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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘David Landau’

For The Israeli Left, Democracy Is Too Democratic

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

David Landau, one of the lions of Israeli journalism, published a stunningly revealing article in Haaretz at the beginning of February – one that gave perfect voice to the Israeli left’s disgust with the nation’s own democratic system.

Due to the efforts of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Landau wrote, “the dream of Israel’s peace camp is coming true.” The dream itself is the “most yearned-for and most oft-repeated” wish, though Landau cautioned it is only spoken of “in private.”

There’s a twist, though: The dream, it turns out, isn’t a Palestinian state. A state is the culmination of the dream. No, the dream is “that friendly foreign governments summon up the political will to force Israel to end the occupation at last, in the interests of its own future as well as in the interests of world peace.”

Israeli leftists “do not dare to say it publicly,” Landau wrote, because they have been cowed into submission by the political rules of Israel’s “semi-theocratic, colonialist democracy.” The right has successfully arrogated to itself “the power to delineate the rules of public debate and the proprieties of political usage. ‘Zionism,’ ‘Judaism,’ and above all ‘patriotism’ are at the mercy of the right, chiefly the religious right, for their definition.”

Amazing how that happened, really, given that the left dominates the Israeli media, the academy, and elite conversation in the country. But it has, and it has because of those darned voters. The left has “concluded, correctly, that to be seen or heard encouraging friendly foreign governments to take tough positions against the occupation – threatening, for instance, economic boycotts – would draw down domestic condemnation, because the public is fairly brainwashed by the usage and definitions of the right.”

Hard to imagine, isn’t it, that a political movement supporting economic boycotts of your own country might rain down condemnation on you within your own country! But such is the deep injustice that has been visited upon Landau and his friends. The “semi-theocratic, colonialist” monstrosity for which they express such loathing and disgust no longer turns to them for leadership. Fancy that!

So powerful has this “brainwashing” been that it has “enfeebled” Landau’s own camp and reduced it to “the constant need to hope and pray that Israel’s foreign friends will step in and rescue her at last, effectively imposing the peace camp’s policy on her, because the peace camp cannot seriously hope to win power in Israel based on that policy.”

Well, wonder of wonders, it may finally have happened. The posse may have arrived. And so, in Landau’s view, “the peace camp would do well to seize upon Secretary Kerry’s warnings as the moment when its dream of foreign support begins to come true and when domestic and international public debate can be pushed back into pragmatic parameters.”

Landau once reportedly told Condoleezza Rice when she was secretary of state that Israel needs to be “raped by the U.S.” for its own good. That was a disgusting way of revealing a deep truth about him, the Israeli left, and its J Street supporters in the United States. They don’t just want their own policies imposed on the body politic that has rejected them. They want it to hurt, too. They want Israel’s electorate humiliated, degraded, and violated for the sin of rejecting them and their pipe dream of peace.

UK’s Zionist Jewry Rejects British J Street Clone

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

The Zionist Federation, the official representative body of Jewish organizations in England, this week rejected the membership application of Yachad UK, the leftist J Street-esque organization which was formed in England in 2011.

The vote took place on Monday, February 25, and was conducted as required by the ZF’s constitution: member organizations vote to decide whether an applicant organization’s mission and actions are consistent with the mission of the ZF.

According to a statement by the ZF, every constituent organization was given the opportunity to consider Yachad’s application, and representatives of those organizations consulted with their members in order to make a decision.  This process began ten months ago.  When the ZF met on Monday, the organization representatives voted on and rejected Yachad UK’s application.

Although ZF leadership members were unwilling to respond to media inquiries about the decision, they pointed to the deliberative process in which the ZF had engaged, which was consistent with prior membership decisions.

In response to the vote, Yachad, which is Hebrew for “together,” went on the offensive.  It instituted an email campaign informing contacts that they are being discriminated against, along with a twitter attack with the hashtag “whatswrongwithmyzionism.”

Yachad’s first line of offense was to present themselves as innocent Zionist victims of overbearingly aggressive, right-wing Zionist Jews.  They claimed at the top of their website that, “78% of Anglo Jewry favour a two state solution. Is their Zionism not good enough for the Zionist Federation?”

The Zionist Federation issued a public statement in response.  “It is important to note that despite claims by Yachad’s statement, the ZF strongly supports peace in the Middle East and the two state solution.  To say that we do not is factually incorrect.”

WHAT IS YACHAD UK?

Yachad UK is quite similar in orientation and mission to J Street in the U.S.  The tagline for Yachad is “together for peace, together for Israel,” and it describes itself as “the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement for British Jews,” exactly the same claim J Street makes for U.S. Jews.  About the only difference between the two organizations, as Hannah Weisfeld, Yachad’s director, said at its launch, is that Yachad will not engage in political lobbying.

And just as is the case with J Street, there are many Zionists who do not believe Yachad’s self-description is accurate.  They instead claim that Yachad’s relentless criticism of Israel and refusal to make any demands on the Arab Palestinians reveals the true nature of Yachad, one that they believe is instead an anti-Zionist orientation.

DOES YACHAD PRESENT ITSELF AS A ZIONIST ORGANIZATION?

The pingpong match of public statements declaring either that Yachad is a Zionist organization that should be welcomed into the UK’s Zionist Federation, or that it is an anti-Zionist organization which has no place in the ZF is not especially helpful in determining the truth.

Rather than look at the public rhetoric, The Jewish Press decided it is most useful to see what Yachad really does and where Yachad really goes. The best way to do this is to peruse the activities posted on Yachad UK’s Facebook page.

This is what you will find there:

• November 11 and February 10, Yachad showed the movie “The Law in These Parts,” a movie that is “a compelling indictment of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza,” another shows a Yachad trip to Israel in which the participants join up with an Israeli leftist activist group, Ir Amim, to rally against Jews living in parts of Jerusalem.

• February 11th and 12th meetings with former Haaretz editor David Landau, who famously told U.S. secretary of state Condoleezza Rice that the U.S. should “rape Israel,” and that it has always been a secret erotic dream of his to discuss this with her.”

• July 29, June 21, June 18, June 17 meetings with Nadav Greenberg of “Just Vision,” who recently completed a documentary, “Budrus and Home Front: Portraits from Sheikh Jarrah,”  that presents four people, all of whom oppose the Israeli efforts to allow Jews to live in the Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood of Jerusalem, known to pro-Arab Palestinian activists as the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

Most of the more than 100 photos on Yachad’s page are of Yachad trips to Israel.

The Schwarzschild Award

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

The winner of the Monitor’s fourth annual Henry Schwarzschild Award for most offensive comments by a Jew in the public spotlight is David Landau, editor of Haaretz, Israel’s leading left-wing daily. The prize is awarded to the person who, by his or her statements, displays contempt for the Jewish people, disregard for historical truth, a desire to sup at the table of Israel’s enemies, or who otherwise plays into the hands of the enemies of Jews and Israel.

Before we get to Landau, a little something about Henry Schwarzschild, who died in 1996 and was a longtime activist in groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and Jewish Peace Fellowship. In the wake of the Israeli siege of Beirut in the summer of 1982, he wrote a public letter of resignation from the editorial advisory board of the journal Sh’ma – a letter that will stand in perpetuity as a monument to the unimaginable neuroses and insecurities afflicting secular leftist Jews. Schwarzschild’s main points:

For a generation now, I have been deeply troubled by the chauvinistic assumptions and repressive effects of Israeli nationalism. I have experienced the War on Lebanon of the past few weeks as a turning point in Jewish history and consciousness exceeded in importance only by the End of the Second Commonwealth and the Holocaust. I have resisted the inference for over thirty years, but the War on Lebanon has now made clear to me that the resumption of political power by the Jewish people after two thousand years of diaspora has been a tragedy of historical dimensions….

I will not avoid an unambiguous response to the Israeli army’s turning West Beirut into another Warsaw Ghetto. I now conclude and avow that the price of a Jewish state is, to me, Jewishly unacceptable and that the existence of this (or any similar) Jewish ethnic religious nation state is a Jewish, i.e. a human and moral, disaster and violates every remaining value for which Judaism and Jews might exist in history.

The lethal military triumphalism and corrosive racism that inheres in the State and in its supporters (both there and here) are profoundly abhorrent to me. So is the message that now goes forth to the nations of the world that the Jewish people claim the right to impose a holocaust on others in order to preserve the State….I now renounce the State of Israel, disavow any political connection or emotional obligation to it, and declare myself its enemy….

Schwarzschild’s screed was immediately published by the far-left Nation magazine (then as now the most anti-Israel mainstream political publication in America) and for better than two decades has remained a favorite of left-wing Jews. Tony Kushner (Steven Spielberg’s screenwriter for “Munich”) and Alisa Solomon thought so much of it that they included it in Wrestling with Zion, a compilation of essays by leftists struggling with their feelings of ambivalence toward Israel.

By his stunning choice of words – delivered to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a gathering at the Tel Aviv home of the American ambassador to Israel – this year’s Schwarzschild awardee confirmed what many have long maintained about the sheer depth of hostility toward Israel found among the country’s media and academic elite.

Landau, a veteran Israeli journalist (and an observant Jew) whose politics are a perfect reflection of the Blame Israel First mentality for which Haaretz has long been famous, told Rice that Israel needed to be “raped” by the United States, adding, in sexual terminology too vulgar to repeat in a family newspaper, that conveying this sentiment to her had always been his fantasy.

Though Landau claimed his remarks were “much more sophisticated” than what was reported, he admitted he “did say that in general, Israel wants to be raped – I did use that word – by the U.S., and I myself have long felt Israel needed more vigorous U.S. intervention in the affairs of the Middle East.”

He also acknowledged, apparently without apology or regret (or explanation as to why he feels his statements were in any way “sophisticated”), his use of a schoolboy vulgarism in relating his psychotic fantasy to the secretary of state.
Landau and those who think like him always swear up and down that they love Israel and have only its best interests at heart. But even the most boorish and unsophisticated of clods would never wish or urge rape on an object of their affection – though of course the terribly sophisticated David Landau would disagree with that observation.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/the-schwarzschild-award-3/2008/01/09/

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