From the Rabbis’ mouths “Zionism is an Affirmation of Judaism’

 

Take It From the Rabbi’s Mouth

Gilad Atzmon — gilad.co.uk Oct 8, 2017

“The overwhelming majority of American Rabbis regard Zionism not only as fully consistent with Judaism but as a logical expression and implementation of it.””
— Document released on November 20, 1942 signed by 818 American Rabbis
The following  article was published on this site in May 2013. In recent weeks we have witnessed some anti Zionist rabbinical Jews  outraged by the attempt to equate Judaism and Zionism. I plan to write on the topic extensively, however,  a brief look at this 1942 rabbinical affirmation of Zionism  is rather revealing:

Great Zionist Rabbis

Zionism: An Affirmation of Judaism

Introduction by Gilad Atzmon

Every so often we come across a Jewish ‘anti’ Zionist’  who argues that Zionism is not Judaism and vice versa. Interestingly enough, I have just come across an invaluable text that illuminates this question from a rabbinical perspective. Apparently back in 1942, 757 American Rabbis added their names to a public pronouncement titled ‘Zionism an Affirmation of Judaism’. This Rabbinical rally for Zionism was declared at the time “the largest public pronouncement in all Jewish history.”
Today, we tend to believe that world Jewry’s transition towards support for Israel followed the 1967 war though some mightargue that already in 1948, American Jews manifested a growing support for Zionism. However, this rabbinical pronouncement proves that as early as 1942, the American Jewish religious establishment was already deeply Zionist. And if this is not enough, the rabbis also regarded Zionism as the ‘implementation’ of Judaism. Seemingly, already then, the peak of World War two, the overwhelming majority of American Rabbis regarded Zionism, not only as fully consistent with Judaism, but as a “logical expression and implementation of it.”
In spite of the fact that early Zionist leaders were largely secular and the East European Jewish settler waves were driven by Jewish socialist ideology, the rabbis contend that “Zionism is not a secularist movement. It has its origins and roots in the authoritative religious texts of Judaism.
Those rabbis were not a bunch of ignoramuses. They were patriotic and nationalistic and they grasped that “universalism is not a contradiction of nationalism.” The rabbis tried to differentiate between contemporaneous German Nationalism and other national movements and they definitely wanted to believe that Zionism was categorically different to Nazism. “Nationalism as such, whether it be English, French, American or Jewish, is not in itself evil. It is only militaristic and chauvinistic nationalism, that nationalism which shamelessly flouts all mandates of international morality, which is evil.” But as we know, just three years after the liberation of Auschwitz the new Jewish State launched a devastating racially driven ethnic-cleansing campaign. Zionism has proven to be militaristic and chauvinistic.
Shockingly enough, back in 1942 as many as 757 American rabbis were able to predict the outcome of the war and they realised that the suffering of European Jewry would be translated into a Jewish State . “We are not so bold as to predict the nature of the international order which will emerge from the present war. It is altogether likely, and indeed it may be desirable, that all sovereign states shall under the coming peace surrender some of their sovereignty to achieve a just and peaceful world society (a Jewish State).”
Some American patriots today are concerned with Israeli-American dual nationality and the dual aspirations of American Jews. Apparently our rabbis addressed this topic too. According to them, there is no such conflict whatsoever. All American Jews are American patriots and all American decision makers are Zionists. “Every fair-minded American knows that American Jews have only one political allegiance–and that is to America. There is nothing in Zionism to impair this loyalty. Zionism has been endorsed in our generation by every President from Woodrow Wilson to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and has been approved by the Congress of the United States. The noblest spirits in American life, statesmen, scholars, writers, ministers and leaders of labor and industry, have lent their sympathy and encouragement to the movement.”
Back in 1942 our American rabbis were bold enough to state that defeating Hitler was far from sufficient. For them, a full solution of the Jewish question could only take place in Palestine. “Jews, and all non-Jews who are sympathetically interested in the plight of Jewry, should bear in mind that the defeat of Hitler will not of itself normalize Jewish life in Europe. “
But there was one thing the American rabbis failed to mention – the Palestinian people. For some reason, those rabbis who knew much about ‘universalism’ and in particular Jewish ‘universalism’ showed very little concern to the people of the land. I guess that after all, chosennss is a form of blindness and rabbis probably know more about this than anyone else.

Zionism: An Affirmation of Judaism

http://zionistsout.blogspot.com/2008/03/zionism-affirmation-of-judaism.html

ZIONISMAN AFFIRMATIONOF JUDAISMA Reply by 757 Orthodox, Conservative and ReformRabbis of America to a Statement Issued by NinetyMembers of the Reform Rabbinate Charging ThatZionism Is Incompatible with the Teachings of Judaism
THE SUBJOINED REPLY was prepared at the initiative of the following Rabbis who submitted it to their colleagues throughout the country for signature: Philip S. Bernstein, Barnett R. Brickner, Israel Goldstein, James G. Heller, Mordecai M. Kaplan, B. L. Levinthal, Israel H. Levinthal, Louis M. Levitsky, Joshua Loth Liebman, Joseph H. Lookstein, Jacob R. Marcus, Abraham A. Neuman, Louis I. Newman, David de Sola Pool, Abba Hillel Silver, Milton Steinberg, and Stephen S. Wise.
WE, THE UNDERSIGNED RABBIS of all elements in American Jewish religious life,have noted with concern a statement by ninety of our colleagues in which they repudiate Zionism on the ground that it is inconsistent with Jewish religious and moral doctrine. This statement misrepresents Zionism and misinterprets historic Jewish religious teaching, and we should be derelict in our duty if we did not correct the misapprehensions which it is likely to foster.
We call attention in the first place to the fact that the signatories to this statement, for whom as fellow-Rabbis we have a high regard, represent no more than a very small fraction of the American rabbinate. They constitute a minority even of the rabbinate of Reform Judaism with which they are associated. The overwhelming majority of American Rabbis regard Zionism not only as fully consistent with Judaism but as a logical expression and implementation of it.
Our colleagues concede the need for Jewish immigration into Palestine as contributing towards a solution of the vast tragedy of Jewish homelessness. They profess themselves ready to encourage such settlement. They are aware of the important achievements, social and spiritual, of the Palestinian Jewish community and they pledge to it their unstinted support. And yet, subscribing to every practical accomplishment of Zionism, they have embarked upon a public criticism of it. In explanation of their opposition they advance the consideration that Zionism is nationalistic and secularistic. On both scores they maintain it is incompatible with the Jewish religion and its universalistic outlook. They protest against the political emphasis which, they say, is now paramount in the Zionist program and which, according to them, tends to confuse both Jews and Christians as to the place and function of the Jewish group in American society. They appeal to the prophets of ancient Israel for substantiation of their views.
TREASURING the doctrines and moral principles of our faith no less than they, devoted equally to America and its democratic processes and spirit, we nonetheless find every one of their contentions totally without foundation.
Zionism is not a secularist movement. It has its origins and roots in the authoritative religious texts of Judaism. Scripture and rabbinical literature alike are replete with the promise of the restoration of Israel to its ancestral home. Anti-Zionism, not Zionism, is a departure from the Jewish religion. Nothing in the entire pronouncement of our colleagues is more painful than their appeal to the prophets of Israel—to those very prophets whose inspired and recorded words of national rebirth and restoration nurtured and sustained the hope of Israel throughout the ages.
Nor is Zionism a denial of the universalistic teachings of Judaism. Universalism is not a contradiction of nationalism. Nationalism as such, whether it be English, French, American or Jewish, is not in itself evil. It is only militaristic and chauvinistic nationalism, that nationalism which shamelessly flouts all mandates of international morality, which is evil. The prophets of Israel looked forward to the time not when all national entities would be obliterated, but when all nations would walk in the light of the Lord, live by His law and learn war no more.
Our colleagues find themselves unable to subscribe to the political emphasis “now paramount in the Zionist program.” We fail to perceive what it is to which they object. Is it to the fact that there are a regularly constituted Zionist organization and a Jewish Agency which deal with the mandatory government, the Colonial office, the League of Nations and other recognized political bodies? But obviously, even immigration and colonization are practical matters which require political action. The settlement of a half million Jews in Palestine since the last war was made possible by political action which culminated in the Balfour Declaration and the Palestine Mandate. There can be little hope of opening the doors of Palestine for mass Jewish immigration after the war without effective political action. Or is it that they object to the ultimate achievement by the Jewish community of Palestine of some form of Jewish statehood? We are not so bold as to predict the nature of the international order which will emerge from the present war. It is altogether likely, and indeed it may be desirable, that all sovereign states shall under the coming peace surrender some of their sovereignty to achieve a just and peaceful world society.
Certainly our colleagues will allow to the Jews of Palestine the same rights that are allowed to all other peoples resident on their own land. If Jews should ultimately come to constitute a majority of the population of Palestine, would our colleagues suggest that all other peoples in the post-war world shall be entitled to political self-determination, whatever form that may take, but the Jewish people in Palestine shall not have such a right? Or do they mean to suggest that the Jews in Palestine shall forever remain a minority in order not to achieve such political self-determination?
PROTESTING their sympathy both for the homeless Jews of the world and for their brethren in Palestine, our colleagues have by their pronouncement done all these a grave disservice. It may well be that to the degree to which their efforts arc at all effective, Jews who might otherwise have found a haven in Palestine will be denied one. The enemies of the Jewish homeland will be strengthened in their propaganda as a result of the aid which these Rabbis have given them. To the Jews of Palestine, facing the gravest danger in their history and fighting hard to maintain morale and hope in the teeth of the totalitarian menace, this pronouncement comes as a cruel blow.
We do not mean to imply that our colleagues intended it as such. We have no doubt that they are earnest about their fine spun theoretical objections to Zionism. We hold, however, that these objections have no merit, and further that voicing them at this time has been unwise and unkind.
We have not the least fear that our fellow Americans will be led to misconstrue the attitudes of American Jews to America because of their interest in Zionism. Every fair-minded American knows that American Jews have only one political allegiance–and that is to America. There is nothing in Zionism to impair this loyalty. Zionism has been endorsed in our generation by every President from Woodrow Wilson to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and has been approved by the Congress of the United States. The noblest spirits in American life, statesmen, scholars, writers, ministers and leaders of labor and industry, have lent their sympathy and encouragement to the movement.
Jews, and all non-Jews who are sympathetically interested in the plight of Jewry, should bear in mind that the defeat of Hitler will not of itself normalize Jewish life in Europe.
An Allied peace which will not frankly face the problem of the national homelessness of the Jewish people will leave the age-old tragic status of European Jewry unchanged. The Jewish people is in danger of emerging from this war not only more torn and broken than any other people, but also without any prospects of a better and more secure future and without the hope that such tragedies will not recur again, and again. Following an Allied victory, the Jews of Europe, we are confident, will be restored to their political rights and to equality of citizenship. But they possessed these rights after the last war and yet the past twenty-five years have witnessed a rapid and appalling deterioration in their position. In any case, even after peace is restored Europe will be so ravaged and war-torn that large masses of Jews will elect migration to Palestine as a solution of their personal problems.
Indeed, for most of these there may be no other substantial hope of economic, social and spiritual rehabilitation.
THE freedom which, we have faith, will come to all men and nations after this war, must come not only to Jews as individuals wherever they live, permitting them to share freedom on a plane of equality with all other men, but also to the Jewish people, as such, restored in its homeland, where at long last it will be a free people within a world federation of free peoples.
Of the 757 Rabbis listed below, 214 are members of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (Reform); 247 are members of the Rabbinical Assembly of America (Conservative); and the rest are affiliated with the Rabbinical Council of America (Orthodox) or the Union of Orthodox Rabbis. The total represents the largest number of rabbis whose signatures are attached to a public pronouncement in all Jewish history.
To see the scanned image in PDF format with the list of signers, click here
Note: A version of the above statement was released to the press on November 20, 1942. By that time 818 rabbis had signed on. It appears in Samuel Halperin’s The Political World of American Zionism. (Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1961) 333.
The Wandering Who? A Study Of Jewish Identity Politics     Amazon.com  or Amazon.co.uk

 

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That ‘israel Lobby’ Controversy? History Has Proved Us Right

That ‘Israel Lobby’ Controversy? History Has Proved Us Right

By Stephen M. Walt

Ten years ago, John Mearsheimer and I published a controversial article and subsequent book examining the impact of the “Israel lobby” — that is, a loose coalition of pro-Israel individuals and organizations like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and Christians United for Israel, just to name a few. We argued that decades of unconditional U.S. support for Israel — the so-called “special relationship” — is not explained by U.S. strategic interests or by shared values, as is often claimed, but is due primarily to the political efforts and activities of the lobby.

The result, we also argued, does more harm than good to both the United States and Israel. For the United States, the “special relationship” undermines America’s standing in the Arab and Islamic worlds, has encouraged a more confrontational approach with Iran and Syria, and contributes significantly both to America’s terrorism problem and to needless and costly debacles like the 2003 invasion of Iraq. For Israel, unquestioning U.S. support for almost all its actions has allowed the decades-long subjugation of the Palestinians to continue unchecked, undermining the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and threatening Israel’s future as a democratic and/or Jewish state.

We made it clear that the lobby was not a monolith controlling every aspect of U.S. Middle East policy, but rather a collection of disparate groups and individuals united by the aim of defending Israel’s actions and deepening the special relationship. We explicitly rejected the idea that anything nefarious was going on, explaining that AIPAC and related organizations were simply part of a powerful interest group like the farm lobby or the National Rifle Association. Their efforts to influence U.S. policy are “as American as apple pie.” And we used the term “Israel lobby” to highlight that not all American Jews support these policies and that some key members of the lobby (such as Christian Zionists) aren’t Jewish. The book also emphasizes that none of these groups or individuals is solely responsible for the choices U.S. leaders make.

As the article and book predicted, a firestorm of criticism followed their publication, including more than a few accusations that we are anti-Israel or anti-Semitic. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our aim was to elicit a debate that would help move America’s foreign policy in a wiser direction and increase Israel’s chances of achieving a durable, peaceful two-state solution with the Palestinians. By successfully squelching any criticism of Israel in almost any form, and by encouraging military action against Israel’s foes, the lobby — in our view — had led us away from both.

Unfortunately for Israel as well as the United States, the past 10 years provide ample evidence that our core argument is still correct. Nevertheless, shifts inside the pro-Israel community and in Israel itself may yet lead to positive shifts in U.S. Middle East policy and to a healthier relationship between the two countries.

There is little question the lobby remains a potent political force today. The “special relationship” is firmly intact: An increasingly prosperous Israel continues to receive billions of dollars in U.S. assistance, and it is still largely immune from criticism by top U.S. officials, members of Congress or contenders for public office. Being perceived as insufficiently “pro-Israel” can disqualify nominees for important government positions; one need look no further than Chuck Hagel’s contentious confirmation hearings — and the 178 times Israel came up — to see how crucial a role being pro-Israel plays in achieving political success in this country. People who criticize Israel too pointedly can still lose their jobs. Wealthy defenders of Israel such as Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban play outsize roles in American politics, especially on Israel-related issues. A number of hard-line individuals and groups in the lobby remain staunch opponents of the sensible 2016 nuclear deal with Iran and may eventually help convince President Trump or the Congress to overturn it.

The clearest illustration of the lobby’s enduring power, however, is the Obama administration’s failure to make any progress on settling the Israel-Palestinian conflict. President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry were strong supporters of Israel, and both believe a two-state solution is, as Obama put it, “in Israel’s interest, Palestine’s interest, America’s interest and the world’s interest.” But even with backing from pro-peace, pro-Israel organizations such as J Street, their efforts to achieve “two states for two peoples” were rebuffed by Israel, working hand in hand with AIPAC and other hard-line groups. So instead of seriously pursuing peace, Israel expanded its settlements in the Israeli-occupied territories, making it more difficult than ever to create a viable Palestinian state.

Given AIPAC’s enduring influence in Congress and its unyielding opposition to any meaningful compromise with the Palestinians, Obama and Kerry ultimately could offer Israel only additional carrots (such as increased military aid) to try to win their cooperation. Like their predecessors, they could not put pressure on Israel to compromise by threatening to reduce U.S. support significantly. As a result, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had little incentive to make a deal. So, the two-state solution, which the United States has long sought and Netanyahu has long opposed, is now further away than ever. This outcome is bad for the United States and for Israel.

Despite the lobby’s continuing influence, however, there is a more open discussion of Israel-related issues today than there was before we wrote our article and book. Together with long-term trends in the region and the United States, the ability to speak more openly about Israel is likely to diminish the lobby’s impact on U.S. foreign policy in the future.

For starters, despite joining forces with Netanyahu to oppose the Iran deal, AIPAC was unable to convince Congress to reject the agreement. This failure signaled a rare defeat for the lobbying group, and a triumph for J Street and other groups that had backed the deal.

Furthermore, the taboo of publicly criticizing Israel, the lobby or the special relationship has been broken. In recent years, writers such as Peter Beinart, John Judis, Dan Fleshler and others have written important works examining the role of pro-Israel groups in American politics and criticizing their impact on U.S. foreign policy. Prominent journalists such as Thomas Friedman, Andrew Sullivan and Roger Cohen have penned their own criticisms of Israel’s policies and the lobby’s activities. More Americans have become aware of the complexities of life in Israel-Palestine and are more sympathetic to the needs and desires of both populations.

There is also a growing divide within the American Jewish community over what is best for Israel itself. Scholars like Dov Waxman, Steven Simon and Dana Allin have documented that American Jews today are less reluctant to criticize Israel’s policies or the actions of the Israeli government. The creation of the pro-peace lobby J Street, the rapid growth of progressive groups like Jewish Voice for Peace, and the success of controversial online journals critical of Zionism, such as Mondoweiss, show that attitudes about Israel are more complicated than in the past. Reflexive support for whatever Israel does is no longer the default condition for many American Jews.

These developments are especially evident among young people, and as Waxman emphasizes in his 2016 book “Trouble in the Tribe,” they have amplified divisions between the Orthodox and more liberal branches of Judaism. One sees this trend in a recent poll conducted by the American Jewish Committee, which found that nearly 80% of American Jews disapprove of the job President Trump is doing but 71% of Orthodox Jews support Trump. The main reason? Orthodox Jews tend to see Trump as more supportive of Israel. Yet even among the Orthodox, a recent survey by Nishma Research found that only 43% of those between 18 and 34 “actively support” the Jewish state, compared with 71% of those over 55.

These trends stem from a core tension: The vast majority of American Jews remain deeply committed to liberal values, while Israel has been moving away from them for many years now. There is a certain tension between liberalism and Zionism, because liberalism assumes that all humans possess the same set of basic rights and it emphasizes mutual tolerance, while Zionism is a nationalist movement that in its current iteration privileges one people at the expense of another. Until 1967, however, that tension between liberal and Zionist values was muted because most Israelis were Jewish and the second-class status of Israel’s Arab minority did not receive much attention.

When Israel gained control of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, the resulting subjugation of millions of Palestinians brought that tension to the fore. The occupation of the Palestinian territories has endured for half a century, and today, certain sections of Israel’s government are openly committed to retaining the West Bank in perpetuity and creating a “Greater Israel.” This policy not only involves denying the Palestinian subjects meaningful political rights, but also leads Israel to react harshly whenever the Palestinians respond with violence and terrorism (as happened in response to the two intifadas and in Israel’s repeated assaults on Gaza), further tarnishing its image in the United States and elsewhere.

But as former prime ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert each warned, in the long run, denying the Palestinians a viable state of their own will turn Israel into a state akin to apartheid South Africa. Such a state will be increasingly difficult for Israel’s supporters — and especially liberal American Jews — to embrace and defend against the inevitable criticism that will be directed at it. Furthermore, the steady rightward drift of Israeli politics — exemplified by the 2016 “transparency law” marginalizing Israeli human rights organizations, as well as by Netanyahu’s decision to renege on a plan to allow non-Orthodox Jewish men and women to pray together at the Western Wall — also clashes with the political values of most American Jews.

Even more disturbing, the Israeli government has begun to turn a blind eye to incidents of genuine anti-Semitism, when doing so is seen as safeguarding other priorities. Netanyahu was slow to condemn the anti-Jewish and neo-Nazi demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, for example, and he declined to criticize Trump’s waffling response to these disturbing events. Netanyahu also remains on good terms with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban despite Orban’s anti-Semitic campaign against financier George Soros. Indeed, Netanyahu’s son Yair Netanyahu recently posted to Facebook an explicitly anti-Semitic meme about Soros, thereby earning a swift condemnation from the ADL.

These and other events have accelerated what Waxman describes as a “splintering” among pro-Israel organizations. Past depictions of a weak Israeli David surrounded by a hostile Arab Goliath no longer ring true against the reality of a prosperous, nuclear-armed Israel that denies millions of Palestinian Arabs basic rights and uses its vast military power to keep those disenfranchised subjects powerless and afraid. Israel still faces a number of security challenges, but, contrary to what used to be the conventional wisdom, it is not weak, isolated or vulnerable to conventional attack. Instead, it has become a fiercely nationalistic state pursuing increasingly illiberal policies, which makes it increasingly hard for liberals to defend with enthusiasm.

These trends, however, have yet to affect Israel’s most ardent defenders here in the United States. If anything, their efforts to silence criticism of Israel have reached new heights. How else can one explain the AIPAC-sponsored Senate bill that would make it a crime in the United States to participate in the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, legislation that the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International and the Center for Constitutional Rights have rightly denounced as a direct threat to free speech?

Even if they succeed in muzzling some criticism in the short term, over time these tactics will turn off many Americans, including large numbers of American Jews who prize freedom of speech, tolerance and human rights, and who understand how important those values are for preserving the security of minority populations everywhere.

Barring a major shift in Israel’s political trajectory, therefore, the fissures within the lobby — and in the American Jewish community more broadly — are likely to widen. If the balance of power in that community shifts in favor of more moderate and pro-peace groups, then there may be a glimmer of hope. “Two states for two peoples” will be harder to achieve today than it would have been under either President Clinton or President Obama, but political pressure from a powerful, pro-Israel and pro-peace lobby in the United States is probably the only development that would convince U.S. leaders to act as fair-minded mediators and persuade the Israeli government to grant the Palestinians a viable state of their own. Over the long term, that may also be the only way to preserve a secure Israel and the strong bonds of the U.S.- Israel relationship.

Stephen M. Walt is the Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School and the co-author (with John J. Mearsheimer) of “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007).

This article was originally published by The Forward

Palestine was the issue at Labour Party conference

6 October 2017

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn received his longest and loudest standing ovation at his party’s conference when he called for an “end to the oppression of the Palestinian people” and Israel’s “50-year occupation and illegal settlement expansion.”

This was just one of the ways popular support for Palestinian rights was highly visible at the main UK opposition party’s annual gathering last week.

After some uncertainty last year, when Corbyn spoke at a Labour Friends of Israel reception, the Labour leader appeared to be more confident on the question of Palestine.

Corbyn’s better than expected performance in June’s general election fell just short of making him prime minister, but it did consolidate his control of the Labour Party leadership.

Left-wing magazine Red Pepper reported a new spirit of democratic debate at the conference, and clear signs that “the left has emphatically won Labour’s civil war.”

The other major arrival on the scene at this year’s conference was Jewish Voice for Labour, the new organization which opposes “attempts to widen the definition of anti-Semitism beyond its meaning of hostility towards or discrimination against Jews as Jews.”

The launch of the group was a direct challenge to the Jewish Labour Movement, a pro-Israel organization which has played a key role in a witch hunt aiming to misrepresent the Labour Party as “institutionally anti-Semitic.”

While the Israeli embassy’s allies at the conference were no doubt silently fuming, the mood among delegates was unmistakable – for Palestinian freedom and against Israeli occupation.

Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, a veteran Palestine campaigner and a leading member of Jewish Voice for Labour, also received a standing ovation.

Wimborne-Idrissi was cheered by delegates in the packed Brighton conference center when she called for an end to Israeli occupation, “as a Jew, as an anti-racist and as a dedicated member of this revived socialist, internationalist Labour Party. And comrades, I’m not an anti-Semite!”

Since Corbyn was elected leader two years ago, the party has faced an almost entirely manufactured “anti-Semitism crisis.”

This panic has been led by an ad hoc alliance of the right-wing press, embittered anti-Corbyn Labour lawmakers and lobby groups within the party that are closely tied to the Israeli embassy.

Len McCluskey, the leader of the UK’s largest trade union Unite, told the BBC at the conference last week that he “never recognized” that Labour had “a problem with anti-Semitism.” He said the campaign was “mood music that was created by people who were trying to undermine Jeremy Corbyn.”

Wimborne-Idrissi’s rapturous welcome during the debate on international policy is another indication that the party grassroots does not buy the “Labour anti-Semitism crisis” story.

In May last year, a poll of members found only five percent agreeing that anti-Semitism is a bigger problem in Labour than in other parties. The largest group – 47 percent – agreed it was a problem, but “no worse than in other parties.”

Wimborne-Idrissi had opened her speech by welcoming the reintroduction into the Labour platform of a key paragraph on Palestine from the party’s election manifesto.

The extract of the conference report restoring the language can be read at the end of this article.

Labour’s election manifesto in June had called for “an end to the [Israeli] blockade” of Gaza, and of its “occupation and settlements.” It also promised a Labour government would “immediately recognize the state of Palestine.”

Although this party line on settlements was already a watered down position compared to an earlier leaked draft, the right-wing party bureaucracy seems to have been responsible for removing it altogether.

The National Policy Forum, a party body that issues an influential report, deleted the key paragraph in the summer amid criticism that it had watered down other key policies.

Battle behind scenes

The report offered a general endorsement of a “two-state solution,” but eliminated criticism of Israel, including its settlements which are illegal under international law.

Some weeks later, an anonymous “senior Jewish Labour source” claimed to the Jewish Chronicle that the new wording was “better than the election manifesto and a bit of a success.”

Earlier, the Jewish Labour Movement, a pro-Israel group, took credit for watering down the language in the election manifesto.

The Jewish Labour Movement did not reply to a request for comment.

“The leader’s office won a behind-the-scenes battle” over Labour’s policy on Palestine, according to Labour Party expert Alex Nunns, writing in Red Pepper.

Corbyn “was livid at the omission” and “put his foot down,” insisting the paragraph be restored at the conference, according to Nunns.

Nunns, the author of a book about the popular movement that brought Corbyn to the leadership, told The Electronic Intifada that the National Policy Forum’s process is opaque, so it was unclear how it was drafted, and on whose initiative the paragraph was removed.

Anti-Semitism debate

Delegates also debated a controversial rule change on anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry, a compromise proposal backed by Labour’s ruling national executive.

The Jewish Labour Movement had been pushing what one national executive member called a “more draconian” rule change that would have allowed expulsion of party members “where the victim or anyone else” considered a statement to be anti-Semitic.

But at the conference, Jewish Labour Movement vice-chair Mike Katz withdrew his group’s proposed rule change in favor of the national executive’s compromise.

Katz appeared annoyed as he spoke, calling for an end to accusations “of witch hunts and weaponizing anti-Semitism” to stifle criticism of Israel.

Katz may have been rattled by the audience’s warm welcome to the delegate who spoke immediately before him – Jewish Voice for Labour’s Leah Levane.

Levane’s local party had put forward a competing rule change to the one Katz’s group was proposing. Levane said her local party had come under great pressure to withdraw its motion and was doing so to preserve unity, despite misgivings that the compromise “leaves some gaps.”

She complained that, unlike the Jewish Labour Movement, her local party was given no input on the compromise and condemned those who make the accusation of anti-Semitism “every time you criticize the despicable behavior of the state of Israel.”

Levane received a standing ovation for a speech rejecting the right of the Jewish Labour Movement to “speak for me” and “many other Jewish Labour members.”

The national executive responded to Levane with a “categoric assurance” that the concerns she raised would be considered in an ongoing review of party democracy.

New Jewish group

The launch of Jewish Voice for Labour was the talk of the entire conference. “It was the only meeting of the official fringe that people were talking about. There was a real buzz about it,” author Alex Nunns told The Electronic Intifada.

Jewish Voice for Labour says its launch was attended by more than 300 people, with palpable excitement among the standing room-only crowd.

The biggest welcome was for surprise guests, including award-winning director Ken Loach.

To loud cheers, Unite leader Len McCluskey and Tosh McDonald, president of the train drivers union ASLEF, both announced that their unions would affiliate to Jewish Voice for Labour.

Jewish Voice for Labour’s founding comes as a vigorous challenge to the pro-Israel Jewish Labour Movement.

But the Israeli state’s allies within Labour still appear unwilling to abandon the anti-Semitism smears, as the expulsion of Israeli anti-Zionist Moshé Machover on Tuesday shows.

Loach, McCluskey and McDonald have all now also been targets of anti-Semitism smears.

It is in this context that they are embracing – and being welcomed – by a new group that takes a strong stance against anti-Jewish bigotry and defends the right to criticize Israel and its Zionist state ideology.

Has the witch hunt finally started to backfire?

israel behind Catalan “Independence” ?

Israel Will Be Our Bank

by – Gearóid Ó Colmáin

Catalan ‘Independence’ –  A Tool of Capital Against Labour

Part II

 

Dear anti anti-Semitic reader, take heed lest the following facts, bigoted and odious as they most outrageously are, offend thine eyes!

Many of the world’s richest financial elites are Jewish. They have a state all to themselves; it’s called Israel. It is no ordinary state. Its agents control the world’s great powers and the minds of the masses through monopoly media. It is a fact few will dare to admit, but facts are facts. And as as the cliché goes, facts are stubborn things!

So what interest does Israel have in Catalonia?

The Jerusalem Post reported on the 24th of November, 2014 that ‘Israel and Germany may be the key to initially financing a Catalan state independent of Spain’. Barcelona’s High Court Judge Santiago Vidal told the Israeli newspaper:“ Another state (Israel) will serve as our temporary bank”. For those requiring further exegesis, Jewish money, that is to say international High Finance will ensure the survival of ‘independent’ Catalan.

No doubt, there are plenty hoodutionairy Catalans on the streets of Barcelona donning Palestinian scarves and chanting leftist songs from the Spanish Civil War. Former Greek Finance Minister Vanis Varoufakis has even turned up to assure everyone that the whole thing is ‘left-wing’ and ‘progressive’. He did the same during the Nuit Debout movement in Paris, before dashing off Che Guevara-like to meet… ahem… Emmanuel Macron!

What middle-class Palestinophile leftists have trouble understanding is that Zionism is only partially a project of occupying the Middle East. Zionism is in fact much more; it is a project of global domination. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made their intentions crystal clear:  “Israel must become a world power”.

Israel must become, as Sheihk Imran Hosein has put it, “the new ruling state in the world”. Open borders; mass immigration; the destruction of the nation-state, destruction of the family; in short, globalisation  is the process whereby  all the world’s states collapse into the institutions of the world-state presided over by the sacerdotal ‘chosen ones’. It’s not so difficult to achieve when you can boast, as Netanyahu has, that “ We have America”.

Pax judaica

A 2014 Haaretz article ran the headline: ‘Viva Catalonia, Viva Israel’. The article refers to Lopez Tena, one of the Catalan Zio-pendence movement’s leaders who is an Israeli loyalist. The following extract limns a glorious tableau of globalisation’s Israeli-dominated future:

‘Spain will not easily give up its crown jewel, but Lopez Tena is losing no time in making a promise that Europe’s new member state will be very friendly to Israel. In that too it will separate itself from its rival in Madrid. And here is another message. Just as Catalonia will soon be the state of the Catalan people, Israel is first and foremost the state of the Jewish people. There is no future for a binational state. The latest victory of the separatists in Quebec, Canada, the continuing efforts to dismantle the Belgian kingdom, and the national referendum to take place in Scotland in 2014 are only a few examples that prove this. Neither a federation nor a confederation, nor autonomy, nor cantons.Binationalism is dead. Visca (Viva in Catalan ) Israel, Visca Catalonia.

The Jews expel Spain!

Catholic Spain was never a happy place for Jews – except perhaps when they were opening the gates to the Islamic conquests of Andalusia in the 8th century AD!

During the Spanish Inquisition, Jewish fake converts(conversos or Maranos) to Christianity were corrupting the Catholic Church from within, threatening to bring down all of Christendom. In his book A History of the Maranos Jewish scholar Cecil Roth argues that the Catholic Church was justified in its suspicions of the conversos . The Spanish Inquisition, far from being a ‘reign of terror’, was in fact a genuine attempt by the Catholic Church to stamp out corruption and heresy.

In a similar way to the so-called ‘red terror’ in the Soviet Union, the Catholic Church and Spanish Kingdom had been infiltrated by inveterate enemies, operating at the highest levels of Church and State. Like the Soviet Government, the Catholic Church sought to limit executions of its enemies, not maximise them.

The Jews were eventually expelled from Spain in 1492 under the Alhambra Decree; first to Portugal and then to Holland. Powerful Jews such as international diplomat Joseph Nassi, the father of Zionism ( or perhaps Nass-ism!), were instrumental in provoking the Dutch Revolt of 1568 to 1648 which brought down the Spanish Empire.

When Marano (crypto) Jews in the Netherlands contributed to the development of modern banking with promissory notes promoting usury on a grand scale, the Spanish Empire’s gold and silver-based economy declined rapidly.

In his 1911 book  Die Juden und das Wirtschaftsleben, translated as The Jews and Modern Capitalism, the German sociologist showed how Jews were the brains behind the modern capitalist mode of production.

Capitalism killed the Spanish Empire; it is now killing the Spanish people.

Post-Catholic, neoliberal Spain is a moribund entity. The Spanish government is beginning to look pathetic, blaming the Kremlin’s media outlets for its woes. To be sure, Wikileaks Julian Assange has been making extremely incendiary and irresponsible statements about civil war in Spain should the independence agenda fail and Russian media are giving him a platform.

Russian media, so truthful in many regards, has simply ignored the criminality pushing for Catalonian independence. Though, to their credit, their Spanish language reports have mentioned Mr. Soros and his colour revolutionaries.

Most people on the left have been, ONCE AGAIN, dupes of Zionist psychological warfare. Israeli observers (organisers) of the Catalan elections have said they are “shocked” by the brutality of the Spanish police. Israelis are, of course, extremely pacifist!

Jordi Pujol and los cabalistas!

Billionaire gangster politician Jordi Pujol is the father of the Catalan independence movement. He has been implicated in massive financial scandals with off-shore accounts and a litany of public service corruption. Pujol is a close collaborator of Catalonia’s powerful Jewish community. He apparently sent four of his children to an Israeli Kibbutz. He says he is Catholic, but only God knows!

In 1985 he founded the Assembly of European Regions (AER) with French historian and politician Edgar Faure, which advocated the breaking up of Europe’s nations into regions under the control of a federal European state. The policy of divide and conquer has already been carried out with ruthless determination in the Middle East, where Israel’s power and territory has continued to expand. Israeli agencies encourage mass immigration into Europe but call immigrants in Israel ‘infiltrators’.

In recent years Catalonia has become somewhat of an Eldorado for wealthy Jews, with synagogues and ancient Jewish quarters restored. It is certainly a positive thing to see Jewish culture being celebrated and respected, but the fanatical Zionism of Catalonia’s leaders is a matter of concern.

If Catalonia succeeds in breaking from Spain, more micro-states will emerge and they are all likely to be characterised by a zealous devotion to the Jewish State. One only has to read the separatist literature in France’s Brittany, where Israel is constantly invoked as a model society.

As the phony war on terrorism intensifies, with mass migration into Europe and Israeli operatives ‘securing’ our public spaces, we are witnessing the Gaza-fication of the world. Micro-states will become like prisons for European citizens under the pretext of ‘security’. The mobility of Europeans will continue to be restricted while armies of Jihadists cross into Europe playing the Jewish victim card.

An Assembly of European Regions would bring us one step further towards a European federal state dominated by Jewish money and its Middle Eastern empire. The Jews already have their own European parliament.

Wikileaks director Julian Assange has been making highly incendiary statements about Catalan’s independence. Wikileaks’ links to Israel are deep and complex. I have pointed that out for many years. Assange may not be a willing agent of Israel but Wikileaks, like Wikistrat and Wikipedia are all manipulated by the Zionist entity.

The obvious sign of an Israeli shill is the peremptory dismissal of any investigations of 911 or the origins of the war on terror. Jewish dissident gatekeepers tend, more often than not, to have a deep allergy to the word ‘conspiracy.’

Madrid’s relationship with Tel Aviv has soured in recent years over accusations by Israeli think tanks that Spain is financing Palestinian liberation movements. Spanish courts have also called for the arrest of Israeli generals for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The tense relations between Spain and Israel are something to consider in light of the recent ‘Islamic State’ attacks in Spain, given the fact that Israel has admitted supporting the Islamic State in Syria and false flag terrorism is, after all, an Israeli specialty.

When we speak, however, of a souring of Spanish/Israeli relations, we do not mean that Spain refuses to submit to Jewish supremacy.  On the contrary, since 2012,  a Jew who can trace his ancestry to Medieval Spain may automatically become a Spanish citizen.

One should not be under the impression that the criticism of the reactionary, independence movement in Catalonia implies that the Spanish government is somehow ‘resisting imperialism’. The Rajoy regime is rotten to the core. In fact, many analysts suspect they may even be secretly collaborating with the Catalan separatists.

If Spain is to survive this century it will need to call for a new non-violent, political and ideological Inquisition and move towards a non-usurious economic Catholicism (in the Greek sense of that term) but at this late hour, we are all on Noah’s Arc heading for Eurotopia, drifting in an unholy sea of conversos.

israel’s Etzel House, a memorial to jewish terrorism

Source

How Jaffa’s Etzel House Stands At Odds With History

Hester from the UK writes in TripAdvisor about the Etzel House, “I don’t think I have ever visited a museum dedicated to celebrating terrorism; this was the most bizarre museum ever. Palestine has been expunged from history.”

by Alex Cocotas, The Forward

On the border of Tel Aviv and Jaffa are the ruins of an old house overlooking the beach and the Mediterranean Sea, with an anomalous black cube rising from its remnants. This is the Etzel House, also known as the Museum of Jaffa’s Liberators. It is dedicated to fighters of the museum’s eponymous organization, better known as the Irgun in English, a Jewish militant group in Mandate Palestine led by Menachem Begin. Along with the nearby Hassan Bek mosque, the ruins are one of just two structures that remain from Manshiyya, formerly the northernmost neighborhood of Jaffa.

And there too are the figurative ruins, so to speak, of my former beliefs. I grew up an ardent supporter of Israel and was active in the Israel Action Committee at university. In 2013, I moved from New York to Israel to teach English on a MASA program—supposedly a twenty hour a week commitment, though MASA neglected to mention an almost equivalent time allotment tohasbara. I soon became disillusioned after frequent encounters with vitriolic racism and began questioning everything I knew, or thought I knew, about the country; among the early inquiries was Tel Aviv’s Bauhaus architecture, or rather: the lack of meaningful connections between its architecture and the Bauhaus, which led me further into city’s history and roots. After working in a school, I had a sense of what was happening in the school system—disparaging comments about co-existence from teachers, the general denigration of Arabic as an educational pursuit—but I was not totally prepared for what I found at the museum.

On this day of my visit, a school group has also come. Another class waits outside. A guide from the museum leads the students around the exhibits. She appears to be from an Orthodox nationalist background, doing national service as an alternative to the military. The students are from a secular school. They have come to learn about the war accompanying Israel’s establishment, particularly the battle for the city where they now stand.

Invented history

The museum displays set the tenor for the tour. The Etzel, it conveys, was heroic, decisive, an unquestionable moral force for good. The Etzel tried to warn its fellow Jews (about the British, the UN partition plan, the Arabs) but was ignored: The Etzel was correct. The Etzel, whose emblem is a hand holding a rifle over the whole of Palestine and Transjordan, fought for your freedom, hesitantly forced into battle by the duplicitous (British, UN, Arabs).

“The Jewish homeland, like the homeland of every nation, is historically indivisible!” an Etzel poster on display reads, referring to the United Nations’ 1948 partition of British Mandate Palestine into what was to be two states—one Jewish, one Palestinian Arab. “Dividing the homeland into pieces is illegal. Compliance of the Jewish institutions with this illegal action is also illegal and does not obligate our people, who will continue to fight to liberate our entire homeland.”

The Arabs were indefatigable aggressors, the students learn. The Etzel tried to make peace with the Jews’ Arab brothers, in an effort to join forces against the British, but was rebuffed. Arab aggression flares up: The Etzel strikes back. They always fought with courage. Arabs mutilated corpses of the fallen. A movie tells the story of some particularly brave martyrs, killed by an Arab horde.

“The conquest of Jaffa was difficult because Etzel’s leadership was so moral,” the guide informs the students when they arrive to the museum’s main exhibit. Chaperones nod in agreement. The guide draws attention to Menachem Begin’s speech before the operation: “Be compassionate with women and children. Whenever someone lifts his hands in surrender, spare him. He is your prisoner, do not harm him.”

That mosque down the road? No one actually went to it, the guide tells the students, because the residents of this neighborhood drank alcohol; the residual implication: They were bad Muslims. But this idea draws some resistance from the students, who looked (and acted) like they were in middle school. “Muslims aren’t allowed to drink alcohol,” one boy protested. The guide conceded that not all Muslims were like this, only these ones were impious.

What happened to these residents? Jaffa, according to the museum, threatened to become “a naval and land base for Arab armies.” Etzel forces set out on April 25, 1948, “to remove the danger it represented to the city of Tel Aviv and its residents.” Etzel fighters start with Manshiyya (where the museum is located):

“After three days of hard fighting,” the museum display continues, “on April 28 the large Manshiyya [sic] quarter was taken with its mosque, Hassan Bek, which had cast a shadow of fear over Tel Aviv” (emphasis added). Jaffa is then finished by the “relentless bombarding” of Etzel mortars, causing “the mass flight of the Arab population.”

All of this account—both in the museum and from the guide— contradicts the well-documented historical facts.

Accurate history

Jaffa was under siege since the beginning of hostilities in November 1947, cut off from other Palestinian-Arab communities and surrounded by Jewish settlements on all sides. According to the historian Benny Morris, the Haganah, the pre-state predecessor to the Israeli army, determined that the city did not pose a threat to Tel Aviv. Jaffa’s leadership was conscious of the city’s precarious position and eager to avoid further escalation, fearful of the economic and social consequences. But in the view of Etzel’s leadership the city was, for the country’s Jewish community, a “cancer,” as it was described, according to Morris, in a meeting finalizing the decision to attack. This was especially so in the Etzel leaders’ view, because of its proximity to Tel Aviv, the militia’s power base.

Jaffa’s residents were further demoralized by a series of attacks specifically targeting civilians by the Etzel and the Lehi, or Stern Gang, another more extreme right-wing Zionist militia. These strikes were denounced at the time as rank acts of terrorism, just as Israel condemns such attacks today when committed by Palestinians. In one case, Etzel operatives dropped a barrel bomb from a vehicle on a busy avenue that rolled down the street and blew up outside of the Café Venezia in December 1947, killing six. In another, Lehi militants exploded a car bomb that destroyed Jaffa’s old town hall in January 1948, killing 28, mostly bystanders.

The city’s upper and middle classes began to flee, leaving behind an increasingly desperate situation as the city’s economy faltered.

Leading the Etzel’s operations against Jaffa was Amichai ‘Gidi’ Faglin, in whose memory the Etzel House is specifically dedicated. As Sharon Rotbard documents in White City Black City, a critical study of Tel Aviv’s history, Faglin employed a then novel tactic in the group’s campaign against Manshiyya. Etzel operatives created what were, in effect, overground tunnels within the neighborhood by blowing holes through the walls of contiguous houses on continuous city blocks, allowing Etzel fighters to move freely through the neighborhood under the protection of shelter.

“Bombarded into submission”

The strategy effectively negated accepted notions of urban space—wall, house, street, inside, out—routing Manshiyya’s outflanked, outmanned defenders, and occasioning the neighborhood’s wholesale destruction. Images of Manshiyya after the war show the sort of wreckage and rubble we are accustomed to seeing in World War II-era Europe, or the Syria of today—accomplished without air power.

Manshiyya, however, was a geographic outlier, jutting into the heart of Tel Aviv. Jaffa required a different strategy. As the museum’s displays indicate, it was bombarded into submission. The Etzel fired approximately 20 tons of imprecise ordnance into Jaffa over the course of three days. There was nothing strategic, or innocent, or incidental, about the indiscriminate barrage of mortars that fell on the city, nor the collapse of order that followed.

In his pre-attack briefing, Faglin said the goal of the mortars was “to prevent constant military traffic in the city, to break the spirit of the enemy troops, [and] to cause chaos among the civilian population in order to create a mass flight.” The majority of casualties were, predictably, civilians. Some Jaffa residents were, literally, driven into the sea, with nowhere else to turn.

Exodus

As one eyewitness, who related that he was “not yet fifteen,” when the bombardment rained down, recalled “I was overwhelmed by the sight of this huge mass of men, women, old people and children, struggling under the weight of suitcases or bundles, making their way painfully down to the wharfs of Jaffa in a sinister tumult. Cries mingled with moaning and sobs, all punctuated by deafening explosions.” Salah Khalaf, the memoirist who related this recollection, later grew up to become deputy chief of Fatah, the large mainstream faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Some 40,000 residents of the city fled this bombardment, in addition to the 20,000 that had already left. More would flee by boat in the following days, until, along with the casualties, only 3,000 to 5,000 residents remained in Jaffa, out of a population of 70,000 to 80,000. Israel barred the vast majority from returning. Even some of those who stayed soon found themselves evicted by recent Jewish immigrants or soldiers seeking war spoils. As Morris recounts in The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited, mass looting and vandalizing continued for weeks and the remaining Palestinian-Arab population was forcibly concentrated in the Ajami neighborhood. Jaffa was “liberated”—from its own residents and history.

The views of the Etzel, however, were not solely confined to a right-wing fringe. David Ben Gurion had been implacably hostile to Jaffa ever since he arrived at its port in 1906. He wrote in his diary in 1936, as quoted by Morris, “Jaffa’s destruction, the town and the port, will happen, and it is good that it will happen … This town, which fattened on Jewish immigration and settlement, deserves to be demolished [because] it swings an axe over the heads of its builders and feeders,” by which Ben Gurion meant the Jews of Tel Aviv (emphasis added). “If Jaffa goes to hell I will not participate in its grief,” Israel’s future founding prime minister wrote.

Jaffa births Tel Aviv

Yet to say that Tel Aviv rose out of the emptiness of the sand dunes, or some other variant of the immaculate conception story, is like saying that Long Island’s Nassau County was forged of some innate life force in the Harbor Hill moraine. If it wasn’t for Jaffa, and especially Jaffa’s port, there would have been no Tel Aviv. Its world-famous citrus industry provided an extant economic base and infrastructure. And it was cheap Arab labor from Jaffa and its environs, according to Rotbard and others, that built many of Tel Aviv’s buildings. Tel Aviv was originally founded as a suburb for Jewish workers in Jaffa.

But Israeli students are unlikely to learn about that Jaffa, its once flourishing culture or the fate of its residents. It is more likely that they will visit the Etzel House, which, with the consent of Israeli authorities, is helping to lay the foundation stones of History for a generation of Israeli students, few of whom will ever completely disinter its conceptual supports. According to attendance figures for 2010, over half of the visitors to the museum were school and military groups, about 10,000 students and soldiers in total.

While it is tempting to blame a rogue tour guide for this whole scene, she, too, is a recent product of the Israeli school system. The Etzel House may seem a small and isolated example, but in some regards it only tells crasser versions of stories long disseminated through Israeli textbooks.

Dayr Yassin

One of the most contentious displays in the museum deals with Dayr Yassin. According to the museum, there was no massacre of more than 100 Palestinian-Arabs in April 1948 in the village of Dayr Yassin—and other than the defensive tone, there’s no hint of the generally accepted fact that it was Etzel fighters who were responsible. Rather, Dayr Yassin was a standard military operation, the fighters faced intense resistance, but overcame—fighting with great courage, presumably—and the operation was a turning point in the war, critical to securing Israel’s independence.

“According to the version which prevailed for many years, about 250 Arabs were killed [at Dayr Yassin],” the museum text reads. “This amazing number created panic among the Arab population and had an indirect effect on its flight from the country during the 1948 war.”

Students do not learn from the display that the village had previously negotiated and enforced a mutual non-belligerency pact with their Jewish neighbors, nor are they confronted with horrifying accounts of the massacre—that this “amazing number” was largely composed of women, children, and the elderly residents of the village.

Sanitized narratives

Perhaps one shouldn’t expect an objective assessment from the EtzeI House, but Israeli textbooks express a similar justification, even if they don’t revel in the casualty count. According to the philologist Nurit Peled-Elhanan, while recent textbooks acknowledge the Dayr Yassin massacre to varying degrees, they all note that the resulting panic and mass flight was critical to securing the nascent state’s Jewish majority. One, The 20th Century: A History of the People of Israel in the Last Generations, concludes, “The escape of the Arabs solved a horrifying demographic problem.”

The Etzel and its activities generally receive positive treatment in these books. “Acts of terror and weapon-smuggling committed by Jewish underground forces and gangs such as the Haganah, the Irgun-Etzel and Lehi (the Stern Gang) against British occupation and against the Palestinian resistance to Zionism before the establishment of Israel,” Peled-Elhanan writes in Palestine in Israeli School Books, “are glorified within the discourse of Jewish emancipation and redemption, while the same acts committed by Palestinians against Israeli occupation are presented in criminal terms.”

It is an awkward fact that the Etzel (and the Lehi) helped pioneer the tactic of spectacular bombings in crowded public areas, such as, for example, a 1938 bomb in Jaffa’s vegetable market that killed 24 people. It was this same tactic that would later be turned on Israeli citizens. Etzel’s approach to violence, and especially the Dayr Yassin massacre, led Albert Einstein and Hannah Arendt, among others, to denounce the militia group as “a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization” in an open letter to The New York Times.

These Israeli textbooks, for all the inconsistencies Peled-Elhanan cites, nonetheless represent an improvement over their predecessors. According to a study by Tel Aviv University education professor Daniel Bar-Tal, these earlier books largely depicted Arabs as primitive and backwards. More recent textbooks Peled-Elhanan found, incorporated more Palestinian viewpoints and even mentioned expulsions during 1948.

Textbook censorship

Lately, however, there has been a retrenchment. In 2009 the Likud party took control of the Ministry of Education with the election of Benjamin Netanyahu. The publisher of one textbook that presented the Palestinian view of 1948—that is, as the Nakba, or catastrophe—was ordered to change the offending section.

That civics textbook, Being Citizens in Israel: A Jewish Democratic State, was regarded as the one most amiable to Palestinian views and events. But the book was sanctioned for being too critical of the state, and especially for emphasizing discrimination against Palestinian citizens. The ministry, now controlled by Naftali Bennet, head of the far-right Jewish Home party, ordered a revision. Published last year, the revised text sparked an uproar among educators for emphasizing Jewish religious and sectarian, rather than civic, values. Some reports found that discussion of Muslim-Palestinian life in Israel had been minimized, largely reduced to a focus on discrimination against women.

In these textbooks and museum exhibitions are the germ of common Israeli attitudes: Israel is never the aggressor, but is the eternal victim of circumstance; the Israeli army is the most moral army in the world; the Palestinians don’t want peace; the Palestinians are to blame for whatever misfortune befalls them. And hovering over all of this, the Holocaust is an omnipresent reality that Israeli school children now must start learning about in kindergarten.

More frightening, perhaps, is what lessons they are inculcating as another “horrifying demographic problem”—a one-state solution—becomes increasingly likely, especially if Israel is to remain a Jewish democratic state. The Etzel House provides students and soldiers with one answer: the ends justify the means.

The presentations on display in this odd building in the no-man’s land between Tel Aviv and Jaffa constitute a small and isolated example perhaps; but it’s a presentation that’s also foundational to the current Israeli government’s worldview:

After the establishment of the state Begin founded a new political party, Herut, which he later merged with other right-wing parties in 1973 to form the Likud, the same party that Benjamin Netanyahu leads today.


Alex Cocotas is a writer living in Berlin. He previously lived in Israel and has written widely about the country’s history and culture.

 

Rather Ironic isn’t it? Germany’s new Nazis see israel as role model

Germany’s new Nazis see Israel as role model

Israel and its supporters have made alliances with racists, anti-Semites and Islamophobes all over Europe. (via Flickr)

“Unfortunately, our worst fears have come true,” Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said of the electoral success in Sunday’s general election of Alternative for Germany.

Known by its German initials AfD, the extreme nationalist party won almost 100 seats in Germany’s lower house.

“A party that tolerates far-right views in its ranks and incites hate against minorities in our country is today not only in almost all state parliaments but also represented in the Bundestag,” Schuster said.

The party is notorious for harboring all manner of racists and extremists, including apologists for Germany’s war record and Holocaust revisionists.

It was a disaster that Germany’s mainstream politicians saw coming.

Sigmar Gabriel, the country’s foreign minister, warned earlier this month that if AfD scored well at the ballot box, “then we will have real Nazis in the German Reichstag for the first time since the end of World War II.”

Pro-Israel funder backs new Nazis

While Germany needs no lessons in how to be racist, this catastrophe can in part be attributed to leaders in Israel and their fanatical supporters: for years they have made common cause with Europe’s far right, demonizing Muslims as alien invaders who must be rejected and even expelled to maintain a mythical European purity.

It can also be attributed to German leaders who for decades have strengthened this racist Israel by financing Israel’s military occupation and oppression of Palestinians.

What happened in Germany is another facet of the white supremacist-Zionist alliance that has found a home in Donald Trump’s White House.

In the past few weeks, liberal flagships The New York Times and The Washington Post have been hunting for the nonexistent shadows of Russian interference in the German election.

Meanwhile, as Lee Fang reported for The Intercept, the Gatestone Institute, the think tank of major Islamophobia industry funder Nina Rosenwald, was flooding German social media with “a steady flow of inflammatory content about the German election, focused on stoking fears about immigrants and Muslims.”

The Gatestone Institute is chaired by John Bolton, the neoconservative former US diplomat notorious for his hawkish support of the invasion of Iraq.

Gatestone articles making claims about Christianity becoming “extinct” and warning about the construction of mosques in Germany were regularly translated into German and posted by AfD politicians and sympathizers.

Story after story claimed that migrants and refugees were raping German women and bringing dangerous diseases to the country, classic themes of the Nazi propaganda once used to incite genocidal hatred of Jews.

In a tragic irony, Rosenwald’s father, an heir to the Sears department store fortune, used his wealth to help Jewish refugees flee persecution in Europe.

His daughter took a different path. Journalist Max Blumenthal has called Nina Rosenwald the “sugar mama of anti-Muslim hate.”

Blumenthal reported in 2012 that Rosenwald “used her millions to cement the alliance between the pro-Israel lobby and the Islamophobic fringe.”

In addition to funding a host of the most notorious anti-Muslim demagogues, Blumenthal reported that Rosenwald “served on the board of AIPAC, the central arm of America’s Israel lobby, and holds leadership roles in a host of mainstream pro-Israel organizations.”

The party of Anders Breivik

In a profile the day after the election, The Jerusalem Report, published by the right-wing Jerusalem Post, gave AfD deputy leader Beatrix von Storch a platform to set out the party’s anti-Muslim ideology.

The Jerusalem Report also quotes German political scientist Marcel Lewandowsky explaining that “AfD members view the European Union as a traitor to Europe’s Christian heritage because they let in the Muslims. The view is that the Islamization of Europe was caused by the EU.”

“Replacement” by Muslims, Lewandowsky explained, “is the core of the fear of AfD voters.”

This means that the core ideology of the party is indistinguishable from that of Anders Breivik, the Norwegian who murdered dozens of his fellow citizens, mostly teenagers at a Labor Party youth camp, in July 2011, in the name of stopping the “Islamization” of Europe.

One of the biggest benefactors of Rosenwald’s largesse, according to Blumenthal, has been Daniel Pipes, the influential pro-Israel, anti-Muslim demagogue who Breivik cited 18 times in his notorious manifesto.

Admiration for Israel

AfD deputy leader von Storch, who sits in the European Parliament, also uses The Jerusalem Report interview to lay out her party’s pro-Israel stance, comparing its German nationalism to Israel’s Zionist ideology.

According to the The Jerusalem Report, von Storch is a founder of “Friends of Judea and Samaria,” a far-right European Parliament grouping that supports Israel’s illegal colonization of occupied Palestinian land.

Bizarrely, that group lists as one of its contact persons the head of the “Shomron Regional Council,” a settler organization in the occupied West Bank.

“Israel could be a role model for Germany,” von Storch told The Jerusalem Report. “Israel is a democracy that has a free and pluralistic society. Israel also makes efforts to preserve its unique culture and traditions. The same should be possible for Germany and any other nation.”

Von Storch’s identification with Israel echoes that of US Nazi demagogue Richard Spencer, who has described his vision of an Aryan “ethno-state” as “white Zionism.”

AfD chair Frauke Petry has also expressed support for Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. In February, she told the right-wing Jewish publication Tablet that her only visit to Israel gave her a positive view of the country.

“Suddenly the picture you get is somewhat different than what you got when you live far away,” she said.

Israel’s settler leaders have taken note. As the world reeled from AfD’s electoral success, Yehuda Glick, a lawmaker in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party, tweeted that all those who were “in a panic” about AfD should rest assured that Petry was working “intensively” to expel any anti-Semitic elements.

Glick, a leader in the apocalyptic movement that seeks to destroy Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque and replace it with a Jewish temple, also recommended an article outlining AfD’s pro-Israel stance.

According to Tablet, Petry’s visit also led her to believe “that Europe should be learning more from Israel in its fight against terrorism.”

According to a recent survey, this strong support for Israel is felt across the ranks of AfD’s leadership.

Alliance with Zionism

There is a clear logic for AfD leaders to join the newly invigorated alliance between far-right, traditionally anti-Semitic forces on the one hand, and Israel and Zionists on the other.

Party chair Petry has argued that Jews should should be willing to talk to AfD over supposedly common interests, explaining, according to Tablet, that “it is the left wing in Germany and new Muslim immigrants who are leading her country’s anti-Israel movement.”

“Both anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are strongest in the Islamic community, as well as the left,” von Storch said. “They reject the fact that the Judeo-Christian foundations of European civilization are instrumental to its success. We recognize the threat they pose to both Israel and Germany’s Jewish community and their safety is a high priority for us.”

This is of course the most brazen revisionism: for centuries Europe’s Christian authorities not only did not consider Jews as a foundational part of their “civilization,” but persecuted them mercilessly, eventually attempting genocide.

But such facts are glossed over in the interests of a present-day anti-Muslim alliance that is prepared to torch the increasingly frayed fabric of pluralistic societies for the sake of Israel and German national purification.

Israel’s support for fascists

Critically, as Glick’s tweets indicate, this has not been a one-way affair. It has been encouraged by Israel and its lobby groups.

The notion that Israel is the spearhead of a Western civilizational battlefront against Islam has been a key claim of Netanyahu.

He and other Israeli leaders have exploited every terrorist outrage in Europe to advance the poisonous message that Israel is “fighting the same fight.”

And powerful Israel lobby groups, such as the Anti-Defamation League, that are now expressing alarm at the electoral success of the AfD, are far from innocent.

For years, the Anti-Defamation League – which poses as an “anti-hate” group – courted and whitewashed influential anti-Muslim hate-preachers because they supported its pro-Israel agenda.

This embrace between Zionists and their supposed opposites continues to thrive in the welcome former Trump advisers Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka have found from Israel and its lobby groups.

Bannon will speak at the Zionist Organization of America’s upcoming gala, while Gorka, who has ties to Nazis and violent anti-Semitic militias, was recently welcomed in Israel.

It can be seen in the Israeli government’s long and conspicuous silence while the rest of the world condemned August’s neo-Nazi rampage in Charlottesville, Virginia.

It can also be seen in Netanyahu’s embrace of far-right European leaders including Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has attempted to rehabilitate his country’s Hitler-allied wartime leadership.

While the brazenness of this alliance may be shocking, it dates back to the early years of both the Zionist and Nazi movements. As Columbia University professor Joseph Massad has pointed out, Zionists and European anti-Semites historically shared the same analysis: that Jews were alien to Europe and had to be moved elsewhere.

And it continues: Israeli commentators are noting that Israel has not rushed to condemn AfD.

Netanyahu – always quick to pounce on the alleged anti-Semitism of Israel’s critics – took to Twitter to congratulate Chancellor Angela Merkel on her victory, but has so far remained silent about the subject that everyone else is talking about.

Going mainstream

Despite its electoral success, AfD is riven by splits: its chair Frauke Petry made the surprise announcement on Monday that she won’t join her party’s parliamentary caucus.

One strategy party leaders are deploying to make AfD more palatable is to try to assuage the fears of the Jewish community.

Undoubtedly, it will continue to attempt to do so by expressing admiration and support for Israel – the same approach as France’s historically anti-Semitic Front National.

We can expect to see AfD double down on its support of Israel, including its colonial settlements in “Judea and Samaria.”

But this is indeed a mark of its mainstreaming. Historically, Germany’s postwar establishment, including the governments led by Merkel, has “atoned” for the country’s genocide of Jews by supporting Israel to commit crimes against Palestinians.

Billions of dollars of German “reparations” went not to helping Holocaust survivors, but to arming Israel to carry out military occupation and colonization.

For Palestinians, then, Merkel’s “moderate” centrism and AfD’s overt bigotry and racism, are little different in effect.

Just as Donald Trump presents the unvarnished face of the American militarism and imperialism that has victimized people around the world for decades, AfD is in some ways a more honest voice of a Germany that speaks of “human rights,” while unconditionally supporting an Israel whose main export is extremism and Islamophobia.

Europe’s nativist racism joined with this ill-wind from Israel produces a toxic mix

israel Doomed

Israel Doomed

Lasha Darkmoon — Darkmoon Sept 23, 2017

“In ten years time, there will be no more Israel.”
— Henry Kissinger, October 2012

dees shot palestinean kid

PALESTINE, COME BACK AGAIN!

A controversial article was published yesterday on the Darkmoon site. Written by brilliant political analyst Franklyn Ryckaert, it was called Israel Is Here To Stay. Within a few hours of publication, the article had elicited almost 100 heated comments denouncing Mr Ryckaert as a “crypto-Jew”, if not a secret agent of Mossad. I was amazed. The readers of our site, being uniformly anti-Zionist, did not wish to hear that Israel was here to stay. They would have preferred to hear the opposite: that Israel was doomed—that certain annihilation awaited evil Zion.
In his closely reasoned article,  Mr Ryckaert advanced the view that the only feasible solution to the Arab-Israeli problem was for the Palestinians to bow before the might of Israel and accept a Two State solution on Israel’s terms. The Palestinians, Ryckaert argued persuasively, needed to be realistic. They were a defeated people and in no position to make demands. They should therefore accept whatever scraps of land Israel was ready to offer them and be grateful. Better a little rump state than no state at all.
I’m afraid I cannot agree with this solution to the Arab-Israeli problem, however reasonable and pragmatic it may appear to be at first sight. This is because it is based on a flawed assumption: the false premise that the Israelis are negotiating in good faith and would dearly love see a Two State solution that is fair and just. I question this basic assumption.
If ever an assumption were false, utterly false, it is this.
I am personally convinced that the Israelis have no intention of handing back any land to the Palestinians. They intend to keep nibbling away at the land ad nauseam, adding illegal settlement to illegal settlement, exactly as they have been doing for the last 70 years. They intend to swallow up every square inch of territory, leaving the Palestinians with nothing but isolated and disconnected bantustans—in short, with open prisons lacking even the basic amenities such as an adequate supply of water.
It is clear to most observers that the Israelis are not negotiating in good faith and this is something the Palestinians know. The mauvaise foi of the Israelis, fully supported in their duplicity by an equally double-tongued Trump administration weighed down with Israel Firsters, is clearly indicated by this comment in a recent article by James Petras:
‘Israel Firsters’ dominate the top economic and political positions within the Trump regime and, interestingly, are among the Administration’s most vociferous opponents. These include: the Federal Reserve Chairwoman, Janet Yellen, as well as her Vice-Chair, Stanley Fischer, an Israeli citizen and former Governor of the Bank of Israel.
Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and an Orthodox Jew, acts as his top adviser on Middle East Affairs. Kushner, a New Jersey real estate mogul, set himself up as the archenemy of the economic nationalists in the Trump inner circle.
He supports every Israeli power and land grab in the Middle East and works closely with David Friedman, US Ambassador to Israel (and fanatical supporter of the illegal Jewish settlements) and Jason Greenblatt, Special Representative for International negotiations. With three Israel Firsters determining Middle East policy, there is not even a fig leaf of balance.
Donald Trump has turned his entire Middle East policy over to his ultra-Zionist Political Advisor (and son-in-law) Jared Kushner and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
Political life in the United States cannot get worse — we really have touched bottom.
In circumstances like these, what hope for the Palestinians getting a fair deal? The Palestinians have no bargaining power, being an essentially defeated people. And beggars, as we know, cannot be choosers. They have as much chance of receiving back a single dunam of stolen land from the Israelis as the defeated Germans stood after WWI from receiving fair treatment from the merciless bloodsuckers who helped to craft the iniquitous Versailles Treaty.
The Jew are exacting taskmasters. The honest Jew Yossi Gurvitz gave the game away in a controversial video called, “When Israel is Mighty”. Here he makes it clear that Jews tend to be nice and accommodating when they have no alternative. When they are weak, they are ready to make concessions. But when they are strong, it’s a different story. Then they are utterly merciless.
Michael Hoffman notes:
“Maimonides ruled that when Judaic persons are weak they should feign friendship for Christians as a way of gaining power over them. But when Judaics are totally dominant, as they are in the Israeli state, they should slaughter anyone who obstructs their supremacy.”
A Two State solution, with Israel conceding land to the Palestinians, is just not possible “when Israel is mighty”. Sooner expect blood from a stone than concessions from Israel.
—   §   —
As far as Israel is concerned, there are no Occupied Territories. There are only disputed territories. And the endgame for Israel is not only the absorption of ‘Judea’ and ‘Samaria’ — i.e. the so-called occupied or “disputed” territories — into Israel proper, or Israel as we know it right now, but the continued expansion of the entire Jewish state beyond its present non-existent official borders into Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey. Known as the Oded Yinon Planthis envisages a Greater Israel stretching from the Nile to the Euphrates:

greater Israel

Obviously, a people intent on conquering new lands are unlikely to hand back bits and pieces of their stolen lands to the wretched people whose lands they have plundered. This is why a Two State solution to the Arab-Israeli problem in Palestine is wildly improbable. How can you conquer new lands if you keep handing them back?
Is Greater Israel the ultimate goal of the Zionist Jew? No, it is not. The Revolutionary Jew will never be content until he has conquered the whole world. The whole world must be his glittering trinket. Nothing less will satisfy his insatiable appetite for power and dominion.
Greater Israel, in other words, is not the ultimate goal of the Revolutionary Jew. It is the penultimate goal. It is simply the stepping stone to full-spectrum world domination by international Jewry.
These prophetic words of Israel Shamir keep ringing in my ears:
“Palestine is not the ultimate goal of the Jews; the world is. Palestine is just the place for world state headquarters. The Jews intend to turn Jerusalem into the supreme capital of the world, and its rebuilt temple into the focal point of the Spirit on Earth. Christianity will die, the spirit will depart from the nations in our part of the world, and our present dubious democracy will be supplanted by a vast theocratic state. De-spiritualized and uprooted, homeless and lonely, yesterday’s Masters of the World will become slaves in all but name.” 

Shamir quote

In light of the above, I see no possibility of a Two State solution. Maybe Henry Kissinger’s prediction — In ten years, there will be no more Israel” — will come true.
—  §  —
Kevin Barrett noted on Press TV some time ago that Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been vilified in the Western media for daring to imagine “a world without Israel.” But according to news reports, Henry Kissinger and sixteen American intelligence agencies were to agree that in the near future, Israel would no longer exist. The New York Post had quoted Kissinger as saying “In 10 years, there will be no more Israel.”
Those were apparently Kissinger’s exact words.
Barrett continues:
The US Intelligence Community agrees, though perhaps not on the precise 2022 expiration date. Sixteen US intelligence agencies with a combined budget over $70 billion have issued an 82-page analysis entitled “Preparing for a Post-Israel Middle East.”
The US intelligence report observes that the 700,000 Israeli settlers illegally squatting on land stolen in 1967 – land that the entire world agrees belongs to Palestine, not Israel – are not going to pack up and leave peacefully. Since the world will never accept their ongoing presence on stolen land, Israel is like South Africa in the late 1980s: An unsustainable pariah state.
The extremist Likud coalition governing Israel, according to the US intelligence report, is increasingly condoning and supporting rampant violence and lawlessness by the illegal settlers. The Report states that the brutality and criminality of the settlers, and the growing apartheid-style infrastructure including the apartheid wall and the ever-more-draconian system of checkpoints, are indefensible, unsustainable, and out of synch with American values.
The sixteen US intelligence agencies agree that Israel cannot withstand the coming pro-Palestinian juggernaut consisting of the Arab Spring, the Islamic Awakening, and the rise of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The US intelligence community report says that in light of these realities, the US government simply no longer has the military and financial resources to continue propping up Israel against the wishes of more than a billion of its neighbors. In order to normalize relations with 57 Islamic countries, the report suggests, the US will have to follow its own national interests and pull the plug on Israel.
Interestingly, neither Henry Kissinger nor the authors of the US Intelligence Report give any sign that they are going to mourn the demise of Israel. This is remarkable, given that Kissinger is Jewish.
Finally, we come to the least obvious – but most powerful – reason for Kissinger’s and the CIA’s complacency in the face of Israel’s implosion: The inexorable trickle-down of knowledge that Israel and its supporters, not radical Muslims, carried out the 9/11 false-flag attacks.
Increasingly, it is not fringe anti-Semitic groups, but high-level responsible observers, who are saying this. Alan Sabrosky, the half-Jewish former Director of Strategic Studies at the US Army War College, has come on my radio show to say that he has discussed with his colleagues the “100% certainty” that Israel and its supporters did 9/11. 
More Americans, including the US intelligence community as a whole, now recognize that the enemies of Israel do not have to be the enemies of the United States. In fact, the US is going broke and sacrificing thousands of lives in wars for Israel – wars that damage, rather than aid, US strategic interests.
As the recognition grows that 9/11 was not a radical Islamic attack, but an act of dastardly, bloody treason by supporters of Israel, it will become ever-easier for American policy makers, following in the footsteps of Kissinger and the sixteen intelligence agencies, to recognize the obvious: The state of Israel has reached the end of its shelf-life.
(Emphasis added)
This being the situation, any Two State solution to the Arab-Israeli problem—with miserly scraps of land handed back to the Palestinians, leaving Israel free to gobble up the best bits of real estate—would appear to be a dead duck in the water. Even if it were feasible, it would never be a fair. It would be a rip-off. Totally unacceptable to the Palestinians.
—  §  —
So what would be the ideal solution to this intractable problem? It would be a One State solution in which Jews and Arabs have equal rights.
In order for such a state to materialize, a state without apartheid, Israel would have to abandon the idea of continuing as an ethnically Jewish state, a state exclusively for Jews. This would be the end of the Jewish dream: a heaven on earth, a heaven haven just for Jews alone.
In a One State Israel-Palestine, Jews would in no time be outnumbered by Arabs. The One State solution would be the death warrant of Zionism. For this to occur, it would have to be imposed upon Israel by international law, by force of arms, with most Jews kicking and screaming “Over my dead body!”
The Jews would sooner blow up the entire world than accept the loss of their homeland. If I were a Jew, I would do no less. Having fought so long and hard for my heaven on earth, my spiritual homeland, I would rather die a thousand deaths than sacrifice my beloved country—the country of my dreams and the dreams of my ancestors. In the squalid shtetls and cold countries of my exile on earth, this was the dream that had kept me warm in the long watches of the night, that I’d cherished in my heart ever since I was a child. ‘Jerusalem tomorrow!’ Yes, I would sooner blow up the entire world and sacrifice everything, seeing it all go up in flames, than give up my bittersweet, mad, impossible dream.
My prognosis is a gloomy one.
There will never be a One State solution to which the Jews will agree, or a Two State solution that is remotely fair to the Palestinians. There will be more bloodshed, more intifadas. The ultimate solution to the Jewish problem will come when the Jews get too big for their boots and Israel is finally destroyed by a hailstorm of nuclear weapons, leaving the entire country a smoldering heap of radioactive ashes.

VIDEO  :  3.25 mins
‘Palestine, Come Back Again!’

This video, featuring a poem by Lasha Darkmoon read by the inimitable ‘Snordster’ (Patrick Willis), has relatively few views. There is a reason for this. When first released several years ago, the video received thousands of views but was banned almost immediately after protests from the Usual Suspects. A second version was released two years later and this time, mysteriously, it was not banned. This is the version you are now seeing. (JSM)
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