stockholm syndrome – identify with your captors/aggressors to feel safe at the cost of your own identity/interest, then maybe the reason that every other culture in the ancient world vanished was because they fell prey to terminal stockholm syndrome. if the jews survived, even if they show strong elements of s.s., they were less susceptible to doubt themselves than other cultures.

            on the subject of the values and dangers of self-criticism (sort of like fire – life-enhancing, but potentially lethal), i’ve written a fair amount: Self-Criticism and Identifying Demopaths.

          • @ Dr Landes

            “i think it might be the other way around. if we use the notion of stockholm syndrome – identify with your captors/aggressors to feel safe at the cost of your own identity/interest, then maybe the reason that every other culture in the ancient world vanished was because they fell prey to terminal stockholm syndrome. if the jews survived, even if they show strong elements of s.s., they were less susceptible to doubt themselves than other cultures.”

            Thank you for the link, Dr Landes (i haven’t read it yet).

            So we are leaving intact the Stockholm Syndrome as a potential explanatory factor of Jewish acquiescence to absurd anti-Israel accusations, but we are certainly excluding on historical grounds the possibility that the Jewish cultural trait of self criticism has aggravated the hypothesized Stockholm Syndrome. If anything, in the light of history, the self criticism must have detracted from the Syndrome. Did i understand you?

        • w.w.wygart says:

          Dionissis & SerJew,

          I think you might be stretching the metaphor here.

          Since you’re invoking the Stockholm Syndrome again, I’ll reinvoke the point I made in the previous thread, which is that Stockholm Syndrome: “the feelings of trust or affection felt in certain cases of kidnapping or hostage-taking by a victim toward a captor,” at least as understood by some psychologists had everything to do with the prospect of arbitrary and immediate death to the captives. I don’t see what self-criticism has to do with it.

          Even in the worst historical times of oppression, the prospect of immediate and arbitrary death was fairly rare, unlike in the death camps where it was a moment to moment fact of life – I would be very hesitant to minimize that fact by over-generalizing the metaphor.

          W^3

          • @ wygart

            “Even in the worst historical times of oppression, the prospect of immediate and arbitrary death was fairly rare, unlike in the death camps where it was a moment to moment fact of life – I would be very hesitant to minimize that fact by over-generalizing the metaphor.

            Yes, you are right, the Stockholm Syndrome refers to immediate death threat.

            A better expression would be “a version of the Stockholm Syndrome”.

            I am reluctant to let the version go by the board as an explanatory factor in Jewish welcoming of anti-Zionism. I am unashamedly projecting here, but it’s precisely because i have grasped myself becoming victim of a version of the Stockcholm Syndrome that i feel i can see how easy it is to play by it in the presence of social hostility on moral(-istic) grounds.

            Of course, other factors might be contributing too, and for some individual Jews the Syndrome might not feature at all in a true explanation. But, generally, i am very fond of the Stockholm Syndrome’s explanatory power of apparently irrational Jewish behaviors or attitudes with regards to Israel.

          • @Dionissis

            You wrote: “But, generally, i am very fond of the Stockholm Syndrome’s explanatory power of apparently irrational Jewish behaviors or attitudes with regards to Israel.”

            I would like to add an additional explanation to the mix. I think a large part of why Jews turn on Israel is because they don’t know how to answer back when anti-Israel charges are made. We are not prepared.

            At Park Slope, the night of our famous vote, the BDS supporters who had introduced the proposal made a 7 minute multi-media presentation. I am telling you, if I did not know as much as I do, I would have been taken in by it.

            It is very hard to answer back to a charge like “violates international law” unless you have a lot of background. They are relentless.

          • @ Barbara

            I would like to add an additional explanation to the mix. I think a large part of why Jews turn on Israel is because they don’t know how to answer back when anti-Israel charges are made. We are not prepared.

            Makes sense to me. Some Jews wanting to be on the right side of morality, but uninformed, suddenly become exposed to anti-Israel allegations that, if true, would point to the direction of repudiating certain rights of Israel. And they fall for them, aided by the MSM.

            “At Park Slope, the night of our famous vote, the BDS supporters who had introduced the proposal made a 7 minute multi-media presentation. I am telling you, if I did not know as much as I do, I would have been taken in by it.

            I am really glad you were knowledgeable (more on it below), and i think the case you are citing is one more reminder on how crucial it is (given the MSM biased treatment of Israel) that the basic truths about Israel (and i have in mind the virtual Jewish Library of the AICE, as an archetype) be disseminated as much as possible through the internet. I think that just the basic truths suffice to counter the word-of-mouth cognitive war against Israel’s delegitimization.

            ‘It is very hard to answer back to a charge like “violates international law” unless you have a lot of background. They are relentless.

            I got butchered on this very subject (the international law purported violations) in mondoweiss some time ago. At least it made me educate myself on the issue (even though one can never really go that deep in this subject unless she is educated in Law). But now i know why the 4th Geneva Convention (GC) is inapplicable, or why the transfer of Israeli population to the territories should have been forced in order to count as a violation of the GC, or that the ICJ is just an advisory body (unless the contestants agree to bind themselves to its judgement) and very politicized at that. Also about the fact the Mandate of Palestine legal instrument created Jewish rights to settle that cannot be nullified, unless the Jews renounce those rights. I wish i had known these things before being eviscerated by the relentless ones that you described!

            I regret having commented in mondoweiss, not due to the above, but because they delete the comments that don’t suit them – and it is enervating to see many of your written efforts disappear.

          • w.w.wygart says:

            D.

            We’re back to the book, “Oslo Syndrome” again. We need to find what ‘that’ thesis is it’s probably what we really want to be referring to not ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ – I only invoked S.S. because it is a subject I happen to know something about and there is an obvious connection between the two terms, which is why I think we are stretching the metaphor.

            You said: “Yes, you are right, the Stockholm Syndrome refers to immediate death threat.”

            I’m not saying it is or it isn’t, but that was the consensus of people in the counter-terrorism world c.1986 when I was getting my training on how to plan and conduct hostage rescue missions [at the trigger-puller level].

            regards,

            W^3

          • @ Wygard

            “We’re back to the book, “Oslo Syndrome” again. We need to find what ‘that’ thesis is it’s probably what we really want to be referring to not ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ – I only invoked S.S. because it is a subject I happen to know something about and there is an obvious connection between the two terms, which is why I think we are stretching the metaphor”.

            Wygard, when i speak about a version of the Stockholm Syndrome i have in mind this psychological process through which a person unconsciously chooses to become submissive to another hostile person (or ideology) in order to save himself from the agony of feeling threatened or rejected. Since it is an unconscious choice, all sort of crazy rationalizations pop up: “the settlements are the obstacle to peace”, as if the Palestinian wish to eliminate Israel(and the Israelis, if possible!) is irrelevant to why peace is not forthcoming. The Palephant in the room becomes invisible.

            I use the term “Stockholm Syndrome” for my version because people can relate to some sort of emotion that they recognize, and the Stockholm Syndrome is supposedly something that people know about. I am using the term for communication purposes, even if it might not be part of the official psychological parlance.

        • Nate says:

          Where does Oikophobia or an irrational fear of the familar (aka one’s own culture / nation / group / religion / etc) fit in all this?

          Since on the one hand guite a few anti-Israel / self-hating / oikophobic Jews seem to be motivated by a fear of the familar to the point where they’d pretty much do anything to be disassociated from their Jewish roots, even aligning with rabid Jew-haters and gladly selling out their own people to their destroyers, yet at the same time that does not stop them from employing their Jewishness as a weapon against their own people.

          A tactic which has even been adopted by Jew-haters of questionable or outright fraudulent “Jewish” status as a way of deflecting criticism against them.

          • w.w.wygart says:

            Nate,

            I don’t think “irrational fear of the familiar” has anything to do with it.

            Dr. Landes has made the point many times [hope I've actually got this right] that the trope of the “self-hating Jew” has nothing to do with that individual hating himself personally, but it has everything to do with “moral narcissism”. In other words in his quest for complete moral correctness, he has ‘othered’ himself so completely from his fellow Jews that he has adopted the hatred of his natural enemies, and transferred it to his fellows and natural allies. [hope I've got that right].

            regards,

            W^3

    • @ Dr Landes

      “fascinating example [by Serjew, 4th comment from the top], including the non-publication of the truth (which reminds me of al Durah). apparently the accusation is too valuable to let go of… but why?”

      Good old jealousy coupled with moral and theological supersessionism?

  3. @ SerJew

    SerJew said:

    “I think the only way one can be anti-Zionist without being also anti-Semitic is if one was against ALL nations and then acted accordingly against all of them, EQUALLY”.

    Even if we were to act equally against the existence of all states, the Jewish state should still be left standing.

    And in no way do i violate the equality requirement by stating that Israel should continue to exist as a separate entity even in such an Utopian eventuality.

    Equal treatment means showing equal consideration. In dividing a loaf of bread between two persons whose caloric requirements are 3000 (a big guy) and 1500 (a small guy) calories respectively, i.e. one person needing twice as many calories as the other, the equal concern treatment dictates that we allocate 2/3 of the bread to the big guy, and 1/3 to the small one.

    I claim that this principle of equal consideration allows for my counter-intuitive thesis about Israel’s persistence. and i will attempt to briefly elucidate.

    I strongly believe that independent states should cease to exist. I think that the population of Earth stands to gain more if borders are (voluntarily) dissolved and we all adopt (voluntarily) a common first language.

    In my Utopia, wars due to nationalism will cease ex hypothesi (there will be nothing to fight for), plus we will be able to associate with people that we choose, and not people that artificial borders impose on us.

    But suppose my Utopia is implemented. What will happen to the Jews? The hatreds out there are 2000 years old, and are still alive and kicking. So the Jews, even in my Utopia, will be facing exactly the same problem of anti-Judaism and/or anti-Semitism as they do today.

    The conclusion is that Israel should be left standing even in such an extreme scenario. The principle of equal consideration commands that we leave the state of Israel intact, because the Jews are the only ones who have been and still are persecuted so much by a great part of the globe.

    Simply put: since we, non-Jews, despise the Jews so much, then the Jews must have a state to live protected from such hatreds.

    Not that difficult for progressives to grasp the above reasoning, is it? But, then, why are they targeting Israel so much? Or, better why are they targeting ONLY Israel?

    And why are they so blind in their anti-Zionism that they can’t see that they are empowering the world’s most alpha-male, most vulgar ideology? – i mean Islam.

    • “I strongly believe that independent states should cease to exist.”

      But then how could you have World Cup Soccer, the Olympics and Eurovision?
      ;)

      Barbara

      • @ Barbara

        “But then how could you have World Cup Soccer, the Olympics and Eurovision?”
        ;)

        Ah, i think i can understand why you show such an interest especially for the Olympics, you cannot fool me, despite the emoticon!

        I learned my lesson when i was a young boy, the street-wise dude had explained to me how it is that the Jews spread drugs all over the world so as to facilitate their global domination. And drugs include doping substances.

        I also learned (from another street-wise dude) how greedy the Jews are (we have an expression in Greek, “he is a Jew”, meaning he is stingy).

        So you want the Olympics to persist so that you won’t lose business, right?

        I am just letting you know that your machinations won’t find support in my country, we have already elected the neo-Nazi party into the Parliament.

        They will save us from the Jews – costly as the option might turn out to be.

        PS. I never watch the Eurovision because i don’t like the songs, but it does something useful: it makes the macho ones realize that times are changing, and that they are supposed to tone down their machismo – room 101 for an Islamist: just force him to watch Eurovision for days on.

        PS. 2: welcome to the Augean Stables comment section!

    • Richard Landes says:

      i think your argument can be made on the basis of history. it’s really the very least that both xnty and islam could do, after mistreating Jews for millennia and showing staggering vulnerability to the disease of anti-semitic paranoia “even” in the 21st century. the fact that jewish national self-determination is the first rather than the last on the global civil society chopping block speaks eloquently to how disoriented global “progressive” culture has become.

    • SerJew says:

      @ Dionissis

      I used to believe in the possibility (and desirability) of this Utopia, when I was young and impatient ;), but I think that the evidence from history, anthropology and psychology are overwhelming against it (BTW, isn’t Utopia a type of millenarist idea, one of the banners of the Left, when convenient?). Humans are by nature parochially groupish (taking the expression from social psychologist Jonathan Haidt in his book “The Righteous Mind”); evolutionarily speaking, our ancestors lived in small groups of at most 100 people and it’s just amazing that we civilization process was able to “domesticate” us (painfully) so that we more or less achieve a somewhat stable arrangement of the nation-state. And there are
      bad and good nationalisms. There’s the exclusivist, aggressive, authoritarian and predatory one; and there’s the democratic, peaceful (not “pacifist”) and minority-friendly ones. Moreover, human differences (in talents, culture, traditions, history, language, etc) can be more enriching than a totally homogenous pseudo-egalitarian world. In any case, right now, the nation-state is the best (realistical) arrangement available.

      • @ SerJew

        “In any case, right now, the nation-state is the best (realistical) arrangement available.”

        I agree. My musings about a nationless Earth were directed to the future. And i don’t think that there is any political action that can bring about my Utopia. To my mind, it can only happen if humans mature enough as to realize that they should never hurt others unjustly or gratuitously. If the people of the planet come to this state of mind at the same time, then i think they will let go of any institutions that merely serve to divide people. All this cannot happen violently, understanding cannot be forced. But once this understanding about our conduct is in place, then things will take their own course and it will be for the better, no matter what form exactly the planet will take. I predict the dissolution of states, but it might as well turn out that independent states will persist even in such a Utopia – but in the pacifist and minority-friendly mode you described. The important thing is for people to realize the destructiveness of their need to dominate (even in mundane, every day matters). What will follow from such a global realization and understanding can only be good and i won’t really mind if states are perpetuated, after all.

        Meanwhile, we need to defend ourselves from Islam, because an Islamism-tinged planet cannot possibly contribute to the elimination of people’s need to dominate – actually, it will exacerbate it (let alone what it will do to gays and women).

        • SerJew says:

          @Dionissis

          “The important thing is for people to realize the destructiveness of their need to dominate (even in mundane, every day matters).”

          But this is a hopeless aim. People are ambivalent by nature. They have tendencies for good and for evil. I think that was the big mistake of the Enlightenment project: the hypothesis that people are essentially good.

          Of course, evil can be controlled, attenuated, meliorated, alleviated and prevented as much as possible (say, through social development, education, legal institutions, art, sports, etc), but evil people will always exist. And given the “appropriate” circunstances and the fact that we are extremely emotional creatures, pockets of evil will surface. I think it’s better to be aware and prepared to avoid as much as possible its catasthropic effects than harboring (noble) illusions

          • @ SerJew

            “But this is a hopeless aim. People are ambivalent by nature. They have tendencies for good and for evil. I think that was the big mistake of the Enlightenment project: the hypothesis that people are essentially good.”

            SerJew i agree, people can turn either evil or good. I don’t believe people are essentially good.

            When i spoke about the necessity of people’s coming to realize the destructiveness of their need to dominate, i meant they should first introspect and come to see the manifestation of this very human need in their everyday lives (actually, in every moment of their everyday lives). Then they could turn their attention to what this desire to dominate does to them – the constant strain of the brain, the accompanying coarseness of the emotions.

            I don’t think it’s hopeless to expect that people might come to see in action their need to dominate and realize the destructiveness of it – which does not mean that they should turn suicidal towards even more domineering individuals or groups.

            To put it clearly, i am not a pacifist. I just hope for a peaceful future where we won’t have to fight.

            “Of course, evil can be controlled, attenuated, meliorated, alleviated and prevented as much as possible (say, through social development, education, legal institutions, art, sports, etc),”

            That’s what i hope for.

            “but evil people will always exist. And given the “appropriate” circunstances and the fact that we are extremely emotional creatures, pockets of evil will surface.”

            I agree that there will always be some evil people. But how many? Maybe we could make such an enlightened society that their number will be sufficiently small to be easily contained. But maybe we can’t. No reason for us not to try, while keeping in mind that we might not be able to achieve our aim.

            “I think it’s better to be aware and prepared to avoid as much as possible its catasthropic effects than harboring (noble) illusions”

            I am in full agreement. I would never urge for unilateral steps in, say, US nuclear disarmament. As long as there are more domineering collectives out there, the West needs to maintain its military advantage over these aggressive collectives. I have even written an article in a Greek paper in the past along the lines of Dr Landes’ thesis that the US is the most benevolent hegemon history has known – i was criticizing my compatriots for their rampant anti-Americanism, i think it’s us and Turkey that are the most anti-American countries of the West (it’s because neither us, nor the Turkish are westerners, even though the Turkish are even worse than Greeks).

            I am of an (nonviolent)anarchist/libertarian mind. But i am not blind. I can see that there are dangerous people out there and that my hopes for global enlightenment might never materialize and that, therefore, we need to defend ourselves. But we can still harbor the dream, even if it is bound to be an illusion, without relinquishing our right (and capabilities) to self-defense (preemption included, i have been consistently calling for bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities).

    • w.w.wygart says:

      D.

      Very good point, though maybe you didn’t make it strongly enough. I don’t think it is necessary to resort to utopian examples to make it. The basic premise, as I understand it, that you are making is that:

      “The principle of equal consideration commands that we leave the state of Israel intact, because the Jews are the only ones who have been and still are persecuted so much by a great part of the globe.”

      This notion has strong enough legs to stand on its own.

      That’s my two bits,

      W^3

      • Richard Landes says:

        add to that the observation that the jews are the only people in the middle east capable of sustaining a real democracy with real freedom for everyone, in which even (relatively) disadvantaged people (arab-israelis) have far more rights and freedoms than arabs in arab countries.

  4. Hi Richard -

    I am a long time reader and a first-time commenter. I organized the opposition to BDS at the Park Slope Food Coop last year. Your writing were very helpful

    I would like to suggest the following as contributory to your observation:

    “we’re being walloped by Islamists in a cognitive war that progressive/liberal/civic forces should be winning hands down.”

    Because anti-war left blames Israel for the 2003 Iraq War. Phil Weiss has pretty much said it was through his opposition to Iraq that he came to look at Israel. In this video from a CUNY public access show:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SA34V5eM0VE
    there was supposed to be a discussion about boycotting Ahava between Nancy Kricoran of Code Pink and Hindy Poupko of the New York JCRC. Kricoran hangs up the phone when Hindy comes on. (You can see it at about 15:00 minutes in.) But first Kricoran talks about how her anti-war efforts brought her to be an opponent of Israel’s existence.

    Anyway, Saddam Hussein was a patron of the Palestinians, providing grants to the families of suicide bombers, stipends to the Palestinians living in Iraq, and shelter to those evicted from Kuwait in 1991. It was in the Palestinians interest not see him deposed in 2003. So they allied with the anti-war movement. I believe they ingratiated themselves with the anti-war left, and so their outlook becamse adopted by the anti-war left.

    What do you think?

    Barbara

    • Richard Landes says:

      this exemplifies the work of rekaB Street. the idea that Israel wanted the Iraq war (rather than emphasizing Iran’s dangers) is just like the al Durah case and the Judenzahlüng in WWI: stories (lethal narratives) that are “too good” to let go of.

      not only is Kricoran mistaken about Israel, she’s fomenting the very war culture she thinks she opposes. Disorientation can be costly when it’s aggressively denied.

      • @ Dr Landes

        “not only is Kricoran mistaken about Israel, she’s fomenting the very war culture she thinks she opposes. Disorientation can be costly when it’s aggressively denied.

        When attacked, we have a moral right to defend ourselves. An anti-war culture that cannot make itself shut up [do you mean cannot speak out? -rl] in the presence of the Islamic enemy is suicidal. And it is explicable in terms of the moral narcissism of its adherents. An expression i picked from Theodore Dalrymple seems very apt to describe the mindset of the anti-warists: conformist rebelliousness.

        http://www.city-journal.org/2013/23_1_otbie-multicultural-london.html

        Conformist because it’s so easy and so posh to be against the violence of war, apparently no one can ever criticize us for having such tender feelings, and it is very seductive to just subscribe to a set of emotions that are highly valued and apparently give us the moral high ground.

        i’m reading on “mimetic desire” with my students in honor-shame. it’s not morality born of integrity but “other-directed” desire to be on the right side. -rl

        But, then, one should be reminded that there is a right place and a right time for the various emotions. Feeling a lightheaded joy during a friend’s funeral is not a sign that we are positive-minded but, rather, that we are imbalanced.

        In the same vein, feeling paly (no pun intended!) with the Islamist who wants to kill us is not a sign of a big heart, but of a suicidal one.

        Suicide by conformity?

        lemmings.

        • @ Dr Landes

          “i’m reading on “mimetic desire” with my students in honor-shame. it’s not morality born of integrity but “other-directed” desire to be on the right side. -rl”

          Dr Landes, i am very much interested in both the subject of honor-shame in general (especially from a psychological perspective) and the mimetic desire (and also the broader psychological subject of how we learn our moralities).

          I could search articles and books on my own, but most of the time this leads to wasting time with readings that one decides that had nothing to offer. If you could point me to some bibliography and articles on the subjects it would be very helpful (i have taken introductory courses in Psychology as optional courses when i was studying in the American College of Greece, and i can easily follow English Master’s degree level discussions and readings in analytic Philosophy. I am mentioning it so you can get an idea of the level of my capacity of understanding these issues i am asking information for. I am sure i will be able to follow any introductory material).

  5. w.w.wygart says:

    A very quick, semi-serious, semi-sarcastic [but only semi] answer to the question why still the anti-semitism/anti-Jewdaism/anti-Zionism among the modern political left in the West:

    They haven’t yet figured out how to make pets of Jews in the same way they have made pets in their own minds of every other minority they have ever oppressed: the Palestinians, the Native Americans, the blacks, the Paki’s the who ever…

    W^3

    • Richard Landes says:

      only semi-sarcastic. the fact that the jews are the subject of replacement theology (i thought Nirenberg was especially good on this point in the CHE article), in which “big” thinkers make themselves feel bigger by demeaning the jews by smearing the authority they’re attacking with the brush of judaizing (as a stand in for everything they identify as bad and crude and inferior), suggests an almost bottomless well of insecurity. sort of acting out the oedipal complex on the cultural plane.

  6. Robert Marchenoir says:

    I’m surprised you don’t mention what is, currently, the number one motive for anti-semitism among Western peoples : the obvious, systematic, relentless campaigning, by powerful Jewish organisations and influential Jews among the media, the academic world and governments, in favor of mass immigration, multiculturalism and so-called affirmative action — which is but racism against white people.

    Western peoples see, with their own eyes, how this policy is destroying their countries, and ultimately their civilisation ; they see, day in, day out, powerful Jewish organisations support that policy, and threaten them with the Nazi brush if they dare disagree.

    Of course people will draw their own conclusions.

    It’s all very well discussing the Middle Ages and pig-ass kissing. The point is : will the white race and European civilisation survive ? Current prospects are bleak.

    Jews should face their own responsibilities and take a stand.

    If they insist on importing millions of Third-Worlders into the West (many of them Muslim, by the way), because not doing so would be “racist”, they should brace themselves for whatever anti-semitism might come their way.

    Acts have consequences, and Jews can’t expect non-Jewish Western peoples to suffer genocide by ethnic conquest, and not utter a word of protest against those who are currently promoting it.

    • Richard Landes says:

      i’d say that you’re replicating the same pattern that happened in the early 20th century. the Nazis assaulted the Jews for being communists and the communists assaulted them for being capitalists. why are you picking on the jews? there are plenty of “do-gooders” who aren’t jewish, and plenty of jews unhappy about the “do-gooding.”

    • akmofo says:

      Since when have Jews been represented by so-called “Jewish organizations”? Why don’t you examine what these so-called “Jewish organizations” really are and who they represent. I can tell from personal experience and from general observations that these so-called “Jewish organizations” are nothing but fake and contrived front groups for foreign and alien interests, that are in actuality extremely hostile to the interests and welfare of Jews. (See: Shabtai Tzvi, Labor Zionism and the Holocaust).

      Moreover, since when can anyone other than the government mafia exercise control over government immigration policy? You don’t like the government mafia and their immigration policy, you take responsibility and you get them out of office.

    • @ Robert Marchenoir

      Robert said:

      “I’m surprised you [Dr Landes] don’t mention what is, currently, the number one motive for anti-semitism among Western peoples : the obvious, systematic, relentless campaigning, by powerful Jewish organisations and influential Jews among the media, the academic world and governments, in favor of mass immigration, multiculturalism and so-called affirmative action — which is but racism against white people.”

      Some proof for the claim that most “powerful” Jewish organizations do what you say? If it is just a few of them, why are you generalizing?

      Some proof that the alleged (by you) misdeeds of the “powerful” Jewish organizations are the number one motive for contemporary anti-Semitism?
      In my country, where we (non Jews) are all anti-Semites, people don’t even know which those “powerful” Jewish organizations are, let alone what they do with respect to multiculturalism.

      But we have other motives for anti-Semitism in Greece: we have done our homework, read the Protocols of the Elders, and know that the Jews are planning to dominate the world (using the US as a proxy). Those Jews, they are really paranoid!

      Anyway, the same situation exists in most of the West, people are anti-Semites or against Judaism because of how they are being brought up, not because they have any knowledge of what “powerful” Jewish organizations do – ask westerners what is the Anti-defamation League and you will draw a blank. It is only if some helpful media outlet asserts that the Jews are responsible for mass immigration that people start associating the immigration troubles with Jews. It’s always nice to be able to blame it on someone concrete, it makes things make sense, it simplifies reality, makes it conceptually manageable, it soothes the brain to get an answer to a question – even if the answer is wrong. Aka scapegoating.

    • @ Robert Marchenoir

      Robert said:

      “Western peoples see, with their own eyes, how this policy is destroying their countries, and ultimately their civilisation ; they see, day in, day out, powerful Jewish organisations support that policy, and threaten them with the Nazi brush if they dare disagree.”

      As i said in my previous reply to you, most people don’t even know which those Jewish organizations are (unless they are looking for something concrete to pin on Jews, in which case they filter the info they receive from the media so as to concentrate on anything that is Jew-relevant).

      Now, i am not a Jew, i speak “as a non-Jew” (action brings reaction!!!) but i think i can easily grasp why a Diaspora Jew might support multiculturalism, immigration and, in general, anything that can be construed (rightly or wrongly) as tolerance: they are trying to guard their own well being from anti-Semitic attacks.

      What the hypothetical Diaspora Jew is trying to tell you when she (ex hypothesi) is supporting the openness of the society is “Hey Sir, please stop chasing me the Jew, you must be tolerant towards us Jews”.

      She has every reason to be afraid of you and me, her parents have been chased by my parents and your parents and she knows that it is all too easy for us to fall into the same mindset (especially when financial conditions in our countries might worsen) and she is trying to protect herself by making you more tolerant towards everyone.

      Do you really feel like blaming her?

      • dionissis said:

        She has every reason to be afraid of you and me, her parents have been chased by my parents and your parents and she knows that it is all too easy for us to fall into the same mindset

        Just a way of speaking, my parents or grandparents never chased anyone. I was speaking figuratively about Greek anti-Semitism, and for Robert’s country’s anti-Semitism (obviously i did not really mean that Robert’s parents have chased Jews. How could i possibly know that?).

    • @ Robert Marchenoir

      Robert said:

      “Of course people will draw their own conclusions.”

      Robert, why don’t you say openly what you have in mind? This is the most tolerant blog i have come across in my life, i predict you will not be censored.

      I think you want to say that the Jews (and not just the Jewish organizations that you referred to, i think “organizations” was your catchword for the word “Jews”) are promoting the destruction of the ethnic state, that they are trying to turn the world into a global state, while at the same they promote their own nationalism. I can’t remember where exactly i read this conspiracy theory, but i came across it.

      Robert, if you let such thoughts unexpressed they are bound to fester, and they will poison both you and the Jews.

      Speak your thoughts in the open and we may debate them. And i am sure i will be able to show you that no such “grand plan” exists in Jewish brains.

    • @ Robert Marchenoir

      Robert said:

      “It’s all very well discussing the Middle Ages and pig-ass kissing. The point is : will the white race and European civilisation survive ? Current prospects are bleak.”

      Who cares if the white race survives?

      The important thing is for Western (and not just European) civilization to survive, that’s what we should be striving for.

      If the people that adopt the basic principles of western Civilization (and tolerance is among them) are black or white or yellow it makes no difference.

      I wouldn’t mind if the Arabs inherited the world, provided that they behave and think like Westerners – but it’s kind of hard to imagine Mohamed not hanging gays and respecting his wife and daughter, his upbringing (his culture) damages him beyond repair.

      So, instead of picking on the Jews, maybe we should concentrate on Mohamed? I mean, he is the one with a gun pointing towards us.

    • @ Robert Marchenoir

      Robert said:

      “Jews should face their own responsibilities and take a stand.”

      The collective named “Jews” cannot even bring themselves to act as one in the face of the Iranian existential nuclear threat. They cannot agree on a policy even now that they face Holocaust #2.

      And now you are asking them (asking who, exactly?) to act as one in an issue that they are not even engaged.

    • @ Robert Marchenoir

      “If they insist on importing millions of Third-Worlders into the West (many of them Muslim, by the way), because not doing so would be “racist”, they should brace themselves for whatever anti-semitism might come their way.”

      The Jews don’t insist and don’t import Third-Worlders, let alone Muslims who are a clear threat to their well-being. And accusing them for not wanting to be racists is not an accusation, it is not blameworthy not to be racist (well, it is if you are racist, if you think that racism is ok, or even desirable).

      But yes, Robert, the Jews have to brace themselves. Not for whatever anti-Semitism might come their way, as you said, but for the anti-Semitism that is already coming their way (it has never really ceased), and that is exemplified by your comment.

      I hope you want to stay at words, and not take things to the physical plane as far as anti-Semitism is concerned.

      Anyway, i am afraid of you and so should Jews.

    • @ Robert marchenoir

      Robert said:

      “Acts have consequences, and Jews can’t expect non-Jewish Western peoples to suffer genocide by ethnic conquest, and not utter a word of protest against those who are currently promoting it.”

      The Jews themselves in European countries are going to be the first ones to be persecuted if Europe becomes majority Muslim. If they behave inanely enough not to protect themselves against this threat, do you really think that your proper course of action is to delve into your anti-Semitism and bring about the “consequences” you talked about?

      Are you going to pogrom them because they are stupid (or afraid) enough not to protect themselves from future Muslim pogroms against them?

      Since you need to see the Jews suffer, let me tell you what your best chance is to make your dream come true: hope that Obama might make the Israelis surrender their nuclear arsenal (as he is already positioning himself to do).

      And keep your anti-Semitism vocal, it helps into making Jews feel guilty.

      Hey, if you manage to Stockholm-Syndrome the Israelis so much as to give up their nukes, then you deserve your anti-Semitic Utopia to materialize.

    • @ Robert marchenoir

      Robert said:

      “I’m surprised you don’t mention what is, currently, the number one motive for anti-semitism among Western peoples: the obvious, systematic, relentless campaigning, by powerful Jewish organisations and influential Jews among the media, the academic world and governments, in favor of mass immigration, multiculturalism”

      I am sure one of those filthy Jews you have in mind is George Soros.

      Well, let me say that (to my knowledge) Soros is sort of despised throughout the Jewish community.

      But compare your statement that blames anti-Semitism on the Jews with the following statement of Soros in 2003:

      “There is a resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe. The policies of the Bush administration and the Sharon administration contribute to that. It’s not specifically anti-Semitism, but it does manifest itself in anti-Semitism as well. I’m critical of those policies … If we change that direction, then anti-Semitism also will diminish”.

      Robert, you talk like your Jewish enemy! How on earth could that come about?

      I have a working hypothesis: the Jewish cabal that rules the world is conducting Jewish black magic and influences people’s minds.

      I am pretty sure they drink blood from Gaza babies during their rituals (just the blood, they don’t eat the flesh. In case you haven’t heard, they are really greedy. So they must have opted for removing the baby’s organs to sell them. The only question that remains is this: did they use anesthesia? Nuh, they are too malicious to use anesthetic, and too powerful to be afraid of any legal consequences).

    • SerJew says:

      Well, you are either a lunatic racist or a troll. Probably both. But your “world-view” will surely lead to your extinction, because it is suicidal paranoia. Maybe you should clone yourself, just in case. Ask for a loan from KKK.

      As for Jews, don’t worry. They’ve learned to defend themselves from your type of coward hater. That’s why they’ve been around for some 5.000 years, to your endless chagrin.

      • @ SerJew

        “Ask for a loan from KKK.”

        We know who the money lenders are (and have always been), so spare us your sarcasm.

        Heil Hitler!

        And don’t start with the usual reply that the Jews were forced to this profession, we know it and we don’t really care. We just need the Jews to be our enemy.

        “As for Jews, don’t worry.”

        What, you mean that when he said “Jews should brace themselves” he was not speaking out of concern, but he was delivering a covert threat?

        I don’t believe you, SerJew, Robert sounds such a Nazi nice bloke.

  7. Nate says:

    Don’t forget the islamic tahrif or pre-supersessionism / pre-replacement theology, the absurd notion that the muslims claim as a chosen nation actually precedes the Jewish claim by citing the fact that even figures as far back as adam were supposedly “muslim” despite the whole concept of religion being non-existent in that period of history.

  8. akmofo says:

    On the question of anti-Judaism, it seem very plain to me that we are addressing the symptoms and not the cause. The theories proposed do not explain why someone like Charles Enderlin would so blatantly and maliciously take part in such an obvious staged Palliwood setup. Why is it that the MSM would present the most outrageous and inflammatory Palliwood theater lies, and present them completely uncritically as though they have come from the most credible source. It does not explain why the most vicious and outrageous propaganda lies are constantly and consistently for decades and decades given prominence, and the simple truth that counters these lies is deliberately buried and ignored. It does not explain why private individuals like Simcha Jacobovici and Philippe Karsenty, with meager means to fight this highly organized theater of lies, are left on their own with zero support from the Israeli government or (contrived) Jewish support groups. It does not explain why organizations and (contrived) advocacy groups, that have nothing to do with this conflict, have latched on the vicious Palliwood hate propaganda and anti-Israel discrimination campaign.

    None of your theories explain this. Only one theory explains this. It is the theory of money and central control. Because only when one follows the money, can one understand who and what is the real cause. The paid propaganda parrots are not the cause, they are the symptom. Richard Landes has asked me that those with the money, the organizational institutional control, remain nameless and thus blameless. It shows us the supreme psychological and real power that these people exercise. (“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War). So what we are left with is the most superficial analysis by good meaning people, but an analysis that has zero basis in reality.

  9. w.w.wygart says:

    On Anti-Judaism, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism:

    I’ve quoted the following passage on my own blog and privately to a ‘culturally Jewish’ liberal friend of mine in the last week or so:

    The Holocaust has become the negative absolute in American society. In a world of relativism we don’t know what’s bad, and we don’t know what’s good, but the one thing we can agree upon is this [the Holocaust] is absolute evil. And, it has become the standard by which we judge evil and therefore the standard by which we begin to establish values. ~[Michael Berenbaum, Holocaust scholar, Imaginary Witnesses: Hollywood and the Holocaust 2004]

    This statement reflects very closely where I derive my current thinking about the State of Israel and modern Zionism [and a great many other things] – regardless of what I grew up thinking as a good Unitarian Universalist child, and regardless of where I have been since. In my mind supporting a free and independent state where Jews can exercise sovereignty over themselves and defend themselves against those peoples who would prefer to see them disappear from the face of the Earth forever is some kind human moral imperative [among all the other many things we have to worry about].

    That state happens to be the state of Israel, it’s real, it exists, it has existed for generations now. Yes, it’s messy and inconvenient the location its political status, but there is no other place on earth that would serve the purpose. There is simply nowhere else where the Jewish people would be welcome or safe, or have as strong a claim to a homeland.

    Yes, after two thousand years Jews have a state, sovereignty, and the means to defend themselves again; which means that they can now fall into all of the ills and follies that every other sovereign state makes, but just because they may is no argument against their existence as a state, unless you would invalidate the existence of EVERY state – no state is guiltless.

    After the Shoah, it seems almost morally unconscionable to take the political position that Jews as a people and as a nation in Israel must, effectively bare their throats to an implacable enemy, meaning us, the rest of the world.

    That some people want to deny the Holocaust in general or the Shoah in particular; that others want to somehow minimize, contextualize, rationalize, or diminish what happened in order to maximize their own personal moral and intellectual narcissism is almost beyond comprehension to me, as of today even ignorance is a flimsy excuse.

    However that dark reptilian dream got started and shambled out of the slope-browed-retro-troglodyte mind and onto the pages of history, we know how it ended – and hasn’t completely ended to this day.

    Pontificating a bit, sorry, but I hear the Pope is resigning, so maybe they’ll go for an outsider this time, I could use the added income.

    W^3

    • Hi W^3

      Do you feel a Jewish State is any more of a moral imperative than say an Armenian, Greek, Czech, Polish or Kurdish State? I don’t. Nation-states are very good things. (and not just for soccer). Even if the Holocaust had never happened, even if Dreyfuss never happened, I would still think a Jewish State is a good idea.

      Of course, like everything else human beings do, it can be abused.

      I think the important measure is how a nation-state treats all its citizens and how it treats its cultural minorities.

      Barbara

      • w.w.wygart says:

        Hi,

        Thanks for your question. Do I feel that a Jewish state is more of a moral imperative than say an Armenian, Greek, Czech, Polish or Kurdish State?

        Yes, absolutely.

        The Armenians, the Greeks, the Czechs, the Polish all have states, and no one is suggesting they shouldn’t, they as peoples aren’t in jeopardy at home or almost anywhere they have settled internationally. The Kurds I believe deserve a state of their own and that Turkey, Iran and Iraq are just going to have to give it up and let them have their own country eventually, I also don’t think the Kurds as a people are in any serious danger of disappearing from where they live.

        In general I support the aspiration of oppressed peoples for a safe national homeland as much as the process of balkanization makes me uneasy, and as bloody and intractable as the national liberation process tends to be in getting there.

        Still, the Jewish people remain in my mind a kind of a special case [possibly along with the Roma] because they have been the subject of such intense and institutionalized hatred and discrimination, systematic oppression, expulsions, forced conversion and periodic massacres at the hands of just about everybody they have ever lived among for thousands of years.

        What makes the answer to ‘Jewish question’ so much different and a moral imperative in my mind is this: an entire people was very nearly wiped from the face of a continent, ninety percent of Polish Jews died, and the process found eager help in almost every country in Europe. Hundreds of thousands of individuals and the state apparatuses of many countries were complicit. There has never been anything remotely like it in history except for the larger context of Nazi crimes against humanity for instance the Porajmos [great devouring] committed against the Roma at the same time.

        The point I tend to make over and over at my own blog, is how extremely difficult it is to keep the reality of the Holocaust in your head, your brain just starts to shut down at a certain point because it really, really was that bad. Even if the absolute number of dead in the oppressions of Stalin and Mao were larger, this was a very different beast.

        Another point that can be made is that unlike the oppressions, massacres or genocides perpetrated against any of the other peoples on your list, which were largely regional, and historically confined events, the Holocaust, in the lead up to, perpetration of and aftermath, the responsibility for it among: perpetrators, bystanders who did nothing, those who later sheltered or made political cover for the perpetrators, was a truly global affair. You can’t say I’m an American it doesn’t touch me, I’m British, it doesn’t touch me, I’m an Argentinian it doesn’t touch me, I’m an Arab, it doesn’t touch me. The web of Holocaust responsibility reaches far.

        We, the sons and daughters; grandsons and granddaughters of the perpetrators and the bystanders who did nothing owe those who died, the survivors and their descendents a kind of moral debt to get this right. And, how we get it right, or wrong, with Jews and Israel will inform how well we will be able to do with the injustices and genocides in other places and with other peoples.

        History will be unkind to those who get it wrong.

        That’s my opinion.

        W^3

  10. E.G. says:

    RL,
    Just saw your comment on mine in the previous entry.
    I referred to Janis & Mann (1977) Decision making: A psychological analysis of conflict, choice, and commitment. Janis later focused more on Groupthink analysis.

    I’m not sure Israeli authorities and MSM’s response to the Oslo war is fully captured by the cognitive dissonance phenomenon.

    Regarding anti-Semitism, it might have been worthwhile to remind W. Marr who coined the term, and his motives for doing so. And I’m sort of phobic ;-) about the term Judeophobia.

  11. E.G. says:

    Dionissis Mitropoulos,

    I guess the best description and analysis of Honour-Shame (except, of course, RL’s) is David Pryce-Jones (The closed circle).

    • E.G. says:

      Oh, and please leave Stockholm out of the Oslo years. These are different syndromes (and also, different units of analysis: individual/mass). Do you believe a “regular” Israeli ever identified with either the Shahid who was blowing up more or less in the vicinity or with the ones who sent the dehumanised bomb? Or even found some justification to such acts?

      • @ E.G.

        “Oh, and please leave Stockholm out of the Oslo years. These are different syndromes (and also, different units of analysis: individual/mass). Do you believe a “regular” Israeli ever identified with either the Shahid who was blowing up more or less in the vicinity or with the ones who sent the dehumanised bomb? Or even found some justification to such acts?”

        E.G. i was speaking explicitly about the Diaspora Jews, not the Israelis. And i was making a more general point, not just Oslo-years related.

        I don’t think “regular” Israelis identified with the terrorists, i don’t even think that those Israelis who are kind of pro-Pali are so because of a version of Stockholm (for the latter, it seems more like hate against their own society). If there is a version of Stockholm Syndrome that might explain some Israeli irrationality, i think it won’t be because of submission (what you call “identification” i call “unconscious submission”) to the terrorists, but because of submission to the international community’s (un)ethical demands out of fear of rejection (for some Israelis, of course, it might have nothing to do with unconscious submission to ethical demands, but everything to do with a conscious choice not to risk economic sanctions by a West anti-Semitic enough to impose them).

        I agree with your point about the Stockholm Syndrome having as a unit of analysis the individual, not the group (that is why i am talking about a version of it, i.e. in order to take out of the picture the need to model the whole thing in strict adherence to the original Syndrome). But whatever the complexities that the consideration of the group (and not just of the individual) introduces, the group dynamics are surely affected by the individual’s prior affliction with my version of the Stockholm Syndrome. If the individuals of the group have been Stockholm-Syndromed as individuals, this is surely a factor that explains subsequent group behavior, even though there are certainly more factors that contribute to the group’s behavior (the group having a life of its own – so to speak – over and above the sum of the individuals’ emotions/motives/personalities).

        I find the subject fascinating but i am oversimplifying here. Certainly, there is far more emotional nuance to be uncovered, and i am trying to factor in my tentative Stockholm-Syndrome framework the post-modern moral masochism that Dr Landes talks about, and anything else significant.

        Any concrete suggestions welcomed.

        • E.G. says:

          Dionissis,

          I apologise for reading your comments too superficially.
          For “regular” Jews, in Israel and diaspora, I’d search less within the pathological range, more within the normal biases one. Like wishful thinking, magical thinking etc.
          And of course there’s peer (group) pressure, combined with infaux.
          The “AsaJews” or “Theobald-Jews” (I call them alter-Jews) are a different case, discussed at length a few years ago here. Is that what you’re after?

          • @ E.G.

            “I apologise for reading your comments too superficially”.

            EG, no need for any apology, i don’t take offense from you.

            “For “regular” Jews, in Israel and diaspora, I’d search less within the pathological range, more within the normal biases one. Like wishful thinking, magical thinking etc.
            And of course there’s peer (group) pressure, combined with infaux.”

            As far as regular Jews are concerned, i remember David Goldman (aka Spengler) having written that people (gentiles) have a distorted image of Jews due to Hollywood, imagining Jews as sort of mildly neurotic as Woody Allen. I am an ignoramus on the subject, i haven’t met many Jews in person (we let the Nazis take care of them and, as a result,there aren’t many in Greece. We kept their property of course – did you say swindling?). But both your explanations about typical Jews(wishful thinking and pressure to – consciously – conform) are very reasonable candidates, and far more plausible than my version of the Stockholm Syndrome – especially your second explanation, the pressure to abide by the gentile peers’ moral vanities.

            I don’t know the term “infaux” that you wrote and Google turns up nothing. Can you reply just to this? You got my curiosity going.

            “The “AsaJews” or “Theobald-Jews” (I call them alter-Jews) are a different case, discussed at length a few years ago here. Is that what you’re after?”

            Yes, i guess i am drawn to the more pathological cases, me being very similar to them as an “as a Greek” basher of Greece (not that blind though, i can see that Greece’s only enemy, Turkey, happens to be culturally worse than whatever i despise in my country).

            Is this the discussion you had in mind about Theobald Jews? The one with the 500 comments?

            http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2010/08/11/not-self-hating-jews-but-jewish-scourges-of-jews/

            I will read it anyway.

            PS. What happened to all those commentors? Why aren’t we seeing more of them?

  12. E.G. says:

    Dionissis Mitropoulos,

    When I’m wrong – I admit it. Adds to my honour ;-)
    Infaux = info but faux (like fauxtographies).

    Yes, that’s the thread.

    If you’re criticising Greece it’s one thing. It’s totally different if you’re bashing it (though it seems hard to tell, looks like there are lots of things going not-too-well these days). The latter is more similar to Alter-Jews.

    Anyway, Alter-Jews are a subset of anti-Zionists, some of these being anti-Jewish and/or anti-Semitic. Are you familiar with Sharansky’s “3-D test”?

    • SerJew says:

      Talking about Sharansky, has anybody here read his book “Defending identity”? Is it good?

      • E.G. says:

        Not as of yet.
        Have you read Wistrich’s latest?

      • akmofo says:

        Sharansky is a fake and a fink. Same as all the MSM darlings and gov mafia thieves.

        • SerJew says:

          Sure. And, in fact, Sharansky is the real Pope.

          • akmofo says:

            @ SerJew February 21, 2013 at 11:36 pm

            http://www.redmoonrising.com/chamish/Jan05.htm

            Sharansky is KGB. And KGB is another false front for the Vatican mafia. Same as MOSSAD and CIA. These all work in concert to put on a grand theater and wars of genocide.

          • SerJew says:

            Yeah, Mika Meshugannah. Don’t forget the Rotarians and the Freemasons. Oh, and the templars, of course.

          • akmofo says:

            @ SerJew February 22, 2013 at 5:52 am

            Ok, what will it take to get out of your emotional cul-de-sac and to actually look at and analyze the facts? Peres has already signed away Jerusalem to the Vatican. That’s been published in an Italian magazine. My bet is that it wont be long before we will hear the Israeli media proclaim that the Vatican legally owns most of the old city, and therefore the proper thing to do is to “give it back” to the Vatican. Just watch.

          • Richard Landes says:

            @akmofo:
            if you want to take people seriously you need to show some nuance. to write sharansky off as a marionette, even if you disagree with him (as do i), just discredits you.

          • akmofo says:

            @ Richard Landes February 22, 2013 at 9:09 pm

            Richard, I provided a link which gives the details to my assertion. So far I haven’t seen anyone anywhere dispute any of the facts presented there. Instead, what I get is an emotionally programmed dismissal of the facts, without even looking at the facts. These facts are there, but people have been so thoroughly and completely emotionally worked on, that no matter how strong their intellect, they just can’t bring themselves to actually investigate the facts. They are emotionally caged by a very sophisticated life long process of brainwashing. It is exactly the same brainwashing that Jihadis suffer from. SerJew complains that he can’t understand the Jihadistanis, really he only needs to look in the mirror. He and they are victim to the exactly same process.

          • SerJew says:

            Richard, so you’ve read Sharansky? What is he up to and why you disagree?

          • akmofo says:

            Richard,

            They make their agents our “heroes” and then “our” heroes betray us. That’s how they operate. That’s what you need to learn and understand.

    • @ E.G.

      When I’m wrong – I admit it. Adds to my honour ;-)
      Infaux = info but faux (like fauxtographies).

      If you’re criticising Greece it’s one thing. It’s totally different if you’re bashing it (though it seems hard to tell, looks like there are lots of things going not-too-well these days). The latter is more similar to Alter-Jews.

      Anyway, Alter-Jews are a subset of anti-Zionists, some of these being anti-Jewish and/or anti-Semitic. Are you familiar with Sharansky’s “3-D test”?”

      EG, sorry for not replying yesterday, i had undertaken the obligation not to comment, but now i can.

      By “bashing” i meant that i criticize Greece harshly, but truthfully. One of the things that are not going too well today in Greece is (well, apart from the increasing constituency of the Neo-Nazis) is that the communist political party, which is probably going to govern Greece after the next elections, has in each circles two MPs that participated in the latest flotilla (Estelle) and another female MP who attempted to participate in the Olympic games representing the Palestinians. You can expect hefty anti-Semitism from Greece in the years to come (sorry, i meant anti-Zionism, and let Sharansky say what he will about his third “D” ;-). If you ask my compatriots, they will explain to you that there is no reason why delegitimization should be considered to be anti-Semitism.

      Thanks for the infaux on “infaux”.

      “When I’m wrong – I admit it. Adds to my honour ;-)”

      I would have gotten your self-sarcasm in your honor-related sentence, even without the emoticon.

      Do you think i am stupid? Huh?

      • E.G. says:

        Weeeell Dionissis, I suppose that between Mediterraneans we can strike a deal: you’re not that stupid, huh.
        And having read your “awaiting moderation” comments, I’m even tempted to a generous not at all that stupid, huh.

        See? We can make painful concessions when they’re needed.

        • EG

          Weeeell Dionissis, I suppose that between Mediterraneans we can strike a deal: you’re not that stupid, huh.
          And having read your “awaiting moderation” comments, I’m even tempted to a generous not at all that stupid, huh.

          See? We can make painful concessions when they’re needed.

          I also told them that the best solution is for the Palestinians to be bought out, to be paid to leave, because the passions are too strong for the two peoples to coexist – i can’t mention Palestinian indoctrination, the comment will not pass moderation, more innocuous comments than that failed the test.

          I must have missed most (make it “all”) of the nuance of your comment, please do tell, i am interested (although it’s embarrassing not to get the irony!). I wasn’t sure which concessions you had in mind, for one thing.

          • E.G. says:

            Hi Dionissis,
            They keep telling that Israel must make (painful) concessions to reach a peace agreement.
            As you’ve seen, I can concede quite much even without negotiating with you, since we agree on some fundamentals.

          • E.G. says:

            You know, it wasn’t sarcasm. For some (Scoopy), admitting they made an error lessens their honour. For others, the shame (dishonour) is in realising you were mistaken and not admitting it. It would have been a shame if after your correction I hadn’t amended my reading/understanding of your comment.

  13. SerJew says:

    C’mon, I’m no Giraffe.

    • E.G. says:

      What, you don’t like Israeli Hamentash?
      If I were to choose, with all those rednecks, bluenecks et Co., a longneck is not that bad, is it? ;-)

      No offence between us, old-timers.

      • @ EG

        What, you don’t like Israeli Hamentash?
        If I were to choose, with all those rednecks, bluenecks et Co., a longneck is not that bad, is it? ;-)

        No offence between us, old-timers.

        EG, please explain this one, i hate it when i miss the humor.

        • E.G. says:

          On Purim, Jewish tradition is to get disguised and feast, one of the symbolic foods is a triangular cooky named (in Yiddish) Hamantash – Haman’s ears.
          I sent SerJew a clip on Giraffes having their specially elaborated triangular treat at an Israeli zoo, and suggested he gets disguised into that long-necked creature.

  14. Richard Landes says:

    The Holocaust has become the negative absolute in American society. In a world of relativism we don’t know what’s bad, and we don’t know what’s good, but the one thing we can agree upon is this [the Holocaust] is absolute evil. And, it has become the standard by which we judge evil and therefore the standard by which we begin to establish values. ~[Michael Berenbaum, Holocaust scholar, Imaginary Witnesses: Hollywood and the Holocaust 2004]

    The problem is that thru some bizarre chemistry, to say anyone (like the Pals or the Arabs, or even the Jihadis) is like the nazis is demonization and racism, but somehow comparing the Israelis to Nazis is okay. this grotesque inversion of values has actually contributed to the likelihood of a repetition, by identifying the past and future victim with the past victimizers and identifying the future victimizer with the past victim. you can’t get more morally deranged and intellectual stupefied.

    • @ Dr Landes

      “The problem is that thru some bizarre chemistry, to say anyone (like the Pals or the Arabs, or even the Jihadis) is like the nazis is demonization and racism, but somehow comparing the Israelis to Nazis is okay. this grotesque inversion of values has actually contributed to the likelihood of a repetition, by identifying the past and future victim with the past victimizers and identifying the future victimizer with the past victim. you can’t get more morally deranged and intellectual stupefied.”

      Dr Landes, since you wrote the same thing at about the same time i was leaving two comments in m/w, i just post them (the topic of the discussion is nazi analogies)

      dionissis mitropoulos says:
      Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      February 22, 2013 at 2:14 pm
      @ Donald
      “That’s an important distinction. I’m still not crazy about Nazi analogies , but if someone compares Israel to the Nazis while carefully excluding the Holocaust then it’s really just saying that the Israelis are acting like racist thugs.”

      Donald, i think that any emotive connotations the term “Nazi” has are due to their perpetration of the Holocaust. Calling Zionists “Nazis” conveys the meaning that Zionists are as bad as the people who committed the Holocaust.

      If you want to convey the meaning that we are racist thugs, then i think it’s better to compare us with the white South Africans, or talk about apartheid.

      dionissis mitropoulos says:
      Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      February 22, 2013 at 1:51 pm
      @ John Douglas
      “The point of an analogy is to clarify. When we knew more about the solar system than the atom we looked at the atom as if it were a small solar system. If that helped understanding fine, if it didn’t then drop the analogy. But it wouldn’t make much sense to say, “Well you can’t compare an atom to a solar system, one’s bigger than the other.” Nor would it make sense to say, “Don’t compare them or people won’t like you.””
      I think that’s a great point.
      If i were to add something to the first sentence (“The point of an analogy is to clarify”) i would have added that the analogy must not miss some important dimensions of the thing that is used as the basis for the analogy.

      In the case of the Holocaust, there are two dimensions that strike me as very important:

      1) the gratuitousness of it: exterminating people for no rational reason, just because they happened to be Jews, is not just immoral, it’s crazy. There are rational reasons (albeit immoral) to kill someone, e.g. in order to inherit her, or in order to marry her husband. The murder would strike us as immoral of course, but not as something crazy. I think that this gratuitousness of the Holocaust(coupled, of course, with the number of the victims) plays a big role in our seeing it as the epitome of evil.

      2) The victims did not have any way-out: Jews could do nothing to avoid their fate. They didn’t have the choice to save themselves by converting, or by paying the Nazis, or by begging, or by agreeing to become slaves. They just had to wait for their death. This dimension too, this total lack of control over one’s own fate, contributes to our perception of the Holocaust as uniquely atrocious.

      PS. Yes, i am a Zionist (non-Jewish, atheist, and i don’t really mind what the borders of Israel will be, so long as they are defensible).

    • E.G. says:

      you can’t get more morally deranged and intellectual stupefied.

      And guilt relieved.
      Siding with the “right” victims is redemption.
      It shows you drew the lesson from your sinful forefathers’ acts (and inaction), and that you won’t stand by in silence next time “it” happens. Because you got Hannah Arendt’s sense (in the digest version) of what “it” was, and you know the Jews, especially the Zionists, were , as always, not what they pretend to be. A bit of N. Finkelstein, a bit of the Pali Cog.War Dept. your taxpayer’s money subsidises, your infaux sessions with the MSM, and there you go. Keffiyeh chic.

      • EG

        “And guilt relieved.
        Siding with the “right” victims is redemption.
        It shows you drew the lesson from your sinful forefathers’ acts (and inaction), and that you won’t stand by in silence next time “it” happens. Because you got Hannah Arendt’s sense (in the digest version) of what “it” was, and you know the Jews, especially the Zionists, were , as always, not what they pretend to be. A bit of N. Finkelstein, a bit of the Pali Cog.War Dept. your taxpayer’s money subsidises, your infaux sessions with the MSM, and there you go. Keffiyeh chic.”

        That was really concise. And really informative for me, because although i was aware of all those influences as distinct influences, i had never combined them in my mind to form a complete (?) picture of the causes of pro-Pali non-jewish western attitudes.

        Not to mention the stylistic (literally and literary conclusion: Keffiyeh chic.

        Oh la la!!!

        PS. EG, i appreciate any lesson on Israel and/or Jewishness such as the above.

        PS2. The supersessionism angle is included in your sentence “and you know the jews are not what they pretend to be”, i think.

        • E.G. says:

          Glad my comment was useful.
          These are not the only influence trends, and in fine, they all get combined in one’s mind. But it’s not a lesson and not on Israel/Jewishness but rather on how they’re perceived.
          What’s supersessionism?
          Arendt was highly critical of her fellow Jews (going beyond self-criticism), and this part is what attracts attention and serves as some alibi (or confirmation) to the atavistic belief about Jews always being suspected. Finkesltein is a model of exploitation of Jewish suffering (playing on emotions and pretending to be moral) to operate the baseless inversion of roles (Palis are the new Jews, Israelis are the new Nazis).
          You don’t have to be “evil” to have a negative opinion about Israel. Just uninformed to begin with, and misinformed next. The Finkelstein “trick” works so well IMO because Shoah studies (the popular ones) emphasise feelings and emotions and identification processes, no understanding of that horror. And Arendt’s “banality of evil” makes clear to the superficial mind that it can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime.
          You could find Heinsohn’s “uniqueness” explanation illuminating (type Heinsohn+unique – there’s a PDF), showing it was not as banal, and the distinctive feature of the victims.

  15. E.G. says:

    I wholeheartedly recommend watching this interview (+extracts) with the producer of “Unmasked: Judeophobia”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3ucLoIBa-Y&feature=player_embedded#!

    • @ EG

      I have no one else online to tell my misfortune now, so you will have to put up with me for a minute:

      The two comments passed moderation. But then a contributor to that blog started a dialogue with me. Everything was flowing for a while, with all my comments passing moderation except for one, which made it half-way: you won’t believe it but they took out the first paragraph of the comment plus the post scriptum that was referring to the first paragraph, i guess that’s how far they can go in the way of being charitable, i.e. sparing half of my comment instead of deleting it entirely. But when inevitably the discussion came to honor-shame issues, they just deleted the particular reply and all other replies that had not been already posted but were in moderation. Total casualties 12.5 comments. Does this count as honor-shame on their behalf or, as i suspect, is it sheer censorship?

      • E.G. says:

        Hat-off for your nerve.

        The posts ex-post-deleting is so similar to the Stalinist habit of “retouching” official photos (eliminating discarded comrades), don’t you think?
        Looks like they’re afraid of exposing their readership to pluralistic views. How patronising, don’t they judge their readership mature enough to judge for and by themselves?

        In your place, I’d be frustrated. And I’d also laugh at such self-ridicule. There’s nothing more shameful to an honest critic than banning the (sacrosanct) Other’s views. Unless of course there are different categories of Otherness, some worthy and others unworthy, in quite some contradiction to the professed egalitarian faith.

        A consolation? A few clues to the alter-Jew’s psyche:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAsW5JrDm_0

        • @ EG

          A consolation? A few clues to the alter-Jew’s psyche:
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAsW5JrDm_0

          Thanks EG, all tips from you are welcome and especially the ones with psychological interest.

          Don’t read the comment if you are busy, but i think it is indicative of how much they are scared of common sense applied as a test for their anti-zionism. Here is the one with the honor-shame ramifications that was deleted almost immediately (keep in mind that their comments policy explicitly bans denial of the thing called Nakba, and that what had transpired up to that point in the dialogue was me explaining that Israelis have rational reasons for refusing to relocate, whereas Palestinians don’t, and so they should accept hypothetical financial incentives to relocate). Since the following innocuous comment was deleted, you can understand how lightly i should tread when commenting there (where i was supposed not to go because i have regretted last time’s deletion of my comments, talk about masochism).

          dionissis mitropoulos says:
          Your comment is awaiting moderation.
          February 24, 2013 at 9:01 am

          @ Annie Robbins

          “that’s an unoriginal narrative you got goin on there dion, jews need to stay because of fears and palestinians want to stay because of anger and u can justify one and not the other. wow/not.”

          I am just saying that the Israeli fear of encountering anti-Semitism is a rational motive for not wanting to relocate. And that the Palestinian anger because of the Nakba is not the best counsel for deciding whether to relocate or not.

          “moving right along. nobodies buying that story. the reality is people are not that different. they want to stay cuz they love the place (home etc), hence no amount of money will suffice to buy them off, common sense ( radical, but most of us have it, too bad you don’t).”

          There are certainly some Palestinians who care far more about their and their family’s well-being than about the insult of the Nakba or the land. I am clueless as to what proportion of the population they represent.

          For the rest of the Palestinians, i don’t think it is love of the land that mostly motivates them, but a desire to get their revenge for the Nakba. It is more like a feeling of having been humiliated that must be driving them, not so much love of the land per se. It is more like “i don’t want the Jews, especially the Jews, to have the land” than “i want my land back”.

          Am i so deficient in common sense?

          “and my point is… (drumroll please) palestinians are not going to leave palestine.”

          I was so eager to please that i was half-way through the stairs to borrow drums, before i realized that you were being sarcastic.

          The Palestinians might come to assent to leave, if the international community directs its efforts in soothing their anger instead of fomenting it.

          The message to the Palestinians should be that, no matter how understandable their anger/hate might be, what’s done is done, and that their anger is detrimental to themselves and their families and that they should let go, and that the easiest way to let go is by ripping off (financially) the Israelis – ripping off instead of ripping.

          Yes, i know that the international community would never do such a thing (why?), i’m just musing.

          “it’s irrelevant that you believe Palestinians might accept money after all, because they won’t. your thought has as much power as me telling you i believe jews might accept money after all , because they won’t.”

          Generally speaking, it is easier to calm down an angered one than reassuring a fearful one – especially if the fear is grounded in rationality.

          “you need to wake up to reality.”

          You don’t believe me, so you are in effect telling me “you are unbelievable”

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdfOqPhV3jY

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