Binationalism and the sad story of Judah Magnes

March 7, 2012 at 10:23 am (anti-semitism, Christianity, history, immigration, Islam, islamism, Jim D, liberation, national liberation, palestine, religion, terror, zionism)

Judah Leon (or Leib) Magnes
Born July 5, 1877(1877-07-05) San Francisco, California, USA
Died October 27, 1948(1948-10-27) (aged 71) New York, New York
Spouse Beatrice Lowenstein

The recent mini-row over Baroness Jenny Tonge’s comments about Israel and her ‘explanation’ (accepted at face value by some quite sensible people) got me thinking about the whole question of denying Israel’s right to exist. I’m (just about) willing to believe that some people who deny the right of Israel to exist and/or promote slogans like “for a democratic secular state of Palestine” are benign and niave, rather than antisemitic. The problem is (as I commented at Representing The Mambo):

The problem with Jenny Tonge is that her words can be interpreted in at least two ways – one benign if naive (Israel must voluntarily give up its statehood and turn itself into some kind of bi-national state in which Jews and Palestinians will live together in happy harmony), the other definitely *not* benign (Israel must be destroyed). The fact she appears not to recognise the need to be very precise and clear about what she is, and isn’t, saying, and the fact that she’s quite happy to share platforms with people whose “anti- zionism” has definitely crossed the line into antisemitism, makes me very doubtful about her motives – to say the least. Unfortunately, she’s only too typical of the kind of “well-meaning” liberals in and around the PSC who claim they’re not antisemites, but seem quite willing to associate with people who are.

Finally, even if we accept Tonge’s claim that she simply means Israel reforming itself out of existance , or the widely-touted argument that socialists are in favour of the “withering away” of all states…how come these arguments are virtually never used about other nation-states, including those (like the USA, Australia and Argentina) that – unlike Israel – were created by means of genocide?

All of which got me thinking about binationalism (the main benign version of “Israel has no right to exist”) and its leading champion, Judah Magnes. The best brief account of the political life and thinking of Magnes that I’ve been able to find is the following by Benny Morris (himself a controversial figure in some circles, but a pretty good, and always truthful historian) :

Politically, the most important figure linked to Brit Shalom and Agudat Ihud was Magnes. He enjoyed a strong following among American Jews and was respected by the Mandate government; his diplomatic, orotorical, and intellectual skills also won the sneaking admiration of Ben-Gurion and other mainstream Zionists. The American-born and -trained Magnes, a rabbi and pacifist, viewed the call for a Jewish “National Home” in Palestine, to which he immigrated in 1922, as, above all, a call for the creation of “a Jewish spiritual, educational, moral and religious center,” as he put it in a letter to Weizmann in 1913. In this, he was an heir to the spiritual or cultural Zionism propagated by Ahad Ha’am (Asher Hirsch Ginsberg, 1859-1927), the great Russian Jewish essayist. Magnes supported immigration (or Jewish “ingathering”) in Palestine and hoped the country would become “the numerical center of the Jewish People.” He opposed the idea of conquest, which he called “the Joshua way,” and did not believe in the Great Powers’ right to dispose of the country as they saw fit. Like Jews, the Arabs also had historical rights to the country, he believed. So Palestine was the home of two peoples and three religions and belonged neither to the Arabs nor to the Jews nor to the Christians: “it belonged to all of them.”

The Balfour Declaration “contains the seed of resentment and future conflict. The Jewish people cannot suffer injustice to be done to others even as a compensation for injustice [over the centuries] done to them,” he wrote in 1920. The Jewish “National Home” should not be established “upon the bayonets of some Empire.” Magnes, like Buber, feared that the Jews in Palestine would “become devotees of brute force and militarism as were some of the later Hasmoneans, like Edomite Herod.” Magnes dissented from Brit Shalom in that he believed that its desire for an accomodation with the Arabs was tactical and practical rather than deeply felt; he knew that most of its members, including Ruppin who at times espoused the transfer of Arabs, were not pacifists.

All of this left Magnes with a somewhat fuzzy picture of what a future Palestine would look like. He spoke variously about both open-ended “international control through a mandatory” — that is, perpetual rule by a foreign power — and “a binational [Jewish-Arab] government.”

The problem with binationalism, however — apart from mainstream Zionist opposition — was that Brit Shalom and Magnes could find no Arab partners, or even interlocutors, who shared the binational vision or hope. As Magnes succinctly put it as early as 1932: “Arabs will not sit on any committee with Jews…[Arab] teachers…teach children more and more Jew-hatred.” In this sense, things only got worse with the passage of time, the deepening of the Arabs’ political consciousness, and the increase in Jewish immigration.

In 1937, in the privacy of his study, against a backdrop of the bloody Arab Revolt, Magnes took off the gloves: “The great drawback on the Arab side was the lack of moral courage. If only one man would step out now and brave his people and plead that his leaders should sit down with Jewish leaders, the situation would be saved…[but] not even one Arab stood up.” Yet perhaps it wasn’t so much a matter of the Arabs’ lack of courage as of Arab convictions. “Islam seemed to be a religion of the sword,” a monumentally despondent Magnes concluded.

(Indeed, many observers defined the Arab Revolt as a jihad. After reviewing the the testimony of Bishop Hajjat, the metropolitan of the Greek Catholic Church in Acre, Galilee, and Samaria, and other Christians before the Peel Commission, one of the commissioners concluded: “We were informed that though they [that is, the Christians] are not afraid of the educated Moslem or the Effendie class who live in the towns, they have come to realize that the zeal shown by the fellaheen in the late disturbances [that is, in 1936] was religious and fundamentally in the nature of a Holy War against a Christian Mandate and against Christian people as well as against the Jews.” Already in June 1936, two months into the revolt, the deputy inspector-general of the British Mnadate police, J.S. Price, wrote, in summarising the revolt, under the subheading “The Religious (Moslem) Aspect — Jehad or Holy War”: “It has long been the considered opinion of students of the Palestine problem that real and prolonged disorder can only be stimulated and protracted through the medium of religion…There are now demands that Haj Amin al-Husseini…should declare a Holy War (Jehad). It is unlikely that he will do this openly as he is not prepared to stake his all…[But] there are…indications that this spirit is being engendered by the medium of the Ulamas (learned religious[figures]). Fullest prominence is likely to be given to any incident having a religious complexion…There are [already] allegations of defilement of the Quran.” He had a point. At the start of the revolt, the Palestinian Arab political parties established a supreme  cabinetlike body, the Arab Higher Committee. is founding declaration stated: “Because of the general feeling of danger that envolops this noble nation, there is need for solidarity and unity and a focus on strengthening the holy national jihad movement.” As the revolt unfolded, the mufti and kadi of Nablus toured the surrounding villages “preaching that anyone who killed a land seller would reside in paradise in the company of the righteous.” The language of the rebellious nationalists was commonly the language of jihad. ‘Abd al-Fatah Darwish, a penitent land seller, swore in May 1936: “I call on Allah, may He be exalted, to bear witness and swear…that I will be a loyal soldier in the service of the homeland. I call on Allah and the angels and the prophets and the knights of Palestinian nationalism to bear witness that if I violate this oath, I will kill myself.” A placard hung on the walls in the village of Balad al-Sheikh, outside Haifa, after the murder of a collaborator, read: “Nimer the policeman was executed…as he betrayed his religion and his homeland…The supreme God revealed to those who preserve their religion and their homeland that he betrayed them, and they did to him what Muslim law commands. Because the supreme and holy God said: ‘Fight the heratics and the hypocrites; their dwelling-place is hell.”

Magnes occasionally found an Arab willing to meet and talk with him — and ready to hear what he, Magnes, might be willing to concede. In 1936 he met Musa al-‘Alami, a Palestinian Arab “moderate” and mandate government senior official, and agreed to the limiting of Jewish immigration to thirty thousand per year. In late 1937 or early 1938, Magnes met the leading Iraqi politician Nuri Sa’id. Sa’id apparently proposed a ten-year truce during which the Jews would promise not to exceed 40 percent of the country’s population (though Magnes later always insisted that he had never agreed to permanent minority status for the Jews). But these contacts and their outcome were hardly the comprehensive, final binational accord Magnes was striving for. (And, of course, neither ‘Alami nor Sa’id were leaders of the palestinian national movement.)

By mid-World War II Magnes realized that an open-ended international mandate was no longer feasible. He had despaired of ever reaching substantive Jewish-Arab negotiations or agreement and decided that the only solution would be an externally imposed “union between the Jews and the Arabs within a binational Palestine.” Further, he determined, this union would need to be subsumed or incorporated in a wider economic and political “union of Palestine, Transjordan, Syria and Lebanon” and linked to and guaranted by an “Anglo-American union.” And the binational state would need to be based on “parity” in terms of political power, between the two constituent groups, in order to guarantee the rights of whichever group was in the minority.

By mid-1948, with the first Arab-Israeli war in full swing, Magnes was deeply pessimistic. He feared an Arab victory: “there are millions upon millions of Muslims in the world…They have time. The timelessness of the desert.” An Arab ambush on 13 April 1948 of a Jewish convoy bearing doctors and nurses travelling through East Jerusalem to the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School campus on Mount Scopus — in which seventy-eight were slaughtered — was in effect the final nail in the coffin of Magnes’s binationalism. It was not that he publicly recanted. But he understood that it was a lost cause — and that his own standing in the Yishuv had been irreparably shattered. Within days, he left for the United States, and within months, never returning to Palestine/Israel, he was dead.

-from ‘One State, Two States’ by Benny Morris (Yale University Press 2009).

NB: I have not included Morris’s extensive footnotes, giving sources. These can be found in the book itself – JD


  1. skidmarx said,

    So it’s platform for racists time again:

    The Israel I want to see is more humane, more open, less religious and—to put it frankly—less Arab.

    Or does that not show someone who has clearly crossed to line from “controversial figure” to blatant racist?
    Of course we won’t see modernityliar protesting against this, as it is a constant with racists, one of the ways that we spot them, their inability to engage rationally with the subject of their own racism.

    • Monsuer Jelly est Formidable said,

      mister cunT shitnickkers – your face my boot – never endingly stamping on it. until you are dead – and even then, not untill your shit posh public schoolboy face is a werthless mush. There is a pickture of communism for you, you thick demented piece of shit antisemite cunt fuckking bollox cunt.

      does anybody remember the ‘orthodoxy’ that ‘Bush is to blame for everything’?…

  2. Monsuer Jelly est Formidable said,

    My experience on the Internet number 10006…

    the illusion that atheists or marxists (as self-identified) are automatically critical intellectuals is bollox.

    Atheism is anaemic as a basis for an identity, and it is noticeable that those most inclined to make it one are ex-Christians/religious cunts bent on getting even for the dehumanization of their original upbringing. the pseudo-marxists display *exactly* the same traits.

    Hence we are treated to juvenile preoccupations and similar manifestations of adolescent rebellion.

    Hence we get a childish view of the relationship between living populations and their superstitious belief systems, such as the nonsense Sam Harris has written about Muslims and the utter garbage and racist shit displayed by reps like shittyknickkers about tha JEWS.

    Hence we get a celebration of the Danish anti-Muhammed cartoons, without any consideration of their linkage with right-wing chauvinist politics, and at the same time removed, the glorification of Islamist nutjobs intent on wiping every last jew from the planet and we also get people inferring the character of modern-day Jews from the barbarisms of the Old Testament.

    Hence we get a disregard of real history, real sociology, and real people.

    I would really like to gas skiddyshittknickkers. And fuck his face up with a blade. Then kill him.

  3. charliethechulo said,

    “So its platform for racists time again”: well, in the sense that you’ve managed to get another comment posted here, I suppose that’s true.

    Care to comment on what Morris writes about Magnes and binationalism?

  4. skidmarx said,

    I don’t know if I want to spend my time analysing the words of a racist like Morris. Care to comment on why you’re promoting him?

    If we’re going to comment on Magnes Zionists, here’s one talking about “liberal Zionists”:
    After all, both kinds say that they are for two states, oppose settlements and settlers, support territorial compromise, etc. It’s very simple: if they publicly criticize Israel’s human rights violations; if they support groups that expose such violations; if they call out Israel’s elected leaders on matters of policy and morality — in short, if they adopt the stance of moral critic because that is deep in their Jewish and mentshlich soul – then they are true liberal Zionists. All the others are deluded into thinking they are.

    And no one is more deluded into thinking he is a liberal Zionist than Alan Dershowitz, who never ceases to remind his readers that he opposes the settlements and supports the two-state solution. Sorry, Professor, that is not enough to qualify. You also have to support harsh measures against the state if the settlements continue. You can’t be a liberal Zionist and support Binyamin Netanyahu, the arch-enemy of liberal Zionists.If you care about Israel as Jewish and democratic, to borrow the language of the liberal Zionists, you will – like M. J. and the others – have to fight against those Israeli government policies that are destroying the democratic nature of the state. You will join hands with human right activists, Jewish and Palestinian, who are fighting for justice. You will support, like M.J., Peter Beinart, David Grossman, and Amos Oz, boycotts against the settlers and the settlements. You will support pressure from the Americans and the European states to stop Israel’s slide into a Putin-style democracy.

    I think on this reckoning, those who say “we’re for two states”,but spend all their time attacking those not Zionist enough, like you and modernitybully and your friends at HP, fall into the Dershowitz camp.

  5. modernity's ghost said,

    I think Benny Morris is a historian that has shifted to the Right and argued some very questionable opinions. As time passes he is more Daily Mailish.

    I haven’t read this particular work so I wouldn’t comment on the totality of it (a bit silly to preview a book you haven’t read, etc). However, I would be very careful to take his conclusions at face value.

    By comparison, Skidmarx had a quality Oxbridge education and all of the advantages that entails, yet can barely string together 15 words.

    I imagine Skidmarx’s grasp of history is on a par with Rush Limbaugh’s charm, almost non-existent.

    Don’t forget, if an Israeli wrote something innocuous on a Post-it note then Skidmarx would complain, that’s his nature.

    • skidmarx said,

      Last three paragraphs full of lies,or abuse that doesn’t even rise to the level of untruth (and after his smears against me the last shows a particularly hollow hypocrisy), preceded by “However, I would be very careful to take his conclusions at face value”, which I assume follows modernityliar’s normal practice of producing gibberish, in this case by missing a not.
      And beginning with a refusal to take Benny Morris’ racism seriously.
      Why hasn’t he fucked off yet, when he made a big fanfare last time round of being forced to do by my presence here, there and everywhere?

      And where’s Will? He’s the best thing about this site.

      • Pinkie said,

        Don’t be an arse, Modernity. We all know that Skidmarks can read and write coherently, it’s there before our eyes.

        Having yet another pop about university education makes you look like a person with large chips on both shoulders.

      • modernity's ghost said,

        If I were troubled about educating the middle classes and their resultant capacity to express themselves, then I would despair at Skidmarx’s inability to write, to communicate and above all to actually make a clear point.

        But I’m not.

        I’ve run across so many useless Oxbridge types that I am no longer surprised at their antics.

        It is a shame that their sense of entitlement doesn’t quite match their abilities.

        It must have been very frustrating to have such a quality education and yet not be able to use it or write coherently. In sentences.

        I suppose such a frustration must require an outlet, pity that Skidmarx has chosen to make Israelis/Jews the subject of his animus.

        That probably explains why a section of the middle classes and the British intelligentsia are so vigorously anti-Israeli, it is a social pressure valve.

        Years back they would have ranted and raved about “the decline of the British Empire, foreigners, immigrants” etc but it’s not socially acceptable nowadays, however, attacking Israelis and Jews under various guises is, within ‘polite society’.

        I suppose it serves as an outlet for their alienation and psychological stress?

  6. Jim Denham said,

    Er, Skidiot, the point about Magnes (can’t you read?) is that he *wasn’t* in favour of two states.

    • skidmarx said,

      Some comments are so stupid, it’s hard to tell quite in what way they’re being stupid. Yours has been one of them.

      If you mean, why haven’t I read the Benny Morris piece to find out the views of the racist Morris that you wish to promote, the answer is the same as at the start of #3, I don’t tend to make a habit of closely analysing the work of racists, like the old bore in the pub (modernitybully) they will spout off endlessly without anything they say really meriting rational discussion.
      If mean mean the Magnes Zionist I quote, he’s making a separate classification of those who say they want a two-state solution into those that publicly criticize Israel’s human rights violations; if they support groups that expose such violations; if they call out Israel’s elected leaders on matters of policy and morality , and those that demonise Israel’s critics, and it seems blindingly obvious that the lesson to be drawn is that you, the AWL, modernitybully and the whole happy band at HP fall onto the Dershowitz side of that divide.

      • vildechaye said,

        I’ll wait to criticize Israel’s supposed human rights violations until I hear a few Arab leaders condemn their countrymen’s attitudes and actions towards Jews and other minorities, which far outnumber Israel’s both in quantity and kind. I fear I’ll have a long wait.

  7. Sarah AB said,

    That was very interesting.

    If Benny Morris isn’t a racist – he certainly does a good impression of one.

  8. modernity's ghost said,

    I said 15 words, I should have said two paragraphs.

    Skidmarx rambles on, yet doesn’t provide a reasoned argument or a conclusion.

    I will happily state I oppose Morris’s racist views against Arabs, but far as I know Morris does not (unlike Skidmarx) go around the Internet spreading them.

    Morris has that typically Israeli directness, without tact or consideration, but is nowhere near as extreme or on the fringes as Skidmarx, although as academics they do share some similarities.

    Morris is in the middle of a conflict and as we saw in the Six Counties that stress affects people’s judgement (and I would happily apply that to all participants out there, *all* of them).

    But what is depressing is how an Oxbridge Yahoo like Skidmarx can obsess about Israelis/Jews from some 2500 miles away, a safe distance to spout his racism, forever detached from the Middle East and its history.

  9. Pinkie said,

    “Morris has that typically Israeli directness, without tact or consideration…”

    Careful now, Modernity, you wouldn’t want something you wrote to come up later and smack you in the face, now would you?

  10. Jim Denham said,

    Skidiot: “why haven’t I read the Benny Morris piece [because I’ve decided he’s a racist]”.

    Skidiot, you’ve very succinctly revealed how you remain in such ignorance: by not even reading the views of those you’ve decided in advance that you don’t approve of.

    Morris may or may not be a “racist” (in my view the jury’s out), but no-one has seriously challenged his credentials or honesty as an historian (and that’s *not* the “David Irving defence”: Irving’s scholarly credentials were entirely spurious). I reproduced the piece, not to endorse Morris’s overall political stance, but because it’s by far the best account of Magnes and his binational campaign I have yet come across (and there aren’t many).

  11. Jim Denham said,

    OK Skidiot: if you don’t want to sully your sensitive eyes by reading what nasty Benny Morris has to say about Magnes, how about at least learning something about the man and binationalism (you seem woefully ignorant of both) via Wikipedia:

    PS: Jelly has, indeed, written something about you but it’s so violent that it was blocked by our filter/mediation system. But as you miss Mr Jelly so much, I’ll release it shortly for your delectation.

  12. Jim Denham said,

    Especially for Skidiot/”shitnickkers”: Jelly’s comments now posted above (#2).

  13. skidmarx said,

    Brilliant. He puts you all to shame.

  14. Sarah AB said,

    I do take Modernity’s point but Morris says some extraordinary things, such as this, in the middle of a defence of events of the Nakba. He says this

    “Therefore, from my point of view, the need to establish this state in this place overcame the injustice that was done to the Palestinians by uprooting them.”

    and then leaps alarmingly to this:

    “That is correct. Even the great American democracy could not have been created without the annihilation of the Indians. There are cases in which the overall, final good justifies harsh and cruel acts that are committed in the course of history.”

  15. Jim Denham said,

    Educated yourself, yet Skidiot? Anything of relevance to say about binationalism?

  16. skidmarx said,

    What have I learned from this thread?

    Modernityliar is still peddling his lie that I’m a racist, despite the utter demolition of his fabrications on the Assad thread. And he still wants to downplay the racism of Benny Morris, as he does with anyone who shares his cranky views.

    Jimbo is still unapologetic about promoting a racist like Benny Morris.

    Sarah AB at last recognises there is a problem, though as it’s someone on the side of the Israel/Palestine dispute she supports, though it doesn’t stop her writing for another site that promotes Morris (just as despite saying she’d never had to delete any of my comments she stood idly by when AlecMacpherson banned me, hypocrite seems like the only word that fits).

    Will seems to prefer Big Brother to Goldstein, reminiscent of Sheldon Cooper and Star Wars:
    “Sheldon: Oh, I never identified with the rebel alliance. Despite their tendency to build Death Stars, I’ve always been more of an empire man.”

  17. skidmarx said,

    The second “though” in para 3 is superfluous.

    And you, the AWL, mo’dishonesty and the whole happy HP crew remind me of the anti-kitten burning coalition:

    “The Big Theory presents an if-then equation to explain how society works. The theory offers a defense of something — “traditional morality,” sectarian privilege, patriarchy, ethnic superiority, cultural exceptionalism, nationalism, etc. — and says that if that something is not defended, then monstrous consequences will ensue. The absence of such monstrous consequences thus disproves the theory, undermining its defense of whatever it is the theorist is defending.

    And so monsters must be invented. And anyone who denies the reality of these unreal monsters must be condemned as an enemy of traditional morality, or of the sect, the ethnic group, the culture, the nation, etc.”

  18. Sarah AB said,

    skidmarx – I did also express similar views about Benny Morris on one of the HP threads about him. I had forgotten you were banned – I think I did know – my view of you is that you are an extremely destructive presence in most contexts and actively court the kind of responses you get, while also maintaining ‘plausible deniability’. When you were commenting, I thought it right to take issue with some of the more extreme responses you attract though, because they were over tthe top – and distracting. Also – I think some of your recent contributions to SU have been more constructive.

    • vildechaye said,

      Is someone forever tarred a racist for making a single racist statement, and that in the context of a 65 year old struggle? By that criterion, virtually everyone is a racist.

  19. SteveH said,

    Oooh, Sarah AB gives you the thumbs up SkidMarx. Is it passover today?

    “. I’m (just about) willing to believe that some people who deny the right of Israel to exist and/or promote slogans like “for a democratic secular state of Palestine” are benign and niave, rather than antisemitic”

    Cheers Jimbo. Up the one state solution!

  20. Faster Pussycat Miaow Miaow Miaow! said,

    Is it passover today?

    More proof of SteveAitch’s antisemitism. Despite there being multiple avenues of attack on the Tory Sarah AB, he resorts to an antisemitic attack yet again — or is Passover (like the Talmud) ‘zionist’?

    Also, the use of the term ‘solution’ in relation to any so-called ‘problems’ of borders, nationality, refugees or migration is deeply disturbing. As we see today, government ‘solutions’ to ‘the refugee question’ involve concentration of refugees and then ‘resettlement’, all a grim echo of a gruesome past, standing on the shoulders of fascism.

  21. Pinkie said,

    Is it passover today?

    Of course it is a crass thing to say. Unfortunately nothing you write, FPMMM, has anything to do with what SteveH wrote.

    It is difficult to understand quite what you are saying.

  22. Sarah AB said,

    the Tory Sarah AB

    I’m a member of the Labour Party.

  23. Sarah AB said,

    I was checking this on old emails, skidmarx, and I’m not actually sure that you *are* banned. Give it a try and I’ll aim to check if you are trapped in moderation. And at the risk of lowering your credit with SteveH – I do actually like your comments on sf too.

  24. Jim Denham said,

    “And so monsters must be invented. And anyone who denies the reality of these unreal monsters must be condemned as an enemy of traditional morality, or of the sect, the ethnic group, the culture, the nation, etc.”

    What the bloody hell has that got to do with Magnes and binationalism?

  25. skidmarx said,

    Not a lot. It’s got everything to do with your method of creating phantom menaces and then screaming hysterically at anyone who doesn’t condemn them.

    I see that you’ve deleted Steve H’s comment explaining exactly what he meant by the “passover” remark, but kept the smear from FPMMM. Interesting to see that you’re unchanged in your belief in free and open dialogue (still agin’ it).

  26. Jim Denham said,

    Steve H’s comment went over the mark. You’re close to it, Skidiot. We’re not obliged to accomodate anti-semites. You’re tolerated here as a licenced asshole, on sufferance. For purely educative purposes. For the time being.

  27. Faster Pussycat Miaow Miaow Miaow! said,

    @ Sarah AB – was referring to you politics and not whichever bourgeois liberal head-counting organisation to which you subscribe.

    @ Pinkie – it would be crass if it were in isolation, but he’s a serial offender. Also, I was taking issue with his language.

    @ ShittyKegs – you should know all about smears you mucky boy. Taken in isolation, the proffered explanation may have excused the remark, however he has ‘form’ in this regard, therefore it is bullshit.

  28. skidmarx said,

    Taken in isolation, the proffered explanation may have excused the remark, however he has ‘form’ in this regard, therefore it is bullshit.
    Class. It to put it another way, there’s nothing in yet another accusation of antisemitism, but you’re so invested in it that you’ll believe things that you know not to be true. That’s how they got Winston Smith you know.
    Of course we can’t read the proffered explanation now, as Jimbo chooses to delete that, rather than the supposedly offensive remark. There is an obvious comment to be made on this method of moderation.

  29. Jim Denham said,

    “There is an obvious comment to be made on this method of moderation”: which is?

    Still nothing from you about binationalism: do you actually understand it?

  30. skidmarx said,

    Which is that it has nothing to do with removing comments that are considered offensive, but everything to do with denying SteveH the ability to put the record straight. A very dishonest tactic.

    You seem to think that you have the right to endlessly interrogate and never answer any questions. I think it was Flying Rodent who pointed out that what you do is troll you own blog. Rather than having the confidence in you politics to take on questions about your own politics, you feel the need the advertise your insecurity by stalking one of your few visitors. I’d recommend a visit to this man, but I don’t think he’s quite what he says he is.

    So after being so convinced of the inaccuracy of my suggestion that you and the crew at Harry’s Place are the bestest of friends that you called it slander/libel, why don’t you tell us how you support this improbable assertion. Here’s a start, maybe you could start with Sarah AB bemoaning the persecution of a Nazi who was brave enough to plaster his flat with anti-Islam hate posters. Good thing or bad thing? [This is a really easy one]

    • Monsuer Jelly est Formidable said,

  31. Monsuer Jelly est Formidable said,

    shittpants – defends an antisemite. no shock to the system their then.

  32. Monsuer Jelly est Formidable said,

    shiTTpAnTs is an antisemitic cunT. He needs to be stabbed in the eyes.

  33. Monsuer Jelly est Formidable said,

    psychotic anti-Semites. oxbridge types. coommnts at blergghgs.

  34. Monsuer Jelly est Formidable said,

    antisemites. no hyphen.

  35. Monsuer Jelly est Formidable said,

    Animals, all of us: dying, desperate animals, alone in our skulls, in our souls, quietly tortured by our foreknowledge of death, wandering a mindless rock, baying with pain or killing each other. That’s the working week. Come Saturday we crave relief. Slumped defeated in the corner, our flagellated cadavers scarcely held together by the gentle cocooning pressure of our armchairs, wearily we pivot our milky, despairing eyes in the direction of our television sets, seeking consolation or distraction or maybe just a little inconsequential merriment: a dab of balm to spread on these anguished bones, this empty heart.

  36. Monsuer Jelly est Formidable said,

    irrational cognition, defective discourse, pathological object fetish (“”) is a social dysfunctional symptom (of something or other of which i neither care about nor want to explore in detail).

    neophytes — they withdraw from the particulars of the world and collapse it all it into a warped kind of a-priori metaphysical construct — politics has been absorbed into metaphysics — nowt but a question of the mind. shiTTPANTS and his ilk speak to us as if *he* were the only person who was in the “real world”. What an affront. WOt garbage and woT a FuKkinG stupid cunT.

    So endeth the lesson.

  37. Monsuer Jelly est Formidable said,

  38. Monsuer Jelly est Formidable said,

    Afterbirthers Demand To See Obama’s Placenta

    WASHINGTON–In the continuing controversy surrounding the president’s U.S. citizenship, a new fringe group informally known as “Afterbirthers” demanded Monday the authentication of Barack Obama’s placenta from his time inside his mother’s womb. “All we are asking is that the president produce a sample of his fetal membranes and vessels—preferably along with a photo of the crowning and delivery—and this will all be over,” said former presidential candidate and Afterbirthers spokesman Alan Keyes, later adding that his organization would be willing to settle for a half-liter of maternal cord plasma. “To this day, the American people have not seen a cervical mucus plug, let alone one that has been signed and notarized by a state-certified Hawaiian health official. If the president was indeed born in the manner in which he claims, then where is his gestation sac?” Keyes said that if Obama did not soon produce at least a bloody bedsheet from his conception, Afterbirthers would push forward with efforts to exhume the president’s deceased mother and inspect the corpse’s pelvic bone and birth canal.

  39. Jim Denham said,

    “You seem to think that you have the right to endlessly interrogate”…yup: you gottit. This is my (and my friends’) blog, not yours. We ask the questions. And when we get pissed off with you, we ban you. You wanna go and spout your antisemitism and general ignorance elsewhere- feel free to do so. But we’re under no obligation to give you a platform. Geddit?

    Mind you, Skidiot, I’d be a lot more well disposed towards allowing you to carry on commenting here if you responded to the original post, and has something to say about binationalism.

  40. Jim Denham said,

    By the way: I had previously given serious consideration to publishing the views of someone else with a record of saying dodgy things on the subject of Israel and the Middle East:

    See and hear the Fink here:

  41. Faster Pussycat Miaow Miaow Miaow! said,

    @ ShiityKegs repeats the usual bollocks. Unlike some, I’m quite careful about whom I call an antisemite. One example: SteveAittch has previously referred to the ‘kosher media’ (those media organisations which are not Press TV) and then repeated ‘racist kosher channels’ — thereby conflating kashrus with racism and not even bothering with a figleaf of ‘anti-ZIonism’, because in the case of SteveAittch anti-Zionism and antisemitism are absolutely the same thing.

  42. Pinkie said,

    I’m still a little confused about Skidmarx’s apparent anti-Semitism. Modernity says he’s so, this blog says he’s so, but strangely nobody wants to provide evidence.

    ‘Put up, or shut up’ is the normal response. This won’t happen, of course, it’s far easier to have an invented enemy than deal with the world as it is.

  43. Jim Denham said,

    Does Skidiot recognise the right of Israel to exist behind 1967 borders?

  44. Bloggerati « Poumista said,

    […] Judah Magnes and the tragedy of binationalism […]

  45. Jeremiah Haber said,

    Hi, Morris is tendentious in his reading of Magnes; here his Zionist biases got the better of him as a historian. In fact, every line of what he writes is either cherry picked or false, even laughable. I am surprised, because I have always thought him to be a better historian.

    A far more accurate account is found in Arthur Goren’s book, Dissenter in Zion — and in the new biography of Magnes.

    In short, this just repeats the standard statist line. It fails to talk about Magnes’s attempt to thwart statehood by being flown to America to talk to Truman. It fails to talk about his exchange in Commentary, and his proposal for a United States of Palestine, with Abba Eban after the state was declared. It fails to talk about the fact that he went to the US for a variety of reasons, and that his Ichud Association continued to lobby for the return of the refugees.

    But I don’t mind. Because realists like Morris will probably live to see that Magnes, dismissed on both sides by the ubernationalists, was right — way before his time. I mean, what other country has been around for sixty years whose right to exist in its present form is still being debated?

    Magnes and his circle accepted the state as a fait accompli. But his project was doomed to fail, especially with leaders like the Mufti and Ben Gurion. History makes mistakes sometimes — or rather people make historical mistakes.

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