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By Equating Open-Mindedness to Anti-Semitism, Zionists Are Committing a Fraud!

World  (tags: Open-mindedness, Zionism, anti-Semitism, stifling, debate, apartheid, illegal, occupation, Palestine )

- 1140 days ago -
Every day, non-Jewish residents of Israel and the Occupied Territories suffer the brunt of Israel's power to restrict free movement, access to water, land ownership and building permits, educational opportunities and due process of law.


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Sam H (410)
Friday April 8, 2016, 1:31 am
“Every day, non-Jewish residents of Israel and the Occupied Territories suffer the brunt of Israel’s power to restrict free movement, access to water, land ownership and building permits, educational opportunities and due process of law. To call Israel to account for these and other injustices stems not from hatred of “the Jews,” as if all Jews everywhere bear responsibility for Israeli policy.”

Sam H (410)
Friday April 8, 2016, 1:31 am
That IS why there’s nothing more anti-Semitic than Zionism.

Rose Becke (141)
Friday April 8, 2016, 2:20 am
Great comments Sam

Evelyn B (63)
Friday April 8, 2016, 2:34 am
An excellent article -
One shouldn't downgrade education and capacity to analyse by preventing discussion of sensitive issues.

In India, the "untouchables" are at the very bottom of the social hierarchy.

In the US (and elsewhere), by conflating criticism of political Israel and "anti-semitism", a new "untouchable caste" is being created - the political right-wing Zionists & their right-wing government of Israel - and these "untouchables" see themselves as high above any form of criticism, above the human rights principles enshrined in international law ..... They claim to represent all Jews - but they do NOT. It is not in conformity with Judaism to oppress, to discriminate against non-Jews. And growing numbers of Jews are speaking out against exactly the points that non-Jews are called "anti-Semitic" because they question the ethical stance & the resulting abuse of human rights of Palestinians by the government of the State of Israel.

Silence was wrong when it enabled the Holocaust in Germany.
Enforcing silence about human rights abuses occurring under Israeli administration is just as wrong. It is not anti-Semitic.

The author makes a very insightful comment when she says:
"Understandably, the Holocaust has ingrained in many Jews a palpable sense of vulnerability, so that even a classroom discussion about the Israeli occupation of Palestine can feel like deeply personal attack."

But any hope for peace-building requires being able to move beyond that sentiment of personal attack -
And to move on requires opportunities to DISCUSS those points which feel like personal attack - in order to learn to filter what is NOT in fact personal attack, and what really IS.
Silencing debate prevents critical learning

Thanks Sam - an article to share ....

Maria Teresa Schollhorn (42)
Friday April 8, 2016, 3:00 am
Great article! Thanks for sharing Sam.

Farah Hage Ali (154)
Friday April 8, 2016, 3:23 am
Dominating Media helps them to manipulate truth and owning resources and gaining money guarantees ultimate power. So what is left for the Palestinians is almost nothing to defend their rights. it is a pathetic situation. It is more than just anti semitism discussion it is more or less an existentialist one.

Freya H (345)
Friday April 8, 2016, 7:01 am
Irony of ironies that Israel is committing the very same sins that for millennia were inflicted on Jews. I agree that Israel has a right to exist, but it does not have the right to oppress or discriminate. Saying that criticizing Israel's cruel policies is anti-Semitic plays right into the filthy paws of real anti-Semites. Hitler is dancing in Hell.

Evelyn B (63)
Friday April 8, 2016, 10:00 am
Very true, Freya .... *******************
And Farah *******************************

Kathleen M (208)
Friday April 8, 2016, 2:43 pm
Thanks for sharing, Sam. Criticizing crimes against humanity committed by Israel against the Palestinian people is not anti-semitism. No matter how many times the false equivalence is repeated, how loudly and how hard Netanyahu et al. try to legislate and otherwise bully critics into silence, it's not gonna change the facts. Accusing people of singling out Israel for censure (as opposed to including China, North Korea or Guatemala) every time it's expressed is nothing but an increasingly smelly red herring, and I'm throughly sick of it! Finally, thank you Esteemed Commentors, for sharing your wisdom and insight.

Angelika R (143)
Friday April 8, 2016, 4:23 pm
Thanks Sam for another great article. There's really nothing I could comment that I haven't said countless times before. I think I'll simply choose the original headline as a comment:
We must be OK with uncomfortable conversations about Israel ! No off-limits, no-go areas, or ifs and buts, as long as we don't drift into foul language and stick to the truth.

Evelyn B (63)
Friday April 8, 2016, 4:45 pm
Yes, Angie - that title speaks volumes!

This is one of the occasions when your "editing" didn't add much, Sam, because the original title is very powerful!

Past Member (0)
Saturday April 9, 2016, 6:40 am
Accepting diversity always leads to prosperity

Stephen Brian (23)
Saturday April 9, 2016, 7:56 am
This is the article to which the one here responds:

There are two problems here:

Open-mindedness makes a lot of students uncomfortable, to the point where they cry "Racism!" and university administrators coddle them, unless they're Jews, of course. As far as these administrators are concerned, it's fine for student organizations throughout the UC system to call for the killing of Jews as an appropriate response for Israeli policy, for a Stanford student senator to echo the early stages of the Nazis' propaganda-machine which enabled the Holocaust, for the expulsion of all Israelis from U.S. universities as part of an "academic boycott". Of course, you can't have a party with sombreros and tequila because that's offensive, or cultural appropriation or something. That's one hell of a double-standard.

This brings us to the other problem: Summers never criticized open-mindedness or uncomfortable conversations about Israel in general. He objected to the double-standard. The fact is when trying to avoid offending anybody, university administrators are caught between a rock and a hard place. A lot of pro-Palestinian groups and Zionist groups find a failure to endorse, or endorsement of the other, offensive. There is no way to avoid offense, which leads the other way of handling the double-standard to which Summers objected; Be fine with uncomfortable conversations about everything, not just Israel: Ignore "micro-aggression" entirely and just concentrate on the big stuff like, well, calling for the deaths of fellow students by leaders of student organizations.

Lona Goudswaard (66)
Saturday April 9, 2016, 8:51 am
"[]debate about Israeli policy is not anti-Semitic. Israel should be held accountable for the injustices it perpetrates". There's really nothing I could add to that and the above comments.

Thanks for posting this excellent article, Sam.

Lois Jordan (63)
Saturday April 9, 2016, 1:29 pm
Noted. Thanks for posting, Sam. I thought it was an excellent article, too.
I agree with others' above comments; especially Freya's comment----it does seems that the "bullied" have become the "bullies." Way past time to stop the flow of our U.S. tax dollars to Israel. Enough is enough.

Evelyn B (63)
Saturday April 9, 2016, 5:56 pm
Funny you should say that, Ros -

I commented on a story about Israeli medical staff who have gone out of their way to help a Syrian child who was injured - and who was found to have cancer. (Sadly, someone had used the occasion to suggest that the other countries of the region don't have people who would be so human - which I objected to.)
However, I added to the conversation providing some links to articles about that Australian Israeli doctor, Dr Michael Harari, who works (or worked) in Ziv Medical Center, & had helped care for some 250+ injured from Syria, who IDF ambulances would brink to the Centre. More than 50 of these were children.

For this, I was attacked!

And when I asked if they'd checked the links (are dared them to), the reply was they already knew, so no - they hadn't! They'd need their heart medication if it were anything positive ...... That was on Friday .... One more aggressive comment since from another of that group ... Zero response concerning the articles about Harari's work .....

As you say - no real conversation,
just strong aggressivity based on personal prejudgements.

fly bird (26)
Saturday April 9, 2016, 7:11 pm
Roadmap to Apartheid trailer.
Official trailer for the upcoming movie Roadmap to Apartheid. Narrated by Alice Walker.

Roadmap to Apartheid – Film Review (VIDEO)

There are many lessons to draw from the South African experience of Apartheid relevant to conflicts all over the world. Roadmap to Apartheid explores in detail the apartheid comparison as it is used in the enduring Israel-Palestine conflict. As much an historical document of the rise and fall of apartheid, the film shows us why many Palestinians feel they are living in an apartheid system today, and why an increasing number of people around the world agree with them.

For more information go to

Roadmap to Apartheid – Film Review (VIDEO)

It is curious that the more Israel denies apartheid, and the more other states, such as Canada, “condemn” the BDS movement, the more awareness of the true situation of the Palestinians increases in the general population.

Fear of BDS

The Israelis know full well the impact that the label “apartheid” and its associated boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement had on South Africa. Their denials only reinforce the significance of these events and labels. One prime example derives from former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren in his book Ally (Random House, 2015), an account of his life leading up to but mostly concerning his role as ambassador.

At one point he is discussing all the difficult questions he receives concerning Israeli/Palestinian relations. He answers “All questions remained kosher but two.” Kosher indicates that something is legitimate or admissible for Jewish concerns. One of the questions that is not kosher is “Isn’t Israel an apartheid state just like South Africa?” His red-herring counter argument is that because the Knesset has Arab members as do the armed forces, then how does that “remotely resemble an apartheid state?” That line of argument is disingenuous and would be similar to saying there is no racism in the U.S. because their president is black and so are many of their military – it is simply an invalid argument.

What Michael Oren really fears is revealed later when he writes,

“Terrorism could not defeat Israel, only stain the Palestinians’ reputation and divert global attention from settlements. But a policy designed to isolate, delegitimize, and sanction Israel could bring about its downfall. ”

For all that Oren writes from his tribal, uber-patriotic and religious background, he at least recognizes this as a genuine threat. Yes, the ”terror” certainly diverted mainstream media attention away from the settlements (good for Israel), but the BDS movement is obviously having an impact on the Israeli government and its sycophantic allies (good for Palestine).

Roadmap to Apartheid

The idea of apartheid and the concept and actions of BDS are fully linked because of the South African experience. The documentary Roadmap to Apartheid (2012) by Ana Nogueira and Eron Davidson highlights the parallels between what happened in South Africa and what is happening in Palestine. Beyond the parallels, the commentators from South Africa indicate that Israel is worse than their situation actually was, and – perhaps more revealing – is that the two countries worked together on military and security resources, up to and including nuclear weapons.

At the beginning of the movie and continuing throughout are powerful visual segments comparing actions in South Africa with near identical actions Palestine. The colonial nature of settlements, the expulsions of indigenous people, the occupation of lands, and the set up of separate areas for the indigenous – the actual apartheid – is well documented. The Boers in South Africa invoked their ‘god given rights’ to the land, and the architecture to enforce that involved passes and blockages to control the native population. Similarly in Palestine there are internal ID cards and over 600 manned checkpoints operating at the discretion of the military. This is informed by the S.A Council of Churches recognizing the continuous checking by military junta duties for the soldiers.

Later in the documentary, the amount of land and its control mechanisms are emphasized. In S.A. 80 per cent of the population – the blacks – lived in bantustans that were theoretically “advanced to independence.” The whites in S.A. controlled over 87 per cent of the land (do the math: 13 per cent for the 80 per cent population) and described the indigenous population as “foreign natives.” In parallel 90 per cent of Palestinian land is reserved for Jews only with the descriptor applied to the indigenous Arabs as “present absentees.” Both terms are self-contradictory and purely racist in functional terms. The whole idea, as expressed by Ali Abunimah, is to create an “artificial majority.”

Demographics and Apartheid

In the context of Gaza, the Israelis always say how wonderful they were to remove their settlements from Gaza in 2005. This introduces the “demographic” fear that is counterpart to the “artificial majority”. Returning to Oren’s work and another revealing argument is that very demographics:

“Israel needed to establish a reality in which the maximum number of Jews would live within Israel and the Palestinians would not be under our rule.”

Thus demographics, settlements, and apartheid are all combined in the demographic fear of simply being overwhelmed by another people’s majority.

Returning to the Roadmap to Apartheid, Gaza is identified as being simply an enormous segregated open air prison, much like the South African bantustans, and their predecessor internment camps. As noted by Jeff Halper, “Prisoners have 95 per cent of the area – the authorities maybe 5 per cent.”

In Gaza, technically, the authorities have 0 per cent of the land, but effectively control its space 100 per cent through closed borders, closed air space, severe sea limits, the destruction of civil infrastructure (sewage treatment plants, power supply, schools, hospitals) and an almost unbelievable caloric mathematical formula that calculates how much food is allowed to go into Gaza, in order to create borderline starvation.

In the words of Dov Weissglass, “The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.” Yes, severe malnutrition is ideal.

Reason to Fear

Roadmap to Apartheid includes other topics. One of the major ones is the house demolitions in Jerusalem and the ramifications of those actions – and the parallels with S.A. It discusses the military liaisons with the apartheid government of S.A. Also noted are the discriminatory laws for civil life, the control of resources including water and farmland, the purpose of the ‘wall’ to further the segregations and make a contiguous Palestine impossible (thus the bantustans).

The last part of the documentary discusses the overall situation, indicating the lack of symmetry between security and ‘terrorism’ in which an internal and international resistance is up against a “sophisticated structure of oppression.” BDS becomes the most effective way, the peaceful route, to overcoming the oppression. It is a non-violent movement (that ironically has been derided as being ineffective compared to ‘negotiations’) that proved effective in S.A. which has become a different and healthier country (far from perfect due to the dismissing of many ANC goals), including a Truth and Reconciliation tribunal that softened and dissipated much of the anger.

South Africa is a united country. Israel/Palestine is currently a de facto united country, with the possibility of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel remaining simply as an ideological means to continue establishing “facts on the ground” on Palestinian land. South Africa demonstrates that BDS is a valid method to counter occupation and oppression, and that it can provide a peaceful means of resolution to the conflict.

. (0)
Saturday April 9, 2016, 7:41 pm

Evelyn B (63)
Sunday April 10, 2016, 3:49 am
An update - I did at least get a reply in that thread by one of the two aggressors recognising that what I'd posted WAS positive (described, however, as "out of character"!! As if they KNOW my character since they have already judged me without fair trial!! - come to think of it - that's also standard practice towards Palestinians, too ...)

Which showed some integrity .... kudos to her for that.

Margie FOURIE (148)
Sunday April 10, 2016, 4:15 am
Well you not do so? If the European countries had stuck to this example, there would be many more still alive.

John De Avalon (36)
Sunday April 10, 2016, 5:52 am
So none of you are anti-Semitic? Thanks for clarifying.

Though all of you openly support BDS which is the prime cause of the growing anti-Semitism around the globe and whose leaders are dedicated to the destruction of the state of Israel. No Jew outside Israel is responsible for anything Netanyahu or the IDF may - or may not - have done in Gaza or the West Bank. And the great majority of Israelis aren't either. Though that fact doesn't seem relevant to certain people.

And what's all this about trying to starve the Palestinians? That's pure hate rhetoric. The Egyptians have a total blockade on Gaza, the Israelis don't. They only have a partial blockade on materials that could be used to construct terror tunnels and build rockets. If Hamas ceased building terror tunnels and firing rockets at civilian targets in Israel, the embargo would end tomorrow. It's as simple as that.

Going back to the subject of starvation. Their lives are hard because of their political masters, but are Palestinians starving? No.
Google this incredible story from only a few weeks ago, how Hamas destroyed 15 TONNES of Snickers bars!

Look at the map of Europe. How it has changed over the years. And why has it changed? Because countries started wars and lost.
The Arabs launched a GENOCIDAL war against the fledgling Israel, seeking to annihilate the country and its people. But, despite overwhelming numbers, they lost.
Yes, Israel took some land as 'spoils of war' BUT Jordan annexed the West Ban from the Palestinians and Egypt annexed Gaza Province from the Palestinians. Together their 'Arab brothers' took more land, MORE!, than the Israelis did. and that is why Palestine disappeared from the map.

Assuming it doesn't come to a nuclear last stand, eventually there will be a two nation solution. Pretty much what they had back in 1948 - and what will have been the point of all the bloodshed and violence???

Bloodshed, hate and boycotts won't achieve anything, other than foster yet more violence, hate and the rise of extremism.
It's compromise and the hand of friendship that is needed.

Evelyn B (63)
Sunday April 10, 2016, 8:35 am
The "fledgling Israel" being SO innocent ...

Not ALL Israelis are in such denial of their role in those events ...... In both the following stories, it is Israelis who are the driving force
Palestine Marks 68th Anniversary of Deir Yassin Massacre
To My Fellow Israelis: We Can Stop This (An Open Letter From An Israeli Jew)

Open discussion, not total denial, is essential to progress in resolving the painful mess of Israel & Palestine.

John De Avalon (36)
Sunday April 10, 2016, 10:13 am
Both sides committed atrocities and no-one is denying this or defending it - bad things happen in war. (Do you think the Allies were whiter than whiter in WW2 because they weren't e.g. the RAF bombing of Dresden, the orgy of gang rape committed by French colonial troops in Italy etc. etc.)

The Americans had wanted to see an independent, one nation, majority rule Palestine with the full rights of all religious faiths enshrined in the constitution. Despite the pogroms of the 20s, this could have been possible. But because the Grand Mufti, leader of the Palestinian Arabs, had sworn to annihilate all Jews - man. woman and child - this made a united Palestine impossible. Hence a two nation solution, though there was also a case for an independent Christian enclave.

We then arrive at 1948 were religious bigotry again raised its head, with disasterous consequences for the Palestinians. They were defeated by the Israelis and betrayed by their Arab brothers. That is why there is no Palestine today.

The lesson - and the point being alluded to - is the folly of stirring up hatred and intolerance because people worship the same God but by a different name, or even the same God by the same name but by a different ideology.

Sam H (410)
Sunday April 10, 2016, 10:15 am

After John’s spiel, do you still think that Zionists do not engage in dishonest, deceitful behavior by misrepresenting the facts?

Some lost souls do believe that these are the ingredients they use to concoct their fraudulent argument!

Sam H (410)
Sunday April 10, 2016, 10:41 am
Using prior war crimes to justify the crimes committed by the Zionists is unfathomable, but that argument leads to the inadvertent admission that they committed those crimes.

“They were defeated by the Israelis and betrayed by their Arab brothers. That is why there is no Palestine today.”

Had the Palestinians not been betrayed by the Arabs and had they done to the Zionists what the Zionists did to them, what would be John’s argument be today?

It’s a fallacy to refer to the same God. The blood of Abraham alone does not guarantee that it’s the same God. A God that tells you to turn the other cheek is not the same God that tells you “Every place where you set your foot will be yours: Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean Sea.”

Exploiting religion, whatever “religion” means, is the real problem. Palestinians and Jews deserve to live in peace not because of their religions, but because of their humanity. It IS self-defeating for the Zionists to accept that simple concept!

Sam H (410)
Sunday April 10, 2016, 10:49 am
And what John is saying amounts to saying, “Hitler committed crimes and the Allies committed crimes. So what?”

The immorality of taking such a position is mindboggling!

Janet B (0)
Sunday April 10, 2016, 12:21 pm

Evelyn B (63)
Sunday April 10, 2016, 12:25 pm
Any situation where one people occupies and oppresses another is a conflict situation - a war crushed underground by the occupation - Israel perpetuates this by its policies -

So if "Both sides committed atrocities and no-one is denying this or defending it - bad things happen in war." applied then, it still applies. So you are justifying the violence of today, John - and if you are fair, this would have to apply to the Palestinians as well as the Israelis.

Sam - G*D does not direct this way today - not to the Palestinians, not to the Israelis ...
These values are POLITICAL, not religious.
On both sides.

The G*D, YWH, Allah, Dieu .... of the Abrahamic religions is the same - mankind's understanding differs.

But for religious bigotry .... some of the most extreme was expressed by some of the immigrant communities ... maybe the pogroms shaped this bigotry ... but the pogroms were not perpetrated by Arabs. And such bigotry was coming in well before 1948 ... See "Seeds of Conflict 1913"

I'm not even start to go into the rest of the stale misinformation which comes up over and over again ....

Birgit W (160)
Sunday April 10, 2016, 1:48 pm
I agree with Freya's comment. Thanks.

Debra G (0)
Sunday April 10, 2016, 8:38 pm
Sam, can your altered headline be any more incendiary? You are one of the most close-minded individuals on Care2 - no gray areas allowed, huh?

Colleen L (3)
Sunday April 10, 2016, 8:48 pm
Great article. Thanks Sam

John De Avalon (36)
Monday April 11, 2016, 5:46 am
Evelyn: Maybe you should research your history. You seem to think all was 'sweetness and light' in the region before 1948!
You are forgetting the Greek Genocide, the Armenian Genocide, the Assyrian Genocide ... All within a few decades of that time. Nearly two million murdered. Beheadings, immolation, crucifixion, torture, enslavement, gang rape - you name it, it happened.
Religious bigotry and hatred. And no Jews involved!

John De Avalon (36)
Monday April 11, 2016, 6:05 am
Sam: Then there'd be no argument would there! If the Arabs had had their way then there would have been another genocide - a Jewish genocide - to put with the Greek Genocide, the Armenian Genocide and Assyrian Genocide ... and the animist genocide of long ago.

Evelyn B (63)
Monday April 11, 2016, 6:47 am
No Semites (Palestinian, Arab) either - so what's your point, John?

You use an example of how an Occupying Power (Ottoman Turks) massacred those they'd oppressed who resisted them -
And you can't see the true parallel?

As for "no Jews involved" - I could be flippant and say they were too busy massacring Arab non-Jews in Palestine, but I won't, it would be somewhat exaggerated & racist. However - there were Jewish advisors in the Ottoman Court - I've never looked to see what role they played in the politics that led to those massacres - it wouldn't necessarily have been their "Jewish" characteristic that drew them in to supporting Ottoman politics. I DO know that a delegation of Jewish Palestinians went to Istanbul in 1910, betrayed a planned uprising by Palestinians (not specifically Muslim, Christian or Jewish) in the hope of getting the Sultan to endorse a Jewish homeland .... Rather similar to Husseini's efforts with Hitler's government some 30 years later, when he thought Hitler might win, and he wanted protection for the non-Jewish Palestinians. An action that has been converted into "wanted Hitler to kill all Jews" in Hasbara narrative. But there again, we're talking about politics, not religion. A distinction you also try to avoid recognising.

I do wonder sometimes whose history & geography needs checking against reliable sources.

John De Avalon (36)
Monday April 11, 2016, 9:32 am
The point, Evelyn, is that it exposes your cringe worthy suggestion that all was sweetness and light before 1948. It wasn't.
That post wasn't just nonsense, it was racist nonsense. Maybe it would be a good idea if you took your own advice and researched your history before speaking.

The anti-Semitism that was rife in the Ottoman Empire is well documented. The pogroms, the racist violence and intimidation, the daily religious bigotry. Morris in his work cites an example of this, quoting a traveller to the region
"I have seen a little fellow of six years old, with a troop of fat toddlers of only three and four, teaching them to throw stones at a Jew. , and one little urchin would, with the greatest of coolness, waddle up to the man and literally spit upon his Jewish gabardine. To all this the Jew is obliged to submit, it would be more than his life was worth to offer to strike a Mahommedan

If one wanted to draw a parallel as you put it, one could do so with the refugees of today and the Armenians of a hundred years ago.
Then, the Christian Armenians - at least those left alive after the massacres - were forced to cross Arab and Kurdish lands to reach the lands the Ottomans had exiled them to, en route suffered beheading, crucifixion, immolation, torture, enslavement, gang rape, looting and denial of food.
Quite a contrast to the current refugees who crossing Christian lands to reach Germany, have done so up until recently, freely, receiving aid all along the way and on reaching their destination receiving welfare benefits, free education and healthcare, and a council flat!

John De Avalon (36)
Monday April 11, 2016, 10:25 am
And I'm not even going to bother answering the bit about the Grand Mufti al-Husseini. Just Google Grand Mufti and Nazism, it's all there.
While you're at it, search out al-Husseini's comments at the Peel Commission where he openly conceded that the Jews hadn't 'stolen' any land, but rather that Arab landowners had willingly sold - SOLD - huge areas of land (at grossly inflated prices) to the Jews.

Evelyn B (63)
Monday April 11, 2016, 11:16 am
John - you are still confusing the Ottomans with the Arabs, getting your history & geography muddled, and trying to shift attention from the original subject.

I didn't say all was sweetness and light pre 1948 - I know it wasn't, but the pogroms were by the Ottomans (against Christians) & Russians (against the Jews), never Arab in the period you are looking at ... and the examples you were trying load the blame for on the Palestinians were so inaccurately based that they actually offered a closer parallel to what is being done to the Palestinians today. But there was far better mutual coexistence in Jerusalem in the early years of the 20th century and in earlier centuries than was the case in "Christian" Europe and Russia. That is attested by many Jewish families of Palestinian origin, as well as by Palestinians.

I was "educated" about the Armenian experience by Armenians themselves - including about the manipulation of their leaders by the allies, who wanted to have the Turks distracted from their support for Germany by uprisings within Anatolia. The British history books certainly didn't teach that ..... nor that all promises of helping (re)create Armenia evaporated once the Armenian uprisings had brought down swords, bullets & bloodshed on Armenian communities in Anatolia. Nor did they teach how, for political reasons, Britain undermined an agreement in the 1870s that made Russia guarantor of improved rights for Armenians ...... There were also Turkish fingers in build-up to the 1915 massacres - because Turks were beginning to wish for an overthrow of their Ottoman regime

Another factor was massacres of Muslims (by Christians) in the Balkans & in the Caucasus - leading to waves of refugees & politicians (as always) used this to further their interests. Enver Pasha, in charge of the army, blamed Armenians for his defeat ... and later on, he was the Minister of War who set the genocide rolling in 1915. And the families who had been refugees from Christian violence played key roles in the genocide of 1915. The Kurds (neither Turk nor Arab) also were allowed to act freely against the Armenian communities - & there, too, politics & land grabbing were driving forces ... not religion per se.

Enough - you'll only cherry pick to cover lack of understanding of all but a hazy picture of the complex dynamics of the region. There's little hope of your trying to grasp a fuller picture that might not suit the painting of those you choose to be "the bad guys" ( why waste time, & bore those who don't need all this?)
And your deviation efforts have led to far too much "off topic" already.

Apologies, Sam - I've allowed myself to be side-tracked.
Should really know by now not to feed trolls!

Sam H (410)
Monday April 11, 2016, 1:12 pm
Thanks Evelyn!

I wish I could share your optimism about the possibility of educating John. He seems to have discarded any open-mindedness he may have possessed long time ago.

But for the enlightened readers, you offer an invaluable lesson in history. Luckily there are more of those than there are Johns!

Evelyn B (63)
Monday April 11, 2016, 6:34 pm
Thanks, Sam, for those kind words ("blush")

Stephen Brian (23)
Monday April 11, 2016, 8:32 pm
Hi John :)

Broad daylight killings like that of Jews in the Arab-dominant regions of the Ottoman Empire did not constitute pogroms. A pogrom is a state-sanctioned and instigated riot, an "open season" where it is known that a group will not be protected by the law mixed with a public initiative to have people engage in violence that would otherwise be illegal. They were both terrible, but different things.

In a broad sense I agree with you: The demand that the settlements be removed as a precondition for peace and statehood, made by leaders of Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza, and their supporters, is as blatant a sign as possible that it is inconceivable for them that a Palestinian state could tolerate, at all, any Jewish communities within it. Given that frankly genocidal level of intolerance of Jews, the question of what they would do if given their way as so many posters on Care2 seem to want, barely needs to be asked. That said, it is worth getting terms and facts straight: For there to have been pogroms in Arab states in the 20s, they would have had to have been sanctioned by the Mandate Powers, and antisemitic violence was not condoned by them (unless you count sending Jewish refugees who sought safe haven back to the Nazis, which still wasn't pogroms).

Sam H (410)
Monday April 11, 2016, 9:11 pm
Stephen, you started on the right track, but you had to ad this “unless you count sending Jewish refugees who sought safe haven back to the Nazis, which still wasn't pogroms.”

The Palestinians had nothing to do with that. It was the British who imposed restrictions on the Jewish immigration to Palestine. Even if the Palestinians wanted to restrict the entry of Jewish immigrants, they couldn’t, as evidenced by the political reality on the ground and by the fact that the Jewish immigration continued. And if they didn’t have the clout stop Jewish immigration to Palestine, they even had less power to decide where to send them back.

John De Avalon (36)
Tuesday April 12, 2016, 2:12 am
Evelyn: And you are cherry-picking by neglecting to mention the Hebron and Safed massacres of 1929.

Indeed, a shameful act of governments - still going on today - that they stir up unrest and revolt against other governments that are at odds with. Agitation with the Armenians certainly but that didn't 'justify' what happened, what was allowed to happen.
If you have time Google the 1919 film 'Auction of Souls' which tells the story of what happened, with more suggestion than graphic detail, but still shocking all the same.

There we are again at odds. You and your friends with their continual Israel and thinly veiled Jew bashing threads. That won't take us any nearer to peace and cordial co-existence.
Intended or not, all it is likely to do is stir up anti-Semitism against Jews outside Israel.
Hate begets hate. And hate always results in violence sooner or later. That's my point.

John De Avalon (36)
Tuesday April 12, 2016, 2:14 am
Sam: True to form.

John De Avalon (36)
Tuesday April 12, 2016, 2:31 am
Stephen: That is incorrect and not what I said, if you read it..
The Ottoman Empire sanctioned pogroms against Jews and Christians in its time.
The British and French mandates over former Ottoman Arabia only came into being after the demise of the Ottoman Empire.
The Hebron and Safed massacres were just that, massacres not pogroms.


John De Avalon (36)
Tuesday April 12, 2016, 3:11 am
Stephen: 'Returned Jews to the Nazis'? Are you thinking of the Exodus? That was in 1947. 4,500 Holocaust survivors were refused entry to the Palestinian Protectorate and returned to Germany.

Despite them having nowhere to go Britain imposed immigration quotas on Holocaust survivors trying to reach sanctuary. They were the 'boat people' of their day.
The British interned 53,000 in camps on Cyprus rather than let them land (in the Palestinian Protectorate)

Evelyn B (63)
Tuesday April 12, 2016, 3:15 am
Stephen - John will shift ground, introduce other cases - anything rather than admit that some Jews were part of organised massacres .... When he deviated the discussion to discuss massacres committed by an Occupying Power of rebellious oppressed groups - it was designed to say that open-minded uncomfortable discussions aren't possible if part of the groups concerned are Israeli/Jewish.

I still fail to understand how anyone can think that violence is justified - that some wrongs are RIGHT because of who commits them - leaving only the wrongs of some of the participants identified as WRONG. Which basically is his argument here. And he'll keep raising any & all wrongs suffered by (some, mainly immigrant) Jews in Palestine - but will whitewash the other wrongs committed against the Palestinians.

And this recognition, by both sides, is the uncomfortable conversation that MUST take place - because the level ground for building a future requires it.

And as for the situation concerning the settlements - a growing problematic element that will have to be part of the same conversations - there are various positions. An official "they must be moved" is a political narrative .... as long as there is not that uncomfortable conversation. But you will also find other positions - and they also vary according to whether the topic is "One State" or Two State". Some propose integrating the settlements in a "Two State" - but as Palestinians, under Palestinian law, as equals. The settler & right winger response to that is to ignore it - and to claim all the West Bank, referring to the Palestinian area as "Judea & Samaria" & thus implicitly annexing the whole area. Such a one-sided position blocks the necessary conversation every bit as much as (some) Palestinians saying that the settlers must leave.

BOTH sides have people & groups committing acts that are violent and wrong - under international & national law. BOTH sides have to listen sincerely to the other side.

So - please stop deviating attention from the topic of this thread by trying to pull out every wrong you can find - whether committed by Palestinians or others - against Jews or Christians ... and trying to prove that it is "impossible" to have co-existence. That is not true. That different communities sometimes flare up against other communities - usually over water, land &/or politics rather than over religion .... that happens irrespective of religious affiliation. But the huge massacres of Jews were committed in another continent ... and largely by Christians (European, Russian) not by Palestinians.

And even there, it was economics, power, politics that were the driving forces ..... religion was a convenient label. Just as it was recently in Former Yugoslavia & BiH .... where the "uncomfortable conversation" didn't take place at the end of WW2, Titov took the situation in (iron) hand, and so things exploded in the '90s - mainly between Croats (Catholic) & Serbs (Orthodox). More massacres & horrors, politically driven but disguised as religious.


John De Avalon (36)
Tuesday April 12, 2016, 9:48 am
Evelyn: And my statement "Both sides committed atrocities" means what exactly????

On the contrary, it is you and your friends here who are seeing things through blinkered vision. Seeing only one side. And correcting that distorted viewpoint is why the narrative takes the course that it does. Mind you, a good thing to highlight the truth.

Sam H (410)
Tuesday April 12, 2016, 10:05 am
No John! Your statement says, "...responsible for anything Netanyahu or the IDF may - or may not - have done in Gaza or the West Bank."

You're not sure yet of what Netanyahu and the IDF have committed! And all those Palestinian children are dropping dead on their own!

Would a conviction by ICC convince you of what they did so you could drop your "maybes"?

John De Avalon (36)
Tuesday April 12, 2016, 4:53 pm
Sam: 26 posts up, there in black and white "Both sides committed atrocities"

The 'may or may not have done' is a reference to the antics of Pallywood. A tissue of fabrications. That's the trouble with lying and crying wolf, ultimately no-one will believe them when they are telling the truth.

Sam H (410)
Tuesday April 12, 2016, 5:34 pm

There’s no abuse worse than equating the victim with the abuser. No Palestinian ever—prior to being abused—abused a Jew in Europe or in Brooklyn. But Zionists from Europe and Brooklyn committed atrocities against the Palestinians in their homes.

If magnitude did not matter, the Holocaust—apparently, in your view— would be just another massacre. It is the extent of the horrendous crimes committed against the Jews that singles out that event in history for its unparalleled enormity.

Equating any atrocities committed by the Palestinians against the Zionists to the atrocities committed by the Zionists against the Palestinians is an attempt to distort the facts. Just look at the numbers—if your fanaticism, hatred and bigotry allow you do that.

While the loss of a single life is one too many, equating losses sustained by an occupying force to losses incurred by those defending their homes is a twisted, immoral way of looking at the reality of the situation.

But we learned not to expect anything less than that from you, John!

Evelyn B (63)
Wednesday April 13, 2016, 12:35 am
Sam - He is succeeding in doing exactly what he set out to do ... distract people from the content of an excellent, thought-provoking article about being open-minded enough to engage constructively in uncomfortable discussions in order to move forward in mutual understanding. Starting from rejecting the fact that inter-faith coexistence within the indigenous populations was the norm in the Eastern Mediterranean over centuries (yes, occasional spats, usually triggered by political interests & power/control games - but not the continuous hate along religious divides that Zionist/hasbara teaching wants to sell - look at where major triggers of conflict lay - invasions by outsiders imposing their judgements ... the spread of early Islam in the coastal areas became really bloody when European Christians invaded to fight them - & being totally ignorant they massacred the indigenous people often irrespective of religion because they didn't know, didn't even care? And the next major seeds of conflict were sown with immigration/ invasion of Jewish communities driven by fear of what they'd been encountering in Russia & Europe ... and ignorant of the existing indigenous population. The triggers WEREN'T in the long-time indigenous groups, who co-existed, with their differences in religion & traditions - but that doesn't suit the hasbara narrative), he's throwing in any example of Jewish victimhood, to prevent a discussion that can't evolve if one keeps using specific events as weapons against respectful mutual communication. Accuracy is of no importance - attack is the game.

Stephen - thanks for your integrity about inaccuracy - not appreciated by some! I'll question some of your assertions (not surprising, we know we have zones of perception where we can't agree!!) - but not here, it's too far off topic

Evelyn B (63)
Wednesday April 13, 2016, 7:02 am
"I don't have a problem with my tax dollars going towards helping others........ "
And that's the huge difference between you and certain others, Ros!! Why one can discuss with you, even where one's perspective varies ..... because your humanity is solid & straightforward!
(So unlike certain others, e.g. who want to shove millions of refugees into temporary accommodation near Mina & Mecca, in Saudi Arabia - with no work, no schools, even sanitation & health infrastructure is designed for the short period during Hajj ....... )

John De Avalon (36)
Wednesday April 13, 2016, 7:38 am
And so it goes on ... The fact that there is resort to the usual personal abuse and misquoting only shows the weakness of your argument.

And to hold up the Ottoman Empire as a Shangri-la of peace and brotherly love! The Ottomans ran the largest, most monstrous slave trade in human history. Most of the black slaves shipped to the Americas from West Africa were sold to the whites by Ottoman slave traders. They regularly raided neighbouring lands to abduct slaves, usually girls to sexually violate. (Before you get hot under the collar, Google it)

There were plenty of religious massacres and pogroms (Again, Google it)

They were many rebellions against Ottoman rule (Again Google it)

Under the Ottomans there was only Ottoman Arabia, divided up into administrative districts. There was no Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Kuwait, Iraq etc etc. No Palestine. These were created by British and French bureaucrats after WW1, often with very little logic behind the drawing of boundaries.

There were Muslims - Sunni and Shia, Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Yazidi ... It was multi-faith. All bound together under the Ottoman yoke.
After the fall of the Ottomans and the end of the mandates, new countries emerged. The Muslims got 99.9% of the land, the Jews got a tiny portion of land, (and they only got that because the Arabs had vowed to exterminate them, making a united Palestine impossible) Christians got nothing, the Zoroastrians got nothing and the Yazidi got nothing.

Upon the UN giving Israel its statehood and independence the Arabs launched a genocidal attack on the Israelis seeking to destroy them, but they lost. The Israelis took some land as war trophy, but it was treachery from their Arab brothers - the Egyptians annexing Gaza Province fro the Palestinians and the Jordanians annexing the West Bank from the Palestinians - together they took MORE land than the Israelis did - which caused Palestine to disappear fro the map.

And the rest as they say is history.

Evelyn B (63)
Wednesday April 13, 2016, 8:11 am
What a lot of hot air, to deviate from the subject of the story posted ....
The only person to suggest anything about "hold up the Ottoman Empire as a Shangri-la of peace and brotherly love!" is you, John. Nobody else had referred to the Ottoman Empire prior to you ....
It was the start of your distraction tactics - and as Stephen pointed out, you attached other inaccuracies there ....

The 20th century saw many "countries" added to maps - and many changes of name for geographic areas. Totally irrelevant to a thread that concerns "uncomfortable conversations" about Israel & Palestine - and the need for such in order to move forward towards building peace.

Marija Mohoric (25)
Wednesday April 13, 2016, 8:14 am
good article, tks

John De Avalon (36)
Thursday April 14, 2016, 7:01 am
You keep telling yourself that, Evelyn. It is one long whitewash with you.
You don't know your history.

As you say, the world changed after WW2. Large areas of Eastern Europe changed hands. Poland lost a large area of land - even though they had been the victims of war. Germany lost a large area of land
Romania lost land. Finland lost land.
Tibet was swallowed up by China. Muslim nationalism forced the partition of Greater India causing a million deaths and 18 million people to lose their ancestral homes.
You can't rewrite history.

I say again, Arab threats of genocide made a united Palestine impossible. so there was, had to be, a two nation solution. If there was an injustice it was that the Christians didn't get an independent enclave or state of their own.
The Arabs launched a genocidal attack against fledgling Israel seeking to destroy it, but lost.
The Israelis took land as a war trophy. The Egyptians and Jordanians annexed Gaza Province and West Bank from the Palestinians - they took more land from the Palestinians than the Israelis did! That's why Palestine disappeared from the map.

If it hadn't been for the genocidal threats of Nazi sympathiser the Grand Mufti, there could have been an independent one nation Palestine.
If it hadn't been for them starting and losing the 1948 war, and for the treachery of their 'Arab brothers', there would still be a Palestinian state today.
Eventually there will be two nation solution. There probably could be one tomorrow were it not for the hate preachers ..

And that really is the lesson. People should stop spreading hate!

Sam H (410)
Thursday April 14, 2016, 9:17 am
That sounds like an invitation to Iran to do to Israel what the Arabs couldn't do militarily. It’s the kind of rhetoric that keeps Netanyahu in power and peace off the map.

In the meantime this is what the Palestinians are doing for peace:

And that’s one of the less lethal contributions if Israel to the peace process:

But some Israelis still acknowledge their roots and celebrate their non-Zionist culture:

“And that really is the lesson. People should stop spreading hate!” Not sure why you’re not heeding that sound advice, John!

Evelyn B (63)
Thursday April 14, 2016, 9:55 am
Deviation & spreading hate by justifying it - Yes, you're right in your last para, Sam!

Stephen Brian (23)
Thursday April 14, 2016, 10:10 pm
Hi John and Sam,

I was thinking of the Exodus and that was a call made by the British mandatory government of the region to send them back. Palestinians, never having had sovereignty, could engage in massacres and did so in the 1920s, but lacked the power for a pogrom I know there were Ottoman pogroms, but that was well before the 20s. The first reference to pogroms that I saw here was about them happening in the 20s, after the fall of the empire.

Hi Evelyn :)
Violence can be justified when it is necessary to prevent greater violence or other damage. Law enforcement is a classic example: Ultimately, every single fine or arrest is backed by the threat of force. Otherwise a criminal could simply ignore attempts at law-enforcement and there is nothing a government could do. Violence is justified in law enforcement because failure to engage in violence not only enables the immediate criminal to continue to cause harm, but discredits the threat of violence necessary for bloodless enforcement of the law. Therefore violence of this sort, even if it exceeds violence by criminals at the moment, is justified because it prevents criminal violence from growing into something much bloodier than itself. In general, if we don't value one set of lives over another, then we have to look at the impact on total long-term violence, which can be positive or negative depending on circumstances and other parties.

Sam H (410)
Thursday April 14, 2016, 10:40 pm
“…then we have to look at the impact on total long-term violence, which can be positive or negative depending on” whether you’re at the receiving end of that violence or committing it!

Stephen, are you bothered at all by the fact that by sanctioning violence you are giving moral support to the worst mass murderers in history? I resisted naming names, but I’m sure you can guess the names of some of these murderers!

John De Avalon (36)
Friday April 15, 2016, 6:07 am
Sam: A bit rich isn't it. You are on here every day spewing out Israel and Jew bashing hate.
As I keep saying, hatred always results in violence. Just like that little girl on the other thread. Hate preachers have filled her head, on a daily basis, with hate. And now ... She's 12 years old and she wants to murder people!
You can't hate (or stab) your way to peace!

Evelyn B (63)
Friday April 15, 2016, 9:41 am
Unfortunately - as shown several times in the US recently - being part of the "forces of law & order" does not guarantee that unjustified violence perpetrated by those charged with "law and order" does not occur.

When I say violence breeds violence & hate - I'm talking of violence that is perpetrated beyond and outside the absolute necessary (minimum) for keeping the peace. Any claim that there is NOT such abusive violence on both sides is blind .... and one side is far better equipped, so the damage of such violence is more extreme. Having the greater power & authority does NOT act as a guarantee of non-abusive use of that power & authority.

Another form of abuse is trying to silence criticism by claiming, falsely, that any such criticism is racist, is "Jew-bashing hate" - even when there are clear statements that distinguish between "Jews" and those supporting an intolerant & hate-driven political stance ..... which happens to be associated with Jews - but is also supported by certain Christians .... political Zionism. Manipulative mis-quotes are typical of such abuse.

fly bird (26)
Saturday April 16, 2016, 12:36 am
Enduring Roots: Over a Century of Resistance to the Jewish National Fund.

This 40-minute documentary chronicles stories of al-Nakba survivors, interviews with their descendants about the case of refugee return, and current and growing resistance to the ongoing colonization of Palestine by the Jewish National Fund.

. (0)
Saturday April 16, 2016, 7:26 am
Response To Common Inaccuracy: Zionism is Racism
Inaccuracy: Zionism is a racist ideology.


Zionism is the Jewish national movement of rebirth and renewal in the land of Israel – the historical birthplace of the Jewish people. Rooted in the liberal principles of freedom, democracy, equality, and social justice, Zionism is fundamentally incompatible with racism.

The yearning to return to Zion, the biblical term for both the Land of Israel and Jerusalem, has been the cornerstone of Jewish religious life since the Jewish exile from the land two thousand years ago, and is embedded in Jewish prayer, ritual, literature and culture. Zionism is an ideology that celebrates the Jewish national connection to Israel. It does not discriminate against or judge other religions or nationalities.

The false and biased charge of racism is a deliberate effort to delegitimize the right of Jews to a national homeland and undermine the Jewish nationalist movement.

Israel’s Law of Return, which some critics of Israel accuse of being “racist,” is for Jews a potent testimonial to the safe and free haven they will always have in the State of Israel after centuries of persecution and isolation. Israel’s uniqueness as a country which grants automatic citizenship to Jews (as well as their non-Jewish immediate family members) who seek to settle there is not racist. Individuals ineligible for automatic citizenship under the Law of Return are eligible for Israeli citizenship under regular procedures equivalent to such requirements in other countries. Indeed, the State of Israel is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society, comprised of Jews and non-Jews from at least 100 different countries from diverse ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds.

The equation of “Zionism equals racism” has its origins in the passage of the Arab and Soviet-sponsored United Nations resolution of November 10, 1975 which declared Zionism a “form of racism and racial discrimination.” The highly politicized resolution was aimed at denying Israel its political legitimacy by attacking its moral basis for existence. The resolution, which former-UN Secretary General Kofi Annan described as a “low point” in the history of the UN, was finally repealed on December 16, 1991.

. (0)
Saturday April 16, 2016, 7:31 am
Further up the not very peaceful person who has changed their name to Lookingforward says, "double standards are definitely a problem....and calling for someone to be killed should not be tolerated."

Yet there is no denouncement of the fact that the Palestinians are calling for the murder of all Israelis and others actually are murdering Israelis. Palestinians are also stating that their Palestine should be the whole of Israel.


Evelyn B (63)
Saturday April 16, 2016, 11:08 am
Palestinians are NOT calling for the murder of all Israelis - this is a typical phrase used to paint the Palestinians as murderous monsters - sheer propaganda. Palestinians are working WITH Israelis who care about human rights of all - peace activists in the Israeli Jewish community, much hated by the extreme right wing (who clearly discount them as not true Jews, not loyal Israelis .... because they reject the ideology of political Zionism).

Evelyn B (63)
Sunday April 17, 2016, 2:00 am
Ros - how can they denounce when they don't even recognise the hate driving the words? And they don't recognise it because they share the emotion and don't see it as hate, only as justified response to the monster they have projected on the others ...

Your friends recognised the problem - there'd be more hope for building peace if more of those who recognise this problem decided to speak up, but I can understand the pressures that prevent many from doing so (not least the sense of deception). I wonder what % of those who have chosen to leave Israel share your friends' feeling. Probably quite a high proportion. But some have the considerable courage to stand up and speak out .... despite the hate that is then directed towards them by those who don't want to know - and more actively, those who don't want the rest of the world to know.

Stephen Brian (23)
Wednesday April 20, 2016, 9:19 pm
Hi everyone :)

Sorry about vanishing for so long. I got swamped with work.

Sam, that's not what I said at all. You don't get to decide what other people "really meant".

Ross, I like reading your comments. :)

Hi Evelyn :)
I agree entirely that being an official enforcer of a justice-system does not mean that one's violence. Sadly, eve that minimum justified violence can breed hate as it is sometimes necessary to prevent further violence by removing the ability rather than the will to engage in further violence.

The other matter is a bit more complicated. I have seen about 6 different definitions of Zionism. Some of them are abominable, but others promote only the bare minimum that history suggests is necessary for Jews to be safe. Sadly, it is a whole lot more than many critics of Zionism find palatable. At that level, opposition might not be motivated by antisemitism, but its impact is generally to put Jews in serious physical danger, which is functionally antisemitic.
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