Finally the USA Supports the One State Solution

 

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By Gilad Atzmon

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced yesterday that the US is softening its position on Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Secretary Pompeo repudiated the 1978 State Department legal opinion that stated that Jewish settlements in the occupied territories are “inconsistent with international law.”

 It is hard to determine whether the move was intended to rescue Benjamin Netanyahu’s political career or to buy the Jewish Lobby’s support for President Trump at a critical time. It is reasonable to assume that the policy was put forth to advance both aims.

 Pompeo’s declaration was, predictably, welcomed by PM Netanyahu and denounced by Palestinian officials and anyone else who still advances the delusional Two State Solution. Like Secretary Pompeo, I am far from an expert on international law, but it seems the notion of international law is vague or elastic enough to allow the secretary to (mis) interpret it in a radical manner. Yet, unlike most Palestinian solidarity campaigners, I see Trump, his administration and the recent move as a positive development.

 However inadvertently, Trump has finally committed the USA to the One State Solution. It is hard to deny that the area between the ‘River and the Sea’  is a single piece of land. It shares one electric grid, one pre-dial code (+972) and one sewage system. Ay present, the land is ruled over by a racist, tribal and discriminatory ideology through an apparatus that calls itself  ‘The Jewish State;’ and declares itself home for every Jew around the world; yet, is abusive, lethal and some would say genocidal toward the indigenous people of the land.

Yesterday’s move may buy Netanyahu some time and it may save Trump from being evicted from his current residence, but what it did most clearly was to redeliver a message to the Palestinians: In the battle for your liberation you are alone. America is not a negotiator, it has never been one. The USA has a side in the conflict and it is not your side.

In categorical terms Pompeo’s declaration repeats Trump’s earlier decision to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. On December 6, 2017, President Trump announced that the United States recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and ordered the relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. No doubt, the move bought Trump support from the Jewish Lobby in America, and political gain for Netanyahu in the Jewish State, it was also an unambiguous message to the Palestinians: there is no prospect of a  harmonious and peaceful solution for your plight.

 For the Palestinians, the move also exposed the misleading and dangerous nature of their ‘solidarity’ movement. Jewish ‘anti’ Zionist institutions have undertaken a relentless effort to suppress the Palestinian’s Right of Return and replace it with watery alternatives such as ‘End of occupation’ or  ‘the Right to BDS.’ Trump’s move forced the Palestinians to accept that they were alone in their battle and finally  accept that The Right of Return is the core and the essence of their plight. Less than four months after Trump’s Jerusalem decision, on 30 March 2018,  thousands of Gazans gathered on the Israeli border to demand a return to their land.

That clumsy decision by Trump made to serve some immediate political purpose to do with Jewish support has matured into a vast awakening for the Palestinians.  Week after week, for almost three years, Gazans have arrived at the Gaza border in the thousands to bravely confront the IDF’s merciless snipers, tanks and air force.  The Hamas owes a big thank you to Trump who has managed to fuel and unite the Palestinians with a renewed spirit of fearless resistance. Israeli military analysts and commanders admit that the situation at the Gaza border is pretty much out of control. They agree that Israel’s power of deterrence is literally a matter of  nostalgia. Accordingly, Palestinian resistance organizations do not hesitate to retaliate against  Israel. Last week Israel was hit by the rain of 400 rockets fired over the course of only two days in response to  Israel’s assassination of a Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant.

 Pompeo’s declaration provides an explicit and necessary message to the Palestinians in general and in the West Bank in particular. The conflict is not progressing toward a peaceful resolution. Those amongst the Palestinians who advocated the ‘Two States Solution’ will have to hide now.  Pompeo has affirmed that there is one Holy Land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. From now on the battle over this disputed land is whether it will be subject to the racist discriminatory ideology implied by the notion of “The Jewish State” and its ‘National Bill,’ or if it will transform itself into a ‘State of its Citizens’ as is inherit in the notion of One Palestine.

The Jewish Progressive Agenda according to Bernie Sanders

 

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By Gilad Atzmon

In the 2016 Democratic primaries, Bernie Sanders presented himself as an American who happened to be Jewish.  Now, in a radical shift, Sanders identifies as “a proud Jewish American.” The progressive politician went from speaking in a universalist voice to defining himself as a 3rd category Jew, i.e., a person who identifies politically as a Jew (as opposed to identifying religiously:1st category, or ancestrally: 2nd category). In his new capacity as a proud Jew, Sanders has declared all out war on Anti Semitism on behalf of his people and in the name of what he describes as ‘multicultural progressive values’.

In his recent extended article titled How to Fight Antisemitism, published by the purportedly ‘Left’ Jewish Currents, Sanders takes up the same line you’d expect from an ADL spokesman, ticking every Hasbara box from the Jewish right of ‘self determination ‘to the primacy of Jewish suffering.

It is hard to miss the echo of Zionist propaganda in Sanders’ drivel. Understandably, Sanders doesn’t like Anti-Semitism. In that he isn’t alone. I would venture that no one, including antisemites, likes anti-Semitism. However, fighting anti Semitism is pretty simple. All it takes is self-reflection. This is exactly what early Zionists did and it was pretty effective. Early Zionism promised  to introduce a new Hebrew: civilized, proletarian, universalist and ethical. Some of the worst anti-Semites were impressed with the idea, for a while even Hitler supported that Jewish nationalist project. At the time, Zionists were so popular that they were largely forgiven their 1948 racist ethnic cleansing crimes. Their introspective project was perceived as genuine.

Now, Sanders informs us, “antisemitism is rising in this country. According to the FBI, hate crimes against Jews rose by more than a third in 2017 and accounted for 58% of all religion-based hate crimes in America.”  Does the ‘progressive’ presidential wannabe bother to ask himself why an ethnic group that comprises only 2% of the American population is subject to the vast majority of religion based hate crimes?

Sanders doesn’t advocate that Jews reflect on whether there is something they do that provokes such crimes,  he prefers to blame everyone else and White identitarians in particular. He argues that antisemites such as the Pittsburgh Synagogue murderer “acted on a twisted belief that Jews were part of a nefarious plot to undermine white America. This wave of violence is the result of a dangerous political ideology that targets Jews and anyone who does not fit a narrow vision of a whites-only America.”

Although I am a harsh critic all forms of identitarianism,  Sanders seems to want it both ways, he identifies himself as a “proud Jewish American” and yet he is hostile to those who identify as White and to their political and identitarian agenda. In reading Sanders’ piece, one can’t miss the fact that the so-called ‘progressive’ seems to support all forms of identitarianism except the White one. “This wave of violence” he writes, “is the result of a dangerous political ideology that targets Jews and anyone who does not fit a narrow vision of a whites-only America.”

Politicians who explore ideas in a manner that is ignorant, uneducated and clumsy are now a universal Western symptom. However, Sanders manages to form a category of his own. “The antisemites who marched in Charlottesville don’t just hate Jews. They hate the idea of multiracial democracy.”

What is multiracial democracy? Are we supposed to know or should we guess? Are there any voices that should be excluded from this type of diverse democracy?

 “They [presumably, the White Identitarians] hate the idea of political equality.”

Is this true? Perhaps ‘they,’ rightly or wrongly, just see themselves as among the oppressed and want their plight addressed?

“They hate immigrants, people of color, LGBTQ people, women, and anyone else who stands in the way of a whites-only America.”

Does Sanders understand that ‘hating people’ (women, migrants, people of color, LGBTQ etc,) is not the same as opposing the identity politics that divides nations into a manifold of discrete identities?

Sanders accuses the anti-Semites of being conspiratorial. “this is the conspiracy theory that drove the Pittsburgh murderer—that Jews are conspiring to bring immigrants into the country to “replace” Americans.”

I feel obliged to remind Mr. Sanders it is hardly conspiratorial to acknowledge the fact that Jewish politics in the West and in America in particular, is pro-immigration. It is well documented and is actually rational. As opposed to the Jewish State that performs some of the most brutal anti immigration policies, Diaspora Jews tend to prefer to live in a society that is made of an amalgam of many groups and ethnicities. Sanders who identifies himself as a ‘proud Jew’ should ask himself why he supports ‘multicultural democracy’ and what he means by that. Sanders ought to look into the work of HIAS and decide for himself how well it reflects his own political sentiments.

 Bernie Sanders sees anti-Semitism as “a conspiracy theory that a secretly powerful  (Jewish) minority exercises control over society.”

Someone should ask Sanders to explain the peculiar phenomenon at work when Israeli PM Netanyahu received  29 standing ovations during his hard line speech in Congress. Mr. Sanders, who believes that pointing at Jewish power arises from ‘conspiratorial’ inclinations may want to ask himself what drove him to declare war against anti Semitism instead of joining battle against all racism. Does Sanders plan to speak at AIPAC or J-Street as part of his presidential campaign or does he intend to deny himself the support of the most influential political lobbies in Washington?

Sanders writes that “like other forms of bigotry—racism, sexism, homophobia—antisemitism is used by the right to divide people from one another and prevent us from fighting together for a shared future of equality, peace, prosperity, and environmental justice.” But if Sanders is genuine here and his objective is ‘unity,’ why does he single out  White identitarians? Shouldn’t he invite the Whites to join his phantasmic identitarian ‘unity’ as equal partners? And more to the point, if “like other forms of bigotry—racism, sexism, homophobia—antisemitism is used by the right to divide people” why not simply oppose all racism and bigotry in a universal manner?

According to the “proud Jewish American” who wants to be the next  president, “opposing antisemitism is a core value of progressivism.” Is it?  I would have thought that progressivism is about opposing all forms of racism in the largest and least discriminatory manner.

To illustrate his alliance with what is currently the most racist state on the planet, Sanders delves into nostalgic memories of his Zionist youth. “I have a connection to Israel going back many years. In 1963, I lived on a kibbutz near Haifa. It was there that I saw and experienced for myself many of the progressive values upon which Israel was founded.”

Mr Sanders forgets to mention that Sha’ar Haamakim, the Kibbutz he briefly dwelled in, was founded on the land of a Palestinian village; Al Zubaidat that had been the home of 60 Palestinian families. In 1925 a Zionist organisation purchased the village land from a rich Beiruty family and beginning in 1931, the Jewish Agency struggled to evict the Palestinians of  El Zubeidat. A few years later, in 1935,  Kibbutz Sha’ar HaAmakim was founded by Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. In short, the place Sanders describes as embodying  ‘progressive values’ was in fact, part of the vile racially driven, Zionist ethnic cleansing project.

The intellectually compromised Sanders goes on to describe a criminal state with a very odd use of the term ‘progressive.’  “I think it is very important for everyone, but particularly for progressives, to acknowledge the enormous achievement of establishing a democratic homeland for the Jewish people after centuries of displacement and persecution.” I find this confusing.  Unless the words ‘progressive’ and ‘Jewish’ have morphed into synonyms, I do not understand what is ‘progressive’ about the process of violent racist ethnic cleansing.

I guess even Sanders must realise that his pro Israeli screed is easily ridiculed.

  “We must also be honest about this: The founding of Israel is understood by another people in the land of Palestine as the cause of their painful displacement.”

According to Sanders the Palestinian plight is simply a matter of a subjective perception, that  it was merely ‘understood’ by the Palestinians that the founding of Israel resulted in their own painful displacement.  Sanders dismisses reality, ignoring the chain of massacres of Palestinians in 1948, and the clear agenda of the Israeli military to cleanse the indigenous people of Palestine from their land. I can’t think of anything more disgusting and duplicitous than Sanders’ fake humanism.

 Sanders finds that “some criticism of Israel can cross the line into antisemitism, especially when it denies the right of self-determination to Jews…” I allow myself to assert that no one out there denies Jews or anyone else’s right of self-determination but self determination becomes a serious problem when executed at the expense of others, whether this takes place in Palestine, in North America or anywhere else.

Bernie Sanders, a declared non universalist ‘progressive,’ uses a Jewish outlet to vow to his people “I will direct the Justice Department to prioritize the fight against white nationalist violence. I will not wait two years to appoint a Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, as Trump did; I will appoint one immediately.”

If America intends, as it should, to fight racism and to heal its wounds it could be that Bernie Sanders is the worst possible candidate as he clearly expresses that what he cares about is the hatred of the one group that happens to be his own. Maybe president of  the ADL is the more fitting post for the pretentious self confessed “proud Jewish American.” Leading the American people and the world should be left to a proper universalist and a genuine ethical character assuming that such a person is available and willing to commit.


 My battle for truth and freedom involves some expensive legal and security services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me and others.

Donate

 

Israel’s Last War

 

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by Gilad Atzmon

In my 2011 book, The Wandering Who, I elaborated on the possible disastrous scenario in which Israel is the nucleus of a global escalation over Iran’s emerging nuclear capabilities. I concluded that Israel’s PRE Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PRE-TSS) would be central to such a development.

“The Jewish state and the Jewish discourse in general are completely foreign to the notion of temporality. Israel is blinded to the consequences of its actions, it only thinks of its actions in terms of short-term pragmatism. Instead of temporality, Israel thinks in terms of an extended present.”

In  2011 Israel was still confident in its military might, certain that with the help of America or at least its support, it could deliver a mortal military blow to Iran. But this confidence has diminished, replaced by an existential anxiety that might well be warranted. For the last few months, Israeli military analysts have had to come to terms with Iran’s spectacular strategic and technological abilities. The recent attack on a Saudi oil facility delivered a clear message to the world, and in particular to Israel, that Iran is far ahead of Israel and the West. The sanctions were counter effective: Iran independently developed its own technology.

Former Israeli ambassador to the US, and prolific historian, Michael Oren, repeated my 2011 predictions this week in the Atlantic and described a horrific scenario for the next, and likely last, Israeli conflict.

Oren understands that a minor Israeli miscalculation could lead to total war, one in which missiles and drones of all types would rain down on Israel, overwhelm its defences and leave Israeli cities, its economy and its security in ruins.

Oren gives a detailed account of how a conflict between Israel and Iran could rapidly descend into a massive “conflagration” that would devastate Israel as well as its neighbours.

In Israel, the term “The War Between the Wars,”  refers to the targeted covert inter-war campaign waged by the Jewish State with the purpose of postponing, while still preparing for, the next confrontation, presumably with Iran. In the last few years Israel has carried out hundreds of  ‘war between the wars’ strikes against Iran-linked targets in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. Oren speculates that a single miscalculation could easily lead to retaliation by Iran. “Israel is girding for the worst and acting on the assumption that fighting could break out at any time. And it’s not hard to imagine how it might arrive. The conflagration, like so many in the Middle East, could be ignited by a single spark.”

Until now, Iran has restrained itself despite constant aggression from Israel, but this could easily change.

“The result could be a counterstrike by Iran, using cruise missiles that penetrate Israel’s air defenses and smash into targets like the Kiryah, Tel Aviv’s equivalent of the Pentagon. Israel would retaliate massively against Hezbollah’s headquarters in Beirut as well as dozens of its emplacements along the Lebanese border. And then, after a day of large-scale exchanges, the real war would begin…”

Oren predicts that rockets would  “rain on Israel” at a rate as high as 4,000 a day.  The Iron Dome system would be overwhelmed by the vast simultaneous attacks against civilian and military targets throughout the country. And, as if this weren’t devastating enough, Israel is totally unprepared to deal with precision-guided missiles that can accurately hit targets all across Israel from 1000 miles away.

Ben Gurion International Airport would be shut down and air traffic over Israel closed. The same could happen to Israel’s ports. Israelis that would seek refuge in far away lands would have to swim to safety

In this scenario, Palestinians and Lebanese militias might join the conflagration and attack Jewish border communities on the ground while long-range missiles from Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Iran land. Before long, Israel’s economy would cease to function, electrical grids severed  and damaged factories and refineries would spew toxic chemicals into the air.

In the Shoah scenario Oren describes,

“Millions of Israelis would huddle in bomb shelters. Hundreds of thousands would be evacuated from the border areas as terrorists attempt to infiltrate them. Restaurants and hotels would empty, along with the offices of the high-tech companies of the start-up nation. The hospitals, many of them resorting to underground facilities, would quickly be overwhelmed, even before the skies darken with the toxic fumes of blazing chemical factories and oil refineries.”

Oren predicts that Israel’s harsh response to attack, including a violent put down of likely West Bank and Gaza protests, would result in large scale civilian casualties and draw charges of war crimes.

As Oren states, he did not invent this prediction, it is one of the similar scenarios anticipated by Israeli military and government officials.

If such events occur, the US will be vital to the survival of the Jewish State by providing munitions, diplomatic, political, and legal support, and after the war, in negotiating truces, withdrawals, prisoner exchanges and presumably ‘peace agreements.’  However, the US under the Trump administration is somewhat unpredictable, especially in light of the current impeachment proceedings against Trump.

In 1973 the US helped save Israel by providing its military with the necessary munitions.  Will the US do so again? Do the Americans have the weapons capability to counter Iran’s ballistics, precision missiles and drones?  More crucially, what kind of support could America provide that would lift the spirits of humiliated and exhausted Israelis after they emerge from underground shelters having enduring four weeks without electricity or food and see their cities completely shattered?

This leads us to the essential issue. Zionism vowed to emancipate the Jews from their destiny by liberating the Jews from themselves. It vowed to bring an end to Jewish self-destruction by creating a Jewish safe haven. How is it that just seven decades after the founding of the Jewish state, the people who have suffered throughout their history have once again managed to create the potential for their own disaster?

In The Wandering Who I provide a possible answer: “Grasping the notion of temporality is the ability to accept that the past is shaped and revised in the light of a search for meaning. History, and historical thinking, are the capacity to rethink the past and the future.” Accordingly, revisionism is the true essence of historical thinking. It turns the past into a moral message, it turns the moral into an ethical act.  Sadly this is exactly where the Jewish State is severely lacking. Despite the Zionist promise to introduce introspection, morality and universal thinking to the emerging Hebrew culture,  the Jewish State has failed to break away from the Jewish past because it doesn’t really grasp the notion of the ‘past’ as a dynamic elastic ethical substance.

Gilad Atzmon on Truth, Faith and Palestine – Chester Interfaith Palestine Conference

 

 The following is a talk given at Chester Interfaith Palestine Conference 2019 on  (2.1.2019).

https://youtu.be/pfxhicFBHSI

 In the last few days Zionist and Israeli advocacy groups were desperate to cancel the  gathering of many local peace enthusiasts, intellectuals and religious leaders. Every Hasbara trick was put into play: Social media abuse, intimidating phone calls, smears and lies. But none of it worked. The pro- Israeli bigoted efforts backfired – – interest in the conference grew immediately, the local community stood for Palestine, peace, harmony and free speech!

Roderick Heather MBE, Chairman of Hoole Community Centre was subjected to vitriolic abuse.  I learned yesterday that Mr Heather decided to attend the conference meetings and to judge for himself whether it was a ‘hateful’ gathering. Apparently he was  impressed and announced to the group at the end of the first day  that they will always be welcome at the Hoole Centre.  Here is the message Mr Heather sent to North West Friends of Israel, the advocacy pressure group that led the campaign.

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One may wonder why Zionist operators are so desperate to cancel Palestinian meetings and are so fearful of my work in particular. As things stand, the law seems to be on their side. With the IHRA definition of antisemitsm  and current legislation designed to supress all criticism,  the Zionist advocacy groups could theoretically  seek to punish  everyone who even comes close to any disputes of the operation of  their community or their beloved state. You would expect Zionists to ignore Palestinian gatherings. If those gatherings were indeed ‘hateful’ they could have  locked many of us up behind bars a long time ago. Clearly, the friends of Israel know that the  reality is  different. Palestine solidarity is a peaceseeking mission. Despite my huge body of work, I have never been accused of making a single hate statement. Needless to mention, I do not need to mention that I have never been charged or even questioned by a any legal authority anywhere in the world about anything I have said or written. The same applies to Stephen Sizer. The Zionist Lobby groups accuse Palestinian solidarity gatherings of  being ‘hateful’  while knowing that this type of behaviour is something that Palestinian activism is free of.

Here are final words from Chester Interfaith Palestine Conference:

 Chester Palestine Conference November 2nd 2019

 The Chester Palestine Conference was even more successful on its second day.  We actually ran out of chairs!

 The theme for the day was “Grassroots for Palestine: making local links”.

 The day started with a brief interfaith service.

 Burnley Women’s Peace Group shared the experience of their Jerusalem Peace Pilgrimage this year. The images of Palestinian suffering were very moving. They are a Jewish, Christian and Muslim interfaith group.

 A Jewish Roma activist addressed the similarities between the Roma and Palestinian experience.

 Andrew Herbert from Chester’s Methodist Church spoke of his Palestinian house rebuilding experience with the Amos Trust.

 Gilad Atzmon the international jazz artist and author of best-selling books on Jewish identity politics flew in from Greece to give a wide-reaching presentation entitled “Zionism from Herzl to Bibi”.

Atzmon was born into a Jewish family in Tel Aviv, and conscripted into the Israeli regime army where he had a life-changing experience when he was shocked by the barbaric conditions imposed by the Israeli regime on the Palestinians during the Israeli invasion into Lebanon in 1982.

In his intellectual, philosophical and polemical style he engaged us to think deeply about the causes of the worsening trauma of the Palestinian people.

 Damien Short’s presentation on the Genocide of the Palestinians was unable to be shown due to technical problems. We will endeavour to distribute it to the conference attendees. Damien is a Reader in Human Rights at the University of London. His book “Redefining Genocide: Settler Colonialism, Social Death and Ecocide”, which includes a chapter on Genocide and Palestine, is highly recommended.

 The Israeli artist Zohar’s exhibition of Palestinian paintings is on show at Chester University Kingsway Arts Campus, Kingsway, Chester CH2 2LB for the month of November.

These accomplished and thought-provoking pictures are “witnessing the chaos and brutality inflicted on the Palestinian civilian population by an ever more confident and belligerent military power.”

(For insurance and practical reasons we were unable to show these at the conference).

 We look forward to the 3rd Annual Chester Palestine Conference in 2020 !


My battle for truth and freedom involves some expensive legal and security services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me and others.

Donate

Wandering Israelis?

 

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By Eve Mykytyn*

One of Israel’s founding myths was that it would provide a homeland to a “people without a home.”  Before and especially after World War II, Zionists claimed that the countries in which Jews lived and were citizens were not a homeland.  Jews, like others, the argument went, were entitled to a homeland populated by Jews. Even at its peak, this argument never convinced a majority of Jews to move to Israel, although especially after 1967, many supported Israel from afar. It seems that some Israelis are also not convinced that they need to live in their ‘homeland.’

A PhD thesis by Omri Shafer Raviv, reported on recently by 972, documents the ‘professors committee’  formed by the Israeli government in 1967 in response to Israel’s sovereignty over the ousted Palestinians in conquered territories.  The committee explored how to limit resistance from and encourage the out migration of Palestinians. The professors were surprised by their findings that the Palestinians, the indigenous people of the land, did not want to leave even if promised a better life in, for instance, Kuwait.  The professors, who were among the first generation of Jews to live in their newly declared ‘homeland,’ seemed not to understand what it meant to be tied to a homeland. How else could they have failed to predict that what Palestinians wanted most was to return to their homes, their land, their villages? Over fifty years on, and despite the horrendous living conditions many of them suffer, the Palestinians refuse to disappear.

Emigration has been a continuing issue in Israel, and one that undermines the notion of Israel as a homeland. Initially scorned by Israelis, outward migration was dismissed, as by former Israeli Prime Minister Rabin, as “a fallout of cowards.” But, from its inception, some immigrants chose to leave Israel, in 1942 of the 4,000 Jews who settled in mandatory Palestine, 450 left.  And even in the 1950s, when Israel had one of its greatest increases in population from immigration, outward migration was recognized as a problem. In 1953 the governor of the central bank of Israel, David Horowitz, argued that economic conditions would have to improve for the trend [of emigration] to change, implicitly recognizing that the pull of the homeland was weaker than the prospect of economic success. The discussion of emigration was and is perhaps a sign of Zionist insecurity. If Israel is truly the Jewish homeland, why do so many Jews and Israelis fail to see it that way? The Jerusalem Post notes a more practical concern, “Israelis are acutely aware that the future of Israel as both a Jewish and democratic country depends on maintaining a solid Jewish majority.”

How significant is the issue of outward migration? Despite a plethora of articles (see for ex.) trumpeting a decline in emigration, the number of Israelis who leave exceeds new immigration. The statistics  are opaque,  Israel doesn’t record or perhaps doesn’t  know the intent of those leaving. Recent analysis suggests that Israeli immigration to the UK surpassed British immigration to Israel by a ratio of three to two. Israel’s US Embassy estimates that between 750,000 and one million Israelis live in the United States.

But what is more important is that almost 40% of young  Israelis have expressed an interest in moving their lives elsewhere. They live in a Jewish homeland, and yet they want to wander.

The primary reason young Israelis give for leaving is their inability to earn a decent living. Some cite Israel’s cronyism and shady business deals, they either can’t or don’t choose to participate in a job market that is ‘fixed.’  One can hope that these young ex Israelis, having seen the corrosive effects of tribal rule, will be less inclined to treat the rules of their adopted countries with contempt.

One mother whose sons emigrated opined that it is the ‘finest’ who are leaving. “They are good, high-quality people who can contribute….who are leaving… They stand out abroad. They are considered smart and successful compared to the Canadians.” (Apparently supremacism is present in Israel.) Available statistics support her claim that more educated Israelis leave in greater numbers and this may be because they are the most able to find good jobs elsewhere. In 2017, 5.8% of Israelis with undergraduate degrees had been living abroad for at least three consecutive years. For Israelis with PhDs, it was 11%, a loss of one in nine PhDs. See for more details on the disproportionate Israeli brain drain phenomenon.

To counteract this trend, in 2011 Israel launched “The Israel Brain Gain Program” to help overseas Israelis find jobs at home. Apparently the targeted Israelis were not amenable to returning to their ‘homeland’ and the program was abandoned as a failure.

Does the lack of a Jewish identity cause young Israelis to make decisions based on economics?  Tomer Treves writes that people are leaving  “because of what became of the Zionist idea. The moment the tie with Israel is weakened, the point of remaining is measured by the quality of life, and Israel is not in a good place from that point of view…” Treves posits that the most important factor in loyalty to Israel is  “where on our scale of identity we place Jewish identity. [When the] decision to live in Israel is no longer based on values,” by which he means ‘identifying as Jewish’ “economic parameters enter the equation.” But this argument assumes that loyalty to Israel and a Jewish identity are the same. Those who leave are not renouncing their identity as Jewish, instead they are rejecting the notion that to be Jewish means living in Israel.

Do these recently departed Israelis retain their ties to Israel?  There was an interesting attempt to answer this question by the right wing organization, American Israel Council. AIC sent a questionnaire to Israeli immigrants in the United States that asked who they would support in the event of an Israeli/American rift, whether American Jews (even if they disagreed with Israel’s policies) had an obligation to defend Israel publicly and the extent to which they believed American Jews influenced America’s policies.

Haaretz noted that “two sensitive and potentially explosive” issues have “plagued” American Jews and their relationship to Israel. “The first relates to claims of  dual allegiance” to both Israel and the United States; the other “concerns the pro-Israel, American Jewish lobby.” The now widely utilized IHRA definition of anti Semitism provides that accusations of dual loyalty are anti Semitic. Yet a pro Zionist body asked about these issues  in a manner designed to elicit responses showing loyalty to Israel. Perhaps insecurity about the extent to which present day emigrants support Israel was the impetus for the AIC survey.

Israeli Professor Tamar Hermann worries that the children of Israeli emigrants will not be Israeli, instead they “become Americans, Canadians or Europeans… Israeliness is generally not sustained in the second generation.”  It is not only ‘Israeliness’ that is not sustained in the second generation. This is a hallmark of immigration in general, and in Israel itself. See, for ex. Is there something about Israel that makes it troublesome that the children of those who leave will likely identify with their new land?

Initially, Israel as a homeland was an attractive concept for Jews who felt victimized by widespread anti Semitism. Now it seems that emigrating Israelis are following in the steps of their ancestors, and not the mythical ones to whom God supposedly gave title to land. In the past, and despite the efforts of some to assimilate that were ultimately unsuccessful, the Jews maintained tribal rather than national ties. Young Israelis who move in search of better opportunities may have similarly limited loyalty to their ‘homeland’  and are simply behaving as wanderers.

* – https://www.evemykytyn.com/writing/wandering-israelis

A Window into Jewish Guilt

 

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It has become an institutional Jewish habit to examine how much Jews are hated by their host nations and how fearful Jews are of their neighbours. Jewish press outlets reported yesterday that “9 out of 10 US Jews worry about anti-Semitism.”

I, for one, can’t think of another people who invest so much energy in measuring their unpopularity. Despite the scale of Islamophobia and anti-Black racism, we are not subjected to a constant barrage of ‘statistics’ to ‘warn us’ of how hated Blacks are or how unsafe Muslims feel.

The American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) statistics suggest that  “most Jews think that the situation is getting worse.” I find their statistics unlikely but I guess any mathematically inclined person would agree that if 9 out of 10 are fearful, then the situation can’t get much ‘worse’ as 10 out of 10 would constitute only a minor increase (11%).

Assume, for a moment, that the AJC’s statistics reflect reality and that the  overwhelming majority (90%) of 1,200 Jewish respondents, from all political and religious positions, regard Jew-hatred as a serious problem with potentially disastrous consequences.

We might wonder who are the ‘naughty’ one out of ten Jews who, unlike their  brethren, are not scared of their American neighbours. I suspect these are the so-called ‘self-haters,’ that infamous bunch of horrid humanist Jews who support Palestine and are disgusted by the manifold of recent Jewish #MeToo scandals and  paedophilia/organised crime networks.  This small minority (10%) of  disobedient Jews might be disturbed by the opioid scandal that left 400.000 Americans dead, they probably know who were the prime actors in this saga of class genocide. They are likely troubled by a range of  financial crimes from Madoff to Israeli banks evading US taxes, to the Israeli binary options companies that defraud American citizens. These universalist Jewish outcasts are often vocal critics of their people, their culture and their politics. They may denounce AIPAC and the ADL, Soros and even JVP for acting as the controlled opposition. The AJC’s statistics point to the possible existence of  a comic scenario in which 9 out of 10 Jews are intimidated by the 1 out of 10 Jews who speak out.

There is a less humorous, more serious interpretation of the  AJC’s findings. It is possible that the large number of Jews who worry about anti-Semitism indicates that Jews at large are aware of the worrying traits associated with their politics, culture, identity, lobbying and Israeli criminality.

Jews may feel that they are stained as a group by problematic characters such as Weisntein, Epstein and Maxwell. They may feel polluted by Israeli politics and the intensive Zionist lobbying that plunders billions of American taxpayers dollars every year. As the White House seems to turn its back on the Neocons’ immoral interventionism, some Jews may be discomfited by the fact that the Neocon war mongering doctrine has been largely a Jewish project. As Haartez writer Ari Shavit wrote back in 2003: “The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish…” Maybe some Jews now understand that the Zionist shift from a ‘promised land’ to the Neocon ‘promised planet’ doesn’t reflect well on the Jews as a group.

I am trying to point out the possibility that the overwhelming fear of ‘anti-Semitism,’ documented however poorly by the AJC, might well be the  expression of guilt. American Jews may feel communal guilt over the disastrous politics and culture of some sections of their corrupted elite. They might even feel guilty as Americans about the brutal sacrifice of one of America’s prime values, that of  freedom of speech as guaranteed by the 1st Amendment, on the altar of  ‘antisemitsm.’ .

 Obviously, I would welcome AJC’s further investigation of this. It would be interesting to learn about the correlation between the Jewish fear of anti Semitsm and Jewish guilt. It would also be fascinating to find out how Jewish anxiety translates into self-reflection. In that regard, I suggest that instead of blaming the American people, Jews try introspection.  US Jews may want to follow the early Zionists, such as Theodor Herzl, who turned guilt into self-examination. Herzl was deeply disturbed by anti Semitism but this didn’t stop him from digging into its causes. “The wealthy Jews control the world, in their hands lies the fate of governments and nations,” Herzl wrote. He continued, “They set governments one against the other. When the wealthy Jews play, the nations and the rulers dance. One way or the other, they get rich.” Herzl, like other early Zionists, believed that Jews could be emancipated from their conditions and even be loved globally by means of a cultural, ideological and spiritual metamorphosis with the aspiration of ‘homecoming.’ Herzl and his fellow early Zionists were clearly wrong in their proposed remedy for the Jewish question, but were absolutely spot on in their adherence to self-reflection and harsh self-criticism.

American Jews have much to learn from Herzl and other early Zionists. They should  ask themselves how their American ‘Golden Medina’  their  Jewish land of opportunities, has turned into a ‘threatening’ realm. What happened, what has changed in the last few years? Was it the constant cries over  anti-Semitism and the desperate and institutional attempts to silence critics that turned their Golden Medina into a daunting space?

Forever Pure

A film review by Eve Mykytyn

https://youtu.be/MBHnx6RmJJI

Forever Pure, a riveting documentary by Maya Zinshtein currently available on Netflix, reports on the 2012-3 season of Israel’s Beitar football team.  In 2005, Arcadi Gaydamak, a Russian born billionaire and convicted arms dealer, bought the team and used it as a propaganda tool in his unsuccessful 2008  run for mayor of Jerusalem (he got less than 4% of the vote). In 2012 Gaydamak took the team to Chechnya for an exhibition game. Ahead of the trip, one of the players worried that:”there will be Muslims there who hate us.” Instead what awaited them in Chechnya was a tie game, a banquet and dancing to Israeli songs. A Chechen official said he wanted  to develop ties to Israel, following his prophet who said he should “develop economic ties with the Jews – not kill them.”

Perhaps in response to the enthusiastic reception, Gaydamak  hired 2 young Chechen football players to join his team, then the only soccer team in the Israeli league that had never had an Arab Muslim player. The Chechens were met from their first practice by Beitar fans who shouted “war” and ‘death to the Arabs.” At first the Chechens seem bewildered, one said “someone should explain we are not Arabs.” Even the athlete’s mother naively coaches him, to “make sure you play well, then the fans will love you.”

The team is named for the Beitar movement, a revisionist Zionist movement that fought with Irgun against the British mandate. Among the team’s fans are a vocal group of right wing, mostly working class Mizrahi (Arab) Jews called the “familia” who see the team as their own. Politicians such as Lieberman and Netanyahu regularly attend Beitar’s games, pandering to the team’s supporters, one of whom boasts, “Today we are the country. The second Israel has become the first Israel.”

As the hostility against the Muslim players escalates, some Israelis tell the filmmaker that the familia are only a small percentage of Beitar’s fans. The  familia demonstrate outside the players’ and coaches’ homes, and at one point scream obscenities and threats at the chairman, including a repeated threat to rape his 6 year old daughter.

At Beitar’s Teddy stadium, the familia displays a huge sign that reads “Beitar Forever Pure.” The team’s chairman begs for tolerance, and says that Jews should not hold such a sign given the parallels between the sign’s racism and the racism Jews have faced. Gaydamak’s reaction to the familia’s blatant racism is the claim that he invited the Chechen players, not because of their soccer skills, but to “show this society (Israel) as it really is.”

Following news that bombing suspects in Boston are Chechen, the familia calls for a boycott of Beitar. The stadium, usually packed with tens of thousands, has only a few hundred guests. Some on the team wonder what happened to all the Israelis who claimed that the racists were only a small group. Beitar’s offices and its museum of trophies, apparently a feature in many bar mitzvah pictures, are destroyed by a bomb.

The pressure on the team is evident, and a player whose brother is part of the familia honors the boycott.  Distracted and disheartened, Beitar begins a long losing streak.

At the end of the season, the familia calls off the boycott for one game only;  the last crucial game, ironically against the only Arab team in the Israeli league, to determine which of the teams will qualify to remain in their league. After a  tied score favors Beitar, its season ends and the Chechens go home. Gaydamak cedes ownership, literally giving Beitar away. By the following year the manager and the chairman  have been fired, and the player who joined the boycott becomes the youngest captain in the league.

In a fitting coda to the story, in 2018, Beidar’s owner Moshe Hogeg, hired a Nigerian player named “Ali Mohammed.” When the familia begins its protests, chanting “Mohamed is dead” and “Ali is dead,” Hogeg demands apologies and threatens lawsuits.  Apparently because Ali Mohamed is a Christian, the familia  decides to accept him although they vow to “make sure that his name is changed so that Mohamed is not heard at Teddy Stadium.”

“Forever Pure” was funded in part by the  liberal “New Israel Fund,” that uses its website to claim that chanting has been reduced and racism has been kicked out of the soccer field. Others may be less sanguine.

Source: https://www.evemykytyn.com/

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