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Dear Mr. Shamir.
I, at the web site Jewish Tribal Review, have been engaged in an email discussion/debate with Michael Neumann, who is apparently known to you. He doesn't want this exchange made public, but I am inclined to post it at our web site. I solicit your opinion on the matter (which too would potentially public information), because I respect your work on these matters and the issues at stake here greatly concerns you (ideologically-speaking). The exchange below is relatively long. If you're too busy to reply, or have no interest, I will take that as a confirmation of my own sense about this and move closer to posting the Neumann exchange at our web site. Thanks very much.

ETHICS, ANTISEMITISM, THE PALESTINIAN CAUSE, AND ISRAEL: AN EMAIL EXCHANGE WITH MICHAEL NEUMANN, JEWISH PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHY

The origin of the following email exchange is this article by Jewish philosophy professor Michael Neumann: What is Antisemitism? by Michael Neumann, Counterpunch, June 2, 2002 ( http://www.counterpunch.org/neumann0604.html ) The webmaster of the Jewish Trial Review sent professor Neumann (via his posted email address at [email protected] ) the following query and comment.

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[To M. Neumann:]
Very good, and very honest, article.
But I have a question for you? Do you consider our web site, Jewish Tribal Review, "antisemitic?" ( http://www.jewishtribalreview.org )
Here's my response to someone who posted your article at an online discussion forum: Good post, Pilgrim. But here's the deal: Neuman admits to the nonsense of "antisemitism" applied to critics of Israel. But the issue is much deeper than that. What he doesn't discuss is that there is a monolithic wall set up by Jews against criticizing Jews about anything. Jews fear if it becomes open season to criticize their racist state, the dam breaks and ANYTHING about Jewish identity and history can be under critical attack. Neuman plays with the stereotypes about "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," as if once you go beyond criticizing the state of Israel and start investigating the power and ideology that CREATED the Jewish state, then you're in the real "antisemite" realm. What Neuman doesn't discuss is the implications of the enormous fear Jews have about openly discussing this kind of thing. The accusation of "antisemitism" is crucial to Jewish power and identity, and when a Jewish guy like Neuman comes along and starts talking relatively honestly, it is AN ENORMOUS THREAT to the Jewish power structure, because, in Jewish eyes, those accused of "real" "antisemitism" will appropriate Neuman's honest comments as merely an EXAMPLE of what's going on with the term. On the other hand, Neuman is right about the fact that Jewish efforts to brand critics of Israel "antisemites" totally devalues the smear for other realms. If Jews try to pin the smear on someone for telling the truth about Israel, more and more people are going to recognize that this accusation, in other realms too, is paper thin. And has zero substance. It's increasingly a political tool, and that only. It's a good article, but Neuman is way off base here when he says: "If antisemitism is going to be a term of condemnation, then, it must apply beyond explicitly racist acts or thoughts or feelings. But it cannot apply beyond clearly unjustified and serious hostility to Jews. The Nazis made up historical fantasies to justify their attacks; so do modern antisemites who trust in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. So do the closet racists who complain about Jewish dominance of the economy. This is antisemitism in a narrow, negative sense of the word. It is action or propaganda designed to hurt Jews, not because of anything they could avoid doing, but because they are what they are." Here Neuman links the Nazis with those who "complain about Jewish dominance of the economy" which is, in his words, an expression of "closet racists." In other words, to complain about Jewish tribalism beyond the state of Israel (and Jewish tribalism CREATED the state of Israel) in the realms of economic, media, publishing, and other cultural realms is an act of "racism," despite the fact that Neuman here admits that a current of racism informs Jewish identity itself. In other words, he attacks those who complain about Jewish "dominance" (which he infers is illusory) even as he admits that an important part of Jewish identity is racism. If then, it can be illustrated that there is indeed a Jewish "dominance" in realms of popular culture (say, as Jaeger evidenced at this forum about Hollywood) [This is added to the email exchange: Jaeger's link to the Film Industry Reform Movement data about Jewish dominance is here], then it is intrinsic in this "dominance" that there is an attendant Jewish racism. This Jewish racism is everywhere. And the dangers to the likes of Jews who tremble when Neuman speaks so honestly in such an article is that this racism, and attendant power, is, thanks to Jewish commentators like Neuman, another inch closer to public examination. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- From: [email protected] Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 06:44:42 -0500 Re: Counterpunch article [Citation of the email query by Jewish Tribal Review:] Very good, and very honest, article. But I have a question for you? Do you consider our web site, Jewish Tribal Review, "antisemitic?" ( http://www.jewishtribalreview.org ) Um, yes, I do, but I don't get bent out of shape about it. I know you're site and it's brilliantly done. Maybe I should say that I'm not quite sure whether you guys are antisemtic in the 'bad' sense or not: I'll bet, whatever you may say, you're not quite sure yourselves. As I recall, and I could be wrong about this, it would be theoretically possible to put up a site like yours and be antisemitic only in some unobjectionable way. The analysis below of what I'm doing in the article is, at a quick read, quite correct! We must agree to disagree. People like Shamir make a pretty convincing case for Jewish dominance along much the same lines that you do. But I feel that, despite *some* evidence, nothing close to proof is there: it's a conspiracy theory, and I don't go for those, including leftist ones. And from the left I am used to the sort of 'making connections' reasoning that looks so overwhelming but don't hold up to close scrutiny. I guess I try to keep an open mind, but it remains open. My main problem with sites like yours is that, in my view, they actually weaken (tend to discredit) the case for collective Jewish responsibility (or something like it) for Israeli crimes. Michael Neumann -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thank you, Mr. Neumann, for responding. I thought you might, because your articles are not "kneejerking" in their reflection of questions pertaining to Israel. They are very good, and I respect you for them. I'd like to reply to your comments. YOU WRITE: "Um, yes, I do, but I don't get bent out of shape about it. I know you're site and it's brilliantly done. Maybe I should say that I'm not quite sure whether you guys are antisemtic in the 'bad' sense or not: I'll bet, whatever you may say, you're not quite sure yourselves." My REPLY: No, we're quite "sure" about ourselves. Our web site is factual, exhaustively researched, ethical, moral, and just. Period. Which of these self-anointed attributes would you object to? Of course, by Jewish popular political convention (which I wondered whether you transcended), it is "antisemitic," as is just about anything that is critical of Jewish tradition, identity, history, power, etc. We have an entire chapter about "the accusation of antisemitism," and the accusation is deconstructed, I think, quite adequately. It seems that the future will entail a political struggle over the meanings of this word, as is already beginning to happen (your own observations about the way the word is used as a defensive shield for Israel is a case in point. Again, I respect your courage and honesty). YOU STATE: "As I recall, and I could be wrong about this, it would be theoretically possible to put up a site like yours and be antisemitic only in some unobjectionable way." MY REPLY: Well, I don't understand what you're saying in this sentence. "Theoretically possible?" Do you mean it's theoretically possible if the Jewish community disbands its blanket condemnation of anyone who criticizes the traditions and actions of Jewry as a collective group, a group that is (despite all "political correctness" that seeks to reductively qualify it into an ambiguous, and fractious, entity), as you know, very, concretely distinct in its common denominators). YOUR STATEMENT: "The analysis below of what I'm doing in the article is, at a quick read, quite correct! We must agree to disagree. People like Shamir make a pretty convincing case for Jewish dominance along much the same lines that you do." MY REPLY: Yes. He's very good. His recent article on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is quite insightful. YOUR STATEMENT: "But I feel that, despite *some* evidence, nothing close to proof is there: it's a conspiracy theory, and I don't go for those, including leftist ones." I REPLY: Well, have you ever reflected upon the fact that, within the Jewish community, the conviction of an omnipresent "antisemitism" is itself such a "conspiracy" theory? I ran across some interesting scholarship, for example, about surveys of Jewry in San Francisco, in the 1980s. A large percentage (I think around a third) of the people interviewed believed that antisemitism was so prevalent (even in San Francisco!) that a Jew could never be elected Congressperson. The researcher pointed out that Jews were, at the time, prevalent in the upper eschelons in the elected San Francisco government, and were the majority of those elected for various congressional positions in the local area. My point is that the very notion of "antisemitism," as understood by the Jewish community at-large, is very much a "conspiracy" therory. Jewish convention holds that antisemitism is a kind of "virus," a "disease," irrational and sinister, that exists in some form under every rock, in every corner, in just about every place in the world. It is, in its own way, a totalitarian concept and it is very much part of the bedrock of Jewish identity. It, by self-definition, negates the "dialogue" you mention above. Per the premises of Israel Shamir. Of course I think he's usually correct, and there is plenty of evidence for his arguments. It's not a question, at all, of Jews coming together to decide, in a room, how to rule the world. Hardly. That's silly. But it is very much about particular common denominators that adjust Jewry towards common goals, whether Orthodox, atheists, or whatever. Those exceptions to this, as you know, are condemned by mainstream Jewry as "self-haters" (a decreed form of "antisemitism" itself) and I trust you have had this accusation tossed, from time to time, in your direction. And per "conspiracy." The Jewish Tribal Review doesn't champion the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. But Israel Shamir's recent article about it is a very good read, and he makes some excellent points. YOUR STATEMENT: "And from the left I am used to the sort of 'making connections'reasoning that looks so overwhelming but don't hold up to close scrutiny. I guess I try to keep an open mind, but it remains open." MY REPLY: It is interesting to me that those many Jews (and a few non-Jews) who condemn the Jewish Tribal Review allude to it as, in essence, "right-wing Nazi Ku Klux Klan" material, despite the fact there is nothing whatsoever that champions -- in the least -- that realm of ideology. On the contrary. The kneejerk response is to caricaturize it, to simplify its entirety into a pathologized stereotype, a stereotype that protects the Jewish community from much-needed introspection. Per "making connections." I make those too. But the emphasis at the Jewish Tribal Review is not to declare a Jewish "conspiracy," but to amass tons and tons of facts and data useful in evaluating the Jewish community (a very powerful Western elite) per their demonstrable influence (towards distinct ethnocentric aims) in the social and political world. YOUR STATEMENT: "My main problem with sites like yours is that, in my view, they actually weaken (tend to discredit) the case for collective Jewish responsibility (or something like it) for Israeli crimes." MY REPLY: For a man who has written some quite illuminatng things about the Israel issue, you trail off here into darkness. How can an exhaustive investigation into the origins of Jewish identity (which inform the modern state of Israel) "weaken" the case for collective Jewish responsibility which, in origin, and largely still enduring, is a sophisticated "tribe?" On the contrary. It seems that you, who go so far in the realm of Zionism, completely bail out when troubling evidence oozes beyond that framework of your critical interest. Communal "responsibility" is very much what the Jewish Tribal Review argues for, and Jews (as a collective group) have (except for the rare individual) no interest in examining the problematics of their past towards understanding today. And, of course, towards honestly understanding "antisemitism." The reason I contacted you is because, as I say, your writings about Israel are very good. Judging by the few texts of yours I've read about Israel, you are (at least per this subject) a reasonable and moral man. It is of interest to me to find out your boundaries regarding these attributes. What is the barrier that bars (overwhelmingly) most people of Jewish heritage to come to terms, fairly, with the essences of traditional Jewish identity, Jewish (not merely "Zionist" power and influence), the injustices of Jewish history (and Jewry's resistance to accept responsibility for them), and so forth? This has been a mystery to me, although I think I am beginning to understand it. And this is why the Jewish Tribal Review exists. Its purpose is to put all the facts upon the table so that the reasoned, ethical, and open individual can have access to information necessary to examine the course of modern (Jewish/Zionist-influenced) history. Please, Mr. Neumann. You are an "open" man. Where, in our censorial Judeo-centric world is the place where this information may be accessed, in any collected form, but the likes of our web site? (I make the important point here too, that I realize that it is only the political Right that is open to this realm of investigation -- and the Jewish Tribal Review is sometimes pathologized for the sorts of "white separatist" groups that link to us. The Left (at least the gutsier realm) makes that fine distinction between "Zionist" and "Jewish" before criticizing Jews. Jewish organizations decry everywhere a merger between the "Right" and the Palestinian cause, as if a merger of demons. I note to you that the Left's silence and self-censorship on the Jewish issue will, in long term, be harmful to Jewish interests. Ironically, paradoxically, it is the Right that is suddenly in the vanguard of "free speech," at least regarding this particular issue. There is even a tradition of martyrs being born (where so-called "Holocaust deniers" are fined and imprisoned in Western democracies). My point to you is that the Left, per the issue of "Jews," is, like most other aspects of popular culture, self-censorial). The irony, of course, is that part of the Jewish Tribal Review's concept is to get Jewry engaged in self-reflection about all this. Thus far, in that regard, it has failed. It seems to me that, without this self-reflection, the Jewish community sets itself on a very rigid course that can only, in the future, be an enormous problem for everyone. I point out to you that the avalanche of facts and citations at the Jewish Tribal Review are not fantasy. We document what we put up there. It is up to "open" minds to digest their ultimate meanings. In the struggle of political ideologies, it seems that the political Right is appropriating documentable truths for their own cause, while the Left and -- more importantly -- Jewry are in total denial. Thank you for your kindness, and time, in replying to my query. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- From: mneumann [email protected] Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 13:12:09 -0500 Re: Counterpunch article I wish I had the time to give this something remotely like the reply it deserves, but I can't, I'm just snowed. I don't exactly object to any of those attributes, and I won't presume to say anything more about your possible motives. I agree that Jewish culture and tradition, at least, are shot through with racism and various self-serving myths. But I think there is a very basic problem here. When I said for your site to be run by non-racists was 'theoretically possible', I didn't mean anything about possible Jewish reactions. I meant a Martian could have come down from the stars, looked at the world, and put up your site. But in this world, your material, and to a lesser extent mine, is a gift to neo-Nazis and racists of all sorts. Unlike most people in my political niche, this doesn't alarm me: there are far more serious problems to worry about. But when you go after Jews generally and collectively (yes, I know, you allow exceptions, which doesn't negate my description), you are forced into broad claims which are the kiss of death to any attempt to help the Palestinians, my sole concern in all this. You only weaken claims of communal responsibility when you go back into the past, where you of necessity, like Shamir, must rely on more debatable material. For example, my claim that the overwhelming majority of Jews now either support Israeli war crimes, or do not even ask for effective measures against them, is far easier to document than any historical thesis. And it very clearly allows Jews to escape collective responsibility simply by changing their minds. I do quite see your point, and it's a good one, that Jews are full of paranoid conspiracy theories about antisemtism. But since I reject those conspiracy theories, I'm not exactly being inconsistent here. I don't see that I have any problem coming to terms with the Jewish past, much of which no doubt does feed into the present criminality. But I can't give squeaky clean, rock-solid proof for that, so I don't write about it. Even Shahak does not come close to meeting real standards of scholarship, which is why I won't cite him. I don't feel I can afford to make mistakes. Where your own views are concerned, you are far more permissive in what you regard as historically sound evidence or seriously plausible speculation. Where the views of others are concerned, you are far readier to see serious weaknesses in their case. As for the question of whether dissident views, uncomfortable to Jews, are silenced, this too is for me a very minor issue compared to the Israeli occupation. I do not find that anything I need to make my case against it, is suppressed. Please do not circulate this. I'll add that I have my own strategy regarding how to influence public opinion on Palestine. Some of it I keep to myself. I can't promise to continue the discussion - and believe me, I have to say this several times a day. Michael Neumann -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I wish I had the time to give this something remotely like the reply it deserves, but I can't, I'm just snowed. I understand. Thank you for the time for even the short reply. I don't exactly object to any of those attributes, and I won't presumeto say anything more about your possible motives. I agree that Jewish culture and tradition, at least, are shot through with racism and various self-serving myths. But I think there is a very basic problem here. When I said for your site to be run by non-racists was 'theoretically possible', I didn't mean anything about possible Jewish reactions. I meant a Martian could have come down from the stars, looked at the world, and put up your site. But in this world, your material, and to a lesser extent mine, is a gift to neo-Nazis and racists of all sorts. I understand that you teach philosophy. If I invent a pumpkin-sorting machine, and someone uses its premises to build a weapon for war, is it my responsibility? If I plant a field of corn, and "Nazis" of some sort confiscate it, am I an endorser of fascism for allowing the corn to exist in the world? Must any critical investigator of any subject self-censor, for fear of how the facts found might be used by someone else? Would you endorse an equivilant censorship (for that it is what you infer, truly) of information that would be a "gift" to Jews, to communists, to Republicans, to Palestinians, or any other ethnic/political group? And what about your own critical comments about racist Israel as a "gift" for "neo-Nazis and racists of all sort." You admit your own guilt, if that is how you understand it, for the very same approach that we have, although your efforts you describe as "a lesser extent." In the political world, do you have an arbitrary cut-off line where a certain degree of information is OK, but beyond that it is to be morally condemned because "Nazis" (and who/what is that?) might use it? Do you advocate the limitation of critical inquiry to protect someone who you, or, for that matter, I, or anyone, might have some allegiance? I believe in a true democracy: put all the facts on the table and let the people decide. Is that a tacit endorsement of fascism? ... doesn't alarm me: there are far more serious problems to worry about. But when you go after Jews generally and collectively (yes, I know, you allow exceptions, which doesn't negate my description), you are forced into broad claims which are the kiss of death to any attempt to help the Palestinians, my sole concern in all this. I believe that you are in serious error here. If your genuine "sole concern" is justice for the Palestinians (and not, as tangential sidelight, protection of Jewish injustice from the deepest scrutiny), then it is necessary to examine the vast Thought Police apparatus that exists throughout American (and to some degree Western culture, generally) about the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The real "war" is not in Israel and the Occupied Territories. The true battle, and the decisive one, is the propaganda battle in America, which is entirely one-sided due to Jewish/Zionist hegemony in the media/government machine. Any struggle for Palestininan justice must confront the Jewish lobby (call it the "Zionist lobby" if you wish, but you know as well as I that the concept of "Jew" and "Israel" have become almost inseparable). Of course any such examination of the Jewish lobby opens up an enormously troubling can of worms per Jewish identity, history, and influence in popular culture. The "kiss of death" for the Palestinians, in truth, is this categoric taboo: Thou Shalt Not Examine Jewish power in the One-Sided Propaganda War. In other words, Thou Shalt Not Name Directly Your Nemesis. In Leftist circles, one may examine Jewish power and influence, with enormous caution, by naming it "Zionist," but even that is a very risky venture, especially for one's personal career. The effect of tiptoeing nervously through "Zionist" v.s. "Jewish" semantics is to diffuse the resistant, critical thrust against the perpetrator/oppressor. The problem is the "Jews" that built the "Zionist" state, and not the "Zionist" state that built the "Jews." You only weaken claims of communal responsibility when you go back into the past, where you of necessity, like Shamir, must rely on more debatable material. The past informs the present, and the future. Is this not obvious to a philosopher? How can you fathom the present if you don't know the building blocks of the past, the past that brought us to where we are today? And what, sir, in the social, historical, and political worlds is NOT "debateable?" Let all the arguments and facts be set on the table. And let us all debate them. What greater expression of democracy and the true spirit of moral progress and critical inquiry? I find it ironic that you complain about looking for the roots of "communal responsibility" for Jewry in the past, when the Jewish community holds non-Jews collectively responsible, even today, for thousands of years of "antisemitism," which is, of course, a foundation of modern Jewish identity. Again, if Jewry reaches back, again and again, to declare that "We didn't kill Christ" as an endless basis for an attack upon Christian prejudice and bias, why is it not fair to examine the fact that Jewish folk convention has always celebrated the notion that Jews DID "kill Christ." The issue to me, of course, is not whether they did or didn't. The issue is that Jewry is allowed free reign to assail, based upon their narrow views of history, and THEY FORBID -- by virtue of the punishment of the accusation of "antisemitism" -- ANYONE to respond. Again, I underscore to you that it is the Jewish community that leans so heavily on the past to lend "credibility" to its convictions today. I am arguing that I, and anyone else, have the moral and intellectual right to respond to these Jewish accusations that are a very selective interpretation of history, an interpretation that is constantly wielded as both defensive shield, and offensive weapon, today. For example, my claim that the overwhelming majority of Jews now either support Israeli war crimes, or do not even ask for effective measures against them, is far easier to document than any historical thesis. And it very clearly allows Jews to escape collective responsibility simply by changing their minds. What historical thesis do you propose? Is the Holocaust too difficult to examine in history? The French Revolution? The spread of Islam? What's truly at stake is the (Jewish) activist forces in CONTROLLING history that concerns them. This goes right to the very heart of Jewish identity for, as many Jewish commenentators have noted, if one removes "antisemitism" as a glue in modern Jewish identity, and the attendant Jewish martyrological attachment, what's left of real substance in Jewish identity for the secular Jew, and the atheist, of which there are so very, very many? I am not interested in a debate about how, and how many, people died in the Holocaust. Whether 6 or 6 trillion, the political exploitation of it remain the same. The Holocaust is, I presume, part of the "history" that you dismiss as irrelevant to the modern Arab-Palestinian conflict? If not, where in history do you draw your arbitrary line of irrelevance (or, rather, say, errant "debateability")? I do quite see your point, and it's a good one, that Jews are full of paranoid conspiracy theories about antisemtism. But since I reject those conspiracy theories, I'm not exactly being inconsistent here. As I say, I would have not bothered to email you if I thought you were "normal" (per popular Jewish conventions of identity). Your articles about Israel clearly evidence an open, just mind about that subject. I don't see that I have any problem coming to terms with the Jewish past, much of which no doubt does feed into the present criminality. I find this statement enormously courageous. But I can't give squeaky clean, rock-solid proof for that, so I don't write about it. What's wrong with a speculative article? Why not solicit debate, contribution, argument. In fact, is not a great portion of academic explorations merely "theories" which face the test of truth by others, in intellectual exchange? Even Shahak does not come close to meeting real standards of scholarship, which is why I won't cite him. Of which "standards" do you refer? Daniel Pipes and his like? Bernard Lewis? These men meet the test of what is popularly known as "scholarship," yet they are essentially propagandists. The Nazis had many fine scholars. So? Also, one can write not only from the perspective of "scholarship," of course, but from personal experience. There's a great book by an Israel Jew (I forget his name, but it's at our web site) who a few years ago posed as an Arab for a few months (much like the American book "Black Like Me.") The resultant book isn't "scholarship," but I've never read a more indicting examination of Jewish Israeli racism. I don't feel I can afford to make mistakes. Sure. In this field, what's at stake may be your career. I've just ran across some interesting quotes by Jewish scholars who angered the Jewish establishment and essentially had to flee the NY academic hub to be able to find a job. ("After Auschwitz," or something like that, as I recall, was his book that angered many in the Jewish community) Where your own views are concerned, you are far more permissive in what you regard as historically sound evidence or seriously plausible speculation. You know, this sort of sounds like, in a legal trial, is "You get your psychiatrist and I'll get mine." ALL scholars -- certainly in the social and political realms -- are infested with an intrinsic bias. Their world view permeates their selective perception of history and social events. This will always be so. You have it. I have it. So does everyone else. In my case, I've been reading about Jewish identity, history, and power for years now. I'm informed. There are many, many, many people (mostly Jewish) from whom I cite -- Leftists, Rightists, and everyone else. Do you really believe there is a little tier somewhere in the world of absolutely perfect objective inspection? If you are waiting to find it, you will never be able to write another article again. Where the views of others are concerned, you are far readier to see serious weaknesses in their case. Again, it is difficult to understand where you're heading with such a statement. I'll make a presumption about what its meaning is, and reply by stating that the Jewish Tribal Review holds the mirror back up to Jews -- the one they have been incessantly holding up in the face of all others, without a break. (So to speak) As for the question of whether dissident views, uncomfortable to Jews, are silenced, this too is for me a very minor issue compared to the Israeli occupation. I do not find that anything I need to make my case against it, is suppressed. Well, Counterpunch publishes you. The New York Times? I also think that Jewish censorship of dissent is very, very relevant to today's Israel. There is activist censorship even WITHIN the Jewish community, at least per those organizations that have taken it upon themselves to define the Jewish community to others. Please do not circulate this. I'll add that I have my own strategy regarding how to influence public opinion on Palestine. Some of it I keep to myself. Well, as I say, it seems that you are an honorable man. I think the reluctance to name the problem (the JEWISH propaganda apparatus) guarantees Palestinian defeat. You are an anomaly. The Jewish wagons circle around the state of Israel, not you in your noble tent by the river. I can't promise to continue the discussion - and believe me, I have to say this several times a day. OK. Thanks. Keep up the good work. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [email protected] From: mneumann Re: Counterpunch article Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2002 10:40:20 -0500 Again a very brief reply. I can't afford to prolong the discussion, and I appreciate your understanding. First, of course you are not the least bit responsible for how others use your site. Second, a more general remark that may help you to understand my attitudes. My sole concern is indeed to help the Palestinians, and I try to play for keeps. I am not interested in the truth, or justice, or understanding, or anything else, except so far as it serves that purpose. This means, among other things, that if talking about Jewish power doesn't fit my strategy, I won't talk about it. And, implausible as it may sound to you, I believe I can do *much* more damage by staying entirely away from such issues. Finally, I have always considered politics a crude, simple business in which there is little place for theory. It is very valuable to know the history behind the conflict, even far behind it, but it is not always politically effective to discuss it, not least because there are always contentious points and side-issues. I try to simplify problems as much as possible, strip away as many debatable points as I can, and see what I can do with the rest. Whatever you may think of the strategy, you can see that it would pull me in a direction far different from your own. This is not to say that the questions in which you are interested may not become very relevant once public opinion is softened up for them. Michael Neumann -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- YOU SAY: Again a very brief reply. I can't afford to prolong the discussion, and I appreciate your understanding. First, of course you are not the least bit responsible for how others use your site. I SAY: Of course. Thank you. YOU SAY: Second, a more general remark that may help you to understand myattitudes. My sole concern is indeed to help the Palestinians, and I try to play for keeps. I am not interested in the truth, or justice, or understanding, or anything else, except so far as it serves that purpose. I SAY: I'm shocked. Am I reading this right? But I don't think there is any room for misinterpretation. You say you are "not interested in the truth, or justice, or understanding, or anything else, except so far as it serves that purpose." Is this the foundation of your teachings as a philosopher? To paraphrase: "Nothing matters, neither truth nor justice, but what I want." Is this moral? How is this stated ethic different than, say, a criminal? Or, maybe worse, a politician? The end justifies the means. My God, wouldn't Hitler be comfortable with your method by which you are "helping" the Palestinian people? YOU SAY: This means, among other things, that if talking about Jewish power doesn't fit my strategy, I won't talk about it. And, implausible as it may sound to you, I believe I can do *much* more damage by staying entirely away from such issues. I SAY: I'm sorry. I believe there is much, much more in the depths behind your statement here. And I don't believe it has anything to do with the Palestinian cause. "Truth" and "justice" have nothing to do with your "strategy" to help them? Then, sir, I don't think the Palestinians need your help, really. Do you seek to mold the Palestinian cause in mirror image of the Jewish/Zionist one, i.e., when "truth" and "justice" are irrelevant to goals (whatever they are). YOU SAY: "Finally, I have always considered politics a crude, simple business in which there is little place for theory. It is very valuable to know the history behind the conflict, even far behind it, but it is not always politically effective to discuss it, not least because there are always contentious points and side-issues." I SAY: Whatever your stated justifications for your reasons of silence about "Jewish" power, you fall -- intentionally, or unintentionally -- in direct line with the traditions of the Jewish/Zionist lobby. The institutionalized "strategy" to neutralize right-wing "antisemitism," and, increasingly, ALL political shades that dare to criticize the Jewish collective, is exactly yours: silence. Jeffrey Kaplan, of William Paterson University talks about this device to pathologize the political right in the 1940s, which was agitating against Jewish power: http://www.wpunj.edu/cohss/old_cohss/sociology/sociology/kaplan4.htm "Making a virtue of indecision, the strategy which both the ADL and AJC eventually arrived at was termed at the time 'dynamic silence.' Championed by Rabbi S. A. Fineberg of the AJC, the idea was to close off all access to the public media- and thus the larger culture- to 'rabble rousers' such as Smith. This decision would mark the moment in time when the radical right would gradually fade from direct access to the popular media, and thus the public consciousness, leaving the 'watchdog' organizations such as the ADL and AJC in a position to assume stewardship of the public exposure of the movement. It was not until the attempt by Smith and others to block the appointment of Anna M. Rosenberg as an Assistant Secretary of Defense in 1950 that both the American Jewish Committee and the Anti- Defamation League opened a full fledged attack on Gerald L. K. Smith by bringing charges of anti- Semitism before the United States Senate. By then, the tactics employed by the ADL and the AJC were well honed: to identify potential anti-Semites and to seek to preempt if possible, to halt if not, their activities by putting pressure on elected officials and on local and national newspapers, by printing the names of suspected anti-Semites, and by distributing 'educational' materials intended to neutralize criticism of the Jewish community. It is an interpretive role that today continues to be performed by the 'watchdog' groups of which the ADL is the most influential. Acting in a role which is strikingly reminiscent of a 'high priesthood' whose self- appointed task it is to interpret the distant rumblings of the radical right wing milieu, the ADL and its numerous imitators have, through carefully nurtured connections with Congress, government agencies and the media, succeeded to a remarkable degree in banishing the adherents of right wing appeals to the margins of society. What's more, the ADL, once fastened on a target, is tenacious in its endeavors to isolate the target movement from the mainstream culture ... The tactics pioneered against Smith proved so efficacious that even before the onset of the 1980s language rectification movement known somewhat derisively as 'political correctness', the radical right had been all but silenced in the American public square." I have no doubt that you too would be happy to give the Right the silent treatment to neutralize them, but what about when there's criticism from the Left, or some other political persuasion, that seeks to criticize Jews on some justifiable issue? My point is that your position about Jewish power and influence is the same as ADL's (except per the subdelineation of Zionism/Israel), that organization which has become oppressor of ALL critical thought, from ANY political persuasion, about the Jewish community. That is the "accusation of antisemitism," is it not, and you have stated, from the first, that you consider the Jewish Tribal Review to be "antisemitic." What is the best way to face those who criticize not just the Zionist community, but its Jewish root? Silence, a systematic screening from public forum, towards neutralization. YOU SAY: I try to simplify problems as much as possible, strip away as many debatable points as I can, and see what I can do with the rest. I SAY: Are you serious? What on earth in the social and political realms is NOT debateable? Do you think that when an Israeli soldier shoots a UN worker in the back that the vast Jewish/Zionist lobby,and enormous Judeocentric interests in the mass media, is irrelevant to the propaganda battle about it that is already occurring? The murder of the UN worker is the first thing. The "spin" on it is the second, and herein lies the ESSENCE of Jewish power AND the struggle for human dignity and liberation by the Palestinian people. The murder is ALREADY "debateable," and the American mass media's relative "silent" treatment about the matter is the best way for the Jewish/Zionist lobby to sweep it all under the rug, the way they do everything else. (I read about the murder in the Israeli, and British, media). YOU SAY: "Whatever you may think of the strategy, you can see that it would pull me in a direction far different from your own. This is not to say that the questions in which you are interested may not become very relevant once public opinion is softened up for them." I SAY: Am I correct in paraphrasing your statements above that truth is irrelevant to your goals, that justice is irrelevant to your goals, and that you think you are "helping" the Palestinian cause? I, too, think I am helping the Palestinian cause. I tell the truth, I aim at the truth, and justice is central to my arguments. I'd like to see the future Palestinian people living a life BASED upon truth and justice. I guess there is indeed an enormous gap between us. And I, for telling the truth about the Jewish collective, am, to your understanding, an "antisemite" and therefore the bad guy. Herein, Mr. Neumann, lies the essence of the problem, both per the Palestinian issue, and so much else. Thanks for your time. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [email protected] From: mneumann Re: Counterpunch article Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2002 13:51:09 -0500 Here's what must be a final message, at least for quite a while. I'll simply try to be clearer about my position. I should perhaps have said: I am very interested in truth, justice and understanding, but right now I have far more interest in helping the Palestinians. I would use anything, including lies, injustice and obfuscation, to do so. If an effective strategy means that some truths about the Jews don't come to light, I don't care. If an effective strategy means encouraging reasonable antisemitism, or reasonable hostility to Jews, I also don't care. If it means encouraging vicious racist antisemitism, or the destruction of the state of Israel, I still don't care. This is not to say there isn't plenty of room for legitimate disagreement about whether a direct attack on the Jewish lobby and Jewish influence generally is tactically sound or not: we disagree on this, and the issues are too complex to argue here and now. I understand that you may suspect I rationalize here; all I can say is I disagree. Michael Neumann -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mr. Neumann, YOU WRITE: Here's what must be a final message, at least for quite a while. I'll simply try to be clearer about my position. I should perhaps have said: I am very interested in truth, justice and understanding, but right now I have far more interest in helping the Palestinians. I would use anything, including lies, injustice and obfuscation, to do so. I SAY: Is this ethical? What credibility do you expect me to have now for whatever you say, when you announce that it may be lying? Although I am impressed by your articles that are so critical of Zionism and Israel, here your statements make me very uncomfortable. Again, is this the way to "help" the Palestinians? "Lies, injustice, obfuscation" ... and thereby fraud and anything else. Your ethics expressed above are not mine. And I'm afraid to say that there are some stereotypes that are starting to swirl up in my mind that are given creedence by your statements. The question of interest to me is to what degree, if any, are your values presented here reflective of your Jewish heritage. Maybe nothing. Maybe a lot. It's an interesting question, isn't it? It also seems to me that an individual of Jewish heritage (like yourself) preaching against Israel is worth a 100, maybe a 1,000 non-Jews doing the same thing. Why? Because, given the context of Jewish hegemony throughout popular culture, and the steady avalanche of guilt-tripping upon virtually any Gentile about the Holocast, and the omnipresent weapon of the accusation of "antisemitism," non-Jews are not afforded the innate credibility you (Jewish "self-hater" or not) are awarded in attacking the racist Jewish state. Your commentary is afforded especially great value to the "Palestinian cause," particularly by Palestinians (in the same way the tiny Orthodox sect Neuta Karta (spelling?) is heralded, despite this Orthodox group's own racist premises about itself), solely by virtue of your Jewish roots. Also, of course, a Jewish commentator is more likely to be published in the media's editorial contest of ideas (although I recognize that the very most powerful Judeocentric, Zionist-centric media organs will probably not entertain your public notions about the Palestinian struggle as much as the more obscure "leftist" ones). The effect, however, it seems, is that dissenting individuals like yourself (of Jewish heritage) to the Jewish mainstream have a disproportionate effect upon the Palestinian struggle for "truth and justice," attributes that, as you say, are not terribly important to you. Among the contexts for a genuine truth and justice, as I have already noted to you, is the issue of Jewish political and cultural hegemony in the West, particularly America, which you refuse to address (because, more or less, you proclaim that you don't know enough about it to make a strong case and, in fact, would HARM the Palestinian cause). I sense that you are being disingenuous. It is quite understandable that if any generic subject of "Jewish" anything is addressed, the net of investigation and accusation goes far further than a criticism of "Zionism." In the wake of World War II history, no Jewish individual is open to such a investigation of "Jewish" anything without concern. I understand that, including the worry. And I sympathize. But it seems to me that it is all a vicious loop, whereby further censorship of issues of Jewish hegemony in the West guarantees that these issues will arise, sooner or later, in contexts that are very unflattering to Jewry at-large, i.e., the context of censorship. And I think that an open Jewish "confession" about Jewish influence and power is far more advantageous, ultimately, to the JEWISH "cause" than a prying open of the facts AGAINST the Jewish collective will (i.e., flicking on a light in the basement). And I think what may be happening, to some degree, is that Jewish self-defense (which is one of the foundations of modern "Jewish" identity, even among those who have the courage to partake in the propaganda war for Palestinian justice) guarantees that non-Jews in the Palestinian "cause" will accede to Jewish worry and not examine those greater issues that are crucial to the victory of the pro-Palestine moral effort. In other words, judging by your comments to me about your role in the Palestinian struggle, I think that you are steering the boat the wrong way. YOU WRITE: If an effective strategy means that some truths about the Jews don't come to light, I don't care. If an effective strategy means encouraging reasonable antisemitism, or reasonable hostility to Jews, I also don't care. If it means encouraging vicious racist antisemitism, or the destruction of the state of Israel, I still don't care. I SAY: If this is true, then why do you describe our web site, the Jewish Tribal Review, from the first, as "a gift to the Nazis," when we have nothing to do whatsoever with such an ideology? If truth is truth, any political entity will do with it as they will, with no responsibility on our part, save for the telling of truth. YOU SAY: This is not to say there isn't plenty of room for legitimate disagreement about whether a direct attack on the Jewish lobby and Jewish influence generally is tactically sound or not: we disagree on this, and the issues are too complex to argue here and now. I understand that you may suspect I rationalize here; all I can say is I disagree. I SAY: I have been thinking about our email exchange, particularly the current of ethics and morality (or lack of such) within them. And I am inclined, despite your request otherwise, to post them at our web site. (Why is it important that our exchanges be secret?) I am an ethical individual, and if someone asks me to keep a discussion in confidence, if there is an ethical reason to do so, I am inclined to accommodate the request. However, although your defense of the Palestinian people is rightly guided, it seems to me that your tactics are self-defeating, and, to my eyes, somewhat immoral, and I think the Palestinian people should understand what the premises of your support for them is. If you object further to my posting of our exchanges, I'll consider it, but, of course, they might be posted just as well. Thanks for your time. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [email protected] From: mneumann Re: Counterpunch article Date: Fri, 29 Nov 2002 13:37:17 -0500 I do object to posting the exchange, very much so. My messages were not thought out with the deliberation I would take in making public pronouncements, and there is absolutely no question but that Zionists could twist them and misuse them. I cannot imagine that you are unaware of this, and that your ethics includes breaching confidence to the advantage of the people you purport to oppose. I believe it could damage the Palestinian cause (which right now is survival, not truth and justice in some general sense). This also follows from what appears to be your own apparent view - not mine - that my writings are valuable and that our exchange calls my credibility into question. That you should consider making the correspondence public makes me suspect your motives much more than anything on your site. As for what's ethical, you can't seriously think that one shouldn't lie to save lives. That I am willing to do that and many other things *if necessary* is quite within the bounds of any political struggle. Nor does anything I've written preclude the sort of enquiries you advocate. I describe your web site as "a gift to the Nazis" because its material is very useful to the Nazis. I have made very clear that lots of unobjectionable material is useful in this way. Nazis could also use, say, a government census. If you do really have any concern for the Palestinians, I suggest that you let me try to do my job without having to deal with the inevitably damaging consequences of the disclosure you propose. I have been told by people who seem to be in the know that the Palestinians may be facing a catastrophic assault sometime between mid-December and March. I would think that even truth and justice might tell you not to make difficulties for someone who is trying to help them. Michael Neumann -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- YOUR COMMENT: I do object to posting the exchange, very much so. My messages were not thought out with the deliberation I would take in making public pronouncements, MY COMMENT: Well, I asked you specifically about your rejection of truth and justice as the foundation of your efforts, I asked you to reconsider, I asked if I was understanding you correctly, and you replied: "I should perhaps have said: I am very interested in truth, justice and understanding, but right now I have far more interest in helping the Palestinians. I would use anything, including lies, injustice and obfuscation, to do so." I do not believe that in the Big Picture this attitude is truly "help" for the Palestinian people. Once you open the doors of lies, injustice, deceit, disinformation, and exploitation, where is that point where you get rid of it? And how? Truly, is it ever POSSIBLE to excise it, once it is legitimized as valid at the start -- by whatever group -- in the struggle for justice (true, not so important to you if its not useful to your ends) and, ultimately, power. "Lies, injustice, and obfuscation" are the foundation of the Jewish/Zionist propaganda apparatus. I don't think you're doing the Palestinian people a favor by modeling their efforts in a Zionist mirror image strategy. I suggest to you that the ESSENCE of what your world view is a very ruthless pragmatism, and once such an ideology of fraud is accepted as a reasonable tool, IT CAN NEVER BE EVICTED because it becomes engrained in the very acceptable premises of the political body. I suggest to you that "lies, injustice, and obfuscation" are what must be REMOVED from the Palestinian struggle, lest it becomes as morally bankrupt as its nemesis. Perhaps I am politically naive. Perhaps I am too great an idealist. But if moral principle is not the basis by which one struggles for ANYTHING, are you not inevitably immersed in moral corruption if, or when, you have attained your goal? I also ask you where does the process of "lies, injustice and obfuscation" stop? Once you use it as a tactic, why will its roll ever end? Stalinism, Hitlerism and Zionism are examples where these attributes were used as tools to seize power, and then to EXERCISE power AND suppress dissent. The use of "lies, injustice and obfuscation" is also a set of tools long used by the Jewish collective (not just "Zionist") in its aims of ancient self-defense and self-promotion. I object to these tools as being legitimate, for they are corrupt, and INEVITABLY invite a justifed attack on moral grounds, sooner or later. If the Palestinian people must ultimately fall back on "lies, injustice and obfuscation" in their defense, then they have BECOME the like of their Jewish and Zionist enemies, and are therefore subject to legitimate criticism, on both moral and political grounds. The Palestinians are already weak. And your methods can only further, morally, weaken them. Your strategy, in fact, invites such a moral attack upon them, sooner or later. Corruption, lies, and "obfuscation" engenders the same in every direction; corruption is contagious. Your methodology of lies and deceit guarantees corruption, for it IS corruption -- whether it is defensive or offensive, it is the same to me. (This is much the way the Jewish collective uses the charge of "antisemitism" as both shield and weapon). YOUR COMMENT: ... and there is absolutely no question but that Zionists could twist them and misuse them. I cannot imagine that you are unaware of this, and that your ethics includes breaching confidence to the advantage of the people you purport to oppose. I believe it could damage the Palestinian cause (which right now is survival, not truth and justice in some general sense). MY COMMENT: Zionists "twist and misuse" everything, anything, in behalf of their cause, no? I note to you that this IS THE SAME METHODOLOGY YOU PROPOSE FOR THE PALESTINIANS! I am aware that your articles about Israel and Zionism are helpful in the short term, but the larger picture, as I have repeatedly stated to you, is not what's going on in Israel, but what's going on HERE, per Judeo-centric dominance of the opinion manufacturing arms of American culture and Jewish American support for the brutal, racist Jewish nation. THIS is the core problem, it lies at the heart of the exploitation and degradation of the Palestinian people. The Palestinians can never win their struggle for JUSTICE (note this word I emphasize) unless the REAL problem is analzyed and criticized. Per "breach of confidence." First, should the Palestinians place much trust in an apparently reckless man (you) who confesses himself into moral trouble with a complete stranger, the web master of a web site you deem "antisemitic?" How do you know I am not working for the Zionist Organization of America and you have been entrapped? If you will announce to me that you are a prospective liar, who will you NOT proclaim this to, on behalf of the Palestinian people? Secondly, again, to actually resolve ANY problem you must directly address the problem, not its tangent. If bad fruit is falling on the house, the problem is the trunk of the tree, not really the branches. Anything less than an examination of the source problem guarantees that the problem will linger, and probably grow. The problem is in America. It is Jewish hegemony in the mass media and other molders of mass opinion. Per "survival." To base one's survival upon deceit, fraud, lies, and the like is in fact to subvert true survival; what survives in such a scenario is not the original people, not truth, nor justice, but corrupted shadow. YOUR COMMENT: This also follows from what appears to be your own apparent view - not mine - that my writings are valuable and that our exchange calls my credibility into question. That you should consider making the correspondence public makes me suspect your motives much more than anything on your site. I SAY: Our motives are simple: to post for the public verifiable facts and information about Jewish history, Jewish identity, and Jewish power and influence, especially as it relates to today's racist Jewish state: Israel. I consider your articles "valuable" for the Palestinian cause to a limited degree (there are so VERY few people of Jewish heritage who dare to write such things), but in the long term, particularly coupled with your comments to me about the lengths you are willing to go to fulfill a political interest(today Palestinians, tomorrow something else?), I find YOUR motivations suspect. Given what you have stated to me about your zeal for relying upon the deceitful if necessary, why should anyone trust ANYTHING you say as truthful, if there is always your stated possibility that you are lying for some political goal? (And does this willingness to lie spill into your personal world too? Why not? You teach philosophy. You have thought about this.) YOU SAY: AS for what's ethical, you can't seriously think that one shouldn't lie to save lives. I SAY: It is one thing to lie to Nazi soldiers when they ask if there's a Jew in the house. It's quite another to court lies and disinformation in the public realm of ideas. How is your methodology different than any of the corporate monsters that have created the moral netherworld that suffocates us all? Nor do I think your methodology is going to "save lives." In order to "save" the Palestinian people, the trunk of the tree much be examined, not its branches. Again, the "trunk" is Jewish hegemony in the popular media and opinion-creation factory. Nothing short of an examination of this problem will give the Palestinian people the footing they need to assert their rights to human justice. I say "justice." This word apparently is negotiable for you. YOU SAY: That I am willing to do that and many other things *if necessary* is quite within the bounds of any political struggle. I SAY: If so, then you are no different than Stalin, Hitler, Sharon, or any other scamster that seeks a political goal. Most politicians are adept fraudsters and/or fence-sitters, if not outright liars. I am afraid to ask what "other things" beyond lying and treachery you are willing to do "if necessary" to attain your goals, whatever they are. You best not tell me. The more you attempt to defend the, indeed, ruthless pragmatism of your own political ideology (whatever it is), the more horrible it sounds. YOU SAY: Nor does anything I've written preclude the sort of enquiries you advocate. I SAY: On the contrary. You fall into line with the Jewish self-defensive monolith with a condemnation of the Jewish Tribal Review as "antisemitic." You fault Israel Shahak and Israel Shamir for lack of "scholarship," when they have been among the very rare few Jews who have had the courage to address the roots of the problem we are talking about here. YOU SAY: "I describe your web site as "a gift to the Nazis" because its material is very useful to the Nazis. I have made very clear that lots of unobjectionable material is useful in this way. Nazis could also use, say, a government census. I SAY: "Nazis" could use your work too. Again, we need not dwell on this, but the Jewish Tribal Review as a "gift to the Nazis" was one of your first comments to me. Of all the things on the planet to say, this is what came so quickly to your mind. Again, the implications to me are that the investigation of Jewish identity and history, by definition, is problematic for you. Why? You deem our site "antisemitic," yet it is merely a massive compilation of facts -- many unpleasant and troublesome -- about this subject. YOU SAY: If you do really have any concern for the Palestinians, I suggest that you let me try to do my job without having to deal with the inevitably damaging consequences of the disclosure you propose. I have been told by people who seem to be in the know that the Palestinians may be facing a catastrophic assault sometime between mid-December and March. I SAY: Are you inferring that one of your articles can save the Palestinian people from the vast machinery of the Jewish/Zionist lobby and the ruthless Israeli state? Until the Jewish American lobby is exposed for its omnipresence in the range of Middle East affairs and American public opinion, Israel will roll over the Palestinian people -- and you, if necessary, in the process. YOU SAY: I would think that even truth and justice might tell you not to make difficulties for someone who is trying to help them. I SAY: The issue, as I have outlined for you, is that I think your methodology can do the Palestinian great harm, in the long run. Let me put in parable form, the ethical dilemma that faces me with you: I come across an acknowledged liar trying to help a wounded man along the road. The liar proclaims to others the lie that the wounded man is a prince from another land, and will pay a handsome ransom if others will help him. I come upon the scene and wonder: what is going to happen here? Should I announce to everyone that this is a lie, and that the reason people should help the wounded individual is simply because it is the right, moral thing to do? Or should I remain silent, and let the lie lead to another lie, and another, and another? Until lying is the rule of the land. My sense is that I'll send our email exchange, first, out to a few Palestinian sources, and solicit feedback about it. Since your stated fear is that of the Zionists, and not the Palestinians, this should be of no concern to you. Am I right, or wrong? I have read, by the way, the arguments of Nigel Perry and a couple of Palestinian activists in rebuttal to Israel Shamir's alleged "antisemitism." When the Jewish Tribal Review was inaugurated, a link was posted to our web site by the Palestinian Chronicle until, I'm sure, these kinds of Thought Police notified it that linking to truth might have unpleasant side-effects for the Palestinian cause because, alas, the Jewish Tribal Review was "antisemitic" (i.e., it dared to criticize the Jewish roots of Zionism, not just Israel). My position on all this is that Shamir is a great man, who IS addressing the right problem, and stands to help the Palestinian people IMMENSELY IF GIVEN WIDE PUBLIC FORUM, but the self-protective Jewish coterie (radiating out into the Palestianian realm that dares not alienate the Jewish lobby and, largely thanks to this lobby, our "politically correct" Thought Police world) mitigates against him. At this point I understand your efforts to entail a moral subversion of the Palestinian cause. That you fear public examination of your comments merely underscores your own recognition of the troubling implications of your strategy in "helping" the Palestinian people. Thanks for your time. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [email protected] From: mneumann Re: Counterpunch article Date: Sat, 30 Nov 2002 07:43:10 -0500 We have here either persistent misunderstanding or willful misinterpretation; I'll assume the former. One more try. When I said that I would do anything, including lie and obfuscate, to help the Palestinians, I meant the same sort of thing that someone would mean who said he would do anything, including lie and obfuscate, to save the lives of his parents. It is a statement of commitment, not a strategic announcement, not a claim that one in fact *does* these things, or recommends doing them in the current circumstances. In fact I do not lie or obfuscate in anything I write, because that would hurt the Palestinians. I am scrupulously truthful and avoid making statements that can't be strongly supported. Indeed that's why I don't speculate about Jewish power. At the theoretical level I fail to see much disagreement. You agree that one should lie to save lives. You seem to think that only Stalins lie in the public arena. In fact Roosevelt and Churchill also lied; lies and disinformation are always part of warfare. But in my own efforts, lies and disinformation would be counterproductive and I don't engage in them. I will now go back to trying to help the Palestinians. Ask Shamir about, if you like, about whether I have been working to deny him a wide public forum. And see if any Jew (I include Shamir) recommends as clearly and unambiguously an Iraq-like treatment of Israel as I do. I find it very odd that I am the one you want to discredit. Michael Neumann -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- YOU SAY: We have here either persistent misunderstanding or willful misinterpretation; I'll assume the former. I SAY: No, I think we understand each other reasonably well. We agree about Israel, that it is a racist, brutal state and deserves condemnation. We don't seem to agree about much beyond that or, at least, you are unwilling to concede much about the greater issue of Jewish cultural and political hegemony throughout much of Western society. As I have repeatedly stated to you, this is clearly a greater problem then the narrow boundaries of an Israel/Zionism commentary, and it includes the Zionist issue. The Israel problem cannot be resolved without critical inquiry, and public discussion, about Jewish dominance of so much in popular culture. Herein lies my apparent crime for you -- since I dare to examine this larger picture, I fall within the defamatory category of "antisemite" for you, i.e., you declare (in your Counterpunch article) that those who examine such Jewish power are implicitly "racists." This is injust, especially when you make such judgements and then are too busy to justify your condemnations to those who protest such defamation. Throwing out the term "antisemite" or "racist" or the rest of that genre of pejoratives, and then ducking away (too busy), is bullshit. YOU SAY: "One more try. When I said that I would do anything, including lie and obfuscate, to help the Palestinians, I meant the same sort of thing that someone would mean who said he would do anything, including lie and obfuscate, to save the lives of his parents. I SAY: Who is on the list of those for whom you would "lie and obfuscate" for? And who is not? I don't think "saving" one's parents and "saving" Palestinians, or Australians, or Kurds, or the Amish, or Germans, is quite the same thing. In fact, one group is personal, and the others social/political. There are plenty of Jews who would "lie and obfuscate" for Israel. I argue with you that this methodology, in the social/political realm, is corrupt. Your position, it seems, is that it is the natural part of the social/political terrain -- a premise that may or may not be so, but which that I, on moral grounds, reject. If you are correct in this realm's innate corruption, I'd like to break this cycle of "lies and obfuscation." The Palestinian cause is just. They don't need "lies and obfuscation" to soil their struggle. If you wish to save your parents, who may be saints or mass murderers, the reasons you wish to save them are quite different. You are comparing your will to "save" different groups for quite different reasons. YOU SAY: It is a statement of commitment, not a strategic announcement, not a claim that one in fact *does* these things, or recommends doing them in the current circumstances. In fact I do not lie or obfuscate in anything I write, because that would hurt the Palestinians. I am scrupulously truthful and avoid making statements that can't be strongly supported. I SAY: But, as I have already noted, you have stated, twice to me, that lying and such is a legitimate form of help to the Palestinians. Once you state that as part of your moral creed, why is it hard for you to understand that you impugn your credibility -- categorically? If lying is part of your stated argumentative arsenal, why should I believe that you aren't lying to me, now? YOU SAY: Indeed that's why I don't speculate about Jewish power. I SAY: What "speculate?" Our web site has done lots of the research for you. There are many, many avenues to address Jewish (and, hence, Zionist) power and influence in popular culture. Your position on this subject is the "silent treatment" (to shun it) and to pathologize ("antisemitic") those (me, and our web site) who dare to tread the terrain you -- by definition -- refuse to examine. How is your position an example of fine "scholarship?" (to use your earlier term) YOU SAY: At the theoretical level I fail to see much disagreement. I SAY: We agree that a dismantling and/or restructuring of the racist Jewish state would be in the best interests of the Palestinians, Americans, most other people, and, ultimately, Jews. YOU SAY: You agree that one should lie to save lives. I SAY: I didn't say that. If "Nazis" came to your door looking to get you, I'd lie to save you if I could. But if you had just done some heinous crime, and I knew it, I'd probably leave you to your own fate. (Are you "innocent," or are you "guilty?" Depending upon what authorities came to my door for, looking for my parents, it is possible I might not make the effort to "save" them.) I made earlier the important distinction between saving an individual life by a lie and lying as a political tool -- which you champion, but I reject. These are not parallel issues. Saving a life on a case by case basis is one thing. Lying as a matter of course in the political, social, economic, and cultural worlds is quite another. I refer you to the famous "If you save one life, you save the world entire" Jewish quote by which Spielberg opens Schindler's List. Unfortunately, that quote is one of immense Jewish political manipulation. For the original text talks about saving a JEWISH life, and, as some Jewish scholars have noted, one can even conjure in that lovely "universalistic" saying that if you can save your own hide, you're thereby saving the "world." The morality implicit in that saying, therefore, is equivilant to pinning mist. YOU SAY: You seem to think that only Stalins lie in the public arena. In fact Roosevelt and Churchill also lied; lies and disinformation are always part of warfare. But in my own efforts, lies and disinformation would be counterproductive and I don't engage in them. I SAY: I am not naive. The realm of formal politics in today's society is rooted in large degree upon disinformation. Idealist or not, my interests are in a readjusting this corruption along a more moral track. Per your own ideology, you are, wisely, now, publicly refuting what you championed earlier. What else can you do but deny now what you stated, at least twice, earlier, since I may post this at a public forum? YOU SAY: I will now go back to trying to help the Palestinians. Ask Shamir about, if you like, about whether I have been working to deny him a wide public forum. And see if any Jew (I include Shamir) recommends as clearly and unambiguously an Iraq-like treatment of Israel as I do. I find it very odd that I am the one you want to discredit. I SAY: I will ask him if he has an opinion about all this. My interest is in discrediting the accusation of "antisemitism" as a political tool to squelch dissent. Your article in Counterpunch about the subject of antisemitism was double-edged: criticizing Israel is OK, but going beyond to assail the Jewish tribalism that has created, and maintains, the racist Jewish state, and that does verifiably maintain an enormously disproportionate influence in American popular culture and politics (indeed, DOMINATING, entire spheres), is for you an implicit sign of "Nazis" and "racists." Your position here is to herald stereotypes. The Jewish Tribal Review struggles to tell the truth, and it struggles for intellectual, moral, and scholarly legitimacy, even within the Palestianian struggle which censors the material it needs to succeed against racist Jewish hegemony. The reason for this Palestinian blind spot is the implicit censorial influence within the community by people like you, of Jewish heritage, who declare the boundaries of critical inquiry into the Jewish and Zionist entity. (Nigel Perry and Palestinian activists follow form, fearful of the charge of "antisemitism," struggling so the branches of the problem can be assailed, but the trunk of the tree? Never.) Again, the ultimate issue in not across the world in Israel. It is the widespread Jewish power base, throughout America and other parts of Western culture, that has such a stranglehold on public opinion, by virtue of its censorial lobbies throughout the political, social, cultural, and economic fabrics. In the LONG term, are you helpful for the Palestinian people? As long as Jewish activists within the pro-Palestinian movement steer the Palestinian people away from the word "Jew," as long as such hands seize important parts of the steering wheel, the problem of racist Zionism can never be resolved. I think I'll forward our correspondence to Shamir, and see if he has any interest in commenting upon it.

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