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Emet m'Tsiyon

Monday, February 15, 2010

The British, Judeophobia & Anti-Zionism -- Lewis Feuer

Anti-Zionism is the anti-imperialism of fools.

Writing about George Orwell's typically socialist or Marxist approach to Judeophobia as a problem, Lewis Feuer refers to the attitude of other British intellectuals and identifies the likely purposes and/or results of anti-Zionism.
In his quest for rationality, Orwell, like so many Englishmen --Shaw, Webb, Wells, Russell-- tended to belittle the importance of anti-semitism. As far as Orwell could see, "anti-semitism is only one manifestation of nationalism," that can be cured only when the larger disease of nationalism is cured. Long before nationalism, however, became a historic force, in mediaeval Europe, anti-semitism was endemic, and always its manifestations linked first to the relative defencelessness of the Jews, and second, to the sense, as Charles de Gaulle put it, that the Jews were an elite people, gifted inordinately with intellectual abilities. Anti-semitism has thus always been a concomitant of anti-intellectual and populist movements. And anti-Zionism, as the current form of anti-semitism, aims precisely to restore the Jews to such a state of defencelessness.
Lewis Feuer wrote this in 1984 in Survey, a Journal of East & West Studies [Summer 1984; p 163]. He wrote it long before Judeophobia in its "anti-Zionist" guise became a highly emotional fashion among a variegated set of publics: BBC TV editors, editors of ostensibly "liberal" British newspapers like the Guardian and the strongly pro-capitalist Financial Times, not to mention assorted Communist and Communist-Trotskyist sects, Arab and other Muslim jihadists, British opportunists and race haters like George Galloway, and so on.

Feuer rightly points out that for many of the respected "leftists" and "socialists" in Britain --and not only there-- the problems of the Jews were secondary and would be solved by the coming of a socialist messianic age, the renewed Golden Age of Man, as some viewed a socialist society. In other words, socialism would solve all the problems of the Jews, so they argued. Intelligent people would be much more skeptical about a socialist Golden Age today. Anyhow, before we get to True Socialism, we could all be dead. That was especially true for the Jews of Orwell's time. About a third or more of the Jews in the world were murdered in Orwell's own lifetime. True Socialism did not come soon enough to save their lives, let alone their honor and their rights.

Today, we see that many self-styled socialists could not care less about the rights of Jews, or are indeed hostile to them. Some, like Ken Livingstone, openly mock Jews and scorn their human rights and dignity. Lest we forget, Livingstone, the mayor of London for several years, was long a Trotskyist and became notorious after the 9-11 mass murder for inviting Yusuf Qaradhawi, a notorious Muslim hate preacher, to London. But is Feuer right in calling Judeophobia, whether or not in its anti-Zionist form, a populist movement? He gives part of the answer to that question himself, whether or not he recognized that. General De Gaulle, later President De Gaulle, was hardly a "populist" nor was he anti-intellectual, but he was Judeophobic. Of course De Gaulle's remark after the Six Day War that the Jews were an "elite and domineering people" could be said to play to the masses of non-Jews as an instrumental tactic or strategy for influencing French public opinion. Maybe De Gaulle wanted to play up to the Arabs with that remark. It was indeed followed by a ban on Israeli military purchases. For those who don't know it, France was Israel's major weapons supplier before the Six Day War. Israel won the war with French fighter aircraft, etc. Probably many people don't know it because they believe that the United States was always supporting Israel and furnishing it with weapons. Indeed, this has been one of the commonplace Big Lies about Israel told by the "leftists" of the last 43 years. France was much more supportive of Israel up to the Six Day War than was the United States.

So the fact that De Gaulle made his Judeophobic remark after the Six Day War was not only a signal of an approaching French switch to a pro-Arab policy but a use of Judeophobia, a stimulation, encouragement, incitement of Judeophobia made by an elitist politician backed by big money interests in his own country. On that Feuer was wrong.

Then Feuer refers to the Judeophobia of the Middle Ages. It was not simply "populist" nor "anti-intellectual." After all, very intellectual Christian theologians loathed or hated Jews on religious grounds. And when some of the non-Jewish poor attacked Jews for real or supposed Jewish wealth, was it solely a mood of resentment of those wealthier whereas the pogrom mobs seldom attacked the rich of their own religion or ethnic group? What may have happened is that poor folk, who often and commonly resent those wealthier or more prosperous than themselves [not always nor at all times and places], may have especially resented the fact that Jews who --they were taught-- were religiously evil, Christkillers or whatnot, were able to obtain wealth. After all, if those people religiously defined as evil [Jews], could obtain wealth or any respectable social standing, then that was an injustice. An injustice which sometimes required violence to redress. Possibly the devil's work, a conspiracy, etc. Of course, this is theoretical and I am open to discussion about it.

What is most sinister today, it seems, is that members of elites use psychological warfare techniques, propaganda tricks that really go beyond mere propaganda, in order to produce hatred of Jews among their masses, especially the lower-middle brow masses, not to mention among the mass of ill-educated academics, truly nutty professors, and so on. One way to keep the population in line and to get them to follow the will of the elite, what C Wright Mills called the Power Elite, is to use all sorts of tricks from the arsenal of psychological warfare. That goes on all the time and in many places.

But Feuer was right to say that anti-Zionism is "the current form of anti-semitism." And in a time when "anti-imperialism" is supposed to be taken for granted as the right way to think, the right position for all decent and right-thinking folk, anti-semitism [Judeophobia] has to take on the coloring of anti-imperialism. A principle of psywar is to seemingly accept the values and basic beliefs of those one wants to persuade or bring around to another way of thinking. The basic beliefs and values of the target audience are the platform for moving to new beliefs --perhaps added on to the old, not necessarily replacing them-- desired by the psywar practitioner.

Feuer's conclusion that anti-Zionism means to restore Jews to their state of defenselessness, as in the Middle Ages, is insightful. Certainly, weakening Israel would have that effect and would likely lead to renewed persecution of Jews in many parts of the world.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Tomb of Simon the Just [Shimon haTsadiq] in Jerusalem, a focus of Jewish pilgrimage for centuries

The enemies of Israel and the Jewish people are now working feverishly in high gear. Among other things, they falsify, even deny, Jewish history. The fanatical hatred of our enemies goes so far as to deny that Jews were ever a nation or ever in the Land of Israel or that modern Jews have any ancestral connection with ancient Jews. One of the current denials perpetrated by Arabs who deny the Jewish history of Jerusalem is the denial of Jewish holy places and Jewish residence in various place before 1947-48, when Jews were driven out of their homes in what became Judenrein "East Jerusalem" under Arab rule.

When the controversy over Jewish-owned real estate in the old Shim`on haTsadiq Quarter of Jerusalem erupted [here] in mid-summer of 2009, I visited the area and interviewed the spokesman for a group of Arabs belonging to a family, some of whom had been evicted from a house there for refusing to pay rent to the Jewish owners, the Sefardic Community Council. A group from this family were sitting outside a house where some of them had been living before being evicted. Other family members lived elsewhere in the city.

This spokesman, al-Hijazi by name, as he told me, changed his story several times as I showed that I had information about the history of the site. When I said that Jews said that the Tomb of Simon the Just [Shim`on haTsadiq שמעון הצדוק ] was on the site, he claimed that Simon's tomb was really in Jish Village in the north, that is, in the Galilee. Jish Village כפר ג'יש was called in ancient times by the Hebrew name Gush Halav גוש חלב, distorted by the Arab pronunciation of Jish, with the second word, Halav, left out. The spokesman's name al-Hijazi indicates a family origin in the Hijaz, northwestern Arabia, where Mecca and Medina are located.

As we spoke, we were both sitting about 100-150 feet away and slightly downhill from the location of the Tomb --which always has some visitors/pilgrims around-- although our view of the tomb, located in a cave, was obscured by Arab houses built on the Shimon haTsadiq plot [about 18 dunams = 4 1/2 acres]. Arab houses were built on the plot about 1955 at the initiative of the Jordanian custodian of enemy property. That is, Jewish-owned property under Jordanian control between 1948 and 1967 was considered enemy property by Jordan. Furthermore, Jordan did not allow Jews to visit Jewish holy places under Jordanian control in that period, in violation of the Israel-Transjordan armistice accord of 1949. [Transjordan changed its name to Jordan circa 1950]

The houses built by Arabs circa 1955 are on a flood plain, that of the upper Qidron creek [Nahal Qidron or Kidron נחל קדרון] which is usually dry. When I responded to al-Hijazi that there was an old synagogue uphill [it is on a cliff over Simon's Tomb] with an old Hebrew inscription on it [see here], he claimed that the area had been a quarry before 1948. This was a ridiculous claim, although there is an adjacent plot where ground had been dug out for construction purposes. I believe that that plot was dug out only after 1967. When I said to al-Hijazi [we spoke Hebrew]: The Jews say that Jews lived here before 1948,
he answered: Not true [לא נכון]!!

So much for the credibility of Arab witnesses. I must say that al-Hijazi had the trimmed short beard typical of Hamas believers and most likely supported Hamas rather than Fatah.

What is most outrageous is that in much or most of the media coverage of the controversy over the Shim`on haTsadiq Quarter, it is never mentioned that Simon's Tomb was a focus of Jewish pilgrimage for centuries, especially on the Lag b`Omer holiday, like the tomb of Shim`on bar Yohai in the Galilee at Meron, which attracts much much larger crowds on Lag b`Omer. Here are three illustrated, illuminated tables of Jewish holy places in the Land of Israel that show that it was considered a Jewish holy place and a focus of pilgrimage centuries ago. These illustrated, illuminated tables were exhibited by the Israel Museum in a show in Winter-Summer 1996, two years before 1998 when Jews came back to live in some of the old Jewish homes from which Jews had been driven in December 1947 [one family stayed until the 8th to the 10th of January 1948. Their date of flight is uncertain to a surviving family member]. These tables show the long-standing Jewish reverence for this tomb.

The illustration above shows the Tomb of Shim`on haTsadiq in the lower right corner. Unfortunately, the original document suffered a crease going through the letter shin [ש ] of the name Shimon [שמעון]. The picture shows the tomb or tomb marker [ ציון] inside a cave, which is correct. The table was published in 1659 [click on photo to enlarge].

In this illustration, the tomb of Shim`on haTsadiq [here the name's two parts are in reverse order: צדיק שמעון ] appears at the left middle of the table, just below the depiction of the Western Wall כותל מערבי [Wailing Wall] and between the names of the Sanhedrin tombs [here: שבעים סנהדרין ] and Kalba Savu`a [ כלבא שבוע ], a former name for what is now called the Tombs of the Kings, a Jewish holy and historical site under French government control under the name Tombeau des Rois. The location of the tomb's name on the table shows that it was in Jerusalem, along with the other sites mentioned just above and adjacent to Shim`on haTsadiq on the table. The table dates to the Hebrew year TAQPAH [ תקפ''ה ]. That is, 1824-1825 on the Gregorian calendar. The table is drawn with watercolor and ink on paper and was made in the Land of Israel.

On this table, the name Shimon haTsadiq appears on the left side on the second tier from the bottom. This table is dated to 1829-1830 [the year on the Hebrew calendar תק''ץ]. It too was produced in the Land of Israel and is watercolor and ink on paper.

The attack on Jewish history in general and Jewish history in the Land of Israel in particular is common in English-speaking countries, especially Britain and the United States, it seems to me. See my post on the Financial Times out of London [here]. The FT, a pro-capitalism, pro-free market newspaper, was trying to promote the asinine and wildly dishonest book of Shlomo Sand, a Communist on the faculty of the University of Tel Aviv. Sand claims that the Jewish people was "invented" in the 19th century. Nadia Abu el-Hadj, a degree-holding "anthropologist" ["palestinian" Arab by her background] appointed to the Columbia University faculty in New York, despite many objections, denies aspects of the history of Second Temple Times [here & here]. The assault is happening now. Among other venues of attack, Arab nationalists, Islamists, anti-national Israelis, American and other Western apologists for Arab terrorism have seized on the issue of the Shimon haTsadiq neighborhood in Jerusalem.

This endeavor to eliminate Jewish history is obviously an obstacle to peace.

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source of illustrations:
Rachel Sarfati, ed., Offerings from Jerusalem: Portrayals of Holy Places by Jewish Artists
(Jerusalem: The Israel Museum 2002)

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic Nails the UN "human rights council"

The "peace" intended by the Peace Process is Peace of Mind for Antisemites.

Jeffrey Goldberg shows how the UN "human rights council" gives hope and encouragement to bigots, friends of terorism and mass murder. He quotes what the Muslim Student Union at Univ of California at Irvine said in a flyer protesting the appearance there of Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Oren.

09 Feb 2010 04:38 pm

Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to the U.S., tried to give a speech at UC Irvine but was shouted down by Muslim protesters, who apparently weren't equipped to argue with Oren, just drive him from the stage. All this is par for the course, but I did find this one bit of information amusing:
The Muslim Student Union said in its statement: "We strongly condemn the university for cosponsoring, and therefore, inadvertently supporting the ambassador of a state that is condemned by more UN Human Rights Council resolutions than all other countries in the world combined."
To the Muslim Student Union, the fact that the UN Human Rights Council has condemned Israel more than all the other countries of the world combined means that Israel is worse than all the other countries of the world combined. To more rational, less prejudiced people, this fact means that the UN Human Rights Council is not a serious organization, but one under the control of dictators and despots. [The Atlantic Monthly, Jeffrey Goldberg blog]

Goldberg's last sentence is fully confirmed by previous posts on Emet m'Tsiyon regarding the moral incompetence of the UN"hrc" and the initiation of the goldstone report by the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which wields great influence over the UNhrc where much of the membership belongs to the OIC.

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Also see: here & here & here & [in Italian] qui.

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