Israel at Risk

Monday, November 21, 2011

Senior correspondent for The American Prospect and blogger, Gershom Gorenberg, discusses his new book, The Unmaking of Israel. A Jerusalem resident, Gorenberg says Israel's extremist policies are undermining its democracy, and calls for a Palestinian state.


Gershom Gorenberg

Comments [49]

Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

To meat:

and then I wrote: "I watch the news, I know this exists, and never suggested they don't."

Care to characterize those hate videos?

Who speaks? A random guy from the street or a President of an Islamic Republic?

What is he saying? That he hates the Yankees or is calling for the Death of America and Israel?

"That's why in the next comment I wrote that I "feel you're just gonna end up focusing on the hate videos section".

And you will try to minimize those genocidal Islamist hate videos.

"At least you're predictable if nothing else..."


Nov. 29 2011 09:43 AM

To Edward:

and then I wrote: "I watch the news, I know this exists, and never suggested they don't."

Apparently your attention span only lasts through the first sentence.

That's why in the next comment I wrote that I "feel you're just gonna end up focusing on the hate videos section".

At least you're predictable if nothing else...

Nov. 28 2011 01:12 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

meatwnyc said:

"I'm not gonna waste my time searching for hate videos on YouTube."

You seem to have lots of time to post - 13 posts - but no time to see the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran leading a chant of tens of thousands of his followers in genocidal rants against Israel and the US.

I'll make it easy for you meat.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: "Death to Israel"

As the old chestnut goes:

There are none so blind as those who will not see

Perhaps you also believe the words of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran when he said there are no homosexuals in his Islamic Republic.

Nov. 24 2011 12:32 PM

@ sanych

You must be psychic, because as you say, "I talk peace, but really mean war". No, I mean peace. You're not in my head, so don't pretend to be.

You claim that I am "calling for the wholesale return of Arabs to Israel proper and the destruction of the only Jewish state." Never have I said this, nor would I, because that's not what I think.

All you do is attempt to distort what I say, and than attack me with escalating insults such as "Barred the possibility you are an imbecile" and "You are a fraud!" and "You are a wolf in sheep's clothing."

Obviously, our views on this topic are clashing and it seems apparent are never going to be in agreement. Unfortunately it seems we cannot even have an intelligent conversation about it without name calling and distortion. Sadly, this "dialogue" has fallen into the typical pattern of competing monologues rather than a genuine dialogue. Perhaps that is telling of the true problems in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

I'm going to leave it trying to believe that you genuinely would want peace between these two peoples, even when your hostility is sometimes suggesting otherwise to me. I'm going to give the benefit of the doubt that the name calling and distortion is because the argument has become heated and emotional, rather than think it reflects anything else.

Nov. 23 2011 12:30 PM


Your words have multiple meanings. You talk peace, but you really mean war.

I am not going to answer all of your rhetorical questions, but will concentrate on your basic statement - "Palestinians have the rights to be in Palestine".

I wrote before and I confirm again that I recognize that there is a modern day nation of Palestinians, regardless of how and when it was formed.

The next question is - what is Palestine? Does it mean the area "from river to the sea", the area that includes the state of Jordan, or it is the future state(s) that will be formed in Gaza and "West Bank"?

Thus, your statement is open to interpretations, with the simplest being that Palestine is the peace of land between Jordan river and the Mediterranean sea. We are all familiar with the slogan "from river to the sea Palestine will be free".

Essentially, you are calling for the wholesale return of Arabs to Israel proper and the destruction of the only Jewish state.

You are a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Nov. 23 2011 11:51 AM

@ Edward:

I wrote too much below and feel you're just gonna end up focusing on the hate videos section, (as you seem pretty focused on them). So there's no confusion, what I really wanted though was clarification of one of your early statements.

You wrote:
"Are Muslim/Arab majority nations being held by "progressives" to the same standards that the rest of the world is held - or are Muslim/Arab majority nations too backward to be held to such standards?"

What I took out of this is in the context of the comments was that you thought Muslim/Arab nations are too backwards for democratic government. Please clarify your thoughts.

Nov. 23 2011 11:42 AM

To Edward:

I'm not gonna waste my time searching for hate videos on YouTube. I watch the news, I know this exists, and never suggested they don't.

But focusing on thisjust skirts the point: You can't stereotype the Iranian population of 70 million or the Muslim population of over 1 billion by what one individual says or a few thousand rally about. You never addressed this.

You go back to the videos and never addressed the question I posed: Do you think that Muslim/Arab nations are "too backward" for democracy? I think your answer would be telling.

Btw: In the Western press it was frequently discussed that the last Iranian election was marred by irregularities and it was suggested the results weren't valid. So perhaps that is the West suggesting the Iranian people are not behind what Ahmadinejad spews.

Btw: We could get into the issues of President Bush including Iran in his "Axis of Evil" or claiming "divine inspiration" for overthrowing Saddam, etc...what does that suggest?

And yes, Israel has Peace Now, which is great. It also has settlements. How's about keeping the former and dropping the latter. Btw, do you think Peace Now activists spend all their time posting Iranian hate videos to the internet?

You're so good at finding hate videos, you can't find any peace movements from Israel's neighbors? Here, you can start with Salam al-Ann (Palestinians For Peace Now).

Nov. 23 2011 11:11 AM

@ sanych

"Snide and deceiving"? You mean like calling another commenter an imbecile?

My "numerous responses" to you were two, and since you did write back, clearly you do have time.

If "fraud is defined as an intentional deception made for personal gain or in order to damage someone else", than what do you call the lie you keep perpetrating that Palestinian meant "Jew living in Palestine" before Israel was formed.

All I have done in my arguments is make the case that there are two sides to the coin. Yes, Israelis have a right to be in Israel. But on the flip side, Palestinians have the rights to be in Palestine as well. Yes, Israeli lives must be valued and protected. But on the flip side, so should the lives of Palestinians. How many of them have been killed while Israel is protecting "settlements" in the West Bank territory?

You are an ideologue, and will only see history and reality in your jaded view. And that, unfortunately, makes you a fraud as well.

Nov. 23 2011 10:21 AM


I am sorry, I don't have all day to write responses to your numerous questions, so let me get to the core.

Fraud is defined as an intentional deception made for personal gain or in order to damage someone else.

I pointed out to you that what is Palestine and who is Palestinian changed significantly in the second half of the twenties century. Another example - Hannah Arendt in her "Eichmann in Jerusalem", which was published in 1963 (!), refers to Zionists negotiating with Eichmann as "Palestinians".

Thus, your initial message with the quote of Ben-Gurion's quote and your reasoning about Palestinians was deceiving.

The question is whether the deception was intentional. The amount of time you had spent on this topic and the number of arguments you presented shows that you had your opportunity to understand the issue. Bared the possibility that you are an imbecile, this shows that you indeed use fraudulent arguments to present your case.

Your other arguments are similarly deceiving. For example, whatever you call "settlements" are not obstacles to peace, as Israel had returned Sinai and Gaza and demolished entire towns built there for a mere notion of peace. You know that, everyone knows that, yet you bring it up.

And, yes, Palestinians are oppressed. But it is either they being oppressed or Israelis being murdered. Time and time again this is shown to be the case. Israel spends enormous resources in terms of people and material on security, and Israelis understand it and don't like it, but they have no choice. You know that, and yet, you bring these snide and deceiving remarks in these public forums in order to hurt them. You are a fraud!

Nov. 22 2011 01:23 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights


Please show us videos where a President of the US or Prime Minister of the UK or Israel lead a rally declaring "Death to Iran" as the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran does.

Again please search Youtube with terms "iran death america", "iran death israel".

Israel has Peace movements like "Peace Now'. Please show us similar movements in any of Israels neighbors.

Something like a "Salaam Now" which demonstrates to end the rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza or denounces the genocidal rants from Hezbullah.

Nov. 22 2011 12:21 PM

@ sanych

Just some questions from your previous posts. Some of the thoughts seem all over the place and I was just trying to understand them better.

When you talk about the "Left Wing political ideas with the Soviet Union as the headmaster" you do realize the Soviet Union collapse 20 years ago, right?

When you talk about "Islamist forces covering up as a national liberation movement" are you speaking of mainly Hamas or discrediting Fatah too? Would you consider any of the ultra-Orthodox parties to be the equivalent "Zionist" national liberation movements since they are looking to expand settlements and make the West Bank territory a permanent part of Israel?

When you label Chompsky and Gorenberg as of "leftist propagandists" is this meant to discredit their arguments by simply attacking their character? Can you name any "right-wing propagandists", or do they not exist as their opinions would be accurate, objective portrayals of history?

A little off topic but did you happen to make it to the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai? If so, did you happen to make it to the Tibet pavilion? It was run by Han Chinese, but after all, Tibetan does just mean "Chinese living in Tibet".

You mentioned that Nathan Scharansky said "...we don't want to oppress other people". Just curious then, why are other people being oppressed? (By the way, were you quoting him in context? And for any good reason?).

Do you really think the American media entertains more of a Gorneberg point of view? And if so have you ever listened to anything other than NPR? Like FOX or MSNBC for example? Do you happen to know if lobby groups like AIPAC have more clout and reach in Washington and with the media than the corresponding leftist "Palestinian" lobby groups, or are they being "silenced" for their different views?

Do you know that you saying there's "fraud implied" in my statements doesn't actually make them fraudulent. I know it's a popular tactic in political discourse nowadays, but there's no way to magically make someone's argument "fraudulent" just by labeling it that way. Do you use that tactic knowingly or not, by the way?

Nov. 22 2011 02:22 AM

@ sanych

I notice when people write about history they often only include certain facts and not the whole story. I'm glad you recognized my use of sarcasm to try and point this out. Unfortunately you mistakenly thought the two sentences below were connected as one. I thought skipping a line between them would show them as separate thoughts, but perhaps I didn't put enough space between them for you.

You are right to point out that the Arabs have in the beginning and many times since obstructed actual peace occurring. But one has to question your sincerity in the statement "the facts show that, invariably, Jews want to settle the conflict". Is that why Israel continues to build settlements in the West Bank territory? Are these not obstructions to peace? While there are many Israelis who no doubt do want peace, it is disingenuous to suggest that there are not those factions within Israel that want to continue to be at conflict in that it allows the slow acquisition of more and more land within the Palestinian territories that will eventually become permanently part of Israel. Your portrayal of the history where Israel has seemed never have done any wrong at all in this conflict is only possible through active omission of objective fact, or the use of intentional fraudulent arguments...

Nov. 22 2011 01:25 AM


When people quote Ben-Gurion it is often out of context and for no good reason. I was listening to the broadcast and trying to answer you at the same time, so I probably went too fast for you.

You wrote:

'''In 1947 it was all called Palestine.

"We and they want the same thing: We both want Palestine." - David Ben-Gurion

Please don't misinterpret this to be a "Jew hater" comment suggesting all the land should be returned to the Palestinians, it should not. But there are two sides to this issue and both have been in the wrong and have been in the right.'''

Ben-Gurion did no say this in 1947. "Crossing Mandelbaum Gate" by Kai Bird puts this quote in the context of 1923 Arab violence against Jews and Jewish leadership debate about self-defense. 1920 "Palestine" was not the same as what we today call "Palestine". People conveniently forget that in the 1920s Arab state of Jordan was created on a huge chunk of Palestine.

However, the facts show that, invariably, Jews want to settle the conflict. And, invariably, Arabs reject any peace deals. It is a known fact that Jews - with Ben-Gurion as their leader - went along with UN resolution regarding division of Palestine, Arabs rejected it. There are no two sides to this fact. Somehow, you fail to mention it.

You see, the problem is not that you try to use sarcasm to advance your point. Knowingly or not, you use fraudulent argument to do so...

Nov. 21 2011 07:32 PM


Perhaps my understanding of your comments was in error. Oops. Sometimes I think people are using sarcasm when they're actually being quite literal.

You seem to be suggesting that Muslim/Arab nations are "backward" and not capable of being held to the same "standards" as the rest of the world.

So...we should continue to support dictators that repress their people and don't allow democracy? Are WE even living up to our own standards?

Why not find out if they're capable?

I'm not sure what you're suggesting by your YouTube epiphany that there are those in the Arab and Muslim worlds that hate Americans and Israelis. There's almost 300 million Arabs and over 1 billion Muslims in the world. Let's not stereotype them all based on the radical part of their societies alone.

On a personal note though, I'm not sure if YouTube is the best source to develop your conclusions on the subject. You risk finding out the fact that many Israelis and Americans have no lost love for Arabs and Muslims either. Worse, you might accidentally stumble upon one of those radical American militia videos where you find out they actually hate large parts of their own country too. Then you might start to question whether this country is "too backwards" to live up to its own standards too...

Nov. 21 2011 03:44 PM

war without end!

Nov. 21 2011 03:15 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights


"On the flip side, one might say:
You might be an Islamophobe don't believe Muslims [or Arabs] are capable of democracy."

Are Muslim/Arab majority nations being held by "progressives" to the same standards that the rest of the world is held - or are Muslim/Arab majority nations too backward to be held to such standards?

I suggest searching within Youtube with terms "iran death israel" or "iran death america" or "hamas childrens tv".

Nov. 21 2011 02:34 PM

Apologies Edward, I actually got it now! You're doing the same thing I attempted and flipping the argument on it's head by equating the labeling of critics on the one side with the labeling of critics on the other side. You aptly demonstrated how both sides use attacks on the critics to avoid dealing with the criticism. Well done!

Nov. 21 2011 02:26 PM

In reply to Edward:

I'm not really sure if you're using sarcasm to agree with me, make a separate point on the quashing of political discourse, or attempting to distort what I said. I'm hoping the former but in case of the latter I'll clarify.

My comment that you're quoting is way down the page in response to Martin Chuzzlewit's comment that the guest and segment Brian was hosting was "just meat (and talking points) for the Jew haters here who frequently post on this thread under the old guise that "I'm not against Jews, just Israel and its policies"."

I was pointing out that Martin was effectually equating "questioning Israeli policies" with being a "Jew hater". This is ridiculous and basically a means of saying there can be no legitimate argument.

To comment on your "Islamophobe" response specifically though, it did make me humorously think of those Jeff Foxworthy "You might be a Redneck" jokes.

I was thinking along the lines of:
You might be a Jew hater DON'T question Al Qaeda.

On the flip side, one might say:
You might be an Islamophobe don't believe Muslims [or Arabs] are capable of democracy.

Nov. 21 2011 02:09 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

meatwnyc said:

"Interesting that anyone who questions Israel's policies must immediately be a "Jew hater". Interesting, and convenient."

Is that like anyone who questions Islamism, Al Qaeda, Hamass, Hezbullah, Islamic Republic of Iran must immediately be an "Islamophobe"?

Nov. 21 2011 01:44 PM

@ sanych:

1. If you use quotes you should actually quote something I actually wrote, rather than what you heard. I can certainly understand people misinterpreting Ben-Gurion's quote to come to your conclusion on who "Palestine belongs to", but I don't think that's what he meant and it's certainly not what I meant. I thought I made this plainly clear by writing in the same comment: "Please don't misinterpret this to be a "Jew hater" comment suggesting all the land should be returned to the Palestinians, it should not." Apparently, you went ahead and misinterpreted anyway...

2. My point on Israeli nationality was to equate it back to your comment: "The bottom line - "Palestinian" nationality appeared AFTER Israel was created" which you made after your other comment that "Palestinian" meant a "Jew living in Palestine". You have tried to make it seem like Jews are the only people that have ever lived on the land, (implied fraud?), and that everyone else's argument is illegitimate. I'm simply saying there's two sides to the coin.

Nov. 21 2011 01:07 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Of course I knew there would be difficulties in settling in Israel, I was born in a refugee camp in Germany after WWII, and my parents were waiting to go to Palestine, but thanks to Truman, we ended up in Brooklyn instead, I was also a kibbutz volunteer in the early 1970s, and I learned the reality of that life too, and decided that it wasn't for me after all. More socialist baloney. Most of the UNNECESSARY difficulties in ISrael I attribute to the socialist LEFT. Now, there were tough things there had to be done in the early days, but still, most of the UNNECESSARY hardships are not due to the Arabs, but due to SOCIALIST mentality of many of the founders,It has failed in ISrael for the same reasons it failed in the USSR, Because socialism in the end is anti-humane despite its beliefs to the opposite. It destroys the family. It destroys everything eventually in its hardline, pseudo-egalitarian pretensions.

Nov. 21 2011 12:20 PM


1. I was answering the fraud implied in your statement that "Palestine belongs to Palestinians". Yes, historical facts are "interesting", you may want to spend some time learning them.

2. Yes, Israeli nationality is a new phenomenon. It includes not only Jews living in Israel. There are many non-Jews who serve in the IDF, serve at various government positions, are members of Knesset, etc.

What's your point, other than being critical of Israel?

Nov. 21 2011 12:18 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

The Arabs adopted the label "Palestinans" after the JEws became "Israelis." The assorted Arabic speaking inhabitants needed to suddenly fabricate a national identity that had never existed, so they chose to become "Palestinians. " But even the first paragraph of the PLO Charter clearly states that the Palestinians are an integral part of the "Greater Arab Nation." So the Arabs now have various national identities they did not have in Ottoman times: Iraqis, Jordanians, Palestinians, Kuwaitis, etc. But there were no Arab nations till after WWI when the Ottoman empire was dissolved. But the Jews had had independent states as far back as 3000 years ago in that land.

Nov. 21 2011 12:13 PM
Mike from Staten Island

To Jgarbuz of Queens:

I also made aliyah, I also served (briefly) in the IDF, and I also ultimately returned to the US (for the meanwhile) as my Staten Island location makes obvious. You and I don't get to dictate to an Israeli citizen what his opinions should be about his country while we make our home in the USA. I've heard Gorenberg speak and talked with him--I don't agree with everything he says, but he cares deeply for the country that he chose to make his life in.

As for the difficulty of living there and dealing with Israeli bureaucracy--what made you think it would be easy? What you described certainly exists--but how do so many Israelis manage to put up with it?(Granted, there are many yordim.) How come so many other US Jews managed to strike roots in the country? You were weak and you gave up.

Nov. 21 2011 12:10 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Chomsky was po'd because he did not become a big shot in the Zionist movement, so he turned into an antizionist "intellectual." He is like Lillienthal and others who became bitter because they did not politically become big shots in the Zionist politics, and so became turncoats like Benedict Arnold and turned renegade. Most of these bitter, disappointed Jewish Bolsheviks became renegades because they were not given the honors and accolades they thought they deserved early on. There is no renegade like a Jewish renegade.

Nov. 21 2011 12:09 PM

@ sanych:

"The word 'Palestinian' meant a 'Jew living in Palestine'." Interesting interpretation. Not strictly accurate, but interesting.

"The bottom line - "Palestinian" nationality appeared AFTER Israel was created."

One might argue the same can be said of "Israeli" nationality. I think it was Ephraim Kishon who quipped "Israel is the only country in the world where the mothers learn their mother tongue from their children", referring to the fact that Yiddish was the language of many of the early Israelis.

You make it sound like the only people living in the territory known as "Palestine" before Israel was established were Jews. That simply is not true. Whether you want to label them as "Palestinians" or "Arabs" or whatever else, there were plenty of non-Jews living in the territory and living there for quite some time.

Nov. 21 2011 12:07 PM

@Mike from Staten Island

re: Gorenberg made ALIYAH and jgarbuz did not

Your argument is too simple. The problem is people like Gorneberg are consistently finding their way to American media, while many others with different views are silenced. From this point, jgarbuz' monitoring of these discussions and bringing in historical prospective to American public cannot be overvalued.

Nov. 21 2011 12:07 PM

Would someone who has more time to study the issues in depth and not from sound bites please explain why the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is not included in any discussion of settlements for Palestinian exiles. Many Palestinians are already settled on the Bank of the Jordan River. The population of Jordan is mostly Arab and the kingdom was part of the Ottoman Empire before 1918. What role could Jordan play in the settlement of other tribal members to relieve pressure of over-population on the West Bank within Israel?

Nov. 21 2011 12:06 PM
Mike from Staten Island

To: Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan who wrote: "LOL, Gershon Gorenberg's appearance here is akin to Noam Chomsky"

Chomsky is an American-Jewish anti-Zionist who has long supported Israel becoming a binational state (which de facto would result in a Palestinian Arab state, most likely an Islamic one). That is precisely what Gorenberg, as an American Zionist who made aliyah, is trying to prevent as an advocate of a two-state solution. I don't agree with everything Gorenberg writes, he is too quick to blame Israel for a lot of things and ignores Arab intransigence, but much of his analysis is sadly on the money--if Israel is to remain a democratic, Jewish country it must divest itself of *most* of the West Bank (aka Yehuda & Shomron) to ensure a Jewish majority and it must enforce rule of law and ensure equality between all of its citizens as its Declaration of Independence promises.

Nov. 21 2011 12:02 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Mike of Staten Island

I close a business and went to electronics school in order to have a profession in Israel, went on Aliyah in 1982 at the age of 34, and immediately learned what a vicious, heartless, left wing bureaucracy Israel was a the time. I won't go into the sordid details, but if it wasn't for the hypocritical, almost criminal LEFT WING in ISrael, I'd still be there rather than here 22 years later. After nearly a decade living in Israel, under vicious left wing instiutions, I finally was broken and had to return to the US, sadder but wiser. I hope things in Israel are not as bad today.

Nov. 21 2011 11:59 AM

We've removed a few comments for violating the WNYC posting policy. Please refrain from personal attacks, and remember to keep the comments civil and productive to the conversation taking place on the air.

Nov. 21 2011 11:56 AM

Nathan Scharansky said it best - "we are willing to give up part of our ancestral homeland because we don't want to oppress other people".

Thus, vast majority of Israelis are ready to give Palestinians their state. But it cannot be built on lies, as the likes of Gorenberg insist...

Nov. 21 2011 11:55 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Growing up in Brooklyn and going to Jewish parochial school, I pledged allegiance to the Flag of the US every morning with my hand over my heart. Nobody in Israel, Jew or ARab or anybody, has to pledge allegiance to the Flag of David, and that is the problem. The Arabs don't have to pledge allegiance to the Judean state, nor do the ultraortodox JEws, or for that matter, anyone else. It is time for ISrael to adopt a loyalty pledge of some kind. Israel is the homeland of the JEwish people, but also the country of all of its other citizens as well.

Nov. 21 2011 11:55 AM
Mike from Staten Island

re: jgarbuz from Queens. who wrote: "Yes, another LIBERAL AMERICAN "Jew" who would love to see the State of ISrael to become the State of IShmael"

I don't agree with everything Gorenberg says, but he is a Jew who made ALIYAH, he chose to move to Israel and become an Israeli--he served in the IDF and defended the country and put his life on the line for it and makes his home there. He is an observant Jew and a Zionist who wishes to preserve the country's Jewish identity. What have you done for Israel from Queens?

Nov. 21 2011 11:54 AM
Mike from Staten Island

Re: the loyalty oath--Gorenberg mischaracterizes and distorts it as forcing Arab citizens to take a loyalty oath to Israel as a Jewish state. In truth, the proposed oath would be not incumbent on any citizens born in the country whatever their religion or ethnic origin, but on NEW CITIZENS only. If you are a Jew who wants to make aliyah (immigrate to Israel based on Israel's "Law of Return" --you must swear loyalty to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state). So too must a non-Jewish Filipino residing in Israel legally who wishes to apply for naturalization, or a Jordanian Muslim Arab married to an Israeli citizen who is an Arab Muslim who wishes to acquire Israeli nationality. Nobody would be forced to convert to Judaism and people who are already Israeli citizens would not have to take that pledge-- but it's not unreasonable to ask of someone who wishes to immigrate to Israel and voluntarily take Israeli citizenship to ask them to swear loyalty to the country as it's currently constituted.

Nov. 21 2011 11:49 AM


The answer is very simple.

Before establishment of Israel the word "Palestinian" meant a "Jew living in Palestine". There are ample examples. "Jerusalem Post" was called "Palestinian Post", at NY World Fair a "Palestinian" pavilion was run by Zionists, etc.

The bottom line - "Palestinian" nationality appeared AFTER Israel was created. There is no question that it exists today, but one must understand its roots.

Nov. 21 2011 11:49 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Yes, another LIBERAL AMERICAN "Jew" who would love to see the State of ISrael to become the State of IShmael by approving more and more intermarriage between Muslims and Jews so that the Muslims could become the majority and take over ISrael and rename it Ishmael. We know the story.

Nov. 21 2011 11:47 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

IN 1948, the ultraorthodox opposed a secular Jewish state, on the grounds that the Messiah hadn't come yet. SO the socialist leftist Ben Gurion signed a "status quo" agreement with the rabbis that would give the Rabbis control over divorce, marriage, burial, and kosher certificates for businesses, as well as keeping most businesses closed on the Sabbath. But so what? I remember when there were Blue Laws here in the US, and my after got tickets for opening the store on Sundays.

Nov. 21 2011 11:43 AM
Palestinian in bklyn from Brooklyn

Here Here Gershom

Nov. 21 2011 11:43 AM
James Kaboui from NY, NY

Surprised at the vitriol on this board, even before the segment began.

So, hearing Gershom's opening salvo, his points are pretty reasonable and presents a clear & concise summary of the socio-political challenges.

Nov. 21 2011 11:39 AM
Esther from Baltimore

Oh great... here we go again. It's well worth remembering at least a little history.

1948 War of Indendence: Arabs reject Partition Plan and try to obliterate the fledgling Jewish State. If the Arabs won, would the land lost be considered Occupied Territory for for the Arabs?

After that war, Arabs flee Israel and approx 850,000 Jews flee their birthplaces and their homes in some 10 Arab countries.

From 1948 to 1967, Jews were denied access to their holy sites; some 55 synagogues and study halls were systematically destroyed, while the Old City was ethnically cleansed of all its Jewish residents and holiest site of Judaism, the Western Wall, was used as a garbage dump for the Arabs of East Jerusalem.

Let's skip to 1967 when Egypt expelled the UN border monitors in the Sinai & mobilized on Israel's southern border. Let's not think that the Arab armies surrounding Israel were there to hand out peace flowers. On June 5, Israel launched an attack on Egypt and the borders of Israel expanded in a defensive war. Now let's turn history around and logically presume that the Arabs won that war too, after all, let's face it, they had the numbers. Would the land they would have gained been looked at as Occupied Territory stolen from Israel?

Resolution 242, called for a return for Israel's withdrawal "from territories", not "all the territories", nor "the territories captured in the course of the recent hostilities".

What was the response from Arab leaders post 1967 war? Then the famous "three no's", no recognition, no peace, and no negotiations with the State of Israel.

Skip to today: "Occupied Territory" is a misnomer that has been ingrained by repetition. It is Disputed Territory.

Why do Arab text books still have Palestine as the area encompassing all of Israel?

Why didn't Abbas come to the table when Israel did stop from building settlements for 10 months?

Why can't Abbas acknowledge Israel as a Jewish State?

Why did Abbas state that "Palestinians have been under occupation for 63 years.”?

Did anyone notice President Abbas’ op-ed, on May 15, in the NY TImes? Did anyone notice his rewriting of Middle East history, which the fact checkers somehow missed? Was that piece meant to send an encouraging note to Israel, the other half of the equation, about the PA’s credibility as a peace partner?

And why did Palestinian ambassador in Brazil, Alzebin Ibrahim, state that that “Israel should disappear.”?

Oh, one more thing, what about the glorification of Palestinian terrorists? Like the PA cabinet minister, Issa Karake, who presented Al-Sayed’s family with a commemorative plaque marking the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attack on a Passover Seder in Netanya.

No, I don't think building apartments in Gilo, which would remain in Israel's control even if it parcels up Jerusalem, as national suicide.

Palestinian need to rethink their choices and the choices made in the past.

Nov. 21 2011 11:38 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Does your guest also suggest the US give back 22% of the occupied "indian" territories to the "indians" as well? After all the "indians" have been in this land for over 17,000 years, whereas the ARabs have only been on Jewish land for no more than 1,300 years at most! The Arab occupation of Jewish land gives them some rights, but no more than the rights the US gives to "indians" right here.

Nov. 21 2011 11:38 AM

In 1947 it was all called Palestine.

"We and they want the same thing: We both want Palestine." - David Ben-Gurion

Please don't misinterpret this to be a "Jew hater" comment suggesting all the land should be returned to the Palestinians, it should not. But there are two sides to this issue and both have been in the wrong and have been in the right.

Nov. 21 2011 11:36 AM

The reason why Israel is constantly in the news is because it is one of the fronts of the idealogical war being waged against the "Western Values" (whatever they are) and, first, Left Wing political ideas with the Soviet Union as the headmaster, and now Islamist forces covering up as a national liberation movement.

This is the reason why it is important to confront leftist propagandists like Chompsky and Gorenberg and to expose their half-truths.

Thus, a very simple question to Mr. Gorenberg:

In your book you insist on call a certain area "West Bank", while mentioning that in Israel this area is called "Judea and Samaria". Are you ignorant of the fact that this area was called Judea for the last three thousand years and Samaria for the last two and a half, and was only renamed by Trans-Jordan to "West Bank" after it illegally captured in 1948?

Does this ignorance of history disqualifies your objective judgment?

Nov. 21 2011 11:25 AM
Jerry from LES

Why is this even on WNYC? I just can't understand why Israel gets so much coverage on this station when the average American could care less about Israel or any other country for that matter. Most couldn't find it on a map.

For such a small country there is a lot of "to do's" and book publishing going on related to it in this country.

Nov. 21 2011 11:06 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

The major risk to Israel has always come from the Jewish Left, and not from the smaller Jewish Right. The Bolshevik kibbutz Jews set up ISrael after the Right wing "terrorist" JEws drove the British out and many of the Arabs out. The Right Wing Jews had to do the dirty work, while the Left could try to play that it has "clean hands." Even the infamous "massacre" of Deir Yassin was played up, totally exaggerated and used against Menachem Begin's Irgun to discredit him by Ben Gurion who was a typical hypocritical socialist. The radical Jewish Left today is as hypocritical and phony as they always were and always will be, unfortunately. We all know that Liberals are the biggest phonies on earth.

Nov. 21 2011 10:40 AM

Interesting that anyone who questions Israel's policies must immediately be a "Jew hater". Interesting, and convenient.

Nov. 21 2011 10:34 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Gershom, sorry about the spelling, I was unconsciously thinking about Gina...she's prettier.

Nov. 21 2011 08:02 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

LOL, Gershon Gorenberg's appearance here is akin to Noam Chomsky appearing on foreign radio shows to talk about America's greatness. Sadly, Gershon hasn't written a non-political word since "Accidental Empire."
Brian, this is just meat (and talking points) for the Jew haters here who frequently post on this thread under the old guise that "I'm not against Jews, just Israel and its policies."

Nov. 21 2011 08:00 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.