Corey Balsam: ‘I cannot support Israel’

Corey Balsam, is a Canadian Jewish human rights activist with the Alternative Information Center. Recently, he delivered a speech at a seminar, entitled ‘Jewish Diaspora: So what’s so attractive about Zionism anyway?’

Balsam recalled that he himself was once a Zionist; but he said that upon deep-felt reflection on the extreme situation in Israel, after visiting the country, he decided that he couldn’t reconcile the situation in Israel-Palestine with human rights.

“I couldn’t support Israel on the one hand and talk about human rights on the other,” said Balsam.

He added that as Israel comes to be identified as an apartheid state, more Jews in North America don’t want to be associated with it. In response to this dwindling support, the campus has become an important recruiting ground for Zionism in the Diaspora. Birthright – a ten day free trip to Israel for Jews in the Diaspora – is an important recruiting technique on campus.

Balsam himself went to Israel as part of the Birthright program. He said continuity is the goal of this program, in order to ensure the next generation avoids intermarriage; and the program is enjoying a degree of success.

“Studies have shown that people who went (on a Birthright trip) are more likely to marry Jewish partners, have babies and support Israel.”

He credits organizations such as the Jewish National Fund (JNF) – a quasi-government non-profit organization – which was awarded the Israel Prize in 2002 for lifetime achievement and special contribution to society and the State of Israel – with enhancing Zionist support in the North American Diaspora.

Jews in the Diaspora are taught that they must contribute money and lobby for the survival of Israel.

“The Jewish Federation of North America is the largest philanthropic organization in North America, next to the United Way. JFNA raises $60 million a year in Toronto.”

“It’s the idea of a safe haven: Israel as an insurance policy in case something goes wrong. They believe the Holocaust could happen again and they have to be vigilant against antisemitism, real and imagined. Keeping antisemitism alive allows them to continue to make sense of Zionism in the Diaspora.”

While early Zionists sought an escape route from antisemitism in Europe, Balsam said the fathers or Zionism such as Theodor Herzl and Max Nordau believed in the hegemonic white ideals of Europe and thus they modelled Zionism after European colonialism.

“Theodor Herzl saw the Israeli state in Palestine as an outpost against (non-White) barbarism,” Balsam said.

At the same time, because Jews were discriminated against in Europe – where they couldn’t own land at the time – Balsam said Zionism allowed them to become “white” in Palestine.

“It allowed them to climb the social hierarchy because they were on the borderline against the Arab world.”

About 80 per cent of the land is reserved for Jews – Palestinians can’t own it.

Many of the roads are restricted for Israelis only. Palestinians must remain in the villages where they were in 1948, with no right to expand, while Israeli settlements on Palestinian land are constantly expanding.

Meanwhile, the Zionist movement continues to make inroads in the Diaspora in North America. Balsam said that in the 1940′s Zionism was marginal in the Diaspora communities of North America, where most Jews were leftist, working class and not that connected with Israel; but this all changed after the 1967 war.

“Jews around the world were captivated to stand behind Israel … After 1967 the B’nai B’rith and Canadian Jewish Congress became more focused on Zionism.”

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6 Responses to Corey Balsam: ‘I cannot support Israel’

  1. Each individual has the capacity to make his or her own choices. Such choices often change over time. Jews, in particular (though by no means exclusively), have a strong human rights tradition that goes back to Biblical times. So it is not surprising that a significant number of Jews, both within Israel and without, focus on the plight of the Palestinians and call for changes in Israel in order to improve the Palestinians’ lives. Some even call for the outright destruction of Israel, though that is a rare extreme. I respect each person’s opinions.

    But my own experience and my own contacts with other Jews suggest to me that many who really did not care much about Israel one way or the other are now solidly backing Israel. Perhaps I am focusing on a limited subgroup. Almost all Jews I know who were previously indifferent to Israel or even vaguely anti-Israeli now have changed to strong backers of Israel. This is certainly true for me. Previously I vigorously stated that I was NOT a Zionist. Sometimes I identified myself as an anti-Zionist Jew. At that time I thought, perhaps incorrectly, that a Zionist had to believe that all or most Jews should go to Israel and to be interested in going there him or herself. Personally, I love being an American citizen and I want no other citizenship. Now it seems that being a Zionist simply means believing that Israel has a right to exist and not be destroyed. So I now call myself a Zionist. In a broader sense I also have to say that I have taken some time to read a large number of books and historical reviews on the subject of the founding of Israel. I do not accept the “Palestinian narrative” even though some aspects of it are promoted by Jewish historians such as Benny Morris. Despite minor quibbles over small details that are not germane to the main case, “Palestine Betrayed” by Ephraim Karsh gives an account of the Israeli/Arab conflict and the development of modern Israel that is essentially correct. The Arab refugee problem could have been easily solve had the Arab states not wanted to keep the refugees in their refugees status indefinitely. Few, if any of them, were forced out of Israel. In contrast, a larger number of Jews were dispossessed and forced out of Arab countries. The only reason that the Arabs would not take their fellow Arab in is to maintain a sort of human weapon against Israel. On top of that, to the extent that there even is a Palestinian people at all, the entire country of Jordan (which is much larger than Israel) was carved out of the original mandate that was supposed be reserved for the Jews in order to be a home for the Palestinians. So I do not think there is much of a case for doing anything for the “Palestinians” aside from demanding that the Arabs take them in and provide them a home. On the other hand, they can go ahead and form their own state if they want. But, like any other sovereign nation, Israel has the right to hold on to all or part of the land won in battle. My major complaint against Israel is that they are taking too long to decide on what they want their borders to be. Possibly this is because of the American influence. No borders will be perfect. They would be well advised to draw some lines and establish firm borders. Some Jewish “settlers” would fall on the other side of any reasonable borders. Move them out (or let them stay if they want to be killed). Let the Arabs have the rest but then treat them as an independent country and respond to rockets and bombs appropriately.

    Going back to the original focus of this comment, I have found that an increasing number of Jews who were previously indifferent to Israel have now come to the same conclusions that I have. For every one who reflexively supports the Arabs from the well intentioned viewpoint of Jewish idealism (which I respect) there are many more who have become strong supporters of Israel after reviewing all the evidence.

  2. rehmat2 says:

    First of all – Judaism based on racism – doesn’t give that choice “Each individual has the capacity to make his or her own choices”. It’s only Holy Qur’an which gives that choice.

    Second, Talmudism has the least tolerance against non-Jewish people and even animals. Last month, a Jerusalem Rabbinic court had sentenced a dog to death by stoning – on the conviction that one the bigot Jewish judge believed that the dog represented an incarnation of a secular Jewish lawyer who insulted that court 20 years ago. How much your Judaism believes in human rights – find out here:

    1. “We beg Thee, 0 Lord, inflict Thy wrath on the nations not believing in Thee. Take away, 0 Lord, all hope from them. Destroy all foes of Thy nation.” -Synagaga Judaica, p. 212. Minhagen, p. 23. Crach Chain, 480 Magah.
    2. “The teachings of the Talmud stand above all other laws. They are more important than the laws of Moses.” -Rabbi Issael, Rabbi Chasbar, et. al.

    3. “The decisions of the Talmud are words of the living God. Jehovah Himself asks the opinion of the earthly rabbis when there are difficult affairs in heaven.” -Rabbi Menechen Commentary on Fifth Book

    4. “Jehovah Himself studies the Talmud standing, he has such respect for that book.” -Tract Mechillo

    5. “It is more wicked to question the words of the rabbis than those of the Torah.” -Michna Sanhedryn 11:3

    6. “It is forbidden to disclose the secrets of the law. He who would do it would be as guilty as though he destroyed the whole world.” – Jektat Chadasz, 171, 3

    7. “Every goy who studies the Talmud and every Jew who helps him in it, ought to die.” -Sanhedryn, 59a, aboda Zora 8-6, Szagiga 13

    8. “To communicate anything to a goy about our religious relations would be equal to the killing of all Jews, for if the goyim knew what we teach about them they would kill us openly.” -Libbre David 37

    9. “If a Jew be called upon to explain any part of the rabbinic books, he ought to give only a false explanation. Who ever will violate this order shall be put to death.” -Libbre David 37

    10. “A Jew should and must make a false oath when the goyim asks if our books contain anything against them.” -Szaaloth-Utszabot, The Book of Jore Via 17

    11. “The Jews are human beings, but the nations of the world are not human beings but beasts…” -Saba Mecia 114, 6

    12. “When the Messiah comes every Jew will have 2800 slaves.” -Simeon Haddarsen, fol. 56-D

    13. “Jehovah created the non-Jew in human form so that the Jew would not have to be served by beasts. The non-Jew is consequently an animal in human form, and condemned to serve the Jew day and night.” – Midrasch Talpioth, p. 225-L

    14. “As soon as the King Messiah will declare himself, He will destroy Rome and make a wilderness of it. Thorns and weeds will grow in the Pope’s palace. Then He will start a merciless war on non-Jews and will overpower them. He will slay them in masses, kill their kings and lay waste the whole Roman land. He will say to the Jews: ‘I am the King Messiah for whom you have been waiting. Take the silver and gold from the goyim.’ ” -Josiah 60, 6. Rabbi Abarbanel to Daniel 7, 13

    15. “A Gentile girl who is three years old can be violated.” -9boda Sarah 37

    16. “A Jew may violate but not marry a non-Jewish girl.” -&ad. Shas. 2:2

    17. “A Jew may do to a non-Jewess what he can do. He may treat her as he treats a piece of meat.” -Hadarine, 20, B; Schulchan 9ruch, Choszen Hamiszpat 348

    18. “A Jew may misuse the non-Jewess in her state of unbelief.” – Maimonides, Jak. Chasaka 2:2

    19. “IF a goy kills a goy or a Jew he is responsible; but if a Jew kills a goy he is NOT responsible.” -Tosefta. 9boda Za,-a 8, 5

    20. “It is permitted to kill a Jewish denunciator everywhere. It is permitted to kill him even before he denounces.” -Schuichan Qruch, Choszen Hajpiszpat jog

    21. “Thou shalt not do injury to thy neighbor (Bible), but it is not said, ‘Thou shalt not do injury to a Goy.’ ” -Mishna Sanhedryn 57

    22. “When you go to war do not go as the First, but as the last, so that you may return as the first. Five things has Kanaan recommended to his sons: ‘Love each other, love the robbery, hate your masters and never tell the truth.’ ” -Pesachis F. 113B

    23. “A Jew is permitted to rape, cheat and perjure himself; but he must take care that he is not found out, so that Israel may not suffer.” -Schulchan Aruch, Jore Dia

    24. “A Jew may rob a goy – that is,.he may cheat him in a bill, if unlikely to be perceived by him.” -Schalchan Arach, Choszen Hamiszpat 348

    25. “If a goy wants a Jew to stand witness against a Jew in a Court of Law, and if the Jew could give fair evidence, he is forbidden to do it; but if a Jew wants a Jew to be a witness in a similar case against a goy, he may do it.” -Schalchan .9ruch, Choszen Hasiszpat 28, Art. 3 and 4

    26. “Those who do not confess the Torah and the Prophets must be killed. Who has the power to kill them, let them kill them openly with the sword. if not, let them use artifices, till they are done away with.” -Schulchan Qruch. Choszon Haviszpat 425.5

    27. “All property of other nations belongs to the Jewish nation, which, consequently, is entitled to seize upon it without any scruples. An orthodox Jew is not bound to observe principles of morality towards people of other tribes. He may act contrary to morality, if profitable to himself or to Jews in general’ ” – Schalchan arach. Choszen Hasisxpat 348

    28. “Should a Jew inform the goyish authorities that another Jew has much money, and the other will suffer a loss through it, he must give him emuneration.” -Schalchan Oruch, Choszen Maipiszpat 388

    29. “How to interpret the word ‘robbery.’ A goy is forbidden to steal, rob, or take women slaves, etc., from a goy or from a Jew. But a Jew is NOT forbidden to do all this to a goy.” -Tosefta, Qbda Zara VIRZ, 5

    30. “On the house of the goy one looks as on the fold of cattle.” – Tosefta, Erabin VZZ, 1

    31. “All vows, oaths, promises, engagements, and swearing, which, beginning this very day or reconciliation till the next day of reconciliation, we intend to vow, promise, wear, and bind ourselves to fulfill, we repent of beforehand; let them be illegalized, acquitted, annihilated, abolished, valueless, unimportant. Our vows shall be no vows, and our oaths no oaths at all.” -Schulchan 9ruch,

    Edit. 1, 136. The Jewish Kol Nidre “All Vows” Oath has been set to a

    morbid Jewish music, and is often heard on the radio. It is sung as a

    chant at each Yom Kippur [Jewish New Year service September 17]

    32. “Everything a Jew needs for his church ritual no goy is permitted to manufacture, but only a Jew, because this must be manufactured by human beings and the Jew is not permitted to consider the goyim as human beings.” -Schulchan Oruch, Orach Chaiw 14, 20, 32, 33, 39. TaIDud Jebamoth 61

    33. “A Jewish mid-wife is not only permitted but she is compelled to help a Jewish mother on Saturday (Jewish Sabbath) and when so doing to do anything which otherwise would desecrate the Saturday. But it is forbidden to help a non-Jewish woman even if it should be possible to help her without desecrating the Saturday, because she is to be considered only as an animal.” -Schulchan gruch, Orach Chaim 330

    34. “At the time of the Cholhamoed the transaction of any kind of business is forbidden. But it is permitted to cheat a goy, because cheating of goyim at any time pleases the Lord.” -Chuichan Qruch, Orach ChaiD 539

    35. “The Jews are strictly Forbidden to cheat their brothers and it is considered cheating already if onesixth of the value has been taken away from him. Whoever has cheated his brother has to return it to him. Naturally all that only holds towards the Jew, to cheat a goy he is permitted and he is not permitted to return to him what he cheated him out of. Because the Bible says: ‘Thou shalt not cheat thy next brother,’ but the non-Jews are not our brethren, but as mentioned above, worse than dogs.” -aruch hoszen Haniszpat 227

    Third, Israelis have been whinning about the de-legitimation of their Zionazi colony for years.

  3. Mortimer Tournbulle says:

    The region of Palaestina was never a country state or nation throughout the entirety of this Earth’s history not, in all factual, logical, reasonable and moral sense, conclude any “nationality” to be a-historical? It appears to me that most of the information surrounding this conflict are generated for purely political reasons and not factual reasons. Factual specificity would indicate that there are no “Palestinian” People whatsoever and most certainly the so-called “Palestinians” have no historical relationship with those ancient Greek sea faring peoples whom lived in the region of modern day Gaza.

    There is an agenda to distance the Judean: Jew from Judea and their multi-millennium historical association to the Land of Israel?

    Why is there such a drive to distance the Jew: Judean from Judea or Israel/”Zion” but fabricate a relationship between Arabs: Arabians from their ancient homeland, and birthplace of Islam; the Arabian Peninsula to a so-called “West Bank” in “Palestine” as an a-historical non-entity promulgated as “Palestinians”?

    There are no “Palestinians” or a “Palestine” in the Bible or Koran which would seem to indicate that Moses, Jesus and Mohammad didn’t know of any either. I ask myself why Barbara W. Tuchman, author of “The Guns of August” didn’t mention any “Palestinians”, “Palestinian People”, “West Bank” assuming Jordan is the never heard of “East Bank”, “Occupied Territories” or “East Jerusalem” in her very worthy book “Bible and Sword; England and Palestine from the Bronze Age”.

    There is only one logical conclusion, that in 1956 publishing of this fabulous work there were no “Palestinian” People or any of the other purely politically driven agenda drivel either. One must ask how, and further why, did all this anti-Jewism come about especially considering the Arabian people, from their homelands of the Arabian Peninsula boast over 20 countries and Islam over 50? Again the Jew gets the logical shafting?

    The once Arab-Jewish Conflict over Palestine, as titled by Joan Peters in her 1970s book “From Time Immemorial” became contorted into the Israeli-’Palestinian’ Conflict? This is not a new conflict but one that has been raging on since 622 if you care to delve into factually and Theo-politically based history that has afforded the massacre of some 3000 Jews during the Battle of the Trench, the defeat of the Byzantine Army at the 636 Battle of Yarmouk which plotted two mosques atop of the Jews Temple Mount, turned the Visigoth Church of Saint Vincent into a Mosque, afforded Charles Martel fame at Tours in 732 after defeating a Muslim Army, massacred the Jews in Granada in 1066, built pillars of Hindu skulls – for the second time – under Tamurlane in 1398, massacred thousands of Christians including Constantine XI Palaiologos turning Constantinople into Istanbul and Saint Sophia into a mosque which placed Romanian despot Vlad Tepes “The Impaler” to be the defender of European Christendom in 1459. Of course after Tepes failed jihad came to the Gates of Vienna 1529 which directly lead to the defeat of a Muslim fleet in the 1571 Battle of Lepanto. Of course there are dozens of other massacres of unbelievers that I had overlooked from those in Armenia and Cappadocia from 640 on to those early invasions into Hindustan spawning the European gypsy ancestry to the “Forgotten American Wars”: Barbary Wars: Tripolitan Wars between various Muslim States and the infant America 1805-1815. Let me ask, has did Corey Balsam ever read the Islamic Texts or studied Islamic history especially its theo-political jurisprudence?
    I may not be a student specifically in the Arab-Jewish struggle over Palestine however I am very well steeped in history and the modern day Political Agenda is totally a-historical, illogical, unreasonable and thoroughly anti-Jewish/Israel in nature. To continue to placate to factually unsound history by mainstream media and highly misguided Establishmentarian elitist despots will clearly not bring peace. It did not in 1917 assisting the rise of Lenin and Communist Russia, not in pre-1938 by assisting and financing Adolf Hitler, not in 1949 failed IPR falling to Mao, not in 1979 Iran and it will continue to do so.

    There has been a “Two State Solution” already and it is the other fabricated “Palestinian” judenrein pseudo-state of Jordan. The insanity and denial unfolding around us is absolutely insulting. What is more insulting is that the Jew seems, as the past 2000 years is concerned, is always looking toward self denial and embrace self-obtuseness surrounding their highly interesting and valuable history. I am absolutely positive that Corey Balsam is an affront to any thinking Jew: Judean in most regards as is George Soros to all in the most base human regards. The denial, amoral and thoroughly misinformed agenda must stop if any sort of meaningful peace is to be achieved.

    Of course this entire subject chaps my behind because, as corrupt politics enters any situation, the outcome tends to be perverse; I mean to distance the Jew: Judean from Judea: Israel: Holy Land is an affront to, not only common fact but, base logic. There must be no more “Two State Solutions”. The first with “Palestine” and the fabrication of a dozen other Arab-Muslim States didn’t work. The questionable partition of “Palestine” in 1922-23, lopping off 77% to be a Jew-Free Arab-Muslim pseudo-State didn’t work. The World sat idly by when the Arabs invaded in 1949 allowing the amoral and deplorable creation of a “West Bank”, “East Jerusalem” and an Arabian prison in occupied Jewish Gaza. The World sat against the spineless and obtuse elitist Jew after 1967′s failed war by the creation and promulgation of the “Palestinian People” mythology and the “need” for another “Two State Solution”. Even while the entire world “progresses” amoral, unreasonable and illogical agenda against this tiny plot of land and its global Judean population, the Jew still, not only sits idly by but, fails to learn factual specificity. “Those who do not learn history are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana.

    It is clear that most people today, especially Jews, fail miserably to learn proper, educational, factually based history and therefore will repeat it as the failed peace treaties with Egypt, catering to Arafat, promoting “multiculturalism” and the fumigating Jews from Gaza. All mentally impoverished failures that must be recognized as such before insanity can be turned into education and worthy knowledge. I truly hope Jews find their Jewishness and moral compass as Islam has never been a “religion of peace” and the World, however enlightened, has never held a truly positive or informed image of anything surrounding the Jew: Judaism: Jewish history: Anti-Semitism: ancient or modern Israel…..
    It seems to me that the real “Palaestinian” People are Judeans: Jews and not Arabs: Arabians who stem from their historical homelands deep within the Hijaz/Arabia. In 82AD Roman Emperor Domitian built an Arch to his older brother Titus on the Via Sacra in Rome which depicts his conquest of Judea, Samaria and virtually the entire Holy Land as pointed out by Barbara Tuchmann in her book “Bible and Sword”.

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