Earlier this week Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu delivered a speech at the 37th World Zionist Congress. His remarks, which included a discussion of contested religious sites such as the Harem al Sharif/Temple Mount in Jerusalem, as well as settlements also included some very interesting content about the Holocaust. Specifically PM Netanyahu alleged/asserted that the idea behind the Final Solution to eliminate all Jews was not the creation of Hitler and his senior aides and associates, but rather was thought up and pitched to Hitler buy Haj Amin al Husseini. Haj Amin al Husseini was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and a member of one of the two most powerful Palestinian families/clans at the time. Haj Amin, who was involved with both the Palestinian resistance to the Jewish settlement of Mandatory Palestine (the Yishuv) and the British Mandatory Authorities, made common cause with Hitler and the NAZIs. However, the idea that Haj Amin came up with the idea for the Final Solution and convinced Hitler it was a better idea than mass deportation is simply fantasy.
And it is the fantastic elements of Netanyahu’s remarks that have received the attention. The Chief Historian at Yad Vashem has made it clear that this was not how the Final Solution was conceived of or decided upon based on the transcripts of Hitler’s meeting with al Husseini. Other’s have pointed out that the meeting actually happened after the Final Solution had begun. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also come out and made it very clear who was responsible. And while Chancellor Merkel’s, all of the actual historians, as well as some Holocaust survivors remarks are a welcome antidote to PM Netanyahu’s revisionist history, I think there is something else going on here.
Netanyahu has always been known as someone that code switches. When he’s speaking in front of one audience he’ll describe an event or his actions or a proposed course of action one way and when he’s speaking before a different group he will switch his language up and address these matters another way. Or, in the same remarks, he’ll go back and forth. In fact he was caught doing this just this week where in the speech to the World Zionist Congress he claimed to have had the fewest settlements created under his prime ministership (largely by splitting this up by his terms of office) and to another group asserting that the most settlements have been built while he’s been prime minister – one of these things can not be true.
Now its not surprising that politicians or other leaders tailor their remarks to their audiences. In the case of Netanhayu, however, it is clearly more deeply purposeful. As the Haaretz reporting linked to above relates, PM Netanyahu is a stickler for writing his own speeches and remarks – he feel’s they are part of history and the historical record. So this is not the case of a hired word smith tailoring an argument to a specific constituency or audience. Rather, I think what happened here is that the “Hajj Amin al Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem developed the plan to kill all of world Jewry and convinced Hitler to implement it” portion of the speech was not intended for anyone at the World Zionist Congress. It was intended for an American audience of those who seek to equate Islam with genocidal aggression against Jews and Christians.
There are several reasons for this, not least among them is that the position of Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, at the time that Haj Amin held the position, was an administrative one. Despite attempts to argue otherwise, Haj Amin was not an Islamic cleric or jurisprudential scholar from among the ulamah. He had very little Islamic education – a year at al Azhar in Cairo, but was mentored throughout his life by Rashid Rida. Moreover, after going from being a pan-Arabist to a Palestine Arab nationalist, the British exiled him from Mandatory Palestine in 1937. It was during his exile that he linked up with the NAZIs – the enemy of my enemy is my friend… While it is true that Haj Amin was not a member of the Muslim clergy and had only a limited amount of formal, Islamic religious training, he did become a promoter of Islam in his role as Grand Mufti, which is, itself, a title with religious connotations.
Netanyahu’s remarks make a lot more sense if they were directed at an American audience that has been primed by graphic images and reports of the evils that ISIS is perpetrating in Syria and Iraq, Especially as many Americans still have not established a new normal/reached a new equilibrium fourteen years after the al Qaeda attacks on 9-11-01. Politicians and special interest group leaders still routinely demagogue over issues pertaining to Islam and Muslims – everything from whether new mosques or cemeteries can be built/established to comparative historical/comparative religion material in social studies curriculums. Combine this with the fact that most Americans, including the most devout, tend to know very little factual material about their own, let alone other’s religions, and referring to an Arab and Palestinian nationalist leader by the Islamic religious title that came with his administrative office and asserting that he was the creator of the genocidal plan to kill all the Jews was a political-linguistic dogwhistle.
To most people who actually know the history of Haj Amin al Husseini, which is precious few in the US, it was immediately clear that PM Netanyahu made an incorrect statement. To the vast majority that have heard that ISIS, which claims to represent all of Islam through its new caliphate of the Islamic State, has specifically targeted non-Muslims for death, Netanyahu’s remarks will ring true. It is this latter group, and especially American elected officials, special interest group leaders, and commentators that PM Netanyahu’s remarks were aimed. Those of us who know better heard a serious error made by a hyperbolic politician with serious issues. The majority who don’t heard that in the 1940s an Islamic leader devised the plan for genocide, which reinforces the message that Islam is inherently evil and inherently in opposition, perhaps genocidally so, to all non-Muslims. PM Netanyahu is not a stupid man and he knows and understands Americans and American politicians better, perhaps, than any other foreign leader and some American ones as well. His remarks were not an accident, nor were they a mistake. They were not intended for the ears of those at the World Zionist Congress. They were intended for the ears of those in the US who have been primed since 9-11-01 to think the worst of Islam, Muslims, and Muslim-Americans. PM Netanyahu was providing cover for some of the most toxic ideas currently bounding around American politics and society and he was doing so for his own parochial purposes.
Mike in NC
Why haven’t the House Republicans asked Bibi to be their new Speaker? They could grant him honorary citizenship or pull some other gimmick to bring him onboard.
Thank you for the information.
I did not know about the meeting with Hitler.
I have, however, read Mein Kampf and know that these ideas were part of Hitler long before 1937. And the Final Solution began with the Einsatzgruppen along with the initial invasion of 1939.
So. Is Netanyahu a lying shtik drek or is he becoming senile?
The lying one.
You may be right that Netanyahu was aiming his remarks at Americans– but it’s also true that the history of Palestine in the ’20s and ’30s has a special resonance for right-wing Israeli politics. That was, e.g., the era in which Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir made their reputations, the era where right-wing Zionism as we know it was really invented. And in that era, the Grand Mufti was a genuinely awful anti-Semite– for right-wing Zionists, he stands as an ogre, a foundational bad guy.
I’m not going to try to rehearse that whole history, but it’s important to understand that what happened back then is still echoing through the years, up to today.
Godwin doesn’t exist.
He’s a lying liar who lies all the time.
@Linda Featheringill: Netanyahu is not one bit senile. He is a malevolent POS who distorts history to suit his political agenda like any good fascist.
Yesterday I saw polling indicating that almost half of Israelis agreed with Netanyahu’s statement so maybe it’s not only the American right-wing that is susceptible to this crap.
@Mike E: I think you mean “Godwin is dead”.
It’s a little more complicated than that. He is also a virulent racist who believes that Muslims are inherently evil, and only their extermination will prevent Israel and the Jews from being wiped out themselves. So, it’s possible he believes this bit of counterfactuality, much like many GOP politicians have fallen for right wing chain email memes. See Mitt Romney’s national debate humiliation.
He is a scheming, dishonest, hateful man, so he could be lying, or he could have fooled himself into believing this tripe. I lean towards ‘lying’, but it’s important to keep in mind that racists believe crazy shit.
I’m sure Pam Geller and her genocidal crowd are eagerly spreading this bullshit far and wide even though it’s ridiculously easy to debunk with the actual historical record.
And I think MattF may be right — there is probably a specific domestic audience within Israel for this kind of truthiness that a known genocidal war criminal was even worse than you were originally told, especially if it helps those people justify the current rotten treatment of the Palestinians.
It is also important to realize that Netanyhi just opened the door to all kinds of historical revisionism regarding the Holocaust ranging from “the Zionists were complicit” to “the numbers of dead were greatly exaggerated” to “it never happened at all”. His statements were at the very least a tremendous gift to the European far-right.
The responses I’ve seen from mainstream American Jewish groups has been tepid at best. Hannah Arendt was pilloried for far less.
Either Bibi knows what he’s doing or he’s decided to believe the racist conspiracy BS popping up in his Facebook feed, the same way our current R presidential candidates are proposing policy.
11 Reasons Muslims Were Really Responsible for the Holocaust! Number 6 will SHOCK you!!
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): Eric Kleefield at TPM argued that Netanyahu’s statement was inspired by Pam Geller, not the other way around.
@Sophist: There is no dog.
Netanyahu also knows that most Americans not only don’t know their history, they are deeply suspicious of anybody who actually is interested in learning the truth. Thus, anyone who offers actual historical analysis of the events and people in question will automatically be viewed with suspicion – ‘see, there go those pointy-headed liberal elites again.’ Saying, ‘wait, this is how this actually went down – here is the historical proof’ is immediately disregarded as ‘biased’ information.
Everything Netanyahu says is destined for the “Justifications For Palestinian Expulsion” file. In that sense, his latest remarks are meant for both an American and an Israeli audience. ‘These people are monsters – you can’t expect us to tolerate them among us’ is the constant subtext.
Oh that man knows what he’s doing — increasing violence probably helps keep hm in power.
It’s worth noting that Germany is directly refuting Netanyahu:
Don’t even think about messing with Germany over who was responsible for the Holocaust. It’s to their enormous credit that there is no issue that they take more seriously than that.
Please compare and contrast the narrative that “Hitler was reluctant to implement the final solution but did so only at the urgent insistence of the Arabs” to “Pontius Pilate was reluctant to find Jesus guilty and only had Jesus crucified at the urgent insistence of the Jews.” I am just pawn in game of life but the end game seems to be to focus hostility away from the true perpetrators and toward the group that you want to blame/eliminate.
When used as anti semitic rhetoric in early European/Western Christian history, it did not play out well for the Jews leading right up ti the time of Nazi Germany. Seems an odd propaganda technique for the purported leader of the Jewish state, especially if trying to maintain any semblance of reaching for moral high ground. Is this a reasonable encapsulation or am I over reaching a tad?
@Mandalay: It’s pretty sad that Germany takes the Holocaust more seriously than Israel does.
This is one of those moments when Jon Stewart is sorely missed.
Here is the poll: http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/society/89897-151022-only-53-of-israelis-disagree-with-netanyahu-s-version-of-holocaust-history
Just by coincidence, 26% of Israelis agree with Netanyahu’s claim.
Some 10,12 years back, when I was in the US, a Russian-Jewish coworker sent me an email on this very theme, with a photo of the Mufti shaking hands with Hitler. In our arguments, he often claimed that the Palestinians were in part responsible for the Holocaust. So, this is not new for right-wing Israelis at all.
Basically the idea seems to be to see your current enemy in past conflicts – the better if that “enemy” is being crushed by you right now.
This is probably what half the Israelis tell themselves in order to keep being blind to Palestinian suffering; and keep electing Netanyahu.
Exactly. He just gave more power to the David Irvings of the world who have done everything they can to “prove” the Holocaust was, at worst, a terrible accident, assuming it even happened at all.
No, this particular door has always been open, and nutcases and bigots have long freely traveled through it.
But it is particularly vile when supposedly rational, educated political figures or even noted celebrities start slinging lies, especially lies which can easily be challenged and refuted.
I guess that some of this intensified relatively recently with the Vince Foster was murdered lies directed at the Clintons, and rose up with special strength with the supposedly sane politicians and others who picked up and perpetuated the lie that Obama was not an American.
Netanyahu’s vicious lie slanders Muslims. He should know better precisely because this is the kind of lie that has been used for centuries to slander Jews. In this he has broken the 9th commandment, which does not simply prohibit lying or “bearing false witness,” but which demands that you do not harm others with deceitful speech.
@Brachiator: The door has always been open but no one other than nutcases and bigots has dared walked through. Netanyahu has made these fringe theories respectable. If the prime minister says these things, than so can UKIP, Marine LePen, etc. The German government’s response was very decent and truthful. How long until there are murmurings over all the reparations paid over crimes that maybe kind of sort of weren’t the fault of Germany?
The European far-right groups are excellent multi-taskers: an increase in Islamophobia doesn’t result in a corresponding decrease in anti-Semitism. They will use Netanyahu’s words to whip up animosity towards Jews and Muslims alike. Bibi is a useful idiot and a dangerous one.
It’s more that Bibi has opened the “even the Zionists say it wasn’t Hitler’s fault” door, which is slightly different than the one the revisionists already had. He’s basically giving credence to Irving’s claims that Hitler wasn’t responsible for the Holocaust.
@beltane: I suppose believing that a Palestinian was responsible for the Holocaust makes it acceptable to treat Palestinians like crap today. I can see why many Israelis would believe Netanyahu’s lie since it fits their agenda. It’s great to see so many people push back against his lie though. He’s had to backtrack a little.
– is an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist Jewish State;
– has been stealing, occupying and colonizing Palestinian land and
oppressing, torturing and killing Palestinians for over 60 years;
– refuses to honor its obligations under international law;
– refuses to accept responsibility and accountability for its past and on-going (war) crimes; and
– refuses to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace.
See http://www.ifamericansknew.org and http://lawrenceofcyberia.blogs.com/photos/maps/landloss.html for more information.
@jimmiraybob: “the end game seems to be to focus hostility away from the true perpetrators and toward the group that you want to blame/eliminate.”
Yep. The old “absolve the guilty and blame the enemy” switcheroo. Works well for bigots.
I have an old friend who I truly love. Cheryl and I go back to grad school, twenty plus years ago. We attended each other’s weddings, celebrated life events and losses of loved ones. She is an orthodox jew. I have watched her Facebook increasingly praise and uphold the current Israeli regime and while she hasn’t made a point of rubbing it in my face, she recently sent me an invitation to attend a rah,rah meeting to show support for Israel. I have never voiced my opinions to her about this issue. I am conflicted. I support Israel’s right to exist and to defend itself — but I abhor — hate its policies and Netanyahu. I want to continue our friendship by avoiding this issue but want to have some integrity about what I value and want to promote without hurting her. Any thoughts on what to do with her (I could also call her and talk — she lives cross country from me).
If Netanyahu really wanted to give a meaningful context to Palestinian actions today he’d be talking about these maps which show Israel’s land theft since 1948:
These are not just fringe theories. They are the daily bread of bigots. UKIP, Marine LePen and others neither need nor depend on the Israeli prime minister to justify or give extra credence to what they believe.
True. This is where Netanyahu is not a “useful idiot,” but a foolish man who erroneously believes that he can channel lies and hatred to his benefit. Instead, this may backfire and inflame anti-semitism along with specific anti-Muslim bigotry.
Nobody much knows who Irving is or what his claims were.
And Netanyahu doesn’t care about clearing Hitler. He is trying to demonize Muslims, and to make it easier to rationalize repressive measures used against them.
Of course not – other countries have idiots too. Believing that our pool of idiots are larger or more malicious than theirs is just another form of American Exceptionalism.
I have nothing to add, but I would simply like to say that this is a great post, Adam.
I wonder if inflaming antisemitism in Europe isn’t part of the plan. Remember that after the Charlie Hebdo shootings, Netanyahu was trying his damnedest to convince French Jews that they were in danger and needed to move to Israel. If Israel is going to overwhelm the Palestinians demographically, they need more Jewish immigration, and convincing Jews outside Israel that moving their is their only way to safety is going to be part of it. How much easier if they genuinely are in danger outside of Israel!
@Mandalay: Isn’t that the series of maps that MSNBC displayed and then apologized for because they were inaccurate? The initial map in particular was deemed misleading. If not, looks pretty close:
That’s a pretty horrific accusation (even against Bibi, who has admittedly said/done some bad things). Take a deep breath, and maybe reconsider.
ETA: In particular, I note that you wrote “after Charlie Hebdo”, by which you mean after someone shot up a kosher store to kill a bunch of French jews.
Israel is becoming increasingly isolated and though it has support among the very vocal but still minority right wing — there is no long lasting strategy taking this path they have chosen, that will lead them to anything but an apartheid state. The closer they come to that, the more it opens up other vulnerabilities that cannot be mitigated through power and coercion alone. Palestine is very ripe for infiltration by ISIS, for example, due to the increasing vacuum in leadership of the Palestinians. While they can battle known armies and combatants, the assymetric techniques of terrorists cannot be addressed safely for populations imbedded or intimately tied with yours. The news stories are rife with accounts of Israeli mobs and soldiers attacking people they thought were terrorists, but ended up being innocent. Israel will end up dissolving itself in a caustic exudate of hate and escalating violence that people like Marie La Pen will not be able to help them survive. Israelis will effectively become cavemen swinging clubs at all comers– divorced from rationality and all the beautiful beliefs and values that made the Jewish faith a cornerstone of humanism at one point.
My first thought on hearing this was, who’s done the rant?
Oh yeah. Somebody was right on it.
Who says “nobody puts Bibi in the corner?”
Someone better alert Trump and the other GOP presidential aspirants. And whoever the new Speaker of the House turns out to be.
I do not think that any sane Jew would ever try to deliberately inflame anti-semitism. I do not think that Netanyahu is crazy. But I think that he is foolish and is becoming increasingly desperate. Desperate people can be very short-sighted, and incite acts which have horrible unforeseen consequences.
The demographics of the Middle East will always be in the favor of Palestinians and the larger Muslim population. Some kind of peace is the only real answer, not suppression of the Palestinians.
This. Imagine the energy and resources that would be required to go against that reality? It cannot be sustained.
I think Roger is thinking of Netanyahu’s speech after the Hebdo massacres where he urged French Jews to emigrate to Israel:
The speech was not well-received by Jewish groups in France, to put it mildly.
Since Irving is lawsuit-happy, a lot of people know who he is and what his claims are. He’s slightly less prominent since he got his ass handed to him by Deborah Lipstadt, but he’s still a big guy in denier circles:
@Mnemosyne (tablet): Yes, I’m familiar with those comments and I too thought they were awful (pretty sure I said so in a bunch of the threads back then). But however it wrong it was, it wasn’t seeking to inflame anti-semitism. He was telling french jews that they were no longer safe in France and could only be safe in Israel.
The suggestion here is that Netanyahu is actively trying to make anti-semitism in Europe worse so that more people will leave.
That’s what I was reacting to.
Nethanyahu only won the last election because Russian emigres to Israel overwhelmingly voted for him. The more he can persuade Jews to move to Israel the more he and Likud will prosper.
I don’t know what is in Netanyahu’s heart, but talking Jews into moving to Israel is definitely in his political self-interest.
@Mandalay: Yeah, but there’s a key distinction that I think is getting lost. It’s one thing to encourage emigration because of this anti-semitic act in France (which I think was wrong of him to do), but it’s another to purposefully stoke anti-semitism to drive that immigration. I don’t think he did that and I think it’s offensive to suggest that he has. That’s certainly what it looked like Roger was suggesting though.
Myself, I would say that Netanyahu *doesn’t care* if his words inflame anti-Semitism in Europe, but I agree that that’s not the same thing as doing it deliberately with a specific result in mind.
As Brachiator said, I think Netanyahu’s thinking is very short-term right now and he’s not considering the possible long or even medium-term consequences of saying what he did.
In the long run, yes, but as you said, desperate people can be very short-sighted.
Being big in denier circles doesn’t even make Irving particularly well known to people like the nutcases who call KFI radio’s “alien conspiracy corner” after 1 am in the morning.
But I guess Irving should write Bibi a thank you note for dredging him up into public scrutiny again. A news article notes that Netanyahu made these claims in 2012, and compares him to Irving’s nuttiness.
Still, the average mook on the street neither knows nor gives three shits about who Irving might be.
The average mook doesn’t know or care who Bibi is, either, so why are we debating this?
Holocaust denialism is a huge feature of most of the white supremacist movements worldwide. I guarantee you that any of those nutty callers who call in to complain about the “worldwide Jewish conspiracy” will know who David Irving is.
Gotcha, and I agree. It’s quite a leap to reach that conclusion (and I say that as someone who loathes Netanyahu).
Tissue Thin Pseudonym
Given Republican hysteria about illegal immigration, there’s a comparison I find interesting: had the inhabitants of the Palestinian Mandate been allowed to control immigration policy, does anyone think that they would have agreed to take in hundreds of thousands of Jewish immigrants between 1919 and 1947?
Adam L Silverman
@MattF: I am fully aware of this history and of who did what to whom, where and when. It is important, but as context for this it is really not that helpful as an explanation for Bibi’s remarks.
Adam L Silverman
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): There is certainly a domestic Israeli audience for this, just as there is one among the European neo-fascist right. I think I put a link up about a month ago to Bibi having established connections to the European neo-fascist parties and movements. Pamela Geller has also established ties to them. More worrisome than this is that Putin has become their major financial benefactor. He hosted all the European parties and groups last Spring.
Adam L Silverman
@scav: It does. I’ll have to look for the chart, its in a file somewhere either on my computer or its on my external hard drive, that charts the Hamas and PIJ and al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade violence against Israeli elections back in the 1990s. Every time Bibi was up to become prime minister the violence would spike. The extremists knew who was good for business and Netanyahu still does.
Adam L Silverman
@Mandalay: I linked to that in the original post. Merkel came out very quickly and very forcefully to push back against Netanyahu’s remarks.
He has said something as bad as denying the Holocaust ever happened.
His head should grow like a turnip. In the ground.
Adam L Silverman
@jimmiraybob: This is a very apt comparison. Moreover, given that its really only the last 40-50 years or so that Jewish Americans have been accepted as white Americans who’s religion just happens to be Judaism as opposed to some variant of Christianity by the majority in the US it is even more apt. This acceptance is a privilege and it can be rescinded. However, as was the case with other immigrant groups, both ethnic, religious, or ethno-religious, part of the hallmark of making it and being accepted is having a few very vocal members of your community crap all over even newer arrivals. Father Coughlin and the crypto-fascists for Irish Catholics, Pam Geller for Jewish Americans.
It never ceases to amaze me that Jewish Americans have so quickly forgotten that it used to be synagogues and Jewish Community Centers that were often targeted for vandalism and arson. Or firebombing in the case of the reformed temple in Atlanta during the Civil Rights era.
Adam L Silverman
@beltane: it was very shortsighted of the Guardians of the Universe to recall him to OA so suddenly…
@Adam L Silverman:
I wasn’t aware that “Jewish Americans” had forgotten this. Or to put it more directly, “No, they haven’t.” Pam Geller, yes. But how many jews does she speak for? Not many.
And based on FBI stats, over 60% of religous-based hate crimes in the US were targeted at jews. So it’s still happening.
To most people who have actually heard anything spewed out by Netanyahu, it would come as a tremendous surprise if what he said ever WAS correct. He’s been predicting the end of the world by Iranian perfidy for decades and we’re still waiting.
It’s that this is not “a lot of people,” nor is it likely that Netanyahu’s remarks will do more than reinforce a steady level of nuttiness among these folk.
Adam L Silverman
@Roger Moore: Its not so much enflaming anti-semitism in Europe as it is a further conflation of Judaism and Israel and Jewish and Israeli. Netanyahu has repeatedly done this, as well as claiming that as Prime Minister of Israel he also speaks on behalf/for Jews and Judaism. The result is that when people are angry with Israel and its actions or policies or both, he has already elided the distinction for him. So if you live no where near an Israeli embassy or consulate, but there’s a synagogue or a Jewish cemetery or community center or school or kosher market, then those are just as good targets because Judaism=Israel. The prime minister of Israel said so, repeatedly.
The resulting actions, that target Jews and Jewish sites rather than Israeli targets – not that that would be acceptable either – further stresses out Jewish Europeans. It is at this point that Netanyahu’s appeals are intended to have their greatest impact. Basically he’s helping to set the conditions that make Jewish Europeans less safe and secure while at the same time he’s cozying up to the European neo-fascist right. Then when something does happen he’s quick off the mark to assert that the only safe place for Jewish Europeans is in Israel. If they go, he gets what he wants: a hedge against the dempographic reality of Israelis actually leaving the country to go back to Europe and reclaim their grandparents citizenship because they can’t take living their anymore and the fact that the Palestinian rate of reproduction outpaces every group of Jewish Israelis other than the Haredim (ultra-devout) and some of the Dateet (religious). The European neo-fascist right gets what it wants: Jewish Europeans leaving for Israel. So far it hasn’t worked out this way, but like the cylons, they have a plan…
Adam L Silverman
@dedc79: you’d be surprised.
@Adam L Silverman: Well if we’re talking about inflammatory statements, I think that’s a pretty inflammatory generalization you’ve made. And if you’ve got something to back it up with other than anecdotes about some crazy uncle forwarding you pam geller emails, please share.
I am disgusted but yet I am thrilled beyond belief. He has just proven that he doesn’t give a fig about Jews. Bibi is more interested in power. If some non-Muslim, group offered him enough money he’d act as PM and give the Jews to bring on the End of Times.
J R in WV
I’m afraid this is all true and accurate.
I was pretty much a Zionist as a youth, I read Leon Uris’ novels from his account of the uprising in Poland to his stories of the Zionists fighting the British and Palestinian military forces to establish their independent state in the late 1940s. Very well written novels based upon the real events, and quite convincing.
At that time it was difficult not to support the Jewish effort to create a home state.
Since then, however, the mistreatment of the Palestinian people, both in Israel and in the territories supposedly belonging to the Palestinians makes it more and more difficult to support the current Israeli government and people. After all , the people have elected a racist, criminal and eliminationist government in their current leadership.
I too expect the expulsion of Palestinians from the territories in the not too distant future. I just wonder if that will extend to the Israeli Arabs, holding passports and full israeli citizenship. That too is likely, and will be another crime against the Muslim peoples of the region.
Stealing the land of the Palestinians is beyond criminal – it’s horrific, and I need to stop there.
Israel ethnically cleansed at least 500,000 Arabs from their lands during the 1948 war in order to claim a great deal more land than awarded by the UN deal, and have been taking lands ever since. The settlors in the West Bank are the fundamentalist Zionists. This history is the conclusion of the modern Jewish historians (Morris for example), who reject the false propaganda that they left voluntarily (and also agree with Ben Gurion that the expulsion was necessary to form Israel).
@Adam L Silverman:
Netanyahu consorts with Holocaust deniers and anti-semites?
This is not just desperate or foolish. It is suicidal. The American right will make distinctions between Jews and Muslims. The European right will not.
I doubt that anyone has forgotten the 1999 shooting at the North Valley Jewish Community Center in Granada Hills or similar atrocities.
The additional shame is that people have had to acquiesce to NRA gun madness in dealing with these incidents, a pitiful accommodation to American right wing ideology.
Given Putin’s support of Syria, this could be another sign of foolishness.
Adam L Silverman
@dedc79: My only uncle is completely debilitated and barely able to use the telephone, but thank you for asking after him.
Given that between the two of us, I’ve done actual security assessments for synagogues and have an informed idea what the concerns are and what’s driving them, I’m going to go with my take on this.
But feel free to be upset.
@Adam L Silverman: You did indeed, my fault, and it’s not the first time I’ve repeated something you had already written. Your OPs deliver far more information and ideas than the average efforts here, and I’ll make a better effort to read before writing in future.
@Adam L Silverman: Adam, I’ve read your posts on the Iran deal, gun control, Israel with great interest and MOSTLY in complete agreement with you.
When you make the claim that American Jews as a group have forgotten what it’s like to be targeted with attacks/vandalism, you lose me. And not just me, but I would think a lot of other people. For one thing, it ignores that the American Jewish community continues to be targeted with harassment/vandalism by hate groups of all kinds (including, and perhaps mostly groups on the far right). I’m talking about desecration of synagogues and cemeteries as well as actual armed attacks like the one in Kansas City and at the Holocaust Museum in DC. For another, it suggests that American Jews are turning their backs on persecuted minorities. And while it’s all well and good that you appear to do some work on security assessments for synagogues, I don’t see how that entitles you to draw the generalization you have.
Adam L Silverman
@dedc79: My response came off much harsher than I intended. So my sincere apology for snapping at you.
My take on this, and you’re correct its anecdotal observation, is that Jewish Americans born after the late 70s may recognize that there’s still anti-Semitism out there and that its still an issue, but that the idea that they’re not just Americans who’s religion just happen to be Jewish is now the norm for that demographic.
I also should have made a much sharper distinction between the above and the group, like Geller, who have decided its okay to crap on newer immigrant groups, be the ethnic, religious, or ethno-religious. I wasn’t intending to assert that Jewish Americans, other than an extreme minority, were turning their backs on others who are discriminated against in the US, so I appreciate you letting me know that that’s what came across.
@Adam L Silverman: Ok, I appreciate that and, more generally, that you stick around and engage/respond in the comments.
And FWIW, I happen to have one of those crazy uncles, so I was just projecting a bit there. It was a lousy attempt at a joke and any offense was entirely unintended.
The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion
Bibi’s reading excerpts from “The Protocols of the Elders of Mecca”.
If he weren’t so outraged by the Freedom Caucus’s betrayal in moving behind Paul Ryan, Glenn Beck would be all over Bibi’s speech. I think it’s his audience that Bibi might have been hoping to snag.
Adam L Silverman
@dedc79: no offense. believe me if he even knew what email was, I’m sure the forwarded emails would all be a peace of work..
Paul in KY
@Elie: Just tell her basically what you said in your post. You support Israel & her right to exist & defend herself, but you absolutely dislike the current government, PM, it’s approach to the conflict with Palestine, etc.
Paul in KY
@Elie: I think Israel can last a long time in it’s current state. It will be a pariah nation, etc. but it is definitely militarily strong enough (with our help) to last for another 100 years.