8 thoughts on “Zionism and the Exploitation of Jewish Catastrophe – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. [comment deleted: I do not permit dissemination or promotion of conspiracy theories here. If you wish to do that you’ll have to do it elsewhere.]

  2. Thank you for this history. It should be kept alive.There would be no Israel had it not been for the Holocaust. Palestinians are right when they complain that they pay the price.
    I attribute the Zionism of Ben Gurion, as opposed to the buried vision of Ahad Ha Am, to a kind of reaction to deep trauma and the guilt that enables or caters to it. Not to leave out, there is the obsessive need to compensate for the loss of life, the fear of annihilation. This feeling is nurtured and exploited. It’s a reason for being, communal.ly shared, passed on to the next generations. It ( compensation, vindictiveness) covers over wiser, healthier sentiments too buried to emerge, the latter, if they exist hammered down by political leaders. Some still strive valliantly because they know in their hearts something else as we so far away in diaspora do.
    Well we just got back- so it’s alive, these impressions… the walls, the furious building, the babies, the insularity. That is not to say that Israel not is amazing in many ways.There are those young Israelis, some, that by custom travel the world after service, to know others elsewhere, to bust out of the walls that protect, that also keep them in.

  3. Thanks Richard for bringing this book to my attention. Yes Ben GUrion’s comment that the advent of Hitler was ‘“a huge political and economic boost for the Zionist enterprise.’ is shocking. However he was not alone. Berl Katznelson called it a ‘golden opportunity’ and others said the same.

    Ben Gurion’s comment about rescuing German Jewish children is not new. It was in reaction to the British scheme to rescue 10,000 Kindertransport children. He and the Zionist movement were very much opposed to this.

    I disagree with you about there being a possibility of there being a different kind of Zionism of the Ahad Haam kind. No that was not possible. Zionism could only triumph as a settler colonial movement. Nothing else would suffice which is why Ihud/Brit Shalom etc were so pitifully small and indeed Brit Shalom contained people like Arthur Ruppin, a Jewish Nazi who was certainly no dove (I assume you know of his tete a tete with Prof Hans Gunther, Himmler’s ideological mentor?

    I also disagree with the idea of a jewish homeland. The racially oppressed forming their own state on ethnic lines can only replicate that which they escaped from

    1. @Dictir:

      David Ben Gurion tried to save the Jews from the Nazis

      He did nothing of the sort. Do not lie. Do not make history up. Do not substitute what you wish had happened for what really hapiened. None if this acceptable in the comndnt threads . Only facts and evidence to support whatever claims you do make.

  4. Mr. Richard Silverstein,

    I do not lie or make history up.
    I sent a link with many, many different book reviews of Friling’s exhaustive book. If you read the book reviews, you cannot call me liar.

    These book reviews say that Ben Gurion helped try to save Jews during the Holocaust.

    The book reviews say;

    ” Friling’s massive work is clearly designed to replace Segev’s and other new historians’ rendering of Ben-Gurion and the Yishuv leadership’s conduct during the Holocaust with one that represents it in a far more favorable light. He makes a very powerful case that these men cared quite
    deeply about what was going on in Nazi Europe and that they made strong
    efforts to come to the aid of Hitler’s Jewish victims “.


    “Friling argues, convincingly to this reviewer that the ultimate lack of success of the Yishuv to save European Jewry, or any large part of it was not a failure of will, or a political choice. It was the result of the powerlessness of the Yishuv in the face of faces far stronger than itself”


    “Frilings conclusion is that these failures were not for want of trying, and that the rescue of Jew was always a top priority for Ben Gurion”.

    1. @ Doctor: You are pathetic. You compare a book by someone no one’s ever heard of with the most complete, comprehensive and exhaustive biography ever written on Ben Gurion? Written by the pre-eminent historian of modern Israel and the Zionist movement? Really? Please spare me.

      Frilling’s book is so obscure it took me 20 minutes of searching on Google to even find it. It was published nearly 20 years ago. Segev’s book is current and he had access to far more historical and archival material than Frilling.

      BTW, no one is arguing that Ben Gurion had little power to save the Jews during the Holocaust. Segev and I argue that even if he could have done so he would only have saved Jews if they made aliyah to Palestine. And that is a profoundly immoral position. Not to mention that Ben Gurion caused immense damage to the resistance to the Nazis at a time when they could have been stopped by a united effort by world Jewry to boycott them.

      Again, no more comments in this thread.

  5. Let me set ‘Dr’ Akwanga straight. I am aware of Tuvia Friling’s pathetic 2 volume book. It is an exercise in mendacity. Oh yes he copiously records all the speeches and the minutes and all the rest but strangely nothing came of this. To quote one review in the link that the ‘Dr’ sent us:

    ‘One must remember that when Rudolph Vrba escaped from Auschwitz, no one believed his harrowing description
    of what was going on there.’

    That is a straightforward lie. Verba and Wexler escaped on April 10th and reached Slovakia on the 24th April 1944. They immediately set about writing what became known as the Auschwitz Protocols or Auschwitz Report. The Slovakian Jewish Council certainly did believe them because they had it translated into German and Hungarian. They gave it to, among others, the leader of Hungarian Zionism, Rudolf Kasztner who suppressed it as did the rest of the Zionist movement. Instead he reached his sordid deal with Eichman – allow me to save the elite of Hungarian Jewry and Zionism and you can have the rest of the Jews.

    I’ve debated with Friling on Alef site and he tried to retranslate the most damning memos of Ben Gurion stating quite clearly that if you separate Zionism and what he termed ‘refugeeism’ (saving refugees for the sake of so doing) then Zionism was lost. Ben Gurion was a Zionist first and foremost.

    Somewhat more objective than this so-called doctor is Ben Gurion’s official biographer, Shabtai Teveth ‘The Burning Ground 1886-1948’. In the final chaper on the Holocaust, Disaster Means Strength (in other words the disaster of the holocaust strengthened Zionism) Teveth quotes Ben Gurion as saying that given the choice between saving refugees and building the Jewish state the latter came first.

    Friling is not a serious historian. Neither is the doctor.

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