Hannah Arendt and the Origins of Israelophobia


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In May 1948, the 600,000 Jews of the new state of Israel—many of them Holocaust survivors—mobilized for a life-and-death struggle against five invading Arab armies. “This war will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongol massacres and the Crusades,” announced the secretary-general of the Arab League, Abdul Rahman Azzam. This was precisely when Arendt chose to launch yet another attack on the idea of an independent Jewish state. Arendt’s newest anti-Zionist broadside appeared in the American Jewish Committee’s Commentary, widely regarded as the most influential Jewish publication in the country.

Considering that Arendt now called on the Zionists to appease the Arab leadership by accepting limitations on Jewish immigration—that is, to surrender—it took chutzpah to give the article the title “To Save the Jewish Homeland.” Arendt bemoaned the loss of “Arab-Jewish collaboration,” without which “the whole Jewish venture in Palestine is doomed.” She exaggerated the significance of efforts by a small group of Hebrew University professors, led by university president Judah Magnes, to negotiate an agreement with the Palestinian Arabs based on the concept of binationalism. (As Magnes himself later acknowledged, he couldn’t find a single Palestinian leader who would agree to share the land with the Jews.) Ignoring the Palestinian leadership’s calls, reminiscent of the Nazis’, for the slaughter of the Jews, Arendt directed her rancor solely at the Zionist leaders. In her defeatism, Arendt predicted that even if the Jews won the war, they would

degenerate into one of those small warrior tribes about whose possibilities and importance history has amply informed us since the days of Sparta. Their relations with world Jewry would become problematical, since their defense interests might clash at any moment with those of other countries where large numbers of Jews lived. Palestine Jewry would eventually separate itself from the larger body of world Jewry and in its isolation develop into an entirely new people. Thus it becomes plain that at this moment and under present circumstances a Jewish state can only be erected at the price of the Jewish homeland.

Arendt ended the piece by urging that it was “still not too late” to head off the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab sections and to prevent the declaration of a Jewish state. Thankfully, nobody took her proposal seriously.

Arendt became something of an activist in opposing Zionism. In 1948, the leader of Herut, Menachem Begin, made a fund-raising visit to America for his party, which was about to enter the first elections to the Knesset. Arendt organized a group of liberal Jewish intellectuals (including Albert Einstein) to endorse her letter of protest to the New York Times. Of Begin’s party, Arendt wrote: “Today they speak of freedom, democracy and anti-imperialism, whereas until recently they openly preached the doctrine of the fascist state. . . . This is the unmistakable stamp of a Fascist party for whom terrorism (against Jews, Arabs, and British alike), and misrepresentation are means, and a ‘Leader State’ is the goal.” For a scholar who built her reputation as an expert on totalitarian “leader states,” this was an extraordinary misjudgment. For all his political faults, Begin led his party to a principled embrace of Israel’s system of parliamentary democracy.

Even after Israel’s victory in the 1948 war, Arendt continued bemoaning the fact that the Jewish state had come into being without the Arabs’ acquiescence. She still hoped to replace Israel with a binational state or a Swiss-style canton system in which Arabs and Jews would share sovereignty. She blamed the Jews—exclusively—for failure to achieve these political fantasies. And she championed the cause of the Palestinian refugees, whose existence, she said, “made the old Arab claim against Zionism come true; the Jews simply aimed at expelling the Arabs from their homes.” Not only was the charge of expulsion false; Arendt also remained oblivious to the Arab states’ refusal to consider resettlement in their own countries of the Palestinian refugees.

In 1961, Arendt went to Jerusalem to cover the Eichmann trial. She recounted that she had asked New Yorker editor William Shawn for the assignment because it would be her last opportunity to view one of the Nazi mass murderers “in the flesh” and also because she felt an “obligation” to her own German Jewish past to undertake the mission. Left unsaid was that this assignment would also provide an opportunity to settle scores with Ben-Gurion, now Israel’s prime minister. Her report, again, shocked many readers with its accusations of Jewish collaboration with the Nazis in wartime. Making the charges all the more outrageous is that we now know that she herself, at the time of the trial, was voluntarily engaged in a collaboration of sorts with Heidegger, who never repented for his Nazi allegiance. According to the historian Richard Wolin, Arendt served “as Heidegger’s de facto American literary agent, diligently overseeing contracts and translations of his books.”

But personal hypocrisy is the least of the troubling issues surrounding Arendt’s judgments on Zionism and the Holocaust. Even some of Arendt’s close friends were troubled by the seeming callousness with which she compared the Jews of Europe to their murderers. She described Rabbi Leo Baeck, the revered leader of the Berlin Judenrat, as the “Jewish Führer.” When Eichmann claimed to have sympathy with the Zionists—presumably because their desperate attempts to get German Jews to Palestine had moved Germany one step closer to being Judenrein—she flippantly called him a “convert to Zionism.” Those efforts, moreover, she labeled “a certain amount of non-criminal cooperation with the Nazi authorities,” suggesting a confluence of interests between Zionism and Nazism.

Arendt’s letters to friends, published after her death in 1975, show that she was far from objective in covering the trial. Her impressions of Jerusalem and the Israelis can only be described as bigoted. The police gave her “the creeps” because they spoke “only Hebrew and looked Arabic.” Jerusalem was “dirty” and as unpleasant as Istanbul. She was disdainful of the “oriental mob” outside the courthouse. She expressed distaste for the black-hatted, ultraorthodox Jews “who make life impossible for all reasonable people here,” as well as for Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. (In Eichmann in Jerusalem, she described state prosecutor Gideon Hausner as a “Galician Jew who speaks without periods or commas.”) The only people in the courtroom she seemed to respect were the three judges, who were—just like her—exiled German Jews of high culture and intelligence.

The evident malice in Eichmann in Jerusalem toward Zionism and Israel partly explains why such bitter controversy about it raged for many years. Pro- and anti-Arendt camps sprang up within the circle of New York intellectuals known as “the family”—in which Arendt had been, until then, a member in good standing. The Arendt wars spread to the European intellectual salons and then, many years later, to Israel as part of the “post-Zionist” debates. It’s unfortunate that serious criticism of Eichmann in Jerusalem by such writers as Norman Podhoretz and Walter Laqueur was overshadowed by organized ad hominem attacks on Arendt. Famous writers like Mary McCarthy, Dwight Macdonald, and Bruno Bettelheim hit back hard against Arendt’s accusers, stressing the undeniable fact that elements of the “Jewish establishment” had launched a coordinated campaign against the book. In a postscript to the second edition, Arendt made the accusation herself: “Even before its publication this book became . . . the object of an organized campaign.”

But Arendt’s defenders also muddied the waters of reasonable debate. For many leftist intellectuals, Arendt became a political icon who spoke truth to Zionist power and was punished for it. The 2006 Penguin edition of Eichmann in Jerusalem included an introduction by the Israeli author Amos Elon, by then one of his country’s most embittered critics, titled “The Excommunication of Hannah Arendt.” Arendt’s banishment, according to Elon, was “imposed on the author by the Jewish establishment in America.”

This myth that Arendt was “excommunicated” for telling unpleasant truths has taken on a life of its own. According to Young-Bruehl, the “more openly” Arendt criticized the Zionist program after the war, “the more isolated she became from the American Jews she had once respected for their lack of fanaticism.” The claim is absurd on its face. In her biography, Young-Bruehl herself confirmed that Arendt’s attacks on Zionism from 1945 to 1950 appeared in leading American Jewish publications. And despite Arendt’s anti-Zionism, she maintained close friendships with many prominent American Jewish intellectuals. In the early 1960s, Podhoretz, the young editor of Commentary, admired her scholarly work on totalitarianism and democratic government and became a good friend. It was Arendt who severed the relationship after Podhoretz wrote a critical review of Eichmann in Jerusalem.

In his introduction, Elon likened Arendt to the great Enlightenment philosopher Spinoza: both were supposedly Jews who had challenged the historical myths of their tribe and suffered for it. Elon hoped that a statue of Arendt might someday be built in Israel, just as there is one of Spinoza. But Arendt was no Spinoza. Not only did the attacks on the Eichmann book not harm her; they made her even more famous in America and Europe. She found more access to elite publications and received numerous literary honors and academic positions. In Germany, Arendt’s likeness appears on a postage stamp, and an intercity train and a Berlin street are named after her.

Arendt’s greatest legacy to the Left, however, isn’t merely that she is remembered as a martyr; it’s the nature of her criticism of Zionism. As Hebrew University philosopher Elhanan Yakira shows in his 2010 book Post-Zionism, Post-Holocaust, Arendt’s accusation that Ben-Gurion manipulated the Eichmann trial in order to justify Israel’s brutal treatment of the Palestinians has become a “master postulate” for the international coalition of anti-Israel intellectuals and activists. This “community of opprobrium” wishes to bring about a great reversal of our understanding of history. No longer will we believe that the Holocaust proved the correctness of the Zionists’ solution to anti-Semitism; rather, the Zionists’ manipulation of the Holocaust for their own ends reveals the fraudulent basis of the Jewish state. “Although the anti-Israel uses made of the Holocaust are multifaceted, . . . they coalesce into a single pattern of defaming Israel and Zionism,” writes Yakira. “The Holocaust, or the story of the destruction of European Jewry by Nazi Germany, plays a central role in this defamation, which aims, on the one hand, to deny legitimacy to the Jewish state in principle and, on the other, to indict the state, across the board, on moral grounds.”

Amos Elon’s 2006 homage to Arendt makes explicit the Left’s debt to Arendt. “In the past, the difficulty of many Israelis to accept Arendt’s book ran parallel to another difficulty—foreseen by Arendt early on—the difficulty of confronting, morally and politically, the plight of the dispossessed Palestinians,” Elon wrote. “The Palestinians bore no responsibility for the collapse of civilization in Europe but ended up being punished for it.” What Elon didn’t mention, any more than Arendt had, was that the Palestinians were “punished” not because of the Nazi extermination of the European Jews but because of the self-destructive policies of their own fanatical, Jew-hating leadership.

Perhaps the most important pillar of the Israel opprobrium community is The New York Review of Books. Elon was one of its most prominent writers on Israel until his death in 2009; another was Tony Judt. Both, like Arendt, started out as left-wing Zionists. When they realized that Israel was not becoming the socialist utopia they once imagined, they, too, experienced a failure of nerve. The Jewish state had become an embarrassment to univer- salistic, liberal-minded Jews like themselves and the editors and readers of The New York Review of Books.

In rereading Judt’s famous break with Zionism, published in The New York Review of Books in 2003 under the title “Israel: The Alternative,” one sees the spiritual influence of Arendt. Judt declared that Israel was an “anachronism” and a colossal historical mistake. Like Arendt in 1948, Judt insisted that the mistake be corrected forthwith by turning Israel into a binational state; otherwise, the region would likely blow up, and the collateral damage would surely harm liberal New York Jews. “Today, non-Israeli Jews feel themselves once again exposed to criticism and vulnerable to attack for things they didn’t do,” Judt worried.

Like Arendt before him, Judt claimed that he had been excommunicated by the Jewish establishment in response to his own truth-telling about Zionism. But the fact is that Judt, just like Arendt herself, suffered no harm from this alleged banishment. He had no problem finding elite publications, including the New York Times and the Israeli daily Haaretz, eager to publish his jeremiads against the Jewish state. Finally, and fittingly, Judt received the 2007 Hannah Arendt Prize, awarded by the city-state of Bremen and carrying a large honorarium. In his acceptance speech, “The Problem of Evil in Postwar Europe,” Judt warned of the moral and political dangers of applying lessons from the Holocaust to the defense of the Jewish state.

When you review Hannah Arendt’s voluminous writings on Jewish affairs in the decades from 1942 to 1963, it is shocking to discover how mistaken she was on so many issues. She was wrong on the charge of “fascism” leveled against Jabotinsky, Bergson, and Begin; she was wrong in her judgment that the Soviet Union was protecting Jewish national rights; she was wrong to remain silent about the Roosevelt administration’s abandonment of the European Jews; she was wrong about Israel’s ability to defend itself in 1948 without foreign intervention; she was wrong in insisting that the binational approach provided a realistic solution for the Arab-Israeli conflict; and, above all, she was wrong to claim that the Holocaust had become Israel’s justification for abusing innocent Palestinians.

Despite these monumental errors of political and moral judgment, Arendt’s published work on Zionism, Israel, and the Holocaust continues to be viewed by leftist intellectuals as a model of truth-telling and integrity. In the pages of the liberal journals that Arendt once wrote for, we hear echoes of her disdain for a Jewish (now Israeli) tribalism that threatens world peace and universal human rights. How familiar it sounds when her disciples instruct the people of Israel that they must make amends for their previous sins by risking their own security and either ushering in an independent Palestinian state or creating a new binational state with their Palestinian brothers. Familiar, too, are the complaints of excommunication and suppression when the stubborn, parochial Jews decide to reject this gratuitous advice.

Sol Stern is a contributing editor of City Journal, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and the author of A Century of Palestinian Rejectionism and Jew Hatred.

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  • Larry

    Sounds like yet another leftist "intellectual", so absorbed and self obsessed with her own cleverness and the twisted dialectic of the left that she was incapable of seeing facts even when they smacked her between the eyes with a 15lb mullet.

    More and more it becomes obvious that leftist "intellectuals" have nothing but a surface intelligence that limits them to the espousal of shallow and fallacious marxist utopianism.

    • Questions

      I'm no fan of Arendt, but you write as if this is the first time you've heard of her. Time to hit the books.

      • Larry

        Oh, I know who she is/was, I just have very little tolerance for the the canting drivel that communists and crypto-communists trot out calling "philosophy". I worked that out as a teenager in the '70s, probably comes from growing up knowing so many refugees and defectors from Eastern Europe. Having a member of the 1956 Hungarian Olympic water polo team as a coach, and going to school with kids who's families had fled Czechoslovakia after the Prague Spring, etc, just tended to firm that up.
        I learned to identify the garbage very, very quickly and ignore them.

  • Jim

    If suffering from traumatic memories of fascism ,then in the mind ,fascist like behavior would draw up unpleasant feelings even if there was no antisemitism involved.

    It would be a case of ambivalence . Yes she wanted some form of Zionism but if there is the rough aspects of fascism incorporated in it she will have coincident uncomfortable feelings.

    that is what I deduced from hearing Finkelstein speak . The clue to me was when he said he did not criticize Muslim Palestinians be cause he was afraid he would be killed.. He sounds like a Jew hater but I think he just wants things to mellow out

    • Larry

      The Jews aren't interested in exterminating the "Palestinians", the "Palestinians" are the ones interested in exterminating the Jews. That is the entire reason for the existence of the "Palestinian people".
      Mellowing out is not something they are going to do, they have spent 1400 years being indoctrinated in the desire to commit genocide on the entire Jewish people.

    • stern

      Finkelstein? Non-intellectual Finkelstein? What's he got to do with anything, other than making a living out of Jew-hatred?

      • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

        He does a lot of pro-bono work as the recipient of your libel.

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  • http://home.comcast.net/~enjolras/site/?/home/ underzog

    Israeli agents who interviewed Eichmann found Arendt's descriptions ridiculous. Eichmann was not a boring character, but an organizational genius who applied his talents to the final solution.

    Hanna Arendt merely sought out a catchy phrase foir the trash she wrote for "The New Yorker."

    It is a measure of how far removed from Judaism this Amos Elon character is in demanding a statue be put up of Hannah Arendt. It is against Judaism to put up statutues of human beings. It is too much like idol/pagan worship. When I was in Israel I did see statues, but they were of animals not humans.

    • Questions

      This "Amos Elon character" is well-known in Israel. As for statues, there ought to be nothing wrong about creating them .

  • Bashy Quraishy

    Sol Stern's long article: Hannah Arendt and the Origins of Israelophobia is a strange mix of history as well as distortion of historical facts. Of course one would not expect anything less from the contributing editor of City Journal, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and the author of A Century of Palestinian Rejectionism and Jew Hatred.
    But as a friend of Israel’s inalienable right to live and prosper and the Jewish people’s right to have a homeland of their own, I was struck by the following observation in his article: “After her brief flirtation with Zionism as a legitimate national liberation movement, Arendt experienced a failure of nerve. The Jewish state now looked like a bridge too far into the Arab heartland and could never become viable, other than by imperialist intervention.”
    Hand on your heart. Is it not exactly, what is now happening? Conflict, war, isolation, dependence on American handouts and worst of all, an uncertain future for the entire region. Not long ago, I read an article by Uri Avnery, where he wrote: “Israel’s biggest problem is that it is situated in the heart of the Arab world but acts like part of the west. Until and unless, Israelis do not learn to live with their neighbors, they will have no peace.”
    During my visits to Israel, I saw many good examples of people of Israel living together, helping and benefiting from each other. It is a pity that intellectuals like Mr. sol Stern and blogs like Frontpagemag from outside the country spoil this peace, because of their own agenda. Common Israelis would be much more accommodating if they are not bombarded by anti-Arab and anti-Islam propaganda from the west.
    Kind regards

    • stern

      Of course, "common Israelis" have nothing but Sol Stern and Frontpagemag to worry about, right? I mean, they're not anti-Arab because the Arabs want to wipe them out and keep firing rockets at them, or blowing them up in buses and restaurants and cutting the throats of their families, right? It's all because of Sol Stern and Frontpagemag, right?

      You're either an idiot or blind. Or both.

    • RonL

      Are you THE Bashy Quraishy, the chosen Pakistani of the Danish left? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bashy_Quraishy

  • Robert Pinkerton

    In reply to Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem, Norman Podhoretz coined the phrase, "perversity of brilliance," to characterize her thesis. Mr. Podhoretz has my gratitude for that formulation, because I have subsequently used it to characterize philosophy's favorite totalitarian, Plato.

    • Raymond in DC

      As an alternative, I offer a term a student used to describe one of my professors at McGill long ago – "a well-read babbling idiot".

  • Bashy Quraishy

    IDear Stern
    Israelis are not born anti-Arabs and not all Arabs want Israel to go away, as you so easily claim. That is exactly what I was trying to convey. Israel is a reality and even the diehard anti-Israeli Arabs have known by now. You of all the people, should know that with 200 Atom bombs, the strongest army in the Middle East as well as uncle SAM’s unflinching support, Israel is safe. So please do not use the old card; they want to wipe out Israel. This argument flies in the face of all facts and common sense.
    I have met many Israeli intellectuals, academics and politicians as well as journalists. Listening to them and then walking in the streets of Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and talking to both Arabs and Israelis, I am certain that they all want peace and live in harmony.
    Injustice breeds anger and anger often produces hate, which translates into violence on both sides. You mention some of the despicable acts of violence against Israelis by Arabs. We should all condemn this. But let me ask you: have you ever seen the aftermath of an Israeli Apache helicopter’s missile attack, used in targeted assassinations?
    It pales in compression to any thing, one can imagine!
    I am convinced that if propagandists stop poisoning the mind of innocent people, ordinary human beings can always find the way to co-exist.
    May be I am naive but there is no other way out of this conflict. As Gandhi once said; Eye for an eye will make us blind.

    • Judy Abeles Eliasov

      I agree with a lot that you have written in your posting, except for the comment "….aftermath of Apache helicopter's missile attack, used in targeted assassinations"…..most of the incidents are filmed by the IDF(available for inspection) and show that these attacks are against terrorists planning, preparing or even in the actual act of firing missiles into innocent population areas in Israel. The IDF attacks are pinpointed and surgical in order to try to avoid innocent civilian damage. And no, the helicopter attack does not pale into anything one can imagine – check out the suicide bombers work on busses, full hotels on Passover and young people's clubs(just to mention a few)!!!! In spite of this, Israel still hopes for a peace agreement with a very intransigent Palestinian leadership. Peace will require acceptance and compromise.

    • Raymond in DC

      Oh, please! When those Apache helicopters are engaged in a targeted killing, it's for a damn good reason. If one bemoans "collective punishment", one should be cheering an attack on aggressors alone.

      And in these efforts, Israel has an incredible record. In the Cast Lead operation, maybe one civilian was killed for every militant. No other country has been so successful in keeping civilian casualties down in counter-terror or counter-insurgency operations. And over the last two years they've done yet better – roughly 10 civilians killed while taking out 100 militants. Get over it; war is hell. Israel is however trying to make it less "hellish".

      As to those alleged "200 Atom bombs", they proved rather useless when bombs were going off on buses and in coffee shops. And if you think having some 50,000 rockets and missiles pointed at Israel from north and south isn't feeding the "wet dream" of destroying Israel, you're more naive than you make out.

    • Ghostwriter

      Right,Mr. Quraishy. And I'm Charlie Brown. Maybe the only way out of the Arab-Israeli conflict is for the Muslims to stop firing rockets into Israeli villages and stop the anti-semitic bilge that has been in their media. But to you,Israel doesn't have a right to exist,doesn't it?

  • timespost

    Please remind me why the Jewish establishment should not have excommunicated someone who willfully spread false propaganda against the Jewish state after failing to stand for the Jews in WWII, while continuing to be the lover of a Nazi activist?

  • g_jochnowitz

    Despite the fact that she wrote EICHMANN IN JERUSALEM, Arendt recognized the centrality of anti-Semitism as part of all totalitarian movenents. One-fourth of her THE ORIGINS OF TOTALITARIANISM is devoted to anti-Semitism.
    Today, we see how anti-Semitism is among the major motivating forces of Islamism.

  • Bashy Quraishy

    Dear Judy Abeles Eliasov
    Thanks for your kind words concerning my comment.
    No peace loving human being should support or even condone violence of whatever intensity, magnitude or type.
    Believe me, I have seen plenty of footage of bus suicide attacks in Israel, clubs bombings and hotels. I have also seen western (BBC, CNN and even other TV stations) and not Arabic coverage of Israeli missile attacks in Lebanon, Palestinian areas on funerals, cars and even houses leaving dozens of innocent death, with shattered bodies of women and children. All these acts must be condemned by us but so should we also condemning Israeli retaliations.
    Killing of an innocent of any ethnicity, religion or colour is a sin or morally repugnant.
    Mrs. Eliasov, there is no such thing called pinpointed target killing. The same argument is being used by USA Drone attacks in many countries including my former homeland-Pakistan, where these Drones have killed only 50 terrorists with 2900 civilian – including 173 children. These figures are from UK NGO Reprive and is not a Pakistani government propaganda.
    The point I am making is that Israel being the more powerful country with an edge over its adversaries should take some steps to stop this carnage on both sides. I am not seeing this happening right now and we should not blamne for this stalemate on intransigent Palestinian leadership, as you put it.
    As a human rights activist and a true believer in the legitimate rights of both parties, I am very well informed as to what is going on. People in weak position having seen no hope often act irrationally. That is where Israel should show its humanity.
    Can we agree on that?

    Kind regards

    • Questions

      Israel, as a matter of longstanding policy, tries to minimize civilian losses in going after terrorists. One reason for deceptively high civilian casualties is that the terrorists blend with the rest of the population, knowing that attempts to capture or kill them will raise the likelihood of collateral damage. It's an infuriating self-fulfillng prophecy. But as a public relations coup for the Arabs, it works.

    • ajnn

      1. hamas, hezbollah, etc list military deaths as civilian deaths. this is well-documented.

      2. 'UK NGO Reprive' gives out nonsense figures. they are carriers and inventors of propaganda. Remember the UK Lancet claim that Iraq sanctions killed 500,000 children in Iraq ? Yet some people believe this silly stuff and you reprt it as if it is real.

      3. Israel is more powerful militarily. That is why they call terrorism 'assymetric warfare'. Exactly what Israel can do is subject to debate. Remember Israel left Gaza and Lebanon and then the missiles came. How can we acoid this outcome again ?

  • Attila The Hun

    Hannah Arendt represent delusional world view of the modern Jewish intellectual left. Their blind love for social justice i.e utopian communism, overrides any objective analysis of Jewish history. They are self hating Jews who are conditioned by the lies of their enemies.

  • Ben

    We appreciate Arendt`s definition of the totalitarianism that include communists and leftists.It`s clear today that totalitarian-extreme ideologies like fundamentalist religions,fascism and socialism-communism are anti-Jewish.

  • Ben

    Congratulations with the discovery of the roots of Israelophobia!
    I` ve thought that these roots are in the replacement theology.

  • Anamah

    Not only Arabs, Islamics and nazis, also communists are visceral enemies of Israel…But she must know how much is she loved for people immune to totalitarian ideologies. Some times I have the impression is pure envy because she is too much and too darling for both sides of supremacist feelings. Israel my love, one more time je lève mon chapeau à toi.

  • MałyFelek

    wow, I never knew that about Arendt…thanks for broadening my knowledge

  • Ghostwriter

    Let's be honest here. Old Bashy would happily celebrate another 9/11 in this country if more Jews died. He doesn't care about America or Americans. His talk of "human rights" means "no human rights for Jews or Americans." In fact,he probably wishes that Americans would simply die,along with Israel. Mr. Quaishy may want you to believe his soft,tender words but deep down,his hatred for both Israel and America runs deep and he sees Americans as little more than vermin. Sorry,but Mr. Quaishy will have to do a lot more to convince me that he actually cares about Americans or Israelis,if he ever really did.

  • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

    Israelophobia is about as viable a word as Naziphobia.

  • http://www.tikkun.org Rabbi Michael Lerner

    If you are open to reading an account that is both pro-Israel and pro-Palestine, and that argues that both sides have a legitimate narrative and both sides have been deeply screwed up and hurtful toward the other, and that the only path to peace and safety for Israel is one that will involve peace and justice for Palestinians, and the only path to Palestinian peace safety is one that involves peace and justice for Israelis, and then shows how to overcome the PTSD on both sides and actually build a viable solution, please read my new book Embracing Israel/Palestine (available at http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/EIP or at Amazon.com (and on Kindle).
    Rabbi Michael Lerner (whose ideas are routinely distorted on this partiuclar website).

  • Ben

    Mr.Lerner dream of living on the Muslim land as a dhimmi?

  • 080

    What did you expect? Her teacher was Heidegger. If upon reading Heidegger you don't feel that you are in a mad-house then you belong in a mad-house.

  • tagalog

    "Israelophobia" has origins that don't have a great deal to do with Hannah Arendt and a great deal to do with Islam and totalitarianism as well as with people who find themselves easily seduced by totalitarian philosophy.

    Do contemporary events fail to convince anyone that it took imperialistic tactics to keep Israel alive in its early years, and if they still existed today would help Israel today?

    Hannah Arendt certainly paid her dues as a Jew and as an anti-fascist European intellectual. Okay, she had an intellectual as a lover who later became a Nazi. She left him. She seems, in the clarity of historical hindsight, to have failed (in the fog of current events) to do a couple things that she might have done, and to have had public intellectual disagreements with certain influential people who became historically important and could do harm to her reputation.

    But a few mischoices in a difficult time and some good-faith disagreements don't take her out of the role of champion of Jews, nor do they make the quality of her thought any less than great. She didn't just say what was right, either; she DID what was right.

  • MrMoro1

    Substantially the article is really the best on this laudable topic. I concur with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your future updates and waiting for DBZ Games.Just saying thank you will not just be enough for the wonderful lucidity in your writing.

  • tonkobonko

    But as a friend of Israel’s inalienable right to live and prosper and the Jewish people’s right to have a homeland of their own, I was struck by the following observation in his article: “After her brief flirtation with Nokia Asha 300 as a legitimate national liberation movement, Arendt experienced a failure of nerve. The Jewish state now looked like a bridge too far into the Arab heartland and could never become viable, other than by imperialist intervention.” Hand on your heart. Is it not exactly, what is now happening? Conflict, war, isolation, dependence on American handouts and worst of all, an uncertain future for the entire region. Not long ago, I read an article by Uri Avnery, where he wrote: “Israel’s biggest problem is that it is situated in the heart of the Arab world but acts like part of the west. Until and unless, Israelis do not learn to live with their neighbors, they will have no peace.”

  • Deendid

    Killing of an innocent of any ethnicity, religion or colour is a sin or morally repugnant.
    Mrs. Eliasov, there is no such thing called pinpointed target killing. The same argument is being used by USA Drone attacks in many countries including my former homeland-Pakistan, where these Drones have killed only 50 terrorists with 2900 civilian – including 173 children. These figures are from UK NGO Reprive and is not a Pakistani government propaganda.
    The point I am making is that Israel being the more powerful country with an edge over its adversaries should take some steps to stop this carnage on both sides. I am not seeing this happening right now and we should not blamne for this stalemate on intransigent Palestinian leadership, as you put it.
    As a human rights activist and a true believer in the legitimate rights of both parties, I am very well informed as to what is going on. People in weak PPI Claim Scotland position having seen no hope often act irrationally. That is where Israel should show its humanity.
    Can we agree on that?

  • JackDeneris

    Hannah Arendt represent delusional world view of the modern Jewish intellectual left. Their blind love for social justice i.e utopian communism, overrides any objective analysis of Jewish history. They are self hating Jews from Stacaravan te koop who are conditioned by the lies of their enemies.

  • http://cybergatis.blogspot.com cybergatis

    I haven’t had the chance to read Arendt, but she is widely cited by Judith Butler, both in previous works, and in Butler’s latest lecture series at Bryn Mawr. From those readings and from other citations, such as this one Phil, it seems to me that Arendt made a valuable contribution to the canon of moral philosophy based on Jewish tradition.

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  • jenifer

    Arendt willfully ignored the fact that Ben- Gurion had accepted a British partition plan in 1938 that proposed giving the Jews only a tiny sliver of the territory west of the Jordan River—a plan that horrified the Revisionists, who envisioned a Jewish state on both sides of the Jordan. Time after time, the mainstream Zionists supported territorial compromise, while the Palestinian leadership rejected every proposal to divide the land. Nevertheless, in “pushing ahead” for a Jewish state, Arendt charged, Ben-Gurion “forfeited for a long time to come any chance of pourparlers with Arabs; for whatever Zionists may offer, they will not be trusted.”
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