25 thoughts on “Grossman: Free Shalit, Free Israel from Its Hamas Shibboleths – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Of course David Grossman is correct, but such sentiments will not overcome the ideology of political Zionism as opposed to spiritual Zionism. It was Vladimir Jabotinski who originally laid out the Zionist program in his “Iron Wall”, and except for a few minor deviations for propaganda purposes, this program has been followed, leading Israel to today’s impass. The Zionists first used Britain to support their policies, and when that empire fell, they turned to, and turned, the US. One of the best descriptions of this history can be found in Alan Hart’s three volume; “Zionism, the Real Enemy of the Jews.”

    1. Jabotinsky started his political career in Odessa when he created the first Jewish self-defense force after the Kishinev pogrom. Most Jews opposed him either for religious reasons (the Messiah will rescue us) or Bundist reasons (lets demonstrate, sing fighting songs but never train in fighting-moving out of Europe is ‘escapism’).

      Today of course the religious are still strong (and who knows, maybe Moshiach will come) the Bund is mori-Bund, Jabotinsky’s party is in power, and Alan Hart is still old.

      1. Bundist reasons (lets demonstrate, sing fighting songs but never train in fighting

        What proof do you have that Bundists did not resist the Nazis?? This sounds like a preposterous statement, but I’d be curious what evidence you have to support it.

        Jabotinsky’s legacy is a poison within the Israeli body politic. And Likud today no more reflects Jabotinsky’s political philosophy than today’s Republican Party reflects Abe Lincoln’s. Well, perhaps there is a bit more of an echo of the founder in Likud, but not much. Bibi has no principles & no philosophy.

        1. 1/ Lookup ‘Jewish Military Union’. This was the group of Jewish soldiers in the 1939 Polish Army who would have been the first Jews to actually fight the Nazis, and would have been the only Jews in Poland to have been professionally trained to fight Nazis, and after Poland lost, would have been the only Jews in Poland with weapons or the ability to train other Jews. They had 39 members.

          None of them were Bundists, and until 1943 the Bund would have nothing to do with them.

          2/ ‘Jabotinsky’s legacy is a poison within the Israeli body politic’.

          Well as I pointed out. Jabotinsky had lots of opponents in Odessa when he started the Jewish self-defense group, and I guess he still does.

          1. I asked you to prove that Bundists were not partisans & did not resist the Nazis. You haven’t presented any evidence proving this. You’ve only claimed the Bundists rejected one particular form of Jewish resistance.

    2. I recommend to read (again) Segev’s
      ‘One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs Under the British Mandate’ to understand the complex Zionist approaches including Jabotinski’s, and how they preclude policy until today.

  2. Good post, and I completely agree with Grossman.
    But regarding your last comment – isn’t Hamas worthy of at least some “demonization”? What is the state of civil rights in Gaza? Gay rights? Women rights?

    1. I agree with Grossman that Hamas isn’t my preferred choice. But then again, I’m not Palestinian & don’t get to choose. I don’t think Palestinians HAVE much of a choice between Islamists & corrupt Fatah. What’s the choice here? A bruch on both of ’em.

    2. Hamas is certainly worthy of critique. But demonization is like pregnancy – you can’t have “some” of it.

      1. I just checked and he claims Israel’s response in Lebanon “was justified”. If we accept that this is not support, a point not central to my post, what about the assumption that the peace talks are real and that Israel has missed opportunities? Where is Seigman wrong?

        1. You’ll have to provide an actual quote from an actual source along w. a date. A number of Israeli liberals initially supported the war & then turned against it. I don’t know what Grossman’s initial position was but before it ended he was adamantly opposed. At the time, I was very critical of those who supported the war & then turned against it when it failed. But that doesn’t discredit his views in the current column.

          I wrote about Siegman’s piece when it came out quite a while ago & agree w. it. Check out what I wrote if you want to know my position.

          1. Grossman initially supported the war, but after a while he thought that “enough had been enough”. He then wrote a petition to the Israeli government (together with Amos Oz and A. B. Jehoshua) to ask for a cease fire. Shortly after that, his son was killed.

          2. I was clearly wrong. Now that I have read it again I see that the article was written after Grossman’s son was killed. (So you see how your memory can play tricks on you: I was sure I had heard of the death of Uri Grossman only AFTER reading this article.)

  3. Sady, Richard, Palestinians haven’t been “allowed” to exercise a choice in their leadership either.

    End the siege… and then what?

    1. Not sure what you’re saying. After ending the siege things can return to normal more or less–at least in Gaza. Then there should be another election & the PA should reconstitute itself.

      1. My question after reading Grossman’s piece is: do any Zionist thinkers in Israel actually recognize reality?

        Hamas was selected to represent the people of Palestine. Their gov’t was immediately isolated by the US/Israel/PA. The US and Israel staged a failed coup. Gaza has been punished ever since.

        Abbas is a puppet. The so-called gains made by the PA in the West Bank benefit a select group. This seems to be part of a plan to drive a permanent wedge between the WB and Gaza, and to like Arafat did, create a class of cronies whose very livelihoods depend on the ongoing existence of the PA.

        So if Hamas gives up Shalit and stops rockets (which it has already done), Israel will end the siege. Then what? To which reality do we return? Does Grossman think his country will ever again allow real elections in Palestine? Would his country abide by the results? Does he honestly believe that by watching PA cronies prosper in the WB, Gazans are then persuaded to ditch Hamas? Seriously?

        I am not clear on Grossman’s goal, other than getting Shalit back.

      2. After ending the siege things can return to normal more or less–at least in Gaza.

        A return to “normal in Gaza” is still a set of sub-human conditions imposed by a hostile power and zero self-determination. No thanks to a return to “normal in Gaza”. As for elections and the PA reconstituting itself all that is meaningless and pointless as long as Palestinians are not permitted to run their own lives and business in a free, sovereign, self-governed state of their own.

  4. Wasn’t Buber the Yekke who moved to Palestine, but after he got there insisted that no more Jews move there? I believe this is known as ‘moral philisophy’.

    And who said this about Magnes:

    “The bad thing about the business was that the god Felix Warburg, thanks to his financial authority ensured that the incapable Magnes was made director of the Institute, a failed American rabbi, who through his dilettantish enterprises had become uncomfortable to his family in America, and very much hoped to dispatch him honorably to some exotic place. This ambitious and weak person surrounded himself with other morally inferior men, who did not allow any decent person to succeed there.”

    1. Wasn’t Buber the Yekke who moved to Palestine, but after he got there insisted that no more Jews move there? I believe this is known as ‘moral philisophy’.

      You’re not worthy even of wiping the dirt off Martin Buber’s shoe & yet you talk as if you’re such a smart ass. Buber was the kind of Zionist I believe in. He was willing to limit the number of Jews who returned because that would make it easier for an accomodation with its Arab inhabitants. This was all before the Holocaust btw.

      Interesting that Albert Einstein, who attacked Magnes never ran a university, yet Magnes did for 23 years. In fact, a University that was the first in Israel & still remains its equivalent of Harvard. So Judah Magnes, the supposed failure & incompetent rabbi was the first president of the Hebrew University, the first rabbi to receive smichah fr west of the Mississippi River, a co-founder of Brit Shalom and one of the most important Jewish leaders of the 20th century.

      It’s possible that Magnes was an insufferable twit. I don’t know. Fr. what I’ve read Einstein was a pretty strange dude in his personal life as well. But for the great individuals their personal life isn’t nearly as important as what they accomplish. Magnes accomplished plenty. What have YOU accomplished?

      1. 1/ Apparently I didn’t phrase my objection to Buber well enough so I’ll try again.

        My objection to Buber’s pro-restriction ideas isn’t primarily the idea itself (although I do object to it). My problem is with the interesting timing. Buber seems to have had no desire to restrict Jewish entry BEFORE he arrived. Its only when he was in and safe from the Nazis that all of a sudden he objected to so many Jews coming in.

        2/ As to Magnes, go to ccarnet.org and put in a search for ‘Magnes’. A grand total of 17 results. Some great rabbi (as Einstein stated).

        As to the Harvard analogy, well Hebrew U was the first. If anyone else was its President it would still have been the first.

        3/ Interestingly enough Buber was a prof at Hebrew U. With the Reform Magnes at the head of ‘Harvard’ and Reform Buber there too, its no wonder there’s such a great Reform presence at Hebrew and in Jerusalem in general. Or is there?

        1. If anyone else was its President it would still have been the first.

          Do you not know anything about how hard it is to found a national university & how seminal was the role Magnes played in this? They could’ve chosen any number of figures to found this particular one, but they didn’t. They chose Magnes. Who’s to say w/o Magnes when if ever the University would’ve been founded or whether it would be the University it is today w/o him.

          I don’t see any particular tendency toward Reform Judaism at the Hebrew U.

    2. Buber, Martin: Politische Schriften
      Martin Buber und der Kampf um Israel. 820 Seiten. “Wir sind dabei, das Arabertum gegen uns zusammenzuschweißen!”

      quote from the publisher (Zweitausendeins) :
      ” Martin Buber war mit seinem philosophischen, theologischen und literarischen Werken eine der zentralen Figuren des europäischen Geisteslebens….. Und er ergriff immer wieder auch in politischen Fragen beherzt Partei. Schon zu Beginn der zionistischen Bewegung und der jüdischen Einwanderung nach Palästina sah er künftige Konflikte voraus und warb dafür, gute Beziehungen zu den Arabern aufzubauen. Er ahnte, dass sonst die jüdischen Einwanderer nur als Vorposten des Westens (speziell der Briten) angesehen und auf den Widerstand der arabischen Bevölkerung stoßen würden. Der nicht genau geklärte Grenzverlauf wurde eine stete Quelle für Konflikte in den kommenden Jahren. Jüdischer Terrorismus wetteiferte mit arabischem.

      Martin Buber beobachtete die politische Entwicklung in Palästina genau. Auf dem zionistischen Weltkongress 1929 in Zürich sagte er, es sei für ihn bei seinem Besuch dort zwei Jahre zuvor “erschreckend” gewesen, “wie wenig wir den arabischen Menschen kennen” und schloss mit den prophetischen Worten: “Wir haben in Palästina nicht mit den Arabern, sondern neben ihnen gelebt. Das Nebeneinander zweier Völker auf dem gleichen Territorium muss aber, wenn es sich nicht zum Miteinander entfaltet, zum Gegeneinander ausarten.”

      Noch intensiver beschäftigte sich Buber mit dem Thema, seit er 1938 einen Ruf an die Universität Jerusalem annahm. Immer wieder warnte er vor blindem Gewaltdenken, denn die Anhänger einer aggressiven Linie seien “im Begriff, das Arabertum, im Land und außerhalb des Landes, gegen uns zusammenzuschweißen”. Zwar blieb Buber bis zu seinem Tod im Jahr 1965 ein loyaler Bürger Israels, doch machte er aus seiner Kritik an der Politik Ben Gurions in der Araberfrage keinen Hehl….”

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