The Middle East, Part II

New York Times article, “Left or Right, Israelis Are Pro-War”

Left or Right, Israelis Are Pro-War

Published: August 9, 2006

For an honest reportage on the Israel homefront, you might be interested to read Steven Erlanger’s article in today’s NYTimes. It is too long to paste in here but you can read it at the address above if you are registered with them by username and password.

Mike Eisenstadt

Does anyone know anything about the red heifer deal? Here’s the excerpt from the piece in the Prospect:

Besides his million-dollar compensation package, Hagee has a portfolio of other ventures, including a cattle ranch in south Texas that may have religious significance. Many evangelicals believe that the arrival of a “perfect red heifer” will signal the end times. In the Old Testament, burning a red heifer and sprinkling its ashes is described as a purification ritual for priests entering the temple. Ultra-orthodox Jews believe that the birth of a modern perfect red heifer will herald the arrival of the messiah, leading to a confrontation with Muslims over the Temple Mount, where Jews believe the Temple will be rebuilt. Some evangelicals likewise regard the red heifer as a harbinger of the ultimate showdown at the Temple Mount, which they believe will be the site of the Second Coming. And they believe that time is near.

To many other observers, the advent of the red heifer threatens to provoke a violent struggle for control of the Temple Mount, with worldwide repercussions. In the late 1990s, a group of unidentified Texas ranchers reportedly bred a perfect red heifer, which generated excitement in evangelical circles until the animal sprouted some black hairs.

Six years ago, the John C. Hagee Royalty Trust paid more than $5.5 million for a 7,600-acre ranch in Brackettville, Texas, where cattle are raised in a venture with the Texas Israel Agricultural Research Foundation, a nonprofit outfit operated by the pastor. (Another part of the property is a resort hunting facility, where guests paying up to $250 for a night’s stay can also land their planes at the ranch’s private airstrip.) Last year, Hagee hired one of the top lobbyists in San Antonio, David Earl, to urge the state Legislature to exempt Hagee’s foundation from water-use regulations. A spokeswoman for the bill’s sponsor, Representative Frank Corte, whose district includes Hagee’s church, said that he introduced it on behalf of a constituent, but added that she was not authorized to divulge the identity of that constituent. (The bill stalled in committee.) Earl said that Hagee wants to “share information” to “improve” the “production of livestock,” particularly cattle, with an Israeli research project, but otherwise claimed to be unsure of the particulars. Dr. Scott Farhart, an obstetrician and trustee of the John C. Hagee Royalty Trust (and an elder at Hagee’s church), did not respond to a request for comment, nor did the director of the ranch.

Here it is.

Charlie Loving

And now let me tell you about the tooth fairy and the little elves that help Santa care for his flying reindeer. Is the point that we are supposed to give credence to these befuddled religious fanatics or that we are supposed to laugh at them?
What is the “Prospect”?

David Hamilton

I will not try to relate Charlie’s point, although I think I understand it a little. I do not believe I should take these religious fanatics lightly, no matter how much I would like to … They are having enormous, unwanted influence in powerful circles these days.

The Prospect is an e-zine:

Prospect article

That is the original article the woman wrote.

Richard Jehn


When you mention “religious fanatics”, are you refering to Pat Robinson [sic], Jerry Falwell and George W. Bush? And would it be fair for some to regard Zionism as religious fanaticism? Does one group of fanatics spawn its antithesis?

David Hamilton

David H. wrote:

— And would it be fair for some to regard Zionism as religious fanaticism? —

Historically the Zionists may have been judged fanatics but surely not religious. Zionism is a secular nationalism dedicated to finding jews a new place to live where they were to earn their living in more normal,less parasitical professions than those they often practiced in Europe, this in view of the fact they would never be allowed to assimilate. Religious jews bitterly opposed Zionism and do so to this day. The haredim in present day Israel when sending a letter scratch off the words Eretz Yisrael on the stamp lest it should seem that they accept the notion of a jewish state not founded by Messiah. Nor will they speak Hebrew which for them is the sacred language spoken only when praying.

Subsequent to the 1967 Six Day war “victory”, in addition to the traditional haredim huddled in squalor in city ghettos, a movement arose of orthodox religious settlers who read the 1967 “victory” as God’s sign to literally recreate the Israel of the bible on other folks’ land.

This is a kind of religious Zionism but it is strongly opposed by the secular majority. That is why Sharon removed the settlers from Gaza kicking and screaming and why Olmert ran on a platform promising to do the same thing with some (not all) of the settlements on the West Bank. The settlements contiguous to Jerusalem were not on offer, not the settlements along the Jordan river which are considered militarily indispensable.

However now that Islamic fundamentalism has has apparently been endorsed by the Palestinians by the election of Hamas, so long as Israel exists, one can safely predict that the West Bank will continue to be occupied by the IDF. No rockets are being shot off from there, unlike Gaza. No-one anymore seriously suggests withdrawing from the West Bank even on the left. Peace Now as a mass movement is defunct due to this new reality.

Mike Eisenstadt

The Mess They Made by Steven LaTulippe

Jeffrey Nightbyrd

David H. wrote:

— And would it be fair for some to regard Zionism as religious fanaticism? Historically the Zionists may have been judged fanatics but surely not religious. —

After looking around for a place to take over the secular Zionists chose Palestine because they could manipulate the more religious Jews into going there. Canada, South America and Uganda didn’t have the same caché. The recreation of Zion had been a subject of European Jewish political tracts for decades before Herzl came on the scene. Religion played the major factor in choosing a site. Herzl and Vladimir Jabotinsky were not religious but many other Zionists were and are. There are many forms of delusion, religion being a big one. The idea of the state as an entity is another. Politicians will use whatever delusions that will forward their own.

The tiny group of Hassidic Jews are courted when necessary but they are of no large significance. Kind of like the Amish. Their objections are those of a small minority, their exception highlights the rule of the majority. The rule is Erets Israel, the boundaries some think of as the land given to them by God.

Alan Pogue

It was given to them by God or so they say.

Charlie Loving

Chomsky is this time out to lunch.

The “plight” of the Palestinians is something that it is not in the interests of Arab governments to resolve and they have done nothing to resolve it.

There were any number of schemes on the table during Clinton’s last minute rush to cut a deal that would have resulted in an economically viable Palestinian state. Such a state is in Israel’s best interests and I expect even the right in Israel understands that on some level.

I’m not sure where I would have stood on the creation of the Israeli state, but I probably would have been for it in light of the then-recent horrors in Europe. What an opportunity–the Jews choose to ghettoize themselves in apparently worthless desert!

However that should have gone, it’s now a fait accompli that I can see little point in trying to undo.

From the point of view of my ancestors, that would be exactly like the United States and Canada.

I realize that our post-modern condition is allegedly that “civilization” and “barbarism” represent nothing but contested discourses overlying power relationship.

Fuck postmodernist.

If you dress up teens in C4 and send them into pizza parlors to detonate, you are a barbarian. Your “reasons” for doing so are entirely irrelevant. There is no politics that justifies the cultivation of suicide in pursuit of mass murder of non-combatants.

This is fundamental. Even Bush, twisted idiot that he is, grasps this truth and tries to trade on it politically. Why we let him escapes me.

Steve Russell

— Chomsky is this time out to lunch. —

Where is he going for lunch? Can I join him?

— If you dress up teens in C4 and send them into pizza parlors to detonate, you are a barbarian. Your “reasons” for doing so are entirely irrelevant. There is no politics that justifies the cultivation of suicide in pursuit of mass murder of non-combatants. —

If you dress up 25 year olds in F16s and attack helicopters and have them bomb apartment complexes you are a “barbarian”. Your “reasons” for doing so are entirely specious unless you are totally convinced of your inherent superior being and also convinced of the lack of humanity in your target group. Then your logic is fine but you premises are still bad. There is a politics that justifies the cultivation of a rational for genocide. It has been been driving much of recorded history. Those in power in Israel at the moment are the same as those who were in power in Germany in the 30s and 40s. The same types are in power now in Washington D.C., Moscow, and Beijing.

Theodor Herzl, the Father of Zionism, was very plain spoken. He said, in speaking for the whole group(“The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl”, Rafael Patai edition), that the aim of the Israeli state was to rid the entire area of Arabs. Those who are in charge of Israeli politics wish for only a one state solution. All other talk was/is camouflage. I have been from Haifa to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron and Ramalah. I have seen Palestinian homes demolished, passive rain collectors destroyed, roads destroyed, cars run over by Israeli tanks, olive orchards destroyed, Israeli highways run through Palestinian vineyards, roads built by USAID in Hebron that only Israelis could travel on, the Israeli condo complexes that are called “settlements” within Palestinian land, and the Klu Klux Klan-like settlers themselves. I have seen a generation of young educated Palestinians languish (HOWL, Alan Ginsburg), without any hope of using their education, within the Bantustans created by the Israeli government with U.S. support. I am only surprised that as few Palestinians have blown themselves up as have done so up to this point. If the Palestinian military had been funded by the U.S. to the same level as the Israeli military then there would be no desire for C4 vests.

There is no country of Palestine. Being a Palestinian is only good for being discriminated against. The Israeli right have seen to this as part of the essential plan to drive them out, as Herzl explicitly stated in his diaries and elsewhere. There was never any plan for a viable Palestinian state. For there to be one Israel would have to repudiate Zionism. Zionism is racism. Being Jewish is not being a Zionist but the Zionists have done a tremendous PR job. There are many shades of Zionism so don’t think every Zionist is a “Sharon” or a “Natanyatu” or “Olmert” but no matter how nice a Zionist is they must cling to some degree of the racial purity syndrome/delusion.

There was a viable Israeli left in the beginning but it was undone by the Capitalist Zionists. A good account of this is in “Zion & State” by Mitchell Cohen, 1992, Columbia University Press.

The essence is the racial, cultural purity thing used as an ideological force to be manipulated by the hollow greed heads. The hollow greed heads always fight to the top because they fail to comprehend any other reason for being. Also the constant striving for power is a distraction from contemplating their own mortality. They wish to think of themselves as indispensable, those benighted bastards.

Nation states are nonsense so It is always good to be explicit when using the word “we”. Check out this for a fine analysis of American media coverage of the Palestine/Israel conflict. Lets you know how and why “we” let Bush portray the conflict the way he does. The entire
corporate media complex is at his disposal on this issue.

Web site

Norman has made a career of debunking Zionist nut cases like Alan Dershowitz. Norman covers many of the misconceptions put forward by Steve as “truths”. Norm was in Austin a few months ago but I’m sure he didn’t get an op-ed in the Statesman or an invite to the Dell Jewish Center.

And, there are many Israeli, Palestinian and Palestinian/Israeli peace groups. They get zero coverage here in the U.S.. They are mentioned only to be disparaged. You may simply Google “Palestine Israel Peace” for a long list of sane people working for peace in the area but being ignored by “our” media. The forces of the military-industrial / corpmedia-theological complex tend to drown out all others. Propaganda works.

Alan the Pogue

What page or pages in the diaries of Theodore Herzl are you referring to?

The 5 volumes of his diaries are in the UT main library.

I want to check this out.

Thanks in advance.

Mike Eisenstadt

Volume 1 of Patai’s edition, but I don’t have it in front of me. There are many editions. The one by Marvin Lowenthal is so highly edited as to be useless. The original was in 16 handwritten copy books, 1895 to 1904.

Here is the quote:

“We shall try to spirit away the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in transit countries, while denying it any employment in our own country. …expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.”

Part of Herzl’s genius was to realize that the European/Russian Jews could not simply buy up the land underneath the feet of the Palestinians, mostly from absentee landlords, because the land prices would go up and the Palestinians would catch on and revolt, which they did. Herzl saw that he needed a political solution. He needed some powerful countries to simply give the land to the Zionists. This would take a lot of money and careful lobbying. Herzl didn’t live to see the completion of his plan but it was his plan that prevailed.

Jordan is a transit country, completely beholden to the U.S.. Egyptian politicians are also bought off, ditto for Saudi Arabian royalty. But they can’t stand by every U.S./Israeli abuse of Arabs and stay in power so they have have to make a few statements for moderation of the destruction. There is one’s bank account and then there is public opinion. One wants to be able to live to spend the money.

Then there is China making better deals.

There is permanent narrow self interest and no permanent allies. People who love power are dealing with others who only love power so there is the realpolitik, Henry Kissinger style. Nation states have no real meaning here. No morality , of course, no greater good, no long term good. There is only the adrenalin rush of being in power now, infantilism powered by lust for power and a high enough I.Q. gives you most of today’s “leaders”. Living in the absolute moment in the absolute negative.

Alan Pogue

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