Gingrich – Zionist

The Palestinians are an “invented” people, says Newt Gingrich.

Israel should cede “not one acre, not one square foot, not one inch” of land to the Palestinians for peace, Michele Bachmann recently said.

Rick Perry has implicitly endorsed Israeli annexation of “Judea and Samaria,” while Ron Paul has called for an end to American aid and engagement in the Middle East.

Who’s pushing back against these off-the-wall and irresponsible comments?

Where are the candidates or elected officials from either party laying out a sensible path forward in the Middle East?

Unfortunately, they’re not speaking out because they’re not hearing loudly and clearly enough from us.

Join us in signing an open letter to the 2012 candidates saying we’ve had “ENOUGH” with dangerous political pandering on the Middle East.

Newt Gingrich may be setting the bar for irresponsibility, but the pandering isn’t a one-person or, frankly, a one-party problem.

Too many candidates looking to be pro-Israel are tripping over themselves to prove their pro-Israel bona fides by being as hawkish as possible.

In the process, they’re setting back the cause of peace and security for Israel as well as the interests of the United States.

Being pro-Israel doesn’t require demeaning the Palestinian people, approving unlimited West Bank settlement expansion, or pulling back from supporting a two-state solution.

It’s time to do something. To restore some sanity to American politics when it comes to Israel in 2012 – and to truly help Israel – we have to mobilize our friends and demonstrate our power.

Sign our call today for all presidential candidates to endorse a two-state solution and to refrain from incendiary and irresponsible rhetoric on the Middle East.

Commit just two minutes today to reclaiming what it means to be pro-Israel in American politics from those at the farthest fringes of the political debate.

Sign our petition, then send it to five of your friends and convince them to sign it and send it on to their friends as well.

Thank you for helping to change the meaning of being pro-Israel in American politics,

Jeremy Ben-Ami

President, J Street

Gingrich embraces Arafat.

The Jewish Channel.



Gingrich and Adelson Forge Firm Alliance.

…  Billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, one of the wealthiest men in the world and a major donor to Jewish and conservative causes, is widely known as a Netanyahu stalwart. Less well known are his equally close ties to Gingrich, to whom he has been a major giver in recent years. …


The Invention of the Jewish People.

.. Sand questions whether the Jewish People ever existed as a national group with a common origin in the Land of Israel/Palestine. He concludes that the Jews should be seen as a religious community comprising a mishmash of individuals and groups that had converted to the ancient monotheistic religion but do not have any historical right to establish an independent Jewish state in the Holy Land. In short, the Jewish People, according to Sand, are not really a “people” in the sense of having a common ethnic origin and national heritage. They certainly do not have a political claim over the territory that today constitutes Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem.

An intellectual committed to the secular and liberal traditions of the West, Sand criticizes the Zionist historians and ideologues — he suggests that Zionist historians are ideologues — who introduced a mythical conception of the Jewish People as an ancient race. He charges them with racist thinking. “Today, if anyone dares to suggest that those who are considered Jews in the world … have never constituted and still do not constitute a people or a nation — he is immediately condemned as a hater of Israel,” Sand writes. He contrasts the Zionist dogma that legitimizes the classification of Israeli Jews as members of the Jewish “religion” and “nation” in the government’s identity cards with “civic” or “contractual” nationalism. This latter concept, developed by Enlightenment philosophers like John Locke, defines the nation as an association of people with equal and shared political rights and allegiance to similar political procedures. This sort of civic nationalism excludes religious, racial and even ethnic origins from the definition of the collective identity of Americans or, for that matter, the French and other Western societies. It is celebrated by liberal American-Jews (and non-Jews) like the one I met in Athens in 2000. They recognize that any attempt to impose a more exclusive definition on American identity that reflects the white, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant origin of the founders would result in the political and cultural marginalization of American Jews.

But, as Sand demonstrates in his study, the ideology of Zionism is exclusivist — having more in common with the kind of “organic” (or romantic) nationalism under which the collective identity of the nation is based on a mix of language, race, culture, religion and customs of the “people.” It excludes those who do not share them. An ideology of organic nationalism, reflected in the work of German philosopher Johann Gottfried von Herder, had an enormous influence on the nationalist movements of Eastern and Central Europe as well as the Balkans. Zionism was clearly a product of that kind of organic nationalism, a popular intellectual trend in Vienna at the end of the nineteenth century, where Theodor Herzl, the founder of the Zionist movement, was trying to “invent,” or more likely to reinvent, the Jewish People and create a national mythology. According to this story line, Sand writes, the people “who wandered across seas and continents, reached the ends of the earth and finally, with the advent of Zionism, made a U-turn and returned en masse to their orphaned homeland.”

Is the development of that specific national mythology very different from those embraced by other national movements in Europe (and later in the Third World)? They fantasized about a lost Golden Age through which they could invent a grand historical narrative to help mobilize their people to action against the “other” — foreign occupiers and enemies — and provide political legitimacy for the establishment of a separate nation-state. In truth, contemporary Greeks and Germans are no more the descendants of, respectively, the ancient Greeks or the Teutonic tribes than Israeli Jews are the offspring of the Biblical Hebrews.

As a materialist who attaches more importance to the role of “real” political and economic factors in shaping history — as opposed to the ideologies that they produce and that leaders use as instruments to advance their interests — I am a bit skeptical about the power of ideologies or national myths to transform reality. Therefore, I find Sand’s preoccupation with the topic less than useful and some of his historical research less than convincing. He does not really prove that the Ashkenazi Jews are the descendants of the population of the kingdom of Khazaria, who converted to Judaism in the Middle Ages. And his dismissal of new genetic studies that try to trace the ethnic origins of contemporary Jews (and other peoples) is not persuasive. …..


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