19 thoughts on “Israel and the Jewish Brown Shirts – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Yes it could be that the mistreatment of Arab Israelis and Palestinians will ultimately result in a massive revolt. If this is more or less clearly perceived by Israelis it is unlikely to mitigate their behaviour. I remember the sociologist Andreski arguing that in Brasilian slave society the continuous fear of a slave revolt led to ever more pathological cases of rage against them.

    If it ever comes to a revolt it is unlikely that the Israeli security apparatus will be overcome. But what could happen is that it will have to resort to such massive slaughter to keep control that other nations, which have given Israel thus far tremendous leeway, decide that they can no longer stand for this.

    We have had the 1982 slaughter in Lebanon, the repeated slaughter in Gaza, the decades old treatment of Palestinians as “Untermenschen” – shouldn’t there be a point where, even in the perception of the most obtuse of Israel’s supporters, a red line has been crossed? Where even Israel is forced to say “This time we went too far” (Norman Finkelstein argued that this was after the 2008 Gaza invasion – but the world’s conscience has been proven to be too elastic for that).

    1. I’ve wondered this myself. What would “the most obtuse of Israel’s supporters” do if Israel simply lined the Palestinians up and shot them à la the Katyn Forest massacre? My cynicism has reached the point that I think they would just sit there and silently cheer Israel on.

    2. If there is a full-scale revolt in Israel, the question of whether the Israeli security apparatus will be overcome is a serious one: it depends largely on whether they retain access to external support or not. If they still have the US backing, governments abroad will keep turning a blind eye, because nobody wants to get into a fight with the US. The US always loses, but it makes such a bloody mess that nobody wants to incite it; it’s like fighting a rabid dog.

      If Israel’s government has already been isolated internationally, however, they *will* lose. The genocide attempt will provoke the intervention of Turkey, or Russia, or another regional power which will obliterate the stockpile of US weaponry. If the US is no longer feeding new weaponry in, that’s it for the conventional military power in Israel. Germany in the 1930s had vast industrial power, and could pretty much produce any warmaking machinery it needed domestically, with the exception of oil. Israel has *nothing*, industrially speaking: no water, no oil, no iron, no other minerals, no wood, no workers, no *space*.

      The Israeli nuclear threat is another matter. Most likely it will continue to sit idle, or wise people will secure it the moment the government’s failure seems assured. At least they can’t nuke the Palestinians because they’re too close and the fallout would hit them. Worst case, the Israeli government will go mad and attempt to nuke Turkey or Iran or something, which would fail, and would result in a unified international campaign to destroy Israeli government utterly. So the nukes are useless.

      With the country internationally isolated, and with conventional military power and nukes destroyed, a popular revolution has decent odds of succeeding. It might still lose, but the state of Israel would go down with it, leaving a messy anarchic quagmire.

  2. If there are Jewish Brownshirts do they have an ideological equivalent of Alfred Rosenberg’s “Der Mythos des Zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts” ?. There was (is) indeed a book that came close to it, close that is in providing a rationale for the harassment they engage in, if indeed they would be literate enough to read anything beyond their settlers’ tracts (which I doubt).

    Its author, Joan Peters, died last month. For those who don’t know her, she was the author of that tremendous hoax “From Time Immemorial”. I spoke in my previous post about the obtuse supporters of Israel. Well, among its most obtuse must be reckoned its own Prime Minister. I read that Netanyahu, not long before Peters’ death, arranged for her to be thanked for her tremendous services to Israel.

    Either he is so obtuse that he has never noticed that he was dealing with a hoax here or, more likely, he knew that it was a hoax but thought, nevertheless, its hasbara value large enough to thank the author for it. If that was his consideration that wouldn’t relieve him from the charge of obtuseness. Because a lie exposed makes the truth come out more glaringly.

    More acute Israelis were aware of that. Chomsky wrote:

    “Actually, the Israeli reviews in general were extremely critical: the reaction of the Israeli press was that they hoped the book would not be widely read, because ultimately it would be harmful to the Jews—sooner or later it would get exposed, and then it would just look like a fraud and a hoax, and it would reflect badly on Israel. They underestimated the American intellectual community, I should say.”

    They did indeed.

    What was the hoax? Peters purported to show that the Palestinian population of Palestine was not indigenous to it; that the large majority of them were just recent interlopers attracted by Israel’s economic succes. So there shouldn’t be any worries about having taken their land away. They weren’t there in the first place. In order to demonstrate that she came out with a hefty tome which had, as she proudly claimed, more than 1800 footnotes.

    Yes. The young Finkelstein, then a doctoral student, went through each and every one of them and found evidence of fraud on a massive scale: mangled quotations, distorted demographic figures, the lot.

    But as Chomsky said, the Israeli reviewers might have underestimated the American intellectual community, Joan Peters did not. She knew exactly what she could get away with. She got hundreds of rave reviews, including of luminaries like Saul Bellow (for whom I lost all respect when I read his cowardly account of his trip to Jerusalem) and Barbara Tuchman.

    When Finkelstein’s findings, for which he couldn’t get a publisher, were sent around there was a silence as of the grave. The New York Review of Books had, cautiously, not joined in the chorus of adulation but neither was it game enough to bell the cat.

    Only after the book had come out in England and was subjected there to annihilating reviews (Chomsky had taken care of the distribution of Finkelstein’s findings), in the London Review of Books, in the Observer, in the Times Literary Supplement, did the New York Review of Books get its courage together to invite a competent reviewer. That he was Jewish wasn’t good enough. He had to be Israeli as well to remove any risk. Well they got Professor Yehoshua Porath, an expert in his field. He didn’t hide his contempt for the book. He had to wait a very long time though before his review was published (one can imagine the anxious deliberations behind closed doors) and even then he had to cut corners, according to Chomsky.

    And what happened to Finkelstein? He couldn’t get a foot on the ground in American academe and when he finally got a job in DePaul Alan Dershowitz (then not yet being weighed down by this girlie affair) made sure that he didn’t get tenure.

    A lot of American Jewish intellectuals got plenty of egg on their faces in this affair. Barbara Tuchman compounded her mistake by entering into a furious (and almost illiterate) exchange with some of the English reviewers, the Gilmours.

    Here is Chomsky’s account of this whole sorry saga:


    The fate of an honest intellectual


    The extent to which the American academic/political community is cowed by this lobby for a foreign nation is almost beyond belief.

  3. Thanks for the link to Chomsky’s piece about Finklestein and the Joan Peters book. The piece gave me a completely different perspective of Finklestein, for which I am grateful

  4. I*’m troubled by the idea, presented above, that women with scarves should no automatically be treated as terror suspects (and their wrists broken). Why is it assumed correct for Israel (or the USA) to trat suspects as if they’d been condemned? Why is it assumed that police can properly punish (totrure) people rather than merely ask for their papers again or arrewst them politely?

    If some fruitcake suspects that you are a terrorist, does that give him the right to manhandle you, to break your wrist? Even if he is a policeman? even if he is the chief of police?

    Bad assumption or thoroughly rotten society.

    I agree: breaking wrists without reason, without cause, is on a par with breaking glass windows at night (kristallnacht), Brown-shirts indeed,

  5. [comment deleted: OFF TOPIC, further off topic comments may cause you to lose all your commenting privileges.]

    1. @ Elisabeth: The Jewish Underground, an early settler-based terror group, was planning to bomb a Palestinian school before the plot was interrupted. Today, I’ll bet such a plot wouldn’t be stopped by the Shabak. They’d probably even help.

        1. @ Ariel: So the reason the Shabak is abysmally ineffective in stopping & punishing Jewish terror is because they’re they oppose it with every fiber of their body, right? Who better understands the motivation of Jewish terror than those sworn to do all in their power to stop “Arabs?”

          1. @Richard – “Jewish Terror”. The only significant Jewish terror attack in recent years was the murder of Muhammad Abu-Khdair and in that case they were so sloppy that it is hard to believe they were very organized. Most Price Tag attacks aren’t very different than throwing stones or Molotov cocktails and they can never be completely stopped or prevented. Just like it is impossible to prevent an individual from driving a car into a crowd in a bus/train stop. Whoever carry PT attacks is vandal, racist and stupid but they are not the same class as terrorists.
            I knew personally some of the Bat Ayin Underground members and was a guest at their house. Those people were fanatics and it was a great job of Shabaka to catch them (I could never guess anything was happening).

          2. @ Ariel:

            The only significant Jewish terror attack in recent years was the murder of Muhammad Abu-Khdair

            You’re wrong of course. But even if what you write was correct, what you’d really have to add is that it was the only significant Jewish civilian terror attack in recent years” since the IDF and Mossad routinely murder Palestinians and other “enemies of the Jewish people.”

            Most Price Tag attacks aren’t very different than throwing stones or Molotov cocktails and they can never be completely stopped or prevented.

            Absolutely wrong. First, throwing a rock is NOT the same as defacing cemeteries and burning down mosques. These are acts of terror. Second, price tag attacks can be prevented. If Israel offered zero tolerance for such terror attacks they’d stop immediately. Throw ’em in prison for five or 10 yrs and they’d stop pronto. But Israel can’t do that because the terrorists are extensions of the government and its policies.

            I knew personally some of the Bat Ayin Underground members

            Why am I not very surprised? You’re no terrorist. But I’ll bet you share their views on many issues.

          3. ” The only significant Jewish terror attack in recent years was the murder of Muhammad Abu-Khdair”
            Ariel, how can you say that?
            There have been so many attacks on Palestinians, esp. on the West Bank by settlers. Not ‘just’ destroying their lands and crops, but actually killing and maiming many people.
            You make me despair. The attitide of “Wir haben es nicht gewusst” is still very alive, it seems.

            Dont’t take me wrong: It is a universal problem (closing one’s eyes to the wrongs of one’s own country, or favorite activist group), an attitude very alive in my country too.

          4. @Elisabeth “so many attacks… By settlers… But actually killing” – no there weren’t!
            All the casualties you hear about are in clashes with IDF which are a different (worthy) subject. Please provide a link to such incident!

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