The Anti-Semitic Birth of the Zionist State: A History of Israel’s Self-Hating Founders

Self-Hating Jews Feature photo

By Miko Peled

Source

When the victims of Zionism finally have their day in court, the world will see just how cruel and racist the early Zionists really were.

Zhid, Kapo, Nazi, and Little Jew” — are among the epithets used by Zionists to insult Jewish people who oppose or reject Zionism and its racist ideology.

A recent episode of Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro’s podcast “Committing High Reason” recalls the history of Theodor Hertzl, the founder of Zionism and of the Zionist State, and sheds new light on the term “Self-Hating Jew.”

Committing High Reason

Rabbi Shapiro sources all of his claims methodically and when one hears what Hertzl, who was Jewish himself, wrote about Jewish people, the only conclusion is that he was the quintessential “Self-Hating Jew.” There can be no doubt that he hated Jewish people and wanted nothing more than to dissociate himself from the “common” Jew. Furthermore, he was not alone: other Zionist leaders — Vladimir Jabotinsky, Chaim Weizmann, and others — were equally openly hateful of their Jewish brethren.

In 2018, Rabbi Shapiro published a 1,400-page book titled “The Empty Wagon, Zionism’s Journey from Identity Crisis to Identity Theft.”  The book outlines the vast differences that exist between Judaism and its main nemesis, Zionism. The book was written for Orthodox Jews and indeed every Orthodox Jewish home I have visited in the last two years had a copy of this massive work. Even though it assumes a great deal of knowledge about Judaism, the book has an unprecedented amount of well-sourced information, so that even those of us who are not well versed in Judaism can learn a great deal from it.

The information presented in this particular episode of Rabbi Shapiro’s podcast can also be found in his book, and it leads to the undeniable fact that the founder of Zionism — and many of his contemporaries — hated everything about Jews and Judaism and hated the fact that they themselves were Jewish. According to Rabbi Shapiro and many other Orthodox rabbis whom he quotes, it was their hatred of Jews and not their desire to save them from anti-Semitism that was the driving force behind the creation of Zionism and the establishment of a Zionist state.

The founder of Zionism not only believed that the anti-Semitic trolls about Jews were true, but also justified them. He claimed only that these racist accusations applied to the “other” Jews, those who were not as secular and “enlightened” as he.

The story of Hertzl, as it is told in Zionist schools both in Israel and around the world, makes him seem like the savior of Jews, a man motivated by the desire to do good. However, a more in-depth look into the man and his motivations reveals that he despised Jewish people and wanted to separate himself from “common” Jews by creating a space, an existence for people like himself who were Jews by birth but despised what it means to be Jewish.

Vladimir Jabotinsky, the father of right-wing Zionism and today’s Israeli Likud Party, was another classic case of the “Self-Hating Jew.” He wrote that “[t]he Jews are very nasty people and their neighbors hate them and they are right.”

Another Zionist spiritual leader, Uri Zvi Greenberg, wrote: “Those loathsome Jews are vomited by any healthy collective and state not because they are Jews but because of their Jewish repulsiveness.”

Zionists worship physical strength while Orthodox Judaism looks down upon it. In a conversation I had once with Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi Dovid Feldman of New York, I asked about this. I told him that to people like me, who were raised Zionist, Orthodox Jews look weak and pale and very unattractive. Rabbi Feldman looked straight at me and replied: “You have no idea how hard we work to maintain this look. Being a Jew is a spiritual-religious existence, not a masculine physical one.”

Maushel (or Moishel)

In the October 15, 1897 edition of the Zionist paper Dei Welt, a publication that Hertzl founded, he published an essay, titled “Maushe,” about a Jew who is an anti-Zionist. The focus of the essay was a fictional character, a Jew Hertzl called “Maushel,” which was a derogatory name for Jews used by anti-Semites at the time.

Dei Welt
The front page of the Zionist paper Dei Welt circa 1897

Maushel — or Moishel, depending on one’s accent — is the “common” religious Jew. The article was originally written in German, with an English version published in another Zionist publication called The Maccabean. Here are a few examples of how Hertz depicts the Jews in his essay:

Maushel | Theodore Herzl
Maushel | Theodore Herzl

“Maushel is an anti-Zionist. We know him well and long and we always felt disgusted when we saw him.” Hertzl is all the more disgusted and chagrin by being obliged to acknowledge that Maushel is indeed “of our people,” though there is “not the slightest use of being proud of the fact,” which he laments results from “the co-mingling at one dark period of our history of a lower class of people with our nation.”

Hertzl goes on to say that “[t]he disgust which we had for him was coupled with pity. We sought to explain his miserable and wretched appearance. We told ourselves that we must tolerate him that it was our sacred duty to civilize him.” Wanting to disassociate himself from the Maushel Jew, Hertzl says, “He is the terrible companion of the Jews and so inseparable from them that one is always mistaken one for the other. “

Hertzl continues with his blatant hatred and writes that Maushel is “the antithesis of a human being, something unspeakably degraded and obstinate…Maushel proceeds with his own dirty business in poverty Maushel is a wretched schnorrer.” Then sadly Justifying anti-Semitic attacks on Jews, Hertzl says, “Maushel always supplied reasons for the attacks upon us.” In other words the Jews, the “real” Jews” like Hertzl are targeted by anti-Semites because of this distant, unrelated person who the anti-Semites confuse for a Jew.

Further, Hertzl writes:

In the eyes of the anti-Semite the Jew and Maushel were bound together; then Zionism appeared and the Jew and Maushel had to define their position, and now Maushel did the Jews a service: he divorced himself from the union because he is an anti-Zionist.”

In other words, Hertzl claims that only the real Jews are secular Zionist Jews. He then goes on to conflate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism: “When people say that Jews do not support Zionism the answer is no! The Jew cannot be an anti-Zionist, only Maushel is.”

Rhetoric like this is very common in Israel today, that the real Jews are the secular Zionists and religious non-Zionist Jews are described in a variety of derogatory terms.

“That’s fine,” Hertzl continues, “let us be relieved of him. It is an opportunity to purify ourselves of these degrading elements.”

The confusion regarding Jewish identity and the claims that Zionism is part of Jewish identity is very common, and indeed very troubling. This deep misunderstanding of both Judaism and Zionism clearly can be traced back to the founder of Zionism, Theodor Hertzl.

What makes a Jew a Jew?

The great Jewish sage, Rabbi Sa’adiya Ga’on- – whose full name was Sa’id Bin Yousef El-Fayyumi — was one of the most important Jewish rabbinic figures of all times. He was born in Fayyum in upper Egypt in the late Ninth century; went on to study in Tabariya, Palestine, which was an important center of Jewish learning; and later lived, worked, and wrote in Baghdad. In what is considered one of his most important books — “Emunot Ve-Deot,” or “Beliefs and Opinions,” which he wrote in Arabic using Hebrew letters — Ga’on wrote that the people of Israel — in other words, Jews — are a nation only by virtue of their religious laws (he used the term Sharia in Arabic for religious laws). In other words, a people bound by faith.

Saadiya Ga'on
A Page from Rabbi Sa’adiya Ga’on’s book “Emunot Ve-Deot”

According to Hertzl, Jews are a nation because, as he put it, “our enemies made us one without our consent; distress binds us together.” The former defines Jewish people as a religious group bound by laws and faith, the latter as an undefined group united by the hatred of non-Jews.

A eulogy to Hertzl

Vladimir Jabotinsky’s eulogy to Hertzl was a monumental offering of praise and even veneration. First published as a booklet in Odessa in 1905, it was written in Russian and later translated into Hebrew. In it, Jabotinsky discusses the legacy of Hertzl, whom, despite their differences, he admired deeply. In one section, Jabotinsky praises the wonderful features of a Hebrew and compares them to what he calls the disgusting features of a Jew. Instead of saying Jew, he used the horribly degrading, anti-Semitic term “Zhid.”

Dr. Hertzl
“Doctor Hertzl,” the cover of the booklet containing Jabotinsky’s eulogy

The eulogy begins with Jabotinsky admitting that no one has ever seen a true Hebrew (“None of us has seen the true Hebrew with our very eyes.”) and continuing on to say that the Jew we see around us today is not a Hebrew but a Zhid (“And so today, we take as our starting point the Zhid, and try to imagine his exact opposite,” in an effort to imagine a Hebrew.).

Vladimir Jabotinsky Likud
Vladimir (Zeev) Jabotinsky’s photo on the Likud Party website

“Because the Zhid is ugly, sickly,” the father of Israel’s Likud Party writes, “we will give the ideal image of the Hebrew masculine beauty, stature, massive shoulders, vigorous movements,” Jabotinsky concludes:

The Zhid is frightened and downtrodden, the Hebrew proud and independent. The Zhid is disgusting to everyone, the Hebrew should be charming to all. The Zhid accepts submission, the Hebrew ought to know how to command. The Zhid likes to hide from the eyes of strangers, the Hebrew will possess brazensess and greatness.”

Hertzl, according to Jabotinsky, was the perfect specimen of the Hebrew that no one has ever seen.

Zionism — for whom?

If indeed Hertzl and the other leaders of Zionism were self-hating Jews and looked down upon the “common” Jew, what was their motivation for establishing Zionism and working so hard to found a Zionist State?

In Chapter One of his book, Rabbi Shapiro quotes one of the most respected rabbis of his day, Rabbi Chaim Soloveichik, who lived in Eastern Europe at the end of the nineteenth century. According to the quote, Rabbi Soloveichik says that Zionists wanted to create a state in order to destroy Judaism.

In other words, Zionists were secular and viewed themselves as enlightened and better than the “common” Jew. They looked down at Torah-observant Jews. They wanted a place where people like them, who did not look or live like “common” Jews, would be able to live without having to deal with (or even see) observant Jews, and where they could be like other nations.

The State of Israel was not created for the “common” Jew, the one with a long beard and payot (the curls that dangle from the side of their heads), those who lived in the shtetl (ghettos) of Europe. Neither was the Zionist state created for the Arab Jew, but for the secular European Jew, who wants more than anything to be European.

In a book that describes how Zionist leaders viewed the Jews of Europe, there is a photo that shows Jews in the market in Nalewni Ghetto in Warsaw. There is a quote attributed to Chaim Weizmann, a major leader in the Zionist movement and later the first president of the State of Israel. The caption reads, “Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel, or Palestine) was not meant for the peddlers of Nalewski, Warsaw.” These are the Jews that Hertzl and the other Zionist leaders despised.

When the victims of Zionism finally have their day in court, the world will see just how cruel and racist the early Zionists really were. The world will see that Israel, today’s Zionist state, is a perfect reflection of what the early Zionists were: racist, violent, and hateful.

In Israel today, Ultra-Orthodox Jews who oppose Zionism are despised and ridiculed; non-religious, anti-Zionist Jews are pushed away; and Palestinians are merely collateral — the price that needs to be paid so that the vision of Hertzl and the other “Self-Hating Jews” could become a reality.

The Vaxi-Nation – People like no one else

 BY GILAD ATZMON

The Vaxi Nation.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

PM Netanyahu announced on Sunday that Israel is set to “purchase or produce 36 million vaccines in the next year.”

If you wonder why a nation of 9 million people that already gave half of its population two doses of the Pfizer vaccines needs 36 million vaccines, the answer is devastating:  the mass vaccination campaign may help Netanyahu to secure his victory in the coming election but its long term impact on the nation’s health is ‘unknown,’ to say the least. To be slightly more realistic, it may be catastrophic. During the press conference Netanyahu admitted, “the vaccines we have, no one knows how long they last…We need to prepare for the worst scenario. The worst scenario is that we have to vaccinate (twice) every half year.” That would mean acquiring as many as 36 million vaccines, assuming that all 9 million Israelis require two doses every six months.  

For one reason or another, the Israeli regime has managed to reduce a particularly healthy nation that saw very little deaths in the first Covid-19 wave (about 30 people altogether in between 1st March and 1st June) into a ‘Vaxi-Nation’: people who are dependent on a constant supply of life-sustaining mRNA substances.  

Netanyahu also predicted that “the entire world will compete for those vaccines …I am again determined to bring Israel to the top of the list.”  He vowed to make the Jewish state into a “vaccine empire.

 The truth of the matter is that Covid-19 and the way it is being handled in Israel brings to light every problematic aspect in Jewish Diaspora life, culture and attitude which Early Zionism vowed to eradicate or at least to amend.

Zionism’s ideological forefathers promised to make Jews “people like all other people.” Zionism swore to bond the new Hebrews with nature. The early Zionist thinkers were repulsed by the Diaspora Jewish ghetto life and culture. They looked  to establish a harmonious relationship between the new Israelites and their environment. This is the mantra that led the early Zionists to seek redemption through Labour and in particular by means of agricultural life.

In 2021 not much is left out of that precious search for an authentic bond with nature. The contemporary Israelites (or at least their leaders) do not trust nature or the ability of the Israeli people to bond harmoniously  with their own bodies. The contemporary Israelites are actually tormented by nature and especially the viruses that come with it. Instead of searching for peaceful terms with Covid, the Israelis are recruited as ‘a nation’ to join an all-out ‘war of annihilation’ against the little menace.

In its fight against Covid-19, Israel has repeated every mistake it made throughout its short history. Instead of seeking coexistence, it aims at annihilation. Israel doesn’t just protect its elders and the vulnerable while investing in natural herd immunity, it plans to vaccinate the entire population including children and pregnant women up to four times a year. And like in their war against countless enemies, Israel fights the little Corona monster ‘by way of deception’ a.k.a mRNA inoculation. They insist on tricking the little viral menace but so far, they have only managed to trick themselves on a colossal scale. In the last 8 weeks of Pfizer mass vaccination, Israel doubled the number of Covid-19 deaths it had accumulated throughout the previous 10 months of the pandemic. It is hard to imagine a bigger blunder. Although the Israeli experiment is presented to the world as a ‘success’ by the compromised media, in Israel mainstream outlets are not convinced by the success of the Pfizer experiment, especially considering that the ‘R number’ is back at 1 and likely to rise further. 

Zionist founding fathers (such as A.D Gordon, Dov Ber Borchov, Katznelson and even David Ben Gurion ) believed that transforming Diaspora Jews into authentic Israelites wasn’t just a possibility but an essential existential transition. Zionism offered the Jews a new beginning. Many Jews, including my European family and even myself, were excited by this spiritual offering. Many Jews left the Ghetto behind, they made Aliya and became agricultural workers in new collective societies known as Kibbutzim. At this stage, those Israelis who openly oppose the Pfizer/Netanyahu ‘experiment’ and are fighting authoritarian state interference with  their private and intimate health affairs are probably the last real Zionists. Unlike Netanyahu, who claims to be an ardent nationalist, those Israeli dissenters insist to reconcile with nature and be people ‘like all other people.’ 

Zionism as an ideological ethos didn’t survive for much time. It didn’t take too long before some Jewish dissidents were brave enough to admit that Zionism didn’t solve what it identified as the ‘Jewish problem,’ it instead just moved it to a new location. The first Israelis quickly developed animosity towards the indigenous people of the land who quickly became the new Goyim du Jour. This animosity evolved in less than two generations into a conflict with the entire region that is known as the “Israeli-Arab Conflict.” While Zionism was determined to crash the Ghetto walls, Israel has surrounded itself by walls higher than any ghetto’s in Jewish history.

Yet, the Israeli Arab conflict is not exactly a local or a regional battle between two remote foes; it has quickly morphed into global chaos. It’s no coincidence that America, Britain and France have found themselves more than once fighting Zionist imperialist wars in the region. It isn’t a secret that America is invested in the conflict and practically operates on behalf of Israel as a remote subservient colony. If Herzl had a dream to diminish the influence of Jews on world politics, AIPAC in the USA, the CFI in the UK, the CRIFF in France prove the opposite. As I am writing these words Israel and its lobby are invested in pulling the world into a conflict with Iran. It isn’t hard to see that Israel is also investing a huge effort in pulling the world to follow its suicidal path in its war against Covid by means of global mass vaccination and green passport policies.

Zionism promised to make the ‘timid Diaspora Jew’ into a fearless warrior. Israel’s early military victories (1948, 1956, 1967, and even 1973) conveyed the image that such a transformation was indeed possible.  But the Israeli army hasn’t won a single battle for decades. The Israelis aren’t the warriors they promised to become. On the contrary, the Israeli approach to Covid reveals that Israelis are once again as timid as their Diaspora ancestors. They are enthusiastically buying into the Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder (Pre-TSD) that made Jewish history into a chain of horrific disasters. The Israelis, like their Diaspora ancestors, are tormented by a phantasy of a future annihilation. They act upon it and actually make such an imaginary destructive scenario into the reality in which they live.   

As far as I can tell, the Israeli Pfizer “experiment” encapsulates the total defeat of the Zionist dream. The Israelis admit to the world and more importantly, to themselves, that this promised bond with nature, authenticity and the Biblical epic narrative didn’t happen after all.  If Zionism vowed to make Jews people like all other people, the Vaxi-Nation are actually people like no one else. All the rest of us must do at this stage is to make sure that this is how things stay. We must defy any attempt to make us join the ‘Vaxi-Nation’. We must invest  instead in learning how  to live in peace and harmony with our neighbours and more particularly with the universe.

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