Shameless Dershowitz Campaigns For Israel

Shameless Dershowitz  Campaigns For Israel

January 31, 2015  /  Gilad Atzmon

Alan Dershowitz, recently implicated in a sex scandal, is campaigning for Israel. The shameless Harvard Professor is begging for Jewish support following recent Zionist leaders calls to dissociate from him and his acts.

Interestingly enough, Dershowitz is correct – the West Bank Settlements are not an obstacle as far as peace is concerned. If anything they make the One State Solution into the only viable resolution of the conflict. The real and only obstacle to peace is the embarrassing fact that the word ‘peace’ doesn’t even exist in the modern Hebrew language. The word shalom, usually translated into peace doesn’t really mean peace, harmony or reconciliation. Shalom actually means ‘security for the Jews.’ As such, Shalom is a non empathic judeo-centric notion sustained by blindness to otherness. The only obstacle to peace in the Middle East is the lack of the notion of peace within the Israeli and modern Hebraic culture. Once again, it is the comprehension of Jewish culture that enlighten us on the conflict and the prospect of its resolution.

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A Message of Hope and Defiance

Posted on  by Nahida Exiled Palestinian

Palestinians, my Beloved

I call upon you, my Palestinian brothers and sister to speak up, to raise your voices, to write, to comment, to make videos, to share your suppressed narrative.

For many years, Palestinians had no voice, except through Zionized media. When, finally some of them tried to make their voices heard, their narrative was snipped (censored) by the scissors of “antisemitism” accusations on the one hand and “terrorism” on the other, by no other than those who allegedly “stand by them”

NO

LEGITIMATE RESISTANCE and self-defense of one’s family, children, and homeland is NOT “terrorism”, OCCUPYING the Land of others is.

Calling for FULL LIBERATION of our STOLEN Homeland, PROSECUTION of CRIMINALS, REPARATION and COMPENSATION is NOT “antisemitism”

Refusal of the raped to marry her rapist (coexist with her rapist) is NOT hateful

Refusal of Palestinians to accept “coexistence” with those who GENOCIDED them for seven decades is NOT inhumane, NOT injustice, NOT hateful and NOT immoral

Yes we are commanded to strive for peace and coexistence, but we are NOT commanded to maintain “peaceful coexistence” with dangerous Criminals and mass-murderers.

Jewish “israeli” Criminals are dealt with by bringing to justice to be prosecuted; either to be deported or locked up, just like any other criminals in the world
My Beloved

Do not let Zionist hasbara and their hypnotic “perception management” control you

Do not allow them to censor your legitimate aspirations of LIBERATION

Do not self-censor your thought for fear of offending those whose heart is dwelling in the camp of the USURPERS, because of tribal loyalties and conflict of interest

Stand up tall

Speak up for your rights

Fear NOT their slander or accusations

Don’t let your courageous children down

Make them a promise to stand by them under all circumstances

A promise to live up to their dignity and heroism

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THE PERPETUITY OF ZIONIST LIES: ICONIC MIDEAST PHOTO IS A FAKE

fake peace

DECEMBER 21, 2014

(EDITOR’S NOTE:  Even in the midst of supposedly exposing a deception, another deception is engaged in simultaneously. Such is the schizophrenic nature of Jewishness. Instead of sticking to journalistic professionalism and focusing squarely on the fact that one of the most popular photos in the history of the criminal Zionist usurpation of Palestine is a gargantuan fraud, the piece below too often wades into what is tantamount to a nostalgic eulogy for the prospects of “peace” and a Jewish-Palestinian regime of friendship and coexistence governed by “Liberal” Zionism, which, for the record, never existed to begin with, as the most murderous, expansionist “Israeli” regimes came from “The Left”. A fantastical scenario in which Palestinians and “Israeli” occupiers sit around a campfire and sing songs of brotherhood, espoused by “Liberal” Zionists and their ilk to this moment, isn’t the only thing laid to rest with the following revelation, it is also the solutions of those seemingly good-intentioned  “solidarity activists” who just can’t shut up about a “one state” or “two states”. Jewish-Zionist usurpers and indigenous Palestinians cannot coexist;  the very suggestion of it is an affront to justice.

Why should the aboriginal people of Palestine, ethnically cleansed from their homeland in the Nakba and Jewish colonial purges before it going all the way back to the 1880s, have to throw away the keys to their homes they’ve been holding for decades and share their homes with squatting Jewish thieves?

Why should the aboriginal people of Palestine, made refugees by deranged Jewish terrorists decades ago, return to their homeland and be inconvenienced with the criminal, shaytanic presence of their tormentors? Because colonized Arab “solidarity activists” in the West are scared stiff of the vengeful replies of their Jewish “allies” who are more concerned with Jewish matters than the Palestinian cause they claim to be fighting for? No. Absolutely not.

What this story shows is that the liberation of Palestine isn’t going to come from scores of cutesy-wootsy photographs coupled with ultra-liberal tweets.

Al-Aqsa, Qoubbat al-Sakhrah and Holy Al-Quds as a whole aren’t going to be cleansed of colonizer filth through “solidarity” events with Jews who really haven’t disconnected their identities from the supremacy of their decadent culture. Al-Jalil isn’t going to be made pure again through write-ups on the “peace” and “security” that could commence via the implementation of a “one state solution” that sees Zionists maintaining their Jewish privilege as inhabitants of the Holy Land but insists they will be “sharing” it with Palestinians, the actual natives. Palestine will only be liberated through the righteousness of the Palestinian Resistance’s arms, and it is our job on the outside, especially those of us who have direct ethnic, national and religious ties to the Arab-Islamic region, to back this righteousness, and do all we can in the mean time to expose the Jewish Power Configuration in all its manifestations, whether it is presenting itself as a genocidal neocon, or, more subversively, a Jewish “anti-Zionist” activist. ~ Jonathan Azaziah)

by Naomi Zeveloff, The Jewish Daily Forward

One week into Israel’s war with Gaza this past summer, superstar Rihanna tweeted a photo of an Israeli boy and a Palestinian boy with their arms around each other facing away from the camera: “Let’s pray for peace and a swift end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict!” she wrote. “Is there any hope?….”

The photo was posted as damage control after the pop star tweeted — and then eight minutes later deleted — the hashtag #FreePalestine. That initial tweet provoked an immediate barrage from Israel advocates on Twitter asking if she supported Hamas. It’s not clear to what degree the photo mollified her critics. But what Rihanna didn’t know was that the photo is actually a fake.

The boys in the picture aren’t an Israeli and a Palestinian, but two Israeli Jews.

The 1993 photo, taken three months after the signing of the Oslo Accords, is one of the most iconic pictures from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In it, a boy in a red shirt with a yarmulke and a boy in a black shirt and a keffiyeh walk with their arms slung over each other’s shoulders. Though the background is blurry, they are clearly in the white and green environs of Jerusalem, meandering on a dirt path to an unknown destination. They appear to be lost in conversation, oblivious to the photographer behind them.

In addition to Rihanna’s tweet — which was retweeted by 46,000 people — the photograph has been reproduced hundreds of times on the Internet, appearing in the American Jewish magazine Tikkun, on the web site of the Israel advocacy group Jerusalem Institute of Justice, on various American and Israeli news sites and Facebook pages, and even on the blog belonging to Jack Kornfield, one of the most prominent Buddhists in America.

Yet unlike the other famous pictures documenting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — such as the 1967 photo of three Israeli soldiers at the Western Wall, or the 1993 shot of Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin shaking hands on the White House lawn — the photo of the two boys is purely allegorical. With their backs to the camera, the boys are anonymous stand-ins for all Israelis and Palestinians. Set against the backdrop of one of the oldest cities on earth, the picture has a timeless quality. It’s a depiction of what might have been, and what could be in the future, in spite of today’s moribund peace process.

It’s also completely staged.

“I think I felt awkward about it,” said the boy in the yarmulke, speaking now some 21 years later as an adult.

The Israeli boy in the yarmulke is Zvi Shapiro, the son of two secular American-Israelis. The Palestinian boy is Zemer Aloni, an Israeli Jew. The only real aspect of the photo is that the boys were indeed friends and that the picture was taken in their Jerusalem neighborhood ofAbu Tor, which straddles the 1949 armistice line and contains both a Jewish and an Arab section. The boys grew up on the Jewish side of the neighborhood, and while they both recall interactions with Palestinians, neither counted close friends on the other side of the line.

The picture was taken by Ricki Rosen, an American photojournalist who has been covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for 26 years. Rosen snapped the photo on assignment for Maclean’s, the national news magazine of Canada, for a cover story about the Oslo Peace Accords. Rosen said that the magazine’s art director was so specific in what he wanted that he even drew her a picture — one boy in a yarmulke, the other in a keffiyeh shot from the back walking down a long road, which was supposed to symbolize the road to peace. He didn’t care whether the boys were actually Israelis or Palestinians, nor did it occur to him that the Palestinian’s keffiyeh would be styled in a way more typical for elderly Palestinian men than for young boys.

“It was a symbolic illustration,” said Rosen. “It was never supposed to be a documentary photo.” She also took other real-life photos for the same article.

Rosen, who also lived in Abu Tor, asked her neighbor Haim Shapiro, then a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, if he would be willing to volunteer his young son for the Jewish boy in the assignment. “If there was any place to find a Palestinian kid who would agree to do this, it would have been Abu Tor,” said Rosen. “But I didn’t look because I thought it would be a very difficult thing. The relations had completely broken down after the first intifada, and Palestinians were very fearful of being seen as collaborating with Israelis because collaborators were being killed.” Instead, Zvi Shapiro’s best friend Zemer Aloni, who lived a block away, would wear the keffiyeh. Aloni said that the fact that he has “Eastern roots” — his father is an Iranian Jew — made him an appropriate choice for the job.

On the day of the shoot, Rosen brought a keffiyeh that she used to leave on her dashboard on reporting trips to the West Bank during the first intifada — a safeguard against her vehicle being pelted by stones and Molotov cocktails — and dressed 12-year-old Aloni in it. Zvi Shapiro, then 11, donned a yarmulke, and the two went for a walk on the nearby Sherover Promenade.

“Ricki told us to just talk to each other,” said Shaprio. “It’s also funny because I don’t think we would have necessarily put our arms around each other the way we are.” Rosen shot several images of the pair that day, including one from the front that is rarely reproduced.

In 2002, the photo was digitized as part of Rosen’s collection on Corbis Images, a Seattle-based company that manages licensing for editorial and creative photographs. On the Corbis web site, there is no indication that the photograph is fake; it is categorized as a stock image under “News.” Yet even though the photo is copyrighted, the vast majority of the reproductions online — Rihanna’s included — have occurred without Rosen’s or Corbis’s knowledge or permission. On some sites, such as that of Tikkun, the photograph is credited as Creative Commons, meaning anyone can use it — a categorization to which Rosen never agreed. Without control over where the image appears, Rosen said, she is unable to explain to those who would use it that the photo is staged. Nor has she been properly compensated for her work.

It wasn’t until after Rihanna tweeted the photo and Zvi Shapiro’s mother brought it to Rosen’s attention that she realized how many people were posting the image without her consent. She said that Corbis is looking into Rihanna’s usage on her behalf. If Rosen is not financially compensated, she said. “I want her to retweet it with my credit and say, ‘I am sorry for stealing the intellectual property of another artist.’” She would also like Rihanna to explain that the photo isn’t really of a Palestinian and an Israeli kid, but is meant to represent “the hopes then for peace down the road.”

After the photo shoot, Shapiro and Aloni remained close friends for a few years but began to drift apart in middle school. Shapiro said that the last time he saw Aloni was when they were both in the army and they ran into each other at a coffee shop, a meeting Aloni did not recall. Shapiro, now 32, said that his experience in the army — he was stationed in Jerusalem during the Palestinian suicide bombing campaign in the second intifada — left him wanting to go to a “place that was the least like Israel as I could find.” Rather than travel to India or South America, like many Israelis do after the army, he enrolled in Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. He is now completing a doctoral program in child clinical psychology at Pennsylvania State University. Married to a woman who does not speak Hebrew, he does not know if or when he will return to Israel.

After Aloni’s army service, he was trained as an architect at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. Now 33, he is working as an architect in Nahalal, near Haifa, where he lives with his wife. Aloni said that looking back on the photo, he had no qualms about appearing as a Palestinian. “I don’t see Arabs as the enemy,” he said. “If someone told me I looked like an Arab, I wouldn’t care. It’s not something to be ashamed of.” When asked whether some Palestinians might consider the outfit degrading — akin to blackface in America — he said he had never considered the issue in that light. “America is much more politically correct about stuff than here.”

Shapiro, on the other hand, said that the racial aspect of the photo now strikes him as “really, really strange.”

“I think it’s probably less acceptable today than it was then,” he said. Because he’s not religious, he also felt like a bit of an imposter wearing a yarmulke. “It’s really not me in the picture, but it’s even less him,” he said of Aloni.

“One of the things I feel about it is just kind of sad,” said Shapiro. “There was a brief period where it didn’t seem as far-fetched as it does now. And it could have just been my naivete as a child, but I felt it almost symbolizes something that we have lost and that I hope we can regain. I think there is a genuine belief that if there is a peaceful solution there can be not only peace but camaraderie and real friendship.”

Aloni called the image a “wishful thinking picture.” He added, “Then it was almost a reality, and now it is like a vision.”

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EU: Court decision to remove Hamas from terror list “legal” not “political”

Palestinian militants of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's armed wing, take part in a parade marking the 27th anniversary of the resistance movement's creation on December 14, 2014 in Gaza City. AFP / Mahmoud Hams

Published Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Updated at 3:24 pm (GMT +2): Palestinian resistance group Hamas must be removed from the EU’s terrorism blacklist, but its assets will stay frozen, a European court ruled on Wednesday, hours before the European Parliament overwhelmingly backed the recognition of a Palestinian state within 1967 borders “in principle.”

The original listing of Hamas in 2001 was based not on sound legal judgements but on conclusions derived from the media and the Internet, the General Court of the European Union said in a statement.

But it stressed that Wednesday’s decision to remove Hamas was based on technical grounds and does “not imply any substantive assessment of the question of the classification of Hamas as a terrorist group.”

The freeze on Hamas’s funds will also temporarily remain in place for three months pending any appeal by the EU, the Luxembourg-based court said.

Hamas, which has been in power in the Gaza Strip since 2007, had appealed against its inclusion on the blacklist on several grounds.

Hamas’s military wing was added to the European Union’s first-ever terrorism blacklist drawn up in December 2001 in the wake of the September 11 attacks on the United States.

The EU blacklisted the political wing of Hamas in 2003 after the group claimed responsibility for a spate of attacks on Israeli targets during the Second Intifada, a popular uprising that erupted in 2000 against Israel’s decades-long occupation.

Hamas was founded in 1987 shortly after the start of the first Palestinian Intifada.

Reactions

The European Union said Hamas is still on its terror list despite Wednesday’s ruling.

“The EU continues to consider Hamas a terrorist organization,” European Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic confirmed, saying the EU General Court’s decision “is a legal ruling, and not a political decision taken by EU governments.”

Hamas, meanwhile, hailed the decision, describing the move as a “victory for justice.”

“We thank the European Court for its decision. This is a victory for all advocates of liberation from all forms of occupation,” senior Hamas member Moussa Abu Marzouq said.

A lawyer for Hamas, Liliane Glock, told AFP she was “satisfied with the decision.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded the EU immediately restore Hamas to its terrorism blacklist.

“We are not satisfied with the European explanation by which Hamas has been withdrawn from this list. We expect the Europeans to puts Hamas back on the list immediately,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

Palestinian state “in principle”

Meanwhile, the European Parliament overwhelmingly backed the recognition of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders “in principle” on Wednesday, following a series of votes on the issue in EU nations which have enraged Israel.

Lawmakers approved the non-binding motion by 498 votes to 88 with 111 abstentions, although it was a watered down version of an original motion which had urged EU member states to recognize a Palestinian state unconditionally.

The motion said the parliament “supports in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two state solution, and believes these should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks, which should be advanced.”

The socialist, greens and radical left groups in the European Parliament had wanted an outright call for the recognition of Palestinian statehood.

But the center-right European People’s Party of European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, the leading group in parliament, forced them into a compromise motion linking it to peace talks.

“There is no immediate unconditional recognition (of statehood),” EPP chief Manfred Weber said.

But his socialist counterpart Gianni Pittella insisted it was a “historic decision” and a “victory for the whole parliament.”

European politicians have become more active in pushing for a sovereign Palestine since the collapse of US-sponsored peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in April, and ensuing conflict in Gaza, where more than 2,000 Palestinians, at least 70 percent of them civilians, and on the Israeli side, 66 soldiers and six civilians were killed this summer.

EU’s vote follows Sweden’s decision in October to recognize Palestine and non-binding votes since then by parliaments in Britain, France, Ireland, and Spain in favor of recognition demonstrated growing European impatience with the stalled peace process.

The roots of the Israel-Palestine conflict date back to 1917, when the British government, in the now-infamous “Balfour Declaration,” called for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”

Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Zionist state – a move never recognized by the international community.

In 1988, Palestinian leaders led by Yasser Arafat declared the existence of a state of Palestine inside the 1967 borders and the state’s belief “in the settlement of international and regional disputes by peaceful means in accordance with the charter and resolutions of the United Nations.”

Heralded as a “historic compromise,” the move implied that Palestinians would agree to accept only 22 percent of historic Palestine in exchange for peace with Israel. It is now believed that only 17 percent of historic Palestine is under Palestinian control following the continued expansion of illegal Israeli settlements.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) this year set November 2016 as the deadline for ending the Israeli withdrawal from the territories occupied by Israel during the Six-Day War in 1967 and establishing a two-state solution.

It is worth noting that numerous Palestinian factions, including Hamas, as well as pro-Palestine advocates support a one-state solution in which Israelis and Palestinians would be treated equally, arguing that the creation of a Palestinian state beside Israel would not be sustainable and that it would mean recognizing a state of Israel on territories seized forcefully by Zionists before 1967.

They also believe that the two-state solution, which is the only option considered by international actors, won’t solve existing discrimination, nor erase economic and military tensions.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar, Anadolu)

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In case you missed it: Noam Chomsky exposes himself as a Zionist in an interview by Alison Weir


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Renouncing Judaism

Shlomo Sands
Decades of Israeli high crimes against peace are reason enough for all Jews for justice to do it. Shlomo Sand for one.
On October 10, he headlined his London Guardian commentary ” ‘I wish to resign and cease considering myself a Jew.’ ” More on this below.
Zionism harms Jews and non-Jews alike. Its roots date from the late 19th century. In his book titled “Overcoming Zionism: Creating a Single Democratic State in Israel/Palestine,” Joel Kovel said:
Zionism seeks “the restoration of tribalism in the guise of a modern, highly militarized and aggressive state.”
It “cut Jews off from (their) history…It “led to a fateful identity of interests with antisemitism the only thing that united them.”
It “fell into the ways of imperialist expansion and militarism…(It) show(s) signs of the fascist malignancy.”
If you accept “the idea of a Jewish state,” you mix its twin notions of “particularism (and) exceptionalism…” They’re “the bane of Judaism…”
They give “racism an objective, enduring, institutionalized and obdurate character.”
Doing so turns Israel “into a machine for the manufacture of human rights abuses…”
Three former prime ministers were former terrorists. Menachem Begin (1977 – 83), Yitzhak Shamir (1983 – 84 and 1986 – 92), and Ariel Sharon (2001 – 06) dispelled the illusion of Israeli democracy, morality and respect for rule of law principles.
Today’s “world would be a far better place without Zionism(‘s) corrosive effects,” Kovel stresses.
Shlomo Sand believes Zionist historiography turns truth on its head. Jews alone are entitled to Israel, it claims.
According to Sand, it’s not their historical right. Not earlier. Not now.
Calling Israel a Jewish state is like saying America is an exclusive Anglo-Protestant one, he says.
Organized Judaism opposed Zionism until Hitler, he explains. It feared what’s now Israel would replace God.
Talmudic ideology is against collective holy land emigration. Against the notion that it’s God’s will to possess land.
What God giveth, God taketh away. Eretz Israel (the land of Israel) theologically isn’t a homeland, Sand explains.
Nor is Christianity or Islam. Religions don’t have them. Sand hopes Western nations will pressure Israel to change.
End its longstanding obdurate character. Its militarized occupation. Its racist ideology. Its democracy in name only.
Its separate and unequal principles. Its persecution of Palestinians and Arab/Israeli citizens.
Sand supports a two-state solution. One based on pre-June 1967 borders. With most settlers removed. Living side-by-side on separate land in peace.
Without acknowledging Nakba reality, resolving Israeli/Palestinian conflict isn’t possible, he believes.
History can’t be changed, he says. It can be corrected. Democracy and Jewish exclusivity can’t co-exist. They’re incompatible.
Peace requires new thinking. The alternative is permanent conflict. It affects Jews and Muslims alike.
Sand’s writings dispel myths most Jewish children are taught. Biblical nonsense about wandering the earth rootless.
Enslaved, oppressed and tormented for centuries. Nonsensically believing God gave Eretz Israel to Jews alone.
Rubbish proclaiming “A land without people for a people without land.”
If Judaism is a religion, not a people, how can a Jewish state be justified, Sand believes?
Claiming otherwise justifies the unjustifiable. It spurns Palestinian self-determination. It does so to prevent it.
Understanding Zionism is essential. Its reliance on repression, violence and dispossession. Its belief in Jewish exclusivity, privilege and exceptionalism.
Jewish ethnocracy with predetermined structural inequalities. Institutionalized racism at its ideological core.
Judaization/Israelification and de-Arabization to preserve Jewish character. Democracy is pure fantasy. A convenient illusion.
In November 2004, the late Michael Mandel said:
“Israel’s West Bank and Gaza settlements are war crimes in Canada.”
“Under the Canadian Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act 2000, c. 24, Israel’s settlements in territories taken in the June 1967 war constitute war crimes punishable in Canada.”
Mandel cited Section 8, paragraph 2 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).”
“It prohibits “(t)he transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory.”
Israel isn’t party to Rome Statute law. Under Canadian law it’s irrelevant. Grave breaches constitute war crimes.
Israel and America are criminally liable. According to Mandel, “Israel denies it” irresponsibly.
It’s “an Occupying Power (under provisions) of the Geneva Convention, the Rome Statute, and the Canadian Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act.”
Claiming otherwise doesn’t wash. Accountability is long overdue. Sand’s commentary explained why he renounced Judaism.
He “never (was) a genuinely secular Jew,” he said. Its “existence is based on a hollow and ethnocentric view of the world.”
He “stubbornly remained” Jewish most of his life. He “accepted this identity on account of persecutions and murderers, crimes and their victims.”
He now recognizes the error of his ways. He “resign(ed) and cease(d) considering (himself) a Jew.”
He’s unconcerned about what others think of him. Less so what “antisemitic idiots think.”
In light of 20th century tragedies, he’s “determined no longer to be a small minority in an exclusive club that others have neither the possibility nor the qualifications to join.”
He wants his “future and that of (his) children (to be) guided by universal, open and generous principles.”
His beliefs run counter to dominant Jewish thinking. It’s “oriented towards ethnocentrism.”
He lives “in one of the most racist societies in the western world. (It’s) deep within the spirit of (Israeli) laws,” norms, standards and practices.
It’s taught in schools. From childhood through doctoral studies. Israeli and Western MSM spread it.
“(A)bove all and most dreadful,” Israeli racists “in no way (feel) obliged to apologize,” says Sand.
“This absence of a need for self-justification has made Israel a particularly prized reference point for many movements of the far right throughout the world, movements whose past history of antisemitism is only too well known.”
Living “in such a society (is) increasingly intolerable,” he says. At the same time, it’s hard imagining home elsewhere.
He can’t undo his heritage. He’s “part of the cultural, linguistic and even conceptual production of the Zionist enterprise.”
For better or worse, he’s an Israeli. He isn’t proud to admit it. He’s often ashamed.
Especially witnessing militarized occupation. Its defenseless victims. They’re not Israel’s “chosen people.”
Early in life he hoped Palestinian Israelis one day could “feel as much at home in Tel Aviv” as Jewish Americans feel in New York or other major US cities.
Living side-by-side with Israeli Jews in peace. Today he knows otherwise.
Zionists view equality as an attack on Jewish character, the state of Israel and anti-Semitism.
“Most important, Sand believes, is “put(ting) forward ideas on changing Israel’s identity policy…”
“(F)reeing ourselves from the accursed and interminable occupation that is leading us on the road to hell.”
Ending generations of separate and unequal. Abandoning long discredited policies. Lawless ones making Israel a pariah state.
Increasingly, things look too late, Sand believes. “(A)ll seems already lost…(S)erious approach(es) (to) political solution(s) (are) deadlocked.”
Israel can’t shake its colonial mentality. Its unjustifiable right to dominate another people.
Its refusal to accept 1948 borders. To obey core international laws.
“Does this mean I, too, must abandon hope,” Sand asked? He “inhabit(s) a deep contradiction,” he said.
He “feel(s) like an exile in the face of the growing Jewish ethnicisation that surrounds” him.
When traveling abroad, he looks forward to returning home. He meets people with “no interest in understanding what being Israeli means to” him.
His deep homeland attachment fuels pessimism he feels towards it. He’s despondent about today’s conditions. What he fears ahead.
At the same time, he’s not “completely fatalistic.” He believes if humanity survived 20th wars without nuclear armageddon, “anything is possible, even in the Middle East.”
“As a scion of the persecuted who emerged from the European hell of the 1940s without having abandoned the hope of a better life, (he) did not receive permission from the frightened archangel of history to abdicate and despair.”
“Which is why, in order to hasten a different tomorrow, and whatever (his) detractors say, (he) shall continue to write,” he says.
His Guardian piece is an edited extract from his book titled “How I Stopped Being a Jew.” On October 14, he’ll discuss it at SOAS, University of London.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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HOW I STOPPED BEING A JEW BY SHLOMO SAND (AN EXTRACT)

Shlomo Sands

• This is an edited extract from How I Stopped Being a Jew by Shlomo Sand, published by Verso

http://www.amazon.com/How-I-Stopped-Being-Jew/dp/1781686149

During the first half of the 20th century, my father abandoned Talmudic school, permanently stopped going to synagogue, and regularly expressed his aversion to rabbis. At this point in my own life, in the early 21st century, I feel in turn a moral obligation to break definitively with tribal Judeocentrism. I am today fully conscious of having never been a genuinely secular Jew, understanding that such an imaginary characteristic lacks any specific basis or cultural perspective, and that its existence is based on a hollow and ethnocentric view of the world. Earlier I mistakenly believed that the Yiddish culture of the family I grew up in was the embodiment of Jewish culture. A little later, inspired by Bernard Lazare, Mordechai Anielewicz, Marcel Rayman and Marek Edelman – who all fought antisemitism, nazism and Stalinism without adopting an ethnocentric view – I identified as part of an oppressed and rejected minority. In the company, so to speak, of the socialist leader Léon Blum, the poet Julian Tuwim and many others, I stubbornly remained a Jew who had accepted this identity on account of persecutions and murderers, crimes and their victims.

Now, having painfully become aware that I have undergone an adherence to Israel, been assimilated by law into a fictitious ethnos of persecutors and their supporters, and have appeared in the world as one of the exclusive club of the elect and their acolytes, I wish to resign and cease considering myself a Jew.

Although the state of Israel is not disposed to transform my official nationality from “Jew” to “Israeli”, I dare to hope that kindly philosemites, committed Zionists and exalted anti-Zionists, all of them so often nourished on essentialist conceptions, will respect my desire and cease to catalogue me as a Jew. As a matter of fact, what they think matters little to me, and still less what the remaining antisemitic idiots think. In the light of the historic tragedies of the 20th century, I am determined no longer to be a small minority in an exclusive club that others have neither the possibility nor the qualifications to join.

By my refusal to be a Jew, I represent a species in the course of disappearing. I know that by insisting that only my historical past was Jewish, while my everyday present (for better or worse) is Israeli, and finally that my future and that of my children (at least the future I wish for) must be guided by universal, open and generous principles, I run counter to the dominant fashion, which is oriented towards ethnocentrism.

As a historian of the modern age, I put forward the hypothesis that the cultural distance between my great-grandson and me will be as great or greater than that separating me from my own great-grandfather. All the better! I have the misfortune of living now among too many people who believe their descendants will resemble them in all respects, because for them peoples are eternal – a fortiori a race-people such as the Jews.

I am aware of living in one of the most racist societies in the western world. Racism is present to some degree everywhere, but in Israel it exists deep within the spirit of the laws. It is taught in schools and colleges, spread in the media, and above all and most dreadful, in Israel the racists do not know what they are doing and, because of this, feel in no way obliged to apologise. This absence of a need for self-justification has made Israel a particularly prized reference point for many movements of the far right throughout the world, movements whose past history of antisemitism is only too well known.

To live in such a society has become increasingly intolerable to me, but I must also admit that it is no less difficult to make my home elsewhere. I am myself a part of the cultural, linguistic and even conceptual production of the Zionist enterprise, and I cannot undo this. By my everyday life and my basic culture I am an Israeli. I am not especially proud of this, just as I have no reason to take pride in being a man with brown eyes and of average height. I am often even ashamed of Israel, particularly when I witness evidence of its cruel military colonisation, with its weak and defenceless victims who are not part of the “chosen people”.

Earlier in my life I had a fleeting utopian dream that a Palestinian Israeli should feel as much at home in Tel Aviv as a Jewish American does in New York. I struggled and sought for the civil life of a Muslim Israeli in Jerusalem to be similar to that of the Jewish French person whose home is in Paris. I wanted Israeli children of Christian African immigrants to be treated as the British children of immigrants from the Indian subcontinent are in London. I hoped with all my heart that all Israeli children would be educated together in the same schools. Today I know that my dream is outrageously demanding, that my demands are exaggerated and impertinent, that the very fact of formulating them is viewed by Zionists and their supporters as an attack on the Jewish character of the state of Israel, and thus as antisemitism.

However, strange as it may seem, and in contrast to the locked-in character of secular Jewish identity, treating Israeli identity as politico-cultural rather than “ethnic” does appear to offer the potential for achieving an open and inclusive identity. According to the law, in fact, it is possible to be an Israeli citizen without being a secular “ethnic” Jew, to participate in its “supra-culture” while preserving one’s “infra-culture”, to speak the hegemonic language and cultivate in parallel another language, to maintain varied ways of life and fuse different ones together. To consolidate this republican political potential, it would be necessary, of course, to have long abandoned tribal hermeticism, to learn to respect the Other and welcome him or her as an equal, and to change the constitutional laws of Israel to make them compatible with democratic principles.

Most important, if it has been momentarily forgotten: before we put forward ideas on changing Israel’s identity policy, we must first free ourselves from the accursed and interminable occupation that is leading us on the road to hell. In fact, our relation to those who are second-class citizens of Israel is inextricably bound up with our relation to those who live in immense distress at the bottom of the chain of the Zionist rescue operation. That oppressed population, which has lived under the occupation for close to 50 years, deprived of political and civil rights, on land that the “state of the Jews” considers its own, remains abandoned and ignored by international politics. I recognise today that my dream of an end to the occupation and the creation of a confederation between two republics, Israeli and Palestinian, was a chimera that underestimated the balance of forces between the two parties.

Increasingly it appears to be already too late; all seems already lost, and any serious approach to a political solution is deadlocked. Israel has grown used to this, and is unable to rid itself of its colonial domination over another people. The world outside, unfortunately, does not do what is needed either. Its remorse and bad conscience prevent it from convincing Israel to withdraw to the 1948 frontiers. Nor is Israel ready to annex the occupied territories officially, as it would then have to grant equal citizenship to the occupied population and, by that fact alone, transform itself into a binational state. It’s rather like the mythological serpent that swallowed too big a victim, but prefers to choke rather than to abandon it.

Does this mean I, too, must abandon hope? I inhabit a deep contradiction. I feel like an exile in the face of the growing Jewish ethnicisation that surrounds me, while at the same time the language in which I speak, write and dream is overwhelmingly Hebrew. When I find myself abroad, I feel nostalgia for this language, the vehicle of my emotions and thoughts. When I am far from Israel, I see my street corner in Tel Aviv and look forward to the moment I can return to it. I do not go to synagogues to dissipate this nostalgia, because they pray there in a language that is not mine, and the people I meet there have absolutely no interest in understanding what being Israeli means for me.

In London it is the universities and their students of both sexes, not the Talmudic schools (where there are no female students), that remind me of the campus where I work. In New York it is the Manhattan cafes, not the Brooklyn enclaves, that invite and attract me, like those of Tel Aviv. And when I visit the teeming Paris bookstores, what comes to my mind is the Hebrew book week organised each year in Israel, not the sacred literature of my ancestors.

My deep attachment to the place serves only to fuel the pessimism I feel towards it. And so I often plunge into despondency about the present and fear for the future. I am tired, and feel that the last leaves of reason are falling from our tree of political action, leaving us barren in the face of the caprices of the sleepwalking sorcerers of the tribe. But I cannot allow myself to be completely fatalistic. I dare to believe that if humanity succeeded in emerging from the 20th century without a nuclear war, everything is possible, even in the Middle East. We should remember the words of Theodor Herzl, the dreamer responsible for the fact that I am an Israeli: “If you will it, it is no legend.”

As a scion of the persecuted who emerged from the European hell of the 1940s without having abandoned the hope of a better life, I did not receive permission from the frightened archangel of history to abdicate and despair. Which is why, in order to hasten a different tomorrow, and whatever my detractors say, I shall continue to write.

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