14 thoughts on “Avrum Burg’s Latest: ‘The Holocaust is Over’ – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. “Burg is against the use of the word Shoah (catastrophe) for the Holocaust, since it gives it a unique character (…)”
    I had to chuckle over this – the reviewer seems so conditioned on exactly this view that he didn’t notice the use of the capitalised “Holocaust” was contradicting just what he was saying. (The only other frequently so called “holocaust” – the Armenian one of 1915-17 – usually appears in lower case.)

    “Burg does not consider himself anti-Zionist, except when the principles of Herzl and the values of the declaration of independence are betrayed.”
    If the reviewer wasn’t getting entangled in his own logic here, the implication is that modern Zionism indeed includes a betrayal of these principles and values. I’m not sure how that sqares with Burg’s claim that “the end of Zionism is nigh”. The end of that Zionism of old is long past, but to think that the end of an ideology necessarily comes with abandonment of the values that may have guided its conception is a bit naive, I think.

    Last year’s interview of Burg by Ari Shavit will also be of interest:

  2. I don’t understand why Burg writes that the Shoah, which ended 10 years before he was born, changed his opinion of who is a Jew. But more importantly, his apostasy from Zionism is both fascinating and discouraging and incredibly significant for what it says about philosophical currents in Israel (and even more so among Israelis abroad).

    Still of interest is the article David Remnick wrote last year for The New Yorker after Burg dropped his a-bomb in Haaretz. I condensed it here:

  3. Burg is not in denial as are those Jews who parade an Israel before us (vibrant, plucky, indefatigable) that faded long ago like yesterday’s chintzy drapes if it ever even existed at all. “The Jewish Homeland” is a pariah State and how much longer can it leech off an America that more and more will have to distance itself if its citizens are ever to be safe.

    If in the 60 years it’s existed – Israel had made the slightest attempt to make friends with its neighbors instead of working feverishly to make them fear and tremble at The Mighty Jew – it would have stood a chance. But, bad old habits die hard and too often the Jewish way is to fear and loathe “the goyim.”

  4. I strongly urge everyone to read the interview with Ari Shavit, the link of which is provided above, before granting a mantle of sainthood to Burg. It is important to remember this man, who is constantly decrying how “corrupt” Israel is, used massive ballot-box stuffing to win the Labor Party primaries in 2001 (IIRC). The fraud was so blatant that the results were overturned and he lost in the revote to Benyamin Ben-Eliezer. He was then involved in influence peddling when he joined up with a group of underworld figures in order to get their hands on a government-owned company (Ashot-Ashqelon, a defense contractor) at FAR below its actual worth. Fortunately, the State Controller stepped in and stopped it. Burg’s relationship with his underworld partners was investigated and it was ruled that he was “not aware” of their criminal backgrounds. Then, this man who claimed Israel is “too materialistic” carried out a public battle to get a chauffeur-driven car for life at government expense because he is the former head of the Jewish Agency (odd that a man who say’s other Jews are “not his brothers” and has turned his back on Zionism would want to be head of this organization) even the the regulations clearly stated that he is not entitled to this. He went to court and lost this battle as well. As a young man, using his father’s connections, he got a trip to the 1972 Summer Olympics.
    I repeat that it is important to be reminded of this man’s character when reading his denunciations of the Israel and the Jewish people.

  5. bar_kochba132,
    today I met a fool. He said the sun was shining. I didn’t believe him. He was, after all, a fool.

  6. Fiddler-maybe his attitude could be better described as “sour grapes”—he milks all the money he can out of the system, and then his political career is stymied because he colleagues in the Labor Party finally get on to what kind of person he really is (he never got into the Cabinet), and so he then turns on everyone and. to get back at them all, tells the rest of the world how “rotten” they are because they put an end to his games.

  7. @bar_kochba132:

    I think the interview w. Shavit is stellar & the latter comes across as a twit. Though it’s certainly understandable that someone like Shavit would be scandalized by the views of Burg, since the latter is breaking a lot of sacred Israeli Zionist cows.

    In our country, a man is innocent till proven guilty. Maybe in Israel if you’re a progressive the rules are diff. & you’re guilty until/unless you’re proven innocent. What Bar Kochba neglects to say is that Burg was never charged with any legal infractions & certainly never convicted. And regarding Bar Kochba’s claims, I certainly would never take anything he says as truth unless/until he provides links to legitimate sources which authenticate the claims he’s making. You’ll notice he hasn’t done so.

    Bar Kochba seems to have forgotten that Burg was head of the Jewish Agency at a time when he was still a strong supporter of classical Zionism & his views were not as radical as they are now. Or does Bar Kochba think Burg should’ve had Superman-like powers to foresee what his views would be in 2008 so he would refuse to become head of the Jewish Agency ten years ago or so?

    You’re claiming that Avrum Burg’s getting a trip to the Munich Olympics on his father’s dime (which we don’t even know is true, merely yr claim) indicates that he is corrupt??! What are you smokin’? Your prime minister just took $500,000 from a Jewish near-gangster & you’re claiming Burg is corrupt because he went to the Olympics?!

    Avrum Burg is a visionary. Bar Kochba is a partisan pro-settler hack. ‘Nuff said.

  8. @bar_kochba132:

    maybe his attitude could be better described as “sour grapes”—he milks all the money he can out of the system, and then his political career is stymied because he colleagues in the Labor Party finally get on to what kind of person he really is (he never got into the Cabinet), and so he then turns on everyone…

    Hey, great theory. Write it up. Maybe you can get it published at Frontpagemagazine or Little Green Footballs or Arutz Sheva, one of those politically-centrist publications with stellar journalistic credentials.

  9. I never claimed Burg was a convicted criminal. He, like Olmert and many others in the “elite” of which he says he is a part, operates on the edges of the law. I know people who work at Ashot-Ashqelon. Burg’s group offered 11 million shekels for the firm and this offer was accepted. Auditors pointed out that the land alone was worth more, not to mention the company’s assets. The worker’s union got together and told those in the Finance Ministry that they would outbid Burg’s group. They were told that they would have to offer something 85 MILLION because that was the real worth of the company. Burg’s “friends” in the Finanace Ministry arranged this very nicely for him. Fortunately, as I stated above, the State Controller stepped in and cancelled the deal at the last minute. Burg was investigated for his connections with his partners from organized crime and AS I STATED ABOVE, he was found not to have been aware of their backgrounds. Happy is he who believes.
    The point I am making is that Burg, (remember the “ballot box stuffing”?) sets himself up as a super-moral “prophet”. He is no such thing, and hardly anybody in Israel, including the “progressives” view him as such.

  10. @bar_kochba132:

    If as you claim the information you provide below is accurate it should be very easy to get it published in a reputable journalistic source. Unless/until you do that, you alone as a source are not credible. I’m still waiting for confirmation of anything you’ve claimed.

    I have never felt Burg set himself up as a “super moral prophet.” That’s all your overblown partisan rhetoric at work. Burg’s book sold like hotcakes in Israel as it will in its English language edition. It was & is a sensation. His ideas have currency & impact. That’s all that I ask for from him. I’m glad you try to tear him down. It only reflects on you & yr partisan prejudices certainly not on him.

  11. Here is a link to an interview that Avrum Burg had with Charlie Rose on the Charlie Rose Show this week. I wonder how anyone who is truly interested in peace for all could not love what Burg is saying. Who cares what he was like 10 yrs ago if he didn’t have the same consciousness that he does today. We are supposed to grow by the day so I would never be surprised nor judge when someone shows more compassion and love than he or she did previously if that in fact is true in Burg’s case.

    I applaud him for where he is today, indeed a role model that I am inclined to follow.


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