Israel Shamir: ZENO'S ARROW
- In the present war, Jewry is a belligerent party.
(or, How to Argue Your Case with Jews)
By Israel Shamir
Feb 1, 2005, 19:01
We shall win the war if and when we win the argument. This has been
my conviction since 1991, when I witnessed how the mighty nuclear
superpower collapsed because they lost a philosophical dispute. In
the battle for Palestine the same rule may apply. Our adversary is
protected by mighty Stealth technology made out of best sophisms but
he has his Achilles' Heel, and Apollo may still point it out to our
Recently we published a tongue-in-cheek essay by Joh Domingo Philo-
Semitic Attacks on the Rise and received many responses. The Jewish
responses were expectable and they could be summed by one line: "You
can't say anything valid about Jews because we all are different".
Probably you have encountered this line. Without recognising it, the
responders actually give you the Paradox of Zeno. This Greek
philosopher 'proved' that Paris did not kill Achilles: at every
chosen moment, the arrow of Paris was in a certain point of space,
thus it did not move and couldn't kill. There is a branch of
mathematics called Integral Analysis that helps to deal with the
paradox and proves what we know anyway: while an arrow rests at
every chosen moment, it actually moves and kills. Likewise Jews:
while being different they are perfectly able to act in unison.
Here is an interesting letter exchange to clarify the point:
1. From: Lanny Cotler to Joh
I am a Jew who is totally against the Israeli occupation.
Why assert anything about Jews in general? Any generality you
might make would not, could not, accurately describe me. So what's
the purpose, except to stir up emotions that do not broaden, but
narrow, people's mind?
2. From Joh to Lanny,
Contrary to what you suggest, we make general remarks about
people all the time, even negative ones; Blacks, Hispanics, Muslims,
Christians anyone. What is more, Jews make negative remarks about
people in general constantly. So what is the beef about making
general remarks about Jews? Why do you personalize it? Is this not
taking a 'narrow' view of things?
Far from 'narrowing' peoples' minds, the non-pejorative term
is 'focus'. Focus is of course a powerful tool, and it is
understandable that it be de-legitimised in order to keep people on
the straight and narrow track. If Jews were not so narrow-minded
about anti-Semitism, we could pick the guilty bastards off one at a
time. So, in a way, talk of 'narrow-minds' is an insult to our
You ask, why not call them 'chauvinists' instead of 'Philo-
Semites'? Because I could not give two figs about
chauvinists. 'Chauvinists', generally, are not planning to bomb an
entire group of people - Philo-Semites are. Nor is
it 'bigots', 'racists', 'imperialists' and whatever other cover may
be put on it, 'philo-Semites' are the culprits.
3. From JTR:
I had a similar argument with this very same Lanny Cotler online
somewhere a year or two ago. With him and so many others, I learned
that it is a colossal waste of time to try and educate him and his
many clones. It is impossible to cure anyone of self-delusion.
Cotler's bottom line is "Anything you say about 'Jews' will be a
generalization and therefore you are forbidden from saying it."
This 'generalisation ban' is an integral part of Jewish Stealth
technology. Without some ability to generalise, we can't answer even
an innocent question, say, how many apples are there on the desk?
Otherwise, you will be answered: these apples are all different, and
can't be counted. In order to count, you have to generalise. No
political discourse is possible without generalisations. And people
generalise without difficulty.
For instance, the declaration Not In Our Name signed by a Rothschild
and Rabbi Lerner, among others, claims that "The Bush government
seeks to impose a narrow, intolerant, and political form of
Christian Fundamentalism as government policy. It aims to strip
women of their reproductive rights, to drive gay people from public
life back into the closet etc". Is this generalisation? Yes, and a
rather misleading one; among Christian Fundamentalists one can find
Pastor Charles Carlson and his movement We Hold These Truths/Strait
Gate Ministries, a great enemy of the Bush administration. Pastor
Chuck supports the people of Palestine and Iraq in their defensive
war against Israel and America; he is also against abortions. Joh
Domingo correctly replied that
" . . .the entire idea of singling out right wing Christians is
intolerant in itself. Is it extreme to want to outlaw abortion,
suppress the imposition of homosexual values and argue that there is
scientific value to spiritual experience? That is intolerance in my
mind, and a direct denunciation of any alternative worldview;
dismissal even. In short, it is a sign of a bigoted mind."
Well, but so what? One can argue against this generalisation until
one is blue in the face, but I bet these guys won't dignify your
objection with their reply. The ban on generalisation applies to
Jews only, and only to negative assessments: you can write about
wonderful Jews day and night, and no Lanny Cotler will waste your
time with his objections.
However, Zeno-like sophism is not limited to Jews. One can find it
in the writings of Joseph Massad, a Columbia Professor and a
disciple of late Edward Said. Massad is now attacked by Zionist
Jews, and we wish him the very best in overcoming his adversaries.
But in his articles he exhibits same logical faults one finds in an
average Jewish letter writer. He writes:
"Jews, whether in America, Europe, Israel, Russia, or Argentina,
are, like all other groups, not uniform in their political or social
opinions. There are many Israeli Jews who are critical of Israel
just as there are American Jews who criticise Israeli policy. I have
always made a distinction between Jews, Israelis, and Zionists in my
writings and my lectures. It is those who want to claim that Jews,
Israelis, and Zionists are one group (and that they think exactly
alike) who are the anti-Semites. Israel in fact has no legal, moral,
or political basis to represent world Jews (ten million strong) who
never elected it to that position and who refuse to move to that
country. Unlike the pro-Israel groups, I do not think that Israeli
actions are "Jewish" actions or that they reflect the will of the
Jewish people worldwide!"
Massad denies that "Israeli actions are 'Jewish' actions". But now
the Israeli government has confiscated thousands of acres of non-
Jewish land and houses in Jerusalem by applying the Absentees Law.
The Absentees Law made a clear distinction between Jew and non-Jew;
a non-Jew lost his home and land even if he went to the next village
or ran away from shelling to the forest. Thus villagers of En Hod
lost their property though they moved some three km away, and
villagers of Biram lost it if they went to the nearby Jish. On the
other hand, Jewish property has to be 'restored' to Jews even after
fifty years of absence and immigration, as it is happening now in
Iraq and Libya, and in Eastern Europe some time ago. The
confiscation is a "Jewish" action, for Jewish Halachah rejects the
very concept of Gentile ownership. For the Jewish law, Gentile
property is free for grabs. Thus massive confiscations of 1950s and
of today are "Jewish" actions per se.
Massad asserts that "Israel in fact has no legal, moral, or
political basis to represent world Jews who never elected it to that
position and who refuse to move to that country." Now, this is a
strange claim for a Columbia Professor. Elections are not the only
legitimate way to become a representative or a ruler of a body.
Kings were not elected, but they duly represented their people.
There are a few Jews who would agree with Massad; but they are rarer
than the Americans who claim that President Bush does not represent
them - see the Not in Our Name initiative of Kerry Democrats . It
should be taken as a figure of speech, as an expression of
disagreement with Israeli (or Bush's) policies rather than an
assessment of reality. In reality, support of Israel by people who
define themselves as Jews is very high (by the US statistics, well
over 80 per cent) but even more important is the non-Jewish
acceptance of Israel as the Jewish state that represents Jewish
The legal basis of Israeli representation is well established:
Germany, a prominent member of the family of nations, transferred to
Israel the intestate properties of Jews - German citizens who had no
connection to Israel. Israeli law allows for persecution of every
person on earth who has acted against a Jew, even if the Jew had no
connection to Israel. The Eichmann trial was an example of such a
rough justice, and Israel was not reprimanded by any considerable
body of Jews or by states.
Another convincing proof was fashioned this week, when Auschwitz
commemoration ceremonies were accompanied by Hatikwa, the Israeli
national anthem and chaired by Israeli officials. Massad invents a
claim of his opponents, who imply, in his view, that "all Jews,
whether Israelis or non-Israelis (and the majority of world Jews are
not Israelis), are responsible for all Israeli actions and that they
all have the same opinion of Israel. But this is utter anti-Semitic
nonsense", he writes. Now, it is not "utter anti-Semitic nonsense",
but utter nonsense. Naturally, there is a whole range of opinions
among Jews in Israel and outside of Israel; actually there are more
Jews in Israel who object the government policies than there are in
the US. And again we come to Zeno: this plurality of views does not
mean that the arrow does not fly and kill.
Beyond the denial of Massad and of many antizionist Jews, there is
another denial: that of Jewish polity. It is supposed to be a purely
metaphysical entity, without any material signifiers. But Massad
could make a trip to Jerusalem and find there an imposing mansion in
Talbiye carrying a clear sign: The Jewish People Policy Planning
Institute (see the picture). Thus when Zeno claimed there is no
movement (for what is valid for an arrow is valid for every 'moving'
body) Diogenes quietly walked in front of him. This demonstration of
movement was a fine refutation of Zeno's sophistry.
As for responsibility, it is a moot point. Is Joseph Massad, an
American citizen, responsible for the war the US carries out in
Iraq? If the answer is 'yes', a Jew is equally responsible for the
actions of the Jewish polity. If the answer is 'no', the very
concept of individual responsibility for a polity's decision
collapses and war loses its legal base. If and when the Iraqi
patriots extend their defence of their land to their enemy's
territory, the accepted theory of War will justify them, as it
justifies the actions of Palestinian fighters, for it establishes
the right of belligerent response. This right of response is based
on the individual responsibility for a polity's decision -
otherwise, the response would be just unlawful killing.
Massad states: "I have always made a distinction between Jews,
Israelis, and Zionists". Good, but in the Middle East war, who of
these three is the belligerent adversary of Palestinians (and
Iraqis, Iranians etc)? Is it the Israelis? But the 'Israelis'
consist also of one million Palestinians and of other Christians,
Muslims, even Bahais. Is it the Zionists? But there are very few
Israelis who describe themselves as 'Zionists' - the name of Uri
Avnery is one of these few for this fighter for freedom has this
title defended in an Israeli court of law. Even the virulently anti-
goy Lubawitsch movement does not consider itself 'Zionist', though
it demands the expulsion of the Palestinians from the Holy Land.
This question is far from trivial; "know thy enemy" is the first
political decision, stated the legalist Carl Schmitt. We can't win
until we identify the adversary. For pure Hegelians, "the spirit of
Judaic supremacy" is the most suitable culprit, but if the choice is
between "Jews, Israelis, and Zionists" the belligerent party is
probably the Jewish polity, world Jewry, despite their plurality of
opinions. It is not an enemy of our choosing: it would be easier to
have just Hebron and Gaza settlers as the enemy; or some Zionists,
at least. But the Jewish polity decided to wage war, and thus became
a belligerent party.
Massad and other friends do not dare to come to this conclusion for
fear of 'bigotry', this second universal Jewish defensive device. In
my article Tsunami in Gaza I compared Jewish obsession with separate
(from goyim) burial, as manifested during the tsunami, with their
obsession of living separately as manifested in the weird idea of
bodily removing the Jewish settlers from Gaza. In my view, the
settlers may stay if they wish and if they can manage to live in
peace with their neighbours. This comparison annoyed some Jews on an
ad hoc mail list, and they attacked it as 'bigotry'.
1. Brian wrote:
-I am Jewish In this article, when Shamir writes that the
attitude he's criticizing is "part and parcel of the Jewish faith,"
I think he's stepping over into bigotry.
2. Donna wrote:
Bigotry should not be tolerated by any of us towards anyone. i
am learning from this discussion, in the past few years people have
made bigoted comments to me about jews and i am speechless.
3. Liat wrote:
We need to openly discuss bigotry against Jews, and you say that
it isn't necessary. I am asking for your partnership in this
movement. And that to me means that I expect you to take anti-Jewish
oppression (sic! - ISH) seriously. Especially when four Jews raised
questions about bigotry in the posting that you sent, I expect that
you will consider us as partners in this work and worth your while
to examine how your posting might have affected us.
Instead of discussing the actions of Israel: that is, mass
confiscation of goyim's land and enforced separation of Jews and non-
Jews, the peace-loving Jews on the group steered the discussion
into "anti-Jewish oppression" and "anti-Jewish bigotry". These four
Jews in one group have succeeded in slanting the discourse as they
often do They have terrorised and intimidated the group moderator,
and I am not sure their contribution to the struggle in Palestine
justifies the bother.
Here is their summing up of the argument:
Israel's actions in the tsunami disaster are completely
irrelevant to shedding light on the occupation. But the issue of
whether or not an article that you, Alison, sent is bigoted against
Jews is absolutely relevant to our work. If we are Westerners, we
have grown up with a huge legacy of anti-Jewish oppression. It's
important that bigotry against Jews be addressed head-on, rather
than avoided. I think that much of Shamir's work, included the
article below, is bigoted, and I think that it's incumbent upon all
of us to do the necessary personal work against all kinds of
bigotry, for bigotry against Jews is a bad thing, as is bigotry
against any other group.
Where is the fault in this apparently impervious argument? Bigotry,
i.e. prejudice against an imaginary non-structured and non-
belligerent group - say, blondes, or blacks, or people
called 'Peter' - is not nice. It is a moral fault like hypocrisy or
stinginess. "This is utterly inexcusable. So was your failure to
answer Aunt Bee's last letter.", - in words of our Michael Neumann.
For instance, a blonde girl from Eastern Europe has a hard time to
enter Israel as she is automatically suspected of being a
prostitute. But some sort of prejudice is normal - it is a
calculation of expectation. For instance, there are posters calling
upon young persons to use condoms while having sex with strangers.
It is an expression of prejudice - one can get venereal disease from
one's own partner as well; but it is a useful prejudice; as is a
poster warning you to beware of pickpockets in certain places. Would
you consider the statement: "a banker/ a lawyer will rip you off" -
a bigoted statement? If so, I am all for bigotry. The chances are, a
banker or a lawyer will rip you off given a slight chance to do so.
Yes, there are exceptions: Lenin and Robespierre were lawyers - but
they would be the first to agree with the prejudice.
Moreover, the concept of bigotry can't be used in relationship to
belligerent groups. It is false to call any attitude to, say, the
Communist Party, or Neo-Cons - "bigotry". At war, structured groups
fight; for instance, Catholics fight Protestants in Northern
Ireland; in Palestine, Jews fight non-Jews; in the World War Two,
Russians and Americans fought Germans and Italians; in Iraq,
Americans fight Arabs. Israeli soldiers are under order shoot to
kill every armed Arab, every suspicious non-Jew, as it happened in
case of the English peace activist Tom Hurndall. Bigotry is not
coming into it at all: this is war.
As for Jews - they are a structured belligerent group presently at
war. For the American Jews - a structured sub-group - there is a
colonial war they carry out (not just support) in Palestine. They
are as hostile to pro-Palestinian forces as the Americans are to the
Arabs in the Iraqi war. It does not mean that every American (or
Jew) is an enemy; moreover, there are many good Americans (or Jews)
who are against the Iraqi (or Palestinian) war. Let these Jews (or
Americans) be proud that they crossed the lines, for this is a great
individual achievement. However, their presence on our side does not
cancel the war. Likewise, there were good and brave Americans who
hailed to Hanoi during the Vietnam War, but the war continued
This understanding of the Jews as a belligerent party fully conforms
to the declaration of war on Germany by Hayim Weitzman on behalf of
the Jewish People. This does not mean that we approve of total war.
There are unacceptable things in war as well. We do not wish to
revive the thoroughly Judaic diatribes of Iliya Ehrenburg who called
on the Russian soldiers to kill 'females and unborn whelps of the
accursed [German] race'. This war is not forever, it does not have
to be total, but it is a war; and B la guerre comme B la guerre.
Where there is war there is no bigotry, but normal warfare; the
prejudice is called 'presumption' and is considered to be acceptable
Another peace-loving Jew, Alan Levin, argued against it:
What you say in your message is that "we" (and here I think you mean
all those seeking the liberation of the Palestinian people) are "at
war with the Jews", in much the same way as America was at war with
Germany. Your argument follows a pseudo-logical path, describing the
somewhat innocuous bigotry towards blonds and lawyers, preparing the
way for bigotry against Jews (as the nation, not of course the
individual Jews) with whom "we" are at war. And since we are at war,
this is not bigotry.
Even if you believe this kind of sophistry, you may at least concern
yourself with the practical consequences of such an argument. A
growing number of Jews are shifting their understanding about Israel
and moving towards support of ending the occupation and even a
growing number are understanding the inherent problem of a "Jewish
state". Do you think your rhetoric will help with this movement?
Likewise, there is a growing understanding within the Palestinian
and Arab world of the distinction of Jews and Israel and opening to
alliances with Jews and Jewish groups. Do you think your war
rhetoric will help with that?
It sounds reasonable and wise, but on second thought we find yet
another instance of sophistry. Indeed, Levin's argument is
applicable to every war. Many, probably a majority of Palestinians
are not connected with the Resistance and prefer to live in peace
even under the sub-human conditions imposed by the Jewish state.
However, the Jewish state does not apply Levin's argument to itself
but carries out a merciless war against civilians. Many, probably a
majority of Iraqis prefer peace to the American attacks, but the US
troops keep attacking them. Levin says "A growing number of Jews are
shifting their understanding about Israel". Very good, but it does
not end the war. "Shifting of understanding" is not enough.
Millions of Germans did not just 'shift their understanding' but
voted against Hitler in the last free elections. Still, it did not
stop the American and British Air Force from bombing millions of
perfectly innocent Germans - women, children, anti-Nazis. The
Americans bombed Belgrade and Baghdad - did they care who is for and
who is against Saddam or Milosevic? Millions of Americans
demonstrated against the war in Vietnam, but in the same time Mi Lay
village was razed.
This is the logic of war. A Jewish child in New York or Montreal or
Tel Aviv is innocent - but he is not more innocent than a German
child in Dresden, or a Palestinian child in Khan Yunes. War includes
the killing of innocents. That is why war is bad. But in the war
forced upon us, it makes no sense to demand two different approaches
to Jews and to non-Jews because of the dubious concept of 'bigotry'.
Coming to Jews active on our side, I would like to quote Zev
Chafets, an American Jew, who wrote in an American Zionist paper The
New York Daily News:
"Edward Said didn't blow up Marines in Lebanon in 1983, ignite
the Palestinian intifadeh or send Wahhabi missionaries to preach
violence against infidels. He certainly didn't fly a plane into the
World Trade Center. What he did do was jam America's intellectual
Some US Jews do exactly that - by raising the spectre of prejudice
(bigotry) they try to jam our intellectual radar. They have indeed
succeeded in jamming the radar of Joseph Massad; he has even
published a review of a book by Norton Mezvinsky and the late Israel
Shahak, accusing them of bigotry and antisemitism:
"For the authors, as for the anti-Semites, it is Judaism, not
Zionism and a Zionised Judaism, that is the culprit. Baruch
Goldstein, who massacred Palestinians in al-Haram al-Ibrahimi on
Purim, is not seen in the context of a racist and colonialist
Zionism and its myriad massacres against Palestinians, but rather as
part of a tradition of Jewish murders of non-Jews. The authors'
commitment to Zionism's assimilationist project of transforming Jews
culturally into European gentiles while still calling them Jews is
everywhere in evidence. While the authors have a long history of
opposition to colonial Zionism, they are in agreement with an
assimilationist Zionism which borrowed from the Haskala its
There is some poetic justice that Massad, who accused Shahak of
antisemitism, is now the accused of the same offence: like Zinoviev
who accused Trotsky of betrayal until he found himself accused of
treachery. I agree with Shahak, even though Massad lists him
among 'bigoted antisemites': the crimes against non-Jews in
Palestine have a quasi-religious context, like the Night of St
Bartholomew did. Massad is mistaken assuming that assimilation drive
is limited to Zionists - Soviet Communists and Christians were as
assimilationist as Zionists. De-judaisation of Israel is a desired
stage on the way to establish one democratic state - the wish of
Edward Said. It would represent victory over the main belligerent
party, Jewry, for a de-judaised Israel will become Palestine even if
not a single Israeli were hurt or forced to emigrate. Chad Powers
"If rank-and-file Jewry (let alone the Gentile world) were ever
allowed to freely face the factual hypocrisies, paradoxes, and
outrages of Jewish identity and history, the community would
probably self-destruct with an exodus of shame and disillusionment.
Robbed of their incessantly propagandistic "victim hero" status,
many "born Jews" would inevitably migrate out of the Jewish Fortress
Against Other People, seeking new identity allegiances "
- Palestinian in Palestine and American in the US.
Our friend, supporter of Palestinian cause and a prolific Internet
writer George Pumphrey, was also taken in by Zeno. For instance,
Manfred Stricker, following Hanna Arendt, referred to the 'Jewish
usurers of Alsace'. Pumphrey immediately slapped his hand:
To speak of "the Jews of Alsace" is a gross generalization, when
merely addressing the situation of the Alsatian usurers, but not the
rest of the Jewish population of Alsace. Nor was one claiming that
all Alsatian Jews were rich or usurers. But the way it is used here
could (mis)lead to this impression .
Here again, every generalisation - referring negatively to even some
Jews - is banned. Pumphrey goes further:
Thanks to Zionists, no other people on the planet are as
generalized - both positively and negatively - as Jews. Jews are
never allowed to be people, with positive attributes and faults.
This is obvious nonsense. Every group is 'generalised' - not least
of all the Germans (Pumphrey lives in Germany), but equally the
Russians, the Arabs, the French. Probably the people of
Liechtenstein are not generalised for not many are aware of their
existence; otherwise, 'to be a people' means to be generalised.
Pumphrey is not above having a go at generalisation about Jews, but
a positive one:
Jews, who, in their majority, are universalistic, do not accept the
chauvinist "ethnic purity" concept for their "homeland".
In my experience, every word in this generalisation is false. The
Jews are 'universalistic' if it is good for Jews; and perfectly
particularistic otherwise. But this is peanuts compared with the
next claim of our friend:
Anti-Semitism is a chauvinism. It does not begin with hostility
toward Semites, but with a feeling of superiority over Semites (and
eventually anyone else). The choice of the object of the chauvinism
is a tactical rather than a strategic question. A chauvinist feels
superior to various groups of people, but lives out his chauvinism
along lines of momentary/tactical priority.
It is a factual error: there are hardly any antisemites who feel
superior to Jews (let us skip this 'semite' stuff). Negative
feelings towards one's enemies - and we presented (above) the case
that the Jews are a belligerent party - are normal; they can't be
described as 'bigotry' or 'chauvinism'. For instance, during the
Franco-German war of 1870, the French hated the Germans and the
Germans hated the French. They were not "bigots," as at war this
concept is not applicable. They needed this hatred as a
psychological defence in time of war: it is difficult to kill
without hate. After the war was over, relations soon normalised and
now they are quite fraternal. Equally, if and when the Jews cease to
be a belligerent party, they will not be hated.
The errors of George Pumphrey, a good thinker and activist, are
based on his obsession with 'bigotry' and 'chauvinism'. He writes:
In the aftermath of the Second World War the dominating standard of
civil behaviour was to abhor any ideology based on chauvinism,
because ANY ideology based on chauvinism as being a precursor to a
development that could lead toward ethnic cleansing (whether through
territorial expulsion or through genocide).
I tend to doubt every dominating standard, for if it were good for
us, it wouldn't be dominating. The biggest ethnic cleansing(s) were
carried out after WWII by its victors, without any chauvinist
ideology: I mean the deportations of ethnic-Germans out of Poland,
the Czech Republic, and Prussia. Anti-chauvinism dominates the
discourse for it provides a philosophical weapon to deal with native
resistance to foreign takeover. Thus Russian opposition to the
Western takeover is usually described as 'chauvinist' or 'Red-
Brown'. Anti-chauvinism dominates the West-imposed liberal discourse
for it allows Transnational companies to operate; to import cheap
labour, and to sanctify the Jews as the traditional enemies of
But nowadays, only "our side" is afraid of "bigotry". Daniel Pipes,
a favourite pundit of Bush and a fervent Jewish nationalist, made it
clear that the Jews are not afraid of this accusation at all:
"For years, it has been [Pipes'] position that the threat of
radical Islam implies an imperative to focus security measures on
Muslims. If searching for rapists, one looks only at the male
population. Similarly, if searching for Islamists (adherents of
radical Islam), one looks at the Muslim population. But Leftist and
Islamist organizations have so successfully influenced public
opinion that polite society shies away from endorsing a focus on
Muslims. The intrepid [Jewish] columnist Michele Malkin's recently
published book, bearing the provocative title In Defense of
Internment: The Case for Racial Profiling in World War II and the
War on Terror. She correctly concludes that, especially in time of
war, governments should take into account nationality, ethnicity,
and religious affiliation in their homeland security policies and
engage in what she calls "threat profiling".
Pipes and Malkin, the cutting edge of organised American Jewry, call
for the internment of Muslims in detention camps and the stripping
of their constitutional rights. Guantanamo is a first swallow of
their success. They are not afraid to use the weapon of prejudice
against the non-belligerent Muslim community because they rely upon
our friends Massad, Pumphrey et al to block any similar move against
This problem is much in evidence all around the world. In Sweden,
the activists for Palestine are led by a young man of Palestinian
origin but Swedish upbringing, Ammar Makboul. This Makboul
hates 'bigotry' so much that he has forbidden any reference
to 'Jewish settlers' in Gaza, for reasons similar to those stated by
Pumphrey concerning Jewish usurers in Alsace. In his view, they
should be described as 'settlers', without 'bigoted and antisemitic
reference to their Jewishness'.
The opponent has no such misgivings. Alan Dershowitz calls for the
torture of Palestinians and the erasure of their villages; and he is
still a professor of law at Harvard. Another American Jewish
professor, Linda Allen of Baruch College, CUNY, New York, calls for
the transfer of Palestinians to Sinai. This situation is
unacceptable. The chivalry of our friends reminds me of the
foolhardy Polish cavalry in 1939 - they actually tried to stop Heinz
Guderian's tanks on horseback, as they felt tanks were not
honourable enough for their noble souls. As we know, Poland
capitulated within one month.
The friends of Palestine have no problem with individual Jews - they
could be good or bad, our supporters or our antagonists. But the
friends of Palestine have a problem with 'Jewry' - the organised
structure of Jewish communities. A few weeks ago, Haaretz published
a huge page-long ad signed by all prominent Rabbis of the land -
three hundred of them - calling for "Vengeance to the Evil Folk"
[Palestinians] and enforcing religious obligation "never to
surrender a single inch of the sacred land to them". It is a call to
A call for war usually is met by war. When the Germans declared war
on France (in 1939) or on Russia (1941) all Germans suffered the
consequences, though the decision was taken by a few persons in
Berlin. Now the vast majority of organised Jewish communities carry
out their war on Palestine, but our friends (ostrich-like) try to
see no evil.
The position of individual Jews is much better than that of any
other national collective. Individual Jews can opt out of the
conflict by opting out of organised Jewry. Nobody has to be a Jew -
every person calling himself 'Jew' has another identity as well. He
is an American, or an Israeli, or a Frenchman. Thus, the friends of
Palestine have to confront - not people of Jewish origin, but Jewry
consisting of people who choose their 'Jewishness' as the most
In the present war, Jewry is a belligerent party; this polity
decided to wage war on too many enemies at once. Individuals of
Jewish origin could be good or bad; but the organisation is hostile
to us. The victory over it is possible, but we have to pierce its
Stealth shield manufactured by many skilled hands in many arguments.
 Zeno's Paradox of the Arrow; A reconstruction of the argument
(following Aristotle, Physics 239b5-7 = RAGP 10):
When the arrow is in a place just its own size, it's at rest.
At every moment of its flight, the arrow is in a place just
its own size.
Therefore, at every moment of its flight, the arrow is at rest.
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