Progressive Calendar 10.28.09
From: David Shove (
Date: Wed, 28 Oct 2009 12:57:38 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    10.28.09

1. Intentional community 10.28 6:30pm
2. Choice voting info    10.28 7pm
3. Fight foreclosure     10.28 7pm
4. Immigration           10.28 6Pm?8pm? (2 times given)

5. Eagan peace vigil     10.29 4:30pm
6. Northtown vigil       10.29 5pm
7. Ward 5/mayor/BET/park 10.29 6pm
8. Choice party          10.29 6pm
9. Human community/Loft  10.29 7pm
10. Ward 9 candidates    10.29 7pm
11. Marv Davidov         10.29 7:30pm
12. Zinn PeoplesHist/CTV 10.29 10:30pm

13. Gilad Atzmon - The wandering who?

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From: Michael Luick-Thrams <michaelluickthrams [at]>
Subject: Intentional community 10.28 6:30pm

Intentional community forming; no idle plans, but concrete actions: land
and 2 houses bought/ready for March Move-In. Interested persons invited to
potluck and Info Evening as of 6.30pm, Wed., 28 Oct., at 1729 Hague #2 in
St. Paul (zip 55104; corner of Herschel). Residents/interns/volunteers
sought/welcome. Details at  and
MichaelLuickThrams [at] or 651.646.0400.

Michael Luick-Thrams Director, Burr Oak Center for Durable Culture 22996
Larpenteur Road Turin/Iowa 51040 U.S.A.
land 712.353.6661/fax 6662 Email: MichaelLuickThrams [at] Web site:
Executive Director, TRACES Center for History and Culture 1729 Hague
Ave., Suite 2 Saint Paul/Minnesota 55104 U.S.A.
land 651.646.0400/fax 8070 cell 651.373.9673 Email:
MichaelLuickThrams [at] Web site:

--------2 of 13--------

From: Lisa Boyd <tigerlily64 [at]>
From: Kim Jakus
Subject: Choice voting info 10.28 7pm

The Ranked Choice Voting outreach team will be traveling throughout the
City of Minneapolis to educate voters about this new voting system. These
events are a great way to learn how to vote with a Ranked Choice Voting
ballot and an opportunity to ask questions that you may have before
Election Day on November 3rd.

Below is a list of dates and locations. For a map and more information
please visit:

You can contact Ona directly if you have any questions.
rcv [at]
612-210-1056 (cell)
612-605-8370 (office)

  October 28th, 2009, 7:00-9:00pm
  Sabathani Community Center 310 E 38th St

  October 29th, 2009, 6:30-8:00pm
  First Christian Church, Fellowship Hall 2201 First Avenue S,

  October 31st, 2009, 10:00am-12:00pm
  North Regional Library Meeting Room 1315 Lowry Ave N

  November 2nd, 2009, 6:30-8:00pm
  Pershing Park Recreation Center 3523 W. 48th St.

Jennifer Lastoka Community Engagement Coordinator City of Minneapolis 350
S 5th St, M floor--M301 Minneapolis, MN 55415 ph: 612.673.3163 fax:
612.673.3250 cell: 612.240.9241

Kim Jakus Housing Coordinator Longfellow Community Council 2727 26th
Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55406
612.722.4529 kim [at]

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From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Fight foreclosure 10.28 7pm

Community Meeting: Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium
Wednesday, October 28, 7:00 p.m. Sabathani Community Center, Banquet
Center, 310 East 38th Street, Minneapolis.

"Join us for an important community meeting to talk about how we can fight
back against home foreclosures and the eviction of renters from foreclosed
properties. The foreclosure crisis is tearing apart our communities and it
is time to take action. During the upcoming legislative session we will
put forward legislation to place a moratorium on foreclosures and
evictions.  Find out more about how we can all work together to save our

Sponsored by: the Minnesota Coalition for a People's Bailout. WAMM is a
member of the Minnesota Coalition for a People's Bailout. FFI: Visit

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From: Stephanie Bates <Stephanie.Bates [at]>
Subject: Immigration 10.28 6Pm?8pm? (2 times given)

The Deportees Wife

Wednesday, October 28, 8pm
Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN
Foss Center
Facilitated Q & A after the show

Augsburg will hear from Giselle Stern Hernez, a Mexican-North American
writer and performer who is an important voice in the U.S. immigration

Stern Hernandez was born and raised in New York and has lived in
Cuernavaca, Mexico since 2001. In her solo show The Deportee's Wife, her
marriage is laid out on the front lines of the North American immigration

In April, 2001, her husband Roberto was deported from Chicago, Illinois,
and she moved to Mexico to live with him in August of that same year.
While Stern Hernez she was a dual citizen of the U.S. and Mexico and was
legally married, her husband was deported with the order to stay out of
the U.S. for twenty years. And in 2007, he also was prohibited from
entering Canada.

In The Deportee's Wife, Stern Hernez takes the audience through her
journey to face hard truths about how race, class, white U.S. privilege
and gender intersect within the structures of a badly broken immigration
system. Through her words and images, she reveals a complicated love

Giselle Stern Hernez received her BA in English from Hunter College CUNY,
and her MFA in Creative Writing from Naropa University's Jack Kerouac
School of Disembodied Poetics. In 2005, she was awarded a Zora Neale
Hurston Award from Naropa. She is also the recipient of a Ford Foundation
Multicultural Playwriting Grant. Giselle has performed her solo shows in
Mexico and the United States since 2007.

The Deportee's Wife will be presented on Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. in
Foss Center. It is free and open to the public. A question and answer
session will follow the show. Sponsored by ALAS, Hispanic/Latino Student
Services, A'viands, CSA, and ASAC at Augsburg College, and La Raza
Cultural Center at the University of Minnesota.

--------5 of 13--------

From: Greg and Sue Skog <family4peace [at]>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 10.29 4:30pm

PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest corner of
Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs and
candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends south
of the river speaking out against war.

--------6 of 13--------

From: EKalamboki [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 10.29 5pm

NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5-6pm, at the intersection of Co. Hwy
10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine.

Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View,
New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park,
Fridley, and Coon Rapids.  We'll have extra signs.

For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or
email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at]

--------7 of 13--------

From: Nik <kreuzauge [at]>
Subject: Ward 5/Mayor/BET/Park 10.29 6pm

Harrison Community Candidate Forum!!!
6:00 pm, Thursday, October 29th, 2009
Harrison Community Center,
503 Irving Avenue North

Come hear your candidates for the 5th Ward and the race for Mayor
answer your questions!

All 5th Ward Candidates have committed to the Forum!  This will be
your chance to ask questions and hear their plans for your community!

5th Ward Candidate Questionnaire:

Also at the Forum:
Information on Rank Choice Voting
Candidates for the Park Board and Board of Estimate and Taxation have
been invited.
Light refreshments will be provided.
Please RSVP for childcare
Translation Headsets will be available!

The Candidate Forum is sponsored by the Harrison Neighborhood Association,
Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota, and Redeemer Center for Life.

For more information call the Harrison Neighborhood Association office at

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From: Erin Parrish <erin [at]>
Subject: Choice party 10.29 6pm

October 29: Minnesota Choice Coalition Pro-Choice Costume Party and Trivia
Night. 6 - 8 PM at the Kitty Cat Klub, 315-14th Avenue SE, Minneapolis.
Free. Happy hour drink specials from 6 - 7 PM. Prizes will be awarded for
best costume and highest trivia score.

--------9 of 13--------

From: Dara Syrkin <dsyrkin [at]>
Subject: Human community 10.29 7pm

Thursday, October 29, 7 p.m.
Evelyn Klein
Once Upon a Neighborhood

Unless otherwise noted, all events take place at
The Loft Literary Center at Open Book
1011 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis
Best practice: check the Loft's website for additions and changes to the
calendar of events.

Evelyn D. Klein reads from and discusses her latest collection of poetry
and prose, Once Upon a Neighborhood, new from North Star Press.

Evelyn D. Klein's poetry and prose combine observation and memoir in her
examination of human nature in the ever-present quest for establishing
community in a time of transience. The community becomes a kind of
extended family in Once Upon a Neighborhood, as it does for so many people
in this country today. Placed in a frame of prose against a backdrop of
scenic drawings, Klein takes the reader on a tour of the Twin Cities area,
people and scenes.

Evelyn D. Klein is a freelance writer, teacher, and artist. At intervals,
she also serves as an editor and writing judge. A prize-winning poet,
Klein's work has appeared in numerous anthologies, journals, newspapers,
and other publications. She edited and published the multicultural
anthology, Stage Two: Poetic Lives, illustrated by her father, Wolfgang

--------10 of 13--------

From: James Barrett <jmichaelbarrett [at] HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Ward 9 candidate forum 10.29 7pm

Candidates for Minneapolis City Council Ward 9 are scheduled to speak at 7
p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, at Sibley Park Recreation Center, 1900 40th St. E.

Candidates on the ballot for the south Minneapolis ward include Dave
Bicking, Green Party; Todd J. Eberhardy, Independence Party; Khalif Jama,
DFL Party; and incumbent Councilman Gary Schiff, DFL Party.

The forum moderator is David Brauer, reporter for the internet news
service MinnPost and former moderator of the Minneapolis Issues Forum.

FairVote Minnesota representatives will explain ranked choice voting
recently adopted by the City of Minneapolis and to be used for the first
time in the general electon on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

The forum is sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the Corcoran,
Longfellow, Standish-Ericsson, Powderhorn and East Phillips neighborhood

Dave Bicking for City Council NEWS RELEASE Paul Busch (651) 646-4656
pobusch [at]

--------11 of 13--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Marv Davidov 10.29 7:30pm

Marv Davidov and Carol Masters Book Discussion: You Can't Do That
Thursday, October 29, 7:30 p.m., Magers and Quinn, 3038 Hennepin Avenue
South, Minneapolis. Activist Marv Davidov and his biographer Carol Masters
discuss his biography,

You Can't Do That: Marv Davidov, Non-Violent Revolutionary. "In this
full-length biography, we follow the career of Marv Davidov from his years
in the Army (he received an honorable discharge 'for the good of the
army'), living among the Beats on the U of M campus, participating in the
Freedom Rides that helped bring racial integration to the American South,
and on to the rallies, conferences and demonstrations in Minnesota,
serving to raise public awareness of locally- manufactured bombs and
weapons designed to kill and maim. 'I write good letters from prison,'
says Davidov, who has been arrested 50 times for acts of civil
disobedience'" - book description. Biographer Carol Masters is a long time
anti-war activist and writer and serves on the Board of WAMM. Endorsed by:

--------12 of 13--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Zinn Peoples Hist/CTV 10.29 10:30pm

Special on St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN, Channel 15):
Voices of a People's History

Winona LaDuke, Howard Zinn, Lou Bellamy, Dipankar Mukherjee, Sarah Levy,
Tou Ger Xiong, Isabell Monk O'Connor and Melvin Carter III tell the
stories of unsung people who have shaped history...  listen to the words
of Michael Kiesow Moore, Chief Joseph, Emma Goldman, Sojourner Truth,
Susan B. Anthony, Eugene Debs, Bartolome de las Casas, Bartolomeo
Vanzetti, Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Jr. and more.  Includes
musical performances by Prudence Johnson and Jearlyn Steale.

Performances of Voices of a People's History are based on the book by
historian and activist Howard Zinn.  Filmed at the College of St.
Catherine (1hr,28).

Thursday, 10/29 @ 10.30pm
Friday, 10/30 @ 10.30pm
Saturday, 10/31 @ 3.30pm
Sunday, 11/1 @ 3.30pm

--------13 of 13--------

The Wandering Who?
by Gilad Atzmon
October 24th, 2009
Dissident Voice

Tel Aviv University historian, Professor Shlomo Sand, opens his remarkable
study of Jewish nationalism quoting Karl W. Deutsch:

"A nation is a group of people united by a common mistake regarding its
origin and a collective hostility towards its neighbours".1

As simple or even simplistic as it may sound, the quote above eloquently
summarises the figment of reality entangled with modern Jewish nationalism
and especially within the concept of Jewish identity. It obviously points
the finger at the collective mistake Jews tend to make whenever referring
to their "illusionary collective past" and "collective origin". Yet, in
the same breath, Deutsch's reading of nationalism throws light upon the
hostility that is unfortunately coupled with almost every Jewish group
towards its surrounding reality, whether it is human or takes the shape of
land. While the brutality of the Israelis towards the Palestinians has
already become rather common knowledge, the rough treatment Israelis
reserve for their "promised soil" and landscape is just starting to reveal
itself. The ecological disaster the Israelis are going to leave behind
them will be the cause of suffering for many generations to come. Leave
aside the megalomaniac wall that shreds the Holy land into enclaves of
deprivation and starvation, Israel has managed to pollute its main rivers
and streams with nuclear and chemical waste.

The Invention of the Jewish People is a very serious study written by
Professor Shlomo Sand, an Israeli historian. It is the most serious study
of Jewish nationalism and by far, the most courageous elaboration on the
Jewish historical narrative.

In his book, Sand manages to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the
Jewish people never existed as a "nation-race", they never shared a common
origin. Instead they are a colourful mix of groups that at various stages
in history adopted the Jewish religion.

In case you follow Sand's line of thinking and happen to ask yourself,
"when was the Jewish People invented?" Sand's answer is rather simple. "At
a certain stage in the 19th century, intellectuals of Jewish origin in
Germany, influenced by the folk character of German nationalism, took upon
themselves the task of inventing a people 'retrospectively,' out of a
thirst to create a modern Jewish people".

Accordingly, the "Jewish people" is a "made up" notion consisting of a
fictional and imaginary past with very little to back it up forensically,
historically or textually. Furthermore, Sand - who elaborated on early
sources of antiquity - comes to the conclusion that Jewish exile is also a
myth, and that the present-day Palestinians are far more likely to be the
descendants of the ancient Semitic people in Judea/Canaan than the current
predominantly Khazarian-origin Ashkenazi crowd to which he himself
admittedly belongs.

Astonishingly enough, in spite of the fact that Sand manages to dismantle
the notion of "Jewish people," crush the notion of "Jewish collective
past," and ridicule the Jewish chauvinist national impetus, his book is a
best seller in Israel. This fact alone may suggest that those who call
themselves "people of the book" are now starting to learn about the
misleading and devastating philosophies and ideologies that made them into
what Khalid Amayreh and many others regard as the "Nazis of our time".

                     Hitler Won After All

Rather often when asking a "secular" "cosmopolitan" Jew what it is that
makes him into a Jew, a shallow overwhelmingly chewed answer would be
thrown back at you: "It is Hitler who made me into a Jew". Though the
"cosmopolitan" Jew, being an internationalist, would dismiss other
people's national inclinations, he insists upon maintaining his own right
to "self determination". However, it is not really he himself who stands
at the core of this unique demand for national orientation, it is actually
the devil, master-monster anti-Semite, namely Hitler. Apparently, the
cosmopolitan Jew celebrates his nationalist entitlement as long as Hitler
is there to be blamed.

As far as the secular cosmopolitan Jew is concerned, Hitler won after all.
Sand manages to enhance this paradox. Insightfully he suggests that "while
in the 19th century referring to Jews as an 'alien racial identity' would
mark one as an anti-Semite, in the Jewish State this very philosophy is
embedded mentally and intellectually".2 In Israel Jews celebrate their
differentiation and unique conditions. Furthermore, says Sand, "There were
times in Europe when one would be labelled as an anti-Semite for claiming
that all Jews belong to a nation of an alien type. Nowadays, claiming that
Jews have never been and still aren't people or a nation, would tag one as
a Jew hater".2

It is indeed pretty puzzling that the only people who managed to maintain
and sustain a racially oriented, expansionist and genocidal national
identity that is not at all different from Nazi ethnic ideology are the
Jews who were, amongst others, the leading targeted victims of the Nazi
ideology and practice.

     Nationalism In General and Jewish Nationalism In Particular

Louis-Ferdinand Celine mentioned that in the time of the Middle Ages in
the moments between major wars, knights would charge a very high price for
their readiness to die in the name of their kingdoms; in the 20th century
youngsters have rushed to die en mass without demanding a thing in return.
In order to understand this mass consciousness shift, we need an eloquent
methodical model that would allow us to understand what nationalism is all

Like Karl Deutsch, Sand regards nationality as a phantasmic narrative. It
is an established fact that anthropological and historical studies of the
origins of different so-called "people" and "nations" lead towards the
embarrassing crumbling of every ethnicity and ethnic identity. Hence, it
is rather interesting to find out that Jews tend to take their own ethnic
myth very seriously. The explanation may be simple, as Benjamin Beit
Halachmi spotted years ago. Zionism was there to transform the Bible from
a spiritual text into a "land registry". For that matter, the truth of the
Bible or any other element of Jewish historical narrative has very little
relevance as long as it doesn't interfere with the Jewish national
political cause or practice.

One could also surmise that the lack of clear ethnic origin doesn't stop
people from feeling an ethnic or national belonging. The fact that Jews
are far from being what one can label as a People and that the Bible has
very little historical truth in it, doesn't really stop generations of
Israelis and Jews from identifying themselves with King David or
Terminator Samson. Evidently, the lack of an unambiguous ethnic origin
doesn't stop people from seeing themselves as part of a people. Similarly,
it wouldn't stop the nationalist Jew from feeling that he belongs to some
greater abstract collective.

In the 1970's, Shlomo Artzi, then a young Israeli singer who was bound to
become Israel's all-time greatest rock star, released a song that had
become a smash hit in a matter of hours. Here are the first few lines:

   All of a sudden
   A man wakes up
   In the morning
   He feels he is people
   And he starts to walk
   And to everyone he comes across
   He says shalom

To a certain extent Artzi innocently expresses in his lyrics the
suddenness and almost contingency involved in the transformation of the
Jews into people. However, almost within the same breath, Artzi
contributes towards the illusionist national myth of the peace-seeking
nation. Artzi should have known by then that Jewish nationalism was a
colonialist act at the expense of the indigenous Palestinian people.

Seemingly, nationalism, national belonging and Jewish nationalism in
particular create a major intellectual task. Interestingly enough, the
first to deal theoretically and methodically with issues having to do with
nationalism were Marxist ideologists. Though Marx himself failed to
address the issue adequately, early 20th century uprising of nationalist
demands in eastern and central Europe caught Lenin and Stalin unprepared.

"Marxists' contribution to the study of nationalism can be seen as the
focus on the deep correlation between the rise of free economy and the
evolvement of the national state".3 In fact, Stalin was there to summarise
the Marxist take on the subject. "The nation," says Stalin, "is a solid
collaboration between beings that was created historically and formed
following four significant phenomena: the sharing of tongue, the sharing
of territory, the sharing of economy and the sharing of psychic

As one would expect, the Marxist materialist attempt to understand
nationalism is lacking an adequate historical overview. Instead it would
be reliant upon a class struggle. For some obvious reasons such a vision
was popular amongst those who believe in "socialism of one nation" amongst
them we can consider the proponents of a leftist branch of Zionism.

For Sand, nationalism evolved due to the "rapture created by modernity
which split people from their immediate past".4 The mobility created by
urbanisation and industrialisation crushed the social hierarchic system as
well as the continuum between past, present and future. Sand points out
that before industrialisation, the feudal peasant didn't necessarily feel
the need for an historical narrative of empires and kingdoms. The feudal
subject didn't need an extensive abstract historical narrative of large
collectives that had very little relevance to the immediate concrete
existential need. "Without a perception of social progression, they did
well with an imaginary religious tale that contained a mosaic of memory
that lacked a real dimension of a forward moving time. The 'end' was the
beginning and eternity bridged between life and death".4

In the modern secular and urban world, "time" had become the main life
vessel which illustrated an imaginary symbolic meaning. Collective
historical time had become the elementary ingredient of the personal and
the intimate. The collective narrative shapes the personal meaning and
what seems to be the "real". As much as some banal minds still insist that
the "personal is political," it would be far more intelligible to argue
that in practice, it is actually the other way around. Within the
post-modern condition, the political is personal and the subject is spoken
rather than speaking itself. Authenticity, for the matter, is a myth that
reproduces itself in the form of symbolic identifier.

Sand's reading of nationalism as a product of industrialisation,
urbanisation and secularism, makes a lot of sense when bearing in mind Uri
Slezkin's suggestion that Jews are the "apostles of modernity," secularism
and urbanisation. If Jews happened to find themselves at the hub of
urbanisation and secularisation, it shouldn't then take us by surprise
that the Zionists were rather creative as much as others in inventing
their own phantasmic collective imaginary tale. However, while insisting
on their right to be "like other people" Zionists have managed to
transform their imagined collective past into a global, expansionist,
merciless agenda as well as the biggest threat to world peace.

                  There Is No Jewish History

It is an established fact that not a single Jewish history text had been
written between the 1st century and early 19th century. The fact that
Judaism is based on a religious historical myth may have something to do
with it. An adequate scrutiny of the Jewish past was never a primary
concern within the Rabbinical tradition. One of the reasons is probably
the lack of a need of such a methodical effort. For the Jew who lived
during ancient times and the Middle Ages, there was enough in the Bible to
answer most relevant questions having to do with day-to-day life, Jewish
meaning and fate. As Shlomo Sand puts it, "a secular chronological time
was foreign to the 'Diaspora time' that was shaped by the anticipation for
the coming of the Messiah".

However, in the light of German secularisation, urbanisation, and
emancipation, and due to the decreasing authority of the Rabbinical
leaders, an emerging need of an alternative cause rose amongst the
awakening Jewish intellectuals. The emancipated Jew wondered who he was,
where he come from. He also started to speculate what his role might be
within the rapidly opening European society.

In 1820, the German Jewish historian Isaak Markus Jost (1793-1860)
published the first serious historical work on Jews, namely The History of
the Israelites. Jost avoided the Biblical time, he preferred to start his
journey with the Judea Kingdom, he also compiled an historical narrative
of different Jewish communities around the world. Jost realised that the
Jews of his time did not form an ethnic continuum. He grasped that
Israelites from place to place were rather different. Hence, he thought
there was nothing in the world that should stop Jews from total
assimilation. Jost believed that within the spirit of enlightenment, both
the Germans and the Jews would turn their back to the oppressive religious
institution and would form a healthy nation based on a growing
geographically oriented sense of belonging.

Though Jost was aware of the evolvement of European nationalism, his
Jewish followers were rather unhappy with his liberal optimistic reading
of the Jewish future. "From historian Heinrich Graetz on, Jewish
historians began to draw the history of Judaism as the history of a nation
that had been a 'kingdom', expelled into 'exile', became a wandering
people and ultimately turned around and went back to its birthplace".

For the late Moses Hess, it was a racial struggle rather than a class
struggle that would define the shape of Europe. Accordingly, suggests
Hess, Jews better return and reflect on their cultural heritage and ethnic
origin. For Hess, the conflict between Jews and Gentiles was the product
of racial differentiation, hence, unavoidable.

The ideological path from Hess's pseudo scientific racist orientation to
Zionist historicism is rather obvious. If Jews are indeed an alien racial
entity (as Hess, Jabotinsky and others believed), they better look for
their natural homeland, and this homeland is no other than Eretz Yizrael.
Cleary, Hess's assumption regarding a racial continuum wasn't
scientifically approved. In order to maintain the emerging phantasmic
narrative, an orchestrated denial mechanism had to be erected just to make
sure that some embarrassing facts wouldn't interfere with the emerging
national creation.

Sand suggests that the denial mechanism was rather orchestrated and very
well thought out. The Hebrew University decision in the 1930's to split
Jewish History and General History into two distinct departments was far
more than just a matter of convenience. The logos behind the split is a
glimpse into Jewish self-realisation. In the eyes of Jewish academics, the
Jewish condition and Jewish psyche were unique and should be studied
separately. Apparently, even within Jewish academia, a supreme status is
reserved for the Jews, their history and their self-perception. As Sand
insightfully unveils, within the Jewish Studies departments the researcher
is scattering between the mythological and the scientific while the myth
maintains its primacy. Yet, it often gets into a stalling dilemma by the
"small devious facts".

           The New Israelite, the Bible, and Archaeology

In Palestine, the new Jews and later the Israelis were determined to
recruit the Old Testament and to transform it into the amalgamate code of
the future Jew. The "nationalisation" of the Bible was there to plant in
young Jews the idea that they are the direct followers of their great
ancient ancestors. Bearing in mind the fact that nationalisation was
largely a secular movement, the Bible was stripped of its spiritual and
religious meaning. Instead, it was viewed as an historical text describing
a real chain of events in the past. The Jews who had now managed to kill
their God learned to believe in themselves. Massada, Samson and Bar Kochva
became suicidal master narratives. In the light of their heroic ancestors,
Jews learned to love themselves as much as they hate others, except that
this time they possessed the military might to inflict real pain on their
neighbours. More concerning was the fact that instead of a supernatural
entity - namely God - who command them to invade the land and execute a
genocide and to rob their "promised land" of its indigenous inhabitants,
within their national revival project it was them as themselves, Herzl,
Jabotinsky, Weitzman, Ben Gurion, Sharon, Peres, Barak who decided to
expel, destroy and kill. Instead of God, it was then the Jews killing in
the name of Jewish people. They did it while Jewish symbols decorate their
planes and tanks. They followed commands that were given in the newly
restored language of their ancestors.

Surprisingly enough, Sand who is no doubt a striking scholar, fails to
mention that the Zionist hijacking of the Bible was in fact a desperate
Jewish answer to German Early Romanticism. However, as much as German
philosophers, poets, architects and artists were ideologically and
aesthetically excited about pre-Socratic Greece, they knew very well that
they were not exactly Hellenism's sons and daughters. The nationalist Jew
took it one step further, he bound oneself into a phantasmic blood chain
with his mythical ancestors, not before long he restored their ancient
language. Rather than a sacred tongue, Hebrew had become a spoken
language. German Early Romanticism never went that far.

German intellectuals during the 19th century were also fully aware of the
distinction between Athens and Jerusalem. For them, Athens stood for the
universal, the epic chapter of humanity and humanism. Jerusalem was, on
the contrary, the grand chapter of tribal barbarism. Jerusalem was a
representation of the banal, non-universal, monotheistic merciless God,
the one who kills the elder and the infant. The Germanic Early Romantic
era left us with Hegel, Nietzsche, Fichte and Heidegger and a just a few
Jewish self-haters, leading amongst them, Otto Weininger. The Jerusalemite
left us with not a single master ideological thinker. Some German Jewish
second-rate scholars tried to preach Jerusalem in the Germanic exedra,
amongst them were Herman Cohen, Franz Rosenzveig and Ernst Bloch. They
obviously failed to notice that it was the traces of Jerusalem in
Christianity, which German Early Romanticists despised.

In their effort to resurrect "Jerusalem," archaeology was recruited to
provide the Zionist epos with its necessary "scientific" ground.
Archaeology was there to unify the Biblical time with the moment of
revival. Probably the most astonishing moment of this bizarre trend was
the 1982 "military burial ceremony" of the bones of Shimon Bar Kochva, a
Jew rebel who died 2000 years earlier. Executed by the chief military
Rabbi, a televised military burial was given to some sporadic bones found
in a cave near the Dead Sea. In practice suspected remains of a 1st
century Jew rebel was treated as an IDF casualty. Clearly, archaeology had
a national role, it was recruited to cement the past and the present while
leaving the Galut out.

Astonishingly enough, it didn't take long before things turned the other
way around. As archaeological research become more and more independent of
the Zionist dogma, the embarrassing truth filtered out. It would be
impossible to ground the truthfulness of the Biblical tale on forensic
facts. If anything, archaeology refutes the historicity of the Biblical
plot. Excavation revealed the embarrassing fact. The Bible is a collection
of innovative fictitious literature.

As Sand points out, the Early Biblical story is soaked with Philistines,
Aramaic and camels. Embarrassingly enough, as far as excavations are there
to enlighten us, Philistine didn't appear in the region before the 12th
century BC, the Aramaic appears a century later and camels didn't show
their cheerful faces before the 8th century. These scientific facts lead
Zionist researchers into some severe confusion. However, for non-Jewish
scholars such as Thomas Thompson, it was rather clear that the Biblical is
a "late collection of innovative literature written by a gifted
theologian".5 The Bible appears to be an ideological text that was there
to serve a social and political cause.

Embarrassingly enough, not much was found in Sinai to prove the story of
the legendary Egyptian Exodus, seemingly 3 million Hebraic men, women and
children were marching in the desert for 40 years without leaving a thing
behind. Not even a single matzo ball, very non-Jewish one may say.

The story of the Biblical resettlement and the genocide of the Canaanite
which the contemporary Israelite imitates to such success is another myth.
Jericho, the guarded city that was flattened to the sounds of horns and
almighty supernatural intervention was just a tiny village during the 13th
century BC.

As much as Israel regards itself as the resurrection of the monumental
Kingdom of David and Salomon, excavation that took place in the Old City
of Jerusalem in the 1970's revealed that David's kingdom was no more than
a tiny tribal setting. Evidence that was referred by Yigal Yadin to King
Solomon had been refuted later by forensic tests made with Carbon 14. The
discomforting fact has been scientifically established. The Bible is a
fictional tale, and not much there can ground any glorifying existence of
Hebraic people in Palestine at any stage.

                    Who invented the Jews?

Quite early on in his text, Sand raises the crucial and probably the most
relevant questions. Who are the Jews? Where did they come from? How is it
that in different historical periods they appear in some very different
and remote places?

Though most contemporary Jews are utterly convinced that their ancestors
are the Biblical Israelites who happened to be exiled brutally by the
Romans, truth must be said. Contemporary Jews have nothing to do with
ancient Israelites, who have never been sent to exile because such an
expulsion has never taken place. The Roman Exile is just another Jewish

"I started looking in research studies about the exile from the land" says
Sand in a Haaretz interview, "but to my astonishment I discovered that it
has no literature. The reason is that no one exiled the people of the
country. The Romans did not exile peoples and they could not have done so
even if they had wanted to. They did not have trains and trucks to deport
entire populations. That kind of logistics did not exist until the 20th
century. From this, in effect, the whole book was born: in the realization
that Judaic society was not dispersed and was not exiled".

Indeed, in the light of Sand's simple insight, the idea of Jewish exile is
amusing. The thought of Roman Imperial navy was working 24/7 schlepping
Moishe'le and Yanka'le to Cordova and Toledo may help Jews to feel
important as well as schleppable, but common sense would suggest that the
Roman armada had far more important things to do.

However, far more interesting is the logical outcome: If the people of
Israel were not expelled, then the real descendants of the inhabitants of
the Kingdom of Judah must be the Palestinians.

"No population remains pure over a period of thousands of years" says
Sand. "But the chances that the Palestinians are descendants of the
ancient Judaic people are much greater than the chances that you or I are
its descendents. The first Zionists, up until the Arab Revolt [1936-9],
knew that there had been no exiling, and that the Palestinians were
descended from the inhabitants of the land. They knew that farmers don't
leave until they are expelled. Even Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, the second president
of the State of Israel, wrote in 1929 that, "the vast majority of the
peasant farmers do not have their origins in the Arab conquerors, but
rather, before then, in the Jewish farmers who were numerous and a
majority in the building of the land..".

In his book Sand takes it further and suggests that until the First Arab
Uprising (1929) the so-called leftist Zionist leaders tended to believe
that the Palestinian peasants who are actually "Jews by origin" would
assimilate within the emerging Hebraic culture and would eventually join
the Zionist movement. Ber Borochov believed that "a falach (Palestinian
Peasant), dresses as a Jew, and behaves as a working class Jew, won't be
at all different from the Jew". This very idea reappeared in Ben Gurion's
and Ben-Zvi's text in 1918. Both Zionist leaders realised that Palestinian
culture was soaked with Biblical traces, linguistically, as well as
geographically (names of villages, towns, rivers and mountains). Both Ben
Gurion and Ben-Zvi regarded, at least at that early stage, the indigenous
Palestinians as ethnic relatives who were holding close to the land and
potential brothers. They as well regarded Islam as a friendly "democratic
religion". Clearly, after 1936 both Ben-Zvi and Ben Gurion toned down
their "multicultural" enthusiasm. As far as Ben Gurion is concerned,
ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians seemed to be far more appealing.

One may wonder, if the Palestinians are the real Jews, who are those who
insist upon calling themselves Jews?

Sand's answer is rather simple, yet it makes a lot of sense. "The people
did not spread, but the Jewish religion spread. Judaism was a converting
religion. Contrary to popular opinion, in early Judaism there was a great
thirst to convert others".

Clearly, monotheist religions, being less tolerant than polytheist ones,
have within them an expanding impetus. Judaic expansionism in its early
days was not just similar to Christianity but it was Judaic expansionism
that planted the "spreading out" seeds in early Christian thought and

"The Hasmoneans," says Sand, "were the first to begin to produce large
numbers of Jews through mass conversion, under the influence of Hellenism.
It was this tradition of conversions that prepared the ground for the
subsequent, widespread dissemination of Christianity. After the victory of
Christianity in the 4th century, the momentum of conversion was stopped in
the Christian world, and there was a steep drop in the number of Jews.
Presumably many of the Jews who appeared around the Mediterranean became
Christians. But then Judaism started to permeate other regions - pagan
regions, for example, such as Yemen and North Africa. Had Judaism not
continued to advance at that stage and had it not continued to convert
people in the pagan world, we would have remained a completely marginal
religion, if we survived at all".

The Jews of Spain, whom we believed to be blood related to the Early
Israelites seem to be converted Berbers. "I asked myself," says Sand, "how
such large Jewish communities appeared in Spain. And then I saw that Tariq
ibn Ziyad, the supreme commander of the Muslims who conquered Spain, was a
Berber, and most of his soldiers were Berbers. Dahia al-Kahina's Jewish
Berber Kingdom had been defeated only 15 years earlier. And the truth is
there are a number of Christian sources that say many of the conquerors of
Spain were Jewish converts. The deep-rooted source of the large Jewish
community in Spain was those Berber soldiers who converted to Judaism".

As one would expect, Sand approves the largely accepted assumption that
the Judaicised Khazars constituted the main origins of the Jewish
communities in Eastern Europe, which he calls the Yiddish Nation. When
asked how come they happen to speak Yiddish, which is largely regarded as
a German medieval dialect, he answers, "the Jews were a class of people
dependent on the German bourgeoisie in the east, and thus they adopted
German words".

In his book Sand manages to produce a detailed account of the Khazarian
saga in Jewish history. He explains what lead the Khazarian kingdom
towards conversion. Bearing in mind that Jewish nationalism is, for the
most part, lead by a Khazarian elite, we may have to expand our intimate
knowledge of this very unique yet influential political group. The
translation of Sand's work into foreign languages is an immediate must.

                            What Next?

Professor Sand leaves us with the inevitable conclusion. Contemporary Jews
do not have a common origin and their Semitic origin is a myth. Jews have
no origin in Palestine whatsoever and therefore, their act of so-called
"return" to their "promised land" must be realised as an invasion executed
by a tribal-ideological clan.

However, though Jews do not constitute any racial continuum, they for some
reason happen to be racially oriented. As we may notice, many Jews still
see mixed marriage as the ultimate threat. Furthermore, in spite of
modernisation and secularisation, the vast majority of those who identify
as secular Jews still succumb to blood ritual (circumcision) a unique
religious procedure which involves no less than blood sucking by a Mohel.

As far as Sand is concerned, Israel should become "a state of its
citizens". Like Sand, I myself believe in the same futuristic utopian
vision. However, unlike Sand, I do grasp that the Jewish state and its
supportive lobbies must be ideologically defeated. Brotherhood and
reconciliation are foreign to Jewish tribal worldview and have no room
within the concept of Jewish national revival. As dramatic as it may
sound, a process of de-judaification must take place before Israelis can
adopt any universal modern notion of civil life.

Sand is no doubt a major intellectual, probably the most advanced leftist
Israeli thinker. He represents the highest form of thought a secular
Israeli can achieve before flipping over or even defecting to the
Palestinian side (something that happened to just a few, me included).
Haaretz interviewer Ofri Ilani said about Sand that unlike other "new
historians" who have tried to undermine the assumptions of Zionist
historiography, "Sand does not content himself with going back to 1948 or
to the beginnings of Zionism, but rather goes back thousands of years".
This is indeed the case, unlike the "new historians" who "unveil" a truth
that is known to every Palestinian toddler; i.e., the truth of being
ethnically cleansed; Sand erects a body of work and thought that is aiming
at the understanding of the meaning of Jewish nationalism and Jewish
identity. This is indeed the true essence of scholarship. Rather than
collecting some sporadic historical fragments, Sand searches for the
meaning of history. Rather than a "new historian" who searches for a new
fragment, he is a real historian motivated by a humanist task. Most
crucially, unlike some of the Jewish historians who happen to contribute
to the so-called left discourse, Sand's credibility and success is
grounded on his argument rather than his family background. He avoids
peppering his argument with his holocaust survivor relatives. Reading
Sand's ferocious argument, one may have to admit that Zionism in all its
faults has managed to erect within itself a proud and autonomous dissident
discourse that is far more eloquent and brutal than the entire
anti-Zionist movement around the world.

If Sand is correct, and I myself am convinced by the strength of his
argument, then Jews are not a race but rather a collective of very many
people who are largely hijacked by a late phantasmic national movement. If
Jews are not a race, do not form a racial continuum and have nothing to do
with Semitism, then "anti-Semitism" is, categorically, an empty signifier.
It obviously refers to a signifier that doesn't exist. In other words, our
criticism of Jewish nationalism, Jewish lobbying and Jewish power can only
be realised as a legitimate critique of ideology and practice.

Once again I may say it, we are not and never been against Jews (the
people) nor we are against Judaism (the religion). Yet, we are against a
collective philosophy with some clear global interests. Some would like to
call it Zionism but I prefer not to. Zionism is a vague signifier that is
far too narrow to capture the complexity of Jewish nationalism, its
brutality, ideology and practice. Jewish nationalism is a spirit and a
spirit doesn't have clear boundaries. In fact, none of us know exactly
where Jewishness stops and where Zionism starts as much as we do not know
where Israeli interests stop and where the Neocon's interests start.

As far as the Palestinian cause is concerned, the message is rather
devastating. Our Palestinian brothers and sisters are at the forefront of
a struggle against a very devastating philosophy. Yet, it is clearly not
just the Israelis whom they fight with rather a fierce pragmatic
philosophy that initiates global conflicts on some gigantic scale. It is a
tribal practice that seeks influence within corridors of power and super
powers in particular. The American Jewish Committee is pushing for a war
against Iran. Just to be on the safe side David Abrahams, a "Labour Friend
of Israel" donates money to the Labour Party by proxy. More or less at the
same time two million Iraqis die in an illegal war designed by one called
Wolfowitz. While all the above is taking place, millions of Palestinians
are starved in concentration camps and Gaza is on the brink of a
humanitarian crisis. As it all happens, "anti-Zionist" Jews and Jews in
the left (Chomsky included) insist upon dismantling the eloquent criticism
of AIPAC, Jewish lobbying and Jewish power posed by Mearsheimer and Walt.

Is it just Israel? Is it really Zionism? Or shall we admit that it is
something far greater than we are entitled even to contemplate within the
intellectual boundaries we imposed upon ourselves? As things stand, we
lack the intellectual courage to confront the Jewish national project and
its many messengers around the world. However, since it is all a matter of
consciousness-shift, things are going to change soon. In fact, this very
text is there to prove that they are changing already.

To stand by the Palestinians is to save the world, but in order to do so
we have to be courageous enough to stand up and admit that it is not
merely a political battle. It is not just Israel, its army or its
leadership, it isn't even Dershowitz, Foxman, and their silencing leagues.
It is actually a war against a cancerous spirit that hijacked the West
and, at least momentarily, diverted it from its humanist inclination and
Athenian aspirations. To fight a spirit is far more difficult than
fighting people, just because one may have to first fight its traces
within oneself. If we want to fight Jerusalem, we may have to first
confront Jerusalem within. We may have to stand in front of the mirror,
look around us. We may have to trace for empathy in ourselves in case
there is anything left.

1.When And How The Jewish People Was Invented Shlomo Sand, Resling 2008, p
11. [.]
2.Sand, p 31. [.] [.]
3.p 42. [.] [.]
4.p 62. [.] [.]
5.p 117. [.]

Gilad Atzmon was born in Israel and served in the Israeli military. He
lives in London, and is the author of two novels: A Guide to the Perplexed
and the recently released My One and Only Love. Atzmon is also one of the
most accomplished jazz saxophonists in Europe. He can be reached at:
atz [at]


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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