Tuesday, July 10, 2012

551 Bankrupted Toben declares "The World is my prison"

Bankrupted Toben declares "The World is my prison"

(1) Fredrick Toben bankrupted over Holocaust Denial suit
(2) Australian Jewish News trumpets Toben's bankruptcy, surrender of
(3) Bankrupted Toben declares "The World is my prison"
(4) Judaism's Universal Values: "We don't want a Boer state"

(1) Fredrick Toben bankrupted over Holocaust Denial suit


Holocaust denier Fredrick Toben declared bankrupt in Australia

September 24, 2012

SYDNEY (JTA) -- Dr. Fredrick Toben, a Holocaust denier living in
Australia, was declared bankrupt after a claim against him by a Jewish

The Adelaide-based Toben was declared bankrupt in Federal Magistrates
Court on Monday. He has 21 days to appeal.

Toben was ordered last year to pay $175,000 in court costs to Jeremy
Jones, a former president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry,
who filed the case against him. When Toben failed to pay the court
costs, Jones lodged a bankruptcy claim against him.

Despite his financial woes, Toben said on his revisionist Adelaide
Institute website that he will "not recant and continues to denounce the
Holocaust lies." The Germany native was jailed in 2009 for contempt of a
court order banning him from publishing anti-Semitic material on his

Jones said the bankruptcy declaration was an administrative ruling.

"It has nothing to do with the legal or moral argument at all,” Jones said.

(2) Australian Jewish News trumpets Toben's bankruptcy, surrender of

Israel Shamir <adam@israelshamir.net> 19 October 2012 18:22

From: "Fredrick Toben" <toben@toben.biz>

Subject: Fredrick Toben and RDA Section 18C - hurt feelings - Date:
October 19, 2012 5:33:20 AM GMT+03:00 To: <Tony.Abbott.MP@aph.gov.au>
Cc: <ajn@jewishnews.net.au>

No mention of Toben paying court costs last year that necessitated the
selling of his modest home – all up $75,000. ==

Toben grounded


October 19, 2012


IF Adelaide man Fredrick Toben has any more plans to travel to Iran,
where he’s previously taken part in Holocaust denial campaigns, they are
likely to be thwarted, after he was declared bankrupt by a Sydney court.

The Holocaust denier did not appeal last month’s bankruptcy declaration
by the Federal Magistrates Court in Sydney by October 15, the final date
he could lodge an appeal.

Under Australian law, bankrupts are required to surrender their
passports to keep them in the country and make it easier for their
estate to be administered.

Toben, who has been jailed for Holocaust denial in Germany, visited Iran
in 2003 to give a speech denying the Holocaust and in 2006, when he took
part in a Holocaust-denial conference sponsored by the Iranian regime.

The bankruptcy declaration was made after Toben failed to cover legal
debts arising from a 2009 contempt case against him by Jeremy Jones.

Jones, as president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry at the
time, was the plaintiff in a defamation case brought against Toben for
rejecting the reality of the Holocaust and claiming Jews who were
offended by his denial possessed “limited intelligence”.

In 2002, the Federal Court found for Jones and ordered Toben to remove
offensive, anti-Semitic materials from his website. In 2009, Toben was
found guilty of contempt of court for continually uploading more of the
same content in defiance of the court order. He served a three-month
prison sentence in Adelaide.

A creditor’s petition was made against Toben’s estate for $175,618.97,
the taxed legal costs incurred by Jones during the contempt proceedings.

Toben told the court he was being victimised politically and that he had
no assets.

In being declared bankrupt, Toben follows in the footsteps of British
Holocaust denier David Irving, who was bankrupted as a result of the
costs of his ill-fated defamation claim against US Holocaust historian
Dr Deborah Lipstadt, which he launched after she described Irving’s
statements as Holocaust denial.

(3) Bankrupted Toben declares "The World is my prison"
- Peter Myers, October 21, 2012

Last night, I rang Toben at his residence in Adelaide.

I don't agree with his position on the Nazi Holocaust of the Jews, but I
oppose laws which selectively criminalize denial of such events.

Why are 6 million Jews so much more important than 6 million Ukrainians?
Or 30 million Chinese?

Why is the Red Terror initiated by Lenin and Trotsky, and defended by
them in the face of criticism by Karl Kautsky, not as fitting a subject
for memory as Hitler?

Invasions and genocides have occurred for millenia. The Jewish Bible
even boasts of a genocide of Canaanites by invading Israelites under
Joshua - a genocide supposedly ordered by God:

"So kill all the male children. Kill also all the women who have slept
with a man. Spare the lives only of the young girls who have not slept
with a man, and take them for yourselves" (Numbers 31: 7-19)

"The LORD your God will clear away these nations before you ... the LORD
your God will give them over to you, ... until they are destroyed. ...
you shall blot out their name from under heaven; no one will be able to
stand against you, until you have destroyed them. (Deuteronomy 7:22-4)

"the LORD our God gave him over to us; and we struck him down, along
with all his offspring and all his people. At the time we captured all
his towns, and in each town we utterly destroyed men, women, and
children. We left not a single survivor. ..." (Deuteronomy 2:33-35).

More gory details at Joshua ch 6. Look all these verses up at

Archaeologists who have excavated these ancient towns, looking for
evidence of the invasion, report that it did not happen: Biblical
writers just made up the story, passing it off as "the Word of God". The
Bible is not History, but Polemics.

The Greeks and the Hebrews of 1000 BC were part of the same cultural
milieu in the Eastern Mediterranean. The Greeks produced Homer; the Jews
produced the Bible. The Bible castigates "Pagan" (Goy, non-Jewish)
culture for its human-like gods, claiming the high ground with its more
abstract God. (That God nevertheless retains traces of his
anthropomorphic past, including having had a wife, Asherah - as
Francesca Stavrakopoulou has shown). But the great sin of the Jewish
world was to attribute their own writings to that God, giving them a
false authority, and misleading hundreds of millions of people with such

Israel's treatment of the Palestinians is deemed a Genocide in some
quarters. It has initiated wars against its Arab and Islamic neighbours,
and incited the US to invade them too; it is no less warlike than Nazi

Whereas Irving and Toben were bankrupted by the Lobby, Norman
Finkelstein was forced out of his university job in part because his
book The Holocaust Industry enraged the Lobby.

Toben told me, "the World is my Prison".

His bank account has been frozen, and he's not sure how he'll be able to
receive his Old Age Pension payments.

In 2008, Toben's removal from a plane at Heathrow airport, while in
transit to Australia, was front-page news. But his bankruptcy in 2012,
initiated by the same hostile forces, has been totally ignored by the
media - except for Jewish newspapers celebrating his demise.

Nevertheless, his spirit undaunted, he still claims the moral high
ground: whereas he himself is "financially bankrupt", his enemies are
"emotionally and intellectually bankrupt".

(4) Judaism's Universal Values: "We don't want a Boer state"


The true crisis of Zionism: silent majority of US Jews have never
supported it

by Allan C. Brownfeld on September 21, 2012

This review of Peter Beinart's book The Crisis of Zionism is to appear
in the next issue of the journal of the American Council for Judaism.
Author Allan Brownfeld allowed us to post it ahead of publication.

There can be little doubt that the philosophy of Zionism----Jewish
nationalism----is in retreat among American Jews. Zionism holds that
Judaism is not a religion of universal values, but an ethnicity. It
believes that Israel is the "homeland" of all Jews and that those living
outside of Israel are in "exile.". Zionists urge emigration to Israel,
"aliyah," as the highest Jewish value.

Most American Jews, quite to the contrary, believe that Judaism is a
religion, not a nationality. They believe that they are American by
nationality and Jews by religion, just as other Americans are
Protestant, Catholic or Muslim. While they wish Israel well, they do not
believe that it is their "homeland.". They believe themselves to be
fully at home in America. This is nothing new. As early as 1841, at the
dedication ceremony of Temple Beth Elohim in Charleston, South Carolina,
Rabbi Gustav Poznanski declared: "This country is our Palestine, this
city our Jerusalem, this house of God our temple."

In the years since the end of World War II, in the wake of the
Holocaust, many American Jews had a brief flirtation with the Zionist
idea. Even the Union for Reform Judaism declared that, somehow,
"Israel," rather than God was "central" to their religion. More
recently, however, we see that identification with Israel is declining
among American Jews, particularly young people.

"Israel Is Out"

Writing in the Israeli newspaper HAARETZ (June 26, 2012), Rabbi Eric
Yoffie, formerly the leader of the Union for Reform Judaism, noted that,
"I spoke a few weeks ago with someone who works with American Jewish
organizations in planning programs for their meetings and conventions.
'Israel is out,' he told me. The demand for speakers about Israel or
from Israel has dropped dramatically over the last decade. American Jews
are simply interested in other things."

In a widely discussed book, "The Crisis of Zionism," Peter Beinart, a
prominent liberal, former editor of THE NEW REPUBLIC, Orthodox Jew and
self-declared Zionist, argues that Zionism has turned its back on what
he believes are its own ideals.

Beinart laments that the American Jewish organizational establishment
promotes "victimhood" while wielding power and that the State of Israel
does much the same thing. "Perpetual victimhood," he writes, "is not a
narrative that can answer the two great Jewish challenges of our age:
how to sustain Judaism in America, a country that makes it easy for Jews
to stop being Jews, and how to sustain democracy in Israel, a country
that for two thirds of its existence has held the West Bank, a territory
where it's democratic ideals do not apply."

Mythical Israel

The Israel which young American Jews observe is quite different, in
Beinart's view, from the mythical Israel embraced by their parents: "For
44 years, twice a college student's life span, they have seen Israel
control territory in which millions of Palestinians lack citizenship.
And since the 1980s, they have seen Israel fight wars not against Arab
armies, but against terrorists nestled amid a stateless and thus largely
defensive Palestinian population. Thus, they are more conscious than
their parents of the degree to which Israeli behavior violates
democratic ideals and less willing to grant Israel an exemption because
it stands on the brink of destruction."

What is needed, Beinart argues, is "...a new American Jewish story,
built around this basic truth: We are not today"s permanent victims. In
a dizzying shift of fortune, many of our greatest challenges today stem
not from weakness but from power. If non-Orthodox American Jewish life
withers in the coming generation, it will be less because gentiles
persecute Jews than because they marry them. And if Israel ceases being
a democratic Jewish state, it is less likely to be because Arab armies
invade the West Bank than because Israel permanently occupies it."

Jewish tradition, Beinart believes, offers no simple lessons for how to
wield power, and the lessons it does teach can sometimes be hard for
modern liberals to stomach: "...it is striking that when describing the
previous two times that Jewish sovereignty failed----the Kingdom of
Judah's destruction by the Babylonian empire around 586 BCE and the
Hasmonean dynasty's destruction by the Romans more than 500 years
later----our tradition insists that physical collapse was preceded by
ethical collapse. Again and again, Jewish texts connect the Jewish right
to sovereignty in the land of Israel to Jewish behavior in the land of
Israel. In the words of Jeremiah, 'If ye oppress not the stranger, the
fatherless and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place,
neither walk after other gods to your hurt: Then will I cause you to
dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever
and ever.'"

Even Zionism's primary architect, Theodor Herzl, was concerned about how
the experiment he promoted would evolve. In his book "Altneuland"
(Old-New Land), the book's hero, presidential candidate David Littwak,
admits, "There are other views among us.". The foremost proponent is
Rabbi Geyer, who seeks to strip non-Jews of the vote. Herzl modeled
Geyer on an anti-Semitic demagogue in his native Austria, thus raising
the specter that once Jews enjoyed power, they might persecute others in
the same way they were persecuted. The novel ends with the campaign
between Littwak's party and Geyer's. "You must hold fast to the things
that have made us great: to liberality, tolerance and love of mankind,"
one of Littwak's supporters tells a crowd. "Only then is Zion truly
Zion.". In his final words, the outgoing president declares: "Let the
stranger be at home among us.". After a fierce contest, Littwak's party
wins. Geyer leaves the country, and in the novel's epilogue, Herzl
implores readers to make his Zionist dream come true.

"As a vision of the Zionist future," writes Beinart, "'Altneuland' has
its problems. While Herzl believed deeply in equality for individual
Arabs, he could not imagine an Arab national movement demanding a state
in Palestine of its own. (His rival, the cultural Zionist Ahad Ha-am,
knew better, insisting that, 'This land is also their national
home...and they have the right to develop their national potential to
the best of their ability.')...'We don't want a Boer state,' wrote Herzl
in his diary, expressing revulsion at racist Afrikaner nationalism. 'But
a Venice!'"

Treatment Of Indigenous Arabs

The indigenous Arab population of Palestine has, Beinart notes, not been
treated in the humane manner advocated by either Herzl or Ahad Ha-am. In
the 1948 war, he points out, Zionist forces committed abuses so terrible
that David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister, declared himself
"shocked by the deeds that have reached my ears.". In the town of Jish,
in the Galilee, Israeli soldiers pillaged Arab houses, and when the
residents protested, took them to a remote location and shot them dead.
Similar atrocities occurred with some frequency.

"During the war," writes Beinart, "roughly 700,000 Arabs left Palestine
and irrespective of whether most left their homes voluntarily or were
forced out, Israel refused to let them return...A year after it
eliminated its most flagrant discrimination against its own Arab
citizens, Israel made itself master of millions of Palestinian Arabs who
enjoyed no citizenship at all. Suddenly, Rabbi Geyer had a kingdom of
his own."

Beinart laments the treatment of non-Jewish residents of Israel. The Or
Commission, tasked by the Israeli government with investigating the
conditions for Arab Israelis in 2003 , found that, "Government handling
of the Arab sector has been primarily neglectful and discriminatory.".
This is especially true, Beinart shows, when it comes to social
services. in part, because of restrictions on Arab access to Israeli
public land, Arab citizens today own less than 4 per cent of Israel's
land even though they constitute almost 20 per cent of its population. A
2010 study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
found that Israel spends one third more per Jewish Israeli student than
per Arab Israeli student.

Beyond this, Beinart declares, "Israel's flag features a Jewish star,
its national anthem speaks of 'the Jewish soul,' and its immigration
policy grants Jews, and only Jews, instant citizenship."

Israel's Theocracy

Israel's theocracy is something not envisioned by Herzl: "As Herzl makes
clear...there is nothing in the Zionist project that requires Israel to
cede control over marriage to clerics, thus forcing Jews who marry in
Israel to be married by a rabbi and Christians or Muslims to be married
by a minister or imam. Instituting civil marriage, and thus giving Arabs
and Jews the right to marry inside Israel across religious lines, would
not only mean greater liberty for Israel's Arab citizens but for its
Jewish ones as well....For the past 44 years, on the very land on which
Palestinians might establish their state----the state that could help
fulfill the liberal Zionist dream----latter-day Rabbj Geyers, secular
and religious alike, have forged an illiberal Zionism that threatens to
destroy it."

Much space is devoted by Beinart to the growth of racism in Israel and
the manner in which American Jewish leaders ignore it. He laments that,
"As painful as it is for Jews to admit that race hatred can take root
among a people that has suffered so profoundly from it, the ground truth
is this: occupying another people requires racism, and breeds it."

The polling on Israeli Jewish attitudes toward Arabs is, Beinart
declares, "shocking.". Seventy per cent of Jewish Israelis, according to
a poll by the Israel Democracy Institute, oppose appointing Arab
Israelis to cabinet posts. A survey by the Friedric Ebert Foundation
found that 49 per cent of Jewish Israelis aged 21 to 24 would not
befriend an Arab. (Among Arab Israelis of the same age, 19 per cent said
they would not befriend a Jew). Fifty six per cent of Jewish Israeli
high school students, according to a survey by Tel Aviv University's
School of Education, do not believe that Arab citizens should be allowed
to run for the Knesset. And a poll by the Truman Institute at the Hebrew
University reported that 44 per cent of Jewish Israelis believe that
Jews should avoid renting apartments to Arabs.

Extreme Racism

The extreme racism of Rabbi Meir Kahane has, Beinart shows, become
respectable in contemporary Israel. "In 1988, after Meir Kahane
advocated the forced 'transfer' of Israel's Arab citizens from the
country," he writes, "his party was banned. In 2010, in a speech before
the United Nations, Israel's foreign minister, the former Kahane
disciple Avigdor Lieberman, proposed 'right-sizing the state' by 'moving
borders to better reflect demographic realities.'. In other words,
redrawing Israel's border so as to exile hundreds of thousands of its
Arab citizens against their will. When asked about his foreign
minister's proposal, Benjamin Netanyahu said Lieberman's speech had not
been coordinated with him, but did not disavow its substance."

Beinart shows that opinions which were once considered dangerous enough
to ban political parties advocating them, have now become mainstream.
"Population transfer," warns liberal Knesset member Dov Khenin, "has
turned from a nightmare into an operational plan.". In 2009, Daniel
Gordis, senior vice president of the Shalem Center, an Israeli think
tank with close ties to the Netanyahu government, declared that while on
the surface there are almost innumerable reasons to denounce
transfer...the picture is not nearly so one sided as it is often
portrayed...population transfers do not need to be catastrophic for
those moved'...A 2010 poll by the Israel Democracy Institute found that
53 per cent of Jewish Israelis want their government to encourage
Israel's Arab citizens to leave...The Israelis most committed to liberal
democracy see Herzl's dream slipping away. And here in the U.S. the most
powerful leaders of the Jewish establishment insist on seeing almost
nothing at all."

Jewish Power

At the core of the problem, according to Beinart, is "the refusal to
accept that both in America and Israel we live in an age not of Jewish
weakness, but of Jewish power and that without moral vigilance, Jews
will abuse power just as hideously as anyone else...By discussing power
only as a means of survival, the American Jewish establishment
implicitly denies that Jews can use power for anything but survival.
They deny that Jews, like all human beings, can use power not merely to
survive but to destroy. A few years ago, a journalist reported that
Malcolm Hoenlein, the influential executive vice president of the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, had a
photo in his conference room of Israeli F-15s flying over Auschwitz. It
is a photo of fantasy, Israeli jets never bombed Auschwitz and never
will. What they have bombed, in recent years, is the Gaza Strip, a
fenced-in, hideously overcrowded, desperately poor slum from which
terrorist groups sometimes shell Israel. Hoenlein, in other words, has
decorated his conference room not with an image of the reality that he
helps perpetuate, but with an image of the fantasy he superimposes on
that reality. In this way, he embodies the American Jewish
establishment, which, by superimposing the Jewish past on the Jewish
present, is failing the challenge of a new age."

In the aftermath of the Six Day War, Beinart declares, "American Jewish
liberalism and organized American Zionism began drifting apart...When
Israel won a shocking, lightning victory, American Zionism hit fever pitch."

Redefining Anti-Semitism

As Israel's treatment of its Arab citizens and the inhabitants of the
occupied West Bank drew criticism, what the American Jewish
establishment did, Beinart explains, was to redefine anti-Semitism:
"American Jewish leaders hit upon an explanation: the world was turning
against Jews because it no longer saw them as victims. In 1974, Benjamin
Epstein, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL),
co-authored 'The New Anti-Semitism,' a book whose argument proved so
influential that in 1982 his successor, Nathan Perlmutter, echoed it in
a book entitled 'The Real Anti-Semitism In America.'. Epstein's argument
was that for a period after World War II guilt over the Holocaust kept
anti-Semitism at bay. But with memories of the Holocaust fading,
anti-Semitism had returned, largely in the form of hostility to Israel,
because Israel represented Jewish power. 'Jews are tolerable, acceptable
in their particularity, only as victims,' wrote Epstein and his ADL
colleague Arnold Forster, 'and when their situation changes, so that
they are either no longer victims, or appear not to be, the non-Jewish
world finds this so hard to take that the effort is begun to render them
victims anew.'"

Thus, at the very moment that Israel's occupation of the West Bank and
Gaza Strip made it essential for American Jews to confront the ethical
challenges of Jewish power, American Jewish leaders began insisting that
to even acknowledge the misuse of Jewish power was to deny Jewish
victimhood and thus victimize Jews anew.

"The argument caught on in the 1970s," notes Beinart, "victimhood
especially as a strategy for defending Israel, supplanted liberalism as
the defining ideology of organized American Jewish life."

Use Of Holocaust

The use of the Holocaust as an argument against criticism of Israel
slowly evolved. In 1960, when Israel arrested and tried Adolf Eichmann,
the ADL insisted that the trial was "not a case of special pleading for
Jews because what happened to the Jews of Europe...can very well happen
to other peoples.". But in the 1970s, writes Beinart, "American Jewish
organizations began hoarding the Holocaust, reselling it as a story of
the world's eternal hatred of Jews, linking it to criticism of Israel.
In 1973, the ADL embarked on a 'new international mission' to combat
'Arab anti-Israel propaganda,' and four years later created a Center for
Holocaust Studies. In 1980, the ADL's Oscar Cohen advised the National
Conference of Christians and Jews to link its Holocaust programming 'to
Israel and the dangers which confront it.' The following year, as part
of its bid to prevent the Reagan administration from selling AWACS
surveillance planes to Saudi Arabia, AIPAC sent a copy of the novel
'Holocaust' to every member of Congress."

Peter Beinart's assessment of American Jewish organizational life is
harshly critical. When it comes to Israel, he writes, there are today
two kinds of mainstream American Jewish organizations: "Those whose
tolerance for the occupation is warping their historic commitment to
democratic ideals and those with no commitment to democratic ideals at
all. The ADL has created a widely praised curriculum aimed at fostering
awareness of genocide. But in 2007, the organization refused to back a
congressional resolution declaring that Turkey had committed genocide
against the Armenians---a decision the ADL's own New England regional
director called 'morally indefensible'...for fear doing so would
undermine relations between Turkey and Israel. Abe Foxman has eloquently
condemned anti-Muslim bigotry. But in 2010, when that bigotry ran wild
during the debate over a plan to build a Muslim community center near
the site of the World Trade Center, he concluded that the religious
freedom of Muslims must bow to the sensitivities of anti-Muslim bigots."

Don't Criticize Israel

American Jews should not criticize Israel, states the ADL's Foxman,
because they do not live there and "do not bear the consequences of
their opinions.". This, Beinart points out, is "a reticence that only
applies to one side. If American Jews don't live in Tel Aviv or Sderot,
neither do they live in Ramallah or Gaza City. Yet American Jewish
groups constantly demand that Palestinian leaders change their policies,
even though American Jews would not endure the consequences of those
policy shifts either. In fact, American Jewish leaders have spent recent
decades criticizing government policy in a bevy of countries where
American Jews do not live, from the former Soviet Union to Syria to
Iran. If taken seriously, the claim that American Jews must live in a
country in order to publicly criticize it, this would eliminate all
public moral judgment of politics outside the U.S."

In 2009, an ADL ad in THE NEW YORK TIMES declared that "settlements are
not an impediment to peace.". Beinart reports that, "The ADL did not
even acknowledge that in 2002 and again in 2009, the Arab
League----representing every Arab government----declared that it would
recognize Israel if Israel withdrew to the 1967 lines and reached a
'just' and 'agreed upon' settlement of the Palestinian refugee issue.
Not only did the ADL not mention the Arab League offer in its ad, it
doesn't mention it in the 89 page 'Guide for Activists' it issued in
2010...In 2009 (American Jewish groups) condemned the White House's
decision to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Mary Robinson,
the first female president of Ireland because she had criticized Israeli
policies in the West Bank and Gaza...What neither AIPAC nor the ADL
mentioned was that Robinson had helped expunge the language about racial
discrimination from the Durban Conference's final report thus angering
Syria and Iran. Nor did they mention that after discovering that an Arab
nongovernmental organization at the parallel NGO forum across the street
was displaying anti-Semitic cartoons, Robinson offered an impassioned
public denunciation of anti-Semitism, declaring, 'When I see something
like this, I am a Jew.'. For these reasons, and others, seven Israeli
rights groups issued a joint statement in Robinson's defense. But in
their attacks on her, AIPAC and the ADL didn't mention that either."

Critics Labeled "Anti-Semitic"

All too often, anyone who criticizes Israel is labeled "anti-Semitic" by
American Jewish organizations. Beinart declares that, "The claim that
Andrew Sullivan, Bill Moyers, Jimmy Carter and the leaders of Amnesty
International are anti-Semitic is absurd. After all, if they really
hated Jews, wouldn't they express their hatred in some other form than
criticism of Israeli policy? But for prominent American Jewish leaders,
any harsh criticism of Israel that is not accompanied by equally harsh
criticism of other countries constitutes anti-Semitism."

As Abraham Foxman puts it, "Most of the current attacks on Israel and
Zionism are not, at bottom, about the policies and conduct of a
particular nation-state. They are about Jews...When other countries and
people pursue policies that are similar (or far worse than) those of
Israel, do the critics condemn them? If so, do they condemn them with
the same fervor as they condemn Israel? If not, it's hard to deny that
anti-Semitism explains the discrepancy."

To this argument, Beinart provides his own assessment: "A Jew might do
so because he simply cares more about Israel than about other countries.
Take, for example, me. If Egypt fails to become a democracy, I will
consider it unfortunate. If Israel ceases to be a democracy, I will
consider it one of the great tragedies of my life. Foxman never
contemplates that disproportionate criticism of Israel's policies might
reflect a disproportionate attachment to Israel itself. An American
might pay more attention to Israel's misdeeds because the U.S., as
Israel's foremost benefactor, is so deeply implicated in them....There
is still anti-Semitism in the world and it should never be
tolerated...But in their effort to inoculate Israeli policy from
criticism, American Jewish organizations have stretched anti-Semitism's
definition to the point of absurdity."

"Moral Promiscuity"

The attempt to silence Israel's critics as anti-Semitic, Beinart
charges, is a form of "moral promiscuity" which "constitutes terrible
abuse of the authority that Jewish leaders enjoy as a result of the
history of Jewish suffering. It constitutes a kind of desecration,
analogous to taking a sacred object and putting it to profane use. But
most of all, it represents an unwillingness to accept that the world has
changed, that although Israel still faces threats and anti-Semitism
still exists, Jews today wield power, both in Israel and the U.S. With
power comes the temptation to abuse it, and using the charge of
anti-Semitism to shield Israel from criticism is the best way that
Israel does exactly that."

The philosophy which dominates the thinking of Israel's current
leadership, in particular Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is that of
Revisionist Zionism which, Beinart believes, turns its back on Judaism's
humane and prophetic tradition. Revisionism's leader, Vladimir
Jabotinsky, writes Beinart, did not like the Jewish belief "that they
carried a moral message to the world. In his telling, the story of
Jewish history went roughly like this: Once upon a time, when they still
lived on their land, the Jews had been warriors, renowned for their
fierce resistance to the empires of the day...The problem began,
according to Jabotinsky and the Revisionists, with the prophets. Abba
Achimeir, one of Jabotinsky's most militant disciples, was particularly
hostile to Isaiah, who challenged the Judean kings to 'seek justice,
relieve the oppressed.'. The Revisionists...often scorned those passages
suggesting that Jews were tasked with a special ethical mission. 'The
Bible says 'thou shalt not oppress a stranger for ye know the heart of
the stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt,' wrote
Jabotinsky in 1910. 'Contemporary morality has no place for such
childish humanism.'"

Benjamin Netanyahu inherited his Revisionist philosophy from his father.
In 1939, Jabotinsky cabled the 36 year old former editor of a
Revisionist newspaper in Palestine, Benzion Netanyahu, and summoned him
to New York. Netanyahu complied and, until Jabotinsky's death the
following year, worked as his private secretary. Beinart writes that,
"Jabotinsky's influence permeates Netanyahu's writing. First, the
yearning to recover the lost glory of Jewish militarism. 'The prowess of
Jewish youth in Palestine should serve as a warning that the blood of
the old warrior race is still alive in the Jewish people,' exulted an
unsigned ZIONEWS editorial during the time Netanyahu served as editor."

Examples Of Racism

Benzion Netanyahu's writings are filled with examples of "racism,"
Beinart shows: "In an essay in 1943, he called Arabs 'a semi-barbaric
people, which lacks any democratic traditions and is fired by religious
fanaticism and hatred for the stranger.'. Later, during Netanyahu's
editorship, an unsigned editorial in ZIONEWS described the Arabs as
'Ishmael, the wild man of the desert.'. Netanyahu conjured the same
image 66 years later, when asked by MAARIV why he didn't like Arabs.
'The Bible finds no worse image than this of the man from the desert,'
the old man replied. 'And why? Because he has no respect for any law.
Because in the desert he can do as he pleases. The tendency toward
conflict is the essence of the Arab. He is an enemy by essence. His
personality won't allow him any compromise or agreement... His existence
is one of perpetual war.'"

For Benjamin Netanyahu, Beinart notes, "It is always 1938. After Prime
Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres signed the Oslo
Accords in 1993, Netanyahu called Peres 'worse than Chamberlain.'. In 'A
Durable Peace,' Benjamin Netanyahu repeatedly compares the West Bank to
the Sudetenland, which the Nazis cleaved from Czechoslavakia en route to
overrunning the entire country. Dismantling Jewish settlements, he
argues, would mean a 'Judenrein' West Bank and a 'ghetto-state' within
Israel's 1967 borders. If it is 1938, then Jews have no moral
responsibility except to survive.... One of the most remarkable features
of 'A Durable Peace' is Netanyahu's tendency to approvingly quote
imperialists expressing racist views of Arabs. He quotes Winston
Churchill as saying, 'Left to themselves, the Arabs of Palestine would
not in a thousand years have taken effective steps toward the irrigation
and electrification of Palestine.'. He cites Col. Richard Meinertzhagen,
Britain's chief political officer in Palestine after World War I, as
opining, 'The Arab is a poor fighter, though an adept at lootings,
sabotage and murder.'"

Sadly, in Beinart's view, "American Jewish politics remains dominated by
an establishment that defines support for Israel more as support for the
policies of the Israeli government than as support for the principles in
Israel's declaration of independence. But the American Jewish
establishment is dying, literally. The typical large American Jewish
organization is run by a man in his sixties, who when he meets his large
donors, is among the youngest people in the room...All have built their
careers on stories of Jewish victimhood and survival. None accept that
we live in a new era in Jewish history, in which our challenges stem
less from weakness than from power...Young American Jews are far less
likely to build their identity around victimhood...For the most part,
young Jews are not redefining American Zionism. They are abandoning
American Zionism."

Larger Orthodox Role

Beinart fears that the Orthodox will come to play an ever larger role in
American Jewish organizational life as others drift away from the
Israel-centered policies of Jewish groups. "There is ample evidence," he
writes, that Orthodox institutions "indulge" in "bigotry," even "when it
incites violence. The Orthodox Union is arguably the preeminent Modern
Orthodox organization in the U.S. In June 2010, its representative in
Israel posted an essay on its website entitled 'Reflections On a True
Gadol (great person),' which lovingly eulogized the late Israeli chief
rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu. Left unmentioned was Eliyahu's ruling that
since God gave Jews the entire land of Israel, settlers have the right
to steal Palestinian crops. Eliyahu, a close associate of Meir Kahane,
also declared, 'A thousand Arabs are not worth one yeshiva student.'
When a tsunami struck Southeast Asia in 2004, he said God was punishing
Asian governments for supporting Ariel Sharon's proposed evacuation of
settlements in Gaza. None of these statements received even a pro forma
condemnation from the Orthodox Union official, who praised Eliyahu's
'love and care toward every other Jew in the world,' without so much as
acknowledging his respect for----indeed, hatred of-----those non-Jews
who live under Israel's domain."

The embrace of racism and extremism within the Orthodox Jewish community
in the U.S. is described by Beinart in some detail. In 2007, the Israel
Day Concert in Central Park, an event cosponsored by the National
Council of Young Israel, featured as its keynote speaker retired Israeli
general Effie Eitam, who the year before had publicly proposed
disenfranchising Israel's Arab citizens and physically expelling most
Palestinians from the West Bank. He extolled the settlement's yeshiva,
which he called 'a beautiful center of Torah and Tefillah (prayer)' and
praised its leader, Rabbj Yitzhak Shapira, for teaching 'students for
many years that every Jew must be mutually responsible for every other
Jew.'. He neglected to mention that Shapira is at the epicenter of the
'price tag' policy in which settlers respond to Israeli government
restraints on settlement growth by terrorizing their Palestinian
neighbors. Nor did he mention that Shapira, in a 2009 book...declared it
religiously permissible to kill gentile children because 'of the future
danger that will arise if they are allowed to grow into evil people like
their parents'...American Orthodox officials proved brazenly indifferent
to Israel's commitments to all of its people, Jewish and non-Jewish alike."

Toxic Currents

In what Beinart calls the "Orthodox global village" created by modern
communications and transportation, these toxic currents are imported to
the U.S. and then reexported back to Israel. Thus, in 1994, after
Brooklyn-born settler Baruch Goldstein, a follower of Meir Kahane,
massacred 29 Palestinian worshippers in Hebron, he became a hero among a
radical fringe of Israeli settlers. A year later, after extremist
Orthodox rabbis in Israel and the U.S. speculated that Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin might be a traitor to the Jewish people punishable by
death under Jewish law for his willingness to cede parts of the West
Bank to the Palestinians, a National Religious Israeli, Yigal Amir, took
Rabin's life. More recently, Rabbi Herschel Schachter of Yeshiva
University was caught on video in 2008 advising yeshiva students in
Jerusalem: "If the army is going to give away Yerushalayim (Jerusalem),
then I would tell everyone to resign from the army---I'd tell them to
shoot the ross hamemshala (prime minister)."

Beinart writes that, "It is no coincidence that Schachter, in addition
to musing about shooting the prime minister...has in recent years said
that 'the neshama (soul) of the Jew and the neshama of the non-Jew are
made of different material' and that God 'forbids us to display any
interest in any other religion...We may not study works of or about any
other religion, watch films about them, or study any pieces of religious
art.'...If the illiberal Zionism of young Orthodox Jews seems
increasingly likely to define organized American Jewry in the coming
years, it is partly because so many other young American Jews feel so
little Zionist attachment at all...These young Jews are building a
vibrant American Judaism that averts its gaze from the Jewish
state...They do not see engagement with Israeli politics as a path to
spiritual or moral fulfillment, and they are finding fulfillment in
other ways."

Path To Peace

The path to Middle East peace, Beinart points out, has long been clear:
"...the Palestinians abandon their claim to the 78 per cent of mandatory
Palestine inside the green line in return for a state on the 22 per cent
that constitutes the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with minor
adjustments. It is a bargain that would have made most of Israel's
founders-----who in 1947 accepted a partition plan that gave Israel a
mere 55 per cent of the land----cry with joy. Yet the organized American
Jewish community pretends that Israel can continually transgress that
bargain without bringing the entire two state paradigm crashing down
and, with it, Israel's existence as a democratic Jewish state...The less
democratic Israel becomes, the less liberal-minded American Jews will
support it..."

In "The Kuzari," written around 1140, the medieval Jewish philosopher
Judah Halevi imagined a dialogue between a rabbi and a pagan king. At
one point, the rabbi extols the morality of the Jews. Unlike the
Christian world----which according to Jewish tradition is called Edom
(red) because it is soaked with blood----the Jews, he declares, have
held themselves to a higher standard. But the king is unconvinced.
Jewish morality, he insists, is merely the byproduct of Jewish weakness.
"If you had the power," he responds, "you would slay."

Peter Beinart concludes that, "In Israel, we have the answer to the
king. We can finally know whether the ethical traditions that so often
made diaspora Jews the conscience of their nations can survive...Since
1967, Israel has taken a grave turn away from that principle...Israel is
a great test of Judaism in our time..."

Emperor Is Naked

Peter Beinart has written an important book and has been excoriated for
it by most of the organized American Jewish community. He is guilty, it
seems, of reporting that the emperor, rather than wearing new clothes,
is naked. By embracing an "Israel, right or wrong" philosophy, American
Jewish leaders-----who,in fact, represent no one but themselves----have
turned their backs on Judaism's universal moral and ethical values.

Still, Beinart is animated by a belief in his own kind of Zionism,
believing that Jews are an ethnic group rather than adherents to a
religion of universal values----at home in New York or London or Paris
as well as in Jerusalem----and he seems to maintain that Israel is,
indeed, the Jewish "homeland.". He believes that the original Zionists
were believers in genuine democracy and that the current state of Israel
has departed from their idealism.

Beinart has not properly confronted a contrary thesis-------for which
there is abundant evidence-----that Zionism was flawed from the
beginning, not only ignoring the indigenous population of Palestine, but
rejecting the dominant spiritual history and essence of Judaism.

Heated Debate

This book has opened a heated debate about the real nature of Zionism
and its effect upon American Jewish life. It is good that Zionism's
excesses are being challenged, but these excesses, in reality, were
inherent in the Zionist idea itself, an idea which a silent majority of
American Jews have always rejected.

Allan C. Brownfeld is a nationally syndicated columnist and serves as
Associate Editor of THE LINCOLN REVIEW and editor of ISSUES. The author
of five books, he has served on the staff of the U.S. Senate, House of
Representatives and the Office of the Vice President.

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