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The Problem With OWS’ Palestine Association

Parts of the movement will likely discredit the whole

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Occupiers at Zuccotti Park yesterday.(Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

Elements that claim to stand with Occupy Wall Street—and that Occupy Wall Street couldn’t disclaim even if it wanted to—are turning the movement toward adopting an anti-Israel cause for its own. For those of us, like me, who have been broadly sympathetic to the movement for months, and who have repeatedly defended it from ludicrous charges of anti-Semitism, it’s disheartening because it lessens how much we can support it, and because we know all the good that it stands for will, to many people, simply now be ignored, lost amid the symbolism of, say, the Boston occupation, which marched to the Israeli consulate last Friday in solidarity with the latest flotilla, or of blogs declaring that Oakland, whose occupation was the site of ghastly police repression last month, represents the same cause as Palestine.

Conservative writer Ira Stoll revised his unexpectedly lukewarm take on OWS following the Boston march. “The whole event illustrates the way the Occupy movement has become a forum for people to air whatever pre-existing grievance or agenda they have, even if it has nothing to do with Wall Street,” he argues. True. He adds: “And how readily a protest against bankers can elide into one against the Jewish state.” That’s nuts, and he knows it. He has just finished saying that OWS’ problem is that hangers-on can hijack it. He knows the movement is of the left, and specifically, to an extent, of the organized hard-left; he knows that the organized hard-left is staunchly pro-Palestinian; obviously, the organized hard-left is taking it in that direction because of its preconceived beliefs about the Mideast. To suggest the turn is connected to a protest against bankers—which is to say, to suggest that the turn is fundamentally anti-Semitic—is disingenous. As for Jonathan S. Tobin’s fearful panting that “Liberals who make common cause with OWS are making a deal with an anti-Semitic and radical devil,” if he ever looked at these people, he’d know how crazily hysterical he is being.

And yet can I say, as I could a month ago, that he is being not only hysterical but inaccurate? Yesterday, a “Jewish call to action” was released, to “occupy the occupiers” in the Jewish community, “the powerful institutions that support Israel’s corporate-backed military control of the Palestinian people.” Leaving aside that such a specific stand is against Occupy Wall Street’s “no-demands” mission—which I heard a member of the Demands Group staunchly defend at a panel on the movement last night in New York—who are these powerful institutions? They include “AIPAC, the Jewish Federations, Birthright, the Jewish National Fund, Hillel.” (Hilariously, it doesn’t include those anti-colonialists at J Street.) These groups “actively obstruct human rights for Palestinians”? Hillel? It was necessary to “occupy” a small Birthright event in New York last night? They think the Jewish 99 percent opposes Federation?

It’s not to say these institutions couldn’t be reformed; the case against Birthright, for example, is real, even if it’s far more complex than the “99 percent” rhetoric allows. But tethering this cause to OWS drowns out the economic message, significantly decreases the size of the OWS tent, and maybe most importantly of all discredits the entire movement in the minds not just of the right but of plenty ordinary decent folk—members of the actual 99 percent.

Occupy Boston Occupies Israeli Consulate [Future of Capitalism]
Occupy the Occupiers: A Jewish Call to Action [Mondoweiss]
Related: One Percent [Tablet Magazine]
Preoccupied [Tablet Magazine]

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OWS was built on hatred from the beginning.

The fiction of 99% was just that, a fiction used to justify hate by saying that the hatred was just towards 1%.

And in fact, OWS was primarily, as Tracy was willing to admit, “the movement (is) of the left, and specifically, to an extent, of the organized hard-left” – which is not 99%, and which is often motivated by hatred of those who do not ideologically agree with them.

Anti-Semitism and anti-Israel is a major part of the extreme left agenda. So now, what was always there is coming out – and those who denied it, such as Tracy, are being forced to admit it, though they blame it on all sorts of circumstances.

Is it so hard to face reality? The left (and not just the far left) is becoming more and more anti-Israel. It was enough to see the wall to wall condemnation from left commentators of Israel for finally responding to 8000 missiles in Operation Cast Lead to see the truth. Israel (and Jews as a whole) is OK when it is a victim, but when it defends itself as any other country would it is an aggressive war monger.

Sadly enough, these “elements” probably incluse a large contigent of self-hating Jews.

OWS most closely resembles the movement which began in Israel this summer despite the many, many references to Arab Spring. And the Israeli government response was also the most sympathetic to the protesters promising a serious examination of the issues and action.

Tracy still doesn’t get it even with the truth staring at him. The left, especially the hard left, isn’t pro-Palestinian. They don’t give a rat’s behind about the Palestinians. If they did, they would do something about the conditions of the Palestinians who can’t work or own property in Lebanon, who had their homes shelled and were murdered in Syria, who can’t become citizens of any Arab country.

If they cared about the Palestinians they would work to protect Palestinians tortured and murdered by Hamas… and Fatah. They would worry about the lack of press freedoms and religious freedoms in Gaza… and the West Bank.

The hard left hates Israel and it hates Jews. It is antisemitic and since it organized and promoted OWS, OWS had no chance to be anything but antisemitic.

In fact it may be hatred of Israel and Jews that animates the hard left more than almost anything else. One of the Jew haters in the town where I live has actually argued that it is Israeli’s existence, and the support Jews give to Israel, that prevents world peace.

I suspect much of the hard left holds this view. Israel and Jews are to blame for all the world’s problems. That is classic antisemitism at its finest, yet Tracy prefers to ignore the reality.

elliot cohen says:

The crackdown by the Oakland Police Department was not “ghastly”. They behaved exactly as police behave when ordered by the elected authorities to enforce the law.

Hasan Bhatti says:

I think you misunderstand the intention completely. We, the people who are critical of Birthright, of JCCs, of Hillel, of AIPAC are NOT anti-Israel. These organizations represent the standard of Jewish identity in the Jewish world, much like Wall Street in the US economic system. The use of the 1% within the Jewish community is not to discount the OWS cause at all, but to connect a belief that we have toward mainstream Jewish institutions to the OWS theme: that the organizations in power that claim to act on behalf of the masses overshadow the violations of liberty and justice that they must enact to do their work. How do they do this? Through subtle Jewish educational programs that center on Israeli life and struggles within their state, they gloss over their questionable actions in Palestinian territory.

Do we believe 99% is with us? No, and that’s what our statement seeks to change. Most of the 99% don’t even know that they are the 99%. Think of pre-OWS, maybe even pre-2008: a lot of people who lived day to day did not refer to themselves as the 99%. Similarly, US Jews do not refer to themselves as the 99%, but I’d be willing to bet that 99% of Jews believe in a life of peace for all. The 99% of our Jewish community is being fed similar subtle twists that Wall Street fed to the 99% of this country abt its economic practices. This leads to the unanimous wash of anyone Jewish who criticizes their brethren in Israel for violating the Jewish laws of liberty, tzedakkah and justice as anti-Israel. This article, ironically, is proof of what the institutions within the Jewish world have done to this end.

I am Jewish. I have been to the land of Israel twice, and I have developed a deep connection to the land. My Jewish identity, roots in tzedakkah, tikkun olam, and coexistence with your neighbor. You might be surprised to find, that you, Marc, and I have a lot in common. I hope we are able to exchange our views at some point so as to understand instead of judge.

Hasan, I’m glad you love Israel, but good intentions can’t excuse hateful rhetoric. You write, “Through subtle Jewish educational programs that center on Israeli life and struggles within their state, they gloss over their questionable actions in Palestinian territory.” Well, aren’t you glossing over the needs of Jewish students to have a place on campus where they don’t have to deal with the hegemony of Christian society? You want to attack the occupation — that’s great. But the problem is you’re attacking people for trying to claim their most basic rights.

Hasan Bhatti says:

@Eli: You should probably go down to a GA meeting for OWS before you talk about what they stand for and who they’re against. The OWS populace is filled with all ranks of people, from homeless to corporate lawyers. The hard left you describe are only the parts that you wish to see.

@Carl: Any country has the right to defend itself, but does every country have the right to limit a large populations’ movement? Control their water supply? Control their borders? This is what the makers of the message to the 1% of American Jewish institutions were after, not solely the difficulties and intricacies of actions during military action. Military action, itself, has its implications everywhere.

@Fred: Has the government actually turned out any action based on the tent cities in Tel Aviv yet? Yes, they were sympathetic, and I commend them for this action as it shows how committed they are for protesting, but this sympathy did not include a plan, or even an action, and still does not.

@Mike: Actually, Mike, I AM invested in those issues. Maybe I’m distinct from the “hard left” you describe, but those are the issues at hand– one of the biggest problems in the conflict is the refugee problem. All Palestinians have the right to be. My problem, as a Jew, is what Israelis are doing right now to Palestinian people, and what they’re doing is not right. Limiting movement, controlling resources, cutting villages in half leading to economic turmoil, building settlements that alter the “realities on the ground” that Bibi loves to throw around as his defense while making his requests for peace talks, controlling all borders without Palestinian consent, limiting health care+education. The list goes on. There are serious issues going on that people are not willing to criticize Israel for, and those are what I’m interested in as a Jew who is affiliated with the land.

@Eliot: I agree, though I’m also certain the law is supposed to injure or arrest its citizens enacting their rights.

Hasan Bhatti says:

@Matt: I wish this thing didn’t have a 2000 character limit, cause i had to be brief in what I said. We are not “attacking” anyone. We are criticizing them for defining Jewish identity. I was co-president of my college’s Hillel Matt. I know what Hillel is for college students, and what an amazing organization it is. Unfortunately, it, too, silences any viewpoint that criticizes the state of Israel. Did you follow the JVP/J Street protests at the Brandeis Hillel? Those people from JVP were Jews that were NOT allowed to enjoy the safe haven of Hillel because of their politics toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This does not happen about Kashrut, nor does it happen about Shabbat practice, nor does it happen about cultural songs. No, the Hillel decided that JVP was “controversial because of their BDS campaign.” Did they ever stopped and really understood the BDS campaign that JVP does? It’s very watered down and specifically targeted at companies that BENEFIT from the extensive limitations on Palestinian life in the WEST BANK. Again, I don’t have enough space to truly explain this position, but if you are interested in discussing with me, please email me at I’d love to engage in a dialogue with you on what you see as difficult on these issues. Let me know if you (or any others) are interested.

Appreciate the further reports on this subject. Do continue.

How much of these anti-Israel actions are official Occupy events? The Think Progress article reports the Boston group was “a small group of activists.” It seems like more in-depth reporting is needed on the links between the anti-Israel groupies and Occupy. One could say just as easily that the movement is being taken over by anarchists if you go by the Oakland events. In a broad-based, leaderless movement there are people of all stripes. As usual, the anti-Israel crowd will do their best to take over. The question is are they succeeding in reality – at the General Assemblies and encampments? Or are they as usual just extremely adept at making noise and using social media?

It isn’t any surprise that Mondoweiss would have such a call. They are obsessed with disproportionate and nefarious Jewish influence.

Hasan Bhatti says:

Sorry the second link is this one:

Didn’t mean to seem completely into mondoweiss posts…

Hassan Bhatti,

All I can say is you didn’t learn much in your trips to Israel. But more important, and you know this, when it comes to Jews, your position Israel makes you much closer to the one percent. Eighty percent support Israel, 15 percent don’t care and 5 percent are fools like you. Ten years of good polling data backs this up.

That’s why Hillel could exclude JVP with no consequences. You and JVP want to eliminate Israel and JVP supports BDS, not a watered-down BDS but one aimed at all Israel. JVP people just lie about it in public because they know it has no support in the Jewish community, not even J-Street.

Of course lots of JVP members aren’t even Jews. Like that kid from Arizona who headed a JVP chapter and was on the last failed flotilla. No Jewish family and the JVP “Jews” couldn’t even figure that out. The group’s a sham.

Of course it doesn’t matter. JVP is irrelevant and so is BDS. Ten years of effort and the only real victory for BDs is the Olympia Food Co-Op. What BDS has really done is energize pro-Israel activists. Think of it this way, ten years ago when BDS started, most of the Israeli products you are trying to boycott weren’t even available in the U.S.

OWS is on its way out too. Latest polls show 33 percent approval and 43 percent disapproval. As the looney left like you take over OWS the negatives will just climb.

Oh, and the lady who thinks Israel is preventing world peace, she is an OWS organizer in my town. Her group has brought in speakers who claim Israel committed 9/11 and hand out books that say Jews control the world. This is OWS and OWS is antisemitic. I can’t tell if you are just a fool or a professional liar.

“Did you follow the JVP/J Street protests at the Brandeis Hillel? Those people from JVP were Jews that were NOT allowed to enjoy the safe haven of Hillel because of their politics toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. ”

That’s not true. The individuals were allowed; it was the organization that wasn’t. Given the way the BDS movement tries to distinguish between a boycott of Israeli universities and one of Israeli academics, failing to recognize a distinction between a group and its members in this case (in this case, the distinction is far easier to maintain) is dishonest.

Hasan Bhatti says:

@ Matt: Thanks for the distinction as it is definitely a valid point; the individual within a group and vice versa argument is interrelated; one can’t be said without the other and I thank you for bringing the other side to light. I do want to highlight, though that Hillel’s action was more telling from the individuals within a group side of it. The members were already of Hillel, true, but that when they started to express politics and incorporate a message that was from actual Jewish identities within Hillel that criticized Israel for its actions over Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, Hillel did not accept this narrative as a valid Jewish representation on Brandeis campus. This action does not hold true to its mission statement to provide space for “Jewish students at more than 500 colleges and universities to explore and celebrate Jewish identity.” For those that applied to make JVP a part of the Hillel chapter, they have a Jewish identity that has created these viewpoints, and its exclusivity from the Brandeis Hillel held a larger message: that these viewpoints is not a healthy or correct expression of one’s Jewish identity. JVP is made up of REAL Jews with REAL experiences, and it’s about time that people start asking where they come from instead of looking on the surface at an organization to what seems to be an expression of anti-Israel. JVP, like many synagogues and Jewish centers, consist of a conglomeration of Jews who express their Jewish identity differently, some of which do not have such a fixed position on Israel as JVP’s politics seem to point to. Read their mission statement here: This group is very amorphous in its expression, something they’re currently figuring out how to deal with. If you’d like to know more about my Jewish identity, what formed it, why I am a part of JVP, or about JVP in general, please don’t hesitate to contact me. My email is listed in an above comment.

Hasan Bhatti says:

@Mike: I thank you for speaking your mind toward the topic. The discussions you bring up are a much longer discussion that I’d rather not take up this public forum to argue, as it is clear our politics clash, and a personal argument btwn us would detract from the article above. If you disagree and call me a “coward” for not posting the continuation of my personal belief in a public forum, so be it and I’d be more than happy to explain it on here, but I’d like to take this chance to step back and look at the article itself that we’re commenting on. Email me at if you wish to continue this as I am more than happy to do so.

I do want to say, though, that calling someone a fool online when you don’t even know a thing about me is not the best publicity stunt for a Judaism that embraces open dialogue and the exchange of ideas between all Jews. I’m unable to comment on this lady that claims world peace as I’m not sure who or what you’re referring to, but I can say that comments like yours that try to delegitimize an actual force within the Jewish populace does not make it go away.

PS: popular polls show people they want to show, not reality.

Oh, and my name’s Hasan, not Hassan. No offense taken, but one could make the argument that you glossed over my name as fast as you glossed over any potential that my viewpoint held any weight. I won’t push it, but I’d appreciate it if you attempted to understand a side you disagree with. My entire life learning from Jewish educational institutions I’ve learned about the “80 percent” Jewish perspective that you have said, and I continue to be curious about it, as this perspective continually changes. My challenge to you is to look beyond your own biases that create additional s’s in my name or defensive rhetoric and try to really see a viewpoint before you cast it aside. It is unlike the “anti-Semitic” viewpoints that have popped up throughout this century. Mine, personally, is a criticism, not a hatred.

Hasan Bhatti says:

@ Mike: I’m sorry I misspoke at the beginning of my last post. The BDS is not on individual companies themselves; it is actually on a larger American company, TIAA-CREF, that invests and supports 18 companies (both Israeli and those from around the world) that benefit from questionable Israeli actions conducted in the West Bank and Gaza.

Sorry about that. I recognize I didn’t keep to my initial intent to not take over this thread. Just want to be clear.


Thank you for covering this. I noticed a large number of people identifying as part of OWS in sundry cities celebrating the consulate “occupation.”

The OWS Forum claims that “Off topic posts… will be moderated and removed.”

And that “Red baiting will be moderated, as this is not 1952 and we are able to debate ideas without insulting anyone even slightly to the left as though they were Stalin reborn.”

They do not, however appear to moderate for anti-Semitism.

For example:

Forum Post: Occupy the Israeli Embassy / Consulate !

“The Zionist/Communism/Banker Connection
real people, real murders, real zionazi bankers funding executions….no different than today actually – Goldman Sachs and Starbucks, for example, fund the Israeli military … the IDF are terrorists who kill, evict and fence arabs in….heck, our government (here in the USA) gives over 3 billion of our tax payer dollars to Israeli aid – during one of the worst recessions in our country’s history!!!!!!!! Madness I tell you! I guess they really are “the Chosen Ones”….America!!! Wake Up!!!!”

run some word searches. for example


Lots of muck there, like this:

Forum Post: 99% of The People are in the Deadly Embrace of the ZIONIST MATRIX!

has anyone seen that Israel is now actively PUNISHING the Palestinians just because they successfully gained membership of UNESCO? The Palestinians have done absolutely nothing wrong other than exercise their democratic rights and they’re being scolded and treated like arch criminals. Nobody deserves this kind of treatment. It’s inhumane,it’s cruel, it’s vindictive . AND AMERICA IS STANDING WITH THESE PERPETRATORS ! Stop it !


These people must be the cruellest group of people on the planet. Totally inexcusable

The Palestinians are sub-humans to Israel. Remember, it was the UN who granted that criminal country statehood (after the British gave them Arab land), so don’t expect anything from them.

I searched:


The first post was headed:

Jewish Task Force, Sayanim, JDIF, etc …

It must have been pretty vile, because the moderators had deleted it within 18 hours of its posting.

However, the comments remained:

“so that makes it ok for israel to jew us out of billions of tax payer dollars?”

“this board is swarming with zio-nazis….I am not a nazi…israel makes me sick to my stomach that’s all…..”

and so forth

Rational people take them on. Endlessly. But the Forum attracts Jew-hatred of the lowest kind.

And the moderators leave much of it on the board.

Kinda like your comments page.

Again Hasan, either you are ignorant or you purposely aren’t telling the truth. BDS is aimed at individual companies, any company in fact that does business with Israel. It includes Sabra hummus; which if you buy it in the U.S. is made in the U.S. but the company is jointly owned by Pepsi and an Israeli company; Motorola; which has R&D facilities in Israel; Teva Pharmaceuticals; so if you have MS you just have to suffer; and many others.

The list is so long our local Jew haters, the same ones running OWS here, say just pick a few that you think you can boycott. And remember many on this long list of companies didn’t exist 10 years ago when BDS started. BDS is such a loser I understand why you want to lie about it’s goals.

If you look at Sabeal, which is racist and supports eliminating Israel but that doesn’t stop JVP from working with it, they even want to boycott Better Place. Better Place is trying to develop the infrastructure for electric cars. Of course I’m sure Sabeal gets lots of money from oil-rich countries that have an interest in keeping us all using their oil. So you and BDS are lackeys for that corporate one percent you hate so much.

There’s also a boycott on Israeli universities and academics. Of course the person who head the academic boycott is a Palestinian (well he was born in Qatar so wouldn’t that really make him a settler colonialist) who lives in Ramallah and is a PhD. student at Tel Aviv University. That makes him an ISraeli academic.

This shows the utter ridiculousness of BDS movement. All these groups like JVP calling for a boycott on Israel still let this Israeli academic speak to them. This shows the BDS movement is racist at its core. It is a boycott against Jews.

Keep up the BS though. salaam.

Supporting pro-Palestinian issues is not in and of itself “anti-semitic.” There are some who want to portray things that way mainly because they want all criticisms of Israel to magically vanish away. Well good luck with that.

I guess it’s time to go full tilt and completely bad ass and break out the big metal batons on these protests and protestors, and flush them all out like rats with lots of “terminate with extreme prejudice” canisters full of gushing tear gas.

“Hillel did not accept this narrative as a valid Jewish representation on Brandeis campus.”

Well, no, not exactly. This “narrative” — actually, it was the call for BDS, which is not a narrative, though it might be informed by one — denies so much about everyone else’s narratives. How many times have I heard that Israel or Israelis cannot be allowed to present themselves as full human beings? BDS is precisely about denying Jews the right to express their own narratives! When the “Irvine 11″ are said to be exercising their free speech by denying someone else the right to speak, when the Israeli Philharmonic even is denied the right to play, how can you possibly have the chutzpah to talk in the language of inclusiveness? JVP refers to attempts to talk about antisemitism as “muzzling,” thereby preventing meaningful discussion of antisemitism. Really, that’s not just another narrative. It’s an attack on my right to speak freely about my experience, and to do that with Orwellian language about being inclusive is doubly offensive. That’s what Hillel stood up against, and good for them.

Btw, I’d urge you to read this:

Also, you say to Mike, “Mine, personally, is a criticism, not a hatred.” Aversive and structural racisms are real. They are not hatred, but they are every bit as racist.

Hasan Bhatti says:

@Mike and Matt: One of my comments somehow didn’t get published, which addressed both of your issues. JVP’s BDS movement is very different from the one that you’re describing. What you are describing is a complete BDS from Israel, which, I agree, is a difficult position to express pro-peace allegations for the I-P conflict. The BDS campaign that JVP, the organization that wrote the letter and organized the actions mentioned by Tracy above, practices are for the US company TIAA-CREF to divest from 18 companies that benefit from the occupation. Please check out the site that describes the position: This describes JVP’s BDS of companies that solely benefit from the occupation, some of which indeed are located in Israel, but this doesn’t make it acceptable. What you are describing is full BDS, and I know that it exists. I am talking solely about the organizers that planned the above action and created the letter mentioned above.

Again, I cannot speak for any of the other organizations that support full BDS. I’d definitely believe your assessment is true for some of the OWS protesters because of their politics, but you also must understand that a lot of OWS protesters are pro-Israel yet STILL critical of its policies, like JVP, and your initial statement, in addition to Tracy’s article blanketed JVP as a solely anti-Israel movement. I agree there is potential for groups to take it the wrong way, but as an organizer for JVP, I know with conviction that this was not the action’s intention. The intention was to give Jews some say in their Jewish education. Birthright themselves tweeted to JVP after the action: would you like to dialogue about your protest? J Street, the alternative PAC to AIPAC, also has a very prominent presence, in addition to Young Jewish and Proud. Please let me be clear once more: I was describing JVP’s position on BDS, not what the BDS movement is. I apologize if I did not describe it clearly.

Hasan Bhatti says:

@ Matt: If you look at the rest of the sentence, you’ll see that I used “narrative” to refer to the Jewish experience that produced a call for BDS amongst JVP representatives at Brandeis. See my above comment about how JVP’s stance is different than that of a full BDS movement against all Israeli products. It targets the companies that contribute to the escalation of conflict and violations of human rights against Palestinian civilian life within the occupied territories (look here for a list of them: These are companies that economically support the occupation and limitation of Palestinian inhabited land, mainly through the building of settlements/the wall that do not follow the ’67 green line agreements (and even cut off portions of the WB that are supposed to be Palestinian owned land), the IDF’s interventions into

Also, Contrary to your description of it, JVP does not shove a BDS campaign down people’s throat. It engages in a dialogue about it, allowing people to come to this conclusion along their own time. For instance, there are those within JVP that are not 100% behind the BDS campaign, finding it problematic, and the movement even encourages this dialogue. JVP actually finds these types of perspectives to be ok, even in those that are leaders/volunteers. Your description of BDS as dissenting other Jewish narratives does not hold that much water, as we are just as into open dialogue on this issue as you portray Hillel to be. Each of the interruptions, they were symbols of the reaffirmation of the Jewish identity that brought us up to completely accept pro-Israel viewpoints in Talmud Torah, in our synagogues. It is frustration at being silenced, and so, when people with those views are allowed to speak publicly on behalf of us, they said no. Let me remind you, I’m still open to email, or maybe even a phone conversation to exchange experiences. Brandeis Hillel was not at all.

Hasan Bhatti says:

@Matt: Once again, I will make it clear: I AM A PART OF JVP and would love to discuss with you your viewpoint.

Why do I offer this? Because JVP is a work in progress; it is incomplete. People bash it for lacking direction much like they bash OWS. I wonder why people are so impatient to find that JVP has a charter and action of open dialogue, and yet still continue to bash it as denying your expression of Judaism to thrive. No, Matt, we enjoy the Jewish expression of one’s identity, and seek to help you form it according to what the realities on the ground are, and not what a conservative pro-Israel viewpoint would tell you. Our inclusion into the Brandeis Hillel, therefore, would not inhibit you from continuing to express your own opinion. We would listen to you, just as we would want you to listen to us.

Again, these comments are going in a more personal politics direction. I dont want to shape this comment thread according to semantics and political disagreements; I think it should be relegated to a comment on Mr. Tracy’s article. I’d encourage you to email me if you want to continue something that is not based on the above article.

Clarifying question: When you say “structural racism,” are you referring to criticism of the state of Israel being aversive/structural racism? I’m just wondering, cause I wasn’t clear on that point and I think it could be a good point, but I just don’t understand it at this point.

Hasan Bhatti says:

@Matt: great article btw. I’d love to comment on it if we end up emailing.

Hasan Bhatti,

You spend a lot of time writing about Jewish values, but you miss a couple — telling truth and working to see the world as it really is, not as we wish it to be.

You fail in upholding both these values when you describe JVP’s involvement in the BDS movement. JVP wants the elimination of Israel even as it claims to be agnostic on the matter. It supports the BDS movement — not the version you have stated. I’ve listed to JVP members. JVP is dishonest and is not upholding the Jewish values it claims are so important to it.

Look at the groups JVP works with. It’s running an ad campaign in San Francisco right now with Sabeel. Sabeel wants the end of Israel. It doesn’t recognize Jews as having any right to political self determination.

You are either fooling yourself or you are trying to fool others. I understand. It’s the flip side of Zionism. We are tiered of being victims. Zionism solves this problem by empowering Jews to make decisions for ourselves.

JVP tries to solve this by blaming Jews for everything. If the Palestinians are simply reacting to Jewish actions, then by changing our actions, we Jews can bring peace. It’s a way to have control in a situation where you have none. But it’s an illusion.

It reduces the Palestinians to children lashing out. They are not. They are people acting in a rational way to achieve a goal. And their goal is the end of the Jewish national existence in Israel.

They state this clearly and no combination of Jewish concessions will change this. This goal is fueled by nationalism and Jew hatred. It’s why there have been countless massacres of Jews by Arabs for a thousand years. (I’m Saphardi too so I don’t give me the BS line about how everybody used to get along before the evil zionist showed up.)

This doesn’t mean peace is impossible, but the approach people like you and JVP advocate will not bring peace. At best it means a continuation of the conflict, at worst the end of Israel.

Hasan Bhatti says:

@Mike: You have a valid viewpoint, and I thank you again for expressing it. I understand your frustration toward people that disagree with your vision of the Jewish state, where it will live in peace and also uphold the safety that Jews need in this world. I have a couple of truths that might make you feel a little less proud of the current Zionist movement.

Today, a Palestinian that wants to tend to his olive trees cannot because of a wall erected to provide security for and because the IDF has already uprooted half of them. A Palestinian who needs health care for his cancer will be barred from access to his local hospital because of an Israeli-only road that splits the two. Today, Israel passed a law placing sanctions on human

Do you see a problem with the above picture?

You may have listened to some JVP representatives, but the BDS that JVP supports in this moment in time (you really are a stickler for semantics) is the one that I listed above: against TIAA-CREF ONLY. I really am not deceiving anyone when I say this. As I said above, there ARE people in JVP who say that a full BDS against all is the way to go, but this is not a JVP viewpoint as of now.

And, as a PS, if a full BDS were enacted, I’m wondering why it would be a bad thing for you to do, as none of the political criticism vs. the state of Israel has come back with any real action. Bibi Netanyahu talks a lot about peace, but continues its campaign to build settlements, maintain divisive borders, and displace Bedouins in the Negev in the name of securing Jews. When civil rights are broken by corporations, people took consumerism into their own hands and decided to stop investing their money in sources that they felt needed to be checked. Is this the Israel you wish to exist? This is an action to speak out against the incomplete list of the above injustices on the ground in the territories (not including the ones in Isr), so we can reinvest our money into peaceful action and not divisive violence.

Hasan Bhatti says:

@ Mike: You say that “working to see the world as it really is and not as we wish it to be” is a Jewish value. You’re discounting half of it. Tikkun Olam is fixing the world according to what is on the ground, and using it to shape what you wish it to be.

What is on the ground, right now, is the following (incomplete list):

Israel is a nation state filled with a diverse population of people, from many religions and backgrounds. Israel exists, currently, because of its stellar defense and army training which to its credit has performed military miracles. Israel also exists, currently, because of the oppression caused to perceived populations that are not beneficial to Israel’s existence, when in reality, many of these populations are just trying to eke by. You say that Palestinians are acting rationally to destroy the Jewish state. You discount many of the victims of violence (mentally, institutionally and physical) by members of the state of Israel (military and civilian– namely settlers) who have been traumatized into the inured existence of having basic physical, emotional, and mental needs stripped away by a more powerful people: Israel. Does this mean that Israel is evil? No, but it does mean that there is a serious power imbalance in the area that must be addressed, and it cannot be addressed through “direct negotiations” over the land because two unequal parties coming together will not make an agreement that will truly satisfy and cater to the rights of both parties involved. A land battle between two unequal partners will resolve unequally.

Hasan Bhatti says:

@Mike: *this word limit is frustrating*

In addition, this notion of Israel being destroyed is one of neurotic fear that we will inevitably be destroyed because everyone hates us. Israel with some of its actions give the world a reason to hate us, and continues this spiral. It’s time we as Jews think differently about our actions, and to start off, we need to start acting on those opinions.

The Knesset today is trying to pass two Netanyahu-backed bills that are trying to limit and tax foreign-government funding for Israeli-civil society. Is this a democratic move according to Jewish values? No it is not, and it is done in the interest of money and for the protection of the Jews. A BDS movement against economic factors enables you to take more of an active stance on the financial repercussions of the actions enacted, and therefore are able to enact change where it needs to change: at the root of the power. A movement that continues to express Israeli interests over others ignores this power, and legitimizes it

JVP does not blame the Jews for everything. JVP is an organization of Jews who wish to act and think critically against actions enacted by our larger Jewish community, because ultimately, this is all that we really have tangible control of as Jews. We do not blame Jews for existing or expressing their viewpoint. We criticize them for doing this without any sense of accountability.

Is it possible for you to ask a question out of good will? You talk a lot about how I lack “Jewish values” (which, because you have no real clue of how I enact my Jewish values other than my affiliation with JVP, you really have no rational basis for this claim) I continue to practice the most important one: practicing understanding and patience with a person that disagrees with you. Why do I say this? I’m actually Ashkenazi. My father happens to be a Muslim from Pakistan which is where my name comes from. Again, please ask me what I am before you write me off as what I seem to be.

Hasan Bhatti says:

@Mike: We as Jews always have reason to fear for our lives because of our past, but not if this fear drives us to commit violence and injustice to others, some of which do not wish us harm. This is the reason for the countless crimes done against the Jews throughout history: because a population feared for its survival, and started to use Jews as a target, quenching this fear and relegitimizing their existence.

Is this what Israel must be as well? In my Jewish upbringing, my answer is an unequivocal no. For me, BDS is a way to hold Israel accountable directly, because money talks, and when it is withheld, questioning of one’s actions becomes inevitable. We need an Israel that can be questioned in its actions, and what we have right now, both in its actions within the WB and Gaza and also in its hegemonic relationship with a US that controls all actions within the international body (UN), it is not. The world already holds Hamas and Fatah accountable for its crimes, its failures, and its lack of follow through. It’s about time we start to do the same for Israel– we are not exempt from UN resolutions, nor are we any more chosen than the Palestinian who calls the land from the Mediterranean to the Jordan a home.

To me, Israel is efficient in its actions. Imagine what it would look like if its actions took on the same urgency as a perennial US multibillion aid package.


Again, you fail to tell the truth or see the world as it really is. Last year, 150,000 Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza received medical treatment in Israel — most free of charge.

Why are there Israeli only roads — because during the second Intifada, a Jewish woman driving on a West Bank road was shot. After she crashed, the Palestinian terrorists shot and killed her children at point-blank range. After that, restrictions were put in place.

Security fence, built after more than 1,000 Israelis, almost all civilians were murdered. And those murders came after Israel offered a peace plan that would have created a Palestinian state in the West Bank in Gaza.

Then in 2008, the Israelis again offered peace plan that would create a Palestinian state. The Palestinians again walked away.

And again, despite all your protest to the contrary, JVP seeks not only a boycott of Israel but its elimination. What you say is a lie. You are either deceiving yourself or trying to deceive others.

Again, in ignoring this, you are ignoring the world as it really is. And if you do that, you cannot fix what is broken because you don’t understand what is broken. I never accuse you of lacking Jewish values. What I do say is you are being rather selective in the values you actually uphold. I am just providing criticism. You don’t seem to take it too well.

As far as power imbalance, you ignore the fact that there are 300 million Arabs and only six million Jews in the region. That’s a power imbalance. Saudi Arabia has a GDP almost five times as large as Israel’s GDP.

And I don’t think Israel will be destroyed because everybody “hates us” but because Hamas and other groups representing most of those 300 million Arabs say every day that their goal, their entire reason for existing it to destroy Israel.

Bill Pearlman says:

JVP is a bunch of piss ant little children who have never had a tough day in their lives. But they would have dynamite cheerleaders at Babi Yar.

I have to reiterate.

The Zionist leadership from the earliest formulations of Zionist ideology worked hard to mobilize Jewish wealth on behalf of Zionist goals, but mobilized Jewish wealth has its own goals to increase its own political power and control. Zionism quickly turned into a tool of the Jewish City of London and Jewish Wall Street. Occupy Wall Street must be anti-Zionism or it is nothing.

For the record, the Harvard Hillel has a record of inviting speakers that spew some of the most vile anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racism and that make coded and even open calls for genocide of the native Palestinian population.

As for honesty, Jews need to start being honest with themselves about the fundamental nature of Zionism.

Why Zionism is Jewish Nazism

The fundamental ideological components shared by Zionism and German Nazism are: politicized ethnic fundamentalism (or ethnic monism), extremist organic nationalism, social Darwinism, biological determinism, essentialism, primordialism, perverted eugenic theory, opposition to race mixing for causing ethnic degeneration, and the corresponding belief in national revival through racial purity.

Jews (even many self-avowed Jewish anti-Zionists) often become indignant, claim Jews could not possibly be Nazis, and fling accusations of anti-Semitism when anyone points out that German Nazism and Zionism are for all intents and purposes practically identical when the obvious substitutions are made.

To believe that Jews of all ethnic groups could not possibly be Nazis or develop their own form of Nazi ideology is simply an assertion of Jewish racial or ethnic supremacism in association with the idea of Jewish ethical or spiritual superiority.

I am sorry but I don’t believe in the existence of a Hasan Bhatti who is an Ashkenazi and whose father is from Pakistan. Pure fiction. Suddenly he is ashkenzi when Mike mentionned his own Sephardic origin. Dead give away.In any case, according to muslim law, you are a muslim because your father is a muslim.
Hasan Bhatti, you are a fraud.

I googled Bhatti. He looks real to me.

It should have been obvious to every thinking person that OWS would be anti Israel. Broadly speaking, the movement is about the inequality in our political system and by extension it is sensitive the inequality in the treatment of the Palestinians by the Israelis. The author tries obscures the nature of the movement with claims of contradictions in its stated aims. That fact is, people are drawn to OWS because of their sense of justice has been violated.

Hasan Bhatti says:

@mike : I have said nothing but thanks for your viewpoint. That is my way of acknowledging that your perspective exists and that your comment was heard. Again I will say that your comment was very well educated, and these are realities that I know and have studied closely throughout my 10 plus years of jewish education thru my local Talmud Torah, Jewish conservative camps (ramah darom and camp yj north Carolina), Colby college Hillel presidency and membership, and countless books on the conflict at large. Yet, and I say this out of respect for what you have said for you are right, you only speak from one side. You are speaking unilaterally from the injustices done to israelis over the years and speak the language of the Israeli as a victim of violence committed by one side. In doing so, you ignore the Palestinian and Arab history that exists in the area, the same history that includes violence at refugee camps during the 1982 campaign in Lebanon that led in part to the creation of the two organizations that have led to increased complications in Israeli Palestinian peace: Hezbollah and Hamas. You also ignore the Palestinian and Arab perspective on the deals you see them walking away from, and fail to ask why from their perspective; you only do so from an Israeli . In doing so, you belittle and further internalize the same ignorance of those palestinian, these human, stories that has been done to them since Britain passed the Balfour declaration in 1920. These experiences from the Palestinian side are just as real as the reasonings that you have stated, and to focus solely on explaining history from the Israeli lens will obviously lead to your conclusions. However, in doing so, you run the risk of understanding a multifaceted conflict from one end, and lose the sense of questioning and keen judgment in a difficult conflict. I will admit that my own opinion is one of many, and that it is not completely formed,

Hasan Bhatti says:

And that it is thru open dialogue and understanding another’s reality that it will be formed. However, one viewpoint cannot explain this reality that you criticize me of.

I also want to reiterate a point I made before: the reality you are putting forth is based on multiple facts that have been proven, but do not probe beneath the surface to question where and why these issues exist. This has been, amongst others (including bad political leadership and decisions) the overwhelming problem with all of the negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinians: that they make decisions to fix the surface facts, all the while, completely ignoring the cause, which, obviously, will only lead to more roadblocks and distrust down the road. The key to a negotiation between two emotionally and internally conflicting forces is to understand the facts that you list, then probe deeper, trying to understand the root, and THEN assess what can be done. You must not stop at surface facts from one side, nor should you do it from the other.

Which is why, after the on the surface research is said, no ensuing action will be successful. It is only on assessing the deep roots and enacting policy and action along these lines that conflicts will be resolved. No two parties can come together on such unequal ground and expect justice to be interpreted as being done for each side. The argument that they must indulge in direct negotiations with each other can not hold when the power relations between the two remain so unequal. You disregard one key point: the Palestinian right to the land. They have a legitimacy, story, and generational tie to the land like us Jews, and your facts dislodge and devalue their claims. The Palestinian history is fraught with distrust, anger, and frustration, something that continually shows up in negotiations between its leaders and Israel in its attempts to make deals.

Hasan Bhatti says:

(cont’d) As is the Israeli history. To truly get toward an action that will address the roots, each side must be ready to put aside the reality on the ground, and get down to the multi-faceted problematic roots that enable each side to demonize the other.

Which leads me to a further point toward JVP’s position: JVP sees that Jews in the US are only able to really influence Jewish actions in the US. We have been brought up through Jewish values, taught Jewish history, and have a basis in the Jewish side of the story, and as such, have the ability to voice our opinion toward these ends. This is where JVP’s demands have started from initially: criticizing what policy that remains dangerous to the American Jew. As such, a call for PARTIAL BDS against only those companies located withint he US (TIAA-CREF being one of them) that benefit from the occupation (not full BDS which you continue to assert is our official position) is an official tactic. Another is the pressure on the JNF organizers IN THE US to stop demolishing Bedouin villages in the Negev. Another is the support of artists in the US that create artwork whose theme is to oppose the settlements. Notice that ALL of these positions by JVP are to pressure a US organization that acts on behalf of a destructive political action by Israel that hinders the peace process. Jews in the US must pressure these organizations as American Jews in order to better represent support the peaceful intentions that American Jews support. To this end, the current situation in the West Bank and Gaza inhibits Palestinian autonomy, their ability to exercise freedom of movement (which, from a psychological standpoint, infuses subtle trauma that ends with negative rather than positive thinking– aka, that the situation in the WB/Gaza actually continues the cycle of violence; think treadmill here), their ability to grow as a society, and their ability to enact policy. Wonder why the PA sucks at executive action? Look at the situation there

Hasan Bhatti says:

, try yourself to enact any type of progress (let alone the difficulty of enacting this progress under a governmental system) under the current situation, and then you probably could see why the PA is unable to provide the health care, the road access, the safe and secure life that Palestinians have the right to live.

You bring into the equation the Israeli component of security for their citizens, which is pertinent. The wall went up. Israeli roads are completely Israeli. Checkpoints in the middle of all roads, including Palestinian ones. It makes sense from an Israeli standpoint, but you must ask yourself this pivotal question when you see these tactics: Does this action REALLY, in the long run, protect Israelis? Sharon’s decision to attack Sabra and Shatila in 1982 were to “protect” future attacks from Palestinian refugees on northern Israel, and what they did instead, was create an uproar of people who were tired of being inured to a position of inferiority because they lacked a functional political and military representation (enter Hezbollah and Hamas. Please don’t make me into a heathen here that supports these two organizations unilaterally; that is a debate for a different time as Hez and Hamas have a lot more to them aside from the abolishment of Israel that are more agreeable than we think. I am saying that I DO NOT agree with their claim to abolish the state– I’m just stating that actions that are intended to “protect” Israelis sometimes have the unintentional ability to create even more hate, especially if you have the POWER to create this hate within a person through increased limitations of physicality– aka death– or movement–aka what is happening in the WB).

As such, JVP in its BDS campaign tries to attack, not the Israeli government, but US institutions that support the continuation of any violence toward a people that could inhibit this process.

Hasan Bhatti says:

The facts on the ground, yes, are based in Israeli security thought, but are a unilateral action from the Israeli side, and as Jews in the US, we have the ability to change this. Think of it this way: Israel has the societal CAPABILITY, because of its powerful economy, military, technology, etc. to LIMIT the Palestinians in this way. The only effective Palestinian resistance that has been to this way of being before 2002? With Arafat sucking face as a diplomat in the peace talks, with Clinton and Barak making subtle Israeli-power-laden offers on the table that did not resolve the core issues, the PA nor PLO were good to do this. And so, the first intifada repeated itself in the form of suicide bombing and violence. Israel did its security thing in the WB/Gaza, saving lives of people in Israel. But after the intifadah, movements like this one showed up, passive non-violent protest by real Palestinians ( You say that there are 300 million Arabs that oppose Israel, and Hamas/Hezbollah represents a majority of them that want to destroy Israel. Movements like this one prove this wrong. There are also movements within Hamas that cause Hamas to moderate its own charter. When they won in 2006, many candidates were former Fatah members who believed in a peaceful resolution, whether it be a two-state, or a one-state. Either way, there IS political representation, and a real Palestinian and Arab voice that supports peace.

Are they in the minority? Yes, but they continue to be NONVIOLENT as Israel continues to repress their rights, uprooting farms, and redrawing the borders of the wall in the name of “security.” This is the potential that Israel should invest in– these positive movements that seek peace. As such, there are alternatives to the checkpoints and the walls, and that is a solidarity with those movements, to show people that Israel wants to unite instead of divide.

Hasan Bhatti says:

And, to that end, JVP pressures the US company TIAA-CREF who supports 18 organizations that enable the silencing of these movements, the inability for Palestinians to be seen as humble nonviolent actors (because of the repressive policies), the destruction of towns/farms along the wall that redraws the green line, the continuing delay at checkpoints for those in need of a simple check up, the continuing “normal growth” of settlements in the WB that have educated people to HATE their Palestinian neighbors (and also further redraw the territory of “Israelis” invading Palestinian land under law), the inability for the average Gazan/West Bank family to get more than 4 buckets of water per day to use for themselves… the list goes on, but JVP pressures a US force that contributes to this end, because it represses a people into violent actions, because it limits the growth of positive movements in the area, and because it, overall, suppresses and disables Palestinians from enacting any positive direction of governance in the area due to the immense sectioning off of huge portions of land.

To me, JVP’s BDS represents a way for me to say to Israel: start paying attention to the small positive pockets instead of blanketing all of them as negative; if you occupy, then occupy in a way that will enable Palestinians to progress, because right now you hold all the cards, and choose to play them in order to completely inhibit this opportunity.

300 million Arabs are a problem, but not related to the occupation itself. People tend to conflate the two, thinking that Israelis cannot get along with this many Arabs, but honestly, Israel’s actions continue to tell this message also by deliberately inhibiting people’s movement. JVP’s campaign addressed the problem is the status of living differential which inhibits the 4 million living in the direct area from creating alternative ways of living (some of which are positive).

Hasan Bhatti says:

Notice now, that I’ve only addressed a few of your critiques. Once again I’ll say that I offered you to email me so we could inhibit people from taking over this chain like I have, for the conflict demands that type of intense complicated balance of background, current information (and misinformation), and action (and misinformation on these actions).

I’m not up to date on the Abbas walk away in 2008. I know it happened, but the explanations as to why have been the typical “Palestinian refusal to negotiate” and “ineffectiveness of the PA.” This certainly may be true, but to a point, and there are always silver linings in these walk aways (even with Arafats, despite the fact that he was a horrific politician in the late 90s/early 2000s). so I can’t talk toward this point at this point . I will try to research it (and you can definitely help me out Mike) and then get back to you on that.

JVP does not propose the elimination of Israel at all. I wonder where you got this notion. As I’ve said, the proposal for BDS is to target US institutions that invest in organizations that enable Israel to command such a political and liberty power differential in order to squander Palestinians in the WB and Gaza. Can you back this up with evidence? What gives you this idea?

The government of Jordan, nor Saudi Arabia, nor Lebanon, nor Egypt, says that Israel should not exist. Your interpretation is of some of the organizations within those countries, which is indeed true, but so far, these four governments that border Israel recognizes its right to exist. They have recently criticized Israel for its actions re: Lebanese firefights, Syrian skirmishes, killing Egyptian soldiers when undergoing a raid on the Gaza/Egypt border, but they have not outright claimed for the destruction of Israel. Syria, Iran, and Iraq are different and more complex, but Isr.’s recent raid to Iran certainly doesn’t give them reason to want to trust Israel does it?

Hasan Bhatti says:

The problem is that Israel’s actions, while in response to a larger conflict, continues it with its active stance toward security, increasing distrust between all parties, not only the Palestinians. Thus, JVP condemns actions that does this, and seeks for the Israeli government to broaden its mind and not get bogged down in acting as if this were a conflict. More innovation is needed of these decisions, not complete disregard and more of the same austerity moves that decrease P and Arab trust of Israelis. The move by JVP to oppose the actions in the occupied territories helps this trust, and demands companies start thinking about whether they want blood and repressive violence to accompany their bills. We speak out against this because the two do not equal peace, and continue this cycle of repression and distrust that will not go away if Israel continues to be so inobstensibly in favor of a one way method: the security of one people at the risk of any others, despite their positive motivations.

Hasan Bhatti says:

@ Ruth: *this is so off topic for this thread… I feel bad replying to this one because it takes away from the root of the article but sadly I need to defend myself publicly cause I’m commenting on this thread… sigh…* Yeah, I know it’s pretty hard to believe that a person like me exists, but, sadly, I exist. If you really must know my lineage, my dad is Pakistani, and Muslim, and my mom is Jewish, with roots back to the Ukraine. Therefore, yes by the lineage argument, I would be “100% Muslim,” but equally, by the lineage argument, I’m 100% Jewish. To me, though, your religion is not determined by your lineage but by the choices you made in terms of your faith. I went to both a mosque and a synagogue until I was 9 years old. To make a long story short (and not to bring my personal life to this thread– if you really want to know the whole path, email me at I’m more than happy to talk about it), I got involved in many more Jewish educational programs than Muslim ones. Therefore, I am a Jew, and I actually do exist… sorry to disappoint…

Hasan Bhatti says:

@ Bill: I’ve struggled with many things in my life, which has made me understand more about (but certainly not entirely) the struggles of others. I acknowledge your pointing toward the Jewish struggle before Israel (and during Israel’s existence) as being separated from us for sure, but you must know that not all struggles are good ones. When Israel was created in 1948, we struggled through the Holocaust and gained a homeland where we could not worry about our extermination, but in the process, 1 million people were displaced from their homes and a new struggle emerged from our old one. Inadvertently in our desire to create a homeland solely for one population to be free from persecution (when, in actuality, a lot of the other countries just didn’t want to deal with similar nationalist movements for a Jewish state within their countries… imagine if Zionistic Jews had said London was holy to them… would the UK have picked up and created a new state for us there?), we created another, who struggles to this day. Thus, Israel struggles for sure, but is it the right struggle for it to indulge in, when in the long run it creates more distrust and more violence than it does peace?

Hasan Bhatti says:

@ Joachim: I agree that Zionism and Jewish wealth have often run hand in hand, and that multiple Hillels have sometimes attracted pro-Israeli and anti-Arab speakers. I will have to disagree with you, though, to comparing Jewish Zionists to Nazis. Ideologically, there are some similarities, and within the Occupied Territories an argument can be made to limitation of movement, but there are some actions of Jewish Zionists that do not resemble the Nazi regime whatsoever. Mike is correct when he says that Israel sends tons of humanitarian aid supplies daily that travel to the Occupied Territories, something that keeps people much more physically nourished and equipped than Jews in concentration camps. This did not happen in Nazi Germany. There is also much more restraint involved with the Israeli military than there was with WWII German military, with the SS never being questioned toward their actions, though Israel often puts their officers on trial. They also have many more democratic actions within the state, whereby protesters are allowed to voice their opinions, instead of being ordered to concentration camps for their politics against the state There is also a vast diversity of people within the state itself at this time. It is by no means perfect, and, democratically, Israel has a long way to go (aka, that Israeli Arabs suffer from institutional violence and subtle cases of discrimination), but Israel’s case is distinct from Nazi Germany’s. There are some correlations for sure, but in calling Jews Nazis, you ignore the small but significant Israeli populace that continue to create positivity within the country (See organizations like Breaking the Silence, Windows, Encounter, PHR-Israel, Aravah, to name just a few). Just as Mike blankets Palestinians because of their representation, do not fall victim for doing the same thing to the Israeli state. There are many that yearn for peace, too, and do not do what you point out. Similarities yes, comparable no.

ALOHA…. of course some individuals who sympathize with the palestinians have and will support OWS!…. this is a natural alliance… however, when someone held a sign “occupy wall street, not palestine” in the OWS-Maui protest, i just moved away from her….. the difficulty with the israeli/palestinian situation is that BOTH sides seem to be still not interested in “integration” and truly finding peace… as long as netanyahu is the leader of the israeli government, there will not be any movement toward a negotiated settlement…. and as long as hamas and the other extremist arabs/palestinians call for the annihilation of israel, there can be little israel can do…. besides HALTING the expansion of settlement construction…. 44 years and counting….

There is really only one question of Palestine.

Why are we Americans supporting and funding a bunch of racist, murderous, Eastern European invaders, interlopers, and thieves that genocided most of the native population of Palestine in 47-48 and that are now continuing the process right before our eyes.

The International Convention on the Punishment and Prevention of Genocide and Nuremberg Tribunal Case Law are together quite clear as to how the USA should treat domestic and international Zionists.

Hasan Bhatti says:

@Nikhil: Well said. I hope this will happen too.

@Joachim: What is this genocide that you’re talking about? And… lay low on the racism talk… unless you have some facts to back it up…

It is fairly easy to demonstrate that the intent of Zionists since the 1880s was openly genocidal.

If one opposes genocide, one must oppose Zionism and the State of Israel categorically and unequivocally.

By Nuremberg Tribunal case law, Martin Peretz, Mort Zuckerman, and Bill Krystol as well as many other domestic and international Zionists are guilty of capital crimes.

Hasan Bhatti says:

… No it isn’t easy to demonstrate the intent of the Zionists since the 1880s was openly genocidal… Or at least, not according to that article you sent. That article had the ethnic cleansing going for it in 1948. It was not a genocide. People were killed during the campaign, yes, but so were Israelis during the Arab invasion of 1948, which, you could also claim was an attempt to take the Israelis off the map. You’re reading into one version of history here. I’d agree with you on ethnic cleansing in 1948 with plan D, but genocide? No, that’s a little far. And if it is, then the intention behind the Arab invasion had similar dregs of what you’re talking about… So again, I’d like to see the facts that you’ve personally accumulated behind this, cause the Forward underlining experts debating is not facts; it’s second hand activism. Speak from your own version of history.

In point of fact it is quite easy to identify the racist murderous genocidal intent of the Zionist leaders of the 1880s and 1890s. One need only read what they wrote in Hebrew, Yiddish, Russian or German. Herzl was hardly alone in discussing in his diaries or in open publications the physical removal of the native population of Palestine. Physical removal means physical destruction in a region — hence genocide. Ethnic cleansing is part of the international legal definition of genocide.

[In Holocaust studies, it is not unusual to assume that the Nazi genocide of Jews began in 1933 even though the mass murders do not take place until after the invasion of Poland in 1939 because the German Nazis created conditions to drive Jews out of Germany.]

Zionism was ab initio genocidal and today the State of Israel is founded in prima facie genocide which the international community is obligated to remedy via removing or obliterating the criminal Zionist conglomeration, which does not constitute a legitimate protected population under international law.

Anyway most of the early Zionist leaders assumed that the native Palestinian population would resist and that ultimately Zionists would use force and a military to remove the native Palestinian population.

Of course Zionist propagandists masquerading as academics and scholars almost never translate the texts discussing violent destruction of the Palestinian community in Palestine.

As for 1948 you are just spewing the usual blatant Zionist propaganda long ago debunked by Benny Morris.

The Arab intervention in 1948 was a legitimate humanitarian intervention in response to a planned pre-meditated program of ethnic cleansing and genocide that began in 1947. The Arab states were completely open as to reasons and intentions and published a document to this effect.

The Zionists had concealed their plans for over a decade but operations named biur hametz (the ethnic cleansing of Haifa) betrayed murderous intent.

BTW, I sent the following comment to Hasan privately.

Hasan, you are conflating the practice with the ideology. Zionism is Jewish Nazism by line by line comparison of the main ideological texts even if Zionist practices have been moderated by the potential for international scrutiny.

Viktor Klemperer while living through German Nazism viewed Zionism as Jewish Nazism. The Jewish Germanist George Mosse gave Hebrew University lectures in which he described in detail the overlap between German Nazism and Zionism, which — I admit — he was unwilling to call Jewish Nazism.

When I was a student, I studied Hitler’s Table Talk for evidence of the influence of Max Nordau, who was the 2nd most important Zionist after Theodor Herzl. Nordau was all over Hitler’s ideas.

Not only is Zionism Jewish Nazism, but Jewish Nazism and German Nazism cross-fertilized one another.

By denying the obvious equation of Zionism with Jewish Nazism, you are running interference for a system of genocidal Jewish racism and privilege. You really are not much different from myriads of Jewish hypocrites that are Israel-critical and feign solidarity with Palestinians.

For Jews that wish to be decent human beings, the only honorable solution to the evil of Zionism and the State of Israel is categorical opposition to the Zionist ideology, unequivocal demand for the dismantling of the Zionist state, and outspoken clamor for the arrest of international Zionists for giving material aid to Zionist terrorism.

Hasan Bhatti says:

And I sent you back a message from that one. Here’s in reference to your first comment:

Ok, well you didn’t make that clear, so it seemed like you were just supporting your claims with an irrelevant source. PS: I never questioned the validity of your claim that it existed.

What I was asking for, and will continue to ask for, is a clear analytical look at a piece of translated Zionist literature from the beginning that reveals this genocidal intent, because based on the Zionist literature that I’ve looked at (Herzl’s initial declaration at the first WZO in Switzerland, WZO records, etc.), it has not been clear that you can tie Zionism to genocide. You can tie it to imperialism very easily– one people taking over another people’s land. I admit, I’ve been educated about Herzl and early Zionism through a “Zionist” framework, and as such, your claims that the link for you is “obvious” does not come as easy to me, and I would like to see how you have come to interpret it along these lines. Aka, you’re not stepping into my shoes: unfortunately I need that clear link. I respect and want to know where your viewpoint comes from; that’s the cause for my inquiries. That said, I also come from a place of skepticism, because I have learned much on this topic and have studied Zionism, leading to my anti-imperialist look on the situation. And, because of lots of historical education, rhetoric can hide anything you want it to hide (aka, the majority of your claims to tie it to genocide itself are not based in facts– they’re based in paraphrased claims, not a play by play of why a definition of genocide is applicable to Zionist imperialism). Back it up with clear specific points of fact and your rhetoric will have backing.

Hasan Bhatti says:

I wont include the questions, cause they’re long, and for the last few comments it’s been a you and me discussion, and not related to this article. If you want me to publish it out in the open, I will, but I’m not going to initially involve others in a discussion that’s being part of our personal exchange on our viewpoints on history, as opposed to whether or not JVP or any other OWS occupying force is anti-Israel and dangerous for Jewish life.

Zionism is the only ideology of colonization that I can think of that still aggressively exists in the world today. It’s a big blemish on the of the soul of the Jewish people and an ugly embarrassment.


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