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Sara Roy’s Jeremiad on Jewish Conformity and the Lebanon War

Sara Roy is a raging prophet like the great Jeremiah. She has done what many of us liberal Jews tried to do during the horrid catastrophe called the Lebanon War last summer. She has encompassed in words the fury, the rage, the anger, the suffering we all felt; the embarrassment we all felt at Israel’s unremitting assault on Lebanon. I must’ve written 30 or 40 blog posts about the war. In each, I tried to match my molten angry emotions with suitable words. But words sometimes failed. I could never reflect sufficiently my fury in language. But Roy has done this in an essay published in Counterpunch. She has done it simply, even elegantly if such a word is suitable for such a subject. She has done us Jews proud in articulating the assault on our humanity and our Jewishness that this war entailed.

You must read this essay and you must read it now. Then, if you can, you should buy and read the book from which it is excerpted. I fully agree with Roy that Lebanon severed some bond or connection we may’ve previously had to Israel as eternal victim. Our relations with Israel can never be the same as they were before. We can never be as trusting. We can never be as sympathetic. Though we may love Israel this war has tempered that love.

This break reminds me of the story of Jacob wrestling with the angel. Despite being seriously injured, Jacob holds the angel to a draw and will not relinquish his grip until the angel relents. As a result of this life-changing experience, the angel gives Jacob a new name to symbolize his role as the father of a new people: Israel. Like Jacob/Israel, this war has injured us grievously. But unlike Israel, it has given us a name we would rather not know or share. We must not act as if nothing has changed. That would be the ultimate denial of our Jewishness and the humanity of the Lebanese victims.

Roy also speaks eloquently of the corrosive attempt by American Jewish organizations to impose a false unity in articulating our response to the war. Her denunciation of such attempts resonates for many of us as we search for a path that remains true to our love of Zion, while acknowledging the horror of what we have witnessed in the name of Zion:

Jews do not feel shame over what they have created: an inventory of inhumanity. Rather we remain oddly appeased, even calmed by the desolation. Our detachment allows us to bear such excess (and commit it), to sit in Jewish cafes while Palestinian mothers are murdered in front of their children in Gaza. I can now better understand how horror occurs-how people, not evil themselves, can allow evil to happen. We salve our wounds with our incapacity for remorse, which will be our undoing.

Instead the Jewish community demands unity and conformity: “Stand with Israel” read the banners on synagogues throughout Boston last summer. Unity around what? There is enormous pressure — indeed coercion — within organized American Jewry to present an image of “wall to wall unity” as a local Jewish leader put it. But this unity is an illusion — at its edges a smoldering flame rapidly engulfing its core — for mainstream Jewry does not speak for me or for many other Jews. And where such unity exists, it is hollow built around fear not humanity, on the need to understand reality as it has long been constructed for us — with the Jew as the righteous victim, the innocent incapable of harm. It is as if our unbending support for Israel’s militarism “requires putting our minds as it were into Auschwitz where being a Jew puts your existence on the line. To be Jewish means to be threatened, nothing more. Hence, the only morality we can acknowledge is saving Israel and by extension, ourselves.” Within this paradigm, it is dissent not conformity that will diminish and destroy us. We hoard our victimization as we hoard our identity — they are one — incapable of change, a failing that will one day result in our own eviction. Is this what Zionism has done to Judaism?

This is a breathtaking polemic. Even if you heartily disagree with my or Roy’s perspective on Israel, Zionism or the war, I hope you will wrestle with it in the spirit that Jacob wrestled with the angel before being transformed into Israel.

Hat tip to Hasan Bateson for notifying me about this jewel.

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{ 27 comments… add one }

  • Leila A. April 8, 2007, 9:33 PM

    Thank you for this, Richard. It’s really something. Jeremaiad – from the prophet Jeremiah. Whew.

  • Oren April 10, 2007, 7:35 AM

    What concerns me is the extremism on both sides exhibited here: the false unity claimed by the Jewish “establishment” on the one side, and your expression on the other side that the war was an “assault on our humanity and our Jewishness”. I kept up to date during the war by reading the news and opinion pages in Ha’aretz (www.haaretz.com), which, as you might expect, reflect a more varied and nuanced set of opinions about Israel and Israel’s policies than you find in most press coverage in the US. There you can read the views of many Israelis who struggle to remain Zionists and patriots while opposing the actions of their government and their army. I would encourage American Jews to read more of the Israeli press, on all sides, in hopes of fostering more reasoned and less extreme conversations in this part of the Gola.

  • Richard Silverstein April 10, 2007, 10:34 AM

    I would certainly agree with you that much of the Israeli media (at least Haaretz and sometimes Ynet) present a much more nuanced & comprehensive analysis of the I-P conflict & that’s one of the major premises of this blog in presenting such material to my readers.

    the extremism on both sides exhibited here:…your expression on the other side that the war was an “assault on our humanity and our Jewishness”

    But I’m curious why you feel that the Lebanon war was NOT an assault on our humanity & Jewishness. How can you parse the war in such a way that it does not tarnish your sense of humanity or Jewishness? I’m not denying that there were reasons that justified Israel taking SOME SORT of action against Hezbollah. That issue is not in question. But the sheer horror, magnitude & devastation wrought in response to what was initially an ambush and kidnapping seem unprecedented in its cruelty.

  • r April 10, 2007, 9:40 PM

    I’m unwilling to grant even that Israel was justified in taking “SOME SORT of action against Hezbollah. ” I believe Israel and the United States, through their brutal, mindless and repulsive aggression and inhumanity have forfeited their “right to exist” (if indeed, they ever had such a right, a debateable point in itself, as both terror states were founded on the extermination of the indigenous population). By the way—I am not in favor of israelis (or any one else) being harmed or killed. But I do not accept Israel’s ‘right to exist,’ and i think people of principle should stop using this knee-jerk phrase.

    Israel is the “failed state” par excellence..a Nazi-inspired plague which can only persist–as Roy so passionately observed in her essay–as a monumental disgrace to the Jewish people.

  • Richard Silverstein April 10, 2007, 10:24 PM

    I believe Israel and the United States, through their brutal, mindless and repulsive aggression and inhumanity have forfeited their “right to exist”

    I can’t decide whether this is a deliberate parody of an extreme anti-Zionist position or whether r truly holds this position. If he/she does all I can say is he/she is in cloud cuckoo land. The U.S. has forfeited its “right to exist??” Are you for real? BTW, human history is riddled w. societies which thrived upon the extermination of an earlier indigenous population. Neither Israel nor the U.S. are the sole examples of such a phenomenon. In fact, one could say that much of human civilization is a record of such predatory behavior. It’s not a pretty picture. Does that give you the right to say that the human species has “no right to exist??” What a preposterous and presumptuous notion!

    Israel is the “failed state” par excellence..a Nazi-inspired plague which can only persist–as Roy so passionately observed in her essay–as a monumental disgrace to the Jewish people.

    Being the propagandist you are you have completely missed the nuance of Roy’s essay. Nowhere does Roy make the global judgments you do. Her judgments are provisional and made much more in the sense of “if Israel cannot extricate itself from this disaster and turn back from the path it has chosen, then it runs the risk of becoming a disgrace to the Jewish people.” You have misconstrued Roy’s message and tone.

  • Herbert Kaine April 10, 2007, 10:35 PM

    I am familiar with Roy’s work. While I disagree with “r” commentary on Israel and the US, I believe that “r” has read Roy correctly. Roy feels that only by being weak can Jews be virtuous, as if there was some dignity in being butchered in Kishinev or Auschwitz. 60 years ago, we were accused of being heartless capitalists, monstrous communists, purveyors of filth, and genetic poisoners of the Aryan race. Today we are accused of being mean to the Palestinians. Sounds like we have made some progress

  • r April 10, 2007, 10:43 PM

    “runs the RISK of becomming a disgrace to the Jewish people?!?” I respectfully disagree that Roy’s essay implies that at some future date, israel’s abominations (carried out we are incessantly reminded ‘on behalf of the jewish people’) could EVENTUALLY embarrass we Jews! I think a sickening disgrace to all humankind, Jews included, is EXACTLY what Roy describes in fairly unambiguous terms. Are you saying Roy does NOT appear thoroughly repulsed by israeli ruthlessness and inhumanity? You and I evidently read two very different essays!

    your point reminds me of similar rhetoric regarding the united states, ie, if we continue to kick down doors in iraq and drag families off to our nazi torture chambers, we run the risk of “losing the the moral high ground”

    As if a post-hiroshima, post indochina america could set an example for anyone other than an exampple of blood-drenched barbarity of the most reprehensible variety!

    At some point, Germany was deemed an intolerable threat to peace and security and it was demolished. If such a case against Germany (a country with a 12 year history of racist genocide) can be made, then surely, the case is doubly valid against America, a country with a 200 year history of racist genocide, nuclear equipped, waging aggressive wars left and right and actively engaged in the militarization of outer space. To make a special plea for this septic tank disguised as a country is sheer hypocrisy.

  • r April 10, 2007, 10:51 PM

    Yes Herbert—we have gone from an unjustly persecuted and embattled tribe of outcasts to a class of gloating thugs who break the hands of Arab children and boast at every opportunity of our status as God’s chosen.

    i suppose to some, that’s progress indeed.

  • Richard Silverstein April 10, 2007, 11:05 PM

    I respectfully disagree that Roy’s essay implies that at some future date, israel’s abominations (carried out we are incessantly reminded ‘on behalf of the jewish people’) could EVENTUALLY embarrass we Jews!

    Get down off yr high horse. I didn’t say that Roy feels Israel “could eventually embarrass we Jews.” Clearly, Israel’s behavior in Lebanon has embarrassed many Jews (though not all). But Roy’s judgments regarding Israel are not by any means or measure as sweeping, definitive or dismissive as yours.

    Are you saying Roy does NOT appear thoroughly repulsed by israeli ruthlessness and inhumanity?

    Yes, of course she is. But does she believe that Israel should be swept into the dustbin of history as you do?? Absolutely not. Find me one statement by her which says that Israel has no right to exist as you have so ridiculously stated. You won’t find one.

    Germany was deemed an intolerable threat to peace and security and it was demolished

    German was demolished? Then what is the country we now call Germany? A mirage? If you meant “Nazi Germany” well yes, it was demolished in a sense though not as decisively and absolutely as you would contend. No one sowed salt into the soil of Germany as the Romans did in Carthage. In fact, the Allies deliberately tried to retain some remnants of Nazi leadership they found useful for their purposes.

    I don’t make it a point of spending lots of time debating people so steeped in hatred as you. So if you desire or goal is to get into a long, dreary thread in which we exchange pointed ripostes–don’t bother. If your next response in the same general vein as yr previous two, I reserve the right to cut this delightful exchange short by yanking your chain. Your choice.

  • r April 10, 2007, 11:20 PM

    richard

    If you believe that Sara Roy’s comments are fundamentally rooted in her outrage over the devastation in Lebanon, rather than her outrage over the entire 60 year Israeli project of arab dehumanization, expulsion, land theft and torture, I encourage you by all means to further explore her work, (or that of any other informed critic of israel, for example, Roy’s friend Norman Finkelstein) .

    If you’d prefer to cut off my participation in your forum, obviously that’s your right too.

  • Richard Silverstein April 11, 2007, 12:10 AM

    The subject of Roy’s essay is the Lebanon war. She focuses on it particularly and much less on the entire 60 year history you speak of. I have no doubt that she, as I do as well, feels outrage at Israel’s oppression of both its Arab minority and the Palestinian people. But that by no means confirms her as a supporter of your extremist views. I have asked you to provide confirmation fr. this essay that she does agree with your denial of Israel’s right to exist and you haven’t provided it.

    I am not a supporter of Norman Finkelstein’s views of Israel. And whether or not she is a “friend” of his doesn’t concern me at all. I’m interested in what she wrote in this masterful essay.

    You may participate in this forum as long as you don’t rant or spew hatred. You managed to control yourself quite well in yr last comment.

  • r April 11, 2007, 12:40 AM

    On the topic of “spewing hatred” you might investigate the routine behavior of your beloved Israelis, as covered in depth and over a period of years by…you guessed it…Sara Roy.

    http://www.fromoccupiedpalestine.org/node/1320

    Indeed, I’m not aware offhand of any Jew who goes as FAR as she does in casting the Israelis as little more than glorified Nazis. She has seen it first hand. They are a genuinely despicable lot. Still, they have their defenders, as you point out. I’m just not clear why you’d want to be one of them.

    As to israel’s ‘right to exist’…what would ROY say? Well, on the one hand, I’m confident she would say that the insistence that an ethnically cleansed population (The Palestinians) “recognize the rights’ of their ethnic cleansers as a ‘prelude to peace’ is a) grotesque on the face of it and b) nothing but a diversionary tactic allowing israel to buy time, steal more land and further brutalize these people.

    As to the legal matter of israel’s right to exist, you should be aware that some reasonably intelligent people find that basis rather flimsy, as the creation of israel was almost certainly a violation of the UN charter and further, was predicated on various provisions, nearly all of which were broken by Israel before the ink had dried on her declaration of statehood.

    I don’t think Roy has taken up the legal question and would likely contend (as i do) that israel is now an unavoidable fact of life—let’s change it if we can, dissolving it is impracticable. As to its moral right to exist in the manner it HAS existed for decades, all of Roy’s work seems to argue quite strenuously against such rights, as she argues against the ‘rights’ of anyone to behave as Nazi thugs and beat defenseless people—be they Arab or Jew—to a bloody pulp, while laughing at their suffering.

  • Melvin Schnell April 11, 2007, 11:53 AM

    I am convinced that “r” and Sara Roy are fundamentally in agreement. Sara Roy is to the left what Neil Pomper and Masada 2000 are to the right. it is one thing to promote critics of Israel who want the better good of the state. It is another to promote Sara Roy, Norman Finkelstein, Tony Judt, and Joel Beinin, who want Israel to disappear. By promoting these folks, you open yourself to right wing criticism, some of it justified

  • r April 11, 2007, 12:14 PM

    Melvin Schnell wrote:

    “Sara Roy is to the left what Neil Pomper and Masada 2000 are to the right.”

    Melvin, I really hope you don’t feel that way. I think that statement is irresponsible and quite frankly, preposterous.

    I hate to play the Jew card, but honestly—to equate Sara Roy, a valued scholar who writes passionately about human rights, a woman who has seen the conditions in the Occupied Territories at close range and who lost 100 members of her family in the Holocaust with illiterate, bile spitting, racist garbage like Masada is perverse. It’s a ludicrous sound bite designed to deligitimize informed attacks on israel and its stomach turning behavior, or to cast as fanatics those critics who question the notion of a “Jewish state” and find the proposition “an anachronism” in the modern world, (as the fairly mainstream Tony Judt does in the mainstream and generally Israel-leaning New York Review of Books).

    A state whose citizenship is based on religion IS an anachronism. It is fundamentally at odds with israel’s vision of itself as a democracy. If you take issue with such positions, swell—but comparing Judt or Roy or Finkelstein with Masada200 is just a cheap way to throw mud.

  • Herbert Kaine April 11, 2007, 1:56 PM

    Im afraid I will have to disagree that a state based upon religion is an anachronism. Look at the Jews of France and England-nations that are profoundly secular, yet unable to protect French and Brits of the Mosaic persuasion. The whole premise of Israel existing where it is, instead of Uganda, is because of the Biblical promise of G-d to the Jewish people. The second purpose is a refuge for Jews who are in trouble elsewhere. If Israel were replaced by a Palestine, Jews in trouble in places like the USSR and Ethiopia would not have been rescued. WWII taught us that we can not rely on the goodness of the international community. I am not ready to trust the goodwill of the world with our physical safety, like Ray, Judt, FInkelstein and Beinin are. In fact, Finkelstein was a vocal supporter of Hizbollah this summer, and thus I am wary of Jews like Finkelstein who wish other Jews harm.

    While Finkelstein expresses nothing but contempt for Israel, he lavishes praise on the terrorist group Hezbollah. In a letter posted on his Web site he states, “I did make a point of publicly honoring the heroic resistance of Hezbollah to foreign occupation …Their historic contributions are…undeniable.” He appeared on the official Hezbollah television network al-Manar, because, he said, “If I’m willing to appear on CNN – the main propaganda organ for America’s terrorist wars–why shouldn’t I appear on al-Manar?”

    Al Manar’s expressed mission is to wage “psychological warfare against the Zionist enemy.” Al Manar producers boast of creating programming to recruit Palestinian suicide bombers. In addition, Ibrahim Mussawi, director of English-language news for al Manar, in an interview with the New Yorker’s Jeffrey Goldberg, labeled Jews “a lesion on the forehead of history.” Al Manar TV was banned by European Union satellites for airing racist programming such as the series “The Diaspora” based on The Protocols

  • Richard Silverstein April 11, 2007, 2:28 PM

    I’m not aware offhand of any Jew who goes as FAR as she does in casting the Israelis as little more than glorified Nazis

    That is a ridiculous statement on so many fronts. There are many anti-Zionist Jews. But you haven’t even proven that Roy IS anti-Zionist and she NEVER in the essay I featured called Israelis “little more than glorified Nazis.” Personally, I despise the “Nazi” meme as applied to Israel. For that an the other hate you continue to spew here you can’t comment any more here. If you ever decide you can have a calmer, more reasonable debate in which you don’t have to use propagandistic phraseology to make yr point you’re welcome to resume commenting.

    What the Israeli-Palestinian conflict needs is reasoned debate in which both sides attempt to find common ground. We don’t need propagandists on either side. So why don’t you go to a site at which you’d be more habitually comfortable like Sabbah’s blog or Electronic Intifada or somewhere like that. They’ll let you spew as much anti-Israel hatred there as you like.

  • Richard Silverstein April 11, 2007, 2:34 PM

    Sara Roy is to the left what Neil Pomper and Masada 2000 are to the right.

    Melvin, that is a despicable statement not borne out by facts or anything else. You merely trumpet the statement & provide no proof. That’s a lazy man’s way to debate. The day Sara Roy sets up a blog mocking you by describing sex acts you perform on yourself is the day I’ll allow you here to say what you did about her. Until then, don’t go there again.

  • r April 11, 2007, 3:05 PM

    Richard

    Did you read the Sara Roy piece I posted?: It’s heartfelt and extremely eloquent and Roy makes the comparison between Nazi behavior and the Israelis over and over and over and over in it. It’s not the sort of thing that makes us proud to be Jews, but it is honest…painfully so. I really hope you read it.

    She says that the mindset is the same. She talks about it at great length and from first hand experience. If you want to reject what she’s saying, you’re certainly welcome to. Pouncing on me doesn’t make the point very effectively, in my view.

    You say that you are opposed to Finkelstein’s views on Israel. I’m somewhat puzzled. Roy is not only a friend of Finkelstein’s, she lavishly blurbed his latest book and recently presented introductory remarks to one of his lectures. The reason I think that IS significant is that I can not think of a single substantive point on which they differ. Both scholars have spent a great deal of time looking at Israel’s horrendous human rights record and they are—so far as I can tell—in complete accord. Both are children of the holocaust.

    Further, Primo Levi compared the Israelis to the Nazis. Philip Roth compared the israelis to the Nazis. Albert Einstein in a letter to the New York Times signed by 30 prominent Jews (including Hannah Arendt) used the words “Nazi” and “Fascist” repeatedly in describing Israeli treatment of Arabs.

    As Jews, we MUST get past this self-image as either persecuted victims or geniuses of the Vladimir Horowitz/Albert Einstein tribe. Our people are ALSO wretched abusers and the behavior of the state set up in our name should be condemned without any more qualifiers added to the equation…as though it’s one thing when Nazis (Serbs, LA cops, whomever) brutalize helpless people and another thing altogether when Israelis do it.

    Amira Hass of Ha’aretz is another who, like Sara Roy, has spent a lot of time in the Occupied Territories and reported what the Israelis are doing to their fellow human beings. Jews don’t much like having a mirror held up to them, so many go on the attack instead. This is the wrong approach!

    I believe that is central to what Roy hoped to instill in us in the essay under discussion…

  • r April 11, 2007, 4:26 PM

    “..lazy man’s way to debate” did you say?

    ..hard to get much lazier than refusing to engage with facts and declining to post comments that challenge your accepted wisdom.

    You leave me little choice but to slink back into my den of extremism, hatred and anti-semitism…you know, that swamp of islamofascism populated by wild-eyed crazies, like the polymath and Israel Prize Winner Yeshahua Leibowitz (who coined the term ‘Judeo-Nazis to refer to his country’s treatment of Arabs), Albert Einstein, Philip Roth, Primo Levi, Sara Roy, and on and on and on.

    “To turn Jews into jailers and jet bomber pilots, that is their great Jewish achievement!” Roth said of the Israelis. If such are the Jews you feel duty-bound to defend, please don’t let me interfere. (As to why you posted Sara Roy with apparent approval, I draw a blank. Perhaps your conscience has begun to trouble you? Pay it no mind—such feelings are sure to pass.)

  • r April 11, 2007, 4:33 PM

    Herbert Kaine said,

    April 11, 2007 @ 1:56 pm

    Im afraid I will have to disagree that a state based upon religion is an anachronism. Look at the Jews of France and England-nations that are profoundly secular, yet unable to protect French and Brits of the Mosaic persuasion.

    indeed! I’ve been reading of these awful pogroms lately in France and England. Terrible. 1930s all over again.

    Thanks goodness Jews are safe and sound in the Mid East, surrounded by an apartheid wall, squatting on stolen land, brutalizing the natives and generating worldwide disgust with Jewry.

    I feel safer as a Jew just thinking about it.

  • Richard Silverstein April 11, 2007, 5:07 PM

    You leave me little choice but to slink back into my den of extremism, hatred and anti-semitism

    You’re little more than a petulant, egotistical, self-pitying demagogue. I never said you were an anti-Semite (though you did). I said you were an anti-Zionist, which you are proud to be I take it.

    that swamp of islamofascism

    I don’t use the term islamofascist (again, you did).

    Israel Prize Winner Yeshahua Leibowitz (who coined the term ‘Judeo-Nazis

    You dare to compare yourself to Yeshaia Leibowitz?? Listen, when you have the brilliance, erudition and history of personal suffering at the hands of the Nazis as Prof. Leibowitz, then perhaps I’ll give you a pass when you compare Israelis to Nazis. Till then, you don’t hold a candle to Leibowitz & don’t deserve to tie his shoes.

    Once again, none of the distinguished Jews you liken yourself to are or were anti-Zionists. So how precisely are you like them? All of you condemn Israel’s immorality and oppression of Arabs. I join them (though not you) in that. But none of them took the plunge into the abyss that you have by denying the existence of the state of Israel.

    If such are the Jews you feel duty-bound to defend

    More of yr stupid self-dramatizing histrionics. I’m not defending any of that. I’m merely expressing my disgust with the likes of you. There’s a difference though you of course can’t begin to grasp it.

  • r April 11, 2007, 5:19 PM

    You’re right about that, Richard. I can NOT begin to grasp it. Either the comparison of Israel’s behavior with the sickening and racist brutality of the Nazis is appropriate or it isn’t. By citing an array of Jewish luminaries who insist the comparison is entirely valid, I do not claim I’m Yeshahua Leibowitz, much less Albert Einstein. I never said anything of the kind. I WILL say that they were Jews humanity could look up to, which is a whole hell of a lot more than I could ever say of Ben Gurion, Sharon, Begin, Golda “there’s no such thing as a Palestinian!” Meir, Netanyahu, Olmert and allied vermin who have dragged Jewish culture into the sewer as far as I (and plenty of OTHER Jews) maintain. How about sticking to the facts, just for variety’s sake?

  • Richard Silverstein April 11, 2007, 5:40 PM

    Did you read the Sara Roy piece I posted?: It’s heartfelt and extremely eloquent and Roy makes the comparison between Nazi behavior and the Israelis over and over and over and over in it.

    Again, in yr shrillness you have completely missed the nuance she uses in making such a comparison. Here are two very important qualifications she makes in using the comparison which you would do well to at least acknowledge, if not observe yourself in yr own disputations on this subject:

    It is important to understand the very real differences in volume, scale, and horror between the Holocaust and the occupation and to be careful about comparing the two, but it is also important to recognize parallels where they do exist.

    …Israel’s occupation of the Palestinians is not the moral equivalent of the Nazi genocide of the Jews. But it does not have to be. No, this is not genocide, but it is repression, and it is brutal.

    Instead of shouting, you should try a little nuance. Roy has mastered the nuance. You haven’t.

  • Herbert Kaine April 11, 2007, 5:50 PM

    Two thousand years ago, it is said that the sins were redeemed by the death of a single Jew, Jesus of Nazareth. 60 years later, 6 million Jews died, and the worlds apetite for redemption has yet to be slaked. I dont have the psychiatric insight to determine why Sara Roy, like Norman Finkelstein, desire for Jews to be in the same weak position that we were 65 years ago. For me, 6 million is enough. The world didnt appreciate Jewish artists, philosophers and scientists, so let them deal with Jewish soliders. While the Holocaust did not cause Israel, it proved its necessity. R can join Roy and Finkelstein in a more hospitable place, like Iran

  • r April 11, 2007, 5:57 PM

    ps

    I’ve differed strongly with some of your points but can’t see where I’ve fallen to personal invective, of the sort that pervades your replies to me. If you want to say I don’t know crap about the holocaust or what Palestinians are suffering at the hands of the israelis, then fine. Guilty as charged. I’ve never been to Gaza and my Jewish family for the most part escaped the European extermination. Sara Roy is pretty familiar with both abominations and takes it as a calling to bear witness to what Germans, more recently, (and to our lasting shame), Jews, have done in the name of their respective “superiority.”

    Easy enough to wail away on me. Why won’t you take up what is happening, what is being done by a violently racist state which claims to speak for you and for Jews everywhere? I hear in your words an all too familiar rationale. “It’s not what it SEEMS when an IDF soldier punches a pregnant woman in the belly, or points a weopon at a child and demands he bark like a dog. We have “security issues.” We are “combatting terrorism” we are “victims—eternal victims, struggling to survive in a world devoted to our destruction.” To cast out these myths, to make us see, to stop once and for all the unconscionable excuses for the “chosen people’s” cruelty toward other human beings, that is what jews of principle will unwaveringly, unbendingly insist upon.

    I am not the one attenmpting through ethnic means to identify myself with Einstein or Heifitz. No—I don’t subscribe to that mentality, though there are many who do, who have gone so far as to say that this or that culture “never produced an Einstein” and therefore is deserving of the cluster bombs and hatred we rain on them.

    I am not wrong.

    I think in your heart you know that I am not wrong.

  • Richard Silverstein April 11, 2007, 8:09 PM

    Why won’t you take up what is happening, what is being done by a violently racist state which claims to speak for you and for Jews everywhere?

    You wonder why I “whale away on you” & yet you spout such ignorance about me, this blog & my views on the conflict. The entire mission of this blog is to focus precisely on this subject (though I again detest the propagandistic rhetoric of “violently racist state”). What have you read of this blog? Have you read even 1% of the 1,200 posts I’ve written, most of which have criticized Israeli policy?

    I hear in your words an all too familiar rationale. “It’s not what it SEEMS when an IDF soldier punches a pregnant woman in the belly

    “You hear what you want to hear & disregard the rest.” You don’t know me. You don’t know what I believe about any of the issues on which you so confidently project your own ignorant, uninformed, distorted articulation of what YOU think I believe. I don’t belive ANYTHING of what you say I do. Nothing. Not a single word.

    I am not wrong.

    I think in your heart you know that I am not wrong.

    In my heart I know you’re an utterly ignorant bellicose fool who’d prefer to use a sledge hammer when a scalpel will do.

  • samuel burke April 12, 2007, 10:12 AM

    i always find it hard to see through the eyes of those which choose to defend zionism as it has been expressed in israel since it’s inception. i will never question the right of the israeli state to exist, it does, and that is enough for me. i suppose most nations at their inception were formed by the winning of battles, i cant imagine any people willingly being displaced by another without a struggle, and if the birth of a nation was ever without a struggle at some point they must have had to defend their territory through armed struggle possibly causing the deaths of many, what truly perplexes me is how this famous “jewish question” remains pertinent even when it seems that it has been settled once and for all.

    i will also say this about the zinoist state of israel, they do have a very effective public relations department, and an extremely efficacious tool ( the anti semite tag) which they use to quiet or discredit anyone who questions their methods or actions. Imagine the drubbing they would get if not for the financial and propagandistic support which their fellow jews lend to them throughout the nations where they are scattered , the newspapers, periodicals , and though their collective efforts to silence debate, and formulate policy in those countries in support for israel.

    the zionist paid a heavy price to get their state, they will certainly hold onto every piece of that land that they feel ought to be theirs at the expense of anything and anyone.

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