“When you read the history of Israel from objective sources, you discover that it is an outlaw state, created by the powers that be by stealing the land from its original inhabitants and systematically exterminating them ever since,” John Kaminski.
“Even Arabs can be labeled ‘anti-Semitic’, although they’re in fact Semites and do not have to link any claim to the Holy Land to descent from seventh century converts to Judaism, as do the Ashkenazi Jews of Europe from whom half of the Israelis and most American Jews, including this writer, are descended,” Alfred Lilienthal, an Orthodox Jew, in ‘What Cost Holocaustomania’, which appeared in the Washington Report on Middle East affairs, April 1998.
“Judaism is not a religion, it’s a law, religionized,” Moses Mendelsohn.
“The Noahide Laws, at first glance, innocently appear to be a take-off on the Ten Commandments. Their defining features though, is the fact that among the Seven is one which is not “thou shalt not” but which commands that courts be established to punish those guilty of breaking one of the other Six. The punishment is death and method of execution is decapitation. Jehovah, the giver of both the Talmudic and Noahide Laws, is not our Heavenly Father/Creator. Jehovah is the god of ZION, a symbolic satanic force which drives the plan and its unGodly, evil intentions,” Jackie Patru in Jewish Persecution.
Professor Dr. Steven R. Feldman (Wake Forest University) wrote an article, titled A Jewish American\’s Evolving View of Israel, published in ‘The American Council for Judaism’. He wrote:
I took an audio course on world religions. The course described Islam as a religion of peace, similar to the Judaism I grew up with. That was very different than what I was taught of Islam - which admittedly was very, very little – in an American Hebrew School. Could this peaceful vision of Islam be reconciled with the violence we Jews saw? On a visit to Israel, I wondered if the Arabs might have a different perspective of the conflict than the one I was taught. Perhaps they saw Israel and the West’s support of Israel as a continuation of the Crusades, an attempt by the West to wrest control of holy land from Muslims.
I had always felt weak in my understanding of how Israel was created in 1948. The details we were taught were rather sketchy. I found United Nations data that said about 700,000 Palestinians became refugees in the fighting of 1948. That seemed odd. If Jews had come to a land of empty swamps and deserts as I had been taught, how did so many Palestinian men, women and children become refugees? The part of the story that said Jews had come to an empty land seemed like it couldn’t be true.
I began to question other things I had learned when I read that the 1956 war was actually started by Israel, in conjunction with Britain and France, in an effort to help Britain retake the Suez Canal from Egypt. The idea that “the Arabs started all the wars” certainly seemed questionable. Our special morality came into doubt when I read more about the heroic groups – the Irgun and the Stern Gang – that had fought for the protection of the Jews in Palestine. The tales told to us as children didn’t make clear that these groups were terrorist organizations. Israeli historian Benny Morris describes how members of Jewish terror organizations threw grenades into Arab homes and were the first to plant bombs in buses and crowded civilian markets. There were justifications for these actions, of course. One was that they were a response to violence committed by Arabs. Another justification was that they were the unacceptable actions of criminal splinter groups that were punished (though I’m not sure what “punished” meant, as I later learned that Menachem Begin and Yitchak Shamir, former Prime Ministers of Israel, had been leaders of the worst of these Jewish terrorist organizations in the 1940s).
Then there was the story of the Arab town Deir Yassin. The story of Deir Yassin was not taught to us at the Hebrew Academy. It was a singular and very atypical event in the history of the founding of Israel, representing the one and only time Palestinians were mistreated by Jews. While the facts about what was done in Deir Yassin are disputed, many Arab people of this town were killed. How bad the atrocities were isn’t entirely clear, but no one seems proud of how the Arab people of this town were treated.
Though Deir Yassin was a tragedy, it certainly wasn’t representative of Jewish action. Our actions were entirely moral. But the recent work of Israeli historians began to document more than just Deir Yassin. Morris describes how in 1948 the Jews in Palestine – before any of the Arab countries declared war — used force and intimidation to drive Palestinian Arabs from many towns and villages. Plan D of the Haganah, the “secret plan” that made my friend and colleague think I was off my rocker, was found by Morris in previously sealed Israeli Defense Forces archives.
While Plan D was touted as a defense plan, historians say that it contributed to a mass exodus of Palestinians from their homes and villages. Having seen this documentation, the idea that Jews of higher morality had begged the local Arabs to stay put (an idea that had been promoted in Leon Uris’ novel The Haj) now seemed more like a fairy tale.
Some may think these words give ammunition to anti-Semites. On the contrary, the violations of our Jewish principles – the displacement of Palestinians, the killing Israel commits, our support of that killing, and our failure to speak out against it – is what gives real ammunition to hatred of Jews. At the 1951 dedication of the Hebrew Academy, my grandfather summed up the sentiment of the day, saying “The principles of democracy to which we, together with all true Americans, are devoted, can best be preserved and strengthened by our unflagging devotion to the moral and ethical teachings of our own faith.” We have the opportunity to be a beacon to the world for our Judeo-Christian principles, democracy, freedom and justice. But to do that, we have to look past our old prejudices and invite our Palestinian brothers and sisters to return home and rebuild together.