Israel is still waiting for a new Rabin – Adam Keller

Adam Keller remembers Rabin here.

42 Responses to “Israel is still waiting for a new Rabin – Adam Keller”

  1. Dvar Dea Says:

    A delusional Adam Keller recycles the ongoing conversations taking place in Israel in order to appear up to date. But his blame it all on Israel approach can never be up to date.

  2. Stephen Rothbart Says:

    The previous Engage article on UNHRWA’s firing of Andrew Whitely for saying the unsayable in Arabs circles says all you need to know about the chances for peace in the Region.

    Israel has turned to the Right and that is a direct consequence of the mind-set of those organizations all around the world that wish her harm and wish her to go away, especially her immediate neighbours.

    The Palestinian right of return is for 5 million refugees, of which probably more than 4.5 million have never lived in Israel.

    Logistically, how could that ever happen? Yet that is what UNHRWA and its cohorts in the anti-Zionist lobby expect the Jews to roll over to, just as Andrew Whitely had to roll over to in his futile attempt at freedom of expression.

    There is no Free Speech on the other side of the Israel/Palestinian problem. Not even it appears in Jordan.

    Keller does not seem to acknowledge that Israelis are free to march with such banners in the square named in memory of Rabin, without fear of being shot, or losing their jobs.

    It is still astonishing to me that intelligent people can have such a blind spot when discussing Israel. They see only one side of the equation, and are incapable of seeing, hearing or speaking evil emanating from the Arab side.

    • Yehuda Erdman Says:

      Most of what you say is true, but it is pessimistic, and does not allow room for a leader like Rabin to rise and change the course of the Middle East towards peace.

  3. Patricia Says:

    Right of return should continue to be granted wholesale only to diaspora Jews like Stephen Rothbart, Dvar Sea and all who right here and happen to be Jews. In the following text and video you can see some individuals who are not refugees and were fortunate enough to exercise their right of return without too many complaints from Stephen Rothbart and Dvar Sea:

    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/the-settlements-have-been-a-project-of-main-street-jewish-america.html

  4. Saul Says:

    Patricia,
    As someone implacably opposed to the Settlements and the politics of occupation that make them possible, could I ask you not to use articles that rehash antisemitic conspiracy myths as a resource.
    Thanks

  5. Patricia Says:

    Dear Saul,

    There is zero anti-semitism in the link I provided and it is saddening and troubling that you feel the need to invent it yourself. Why do you do that? Inventing antisemitism where it does not exist is a horrible thing to do, horrible.

    The lip service regarding your alleged opposition to the politics of occupation is largely meaningless as long as exhibit no decency to oppose the notion of a wholesale right of return granted to all non-Israeli Jews to settle inside or outside the occupied territories and its wholesale denial to non-Jews (yet particularly Palestinian or Arab).

    If, unlike me, you (or anyone else here) happen to be a British Jew then you are granted an automatic right of return to anywhere in greater Palestine/Israel (even if you are not a refugee). My Palestinian father, on the other hand, who was born in Jaffa and whose family is still there (as fourth class non-Jewish citizens of Israel) does not have this right that all non-Israeli Jews enjoy. (I know that many British happily deny rights to refugees, for example the BNP).

    So if there is any anti-semitism here Saul then it is clearly and exclusively your own anti-semitism: one law for Semitic Jews, and another law for Semitic non-Jews. This factually applies to Jews inside and outside Israel and/or the occupied territories and for to all non-Jews INSIDE and outside Israel. Many British Jews seem to live comfortably with this manifestation of anti-semitism and do not oppose it (at least those who self-define as Zionists). The reason is that in this instance anti-semitism benefit them so they do not oppose it.

    So if you happen to be a Jew Saul, enjoy the right of return that many of the previous commentators shamelessly deprive my father of.

  6. Saul Says:

    Patricia,
    Thanks for the libel; that I am inventing antisemitism.
    Thank you also to comparing me to a British nazi.
    Thanks too for telling me that the antisemitism I noted was in my own imagination.
    Thank you also for the idea that Jews benefit from antisemitism.
    Thank you also for the use of the semantic argument that Arabs are semites too.

    As to the antisemtism. It is in monodwiess’s gratuitious reference to this comment,
    “But it should help us remember: when we talk about the Occupation and American Jews’ relationship to it, there’s more to the picture than the U.S. political leadership not having a spine and caving to the Israel lobby.”
    Of course, you may not think that believing that there is a Lobby powerful enough to ensure that the most powerful nation in the world is forced to abide by its wishes and is acting against the US’s interests is not antisemitic. In that case you are either at best, naive or at worst willfully blind.
    Secondly, the article itself demonises what it terms “main street Jewish Americans”. It is a meaningless term. The effect of such terms on the question of antisemitism can be seen in the comments to one of the internal links provided (comments that are apparently monitored to avoid, amognst other things, racism and antisemtism).
    Thirdly, my or your being a Jew or not is irrelevant to this conversation.
    The right of return applies to Jews. My feelings on this point do not turn on my religion anymore than any other aspect of my politics.
    Israeli immigration policy, like all countries’ immigration policies, arose at a particular time and in particular circumstances.
    The immigration policy of the right to return emerged precisely because the link between land and nationality that has been the overarching characteristic of the notion of nationals belonging in modern nations was precisely the reason why Jews were excluded from Europe in the first place. It was that link that was partly responsible for the need of Israel in the first place. Hence, the nature of Israeli immigration policy differs from most other countries’ policies.
    It is interesting to note, also that it is precisely the same notion of belonging (the link between land and nationality) as the ground for legitimacy, that you and others are using to question the Jewish state’s legitimacy. It rather proves the point of why Israel chose the policy it did.
    From what you say of your father, he is, in fact, living in Israel, but as a non-Jewish Arab citizen is suffering discrimination.
    It seems to me there are two points here.
    First, your father has a right to citizenship and, as one of his children, regardless of religion, you have that right to.
    Secondly, from what you say, your father is suffering “fourth class” citizens. The discrimination your father suffers is unacceptable. As in any country, it must be challenged and overcome. However, to anticipate a comment you may make; that discrimination is not inherent within Israel as a Jewish state, anymore that anti-Jewish discrimination is inherent in a Christian, secular or Muslim state. To oppose this discrimination takes work. Fortunately, in Israel groups exist (both Jewish and non-Jewish, and both)) prepared to do that work.

    I apologise for the length of this reply. Perhaps you will find it easier simply to continue calling me a manipulative liar and a person who consciously does not believe what he writes.

    You would not be the first, and I doubt, you will be the last.
    It is a pity nonetheless that discussions such as this are so quickly reduced to that of the gutter.

  7. Patricia Says:

    My father is a 1948 Palestinian refugee who managed to find refuge in London only because he married an anti-racist British (my mother). So no, you were incorrect in reading my message hence spent time writing about an irrelevant topic. My father wishes to reunite with his family who are Israeli citizens but unlike British Jews cannot do it. I know this is a minor problem for you.

    Now British Jews like you (and please don’t tell me that you are not a Jew exactly as I’m not telling you that I’m not a non-Jew) can go to my father’s homeland city Jaffa despite not being refugees and not originating there. My father and I on the other hand cannot go back to his home town, nor can we regain the private property that my father left there and that Israel, which defined itself as a Jewish state state, robbed from him.

    But humanist Saul could not care less because he is heroically busy fighting anti-semitism in the website I linked while saying zero about the racism of other writes above here . For humanist Saul only Jews have a right to return to Israel and Palestine on both side of the green line. Non-Jewish Palestinians like my father don’t have this right and that’s OK for non-Israeli British Zionists like Saul.

    Everything else Saul wrote consist of excuses to justify and defend Israeli racism from Britain. That’s of course Saul’s right in our democracy.

    PS: if a Christian or Muslim state violently destroys a synagogue against the wishes of local minority Jews at 2am does this constitutes an anti-semitic act? YES IT DOES in my opinion. See here:

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/police-bedouin-clash-as-state-demolishes-condemned-negev-mosque-1.323337

    • Yehuda Erdman Says:

      Patricia
      I have great sympathy for your personal situation and wish that all such painful family histories could be resolved in a way that would be honourable and end the suffering felt by refugees and their families (many now living in diaspora). We all know however that policies pursued by Israel as well as her Arab enemies even before 1948 (when the Jewish Agency was the government in waiting for the Jews of Palestine), have been impossible to reconcile.
      That does not mean that a solution can not be found, but my view is that the present government of Israel will do everything to stop the creation of a State of Palestine. This is despite Netanyahu glibly stating he wants peace but the Palestinians led by Abbas refuse to acknowledge israel.

  8. Saul Says:

    Patricia,
    Thanks for your comments.
    Unfortunately, your abusive tone, your accusation of male fides that you have leveled against me in both your posts, your refusal to engage with the issues you yourself have raised as well as those raised by myself, makes conversation, discussion and dialogue between us impossible.
    Regards,
    Saul

  9. Rivka Says:

    My grandmother’s cousin was murdered in Hebron in 1929. Her sister was killed in Jerusalem during the siege of Jerusalem and my grandmother had to flee her house. What about their rights ?

    • Yehuda Erdman Says:

      My parents immigrated to Palestine from Nazi Germany in 1935 and my mother told me much later that early in 1936 she and my father visited Hebron (not far from Jerusalem where they lived). She told me that as they alighted in Hebron she felt the hatred of the Arabs and said to my father let’s get out of here, and they immediately returned home.
      There were many other stories like this not all in agreement with this viewpoint. For example my late father was a dental surgeon and he knew the Arab peasants living in villages around Jerusalem were too poor and ignorant of dental hygiene to come to his practise, so he went to their villages carrying rudimentary dental equipment to treat them. They were too poor to pay him but were sometimes able to pay in kind e.g. with a few eggs.

  10. Absolute Observer Says:

    One can only hope that in the wake of a final settlement between Israel and Palestine, Patricia’s father would gain either the right to return to Jaffa and/or compensation for the property lost, depending on what agreement between the parties is reached. One would also hope that a sovereign Palestine would also permit her a right to return to those like herself who, as she has stated, have no material link to the land in question. Maybe, over time, as the emnity between the parties begin to weaken, the free movement of people between Israel, Palestine and the rest of the region, will begin to be a serious possibility. However, as the experience of Europe and North America shows, this does not happen overnight.

    But, since I am not calling for the immediate destruction of the Jewish state, I will no doubt be labeled by Patricia a Jew, a Zionist, a racist and a “humanist”. I would like to be wrong on this matter, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

  11. Absolute Observer Says:

    Patricia,
    One further question.
    Was your father forced to flee prior to the 1948 war (rather than the declaration of Israel as an independent state) that is prior to the attempt by the Arab nations to carve up what is Israel and to incorporate it within its own states – the question of an independent Palestine was not even a possibility for those powers)?
    If it was as a result of the war, it would seem that your father should be as angry with those Arab states and their misjudgements, as he is with Israel.

  12. Ha Olam Antishemi Says:

    Getting back to the original topic. “Israel is still waiting for a new Rabin.”
    Why?
    I have respect for what Rabin did but ultimately he would not have succeeded in making peace with Syria. It’s sheer wishful thinking to think that was really going to happen.
    Let’s look at very recent history, when Israel has conceded land to the Palestinians or withdrawn from Lebanon. What has been the response from Israel’s enemies other than to attack further.
    If Israel ever had a true partner for peace in the Middle East, the land for peace argument would have validty. In reality it’s just seen as a sign of weakness by Israel’s numerous enemies in the region.
    Someone quoted Jordan favourably, but this is a country that doesn’t even allow Jews the right to live there.
    So the right of return and the refugee problem. What about the rights of the Jews who were expelled or coerced to leave their homelands in many Arab countries and sought refuge in Israel? (See the documentary ‘The Forgotten Refugees’) And how many Arab countries have given citizenship to Palestinian refugees apart from Jordan?

    A peaceful settlement could be achieved eventually but it shouldn’t always be Israel that has to make the concessions, when national security is still such an issue.
    Well meaning liberals here who want to see a peaceful resolution between Israel and the Palestinians should take a course in Arabic first and then travel to the Middle East, or North Africa. When you here the phrase ‘Itbach Al Yahud’ shouted at you in the street it may just open your eyes to the very real problems that Israel faces on a daily basis.

    • Gil Says:

      Ha Olam Antishemi’: ‘I have respect for what Rabin did but ultimately he would not have succeeded in making peace with Syria.’

      Really, ‘Ha Olam Antishemi’? And how do you know this. You are forgetting the not insignificant matter of Rabin’s assasination by a Jew before he had the chance to resume the negotiations with Assad Sr.

      People like you are part of the problem with your selective reading of history. Ever since the cease fire after the Yom Kippur War there has been no shot fired in anger from the Syrian side. Yet it was Israel which downed those Syrian planes in ’82. Assad Sr. showed he was a man of his word.

      Rabin’s assasination by Amir with the tacit acceptance of this by many in the far Right in Israel, Netanyahu’s rise to power in ’96 and the stupidity of Labour, have brought Israel to its present situation. Most of the population in the greater Tel Aviv area couldn’t care less about the situation a few miles/Kms to their east as long as the economy is performing so well.

      Unfortunately, every few years something shocking has to happen to waken the Israelis from their stupor. As a young boy, I cannot forget the trauma of the Yom Kippur War.

      Rabin was a brave man who took risks and ultimately paid for his life’ murdered by a co-religionist just like Sadat.

      • Bill Says:

        “Ever since the cease fire after the Yom Kippur War there has been no shot fired in anger from the Syrian side.”

        (Uh Gil, they don’t have to shoot from the “Syrian” side. That’s because they have Hezbollah working as their agent in southern Lebanon, which Syrian hardliners consider to be part of greater Syria.)

        • Gil Says:

          Undoubtably, Bill. However, let me remind you that many (not all) of the settlers on the Golan see it as part of Israel.

          So are we going to go round in circles all the time and wait for a crisis with concomitant bloodshed that forces Israel to give what it perhaps could have given without said bloodshed?

          I think that this was possibly behind Rabin’s policy vis a vis the Palestinians and the Syrians. He was known for his analytical mind. He probably felt that he owed it to the soldiers of 73′-4 and ’82 to make the slogan ‘the last war’ a reality.

  13. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    Patricia, strange you writing about Israeli racism. But let’s see
    the facts. No law forbids in Israel sexual or marital relations. However no Muslim girl can in any country of the Middle East have sexual relations or marry a Christian or a Jew without risking her life.
    You seem to care a lot about a mosque which was built withou a permit, but it was destroyed without hurting anybody.
    Now let’s see what happened in Pakistan just a few days ago: Grief-stricken residents of the Darra Adam Khel region in northwest Pakistan today buried 66 victims of a devastating suicide attack on a mosque even as doctors struggled to save the lives of several seriously injured persons.
    Officials had put the death toll in yesterday’s suicide bombing at the mosque in Attariwal village at 67, but assistant political agent Sayed Gul Jamal said the figure had been revised as the suicide bomber was mistakenly included among the victims.
    “We included the bomber in the list of those killed as the 67th victim,” Jamal said.
    Interesting, those who care for an empty mosque do not care for Muslims massacre other Muslims in Muslim societies.

    • Yehuda Erdman Says:

      Karl
      Before 1948 there was considerable intermarriage between Jews and Arabs, for example in Jaffa. If as you wrote, a Muslim girl married a Jewish man, this was a double “tragedy” because neither religion would recognise the offspring so they and any offspring they might have could never re-enter their communities. In the case of a Jewish woman and an Arab man, both religions recognised the offspring as a Jew or Muslim respectively and there would be a tug of war situation.
      Since 1948 as we all know mixed marriage of any type is not possible in Israel so many citizens are obliged to travel overseas to marry. Surely in any modern state a citizen should be free to marry irrespective of their faith or lack of a faith. We must acknowledge the fact that many Israelis have been either agnostic or atheist. Don’t they have human rights as well?

  14. Jonathan Romer Says:

    How much context one has to jettison in the process of twisting Israel’s law of return into a symbol of racism.

    There’s the history of the treatment of Jews in both the Western and Arab worlds.

    There is the fact that Patricia’s father either fled or was forced from his home in the course of a war of intended genocide and expulsion inflicted by Palestinian and other Arab leaders on Jews, in the name of people like Patricia and her father, and the fact that that state of war still exists.

    There is the expulsion of the entire Jewish population of the Arab world, for whom no “right of return” has ever been suggested or hinted at — not that any Jew could look forward to a free and equal life in those lands even if return was on offer.

    There’s the absolute refusal of most Palestinians and all Palestinian leaders to acknowledge that Jews have a legitimate attachment to the land as the root of their history, national identity and only hope for self-determination. Negation that goes as far as denying the existence of the Jewish temple on Temple Mount is a powerful incentive to Jews to preserve their own sovereignty.

    And there is the fact that citizenship laws favour national diasporas in many countries — look up jus sanguinis — and not one of them is called racist because of it, apart from Israel. It is also true that no country that I’m aware of has an open door policy for the descendants of refugees from non-favoured groups: Russia will not roll out the red carpet for the grandchildren of the Jews who fled the USSR and, again, no place in the Arab world smooths the path for the return of their Jewish refugees or their progeny. Tell me, Patricia: Many Palestinians have names that indicate geographic origins. Do Palestinians named, for example, al Masri — “the Egyptian” — or Hourani — “the Syrian” — have an automatic right to Egyptian or Syrian citizenship?

    • Yehuda Erdman Says:

      Jonathan
      There are some factual errors in your polemic. An Arab states such as Morocco has actually welcomed Jews of Moroccan origin to return if they wish. On the European, Ashkenazi side, Germany, Poland and many other European countries where Jews were victims of the Nazi Holocaust do in fact welcome former citizens and their direct descendants (who can prove their link to the nationality of their parents). Today there are over 100,000 Jews in Germany, a much smaller number now live in Poland but in my opinion the government of Poland today would wish to see some reconciliation between Poles and Jews.
      I can see the passion you express but it is important to stay within facts and not stray in to propaganda.

      • Jonathan Romer Says:

        Yehuda,

        I appreciate your information. I try to be careful and accurate in what I write (which partly accounts for why I’m so long-winded) but fine shading is wasted on the likes of Patricia. It’s not going to matter to her, except as a tool for obfuscation and denial.

        I’m always glad to learn or be reminded of things that fill out a more nuanced picture of the world, but I hope you’ll forgive me if I say that the difference in this case is academic. You could just as well have pointed out that I exaggerated with “expulsion of the entire Jewish population of the Arab world” since something like 1% of the pre-war numbers still remain.

        Correct me (again) if I’m wrong, but I’m guessing that Morocco has invited back its Jews not as of right, but as a goodwill gesture which the state is free to bestow or withdraw at will. If so, then Morocco is not relevant to laws or “rights” of return. (I’d also guess that, correspondingly, the invitation comes with no acknowledgment of the injustices that destroyed Morocco’s Jewish community in the first place.) Either way, is Morocco representative of the Arab world in its offer to Jews, or is it an outlier? If the latter, the difference that Morocco’s case makes is even less.

        Furthermore Morocco, Germany, Poland and every other place (with one exception, see below) is in a different situation to Israel in a vital respect: All of them could absorb all the Jews they once expelled without any significant demographic or political cost at all, and all of them can be quite sure that only a fraction, at most, of those who might be eligible would take up the offer. There is no real price to Morocco or Poland in making even the most generous offer to Jews now. The exception is the Palestinians, where a generous — or if you prefer it, just — policy toward Jews might have a real demographic, political and social effect. Funnily enough, the Palestinians are as adamant about excluding all Jews from the state they propose as the Israelis are about not opening the floodgates to new Palestinians.

        Finally, as is the general rule in power politics, Morocco’s (and Poland’s, etc.) offer to undo an injustice comes after a delay long enough to ensure that the gains made are secure and irreversible. Similarly the US apologised and even made reparations to WWII Japanese-American internees — but not until long after any imagined threat they posed was past and the policy-makers responsible were dead. The UK and other countries likewise acknowledge the evils of empire — now that their colonies are already gone, the power derived from them spent, and the wealth absorbed. Only weaker nations are obliged to sacrifice perceived need to the purest of ideals while the threat still persists.

        • Yehuda Erdman Says:

          Jonathan
          I accept the general thrust of your argument that the Arab and Muslim states have an abominable record at allowing Jews and other minority groups to live there.
          Nevertheless this needs to be changed, although I do not know how. By the same token there are alarming trends in Israel today led by Avigdor Lieberman’s faction to erode the rights of Arab citizens of Israel and put aside the spirit of the declaration of Independence in 1948, which guaranteed that there would not be discrimination against minority groups.
          Israeli opinion as well as that of diaspora Jews is very polarised on these issues.

        • Jonathan Romer Says:

          Yehuda,

          No disagreement from me with any of the the points you now make (Nov 12, 9:39 pm) — is that something we were arguing about?

  15. Gil Says:

    Patricia, I wonder if your father shares his daughter’s arrogant and maximalist position. There are many in the Israeli peace camp who are ostracised and suffer hate because they dared and dare to challenge the cosy consensus in Israel.

    With your attitude you are not going to persuade anyone. However, I have to say that the Israeli Right Wing shares that attitude too. Which is why the situation is doomed both for your father who leaves outside of Israel/Palestine and for the Israelis living in it.

  16. Gil Says:

    lives…not ‘leaves’ grrr!

  17. david Says:

    Saul stikes the high moral tone “As someone implacably opposed to the Settlements and the politics of occupation that make them possible.” He seems to think that this somehow adds weight to his untrue insinuation of “rehashed antisemitism” by Patricia. How does this “Asaliberal” statement differ in principle from so-called Asajew statements which inspire such outrage on this site?

    • Seth Says:

      “How does this “Asaliberal” statement differ in principle from so-called Asajew statements which inspire such outrage on this site?”

      I was wondering exactly the same thing. Although I’ve always found the outrage over “as a jew” to be very strange.

      • Brian Goldfarb Says:

        Yet another example of faux naivety, this time from Seth: “Although I’ve always found the outrage over “as a jew” to be very strange.”

        Clearly, Seth reads these pages, while failing to comprehend what’s on them. The next page down (and the one before that) contain plentiful examples of this form of special pleading. However, on the basis that, despite all this, he _might_ really not comprehend the situation, here goes.

        I am Jewish. This, possibly inevitably, colours my principles and ideals: I tend to approach the world (or certain aspects of it) in certain ways that _might_ (I stress might) cause me to interpret events within it differently from some who are not Jewish. (As one might expect, this includes the topic of Israel and all that attaches to it.) I am also a Democratic Socialist, and the same caveats apply, although possibly (but only possibly) to other events. Finally, I am a sociologist (just like David Hirsh and Robert Fine, among others here) and that adds yet more layers to this picture.

        However, this status (if that’s what it is) gives me no special privileges not awarded to others who have different modes or forms of identity. I am still required to produce evidence and to argue rationally and logically (to the extent that these differ) in order to advance or defend any position I hold or to argue against any position that someone else advances and with which I disagree.

        Thus, my being Jewish and/or a socialist is merely an identifier and affords, as already stated, no special privileges. However, those who argue “as a Jew” are claiming a special status, usually in regard to the “Israel/Palestine question” or the Middle East in general. Further, such people appear to be claiming that this status somehow gives them an insight into this area denied those who are not Jewish or who may be Jewish, but lay no claim to this being of any significance to any argument they may make.

        Beyond that, some of the “as a Jew” group appear (at least sometimes, maybe often) to be further arguing that those they see as intellectual and/or ideological soul mates should separate them from those other, unreconstructed, (and the majority of the group world-wide) Zionist Jews, and that because “as a Jew” they support the BDS movement and often the one state solution to the problems of the region, they should be accepted as equals. Even more, belonging to this group should bring them special status, as they have a unique insight “as a Jew” into the very problems that their BDS buddies and they share an interest in solving.

        It’s rubbish, of course. They have no special status beyond what their power of argument brings or fails to bring to the table. Further, they deserve no special status, any more than does anyone else who claims it because they are who they are. Status is earned and is not a birthright.

        Verstehen, Seth? You should, as I suspect that you are the person who comments here on a regular basis using the name “Seth”.

        And stop pretending to be so naive. It fools no-one (except possibly yourself: further, it’s not clever and it’s not funny).

  18. Ha Olam Antishemi Says:

    Gil: “Really, ‘Ha Olam Antishemi’? And how do you know this. You are forgetting the not insignificant matter of Rabin’s assasination by a Jew before he had the chance to resume the negotiations with Assad Sr.
    People like you are part of the problem with your selective reading of history.”

    Not forgetting that actually. The truth is we will never know as you rightly point out the assasination by Yigal Amir deprives us of ever knowing what could have been.
    Still I don’t think it would have been easy to achieve peace with Syria at all….even back then. Giving up the Golan would haven been hugely unpopular and hard to implement, not to mention a major security risk for Israel.
    People like me are the problem? Why because I don’t think Israel should always take the blame for this conflict, or concede land to countries like Syria that are funding terrorism. Call me a selective reader of history if you must, but at least I’m not looking at the history of this conflict with rose tinted glasses.

  19. Absolute Observer Says:

    I await Saul’s own response, but in the meantime,

    “David” claims of Saul that he made,
    “untrue insinuation of “rehashed antisemitism”?
    “untrue insinuation?”

    “insinuation”
    1. an indirect or devious hint or suggestion

    “untrue”
    1. incorrect or false
    2. disloyal

    So, was Saul’s comment, deceitful and false?

    Well, let’s take a look at the matter in more detail,

    “Saul’s” cites from the document linked (circulated) by “Patricia” (i.e. citing and circulating a document that contains within it and its arguments the idea of the “Israel Lobby”),

    Here is the quote from the document linked to by Patricia,
    “But it should help us remember: when we talk about the Occupation and American Jews’ relationship to it, there’s more to the picture than the U.S. political leadership not having a spine and caving to the Israel lobby.”

    So, explicit reference is made to the “Israel Lobby” in the article recommended to us by Patricia. (“more to the picture” is not “instead of” but, rather, “as well as”).

    Here are Saul’ comments on it,

    “Of course, you may not think that believing that there is a Lobby powerful enough to ensure that the most powerful nation in the world is forced to abide by its wishes and is acting against the US’s interests is not antisemitic. In that case you are either at best, naive or at worst willfully blind.”

    (And, on this point see the latest CST report, pp.30-43)

    So, if we disregard the actual facts of the matter, the words used, the links offered, then, yes, I suppose Saul is guilty of “untrue insinuations”.

    In the meantime, one can only conclude that a person who notes the slippage between anti-Zionist arguments and antisemitism (in this instance, conspiracy nonsense) and which has been put into circulation here at Engage by a poster, has been told that they are liars, that they are deceitful in raising questions of antisemitism; that a person who links to such thinking is being falsely accused of “rehashing antisemitism”.

    One would also have thought that the person with the “high moral ground” is indeed the person who can stand opposed to certain practices of the Israeli state whilst refusing to be seduced by the language and worldview of antisemitism in which such “criticism” often clothes itself. Or, maybe, he or she is simply being “disloyal” (as well as deceitful)?

  20. Gil Says:

    ‘Ha olam antishemi’: With the moniker you have chosen, it is doubtful that any progress can be made here. But still…

    If we will ‘never know the truth’ because of Yigal Amir , then your prior statement that Rabin ultimately wouldn’t have made peace with Syria (please see your comment above which you so conveniently don’t link to in the thread) is invalid. Thank you for allowing me to point this out.

    And the fact that giving up the Golan would have been unpopular and hard to implement is neither here nor there in the context of this website’s ethos which is to combat antisemitism on the Left.

    That said, allow me to remind you that during 1980-1 the Begin government’s actions to evacuate the Sinai (Yamit in particular) was also very unpopular. However, the Right’s tactics at the time attracted such hate and oppprobrium that they were ultimately self-defeating.

    People like you are the problem because you want to prevent the Israelis people from realising the costs of the Occupation. Who cares if some people only blame Israel? That does not mean that Israel should not act in its national interest, regardless of those you mention.

    • Ha Olam Antishemi Says:

      Gil if I can just clarify my position, my initial comment cannot be proven or disproven as you well know, it’s entirely hypothetical, I know I did not make this clear. My view is simply that even if Rabin had not been assasinated he would have still struggled to achieve peace with Syria especially as that would have meant withdrawing from the Golan. You may think differently but cannot offer anything more conclusive than my opinion on this matter as ultimately we will never know what could have been. Rabin seems to have become something of a martyr for the left in Israel, the slogan ‘We will never forget, We will never forgive’ comes to mind.
      Thanks for reminding me of this website’s ethos. I don’t think my own views contradict that in any way. However you then strangely ask ‘who cares if some people only blame Israel?’ Some? Make that many. And blame is not the worst that they do or intend to do.
      I could respond to your ‘people like you’ phrase similarly but I’ll resist the temptation. I don’t reject a two state solution by any means, but there are serious security risks that come with that that you seem quite happy to down play.
      Obviously Israel should act in its national interest and along with that comes the duty to defend its own citizens.
      If only it was as simple as giving up more land as so many seem to think.

      • Gil Says:

        ‘Ha Olam Antishemi’, where have I downplayed the security issues? Where do I say that Israel’s national interest doesn’t mean it should defend its own citizens. This is as bad as the Right Wing calling the Left ‘traitors’. How typical of your camp.

        The fact is that following July 1967 and Israel’s victory in the Six Day war, Israel refused to talk to its enemies. And please dont mention the ‘3 Noes’ of Khartoum because Israel was indeed negotiating through intermediaries. Indeed, Sadat sent a few messages to Israel up until September 1973 that he wanted to negotiate. We know what happened then.

        The Right Wing lied about the Lebanon War of ’82: ’40 KMs’ was the slogan. We know what happened there.

        Clever people have come and gone in Israel and have warned about the dangers of turning the conflict into one with Islam . The Right wing and its messianic allies couldn’t care less because ‘the worse it got, the better it would be’. Well, the chickens have come home to roost.

        You will always find excuses not to give back occupied land while rolling your eyes towards the heavens saying ‘ of course we want peace…but etc. etc.’. How sad that in the end when force is used, you look around to cast blame.

        • Ha Olam Antishemi Says:

          Where have you downplayed the security issues? You don’t mention it, which is telling in and of itself. To you I guess it’s just not an issue. Get the ‘settlers’ out of the Golan and we’ll have peace, right?
          Where have I said that I am right wing?
          The fact is I’m not (I’m a trade unionist and union rep), and my views on Israel are pretty moderate by Israeli standards, although in certain quarters I could see how my concerns could be perceived to be right wing concerns. You seem to have arrived at the conclusion of my right wing status mainly because I don’t submit to your seemingly pro-Palestinian, pro-Arab Avi Shlaim-esque narrative on this conflict. Yes, if Israel was nicer to its neighbours there would have been peace long ago, it’s so simple. Leave out any mention of Arab Nationalism and Anti-Zionism / Anitsemitism in that region and it’s all the more convincing. In Israel you’re quite ‘davka’ but here (UK) your narrative fits in perfectly with the normative left-wing view and their affiliates such as the PSC.
          So Islam was never part of the conflict but has become so because of the right wing in Israel? Is that so? Please clarify, I’m sure there are certain refugees from Arab countries who may disagree with this view.
          Public condemnation of Israel, is quite the fashion these days. I don’t condone what the right wing government is doing but I’m not going to protest with people who chant “We are all Hezbollah now!” and still claim to be anti-Racists.

  21. david Says:

    AO:
    It seems pretty clear to me that the paragraph from Mondoweiss objected to by Saul, together with the Al Jazeera film, inform the reader/viewer on the ways in which some Jewish Americans are enabling the continuation of the (illegal) occupation by buying and “occupying” property taken from Palestinians. This is not anti-semitism, it is reporting fact supported by film.
    Also, on a macro level, US foreign policy in the Middle East has been strongly influenced by a pro-Israel lobby whose members, not surprisingly, are predominantly Jews. You can dismiss the lobby as figments of a conspiracy theory as much as you like but unfortunately for you the lobby itself announces its presence loud and clear through organisations like Stand Up for Israel and many more, who even boast of their ability to bring down politicians who oppose Israeli policies. Reporting these facts is not, as Saul claims, antisemitic and it is untruthful insinuation to suggest otherwise.

  22. david Says:

    re AO’s last paragraph on Asajew, paraphrased:

    ……One would also have thought that the person with the “high moral ground” is indeed the Jew who refuses to be seduced by the language and worldview of Israeli nationalism in which rascist colonialism often clothes itself. Or, maybe, he or she is simply being “disloyal”……. ?

  23. Absolute Observer Says:

    david, a very good point. One could paraphrase it that way. and, indeed, many have.

    And so we have two people (or is it the same person?) “the Jew” and “a person” occupying two distinct moral high grounds. “The Jew” confined within the constraints of his or her own particularism, “a person” approaching its more universalistic elements. Two sides, same coin.

    “The Jew”- “as a Jew” – sees the problem of Israel and Palestine, as your own paraphrased paragraph illustrates, through the prism of its being a specifically “Jewish problem”. In so doing, such a view erases the agency, indeed, the very presence of the Palestinians. As you note, this is precisely the attitude of the very nationalism and colonialism that you and I reject. “The Jew” remains trapped within the very situation no matter how much he or she claims they want to escape and to change.

    “A person”, on the other hand, sees the problem of Israel and Palestine in a more universalist manner. It recognizes and acknowledges that the world is more than just “the Jew”; it recognises and acknowledges those who are both parties to the conflict i.e. the Palestinians (without pretending that relationship is equal); it recognizes and acknowledges the broader, more universalist contexts in which the contours of the conflict arise and are given meaning.

    If dealt with properly, a person will also recognise the particular aspects of the conflict within that universalist context. It will recognise and acknowledge the claims of all the parties; Israeli Jews and Israeli non-Jews and those Palestinians outside Israel, both in the diaspora and the Occupied territories. A person will seek a resolution according the the principles of a universal justice that allows both parties their due.

    If the logic of “the Jew” includes within it a blindness of the universal, the opposite is not the case (or need not be the case). “The Jew” becomes recognised as but one group amongst many, groups that includes, of course, the Palestinians; the very group that remains out of sight from the perspective of those who speak from the particularist perspective of “the Jew” or “as a Jew”.

    Your views of the Lobby exhibit the same limitation. You look at the issue of the “Israel Lobby” from a particularist point of view.
    A universalist view will look at the matter differently.
    It will ask not about the so-called Israel Lobby and its alleged omnipotence. It will ask about the state upon which it is said to act. It will note that from the particular perspective, the state cannot but appear as neutral, as a neutral arbiter that is in thrall to the loudest voice. It will fail to note that this view of the State as “empty and pliable vessel” is unteneable; that, in actual fact, the state has interests of its own; that it is the state that is the determining factor in what options it decides and not some tiny part of the population, no matter how much money they throw at it. It will understand that the idea of “the Lobby” (any Lobby laying down what the state does or not do, as if it were an obedient,pupp puppynot knowing what it wants is nothing but sheer fantasy; a fantasy it is happy to perpetuate, since it places the responsibility for its own actions (and failures) onto some other party that others are only too willing to accept.

  24. Gil Says:

    ‘Ha olam antishemi’, there may be no need for the settlers to leave the Golan in return for a peace treaty with Syria.If Assad decides to ignore Sadat’s precedent then perhaps some sort of ‘sale and leaseback’ could be achieved. However, this remains very doubtful. Unfortunately, because of what happened in the Sinai, settlers may have to leave.

    What did you think, ‘Haolam’, that you can obtain peace without some sacrifices?

    You say that you are not ‘right wing’, well you could have had me fooled.
    As for your comment that the fact that I hadn’t mentioned security concerns shows that I have no such concerns…that’s a classic straw man argument. You want to prove a negative? In any case, my security concerns and remedies could be entirely different to yours. The truth is that Israel’ security can only achieved by reaching an equitable peace with it’s existing enemies. To think that Israel can swallow the West Bank and remain Jewish and Democratic is a pipe dream.

  25. Imshin Says:

    If Rabin had lived to see how wrong he had been to agree to the Oslo Accords (cooked up by Peres and Beilin) – just that would have killed him.

    There are no new Rabins because we have woken up to the reality of Rabin’s big mistake. And ours.

    • Yehuda Erdman Says:

      Imshin
      You make very sweeping statements and claim to know what Rabin would have thought and done if he had not been assassinated by Amir.
      It’s a bit like me saying I know what Sharon is thinking right now even though he has been in a coma for years. The word I think is “hypothetical”.
      Beilin and Peres are not anyone’s cook according to your dismissive remarks, and both men have done more for Israel than a whole battalion of Yisrael Beiteinu (YB) types. YB is leading the nation to the precipice in double quick time, and I fear they have the foot on the gas and don’t believe in brakes.
      Wake up and smell the coffee. The basic truth that most sane Israeli politicians recognise is disengagement with the Palestinians, and the two state solution is still the only game in town.


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