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Protests as 'Israel-hater' gets philosophy prize

The Local · 12 Sep 2012, 10:23

Published: 12 Sep 2012 10:23 GMT+02:00

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The 56-year-old American was awarded the prize by the city of Frankfurt for her work as a one of the most important politically-engaged thinkers of her time.

Her works "can hardly be overestimated," Frankfurt's culture policy spokesman Felix Semmelroth said as he introduced Butler, the first woman to receive the prestigious intellectual prize, worth €50,000.

Butler has been heavily criticized by Jewish groups for her critical opinions of Israeli government policy, but she did not address the issue in her acceptance speech.

The Central Council of Jews in Germany had called Butler - also a Jew - an "avowed Israel hater," and criticized the decision to award her the prize. The group accused her of calling for a boycott of Israel and treating Palestinian groups Hamas and Hezbollah as legitimate political movements.

Butler has denied the allegations in recent newspaper interviews.

"I am convinced that even those who disagree with Butler's theses must admit that as a philosopher and public intellectual, she has an influence that goes far beyond the universities," said Semmelroth.

"Her voice is not only listened to, but it is has weight, and is acknowledged and taken seriously."

Demonstrators on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were separated by police as they shouted slogans outside the venue, but Butler's acceptance speech ignored the controversy, centring on social engagement and anti-violent protest.

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Your comments about this article

10:59 September 12, 2012 by Repatriated
Somehow you can't ever be critical or disagree with Israel's policies without being branded as anti-semitic or an Israel-hater. Believe me...that much worn-out and lame accusation.
11:28 September 12, 2012 by Legal E
@Repat... agree. It seems that you have to agree to everything Israel does or you are an anit-this, anti-that. I do not know of any other country in the world like this, even China.

I just sigh when I see this. It is if you are Jewish you have to toe the line... democracy when it fits.
11:55 September 12, 2012 by ChrisRea
Ms. Butler is the author of the excellent article "No, it¦#39;s not anti-semitic", in which she explains that criticising the actions of the Israel government is not anti-semitic. Her sensible approach is illustrated by the following passage: "¦#39;Victim¦#39; is a quickly transposable term: it can shift from minute to minute, from the Jew killed by suicide bombers on a bus to the Palestinian child killed by Israeli gunfire. The public sphere needs to be one in which both kinds of violence are challenged insistently and in the name of justice." http://www.lrb.co.uk/v25/n16/judith-butler/no-its-not-anti-semitic

It is also interesting that in 2010 she refused the Zivilcouragepreis from the Christopher Street Day Parade in Berlin, due to racist comments made by the organisers.
12:23 September 12, 2012 by Eric1
Nothing has changed, Jew hater are celebrated. The haters don't have long, the Iranians will nuke Israel soon. No one seems to do any thing.

President Obama says he didn't have time to meet with the Isrealis but then went on tv to joke around with Jay Leno.
13:01 September 12, 2012 by maorsh
@Repatriated and Legal E,

regardless of the antisemitism accusations, her views on Israel and the Middle East conflict are illegitimate, and she more than onced expressed bigotry against Israel as a country and Israelis as a society. She calls for boycott against individual Israelis (artists, companies) simply because they are Israelis. She declared that Hamas and Hizbollah, radical Islamic terror organizations that mordered thousands of Israeli civilians, as "a part of the global left". She demonizes and delegitimize Israel quite obsessively over the past few years. She does not criticize israel - this is not criticism on policies and actions. This is pure bigotry, and I can't believe that a German respected institute will chose someone like that to receive an "intelectual prize". Shameful.
14:02 September 12, 2012 by blackboot11
it is my opinion that our world is brinking on a new dark age fueled by bigoted religious extremism with many sources, from Islam, Judism and Christians alike.... this really saddens me.
14:05 September 12, 2012 by ChrisRea
@ maorsh

On the contrary - she called many times to support Israel and Israel people. She is not fighting Jews/Israelis, but Zionists. In her own words, "It will not do to equate Jews with Zionists or Jewishness with Zionism." She is one of "those who maintain that the violent appropriation of Palestinian land, and the dislocation of 700,000 Palestinians, was an unsuitable foundation on which to build a state."

I guess her philosophy is summed up in these words: "And yet for me, it comes out of a certain Jewish value of social justice. So how can I fulfill my obligation as a Jew to speak out against an injustice when, in speaking out against Israeli state and military injustice, I am accused of not being a good enough Jew or of being a self-hating Jew? This is the bind of my current situation."

She is one of the reasons I respect Jews.
16:49 September 12, 2012 by Legal E
@ChrisRea. Thanks for the input, I have not read her works but it seems that any words or dialogue that hints againts Isreal is then used against said persons as being anti-Jewish (I do not use Semite as this inludes Arabs). Even is the person is Jewish. It winds me up.

A Catholic can speak against the Vatican quite openly, ditto for CoE. I use the words again, Democracy only on certain terms.
19:19 September 12, 2012 by IchBinKönig
Its a log easier, as a German, to think of them as 'Zionists' while we spew our hate. 'Jews' just sounds so 1930's.
21:03 September 12, 2012 by ITAMAR

There was no different in the NS government if the Jews were Zionists,Atheists,converted to Christianity, soldiers in the Kaiser army-they had all the same bad end without any discount.even those who their grand grandmother was Jews and they were Christians for generations,were arrested and expelled from sociaty.

There are also Jews who join the enemies of Israel who call for its destruction, like some ulthra orthodox Jewish groups who joined Ahmed El Najad voice that Israel must disappear,they are baned from enter Israel.
21:13 September 12, 2012 by Neanderthal

are you sure your name is Eric not Yehuda or Ehud?
22:07 September 12, 2012 by steel jaws
Each time somebody criticises Israel there is a cry of hate towards the Jews. Israel itself however is a state which does not follow the path of peace as is foreseen within the Jewish religion. It is therefor quite legitimate for a Jew to denounce any unjustified actions carried out by that country.

Real hate does not stop at telling the truth, but takes every little chance given to damage or destroy the opponent. Moslems in Europe for example claim that Islam is a religion of peace, but hardly a day goes by without news reports, coming in from abroad, telling of Islamic violence.

Not the person, religion, nation , or race are important, but what they do. Germany was quite rightly criticised for its treatment of Jews during the 1930s. The same level of judgement must however be applied to other peoples, or their governments. Double standards are quite common in this world, but this does not make them right. To call Judith Butler an Israel hater is just another effort to give people, who are brave enough to tell the truth, a bad name.
00:02 September 13, 2012 by septiSeverus
The ignorant, the warmongers, the various groups of religious chosen people and their supporters of bigotry, violence and in juice are also haters of truth.
01:06 September 13, 2012 by Navigator_B
Judith Butler's critics might be trying to make people dismiss her as just a crank but they're only giving her more publicity. I find it hard to disagree with anything I've read from the quotes from her as supplied by ChrisRea above. I had never heard of her but now I think I'll find out more about what she has to say.

If they're calling her an "Israel-hater" for criticising what the Israeli government does, then they have to admit to being "Iran-haters" themselves.
06:07 September 13, 2012 by maorsh

Zionism is the national movement of the Jewish people - it's about the right of the Jews to collectively decide on their future, more than anything else. The anti- and non-Zionist Jews left the world in WW2, and didn't leave much choice to those who survived.

There is a group of 6.something million people living in Israel - their nationality (NOT only religion, but nationality) is Jewish, and they are Zionist. Zionism is inseparable from their Jewish identity.

Zionism is not about Jewish exclusiveness, and it's definitely not what people like Judith Butler made it to look like, being influenced by radical ideologies that have nothing to do with human rights and liberalism. Zionism IS liberalism.

So saying "It will not do to equate Jews with Zionists or Jewishness with Zionism" is for most Jews in the world, and particularly to almost all Jews in Israel, an insult. Denying the Jews from the national rights given to any other people in the world is bigotry and hate.

It's a trend to say "you can't criticize Israel, whatever you say on Israel you're called antisemite". It's nonsense - people criticize Israel, politicians and organizations criticize Israel, from within and from the outside. The German government criticizes Israel in its principles against Israeli settlement policy. Half of Israel's political system criticizes Israeli government policies and actions. Israel is a democracy.

Demonizing Israel and delegitimizing its existence is BIGOTRY, not criticism. It is not done to any other country or national group in the world, at least not to the extent it is done to the Jews these days, how surprising. So no, it doesn't work this mantra "I'm not against Jews, I'm against Zionism". When you're against Zionism, you're against most Jews, you're against ALL Jews in Israel, and you're against Jewish rights.
10:09 September 13, 2012 by trevzns
@ maorsh

Nonsense and propaganda.
11:29 September 13, 2012 by JenDigs
@ Maorsh: Just curious, but I was told (by an observant Jew) that Zionism is decried by many Jews because Torah-observant Jews do not believe that Jesus of Nazarath was the Messiah and that the Jewish state of Israel will only be (re)founded when the Messiah returns.... so the Zionist is actually going against the decree of G-d (who sent the Jews out of Israel for being unworthy and will only support their return via the Messiah).... thoughts?
11:48 September 13, 2012 by maorsh

First of all, neither Zionism nor Judaism has anything to do with Jesus... Throughout the diaspora, orthodox Jewish communities held the belief that Jews are not allowed to re-establish an independent rule in the land of Israel, since this would be the role of the Massiah (I'm simplifying it of course, but that belief can be described in such short terms). that does not mean that Orthodox Jews were against living in Israel - there was always a viable Jewish community in the colonized land (mostly in Jerusalem, Haifa, Tiberius and Tzefad). This common belief was also challenged by many Jewish scholars and religious figures, but Jewish communities largly avioded reclaiming their homeland with any type of sovereignty.

Zionism as a 19th-century national movement was predominantly secular. It was the reaction of educated, secular Jews to the difficulties of integration in European societies and increasing antisemitism. It was based on the cultural and national components of the Jewish people more than on the religious component - a connection to Jewish history, and not to the word of God.

Initially orthodox Jews rejected the idea. Also among secular Jews in the diaspora, Zionism at first was not so popular. It didn't seem realistic, was not attractive (the land was poor and underdeveloped), and many also believed that it was not necessary).

The internal-Jewish debate on Zionism practically ended in 1945, when almost all non- and anti-Zionist Jews were systematically exterminated. Zionism was for many the only choice, both as a practice and as an ideology (which again, was about the Jews' right to politics - the right to decide for themselves on their own future, and the right to have sovereignty over their homeland, like any other people).

Gradually the vast majority of ultra-orthodox Jewish communities and sectors accepted (or "got used to") the idea of Jewish sovereignty in the land of Israel. There is still a small minority that does not (Neturei Karta, those who go to kiss with Ahmadinjad and sympathize with radical Islamist terrorists, since for them "everything is kosher" in the struggle against Israel).

The important point is that today, Jewish religious anti-Zionism hardly exists. Even if it existed in a more prominent way, it would still not be an excuse to deny the Jewish people their national rights (just because some of them don't want these rights, for whatever reason..).

@trevzns, thanks for replying.
14:06 September 13, 2012 by trevzns

How does ancient Egyptian mythology, Jewish legends and European political ideology...Zionism, create a historical homeland?

The deity responsible for the creation of a Jewish homeland in the real world, was the British Government and illegal annexation.

Along with a desire for national rights, liberalism and no bigotry, you did not mention the other fine qualities of Zionism, Hypocrisy and opportunism.
14:07 September 13, 2012 by JenDigs

I could apparently spend days reading more (I love research), but I only have time right now to comment on your statement: "the important point is that today, Jewish religious anti-Zionism hardly exists."

A very (very) cursory bit of Google searching produces a never-ending stream of organizations (of JEWS) against Zionism.... (I'll not list them here as I have not had a chance to research them and anyone else interested can of course do this for themselves... I just point out the fact that so many seem to exist...)

I also find that (according to the JewishVirtualLibrary.org), the vast majority of Jews currently reside in the US & Israel (82% of all Jews on the planet) and Wikipedia currently states: "approximately 13 percent of American Jews[1] and 25 percent of Israeli Jews were Orthodox".

Orthodoxy can be divided into 2 main groups: Heradim & Religious Zionists. Heradim account for about 1.26 million people (best estimates I could find on quick search)... Heradim are strongly anti-Zionist because they view that one of the oaths (Midrash) laid by G-d on the Jewish people "not to go up from Exile to the Land of Israel en masse" has not been fulfilled and is actually actively being broken by Zionists.

Orthodox Jews are not against living in Israel, but they are religiously anti-Zionist.... and they represent a fair portion of all Jews...

Now I really must get back to work... good discussion!
14:21 September 13, 2012 by Navigator_B
maorsh, a Zionist can, in theory, be a moderate who just believes in a liberal Jewish state but the reality of Zionism is far more extreme as is often the case with nationalist ideologies. In Israel this can be seen in the treatment of Palestinians and the stealing of their land. 

I've never heard of anyone who calls themself a Zionist who believes that Israel should stay within its internationaly recognised borders, but there are plenty of Zionists who believe in violently driving out Palestinians from the West Bank.

Anyway, it's perfectly legitimate to criticise even the relatively moderate form of Zionism. There is nothing wrong with questioning the idea of a Jewish state because such a state is sectarian by its very nature, just like an Islamic republic. It cannot avoid discriminating against anyone who is not from its group or does not fit into its group.

On the other hand there would be nothing wrong with the idea of a state where Jews can live as they wish according to their culture, but that does not have to be a Jewish state.
18:12 September 13, 2012 by ChrisRea
@ maorsh

We might use different definitions of Zionism. By Zionism, I understand what, for example, Alexander Motyl defines in his Encyclopedia of Nationalism: "a form of nationalism of Jews and Jewish culture that supports a Jewish nation state in territory defined as the Land of Israel". So it is fully related to the occupation of a specific territory. That is the concept against many people fight, including Jews (for example secular Jews, Satmar Hasidim and Neturei Karta). They consider that unfair land confiscation, expulsions of Palestinians, violence against Palestinians and racism are not tolerable.

What definition do you use?
18:49 September 13, 2012 by ITAMAR

the Zionist movement is born in 1882 in Russia with Biluim movement and was established by Theodor Herzl in 1889 in 2 books:Alt-Neuland and Die Juden staat,the Zionist movement affermed that the Jewish people who lived for 4000 years in Israel and was forced out from his land by the Romans, has the right to return to his homeland and to rebuild his ancient state,it also affermed that the exile of the Jewish people for tousends of years while trying to keep their national identity and religion caused anti semitic attacks on the Jews and continuing suffering,therefore the solution was to recreate the old home land of the Jewish people on his land,No Chris the Jews did not land in Europe from the Moon ,they had their state and land and were forced from there by violance and it does not mean they lost their right to come back even if it took 2500 years to realize it
19:32 September 13, 2012 by ChrisRea

Yes, I do not contest that what you say is the propaganda used by Zionists. That was actually my point.
21:08 September 13, 2012 by ITAMAR
Chris Rea

of course Popaganda ,after the arabs point of view we do not have the right to exsist,

this is the reason for repeated wars initiated by the arabs in order to destroy us.
21:54 September 13, 2012 by ChrisRea
Yes, thank you for mentioning this. Another point used by the propaganda. They probably consider that the Suez Crisis (when Israel invaded Egypt), or the surprise Israeli attack at the beginning of the Six-Day War, or the repeated invasions of Lebanon by Israeli forces were all initiated by the Arabs in order to destroy the Jews. So the Zionist point of view is that always the Arabs are the guilty party. If Israel attacks first, it is preemptive strike. The Israeli have always the right to assassinate Arabs, because they might support a defense military program. And that is of course intolerable. Good philosophy. Why would anyone think of bigotry?
22:09 September 13, 2012 by trevzns

The pyramids and Sphinx are over 4000 years old.

Three thousand years ago was the bronze age. Four thousand years ago as your story goes, Jews were forced from their promised homeland by the Romans. Where did they go?

However today, there is physical evidence to support a Jewish homeland, but its from the British Government and in this Land declaration there is no mention of a deity or prophets?
22:24 September 13, 2012 by maorsh
@trevzns - Zionism was the national movement of the Jewish people to reclaim sovereignty in their historical homeland, and it large achieved its goals. The 1947 UN committee acknowledged that in the land there are two national groups with legitimate national needs and rights, and both deserve independence on that land. To come now 65 years after the world has recognizes the legitimate rights of the Jewish people via the Zionist movement and claim that these rights should not be respected anymore, is bigotry. Trashing Zionism is an increasing sport in the Western world (and almost the only sport in most of the Arab world), and you are welcome to play as much as you want, but you're not playing with the Jewish people. If you want to take away their country, they will meet you in the battle field (at your place or their place, doesn't matter).

@JenDigs - The vast majority of Ultra-Orthodox Jews are not anti-Zionist, they are at worst indifferent to Zionism. The ultra-orthodox anti-Zionist are a small minority among ultra-orthodox Jews, and not even worth mentioning when we're talking about the Jewish people as a whole. In any case, this small group is quite good in promoting itself (like most radicals...) and excels in opening anti-Zionist websites. They are marginal, include at most a few thousands of people (that are perceived very negatively by the other millions).

And again - we're talking mostly about the Jewish people in Israel, the people whose nation state is Israel. These are the people that matter for the national identity of Israel, and even if all diaspora Jews decide to become anti-Zionist, they wouldn't strip the Jews in Israel from their national identity nor their national rights.
11:59 September 14, 2012 by ITAMAR

falsing the history does not make you right.

Sinai was never an Eygptian land but after the cease fire agreements in 1948 was a no one zone under sorveigliance of the UN with UN force inside, in 1956 Nasser blocked the suess canal and also the Eilat port ,started also to suport Fadyin terror attacks on the Israeli southeren cities- the war was inevitable, in 1967 Nasser closed again the Port of Eilat , and the Eygptian army moved to Sinai after throwing out UN forces the declaration was in the Eygptian radio kul haram from Cairo the destruction of Israel I remember that clearly as I heard it while the Eygptian army fired on our kibbuz Erez,the invasion of Lebanon was after the repeated terrorists attacks of Hezbolla on our cities in Galile,

your lies tell to European not to me
14:32 September 14, 2012 by ChrisRea

"Sinai was never an Eygptian land" - really? So you say that the Ayyubids, the Mamluks and the Muhammad Ali Dynasty were not Egyptians, but probably Jews?

"the war was inevitable" - yes, we know the tune. It was a preemptive attack, right?

You probably claim that Britain and France joined Israel unexpectedly. Not like Times exposed in November 1956: 'Despite their words, there was plenty of evidence to show that the two attacks were planned in collusion ("orchestration" was the French word for it). In this conspiracy, France was the instigator, Britain a belated partner, and Israel the willing trigger.' http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,824571,00.html

You amaze me. Do you really expect people to take you seriously?
16:13 September 14, 2012 by trevzns
@ maorsh

Trashing Zionism.

There is no need to trash Zionism or the State of Israel, the behavior and ideologies of both institutions speaks for itself.

If you want to take away their country, they will meet you in the battle field at your place or their place, doesn't matter.

To fight a battle, I would need a logical reason that fighting is the best solution or necessary.

Zionist and the State of Israel are very effective and efficient at fighting and stealing other people property in the name of religion and security.

As for playing with the Jewish people.

The illusionist of Zionism and their sister religious institutions, Christianity and Islam have that under control.

Repeating Biblical patriarchy and political ideology over and over again, whether in support of Judaism, Islam or Christianity is opium for the masses.
16:32 September 14, 2012 by ITAMAR

No- after the ceasefire agreements from 1949 Sinai was considered a neutral zone,no one zone by the UN

with the UN presence,the middle east counties were contolled for 400 years by the Turkish Empire and later from 1917 by Great Britain and France ',the arabs countries and their borders were created on those periods and their borders were fixed by the western controll countries and the UN on those days

yes Chris when you block the southern port of my land=Eilat, and you train terrorists groups who have camps in Gazza and every week come and kill Israeli citizens in south Israel =Fadayin- you do call for a war ,a surprise war, a preemptive attack you may call it as you wish but Israel's side it was neccessary the war in 1956 was coordinated with France and Britain what is wrong with that? closing Suess canal to international shiping was wrong.

Mamlukis Saleh Adin controlled all Palestine in the time of great arab Chalifat- is that a reason why Israel does not have the right to exsist as a Jewish land? for you probably yes for 7 millions Israelies-no

And yes I do think peole take me seriosly.
17:30 September 14, 2012 by maorsh
These are two comments I wanted to post yesterday but couldn't (the website doesn't allow consecutive posting):

@Navigator_B - exactly the contrary - considering the level of threat and challenges, no national movement in history was more liberal than Zionism and its manifestation in the Israeli state and army. Israel has done more to safeguard the lives of civilians among its enemies (That seek its destruction!) than any other country in the history. I don't know which Zionists you met and what they say about themselves, but the majority of Zionists who live in Israel (i.e. the majority of Jews in Israel) support the two state solution to the conflict. Surveys since the early 2000s show this clearly - there's a constant support for a Palestinian state among Jews in Israel. Questioning the "idea" of a Jewish state is illegitimate since this state exists (hence questioning is on its right to exist). From your comparison to an Islamic state I see that you don't understand what the Jewish people are - they are an ethno-national group that has a unique religion. The Jews are not a religious group like "the Christians" or "the Muslims" - they are a people with a non-missionary, non-assimilative religious beliefs. That doesn't mean that all Jews see themselves as a unique people, but most of them do. You become Jewish when you are born to a Jewish family, same as you become French when you are born to a French family. The bible tells the story of the Jewish people, not the Jewish religion (that is based on the bible). Enough on that :)

@ChrisRea - Zionism started as the political union of the Jewish people, and it achieved its goal (by the desire of the majority of its members, and later the overwhelming majority of the Jewish people) in the creation of an independent state in their homeland. You can bring Neturei Karta into the discussion as many times as you wish - they are 0.02% of the Jewish people at best. And most of the Jews are quite disgusted by them. Including me. By the way Chris, framing your opponent's arguments as "propaganda" is not enough to refute them. Logical fallacies are common in anti-Zionism...
19:30 September 14, 2012 by Navigator_B

The behaviour of the Israeli state and army does not back up your claim that they have done more to safeguard the lives of civilians among its enemies than any other country in the history. In recent years in their wars in Gaza and South Lebanon the vast majority of deaths were civilians, about a thousand in each case.

Many Zionists claim to support a two state solution but they do not really want a viable independent Palestinian state. For example, what Ehud Barak offered to Yasser Arafat was supposed to be extremely generous but it included many Israeli settlements around the West Bank and also Palestinian airspace controlled by Israel.

Questioning the idea of a Jewish state is not the same as questioning Israel's right to exist because Israel does not always have to be an officialy Jewish state. That is just ideological dogma, just like the idea that Jerusalem must be Israel's eternal undivided capital, and also like the idea that Iran must be an Islamic republic.

You have a right to your ideology but to say that it is illigimate to question your ideology (Zionism) is just bigotry.

It's irrelevalent here whether Jews are a religous or an ethnic group. The point is that just like in a theocracy, Zionism by its nature discriminates against people who are not from its group or do not fit into its group.
20:21 September 14, 2012 by trevzns
Now that you mentioned it, Jews are a unique people, many suffer from an extremely high fever of Eurocentrism.

The Judeo Christian Islamic religions are poor imitations of ancient Egyptian mythologies. Next I will assume, it will be said, European Jews or the Israelites had a major influence or maybe originated the Hebrew languages and text? Hijacking a religious concept does not make it exclusive to Europeans or Arabs.

Judaism is a religion and not a RACE, same applies to the Christian and Islamic religions.
20:38 September 14, 2012 by maorsh

In comparison to other armies that fight similar militant groups, Israel has done way more than others to safeguard civilians among its enemies. Israel invests billions in developing military technologies that will do the opposite of what it is blamed to be doing - technologies that allow surgical targeting of militants. Israel's methods of minimizing civilian casualties are a model for many western armies, despite the populist criticism.

Can you find me a country that in history or today did more to safeguard enemy's civilians in time of violent conflict under similar conditions (militants operating within civilian areas)? I would be happy to know.

About the Jewish state - Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people. It doesn't have to be that - but it wants to, and many believes that it needs to. France also doesn't have to be a French state, and Slovakia also doesn't really need to be a Slovakian state right? why should the Jewish people give up their national rights, just because some fanatics are dissatisfied that a tiny group of people have a tiny country in a third of the world they think should be only under their rule?

It's not the questioning of an "ideology" that is illegitimate - it's the denial of the national rights of the Jewish people, rights that are automatically given and taken for granted when it comes to other people.

About Zionism discriminating other groups - should we compare the treatment of non-Jewish minorities by Israel to the treatment of non-Muslim minorities by Arab and Muslim counties? Zionism/Israel EXCELS in its treatment of minorities.

@ Trevzns,

I don't really understand what you want, but you seem to be quite ignorant on the history and characteristics of the Jewish people and the Jewish religion. In any case, I was not expressing any religious idea, so you can save up the anti-religious lecturing.

I usually refrain from having strong opinions on issues I don't fully understand. I suggest you do some readings (of legitimate material, not antisemitic propaganda...).
22:21 September 14, 2012 by JOHNATAN
navigator b

the arab terrorists hide behind their children and women not allways israel can do a surgical operation, in many cases missions were cancelled.

ehud barak did offer withdrown of 95 prcent of the west bank territory including part of east jerusalem and complete withdrown from gazza strip -arafat rejected that offer.

Israel was ceated to give the jews their homeland back, jerusalem was the capital of israel and judea for 4000 years,in Israel live 8 millions citizens ,7 millions are jews who whish to keep their state.

Israel give the same civilian rights in social,education,health,freedom of speech ,freedom of religion,job opportunity to all its citizens no mater their sex, religion, skin colour.
22:28 September 14, 2012 by Navigator_B

So other armies that bomb civilian areas are as bad as Israel. That doesn't improve my opinion of the Israeli army with its cluster bombs, white phosphorus and high civilian body count.

Your argument keeps on coming back to equating the state of Israel with the Jewish people, like France is with the French and Slovakia with the Slovakians. The problem is that very many Jews have no connection with Israel and very many people under Israeli control are not Jews. 

Like most of the world's population, I have no reason to accept the Zionist ideology in the first place and I don't think that anyone should be expected to accept it either.

It's good that you're happy that minorities are treated very well in Israel without the official status that Jews have in their "homeland". If that's the case, then all Israelis should be happy with exactly the same treatment and not have any need for an officially Jewish state.
22:30 September 14, 2012 by M Australian

I must agree - nonsense and propaganda! not to mention irrational e.g. French and Slovakian are nationalities not religious affiliations.

You fail to mention phosphorous bombs which burn into the flesh of civilians including children for hours, total destruction of entire civilian communities or the failure to see Rachel Corrie in a visibility vest from a bulldozer. Perhaps you are the one that needs to do some reading....

Hats off to Judith Butler for having the courage to speak up. She deserves the prize.
22:39 September 14, 2012 by maorsh
@M Australian - there is a group of people in the world who share ethnicity and national identity and they are called the Jewish people. They also share their own unique religion, though most of them are not religious. They never accepted a missionary religion like Christianity and Islam. These people are represented by the Jewish nation state, which is Israel. The majority of its citizens are Jews.

Comparatively, no country has ever demonstrated higher moral values than Israel in fighting militants who target civilians and hide themselves behind their own civilians. If you know a country that dealt with this threat better, please name is, I'm sure we all want to know. Holding Israel to high standards that no country ever came remotely near is a form of bigotry - for it uses Israel's defensive efforts for demonization purposes.

@Navigator_B - Many French and Slovakians have no connection with France or Slovakia, and in France there are many people under French control who are not originally French.

Again, Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people, that is/should treat all its citizens equally, but its symbolic national identity is Jewish. There is a Jewish nation state in the world, next to other 212 nation states. Get used to it, it's not such a big injustice even if you can't stand Jews.
23:00 September 14, 2012 by JOHNATAN
Navigator b

let's go back to the university studies-what is the definition of people?:"a group of persons who have a common history, a comon land, generally a common religion,a common language and generally belong to the same race."

the Jews got 4000 years of history in Israel , speak the same language =Hebrew, belong to the Semitic race like the arabs,have the same religion, so scientific after the anthropologic-historical laws they full fill the definition of people=the jewish people.

the fact that you reject it is your own problem.


Tel Aviv
23:36 September 14, 2012 by Navigator_B

I do not reject the fact that the Jews are a people. At least you're not suggesting that I can't stand Jews... 

I'm not saying either that they have no connection with Israel but it is just one of many places where they have lived, and for nearly half of those 4000 years very few of them lived there. There are also other people who have lived in the same area too who deserve the same rights.
00:08 September 15, 2012 by maorsh

I was not suggesting that you can't stand Jews, I was talking about "you" like "man" in German or "one" in English. Even if one can't stand Jews, the fact that 0.2% of the Middle East is under Jewish sovereignty is not something worth so much obsessive and hateful campaigns as the greatest injustice in the world that we should fix and then the world will become a better place (amazingly many people perceive the situation as such)
00:39 September 15, 2012 by Navigator_B

Understood, but I still reject the suggestion of a connection between anti-semitism and criticism against Israel.

One of the reasons that many people focus on Israel is not because it is Jewish or even because of what it does to the Palestinians, it's because western governments support it so much, whatever it does (even though Israelis often feel that they are picked on by western countries).
00:55 September 15, 2012 by maorsh
There's a big difference between criticizing Israeli policies and demonizing and delegitimizing Israel, which is that thing that Jews and Israel's supporters fight and claim to be illegitimate.

"Western government support it so much" - you probably mean that Western government don't cooperate with this demonization and delegitimization, thank god. They do however criticize Israeli policies, publicly and frequently.

A typical conversation I had a few times in Germany goes like this:

German: "In Germany you can't criticize Israel, then you're called immediately antisemite"

Maor: "What is it that you want to say about Israel that you feel you can't say without being called antisemite?"

German: "That Israel occupies the Palestinians, that Israel continues the settlements..."

Maor: "Not only that you can say it freely in Germany, this is in fact the official position of the German government".

What "German" in this conversation really want to do is to join this festival of hate and bigotry against Israel. Luckily in Germany it's still not so easy to do that as in the UK or France. But to criticize? You should criticize.
02:27 September 15, 2012 by gorongoza
The heat generated for and against this topic leaves me somehow dumbfounded.

I wish Curiosity will discover water on Mars so that we ask the followers of the two antagonistic religions involved to go settle there and leave our good mother Earth to cool down.

Honestly I am sickened by daily stories emanating from these two religions. Please give us a break !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Or else throw away your religions and start leaving normal lives like everybody else.
08:20 September 15, 2012 by Navigator_B
maorsh, the German government criticises the settlement expansion to please the German public but does nothing about it. It has no sanctions like those against Iran for an unproven nuclear weapons program. Instead it subsidises Israel by sending it discounted submarines that can be fitted with its nukes.
08:53 September 15, 2012 by JOHNATAN
Navigator B

the Jews were not allowed for 2500 years to return to their homeland and to rebuild their old state from where they were droven by the Romans in 70AC ,the super power who controlled that land during generation speciliay Turkey in its 400 years of hegmony there, but also Britain afterwards avoid and blocked the right of the Jews to return to their land and that was the reason for the long exile of the people in Europe which did not bring him any good times among the people they lived-the

Zionist movement brought to solution of the Jewish people who lived as a guest inside other people and that is called the state of Israel.

In Israel live today 8 millions citizens from them 7 millions Jews and 1 millions not Jews.All our citizens have the same rights :social.health,education,jobs,freedom of speech including representation in Knesset,8 millions citizen is not so transcurabile number ,how many citizens there are in Denmark?

Yes yoy are right there are the Palestinians who lived in the occupied territories since 1967 they really deserve their own country ,own indipendence, it is possibile to reach an agreement but both sides must do steps forwards, you mention the settlements and you are right but also the recognition of Israel by the other half of the Palestinians.


I do understand your feeling,but the conflict is not religious but national about the land, the solution was offered on 29.11.47 with UN resolution 181 -2 states solution but the arabs rejected it.
10:05 September 15, 2012 by maorsh
@gorongoza - convince 1.5 billion Muslims to leave the 7 million Jews living in 0.2% of the Middle East alone, and you won't hear about it ever again!
19:18 September 15, 2012 by trevzns
@ maorsh

Regarding your question as to what do I want?

I have a couple questions? What is a Semitic? My second question is, to the best of your knowledge, has the UN or the US government ever condemned the State of Israel for any reported verifiable illegal actions or crimes in the West Bank, Lebanon or the Palestinian Territories?

You have stated, Zionism/Israel EXCELS in its treatment of minorities. What about the Ethiopian Jews of Africa? Russia, Austria and Germany are how many hundreds or thousands of miles or kilometers away from the historical homeland? Why are Africans Jews not welcome in the State of Israel?

It seems in the Zionism-Israeli community in US, Europe and the historical homeland, there is a selective memory regarding recent World history. It was the Arab and African Muslim Moors in Spain, about 600 years ago that provided the Jews safety, and religious freedom of expression, when the European Christians were on a Crusade. Maybe this too, is anti-Jewish propaganda?
10:32 September 16, 2012 by JOHNATAN

Semitic race include the arabs and the jews .the UN and the US did condem Israel for actions who beought to lost of civilian life,in Israel was heavy demonstrations against Sharon after the horribile Sabra and Shatila events, but in Gazza they offer sweets in the steets with much happines when Israelies get killed.

Israel isan immigration state, the Ethiopian Jews were brought over here and the integration in the sociaty takes time, phenomen like racist remarks were also against the new comer from north africa and other jews who left the arab countries , today the integration was almost completed, the European Jews are just 20 percent and the inter sectors marriage is highmost of the jews originate from arab countries occupy high rank position, in all political,education,police , military-position,you are right that during the islam emperium the jews were treated very well and were wellcome.we learnt it in school
20:35 September 17, 2012 by maorsh

Some answers:

1. "What is a Semitic?" - it's a family of languages (including Arabic, Hebrew, Aramaic), not of people. The term "Semitic" doesn't have much relevance to contemporary political and societal discourse except that it's used in the common word to describe hatred against Jews (NOT hatred against Semites) - "Anti-Semitism".

2. "has the UN or the US government ever condemned the State of Israel for any reported verifiable illegal actions or crimes in the West Bank, Lebanon or the Palestinian Territories? " - Yes, many times, quite obsessively, more than any other country in the world. The UN has never condemned anyone responsible for the death of at least eight million Muslims since WW2 (killed mostly by Muslims from other country). The UN singles Israel out. What's the point?

3. "Why are Africans Jews not welcome in the State of Israel?" - Of course they were and are welcomed, and they have arrived in Israel in heroic efforts of many Ethiopian Jews and Israelis during the 1980s and 1990s. They are well, thanks for your interest.

4. " It was the Arab and African Muslim Moors in Spain, about 600 years ago that provided the Jews safety" - Yes, they provided the Jews safety, but today when Jews don't want anymore to be Dhimi and be subjected to the mercy of other people, it seems that the Muslims prefer to exterminate them from earth.

Let me ask you, is it remotely logical that 1.5 billion of people are obsessed with a tiny country for a tiny group of people on 0.2% of the Middle East, the only country in that region where MUSLIM citizens have democratic civil rights, the country in which Arabs enjoy the highest standard of living more than any other Arab community in the world?

For gods sake, you have nothing else to do but to pick on a small group of people who got their homeland back and treat its largely-hostile minorities (those belonging to groups that aim for their destruction!) in the most moral way ever demonstrated in history? What is your problem with the Jews? leave them alone!
07:13 September 19, 2012 by trevzns

I do not have a problem with Jews. If a person or group of people declare they are unique unto themselves, wonderful.

Whether it was 8 million Muslims after WWII or 6 Million Jews during WWII, over 60 million human beings were killed in WWII, dead is dead.....and, to the victor go the spoils, benefits and privileges.

The environment in the Middle East is a geopolitical and religious quagmire of distrust, ignorance, revenge, hate, and greed. From the actions and statements made in the US and the Middle East over the years, there seems to be no simple solution to resolve or control that conflict.

Respect, tolerance, compromise, peaceful solutions and not to mention democracy, were among the first causalities in the Jewish claim of a homeland and a desire for a two state solution for the Palestinians.
12:39 September 19, 2012 by maorsh

Indeed it seems like you don't have a problem with Jews, you just have a problem with what they do, how they define themselves, what they believe in, and how they handle politics in their own state. It does not seem, however, that you have any similar problems with other people.

Sadly, you will find respect, tolerance, readiness for compromise in peace, in Israel in large abundance, certainly more than in any other country in their region, most of which are obsessed with hate and delegitimization against that only liberal-oriented place. The Jewish claim of a homeland did only good to this region - since now the Jews have a successful, viable state and they are not anymore subjected to the mercy of other people. If the Arab/Muslim world refuses to accept the Jews' right for a state and prefer to engage in destruction, war, human rights violations, intolerance, hate and any other thing they seem to have a lot of in their countries, it's not Israel's fault, it's not the Jews' fault. Their hate to Israel is a symptom of a bigger problem that relates to their hate against minorities, gays, women rights and anything of liberal and democratic values, anything with tolerance. They should deal with their socio-psychological problems, and leaving Israel alone can be a good start.
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