Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Speaking of "Occupied Lebanon"
July 24, 2007; Page A14
As of this minute, Syria occupies at least 177 square miles of Lebanese
soil. That you are now reading about it for the first time is as much a
scandal as the occupation itself.
The news comes by way of a fact-finding survey of the Lebanese-Syrian
border just produced by the International Lebanese Committee for U.N.
Security Council Resolution 1559, an American NGO that has consultative
status with the U.N. Because of the sensitivity of the subject, the
authors have requested anonymity and have circulated the report only among
select government officials and journalists. But its findings cannot be
In meticulous detail -- supplemented by photographs, satellite images,
archival material and Lebanese military maps predating Syria's 1976
invasion (used as a basis of comparison with Syria's current positions) --
the authors describe precisely where and how Lebanon has been infiltrated.
In the area of the village of Maarboun, for instance, the authors observed
Syrian military checkpoints a mile inside Lebanon. In the Birak al-Rassass
Valley, they photographed Syrian anti-aircraft batteries. On the outskirts
of the village of Kossaya they found a heavily fortified camp belonging to
the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, in violation of U.N.
resolutions and Lebanese demands.
This is a story to which I can contribute my own testimony. In May 2005 I
paid a visit to Lebanon, just a month after Syria had announced that it
had fully withdrawn its 14,000 troops from Lebanon in compliance with
Resolution 1559. The rumor in Beirut was that a company of 200 or so elite
Syrian soldiers remained encamped within Lebanon near the Druze village of
Deir al-Ashaer. I decided to have a look. After a long drive over rutted
roads, I found it.
Or rather, what I found was a hillside outpost that I was able to enter
without crossing any apparent international border. The man in charge was
a Syrian intelligence officer who "invited" me into a sweltering tent
while he phoned his commanders for instruction. After a few tense minutes
of silence with the soldiers inside, the officer reappeared, explained
that the camp was 50 yards inside Syrian territory, and ordered me to go.
From there I went to the village, where the mayor insisted the camp was
several hundred yards inside Lebanon.
Who was right? Inclined as I was to believe the mayor, it was hard to sort
out contending claims over remote parcels of land. A week later, then
Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced the U.N. had "verified all [Syrian
military units] had withdrawn, including [from] the border area." It
seemed that was the end of the story.
I should have known then that anything "verified" by the U.N. must be
checked at least twice. I should have known, too, that anything to which
Mr. Annan devoted his personal attention would inevitably become worse.
Last September, Mr. Annan paid a visit to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad
after the latter had declared he would treat any attempt by the U.N. to
deploy peacekeepers along the Lebanese-Syrian border as a "hostile act."
To defuse the impasse, Mr. Annan simply accepted Mr. Assad's assurances
that Syria would police its border and prevent arms smuggling. "I think it
can happen," said the diplomat at a press conference. "It may not be 100%,
but it will make quite a lot of difference if the government puts in place
the measures the government has discussed with me."
What happened, predictably, was the opposite. In May, Fatah al-Islam, a
terrorist group whose leadership was imported from Damascus, attacked
Lebanese army outposts outside the Palestinian refugee camps of Nahr
El-Bared and Biddawi, causing a bloody standoff that continues till this
day. In June, current Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a report citing
numerous instances of arms smuggling from Syria to Hezbollah and the PFLP.
Yesterday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah boasted that he once again
has missiles that can reach Tel Aviv -- missiles he could only have
obtained via Syria. Israel confirms his claims.
Mr. Ban's report is notable for its clarity and seriousness. Taken
together with the border report, it paints an alarming picture. Though the
land grabs are small affairs individually, they collectively add up to an
area amounting to about 4% of Lebanese soil -- in U.S. terms, the
proportional equivalent of Arizona. Of particular note is that the area of
Syrian conquest dwarves that of the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms. The
farms, which Israel seized from Syria in 1967 and which amount to an area
of about 12 square miles, are claimed by Hezbollah as belonging to Lebanon
-- a useful pretext for it to continue its "resistance" against an Israeli
occupation that ended seven years ago.
Needless to say, Hezbollah -- which purports to fight for Lebanese
sovereignty -- makes no similar claims against Syria. For his part, Mr.
Assad refuses to agree to a demarcation of his border with Lebanon, just
as he refuses to open an embassy in Beirut. The ambiguity serves him well:
He can seize Lebanese territory without anyone appearing to take notice,
supply terrorist camps without quite harboring the terrorists, and funnel
arms to Hezbollah at will -- all without abandoning the fantasy of
"Greater Syria" encompassing Lebanon, the Golan Heights and Israel itself.
It would, of course, be nice to see the Arab world protest this case of
illegal occupation, given its passions about the subject. It would also be
nice to see the media report this story as sedulously as it has the
controversy of the Shebaa Farms. Don't hold your breath on either score.
In the meantime, the only countries in a position to help Lebanon are
France and the U.S. They could strike a useful blow by closing their
embassies in Damascus until such time as Damascus opens an embassy -- with
all that it implies -- in Beirut.
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2. July 24, 2007
By NORM COLEMAN
July 24, 2007; Page A14
Two years ago George Galloway, a member of the British Parliament, came to
the U.S. and attempted to make a mockery of an investigation into
allegations of corruption within the United Nation's Oil for Food program.
Readers will remember that Oil for Food started as a way to feed Iraqi
children, but became a vehicle that Saddam Hussein used for bribery and
Mr. Galloway dismissed accusations that he benefited substantially through
a charity he was involved with (the Mariam Appeal), from Saddam. Evidence
that he and the Appeal had received lucrative oil benefits had been
released by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, of which
I was chairman. In testimony to the subcommittee, Mr. Galloway denied the
accusations and later attacked the integrity of his accusers, including
me. His bombastic denials won him international attention.
But now, thanks to an investigation conducted by the British Parliament,
the truth is out. Last week the House of Commons's Committee on Standards
and Privileges issued a damning report presenting "undeniable evidence"
that Mr. Galloway and his political operation at the Mariam Appeal
benefited from Saddam's regime through Oil for Food. This report is the
fourth official investigation -- from the U.N. to the U.S. to the U.K. --
to condemn Mr. Galloway for his misconduct.
The committee report, which is remarkably thorough and objective, is
highly critical of Mr. Galloway, ruling that he violated the House of
Commons Code of Conduct on numerous different counts. In fact, the
committee ruled against Mr. Galloway on every count brought against him.
It concluded that Mr. Galloway, through his extensive misconduct, brought
the House into "disrepute." It also chastised him for his inappropriate
conduct throughout their investigation, including making inconsistent
statements, acting belligerently and verbally attacking key witnesses.
"Mr. Galloway has consistently denied, prevaricated and fudged in relation
to the now undeniable evidence" that his political operation (and he
indirectly) received money from Saddam Hussein's regime via Oil for Food.
The committee recommends suspension from the House of Commons for a month
-- a rare and severe punishment -- and that Mr. Galloway apologize to
Parliament for his improper behavior.
The report relied heavily on evidence uncovered by my subcommittee, the
U.N.'s investigation and the U.K. Charity Commission. But the Parliament
report went further, even enlisting a forensic scientist to determine that
other official Iraqi documents, which provide detailed descriptions of Mr.
Galloway's personal involvement in nefarious deals, were authentic.
Moreover, the report reveals the official Iraqi minutes of a meeting
between Mr. Galloway and Saddam in which Mr. Galloway overtly discusses
Iraqi oil deals -- the very deals he's denied knowing about. According to
the minutes, which have been authenticated by the Iraqi government, Mr.
Galloway complained to Saddam that problems with oil prices are reducing
"our income" and delaying "our dues."
These documents should quash any notion that Mr. Galloway did not know
about oil transactions and had no idea his wife and his political
operation were receiving under-the-table money. In short, this report and
the volumes of evidence presented in it appear to confirm that Mr.
Galloway was neck-deep in Oil for Food deals and that his vociferous
denials were nothing more than a web of misleading half-truths.
Mr. Galloway is already claiming that the Parliament's report relies on
fraudulent documents and mendacious witnesses. His shtick rings hollow. It
is clear that he is putting up (to borrow his words) "the mother of all
Consider that roughly six months after his Senate testimony, in October
2005, my subcommittee released another report presenting extensive
evidence that Mr. Galloway's testimony was filled with false or misleading
statements. That evidence included bank records showing that his wife
received $150,000 from an Oil for Food deal, and that the political
operation he portrayed as a children's charity received at least $446,000
from oil deals. Days later, the U.N.'s investigative committee revealed a
different oil deal in which $120,000 went to Mr. Galloway's wife, and
other deals in which hundreds of thousands of dollars went to his
More recently, the U.K. Charity Commission, concluding that the Mariam
Appeal improperly received at least $376,000 from Oil for Food deals,
chastised Mr. Galloway, and the Appeal's other trustees, for breaching
At each point, Mr. Galloway has vehemently denied every accusation and all
the evidence. But the record should be clear: Mr. Galloway appears to have
been personally involved in oil deals under the Oil for Food program and
indirectly -- through his political operation and his wife -- received
hundreds of thousands of dollars as a result. The U.K. report exposes a
fraud who personally benefited at the expense of the Iraqi people -- the
very people he was pretending to help.
Mr. Coleman is a Republican senator from Minnesota.
3. Today Ward Churchill Fired - tomorrow Neve Gordon?
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Israeli School System to Teach that Israel's Creation was a Catastrophe
7 Av 5767, 22 July 07 01:59
by David Shalom
The late Rehavam Ze'evi (H.y.d.) wrote in the Hebrew-language Moledet
party publication, some 14 years ago, about the menacing phenomenon of the
Israeli left-winger, whose daily betrayals embitter the lives of us all.
If left unchallenged, he will literally bring us all down together. As it
was then, it is more so today.
The Israeli Left remains the single greatest threat to the Jewish people
in their homeland. It can be argued that their actions, inactions, their
spin and media manipulation, have caused more damage to Israel than those
of the PLO and Hamas. It must be remembered that it was the Left that
imported these terrorists to our shores through the treacherous Oslo
Accords. Their goals, couched in the falsely deluding language of peace
and liberalism, are inimical to those very ideals. In fact, their true
path lies in the destruction of a sovereign Jewish state in the Land of
Israel. It is imperative that we understand the left-wing phenomenon we
face in order to decelerate the forces pushing Israel to self-destruct.
The Left, which today calls itself post-Zionist, is in fact pre-Zionist,
their psychosis having its roots in centuries of ghettoised ideas and an
exile-like mentality. For the Left, the irrational hatred of the Arabs or
their anti-Semitic friends in Europe is justified. Leftists tell
themselves that it is not that Israel is the victim of Islamic fascism,
rather, the Arabs are the aggrieved party; if only we bribe them or
scapegoat our brothers in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, then all will be
alright. This world-view is similar to the pre-Zionist thinking that
murderous Cossacks or Polish mobs could be bought off, and that if only we
appease them a little, then we can avert another pogrom. The leftist
subconscious believes that the centuries of anti-Semitism are not based on
jealousy, on religious fervour, on scape-goating of a stateless minority,
but rather have some justification. They see the Jewish people as to blame
for being the victims of such racist assaults.
In Lebanon, the Left tied Israel's hands and did not let the army fight
properly and achieve the necessary goals. It did so out of a false belief
that if we do not use the necessary and acceptable norms of self-defence
in war, then the world would lavish us with praise. They remain ready to
betray our kidnapped soldiers rather than occupy any corner of southern
Lebanon or Gaza. They wish to cower behind the ghetto wall, hoping all
will be okay. They will continue to allow Hizbullah to rearm and prepare
for the next war.
The Left's psychosis sees Israel as a mighty power that is totally to
blame and the Arabs as the underdogs, who need to be helped to achieve
their false dream of peace. That tiny Israel is surrounded by 300 million
petrol-rich Arabs is, of course, irrelevant to the Left. It is also less
troublesome to those living in the "Tel Aviv bubble" to view the Israelis
as a strong power that needs to compromise, than as a nation that needs to
be on constant guard and that must fight. In their imagination, they
forget the Islamic hordes at our gates, whose millions, brainwashed by
incessant propaganda, are eager to push us into the sea.
The Syrian regime wants peace, the Left-controlled media cries, yet how
convenient it is to ignore the daily threats from the neurotic optician in
Damascus; all we must do, they say, is surrender our Golan to the Baathist
regime and all will be fine. The fact that territorially vast Syria
started two wars against us in 1948 and 1967, when the Golan was under
their occupation, is ignored by the leftist narrative. To suggest that the
victor, who was attacked and defended itself in three successive wars,
should reward the aggressor is symptomatic of their lack of any basic
national dignity. While they crave to be Americans - at least in terms of
plastic shallow Hollywood subculture - they would not dream of emulating
The Israeli Left is ignorant of the Arabs they pretend to so love. For the
most part, they do not speak Arabic, they have not read the Koran, they
are unaware of Islamic history, and are ignorant and patronizing towards
the Jews from the Arab lands. They are uninformed of the history, culture
and experiences of these Jews, who comprise nearly 50% of Israelis today.
Indeed, in their sublime arrogance, the leftists call these Jews Mizrahiim
- "Easterners" - but the fact is that the Jews of Egypt, Morocco and
Algieria, etc. came from more western lands than the impoverished ghettoes
of the Ukraine and Poland. The complete silence for over 50 years by the
left-wing establishment in demanding basic compensation from the Arab
world for the annihilation of Arab Jewry, for the theft of their lands and
property is part of their betrayal. To the Left, only Arabs have rights in
The recent appointment of a virulently anti-Zionist Arab clerk, Raadi
Sfori, to the directorate of the Jewish National Fund is an interesting
example. Sfori, who was chosen by the Meretz faction, could not even bring
himself to say that he would hold loyal to the ideals of the organisation
he is now supposed to direct. The Land of Israel was laid barren for
hundreds of years, during the dark periods of Arab and later Islamic
occupation. Thanks to the JNF and Zionist efforts over the last 120 years,
the desert is now green again. That Sfori was chosen by the Meretz
faction, though, is not surprising, his goals being identical with those
of Yossi Beilin and his subversive party, which would destroy the Jewish
state from within.
One must first acknowledge that the leftist leaders are aware of the
ramifications of their disastrous policies and continue to support them.
They will not let the public see them for what they are - failures, at
best, or traitors, at worst. The war in Lebanon in 2006 is a direct result
of Ehud Barak's surrender of land to Hizbullah and Syria. Barak and his
Labour party, which has served in every coalition government since, cannot
admit their recklessness. They cannot admit that Oslo was a calamity, that
it increased terror six-fold and that the expulsion of the Israelis from
Gush Katif has brought about a Taliban statelet in Gaza.
It is abundantly clear that the priority of the national camp must be to
bring this terrible government down as soon as possible. Only by
initiating a de-programming of the nation from the Oslo myths can we move
forward. This will require a struggle against the extreme Left that
controls the mainstream media. Democratisation will entail ending the
left-wing hegemony of the courts and reclaiming the powers meant for the
people's elected representatives. A first step will require trials for the
Oslo criminals. A tribunal should be tasked with punishing those who have
betrayed the nation over the dark period since 1992. It should seek to
investigate the funding sources of subversive organisations such as Peace
Now, the Geneva cabal and the Peres Centre. Only severe punishments will
serve as a warning to future generations and right the wrongs of national
2. Israeli School System to teach that Israel's Creation was a
Crybabies and War
Friday, July 20, 2007
The Persecution of Israel's Joan fo Arc
2. SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTRE
64 avenue Marceau - 75008 Paris - Tel. +33147237637 - Fax:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wiesenthal Centre to Danish Prime Minister: Withdraw State Award To
Holocaust Denier (will he now get tenure at Ben Gurion University?)
Paris, 18 July 2007
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre has urged Denmark's Prime Minister, Anders
Fogh Rasmussen, to void a monetary award by the Ministry of Culture's
Council (Kunst Raadet) to Erik Haaest, known as the "Holocaust Sceptic".
In his protest to PM Rasmussen, Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Wiesenthal
Centre's Director for International Relations, wrote in part:
"Haaest reportedly received this prize for his work on 'The Danish
Friekorps on the
Eastern Front 1941 1965', hardly a symbol of Danish National pride",
"Haaest's citations from Holocaust denial literature go back to the
1959 volume of the Journal of Historical Review published by the
of the same name, frequented by neo-Nazis worldwide."
Dr. Samuels cited the culture section of DR Nyheder, which, under a
Photo of the gas chamber states, "Erik Haaest questions existence of gas
chambers at Auschwitz KZ in Poland". Another publication reports Haaest
declaring Anne Frank's diary "a swindle".
The Wiesenthal Centre's protest declared, "your government's award to
Haaest violated the commitments of Denmark to the European Commission and
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. This act
legitimizes (...) Holocaust denial, incitement to antisemitism and is an
offence to Holocaust survivors and to the families of all victims of
Our Centre urges you to immediately withdraw this outrageous award, to
investigate its circumstances and publicly dismiss those responsible."
"Silence would only be construed by hate mongers as a seal of
approval", Dr. Samuels concluded.
For further information, please contact Shimon Samuels at
3. Israeli Court Jihads against Justice; The Persecution of Israel's
Joan of Arc
ISRAELI COURT OVERTURNS ACQUITTAL OF GOVT. CRITIC
Date added: 7/19/2007
JERUSALEM -- An Israeli court has overturned a lower court's decision to
acquit a Jewish dissident on charges of insulting a government official
played a major role in the expulsion of 16,000 Jews from the Gaza Strip
northern West Bank in 2005.
On July 19, the Jerusalem District Court ordered the re-trial of Jewish
dissident Nadia Matar, who had been acquitted of insulting a public
official. Matar, head of Women in Green, was the first Jewish nationalist
prosecuted under a 1936 law of the British Mandate.
"It was once again proven that the judicial system in Israel pushes for
the enemy of the Jewish people," Matar, a mother of six, said. "That means
it has no problem to persecute anyone who shows loyalty to the Land of
The decision came one day after the Knesset Constitution and Law
Committee approved a bill to cancel the indictments of non-violent
demonstrators against the expulsion. The legislation must be voted by the
In 2004, Matar wrote a scathing letter to Disengagement Authority
director Jonathan Bassi, responsible for the eviction and resettlement of
Jewish residents of the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank to trailer
parks in Israel. Matar said Bassi's role was similar to that of the
Judenraat, the Nazi-appointed Jewish administration that helped liquidate
the ghettos in Eastern Europe during World War II.
Matar contended that her letter was a legitimate act of protest. The
defense cited numerous examples whereby authorities refused to prosecute
left-wing activists who condemned officials and military commanders.
attorney Yoram Sheftel pointed to the daughter of Prime Minister Ehud
who in a demonstration in 2006 called then-Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Dan
Halutz a "murderer."
"I have shown that the decision to prosecute individuals from one side
of the political spectrum contrasts to the decision to prosecute
on the other side of the politicial spectrum," Sheftel said. "The
prosecutor's office cannot decide what is legitimate for public debate and
what is not."
On Sept. 10, 2006, Jerusalem Magistrates Court Judge David Mintz,
himself branded a war criminal by a left-wing critic, dismissed the
indictment against Matar. Two months later, the state appealed Matar's
acquittal in Jerusalem's District Court.
In its ruling, the appeal court said Matar failed to prove that
authorities had targeted her while ignoring violations by left-wing
activists. The court ordered the case returned to the Jerusalem
Court for another trial.
"If they think they can scare us, just the opposite," Matar said. "We
will increase our activities for guarding the Land of Israel."
4. Scientific Treason
5. The Nanny-State Diaries
By STEPHEN MOORE
July 20, 2007; Page W11
Echoing H.L. Mencken, humorist P.J. O'Rourke once quipped that
conservatives are a group of stiff-collared puritans with a "haunting fear
that someone, somewhere, may be having fun." He should have joined me at
the recent fifth annual Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms summer gala hosted
by a right-leaning Colorado think tank, the Independence Institute, at a
gun club in Kiowa, Colo.
This year's theme was "Stop the Growth of the Nanny State" -- but it might
as well have been "Live Free or Die Hard." Every activity seemed designed
to annoy Hillary Clinton. There was a whole lot of drinking, smoking and
shooting, but thankfully not in that order. During the morning hours, we
carried nine-pound rifles through the woods, shooting pellets at clay
pigeons flung into the air. By 10 a.m. the park was alive with the
continuous claps of gunfire and hollering.
"Ahh, don't you love the sound of freedom?" exalted Jon Caldara, the
president of the institute. This was a family affair, with many gun-
toting children and women participating. The "girly man" of the group, I
managed to hit all of two clay pigeons the entire morning -- and I didn't
so much break them into pieces as inflict minor wounds. When Mr. Caldara
introduced me as the lunch speaker, he said: "Moore is reportedly with the
Wall Street Journal editorial page, but after watching him shoot a gun
today, I wonder if it isn't the New York Times." I live in the nation's
capital, where guns are illegal -- and so the closest I've come to a
firearm was the time I was mugged walking home from work in 1989.
I was equally out of my element in 1994 when, working for the Republicans
in Congress, I found myself in rural Georgia trying to rally voters.
Encircled by a boisterous crowd of gun enthusiasts, most of them dressed
in military fatigues and holding their rifles at the ready position as I
electioneered, I ended my rally-the-troops talk: "And that is why we have
to take over the House of Representatives in 1994." One middle-age woman
held her gun over her head, nudged herself to the front of the crowd, and
in a deep Southern drawl asked: "Son, do you mean by force?" No, I didn't.
Nice idea though.
Many of the folks at the institute's, um, policy forum had come from all
over the state to have a good time, sure, but they also had a deeper
motivation: to stick their tongues out, figuratively, at the tyrant
politicians in Washington and Denver who keep enacting rules about how
they should run their lives. These people are just dog tired of having the
government tell them what to do: Buckle your seat belt, wear your bike
helmet, don't smoke, don't shoot, teach your 8-year-olds to wear condoms
-- and, most of all, stop complaining and pay your taxes. One participant
was incensed that Denver now has a law requiring that every dog be
neutered unless the owner gets a government permit allowing the animal to
reproduce. On the left even sex is becoming taboo.
Then there are the more mundane rules. There was a discussion over lunch
at my picnic table about how Congress is regulating nearly every basic
household appliance -- refrigerators, washers and dryers, toilets, hair
dryers, shower heads, lawnmowers -- to make sure that we are not, God
forbid, wasting water or energy. A woman told me that she is stocking up
on cartons of incandescent light bulbs, because soon it will be illegal to
buy them. (The poor lady insisted on remaining anonymous so that the
light-bulb police don't come to search her home.)
The buzzword on the left nowadays is "tolerance" for those with different
lifestyles -- like cross-dressers -- but almost everything that these
folks want to do, liberals won't tolerate. One smoker lamented that if
"gays were discriminated against today the way smokers are, there would be
an uproar." Gun owners have reason to be fearful too. In a recent blog
interview on Moveon.org, John Edwards of North Carolina proclaimed that
health care, child care, a livable wage and a clean environment are
"rights," but owning a gun is a "privilege." The men and women who
gathered in Kiowa would like to send him a copy of the Constitution.
I'm not a smoker or a gun owner, and not much of a drinker, other than at
Margarita parties. But, as Mae West once cracked, "Sometimes I don't drink
so the next day I can remember having fun." The gathering in Kiowa was
pure joy -- and I suspect that if liberals would loosen their puritan
collars and start showing real tolerance of conservative "alternative
lifestyles," they'd be having more fun too.
Mr. Moore is a member of the Journal's editorial board.
URL for this article:
6. Six cheers for Friedmann:
7. Post-Zionism at Haaretz - using lands bought by Jews for Jews is
8. Haaretz on self-hating Jews:
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Academic Whoring for Ward Churchill
Norman Finkelstein tenured on the basis of his Neo-Nazi attacks on Jews,
misrepresented as "scholarship."
The next battleground is Ward Churchill, he is due to be canned by the
regents at the University of Colorado this coming week. Churchill is the
clown who saluted bin Laden for attacking the "Little Eichmanns" in the
WTC towers. He is a make-pretend Indian who also has a long track record
for anti-Semitism (see
So naturally the Left adore him. The Academic Ultra Left is once again
detecting "scholarship" in lunatic ravings of one of their own.
It is interesting to see which "academics" are now whoring for Churchill
and trying to prevent him being fired. Many of them can be viewed on
They include the Israel-bashing Middle East Studies "scholar", Richard
Falk, Derrick Bell (NYU Law Professor of Marxism), the son of Julius and
Ethel Rosenberg (a college teacher who really appreciates treason - runs
in his family), Gary Leupp - Professor of History at Tufts University,
and Adjunct Professor of Comparative Religion, and of course Peter
Kirstein, the anti-Semitic comrade of Holocaust Denier David Irving, from
St Xavier's in Chicago (Kirstein led the campiagn of support for
2. Obsessed with "Inequality":
July 19, 2007
The Left's 'Inequality' Obsession
By ARTHUR C. BROOKS
July 19, 2007; Page A15
The U.S. is a rich nation getting richer. According to Census figures, the
average inflation-adjusted income in the top quintile of American earners
increased 22% between 1993 and 2003. Incomes in the middle quintile rose
17% on average, while the incomes in the bottom quintile increased 13%.
Over the 30 years prior to 2003, top-quintile earners saw their real
incomes increase by two-thirds, versus a quarter for those in the middle
quintile and a fifth among the bottom earners.
Reason to celebrate? Not according to those worried that the rich are
getting richer faster than the poor are getting richer. The National
Opinion Research Center's General Social Survey (GSS) indicates that in
1973, the average family in the top quintile earned about 10 times what
the average bottom-quintile family earned. Today that difference has grown
to almost 15 times greater. Thus Sen. Barack Obama complains that "the
average CEO now earns more in one day than an average worker earns in an
entire year." John Edwards has famously spoken of the "two Americas,"
while Sen. Hillary Clinton characterizes today's economy as "trickle-down
economics without the trickle." She declares that a progressive era is at
hand because of "rising inequality and rising pessimism in our work
The general view among liberals is that economic inequality is socially
undesirable because it makes people miserable; they propose to solve the
problem through redistributive policies such as higher income taxes. As a
scholar working in the field of public policy, I have long witnessed
egalitarian hand-wringing about the alleged connection between inequality
and unhappiness. What first made me doubt this prevailing view was that
when I questioned actual human beings about it, few expressed any shock
and outrage at the enormous incomes of software moguls and CEOs. They
tended rather to hope that their kids might become the next Bill Gates.
And in fact, the evidence reveals that it is not economic inequality that
frustrates Americans. Rather, it is a perceived lack of opportunity. To
focus our policies on inequality, instead of opportunity, is to make a
serious error -- one that will worsen the very problem we seek to solve
and make us generally unhappier.
The egalitarian argument against inequality starts with the claim that
income is all relative: Above a basic subsistence level, they say, we care
more about our financial position relative to others than about our
absolute income. Experimental studies are often cited that appear to bear
this idea out.
In one such study, two-thirds of subjects said that they would be happier
at a company where they earned $33,000 while their colleagues earned
$30,000 than at one where they earned $35,000 while their colleagues
earned $38,000. In another experiment, 56% of participants chose a
hypothetical job paying $50,000 per year while everyone else earned
$25,000, rather than a job paying $100,000 per year while others made
$200,000. Thus, the thinking goes, the very fact that some people have
less than others leads to unhappiness, even without deprivation.
Moreover, the redistribution of income taxed at higher and higher levels,
according to egalitarians, does not really hurt the rich, because they
tend to use their "excess" incomes to purchase what they do not "need,"
such as luxury cars and outlandishly large houses. Some go even further,
arguing that we should tax the economically successful explicitly to
discourage them from working, since their work will only make them richer
and thus sadden the less successful. Says British economist Richard
Layard, "If we make taxes commensurate to the damage that an individual
does to others when he earns more" -- the damage to others' happiness,
that is -- "then he will only work harder if there is a true net benefit
to society as a whole. It is efficient to discourage work effort that
makes society worse off."
But the egalitarians misinterpret the experimental evidence. The studies
cited above don't necessarily tell us that people would be happier in a
world of total equality. Rather, they indicate that if there is no
apparent prospect for getting ahead themselves (as there indeed was not in
the experiment), people will focus instead on having more than others --
even to the point of neglecting their financial interests.
There is a fundamental reason to doubt the link between economic
inequality and unhappiness. If the egalitarians are right, then average
happiness levels should be falling. They aren't.
The GSS shows that in 1972, 30% of the population said that they were
"very happy" with their lives; in 1982, 31%; in 1993, 32%; and in 2004,
31%. In other words, no significant change in reported happiness occurred
-- even as income inequality has increased significantly.
The data do tell us that economic mobility -- not equality -- is
associated with happiness. The GSS asked respondents, "The way things are
in America, people like me and my family have a good chance of improving
our standard of living -- do you agree or disagree?" The two-thirds of the
population who agreed were 44% more likely than the others to say they
were "very happy," 40% less likely to say that they felt "no good at all"
at times, and 20% less likely to say that they felt like failures. In
other words, those who don't believe in economic mobility -- for
themselves or for others -- are not as happy as those who do.
Perhaps in a world where there is no opportunity for advancement, an
important concern is how one's income measures up to others. In the real
world where people believe there is opportunity, however, one's own income
potential matters a great deal more than what others are earning. Some
studies even find that the happiness of workers rises as the incomes of
others climb relative to their own, because they see the incomes of others
as evidence of what they themselves can achieve.
Believing in mobility, then, helps make people happy. Is this belief a
delusion? Does economic mobility actually exist in America today? It does.
The U.S. Census Bureau, the Urban Institute and the Federal Reserve have
all pointed out that, as a general rule, about a fifth of the people in
the lowest income quintile will climb to a higher quintile within a year,
and that about half will rise within a decade. True, a significant
proportion of people will fall over the same period. But the studies
nevertheless put paid to the claim that economic mobility is in any way
unusual. Millions and millions of poor Americans climb out of the ranks of
poverty every year.
Those who don't rise will probably not become happier if we redistribute
more income. Indeed, the effect may be just the opposite.
Redistributionist policies tend to reduce incentives to create wealth,
which means less economic growth and fewer jobs, and less charitable
giving -- all to the detriment of those lower on the income scale. But
more important, redistribution can, as the American welfare system has
shown, turn beneficiaries into demoralized long-term dependents.
An accurate and constructive vision of America sees a land of both
inequality and opportunity, in which hard work and perseverance are the
keys to jumping from the ranks of the have-nots to those of the haves.
This vision promotes policies focused not on wiping out economic
inequality, but rather on enhancing economic mobility. These policies
include improving educational opportunities, addressing cultural
impediments to success, enhancing the fluidity of labor markets, searching
for ways to include all citizens in America's investing revolution, and
protecting the climate for entrepreneurship.
To focus our policies on opportunity, instead of equality, will address
Americans' real concern, and make us happier to boot.
Mr. Brooks is a professor of public administration at Syracuse
University's Maxwell School of Public Administration and a visiting
scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. This essay is adapted from a
forthcoming article in City Journal.
URL for this article:
Arabs Pile into Darfur to Take Land "Cleansed" by Janjaweed - Steve
Up to 30,000 Arabs from Chad and Niger have crossed into Darfur in the
past two months, prompting claims that the Sudanese government is
trying systematically to repopulate the war-ravaged region. The Arabs,
who arrived with all their belongings and large flocks, were greeted
by Sudanese Arabs who took them to empty villages cleared by
government and janjaweed forces. The arrivals have been issued
official Sudanese identity cards and awarded citizenship. Analysts say
the Sudanese government is making it "virtually impossible" for
displaced people to return home. (Independent-UK)
4. Those who learn nothing:
5. Dumber and Dumbest
6. Then Maybe they Will:
Monday, July 16, 2007
Shimon Peres' Shoah Show
everything in his power to destroy Israel.
But that is hardly the ONLY reason why his serving as President is a
mockery. Peres gave a Presidential speech that ranged from screaming
"They killed our Yitzhak Rabin" (guess whom he meant by THEY) to mouthing
fatuous Al Goreisms about the environment. Naturally he repeatedly called
for Israel to just pick up and get out of all the "territories."
We reprint here a column that appeared in the Jerusalem Post on June 7,
1994 - 13 years ago when Peres was Foreign Minister:
The Holocaust According to Shimon Peres
by Steven Plaut
Recently Foreign Minister Shimon Peres expressed a "Two-Holocaust" theory
of the events transpiring during World War Two. According to Peres, the
Nazi Holocaust of the Jews and the American dropping of atomic bombs on
Japan constituted twin Holocausts, and presumably this means they were
morally parallel or equivalent to one another.
Such a comparison has by now become fashionable in certain
politically-correct circles in Western countries, and it would not
represent the first instance in which the thinking of the current
government was motivated by a passionate desire to conform with
international political fashion. But going beyond political fad, it is
intriguing to attempt to reconstruct the thinking of our Foreign Minister,
leading up to this remark in his "Shoah Show".
If the Holocaust of the Jews is analogous to the destruction of Hiroshima
and Nagasaki in Peres. "mind", then it follows that he views the Holocaust
of the Jews as an event that must have occurred in the course of an
all-out conflict deliberately launched by the Jews, in which they, like
the Japanese, enslaved the better part of an entire continent, pillaging
and tormenting the populations while systematically murdering millions.
German actions must have been taken to prevent much greater suffering and
far larger numbers of victims, like the American actions.
If the Nazi Holocaust of the Jews is analogous to the American bombing of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Peres. "mind", then the former must have been a
moral imperative and absolutely justifiable. The bombing of Hiroshima
brought an end to the War in the Pacific without necessitating the ground
invasion of Japan. In such an invasion, hundreds of thousands - perhaps
millions - of Allied soldiers would have died. Millions of Japanese would
also have died.
Shortly before the atomic bombings, 7,000 US soldiers were killed and
18,000 wounded taking a desolate island called Iwo Jima. Then 12,000 US
soldiers were killed and 35,000 wounded taking Okinawa, making that a
battle on a par with Gettysburg. On Okinawa 100,000 Japanese were killed.
(Okinawa was then held by the US as a militarily-governed "occupied
territory" for four decades with never a hint of an intifada.) All this is
indisputable proof of how severe the carnage would have been on the
Japanese main islands from an Allied invasion and conquest.
It is estimated that 55 million people died in World War Two. If the
atomic bombs shortened that war by merely a week, the carnage they wrought
was one of the greatest "bargains" of human history.
The atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki rank as one of the most moral,
high-minded, humane, and unambiguously justifiable acts in the history of
mankind. It is true that tens of thousands of Japanese died in Hiroshima
and Nagasaki, and that many of these were also "innocents". It is also
true that the number killed in both cities dwarfs in comparison with those
killed by the Allies with conventional weapons in the bombings of Tokyo
and Dresden, to name only the two most notorious examples in World War
In Dresden alone over 135,000 Germans were killed, doubtless many of these
"innocents". If the 70-100 thousand killed in Hiroshima justify ranking
that event as a "Holocaust", morally equivalent to the destruction of
European Jewry in Peres. "thinking", then I suggest that Peres should have
the courage of his convictions and speak out about the
"Triplet-Holocausts", adding Dresden to the cohort. He would just be
repeating what certain circles of Europeans have already been suggesting.
Better yet, why not add the 200,000 Republican Guards of Saddam Hussein,
mercilessly butchered by Allied weapons in the Gulf War, many of whom were
doubtless innocents, and raise the size of the cohort to quadruplets?
Let us have some consistency here. What is much harder to explain is how
it could be that the Number Two politician in the Israeli government could
voice such a position, 50 years after the real Holocaust.
(PS. Or someone serving as President of Israel 63 years after the
Friday, July 13, 2007
Odds and Ends for Weekend
Marciano. He was in the news a few weeks back for assaulting and
battering some security guards at a night club wall Marciano was stone
drunk. Well, he is back in the news today
(http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3424942,00.html), this time for
illegally shaving while driving and then trying to run away from the cops
attempting to ticket him.
Ehud Barak provide the Hizbollah with the Equipment used to Kidnap
France Goes Vichy:
(France is not a country)
Baba Streisand Does Deutschland Uber Alles:
About those "militants":
Another Jewish Bimbette for a Second Holocaust
Haaretz running articles calling for boycotts of Israel:
Write to St Xavier about its Nazi Professor:
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Finkelstein Defender has History of Shilling for Holocaust Denier David Irving
The leading defender of Hatemonger Norman Finkelstein in his battle to get
tenure at DePaul University, a battle lost, has been one Peter Kirstein, an
anti-Semitic leftist professor of history at St. Xavier University in Chicago.
Not exactly a surpise, it seems that Kirstein has in the past lobbied, shilled
for, and praised Neo-Nazi David Irving. See http://hnn.us/articles/7259.html
Note these quotes from Kirstein there:
'I accepted a speaking invitation from a historian who has been castigated as
anti-Semitic.a charge that Mr. Irving has consistently denied.and denounced for
a falsified revisionism of Nazi Germany and the destruction of European Jewry.
My mission, since my egregious suspension on Veterans Day, November 11, 2002,
for an act of conscience through a harshly worded antiwar e-mail, is to demand
academic freedom for university historians and no censorship of any historian
for antiwar or historiographical incorrectness
'As an outspoken peace activist, pacifist and war resister, which were the
underlying reasons for my suspension in the twelfth week of a semester, I
commend Mr. Irving's courageous and febrile opposition to the Anglo-American
invasion of Iraq and the Israeli occupation of Palestine. I was not unmindful
of this when I agreed to speak at his conference. If antiwar advocates can
build coalitions across the ideological divide, then future degradations of the
Palestinians, future Holocausts, future illegal walls of separation, future
attacks on Jewish interests and future neoconservative crusades against
nonthreatening Islamic nations may be averted....'
Kirstein is one of the rogues featured in the book "The Professors: The 101
Most Dangerous Academics in America," a volume to which I proudly contributed a
couple of chapters!
2. Speaking of Apartheid:
3. You know how Haim Ramon's groupies have been complaining that he was
tarnished unfairly just for planting an unwanted tongue in a young woman's
mouth? Well, it seems his close buddy paid for and ordered an illegal
surveillance on the woman who complained about Red Haim, and has now been
caught. No doubt he was looking for dirt on her that could help Ramon's
defense. See http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3424005,00.html
4. Preparing Israel's next unilateral capitulation:
5. Rachel Carrie's Doofus Parents Again:
6. Yesterday a lawyer who worked in the Ministry of Justice in Israel
a Knesset Member from the United Torah Judaism Party for calling him some
names. The violence was in the Knesset chambers
(http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/880379.html ). The interesting part
though is that Haaretz ran the story with a companion comment by its
writer Yair Sheleg endorsing the violence because religious Knesset
members are such evil people. That comment in Hebrew only at
7. You know how Israel's government whines that there is nothing it can
keep Palestinians from infiltrating Israel through the Gaza security fence
or even sabotaging it? Well, yesterday the Hamas showed how it can be
done. When some Palestinians approached the Kerem Shalom checkpoint to
pass into Israel, the Hamas opened fire on the Palestinians with mortars.
Really! (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/880768.html )
8. Campus Mind Control
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
The Left - Terrorized by Talkbacks!
responses that people can write to articles on the web versions of
newspapers. In Israel, where the newspapers are largely under the
hegemony of the Left, and especially at Haaretz, whose concept of
political pluralism resembles that of Pravda back in the happy days of
Brezhnev, "talkbacks" are the main or only venue in which non-leftists get
to have a say.
But in Israel talkbacks . a bit like radio phone-in shows in the US (and
in Israel) . are dominated by the non-Left. Even at Haaretz, which
almost never allows non-Leftist opinion to be aired on its print pages,
the talkbacks are almost wall-to-wall rightwingers. Even though responses
are monitored (mainly for crudeness and libel). Ditto at the other
That has gotten the Left upset. Haaretz today runs an Op-Ed by Prof.
Fania Oz-Salzberger, titled "The democratization of evil", which can be
read in English here
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/880096.html . Oz-Salzberger, who
teaches law at the University of Haifa and is the daughter of Amos Oz, has
previously expressed reservations about "offensive" uses of freedom of
speech, such as when it offends Moslems. See Melanie Phillips comments
on this here: http://www.melaniephillips.com/diary/?p=1431
Oz-Salzberger writes in her Op-Ed in Haaretz, inter alia:
'The Israeli context is particularly interesting. The talkback policies at
the news sites in Israel, including those of newspapers, are more liberal
than those of their Western counterparts. The local surfers are faster and
blunter than their brethren, who live in societies that are more serene
than ours, and the artery that connects their gut feelings to their
fingers on the keyboard is shorter. Thus, if evil seethes in all cultures,
here it rises more swiftly to the surface and to the chains of responses.
In this matter, too, Israel is a kind of precursor of the post-modernist
camp, a fascinating touchstone for human issues of all sorts. Violence,
and especially nationalist crime, evokes in the Israeli surfer a spectrum
of emotions that is certainly no different from the general homo sapiens
range, but it is both sharper and more open than is customary in other
cultures (and this includes Internet cultures). When Shalhevet Pass, a
baby who did not live to understand that she was a Jewish settler in
Hebron, was shot and killed, one person who lives among us took the
trouble to write to the NFC (News First Class) Web site that the murder
victim "stank of the blood of slaughtered Palestinian children."
'This phrase, which is sadly engraved on the computer servers, is neither
leftist nor rightist. It is pure evil. And when a Jewish fanatic murdered
taxi driver Taysir Karaki, who drove him from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, quite
a number of respondents hurried to the Ynet and Walla! Web sites, and also
to that of Haaretz, to celebrate the blood that was spilled. "Those Arabs
can just keep on whining," they typed. "What is an Arab doing in Tel Aviv
anyway? He was probably planning a terror attack." And in the best of
succinct talkback style: "Poor Arabs hahaha." This is not right, this is
not left, this is evil.
'A handful of weirdos with keyboards? We have long known that this is not
the case. There probably isn't a single Israeli who dwells among his
people, in taxis and at tables, who hasn't heard such things said aloud
innumerable times. This is about the human soul, unbridled and
uninhibited, free of the muzzles of cost and censorship that publication
of an opinion in print and in public entails. Many evil bytes pass through
the exhausted hands of Web site editors. Israeli news channels usually
censor very crude responses, including "Death to the Arabs," as well as
messages that involve the right to privacy and the fear of libel. But how
do you define a text that the screen does not tolerate?'
Now it is true that some talkbacks are crude and vulgar. After all, most
of those writing them are folks from the streets, not college profs. But
one suspects that what REALLY upsets people like Oz-Salzberger is the fact
that these talkbacks are a far more reliable indicator of the political
sentiments of the average Israeli than are the elitist Op-Eds at Haaretz,
and the average Israeli despises the delusions of the Left and rejects the
entire Oslo Ascendancy.
2. Avram Burg:
3. Peace Now's latest Treason:
4. Human Rights Watch . Pro-Terror and Indifferent to Human Rights
5. July 10, 2007
Le Running Man (vs. Freedom Fries?)
July 10, 2007
Since he bound up the steps of Elysee Palace on his first day in office,
Nicolas Sarkozy has made jogging -- in local parlance le running -- the
symbol of his presidency. The French President's daily regimen telegraphs
a fresh insistence on forward movement, self-reliance, and hard work. For
a nation that has begun to tire of its economic torpor, there's no
Of course, no evolution proceeds uncontested. The recent popularity of
running in France has piqued the old guard that regards the long stride as
vulgar, un-French and, worst of all, American. Lib.ration, France's
left-leaning daily, associated the sport with individualism, asking in its
headline, "Is jogging right-wing?" Alain Finkelkraut, a prominent
philosopher who supported Mr. Sarkozy, pronounced the President's exercise
regimen "undignified." "Western civilization, in its best sense, was born
with the promenade," Mr. Finkelkraut insists.
And here we were thinking Western civilization was born with fleet action,
in counterpoise precisely to the indolence of earlier regimes. The
intellectual class's basic problem is, per Mr. Finkelkraut, about
civilization and the best way to measure its progress. One school says
measure by output; another, by leisure. So we can forgive French polite
society for seeing the Sarkozy Presidency, in its symbolism at least, as a
departure from the nation's traditions. It is.
But a jog away from tradition seems to be what ordinary French want, and
voted for in elections this spring. That's a whole lot healthier than the
URL for this article:
Monday, July 09, 2007
Israel's Network of Expatriate Treachery
Is the Likud a Leftist Party?
Alternative Bumper Stickers
The Israeli Left has long devoted much of its energies to creating snappy
little seditious bumper stickers. This is natural since most leftist thought
can be easily contained within the confines of a bumper sticker, especially if
it is on a Volvo.
But the Non-Left has been lazy about countering this bumper sticker barrage
from the Left.
So I wanted to suggest some alternative bumper stickers that should be produced
and displayed on all non-leftist motor vehicles. Here they are:
1. National Suicide is Not a Peace Process
2. An entire Generation will Now Have to Pay for THEIR Stupidity
3. No Leftists, No Treason
4. The Solution is EmPOWERment (with big photo of electric chair)
5. Turn off their Lights
6. Get out of the Left - for Israel's Sake
7. Teach Hania to Debka at the End of a Rope
8. End the Illegal Palestinian Occupation of Israeli Lands
9. The Illegal Palestinian Occupation of Israeli Lands Corrupts
10. Take a Jewish Settler Out to Lunch
11. Put a Post-Zionist in a Cage
12. The Lobotomy Clinic - I am not just the Owner, I am also a Customer (with
photo of Peres)
13. Solve the Parking Congestion Problems in Ramallah
14. Send Avrum to Ramallah but Don't Let Him Back
16. Protect Laboratory Animals: Put a Leftist in a Cage
17. I used to be a Leftist but then I Learned to Read
18. Send Amir Peretz to Cuba
19. You bring the Tar and I'll Bring the Feathers
20. Haaretz - Black and White and Red all Over
21. Suha Sure Looks Good in Black
22. Take the Mapai out of the Likud
23. Let 'Em Have a State in Guantanamo Bay
24. Tanks A Lot
25. For Every Jew a B-52
26. Defund the Kibbutzim
27. Kick 'em Out of Ramat Aviv and Send 'em Home to Yesha
28. IQ Tests for Knesset Members Now
29. End the Axis of Evil between the Jewish Left and Arab Fascism
30. Bulldoze Orient House
31. Peace is Harmful for Flowers and Other Living Things
32. Another Soccer Mom for the Death Penalty
33. End the Illegal Conquest of Corsica
34. Guns Don't Kill Terrorists, Jews Kill Terrorists
35. If You See this Police Van for Interrogating Palestinians A-Rocking, Don't
36. Palestinian Refugees? Fuggedabowdit!
37. De-Activate Judicial "Activists"
38. What Part of Denazification do you not Understand?
39. No Tenure, No Leftism
40. Peace Now - Just Pretend that War Does Not Exist
3. Network of Expatriate Treachery
By Steven Plaut
FrontPageMagazine.com | July 9, 2007
It seems that Israel-bashers and anti-Semites of the Left and of the Right
never tire of the delight in discovering and recruiting yet another Jew
willing to serve as spokesperson for their political agendas. They are
invariably convinced that if they can point to any Jew who mouths their
mantras about Israeli "apartheid" and Zionist "racism", never mind that
Israel is the only Middle East country that is NOT an apartheid regime,
then surely what they are saying MUST be true. And if those Jews also
happen to be ex-Israelis, people who grew up in Israel and claim to know
all about it, what chance can there be for anyone to debunk the lies and
hate being marketed?
In recent years the world has seen the growth of networks of ex-Israeli
Jewish leftists, disgruntled people living outside of Israel and devoting
their energies to delegitimizing and undermining the very existence of the
Jewish state. The other Israel-phobes delight in them. Each new one to
come along is greeted with serendipitous ecstasy, proclaimed a courageous
hero of moral outrage, defying Zionist "oppression." These ex-Israelis
serve as a SWAT team for anti-Semites of all stripes, and as apologists
for Arab terror and Islamofascism. A favorite tactic is to place these
people on the podium to create "balanced" speaker panels, consisting of
both Arabs and Israelis, all of whom inevitably reach the conclusion that
the Arab "version" of history is completely correct and that the only
reasonable "compromise" is for Israel to capitulate to all Arab demands.
After all, both Arabs and Israelis are telling the audience the same
Small activist groups of expatriate Israeli leftists now operate in the
United States, Britain, Canada, and elsewhere, devoting themselves to the
war against Israel's survival. These are by and large people who despise
their previous homeland and who serve as toadies for anti-Zionism and Arab
aggression. Many of these disgruntled expatriates unapologetically call
for Israel to be destroyed. Some of them justify and cheer anti-Jewish
terrorism in all its forms. They generally promote boycotts against their
former homeland, and sometimes initiate attempts to prosecute Israeli
leaders and army officers in courts outside Israel.
One particularly noisy segment of this phenomenon is its academic wing,
consisting of expatriate Israelis with PhDs, holding teaching jobs at
academic institutions outside Israel. These "academics" are generally
less crude than some of the non-academic Israeli expatriate haters of
Israel, people such as Gilad Atzmon (a saxophone player in Britain who
stars at all the Trotskyite events there), who has called for the burning
down of synagogues, or Shraga Elam, a Swiss ex-Israeli best known for
writing sycophantic letters of admiration to Holocaust Denier David
Irving, or Dror Feiler, a Swedish ex-Israel best known for creating "art"
celebrating a Palestinian terrorist mass murderer, or the Russian-born
ex-Israel who calls himself "Israel Shamir", a deranged Holocaust denier
and darling of European Neo-Nazi groups. "Shamir", a regular on
Counterpunch, is so openly pro-Nazi that even European anti-Israel
activist groups repudiate him as an embarrassment to their cause.
In contrast, there are dozens of ex-Israeli academics whose careers
consist largely of churning out literate print and web agitprop, inciting
hatred against Israel and sometimes also against Jews, while collaborating
with Israel's enemies. In some cases these people are failed academics
who were unable to obtain and hold academic jobs in Israel itself, and so
they are "getting even" by devoting themselves to the "progressive" quest
for Israel's annihilation. Most of these "academics" are so extreme that
they make Ward Churchill look like a moderate.
It is worth emphasizing that expatriate ex-Israeli academic leftists are
NEVER people whose inability to find academic work in Israel has anything
to do with their political opinions. Israeli universities are themselves
large petri dishes of "Post-Zionist" (meaning anti-Zionist) radicalism and
leftwing extremism. Not only does the holding of leftwing opinions not
prevent people from being hired and promoted at Israeli academic
institutions, but in some departments it is all but impossible to teach if
one is NOT a leftist extremist. At the department of political science at
Ben Gurion University, for example, the lone pro-Israel faculty member was
fired for holding politically incorrect opinions. At Tel Aviv University,
it is almost impossible to find non-leftists in linguistics and
philosophy. Sociology departments in Israeli universities are all
near-monolithic little Kremlins of Marxism and leftwing "Post-Zionist"
extremism. Political science departments are almost as uniformly
far-leftist. Political extremism does not disqualify someone from
pursuing an academic career in Israel. Indeed there are many examples of
people with inadequate (or even laughable) academic publication records
who are nevertheless hired and promoted by Israeli universities, as acts
of political solidarity by others already inside the system.
So if seditious opinions or ideological extremism are no obstacle to
building an academic career inside Israeli universities, what drove these
expatriates to seek "refuge" outside Israel? The answer is often that
these are pseudo-academics completely lacking any semblance of academic
excellence or scholarly achievement, whose resumes are too scanty even to
serve as figleaf for their employment at Israeli universities.
Perhaps the best known Israeli academic expatriate who has made a career
out of impugning and defaming Israel is Dr. Ilan Pappe, until recently a
lecturer in political science at the University of Haifa, now at the
University of Exeter in the UK. Pappe openly calls for Israel to be
exterminated. He was the main inciter of the British academic unions to
declare a boycott against Israeli universities. Pappe may be best known
for having fabricated a "massacre" of Arabs by Jews in 1948, an imaginary
massacre that never took place and for which no evidence whatsoever has
ever existed. Together with a graduate student under his supervision,
Pappe decided one fine morning that members of the Hagana Jewish militia
had massacred Arabs in the coastal town of Tantora south of Haifa in 1948
during Israel's War of Independence. Journalists present at that battle
witnessed no massacre. Even Arab propagandists had never alleged one had
taken place. Arab survivors of the battle spoke of being helped and fed
by the Hagana militiamen.
Pappe's graduate student later admitted in court that the whole story of
the Tantora "massacre" was an invention. Pappe, however, continues to
tout the "massacre" libel anywhere he can find himself an audience, and -
since its invention - the story has become part of the official canon on
every Islamofascist and anti-Semitic web site on earth, including
Palestinian and Neo-Nazi ones. Pappe was not fired for that fraud,
although he should have been, and today roams the world proclaiming that
he is the "victim" of "persecution" by his old University of Haifa
comrades. That claim was cited by the British boycotters as a
justification for their own campaign against Israeli universities.
Pappe is not the only expatriate academic hater of Israel who has made
Britain his home. The vogue hatred of Israel and Jews among the British
chattering classes seems to have made Britain a welcoming refuge for such
people. Of the expatriate defamers of Israel there, the one with the
most serious academic reputation is Avi Shlaim, on the faculty at Oxford.
Shlaim is a far-leftist who has made a career out of one-sided bashing and
misrepresentation of Israel and the Middle East conflicts. Unlike many of
the other expatriate anti-Israel propagandists, Shlaim actually has some
bona fide academic publications, although he is much better known for his
pitbull attacks against Israel, such as those he publishes in Palestinian
propaganda journals. Such propagandizing seems to "count" as
"scholarship" at Oxford these days, and not only there. In Shlaim's
"research", the Arabs have always wanted peace and true democracy, while
the obstacle to peace has always been Israeli wickedness and racist
Zionist colonialism. He participates in the anti-Semitic (some would say
Neo-Nazi) organization "Deir Yassin Remembered" and can be seen here in
collaboration with Paul Eisen, a man widely regarded to be a Holocaust
Denier who claims that there were no Jews murdered in Auschwitz gas
Shlaim was in the headlines recently for his struggle to get DePaul
hatemonger Norman Finkelstein tenured on the basis of the latter's vulgar
anti-Semitic screeds, a struggle that failed. While Finkelstein has never
published a research paper in a refereed academic journal, Shlaim was
willing to serve as Finkelstein's academic cheerleader because he
identifies with Finkelstein's political agenda. Shlaim is one of two
names that Finkelstein lists as recommenders for him on his own resume.
The second name is Noam Chomsky. Neither is from the same purported
academic discipline as Finkelstein. Shlaim is one of the people featured
in Professor Efraim Karsh.s Fabricating Israeli History: The New
Historians (Frank Cass & Co, Ltd. London, 2000), about pseudo-scholars
inventing "New History." Shlaim's articles are standard fodder in
classroom bashings of Israel at many campuses.
Perhaps the most malicious of the anti-Israel academic expatriates in
Britain is one Oren Ben-Dor, who teaches law at Southamptom University.
Ben-Dor is a regular on Counterpunch, where he rants against Israeli
"apartheid" and denounces those who think Israel has a right to exist as
hypocrites and people not truly pursuing peace:
'When "Israel's right to exist" is used as a litmus test for moderation
and pragmatism, the subtext is that it is reasonable for apartheid
practices which are at the core of the state as currently constituted to
be allowed to continue. Thus, those who mouth this mantra, and those who
try to limit the apartheid label to "the occupation", are complicit with
the apartheid inside pre-1967 Israel.'
Ben-Dor has been one of the ex-Israelis inside the UK initiating boycott
resolutions against Israel. He is one of a small group of ultras use the
term "Naqba Denial" as the moral equivalent of Holocaust Denial to
describe those who insist that Israel never conducted "ethnic cleansing"
of Arabs in 1948-49. ('Naqba" means catastrophe in Arabic and is now the
term of fashionable choice used by anti-Semites for Israel's creation.)
For Ben-Dor, Israel's very existence is an act or terror and an atrocity.
Within the United States, Los Angeles seems to have become the largest
center for anti-Israel academic expatriates from Israel. UCLA's Yael
Korin (at the Department of Pathology) runs the local chapter of the
venomously anti-Israel "Women in Black," which often collaborates with the
pro-terror Council on American-Islamic Relations and similar groups.
She is joined by Israeli expatriate Gabriel Piterburg, who teaches Middle
East Studies at UCLA in courses with large doses of anti-Israel
indoctrination. Piterberg, a fan of Edward Said, claims the nefarious
Zionists are persecuting him and academics like him. He has promoted
efforts to "divest" from Israel and is a vintage "New Historian", meaning
someone whose version of history differs little from that of the
ayatollahs in Iran.
Perhaps the most bizarre anti-Israel expatriate Angelino is Yigal Arens,
who works at the University of Southern California in computer technology.
Arens is the son of Moshe Arens, the militant nationalist political leader
of the Likud in Israel, who served as Israel's Minister of Defense. Arens
junior however has devoted himself to demonizing Israel and promoting
boycotts of Israel. Perhaps he enjoys making his daddy angry.
Los Angeles is not their only refuge. Ella Shahat is an anti-Israel
far-leftist professor of Art and Middle East Studies at NYU. She promotes
the view that Zionism is a racist movement of "white" Ashkenazi Jews, and
"Oriental" Jews from Middle Eastern countries are its main victims. The
fact that not one in a thousand "Oriental Jews" agrees with her has never
stopped her promoting her "theory." A radical feminist who thinks
America is an evil imperialist bully, conducting 'crimes' of 'oil driven
hegemony' and 'murderous sanctions against Iraq,' she likes to call
herself an "Arab Jew." Other Israeli expatriates who hate Israel can be
found at other schools.
The sign of "having made it" for many of these people seems to be
appearing in "Counterpunch" magazine. The Counterpunch web magazine is
run by Neo-Stalinist Alexander Cockburn, who passionately despises the
United States, although not enough so to give up his California perqs and
head back to his rainy native British Isles. Cockburn's second greatest
passion is insisting that it is intolerable when people are accused of
being anti-Semites simply because they hate Jews. It is only a question
of time before Counterpunch will run columns demanding that people stop
referring unfairly to Hitler and Goebbals as anti-Semites. It already
runs "Israel Shamir" and Gilad Atzmon.
Unlike most of his leftwing competition, Cockburn shows no reluctance
about abandoning the pretense of "We are Anti-Zionists but not
Anti-Semites," and has long exhibited naked anti-Semitism. Some of the
writers appearing on Counterpunch are shared by Cockburn with Holocaust
Denial and Neo-Nazi web sites. Cockburn has run the anti-Semitic
conspiracy "theory", first fabricated by Neo-Nazi web sites, about how
Israel was actually behind the 9-11 attacks upon the US, this based on the
fact that some Israeli moving men were picked up by the FBI on the day of
those attacks and later released with an apology. Counterpunch has run
numerous other articles promoting "theories" about Israeli conspiracies,
and Cockburn himself endorsed the "theory" that Jews were behind the
anthrax attacks in America.
Cockburn has a special love for Israel-bashing Jews, and especially for
Israelis and ex-Israelis who hate Israel. Oren Ben-Dor and Ilan Pappe are
regulars on Counterpunch. Cockburn has also run Zalman Amit, an
anti-Israel professor emeritus at Concordia University (one who evidently
spends most of his time making ugly little objects of "art" through wood
turning) and a Pappe apologist. Amit has devoted his energies to trying
to prevent Canadians from making donations to social causes in Israel,
while ranting about the "Jewish Lobby." As far as we know, he has never
offered to end his occupation of the lands of Canadian Indians and to turn
all his worldly property over to them as compensation for his colonial
oppression of them.
In some cases, the actual career paths of anti-Israel expatriates from
Israel is itself a source of amusement. Ran Greenstein is an ex-Israeli
and a fourth-rate sociologist who devotes his energies to denouncing
Israeli "apartheid". But he does so from South Africa, where he teaches
at the University of Witwatersrand. "Wits" University was an all-white
school and the bastion of Afrikaaner racism, developed as the jewel in the
apartheid academic crown. The South African University Education Act
Extension of Act 45 of 1959 prohibited black students from attending
"Wits." Spending so much time denouncing Israeli "racism," Greenstein
has never gotten around to feeling disturbed by his own status as a
colonial occupier of Africa, benefiting from the fruits of apartheid.
Efraim Nimni is an ex-Israeli Marxist sociologist and a groupie of Edward
Said, who found an academic position in Australia at the University of New
South Wales. There he has made a career out of denouncing Zionism as a
form of "colonialism". Irony is not his strong point: living as an
occupier of aboriginal lands and a colonial interloper in Australia is not
something that has given him pause about his own battle against Israel and
These expatriate "academic" haters of Israel become the instant
celebrities of all anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activist groups wherever
they end up. Being literate, they specialize in turning out large
volumes of anti-Israel propaganda. And they are generally not squeamish
about who publishes and uses their poison.
Should the Far Left ever get its way and impose its "solutions," Israel
will cease to exist and its population will be annihilated in a second
Holocaust. For far-leftist academic haters of Israel inside of Israel,
they and their families will perish along with the "Zionist entity" they
despise, should they succeed in their malice. But the Israeli expatriates
who are working to destroy Israel from the outside are not putting their
lives on the line and face no such personal threat.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Yoav Gelber: The Disease of "Post-Zionism"
Some Basic Issues of the Zionist/Post-Zionist Controversy
Post-Zionism and Anti Zionism
From its beginning, Zionism has provoked various adversaries whose common
denominator was their objection to Jewish nationalism or, at least, to its
linkage with the Land of Israel. Orthodox and liberal Jews regarded
Zionism as a panicked response to anti-semitism, imitation of European
nationalism and distortion of Judaism.s true essence and image. Marxists
claimed it was reactionary and endangered .the world of tomorrow. in which
the Jews, too, would find their proper place. The opposition that
accompanied Zionism was mainly a trend of the exile.
Present post-Zionism, by contrast, is mainly .blue and white..an Israeli
product produced by people who were born and/or educated in Israel though
now some of them may live abroad.
Since the 1980s, .postist. trends have penetrated into the public and
academic debates in Israel. The post-Zionist criticism consists of two
distinct versions. The first appears as a new chapter in the history of
Israeli historiography. This is an internal development within the
historical and a few other disciplines that emanates from the
accessibility of new source material, the development of new research
methods, and the suggestion of new interpretations. The discussions have
taken place mainly in professional-academic circles, and the opposing
stances have been published in scientific books and journals.
The second version is a meta-historical debate that has effect mainly in
the media, in which post-Zionists assault the Zionist idea and the values,
beliefs, assumptions, methodologies and objectivity of their Zionist
colleagues. They accuse Zionist scholars of mobilizing in favor of Zionist
ideology and in helping to impose the .hegemonic. Zionist concepts of
Israeli culture and collective identity.
Like post-modernism, with which it has something in common, post-Zionism,
too, is difficult to define and the definitions are not agreed upon. Uri
Ram, a sociologist from Ben-Gurion University, has claimed the copyright
for the concept .post-Zionism.. However, his definition is vague, and
apparently he regards it as a fashion. He underscores its cultural aspect
that goes beyond the academic framework and penetrates into the public
discourse through the media. Ram argues that post-Zionism should be
discussed in the context of the changing world: the impact of
globalization, post-structuralism and post-colonialism; the transformation
of the concept .identity. and the challenges it faces from competing
concepts such as .otherness,. .difference,. and .hybridism..
Ram focuses his criticism on the writing of Israeli history. Zionist
historiography, he maintains, has been historicist, and like the
historiographies of the European countries, it cultivated national memory
and identity. Post-Zionism means also post-historicism, and dismantles the
national identities and the .historical laws. in their basis. Historicist
memory built nations, he says, and the post-historicist memory shatters
them. Post-Zionist historiography writes the history of .others. and
.otherness,. while Zionist historiography gave room only to history of
self-identity. In Ram.s view, the controversies among historians are but
one aspect of the national identities. crisis in the era of
globalization.in the world as well as in Israel.1
Another post-Zionist sociologist, Avishai Ehrlich, regards post-Zionism as
the Israeli articulation of the liberal anti-Zionism in the wake of
assimilation in Western Europe and America. This post-Zionism of the
liberal type represents in Ehrlich.s eyes the capitalist globalization,
and therefore he regards it as the opposite of religious-orthodox and
Israel Bartal, the Jerusalem historian, attaches the condemnation of the
Zionist and Israeli establishment from the right wing to the post-Zionist
wave. He relates especially to Yoram Hazoni.s book The Jewish State and to
the activities of Shalem Center in Jerusalem.3 Ram, on the other hand,
distinguishes the right-wing.s criticism from post-Zionism, and names it
.Neo-Zionism.. He links it with the emergence of Gush Emunim in the 1970s,
a decade before the emergence of post-Zionism.4 Historian Tuvia Friling
also differentiates between the two trends. He argues that the right-wing
disapproval of left and center Zionism does not include any of the typical
foundations of the post-Zionist criticism, and it directs its attacks
against other elements of the political, social, and cultural Israeli way
Most Post-Zionists openly admit, like Ilan Papp, the linkage between
post-modernism and post-Zionism. Papp points to .a jump from positivist
pre-history to postmodern meta-history. in the development of Israeli
historiography. In Israel, as in the world, the majority of participants
in the post-modernists. debates of history are not historians.
Nevertheless, Papp asserts, the post-modernist discourse has indirect
impact on historians through indicating ways .to dismantle the domination
of the hegemonic, white and masculine narrative over the historical story
of the .others. and .otherness. in this country.6
The gist of post-Zionism is the denial of Jewish nationalism, at least in
its present form of a nation-state, and the demand.apparently relying on
the world .spirit of globalization..to turn Israel into .a state of all
its citizens. in reduced boundaries. The post-Zionists repudiate the
Zionist ideology and its basic assumptions lock, stock, and barrel. They
disapprove of the Zionist movement.s policies in all fields and all
periods, and deny the very existence of a Jewish People. By .a state of
all its citizens,. they do not mean a pluralist society in the manner of
the United States or Canada, but an invigorated version of the bi-national
state idea of the 1930s and 1940s, or the Palestinian state that was
envisaged by the British White Paper of May 1939 (and the Palestinians
rejected). This is primarily a new form of old anti-Zionism.7
This new Israel should be devoid of any Jewish identity, secular or
religious, and of any unique moral and social pretensions. This position
denies the connection between historical Judaism and the State of Israel,
and strives to transform the only state of the Jewish People into a
.liberal,. multi-national and multi-cultural state. The post-Zionists
demand to abolish laws whose purpose has been to stress the Jewish nature
of Israel, such as The Law of Return, and to change its Jewish symbols and
make them acceptable to the entire population. At the same time, they
strive to sterilize the Hebrew language by removing words, terms, images,
and stereotypes that carry a .Zionist charge. such as aliyah or .The War
of Independence. and replace them with apparently neutral terms such as
.immigration. or .The War of 1948,. or even adopt counter-terminology such
as .colonialism,. .ethnic cleansing,. or .occupation..
Post-Zionist positions hardly derive from empiric research. Usually they
are articulated in theoretical debates and in public polemic in the media.
The purpose of the criticism is to destroy the .Zionist discourse. and
portray it as a deliberate distortion of historical reality, or truth
(that post-modernists usually deny its existence, but the Zionist case is
apparently an exception). Furthermore, the post-Zionists strive to cause
tremors in the Israeli historical consciousness, deconstruct Israeli
identity, dismantle Israeli collective memory, and present it as a Zionist
meta-narrative that usurped Jewish history and Israeli identity.
Modesty is not a conspicuous characteristic of Israeli .postists.. Quite
the contrary, they often flatter each other, compliment, grade and grant
superlatives to themselves and their comrades, and usually ignore or
belittle those who do not count among their ranks. Tom Segev, for example,
asserted that the new historians .are the first to make use of archival
source material. It is the first generation of [true] historians. They
plough a virgin soil..8 However, many historians of Zionism and the yishuv
have worked in Israeli, British, American, and other archives.before the
advent of the .new. historians (who are not all post-Zionists),
simultaneously and subsequently. The difference between those who boast in
their .innovativeness. and those who dispute them is not one between the
use and non-use of archives. It is a difference between the ideological
writing of the post-Zionists (though they sometimes innovate and
illuminate) and the disciplinary writing (even if it sometimes entails
deviation in various ideological directions) of those who do not rank
Most post-Zionists accept the post-modern approach that historiography is
politics, and render a good service to the accusation that Israel was born
in sin when they dismiss Jewish nationality, reject the negation of the
Exile, describe the surviving remnant of the Holocaust and the oriental
Jews as the prey of Zionist manipulations and the Palestinians as innocent
victims of collusions and atrocities. This last .innocence. is
unconvincing for anyone familiar with the source material, unless he is
utterly prejudiced. Papp, who has led this approach for years, has totally
abandoned the academic disguise since the beginning of the present
intifada in 2000, and has enlisted in the service of Palestinian
propaganda in Israel and abroad, openly and wholeheartedly.9
The Denial of Jewish Nationalism
The post-Zionists. opposition to the Jewish nation state derives from
their denial of the very existence of Jewish nationality. Their criticism
of Jewish nationalism has been based on relatively new theories of
nationalism and colonialism. Primarily, they quote Benedict Anderson, who
regards the nation as an .imagined community..imagined by those who belong
to it or are manipulated by bureaucrats and pedagogues. They also like to
quote Eric Hobsbawm.s claim that the allegedly old national traditions
were invented in the 19th century to cultivate national myths. On the
other hand, they tend to ignore other theories of nationalism, such as
that of Anthony Smith (who regards nationality as the continuation of an
older ethnic identity) or Ernst Gelner, for whom nationalism is an outcome
of modernization. They hardly relate to earlier scholars of nationalism,
such as Hans Kohn.10
Following the Palestinians. old claim from the early 1920s that Judaism is
a religion, and religion does not need a national home, the radical
post-Zionists also negate the very existence of a Jewish nation. A
non-existent nation cannot have a national movement and does not need a
nation-state. Thus, the way opens for a Jewish religious milet in a future
Palestinian state as it existed in the Ottoman Empire. Non-religious Jews
will assimilate with the Palestinian Arabs as they have assimilated with
the surrounding people in Europe and America. Indeed, Papp dedicates his
recent book on the history of modern Palestine to his sons and wishes them
a peaceful life in the modern Palestinian state that will be constituted
on the ruins of the Jewish nation-state.11
Since he does not recognize Zionism as an authentic articulation of Jewish
nationalism, Papp theorizes on the essence of .Israeli nationalism.. His
principal argument is that this is a Middle Eastern phenomenon that should
be studied in the framework of nationalism in the Third World. The purpose
is evident: denying Zionism.s origins in the Jewish question and
affiliation to the Jews. plight in Europe and turning it into a
territorial-colonialist local phenomenon.
In denying Jewish nationality and replacing it with .Israeli nationality.
Papp relies on a famous source.the Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm.
However, Hobsbawm is hardly an authority on Jewish or Middle Eastern
history. His expertise is the history of Europe and Latin America. Long
before Papp, he denied the existence of Jewish nationality and Zionism as
its representation. Hobsbawm coined the phrase .Israeli nationality,. but
deliberately refrained from stating to whom this nationality relates.
Hobsbawm.s position is nothing but a weird personal view that does not
rely on historical evidence, erudition, or any expertise in Jewish
history.12 There is more than a trace of fraud in Papp.s attempt to
portray Hobsbawm.s ideological and political stance as scientifically
Papp.s approach to Jewish nationalism is not exceptional among
post-Zionists, and many of his comrades share it to various degrees. Ram,
for example, maintains that contrary to the conviction of the Israeli
education system.s graduates that a Jewish nation has always existed, the
Zionist movement invented a tradition to a nation that did not exist and
would not have been created without the Zionist initiative. Shlomo Zand,
to give another example, regards Zionists as .a community of
immigrant-settlers. that transformed the Bible from a holy religious canon
to a national history textbook to give legitimacy to its claim for
ownership of Palestine.
In Ram.s eyes, Israel.s Scroll of Independence articulates the gist of the
.national narrative. that Zionist historiography invented. He admits that
it was not .making up. and the materials from which the narrative was
built were taken .from the real history of the Jewish communities,. but
states that .Jewish existence was split and varied, and during most of the
period was not national. Only from an ideological national vantage point
it was seen as necessarily national and having a national destiny..
Ram breaks into open doors and claims the self-evident: Until the 18th
century, no nationalism in the modern sense of the word could exist in
Europe. Nonetheless, the medieval and early modern Jewish corporation
featured a high degree of solidarity among its members, a highly developed
autonomous organization, communal and occasionally supra-communal, a
religious affiliation to the Land of Israel and an expectation for the
redemption of all Jews and their return to Zion that from time to time
surfaced in the image of Messianic movements. Zionism translated all these
into modern concepts.not as .politics of identity,. but as a response to
constraints and pressures that Ram blatantly ignores.
The Jews. patterns of response to European nationalism and modernization
were not .strategies of identity.. They were not abstract texts, but real
experiences. Zionism.s principal purpose was solving the plight of the
Jews, and only in the second place that of Judaism. The condition of
Judaism in face of modernity preoccupied intellectuals like Achad Ha.am,
but much less it bothered the activists that built the Zionist movement
and the masses that joined it.
The plight of Judaism in face of modernity gave birth to various
suggestions to construct a modern Jewish identity, such as the idea of
.mission..the Jews. special mission to disseminate monotheism (or refined
morality) in the world. None of them provided an answer to the existential
distress of the Jewish masses in Eastern Europe. Only two answers were
suggested to this distress: a national solution in the Land of Israel, and
a pluralist solution through emigration to the New World. The American
immigration laws of the 1920s halted the mass emigration, and indirectly
had a crucial impact on the scope of the Holocaust and on the foundation
The Colonialist Paradigm of Zionism
Israeli post-Zionists have joined Palestinian scholars and propagandists
in an attempt to prove Zionism.s colonialist nature, especially in
post-1967 Israel.13 However, attempts to portray Zionism as a colonialist
movement did not begin with post-Zionism. They have been almost as old as
the Arab-Jewish conflict. The first attempt was made by the Palestinian
Congress that convened in Jerusalem in January 1919, if not earlier as
Rashid Khalidi claims.14
Since the shaping of the new order in the Middle East after the First
World War, the Palestinians have portrayed themselves as a national
liberation movement struggling against a foreign colonial power (the
Zionist movement) supported by the military might of British imperialism
and trying to usurp a land that belonged to others. The Palestinians
raised their national and anti-colonialist arguments in the Palestinian
congresses at the beginning of the 1920s, in their appeals to the British
government, and in their official and non-official deliberations with the
various commissions that sought a solution to the Palestine problem in the
1930s and 1940s. However, in a world in which colonialism was legitimate,
their arguments did not attract attention and support. World public
opinion did not consider them stronger than the Jewish plight in Europe
before, and certainly after the Holocaust.
The circumstances changed after the completion of de-colonization. Since
the late 1970s, the Palestinians. arguments fell on receptive ears,
particularly in Western Europe that was torn by post-colonial guilt
feelings as well as by quandaries about the role of collaborators and
by-standers during the Holocaust. Under the inspiration of Edward Sa.id,
the Palestinians endeavored to demonstrate the colonial nature of Zionism,
particularly of .greater Israel. after the Six-Day war.
Post-Zionists cultivate the stereotype of the colonialist Zionist
immigrant by comparing the settling farmer in Rosh Pina or the pioneer in
Deganya to the Dutch settlers in the Netherland.s Indies (now Indonesia)
or the French .Colons. in Algeria. Similarly, they make up similarities
between the Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel and the Boers in South
Africa. They equate the acquisition by the United States of Louisiana from
France in 1803 and Alaska from Russia in 1867 with the purchase of Arabs.
tracts of land by the Jewish National Fund. Similarly, they compare the
attitude of the Jews to the Arab tenants that tilled these tracts with the
Americans. handling of Hispanic settlers in Texas.15
.Political Zionism,. Jerusalem sociologist Baruch Kimmerling asserted,
.emerged and consolidated on the threshold of the colonial period in
Europe, when the right of Europeans to settle in every non-European
country was taken for granted..16 One should not be an expert on colonial
history to know that the colonial era in European history had begun much
earlier, in the 16th century. Zionism emerged toward the end of this era
and not on its threshold, and West European colonialism had been preceded
and paralleled by other colonialisms.Arab, Chinese, Turk and Russian. The
resemblance of the transactions of Louisiana and Alaska to the land
purchases of the JNF is dubious. Many problems would have been saved or
solved if the Zionist movement had the means to buy the Land of Israel in
a few steps as the United States did in the 19th century, and had Britain
and other powers really supported Zionism in the manner that Kimmerling
and others ascribe to them. Precisely the slow pace of the Zionist
enterprise.s development, because of the need to purchase the land and the
scarcity of resources, testify to the non-colonial character of the
For others, the comparison with the United States is redundant. In their
eyes, Zionism is an occupying force in the manner of the Spanish
Conquistadors in Latin America. Papp compares Zionism to Christian
missionary activities in West Africa and to previous attempts by
Christians to settle in Palestine and expel the Arabs from the country
(i.e. the crusades). He finds an .astonishing similarity. between the
hidden hopes of Henri Gerren, the traveler and explorer of Palestine, and
those of the Zionist leader Menachem Ussishkin: Gerren strove to renew the
crusaders. Kingdom of Jerusalem and Ussishkin aspired to revive the
kingdom of David and Solomon!
Drawing on odd and unverifiable sources, Papp further asserts that Zionist
settlement in the Land of Israel strove from the beginning to dispossess
the Arabs. He brings a dubious quotation of the Rabbi of Memel (then a
free German town in Lithuania), a .well-known. Zionist leader by the name
of Itzhak Rielf, who, according to Papp, called in 1883 (14 years before
the establishment of the Zionist organization!) to expel the Arabs from
the country. His second authority is Ussishkin.s alleged ambition to
purchase the bulk of the land of Palestine (as if he had the means to do
it). The most .convincing. is his third authority: the Palestinian
historian Nur Massalha, who collected quotations that in his view testify
to Zionist intentions to dispossess and expel the Palestinian Arabs.17
A more serious endeavor to offer grounds for the formula Zionism equals
colonialism was done by Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin in his Ph.D. dissertation
that deals with Zionist historiography of the Middle Ages and its
contribution to Zionist colonialism through the negation of the Diaspora.
He argued that every historiographic project in the Land of Israel after
the Balfour Declaration and the First World War aimed to distance the
Arabs from the history of the land and portray it as a Jewish country
either because of continuous Jewish presence in the country or because of
the Jews. continuous affiliation, longings, and pilgrimages.
According to Raz-Krakotzkin, emphasizing the continuity of Jewish presence
in the country, and the Jews. affiliation to the Land of Israel, aimed to
serve the Jewish claim for rights on the country. He asserts that a clear
linkage has existed between Zionist historical writing and diplomatic
activity. The historical claims, he maintains, were the basis for the
demand that Britain would adopt an exceptional policy in Palestine that
would disregard the national aspirations of the indigenous population.
However, history books by Zionist writers in the first half of the 20th
century were not written in English or translated into it. Certainly, they
were not against Lord Balfour.s eyes when he wrote to Lloyd George after
the opening of the Peace Conference in Versailles:
In the case of Palestine we refuse, deliberately and justly, to accept the
principle of self-determination [.] We regard Palestine as absolutely
exceptional. In our view the Jewish question outside Palestine has
worldwide significance, and the Jews have a right to a home in their
ancient country, provided this home will be granted to them without
dispossessing or repressing the present inhabitants.18
Zionist political demands were based on Jewish history, not on Zionist
historiography, and Zionist diplomacy preceded the historiography by a
generation at least.
In the eyes of Raz-Krakotzkin, even the Hebrew University in Jerusalem
symbolized Zionist colonialism. It was not established for the indigenous
population but for immigrants, and prevented the establishment of
universities for the natives. Hence, he accuses the University of being .a
political weapon that prevented education from the majority of the
He did not mean the graduates of Jewish high schools that until the Second
World War usually went abroad for higher education, but the local Arabs.
However, which education did Palestine.s Arabs need? In 1925, the year of
the Hebrew University.s establishment, Palestine had 49 Arab elementary
and high schools in towns (29 for boys and 20 for girls) and 265 rural
schools (all elementary, of which 11 were for girls). They were attended
by 16,146 boys and 3,591 girls. Most pupils attended school for four or
five years. Twenty years later, in 1945, the total number of Arab pupils
rose to 71,468, but only 232 studied in the 11th and 12th grade classes.
Arab higher education had only 58 students.20 In the Mandate period, the
Arab population did not need a university but elementary schools, and the
British mandate did develop the Arab education system considerably. The
argument that the establishment of the Hebrew University prevented higher
education from the Arabs is simply ridiculous.
Zionism Is Not Colonialist
Put simply, Zionism essentially required immigration and colonization.just
as the Spanish settled in South America, or the Pilgrims and others in
North America, followed by a long line of Europeans who occupied America,
Southeast Asia, Australia, and Africa and settled in the occupied
territories. Zionism, for a while, also was assisted by an imperialist
power, Britain, though the reasons for British support were more complex
than pure imperialism. Here, however, the similarity ends, and the
comparison with colonialism fails to adequately explain the Zionist
Unlike the conquistadors and their successors, Jewish immigrants to the
Land of Israel did not come armed to their teeth, and made no attempt to
take the country by force from the native population. The pioneer
immigrants conceived the normalization of the Jews in terms of return to
manual labor, not in exercising military power. Until the First World War,
the idea of creating a Jewish military force for achieving political aims
was confined to a few visionaries, and even at the end of that war,
volunteering into the Jewish battalions of the British army was
controversial among young pioneers in Palestine.
If we take a semiotic approach, up until 1948 the Hebrew word kibbush
(occupation, conquest) referred to taming the wilderness and mastering
manual labor and the art of grazing; in its most militant form, it
referred to guarding Jewish settlements. Terms such as g.dud (battalion)
or plugah (company) did not refer to military but to labor units. The
armed Jewish force emerged late, in response to attacks and threats on the
part of the Palestinians and Arabs from the neighboring countries, and the
key word in the process of building it was .defense.. The ethos of using
force was defensive at least until the Palestinian rebellion in the years
Since the late 1930s, .defense. was not perceived necessarily in tactical
terms. Tactically and methodically, the yishuv.s youth became aggressive
since the .emerging out of the fence. in 1937-1938. Yet, the use of the
word .defense. symbolized a broader perception of the Zionist enterprise
as constantly threatened by its Arab surroundings and, sometimes, also by
other powers. The word implied that the yishuv was the responding side and
not the initiator of the threats even if and when, tactically, it took the
initiative and unleashed the first strike.
Unlike the whites. societies in the British dominions, to which the
post-Zionists compare Zionism when they define it .national colonialism.
or .colonialism that develops into territorial nationalism,. Zionism
voluntarily undertook restrictions compatible with democratic principles
of self-determination. It strove to arrive at a demographic majority in
the Land of Israel before taking political control of the country.
Furthermore, the Zionists regarded a Jewish majority as a pre-condition
for Jewish sovereignty. They believed that this condition was attainable
through immigration, and not by expulsion or annihilation in the manner of
the whites. attitude to the Native Americans or the Aborigines.
Economic theories of colonialism and sociological theories of migration
movements are equally inadequate when applied to the Zionist experience.
Palestine differed from typical countries of colonialist immigration
primarily because it was an underdeveloped and primitive country. Usually,
Europeans had immigrated to countries rich in natural resources and poor
in manpower in order to exploit their wealth; by contrast, Palestine was
too poor even to support its indigenous population. At the end of the
Ottoman period, natives of Palestine.Jews and Arabs.emigrated to seek
their future in America and Australia.
Zionist ideology and the import of Jewish capital compensated for the lack
of natural resources and accelerated the modernization of the backward
country. Ideology and import of capital were totally absent in other
colonial movements. Colonial empires generally exploited colonies for the
benefit of the mother country and did not invest beyond what was necessary
for that exploitation. By contrast, the flow of capital to Palestine went
one way. Neither Britain nor the Jewish People derived any economic gains
from the country.
A central argument of those who compare Zionism with colonialism concerns
the taking over of Palestine.s lands and the dispossession of the Arab
tenants. However, until 1948 the Zionists did not conquer,
but.unparalleled among colonial movements.bought land in Palestine.
Kimmerling shows how between 1910 and 1944, the prices of land in
Palestine were multiplied by 52.5. According to Kimmerling.s data, in 1910
the price of agricultural land in Palestine was twice its average price in
the United States, while in 1944 the proportion was 23:1. Between 1936 and
1944 the land prices rose three times more than the cost of living
Under these circumstances, the Palestinians could not resist the
temptation to sell land to the Jews. Sellers included members of all the
prominent clans of the Palestinian elite. Palestinian and some
post-Zionist Israeli scholars tend to put the blame for the eviction of
Palestinian tenant farmers on foreign landowners such as the Sursuq family
of Beirut, concealing the role of resident elite families who led the
Palestinian national movement.22
Upon the attainment of statehood, the circumstances changed. State land
was requisitioned and private lands were expropriated. But the state
compensated private owners, either with money or alternative tracts, and
individual Arabs continued to sell off holdings. One of the Palestinians.
biggest fiascos was their inability to check land selling, despite the
violent steps they took and the numerous assassinations of land sellers
and dealers throughout the 20th century.
By contrast to other countries of immigration and colonialist settlement,
the Jewish immigrants did not wish to integrate into the existing, mainly
Arab economy, and also did not try to take it over. They laid foundations
for a new and separate economy, without the relations of mastery and
dependence that characterized colonial societies.23 During the Mandate
period and the early years of statehood, Jewish immigrants competed with
(Arab) natives and immigrants from the adjacent countries in the urban and
rural, public and private manual labor markets.as agricultural laborers,
in the building industry, as stonecutters, road builders, porters, and
stevedores.24 .Kibbush Ha.avoda. (occupying the Labor) had ideological,
economic, social, and political motives, but such competition between
white settlers and natives was inconceivable in colonial countries.
A cultural appraisal, too, excludes Zionism from the colonialist paradigm.
Contrary to the colonialist stereotype, Jews who immigrated to the Land of
Israel severed their ties to their countries of origin and their cultural
past. Instead, they revived an ancient language and, on the basis of
Hebrew, created a new culture. The revival of Hebrew began in Eastern
Europe and preceded Zionism, but the Zionist movement and the yishuv
implemented it fully. In the Land of Israel, Hebrew became the national
language spoken by all: from the kindergarten children to the academy.
All over the world colonialist immigrants either quested after a lucrative
future or sought to escape a dreary present. Jewish immigrants to the Land
of Israel shared these motives, but their primary, unique impulse, which
distinguished them from colonialist movements, was to revive an ancient
The above should suffice to refute the identification between Zionism and
colonialism. The seemingly historical argument, however, impinges
significantly on the present. Long after most national-liberation
movements have achieved their goals and thrown off colonialism, the
Palestinians.who have enjoyed far greater international support.are still
in the same place, if not worse. This fact alone should have led
Palestinian intellectuals and their Western and Israeli sympathizers to
re-examine their traditional paradigm. Instead, by cultivating the
Zionist-colonialist prototype, Israeli historians and social scientists
continue to provide the Palestinians with an excuse to avoid such
re-examination, and encourage them to proceed along a road that apparently
Post-Zionist Propaganda and Israeli Historiography
The post-Zionist tone of the public debates in Israel grew louder in the
days of .The New Middle East..the era of euphoria and illusions after the
Oslo accord. In those days, some post-Zionists proclaimed the end of the
era of Zionist hegemony and the beginning of a new, post-Zionist, era.
About the author
Prof. Yoav Gelber is a historian, teaching at the University of Haifa
where he is also head of the Herzl Institute for Research of Zionism. This
year he is a visiting professor at the University of Texas, Austin. He is
the winner of three Israeli prizes (Ben-Zvi, Ruppin, and Itzhak Sadeh
[twice]) and the author of about 20 books on various aspects of the
history of Israel, and 60 articles. His book History, Memory and
Propaganda is coming out in Hebrew in these very days, and he is working
now on an English version of the book.