Was Churchill a Friend of the Jews and Zionism?

Historians/History




Dr. Daniel Mandel is a Fellow in History at Melbourne University and author of H.V. Evatt and the Establishment of Israel: The Undercover Zionist (Routledge, 2004). His blog can be found here.

When I recently published a piece debunking the recent crop of revisionism (including his attitude to Jews) surrounding Winston Churchill in the American Spectator, a number of familiar and important questions came in from readers expressing doubt as to Churchill's partiality for Zionism and Jews. Their objections can be split into three:
 
1. Since Churchill in 1922 excised Transjordan from Palestine, thus denying to Zionism more than half of the territory earmarked for the Jewish National Home, is Churchill perhaps not overrated as a friend of the Jews?
 
2. If Churchill was such a good friend to the Jews, why did the restrictive provisions of the 1939 White Paper, which limited Jewish immigration into Palestine to 15,000 annually for the period 1939-1944 after which any further immigration would be dependent on Arab approval, remain in force under his leadership?
 
3. Since the failure of the RAF to bomb Auschwitz and of the British Army to stop the farhud (pogrom) against the Jews in Baghdad in 1941 have been attributed respectively to the RAF and the British Foreign Office, are we to surmise that Churchill lacked control of his own government and armed forces?
 
These are my answers:
 
1. The excision of Transjordan in 1922 from the territory in which the development of the Jewish National Home was to proceed was one of a number of decisions that was made during Churchill's visit to the region as Colonial Secretary, which included the creation of Iraq. Transjordan was then, as now, a largely arid tract of territory with no Jewish settlements. As such it was established as emirate for Abdullah, son of Sherif Hussein of Mecca and a British ally, by way of payment for services rendered during the First World War.
 
It was said by his deeply pro-Zionist political adviser, Richard Meinertzhagen, that Churchill saw the force of his argument that this decision deprived Zionism of room for development, but by then the decision had been made and could not be undone. Undoubtedly to Zionism's loss, the decision was not aimed at harming the movement, support for which was in fact reaffirmed as being unchangeable British policy in the 1922 White Paper. Nonetheless, it is a justified point that Churchill's decision caused a major part of Palestine to be lost to Zionism.
 
2. It is perfectly true that upon becoming Prime Minister in May 1940, Churchill did not overturn the 1939 White Paper, whose terms he had so eloquently denounced at the time in the Commons. The White Paper was retained because such was then the weakness of the British position that disowning it at that point was thought likely to precipitate a calamitous Arab revolt. This was probably a mistaken calculation, but in the circumstances of May 1940, it prevailed.
 
However, the question remains as to why Churchill did not discard it later and it was one I put to the Churchill biographer, Martin Gilbert, when I interviewed him in 1987. He responded that, from the outset, Churchill fought a Cabinet almost uniformly hostile to permitting Jewish refugees into Palestine. When Churchill was effectively overruled on this point by the Cabinet in March 1942, he and his Colonial Secretary, Lord Cranborne, bypassed its decision by devising a new policy that, contrary to the White Paper, permitted all Jews who might arrive in Palestine to stay there. The arrival of so few Jews and the failure to fill even the existing 15,000 annual quota was attributed by Gilbert to the virtual impossibility that by then existed for Jews to escape from Europe, which, he noted, the Mufti of Jerusalem, a  Nazi collaborator, worked hard to achieve.
 
When the White Paper's absolute ban on Jewish immigration was due to come into effect in May 1944, Churchill refused to sign it into law. Gilbert's 1993 address, "Churchill and the Holocaust: The Possible and the Impossible," concisely elaborates this and other matters which, viewed in combination, provides a different picture to that of unfulfilled friendship and sympathy.
 
To name some further significant facts: as First Lord of the Admiralty (1939-40) Churchill ended the practice of Royal Navy vessels intercepting refugee ships bound for Palestine when he discovered the  Foreign Office and Colonial Office had initiated this policy without his knowledge. When the British Commander in the Middle East, General Archibald Wavell, sought to have deported  from Palestine a group of Jewish refugees who had entered the country aboard the Patria, Churchill intervened to prevent it. He also pressured a BBC that was then reluctant to report on the Nazi targeting of Jews for murder, to do so.
 
In January 1944, Churchill's Cabinet approved in principle a new partition plan for Palestine, which was due for adoption in the very week in November 1944 that the British Minister of State in the Middle East and Churchill's friend, Lord Moyne, was assassinated by Lehi (Stern Gang) members. Churchill's support of Zionism thereafter became subdued but endured and he withstood demands at home for a military crackdown on the Jewish community in Palestine. The Cabinet however shelved partition.
 
The same year, in the face of persistent opposition from the British military establishment, Churchill pushed through the creation of a Jewish military force. Indeed, such was the perception of his concern for Jewish causes that, on two  occasions, callous members of his own inner staff withheld from him Jewish requests out of fear that he would respond positively to them. In short, Churchill, virtually singled-handedly, fought an indifferent and hostile bureaucracy to help the Jews and Zionism.
 
3. Gilbert has explained inAuschwitz and the Allies that the failure of the RAF to bomb Auschwitz et al. was the result of its commanders overriding Churchill's directives on sometimes spurious logistical grounds. The farhud in Baghdad was permitted to occur due largely to the defective judgement of the British ambassador, Sir Kinahan Cornwallis and Wavell, not Churchill, who at one stage even had to prod the latter to use the forces at his disposal to establish British authority in Iraq. Elie Kedourie has a typically authoritative account of these matters in the last two chapters of his Arabic Political Memoirs and Other Studies.
 
Therefore, we are not to conclude that Churchill was a poor friend of the Jews or that he had lost control of his own government. Rather, even the most formidable of democratic war leaders have to contend with contrarily-minded bureaucracies and must perforce delegate important decisions to diplomats and commanders in the field. So much of the tragedy (and glory) of history is the role played by individuals in the situations they find themselves.


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Elliott Aron Green - 5/31/2007

John, people here hate Olmert not because he went to war against the Hizbullah, but because he did such a poor job of leadership. of preparing the defenses of the home front, of not having a winning strategy. Also, Olmert appointed the defense minister and foreign minister who are both unfit for their positions [the foreign minister is about as dumb as could be imagined -- or dumber than you would imagine]. Olmert appointed them and they too are failures.

About reporting of Israel's struggles with Arab terrorists. I know what's going on here in Israel both through our media and through personal contact with people involved in events, including my own children, relatives, friends, in laws, etc. The BBC is the worst distorter of news relating to Israel. For instance, several years ago, two Jewish women, each the mother of 5 or 6 children, were driving together in a car near Gush Etsion in Judea, not far from where they lived. They were both shot dead by Arab terrorists. The BBC reported this incident as "two settlers" were killed. Thus, the BBC hid the fact that the victims were women and that they were mothers of large families. Of course, when Arabs are hurt, we hear that that they are women or children or mothers or innocent political activists, not terrorists, not even "militants" [the new code name for terrorists]. So even if they are leaders of terrorist groups, or spokesmen of terrorist groups, Israel is not supposed to touch them because they're non-combatants. They don't actually pull the trigger or shoot the rocket. And acts of mass murder perpetrated against the Jewish civilian population in Israel, indiscriminately against men, women and children, oldsters and babies alike, are labelled acts of "resistance" as if Hamas or Hizbullah were something like the French resistance of WW2.

It's no wonder that the British union of university lecturers [or whatever it's called] just came out with a call for a boycott of Israeli universities. This was properly described by Nobel Prize winner Stephen Weinberg about a week ago. He pointed out that many states were more aggressive or warlike than Israel, yet Israel was singled out as the target of a boycott campaign. Weinberg was polite but I'm not. I call the vote by 3/5 of the Brit univ teachers a Nazi act. And it's no wonder given the distorted reporting by the major British media, although I believe that there are other British institutional influences at work as well. Consider the Royal Inst of Int'l Affairs, Arnold Toynbee's old stamping grounds, which has been anti-Jewish and pro-Muslim since the 1920s. I think it appropriate to call the Brit univ teachers vote a Nazi act. The Arab-Muslim dominated Sudan, for instance, has been perpetrating mass murder on parts of its own population since independence in 1956. But the Brit univ teachers have not declared a boycott of Sudan or Syria or of Iraq in Saddam's time, etc. Of course, one trick used by the Israelophobes is to say: You Jews call antisemitic just because we criticize Israel. That's just a cover up for Nazi slanders on the part of certain Brits and other vicious Judeophobes.

While we're at it, the Brit univ teachers overlook the complicity of their own govt in the Holocaust. Yes, Britain was a silent partner in the Holocaust. It's about time that the Brit hackademics recognize this fact.


N. Friedman - 5/30/2007

John,

You write: "I acknowledge that 35 years ago European nations, other than Portugal remained neutral in a war between the Soviet sponsored Arabs and the US sponsored Israelis. The realities of today are far different in many more ways than the general opinions of Europeans toward Israel."

Indeed, there are differences but in no way has Europe come closer to Israel to the extent that any European countries would support Israel if push comes to shove. If you think otherwise, provide some evidence and/or an argument to suggest in the current environment why Israel would receive support that it did not have when Europeans were supposedly pro-Israeli.

You write: "Can you name more than the mistake over Jenin, which was acknowledged and corrected in the papers I am able to read? If the incidents are truly innumerable it should be easy to rattle of four or five."

Fair point.

What comes to mind immediately is poor reporting on the Lebanon War where it was reported repeatedly in the European press that much of Lebanon was laid waste including, most particularly, Beirut. In fact, the damage was not that extensive and occurred primarily in the south of the country.

Moreover, doctored photographs found their way into the press coverage - although that occurred also in the US (e.g. in The New York Times) and was caught by a computer expert who showed that smoke in a photograph had been added via the Photoshop program. There were also the incidents involving photographs and videos that had been carefully staged including the placement of bodies and dolls - in some cases, the very same bodies used in more than one event, placed by the very same person (who was in more than one such photograph) -.

There is also the failure of the press to report - which found its way into supposed human rights group reports - that Hezbollah placed its "troops" in civilian areas and placed its missiles in such areas and fired such missiles from such areas, among other things.

The above are not minor errors. Reporters were told by Hezbollah operatives not to report certain things and, fearing for their lives or, in some cases, actively supporting Hezbollah or hating Israel, altered facts during the course of that war.

Should I go on?

You write: "I looked and the latest polling information I could finds 58% "sympathy" for Israel among Americans (from the Jewish Virtual Library). I could find no recent polling information on Americans opinions of other nations."

You might google the topic. You will find that Israel ranks second, of all countries, behind Canada. Sometimes Israel comes in third, behind the UK and Canada. At times, Israel's positive rating is in the high 60's% - I believe as high as 68% positive opinion.

You write: "Regarding the Israeli response to the Hezballah kidnapping of two soldiers, Israel has realized that it made a mistake. Last I heard Olmert's approval rating was less than 5% as a result of the report on that fiasco."

That is different from polling in the US, which is about which countries Americans have high regard. France is low. Arab countries are really low. Israel, Canada and Britain are quite high.


John Charles Crocker - 5/30/2007

I acknowledge that 35 years ago European nations, other than Portugal remained neutral in a war between the Soviet sponsored Arabs and the US sponsored Israelis. The realities of today are far different in many more ways than the general opinions of Europeans toward Israel.

"Moreover, the position of European states about Israel has changed, thanks in considerable part to innumerable incidents of dishonest journalism"
Can you name more than the mistake over Jenin, which was acknowledged and corrected in the papers I am able to read? If the incidents are truly innumerable it should be easy to rattle of four or five.

"- unlike in the US, where Israel is among the favorite foreign countries for most Americans -"
Where do you come by this information? I looked and the latest polling information I could finds 58% "sympathy" for Israel among Americans (from the Jewish Virtual Library). I could find no recent polling information on Americans opinions of other nations.

Regarding the Israeli response to the Hezballah kidnapping of two soldiers, Israel has realized that it made a mistake. Last I heard Olmert's approval rating was less than 5% as a result of the report on that fiasco.


N. Friedman - 5/30/2007

John,

France stopped supplying arms to Israel in 1967. It is possible that Israel bought French weapons (e.g. jets) but not from the French government. Britain had been a minor source of armaments. By 1973, the US was Israel main supplier of arms.

Now, you are shifting your argument. Before your position was that Europe would support Israel if push came to shove. Now, you acknowledge that, in the past and in an existential crisis, Europe would not even allow planes to fly over its airspace - much less support - Israel.

Had the US not resupplied Israel with arms during the Yom Kippur War, there either would be no Israel today or, to save itself, Israel would have perhaps have used any nuclear weapons it may have had.

As historian Bat Ye'or has shown, the European states, through the EU and its EAD program and, later, the Barcelona Mediterranean program, made a series of agreement with the Arab states beginning at the end of the Yom Kippur war. Those agreements include provision for the European states to side generally with the Arab states against Israel by supporting recognition of the resistance movement against Israel as the official representative of the "Palestinian people," taking the Arab position on UN 242 - contrary to the position taken by such states at the time the document was written, etc., etc., in exchange, among other things, for unrestricted access to Arab oil and preferences with respect to lucrative construction and technology exchange contracts.

Moreover, the position of European states about Israel has changed, thanks in considerable part to innumerable incidents of dishonest journalism (e.g. reporting on things such as the alleged "Jenin massacre" - which existed in the European press but not in reality, as the facts show). So, the chances of support of Israel finding support in Europe are fairly bleak.

There are a number of possibly encouraging notes on the generally bad news out of Europe. Bernard Kouchner, a very principled social democrat (known as a founder of Doctors without Borders), has been tapped to be France's foreign minister. Such signals a possible change in French foreign policy, France having been the driving force in pushing the European states to adopt positions more congenial to the Arab position in the Arab Israeli dispute via the EU. Also, in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel is friendlier than her predecessor toward Israel.

There has also been some change in public opinion in Europe that relates to the dispute. While Israel is not well received among most Europeans - unlike in the US, where Israel is among the favorite foreign countries for most Americans -, opinion about Arabs, Muslims and Arab states is in free fall to the extent of undermining those in Europe who argue about the kindly views of Arabs and Muslims in the Arab Israeli dispute. This, no doubt, has something to do with the bombs that go off in Europe and elsewhere but it does impact on how many people think about the Arab Israeli dispute - as has been noted by some pollsters.

Nonetheless, even at a time when Europe was kindly disposed toward Israel, Europe preferred to sit on its hand - and, in fact, greatly complicated Israel's self defense - during the time of Israel's great need during the Yom Kippur War. So, an improvement over the recent low hardly translates into any reason to accept your theory that Europe would stand with Israel (i.e. as you state: "Still, Israel's military is strong enough particularly given US and, when push comes to shove, European support if war were launched against Israel." - But, of course, when push came to shove in the Yom Kippur War, Europe mostly sat on its hands and complicated US efforts to assist Israel in its time of need and, this last summer, Europeans, rather than help Israelis rid the region of the Hezbollah terror group, were screaming for Israel not to protect itself, as if any European state would just sit by in a similar situation and make a measured response).


John Charles Crocker - 5/30/2007

If Egypt becomes a democracy or there is a coup then Israel may have something to worry about, barring that it is reasonably safe on that front.

In what way did European countries actively side with either side during the Yom Kippur War? The British and French along with the Americans supplied most of the fire power for Israel and the Soviets supplied the other side. The Europeans stayed actively out of the Yom Kippur War after it began. You may disagree with its position but it cannot call it active opposition to Israel. If a European country gave the Soviets overfly permissions during the war you would certainly characterize that as active support of the other side.

As to what Europe would or would not do now, that is uncertain. Probably some countries would remain neutral (giving lip service to one side, the other, or compromise), while other countries could be persuaded to aid Israel, and none that I know of would give active support to an Arab aggressor in such a conflict.


N. Friedman - 5/30/2007

John,

Not to quibble with your analysis but it is not reasonable.

Israel has a piece of paper called a treaty with Egypt but the vast, vast majority of Egyptians oppose the treaty and always have. In due course, such group will come to power. As it is Egypt is one of the, if not the, main source of publication of Antisemitic literature. That reflects, since publication needs the approval of the authorities, either the view or a need of the authorities. Egypt is also rearming, but so long as it sees relations with the US as more important than the views of its citizens, it will leave Israel alone, more or less.

So far as Europe, during the Yom Kippur War, European countries mostly actively sided with the Arabs, notwithstanding the view of most Europeans, at the time, that was very pro-Israel. Moreover, they refused assistance to Israel when Israel began to run out of supplies - and not withstanding the fact that the USSR had resupplied the Arab side - and, in most instances, refused even to assist the US in resupplying Israel but, instead, mostly refused overfly permission, thus complicating Israel's situation. So, your theory of European support is not supported by the historical record of what Europeans actually do.

And, that was in a time when Israel was popular in Europe. Today, when Israel is not so popular in Europe, there is no European country that would lift a finger to help Israel. To not understand at least that much, John, is to not know much about the world you live in.


John Charles Crocker - 5/30/2007

You accuse me of lying about the IDF killing Palestinian children, now you backpeddle and try to justify the killings as understandable accidents.

"The great majority is caused by the tactic of the Arab terrorists to hide behind their own people when shooting or launching rockets from inhabited areas."
This is not how the children were killed during the 1st Intifada. IDF tactics under Rabin were responsible for those deaths. When Arens took over Israeli actions involved less casualties and greater effectiveness.

I wish that the Arabs and Jews would stop killing each other, but I doubt they will anytime soon. Attitudes like yours on both sides of the dispute are in large part the reason for the continuing violence. You hate them as much as they hate you and you look for peace no harder than they do.

"BTW can you point us to a blog entry, you made out, protesting the genocide in Darfur, Rwanda or killing of Irish people by the British army or any other protest for "humanistic" reasons beside Israel?"
I have made them, but I am not going to search through all of the comments I have made to find them. Can you point to any such entry on your part that was not directly involved with defense of Israeli policy?
HNN has quite a few articles about the Middle East in general and Israel in particular, but none I recall about anything African. As such my opinions on the former are much more on display here than my opinions on the later.

Because you are feigning interest, I think the US should have intervened via the UN in both Rwanda and Sudan (rather than its disastrous involvement in Iraq). The US should now be using all of the leverage we have with China to force them to divest themselves from Sudan and stop their support of the genocide there.
The situation in Ireland has been quiet for a while, so does not bear much comment.


Joseph Mutik - 5/30/2007

Thank IDF, the number is lower but the keyword is deliberate. There is no deliberate killing by the Israeli soldiers. The great majority is caused by the tactic of the Arab terrorists to hide behind their own people when shooting or launching rockets from inhabited areas. What you don't like is that the Arabs can't kill more Jews and that Jews can defend themselves and not go in silent order to the ovens.
You use fascist and communist propaganda, so you are a member of the movement or a sympathizer.
BTW can you point us to a blog entry, you made out, protesting the genocide in Darfur, Rwanda or killing of Irish people by the British army or any other protest for "humanistic" reasons beside Israel?


John Charles Crocker - 5/30/2007

"Israel's situation is that the country is surrounded and outnumbered by enemies who are actively hostile..."
On one side is the Mediterranean, Egypt and Jordan (about 80% of Israel's land border) have peace treaties with Israel, and while a segment of Lebanon's population is actively hostile, the country as a whole is not. That leaves Syria actively hostile over the Golan Heights. If Egypt and Jordan were democratic, as the US nominally supports, then that situation would likely change to Israel's detriment. Still, Israel's military is strong enough particularly given US and, when push comes to shove, European support if war were launched against Israel.

"Israel is in terrible shape, being more or less - apart from the US - isolated diplomatically..."
Israel has close diplomatic and economic ties with Europe. While European and other nations (including the US) do sometimes state their disagreement with Israeli policies those statements are rarely ever more than statements.


John Charles Crocker - 5/30/2007

You rely on name calling (ie commie, fascist, pinko, racist, liar, shameless, etc) in virtually all of your posts without providing evidence to back up the accusations. You continue to do so even when you are called out. Name calling, particularly without evidence to back up any of those accusations, is ad hominem. You rely entirely on the emotional content of those words and provide no evidence in support of that content.

"If you use common defamatory phrases..."
Which common defamatory phrases have I used? You cannot point to any, can you?

Read what I actually wrote regarding the Khazar argument, rather than what you project on to it.

I have not singled out any race or religion, rather I singled out a poorly supported statement by Plout about a hypothetical situation.

"Accusing Israeli soldiers about killing children is a common extreme left lie."
1) I said shoot not kill.
2) 241 Palestinian children were killed by the IDF during the 1st Intifada. The IDF does not contest this figure so far as I know.

What crimes am I attempting to cover up?


Joseph Mutik - 5/29/2007

The dictionary definition:
"ad hominem
Appealing to personal considerations (rather than to fact or reason)"

If you use common defamatory phrases taken from the commie and fascist propaganda you can't call the reaction "ad hominem". Accusing Israeli soldiers about killing children is a common extreme left lie. There were a few accidents, after all there is a war going on but no Israeli soldiers intentionally killed children. When you you use the Khazar argument you joined the fascist crowd so no "ad hominem" here.
I see singling out the Jews as the only criticism the essence of hatred. You single out the Jews as a cover up for the crimes of others.


N. Friedman - 5/29/2007

John,

Algeria was a French colony in which the colonists had a place to return - namely, France. Israel is a country founded by refugees from a number of countries. At this point, there are Jewish refugees in Israel from more than a dozen countries (e.g. Poland, Russia, Iraq, Yemen, Iran, Egypt, France, Ukraine, etc., etc.. As I understand it, the majority of Israel's Jewish population consists of Jewish refugees (and their offspring) from Arab lands. At present, as much as 85% of Israel's Jewish population has nowhere else to go were Israel to fall. I cannot remotely imagine, other than the fact that one side of each dispute involves Arabs, how the disputes compare.

In any event, a comparison with Algeria puts Israel in a very, very favorable light. In Algeria, my recollection is that more than a hundred thousand people died in a very few short years. That is more than died, by quite a bit, in all of the Arab Israeli wars.

As I see the matter, Israel's situation is that the country is surrounded and outnumbered by enemies who are actively hostile, using those means that are currently feasible to challenge the country. It is true that Israel's enemies have had some difficulty, as a result of the agreements with Egypt and Jordan, focusing their forces - as in large armies - against Israel but, in due course, that will likely change. And, these agreements are dependent on the influence of the US in that part of the world and, moreover, the interest of the US in hosting the peace.

Notwithstanding any formal agreements, Israel has a dispute with an Arab population which receives moral and financial support and arms from all over the Arab and greater Muslim regions - including from governments and under the nose of governments that supposedly are at peace with Israel. The local Arab populations act as if, since they have, counting the greater Arab and Muslim region, substantially greater numbers than the Israelis, that there is no real reason to reach a permanent settlement since, by any rational telling, time is not on the Israeli side.

Moreover, European states have come to that same conclusion and rather openly side against Israel - although there is some evidence of a slight shift in the position held by some of the European states. But, were it not the case of an interest to accommodate US interests, Europe would likely be even more hostile than it is already, forcing its position in the UN.

In its way, Israel is in terrible shape, being more or less - apart from the US - isolated diplomatically and surrounded by enemies who, given the circumstances, have no imaginable reason to settle. It is in a very unenviable position.


John Charles Crocker - 5/29/2007

WWII and the situation Israel is in now are hardly at the same level. This is not a fair comparison and you know it.

If you want an apt comparison that might show Israel's actions in the occupied territories in a favorable light, try the US in Iraq or the French in Algeria.


John Charles Crocker - 5/29/2007

You cannot point to a single lie, because I have not lied.
I don't hate Jews as a people and I don't even hate you despite the ridiculous ad hominem attacks you continue to throw my way. I understand that you don't have a leg to stand on so this is all you can do.

"shameless commie fascist liar"
Thats great. Will you back up any of those or are you just going to continue the trend of unsubstantiated accusation?

I oppose the war in Iraq, so why would I want to cover up what is happening there?

"No one cared when the British army killed Irish, in Northern Ireland..."
That is about the level of nonsense I have grown to expect from you. You only see criticism when it is directed to you and yours.

"I wasn't inside Gaza only secured the border."
So you didn't get the chance to shoot any rock throwing children with that gun you worship? Do you regret that?


N. Friedman - 5/29/2007

John,

I have compared countries in conflict - which is analytically sound.

Your comparison, by contrast, is between countries that have no conflict on their soil with one which does. Such is a completely invalid comparison. It is mere demagogy.




Joseph Mutik - 5/29/2007

Very normal today you combine extreme left and extreme right themes combining Jew hatred with lies about Israel.
I wasn't inside Gaza only secured the border. The soldiers used rubber bullets , shameless commie fascist liar. IDF is the most moral army in the world. Again the old "blame the Jews" tactic to cover up for what the U.S. and the UK armies do to the civilian population in Irak. No one cared when the British army killed Irish, in Northern Ireland, because they wanted a well deserved independence. The only difference between N.Ireland and Israel is that the Brits left the Arabs to kill the Jews but they made the wrong calculation and now they blame the Jews.


John Charles Crocker - 5/29/2007

The argument I made has absolutely nothing to Israel's current immigration policy (right of return etc.). I have not blamed anyone for anything here; other than you for failing again and again what I have written. Try starting again here (#109583).

"Yes I was in IDF during the first intifada..."
How many rock throwing children did you shoot with that gun you worship?


Joseph Mutik - 5/28/2007

Again you wrote "IF the Jews" and even if only 1% of the Ashkenazim were descendants from Israeli Jews and 99% converted they are all Jews in good standing with the same rights to return to Israel. Don't blame me and the Jews for not having a country for 2000 years.
You should blame UK and US for not accepting the displaced European Jews into Canada, Australia or USA after 1945 and after the pogrom, in Poland, against Jews that wanted to return home. UK was broke in 1945 and USA didn't want more Jews. The reality is that the Jews in the USA were ready to pay the bill for the relocation but USA didn't care about Jew. In 1948 the Jews in Israel didn't get any help outside the US Jewish community. USA begun to help Israel only after 1967 to counterbalance the Soviet influence in Egypt.
Yes I was in IDF during the first intifada doing reserve duty every year. After the first Lebanon war I did 3 years of reserve duty in Lebanon but after I broke a leg and two ribs in a car accident (no IED, the jeep went off the road and upside down), in Lebanon, I was moved to the Gaza border where I patrolled the border in a jeep putting off the fires caused by Palestinian Molotov cocktails thrown into the crop fields.


John Charles Crocker - 5/28/2007

The context of the conversation should have made it clear that the Jewish people I was referring to where those that founded Israel. Most of those Jews were Ashkenazi. These were the Jews that were alleged to be from Khazaria.
This should not matter anyway, as I clearly stated that the myth was false and that these Jews did not descend from Khazaria.

You continue to make entirely unfounded claims of racism, when you are the only one here who has insulted anyone's race or religion. If anyone here is a bigot it is you.

BTW where you in the IDF during the first intifada?


John Charles Crocker - 5/28/2007

"On your next to last point, you are correct that all religious insignia are banned in public in France."
They are banned in public schools, not in public in general.

You ask for comparisons among like situations for Israel's behavior as a nation, yet you compare Allied behavior during WWII to Israel's current behavior.


Joseph Mutik - 5/27/2007

Your Satmar ranting is well known and also the Holocaust denial trip to Iran.
What I can't understand is why some of you accept to be defended by the Jewish army and police in Jerusalem?


DeWayne Edward Benson - 5/26/2007

The State of Israel today has nothing to do with the Israel to which God will return a remnant. The Torah actually forbidding sale of the land before the scattering, saying it belongs to God, and the chosen were alien's and tenants. True Torah Jewish for almost 2000 years after the scattering realizing only God could re-establish Israel, never once for this reason was their a hint of man re-establishing Israel. The State of Israel today was begun by a secular group calling themselves Zionists, their stated purpose (at the time) to form a 'homeland'.
Churchill other than the first to use poison gas (1925) on the Iraqi, used Zionists in part to stabalize the Middle East under the British Empire, this after converting from coal to oil as power to drive the British navy. By 1939 as some have commented, whether anyone wants to believe, gutted the Belfore Declaration, allowing at most a strip of coastland to the Zionist's, and leaving the majority to Arab/Palestinians who would be given their own State by 1949.
Please do not confuse Zionist's with Jewish or Israel, today it is a minority secular Zionist government in the State of Israel that very likely will prove end days Bible prophecy. The majority secular Jewish fooled into immigrating as foretold by Jewish religiuos leaders long ago, has made Israel of today the most dangerous place on earth for true Jewish people.


Elliott Aron Green - 5/26/2007

Daniel, From reading books by Bernard Lewish [who refers to a book by Somerset de Chair] and by Freya Stark, it seems that the Foreign Office forbade British troops outside Baghdad to intervene to stop the Farhud in 1941. The local British ambassador no doubt had wireless communication with his superiors in London, whether directly or through Cairo or Jerusalem. The Foreign Secretary at the time was Anthony Eden. He also supervised the BBC which at first overlooked the Holocaust, then avoided the Jewish aspect, then minimized reporting of it. So Eden might be seen as a major villain. But does this exculpate Churchill? Did he have no control or influence over Eden?


N. Friedman - 5/26/2007

John,

On point one, a country becomes legitimate by coming into being and convincing other UN countries to accept it. It evidently does not take much to be in the UN, as all the European countries, so far as I know, became members after WWII. And, by any standards, the behavior of European states has, over the course of centuries, been at the bottom of the barrel, so far as ruling other people is concerned.

Regarding the behavior of nations, the correct comparison is between likes, not between people in unrelated circumstances. Israel is in a war. Its behavior is properly judged compared to countries at war in which the entire country is at stake.

So far as treating people in the captured territories is concerned, Israel fairs, frankly, better than France does with its legions of non-citizens in ring-slum cities. In this case, there is a basis for comparison, if one goes before the Intifadah. In other words, you can make a fair comparison by noting what occurred when there was no war.

During that period, the lives of those under Israeli rule improved dramatically and in every category of life. Hence, the living standard was at the top of the Arab regions, except, of course, for Arab Israelis. Educational opportunity was better than in any Arab country. Education was better than in any Arab country. Civil liberties were better than in any Arab country.

With the arrival of Arafat, that all changed. Living standards plummeted. Civil liberties were undermined. Education declined while propaganda in favor of genocide - which was widely propagated under his regime -, etc., etc. That, frankly, is not Israel's doing. And, Israel did not tell the Palestinian Arabs not to accept the compromise proposed by President Clinton and, instead, to start a new war.

Being realistic, John, the fact is that the conditions in the Palestinian Arab ruled areas are a self-inflicted wound. When you start a war, bad stuff can happen. I, frankly, have no sympathy for what they have done. I agree entirely with what Prince Bandar said, namely, that all of what happened is Arafat's fault and that all the blood is on his hand and that he lied about President Clinton's proposal.

On your next to last point, you are correct that all religious insignia are banned in public in France. Such, frankly, is a moral outrage. That it is not being done only to Muslims does not make it any better. It is offensive and disgusting.

On your last point, it was not just Germany although Germany bears responsibility for the war. There are, however, if we are to understand the world, other events that go to what occurs on the "good guy" side. Recall that Britain destroyed whole cities in Germany. Such for no apparent benefit other than terror. Tens of thousands of civilians were, in such events, killed in single evenings.

To compare Israel's behavior with the outrages committed by even Britain during WWII would be an outrageous lie. Yet, the correct comparison might be Israel in its wars of survival and those of Britain. Israel, frankly, scores a thousand times better. No cities were bombed to the ground, with tens of thousands of people killed in an evening - and on more than one occasion, if I correctly recall.


Joseph Mutik - 5/26/2007

I don't want to put it as too much of a chutzpah.


Joseph Mutik - 5/26/2007

You do it again and you also use the loser argument, on the internet, attacking the language.
You didn't write "the Jewish people" but "The Jews"
"The Jews" means "all Jews" and I understand it perfectly.
The article is talking about "Some Jews" who became Jews through conversion but you continue to be with the David Duke crowd.


John Charles Crocker - 5/26/2007

"In the contemporary world, a country that exists and is in the UN is legitimate."
OK, but what would grant legitimacy to the formation of a new country?
(this was the subject of my original argument)

When talking about behavior as a nation, the comparison that matters (fair or not) is their actions in the present and near past. So we can move on to the end of your post with only a brief diversion.

here "You have shifted language from your prior point, which is about nations born in the last 60 years."
That was never my point, it was yours.

The problem people (at least outside the Muslim world) have with Israel is not with its treatment of people within Israel proper,as you well know, but its treatment of people in the occupied territories. In this there is no real comparison with any EU country at present.

"In Israel, the non-dominant group has...That, so far as I know, has not happened in any European country."
It has happened in the Netherlands and appears to have happened in the UK (There I was only able to judge by family name, which is a far from perfect rubric). Elswhere it is difficult to tell as I am limited to English and a bit of Nederlandse. Information on religious background of judges and representatives of any country is not readily available in a concise and easy to search format that I have been able to find.

"Israelis are not telling Muslims not to wear religious garments, as occurs in France."
The ban in France is on ALL religious clothing and paraphenalia, not just for Muslims. No crosses, yarmulkes, turbans or pentacles are allowed either.

In regards to your WWII reference, I will grant you that Israel is morally and ethically immensely superior to Nazi Germany (the responsible party for the vast majority of the carnage you mentioned).


John Charles Crocker - 5/26/2007

now you have resorted to schoolyard taunts about my name in addition to unfounded claims of racism. You have shown, yet again, with your tactics here that you nothing of value to say.

Now, why don't you back up your claim?
It is because you can't isn't it?


John Charles Crocker - 5/26/2007

The article was the myth that the Ashkenazi Jews, so most European Jews descended from Khazar rather than on or near the caost of the south eastern Mediteranean.

When I refered to "the Jewish people", I intended that reference to be to those who founded Israel (primarily emmigrants from Europe). I thought that the context made that clear. Sorry for any confusion that may have caused.

You continue to make accusations of racism without a scintilla of evidence. In regards to your ESL comment, your confusion with my argument and my opinions about Israel and Jewish people in general may stem from your difficulties with English. Perhaps before you go off on your next rant about how someone is a racist you should have someone more fluent read the offending passage first.


Joseph Mutik - 5/25/2007

In your message:
http://hnn.us/comments/109935.html
you use the Jews and not Some Jews
In the last week article by Steven Plaut
there is no place where "the Jews" is used (only the title of a book "The Jews of Khazaria").
So don't play this racist game with me:
the article is about Some Jews and not the Jews as you try to misguide us.


Joseph Mutik - 5/25/2007

In the last week article by Steven Plaut
there is no place where "the Jews" is used (only the title of a book "The Jews of Khazaria").
So don't play this racist game with me:
the article is about Some Jews and not the Jews as you try to misguide us.


N. Friedman - 5/25/2007

John,

In the contemporary world, a country that exists and is in the UN is legitimate. Nothing more or less.

Of course, without force of arms capable of defending a nation, a country would cease to exist. So, to that extent, legitimacy is tied up with the ability to defend a country. But, it is not the same thing or even a component of legitimacy. Force of arms is merely a necessity for survival because a country, without such force of arms, will sooner or later cease to exist.

Religious claims to land are a basis for people to act. For example, Muslims claim that the world ought to be Muslim and many Muslims, over the course of more than a millennium, have been willing to fight for that concept. A very great many evidently still are willing to do so and/or to support those who do so.

Religious Jews claim that Zion is important for religious reasons. There is no doubt, in my mind at least, that such is a central concept in Judaism, whether a Jew supports the State of Israel or opposes it. The divide among Jews occurs over whether Eretz Y'srael may exist by means of the hands of man or whether, in a sense, only by God.

For Jews who believe that man has the right to create Eretz Y'srael, such makes the State of Israel - which is no doubt the work of man and, more specifically, the work of devout atheists - legitimate. But, that is not a universal claim, meaning, as with the Muslim claim that the entire world is only legitimate under Muslim rule, it is a claim accepted only by those who believe. So, such is not a basis to assert legitimacy, if that term is to have the same meaning for everyone.

To me, asserting legitimacy on religious or moral grounds is equivalent to propaganda directed to obtaining supporters and immigrants. "Bring us your tired and your poor." "Land of the free and the home of the brave." "Liberty, Equality and Fraternity." Etc., etc. One can accept these as a reason to support or move to a country or not. It is no different from Omar's claims that Israel is illegitimate because it does not suit his interests and/or moral sensibility.

On the other hand, as with arms, losing moral and/religious support from outsiders can affect the ability of a nation to survive. So, in that sense, morality and religion are tied up with legitimacy. But, such are not the same thing as legitimacy. They are, in my view, akin to force of arms.

I would take the view, with respect to Israel, that apart from the importance of Zion in Judaism, Jews would long ago have disappeared. Moreover, had they remained as a people, they could, apart from the impact of religion, have chosen a different place to live. Which is to say, the religious claim explains why Israel, not Uganda or someplace else, was chosen as a place in which to create a Jewish national home. It, however, has nothing to do with the country's legitimacy.

Again, Israel is legitimate because it exists and is a member of the UN.

You write: "Israel's history is quite short and should really only be compared with the actions of other countries in the past 60 years."

That strikes me as an odd statement. Israel's actions can be compared with other countries during their first 60 years.

But even then, it can, of course, be compared to other countries born within the last 60 years. In that regard, Israel sits near the top of the list, so far as its actions.

The countries born in the last 60 years include India, Pakistan, Sudan, Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, Russia, among quite a few others. Among such nations are not Britain and France or the US. So, you cannot compare Israel's situation to such countries, in determining its behavior. That is not, as it were, comparing likes to likes.

Moreover, of countries that were recently born, not all have had their existence actively opposed by all of their neighboring countries and people's. If one wants to find a reasonable parallel, one has to look for such an example. Otherwise, you are making a false parallel.

In the case of India and Pakistan, radical Muslims in Pakistan claim that India is illegitimate and use the pretext of Kashmir as a means to unravel India into separate, hence, weaker states. The logic is that if Kashmir falls, the other states within India will assert their claims of independence. The end will be Muslim dominance.

Whether the government of Pakistan supports that view is an open question. Elements of the ISI no doubt do but it is not at all obvious that such is the view of President Musharraf but, no doubt, he has to take seriously the views of his radicals within the governing elite.

What is clear is that the two countries have had border fights and have not had direct confrontation over the right of India or Pakistan to exist. Nonetheless, the warfare has been worse than in Israel, the numbers of civilians killed dwarfs, by more than a factor of 10, those killed in Israel and the treatment of civilians is worse than in Israel.

Sudan has been in civil war, more or less, since the time of its founding. Beginning in the 1980's, a forced Islamization program began which, in due course - and with the active support of the various Arab states and religious people within them -, led to about 2 million people (all but a small number Christians and animists) dying by 2000, the recreation of slavery (based on religious claims), with more than 100,000 slaves taken, many of which were sold into the Gulf states, the forced conversion of villages to Islam by means of withholding food and the taking of children from their families in order that they could be converted to Islam. It does not get much worse than that. However, since 2000, a new war broke out in the Darfur region, with, notwithstanding reports to the contrary, religion and Arabness being central components, as the non-Arabs were lax in their religious customs. Hundreds of thousands, thus far, have died.

Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia, et al have been at each others throats - other than now that we have troops preventing the bloodshed. There are charges of genocide relating the dispute, as you know. And, again, far, far more people have died than in Israel and people have treated each other worse than in Israel.

In Russia, there has been the Chechnya dispute, with extraordinary numbers of deaths and the destruction of whole cities. That is a dispute of a completely different magnitude than the dispute regarding Israel.

So, it seems to me that among countries born that have had disputes - again, the only imaginable fair comparison, and not a comparison to peaceful Britain or France -, Israel has done quite well.


You write: "By that standard Israel's behavior as a nation is somewhere in the vast middle. It is arguable whether it is in the upper or lower portion of that vast middle, but it is not among the several best or several worst."

You have shifted language from your prior point, which is about nations born in the last 60 years. If that is the basis for comparison, then Israel must be compared to such countries, not to well established countries that are accepted by its neighbors.

Even then, comparing Israel with Britain or France, Israel has not sent its troops all over the world. Israel has no troops in places like Iraq. Israel has no troops troops in places like the Ivory Coast. Israel has not allowed immigrants to be moved into slum cities, as in France. So, frankly, Israel compares rather well to France and Britain. In Israel, the non-dominant group has serious representation in the country's government, with Muslims on the country's high court, in the legislature and in the diplomatic corp. That, so far as I know, has not happened in any European country.

Israelis are not telling Muslims not to wear religious garments, as occurs in France. Muslims have the right to be judged by Islamic law in Israel but not in France or Britain.

What Israel, on the other hand, has is a fight over both its borders and its existence. Its neighbors reject its existence. In Europe, when that occurred, tens of millions of people died. That, so far, has not happened in connection with the dispute over Israel.

So, frankly, Israel compares pretty well to European states.


John Charles Crocker - 5/25/2007

What then in your opinion does make a nation legitimate?
Do you agree with Mutik that religious claims make a nation legitimate?
or that sufficient military power makes a nation legitimate?
Both of these things he has stated explicitly, though the second seems to be his primary hobby horse.

Israel's history is quite short and should really only be compared with the actions of other countries in the past 60 years. By that standard Israel's behavior as a nation is somewhere in the vast middle. It is arguable whether it is in the upper or lower portion of that vast middle, but it is not among the several best or several worst.


N. Friedman - 5/24/2007

John,

You miss my point. I do not say that people have no ties to land. What I say is that such has nothing to do with the legitimacy of the existence of any nation.

I also say that, historically speaking, the behavior of the Israelis has been quite good.


John Charles Crocker - 5/24/2007

Once again you make wholly unsubstantiated claims about my positions.

You call me a racist, yet you cannot point to a single racist comment.

You have claimed that I say that conversion to Judaism is somehow less real or less legitimate than any other conversion, yet you cannot point to a single instance of me doing so.

Now you claim that I am using some sort of syntactic or semantic subterfuge, yet you cannot point out what that alleged subterfuge is.

You claim that I misrepresent historical facts, yet you cannot point to these either.

You cannot back up a single one of your accusations because they are all false and entirely without basis in fact.


John Charles Crocker - 5/24/2007

"Yes. Otherwise, no country on Earth would be legitimate, except for some people from Africa. The rest is by migration, imperialism, colonialism and conquest."
You say this as though all of the listed methods are ethically equivalent.
Men have a long and violent history. This does negate the fact that some peoples have historical ties to certain areas and these historical ties matter. They are not the only things that matter, but they do matter.

Your argument amounts to saying that either all or no nations are legitimate regardless of their history or current policies. It seems that in your world view any nation formed by any means in any location is equally legitimate.
Is this really what you believe?

"The Czechs and Poles expelled their ethnic, indigenous German population - people with roots in the land for multiple centuries - at the end of WWII. So, that makes Poland and Czechoslovakia suspect on your theory."
No, it makes that action suspect. The Czechs and Poles also had their roots in those lands.

"There is no outrage about the millions who die in Africa. There is no outrage about China's behavior."
That is simply untrue. There is plenty of outrage. It is not accompanied by meaninful action, but the outrage is there. Just as the outrage over Israeli actions (that you routinely decry as unfair in the extreme) is not accompanied by any meaningful action.

In every era those who were sufficiently powerful or sufficiently remote could flout the standards of their day; that does not mean that those standards did/do not exist.


Joseph Mutik - 5/24/2007

The only historic narrative is as follows:
Some Jews, coming from the ancient Israel area, became inhabitants of the Khazar kingdom. Some of these Jews convinced some Khazars to convert to Judaism. The converted Khazars and their descendants are Jews, period.
Trying to cover your racism, using syntactic or semantic subterfuges, doesn't change the historic fact you try to misrepresent.


N. Friedman - 5/24/2007

John,

You did not answer any of my questions.

You write: "Do you really feel that a peoples history in a land is entirely irrelevant to the legitimacy of a nation they would form there?"

Yes. Otherwise, no country on Earth would be legitimate, except for some people from Africa. The rest is by migration, imperialism, colonialism and conquest.

You write: "If the Arabs or any other people now attempt to form a new nation on land that they have no historical claim to the legitimacy of that claim would be questionable at best."

What, other than conquest, justifies any Arab being outside of Arabia? Only, that they are outside of Arabia. They were conquerors, colonialists and imperialists. Their entire claim outside of Arabia is due to their conquest and settlement on land that no one threw them off of. How, by virtue of time, does an illegitimate claim become legitimate? It does not. So, your point makes no sense. It is not a basis to determine legitimacy, because it cannot be used universally.

Rather, your position is ad hoc, pertaining only when you want it to pertain. But again: the claim of Arabs is based on conquest and settlement and time. That, frankly, is no different from the Jewish claim or the Greek claim or the Indian claim, etc., etc.

In the case of Poland and Czechoslovakia, your are historically mistaken. The Czechs and Poles expelled their ethnic, indigenous German population - people with roots in the land for multiple centuries - at the end of WWII. So, that makes Poland and Czechoslovakia suspect on your theory.

You claim that our era has different standards for what is legitimate. But, frankly, that is not true. No one says boo anywhere on Earth, other than a few cases, about conquest, imperialism, colonialism and settlement. There is no outrage about the millions who die in Africa. There is no outrage about China's behavior. So, objectively, what you state is untrue. What you are saying is that you would like a standard to be enforced. But, the argument that one is enforced - except against those such as Israel - has no basis in fact. Otherwise, there would be no one talking to China, due to the Cultural Revolution - millions killed - and Tibet, where, unlike in the territories conquered by Israel, the native culture really is being wiped out.









John Charles Crocker - 5/24/2007

I mostly agree with what you have said in your initial paragraph, though I think that the placement of Israel was/is a more important consideration than you aparently do.

What I have said and continue to say and you are too deaf or stubborn to get through your head has absolutely nothing to do with the legitimacy of current Israeli immigration policy. I have stated this on more than once, yet you are apparently incapable of internalizing anything that does not easily fit within your preconceived notions.

As I have said, also multiple times, Israel as it is now is a legitimate state; if for no other reason than its 60 year history and acceptance by all relevent international bodies. As I have also said more than once, Israel's immigration policies are Israel's business. If aliens from Gliese 581 C land on earth, convert to Judaism, and Israel then wants to consider them citizens by virtue of this conversion then that is Israel's perogative and is as legitimate as the immigration policies of most other countries.

That is, however, entirely irrelevent to the argument I was making. IF the Jews had been from Khazaria then their claim to the land that is now Israel would have been much weaker. However, their claim to the land that was Khazaria would have been much stronger. There is nothing racist about this. Are you to stubborn to acknowledge this?


John Charles Crocker - 5/24/2007

Do you really feel that a peoples history in a land is entirely irrelevant to the legitimacy of a nation they would form there?

I have not said that Israel is not legitimate. What I have said is that the formation of Israel in its present location would have been at the very least less legitimate were it not their ancestral homeland.

If the Arabs or any other people now attempt to form a new nation on land that they have no historical claim to the legitimacy of that claim would be questionable at best.

The Greeks, Poles, Pakistanis, Indians, and Czechs all had strong historical claims to the lands on which those nations were formed. Had they done the same on some new piece of land, displacing peoples with far stronger historical claims to that land, their claims to legitimacy would be weakened substantially.

Like it or not we live in an era with different standards of what is legitimate and what is acceptable. When the US was founded and when the European powers were at the height of their colonial expansion the standards were quite different. I don't think that any of us want to revert to those standards.

Certainly if the Muslims succeeded in forcing the formation of a nation in Europe governed by Shari'a law there would be a huge outcry. If they managed to do this within the laws of that country it could be argued that it was legitimate. If they did so by force of arms or intimidation then it would not be legitimate and would likely provoke a regional war. Either scenario is against Western interests, but there is a vast difference in the legitimacy of these actions in today's world.


Joseph Mutik - 5/24/2007

Zionism is the right of the Jewish people to self determination. The end result of self determination is a homeland. This home land could have been Madagascar or Uganda or any place mainly in the British colonial empire but His majesty government preferred Palestine. The Zionist homeland in Israel was the fulfillment of religious believes through secular means. The beginning and majority Jewish settlements in mandatory Palestine was of socialist persuasion (kibbutz) and the same was the armed militia defending the Jews in Palestine (Hagana). The Jews in Palestine got a lot of military training through the Jewish brigade who fought in Italy during WWII as a part of the British army. The Arabs rejected the partition proposed by UN and tried to exterminate the Jewish population in Palestine. They didn't succeed and in 1948 the state of Israel declared independence. Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people. One may contest the legitimacy of this country but any Jew, regardless of the way he became a Jew (birth or conversion) has the right to become a citizen of Israel.
What John, the racist, is saying, again and again, is that a Jew descending from a Khazar conversion can't consider Israel as his homeland and the only place where he can return, if he wants, is the Khazar kingdom.
There is noting about "legitimacy" here!


N. Friedman - 5/24/2007

John,

You write: What started this was my disagreement with Plaut's contention that even if Israel was not the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people it would not effect the legitimacy of the Jewish people founding a nation there.
I find this a ridiculous assertion.


How is it more ridiculous than Arabs starting a nation anywhere other than Arabia? They, after all, were conquerors, imperialists and colonialists - by any factually oriented reckoning.

So, is the Arab claim "ridiculous" or it is merely the case that they are now there and, hence, we must deal with the reality on the ground. If, I might note, the latter, then it is no different from, say, the claim of Jewish converts to Israel or of European colonialists to America or, for that matter, Asians, when they migrated - albeit now displaced - to the Americas or many of the European peoples to Europe, etc., etc.

I think your entire line of reasoning is ridiculous, to be honest. That anyone has a claim to anything is largely due to having controlled it with arms.

A question for you: what moral right, given how they started such awful wars, do Europeans have even to lands in Europe? Does not their behavior - multiple examples of genocide, wars beyond all imagination in their destructiveness, imperialist activity all over the world, colonialism all over the world - render all their claims void? And, if not, why not?

Frankly, I do not think you can give an opinion that justifies the continued existence of European nations, Arab nations, Chinese, etc., etc., without also justifying the claims of all other peoples on Earth. Hence, such claims are claims, without logical foundation.

You write: Founding a nation and removing those they don't desire in that nation is certainly at the extreme end of "political aims."

But, John, this is ordinary in history. It does not invalidate Poland in your mind, does it? Yet, Poland did exactly that at the end of WWII, and on a much larger scale than what Israel is falsely accused of having done.

And, such does not invalidate Greece in your mind, does it? But, Greece did the same in 19th Century, not to mention also in the 20th Century - again, on a far larger scale than Israel is falsely accused of doing.

It does not invalidate Pakistan and India in your mind, does it? In their case, 14 million people were displaced and 1 million others died during the displacement. That is on a very, very grand scale.

It does not invalidate the former Czechoslovakia in your mind, does it? Again, far more people were displaced than Israel is accused of displacing.

I note: by any fair reckoning of the history of Israel, those who were displaced did so in connection with a war they desired.

Which is to say, large numbers of Arabs did not want Israel to come into being and they were willing to, in the words of their then leaders, to commit a massacre on a par with that of the Mongol invaders and they were willing to go to war in support of that aim - with the active support of tens of millions of Arabs both in what is now Israel and throughout the Arab regions. Presumably, since they did expel, in the end, more Jews than Jews expelled Arabs, Arabs meant what their leaders said. Am I missing something?

You write: If the Tibetan people decided to form a nation in British Columbia or India and remove non-Tibetans from the land they claimed, this would not be a legitimate action. If however the Tibetans did the same in Tibet it would be legitimate, though probably suicidal.

There is a much better example. In Europe, today, among the ten to twenty million Muslims who migrated, are substantial percentage of that population wants European lands to be governed by Muslims under the Shari'a law. Most of those who scream about Israel say not a word about this political agenda - yet it is a political agenda in which the leaders actual state that such is their agenda. Now, to me, that is all politics. It is something that Muslims have a right to do, if they are to be citizens in Europe. And, it is something that, logically speaking, could - although may or may not, in the end - occur. Now, frankly, were shari'a to be the law of the land, you would and most non-Muslims in Europe would want to leave and, quite likely, large numbers would be forced out.

In fact, I see nothing illegitimate about what large numbers of Muslims seek in Europe. But, I do see it as against my interest, so on that ground I oppose it. But, I see nothing illegitimate about any people moving to where they can find homes and make a life. That, to me, is a basic moral right.


John Charles Crocker - 5/24/2007

I repeatedly answered that question in the affirmative (examples here (#109884)and here(#109854)). I have also repeatedly pointed out that it was not relevant to the argument that I put forward or the argument in Plaut's essay. The validity of the conversion process was not questioned by the people mentioned by Plaut. What was questioned was their origin in and claim to Israel.

Rather than address my argument you have resorted to name calling and assertions that I question the legitimacy of conversion to Judaism. When asked to point to any example of me questioning the legitimacy of any conversion you fail to respond and continue to make the same baseless claim along with your ad hominem attacks.


John Charles Crocker - 5/24/2007

What started this was my disagreement with Plaut's contention that even if Israel was not the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people it would not effect the legitimacy of the Jewish people founding a nation there.
I find this a ridiculous assertion.
His claim and much more blatently Mutik's claim asserts that the legitimacy of the founding of Israel rests on religious grounds (God gave it to us or "next year in Jerusalem") and (Mutik only) the power of their military. I don't find this a compelling argument for the legitimacy of any nation.
(From your many comments on the possibility of the formation of a caliphate I would assume you agree with this premise.)

The Jewish people found refuge in America among other places and created a refuge in Israel.
Any people that move to any place will certainly have "political aims" and effect the politics of that place. Founding a nation and removing those they don't desire in that nation is certainly at the extreme end of "political aims." The legitimacy of such an enterprise rests on many issues. In the modern world one of the more important of those issues is the historical claim of the people to that land. If Israel were not the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people this would at the very least diminish the legitimacy of the Jewish people forming the nation of Isreal were it is now.
By way of a hypothetical parallel:
If the Tibetan people decided to form a nation in British Columbia or India and remove non-Tibetans from the land they claimed, this would not be a legitimate action. If however the Tibetans did the same in Tibet it would be legitimate, though probably suicidal.

BTW I think it has been rather conclusively proven that the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people is at the very least in the area of Israel, though specific boundaries may be argued. My argument with Plaut only regards the aformentioned assertion. My argument with Mutik is primarily in regards to his apparent belief that religious claims to land coupled with the force of arms to back up those claims makes said claims legitimate.


Joseph Mutik - 5/24/2007

Mr. Friedman,
The question is simple and any reasonable person will answer YES and any racist will answer NO. John quacked NO to this question joining the Jew hating racist crowd. That's my only point and I agree that the thread developed into a discussion between a blind and a deaf.


N. Friedman - 5/24/2007

Joseph and John,

It is certainly the case that a person of Christian background, whether or not religious and whether or not consciously, will be prone to consider matters involving Jews in connection with a morality play. And, such people tend to expect Jews to play their part in the play and tend, in many cases, to become hostile to Jews who step outside their assigned role.

Such people tend to raise moral questions about things that concern Jews that would not be asked about any other group. By way of example, very few people in the West question on moral grounds the existence of Germany - notwithstanding the country's crimes (i.e. starting a world war that killed sixty million people). Very few people in the West question on moral grounds the expulsion of millions of Sudetens from Poland and the former Czechoslovakia into Germany, with no right of return. Very few people in the West question on moral grounds the flight of 14 million people from India and Pakistan into Pakistan and India, with no right of return.

In our case, I am not quite sure that John has made an assertion that judges Jews, much less as part of a morality play. His claim appears merely to be that Jews asserted that they were returning to their ancestral home. If, in fact, such was not the ancestral home of Jews, it is difficult, on historical grounds, to make such a claim, merely by virtue of joining with those Jews to whom the claim is certainly legitimate. On that, he has a point, albeit not a very important one as he overlooks the obvious, namely, that people always have a moral right to migrate to a place where refuge has been made available.

My suggestion, now in more serious criticism of John, is that migration to a place of refuge is the norm in history. It is a basic moral right.

Some of those among those who migrate to a place have, historically, had political aims for the place to which they have migrated. That is not a moral sin. Rather, it is also a basic human right.

Now, John, so far as moving to what is today Israel, such was a place of comparative refuge for Jews, whether from Europe or from the Muslim regions - as, in both Europe and the Muslim regions, Jews were never treated as equals. The degree of discrimination or oppression or persecution varied from place to place and time to time but no one can claim, even now, that Jews were treated as equals or even near equals in either Europe, much less in the Muslim regions - where Jews were largely expelled, which is why most Israeli Jews are from Arab Muslim countries.

If you were to deny to Jews the right claimed by all other humans without objection, namely, the right to migrate to a place where refuge is available and the right to exercise politics in the place of refuge, you are a hater. I, however, am not sure you have taken that view. I rather hope that you were only making an historical observation.


Joseph Mutik - 5/24/2007

Thank Science for the World Wide Web because your shameless scribbling doesn't waste paper.
The article, last week, about Khazars was not about "legitimacy" but about the basic question about conversion: is someone converted to Judaism a Jew? If the converted is a Jew does he have the right to join other Jews in a country of the Jews. My answer is, of course, YES to all the questions. Your racist and hateful answer, joining the Jew hating crowd, is to question if the result of conversion to Judaism is a Jew.
The only "legitimacy" question is: there are Jews that can be excluded from a Jewish country, wherever this country is?


Paul Noonan - 5/23/2007

This article got me interested in the subject of Chuchill and Zionism and I went out on the web to find more on the subject.

I was depressed to find this 1920 newspaper article by Churchill:

http://library.flawlesslogic.com/ish.htm

Unfortunately this text comes from an anti-semitic website, but I have found quotations from the article and citations to it in other non-anti-semitic venues so I suppose it is real and not a forgery.

You can argue whether or not the article is anti-semitic or not, but it certainly shows that in 1920 Churchill was not immune to cranky theories about Jews. In a sentence the thesis of the article could be summarized as: Gentiles should support Zionism because it is needed to inoculate Jews from Bolshevism. Is that any better than fundamentalist Christians supporting Zionism out of a belief that doing so brings Armageddon near?


John Charles Crocker - 5/23/2007

The land that the courts have said should go to the Native Americans and considerably more should indeed be returned to the tribes to which it legitimately belongs. Here I am using the common usage of legitimate. Were I to instead use your definition then the Americans who have the power to hold that land are the legitimate owners.

The definition of legitimacy I gave is not mine it is Webster's, the OED's definition is not substantially different. Whether or not a claim to land or statehood is legitimate is not contingent upon the peacefullness of its neighbors. Either the claim is legitimate or it is not. If it is legitimate then you can argue for the legitimacy and efficacy of measures taken to defend it.

This argument however is not about the legitimacy or efficacy of Israel's policies in regards to its neighbors. That is a different issue that touches on this argument only periferally.


Joseph Mutik - 5/23/2007

I don't see any American (or Canadian) returning the land to the natives of the place. Big chunks of Connecticut, New York and other parts of the USA are legally owned by the native American (recognized by the US courts) but inhabited by Americans. Of course making noise about the rights of the Jews is, as always, a common cover up for bigger crimes and injustices.
I know you prefer righteous Jews going quietly and in order into the ovens but times changed and they prefer now to defend themselves. Your definition of "legitimacy" is appropriate outside an Arab neighborhood. If you can show me opposing groups of Arabs living in peace and not killing each other, when they have the chance, I'll consider peaceful ways, otherwise THE RIFLE is my god. Actually that's a good idea, in addition to AIPAC I'll add a NRA membership.


John Charles Crocker - 5/23/2007

"As I said in a message, the only god I believe in is the automatic rifle I had as an IDF soldier and that's the only way Israel can assure legitimacy."
According to Webster,
Legitimate: accordant with law or with established legal forms and requirements <a legitimate government>
Power does not equal legitimacy.
The IDF is likely the only way Israel can assure its continuity, its legitimacy is an entirely separate issue.

"Judaism, as a religion, is built around the "promised land" idea, and that's the main idea that kept the Jews together for 2000 years, before 1948."
While this is largely true it does not confer legitimacy on taking that land any more than the idea of a caliphate (believed to be integral to Islam by some within and without) confers legitimacy on any Islamic claims to land.
Once again Israel's legitimacy rests not in religious claims, the barrel of a gun, or the cockpit of a gunship, but with the tribal history of the Jewish people.

Your argument boils down to: our religion says that this land belongs to us and we were/are strong enough to take and hold it therefor we are legitimate.
To some extent this is how Israel came to be and continues to be, but this is not why Israel is legitimate.


Joseph Mutik - 5/23/2007

You can bother to scribble another answer but is not going to change your hateful bottom line.
As I said in a message, the only god I believe in is the automatic rifle I had as an IDF soldier and that's the only way Israel can assure legitimacy.
Judaism, as a religion, is built around the "promised land" idea, and that's the main idea that kept the Jews together for 2000 years, before 1948. You and your David Dukes can't accept it and made it another argument for hatred beside the "protocols" and pogroms.
My breath is perfect, I jog every day and I am a third degree tae kwon do black belt.


John Charles Crocker - 5/23/2007

Drop the name calling. It only shows the lack of real argument you have to offer.

All conversions to any of the major and many minor world religions are of equal value. I have never said or implied otherwise.

No religious principle, regardless of the religion, gives anyone a legitimate claim to form a nation around any piece of ground.
As I have said before (several times now), the original legitimacy of the Jewish claim to found their nation where they did stemmed from their tribal history there. Their current legitimacy stems mainly from Israel being an independent nation for 60 years and being recognized by all important international bodies. None of their legitimacy stems from their belief that it was granted them by God or "next year in Jerusalem."
A Muslim nation exists over Mecca and Medina, but if that were not the case Muslims would not have a legitimate claim to form one there. Neither do Christians have the legitimate claim to form a nation around Nazareth.

"Europeans killed Jews for pleasure and today they suddenly found a humanistic urge to deny the right of self defense for the Jews."
Europeans also protected Jews from the Nazis at great personal risk to themselves, but I guess those Europeans don't count. Europeans with American aid also brought an end to the Holocaust, but those Europeans don't count either. Only the Nazis and their sympathizers count, not those who fought against them.
Should African Americans hold all Caucasian Americans in contempt because of the history of slavery and racism in America?
Should all white Americans be held in contempt because of he clan?
Should Tibetans hold all Chinese people in contempt because of the actions of their government?
Should all Russians be held in contempt because of the actions of Stalin?
Should all Christians should be held in contempt because of the Crusades?
If we hold to your standard everyone will hold a sizable part of the world in contempt. I for one choose not to punish the children for the sins of their fathers.

"You don't simply 'criticize' the Jews you single them out..."
I have at no point in this thread or the Khazar thread made of criticism of the Jews. I criticized a particular argument made by Mr. Plaut and I have criticized your weak, ad hominem laden, arguments made in response.


Joseph Mutik - 5/23/2007

You, my David Duke friend, can easily accept that someone who converted to Christianity suddenly believes that Jesus is the son of God and he resurrected and a lot of other things, but you can't accept that someone who converted to Judaism accepts the Judaic principles, "next year in Jerusalem" being one of them. I didn't use the word "suddenly" because the process of conversion to Judaism is longer and requires some learning. You, without any shame, continue to push your skinhead/white supremacist agenda and say that someone coming to Judaism through conversion doesn't become a full Jew which means that his ancestral home is Israel. I know two ducks that are not ducks and they are named one Donald and the other Duffy. There is no John there. Our John quacks like a white supremacist and feels very normal in joining David Duke and his Ukrainian sponsors.
As a general idea, if you continue to scribble on a history blog, I hope you would be able to understand that there are transition periods in history and for the Jews the present is a transition period in which the Jewish nation is defined by a country but also by religion and the religious part will become secondary with time and being an atheistic Jew will be normal and understandable even for haters as you are.
Of course the hater in you quoted my contempt for the anti-Jewish hatred of Europeans conveniently leaving out the European Holocaust reason for it. I was right to suppose that you enjoy David Irving. Europeans killed Jews for pleasure and today they suddenly found a humanistic urge to deny the right of self defense for the Jews. There are, practically, no reporters in Darfur, they of course prefer the 5 star hotels in Tel Aviv and take a taxi to Gaza or West bank and blame the Jews for all the troubles of the world.
You don't simply "criticize" the Jews you single them out and try to cover up you bigotry with anti-Israel and anti-Zionist ranting.


John Charles Crocker - 5/23/2007

"The Jews didn't have a country for about 2000 years and the religion was the only way to define them as a nation."
They were a nation without a place. The argument was in regards to the legitimate placement of that nation when that came to pass. The legitimate placement of that nation was/is in the land that the Jewish people of that time came from. If that place was/is the land that is now Israel (which the majority of the current evidence points to) then that could be the legitimate place for that nation. IF however that place were elsewhere then that place could be the legitimate place for the placement of that nation. IF the Jewish people of 1948's ancestors were actually from Khazaria then that could have been the legitimate place for the placement of that nation. What do you not understand about this? What here do you find hateful? Be specific.

"An atheistic Jew as being hypocritical is a common argument of the Jew haters, so QED about your hate."
You once again conflate two unrelated points.
The purpose of bringing up your atheism was to point out that your relationship to Israel is based upon your tribal history, not your current religious belief.
You are a hypocrite not because you identify as both an atheist and a Jew. You are a hypocrite because you rail against any perceived (not necessary actual) criticism of Judaism, the Jewish people, or Israel as vile and hateful; yet you feel justified in leveling much harsher criticism at other religions and peoples.

"I am not bigoted against Europeans I only express my contempt to the anti-Jewish hatred in Europe..."
You claim not to be bigoted against Europeans, yet you make sweeping negative generalizations about them.
Your statement follows the common form of all bigots who try to rationalize their contempt of whatever group or groups they target. I am not bigoted against (ethnic, social, or religious group), I only express my contempt for their (whatever negative stereotype you have decided to label them with).

"I criticize all religions..."
I'll believe that when I see you level the same level of criticism against Judaism as you have against Christian denominations and Islam.


Joseph Mutik - 5/22/2007

The Jews didn't have a country for about 2000 years and the religion was the only way to define them as a nation. Today there is a country named ISRAEL and the Jews are defined mainly by their relation to this country. The are now a normal nation (one thing your hateful ilk can't understand). I am an Israeli citizen (Israeli American) so I am a well defined Jew (the same as Irish Americans, Italian Americans etc.). An atheistic Jew as being hypocritical is a common argument of the Jew haters, so QED about your hate.
I don't respect religions, including Judaism, but I try to know as much as I can about religions as collections of myths, as compared religions and try to know about the history of religions as any other historical facts.
I am not bigoted against Europeans I only express my contempt to the anti-Jewish hatred in Europe, the place of quite a few of my relatives were exterminated in the Romanian, French and German holocaust (I put the countries in the order of the numbers of my relatives who died there).
So bottom line: I am a Jew, I am an atheist, I criticize all religions and I question the good faith of anyone who doesn't see Judaism as equal to other religions (equal for the good and the bad parts).


John Charles Crocker - 5/22/2007

Why the link to my other comment?

Your opening quote is the one I initially questioned. I did not question the authenticity of the Judaism of the converts. I questioned the author's contention that Jews would have an equally valid claim to forming the nation of Israel, IF this was not where their ancestors came from.

"All the idea is questioning the rights of Jews by considering converted Jews as less Jews and as a consequence with less rights to be in Israel."
No. The idea is that converted Jews are not ancestrally from the land that is now Israel. The initial right of the Jewish people to form the nation of Israel where it now is stemmed from their ancestors on that same land. Otherwise the Jewish claim to the land rests only on God gave it to us.
I believe you earlier claimed to be an atheist or an agnostic. If this is so, certainly you cannot think that God gave it to us gives a legitimate claim to land.
If you are an atheist, you have essentially converted out of Judaism. Does this make you less Jewish and thus holding less of a legitimate claim to a Jewish homeland?

Your utter lack of respect for others religion, while expecting no questioning Judaism is a bit hypocritical.

I see you are also bigoted against Europeans, yet again your double standard rears its ugly head.


Joseph Mutik - 5/22/2007


http://hnn.us/comments/109848.html

The article clearly states:

"If all Ashkenazi Jews were indeed converted Khazars, as the racial anti-Zionists claim, they would be no less legitimately Jews – and, as such, would have the same legitimate claims to the Jewish homeland as any other group of Jews. (Given the traditional Jewish deference to righteous converts, maybe more so.)"

you say:

"The legitimacy of any conversion process is entirely a side issue here."
All the idea is questioning the rights of Jews by considering converted Jews as less Jews and as a consequence with less rights to be in Israel.

The fact that Henry the 8th had sexual intercourse with hordes of his female subjects and founded a new Christian sect to fulfill the needs of his royal penis is a well known historic fact. I agree "monger" is out of place and should be replaced by "user", "visitor" but it doesn't require any apology.
The word "race" doesn't mean much in the genetic world. Before genetics race was a group of people with some common characteristics. The Jews are a "race" as much as the Blacks or Whites are a "race".
As far as my opinion goes, you can scribble on this blog as much as you want. Also I guess you are somewhere in Europe, so your hugs the David Irving and David Duke are quite normal and understandable.


John Charles Crocker - 5/22/2007

Do you know who conducted that survey and what countries it covered?
The last survey I recall (2005 I think) showed Spain and Poland as the most anti-Semitic countries in the EU.


John Charles Crocker - 5/22/2007

I don't live in the UK, but I don't like unsupported assertions.

"Your questioning of conversions to Judaism (particularly the conversion of Khazars) it's a living proof of your hate."
Where did I question conversion to any religion? Point out any instance that I questioned the legitimacy of conversion to Judaism and I will agree to never post on this board again. If you cannot find such a quote I would appreciate an apology, but I won't hold my breath waiting for you to do the right thing.


Joseph Mutik - 5/22/2007

I wrote "one of the most anti-Jewish" but I see UK is in the first place. Nice achievement, be proud of it (I guess you live in the UK)!
Your questioning of conversions to Judaism (particularly the conversion of Khazars) it's a living proof of your hate.


Joseph Mutik - 5/22/2007

From the U.S. State Department site:

"http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2006/71416.htm"

"According to the Global Forum against Anti-Semitism's report for 2005, the United Kingdom continued to have the highest number of anti-Semitic incidents in Europe. The report stated that activities by "radical left wing organizations for a boycott of Israel including the academia and the church" created an atmosphere which laid the groundwork for anti-Semitic acts."


Elliott Aron Green - 5/22/2007

John, that assertion about UK public opinion was not mine. Yet I recall that last summer, on 6 June I believe, one of the Israeli papers carried a report on a public survey that made that point. Of course, things like public opinion are very hard measure. And you can't always accept published polls and poll as genuine. Anyhow...
Best Wishes.


John Charles Crocker - 5/22/2007

"Also taking in consideration that in the 21st century the UK population is one of the most anti-Jewish in Europe..."

Do you have any evidence for this assertion?


Elliott Aron Green - 5/21/2007

What Bendersky relates about the situation in North Africa is particularly outrageous, since North African Jews had formed underground groups in both Algeria and Morocco. The group in Casablanca was not able to go into action when the Americans landed there and several hundred American troops were killed by Vichy troops. However, the underground in Algiers, 85% Jews, was able to take control of the important nerve centers of the city on the eve of the American landing. Further, Jewish underground members surrounded the villa in which Admiral Darlan, the Vichy high commander, was staying. This allowed US diplomacy to go to work [through Robert Murphy], convincing Darlan to order a surrender of French Vichy troops to the Americans throughout North Africa. No American troops were killed in the Algiers landing in contrast to the situation in Casablanca. As far as I know, the US Army has never properly thanked those brave members of the Algiers underground. Indeed, Jose Aboulker, a young leader of the underground, was imprisoned by the as yet un-deVichyfied French administration in Algiers, with the approval of Robert Murphy.
See my article on this subject in Midstream magazine, back in 1989 [forget which month].


Elliott Aron Green - 5/21/2007

John, the only way to help those people was to immediately stop the mass murder machine. In any case, I've heard that argument before. It was used by defenders of Franklin Roosevelt. If the Jews had been encouraged, had been helped, had been supplied from the air, many more of them would have become partisans in the woods and marshes of Eastern Europe. Right there the Germans would have faced more opposition. If the Hungarian Jews had been clearly informed by the BBC broadcasts in local languages of the lethal danger facing them, many of them might have resisted, causing difficulties for the Germans. The argument that saving Jews would have lengthened the war is both silly and immoral at the same time.


Joseph Mutik - 5/21/2007

The following is a copy of the:

"http://www.wymaninstitute.org/letters/2005-08-14-patton.php"

and describes the prevailing anti-Jewish sentiment in the USA during WWII. Also taking in consideration that in the 21st century the UK population is one of the most anti-Jewish in Europe we can figure what was the sentiment during WWII.

" Letters They Wouldn't Publish

August 14, 2005

Letters to the Editor
The Weekly Standard

Dear Editor:

Jonathan F. Keiler (Correspondence, July 18) asserts that "there is no evidence that [General George S. Patton]'s anti-Semitism, even if it exceeded the usual country-club variety, affected his conduct during the war."

Prof. Joseph Bendersky, in his study of antisemitism in the American military ("The 'Jewish Threat'," 2000), described two important instances in which Patton, motivated by antisemitism, influenced U.S. policy toward Jews. Following the Allied liberation of North Africa in November 1942, Patton, warning of a Jewish conspiracy to "take over" Morocco and the need to appease Arab public opinion, persuaded General Eisenhower to oppose abolishing the anti-Jewish legislation that the Vichy regime had imposed in the region, or even releasing local Jews who were being held in forced labor camps. Eisenhower's recommendations in turn were endorsed by Secretary of War Henry Stimson, and soon "set the tone for future American wartime policies on the entire Middle East."

After the war, Bendersky writes, it was Patton who "set the tone for army policies and behavior" toward the Holocaust survivors who were languishing in Displaced Persons camps in the American zone of occupation. Patton despised the Jewish DPs, denouncing them as "animals" and "a sub-human species without any of the cultural or social refinements of our time." Such attitudes inevitably filtered down to the officers and soldiers in charge of the camps. The treatment of the DPs was so poor that presidential envoy Earl Harrison, after touring the camps in 1945, reported that "We appear to be treating the Jews as the Nazis treated them except that we do not exterminate them." When President Truman ordered Eisenhower to improve treatment of the DPs, a furious Patton wrote in his diary: "Harrison and his ilk believe that the displaced person is a human being, which he is not, and this applies particularly to the Jews, who are lower than animals."


Sincerely,

Dr. Rafael Medoff
Director
The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies
Melrose Park, PA "


Joseph Mutik - 5/21/2007

Bombing the railroad systems around the extermination camps would have been a good compromise solution. This kind of bombing would have been less dangerous for the pilots because it's virtually impossible to install anti-aircraft batteries for the entire length of a railroad. And I also doubt if the Germans, in 1944, would have been so fast to repair railroads around extermination camps when German troops in France could not be supplied with ammunition and fuel.
It doesn't matter so much what Churchill thought but the fact that the political and bureaucratic structure in the UK and USA were against helping the Jews from extermination, part of them didn't care and part of them were happy if many Jews disappeared. After all Churchill didn't destroy the letter written by his ghost writer Adam Marshall Diston (as disclosed by Martin Gilbert) and Diston was not sacked for writing it. As I see it was a "good for all" political decision made by Churchill. A similar position was one taken by FDR who wouldn't want the to lose the political support of the, mostly anti-Jewish, democrat political machine of the time. As described in the PBS documentary "America and the Holocaust" in 1939 the Wagner-Rogers Bill proposed special sanctuary for 20,000 Jewish children outside the quota.
following is a quote from:
"http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/holocaust/filmmore/transcript/transcript1.html"
"More than 100 patriotic societies insisted, "Charity begins at home." A cousin of the President, Laura Delano, commented, "Twenty thousand charming children would all too soon grow into 20,000 ugly adults." The President was aware that the bill was not politically popular and, pressed for his opinion, he elected to take no action. The bill eventually died in committee. A year later, legislation making it possible to admit children from war-torn England passed with enthusiasm."
In the 1930s and 1940s helping the Jews was very unpopular and for politicians "political suicide". That's the real reason for not doing anything against the extermination of the Jews by the Germans.


John Nicholas - 5/21/2007

I believe that diverting resources to bomb any of the concentration camps would have lengthened the war. It certainly would not have shortened the war.

The best way to relieve the plight of those caught in the noose of Himmler/Hitler's camps was to fully push the finish of the war.

This argument is perhaps a diversion from the apparent point of relief of the Jews - to either the war was not planned/fought correctly or if someone else is busy defending themselves from a charge of not helping the Jews, then I will not have to deal with someone making that charge against me.

John Nicholas
Derby, KS


Daniel Mandel - 5/20/2007

You are correct - this was a slip of the pen and the text will be corrected.


Elliott Aron Green - 5/20/2007

Mr Mandel, thank you for responding to my queries and misgivings about Churchill. However, I want to study Kedourie and Martin Gilber's books before reaching conclusions of my own.


Avi Woolf - 5/20/2007

Lord Moyne was assassinated by the LEHI, not the Etzel.