JEWISH NATIONALISM OR JUDAISM

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Not content with 78% of the former Palestine  in 1967, Israel embarked  on its original Zionist policy of taking the whole land. Originally it was hoped  that a “land for peace’ deal could be worked out and Palestine would now have its truncated state. Today this is impossible, Israel, drunk with messianic power, got carried away with its sudden victory and filled the Palestine part with “settlers”, now totalling 700,000.

Norman Finkelstein wrote below in Beyond Chutzpah

The Zionist denial of Palestinians’ rights, culminating in their expulsion, hardly sprang from an unavoidable accident. It resulted from the systematic and conscientious implementation, over many decades and despite vehement, often violent, popular opposition, of a political ideology the goal of which was to create a demographically Jewish state in Palestine.

Stanly Cohen the American Jew (second last post)   consistently deals with the question how can a state calling itself democratic be the state of any people. Many Jews, liberal by tradition, always saw the contradictions

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Several prominent rabbis of the 40s (Reichert, Goldenson, Berger, Lazaron inter alios) were against the founding of a Jewish state “based on creed or race or indeed a Jewish nationalism” which many regarded as chauvinistic.One could easily add totally unjust. after WW ll Palestine  was 68% arab and 32 % jewish and two thirds  were not even born  there.

The American Council for Judaism has been proven prophetic. From its earliest days of 1942 it predicted “Zionist plans to foster an Israel-centred Jewish life in the United States.”

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Morris Lazaron, the learned Baltimore Reform rabbi, for instance spoke for many when to the  Nazi menace as a “blood cult, state cult, hate cult, war cult of nationalism.’ Men like  Lazaron understood what this would do to Judaism, turning a historic religion into “a brutalizing nationalism of our times. Jewish ethics  demanded “one humanity on earth  as there is one God in heaven.” On August 30, 1943, fifteen months after the 1942 Biltmore program which demanded a Jewish state in Palestine  the American Council for  Judaism’s response was printed in the NewYork Times. It stands as a brilliant riposte to the Zionist takeover of Jewish identity:

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As Americans of Jewish faith we believe implicitly in the fundamentals of democracy, rooted, as they are, in moralities that transcend race and state and endow the individual with rights for which he is answerable only to God.. . .

We oppose the effort to establish a National Jewish State in Palestine or anywhere else as a philosophy of defeatism. . . We dissent from all those related doctrines that stress the racialism, the nationalism and the theoretical homelessness of Jews. We oppose such doctrines as inimical to the welfare of Jews in Palestine, in America, or wherever Jews may dwell.. . .

. . . We look forward to the ultimate establishment of a democratic, autonomous government in Palestine, wherein Jews, Moslems, and Christians shall be justly represented; every man enjoying equal rights and sharing equal responsibilities; a democratic government in which our fellow Jews shall be free Palestinians whose religion is Judaism, even as we are Americans whose religion is Judaism.

Cohen writes

But then something happened–and this is the salesmanship of Zionism–in the circle of liberal, “progressive” Democrats surrounding the Truman White House: famous men like Judge Brandeis, or the former first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt.  Liberals!  

They pushed on behalf  of the Zionists for a Jewish state, and against the fairness doctrine that Truman wanted.  The Liberal movement in the United States helped create Israel, and in doing so, robbed the Palestinians of their homes, their villages, their farms, their cities and towns.   Always beware of the smiling, do-gooder liberals, is the lesson there. So much for the American ideal of the Establishment Clause. 

More on Cohen next time