Obama’s Happy Campaign

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obama aipac.jpg
This has probably been reported elsewhere, but I was heartened somewhat over the weekend by some things I had heard about Obama’s approach to the beginning of his own campaign. Someone close to the presumptive Democratic nominee said that early in the process, Obama spoke to key stakeholders in his national campaign effort for the presidency (paraphrasing):

We have decided to take this campaign forward. The chances of us winning are low, but we might be able to pull it off. If you want to help us take it to the next level, we need your help — but we need to keep our expectations in check.
We are going to make mistakes. The big mistakes will all be mine — not yours. When we make mistakes, we will deal with them and adjust. We will learn and move forward. We want this to be a fun campaign, a happy campaign. No leaks — no backbiting. We need to do this because we want to do good things — and we are all good people.

What Obama really said may be quite different, but this is what came from someone who speaks to him now and then. But I know that that spirit he brought to his team did make a difference in the political climate and contrasted with the tenor of emotions within the Clinton camp.
I think Obama is something special and different — but when he does things like say “Jerusalem. . .must remain undivided” in his recent AIPAC speech, my enthusiasm hits some severe road bumps. Barack Obama’s Israel statement was worse than pandering because his perspective is actually to the right of George W. Bush and the incumbent Israeli government. This was not constructive, and it has made many wonder whether what they see in Barack Obama is real and something that can be depended upon if he secures the powers of the Oval Office.
But for now, I’m trying to keep an open mind and need to begin thinking about how to offer commentary about both McCain and Obama that remains fresh over the next half year and which will remain distinctive and honest about both of them. When the ecosystem of commentary both in mainstream media and the blogosphere is essentially dominated by people who have already made their minds up as to who should win the White House — it is difficult to enthusiastically charge into the turbulent currents each day challenging the perspectives and comments of the candidates and their acolytes.
I’m going to keep at it — but for regular readers, do not expect predictable commentary from me on either Obama or McCain. McCain has frustrated me with his obsession with continuing the occupation of Iraq and his flippancy about other wars in the Middle East. Obama, on the other hand, has taken two of the greatest foreign policy opportunities for change — Cuba and Israel/Palestine — and “triangulated” away from the boldness and creativity of some of his earlier foreign policy views and has defensively prepared himself for McCain attacks by adopting more incrementalist policies.
In other words, yes, even Obama is in spirit if not in explicit deed a flip-flopper. Perhaps they all are (as I’ve written before).
There’s more to sort out, and I’ll do it as incisively and as fairly as i can. Again I will remind that no one should presume my vote or support automatically. (this stand of mine does create costs for me among a great number of friends and in my private life, so don’t think it’s easy or trite. . .)
Unconditional support leads to abuses such as this one where Barack Obama tilted so far in the direction of the most extreme factions in one of the world’s most important and consequential international disputes because one side has been loud and the other has largely acquiesced, choosing to see the happy campaign at the macro level and worry about the details later.
– Steve Clemons

Comments

88 comments on “Obama’s Happy Campaign

  1. alex morgan says:

    im glad that you won the election mcain is dumb and you are awesome i love you Obama
    alex morgan

    Reply

  2. Morton says:

    Some interesting grist for the mill on Israel Shahak in this review
    of his book:
    “Dr. Shahak is full of startling revelations, if that is the word,
    about Jewish history and the Jewish religion. None of those I was
    able to check had any foundation.
    Some are just funny. He says (pp. 23-4) that “Jewish children are
    actually taught” to utter a ritual curse when passing a non-
    Jewish cemetery. He also tells us (p. 34) that “both before and
    after a meal, a pious Jew ritually washes his hands….On one of
    these two occasions he is worshiping God… but on the other he
    is worshiping Satan…”
    I did take the trouble to question my orthodox rabbi nephew to
    find what might be behind such tall tales. He had no clue. If
    orthodox Jews were actually taught such hateful things, surely
    someone would have heard. Whom is Dr. Shahak kidding ?
    Orthodox Jews, according to Shahak, frequently kill those whose
    views they do not like. “For example, in the late 1830′s a ‘Holy
    Rabbi’ (Tzadik) in a small Jewish town in the Ukraine ordered the
    murder of a heretic by throwing him into the boiling water of the
    town baths…” Shahak gives neither the name of the town nor
    the year of this alleged killing. We are asked to take this tale on
    his say-so alone (p. 17).
    In another story he gives enough detail to find a reference to the
    incident in the Encyclopaedia Judaica. It seems that a liberal
    rabbi and his family were poisoned in Lemberg (now Lvov) in
    1848. According to the EJ, some orthodox fanatics were
    suspected of the crime. Where the EJ reports an unsolved case,
    which may indeed have been due to food poisoning, Shahak
    knows precisely who the murderers were: “the leaders of the
    Jewish community.” How does he know this ? He won’t say. This
    is the very stuff of the paranoid approach to historiography. (P.
    17)
    One of Shahak’s charges has been taken very seriously. Some
    thirty years ago Shahak reported to the press that he had
    personally witnessed the following incident: an orthodox Jew
    saw an injured non-Jew on the Sabbath. To save the man’s life,
    it was necessary to call an ambulance. The Jew had the phone
    handy but would not allow a violation of the sabbath, i.e. use of
    the phone, because the injured was a non-Jew. In Shahak’s
    version, with which he begins this book, the Jew here followed
    the ruling the of orthodox rabbinate. The story was taken up by
    Ha-Arets in Israel, then by the Jewish Chronicle in London and
    other publications, all joining in a clamor against the barbaric
    orthodox. (Dr. Shahak does not seem to notice that this clamor,
    which he duly notes, is in itself a refutation of his charge that
    current Jewish life is dominated by orthodox inhumanity).
    Dr. Shahak, whose nose is longer than Pinocchio’s in any case,
    does not tell us the whole story of the incident. In the Summer
    1966 issue of Tradition, an orthodox Jewish journal, we have the
    much more credible account by Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits (later
    the Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth).
    First of all, according to Rabbi Jakobovits, and contrary to
    Shahak’s allegation, the rabbinate had ruled clearly that not only
    can the Sabbath be violated under such circumstances, but such
    violation would be a religious duty, to save a non-Jewish life no
    less than a Jewish life. Moreover, we also learn that Dr. Shahak,
    when challenged to produce his “orthodox Jew,” was forced to
    admit that this Jew did not exist.”

    Reply

  3. Morton says:

    “According to Dr. Israel Shahak, in his book Jewish History,
    Jewish Religion, this practice has ancient roots and has become
    increasingly commonplace: Dishonoring Christian religious
    symbols is an old religious duty in Judaism. Spitting on the
    cross, and especially on the Crucifix, and spitting when a Jew
    passes a church, have been obligatory from around AD 200 for
    pious Jews. In the past, when the danger of anti-Semitic
    hostility was a real one, the pious Jews were commanded by
    their rabbis either to spit so that the reason for doing so would
    be unknown, or to spit onto their chests, not actually on the
    cross or openly before the church.”
    I would have to ask what the point of this quote is?
    Are the Christians protecting themselves from hostile Jews, or
    are Jews protecting themselves from hostile Christians?
    Do we end up saying that Jews were burned at the stake unless
    they converted because they spit Christian religious symbols?
    Do we end up say, well of course Jewish cemeteries were
    demolished–those Jews were spitting at crosses?
    And I have to say, now that I read this guy a little more closely
    that this quote is utter and unmitigated horseshit:
    “While the religious Judaic understanding of Jewish chosenness
    is realised as a moral burden in which Jews are ordered by God
    to stand as a model of ethical behaviour, the secular Jewish
    interpretation is reduced into a banal chauvinist form of racially
    orientated supremacy. It clearly encourages those who are lucky
    enough to have a Jewish mother to love themselves blindly. It is
    crucial to mention at this stage that in most cases Jewish
    supremacy would lead to a certain level of dismissal of the
    elementary rights of the other. In many cases it leads toward
    animosity and even hatred whether latent or manifest.”
    Has he never heard about the hordes of Jews in the “do good”
    professions? This is unmitigated hogwash. Very sad. Even a few
    minutes in the library or Google should disabuse anyone of
    this… Very sad indeed.
    In fact, you will find David Duke saying pretty much the same
    thing…

    Reply

  4. Morton says:

    kathleen wrote: Yet, Israelis, or more precisely, the vast majority
    of Israeli-born secular Jews, are not motivated or fuelled by
    Zionist ideology. Its spirit or symbols are virtually meaningless
    to them. As bizarre as it may sound to some, Zionism is either a
    foreign or just an archaic notion for most Israeli-born secular
    Jews.
    I’m not entirely sure what this article amounts to or how it
    supports your ideas, but it is an interesting article. My own view
    is that Zionism was an “ism” for a particular day and time. It
    looks forward to a day when Jews truly are accepted by the world
    as ordinary citizens. Had there not been antisemism, most Jews
    around the world would have been ecstatic to have lived and be
    living as Germans, Poles, Swiss, Iraqis, etc. I’m not entirely sure
    we’ve reached that day yet.
    IOW, I see Zionism as a form of self-defense, admittedly a
    complicated one, created by a people whom the world has
    largely hated or mistrusted for millennia (for all sorts of
    “reasonable” reasons whose falsity hasn’t diminished their
    allure). Of course, it was built on a very old cultural/religious
    foundation (which is too long to go into here), so there was a
    strong element of cultural renewal in there, too. But the deepest
    motivation was finding a way out of anti-semitsm.
    Not being particularly attached to Israel, my view is that Israel’s
    future is up to Israelis. If they want a one-state solution, I’m
    fine with it. If they want a one-state solution with a strong
    Jewish character, I’m fine with it. If they want a two-solution–
    which I think is the most workable if they can work it out–
    that’s good by me, too.
    To me, the moral of this article is that Zionism, at least as
    traditionally understood, is dying out because it succeeded. A
    new stage of evolution is needed. I think there’s merit to that
    idea–it’s at least worth thinking about. But if antisemitism
    isn’t also dead–a good number of the disappeareds in
    Argentina, for example, were Jews as was Jaco Timmerman–
    then Zionism will remain strong, as sort of a back stop, with
    Israel as a place to go as a last resort.
    Much, much more to say about this, of course…
    We aren’t writing theses here, but I do think we should avoid
    passing on falsehoods or partial truths without qualifications.
    Doing so is the equivalent of swiftboating–spreading
    unsubstantiated rumors and watching them spread.

    Reply

  5. Charles Mingus says:

    “If there’s a problem with Arthur’s argument, one would think
    those holding the disagreement against him would have the
    backbone and the integrity to refrain from insidiously attributing
    views, beliefs and statements to Arthur that he has neither
    advocated nor expressed.”
    What a joke this comment is.
    There is no “insidious attribution” involved here. Arthur’s own
    words–words that he himself composed in the comfort of his
    own home or office and displayed on other blogs–have simply
    been posted here. In full. Arthur hasn’t denied that he is the
    person who wrote these comments; he has admitted it. And
    there are many more where these have come from.
    Paul, hardly a dupe, was the one who found this quote; quite
    easily, I’m sure. What Arthur has done (mostly) is spit at the
    folks who quoted him and then, when asked to defend his
    words, reinterpreted them to mean something they don’t mean.
    I guess you like Arthur; maybe he takes your side elsewhere. I
    would have to say that it is you who aren’t looking at Arthur’s
    own words. It is you who haven’t delved into Arthur’s
    unvarnished views. That’s your business; I could care less.
    But there is certainly no guilt by association going here. Arthur
    is called extreme because what he says is extreme. If you read
    what he says about Macdonald, you will see that Arthur is a full-
    throated supported of his work and ideas. So again, there is no
    guilt by association; Arthur has associated himself with the man
    and his work. He is an acolyte.

    Reply

  6. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I see that the ‘ol “guilt by association” thing is alive and well, the tactical tool of choice for these assholes that want to peddle the “official story” about 9/11, or the damaging influence that Israel has had on the security, and economical well-being, of the United States.
    Yes, instead of going head to head with the issues, why not instead dredge up the most radical end of the spectrum, flaunt them before us as common examples of the school of thought you wish to discredit, and steer the argument into implied associations with radicals and conspiracies?
    Just like the last cabal of trolls did when confronted with the glaring impossibilities surrounding the official explanation for the fall of the Twin Towers.
    Further, how convienient to be able to summon up the statements of a radical, and simply through implication insert them as if they are the heart felt conviction of those whose ideas you wish to marginalize. Is it just a coincidence that we see this technique used here so prolifically, when it seems to have worked so well at superimposing Wright’s ideologies over Obama’s stated convictions?
    The technigue of debate we see waged here by Wigwag and Mingus is one of extreme cowardice and intellectual dishonesty, and it suprises me to see someone of Norhiem’s obvious intellect falling prey to it.
    If there’s a problem with Arthur’s argument, one would think those holding the disagreement against him would have the backbone and the integrity to refrain from insidiously attributing views, beliefs and statements to Arthur that he has neither advocated nor expressed.
    Its like this jackass MarkL, who accuses someone of being “virulently anti-semitic”, yet refuses to buttress such a despicable accusation with evidence, justification, or explanation. Or, those that, when debating about 9/11, dredge up these smokescreen bits of horseshit like “pod people” to discredit very logical and sensible questions surrounding the events of 9/11.
    We’ve had these visitations before, when the comment section of Steve’s blog has been invaded by spineless cowards and obvious trolls, debasing and derailing the discourse with despicable diversions and scripted and manicured methods of propagandizing the issues.
    Same players, different names.

    Reply

  7. Kathleen says:

    Morton… this article touches upon the points I was making, but does a better job…
    The Jewish Experience
    By Gilad Atzmon12/06/.08 “ICH” — – For more than half a century, those who have been trying to combat the forces that are behind the Israeli paradigm have been identifying Israeli policies and practice with Zionism and Zionist Ideology. I am afraid to say that they were wrong all the way along. Indeed, Zionism’s project dictates the plunder of Palestine in the name of Jewish national aspiration. It is also true to argue that Israel has been rather efficient in translating the Zionist philosophy into a devastating oppressive and murderous practice. Yet, Israelis, or more precisely, the vast majority of Israeli-born secular Jews, are not motivated or fuelled by Zionist ideology. Its spirit or symbols are virtually meaningless to them. As bizarre as it may sound to some, Zionism is either a foreign or just an archaic notion for most Israeli-born secular Jews.
    Since the vast majority of Israelis are confused by the notion of Zionism, most forms of criticism that would label itself as anti-Zionist would have hardly any effect on Israel, Israeli politics or on the Israeli people. In other words, in the last sixty years, those who have been using the paradigm of Zionism and its antipode have been preaching to the converted.
    A total review of the amalgam formed by Israel, Zionism and Jewishness is now overdue.
    Intimate Departure
    Once a year around Easter, my family leaves me behind for two weeks. My wife Tali and our two kids Mai (12) and Yann (7) make their way to Israel. My wife calls it a family visit, she insists that the kids must see their close relatives and my views on Israel, Jewish identity and global Zionism should never stand in the way or interfere with family matters. For the obvious reasons, I myself never go to Israel. I had decided ten years ago that unless Israel becomes a state of its citizens, I have nothing to do there.
    In our first parental years in London Tali and I had some discussions about her favourite choice of Easter break. Initially I didn’t approve. I insisted that schlepping innocent youngsters to the apartheid ‘Jews only state’ would contribute little to their future well-being, and in fact, it may distort their ethical senses. In those early parental years Tali dismissed my fears, she argued that our kids should be treated as free human beings. They must be entitled to see their family and it is down to them to make up their minds when they are ready to do so.
    When our kids were very young, I found it pretty difficult to sustain my argument. Mai and Yann didn’t have any interest in political or ethical complexities. However, as my kids grew up, their journey in and out of the Hebraic shtetl had become a major education chapter for myself more than for anyone else. Observing my kids transformed into light Israelophiles opened my eyes. I happened to grasp the impact of Israel and Zionism through the juvenile eyes of my British kids. I had learned to admit how easy it may be to fall in love with Israel.
    My kids love it there. They adore the blue sky, they go on and on about the sea and the sandy beaches. I guess that they love humus and falafel. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that everything I have mentioned so far belongs to the land – i.e., Palestine rather than the state – i.e., Israel. However, it doesn’t end there. They also love to talk in Hebrew surrounded by Hebrew speakers, to laugh in Hebrew and even to get upset in Hebrew. They love the Hebraic Chutzpah that is inherently entangled with the Israeli openness. At the end of the day, Hebrew is their mother tongue.
    When Tali and the kids land in cloudy London they happen to be confused and lost for a while. Tali becomes slightly nostalgic about the successful theatrical career she left behind. This obviously makes a lot of sense. The case of my kids is slightly more complicated. They are Brits. Though Hebrew is their mother tongue, English is their first language. In London they clearly miss some liberties they celebrated there: they want to keep on playing in the open fields, to bathe in the glorious Mediterranean sun overwhelmed by the dry spring blossoms. But far more noticeably, Israel resolves what seems as their inevitable emerging identity complex. While here in London they are troubled with their ethnic identity, they can never decide who they are, whether they are ex-Israelis, ex-Jews, Secular Jews, Christian by culture, the descendents of a Hebrew speaking Palestinian, the son and daughter of a notorious proud self-hater and so on. In Israel, and especially with their family around, none of those questions come into play. The Israelis tend to accept you as a qualified brother as long as you are not an Arab. While in multi-ethnic London my kids are often confronted with some obvious questions regarding their origin, questions they find hard to tackle a lot because of myself and my stand, in Israel those questions are non-existent.
    When my kids come back to London, for a week or so they make me feel as if it is me and my lunacy which imposed these winter exilic conditions upon them. Deep inside I know that they are absolutely right. ‘Tough’, is all I can say in my defence.
    For a week or so after their return my kids become light Zionists. It is not that they dispute what I say about Palestine, it is not that they develop any sense of Jewish national aspiration, it is not that my kids are blind to the suffering of the Palestinian people either. In fact my seven-year-old son is horrified by the gigantic wall and can’t stop asking about the people who live behind it. But, there is something they experience in Israel, something that makes Zionism into the biggest successful Jewish Diaspora narrative for over two millennia. It is not the ideology that makes Zionism successful, my kids do not care about ideology, they probably do not know what the word means. It is not the politics either, my kids do not know much about politics. It is all about belonging. Zionism is a symbolic identifier and it provides the Diaspora Jews with a symbolic order. It gives a signifier to every possible appearance, it creates a coherent and consistent world. It gives name to the sea, the sky, the sun, the land, brotherhood, yearning and friendship. But it also gives a name to the enemy, the goyim and even the self-haters. Zionism is a lucid world order, unfortunately it is merciless and murderous as well.
    Through the eyes of my young kids I have an opportunity to study the meaning of Israel rather than its politics or practices. Through them I can see what Israel is there to offer and how forceful it may be. Analysing my children’s empathic relationship with Israel, I have now grasped that the contemporary Jewish experience is premised on two inherent sets of dialectics. One is set between Eretz Yisrael and the Diaspora, the other can be formulated as ‘love yourself as much as you hate anyone else’.
    Eretz Yisrael and the Diaspora
    “I am a human being, I am a Jew and I am an Israeli. Zionism was an instrument to move me from the Jewish state of being to the Israeli state of being. I think it was Ben-Gurion who said that the Zionist movement was the scaffolding to build the home, and that after the state’s establishment it should be dismantled.” (Avraham Burg, ‘Leaving the Zionist ghetto’ in an Interview with Ari Shavit, 25 July 2007)
    As far as Israeli-born secular Jews are concerned, Zionism means very little. If Zionism is there to maintain that Jews are entitled to national home in Zion, the Israeli-born Jew lives this very realty to start with. For him/her, Zionism is a remote historical chapter associated with an old picture of a man with a big black beard (Herzl). For the Israelis, Zionism is not a transformation awaiting to happen, it is rather a boring, tedious, dated and dull historical chapter on the verge of bla bla. It is far less interesting than contemporary Olmert’s cash envelops or Obama turning into an Israeli Spokesman. Indeed, for the new Israelites, Galut (Diaspora) has some bad connotations. It is associated with ghettos, with shame and persecution, yet, this term doesn’t ascribe to downtown Manhattan or London’s Soho. In other words, Israelis do not tend to identify their migration out of Israel as a return to the Galut. Like other migrant populations, they just search for a better life. It must be mentioned that for most Israelis, Israel is far from being a heroic glorious location. Naturally, after 60 years with the same woman, one may fail to see her beauty anymore.
    The so-called ‘Israeli’ i.e., an Israeli-born secular Jew, the successful product of post-revolutionary Zionism, is now so used to his existence in the region that he has lost his Jewish survival instinct. Instead, he adopts the most hedonistic interpretation of Western enlightened individualism that abolishes the last reminiscence of tribal collectivism. This may explain why Israel had been defeated in the last Lebanon war. The new Israeli doesn’t see any real reason to sacrifice himself on a collective Jewish altar. He is far more interested in exploring the pragmatic aspects of the philosophy of ‘good life’. This may explain as well why the Israeli military cannot tackle the growing threat of Qassam rockets. In order to do so, Israeli generals need to implement some courageous ground tactics. Seemingly, they learned their lesson in Lebanon: hedonistic societies do not produce Spartan warriors and without real warriors at your disposal you may better off fighting from afar. Instead of sending special infantry units into Gaza at dawn, it is apparently far easier to drop bombs on populated neighbourhoods or alternatively to starve its habitants to submission. Needless to say, the Palestinians, the Syrians, the Hezbollah, the Iranians and the entire Muslim world see it all. Day by day they review the Israeli cowardice tactics, they know that Israel’s days are numbered.
    As interesting as it may sound, the Israelis are not that concerned with their fatal inevitable emerging reality, at least not consciously. Because their tribal survival instinct has been replaced by enlightened individualism, the young Israeli is concerned largely with personal survival rather than with any collective plan. The Israeli can go as far as asking, “how the hell can I get out of here?” The new secular Israeli Jew is an escapist. As soon as he/she finishes his/her compulsory duty, he or she would either rush to the airport or learn how to ’switch off’ all news channels. The amount of Israelis who leave their homeland is growing by the day. The rest, those who are doomed to stay, develop an apathetic culture of indifference.
    Beaufort and Sderot
    I recently watched Beaufort, an Israeli award winning war film. Though I wasn’t at all overwhelmed with the cinematic achievement, the film is an astonishing exposure of Israeli fatigue and defeatism. The film tells the story of an IDF special infantry unit (Golany) that is dug-in in a bunker within a Byzantine fortress on top of a mountain in southern Lebanon. The plot takes place days before the 1st Israeli withdrawal from Southern Lebanon (2000). As it happens, the Israeli platoons are surrounded by Hezbollah warriors. Days and night they live in trenches, hide in concrete shelters and are subject to constant barrages of mortars and missiles. Though they all plan life after that hell they are caught into, they happen to die one after the other by an enemy they don’t even see.
    The Israelis loved Beaufort, the world was slightly less convinced of its cinematic quality. If you ask yourself why the Israelis loved it so much, here is my answer. For the Israelis, the situation in the Beaufort is an allegory of a state that comes to realise its temporality and futile existence. As much as the Israeli soldiers are dreaming to run away as far as they can get, whether it is settling in NYC or ‘getting stoned’ in Goa, the Israeli society is coming to terms with its doomed fatality. Like the soldiers in the film, the Israelis want to become Americans, Parisians, Londoners and Berliners. The numbers of Israelis who are queuing for Polish passports are increasing by the day. Beaufort the film is a metaphor of a society that comes to terms with itself being in a siege. A society that comes to realise that there maybe no escape route whether it is a physical one or by the means of growing indifference. The film can be interpreted as a parable of a society that comes to terms with the gravest notion of its own temporality.
    Interestingly enough, as much as the soldiers in the Beaufort and the people of Sderot or Ashkelon are confused by their will to leave everything behind and to run for their life, as much as they can’t see the point in clinging to where they are, for the Diaspora Jew, Israel is nothing less than a lucid model of glory. Israel is both the meaning and the meaning in its making. For the Diaspora Jew, Israel is the symbolic transformation aiming at liberation and even redemption of the Jewish misery. Israel is everything the Diaspora Jew is not. It is full of chutzpah, it is forceful, it is militant, it stands for what it believes in. Accordingly, for a young Jew from Golders Green or Brooklyn, making Aliyah or even just joining what he or she mistakenly regards as the heroic Israeli army, is far more glorious than joining dad’s law firm, dental studio, or accountant company.
    Being horrified by the remote possibility that my kids may surprise me one day by suggesting that they may consider spending some time in Israel on their own without their mother’s parental guidance, I recently started to grasp that which Israel is there to offer world Jews. In fact, not many Jewish parents would stop their son or daughter from joining the IDF, why should they? The IDF is a very safe army to be in, it avoids ground battle, it kills from afar, it values its soldier as much as it loves inflicting the ultimate pain on others. Every Jewish father must accept that it may be useful for his youngster to learn how to drive a tank, fly a helicopter or shoot an MK 47. Unlike the shockingly under-equipped Palestinian warriors who die in vast quantities on a daily basis, the Israeli soldiers hardly risk their lives. Hence, the heroic Aliyah and even joining the IDF, seems to be a safe adventure, at least for the time being.
    Though it is rather clear that most young Diaspora Jews choose to get on with their lives wherever they are and to avoid ‘taking advantage of’ the Zionist Aliyah challenge, Zionism still provides them with a symbolic identifier. Zionism and its Aliyah operators offer them the opportunity to either identify with the few who went that far or to themselves become soldiers in one of the strongest armies in the world.
    Wandering Around
    Zionism invented the Jewish nation and set its national home, Israel, into a devastating conflict that is now taking a global shape and has become a serious global threat. Yet, for the Israelis, those who happen to be in the eye of the storm, ‘Zionism’ means very little. Israelis join the IDF not because they are Zionists but because they are Jews (as opposed to the Muslims around them). This crucial realisation may convey a new meaning for the notion of the ‘wandering Jew’. The dialectic that is set between the Diaspora and Eretz Yisrael leads towards a counter flow of migration, aspiration and yearning. The Diaspora Jews are aspired by Israel in the light of the Zionist fantasy, the Israeli Jews, on the other hand, are determined to escape their emerging siege. The Diaspora is heading towards Eretz Yisrael, the Israeli Jews, at large, are desperate to get out.
    This counter flow of migration/aspiration is far from being a matter of contingency, in fact it is the direct product of the holy Judaic scriptures. As I explored in my ‘Esther to AIPAC’ paper[1], more and more Bible scholars are now disputing the historicity of the Bible. Seemingly, the Bible is for most part “written after the Babylonian Exile and whose writings rework (and in large part invent) previous Israelite history so that it reflects and reiterates the experiences of those returning from the Babylonian exile.”
    Consequently, the Bible, being an exilic text, leads to a fragmented reality in which the Diaspora Jew yearns for ‘homecoming’ yet once at home, the ideology loses its appeal. The case of Zionism is shockingly similar, it has managed to aspire some Jews about Zion, yet, once in Zion, the ideology fails to provide for the domestic adventure.
    We can clearly detect a dialectic tension between Zionism, a Diaspora Jewish identity and Israeliness, which is largely related to the Hebraic project. Zionism and Israel are two diverse poles that together form the contemporary Jewish Experience.
    Love Yourself as much as you Hate Everyone Else
    Once we understand the dialectic opposition between Eretz Yisrael and the Diaspora, we are ready to move on and reflect upon the unique complimentarily relationships between the two.
    As much as Eretz Yisrael and the Diaspora establish a counter flow of aspiration and migration, Israel is there to establish a coherent and consistent symbolic interpretation of Jewish tribal chauvinism and supremacy. Israel makes ‘love yourself as much as you hate everyone else’ into a devastating reality, in which the self-lover happens to be capable of inflicting the ultimate pain on his surrounding neighbours.
    In order to understand the Jewish concept of self-loving, we may have to reflect first on the issue that makes this particular form of personal emotional consciousness take place: the issue of chosenness.
    While the religious Judaic understanding of Jewish chosenness is realised as a moral burden in which Jews are ordered by God to stand as a model of ethical behaviour, the secular Jewish interpretation is reduced into a banal chauvinist form of racially orientated supremacy. It clearly encourages those who are lucky enough to have a Jewish mother to love themselves blindly. It is crucial to mention at this stage that in most cases Jewish supremacy would lead to a certain level of dismissal of the elementary rights of the other. In many cases it leads toward animosity and even hatred whether latent or manifest.
    It is this supremacy which stands at the heart of the Zionist claim for Palestine at the expense of its indigenous inhabitants. But it obviously doesn’t end with Palestine, the radical manifestation of Jewish lobbying for extension of the “War Against Terror” as expressed, for instance, by the AJC is just another example. I would never dare say that this type of war mongering is inherent to Jews (as people), yet, unfortunately, it is rather symptomatic to Jewish tribal political thinking left, right and centre. Thus, it shouldn’t take us by surprise that at the forefront of the struggle for humanism and universal ethics we meet Jews such as Jesus, Spinoza and Marx. These people who went out of their way to introduce a notion of brotherhood stood primarily against the tribal supremacy they found in themselves and in their cultural heritage. They above all protested against what was familiar to them and suggested brotherhood and love instead.
    However, we may note that Jesus, Spinoza and Marx, didn’t manage to transform the Jews (as a collective), though they had a bit of success with some of them. Seemingly, the move from hard-core dogmatic monotheistic tribalism towards tolerant pluralist universalism is on the verge of the impossible. Indeed, more than a few Jews have managed to leave God behind, as we know some had become Marxists but somehow even many of those remained loyal to their monotheistic tribally exclusive ‘Jews only’ philosophy (Bund, JAZ). Others moved as far as becoming a ‘nation like other nations’ (Zionism) except that they made sure they cleansed and killed those who didn’t fit ethnically to their vision of themselves (1948 Nakba). Some became so liberal and cosmopolitan that they managed to reduce contemporary global conflict into a simplistic take on ’soft drink’. “People who drink Coca Cola do not fight each other”, they informed us. This may be the truth, however, as it seems, the Coke drinkers have recently killed 1.5 million Iraqis all in the name of ‘democracy’.
    It is extremely crucial to mention that many Jews have managed to assimilate and to leave their tribal traits behind, they operate as ordinary human beings. They have nothing to do with Bund, Neocons or Zionism. Seemingly, those truly liberated beings are not the subject of my study, and I can only wish them luck and success.
    However, though Jews are divided between themselves on many things, they are united in fighting those who they collectively identify as their enemies. It took me a while to realise that those who operate under the exclusive Jewish banner within the Palestinian solidarity and the Anti-War movements are primarily concerned with fighting any references to Jewish lobbying or Jewish power.
    One explanation was provided earlier on. Zionism per se, has little to do with Israel, it is an internal Diaspora Jewish discourse. Consequently, the debate between Zionists and Jewish anti-Zionists has no significance on Israel or the struggle against Israeli actions. It is there to keep the debate within the family while planting more confusion amongst the goyim. It allows the Jewish ethnic campaigner to maintain that “not all Jews are Zionists, in fact there are almost two dozen ‘Jewish Anti Zionists’ around the world”. As pathetic as it may sound, this dull argument has been good enough to effectively shatter any criticism of Jewish ethnocentric lobbying that may have been voiced the last four decades. Seemingly (and unfortunately), when it comes to ‘action’, the Zionists and the so-called Jewish ‘anti’-Zionists are acting as one people. Why are they acting as one people? Because they are one people. Are they really one people? It doesn’t matter as long as they themselves believe to be or act as if they are. And what is it that makes them into one people? They probably hate everyone else as much as they love themselves.
    There is an old Jewish saying, “Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are”, it would be most appropriate to amend it into a far more refined reading of Jewish contemporary tribal politics. “Just tell me who you hate and I’ll tell you who you are”. If, for instance, you hate Finkelstein, Atzmon, Blankfort, Mearsheimer & Walt and so on, you must be Jewish. If you just don’t agree with any of the above you can actually be anyone.
    Hatred and even personal loathing is sadly symptomatic to Jewish tribal politics, probably something to do with Jewish politics being marginal and defined by negation. Noticeably, Israel has managed to perfect it and give it real new meaning. While the Diaspora Jew is entitled to love himself, his hatred to the other is largely suppressed. As much as some Jews may like to follow their religious calling and spit on churches[2] or just destroy the lives of prominent academics and artists, hatred and violence is not tolerated within the contemporary Western discourse. This is exactly where Israel comes into play. As much as the Israelis love themselves, they are capable of hating anyone else. They are capable of starving millions of Palestinians, they are capable of killing when they feel like it. Israel made ‘love yourself/ hate everyone else’ into a viable practice. It resolved the most inherent ambivalent tension having to do with self-loving while being amongst others. Israel doesn’t just hate Prof. Finkelstein, it is capable of detaining and deporting him as well. Israel doesn’t just hate the Palestinians, it is equally capable of starving them, locking them behind walls and barbed wire, bombing them and even nuking the hardliners when the time is ripe.
    This is the most frightening aspect of complimentarily between Eretz Yisrael and the Diaspora. It is the materialisation of a hate-ridden society. After two millennia of wandering, the newly reformed national Jew is capable of not just hating but also of inflicting the ultimate pain on those he may hate.
    Exploring the Jewish Question
    Once a year, around Easter, my family leaves me behind for two weeks. My wife Tali and our two kids Mai and Yann make their way to Israel. I can clearly see how much they love it there. I can clearly understand what is it that they love there. Gladly, I can say that at least for the time being, my kids are not madly in love with themselves and do not see themselves as part of any tribal collective. Consequently, they do not hate anyone either.
    However, through their experience I can see what Israel is there to offer, especially to those who do not dwell there. I can see how successful the Israeli adventure looks from afar. Through their experience I learn about the dialectic between the Israel/Hebraic domestic quest and the Zionist/Diaspora aspiration. The negation and complimentarily between the Hebraic and the Diaspora is the essence of contemporary Jewish experience.
    If we want to tackle the crimes committed by Israel and the evil promoted by global Zionist lobbies, we better initiate a profound study of the Jewish question and the Jewish experience. It is not just Israel or Zionism but rather the unique devastating amalgam of complexity formed by both. Unless we question the Jewish experience, we are doomed to continue wasting our time employing irrelevant archaic 19th century terminology that has nothing to do with the conflict.
    Once we are brave enough to explore the Jewish question and Jewish identity we may be able to understand that Israeli apartheid is not just political circumstances, it is actually a natural outcome of a particular racially orientated tribal philosophy. The Israeli wall is not a political measure but rather a manifestation of an exclusive racist attitude that stands at the core of the Jewish notion of segregation. Once we stand up and insist upon interpreting Israeli/Zionist scrutinising of the Jewish question we may as well grasp why Senator Obama rushed to the AIPAC conference three hours after his nomination for the Democratic Party was secured. The set of promises made by Obama, Clinton and McCain in AIPAC a few days ago is in fact a true reflection of the contemporary Jewish experience. The senators feed the Jewish American prominent lobbyists exactly with the food they want to swallow. At the expense of the Palestinians, Iraqis, Syrians, Iranians and billion Muslims, American politicians openly promise that America will keep being biased. Seemingly, America prefers to appease its tiny Jewish minority instead of being an international mediator and a true genuine negotiator.
    I would strongly argue that in the light of the crimes committed by the Jewish state in the name of the Jewish people, we are perfectly entitled to question the philosophy and praxis involved with Jewish experience. We should never be intimidated by Jewish ethnic activists and Zionist smear campaigners.
    Since Jews do not form a race but largely succumb to some different forms of collective, racially orientated politics, we shouldn’t be afraid of touching the matter. Once we take it as a given that Jews do not form a race, the study of Jewish identity and politics is neither racism nor essentialism. It is actually the very opposite, it is in fact a critical reading of racist ideology and its inherent supremacy.
    Those of us who regard Israel and Zionism as the grave danger to world peace must pursue in this study. Rather than focusing separately on Zionism or Israel, we must learn the unique amalgam of complexity that is formed by both. This dialectic compound shapes the contemporary notion of Jewish Experience. Zionism in itself is no more than a decoy. It is there to grab our attention and divert our focus. Seemingly our attack on Zionism has no significance on Israel, its policies and its people. At the most, it disturbs some Zionist Jews.
    As much as the study of the ‘Jewish Experience’ may help us to save millions of lives of Palestinians, Iraqis, Syrians and Iranians, it is also a Jewish collective interest to understand the true nature of the Jewish experience and politics. At the end of the day, it is Jewish politics (rather than religion) that may eventually demonise the entire Jewish collective for the next millennia to come. It is a Jewish collective interest to stop the political beast before it is too late.
    I owe it to my Palestinian brothers and sisters, I owe it to myself, I owe it to Yann and Mai, I want to make sure that by the time they protest against my own ‘anti-Jewish experience’ I’ll be clever enough to discuss it all with them in an open and thoughtful manner.
    [1] http://www.counterpunch.org/atzmon03032007.html
    [2] According to Dr. Israel Shahak, in his book Jewish History, Jewish Religion, this practice has ancient roots and has become increasingly commonplace: Dishonoring Christian religious symbols is an old religious duty in Judaism. Spitting on the cross, and especially on the Crucifix, and spitting when a Jew passes a church, have been obligatory from around AD 200 for pious Jews. In the past, when the danger of anti-Semitic hostility was a real one, the pious Jews were commanded by their rabbis either to spit so that the reason for doing so would be unknown, or to spit onto their chests, not actually on the cross or openly before the church.
    Gilad Atzmon is a jazz musician, composer, producer and writer.This article was first posted at Palestine Think Tank http://palestinethinktank.com

    Reply

  8. Kathleen says:

    I am careful…I’m having a discussion, not writing a thesis. I mean “indigenous’ in the same sense that the United Nations does in its recent adopted Declaration of Innternational Indigenous Rights.

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  9. Morton says:

    I hear ya. Be careful about the terms “indigneous,” and “caucasian”
    as you continue on your journey.

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  10. Kathleen says:

    Morton… I’m sure it is a great deal more complicated in whole, than the points I made in the above comment. I was simply responding to a particular comparisson in an earlier comment that WigWag made. Catpcha problems caused me to be delayed in responding, so perhaps you didn’t see the previous discussion about the pros and cons of the One Stae solution
    I know some Jews were indigenous to Palestine and a number of them were asked to leave from neighboring countries, but the majority came from Europe. I’m not suggesting that it was acceptable to mistreat Jews anywhere, just that mistreating Palestinians is not the answer.
    European Jews were Caucasians, unlike the indigenous Jews of Palestine. Germans, Poles, Russians, Italians, French, Spaniards, etc. who happen to be Jews are indigenous to Europe. My sense, and I could be totally wrong, never having been to Palestine or Israel, is that the indigenous Jews have an easier time being freinds with the Palestinians because they were neighbors and are more similar than the Jews who came from Germany, for example.
    I know there were no English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Portugese, etc. in NA, SA, AS. NZ and their indigenous peoples were displaced. That was the point.
    I do not know what the answer is. I’m trying to understand.so that I can make informed decisionws, as a voter, vis a vis what my gov’t does in my name.

    Reply

  11. Morton says:

    Kathleen, Good analysis, but I’d have to say it’s a wee bit more
    complicated than that.
    First, in part, Jews were indigenous to Palestine and to many of
    the countries from which they were expelled or “asked” to leave
    after 1948. A substantial minority had lived there forever, and
    once they were a majority. So, to simply call them non-
    indigenous runs roughshod over the whole truth.
    Plus, if Jews can be asked to leave from countries where they
    were “indigenous,” what meaning does “indigenous” have? One
    of the principal points of antisemitism is that Jews, wherever
    they live, are considered non-indigenous. No one ever seems to
    argue that Iraqi Jews should get their homes or land back. Nor
    is that ever on the table in these discussions.
    Second, and related to the first, no English people ever lived in
    NA or Australia originally. No Dutch ever lived in SA. No
    Spanish ever lived in LA. Until the invaders came. And then they
    claimed those lands for THEIR HOME COUNTRY.
    And these people were not fleeing the sort of persecution the
    Jews were experiencing.
    (I can assure that there would be no Israel today without the
    pogroms and the holocaust and centuries of exclusion from
    European society where, presumably, they were indigenous.)
    By contrast, the Jews didn’t emigrate to set up a little German or
    Polish outpost in the Middle East (though some saw it that way.)
    So, just as a way to conceptualize this situation, I think your
    analogy is also flawed…a bit simplistic.

    Reply

  12. Charles Mingus says:

    OKAY, LET’S LOOK AT THIS:
    arthurdecco writes: “”No, Jews on the whole seem to be
    extremely supportive of the most radicalized right wing
    extremist politicians these days, Harry. They seem to support
    those who want to kill other people – preferably arabs – though
    not exclusively.”
    FIRST YOU SAY, “JEWS ON THE WHOLE,” WHICH MEANS YOU ARE
    NOT TALKING ABOUT A SMALL GROUP OF LEADERS OR OWNERS
    OF MEDIA OUTLETS.
    YOU GO ON TO SAY THAT JEWS ON THE WHOLE ARE “EXTREMELY
    SUPPORTIVE OF THE MOST RADICALIZED RIGHT WING EXTREMIST
    POLITICIANS THESE DAYS.” AND THEN: “THEY SEEM TO
    SUPPORT PEOPLE WHO WANT TO KILL OTHER OTHER PEOPLE,
    PREFERABLY ARABS, THOUGH NOT EXCLUSIVELY.”
    NOW, HERE IN AMERICA, AD, JEWS ON THE WHOLE ARE AMONG
    THE MOST LIBERAL AND PROGRESSIVE OF GROUPS. FOR WHAT
    IT’S WORTH THEY VOTE DEMOCRAT 70%-90% OF THE TIME.
    MOST OF THEM, ACCORDING TO POLLS, DO NOT HATE ARABS,
    LET ALONE WANT TO KILL THEM. BUT WHO ELSE ARE YOU
    REFERRNG TO WHEN YOU SAY THAT “JEWS ON THE WHOLE”
    WANT TO KILL OTHER PEOPLE, TOO? PLEASE SUPPLY ANY
    EVIDENCE FOR THESE SWEEPING AND DISTURBING VIEWS.
    “They were for socialism when they saw it as a path towards
    power and influence. When that well dried up, they moved on to
    neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism.”
    THIS IS STRAIGHT OUT OF KBM. IF YOU’RE GOING TO REPEAT IT
    AS GOSPEL, YOU ARE DUTY BOUND TO PROVE IT. OTHERWISE,
    YOU’RE BEING LAZY AND, WORSE, SPREADING SMEARS YOU
    DON’T KNOW TO BE TRUE YOURSELF. YOU WANT AN
    INTELLECTUALLY THOUGHTFUL RESPONSE–TRY WRITING THAT
    WAY TO BEGIN WITH.
    FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH, QUITE A FEW JEWS BECAME SOCIALISTS
    BECAUSE THEY SAW IT AS A WAY TO MAKE A BETTER SOCIETY. I
    KNOW BECAUSE MY MOTHER IN LAW WAS A MEMBER OF THE
    AMERICAN COMMUNIST PARTY, AND I KNOW WHAT MOTIVATED
    HER. SHE WAS MARRIED TO A JEW, BUT WASN’T ONE HERSELF.
    FRANKLY, ARTHUR, THIS IS A CARTOON VERSION OF HISTORY.
    “When these wells dry up, as they shall, Jews will adopt a new
    philosophy that furthers their interests. Because that is what
    Jews have been doing for thousands of years. Furthering their
    own interests.
    LET’S ASSUME, FOR THE MOMENT, THAT THIS STATEMENT IS
    TRUE. IS IT NOT ALSO TRUE THAT OTHER PEOPLE ADOPT
    POSITIONS THAT FURTHER THEIR INTERESTS? HOW ABOUT
    THOSE METIS WHO WERE RAPED AND ABUSED BY ANGLO CLERGY
    UP IN YOUR PARTS. WEREN’T THOSE CLERGY PURSUING THEIR
    OWN INTERESTS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE NATIVE PEOPLES?
    BUT EVEN LEAVING ASIDE THIS ADMITTEDLY EXTREME EXAMPLE,
    PLEASE SHOW ME THE PEOPLE–ENGLISH? FRENCH? GERMANS?
    CANADIANS? AMERICANS? SPANISH?–WHO DON’T PURSUE
    THEIR OWN INTERESTS?
    THINK OF YOUR FRIEND FROM THE SOUTH, CARROLL. THEIR
    ENTIRE SOUTHERN SOCIETY WAS STRUCTURED AROUND
    PURSUING THE INTEREST OF WHITE FOLK LIKE YOUR FRIEND AT
    A TERRIBLE COST TO THE BLACKS THEY HAD ENSLAVED.
    If others can ride along on their coat tails, so much the better
    from a publicity point of view, but that has never been the point
    or the purpose of their quest for influence and power.”
    HOW DO YOU KNOW?
    “Except for an embarrassingly small minority of Jewish thinkers,
    movers and shakers, it has always been about what can best
    further the interests of the tribe – the rest of humanity be
    damned.”
    YOU MEAN, LIKE JESUS? HAVE YOU EVER LOOKED INTO JEWISH
    PHILANTHROPY? DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY DOCTORS AND
    SCIENTISTS ARE JEWISH? HOW MANY SOCIAL WORKERS? HOW
    MANY TEACHERS? HOW MANY WRITERS? DO YOU KNOW THAT
    THERE ARE MORE JEWISH NOBEL WINNERS THAN HAVE BEEN
    PRODUCED BY ANY OTHER GROUP? DID THEY PURSUE THEIR
    STUDIES TO CONSOLIDATE JEWISH POWER? IT’S ALMOST
    IMPOSSIBLE TO MAKE SENSE OF WHAT YOU’RE SAYING HERE.
    YOU SOUND LIKE A RAVING LUNATIC–I’M SORRY–AND
    TOTALLY UNINFORMED ON THE SUBJECT YOU PRETEND TO
    SPEAK.
    AND THEN LET’S LOOK AT THIS:
    You’ve confused my grave concern at the disproportionate
    influence of Jewish organizations, institutions and group think
    over all aspects of Western culture with obsession.
    ARTHUR, THE NUMBER OF JEWS IN POSITIONS OF POWER HAS,
    FOR MOST OF THE 20TH CENTURY, BEEN MINISCULE COMPARED
    TO THE NUMBER OF WHITE ANGLO-SAXONS. EVEN IF EVERY JEW
    IN AMERICA WERE A GANZER MACHER, THEY WOULD AMOUNT
    TO 3% OF THE POPULATION.
    AND HERE AND ABOVE, YOU ARE CLEARLY NOT, I REPEAT NOT,
    TALKING ABOUT NEWSPAPERS AND MEDIA OUTLETS BEING
    OWNED BY JEWS. YOUR STATEMENTS ARE FAR MORE WIDE-
    RANGING AND MUCH MORE DISTURBING. ALL ASPECT OF
    WESTERN CULTURE? YOU MEAN, LIKE THE AUTOMOBILE
    INDUSTRY? YOU MEAN, LIKE THE FOOD INDUSTRY? YOU MEAN
    LIKE ALL THE JEWS WHO HAVE BEEN PRESIDENT OF THE US AND
    PM OF CANADA? YOU MEAN LIKE ALL THE JEWS WHO BUILT THE
    AMERICAN INDUSTRIAL BASE? YOU MEAN LIKE ALL THE JEWS
    WHO CONTROL THE MILITARY? YOU MEAN LIKE THE JEWS WHO
    STARTED THE VIET NAM WAR? OR THE KOREAN WAR? OR WWII?
    YOU MEAN LIKE THE POPE, THE VATICAN AND ALL THE
    PROTESTANT DENOMINATIONS THAT DOMINATE RELIGION HERE
    IN THE UNITED STATES AND, NO DOUBT, CANADA? YOU MEAN
    ALL THOSE JEWISH ARTISTS LIKE PICASSO, MATISSE, JASPER
    JOHNS,, BRAHMS AND BEETHOVEN WHO DOMINATE THE ARTS?
    OR ALL THOSE WRITERS LIKE ROBERTSON DAVIES, FAULKNER,
    FORD, UPDIKE, GRISHAM WHO DOMINATE PUBLISHING?
    ARTHUR, THIS IS SCATTERSHOT, I KNOW. BUT IT’S HARD TO
    CAST MY NET WIDE ENOUGH TO ENCOMPASS ALL THE NON-
    JEWISH INFLUENCES ON WESTERN CULTURE. THERE ARE HUGE
    SWATHS OF WESTERN CULTURE UNTOUCHED BY JEWISH HANDS.
    BUT HERE’S THE OTHER POINT…
    AMERICA, AT LEAST, IS SUPPOSED TO BE A COUNTRY WHERE, IF
    YOU WORK HARD, YOU CAN SUCCEED AND YOU HAVE A RIGHT
    TO SUCCEED. IT’S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE A SOCIETY IN WHICH
    THE GOODIES ARE RATIONED OUT ACCORDING TO SOME
    FORMULA. JEWS GET SO MUCH. CHRISTIANS GET THAT MUCH.
    YOUR FRIEND CARROLL AND HER FAMILY BENEFITED FROM THAT
    SORT OF SYSTEM DOWN SOUTH FOR, GOSH, A CENTURY OR SO.
    THEY PURSUED THEIR INTERESTS DOGGEDLY UNTIL BLACKS
    STOOD UP AND THE US GOVERNMENT SENT TROOPS TO FORCE
    WHITES FROM PURSUING THEIR INTERESTS AT THE EXPENSE OF
    OTHERS.
    NO, HERE PEOPLE ARE SUPPOSED TO PARTICIPATE, GET
    INVOLVED, CONTRIBUTE TO WHATEVER DEGREE THEY CAN. BUT
    APPARENTLY, FOR YOU, JEWS ARE ONLY SUPPOSED TO HAVE “SO”
    MUCH AND NOTHING MORE.
    ANYWAY, ARTHUR, THERE’S WAY TOO MUCH TO SAY ABOUT
    THIS TO SAY IT HERE. I’LL LEAVE YOU WITH THIS:
    • IF YOU’RE GOING TO PARROT KBM, THEN YOU HAVE TO BE
    PREPARED TO DEFEND WHAT HE SAYS. IOW, YOU HAVE TO SAY
    WHY YOU BELIEVE IT TO BE TRUE, SCIENTIFICALLY. A THEORY
    ISN’T TRUE UNTIL DISPROVEN; IT’S THE OTHER WAY AROUND.
    THOUGH YOU HAVE NOT UTTERED THE WORD “BIOLOGICALLY,”
    THAT IS, IN FACT, THE IMPORT WHAT KBM CLAIMS. THAT’S WHY
    HE USES THE WORD “EVOLUTIONARY” TO DESCRIBE HIS THEORY.
    IT’S ABOUT BIOLOGY.
    • IF YOU WANT TO TUNE IN TO ENGLISH LANGUAGE AL JAZEERA,
    AND YOUR CABLE SYSTEM DOESN’T OFFER IT, JUST HEAD TO
    YOUR COMPUTER.

    Reply

  13. Kathleen says:

    Wigwag…I’ll attempt one more time, to escape craptcha and continue our discussion.. I felt the places you mentioned were not analogous because the people in those places were indigenous and had historically shared borders.
    Isreal, not having been its own country before 1948, had primarilly “imported” people, displacing the indigenous inhabitants. Nor could they claim any legitimate land title disputes over borders with Palestine in 1948.
    Canada cannot be considered to be barely hanging together because some Quebequois occasionally peacefully try to be seperate.
    Switzerland is comprised of three cultures which have always been indigenous to their respective sections of the country and have always lived near each other. Living on the other side of an imaginary line on a map and voting in different elections hardly requires much cultural adaptation. Its like living in Maine as opposed to Pennsylvania.
    You mention that Italy was only united in the 19th Century. Italy has been one people for 2,000 years, since the early Roman Republic, despite its temporary outer political structure. Congenitally adverse to monarchy, when the Roman empire dissolved, Sicily went to Egypt and mainland Italians with help from the Vatican, tried to emulate their monarchic European contempories, with little success. Not willing to give any one man concentrated power, they never succeeded in developing any Kingdoms of consequence, but rather had a lot of little Principalties, with titles that Italians regularly ridiculed..Garibaldi simply rid Italy of its temporary monarchic pretensions and returned Italy to its ancient natural form of gov’t, a Roman Republic.
    The United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, South American countries, are just some places that are more analogous to the Palestine/Isreal situation because they all have “imported’ inhabitants who displaced the indigenous peoples, herding those not slaughtered onto reserves with a subservient status before the law.
    I do not pretend to know what is best for Palestinians and Israelis at this point in time, but I take hope in a solution being found by the spirit of the Oslo Accord and Camp David.
    Good Luck, J Street!

    Reply

  14. arthurdecco says:

    “Instead of blaming folks who reprint your own words, why don’t
    you defend them, based on the facts as you see them? You’re
    good at assertions–generalizations–why not try your hand at
    thinking?” posted by Charles Mingus
    You’ve raised a good point that deserves to be addressed.
    Like most people who have been savaged for pointing out the obvious over this incredibly contentious subject, I have developed an impatience with those who refuse to discuss the issues at hand – an impatience that sometimes morphs into rudeness, which has led me at times to abridge my thoughts to the point that they become, perhaps, TOO cryptic. No one likes to be personally attacked by those who think it’s perfectly acceptable to insult, demean those whose opinions they disagree with. I’ve had it UP TO HERE with those who selectively quote me without the context that would fairly represent my views or the views of my even more venomous critics.
    Adolescent debating club techniques tire me out.
    Someone mentioned the ad Hominem attacks I’ve been responsible for. I freely admit it. Too bad they didn’t point out the repeated scurrilous ad Hominem attacks directed at me that led to those impudent and imprudent responses. There have been hundreds of vile assaults on me based on nothing more than the writer’s own imaginings.
    Am I a saint? Hardly. I make as many errors of judgment as anyone when faced with organized barrages of misinformation directed at me. I’ve even been known to really, really lose my temper. lol
    And I’d love for Wig Wag or anyone else to point out where I have claimed Jews are “biologically programmed to be conniving”? I can’t remember ever saying any such thing. Nor do I believe I have ever read such a thing anywhere but perhaps in a blog entry by some social Neanderthal.
    It’s that kind of dishonest interlocution that brings up my blood pressure. Wig Wag, and many, many others like her, aren’t interested in reading my response to such an odious question – no – they’re only interested in associating me with the IDEA contained within it in order to taint any response I make about any issue, however unrelated. Issues like the one I raised earlier in this very post, where I described her approval of Israel’s collective punishment of the Palestinians as “sociopathic”.
    I would and could never make such a statement as the one quoted above because I don’t know if Jews are “biologically programmed to be conniving”. That is as far from my areas of expertise as can be imagined. But I can say with some authority that Jews tend to back each other up in a well-organized way when faced with what they consider a threat to the collective. I can say authoritatively that there are Jews in North America who deliberately filter what I’m allowed to read or hear about the Middle East or even about the less flattering aspects of AIPAC’s “conniving” against the American government and through them, the American public.
    If my concern over the disproportionate influence of powerful Jews over ALL of the citizens here in North America can be construed as anti-Semitism rather than as the legitimate response that it actually is to the dangers and risks inherent in any concentration of power – a concentration of power primarily controlled and financed by a sub-group of Jews that even threaten the security of their fellow Jews, then we have truly entered Lalaland where up is down and black is white.
    In my opinion, democracy isn’t about who best can manipulate opinion to create the outcomes favorable to a minority of the population, or about who can best afford to buy political influence, or about who is best placed to threaten the financial or social security of anyone who disagrees with them. Democracy is supposed to be about allowing the majority of our populations to make political judgments based on a comprehensive review of the facts. And in today’s oppressive climate, that is impossible. And it is that that I fight tirelessly against in my modest and unaffiliated way.
    Despite the fact that nothing I’ve said on this thread is remotely contentious or arguable, look at how many people have defended my positions or even my right to state them.
    Not. A. Single. One.
    And sadly, that’s not because I’m wrong, or hateful, or some kind of racist – no, its because most people, rightly, don’t want to expend the required energy to address the myriad of slithering snakes that crawl all over them the millisecond they have the audacity to point out that the Emperor has no clothes.

    Reply

  15. Kathleen says:

    Paul… I’ll give that a try, toooo.

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  16. Paul Norheim says:

    And your ad hominem attacks on people who disagree with your anti-jewish obsessions on the other blogs are frankly quite chocking. You obviously try to hide that ugly face when posting here.

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  17. Paul Norheim says:

    “I think, deep down, you’re just looking for an excuse to even the score on someone who has previously called you out because of your disregard for accuracy and your all too easy accusations of anti-Semitism. That’s what I think.” (arthurdecco)
    Deep down?
    Revenge?
    Well, as everybody can see, someone above on this thread informed us that you had been commenting on several Canadian blogs, not only against Zionists, but against “Jews on the whole”, and that you defended the position and theories of Kevin MacDonald. I was not aware of that.
    If I had googled on “arthurdecco” and “anti-semitism” one year ago, I would have sticked to my original claim. Now it`s evident for anyone who do a bit of research, that there is a huge gap between your position and the position of gentlemen like, say: Walt and Marsheimer.
    You happen to agree with them. But in addition, you have certain unflattering views on “Jews” in general, and even a biological explanation for that. This came as a surprise to me.
    Am I a “lazy thinker”? Who knows.
    Delivering “circular arguments”?
    Nope. I`m just quoting you.

    Reply

  18. Paul Norheim says:

    Kathleen,
    There are several methods regarding captcha. I always just copy my text before submitting, and when I get the message that I have “failed”, I click on the TWN adress again, paste in my text and click submit. This works most of the time. Occationally I will have to paste it a second time.

    Reply

  19. Kathleen says:

    Captcha stil spitting things out.. TE tried the back arrow/refresh thing..didn’t work for me. If I keep my comments very brief, they make it thru. Makes it hard to say much of significance.

    Reply

  20. Charles "Driveby" Mingus says:

    “You’ve confused my grave concern at the disproportionate
    influence of Jewish organizations, institutions and group think
    over all aspects of Western culture with obsession.”
    Hmmm. “Disproportionate influence of Jewish organizations,
    institution over ALL aspects of Western culture…”
    Yes, I would have to say that this little quote is, pretty much, the
    definition of “obsession.”
    Arthur, if you are interested in facts, what you say here and
    elsewhere IS a fact, as much as you wish to deny it.
    Instead of blaming folks who reprint your own words, why don’t
    you defend them, based on the facts as you see them? You’re
    good at assertions–generalizations–why not try your hand at
    thinking?

    Reply

  21. WigWag says:

    So Arthur, let me get this straight. Do you just agree with MacDonald when he says Jews are biologically programmed to be conniving or do you also agree with him when he says black people, on average have lower IQs?
    I hope you’re posting from North America, Arthur. There are countries in Europe where you could be prosecuted for hate speech. And it wouldn’t be the Jews doing the prosecution. Because of people who think like MacDonald, there aren’t any left.
    You’ve been outed, Arthur.

    Reply

  22. arthurdecco says:

    Mr. Norheim, Spare me your crocodile tears over my “obsession with the Jews”. You’ve made a common mistake. You’ve confused my grave concern at the disproportionate influence of Jewish organizations, institutions and group think over all aspects of Western culture with obsession. I suppose it’s easier to accuse me of being an anti-Semite or emotionally unstable for calling a spade a spade than it is to deal head-on with the issues I raise and the accepted truths I challenge.
    I could post excerpts all day on the thoughts of respected Jewish thinkers down through the ages who mirror mine exactly. Are they too, anti-Semites in your mind?
    The fact is, my head has been removed from the sand and I refuse to shove it back in to placate lazy thinkers like you, sociopaths like WigWag or tawdry drive-byers like Charles Mingus.
    You claim I “blame everything” on Jews. That’s idiotic. As is your contention that I could just as easily blame “the Americans. Or the Muslims. Or the Christians, the Chinese. The Vatican”.
    Let’s leave Americans out of it for now… None of the other groups you mentioned control my access to information in quite the same way as Jews in North America do, do they? For proof of that, let’s go watch English language Al Jezeera…Oh, we can’t?… geez, imagine that! None of the other groups you mentioned remotely control the agendas of the Middle East in quite the way AIPAC does. Your argument is fatuous. It’s just another straw dog in a long line of straw dog arguments I’ve been on the receiving end of since I started submitting my opinions online.
    Do you think this asinine conversation would even be taking place if I wasn’t constantly at the throats of those who support the deliberate destruction of Palestine, its culture and people – if I wasn’t accusing Israel and its war-worshipping supporters of being the subjects of a collective madness? If I wasn’t always coming down hard on those, (like I did with you last year), who irresponsibly and unthinkingly hurl accusations of “anti-Semite”, (unspoken or not), at those of us who ask you to think about what’s really going on rather than continuing to pontificate and moralize about your own innermost imaginings based on ignorance and hubris?
    There are times when the shallowness of your thinking comes to the forefront of your arguments. This is one of those times.
    My interests are wide-ranging, Nr. Norheim. You’re not dealing with the cartoon-like, sputtering, hateful, vengeful Jew-hater of your imagination, but rather with an engaged, informed champion of Real Democracy, both political and social. And in today’s climate that puts me at loggerheads with certain institutions and philosophies, some of them Jewish, some not.
    As I have repeatedly said, Challenge my ideas. Engage me with alternatives to the conclusions I’ve been able to draw from the evidence available to me. I have always said that its easy to change my opinion – all you need do is offer up a more rational argument or observation than the one I’ve submitted for consideration.
    So far, neither you, nor anyone else has done that in this conversation – a conversation that was brought about by my accusing WigWag of being a sociopath for supporting and accepting the collective violent punishment of a whole people as government policy.
    That’s what I was initially talking about here, before I entered my support for Kathleen’s post:
    “At this point the One State Solution is looking like it has merit, with Jerusalem an international religious site, like the Vatican, but shared by the three religions in the region.”
    Didn’t I reply: “It can’t happen soon enough.”? Tell me, how misguided is that sentiment? And how could anyone holding that view ever be considered an anti-Semite by a rational thinker?
    I think, deep down, you’re just looking for an excuse to even the score on someone who has previously called you out because of your disregard for accuracy and your all too easy accusations of anti-Semitism. That’s what I think.
    And for now, I’m exhausted with these circular arguments. Count me out unless you have something of value to add to the conversation.

    Reply

  23. Paul Norheim says:

    An advise, Arhurdecco,
    (friendly meant, even though you may not believe it, and have every reason not to)
    But here it goes…
    Do everything you can to get over your obesession with “the Jews”. You may be a good person, and I agree with a lot of what you say (and disagree with a lot too!), but it seems like you have fallen for the temptation to blame most of the things that are bad in the world on one group of people. That is simply wrong and will do no good to yourself or the ones concerned.
    You could also blame everything on the Americans. Or the Muslims. Or the Christians, the Chinese. The Vatican. You could even find a a vast amount of material to support it. But it would all be half true, half wrong, with plenty of scientific or documented facts to support it. And it would do no good, and ultimately only bring more confusion and hate into the world.
    I do not say that you should stop being angry. But to resist the hypothesis that there is one half-hidden agenda behind all those horrible things happening every day. Forget that, it is a psychological and theoretical mistake, ultimately resulting in political and moral mistakes on a big scale.

    Reply

  24. Paul Norheim says:

    YOU are disappointed?
    Me too.
    Something like a fact?
    About Kevin MacDonald?
    Or about “arthurdecco”?
    I don’t think that TWN is the appropriate place to argue about “scientific” theories claiming that there are biological reasons behind the behaviour of ethnic groups, etc.
    But since I hinted that there seemed to be more than “anti-zionistic”, or general leftist (or political, humanistic etc…) motivations behind the writings of “arthurdecco”, this is a serious allegation, and should be supported by facts.
    However, it’s difficult to tell who says what, when you read the name “arthurdecco” at several blogs on the internet. So I can’t be 100% sure here.
    But you have confirmed above that you have written stuff at myblagh.com.
    So I suppose that it was you who wrote, on the above mentioned blog (http://myblahg.com/?p=1017), these sentences a couple of years ago:
    “(arthurdecco Says:
    July 10th, 2006 at 9:37 pm | |)
    “No, Jews on the whole seem to be extremely supportive of the most radicalized right wing extremist politicians these days, Harry. They seem to support those who want to kill other people – preferably arabs – though not exclusively.”
    “They were for socialism when they saw it as a path towards power and influence. When that well dried up, they moved on to neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism.”
    “When these wells dry up, as they shall, Jews will adopt a new philosophy that furthers their interests. Because that is what Jews have been doing for thousands of years. Furthering their own interests. If others can ride along on their coat tails, so much the better from a publicity point of view, but that has never been the point or the purpose of their quest for influence and power.”
    “Except for an embarrassingly small minority of Jewish thinkers, movers and shakers, it has always been about what can best further the interests of the tribe – the rest of humanity be damned.”
    So, I do not have “facts” – unless you can deliver them yourself, by confirming that the long quote above was indeed written by you. Then we have facts.
    “Jews on the whole”…?!
    And if that arthurdecco is identical with the very same one writing here, the sad and stupid thing is that you give some of those those who defend the worst actions from the Israeli government during the last years a “prove” that those who critisize Israel are “against Jews”.
    And what do the “Jews on the whole” have to do with the current politics of Israel, with AIPAC, the Neocons, and other entities that you are discussing here? (I don’t think I even want to hear it. I have heard it before.)

    Reply

  25. arthurdecco says:

    If you have something you like to add to your comment, Jun 11, 11:09PM, Mr Norheim – something like a fact – I’d like to hear it.
    Smears and innuendos are just stupid.
    You disappoint me.
    Wig Wag, read the book. Get back to me.

    Reply

  26. Paul Norheim says:

    When I wrote my first comments here (perhaps one year ago?), I remember getting into a big debate with several commentators at TWN about anti-semitism, where I argued that one should be very careful in distinguishing between political criticism of Israel and anti-semitism. My fellow commentators could not understand why Holocaust (which happend in Europe a long time ago) had any relevance for Americans versus Jews or Israelis in the current political situation.
    I am not an American, nor a Jew, nor German, and was born long after the second World War, but to me the importance of that distinction is crucial after the 2oth century (dispite the Israeli rulers and their habit of using Holocoust to legitimate whatever they have done or intend to do).
    That debate started when I accused arthurdecco of delivering anti/semitic statements. I apologized afterwords, after re-reading his statements. The content was not clearly anti-semitic, but the vocabulary seemed to be close to that. Hence the discussion about the retoric of criticism versus the retoric of anti-semitism at that time.
    Now it seems like there is more than just retorics behind arthurdeccos formulations. This should not encourage people here at TWN to accuse anyone who criticize Israel of being anti-semitic. But it should remind us that anti-semitism excists, even at TWN.
    Sad. And stupid.

    Reply

  27. WigWag says:

    Arthur, the man is associated with white supremicist journals. The Southern Poverty Law Center (hardly a Zionist organization)has branded him a dangerous racist. Stephen Pinker from MIT (the acknowledged leader in the field) said his theses were unable to pass the threshold of attention-worthiness and/or peer-approval. His own colleagues in his department at California State University (Long Beach)labeled his work as neo-Nazi propaganda. He accepted a $10,000 grant from tne Occidental Quarterly, a white supremicist publication. David Duke praises him on his website. He’s invited Virginia Abernethy, a self-described “white separatist” and member of the white supremacist organization Council of Conservative Citizens which describes blacks as “a retrograde species of humanity” to his meetings.
    MacDonald admits to making the following statement, “Moreover, achieving parity between Jews and other ethnic groups would entail a high level of discrimination against individual Jews for admission to universities or access to employment opportunities and even entail a large taxation on Jews to counter the Jewish advantage in the possession of wealth, since at present Jews are vastly overrepresented among the wealthy and the successful in the United States.”
    Arthur, the world is filled with wonderful books. I won’t waste my time reading his. The evidence is overwhelming that they are horrid.
    Are you a disciple of this guy, Arthur? If so, with all due respect, you need to get help.

    Reply

  28. arthurdecco says:

    It’s not in you to stop lying, is it, Wig Wag. (stated not asked)
    Reading your latest obnoxious post it’s clear you haven’t read “The Culture of Critique” for yourself. And yet you go on and on disparagingly about a man you’ve only read ABOUT – not read.
    What kind of a person does that?
    And,
    Why?

    Reply

  29. WigWag says:

    ArthurDecco, of all the things I’ve read on the WashingtonNote since I first started coming here the most shocking is your defense of Kevin MacDonald. Dr. MacDonald has been described as a white supremecist, an anti semite and a bigot. He has been repudiated by virtually all of his colleagues and he is persona non grata in his own department. His work is often compared to the work of Charles Murray and Richard J. Hernstein who wrote “The Bell Curve.” This was a very controversial book published in 1994 concluding, among other things, that Black people on average had lower IQs than caucasian people. The book concluded that on average Jews and Asian people had higher IQs. The book was universally recongnized as hog wash and it was roundly criticized for being racist. Which it was. If anything, MacDonald’s work is more bigoted and less rigorous than Murray’s.
    What’s more, you can’t possibly believe this stuff if you know anything about human genetics. The methodology that people like Murray, Hernstein and MacDonald use was popular before the invention of modern technologies to search for human genetic variability. Now that this technology is widely available, it demolishes the theories that MacDonald postulates. If you believe what MacDonald says, please tell me precisely which genetic regions account for the phenotype he claims to have found. Then explain to me the mechanism of action which explains how these putative traits are trasferred to human populations. If you or Professor MacDonald can’t do it, then it’s junk science.
    People on this site get annoyed when the term antisemitism is bandied about too loosely, Certianly being anti-Israel does not make a person anti-Semetic. But antisemitism does exist. So does racism. MacDonald’s work is in the category akin to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Arthur, tell me you don’t believe this stuff.

    Reply

  30. arthurdecco says:

    Charles Mingus, You epitomize the Snarky, the Deliberately Obfuscating, the Mealy Mouthed, who, when served a fact they’re unable to dispute, circle around to knee-capping, cat calls, nasty innuendo and deliberate misrepresentations in an effort to remove our eyes from the ball. Your opinions of me and the motivations you attribute to me have about as much validity as Britney Spears’ views on Baby Bush’s politics.
    I am indeed the same arthurdecco that contributes to Canadian political blogs. I have indeed waded into discussions on the effects of Jewish over-representation in our closely held media empires and their disproportionate political influence in North America. (AIPAC, CAIPAC, anyone?) As have many, many, many other concerned and informed citizens, I might add. I have indeed referenced Kevin MacDonald’s work, “The Culture of Critique” to buttress my arguments. (I won’t attempt to defend his work OR his morality OR his scholarship here – he does quite well at that all on his own.) But beyond a few trivial points I have gotten wrong over the years, (points that I have immediately apologized for and corrected when I have learned of them); no one… (I want to be perfectly clear about this:) NO ONE(!) has ever convincingly presented a lucid and factual argument that disputes the basic positions I’ve taken in my posts. A dishonest drive-bying propagandist like you isn’t going to be the first, trust me.
    Do you have any facts you’d like to present that could convince your audience of the validity of your opinions or are you satisfied with baffling us with more of this same adolescent snickering and snorting I imagine spewing from behind your raised hands and averted gaze?
    I look forward to addressing any meaningful and factual positions you present for discussion.
    Until then , why don’t you blow it out your ass?

    Reply

  31. Kathleen says:

    Tahoe Editor… I don’t click the return to article link… I do click the back arrow, but I didn’t click the refresh button tooo. I’ll give it a try. I don’t have Firefox. I have a laptop and not much computer savvy. Part of the problem for me is the dark, speckled, streaky background, making it more difficult to discern the letters, but it’s also Craptcha, as you put it.

    Reply

  32. Tahoe Editor says:

    CRAPTCHA INDIGESTION
    Do NOT click the “return to article” link when you get a craptcha. i think this erases your comments.
    INSTEAD use your browser’s “back” button and then click “refresh”. you comments should remain with a new craptcha to try. this works for me in Firefox.
    STEVEN CRAIG CLEMONS, YOUR CRAPTCHAS ARE CRAP AND I HOPE YOUR WEBSLAVE IS NOT STILL COLLECTING CHECKS FROM YOU.
    I’ve also checked the “Remember personal info for next time?” box 1 million times in vain. Anyone else?

    Reply

  33. WigWag says:

    Kathleen, I can sympathize. I’ve had captcha indigestion here many times myself.

    Reply

  34. Kathleen says:

    WigWag…okay, if you say so…BC, my comments were more comprehensive, but I’ve become cryptically cryptic. BC=Before Captcha.
    I did try several times to give a more detailed response to your comments, but captcha’s indigestion spit them out. Now I’m all cranky, so I’ll give it a rest and try another day… to be cont.

    Reply

  35. WigWag says:

    Kathleen, I don’t have contempt for you or your point of view. I don’t agree with it, but I don’t have contempt for it. At my age, changing your mind is not easy, but I hope that I am still open to learning from others and at least modifying my opinions based on what I hear. And I don’t deny that sometimes I fall into the trap of being pompous like so many people who comment here.
    I am genuinely interested in what you have to say or I wouldn’t be here in the first place. I do think that many of the aphorisms that are thrown around so often at the Washington Note have the unfortunate effect of lowering the quality of the discourse, not raising it.
    Up above we were discussing whether a one state solution might make sense. I sited a list of failed or semi failed multi ethnic or multi national states. You said the situation in Israel/Palestine is different. I wonder why you feel this way. Here’s my perspective.
    The history of the 20th century, at least since World War I was about the disagregation of multiethnic empires into states where one ethnic or religious group dominated in terms of number of citizens. In the late 19th century Italian speaking mini states merged to form Italy and german speaking mini states merged to form Germany. After World War II there were massive transfers of populations based on language and ethnicity. In 1944-45 five million Germans speakers were expelled from Czeckoslovakia into Germany and 1.5 million Poles were forced to leave the Ukraine to return to Poland. I can site many more examples if you like.
    I learned in my high school history class and I am sure you did too, that one of the proximte causes of World War II was the harsh terms of the Treaty of Versailles that relegated 3 million Sudeten Germans into a foreign land as well as giving a German City, Danzig to Poland (now called Gdansk). Like the Palestinans and the Israelis today, the Germans and Poles in 19th and 20th century Europe longed to be in a country ruled by their “landsmen”
    And this wasn’t just happening in Europe. The end of the British Raj in 1947 brought about the partition of the subcontinent into India and Pakistan, along with an orgy of violence that took hundreds of thousands of lives. Fifteen million people became refugees, including Muslims who went to Pakistan and Hindus who went to India. Then, in 1971, Pakistan itself, originally unified on the basis of religion, dissolved into Urdu-speaking Pakistan and Bengali-speaking Bangladesh.
    A good argument can be made that the worst trouble spots in the world today are precisely those places where ethno disagregation is incomplete. That’s why the U.S. and Europe supported separating the Muslem Kosovars from the Orthodox Serbs. It explains the problems between the Kurds and Iran and Turkey. It explains the problems of Cyprus and the violence in the Basque regions of Spain. It explains the problems between the Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda and it partially explains the problems in the Congo. It accounts in part for violence in the Sudan and Darfur. And it explains the hatred in Lebanon.
    The Europeans (who I think have mostly learned the wrong lessons from their own history)think they have transcended all of this. But of course, the European Union only started to become strong after the ethnic disagregation of Europe (Western and Central Europe) was virtually complete. The “troubles” now receeding in Northern Ireland are the last vestiges of this.
    I would suggest that there are only two genuinely successful non ethnocentric countries in the world today; the United States and Switzerland.
    I can’t see Israel/Palestine following in the steps of the U.S. or Switzerland. To me, it resembles much more closely all those other examples I sited. That’s why I think (and most serious people think)a one state solution is far fetched at best.
    If you have counterexamples, I would be delighted to hear them.

    Reply

  36. Kathleen says:

    WigWag.. thanks for the invitation to continue the discourse, however dripping with contempt it was. Your assertion that my use of the term NeoNutzi, ipso facto, means all my other words would be insubstantial, is defensive and a bit pompous.
    I amuse myslef by coining what I consider to be comically appropriate nicknames for the major players on the world stage. Ergo, I prefer to refer to the current occupants of the Oval Office as Dopey and Darth, Busholini and Capt’n Ahab, Das Bush and Dick Tator, etc. Satire doesn’t preclude truth. A NeoNutzi is a NeoCon who prefers war to peace, someone who could bulldoze a young college girl to death, in cold blood, as she tried to protect a home from being demolished.

    Reply

  37. WigWag says:

    I guess only ArthurDecco of Washinton Note fame knows if he is the same Arthur Decco who lauds Kevin MacDonald.
    What we do know is this, “evolutionary psychology” is not science, it’s pseduo science. MacDonald is universally recognized to be a crank and many of his colleagues have repudiated him and disassociated themselves from him.
    But even less controversial practioners of this subfield of what was once called sociobiology have now seen much of their work disproven. A good example would be Steven Pinker, of MIT; probably the most famous evolutionary psychologist in the country. Pinker is no racist and he is extraordinarily clever. He has written both scholarly papers and published several popular books. You can watch some of his lectures on You Tube and they are really funny. Unfortunately for him (and by extension, MacDonald)their whole field has collapsed around them.
    New technologies to screen for genetic variants have now been developed which allow scientists to identify how different forms of the same gene differ from person to person (technically they are called single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs for short). These technologies allow population geneticists to discover genetic variants that lead to diseases as diverse as diabetes, cancer, lupus, autism, inflammatory bowl disease and many others. To make a long story short, scientists screen the genes of thousands of people with a defined condition or disease and thousands of people who don’t suffer from it to see what the differences are (this, of course is a dramatic oversimplification).
    People like Pinker (let alone cranks like MacDonald) are not able to site even one single defined genetic variant to explain things like personality, intelligence, language ability or memory. If they can’t name the putative genetic variant that’s responsible, then everything they have to say is rank speculation not evidence based science.
    Also, there are new neuroimaging technologies (magnetoencepholography, functional magnetic resonance imaging, Positron emmision tomorgraphy, etc) that allow investigators to look at the human brain while it is engaged in human activities like thought, speech, listening, memory tasks, etc.)Not one published paper using these technologies exists to verify that one group of people uses their brains in a different way from another group of people when performing the same task. This again refutes what people like MacDonald (and Pinker, but I hesitate to use Pinker’s name in the same sentence as MacDonald)have to say.
    If you are interested in learning more about the subject, you should visit the website of the Eli Broad Center for Genetics that is co-operated by Harvard and MIT. It is the premier genetics center in the country and many of the genetic discoveries that you hear about emanate from there. You can visit them at http://www.broad.mit.edu
    Charles Mingus, thanks so much for pointing this out. I appreciate it.
    Kathleen, I will look forward to hearing what you learn. But your use of comments like “NeoNutzi” doesn’t give me great hope that your comments will be any more substantive than Carroll’s and Arthur’s. But if you are looking for a discussion of the issues I will be happy to participate.

    Reply

  38. Kathleen says:

    Wigwag…not like any of the places you mentioned because they are not analogous…I plan to research the pros and cons of both the One and Two State solutions rather than accept the CW on it.
    Your comment on Canada is a bit hystrionic. In any case, I’m encouraged to know many Isrealis oppose their NeoNutzi gov’t and that a new liberal Jewish lobby, J Street, has been formed.

    Reply

  39. Tintin says:

    That’s interesting but how do you know it’s the same “arthurdecco”
    that’s just a screen name you don’t know who s/he really is

    Reply

  40. Charles Mingus says:

    Wigwag,
    If you really want to have “fun” with Arthur, head north to read a
    few Canadian blogs–My Blahg comes to mind–where Arthur
    has gone on at great length on the Jewish Question on any
    number of occasions.
    There you will find that, for Arthur, it’s not just the “Zionists”
    who are the problem, but the “Judaization” of Western culture
    and, in particular, North American culture. Seems as though the
    “regular folk” had a nice thing going until the Jews started
    making trouble and, in effect, taking over.
    Arthur’s patron saint in this line of “reasoning” is one Kevin B.
    Macdonald, a professor in the California system, who’s
    published three books he loosely calls his Jewish Trilogy that
    purport to prove, scientifically, that Jews are, evolutionarily,
    called to manipulate society for their own benefit, particularly on
    immigration (where the more minority groups that immigrate,
    the weaker the host culture becomes, and the stronger the Jews
    become, relatively speaking).
    Macdonald is an “evolutionary psychologist.” Though he has
    tenure, his work has been demolished by, among others, the
    founder of his own discipline. But Arthur, something of a self-
    styled expert on matters Jewish, finds the work authoritative and
    claims that the “scales fell from his eyes” when he first read it.
    First love is true love, I guess…
    Anyway, I thought you should know to whom you’re speaking…

    Reply

  41. Charles Mingus says:

    Wigwag,
    If you really want to have “fun” with Arthur, head north to read a
    few Canadian blogs–My Blahg comes to mind–where Arthur
    has gone on at great length on the Jewish Question on any
    number of occasions.
    There you will find that, for Arthur, it’s not just the “Zionists”
    who are the problem, but the “Judaization” of Western culture
    and, in particular, North American culture. Seems as though the
    “regular folk” had a nice thing going until the Jews started
    making trouble and, in effect, taking over.
    Arthur’s patron saint in this line of “reasoning” is one Kevin B.
    Macdonald, a professor in the California system, who’s
    published three books he loosely calls his Jewish Trilogy that
    purport to prove, scientifically, that Jews are, evolutionarily,
    called to manipulate society for their own benefit, particularly on
    immigration (where the more minority groups that immigrate,
    the weaker the host culture becomes, and the stronger the Jews
    become, relatively speaking).
    Macdonald is an “evolutionary psychologist.” Though he has
    tenure, his work has been demolished by, among others, the
    founder of his own discipline. But Arthur, something of a self-
    styled expert on matters Jewish, finds the work authoritative and
    claims that the “scales fell from his eyes” when he first read it.
    First love is true love, I guess…
    Anyway, I thought you should know to whom you’re speaking…

    Reply

  42. WigWag says:

    Well Arthur, I’m not happy that you think I’m a liar and a propagandist. But you have to admit, it’s better than being called a monster or a war criminal. I would even take liar and propagandist over Carroll’s description of me as a fanatic and a brainwashed cult member.
    It’s really great how you and Carroll strive to keep things on such a high intellectual plain.

    Reply

  43. arthurdecco says:

    Wig Wag said: “ArthurDecco, I am flattered that you responded to me without calling me a monster or a war criminal. How refreshing.”
    How can being accused of being a liar and propagandist be considered “refreshing”?
    (Ironically, the quote you chose to highlight supports my point, not yours.)

    Reply

  44. WigWag says:

    ArthurDecco, I am flattered that you responded to me without calling me a monster or a war criminal. How refreshing.
    TE: You know, Canada, Quebec secession, Parti Quebecois, periodic referendums on Quebec separating from Canada, occassional discussions of Western provinces like Alberta seceeding from Canada.
    Here’s an example
    Friday, June 8, 2007 | 3:10 PM ET
    CBC News
    “Parti Québécois Leader André Boisclair told supporters it was their duty to keep the sovereigntist dream alive, even as the party suffered a loss of its Opposition status to the Action démocratique du Québéc in Monday’s election.”

    Reply

  45. Tahoe Editor says:

    WW tells us more about Canada

    Reply

  46. arthurdecco says:

    Wig Wag, your description of Canada as a country barely holding itself together is a lie. In that way, it differs little from much of your propagandizing.

    Reply

  47. WigWag says:

    Kathleen, a one state solution? You mean like Lebanon, Bosnia, Serbia/Kosovo, Rawanda, the Hindu Kush, China/Tibet. Which of these is your model? Canada can barely hold itself together and Belgium is about to divide itself into two and maybe even three states.
    With all do respect, you need to get real.

    Reply

  48. arthurdecco says:

    Kathleen said: “At this point the One State Solution is looking like it has merit, with Jerusalem an international religious site, like the Vatican, but shared by the three religions in the region.”
    It can’t happen soon enough.

    Reply

  49. Kathleen says:

    Dons, thanks.. I’ll Google W. T. Mallison…
    WigWag.. I make no claims of figuring out a solution, but I do assert that denying the injustice to Palestine in 1948 is the same as denying the Holocaust, stupid, selfish, disingenuous and delusional.
    At this point the One State Solution is looking like it has merit, with Jeruslame an international relgious site, like the Vatican, but shared by the three religions in the region.

    Reply

  50. WigWag says:

    Carroll, your post is incomprehensible. The only lucid part was the beginning of your post where you call me fanatic and liken me to a brain washed cult member. That part I understand. Unable to site any facts to discredit my argument you think instead that you can discredit me personally by calling me names. Besides the fact that doing that is intellectually bankrupt, it’s hard to see why you bother. Isn’t the point of commenting here to discuss ideas?
    As for your claim that my comments are cultish, I would merely remind you that tens of millions of Americans agree with me and only a tiny percentage of that agrees with you. Now that doesn’t mean that the majority is right and you’re wrong. But it does suggest that your characterization of my beliefs as cultish is probably not right. It’s your views that could more accurately be called cultish. But I don’t think they are. I just think they’re wrong.
    This is not the first time you’ve sited an extensive book list about Middle Eastern Affairs. Other than the fact that you have obviously developed a fine bibliography, it’s hard to know what to make of it, hence the incomprehensibility of your comment.
    On a related matter, Steve recently included a post on his blog about Sam Nunn and his opinions about gay people. I think I saw you comment about it. I thought you might enjoy some snippets of an article from Haaretz about gay rights in Israel. After you read it, maybe you can enlighten me about the Hamas policy on gay rights. That is, if you have anything in your extensive library about that.
    Thousands attend 10th annual Gay Pride parade in Tel Aviv
    By Haaretz Service
    Tags: Tel Aviv, Gay Pride parade
    Thousands of people attended the tenth annual Gay Pride Parade in Tel Aviv Friday, to celebrate the gay community’s struggle for equality and to christen the center for the gay community situated in the city’s Meir park (Gan Meir).
    “The center symbolizes an amazing turning point in the history of the gay community, and our activities will now have fertile ground from which to grow and flourish,” Army Radio quoted one of the parade participants as saying.
    The Tel Aviv municipality donated NIS 250,000 for the event, which was scheduled to commence at 12 P.M. at Gan Meir. The parade was then to head out toward Bograshov Street, turning onto Ben Yehuda Steet, then Ben Gurion Boulevard and finally ending at Gordon beach, where a host of musicians such as Ivri Lider, Maya Buskila and Keren Peles were set to perform followed by a party on into the night.
    Unlike similar events in the more religious capital, which have sparked bitter right-wing protests and violent demonstrations, the Tel Aviv parade faced little resistance. “The parade here is different from the one in Jerusalem,” Army Radio quoted another parade participant. “Here, we celebrate the freedom and rights that we have – it’s a festival, a happening, it’s a joy. In Jerusalem, it’s simply a demonstration for human rights.”

    Reply

  51. Tintin says:

    Carroll…this is all very interesting, but I’m having a hard time
    figuring out what it all adds up to, if anything. First, there’s no
    question that Jews enjoyed greater tolerance in Muslim lands
    than in Christian Europe. That doesn’t deny, however, their
    second-class status as dhimmis. It also doesn’t deny that many
    of them were expelled from what should have been their
    countries, too. It’s hard to argue that Jews were “at home” in,
    say, Egypt, when they were treated as “foreigners” when Israel
    was established. Either they were Egyptians or they weren’t.
    The Zionist view or “culture” that Jews are a separate people or
    nationality was formed largely in response to Jewish exclusion
    from European culture and nationalities–a view that was driven
    home over centuries and found its code in the pogroms and
    Holocaust. Herzl started life as a thoroughly assimilated,
    Westernized person. He didn’t up one day and decide to create a
    country for the Jews. Nationalism, being all the rage in the 19th
    century, was fastened on as a solution to The Jewish Question.
    Also, the fact that the British Embassy reports on something
    hardly makes it the truth (necessarily). They were hardly
    impartial through much of this period.

    Reply

  52. Carroll says:

    The problem with fanatics like wigwag is they are blinded by their fanaticism. They will deny reality and cling to myth and lies even when the facts and the truth is right in front of them and acknowledged by everyone in the world except them and their fellow fanatics. That’s what fanatics of all kinds do. Like brainwashed cult members, everyone outside of them is their enemy and they are the victims because they have some special truth about themselves that makes them special that the rest of the universe doesn’t acknowledge and won’t accept.
    BUT…for any facts seekers here on the Israeli Palestine Arab facts in the ME and other assorted historical facts on the ME the best place to go is to the British National Archeives…and the best way to go thru all the official documents is to buy them in book form from this link below. There are dozens of sets pertaining to the ME, but these are the three I have that formed most of my opinion on Isr-Pal and the Zionist. I copied a few key documents and new items from each to give you the favor of the zionist agenda and how neither the zionist culture or it’s belief that jews are a seperate “nationality” and “seperate” people regardless of the country where they live hasn’t changed over the centuries.
    http://www.archiveeditions.co.uk/titledetails.asp?tid=124
    Near & Middle East Titles:
    Zionist Movement And The Foundation Of Israel 1839–1972, The
    These ten volumes draw together documents found in the British National Archives to trace the origins and development of the Zionist movement in the 19th and 20th centuries, with specific reference to the idea, and eventually the goal, of establishing a Jewish homeland. Material is relatively sparse in the 19th century and volume 1 is rather an historical volume covering the rise of Zionism, including the work of Theodor Herzl and the first Zionist Congress at Basle, ending in 1916 with the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The bulk of the material, volumes 2 to 8, relates to the years 1916-1948 when the Zionist debate raged, the movement became factionalised, split, and eventually, partly because of events surrounding World War II, achieved its goal of the creation of Israel. Volume 10, like volume 1 ranges over a greater number of years in less detail, covering the period after the creation of Israel in 1948 to the most recent releases by the British government from 1972, when the main question for Zionism, perhaps, was whether it still had a role to play beyond the inception of the State.
    Key documents
    ——————————————————————————–
    The following list summarises, from the collection, documents of particular importance in considering the development of Zionism. Volume and section references are given.
    [1: 86] Herzl´s view is that the Jews are partly accused of living off host nations and he raises the argument for a Jewish Homeland from The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl (c.1896)l [1:1]
    l 1916, Lucien Wolf, respected journalist and leading member of the Conjoint Foreign Committee of British Jews, writing to James de Rothschild, argues against Zionism which sees “Jews as aliens in foreign lands” as being similar to anti-Semitism in insisting that Jews will never be integrated into other cultures
    [8.44] January 1946, British Consul, New York reporting a mass demonstration for Jewish freedom put on by the New Zionist Organization of America. “It was constantly patrolled by the Betarim, the new Jewish Youth Army, attired in a Hebrew version of the old Nazi Bund uniform.” “Great Britain was public enemy no. 1 of the Jewish people, more dangerous and shrewder than the Nazis…”
    [8.65] February 1946, formation of B´rith Trumpeldor of America or Betar, affiliated with the NZO. “there is noticeable similarity in the organisation´s character, structure and aims to those of the Hitler Youth…”, reported by British Embassy, Washington
    Minorities In The Middle East: Jewish Communities In Arab Countries 1841–1974
    These documents explore the treatment and position of Jewish communities in Arab countries in the modern period and provide detailed accounts of treatment both of individuals at a local level and of regulation of the community at an institutional level. The first two volumes study the position of Jews during the Ottoman Empire in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. Later volumes consider conditions in Iraq, Kuwait, Yemen, Egypt and the Maghreb states: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. The documents reflect the acknowledged historical generalisation that the Jews found greater toleration under Muslim than under Christian rule; however, the situation changed abruptly in 1948, with anti-Jewish feeling increasing after the the founding of the Israeli state, and succeeding years saw dramatic reductions in Jewish communities in the Arab world as emigration to Israel and elsewhere proceeded apace.
    Records Of Jerusalem 1917–1971
    These eight volumes present a documentary history of the city of Jerusalem, concentrating on the half-century from 1917 to 1971, with some reference to earlier circumstances. The starting point of this collection accompanies the end of Ottoman rule in the Near East and the establishment of British military control in Jerusalem in the eventful year of 1917. As far as possible an attempt has been made to provide research resources specific to Jerusalem and excluding material relating to Palestine in general. Broader questions including the territorial limits and administration of Palestine and the origins of the state of Israel are covered in other related titles. However, it is impossible to disentangle such material entirely and after 1917 the echoes of the Arab–Jewish struggle form a continuous background to the development of the city
    Key Documents
    Underlying Tensions: Israelis and Western Governments: Extract of conversation with Head of the European Department, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from Foreign Office letter dated 2 April 1968:
    “Apnar said he wanted to make it clear to me that…whatever his Minister had said in the talk with Mr Stewart, two things were quite definite…Jerusalem…must remain a united city under Israeli rule…[and indeed that] the whole idea of a negotiated settlement was a complete non-starter…He said these were not just his own views but the virtually unanimous views of the Israeli people…I asked what, in that case, was the purpose of talks such as we had just been holding. He answered that these were a ritual that had to be gone through because of pressures on Israel from from Governments such as the British Government and from the world press but the ritual was really quite meaningless.”

    Reply

  53. Carroll says:

    The problem with fanatics like wigwag is they are blinded by their fanaticism. They will deny reality and cling to myth and lies even when the facts and the truth is right in front of them and acknowledged by everyone in the world except them and their fellow fanatics. That’s what fanatics of all kinds do. Like brainwashed cult members, everyone outside of them is their enemy and they are the victims because they have some special truth about themselves that makes them special that the rest of the universe doesn’t acknowledge and won’t accept.
    BUT…for any facts seekers here on the Israeli Palestine Arab facts in the ME and other assorted historical facts on the ME the best place to go is to the British National Archeives…and the best way to go thru all the official documents is to buy them in book form from this link below. There are dozens of sets pertaining to the ME, but these are the three I have that formed most of my opinion on Isr-Pal and the Zionist. I copied a few key documents and new items from each to give you the favor of the zionist agenda and how neither the zionist culture or it’s belief that jews are a seperate “nationality” and “seperate” people regardless of the country where they live hasn’t changed over the centuries.
    http://www.archiveeditions.co.uk/titledetails.asp?tid=124
    Near & Middle East Titles:
    Zionist Movement And The Foundation Of Israel 1839–1972, The
    These ten volumes draw together documents found in the British National Archives to trace the origins and development of the Zionist movement in the 19th and 20th centuries, with specific reference to the idea, and eventually the goal, of establishing a Jewish homeland. Material is relatively sparse in the 19th century and volume 1 is rather an historical volume covering the rise of Zionism, including the work of Theodor Herzl and the first Zionist Congress at Basle, ending in 1916 with the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The bulk of the material, volumes 2 to 8, relates to the years 1916-1948 when the Zionist debate raged, the movement became factionalised, split, and eventually, partly because of events surrounding World War II, achieved its goal of the creation of Israel. Volume 10, like volume 1 ranges over a greater number of years in less detail, covering the period after the creation of Israel in 1948 to the most recent releases by the British government from 1972, when the main question for Zionism, perhaps, was whether it still had a role to play beyond the inception of the State.
    Key documents
    ——————————————————————————–
    The following list summarises, from the collection, documents of particular importance in considering the development of Zionism. Volume and section references are given.
    [1: 86] Herzl´s view is that the Jews are partly accused of living off host nations and he raises the argument for a Jewish Homeland from The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl (c.1896)l [1:1]
    l 1916, Lucien Wolf, respected journalist and leading member of the Conjoint Foreign Committee of British Jews, writing to James de Rothschild, argues against Zionism which sees “Jews as aliens in foreign lands” as being similar to anti-Semitism in insisting that Jews will never be integrated into other cultures
    [8.44] January 1946, British Consul, New York reporting a mass demonstration for Jewish freedom put on by the New Zionist Organization of America. “It was constantly patrolled by the Betarim, the new Jewish Youth Army, attired in a Hebrew version of the old Nazi Bund uniform.” “Great Britain was public enemy no. 1 of the Jewish people, more dangerous and shrewder than the Nazis…”
    [8.65] February 1946, formation of B´rith Trumpeldor of America or Betar, affiliated with the NZO. “there is noticeable similarity in the organisation´s character, structure and aims to those of the Hitler Youth…”, reported by British Embassy, Washington
    Minorities In The Middle East: Jewish Communities In Arab Countries 1841–1974
    These documents explore the treatment and position of Jewish communities in Arab countries in the modern period and provide detailed accounts of treatment both of individuals at a local level and of regulation of the community at an institutional level. The first two volumes study the position of Jews during the Ottoman Empire in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. Later volumes consider conditions in Iraq, Kuwait, Yemen, Egypt and the Maghreb states: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. The documents reflect the acknowledged historical generalisation that the Jews found greater toleration under Muslim than under Christian rule; however, the situation changed abruptly in 1948, with anti-Jewish feeling increasing after the the founding of the Israeli state, and succeeding years saw dramatic reductions in Jewish communities in the Arab world as emigration to Israel and elsewhere proceeded apace.
    Records Of Jerusalem 1917–1971
    These eight volumes present a documentary history of the city of Jerusalem, concentrating on the half-century from 1917 to 1971, with some reference to earlier circumstances. The starting point of this collection accompanies the end of Ottoman rule in the Near East and the establishment of British military control in Jerusalem in the eventful year of 1917. As far as possible an attempt has been made to provide research resources specific to Jerusalem and excluding material relating to Palestine in general. Broader questions including the territorial limits and administration of Palestine and the origins of the state of Israel are covered in other related titles. However, it is impossible to disentangle such material entirely and after 1917 the echoes of the Arab–Jewish struggle form a continuous background to the development of the city
    Key Documents
    Underlying Tensions: Israelis and Western Governments: Extract of conversation with Head of the European Department, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from Foreign Office letter dated 2 April 1968:
    “Apnar said he wanted to make it clear to me that…whatever his Minister had said in the talk with Mr Stewart, two things were quite definite…Jerusalem…must remain a united city under Israeli rule…[and indeed that] the whole idea of a negotiated settlement was a complete non-starter…He said these were not just his own views but the virtually unanimous views of the Israeli people…I asked what, in that case, was the purpose of talks such as we had just been holding. He answered that these were a ritual that had to be gone through because of pressures on Israel from from Governments such as the British Government and from the world press but the ritual was really quite meaningless.”

    Reply

  54. WigWag says:

    Hey everybody, great news! Kathleen’s figured out a solution to the problem of the Palestinians and the Israelis. Apparentley, until 1948 Christians, Jews and Muslims lived side by side in harmony in the Holy Land. All we need to do is bring back the Ottaman Empire (controlled Palestine for hundreds of years prior to World War I) or the British Empire (controlled Palestine from World War I until 1948). If we do that, our problems in the Middle East will be solved and harmony will prevail once again.
    What’s that you say? A new hegemon tried to do that but it didn’t work. Who was that? Why George W. Bush of course.
    Thanks, Kathleen, but it was a good try though.

    Reply

  55. DonS says:

    Kathleen, sometime google W T Mallison and juridical rights of palestinians. He was a professor of mine in law school back in the 60′s, and the information he presented was quite an eye opener. I was at that time probably leaning toward greatest sympathy for the Israelis ( have Jewish background and all that), so was a bit skeptical of the case. But over time I came to see it as unjust toward Palestinians. Needless to say Prof Mallison was persona non grata in a lot of circles.

    Reply

  56. Kathleen says:

    Palestine, where Christians, Jews and Muslims lived peacefully side by side until 1948, was wiped off the map and thousands of Jewish refugees from Europe plopped in their place… what blame do Palestinians share… fighting for the return of what was rightfully their’s? Palestine was not responsible for the Holocaust but Palestine is paying for it while Germany enjoys the Marshall Plan. Isreal has no more right to exist than Palestine.

    Reply

  57. WigWag says:

    Carroll, is that the best you can do? Hope that sometime before your grandchilden are born a fairy tale will come true? If you have facts at your disposal instead of fables, I am sure they will be very interesting and provocative.
    As for Israel’s grand illusions, I wonder which illusions you’re referring to. The Israelis left the Sinai and made peace with the Eqyptians. They signed a peace treaty with Jordon. They’ve left Southern Lebanon. They are starting negotiations with the Syrians about the Golan just this week.
    The only territorial dispute left is with the Palestinians. For the reasons mentioned above, that problem looks intractable. Whose fault is that? There’s plenty of fault to go around. The Israelis and Palestinians are surely to blame. The Europeans are surely to blame because they can’t police any border region competently (e.g. southern Lebanon, Gaza/Egypt crossings, Kosovo/Serbia, etc.)
    But if my premise is correct, Americans supporting Senator Obama are also to blame. After all, they sided with the candidate least likely to positively influence the Israel/Palestine dispute. You’ve done the Palestinians whom you claim to support no favor at all.
    I think, Linda, those grand illusions are all in your head. And as I mentioned above, the Democrats are increasing military aid to Israel next year by 25 percent. Senator Obama is a chief sponsor.
    Ouch!

    Reply

  58. Carroll says:

    On the subject of Israel and the US I am willing to bet that before my children have children Israel will be reduced to a very small version of it’s current grand delusions about itself.
    There is a fable about a fox who upon arising in the morning looked at the big shadow he cast in the morning sun and said “I think I will have a antelope for dinner today”. But after chasing his big dinner all day into the late afternoon without success and noticing how much smaller his shadow was in the afternoon sun, he said ..” a mouse will do”.
    It’s just a matter of time. There is an eventual run out of time between Israel’s illusions and the world’s reality.

    Reply

  59. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Our beef is with the Hillary haters like you that are trying to split the Democratic party and turn us once again into a party of lunatic losers”
    Hey man, don’t point your finger at me, I hate ALL these posturing frauds.
    But its laughable hearing you tell me that it is MY attitude that is “splitting the Democratic party”, when so many of the Hillary supporters are nattering on about voting for McCain.

    Reply

  60. WigWag says:

    DonS, I actually agree with alot of what you have to say. I do think that the Israelis need to stand up to the Likudniks. I find it fascinating that Israel is negotiating with the Syrians with the Turks playing the role of mediator, in spite of the opposition of the United States. This development has gone unremarked on, but I find it interesting and maybe unprecedented.
    My premise (which may or may not be correct) is that only a President with lots of political capital with the American Jewish Community and the Israelis is likely to pressure Israel to make the concessions that are needed. Senator Obama doesn’t have this political capital and he can pander all he wants, he won’t acquire it any time soon. Senator Clinton has years of accumulating the political capital she could expend in moving the peace process forward.
    Every time I try to point this out, I am met with a barrage of commentary about how heinous AIPAC is. Even if that’s true, it doesn’t change anything. A candidate (Clinton) who is trusted by American Jews and Israelis alike will be willing and able to push for compromises that may be unpopular in these communities. A candidate (Obama) with tenuous ties to the Jewish community is less likely to be willing to antagonize this group by pressuring Israel and less likely to be trusted enough by the Israelis that they will be willing to make difficilt compromises. It’s the whole Nixon goes to China thing.
    The Palestinians have the worst of all worlds. The Israelis treat them terribly; their leaders are awful; they are part of a dysfunctional Arab world. And to make matters worse, Americans who want to help them, become their worst enemy by supporting the one candidate least likely to be willing or able to assist them by moving the peace process forward.
    It’s too bad, don’t you think?
    Oh and one more thing. Haaretz is reporting in today’s paper (English addition) that Democrats in Congress have decided to increase military aid to Israel in next year’s budget by 25 percent. Who is one of the key sponsors? You guessed it, Barack Obama.

    Reply

  61. DonS says:

    Wigwag, I dont strongly support any of the three, McCain, Clinton, or Obama. I don’t think any of them would be likely to have the political credibiltiy to use good offices to move the peace process forward because they are all too wedded to Israel. Of the three, despite his incredibly stupid statement about Jerusalem, Obama has the least harmful historical record of prejudice towards Israel and lip service towards the Palestinians.
    More imporantly, the US can only move the peace process forward if it is willing to oppose Israeli domination. It has increasingly shown itself unwilling to be evenhanded and has become more irrelevant. The ME is the loser, including Israel whose options become slimmer in the absence of the willingness to use other than military threat and tactics. Also, most US politicians seem willing to more explicitly commit the President’s war powers to defending Israel in the absence of an actual treaty which does little to add presure for diplomacy but ratchets up the warmongering.
    So, far from talking about a peace process, I think the question more accurately is which candidate is most likely to stumble into a greater armed conflict at the behest of Israel.
    The key, if the US lacks the guts to stand up to Israel and use legitimate suasion, is for the Israelis to wake up and muzzle the the Likudists and other warmongers amongst theselves and get serious about where there own long term peace interests lie.

    Reply

  62. Jim Bailey says:

    POA – “The last thing we need is another one.”
    Unfortunately, we will get another one when Obama goes to the White House. And he will get there because of the support of Hillary’s people. They will vote for him in spite of the rabid dogs that supported him and trashed her in the primary.
    Jackasses like you just don’t get it. We have no beef with Obama. Our beef is with the Hillary haters like you that are trying to split the Democratic party and turn us once again into a party of lunatic losers.
    I will vote for the man. But I will spit in the eye of and be happy to punch out any of his “loyal pinheads scratching at the eyes of Hillary”.
    Obama himself has thrown out the olive branch. His followers should listen up and do the same. It does not do you or him any honor to keep on going with the hissy fits.

    Reply

  63. WigWag says:

    Yes, Arthur, I know that you’re disturbed.

    Reply

  64. WigWag says:

    DonS, I don’t know whether you supported Obama or Clinton (or McCain) but regardless of which candidate you supported I am curious which of the three you think would have been most likely on day 1 of entering office to move the peace process forward. If I were ordering them I would say: (1)Clinton; (2)McCain (if he wanted to which he doesn’t and (3)Obama. I do think that if Obama wins and he governs successfully, in his second term he might have accrued the experience and political capital to move things forward. But that’s a long time in the future. Anyway, I wonder what you think.

    Reply

  65. arthurdecco says:

    Here’s a textbook case of how a sociopath describes and justifies war crimes:
    “In a few weeks, Israel will mount an operation in Gaza, degrade the military capability of Hamas, be criticized perfunctorily by the Europeans and then leave. It won’t solve the rocket problem but it will keep the problem under control. The Israelis can keep doing operations like that for decades if they need to.” Wig Wag
    And you’re not the teensiest bit ashamed about what you’ve written, are ya Wig Wag? Gotta tell ya – luved the “degrade the military capability of Hamas” bit.
    Priceless.
    The fact that no one but me felt it necessary to condemn the racist ravings of this disturbed war monger disturbs me greatly.

    Reply

  66. DonS says:

    Wigwag, mostly good points, but this stood out: “Had Hillary Clinton been elected, she would have entered office with the respect of the Palestinians and the Israelis.”
    In what way would the Palestinians respect Hillary? That she has shown her cards as an Israel dupe?
    Hillary made a cataclysmic shift from when she was first lady — and actually said some sensible things about Palestinian rights — to the about face when campaigning for senator, from which date she has been over the top in AIPAC’s corner.
    As to her cred for Bill’s “accomplishments”, maybe,maybe not.

    Reply

  67. WigWag says:

    POA, I couldn’t help but notice your criticism the other day of the word play on the “Jane you ignorant slut” routine. I’m sure that who ever made the comment didn’t mean anything by it, but calling someone a slut is going too far.
    So what is it with this “HillaryHitlers” thing? Hitler killed 6 million Jews and destroyed half of Europe. He was a butcher unique in world history. Don’t you think “HillaryHitlers” might be going a little too far? You’ve got nasty down to a fine art. I’m sure you can come up with another pejorative term for Clinton supporters that is both clever and more appropriate.

    Reply

  68. PissedOffAmerican says:

    So, these HillaryHitlers are so rabid they’ll hand us McCain?
    Gads.
    Like I said on another thread, Hillary is NOT well represented by these jackasses. If these people are representative of the Hillary supporters, thank God Hillary has been sidelined. After all, we just suffered through a Presidency propped up by rabidly loyal pinheads scratching at the eyes of any critics. The last thing we need is another one.

    Reply

  69. Carroll says:

    Posted by david brogren Jun 09, 6:20PM
    I suppose we should just assume that each candidate will pander and misspeak occasionally. But for me, Obama creates a better spirit to move our country forward with. I have voted in the past for McCain, but the politics of the the Republicans has be horrid for my personal economics and my small business. To give McCain a pass on his sucking up to the conservative wing of the Republican base, and forget his many flip flops, is just silly. I will accept the Obama learning curve because it is so much more honorable than the last eight years and the more of the same that John McCain offers.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    Sounds like an intelligent and common sense decision to me. I will go with the learning curve also.
    Correcting your mistakes is better than sticking with them…as we have all seen in this adm…and in many in congress.

    Reply

  70. WigWag says:

    Unfortunately progress on the Israel-Palestine front is highly unlikely in the next several years. If the talks between Israel and Syria about to take place in Istanbul succeed (admitedly a big if)the Israelis will have even less strategic motivation to take a chance on peace with the Palestinians. The economy in Israel is booming, GDP is rising steadily,the NIS has appreciated by 30 percent versus the dollar and 12 percent versus the Euro in just the past several months. Venture dollars are flowing into Israel at an extraordinary rate and Israel is attracting more high paying, high tech jobs than any country in Europe. Even tourism is coming back. Israel is a net exporter of agracultural goods. Have you checked out the price of food lately? Like it or not, the Israelis are far more conerned about Iranian nukes and illegal campaign contributions to Kadima than they are about the Palestinians.
    It’s true, they’re taking incoming rockets and mortars from Hamas controlled Gaza but that’s basically just a nuisance. In a few weeks, Israel will mount an operation in Gaza, degrade the military capability of Hamas, be criticized perfunctorily by the Europeans and then leave. It won’t solve the rocket problem but it will keep the problem under control. The Israelis can keep doing operations like that for decades if they need to. The security fence/wall has all but eliminated the problem of suicide bombers, so that’s not a major problem any more either. So why exactly would the Israelis take a chance on leaving the West Bank and Jerusalem and risk taking incoming rocket fire from there? From their perspective doing that would be crazy.
    They might have been willing to try leaving the occupied territories if they thought a multilateral force stationed there could impede the flow of weapons and rockets. But the French peace keeping force in Lebanon has failed to prevent Hezbollah from rearming. The European force at the Gaza/Egypt border which was supposed to prevent the flow of arms into Gaza from Egypt disintegrated at the first sign of trouble. So why exactly would the Israelis outsource their security to foreign powers? Whether you like the Israelis or hate them, from their perspective it just doesn’t make sense.
    Now maybe an experienced President with good diplomatic credentials and a committment to the peace process could have convinced the Israelis that it’s worth the risk. After all Bill Clinton, that dastardly character that many Obama supporters dislike so much, came close to doing it before he left office. Had Hillary Clinton been elected, she would have entered office with the respect of the Palestinians and the Israelis. Her husband’s accomplishments in that part of the world would have bolstered her efforts. She would have had nothing to prove to the American Jewish community which already loved her. She would have been a respected, experienced, interlocutor who instantly had the trust and respect of both sides. This doesn’t mean she would have succeeded, but she was well positioned for success.
    McCain would enter office with experience and gravitas on foreign policy and military issues. The American Jewish community likes him (at least a little)and Israeli and Arab leaders would take him seriously, not just because of his office but because of his background. Unfortunately McCain has said nothing to indicate that he considers peace between the Israelis and Palestinians a major priority.
    Obama is smart, but he would enter office as a neophyte. His relationship with the American Jewish community is tenuous at best, and to win their support he has already made promises to them that he can’t keep if he really wants to promote peace. Will Obama do anything to try the patience of this community? Given the political importance of this coomunity, it’s very doubtful. When Barak or Olmert or Livni or Netanyahu visit with a President Obama,what will they think? My guess is that they will respect his office but have little faith in this young, new leader. What about Mubarak or Abbas? It’s hard to believe they will take him seriously either. And if Obama shows up with Zbig or Malley in tow; his efforts will be dead on arrival. If he shows up with Biden or Holbrooke or Albright in tow he might make more progress. But when he says to the Israelis, it’s time to take a chance; it’s time to make a difficult decision; will they trust a President Obama? I doubt it.
    Of all the candidates who could have been president, the one least likely to achieve success in the middle east is the one most likely to be elected president. It’s really quite ironic. If the other guy is elected, he probably won’t even try. Either way, the result will be the same.

    Reply

  71. Tahoe Editor says:

    Obama beats McCain in the pander & flip-flop contests hands down.

    Reply

  72. david brogren says:

    boy it did not take much positive on my part to unleash the Tahoe rage.
    all I can say is you did not comment on McCain’s flip flops and p-p-p-pandering to ya’ll.
    and nobody need copywrite any slogan in my opinion, so please ask me a question but don’t assume my answer for me.
    I don’t know about the great debate coming, but sarcasm and personal attitudes don’t seem to be in the spirit (oh darn, here I go using that word again, so sorry)
    but then I don’t suppose a debate on the issues will go so well for Senator McCain, so slagging must be in order…

    Reply

  73. Tahoe Editor says:

    Obama will be revealed as the king of flip-flops and fence-sitting and being “of two minds” and voting “present”.
    McCain has very little to do with the last 8 years, and he offers quite a bit of change on several fronts.
    Backing Obama for the “spirit he creates” is far out — but if you’re an Obeliever then of course you believe McCain will change nothing, as The Great O said, even Hillary would change nothing. BO owns “CHANGE” — don’t nobody mess with him. Either You’re With Change®, Or You’re Against It — not to mention against Hope®. Sounds a lot like the current WH occupant to me.
    That’s the contour of The Great Debate we’ll have this summer — either get behind the man who has already slowed the rising of the oceans, or admit you want another 300 terms of George W. Bush.

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  74. david brogren says:

    I suppose we should just assume that each candidate will pander and misspeak occasionally. But for me, Obama creates a better spirit to move our country forward with. I have voted in the past for McCain, but the politics of the the Republicans has be horrid for my personal economics and my small business. To give McCain a pass on his sucking up to the conservative wing of the Republican base, and forget his many flip flops, is just silly. I will accept the Obama learning curve because it is so much more honorable than the last eight years and the more of the same that John McCain offers.

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  75. alan says:

    POA: The Israelis and Palestinians will never solve their problems. The US can never be an honest broker. The Europeans prefer to throw money at the problem but have no political will to exert any influence. The Arab countries: pitiful. The Iranians: pot stirrers?
    I just don’t see any solution in the future. Obama may be able to alleviate living conditions in Palestine but he cannot tear down the checkpoints. He cannot stop those rockets into Israel.
    No: this is up the the two sides. They must want peace.

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  76. Amir says:

    As an Iranian, I wonder why and how American’s political system is influenced (ALMOST SEIZED) by Israelis?( It is obvious from double standards which applied to Israel.) It’s not natural to me!
    Now I have a question from you,Steve, Does your society seized by Israel too? I mean Does an average American care any real attention to Israel? even more than the truth?

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  77. Carroll says:

    Totally agree with Steve’s post and his position.
    I have reservations about Obama, always have had, and in fact leaned toward Hillary before I switched to Obama.
    Obama’s grandoise plans for swamping the universe with US taxpayer money to cure universal ills worries me.
    I wanted to see more of a president who was going to improve our own economic mess and our huge debt.
    But by primary time the negatives on Hillary and McCain were just higher than the Obama negatives in my opinion.
    When “all” the candidates pander, all you can do is follow the bread crumb trail of “first I said this and then I said that”..and then make a choice based on whether or not you think the candidate is really committed to what he is saying about his positions, both the things you agree with and the things you don’t.
    Requiring the candidates to take lie dector tests and psychiatric exams would be better than having them hand over their financial statements…until then…it is in many ways as POA says, a crap shoot.

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  78. Chicken Little says:

    Glad to see Tahoe isn’t bitter or anything…I bet you were first to line up in gym class to shake an opponents hand after a game.

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  79. Ben Bartlett says:

    Unfortunately, there is probably no question about whom I will support, but I still appreciate the criticisms you make of the candidates. Particularly since they are consistently on real, important policy issues, and not the day-to-day noise one often finds elsewhere. I think it is important to know where one’s own candidate falls short (and to try to hold them to account); it is all too easy to overlook one’s own candidate’s failings, and to overemphasize those of the other.

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  80. Tahoe Editor says:

    You can always just vote “Present”.

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  81. carsick says:

    I think unconditional support is impossible but in a either/or situation it comes down to “Choose one.”
    I don’t enjoy people who end up going the Micky Kaus way of tearing and tearing at a candidate throughout the cycle, then endorsing them after they’ve given so much negative parsing and assumption to the opposition.

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  82. Seth says:

    Steve – when can we expect the Kenya post? Curious about what you’ve found. The “undivided Jerusalem” is definitely dismaying; what’s unclear to me at this point is whether it’s dismaying on the policy front (that is, that Obama will stick to business as usual in the Holy Land) or dismaying on the rhetorical front (that is, he merely employed a Clintonian, semantic double play, so that “undivided” is retroactively made to mean “lacking a wall”).
    Very curious about how he beefs up the campaign’s policy chops on the middle east…this might be the next best clue as to where they take things. Heard any hiring rumours?
    Best
    Seth

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  83. PissedOffAmerican says:

    So, to hear some of you tell it, its all a big crapshoot, and what they say has no meaning, as its all mouthed out of political expediency.
    Ho hum. So lets tack a a big yellow smiley face on Obama, and just have faith in our hope that he will do what we hope he will do because we can’t have any faith in what he says he will do.
    Is that about it?
    I think they oughta simplify the process and just publish the script. That way, all Americans can read it at their leisure, saving the actors the extreme cost of campaigning. Then, get ‘em all on stage, males, females, right and left, and we can choose one by who has the most attractive ass, or the biggest bulge. Its time our electoral process caught up with our value system.

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  84. alan says:

    Steve: I commend you for being open about your doubts and reservations. We have had too many Washington insiders who know it all. With them there is no time for dealing with doubts, reservations or conflicts in argument: they know it and it shows up in poor policy prescriptions. In the medical world these guys would be sued for malpractice.
    I think the difference between McCain and Obama is that the former is set in his ways while the latter will grow, reflect, change or modify proposals and generally look to learn along the way. I don’t see any problem with going on a steep learning curve. Thus far the know it alls on ME policy haven’t done a great job, have they?

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  85. susan says:

    Obama’s Aipac speech proved to me that he’s not the change agent
    he purports to be. At Least Hillary had an open mind and a
    willingness to include Palestine’s national aspirations in her policy
    statements. this from Obama is either naive or pandering. and I
    agree, it looks very very bad going forward.

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  86. ringo says:

    Steve, thanks for the wonderfully thoughtful post… that highlights how the course of policy debates by non-politicians shape the space into which politicians step when they take positions and gauge what are feasible paths into office.
    Yes, Obama’s Jerusalem comment seems to anticipate attacks. Zbig played it down on MSNBC … that Obama was just repeating lines that so many politicians feel they must … and that they lose their meaning upon repetition. To me he implied that Obama hadn’t closed off any of his options once in office (these would play out in actual negotiations), while at the same time jamming attacks on him during the election.
    But I like how Steve places the responsibility on us and on Obama. By moving the debate away from AIPAC, we can make it seem possible for one to take a non-orthodox-AIPAC position and have a chance of getting elected.

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  87. cherish says:

    Hmmmm. I always appreciate reading conflicting assessments from people I respect.
    After reading Jo-Ann Mort at http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/06/07/put_a_woman_in_charge/#more , I wonder if Obama’s AIPAC speech weren’t more about the future of Israeli politics than the immediate present or past:
    Even as Hillary Clinton exits the U.S. race for president, the leadership race is in full swing in Israel. The woman to watch: Tzipi Livni. … The hope is that if Livni’s support builds, [Ehud] Barak will move toward Livni if he can’t defeat her and together, they could build a center-left block that could be in place to move finally toward an agreement with the Palestinians and be in shape for a major U.S. role to be played if Obama wins.
    Then there’s M.J. Rosenberg, also writing at TPM Cafe ( http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/06/06/obama_on_jerusalem_why_the_fus/#more ):
    … panderers do not endorse the peace process and do not call for high-level US involvement to advance the two-state solution. Instead they routinely bash Palestinians as terrorists – getting their audiences to their feet by using the “never again” mantra as justification for hanging on to the territories and, even more, the status quo.
    That is not what Obama did. I don’t believe he ever has. Nor, to its credit, did his audience hold back in its applause, waiting for the “red meat” that never came.
    Times are changing.
    Obama emphasized that he will make negotiations a priority. “We can and we should help Israelis and Palestinians both fulfill their national goals: two states living side by side in peace and security.” He pointedly said that he would not wait seven years before becoming personally involved in advancing Israeli-Palestinian negotiations toward the two-state solution.
    His determination to promote negotiations was unambiguous.
    Obama demonstrated his political astuteness to me in the quote you cited:
    When we make mistakes, we will deal with them and adjust. We will learn and move forward.
    Deft, clever, humble, disarming.
    Perhaps there are mistakes, and there are what may at first look like mistakes.
    We remain watchful.

    Reply

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