IS IT ANTI-SEMITIC TO DEFEND PALESTINIAN HUMAN RIGHTS?

Edward C. Corrigan, BA, MA, LL.B.
(This article was submitted to The Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism http://www.cpcca.ca/home.htm ) All across Canada and in the United States, there is an organized campaign to suppress criticism of Israeli policies toward the Palestinians. The campaign is especially strong on university campuses where many voices have been raised in support of human rights for the Palestinians. One such example is the attempt to suppress the Public Interest Research Group, founded by Ralph Nader, at the University of Ottawa for their support for Palestinian human rights. Similar anti-Palestinian campaigns have occurred at many universities in Canada including the University of Toronto, the University of Western Ontario and York University. An attack against a student group that was sympathetic to the Palestinians occurred at the University of Western Ontario in 1982. The student group was refused official recognition because of its support for the Palestinians and for sponsoring Palestinian and Arab speakers. After this refusal a complaint was made to the Ontario Human Rights Commission. After a long battle, and with the support of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and its General Counsel Alan Borovoy, and a supportive editorial in The Globe & Mail, the Ontario Human Rights Commission compelled the University Students Council at the University of Western Ontario to issue a statement of regret and to ratify the student group. The refusal was deemed discriminatory against Palestinians and persons associated with Palestinians. (See "The Palestinian Question at the University: The Case of Western Ontario,´ American-Arab Affairs, Summer 1987, pp. 87-98.) Despite this successful legal precedent at Western Ontario there have been many attacks against individuals and groups across Canada and the United States because

of their support for human rights for Palestinians. Over the last few years there is a concerted attempt to suppress discussion of the Palestinian issue in North America. There also is a campaign to punish those individuals who have spoken out in support of the Palestinians by cutting funding and by denying them tenure and even getting them terminated from their positions of employment. Two well-known examples of firings are the campaigns that targeted Jewish professors¶ Norman Finkelstein (author of many books on Israel and Zionism including Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestinian Conflict, (Verso Press, New York, 1995) and Joel Kovel (author of Overcoming Zionism: Creating a Single Democratic State in Israel/Palestine (Pluto Press: London, 2007)) for their attacks on Israel¶s policies toward the Palestinians. Another tactic is to smear such individuals who have supported the Palestinians with allegations of anti-Semitism. One such individual was Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu. A few complaints from the Jewish community led to the Noble Prize winner being banned from speaking on campus by the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. Tutu was attacked because of statements he made criticizing Israeli policy toward the Palestinians that some Jewish individuals said were ³anti Semitic.´ Marv Davidov, an adjunct professor with the Justice and Peace Studies program at the University of St. Thomas said: ³As a Jew who experienced real anti-Semitism as a child, I'm deeply disturbed that a man like Tutu could be labeled anti-Semitic and silenced like this,... "I deeply resent the Israeli lobby trying to silence any criticism of its policy. It does a great disservice to Israel and to all Jews.´ After provoking a strong backlash against the decision, and a campaign lead by Jewish Voice for Peace in support of the Arch Bishop which produced more than 6,000 letters of protest, the University rescinded the ban. Professor Bill Robinson was also a target of a similar campaign about alleged anti Semitism to get him fired at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB). Ultimately the University administration defended Robinson¶s academic freedom and the right to express his opinions in his global politics class. Robinson, who is Jewish, distributed an email prepared by a pro-Palestinian Jewish activist that

Sir Gerald Kaufman. The Charter guarantees the right of free speech and freedom of conscience and protects the individual and organizations from government sanction. England to criticize Israeli policy toward the Palestinians. As one of the U.compared the Israeli attack on Gaza to the Nazi attack on the Warsaw Ghetto. Kaufman routinely compared the Jewish state¶s treatment of Palestinians to Nazi Germany¶s treatment of Jews. on Professor Robinson. Here is one notable example: .¶s harshest critics of Israeli policies. 16 university department chairs wrote letters to the University authorities asking them to dismiss the case against Robinson. This campaign to silence critics of Israel and to demonize supporters of the Palestinians is most disturbing and a violation of free speech. the recent cuts to the Canadian Arab Federation¶s funding by Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. In response to this attack. academic freedom and violation of Palestinian human rights. For example. Canadian Jewish groups like Not in Our Name (NION) and Jewish Independent Voices (Canada) and their support for the Palestinians and their criticism of the ³Jewish State. It is also a violation of basic democratic rights when a government does it. The Independent.´ are simply ignored. In addition. However. also used his position as a Member of Parliament in London. For political purposes they simply do not exist. one of the founders of Independent Jewish Voices in Britain. 2006). The mainstream media also rarely covers these alternative Jewish perspectives. Members of Kaufman¶s family perished at the hands of the Nazis and in the Holocaust. more than 100 UCSB faculty members signed a petition asking the university to dismiss the charges against him. (See for example. This campaign is also an attack on the numerous dissenting Jews who support human rights for the Palestinians. there are rare exceptions and sometimes views critical of Zionism are published in the mainstream North American press. ³We Cannot Allow These Murders to Go Unpunished: We can demand these homicidal Israeli soldiers be prosecuted for war crimes. The punitive action taken by Minister Kenney is a denial of the fundamental freedoms and rights which are guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. April 12.´ by Gerald Kaufman.K.

felt comfortable equating the Zionist ideal of Jewish statehood with "the concept of a racial state -the Hitlerian concept. and all nationalisms. a principled opposition to Zionism was a mainstream stance within American Judaism. Even after the foundation of Israel." For most of the last century. If they offered us anything exceptional. and Marxist Jews -. the ultra-Orthodox saw Jewish statehood as an impious attempt to "push the hand of God".´ by Ben Ehrenreich. it was a perspective on oppression and an obligation born of the prophetic tradition: to act on behalf of the oppressed and to cry out at the oppressor. Put simply.my grandparents among them -. Los Angeles Times. Millenniums of oppression that preceded it did not entitle us to a homeland or a right to self-defense that superseded anyone else's. the problem is Zionism.³It's hard to imagine now. Assimilated Reform Jews like Rosenwald believed that Judaism should remain a matter of religious rather than political allegiance.tended to see Zionism. or worse. though. To be Jewish. Lessing J. For the last several decades. slaughtered. To question not just Israel's actions. Yet it is no longer possible to believe with an honest conscience that the deplorable conditions in which Palestinians live and die in Gaza and the West Bank come as the result of specific policies. six years after Kristallnacht. but in 1944. president of the American Council for Judaism. Rosenwald. meant understanding oneself as a member of a tribe that over and over had been cast out. 2009. leaders or parties on either side of the impasse. has for too long been regarded an almost unspeakable blasphemy. but the Zionist tenets on which the state is founded. The problem is fundamental: Founding a modern state on a single ethnic or religious identity in a territory that is ethnically and religiously diverse leads inexorably either to politics of exclusion (think of the 139-square-mile prison camp that Gaza has become) or to wholesale ethnic cleansing. mistreated. it has been all but impossible to cry out against the Israeli state without being smeared as an anti-Semite.) Most of the rest of the World has a much more critical view of the Israeli . anti-Zionism was not a particularly heretical position. I was raised to believe.´ (³Zionism is the problem: The Zionist ideal of a Jewish state is keeping Israelis and Palestinians from living in peace. March 15. as a distraction from the more essential struggle between classes.

´ A Palestinian is simply an inhabitant or citizen of Palestine. The entire rest of the World voted in favor of the right of Palestinians to selfdetermination. held on December 19. . 2006 on the Israeli Palestinian issue.5% success rate. are unfair for singling out the Jewish State or are even anti-Semitic. My own record as a lawyer representing refugee claims for Palestinians from the Occupied Territories made against Israel. are attacked and buried under a barrage of criticism that they are biased. Human Rights Watch. Five countries abstained. The indigenous Palestinian Jews were opposed to the European Jewish settlers who were flooding into Palestine with the support of Great Britain. Muslim and non-believers who are Palestinian. For example in one vote at the United Nations. in the eyes of the supporters of Israel this does not mean that there are serious human rights problems in the Occupied Territories. the United Nations. Central African Republic.occupation of Palestinian land and supports the right of Palestinians to self determination. They were: Australia. is 28 positives to one negative or a 96. Nauru and Vanuatu. It is the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada that is ³anti-Semitic´ and the Jewish members of the IRB who rendered positive decisions on Palestinian refugee claims made against Israel are ³self hating Jews. Canada. Israel can do no wrong. the tally was 176 to five in favor of the Palestinians. The International Red Cross. and even by Israeli organizations such as B'Tselem. However. the well documented human rights violations of the Palestinians at the hands of the Israelis. There are Jewish. Palau and Micronesia. Christian. to read the mainstream North American press you almost never hear of these one-sided votes. Rabbis for Human Rights and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel and by many Israeli journalists. The countries that supported Israel were the United States. However. the Marshall Islands. by respected organizations such as Amnesty International. However. A Palestinian is simply a national designation like that of being Canadian or American. All human beings are entitled to basic human rights.

for the most part. To qualify as a ³Jew´ in ³the Jewish state´ one must meet a racial or ethnic criteria or in the alternative.. Ochs. Palestinians who were born in the country and forcibly expelled are. . H. from Cleveland and president of the Stock Exchange. and Judge M. naturalization and descent that one becomes a Palestinian. The signatories included Henry Morgenthau. Rosendale. Simon W. forbidden to return. The Jewish Law of Return grants almost immediate citizenship rights to Jews from anywhere in the World. C. Macy's Jesse I.we protest against the political segregation of the Jews and the re-establishment in Palestine of a distinctively Jewish State as utterly opposed to the principles of democracy which it is the avowed purpose of the World's Peace Conference to establish. exattorney general of New York. The Zionist state of Israel defines itself as ³Jewish´ and structures itself to advance the interests of Jews at the expense of non-Jews and especially against the indigenous Christian and Muslim Palestinian population. a religious criterion.´ There is much controversy over what is Zionism and how to define the ³Jewish State.´ As Akiva Orr writes." it is contrary to the democratic principles for which the world war was waged to found a nation on either or both of these bases.. Sloss of San Francisco. E. Whether the Jews be regarded as a "race" or as a "religion. Baker. Only by right of birth. ethnic or religious criteria for being a Palestinian. The petition was signed by 31 prominent American Jews. Texas. just like in most other countries.. New York Times publisher Adolph S. Sr. The Jewish State¶s citizenship and Immigration process are unique in the World..There is no racial. Straus. Part of the petition read: ³. In March 1919 United States Congressman Julius Kahn presented an anti-Zionist petition to President Woodrow Wilson as he was departing for the Paris Peace Conference. Kampner of Galveston. M. Mayor L. H. R. ex-ambassador to Turkey.

The logic for this view is obviously flawed. .kibush.il/show_file." There is no rational basis for the argument that criticism of the State of Israel and the political ideology of Zionism is anti-Semitic.asp?num=34734. that you are racist against Americans. 25 July.The Zionist movement and its State. To find out whether Israel is a Jewish State or a Zionist State one need only ask any religious Orthodox Jew anywhere. is anti-Semitic. Mondoweiss. 21 July. Zionism and Judaism are different entities. or the Jim Crow laws that institutionalized discrimination against blacks in the southern states. . His answer will be unambiguous: a Jewish State must be ruled by Jewish religious law. Israel is not ruled by ³Halakha´ laws. To quote one American Jewish academic on the comparison of Israel¶s treatment of the Palestinians to the racist Jim Crow laws in the United States: ³I grew up as a white girl in the Jim Crow South and I have spent my adult life in the study of racism.or Jewish values?. The fact that many Jews have criticized Israel and Zionism is deemed irrelevant. but by secular laws. For example it makes no sense to accuse an individual who criticizes Apartheid South Africa's racist policies toward the blacks as evidence of racism toward Whites.³ Halakha´. These Jewish critics are attacked as "self-hating Jews. 2009).) The argument is often made that criticism of Israel. (See http://www. or more appropriately the self described "Jewish State. They represent a particular trend within the Jewish people." the meaning of which is not defined. . Therefore Israel is not a Jewish State. Or that criticism of the Nazi policy toward the Jews should not be allowed because it is evidence of racism against Germans. They have contradictory qualities. This argument is obviously absurd and should not even need a response. Occupation Magazine. what I see when I go to Palestine is Jim Crow on steroids.´ by Tema Okun. 2009. The fact that it provides refuge to Jews does not make it a Jewish State .co. They never did.the nationalist trend.´( ³A Jewish state . do not represent the Jewish people. namely.ISRAEL. Similarly if you criticize American policy toward the Iraq war and torture at Abu Ghraib Prison.

(Cambridge University Press: New York. cannot lead to a lasting peace. Beinin is a professor of History at Stanford University and is Jewish. as well as the massacres. Joel Beinin in an article. We need an open debate and the freedom to discuss uncomfortable facts and explore the full range of policy options. 1987). It is also a right to present alternative facts and to have a debate. on February 4. However. Here is what Beinin had to say about the campaign to attack critics of Israel¶s policies toward the Palestinians.´ The ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. defame and silence those with opposing viewpoints? I believe it is because the Zionist lobby knows it cannot win based on facts. Dr. Expulsion of the Palestinians (Washington D. 2007. An honest discussion can only lead to one conclusion: The status quo in which Israel declares it alone has rights and intends to impose its will on the weaker Palestinians.C. ³Silencing critics not way to Middle East peace. 1992). is well documented by Israeli historians. The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities (New York: Pantheon Books. divert the discussion or suppress the topic and launches personal attacks against their opponents. Nur Masalha. Benny Morris. 1987). Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi. discussed the campaign to silence critics of Israeli policy. Original Sins. (Olive Branch Press: New . ³Why discredit.: Institute for Palestine Studies. it is almost a certain proof that they are hiding some uncomfortable truths.It is a basic right to evaluate and to criticize a political ideology or political movement and to review and even criticize a state's policies. The birth of the Palestinian refugee problem 1947-1949. Only then can we adopt a foreign policy that serves American interests and one that could actually bring a just peace to Palestinians and Israelis. when one side wants to avoid debate. stripping them permanently of their land.´ published in the San Francisco Chronicle. These include Simcha Flapan. He is active with Jewish Voice for Peace. The argument should be evaluated on the merits and the truthfulness of the facts presented. rapes and illegal confiscation of Palestinian property. resources and rights.

You should be very afraid of a political ideology that you must accept without question. The Palestinians. (Oneworld Publications: Oxford. Arabs and Muslims have many legitimate reasons to criticize the policies and actions of "the Jewish State. that these complaints and to expose these facts is antiSemitic! The view that it is anti-Semitic to criticize Israel. A person who made such an argument would be laughed at. or its actions. and Ilan Pappe. many held without charge under what is called Administrative Detention. Counter Punch.000 Palestinians including women and children." A state that aggressively. or complain about the house demolitions. 2003. or complain about discriminatory policies of the Jewish National Fund or the discrimination involved in the Jewish Law of Return. the 42 years of military Occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. In fact it is still going on today in what some Israelis call the ³slow motion ethnic cleansing´ of the Palestinians. No one would take them or the .´ By Uri Avnery. is pure and simple racism against Palestinians.) If the Palestinians. The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. There are many more Israeli authorities that confirm the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in 1947-1949 and again in 1967. the more than 600 Israeli military check points in the West Bank. losing their country and their right to a citizenship. because it is racist against Arabs or is anti-Muslim. and repeatedly. the well-documented cases of torture. and the imprisonment of more than 11. losing their property to which they had legal title to. complain about the well-documented facts surrounding the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. or their supporters. losing their personal belongings and even their bank accounts. or the recent slaughter in Gaza. 2006). attacks its neighbours and is slowly but systematically ethnically cleansing its non-Jewish population is not above criticism. 1993). the program of targeted assassinations.York. 09 October. No state is above criticism. There is also much to criticize in the Arab world but it would be absurd to say that one cannot criticize the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its treatment of women or its human rights record. having 531 villages destroyed. and then not being allowed to return to their homes in contravention of international law. (For example see ³Slow Motion Ethnic Cleansing.

. George Orwell and many.. December 10. Montagu argued that Zionism and anti-Semitism were based on the same premise. people like me who want Jews to remain in our society. The only Jewish member of Lloyd George's cabinet when Great Britain first threw its weight behind Zionism in 1917. Bertrand Russell.argument seriously. Without antiSemitism Zionism has no legitimacy. to serve its essential function in Zionist theory and practice. (³Hands off the Law of Return!. Zionists want to ³save the Jews´ because they are not safe in the diaspora and face the threat of persecution due to the intractable anti-Semitism that exists in nonJewish societies. Nelson Mandela. as Diaspora exists.So the Law of Return continues to be necessary for Jewish survival. ³The Law [of Return] and the Clause and.´ by David Turner. . many others who have expressed public support for the Palestinians. The Jerusalem Post. namely that Jews and non-Jews could not co-exist. in other words. These individuals include former US President Jimmy Carter.. 2007) Without the history of Christian anti-Semitism that has existed in Europe and the centuries of persecution of the European Jewish community political Zionism would be considered a deranged and absurd political philosophy. for that matter Zionism and the Jewish State are necessary so long as the threat to our people continues. was adamantly opposed to the creation of a Jewish state. our state as protector and refuge for threatened Diaspora Jewry. Mahatma Gandhi. To quote one Zionist commentator. Yet this allegation of anti-Semitism is a frequent smear tactic that has been used against individuals who have publicly supported Palestinian human rights. Arnold Toynbee. Sir Edwin Montagu. The Law defines Israel¶s Zionist mission.. so long. Ironically. Most of the strongest critics of Zionism and Israel's policies are Jewish. be an important part of our community and be safe from discrimination and racism are diametrically opposed to the Zionist goal of ingathering all of the Jews to Palestine. Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu. He attacked the Balfour Declaration and Zionism because he believed they were anti-Semitic.

Franz Kafka. In the process of creating the state of Israel the political Zionists destroyed Palestine and ethnically cleansed more than 700. Saul Landau. Noam Chomsky. Michael Selzer. Eric Hobsbawn. In fact historically Zionism was not supported by the majority of Jews. Silvain Levi. This article lists many prominent Jewish intellectuals that are extremely critical of Israel's policies towards Palestinians. Immanuel Wallerstein. Harold Pinter (the Nobel prize winner for Literature). This list includes Albert Einstein. Hans Kohen. Many Jews are anti-Zionist and opposed the settlement of Jews in Palestine. Montagu's opposition to Zionism and the Balfour Declaration was supported by the leading representative bodies of Anglo-Jewry at the time. to a large extent deliberately. Ronnie Kasrils. the Board of Deputies and the Anglo-Jewish Association. There is a long distinguished line of Jewish critics of Zionism and Israel¶s treatment of the Palestinians. by three prominent British Jews Claude Montefiore. Sigmund Freud. Hannah Arendt. Bruno Kreisky. Stone. actor Ed Asner and many other leading Jewish intellectuals and religious figures.000 Palestinians from their homes and villages in order to create a demographic Jewish majority in their newly created ³Jewish state. Pierre Mendes France. Sara Roy. so that they would be forced to immigrate to Palestine to strengthen the Jewish presence there.F. Don Peretz. Richard Falk.´ There is a very respected and honored Jewish tradition of opposition to injustice and human rights violations. Tony Judt. Rabbi Michael Lerner. Norton Mezvinsky. Alfred Lilienthal. Isaac Asimov. It appears that this fear was realized in that the safety of the Arab Jewish community was undermined. Eric Rouleau. Eric Fromm. David Alexander and Lucien Wolf. and in particular. Isaac Asimov was one of the greatest writers of the Twentieth Century and wrote .Sir Edwin Montagu was also afraid that a Jewish state would undermine the safety of Jews in other countries. Philip Roth. There is no monolithic position for Jews when it comes to Israel and the Palestinian issue. I. Below is a link for my article "Jewish Criticism of Zionism" which lists more than 160 Jewish critics of Zionism.

This book examines Jewish religious opposition to Zionism and details the long history of religious opposition to Zionism as a political movement to establish a Jewish state in Palestine. 2006). Asimov. Rabkin. he tells of having dinner in 1959 with some friends and his wife. It is delightful to have the human heritage exist in a thousand varieties.on many topics. but as soon as one variety is thought to be more important than another. It is titled A Threat from Within: A Century of Jewish Opposition to Zionism. Hundreds of thousands of religious Jews in Israel reject the secular political movement of Zionism which created "the Jewish State. Rabbi Yisroel Weiss is the international spokesman for Neturei Karta. From persecuted to persecutors in the blinking of an eye." Tens of thousands of religious Jews today are adamantly opposed to Zionism including the orthodox Neturei Karta and the Satmar sects. There. Rabkin describes present day Jewish religious antiZionism as follows: . One example is found in the second volume of his autobiography In Joy Still Felt.. there is an influx of Soviet Jews into Israel. they became extreme Israeli nationalists with no pity for the Palestinians. for it makes for greater interest. They are fleeing because they expect religious persecution. He expressed his views about Zionism in a number of pieces.. Asimov wrote: ³As usual.I just think it is more important to be human and to have a human heritage. a professor of History at the University of Montreal." There is an important book written by Dr.. Yakov M. I found myself in the odd position of not being a Zionist and of not particularly valuing my Jewish heritage. the groundwork is laid for destroying them all. Yet at the instant their feet touched Israeli soil. There. (Zed Books: London. Asimov wrote: "Right now. and I think it is wrong for anyone to feel that there is anything special about any one heritage of whatever kind. Asimov discussed how he was distressed by the capability of the historically oppressed (such as the Jews) to in turn become oppressors if given the chance.´ Asimov also commented on Zionism in a chapter titled "Anti-Semitism" in I. his third autobiographical volume.

a group of 92 Reform rabbis. opposed what was to become a vision for a new society. OH] which stated as follows: ³. The press continues to refer to ³the Jewish State.the concept of a theocratic state is long past.. American Jewish Archives. A Threat from Within: A Century of Jewish Opposition to Zionism. Cincinnati. and Sidney Wallach of the American Jewish Committee. 2. This explains why Jewish religious leaders were strongly opposed to secular Zionism. An overwhelming majority of those who defend and interpret the traditions of Judaism have.³. (Zed Books: London 2006).the rejection of Zionism in the name of the Torah.´ Yet the Zionist movement and the creation of the State of Israel has caused one of the greatest schisms in Jewish history. publisher of The New York Times. Included in the Council's leadership were Rabbi Morris S. Rosenwald. Rabkin. In 1943. Theodore Herzl was seen as an anti-Semite due to his hostility to religious Jews. in the name of Jewish tradition. Such rejection is all the more significant in that it can in no way be described as anti-Semitic. the public almost automatically associates Jews and Israel.´ (Yakov M. It is an anachronism. created the American Council for Judaism with the express intent of combatting Zionism. who became president of the Council. and many other prominent American Jews. a new concept of being Jewish... An example of their views on Zionism is ³Palestine. At first glance this seems to be a paradox. p. Lazaron of Baltimore. Roebuck & Company. Lessing J. the former chairman of the Sears. After all.7 [American Council for Judaism Records (1942-1968). Arthur Hays Sulzberger. recent attempts to conflate any expression of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism notwithstanding.. The concept .´ a pamphlet published by the American Council for Judaism. a program of massive immigration to the Holy land and the use of force to establish political hegemony there. Rabbi Elmer Berger who became its executive director.´ Israeli politicians often speak ³in the name of the Jewish people. 1944.) Israel¶s founders were in fact atheists who wanted to transform Judaism from being a religion into a secular national movement based on race or ethnicity. p. from the beginning.

. especially since they believed that: ³that Jewish nationalism tends to confuse our fellowman about our place and function in society and diverts our own attention from our historic role to live as a religious community wherever we may dwell.000. The book. (Temple University Press. Correspondence.of a racial state² the Hitlerian concept² is repugnant to the civilized world. Series A. who wanted the American Jewish community to present a united front on the Palestine question. Kolsky. Jews Against Zionism: The American Council for Judaism 1942-1948. 1990) is a history of the anti-Zionist American Council for Judaism during the period just before the creation of the ³Jewish State. It was created in response to a 1942 Zionist Conference in the US. by Thomas A."(America Council for Judaism.´ After Israel's spectacular success in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. as witness the fearful global war in which we are involved. a change in the policy towards Zionism occurred in the American Council for Judaism. Anti-Zionist Jewish author Alfred Lilienthal has suggested that "Zionist infiltration" succeeded in "neutralizing" the Council. which was based in New York. however. Philadelphia. The Council send letters to various governments and officials expressing their objection to such a notion as a µreligious¶ state. The new group.´ The American Council for Judaism was founded to expressly oppose Zionism. 1942-1953. Rabbi Elmer Berger served as president of AJAZ and also editor of its publication the AJAZ Report until shortly before his death in 1996. which proposed the formation of a Jewish army in Palestine before the state was founded. continued the original anti-Zionist tradition of the American Council for Judaism.) Membership in the Council grew to more than 15. Subseries 1: General. A separate organization was subsequently established in 1969 called American Jewish Alternatives to Zionism (AJAZ). Its members were highly articulate and greatly angered the Zionist leadership.

has edited a book titled Prophet's Outcast. New Israeli Historian Ilan Pappe. edited by Roane Carey and Jonathan Shainin. which means ³Remember. Uri Davis. Felica Langer. Lewis is now the James Madison Visiting Professor at Columbia University.The American Council for Judaism is still in existence but has softened its strict anti-Zionist position but today it is non-Zionist and highly critical of the ³Jewish State¶s´ policies toward the Palestinians. author of Israel: An Apartheid State (London: Zed Books. . former General and Knessett Member Mattityahu Peled. Tikva Honig-Parnass. Brownfeld is the Editor of Issues. Shulamit Aloni. Meron Benvenisti. Uri Avnery former Knesset member and leader of Gush Shalom. a former Minister of Education. University of Oxford historian Avi Shalim. Eitan Bronstein Chair of Zochrot. written by 27 prominent Israelis. a well known human rights lawyer. Adam Shatz. Jeff Halper head of Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. cofounder of the Alternative Information Center. Allan C. The book contains essays written by 24 prominent Jewish scholars and intellectuals which are very critical of Zionism and Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. Naman is President of the Council. their quarterly newsletter and also editor of their ³Special Interest Report. the literary editor of The Nation Magazine. There are many Israeli critics of Zionism and anti-Zionist Jews in Israel where the conflict with the Palestinians is most apparent. former Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem. 1987). Another important book is The Other Israel: Voices of Refusal and Dissent. A copy of my review in Middle East Policy can be found at the link below. The link to my review is found below. Their publications frequently carry anti-Zionist Jewish criticism. Yossi Sarid a former Knesset member and past leader of Meretz.´ and works to remind Israelis about the Nakba or Palestinian catastrophe. The Introduction is written by Anthony Lewis. the late Israel Shahak former Chair of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights. former head of the World Jewish Agency and former Speaker of the Knesset.´ Stephen L. It contains articles very critical of Israel¶s policies. the late linguist and journalist Tanya Reinhart. Michael Warschawski. the two-time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. These include Avraham Burg. who worked at The New York Times between 1969 and 2001. The Forward was written by a prominent Israeli author and journalist Tom Segev.

written by Tom Segev. remained there because they chose to. non-Zionist or extremely critical of Zionism and Israel¶s policies toward the Palestinians. When the country was conquered by the Arabs. for example. and journalists Gideon Levy. Here is how Segev summarizes the arguments in Zand¶s book: ³According to Zand. Meron Rapoport.on February 29. the Jewish religion tried to induce members of other faiths to become Jews. how is it that so many of them reached almost every country on earth? Zand says they emigrated of their own volition or. It was a review of a book titled. notes. and most of the Jews were permitted to remain in the country. If the majority of the Jews were not exiled. Zand did not invent this thesis. the Romans did not generally exile whole nations. B.´ This information and arguments have been around for a long time but it is interesting to see them published in one of Israel's leading daily newspapers and presented in a book written by an Israeli historian. Zand rejects most of the stories of national-identity formation in the Bible. Yitzhak Ben-Zvi and others. he asserts. if they were among those exiled to Babylon. Prof.B. It is authored by Israeli historian Shlomo Zand (also spelled Sand). including the exodus from Egypt and. Segev writes: ³. Akiva Eldar. Yehoshua. The number of those exiled was at most tens of thousands. 30 years before the Declaration of Independence.. the horrors of the conquest under Joshua. The book became a best seller in Israel.in one of the most fascinating and challenging books published here in a long time. which explains how there came to be millions of Jews in the world. It's all fiction and myth that served as an excuse for the establishment of the State of Israel. It follows that the progenitors of the Palestinian Arabs were Jews. 2008.hence there was no return. many of the Jews converted to Islam and were assimilated among the conquerors. There was an interesting book review published in Haaretz. "And many of the people . Michael and Gideon Spiro to name only a few of the many Israelis who are anti-Zionist. When and How Was the Jewish People Invented? (published by Resling in Hebrew). and the exile also never happened . only a Jewish religion. Contrary to conventional belief. most satisfactorily. Zand teaches history at Tel Aviv University. A. it was espoused by David Ben-Gurion. There never was a Jewish people..editor of Between the Lines. Amira Hass. As the Book of Esther. Yitzhak Laor.

' By Tom Segev. The Guardian. but became Jews in the Khazar Kingdom in the Caucasus.´ by Eric Rouleau and ³Are the Jews an Invented People´ by Eric Rouleau. 2009. along with an invocation of racist theses. 2009).´ By Brian Klug. ³Israel¶s war crimes. (For example see. March 2009. These same subjects are much more openly discussed in Europe and in the rest of the World. 10 May. some of them as merchants. and therein lies the problem.of the land became Jews.´ By Henry Siegman. The first Jews of Ashkenaz (Germany) did not come from the Land of Israel and did not reach Eastern Europe from Germany. London Review of Books. English edition. Le Monde diplomatique. the Zionist need to devise for them a shared ethnicity and historical continuity produced a long series of inventions and fictions. ³Israel¶s Lies. ³New Israeli Scholars Face up to Israel¶s Origins. Ha'aretz.´ (³An Invention Called 'The Jewish People. blond and black. February 29. Some were concocted in the minds of those who conceived the Zionist movement." Zand quotes from many existing studies. but the result of the connection between the offspring of the Kuzari and Germans who traveled to the East. We find. The community of Jews in Spain sprang from Arabs who became Jews and arrived with the forces that captured Spain from the Christians. that the members of a variety of peoples and races. 2008. Israel is not a normal state ± it is a cause or ideal.) It is somewhat ironic that issues and subjects that relate to the Palestinians and Zionism that are virtually taboo in North America are openly discussed in Israel. He also describes at length the Jewish kingdom of Himyar in the southern Arabian Peninsula and the Jewish Berbers in North Africa. 15 January.´ By Richard Falk. Zand explains the origins of Yiddish culture: it was not a Jewish import from Germany. and from European-born individuals who had also become Jews. 29 January. 2008. while others were offered as the findings of genetic studies conducted in Israel. and ³A crisis in Judaism: For many Jews today. brown and yellow. Le Monde diplomatique. then. . some of which were written in Israel but shunted out of the central discourse. became Jews in large numbers. According to Zand. for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.

on April 12. absolute equality and the addressing of "the special needs and unique character of each of the sides. This discrimination is deep-seated and intolerable.´ By Elie Leshem and Jpost.. 2008).Here is what noted financier.´ (see ³PM slams 'discrimination' against Arabs. The debate in Israel about Israeli policy is much more open and vigorous than in the United States.. Quoting from Rivlin¶s prepared speech which was released to the media: ³the establishment of Israel was accompanied by much pain and suffering and a real trauma for the Palestinians (in large part due to the shortsightedness of the Palestinian leadership).) . (See ³Knesset Speaker: Establishment of Israel caused Arabs real trauma. This is all the more remarkable because Palestine is the issue that more than any other currently divides the United States from Europe. feel the pain of their brothers across the green line . 2009. Haaretz. the inequality in the allocation of state funds also does not contribute to any extra love. For an example of the type of discussion that goes on in Israel is the following statement made by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert: "For sixty years there has been discrimination against Arabs in Israel. writing in The New York Review of Books. based on mutual respect.´ By Haaretz Service. "encounter racism and arrogance from Israel's Jews." Rivlin says.´ . While other problem areas of the Middle East are freely discussed. 3rd August. Jerusalem Post. had to say on this the lack of debate in the United States on the Palestinian issue: ³The current policy is not even questioned in the United States. Many of Israel's Arabs. 2009. criticism of our policies toward Israel is very muted indeed.com Staff. which see themselves as part of the Palestinian population.a pain they feel the state of Israel is responsible for. Another example is the current Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (from the rightwing Likud Party) who called for a fundamental change in relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel. He urged the founding of a "true partnership" between the two sectors.´ Many of them. George Soros. Nov 12." The Speaker was reported to say all this in an address to be delivered at the president's residence in Jerusalem on August 3rd. 2007." Olmert made this statement while addressing a meeting of the Knesset committee that was investigating the lack of integration of Arab citizens in public service.

Palestinian leadership. 1948. These individuals are called ³present Absentees. July-August 2001. the Maxine Elliot Professor in Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of California at Berkley. These individuals were considered Israeli citizens. cannot be blamed for everything. Its Not Anti-Semitic. The invention of µretroactive transfer¶ and µpresent absentees¶ as the glacial euphemisms of ethnic cleansing. Her article is on the question of whether criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic. describes the phrase and how it relates to Israel: ³How the founding myths of Israel dictated conceptual removal of Palestinians.´ by Gabriel Piterberg. Rivlin still tried to focus the blame on the Palestinian leadership for the problems and does not fully acknowledge Israel's part in the expulsions. Her answer and article is titled: ³No.´ (See ³Erasures.´ an Orwellian phrase if there ever was one. One of the articles is written by Judith Butler. And according to Israeli Historian Ilan Pappe there were expulsions of the Palestinians from 30 villages after the War had ended in 1949. Another important book on this topic is Reframing Anti-Semitism: Alternative Jewish Perspectives published by the Jewish Voice for Peace. Here is how one Israeli academic. New Left Review.) Nor does Rivlin acknowledge that most of the Zionist leadership wanted all of Palestine without its Arab population and this wish ³miraculously´ came true. These expulsions and massacres started before the official declaration of Israel¶s Independence on May 14. during and after physical removal.Can you ever imagine a top American or Canadian politician making statements like these.´ The link to my review of the Jewish Voice for Peace book is found below. but still lost all of their property. Rivlin also does not address the land seizures from Palestinians who fled or were expelled from their homes but remained in Israel. It contains articles written by 8 Jewish American writers. Gabriel Piterberg. or a leading Canadian or American newspaper publishing an article like this one? If they did make statements like these what would be the reaction? However. . inept as it was.

Judaism or Zionism. Joel Kovel. These include Zionism Reconsidered. edited by Seth Faber (Common Courage Press. This book contains the highly critical writings of 27 Jewish academics and thinkers on the issues of the Occupation. Ora Wise. 1970).Another book that examines Jewish criticism of Zionism and Israel¶s policies is Wrestling with Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the IsraeliPalestinian Conflict. Anne Karpf. (Association of Arab University Graduates. Faber¶s book contains a series of interviews with leading American dissident Jews¶ Noam Chomsky. Jewish Critics of Zionism and The Stifling and Smearing of a Dissenter. Marc Ellis. Monroe ME. Jacqueline Rose and Barbara Rosenbaum. by Moshe Menuhin. Zionism and Jewish Identity (Verso: London. edited by Tony Kushner and Alisa Solomon (Grove Press: New York. (Zed Books: London. This list includes such distinguished writers as Arthur Miller. and Peacemakers: Conversations with Jews against the occupation. This book contains a collection of 53 prominent American Jewish writers¶ critical analysis of Zionism and Israel¶s policies. Steve Quester. 1989). Kushner is an award winning playwright and Solomon a staff writer at The Village Voice and a professor at Baruch College-City of New York. Naomi Klein (actually a Canadian) and Rabbi Arthur Waskow among many others. Norton Mezvinsky. Radicals. Brian Klug. Smith ed. 1976). 2008). Another important book on Jewish criticism of Zionism and Israel¶s treatment of the Palestinians is A Time to Speak Out: Independent Jewish Voices on Israel. 1974). Israel and Zionism. Zionism: The dream and the reality: A Jewish Critique. EAFORD & AJAZ (American Jewish Alternatives to Zionism) eds. There are a number of other anthologies and collections of writings from anti-Zionist Jews. edited by Michael Selzer. . (The MacMillian Company: London. (Barnes & Noble Books: New York. It is edited by four prominent British academics. Rabbis. 2003). 2005). (Clarity Press: Atlanta. Gary V. Eibie Weizfeld ed. 1986). Susan Sontag.. The End of Zionism and the Liberation of the Jewish People.

Hamilton. who serve in various capacities with the organization and their publication. and Halifax. Eibie Weizfeld. Klaus Herrmann. Zalman Amit. pianist Anton Kuerti. 1998. Naomi Klein. Phyllis Bennis. Here is what Independent Jewish Voices (Canada) said. the late esteemed Canadian author. Winnipeg. Many Canadian Jews were against the war on Gaza." Toronto Star. The IJV is a member-led organization. Bernard Avishai. Canada. Harold Berson is in charge of circulation. Avi Lewis. February 15. secular Jewish publication with a socialist-humanist perspective. Many other Canadian Jews are opposed to Zionism or are critical of Israel¶s treatment of the Palestinians. headquartered in Vancouver. Yakov Rabkin. The Steering Committee is composed of 24 Canadian Jewish activists including Fabienne Presentey. Mordecai Richler. Daniel Boyarin. Abbie Bakan. The Jewish Outlook Society. Gabor Mate. Adam Shapiro. Ursula Franklin. Toronto.´ Carl Rosenberg is the Editor and Sylvia Friedman is the Managing Editor. They describe their magazine as. Judith Weisman. Rabbi David Weiss. Alan Sears. Andy Leher and Harry Shannon. Michael Neumann. Howard Skutel. and includes a speech and an essay by Marc Ellis. Outlook takes a critical view of Israel¶s policies toward the Palestinians and frequently publishes Jewish anti-Zionist perspectives.Norman Finkelstein. wrote an article entitled "Israel marks 50th anniversary out of favor with many Jews. Sandra Ruch. Dylan Penner. in their February . Rick Salutin. primarily living in Canada. They have over 40 Jewish individuals. Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) (Canada) currently has more than 100 members. Ralph Benmergui broadcaster and producer and Judy Deutsch head of Science for Peace to name but a few. Mordecai Briemberg. Judy and Larry Haiven. Janet Weinroth. Montreal. Rabbi Reuben Slonim. Ottawa. These dissenters include academics and writers Judy Rebick. Michael Mandel. with chapters in Vancouver. publishes Outlook. ³An Independent. Sid Shniad and Diana Ralph serves as coordinators for IJV.

and brutal policies of another government is an ethical imperative. However. and compliance with international law. Yet many Zionists. and their supporters.´ There are hundreds. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has pledged complete allegiance with Israel and labels as ³anti-Semitic´ any criticism of Israeli actions (including the Gaza massacre. about Stephen Harper Conservative government¶s position on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and Minister Jason Kenney¶s cutting off funding for English Second Language training programs run by the Canadian Arab Federation: ³We believe that Mr. This claim of near universal Jewish support for the Zionist state and its actions toward the Palestinians is so far from the truth that it is laughable. Kenny [sic] and his Conservative government is threatening CAF¶s funding because CAF stands for justice for Palestinian people and because it expresses principled criticism of oppressive Israeli policies. To responsibly raise critical concerns about the discriminatory. As Jews. of Jewish critics of Zionism and of Israel¶s policies toward the Palestinians who have published articles or written books on the subject. Israel has obligations under international law. illegal. AntiSemitism refers to hostility and/or prejudice against Jews. etc. One has only to open your eyes and review the written record to see that there is no Jewish consensus on these issues and a great deal of criticism and outright . justice. the Conservative government has gone further than any previous Canadian administration in endorsing illegal and brutal Israeli assaults on Palestinian and Lebanese people. claim that there is a monolithic Jewish position in support of Zionism. we affirm that criticizing Israeli policies is NOT anti-Semitic. we believe this is a dishonest smoke-screen. Like any other government. a ploy to discredit principled calls for humanity. As Jews. 2009 Press Release.19. which our government should support. use of illegal phosphorous and DIME weapons against civilians.). and probably thousands. Israel and the occupation of Palestinian land. house demolitions.

the author of the novel "The Suitors. Demolishing the wall of silence that has protected AIPAC would help lay them to rest. they seek to limit the discourse.Any politician who dares to expose AIPAC's influence would incur its wrath.. One of the myths propagated by the enemies of Israel is that there is an all-powerful Zionist conspiracy. or to suppress discussion. ³Meanwhile. and repression on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem and Gaza engender anti-Semitism. both in the past and today..opposition to Zionism exists in Jewish intellectual and religious circles. a tactic he described ³the most insidious argument. Israel's supporters shamelessly use the argument that to criticize Israel is antiSemitic no matter what Israel does. He is also Jewish. Faced with international condemnation. This argument is almost entirely false and politically motivated. Nevertheless. Not to tell the truth. that AIPAC has been so successful in suppressing criticism has lent some credence to such false beliefs. instead of fomenting anti-Semitism. to erect walls that delineate what can and can't be . The opposite is the case. about what is going on in Palestine is racist and a crime against the Palestinian people and a crime of silence and indifference not unlike the one committed against Jews in the Second World War. ³. But this is not possible without first disposing of the most insidious argument put forward by the defenders of the current policies: that the critics of Israel's policies of occupation. That is a false accusation. control.´ wrote in the Los Angeles Times on the issue of criticism of Zionism being anti-Semitic. would only help diminish it. A debate within the Jewish community. the characterization of anti-Zionism as an "epidemic" more dangerous than anti-Semitism reveals only the unsustainability of the position into which Israel's apologists have been forced. To quote George Soros on the use of anti-Semitism.. It is up to the American Jewish community itself to rein in the organization that claims to represent it.´ to silence the political debate on Israel¶s policies toward the Palestinians..´ Billionaire George Soros can hardly be considered a leftist. so very few can be expected to do so. Here is what Ben Ehrenreich.

´ (³Zionism is the problem: The Zionist ideal of a Jewish state is keeping Israelis and Palestinians from living in peace. Edward C. critical inquiry and democratic debate. intimidation and censorship. pluralist. 2009. He can be reached at corriganlaw@edcorrigan. . Individuals should be allowed to decide for themselves questions about Zionism and the Palestinians based on open debate. the facts and informed opinion not on suppression of debate. Ontario.ca or at (519) 439-4015. as the book of Amos has it. in the halls of political power and all across North America. We need to fight for freedom of speech. Canada." Establishing a secular. This fact needs to be recognized. This article will appear in a forthcoming issue of Outlook magazine published by the Canadian Jewish Outlook Society. March 15.said. academic freedom.) There is clearly a wide range of opinion on Zionism that exists within the Jewish community. at all universities and colleges. We also need to reject specious arguments and reject false allegations of racism and anti-Semitism. Los Angeles Times. Corrigan is a lawyer certified as a Specialist in Citizenship and Immigration Law and Immigration and Refugee Protection by the Law Society of Upper Canada in London. It's not working. democratic government in Israel and Palestine would of course mean the abandonment of the Zionist dream. in the media.´ by Ben Ehrenreich. Opposing Zionism is neither anti-Semitic nor particularly radical. "turn justice into wormwood and hurl righteousness to the ground. It might also mean the only salvation for the Jewish ideals of justice that date back to Jeremiah. It requires only that we take our own values seriously and no longer.

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