City Journal Autumn 2014

Current Issue:

Autumn 2014
Table of Contents
Subscribe
Tablet Editions
Click to visit City Journal California

Readers’ Comments

Sol Stern
Who’s a Zionist? « Back to Story

View Comments (18)

Add New Comment:

To send your message, please enter the words you see in the distorted image below, in order and separated by a space, and click "Submit." If you cannot read the words below, please click here to receive a new challenge.

Comments will appear online. Please do not submit comments containing advertising or obscene language. Comments containing certain content, such as URLs, may not appear online until they have been reviewed by a moderator.


 
Showing 18 Comment(s) Subscribe by RSS
Ben Ami is just the usual "leftie" apologist for zionist crimes against humanity. He deserves the same disdain as the "rightie" criminals.

Since when does being a member of the "correct racist-religious sect" give anyone the right to ethnic cleanse and keep the stolen loot?

Perhaps in "christian" America we should allow any christian who so chooses to simply steal the home, property and livelihood of any jew they choose and then expect the neighbors to look after the victims.

After all, that is exactly the same "privilege" that zionists claim in Palestine.
Ben-Ami family tree: In three generations, from shirtsleeves to intellectual shirtsleeves?
What a despicable statement: “the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict [might] slip through our fingers. As that happens, the dream of the Jewish people to be a free people in their own land also slowly disappears.” DREAM? We ARE a free people in our own land, since 1948, does Ben Ami dares deny THAT? It's all it takes to disqualify him as a writer (unless we put him in the same league as Abbas with his Holocaust denial thesis), as a "pro-Israel" leader, and certainly as a jew. Revolting.
My Dear Sol:

There is only one criticism that i can make of your article: you were much too easy on him.
His idea of a debate would be to take the position of a outright lie, ie that a man will walk on the moon within 1 month and debate that with anyone crazy enough to debate him.
I have written to this bum time and time again and it my belief that he is like the proverbial jack in the box, he will always pop up and there should be throttled.
He is one of many jews who despise themselves for being jewish and want to occupy the spotlight so that the gentile world sees him in a good light. He consists of common garbage which has been forgotten for a pickup.
True winning the war saved some Jews but hundreds of thousands more could have been saved had Britain not shut the door to Palestine.
Maybe, just maybe, had the American govt., used its influence it could have prevented that before America entered the war!
J-Street supporter David describes the "palestinians" as irrelevant to Israel's policies and actions. He insists that Israel's "policies put the long term survival of the nation at risk" but doesn't identify those policies. (Might they have something to do with those irrelevant palestinians?) "It is not about what others are doing wrong to us... it is about what we are doing wrong." This "mentality" may be consistent with J-Street's embrace of the Goldstone Report (condemning the IDF for the deaths of civilians and destruction of infrastructure while ignoring the context for the IDF's assault). But it is laughable to suggest that such mentality has any role in Israel's survival - that Israel's survival can be assured only if its leaders make policies and take actions completely oblivious to the world around them. Funnier still is David's accusation that the rejection of the "ruthless criticism" of it's "true friends" at J-Street reveals the attitude of the Israeli government as "narcissistic inward looking and egotistical." Here's a tip, David, that you might share with your friends at J-Street: no organization, no matter how it describes itself, and no nation, no matter how great its leader, will ever convince any Israeli government, however "dovish" or "hawkish",
"liberal" or "conservative," to do anything through paternalistic, patronizing messages like J-Street's.
"is use his father’s struggles with the American Jewish establishment to justify J Street’s current political activism and its sometimes dangerous positions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

AMEN! The man has lost his way and truly plays on the good will of the less involved in order to gain power and prestige. I met him in Israel and he was unable to give one straight answer. Always talking out of both sides of his mouth. Always leaning on his father's history to give him legitimacy.
It is the responsibilities of supporters of the concept, the vision of Israel, to criticise the Israeli government, when that governments policies put the long term survival of the nation at risk.

It is specious to castigate them for not criticising the palestinians or others - they are of no relevance.

The issue which is of relevance is what OUR policies are, and how these policies will affect OUR and our descendants future.

What Ben-Ami and J-Street put forward is exactly that - it is in fact internal criticism of a government gone off the rails.
It is also criticism that is heard within Israel, from past and present leaders of the Military and of Mossad. The very kind of people who one would expect at first sight to support the continuous hawkish strategies of Netanyahu and the current government. - But these voices are only heard in Israel, and even then not so loudly... What has greater potential to put pressure on the Israeli government is influence in the international arena, and most particularly in the USA.

A true friend must be able to criticise ruthlessly - without it we end up with a narcissistic inward looking and egotistical attitude - and unfortunately that is what the current government of Israel mostly looks like.

J Street holds up a mirror of reality to the Jewish community, and effectively asks - is this what you really want?
Like I said - their approach is right, it is not about what others are doing wrong to us... it is about what we are doing wrong.
All I can see is the picture of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem cozied up with the Nazis. There is such a thing as the old saying: "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" but this can be carried way too far.

Has anyone ever inquired as to whether the Arabs think the Grand Mufti ever regretted his stance?

I have read that German Jews were loath to leave Germany before the onset of WWII because they couldn't believe that such a civilized country would ever turn against them because they were so civilized. They did not look at the historical behavior of Germany. Looking at the history of the Arabs leads me to believe they will not be satisfied with less than the extermination of the Jews.
"As for the quotes, these opinions...are irrelevant in 2011..."

Can you explain why you believe that they now are irrelevant?
#Michael Santomauro: Nice to see the Arabs pay you for re-hashing very old comments. Or did you do this "homework" yourself? In a democracy, there are differing opinions, something that doesn't happen in non-democracies. As for the quotes, these opinions were in a small minority when made and are irrelevant in 2011, if you're interested in resolving the conflict. Since you're not, keep wallowing in your hate. opinions about everything.
#Bob. "Tosh"?? Who is annihilating who? Please stop spreading your lies. There will be peace when the Palestinians want to live in peace. Instead, they continue to live in their hate
Sol Stern is absolutely right. Ben-Ami's J Street is a Soros-funded anti-Israel organization that knows well how to criticize the government of Israel but is amazingly mute on criticizing the Palestinian Authority or the war criminals in Hamas. Therefore, their viewpoint is ignored in Israel.
Best article I've read in years!! That's why I love City Journal.
It is really striking to see how Americans of the XXI century repeat nearly the whole volley of the “poor Palestinians” arguments, which were published by the official USSR press during all the anti-Semitic campaigns here. These arguments were rather popular in ours because nobody could visit Israel to form his/her own opinion. But even then we couldn’t but think in the relative privacy of our tiny communal cubicles: look, there is quite a lot of the most different peoples in this world who were thrown away from their land and property: Armenians by Turks, Vietnamese boat peoples – by Viet Kong, Russian émigrés – by Bolsheviks, etc – and still nobody ever speaks about poor Armenians, poor Russians or, say, poor Kurds. Why all the talk is exclusively about these eternally poor Palestinians in their eternally poor refugee camps with nothing but miserable Grad missiles inside? Natural human sympathy? Hardly. I think it’s just a result of a very thorough brain-washing – and a much more professional one, than our primitive Kremlin version was. Alas, it seems, the American brains are washed with nearly no resistance at all – in Russia we get used to think at least a little bit independently even in dreadful Stalin times. And now we are finally travelling also – to clean the remains of our old propaganda detergents. So my humble advice to all the Palestinian enthusiasts (outside the hopeless J-street, naturally): try to think independently – and to travel with your eyes widely open not for the Goldstone report only, but for the real life too! Rostislav, Saint-Petersburg, Russia
By forcing young Israeli men and women into performing the duties of an army of occupation with all the casual abuse of the occupied population...the Israeli government is destroying itself from within... And it is this brutalization of Israeli public life and society that is turning many in America away from Israel... And playing the Holocaust card no longer really works... At one time...
What utter tosh:"the brave people of Israel"
"trying to find a lasting peace"
As the result of annihilating the braver but less well-connected people of Palestine, he forgets to mention.
Michael Santomauro October 14, 2011 at 8:55 PM
Jewish Criticism of Zionism

“Albert Einstein — ‘I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish State. Apart from practical considerations, my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish State,with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power, no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain’...

“Professor Erich Fromm, a noted Jewish writer and thinker, [stated]...’In general international law, the principle holds true that no citizen loses his property or his rights of citizenship; and the citizenship right is de facto a right to which the Arabs in Israel have much more legitimacy than the Jews. Just because the Arabs fled? Since when is that punishable by confiscation of property, and by being barred from returning to the land on which a people’s forefathers have lived for generations? Thus, the claim of the Jews to the land of Israel cannot be a realistic claim. If all nations would suddenly claim territory in which their forefathers had lived two thousand years ago, this world would be a madhouse...I believe that, politically speaking, there is only one solution for Israel, namely, the unilateral acknowledgement of the obligation of the State towards the Arabs — not to use it as a bargaining point, but to acknowledge the complete moral obligation of the Israeli State to its former inhabitants of Palestine’...

“Nathan Chofshi — ‘Only an internal revolution can have the power to heal our people of their murderous sickness of causeless hatred...It is bound to bring complete ruin upon us. Only then will the old and young in our land realize how great was our responsibility to those miserable Arab refugees in whose towns we have settled Jews who were brought here from afar; whose homes we have inherited, whose fields we now sow and harvest; the fruits of whose gardens, orchards and vineyards we gather; and in whose cities that we robbed we put up houses of education, charity, and prayer, while we babble and rave about being the “People of the Book” and the “light of the nations”’...

“In an article published in the Washington Post of 3 October 1978, Rabbi Hirsch (of Jerusalem) is reported to have declared: ‘The 12th principle of our faith, I believe, is that the Messiah will gather the Jewish exiled who are dispersed throughout the nations of the world. Zionism is diametrically opposed to Judaism. Zionism wishes to define the Jewish people as a nationalistic entity. The Zionists say, in effect, ‘Look here, God. We do not like exile. Take us back, and if you don’t, we’ll just roll up our sleeves and take ourselves back.’ ‘The Rabbi continues: ‘This, of course, is heresy. The Jewish people are charged by Divine oath not to force themselves back to the Holy Land against the wishes of those residing there.’” Sami Hadawi, “Bitter Harvest.”

Jewish Criticism — continued

“A Jewish Home in Palestine built up on bayonets and oppression [is] not worth having, even though it succeed, whereas the very attempt to build it up peacefully, cooperatively, with understanding, education, and good will, [is] worth a great deal even though the attempt should fail.” Rabbi Judah L. Magnes, first president of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, quoted in “Like All The Nations?”, ed. Brinner & Rischin.

Martin Buber on what Zionism should have been

“The first fact is that at the time when we entered into an alliance (an alliance, I admit, that was not well defined) with a European state and we provided that state with a claim to rule over Palestine, we made no attempt to reach an agreement with the Arabs of this land regarding the basis and conditions for the continuation of Jewish settlement.

This negative approach caused those Arabs who thought about and were concerned about the future of their people to see us increasingly not as a group which desired to live in cooperation with their people but as something in the nature of uninvited guests and agents of foreign interests (at the time I explicitly pointed out this fact).

“The second fact is that we took hold of the key economic positions in the country without compensating the Arab population, that is to say without allowing their capital and their labor a share in our economic activity. Paying the large landowners for purchases made or paying compensation to tenants on the land is not the same as compensating a people. As a result, many of the more thoughtful Arabs viewed the advance of Jewish settlement as a kind of plot designed to dispossess future generations of their people of the land necessary for their existence and development. Only by means of a comprehensive and vigorous economic policy aimed at organizing and developing common interests would it have been possible to contend with this view and its inevitable consequences. This we did not do.

“The third fact is that when a possibility arose that the Mandate would soon be terminated, not only did we not propose to the Arab population of the country that a joint Jewish Arab administration be set up in its place, we went ahead and demanded rule over the whole country (the Biltmore program) as a fitting political sequel to the gains we had already made. By this step, we with our own hands provided our enemies in the Arab camp with aid and comfort of the most valuable sort — the support of public opinion — without which the military attack launched against us would not have been possible. For it now appears to the Arab populace that in carrying on the activities we have been engaged in for years, in acquiring land and in working and developing the land, we were systematically laying the ground work for gaining control of the whole country.” Martin Buber, quoted in “A Land of Two Peoples” ed. Mendes-Flohr