If Israel Practiced Democracy, It’d Be Called Palestine

“While Zionist propagandists like Elan Journo in his new hoax book What Justice Demands are fond of claiming that it was the Arabs who rejected Jewish self-determination in Palestine, the truth is that the Mandate itself constituted a rejection of this right of the land‚Äôs Arab inhabitants.”

Israel’s Jewish Nation State Law can’t be a departure from the democratic principles it was founded on for the simple reason that it wasn’t founded on any.

By Jeremy Hammond

On July 19, the Israeli legislature, the Knesset, passed a law defining Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, prompting criticism in the US mainstream media that it represents a departure from the democratic principles Israel was founded upon.

The reality is that the Jewish Nation State Law can’t represent a departure from democratic principles for the simple reason that Israel owes its very existence to a fundamental rejection of democracy.

The ‚ÄúJewish State‚ÄĚ of Israel was established through two profound manifestations of that rejectionism: the League of Nations‚Äô Palestine Mandate and the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

A brief review of the historical record shows how, if Israel practiced democracy, it would be called Palestine. Hence the necessity for the Jewish Nation State Law.

The Zionist Mandate for Palestine

During the First World War, Great Britain came to militarily occupy Palestine and promised the Arabs their independence in exchange for a commitment to join in the war effort against the Ottoman Empire.

Although they did not rise up en masse against their Ottoman rulers, Arabs from Palestine were among the first to volunteer to fight with the British in order to gain their freedom from Turkish rule.

However, the British government never had any intention of honoring its promise to support independence for the Arab inhabitants of Palestine.

Instead, their aim was to prevent the Palestinians from exercising their right to self-determination in service to the Zionist leadership in Europe, a quid pro quo for Jewish support for the war effort.

The infamous Balfour Declaration of 1917, delivered in the form of a private letter from Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild, a representative of the Zionist movement and member of the renowned banking family, was a propaganda document designed for the purpose of acquiring Jewish support for the war.

It promised British support ‚Äúthe establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people‚ÄĚ while paying meaningless lip service to ‚Äúthe civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine‚ÄĚ in order to ensure that the Declaration did not undermine the government‚Äôs need to also acquire support from Arab rulers.

Established in the wake of the war, the League of Nations issued its ‚ÄúMandate‚ÄĚ for Palestine, which incorporated the Balfour Declaration and was drafted by organized Zionists to further the aim of reconstituting Arab Palestine into a ‚ÄúJewish state‚ÄĚ.

The purpose of the Mandate, enforced by British guns, was to deny democratic self-governance to the inhabitants of Palestine until the Jews had through mass immigration managed to establish a numerical majority.

However, by the end of the Mandate, Jews still remained a minority, comprising about a third of the population.

Moreover, despite the best efforts of the Zionist leadership, the Jewish community had only managed to purchase about 7 percent of the land in Palestine.

Arabs owned more land than Jews in every single district in Palestine, including Jaffa, which included the main Jewish population center of Tel Aviv.

The reality of demographics and land ownership posed a problem for the Zionist leadership. The Arabs rejected the Mandate and were giving the British trouble.

They recognized that the Zionists envisioned their political disenfranchisement and eventual displacement from the land.

Initially, the means by which Arabs were displaced was through land purchases exploiting feudalistic Ottoman land laws that deprived Arab peasants of their property rights.

But the failure to acquire more than 7 percent of the land meant that other means would need to be employed to gain control over the area envisioned for the ‚ÄúJewish state‚ÄĚ.

The Arabs naturally rejected the Mandate, and they also understood that the implementation of the Zionist project meant their subjugation to foreign powers. (Indeed, the British acknowledged that the Arabs of Palestine exercised a greater measure of self-governance under Ottoman rule!)

While Zionist propagandists like Elan Journo in his new hoax book What Justice Demands are fond of claiming that it was the Arabs who rejected Jewish self-determination in Palestine, the truth is that the Mandate itself constituted a rejection of this right of the land’s Arab inhabitants.

Moreover, the Arab leadership was insistent in their demand that the independence of Palestine be recognized under a constitution guaranteeing representative democracy and minority rights.

The Zionist leadership tellingly rejected the democratic solution, as did the British (who described Arabs demanding that their right to self-determination be respected as ‚Äúextremists‚ÄĚ, whereas those who were willing to collaborate with the Zionist occupation regime were dubbed ‚Äúmoderate‚ÄĚ).

Democracy simply was not a solution for the Zionists‚ÄĒit was rather an obstacle to be overcome to achieve their aims. In the view of the Zionists, the Palestinians had to be prevented from being able to exercise their right to self-determination, and so British guns were employed to that end.

But British guns only took the Zionists so far. They‚Äôd have to get the rest of the way toward establishment of their ‚ÄúJewish state‚ÄĚ on their own.

The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine

The solution favored by Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion, who would become Israel‚Äôs first prime minister and is known as the father of the country, was the ‚Äúcompulsory transfer‚ÄĚ of Arabs outside of the area of the envisioned ‚ÄúJewish state‚ÄĚ.

Ben-Gurion was borrowing the term from the British, who proposed the idea of a forcible transfer of populations in order to partition Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states in the 1937 Peel Commission Report.

And while Ben-Gurion initially felt the ethnic cleansing would have to be undertaken by the British, the Zionists eventually built their own formidable military force, the Haganah, enabling them to implement the ‚Äúcompulsory transfer‚ÄĚ on their own.

When the UN, which replaced the defunct League of Nations following World War II, resurrected the stillborn partition plan, the Zionists recognized it as their opportunity to forcibly implement the ‚Äúcompulsory transfer‚ÄĚ and land-grabbing necessary for their ‚ÄúJewish state‚ÄĚ to be established.

On May 14, 1948, the Zionist leadership unilaterally declared the existence of the state of Israel, citing as legal authority the UN ‚Äúpartition plan‚ÄĚ resolution, General Assembly Resolution 181 of November 29, 1947. However, this resolution neither partitioned Palestine nor conferred any legal authority to the Zionists for their unilateral declaration.

Furthermore, the UN Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP), the body appointed by the General Assembly to come up with a solution and whose majority members recommended partition, explicitly acknowledged in its report that the goal of the Mandate to establish a ‚ÄúJewish state‚ÄĚ constituted a rejection of the right of the Arab Palestinians to self-determination.

This explains the grossly inequitable nature of the partition plan. Jews comprised about a third of the population and owned less than 7 percent of the land, whereas UNSCOP acknowledged that the Arabs were in ‚Äúin possession of approximately 85 percent of the land‚ÄĚ.

Yet it nevertheless proposed that the Arabs should remain in possession of about 45 percent of the land for their state, whereas Jews should have about 55 percent of the land for theirs (with Jerusalem placed under international trusteeship).

Furthermore, when the Bedouin population was counted, Arabs constituted a majority even in the area of the proposed Jewish state, where Arabs also owned more land than Jews.

The majority recommendation, premised as it was on the rejection of self-determination as it applied to the Arab majority, constituted a violation of the very Charter under which the the General Assembly purported to be operating.

The minority recommendation of the UNSCOP report, by contrast, joined with the Arabs in favoring the democratic solution, proposing that the independence of Palestine be recognized, the same as had happened with every other Mandated territory, and a democratic government established respecting the rights of minorities.

Contrary to the popular myth that the UN created Israel, the partition plan was forwarded by the General Assembly to the Security Council, where it died. The US representative rightly pointed out that the only way to implement the plan was through force and that the UN had no authority to forcibly partition Palestine against the will of the majority of its inhabitants.

But the UN had provided political cover enough for the Zionists to implement the plan on their own.

Already by the time they announced Israel’s existence and the neighboring Arab states responded by sending their armed forces into Palestine, a quarter of a million Arabs had been ethnically cleansed from their homes, and hundreds of Arab villages had been destroyed.

By the time it was over and armistice treaties were signed, more than 700,000 Arabs had fled or been expelled, never allowed to return, despite the recognition under international law that refugees of war have a right to return to their homeland.

The Jewish Nation State Law

These British people do not belong in the Arab world

The US mainstream media serve to manufacture consent for the US policy of supporting Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians.

The nature of the coverage about Israel‚Äôs new ‚ÄúNation State‚ÄĚ law is no different.

While the media may not be trying to defend such a blatantly racist law, the criticisms of the law fall within a very narrow spectrum and serves to propagandize the public with the false belief that Israel was established on democratic principles.

The Jewish Nation State Law was enacted as a ‚ÄúBasic Law‚ÄĚ, which body of laws essentially serves as the supreme law of the land in the absence of an Israeli constitution.

It states that Israel ‚Äúis the national home of the Jewish people, in which it fulfills its natural, cultural, religious and historical right to self-determination.‚ÄĚ

Moreover, it states that ‚ÄúThe right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.‚ÄĚ

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared after the law‚Äôs enactment that it represented ‚Äúa defining moment in the annals of Zionism and the annals of the state of Israel‚ÄĚ.

Meaninglessly and falsely adding that Israel ‚Äúrespects the rights of all its citizens‚ÄĚ, Netanyahu described it as having ‚Äúdetermined in law the founding principle of our existence‚ÄĚ that ‚ÄúIsrael is the nation-state of the Jewish people‚ÄĚ.

Indeed, the law does represent a manifestation of the founding principle of Israel’s existence; namely, the rejection of the right of the land’s Arab inhabitants to self-determination.

In its coverage of the law‚Äôs passage, the New York Times commented that critics are calling it ‚Äúa betrayal of Israel‚Äôs 1948 Declaration of Independence, which ensured ‚Äėcomplete equality of social and political rights‚Äô for ‚Äėall its inhabitants‚Äô no matter their religion, race or sex.‚ÄĚ

Of course, this lofty rhetoric in the Zionists‚Äô unilateral declaration of Israel‚Äôs existence on May 14, 1948‚ÄĒeuphemistically referred to by the thought-controlling Times as a ‚ÄúDeclaration of Independence‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒwas belied by the actual means by which the ‚ÄúJewish state‚ÄĚ came into being, which was not through any kind of legitimate political process, but by ethnically cleansing most of the Arab inhabitants of Palestine from their homes and systematically wiping hundreds of Palestinian villages off the map.

Time magazine similarly reported on the Jewish Nation State Law under the headline ‚ÄúA New Law Shifts Israel Away from Democracy‚ÄĚ, describing it contradicting the equal rights for all inhabitants promised in the ‚ÄúDeclaration of Independence‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒthus likewise maintaining the delusion that Israel was established on democratic principles.

Time also commented that the law should be understood within the context of the so-called ‚Äúpeace process‚ÄĚ that the Trump administration has been vainly trying to revive.

Indeed, the law is simply a reiteration of the propaganda talking point that Israel has a ‚Äúright to exist‚ÄĚ as a ‚ÄúJewish state‚ÄĚ, a well as Israel‚Äôs longstanding demand that the Palestinians recognize it as such.

In other words, Israel has long maintained as a prerequisite for any kind of peace agreement that the Palestinians must surrender their rights.

They must surrender their property rights, their right to self-determination, and their right to return to their homeland by acceding that the means by which Israel came into being was legitimate.

The use of force, however, to prevent a people from achieving their freedom is anathema to the lofty rhetoric about Arabs’ rights contained in propaganda instruments like Britain’s Balfour Declaration and the Zionists’ legally null declaration of Israel’s existence, which was not a declaration of independence, but was announced while ethnic cleansing operations were underway in order to deny independence to the lands’ majority inhabitants.

The very idea of a state having a ‚Äúright to exist‚ÄĚ is nonsensical propaganda. No state has a ‚Äúright to exist‚ÄĚ. Abstract political entities don‚Äôt have rights; individuals do. The proper framework for approaching the issue is rather the universal right to self-determination, which is a right not being denied to Israelis by the Palestinians, but vice versa.

The Palestinians‚Äô right to self-governance has always been rejected by the Zionist leadership. This rejection of both Arabs‚Äô rights and democratic principles was manifest in the actual means by which the ‚ÄúJewish state‚ÄĚ came into being, from the rejectionist Mandate to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine that the British helped facilitate with the Balfour policy.

The Jewish Nation State Law doesn‚Äôt move Israel further away from democratic principles. It can‚Äôt. This isn‚Äôt logically possible when the very existence of the ‚ÄúJewish state‚ÄĚ is dependent upon ensuring that millions of rightful inhabitants are prevented from exercising their right to self-determination.

Facebook Considers Censoring Term ‚ÄėZionist‚Äô ‚ÄĒ An ‚ÄėAntisemitic‚Äô Dog Whistle For Jewish Supremacy

“We must announce in the streets before the eyes of all the gentile nations that the Zionists are not the leaders of the Jewish people, that they have no right whatsoever to speak in the name of the Jewish people, and that there are still Jews left who are faithful to G-d and His Torah. We must let all this be heard with a powerful voice, not a weak voice.” (Ketzei Hashomayim, p. 56) Rabbi Refoel Blum 2005*

A leaked email written by a Facebook employee hints that the social media giant may review its policy on allowing the term ‚ÄúZionist‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ but anti-Israel groups are arguing that such a move would endanger free speech on Israel issues:
In the email dated Nov. 10, the unidentified employee wrote to an unidentified source: ‚ÄúWe are looking at the question of how we should interpret attacks on ‚ÄėZionists‚Äô to determine whether the term is used as a proxy for attacking Jewish or Israeli people. The term brings with it much history and various meanings, and we are looking to increase our understanding of how it is used by people on our platform.‚ÄĚ

In a version of the email reported on Sunday by The Verge, the names of both the sender and recipient were redacted.

Since last week, the far-left anti-Zionist group Jewish Voice For Peace has circulated a petition opposing any change to Facebook’s policy on allowing use of the word Zionist. Its signers include an array of prominent voices such as Michael Chabon, Peter Gabriel, Wallace Shawn, Noam Chomsky and Linda Sarsour.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, put out a statement Monday saying that it has ‚Äújoined the international campaign‚ÄĚ to keep Facebook from changing its position on the word.

‚ÄúThe proposed policy would too easily mischaracterize conversations about Zionists ‚Äď and by extension, Zionism ‚Äď as inherently antisemitic, harming Facebook users and undermining efforts to dismantle real antisemitism and all forms of racism, extremism, and oppression,‚ÄĚ the petition states.

A Facebook spokesperson told The Verge that the company allows the term Zionist ‚Äúin political discourse,‚ÄĚ but not ‚Äúwhen it‚Äôs used as a proxy for Jews or Israelis in a dehumanizing or violent way.‚ÄĚ Although Facebook is ‚Äúindependently engaging with experts and stakeholders,‚ÄĚ the spokesperson added, that does not necessitate a change in policy.

Facebook debuted a new pop-up last week aimed at combating Holocaust denial on the platform.

Now that Joe Biden has taken office, many of the liberals ‚ÄĒ even Jewish liberals ‚ÄĒ who support him are highly critical of the ongoing genocide in Palestine ‚ÄĒ and that criticism ‚ÄĒ deserved or not ‚ÄĒ apparently needs to be nipped in the bud.

At one time, Jews were among the greatest advocates of ‚Äúfreedom of speech‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ¬† but that was only until they gained ascendancy over our Christian societies where freedom of speech was uniquely seen as a God-given, inalienable right.

But once Jews had risen and began replacing the White Christian elite, they wasted no time in suddenly finding fault with ‚Äúso-called‚ÄĚ freedom of speech ‚ÄĒ¬† it became infinitely ‚Äúcomplex‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúproblematic‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ ‚Äúunfortunately‚ÄĚ no longer ‚Äúabsolute‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ especially when it makes some Jews feel ‚Äúunsafe‚ÄĚ.

With the ‚Äúhelp‚ÄĚ of the Jewish supremacists at the Anti-Defamation League, we have gratefully come to understand that Jews are a unique people ‚ÄĒ sui generis ‚ÄĒ in that they have never done anything ‚ÄĒ as a people ‚ÄĒ to ever justify any criticism for anything ‚ÄĒ ever.

What history has shown us is that any criticism of any Jew ‚ÄĒ any perceived slight, no matter how seemingly innocuous ‚ÄĒ can quickly escalate into a Holocaust‚ĄĘ ‚ÄĒ and since no one wants ‚Äúanother‚ÄĚ Holocaust, perhaps it‚Äôs best if we don‚Äôt criticize Jews at all ‚ÄĒ ever again.

Jews are masters at alchemically transforming feelings ‚ÄĒ even the most paranoid and delusional feelings ‚ÄĒ into reality ‚ÄĒ and then forcing society at large into accepting those feelings as real ‚ÄĒ and even legally binding.

And by extension, it makes sense that all criticism of the ersatz State of Israel should be censored ‚ÄĒ and with it come harsh legal penalties, preferably the death penalty.

It is imperative that all Jews everywhere can ‚Äúsleep soundly‚ÄĚ each and every night ‚ÄĒ without fearing ‚Äúanother‚ÄĚ Holocaust ‚ÄĒ and if in ensuring that ‚Äúright‚ÄĚ to feel safe some ‚Äúextremists‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúantisemites‚ÄĚ have to be executed, well, that seems like a small price to pay.

Erasing Palestine One Street Sign At A Time

LOOTED & HIDDEN – Palestinian Archives in Israel from Rona Sela on Vimeo.

A campaign to strike off Arabic from Jerusalem street signs goes hand in hand with government attempts to uproot the city’s Palestinian identity.

Israel has NOTHING to do with Judaism. When modern secular Zionism was offered to Jews it was outright rejected. It took 50 years for Jews to bite down on nationalism.

“People simply disappeared, always during the night (cover). Your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten. You were abolished, annihilated: vaporized was the usual word.”
– George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 1

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The Israeli occupation army abducted last month 357 Palestinian citizens and one Palestinian detainee died in prison.

It has been two years since the passage of the controversial Jewish Nation-State Law, which, in addition to asserting Jewish supremacy over the ‚ÄúLand of Israel,‚ÄĚ officially downgraded the status of the Arabic language in Israel.

But while the Nation-State Law was drafted in the halls of parliament, it seems that activists on the ground have taken on its implementation.

This is becoming particularly apparent in Jerusalem, where right-wing Israeli activists are attempting to erase Arabic from the city’s landscape.

To see it in action, you need only look at Jerusalem‚Äôs trilingual street signs ‚ÄĒ in the West and in the occupied East, the city center and peripheral neighborhoods, and in both segregated and mixed areas ‚ÄĒ which present a perfect symbolic target for this campaign.

In most instances, these activists have covered the Arabic text on these signs with political campaign stickers belonging to various predominantly right-wing and religious parties; stickers of Otzma Yehudit, an extreme right Kahanist party, appear to be the most common.

Religious slogans representing Chabad-Lubavitch and Breslov (two Hasidic sects) can also be found covering the Arabic, as can stickers from far-right groups like Lehava and Derech Haim.

In a few cases, Arabic is simply scratched off or covered with spray paint.

The range of slogans and stickers used to conceal the Arabic demonstrates that the message they carry is secondary to the act of erasure itself.

Arabic scratched off a sign outside the depopulated Palestinian village of Lifta near Jerusalem. (Ben Reiff)

Arabic scratched off a sign outside the depopulated Palestinian village of Lifta near Jerusalem. (Ben Reiff)

This phenomenon is not unique to Jerusalem. A short drive along settler roads in the West Bank shows that the Arabic names on several signs have been scribbled out or covered up.

Nor is this issue particularly new: in 2009, for example, activists set about countering the vandalization of Arabic on Jerusalem’s street signs by reprinting those names in ornate Arabic calligraphy and sticking them over the defaced originals.

Nonetheless, the ubiquity of this practice throughout Jerusalem today ‚ÄĒ and the impunity and disregard that it enjoys ‚ÄĒ is striking.

And while it is less overt than other forms of Israeli erasure of the city‚Äôs Palestinian character ‚ÄĒ such as attempts after 1948 to give Hebrew names to the formerly Arab neighborhoods of West Jerusalem like Talbiye (Komemiyut), Qatamon (Gonen), Baka‚Äôa (Ge‚Äôulim), and Musrara (Morasha) ‚ÄĒ the more subtle process on the street signs nonetheless serves a similar purpose.

‚ÄėThe erasure is not random‚Äô

Last November, I tweeted a selection of photos of these vandalized signs to Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion and Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum.

They didn‚Äôt see the phenomenon as a major problem: ‚ÄúYou choose selective pictures of some vandalism around the city,‚ÄĚ Hassan-Nahoum wrote back to me on Twitter.

‚ÄúI could also stoke divisions by posting pictures of Arab vandalism but I chose [sic] to focus on building a shared society and highlighting the good things happening in #jerusalem for ALL populations,‚ÄĚ her reply continued.

In July, however, by which time I had documented dozens more examples, Hassan-Nahoum was forced to concede that these were not ‚Äúselective‚ÄĚ occurrences: ‚ÄúI will send this to our street sign dept to clean immediately. This is bully behavior that has no place in our city.‚ÄĚ

But whereas some recent cases of left-wing graffiti were hastily eradicated by the municipality, most of the stickers I found covering Arabic have not yet been removed (beyond those that I was able to remove myself after photographing).

Three different stickers, two of them for the Otzma Yehudit party, covering the Arabic on a street sign in the Givat Sha’ul neighborhood in Jerusalem. (Ben Reiff)

Three different stickers, two of them for the Otzma Yehudit party, covering the Arabic on a street sign in the Givat Sha’ul neighborhood in Jerusalem. (Ben Reiff)

Daniel Seidemann, an attorney and political analyst specializing in Israeli-Palestinian relations in Jerusalem, describes Hassan-Nahoum‚Äôs comments as ‚Äúdisingenuous in the extreme, but to be expected by a municipality that gives 12 percent of its budget to 40 percent of the population.‚ÄĚ

In fact, he says, ‚Äúfew phenomena symbolize the current state of affairs in Jerusalem better than this. It‚Äôs not random and it‚Äôs not thugs; it‚Äôs representative of the zeitgeist.‚ÄĚ

To illustrate this, he points to a recent controversy wherein the religious freedom NGO Hiddush filed a lawsuit against the municipality because the ‚ÄúReligion and Tradition‚ÄĚ page on the city‚Äôs website listed only Orthodox Jewish institutions ‚ÄĒ no Muslim, Christian, or even non-Orthodox Jewish sites were featured.

Rather than respond to the suit by expanding the list, the municipality decided to remove the list altogether. ‚ÄúThis is an indication that the erasure is not random,‚ÄĚ says Seidemann.

‚ÄėDeleting Arabic names since 1967‚Äô

Faiz Abu Rmeleh, a photojournalist with the Israeli-Palestinian Activestills collective and the Turkish Anadolu Agency, is a Palestinian resident of Jerusalem’s Old City, where he sees the attempted erasure of Arabic on street signs as routine.

Far from being an isolated phenomenon by some right-wing activists, he views it in parallel to the authorities‚Äô ‚Äúofficial‚ÄĚ process of changing street names in and around the Old City, and of giving Hebrew names to new streets in Palestinian neighborhoods. Recently, for example, the municipality tried to name several streets in Silwan after rabbis, an attempt that was blocked following a court petition filed on behalf of the residents by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.

Likud stickers and a Pokemon sticker covering the Arabic on a sign near the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. (Ben Reiff)

Likud stickers and a Pokemon sticker covering the Arabic on a sign near the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. (Ben Reiff)

In reality, says Abu Rmeleh, the Nation-State Law was ‚Äúnot so important‚ÄĚ as an impetus for the erasure of Arabic, as ‚Äúthe municipality has been deleting Arabic names here since 1967.‚ÄĚ

He gives the example of the Sharaf neighbourhood in the Old City, its name erased amidst Israel’s reconstruction and expansion of what is now the Jewish Quarter.

The demolition of the Mughrabi Quarter in 1967 also enabled the creation of the open plaza in front of the Western Wall. 

The municipality‚Äôs aim, Abu Rmeleh argues, is to have both Israeli and foreign visitors ‚Äúonly see the Jewish story here, and not the Muslim or Christian story.‚ÄĚ

Home - Al-Nakba: 1948 Palestinian Exodus - LibGuides at American University of Beirut Whatever they say happened to Jews in the Holocaust, the same and worse they do to the Palestinians.

In this way, they are ‚Äúdeleting the identity and history of Palestinians in the Old City and around it.‚ÄĚ

Nivine Sandouka, the volunteer executive director of the NGO Our Rights, which advocates for the civic and political rights of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, agrees that the erasure of Arabic by right-wing activists is nothing new ‚ÄĒ ‚Äúby now it‚Äôs taken for granted.‚ÄĚ

However, she sees that the municipality’s approach to the Arabic language is not uniform. 

‚ÄúYou can‚Äôt deny that the municipality is adding more Arabic around the city,‚ÄĚ she says, likely as a result of pressure from opposition voices within the city council. Often, however, the text being added ‚Äúis not the [common] Arabic that is actually used.‚ÄĚ

A clear case of this is when Israeli street signs read ‚ÄúUrshalim‚ÄĚ rather than ‚Äúal-Quds‚ÄĚ as the Arabic name for Jerusalem.

Sandouka also gives the example of Mount Scopus: Palestinians refer to the area as ‚Äúa-Tala al-Faransiye‚ÄĚ (the Arabic translation of French Hill), but the Arabic on street signs says ‚ÄúHar Hatsofim,‚ÄĚ a direct transliteration of the Hebrew name into Arabic.¬†

‚ÄėTheir agenda is the same‚Äô

According to Laura Wharton, the Meretz party‚Äôs representative on Jerusalem‚Äôs City Council, the attempts by right-wing activists to erase Arabic are ‚Äúa disturbing reflection of what is happening all over the city with the rise of the extreme right.‚ÄĚ

Arabic has been covered by black spray paint on a sign at a pedestrian crossing in Me’ah She’arim, Jerusalem. (Ben Reiff)

Arabic has been covered by black spray paint on a sign at a pedestrian crossing in Me’ah She’arim, Jerusalem. (Ben Reiff)

She notes that, even though the Otzma Yehudit party failed to cross the Knesset threshold in the last national election, its parallel in the Jerusalem municipality, the United faction, occupies two of the council’s 30 seats (Meretz occupies one).

United‚Äôs leader, Arieh King, a settler activist whose stated ambition is the ‚ÄúJudaization‚ÄĚ of Jerusalem, was recently appointed by the mayor to be one of his deputies.

The process of ‚ÄúJudaization‚ÄĚ in the city has historically been focused on demography.

In 1973, the Israeli government adopted the recommendations of the Gafni Commission, which was tasked with assessing the future development of Jerusalem.

Based on the commission‚Äôs conclusions, the government has since sought to create and maintain a Jewish majority of at least 70 percent in the city ‚ÄĒ but without success.

Despite the expansion of Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem, along with the constant threat of evictions and residency revocations for Palestinians, some estimates say that the Palestinian population in the city could reach 50 percent within the next 10 years.

The route of the separation barrier ‚ÄĒ which cuts off several Palestinian neighborhoods located within the municipal boundaries ‚ÄĒ was one attempt by Israel to mitigate this inevitability.

Further construction and potential annexation in areas like E1 are designed for the same purpose.

Another ‚ÄėNazi Atrocity‚Äô Bites The Dust

Despite the fact that Jewish ‚Äėscholars‚Äô themselves have thoroughly discredited the long-held ‚Äúhistorical fact‚ÄĚ that ‚ÄúNazis‚ÄĚ burned the entire yeshiva Library in Lublin, Poland, in 1939, many Jewish ‚Äúhistorians‚ÄĚ still insist that it happened ‚ÄĒ and then they wonder how any ‚Äúsane‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúhonest‚ÄĚ person could question any aspect of their sacred so-called ‚ÄúHolocaust.‚ÄĚ

As the Jews have told it, the ‚ÄúNazis‚ÄĚ lit a bonfire and burned 55,000 books in the courtyard of the yeshiva ‚ÄĒ and the cries of the onlooking distraught Jews were so loud that the ‚ÄúNazis‚ÄĚ ordered a brass band ‚ÄĒ that just happened to be on hand ‚ÄĒ to drown out them out.

Of course, this is a common theme among Jewish ‚Äúsurvivor‚ÄĚ accounts ‚ÄĒ the ‚ÄúNazis‚ÄĚ had a demonic proclivity to play teutonic German music while gleefully torturing and murdering Jews in all sorts of creatively sadistic ways.

In reality, books with the Lublin Library imprint have shown up for sale at Jewish auction houses over the years ‚ÄĒ and many libraries have books from that collection in their inventories ‚ÄĒ according to Jews who have tracked them down.

But for the Jews, it isn‚Äôt important what the ‚ÄúNazis‚ÄĚ actually did or did not do ‚ÄĒ what‚Äôs of prime importance is how the ‚ÄúNazis‚ÄĚ made the Jews feel ‚ÄĒ and Jews are master alchemists at morphing their feelings into reality ‚ÄĒ and then using their terrible power of the purse to make sure we all accept that reality.

And when we agree to their version of reality, it appears to have a counter-intuitive salubrious effect on their well-being.

Four witnesses testified that they had seen Koch selecting prisoners specifically for their tattoos, or that they had seen or been involved in the manufacturing of the human-skin lampshades.

As had happened due to lack of evidence before, this charge was eventually dropped.

On January 15, 1951, the Court gave its verdict in a 111-page decision. Koch was not present.

She was convicted of ‚Äúcharges of incitement to murder, incitement to attempted murder, and incitement to the crime of committing grievous bodily harm,‚ÄĚ and again sentenced to life imprisonment with permanent forfeiture of any civil rights.

During her time in prison, she petitioned for appeals several times but was always dismissed.

She even protested to the International Human Rights Commission, but was rejected.

While in prison, her son Uwe, who had been conceived during her imprisonment at Dachau, discovered that she was his mother.

He came to visit her in prison often over the next several years at Aichach, the prison where she was serving her life sentence.

On September 1, 1967, Ilse Koch committed suicide in prison.

The next day, Uwe arrived for their visit and was shocked to find that she had died.

She was buried in an unmarked, untended grave at the prison’s cemetery.

Human Remains From Buchenwald

Wikimedia Commons Human remains and images of tattoos from Buchenwald.

The lampshades have never been recovered, and many historians seem to doubt their existence. However, a writer ‚ÄĒ also Jewish ‚ÄĒ named Mark Jacobson has made it his mission to authenticate their existence.

His grim quest began when a man named Skip Hendersen purchased a lampshade touted as a Nazi relic at a post-Hurricane Katrina garage sale.

Hendersen sent it to Jacobson, who even traveled with it to Buchenwald, but has been unable to definitively determine its origin.

DNA testing conducted initially revealed that the lampshade was likely made of human skin, but later testing revealed that the shade is more likely made of cowskin.

It seems, in the end, that this was one secret the Bitch of Buchenwalk took with her to the grave.

Index of /bilder/ww1

Power Unseen

Charles Frith - Punk Planning: JFK Blocked Nuclear Israel Before His Murder

“Our way of life is under attack. Those who make themselves our enemy are advancing around the globe. The survival of our friends is in danger. And yet no war has been declared, no borders have been crossed by marching troops, no missiles have been fired.”

Here the Jew admits who has the power

Enough power to overthrow the world in 1920


On the 10th of October, 2007, at Hotel Hilton in Tel-Aviv, Israeli President Shimon Peres stated the following:
“From such a small country like ours [Israel], this is almost amazing. I see that we [the Jewish people] are buying up Manhattan, Hungary, Romania, and Poland. And the way I see it, we have no problems. Thanks to our talent, our contacts and our dynamism, we get almost everywhere.”

***

How many Jews are there in the United States? No Gentile knows.

The figures are the exclusive property of the Jewish authorities.

The government of the United States can provide statistics on almost every matter pertaining to the population of the country, but whenever it has attempted in a systematic way to get information about the Jews who are constantly entering the country and the number now resident here, the Jewish lobby at Washington steps in and stops it.

The American people would be vastly surprised if they could see a
line-up of some of the “American business men” who hold up our
commercial prestige overseas.

They are mostly Jews.

They have a keen
sense of the value of the American name, and when in a foreign port you
stroll up to the office which bears the sign, “American Importing
Company,” or “American Commercial Company,” or other similarly
non-committal names, hoping to find a countryman, an American, you
usually find a Jew whose sojourn in America appears to have been all too
brief.

This may throw a sidelight on the regard in which “American
business methods” are held in some parts of the world.

When 30 or 40
different races of people can carry on business under the name
“American,” and do it legally, too, it is not surprising that Americans
do not recognize some of the descriptions of American methods which
appear in the foreign press.

The Germans long ago complained that the
rest of the world was judging them by the German-speaking Jewish
commercial traveler.

 The International Jew, by Henry Ford

Reversing the Zionist agenda

One may safely assume that Zionist organizations and agents in the U.S. are already hard at work with the Biden people to assure that no such reversal takes place.

As the U.S. and the world wait with anticipation for the Biden administration to take office, people with progressive agendas are feeling optimistic.

Teams working on immigration, health care, and the environment, to name just a few, are already at work preparing to move the United States in a new direction.

The one progressive issue where there is little optimism though is Palestine.

This is mostly because Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are both self-declared Zionists and because there is a history of total U.S. support for Israel.

But even though most American politicians are Zionists, Trump moving out of the White House presents a sense of a new beginning and should be used as an opportunity to change the paradigm on Palestine.

It can easily be demonstrated that Israel is a dangerous, even reckless state and that continued support for it only promises instability.

Israel is an apartheid state that is already on the verge of collapse. With over two million men women and children locked up in the uninhabitable Gaza Strip, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel in the Naqab living without access to water or electricity, crime on the rise, and political instability growing, Israel is likely to become even more dangerous than it is today.

Furthermore, the Netanyahu government is tightly connected to Trump. In fact, one could argue that Trump’s entire foreign policy regarding the Middle East and Iran were dictated by Netanyahu.

Israel will, of course, vehemently oppose any reversal of the actions taken by the Trump-Kushner-Freedman trio.

One may safely assume that Zionist organizations and agents in the U.S. are already hard at work with the Biden people to assure that no such reversal takes place.

Still, Joe Biden will have to show that he stands by some, if not all, of the foreign policy agreements that were reached during the Obama years and later abandoned by Donald Trump.

He will likely have to do this even if it means Israel will be displeased. First and foremost would be a return to the Iran nuclear deal, also known as The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The agreement with Iran was central to the Obama legacy, and Trump dropping out of the agreement pleased Israel to no end.

A return to the agreement will cause friction between Biden and Israel but since the entire spectrum of Israeli politicians ‚Äď the one exception being the Joint Arab List ‚Äď made no secret of their support for Trump, one would hope that some political payback is forthcoming.

Biden’s foreign policy team will also have to deal with the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel and the consequent moving of the U.S. embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem, as well as the U.S. recognition of Israel’s annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights.

Both were gifts to the Netanyahu government, both were diplomatic blunders that aided Netanyahu, and both will be difficult to reverse.

 
There are a few things that the Biden team will be able to reverse, though not without serious objections from Israel.

These include a return to funding UNRWA, the UN agency charged with caring for over five million Palestinian refugees.

Those refugees languish in camps throughout Palestine and the surrounding countries because Israel violently expelled them, stole their land and property, and then banned them from returning.

Trump stopped funding for UNRWA in order to satisfy his Zionist-laden foreign policy team.

The reopening of the Palestinian mission in Washington D.C. is another act Israel will not like but one might expect will happen under the Biden administration.

It was on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Oslo Accords that the Trump administration closed down the mission and did so in a manner that could not be less diplomatic, practically throwing out the head of mission, Dr. Husam Zumlot. Needless to say, Zionists were thrilled to see that there was no longer Palestinian representation in the U.S. capital.

Even if a new Biden administration ended up reversing Trump’s implementation of the above-mentioned policies, it would only mean that things had returned to where they were before, which was total support for Israel with a symbolic hint that some small measure of regard is given to the rights of Palestinians.

Progress will only come when it is made clear in Washington that no one can claim to support democracy and human rights while supporting Israel.

Support in congress

Support for Palestine is growing in the U.S. House of Representatives and with it the understanding that Zionist foreign policy, which dominates U.S. foreign policy, is flawed. Furthermore, there is a growing understanding that supporting human rights includes supporting Palestinian rights.

People are growing weary of the U.S. arming and financing Zionist ambitions, and it is not hard to see that Israel does not violate international law and human rights, but rather Israel is itself a violation of international law and human rights.

Every day that Palestinian refugees languish in camps is a violation of human decency as well as international law and the basic human rights of over five million people.

The fact that the homes, land, and property of these refugees were stolen by Israel after they were forced to flee by armed Zionist terror squads ‚Äď that is an ongoing violation of international law.

Each day that Palestinians in Gaza remain locked up in the world’s largest open-air prison is a violation of international law and the human rights of the over two million people who live in the Gaza Strip.

These are just a small sample of the many examples that demonstrate why no one can be progressive while supporting Israel.

Moving past Anti-Semitism

Israel has armed itself with the weapon of ‚Äúanti-semitism‚ÄĚ and it is wielding it with great mastery.

The use of the IHRA definition of anti-semitism and its acceptance by countless governments and non-governmental organizations has created a shield that protects Israel from criticism.

 

This shield also holds prisoner any organization that has adopted the definition.

Having adopted the definition prevents the possibility of ever expressing legitimate criticism of Israel without being accused of anti-semitism.

In the U.S., this definition has been adopted across the board, even the United States Department of State has adopted it.

Still, when the facts are laid out clearly, even the weaponization of anti-semitism cannot protect Israel.

There is a change in the air in the United States and although the Biden-Harris duo has declared themselves Zionists, there is an opportunity to push forward an aggressive pro-Palestine, pro-justice agenda.

A long time ago it seemed that U.S. support for a country by the name of South Vietnam (yes, there was a country by that name once) was unwavering and would never end.

There was also a racist, apartheid regime that ruled over most of Southern Africa, and the U.S. government as well as American corporations fought hard against any attempts to boycott and bring it down.

Yet, South Vietnam fell, as did the apartheid regime in South Africa.

Biden and Harris may be supporters of Zionism today, but that can change.

It is the duty of those who care for Palestine to make their voices heard now louder than ever before, to organize better and push as hard as possible. Millions of lives are at stake.

Feature photo | Joe Biden, projected on screens, is applauded by the audience as he addresses the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) 2013 Policy Conference at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, March 4, 2013. Susan Walsh | AP

Miko Peled is an author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. He is the author of ‚ÄúThe General‚Äôs Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúInjustice, the Story of the Holy Land

 

We Grow, They Bulldoze, We Re-Plant

By Eva Bartlett

February 10, 2013

Tawfiq Mandil, 45, stands amongst hundreds of Palestinian farmers, activists, and international supporters in the Gaza Strip’s eastern Zeitoun district, about half a kilometre from the border with Israel.

They are renewing a call for the boycott of Israeli goods.‚ÄúThe Israeli army destroyed my house and my five dunums of land (a dunum is 1,000 square metres) on the last day of the attacks in 2009, as well as 20 other homes,‚ÄĚ he says.

With signs reading ‚ÄėBoycott Israeli Agricultural Products‚Äô and ‚ÄėSupport Palestinian Farmers‚Äô, Mandil and others protesting Israeli oppression of Palestinian farmers joined together Saturday to plant olive trees on Israeli-razed farmland and to implore international supporters to join the boycott of Israeli agricultural produce.

Mandil believes that the boycott is his only hope for justice for Palestinian farmers being targeted by the Israeli army and oppressed by Israel. ‚ÄúWe hope that it will put pressure on Israel to stop targeting us and allow us to farm our land as we used to.‚ÄĚ

ITS THOSE EVIL ZIONISTS! : forwardsfromhitler

With an Israeli surveillance blimp hovering above and within sight of a remotely-controlled machine gun tower, the significance of the rally‚Äôs location near the ‚Äėbuffer zone‚Äô was not lost.

Israeli authorities prohibit Palestinians from accessing the 300 metres flanking the Gaza-Israel border.

In reality, the Israeli army regularly attacks Palestinians up to two kilometres from the border in some areas, rendering more than 35 percent of Gaza’s farmland off-limits.

“By engaging in the trade of settlement produce, states are failing to comply with their obligation to actively cooperate in order to put the Israeli settlement enterprise to an end.

Therefore, a ban on settlement produce must be considered amongst those actions that third party states should undertake in order to comply with their international law obligations.‚ÄĚ

The Palestinian human rights organisation Al-Haq released a position paper last month condemning the Israeli settlement produce trade.

The paper, ‚ÄėFeasting on the Occupation: Illegality of Settlement Produce and the Responsibility of EU Member States Under International Law‚Äô highlights the means by which Israeli settlements benefit from the oppression of Palestinian farmers.

https://www.quotemaster.org/images/21/21ac9525c4e940ca1739159d281beab6.jpg

We are all Palestinians!

‚ÄúWhile the EU has been quite outspoken in condemning settlements and their expansion, they continue to import produce from these same settlements and in doing so, help to sustain their very existence,‚ÄĚ Al-Haq director general Shawan Jabarin notes in the Al-Haq press release.

‚ÄúMore than 80 Palestinians have been injured and at least four Palestinians killed by Israeli attacks in the border regions since the November 2012 ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian resistance,‚ÄĚ says Adie Mormech, 35, a British activist living in Gaza.

This is in addition to the many Palestinians killed and hundreds injured in previous years of Israeli army attacks on the border regions.

‚ÄúThere is simultaneous action happening in the occupied West Bank,‚ÄĚ says Mormech. ‚ÄúThey‚Äôre planting near Yitzhar colony, which is notorious for its violence against Palestinians.

Quds News Network on Twitter: "Zionist quotes that should never be forgotten on the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. (2/2) #Nakba #Nakba72… "

Around the world, an estimated 30 countries are holding actions in solidarity with Palestinian farmers and fishers.‚ÄĚ

Um Abed, 65, from Zeitoun is defiant. ‚ÄúToday we‚Äôre planting olive trees. God willing next year we‚Äôll plant lemon, date and palm trees. We grow, they bulldoze, we re-plant.‚ÄĚ

The boycott action follows a growing number of initiatives emerging in recent years from the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian students in Gazan universities stepped up the Boycott call in 2012, releasing Youtube videos calling for political action, not aid, from international supporters.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) has attracted international support, including the backing of numerous UK and North American universities and scholars.

Increasing numbers of cultural and religious associations, such as the Quakers’ Friends Fiduciary Corporation, are divesting from corporations that profit from or support Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands.

The United Church of Canada endorsed the boycott of goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements in August 2012.

Quotes about Zionism (70 quotes)

Dr Haidar Eid, professor at Gaza’s Al-Aqsa University and PACBI member, outlines what BDS entails.

“We are calling for implementation of UN Security Council resolution 242, which calls for withdrawal of occupation forces from the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and east Jerusalem.

The second demand is the implementation of the United Nations resolution 194, the return of all Palestinian refugees to the towns and villages from which they were ethnically cleansed in 1948.

The third demand is the end to Israel‚Äôs apartheid policies in Palestine 1948. We want equality.‚ÄĚ

While civil society and students have been in the forefront of BDS actions in the Gaza Strip, the Hamas government has also taken steps calling for boycott.

Joe Catron, an American activist based in the Gaza Strip, explains one recent government-led campaign.

“The Adidas campaign began in March 2012, when Adidas was sponsoring a marathon through parts of Jerusalem, including parts that are internationally recognised as occupied.

The Ministry of Youth and Sports here called upon the Arab League to boycott Adidas in response to this, which a number of countries did.‚ÄĚ

In September 2012, Gaza’s Ministry of Agriculture decided to ban most Israeli fruits entering Gaza.

‚ÄúPalestinian farmers can grow the fruits we consume,‚ÄĚ said marketing director in the ministry Tahsen Al-Saqa.

‚ÄúWe need to support and protect our own farmers. They‚Äôve been economically devastated by the Israeli ban on exporting since 2006.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúBoycott is the key, and it is growing,‚ÄĚ says Adie Mormech. ‚ÄúThe momentum is so much now that it is not going to stop. It‚Äôs going to be like South Africa.‚ÄĚ

 

 

 

 

 

Bahrain opposition rejects Israel normalization, calls for resistance

Thousands of Bahrainis have flocked to the streets of Manama today in what they called ‚ÄúThe Friday of Resisting Normalization‚ÄĚ in protest against the normalization deal between their regime and the occupation state. The protesters raised the flag of Palestine and chanted slogans in solidarity with Palestine.

Although of the strict security measures, thousands of Bahrainis took part in the protests that started following Friday prayers and marched throughout the capital.

The protesters held signs that read ‚Äúnormalization is betrayal‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúwe reject humiliation and surrender to the dictates of the US and UK‚ÄĚ.

The kingdom of Bahrain has signed an agreement to normalize ties with the occupation state last September, following another deal between the UAE and the occupation state.

A group of Bahraini political and civil society associations, including the Bahrain Bar Association, on Sunday voiced their opposition to the deal in a joint statement.

‚ÄúWhat results from normalization will not enjoy popular backing, in line with what generations of Bahrainis have been brought up on in terms of adherence to the Palestinian cause,‚ÄĚ the statement said.

The Forgotten History of the Jewish, Anti-Zionist Left

“Zion¬≠ism is a tox¬≠ic mix¬≠ture of Euro¬≠pean nation¬≠al¬≠ism and British impe¬≠ri¬≠al¬≠ism graft¬≠ed onto a cul¬≠tur¬≠al reser¬≠voir of Jew¬≠ish tropes and mytholo¬≠gies that come from Jew¬≠ish litur¬≠gy and culture.”

“WHEREVER WE LIVE, THAT’S OUR HOMELAND”

“The Zionists have become known in the world, and they are considered like the lowest and the cheapest.” ~-Rabbi Shalom Dov Ber Schneersohn,Rebbe of Lubavitch, Russia (1866-1920)

A conversation with scholar Benjamin Balthaser about Jewish, working-class anti-Zionism in the 1930s and ’40s.

Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu’s push to forcibly annex up to 30% of the occu­pied West Bank is expos­ing the vio­lence inher­ent in impos­ing a Jew­ish eth­no-state on an indige­nous Pales­tin­ian pop­u­la­tion.

While the plan is delayed for now, the human rights orga­ni­za­tion B’Tselem reports that, in prepa­ra­tion for annex­a­tion, Israel already ramped up its demo­li­tions of Pales­tin­ian homes in the West Bank in June, destroy­ing 30 that month, a fig­ure that does not include demo­li­tions in East Jerusalem.

We can see the emptiness and barrenness of aligning ourselves with an American imperial project.

The theft and destruc¬≠tion of Pales¬≠tin¬≠ian homes and com¬≠mu¬≠ni¬≠ties, how¬≠ev¬≠er, is just one piece of a¬†much larg¬≠er‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČand old¬≠er‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČcolo¬≠nial project.

As Pales¬≠tin¬≠ian orga¬≠niz¬≠er San¬≠dra Tamari writes, ‚Äč‚ÄúPales¬≠tini¬≠ans have been forced to endure Israel‚Äôs poli¬≠cies of expul¬≠sion and land appro¬≠pri¬≠a¬≠tion for over 70¬†years.‚ÄĚ

Today, this real­i­ty has evolved into an overt apartheid sys­tem: Pales­tini­ans with­in Israel are sec­ond-class cit­i­zens, with Israel now offi­cial­ly cod­i­fy­ing that self-deter­mi­na­tion is for Jews only.

Pales¬≠tini¬≠ans in the West Bank and Gaza are sub¬≠ject to mil¬≠i¬≠tary occu¬≠pa¬≠tion, siege, block¬≠ade and mar¬≠tial law‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČa sys¬≠tem of vio¬≠lent dom¬≠i¬≠na¬≠tion enabled by polit¬≠i¬≠cal and finan¬≠cial sup¬≠port from the Unit¬≠ed¬†States.

Anti-Zion­ists argue that this bru­tal real­i­ty is not just the prod­uct of a right-wing gov­ern­ment or fail­ure to effec­tive­ly pro­cure a two-state solu­tion.

Rather, it stems from the mod­ern Zion­ist project itself, one estab­lished in a colo­nial con­text, and fun­da­men­tal­ly reliant on eth­nic cleans­ing and vio­lent dom­i­na­tion of Pales­tin­ian peo­ple.

Jews around the world are among those who call them¬≠selves anti-Zion¬≠ists, and who vocif¬≠er¬≠ous¬≠ly object to the claim that the state of Israel rep¬≠re¬≠sents the will‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČor inter¬≠ests‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČof Jew¬≠ish¬†people.

In These Times spoke with Ben­jamin Balthas­er, an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of mul­ti­eth­nic lit­er­a­ture at Indi­ana Uni­ver­si­ty at South Bend.

His recent arti¬≠cle, ‚Äč‚ÄúWhen Anti-Zion¬≠ism Was Jew¬≠ish: Jew¬≠ish Racial Sub¬≠jec¬≠tiv¬≠i¬≠ty and the Anti-Impe¬≠ri¬≠al¬≠ist Lit¬≠er¬≠ary Left from the Great Depres¬≠sion to the Cold War,‚ÄĚ exam¬≠ines the erased his¬≠to¬≠ry of anti-Zion¬≠ism among the Jew¬≠ish, work¬≠ing-class left in the 1930s and ‚Äč‚Äė40s.

Anti-Zionism - Wikipedia

Balthas­er is the author of a book of poems about the old Jew­ish left called Ded­i­ca­tion, and an aca­d­e­m­ic mono­graph titled Anti-Impe­ri­al­ist Mod­ernism.

He is work­ing on a book about Jew­ish Marx­ists, social­ist thought and anti-Zion­ism in the 20th century.

He spoke with In These Times about the colo­nial ori­gins of mod­ern Zion­ism, and the Jew­ish left’s quar­rel with it, on the grounds that it is a form of right-wing nation­al­ism, is fun­da­men­tal­ly opposed to work­ing-class inter­na­tion­al­ism, and is a form of impe­ri­al­ism.

Accord­ing to Balthas­er, this polit­i­cal tra­di­tion under­mines the claim that Zion­ism reflects the will of all Jew­ish peo­ple, and offers sign­posts for the present day.

‚Äč‚ÄúFor Jews in the Unit¬≠ed States who are try¬≠ing to think about their rela¬≠tion¬≠ship not only to Pales¬≠tine, but also their own place in the world as an his¬≠tor¬≠i¬≠cal¬≠ly per¬≠se¬≠cut¬≠ed eth¬≠no-cul¬≠tur¬≠al dias¬≠poric minor¬≠i¬≠ty, we have to think of whose side we are on, and which glob¬≠al forces we want to align with,‚ÄĚ he says.

‚Äč‚ÄúIf we do not want to side with the exe¬≠cu¬≠tion¬≠ers of the far-right, with colo¬≠nial¬≠ism, and with racism, there is a¬†Jew¬≠ish cul¬≠tur¬≠al resource for us to draw on‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČa polit¬≠i¬≠cal resource to draw¬†on.‚ÄĚ

Sarah Lazare: Can you please explain what the ide­ol­o­gy of Zion­ism is? Who devel­oped it and when?

Ben­jamin Balthas­er: A cou­ple of things need to be dis­en­tan­gled.

First of all, there is a long Jew­ish his­to­ry that pre­dates the ide­ol­o­gy of Zion­ism that looks at Jerusalem, the ancient king­dom of Judea, as a site of cul­tur­al, reli­gious and, you can say, mes­sian­ic long­ing.

If you know Jew­ish litur­gy, there are ref­er­ences that go back thou­sands of years to the land of Zion, to Jerusalem, the old king­dom that the Romans destroyed.

There have been attempts through¬≠out Jew¬≠ish his¬≠to¬≠ry, dis¬≠as¬≠trous¬≠ly, to ‚Äč‚Äúreturn‚ÄĚ to the land of Pales¬≠tine, most famous¬≠ly, Sab¬≠batai Zevi in the 17th cen¬≠tu¬≠ry.

But for the most part, through much of Jew¬≠ish his¬≠to¬≠ry, ‚Äč‚ÄúIsrael‚ÄĚ was under¬≠stood as a¬†kind of a¬†cul¬≠tur¬≠al and mes¬≠sian¬≠ic long¬≠ing, but there was no desire to actu¬≠al¬≠ly phys¬≠i¬≠cal¬≠ly move there, out¬≠side of small reli¬≠gious com¬≠mu¬≠ni¬≠ties in Jerusalem and, of course, the small num¬≠ber of Jews who con¬≠tin¬≠ued to live in Pales¬≠tine under the Ottoman Empire‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČabout 5% of the¬†population.

Con­tem­po­rary Zion­ism, par­tic­u­lar­ly polit­i­cal Zion­ism, does draw on that large reser­voir of cul­tur­al long­ing and reli­gious text to legit­imize itself, and that’s where the con­fu­sion comes.

Mod­ern Zion­ism arose in the late 19th cen­tu­ry as a Euro­pean nation­al­ist move­ment. And I think that’s the way to under­stand it. It was one of these many Euro­pean nation­al­ist move­ments of oppressed minori­ties that attempt­ed to con­struct out of the diverse cul­tures of West­ern and East­ern Europe eth­ni­cal­ly homogeneous nation-states.

And there were many Jew­ish nationalism of the late 19th and ear­ly 20th cen­turies, of which Zion­ism was only one.

There was the Jew­ish Bund, which was a left-wing social­ist move­ment that rose to promi­nence in the ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry that artic­u­lat­ed a deter­ri­to­ri­al­ized nation­al­ism in East­ern Europe.

They felt their place was East­ern Europe, their land was East­ern Europe, their lan­guage was Yid­dish.

And they want­ed to strug­gle for free­dom in Europe where they actu­al­ly lived.

And they felt that their strug­gle for lib­er­a­tion was against oppres­sive cap­i­tal­ist gov­ern­ments in Europe.

Had the Holo­caust not wiped out the Bund and oth­er Jew­ish social­ists in East­ern Europe, we might be talk­ing about Jew­ish nation­al­ism in a very dif­fer­ent con­text now.

Of course, there were Sovi­et exper­i­ments, prob­a­bly most famous in Biro­bidzhan, but also one very brief one in Ukraine, to cre­ate Jew­ish autonomous zones with­in ter­ri­to­ries that Jews lived, or else­where with­in the Sovi­et Union, root­ed in the Yid­dish idea of doykait, dias­poric here­ness, and Yid­dish lan­guage and culture.

Zion­ism was one of these cul­tur­al nation­al­ist move­ments.

What made it dif¬≠fer¬≠ent was that it graft¬≠ed itself onto British colo¬≠nial¬≠ism, a¬†rela¬≠tion¬≠ship made explic¬≠it with the Bal¬≠four Dec¬≠la¬≠ra¬≠tion in 1917, and actu¬≠al¬≠ly tried to cre¬≠ate a¬†coun¬≠try out of a¬†British colony‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČMan¬≠date Pales¬≠tine‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČand use British colo¬≠nial¬≠ism as a¬†way to help estab¬≠lish itself in the Mid¬≠dle East.

The Bal­four Dec­la­ra­tion was essen­tial­ly a way to use the British Empire for its own ends.

On some lev­el, you could say Zion­ism is a tox­ic mix­ture of Euro­pean nation­al­ism and British impe­ri­al­ism graft­ed onto a cul­tur­al reser­voir of Jew­ish tropes and mytholo­gies that come from Jew­ish litur­gy and culture.

Sarah: One of the under­pin­nings of mod­ern Zion­ism is that it’s an ide­ol­o­gy that rep­re­sents the will of all Jews.

But in your paper, you argue that crit¬≠i¬≠cism of Zion¬≠ism was actu¬≠al¬≠ly quite com¬≠mon on the Jew¬≠ish left in the 1930s and ‚Äč‚Äô40s, and that this his¬≠to¬≠ry has been large¬≠ly erased.

Can you talk about what these crit­i­cisms were and who was mak­ing them?

Ben­jamin: The fun­ny part about the Unit­ed States, and I would say this is most­ly true for Europe, is that before the end of World War II, and even a lit­tle after, most Jews dis­par­aged Zion­ists.

And it didn’t mat­ter if you were a com­mu­nist, it didn’t mat­ter if you were a Reform Jew, Zion­ism was not pop­u­lar. There were a lot of dif­fer­ent rea­sons for Amer­i­can Jews to not like Zion­ism before the 1940s.

There’s the lib­er­al cri­tique of Zion­ism most famous­ly artic­u­lat­ed by Elmer Berg­er and the Amer­i­can Coun­cil for Judaism.

The anx­i­ety among these folks was that Zion­ism would basi­cal­ly be a kind of dual loy­al­ty, that it would open Jews up to the claim that they’re not real Amer­i­cans, and that it would actu­al­ly frus­trate their attempts to assim­i­late into main­stream Amer­i­can cul­ture.

Elmer Berg­er also for­ward­ed the idea that Jews are not a cul­ture or a peo­ple, but sim­ply a reli­gion, and there­fore have noth­ing in com­mon with one anoth­er out­side of the reli­gious faith.

This, I¬†would argue, is an assim¬≠i¬≠la¬≠tion¬≠ist idea that comes out of the 1920s and ‚Äč‚Äô30s and tries to resem¬≠ble a¬†Protes¬≠tant notion of ‚Äč‚Äúcom¬≠mu¬≠ni¬≠ties of¬†faith.‚ÄĚ

 

But for the Jew¬≠ish left‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČthe com¬≠mu¬≠nist, social¬≠ist, Trot¬≠sky¬≠ist and Marx¬≠ist left‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČtheir cri¬≠tique of Zion¬≠ism came from two quar¬≠ters: a¬†cri¬≠tique of nation¬≠al¬≠ism and a¬†cri¬≠tique of colo¬≠nial¬≠ism.

They under­stood Zion­ism as a right-wing nation­al­ism and, in that sense, bour­geois.

They saw it as in line with oth¬≠er forms of nation¬≠al¬≠ism‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČan attempt to align the work¬≠ing class with the inter¬≠ests of the bour¬≠geoisie.

There was at the time a well-known take­down of Vladimir Jabotin­sky in the New Mass­es in 1935, in which Marx­ist crit­ic Robert Gess­ner calls Jabotin­sky a lit­tle Hitler on the Red Sea.

Jewish labor Bund

Gess­ner calls the Zion­ists Nazis and the left in gen­er­al saw Jew­ish nation­al­ism as a right-wing for­ma­tion try­ing to cre­ate a uni­fied, mil­i­taris­tic cul­ture that aligns work­ing-class Jew­ish inter­ests with the inter­ests of the Jew­ish bourgeoisie.

So that’s one cri­tique of Zion­ism. The oth­er cri­tique of Zion­ism, which I think is more con­tem­po­rary to the left today, is that Zion­ism is a form of impe­ri­al­ism.

If you look at the pam¬≠phlets and mag¬≠a¬≠zines and speech¬≠es that are giv¬≠en on the Jew¬≠ish left in the 1930s and ‚Äč‚Äô40s, they saw that Zion¬≠ists were align¬≠ing them¬≠selves with British impe¬≠ri¬≠al¬≠ism.

They also were very aware of the fact that the Mid­dle East was col­o­nized, first by the Ottomans and then by the British.

They saw the Pales­tin­ian strug­gle for lib­er­a­tion as part of a glob­al anti-impe­ri­al­ist movement.

Of course, Jew­ish com­mu­nists saw them­selves not as cit­i­zens of a nation-state, but as part of the glob­al pro­le­tari­at: part of the glob­al work­ing class, part of the glob­al rev­o­lu­tion.

And so for them to think about their home¬≠land as this small strip of land in the Mediter¬≠ranean‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČregard¬≠less of any cul¬≠tur¬≠al affin¬≠i¬≠ty to Jerusalem‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČwould just be against every¬≠thing they¬†believe.

As the Holo­caust began in earnest in the 1940s, and Jews were flee­ing Europe in any way they pos­si­bly could, some mem­bers of the Com­mu­nist Par­ty advo­cat­ed that Jews should be allowed to go to Pales­tine.

If you’re flee­ing anni­hi­la­tion and Pales­tine is the only place you can go that is nat­ur­al.

But that doesn’t mean you can cre­ate a nation-state there. You need to get along with the peo­ple who live there as best as you pos­si­bly can.

There was a¬†com¬≠mu¬≠nist par¬≠ty of Pales¬≠tine that did advo¬≠cate for Jew¬≠ish and Pales¬≠tin¬≠ian col¬≠lab¬≠o¬≠ra¬≠tion to oust the British and cre¬≠ate a¬†bina¬≠tion¬≠al state‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČwhich, for a¬†host of rea¬≠sons, includ¬≠ing the seg¬≠re¬≠gat¬≠ed nature of Jew¬≠ish set¬≠tle¬≠ment, proved hard¬≠er in prac¬≠tice than in¬†theory.

In any case, the Jew­ish left in the 1930s and 1940s under­stood, crit­i­cal­ly, that the only way Zion­ism would be able to emerge in Pales­tine was through a colo­nial project and through the expul­sion of the indige­nous Pales­tini­ans from the land.

In a speech by Earl Brow­der, chair­man of the Com­mu­nist Par­ty, in Manhattan’s Hip­po­drome, he declares that a Jew­ish state can only be formed through the expul­sion of a quar­ter-mil­lion Pales­tini­ans, which atten­dees thought was very shock­ing at the time, but it actu­al­ly end­ed up being a dra­mat­ic undercount.

Sarah: You wrote in your recent jour¬≠nal arti¬≠cle, ‚Äč‚ÄúPer¬≠haps the sin¬≠gle most per¬≠va¬≠sive nar¬≠ra¬≠tive about Zion¬≠ism, even among schol¬≠ars and writ¬≠ers who acknowl¬≠edge its mar¬≠gin¬≠al sta¬≠tus before the war, is that the Holo¬≠caust changed Jew¬≠ish opin¬≠ioin and con¬≠vinced Jews of its neces¬≠si¬≠ty.‚ÄĚ You iden¬≠ti¬≠fy some major holes in this nar¬≠ra¬≠tive. Can you explain what they¬†are?

Ben­jamin: I would alter that a bit to say I’m real­ly talk­ing about the com­mu­nist and Marx­ist left in this con­text.

I grew up with in a left-wing fam¬≠i¬≠ly where opin¬≠ion was def¬≠i¬≠nite¬≠ly divid¬≠ed on the ques¬≠tion of Zion¬≠ism‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČyet, nonethe¬≠less, there was a per¬≠va¬≠sive idea that the Holo¬≠caust changed opin¬≠ion universally, and every¬≠one fell in line as soon as the details of the Holo¬≠caust were revealed, Zion¬≠ist and anti-Zion¬≠ist alike.

It’s unde­ni­ably cor­rect to say that with­out the Holo­caust there prob­a­bly would have been no Israel, if just for the sin­gle fact that there was a mas­sive influx of Jew­ish refugees after the war who would have undoubt­ed­ly stayed in Europe oth­er­wise.

With­out that influx of Jews who could fight the 1948 war and pop­u­late Israel just after, it’s doubt­ful an inde­pen­dent state of Israel could have succeeded.

How¬≠ev¬≠er, one thing I¬†found most sur¬≠pris¬≠ing going through the Jew¬≠ish left press in the 1940s‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČpub¬≠li¬≠ca¬≠tions of the Trot¬≠sky¬≠ist Social¬≠ist Work¬≠ers Par¬≠ty, the Com¬≠mu¬≠nist Par¬≠ty, and writ¬≠ings by Han¬≠nah Arendt‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČis that even after the scope of the Holo¬≠caust was wide¬≠ly under¬≠stood, their offi¬≠cial posi¬≠tion was still anti-Zion¬≠ist.

They may have called for Jews to be allowed to reset­tle in the lands from which they were expelled or mas­sa­cred, with full rights and full cit­i­zen­ship, be allowed to immi­grate to the Unit­ed States, or even be allowed to emi­grate to Pales­tine if there was nowhere else to go (as was often the case).

But they were still whol­ly against par­ti­tion and the estab­lish­ment of a Jew­ish-only state.

What is impor¬≠tant to under¬≠stand about that moment was that Zion¬≠ism was a¬†polit¬≠i¬≠cal choice‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČnot only by west¬≠ern impe¬≠r¬≠i¬≠al pow¬≠ers, but also by Jew¬≠ish lead¬≠er¬≠ship.

They could have fought more stren­u­ous­ly for Jew­ish immi­gra­tion to the Unit­ed States.

And a lot of the Zion­ist lead­ers actu­al­ly fought against immi­gra­tion to the Unit­ed States.

There were a num­ber of sto­ries report­ed in the Jew­ish Com­mu­nist press about how Zion­ists col­lab­o­rat­ed with the British and Amer­i­cans to force Jews to go to Man­date Pales­tine, when they would have rather gone to the Unit­ed States, or Eng­land.

There‚Äôs a¬†famous quote by Ernest Bevin, the British For¬≠eign Sec¬≠re¬≠tary, who said the only rea¬≠son the Unit¬≠ed States sent Jews to Pales¬≠tine was ‚Äč‚Äúbecause they do not want too many more of them in New York.‚ÄĚ

And the Zion­ists agreed with this.

While this may seem like ancient his¬≠to¬≠ry, it is impor¬≠tant because it dis¬≠rupts the com¬≠mon sense sur¬≠round¬≠ing Israel‚Äôs for¬≠ma¬≠tion. ‚Äč

‚ÄúYes, maybe there could have been peace between Jews and Pales¬≠tini¬≠ans, but the Holo¬≠caust made all of that impos¬≠si¬≠ble.‚ÄĚ

And I would say that this debate after 1945 shows that there was a long moment in which there were oth­er pos­si­bil­i­ties, and anoth­er future could have happened.

Iron­i­cal­ly, per­haps, the Sovi­et Union did more than any oth­er sin­gle force to change the minds of the Jew­ish Marx­ist left in the late 1940s about Israel.

Andrei Gromyko, the Sovi­et Union’s ambas­sador to the Unit­ed Nations, came out in 1947 and backed par­ti­tion in the Unit­ed Nations after declar­ing the West­ern world did noth­ing to stop the Holo­caust, and sud­den­ly there’s this about-face.

All these Jew­ish left-wing pub­li­ca­tions that were denounc­ing Zion­ism, lit­er­al­ly the next day, were embrac­ing par­ti­tion and the for­ma­tion of the nation-state of Israel.

You have to under¬≠stand, for a¬†lot of Jew¬≠ish com¬≠mu¬≠nists and even social¬≠ists, the Sovi¬≠et Union was the promised land‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČnot Zion¬≠ism.

This was the place where they had, accord­ing to the pro­pa­gan­da, erad­i­cat­ed anti­semisitm.

The Russ­ian Empire was the most anti­se­mit­ic place through­out the late 19th and ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry, before the rise of Nazism.

Many of the Jew­ish Com­mu­nist Par­ty mem­bers were from East­ern Europe, or their fam­i­lies were, and they had very vivid mem­o­ries of Rus­sia as the cru­cible of anti­semitism.

For them, the Russ­ian Rev­o­lu­tion was a rup­ture in his­to­ry, a chance to start over.

And, of course, this is after World War II, when the Sovi­et Union had just defeat­ed the Nazis.

For the Sovi­et Union to embrace Zion­ism real­ly sent a shock­wave through the left-wing Jew­ish world.

The Sovi­et Union changed its pol­i­cy a decade or so lat­er, open­ly embrac­ing anti-Zion­ism by the 1960s. But for this brief piv­otal moment, the Sovi­et Union firm­ly came down in favor of par­ti­tion, and that seems to be what real­ly changed the Jew­ish left.

With­out this kind of legitimization, I think we are all start­ing to see the Jew­ish left such as it exists return back in an impor­tant way to the posi­tions that it had orig­i­nal­ly held, which is that Zion­ism is a right-wing nation­al­ism and that it is also racist and colo­nial­ist. We are see­ing the Jew­ish left return to its first principles.

Sarah: That’s a good segue to some ques­tions I want­ed to ask you about the rel­e­vance of anti-Zion­ist his­to­ry to the present day. For a lot of peo­ple, Israel’s plan to annex huge amounts of Pales­tin­ian land in the West Bank, while delayed, is still lay­ing bare the vio­lence of the Zion­ist project of estab­lish­ing Jew­ish rule over a Pales­tin­ian pop­u­la­tion. And we are see­ing some promi­nent lib­er­al Zion­ists like Peter Beinart pub­licly pro­claim that the two-state solu­tion is dead and one state based on equal rights is the best path. Do you see now as an impor­tant moment to con­nect with the his­to­ry of Jew­ish anti-Zion­ism? Do you see open­ings or pos­si­bil­i­ties for chang­ing peo­ple’s minds?

Ben­jamin: In a way, Beinart’s let­ter was 70 years too late.

But it is still a very impor­tant cul­tur­al turn, to the extent that he is part of a lib­er­al Jew­ish estab­lish­ment.

I¬†would also say that we‚Äôre in a¬†dif¬≠fer¬≠ent his¬≠tor¬≠i¬≠cal moment. In the 1930s and ‚Äč‚Äô40s, you can real¬≠ly talk about a¬†kind of glob¬≠al rev¬≠o¬≠lu¬≠tion¬≠ary sen¬≠ti¬≠ment and a¬†real Jew¬≠ish left that‚Äôs locat¬≠ed in orga¬≠ni¬≠za¬≠tions like the Com¬≠mu¬≠nist Par¬≠ty, the Social¬≠ist Work¬≠ers Par¬≠ty and the Social¬≠ist Par¬≠ty.

And you can see that again in the 1960s. Stu­dents for a Demo­c­ra­t­ic Soci­ety, which also had a very size­able Jew­ish mem­ber­ship, for­mal­ly backed anti-Zion­ism in the 1960s, along with the Social­ist Work­ers Par­ty, and formed alliances with the Stu­dent Non­vi­o­lent Coor­di­nat­ing Com­mit­tee, which had also tak­en an offi­cial anti-Zion­ist posi­tion in the late 1960s.

You could think about a¬†glob¬≠al rev¬≠o¬≠lu¬≠tion¬≠ary frame¬≠work in which Pales¬≠tin¬≠ian lib¬≠er¬≠a¬≠tion was an artic¬≠u¬≠lat¬≠ed part‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČyou could think about the Pop¬≠u¬≠lar Front for the Lib¬≠er¬≠a¬≠tion of Pales¬≠tine and the Pales¬≠tine Lib¬≠er¬≠a¬≠tion Orga¬≠ni¬≠za¬≠tion as part of the fab¬≠ric of glob¬≠al rev¬≠o¬≠lu¬≠tion¬≠ary¬†movements.

Today we’re in a much more frag­ment­ed space.

On the same note, though, we‚Äôre see¬≠ing the rebirth, or maybe con¬≠ti¬≠nu¬≠ity, of Pales¬≠tin¬≠ian civ¬≠il rights move¬≠ments, with Pales¬≠tin¬≠ian civ¬≠il soci¬≠ety putting out a¬†call for decol¬≠o¬≠niza¬≠tion‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČboth out of their own tra¬≠di¬≠tions of lib¬≠er¬≠a¬≠tion, but also look¬≠ing to mod¬≠els from the South African free¬≠dom strug¬≠gle.

For con­tem­po­rary Jews who are pro­gres­sive and see them­selves on the left, they’re sud­den­ly real­iz­ing that there real­ly is no cen­ter any­more, there is no lib­er­al Zion­ist posi­tion any longer.

The cen­ter has real­ly fall­en away. And we’re faced with this very stark deci­sion: that either you’re going to be on the side of lib­er­a­tion, or you’re going to be on the side of the Israeli right, which has elim­i­na­tion­ist and geno­ci­dal intent that has always been there, but is naked­ly appar­ent now.

And so I¬†think peo¬≠ple like Beinart are wak¬≠ing up and say¬≠ing, ‚Äč‚ÄúI don‚Äôt want to be on the side of the¬†executioners.‚ÄĚ

The his­to­ry of the old Jew­ish left and the new Jew­ish left of the 1960s shows us this isn’t new.

Any lib­er­a­tion strug­gle is going to come from the oppressed them­selves, so the Pales­tin­ian lib­er­a­tion move­ment is going to set its terms for strug­gles.

But for Jews in the Unit­ed States who are try­ing to think about their rela­tion­ship, not only to Pales­tine, but also their own place in the world as an his­tor­i­cal­ly per­se­cut­ed eth­no-cul­tur­al dias­poric minor­i­ty, we have to think of whose side we are on, and which glob­al forces we want to align with.

If we do not want to side with the exe¬≠cu¬≠tion¬≠ers of the far-right, with colo¬≠nial¬≠ism and with racism, there is a¬†Jew¬≠ish cul¬≠tur¬≠al resource for us to draw on‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČa polit¬≠i¬≠cal resource to draw on.

This his­to­ry of the anti-Zion­ist Jew­ish left demon­strates that an impor­tant his­tor­i­cal role in a dias­po­ra has been sol­i­dar­i­ty with oth­er oppressed peo­ple.

That‚Äôs the place from which we‚Äôve gath¬≠ered the most strength his¬≠tor¬≠i¬≠cal¬≠ly. So I¬†look at this not as say¬≠ing, ‚Äč‚ÄúWe‚Äôre not going to repro¬≠duce the Com¬≠mu¬≠nist Par¬≠ty of the 1930s and 1940s.‚ÄĚ

We‚Äôre say¬≠ing, ‚Äč‚ÄúWe‚Äôll pro¬≠duce some¬≠thing new, but the past can be a¬†cul¬≠tur¬≠al resource that we can use¬†today.‚ÄĚ

Sarah: Who or what is respon­si­ble for the era­sure of this his­to­ry of Jew­ish, left anti-Zionism?

Ben­jamin: I wouldn’t blame the era­sure sole­ly on the Sovi­et Union or Zion­ism, because we also have to think of the Cold War and how the Cold War destroyed the old Jew­ish left, and real­ly drove it under­ground and shat­tered its orga­ni­za­tions.

So I think we also have to see how the turn toward Zion­ism was under­stood as some­thing that would nor­mal­ize Jews in a post-war era.

With the exe¬≠cu¬≠tion of the Rosen¬≠bergs, the Red Scare of the late 1940s and ‚Äč‚Äô50s, and the vir¬≠tu¬≠al ban¬≠ning of the Com¬≠mu¬≠nist Par¬≠ty, which had been through¬≠out the 1930s and ‚Äč‚Äô40s half Jew¬≠ish, for much of the Jew¬≠ish estab¬≠lish¬≠ment, align¬≠ing them¬≠selves with Amer¬≠i¬≠can impe¬≠ri¬≠al¬≠ism was a¬†way for Jews to nor¬≠mal¬≠ize their pres¬≠ence in the Unit¬≠ed States.

And hope­ful­ly that moment has to some degree passed. We can see the empti­ness and bar­ren­ness of align­ing our­selves with an Amer­i­can impe­r­i­al project, with peo­ple like Bari Weiss and Jared Kush­n­er.

Why would some­one like Bari Weiss, who describes her­self as lib­er­al, want to align her­self with the most reac­tionary forces in Amer­i­can life?

It’s a bloody matrix of assim­i­la­tion and white­ness that emerged out of the Cold War sub­ur­ban­iza­tion of the 1950s. Israel was part of that devil’s bar­gain.

Yes, you can become real Amer­i­cans: You can go to good U.S. uni­ver­si­ties, you can join the sub­urbs, enter into the main­stream of Amer­i­can life, as long as you do this one lit­tle thing for us, which is back the Amer­i­can Empire.

Hope­ful­ly, with the emer­gence of new grass­roots orga­ni­za­tions in the Unit­ed States, among Jews and non-Jews who are ques­tion­ing the U.S. role sup­port­ing Zion­ism, this cal­cu­lus can begin to change.

With the rise of Jew­ish Voice for Peace, IfNot­Now, the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Social­ists of Amer­i­ca and the Move­ment for Black Lives all tak­ing a seri­ous stance against U.S. sup­port for Zion­ism, the com­mon sense in the Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty has begun to move in a dif­fer­ent direc­tion, par­tic­u­lar­ly among the younger gen­er­a­tion.

The bat­tle is very far from over, but it makes me just a lit­tle opti­mistic about the future.

The Exodus of Palestinian Christians from the Holy Land

Israel has a long history of actions against its Christian minority. Israeli forces have desecrated churches, rabbis have endorsed killing non-Jewish civilians (including children), New Testaments have been burned. While there are many Israelis who have opposed these actions and respect Christians, the fact is that discrimination against Christians is endemic in the Israeli system. Like Muslims, Christians have been persecuted by Israel ever since it was established in 1948…

‚ÄėIt is permitted to kill non-Jews, rape women, burn down churches‚Äô

The Holy Land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea contains some of the most sacred spaces for Muslims, Jews, and Christians alike. Jerusalem is the holiest site in Judaism, the home of Jewish patriarchs and prophets since the 10th century BCE.

On the same land, Muhammad both received revelation and ascended into heaven at the Dome of the Rock. For Christians, it is the birthplace of Jesus and the site of his crucifixion and ascension into heaven.

The Christian population in this area has long thrived among its Jewish and Muslim neighbors. However, the increasingly destructive Israeli occupation, endorsed by the current U.S. administration, has made the area essentially uninhabitable.

The result is a noticeable exodus of Christians from this territory. Before 1948, Palestinian Christians made up about 18 percent of the region’s population. Today they make up less than one percent.

The Exodus of Palestinian Christians from the Holy Land

If the current trend persists, pilgrims and tourists will likely be the only Christian representatives in the region in years to come.

Causes of Exodus

The Exodus of Palestinian Christians from the Holy Land

A dhimmi kneels before Muslim leaders 

Christian Zionist media, including the Christian Friends of Israel, presents the Palestinian Christian population as a recently-formed community of Arab migrants.

In reality, Palestinian Christians are some of the most deeply-connected members of the faith, tracing their ancestry in the region back to Biblical times.

Pro-Israel sources report that the exodus of Palestinian Christians is caused by two factors.

Firstly, they suggest that many Christians convert and intermarry with Muslims as a result of declining Christian birthrates. Secondly, they argue that Palestinian migration is part of a larger, historical exodus of Christians from the Holy Land.

They believe that migration dates back to the Ottoman Empire when Christians sought jobs in North and Latin America. This exodus is largely blamed on Islamic Fundamentalism and the discord between Islam and Christianity. After the 2003 Iraq War, one theory posits, destabilization allowed extremist groups to gain power. The violence of ISIS in the region is frequently cited as evidence of this religious discord.

Some reference the ancient dhimmi system as evidence of discrimination within the Muslim faith.

This historical distinction, meaning ‚Äúprotection‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúprotected person,‚ÄĚ was used to distinguish and ensure the legal rights of non-Muslims living in an Islamic state. Its use today, however, is an outdated scapegoat for the real cause of the exodus.

The Exodus of Palestinian Christians from the Holy Land

While the claims of the religious-discord argument are not entirely false, the larger flaw of this position is its problematic revisionist narrative that erases the struggles of Palestinian people.

The exodus of Christians actually betrays the oppressive ethnic cleansing inflicted upon the people of Palestine by the Israeli government.

As the U.S. continues to extend a hand to the Israeli regime, Palestinians are increasingly more opposed to the U.S. than to their Muslim neighbors.

Arab America interviewed with Rateb Rabie, founder, and president of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF), he revealed the real reasons of the exodus, as well as his own predictions for future peace in the region.

While some point to the religious tension between Muslims and Christians, most Palestinian Christians report that it is Israeli oppression that pushes them from their native land. Rabie cites discrimination against Palestinians as the primary cause of the exodus.

A¬†2017 study¬†by the Dar al-Kalima University in the West Bank has found that¬†‚Äúthe¬†pressure of Israeli occupation, ongoing constraints, discriminatory policies, arbitrary arrests, confiscation of lands‚ÄĚ has contributed to ‚Äúthe general sense of hopelessness among Palestinian Christians.‚ÄĚ Only a two percent minority of Palestinian Christians cite Muslim violence and extremism as the reason for their departure.

The Exodus of Palestinian Christians from the Holy Land

While it is true that Christians face persecution and are not guaranteed the same rights as their Muslim counterparts, at its heart the conflict is political, not religious.¬†It is a ‚Äúlanded conflict,‚ÄĚ Rabie says, stemming from the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. ‚ÄúWe are Palestinian first before we are Christian,‚ÄĚ Rabie states.

The conflict (and subsequent exodus) is a question of identity and ownership above religious belief.

Aside from their minority status, the relative ease with which the Christian population is able to assimilate into the culture of Western host countries also accounts for their particular population decrease.

Rabie suggests that ‚ÄúMuslims would leave if possible,‚ÄĚ or if the process of cultural assimilation was less draining and demeaning.

The discrimination and Islamophobia that many Muslims face is a major deterrent to immigration. Because of their shared faith, Western societies are more accepting of Palestinian Christians than Palestinian Muslims.

The Exodus of Palestinian Christians from the Holy Land

While the population of historical Palestinian (including Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel) today has increased to six million, Christians make up less than 1.7 percent. The majority of Palestinian Christians are Greek Orthodox.

Christianity itself began in Jerusalem, and the Palestinians living there were the original followers of Jesus. As Rateb Rabie says, Palestinians have been ‚Äúsaving the face‚ÄĚ of the Christain faith for over 2,000 years. In spite of oppression and discrimination, they have nobly upheld their practice and traditions.

Today, the plight of Palestinians is intertwined with Islamophobia. Western Christian organizations are eager to offer charitable support, especially when their donation is inspired by a deep-seated Islamophobia that encourages them to selectively help Christian populations in Muslim-majority countries.

Other Christians in countries like Syria, Rabie points out, avoid getting directly involved to distance themselves from the Islamophobia of Western Christian donors.

Restrictions on Faith and Livelihood

The Exodus of Palestinian Christians from the Holy Land

On a fundamental level, the Israeli occupation has made it very difficult for Palestinian Christians to practice their faith.

Restrictions imposed by the Israeli government prevent Christians from accessing their holy sites, as described in the 2011 State Department ‚ÄúReport on International Religious Freedom:‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúStrict closures and curfews imposed by the Israeli government negatively affected residents‚Äô ability to practice their religion at holy sites, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, as well as the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúThe separation barrier significantly impeded Bethlehem-area Christians from reaching the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and made visits to Christian sites in Bethany and Bethlehem difficult for Palestinian Christians who live on the Jerusalem side of the barrier.‚ÄĚ

The Exodus of Palestinian Christians from the Holy Land

Physical barriers and other limitations prevent a complete celebration of faith. In addition, non-Christian settlers in Israel take out their anger toward the Israeli government on the Palestinian population. These attacks often involve the desecration and vandalism of Christian and Muslim holy sites and the targeting of religious leaders.

The Exodus of Palestinian Christians from the Holy Land

The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem has even admitted to this brand of ethnic cleansing, stating that:

‚ÄúThe government has been taking actions to increase the number of Jews, and reduce the number of Palestinians, living in the city‚ÄĚ

Denied access to ancient holy sites, Palestinian Christians struggle to prove that their ‚Äúcenter of life‚ÄĚ rests in Jerusalem.

Without this confirmation, they are liable to have their residency rights and social benefits revoked. While the illegally-housed Jewish population has the right to move freely throughout the region, native Christian Palestinians are bombarded by arbitrary borders and restrictive permits.

It is very difficult for Palestinians to find jobs under the occupation. There is currently a 22 percent unemployment rate in the region, and many families struggle to support themselves financially.

The Exodus of Palestinian Christians from the Holy Land

Furthermore, the Israeli government protects Jewish extremists in their brutal, physically violent attacks on Palestinian Christians.

In March of this year, Israeli forces carried out attacks on Christian worshippers during a Palm Sunday procession in Jerusalem.

Bombs, guns, and knives have all been used against Palestinians, who may also be subject to arbitrary arrests.

Extremists burn farmland and destroy crops, making livelihood and sustenance impossible.

The Exodus of Palestinian Christians from the Holy Land

These attacks on Christian territory, as on the entire Palestinian population, are justified using religion. Zionists claim that the Jewish people have an inherent religious connection to the land.

This is a complete oversight of the religious ties of both Christians and Muslims. The brutality of the attacks contrast the sanctity and divinity of a religious appeal, and many wonder how faith can be used to so blatantly defend massacre.

False Narratives in Tourism

Even in tourism, an economic staple in the region, the narrative and perception of Palestinians, and Palestinian Christians is highly distortedby Israeli tour guides.

This false, damaging narrative reached nearly 3.5 million tourists in 2013. Christians taken to the Holy Land on educational tours are given a skewed version of the region’s history, one in which the role of Christianity is highly downplayed, if not entirely neglected.

 Palestinians are painted in a very negative light, and their persecution is glossed over entirely.

Israeli tour guides often completely avoid Christian holy sites on their tours, largely to prevent showcasing the abuses and destruction these areas have endured under the occupation.

Tourists have reported on the crude insensitivities of Isreali tour guides, describing how they were made to participate in role-playing simulations of Israeli soldiers attacking Palestinian ‚Äúterrorists.‚ÄĚ

U.S. Involvement: ‚ÄúTrump Handed Israel Policy to Evangelicals‚ÄĚ

The Exodus of Palestinian Christians from the Holy Land

Vice President Mike Pence has been at the center of the controversy since Trump’s Jerusalem declaration last December. Pence’s Evangelical Christian faith aligns him with the Jewish Zionists. In his speech at the beginning of this year to the Knesset, the Israeli legislature, Pence stated:

‚ÄúWe stand with Israel because your cause is our cause, your values are our values, and your fight is our fight‚Ķwe stand with Israel because we believe in right over wrong, in good over evil, and in liberty over tyranny.‚ÄĚ

In an¬†interview with¬†Vox,¬†American politics professor Elizabeth Oldmixon explains the American Christian Evangelical support of Israel. Evangelicals see the ‚Äúgathering of Jews in exile‚ÄĚ in the Holy Land as an indication of the highly awaited ‚Äúend of times,‚ÄĚ or Christ‚Äôs reign on Earth.

As strict followers of the Bible, Christian Zionists strictly abide by the passage in which God grants the Holy Land to the Jewish people.

Religious faith translates directly into political belief. Fifty-three percent of Trump’s evangelical demographic supported the Jerusalem move.

Palestinian Christian is not evangelical, so they do not possess the same religious vision.

Israeli control, coupled with Mike Pence’s faith-based declaration of American support, has wreaked havoc on the Palestinian population and ostracized their faith.

Understandably, Palestinians are broadly opposed to the current administration.

With America’s damaging influence exacted through the Israeli government, many have chosen to flee their native land altogether, escaping oppression both locally and from the West.

The Exodus of Palestinian Christians from the Holy Land

Pence had originally planned a pilgrimage to the Holy Lands, including meetings with many regional Christian leaders, but travel plans were canceled following uproar and protest about the Jerusalem move. Many church leaders felt the move would increase hatred and violence in the region. Although the protests were more muted than expected, the oppression continues for the Palestinian population.

The Exodus of Palestinian Christians from the Holy Land

‚ÄúTo declare Jerusalem as the capital based on some biblical argument is a dangerous thing,‚Ä̬†said Father Jamal Khader, the Catholic parish priest of Ramallah.

¬†‚ÄúHe‚Äôs wanting to separate Christians from the rest of the community. But we are part of the community.‚ÄĚ

This sentiment resonates in the hearts of many Christians in the region for whom removal from their native land is an absolute last resort.

Iskander El Hinn, a Christian Palestinian who fled to Ramallah with his family in 1948, is emboldened by his Palestinian identity and connection to the land:

‚ÄúAs a Palestinian, I am living where I belong, everywhere I go here is Palestine to me and Jerusalem is its capital‚Ķwe have been living here for thousands of years; no one can take us away from here.‚ÄĚ

Future Hopes

In spite of the exodus and the immense suffering of the Palestinian people, Rabie is encouraged by the dramatic increase in media coverage of the conflict in the past 30 years. He sees the increased exposure of the human rights violations as indicative of the ‚Äúbeginning of the end of Zionist Israel.‚ÄĚ

The public has come a long way in terms of its perception of Israel and support for Palestine, thanks to organizations like Rabie’s.

He says that Palestinians at home and abroad are hopeful for peace, but he emphasizes the need for continued education of American Christians on the severity of the conflict.

He recognizes that, even within Israel, much of the Jewish population and social media influencers are pro-peace. These incentives for peace, he argues, must be implemented.

Above all, Palestinians need justice. American Christians must commit themselves to this cause. Rabie discourages them from picking a side-Palestinian or Israeli.

Instead, he encourages Christians, Americans, and global activists to focus their energies and intentions on delivering justice where it is most needed to the long-suffering people of Palestine.

Perhaps then their land will become a home once more.

The End of Zionism: Thoughts and Next Steps

Israel is an apartheid country that is revved up by the anti-Christ spirit of ‚ÄúHate Thy Neighbor.‚ÄĚ

Zionism ‚ÄĒ the assertion that Jews have a right to violently establish and maintain an ethno-religious state in the homeland and at the expense of the Palestinian people ‚ÄĒ was, at least in the United States, a mainstream belief with support across the political spectrum.

In recent years, that consensus has crumbled.

Palestinians have led the global BDS movement that highlights how Zionism violates the rights of all Palestinians, and younger generations of Americans, including Jews, are turning away from an ideology that is more and more openly aligned with the most reactionary, right-wing and white supremacist forces.

Similar changes are happening all over the world. Though Zionism is on the retreat ideologically, Israel retains immense power and impunity.

What will it take to change this apparent stalemate, and shift the balance towards liberation for Palestinians?

The Zionist plot of the Holocaust‚ĄĘ

Until the present day, wide-spread confusion regarding the meaning of the terms Judaism and Zionism persists both inside and outside Israel.
As the popular opinion that the terms are synonyms implies the false assumption that anti-Zionism equals anti-Semitism, the Israeli right-wing regime uses this dangerous shortcut in order to justify its ongoing colonization of Palestine.
Based on the work of Israel’s New Historians, this master thesis aims at deconstructing the mainstream mindset concerning Judaism and Zionism by analysing the nature of the principal ideological streams and their complex interconnections before and after 1948; focussing on orthodox Judaism, religious Zionism, Jewish radical messianism, Jewish fundamentalism, the ideological change of traditional Zionism and, last but not least, the role of Christian Zionism in the United States.

The establishment of the State of Israel would have been possible without the Holocaust due to the Zionist movement, however the reparations from the Holocaust given by West Germany gave Israel the resources necessary to survive.

The Holocaust played an important role in the founding and long term visibility of the State of Israel in three respects: The Holocaust motivated large numbers of immigrants to move to the new country, providing the necessary population; secondly, the Holocaust enabled Israel to pressure Germany into supplying the economic base necessary to build infrastructure and support those immigrants; and finally, the Holocaust swayed world opinion so that the United Nations approved the State of Israel in 1948.

“The Zionist movement did not send any assistance, financial or otherwise, for the victims of Nazism and it did not allow any other side to provide any kind of aid.

The Zionist movement concealed the information that came from within the ghetto walls and concentration camps, news that shed light on what was really happening.

If it had to publish anything, it did so by questioning that information and diminishing its importance.”

“Zionism adopted the Nazi selection principle, when it went to save Jews from the slaughter.

It made itself the ultimate arbiter regarding Jewish life, deciding who deserves to live and who deserves to die.”

“The Zionist movement did not make any effort to convince Western countries to take in the Jewish refugees escaping the horrors of the Holocaust.

It even placed obstacles I the way of efforts made by Christian groups or by non-Zionist Jews or a number of countries that saw fit to find a solution to this humanitarian problem.”

“All of this wasn’t enough – the Zionist movement led a broad campaign of incitement against the Jews living under Nazi rule to arouse the government’s hatred of them, to fuel vengeance against them.”

From Mahmoud Abbas’ book “The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism” (Billsan Publising House, Ramallah, 2011), based on his doctoral dissertation.

*****

Among other things, “How can one believe that the Zionist movement, which set out to protect a nation, would later become the reason for its destruction?

History teaches us about (the Emperor) Nero who torched Rome.

But Nero was mad, and his madness rids him of the responsibility to his actions.

History also teaches us about leaders who betrayed their people and their country and sold them out to their enemies.

But these leaders are isolated. They alone carry the responsibility for their actions.

But when a large national public movement conspires against its ‘people,’ well that is embarrassing…

“An Arab proverb says: ‘If a dispute arises between thieves, the theft is discovered.’

This is what happened with the Zionist movement.

When ‘Labor’ (Mapai) was in power in the State of Israel, it refused to include the revisionists and those started exposing facts and blowing away the smoke screen of lies.

We cannot fail to mention that many of the Zionist movement’s people during the war were amazed of the results of the cooperation between the Zionists and the Nazis, and the massive amount of victims struck them with terror‚Ķ

To this one must add that many documents from the Third Reich had reached many hands, which allowed us to present these documents that illustrate the nature of the relations and cooperation between the Nazis and the Zionist movement.”

The original cover of Abbas' book

The original cover of Abbas’ book