Monday, February 23, 2009
Aharon Megged Denouncing Israel's Academic Fifth Column
wins, there is never any need for electoral reform. When the Left loses,
the entire electoral system must be restructured because it does not
produce the correct results.
2. It should have been called "Waltzes with Self-Hatred." Yet
another anti-Israel film by an Israeli, painting terrorism in a positive
sympathetic light. No, you do not have to be Steven Spielberg to make a
movie about nice sympathetic terrorists.
I think it is wonderful that the leftist anti-Israel cartoon "Waltzes with
Bashir" did not get an Oscar. I also think that it is a cartoon
explanation for why the government of Israel should stop subsidizing
Israeli film making altogether. Israeli films are by and large divided
between the leftist propaganda diatribes painting Israelis as the new
Nazis, and other films that are just plain god-awful. Neither deserve
the subsidies paid for out of public funds. Subsidizing local movies is
a hang-on from the old Mapai bolshevism. If a movie is so awful that
people will not pay to see it then it should not be made at all.
For more on this, see
3. The following piece is somewhat long and somewhat old. It came
out in 1994, smack in the middle of the initial Oslo euphoria, back in the
days when many people actually thought that the "peace process" was a
peace process. It was written by Aharon Megged, one of Israel's finest
fiction writers. Megged is one of the few serious writers who is not
part of the anti-Israel Literary Soviet, run by Amos Oz and A.B. Yehoshua.
Megged is a Zionist, fairly centrist. I personally think he writes
better than Grossman, Yehoshua and Oz, and in any case he is far, far more
intelligent. Megged has publish about 35 books of literature.
My sudden impulse to post this is related to a little anecdote you might
enjoy. Megged has two sons. One, Ayal, is also a writer and journalist.
The other, Amos, is a lecturer in Mexican history at the University of
Haifa. Unlike his brother and father, he is quite leftist. There
operates a chat list of faculty members at the University of Haifa on
which the local moonbat leftists like to post anti-Israel propaganda,
trying to convert the whole list into a little instrument of Hamas public
relations. After ignoring them for years, I recent began to post
materials that blasted the Left and debunked the materials the leftists
were posting. Naturally, this ruffled many a leftist feather.
Over the weekend I got a nasty e-letter from junior, Amos Megged,
demanding that I shut up and stop posting "hate propaganda." Leftists
use the term "hate propaganda" to refer to any article or opinion with
which they disagree. In response I posted the following article by
Megged's own father, which makes my points far better than I could. Let
us see if junior calls his father a hate propagandist on the list. To
keep the article in context, remember that it was written in 1994, so
Megged's comments there about Palestinian statehood were made twelve
thousand rockets ago and may not be his position today.
"We have witnessed...an emotional and moral identification by the majority
of Israel's intelligentsia, and its print and electronic media, with
people committed to our annihilation."
'Hundreds of our society's leading writers, intellectuals, academics,
authors and journalists, joined by painters, photographers and actors,
have been unceasingly and diligently preaching that our cause is not just.
And this, they say, is true not only since the Six Day War - the beginning
of that inherently unjust "occupation" - nor just since the establishment
of our state in 1948, which as one pr om inent scholar put it, "was born
in sin," but since the beginnings of the Zionist settlement at the end of
the last century. What is happening before our very eyes is the
rewriting of Zionist history, a rewriting in the spirit of its adversaries
and foes; and it is being done while active participants in this history
are still around - people who created it, experienced it, remember it,
dedicated their lives to it. The rewriters, like Benny Morris, Ilan Pepe
and Baruch Kimmerling, mostly publish first in English to gain the praise
of the West's "justice seekers." Their works are then quickly grabbed for
translation into Arabic and displayed in marketplaces in Damascus , Cairo
and Tunis . Their conclusion is almost uniform: that in practise Zionism
amounted to an evil, colonialist conspiracy to exploit the people dwelling
in Palestine , enslave them, steal their land, and disinherit them.'
One-Way Trip on the Highway to Self-Destruction
Israeli historians gleefully prove that our defensive wars were really
wars to destroy another people.
June 17, 1994
Zionism appears to be entering a stage of Spenglerian decline. And, as it
approaches this stage, it seems to be propelled by a latent biological
urge to self-destruct.
Worrisome signs of such decline are evident on both the mundane and
intellectual planes. In the conduct of the peace negotiations with the
Palestinians, for example, some steps seem animated by a subconscious
If the Palestine National Council had canceled its Charter which calls for
Israel.s destruction and the establishment of an Arab state in the entire
area of what was Mandatory Palestine, and had it proclaimed this to the
world . not just in English or in Hebrew, but in Arabic, thus giving it
theoretical and practical significance . then we should agree not just to
autonomy but to an independent Palestinian state. Such a state would exist
within borders and conditions which would ensure Israel.s security and the
safety of Jewish settlements.
But as long as the Charter has not been annulled, any additional
concession to the Palestinians by way of withdrawal from the territories
can only advance their goal, explicitly stated in the Charter: the
annihilation of Israel.
Arafat pledged to annul the Charter in his letter to Prime Minister Rabin
of September 9, 1993. But all Palestinians continue to cleave to the
Charter with all its clauses. And they regard autonomy as but the first
stage in the .doctrine of stages,. the plan for Israel.s destruction which
derives from the Charter.
Their spokesmen . when not troubling to use diplomatic language . announce
this openly. In reply to friendly wishes by the IDF commander in Jericho,
the Palestinian police commander asserted: .This is the first step toward
the restoration of Jerusalem and the entire occupied land to their
owners.. Two weeks later, he spoke about .three types of weapons,. which
included .weapons we sanctify, aimed at the occupation.. He added: .The
door is open to the agreement.s opponents who wish to escalate the armed
Arafat.s call in Johannesburg for a jihad to liberate Jerusalem (.our
capital, not theirs!.), and his assurance that signing agreements with
Israel is like the Prophet Mohammed.s pact with the Kureish tribe
(implying .our vow is not a vow, our oath is not an oath.) provide a true
expression of the aspiration in every Muslim.s heart. The subsequent
crafty efforts to excuse the felony, by Arafat himself and by Arab and
Israeli commentators, recall Orwell.s .Newspeak..
The Revival of the Old Anti-Zionism
Yet it is in the intellectual rather than the political sphere that the
drive for self-destruction is primarily evident. For two or three decades
we have been witnessing a frightening spectacle, the realization of the
ominous prophecy of Nathan Alterman.s powerful short poem:
.Then did Satan say: .How will I conquer this beleaguered one? He
possesses courage, ingenuity, resourcefulness and tools of war.. And then
he said: .I.ll not rob his strength, nor bridle him, nor rein him in, nor
enervate his hand. But this I.ll do . blunt his mind, till he forgets his
cause is just...
Hundreds of our society.s leading writers, intellectuals, academics,
authors and journalists, joined by painters, photographers and actors,
have been unceasingly and diligently preaching that our cause is not just.
And this, they say, is true not only since the Six Day War . the beginning
of that inherently unjust .occupation. . nor just since the establishment
of our state in 1948, which, as one prominent scholar put it, .was born in
sin,. but since the beginnings of the Zionist settlement at the end of the
What is happening before our very eyes is the rewriting of Zionist
history, a rewriting in the spirit of its adversaries and foes; and it is
being done while active participants in this history are still around .
people who created it, experienced it, remember it, dedicated their lives
The rewriters, like Benny Morris, Ilan Pappe and Baruch Kimmerling, mostly
publish first in English to gain the praise of the West.s
.justice-seekers.. Their works are then quickly grabbed for translation
into Arabic and displayed in marketplaces in Damascus, Cairo and Tunis.
Their conclusion is almost uniform: that in practise Zionism amounted to
an evil, colonialist conspiracy to exploit the people dwelling in
Palestine, enslave them, steal their land and disinherit them.
And they tell us that all the fine concepts on which we and our children
were brought up for two or three generations . redeeming the soil, the
conquest of labor, ingathering of exiles, the Haganah, etc. . were nothing
but hypocrisy and eyewash, euphemisms for a foul plot.
Such calumny is not new: the doctrine that Zionism is a colonialist
movement serving imperialism by exploiting and enslaving Arab peasants and
laborers was formulated and disseminated in Soviet propaganda organs since
the 1920s, embellished with .scientific. terms from the Marxist-Leninist
lexicon. Except that this time around, the Israeli academics and
columnists propagating this material do not belong to that school.
Paradoxically, in an era when Soviet theories and slogans have gone up in
smoke, leaving nothing but ashes, it is these anti-Zionist theories and
teachings that are resurrected . and in Israel.
What, then, is the gospel preached by these .new historians,. and emulated
by journalists whose words are avidly consumed with masochistic enjoyment
by thousands of Israeli seekers of .justice and truth.?
The message is that most of the verities forged in our consciousness and
experience are false. You, whose parents immigrated here from Poland and
settled in a small, arid moshav, worked hard and produced a small farm by
their house . you thought they had come to fulfill the dream of creating a
new life .in the land beloved of our forefathers,. a life of labor and
Hebrew culture, free of the fear of pogroms and dependence on the
Gentiles. But you were mistaken! You were naive! They were .colonialists.
whose hidden wish was to exploit the Arabs in the neighboring village.
You, who after completing your studies went to work in orchards,
construction, the harbors: you thought you were .conquering labor,.
translating to deeds what you read in Borochov, Brenner and A. D. Gordon
about the need .to reverse the Diaspora pyramid. and transform the Jewish
people into a nation living by the sweat of its brow. But they fooled you
and you fooled yourself: you did this to displace the indigenous Arab
And when you joined the Hagana and went out at night on guard duty, when
Jews were being slain in ambushes every day and night, and orchards and
plantations were destroyed and fields set alight . and you exercised
self-restraint to avoid hurting innocent Arabs . you thought you were
obeying a moral law you learned at school and in the youth and labor
movements. But no: you were just following the path of oppressive,
History Without People
Defining Zionism as .a colonialist movement. is not merely an unscientific
distortion of facts and a total disregard of the ideology which animated
Zionism; it is crude propaganda in the old Kremlin mold.
For in diametric contrast to any colonialist movement . British, French,
German and Dutch . Zionist ideology, as expressed in the writings of its
thinkers, in articles, stories and poems from the time of the Hovevei Zion
(Lovers of Zion) movement to the rise of the state, was never aimed at
setting up huge estates and factories to exploit the cheap workforce of
natives, steal their land and enslave them by depriving them of their
rights as individuals and as a community.
On the contrary, it aimed at creating an independent economic and cultural
system alongside the Arab system, without either depending on it or
exploiting it; the intention of the Labor Zionist movement was to develop
and advance the Arab system.
It is impossible to imagine colonialism without colonialist awareness by
the settlers and their leaders. Yet the history written by .the new,
post-Zionist historians. is devoid of people. From their ivory towers they
proclaim: .It never happened that way!.
.Nonsense!. they say to the moshav and kibbutz members in the Hefer
Valley, today a lush garden. .Not by right do you dwell in these lands;
you stole them from the poor wretches who lived on them, and Zionist
leaders lied to the Mandatory inquiry commissions when they proved all
Arabs were compensated and their situation improved.. (Lewis Finch, a
pronounced anti-Zionist sent here by the British Colonial Office in 1931
to check the truth of Arab allegations, found that in the 13 years of
Mandatory rule the number of displaced Arabs as a result of Jewish land
purchases totaled 624.)
.Lies!. say these writers to the men of the Haganah and Palmach who were
taught that .purity of weapons. and the sanctity of life were supreme
values, and who shared a passion for the brotherhood of nations. And lies,
too, they say, are the stories of our brave stand in the War of
Independence, of few against many. The heroic deeds of the defenders of
Deganya, Mishmar Ha.emek, Negba and Kfar Darom, who fought almost with
bare hands against armed soldiers and armor, are debunked.
What is it that moves Israeli scholars to distort and uglify the Jewish
national liberation movement, whose only desire was to realize the
2,000-year-old hope to return to Zion, where both individuals and the
people would .together be resurrected,. as the poet Manne put it?
Even if this movement did make mistakes and cause injustices, the fact is
that there has never been another national liberation movement in human
history which so strove to attain its goals without violence, so
endeavored to guide its steps by moral principles.
What is it that impels them to present it to the world as a movement
founded on conspiracies to enslave and oppress? Are they really merely
seeking the .scientific. truth, are they truly acting out of pure
conviction? Or is some other drive, another ideology, propelling them
against themselves and their kin?
As every historian knows, not only is historiography not objective, but
there are no objective statistics; and even the ostensible appearance of
truth is tendentious. All historians select from that .pile of detritus of
past facts. what suits their object, obscuring the remainder.
A history of World War II could be written focusing on the suffering of
Germans from Allied bombings and invasions . and it would all be based on
facts, for the Germans really did suffer terribly. All one need do is
Thus, with .pure and noble. intentions, some Israeli historians now
gleefully prove that our defensive wars were really wars of aggression for
the destruction of another people; that the Israeli soldier, whom we know
well as our own flesh and blood, has the appearance and mentality of Nazi
Crimes of Taking Over the Land of the Fathers
Another assault on Zionist legitimacy is the denial of the historic link
of the people of Israel with the land of its forefathers. The right of
Israel to exist at all is thus based purely on .the right of need..
Ze.ev Sternhell, Yigal Eylam, Yehoshafat Harkabi and many other academics,
slavishly imitated by journalists and politicians, regard stressing
religious, cultural and emotional affinity to the land . the most
important rationale for our existence here . with sheer contempt. They see
it as contaminated by nationalism, fundamentalism, fetishism (.a
pronounced national fetish, like the Land of Israel,. wrote Eylam) . and
Some years ago, a book called States for the Jews by Eliahu Binyamini
enumerated 34 territorial plans for settling Jews, whether in autonomous
areas or states, in various parts of the world. The best known are Uganda,
Birobidzhan, Argentina, the Kimberleys zone in Australia, New Caledonia
These were meant, according to the territorialists, autonomists,
communists and others, to solve the problem of Jewish .need.. They all
came to naught. Those that were begun, like Birobidzhan (which not only
had Soviet support but financial backing from Jewish communists and their
associates around the world) and Argentina, stagnated and deteriorated
into nothing. They were doomed to failure.
The Zionist idea is the only one which came alive, in a wondrous way no
historian could have foretold. In the Land of Israel, there arose a Jewish
nation in a Jewish state. It revived the Hebrew language, created a Hebrew
culture, and ingathered millions of Jews from all corners of the Diaspora.
If the .new history. had any grounding in life and human nature
(.Historians should know how people who aren.t historians behave,. wrote
E. M. Forster) it should have reached a simple conclusion, obvious to
anyone with common sense: the reason for this achievement was the
cultural, spiritual and emotional affinity of the Jews for the cradle of
their faith and culture, their ancient homeland.
This link has never been severed since the Second Temple. Its religious
expression (prayer, Talmudic texts, liturgical poetry, messianic
movements, etc.) is well known. But since the Lovers of Zion era it has
worn a mainly secular garb, as evidenced by thousands of poems, stories,
articles and scholarly books.
Without this link, mentioned several times in our Declaration of
Independence as granting us the .natural and historic right. to establish
a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, we would not have come here. And we
would have nothing to do here, in this small, disputed corner of the
Middle East. For .need. alone, there are other, perhaps better, solutions.
.Love Thine Enemy.
Our right to the land does not give us leave to rule inhabitants who have
dwelt here for many generations, or to deprive them of their civil and
national rights. It is understandable that there has been moral outrage in
large segments of the Israeli public against acts of oppression and
injustice inflicted on residents of the territories we occupied in a war
forced upon us. (.Forgive us for winning!. as Ephraim Kishon quipped at
But since the Six Day War, and at an increasing pace, we have witnessed a
phenomenon which probably has no parallel in history: an emotional and
moral identification by the majority of Israel.s intelligentsia, and its
print and electronic media, with people committed to our annihilation;
people who openly declare their intention to expel us from this land,
branding us villains without a conscience, worse than British, French,
Whoever researches the dimensions of this pathological phenomenon,
possibly rooted in the Diaspora proclivity for self-abasement and
sycophancy toward Jew-haters, would have to go through enormous quantities
of material. There have been thousands of articles and reports in the
press, hundreds of poems, hymns and satires, dozens of documentary and
feature films, exhibitions and paintings and photos in which Israeli
soldiers are made to appear like Nazis.
Cumulatively, these phenomena constitute a monstrous indictment of Israel,
much more venomous and sophisticated than all the primitive Palestinian
propaganda disseminated throughout the world.
The B.Tselem pamphlets alone, whether mostly accurate or sometimes false .
as one B.Tselem leader recently admitted, claiming the organization had
been .misled. . these charges of murder of children, demolition of homes,
torture and other atrocities, are enough to place the State of Israel
before a kind of Nuremberg court, in which the .Judeo-Nazis. would be
condemned for eternity.
And the .Women in Black. decided in February of 1990 to wear the colors of
the PLO, whose charter calls for the annihilation of Israel, that is .
their own annihilation.
Millions of Muslims, from Iran in the east to Libya in the west, vow in
their mosques, with raised fists and holy fervor, to redeem Jerusalem by
the sword. They swear that the Jews, whom the second Sura of the Koran
calls .sly, cruel and treacherous,. will be driven out of the occupied
Six Arab countries across our borders neither recognize Israel nor
acquiesce in its existence. In 7, 10 or 15 years a Palestinian state will
undoubtedly rise, for reality demands it. But even if peaceful relations
and cooperation prevail between us (as one would hope), there will always
be strong extremist elements whose blood will seethe with the urge to wipe
us off the map.
If the rising tide of self-doubt fails to subside, if the self-denial of
our right to be here continues to enfeeble us, the .Satan. of Alterman.s
poem will triumph, and we shall lack the strength to resist dangers to our
4. The Ninth Plague as Peace Policy:
5. Obama's first anti-Semitic appointment: Israel critic is reported
appointment to top intelligence post
By Eric Fingerhut . February 20, 2009