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My Response to Michael Douglas

World  (tags: Israel, anti-Semitism, Michael, Douglas, Dylan, Kirk, apartheid, Europe, Zionism )

- 1472 days ago -
May your wish for the children of Gaza be the same as your wish for Dylan, Mr. Douglas. Many fathers there would love to join hands with you to secure a peaceful future for their children. Extremism in their community is as bad as the extremism in yours.


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Sam H (410)
Saturday March 14, 2015, 1:44 pm
It’s extremely sad that Michael’s son, Dylan, faced such an experience. No child, or adult, should have to go through what Dylan went through. But what Dylan faced is in no way less traumatic than what Michael himself faced when he was denied his Jewishness because his mother wasn’t Jewish. But Michael seems to gloss over that intolerant behavior he was subjected to and concentrate only on what his son was exposed to. What father wouldn’t do the same for his child?

And he continues to say that his son is “fortunate to live in a country where anti-Semitism is rare.” Who can fault that logic?

However, let’s consider how a man who knows a thing or two about Judaism and Zionism identified the dangers that the Jews face. Abba Eban who was there for the birth of Israel and gave the nascent state its voice at the UN, identified the those dangers as such:

1. Interfaith marriage; and
2. Living in a pluralistic society where Jews aren’t being persecuted.

So it seems that Michael and his father, at least according to Abba Eban, are the real danger that the Jews face. His father, by not marrying a Jewish woman, contributed to this danger. And Michael, by raising his son in such a pluralistic society, is adding to that danger.

As a matter of fact, the Zionist movement capitalized on those dangers to drive Jews from around the world to Israel/Palestine.

That drive exited before 1948 and continues to this day. Netanyahu wasted no time after the murders in France to invite all the Jews in France to pack up and leave for Israel to the consternation of their countrymen. Netanyahu showed no interest in discussing any measures with the French Authorities that would effect a safer climate for Jews in France. One would wonder if a Jewish settler in the West Bank is any safer than a Jewish citizen in the suburbs of Paris.

The three reasons for the rise of anti-Semitism according to Mr. Douglas are:

1. Bad economy;
2. An irrational and misplaced hatred of Israel; and
3. 25 million to 30 million Muslims who now live in Europe.

Well, a bad economy can drive people to desperation. Desperate people can resort to desperate measures. Their anger can get directed at those whom they perceive to have attained a better economic status. Most of the time these are class/social struggles and are not necessarily driven by ethnic intolerance.

It’s becoming increasingly hard to get any mileage out of claiming irrational and misplaced hatred of Israel when the accusation of Israel’s apartheid behavior is originating within Israel and many sectors of the Jewish community.

If the 25 million to 30 million Muslims who now live in Europe are the reason for anti-Semitism, then how would Mr. Douglas explain the rise of anti-Semitism during Hitler’s reign when Europe didn’t have such a large Muslim population?

Extremism is bad in any shape or form. But to identify extremism in others without identifying the same extremism in one’s own community borders on hypocrisy. Even if that community is a "newly found one"!

May your wish for the children of Gaza be the same as your wish for Dylan, Mr. Douglas. Many fathers there would love to join hands with you to secure a peaceful future for their children. Extremism in their community is as bad as the extremism in yours. Acknowledging that is a first step towards peace, equality and the eradication of all forms of hatred including anti-Semitism.

Lone F (58)
Saturday March 14, 2015, 2:13 pm
In a time when income disparity is growing, when hundreds of millions of people live in abject poverty, some find Jews to be a convenient scapegoat rather than looking at the real source of their problems.
Same thing happened in Germany!
Thanks for this very interesting post, Sam

Kathleen M (210)
Saturday March 14, 2015, 2:34 pm
Thought-provoking article. Thanks for sharing, Sam!

fly bird (26)
Saturday March 14, 2015, 2:39 pm
Excellent comment, Sam. Thanks for posting.

Evelyn B (63)
Saturday March 14, 2015, 3:10 pm
It is so much easier to blame (a) global economy & (b) Muslim communities for any expression of anti-semitism .....
And that suits the pro-Zionists, because it avoids serious questioning about whether the behaviour of a relatively small but VERY vocal section of the Jewish population (and more specifically, a political group that defines intolerant policies that oppress Palestinians) actually creates a breeding ground for anti-semitism.

"Defending against anti-semitism" (reacting as "victim") rather than engaging the aggressor in discussion about why the individual expressed negatives towards a young lad because he was wearing a star or David ..... only teaches the "victim" mindset. Challenging the "aggressor", politly, patiently, might well lead to an honest discussion of why this person reacted badly ... why is the star seen as something aggressive by the person why aggressed the lad?

How often are those of us who criticise pro-Zionist policies, and the oppressive treatment of Palestinians aggressed by people who will throw all the "hate" labels at us? The kind of insults, inappropriate labels, mis-naming that we get from a handful ... certainly not true or meritorious members of the Jewish community ... people who appoint themselves judges of us as individuals ...... If we didn't know better, and if we weren't genuinely concerned about a just peace in the Middle East, we could find oursleves being pushed into the ranks of genuinely racist, anti-semitic groups .... joining people like Atzmon who is truly Anti-semitic despite his Jewish origins .... Don't blame Muslims for anti-semitism, Mr Douglas ..... Christians have centuries of anti-semitism to live down .... Muslims have co-existed with Jews & Christians ... It is the politics of what creating a Jewish state at the expense of the Palestinians has generated - human rights abuses, which are getting steadily worse as the illegal settlements demonstrate growing oppression, land grabs, extremist settler violence seldom controlled let alone punished ...... This isn't religion, it is politics. It isn't anti-semitism, it is anti-Zionism. It is pro-Human Rights ...

Please, Mr Douglas, don't let that "victim mentality" lead you to teach your son the wrong message.

Seek understanding, not fear & hate - dialogue wins peace.

Rose Becke (141)
Saturday March 14, 2015, 4:28 pm
I love your comment Sam

AWAY AWHILE Cal Mendelsohn (1065)
Saturday March 14, 2015, 5:56 pm
LOVE THE ARTICLE Sam though I disagree withyour comment.

You haven't really studies Russian history because if you had you would understand that people there and elsewhere in Europe (the area known as the Pale where Jews were settled) typically conducted wanton killings of Jews or forced them to exile or to convert (the famous 1/31/3 1/3 solution endorsed by the Russian government). There were not drivent o Palestine by ideology only but by the fact that staying where they were become an exercise in survival on a daily and monthly basis with no security for anyone.Zionism was attractive because it offered many people more security than they had not because of the religious ties alone to the land of Israel/Palestine. That is probably where we disagree Most of the original Jewish settlers in Palestine were fleeing persecution int heir native landsin the late 19th and early 20th Centuries and Sam, I didn't see you mention that at all. This was a largely pre-Holocaust phenomenon.

Anyhow, I do enjoy the occasional exchange of views iwht you on this Sam. Human rights are for everyone everywhere and not just for some.

Carrie B (306)
Saturday March 14, 2015, 7:37 pm
Great comment Sam. I have to agree with you.

Maria Teresa Schollhorn (42)
Saturday March 14, 2015, 10:10 pm
Regarless of race and religion ALL parents have the right to a peaceful future for their children.
Thank you Sam.


Abo r (107)
Saturday March 14, 2015, 11:58 pm
Thank you Sam. , noted

Past Member (0)
Sunday March 15, 2015, 7:41 am
The full text of the article:

Last summer our family went to Southern Europe on holiday. During our stay at a hotel, our son Dylan went to the swimming pool. A short time later he came running back to the room, upset. A man at the pool had started hurling insults at him.

My first instinct was to ask, “Were you misbehaving?”

“No,” Dylan told me through his tears.

I stared at him. And suddenly I had an awful realization of what might have caused the man's outrage: Dylan was wearing a Star of David.

After calming him down, I went to the pool and asked the attendants to point out the man who had yelled at him. We talked. It was not a pleasant discussion. Afterward, I sat down with my son and said: “Dylan, you just had your first taste of anti-Semitism.”

Part 'none,' part Jewish, all teenager -- and leery about anti-Semitism in Europe
My father, Kirk Douglas, born Issur Danielovitch, is Jewish. My mother, Diana, is not. I had no formal religious upbringing from either of them, and the two kids I have with Catherine Zeta-Jones are like me, growing up with one parent who is Jewish and one who is not.

Several years ago Dylan, through his friends, developed a deep connection to Judaism, and when he started going to Hebrew school and studying for his bar mitzvah, I began to reconnect with the religion of my father.

While some Jews believe that not having a Jewish mother makes me not Jewish, I have learned the hard way that those who hate do not make such fine distinctions.

Dylan's experience reminded me of my first encounter with anti-Semitism, in high school. A friend saw someone Jewish walk by, and with no provocation he confidently told me: “Michael, all Jews cheat in business.”

“What are you talking about?” I said.

Jewish-born children deserve to be raised as Jews

“Michael, come on,” he replied. “Everyone knows that.”

With little knowledge of what it meant to be a Jew, I found myself passionately defending the Jewish people. Now, half a century later, I have to defend my son. Anti-Semitism, I've seen, is like a disease that goes dormant, flaring up with the next political trigger.


In my opinion there are three reasons anti-Semitism is appearing now with renewed vigilance.

The first is that historically, it always grows more virulent whenever and wherever the economy is bad. In a time when income disparity is growing, when hundreds of millions of people live in abject poverty, some find Jews to be a convenient scapegoat rather than looking at the real source of their problems.

If we confront anti-Semitism ... if we combat it individually and as a society, and use whatever platform we have to denounce it, we can stop the spread of this madness.
A second root cause of anti-Semitism derives from an irrational and misplaced hatred of Israel. Far too many people see Israel as an apartheid state and blame the people of an entire religion for what, in truth, are internal national-policy decisions. Does anyone really believe that the innocent victims in that kosher shop in Paris and at that bar mitzvah in Denmark had anything to do with Israeli-Palestinian policies or the building of settlements 2,000 miles away?

The third reason is simple demographics. Europe is now home to 25 million to 30 million Muslims, twice the world's entire Jewish population. Within any religious community that large, there will always be an extremist fringe, people who are radicalized and driven with hatred, while rejecting what all religions need to preach — respect, tolerance and love. We're now seeing the amplified effects of that small, radicalized element. With the Internet, its virus of hatred can now speed from nation to nation, helping fuel Europe's new epidemic of anti-Semitism.It is time for each of us to speak up against this hate.

Well said Mr. Douglas. I am not Jewish, but I strongly believe there is a festering of anti-Semitism being promoted. Even by our own leader. Each and everyone of us around the world is responsible to step up and do our part to banish this attitude. From a Christian Woman
AT 7:17 AM MARCH 15, 2015

Speaking up is the responsibility of our political leaders. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has made it clear that anti-Semitism violates the morals and spirit of France and that violent anti-Semitic acts are a crime against all French people that must be confronted, combated and stopped. He challenged his nation to tell the world: Without its Jews, France would no longer be France.

Speaking up is the responsibility of our religious leaders, and Pope Francis has used his powerful voice to make his position and that of the Catholic Church clear, saying: “It's a contradiction that a Christian is anti-Semitic. His roots are Jewish. Let anti-Semitism be banished from the heart and life of every man and every woman.”

The University of Michigan's tolerance problem
In New York, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan is well-known for building a bridge to the Jewish community. His words and actions and the pope's are evidence of the reconciliation between two major religions, an inspiring example of how a past full of persecution and embedded hostility can be overcome.

It's also the responsibility of regular citizens to take action. In Oslo, members of the Muslim community joined their fellow Norwegians to form a ring of peace at a local synagogue. Such actions give me hope — they send a message that together, we can stand up to hatred of the Jewish people.

So that is our challenge in 2015, and all of us must take it up. Because if we confront anti-Semitism whenever we see it, if we combat it individually and as a society, and use whatever platform we have to denounce it, we can stop the spread of this madness.

My son is strong. He is fortunate to live in a country where anti-Semitism is rare. But now he too has learned of the dangers that he as a Jew must face. It's a lesson that I wish I didn't have to teach him, a lesson I hope he will never have to teach his children.

Sharon Davidson (371)
Sunday March 15, 2015, 7:52 am

. (0)
Sunday March 15, 2015, 7:59 am
Quite frankly I'm surprised that Homo Spapiens Sapiens has survived as long as it has. There truly is nothing wise/wise about us for the most part. We over populate; over produce and over consume. We are in the process of killing the very host that gives us life and sustains us. Yet, our criminal behavior that is masked in the political/religious ideology allows us to commit terracide and genocide and every other vile criminal act in the name of patriotism or god. Tribalism and religious elitism are the tools that keep us separated. There is only one race and that is the human race and until we learn that and embrace it we will continue to destroy ourselves and our home.
Meanwhile the 10% at the top think the ends to the means is great theatre and entertainment for their amusement while they reap the maximum short term profits.

Lona G (66)
Sunday March 15, 2015, 8:13 am
Thanks for the article and your comment, Sam. I'm on the fence on this one, agreeing and disagreeing on some points made by both of you.

I agree with Michael Douglas on his first point that whenever economic situation is bad, populists use it to scapegoat minorities. Historically in Europe that has been the Jews, but with the start of immigration of people from all over the world, first from Southern Europe and Northern Africa, later from Africa and the Middle East, but also from Eastern Europe that has now become part of the EU, all minorities are scapegoats. Antisemitism is on the rise here and draws most attention because of the historic implications, but anti-Islam and racism in general are just as much on the rise just as people discriminate people who come from Eastern Europe "to take away our jobs with their cheap labor". Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

Mr. Douglas has noticed that more and more Europeans turn away from Israel, but he has fallen into the Netanyahu-trap and can't distinguish anti-Zionism from antisemitism. And I have to admit, from my experience as a European and a Jew, it is often difficult to see where anti-Zionism ends and antisemitism begins. But I abhor violence and hatred, by whatever name.

In regard to the third point Douglas makes, you say that the 20-30 million Muslims now living in Europe can't explain how why antisemitism was so bad during Hitler's reign. First of all Douglas is trying to explain the current wave of antisemitism and second, he doesn't blame those 20-30 million Muslims but: goes on "Within any religious community that large, there will always be an extremist fringe, people who are radicalized and driven with hatred, while rejecting what all religions need to preach — respect, tolerance and love. We're now seeing the amplified effects of that small, radicalized element. " I think he has a point there, because his explanation also pertains to all other religions.

I agree with you Sam that Michael Douglas plays the antisemitism card a bit too strongly, but there is more nuance in this article than I expected it to have. And of course there is extremism everywhere, but having had the same experience as his son did in the south of France more than 35 years ago which left me shocked, I can understand that he writes from his own experience. ALL people, be it Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Palestinians, Israeli, African-Americans...are allowed to speak out against what hurts them, don't they?

LucyKaleido S (82)
Sunday March 15, 2015, 8:38 am
The article is interesting & worth the read. I had no idea that Michael Douglas could write so well.
That doesn't mean that I agree with everything he says, though.
I would argue against his “second root cause of anti-Semitism” which he says “derives from an irrational and misplaced hatred of Israel. Far too many people see Israel as an apartheid state”: Douglas clearly shows his pro-Israel bias here, for he obviously refuses or is unable (mainstream media brainwashing?) to see that Israel IS an apartheid state. While I agree with Douglas that it is wrong to “blame the people of an entire religion” –the Jews- for Israel’s hateful policies & practices towards Palestinians, he is unable &/or unwilling to recognize the oppressive, repressive, discriminatory & racist nature of those policies & practices, completely side-stepping the issue with his phrase “for what, in truth, are internal national-policy decisions”. He doesn’t even NAME the Palestinians, because this is not his ‘propos,’ not his subject? Or because the oppression & repression do not exist for him? How can he recognize the injustice of anti-Semitism and not recognize the prejudice & discrimination (not to mention human rights abuses) that Palestinians endure? He simply avoids the subject.
I came across an old Abba Eban quote: “The Jews are the living embodiment of the minority, the constant reminder of what duties societies owe their minorities, whoever they might be.” If only more Israelis knew that statement & applied it! This is the other part of the lesson that Douglas should be teaching his son. It’s what, in substance, my mother taught me.
I do agree with his conclusion, though, to his explanation of the 2nd root cause: "Does anyone really believe that the innocent victims in that kosher shop in Paris and at that bar mitzvah in Denmark had anything to do with Israeli-Palestinian policies or the building of settlements 2,000 miles away?" It's obvious to me that however awful & unconscionable Israeli policies of land-grabbing for settlements & of oppression of the Palestinians are, they do not justify anti-Semitic acts of violence, killing or persecution that target Jews per se anywhere in the world. I wish more people agreed with me.
I don’t see why Evelyn equates “defending against anti-semitism” with reacting as a “victim.” Nor why she says “rather than engaging the aggressor in discussion…”: Didn’t you read, Evelyn, that Michael Douglas did in fact talk to the man who had insulted his son? He doesn’t relate the details of the talk, just “We talked. It was not a pleasant discussion.” If a child, who has had ‘hate speech’ insults yelled at him, hears from his loving father he has experienced anti-Semitism & that’s one way that it is expressed, how is that teaching ‘the “victim” mindset’? The father is fulfilling his proper role by explaining the facts, isn’t he? And won’t the child be strengthened in his identity & character by knowing that this is part of life & that his family stands with him?

LucyKaleido S (82)
Sunday March 15, 2015, 8:44 am
After reading the article, it struck me that Sam was not fair to Douglas when he distorted by shortening both Douglas’ 1st and 3rd reasons for growing anti-Semitism.

Reducing Douglas’ 3rd reason to the first sentence of a longer explanation – “25 million to 30 million Muslims who now live in Europe” – gives a decidedly racist & very misleading idea of Douglas’ views. It isn’t simply the great number of Muslims, per se, that he points to as causing the renewed virulence of anti-Semitism, but rather the “extremist fringe… radicalized and driven with hatred.”

What Douglas said verbatim was: “Within any religious community THAT LARGE, there will always be an EXREMIST FRINGE, people who are RADICALIZED and DRIVEN WITH HATRED, while rejecting what all religions need to preach — respect, tolerance and love. We're now seeing the amplified effects of that SMALL, RADICALIZED ELEMENT. ”

Why, Sam, would you want to portray Douglas as Islamophobic by omitting the statement which shows that he isn’t?

Your rebuttal of Douglas’ explanation of the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe due to the large Muslim population is doubly disingenuous: First of all, you again fail to take into account the most important part of his explanation, which attributes anti-Semitism to the ‘small, radicalized’ ‘extremist fringe’ & not ALL 25 million to 30 million Muslims who now live in Europe. Then, you forget that he gave 3 REASONS!

You ask: “If the 25 million to 30 million Muslims who now live in Europe are the reason for anti-Semitism, then how would Mr. Douglas explain the rise of anti-Semitism during Hitler’s reign when Europe didn’t have such a large Muslim population?” How disingenuous! And how facile! But then you made such short work of his 1st reason you wouldn’t have thought of going back to it to provide the reason for the rise of Nazism & virulent anti-Semitism.

Simply summing up Douglas’ 1st reason to ‘bad economy’ (or, as Evelyn said, the “global economy ”) fails to take into account both what the man actually said (Jews as a “convenient scapegoat” “in a time when income disparity is growing, when hundreds of millions of people live in abject poverty.”) and the well known fact --& historically documented evidence-- that economic crises have always caused the rise of fascism and the singling out & persecution of scapegoats. Whether looking at the economic ruin of today’s Greece & the terrible hardships of Greek citizens, with the accompanying rise of the neo-fascist party, Golden Dawn, & the repeated attacks against immigrants, or going back to the devastating post-WWI economic crisis in Germany that laid the groundwork for the Nazis’ rise to power & the persecution of German Jews (& ultimately the Final Solution), it is the same mechanism! Your rebuttal, “Most of the time these are class/social struggles and are not necessarily driven by ethnic intolerance,” fails to take into account that ‘ethnic intolerance’ is what always comes into play in singling out the ‘scapegoat’ group.

Past Member (0)
Sunday March 15, 2015, 9:20 am
No one should be harassed for being of a certain race or religious belief. All it shows is the stupidity of the harasser.

Freya H (345)
Sunday March 15, 2015, 10:01 am
Remember what happened the last time there was a major economic crisis - and Jews were made scapegoats? This time, though, they have a big strike against them, namely, the troubles in Gaza. They are wearing out the Holocaust Card, and to make matters worse, there are plenty of bugnuts with "evidence" that Shoah never happened.

I despise and abhor prejudice based on someone's faith - and I occasionally catch myself feeling it. We must judge people individually, and separately from their faith or skin color. There are good Jews and bad Jews, good Christians and bad Christians, good Hindus and bad Hindus, good Muslims and bad Muslims, good Buddhists and bad Buddhists, good atheists and bad atheists. You cannot make sweeping generalizations about any ethnic, racial, national, or sexual identity group.

Angelika R (143)
Sunday March 15, 2015, 11:20 am
Lona put it very well together above. Many great comments and I agree with them, yet I miss being pointed out more clearly that obviously, Mr Douglas failed to make clear distinction between Israel, its leadership! and the people of Israel or even the jews worldwide.
What is in the vast majority of cases perceived as anti-semitism is, in reality basically only rightful criticism of polit-Israel. No better evidence as right here at this site and community. Werever any poster picks out any of the countless injustices and more often than not, crimes committed by Israel, immediately they are labeled "anti-semites", when they are NOT:
That is thanks to Mr Netanyahu alone who changed the rule and wanted ANY criticism of his country's, i.e. HIS policies labeled as anti-semitism. What a twist and perversion! And, as Lona correctly pointed out, Douglas fell for the trap, either knowingly or not being aware of.
Yet, I wish his son only pleasant experiences as he grows up and hopefully will see the light, that his father did not see. Perhaps, while in Jerusalem for their son's Bar Mitzvah, they should have taken a closer look at the East and also at the rest of the OTs! They just might have reached a different conclusion as for the apartheid state.
Thx Sam for sharing this.

Past Member (0)
Sunday March 15, 2015, 11:46 am
European countries made a huge mistake allowing a huge influx on Muslims to settle in their lands geographically, but remain in their original lands spiritually. Extremism, militancy and intolerance displayed by many Muslims cause horrible issues to Jews and non-Jews alike.

Recent murders in France and other European countries show the severity level of that mistake.

Sam H (410)
Sunday March 15, 2015, 12:10 pm

You're right in pointing out that "European countries made a huge mistake." But that mistake was mistreating the Jews in the first place and causing them to flee to Palestine thus displacing the Palestinians.

Angelika R (143)
Sunday March 15, 2015, 1:02 pm
What recent murders in France and other European countries show, is the severity level of letthal politics the Netanyahu administration has been conducting!
On another note, Michael Douglas says "We talked. It was not a pleasant discussion." That's all and too bad he did not reveal WHAT they talked about. It takes usually two for a discussion to be and end unpleasant.

Angelika R (143)
Sunday March 15, 2015, 1:11 pm
@ Freya-and there are good leaders and there are bad leaders!

Past Member (0)
Sunday March 15, 2015, 3:49 pm
Sam, don't forget that the native Palestinians are Jew, not Arabs.

After all, Palestine is a name given by Romans to The Land Of Israel. No Arab state ever existed in Palestine. It did belonged to Ottoman Empire, but as you know Turks are not Arabs.

Arabs moved to Palestine in 19xx like they are moving to Europe now, to enjoy at the enterprise created by labor Zionists.

Here is a link for the flag of Palestine in 1939:
See what does it look like something Jewish, or Arabic.

Interesting, that Islamists in Europe started to cause the same problems now, that they are creating in Israel for a while. Many Europeans noticed the similarity and want to turn Europe back to its Judeo-Christian values. As opposed by Sharia values.

Sam H (410)
Sunday March 15, 2015, 4:14 pm
You're wrong, Bob. Neither Saladin nor Omar was in the 19th century! “According to Jewish tradition, Umar set aside the Christian ban on Jews and allowed them into Jerusalem and to worship.” See Simon Dubnow’s “History of the Jews: From the Roman Empire to the Early Medieval Period.”

Stephen Brian (23)
Sunday March 15, 2015, 5:06 pm
Hi Sam :)

It's an interesting discussion. You can probably come as close to guessing my response now as you would if I were to tell you. It's almost in line with Cal's.

Anyways, my real reason for posting is to alert you that I think you posted in the wrong tab or window. While it seems coherent, I don't see the relation between your latest post and anything else on this thread.

Past Member (0)
Sunday March 15, 2015, 5:08 pm
Saladin was not an Arab, he was Druze.

I don't know how your statement about Umar supports your point, it rather supports mine.

Read Mark Twain dairies about Palestine, and how he saw much more Jews, than Arabs. You can call him a Zionist, of course, but I think you are intelligent enough not to.

I am talking about Arabs who migrated to Palestine from the beginning of 20th century. UN considers any Arab to be Palestinian refugee if he resided in Israel from JUN 1946 to MAY 1948, i.e. for about two years.

Sam H (410)
Sunday March 15, 2015, 5:13 pm
I don't know what you mean by "the wrong tab." I was responding to Bob A's 3:49 p.m. post in which he said, "Arabs moved to Palestine in 19xx like they are moving to Europe now, to enjoy at the enterprise created by labor Zionists."

But good to see you here, Stephen.

Sam H (410)
Sunday March 15, 2015, 6:00 pm
Bob, Sorry, I'm not going to continue this discussion with you.

You made the assertion that the Palestinians moved in "19xx." I told you they were there during Saladin's and Omar's days and gave you a reference on how well they treated the Jews according to the Jewish tradition. And you still disputed that with nothing to support your claims. Most likely you have no idea in what centuries Saladin and Omar lived.

Then you made the claim that Saladin is a Druze. Another false claim. Saladin in NOT a Druze. The Druze are Arabs. The Druze came from Arabia to Lebanon to defend against the Crusaders. And when they came they were not even Druze. They became Druze during Al Hakim's reign.

You do your cause, whatever that cause is, a disservice by throwing around all that nonsense. Books are your best allies. Make use of them!


Sam H (410)
Sunday March 15, 2015, 6:47 pm
Of course, You're right, Ros. I was just responding to what our friend Bob was saying.

Janis K (129)
Sunday March 15, 2015, 8:12 pm
Thanks for sharing.

Past Member (0)
Sunday March 15, 2015, 10:56 pm
Sam, I did make a mistake, Saladin was a Kurd, and not a Druze, as I wrote, sorry for the mishap.

The rest of my message is OK. Kurds are no Arabs, and neither are Druze, this is where you are mistaken. Druze will not intermarry with Arabs and during Israeli war of Independence Druzes fought against Arabs. I won't argue about history on WHEN Druze became different from Arabs, but they of course are very different now.

I am not disputing that some Arabs could come to the Land of Israel, aka Palestine, prior to 20th century, but they never had their own state (other than Turkish Ottoman Empire), nor lived there in large numbers.

Arab and Turkish hospitality towards Jews was done according to Sharia: dhimmies pay jizzya and are somewhat protected. Sometimes Jews were badly abused and persecuted too.


Sam H (410)
Monday March 16, 2015, 5:42 am
Thanks Ros,

“The majority of Kurds live in the Middle East and also Georgia, Armenia, Russia, Israel, Azerbaijan, Lebanon, United States, and many European countries.” That makes it sound like Lebanon and Israel are not in the Middle East.

Justin Vale (13)
Monday March 16, 2015, 5:45 am
what does a western jew have to do with israeli politics? unless of course you're blaming him for being jew. but that would be racist, wouldn't it?

Justin Vale (13)
Monday March 16, 2015, 6:53 am
kurds, just mentioning the word makes me ashamed to be human. in kobani, less than 200 isis fighters routed 10,000 kurds. we had to drop a billion tons of bombs for the kurds to dislodge isis. in tikrit the kurds are begging for more bombing. saying the hundred of attacks by our planes daily are not enough. not enough? there is 150 isis fighters in tikrit. how many kurds and iraqi's? 20,000? 30,000? what will happen in mosul? there might be a thousand isis fighters holed up there. it will take a 10 million iraqi and kurd army to dislodge them. hezbollah is so afraid about the coming battle for mosul that they are sending their last remaining islamic resistance warriors. 800 of them. what's that now? 50,000 iraqi, kurds iranians and hezbollah against a thousand isis. i'll bet those inept clowns will ask fr a lot of bombing raids. kurds are worthless yo. we're gonna need boots on the ground.

LucyKaleido S (82)
Monday March 16, 2015, 9:55 am
Are you kidding? The Kurds are really fierce warriors! When the Iraqi army totally collapsed before the ISIS onslaught, it was the Kurds who held up the battle!

LucyKaleido S (82)
Monday March 16, 2015, 10:03 am
Re: Bob A's remarks about Palestinians, and the Turkish & Roman Empires: "Native Palestinians are Jew[s], not Arabs. After all, Palestine is a name given by Romans to The Land Of Israel. No Arab state ever existed in Palestine. It did belonged to Ottoman Empire, but as you know Turks are not Arabs."

Bob, you fail to realize something inherent & intrinsic about empires, whether the Roman or the Ottoman, or any other:

Empires are always a MOSAIC of different nationalities, reduced to the status of minority subjects and/or minority ethnic groups. These different nationalities do not disappear or cease living in their traditional territories simply because they have been taken over by the rulers of an empire. The empire does not 'magically' become a vast territory with a SINGLE, HOMOGENEOUS population, sharing the same ethnic roots or nationality as the empire's rulers.

There are several ‘nations’ which did not (or still do not) have their own country; whose self-determination & sovereignty have constantly & consistently been flouted: think of the Kurds or the Armenians! “Armenia is one of the oldest countries in the world with a recorded history of about 3500 years. Armenia is the [earliest,] first Christian state in the world,” with Christianity having been declared the state religion there “12 years” before “Christianity was officially legalized in the Roman Empire.” Armenia has been taken over variously by Persia, the Arab Caliphate & the Byzantine Empire, then later divided between the Ottoman Empire & Persia, and then between the Ottoman & Russian Empires, spent 71 years as part of the USSR, too.

Yet, Armenia continued to exist, in the cultural and linguistic identity of Armenians, even if they only achieved independence in 1991.

“The Kurds have lived in a mountainous, roughly 74,000-square-mile region known as Kurdistan for the past two millennia. Throughout their history, they have remained under the thumb of various conquerors and nations.”

Yet, no one (at least no rational, objective, well-informed person) would DREAM of claiming that the Kurds or the Armenians do not exist HISTORICALLY & CULTURALLY as a people within the territories they have HISTORICALLY always occupied, simply because the Kurds have always been denied a nation-state & the Armenians were --for centuries at a time-- taken over by a variety of empires & rulers, and their nation ceased to exist.

Yet, a certain hyper-Zionist dogma, based on denying the very existence of Palestinians in the territory they have historically always occupied, would have us believe that Palestinian life in Palestine has no historic or archeological basis, and that Palestinian identity is some sort of ‘invention,’ created by the enemies of Israel!

Surfing around in search of a different view supported by historical or scientific evidence, I stumbled upon this: “A 2000 study of high-resolution haplotypes demonstrated that a substantial portion of Y chromosomes of Israeli Jews (70%) and of Palestinian Muslim Arabs (82%) belonged to the same chromosome pool.”
=> Science Now, 30 Oct 2000 - “Jews and Arabs Share Recent Ancestry”: “As fighting continues in the Middle East, a new genetic study shows that many Arabs and Jews are closely related. More than 70% of Jewish men and half of the Arab men whose DNA was studied inherited their Y chromosomes from the same paternal ancestors who lived in the region within the LAST FEW THOUSAND YEARS.

The results MATCH historical accounts that Moslem Arabs are descended from Christians and Jews who lived in the southern Levant, a region that includes Israel and the Sinai. They were descendants of a CORE population that lived in the area SINCE PREHISTORIC TIMES. And in a recent study of 1371 men from around the world, geneticist Michael Hammer from the University of Arizona in Tucson found that the Y chromosome in Middle Eastern Arabs was almost indistinguishable from that of Jews.

Intrigued by the genetic similarities between the two populations, geneticist Ariella Oppenheim of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, who collaborated on the earlier study, focused on Arab and Jewish men. Her team examined the Y chromosomes of 119 Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews and 143 Israeli and Palestinian Arabs.

Many of the Jewish subjects were descended from ancestors who presumably originated in the Levant but dispersed throughout Europe before returning to Israel in the past few generations; most of the Arab subjects could trace their ancestry to men who had lived in the region for centuries or longer. The Y chromosomes of many of the men had key segments of DNA that were SO SIMILAR that they CLUSTERED INTO just ONE of three GROUPs known as haplogroups. Other short segments of DNA called microsatellites were similar enough to reveal that the men must have had COMMON ANCESTORS within the past SEVERAL THOUSAND years. The study, reported here at a Human Origins and Disease conference, will appear in an upcoming issue of Nature Genetics.”

LucyKaleido S (82)
Monday March 16, 2015, 10:10 am
Forgot to mention: "Since the early 20th century, the region has been divided between Turkey, Iran, Syria, and Iraq, all of which have repressed, often brutally, their Kurdish minority. The Kurds, who number 20–25 million, are the largest ethnic group in the world without their own nation."

Read more: Kurdish History Timeline

Past Member (0)
Monday March 16, 2015, 3:29 pm
Lucy, first, I agree with you on your assessment of Kurds as warriors. They are known to be great warriors, and I was surprised to hear from Justin that they failed to fight ISIS. Will need to check with other sources.

On your second point, I need to make a correction. Surely I see the difference between an ethnic group having or not having its own state as a part of an Empire.

What I am saying, that using the word Palestinian while focusing down only on Palestinian Arabs is incorrect. Palestinian Arabs are no different from many Arabs living in other Arab countries as they are mostly Muslim of the same Sunni sect, speak the same Arabic language, are protected by the Arab League and are part of the One Arab Nation, as Nasser put it. Which means, that their ethic group is Arabic.

Palestine was populated by many ethnic groups. Using the ward Palestinian to mark people of one ethnic group is unjust regarding all the other ethnic groups, populating the same region. If, say, French people decided to call themselves Europeans to the exclusion of others, lots of non-French Europeans would be upset. This is exactly what Palestinian Arabs did.

Finally, people would be able to call themselves Palestinians if they ever had a state called Palestine and could identify themselves as citizen of that state. But as both of us know this was not the case with Palestinian Arabs either - there was no country called Palestine. Add here a free migration of Arabs within Ottoman Empire.

Your point about common DNA is interesting, while not necessarily 100% accurate: Arabs do not have "Kohen" gene, unique to the Jewish lineage of Kohen priests. Of course there was intermarriage and rape over those thousands of years. But the definition of people is not based on DNA.

To summarize the above: Arabs living in West Bank and Gaza in modern times cannot be defined as "Palestinian People". My original comment was about "Native Palestinians", which would mean Natives of the land of Israel, and that would be Jews.

Thanks again for the info about Kurds. They have my deepest sympathy and support.

Past Member (0)
Monday March 16, 2015, 5:27 pm
Ros, please google for Kohen gene.

I found this:

"Mankind was on this earth before Religion", but Kohen priests are descendants of one person, Aaron, Moses's brother.

LucyKaleido S (82)
Monday March 16, 2015, 5:44 pm
I'm sure, Bob, that "the Jewish lineage of Kohen priests" is a very minority strain in the Jewish population at large, worldwide, no? ...whereas the findings of the study that I quoted in my last comment has truly far-reaching implications:
Let me just repeat a short summary of those findings: "More than 70% of Jewish men and half of the Arab men whose DNA was studied inherited their Y chromosomes from the SAME PATERNAL ANCESTORS who lived in the region within the LAST FEW THOUSAND YEARS." If the geneticists who carried it out are talking about "the LAST FEW THOUSAND YEARS," that necessarily means that the ancestors of BOTH present-day Jews & Palestinian Arabs were LIVING TOGETHER in the same territory as present day Gaza, the Occupied Territories & Israel.

It seems to me that if the geneticists have established that both groups, Jews & Palestinians (Arabs, for you) share common ancestors who were there during the LAST FEW THOUSAND YEARS, it is inaccurate & unreasonable to claim that only one of the groups can be considered to be "Native" to that territory. The genetic study proves that BOTH Jews & Palestinians (Palestinian Arabs, for you) are 'NATIVE' to Israel/Palestine & more strikingly still are genetically related.

And if living in the same place for the LAST FEW THOUSAND YEARS isn't enough to be considered 'NATIVE', well... "They were descendants of a CORE population that lived in the area SINCE PREHISTORIC TIMES."

LucyKaleido S (82)
Monday March 16, 2015, 5:58 pm
Also -- while I do think that the Kurds are admirable warriors, and everybody from local people to the Western Powers should be grateful to them for fighting DAESH (or ISIS), don't forget that the Kurds participated in the Turkish-led Armenian Genocide, a terrible past stain, and today still practice the horror of female genital mutilation on their young girls. They'd really have to abolish the ghastly practice of FGM to earn my full sympathy.

I think every people must enjoy the right to have their own nation and that includes the Kurds AND the Palestinians!

LucyKaleido S (82)
Monday March 16, 2015, 6:10 pm
Ros, being Jewish is more than 'just' a religion; there's a very important ethnic & historical factor. Jews who do not practice the religion are still Jews! That may sound crazy to you, but not to me.

Bob, when you say, "people would be able to call themselves Palestinians if they ever had a state called Palestine and could identify themselves as citizen[s] of that state" is really in contradiction with what you say about the Kurds: they don't have a state, yet you have no problem recognizing them as a people & calling them by their rightful name.

LucyKaleido S (82)
Monday March 16, 2015, 6:55 pm
Since you're on the line at the moment, Ros, perhaps you could explain your comment about the Russian Revolution being led mainly by too many Jews. I didn't know what to make of it, and couldn't figure out what you were driving at. For example, you say, "Soviet historians, along with most of their colleagues in the West, for decades preferred to ignore this subject," as though it was a conscious choice NOT to bring it up. You seem to be implying that there might have been something taboo about dealing with it. Maybe they ignored it simply because it wasn't interesting & there was no point in mentioning it; it was unlikely to give rise to any useful or fruitful reflection.

In any event, the disproportionate presence of Jewish leaders among the Bolshevik revolutionaries, which seems to trouble you, really didn't last very long, rest assured, since Stalin did away with all the original Bolshevik leaders, his dear comrades & the fathers of the revolution, during his frightful purges, except Lenin, of course, who had the perspicacity to die of natural causes, before things got really nasty. I never even wondered if Stalin had them all killed off because they were Jewish. Historians seem to agree it was because they were a threat to his power, which he didn't like sharing with anyone else.

I stumbled upon an interesting remark that Abba Eban made about the communist/socialist left: Throughout the 19th century, the revolutionary left literature is full of invidious remarks about the Jewish insistence on self-affirmation and survival. The assumption was that in a free national society there would be no room for the maintenance of Jewish particularism. It was assumed that the destiny and duty of Jews was to disappear in the universal utopia. -

LucyKaleido S (82)
Monday March 16, 2015, 7:13 pm

You may like this, Sam. The article presents a sort of chorus of critical Jewish voices unhappy about the way Israel is going, along the lines of your question about intolerance in Israel, interfaith marriage and living in a pluralistic society.
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, March 1999 - Jews and Israel Growing Intolerance Threatens the Humane Jewish Tradition

By the way, I'd love to know if you have a source for Abba Eban's view that interfaith marriage and living in a pluralistic society are dangers for Jews; was it dangers for Jews or for Israel, or both? I'd always thought he was more tolerant, after all, he was in favor of giving the Occupied Territories back.

LucyKaleido S (82)
Tuesday March 17, 2015, 1:21 am
Dear Ros,

If you took my statement as anti-Semitic, you'd be misinterpreting it very wrongly. This is MY experience of being Jewish, both in my home & among the Jewish friends & schoolmates I had in NY. Few were religious, but everyone had a Jewish identity. That's why I said being Jewish was ethnic, cultural & historic, not solely religious. My maternal grandmother was Jewish, too. My mother was 10 yrs old when she & her parents had to flee Nazi Germany.

My remark is in no way similar to "All Jews cheat in business." That remark is a negative & false anti-Semitic stereotype & smear. As you know, I am revolted by anti-Semitism. And living in France for the last 40 years, I have heard the same type of remark as Michael Douglas heard, not once but many times & different variations on the same hateful theme. I am very sensitive to it. I do identify with my Jewish heritage but do not practice any religion.

I didn't realize that you were replying to Cal's comment; didn't see the connection. He is 100% right, of course. The pogroms, the attacks, killings, persecutions were what drove Central / Eastern European & Russian Jews to the British Mandate of Palestine in the mid & late 19th C. Perhaps that's also why other Jews became revolutionaries - if they were disproportionately represented in the Bolshevik Party, they may have also been in other revolutionary parties, and it could very well have been because they had greater motivation to want to see the overthrow of the monarchy.

LucyKaleido S (82)
Tuesday March 17, 2015, 7:11 am
My mom never felt any survivor guilt. I think that survivor guilt is the special experience of concentration or death camp survivors, who witnessed family, friends, comrades who died gassed or of exposure, starvation, illness, beatings, medical 'experiments', executions, etc & at the end of the nightmare, said, "Why me? Why did I survive, when everyone I loved, everyone I cared about did not."

In any event, my mom suffered a different, related tragedy: only 6 years after their move to NY, her mom developed a fatal illness & died. My mom was 16 & really never recovered. She felt that her death was related to having had to leave her German village, where she was the beloved elementary school teacher & had never experienced any anti-Semitism in their small, rural world, and suddenly find herself in the strange bustling world of NY, without speaking the language & without her work as a teacher. She ended up doing hard physical work, which my mom always blamed for her falling ill. It has been an hereditary tragedy for me, because I would have loved to have known my Jewish grandmother, just to hear her voice & know what she was like, first hand. And her death made my mother such a sad woman, still crying over her loss when I was a small child, that it inevitably became my tragedy, too.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday March 17, 2015, 7:14 am
Lucy, as you know, Arabs and Jews indeed have a common forefather - Abraham. This is how they got common genes. The genes do not change when a person changes geographical location. Which means, that even if a person with Abrahamic genes moved to Iraq and his family lives there for a few thousand years, they will keep that gene. That gene does NOT make them native Palestinians.

I listed three possible classifications for an group of people to claim their nationality. Palestinian Arabs did not satisfy any of them.

It is a great discussion, but the thread is waning. It would be my pleasure to continue the discussion through personal email. I will send you a friend request shortly.

Stephen Brian (23)
Wednesday March 18, 2015, 12:53 am
Hi Sam :)

Sorry about that. I ran a search for Umar and Saladin because I am interested in their histories and didn't see any other references to them. I thought you had accidentally posted a response to intended for discussion in this one, as can happen when you have multiple similar discussions open in your browser at the same time.

Also, I'm seeing the genetics / culture conflation here and not getting into it in the middle of the night here. Maybe tomorrow. Shared genes do not directly make people of the same nation.

Carol French (273)
Saturday March 21, 2015, 8:15 pm
Let me ask if Jews are so much better than Kurds?

LucyKaleido S (82)
Sunday March 22, 2015, 7:41 am
No one said or implied any such thing!
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