Monday, October 31, 2005

It's OK, they're only anti-Zionists

Dymphna and the Baron, the Anchoress, and Dr. Sanity are among the many bloggers who have discussed Iran's "World Without Zionism" conference, which featured the following poster:

Lovely, isn't it? I mean that sincerely. One of the more pernicious aspects of much modern propaganda is its slickness and polish, its ability to appeal to the most sophisticated among us. This aesthetically pleasing poster is no exception--in fact, it's an excellent example of the genre.

Note how the conference and the poster focus on the word "Zionism," not "Jews." The old argument about whether one can be anti-Zionist and nevertheless not anti-Semitic keeps cropping up around the blogosphere and elsewhere. The comments section of the thread linked above at Gates of Vienna contains a good example of such a discussion.

I'm sure there truly are people who have objections to Zionism but honestly feel they have no objections to Jews themselves. But I'm just as sure that such people would have been hard-pressed to have explained where else the leftover Jews were supposed to go right after WWII, when Europe had killed so many of its Jews and was in the process of spitting out the exhausted survivors. Even the UN, that august body which in recent decades has been the very poster child for "anti-Zionism," voted at that time to partition Palestine and give the Jews their own tiny piece of land.

In the years since Israel's founding, the sophisticated propaganda which has over the last few decades managed to demonize it in the eyes of many has emboldened the Iranian mullahs. It is possible for them to speak quite openly of wiping Israel off the face of the earth, and trust that at least some will defend such a statement on the grounds that it's not technically "anti-Semitic," it's merely "anti-Zionist" (see this).

Poor, poor Hitler, so ahead of his time! If only the state of Israel had already existed when he offered his Final Solution, he could have phrased it in terms so much more acceptable.

And of course it's just a coincidence that the mullahs would love to destroy both Israel and America, the little and big Satans. If by some twist of fate they were to be successful in both goals, they would have annihilated virtually all the Jews on earth--a Final Solution, indeed.


At 1:16 PM, October 31, 2005, Blogger troutsky said...

OK Miss Zion, what about those darn Palestinians?Where should we make a state for them?We will just get the UN to mandate it and off they can go, we just need somewhere with some negligible population we can displace or who won't mind a two state solution. Texas is pretty big.I just wouldn't want my anti-Texan remarks to be construed as anti-christian.But then, that doesn't happen, does it.

At 1:20 PM, October 31, 2005, Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

neo, I mentioned this over at the Gates of Vienna thread, but I'll reprise it here.

What serves to legitimize anti-Zionism is the fact that there are many Jews (here and in Israel) who are anti-Zionists. These kamikaze liberal Jews are doing harm to Jews everywhere, despite their good intentions, by providing cover for the Jew-haters.

"There are anti-Zionist Jews; therefore, just by being anti-Zionist, I can't be anti-Semitic, can I?"

How come a knee-jerk reactionary WASP like me is more of a Zionist than many Jews? It doesn't make sense.

At 1:29 PM, October 31, 2005, Blogger Daniel in Brookline said...


What about the Palestinians, indeed?

In my opinion (and in the opinion of many others), the Palestinians could have had a state of their own, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, just about any time from 1970 onwards, had they been willing to renounce terrorism utterly -- and mean it.

That they have not done so does not speak well for them. Israel has bent over backwards, not once but repeatedly, for even the remote possibility of peaceful negotiations.

In re Zionism: I'm reminded of a statement once made by Emil Fackenheim, a Jewish philosopher and author:

"For Christians, the first priority may be theological self-understanding. For Jews it is, and after Auschwitz must be, simple safety for their children. In pursuit of this goal, Jews seek -- are morally required to seek -- independence of other people's charity. They therefore seek safety -- are morally required to seek it -- through the existence of a Jewish state. Except among the theologically or humanly perverse, Zionism -- the commitment to the safety and genuine sovereignty of the State of Israel -- is not negotiable."

Daniel in Brookline

At 1:42 PM, October 31, 2005, Blogger Dymphna said...

Well said Daniel in Brookline.

I've had a # of arguments with anti-Zionist Jews. At first their point of view was deeply disturbing. Now it's merely acclimates a little.

One guy, a Hungarian Jewish doctor who barely survived the Holocaust, and who worked as a Zionist for a while in his early manhood, is now quite ant-Zionist. We have agreed not to discuss it. I mean, being a thick mick, what would I know?

neo--the image is slick but chilling. I find no attractiveness in it at all because I can't get past its meaning. The first time I saw it, without understanding precisely what I was looking at, it felt like the cold of the grave.

At 2:04 PM, October 31, 2005, Blogger Holmes said...

I think the Iranians are hoping for one last autocratic rally of middle east nations. "What, our people want Democracy? Well, what about those Zionists! Booo!! Disregard that man behind the curtain."

At 2:19 PM, October 31, 2005, Blogger chuck said...


It is not as if these problems started with the establishment of the state of Israel. From a description of a trip Churchill made to the region in the early twenties, related by his bodyguard:

A large and restive crowd, seemingly "Gaza in its entirety", awaited them. They were muttering "Down with the Jews" and "Cut their throats," but Lawrence stilled them with a few words, and the crowd parted to let them through,...

Not to mention the Jerusalem pogrom of 1920 initiated by the grand mufti who later set up shop in Hitler's Berlin. The Palestinians may have a grievance with the Jews, but the roots are not so much removed from the grievance of the German Nation of 1933 and not much more appealing.

At 2:34 PM, October 31, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jewish anti-Zionists are infuriating, but I think that there have just been too many centuries of Jews who asserted themselves in any manner suffering horrifically for it for this sort of thing to be go away anytime soon. Don't get me wrong, I'm aware of the ideological justifications that they may use for it, but since there is no phenomenon congruent to Jewish anti-Zionists in among other national/tribal/religious groups, I believe its roots lie in deeper family and societal patterns that developed as a way to survive in the face of repeated helplessnes, trauma, and suffering.

As far as the troutsky's of the world are concerned, I grew up in the tail end of the Old segregated South and knew many like him. They were obsessed with any crime--real or imagined--of black people, which were of course a sign of an embedded racial flaw, as opposed to the crimes of whites, which were committed by "bad seeds" or "trash," and utterly uncomprehending of the historical oppression and suffering of black people that perhaps might have had a bit to do with the situation.

Never try to justify yourself with a troutsky--all you can do is ask another question. When they ask their version of the "Do you want your sister raped by one?," in this case, "What about those darn Palestinians?" all you can do is say, "What about those darn [Kurds, Darfurians, Berbers, Christian Arabs, etc.] and then (the brighter sort of bigot will sometimes get this point, a little), "Well,giving Israel to the Palestinians is actually the easy part. How are we going to not only give the Jews back all of their property in Baghdad, Cairo, Yemen, Iran, Syria, etc., but also to ensure that the Jews returning to these lands are treated as full citizens with the full panoply of human rights in countries in which nobody else is entitled to them. And then we have to, of course, make sure that Jews are given all their land and property in Germany, Poland, Russia, and so on.

This won't do any good with the anti-semitic bigot you're talking to any more than trying to explain to an anti-black bigot in 1953 how slavery and Jim Crow left the average black person at a disadvantage vis-a-vis the average white person, but it will make an impression on those who are listening.

At 3:01 PM, October 31, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, the Palestinians were supposed to have a state, same as the Israelis. But, in 1948, Jordan rolled over it and took it. Nobody seemed to think the Palestinians were being oppressed (the nastiness of oppression seems to have something to do with who's oppressing), and there were no protests.
That area, roughly speaking, is now the West Bank.
Of course, it would help if it were acknowledged that the Palestinians are a made-up people, who've been kept in durance vile by the UN and the Arabs to provide a permanent source of friction and cannon fodder for use against Israel.
I suggest "The Wild Place" by Hulme, an account of a camp for DPs after WW II. Fabulous, fabulous book reviewed by YT on Amazon. Those folks were all someplace else in just over five years. Millions of them.
Now we have, what, three generations of Palestinians?
As if there were not an alternative or seven?
I am put in mind of the acronym WAWK (who are we kidding?) a shortened version of WAWFTM (Who are we failing to mislead?)

At 3:03 PM, October 31, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Zionist dream for a secure Jewish state is understandable, especially against centuries of expulsion and slaughter: from the Crusades to the Cossacks, from the Inquisition to pogroms, from Dreyfus to Auschwitz. That Herzl, a correspondent at the Dreyfus trial for a Viennese paper, picked ancient Israel as the location for the Jewish state is also understandable.
But the Balfour Declaration aside, the only reason such a state finally came about was the mild and temporary feeling of guilt among Europeans and in the USA after the Holocaust. And still, the Jews were "dumped" among the hostile Palestinians and in territory surrounded by hostile Arab states, all of whom did NOT slaughter between 5 and six million Jews. That was a European thing, essentially German and Austrian, with the eager assistance from Romanians, Croations etc etc.
So, why not, in 1947, make Austria the Jewish home state? The
birthplace of Der Fuehrer and home of the most ant-semitic population among anti-semitic populations.(Poland a close second, probably.)
Nobody would have been happy. But after a couple of decades, the Jews of Austria would have had a prosperous homeland, a great place for all those violinst from Odessa to perform,a splendid location to continue their cultural contributions so brutally interrupted by the Nazis. Not to mention for them to become downhill skiiers for the IDF to eqiip the world's best Alpine Division. Oh, and NO JIHAD.
And the expelled Austrians would have received what they wanted so dearly in 1938--a place in Deutschland. THE REAL ANSCHLUSS.
But the Europeans and the USA could never do that. Instead, as far as the Euros are concerned, dump one unwanted people on an inferior one. Good riddance.
Well, thins tha go around...Now the Euros have a hostile Muslim population, and they aren't going to board thoe trains East as peacefully as the Jews.
Holy Luther!

At 3:24 PM, October 31, 2005, Blogger Assistant Village Idiot said...

There is often sympathy, especially on the left, for whoever can identify themselves as the most oppressed. The Palestinians, by embracing victimhood, have been able to trump all challengers in this.

There is an elemental rule of tribes and nations that the Palestinians believe should not apply to them: if you keep backing the losing side in wars, and you blame your enemies when your friends screw you, bad things are going to happen to you.

At 3:51 PM, October 31, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting observation about dumping the Jews in Austria.
But there were two problems. The Jews had begun decades earlier to be interested in Israel, not Obersalzburg.
And given the immediate history, the Austrians probably looked to be more hostile than the Arabs.
It might have been cosmic justice to put the Jews in Austria--to annoy the Austrians--but it probably looked like a bad bet from a tactical viewpoint.

At 4:08 PM, October 31, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard Aubrey:

Sure. I was advocating in the spirit of an old Austrian saying--"the situation is hopeless, but not serious."
Cosmic justice is so, well, Hegelian. Realpolitik is so...real.
The Europeans just want to be rid of those troublesome Jews. Dead or alive.

At 5:40 PM, October 31, 2005, Blogger Sissy Willis said...

The image doesn't make any sense. The US and Israel are the first bits of sand through the hour glass. The rest of the world seems next in line . . .

At 5:42 PM, October 31, 2005, Blogger Callimachus said...

They're not against all Jews. Heck, some of their best friends are Jews. Doesn't mean they'd let their daughter marry one, or anything like that. Heh-heh. Let's be real. But, no, they got nothing against Jews. Just the uppity ones. And the outsiders who come in and stir them up. Things were fine, so long as the Jews knew their places and kept to it. The rules and the laws were put in place to protect both Jews and non-Jews. Right?

Sound familiar?

At 6:27 PM, October 31, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I'm sure there truly are people who have objections to Zionism but honestly feel they have no objections to Jews themselves. But I'm just as sure that such people would have been hard-pressed to have explained where else the leftover Jews were supposed to go right after WWII, when Europe had killed so many of its Jews and was in the process of spitting out the exhausted survivors.

One of the whole points for creating a land of the Jews is so that Jewish people wouldn't have to beg people for asylum as their host nations kill them for glee.

I mean, this is a voluntary seclusion, reservation, a partitioning of self. That way, there need not be a war against the Jews by Europe.

Didn't work, ha ha. Right, okay.

Isolationism never did stop wars. American hegemony, tends to have a better track record.

Poor, poor Hitler, so ahead of his time! If only the state of Israel had already existed when he offered his Final Solution, he could have phrased it in terms so much more acceptable.

One of the best legacies Hitler left us was his party that consisted of equal parts socialism and nationalism. That legacy, managed to fool everyone into believing that people who hate Hitler, aren't doing his bidding.

Sort of like, the best thing the Devil did was to convince us he didn't exist.

And of course it's just a coincidence that the mullahs would love to destroy both Israel and America, the little and big Satans. If by some twist of fate they were to be successful in both goals, they would have annihilated virtually all the Jews on earth--a Final Solution, indeed.

There's also the rather innocent visualization of a baby, with that hour glass figure. It isn't quite orthodox, rather curvy.

Then there's that after image, of separating the bottom part (Evil) from the top part (Good) which requires us to sever the neck. Which, if the figure is a baby... has interesting connotations.

To do good... one must slaughter innocents, ain't that a nice sub-liminal message? Quite subtle for these propagandists, usually they focus much more on overt violence.

Gives me an impression this was produced by the best ivory tower intellectuals of the West.

At 6:34 PM, October 31, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

How come a knee-jerk reactionary WASP like me is more of a Zionist than many Jews? It doesn't make sense.

What, you don't get it?

The Jews went silently into the night on Krystall Nacht. Americans don't tend to.

Jews are pacifistic. Jews are isolationist. Jews are a lot of things as per their religion.

It makes perfect sense, for there to be anti-whatever Jews, then there be to be gun ho, pro-gun culture, patriotic, militaristic, and nationalistic Jews.

Those tend to be more like Americans than Jews.

At 7:42 PM, October 31, 2005, Blogger terrye said...

The amazing thing to me is the number of people there are in the world who seem to think it is any of their damn business where the Jews live.

The Jews have been hounded and persecuted and slaughtered for centuries by people who had no great concern or worry that anyone would care.

Now all kinds of people care about the Jews.

The Palestinians are indeed a made up people. They were simply Arabs for years and for years Arabs sold cheap land to Jews who worked it and made it bloom.

Then of course the Arabs wanted it back.

There has been a Jewish presence in the region for thousands of years. Jerusalem was built by the Jews.

The Palestinians have devolved in a death culture. That is all they know.

I would like to see the Pals have a state but so long as their obsession is the destruction of Israel and the building of Palestine I hold out little hope for them.

As for the Iranians, exactly what is it that Israel has every done to the Islamic Republic?

At 8:05 PM, October 31, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I agree with the sentiments of your post, but I'm puzzled by yout statement that now "all kinds of people care about the Jews."

In America, that is probably true. But in Europe, recent polls revealed the persistence of a strong anti-Semitism.(UK, Spain,Italy, France...not Germany, but that's a special case.)
Who then? None in the Islamic world. Russia, certainly not. Japan, no. China--probably don't care one way or the other. India--maybe.
I think Paul Johnson, in a recent article in "Commentary" may have something when he called anti-Semitism an "intellectual disease."

I've never heard of a cure.

At 8:30 PM, October 31, 2005, Blogger neo-neocon said...

erasmus: By the word "care," I think terrye was being sarcastic, as in "pay a lot of attention to, even if it's negative attention."

At 8:36 PM, October 31, 2005, Blogger Promethea said...

Ymarsakar said:

"It makes perfect sense, for there to be anti-whatever Jews, then there be to be gun ho, pro-gun culture, patriotic, militaristic, and nationalistic Jews."

Think of us as the "Jacksonian Jews."

It's laughable that people are actually discussing whether or not Israel should or should not exist. My goodness, where did Jordan come from? My old map shows a Kurdistan, but no Jordan, Italy, Germany, or Turkey. Etc. etc. etc.

A historical atlas is a most useful tool. Most of the current world boundaries are less than 100 years old. The U.S. could still take over Canada if it wanted to--those lines you see on the map are merely treaty lines. They don't mean anything, if treaties don't mean anything.

Goodbye, Norway. You were just a figment of someone's imagination.

At 8:48 PM, October 31, 2005, Blogger Promethea said...

BTW, one factoid that always seems to get lost in the shuffle is that a reason why the Muslims don't want a Jewish state in their midst is because Muslims think they are superior to everyone.

They are supremacists.They are Islamic Supremacists. How is this different from being a white supremacist? Those who think they are being so caring and humanitarian re the so-called Palestinians should stop and think a bit about what the Muslims have in mind for non-Muslims. It'scalled dhimmitude or "second-class citizenship."

Most pro-Palestinian westerners don't have a clue as to why this particular issue hasn't been settled like other issues have been settled. This issue will be settled exactly the same time as the Germans (one-fourth of the German population) who lost their lands to Poland and Russia will get back their lands.

Save your tears, troutsky. Ask not for whom the bell tolls . . .

At 12:40 AM, November 01, 2005, Blogger Judith said...

I have said this about 8 gazillion times, but once more: It's not about where would the Jews go after WWII. It's about the fact that Jews have lived in Israel/Judaea/Palestine for 3500 documented years. That's a direct line - in language, custom, religion, philosophy, arts, and measure of a culture you could name - from then to now.

Jews never stopped living in Israel, even after being repeatedly ethnically cleansed by the Romans, Arabs, Crusaders. We kept coming back. Israel and Jerusalem are woven into all our rituals and holidays and prayers.

Even if Jews after WWII were resettled somewhere else, like the US or Madagascar (one of the suggested locations) our homeland would still be Israel and many of us would still be trying to get back there.

Any criteria for a Palestinian nation are more than met by Israel. If you accept those criteria for Palestine you have to accept them for Israel, unless you was to be blatantly two-faced. So they try to delegitimize Jewish history to justify it.

At 12:51 AM, November 01, 2005, Blogger Judith said...

"That Herzl, a correspondent at the Dreyfus trial for a Viennese paper, picked ancient Israel as the location for the Jewish state is also understandable."

Jews never stopped living in our "ancient state." Jews were always moving bacvk there when they could. Nobody "picked" it out of thin air.

"The Jews had begun decades earlier to be interested in Israel, not Obersalzburg."

"being interested" doesn't describe the way Israel and Jerusalem are woven into every aspect of Jewish life. Anyone who hangs out with practicing Jews even a little is struck by this.

"I mean, this is a voluntary seclusion, reservation, a partitioning of self. That way, there need not be a war against the Jews by Europe."

Seclusion? Reservation? It's a &!!^&% country, like every other country. Israel has the highest rate of high tech startups per capita in the world, plus major campuses of Intel and Motorola among many corporations, is the world center of biomedical research, has a very diverse immigrant population, young Israelis all go to India and bum around for a few years out of the army, there is a huge Israeli population in NYC. Israel routinely offers humanitarian assistance to every country with national disasters. Israel is engaged in development projects with half the nations of Africa. Also a big center of Extacy and sex slavery trade, which is not good. (Those damn Russians!)

Doesn't look like "seclusion" to me....

At 1:52 AM, November 01, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"For Christians, the first priority may be theological self-understanding. For Jews it is, and after Auschwitz must be, simple safety for their children. In pursuit of this goal, Jews seek -- are morally required to seek -- independence of other people's charity. They therefore seek safety -- are morally required to seek it -- through the existence of a Jewish state. Except among the theologically or humanly perverse, Zionism -- the commitment to the safety and genuine sovereignty of the State of Israel -- is not negotiable."

Seems to me like Israel's been dependent on American support as long as anyone in Congress can remember. And hey, why seek a Jewish state someplace genuinely unpopulated when you can just pretend like there are no people in British Palestine and then act surprised when they resent you?

By now, of course, it's far too late for everyone to pack up and leave - but perhaps we ought to reconcile ourselves to the idea that conducting modern politics on Biblical grounds isn't a terrific plan.

At 9:04 AM, November 01, 2005, Blogger David Foster said...

"Seems to me like Israel's been dependent on American support as long as anyone in Congress can remember"...Europe was dependent on American support from 1945 until the fall of the Soviet Union; without American forces and nuclear umbrella, Soviet armored divisions would likely have swept throught the Fulda Gap many years ago. But I don't hear anyone using this as an argument to question Europe's legimimacy.

Ditto for Korea.

At 10:05 AM, November 01, 2005, Blogger Daniel in Brookline said...

Well spoken, Judith!

This has nothing to do with conducting modern politics according to Biblical accounts; it has to do with Jews having lived in what is now Israel since Biblical times.

Jews lived there until they were forcibly expelled by the Babylonians in 586 BC, but returned almost immediately, rebuilt the kingdom, and were there until expelled by the Romans in 70 AD. The Romans thought Jerusalem was destroyed, and inscribed it on their very coins; but enough Jews remained to build up to the bloody Bar-Kochba revolt of 135 AD. Even then, the Romans could not wipe out the Jewish presence in what they renamed Palaestina (deliberately and vindictively named after the Jews' ancient enemies, the Philistines); Jews lived on in Safed, in Gaza, and other ancient communities.

Contemporary accounts of visitors to Palestine can be found every few hundred years thereafter; always, mention is made of the Jewish communities of Palestine, usually with some mention of "how the mighty have fallen". Jews lived in Palestine at the time of Muhammad, circa 650 AD, and are described as such explicitly in the Quran (which is why Muhammad originally wanted Muslims to pray towards Jerusalem, as a sop to Jewish converts). The Crusaders found the Jewish communities there, and contributed in their own way to the slaughter of Jews, but did not wipe out Jewish communities any more than the Romans had.

Throughout the Middle Ages, even as Jews were being persecuted throughout Europe, Jewish communities would collect alms to send to Palestine, to support the Jewish communities there. Jews were there to greet the Ottoman conquerors in 1517 and Napoleon Bonaparte in the 1790s.

And in the 1870s, the early Zionists started moving to Palestine, trying to rebuild the land from the wasteland it had become. Land was bought, painfully and at great expense, from absentee Arab landlords all too happy to get rid of it; even on the eve of WWII, Lebanese and Syrian landlords were charging Jews exorbitant prices for swamps and empty wasteland... and getting those prices.

In spite of the heartbreaking work, Jews continued to come. The aborted Russian revolution of 1907, and the antisemitic pogroms that resulted, brought a new wave of immigration, including a young David Ben-Gurion (and many other future leaders). But working the land, struggling to make it fertile again, draining the mosquito-infested swamps and living through malaria epidemics, was so harsh that this immigrantion wave was called "aliyat ha-mit'abdim", the Immigration of Suicides. The successful Russian revolution of 1917 brought more immigrants; the rise of Nazism brought more. A sandy beach, down the coast from the Biblical town of Jaffa, saw ground-breaking in 1909, and would become the brand-new city of Tel-Aviv.

Let it be understood that there was no infrastructure for these immigrants, until they built it themselves. Jews built roads, crisscrossing Palestine and extending into what would later become Lebanon and Transjordan. The Technion Institute of Technology was founded right after WWI; Hebrew University and Haddassah Hospital followed soon after. Jewish labor wired Palestine for electricity, added telephone service, and delivered the mail. Little by little, starting with nothing, a modern country was constructed.

This is why Israel belongs to the Israelis, and should -- because, after yearning for the lost Jewish state for nearly two thousand years, after living precariously there since Biblical times, Jews bought their land, cash on the barrel, and built it into a nation with their bare hands.

It's easy and trite to assume that Jews only started moving to Palestine in large numbers after the Holocaust. But that assumption is completely false.

The Palestinians, by contrast, didn't start to organize themselves until the early 1960s. When they did, they showed little interest in building roads, or building schools, or developing an economy; instead, they founded the Palestine Liberation Organization, with the intent of stealing Israeli accomplishments for themselves.

Sadly, they're still at it today. Palestinians live in refugee camps because they have no interest in building modern communities for themselves. (Israel tried to do something about that, but was ordered to stop by the UN.) Palestinian universities (Bir Zeit among others), hotbeds of terrorism, were (ironically enough) built by Israel. Palestinian electricity and water are provided by Israel; Palestinians pay Israeli prices for gasoline, because no Arab nation will sell it to them.

Now please, explain to me again why the Palestinians deserve to have a state handed to them... on territory developed by Israel.

Daniel in Brookline

At 10:17 AM, November 01, 2005, Blogger Daniel in Brookline said...

Nice moniker, "Rabbi Hillel".

For the record, you might want to try reading Fackenheim's statement again. He did not say that Israel was independent of support; he said that Israel, and Jews in general, are obligated to seek independence. Sometimes being independent is harder than it seems.

It's also worth pointing out that Israel's relationship with the United States has never been one-sided. Israeli intelligence has always been first-rate, out of necessity, and from the beginning was shared with America. (The behind-the-scenes story of American-Israeli intelligence cooperation is a fascinating one; read up on it sometime.)

On a more tangible level, throughout the Cold War Israel was a unique and irreplaceable ally for the United States... because Israel was the only Western democracy to have fought regularly against Soviet arms, missiles, warplanes, and tactics... and won. When the United States wanted a squadron of MiGs for aerial-combat training, Israel supplied it. When American pilots needed training on how to defeat MiGs, Israeli aces taught them what to look for. Israel provided the West's first look at the Mig-17, the Mig-21, and many other intelligence coups.

(Back when I lived in Israel, I used to have a T-shirt: "The Israeli Air Force: the West's chief supplier of spare MiG parts". It was a joke with a lot of truth to it.)

Yes, the United States has been supporting Israel financially for a long time. And believe me, the United States gets its money's worth.

Daniel in Brookline

At 10:47 AM, November 01, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The support of Israel, on historic and moral grounds, is appreciated, but what about the future of Israel as a Jewish state in 50 or 100 years? Consider:

1. The demographics (number of Jews and birthrate among them vs number of Arabs and birthrate among them inside Israel and in countries all around them.)
2. Technological edge--now overwhelmingly Israel's, but when will Arabs get close enough to risk loss of a few milion among their 200 million to wipe out the hated Zionist entity?

There seem, to me, three possibilities:

1. Somehow, down the road, some thing or things happen to propel the Arabs (incl. Palestinians) to accept Israel as a Jewish state. Not love it, but accept it.
2. There ensues a terrible war, with Israel winning and finally forcing Arab states and Palis to stop hostilities (physical and other), or they lose and are gone.
3. The present endless rounds of killing and fruitless conferences, agreements, and "road maps" go on and on and on. Everyone gets tired and we all join an invasion of Poland.
I could have missed other possibilities. The history of Zionism is fascinating stuff, but what HAVE we learned from its successes and failures? And from those lessons, what possibilities lie ahead?

At 12:09 PM, November 01, 2005, Blogger troutsky said...

Always a touchy subject,sure to provoke epiteths and selective history lessons.What have we learned? Finders keepers ,losers weepers.He who builds the most roads, wins.It is this kind of brilliant analysis that keeps me coming back to this site. What new hornets nest can we kick? By the way, the charges of bigotry are unwarranted.

At 1:21 PM, November 01, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Those are your lessons from the history of Zionism?

Oh well.

"A book is a mirror. When a monkey looks in, you can't expect an apostle to look out."

At 1:42 PM, November 01, 2005, Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

Judith -- one point about territory. The Jews in Israel do indeed go back 3500 documented years. But before that it belonged to someone else, and the Israelites took it from them. If the descendants of the Canaanites were to reappear, would they have a "right" to Israel?

The unfortunate fact is that every single culture in the world (possible exception: Australian aborigines) stole their land from someone else. The English stole from the Celts, the Irish from the Fir Bolg, the Arabs from the Egyptians, the Huns from the Slavs, The American Indians from their Neolithic predecessors, etc., etc., on and on in an unending litany of slaughter and occupation.

At some point we have to stop trying to justify these things. After some arbitrary number of generations (3?) there should be a statute of limitations on reclaiming territory unjustly taken.

The Russians stay in Kaliningrad. The Poles stay in Prussia. The British stay in the Falklands. And the Jews stay in Israel.

And, yes, the sad corollary to all this is that some day soon we will have to give up on Tibet.

At 3:33 PM, November 01, 2005, Blogger Daniel in Brookline said...

Interesting thoughts, erasmus, although not necessarily new. For example, the "demographic bomb" has been a sword of Damocles over Israel for decades now, according to the pundits. I don't see it being a more immediate danger now than it was thirty years ago.

In re your three possibilities: I'd hope for #1, as would nearly all Israelis. But that's up to them; the ball is in their court. Possibility #2 has been tried, already, at least four times... resulting, as the wags say, in the only conflicts in history where the vanquished make demands and the victors sue for peace. So that won't get us anywhere, just as #3 won't.

There does exist the possibility, though, of a significant paradigm change, resulting in a change in the rules of the game. I believe we're seeing one now, in a Judenrein Gaza Strip, in which the Palestinians cannot put aside their differences long enough to refrain from killing one another.

As Abbas recently said about Palestinian vs. Palestinian violence: "People are saying this is a test for a Palestinian state. If we continue on this path these people will say we don't deserve one." Indeed.

The late unlamented Mr. Arafat saw to it that a generation of Palestinians would know nothing but violence, would want nothing but violence; simultaneously, he silenced any voice of moderation among Palestinians, seeing them as competition. Out of this explosive combination, can a statesman arise? (Possible, and highly desirable, but the odds are heavily against it.) Alternatively, will the Palestinians fight one another to a bloody standstill, until they tire of all the fighting and think about peace, first with themselves and then with others?

It's not an attractive scenario, particularly for the Palestinians. But it's far from unlikely... and it might lead them, eventually, to a better situation than they have now.

Daniel in Brookline

At 4:16 PM, November 01, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peace without total destruction (Germany in WWII) is possible (Korea...), but unlikely until some rational approach kicks in among the heirs of Arafat. Maybe exhaustion, rather than destruction, will do the trick.
I saw that not far from where you live, left groups put up "OFF THE MAP. NOW" (re: Israel) stickers all over Cambridge. The Gaza and Teheran mindset is alive in Cambridge, where students once listened to Whitehead and Quine.
Makes the SDS of the Sixties look like boy scouts.

At 4:53 PM, November 01, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is pathetic about the college protests is that the kids show up basically empty and the radicals can take control. Propaganda, the us-them ("us" being the morally and intellecutally superior, as if a college freshman can find the dorm dining room without help), the proclivity to want to be one of the in crowd, and the definition of who the in-crowd is, the demonization of the other in order to avoid having to engage in ideas.
Skinner thought the tabula rasa started at birth and got filled in and gained structure some way or another, but apparently a good number of our adolescents are just as rasa at eighteen as they were at age one month.
Those who take advantage of it are, even excepting their ideology, vile manipulators.

At 5:11 PM, November 01, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard Aubrey:
Yeah, but what can you expect when a place like Harvard dropped General Education with its emphasis on the great texts of western civilization for the Core Curriculum and its "approaches" to knowledge. "Hollow to the core," as one undergraduate critic put it.

"rasa at eighteen" you wrote. Indeed. Much of higher ed today is a case of "arasated development."

At 10:07 PM, November 01, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Erasmus. Have you thought of starting a thesaurus? Good work.

I agree, but the problem is not only what the kids learn when in college, but the state they are in when they arrive.

I asked a high school history teacher if the average HS grad today was as clear on history as we old foofs were at that time. I was interested because it's hard to remember what I knew then and what I've picked up since.
His answer was NO WAY.

I have no idea if this is on point, but I do recall some occasions when dealing with my kids and issues of right and wrong.
"This family doesn't do that," was my point and it seemed to work. It required the sense of family, extended, and their accomplishments and so forth and their value.
I mentioned this to a social worker who choked, and then smiled politely.
Apparently, as a technique, this has been replaced.
Like to see the improvement.

Anyway, the kids show up at college completely rudderless, anchorless, and incapable of critical thinking because critical thinking requires facts.


At 1:58 AM, November 02, 2005, Blogger troutsky said...

Anybody here read Edward Said? Just kidding. crap.

At 2:00 AM, November 02, 2005, Blogger troutsky said...

Thanks everybody for the great discussion.

At 8:56 AM, November 02, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I'm pissed cause the Israelis aren't using nukes. Are they expecting American intervention to make it unnecessary?

It's time to get radical, not stay on the defense.

At 9:56 AM, November 03, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Currently they are not and Palestine always draws the short straw in any “agreements” made and/or forced upon it. It is clear Israel is the aggressor nation, with the most recent reports detailing its air strike killing six civilian Palestinians, and the expansion of settlements.

Israeli’s will not accept the termination of Israel, so why should Palestine accept the continued existence of Israel, particularly when Palestinian suffers over 50 years of oppression, including slaughter and forced deportation from vast areas with no possibility of return?

So what do Zionists say about Arabs?

World without zionism

At 10:50 PM, November 13, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gosh, who care what happens to the Palestinians and Jews anyway? They both exist, they 're going to work it out or their going to slaughter each other by the millions.

Not like there's a shortage of people on the planet - certainly not the arid Middle East.

Who cares?

At 4:16 AM, January 18, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You all gotta get the picture. Followers of and writers of the Torahs aka blood of Judah 12 tribes were usurped by the khazars of Septimania. They are about 90% of what the world calls Jews. They have in fact usurped Judah, turned themselves and the blood of Judah into what are now known as Jews see: Wycliffe- First English translation of Pentateuch/Torahs. They are the protagonists for Zion, they rule with the ancient Babalonian Talmud. Real Jews need no land until the messiah comes for only he can take us to the promised land-Israel. Be careful of those that follow the Talmud/Gemara they see all as Gentiles even the real blood of Judah. Only the way of separation and ancient Pharisee through San Hedrin is their pursuit. Catch 22 would be Benjamites still existing. See Dan, see Dan rise.

At 3:13 AM, March 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congradulations on a well written, interesting and superb blog! Have you heard about the shocking news?

1000's of real people are earning quiet fortunes from home using the most ingenious automated system ever invented.

Are you curious to find out what this is all about?

Why not? You have nothing to lose.

You can sign up for this system absolutely free of charge and check it all out for yourself.

To start off, we have a video presentation for you to watch. Just turn up the speakers if you can, and click on the link below.

Have fun and open your mind.

It is all right here: multi level methods It successfully covers multi level methods related stuff.

Come and check it out now, Scott :-)


Post a Comment

<< Home

Powered by Blogger