If you are like me, your inbox is flooded with "criticism of Israel" these days. This comes in a variety of forms.
I prefer the peace loving humanitarians who are frank and open, and write something like,
Jew, your Talmud teaches you to hate goyim. We have had enough of your Jew atrocities against the oppressed Hamas freedom fighters. We are going to finish Hitler's work.
The more polished ones also use the "F***" word to good effect. I value intellectual honesty and straightforward old fashioned race hate and gutter language, especially when the writer, with priceless unconscious humor, explains that "not all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism, you f*ing Jew bastard."
Letters from Jews are more problematic. It is not that we do not understand that there are Jewish anti-Semites as well as anti-Zionists. We know that. It is not even that we cannot, at bottom, understand the depravity and mental cowardice that makes Jews turn against our own people. But the feeling of shame that such Jews exist is overwhelming, and the bad aroma they leave in the air, like that which is experienced after opening a rotten egg, is hard to disperse.
Some of the letters assert that the doings in Gaza were precisely like the Nazi suppression of the Warsaw Ghetto Revolt, others may be based on the usual premise that Israel has no right to exist. Most of them combine both arguments. At bottom, the reason they are critical of this or that Israeli action is that Israel has no right to exist according to them. The reason Israel has no right to exist is that Jews are in some way inferior to other peoples in their views. We should always ignore the superficial current "issues" and get to the nitty gritty of the argument.
Because there is always so much of this going 'round, we have compiled a series of questions and answers for such people that we hope you find helpful: FAQ-Zionism and Israel. It is important to answer these perennial accusations when they appear in public debate, because we need to address a neutral audience that often has no grasp of basic facts. The crazies have created their own set of facts, which are just as convincing to the ignorant as the actual facts - more convincing in fact, because they are more sensational and easier to digest. The bad information drives out the good. They always have "scoops" that nobody else saw. It is a source of continual amazement that no matter how much one writes about the Middle East and Zionism, no matter what long list of documents and meticulous proofs one amasses, the crazies are always there to offer you "new information" that you must consider, and which they think you never saw.
It is generally a waste of time replying to "criticism of Israel" by such people in e-mails, as there is no hope of changing their mind. It is however, a useful intellectual exercise and sometimes serves to let off steam. I have replied at length to one of these gentlemen of Jewish extraction, Menachem Korn by name. To anticipate the notes I might get from some of our readers, I note that you can look him up in Google and see what sort of erudite and rational thought this sort of person represents. I won't write more because Snoopy of Simply Jews promises to take up the subject.
It seems a pity to waste a useful set of replies on this one fellow, especially as he wrote a standard sort of multipurpose anti-Zionist screed and I gave a standard sort of multipurpose reply that can be recycled. Herewith the correspondence, slightly edited.
His first letter:
I saw your article here making fun of Jewish life in America: Aliya to Dotan Alabama
I wonder if you would like to comment on the following excerpted from an email to a relative who is a strong Zionist:
Perhaps Israel has a positive destiny in the world. I honestly do not know. But one thing is for sure: the original UN partition plan was unfair and unrealistic. And it is time that people acknowledge that fact. For the injustice behind it is the source of all the misery ongoing to this day.
Many people think that the violence committed by Palestinian groups against Israel today is no different in kind than the sabotage committed by Zionist terror militia against the British Mandate before 1948, or the attacks of the Jewish partisans in the Warsaw Ghetto against the German occupying forces. You may not agree with this assessment, but you need to have a logical reason for not agreeing. And the first step is to understand the historical process, in which Israel was created as a "Jewish" state with a 40% Arab minority population who would live at best as second class citizens. Also the Jews, who owned only 7% of the land prior to 1948, were awarded with 60% of the land by the UN. These two facts alone should alert you to the injustice behind the UN decision.
Mr Korn goes on to provide "educational links" to a number of "proofs" of the inequity of Zionism of the usual kind.
Korn's letter was the more valuable as it was admittedly a canned anti-Zionist screed of a standard type, that had been already sent to at least one of this gentleman's unfortunate relatives. It is a boiler plate type, that deserves the attention of a boiler plate reply that can be used on any occasion.
The land was promised to the Jewish people under international law by the Balfour Declaration [actually by the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine] . On the basis of that pledge, the Zionist movement invested sweat, blood and money to turn a land of malarial swamps into a viable homeland for the Jews.
At a critical moment in history that land, that was to have been a refuge for the Jews, was closed to Jewish immigration. The partition plan, which took half of the 20 - odd percent of the mandate land [remaining after the partition of Transjordan] and gave it to the Arabs, was certainly unfair to the Jews who had developed the land and made it support nearly 2 million people,
Many people can think what they want. We are not responsible for their depraved ideas. If you think that a suicide bomber blowing up in a discotheque and killing 15 year old kids is the same as attacking British soldiers who were drowning Jewish immigrants in the Mediterranean, then it is your problem and not ours.
If you think that the massacre of 6 million Jews who did nothing to incur the ire of the Nazis is precisely the same as actions taken against terrorists in self defense, there is nothing anyone can do about that.
Hitler also had excuses for hating the Jews.
The Arabs of Palestine in 1948 were led by Hajj Amin El Husseini, an escaped Nazi war criminal. Their plan was suited to his ideas, and had they won the war in 1948 every Jew in Palestine would have been slaughtered.
Jews had lived for hundreds of years in Jerusalem. In a series of pogroms, the Arabs, spurred on by British imperialists and later by the Abwehr, reduced the Jewish population of the old city of Jerusalem from 5,000 to about 3,000 and then to about 1,600 soulds. This sorry remnant too was ethnically cleansed to the last man, woman and child in 1948. This was considered an example of the humane behavior of the Jordan Legion under its British officers. The Jews of Hebron were similarly forced out of their city, where they had lived for hundreds of years. There is no doubt that that would have been the fate of every Jew living in the land of the Palestine mandate had the Arabs won the war.
Not only Golda, but Ben Gurion also said that there is no Palestinian Arab people, and besides them several Arabs said it as well. Before 1948 there were no Palestinians here except us Jews. Arabs did not call themselves Palestinians, but rather Arabs. The war of extermination that was organized by the Nazi Grand Mufti in 1948 was not waged on behalf of a Palestinian people but rather on behalf of the Arab ouma and the Muslim ouma. There was never any record of a Palestinian Arab national life in history, nor did they ever make any claim to self determination as a separate nation, but only as part of the Arab people. Since 1967, Yasser Arafat and the PLO created, or tried to create, a new reality. The jury is still out on whether or not there is a Palestinian people and a Harakat Wataniyeh filistiniya, (Palestine Liberation Movement) as the PLO/FATAH claim, or whether there is only a Harakat Mukawama Islamiyeh - Hamas - the MUSLIM Resistance movement, which actually has no national aspirations but only religious aspirations.
Golda and Ben Gurion's pronouncements were in any case appropriate rejoinders to the declarations of the PLO and of anti-Zionists like yourself, that there is no Jewish people, and to the declared intention of the PLO to wipe out Israel.
Be that as it may, Israel accepted the legitimacy of the Palestinian people and their right to a state. Too bad that certain depraved degenerates, along with the reactionary genocidal religious fanatics of the Hamas, have still not accepted the legitimacy of the Jewish people, and our right to a state.
If you think that Golda's pronouncement about Palestinian Arabs was unjust, how much more outrageous is the denial of the right to self determination to the Jews, who are one of the oldest nations on earth?
Mr Korn would not leave well enough alone, and sent the following rejoinder:
the British made promises to BOTH sides in World War I: the Jews and the Arabs.
Balfour was only half the equation.
i encourage you to read the following about how the Balfour declaration really came about:
The following is an edited summary of several of my replies to the above.
What you mean to say is that Arab propaganda later made out that the British had made promises to both sides.
Several British officials made it clear that no promises were made to the Arabs regarding Palestine, except that civil rights of the inhabitants would not be infringed. The obligation the British undertook, at the behest of British anti-Zionist Jews, was to provide only a Jewish national home in Palestine [rather than to make all of Palestine a national home]. This was clearly fulfilled when the British created Transjordan, and Mr Churchill said as much:
Churchill White Paper 1922.
[Churchill also made clear British recognition of the significance of the League of Nations Mandate, which was a declaration in International Law]:
But in order that this community should have the best prospect of free development and provide a full opportunity for the Jewish people to display its capacities, it is essential that it should know that it is in Palestine as of right and not on the sufferance. That is the reason why it is necessary that the existence of a Jewish National Home in Palestine should be internationally guaranteed, and that it should be formally recognized to rest upon ancient historic connection.
This, then, is the interpretation which His Majesty's Government place upon the Declaration of 1917, and, so understood, the Secretary of State is of opinion that it does not contain or imply anything which need cause either alarm to the Arab population of Palestine or disappointment to the Jews.
The above was written by Mr. British Government Himself, Winston Churchill, in an open and public document. There is nothing ambiguous about it.
Balfour, who wrote the declaration, opined that it would eventually lead to a Jewish State. [See Balfour's views on Zionism]. Who understood the intentions of Mr. Balfour and Mr. Churchill better, Messrs Balfour and Churchill, or Mr Jeff Rense and Mr. Benjamin Freedman?
Can you provide a reference to the Freedman White Paper or the Rense White Paper as instruments of British policy? When did they serve in HM government?
King Feisal made it clear that Arabs welcomed the Zionists, and that their only beef was to ensure that the British would honor their promises to Feisal concerning Syria:
In any case, it doesn't matter what the British promised during WW I, but rather what was anchored in international law in the Mandate of the League of Nations.
Rense is a racist conspiracy Web site and the rest are anti-Zionist screeds. Unlike the references you give, the above are original documents. - they reflect what happened, not what some anti-Zionist or anti-Semite wants you to believe happened in history. The obligation to provide balance only extends to telling the truth whether it hurts or helps one side or the other. It doesn't extend to giving equal space to lies and conspiracy theories.
You did not explain how you can adamantly assert that the Palestinian Arabs are a nation with the right of self determination, while maintaining that Jews are a non-entity.
If you find the above useful, save them for whenever you are confronted by the sort of arguments that Mr Korn and his ilk are apt to use.*
* Arguments are always more effective if you can cite original documents to back them up. If you received this article in text only format, here are the URLs of the documents mentioned above:
http://www.zionism-israel.com/Balfour_Declaration_1917.htm Balfour Declaration.
http://www.zionism-israel.com/hdoc/Feisal_Weizmann_Agreement.htm Feizal - Weizmann Agreement.
http://www.zionism-israel.com/hdoc/Feisal-Frankfurter-Correspondence.htm Feisal-Frankfurter Correspondence
http://www.zionism-israel.com/Balfour_Introduction_to_Zionism.htm Arthur Balfour - Zionism
http://www.mideastweb.org/1922WP.htm Churchill "command" White Paper
You can find all the above linked from: http://zionism-israel.com/zionism_documents.htm
Additional replies to the skeptics, the malicious and the ignorant:
Original content is Copyright by the author 2009. Posted at ZioNation-Zionism and Israel Web Log, http://www.zionism-israel.com/log/archives/00000657.html where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Disributed by ZNN list. Subscribe by sending a message to ZNNfirstname.lastname@example.org. Please forward by e-mail with this notice, cite this article and link to it. Other uses by permission only.
Replies: 7 Comments
I am just shocked at the attitudes of a "communist" thinking Italian friend who says he is a lover of Jews thinks Zionism is a bad word and Eretz Israel even worse. He has been propagandized totally by the pro Arabs in Italy. Is there an Italian version of this information which I can send to him. His English is much better than my Italian but still the information in his native language would be easier for him to read.
Norma G, Saturday, February 7th
You should be aware that rense.com is a nazi sight. Not neo-nazi, not sympathizer but truly venomous anti-semitic nazi.
joe5348, Wednesday, February 4th
Thank you Ami for the good work you are doing. I too have been using the same arguments that you have correctly been employing (i.e., simply using the facts to tell the the truth) mostly in the usenet forums on the internet since 1992. At that time I was practically alone in doing so, and am happy that more Jews are finally fighting back via the internet.
Of course, the biggest frustration, and threat, comes, as it alway has, from internal strife. There is no tougher enemy than the renegade. Alas, "sinat hinom" or "baseless hatred" of Jews towards Jew is nothing new. "Ahavat Yisrael" or love of Jew for Jew would be the ideal antidote, but alas that may too have to wait for messianic days.
I have a pet theory that some of it comes from the descendants of German Jewry who have German DNA as well as Jewish DNA, and perhaps the war may be in their own blood. Some are of Hungarian/Khazar descent, and maybe that's why they go to Holocaust denial conferences in Teheran. But whatever the underlying reasons for Jewish self-hatred and lack of respect for each other, it goes back even to biblical days. It is our greatest challenge. Hillel taught that to love our brothers is the essence of torah, and the rest is just commentary. So I think the inner struggle to achieve "Ahavat Yisrael" is as important, if not more so, than the struggle against anti-Jewish racism that prevails in the world. A united Jewish nation, with God's help, can withstand all external threats. A self-hating divided nation will forever live precariously, if at all.
Ami, keep up the good work!
Jack Garbuz, Monday, February 2nd
Billions of petrodollars have been poured out of Arab coffers to create the myth of a Palestinian nation.That myth seems to now be reality in the Islamic psyche. I wouldn't hesitate to accept it for the cause of promoting peace with the proviso that its historic origin be honestly disclosed in any document creating that peace.
Howard Wolf, Saturday, January 31st
Empty slogans Mr. Cargill; keep repeating them and it won’t make them true.
Us killing enemy combatants is murder only in the eyes of those who sea the killings of our women and children by those very combatants as legitimate.
Mr. Cargill, empty slogans from empty minds. Your words however are full of hate as I’m sure your hart is.
Dvar Dea, Friday, January 30th
The State of Israel is disgusting in its disregard for human life. The world is awakening to your murder.
Jesse Cargill, Thursday, January 29th
The first group are the easiest, ‘lo khokhma’.
The second group, the self-hating Jews, is indeed tougher to combat.
I’m not so sure giving them the whole list of the historical facts will work, but it does put a good dent on their patronizing attitude.
As for understanding them, is it that much odd then trying to understand the mind of a bigot, such as a Jew who hates Arabs?
Racism is a self inferiority complex projected outwards in the form of hatred. Just the same it can be projected inwards, again in the form of hatred.
Spike Lee in his movies talked about black people who are racists towards their own, it should be too difficult to understand that such things exist every were, including among Jews.
Dvar Dea, Thursday, January 29th
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