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Monday, July 30, 2007

Anti Fundamenalist Jewish Chauvinism

Thanks to an article of blind hatred against Chomsky I was pointed to
authors I hadn't know til now:

Israel Shahak and Tanya Reinhart

Israel Shahak, (*April 28, 1933 – + July 2, 2001) was a Polish-born
Israeli Professor of Chemistry at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the
former president of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights, and an
outspoken critic of the Israeli government and of Israeli society in
general. Shahak's writings on Judaism have been the source of considerable

Shahak reports having been radicalized first by the Suez War and his
feeling of betrayal by David Ben-Gurion's push to occupy the Sinai
Peninsula, and then through his experiences in the United States. In the
1960s he became involved in the Israeli League Against Religious Coercion.
Following the Six-Day War of 1967, he disavowed his former affiliation
with the Israeli League against Religious Coercion, believing them to be
"fake liberals" who used liberal principles to fight religious influence
in Israeli society, but failed to use those same principles to fight
Israeli treatment of Palestinians. Shahak instead joined the Israeli
League for Human and Civil Rights, was elected president of the League in
1970. That same year he established the Committee Against Administrative

He began publishing translations of the Hebrew press into English,
alongside his own commentaries, arguing that Western activists needed
better knowledge about conditions in Israel, and that the English-language
editions of Hebrew newspapers were being intentionally distorted for
Western audiences. This practice, along with writing letters to the
editor, remained staples of his work for decades.

He became a well-known activist in international circles, co-authoring
papers and giving joint speaking engagements with American activist Noam
Chomsky, and winning plaudits from Christopher Hitchens and Edward Said.

Reviewer Sheldon Richman explains that for Shahak, Zionism was both a
reflection of, and capitulation to, European anti-Semitism, "since it,
like the anti-Semites, holds that Jews are everywhere aliens who would
best be isolated from the rest of the world."[5]

In 1994 he published Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three
Thousand Years, in 1997 he published Open Secrets: Israel's Nuclear and
Foreign Policies, and in 1999 he published Jewish Fundamentalism In
Israel, co-authored with Norton Mezvinsky. In the introduction to the
latter book, Mezvinksy and Shahak explained that, "We realize that by
criticizing Jewish fundamentalism we are criticizing a part of the past
that we love. We wish that members of every human grouping would criticize
their own past, even before criticizing others."

In 1994 Shahak published Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight Of
Three Thousand Years. In it he proposes that most nations' histories are
initially ethnocentric. However they then evolve through a period of
critical self-analysis to incorporate other perspectives. This, he argues,
largely hasn't happened with Jewish history.

Shahak alleges that Talmudic Judaism is a totalitarian religion where
rabbinical law governs every aspect of Jewish behaviour.[11] He also
claims that these laws result in religious chauvinism and thereby govern
Jewish thought.[citation needed] This, according to Shahak, has two
important consequences:
Attempts by Western analysts to explain contemporary Israeli politics in
purely secular terms such as imperialism are fundamentally flawed.
More controversially, that 'Jewish chauvinism' can be a causal factor in
anti-Semitism, and that both must be fought simultaneously.

Shahak also analyses the period from the beginning of the last millennium
(CE) to the advent of the modern state when most Jews lived under
rabbinical law in segregated communities. These communities, writes
Shahak, were under the patronage of non-Jewish nobles who typically used
them to enforce their authority on a non-Jewish peasant class. Rebellions
by such peasants in which all feudal agents were attacked, Shahak argues,
have wrongly been perceived as anti-Jewish persecutions. Consequently, he
calls for significant parts of Jewish history to be re-evaluated from a
universal perspective.

Shahak also claims that Zionism is an attempt to re-establish a closed
Jewish community and that this has resulted in discrimination against
non-Jews. He concludes the book by stating, "Although the struggle against
antisemitism (and of all other forms of racism) should never cease, the
struggle against Jewish chauvinism and exclusivism, which must include a
critique of classical Judaism, is now of equal or greater importance."


Tanya Reinhart, (July 1943 – March 17, 2007) was an Israeli linguist who
wrote frequently on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She contributed
columns to the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot and longer articles to
the CounterPunch, Znet, and Israeli Indymedia websites.

Reinhart studied philosophy and Hebrew literature at the Hebrew
University, Jerusalem as an undergraduate, where she later received an
M.A. in comparative literature and philosophy. In 1976 she obtained a
Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her thesis
supervisor was Noam Chomsky.

Reinhart was a former professor of linguistics and literary theory at
Tel-Aviv University. She was also a guest lecturer at Utrecht University
in the Netherlands, and ended her international career as Distinguished
Global Professor at New York University (NYU).

Reinhart was an outspoken critic of Israel's policies in the 1967-occupied
territories. She argued that Israel should abandon the West Bank and Gaza:
Israel should withdraw immediately from the territories occupied in 1967.
The bulk of Israeli settlers (150,000 of them) are concentrated in the big
settlement blocks in the center of the West bank. These areas cannot be
evacuated over night. But the rest of the land (about 90%–96% of the West
bank and the whole of the Gaza strip) can be evacuated immediately. Many
of the residents of the isolated Israeli settlements that are scattered in
these areas are speaking openly in the Israeli media about their wish to
leave. It is only necessary to offer them reasonable compensation for the
property they will be leaving behind. The rest — the hard-core "land
redemptions" fanatics — are a negligible minority that will have to accept
the will of the majority. [2]

Reinhart pointed out that immediate withdrawal would still leave under
debate between six and ten percent of the West Bank with the large
settlement blocks, as well as the issues of Jerusalem and the right of
return, and maintains that these should be the subject of "serious peace

In 2002, Reinhart was heavily criticized in Israel for signing a European
petition calling for a moratorium on European support of Israeli academia
in protest of Israel's Palestinian policies.

The same year, she also published a book, Israel/Palestine: How To End the
War of 1948, in which she analyzed what she saw as the breakdown during
the preceding three years of constructive engagement over the Palestinian
issue and the hardening of the Israeli position.

In December 2006, Reinhart moved to New York saying she could no longer
live in Israel due to its treatment of Palestinians in the Occupied

Tanya Reinhart was married to Israeli writer Aharon Shabtai. She has been
described as a post-Zionist

Fallen soldier, against the war and Bush, joined Army anyway

The Associated Press

Article Launched: 07/29/2007 06:23:22 AM PDT

========= NEWS ===============

RIALTO, Calif.—Victor A. Garcia didn't support President Bush and thought
the Iraq war was wrong.

(only logical)

Yet he joined the Army anyway, looking for some help with college tuition
and perhaps some discipline. The specialist was assigned to the 1st
Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division
(Stryker Brigade Combat Team) at Ft. Lewis, Wash.

(poverty draft?)

On July 1, he was killed in Baghdad when his unit was attacked with
small-arms fire.

(killed by who? Like Pat Tillman by his own people for reading chomsky
and causing insurmaountable cognitive dissonance?)

Garcia, 22, was the son of Mexican immigrants.

(Illegal immigrants, maybe? $3 per our orange pickers maybe?)

His brothers, Abel and Daniel, married their high school sweethearts at a
young age. Victor knew many girls, but had no girlfriend.

(human interest stories are often employed to distract from important
questions that the corporate press cannot answer, check

for a
great speech on the subject of INVISIBLE GOVERNMENT by PILGER)

"Victor just wanted to get out and see the world," Daniel Garcia said.
"Victor was the one destined to do a lot more."

(sure he was! What else did he say that is not fit to print?)

He was an avid sports fan and loved the Atlanta Braves, San Francisco
49ers and Manchester United soccer club in England.

(like any male grwoing up in a society where sports is the only place
where people play by the rules)

He read books by leftist critic Noam Chomsky. One of his blog entries on
his MySpace .com page wonders, "What more evidence do we need?" that the
war was a mistake.

(Cannot be found
... infuriating inaccurate reporting.. why don't they just give the link?)

Besides his mother and brothers, Garcia is survived by his father and a

(and Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Henry Hugh Shelton, Myers and and

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