Paul Gosselin (20/2/2023)
[Blumenthal, Max (2013) Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel. Nation Books. New York, xvi- 496p.]
Cards on the Table
While Blumenthal's view of the State of Israel is clearly negative, in this book one finds no clear statement by B regarding the territorial legitimacy of the State of Israel. If Blumenthal keeps his cards out of view, I will lay mine on the table. In my view, the territorial claims of the State of Israel are just as legitimate as any other state in the region. To begin with, one should keep in mind that the borders of most present-day Middle East nations were rather arbitrarily carved up from the remains of the Ottoman Empire by European powers after WWI and were not the result of any spontaneous nationalist movements. Western powers carved up the Middle East according to their own interests. Here and there in the book Blumenthal alludes to the "Occupied Territories" (following the 1967 Six-Day War), insinuating that Israel is illegitimately holding such lands (and should hand them back). If Blumenthal seriously believes this, then as an American he should consider that all the US South-West (Texas, New Mexico, Southern California) be handed back to Mexico as it was also taken by military force from Mexico. In his own view, these too are "Occupied Territories"... Has Blumenthal ever voiced such concerns in his own country? But then again, perhaps Democrat's "Open Border" policies are in fact (hypocritically) handing these territories back to Mexico... Time will tell... Another thing to keep in mind is that following the 1979 Egypt–Israel peace treaty, in 1982 Israel ceded back to Egypt the Sinai Peninsula, territory it had won during the 1967 war. How many other modern powers in the world can make the same claim of voluntarily ceding territories won by military conquest?
What is left of the Left in 2023?
Early on in this book, Blumenthal makes very clear his loathing of the "right" (either in Israel or the US), a loathing that typically targets populist political movements. Like many other like-minded Westerners, I expect Blumenthal would not take very well to the suggestion that the political/ideological concepts of "left" and "right" are outdated, defunct, useless intellectual crutches providing at best only an illusion of a grasp of ideological realities in the 21st century.
This brings to mind a university professor I ran into in the late 1970s who was at the time a fervent Marxist, encouraging students to enlist in the battle against capitalism and join in the march to the proletarian paradise. In the 1970s political/ideological concepts of "left" and "right" had some actual content. In those days the "left" despised capitalists and had a clear political agenda. In contrast, postmoderns such as Blumenthal typically despise flesh and blood workers that provide the goods and services they consume and have much more admiration for right-thinking capitalists.
But things are messier now and the "left" is largely an empty shell, a shadow of it's former self. There is a simple reason for this. In the 19-20th centuries, in one respect Enlightenment-derived ideologies such as Nazism and Marxism were unconsciously imitating Christianity, that is openly publishing their creeds and beliefs (or agendas).
Whereas modern ideologies derived from the Enlightenment, such as Atheism/Humanism, Communism or Nazism had explicit creeds such as the Humanist Manifesto, the Communist Manifesto or Hitler's Mein Kampf, in contrast postmoderns are VERY careful NOT to lay their cards (or core beliefs) down on the table for all to examine them. In my view this is a deliberate attempt to provide their worldview with a bogus aura of "neutrality" and, more importantly, shield it from scrutiny, comparison and criticism. Furthermore, if the "left" is now an empty shell, at the other end of the ideological spectrum, politicians identified as "right wing" continue to spout their usual rhetoric, yet when in power, their actual policies and interventions are in most instances are indistinguishable from those on the "left". One would be better served by dropping "left" and "right" categories entirely and labelling all such as just slightly different flavours of postmodernism.
Because individuals such as Blumenthal have no explicit statement of core belief or creeds, they are very easily manipulated by postmodern ideological elites (authorities). Furthermore postmoderns' deep loathing of populist movements pushes them in the arms of Orwellian technocrats or Davos globalists. In Blumenthal's case, this clearly feeds into his deep repugnance of Israeli nationalism... Will such loathing of populist movements inevitably lead to despising of people's rights, undermining democracy, and resulting in more manipulative forms of neototalitarianism? Time will tell...
Even in this present life, if postmoderns hold "Everyone has their own truth" as an axiom both for individuals, States and civilisations then this leaves no obstacle to all the selfishness, manipulation, lunacy, bloodthirsty wickedness or sexual perversions of which human nature is capable. How would a postmodern dare condemn Hitler as he too had his own truth?? And this has political repercussions since a culture based on "Everyone has their own truth", in the face of the postmodern State (and/or the media elites), which claims to represent the Community, the collective, it follows that the individual has no recourse to a morality above the State. There is no authority above the State. The individual thus has no basis to criticise the State (or it's representatives) or call it to account and is therefore totally at its mercy. Politically this is no small matter as the individual finds himself completely powerless before the State. At best the postmodern can only complain that he doesn't "like" State policies. Of course State leaders can snap their fingers at such griping... If the State and ONLY the State (or Google) defines "community standards", to whom can the postmodern appeal to? There is accumulating evidence that 21st century postmodern elites consider the rights and privacy of the individual as entirely contingent, disposable concepts. The only thing that counts is the globalist utopia they are taking us to. Our opinions about the process (or final objective) is of no interest to them. Though they much prefer manipulative social terraforming techniques to keep the masses quiet and compliant, should the masses not remain quiet (and decide to actually resist such manipulative techniques), at critical junctures, they will not hesitate to use violence and perhaps load us up in cattle cars for the ride... As the Borg would say, "Resistance is futile"...
The Matter of Injustice
The many cases of Israeli/Arab interaction examined in Blumenthal's book raise a basic question: Why does Blumenthal complain of injustice in Israel? What basis does his own worldview provide for such a concern? Are such concerns in fact nothing more than a convenient weapon with which to discredit ideological adversaries? Regarding Blumenthal's worldview, like many other educated Westerners, his rather open rejection of Judaic orthodoxy is evidence he believes in the materialistic origins myth (also known as neo-Darwinism)  in which survival of the fittest is the only true moral absolute. This being the case, why should Blumenthal complain when the strong oppress the weak seeing as, over aeons of time, this is precisely how evolutionary progress goes forward? It is the guiding principle of his origins myth. If it is applied, then why complain? While most postmoderns find it convenient to ignore such matters, the American sci-fi novelist Kurt Vonnegut saw these issues clearly when he observed (1975: 238):
I'm not very grateful for Darwin, although I suspect he was right. His ideas make people crueller. Darwinism says to them that people who get sick deserve to be sick, that people who are in trouble must deserve to be in trouble. When anybody dies, cruel Darwinists imagine we're obviously improving ourselves in some way. And any man who's on top is there because he's a superior animal. That's the social Darwinism of the last century, and it continues to boom.
Another well-known leftist rather unambiguously stated: "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun". Paraphrased, that comes out to "Military might is the only true basis for morality". Would Blumenthal agree with that assessment? If not, WHY? On what grounds? At the end of the day, like many other moderns and postmoderns, Blumenthal appears to be parasiting a moral system he has rejected. While as far as I can tell Blumenthal has provided good evidence of injustices committed against the Arab population in Israel, the basic issue remains, why should he care? Does Blumenthal's worldview in fact provide any basis at all for caring about injustice? Where did he dig up his concept of "justice"? Seeing Blumenthal insists on playing the role of "moral agent" it is reasonable to demand he provide proof that he has some logical basis for doing so. And should he decline to provide such proof, then it would be legitimate to deem him an "ethical parasite"...
What about Israel?
I have no opportunity to check or verify all the claims made by Blumenthal regarding injustices committed by the Israeli government (or Israeli citizens) against Arab and other minorities in Israel. But even if only half of the claims of injustice were unambiguously true (with all the fault lying with Israelis), then this remains a matter to be addressed. This is not a matter of Anti-Zionism, but a simple matter of justice. Eventually the question must be asked: Is Israelis' treatment of its Arab-speaking minority storing up judgement against itself? The God of Israel is still a God of justice. That being said, while we see Blumenthal in this book going over Israeli ideologies and policies with a fine toothed comb, had Blumenthal applied the SAME ruthless fine toothed comb to the ideologies and policies of the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and to the nations surrounding Israel it is very unlikely the resulting picture would be as black and white as it appears in his book. Context is important. Oddly enough, there is a striking parallel between the double standards applied to Israeli policies and mainstream media's attitude to democratic regimes during the Cold War. In his book Comment les démocraties finissent the French journalist and political scientist Jean-François Revel examined the double standards applied by Western intellectuals and mainstream media to NATO bloc nations interventions during the Cold War. Revel observes (1983: 278)
I cannot repeat it often enough: my aim in this book is not to determine who is 'wrong' and who is 'right', but to expose a mechanism [or pattern of thought]. I find that the mechanism of international relations and the judgement of public opinion are set up in such a way that, in almost every situation, they inflict an initial handicap on the West that is almost impossible to overcome. When the Soviet Union took over South Yemen as a springboard for destabilising the Persian Gulf and as a training ground for international terrorists, no one demanded that it first transform Yemenis into paragons of democratic virtue. This would be a difficult task, even if it were entrusted to the holiest missionaries that the best Scandinavian socialism could dispatch. In short, without always going so far as to applaud such events, it is considered natural that the Soviet Union should defend its own interests and increase its power by installing its agents in Yemen or elsewhere by means of a series of cleverly staggered coups d'état and purges. No one asks Soviet imperialism to make the peoples that it adds to its domains happy. No one believes that they can make it back down by means of complaints or by staging "protests", and no one in the democratic camp recognises, at least openly, it's right to fight it [Soviet imperialism] by the same means that Soviet imperialism itself employs.*
Having exposed this double standard, Revel goes on to explain how this plays out in the expectations//demands made on the conduct of nations (1983: 281):
International communism exploits people's aspirations for well-being, freedom, dignity and independence to eliminate democracies, after which it feels no obligation to satisfy these aspirations, but only to ensure its own political and strategic interests. Conversely, the free world seems to have the right to consider its own political and strategic interests only after it has fulfilled all other conditions, that is achieving social justice, political democracy and economic prosperity.*
I think it should be worth noting that Israel has been subject to the same hypocritical expectations and double standard from the left and Western mainstream media, as did democratic regimes during the Cold War. A further nuance Blumenthal fails to make is to distinguish between interventions while under state of war conditions and interventions at peace (which is always somewhat relative in Israel...). Some killings of Arabs by Israelis under conditions of attack or imminent threat to Israelis do not qualify as murder, yet killings of Arabs by Israelis when there is no attack or imminent threat to Israelis do qualify as murder... On the face of it, Blumenthal does appear to have documented some such cases.
Another issue with Blumenthal's book is that while he pillories the "Israeli right" as being responsible for the apartheid regime of Arabs living in Israel, he is tellingly silent (except for a couple of paragraphs on page 352) about the responsibility of the "Israeli left" for many of the injustices committed against Arab-speaking populations in Israel as the Left held power in Israel for so many years (and played a critical role in it's founding). Perhaps Blumenthal's convenient historical amnesia is useful for avoiding thinking seriously about the fact that for many years the "Israeli left" wielded much political power in Israel and thus has necessarily contributed to the situation he describes. A further issue is that Blumenthal ignores the growing anti-Semitism of the Left, which is the same old anti-Semitism but with a cheap woke makeover, hiding behind the mask of "Anti-Zionism".
Regarding context, while it is likely that many of Blumenthal's readers may be shocked by Israel's violent interventions. Yet most such readers reside in safe Western nations, far away from the violent neighbourhood of the Middle East. One should keep in mind that this sort of complacent security is alien to Israelis everyday life. This is a nation founded by those scarred by the Final Solution. This is a nation that was attacked by all surrounding nations on the same day it declared independence. This is their history, their identity. No one should be surprised that Israelis are obsessed about their safety and defence capabilities. How could anyone survive such circumstances without becoming somewhat paranoid? This is the human condition.
Regarding relations between Jews and the Arab population in Israel, as Blumenthal points out, demographics is an important factor that feeds into this issue. The largely Ashkenazy Israeli population presently in power in Israel has a very low birth-rate relative to that of the Arab-speaking population. This results in the understandable fear of becoming a minority in their own country. As a Quebecer, I wonder if Israel will end up a "nation avortée" like Québec, the French-Canadian province of Canada? As some of my readers may know little about Canadian politics, here is a short primer. In the 1970's when I was growing up, the once deeply religious Quebec had largely rejected Catholicism, had gotten the priests and bishops out of the health and education systems they'd previously run and largely replaced Catholicism with the new (secular) religion of nationalism. Many Quebecers became fervent believers that an independent Quebec would bring down heaven on Earth. But despite the separatist Parti Québécois coming to power in 1976 and two referendums putting the point to the people, an independent Quebec never happened. The opportunity of independence was on the table. Yet in their guts, Quebecers weren't convinced such a political utopia would actually improve their lives.
So what about this "nation avortée" expression? If in the past Quebec had a booming birth-rate with families of 8-10 children being common in the 19th and early 20th centuries, after WWII the birth-rate in Quebec plummeted. The takeover during the 1960s (Révolution Tranquille) of public education in Quebec by Enlightenment devotees who despised the family institution as well as political and judicial elites establishing no-fault divorce laws, abortion on demand after 1967 and legalizing "gay marriage" have all contributed to this state of affaires. Since then, facing a declining birth-rate the Quebec provincial government has relied on legal measures (language laws) and francophone immigration to shore up the francophone factor in the population. But these measures are more of a mirage than an actual solution as a large percentage of immigrants inevitably come from non-francophone cultures and have no deep-rooted commitment to the Quebecois francophone identity. It is simply irrational to expect such immigrants to be inclined to fight for Quebecois culture and identity. Regarding demographics, Israel seems to be in the same boat as Québec after having bought into the same Enlightenment ideologico-religious system that despises the family institution. Both Quebecers and Israelis need to become aware that buying into the Enlightenment belief system has in fact set in place the process of "assisted suicide" of their nationhood... Will Israel become an aborted nation like Québec?
Israel and Jewish Identity
One critical element in the situation in Israeli appears to be a genetic or racial understanding of Jewish identity. On page 346 Blumenthal notes that African asylum seekers appealed to the Israeli prime minister to convert to Judaism and thus gain rights as full citizens (and avoid deportation). But Blumenthal observes that all such appeals were rejected. Such behaviour raises the question: Who is a Jew? During the Nazi era, many European Jews were secular and strongly identified with (secular) European culture. But then they were astonished to find the Gestapo knocking on their door and ordering their evacuation to Auschwitz only because they had one Jewish ancestor. Have present-day Israelis been marked by this racial view of Jewishness? There is more of course to this, as laws in the Torah forbidding marriage with Goy have also played a part in the clannish/racial understanding of Jewish identity. Yet without this piece of the puzzle, it is unlikely Jews would have survived as a distinct people over millennia and that Israel should exist today. It is somewhat of a miracle from whichever angle you look at it... But there are more pieces of the puzzle to look at...
As Blumenthal points out on page 351, the founders of Israel were deeply influenced by Enlightenment thinking. Blumenthal notes that this fed what he calls an imperialistic impulse in early Zionist thinking, which led it to despise the Arab speaking populations of the Ottoman province that would later become Israel. But what Blumenthal fails to note is that Enlightenment thinking feeds an elitist trend, seeing as it is rooted in concept of "Progress", derived from the materialistic origins myth. Thus once the materialistic origins myth is accepted, then it is natural to categorize peoples/cultures according to their achievements on the evolutionary ladder of "Progress". Early Zionists were only applying their worldview to regional politics... While Blumenthal complains about the result of such thinking, his own worldview has the same basis. If you really believe in the materialistic origins myth then it is cruel (but logical) to apply "Survival of the Fittest" to real-world politics..
Back to the Tanakh
One should expect that the suggestion that the Tanakh (or what Christians call the Old Testament) be considered a moral template for managing relations within a 21st century nation would very likely be viewed by modern or postmodern readers as unimaginable heresy. Most secular Jews would strongly reject such a suggestion as well. Not all Jews revere the God of the Israel. Over the course of their history there have always been Jews who rejected their own spiritual heritage and gravitated to a wide variety of pagan worldviews. In ancient times the major pole of attraction was the polytheistic worldview of the surrounding nations. Later on, prestigious Greek philosophy became an attraction for many Jews. During the Middle Ages, various forms of Gnosticism and mysticism (such as the Cabbala) became a strong draw. In more recently centuries, the Enlightenment (a new materialistic form of Gnosticism) became a strong attraction. Among the many Jews drawn to this more recent ideological current we find Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, the Communist activist Rosa Luxemburg, the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein and the linguist and political commentator, Noam Chomsky. In his Two Hundred Years Together, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn chronicled 19th century Russian Jews subjugation to the Enlightenment, which later led to many Jews becoming involved in Bolshevism. Of course, Blumenthal himself is part of this latter current.
Again, the suggestion the Tanakh be considered as a moral template for managing relations within a nation would be violently rejected by postmoderns. Postmoderns are likely to claim that the conquest of Israel in the book of Joshua is evidence that the Tanakh as a moral template would inevitably lead to genocide (seeing that book of Genesis [15: 13-16] claims these nations were under judgement and ripe for extermination). This claim is of course linked to a deep postmodern hatred of the concept of judgement, which is often indignantly expressed: "Who are you to judge ME??!!" Postmoderns have a strong gut-level intolerance for the idea that individuals or nations will one day have to account to SomeOne regarding their political or economic behaviour, beliefs or sex lives. The God of the Tanakh is clearly interested in all such matters. In any case, the claim that the Tanakh, as a moral template, would inevitably lead to genocide should be tempered by the fact that over the course of thousands of years of their history Jews have been much more often the targets of genocidal programmes than the instruments of such programmes...
One example often trotted out regarding the "heartless" God of the Tanakh, is the imprecatory "By the Rivers of Babylon" Psalm, which ends saying
O daughter of Babylon, that art to be destroyed, Happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the rock. (Psalm 137: 8-9)
Infants crushed on a rock? On the face of it this appears to be the cold-hearted ravings of a sadistic psychopath. How could this find it's way into Jewish Holy Scripture? But such a perspective neglects to take into account a binding legal principle established by the Law of Moses, that is the Eye for an Eye Principle (Deut. 19: 8-21), which demands that the offender pay back (via punishment) the same (or equivalent) as he committed to the offended. Once this is taken into consideration, this then leads to the conclusion that the writer of Psalm 137 was only demanding justice be done and that Babylonians should suffer the same injury as they had inflicted on Jewish deportees. Which would lead to the conclusion that the writer of Psalm 137 had, with his own eyes, seen Jewish children dashed on rocks by their rampaging Babylonian conquerors... Ancient wars were NOT waged within the protocols of the Geneva Convention...
In present day postmodern West, though the eye for an eye principle is despised as a "medieval justice formula", this principle in fact strikes a balance between preserving justice for the offended party (by demanding the offender pay back their offense) AND protecting the offender from being targeted by the offended party striking back in vengeance and doubling or tripling the measure of retribution. In the Postmodern West of course, in many instances the legal system is largely perverted in favour of the offender. Often, while the wheels of the legal system spin as usual, justice is not served and only the offender is protected, (except of course in cases where those wielding power in the State were the offended party...).
Taking into consideration millennia of Jewish history, one should not be surprised that Jews strongly identify themselves as an oppressed people. As a result, Israelis may be strongly tempted to play the "victim" card in any context, which, when serious questions are asked, leads to loud cries along the lines: "We are VICTIMS! You have no right to criticise us!" Yet must historical facts of Jewish suffering and oppression lead to Israeli's blanket denial of offense and of responsibility in their present-day treatment of minorities within Israel?? Can claiming "victim" status be the answer to ALL accusations of Israeli injustice? Perhaps the ancient words of Moses need to be heard again in Israel.
For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward: He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. (Deut. 10: 17-19 - KJV)
The same concern was raised by the prophet Ezekiel who stated: "Behold, the princes of Israel, every one were in thee to their power to shed blood. In thee have they set light by father and mother: in the midst of thee have they dealt by oppression with the stranger: in thee have they vexed the fatherless and the widow." Of course the term "sojourner" is more often translated "stranger" or "foreigner"... (Ez. 22: 6-7 - KJV). The prophet Jeremiah also raised the same issue with Israelis of his time.
The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Stand in the gate of the LORD'S house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these. For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour; If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt: Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever. Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD.
(Jeremiah 7 : 1-11)
Were Jeremiah to come back and speak to present-day Israelis, would his call to repentance be ignored? Would he respond in the following fashion?
O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith Jehovah. Behold, as the clay in the potter's hand, so are ye in my hand, O house of Israel. At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up and to break down and to destroy it; if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; if they do that which is evil in my sight, that they obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them. Now therefore, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith Jehovah: Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and amend your ways and your doings. But they say, It is in vain; for we will walk after our own devices, and we will do every one after the stubbornness of his evil heart.
(Jeremiah 18: 6-12)
The thing is, in their dealings with minorities in their midst Israelis may find rather tempting to claim "victim status" as this is a very profitable move politically and economically. In postmodern times, this is how it works. On the one hand victims are considered to be owed reparations by the (vaguely defined) heirs of their oppressors and on the other hand, victims have the privilege of never needing to recognize their own guilt or repent of their own crimes/sins. Victims are never held accountable for THEIR actions. In fact, it is the others who MUST repent and make reparations to the oppressors... Reparations have become big business. And entrenching the victim identity and subsequently exploiting the benefits derived from this status unavoidably builds up resentment, which will at one point express itself... And then there is a further small matter. Who gets to establish victim status? The thought occurs that such a status-affixing mechanism could be used for ideological purposes...
In the Tanakh, there is ample evidence of acceptance of non-Jews to full citizenship in Israel: Rahab the prostitute from pagan Jericho (Joshua 2: 1-21 & 6: 25), Ruth the Moabite, who figures in the royal line of the House of David (see book of Ruth 4: 13-22). Obed-Edom of Gath in whose house the Ark resided (2Sam 6: 11) and whose sons became guards and administrators at the Temple (1Chron. 26: 8). Yet Gath was the same pagan city from which haled David's archenemy, the Philistine Goliath... In the case of Ruth, there is clear evidence that even before immigrating to Israel, Ruth had converted to Judaism (Ruth 1: 12-18). The Tanakh does not provide such clear evidence for the other individuals discussed here. In any case, the prophet Isaiah clearly indicates that goy converting to the God of Israel are accepted and blessed (and should not be denied rights).
Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that holdeth it fast; that keepeth the sabbath from profaning it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil. Neither let the foreigner, that hath joined himself to Jehovah, speak, saying, Jehovah will surely separate me from his people; neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. For thus saith Jehovah of the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and hold fast my covenant: Unto them will I give in my house and within my walls a memorial and a name better than of sons and of daughters; I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. Also the foreigners that join themselves to Jehovah, to minister unto him, and to love the name of Jehovah, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from profaning it, and holdeth fast my covenant;
(Isaiah 56: 2-6)
Further reading of the Tanakh's historical books indicates that one of David's elite soldiers, Ittai the Gittite, (2Sa 15:19) also haled from this pagan city. The same chapter notes that 600 Gittites came from Gath into Israel with David (2Sam 15:18-19). Perhaps face-to-face experience gained during David's exile among the Philistines (when he was fleeing King Saul's assassination attempts – 1Samuel 27: 2-6) later led to such favours accorded these Goy. Furthermore, in 2Samuel 24, we find the story of a judgement plague in Israel and King David's dealings with the goy, Araunah the Jebusite. David wants to buy a field from Araunah to build an altar and put and end to the plague raging in Israel. When advised of David's intent, Araunah agrees this is a good idea and offers the land free, but David refuses this offer and pays the full price for the field. It is clear that in Israel's Golden Era, non-Jews were not deprived of property or rights or treated as second-class citizens.
During the life of Moses' successor Joshua, a political mutual-defence pact with the Gibeonites (Joshua chs. 9-10), though enacted under deception, had to be respected and commitments of mutual support fulfilled despite the Gibeonites being clearly goy.
Wherewith shall I come before Jehovah, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt-offerings, with calves a year old? will Jehovah be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth Jehovah require of thee, but to do justly, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Michah 6: 6-8)
Will the day ever come when the sons of Abraham learn to live in peace? How long must they tear each other apart? How much blood must yet be spilt before that day of peace comes? Perhaps this day will resemble that which the prophet saw.
For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. (Isaiah 62: 1-3)
Perhaps these comments made over a hundred years ago (attributed to Max Nordau) provide a fair description of secular Jews such as Blumenthal and the phenomenon now known as “Jewish self-hatred”.
The “emancipated Jew in Western Europe,” ... “has abandoned his specifically Jewish character, yet the nations do not accept him as part of their national communities. He flees from his Jewish fellows, because anti-Semitism has taught him, too, to be contemptuous of them, but his Gentile compatriots repulse him as he attempts to associate with them. He has lost his home in the ghetto, yet the land of his birth is denied to him as his home.”
* translated by the author
Gosselin, Paul (2021) The Theory of Evolution and 20th century Totalitarian Regimes... (Samizdat – May 2021)
Gosselin, Paul (2012) Flight From the Absolute: Cynical Observations on the Postmodern West. Volume I. Samizdat Québec ix - 412 p.
Gosselin, Paul and Paul Baird (2010) Moral Absolutes: An Exchange. (Samizdat) -> This exchange begins with a quote from the Marquis de Sade...
Gosselin, Paul (2002) Le plaisir douteux de taper sur Israël: Ou la métamorphose hypocrite de l'antisémitisme en Occident postmoderne. (Samizdat – mai 2002)
Huxley, Aldous (1958/2007) Brave New World Revisited. Vintage Canada xvi - 407 p.
Peters, Joan (1984/2001) From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict over Palestine. JKAP Publications 622 p.
Provine, William B. (1990) Reply to: Evolution as Dogma: The Establishment of Naturalism. First Things, no. 6 October
Revel, Jean-François(1983) Comment les démocraties finissent. Grasset Paris - 332 p.
Rosen, Michael (2023) How European Jews Went From Touting Assimilation to Embracing Zionism. (The Federalist – 25/1/2023)
Solzhenitsyn, Alexandr I. (1974) The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation. Volume II. Harper & Row New York 712 p.
Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr (1983) "Godlessness: the First Step to the Gulag". Templeton Prize Lecture, 10 May 1983 (London)
Steiner, George (2001) Grammars of Creation. Faber & Faber New Haven & London 344 p.
Vonnegut, Kurt Jr. (1975) Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons. Dell Publishing Co. Inc, New York 238 p.
Thanks to Nicholas Petersen for his observations and comments.
Thus said Jehovah: Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word, and say, Hear the word of Jehovah, O king of Judah, that sittest upon the throne of David, thou, and thy servants, and thy people that enter in by these gates. Thus saith Jehovah: Execute ye justice and righteousness, and deliver him that is robbed out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence, to the sojourner [foreigner], the fatherless, nor the widow; neither shed innocent blood in this place. For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people. But if ye will not hear these words, I swear by myself, saith Jehovah, that this house shall become a desolation.
(Jeremiah 22 : 1-5)
Woe to them that devise iniquity and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand. And they covet fields, and seize them; and houses, and take them away: and they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage. Therefore thus saith Jehovah: Behold, against this family do I devise an evil, from which ye shall not remove your necks, neither shall ye walk haughtily; for it is an evil time. In that day shall they take up a parable against you, and lament with a doleful lamentation, and say, We are utterly ruined: he changeth the portion of my people: how doth he remove it from me! to the rebellious he divideth our fields. Therefore thou shalt have none that shall cast the line by lot in the assembly of Jehovah. Prophesy ye not, thus they prophesy. They shall not prophesy to these: reproaches shall not depart. Shall it be said, O house of Jacob, Is the Spirit of Jehovah straitened? are these his doings? Do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly?
(Micah 2: 1-7)
Woe to her that is rebellious and polluted! to the oppressing city! She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in Jehovah; she drew not near to her God. Her princes in the midst of her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they leave nothing till the morrow. Her prophets are light and treacherous persons; her priests have profaned the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law. Jehovah in the midst of her is righteous; he will not do iniquity; every morning doth he bring his justice to light, he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame. I have cut off nations; their battlements are desolate; I have made their streets waste, so that none passeth by; their cities are destroyed, so that there is no man, so that there is no inhabitant. I said, Only fear thou me; receive correction; so her dwelling shall not be cut off, according to all that I have appointed concerning her: but they rose early and corrupted all their doings. Therefore wait ye for me, saith Jehovah, until the day that I rise up to the prey; for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger; for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. For then will I turn to the peoples of a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of Jehovah, to serve him with one consent. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering. In that day shalt thou not be put to shame for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me; for then I will take away out of the midst of thee thy proudly exulting ones, and thou shalt no more be haughty in my holy mountain. But I will leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall take refuge in the name of Jehovah. The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth; for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid. Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. Jehovah hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the King of Israel, even Jehovah, is in the midst of thee; thou shalt not fear evil any more. In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not; O Zion, let not thy hands be slack. Jehovah thy God is in the midst of thee, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love; he will joy over thee with singing. I will gather them that sorrow for the solemn assembly, who were of thee; to whom the burden upon her was a reproach. Behold, at that time I will deal with all them that afflict thee; and I will save that which is lame, and gather that which was driven away; and I will make them a praise and a name, whose shame hath been in all the earth. At that time will I bring you in, and at that time will I gather you; for I will make you a name and a praise among all the peoples of the earth, when I bring back your captivity before your eyes, saith Jehovah.
And the word of Jehovah came unto Zechariah, saying, Thus hath Jehovah of hosts spoken, saying, Execute true judgment, and show kindness and compassion every man to his brother; and oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the sojourner [foreigner], nor the poor; and let none of you devise evil against his brother in your heart. But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they might not hear. Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which Jehovah of hosts had sent by his Spirit by the former prophets: therefore there came great wrath from Jehovah of hosts. And it is come to pass that, as he cried, and they would not hear, so they shall cry, and I will not hear, said Jehovah of hosts; but I will scatter them with a whirlwind among all the nations which they have not known. Thus the land was desolate after them, so that no man passed through nor returned: for they laid the pleasant land desolate.
(Zacaharia 7 : 8-14)
Foreigners given full civil status in Israel
Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil. Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. The Lord GOD which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.
(Isaiah 56: 1-8)
A case of Jews oppressing Jews just before the Babylonian Deportation
The word that came unto Jeremiah from Jehovah, after that the king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people that were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty unto them; that every man should let his man-servant, and every man his maid-servant, that is a Hebrew or a Hebrewess, go free; that none should make bondmen of them, to wit, of a Jew his brother. And all the princes and all the people obeyed, that had entered into the covenant, that every one should let his man-servant, and every one his maid-servant, go free, that none should make bondmen of them any more; they obeyed, and let them go: but afterwards they turned, and caused the servants and the handmaids, whom they had let go free, to return, and brought them into subjection for servants and for handmaids. Therefore the word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, saying, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel: I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, saying, At the end of seven years ye shall let go every man his brother that is a Hebrew, that hath been sold unto thee, and hath served thee six years, thou shalt let him go free from thee: but your fathers hearkened not unto me, neither inclined their ear. And ye were now turned, and had done that which is right in mine eyes, in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbor; and ye had made a covenant before me in the house which is called by my name: but ye turned and profaned my name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom ye had let go free at their pleasure, to return; and ye brought them into subjection, to be unto you for servants and for handmaids. Therefore thus saith Jehovah: ye have not hearkened unto me, to proclaim liberty, every man to his brother, and every man to his neighbor: behold, I proclaim unto you a liberty, saith Jehovah, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be tossed to and fro among all the kingdoms of the earth. And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, that have not performed the words of the covenant which they made before me, when they cut the calf in twain and passed between the parts thereof; the princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land, that passed between the parts of the calf; I will even give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life; and their dead bodies shall be for food unto the birds of the heavens, and to the beasts of the earth.
(Jeremiah 34: 8-20)
A prophet judges Israeli rulers oppressing non-Jews
Behold, the princes of Israel, every one were in thee to their power to shed blood. In thee have they set light by father and mother: in the midst of thee have they dealt by oppression with the stranger: in thee have they vexed the fatherless and the widow. (Ezechiel 22: 6-7 KJV)
 - Joan Peters provides another piece of the puzzle (ignored by Blumenthal) as he examines the repercussions of 19th century Jewish settlements in the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem, later to be called Israel (1984/2001: 201):
Quickly the opportunities for the Arab migrants and immigrants had become evident to three critical Arab groups: 1) the masses of traditionally "landless" impoverished wanderers who are endemic to the Middle East - in Sir John Hope Simpson's words, "He goes to any spot where he thinks he can find work"; 2) the former landed Arab peasants, who had been rendered landless, sucked dry by Arab moneylenders, absentee landlords, effendis (notables) or feudal-lord families, and Turkish taxes· 3) the effendis, who were selling land to the Jews at astronomical profits and at the same time "losing the sweets of office" "- their viselike hold over the wages of the Arab migrant-peasants who made them rich. It is this last group, a disproportionately powerful few families, which would, on the one hand, encourage the Jew's purchase of land, and, on the other hand, incite racist violence against the Jewish presence. While the effendi Arabs coveted the profits, they sought to prevent Jews from offering the advantages that would set free Arab laborers throughout the neighboring areas, who flooded into Jewish-settled areas as they learned of the better wages and unparalleled opportunities there.
 - To whom??
 - Oddly enough, a number of years after the fall of the Iron Curtain, I bumped into the same professor and by that point he was into the occult and astral voyages and such and promoting the same in his classes... I would expect that encountering REAL supernatural phenomena could explain such a radical conversion...
 - Version I, was originally published in 1933 and made the strategic error of alluding to developing a new humanist "religion"... Later versions corrected this lapsus.
 - Chapter 3 (The Phantom Creed) of my Flight From the Absolute vol. 1 identifies and lists core postmodern beliefs (basically providing a "Shorter Postmodern Catechism").
 - Canada's Justin Trudeau is a perfect example. Shortly after coming into power in a December 2015 interview with the New York Times he declared Canada a postnational state... Adding "There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada". Since this implies that because Canada has "no voice" (and no national character or culture), then this is an indication that Davos puppets such as Trudeau, feel it is their right to TOTALLY disregard what Canadians want or express and either manipulate or coerce the populations into the cattle trains they have prepared. But once one determines to ignore Davos Newspeak and look at what they do (actual policies affecting citizens), Davos puppets' are in fact neototalitarian, with no regard for citizen's rights. Clear evidence of postmoderns contempt for the people is that they do not tolerate ANY nationalist or grassroots movements, which they express (with mainstream media's help) in their absolute contempt for Make America Great Again slogans in the US, the Brexit movement in the UK, populist Yellow Vest protests in France, Trudeau's shameless disregard for the rights Canadian truckers (and citizens) to free assembly and expression and more recently attacks by EU technocrats targeting Italian nationalists... One trick to discredit such movements is to automatically label them "extreme right", which is basically a meaningless expression except for the fact that those using it express their desire to discredit and shut down the voice of the people. This is the hypocritical face of the postmodern Inquisition. Postmoderns, for all their talk about "tolerance" and "inclusion", are intrinsically elitist and intolerant, despising the people's voice.
 - Oddly enough, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the Russian novelist, Nobel Prize winner and Gulag survivor, as he reflected over the years on the horrors and millions of deaths produced by over 60 years of communism in Russia, in his Templeton address he made a revealing comment regarding the WHY? question (1983):
More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened. Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.
 - Think so-called Community Standards which are typically NOT produced/enforced by the community...
 - The thought occurred to Arduous Huxley, brother of the globalist Julian Huxley, co-founder of the United Nations organisation. Many years ago Arduous made this cynical (and prophetic) comment exposing how much the modern or postmodern elites despise the rights of the masses (1958/2007: 393-394):
Under the relentless thrust of accelerating overpopulation and increasing overorganization, and by means of ever more effective methods of mind-manipulation, the democracies will change their nature; the quaint old forms — elections, parliaments, Supreme Courts and all the rest — will remain. The underlying substance will be a new kind of non-violent totalitarianism. All the traditional names, all the hallowed slogans will remain exactly what they were in the good old days. Democracy and freedom will be the theme of every broadcast and editorial — but democracy and freedom in a strictly Pickwickian sense. Meanwhile the ruling oligarchy and its highly trained elite of soldiers, policemen, thought-manufacturers and mind-manipulators will quietly run the show as they see fit."
 - Such as Justin Trudeau's intention of forcing electric cars on Canadians, the massive and criminal violations of informed consent by Covid vaccine mandates and green taxes.
Trudeau wants 60% of new cars to be electric by 2030. That's both stupid and dangerous: Every Canadian driver – including Trudeau – knows why his proposed car regulations can't work. (Jeremy Williamson - LifeSite - 12/1/2023)
 - The detailed argument for this provocative allusion appears in:
Gosselin, Paul, (2009/2013) Flight From the Absolute: Cynical Observations on the Postmodern West. Volume II. xiii - 566 pages
 - This phrase was originally used by Mao Zedong during an emergency meeting of the Chinese Communist Party on 7 August 1927.
 - Most of which seem to fall into three categories, 1) property theft by the Israeli State, 2) unjustified killings by Israeli soldiers or citizens and 3) violations of rights and public harassment.
 - While all worldviews and belief systems have to deal with the human condition, they do not always work out the same way and are not equivalent in all matters. They differ wildly regarding their starting point, that is in what they consider Truth and from that point on, differ on many other matters as a result. Which brings us to the Enlightenment worldview (and ALL it's modern and postmodern derivatives) which, contrary to Judaism or Christianity, does not have a concept of self-examination or repentance. As a result, guilt is ALWAYS directed AWAY from one's self... Though it's not clear he connected all the dots as we are doing here, this does seem to be an issue Alexandr Solzhenitsyn ran into in the course of his internment in the Gulag, as he exchanged with devout communists (loyalists) who also happened to find themselves imprisoned there yet could NOT give any thought to the contradictions or failings of the communist ideology (Solzhenitsyn 1974: 336):
"What does the loyalist's lofty truth consist of? Simply that they do not want to renounce a single one of their former values or accept a single new one. Let life gush over them, surge over them, and even roll over them with wheels - still they won't let it into their heads! They won't accept it, as though it weren't happening at all! This reluctance to change anything inside their own brains, this simple inability to make a critical assessment of their life's experience, is what they pride themselves on! Prison must not influence their world outlook! Camp must not influence it! What they stood upon before, they will continue to stand by now! We... are Marxists! We... are materialists! How can we possibly change because we landed in prison by sheer chance? (How can our consciousness change if existence changes, if it manifests new aspects of itself? Not for anything! Even if that existence falls through the floor and disappears, it won't determine our consciousness! For, after all, we are materialists!....)"
 - An issue I've covered in a French 2002 article, see bibliography below. See also:
Tim Black (2021) David Baddiel vs. woke anti-Semitism Jews Don't Count exposes the progressive left's Jewish problem. (Spiked 8/2/2021)
Franklin, professeur (2014) Les socialistes sont coupables de l'antisémitisme musulman en France. (Riposte Laique no. 385 décembre 2014)
Tobin, Jonathan S. (2013) Illustrating the Link Between Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism. (Commentary 2013)
 - Yet Americans living in Seattle, Detroit or towns along the US/Mexico border may be gaining insight about living in such stressful, violent neighbourhoods...
 - Though perhaps Americans living in Detroit or Seattle or in US towns along the Mexico border are perhaps becoming aware of such concerns...
 - Or aborted nation...
 - And out of politics...
 - The racial concept of Jewish identity gets some attention from Blumenthal in chapter 10. That said, in the Tanakh, there is no concept of race. This is an Enlightenment concept. The Tanakh has concepts of families, clans and nations. It has no concept of human groups with genetically identifiable traits such as skin colour. Based on Genesis, we are all FAMILY, though of course since the Fall (and as history teaches) a VERY dysfunctional family.
 - Another European Jew, the literary critic George Steiner, also (somewhat hesitatingly) expressed criticisms of the repercussions of the Enlightenment and hinted at its contribution to the Holocaust. In his book Grammars of Creation (2001: 12-13), he observed that, as far as Enlightenment dominated Europe and Russia were concerned, the twentieth century was not heaven on earth, but rather hell. Steiner notes that between August 1914 and the Balkan wars in the 1990s, more than 70 million people died. While the First World War introduced the West to mechanized massacres, the Second revealed industrial-scale exterminations and the following generation experienced the terror of potential nuclear incineration. Steiner notes that there is a mystery surrounding the disintegration of humaneness in this century. This disintegration is not the result of invasions by barbarian hordes or some external threat. Nazism, Fascism and Stalinism all emerged from higher spheres of Western cultural and intellectual life. Steiner points out that in the case of the Nazi Final Solution, there is a singularity, not in terms of scale, as Stalinism killed more, but in terms of motivation. The Nazis declared Jews a class of people, including even women and children, whose sole crime was that of existing.
 - While postmoderns rush to self-righteously condemn such an outlandish idea, they should unflinchingly keep in mind that the only real moral template their own worldview can offer is Survival of the Fittest... The American biologist William Provine, rather succinctly made the point some years ago (1990: 23):
Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear - and these are basically Darwin's views. There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That's the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either. What an unintelligible idea.
Postmodern political leaders such as Justin Trudeau (an avowed admirer of Communist China) who enact policies based on such ethics, have no qualms at all in authorising State theft of private property (bank account seizures during the 2022 Trucker Protests in Ottawa) as well as denying citizens basic rights (seeing as these rights were originally based on the imago dei concept, that is that ALL humans are created by God, bearing the image of God, thus worth of respect). One should NOT be surprised that other postmodern political leaders (and Davos pawns) follow the same path.
 - Comments by Blumenthal on page 299 clearly indicate his aversion to rabbinic influence on life in Israel.
 - Which included human sacrifice, typically children.
 - Herod the Great (1st century BC King of Israel), as a subject of the Roman Empire, was drawn in this direction. Perhaps the works by Flavius Josephus (first century Jewish historian) were published to counter this trend.
 - One might add the founder of Zionism, Theodor Herzl, as Blumenthal alludes (p. 298) that Herzl eschewed religious teaching in his New Zion.
 - I've read the French translation. No English translation yet exists.
 - Bible verses quoted from the American Standard Version.
 - Some modern translations use the vaguer term "sojourner".
 - In French Bibles, this individual's name is translated "Ittaï de Gath" or Ittai of Gath.
 - Some of whom may have converted to the God of Israel.
 - I've not found a published English translation of this speach by Max Nordau which was originally given in German at the First Zionist Congress in 1897 (Basel, Switzerland). I assume this excerpt has been faithfully translated.