Popular Suicide Surfer Squad of Judea threatens strike

In the Gaza Strip, reality parodies Monty Python.

Avid surfers from several Gush Katif communities are threatening to take their boards out to sea on evacuation day and commit mass suicide by drowning. Settlement secretariats, psychologists and social workers have known about the plans of these young men, aged 16-21, for several weeks.

It’s a little metaphor for everything.

On the one side, Palestinian children grow with almost universal trauma of seeing their parents beaten and abused by soldiers. They learn to dodge bullets on the way to school, their after school child play is hide & seek with tanks and border patrol jeeps. And some of them dream of becoming martyrs.

On the other side, spoiled adolescents who grew up in a subsidized, patrolled, barbwired and watchtowered yuppie paradise, believing they belong by God’s decree to the master race, can’t handle parting with their favorite surfing beach.

Masada redux: first the tragedy, now the farce.

Other settlers tattoo their ID numbers on their arms and threaten to wear concentration camp uniforms on evacuation day. The Yad-Vashem Museum, operating as the central bank of holocaust symbolism, disapproves of this samizdat devaluation of its currency.

This debate happens in a country that legally discriminates against mixed couples and claims the Geneva Convention isn’t binding on its soldiers. Just don’t mention Nuremberg, either of them.

g.a.evildoer a-t gmail.com

  1. Speaking of Nuremberg laws…

    Do not have children if they won’t be healthy!

    By Tamara Traubmann
    Ha’aretz, June 16

    A shocking new study reveals how key figures in the pre-state Zionist establishment proposed castrating the mentally ill, sterilizing the poor and doing everything possible to ensure reproduction only among the `best of people.’

    Castrating the mentally ill, encouraging reproduction among families “numbered among the intelligentsia” and limiting the size of “families of Eastern origin” and “preventing … lives that are lacking in purpose” – these proposals are not from some program of the Third Reich but rather were brought up by key figures in the Zionist establishment of the Land of Israel during the period of the British Mandate. It turns out there was a great deal of enthusiasm here for the improvement of the hereditary characteristics of a particular race (eugenics). This support, which has been kept under wraps for many years, is revealed in a study that examines the ideological and intellectual roots at the basis of the establishment of the health system in Israel.

    In the Yishuv (pre-state Jewish community) in the 1930s there were “consultation stations” operating on a Viennese model of advice centers for couples that wished to marry and become parents. In Austria, with the Nazis’ rise to power, they served for forced treatment. Here the stations were aimed at “giving advice on matters of sex and marriage, especially in the matter of preventing pregnancy in certain cases.” They distributed birth-control devices for free to the penniless and at reduced prices to those of limited means. In Tel Aviv the advice stations were opened in centers of immigrant populations: Ajami in Jaffa, the Hatikvah Quarter and Neveh Sha’anan.

    These are some of the findings of a doctoral thesis written by Sachlav Stoler-Liss about the history of the health services in the 1950s, under the supervision of Prof. Shifra Shvarts, head of the department of health system management at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. They were presented at the annual conference of the Israel Anthropological Association at Ben-Gurion College.

    The father of the theory of eugenics was British scholar Francis Galton. It was he who coined the term – which literally means “well-born” – at the end of the 19th century. The aim of the eugenics movement was to better the human race. Galton proposed a plan to encourage reproduction among “the best people” in society and to prevent reproduction among “the worst elements.”

    Forced sterilization

    Between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, Galton drew many followers and his ideas spread rapidly to other countries in Europe (among them Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, Sweden and Belgium), to the United States and to some countries in South America. In various countries laws were passed that allowed for the forced sterilization of “hereditary paupers, criminals, the feeble-minded, tuberculous, shiftless and ne’er-do-wells.” In the United States, up until 1935, about 20,000 people – “insane,” “feeble-minded,” immigrants, members of ethnic minorities and people with low IQs – were forcibly sterilized, most of them in California. The Californian law was revoked only in 1979. According to Dr. Philip Reilly, a doctor and executive director of the Shriver Center for Mental Retardation, in 1985 at least 19 states in the United States had laws that allowed the sterilization of people with mental retardation, (among them Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Minnesota, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Vermont, Utah and Montana).

    “Eugenics is considered to be something that only happened in Germany,” says Stoler-Liss. “Germany was indeed the most murderous manifestation of eugenics, but in fact it was a movement that attracted many followers. In every place it took on a unique, local aspect. It is interesting to note that both in Germany and in Israel a link was made between eugenics, health and nationalism.”

    Stoler-Liss first encountered the eugenics texts of doctors from the Yishuv when looking for instruction books for parents for a research project for her master’s degree. “I presented a text at a thesis seminar and then the instructor of the workshop said to me, `But why aren’t you saying that this is a translated text?’ I replied: `No, no, the text isn’t translated.’ `In Israel,’ he said, `there are no such things.'”

    She decided to look into whether there was only anecdotal and non- representative evidence, doctors and public figures here and there who supported eugenics – and she found many publications that promoted eugenics. Supporters of the idea were key figures in the emerging medical establishment in Palestine; the people who managed and created the Israeli health system.

    One of the most prominent eugenicists of the Mandatory period was Dr. Joseph Meir, a well-known doctor who acquired his education in Vienna, served for about 30 years as the head of the Kupat Holim Clalit health maintenance organization, and after whom the Meir Hospital in Kfar Sava is named. “From his position at the very heart of the Zionist medical establishment in the land of Israel in the mid-1930s, he brought young mothers the gospel of eugenics, warned them about degeneracy and transmitted the message to them about their obligation and responsibility for bearing only healthy children,” says Stoler-Liss.

    Thus, for example, in 1934 Dr. Meir published the following text on the first page of “Mother and Child,” a guide for parents that he edited for publication by Kupat Holim: “Who is entitled to give birth to children? The correct answer is sought by eugenics, the science of improving the race and preserving it from degeneration. This science is still young, but its positive results are already great and important – These cases [referring to marriages of people with hereditary disorders – T.T.] are not at all rare in all nations and in particular in the Hebrew nation that has lived a life of exile for 1,800 years. And now our nation has returned to be reborn, to a natural life in the land of the Patriarchs. Is it not our obligation to see to it that we have whole and healthy children in body and soul? For us, eugenics as a whole, and the prevention of the transmission of hereditary disorders in particular, even greater value than for all other nations! … Doctors, people involved in sport and the national leaders must make broad propaganda for the idea: Do not have children if you are not certain that they will be healthy in body and soul!”

    `Problematic and dangerous’

    In its full version, the article, which was published in the “Health Guard” section of the now defunct labor Zionist newspaper Davar, the doctor proposed castrating the mentally ill. Stoler-Liss found many more examples in the “Mother and Child” books that were published in 1934 and 1935 and in journals like Eitanim, which was edited by Dr. Meir.

    “The support of Dr. Meir and other senior people in the health system for these ideas has been kept under wraps for many years,” claims Stoler-Liss. No one today talks about this chapter in the history of the Yishuv. In the mid-1950s Dr. Meir’s articles were collected into a book that came out in his memory. The article mentioned above was not included in it. Stoler-Liss found a card file with notes scribbled by the editors of the volume. They defined the article as “problematic and dangerous.” “Now, after Nazi eugenics,” wrote one of the editors, “it is dangerous to publish this article.”

    During the latter part of the 1930s, adds Stoler-Liss, when word came out about the horrors that eugenics in its extreme form is likely to cause, they stopped using this word, which was attributed to the Nazis. Overnight eugenics organizations and journals changed their names and tried to shake off any signs of this theory. Dr. Meir, however, during all the years he was active, continued to promote the ideas of eugenics. At the beginning of the 1950s he published an article in which he harshly criticized the reproduction prize of 100 lirot that David Ben-Gurion promised to every mother who gave birth to 10 children. “We have no interest in the 10th child or even in the seventh in poor families from the East … In today’s reality we should pray frequently for a second child in a family that is a part of the intelligentsia. The poor classes of the population must not be instructed to have many children, but rather restricted.”

    “I’m not making a value judgment,” says Stoler-Liss. “Zionism arose at a certain period, in a certain ideological atmosphere – there were all kinds of ideas in the air and there were also eugenicist Zionists. Some of the doctors were educated in Europe, and at that time the medical schools taught not only medicine but also the theory of eugenics.”

    Judaism of muscle

    Dr. Meir was not the first Zionist leader who supported eugenics. According to studies by Dr. Rapahel Falk, a geneticist and historian of science and medicine at Hebrew University, other major Zionist thinkers – among them Dr. Max Nordau, Theodor Herzl’s colleague, a doctor and a publicist, and Dr. Arthur Ruppin, the head of the World Zionist Organization office in the Land of Israel – presented the ideas of eugenics as one of the aims of the Jewish movement for national renewal and the settlement of the land.

    Prof. Meira Weiss, an anthropologist of medicine at Hebrew University, describes in her book “The Chosen Body” how the settlement of the land and work on the land were perceived by these Zionist thinkers as the “cure” that would restore the health of the Jewish body that had degenerated in the Diaspora. In Nordau’s terms, a “Judaism of muscle” would replace “the Jew of the coffee house: the pale, skinny, Diaspora Jew. “At a time when many Europeans are calling for a policy of eugenics, the Jews have never taken part in the `cleansing’ of their race but rather allowed every child, be it the sickest, to grow up and marry and have children like himself. Even the mentally retarded, the blind and the deaf were allowed to marry,” wrote Ruppin in his book “The Sociology of the Jews.” “In order to preserve the purity of our race, such Jews [with signs of degeneracy – T.T.] must refrain from having children.”

    “Many people dealt with eugenics as a theoretical issue,” says Stoler-Liss. “They even set up a Nordau Club with the aim of researching the racial aspects of the Jewish people and ways of improving it. What was special about Dr. Meir and the group that joined him was that for them eugenics was a very practical matter.” They wanted to pursue applied eugenics.

    The main institution was the advice station. The first station was opened in 1931 in Beit Strauss on Balfour Street in Tel Aviv. The aim was to work in “pleasant ways,” through persuasion and choice. As Stoler-Liss explains: “Why should people work against their personal interests? It is here that the connection to the national interest comes in. If I understand that by having a baby I will harm the national interest, the building of the land, the `new Jew,’ I will refrain from giving birth. But just to make certain, Meir told the doctors, in the event that a woman comes to you who is `a risk’ for giving birth to a sick baby, it is your obligation to make certain that she has an abortion.”

    “Gynecologist Miriam Aharonova also wrote extensively on the subject of eugenics,” adds Stoler-Liss. “In articles for parents under headings such as `The Hygiene of Marriage’ she gives a list of eugenic instructions for parents – from the recommended age for giving birth (between 20 and 25), to the recommended difference in age between the father and the mother (the reason for which is the betterment of the race) to a list of diseases that could infect the spouse or “be transmitted through heredity to their descendents after them.” In the diseases, she mentions “syphilis, gonorrhea, tuberculosis, alcoholism, narcotics addiction (fondness for morphine, cocaine, etc.) and diseases of the mind and the nerves.” In the volume of “Mother and Child” published in 1935, says Stoler-Liss, the publication and discussions by doctors who supported eugenics was greatly expanded. Why, in fact, did they not use force? The establishment had a great deal of power over immigrants and refugees.

    “The medical establishment’s power was limited at that time. This was an establishment that developed hand in hand with the system it was supposed to strengthen and suffered from constant shortages: a shortage of doctors, a shortage of nurses and a shortage of equipment. It had to examine, treat, inoculate and so on. We are talking about the period of the British Mandate. When at long last there was a state, eugenics theory declined. My explanation is the change of generations: that generation had come to an end professionally, and a new generation with more national motivation came along that was not educated at the European universities during that period. They had already seen what the Nazis had done with it and the ideological identification was lower. The ideas themselves seeped in but they’re not using the same rhetoric.”

    Have eugenics really vanished?

    The eugenic chapter in the history of Western culture has been closed, but have eugenics really disappeared?

    “Eugenic thinking is alive and well today,” asserts Stoler-Liss. “It is expressed mainly in the very high rate of pre-natal tests and genetic filtering [of genetically deviant fetuses]. Mothers are very highly motivated to give birth only to healthy children and the attitude toward the exceptional, the different and the handicapped in Israeli society is problematic.”

    At hospitals today future parents are offered a plethora of genetic tests that diagnose the fetus before birth. Some of them are aimed at identifying serious disorders, like Tay-Sachs disease, a degenerative disease that causes a painful death in infancy. Others, however, are aimed at screening fetuses with conditions like deafness and sterility, the bearers of which can lead full and satisfying lives.

    1. Huh
      Hi Bill, and thanks.

      “Chosen people” can be understood in a variety of ways, some of these interpretations, especially those current among the messianic settlers, are close enough to “master race”.

      I’ve written more extensively about that comparison elsewhere.

      The d in Samizdat fell. I put it back.

      1. Judeo-Nazis in Hebron

        Akiva Eldar

        Ha’aretz, July 25

        Even hardcore leftists had a problem when the God-fearing Yeshayahu Leibowitz dubbed the settlers “Judeo-Nazis.” Less than 30 years later, the professor’s words were translated into reality in a graffiti scrawled on a wall in the Jewish enclave in Hebron. A few weeks ago photographer Shabtai Gold’s lens caught the phrase “Arabs to the crematoria” beside a Magen David on a wall in the enclave. Since then, someone blurred the shocking inscription. Not far from it, on another wall, someone wrote “Arabs – sub-humans.”

        That kind of graffiti pops up often in the streets of Jerusalem. Leftists have found that the slurs remain on the walls a long time so to hasten the city’s action against them, they’ve found a chilling, but effective way to get them removed – they paint a swastika beside it.

        As in every attempt to tie the Holocaust to local phenomenon, this column’s publication on December 31 of selected quotes from a petition by Holocaust survivors and second generation survivors resulted in protests by survivor organizations. But the photo from Hebron only amplifies the the message of the petition, which appears today in full in the Hebrew edition of Ha’aretz. The sentence “the lessons of the Holocaust must be a cultural code for education to humanist values, democracy, human rights, and tolerance and against racism and totalitarian ideologies” receives added meaning in light of the letter sent by Y., a conscript posted for the last five months in Hebron.

        “I want to let you know about one of the first experiences I had in Hebron in my second week of service in the city,” he writes. “While guarding the sukka on David Hamelekh Street, near Gross Square, during minha services, two Arab children came out of the casbah. Seven worshippers from inside the sukka pounced on them, and I and my buddies had to separate them. The ruckus continued and we all suffered the settlers’ fists in our faces and other parts of our bodies, as well as curses and shouting. Those who suffered the most violence, slurs and curses were the Israeli police stationed in the city. Their main target were the Druze and Bedouin as well as the people of The International Presence in Hebron. Innumerable times I have been forced to intervene between the settlers and them. “The attacks, vandalism, and racist slogans are only a drop of what the Arabs of Hebron suffer daily. These actions have turned us, combat fighters, from protectors of Jews from Arab attackers to a force that protects the Arabs from the Jews. Often I’ve heard settlers complaining that we prevent them from beating up Arabs, breaking into their shops and vandalizing their property. And thus, they say, we do not protect the Jewish interests in the city,. And I innocently thought my job was to preserve the Jewish and Israeli law in the city.”

        1. ‘We Are Judeo-Nazis’
          Interview with Israeli military officer
          by Amos Oz
          The following is a reprint of an interview conducted by Amos Oz as originally published in the Israeli daily Davar on 17 December 1982. The interviewee is a man referred to as “C.”

          “You can call me anything you like. Call me a monster or a murderer. Just note that I don’t hate Arabs. On the contrary. Personally, I am much more at ease with them, and especially with the Bedouin, than with Jews. Those Arabs we haven’t yet spoilt are proud people, they are irrational, cruel and generous. It’s the Yids that are all twisted. In order to straighten them out you have to first bend them sharply the other way. That, in brief, is my whole ideology.

          “Call Israel by any name you like, call it a Judeo-Nazi state as does Leibowitz. Why not? Better a live Judeo-Nazi than a dead saint. I don’t care whether I am like Ghadafi. I am not after the admiration of the gentiles. I don’t need their love. I don’t need to be loved by Jews like you either. I have to live, and I intend to ensure that my children will live as well. With or without the blessing of the Pope and the other religious leaders from the New York Times. I will destroy anyone who will raise a hand against my children, I will destroy him and his children, with or without our famous purity of arms. I don’t care if he is Christian, Muslim, Jewish or pagan. History teaches us that he who won’t kill will be killed by others. That is an iron law.

          “Even if you’ll prove to me by mathematical means that the present war in Lebanon is a dirty immoral war, I don’t care. Moreover, even if you will prove to me that we have not achieved and will not achieve any of our aims in Lebanon, that we will neither create a friendly regime in Lebanon nor destroy the Syrians or even the PLO, even then I don’t care. It was still worth it. Even if Galilee is shelled again by Katyushas in a year’s time, I don’t really care. We shall start another war, kill and destroy more and more, until they will have had enough. And do you know why it is all worth it? Because it seems that this war has made us more unpopular among the so-called civilised world. “We’ll hear no more of that nonsense about the unique Jewish morality, the moral lessons of the holocaust or about the Jews who were supposed to have emerged from the gas chambers pure and virtuous. No more of that. The destruction of Eyn Hilwe (and it’s a pity we did not wipe out that hornet’s nest completely!), the healthy bombardment of Beirut and that tiny massacre (can you call 500 Arabs a massacre?) in their camps which we should have committed with our own delicate hands rather than let the Phalangists do it, all these good deeds finally killed the bullshit talk about a unique people and of being a light upon the nations. No more uniqueness and no more sweetness and light. Good riddance.”

          “I personally don’t want to be any better than Khomeini or Brezhnev or Ghadafi or Assad or Mrs. Thatcher, or even Harry Truman who killed half a million Japanese with two fine bombs. I only want to be smarter than they are, quicker and more efficient, not better or more beautiful than they are. Tell me, do the baddies of this world have a bad time? If anyone tries to touch them, the evil men cut his hands and legs off. They hunt and catch whatever they feel like eating. They don’t suffer from indigestion and are not punished by Heaven. I want Israel to join that club. Maybe the world will then at last begin to fear me instead of feeling sorry for me. Maybe they will start to tremble, to fear my madness instead of admiring my nobility. Thank god for that. Let them tremble, let them call us a mad state. Let them understand that we are a wild country, dangerous to our surroundings, not normal, that we might go crazy if one of our children is murdered – just one! That we might go wild and burn all the oil fields in the Middle East! If anything would happen to your child, god forbid, you would talk like I do. Let them be aware in Washington, Moscow, Damascus and China that if one of our ambassadors is shot, or even a consul or the most junior embassy official, we might start World War Three just like that !”

          ……We are talking while sitting on the balcony of the pretty country house belonging to C. which is situated in a prosperous Moshav. To the west we see a burning sunset and there is a scent of fruit trees in the air. We are being served iced coffee in tall glasses.

          C. is about fifty years old. He is a man well known for his (military) actions. He is a strong, heavy figure wearing shorts but no shirt. His body is tanned a metallic bronze shade, the colour of a blond man living in the sun. He puts his hairy legs on the table and his hands on the chair. There is a scar on his neck. His eyes wander over his plantations. He spells out his ideology in a voice made hoarse by too much smoking:

          “Let me tell me [sic] what is the most important thing, the sweetest fruit of the war in Lebanon: It is that now they don’t just hate Israel. Thanks to us, they now also hate all those Feinschmecker Jews in Paris, London, New York, Frankfurt and Montreal, in all their holes. At last they hate all these nice Yids, who say they are different from us, that they are not Israeli thugs, that they are different Jews, clean and decent. Just like the assimilated Jew in Vienna and Berlin begged the anti-Semite not to confuse him with the screaming, stinking Ostjude, who had smuggled himself into that cultural environment out of the dirty ghettos of Ukraine and Poland. It won’t help them, those clean Yids, just as it did not help them in Vienna and Berlin.

          “Let them shout that they condemn Israel, that they are all right, that they did not want and don’t want to hurt a fly, that they always prefer being slaughtered to fighting, that they have taken it upon themselves to teach the gentiles how to be good Christians by always turning the other cheek. It won’t do them any good. Now they are getting it there because of us, and I am telling you, it is a pleasure to watch. They are the same Yids who persuaded the gentiles to capitulate to the bastards in Vietnam, to give it in to Khomeini, to Brezhnev, to feel sorry for Sheikh Yamani because of his tough childhood, to make love not war. Or rather, to do neither, and instead write a thesis on love and war.

          “We are through with all that. The Yid has been rejected, not only did he crucify Jesus, but he also crucified Arafat in Sabra and Shatila. They are being identified with us and that’s a good thing! Their cemeteries are being desecrated, their synagogues are set on fire, all their old nicknames are being revived, they are being expelled from the best clubs, people shoot into their ethnic restaurants murdering small children, forcing them to remove any sign showing them to be Jews, forcing them to move and change their profession.

          “Soon their palaces will be smeared with the slogan: Yids, go to Palestine! And you know what? They will go to Palestine because they will have no other choice! All this is a bonus we received from the Lebanese war. Tell me, wasn’t it worth it?

          “Soon we will hit on good times. The Jews will start arriving, the Israelis will stop emigrating and those who already emigrated will return. Those who had chosen assimilation will finally understand that it won’t help them to try and be the conscience of the world. The ‘conscience of the world’ will have to understand through its arse what it could not get into its head. The gentiles have always felt sick of the Yids and their conscience, and now the Yids will have only one option: to come home, all of them, fast, to install thick steel doors, to build a strong fence, to have submachine guns positioned at every corner of their fence here and to fight like devils against anyone who dares to make a sound in this region. And if anyone even raises his hand against us we’ll take away half his land and burn the other half, including the oil. We might use nuclear arms. We’ll go on until he no longer feels like it…

          “…You probably want to know whether I am not afraid of the masses of Yids coming here to escape anti-semitism smearing us with their olive oil until we go all soft like them. Listen, history is funny in that way, there is a dialectic here, irony. Who was it who expanded the state of Israel almost up the boundaries of the kingdom of King David? Who expanded the state until it covered the area from Mount Hermon to Raz Muhammad? Levi Eshkol. Of all people, it was that follower of Gordon, that softie, that old woman. Who, on the other hand, is about to push us back into the walls of the ghetto? Who gave up all of Sinai in order to retain a civilised image? Beitar’s governor in Poland, that proud man Menahem Begin. So you can never tell. I only know one thing for sure: as long as you are fighting for your life all is permitted, even to drive out all the Arabs from the West Bank, everything.

          “Leibowitz is right, we are Judeo-Nazis, and why not? Listen, a people that gave itself up to be slaughtered, a people that let soap to be made of its children and lamp shades from the skin of its women is a worse criminal than its murderers. Worse than the Nazis…If your nice civilised parents had come here in time instead of writing books about the love for humanity and singing Hear O Israel on the way to the gas chambers, now don’t be shocked, if they instead had killed six million Arabs here or even one million, what would have happened? Sure, two or three nasty pages would have been written in the history books, we would have been called all sorts of names, but we could be here today as a people of 25 million!

          “Even today I am willing to volunteer to do the dirty work for Israel, to kill as many Arabs as necessary, to deport them, to expel and burn them, to have everyone hate us, to pull the rug from underneath the feet of the Diaspora Jews, so that they will be forced to run to us crying. Even if it means blowing up one or two synagogues here and there, I don’t care.

          “And I don’t mind if after the job is done you put me in front of a Nuremberg Trial and then jail me for life. Hang me if you want, as a war criminal. Then you can spruce up your Jewish conscience and enter the respectable club of civilised nations, nations that are large and healthy. What you lot don’t understand is that the dirty work of Zionism is not finished yet, far from it. True, it could have been finished in 1948, but you interfered, you stopped it. And all this because of the Jewishness in your souls, because of your Diaspora mentality. For the Jews don’t grasp things quickly. If you open your eyes and look around the world you will see that darkness is falling again. And we know what happens to a Jew who stays out in the dark. So I am glad that this small war in Lebanon frightened the Yids. Let them be afraid, let them suffer. They should hurry home before it gets really dark. So I am an anti-Semite ? Fine. So don’t quote me, quote Lilienblum instead [an early Russian Zionist – ed.]. There is no need to quote an anti-Semite. Quote Lilienblum, and he is definitely not an anti-Semite, there is even a street in Tel Aviv named after him.

          [C. quotes from a small notebook that was lying on his table when I arrived:] ‘Is all that is happening not a clear sign that our forefathers and ourselves…wanted and still want to be disgraced? That we enjoy living like gypsies.’

          “That’s Lilienblum. Not me. Believe me. I went through the Zionist literature, I can prove what I say.

          “And you can write that I am disgrace to humanity, I don’t mind, on the contrary. Let’s make a deal: I will do all I can to expel the Arabs from here, I will do all I can to increase anti-semitism, and you will write poems and essays about the misery of the Arabs and be prepared to absorb the Yids I will force to flee to this country and teach them to be a light unto the gentiles. How about it ?”

          It was there that I stopped C.’s monologue for a moment and expressed the thought passing through my mind, perhaps more for myself than for my host. Was it possible that Hitler had not only hurt the Jews but also poisoned their minds? Had that poison sunk in and was still active? But not even that idea could cause C. to protest or raise his voice. After all, he [is] said to have never shouted under stress, even during the famous operations his name is associated with.

      2. master race
        I have to echo Bill’s initial discomfort with this “master race” rhetoric. I read Gabriel’s piece on Paulin and found it thoughtful, but I note that he insists on the Palestinian right of armed struggle without at all noting the odious form that struggle has often taken, or how Islamists echo Nazi rhetoric and imagery themselves.

        1. master race
          First thanks, “thoughtful” is the kind of praise I really enjoy receiving.

          I understand the discomfort. I don’t expect to persuade everyone but I stand by it. I can defend it by endless quotes from historical Zionist sources, from endless references in current media (David dug up a few above.), and from my own recollections about the attitudes I was brought up with and encountered in Israeli society.

          As for not noting “the odious form that struggle has often taken,” I indeed will make no public comment on the specific methods chosen by Palestinians to fight Israelis. To comment requires moral standing. I hold that perpetrators have no standing to lecture their victims about the ethics of resistance.

          Israelis AND Americans ARE the perpetrators. We are not detached, universal minds, philosophising about right and wrong. WE are the perpetrators. Whatever ethical beliefs we hold, we should get our own societies to respect before we scold others for ignoring them.

          I also wish to say that while Nazi imagery and rhetoric has filtered into the Islamic world, mostly as a result of the conflict, there is very little of it in Palestine, so the issue is not very relevant here.

          1. On Palestinian resistance
            Rami Elhanan, of the Parents’ Circle: (Elhanan’s 14 year old daughter was killed in a suicide bombing in Jerusalem in 1997)

            I was on my way to the airport when my wife called and told me Smadar was missing. When something like this happens a cold hand grabs your heart. You rush between friends’ houses and hospitals, then eventually you find yourself in the morgue and you see a sight you’ll never forget for the rest of your life. From that moment you are a new person. Everything is different.

            At first I was tormented with anger and grief; I wanted revenge, to get even. But we are people – not animals! I asked myself, “Will killing someone else release my pain?

          2. Dualistic bullshit
            So the only two categories are “perpetrators” or “detached, universal minds, philosophising about right and wrong”? I consider myself neither, thank you. I acknowledge that as an American Jew my silence would make me complicit—which is why I choose not to be silent. But even complicit is not the same thing as a “perpetrator.” The only thing I have ever “perpetrated” vis-a-vis American or Israeli bellicosity is opposition to it. Even if that opposition has been insufficient, that means I remain to a degree complicit—not a “pepetrator.” And the notion that we are morally obliged to be neutral about suicide bombings or the Islamist embrace of classical European anti-Semitism is self-defeating idiocy. Does this logic also extend to 9-11 and the London bombings? This is the thinking, ironically, of a mind obsessed with moral purity rather than political realism.

            1. I love the word ‘bullshit’. It really elevates the discussion
              Bill, you are not morally obliged to do anything you don’t want to do, at least not by me. You are free to say anything, condemn anybody and anything, and define your own level of complicity to the third digit after the decimal point.

              I have stated my own choices, which you are equally free to condemn. I did not say I am morally neutral about suicide bombs or any other bomb. I said I will not publicly issue solemn condemnations of the resistance to the state of Israel as required by the moral propriety police.

              As an aside, I don’t see anything particularly horrifying about suicide bombs that warrants these endless discussions. They are horrifying to the same degree that every other bomb is horrifying, no less, no more. I don’t see anything about the techniques chosen by the Palestinian resistance that makes it morally unique relative to either the history of warfare or the current state of warfare. I see these recurring discussions as pointless.

              This logic doesn’t extend to 9-11 and the London bombing. Hamas is a popular movement. Al-qaeda is a “vanguardist” movement. Most of the people al-qaeda wants to free don’t want to be freed by al-qaeda.

              This test of popular base doesn’t determine the morality of the action. But it is a factor in my personal choice about whether and how to discuss it. Again, you are free to make other choices or to condemn mine.

              Your concern for politcal realism is baffling. Are we engaged in a debate about morality or are you saying that I should condemn suicide bombs just to carry favor with some relevant audience? Aren’t you obssessing about moral purity when you demand that every discussion of Palestine include a condemnation of suicide bombs? And if you do so in the name of politcal realism, aren’t you a bit hypocritical? Why not condemn abortions also for the sake of “political realism”?

              1. Yes, bullshit
                I don’t know about Switzerland or where-ever you are, but here in New York we call a spade a spade.

                Did I say suicide bombings were “morally unique”? Is that in any way relevant to the discussion? No. (That said, it is—if you will—bullshit to say that they are “horrifying to the same degree that every other bomb is horrifying.” Not all bombs are intended to kill the maximum number of civilians. There you go with that dualism again.)

                Did I demand that “every discussion of Palestine include a condemnation of suicide bombs”? Do you bother to read this publication you have been invited to contribute to?

                The abortion analogy is the reddest of herrings. I support abortion; I don’t support suicide bombings.

                Political realism—as well as moral consistency—demand that we are clear in our opposition to attacks on civilians as a matter of principle, not only when they are committed by one side or the other. You equivocated on that point. I said no more and no less.

                And you have still failed to identify in what sense I am a “perpetrator.” But maybe we should leave well enough alone.

                1. bullshit
                  This discussion emerged out of a complaint about my failure to condemn the methods of the Palestinian armed struggle in an article written three years ago.

                  I will not do so. I share your opposition to attack on civilians in principle. There are many principles, however, I hold dear, and they always tend to clash when I try to apply them to real situations.

                  Here’s another principle: justice should be rooted in a moral community, i.e. in ethical beliefs common to all parties, including the Palestinian public. Here’s another principle: the judge must not be an interested party at the trial. And here’s another dear principle: don’t judge someone before you walk a mile in her shoes. And here’s finally another principle: in coming to seek justice one must have clean hands.

                  I will apply these principles and solve the dilemmas they create to the best of my judgment.

                  I believe you will do the same, according to your judgment.

          3. ethics of resistance
            Ditto what Bill said, and I’ll add that I am not “scolding” Palestinian suicide bombers, I am condemning them utterly and completely. “Ethics of resistance” my ass.

            And let me add I’m quite disappointed, because one of the things I’ve really appreciated about WW4 is that it’s mercifully free of this “the resistors are always right” crap.

            1. ethics of resistance
              I will avoid discussing your ass. I understand your condemnation. It’s your choice. I do not put words in your mouth. You insist on telling me what moral positons I should have. If I don’t, you will bring your ass into the discussion. You won’t get it from me. You’ll have to live with the fact that I have my own moral thinking, and I don’t say things because other people tell me I have to say them. If I did, I’d probably be a good Israeli Zionist. And I’m not.

              I never said that the resistors are always right. And the “crap” was introduced by you, not by me. You complained about my failure to oblige your moral convictions. I’m sorry that I didn’t write the articles you wanted me to write. But you are welcome to write them yourself.

              1. moral thinking
                There’s the old ploy — anyone who speaks up and says slaughtering Israeli civilians is wrong is a “Zionist.” As for your “moral thinking,” I don’t see any moral thinking in evidence.

                1. Reading Comprehension
                  I’m really sorry, but you need to upgrade your reading skills. I never said what you imagine I said. As long as you’re talking to an imaginary person who holds imaginary views, I’ll leave the job of replying to your imaginary interlocutor.

                  1. Consistency
                    My use of a common barnyard epithet debases the discussion, but this kind of snide condescension is kosher, eh? And I will point out that the esteemed Mr. Ash put a few words in my mouth as well.

                    1. reading skills
                      No, you didn’t call me a Zionist, Mr. Ash. You’re much too clever for that, so you implied it in a very roundabout way. The message was received.

                    2. borderline personality disorder

                      do you know what is borderline personality disorder? according to the DSM-IV, the world of a Borderline Personality, like that of a child, is split into heroes and villains. A child emotionally, the BP cannot tolerate human inconsistencies and ambiguities; he cannot reconcile anther is good and bad qualities into a constant coherent understanding of another person. At any particular moment, one is either Good or EVIL. There is no in-between; no gray area….people are idolized one day; totally devalued and dismissed the next.

                      so, what am I talking about?….
                      there are no “good” and “evil”. reality is much more complex. it’s not “perpetuators” and “victims.” the Israelis whose loved ones are killed by Palestinians are victims, even if they are also the perpetuators. The Palestinians are the victims of Zionism, but they are also the perpetuators at a certain place and time…

                      try non-violent communication for a change (and I am not talking about the “bullshit” and “ass” comments, but about a discussion in which words are not used as weapon.)