Canadian Jews condemn suppression of criticism of Israel

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Unionist
Canadian Jews condemn suppression of criticism of Israel

This statement was rejected by both the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail (as an op-ed). Please help this important statement get into broad circulation - pass it on to your networks (faculty, community, MPs, university presidents, unions etc.).  You may also wish to write to the Star and Globe editorials and express your  dismay that they have chosen not to publish it.

Jewish Canadians Concerned About Suppression of Criticism of Israel

James Deutsch, M.D., Ph.D.

Judith Deutsch, M.S.W., R.S.W.

Miriam Garfinkle, M.D.

Over 150 Jewish Canadians signed a statement expressing their concerns about
the campaign to suppress criticism of Israel that is being carried on within
Canada. The signatories include many prominent Canadians, including Ursula
Franklin O.C., Anton Kuerti O.C., Naomi Klein, Dr. Gabor Mate, and
professors Meyer Brownstone (recipient of Pearson Peace Medal), Natalie
Zemon Davis, Michael Neumann, and Judy Rebick. *

The signatories are particularly concerned that unfounded accusations of
anti-Semitism deflect attention from Israel's accountability for what many
have called war crimes in Gaza. They state that B'nai Brith and the
Canadian Jewish Congress have led campaigns to silence criticism of Israel
on university campuses, in labor unions and in other groups. Immigration
Minister Jason Kenney and Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff unquestioningly
echo the views of these particular Jewish organizations.

They strongly state that they are against all expressions of racism. While
firmly committed to resisting any form of prejudice against Jewish people,
their statement explicitly states that these spurious allegations of
anti-Semitism bring the anti-Communist terror of the 1950s vividly to mind.
The statement underlines the immeasurable suffering and injustice to the
Palestinian people due to the severe poverty, daily humiliations, and
military invasions inflicted by the State of Israel.

Statement: Jewish Canadians Concerned about Suppression of Criticism of
Israel

We are Jewish Canadians concerned about all expressions of racism,
anti-Semitism, and social injustice. We believe that the Holocaust legacy
"Never again" means never again for all peoples. It is a tragic turn of
history that the State of Israel, with its ideals of democracy and its dream
of being a safe haven for Jewish people, causes immeasurable suffering and
injustice to the Palestinian people.

We are appalled by recent attempts of prominent Jewish organizations and
leading Canadian politicians to silence protest against the State of Israel.
We are alarmed by the escalation of fear tactics. Charges that those
organizing Israel Apartheid Week or supporting an academic boycott of Israel
are anti-Semites promoting hatred bring the anti-Communist terror of the
1950s vividly to mind. We believe this serves to deflect attention from
Israel's flagrant violations of international humanitarian law.

B'nai Brith and the Canadian Jewish Congress have pressured university
presidents and administrations to silence debate and discussion specifically
regarding Palestine/Israel. In a full-page ad in a national newspaper,
B'nai Brith urged donors to withhold funds from universities because
"anti-Semitic hate fests" were being allowed on campuses. Immigration
Minister Jason Kenney and Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff have echoed these
arguments. While university administrators have resisted demands to shut
down Israel Apartheid week, some Ontario university presidents have bowed to
this disinformation campaign by suspending and fining students, confiscating
posters, and infringing on free speech.

We do not believe that Israel acts in self-defense. Israel is the largest
recipient of US foreign aid, receiving $3 million/day. It has the fourth
strongest army in the world. Before the invasion of Gaza on 27 December
2008, Israel's siege had already created a humanitarian catastrophe there,
with severe impoverishment, malnutrition, and destroyed infrastructure. It
is crucial that forums for discussion of Israel's accountability to the
international community for what many have called war crimes be allowed to
proceed unrestricted by specious claims of anti-Semitism.

We recognize that anti-Semitism is a reality in Canada as elsewhere, and we
are fully committed to resisting any act of hatred against Jews. At the
same time, we condemn false charges of anti-Semitism against student
organizations, unions, and other groups and people exercising their
democratic right to freedom of speech and association regarding legitimate
criticism of the State of Israel.

Signatories:

Abigail Bakan
Adam Balsam
Sharon Baltman
Julia Barnett
Lainie Basman
Jody Berland

Sam Blatt
Geri Blinik
Anita Block
Elizabeth Block
Sheila Block
Hannah Briemberg
Mark Brill
Stephen Brot
Meyer Brownstone
Eliza Burroughs
Smadar Carmon
Gyda Chud
Charles P. Cohen
Nathalie Cohen
David Copeland
Natalie Zemon Davis
Eliza Deutsch
James Deutsch
Judith Deutsch
Abbe Edelson
Jack Etkin
Elle Flanders
Danielle Frank
Ursula Franklin
Dan Freeman-Maloy
Miriam Garfinkle
Alisa Gayle
Jack Gegenberg
Mark Golden
Brenda Goldstein
Sue Goldstein
Cy Gonick
Marnina Gonick
Rachel Gotthilf
Amy Gottleib
Kevin A. Gould
Daina Green
Lisa Frances Greenspoon
Ricardo Grinspun
Cathy Gulkin
Rachel Gurofsky
Deboran Guterman
Yesse Gutman
Freda Guttman
Judy Haiven
Michael Hanna-Fein
Jean Hanson
Jan Heynen
Maria Heynen
Adam Hofmann
Jake Javanshir
Jeannie Kamins
Marylin Kanee
Howard S. Kaplan
Gilda Katz
Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta
Mira Khazzam
Bonnie Sher Klein
Mark Klein
Martin Klein
Naomi Klein
Joshua Katz-Rosene
Ryan Katz-Rosene
Judy Koch
Anton Kuerti
Jason Kunin
Aaron Lakoff
Michael Lambek
Natalie LaRoche
Richard Borshay Lee
Andy Lehrer
Gabriel Levin
Gabriel Levine
Joel Lexchin
Kim Linekin
Abby Lippman
Lee Lorch
Martin Lukacs
Audrey Macklin
Elise Maltin
Richard Marcuse
Wayne Mark
Gabor Mate
Arthur Milner
Anna Miransky
Dorit Naaman
Joanne Naiman
Neil Naiman
Michael Neumann
David-Marc Newman
David Noble
Clare O'Connor
Robin Ostow
Andre W. Payant
Jenny Peto
Simone Powell
Chanda Prescod-Weinstein
Fabienne Presentey
Yacov Rabkin
Diana Ralph
Naomi Rankin
Judy Rebick
Ester Reiter
Jillian Rogin
Richard Roman
Joseph Rosen
Herman Rosenfeld
Martha Roth
Marty Roth
Ruben Roth
E.Natalie Rothman
B. Sack
Ben Saifer
Miriam Sampaio
Jacob Scheir
Fred Schloessinger
Alan Sears
Shlomit Segal
Edward H. Shaffer
Noa Shaindlinger
Ray Shankman
Eva Sharell
Elliot Shek
Sid Shniad
Max Silverman
Samuel Singer
Elizabeth Solloway
Susan Starkman
Greg Starr
Jonathan Sterne
Jeremy Stolow
Rhonda Sussman
Vera Szoke
Joe Tannenbaum
Howard Tessler
Marion Traub-Werner
Ceyda Turan
Sandra Tychsen
Cheryl Wagner
Jon McPhedran Waitzer
David Wall
Naomi Binder Wall
Kathy Wazana
Karen Weisberg
Barry Weisleder
Paul Weinberg
Judith Weisman
Suzanne Weiss
Abraham Weizfeld
Ernie Yacub
B.H. Yael
Yedida Zalik
Melvin Zimmerman

Naci_Sey Naci_Sey's picture

Blogged.

And the "news" and "opinion" industry wonders why people no longer consider it relevant.

Red T-shirt

I have read the op and completely agree with the position taken by those who wrote and signed the letter. This is obviously a ham-fisted attempt to stiffle legitimate debate about the sins Israel is committing in Gaza. It's hard to stand against the tide and point out that Israel is wrong and committing war crimes. It's harder still if every time you open your mouth our government is going to lable you an anti-Semite. This is bullshit that must be opposed! Shame on both the Star and Globe for refusing to print this. I have written my letter of complaint to the Star & I hope many other babblers will do the same.

Skinny Dipper

I will agree with contents of the letter.  I also agree that at least one of the papers should be publishing it.  I won't suggest that they must.  I do think that the letter was well-written and that readers could be gaining new information from it.

I don't know if I should suggest trying the National Post.

I won't propose any solution to the Israel-Palestine issue.  It will be between the Israelis and the Palestinians to agree or impose a one or two state solution.  They'll need to live with their actions.

On the issue of Israel being an apartheid state, if we wish to label Israel as such, I think in general that if we should propose a boycott, we should make clear to Israel the requirements that would stop it from being labelled an apartheid state and end a boycott.

We should be free to criticize Israel without being labelled anti-Semitic or anti-Jewish.  As for me, if I criticize Israel, it is because I want Israel to become a better place for Jews and other people.

remind remind's picture

Done unionist!

Eliezer Zusken

I too have read this letter and there are some statements for which I have great sympathy.This paragraph however I found disturbing:

"The signatories are particularly concerned that unfounded accusations of
anti-Semitism deflect attention from Israel's accountability for what many
have called war crimes in Gaza. They state that B'nai Brith and the
Canadian Jewish Congress have led campaigns to silence criticism of Israel
on university campuses, in labor unions and in other groups. Immigration
Minister Jason Kenney and Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff unquestioningly
echo the views of these particular Jewish organizations."

Is there actual proof for example that any Jewish organization has "led campaigns to silence labour unions?" Besides the usual caterwauling around Sid Ryan what other hard proof do you have of this charge?To me it sounds terribly conspiratorial and hyperbolic without some back-up. The only other thing I would comment on is the style of the "op-ed". As a writer I can note that this is not in an op-ed style. It reads much more like a news release (albeit a rather long news release). Frankly it leaves me cold. A statement with such good beginnings should have been better referenced with appropriate journalistic style.  

sgm

Well, the Globe's refusal to run the statement sorts well with their decision to publish this piece by Yossi Klein Halevi, which concludes with this attack on unnamed "detractors":

Ironically, those among Israel's detractors who turn every Israeli act of war into a war crime and subject the Jewish state to a level of moral judgment not applied to any other nation are acting in the worst interests of the Palestinian people. For by deepening Israel's sense of siege, they help empower the same hard-line forces they deplore.

While I understand Zusken's points above, it is clear from Halevi's op-ed that "references" and "proof" are of little interest to the Globe's editorial board, since Halevi makes several claims that would not withstand five minutes of Googling, let alone a rigorous fact-check.

So, while one might wish for more specifics in any piece of writing, the lack of them in the text Unionist has provided is very unlikely to have been the reason for its rejection by the Globe.

Machjo

Judaism ≠ Zionism

Though I oppose Zionism, I think there are approapriate ways of going about it, and publishing the statement above would be a wonderful way of doing to.

We do need to keep it clearly separated from anti-semitism. I remember reading one article recently of a protest in which one man was approached by a protestor and called a 'F***ing Jew.' He did support Zionism, but that's still not a reason to intimidate him and insult him as a Jew. Such actions only hurt the cause of justice in Israel, because then Zionists use such incidents to effect, make sure they get published, and thus can successfully portray the other side as anti-semite. Very effective PR on their side.

From a PR standpoint, I think it would make more sense, especially for non-Jews, to limit protests to petitions, letter-writing campaigns, and ideally even educational programmes, either at schools, in living-rooms, or in public libraries, but certainly not by intimidation and calling people 'F***ing Jew'. There are ways of doing it without attracting accusations of anti-semitism to ourselves, and I think publishing the statement above is definitely an effective way of doing so. It's conservative, in good taste, and yet gets the message across clearly while distancing itself emphatically from anti-Semitism at the same time.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Whatever Stockholm.

Machjo

http://www.nkusa.org/

 

Another organization worth working with.

Stockholm

It may surprise people to know that I for the most part agree with the letter. However, I don't know that I would accuse the Star and the Globe of "refusing to print" it. The fact is that newspapers get HUNDREDS of unsolicited articles, petitions and press releases a day - only one or two of which make it into the paper. Just because they don't choose to publish this doesn't mean that its some sort of conspiracy.

I'm not sure what you do this this document if you are a newspaper. It reads like a long, long letter to the editor or maybe a news release - but newspapers NEVER public letters to the editor or news releases that are anywhere near that long. I've also never heard of a major newspaper publishing a petition free of charge. It could never be an op-ed piece because it isn't written in the journalistic style of that either - there is no analysis - just a petition style rant (much of which I agree with - but that doesn't make it journalism). 

I suggest to the people behind this letter that they follow one of two strategies. Either raise money to run the letter the petition as a full page ad in the paper, OR get ONE of the signatories who knows how to write and who is well-known (like maybe Naomi Klein)  to submit a journalist-style commentary that is a suitable op-ed piece. Something like that would probably have a very good chance of being published. 

But you can't blame a newspaper for not publishing a petition free of charge. They never do that for anyone.

If signatories offered to buy ad space and the newspapers refused to publish the letter, THEN I would agree that the newspapers have done something wrong. But they are not under obligation to give free space to anyone.

Machjo

http://nswas.org/

 

Yet another organization with a firm foundation for peace in the Middle East.

DrConway

Where were these people 20 years ago when I first tried to say that Israel's actions against Palestinians were criminal?

At the time was people tried to shut me up by calling me an anti-Semite. 

Unionist

DrConway wrote:

Where were these people 20 years ago when I first tried to say that Israel's actions against Palestinians were criminal?

At the time was people tried to shut me up by calling me an anti-Semite. 

People tried to shut me up 40 years ago for the same thing, but they had to call me a "self-hating Jew".

As for the Neturei Karta, they have been around since 1935. They opposed the creation of the state of Israel and still do.

Star Spangled C...

Naturei karta are a "shanda fur de goyim" and no serious Jewish group, religious or secular, takes them even remotely seriously.

Unionist

That may be true, SSC, but at least they're ok in a negative sort of way. They don't sing apologias for racism, ethnocentric hegemony, aggression, violation of international law, occupation, apartheid, and mass murder - as some of your "serious Jewish groups" do. So I forgive them their fringe ultra-orthodox sectarianism.

Anyway, the only reason they were mentioned in this important thread is because Machjo is surfing the internet and tossing links around in his effort to build a better world.

Why don't you comment on the 150 serious Jewish Canadians who have condemned the antisemites like Jason Kenney and Stephen Harper, SSC? And why do the mainstream media not flock to them with cameras to get this hot story about prominent Jews who oppose Israeli crimes? That's a more serious topic of discussion. 

aka Mycroft

Star Spangled Canadian wrote:
Naturei karta are a "shanda fur de goyim" and no serious Jewish group, religious or secular, takes them even remotely seriously.

Curiously, I used the exact same expression to describe Frank Dimant, leader for life of Bnai Brith Canada, to his face. 

Unionist

My second healthy laugh of the morning! I would hope, though, that you called him both a shanda and a herpah. Thank you, Mycroft.

 

Michelle

Actually, I agree with those who say that the letter really isn't written in op-ed form.  It sounds more like a petition than an op-ed piece, and so I'm not surprised that the papers refused to print it in op-ed format.

The fact, though, that they're refusing to report on it, and reporting so one-sidedly (with the odd exception included merely to stoke the apartheid supporters' fire), and not covering Israeli Apartheid Week at all beyond statements from pro-Apartheid groups claiming it's a "hate fest", is disgusting. 

Unionist

Michelle, I agree with you. In my own feeble defence, I simply copied the entire text of the OP from an email I received - including the introductory paragraph. The fact that it may have been rejected as an op-ed piece is not shocking (though it might have worked as a letter to the editor). The fact that the MSM portray Jews as Zionists - or attacks on Israel as attacks on Jews - is.

 

Star Spangled C...

aka Mycroft wrote:

Star Spangled Canadian wrote:
Naturei karta are a "shanda fur de goyim" and no serious Jewish group, religious or secular, takes them even remotely seriously.

Curiously, I used the exact same expression to describe Frank Dimant, leader for life of Bnai Brith Canada, to his face. 

Generally, whenever anyone sort of "appoints' themself as the "representative" of any large, homogeneous group amd uses it to try to get media attention and push their personal agenda it ends up really poorly and they alienate a good chunk of the people on behlaf they claim to speak. Whenever I hear Dimant or any of these other "professional Jews" I get a feeling that i imagine must be similar to the one Barack Obama gets whenever he sees Al Sharpton on TV.

Star Spangled C...

Michelle wrote:

Actually, I agree with those who say that the letter really isn't written in op-ed form.  It sounds more like a petition than an op-ed piece, and so I'm not surprised that the papers refused to print it in op-ed format. 

Agree with you on that, Michelle. Are thy trying to raise money to put it out as a full paper ad? That's how these things tend to go...

Stockholm

Sid Ryan doesn't seem to have any trouble getting his columns published in such anti-Zionist hotbeds (lol) as the Toronto Sun and the National Post and i have seen plenty of other articles critical of Israel as well. In fact the foreign affairs columnist of the Toronto Sun Eric Margolis is very pro-Palestinian (and a very good writer too).

I would like to see more publicity given to the views of Jewish-Canadians who are against the policies of the current Israeli government and in fact I would have no problem adding my name to the petition above. BUT, as i said above, if this group wants to get publicity for their case in the mainstream media - there is a way to do it and that way is NOT sending major daily newspapers a petition full of "be it resolved that" style clauses and expecting them to publish it. There are plenty of intelligent, talented writers among the signatories - let one of them write a well-reasoned op-ed column that synthesizes the views expressed in the petition and I would be surprised if the major papers don't run it.   

Naci_Sey Naci_Sey's picture

The letter has become part of a blogburst. Also, someone reported my blog post (in which I duplicated the letter) to reddit so it has begun going the rounds by that route too. 

Unionist

Naci_Sey, I sniffed around [url=http://challengingthecommonplace.blogspot.com]your blog[/url] a bit after following the link there. Wonderful! Don't know how I missed it before.

And thanks for helping this release go viral. I wish I knew more about blogbursts and reddit...

 

Caissa

I'm a betting he meant "heterogeneous". Context and all that. Wouldn't want to get side-tracked with elitist, pedantry would we?Wink

Unionist

At least we're not pastorized.

 

Cueball Cueball's picture

Star Spangled Canadian wrote:

Generally, whenever anyone sort of "appoints' themself as the "representative" of any large, homogeneous group amd uses it to try to get media attention and push their personal agenda it ends up really poorly and they alienate a good chunk of the people on behlaf they claim to speak. Whenever I hear Dimant or any of these other "professional Jews" I get a feeling that i imagine must be similar to the one Barack Obama gets whenever he sees Al Sharpton on TV.

I just learned that Jewish people are homogenous.

I can tell you where that statement went wrong right off. Definitely should not have reminded anyone of the anti-communist terror of the 50's. It is a fair point, but one that carries a lot of baggage.

Caissa

Not shofar, Unionist.

aka Mycroft

Unionist wrote:

My second healthy laugh of the morning! I would hope, though, that you called him both a shanda and a herpah. Thank you, Mycroft.

 

I called him a shanda right after he accused me of not being Jewish. It shut him up pretty quickly.Smile

Unionist

All right, Caissa and Mycroft, now you've got me giggling. Stop it right now.

 

Cueball Cueball's picture

Caissa wrote:
I'm a betting he meant "heterogeneous". Context and all that. Wouldn't want to get side-tracked with elitist, pedantry would we?Wink

I am sorry, the point that Jewish people are found in all cultures and come from a multitude of ethnic and racial backgrounds has been worked to death, even by in the name of Zionism, and certainly in the name of anti-racism. And rightly so, because it is true. Jewishness religious belief is likewise diverse.

I find these repeated attacks on anti-Zionist orthodox Rabbis, as "a shame before the nation", to be very strange in this context. I rarely see this kind of commentary about the Rabbis leading up the charge in Hebron, even though they are clearly wingnuts, whose influence on Israeli settlement policy goes far beyond their appeal in "mainstream" Jewish culture.

Unionist

Cueball wrote:

I find these repeated attacks on anti-Zionist orthodox Rabbis, as "a shame before the nation", to be very strange in this context.

What "repeated attacks"? The attack came from SSC. SSC has not hidden his sympathy for Zionism on this board. Nothing strange about him mocking anti-Zionist rabbis. He doesn't tend to acknowledge that besides this tiny fringe ultra-orthodox sect, there are vast numbers of Jews. religious and irreligious, orthodox and atheist, who are disgusted by Israel and its policies. Talking about Neturei Karta is a typical ploy (introduced here by Machjo, surprise surprise) to gloss over the widespread revulsion felt by the non-fringe.

 

Cueball Cueball's picture

He has made this point before. Therefore it is a repetition.

Unionist

Cueball wrote:
He has made this point before. Therefore it is a repetition.

Ah, ok, I got it - yes, he has.

 

Star Spangled C...

Cueball wrote:
[

I just learned that Jewish people are homogenous.

damn! I meant "heterogenuous!

Star Spangled C...

Unionist wrote:
Cueball wrote:

I find these repeated attacks on anti-Zionist orthodox Rabbis, as "a shame before the nation", to be very strange in this context.

What "repeated attacks"? The attack came from SSC. SSC has not hidden his sympathy for Zionism on this board. Nothing strange about him mocking anti-Zionist rabbis. He doesn't tend to acknowledge that besides this tiny fringe ultra-orthodox sect, there are vast numbers of Jews. religious and irreligious, orthodox and atheist, who are disgusted by Israel and its policies. Talking about Neturei Karta is a typical ploy (introduced here by Machjo, surprise surprise) to gloss over the widespread revulsion felt by the non-fringe.

 

Guys, if you look at anything I've said on this subject, I was very clear in acknowledging not only that there are vast numbers of orthodox Jews who vehemntly oppose zionism but ahve said that this was basically the norm among orthodoxy pre-1948. even since the establishment of the state of Israel, many in the orthodox camp (Chassidus Ger, for example) who participate in Israeli civic life still maintain an officially anti-Zionist theological position.

The founder of Satmar hasidism, rabbi Joel Teitelbaum (ZTL) was one of the great tzadikim of the last century. this is a man who survived Bergen Belsen eating nothing but raw potatoes because he refused to eat non-kosher food even in that situation. He survived, moved to brooklyn and rebuilt a shattered and decimated community into the biggest hasidic group in the world with a vast network of shuls, yeshivot and charitable organizations. Despite not being anything close to orthodox let alone hasidic, I can't walk through their neighbourhood in brooklyn without being overcome by a sense of civic/ethnic/fuck-the-nazis pride.

And the Satmar rebbe and his followers are as vehemently opposed to zionism as anyone out there (for theological reasons). But Naturei karta is a fringe splinter group that has, among other things, participated in an Iranian Holocaust denial conference where they embraced Ahmadinejad. The current Satmar leader (nephew of Rebbe Teitelbaum) has issued an edict banning them from Satmar synogogues and schools.

I mean, jsut google them or go to Wikipedia and see to what extent this group represents a compelte fringe even among the ultra-orthodox. Denouncing them and pointing that out doesn't equate to "mocking anti-zionist rabbis" - especially since these self-described "Ultra-orthodox" rabbis are willing to violate the Shabbos in order to participate in anti-Zionist initiatives.

Cueball Cueball's picture

What about the freaks in Hebron who are leading the IDF around by the nose?

Star Spangled C...

Was that directed to me? What about those guys?

Unionist

Actually, let's forget about this thread diversion. I'm kind of interested in SSC's take on the press release in the OP.

 

Saber

The distinction between being Jewish and supporting the Israeli government is, I think a very basic distinction.  It is unfortunate that it even needs to be asserted.  To equate a monolithic political view or the actions of a state apparatus with an entire ethnic group is racist.  It implies that "they all think alike."  To call criticism of Israeli policy anti-Semitic also implies that Israeli policy in the occupied territories benefits all Israelis equally.  As though wealthy land developers in the Knesset and privileged politicians with heavy investments in the arms industry have the same vested interests as everyday working Israeli's.  That is absurd.  Though the US government tries to pull the same tactic on it’s own population, people do not buy it. War always takes a greater toll on the poor than on the rich.  It is the poor who rely on the public services that are being curtailed now in Israel to pay for the bellicose policies of the government.There are layers of racism / anti-Semitism active in the notion that to be "Jewish" is to support the Israeli government.  For one thing, it blanches over a class analysis of how war-like policies affect Israelis differently on the basis of their economic background.  I can't help but wonder if this stems from the notion that Jewish people have money.  Well the ones in the Knesset sure do. Just like people in Congress do.  But that doesn't mean that the people they represent have the same privilege, or that the kids they send off to fight in Gaza are going to reap the same benefits from the spoils of war as the politicians they fight for. We have no problem identifying war profiteering when it happens in Congress but somehow people are blind to how this can happen in Israel. 

Stockholm

"War always takes a greater toll on the poor than on the rich.  It is the poor who rely on the public services that are being curtailed now in Israel to pay for the bellicose policies of the government."

Its also the poor in Israel who tend to vote overwhelmingly for the most rightwing warmongering parties.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Have a link Stockholm?

Unionist

Stockholm wrote:

Its also the poor in Israel who tend to vote overwhelmingly for the most rightwing warmongering parties.

You mean the 20% of Israelis who are Arab? Nope.

Or are they rich? Uh-uh.

Or did you forget about them? Aha! There's a long noble tradition of that.

 

Machjo

Sorry Star Spangled. I was aware Naturei Karta was Orthodox, but never realized how much of a fringe they were. My only point was that I was aware that there were plenty of Jews that oppose Zionism and that was the one I'd heard of the most.

 

So what can you say about Neve Shalom? It's a group I'd heard about a few years ago and know a little about, but not too much.

 

And a side note to Unionist. You're not a very good clairoyant. Stick to the text and stop misreading between the lines.

Unionist

Neve Shalom are a fascinating group. They started out as air traffic controllers in Jonquières, got fed up with language hegemony, decided to speak only Esperanto, and moved to Fort Knox, where they adopted gold as a universal currency. They built up a nest egg and sent missives to 150 prominent Canadian Jews, asking them to appeal publicly for the reform of Canadian linguistic and air navigation policies, to conform with ICAO directives. Unfortunately the Jews, speaking only a Litvak variety of Yiddish, misconstrued the missives, and instead issued a news release condemning the suppression of criticism of Israel in Canadian society.

See how easy it is to remain on topic - you can get there even where you come from!

 

Machjo

Unionist wrote:

Neve Shalom are a fascinating group. They started out as air traffic controllers in Jonquières, got fed up with language hegemony, decided to speak only Esperanto, and moved to Fort Knox, where they adopted gold as a universal currency. They built up a nest egg and sent missives to 150 prominent Canadian Jews, asking them to appeal publicly for the reform of Canadian linguistic and air navigation policies, to conform with ICAO directives. Unfortunately the Jews, speaking only a Litvak variety of Yiddish, misconstrued the missives, and instead issued a news release condemning the suppression of criticism of Israel in Canadian society.

See how easy it is to remain on topic - you can get there even where you come from!

 

 http://nswas.org/rubrique22.html

 And it's all in English too, if that helps at all? And here's how they describe themselves:

"Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam is a cooperative village of Jews and Palestinian Arabs of Israeli citizenship. The village is situated equidistant from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv-Jaffa."

From what I can see of their website, they're quite opposed to the Israeli occupation of Gaza. And no, that's not Esperanto up there (I have no idea why you always insist on bringing that topic up), but Hebrew and Arabic. Honestly, I can't see what it is exactly that's so dispicalbe about them in your mind.

Unionist

Machjo, please read the thread title. Then read the opening post. Then consider whether you have anything to say about the subject. If not, there are many many other threads dealing with Jews and Zionism and Israel. If you can't find the right one, just open one. I know you know how.

Please. And thanks.

 

Saber

Stockholm wrote:

Its also the poor in Israel who tend to vote overwhelmingly for the most rightwing warmongering parties.

Many people would make the same sort of statement about voting tendencies here in North America. I think sometimes that the less political and economic power one has, the more difficult it is to be anti-establishment.  The privilege of enjoying four some years in the intellectual shelter we call university is highly conducive to political activism and critical thinking.  This may have something to do with the phenomenon you are referring to. 

What creeps me out most about the Jewish = Israeli Government equation is that it blames Jewish people for the actions of the Israeli government far more than it blames ethnic Christians for the actions of the US government.  Why should that be the case? Why do so many people assume that the Israeli government represents the wishes and interests of Jewish people more than the US government represents American people?  Americans take public international blame for the actions of their government but no where near to the degree that Jewish people are blamed for the actions of Israel. Or to the degree that Palestinians are blamed for the actions of Hamas I might add.

Now the argument is made, "But they are doing it.  They are saying that to criticise Israel is anti-Semitic."  It is the very notion of that “They” that worries me.  That “They” is a construction.  It is used to manipulate ideas about what is acceptable and what is unacceptable policy in the Middle East.  That "They" is not a Jewish construction.  It is a "Western" construction.  And it is Imperial.

 

 

Machjo

Unionist wrote:

Machjo, please read the thread title. Then read the opening post. Then consider whether you have anything to say about the subject. If not, there are many many other threads dealing with Jews and Zionism and Israel. If you can't find the right one, just open one. I know you know how.

Please. And thanks.

 

Sorry about that. I'll start another thread then.

Stockholm

"What creeps me out most about the Jewish = Israeli Government equation is that it blames Jewish people for the actions of the Israeli government far more than it blames ethnic Christians for the actions of the US government.  Why should that be the case?"

There is a simple explanation for that. The United States is one of about 100 countries in the world that are largely Christian - so why would people link "Christians" to the actions of one country with no official state religion that happens to have a majority Christian population. If Christians were a persecuted minority all over the world and there was only one country named "Christiania" whose founding principle was to be a sanctuary for Christians - that would be a different story and that would be analogous to the relationship between most Jews and Israel.

Today all of downtown Toronto was filled with Tamil-Canadians waving Tamil Tiger flags. Why should these people care about what happens in Sri Lanka? Why can't they just be Canadians and let the Tamils in Sri Lanka fight their own battles?

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