I know. It sounds too preposterous to be true. But read on.
Earlier today, Fadi of Kabobfest linked in a comment here to a Muslim Link post by Tariq Nelson about David Yerushalmi’s “infiltration” of a Virginia mosque for the purposes of unmasking its alleged jihadi agenda. Since I know Yerushalmi based on his strident Israeli nationalist views I was having a hard time crediting Nelson’s claims that he espoused “white supremacist” views.
But Larry Cohler Esses has set me straight and proven that a Jew can indeed by a white supremacist as proven by this Yerushalmi essay in Conservative Voice:
While our constitutional republic was specifically designed to insulate our national leaders from the masses, democracy has seeped up through the cracks and corroded everything we once deemed sacred about our political order. Prior to the Civil War, the electorate, essentially white Christian men, had access to local government. It was here, where men shared an intimacy born of family ties, shared religious beliefs, and common cultural signposts, that representative government was meant to touch our daily lives. With the social and cultural revolution which followed the emancipation, man’s relationship to political order was radically nationalized and democratized. Today, there is simply no basis to resist “democracy” and the “open society”.
Note Yerushalmi’s distinction between national and local government. White men were supposed to enjoy democracy only in New England style town meetings with their neighbors, while the affairs of state were to be handled by national leaders free from the messy pressures of the unwashed “masses.” And you’ll notice who Yerushalmi blames for the deterioration in our body politic, Abe Lincoln, the Great Emancipator. That’s right, letting the darkies get the vote was the worst thing those “white Christian men” ever let happen to the Republic.
Fadi also turned me on to some eye-popping Yerushalmi legislative proposals regarding the Arab-American “menace:”
WHEREAS Islam requires all Muslims to actively and passively support the replacement of America’s constitutional republic with a political system based upon Shari’a.
Whereas, adherence to Islam as a Muslim is prima facie evidence of an act in support of the overthrow of the US Government through the abrogation, destruction, or violation of the US Constitution and the imposition of Shari’a on the American People.
HEREFORE, IT IS RESOLVED THAT: It shall be a felony punishable by 20 years in prison to knowingly act in furtherance of, or to support the, adherence to Shari’a.
The Congress of the United States of America shall declare the US at war with the Muslim Nation.
If you spend any time at a Yerushalmi site you feel like you’ve traveled through the Looking Glass where every notion about this country you ever cherished becomes reviled and every notion you ever detested about this country is lauded. It is definitely “through a glass, darkly.”
I’ve wondered whether Yerushalmi’s background as a Ukrainian Jewish immigrant could figure in this. [UPDATE: Yerushalmi is NOT an immigrant but born in the U.S. His ancestors were born in the Ukraine. My errror was due to the misunderstanding of a comment my informant made about Yerushalmi’s background.] Observers of the Israeli political scene note that many Russian immigrants entering politics are either outright anti-democratic or so far right as to be virtually anti-democratic. Avigdor Lieberman is one example and Natan Sharansky is not far behind. Something in the Communist system has so warped these people’s minds toward democracy that they view it as a debased system, a trick designed to harm their interests. Of course, Russia is also known for its right-wing racialist politics and neo-Nazi activism. Witness Vladimir Zhirinovsky.
You might add that there were Jews who were attracted to Left-wing totalitariansim as well, such as the Yevseksia, the Jewish branch of the Communist Party of the USSR who mercilessly persecuted religious and Zionist Jews, and were enthusiastic supporters of one of the greatest mass-murderers in history, Josef Stalin. The MAPAM party in Israel also very strong anti-democratic tendencies and supported Stalin at one time. These Jews were a small minority, most Jews were anti-Communist, but these renegades did a lot of damage, including a distortion of Israel’s democratic system which is still very influential.
“…many Russian immigrants entering politics are either outright anti-democratic or so far right as to be virtually anti-democratic. Avigdor Lieberman is one example and Natan Sharansky is not far behind.”
What evidence would you cite in support of your characterization of Sharansky as “either outright anti-democratic or so far right as to be virtually anti-democratic”? Please be as specific as you can, leading with your best evidence.
Richard Silverstein says
What anti-democractic tendencies? And certainly some Mapamniks supported Stalin–until 1956. But to compare Mapam & Lieberman or Yerushalmi is willful distortion of truth. And to claim that the Israeli left distorted Israel’s democratic system only shows how far off the charts right wing YOU are.
You’re the one keeping ideological score. Most Jews don’t & didn’t keep score as you do. Most Jews found fault with both economic systems but would prob. prefer to live under capitalism than under Communism. Jews had much more of a vested interest hating Nazism than Communism. Only hard core ideologues like yourself need to hate Communism and the left as much as you do.
Richard Silverstein says
No, I don’t play this game. But since you’ve taunted me let me throw it back at ya. Sharansky clearly supports democracy for Jews. But a state run under such a system would not really be a democracy, but rather an ethnocracy–or truncated democracy.
But pls be as specific as you can & lead w. yr best evidence that Sharansky believes that Israeli Arab citizens have equal rights to Israeli Jews. I’ll even lower the threshhold further by asking whether he’s ever acknowledged that Israeli Arabs have democratic rights per se as citizens. It’s possible he has, I’m just asking whether you can find proof of it.
You and I both know that the only democracy Sharansky supports is for Jews. Even if he has ever acknowledged that Arabs deserve rights, he would only do so grudgingly & only when hard-pressed.
When you state that “only hard-core ideologues like myself” hate Communism, are you saying
Communism wasn’t “so bad”? You must be kidding! Communism is a totalitarian monstrosity no different than Nazism. You think it wasn’t so bad?….Go talk to the people of Russia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria, Cambodia etc, etc to find out what they think of Communism after having lived under it for some decades. Go talk to survivors of the GULAG (I have). How many TENS OF MILLIONS died Communism? What did the Communistm do to Jewish life in Russia and Eastern Europe? What was the difference between the NKVD and SS? The fact that the Western Allies had no choice but to form an alliance with Stalin in the Second World War doesn’t make him any less of a monster. Don’t forget that he intended to carry out a final Holocaust of the Jews of the USSR.
Your “defense” of MAPAM saying that they gave up on Stalin in 1956 hardly clears them.
Arthur Koestler wrote “Darkness at Noon” about the montrous Show Trials in 1940. People knew exactly what sort of mass murderer Stalin was long before 1956. Stalin himself purged MAPAM and HaShomer HaTzair in Eastern Europe (e.g. the Slansky-Mordechai Oren Trials in Czechoslovakia) long before 1956. The so-caleld “Doctor’s Plot” which Stalin intended to use to justify his planned Holocaust of the Jews of the USSR was in 1952. Stalin’s murder of the Jews of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, starting with Solomon Mikhoels began in 1948. Khruschev’s denunciation of Stalin in 1956 was for his “crimes against the Party” only, not against the whole Communist/Stalinist system. MAPAM and their successors in MERETZ having had a soft spot in their hearts for Stalin would make it easy for them to transfer their affections to Arafat who did to the Palestinians what Stalin did to the USSR. One could say that their motto is “Progressivism at Gun-Point”.
Richard Silverstein says
ImJudy: Your fighting the battles of the past. If it is so important to you to nurse the hatred of past history then you’re welcome to it. But perhaps such hatred also informs all yr hatred & grievances against Palestinians, Israeli leftists, etc. Life is short. If all you do is remember the past you’ll forget to live the present & future. And if in living your present & future all you see are images of the past repeating themselves, well then you’ll turn the past into the future. A lot of good that’ll do you.
I’m putting you on notice right here & now. If you want to spout baseless hatred & calumnies about the Israeli left you’ll do it somewhere else, but not here. You’re on notice. If you can’t show derech eretz even to those you disagree with then you belong at LGF, Town Hall, Boker Tov, Boulder or Isreallycool & are welcome to go there (if you don’t already) & I’m only too prepared to arrange this for you if you go over the line again.
Where did you discover that Yerushalmy was a Ukrainian immigrant. According to this article of his on Mel Gibson he was born, raised and educated in the United States.
jeff renschein says
You owe Judy an apology
MAPAM, the main faction inside MERETZ, was indeed Stalinist for many years.
Richard Silverstein says
Nothing of the sort. Mapam has not existed for over a decade & renounced a pro-Soviet inclination over 50 years ago. What is it with you people? Besides, she claimed that Meretz worshipped Stalin AND that Mapam did. That is a lie and calumny. Pls. provide me any credible evidence that anyone within Meretz is a Stalinist.
MAPAM Kibbutzim celebrated Russian Revolution Day up until the Six-Day War, long
after Khruschev’s de-Stalinization speech, so they apparently had no problem with the repressive Soviet regime that was preventing Jewish emigration or Jewish observance in the USSR and encouraging state-sponsered anti-Semitism up until 1967. MERETZ is still primariy MAPAM and HaShomer HaTzair, as Jeff pointed out. Thus, in my mind, this inclination towards totalitarianism makes it natural for them to identify with Arafat. What I am talking about here is not “ancient history”, it is very relevant for understanding the mentality of the ruling clique in Israel, of which MERETZ is an important component (although they are not in the ruling coalition at the moment, many high officials, including the Supreme Court and influential people in the media identify with MERETZ).
When Stalin died in 1953, the headline in the MAPAM newspaper, Al-HaMishmar, written by Yitzhak Ben-Aharon who died not long ago was “The Light of the Nations is Extinguished”. As I clearly pointed out, this was after it was clear to EVERYONE what sort of leader he was and what sort of regime he ran. We are entitled to an explanation of how they justified this.
Regarding Sharansky, I don’t see how he is any less a “democrat” than Shulamit Aloni or Yossi Sarid, both of whom identify as Zionists and thus negate the Arab claim to “equal rights” within Israel regarding Israel’s “Law of Return” which favors Jews over Arabs and other matters.
Richard Silverstein says
You have accused Meretz of “an inclination towards totalitarianism” w/o a shred of evidence. This after I took you to task for claiming Meretz has a soft spot in its heart for Stalin. I could delete yr comment since it clearly violates my comment rules which I invite you to examine.
Instead, I will ban you from posting comments for a week. You may criticize the left in my blog but only if you do so with facts. Your opinions about what the left is are empty unless you speak of facts. And I simply will not publish any more attacks by you bereft of facts.
And another thing, I am absolutely bored to tears by people who spout ancient history in my blog or who seem to have a need to refight battles that were fought long ago. You have some sad obsessive need to do that. I’m sorry about that but it doesn’t mean I or my readers want you to rehash it there. So stop doing it.
Richard Silverstein says
My informant wrote to me that he was a “Ukrainian Jew” which I took to mean that he immigrated to the U.S. Actually, Yerushalmi’s ancestors emigrated from the Ukraine to this country, not Yerushalmi himself. I regret the error. But even this information speaks to the irony of Yerushalmi’s embrace of the white Christian men who founded this country and refused to allow women or Blacks to vote (all principles of which Yerushalmi approves). No doubt those white Christian men, were they running the country when Yerushalmi’s grandparents were fleeing Ukrainian pogroms, would’ve shut the door on them. And had they somehow succeeded in getting to this country those same white Christian men would’ve prevented his ancestors from becoming citizens.
Read the absolute hatred in Yerushalmi’s site for immigrants and compare that with what you know of his own family history in this country. Isn’t it ironic?
First of all it’s true that the “founding fathers” of the United States were Christain men. From wikipedia on “founding fathers” they count 204 “founding fathers” who “signed the Declaration of Independence – signed the Articles of Confederation – attended the Constitutional Convention of 1787 – signed the Constitution of the United States of America – served as Senators in the First Federal Congress (1789-1791) – served as U.S. Representatives in the First Federal Congress”. This is their religious breakdown:
Religion – Number – Percentage
Episcopalian/Anglican – 88 – 54.7%
Presbyterian – 30 – 18.6%
Congregationalist – 27 – 16.8%
Quaker – 7 – 4.3%
Dutch Reformed/German Reformed – 6 – 3.7%
Lutheran – 5 – 3.1%
Catholic – 3 – 1.9%
Huguenot – 3 – 1.9%
Unitarian – 3 – 1.9%
Methodist – 2 – 1.2%
Calvinist – 1 – 0.6%
In spite of this, I have never heard evidence that as a group they were anti-semitic or sought to exclude Jews from the united states so I don’t know why you would assume that they would shut the doors on Yerushalmi’s grandparents. In fact, they didn’t shut the doors on all the Jews that lived in the colonies at the time and they were allowed to be naturalized.
Richard Silverstein says
First, the number of Jews in the U.S. in the 18th century was infinitesimal. While it is true that George Washington wrote the wonderful letter to Truro Synagogue which embraced religious tolerance, we simply don’t know how Washington & the other founders would’ve reacted to hundreds of thousands of unwashed Russian Jewish immigrants coming to our shores by the boatload as happened from 1890-1925.
We should keep in mind that these founding fathers were more than willing to declare a Black 2/3 of a human being and refused to emancipate them for 80 years after the founding of the Republic. And it might be reasonable to assume that they might have problems with hordes of immigrants flocking to our shores and muddying the homogeneity of American society as they knew it.
Don’t get me wrong. I think the founding fathers were by & large brilliant men in what they accomplished and in their level of foresight. But I am deeply troubled by Yerushalmi’s misty eyed embrace of the notion of returning to some idealized notion of the original intent of founding fathers. As if the founding fathers themselves would’ve wished for the U.S. never to have changed fr. the nation they knew. A truly far sighted founding father would’ve embraced the changes to our polity which Yerushalmi decries so virulently.