Israel at 65: Welcome to the Neighborhood (Map)


Israel (in red) is welcomed into the Muslim Middle East in 2013


Zionism: The theory that because murderous Nazis hated Jews in the 1930s and 1940s, all Jews should now crowd into a narrow strip of land between the Mediterranean and 400 million angry Muslims.

Posted in Israel | 56 Responses | Print |

56 Responses

    • You are absolutely correct John. The Zionist movement has begun 10 years even before Hitler was born. Anti-Semitism, pogroms, persecutions, prejudice in eastern and Western Europe are all the reason why Zionism was established. What the holocaust had thought was that no nation will help us the Jews, even in the middle of the 20th century, when the worst genocide in history takes place.

      The only logical and JUST solution was to RE-ESTABLISH our national home land and granting us the right to protect and govern ourselves. If the Jews are not allowed to return to their homeland after 2000 years of yearning, what other nations will have the right?

      This is the new face of anti-Semitism – preventing the Jews the right to return to their home.

      • Homeland ? 2000 years ? Let’s see, what was my ‘homeland’ 2000 years ago ? Oh yeah, I wasn’t alive 2000 years ago, and neither were my father and mother.

      • Anti-Semitism, pogroms, persecutions, prejudice in eastern and Western Europe are all the reason why Zionism was established.

        So let’s go to Southwest Asia, because that will solve everything.

        The only logical and JUST solution was to RE-ESTABLISH our national home land and granting us the right to protect and govern ourselves.

        I can understand someone coming to this conclusion in the 1940s, but to still believe it in 2013 is delusional. How many Jews were killed by rocket fire in New York over the past decade? How many suicide bombers walked into pizza places in Los Angeles during the 1990s?

  1. Lessee now: The guessing is that Israel, not a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and not subject to IAEA inspections, has maybe got about 400 nuclear weapons. And there are 400 million “angry Muslims” that the Israeli national leadership seems intent on baiting and tweaking and occasionally assassinating and stuff. Makes you wonder what the targeting maps for those warheads look like, doesn’t it? Pollard showed them ours — I wonder if “we” have been able to penetrate Israeli institutions far enough to see what their strategists have in mind… (Some “old news,” circa 1996: link to . There’s more recent stuff, of course…)

  2. I don’t think it was that Jews were “hated” in the 1940s, that put the energy behind Zionism, so much as that they were nearly exterminated.

    • You seem to have missed the word ‘murderous.’ And, you haven’t dealt with whether the proposed solution is plausible.

        • If you look back through the archives you’ll find lots of humor and satire. Not competing with anyone; am many things, including a humorist in my own right.

  3. Religious fanaticism, catch the wave. (Same old) Choice of a new generation?

    Sadly, our country has also been at risk. Not long ago, I was in Leavenworth, KS (on the outside lol) and saw an ad that took my breath away – it was for Christians for guns. Posted on the window of a trendy-looking cafe near the center of town.

  4. Juan you need to read up a bit more on the history of Zionism to avoid short-sighted caricature and be taken seriously. Zionism as a “theory” was born 40 years before the Nazis as a response to European anti-semitism in general and the Dreyfus affair in particular. Besides without being Zionists, I wouldn’t be too comfortable in this neighborhood if I were a Copt in Egypt, a Kurd in Syria or Turkey, a Catholic in Irak, a Sunni in Iran or a Shite in Pakistan. Are the so-called 400 million angry Arabs angry just about Israel?

    • You guys can’t be unserious even for a second can you? As for Zionism, no one took it seriously till the rise of the Nazis and they are they main justification you now get from Zionists. But you are rather missing the point of the satire, which is the implausibility of the whole thing.

  5. Professor, Zionism is the national movement of the Jewish people, and as such began at the end of the 19th century. Jews should be crowded in the narrow strip that is called Palestine because it is the land of the Jews, the land of Israel. Jews always sat in Palestine, even before that land been called “Palestine” by the Roman occupier. The Arabs are the new occupier of that land. The first time they have occupied Palestine was in the 7th century. Since then Arabs and Muslims occupied the land several time. The last time Arab occupied Palestine was the Jordanian occupation in the West Bank of Palestine, later to be called “The West Bank”.

    The 400 million angry Muslims, called Arabs, have already their own 22 state which are bleeding blood for the last half century because of battles among themselves and inside state’s wars!

    • So Palestinians displaced from their equally, or probably more ancient homeland don’t count? There WERE people hanging around in that area long before the Jews. In fact I thought Jesus was a Palestinian. Or is the argument that the Jews were the most original of all people and probably were darker in hue, emanating from Africa? Or vice versa? If you follow the Bible it’s hard not to observe that the Jews were the “chosen people” not because they got everything right, but that they were always going off the rails and getting everything wrong thus needing continual guidance from the almighty. In this time of ever mightier explosive toys, it appears we are primed for another teaching moment from the one who rightly cannot be named. The big question is probably whether HE, or maybe SHE, or HE-SHE has watched the goings on decided that this time around there’s going to be no help from above.

      What Juan has illustrated is that online comedy of any sort is often a parlous, as somehow differentiated from perilous, endeavor. And though it is nowhere recorded or even inkled, I have great difficulty believing Jesus, Abraham, and the historical host of other Jewish luminaries did not have a sense of humor.

    • Professor, Zionism is the national movement of the Jewish people, and as such began at the end of the 19th century. Jews should be crowded in the narrow strip that is called Palestine because it is the land of the Jews, the land of Israel. Jews always sat in Palestine, even before that land been called “Palestine” by the Roman occupier.

      Surely that exterminates the Jewish claim to Palestine and makes it Italian then, by right of conquest? Come to think of it, wasn’t the Israelite claim extinguished when they were conquered by Babylon, six centuries before Christ was born?

      If you disagree with this idea, then you’ll have to address the fact that the Jewish claim is based on the books of Joshua, Judges, 1st & 2nd Samuel, 1st & 2nd King, detailing the Hebrew ex-slaves taking Canaan by conquest and establishing Israel.

  6. Satire?

    In discussing the origins of Israel with supporters I seem to get two narratives:

    One is; “Israel exists because of the Holocaust. Jews must have an exclusively Jewish state where Jews can protect themselves”.

    The other is; “Israel has a historic right to exist. It did exist, millennia ago, so therefore it has a right to exist today.”

    These two seem incompatible; if one is the “reason” then the other is irrelevant. When I press an Israeli supporter on their logic they often flip from one to the other. Each one has so many holes that after a few questions their logic collapses. It is like trying to nail down Jello!

    Satire? Perhaps, but with a large dose of the truth.

    • Why Jews have no right to create their national state on their historical land? As I previously wrote Jews always sat at their land as native people, even in the last 2000 years. So MyComment, your two narratives are irrelevant.

      • Most Jews had probably converted to Christianity by 400 AD or so, and many of those later converted to Islam. That is, for most of the past 2000 years there were hardly any Jews in the sense of followers of the Judaic religion in Palestine. As for people of Jewish/Canaanite biological heritage, most people now alive probably have some, and more Palestinians do than do Ashkenazi Jews.

        • “…..most of the past 2000 years there weere hardly any Jews in the sense of followers of the Judaic religion in Palestine.”

          There have been at least some Jews in Palestine at any given time over the last 2000 years.

          The ones that were there in the early 20th century wore clothing that identified them with Arabs. The Jewish refugees from Europe that streamed in during the 1940s were culturally different as they were Westernized, for the most part. The native born Jews alraedy there were culturally absorbed into the European refugees – who founded Israel.

      • Why Jews have no right to create their national state on their historical land?

        Because the phrase “historical land” means “place where they hadn’t lived for close to two millennia.

        And because there were already people living on that “historical land” who had a real right to it.

      • Nobody questions whether they have a right to live there, but whether they have a right to disenfranchise all the non-Jewish people who live there too, and establish an apartheid state that discriminates against non-Jews and steals their water.

        That’s the question, and you haven’t answered it.

  7. 400 million angry Muslims? That’s some remarkable stereotyping there sir and totally out of character with your normal work. I never expected to see something on your website that I could easily find on a “counter-jihadist” website. This map is exactly how Israel portrays itself. The last bastion of civilization fighting off hordes of Muslim barbarians. This map (even if it is satire) only serves the interests of those who support Israel’s elitist attitude.

  8. I think it’s funny.

    The caption in particular summarizes how ludicrous the Israel comcept really is. That because one group of 80 million Europeans (Nazis) decided to kill another group of 6 million Europeans, yet another group of 45 million Europeans (Britain) should decide to give the second group land that never belonged to either.

  9. Juan, i think you got yourself in trouble here.

    I for one, i understand your post and your point, but by the look of it you and i will never be able to crack a joke or make a point without having people jump on our heads and use the oh-so-sick-of-hearing-it “anti-semitist, anti-jew….Blah!

    Sick of these people using that as a defense for something they don’t like hearing it, using the Holocaust as an excuse whenever they kill a Palestinian or take some more land from there.

    Israel is 65! So welcome to the fvcking neighborhood! You know you are not wanted, but you still cry like baby. Get over yourselves! You got the right to exist, to defend, to be. Now go on and find your lost souls.
    Trying to fit between 400 million Arabs has its price, so deal with it.

    As to the other commenters that take so easily offense: Grow the fvck up! It’s 2013! People have the right to express their opinions without being called anti-semitic.
    Not everything spins around you.

    Juan, i always love your posts, and no matter what, no matter the comments, stick to your writings. Be unique, be outspoken and don’t ever apologize or justify your thoughts. They are yours.

    I probably redirected the hit towards me now. Ooops!

  10. Jewish homeland? The land belonged earlier to the Canaaniters according to the Bible. The ancestors of the Jews – the 12 tribes – invaded the land of Canaan and by a process of ethnic cleansing (see Book of Joshua) siezed the land from the original inhabitants. Then claimed that God had promised the land to them. Oh – of course – when Joshua had invaded Canaan and enslaved/exterminated the population, he was merely taking back the land thathat had been promised to Abraham. Sill me – I forgot that. But of course, Abraham too had been an invader and siezed the land just as Joshua was to centuries later, and slay the older inhabitants whose homeland it was. Well it is all mythology anyway. But myths are powerful things. The nineteenth cntury Zionists were merely doing what Abraham and Joshua were doing all those centuries before (albeit without the bloodshed) that is – taking somebody else’s land and claiming it as their ancient homeland promised themm by God at Makkedah or Ur or Sinai or somewhere – or by Mr Balfour in 1917 – all because the Books of Genesis and Exodus and Joshua give out these myths. A land without a people for a people without a land – only there is a people there and has been for centuries. And the irony is that the Palestinians probably have more genes that come down to themn from the Canaanites and ancient Hebrews and even Rabbinical Jews of NT times than do the Ashkenazi invaders

  11. Please allow me to apologize for the rest of your readers by stating that political satire is not lost among most of us.

  12. Well, those 400 million Arabs weren’t “angry” until Zionists moved into the neighborhood, and “little” Israel has been making itself bigger from day one.

    Ah, I remember the great days when so much of humor in America was Jewish! Now, any mention of either Jews or Israel, and it’s no longer funny.

  13. Zionism got a huge boost from Winston Churchill, read his paper ‘zionism vs bolshevism’. It was to stop the Jews ruling the world.

  14. “Zionism: The theory that because murderous Nazis hated Jews in the 1930s and 1940s, all Jews should now crowd into a narrow strip of land between the Mediterranean and 400 million angry Muslims.”

    In fact, Zionism had a Christian origin, as writings can be found by British Christian clergymen in the 1500’s arguing that Jews should immigrate into Palestine.

    The first Jewish writings advocating Jewish immigration into Palestine occurred in the late 19th century by Leo Pinster and Moses Hess, both of the Russian Pale and later by Austrian Theodore Herzl who in 1896 wrote his booklet, Der Judenstaat, which was an argument for Zionism, and in 1897 founded the World Zionist Congress.

    Both Nazism and Zionism arose in tandem from small insignificant social movements in the early part of the 20th century, arguing, with equal force, that Jews were an alien and indigestible mass living in the midst of an otherwise pure Aryan population. Both movements contributed to the more general acceptance of this argument in Europe, and particularly in Germany, as mid-century approached, and both have to be responsible for the consequences.

    • You are correct that Zionism had a Christian origin.

      Pastor John Hagee is likely one of the most prominent Christian Zionists today and has written how his father, also a minister, saw in 1948 the establishment of Israel as a fulfillment of the divine destiny of the Jewish people. It was something many Protestant clergymen predicted for centuries from their biblical readings.

      The aftermath of the Holocaust and WWII presented a practical need for the world community to come up with a solution to absorb the Jewish refugees in Europe. This was the catalyst that created the State of Israel.

      On of the great ironies in history is that Nazism in its failure helped create Israel.

    • Is there any evidence that those early Zionist writers were influenced by the writing of Christian expulsionists in the 1500s?

      • Good question.

        I see no evidence that it did.

        However, there was a Pastor Hechler, a Protestant clergyman who was attached as a chaplain to the British Embassy in Vienna, who strongly influenced to Zionist thought one of his Jewish friends, a Theodor Hirzl, who went on to become the key driving force in the convening of the World Zionist Congress in 1899 that established the general goal of creatng a Zionist state.

        So it does appear that Christian Zionism did have a certain degree of influence toward the eventual creation of Israel in 1948.

        • Christian Zionism did have a certain degree of influence toward the eventual creation of Israel in 1948.

          Oh, no question, but that’s a different question than whether the anti-Semitic expulsionism of the Middle Ages had such an influence.

  15. The creation of Israel was not necessarily Arab versus Jew.

    The Arab Druzes, in large part, were allied with the Jewish Underground in the 1930s fighting the British. Some Druze units who fought the Jews in the War of Independence eventually switched sides after being defeated in battle.

    Many Arabs in Palestine, especially Christians, were neutral.

    • With all due respect, many of the Arab nationalists were Christian. They promoted a secular kind of Arab nationalism. Please visit the real history of the Middle East

      • I do agree that many were and are.

        Drs. George Habash and Hanan Ashrawi are examples of Christian activists. However Fatah’s leadership, while secular in orientation, has been overwhelimngly Islamic since its inception – this would include Yasser Arafat, Abu Iyad, Khalil Wazir etc.

        I have intervewed several Arab Christians who were in the Palestine in 1948 who have indicated that Palestinian Muslims were the most active in fighting the Jewish groups in the War of Independence.

        I have found that even today, Palestinian-American Muslims are the most likely to assert Palestinian nationalism and activism where Palestinian-American Christians are most passive with respect to the current events in that region. I think the same may be said for Christians and Muslims currently residing within historical Palestine.

  16. And that would be why there’s no serious discussion [let alone action] re Palestinians and Israel .

  17. My goodness!

    Professor Cole labeled this post ‘Satire’. Did you bother READING the names he used for the other countries in the Mid East? Perhaps this isn’t quite up to the standard set by The Onion, but for an academic it isn’t that bad.

    Can’t you people chill for one day?

    You can get back to bashing each other tomorrow.

  18. Humor and irony aside, this might be the place to suggest everyone go see ‘The Gatekeepers’ to get another look at The Neighborhood.

    • The only Zionism that matters is the Zionism practiced by the state of Israel. That Zionism is an ideology of oppression. It is an ideology of one people oppressing another. In this Zionism is not unique. The history on the 20th century is the history of the battles between liberal forces and various ideologies of oppression. The others were defeated and only Zionism remains.

      Perhaps Zionism can be reformed; there are Israeli thinkers that want to strip the racism from Zionism. I wish them well.

      Don’t think Zionism is racist? Ask a Zionist about changing Israel into a country of equal rights. Ask about making it into country at peace where both Jews and Palestinians live as equals. The answer that you will likely hear will be indistinguishable from the typical American racist discussing African Americans. Particularly listen to Zionists discuss how the “Jewish character” of Israel must be maintained. They will tell you how Israel must be maintained as a Jewish democracy. Ask; they are not shy about it.

      • Measurement and comparison is the most effective way to measure anything.

        Zionism, like any other political ideology is imperfect, no different than capitalism or socialism or any other political ideology.

        No one questions the tragedy of the Israeli occupation but when compared to the brutality in Syria and others nations in the region Israel has proved to be remarkably restrained. The numbers bear that out.

        Your remarks re the issue of the ‘Jewish identity’ of Israel is indeed more vexing. How can a nation state maintain a real democracy while at the same time be free and balanced for all? While here are no perfect answers or solutions, we can draw inferences from the European experience. Many nations have large ethnic populations as a result of wars and shifting. POland guards her POlish identity as does Russia and Germany and so on. These nations make great efforts to maintain their national identity.

        Now, as to the Israel is racist charge I would say in comparison to her neighborhood and environment, the charge proves to be spurious. In fact many polls indicate a large number of Palestinians would seek Israeli residency permits that would allow them to live in Israel as opposed to living in an Palestinian state. “Better the Hell of Israel than the Paradise of Arafat” as the saying goes.

        What surprises me most is how rarely the best, most effective and damning criticism of Israel is never mentioned. Even academic who are familiar with the region, such as Professor Cole rarely bring up (if ever!)

        The inequality of the treaties signed between Israel and the Palestinians is outrageous. The occupied population could stay indoors for two years and the Israelis would find a way to claim the agreement and treaty was being violated. Israel is guilty of creating a situation on the ground which for the Palestinians is unwinnable. Of course, Israel doesn’t operate in a vacuum- dysfunctional Palestinian leadership is only too happy to maintain the status quo for a myriad of reasons all of which benefit Isre and hurt the Palestinians. Israeli politics in effect has empowered the dysfunction and supplied the oxygen which keep the fired burning.

        Israel is a schizophrenic nation in many ways. She is a first world nation with a vibrant democracy- that is the reality. That said, she is also a nation with a Middle Age siege mentality- deals and treaties within deals within treaties, etc, etc.

        When these issue- the real issues- are addressed Israel will rightfully be called to task. It is a pity no one sees fit to deal with these realities.

        Finally, there has to be transparency- the overall objective of a peace deal has to be clear. Is the primary consideration the well being of the Palestinians or it is the demonization and delegitimization of Israel? No one will get 100% of what they want. Is that truth sufficient to glue a deal together?

  19. I like the way “Sudan” and “Afghanistan” are, apparently, scary enough by themselves not to require scary adjectives in their names.

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