68 thoughts on “Amnon Dankner: ‘I’m Ashamed of Being Israeli’ – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. ‘Israel’s opposition leader, Tzipi Livni, on Monday said a wave of evil was sweeping the country, characterised by legislation to investigate the funding of civil and human rights organisations.’

    Whether there is evil in Israel, is a matter of opinion. What is not a matter of opinion is the reversal from the status of a democracy to one of the most undemocratic nations that is allowed to trade with the EU and the democratic global community. Israel is a country where corruption is so endemic that it envelops presidents and prime ministers on a regular basis. It then has the temerity to point to its ‘democratic’ systems with pride when it decides to prosecute one or two of its political corrupt. Meanwhile, that particular ‘evil’ is alive and well.

  2. The same guy also wrote a book on a good friend he had, after the guy died. He wrote that that friend had sex with the friend’s mother.
    Israel should be more ashamed of him being and israeli than the other way around.

    1. What has any of this got to do with the above article?
      Does it ‘null and void’ the inhumane treatment of the people of Gaza? Does it wipe out the war crimes committed on innocent children by israeli ‘soldiers’? The imprisonment of courageous people for DARING to protest at the destruction or theft of their land and homes by settler thugs!

      If this is the best you can do to defend ‘the most moral army in the world’ – try doing a cross word instead.

  3. If I were Churchill, I would give Dankner the full three cheers.
    I await an American Dankner to make the same cri de coeur about his own country, without which Israel would need not be as it is.

  4. In as much as it is painful to read the truth, it is even more painful to look at all the current political contenders and not see A SINGLE voice that would inspire hope. NONE
    As John Dean III once said: There is a cancer growing in this administration. The cancer has taken hold of this country.
    Note to the Arab Leaders: Please sit tight and quietly for Israel’s destruction and doom shall come to pass by ITS OWN HANDS and doing.
    Even if there are elections tomorrow, and Livni would still be Kadima’s chief she wouldn’t be able to build a coalition and therefore the same gangrenous current leadership would continue
    Second scenario, a MAN would be Kadima’s leader and HE would be able to form a coalition, most of that coalition members are in the CURRENT coalition and again the same policies will remain.
    The ONLY possible scenario would be an imposed palestinian solution which WILL shake some parties out of contention and perhaps MAY bring some political change, AGAIN MAY
    The false and nefarious claims that all this is happening under the flag of SECURITY is no different than the tactics used by the Nazis to take power, and we all know how that went.

    1. I don’t know the rules for knesset elections in Israel. Is there something existing like the so called “5% hurdle” we have in Germany? It led to a stable 3 party system (2 in government, 1 in opposition) in the Bundestag (german parliament) for decades. In the moment we have a 5 party system (3 in government, 2 in opposition). For Merkel it’s a easy livin’ compared with Netanyahus situation…

      1. Israeli politics are exceedingly fragmented because the population is much more religiously & ethnically diverse than in Germany. There is a threshhold for representation but many parties seem to achieve it & earn representation.

  5. This sentiment has swept across America as well and I see it in many of my friends, liberal about everything until it comes to Israel, a place they’ve seen for a total of one week and on a free vacation replete with one sided narratives from tour guides. I’ve been defamed (and my business reputation hurt to some degree) for simply voicing the correct dissent. Ultimately, it’s bittersweet being right about these things for years and now seeing those arguments slowly become more and more accepted, particularly after taking barb upon barb for being a proponent thereof in the first place. But who am I? Everyone has been a sword or shield in a game of vicious propaganda, one intended to pit the non-Muslim world against the Islamic — the perceived enemies of Israeli leadership. I find myself working overtime to remove stigmatization from my culture that has been caused in large part due to this type of propaganda. And while Israel produces it, our elected representatives broadcast it. Lobbies that cater to this propaganda don’t simply steer debate topics, they control whether those debates will even occur.

    George Washington’s Farewell Address said it all, and over 200 years ago. He’s not just a guy on the dollar bill, you know…

    1. Washington’s address, if I remember rightly, extolled the virtue of religion for good society. I can’t agree with this, nor his large estate with tens of slaves appallingly treated.

      You Americans would do well to campaign to remove him from the dollar bill and from various cities named after him.

      One could even learn from Russia who removed Lenin and Stalin from their various ***grads.

      1. Your spin is nauseating and you don’t sound educated from due diligence, but from talking points. If we base things on your memories then we’d be living in 2084 instead of 1984 😉


        You totally took the religious virtues portion of his speech out of context and ignored the RELEVANT portion thats warns of foreign entanglement and stalwart alliances. How connive irt for you as always…

        1. Such a patriot that criticism of your great leader causes nausea? Wow!

          Quote from address: “Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion”- what didn’t I understand here?

          And Washington also suggested American “neutrality” in foreign affairs and not to make permanent alliances. Well, I prefer an America that (eventually) entered both World Wars, as otherwise I would probably never have been born but my Jewish parents would have been deported to extermination camps from German occupied England.

          Nothing convenient here, just not accepting blindly all the myths of America’s so called “great” men.

          And you forgot to relate to what I wrote about his slave holding…

          1. You’re twisting his words to suit your own ends. Stopping a Nazi invasion and occupation of Europe does not entitle permanent entanglement with the Irgun Gang, for instance. Explain to all of us the difference between Irgun and Likud or Lieberman and the early fascists Albert Einstein et. al. warned of please.

            Read the entire speech until you get it and stop excising sentences. Washington meant America should have a moral compass. You should also know he was very fond of Muslims and the like, as well as the forefathers, as much as Jews. The concept of religious tolerance is lost to you as you look at everything through a mainstream Zionist prism.

            The slave holding has nothing to do with anything. I forgot to point out how nauseating it is that you spin and discredit like it’s a hobby. This modus operandi is the procedure by which the evils in this article are carried out.

            You can tug at heart strings all you want with irrelevant arguments, but it simply will be seen at face value for what it is. Would you rather a discussion of Ben Gurion and Golda Meir who caused the 62 year Shoah that seems to be beyond repair when you are always putting up superficial defenses and never explaining, but diverting, spinning, obfuscating and every other dirty debate trick in the book? Show me some integrity and we can have a proper discussion sometime like you told me we would have.

          2. The concept of religious tolerance is lost to you as you look at everything through a mainstream Zionist prism.

            Since he’s told us he supports a one-state solution I think you may want to rephrase that. Very few Zionists support a one-state solution. So you should give him a few points for that. He’s simply an Israeli who sees Zionism in a more complex way than some others commenting here.

            It might be a good idea to stop, take a deep breath and re-read the comment to which you’re replying & your own comment before clicking the “Submit Reply” button. I don’t see why what Shmuel’s saying should nauseate you or why he’s not showing integrity. I don’t mind disagreeing w. him but maybe we can dial down the heat & volume a bit?

          3. You should read a good biography of Washington before jumping to conclusions about him or his views. A very complicated man. His views on foreign entanglements were influenced by the historical context but generally his advice was very sound. If George Bush had heeded it look at the messes we might’ve avoided.

            Washington was a slaveholder as all Virginia plantation owners were at the time. I may be confusing Washington with Jefferson but I believe he freed his slaves after his death. Not sure about that though.

      2. OK, fine. Wanna talk about your “founding fathers”, the terrorists who conducted systematic, planned massacres, murders, and massive ethnic cleansing in order to create your state?

        As for the horrors of George Washington owning slaves, should Jews hold King David and all the other slave-owning Jews of history in contempt for the same offense? Or do we simply recognize that it is irrational to hold historical figures to today’s standards or expect them to share today’s world view?

        1. Israel’s founding fathers, amongst them King David, Abraham Moses etc are criticised in the Bible itself as being imperfect and even worse, and there was no hiding of their evil deeds in the actual text of the Bible.
          Today no criticsm is spared also on the modern leaders like Golda (73 war) and Begin (Lebanon war).
          If one doesn’t judge leaders with hindsight, but in historical perspective, then there is no reason to judge Israel’s 48 leaders who acted within the then acceptable international law criteria in capturing title to land in war (as per WW2)

          1. Shmuel, please grow up, intellectually at least, and learn how to argue meaningfully and effectively, and if you cannot do that, at least try to learn to skirt your interlocutor’s point in a more elegant way.

            King David Abraham, Moses, etc. are not in any realistic way the founding fathers of Israel. More importantly, the fact that King David owned slaves and had multiple wives, both of which were the norm during his time, does not negate his value as an historical figure or diminish the value of his good acts or the wisdom of his words.

            Your attempt to pretend Israel’s 1948 leaders acted within acceptable international law criteria in their program of invasion and massive ethnic cleansing is deeply flawed. Once again, you really need to get out of your Zionist mythology bubble, and into the sunlight of reality.

          2. Of couse these are Israel’s founding fathers! Jerusalem is called David’s city, Israel is Jacob’s other name, Hebron is Al-Khalil which is Abraham, and so on.

            David was criticised for taking too many wives in spite of the norms of the day, since the leader was expected to have a higher moral standard (which it turned out that he did not have. Similarly, because he had blood on his hands, like all kings, was not allowed to build the first temple in Jerusalem)

            I apologise for not “skirting with elegance”, I never learnt that skill.

            “Your attempt to pretend Israel’s 1948 leaders acted within acceptable international law criteria in their program of invasion and massive ethnic cleansing is deeply flawed”
            It may be flawed, but the UN also was flawed in its thinking when it recognised Israel according to international law, or maybe your thinking is less flawed than the UN?

          3. No, Shmuel, they are not Israel’s founding fathers. They are critical figures in ancient Jewish history, and by the time Theodor Herzl got the idea of a Jewish state their flesh had passed through the bodies of countless worms. They played no part in the founding of the modern-day Jewish state.

            And what interesting examples you chose! Two cities that are not in Israel, despite Israelis’ very brutal efforts to add them to its territory, and two cities that are deeply holy to Christians and Muslims and are part of the continuity of the three religions.

            Another inelegant attempt to skirt the issue in your last paragraph. It was not the UN’s partition of Palestine, allowing the creation of Jewish state that was the issue, although that was a questionable act. But I strongly suspect you know that.

  6. While I agree with most of what Dankner has to say, here’s a question:

    “What adds to my sense of depression is the awareness that demographic processes are turning our society more and more religious, more and more racist and venomous, more and more withdrawn and violent.”

    What are these demographic processes? Why they exist?

    1. These demographic processes Dankner is referring to are obviously the constant co-opting of and occupation of Arab lands. Why do they exist? Read the history of Israel.

      1. You missed the point – the “demographic process” he refers to is the religious Jewish and Palestinian higher rate of procreation, leaving the “sensible” types like himself more and more in a minority.

        Why does this exist? If there is lack of adherence to the religious obligation to procreate, then economic considerations take over, as in much of the Western world.

        1. # Shmuel)
          I didn’t see your answer before answering, and I dropped my sentence on the competition between Haredi and Palestinian families because I didn’t find the right word in English (‘la lutte nationaliste par grossesse interposée’). For once, we agree !

          1. @Deir Yassin
            I read the “One State” declaration, and unfortunately it’s written one sidely, to the Palestinian side, such that only the few Israelis such as Ilan Pappe could attach their signature.
            I hope this was not a missed opportunity, since with slight editorial changes and a little more reference and clarity to Jewish rights this could attract a much wider and less so-called “extreme” support.
            But it’s a start.

          2. @ Shmuel)
            Few Israelis ? There are ‘ex-Israelis’ too. Do you always recognize a Jew by his/her name ?

            You claim it’s one-sided and don’t take into consideration the “Jewish Rights”. What Jewish rights ?

            It states:
            “The historic land of Palestine belong to ALL who live in it and these who were expelled or exiled from it since 1948 regardless of religion, ethnicity …”

            “The principle of equality in civil, political, social and cultural rights for ALL citizens. Power must be exercised with rigorous impartiality on behalf of all the people in the diversity of their identities”

            “The recognition of the diverse character of the society, encompassing distinct religious, linguistic and cultural traditions, and national experiences”

            “The separation of the State from all organized religion”

            I see NOTHING but equality.

            I guess what’s bothers you is “the creation of a transparent and non-discriminatory immigration policy”.
            You don’t wan’t to give up the automatic ROR for all Jews of the Diaspora, that’s it ?
            Well, I think the ROR for the expelled Palestinians and the cancellation of the automatic ROR for Jews is ‘the test of sincerity’.
            If you find that the declaration is one-sided, I think you haven’t realized that there was ONE victim in ’48 and ’67.

          3. @Deir Yassin
            The parts of the declaration concerning the One State that you quote here are the relatively OK parts. (except that the first quote excludes Jews who don’t live here today – would that mean that Ilan Pappe can’t return as he lives in England now?)

            What is missing is:

            Israel in the title (it talks about the historic land of Palestine). It should have said “Israel\Palestine” or “Palestine\Israel” or even “Canaan” to be more balanced.

            The only mention of Israel is in a negative context.
            Zionism is not mentioned as the fulfilment of Jewish aspirations in the area – side by side with Palestinian aspirations.

            Together with Palestinian rights of return should be the rights of Jews to return (as part of the immigration laws for both peoples). What the hell is your “test of sincerety” supposed to mean? That Jews will no longer see Israel as its homeland? That’s as likely as Palestinians giving up that right = not likely!

            No, both sides were victims in 48 and 67, the losses on both sides were terrible.
            What happened was that the Palestinians LOST the wars. Losing a war doesn’t make for victimization! This is the crux of the argument, and if one is trying to create a document to be a basis for both sides it has to be in accordance with the rights and aspirations of both sides, without both sides complaining about what the other has done to them historically.

            Harav Kook (I don’t agree with most of his writings) said: “The rightious don’t complain about wickedness but rather add goodness” – this should be the motto for future cooperation otherwise the one state solution will also be doomed.
            If Jews will sign a document that returns full rights to Palestinians, Palestinians will have to “bite the bullet” and do the same for Jewish rights.
            That’s called PEACE!!!

          4. I think there should be a Right to Return but we somehow have to balance the fact that Palestinian refugees & their immediate descendants were forcibly exiled fr. Israel 60 yrs ago, while Jews who may want to make aliyah have no such issue (unless you want to go all the way back to exiles forced on us by conquerors centuries & millenia ago). Diaspora Jews wishing to make aliya have a symbolic bond w. Israel as their homeland, but Palestinians have a much more tangible one if they’re related to actual refugees.

            Losing a war doesn’t make for victimization!

            Well, what do you think the Palestinians have been suffering fr. for the past 60 yrs.? The mumps?

          5. @ Shmuel)
            Okay for Israel/Palestine or Canaan – that’s not the problem.
            Pappe or someone else in his case is not ‘Jewish’ but ‘Israeli’, and can of course at all times return home.
            You do know that this is not actually the case for many Palestinians in the OT and with Israeli citizenship who leave, don’t you ?
            When I talk about the Palestinians being the victims in ’48 and ’67, I’m NOT talking about the human losses. Nobody can bring back the dead ones. I’m talking about the dispossessions and the expulsions – you know those Palestinians who “left-voluntarily-after-the Arab-radios- asked-them-to-so-they-could-throw-the-Jews-into-the-sea”.
            Less than 10.000 Jews left or were expulsed from the territories designated to the future Arab state, and only a tiny minority were from the Old Yichouv.
            Comparing the losses in ’48 is simply dishonest or due to lack of knowledge.

            By ‘test of sincerity’ I refer to what I use to distinguish a “peace talker” from someone who sincerily seeks peace AND justice.
            Lots of people don’t recognize the Palestinian ROR and in the same time don’t question the Jewish ROR.
            The Palestinian ROR is for the refugees of ’48 and their descendants and there are specific criteria for this ROR, such as ‘close relation with the region’. We’re talking of people who lived on this land 1-2, maximum 3 generations ago.
            Within a hypothetic binational State, I actually think that the Palestinians should – within a limited number of years – decide whether they want to return home or settle down elsewhere permanently . Once this decision is taken, individually, the ROR would not be applicable for the descendants ‘ad vitam aeternam’.
            And within the same hypothetic binational State, I don’t see why Jews around the world should have the ROR for all eternity. At a certain moment, this has to stop. We’re not talking about Canada, but a tiny piece of land.
            Does ‘what the hell’ belong to the vocabulary of of a Jew ? I think Richard once wrote that ‘hell’ is not part of the Jewish faith.

          6. Yes, Hell isn’t a normative concept. There are those who believe in it & it’s discussed in some texts (i.e. Gehinnom–both Hell allegorically & an actual place in Jerusalem). But there was no concept of Hell in Biblical religion.

        2. Re-Shmuel)
          I don’t want to sound ethnocentric, but I don’t think Dankner was referring to the Palestinians, at least those with Israeli citizenship. The secularization of the Israeli Palestinians has been shown by many sociological studies, and I don’t think they are becoming more and more racist, violent and withdrawn. I think he’s only talking about the Jewish population in Israel.

          1. @Deir Yassin
            I seem to recall that Dankner was a supporter of Peres in the past, and Peres very strongly came out in favour of withdrawal from the WB and Gaza for demographic reasons, i.e. the worry that the Palestinians were increasing much faster than the Jews and thus would become a demographic problem.

            As for Israeli palestinians -I concur that they probably have similar statistics to the secular Jewish population.

    2. # Yakov)
      “What are these demographic processes”

      Well, I didn’t read that as Gene. Maybe he’s right, but I think the author is referring to the ‘demographic explosion’ within the ultra-religious population, particularly among the settlers.

        1. I went back and reread the paragraph. Both you, Shirin, and Deir Yassin are correct. He is referring to the religious explosion, not the occupation. Apologies for the misreading.

      1. Precisely. Not just Haredim though, but religious orthodox Jews in general. There’s a simple solution: cut excessive child support. Israel is (nearly?) the only country in the world that actively encourages childbirth by means of child support that increases with each child (per child! not just the total).

        Once you stop that, you stop the demographic change. If it won’t be stopped until a certain date, it won’t ever be. It must be stopped while the secular majority can vote for it.

        As for emigration, the tax policy and general (lack of) quality of government has a surprisingly large effect, in my opinion.

  7. Dankner states: “It seems that things that were repressed within the Israeli soul and well-hidden through shame are suddenly bursting forth with a sense of liberation, dancing obscenely in the public square.”

    What is the difference between repressing these “things” and hiding them through shame or liberating these “things” and dancing obscenely in the public square? One is just more hypocritical than the other.

    The fact is that the Zionist “experiment” was doomed from the beginning. The fact is that democracy, the rule of law and Zionism are insoluble elements in this experiment, i.e. they just don’t mix. The fact is that Zionism has an inherent expiry date originating in injustice. The fact is that Zionism is really a euphemism for “self-destruction”.

    Why is anyone surprised by the outcome? Anyone with clear vision and strong moral integrity could have predicted this evolution. Those Jews who were against Zionism from the beginning and refused to be coerced, manipulated by fear-mongering or threatened by aggressive tactics to lure them to the “promised” land; in fact, got it right and understand the meaning of humanity and justice.

    1. @Kalea
      How much eulogising in one small comment. Zionism is far from dead.
      Zionism is far from the way you describe it, it is a belief in a Homeland for Jews, and if various Israeli governments have taken it to places it never dreamed to reach, that is a political problem that may or may not be solved to the satisfaction of all.
      To talk of Zionism in your terms is like to talk of Islam as al-Qa’eda, or Marxism as USSR.
      There is no contradiction between zionism and democracy and rule of law, some Israeli leaders have bastardised the Jewish dream for a homeland and even brought danger to many Jews – but this is not Zionism.

      1. I think your post is more wishful thinking than reality. Reality trumps all and is demonstrating that I’m right about Zionism, and your interpretation of Zionism is an illusion that is non-existent just like Israel’s borders and Constitution are non-existent.

        Wishing it and good intentions doesn’t make it so. You fail to understand the momentum is greater than your wishing, the momentum pushed by an ever-growing radicalism is based on injustice and the status quo is but the natural evolution of that injustice. Nothing good will come of Zionism, ever, unless of course it’s forced upon Zionists and even then I’m skeptical.

        1. your interpretation of Zionism is an illusion that is non-existent

          Well, that means that I am an illusion & don’t exist. I think this might disappoint my children a bit & I hope my wife. I’d like to think that I do exist, imperfectly as that might be.

          1. Whether it would disappoint your children most likely depends on the situation at the time. I believe there are times for all children when they wish their parents did not exist. As for your wife – I’m not going to touch that one!

    2. Zionism is really a euphemism for “self-destruction”.

      No, I don’t agree. Clearly, ZIonism as practiced by Israel since the creation of the State can be characterized in this way. But Zionism has a very long history that precedes 1948. There are some Jews today, though very few, who reject Zionism outright.

  8. This, frankly, is not going to mean much. Jews of the baby boomer generation simply refuse to acknowledge their own moral failure. Lieberman is the logical extension of the ideas that “inspired” them to volunteer on Kibbutzim and make the desert bloom. It’s that insufferable 1960s narcissistic phony altruism that has meant continued liberal support for Israel. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who could leave a mess like this for their children to clean up and could shamelessly use their ancestors suffering to justify this is pure evil. If you still believe in Zionism after Cast Lead, you need to have your head (and perhaps your moral compass) examined.

    1. I don’t think Lieberman is a logical extension. I think Zionism, at least in its earlier stages could’ve taken a number of forks in the road & it chose the one it pursues today, which is one of violence, hate & oppression. It might’ve gone differently (though it didn’t).

      1. Richard, Zionism from its earliest stages had its basis in 19th European colonialist ideology and shared European colonialist attitudes and beliefs about non-European peoples. From its inception it sought to create, establish, and maintain a state for European Jews. The 19th century European point of view was so integral to Zionism that the earlier Zionists did not even really want non-European Jews to be part of their project. The likes of Ahad Ha’am were extreme outliers, and while we might wish that they had been more numerous or had more influence, they are interesting mainly because they were the rare and extreme exception.

        I don’t consider Zionism intrinsically evil or bad, or even negative. I think it was a movement that fit into its time, and I might even buy Ilan Pappe’s suggestion that there was something noble in it. However, it seems to me wishful thinking to believe that an ethnically-based nationalist movement whose foundation includes a huge dose of 19th century colonialism, and whose seminal document acknowledges the need to economically squeeze out the undesirable native population can have gone in a very different direction than it did.

        1. I think you pay too much attention to Hertzl and other similar early political zionists.
          They certainly were a beacon at the time, but the world and Zionism evolved into the 20th century, and with it the ideas of socialist and religious zionism, and then European anti-semitism reared its head.
          Most zionists today neither know nor really care what Hertzl actually said – he’s remembered as a mythical prophet of hope at a dark period in Jewish history, and is mostly known by streets named after him.

          Of course Zionism could have taken a different course – Mapam favoured a one state solution in the fifties and sixties, but were in a minority. Had there been any form of Arab recognition or resignation to the fact of Israel’s existance things may have taken a very different path.

          But that’s all spilt milk today.

          1. Had there been any form of Arab recognition or resignation to the fact of Israel’s existance things may have taken a very different path.

            Stuff & nonsense. The Arabs offered Israel numerous opportunities which it rejected. People like you rush to tell the world how badly done by you were by the Arabs while neglecting Israel’s lost opportunities.

            I wasn’t talking so much about Mapam as about Brit Shalom even earlier.

          2. You are completely wrong. I do not pay too much attention to Herzl. I DO pay attention to Herzl because so many of his fundamental ideas and concepts are continuous threads throughout the history of Zionism, and you cannot obscure that. His realization that it would be necessary to “transfer” indigenous non-Jews from the land designated for the Jewish state is one of them, as is the method of economic strangulation. Along with that is the assumption that the native peoples in whatever land they chose for the Jewish State did not really feel strong connection to the land, and given the right negative and positive inducements would willingly abandon it to the Zionists. Another is, of course, the goal of a state as opposed to a mere homeland. Yet another is, as I have mentioned before, the fact that Zionism was imbued with 19th century European colonialist ideology and attitudes toward non-European peoples, and that attitude persists until today. There are plenty more examples, but those will do for now.

            And Mapam? Come on! This is not an example of mainstream Zionism, it is an example of Israeli Jews who were willing to deny the very raison d’etre of Zionism and accept a non-Zionist vision for the State. The likelyhood that Israel could have gone in that direction is virtually zero.

            Had there been any form of Arab recognition or resignation to the fact of Israel’s existance things may have taken a very different path.

            Had there ever been incorporated into Zionism any real recognition of or respect for the connection of the non-Jewish Palestinian natives to their land, and their absolute right to their land, their homes, their lives, and their history, things would have taken a completely different path.

            As for your claims of lack of recongition, acceptance, or resignation, you are ignoring a very lengthy history of attempts on the part of Palestinians and other Arabs to reach a mutually acceptable modus vivendi – a history that goes well back into the pre-state period.

  9. RE: “Or it really may portend the sort of wake up call that Israelis need to hear.” – R. Silverstein
    CONTINUING WITH MY METAPHORICAL ANALOGY: Unless it’s too late, and most Israeli’s are already ‘Pod People’ who are oblivious to wake up calls.
    FROM YOSSI GURVITZ, 01/06/11: …As in a long series of fascist regimes – from Italy through Germany to the Serbia of Milosevic – the people [“Pod People” – J.L.D.] living under such regimes cannot save themselves, cannot wake out of the nightmare on their own, but require a strong external intervention…
    ENTIRE GURVITZ COMMENTARY – http://ygurvitz.net/?p=97

  10. Zionism…is a belief in a Homeland for Jews

    Not at all factually correct. From its inception European political Zionism, initiated by Theodor Herzl, and based on classical 19th century European colonialist views, was a movement to establish a European Jewish state, not a belief in a “Homeland” for Jews. Herzl made that very clear in his seminal work Der Judenstadt and the goal of Zionism has not changed.

    various Israeli governments have taken it to places it never dreamed to reach

    It sounds as if you have studied the idealized mythology about Zionism, not its reality. I have quite a few selections in my library from the standard Zionist literature, written mainly by Zionists, that might enlighten you as to what the Zionists dreamed to reach, and what they were willing to do to reach it.

    To talk of Zionism in your terms is like to talk of Islam as al-Qa’eda, or Marxism as USSR.

    No, it’s not. Starting with Herzl Zionists recognized and acknowledged the necessity of ridding whatever land they chose for their state of its non-Jewish population. Expansion was also a key goal from very early on, and that has never changed.

    There is no contradiction between zionism and democracy and rule of law

    Wrong. There is a contradiction between democracy and any state defined, established and maintained based solely on race, religion, or ethnicity unless the establishment of the State does not violate the rights of non-members of the defined group, and the citizenry consists exclusively of members of the defined group. The minute you define a state as the state of a specific race, religion, or ethnicity you have created tiers of citizenship, and that is absolutely antithetical to democracy.

    The “rule of law” argument is irrelevant in this context since the State determines the laws, which cannot possibly be egalitarian and democratic in a state which, by definition, has tiers of citizenship.

    some Israeli leaders have bastardised the Jewish dream for a homeland and even brought danger to many Jews – but this is not Zionism.

    So many classical errors here. First you make the fundamental mistake of equating Zionism with Jewishness. Second, you repeat the mistake of claiming that Zionism was merely about a Jewish homeland. Third, you insist that what is exactly the logical and expected result of Zionism is not Zionism.

    You have a lot to learn before you will understand Zionism and its consequences for Jews, both European and non-European, as well as for non-Jewish Palestinians.

    1. @Shirin
      Thankyou for correcting my mistakes about Zionism. I had been living under the misconception that most Jews had some identification with Israel today and\or Zionism as an ideology, or Eretz Yisrael, and thought that this was meant to be the Homeland for the Jewish people. But by reading classical Zionist thinkers you think this is incorrect.

      Perhaps you should in future say you disagree with the idea rather than pretend to know how the Jewish people thinks.

      Outside of America, where there is a large population of jews who seek their Jewish identity outside religion or Israel support, most Jews if asked will believe in Israel as a homeland for the Jews and a haven = “insurance policy” in case of anti-semitism.

      Richard, I believe, describes himself as Zionist, in spite of his anti-Israeli policies views, and so would many other Jewish bloggers who hold back nothing in their unmitigating criticism of Israel. This is Zionism, caring about the future of Israel because it is the Jewish homeland.
      few Jews would would disagree with that.

      1. Shmuel, your somewhat incoherent objections do not change the facts about what Zionism was, which was not a belief in a Jewish homeland, but a movement to create a European Jewish state somewhere outside of Europe.

  11. Shirin,
    You are one of the most conceited, condescending and arrogant poster on this blog. You are such a know it all. Sure, you have a way with words and you are an elegant writer, but you use this talent-poison pen really- to run circles around people. All zionists make incoherent arguments according to you. But you of course possess impeccable logic. After spending a huge amount of your time on blogs cataloguing the evil deeds of “zionists”, you have developed some airtight talking points.
    Who gives a rat’s ass about your libray and what you have read? You may have read a lot but you don’t know how people think. Zionism is embedded in Judaism. There is no Judaism without a connection to Israel. When a traditional Jew turn towards Jerusalem to pray, he does not mean Berlin.
    It would not come to my mind to pontificate about how muslims think but apparently you are an authority on others.


      Oh – thanks for the compliments on my writing.


    2. “Zionism is embedded in Judaism.”

      It’s worth remembering here that Zionism began as a secular movement. Its founders were by and large atheist in their beliefs and socialist in their politics. In the early days of the movement, the support it received from observant Jews was very limited. Somewhere along the line, the dynamic changed, and the majority of religious Jews now support the State of Israel – to the point where its centrality is enshrined in constitutions of the United Synagogue, the umbrella organisation for Britain’s (Modern) Orthodox Jews. Today’s Jewish anti-Zionist camp is intriguingly polarised, composed primarily of secular Jews and certain parts of the charedi community. Things have changed since Zionism’s early days, and Shirin is not being arrogant in pointing that out. Zionism as many Jews understand it today is not the same as Zionism as conceived of and developed by Herzl and his associates. It is imbued with religious significance now that it did not possess at the time.

      Also, Judaism predates political Zionism by thousands of years, so it should be self-evident that Zionism does not have to be an integral component of the faith. Turning towards Jerusalem to pray could be seen as an affirmation of a spiritual connection with the place, not a physical one – and there are Jews who do see it in that way, believing that support for a discriminatory regime would compromise the purity of their connection. A place can be a part of you without you having to physically be in the place.

      “It would not come to my mind to pontificate about how muslims think but apparently you are an authority on others.”

      Ironically, I think it’s you have tried to speak for others. In saying that ‘Zionism is embedded in Judaism’, you have spoken for Jews at large, making it sound as though there is no room for anti-Zionism in Judaism. Yet anti-Zionist Jews exist, and so do Zionist Jews whose interpretations of Zionism perhaps differ from your own.

  12. I once read that “Zionism is Judaism’s attempt at suicide.”
    Given their practice of stealing other people’s property and coveting their neighbor’s land, I took this to mean that such behavior is antithetical to Judaism, as indeed it is to all religious belief, and that the author was both Jewish and Religious in the best sense of that term.

    1. That’s nonsense. Zionism as others here have stated here was originally a secular ideology having more to do w. nationalism than religion. Whether Zionism lives or dies will not ensure the future of Judaism if it succeeds, or its doom if it fails. Judaism will continue with or w/o Zionism.

  13. I am surprised no one mentionned Dankner’s rank racism against Sephardim/Mizrahim. He wrote a famous article about it once. I am ashamed of him.
    Here is a taste:
    “This will not be a war among brothers … [because] these are not my brothers … The sticky blanket of “Jewish love and brotherhood” is thrown on my head and I am asked to be considerate of the [Mizrahi] cultural deficit and the authentic feelings of discrimination. My blood boils when I hear those hypocritical calls. They put me in a cage with a baboon running amok and then they tell me: “Okay, now you are together and begin a dialogue.…” Now I want to tell you that I am tired of empathizing and understanding. I have heard all the stories about discrimination, the social-economic gap, the feelings of frustration, the DDT and the maabarot. [I am told that] we [the Ashkenazim] have Heine, Freud, Einstein, and the wonderful synthesis between Judaism and Western culture, but the [Mizrahim] also have some wonderful things: hospitality, respect for mother and father, and a wonderful patriarchal tradition. … For me, however, they are not among the traits that I wish to see in the society that my spiritual fathers and I dreamed about establishing here: an exemplary and modern society laced with the most beautiful visions of humanistic liberalism. [Still] the advocates of Jewish love and brotherhood say, “Do not call them [the Mizrahim] Khomeini-like or primitive. It makes them even angrier.'[25]”

    1. This is a perfect example of how the 19th century European colonialist racist ideology of the Zionists has persisted to the present day.

      And how interesting that Dankner seemed to appreciate “the wonderful synthesis between Judaism and Western culture”, but could not even bear to mention the far stronger and much more wonderful – and reliable – synthesis between Judaism and Arab Culture, which was, after all, far stronger, of far longer duration, and did not result in systematic attempts at extermination. In fact, when some European missionaries tried to sell the Blood Libel to Christians in Syria they were met with blank stares and disbelief.

    2. He reminds me more & more of Christopher Hitchens, who at one time was a progressive but has become more & more cranky, intolerant & brutish. Both are terrific writers who think the world of themselves w. enormous egos. But Dankner appears to have started on the left, turned right at Maariv, & now is coming back to something approximating the left (though perhaps that is a mirage). I don’t fully trust people like this, which is why I wrote cautiously in my post about him.

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