Bernard Lewis: Have the Arabs finally decided to accept the existence of Israel?





[Mr. Lewis, professor emeritus at Princeton, is the author, most recently, of "From Babel to Dragomans: Interpreting the Middle East" (Oxford University Press, 2004).]

Herewith some thoughts about tomorrow's Annapolis peace conference, and the larger problem of how to approach the Israel-Palestine conflict. The first question (one might think it is obvious but apparently not) is, "What is the conflict about?" There are basically two possibilities: that it is about the size of Israel, or about its existence.

If the issue is about the size of Israel, then we have a straightforward border problem, like Alsace-Lorraine or Texas. That is to say, not easy, but possible to solve in the long run, and to live with in the meantime.

If, on the other hand, the issue is the existence of Israel, then clearly it is insoluble by negotiation. There is no compromise position between existing and not existing, and no conceivable government of Israel is going to negotiate on whether that country should or should not exist.

PLO and other Palestinian spokesmen have, from time to time, given formal indications of recognition of Israel in their diplomatic discourse in foreign languages. But that's not the message delivered at home in Arabic, in everything from primary school textbooks to political speeches and religious sermons. Here the terms used in Arabic denote, not the end of hostilities, but an armistice or truce, until such time that the war against Israel can be resumed with better prospects for success. Without genuine acceptance of Israel's right to exist as a Jewish State, as the more than 20 members of the Arab League exist as Arab States, or the much larger number of members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference exist as Islamic states, peace cannot be negotiated....

If the issue is not the size of Israel, but its existence, negotiations are foredoomed. And in light of the past record, it is clear that is and will remain the issue, until the Arab leadership either achieves or renounces its purpose -- to destroy Israel. Both seem equally unlikely for the time being.


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N. Friedman - 12/12/2007

Mr. Simon,

You might note also that the Nazis did not always have a state. Perhaps, on Ms. Gee's view, they did not bear concern before they took over. Again, that is a nonsense view of a person consumed by hate.


E. Simon - 12/12/2007

Fifty years from now anyone reading this person's ravings will conclude, with the clarity of a sense of ideological and historical perspective that is currently not available to most Europeans - (just sixty some-odd years after their failings in dealing with the Third Reich and so many years after their millenia of complicity with and obedience to the official Church attitudes that begat it) - that this person is off their rocker. I suspect that among an overwhelmingly atheistic Europe which is struggling to find a sense of traditional, or if you prefer, "natural" values with which to tie itself together within the European project, it is difficult to revert to the sense of Christendom that the Vatican now asserts as an official marker of European identity and unity, and which it seeks to promulgate as such within the context of any formal European constitution. Hence, we witness the extraordinary antics that result from wanting to reconcile this crisis of identity with the sort of common moral purpose that liberal intellectuals haven't found a way to coherently formulate in the post-nationalist/pre-European era, in which they now find themselves, in Ms. Gee. Just my speculation, but I suppose it is not an uncommon affliction, and one that will continue to be so until the mass of Europe can resolve its schizophrenia over understanding the relationships that result from and which continue to exist between its power, nationhood (both individual and collective) and its own, usually bloody history in navigating between these currents.


E. Simon - 12/12/2007

My bet is that she's too tied in knots to respond; that she, on some level which she rationalizes as tawdry, knows it; and that she has already prefigured her need to regroup and redirect the conversation once again. See my response to what Art's noticed about her lack of concern for notorious displays of pro-Nazi adulation within the context of a politically ambitious Palestinian society - simply because it, well technically, "isn't a state." Well, neither was the Zionist yishuv whose ostensibly oh-so-Nazionalsozialismus style of ideology, in and of its fraudulent self, is all the rage when it comes to sparking the intellectual fires that burn so feverishly within the brain of one Ms. Sally Gee. But then again, that was ONLY "ONE" repugnant strand, that she regards as such, of Jewish thought. How many does she reserve for Arabs or any others or their many "strands" as it were, of thought? How many does she reserve for nationalism or religion generally when the conversation is devolved from pointing fingers at specific ethnicities, as she claims that she can do and further strives at as her singularly heroic aim? Only the mysterious Ms. Gee knows. Only the mysterious Ms. Gee can tell.


E. Simon - 12/12/2007

Well, to the credit of her argument above - assuming it is genuine - but not to her generally, she says she is unconcerned by displays of Nazi sentiment among the Palestinians so long as such distinctly Nazi attributes are not part of a state apparatus - even though they clearly are beyond reproach within the apparently benign society of the Palestinian proto-state itself. But this stance flies directly in the face of her original contentions - that some Jewish/Zionist ideology/strand of thought informed the currently "Nazi" (in her estimation) state of Israel that she seeks so ardently to condemn on such grounds. In the meantime, clearly Nazi attributes that are part of the mainstream of Palestinian society warrant no such concern, at exactly the same time as they clamor for statehood, to this self-proposed anti-Nazi universalist. What an inconsistent fraud this person is.


E. Simon - 12/12/2007

I'm glad you picked up on this, as I just did (having come late to the conversation) and responded to it similarly, somewhere above in the strand at a point where it doesn't easily catch the eye.


E. Simon - 12/12/2007

actually, Sally Gee says "at least one (sic) repugnant strand of Jewish thought". At least "one"...? Perhaps there are others in her mind. Many others? Well, at least enough to fill her with an overall sense of anti-Jewish intellectualized bullshit.

At some point anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic are the same attitude, the same stance, the same form of bigotry. Sophistry can allow someone to pick and choose only so many discrete "things" and details with which to intellectualize their contempt for others until it becomes impossible for any sane person to conclude that they just hate the whole lot of 'em altogether.


N. Friedman - 12/12/2007

Ms. Gee,

The characterization of those killed appears in The Guardian. Were there any chance to describe those killed as civilians, that rag would surely have done so.

In Ms. Gee world, it appears that the killing of soldiers is now a form of ethnic cleansing. Yet, notwithstanding Ms. Gee world theory, the population of Gaza is growing. Strange how it is that her bogey man, the Israelis, have allowed such population growth while they, on Ms. Gee's nutty theory, are committing ethnic cleansing.

So, now "ethnic cleansing" is another thing like "Nazism" that has been robbed by her of its meaning. Pathetic.

Surely, Ms. Gee, if your case for Palestinian Arabs was so strong, you could argue it with language that fits the circumstances. That you feel compelled to employ not only exagerations but out and out falsehoods speaks to your personal animus.

Note: I actually think it is possible to argue the Arab side without resorting to intellectual assaults on truth. The trouble with such a position, for people like you, is that any reasonable argument for Palestinian Arabs includes the recognition that there are two sides with legitimate needs and interests and, in some instances, illegitimate demands and actions. In other words, it would require admission that Jews have the same rights as other human beings - something you quite clearly deny.

If I am wrong that you do not deny Jewish rights, prove me wrong.


art eckstein - 12/12/2007

Ms. Gee doesn't accept the description of the far-left Guardian, a British newspaper which has no love for Israel.

Instead, she just makes up her anti-semitic fantasies.

The only people shooting intentionally at civilians are Islamic Jihad, which intentionally targets schoolyards filled with children, within the 1967 boundaries of Israel. This happened, rather spectacularly, in November. The message is genocide--kill those little Jewish kids! Sounds Nazi-like to any reasonable person.

Which means, again, case closed on Ms. Gee--who is not.


Sally Gee - 12/11/2007

With due respect, most, if not all, of those killed today were soldiers from Islamic Jihad. Such appears in the British rag The Guardian, which reports"Israeli troops in tanks and armoured vehicles mounted an incursion into Gaza today, killing at least six Palestinian militants on the eve of a new round of peace talks."

In Zionist ethnic cleansing zones the murdered are always described as militants if they cannot be described as soldiers from Islamic Jihad (whatever that means, or whatever its meaning is designed to approximate in order to influence the congenitally unwary and the clinically suseptable).

It doesn't sound like self defense, Mr Friedman, if sounds like an execise in murder conceived in bloodlust which has been deliberately designed as a "positive" Zionist-Fatah-US PR stunt to help the failure that will be Annapolis along its way. The first Nazis specialised heavily in pre-emptive incursions into the territory of their sub-human neighbours, and it seems the Zionists do it compulsively. Learned the lesson too well - much too well - I should have thought. Perhaps you should see your way to treating yourself to a volume covering the history of the Third Reich for Xmas, Mr Friedman, or you'll remain forever ditzy.


Sally Gee - 12/11/2007

With due respect, most, if not all, of those killed today were soldiers from Islamic Jihad. Such appears in the British rag The Guardian, which reports"Israeli troops in tanks and armoured vehicles mounted an incursion into Gaza today, killing at least six Palestinian militants on the eve of a new round of peace talks."

In a Zionist ethnic cleansing zones the murdered are always described as militants if they cannot be described as soldiers from Islamic Jihad (whatever that means, or whatever its meaning is designed to approximate in order to influence the congenitally unwary and the clinically suseptable.

It doesn't sound like self defense, Mr Friedman, if sounds like an execise in murder conceived in bloodlust which has been deliberately designed as a "positive" Zionist-Fatah-US PR stunt to help the failure that will be Annapolis along its way. The first Nazis specialised heavily in pre-emptive incursions into the territory of their sub-human neighbours, and it seems the Zionists do it compulsively. Learned the lesson too well - much too well - I should have thought. Perhaps you should see your way to treating yourself to a volume covering the history of the Third Reich for Xmas, Mr Friedman, or you'll remain forever ditzy.


N. Friedman - 12/11/2007

Ms. Gee,

With due respect, most, if not all, of those killed today were soldiers from Islamic Jihad. Such appears in the British rag The Guardian, which reports: "Israeli troops in tanks and armoured vehicles mounted an incursion into Gaza today, killing at least six Palestinian militants on the eve of a new round of peace talks."

It sounds as if the Israelis chose the group which was attacking Israeli civilians. According to The Guardian, which is hardly known to report things favorable to the Israelis: "Most of the dead appeared to be members of Islamic Jihad, a small but hardline Palestinian militant group which has been responsible for firing makeshift rockets from Gaza into Israel."

That does not sound Nazi-like. That sounds like self-defense, Ms. Gee. If self-defense is Nazi-like, then you have evolved Nazism into its opposite.


Sally Gee - 12/11/2007

""Volk dictatorship" and "potential [POTENTIAL} for ethnic cleansing"; translation: ethnic cleansing isn't going on!)."


Well, my effete little Zionist propogandist, as if you are not evidence enough, the Nazi murder machine moved into Gaza earlier today so, unfortunately, I guess the Jewish State's potential for ethnic cleansing has been realised yet again - but maybe the Gazaans are invisible to you, or just don't count unless they've got a copy of Mein Kampf handy to attract your attention.


A. M. Eckstein - 12/11/2007

1. Gee's NEW definition of "an evolved" Nazi state, given just above, is so vague ("organized on the basis of the past"!!) as to fit almost any modern state (e.g., France, or Denmark--"Volk dictatorship" and "potential [POTENTIAL} for ethnic cleansing"; translation: ethnic cleansing isn't going on!).

Insofar as this definition has any substance at all it fits, e.g., the Hamas State of Gaza, with its Nazis salutes and overtly genocidal ideology, far better than it fits Israel. Nevertheless, Gee continues to obsess on Israel as the sole "Nazi state", though in fact she has offered zero evidence in support of this slander.

2. I wanted EVIDENCE that the popularity of Mein Kampf among the Palestinians, the Nazi salutes, the genocidal ideology, etc., were "mostly Zionist propaganda", as Gee claimed without offering any evidence to back this claim. Well, she has now decided to offer none.

Yep--case closed.


Sally Gee - 12/11/2007

"An "evolved" Nazi state--i.e., a state that has none of the characteristics of the actual historical Nazis, no dictatorship, no genocide"

Good first stab at a definition of Israel, but to be really precise I'd slip in something about being organised on the basis of past, and a continuing potential for, large scale ethnic cleansing on its own territory and beyond, and formally governed by an elected parliamentary Volk dictatorship.

I'm a bit worried that you want me to produce negative evidence, that is, evidence of nothing. Isn't proof of nothing what totalitarian states and Republicans have always demanded down the ages? Oops! Hope I've not let anything out of the bag for you!

You use the term pathetic, oh Mr teecher with an IQ of 2.5 on a good day. Now if I were to enrol in one of your classes, that would make me really pathetic, but I can't imagine I would ever be sad enough to do something as stupid as that.

Now I will leave you in peace in th comfort of the Zogsville School for Lefthanded Horseshoe Throwing, or whatever, and let you get the last word in at your leisure. Try not to take up too much space or use too many big words you are not sure of. It doesn't impress anyone even if you are a highly regarded teecher at - whatever...


art eckstein - 12/11/2007

An "evolved" Nazi state--i.e., a state that has none of the characteristics of the actual historical Nazis, no dictatorship, no genocide-- is a figment of Gee's anti-semitic imagination. She evolved this hypothetical construct in order to continue to slander Israel, when she was forcefully remined by people who actually know history that Israel has none of the characteristics of the actual Nazi state.

Conversely, Gee is now reduced to denying that the Nazism of the Palestinians exists--it's all Zionist propaganda, not reality. EVIDENCE for this assertion? As usual she presents none. Pathetic.

Case closed.


Sally Gee - 12/11/2007

"If the Israelis were Nazis, there would be no Arabs in israel--they'd all be dead. As the Palestinians plan for the Jews."

As I said, contemporary Zionism is evolved Nazism and, by definition, it has been more successful and for longer than its original model. This is not least because it chose to maintain the Palestinians as cheap labour by adopting the practises of South Africa by creating Bantustans (I suppose, the practises of Biblical Egypt post-Joseph and pre-Moses), so your statement reveals - as we have come to expect rom this source - an astonishing level of ignorance and lack of insight.


"But Gee insists on (a) being concerned about Nazism as a general phenomenon; while (b) applying the term as slander to "Nazi Zionists" and only to them; while (c) the overt Nazism of the Palestinians is a matter of overt indifference to her."

I am concerned about Nazism as a general phenomenon but its real relevance is most apparent when its influence is central to the policies, operations and local objective of a modern state. I do apply the term others, but they are not significant in the context of this debate. From eperience, I find what Mr Eckstein terms "the overt Nazism of the Palestinians" close to non-existent and very much a product of the Zionist propoganda machine, of which our highly regarded teecher is such an ineffective part.

"It's a grostesque, illogical position."

Oh dear. A rhetorical flourish which indicates disagreement and "grostesque" (sic) woud seriously suggest that something I have said has upset you. God, you really are a big girl's blouse. What a wally!

"Conclusion: Friedman and I win."

Dream on, bottom feeder. But this confirms what has been quite evident all along to the practised eye, that your sense of reality can, at best, only be described as somewhat tangential, if it exists at all. So back to the classroom to annoy your poor, pathetic students with your barroom erudition, Mr Eckstein. And why not offer them a change of perspective today by trying on a new blouse? You never know, it might make you a better person.


art eckstein - 12/10/2007

If the Israelis were Nazis, there would be no Arabs in israel--they'd all be dead. As the Palestinians plan for the Jews.

But Gee insists on (a) being concerned about Nazism as a general phenomenon; while (b) applying the term as slander to "Nazi Zionists" and only to them; while (c) the overt Nazism of the Palestinians is a matter of overt indifference to her.

It's a grostesque, illogical position.

Conclusion: Friedman and I win.


Sally Gee - 12/10/2007

The Nazi Zionists act! The Palestinians, at best, dream. And I am sure the EU will give me a medal in a few years for recognising that fact. Back to Zog with you, teecher Eckstein!


A. M. Eckstein - 12/10/2007

No, Ms. Gee. A questioning stance towards Zionism and the Zionist project is not evidence of anti-semitism. But that is not you. Reserving the term "Nazi" for Jews, and this in the face of overt Palestinian Nazism (!!), is a double standard, a vile double standard, and that IS you. The employment of such a double standard in judging Jews or Israel vs. non-Jews and other states is, precisely, one of the official definitions of anti-semitism according to the European Union. You fit the description. To a tee.


Sally Gee - 12/10/2007

Always the pre-puberty buffoon, Mr Friedman. As I said in an earlier response which you seem incapable of reading: "Wrong again. What I actually said was: “...the application of at least one repugnant strand of Jewish thought - Zionism - has led directly to the plight of the Palestinian people to the benefit of the Jews who have taken over their land." Note it is in the singular. And note the intellectual humility in my admission that there may be other strands of which I am unaware. Would that your ego would allow you to follow my lead!"

And your "extrapolation":"For there to be "at least one repugnant strand" means that, by necessity, there are other repugnant strands", is, as usual in your work, astonishing in its intellectual deficiency. "For there to be "at least one repugnant strand" means that, by necessity, there may or may not be other repugnant strands. As I ask of you, and it will bear further repetition, "...note the intellectual humility in my admission that there may be other strands of which I am unaware. Would that your ego would allow you to follow my lead!"

Still, you seem to like repeating yourself whereas I merely regard it as a duty, a charitable chore, to counter the worst of your pitiable ignorance and disgraceful intellectual indolence.

Oh, and I'm glad Mr Eckstein chose to share his interpretation of the placename, Planet Zog, with us - excellent!!! I will occasionally allow it to inform my future use of the term. But I notice that teecher Eckstein seems to assume that a questioning stance towards Zionism and the Zionist project is to be considered, ipso facto, as an expression of anti-semitism. How strange. Must depend on the company you keep, or the extent of your mental disability, or both. That could be the reason why you repeat yourself so much. I suspect your poor students would probably not find it particularly strange to find you conduct an entire class simply by repeating the same Zionist slogan, rabidly, over and over again.


art eckstein - 12/10/2007

The State University of Planet ZOG, did Ms. Gee say?

BUSTED!

This is the language of far-right anti-semites including specifically the KKK, with their ranting against the government of the U.S., that is, against the "Zionist Occupied Government" (ZOG). Evidently THIS vile anti-semitic drivel, too, has been picked up by Gee and some of the rest of the ranting Left...


N. Friedman - 12/10/2007

Ms. Gee,

Now you cannot even read what you wrote clearly. Really.

You wrote: “...the application of at least one repugnant strand of Jewish thought - Zionism - has led directly to the plight of the Palestinian people to the benefit of the Jews who have taken over their land." For there to be "at least one repugnant strand" means that, by necessity, there are other repugnant strands.

Learn to read.


Sally Gee - 12/10/2007

“You referred to more than one strand, you referred to repugnant strands, in the plural.”

Wrong again. What I actually said was: “...the application of at least one repugnant strand of Jewish thought - Zionism - has led directly to the plight of the Palestinian people to the benefit of the Jews who have taken over their land." Note it is in the singular. And note the intellectual humility in my admission that there may be other strands of which I am unaware. Would that your ego would allow you to follow my lead!

But, as you say: “Of course, that is what happens to a person, like Gee, who extrapolates. She is not the only one who can play that game.” The only thing is, whereas I infer or draw logical conclusions - the polar opposite of what you wisely prefer to call extrapolation - you are quite happy to play the game by lying and distorting the evidence. If you are so willing to lie so stupidly - and so, so, so pathetically obviously - to score a debating point, how can any of us place any confidence whatsoever in any claim you may make in future (or, indeed, any claim you have ever made)?

Perhaps, on reflection, you may see why I cannot help but see you as a model of the corrupting effect the influence of Zionism has had on the moral and intellectual integrity of its adherents. And if you do not buck up and pull yourself from under its malign influence, you will undoubtedly end up as dodgy, dozy and doozle-brained as your companion, Mr Eckstein, the highly regarded teecher at the State University of Planet Zog, or thereabouts.


N. Friedman - 12/10/2007

Ms. Gee,

You referred to more than one strand, you referred to repugnant strands, in the plural.

But, again, even one strand will do, if our goal is to extrapolate. And, you love to extrapolate even when that means extrapolating that a person does not mean their own words in a private letter to a close friend.

What I am doing is teaching you a lesson about how to advance a position. Arguing is a two way street. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. And, it seems perfectly reasonable to extrapolate on the strands you have asserted if you can extrapolate on Hannah Arendt to have her taking views that are the opposite of those she held.

Perhaps you will learn something about not asserting idiotic things about which you know nothing, as in nothing about Hannah Arendt, nothing about Zionism, nothing about Judaism and, reasonably extrapolating on your presentation of facts, nothing about the Arab Israeli dispute or, for that matter, about history in general. But that, of course, is just extrapolating.

Again: are you beginning to see the problem of extrapolating, most especially when the extrapolation is contradicted by the theorist's own words?


A. M. Eckstein - 12/10/2007

All right: Ms. Gee is saying that a strand of Jewish thought (namely, Zionism) is the most direct contemporary form of Nazism. She makes the equation right here, just above.

Yet at the same time, she has said that the popularity of Mein Kampf among Palestinians, the naming of Palestinian children "Hitler", the Nazi salutes of Palestinian soldiers, and the inculcation of genocidal attitudes towards Jews BY the Palestinian government FROM early childhood "is not my concern."

I repeat: for someone who claims to be appalled by Nazism as a general phenomenon, this is perverse.

Or rather, it shows that the author is only interested in applying the term "Nazi" to one case, and one case only--a Jewish case, a case where it doesn't fit at all. It is name-calling being trotted out purely for propagandistic purposes and not as serious analysis.


Sally Gee - 12/10/2007

"It's hard to get more perverse than this."

True, but both of you have tried so hard and you obviously have such a talent for it that you have suceeded.

"Again: You term Zionism a strand of Jewish thought and you term Zionism a contemporary form of Nazism. That means, as a matter of simple logic, that you have indicated that certain strands of Jewish thought are a contemporary form of Nazism. That, I submit, is pure bigotry on your part."

Low grade wordsmithing, and quite worthy of the quality of your arguments so far. But let us have a little think: first, a strand is not "strands"; and second, think of a strand of hair in a basin - once ornamental but no longer part of the body, and, although dead, it takes such a long time to rot down before it is able to provide a useful basis for life - and you'll get the gist.


N. Friedman - 12/10/2007

Professor,

It gets even more interesting; in fact, worse still.

Not only, if we go by her words, does Ms. Gee not care about manifestations of actual Nazism but, in fact, she cares instead about a form of Nazism that has evolved into something different - by her own admission.

So, that leads to the reasonable extrapolation that she has no objection to actual Nazism at all. And, that, of course, would be consistent with her disinterest to expressions of Nazism by Arabs or anyone else.

Of course, that is what happens to a person, like Gee, who extrapolates. She is not the only one who can play that game.


art eckstein - 12/10/2007


NO reader, reading Ms. Gee's words above in the first entry, would conclude that she thought Zionism was a form of thought that was contrary to mainstream Judaism. No one: to her, Zionism was a repugnant expression of Jewish thought. She then goes on to descibe it as the most direct expression of Nazism.

Then she overtly says (#116559, Dec. 9) that she is not concerned with the popularity of Mein Kampf among Palestinians, or Palestinian children being named "Hitler", or Palestinian soldiers doing the Nazi salute, or the teaching of children from the ground up to pursue anti-Jewish genocide. To her, this is not Nazism! (And btw, Hamas controls Gaza as a govt, so we are talking about the policies of a govt.)

Not her concern--when she repeatedly claimed to be concerned about Nazism as a general phenomenon.

It's hard to get more perverse than this.


art eckstein - 12/10/2007

Sally Gee wrote the following:

(#116223)
by Sally Gee on December 4, 2007 at 3:02 AM.

"At least one repugnant strand of Jewish thought - Zionism - has led directly to the plight of the Palestinian people to the benefit of the Jews who have taken over their land."

What could be clearer than this?

And THEN she wrote:

(#116236)
by Sally Gee on December 4, 2007 at 10:10 AM
"I regard Zionism as the most direct contemporary expression of Nazism. Same criteria, same foul beast."

Mr. Friedman, she can't escape from her own words. And yes, this is not "extrapolation" of anything, like Gee's phony-baloney interpretation of Arendt. These are Gee's exact words, with time and date and number of their entry given.


N. Friedman - 12/10/2007

Ms. Gee,

Mine is a reasonable extrapolation of what you wrote. You can, however, "strand" for "strains." Such was a typo.

In fact, mine is not only a reasonable extrapolation but it follows as a matter of logical necessity from what you wrote. In fact, it follows a whole lot more closely than what you wrote about Ms. Hannah Arendt who, in fact, expressed the exact opposite. You said she was being polite. So are you.

Again: You term Zionism a strand of Jewish thought and you term Zionism a contemporary form of Nazism. That means, as a matter of simple logic, that you have indicated that certain strands of Jewish thought are a contemporary form of Nazism. That, I submit, is pure bigotry on your part.

Again: that is what becomes of extrapolating. It is not just something you can employ. But, when applied to your writings, it is not just an extrapolation; rather, it is necessarily implied by your exact words.


Sally Gee - 12/10/2007

Twisting things again, Mr Freidman. I have certainly never referred to Zionism as a species of Jewish thought, with all that implies, nor, as I sought to make clear, the word "strains". I have, however, used the formulation, "repugnant strand of Jewish thought - Zionism", which I would have thought indicates that I consider Zionism, and particularly as expressed in the form of Israel, to be runs perversely tangential to mainstream Jewish thought and tradition.

Also, for future reference, you may note that the thing about logic is that it requires the precise definition of terms if it is to be a useful aid to understanding. Perhaps a course of instruction in Latin may help.


art eckstein - 12/9/2007

The UN officially recognized the Jews fleeing or being expelled from Muslim lands, 1948-1956, as officially refugees in 1957.

That is, the status of these Jews was the same, according officially to the UN, as the status of the Palestinians.

Mr. Auguste Lindt, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, recognized the refugee status of Jews from Arab and Muslim countries in the report of the UNREF Executive Committee, Fourth Session – ?Geneva 29 January to 4 February, 1957. Likewise, Dr. E. Jahn, Office of the UN High Commissioner, United Nations High ?Commissioner for Refugees, Document No. 7/2/3/Libya, July 6, 1967, recognized the refugee status of these Jews.


art eckstein - 12/9/2007

Besides massacres, Omar demanded evidence of government decrees. How about these two, then?

In 1950, the Iraqi parliament passed a law called Ordinance for the Cancellation of Iraqi Nationality for Jews, Law No. 1 that stripped Iraqi Jews of their citizenship.

In 1951, the Iraqi parliament passed another law, confiscating all Jewish property.

Ignorant, ignorant Omar.


N. Friedman - 12/9/2007

Ms. Gee,

If A (i.e. Zionism) is a species of B (Jewish thought) - which is your first proposition - and A (Zionism) is a species of C (Nazism) - which is your second proposition, that means, as a matter of logic, that B and C relate by means of equation. That is a fact of logic.


Now, I do not recall supporting ethnic cleansing or anything of the sort. That is in your head.

On the other head, you find equation between Judaism and Nazism, which is the thought of a bigot.

I might also note: Zionism is not a species of Jewish thought, if you mean that it derives from religious thought. That is certainly not the case.

Then again, do you actually know anything about Jewish though, Ms. Gee? Somehow I doubt it.


art eckstein - 12/9/2007

What's worse in the Arab world than Deir Yassin? Can you point to even one? asks ignorant Omar.

Here's a few from the 1940s and 1950s; the ones that are named (the Farhud in Iraq; Tripoli in Libya) each killed more people than Deir Yassin.

In Iraq, for example, a large Jewish community having roots dating back to biblical Babylonia was decimated in less than a year, in a particularly illuminating case study of several of the trends listed above. A weak, unpopular monarchy installed by the British Mandatory power in the 1930s faced subversion by radical pan-Arabist forces, violence and discrimination against Jews were rife from an early period, well before the establishment of the State of Israel.

The most notorious example of this violence was the Farhud (breakdown of law and order), a two-day pogrom in Baghdad in June 1941. In a spasm of uncontrolled violence, between 170 and 180 Jews were killed, more than 900 others were wounded, and 14,500 Jews sustained material losses through the looting or destruction of their stores and homes.

Although the government eventually restored order, the general position of the Jewish community continued to deteriorate as anti-foreign sentiment mounted and Iraq and the states bordering Palestine -- Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon -- became increasingly involved in the Arab-Jewish struggle. Jews were squeezed out of government employment, limited in schools, and subjected to imprisonment, heavy fines, or sequestration of their property on the flimsiest charges of being connected to either or both of the two banned movements. Indeed, Communism and Zionism were frequently equated in the statutes. In Iraq the mere receipt of a letter from a Jew in Palestine was sufficient to bring about arrest and loss of property.

On November 2, 1945, the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration became the occasion for widespread rioting, murder, and destruction of synagogues and Jewish property in Aleppo, Syria; Cairo, Egypt; and Tripoli, Libya. The Libyan Jewish community was particularly hard-hit, losing 130 people in the Tripoli area in three days of wanton violence. As in the earlier Farhud, the pogrom had been fomented by extreme nationalist elements who were intent on undercutting the British occupation of the country. The British troops in control of Tripoli waited days before restoring order, with an unconcern reminiscent of their conduct in the Iraqi massacre. As in the Iraqi case, the Tripoli massacre inaugurated a train of events that would demoralize and in a relatively short time dissolve the Libyan Jewish community.

After the first Arab-Israeli war broke out, the belligerent Arab governments lost all incentive to continue what little protection they had afforded their Jewish communities. Egypt, Syria, and Iraq took active measures against Jews under the guise of emergency regulations. Arrests, torture, and sometimes hangings of Jews, severe restrictions on travel, and sequestration or confiscation of Jewish property were imposed when these countries sent armies to prevent the establishment of the Jewish state on May 15, 1948. A climate of fear prevailed in these communities as sporadic attacks against Jews mounted.


N. Friedman - 12/9/2007

Omar,

You indicated that there must be massacres. In fact, there were numerous massacres, beginning in Baghdad where hundreds of Jews were massacres. There were also massacres in other Arab cities. Surely, you will not make me list all of them.

So, must I list them all for you?


Sally Gee - 12/9/2007

"So, in a sense, Ms. Gee is correct. The conversation did not remained honed to Professor Lewis' comment. But, of course, that occurs all the time on any topic that takes off on this website. And, if someone makes a bigoted comment and does not explain what is meant - e.g. what are the various strains of repugnant thought she has in mind - and then proceeds to defend such statements and to then, in effect, claim that Jewish thought [SG SAYS, NOT JEWISH THOUGHT, BUT ZIONIST THOUGHT) is Nazism - as she did (and I shall place her pertinent quotes next to each other below) -, fireworks can be expected.

Here are the noted thoughts juxtaposed:

... a little commonsense kind if hints that the application of at least one repugnant strand of Jewish thought - Zionism - has led directly to the plight of the Palestinian people ...

(SG SAYS, ABSOLUTELY TRUE AND CAPPABLE OF EMPIRICAL VERIFICATION)

and:

... I use no double standards - which is why I regard Zionism as the most direct contemporary expression of Nazism.

(SG SAYS: EQUALLY TRUE, SO WHAT'S THE PROBLEM WITH TRUTH,THEN?)

So, anyone would naturally take it that Ms. Gee thinks that strains of Jewish thought are the most direct contemporary expression of Nazism (SG SAYS: THIS IS WHAT WE CALL LYING AND BEARING FALSE WITNESS). Or, in simple terms, she makes an equation of sorts between the two (SG ASKS: EQUATION OR IDENTITY?). Such is normally understood to be the language of a bigot (SG SAYS: YES, THE LANGUAGE OF A ZIONIST BIGOT PREPARED TO NOT ONLY CONDONE BUT ADVOCATE ETHNIC CLEANSING, THE MISLEAD AND TO LIE WHEN IT SUITS THE ZIONIST PURPOSE. NO WONDER THE EUROPEANS ARE BORED WITH ZIONISTS AND SEE THEM AS THE PROBLEM IF THIS IS THE LOW LEVEL OF INTELLECTUAL POWER THEY CAN MUSTER IN SUPPORT OF THE OZ-LIKE LEWIS).


Joseph Mutik - 12/9/2007

Please also consider the title of my message:

Arab speakers prefer "Mein Kampf" and "The protocols of the elders of Zion" (#116104)


N. Friedman - 12/9/2007

Professor,

Note, that I have merely extrapolated on Ms. Gee's thoughts in finding that she sees an equation between Jewish thought and contemporary Nazism. That, after all, is what she claims she did with Hannah Arendt.

The question is, of course, whether my extrapolation is a correct one and, if she says it is not, whether I should respond as she did about what Hannah Arendt actually stated in the face of what Ms. Gee extrapolated, namely, she preferred her extrapolation to what Ms. Arendt actually thought.

We shall see. My bet is that Ms. Gee will actually stand by her equation, which I reasonably extrapolated from her comment. What is your bet?


omar ibrahim baker - 12/9/2007

Mr. Friedman
All sorts of things have been said about Jews and by Jews in this conflict .....so WHAT?

Is any declaration of hatred or suspicion or even a call to violence by anybody "representative" and typical of the general opinion and attitude of the community, nation , human/cultural bloc to which that body belongs???

You have referred the readers to a source where truly representative and responsible speakers for the Arabs, Haykal and Jamalli, said whatever they said !

That was a well intentioned WARNING, in the sense of an advice, and NOT a THREAT as you claimed; as is only too clear for any reading free of ill will and inborn hatred and suspicion!
That IS my point!

However to contend that Jews were expelled from Arab countries should be supported by a government edict to that effect, if it was de jure/official, or a reference to a major massacre, if it was de facto, that would have had the same effect ...as was Deir Yassin in the case of the Palestinian refugees!
Can you point out any thing, edict or massacre, of the sort?

It is an undeniable historical fact that the then new born Israeli government used all means, including violence, to coerce, to terrorize, Egyptian Jews to migrate to Palestine as was established beyond any doubt by the LAVON affair.

Several Arab countries, foremost is Morocco , Libya and Tunis(?), have invited Arab Jews to return to their native Arab land .
Some did for good to Morocco and others came back on a trial basis.

Arab countries have always appreciated the importance of NOT facilitating Jewish emigration to, of all places, Israel; as is implied by the words of both Haykal and Jamalli referred to earlier and in the source you indicated.

Syria officially forbade them from doing that and Syrian Jews were only recently allowed to emigrate from Syria , destination unspecified, under intense international and US pressure!

The presence of Arab Jews in Arab societies was always deemed not only acceptable but desirable for their cultural contribution to the multiethnic community that Arab societies are!
These are hard facts for a racist Zionist, which all Zionists are, to accept but these are the facts.


art eckstein - 12/9/2007

N.F., I did telescope things. Yep. You are correct, and I stand corrected.

But while I telescoped things, there was no basic distortion (as you rightly indicate). From the beginning, Gee was making outrageous statements, first about Lewis, then about Israel. And the process of other readers' responses to her outrageous statements finally led to her introducing the equation of Zionism with Nazism--a process which you describe above. This last outrageous "Nazi" comment of hers had nothing to do with Lewis' article; but once she'd introduced the "equation", the conversation proceeded rapidly onwards from there--as was only natural. But now she wonders in faux-innocence why this happened when all she was doing was making a comment on Lewis...


N. Friedman - 12/9/2007

Art,

No. She began the discussion by writing "Does anyone accept the existence of Bernard Lewis's "scholarship" in the Islamic world, I wonder?" That was challenged by Mr. Simon as being an odd comment but he also wrote:

Less books are translated into Arabic per annum than into Greek, despite a thirty-fold difference in size between the two populations. Perhaps you are familiar with a new kind of less worldly and less literate form of scholarship that you could enlighten us on? How enticing!

She responded that perhaps most Arabs wanted to read books written in Arabic and that "there are more books published by Islamic schoars iin the Arab world than published by non-Arab scholars (and "scholars") in the West." But, then she added a zinger in response to Mr. Simon's zinger, so to speak, writing:

As for your final point, the evidence of your past posts would indicate that you have long been far beyond the reach of any degree of enlightenment or, indeed, simple commonsense.

Mr. Mutik then added a seeming non-sequitor - or, perhaps, he surmised Ms. Gee's views quicker than the rest of us - comment that reads: "The Arabs also send people to prison for calling a Teddy bear, Muhammad. 99% of the Arab world is composed of failed political, economical and social systems."

In response, Ms. Gee hinted at her views, writing:

I see that Joseph is one of Bernard Lewis's less adept students. Better a few days in the chokey to appease the more brainless mullahs, than extrordinary rendition followed by years of systematic torture for walking down the street the wrong way, or being a Gazaan watching the concentration camp walls being built around you while children suffer and die from lack of food and medicine.

You, Art, then surmised her attitude - perhaps from her use of the words "concentration cap walls" - and wrote a lengthy post about population exchanges and about refugees, etc., etc. In any event, Omar contributed his usual views on the dispute that appear to respond to what you actually wrote. Then, Ms. Gee stated her views rather clearly on the topic, writing:

OK, suffering ethnic cleansing is not unique, but a sense of reality and a little commonsense kind if hints that the application of at least one repugnant strand of Jewish thought - Zionism - has led directly to the plight of the Palestinian people to the benefit of the Jews who have taken over their land. It can't get much clearer than that, can it?

That, amazingly bigoted comment, not surprisingly glued the rest of the conversation to the path on which it has remained.

So, in a sense, Ms. Gee is correct. The conversation did not remained honed to Professor Lewis' comment. But, of course, that occurs all the time on any topic that takes off on this website. And, if someone makes a bigoted comment and does not explain what is meant - e.g. what are the various strains of repugnant thought she has in mind - and then proceeds to defend such statements and to then, in effect, claim that Jewish thought is Nazism - as she did (and I shall place her pertinent quotes next to each other below) -, fireworks can be expected.

Here are the noted thoughts juxtaposed:

... a little commonsense kind if hints that the application of at least one repugnant strand of Jewish thought - Zionism - has led directly to the plight of the Palestinian people ...

and:

... I use no double standards - which is why I regard Zionism as the most direct contemporary expression of Nazism.

So, anyone would naturally take it that Ms. Gee thinks that strains of Jewish thought are the most direct contemporary expression of Nazism. Or, in simple terms, she makes an equation of sorts between the two. Such is normally understood to be the language of a bigot.


art eckstein - 12/9/2007

Exactly, Mr. Friedman.

In terms of the historical issue of whether the Jews were expelled from Middle Eastern countries such as Egypt and irag or whether "they all left voluntarily to join their brethren's colonialist enterprise" in Israel (which is Omar's repeatedly stated and ridiculously ahistorical position), it does not matter a dime's worth of difference whether the Arab leaders' statements cited in the article were threats against the Middle Eastern Jews or mere "warnings" to the Middle Eastern jews about expulsion. The point is that these Arab leaders were saying, before the fact, that the Jews would be expelled. And then they WERE expelled.

Case closed.


N. Friedman - 12/9/2007

Omar,

You misread my comment. I noted that one could disagree with the interpretation. On the other hand, it is not possible to assert, based on the evidence that was in the article that all involved understood that Jews were being pushed out. On your reading, such occurred in revenge.

Note thi quoted statements that come from the article:

The Jews have always been a source of evil and harm to Iraq. They are spies. They have sold their property in Iraq, they have no land among us that they can cultivate. How therefore can they live? What will they do if they stay in Iraq? No, no my friend, it is better for us to be rid of them as long as we are able to do so.


art eckstein - 12/9/2007

Gee began this conversation by slanderously claiming that Israel was a Nazi state. That was her "comment" on Lewis. And she wonders why this provoked controversy.

Then she defended her position by claiming that she was concerned with Nazism as a general phenomenon, although she applied her general concern only to one place, to one state. Now this is a state which is democratically run, where the Arab population is rising (not being murdered and ethnically cleansed), and where Arabs have more political rights than in any other place in the Middle East.

And NOW it turns out that she's not concerned with Nazism as all. For she writes: "That Palestinian children are called Hitler, read Mein Kampf, etc. etc., is not my concern."

Not her concern. An amazing statement. How revealing from someone who previously claimed that she was motivated only by concern about the Nazi phenomenon in general!


The conclusion is clear: Gee isn't concerned with Nazism as a general phenomenon. She is obsessively focused only on slandering Jews.


art eckstein - 12/9/2007

This response, which reveals so much, shows that Gee is NOT concerned with Nazism as all, as all along she claimed and where she began all of this conversation.

She is only concerned with slandering Jews.


Sally Gee - 12/9/2007

Oh dear. There is an article by Bernard Lewis about Israel. I comment on Lewis and one central aspect of the article, Israel as the Jewish State, its formation, and its maintenance as a Jewish, specifically Zionist, State and point to some of the issues related to that fact.

I am criticised in almost lunatic fashion for not discussing issues which are not relevant in any way to the original article - and, in particular, for not attacking other countries, of which I have no great knowledge, but the little I have suggests that my critics have studiously overlooked the points I have raised and are content to strew and pursue red herrings.

Whether or not Palestinian children are called Hitler, read Mein Kampff, &c, &c, is not my concern: they do not control a state which controls a subject population and subject it to murder, mayhem and starvation to cleanse it from the land. The Nazis once did and the Zionist do now.


Sally Gee - 12/9/2007

Oh dear. There is an article by Bernard Lewis about Israel. I comment on Lewis and one central aspect of the article, Israel as the Jewish State, its formation, and its maintenance as a Jewish, specifically Zionist, State and point to some of the issues related to that fact.

I am criticised in almost lunatic fashion for not discussing issues which are not relevant in any way to the original article - and, in particular, for not attacking other countries, of which I have no great knowledge, but the little I have suggests that my critics have studiously overlooked the points I have raised and are content to strew and pursue red herrings.

Whether or not Palestinian children are called Hitler, read Mein Kampff, &c, &c, is not my concern: they do not control a state which controls a subject population and subject it to murder, mayhem and starvation to cleanse it from the land. The Nazis once did and the Zionist do now.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/9/2007

If any thing at all the article indicated by Mr Friedman re the departure of Jews from Arab countries (Re: Omission, Fabrication and Distortion of FACTS is Eckstein's Methodology! (#116522) by N. Friedman on December 8, 2007 at 2:13 PM ) is proof positive that Zionists, in their disinformation and fabrication campaigns, rely heavily and invariably resort to the DISTORTION OF FACTS to prop their unfounded contentions.

AN objective reading of the words of both Heykal and Jamalli cited there in would clearly indicate that:

****What was a clear WARNING, in the sense of an advice given to somebody to be careful or to stop doing something , about the potential repercussions of partitioning Palestine was presented as a THREAT

That is as flagrant a distortion of facts as could be!


****Both Heykal and Jamalli ‘s words clearly indicate that even at that stage of the conflict ,at which the Zionists could no longer hide their flagrant colonialist designs, there was a prevalent Arab will and desire for Arab Jews to stay put, to remain as they were: nationals and citizens in the Arab countries they were inhabiting .

No where was there or is there a THREAT to expel Jews as claimed by both Eckstein and Friedman.
However it is only consistent with and typical of Zionist PR that a sensible well intentioned warning be , and was, distorted by the pair and presented as a threat!


.



art eckstein - 12/9/2007

Once more, but in this case in her accusations against me, Ms. Gee puts her fanatical and fact-blind ideology and her anti-semitic hatred before any known facts.

Ms. Gee knows nothing about me--just as she knows nothing about Hannah Arendt or history in general. She thinks because I've made her look ridiculous that I am somehow a bad teacher. Well, here ARE the facts about my teaching, Ms. Gee--I have won awards from my university, which is a major state university, both for my undergraduate teaching and for my graduate teaching.

I won those awards because I care deeply about my students and because I teach my students to depend sternly in their work on hard facts and careful logic, no matter where it leads them--and to avoid, by contrast, your own sort of argument, Ms. Gee, based on no specific facts, on empty rhetoric and on tireless racist slander.

Mr. Friedman has really nailed you when he says: "So far, we have someone who claims that a theory must be applicable universally but is only willing to apply against one group."

Yes, here is someone who professes to be horrified by the general phenomenon of "Nazism"--but not only applies it to a working democracy (in which Israeli Arabs vote, have their own Party, seats in Parliament, and currently a Cabinet member). On the other hand, she is totally unfazed by a different population where Mein Kampf is a best seller, where soldiers do the Nazi salute, where children are named after Hitler, and where a genocidal ideology against Jews rules. THAT situation she feels no urge to comment on at all.

Grotesque.




N. Friedman - 12/9/2007

Ms. Gee,

The question remains whether you will deal with the facts that have been presented. They were presented in response to Omar's post, not in connection with your assertions. And, again the facts provide a reason, apart from revenge, for the ethnic cleansing of a million Jews from Arab countries.

Surely, you must realize how bigoted anyone reading this website will view you if you do not acknowledge even obvious facts.


Sally Gee - 12/9/2007

I merely repeat, as to a dullard child incapable of concentrating long enough to take in the meaning and the import of my earlier response:

"Read the article, but couldn't buy into it because of its evident partiality, and its obvious assumption that one presumed wrong committed against one group can be justified by a completely unrelated wrong committed against another completely unrelated group. Evidence of a peculiarly Nazi kind of logic, and, I suppose therefore, painful evidence supporting my argument that Zionism is, if anything, and if Messrs Friedman, Eckstein and Mutant are in anyway representative of its adherents, more fully evolved in its acceptance of the necessity of evil than the simple, bureaucratically minded Nazis of the Third Reich."

I think to any mind unblinkered by racist narcissism, racial hatred, self righteousness, self induced paranoia and fear, those remarks directly refute the hyperbolic exaggerations and untruths evidenced by such grotesque statements as: First, "Yet, as we have seen, Ms. Gee, who is supposedly horrified by "Nazism" merely as a general phenomenon, has NOTHING to say about any of this. No, she reserves the term "Nazi" only for Jews. Really--what could be more perverse (or Nazi-like in terms of slander and lies against Jews) than that?"

And second, "Were she to be honest - to any extent - she would have to say that what happened to Jews in Arab countries has no conceivable justification. Such people were not part of any dispute. They were victims either of revenge or they were thrown out as part of the Arab nationalist program - as not being real Arabs."

Messrs Friedman and Eckstein, you are both an embarrassing ideologically driven joke and you do the foreign country whose aims you claim to support great harm, and I suspect that if Mr Eckstein cannot exercise self-control and restraint and repeats this kind of performance in class, he is in danger of doing great harm to his students also.


N. Friedman - 12/8/2007

Professor,

Indeed.

So far, we have someone who claims that a theory must be applicable universally but is only willing to apply against one group.

Were she to be honest - to any extent - she would have to say that what happened to Jews in Arab countries has no conceivable justification. Such people were not part of any dispute. They were victims either of revenge or they were thrown out as part of the Arab nationalist program - as not being real Arabs.


art eckstein - 12/8/2007

In any case, N.F., the RESULT of the mass expulsions (expulsions which cannot be historically denied) is the current situation, in which the MAJORITY of the Israeli Jewish population consists NOT of "European colonists" but of refugees expelled from Middle Eastern countries. Israel is thus a Middle Eastern country with a Middle Eastern population. There is also a significant minority of Christian and Muslim Arabs in Israel--who, if Israel were a "Nazi state", would simply have been killed off long ago because that's what Nazis DO. Insted, in the current situation not only is their population rapidly increasing but the Israeli Arab population possesses more voting rights and civil rights than any other Arab population in the Middle East.

(Minor example of what's going on: the NAZIS famously persecuted gay people; but it is the PA that persecutes gay people savagely, and these folks seek refuge in...liberal Israel. There was a long article about this in The New Republic in August 2002.)

Conversely, whatever the cultural condition of the Palestinian refugees of 1948, THEY are now horrifyingly Nazified--Hitler's book a best-seller, children are named after Hitler, soldiers doing the Nazi salute and an entire culture from children on up are now dedicated to genocide of Jews. Well, really--what could be more Nazi than that?

Yet, as we have seen, Ms. Gee, who is supposedly horrified by "Nazism" merely as a general phenomenon, has NOTHING to say about any of this. No, she reserves the term "Nazi" only for Jews. Really--what could be more perverse (or Nazi-like in terms of slander and lies against Jews) than that?


N. Friedman - 12/8/2007

Ms. Gee,

While there are always portions of any article that are subject to question, that Jews were pushed out of Arab lands is not really open to serious debate. It was reported in the newspapers, at the time, and the Arab side did not deny anything. And, as the article in question notes, it was something that Arab politicians openly discussed.

Your problem is that you deny the entirety, claiming it has partiality. But, of course, all scholarship has partiality. That is human nature. The facts cited and the dialogs quoted are, however, real and there is no reason to question them - nor do you assert any.

Let me also note: this is not a question of doing what you do, namely, extrapolating on a theory. The article, instead, takes an interpretation on actual facts, namely, the facts surrounding the expulsion of Jews from Arab lands. The author's contention is that such was not merely a reaction to the creation of Israel but something that was well planned. So, if the author is wrong, the expulsions were revenge. That is hardly any better.


art eckstein - 12/8/2007

The article in question is based primarily on UN and Muslim sources. It destroys Omar's contention that all Jews left Muslim lands to participate voluntarily in a colonialist project.

The only "Nazi-like" thinking on evidence here is Ms. Gee's--her tireless lip-smacking slander of Jews. Friedman and I have offered FACTS. Ms. Gee can only reply with jeers and the heaping up of ever more slander. She has never offered a single specific fact to support her crazy position. What a disgraceful performance.


Sally Gee - 12/8/2007

Read the article, but couldn't buy into it because of its evident partiality, and its obvious assumption that one presumed wrong committed against one group can be justified by a completely unrelated wrong committed against another completely unrelated group. Evidence of a peculiarly Nazi kind of logic, and, I suppose therefore, painful evidence supporting my argument that Zionism is, if anything, and if Messrs Friedman, Eckstein and Mutant are in anyway representative if its adherents, more fully evolved in its acceptance of the necessity of evil than the simple, bureaucratically minded Nazis of the Third Reich.


N. Friedman - 12/8/2007

Ms. Gee,

But, you are not inferring based on what Ms. Arendt wrote. You are asserting things that she has spoken to and said the opposite of what you claim. That is one problem with your inference.

The second problem is that your theory presupposes that she thought Israel to be akin to a Nazi country. Being a sharp critic of a country is different from asserting that a country is like Nazi Germany.

Following on that second problem, you would have it that she stood in solidarity with Israel as some Germans stood in solidarity with Germany. But, again, that presupposes that her view of Israel was of a Nazi country - it cannot show that it is a Nazi country in her view as solidarity involves an embrace, not a rejection. And again, the view that she thought Israel to be a Nazi country has not been shown with evidence. It is something you infer in contradiction to her own well-known views.

In fact, the available evidence shows that she was a sharp critic, not a person who thought Israel was a Nazi country. And it is that proposition about which you have cited not one word of evidence.

Consider, Gee, being critical of is really quite different than viewing something as akin to being the devil - which is pretty much what you claim about Israel. Clearly, that was not her view about Israel. It was more complicated.


Sally Gee - 12/8/2007

And I think I am on to a really good laugh with yu two!


Sally Gee - 12/8/2007

But if I don't know what she thought (or am unable to infer from her published and posthumously published writings - and, indeed the attacks on her by Zionist critics: all strong evidence to any one other than Freidman, Eckstein and Mutant, I believe), then how do YOU know what she thought? Are you in possession of some occult force? More likely some occult force is in possession of you, to may way of thinking.


N. Friedman - 12/8/2007

Professor,

In the odd chance that Omar actually is interested, here is the article.


N. Friedman - 12/8/2007

Professor Eckstein,

I think you are on to something.


N. Friedman - 12/8/2007

Ms. Gee,

Some evidence, please.


art eckstein - 12/8/2007

The name of the disease is the inabillity to marshal either specific evidence or rational argument for a point of view informed purely by Ms. Gee's hatred.


art eckstein - 12/8/2007

That Arendt continued to support Israel after 1967 does not mean she thought it was a "Nazi state" but that she was like Furtwangler! Where's the evidence she thought like this? Gee can present NONE, because it is simply untrue--this isn't what Arendt thought.

It is ridiculuous to argue that Arendt continued to support Israel after 1967 even THOUGH she thought it was a "Nazi state" according to her definition! Where's the evidence that she thought like this? There is none and Gee, as usual, can present none.

All Gee has is hatred, not logic or (most of all) evidence.


N. Friedman - 12/8/2007

Omar,

You are not helping your cause by following the path of Ms. Gee. And, what you state above is mostly nonsense that has no basis in fact.

First, Nazism is not the same, as you claim, as a racial outlook on human affairs and the various other points you cited. Most importantly missing from your definition was the Nazi mission to conquer the world for the Master race.

Further, Ms. Gee, and now you, are using the word "race" to include "nation" in the religious sense of the word. That comes from a deliberate misunderstanding that examines the word "race," as it was used in the 19th Century and making believe the word has the same meaning today. In the case of the word "race," the meaning of the word used to include what we, today, would call "nation" and "ethnic group."

In fact, the Jewish view of what you now call "race" is more or less exactly the same as the Islamic concept "ummah." The difference is that Muslims hold evangelical type views about adding people to the ummah while Jews, although willing to add people to the "עם" (um, as transliterated) and, since you quote to Mr. Koestler, have added people to the nation (although I would not subscribe to Koestler's doctrine about what became of the Khazarian Jews), do not proselytize (i.e. no Da'wa) or use violence (i.e. jihad fi sabil Allah) in connection therewith. That distinction in approach and belief is a pretty slender reed on which to assert a racial doctrine. In fact, it is a nonsense argument.

But, following the theory you are subscribing to, you would be defining race in a manner that includes the "ummah." Do you really wish to turn Islam into a racial doctrine, Omar? Somehow I doubt it. But that, if you are consistent, is what you would be doing. Think about it.

Further, the Jewish view about the "chosen people" concerns the "um" being a "light among the nations." That concept presumes that other "nations" are legitimate, since it is not necessary to force the other nations of the Earth - i.e. um or ummah, in Islamic thinking - under Jewish rule. And, it is not a concept about individuals or groups. So, it is something different from claiming racial superiority, which is not what the concept is about.

Of course, Jews certainly have some achievements to hang their hats on as being a light among the nations, being 0.2% of the world's population while being about 20% of the world's winners of Nobel prizes, not to mention creating the moral doctrines on which Western civilization, not to mention Middle Eastern civilization, is founded and sustained. Pride, however, is something different from a belief in "racial" superiority, a doctrine foreign to Judaism.

You are correct that some Jews hold to the view that Israel was promised to them. However, that was not the view of political Zionism. Prior to Israel's founding, most people who held the noted view disapproved of the Zionist movement because their view was that God, not man and most especially not a movement dominated by Atheists (e.g. ben Gurion), would restore Israel to Jews.

Britain became an occupier of historic Israel region for its reasons. Their reasons differed from the reasons of Jews. Jews wanted to have a permanent home. They did not want a home in conjunction with the British. And, typical of the Jewish view, until Arabs attacked Jews, was to make a home with Arabs. Such was clearly the view of, for example, Herzl, who wrote a novel in which that was the case. It was even the view of right wingers such as Jabotinsky, who hoped to establish a power sharing relationship with Arabs, in which there would be an alternation of which group would rule the country. Again: Arabs forced the Jewish side to re-evaluate what was possible. And, it was the attacks by Arabs which, from the Jewish side's point of view, necessitated a state. Had their been no violence, those who agreed with Ms. Arendt would have ruled the country. But, even she changed her mind in due course.


Sally Gee - 12/8/2007

Yes, Mr Friedman, and the name of the disease is rational thought.


Sally Gee - 12/8/2007

"Consider, Ms. Gee, if Israel were a Nazi country, would Ms. Arendt have stood in solidarity with it? Obviously not."

The great anti-Nazi conductors Wilhelm Furtwangler and Hans Knappertsbusch stood in solidarity with Germany and the German people until late in the war, because of his opposition to the regime, Furtwangler was forced to flee to Switzerland. My understanding is that Hannah Arendt, as a public intellectual, was placed by the Six Day War in precisely the same position as Furtwangler and Knappertsbusch.


art eckstein - 12/8/2007

Among a lot of statements not worth comment, Omar makes the following statement:

"Neither Greeks nor Jews were ever “expelled " from or by Egypt; or any other Arab country.
All chose to leave Egypt voluntarily, the Jews for Zionist doctrinaire reasons and the Greeks for commercial rasons, with the launching of Nasser's Pan Arab and socialist policy of nationalization of major corporations whether Jewish, Greek or Egyptian owned as was the case of the nationalization of "Bank Masr" (Bank of Egypt) which was substantially (Arab )Egyptian owned"

This I will respond to. It is, simply, historically false. It is grotesque propaganda only. Omar doesn't know what he is talking about. He ought to talk to some Greeks before making statements such as this. He ought to consult the far-left I.F. Stone on the terrible conditions of the shanty-towns that the Jews (now penniless) expelled form the Middle East countries had to live in as refugees in Israel in the 1950s--because that was all that was available to them--before ridiculously asserting that they CHOSE to leave all their property and come to Israel with nothing to join in the colonialist enterprise! He should read the long, scholarly, deeply researched and deeply-sourced article in Middle East Quarterly for Sept. 1995 on the topic of the forcible expulsion of the Jews from the Middle East.

Of course, I know he will not.


N. Friedman - 12/8/2007

Mr. Mutik,

Ms. Gee is a good specimen of a person with a nasty disease. I think it a good idea to find out as much about the disease as possible so that the disease can be combated effectively. At present, the disease is gaining ground in Europe. So, we really do need to understand it well.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/8/2007

"Nazi" in connection with Zionism and Zionist Jews was used in Ms Gee's posts, as I understand it, in the widely accepted general sense of:

A-racially based, i.e. racist, outlook on human affairs, both national (internal) and world wide; inter communal and Tran communal

B-emanating from a belief in inborn superiority and/or privileged status

C-that bestows on its adherents special rights and prerogatives (extra rights), denied others,

D-to undertake their mission by the use of force

E-in total disregard of others' inalienable rights!

As such there is, there should be, no objective rejection of, or objection to, the use of the term NAZI Zionism since:
1-Zionism, based on traditional Judaism, presumes that all Jews are the descendants of one and the same "race" in the blood-link meaning. (A)

(Read about the Arthur Koestler controversy and Professor Israel Shahak)

2-Traditional Judaism up held, and still substantially upholds, the absurd belief that Jews were/are "God's chosen people". (B)

3-Zionism, and traditional Judaism, upholds the belief, inter alia, that "Palestine was promised to them"; to the exclusion of its indigenous population. (C)

4-Zionists gained admission to Palestine in collusion with its British occupiers, whose mandate was imposed on the Palestinian people by military force, against the express will of the overwhelming majority of its indigenous Palestinian Arab population (90% of total population at WWI) and conspired with the British to deny its indigenous population their Right to Self Determination.
In 1948 Israel exceeded its land allotment. By the Partition Plan and in 1967 Israel occupied all of historical Palestine, and is still occupying it, by the use of military force (D)

5-Zionism was, historically, for “A Palestine as Jewish as France is French”, according to Chaim Wiesman.
Later day Israel denied and still denies both stay at one’s homeland and émigré Palestinians their Right of Return to their native birth places, for the former, and their Right of Return to their homeland for the latter and the right of both to repossess their legitimate properties! (E)

Hence it is both accurate and correct to depict Zionism as Nazi in the above defined, and generally accepted, sense.


N. Friedman - 12/8/2007

CORRECTION.

I provided some, not all, of the sources you now cite.


N. Friedman - 12/8/2007

Sally,

One. I did not mis-cite anyone. In fact, I noted the points you now note. I specifically noted that she was concerned that a nationalist movement would be forced into conflict. I also noted that she was critical of Israel. And, I provided the sources from which you now quote.

The part you miss is that, in the end, she was a Zionist and she was one her entire life. And, that makes her, according to you, a Nazi. Oh, I forgot, it is a Nazi that has evolved.

Two. Your quote from Eichmann in Jerusalem concerns Jews forced to work with the Nazis. Arendt's interpretation of that is about that, not about Israel.

Three. I certainly agree that her position was akin to that of Martin Buber. That is correct. However, that was before Israel's birth. As I mentioned, she stood in solidarity with Israel, when push came to shove, to protect the country from its enemies. That ought to tell a rational person that you have something wrong.

Consider, Ms. Gee, if Israel were a Nazi country, would Ms. Arendt have stood in solidarity with it? Obviously not.

Consider, Ms. Gee, in the abstract it would be great to have a world with no boundaries. That was Ms. Arendt's view. But, she recognized the reality that Israel existed. She did not think it a Nazi country. She, instead, stood in solidarity with it.

Again: your theory is not possible. I did not quote people out of context. You, however, manipulated even your own theories, again and again. And again: your real problem is with strains of Jewish thought, whatever that is supposed to mean.


art eckstein - 12/8/2007

This depends upon a premise that is very controversial but that Omar accepts as if it were the Koran--that Israel is a colonialist not a national enterprise. Gee made no such distinctions originally and claimed originally that the existence of a Law of Return--in itself--showed that the state proclaiming it was racist and Nazi. Then she had to back off to this fall-back position.

But the existence of a law of return is shared by Israel with 20 other nations in the world. In itself it proves nothing about racism. Period.

As for racism, Arabs can buy land in israel, Jews cannot buy land in the PA. And Palestinian society, with its love of Hitler, its children NAMED "Hitler," its Nazi salutes, its fascist death-cult genocidal ideology, imposed even on children--all this gets a pass from Gee and Omar.


art eckstein - 12/8/2007

Among a lot of statements not worth comment, Omar makes the following statement:

"Neither Greeks nor Jews were ever “expelled " from or by Egypt; or any other Arab country.
All chose to leave Egypt voluntarily, the Jews for Zionist doctrinaire reasons and the Greeks for commercial rasons, with the launching of Nasser's Pan Arab and socialist policy of nationalization of major corporations whether Jewish, Greek or Egyptian owned as was the case of the nationalization of "Bank Masr" (Bank of Egypt) which was substantially (Arab )Egyptian owned"

This I will respond to. It is, simply, historically false. It is grotesque propaganda only. Omar doesn't know what he is talking about. He ought to talk to some Greeks before making statements such as this. He ought to consult the far-left I.F. Stone on the terrible conditions of the shanty-towns that the Jews (now penniless) expelled form the Middle East countries had to live in as refugees in Israel in the 1950s--because that was all that was available to them--before ridiculously asserting that they CHOSE to leave all their property and come to Israel with nothing to join in the colonialist enterprise! He should read the long, scholarly, deeply researched and deeply-sourced article in Middle East Quarterly for Sept. 1995 on the topic of the forcible expulsion of the Jews from the Middle East.

Of course, I know he will not.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/8/2007



As is his usual habit, methodology? Professor Eckstein relies heavily on outright selective omission of historical fact ,fabrications and perversion cum distortion of history.

His latest message(Re: Professor Eckstein TEACHING; The Question still stands (#116378) (#116449)by art eckstein on December 7, 2007 at 9:20 AM)
has those three cardinal sins in one and the same post!

****Selective Omission of Historical fact and its logical implication:

The Professor asserts that:” Even if Israel were a "colonial state" (very controversial since the majority of the population is not made up of European "colonialists" but refugees expelled from the racist Muslim societies of the Middle East), that would not make it a Nazi state"

Here the Professor denies the Nazi character of Israel and its colonialist nature by asserting:
".....since the majority of the population is not made up of European "colonialists" etc etc"
However even the Professor would not deny that at the time of the declaration of the establishment of Israel in 1948, i.e. before his alleged "refugees expelled from the racist Muslim societies of the Middle East ",the majority of the (Jewish) population WAS MADE UP by "European colonialist !!"

Following Professor Eckstein's logic one would conclude that Israel WAS ACTUALLY established as a colony then seized to be one with the advent of oriental Jews!

****Fabrications:

Once again Professor Eckstein relies heavily on a total fabrication when he asserts that:
"..under Nasser the govt expelled 300,000 Greeks and seized all their property (all of which is being enjoyed by a Muslim as we speak) in order to Egyptianize and Muslimize Egypt (esp. Alexandria--where some of those Greek had lived for 2,300 years). None of those Greeks are allowed back. " which is a totally untrue and totally fabricated assertion.
Neither Greeks nor Jews were ever “expelled " from or by Egypt; or any other Arab country.
All chose to leave Egypt voluntarily, the Jews for Zionist doctrinaire reasons and the Greeks for commercial rasons, with the launching of Nasser's Pan Arab and socialist policy of nationalization of major corporations whether Jewish, Greek or Egyptian owned as was the case of the nationalization of "Bank Masr" (Bank of Egypt) which was substantially (Arab )Egyptian owned.
It is another fabrication to assert that :
"None of those Greeks are allowed back."

****Perversion and Distortion:

Another favourite ploy of Professor Eckstein is to pervert and distort historical truth in a manner designed to support his contentions.
Here we have two outstanding examples.

1-His request that:
” I am waiting for Gee to passionately declare Pakistan a Nazi society because it expelled 7 million Hindus, none of whom it will allow back. "
which attempts to draw a false parallel with the Palestinian issue is a conscious and deliberate attempt at disinformation since as all the world, including presumably Professor Eckstein??, knows that India was partitioned between the Moslems and Hindus by mutual agreement and that that agreement included a population exchange; so it is a malignant distortion and a flagrant fabrication for Professor Eckstein to claim that Pakistan "...expelled 7 million Hindus,”!

2-His equally inane request:
"I am waiting for Gee to passionate declare the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania Nazi societies since they will not allow the expelled ethnic Germans back. "

The tragedy and the irony in this request, from a Professor of history no less, is to try to draw a parallel, where none exists, between these countries and colonialist Israel
whereas he, himself, is referring to the RETURN to
"the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania "
of "ethnic Germans "

Whereas in the case of Palestine, the point addressed by Sally, is the request for PALESTINIANS to REURN to PALESTINE!
That a Professor fails to see the inanity and perversity and thence the tragedy and irony of his own claims and assertions is both tragic and ironic!



omar ibrahim baker - 12/8/2007

"...;a bi-national Jewish homeland in Palestine?"

Should NOT that be a binational homeland for all the Palestinians, a Palrael or Israpal, in Palestine for both the indigenous Arab Palestinians, Moslems and Christians and deZioned Jews/Israelis?

(DeZionization= rejection and discard of the Zionist doctrine/
objective/claim of an exclusively, or predominantly ,Jewish homeland in Palestine.)


Joseph Mutik - 12/8/2007

Do we take them seriously? Yes, but in the context of the establishment and within a treatment plan.
Calling the Jews Nazis it is a very serious mental disorder and should be treated as such. Anti-Jewish (anti-Zionist) mental disease should be treated by the specialists in the psychiatric profession and not arguing with with the disabled in discussion forums.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/8/2007

The Professor goes on claiming
"facts" that , if any thing , have very little bearing on the point being discussed.

To justify and defend the flagrantly RACIST (Israeli) Law of Return he affixes a longer list of countries (Re: Professor Eckstein TEACHING; The Question still stands (#116378) )by A. M. Eckstein on December 6, 2007 at 3:01 PM)
which he claims would sustain the accusation that they are no less racist than Israel's!
The total irrelevance, to the Palestinian refugees problem being discussed, of this long list was best demonstrated in Sally Gee's earlier rebuttal of an other,but shorter, list affixed by this Professor!.

Sally Gee's words were:

"But the three countries you name have not been colonised by racist settlers who have created a State which denies the original inhabitants and their descendants the right to return to their land and their property. If you remember, Hitler insisted that his Germany was a new state, the Third Reich, whose laws governing racial exclusivity were to be imposed on the rest of Europe, not unlike the behaviour of the Jewish state in Palestine."

When a university Professor has a marked difficulty to see, understand and appreciate the difference between the the two issues: the Palestinian refugees problem and the inane list of countries he claims to have similar "laws" to Israel's, then there is a grave problem indeed with this Professor!


Sally Gee - 12/8/2007

Messrs Freidman and Eckstein seem to be achieving a new high (or low, whatever...) in hyserical wordsmithing, freely (and wilfully) mis-interpretating texts and inventing disinformation wholesale to make it fit their case.

To get things straight before I retire as a graceful winner from this increasingly bad tempered debate, and to give any other reader who has so far stayed the course an opportunity to make up their own minds, here are a couple of samples in Hannah Arendt's own words which places her Zonism and, as previously noted, Martin Buber’s (which, personally, I accept) in context. The first is as far as I can see, the most quoted and discussed passage from her works, and the second is from a letter to Gershom Scolem:

“'To a Jew, this role of the Jewish leaders in the destruction of their own people is undoubtedly the darkest chapter of the whole dark story. Wherever Jews lived, there were recognized Jewish leaders, and this leadership, almost without exception, cooperated in one way or another, for one reason or another, with the Nazis. The whole truth was that if the Jewish people had been really unorganized and leaderless, there would have been chaos and plenty of misery but the total number of victims would hardly have been between four and half and six million people.” (Eichmann in Jerusalem)

“You are quite right – I am not moved by any 'love' of this sort, and for two reasons: I have never in my life 'loved' any people or collective – neither the German people, nor the French, nor the American, nor the working class or anything of that sort. I indeed 'love' only my friends and the only kind of love I know of and believe in is the love of persons. Secondly, this 'love of the Jews' would appear to me, since I am myself Jewish, as something rather suspect…. I do not 'love' the Jews, nor do I 'believe' in them; I merely belong to them as a matter of course, beyond dispute or argument.” Letter from Arendt to Gershom Scholem.

My understanding of Arendt’s position is confirmed by the Daniel Cohn-Bendit interview of 14 December, 2005, which was earlier mis-cited against me:

Hans Stein: “Hannah Arendt's position on Zionism was complicated in an interesting way; she vacillated between agreement and rejection. Do you see your own position reflected in that?”

Daniel Cohn-Bendit: “Hannah Arendt realised that Jews wanted to have a place somewhere where they could live in peace as Jews. That's a kind of primary Zionism that I can understand for the generation of people who lived through the Holocaust. I was born later. And I am A-Zionist. That means I am neither pro nor anti Zionist. I can understand Jews wanting to live in Israel – but I want to remain a Jew of the diaspora. Hannah Arendt sensed in 1947 and 48 that the violent-military assertion of the state of Israel would lead to a permanent state of conflict. At the same time, the Six Day War represented a reality: there was only one state of Israel and despite all criticism, she stood in solidarity with the people of Israel. She did not want to do away with Israelis.” (http://www.signandsight.com/features/510.html)

Now isn't the idea of a "permanent state of conflict" the absolute essence of what we understand by Nazism, and isn't the only solution Arendt's and Buber's: a bi-national Jewish homeland in Palestine? Just a thought to toss to both the rabid and the reflective.


Sally Gee - 12/8/2007

Not so. Merely a charitable explanation of why he is so crass as to deny the philosophical and moral equivalence of the Nazis and the Zionists.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/8/2007


As is his usual habit, methodology? Professor Eckstein relies heavily on outright selective omission of historical fact ,fabrications and perversion cum distortion of history.

His latest message(Re: Professor Eckstein TEACHING; The Question still stands (#116378) (#116449)by art eckstein on December 7, 2007 at 9:20 AM)
has those three cardinal sins in one and the same post!

****Selective Omission of Historical fact and its logical implication:

The Professor asserts that:” Even if Israel were a "colonial state" (very controversial since the majority of the population is not made up of European "colonialists" but refugees expelled from the racist Muslim societies of the Middle East), that would not make it a Nazi state"

Here the Professor denies the Nazi character of Israel and its colonialist nature by asserting:
".....since the majority of the population is not made up of European "colonialists" etc etc"
However even the Professor would not deny that at the time of the declaration of the establishment of Israel in 1948, i.e. before his alleged "refugees expelled from the racist Muslim societies of the Middle East ",the majority of the (Jewish) population WAS MADE UP by "European colonialist !!"

Following Professor Eckstein's logic one would conclude that Israel WAS ACTUALLY established as a colony then seized to be one with the advent of oriental Jews!

****Fabrications:

Once again Professor Eckstein relies heavily on a total fabrication when he asserts that:
"..under Nasser the govt expelled 300,000 Greeks and seized all their property (all of which is being enjoyed by a Muslim as we speak) in order to Egyptianize and Muslimize Egypt (esp. Alexandria--where some of those Greek had lived for 2,300 years). None of those Greeks are allowed back. " which is a totally untrue and totally fabricated assertion.
Neither Greeks nor Jews were ever “expelled " from or by Egypt; or any other Arab country.
All chose to leave Egypt voluntarily, the Jews for Zionist doctrinaire reasons and the Greeks for commercial rasons, with the launching of Nasser's Pan Arab and socialist policy of nationalization of major corporations whether Jewish, Greek or Egyptian owned as was the case of the nationalization of "Bank Masr" (Bank of Egypt) which was substantially (Arab )Egyptian owned.
It is another fabrication to assert that :
"None of those Greeks are allowed back."

****Perversion and Distortion:

Another favourite ploy of Professor Eckstein is to pervert and distort historical truth in a manner designed to support his contentions.
Here we have two outstanding examples.

1-His request that:
” I am waiting for Gee to passionately declare Pakistan a Nazi society because it expelled 7 million Hindus, none of whom it will allow back. "
which attempts to draw a false parallel with the Palestinian issue is a conscious and deliberate attempt at disinformation since as all the world, including presumably Professor Eckstein??, knows that India was partitioned between the Moslems and Hindus by mutual agreement and that that agreement included a population exchange; so it is a malignant distortion and a flagrant fabrication for Professor Eckstein to claim that Pakistan "...expelled 7 million Hindus,”!

2-His equally inane request:
"I am waiting for Gee to passionate declare the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania Nazi societies since they will not allow the expelled ethnic Germans back. "

The tragedy and the irony in this request, from a Professor of history no less, is to try to draw a parallel, where none exists, between these countries and colonialist Israel
whereas he, himself, is referring to the RETURN to
"the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania "
of "ethnic Germans "

Whereas in the case of Palestine, the point addressed by Sally, is the request for PALESTINIANS to REURN to PALESTINE!
That a Professor fails to see the inanity and perversity and thence the tragedy and irony of his own claims and assertions is both tragic and ironic!






art eckstein - 12/8/2007

And one may add to the devastating points against Ms. Gee which Mr. Friedman has just made above:

The problem with " a repugnant strand of Jewish thought leading to the Jews taking over other people's land" bit is that even if this WERE the truth, the Israels would (a) not be UNIQUE for the period 1945-1955, and (b) not be the MOST VIOLENT for the period 1945-1955, and (c) not have inflicted the LARGEST refugee issue on the world in the period 1945-1955.

a. The German expulsions from E Europe in 1945--and five E European govts currently will NOT let them come back--was 18 times larger than the Palestinian situation. 12 German million people were expelled. A million German people died. A million German women were raped. Some E European is enjoying these Germans' property as we speak. This creates no quivering anger in Ms. Gee.
b. 7 million Hindus were expelled from what is now Pakistan in 1947. That is 10 times the size of the Palestinian situation. A million died. Some Muslim is enjoying these Hindus' property as we speak. This creates no quivering anger in Ms. Gee.
c. 850,000 Jews were expelled from Muslim lands in 1948-1956. That is 100,000 more people than the Nakbah. Some Muslim is enjoying these Jews' property as we speak. These refugees came to Israel with nothing; I.F. Stone described the horrible conditions they were forced to endure because everything had been taken from them by the Muslims. This creates no quivering anger in Ms. Gee.
d. 300,000 Greeks were expelled from Egypt by a racist Egyptian govt in the mid-1950s, explicitly to Islamicize and Egyptianize Egypt. Everything was taken from them. Some Muslim is enjoying these Greeks' property as we speak. This creates no quivering anger in Ms. Gee.

Gee says she is applying universal standards but she is not. She is applying a savage double standard. Otherwise, she would be callilng the 20 governments which caused situations (a), (b), (c) and (d) "Nazi governments and societies."


But she does not. In fact, she has not even displayed the slightest anger over THESE situations and govt actions. It's only with JEWS that her quivering passion appears. It's only with JEWS that, in the face of no intellectual ties to the Nazis (unlike the Palestinians) and no physical signs of overt Nazi imitation (unlike the Palestinians), no popularity of the Nazis (unlike the Palestinians), and no genocidal ideology like the Nazis (unlike the Palestinians)--it's only with the JEWS that Ms. Gee over and over (and with no basis) makes this "Nazi" accusation.


Conclusion: Case closed.


N. Friedman - 12/8/2007

Ms. Gee,

You write: "It is the intent of the law of return and the outcomes of the law which concerns me and which pleases you enough to argue its case against mine."

Let us assume that is so. It still has exactly nothing to do with Nazism.

You go on to say that I implied motives on your part. But, I do not know your motives. I noted, rather, that you do not know what Nazism or Zionism is. While I suspect I know your motives, I am not a mind reader.

I might, of course, extrapolate on your motives based on what you wrote and, most particularly, that you wrote that "the application of at least one repugnant strand of Jewish thought - Zionism -" concerns you. I take that to mean that you find Judaism or Jews somehow to be offensive. And, I take that, since it was really your first argument on the subject, to be your real concern.

Another hint about your actual views is your focus on Nazism. Those who find Jews offensive in a personal sense tend often to have the word "Nazis" on the mind. And, such people tend to describe Israel's actions using terminology they borrow from the Nazi lexicon. So, Gaza is now a concentration camp, to people who have the word Nazi on the tip of their tongue.

But, that normally speaks to such people's views about Jews, not about Israel. Which is why when I challenged you, you were forced to concede that Israel is not like Nazi Germany - since the comparison is absurd - but that it is like an imaginary evolved Nazi Germany that never came to be and that was, in fact, nothing like Nazi Germany. But, to borrow your lexicon, even if it is not at all like Nazi Germany, it is still Nazi at its core.

Again, yours are the arguments of a person who has problems with Jews, not with Israel supposedly being a modern day Nazi Germany.

Perhaps you may prefer, if it is not about Jews, to switch to the late Arafat's formulation, which is at least logical, namely, Israel is a modern day crusader state. That, unlike your argument, is not entirely inconsistent with reality except, of course, that the Cross's state is Jewish. But, at least Arafat can reply that Israel has support from Christians. All you can reply is that you can imagine that Israel is like what a Nazi state would be if it were not longer a Nazi state.


N. Friedman - 12/8/2007

Sally,

If you look back on your argument, you will see that, on the one hand, you argued explicitly that it was Israel's actions that were Nazi in character. Then, when that proposition was shown to be nonsensical - because the actions you mentioned are all commonplace -, you divided the world into those who do bad things for love of conquest and those who do them out of racial motivation. I note: these two theories cannot both be true.

Must I quote you and make you look stupid?

Further, you attempt to define actions that have nothing to do with Nazism with Nazism. Hence, the Nazis had no Law of Return. Modern Germany, however, does. So, that argument was simply stupid.

Your ultimate fuzzy argument - like Bush's fuzzy math - was that Professor Eckstein and I are too literal about what Nazism is. Not noted by you is that your definition of Nazism cannot be applied in a consistent manner because it employs entirely subjective considerations - as in guessing at the motivation of people's actions.

So, you have Israelis who fence out Palestinians. You say that such is, if I understand you correct, for racist reasons. I say it is to prevent people from being killed and, perhaps, to help set an eventual boundary for Israel.

Who is to say which of us is right? Well, we would need to look at the internal discussions of the Israeli government to know for sure. However, we are talking about Nazism here and what made Nazis terrible was that they plunged the world into war for irrational reasons, killing people off by the millions for entirely irrational reasons as well.

So, it would seem likely that the numbers of deaths might rise on the Palestinian Arab side if, in fact, Israel were really a Nazi country. In fact, one might expect wholesale slaughter in such a circumstance. Alas, nothing of the sort has occurred. Rather, the number of people dying has declined. That, of course, is not consistent with your Nazi theory.

Again, you made a pretty stupid argument.

Oh, I forgot, you say that Israel is not like Nazi Germany. It is like Nazi Germany would be like were it to evolve. That, you will note, is the ultimate cop-out since you have no way to know what would have been.

Again, that is another stupid argument that you surely do not believe.

Here is a hint for you. If, in fact, latter day Nazis do not massacre people wholesale when they have the clear upper hand - i.e. when they have surrounded their land and fenced them in - then contemporary Nazism is something quite different from Nazism.

Fuzzy concepts, of course, have to be the product of an argument that is confronted with a dispute which has killed in 80 years the number of people killed in Nazi Germany in any of a number of single days.

Your attempt at fuzziness continued.

When challenged on your ideological construction - most particularly with regard to your citation of Hannah Arendt who was a lifelong Zionist, you said that she was being kind so as not to offend. How convenient. But, there is not a stitch of evidence that such is the case. And, a refugee from the Nazis like Ms. Arendt would surely have said something on the topic, if that is what she really thought. Oh, I forgot. She did speak to the subject. She, in private letters to her friends expressed great sympathy of Israel. Imagine that.

So, you had her arguing views she did not hold and did not think. This was another example of what you did with the definition of Nazism. It became not a specific thing but anything you wanted it to be. Very convenient but not very rational.

Sally, the reason that Professor Eckstein and I insist that things be defined as they really are, not as you would guess they can be extrapolated to, is that by your method of thinking, anything can be called anything.

Which gets me to what I think your only point in this entire matter was. And, it is what you said early on, which is: "the application of at least one repugnant strand of Jewish thought - Zionism - has led directly to the plight of the Palestinian people to the benefit of the Jews who have taken over their land." That is your real view. The rest is intellectual cover - and not very good cover at that.


art eckstein - 12/8/2007

Anyone who has been following this conversation will understand at this point that Ms. Gee has NO basis for her "Nazi" name-calling.

She has NO intellectual basis (such as in Hannah Arendt, whom she completely misunderstands). She has NO factual basis (she's never presented any). NONE.

And constant repetition of her slander that "Israel is a highly evovled Nazi state and society" may satisfy her twisted emotions, but such repetition is no substitute for argument or facts. NONE.

Grotesque.



N. Friedman - 12/8/2007

Ms. Gee,

Why the ad hominem attack on a well known novelist? That is a pretty low approach.


Sally Gee - 12/8/2007

Mr Jacobsen is a former table tennis player of little renown, an Israeli partisan, and a Mancunian Jew who has obviously spent too much time standing in the mindnumbing drizzle carried from the Irish Sea to the Pennines by an unforgiving wind and, I am to be charitable, has thus forgotten that if you fail to notice the crime against another people when it suits you the bitch will be in heat at noon, and in a few short weeks the bitch of inhumanity will have given birth to more pups and we have already entered that dark night again. Paulin is no fool, he sees the obvious, which suits neither you nor Jacobsen, and asserts moral equivalence - and he is wise to.


Sally Gee - 12/8/2007

"Note: you have dropped every single argument you have asserted in the beginning. Each one of them has been shown to be wrong. You have, moreover, cited people for propositions they did not hold and then, when it was pointed out that they did not share your view (and, in fact, explicitly did not share your view), you excused that difficulty away and moved on, claiming that such person really does somehow share your views."

Wellworn repetition which has long past its sellby date and its welcome does not really make an argument. Not repeating a statement ad infinitum is not to drop it. It is merely to asume that a dicussion moves, not in an endlessly repeating circle, but on. And, unlike you, I have been careful not to cite any people for propositions which they do or do nor hold other tha Eric Hoffer for his insight of the True Believer, although I did also cite the proposition of the Law of Return.

What I have done is cite work which state propositions which most, if not all, democrats can accept and suggest that they are worthy of study and if those propositions are accepted and tested against the reality of the Jewish State in Palestine, Israel has many, perhaps even all, of the characteristics of a thoroughly up-to-date, incredibly cruel and vindictive, but astonishing well evolved Nazi state and society. That is all, and, I submit, it is a proposition well worthy of America's, and Israel's, serious consideraton.


Sally Gee - 12/7/2007

"I read things fairly carefully. I examined what you wrote about Israel's Law of Return. You will note that the problem is not the Law of Return at all.

"Here are your explanatory words: "But the three countries you name have not been colonised by racist settlers who have created a State which denies the original inhabitants and their descendants the right to return to their land and their property."

"So, it is not the Law that bothers you. It is those who make the law - just as you stated. So, your point does not demonstrate anything akin to assertion about Nazism. Or, in simple English, you have not presented evidence - and "evidence" is the key word for what is wrong with your position - that Israel is a Nazi country or anything of the sort."

It is the intent of the law of return and the outcomes of the law which concerns me and which pleases you enough to argue its case against mine. Again, using boneheaded sophistry and, without a shred of evidence, you imply motives on my part which are obviously untrue, and you choose to defend the indefensible - but, then you seem to be well practised in that black art and, perhaps, you truly believe, for whatever perverse reasons, only the indefensible is worthy of you.

As, for instance, your statement that, "And, now you propose an entirely new theory in which Israel is not a Nazi regime but a regime that the Nazis would have evolved into" which is just pure sophistic wordspinning on your part, as per usual. And I would not bother to give it the status of a theory: a statement (or an insight) of one (rather obvious) probable outcome, and we must remember that, in the nature of things, whatever the regime that the Nazis may have evolved into would still have been a Nazi regime at core - just like Israel, in fact - and it is difficult to see how it could not if the Nazis had been victorious in WW2.


N. Friedman - 12/7/2007

Ms. Gee,

A further, more important, point.

Initially, you said that Israel was Nazi. Now you say that Israel is not Nazi but what the Nazis would have evolved into.

So, now we have you backing down on your core theory.

Of course, we have no imaginable way to know what the Nazis would have evolved into because the Nazi regime - as dictated by its doctrines - plunged the world into a lunatic war to dominate the world and then lost that war.

Moreover, you have the Israelis skipping the step in Nazi ideology of intentionally plunging the world into a war in order to dominate it and skipping every other stage of what made the Nazi regime horrible. Yet, you think Israel is what that loathsome regime would have looked like.

And, on what evidence? None that you bother to cite.

Note: you have dropped every single argument you have asserted in the beginning. Each one of them has been shown to be wrong. You have, moreover, cited people for propositions they did not hold and then, when it was pointed out that they did not share your view (and, in fact, explicitly did not share your view), you excused that difficulty away and moved on, claiming that such person really does somehow share your views.

And, now you propose an entirely new theory in which Israel is not a Nazi regime but a regime that the Nazis would have evolved into. But, of course, Nazi Germany, had it won its war, could have evolved in any of a number of imaginable ways. In fact, that regime might have evolved into something its founders might find truly objectionable, somewhat akin to what is happening in China - capitalism.

So, where does that leave you, Ms. Gee? You no longer claim Israel is a Nazi country. Evidently, it is post-Nazi, on your new argument. And, that new argument is merely based on complete misrepresentation of Ms. Arendt's theory. So, what we have is you calling a country names.

Again: yoking together different concepts merely to reach a result is the sign of a brute. It is the opposite of reason.


art eckstein - 12/7/2007

And of course what Arendt meant was that 19th century European colonialism might have played a role among many other factors in the INTELLECTUAL origins of Nazism: that is, colonialist atttiudes evinced in one situation might have had an impact later on in Europe, ALONG WITH many other factors (including, prominently, anti-semitism). Again, this possible intellectual link between colonialism and eventual Nazism did not happen everywhere, nor in most places that had empires.

All the more reason, however, not to EQUATE "colonialism" (even if one could prove its existence somewhere) with Nazism itself. Arendt does not do this. That is extremely sloppy thinking. And especially when double standards, not universal standards, are being applied in a certain case: then it is not "analysis" at all, even faulty analysis, but propaganda, employing the hot-button word "Nazi" for political purposes.


art eckstein - 12/7/2007

Arendt argued that European colonialism was one of the ultimate sources of Nazism. Not the only one souce, but one. But she did not argue that European colonialism WAS Nazism.

Obviously not, since Britain had a colonial empire (starting with the submission of the Welsh and the Scots to the Anglo-Saxons on the main island itself), but was not a Nazi state. The same with France: it had a colonial empire (starting with the submission of the Bretons and the peoples of the South to the core group from the North), but was not a Nazi state. Colonialist ideology could lead to Nazism, but was not the same as Nazism, and need not lead to Nazism.

Therefore, Gee's logic--that Israel is a "colonial" society and therefore is a "Nazi" societiy, evne though it has none of the trappings, whereas the Palestinians with their love of Hitler and their Nazi salutes and their actual historical connection to the Nazis and Nazi ideology get a pass. This is not only perverse. It is wrong on logic two counts.

Even if Israel were a "colonial state" (very controversial since the majority of the population is not made up of European "colonialists" but refugees expelled from the racist Muslim societies of the Middle East), that would not make it a Nazi state. One thing is not the same as another--not in Arendt. So Gee cannot use Arend as she has.

In addition, once more, I am waiting for Gee to passionately declare Egypt a Nazi society because under Nasser the govt expelled 300,000 Greeks and seized all their property (all of which is being enjoyed by a Muslim as we speak) in order to Egyptianize and Muslimize Egypt (esp. Alexandria--where some of those Greek had lived for 2,300 years). None of those Greeks are allowed back.

I am waiting for Gee to passionately declare Pakistan a Nazi society because it expelled 7 million Hindus, none of whom it will allow back.

I am waiting for Gee to passionate declare the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania Nazi societies since they will not allow the expelled ethnic Germans back.

If she cannot or will not do this, and with the same passion she applies when condemning Jews, then she is applying double standards.


N. Friedman - 12/7/2007

Ms. Gee,

What you are showing me is that you have not read Ms. Arendt very carefully. Ms. Arendt cannot be read as a science text, meaning, she does not say that if you mix A with B you must get C. What she says, following that formula, is that A and B mixed and resulted in C. That, however, is a very different thing.

And her theory has a variety of causes - maybe saying colonialism was the chief among them - leading to totalitarianism arising as a movement. So, that movement was in the air and impacted all of European society. But, it did not arise in every country which, in fact, was exposed to the very same forces. It came to power in Germany and the USSR, most particularly.

Now, you assert a new logic that shows a complete misunderstanding of Ms. Arendt. On your theory, the US is totalitarian. And, frankly, that is not true.


Sally Gee - 12/7/2007

"In that case, Ms. Gee, then the world is mostly Nazi."

Let us say that the world is a sinful place and, because it is a sinful place amongst other thngs it leans towards racism, intolerance, hatred of outgroups, etc. Let us also say that most societies evolve means of controlling these tendencies and/or of directing them do that they can be expressed with as little damage as possible - say, through college football. Some societies are racist because they consist of different racial or ethnic groups drawn together through conquest, convenience or happenstance (the Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman and British Empires, and their subsiduaryunits come to mind), and conflict occurs defensively, to protect the interests of one grouping seen to be threateded by others, and aggressively, to assert and advance the interest of one grouping above others, in some cases with a clear ideology of racial dominance (and, of course, submission). I woud regard the latteras Nazism, and the stronger the idelology and the more internalised it is amongst members of an assertive group, the less the outer trapping are required - a core ideology replaces the Fuhrer principle, for instance. In the most significant ways, the Jewish State in Palestine began as what the Nazi regime would have grown into over 3 or 4 generations if it had survived: a competitive "democracy" based on a core ideology held by the majority continually aserting itself against its outgroup enemies within and without the territory controlled by what is the evolved Nazi-Zionist state.

I hope this provides you with a starting point which helps you both towards making the first faltering steps to clarify your own thinking on this matter.


N. Friedman - 12/7/2007

Ms. Gee,

You write: "But according to the criteria..."

What criteria do you have in mind?

You write: "Ms Arendt did not go so far as to explicitly draw attention to the Nazification process Jewish society in Palestine was clearly undergoing during her liftime. "

So, what you are saying is that she did not call Israel a Nazi country or anything of the sort. In other words, you admit now that I was correct.

You write: "It shows that she was a lady aware that she had already caused pain by pointing to Israel's failing, and she wished to be optimistic about the Israeli experiment."

Well, no. She made her views clear in her letters, most particularly to her friends. And, as I noted, she was active in Zionist politics, something that a person, most especially a Jew, who thought Israel had Nazi characteristics would simply not do.

You write: "But a consideration of her serious contributions to moral and politica philosophy make it clear that Israel had already sunk into the pit of reflective Nazism by using the criteria she established in her two greatest books. In her spirit, we must observe the actions, and judge accordingly. And I have."

Enlighten me, Ms. Gee. I am rather familiar with Hannah Arendt's work. I do not think you have any idea what you are talking about. What criteria? And, how does it apply?

You write: "But Nazism is all the things you describe, but which you insist do not constitute Nazism, including not letting your "enemies" to return to reclaim their land and property and lives (itself a very Nazi argument as applied to the Third Reich's eastern expansion)."

In that case, Ms. Gee, then the world is mostly Nazi. Yet, you deny that fact. Are the Pakistani's Nazis for not allowing Hindus to return to their homes lost when Pakistan separated from India? Or, is that a special case that you ignore? And, what about India which does not allow Muslim refugees to return? Or, is that also a special case?

I note that you now wax elegant that the same rules must apply universally. But, when Professor Eckstein pointed out innumerable cases of countries where civilians have been ethnically cleansed, you do not call such countries "Nazis" - even though the civilians are not allowed to return.

So, let us apply your rules, Ms. Gee. If we do, you would have to call most of the countries in North and South America Nazi countries. And, you would also have to call Greece a Nazi country (for expelling Muslims, who were once a substantial portion of the population). You would have to call Turkey a Nazi country for expelling Christians, not to mention massacring Armenians in large numbers. You would have to call Poland a Nazi country for ethnically cleansing Germans and not allowing them to return. The same for the former Czechoslovakia. So, do you or do you not apply your criteria to such countries? And, if not, why not?

From now on, Ms. Gee, I am going to hold you to your expressed criteria that the same rules are applicable universally.


Sally Gee - 12/7/2007

"Ms. Arendt's greatest concern about Israel was nationalism - and the necessary militarism needed to support a nationalist movement - playing a role in helping to create an insolvable dispute. Her problem was not Zionism. Again, you are simply mistaken. She always considered herself to be a Zionist. And, she did not think Israel or Zionism to be Nazism or anything of the sort." But according to the criteria used by her in her books On Totalitarianism and On Revolution, the debased Zionism post-1948, furthur debased after 1967, the supporting ideology of the Jewish State had taken on characteristically Nazi characteristics, as had its government, its military and its population. Ms Arendt did not go so far as to explicitly draw attention to the Nazification process Jewish society in Palestine was clearly undergoing during her liftime. As M friedman says, "Now, it is true that Ms. Arendt was critical of Israel and of elements of the Zionist movement. That, however, is something quite different from calling Israel and/or Zionism, as you falsely do, a Nazi country."

Well, no. It shows that she was a lady aware that she had already caused pain by pointing to Israel's failing, and she wished to be optimistic about the Israeli experiment. But a consideration of her serious contributions to moral and politica philosophy make it clear that Israel
had already sunk into the pit of reflective Nazism by using the criteria she established in her two greatest books. In her spirit, we must observe the actions, and judge accordingly. And I have.

"Consider, Ms. Gee: Racism is not Nazism. Colonialism is not Nazism. Colonialists are not Nazis. Ethnic cleansing of enemies is not Nazism. Refusing to allow enemies to return is not Nazism. The combination of all of these things is not Nazism."

So this is where we differ. For you two Nazism is the bogie you want it to be, narrowly defined, locked in its historical box, only to be pulled out when it is to the advantage of the settler state in Palestine which you insist is not Nazi despite all the evidence it has provided, and continues to provide, to the contrary. But Nazism is all the things you describe, but which you insist do not constitute Nazism, including not letting your "enemies" to return to reclaim their land and property and lives (itself a very Nazi argument as applied to the Third Reich's eastern expansion). As I say, we differ and you are wrong, morally, philosophically and factually, whilst I am right. For instance, take you point, "On Totalitarianism concerns the Nazis and, to a lesser extent, the USSR but primarily the rise of totalitarian thinking leading to the Nazi and Soviet political movements in the 20th Century. The book also discusses Antisemitism as part of the origin of totalitarian thinking (and she has an interest theory of the social and psychological techniques used Jews who survived in Europe in the face of Antisemitism) and the role of Capitalism in the rise of the Totalitarian movement. The book is not a book about Israel or Zionism." Strangely, it is, and I am sad for you if you cannot see its relevance to the flames which you so obviously enjoy throwing ever more kerosene on, Messrs F&E. Maybe neither of you has yet learned to look for and apply general principles to local events as an analytical methodology. You must try it sometime. Youll be surprised how different the world can seem with a little careful analysis, a bit of philosophical grip and a universal moral perspective.


N. Friedman - 12/6/2007

Ms. Gee,

I read things fairly carefully. I examined what you wrote about Israel's Law of Return. You will note that the problem is not the Law of Return at all.

Here are your explanatory words: "But the three countries you name have not been colonised by racist settlers who have created a State which denies the original inhabitants and their descendants the right to return to their land and their property."

So, it is not the Law that bothers you. It is those who make the law - just as you stated. So, your point does not demonstrate anything akin to assertion about Nazism. Or, in simple English, you have not presented evidence - and "evidence" is the key word for what is wrong with your position - that Israel is a Nazi country or anything of the sort.

Instead, your evidence, were what you claim actually so, would show that Israel is a state created by colonists - itself an error, if we use the word as it is defined (which, to note, is an important thing, if you do not wish to destroy the language) - who, without any evidence, you call racists and who refuse to allow their enemies to return (without mentioning that the enemies have vowed to ethnically cleanse the Israelis). None of what you assert about Israel is specifically Nazi in character, Ms. Gee. And, there are numerous countries (e.g. Pakistan) which have done exactly what you accuse Israel of doing - and continue to do such - but are not Nazi countries.

Consider, Ms. Gee: Racism is not Nazism. Colonialism is not Nazism. Colonialists are not Nazis. Ethnic cleansing of enemies is not Nazism. Refusing to allow enemies to return is not Nazism. The combination of all of these things is not Nazism.

Nazism is also not something that is radically different from place to place, as you claim. Or, let me put the matter to you in simple English. On your theory, any country can be called a Nazi country by its enemies. After all, Nazism is - as you say - different from place to place.


Again, Ms. Gee, many countries - more than the 20 - not 3 that Professor Eckstein has mentioned - have Laws of Return. Many countries - e.g. the US - grew out of colonialism and had race issues and displaced large numbers of people (i.e. an entire continent of people and moved them on to reservations and sat by while disease and starvation depleted their tribes of people). In fact, the US displaced a whole lot more people than the Israelis, by far. So, unless you want to call the US "Nazi" - which would be another idiotic assertion by you - you need to rethink your thoughts.

As I mentioned earlier, words have meanings. Not everything objectionable is Nazi. And, the refusal to make such distinctions is a sign of intellectual and moral collapse.

As for Ms. Arendt, On Revolution does not have anything to do with Israel. On Revolution is a philosophical study about the nature of revolutions, mainly focusing on the French and American revolutions. The country Israel, I might add, is not even mentioned in the book. See bottom of this page.

On Totalitarianism concerns the Nazis and, to a lesser extent, the USSR but primarily the rise of totalitarian thinking leading to the Nazi and Soviet political movements in the 20th Century. The book also discusses Antisemitism as part of the origin of totalitarian thinking (and she has an interest theory of the social and psychological techniques used Jews who survived in Europe in the face of Antisemitism) and the role of Capitalism in the rise of the Totalitarian movement. The book is not a book about Israel or Zionism.

Ms. Arendt's greatest concern about Israel was nationalism - and the necessary militarism needed to support a nationalist movement - playing a role in helping to create an insolvable dispute. Her problem was not Zionism. Again, you are simply mistaken. She always considered herself to be a Zionist. And, she did not think Israel or Zionism to be Nazism or anything of the sort.

Have you any more nonsense to throw out, Ms. Gee? Have you actually read any of these books which you claim support your thesis? Or are you, once again, yoking together different concepts and events and then, for the thrill of it, applying the word "Nazi" to phenomena that is entirely unlike Nazism and Nazis?


N. Friedman - 12/6/2007

I am still waiting for facts that show, as you allege, "Zionism as the most direct contemporary expression of Nazism."

So far, I have seen nothing that suggests that you know anything about the either Nazism or Israel or Zionism. And again: with respect to Ms. Arendt - a Zionist - who, according to you, thought Israel to be a Nazi country.

Here is a thought for you to ponder, Ms. Gee, which I borrow from a column by a British novelist Howard Jacobson:

One thing is not another thing. What makes a thing the thing it is and not something else is not just a question for artists and intellectuals, it is the question. Where all things look the same, there is no life of the mind.

Mr. Jacobson elaborates on this theme, writing:

This is not a species of scholasticism, verbal fastidiousness for its own sake. If we do not properly describe what a thing is like and not like, we do not know what it is. It is in the nature of hatred not to know what a thing is like and not to care. Which is why we say that hatred is blind. Indeed, one of the signs that hatred is being brewed, in an individual or a community, is the deliberate wedding of like to unlike. Brutes yoke unlikes together in haste, enjoying that surge in emotional violence that blurring all distinctions brings.

Here is why intellectuals, philosophers, artists, poets, are so important to our wellbeing. By exploring the ways things are different, however much they may sometimes look the same, by showing us how and why a thing became the thing it is and not another thing, they help still the undifferentiated violence of the furious and embittered. Little by little, they bring the calm of distinctness and individuality back into our lives.

So when the poet Tom Paulin throws himself on the side of those who would equate Zionism with Nazism, it is his calling as an artist and intellectual he betrays. He is allowed to think what he likes of Israel. He is allowed to misread history in the quiet of his Oxford room, if misreading history is his bag. I am even half inclined to say he is allowed to indulge himself the dark barbaric satisfaction that comes with saying the unsayable, in this instance accusing a people who have suffered a grievous wrong of now being the instigators of it themselves. If he must get high on this psychic thrill, he must. But he is not allowed to use the word Nazi where nothing remotely resembling Nazism is afoot.

The systematic defamation leading to the wholesale destruction of another people who posed no threat, who threw no bombs, who simply were – does he charge Zionists with that? Gas chambers, euthanasia, experiments on "degenerates", human soap factories – does he accuse Zionists of those? When they weren't killing Jews, the Nazis also slaughtered gypsies and homosexuals – does Paulin know the number of gypsies and homosexuals so far murdered by Zionists?

Let me be clear: I do not charge Paulin with anti-Semitism. I'm not sure I even charge him with sensationalism, though I understand why a poet in our time must grab a headline. What I charge him with is stupidity. He has a mind and in this instance he has refused to use it. He has chosen to be a fool.


Perhaps you see yourself, Ms. Gee, as I see you. You have a mind and in this instance you have refused to use it.


A. M. Eckstein - 12/6/2007

In what way is the denial of the parallel a sophistry? To call something "sophistry" is not an argument. It is merely an unsupported assertion. This is a serious site for serious historians, and we deal in facts and logic.

The majority of the Jewish population in Israel does not consist of European "colonists"; it consists of Middle Eastern Jews, refugees expelled by the racist conduct of the Muslim governments. And Israel has not engaged in "ethnic cleansing" as a state policy for if it had, there wouldn't be so many Arabs living in Israel, with elected representatives in the Parliament, and a current Cabinet minister.

Yet the conscious ethnic-cleansing behavior of those dozen Muslim governments does not strike Ms. Gee as racist or Nazi--or elicit rage. The behavior of Egypt in expelling 300,000 Greeks in order to "Egyptianize Egypt" does not strike Ms. Gee as racist or Nazi--or elicit rage. The Palestinian genocide program against Jews, amply attested in the entries above, does not strike Ms. Gee as racist or Nazi--or elicit rage.

Gee is only concerned with Jews, not "Nazi-like" behavior in general. And to repeat: to hold Israel to standards of behavior to which one does not hold other states is anti-semitic conduct according officially to the European Union. Gee is thus just an anti-semite. And that's the end of the conversation for me. This is a blog for discussions by serious students of history. She isn't. She's just an anti-semite.


Sally Gee - 12/6/2007

Please see my response to Mr Eckstein above in relation to the Law of Return.

As a more general point, you seem to be unable to comprehend the perfectly straightforward implications of Hannah Arendt's On Totalitarianism and On Revolution, as she was not even in 1967. Nazism comes in different uniforms in different countries at different time. The fact that Jews were amongst the many victims of Nazism does not invalidate the clear perception that Zionism, with the similarity of its intellectual origins and its current practice, has become nothing more than the direct reflection of German and Austrian Nazism - which was Hannah Arendt's greatest fear after the establishment of the Jewish State and the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people which followed.


Sally Gee - 12/6/2007

"The Wall is totally bogus as an analogy to the Warsaw Ghetto, as I explained: for one thing, it encloses the Jews, not the Palestinians; on the Jordanian side there is no Wall."

Pure sophistry which I would have thought unworthy even for someone with your limited capacity for considered reflection.

"As for the Law of Return, MANY countries in the world have such laws: Norway, China, and Ireland to name three. Are THEY racists or Nazis? This is simply another bogus and ignorant argument from you, based on your obsession with the Jews."

But the three countries you name have not been colonised by racist settlers who have created a State which denies the original inhabitants and their descendants the right to return to their land and their property. If you remember, Hitler insisted that his Germany was a new state, the Third Reich, whose laws governing racial exclusivity were to be imposed on the rest of Europe, not unlike the behaviour of the Jewish state in Palestine.

Not so ignorant, not so bogus and, unlike you and Mr Friedman, I am not obsessed with Jews - only Nazis.


A. M. Eckstein - 12/6/2007

Sally Gee uses Israel's law of the right of return as one of her two examples of Israel as a "Nazi State." (The other example was the totally bogus analogy between the Israeli security defense and the Warsaw Ghetto.) The law of the right of return is a principle of international law under which member of an ethnic or national group have a right to immigration from abroad and naturalization into the country thaty they, or the destination country, or both consider to be that group's homeland.

The following TWENTY countries have such laws:

1. Armenia
2. Belarus
3. Bulgaria
4. China
5. Republic of China (Taiwan)
6. Croatia
7. Czech Republic
8. Finland
9. France
10. Germany
11. Greece
12. India
13. Ireland
14. Israel
15. Japan
16. Lithuania
17. Norway
18. Poland
19. Serbia
20. Spain




N. Friedman - 12/6/2007

Ms. Gee,

You write: "Well, I did suggest you found the Wall concentrating the Gazaans invisible."

The Nazis are not known particularly for their walls. They are known for humongous massacres. Here is a description of massacres in the Baltic states:

Within two weeks of the Soviet occupation of the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on August 1, 1940, almost the entire intelligentsia of these countries had been liquidated. The German attack on these provinces forced the withdrawal of the Soviet troops and paved the way for Hitler's Einsatzgruppen to start their roundup of all resident Jews. About 3,000 had already fled with the retreating Red Army but the 57,000 left behind in Vilna, faced a terrifying future. Einsatzgruppen 'A' operated in the Baltic Provinces under the command of SS Major General Stahlecker who, after five months, reported to Himmler (Document 2273-PS) that 229,052 Jews had been shot. Thousands more were housed in ghettos as they were urgently needed for slave labour. In Duenaburg, on November 9, 1941, a total of 11,034 Jews were executed. At Libau, two weeks later, another 2,350 fell victim to SS bullets. In Lithuania, under the Nazi's, 136,421 Jews were put to death in numerous single actions by Lithuanian mercenaries with the help of the German police squads. In this total were 55,556 women and 34,464 children all shot to death in a deep moat surrounding the 19th century Tsarist Ninth Fort outside Kovno. In the White Russian Settlement Area, around 41,000 executions had taken place. In Vilna, around 32,000 Jews were murdered during the first six months of German occupation. When Vilna was liberated by the Red Army on July 13, 1944, a few hundred Jews who had been hiding in the surrounding forests, suddenly appeared in the city square. Altogether, between three and four thousand Jews out of the original 57, 000, survived in the concentration camps in Germany.

That, Ms. Gee, is what Nazism was about, not about whether a country has a fence or wall that divides up land. After all, Bosnia has a wall/fence that divides people from each other. It snakes in and out, keeping people from their own farms and property and creating all sorts of divisions. But, such things and Nazism are very different things.

Then you write: "Oh, and I'll throw in the Law of Return as a clear instrument of Jewish racial advantage in the Nazi Jewish State."

But, France also has a similar law. It permits the return to France of anyone - wherever the person was born and without respect to whether such person's ancestors even visited France in the last millennia - of "French blood" to return and become an instant French citizen. So, does that make France a Nazi country, Ms. Gee? And, by the way, Germany has a similar law (although it has been tightened to some extent in recent years), as do many other states which, I suspect, you would not call Nazi. For example: Armenia (in which "individuals of Armenian origin shall acquire citizenship of the Republic of Armenia through a simplified procedure." Armenian Constitution, Article 14), Bulgaria ("person[s] of Bulgarian origin shall acquire Bulgarian citizenship through a facilitated procedure." Article 25, 1991 Constitution), Croatia, Finland, Greece (for ethnic Greeks who "really behave as Greeks," as noted in Greek law), Hungary, Ireland (for anyone with Irish grandparents), Italy (for those persons with Italian grandmothers), Poland (for descendants of ethnic Polish people who involuntarily lost their nationality between 1920 and 1989), Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine (for persons with at least one Ukrainian grandparent).

You then write: "I might as well throw in the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by Jews as ably recounted by Ilan Pappe but you will probably find him and his work equally invisible."

Again, that is something different from Nazism. Otherwise, the ethnic cleansing by Arabs of Jews and Greeks would be Nazism.

Again: the Nazis managed to kill off 50 million people in a short number of years in a war to conquer Europe, among other places. They wanted living space. They wanted to eliminate Jews most particularly. They committed massacres on a scale only substantially exceeded in history by the massacres by the Muslim invaders who conquered portions of India - up to 80 million people butchered in India but over a much more extended period.

Note: The Israelis rule a land that is tiny - the size of New Jersey. They have not set out to conquer all of the Middle East. And, notwithstanding your citation to Mr. Pappe, the fact is that those forced out of what became Israel resulted from the fact that Arab armies sought to expel Jews from the land and, where they could, did expel Jews from land (e.g. in Jerusalem, in very large numbers so that, until 1967, the Jewish Quarter had no Jews).

So, clearly, your argument about people losing their homes in disputes does not show that Israel is a Nazi state. Were it a Nazi state, the Israelis would, since they clearly have the physical ability to do so, extirminate the hostile Arab population of the captured territories. So, Ms. Gee, if Israel is a Nazi state, why are there still Arabs there, including Arabs who serve in the Israeli government?


N. Friedman - 12/6/2007

Ms. Gee,

I am still awaiting facts to support your claims about Israel. Recall, you mentioned some authors but not any facts. And, among the authors you cited who supposedly think Israel is a Nazi country is Hannah Arendt.

In fact, her position was rather different than what you seem to think. For one thing, she was a Zionist all her life, as innumerable studies of her writings - personal and professional - to the extent of being involved in Zionist politics. Her position prior to Israel's founding was akin to that of Martin Buber that it was possible to build a nation in cooperation with Arabs. That, however, was before Israel's creation.

Later, she was known, most particularly at the time of the Six Day War, for standing in solidarity with Israel - something reported by, among others, radical left politician Daniel Cohn-Bendit, aka Dany le Rouge (who knew Ms. Arendt, by the way). He says:

Hannah Arendt sensed in 1947 and 48 that the violent-military assertion of the state of Israel would lead to a permanent state of conflict. At the same time, the Six Day War represented a reality: there was only one state of Israel and despite all criticism, she stood in solidarity with the people of Israel. She did not want to do away with Israelis.

Likewise, Arendt, in fact, wrote in a 1969 letter to her friend Mary McCarthy that "any real catastrophe in Israel would affect me more deeply than anything else." See, Between Friends. The Correspondence of Hannah Arendt and Mary McCarthy 1949-1975. Carol Brightman (ed.) (New York 1995), at page 249.

The one thing that might support your view that comes from what Ms. Arendt wrote about Israel - and this is something widely misread, likely on purpose - is her commentary from Eichmann in Jerusalem about specific Israeli laws that prohibit marriage between Jews and non-Jews, something that has its origins in Jewish law - about which she was very much aware and noted in her book. She found irony in such specific laws in view of the “mixing of races” laws in Hitler’s infamous Nuremberg laws. That, however, is a far cry from calling Israel a Nazi nation, as you do.

Now, it is true that Ms. Arendt was critical of Israel and of elements of the Zionist movement. That, however, is something quite different from calling Israel and/or Zionism, as you falsely do, a Nazi country.

So much for that part of your scholarship, Ms. Gee.

Should I go through the other writers you cite, Ms. Gee? Or, is your scholarship about Ms. Arendt an indication about the level of your scholarship more generally.


A. M. Eckstein - 12/6/2007

And what do you think is "thin" evidence for Nazi influence on the Palestinians?

The Nazi salutes of Palestinian soldiers?
Amin al-Husseini, THE leader of the Palestinians, a friend of Hitler, Himmler and Eichmann and raising troops for them.
The documented ideological and personal connections between the SS and the Palestinians?
Palestinians named Hitler?
Mein Kampf a best seller among Palestinians?
The genocidal anti-semitic ideology of the Palestinians?

I don't call that "thin". Not in the least.


A. M. Eckstein - 12/6/2007

Those are serious and wild accusations made against me, Ms. Gee, and you have no evidence (again) to back it up.

The Wall is totally bogus as an analogy to the Warsaw Ghetto, as I explained: for one thing, it encloses the Jews, not the Palestinians; on the Jordanian side there is no Wall. For another, it is a response to genocidal Palestinian suicide-bombing against Jewish civilians; the Jews in Warsaw weren't engaged in violence at all. There is no parallel between the two situations, and no
historian would raw one. You are totally off the wall (so to speak).

As for the Law of Return, MANY countries in the world have such laws: Norway, China, and Ireland to name three. Are THEY racists or Nazis? This is simply another bogus and ignorant argument from you, based on your obsession with the Jews.


Sally Gee - 12/6/2007

"Ms. Gee still presents not a single FACT to back up her wild assertions concerning "Nazi Israel.""

Well, I did suggest you found the Wall concentrating the Gazaans invisible. Oh, and I'll throw in the Law of Return as a clear instrument of Jewish racial advantage in the Nazi Jewish State. But, again, I suspect you will be unable to see the point. I might as well throw in the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by Jews as ably recounted by Ilan Pappe but you will probably find him and his work equally invisible.

"By contrast, I have presented numerous specific facts, much specific evidence, depicting Nazi influence on the Palestinians."

You may regard this as evidence, your friends may regard this as evidence, Mr Freidman and the propagandists of Mossad may regard this as evidence but I regard it as silly and an attempt to make a very thin case stretch a little further to draw in the clinically (and criminally) credulous as you can. You are a propagandist for ethnic cleansing and racial dominance, Mr Eckstein, nothing more and nothing less - and it is a profoundly evil cause. Perhaps your teachers also failed to set you a good example for your future conduct.


A. M. Eckstein - 12/6/2007

Ms. Gee still presents not a single FACT to back up her wild assertions concerning "Nazi Israel." That is the problem she has both with me and with Mr. Friedman. Wild assertions, no matter how ideologically or emotionally satisfying, are simply not a substitute for evidence.

By contrast, I have presented numerous specific facts, much specific evidence, depicting Nazi influence on the Palestinians.


Sally Gee - 12/6/2007

"Like you, Omar, Ms. Gee responded to a long list of specific facts I offered not with counter-facts or logical argument but with vague and insulting name-calling."

What is a "counter-fact"? Are you implying, as Mr Friedman seems to imagine, the existence of a parallel universe in which everything you claim, however nonsensical, appears to have some approximation to some kind of plausible - possibly substance induced - reality?

"As we speak she is being skewered by N. Friedman for not being able to back up a single one of her wild assertions with any specific evidence."

An equally nonsensical statement. Skewered? Wild assertions? Specific evidence. I am never quite sure what crazed Zionist ideologists will accept as "specific evidence" - certainly not anything which stands in the way of their remorseless flow of informed venality and support of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian land. Perhaps today the Gazaans are invisible to Messrs Friedman and Eckstein because they are both unaware that the wall conceals them as it concentrates them - who knows? I think the real point is that Messrs F & E really believe that by controlling the perception of yesterday's events - history as a revisionist creation myth - they will be able to bring about a future which is to their tastes. I think they are wrong - all they have done is provide a Zionist patina to the historicist nonsense which is central to Nazism whatever its shape or form, or the time and place it is practised.

"A student who cannot deal with facts and cannot respond with either counterfacts or logic but only with insults and vague accusations--someone like you or Ms. Gee--is indeed unteachable."

This is the kind of illogic that only a true dunderhead can expect to get away with. Thank God you're not one of my professors. If you think abot it (and I'm sure you are probably incapable) the strict purpose of teaching is to take those students "who cannot deal with facts and cannot respond with either counterfacts or logic but only with insults and vague accusations" and make them more able to do so by providing them with an effective example of how best to "deal with facts" and"logic". Not really your forte, is it Mr Eckstein? Less specific evidence on your part than prolific ever dunce, perhaps?


A. M. Eckstein - 12/6/2007

Ms. Gee is not my student. She is an ideological fanatic with no evidence to back her wild claims, and whose response to specific evidence on the other side is mere vituperation (just like you, Omar), not counter-evidence.

I do not see you disputing my specific evidence of Nazi influence on the Palestinians, Omar--because you cannot.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/6/2007

Professor!!!!!!
Hot Air+Hot Air+HotAir=HOT AIR

To SKEWER a "student"; is that the way a Professor speaks???
Mr Friedman is too much of a gentleman to either do it or say it;
nor does he wish, I presume, to leave it to his, self imposed, side kick to say!
Unbecoming, truly unbecoming of a real Professor; but , think about, totally becoming Professor Eckstein!


A. M. Eckstein - 12/6/2007

Oh--and here's some MORE evidence of Nazi influence on the Palestinians: namely, Palestinians who are named "Hitler" as a first name:

Hitler Salah [Source: Al Hayat Al Jadida (official Fatah newpaper), Sept. 28, 2005]

Hitler Abu-Alrab [Source: Al Hayat Al Jadida (Fatah), Jan. 27, 2005]

Hitler Mahmud Abu-Libda [Source: Al Hayat Al Jadida (Fatah), Dec.18, 2000.]

Or: Hitler's book Mein Kampf as a best seller among the Palestinians (source: Agence France Presse).

Yes, that Omar and Sally Gee, is what is called SPECIFIC EVIDENCE of Nazi influence, just like in my previous post just above. Sally Gee has nothing like this to support her wild accusations, because nothing like this exists on the Israeli side.

Which is why, as I said, N. Friedman, by pointing this out, has skewered her.


art eckstein - 12/6/2007

Since Omar says he is not saying that I was making some sort of obscene comment, fine. But any thinking person can see that Friedman has asked Ms. Gee to support her wild charges of Israeli Nazism with specific evidence, and she has not supported her wild charges, and she cannot, because no such evidence exists. Friedman thus has skewered her.

You know what I mean by evidence, Omar. Not wild ideological assertions. I mean evidence such as the Palestinian Mufti Amin al-Husseini raising SS divisions of Muslims for his friends Hitler and Himmler and Eichmann. Or the ideological prosyletization and direct (personal contact) connection between SS Einsatzgruppe Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood, and hence to Hamas and, through Ayman Zawahiri, to al-Qaeda, as well as the Palestinians in the Mandate. Or all those Hamas, Fatah and Hezbollah soldiers doing the Nazi salute which you can find on google-image. Or the genocidal and racist message of suicide-bombing: any Jew will do, young, old, man, woman, child) to intentionally kill (or, in the case of George Khoury, even someone who just happens to LOOK Jewish but isn't. You know, the case where Fatah apologized to the Khoury family because they meant to kill a Jew). You know, Omar--EVIDENCE.


Chris Bray - 12/6/2007

I'm confused -- Bernard Lewis wrote this? Arabs can't accept the existence of Israel, because the Persians nuked it last year on August 22. It was in the Wall Street Journal and everything.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/6/2007

Prof
I do know that it is NOT scr....!
Did you have that in mind and chickened away from using it?
With you no body can tell for sure.
Elucidate ....Professor!!!!


N. Friedman - 12/5/2007

Ms. Gee,

Three points.

One. I did not ask you to provide me with a list of authors. I asked you to cite some evidence that supports your contention. Do you have any?

Two. I am familiar with a number of the authors you cite. The ones I have read simply do not claim the same thing you claim (or even a similar thing) - at least not the writers with whom I am familiar. But, even if they did, such would be question of their citing evidence - which I doubt they do since they would have the difficulty that, as I noted, there is no campaign - nor has there ever been a campaign - by Israel to exterminate anyone. So, the most that such an author could say is that they found an Israeli who holds nasty views, not that Zionism is a form of Nazism or that Israel is a Nazi country - as you would have it.

Three. You indicate that I am a true believer. Since you do not know me and do not know my views, that is quite an assertion to make. In fact, I go where the evidence goes, as even my view that Jews, like anyone else, have a right to a homeland does not extend to the point of lying. Can you say the same for your approach?


A. M. Eckstein - 12/5/2007

I do believe that poor Omar is misunderstanding the term "skewer."


Sally Gee - 12/5/2007

I am not theorising; I am asserting. I am also aware that, in Eric Hoffer's useful classification, you are a "true believer" and beyond rational persuasion.

However, in the hope that something might rub off on you, like many students, one tool I have found extremely useful in understanding the reality of the Jewish oppression of the Palestinians is The Arab-Israel Dispute by Don Peretz, Facts on File, 1996 (with an excellent guide to research sources), and the greatest sources of analytical clarity are The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict 1947-1951 by Ilan Pappe, Joseph Roth's pre-WW2 The Wandering Jews, Hannah Arendt's On Totalitarianism and On Revolution, and - probably much to his surprise - Michael Burleigh's Earthly Powers. Oh, and the TV, the internet and the public prints - all filtered through an anti-Nazi perspective.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/5/2007

The Prof is still teaching.His latest gem:

"As we speak she is being skewered by N. Friedman...."


art eckstein - 12/5/2007

Another example of Omar's unteachability.
As I said, my teaching awards were from my university, which is not a "Jewish" university. Omar cannot respond to my specific points, so he just throws another anti-semitic insult.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/5/2007

The Prof is still teaching.His latest gem:

"As we speak she is being skewered by N. Friedman...."


omar ibrahim baker - 12/5/2007

Prof
The question still stands:
"or, from the sound of it, was that award from a Herut kibutzim primary school, I wonder ???"


art eckstein - 12/5/2007

Like you, Omar, Ms. Gee responded to a long list of specific facts I offered not with counter-facts or logical argument but with vague and insulting name-calling.

As we speak she is being skewered by N. Friedman for not being able to back up a single one of her wild assertions with any specific evidence.

A student who cannot deal with facts and cannot respond with either counterfacts or logic but only with insults and vague accusations--someone like you or Ms. Gee--is indeed unteachable.

An example of your own unteachablity: your grotesque reassertions that the Jews of the Middle East left the Muslim countries voluntarily in order to join their brethren in their "colonialist enterprise." You therefore ignore the long discussion we had about this last year just as if it had never taken place, and the specific and deeply-sourced scholarship on this topic to which you were pointed as if it does not exist; instead you simply recycled the grosses propaganda, the grotesque fabrications which ideologically suit you, just as if the conversation last year had never occurred.

That is why I have concluded that you too are unteachable. No facts, no scholarship, make an impact upon you.

This is a site for professional historians, Omar, and for lovers of history. But it requires disciplined discourse--a discourse of logic and evidence. On that score, both you and Ms. Gee get an "F", for the specific reasons I state.

And yes, I have won awards from my university both for my undergraduate and graduate teaching. Instead of throwing more insults, you ought to read the logic of the above paragraphs to understand why.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/5/2007

Sometime in the not very distant past we were told that Professor Eckstein was selected, elected?,as the :
" Outstanding Teacer of the Year"; or something to that effect.

Recently we had the opportunity to observe him in action, in his native milieu, teaching!
The way he goes about it seems to be UNIQUE; for that is how he responds to the queries , or reacts to the remarks of one perceived by him as one of his "students":

** "You are unteachable. ."

** "And if that is too complex for you"

** "I dare you."

** "But scholarship clearly means nothing to you"

** "complex history means nothing to you,"

** "and neither do facts,"

What I recall is that award was from the University of Maryland , USA; or, from the sound of it, was that award from a Herut kibutzim primary school, I wonder ???


N. Friedman - 12/5/2007

Ms. Gee,

Surely you can point me to some of this evidence which you claim supports your contention, which is what is normally done by posters on this site when their theories are challenged.


N. Friedman - 12/5/2007

Ms. Gee,

I evidently understood what you wrote differently than what you intended.


Sally Gee - 12/5/2007

I make mild assertions, Mr Freidman, not wild accusations.

The evidence has been much rehearsed on TV (although perhaps not Fox), the public prints, the www, etc, if you choose to see it - but I suspect you, like your predecessors, the Nazi apologists of the 1930s, chose long ago to live in a world of invisible walls justifying every depravity on the grounds of past victimisation. And it's happening now to await the attentions of future generations of "professional historians and history buffs" some of whom, I have no doubt, will be just like you - the witting creatures of an ideology which justifies the acceptance of any evil if it will cause the argument to pan out in a way which suits their ends.


Sally Gee - 12/5/2007

And that is precisely what I said, Mr Friedman. It is my experience that a close reading of any text pays dividends if our intention to avoid any silly misunderstanding.


N. Friedman - 12/5/2007

Ms. Gee,

I was merely indicating what Professor Lewis stated in his article. That was not my advice but his.


N. Friedman - 12/5/2007

Ms. Gee,

Again, Ms. Gee, I am awaiting evidence, not assertions. What is your evidence that supports your thesis about Israel?

Consider, Ms. Gee, that this is a site for professional historians and history buffs. When you make wild accusations - which is what you have done - your readers either assume that you do not know anything or they take you as a specimen of a certain type of person. Either way, you place yourself into the group of people who have no influence.


Sally Gee - 12/5/2007

"His is not an argument against reaching a deal with Arabs. It is, instead, a warning about the sort of deal that is possible. And, it is a warning that the Israelis need to negotiate with realism that a peace deal will not end the dispute."

Echoes of the Stalin-Ribbentrop pact here! Lewis' advice, according to messrs Eckstein and Friedman, seems to take the form that it should attack lke a Nazi, negotiate like a Nazi, and in all other ways be just like a Nazi! What does this imply for the rest of the world, I wonder?


Sally Gee - 12/5/2007

"His is not an argument against reaching a deal with Arabs. It is, instead, a warning about the sort of deal that is possible. And, it is a warning that the Israelis need to negotiate with realism that a peace deal will not end the dispute."

Echoes of the Stalin-Ribbentrop pact here! Lewis' advice, according to messrs Eckstein and Friedman, seems to take the form that it should attack lke a Nazi, negotiate like a Nazi, and in all other ways be just like a Nazi! What does this imply for the rest of the world, I wonder?


Sally Gee - 12/5/2007

"A witness often saws off the tree limb he sits on without any assistance."

Very gnomic, I am sure, but whatever rationale you two clowns choose to offer, it is action, not words, which count and the actions of the the Jewish Zionist state against the Palestinian people are the actions we associate with Nazis.

If it walks like a Nazi, talks like a Nazi, you can be pretty sure it is a Nazi however much you dress it up - that's the nature of evidence in the real world.


art eckstein - 12/5/2007

Gotcha.

Art


N. Friedman - 12/5/2007

Professor,

A witness often saws off the tree limb he sits on without any assistance.


art eckstein - 12/5/2007

We'll see, N.F. Don't count on getting any evidence from Ms. Gee--because there isn't any. This is in contrast to the historic PALESTINIAN ties with the Nazis, which we have often proven, and about which I presented two separate scholarly books in a post up above.

As for the anti-terrorism wal (which has been quite effective against terrorist attacks, btw), it encloses the JEWS, not the Palestinians. It has been objected to in Israel precisely because it seems to recreate the Warsaw Ghetto with the Jews inside. But NOTHING "surrounds" the Palestinians on the Jordanian side of the West Bank. The Palestinians aren't enclosed, just prevented from launching genocidal racist attacks.

And meanwhile, if you wish to see Palestinian Hamas soldiers doing the overt Nazi salute, just google-image "Hamas + Salute". And if you want to see Fatah soldiers doing the overt Nazi salute, just google image "Fatah + Salute". And if you want to see Hezbollah soldiers doing the overt Nazi salute, just google image "Hezbollah + salute".


N. Friedman - 12/5/2007

Professor,

No need to convince me. My point was to note that the Nazi assertion has no basis in fact. We shall see if Ms. Gee is honest or something else. If she is honest, she will certainly admit that her theory is wrong as what she writes is contradicted by the record.


A. M. Eckstein - 12/5/2007

N.F., I also don't think the Nazis built a wall around the Warsaw Ghetto in order to protect themselves from a two-years' long campaign by Jews going out into Warsaw and intentionally killing hundreds of civilians, women, children, old men, blowing up dozens of busses filled with civilians, blowing up nightclubs filled with teenagers, blowing up dozens of old people at religious services, blowing up children in restaurants, blowing up young students in university dining halls. No. You know--I don't think the Polish Jews did that. So, you know, it's not exactly a good analogy from Sally.

In addition, the only people interested in genocide are the Palestinians. That's the meta- message of Palestinian suicide bombing--ANY Jew will do. It's in fact totally racist. We see in the case of the Fateh murder of the Palestinian George Khoury that anybody who EVEN LOOKS like a Jew will do. (The PLO apologized for that murder of course--they meant to kill a Jew. Any Jew. Too bad for Khoury that he "looked Jewish.")


N. Friedman - 12/5/2007

Art,

Thank you for your kind words.


N. Friedman - 12/5/2007

Sally,

What you cite is not evidence of what you claim.

So that you will see why your contention is simply wrong, you should consider that the Nazis set out a program of conquest that killed about 50 million people. And, not only did they target civilians intentionally but they attempted to eradicate civilians, including most particularly, Jews, Gypsies and homosexuals.

Nothing remotely like that is happening to Palestinian Arabs or anyone else at the hands of the Israelis. In fact, there is substantial population growth among Palestinian Arabs. And, there have not been remotely the number of casualties as occurred at the hands of the Nazis.

So, what you write makes no sense. I think you need to read about the Nazis because what you assert has no even remote bearing on the matter. And that is even assuming that what you wrote were correct, which it is not.

Again: if you have some real evidence, I would consider it. Thus far, however, nothing you have said supports your contention.


Sally Gee - 12/4/2007

Check out the TV news and, if you have eyes, you shall see. It's become that simple and so obvious because the Zionist Nazis don't really care who knows. They are even proud of the walls which concentrate the Palestinian population into the Gaza camp, just like Warsaw - and the Rising of the Warsaw Ghetto failed heroically but, somehow, in some perverse way, the Zionists only learned lessons the Nazis drew from that experience only too well.


A. M. Eckstein - 12/4/2007

As usual, N. Friedman gets things exactly correctly.

Charles, you only have to read Omar's posting (#116245) today at 12:59 PM to see the terrible problem to which both Lewis and Friedman are pointing.


N. Friedman - 12/4/2007

Ms. Gee,

You make very serious charges. You refer to Israelis as Nazis. How about some evidence.


N. Friedman - 12/4/2007

Charles,

I think that you are missing Professor Lewis' point. His point is that Arabs - even those counties which have signed treaties with Israel - do not accept Israel as a permanent presence in the region but, instead, as a presence in the region until such time as the Arab side has sufficient military prowess to alter the facts on the ground.

His is not an argument against reaching a deal with Arabs. It is, instead, a warning about the sort of deal that is possible. And, it is a warning that the Israelis need to negotiate with realism that a peace deal will not end the dispute.


Sally Gee - 12/4/2007

"You are unteachable."

But, then, you do not seem to be much of a teacher (or should I spell it "teecher"?) if the capacity for rational argument is one of the criteria we use to judge your performance so far.

"You are holding Jews to a different standard of behavior than (say) Egyptians, Turks, or Pakistanis."

This does not follow from anything I have said and it is precisely the opposite of everything I have said. Like I say, you are not much of a teecher.

"That is the double standard and the EU officially defines the use of this double standard as anti-semitism."

I think the EU probably officially defines any acceptance of your stupid arguments in support of Jewish Nazis as making use of the double standard of total dumbism.

"The only people with ties to the Nazi ideology are the Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular."

I see what I see, and I hear what I hear, and what I see and hear are Jewish Nazis on somebody else's land while you justify Zionist mayhem and murder with Nazi arguments.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/4/2007

"Sally, the only thing unique about the Palestinian situation is that it has never been allowed to be resolved"
Well Sally !

Not that you need any tutoring ;neither by the short tempered Professor who fails to understand the A, B & C of education in that if he is unconvincing, untrustworthy and obtuse to the point of absurdity his "students" are within their natural right not to accept, and positively reject, what he has to say.

Nor by a nonprofessor who has something, some basic facts, relatively rarely, or seldom,aired in the USA!

Not that, Sally , you need either , however I find your exchange with the short tempered so called Professor illuminating in that it demonstrates the way that even the most basic means of communication, words and the intrinsic meaning of words, are perverted in a manner that NOT only distorts them but, also,insiduously implies any thing EXCEPT the facts behind them.

Professor??Eckstein sentence quoted above is a typical example .

"...it has never been allowed to be resolved"

by which he means that :

" these Palestinian refugees have stubornly turned down all offers of alternative dwelling (with or without new "citizenships" )and/or financial compensation because they insist and uphold their inalienable right to RETURN to their native homeland and regain the ownership and the use of their legitimate property!".

This fairly sraight forward ennunciation of their collective desire and will,simplt: they want to go back to their own homes, is worded as :
"...it has never been allowed to be resolved."


Charles S Young - 12/4/2007

Lewis makes a brief for no compromise.

Sure, there are Arabs committed to ending Israel's existence. There are others who do not welcome it, but consider it an established fact.

A question to ask is, what actions would be helpful? What will isolate extremists and encourage live-and-let-live?


A. M. Eckstein - 12/4/2007

You are unteachable. You are holding Jews to a different standard of behavior than (say) Egyptians, Turks, or Pakistanis. That is the double standard and the EU officially defines the use of this double standard as anti-semitism.

The only people with ties to the Nazi ideology are the Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular. See works in Germany by intellectuals such as Mathias Kuentzel Jihad and Jew Hatred: Nazism, Islamism and the Roots of 9/11 trans. (Telos Press, 2007) and historians such as Michael Mailmann and Martin Cuppers, Halbmond und Hakenkreuz Das Dritte Reich, Die Araber und Palastina [Crescent and Swastika: The Third Reich, The Arabs and Palestine], which have recently explored the direct lineages and impact of the radical anti-Semitism in Germany and Europe to the emergence of radical Islam in the Middle East in the 1930s and 1940s.

And if that is too complex for you in terms of Nazism and radical Islam, simple google-image 'Hezbollah + salute", and see what you come up with. I dare you.

But scholarship clearly means nothing to you, Sally, complex history means nothing to you, and neither do facts, so for my part I end the conversation here.


Sally Gee - 12/4/2007

"Israel/Palestine is a tragic situation, but it is an artifical tragedy created not least by Arab govt policies, To adopt the double standards of moral judgment that you adopt here, Salley, fits the definition of anti-semitism adopted by the European Union."

Well, it is a tragedy, but a very real tragedy created by a deadly combination of British stupidity, Zionist malignity and American venality. I am not sure what the EU has to do with my argument, but I use no double standards - which is why I regard Zionism as the most direct contemporary expression of Nazism. Same criteria, same foul beast, same judgement.


art eckstein - 12/4/2007

The issue of the expulsion of Middle Eastern Jews from Arab lands is a topic we have gone over in great historical detaill with you, Omar; this occurred last year, and it was proven to you, in DETAIL, that your statement about these Jews "leaving willingly to join their brethren's colonial adventure" is outrageous.

At the time, last year, those of us who remonstrated with Omar about grotesque fabrication could chalk stuff like this up to his sheer ignorance. No more.

The fact is, Sally Gee, that the MAJORITY of the Israeli Jewish population are refugees from Muslim lands, or their descendants--they came with nothing, deprived of everything by their oppressors, and they are basically Middle Easterner refugees, not European colonialists.


art eckstein - 12/4/2007

Sally, the only thing unique about the Palestinian situation is that it has never been allowed to be resolved. The Israelis offered quite a deal in 2000 and 2001 and it was turned down. The quote I gave you from the Muslim explains the psychological reason why--and that is the Palestinians' fault. Meanwhile, the UN has NEVER taken up the plight of the 300,000 Greeks of Alexandria, NOR has the UN ever taken up the plight of the 850,000 Jews who were expelled from Arab lands. BOTH these cases are examples of ethnic cleansing carried out by govts; in the case of the 850,000 Jews this is more than the total Palestinian Nakbah (in the case of the Germans and the Hindus it is TEN TIMES the size of the Palestinian Nakhbah and occurred during the same five-year period) The Jews of Muslim lands lost everything too, by Muslim govt decree and pressure and violence--as did the 300,000 Greeks of Egypt. To repeat: some Muslim is enjoying these people's property, the property of Greeks and Jews, as we speak. Where is your indignation about THIS, Sally? In the case of the millions of Greeks from Ionia and Pontus, they had lived there for 2,500 years, were a majority in Ionia, and were expelled by the Turks who came as conquerors ca. 1500 A.D. and were a minority. Where is your indignation, Sally? Where is your bitter anger? In the case of the Hindus of Sind and Punjab (which became Pakistan), they had lived in the region for 3,000 years.

I think the KEY to your bitter anger is your remark about "one repugnant strain in Jewish thought", which is your definition of Zionism. You are not concerned or focused on "one repugnant strain" in Muslim thought. Or in Egyptian thought. Or in Turkish thought. No--your focus is solely on JEWS. Only JEWS are not allowed to do things that other peoples do (even when they are attacked), or if they do, THEY deserve special bitter condemnation.

Israel/Palestine is a tragic situation, but it is an artifical tragedy created not least by Arab govt policies, To adopt the double standards of moral judgment that you adopt here, Salley, fits the definition of anti-semitism adopted by the European Union.


Sally Gee - 12/4/2007

"The Palestinian refugee situation may be tragic but it is NOT unique in origin, it is NOT unique in suffering and it is NOT unique in scale. The only thing that is unique is blaming the Jews over and over again in your obsessive way as if this situation WERE unique. And blaming the Jews when the situation is not unique is a sign of anti-semitism--according to the EU."

OK, suffering ethnic cleansing is not unique, but a sense of reality and a little commonsense kind if hints that the application of at least one repugnant strand of Jewish thought - Zionism - has led directly to the plight of the Palestinian people to the benefit of the Jews who have taken over their land. It can't get much clearer than that, can it?


omar ibrahim baker - 12/4/2007

The UNIQUENESS OF Professor ECKSTEIN!
With Professor Eckstein there is, sometimes, a brain flash, or flush?, that takes the breath away of the unsuspecting and even of the suspecting observer:
For a human man made tragedy, or a crime as is the case here, to be of concern to the average, well intentioned and neutral onlooker it must be UNIQUE!

If NOT unique it would be a hum drum, run of the mill every day occurrence that should bother no body and should, at least, be tolerated and accepted....if not rewarded!
A breath taking assertion, effusion, of exceptional brain prowess cum impeccable morality!
Carried slightly forward why bother about a break in burglary that led to the death or incapacitation of the homeowner or for that matter about a massacre like My Lai since both are NOT unique in human chronicles!

Apart from the fact that all the "parallels" he draws to the problem of the Palestinian refugees are replete with custom made fabrications( no Jews were expelled from any Arab country; all departing Jews chose willingly to join their brethren in their colonialist adventure) and outright omissions ( India/Pakistan was a mutually agreed partition plan with an agreed human exchange) to suit his purpose he consciously fails to note or heed the basic fundamental difference that sets the Palestinian refugees problem apart and makes it, in comparison , unique(?)!

That fundamental difference that brainy Eckstein brushes away is that:

In none of the cited parallels was an indigenous population deliberately ethnically cleansed from its home land to vacate it so that ALIENS should be brought in to supplant him and colonize it!

(Sort of clearing the grounds to prepare it to receive a new edifice!)

Failure to note that all too obvious fundamental difference is, however, part and parcel of the ongoing Zionist/Israeli plan to systematically rob the indigenous Palestinian people of its land in its homeland while supplanting it with ALIENS selected and screened according to unequivocally racial/RACIST criteria ; as are , more recently, the SETTLEMENTS and the WALL!


A. M. Eckstein - 12/4/2007

Sally Gee:

The Palestinian refugee situation may be tragic but it is NOT unique in origin, it is NOT unique in suffering and it is NOT unique in scale. The only thing that is unique is blaming the Jews over and over again in your obsessive way as if this situation WERE unique. And blaming the Jews when the situation is not unique is a sign of anti-semitism--according to the EU.

There were numerous population exchanges and displacements at the end of WWII and during decolonization:

1. About ten million Germans had to flee their centuries-old homes in eastern Europe in 1945. A million died; another million were raped. They were not welcomed in western Germany, and there was much much suffering. Some Eastern European is enjoying those Germans' property as we speak. None of these Germans or their descendants is blowing up discos in Danzig.

2. About seven million Hindus had to flee from what became Pakistan (and an equal number of Muslims fled from India). Some Muslim is enjoying these Hindus' property as we speak. No Hindus are blowing up schoolyards filled with students in Islamabad.

3. The number of Palestinian refugees resulting from the Nakbah of 1948 is about 750,000. Bernard Lewis is right: the number of Jewish refugees expelled from Muslim states between 1948 and 1960 was LARGER: about 850,000. These Jews were forced to leave everything behind (uncompensated). Some Muslim is enjoying these Jews' property even as we speak (perhaps this illegally-seized property could be a source of compensation for the Palestinians!). None of these Jews or their descendants is blowing up supermarkets in Marakesh or Aden.

4. About 300,000 Greeks were intentionally forced from Egypt by the Nasser government policies 1953 and 1960--in order to Egyptianize and Muslimize Egypt; this is an example of conscious ethnic and religious cleansing to the max. Most of these Greeks had come to Egypt in the early 19th century; but some had been in Egypt for 2,300 years. The refugees weren't happy, nor was it easy for them to assimilate where they ended up: there was much suffering and trauma. They had to leave everything behind (uncompensated); some Muslim is enjoying their property as we speak. No one speaks about this at the UN. And no Greeks are blowing up buses in Cairo.

5. Millions of Greeks were forced from western Turkey in 1922; the ethnic cleansing of Greeks by the Turkish government went on as late as 1955 in the area called "Pontus" on the south coast of the Black Sea; this was conscious govt ethnic and religious cleansing to the max. there was much suffering and trauma and the Greek refugees remain bitter and when a Greek "Pontic" refugee girl won a gold medal in the Olympics in 1992 the bitterness in Greece was very public. None of these Greeks or their descendants is blowing up restaurants in Ankara.

6. About 50,000 Hindu Indians were driven from Uganda in 1972 by Idi Amin in a program of ethnic and religious cleansing. Their property was confiscated (uncompensated). Someone designated by Idi Amin and his successors as an "African" is enjoying these Hindus' property even as we speak. None of these Hindus or their descendants are intentionally shooting rockets at civilians in Uganda.

When I pointed out these parallel tragedies to a Muslim, and these parallel "thefts", and the lack of terrorism on the part of the victims, his response is revealing: "None of these people is as honorable as the Palestinians are."

I wish I was making up this psychologically revealing story. I assure you that, unfortunately, I am not.

(I also posted this message on the other thread where you were at work, Sally.)



Sally Gee - 12/2/2007

I see that Joseph is one of Bernard Lewis's less adept students. Better a few days in the chokey to appease the more brainless mullahs, than extrordinary rendition followed by years of systematic torture for walking down the street the wrong way, or being a Gazaan watching the concentration camp walls being built around you while children suffer and die from lack of food and medicine.


Joseph Mutik - 12/2/2007

The Arabs also send people to prison for calling a Teddy bear, Muhammad. 99% of the Arab world is composed of failed political, economical and social systems.


Sally Gee - 12/2/2007

Perhaps Arabic speakers prefer to read books in Arabic. And there are more books published by Islamic schoars iin the Arab world than published by non-Arab scholars (and "scholars") in the West.

As for your final point, the evidence of your past posts would indicate that you have long been far beyond the reach of any degree of enlightenment or, indeed, simple commonsense.


omar ibrahim baker - 12/1/2007

Professor Bernard Lewis in this post is consciously and deliberately
- Underpinning Israeli continued occupation of Palestinian and Syrian territories
And
-Supporting its expansionist designs and its gradual annexation of lands under its domination.

This is made in the guise of an "innocent” scholarly question:
“Whether the Arabs are willing to accept the existence of Israel?”

He, more than most, should know perfectly well that the universally accepted leadership of the Palestinian people, Arafat &Co, DID ACCEPT the existence of Israel within the 1967 borders in Oslo as far back as 1993....

Professor Lewis should, surely would, equally know that at Israeli request and US seconding the PNC (the Palestinian National Council accepted to excise, void and annul from the PLO Covenant any and all reference to the Liberation of all of historical Palestine (the continued inclusion of which could be construed as a non recognition of the existence of Israel) during President Clinton's visit to Gaza.

Professor Lewis also surely knows that at the Beirut Arab Summit of all Arab states then Price, now King, Abdullah's , of Saudi Arabia, peace proposal endorsed full Arab recognition of Israel's existence in return of full Israeli withdrawal from territories occupied in 1967.

*What more DOES Professor Lewis demand and expect?
*Why the question at all?

The points insidiously made here by Professor Lewis is , at best:
-That as long as Arabs do NOT accept "Israel’s existence" Israel is within its rights to continue occupying the lands it is presently occupying until such a time when etc, etc
AND, at worst, that:
-Unless and until there is an UNCONDITIONAL ( ie no strings attached re occupied territories and of a geographically undefined Israel ) acceptance of Israel 's existence ;Israel is within its rights to go on expanding in Arab lands by annexing, whatever lands it deems necessary for its "security" and prosperity and/or general well being.

This is the message conveyed by Professor Lewis which is, in essence, a brief outline of Israel's present peace strategy of:
-Unconditional Palestinian and Arab acceptance of and submission to Israeli “peace terms”; i.e. total Arab capitulation
-Irrevocable acceptance of a geographically UNDEFINED Israel with “flexible” borders to be set solely at Israel’s sole convenience.
All couched in the scholarly words of a Princeton Professor in the form of a question!
No surprises here, though!


E. Simon - 12/1/2007

What a bizarre comment, Ms. Gee.

Perhaps you could explain the significance of one part of the world's acceptance or rejection of someone's "scholarship" versus their widespread acceptance in all the others. And once you do that, you could explain what accounts for any potential disparities in acceptance, especially in light of what currently passes for scholarship in the particular region in question.

Less books are translated into Arabic per annum than into Greek, despite a thirty-fold difference in size between the two populations. Perhaps you are familiar with a new kind of less worldly and less literate form of scholarship that you could enlighten us on? How enticing!


Sally Gee - 12/1/2007

Does anyone accept the existence of Bernard Lewis's "scholarship" in the Islamic world, I wonder?

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