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Monday, December 14, 2009

What is Hanukkah about, what is history about and what is David Brooks about?

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2009/12/what-is-hannuka-about-what-is-history.html

David Brooks seems to have created a bit of a stir with his article about the "true" history of Hanukkah. His main controversial but more or less unarguable points are that the Maccabees were "fanatics" who along with their good deeds also did brutal things like forced circumcision, and who revolted against a "superior" Hellenistic civilization, and that the "miracle" of Hanukkah (or "Hannukah" or as some people spell it, "Honnoker") was an invention of religious authorities. .

What Brooks writes is basically more or less true according to recorded history, but recorded history is not always unbiased, and it is certainly not true in a larger sense. Those who compare the Maccabees to current "hard core" settlers are off the mark. The Maccabee revolt was a revolt against foreign oppression, not a revolt against a Jewish government by Jews living as free people. That is the main point that seems to have escaped Brooks. The issue was not eating ham or not eating ham, but rather who makes the decisions in the land of Israel, the Jews or the Seleucid kings. There are other nuances that Brooks missed.

The Seleucid empire of Antiochus was not an enlightened Greek city state, but an Asian despotism of the usual kind that had assumed some of the superficial trappings of Greek culture. There was no great academy in the Seleucid state and there were no philosophers or writers of great literature or splendid architects fostered by that society. It was neither Athens nor Sparta nor Corinth.

Taken out of context, the forced circumcisions practiced by the Hasmoneans are barbaric. But in history, context is everything. When Pliny wrote to Trajan concerning the troublesome Christians, it was considered a hallmark of Roman tolerance that Trajan agreed that those Christians who recanted their faith would not be "punished." The other side of that judgment is of course that those Christians who were steadfast in their faith would be "punished." The "punishment" was death. Circumcision in that context seems to be a fairly mild remedy for religious deviance. The Maccabees, from their point of view, had no choice. The Seleucid rule had split the Jewish people. Those who remained uncircumcised would be lost to the Jewish people. It would be absurd to practice the mores of the 2nd century BC in the twenty-first century, but it would be equally absurd to judge force the mores of the twenty-first century on the Maccabees.

The Maccabean revolt, explained in terms that the New York Times would understand and endorse, was "legitimate resistance to occupation." The fate of Jewish traitors was no different from the fate of French collaborators with the Nazis at the hands of the Maquis. If you liked the American Minutemen, the Maquis and the Partisans, you should love the Maccabees. If you liked Benedict Arnold and Quisling, you will shed many tears for the collaborators killed by the Maccabees.

Brooks should also consider that the things that you are liable to read in the ancient history books, they ain't necessarily so. This cuts in many more directions than he might imagine. Our main source for the doings of the Maccabees and the history of that period is Josephus Flavius. Flavius seems to have been as precise as he could be about material facts that could be checked, but was probably very misleading as to motives and events that could not be checked. He was both a Pharisee and therefore opposed to the Maccabean/Hasmonean dynasty, and a Hellenizer anxious to please his new Roman masters. He had many axes to grind and he ground all of them in his books. Like all ancient histories, they should be treated with respect, but with skepticism.

The "miracle" of Hanukkah was no doubt the Pharisee way of attempting to make a secular celebration "kosher." Later, they took more drastic steps, because any display of national feeling was dangerous. They replaced the feast of Nicanor, celebrating a victory over the Seleucid general, with the fast of Esther, marking the probably mythical events of Purim, and more or less suppressed Hanukkah entirely. The Pharisees were careful to serve their Roman masters in suppressing anything that related to inconvenient manifestations of national spirit.

Brooks should keep in mind that every nation and every faith has edifying miracles associated with their history. Is Brooks going to write next about the issue of George Washington and his cherry tree, or are we going to be treated next to a scientific discussion of whether Jesus Christ was really born on December 24, whether or not there is a Santa Claus and whether or not virgins can give birth to male children, in honor of Christmas? I don't think so. If Brooks is really daring, he can take up the question of flying horses, and examine the story of Muhammad's night journey to Jerusalem on his flying horse (pretty good horse) al Buraq from the point of view of equine aerodynamics, refueling problems, wind resistance etc. It is a poor idea to look a gift miracle or miracle horse in the mouth.

It is very unlikely that Brooks or anyone else will take up subjects that are offensive to the Christian and Muslim religions, or question the national myths of other peoples, or that the New York Times would publish such stories. Why is the Jewish religion different from all other religions, and why is the Jewish people different from all other peoples?

There is a perhaps more to Brooks' innocent-seeming meanderings about Hanukkah than appears at first sight. For Hanukkah, more than any other modern Jewish holiday, was adopted by the Zionist movement as the Zionist holiday. If the Maccabees were benighted fanatics fighting "progress" and enlightenment, then how would David Brooks characterize Theodor Herzl? Is Brooks' article really about oil that lasts or doesn't last eight days and forced circumcision. or is it really about Zionism, Herzl and Ben-Gurion?

Ami Isseroff

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Friday, September 4, 2009

An idiotic initiative: Jews inform on Jews

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2009/09/idiotic-initiative-jews-inform-on-jews.html

The Jewish Agency and the Israel Prime Minister's Office(!) has unbelievably launched a clumsy campaign to "rescue" Jews from intermarriage. It invites people to "inform" on friends who might, HEAVEN FORFEND, be intending to marry a non-Jew:
A day after mounting a scare-tactic campaign to prevent the assimilation of Diaspora Jews, the Prime Minister's Office and Jewish Agency received some 200 calls, most of them reporting names of Jews living abroad.
However, many callers also blasted the campaign - which describes assimilation as a "strategic national threat."
The campaign, which launched on Wednesday, urges Israelis to report the particulars of acquaintances living abroad so that these people, who are "in danger" of marrying non-Jews, can be persuaded to come to Israel.
The 10-day Hebrew-language campaign has been mounted by MASA, a partnership between the Jewish Agency and the Israeli government that helps finance and market Israel programs for Diaspora Jews.
...
"We wanted to raise a public debate, even if it arouses argument and emotions," MASA's CEO Ayelet Shiloh-Tamir said Thursday.
"More than 50 percent of young Jews assimilate," the TV commercial informs viewers through the voice of Ayala Hasson, a top reporter for Channel 1. "We are losing them," she adds, as soft, melancholy music is played on a flute in the background.
The 33-second clip features images of missing-person posters hanging in locales in Europe and North America. The posters, in English, French and Russian, are of young people with Jewish-sounding names.
The ad then asks anyone who "knows a young Jew living abroad" to call MASA. "Together, we will strengthen his or her bond to Israel, so that we don't lose them," the announcer concludes.
We can hear the phone calls now, "I saw my nephew Sheldon with a blonde girl last week. She didn't look Jewish at all. You need to investigate, " "My niece is dating a Schwartzer! (black person). A Shandeh! (shame), Better come quick before it is too late."
What a way to render the image of Jews and of Israel totally absurd! Ziopedia and Stormfront could not have thought up something this ridiculous. How will they follow up on the leads? Will Zionist morality police bring trained dogs to go sniffing about in people's bedrooms? Are we supposed to report only those who are in danger of marrying non-Jews, or also those who are "in danger" of marrying reform Jews?
There is good news too in this report. Evidently, the Israeli economy is doing fine, our relations with the United States are excellent, the Iranian threat is under control, peace with the Palestinians is just around the corner, and Israel's image in the world has never been better. That is the only explanation for why the Prime Minister's office is worried about who Morris from Waukegan and Rachel from Manchester are dating next Friday.
In the old days, Woody Allen could have made a great movie out of this. He is out with the girl of his dreams (played by the latest version of Annie Hall). He is meeting her parents and their friends in a garden party. Suddenly a helicopter lands on the lawn. A squad of IDF soldiers steps out and sweep him off to Israel. Or, in the fantasy version, a pious devotee of the Kabbalah writes the holy name on his forehead and instantly turns him into a Hassidic Jew with ear locks and fine fur hat. The marriage, obviously, is off.
Ami Isseroff

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Swedes stand by blood libel, insist on investigation, condemn envoy apology

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2009/08/swedes-stand-by-blood-libel-insist-on.html

The Swedish government retracted its ambassadors condemnation of an an anti-Semitic canard published in AftonBladet, Sweden's largest newspaper, that claimed that the IDF kills Palestinians in order to harvest their organs for transplants. After Sweden's ambassador to Israel, Borsiin Bonnier, apologized for the article, opposition Green Party spokesman Per Gahrton said Bonnier should be recalled and taught the basics of Swedish freedom of speech. YNET reported:
Sweden's Foreign Ministry on Thursday said a response by the Swedish Embassy in Israel to a report by the Aftonbladet news saying IDF soldiers killed Palestinians in order to harvest their organs does not represent the government's stance.


The embassy had stated that the report was "appalling". But the Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman said, "The embassy in Tel Aviv responded in accordance to Israeli public opinion, however the Swedish government is committed to freedom of the press."

She added that Israel had not issued an official complaint on the report.

Another Swedish government spokesperson, Anders Jorle said, "The Foreign Ministry would not have acted in the same way" as the ambassador.

The editor of Aftonbladet, Jan Helin, said, "It's deeply unpleasant and sad to see such a strong propaganda machine using centuries-old anti-Semitic images in an apparent attempt to get an obviously topical issue off the table." Helin called it an opinion piece raising questions of Israel in the context of a suspected link to Israel in that U.S. case. He denied any suggestion of anti-Semitism from his paper.
There was nothing in the presentation of the article to indicate that it was supposed to be an opinion piece rather than a factual article. The dodge of disseminating lies as facts and then claiming it is "opinion" is a common one, though some journalistic standards officially forbid such behavior. Helin now has the best of both worlds, since he can defend the libel as just "opinion" while at the same time insisting that it is a "topical issue" that should be discussed, implying that it is true or has some basis in fact. It seems the blood libel is always "topical."

If a person publishes an opinion piece stating that a Martian is impersonating the President of the United States, is it just nonsense or a topical issue that should be discussed? If I write that Holocaust survivors remember Jan Helin's father as a volunteer SS Einsatzgruppenfuhrer who participated in the Babi Yar massacre, I am after all just quoting a source, right? It doesn't have to be true. Is it an opinion piece or a topical issue? How about if I quote witnesses who insist they saw a homosexual orgy with the participation of Donald Bostrom, author of the article, and editor Helin, both dressed as Gestapo officers? How can the public be protected from random inventions of racists and sensationalists if every such claim can hide behind the defense of "opinion piece" and get the protection of "freedom of the press?"
Ami Isseroff

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Peruvian Jews of forgotten jungle town leave for Israel

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2009/06/peruvian-jews-of-forgotten-jungle-town.html

It took so long for them to remember that they are Jews, even though the town has been decaying for a long time. The reason was no doubt the ideal conditions and affluence, which made people to leave this paradise for the wilds of impoverished Tel Aviv and Savyon. The article explains:
The rubber trade collapsed, and fortunes here and downriver in the Brazilian city of Manaus vanished. Some Jewish immigrants perished young, succumbing to diseases like cholera. A few stayed, marrying local women and raising families. Others returned home, leaving behind descendants who clung to a belief that they were Jews...
Iquitos lies four degrees south of the Equator, reachable only by boat or plane. Isolation, intermarriage and assimilation nearly wiped out the vestiges of Judaism here. Storefronts chiseled with Jewish surnames like Foinquinos and Cohen, and a cemetery ravaged by vandals, served as some of the few reminders of the community that once thrived here.
And of course, such a paradise attracts Jews from all over the world:
By the start of this decade, the Jews here were gathering to observe Shabbat each Friday and during the High Holy Days at the home of the patriarch, Mr. Edery. After he died, they met on Próspero Street at the home of Jorge Abramovitz, 60, whose father, a Polish Jew, moved here long after the collapse of the rubber boom.
And the Jews who come to Israel may be unhappy:
Mr. Reátegui Levy, the oil field inspector, moved in 2005 with his wife and six children to Ramla, a dusty city southeast of Tel Aviv. But despite dreaming for decades of such a move, he said he had trouble adjusting to Israeli life.
He said he missed his house with cacao and passion fruit trees, and the status of being a manager at PetroPerú. He murmured something, just audible over the din of this city's thousands of motorcycle rickshaws, about losing the spark of love with his wife.
So, unlike nearly all the Iquiteños who moved to Israel, Mr. Reátegui Levy moved back, alone.

Be it ever so malaria, cholera and snake infested, there's no place like home.

Still, cynicism aside, it is good that some people are remembering they are Jewish. All over the world, there are many communities and families like the people in Iquitos. There are many more who have forgotten, whose ancestors were forcibly converted to Christianity or Islam. Judaism, it seems to me, should extend a welcoming hand to those who wish to return. Hopefully, not only those who are poverty stricken and desperate will remember their roots.
Ami Isseroff
Adopting Forebears' Faith and Leaving Peru for Israel
By SIMON ROMERO

IQUITOS, Peru — If Ronald Reátegui Levy someday finds that he is the last Jew of Iquitos, it may well be of his own doing.
His dream, which he has vigorously pursued, is to persuade the descendants of Sephardic merchants who settled in this remote corner of the Amazon basin more than a century ago to reaffirm their ties to Judaism and emigrate to Israel.
"It is getting very lonely here," said Mr. Reátegui Levy, 52, an inspector at Peru's national oil company, referring to the more than 400 descendants of Jewish pioneers who have formally converted to Judaism this decade, including about 160 members of his immediate and extended family. Nearly all of them now live in Israel.
Until recently, such a rebirth of Judaism here seemed unlikely. The history of Jews in Iquitos, dating from the late-19th-century rubber boom that transformed this far-flung Amazonian outpost into a once thriving city of imported Italian marble and a theater designed by Gustave Eiffel, was almost forgotten.
But Mr. Reátegui Levy and a handful of others began organizing the descendants of dozens of Jews from places as varied as Morocco, Gibraltar, Malta, England and France who had settled here and deeper in the jungle, opening trading houses and following their star in search of riches and adventure.
The rubber trade collapsed, and fortunes here and downriver in the Brazilian city of Manaus vanished. Some Jewish immigrants perished young, succumbing to diseases like cholera. A few stayed, marrying local women and raising families. Others returned home, leaving behind descendants who clung to a belief that they were Jews.
"It was astounding to discover that in Iquitos there existed this group of people who were desperate to reconnect to their roots and re-establish ties to the broader Jewish world," said Lorry Salcedo Mitrani, the director of a new documentary, "The Fire Within," about the Jews of the Peruvian Amazon.
Scholars compare the Jews here with groups like the Hispanic crypto-Jews of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, the Lemba of southern Africa or the Bene Israel of India, who in varying ways have sought to reclaim a Jewish identity that had seemingly been weakened through time.
"We were isolated for so many decades, living on the jungle's edge in a Catholic society without rabbis or a synagogue, in which all we had were some vague notions of what it meant to be Jewish," Mr. Reátegui Levy said.
"But when I was a child, my mother told me something that forever burned into my mind," he said. "She told me, 'You are a Jew, and you are never to forget that.' "
Iquitos lies four degrees south of the Equator, reachable only by boat or plane. Isolation, intermarriage and assimilation nearly wiped out the vestiges of Judaism here. Storefronts chiseled with Jewish surnames like Foinquinos and Cohen, and a cemetery ravaged by vandals, served as some of the few reminders of the community that once thrived here.
But by the end of the 1990s, some of these descendants, including Mr. Reátegui Levy, were brought together by Víctor Edery, a patriarchal figure who organized religious ceremonies in his own home, keeping a few customs alive even if it was done by blending Jewish and Christian beliefs.
Still, the existence of the Jews of Iquitos posed some philosophical challenges to some Jews elsewhere. Since nearly all the Jews who originally settled here were men, their descendants could not attest to having Jewish mothers, ruling them out as being Jewish according to strict interpretations of Jewish law.
Moreover, the Jewish community of about 3,000 people in Lima, the capital, largely preferred to ignore the Jews of Iquitos, some scholars say, in part because of the thorny issues that the Jews here posed about race and origins. This is, after all, a country where a small light-skinned elite still wields considerable economic and political power — and Lima's Jews are often seen as an elite within that elite.
"The notion of a Jew who looks like an Indian and lives in a poor house in a small city in the middle of the jungle is, at best, an exotic footnote to the official history of Peru's Jewry as Lima sees it," said Ariel Segal, a Venezuelan-born Israeli historian whose arrival here in the 1990s to study the community also helped serve as a catalyst for the Iquitos Jews to organize.
By the start of this decade, the Jews here were gathering to observe Shabbat each Friday and during the High Holy Days at the home of the patriarch, Mr. Edery. After he died, they met on Próspero Street at the home of Jorge Abramovitz, 60, whose father, a Polish Jew, moved here long after the collapse of the rubber boom.
While they lacked a rabbi, they conducted services in Hebrew they learned from cassette tapes. They cleaned their cemetery and began burying their dead there again. They persisted in their campaign to be recognized as Jews and to be allowed to emigrate to Israel.
Finally, they persuaded Guillermo Bronstein, the chief rabbi of Lima's largest Ashkenazi synagogue, to oversee two large conversions, easing the way for hundreds to move to Israel. The exodus included nearly the entire Levy clan, descended from Joseph Levy, an adventurer who put down stakes here in the 19th century.
Mr. Reátegui Levy, the oil field inspector, moved in 2005 with his wife and six children to Ramla, a dusty city southeast of Tel Aviv. But despite dreaming for decades of such a move, he said he had trouble adjusting to Israeli life.
He said he missed his house with cacao and passion fruit trees, and the status of being a manager at PetroPerú. He murmured something, just audible over the din of this city's thousands of motorcycle rickshaws, about losing the spark of love with his wife.
So, unlike nearly all the Iquiteños who moved to Israel, Mr. Reátegui Levy moved back, alone.
He still attends Shabbat at Mr. Abramovitz's home each week, along with 40 or so other regulars who dream of formally converting and moving to Israel. While their numbers have dwindled, he encourages them and regales them with tales of fertile land in the Golan Heights and the bravery of his eldest son, Uri, who is in the Israeli Army.
But something keeps Mr. Reátegui Levy here in Iquitos, the same decaying jungle city that attracted his great-grandfather from Tangier so many decades ago. "My family, my heart and soul, all that I hold dear are in Israel," he said. "Maybe I am back here for a reason."

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Jewish reaction to EU elections

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2009/06/info-jewish-reaction-to-eu-elections.html

Jews: Far-right gains in Europe alarming

Jun. 9, 2009
Associated Press , THE JERUSALEM POST

Jewish groups across Europe reacted to far-right gains in the European parliamentary elections by urging the EU on Tuesday to do more to tackle racism and intolerance.

The European Jewish Congress, which represents Jewish communities across Europe, said winning seats in the European Parliament based on "racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic platforms" pointed to an erosion of tolerance.

Results of voting for a new European Union assembly showed that far-right parties in the Netherlands, Britain, Austria, Hungary, Denmark and Romania posted significant victories.

In a statement, the Paris-based Jewish Congress called that a "clarion call" for the EU to tackle racism and intolerance through legislation and dialogue.

"Europeans of all backgrounds, ethnicities and religions are looking to our elected officials to unite, rather than divide us," it said.

The congress also said the victory of groups using racist and xenophobic platforms "belies a disturbing acquiescence of government to this type of incitement and a need for immediate action and education."

It said it was troubled by the fact that far-right forces did better than in the last EU assembly elections in 2004 and that they were scattered across the 27-nation EU.

"The success of such rabid groups as The Freedom Party in the Netherlands, the Freedom Party in Austria... the British National Party, and Jobbik in Hungary, among others, will sadly only serve to embolden those who espouse the dangerous concepts of extreme nationalism, racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia," the congress said.

It urged the European Parliament and the European Commission, the EU executive, to work for effective anti-racism legislation.


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Friday, May 22, 2009

Illegal racist Zionist colonialist settler - Ehav Ever

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2009/05/illegal-racist-zionist-colonialist.html

Here is the sort of Zionist that right thinking (or left thinking) progressive people everywhere will love to exhibit as a racist colonialist western Zionist settler from America intruding on the rights of the oppressed Palestinian people -- the kind of Settler who in media canards is supposed to put on his Kippah and say a blessing before killing an Arab.
As a good right - thinking progressive would see it, Ehav Ever lives in the illegal colonialist Zionist settlement of Maaleh Edumim in the illegally occupied West Bank, next to the illegally occupied Arab city of Arab Jerusalem, which is where Suleiman the Arab Muslim built his temple, right? He is a rich and elitist Electrical Engineering graduate who works for an Israeli hi-tech firm, and he came on Aliya from the United States. The typical Christian Peace Teams stereotype of a male Jew settler. This is clearly the sort of racist colonialist Zionist guy Ken Loach and his friends would love to boycott, especially as Ehav Ever is opposed to a two state solution, which he thinks is besides the point. Go for it!
You can see Ehav Ever's Web log here: Hochma Umusar and you can see his video on Real Zionism too. In the video he explains why Israel belongs to Jewish people.
But in case you are too lazy to check it out (your loss), here's a hint about one fact about Ehav Ever that should be totally irrelevant, but that you might want to know. Here's his picture. When you write your articles and Web logs about the racist Zionist colonialist illegal settlers, be sure to include the picture, so everyone understands your point about racism.

"Zionism is racism" - right?
Ami Isseroff

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Progressive anti-Zionist protests against Zionists and the Zionist war

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2008/12/progressive-anti-zionist-protests.html

The Elders of Zion (yes the ones mentioned in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, us) have received the emails below. As critics of Israel have complained that not all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic, and that we are unfair in failing to publish their incisive comments, which are not racist at all and only directed at the crimes of the Zionists. These virtuous folks all support the progressive Hamas movement in its just struggle to wipe the JewsZionists off the face of the earth. I am publishing a sample herewith, so that the world will not be deprived of their wisdom. By all means contact these humanitarian paragons. Such deep thinking should not go unrewarded and unnoticed.
This first fellow has read the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, so he knows all about us, you see.



To:
Sent: Monday, December 29, 2008 8:55 PM
Subject: Terrorists!!

You people are FAR bigger terrorists than the Palestinians!! Because of our blind support, no matter what atrocities you commit, America is as hated worldwide as Israel. Your outrageous air strikes are killing hundreds of civilians. It's no wonder that, over the centuries, you've been expelled from every country in Europe. I"ve read the "Protocols"... I know how devious you are. Without our support Israel wouldn't even exist. Because of that support, Israel is the bully of the Middle East. You pick fights knowing your "big brother" (the US) will bail you out regardless of what atrocities you commit. You call the Palestinians terrorists. Well, I'm old enough to know that Israel coined the term.
I am a patriotic American. I deplore terrorism everywhere. We suffered through 9/11 because, and ONLY because, of our support of Israel. I hope and pray that the new administration (a Muslim) will turn our backs to Israel and force you to reap what you sow. On your own. There are worldwide protests about your slaughtering on innocent women and children. I truly hope that your days are numbered.
David Briggs

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, December 29, 2008 10:27 PM
Subject: blood and justice

Zionism is a racist murderous ideology.
The times of judgement will come!
There are in occupied Palastine ca.6 mio zionist elements,
the arab world contains a folk of 850 Mio. muslims.
Laugh and eat the few days which are left for you,the slaughter will invade the shores of the country of "Israel". Who will stop the flood of judgement?
Manuel Turmes Luxembourg

The following letter is abridged, but you can gather that the author has discovered a great Jewish plot that existed to grant equality to black people, to which we plead guilty as charged. Yep, you can blame Barack Obama on us Jew-Zionists. He got us fair and square on that one. And Brown vs Board of Education too. All the folks opposed to racial equality gotta be anti-Zionists too, and all the rest of you commies better join us Zionists.
You can also gather that the author thinks the Bush family and the Rockefellers are Jewish,.which is not true. He alludes to the anti-Semitic accusation that the Kol Nidre prayer was meant to absolve Jews from promises to gentiles. He has a fake Ariel Sharon quote there and probably some of the others are fake too. He then asserts that his criticism of "ZIonism" is not antisemitic. A Jew in the Rockefeller is worth two Bushes, right? It is not known if Rockeller was a Zionist

"Don't worry about congress. We can take care of that"

David Rothschild

"We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order. "

David Rockefeller

"Oil is much too important a commodity to be left in the hands of the Arabs."

Henry Kissinger

We will have a world government whether you like it or not. The only question is whether that government will be achieved by conquest or consent."

Jewish Banker Paul Warburg

February 17, 1950, as he testified before the U.S. Senate

"If the American people knew what we had done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us"

George H.W. Bush

Let me issue and control a Nation's currency and I care not who makes its Laws

Amselm Meyer Rothschild

The difference between the Jewish soul ... and the soul of all the Gentiles ... is greater and deeper than the difference between the soul of a man and the soul of an animal.

Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook (1865-1935)

"Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that . . . I want to tell you something very clear: Don't worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it."

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, October 8th. [This quote is certainly a fabrication A.I.]

For more than a century, ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American Political and economic institutions.
Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as `internationalists' and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure - one world, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty and I am proud of it.
David Rockefeller, from his autobiography "Memoirs"

"All vows, obligations, oaths or anthems, pledges of all names, which we
have vowed, sworn, devoted, or bound ourselves to, from this day of
atonement, until the next day of atonement (whose arrival we hope for in
happiness) we repent, aforehand, of them all, they shall all be deemed
absolved, forgiven, annulled, void and made of no effect; they shall not be
binding, nor have any power; the vows shall not be reckoned as vows, the
obligations shall not be obligatory, nor the oaths considered as oaths."
Yom Kippur - The Talmud

"We must realize that our party's most powerful weapon is racial tensions. By propounding into the consciousness of the dark races that for centuries they have been oppressed by whites, we can mold them to the program of the Communist Party. In America we will aim for subtle victory. While inflaming the Negro minority against the whites, we will endeavor to instill in the whites a guilt complex for their exploitation of the Negroes. We will aid the Negroes to rise in prominence in every walk of life, in the professions and in the world of sports and entertainment. With this prestige, the Negro will be able to intermarry with the whitesand begin a process which will deliver America to our cause. Israel Cohen, A Racial Program for the Twentieth Century, 1912

....

Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism

Normal human: What's anti-semitism?
Zionist: Well, since Israel is a Jewish state, any criticism of Israel is anti-semitism.
NH: Israel is a Jewish state and has acted despicably toward the Palestinians. It deserves criticism!
Zio: Ooh! You anti-semite! How could you say such a thing! Are you a Nazi? Oh!oh!oh! Anti-semite!
NH: Actually, Israel's despicable actions have made anti-semitism almost respectable.
Zio: Oooohh!! [Faints rather than acknowledge facts evident to everyone else.]

Zionists are experts at propaganda, disinformation, denying facts and outright lying. Any criticism of Zionism or of Israel is labelled as "anti-semitism", where this is interpreted to mean "anti-Jewish". This is a slanderous falsehood. Criticism of Zionism is criticism of a particularly ugly political movement, not criticism of a religion or of the adherents of a religion. One may be critical of Zionism and of Zionists while at the same time being quite tolerant of, or well-disposed toward, or even an adherent of, the Jewish religion (as we see from the websites cited above).

Here's a clear case of criticism of the state of Israel being classified as "anti-Semitism". It's a cheap trick and should never be allowed to pass without refutation. Israel has as much right to exist as you have to give your neighbor's house to your relatives and force your neighbour to live in the street, but to assert this is not to cast aspersion upon Jews. Israel is an apartheid state because of the way the Israeli government (with the support of most Israelis) treats Arabs within its borders as second-class citizens and because of its attempts to destroy Palestinian society in the occupied territories so as to rid the land of Arabs and make it suitable for Israeli annexation, but to suggest this is not to make any criticism of Jews, but rather, of Israelis — and they richly deserve it.

Ken Livingstone: This is about Israel, not Anti-semitism

For 20 years Israeli governments have attempted to portray anyone who forcefully criticises the policies of Israel as anti-semitic. The truth is the opposite: the same universal human values that recognise the Holocaust as the greatest racist crime of the 20th century require condemnation of the policies of successive Israeli governments — not on the absurd grounds that they are Nazi or equivalent to the Holocaust, but because ethnic cleansing, discrimination and terror are immoral.


There is a lot more to this letter, which has quotes from anti-Zionists like Israel Shamir, Jimmy Carter and Professor Mearsheimer. The above should certainly convince everyone that Anti-Zionism has nothing to do with anti-Semitism, right? The Talmud, which was written about 1600 years before Zionism existed was a Zionist document, correct? And George H.W. Bush is a famous Zionist, right? And the civil rights movement, that is certainly a disgraceful Zionist plot too,

These gentleman are all waiting to get your emails in praise of their courageous and progressive humanitarian stance against the Zionist menace, George H.W. Bush and racial miscegnation.

Ami Isseroff

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Friday, November 28, 2008

What Israeli Jews don't get and what American Jews don't get

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2008/11/what-israeli-jews-dont-get-and-what.html

Another battle in the Jewish wars. See Jewish wars at the GA of United Jewish Communities for the previous one.
Who is right? The one who stops the wars is right, because everyone is hiding something, and everyone is being defensive about something.

Ami Isseroff

Last update - 05:22 28/11/2008
ANALYSIS / What American Jews don't get about Israelis
By Anshel Pfeffer
I am very sorry. I didn't attend last week's General Assembly of the United Jewish Communities, the annual jamboree of North American Jewish federations and organizations. But I have an excuse. My current duties in London meant that I had to cover President Shimon Peres' visit to Britain. No matter, this newspaper was well represented at the GA even without me. Not good enough apparently for many GA delegates. My colleague at the Jerusalem Post, Haviv Rettig, published last Friday an excoriating account of how the leaders of American Jewry were hurt and indignant at the way the Hebrew-speaking media (including the Hebrew edition of Haaretz) appeared to ignore their gathering, which was actually taking place in Jerusalem.

According to Rettig, and I have no reason to disbelieve him, the Americans were so angry that they "lashed out at the Israeli media and society for failing to notice - and learn from [them]." Rettig gathered the responses of the Jewish world reporters on Israel's main newspapers and also called me as an occasional writer on the Israel-Diaspora divide, but I was too busy catching my breath from trying to keep up with Peres' frenetic pace to answer.


Let me therefore use this opportunity to disassociate myself from the disparaging remarks of those reporters who did find the time to answer. Unlike them, I think Israel's media should be extensively covering the affairs of the Jewish world in its many locations and certainly that of the largest Jewish community on earth. (I find the demographers who claim that there are more Jews in the United States more credible than those who say that Israel has more, but that is stuff for another column.)

Let me therefore use this opportunity to disassociate myself from the disparaging remarks of those reporters who did find the time to answer. Unlike them, I think Israel's media should be extensively covering the affairs of the Jewish world in its many locations and certainly that of the largest Jewish community on earth. (I find the demographers who claim that there are more Jews in the United States more credible than those who say that Israel has more, but that is stuff for another column.)

But I would also have said that this is not just the media's fault, but simply a reflection of a much wider gulf existing between Israeli society and the Jews of the world. And though they shoulder a significant portion of the blame, Israelis are not the only ones to have widened this divide. As if to answer the charges, just two days later, Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel's most popular tabloid, carried an interview with one of the grandest grandees of the American community, dedicating a full double spread to the fulminations of Edgar Bronfman. Bronfman has just published a book in which he explores the question of Jewish identity in the 21st century and was using the interview to have a go at the religious establishment for their rejection of those who are not halakhically Jewish and who call for the inclusion of anyone calling themselves Jews into the tribe.

Bronfman justified his stance by saying that "Judaism belongs to every Jew. There is no need to belong to any religious stream. No need for belief in God or ceremonies and prayers." All very conventional, but here he had to make this dig: "Many Israelis who describe themselves as secular are effectively cut off from their people's tradition."

I'm not sure Bronfman is the best person to carry this particular torch but I don't want to get in to that right now, nor ask why, in his 30 years as President of the World Jewish Congress, he didn't see fit to address this issue. I am bringing up the interview simply because it illustrates exactly what is it that American Jews don't get about Israelis.

Ironically, Bronfman's complaint against secular Israelis is identical to that made by those very rabbis he so vehemently attacked in his interview; they also believe that the secular Jews are ignorant and have separated themselves from tradition.

A similar view is expressed by some of those interviewed for the report in the Jerusalem Post on indifference to the GA. What is it about secular Israelis that so aggravates these American Jews, many themselves irreligious?
I think deep down it's jealousy. While the Jews in America and other communities have been grappling for decades with the question of how to define a Jewish identity that is not tied down only to religion, secular Israelis simply don't have that problem. Sure, many of them lack a lot of Jewish knowledge and they certainly are not very aware of the Jewish world outside Israel. But they're not very bothered about it, because for them every moment in Israel is passed within a Hebrew speaking Jewish environment.

And that's also why, as some of those interviewed by Rettig said, when secular Israelis go off to the United States, they are not usually very interested in getting to know the local Jewish community. They have lived all their lives among Jews; once they get out of Israel they are looking for something different.

Israel, the Zionist project, was founded exactly for that reason, to serve as a secular Jewish alternative to life in the Diaspora. And while it's far from perfect, for most Israelis, it is still a credible option. They are not blind to its shortcomings, but they are still content with living their Jewish lives here.

And at least on a sub-conscious level, this contentment is galling to many Jews in America and elsewhere, especially those who are struggling to come up with an alternative Jewish life of their own that will be sufficiently attractive to a disinterested young Jewish generation

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Christopher Hitchens reviews Denis MacShane on Anti-Semitism

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2008/11/christopher-hitchens-reviews-denis.html

Perhaps this is the highlight:
 
And meanwhile I would never expect to read the sort of criticism of Pakistan that I read every day about Israel. Yet of these two states, born at almost the same moment at the close of Britain's imperium, can it really be said that Israel is so much the greater offender in terms of democratic rights for citizens, invasions of neighbours like Afghanistan, oppressions of non-Punjabi minority inhabitants, massacres of co-religionists as in Bangladesh, and illegal acquisition of nuclear weapons? One can just about picture a worldwide campaign to redress the injustices of Pakistan, in which unions of British teachers and journalists would join with their own courageous boycotts, but I confess to a slight difficulty in picturing the same level of enthusiasm and commitment. There is some sense in which any challenge to what can be viewed as specifically Jewish power is more exciting and possibly more "transgressive", and we might be more honest if we admitted as much. Here's a thought experiment: you get an email telling you that all the Anglo-Saxons left the World Trade Center just an hour before the planes hit (not having merely stayed away with all the benefit of their advance warning, but having actually gone to all the trouble of turning up at 8 a.m. and trustingly assuming that the terror-strike would take place just on schedule and thus give them time to check their Rolexes for an orderly and early departure). See what I mean? It's just not such a thrilling hypothesis. When directed at the Jews, however, it at least adds insult to injury, and the true bigot knows that every little helps.
However, both MacShane and Hitchens operate from the naive and optimistic viewpoint that if only we can get a logically correct description of anti-Semitism, the anti-Semites will be convinced of the error of their ways, and the problem will disappear.
 
Ami Isseroff
 
 
 
November 19, 2008
The new anti-Semitism?
How ancient prejudice and outright hostility have re-emerged since the Nuremberg Trials
Christopher Hitchens

I was once introduced, in the Cosmos Club in Washington, to Willis Carto of the Liberty Lobby, a group frequently accused of being insufficiently philo-Semitic. Mr Carto unburdened himself of quite a long burst about the power of finance capital, whereupon our host, to lighten the atmosphere, said, "Come on Willis, you're sounding like Ezra Pound". "Ezra Pound!" exclaimed Mr Carto. "Why, I love that man's work. Except for all that goddam poetry!" I thought then that if one ever needed a working definition of an anti-Semite, it might perhaps be an individual who esteemed everything about Ezra Pound except his Cantos.
 
Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith has a different definition. For him, anti-Semitism is revealed not when someone criticizes the state of Israel, but when someone denies the right of Israel to exist. This, however, will not do, since many Orthodox Jews and Marxist Jews were opposed ab initio to the founding of a Jewish state, and indeed, for the first few years of the Zionist movement's existence, almost all its enemies were Jewish. (By the same token, the idea of a Levantine state into which European Jewry could be decanted often found favour with those who were not all fond of Jewry per se.)
 
The overt expression of anti-Semitic views has been extremely muted since the Nuremberg Trials, and the somewhat later decision of the Roman Catholic Church to withdraw its historic charge of "deicide" against the Jewish people as a whole. But the Labour MP Denis MacShane, who chaired an all-party commission of inquiry into the subject, argues that this most ancient and fierce of hatreds is undergoing a worldwide recrudescence. Rather dauntingly, he begins his book Globalising Hatred with a taxonomy of six distinct kinds of anti-Semitism, as compiled by the no less dauntingly named Professor Armin Pfahl-Traughber. The disease, it seems, can present as religious, social, political, racist, secondary or anti-Zionist, and of course these symptoms are not mutually exclusive and may often be found in clusters.
 
I would propose to begin more economically, by separating anti-Semitism from other forms of prejudice. One might certainly begin by distinguishing it from any too obvious stratification: MacShane likes to put the word "upper-class" in front of his main noun, but it was the great German socialist August Bebel who characterized anti-Jewish ranting as "the socialism of fools" and identified it as a perverted form of class resentment. This may have been slightly reductionist, as if to place a creepy and occult belief on all fours with more ordinary styles of xenophobia. British people who dislike Pakistanis, say, or Sinhalese who dislike Tamils, or Ulstermen who look down on Gaels, will tend to express themselves in fairly vulgar terms. The disliked ones are dirty and lazy, and have over-large families and a generally low cultural level. Anti-Semitism, by contrast, has something almost vicariously admiring about it. The targeted and hated tribe is believed to have awesome secret power and a positive genius for finance, as well as an ability to infiltrate and annex large swathes of professional life, such as the law and medicine. Not only this, but the Jew is seen as so protean as to have been – in the course of the past century alone – the covert engineer of both capitalism and Bolshevism. Examples of this combination of envy with paranoia are not difficult to locate: a recent New York Times report from Egypt described a settled conviction at all levels of society that, while nineteen Arabs could not have brought down the World Trade Center, the Israeli Mossad had the means, the method, the motive and the opportunity to do so. (One might pause to note the element of Arab self-hatred that is latent in this view.) When asked for proof, the believers point to the fact, which "everybody knows", that all the Jews employed in the Twin Towers left work shortly before the planes arrived. I have myself heard this alleged at elite dinner parties in Islamabad, and MacShane has heard it from educated Muslims in his own constituency of Rotherham.
 
Perhaps over-anxious not to single out these as if they were the only offenders, MacShane is careful to spread his net wide. Neo-fascists in Argentina and Germany, the British National Party, the anti-Israeli American academics John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, the demagogues of Radio Maria in Poland, the sneers of Alan Clark in his Diaries, the gibes of David Irving, and a few of the anti-Zionist positions taken by Noam Chomsky and Perry Anderson are all included in the trawl. Surely this is too indiscriminate, especially in the case of the last two named? More important, does it not run the risk of treating Islamist anti-Semitism as if it were merely one form of the malady among many?
In point of fact, there is only one area of the world where pure, old-fashioned undiluted Jew-hatred is preached from the pulpit, broadcast on the official airwaves, given high-level state sanction and taught in the schools. All across the Muslim Middle East and well into Muslim Asia, the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion are freely available, often disseminated by ruling circles as well as by insurgent and now quasi-government movements such as Hamas and Hizbollah. (Incidentally, it is wrong to call this toxic document a "forgery", since a forgery is a copy of something authentic. The Protocols are a mere fabrication, put together by Eastern Orthodox Christian fanatics in the pay of the tsarist secret police. Despite their suggestive name, they contain no mention of Israel or Zionism, as MacShane appears to think.)
 
When he does turn his attention to this region, however, MacShane's treatment of the lucubrations of Tariq Ramadan and Sayyid Qtub is fairly comprehensive. Not everybody will agree with his generally lenient approach to the state of Israel, but he does argue convincingly, with some telling quotations, that resentment at Israel's occupation of the West Bank simply cannot explain some of the more lurid formulations of Arab and Muslim propaganda. The fairly temperate Ghada Karmi, for example, speaks of Israel "encircling the Arab world" (my italics), while regional self-pity – a natural sibling of self-hatred by the way, as is self-righteousness – often blames all the ills of a backward and benighted region on arcane Jewish manipulations. The relatively recent history of Europe shows how fantastically dangerous such delusions can be, and MacShane is right to stress the comparison as well as the implications.
 
When all this is taken into account, though, I am not sure that he is correct in so often using the prefix "neo" to describe the resurgent phenomenon. The pseudo-intellectual and superstitious tropes of Judaeophobia are very much the same as they ever were. They involve the hatred of the countryside for the urban (and the urbane), the hatred of the provinces for the capital (and for capital), the disdain of the settled establishment for the subversive, and the visceral loathing of the tradition-minded "organic" community for the rootless and the cosmopolitan. In this, one can understand both the nastier moments that one may encounter in the study of T. S. Eliot and also the mentality of those Argentine fascists who tortured the Jewish editor and journalist, Jacobo Timerman. As Timerman recalled the obsessions of the death-squad Right in his imperishable book Prisoner without a Name: Cell without a number, his interrogators believed that "Argentina has three main enemies: Karl Marx, because he tried to destroy the Christian concept of society; Sigmund Freud, because he tried to destroy the Christian concept of the family; and Albert Einstein, because he tried to destroy the Christian concept of time and space". I went to look this up after I had read MacShane citing Argentine military men who to this day believe that there is a Jewish conspiracy to annex and Zionize the remoter areas of Patagonia, the better, presumably, to extend Protocol power to the Jew-free wastes of Antarctica.
 
"You catch it on the edge of a remark", as Harold Isaacs phrases it in Chariots of Fire. I have felt myself "catching" it quite a few times of late, as when chaps from the BBC insisted despite repeated correction on saying Paul "Vulfovitz" with a special emphasis, instead of pronouncing the name correctly the first time round, as the BBC used to train people to do. Writing about the same person, the American isolationist and Charles Lindbergh admirer Patrick J. Buchanan referred to him as playing Fagin to George Bush's Oliver Twist which, an arresting image as it certainly is, makes rather the same point in an only somewhat different way. And meanwhile I would never expect to read the sort of criticism of Pakistan that I read every day about Israel. Yet of these two states, born at almost the same moment at the close of Britain's imperium, can it really be said that Israel is so much the greater offender in terms of democratic rights for citizens, invasions of neighbours like Afghanistan, oppressions of non-Punjabi minority inhabitants, massacres of co-religionists as in Bangladesh, and illegal acquisition of nuclear weapons? One can just about picture a worldwide campaign to redress the injustices of Pakistan, in which unions of British teachers and journalists would join with their own courageous boycotts, but I confess to a slight difficulty in picturing the same level of enthusiasm and commitment. There is some sense in which any challenge to what can be viewed as specifically Jewish power is more exciting and possibly more "transgressive", and we might be more honest if we admitted as much. Here's a thought experiment: you get an email telling you that all the Anglo-Saxons left the World Trade Center just an hour before the planes hit (not having merely stayed away with all the benefit of their advance warning, but having actually gone to all the trouble of turning up at 8 a.m. and trustingly assuming that the terror-strike would take place just on schedule and thus give them time to check their Rolexes for an orderly and early departure). See what I mean? It's just not such a thrilling hypothesis. When directed at the Jews, however, it at least adds insult to injury, and the true bigot knows that every little helps.
 
"The bitch that bore him is on heat again", as Brecht has his closing speaker say about Hitler at the curtain of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. The next nightmare will not take the same shape or form, but it will be sure to emit the same plain and unmistakable warnings. MacShane has done a service by giving us a handbook of the signs.
 
 
 
Denis MacShane
GLOBALISING HATRED
The new antisemitism
188pp. Orion. £12.99.
978 0 297 84473 0
 
 
 
Christopher Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair. His most recent book, God Is Not Great: The case against religion, appeared earlier this year.

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Settler Rabbi Arrested for Incitement

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2008/11/mewnews.html

The Jerusalem Post

Rabbi Yigal Shandrapi, the head of Yeshuat Mordechai Yeshiva, is expected to be brought before the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on Wednesday for a remand hearing, after police from the Judea and Samaria Division arrested him on Tuesday on suspicion of inciting Jewish youth to riot.

According to the allegations, Shandrapi incited the teenagers two separate cases, the most recent of which occurred two months ago at the Yad Yair outpost, in the West Bank. During that incident, soldiers described being attacked and said that their vehicles were damaged.

Meanwhile, nearly 40 Jewish youth reportedly rampaged through the streets of a Palestinian neighborhood in Hebron overnight Tuesday, puncturing car tires and shattering windows in Arab homes.

The youths were also suspected of spray-painting a Star of David on one of the houses in the area.

While no arrests had been made, police were investigating the incident.

Responding to the latest developments, the chairman of the Knesset Interior Committee, MK Ophir Paz-Pines (Labor), called on Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Public Security Minister Avi Dichter to clamp down on the offenders.

"This is an additional crossing of a red line by organized, dangerous thugs, and it must be responded to with the utmost seriousness and gravity," Paz-Pines said. "The police must immediately initiate a thorough investigation and start a series of arrests in order to put an end to the 'Wild West' in Hebron, and to establish, without hesitation, the rule of law."

Meanwhile, Barak warned on Wednesday that if settlers do not voluntarily evacuate the dispute four-story building in Hebron, known as Beit Hashalom, the defense ministry will evacuate them by force.

Speaking during a tour of the IDF's Hebron brigade, Barak stressed that the evacuation would be carried out by police and that the IDF would provide surrounding support.

Barak also harshly criticized the recent violence and said that any harm inflicted on a soldier or policeman or anyone who represented the state of Israel was a "grave incident which expands the rift which is already harming the gentle fabric of democracy in Israel."

Barak said Israel must "arrest these attackers, punish them with all the severity of the law, since their actions are aimed at undermining the authority of the State."

The defense minister, toured the area with IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Gadi Shamni.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Barak: Arab areas in Jerusalem could be Palestinian capital

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2008/09/barak-arab-areas-in-jerusalemlem-could.html

Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak has said some Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem could become the capital of a future Palestinian state as part of a final peace agreement. This is no different from the formula he offered in 2000. Palestinians continue to insist that Israel has no national rights whatever in East Jerusalem. The late Yasser Arafat amazed American politicians by claiming repeatedly that there had been no Jewish presence in Jerusalem in antiquity. Archeological finds give evidence of the Jewish monarchy as early as King Hezekiah in 700 BC and ancient writers commonly referred to Jerusalem as the former Jewish capital, but Palestinian leaders pretend this evidence does not exist. Arafat's views were frequently seconded by the former Mufti of Jerusalem, Ikremah Sabri.
Prior to 1948, about 5,000 Jews lived in the Jewish quarter of the Old City. The community underwent attrition due to Arab riots in 1929 and 1936. In 1948, the entire community was ethnically cleansed by the Transjordan Legion under the supervision of British officers. East Jerusalem was also the site of the original campus of the Hebrew University, which was reconstituted after 1967. Arab media however, ignore the Jewish connection to East Jerusalem in modern times as well as ancient, and commonly refer to it as "Arab East Jerusalem" on the basis of the 19 year illegal Jordanian occupation.
East Jerusalem is also the site of Masjid Al Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock, important Muslim holy places.
Fatah leaders have been promising a Palestinian state with its capital in Jerusalem since the signing of the Oslo accords, though Israel never undertook to cede all of Jerusalem or any of it as part of a peace setltement.
"We can find a formula under which certain neighborhoods, heavily-populated Arab neighborhoods, could become, in a peace agreement, part of the Palestinian capital that, of course, will include also the neighboring villages around Jerusalem," Barak told Al-Jazeera television.
"I'm not sure whether the gaps are close enough," Barak said when asked if a deal was possible this year.
Officially, Israel is not discussing Jerusalem with the Palestinians at all, since the non-Zionist ultraorthodox Shas party insisted they would leave the coalition if any concessions were offered in Jerusalem. Orthodox and ultraorthodox Jews in the United States and Israel, rather than Zionists, are the chief opposition to Israeli compromise on the issue. As long as the Palestinians remain intent on excluding Israel entirely from East Jerusalem, the issue of Israeli compromise is a moot point.
Ami Isseroff

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Israel's 12 tribes, per Bradley Burston

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2008/04/israels-12-tribes-per-bradley-burston.html

Bradley Burston, the Haaretz columnist, sums up Israel as 12 latter-day tribes comprising "the magnificent muck-up that's now about to hit 60." His piece presupposes some familiarity with Israeli politics. Like much of his work, it is amusing and insightful.

Haaretz / Last update - 09:20 25/04/2008
The new tribes of Israel
By Bradley Burston
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/977943.html

My life partner and I once found ourselves on a remote part of the Hawaiian island of Kauai. We got to talking with a calm, perceptive and unusually grounded woman who told us she lived there. When she then asked us where we called home, and we told her Israel, she responded with what seemed to her to be the logical, natural, next question: "Oh ... what tribe are you?"

While we, taken aback, groped for an answer, she told us in a manner as matter-of-fact as an observation about the weather, that she was of the Tribe of Ephraim. Everyone at her church, she continued, knew which tribe they belonged to.

Perhaps the question is harder for us to answer because we no longer see ourselves, as the first 12 Tribes did, as the children of the children of Jacob. The tribes that make up the latter-day State of Israel are, in fact, the remnants of revolution, of a surfeit of concurrent revolutions, in fact. Together those revolutions have built and battered Israel into the magnificent muck-up that's now about to hit 60.

A field guide:

The Tribe of Beitar
Tribal lore blends Polish-Jewish culture of nursing grievances as a way of life, with multigenerational Mizrahi rage at the ghost of Mapai (see below).

Political orientation: Raucously hawkish, but once in power, tends to give away occupied land (for example, Sinai, Gaza, most of Hebron).

Religious orientation: Beitar-odox, a fundamentalist belief in Beitar Jerusalem and the redemptive power of soccer. Sabbath observance may include participation in Orthodox minyan, followed by a chain-smoking convoy drive - yellow-and-black Beitar scarf flying from car windows - to the match of the week.

The Tribe of Mapai
Once the proudly dominant clan, running everything from the Israel Defense Forces to health care to steel production. Now splintered, anemic, rudderless, vestigial, yuppified - barely an extended dysfunctional family.

Political orientation: Once strongly social-democratic. Once strongly dovish.

Identifying characteristics: Equivocation. Nostalgia.

The Tribe of Maran
Named for tribal elder Maran (Revered Rabbi) Ovadia Yosef.

Aim: To restore pride to Jews of Mediterranean and Mideast origin, who often faced discrimination and humiliation at the hands of Mapai.

Political orientation: Tough on religious issues, hard-line though occasionally flexible on matters of defense and diplomacy.

Identifying characteristics: By far the best dressed (and groomed) among the ultra-Orthodox. Not to be confused with the Ashkenazi Tribe of Mamaloshen, too varied (think pro-Gush Emunim to pro-Ahmadinejad) to be detailed here.

The Tribe of Tech
One of the newer clans. Believes in the redemptive power of long hours, innovative ideas, Nasdaq and eventual sale of the company to a global corporation for mega-millions.

Political orientation: Vaguely centrist. Believes in stability and furtherance of peace talks as good for investment and the economy.

Identifying characteristics: Bluetooth implant, polo shirt, car with company logo on back fender and bumper sticker reading "How's my driving?" - but with phone number too small to read when vehicle is traveling at warp speed.

The Tribe of Yesha
Includes many of the some quarter-million Jewish residents of the West Bank, plus a huge number of settler would-have-beens in Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, Modi'in, Brooklyn and elsewhere.

Political orientation: Vanguard of the religious right, but drifting. Youth are having second thoughts. The disengagement from Gaza shattered faith in the government, the state, the Yesha Council and national Orthodoxy, giving rise to the hardal - the Haredi Leumi amalgam.

The Tribe of Bil'in
A small, poorly organized but vocal clan, with offshoots in South Tel Aviv lofts and elsewhere. Signature ritual is protest against West Bank fence near village of Bi'lin.

Religious orientation: Personal anarchism. Antipathy to Israeli governmental institutions and policies. Antipathy may extend to Zionism as a philosophy, and/or to bourgeois parents.

The Tribe of Kach
The rightist version of the Bil'inist. Feels compulsion to spend all Jewish holidays in Hebron. Feels compulsion to spray-paint "Kahane was right" on all available bus stops.

Political orientation: Far right. Fervent belief in expelling Arabs from Greater Israel. Often characterized by excessive interest in and carrying of large handguns. Tribe has many fellow travelers, notably Women in Green.

Identifying characteristics: Oversized kippot. Oversized earlocks. Oversized sidearms.

The Tribe of Tibi
Israel's Arab minority, perhaps the most difficult grouping to typify, as it is made up of numerous minorities and clans of diverse religions, cultures, and political and social attitudes.

These include Christians, Muslims and Druze, Negev and Galilee Bedouin, IDF officers and firebrand Islamists. Their position also makes them vulnerable to the simultaneous suspicions of fellow Israelis and neighboring Palestinians.

The Tribes of Sheinkin and Bombamela

Two sides of a similar coin, this group - largely native-born Ashkenazi in origin - may tend toward artistic/New Age/yuppie commercial ventures on the one hand, and patchouli-flavored hippie dropout status on the other.

The Tribe of Vesty
More than a million strong, "the Russians," as immigrants from ex-Soviet lands are collectively known, have created a subculture of their own. In some disciplines, notably music, they have brought a level of formality and seriousness, which may put them at odds with the more offhand approach of the native-born.

P.S. After almost two decades here, I still have little idea which tribe is truly mine. Perhaps a little perspective is in order. Perhaps another visit to Kauai.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Anti-Semitic Event - Did it Happen??

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2008/04/anti-semitic-event-did-it-happen.html

Here's an account of an alleged anti-Semitic event and some rebuttals and denials. There must've been witnesses. What really happened? Before everyone gets excited about this, perhaps someone should establish what precisely was said, and what the link might be between the alleged anti-Semitic remarks and Barack Obama. If a white person makes anti-Semitic remarks, it is not automatically blamed on Hillary Clinton or John McCain, is it?

Text of Ziman's email


I have to tell you of an experience I had last night that was so anti semitic and frightening:

Last night I was honored by Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, for my work with Children Uniting nations with African American children who are living out of home care.

I have dedicated my life to saving these children from abuse, neglect and a life of crime. We created 'adoption day' and "Day of the child" determined to recruit caring adults to be mentors and life savers for our at risk children in the inner cities. The mayor was present and City council member Bernard Parks, assemblyman Mike Davis Senator Mark Ridely Thomas etc.


I was introduced as a children advocate and a leader in the Jewish community. I began my speech by talking about how I woke up in the morning and listened to Hillary Clinton's speech, in the spirit of Dr. King from Memphis, that moved me so deeply. I expressed to the crowd how grateful I was to listen to Sen. McCain apologize to the community for mistakes he has made in the past. I acknowledged Sen. Obama's speech from the campaign trail about Dr. King's mentorship.

After I spoke and thanked the fraternity and their members, Rev. Eric Lee, pres. and CEO of Southern Christian Leadership Conference of greater Los Angeles, was introduced as the key note speaker.

He began his speech by thanking Jesus for Obama, who is going to be the leader of the world. He continued by referring to other leaders Like Dr. King,being that this was the moment of celebrating Dr. King's spirit on the anniversary of his assasination, and Malcolm X.

It was right after the mention of Malcolm X that he looked right at me and started talking about the African American children who are suffering because of the JEWS that have featured them as rapists and murderers.

He spoke of a Jewish Rabbi, and then corrected himself to say "What other kind of Rabbis are there, but JEWS". He told how this Rabbi came to him to say that he would like to bring the AA community and the Jewish community together. " NO, NO, NO,!!!!" he shouted into the crowd, we are not going to come together. "The Jews have made money on us in the music business and we are the entertainers, and they are economically enslaving us"

He continued as to how now the salvation has come and the gates have open for African Americans to come together behind Barack Obama, because now is the time to show them.(meaning thejews). He continued to speak about ' White supremecy' vs the talents and visionaries in the core of African Americans. He demeaned being given freedom, by saying "To what?" to a country that kills women and children.

I could no longer be polite and sit in front of the crowd, so I walked out.

Members of the fraternity ran after me as did my staff, I was not able to contain my tears and I cried.

I cried for me and my family, who have tried so hard to help the African American community, because we adopted children from the same realities and wanted to give back to other children and people. We have been completely color blind, for us it was only helping those children in need.

I cried for our beloved country and the division that Barack Obama has caused with his Rev. Wright opening the gates to 'hate' against the Jews and whites. I grew up so looking at America as the land of Freedom.

I was honored to receive my citizenship accompanied by members of the Kennedy family. Now, I'm afraid for Israel because Barack sat there for 20 years listening and not standing up for what's right, why would he standup for Israel?

I cried for the Jewish community who are so blind that they can't see that there's a movement here that will destroy us.I cried because for the first time in my life I was afraid of the future.

I cried for our world that is moving backwards and not forward. Everyday, I see children so lost, and so deserving of hope and love. I look into their eyes, knowing that it is their lives that are in our hands. I'm crying now, so I'm going to stop writing because it is so painful.

I just had to share this experience with you,

thank you, Daphna
****

2. Denial (same source):
" In an interview, Lee emphatically denied Ziman's account.

"None of those words are what I said. Not a single word. My goodness," Lee said. "I look at the Jewish community as allies in our quest for advancement. For me, it doesn't do any good to indict anybody. I just need help in changing the characterization of African Americans through the entertainment industry, and whoever can help me is fine. And without question there are a lot of influential members of the Jewish community that may be able to help us with that.""

3. Second try at denial, published here
SCLC of Greater Los Angeles Statement

April 9, 2008


On the 40th Anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I gave a speech at a public meeting of a predominately African American fraternity on the theme of "Leaving an Inheritance to Our Kids and Our Communities".

Let me first state that at no time did I intend to offend, insult, indict or condemn any person or group of persons during any portion of my presentation. Furthermore, I did not make any statement that was offensive regarding the Jewish community and I completely deny and refute any accusation that I have done so. The accusations do not truly characterize the statements made during the presentation, nor do they accurately characterize my life or my position as President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles.

Additionally, I have an existing and ongoing collaborative relationships with the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and the Anti Defamation League (ADL) in which we are committed to the cause of justice for our respective communities.

In a very small part of my presentation, I referenced a meeting I had with Rabbi's [SIC] and other community leaders. A Rabbi stated in that meeting that the close relationship between the African American and Jewish communities had been disconnected after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. I further referenced in my speech that my response to the Rabbi was that the Black Power Movement emerged after the assassination of Dr. King and it was a direct response to the negative characterizations of African Americans through the silver screen, TV and the music industry, industries that are perceived to be influenced by many in the Jewish community. I then stated to the Rabbis that the Black Power Movement was our effort to define for ourselves our own identity rather than be defined by anyone else. I then indicated in my presentation that I told the Rabbis' [SIC] that before a genuine coalition could be rebuilt between our communities, there would have to be dialogue and efforts made to deal with the negative characterizations of African Americans.

The focus of my presentation was that African Americans should embrace our historical legacy as an "Inheritance of Measurable Value", and that we use our legacy to define ourselves. This message is no different than what Daphne Ziman wrote in the March issue of the Jewish Journal when she stated, "Please tell us who you are, Sen. Obama; don't let your enemies, or your friends, define you."

The Mission of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), an organization founded by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is to redeem the soul of America. SCLC of Greater Los Angeles continues the legacy of our founder, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, by promoting the philosophy of non-violent progressive social change. Our roots extend deeply into the African American religious experience with its biblical vision of liberation of all humankind. Our goal is to realize the dream of freedom, justice, peace and equality for all by recognizing the inalienable dignity and worth of every human being.


The SCLC of Greater Los Angeles has as its mandate to organize and mobilize the strength of America's moral consciousness against the weakness of its social order. We accomplish this through the continued advocacy of justice for all people, regardless of social status, religious belief, gender, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. We affirm nonviolence as the only reasonable basis for social change and interpersonal living. These two principles are reflected in our work.


Was it one "Rabbi" or many "Rabbi's"?? The above stilted and semi-literate masterpiece sounds like a parody from an old non-PC joke about African Americans pretending to be lawyers, but apparently it is genuine. The circumlocutions used in the SCLC denial are not very satisfying:
I further referenced in my speech that my response to the Rabbi was that the Black Power Movement emerged after the assassination of Dr. King and it was a direct response to the negative characterizations of African Americans through the silver screen, TV and the music industry, industries that are perceived to be influenced by many in the Jewish community. I then stated to the Rabbis that the Black Power Movement was our effort to define for ourselves our own identity rather than be defined by anyone else.
Tell us what what you said. not what you referenced in your speech. This sounds like a man saying, "I further referenced the divine attitude to the canine ancestors of the complainant and the legitimacy of his Hebraic ancestry," when what he really said was "You're a god damned son of a bitch Jew Bastard."
In a very small part of my presentation, I referenced a meeting...
"I only made reference to his canine ancestry one time. In the rest of our communication I was very friendly."
Still, there is no point starting a crusade about this issue unless the facts can be proven, and it doesn't seem to have much to do with Barack Obama.
Ami Isseroff

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