Wednesday, November 6, 2019

A Key Discussion Among Jews about Israel: Enno Raschke and Michael Lumish

Michael Lumish

Enno Raschke, Researcher / Historian
for the Holocaust Center, Jerusalem
I do not know where this conversation will lead. I know that I have considerable respect for Enno Raschke who is a researcher and historian for Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Center, in Jerusalem.

I am a PhD in American History from the Pennsylvania State University who also writes on the unfortunate relationship between the western-left and the indigenous Judeans, i.e, the Jewish people.

I want to begin my discussion with Enno with a comment he made on a very brief Facebook post wherein I simply asked, "Are Arabs indigenous to Judea?" That was the entirety of the post.

In the comments, I referenced the fact that the denial of Jewish indigeneity is used as justification for western-left antisemitic anti-Zionism. The core anti-Zionist idea is that Jews stole Arab land. Enno quotes me directly:
"This is the core idea of Western antisemitic anti-Zionism and the driving notion behind BDS. It is, at least in part, what drives EU support for terrorism."
To which he responded:

Those two sentences are more a description of the mindset that created them than of actual reality. Antisemitic anti-Zionism has nothing to do with EU foreign policy. 
EU foreign policy has always been based on the original idea that allowed for the creation of Israel in the first place: two states for two people. You can agree with that concept or not--I don't, at least not in the form the EU imagines a 2SS. There is, however, no denying that the EU concept used to be something even mainstream Israel agreed to--before people started to increasingly follow the hollow pipe dreams of the right over the last two to three decades.

The right has no concepts to offer. It has no credible plan for the Arab population in these parts--just as the Arab right-wing has none for the Israeli-Jewish population. So they create fog with talking points like that indigenous exclusivity claim--which is of course as pointless as it is ridiculous. But it allows for some chest-bumping, some cheap feeling of superiority and the usual tales about the fraudulent, deceitful, uncivilized "other."

The problem, however, is: At the end of the day, it doesn't change anything. It's just a futile exercise. The Israeli side will still have to come up with credible concepts and negotiate. Because the "other" will remain here.
I would like to build a conversation around this comment as a starting point if it is agreeable to Enno.

I would start with Enno's claim that:
Antisemitic anti-Zionism has nothing to do with EU foreign policy.
I am a bit surprised that Enno thinks so.

This statement can only be true if you believe that anti-Zionism is not necessarily antisemitic. I would argue that not only is anti-Zionism inherently antisemitic, but genocidally so.

And I would certainly argue that the EU is anti-Zionist when it funds the murder of Jews in Israel via "pay-to-slay."


  1. Maybe it's better to also ask where is the left's "credible" plan. This guy seems to only see fault on the right.

    He also fails to acknowledge that the claim of indigenous exclusivity arose was because anti-Zionists and antisemites created the fog by saying Jews were usurpers. The claim was made to lift the fog.

    The new breed of historians leave much to be desired.

    1. He does seem young and left. I think EU policy is driven by Europeans and Europeans are basically antisemites. Sorry. Not saying you can't meet some lovely people, but...
      it always creeps in. It's not right and it's not left. They just manifest their Jew hate differently.
      Why no insistence that the Arabs need to make accommodations and negotiate at the end of the day?
      It's the Arab side's desire and willingness for a permanent peace with a viable Jewish State which is suspect. It always has been . You can't wish this problem away with "but Israel is powerful."
      It's surrounded by those who would kill it if they could.
      The "other?" I hate to rudely awaken him, but Israel IS the "other."

  2. This brief piece was rejected by both the Elder of Ziyon and the Algemeiner. They both want evidence that if this is going to be an ongoing discussion that there will, in fact, be an ongoing discussion.

    So, at this point it is up to Enno who is involved in a book project in Jerusalem.

    He tells me that he will respond in a few days, but we shall see.

    I hope he does.

    The thing that I like about Enno Raschke, aside from the fact that he is a historian and researcher for Yad Vashem, is how different our perspectives are.

    I think that it is probably fair to say that Enno is of the Israeli left.

    I am an American liberal.

  3. The first verse of the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes states:


    Since Ecclesiastes was written in Hebrew --- the ancient language of the Jewish people --- this connects ancient Jews with sovereignty over Jerusalem.

    King Solomon had several names; one of those names was Kohelet.

    If Jews are not indigenous to the land of Israel, then why does the Hebrew Bible mention Jerusalem approximately 650 times?

    If Jews are not indigenous to the land of Israel, then why does the Hebrew Bible mention the city of Hebron approximately 60 times?

    If Jews are not indigenous to the land of Israel, then why does the Hebrew Bible mention the the Galilee region of the land of Israel five times?

    1. I would put those "then why" statements in the reverse order. Work your way up, not down.

      And the reason Jews aren't indigenous even the Jerusalem is mentioned 650 times, is because, "well, you know how those people are. " (sarcasm)

  4. "EU foreign policy has always been based on the original idea that allowed for the creation of Israel in the first place: two states for two people [sic]."

    Really? Which two peoples would those have been?

    Not to be flippant, but the original idea to create Israel was not two states for two peoples. Whose original idea was that? Balfour doesn't mention it. Nor was it in the Mandate for Palestine. Certainly not west of the Jordan. What was a Palestinian in 1922? In May 1967?
    Or is that one of those history began in 1948 takes on the conflict?
    The idea of the creation of a 2nd Arab State west of the Jordan River was to the best of my knowledge a compromise to prevent a slaughter of Jews by Arabs who had declared war on the very idea of any Jewish State in Eretz Israel.
    Maybe it was original thinking, but it was not the original idea upon which Jewish independence was based.

  5. If Jews are not indigenous to the land of Israel, then why does the Hebrew Bible mention the city of Bethlehem approximately 40 times?

    If Jews are not indigenous to the land of Israel, then why does the Hebrew Bible mention the city of Jericho approximately 30 times?

  6. "I would argue that not only is anti-Zionism inherently antisemitic, but genocidally so."

    Well....yeah. Most certainly. We see proof of it EVERY SINGLE DAY. I know there are alleged intellectuals who can perform all kinds of mental and verbal gymnastics to argue it ain't so but pragmatically, it is so. Not every anti-Zionist is genocidal of course BUT every anti-Zionist is a useful idiot for and enabler of those who are genocidal. That makes them just as culpable as Kapos, neighbors who turned in Jews or turned their heads away during WW2, etc. To let even one of these monsters off the hook even a little bit is the same as being a monster yourself. Excusing anti-Zionism makes one seem Liberal to some. To me, it makes one a monster.

  7. Most modern anti-Zionism derives from Soviet propaganda; a propaganda that hypocritically arose from a group who originally approved of Zionism when Israel was seen as Commie like and likely to be pro-Commie. When this didn't happen, the rats turned on Israel and made up all kinds of nasty stuff which was eaten up by right wing anti-semites and useful idiot fellow travelers. Jew hating Arabs and their allies picked up on it and indeed were recruited and educated by Soviets. Considering how many people the Soviet ideology killed, anyone who espouses it or any of its offshoots like anti-Zionism is a monster.

    Don't be a monster; don't be an antiZionist; don't excuse its genocidal intent.

    1. Doodad is back!

      How was your trip?

    2. Hey Jeff. Drive was long and tiring but scenic. Amazing how things have changed in 45 years. lol Coming home we hit Cincinnati at dusk and it was one of the most beautiful skylines I have ever seen. Blown away.

      Reunion was great, emotional, healing. That kind of stuff.

    3. I'm so glad it worked out. Good to have you back. You were missed around here.

  8. Mike sorry this hasn't been posted yet on my website. My website was off line for a week. Long story and it has now migrated to a new server.
    I am posting this now. Sorry.

  9. Indigenous or not, it's irrelavent. Enno Raschke is right about one thing. The [quasi] right has been pretty wishy-washy about offering any solutions. The Techiya Party's one state solution, even Rb. Benny Elon's transfer, and of course, Naftali Bennett's plan are all half-hearted, co-dependent attempts at I don't even know what. We must let go of our galuth (exile/diaspora) mentality, stop thinking and acting like the children of Esau/Edom, and start thinking and acting (ie. halakhicly) like the descendants of Ya'aqov/Israel. The Torah is the only justification Jews have for laying claim to the Land of Israel. Are we stealing land from Yishmaelites? Or are we re-conquering it as commanded? It's high time we make up our minds. P. S. History has shown that the Arabs see right through this wishy washy approach and use it against us. Just look at The situation in Gaza. Ceasefire = Arab re-arming period.