America is a free country and in that spirit, two historians who are Jewish (one a graduate of the Habonim left-wing Histadrut-sponsored Zionist youth movement), published an op-ed in HaAretz entitled:


The piece is truly an embarrassment to the profession of historians. And I am informed that the two are widely respected in the Jewish community.

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In a throwback to the Soviet show trials of the late 1930s, this ‘drama of confession’ – “our connections to Israel flourished, faltered and finally ended even though we grew up, live and work in the heart of the American Jewish community” – has one major reverse-direction difference from that phenomenon: no one from within the Zionist/pro-Israel establishment, as far as I know, has tried to torture these people not to write what they wrote. The great psychological pressure we now know that was applied to Bukharin, et. al., however, is quite evident in their rambling, disconnected retelling of the experiences they encountered that reset their intellectual makeup.


If anything, a shared characteristic of that period is Sidney Hook’s observation in his Out of Step: An Unquiet Life in the 20th Century (1987): "The charges against the defendants were mind-boggling…all the defendants in the dock confessed to them with eagerness and at times went beyond the excoriations of the prosecutor in defaming themselves. This spectacular exercise in self-incrimination…was unprecedented in the history of any previous Bolshevik political trial.”

Their accusations are nonsensical. How can there be an "Israeli homogenization" if Israel is quite diverse with immigrants coming from over 70 countries with multiple cultures and backgrounds not to mention the example of the American “melting pot”? Zionists were trying, since the anti-Semitism of the last third of the 19th century, to save Jews but these two ladies charge that as a “result of Zionist activity” the "death of vast numbers of Jewish communities” occurred as if first came organized Zionism which then bestirred anti-Semites to rampage and, in pogroms, killed Jews. Anti-Semitism is historically faultless?

At the risk of being accused of using an anti-feminism, this article reads like an outburst of uncontrollable, as well as irrational, emotion rather than a studied attack on Jewish nationalism. Are they, perhaps, afraid or even too coward to confront the lies, misportrayals, misrepresentations and hate of their fellow academics? Is it all too overwhelming for them that they just collapse, and confess?

Another observation of mine is that while other peoples in modern history have engaged in a civil war, what is unique with Jews is a profile of denying something (Orthodoxy; Zionism) which is objectively a central part of being Jewish and instead of leaving, going away, they insist on a) creating a new form of whatever they don't like (Heaven forbid they should simply reject it and walk away) and then b) argue forever in non-Jewish forums just how Jewish they are but those other Jews aren't.

A friend observed to me that their message seem to be that the antisemitism of the American left is so great that these academics simply collapsed. There is this admission: “friends of mine were articulating these critiques, and they made me terrifically uncomfortable.” Their good standing as leftists, progressives or whatever, is too important for them than their Jewish identity. They willingly subjected themselves to a “reeducation” (their term), more a proof of their ignorance, and, Soviet-style, publicly denunciation of the Jewish state.

Their charges are near-silly, and smack of regurgitated propaganda.

Israel was the product of imperialism and ethnic cleansing? Who ethnically cleansed the Jews resident in Hebron, Gaza, Shchem, Jerusalem, etc. during the Mandate years if not Arabs?

There has been no progress for the Arabs when they have set up two “states” in Gaza and Ramallah?

Insisting that Israel is a Jewish and Zionist state constitutes a form of ethnicity? Of course it does. Even if you reject Jewish nationalism we are at the least an ethnic community. How can a Jewish state mean a racial state when Israel is populated by persons of so many features, skin colors, languages and cultures?

If Israel neatly fits into their understanding of Western colonialism, that ‘understanding’ is non-existent. It there is colonialism in my neighborhood, it is that of Arabs who conquered the Land of Israel, transferring in a non-native population, destroying the economic base of life of Jews here and off and on, murdered Jews simply because they were Jews. And as for the Holocaust reference, why was the Mufti El-Husseini broadcasting over Radio Berlin during World War II?

I first was angry, then upset and then disappointed at their article’s content. I then was filled with pity. But then I recomposed myself and thought how could two Jews be such ignoramuses, on the one hand, and on the other, so callous and so loathing.

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