That Old WASPy Anti-Semitism: Israeli Policy and Anti-Semitism

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  1. Avatar Brooke
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    Nobody should have to fear persecution or harm because of their religion. While there are the usual right-wing nationalists in many European countries, they are not the driving force behind the worst of modern European Anti-Semitism. During the recent offensive in Gaza, I remember reading that much of the current anti-Semitism in Europe derives from immigrant Muslim populations and their descendants — the Germans chanting in the streets were largely Turkish in origin, while the crowds in France tend to include lots of North Africans.

    As it was in the mid twentieth century, Eurpean anti-Semitism is a problem that must be solved in Europe. The rights of and safety of Jews must be protected, as they must be for all ethno-religious groups.

    By Zionist sympathies, we think that the history of the world is filled with justification for why there needs to be a nation-state for the Jews, for our people.

    The issue that I have with Israel remains the circumstances surrounding its founding. Perhaps, in light of the European hatred and genocide of World War II, a Jewish state might have been a reasonable response. The problem is that there was no justification for placing this state in Palestine, among the lands of a people who had done nothing to merit their own tragic dispossession at the hands of European foreigners.

    The fact that Western powers in and their allies were not very open to Jewish refugees after the war ought to be a source of deep shame, especially as they sought to foist off those refugees on another land and people whose own rights were conveniently ignored. Because of this, I cannot support Israel so long as it remains a state that preferences immigrants of a single ethno-religious group over the rights of the indigenous Palestinians.Report

    • Avatar James K in reply to Brooke
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      @brooke

      Israel ended up there because that territory was under the administration of Great Britain after picking over the bones of the Ottoman Empire in WWI. By the rules that governed that part of history, it was theirs to give, and they gave it; after all they stole it fair and square. Out of curiosity, where would you have put Israel?

      I would also note that you identify a large Muslim population as the cause of European anti-Semitism and then admonish Israel for not accepting a population at least as anti-Semitic into what is their only back-up plan the next time the pogroms start (for if European history teaches us nothing else about this matter, its that anti-Semitic pogroms are a question of when, not if).

      I don’t like what Israel is doing, I believe that laws should stand independent of religion or ethnicity. But I can’t really blame the Israeli government for acting the way it does, they see this as a matter of survival, and people will disregard notions of fairness when they feel their very existence is at stake.Report

    • Avatar j r in reply to Brooke
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      The problem is that there was no justification for placing this state in Palestine, among the lands of a people who had done nothing to merit their own tragic dispossession at the hands of European foreigners.

      This is a pretty common belief about the founding of the state of Israel, but it’s not particularly accurate. Palestine itself was created by a British Mandate over an area that was formerly part of the Ottoman Empire. And there has been a continuous, although small, Jewish presence in Palestine since antiquity. By 1948, about 30% of the population was Jewish.

      And no one “placed” the state of Israel there. The original UN plan was for for the partition of Palestine into an Arab state, a Jewish state, and for the city of Jerusalem to be an international zone. The Jewish population largely supported this plan, with the exception of a small minority who wanted to claim the whole thing for Israel. All the Arab countries, however, refused the plan and eventually attacked Israel with the aim of driving the Jews into the sea.

      The early history of the state of Israel is mostly about Jewish settlers defending themselves against Arabs who did not want them there. The Palestinian disposition was caused mostly by the other Arab states attacking Israel, which created roughly 700,000 Palestinian refugees. And it is worth noting that, at the same time, roughly 600,000 Jews living in other areas of the Middle East were forced to flee as well. The difference is that Israel accepted those Jews, while the other Arab states mostly kept the Palestinians in refugee camps for fear of disrupting their own domestic politics.

      I say all of this as someone who is very critical of the present policies of the Israeli government. History, however, is history.Report

      • Avatar Brooke in reply to j r
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        The presence of a small, native Jewish community isn’t in dispute. As I said, the people who already lived there had the right to keep on living there. What I object to is the goal of importing thousands of European Jews over the objections of the indigenous people, who were mostly Palestinian.

        For decades, they registered their objections with the foreign powers they were subject to, and their pleas fell on deaf ears.That this happened while the great powers were packing up their colonial regimes in the rest of the world and realizing that what they had done was wrong, is particularly tragic.

        Why should it be morally acceptable to throw open the doors to foreigners who have the objective of outnumbering and displacing the Palestinians, even if the rest of the world and the post-war agreements permitted it?Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to j r
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        So you’re not objecting to the formation of the state of Israel in 1948 so much as you are objecting to the preceding decades of Jewish migration to the are? That is an even less defensible position.

        Why should it be morally acceptable to throw open the doors to foreigners who have the objective of outnumbering and displacing the Palestinians, even if the rest of the world and the post-war agreements permitted it?

        Why should it be morally acceptable to exclude immigrants from a particular place based on their religion or ethnicity? If I object to having a Mexican immigrant move into the house next door to me, can I just claim that I fear the neighborhood will eventually be overrun with Mexicans? If I complain about all the Mexicans moving into my neighborhood, can I claim that my “pleas fell on deaf ears” when the government does not intervene?

        You are making an anti-immigration argument and trying to disguise it as an anti-colonial one.Report

      • Avatar Brooke in reply to j r
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        @j-r

        My argument is both against the founding of Israel and the decisions about allowing immigration of foreign Jews that proceeded it.

        Why should it be morally acceptable to exclude immigrants from a particular place based on their religion or ethnicity?

        Because that was the determination of the people who lived there, who were engaged in their own national awakening and the development of their own country. Just because the United States has a policy of being open to immigration doesn’t mean all other peoples are obliged to come to the same decision.

        The fact is that the Arab people of Palestine were under the impression that the British would reward their cooperation in WWI with a state of their own. When it turned out the British made incompatible promises to European Jews, they were well within their rights to be angry. Who wouldn’t be upset at a government on another continent doing things with your land over your own objections?Report

      • Avatar Guy in reply to j r
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        @brooke Israel was founded approximately 65 years ago. Please conduct your arguments concerning its founding then.

        Do you have anything to say to the government of Israel now, concerning either their policies towards Gaza and the West Bank or their efforts to help Jews who feel threatened in their homes countries in Europe? Do you have anything to say to those Jews who do not feel comfortable in nations that are, in the words of those French protesters quoted in the OP, “not theirs”?Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Brooke
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      @brooke

      You are completely ignoring the fact that Jews originated in the Middle East. We are from the land called Israel/Palestine/Judea. Palestine is nothing more than what the Romans called the land when they were the colonial occupiers of the area.

      Why is that the Jews are the ones who are told we were away from our ancesteral homeland for too long?Report

      • Avatar Brooke in reply to Saul Degraw
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        Yes, Jewish religion and culture did originate in the Middle East, and throughout history, Jewish people formed communities all over the world. Having a majority there a couple thousand years ago does not mean that you can simply gather up all the distant descendants of those people, show up, and expect to own the place again.

        The rights of the people who stayed and were living in the land at the time take precedence.

        My ancestors came to America from a several countries over the past 100-200 years. However much I think of myself as culturally and ethnically descended from those people, I cannot just show up in their countries of origin and expect to be welcomed “home” and awarded citizenship. And it’s only been a couple of centuries there. It’s more than a bit ridiculous to expect that owning something a couple thousand years ago entitles you to ownership forever.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Saul Degraw
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        You are completely ignoring the fact that Jews originated in the Middle East. We are from the land called Israel/Palestine/Judea. Palestine is nothing more than what the Romans called the land when they were the colonial occupiers of the area.

        Why is that the Jews are the ones who are told we were away from our ancesteral homeland for too long?

        @saul-degraw , please understand I say this as (generally) a supporter of Israel (if not certain specific actions and policies the modern nation has taken) and her right to exist. I think Israel is generally a pretty good neighborhood in the midst of some pretty bad ones, culturally and politically speaking.

        I understand *why* what was done to found the modern state of Israel was done; and more importantly, what’s done IS done, and I don’t expect, nor want, Israel to pack up and leave or anything. I’d like to visit Israel one day.

        None of what follows is meant to be inflammatory.

        But you have to understand that appeals to ancient history/homelands don’t completely resolve these types of questions, right?

        What if the Canaanites’ descendants gather together and want to come home tomorrow? Is Israel going to hand them the keys and meekly move back to now-Iraq, where Abraham was born?

        At some point there’s some sort of statute of limitations, and those people whov’e been living in a place for generations upon generations have some claim on that place, yes?

        If there was a disapora of Native Americans, and they came back to the US tomorrow and wanted to run the show here, that would be a hard sell.

        And that’s fairly recent history, and I think most modern Americans have a general understanding of the raw deal the Native Americans got and would accept that they have a valid claim/point (and I am fully aware that Jews have gotten a raw deal in recent history, more than once, to put it EXTREMELY mildly).

        Doesn’t mean that any claim the “returning” Native Americans (really, their descendants) made would (or should) automatically take precedence over the claims of the people living there now.

        As unfair or unjust as that may seem in the long timeline, it would occasion much injustice and strife in the short timeline.

        (You know, an interesting post could be made out of the idea of “justice/fairness” claims, running up against variable timelines and POVs).

        Setting things “right” from one POV can be totally “wrong” from another.Report

      • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Saul Degraw
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        To my mind the moral problem is less the Jews returning to the land between the Jordan and the Mediterranean (which isn’t to say that I don’t have at least some issues with that) as it is the expulsion and occupation of the Palestinians that were living there before the Zionist project. It’s one thing to return to your homeland; it’s another entirely to return and kick out whoever happens to be living there.Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to Saul Degraw
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        It’s one thing to return to your homeland; it’s another entirely to return and kick out whoever happens to be living there.

        Except that is not what happened. The Jews/Israelis did not expel the Palestinian Arabs. The Arabs became refugees in the war that occurred when the other Arab countries attached Israel. And the subsequent occupation of Palestinian territory occurred subsequent to other wars.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Saul Degraw
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        @glyph

        I hear your points but I do generally accept that the United States should return some Federal Land to Native Americans. This includes the Black Hills in the Dakotas. The Federal Government is currently holding a lot of money in trust for the Sioux that is supposed to be in exchange for the Black Hills. The Sioux want their land back and I would give them some of it.

        And I do think that the Israel should stay out of the West Bank and Gaza via unilateral withdrawal and telling the Settlers “best of luck” if you want to stay.

        The reason I get so defensive is that there is a personhood issue at stake. Everyone seems to get to define whether Jews are a religion, an ethnicity, a race based upon their own ideological needs and convenience at the time. Jews do not get the right of self-definition about whether we are a religion and/or an ethnicity and/or a race.Report

      • Avatar Brooke in reply to Saul Degraw
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        @j-r

        Many of those who “became refugees” did so as a result of deliberate actions by Jewish forces in the 1948 war. There was a policy of clearing Arab villages and expelling the inhabitants in a way that would prevent their return. That sounds an awful lot like kicking out the people who live there to me.

        Refugees have a right to return to their homes. For the entire time of its existence, Israel has done its best to deny this right to the people it is due. It destroyed their villages, gave away their land and houses to foreigners, and passed laws making it impossible for Palestinians to claim their rights.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Saul Degraw
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        Don and Brooke,
        Okay, you seriously want to tell me that the people with Tanks didn’t have much to do with people fleeing?
        Yes, some people were “expelled”. That happened because they “weren’t siding with the winners”. You fight, you flee. Maybe you come back with pitchforks.
        (Name the european country I’m talking about, I dare you — or the war, I’ll take that too.)

        Plenty of Palestinians stayed. Israel is not a Jew-only society, and Arabs do serve in its military.Report

      • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Saul Degraw
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        @kim @j-r As Brooke said above, there was definitely an element of deliberate expulsion. But even if none of the Palestinians left their homes in the 1948 war as a result of deliberate action by the IDF, they weren’t allowed back to their homes after the cease-fire. How is this not “kicking out” people living on the land? Isn’t Right of Return to this day a non-starter for the Israelis?Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Saul Degraw
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        Don,
        “Dance to the rhythm of love, feel heaven under your feet” — Dil Se
        So you’re just as fucking pissed at Pakistan and India?
        Seriously, Israel/Palestine ain’t the only place in the world that’s fucked up from colonialism.Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to Saul Degraw
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        @don-zeko

        As I said, there were definitely lots of instances of Jewish/British aggression against Arabs in the years leading up to the establishment of Israel, but it goes both ways. Don’t be selective in ignoring that Arabs were active participants in the hostilities.

        Basically, you are blaming the Jews for winning.

        As I also said, there is plenty for which to legitimately criticize the government of Israel, both now and in the years since 1948. That being said, there is a rather large Arab minority within Israel that enjoys full enfranchisement. The Israelis are very heavy-handed with the territories. That is a problem. Full stop. There are, however, reasons for that.

        All I am saying is, let’s be accurate about history and stop trying to paint this as a story of constant Israeli oppression of the Palestinians, because that narrative leaves out a whole lot.Report

      • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Saul Degraw
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        @j-r Of course the Israelis get criticized for winning. If they had lost in 1948, or in 1967, or in 1973, their opponents would probably have done things at least as immoral to them as what Israel has done to the Palestinians. But that’s not what happened, so we aren’t arguing about it. The fact that they aren’t fighting angels doesn’t mean that their actions don’t need to be justified or that the ongoing victims of Israeli policy can’t make moral claims. Nor does it change much of anything, @kim , that Israel isn’t the only country that has ever behaved badly in this way.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Saul Degraw
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        Don,
        What’s that slogan again?
        “Never Again.”Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Brooke
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      @brooke

      Another problem is Israel has been there now for over 60 years and you aren’t going to get several million people to move away very easily.

      It is a pipedream to think that you can get every single Israeli to move to the United States or somewhere else and make all of the land for the Palestinians. A rather naive one at that.Report

      • Avatar Brooke in reply to Saul Degraw
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        No, the original sins of Israel cannot be completely undone, but a just goal would be to build a secular state that recognizes and respects the rights of the Palestinians to their land and no longer preferences Jewish immigration or Jewish citizens over the native ones.

        We can and should make it a priority to undo the ethnic cleansing and to restore the property and rights of those who were dispossessed by the Haganah and its extremist allies, instead of watching while Israel continues to discriminate and marginalize.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Saul Degraw
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        Brooke,
        By Haganah, surely you mean the Irgun, right? haganah was pretty mainstream…Report

      • Avatar Brooke in reply to Saul Degraw
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        Kim

        Irgun is one of the groups I was referring to when I said “extremist allies.” But these extremists were not the only ones participating in deliberate ethnic cleansing. They were the most violent and the most visible, certainly. Early Israeli leaders made no secret of their expansionist aims.Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to Saul Degraw
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        Sorry Brooke, but your argument is completely bogus. Just about every country in this earth, including the Arab ones, was founded on some measure arbitrarily establishing borders and including some and excluding others, but for whatever reason you’ve singled out Israel to be tagged with “original sin.”

        And you are arguing in circles. On the one hand, you are arguing against Jewish immigration to the area that was an Ottoman territory and then a British Mandate on the grounds that the Palestinian Arabs were “engaged in their own national awakening” and, therefore, had the right to exclude Jews. And now you are saying that its wrong for Israel to build a Jewish state that excludes Arabs (which it does not do by the way).

        If you want to argue against the present reality of the way that Israel administers the Palestinian territories, you are on solid ground, but your description of history is completely biased. If you go back to the years preceding 1948, you will probably find a fair amount of Jewish/British atrocities committed against Arabs and you’ll also find a fair amount of Arab atrocities committed against Jews. At least try to be a little even-handed.

        And this:

        The fact is that the Arab people of Palestine were under the impression that the British would reward their cooperation in WWI with a state of their own. When it turned out the British made incompatible promises to European Jews, they were well within their rights to be angry.

        The UN partition plan would have done exactly that, accommodate the promises that the English made to the Palestinian Arabs and the Jewish settlers and give each their own state. It would not have been easy, but it could have worked. Unfortunately, other Arabs immediately attacked Israel.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Saul Degraw
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        Brooke,
        Your bile would be better directed against Hussein, whose ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians was for an act of terrorism against his own person.

        But, hell, why waste the ink on Transjordan?Report

      • Avatar Brooke in reply to Saul Degraw
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        @j-r

        Most countries founded in the last century were not built upon a deliberate mass migration of people to another continent, with the purpose of possessing a land that was home to another people. Israel’s history is fairly unique in that regard.

        It’s perfectly reasonable to see Israel’s discriminatory status as a “Jewish state” as a continuation of the same unjust policies that led to its creation. The people in charge are different now, but that change doesn’t negate the rights of the indigenous population.

        Your statements seem to assume that the Palestinians were just expected to acquiesce without protest to the arrival of these Europeans. Perhaps you expected them to watch approvingly as their homeland was taken over while their own wishes were ignored by the same colonial powers backing this massive influx of foreigners. And then, of course, they were expected to agree to give away 56% of their own land to this newly-arrived, foreign minority.

        The refusal of the Palestinians to countenance any of this treatment is natural and expected. That the new arrivals and their allies continued to push the Palestinians to accept something any other nation and people would find unacceptable is completely appalling. What other people in this time period would be expected to ratify their own dispossession?Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Saul Degraw
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        Brooke,
        What, you’ve never heard of Pakistan? Kurdistan?
        I assure you that Japan is FAR more discriminatory against its ethnic minorities than israel is. (interesting question which culture is more misogynistic though).Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to Saul Degraw
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        @brooke

        What does deliberate have to do with anything? Almost all immigration is deliberate.

        You still have not addresses the fundamental inconsistency in your argument: that the Arabs had every right to try and exclude Jews, but that Jews are committing some great injustice by trying to make Israel a Jewish state. You can convincingly argue one, but when you try to hold both points of view, it becomes obvious that you are holding the two groups to drastically different standards.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Brooke
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      partially concurring with James — their next door neighbor is a despot (a nice one, Hussein). He got rewarded because his family fought for the Brits way back when. He’s also responsible for much persecution and pain to the Palestinians.Report

      • Avatar Brooke in reply to Kim
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        Jordan’s actions in 1948 were also motivated by a desire to prevent a Palestinian state, no doubt. If the colonial powers were more knowledgeable and realistic about what they were trying to do in that part of the world, they ought not to have tried to plant Hashemite regimes in Jordan and Iraq.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Kim
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        Brooke,
        The assassination attempt against Hussein happened far later than that. (well, he’s had several, actually. But Context!)Report

  2. Avatar LeeEsq
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    The idea that European Jews could stop all the anti-Semitic attacks against them by simply not supporting Israel has been a popular one in recent years even though its ludicrous for several reasons. A person’s right to physical safety should be independent of their beliefs regardless of their beliefs. If Western Muslims were under attack by Christians because of the actions ISIL against Middle Eastern Christians than I’m relatively sure few people would tell Western Muslims that if they just distance themselves from the ISIL and denounce Hamas than everything will be good. The response of the Humanitarian Left would be the opposite.

    A related flippancy is the snack that European Jews who are immigrating to Israel should come to the United States as Andrew Sullivan suggested is flippant. Immigrating to the United States or any other developed country with permanent status is very difficult. A Jewish just can’t show up and say my shop was smashed in an anti-Semitic riot, please give me a green card. It doesn’t work this way. Since 1924, people needed to jump through hoops to get status for the most part in the United States. Anybody covering the saga with the Central American children should know this.Report

    • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to LeeEsq
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      If Western Muslims were under attack by Christians because of the actions ISIL against Middle Eastern Christians than I’m relatively sure few people would tell Western Muslims that if they just distance themselves from the ISIL and denounce Hamas than everything will be good. The response of the Humanitarian Left would be the opposite.

      Maybe if you’re limiting this discussion to the “Humanitarian Left,” I might agree, but even there there are exceptions. But there has been a tendency in the US, at least since September 12, 2001, to blame Muslims here for actions of extremists elsewhere.

      The rest of your comment I agree with.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Gabriel Conroy
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        Excellent point, @gabriel-conroy .Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Gabriel Conroy
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        But there has been a tendency in the US, at least since September 12, 2001, to blame Muslims here for actions of extremists elsewhere.

        How has this manifested?

        I remember a Sikh getting beat up, a 7-11 clerk getting shot, and All-American Muslim getting cancelled after a boycott.

        Is there a point at which this ceases to map 1:1?Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Gabriel Conroy
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        Jay,
        lots of discrimination against muslims creating religious centers. probably some job discrimination.Report

      • Avatar Brooke in reply to Gabriel Conroy
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        @jaybird

        It’s a pretty common refrain on the right to lament the “lack of condemnation” from moderate Muslims here and abroad just about every time there is a major action by an extremist group.

        Likewise, the invented outrage over the “Ground Zero mosque” (which was neither at GZ nor a mosque) played on the demonization of Muslims in general. Mosques have been attacked and construction supplies destroyed at several places throughout the country because of a tendency to assume all Muslims support terrorism.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Gabriel Conroy
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        Is all that is what is going on in Europe is bemoaning Jewish folks not complaining more about Israel?

        I thought we were complaining about riots.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Gabriel Conroy
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        Gabriel Conroy, the big difference is in how it manifests. Western Muslims have not faced the violence and vandalism that European Jewish communities have faced, allgedly over Israel. There have been no murder sprees at Muslim schools to my knowledge and no protests that devolved into progroms. Mosques are not routinely graffiited with anti-ISIL or Al-Qaeda slogans.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Gabriel Conroy
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        Lee,
        I’d look at Muslim Matters before I’d put forth something like you just said. I figure best case that they’re seeing vandalism, if not death and murder.

        But nobody goes out to fucking “HUNT JEWS” do they?
        They hunt blacks (Yes, dead serious, go look at FieldNegro’s site, he covered it).Report

      • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to Gabriel Conroy
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        Is there a point at which this ceases to map 1:1

        Probably.Report

      • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to Gabriel Conroy
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        @leeesq

        the big difference is in how it manifests. Western Muslims have not faced the violence and vandalism that European Jewish communities have faced, allgedly over Israel. There have been no murder sprees at Muslim schools to my knowledge and no protests that devolved into progroms. Mosques are not routinely graffiited with anti-ISIL or Al-Qaeda slogans.

        Well, in your comment, you were framing a hypothetical. “if”…something happened to western Muslims, “then relatively few people….” would do something. The fact, if it is a fact, that that’s not happening in Europe isn’t the point I’m addressing. To be frank, I realize only now that’s what you were saying, but I hadn’t when I wrote my comment. However, my understanding is that immigrants to Western Europe from Muslim dominant countries don’t get treated too well by many of the same rightists who are engaging in the antisemitic attacks. And for all I know, fears about ISIS or other groups (in the 90s in France is was the Front Islamique du Salut)

        But a larger point is that even if there is a rough equality in how Muslims and Jews are mistreated, that doesn’t make the antisemitic attacks any less outrageous. I was calling out what I struck me as a gratuitous and irrelevant statement in an otherwise very good comment.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to LeeEsq
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      I think you mean the snark instead of the snack but otherwise I agree.

      What would be the snack of the European Jews? Probably ruggelah.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to LeeEsq
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      “A person’s right to physical safety should be independent of their beliefs regardless of their beliefs. ”

      If Israel was willing to recognize this, things would be better, I think.
      I’ve got audio tapes if you don’t believe me.Report

  3. Avatar Gabriel Conroy
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    Saul,

    You’re right. That’s pretty bad. I clicked on the link to Shipman’s comment, just to check the context, and that didn’t make what he said any better.Report

  4. Avatar Kim
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    Oi, Oi, wave the flag.
    People Hate us, I wonder why.

    To people who aren’t Jewish: A large portion of Jewish identity in America is wrapped up in being discriminated against — and making sure other people know about/remember it. Now, as there is less discrimination in America, the incidents in Europe need to be trumpeted about. Hell, I remember the class where the “Outbreak of Anti-Semitism” in Japan was trumpeted as “oh, god, we need to send people over there!”Report

  5. Avatar Damon
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    “Here is what most Jews with Zionist sympathies do not have, connections to Israeli politics. Many of us do not have Israeli relatives”

    Maybe not, but do you support America’s massive military and non military support of the Israeli state?Report

  6. Avatar Patrick
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    First, a disclaimer:

    None of what I’m about to say should imply that the Jews shouldn’t try to preserve their cultural, religious, and ethnic identity. None of it says that the current anti-Semitism of Europe or the Middle East isn’t risible and morally monstrous.

    You are completely ignoring the fact that Jews originated in the Middle East. We are from the land called Israel/Palestine/Judea. Palestine is nothing more than what the Romans called the land when they were the colonial occupiers of the area. Why is that the Jews are the ones who are told we were away from our ancesteral homeland for too long?

    Aside from the rest of the conversation, this phrasing is weird to me.

    I’m not a good enough study of anthropological geopolitics to make any definitive statements, here, but my impression of the history of the world is that virtually everybody is no longer where they originally were, and they usually got where they are with a good helping of what Alex called “a little of the ol’ ultra-violence”. People move to new land, their culture changes to where it was distinct from where they came from (due to all sorts of reasons), they develop sufficient independence from the overall genetic strain of humanity to be called a distinct group… and then eventually some other group comes along and either kills them off, drives them off, or displaces them as the dominant culture and assimilates them, thus changing their own cultural and genetic makeup.

    Wash, rinse, repeat.

    The Picts were displaced and assimilated by other Celts who were displaced and assimilated by the Saxons who were displaced by the Normans and the Bretons. The Normans were originally from Scandinavia via France.

    If “right of return” was really a “right”, then the British need to get off their butts and go back to Finland and let the Irish move back to London. Except of course the Irish aren’t really Celtic any more, and the Picts are long vanished from the Earth except as perhaps a small strain of genetic code somewhere in Tipperary or something. We’ll not mention the fact that most of the folks most everywhere would need to back up, squeeze out whatever remnants exist of the culture they absorbed, and let that take its “rightful” place as the previous owners.

    The Huns, the Visigoths, the Amorites, the Kassites, the Sumerians, etc., etc. The long laundry list of peoples who aren’t peoples any more isn’t particularly tied to any one continent or religious tradition. Indeed, almost all of the cultural identity markers and religious traditions of almost all of the folks who have ever been are completely gone. Washed off the face of the Earth.

    So the position of the Jews is really a huge historical anomaly.

    The Jews *are* uniquely persecuted, but that’s because they’re really the only religio-cultural-ethnicity group that’s managed to stick around since ~ 3,000 B.C. (about when Jerusalem was founded) as something more or less coherently like itself in the interim (well, except maybe for the Basque and some tribes in Papua New Guinea). They’ve been around for a **long** time, and they’ve managed to avoid assimilation and cultural dilution (not entirely, but hey, good enough). Compare this to any of the tribes/cultures of the world that were historically around at the start of Judaism. Yangshao culture – gone. Hongshan culture – gone. The Akkadians, the Sumerians, the Hittities, the Amorites, the Ugarits, gone and gone and gone.

    It stands to reason that if you’re holding onto your group identity that successfully, you’re going to have a long record of “getting your asses kicked out of places”, whereas other groups have just dissolved and become part of whatever new culture was dominant, or were wiped out utterly.

    Recent history example, some people in Mexico gripe about the U.S. instigating war and taking California, for another example, but they kind of ignore the fact that Mexico was a colonial state, largely with European ruling class folks, who treated the Native Americans pretty much as shittily as the incoming Americans were about to. The idea that a Hispania-originated geopolitical entity has a claim to territory that wasn’t theirs in the first place except by the claim of “we bloodily conquered it first” is kinda intellectually hilarious.

    So it’s not clear to me that the Jews, as a tribe, have a particular “right to a homeland” more or less so than anybody else has a particular “right to a homeland”, unless we’re just going to grant them special status for longevity.

    I’m pretty sure that the “right to a homeland” framework is the sort of mental framework that leads to things like ISIS, so I’m not sure it’s a framework that I like to use, myself.

    Anywho, I’m rambling. It’s Friday. Feel free to pick this comment apart, it goes all over the place.Report

    • Avatar Wardsmith in reply to Patrick
      Ignored
      says:

      What you said.

      BTW +1Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Patrick
      Ignored
      says:

      [scans @patrick ‘s comment in a cursory, internet-appropriate style]

      Hey, why are you saying that the Jews shouldn’t try to preserve their cultural, religious, and ethnic identity?Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Patrick
      Ignored
      says:

      So it’s not clear to me that the Jews, as a tribe, have a particular “right to a homeland” more or less so than anybody else has a particular “right to a homeland”, unless we’re just going to grant them special status for longevity.

      From what I understand, the argument granting them this special status at the time had little to do with longevity.Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        What Hitler did was terrible. The response of the Allies was understandable from the standpoint of reparations to a horribly injured group, but that doesn’t make it intellectually particularly defensible.

        A geopolitical decision made for practical and political reasons by a bunch of Europeans still pretty embedded in a colonial mindset probably needs to be examined in that context. Not in the context of whether or not it granted or recognized a particular right. Particularly since the particular right that folks are talking about is one that has never been recognized for any other group.

        Maybe it should be. Maybe a homeland is something every cultural group should have. (Me, I really, really doubt it, but we can have that conversation).

        But if a homeland is something every cultural group should have *as a right*, and that’s what Israel is banking on, it is kinda on them to acknowledge that this logic applies to the Palestinians, too. If there are conditions on cultural groups having a homeland (“they need to recognize our right to exist”, for example), then it’s not a right, right?

        Have I mentioned that I don’t think “rights talk” is particularly productive?Report

      • Avatar Dan Miller in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        The Holocaust and anti-Jewish persecution in general is a strong argument for giving the Jews a homeland somewhere in the world. The argument for them getting the particular chunk of land that is the modern-day state of Israel is a lot weaker, given that that chunk of land already had plenty of inhabitants who had zero say in their own immigration policy from 1881 onwards.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Dan,
        True, but it had the good aspect of “Not Our Problem” and “Put the stinky Jews someplace not White”Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        The Holocaust and anti-Jewish persecution in general is a strong argument for giving the Jews a homeland somewhere in the world.

        I don’t want to come across all assholish here, but at what level of persecution or horribleness do we have a strong argument for giving some group a homeland somewhere in the world?

        The Hui in China? The Christians in Syria? The Ainu in Japan? Should we recognize American native peoples’ reservations as fully independent legal entities? The Japanese-Americans were treated pretty terribly during internment, should they have their own country, or should they be repatriated to Japan for their own good, or is their current state of assimilation rendering this question moot?

        The reason why I ask this is because it seems (to me) that the justification for the Jews getting Israel as a nation-state is one that can be applied to all sorts of folks in all sorts of places, but specifically it appears very similar logic could be applied to Palestinians.

        It also seems to focus on the nation-state as the only possible source of long-term security and stability for a specific cultural entity.

        Maybe that’s the case, but am I overstating it?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        If genocide is not a sufficient reason to establish a state for the potential genocidees, what would sufficient reason be?

        If there is nothing that is sufficient reason to establish a state, let me just say that this Obama feller is really pissing me off with all of this shit that he’s telling me to pay for.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Patrick,
        I feel that the Palestinians deserve a state of their own.

        Jay,
        Some people might feel “ain’t no justification, even genocide”
        and then point at Rwanda.Report

      • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        What do your taxes have to do with the notion that perhaps, no matter how badly a given ethnic/religious/cultural group has suffered in the past, there is no justification for a state founded upon that group identity that discriminates against non-members?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Don, if Israel’s existence isn’t justified, please explain to me the justification of the US’s existence.Report

      • Avatar Guy in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        @patrick For the various peoples you named: in some cases yes, in some cases no, in some cases the question is moot. The point of giving Jews a homeland in 1948 is that at the time, much of the world was saying “go away you dirty Jews” and said Jews had no wish to fight a war to stay where they were and nowhere else to go. Israel was established as a place for Jews to go when they needed to leave wherever they were. Generally, presenting a self-governing region to a group of people who have been persecuted for some aspect of themselves readily distinguished from the wider population is a reasonable safety measure (this, of course, only works for religious/cultural/racial persecution and the like, not for, say, persecution based on sexual orientation).

        It is in no way a last answer to the problem, but it can help the safety of the persecuted group–as long as everyone else sticks with it and lets them govern themselves (as repeatedly did not happen with native Americans, for example).Report

      • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        @jaybird It’s not that the existence of a state in that particular patch of land that’s (potentially. I’m playing Devil’s Advocate a bit here because I can’t make up my mind) unjustified. It’s the policies of that state which attach rights and privileges to Jews that aren’t given to non-Jews.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Oh, then I’ll say that you seriously shouldn’t look at the policies of its neighbors. You will totally crash and reboot.Report

      • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        @jaybird So what?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Well, then one gets into weird questions like “why do you care that Israel does X when (other country) does X *PLUS* Y *PLUS* Z? Why is your laser focus on the one freaking country that allows gay marriage?”

        And that’s when someone points out that they hold Israel to a higher standard and that’s when stuff gets weird.Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        @guy

        “Israel was established as a place for Jews to go when they needed to leave wherever they were.”

        I readily grant that’s the reasoning. Seems like if that’s the *correct* reasoning, though, we have a whole shitload more nations to be demanding people recognize.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        I’d be down with creating more nations. Lord knows, there are a lot of people wasting the ones they have.Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Break up the big ones and nobody will be big enough to afford to have a major war, so your plan as that going for it, JB.Report

      • Avatar Wardsmith in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Kurdistan!Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        “Break up the big ones and nobody will be big enough to afford to have a major war, so your plan as that going for it, JB.”

        How big were all the Balkan nations?Report

      • Avatar Guy in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Yes, there are probably many groups that could use a nation-state now. In some cases, there are groups that should have been given a nation-state in the past, but for whom it is now largely pointless.Report

    • Avatar j r in reply to Patrick
      Ignored
      says:

      @patrick

      You don’t have to go back to antiquity or posit any special right of return or right of the Jews to claim Israel as a homeland to justify the establishment of Israel.

      In 1850, about when Jewish immigration to the area started, there was a total population of 350,000 people, with maybe 20,000 of them Jews. By 1948, there were two million people, about 30% of them Jews. This tells us two things.

      One, the whole idea that the European colonial powers gave Israel to the Jews is not a particularly accurate narrative. Jews had been immigrating to the area for decades of their own volition before the British took over from the Ottomans.

      Two, there are now 8 million people in Israel, plus another 2.5 million in the Palestinian territories. That means that the whole time that Jews were immigrating to the area, there was plenty of room. The idea that Jews were displacing Arabs or taking Arab land is simply false. Jews were settling on unoccupied land. And there was more than enough land to accommodate both populations.

      I suppose you can argue, as @brooke seems to be doing, that the Arabs had some right to exclude Jews from immigrating to the area and from owning land there because they were Jews and not Arabs. That though, would require you to argue that people have a right to exclude people of other ethnicities from unoccupied land that happens to be near them. And I’m not sure why someone would want to make that sort of explicitly racialist argument.Report

      • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to j r
        Ignored
        says:

        @j-r This holds up until 1948, and becomes even less relevant in 1967. Unlike Brooke, I suppose, I have no problem whatsoever with Jews immigrating to Palestine and buying land there, as they did between the two world wars. Nobody can fault them for that. It’s Israel’s behavior towards the Palestinians after independence that becomes more problematic.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to j r
        Ignored
        says:

        Don,
        to be strictly fair, you do need to bitch about Jordan’s repression of the Palestinians too. Also note: Israel took in a TON of Jewish refugees, that had been expelled from Arab lands. They expected that the Arabs would take in the Palestinians. Pity the palestinians were too useful as a symbol to actually integrate. (Well, that and they outnumbered the Desert Arabs — am I too deep? Need explanation?)Report

      • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to j r
        Ignored
        says:

        @kim Where is it written what I do and do not need to bitch about? If Jordan had treated its refugees better, would that change anyone’s moral evaluation of Israel? If I had written a blog post last week about Jordan’s treatment of its Palestinian refugees, would that make what I’m saying here any more or less true?Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to j r
        Ignored
        says:

        Don,
        It’s written down in the “Book of Kim: Subsection ‘Stay On Subject’ ”
        I recommend it because it makes it far less likely for me to be posting Bollywood lyrics.

        And, yes, if the desert Arabs (led by Hussein) had allowed the Palestinians to rebuild and otherwise be awesome, we’d be having far less of this conversation.

        Because they’d be in a rich, watered wonderland (for the Middle East) — like Lebanon used to be like, Beirut, capiche?

        And, people might still CARE about lost land, but reparations might be possible (as in money, not “you get your land back”).Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to j r
        Ignored
        says:

        Don,
        and, in case you haven’t been hanging around here for a while, I’m in full support of boycotting Israel. sorry, I/P brings out the contrarian in me, particularly when people (*cough* brooke*cough*) want to say that Israel is the worst of the worst.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to j r
        Ignored
        says:

        Did Kim just yell at somebody for straying off topic?Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to j r
        Ignored
        says:

        Did Kim just yell at somebody for straying off topic?

        Well, I’ll be a mustache on buttocks.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to j r
        Ignored
        says:

        Jay and Glyph,
        Yup. Making fun of myself for posting bollywood lyrics above.
        (Topical? Yes, if you include bringing India/Pakistan into the mix).Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to j r
        Ignored
        says:

        Basically what Don said.

        “One, the whole idea that the European colonial powers gave Israel to the Jews is not a particularly accurate narrative. Jews had been immigrating to the area for decades of their own volition before the British took over from the Ottomans.”

        Um, so Jews were immigrating somewhere, that was under the control of somebody else, and this gives them some sort of recognizable *right* to actually have control of that area ceded to them for some reason?

        Doesn’t this argument generalize to, “Ex-Colonial Europeans can justifiably tell First Nations folk to piss up a rope?”

        Two, there are now 8 million people in Israel, plus another 2.5 million in the Palestinian territories. That means that the whole time that Jews were immigrating to the area, there was plenty of room. The idea that Jews were displacing Arabs or taking Arab land is simply false. Jews were settling on unoccupied land. And there was more than enough land to accommodate both populations.

        I think there might be a whole bunch of folks who would argue that their parents used to have a house right over that ridge over there, and now they have a tent right here, and that seems functionally indistinguishable from being “displaced” from their perspective.

        Do they not have a case?Report

      • Avatar North in reply to j r
        Ignored
        says:

        Frankly Patrick; people immigrating into an area until they amassed a large enough population to begin making demands is pretty much the primary (semi) nonviolent way that communities/countries got founded anywhere in history. The alternative method was marching an army in with the civilian settlers trotting along behind them. It is how, for instance, the US turned from a string of colonies along the east coast into a continent spanning behemoth. By this measure the only different between Israel and all her peer nations (except Iceland) is that Israel’s young enough that the blood on her boots is still a bit sticky.

        Israel’s founding runs a pretty standard narrative:
        Jews migrated into the area (morally neutral)
        – the Brits eventually began officially letting them do so (morally questionable~colonialism)
        – some of the Jewish population began agitating peacefully for political rights (moral)
        – some began agitating violently for political rights around the same time (immoral)
        -the UN proposed a land sharing plan (debatable: colonialism vs peaceful resolution of differing population groups interests)
        -the Jews of young Israel fought a series of defensive wars (quite moral, the Arabs had no right to commit genocide on the Jews who lived in Israel – no one has a right to commit genocide)
        -A lot of Palestinians got displaced in the fighting (immoral with the caveat that shit happens in war)
        -flush with success the Jews began tolerating their more nutbar members colonizing the majority Palestinian areas (immoral but it was originally viewed as a militarily defensive measure and a carrot to try and achieve diplomatic peace)
        -Israel began trying to sort out some kind of settlement with their aggrieved Palestinians and Arab neighbors.
        That brings us up to the mid 1990’s or so. Up to that point Israel has behaved in a relatively defendable manner but the wheels start coming off around this time when they switch from sort of passive colonizing to active and rapid colonizing of the Territories. This combined with Israel achieving total military dominance is when the rot starts setting in. Hop forward to Arafat shuffling off to the bosom of Allah and more constructive Palestinian leadership taking hold in the West Bank and things begin to smell.

        So Israel up to around 2000: ordinary country morally speaking. But they have a serious problem on their hands with the settlements that’re beginning to genuinely undermine them in a fundamental way.
        Frankly I think that if Golda Mier could have known what the situation looks like now she’d have had every west bank settler dragged back into Israel proper in straitjackets.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to j r
        Ignored
        says:

        “Um, so Jews were immigrating somewhere, that was under the control of somebody else, and this gives them some sort of recognizable *right* to actually have control of that area ceded to them for some reason?”

        Brits win a war with a rival empire on the decline. Get some land out of it that already has people on it. New settlers come into this land, believing this is their own ‘promised land’. Brits have conflicts with the people that have long been on the land, and then conflicts with the new settlers when the Brits try to separate the older residents from the new ones to keep the peace. The newish settlers are so incensed by the Brit administration that they form militias and start to engage in terrorist acts against the Brits. (meanwhile the long standing residents are also still engaging in violence against the Brits, and the long standing residents and settlers are each still being violent against each other).

        Finally, the Brits say ‘fish this’ and bounce.

        Until they come back for a time in 1812, but that’s another story.Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to j r
        Ignored
        says:

        @north

        Frankly Patrick; people immigrating into an area until they amassed a large enough population to begin making demands is pretty much the primary (semi) nonviolent way that communities/countries got founded anywhere in history.

        I don’t really have too much of a problem with this strategy.

        “Moving somewhere and agitating for your rights to be recognized” is one thing. “Moving somewhere and then saying you have a right to call the shots” is not-so subtly different.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Patrick
      Ignored
      says:

      I think Jaybird and I chatted about this some time back and reached the conclusion that the only nation we can name that appears to have had a pristine birth* was Iceland**.

      *Which is to say its populations occupied the land without murdering opressing or displacing the previous inhabitants.

      **Because when the Danes showed up it was empty and after they settled it noone else wanted it.Report

    • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Patrick
      Ignored
      says:

      @patrick Why your comment was like deja vu all over again to me. Because after all, aren’t we just talking property rights redux?Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to wardsmith
        Ignored
        says:

        In a way, yes.

        Granted, as North points out, provenance is beyond murky for almost all the places. So then you (that is to say, we) get into really sticky spaces when you start talking about “rights” to a nation-state.

        It’s clear to me that to the extent you want to use rights language, it’s perfectly fair to say most folks should have a right to peaceably assemble, ask for redress for grievances (and get them, to the extent they are just), have equal protection of the established laws, have a fair ability to worship as they choose* and speak their mind* and generally ask that other folks that aren’t of the same mind nearby please to be not hitting them in the head with sticks.

        To the extent a nation provides those things, it seems to be more or less justifiable. To the extent that it doesn’t, that’s a problem. It’s pretty clear to me that Israel doesn’t allow those things to all the folks that are there. Neither do we, so this isn’t so much a plank and eye case.

        It just means that it seems odd to me that people are talking about a right to return in that sense, is all.

        The issue I have isn’t so much the freshness of the blood on Israels’ boots (and, really, the guilt or lack thereof they’re due for the presence of said sanguinary decoration).

        The issue I have is that Israel is demanding a position of moral absolutism that they don’t seem to be willing to grant anybody else.

        I don’t think that’s the framework to choose if you’re going to get anywhere.Report

  7. Avatar Kim
    Ignored
    says:

    Go Green Leaf!

    …whut? just because you don’t have connections to Israeli politics doesn’t mean nothin’ ’bout me.Report

  8. Avatar LeeEsq
    Ignored
    says:

    To Brooke, do you beleive that the Proto-Palestinians and by extension the majority cultures of the countries/proto-countries where Jews lived had a right to exclude them from the body politic during the nation forming process? That is decide that Jews were strangers and could not be true Palestinians, Russians, Iraqis, Romanians, or whatever else might be appropriate? What should we have done in response?Report

  9. Avatar wardsmith
    Ignored
    says:

    @brooke @don-zeko A history lesson for youReport

    • Avatar wardsmith in reply to wardsmith
      Ignored
      says:

      from that site: 1940 June 26, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE BRECKINRIDGE LONG (USA)

      Six months after he entered his position as head of the Visa Division, he sent a memo to State Department officials with practical ideas for hampering the granting of U.S. visas. Long was a close friend of Roosevelt, and under orders to block any special efforts to help Jews, he succeeded in cutting those granted visas by half. Long (and many others) believed that any special help for the Jews would detract from the war effort. His policy was to “delay and effectively stop immigration.” Long was helped by reports from Laurence Steinhardt, U.S. attorney and diplomat, who considered Jewish refugees undesirable. Ironically this same Steinhardt, later ambassador to Turkey, was effective in trying to save the remnant of Hungarian Jews through the War Refugee Board.

      and

      1940 April 27, H. F. DOWNIE (England)

      The British Head of the Middle East Department of the Colonial Office stated that “the Jews are enemies just as the Germans are, but in a more insidious way”, and that “our two sets of enemies [Nazis and Jews] are linked together by secret and evil bonds.” A year later (March 15, 1941), he wrote ” one regret[s] that the Jews are not on the other side in this war.”Report

  10. Avatar Brian Murphy
    Ignored
    says:

    Shipman’s “patrons” aren’t diasporatic Jews, but the foreign powers supporting Israel… Specifically the US government. Suggesting a causal connection between Israeli ethnic cleansing and anti-semitism isn’t “blaming the victins” anymore than suggesting American foreign policy produces terrorist blowback. The world isn’t fair, and it’s highly unfortunate that Europeans Jews are paying the price for Israeli apartheid.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Brian Murphy
      Ignored
      says:

      Israel apartheid my ass. Arabs sit in the Knesset and hold positions in the Israeli government. An Arab judge presided over the trial of President Moshe Katsav for rape. Non-Jews serve in the Israeli army. One of the heroes, to the Israelis, of the Hamas War was a Druze. Meanwhile, the rest of the Middle East is devolving into an orgy of violence and death but lets all focus on “evil” Israel.Report

      • Avatar Brian Murphy in reply to LeeEsq
        Ignored
        says:

        You sound like the white racist with his “black friends.” Until Palestinians are free, Israeli will remain an apartheid state, and Europeans Jews will pay the price.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to LeeEsq
        Ignored
        says:

        Your comment is the one that sounds racist. It’s an exact analogue of “So long as some blacks commit violent crimes, all of them will pay for it.”Report

      • Avatar Brian Murphy in reply to LeeEsq
        Ignored
        says:

        It isn’t fair, but the causal connection is there. Causality isn’t the same thing as desert.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to LeeEsq
        Ignored
        says:

        Maybe if Jews behave themselves for long enough, the anti-semites will reconsider.Report

      • Avatar Brian Murphy in reply to LeeEsq
        Ignored
        says:

        Would you apply the same sarcasm to the causal connection bw US foreign policy and terrorist blowback? Why is it controversial to say that innocents pay the price for power politics?Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to LeeEsq
        Ignored
        says:

        Has there ever been a case in history where bigotry against a minority ceased because that minority stopped doing the things the bigots claimed were the problem?Report

      • Avatar Brian Murphy in reply to LeeEsq
        Ignored
        says:

        It’s a question of degree. The fact that anti-Semitic attacks up-ticked with Israeli violence proves my point. If you’re characterizing my argument as “Anti-semitism would cease if Israeli followed ‘x’ policy,” you’re straw-personing my argument.Report

      • Avatar ScarletNumbers in reply to LeeEsq
        Ignored
        says:

        @mike-schilling

        NoReport

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq
        Ignored
        says:

        I thought that the Israeli violence up-ticked in response to anti-Semitic attacks (rockets, in that particular case).Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to LeeEsq
        Ignored
        says:

        “There was an increase in violence is response ti a specific circumstance” is a much weaker statement than your original one, that “Until Palestinians are free, Israel will remain an apartheid state, and Europeans Jews will pay the price.” If Israel dismantled the settlements and pulled back the the pre-1967 borders tomorrow, then:

        1. Palestinians would be free, or as free as whatever government emerged allowed.
        2. Israel would not be, under any definition, an “apartheid state”, because as Lee pointed out Israeli citizens of any religion have full civil, legal,and political rights.
        3. There would still be anti-Semitic violence in Europe and the Middle East.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to LeeEsq
        Ignored
        says:

        Who is this Brian Murphy that we are arguing with anyway? His he an alumnus of the League that I don’t know about. He doesn’t seem to post much.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to LeeEsq
        Ignored
        says:

        If Israel is evil, then I ought to focus more on that.
        Let the muslims focus on their ummah.
        capiche?Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to LeeEsq
        Ignored
        says:

        It is undoubtedly the case that Israel’s war in Gaza triggered this round of anti-semitic behavior in Europe. Suggesting otherwise is absurd. This doesn’t justify that violence, nor does it explain it entirely. The anti-semitism was there before this Gaza war, and will be there after; and the Gaza war is not the only cause of this round of violence: poverty, unemployment, and marginalization also play their roles, as does the fact that Muslims and Jews have been in conflict in the Middle East for most of living memory. Still, pretending that the world is not what it is isn’t helping anyone, and in this world, events like those in Gaza will tend to trigger violence elsewhere. One doesn’t have to look far to find plenty of examples. Hell, this particular war in Gaza was in part triggered by such a response.Report

  11. Avatar Wardsmith
    Ignored
    says:

    Longish but fascinating read from early 30’s written by the British governing Trans-Jordan and Palestine at the time: http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/EA08EC2300E1E17C052565EF006425BAReport

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