Jeff Halper on Diaspora Jewry

Missed this until now – in the Sydney Morning Herald Jeff Halper concocts a dysfunctional, pathologised identity for Diaspora Jewry to explain, in terms favourable to himself, why his views go down so badly.

Norm responds.

44 Responses to “Jeff Halper on Diaspora Jewry”

  1. Lbnaz Says:

    Jeff Halper believes, or wants to believe that Israel and Canada plotted to harm Canadian Aboriginals and new immigrants:

    http://tinyurl.com/dffyst

    “Professor Evelyn Schaefer, of the Dept. of Psychology at the U of W[innipeg], wrote to Martin Zeilig of The Jewish Post & News [Winnipeg, Canada] about Halper’s talk on that campus. Due to space considerations in the Feb. 11 issue, these remarks were not printed.

    Here is what Prof. Schaefer had to say: “He [Halper] never addressed any issues related to Hamas, neither with respect to its maltreatment of the Palestinians in Gaza, nor the rocket attacks on Israel over the last years…“I found many of his [Halper’s] remarks inflammatory. For example, his comments on the signing of the Declaration of Intent between Israel and Canada to enhance Public Safety Co-operation were couched in terms of its possible uses against Native Canadians and new immigrants, and to quote his conclusion “Gaza is getting into the Winnipeg police force without your knowing about it.”

    Halper prefers that a majoritarian Arab population, Palestinian State supplant Israel. While ambivalent about the nature of his preferred supplanting state, i.e. whether it is nominally secular, or explicitly Islamist (eg. Hamas), he is adamant that it can’t remain either a Jewish majoritarian state, or a state with a Jewish character.

    And to the Jewish diaspora community, Halper appears terribly frightened that the latter may be encroaching on his life’s calling, i.e. vicariously living off of Israel.

    Halper visited Vancouver where his talk was covered by the editorof the Vancouver Jewish Independent, Ron Friedman. In the Feb 6, 2009 edition of the Independent, Friedman wrote that Halper “spoke in favor of a bi-national solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” or “a one-state solution.”

    According to Friedman’s article, Halper freely acknowledged that, in the one-state solution scenario that he favours, “Israel is no longer a Jewish state.” To Jews in the Diaspora, Halper said, “Get a life! You can’t live vicariously off Israel.”

  2. David Says:

    What does this have to do with antisemitism?

  3. Jacob Says:

    “What does this have to do with antisemitism?”

    It feeds it.

  4. David Says:

    That could be said of many things that aren’t antisemitic, for example any criticism of Israel.

  5. Jacob Says:

    “That could be said of many things that aren’t antisemitic, for example any criticism of Israel.”

    No David, not “any criticism of Israel.” I have been critical of Israeli policy on the West bank and so have many posters here without feeding antisemitic sentiments.

    Jeff Halper criticism is an updated version to the Stalinist antisemitic critique of Zionism. His division of the Israel and Jews outside Israel is artificial. His view that Jews in the diaspora “feed of Israel” is akin to the view the view that Jews are leeches and live of others.

    Finally what is Halper’s aim? Is it to bring peace between Israelis and Palestinians, or is it to abolish Israel and create (at best) another large diaspora community; to make Jews again strangers in their own land?

    Halper’s speeches sow more discord, more hatred and intensify the view that Jews are the real culprits in the Middle East conflict.

  6. modernityblog Says:

    “ANY criticism of Israel.”

    David, is that really what you mean?

    suppose if David Duke (you remember him?) launched yet another attack on Israel or Israelis, would you consider that to be antisemitic or what?

    so the question really is, should all “criticism” be given a pass or get out of jail card?

    then, of course, what about Gilad Atzmon’s ranting? are they too be left off the hook?

    please do tell us, where do *you* draw the line?

  7. Susan Says:

    David, criticism of Israel is not automatically antisemitic but it can be and it often is. It doesn’t change the fact that the idea that Israel is plotting to harm Native peoples of Canada and new immigrants is ridiculous as well as antisemitic.

  8. Maven Says:

    Excellent article by a Bar-Ilan professor on the evolution of The Blood Libel http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1078446.html

  9. Mark Says:

    “Halper visited Vancouver where his talk was covered by the editorof the Vancouver Jewish Independent, Ron Friedman. In the Feb 6, 2009 edition of the Independent, Friedman wrote that Halper “spoke in favor of a bi-national solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” or “a one-state solution.” ”

    So just to get it quite clear, when he says

    “I can both conceive of an Israel very different from the “Jewish state” so dearly valued at a distance by diaspora Jewry – and I can envision an Israel at peace”

    he isn’t actually “coceiving” or “invisoning” an “Israel” at all.

  10. Mark Says:

    Sorry – “conceiving” or “envisioning”!!

  11. Bill Says:

    “any criticism of Israel.”

    David, as the dogpile grows (but you did step in it), I have to ask, and I’ll try to be nice…

    Have you ever been hit in the face with high-brow (“intellectual”) antisemitism? The people at the UCU meetings who where shouted down (and worse still hatefully whispered to – as was documented here some time ago) have. I’m not even Jewish but I found myself practically k-worded at a party (same place where I witnessed the “you’re not an european, you’re a jew” bucket of nastiness. What of Jenna Delich’s excellent adventure with David Duke.Com and the Activist List’s despicable and unprofessional response to it is yet another example. And then there’s Tom Hickey with his slip of the mask in the BMJ where he admitted that he and his fellow boycotters was targeting Israelis as Jews and leveraged Jewish, not Zionist stereotypes. Jews, and pretty much any academic whose been in the racket long enough has been “asked” to prove their humanitarian chops by “criticizing” Israel (and too often there is no upper limit to what “any” criticism is seen as crossing the level into demonization). And as Mod says, where do you draw the line? ’cause the people you are giving some cover for here aren’t. All of the above examples, have their apologists and they would be shocked, shocked! to have their statements identified as anything other than sober criticism of the worse state in the world (not counting all the others).

    Someday, the bubble you’re in is gonna burst.

  12. David Rosenberg Says:

    “what is Halper’s aim? Is it to bring peace between Israelis and Palestinians, or is it to abolish Israel and create (at best) another large diaspora community; to make Jews again strangers in their own land?”

    Well, I tend to judge people most on what they do – and in Jeff Halper’s case he has devoted years to galvinising Israeli Jews and diaspora Jews to working with Palestinians in physically rebuilding some of the many thousand homes, which formerly housed Palestinian families, but which have been bulldozed by the Israeli authorities in the Occupied Territories and in East Jerusalem. His work has been literally constructive, achieved through non-violent means and is in itself an example of cooperation and coexistence. All you need to know about his aims is contained within his practical action.

    I’ve met him and been to hear him speak a few times over the years, agreed with a lot of what he has said, challenged him on aspects where I disagree, but been very impressed by his detailed mapping of the occupation of the West Bank and its multiple deleterious effects on the Palestinian civilian population.

    By all means argue with his analysis, but take the trouble to find out what he has been doing all these years.

  13. David Says:

    I have no idea what you’re all on about, quite frankly. Who am I “giving cover” to? A Jew (in Australia noch) criticizes Israel and the actions of Jewish community organizations in their decisions over who to provide with a platform and who to deny and you guys are all over him. Every Jewish community is faced with these decisions and handles them in different ways. I see nothing wrong with being critical of this.

    Either you are saying that Jeff Halper is saying something antisemitic, or not. Which is it? (I will ignore Jacob’s criticisms for something a little less off the deep end).

    Because “feeding antisemitism” can mean many things, as I said, and doesn’t amount to very much. One can say that Israel’s actions feed antisemitism, one can say that any criticism of Israel feeds antisemitism. One can say that the mere existence of Jews feeds antisemitism. Antisemites will always find something that Jews are doing to justify their hatred. So pointing out that Jeff Halper says something that “feeds antisemitism” is as meaningless as saying I feed antisemitism because I have a nice car.

    So please explain how Jeff Halper (who, as David Rosenberg points out, may say many things with which we disagree) is doing something that “feeds antisemitism” in a way which is beyond the pale for the Engage lynch mob.

    The SWP piece from the US was posted here rather approvingly. However, the writer of that piece clearly stated an anti-Zionist goal of replacing Israel with a binational state. No-one seemed concerned about that.

    Why is that? I can only suspect that this was the result of “context:” If a Jew advocates a binational state (and it hasn’t even been established that this is what Halper advocates) then he’s “feeding antisemitism.” But if a non-Jew advocates the same thing in the context of criticizing boycotts of Israel, then it’s perfectly OK, even helpful. Am I being overly cynical? I don’t think so.

    • modernityblog Says:

      “Am I being overly cynical?”

      not really, evasive maybe ?

      you made a specific point concerning “any criticism of Israel.” which has been answered, however, you’ve seemingly chosen to ignore the responses, of Susan, April 15, 2009 at 2:28 am and Bill, April 15, 2009 at 1:44 pm, etc.,

      I suppose the question concerning “criticism” is, where do you draw the line?

      Or do you accept that all and any “criticism” is harmless and doesn’t have any effect?

      • David Says:

        I made the point that any criticism of Israel could be construed as “feeding antisemitism.” I have not yet heard specifically how anything Jeff Halper said “feeds antisemitism” any more than any other criticism of Israel or me driving a nice car.

        I am not the one being evasive. I am waiting to hear where others draw the line.

        • Brian Goldfarb Says:

          Yes you have, David. There are lots of comments on this thread pointing out to you what Halper has said that can (maybe should) be construed as feeding antisemitism. You’re just choosing to ignore these, or trying to interpret them away. As comments below (and mine below this one, if moderated as acceptable) point out, this is not unusual in your case, or in certain others, either. You’re just a more sophisticated example of how it’s done.

        • David Says:

          ad hominem

        • Bill Says:

          I gave you PLENTY of examples above. All of the above belong to the subset, we are told, of “Any” criticism of Israel (and if you’re the UCU, you add the modifier “As Such” to the claim that the above examples, including a few above done by UCUers, are not “as such” antisemetic.). Some of ’em are explicit acts that violate the RRA such as Hickey finally admitting what the boycott was really was about. Others such as the Delich affair was an explicit example of the UCU BDSers closing ranks to help mask the ugliest of racism and intolerance. Others certainly do provide clear feeding of antisemitism. And other I didn’t mentioin such as the evil and rotten equating of Jews anywhere, such as Mumbai, as Zionists by Silverstein while insisting one never call antizionism antisemetic (gotta have your cake and eat it too when you’re delegitimizing Jews… sorry Zionists… oh heck who are we kidding).

          Over the years, here at E, such lines very exhibited, explained in gross detail, over and over and over. The BDS campaigners, however, appear too often to have no such limits on what’s in appropriate..

        • Bill Says:

          that should say

          Over the years, here at E, such lines very clearly exhibited, explained in gross detail, over and over and over.

        • David Says:

          Now I see what you’re responding to. You have TOTALLY misunderstood what I said, as I see now that my sentence could be taken 2 ways.

          OF COURSE I did not mean to say that no criticism of Israel is antisemitic. That would be absolutely ridiculous. Is that what you have been responding to all along?

          I mean to say that not any criticism of Israel is antisemitic (ie NOT ALL).

        • modernityblog Says:

          Well David,

          I suppose that in a Post modernist world anything could be construed as anything else?

          If you are so inclined, but that doesn’t help, does it? Unless you wish to go around in circles?

          I suggested that Jacob’s points below are closer to it.

  14. Paul Milson Says:

    “Diaspora Jewry needs to let go of idealised Israel”

    This is Halper’s title of his article in the SMH.

    He goes on to say:

    “All this raises disturbing questions over the right of Diaspora Jews to hear divergent views on Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians held by Israelis, especially, again, since it is a phenomenon that critical Israelis encounter from self-appointed Jewish “gatekeepers” throughout the world.”

    I am a Diaspora Jew and I have been hearing “divergent views” on Israel all my life. This is probably true of most Jews. You would have to live in a cave not to hear attacks on Israel from all quarters.

    I suspect that Mr. Halper’s knows this. So what is his real game?

    He goes on to say that:

    “But the controversy in Australia raises an even deeper issue: what should be the relationship of Diaspora Jewry to Israel? Whatever threat I represent has less to do with Israel, I suspect, than with the fear that I might call into question the idealised image of Israel – which I call the “Leon Uris” image of an Israel that, if it ever existed does not today – to which they cling so dearly, even desperately, despite what appears in the news.”

    Here again, what “idealized image of Israel” is he talking about? Who reads Leon Uris these days, anyway? Most Jews get their image of Israel from TV which doesn’t offer and exactly flattering image of that country much less heroic.

    Later on he says:

    “Countries change, they evolve. What would Australia’s European founders think – even those who, until 1973, pursued a White Australia policy – if they were to see the multicultural country it has become?”
    The unstated view is that for Halper Israel is colonial State like Australia (I am surprised he didn’t compare Israel to South Africa.)
    Halper encourages antisemitism by bringing up yet again all the canards about Israel which antisemites use: Israel as a colonial State, Zionists suppress dissent, etc.

    Also by through his view that Jews in countries like Australia, Canada, the US, the UK and others are responsible for Israeli colonialist policies. How is this different from what people like Livingston and Galloway are saying?

    Whatever, Halper’s deep motives his resorting to antisemitic tropes is what we should be paying attention to.

    Finally, Halper substituting an idealized view of the Palestinians for that of Israel?

  15. Jacob Says:

    “One can say that Israel’s actions feed antisemitism, one can say that any criticism of Israel feeds antisemitism.”

    Israel actions can result in criticism it doesn’t feed it (unless you are already critical of Israel or its existence.). In the same way it feeds antisemitism only if you are already an antisemite.

    “One can say that the mere existence of Jews feeds antisemitism.”

    Only if one is already one, David.

    “Antisemites will always find something that Jews are doing to justify their hatred.”

    Yes, that’s what being an antisemite means.

    Jeff’s comments however feed antisemitism because they justify it.

    Not all criticism of Israel is antisemitic, as I said above I am critical of its policies on the West Bank.

    However, Jeff isn’t just criticizing Israel for specific things he is criticizing it for not living up to some ideal. He also criticizes Diaspora Jews for holding on to this ideal and worse, as was said above, he accuses these Jewish communities of suppressing dissent which is what people like David Duke and M&W say. This is how his views feed antisemitism.

    Besides, Jeff’s criticism of Israel is one sided. He speaks of Israel’s policies without reference to the Arabs who made war on Israel or the Palestinians who supported those wars. These policies were not made in a vacuum. He also rejects a two State solution which would mean the abolition of the Jewish State. These are all views dear to antisemites who hate the very idea of the existence of a Jewish State.

    • David Says:

      Rather than replying to each sentence as you read it, if you wait to get to the end you will avoid redundancy.

      So according to you Halper has updated Stalin’s antisemitism, has compared Jews to leeches and now he’s like David Duke? Please.

      There’s nothing antisemitic in stating that Israel has failed to live up to an ideal (unless the reason for the failure is something hateful about Jews, which I don’t see in anything Halper has said). Nor can there be any argument about whether Jewish communities suppress “dissent” in their own communities – that is, when it comes to the presentation of dissent in their own institutions and buildings. (That’s VERY different from the M&W type of accusation). I’m sure David Rosenberg would not be welcome to speak in quite a few shuls and other community buidlings. My wife manages lectures at our local Jewish community center, and she nixes possible speakers every day because of the controversy that would be caused. She’d have a hard time keeping her job if she rented space to the local equivalent of David Rosenberg. (In fact the local equivalent is not allowed to rent space there). She has to make hard decisions every day, and it’s not easy. But she has the right to do this, and criticizing them for it is NOT the same as M&W.

      As for the rest of what you have to say, the views with whiche you take issue are held by many Israelis, so if you want to say that anyone holding the views of Meretz (Zionist) and Hadash (not Zionist) is helping antisemites, I think you have made your position clear.

      Perhaps you will post regarding the American SWP article that also rejects a two state solution? Or maybe you think Halper is a traitor because he’s Jewish, whereas the SWP writer is helpful to the cause even though his position is “dear to antisemites.” And Ahad Ha’Am? Another antisemite?

  16. David Says:

    Jews having an idealized view of Israel? Never! The very suggestion feeds antisemitism! Jewish communal organizations making judgements about who they’ll provide with a platform? Slander!

  17. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    As usual, “David” picks up just those bits of comments that he can comfortably respond to and ignores others. Those he can’t ignore, he reinterprets to his advantage, so that he can then assert that people have said things that, actually, they haven’t, or that their words mean things that, actually, don’t follow (if one one uses what usually passes for logic among ordinary humans).

    If this doesn’t work in putting people off the scent, then he is prepared to resort to being rude and insulting, attempting character assassination and carrying out ad hominem attacks on his critics, sometimes actually starting like this, all the while complaining of these things being done to him, crying foul and avoiding the issue. His last comment is a peach of an example: he presents what he perceives as humour against those who would call him to account for himself, all the while avoiding a real answer. Note that he fails to respond to direct and serious criticism of him by Susan and Bill (as Modernity Blog notes above) – it might show him up, were he to do so. He’s not alone in this, just better than many who adopt this tactic.

    For various reasons, David and I got into a slanging match (which, by the way, he started): it culminated in me posting a direct criticism of him on the comments thread of an article, posted here on 27 March, entitled “Reconciliation and understanding, not boycotts and exclusions”. One of my comments was posted on 3 April, attached to a comment by him aimed at me, posted on 2 April. He ignored it, and has never responded to it, even though the comments column remained open for at least a week longer, and even though very serious criticism of him was offered.

    He’s very good at assertion but rather poor at responding directly to criticism.

    • David Says:

      another ad hominem attack

      • Brian Goldfarb Says:

        For which accusation you, as usual, you provide absolutely no evidence, merely an assertion. Until you are prepared to porvide evidence, argument and the usual appurtenances of debate, stop making unsubstantiated assertions, such as the one immediately above. These are becoming typical of your responses, and are wearisome in the extreme.

  18. Jacob Says:

    “Jews having an idealized view of Israel? Never!”

    Not true for you I am sure. So what makes you so different?

    Got any poll data to support your view that most Jews have an “idealized” view of Israel?”

  19. Jacob Says:

    Last point first: “Nor can there be any argument about whether Jewish communities suppress “dissent” in their own communities – that is, when it comes to the presentation of dissent in their own institutions and buildings.”

    I have no idea what you mean by suppressing dissent “in their own institution, David.” Name me one organization which allows people to call for the abolition of its institution? Condemning Jews and Jewish organization for not living up to some ideal principle of tolerance which are not applied to any other people or organization is antisemitic.

    “There’s nothing antisemitic in stating that Israel has failed to live up to an ideal (unless the reason for the failure is something hateful about Jews, which I don’t see in anything Halper has said).”

    It is if you use the failure to live up an ideal in order to call for the destruction of the Jewish State.

    In any case, we seem to be repeating ourselves. We have each made out points and I see no reason to continue this discussion.

    I agree with Brian and others that you cherry pick comments to attack, and ignore the main argument put forth by critics of Halper’s point of view.

  20. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    I notice that David has done it again (see my comments in the entries dated/timed 15 April 11.43pm & 11.36 pm respectively). In his reply of 15 April, 11.40 pm, he manages, yet again, to fail to reply directly to Jacob, although his comment is linked to it by the little reply button. Instead, he goes off on a riff about Mrs David and her hiring practice when seeking speakers for her local community centre.

    His comment on acceptable and unacceptable speakers is irrelevant as a supposed comment on censorship: every such centre has a right to listen to some but not other speakers. I suppose that David would see the refusal of a Democratic Party centre to book dyed-in-the-wool, right wing Republicans as a sign of censorship.

    All he is showing is, yet again, his unwillingness to engage with the points actually directed against him by raising side-issues, irrelevancies and changes of subject.

    But then this is his common and repeated practice. It avoids proper debate and allows him to cry foul when people respond in kind.

  21. Bill Says:

    Look, David,

    Anthony, you, Halper, etc, heck, even Deborah, I am sure would be horrified to see statements you made being leveraged or otherwise used to enable or cover for antisemitism and would distance themselves from them if they opened their eyes saw the impact (or were hit smack in the face with them). But is that really the point?

    The UCU (and here I’m just talking about one organization, relevant to many here – and an organization that should have no excuse for such behavior), not Anthony, has unprofessionally retaliated against people who have publicized objectiviely antisemetic propaganda from their “activist list.” That includes unimpeachable union activists and professionals like David Hirsch. Anthony is not UCU.

    Representatives of the UCU, not you, have admitted openly in professional journals that the goal of the BDS campaigns are to isolate Israelis, not as Zionists, or as occupiers, or human rights violators, but as Jews and on top of that explicitly leveraged stereotypes frequented upon them, the global nerd… uh… scholar — as opposed to those illiterate, uneducated Chinese, Iranians (Persians as The Hitch would say) or Africans (yeah, kids, no racism implicit in the Tom Hickey letter to the BMJ — never saw it, couldn’t be, move along). And once again, you aren’t UCU either.

    David Halper isn’t David Duke (Jesus Fracking Kerist, get grip!), and I’ll go so far as to say that most of the UCU activist list members aren’t either (mighty white of me, eh?). But one of their members had no problem with linking to the KKK alum’s propaganda web that included nasty and unquestionable racist imagery in plain sight in the web browser and to make matters worse, neither did the moderator. And when people found out about it, rather than do some serious soul searching on how the list had reaped what it had sown over the past few years, not only did they try to shut down the whistle blowers, they got the KKK prettyboy’s site admins to take down the linked article to help cover their humiliation. I mean Jiminy Christmas! It just doesn’t get any more egregious than that! But we are told, that that wasn’t an act of antisemitism, Rather it was something “regrettable and don’t you dare bring that up again.” I’m sure the aforementioned company would never have bought it either but they must avert their gazes, still. Elephant, meet room.

    (uh… Deborah’s on her own…)

    But through all of this, the UCU IS the UCU and they ARE doing this stuff — openly without introspection and with clear adverse impact to their negotiating unit and their membership. And so are others who insist that they are not being antisemetic, except for the fact that their checklist is filled with little red marks. Right under the nose of many people who insist that we hold off questioning if these folks are leveraging racism, antisemitism or just… ahem “clerical violations” of the RRA or other pieces of Harassment-Discrimination Law/Policy that’ll still get you and yours sued into your next few incarnations.

    All right under the nose of David, Anthony, Halper et al. One need only take a sniff to be aware of it. That’s why people are sensitive and even outraged to such denial – even when such folk are not themselves explicitly spreading such unacceptable memes.

  22. David Says:

    I don’t have any poll data, no. But what does that matter when the mere suggestion that some, or even many, Jews (“most” is your insertion) might have an idealized view of Israel seems to be enough in your book to make someone a feeder of antisemitism. Utterly surreal.

  23. David Says:

    OK, since it seems Bill, ModernityBlog and Goldfarb (though not Susan or Jacob) chose to interpret my words a certain way (and one that would be patently ridiculous), let’s try to get back to Jeff Halper.

    Susan: You state that Halper is promoting “the idea that Israel is plotting to harm Native peoples of Canada and new immigrants” – sorry, but I don’t see that. He has been reported as having said something decidedly odd and inflammatory about police co-operation, which I would certainly question, but this “plot” by Israel you ascribe to him is an exaggeration entirely of your own invention.

    Jacob’s view on why Halper feeds antisemitism appear to be that Halper believes (1) that diaspora Jews have an idealized view of Israel and/or that (2) he (perhaps) advocates a “binational” state (along the lines of Ahad Ha’am, it appears). Neither of these is sufficient for him to be accused of feeding antisemitism. In fact, if these are the bases of the accusation, it’s frankly laughable. (The stuff about Stalin and leeches is just silly).

    (1) is indisputable and has nothing whatsoever to do with anti-Semitism and (2) is the subject of debate. However, if people here believe that everyone who advocates a “binational” state is feeding anti-Semitism, then we can discuss it, as ludicrous as I think it is.

    Are there some other ways I’m missing that Jeff Halper is “feeding anti-Semitism?”

    • Brian Goldfarb Says:

      David, you can’t even attack (the only word for it) the correct people. It was Lbnaz, in the very first comment on this thread who said that:

      Jeff Halper believes, or wants to believe that Israel and Canada plotted to harm Canadian Aboriginals and new immigrants:

      “Professor Evelyn Schaefer, of the Dept. of Psychology at the U of W[innipeg], wrote to Martin Zeilig of The Jewish Post & News [Winnipeg, Canada] about Halper’s talk on that campus. Due to space considerations in the Feb. 11 issue, these remarks were not printed.

      Here is what Prof. Schaefer had to say: “He [Halper] never addressed any issues related to Hamas, neither with respect to its maltreatment of the Palestinians in Gaza, nor the rocket attacks on Israel over the last years…“I found many of his [Halper’s] remarks inflammatory. For example, his comments on the signing of the Declaration of Intent between Israel and Canada to enhance Public Safety Co-operation were couched in terms of its possible uses against Native Canadians and new immigrants, and to quote his conclusion “Gaza is getting into the Winnipeg police force without your knowing about it.”

      Susan merely repeated the comment. Accusations of ad hominem attacks (with no evidence of why they _are_ ad hominem), attacking the wrong people.

      It must be hell fighting a war on so many fronts at once!

  24. James Says:

    Back to Halper – he and that nice philo-Semite Stephen Sizer appear to have a mutual admiration for each other

    http://stephensizer.blogspot.com/2009/04/dr-jeff-halper-on-peacemaking.html

  25. zkharya Says:

    Thanks for that, James. ‘tells us a lot.

  26. Jacob Says:

    David “I don’t have any poll data, no. But what does that matter when the mere suggestion that some, or even many, Jews (”most” is your insertion) might have an idealized view of Israel seems to be enough in your book to make someone a feeder of antisemitism. Utterly surreal.”

    What is surreal, not to say bizarre, is your response David.

    I never said that the assertion that most Jews have an “idealized view” of Israel feeds antisemitism.

    Go back and reread my comments a second and third time. You might yet come up with a more plausible reason why I and others believe that Halper’s views feed antisemitism.

    The problem with Halper is that he can’t believe that Jews may have a realistic view of Israel and still support its existence. (Can you?) The only possible “realistic view of Israel,” pace him will lead everyone to embrace his solutions to the conflict, the abolition of the Jewish State.

  27. zkharya Says:

    “Christian Zionism is supremely anti-Semitic”

    Hmm. Christian “Zionism” is no more monolithic than Jewish Zionism. One would have thought an anthropologist, of all people, would be sensitive to such nuances.

    It turns out not, and that Halper is as much about essentializing “Zionism” as Sizer. Note also his essentializing criticism of Sizer as the work of the organized Jewish community, rather than individuals such as we.

    Halper is also supremely egoistical. It’s as if nobody but he could have widely read Sizer’s work and drawn informed conclusions about it.

    Well, many of the early Christians, gentile and Jewish, were about essentializing their opponents as implacable dark group entities, and generalizing groups from individual expressions. It was how they defined themselves. Unfortunately some have yet to evolve.

  28. TNC Says:

    “That could be said of many things that aren’t antisemitic, for example any criticism of Israel.”

    Nobody, not even Abe Foxman of the ADL, say that *any* criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic. What matters is the substance of the criticism.

    Lots of people who are pro-Israel (even those on the right) are critical of specific Israeli policies. In fact, elements of the right consider Israel to be too socialistic and too soft in its actions against Hamas and other terrorist organizations. Those are criticisms of Israel but they are definitely not anti-Semitic. I’m not sure why this is so difficult for some people to understand.

  29. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    I notice that David has _twice_ accused me on this thread (and at least obce on another) of making ad hominem attacks on him, while managing to conveniently ignore the ad hominem attacks he makes on others – me in particular. The second time, two days ago, I said that I wasn’t doing any such thing, and if he was convinced that I was, where was his evidence that this was so? I have made at least one other comment, criticising him in detail and pointing him to a further comment on a different thread (with a full road map as to how to get there), with yet further criticisms of him and his approach.

    So far, a resounding silence. He seems to ignore detailed criticisms of him, unless he can just attempt to dismiss them with an airy “another ad hominem attack”.

    Won’t wash, David. You’ve been rumbled. So answer or go away.


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