New York historian, journalist, and lecturer, Alfred M. Lilienthal, was the leading 20th century American Jewish spokesman against the Zionist project of creating a Jewish state in Palestine. His views gained a wide audience in the United States when his essay, “Israel’s Flag Is Not My Flag,” was published in the September 1949 Reader’s Digest. The following is an excerpt from that article, which was written in the form of a letter to his mother:
The plain fact is that we Jews are not a race and we should not let the Zionists persuade us that we are. Proof to the contrary lies in Palestine, plain for all to see. You had my letter, Mother, from my Army furlough there. I was second to none in my enthusiasm for. what my co-religionists had done for a desert brought to bloom, for clean new cities rising out of age-old sand dunes. All of these wonders had come to pass while only a few fanatics talked of statehood. One evening I went to see a performance of an opera in Jerusalem. In that theater lobby you could distinguish almost at a glance the Yiddish-speaking Ashkenazic Jew from Poland, the Spanish-speaking Sephardic Jew from North Africa or Turkey, the German Jew, Jews from a score of countries all differing in dress, language, manners and mental attitudes. I had visual proof of the arguments of anthropologists. who laugh at the notion of a distinct Jewish race.
Anyone who tells me those foreign Jews are exclusively my people that I should be closer to them than to Bob McCormick, the kid on the block with whom I used to play ball: or to Nick Galbraith, who roomed next to me at Cornell; or Dave Du Vivier with whom I studied in law school that man is talking dangerous nonsense. I have also learned, Mother, that when something. goes wrong in my relations with non-Jews. I avoid the habit of thinking that it happened just because I am a Jew. Such self-pity is comforting, but it is usually wrong and therefore dangerous.
It is dangerous, indeed, because it is precisely the sort of paranoia and us-against-the-world mentality upon which the very dangerous little state of Israel is founded. Take it from Lilienthal, as bad ideas go, this Israel foolishness has to be just about the worst.
The sentiments that Lilienthal expressed in that article, I dare say, were also the sentiments of a very large proportion of American Jews at the time. It is certainly the sort of sensible approach to the Israel issue that I encountered among the first group of Jews that I rubbed shoulders with in graduate school at the University of North Carolina, 1968-1972. In my first year I shared an apartment with two of them and my office mate was also Jewish for most of the time I was there. Several other of my student colleagues in the economics department were also Jewish, as were a few of my professors. Almost all of them were sort of standard left-liberal in their politics and as a consequence their sentiments probably leaned naturally toward the plight of the native Palestinians. The one exception was a professor for whom I was a teaching assistant for one semester, and I was amazed by his extreme Zionist, Israel-first attitude. It was really a brand-new experience for me, and I frankly found it shocking. My thought at the time—which I dared not express to him—was that he was really living in the wrong country. In fact, his son, he told me, was planning to emigrate to Israel. From my admittedly very small sample, I got the impression that his views were that of a quite small minority of American Jews.
Perhaps Lilienthal’s best known book is the brief little 1969 volume, What Price Israel? The reviewing customer, Herbert Fleschner, of Washington, DC, sums it up very well:
This highly intelligent, well-educated man was Jewish. He was strictly against the creation of the State of Israel and said that it would spawn great problems in the Middle East. So it has. The Zionist creators of the State of Israel operated by lies, deception, trickery, subterfuge, and even harassed their own Jewish people in order to force them to immigrate to Palestine. They even had the power to manipulate the delegates of the United Nations who made recommendations for this situation at that time. Enter King David Hotel Bombing into your search engine, and you will discover Menachem Begin, former Prime Minister of Israel, was a Zionist terrorist, who masterminded this bombing, resulting in the death of a great number of people, including the British High Command whose job it was to keep law and order under the British Mandate. An excellent read for those of you who are not afraid to discover the truth. Remember, Lilienthal was Jewish.
He might also have suggested a search of “Menachem Begin Deir Yassin Massacre” to get a bit more of the flavor of the terrorist role that Begin played in the creation of the state of Israel. One of the better articles one comes up with is “Deir Yassin: The Massacre that Sparked the Nakba” by Britt Wilkins on Counterpunch.
The Zionist Connection II
One can also learn quite a bit about Deir Yassin and its foundational importance to Israel in Chapter Five, entitled “What Palestinians?”, of Lilienthal’s 1978, 904-page magnum opus, The Zionist Connection II: What Price Peace? The flavor of that book is well-captured by the opening of his 24th and penultimate chapter, which is headed by a quote from President Theodore Roosevelt, “There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.”
In a controversial 1970 Commentary article, Robert Alter raised a most basic question:
Does a Jewish state belong in an area where, even as late as 1947, the majority of the population was Arab? How can Israel be imagined, even in the most diffuse sense, as a continuation of the moral heritage of Judaism if its existence depends upon a manifest historical injustice? (link added)
That Judaic heritage is clear and unmistakable and has been unwavering. Where Zionism is particularist and segregationalist, Judaism has been universalist and integrationalist. Judaism, like its offspring monotheistic faiths, Christianity and Islam, has always represented a moral choice, a spiritual link between man and his Creator in whose ethos there is little room for narrow chauvinism. Whereas Zionism staked its claim to a land that had not belonged to Jews for 2,000 years, Judaism’s power to survive has always depended on its being unrelated to any particular geographic tract. The Jews were chosen by the Lord neither to possess a specific piece of land nor to be favored over others of his children. They were selected for the task of spreading the message that there is one and only one God.
In exchanging their birthright for the “mess” of statehood, and staking the future of American Judaism on the roulette of power politics, Jewish leaders surrendered to the noxious dualism of religion and nationalism.
Fifty years ago, these same Jews had vigorously opposed being classified with Italian, Germans, Czechs, French, etc. on an ethnic basis rather than with Baptists, Catholics, Methodists, Muslims, etc., as a religious community. But with the triumph of the Zionist revival in Palestine, the ethnicity of the Jew elsewhere shifted; and without protest the subtle transmutation from Jewish Americans, a religious grouping, into American Jews, an ethnic-national entity, was accomplished. (link added)
To conceal the dual national attachment, the link with Israel was passed off as a religious tie, the worship of Israelism increasingly supplanting Judaism. It was much simpler to write a check to the UJA, and pleasanter than to attend synagogue services. The new idolatry had no time for immutable principles and universal values. Jews accepted situations they otherwise would have rejected, but now welcomed in the name of Israel. (link added)
Opposed to violence and war, Jews accepted Israel’s acts of military might and aggression. Opposed to union of church and state, they accepted such a unity wherever Israel was involved. Long dedicated to integration into the body politic, they moved toward separateness and segregation. Judaistic tradition had placed its followers alongside those who struggled against the limitation of human and civil rights. In the name of Israelism, they sanctioned the suppression of Palestinian Arab civil and human rights within Israel proper and in the occupied territories. Expressed another way, Jews have come to lose their own traditional universal, human ethos through their identification with Israelism. Intellectual and staunch defenders of Israel Arthur Waskow noted pertinently, “and it’s not just politics the Jewish institutions want to avoid; it’s God, too. Try talking of God to a rabbi!—he’s too busy trying to raise money for Israel or the synagogue mortgage.”
Many people might be surprised to learn that today there are still quite a few people who call themselves Jews who think like Lilienthal did. They, like he, would agree that modern-day Israel exemplifies the sort of behavior that the prophets of the Old Testament deplored among the descendants of Abraham. The largest organized group of such people call themselves Neturei Karta. The following is from the “About Us” section of their web site:
The true Jews are against dispossessing the Arabs of their land and homes. According to the Torah, the land should be returned to them.
Neturei Karta deplore the systematic uprooting of ancient Jewish communities by the Zionists, the shedding of Jewish and non-Jewish blood for the sake of Zionist sovereignty and the Neturei Karta favor a peaceful transition from the present Zionist rule to a non-Zionist entity.
According to Judaic Law the Torah has the last word. There is no such thing as a majority of Jews who happen to be Jewish by birth who can alter Torah Law in any way. In fact even the greatest rabbi or as Maimonides writes, “even the greatest prophet” [referring actually to an authentic prophet], has no right to distort or amend even one letter of the Torah.
Rabbi Blau stated shortly before his death that the acceptance by the United Nations of the Zionist state as a member state constituted a grave injustice to the Jewish people. Neturei Karta hope that this great error will be corrected at the earliest opportunity. The Neturei Karta regret that the Zionist state has usurped the holy name of Israel and that the Zionists so often pretend to speak in the name of the Jewish people and assume the right to act on our behalf. Only those rabbis who have not been affected or influenced by the poison of Zionism, can be considered the spiritual leaders of today’s Jewry.
The world must know that the Zionists have illegitimately seized the name Israel and have no right to speak in the name of the Jewish people!
The United States really ought to be just about the last place where the Zionist ideology should resonate. The foundational premise for the creation of the state of Israel in the heart of the Arab world is that Jews are discriminated against in countries where they are minorities and in danger of even worse things happening to them, and therefore they must have a state of their own. Nowhere is this premise more absurd than in the United States, which has especially been a land of opportunity for Jews. The statement submitted to the Versailles Peace Conference at the end of World War I by a group of prominent U.S. Jews was, as a consequence, quite representative of Jewish sentiment in the country at the time:
As a future form of government for Palestine will undoubtedly be considered by the approaching Peace Conference, we, the undersigned citizens of the United States, unite in this statement, setting forth our objections to the organization of a Jewish State in Palestine as proposed by the Zionist Societies in this country and Europe and to the segregation of the Jews as a nationalistic unit in any country.
We feel that in so doing we are voicing the opinion of the majority of American Jews born in this country and of those foreign born who have lived here long enough to thoroughly assimilate American political and social conditions. The American Zionists represent, according to the most recent statistics available, only a small proportion of the Jews living in this country, about 150,000 out of 3,500,000. (American Jewish Year Book, 1918, Philadelphia).
At the outset we wish to indicate our entire sympathy with the efforts of Zionists which aim to secure for Jews at present living in lands of oppression a refuge in Palestine or elsewhere, where they may freely develop their capabilities and carry on their activities as free citizens.
But we raise our voices in warning and protest against the demand of the Zionists for the reorganisation of the Jews as a national unit, to whom, now or in the future, territorial sovereignty in Palestine shall be committed. This demand not only misrepresents the trend of the history of the Jews, who ceased to be a nation 2000 years ago, but involves the limitation and possible annulment of the larger claims of Jews for full citizenship and human rights in all lands in which those rights are not yet secure. For the very reason that the new era upon which the world is entering aims to establish government everywhere on principles of true democracy, we reject the Zionistic project of a “national home for the Jewish people in Palestine”.
Zionism arose as a result of the intolerable conditions under which Jews have been forced to live in Russia and Roumania. But it is evident that for the Jewish population of these countries, variously estimated at from six to ten millions, Palestine can become no homeland. Even with the improvement of the neglected condition of this country, its limited area can offer no solution. The Jewish question in Russia and Roumania can be settled only within those countries by the grant of full rights of citizenship to Jews.
We are all the more opposed to the Zionists, because they, themselves, distinctly repudiate the solely ameliorative program. They demand and hail with delight the “Balfour Declaration” to establish “a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine”, i.e., a home not merely for Jews living in countries in which they are oppressed, but for Jews universally. No Jew, wherever he may live, can consider himself free from the implications of such a grant.
Leading British and French Anti-Zionists
That very cynical war measure known as the Balfour Declaration, designed to enlist world Jewry on its side by promising other people’s land to the Jews, hardly had the overwhelming support of British Jews, either. The one Jewish member of the British cabinet at the time, Edwin Montagu, was, in fact, about as anti-Zionist as Lilienthal, as we see from his observations here:
Zionism has always seemed to me to be a mischievous political creed, untenable by any patriotic citizen of the United Kingdom. If a Jewish Englishman sets his eyes on the Mount of Olives and longs for the day when he will shake British soil from his shoes and go back to agricultural pursuits in Palestine, he has always seemed to me to have acknowledged aims inconsistent with British citizenship and to have admitted that he is unfit for a share in public life in Great Britain, or to be treated as an Englishman. I have always understood that those who indulged in this creed were largely animated by the restrictions upon and refusal of liberty to Jews in Russia. But at the very time when these Jews have been acknowledged as Jewish Russians and given all liberties, it seems to be inconceivable that Zionism should be officially recognised by the British Government, and that Mr. Balfour should be authorized to say that Palestine was to be reconstituted as the “national home of the Jewish people”. I do not know what this involves, but I assume that it means that Mahommedans and Christians are to make way for the Jews and that the Jews should be put in all positions of preference and should be peculiarly associated with Palestine in the same way that England is with the English or France with the French, that Turks and other Mahommedans in Palestine will be regarded as foreigners, just in the same way as Jews will hereafter be treated as foreigners in every country but Palestine. Perhaps also citizenship must be granted only as a result of a religious test.
Montagu’s prediction was absolutely accurate with respect to what Zionism has meant for the Muslim and Christian residents of Palestine. The consequent rise of ill will toward Jews in other countries that he foresaw, however, has been forestalled by something that he could hardly have envisioned, that is the creation of the “Holocaustianity” religion, which we shall discuss later, and by the sheer power of money to control public opinion.
Perhaps the most prominent Jewish political figure in France at the time of the Dreyfus Affair around the end of the 19th century was Chamber of Deputies member, Joseph Reinach. His crystal ball at that time with respect to the prospects for Zionism might have been a bit faulty, but he took a similar view to Montagu’s in an article in the newspaper, Le Figaro:
The sole result of this campaign, which in any case is destined for a pitiful failure, would be to give the impression…that those Frenchmen who belong to the Jewish faith are subordinating the idea of the fatherland to I cannot imagine what sort of solidarity which existed in a vague way during barbarous times, which was prevalent no doubt at the origin of civilized societies, but which in modern societies is an anachronism.
Unfortunately, that vicious anachronism is ruling the roost these days. Lilienthal attributes its pivotal rise in the dominant world power coming out of World War II, the United States, to the wave of Jewish immigrants in the early part of the 20th century from Eastern Europe, where they were accustomed to living in a separate “state within a state.” They brought with them, in a word, the ghetto mentality. They might have been virtually all descendants of Khazarian converts to Judaism and not blood heirs to ancient Israel, but they bought heavily into the tribal “chosen people” idea. Arch-Zionist Alan Dershowitz unintentionally revealed the controlling mentality on Fox News in an interview. My grandmother, born in Poland, always wanted to know, he said, “Is it good for the Jews?”
It is not said, but what is implied, is that nobody else and nothing else counts for anything. That is the precise opposite of the universalist sentiment that Lilienthal extols in the Judaism that he embraces, but, unfortunately, it tends to represent the Judaism of the shtetl that so many 20th century immigrants brought with them to the United States.
The Zionist success in the U.S. has also been made possible by the strategic use of money. A case in point, as we learn from Lilienthal, is the transformation of the Jewish-owned New York Times from anti-Zionist to pro-Zionist. They were among the last holdouts in the early 1940’s until succumbing to a massive boycott from their major advertisers, without whose support they would have gone out of business. From that time on they have been little more than propagandists for Israel, just like all the other heavily Jewish-controlled major news organs.
Most recently, the newly elected Muslim Congresswoman from Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, in observing the power of Jewish money in influencing lawmakers, has illustrated the power of money in controlling the news media. They all ganged up on her, calling her anti-Semitic for noting what everyone knows is true. What is illustrated here is that she just didn’t go nearly far enough when she just blamed Jewish money for its power over Republicans. They wield the same power over American politicians of all political stripes and over the news media as well, across the political spectrum.
Why are the Democrats so Russophobic these days other than the fact that Russia is thwarting Israeli ambitions in Syria and in the Middle East generally? The card that the Zionists are predictably playing against her is what Lilienthal calls “anti-anti-Semitism.” They use it like a gun, and, says Lilienthal, “Who is strong enough to remove the gun ever-pointed at the White House by the combined hands of supine politicians, the controlled media and the Zionist lobby?” (p. 808, The Zionist Connection II) The only shortcoming in his observation is that it’s not just the White House at which it is aimed, and he implies that it is only a figurative gun.
Lilienthal also says that it is “Israelism” that has replaced Judaism as the religion of many Jewish Americans. One might say that it is just a subcategory or a supporting tenet of Israelism, but the actual faux religion that has replaced Judaism and they would have it replace Christianity and other religions as well, is what Jérôme Bourbon, the editor of the Paris weekly, Rivarol, calls “Holocaustianity”:
Not only did Professor [Robert] Faurisson by his research and famous phrase of 60 words threaten the ideological foundations of the world order issuing from World War II, but he also called in question the religion, or counter-religion, of “Holocaustianity.” It is a veritable religion, demanding respect and submission. Its false god requires a homage of adoration, a constant burning of incense before it, a flame to be lit like at Yad Vashem, flowers to be offered, and wailing to go up to Heaven, like at the pilgrimages and processions to Auschwitz and elsewhere, while people must beat their breast, crying out “Never again.”
“Holocaustianity,” taught from primary school to the end of one’s days, by television, cinema and every form of entertainment, does in fact ape all features of the Catholic religion. It has its martyrs (the Six Million), its Saints (Elie Wiesel, Anne Frank), its miracles (“Holocaust” survivors), its stigmatists (tattooed camp-inmates), its pilgrimages (to Auschwitz, etc.), its temples and cathedrals (“Holocaust” museums and memorials), its alms-giving to obtain pardon (never-ending reparation payments to Israel and to “Holocaust” survivors), its relics (camp inmates’ teeth, hair, shoes, etc.), its lives of the Saints (books by Elie Wiesel, Anne Frank, etc.), its torture chambers (gas-chambers), its Gospel (the verdict of the post-war Nuremberg military tribunal), its High Priests and Pontiffs (Simon Wiesenthal), its Inquisition (anti-Revisionist civil law-courts), its laws against blasphemy (strictly forbidding any questioning of the “Holocaust”), its Holy City (modern Jerusalem), its preachers and guardians (all instructors and associations in politics, the media, religion, trade unions, sports and economics), its religious Congregations (World Jewish Congress, B’nai B’rith, AIPAC, etc., etc.), its Hell (for all nationalists – except Israelis! –, all revisionists, all believers in the deicide and in the New Testament replacing the Old, etc.), and its faithful (almost all of mankind).
However, not only does “Holocaustianity” ape Christianity, it also turns it inside out: instead of love, hate; instead of truth, lies; instead of forgiveness, Talmudic vengeance; instead of respect for elders, the hunting down of aged camp-guards; instead of the spirit of poverty, the pursuit of reparation payments; instead of humility, the drive to dominate; instead of sharing, the pursuit of personal gain, instead of charity, blackmail: instead of respect for others, lynching: instead of quiet and discretion, publicity and noisy accusations in the media; instead of the boundless justice of God, the brazen injustice of conquerors setting themselves up as judges of the conquered, and so on and so on. (links added)