There Goes The Neighborhood

May 16, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

Untitled-5.jpg

By Devon Nola

I believe it’s a fair assumption that most social creatures understand when one is the newest arrival to, say, a party or a community, it is their responsibility to ingratiate themselves to the local, existing populace.  The most unwelcome guest is the one who arrives late and then proceeds to redecorate.  But this is exactly what we see happening, repeatedly, when Hasidic Jews descend on predominantly gentile communities.  In every case, the arrival of these orthodox groups is met with hostility and resistance by their host.  Is it possible that anti-Jewish sentiment is inherent in the gentile mind or are there natural grievances that need to be explored?

 Having lived for 8 years in a neighborhood that is home to a very large and quite powerful Chabad Lubavitch Hasidic community, I can say there are legitimate grievances.  I began delving into this phenomenon some time ago when I learned about the chaos surrounding Kiryas Joel, a Satmar sect of Hasidim in the town of Monroe in Orange County, NY.  The Satmar purchased land in an unincorporated section of Monroe to relocate some of the sect from Williamsburg in Brooklyn. The community started small, but due to the nature of Jewish ultra orthodox pro-creation practices, it multiplied at lightening speed.  The existing residents of Monroe grew weary as they watched their green, sprawling small town become inundated with multi-family dwellings to house the growing Hasidic population. The Satmar fought to become part of the incorporated section, which would allow them access to public funds. It wasn’t long before plans to annex massive acres of public land were put in motion for Jewish-only use and this sparked a fire storm between the two communities.  The details of the struggle can be seen in this 2016 documentary, Love Thy Neighbor.   Another issue was the exceedingly high numbers of Hasidics, who typically vote in blocs, impacting the local governing board in their favor, at the expense of the rest of the population.  Public school funds were being diverted to Jewish-only yeshivas. In some cases, public schools have actually collapsed as a result of this. It’s worth mentioning Kiryas Joel has the highest poverty rate in the nation (although, it is estimated that the dynasty controls $1 billion in assets in the U.S.)    More than 2/3 of the population live below the poverty line with 40% receiving food stamps.  So, we see a large handout to this community with zero return on investment.

In Rockland County, NY, the once idyllic suburban community of Ramapo has become chaotic with conflict due to the rapidly expanding Hasidic community.  The formerly picturesque neighborhoods with manicured lawns inside picket fences have been consumed by high-density multi-family dwellings.  In Ramapo, early residents bought single family homes and expected it to remain a neighborhood of single-family homes. This helps to preserve the value and the esthetic of the neighborhood.  But suddenly, they found themselves living next to a monstrous multi-family dwelling when the previous home had been leveled by the new orthodox owner and replaced with a structure housing four families. Another house was turned into a yeshiva. In one case, a trailer was dumped on the once-green lawn and the new Hasidic owner was running a business out of it.  It doesn’t seem as though rational people should need zoning laws enforced to tell them not to do this. Look around. Is anyone else operating a business out of trailer on their front lawn?

While the exploding demand for housing might be advantageous to property values in the short term, there are pitfalls. The increasing number of tax-exempt yeshivas and synagogues left crumbs in the town’s tax base.   Negligent (or greedy) city officials looked the other way, ignoring zoning, building and fire safety code violations. This created environmental implications by putting a strain on the sewer system, creating dangerous traffic congestion and in, some cases,  made it impossible for first responders to find an address since there was no municipal record of it. They ultimately overrun school boards and town councils, get zoning laws changed in their favor and in the end, property values plummet.

The neighboring communities, horrified by what happened in Ramapo, took measures to safeguard their town.  A significant step was having their local government put in place “no-knock” ordinances, prohibiting the oh-so common practice of hardcore real estate solicitation.  Hasidim come out in droves, knocking on doors, using very unethical methods such as intimidation, offering fistfuls of cash, in an effort to get the homeowner to sell. This practice is known as “blockbusting”. It’s intrusive and more importantly, it’s illegal and has been since 1968.  Nevertheless, they ignore the law and come back, repeatedly, in the hopes of wearing down the homeowner.  They often threaten the if they don’t sell. Many towns are now adopting this “no-knock” ordinance as a direct result of relentless orthodox solicitation.  Violation of the ordinance carries a fine anywhere from $100-$1250, depending on the town.

Watch Troublemakers in Ramapo:

We have seen these conflicts in virtually every suburban neighborhood on which the ultra-orthodox Jews descend.  Mahwah, in New Jersey, got a jump start.  After seeing the take-over in neighboring townships, they weren’t going to wait for the situation to accelerate.  The first sign of an eruv prompted the residents to put it into high gear. An eruv is essentially a symbolic boundary designated by white PVC pipe fixed to utility poles. This marks the area in which the orthodox Jews can engage in tasks the Torah forbids on the sabbath.  Apparently, G-d’s divine vision can’t see passed PVC. In the case of Mahwah, the eruv was put up by orthodox Jews from Orange County, NY.  Holy expansionism. Mahwah residents were already experiencing a problem in their community park, where the out-of-state Hasidim were crossing the state border, by the bus load, sometimes exceeding 100 people.  It made the park so over-crowded that local Mahwah residents weren’t bringing their own children to play for fear of injury based on the number of occupants.

Mahwah had very clear ordinances about signage within the community.  There are to be none. This ordinance, which is legal, had always been enforced. Not even so much as a ‘missing dog’ sign had ever been posted.  Residents of a township have the right to determine things like signage, overnight parking, etc., in their community and the ordinances are there to protect these decisions as long as they aren’t discriminatory or selectively enforced. However, the Bergen Rockland Eruv Association didn’t see it that way and filed a law suit, claiming the Mahwah residents were discriminating against them based on their religion. The Eruv Association insisted that the orthodox families had the right to religious freedom and the eruv was there to preserve this.  Apparently, the rights of the non-orthodox, who actually live and pay taxes in Mahwah, don’t figure into this equation.

In the end the Mahwah township council members, following the advice of their legal representation and under pressure from state government, voted 5-2 to settle.  The Eruv stayed, the township paid the Bergen Rockland Jewish association’s legal fees of $10,000 and the settlement stated that nothing would prevent the eruv association from expanding the boundary in the future.  Ahh, but the Mahwah residents didn’t walk away completely empty-handed.  The settlement stated that the PVC pipe would be painted to blend in with the pole.  Jackpot.

And this brings us to Lakewood, New Jersey, the latest victims of these unfriendly take-overs. Lakewood is in Ocean County.  What was once a rural vacation community is now home to one of the largest yeshivahs in the world. The population is exploding, as it often happens with Hasidic communities and with this comes all the problems we’ve seen in the other towns. Blockbusting, diversion of public-school funds for private Jewish institutions, taxpayers’ money and funds for public school buses have been siphoned to bus children to and from the Jews only school, over development of lands, negative impact on the environment due to over population, traffic congestion, etc. plague this community.  Even a senior community was overrun by these orthodox Jews. A serene, gated golf community, The Enclave, was where affluent people, 55 and over, thought they would take their last breath. They forged friendships and joked how the only way they would leave their community was feet first.  Sadly, that’s not how things turned out.  Aggressive solicitation began.  Seniors are often a vulnerable community to predatory practices,  and when they were told, “you better sell, you don’t want to be the only non-orthodox left in the community”, many panicked and relented to the pressure.  Eventually the golf course was slated to be replaced by multi-family dwellings to accommodate more Hasidim. Beginning with the first few orthodox that moved into The Enclave, trouble began to brew. The security bar at a side entrance, which wasn’t preventing strangers (or aggressive solicitors) from entering the community on foot as it should, was to be replaced with a proper gate operated by a card swipe. One orthodox man, who used this entrance on his way to synagogue on the sabbath, objected. He wasn’t permitted to use the technology that would open the gate. When the board wasn’t persuaded to reconsider the new gate, he filed a discrimination complaint with New Jersey Division on Civil Rights.  It begs the question, why on earth would one buy in a gated community full of goyim?  Future plans to have regulations put in place at the pool so that men and women would have separate swim times was also on the orthodox agenda. This was instituted in another community and violators were fined.

 A group, Rise Up Ocean County, is fighting back. RUOC is a collective of engaged citizens from approximately five townships, including Lakewood.  Their mission is concise: Mobilizing to preserve and improve the quality of life in Ocean County.  They have had enough of the yeshiva’s practices of “fueling ugly, unhealthy, inequitable economic development”, as quoted by the Jewish commentary outlet, ‘The Forward.’  RUOC is working on a documentary on this ordeal and here you can see a little taste, which exposes the 10 orthodox Rabbis that make up the Vaad, or council. They wield their power far beyond the religious community to influence public policy in their favor. If this power or their actions are contested, they rely on attacks of antisemitism.  I’ll be honest, if this is the definition of ‘Semitism,’ they give their neighbors ample reason to be disgruntled.

While Hasidim pride themselves on their love of community, it seems many of them don’t apply this fellowship in universal terms. What is it that drives such an institutional collective dismissal of the Other?   Why is it they don’t learn from their past?  I’m fairly confident that other than finding them a bit curious, no one would reject them if they didn’t insinuate themselves into lives outside Haredim.  Learning to live cooperatively as opposed to competitively with their neighbors might result in much more harmonious existence for everyone.

Advertisements

It’s Not ‘Anti-Semitic’ to Question the Influence of AIPAC in American Politics

It’s Not ‘Anti-Semitic’ to Question the Influence of AIPAC in American Politics

ROBERT BRIDGE | 14.03.2019 | WORLD / AMERICAS

It’s Not ‘Anti-Semitic’ to Question the Influence of AIPAC in American Politics

Freshman Democrat lawmaker Ilhan Omar triggered an earthquake in Washington that split the political aisle when she touched the forbidden third rail, which is any discussion of the pro-Israeli lobby’s influence on the US political system.

During a bookstore event hosted by Busboys and Poets, Omar told the assembled guests: “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country. I want to ask why it is okay for me to talk about the influence of the NRA, fossil fuel industries, or Big Pharma, and not talk about a powerful lobby that is influencing policy.”

Judging how she prefaced the remark, with a lengthy discussion about “the stories of Palestinians” and how she was being regularly accused of ‘anti-Semitism’ to end all debate on the decades-old standoff, it was clear what lobbying group Omar was referring to.

It was the second time in as many weeks that Ilhan Omar, one of the first two Muslims to serve in Congress, was accused of allegedly espousing anti-Semitic comments.

In early February, Omar had responded to a tweet by journalist Glenn Greenwald who said it was “stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans.”

Omar responded, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” followed by a musical emoji.

When pushed by another Twitter user to say who she thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel, Omar responded simply, “AIPAC!”

In fact, Omar was wrong. AIPAC does not raise funds for candidates. But its members do, with the group’s powerful endorsement.

On March 3, Omar tweeted to her fellow Congresswoman, Nita Lowey, that she should “not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee…”

Such complaints have been heard before.

In 2014, former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney told Press TV that her campaign funding suddenly went “kaput” after she refused to sign a “pledge of allegiance” to Israel while she was in office.

“I refused to toe the line on US policy for Israel,” she said.

On another occasion, in 2006, academics John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt published a paper in the London Review of Books, entitled “The Israeli Lobby and US Foreign Policy.” In it, the authors discussed the influence of pro-Israel organizations in the United States, with primary emphasis on AIPAC, which they described as “the most powerful and well-known.”

Omar’s string of remarks quickly sparked similar debate, but this time inside of the Democratic Party. This demonstrated the potential future impact of a new generation of multiethnic lawmakers, many of whom, as Muslims, are increasingly frustrated by the Israeli-Palestinian crisis and their inability to discuss it.

Omar, however, was quickly upbraided by senior Democrats.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) called out the freshman lawmaker, saying her “use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive… and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments.”

Although Omar did offer contrition, she refused to budge on “the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics,” mentioning the NRA, fossil fuel industry and AIPAC. It seems like a fair criticism, all things considered.

Following the high-profile fallout, the House Democrats passed, with remarkable alacrity, a House Resolution that condemns anti-Semitism as “hateful expressions of intolerance…and anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry against minorities.”

The resolution, while intended to tamp down messages of hate, conspicuously failed to mention Omar’s purportedly anti-Semitic remarks, focusing its attention instead on “white supremacists” and “white nationalists,” who were not even remotely mentioned by Omar during her bookstore comments, thus prompting 23 Republican lawmakers to reject the resolution.

The partisan smashup helped to deflect attention away from the main point of contention with regards to Omar’s claim, which on the face of it does not sound radical: Does the American Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC), as well as the other powerful lobbying groups, hold too much sway over US foreign policy? Should AIPAC be ranked as an agent of a foreign power working on behalf of Israeli interests in the US?

Mearsheimer and Walt certainly thought so. In their paper, they quoted a 1997 article in Fortune magazine, which asked members of Congress to name the most powerful lobbies in Washington. AIPAC was ranked second behind only the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), but ahead of the AFL-CIO and the National Rifle Association (NRA). The authors were quick to point out, however, that there was nothing inherently wrong about the way AIPAC operates. “For the most part, the individuals and groups that comprise the Lobby are doing what other special interest groups do, just much better.”

How much better? Well, consider that in 2016, during a breakdown in relations between the Obama White House and Israel over the question of nuclear talks with Iran, AIPAC helped persuade the Republicans to let Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu address a joint session of Congress – without the foreknowledge of then President Barack Obama. As a thought experiment, try and imagine the same privilege being extended to any other leader in the world. The reason it is difficult to imagine is because it’s never been done before precisely because it’s unconstitutional.

“Democrats accuse Boehner of ambushing the president as the Republicans push – with the backing of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington – to strengthen sanctions against Iran,” as the Guardian reported.

Another example came with the push for war against Iraq following the terrorist attacks of 9/11 against the United States. An article in the Forward admitted that as “President Bush attempted to sell the … war in Iraq, America’s most important Jewish organizations rallied as one to his defense.” As Mearsheimer and Walt pointed out, this lobbying influence on behalf of war did not flush with the opinion of the US Jewish population.

“Samuel Freedman reported just after the war started that a compilation of nationwide opinion polls by the Pew Research Center shows that Jews are less supportive of the Iraq war than the population at large, 52% to 62%. Thus it would be wrong to blame the war in Iraq on “Jewish influence,” the academics argued.

Indeed, as Paul Waldman argued in The Washington Post, in the United States today, “a ‘supporter of Israel’ is much more likely to be an evangelical Christian Republican than a Jew.”

Whatever the case may be, the essence of the question remains the same: Does AIPAC, as well as many other lobbying groups, wield too much power in the US political system? The question cannot be casually brushed aside as ‘anti-Semitic,’ any more than questioning the power of Big Pharma, for example, could be dismissed as ‘anti-Doctor,’ or the power of the NRA as ‘anti-Cowboy.’ It makes no sense, and unfairly accuses people who are asking legitimate questions of the most loathsome charges.

With the face of the American political system changing along ethnic and religious lines, it is critical that such issues with regards to political influence get a fair hearing.

Related Videos

Related Articles

Netanyahu’s Possible Indictment and Jewish Dialectics

March 01, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

F190202YS05-e1550172494146-640x400.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

The Jewish State  is an unusual place. It indicts its leaders and occasionally even locks them behind bars. Former Israeli president Moshe Katsav was found  guilty of “rape, sexual harassment, committing an indecent act while using force, harassing a witness and obstruction of justice”. He was sentenced to seven years in prison. Veteran Israeli PM Ehud Olmert was convicted of two counts of bribery and was also sent to prison. Yesterday Israel’s attorney general published his decision to indict Mr Netanyahu on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in connection with three cases.

Israel is tough on its leaders. It is certainly tougher than Britain that has so far failed to charge Tony Blair with war crimes or the USA that similarly failed to indict George Bush for launching an illegal war*. Yet Israel is far from an ethical realm. It is institutionally racist towards the indigenous people of the land as well as African immigrants, and  it is also abusive to its poor. Israel is occasionally accused of gross war crimes. One may wonder why a criminal state with such an appalling record is so harsh with its leaders.

Zionism is one possible answer. Zionism, in its early days, was contemptuous of ‘the Jews.’ It promised to civilise the chosen people by means of ‘homecoming.’ The following comments weren’t made by Adolf Hitler or a member of the Nazi party but by some of the most dedicated early Zionists:

The wealthy Jews control the world, in their hands lies the fate of governments and nations. 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.” (Theodor Herzl, Deutsche Zeitung, as cited by an Israeli documentary)

‘The Jew is a caricature of a normal, natural human being, both physically and spiritually. As an individual in society he revolts and throws off the harness of social obligations, knows no order nor discipline.’ (Our Shomer ‘Weltanschauung’Hashomer Hatzair, December 1936, p.26. As cited by Lenni Brenner)

‘The enterprising spirit of the Jew is irrepressible. He refuses to remain a proletarian. He will grab at the first opportunity to advance to a higher rung in the social ladder.’ (The Economic Development of the Jewish People, Ber Borochov, 1916)

The harsh treatment of Israeli politicians by the Israeli media and judicial system is inspired  by that Zionist promise. Israel wants to be ‘a state like all other states.’ It wants its politicians to be ethical and behave with dignity. But the Israeli people aren’t sure about the importance of such trappings. Mostly, they could care less whether the judicial system or the media approve of their leaders’ ethical records.

Ariel Sharon’s political career didn’t come to an end after the massacre in Sabra and Shatila. The Kahan Commission  that was formed to probe Israeli involvement in that colossal crime found that the IDF was indirectly responsible and that Sharon, who was then the Defense Minister, bore personal responsibility for the massacre. The commission recommended the removal of Sharon from his post as Defense Minister. These findings did not stop Sharon political career, as we know, he went on to become Israel’s prime minister a few years later.

Aryeh Deri, a prominent Israeli politician and king maker was convicted of taking bribes while serving as Interior Minister. He was given a three-year jail sentence in 2000.  Of course Deri was able to return to politics, and was re-elected to the Knesset in 2013 and resumed his role as a key political player.

As much as early Zionism promised to change the people of Israel, the people themselves haven’t been keen of turning into something totally foreign to their true nature. Despite yesterday’s polls that suggest that Netanyahu’s support has dropped following the decision to indict him, it is likely that within a few days we will find that Netanyahu’s support is rising.

This response to findings of criminal behaviour enlightens the dialectical clash between what the Israelis ‘are’ and the image they insist upon attributing to themselves.

Israelis love to see themselves as a dignified Western civilisation guided by law and order. They avidly sell this image to the world;  but in reality the Jewish state is a an abusive tribal ghetto ran by oligarchs and underworld characters. Israel is at least ‘democratic’ enough to bring this contradiction to light. Its parliament is saturated with enough convicted criminals that Wikipedia dedicated a page to them, titled  “List of Israeli public officials convicted of crimes or misdemeanors”.

* Needless to mention, Israel sends its politicians to jail for bribery but also does not prosecute war crimes as much as it should.


My battle for truth and freedom involves  some expensive legal 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.

Donate

 

Condemnation of IDF Killings Is Never Anti-Semitic but Is Always an Essential Duty of the Global Media to Report

Source

By Hans Stehling,

As of November 19, last year, lethal force by Israeli forces resulted in the killing of 252 and injuring of 25,522 Palestinians in Gaza, OCHA has reported. Many of the injuries were life-changing, including hundreds of cases of severe soft tissue damage, some necessitating amputation of limbs.

Most of the killings took place in the context of protests, where Israeli forces, following orders from senior officials, used live ammunition against people who approached or attempted to cross or damage fences between Gaza and Israel. Israeli officials rejected the international human rights law standard in policing situations that prohibits the intentional use of lethal force except as a last resort to prevent an imminent threat to life.

Israeli authorities continued to illegally expand settlements in the occupied West Bank and to discriminate systematically against Palestinians and in favour of settlers, in providing services, allowing freedom of movement, and issuing building permits, among other actions. During 2017 and the first eight months of 2018, Israeli authorities approved the illegitimate plans for 10,536 housing units in West Bank settlements, excluding East Jerusalem, and issued tenders for a further 5,676.

Meanwhile, Israeli authorities destroyed 390 Palestinian homes and other property, forcibly displacing 407 people as of November 19, the majority for lacking construction permits that Israel makes nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain in East Jerusalem or in the 60 percent of the West Bank under its exclusive control (Area C).

The indisputable fact is that there are two peoples both with a valid claim to the land of Palestine. To allow one to be butchered by the other is a violation of international law, human rights and an abject failure of democratic government.

For that butchery of men, women and children to be openly funded and facilitated by the United States Congress is a violation of the principles of the United Nations of which both Israel and the United States are members. It is also a gross violation of both the tenets of Judaism and Christianity.

The status quo is anathema to every true democracy in the world.  The killings and oppression must end and end now.  Failing which, the UN Security Council should pass a Resolution declaring Israel under its current government to be a rogue state which is outside the norms of accepted conduct and with which no other country should continue to trade until it undertakes to accept and implement in full the requirements of UN Security Council Resolution 2334.

It is completely unacceptable to hide behind the patently false accusation of anti-Semitism.  Ordinary Jewish men and women throughout the world are sickened and ashamed at the brutality perpetrated in their name in the Occupied Territories in exactly the same way as are we all in Britain, Europe and around the world.

Hans Stehling (pen name) is an analyst based in the UK. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image is from Just World Educational

 

israeli (apartheid state) Occupation Soldiers Alarmed at Lebanese Border When Searching For Fictitious Hezbollah Tunnels

Israeli Occupation Soldiers Alarmed at Lebanese Border

South fog

Photo

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) are alarmed at the border with Lebanon due to the fog which has spread across the area, few days after the occupation military announced the start of the so-called “Northern Shield” Operation which is aimed at ‘cutting off’ alleged attack tunnels dug by Hezbollah.

Al-Manar reporter in Lebanon’s south, Ali Shoeib, reported that IOF fired their machine guns into the air as they were frightened when a Lebanese Army vehicle carried out a routine patrol east of Mais Al-Jabal town, near the border with the occupied territories.

“Israeli enemy soldiers fired their machine guns into the air in fear as they were surprised by a Lebanese Army routine patrol,” Shoeib tweeted on Saturday.

Shoeib then used the hashtag: “weaker than a spider web,” referring to Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah’s well-known quote about the Zionist entity.

Imagine yourself Free to Conflate

October 01, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

find the odd one.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

How many time have you heard the so-called ‘Jews in the movement’ warning others not to conflate Judaism and Zionism? How many times have the usual suspects attempted to absolve the ‘J word’ while blaming ‘Z’ related crimes?  How many times have you had to apologise or withdraw any comparison between these two apparently similar notions? What does ‘conflation’ mean in the Jewish-Zionist context?

To conflate is to combine two or more sets of information or ideas into one. When accused of conflation, we are blamed for bringing  (distinct) things together and fusing them into a single entity; of mixing together different elements and failing to ‘properly distinguish’ among them or of mistakenly treating such elements as equivalent.

Conflation might be unmerited if two completely remote concepts were fused without substantiating or justifying the correlation.  But this is not the case with Judaism and Zionism, nor is this the case for Jewishness and authoritarianism, nor for choseness and exceptionalism.

Although at its inception Zionism was openly hostile towards Judaism and Diaspora Jewish culture, the profound Zionist phantasy of a collective Jewish metamorphosis didn’t last long.

Early Zionists vowed to fight what they saw as a Jewish cultural malaise. They intended to eradicate Jewish ‘non proletarian’ inclinations as well as the Jewish sense of choseness and to make ‘Jews people like all other people.’ It didn’t take long before Jewishness, that deep sense of Jewish exceptionalism, hijacked the Zionist revolution. The notion that Jews were entitled to ‘self determine themselves’ on someone else’s land itself, in fact, entailed the end of the Zionist ‘revolutionary’ tale.

The wish to become ‘people like all other people’ confirmed that Zionists could never become people like all other people: no other people wish to become people like all other people.

From its formation, Zionism has been a racially oriented national liberation movement. The project has been an exclusively Jews-only movement  and not just anyone could join. In other words, as much as early Zionism was driven by animosity towards Jewish  exclusivity, it actually adopted the most problematic aspect of Jewish biological doctrine.*

I guess a possible explanation of this is that Zionism, like all other Jewish identitarian formations, is an attempt to furnish the Judaic moment with contemporaneous meaning and a nationalist dream. The ‘revolutionary’ Bund that was formed in the same year (1897) offered Jews a different solution, that of a ‘cosmopolitan’ socialist redemption. Jewish ‘anti’ Zionists are just another Jews-only club that convey the message that not all Jews are as bad as Bibi.

This is where conflation comes into play, transcending the literal and grasping at the essential. Conflation is a moment of epiphany, the moment of an abrupt realisation that things that seems remote or foreign to each other actually belong in the same category. To conflate is to exercise the human ability to synthesise, to think in abstract terms, to extend one’s view from the object to meaning. It is therefore disturbing  that our so-called ‘allies’ in the solidarity movement are upset by the rest of us exercising our human capacity to put things together and think in categorical and abstract terms.

To be sure, Judaism which is a religious precept and Zionism which is a political movement are distinct entities. We all know that some rabbinical Jews clash with Zionism and Israel. Yet when examined as aspects of Jewishness – the celebration of Jewish exceptionalism-  Zionism and Judaism have a lot in common. And it is hardly a secret that the vast majority of Judaic sects accept the inherent spiritual bond between Zionism and Judaism.

A crucial question is why the so called ‘Jews in the movement,’ who are largely secular, are offended by the conflation of Judaism and Zionism? What is it that they try to hide or suppress? Is it that they aren’t as ‘secular’ as they claim to be or is it because they are actually far more Zionist than they are willing to admit?

* This unique form of lack of self awareness isn’t only a Zionist symptom. In fact, Jewish so- called ‘anti Zionists’ are contaminated by the same symptom. Jewish Voice for Peace that opposes Zionist Jewish exclusivity is, in fact, more racially exclusive that the Jewish State; while in the Israeli Knesset the third biggest party is an Arab party, in Jewish anti Zionist organisations you won’t find a single gentile in a steering position. The British Jewish Corbyn support group (JVL) made it clear on it website that Goyim could join only as ‘solidarity members’ not as proper members. True membership is reserved for racially qualified members of the tribe.

israel’s plans for a “Greater Jerusalem” would mean no Churches or Mosques

Conference on the Holy City of Jerusalem: ‘Greater Jerusalem Means No Churches and No Mosques’

‘There can never be peace until the Jerusalem file is satisfactorily resolved,’ says chairman of Jerusalem Endowment.

The 9th International Conference on the Holy City of Jerusalem discussed the city's importance to Islam and Christianity [Getty Images]

The 9th International Conference on the Holy City of Jerusalem discussed the city’s importance to Islam and Christianity [Getty Images]

Palestinian interfaith officials have warned against monopolising the city of Jerusalem by the Israeli government and the effects that would have on Christianity and Islam.

Hanna Issa, secretary-general of the Palestinian Authority‘s Muslim-Christian Committee said that more than 95 percent of Jerusalem had already been “Judaised” by Israel, and that “Greater Jerusalem” would alter the city’s identity and importance to Christianians and Muslims.

“Israel wants to establish its so-called ‘Greater Jerusalem’ on an area of 600sq km, which would mean the destruction of the city’s churches and mosques,” Issa said.

The warning came during the 9th International Conference on the Holy City of Jerusalem on Wednesday, which kicked off in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.

The conference was attended by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and numerous delegations from across the Arab and Muslim world.

Munib Masri, chairman of the Jerusalem Endowment, stressed Jerusalem‘s importance for both Muslims and Christians.

“The world must understand that there can never be peace until the Jerusalem file is satisfactorily resolved,” he said.

He added: “Jerusalem requires practical initiatives and financial support with a view to strengthening the resolve of its people.”

Speaking at the event, Youssef Edies, Palestinian minister of religious endowments, described Jerusalem as “the birthplace of religions”.

“We must focus on Arab, Muslim and international efforts on resisting the fierce Western onslaught against the Holy Land,” he asserted.

Israeli control

Israel occupied and annexed East Jerusalem in the aftermath of the June 1967 War, in a move that was never recognised by the international community.

Since then, Israel has built more than a dozen housing complexes for Jewish Israelis, known as settlements, some in the middle of Palestinian neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem.

Israel’s settlement project, which is aimed at the consolidation of Israel’s control over the city, is also considered illegal under international law.

About 200,000 Israeli citizens live in East Jerusalem under army and police protection, with the largest single settlement complex housing 44,000 Israelis.

Such fortified settlements, often scattered between Palestinians’ homes, infringe on the freedom of movement, privacy and security of Palestinians.

Call for free access

Last Saturday, a United Nations envoy accused Israel of trying to block him and other diplomats from a pre-Easter “Holy Fire” ritual in the packed Jerusalem church Christians revere as the burial site of Jesus.

Robert Serry, the UN’s peace envoy to the Middle East, said in a statement that Israeli security officers had stopped him and a group of Palestinian worshippers and diplomats in a procession near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, “claiming they had orders to that effect”.

Last month, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem said church authorities had applied for around 600 permits for Palestinian Christians in Gaza to travel to Jerusalem to celebrate Easter, but none were granted.

Father Ibrahim Shomali, chancellor of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, said: “We have to have free access to the Holy Land, free access to our holy places.”

Jerusalem: Media flashpoints and erased narratives

The Listening Post

Jerusalem: Media flashpoints and erased narratives

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

%d bloggers like this: