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Ron Radosh

Writing in The New Republic, John B. Judis offered an answer to his critics — me, Rick Richman in Commentary, and Jordan C. Hirsch in the Wall Street Journal. Richman has already responded in detail at Commentary, and I will not repeat what I consider to be his devastating critique of Judis.

Judis accuses all of us of writing “condemnatory reviews.” Actually, Judis avoided answering my review in the Jewish Review of Books; instead he linked to an op-ed I was asked to write by the editorial page editor of the Jerusalem Post, who said he wanted to acquaint Israeli readers with Judis’ book and to explain why it was important. Judis knows the difference between an op-ed and a review, and yet he chose to call my column a review, although my actual review was already online when he wrote his answer.

What Judis does in his answer and throughout his book is to take the approach of Israel’s anti-Israel historians, Israel’s equivalent to those historians who follow Howard Zinn in the United States. These so-called “new historians,” historian Efraim Karsh explains, are “politicized historians” who have “turned the saga of Israel’s birth upside down, with aggressors turned into hapless victims and vice-versa.” Omitted, always, is the desire of the Arabs to push all the Jews out of Palestine, preferably into the sea, and to do all in their power to prevent the creation of a Jewish state.

1. What Happened in Hebron in 1929

Judis says that I falsely accuse him of writing an apologia for the Hebron massacre in 1929, when in reality he did not play down or justify the massacre. In his eyes, the Arabs were indigenous to the region, while the Jews were “settler-colonialists.” If this were the case, one would not be surprised that he would think the Jews brought Arab hostility on themselves: as he so crudely puts it in various places in his book, the Jews “screwed the Arabs” out of land that was rightfully theirs.

For example, Judis writes that from the 1890s on, “when Zionists first settled in Palestine with the express purpose of creating a Jewish state where Arabs had lived for centuries … the responsibility for the conflict lay primarily with the Zionists. They initiated it by migrating to Palestine with the purpose of establishing a Jewish state that would rule the native Arab population.” (My emphasis.)

Judis neglects to acknowledge that Palestine had been the homeland of the Jews for centuries prior to the 1890s, as Lee  S. Bender and Jerome R. Verlin write in The Algemeiner. The intention of the Zionists, as Vladimir Jabotinsky wrote, was definitely not to settle in Palestine in order to subjugate the Arab population.

It is not surprising that Judis downplays the significance of fierce Arab attacks against Jews. What he does write — and what he leaves out of his response — is his claim that the 1929 events were caused by Revisionist Zionists marching to the Arab section of Jerusalem yelling “the wall is ours!”, and carrying the Zionist flag. It was their march to the home of the anti-Semitic Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini, according to Judis, that “set off demonstrations that degenerated into large scale riots.”

If he had read the works of other scholars instead of the Arabists he cites in his footnotes, he would find the true reasons.

Efraim Karsh points out in Palestine Betrayed, a book which Judis obviously has not read, that it was the mufti who “utilized the immense inflammatory potential of Islam … and its deep anti-Jewish sentiment” to inflame the population against the Jews. The mufti had distributed copies of  The Protocols of the Elders of Zion to the Arab population in the early 1920s, something Judis somehow fails to mention. He simply writes that Hebron was proof of Jabotinsky’s admonition that “the ends of Zionism justified the means.”

Judis might also have looked at the book by historian Stephen Norwood, Anti-Semitism and the American Far Left. Norwood writes that the 1929 events were “aroused by the virulently anti-Semitic harangues of the grand mufti of Jerusalem.”

Norwood’s accurate description, had Judis cited it, would make clear on whom the responsibility lay for the attacks on the Jews. Moreover, it would have revealed to readers just what the Arabs did. Norwood writes:

Arab mobs armed with swords and axes, knives, sledgehammers, iron bars, and stones, screaming “Allah is Great … Kill the Jews!” attacked Jews in Hebron, Jerusalem, Safed, Haifa, Jaffa and even Tel Aviv, as well as many Jewish agricultural settlements. They broke into Jewish homes and massacred men and women — including the elderly and children, some of them less than five years old. The Arabs’s savagery was unrestrained. The pogromists beheaded some of their victims with axes and chopped off hands. They gouged out the eyes of a Jewish pharmacist in Hebron while he was still alive and then murdered him.

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Thanks for your contributions MR Radosh. It makes me happy to know at least one person knows and defends the truth.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Leftists like Judis would heartily support a takeover of Tibet by the Dalai Lama and Tibetans in diaspora - even if it were to take place 500 years from now, or 1000 - or 3000. No matter how long the Chinese stay there and displace Tibetans the Dalai Lama and Tibetans in diaspora would be right to retake their ancient homeland.

Leftists like Judis would never extend the same principle to Jews as they are self-hating Jews who are more committed to Marx than Moses. They see everything though the lens of postmodern leftism which dictates that the West - Judeo-Christian Civilization - is responsible for everything wrong with the world:

(1) the impending "climate catastrophe";
(2) sexual repression;
(3) Third World Poverty; and
(4) most of history's genocide and wars.


(1) There is no impending global climate catastrophe - the entire concept was dreamed up by socialists seeking to strangle industrial world with socialism.

(2) Sexual mores and codes of marriage have been around EVERY culture for several thousand years; not one on Earth has EVER allowed homosexual marriage. The left promotes this and other deviancies in a Gramscian effort to demolish the foundational institutions of our civilization and society so the vacuum can be filled with their socialist institutions - allowing the creation of a totalitarian utopia (IN THEIR MINDS).

(3) The left promotes the idea that the Third World is poor because it was "looted" by the First World; in fact; the first world got wealthy on freedom, free trade, and industrialization. The green movement has retarded economic growth of the Third World by preventing the industrialization of the Third World and by enacting policies which have dramatically driven up the price of energy. In the 1980's, China got a little more open to trade and a substantially more industrialized and 500 million people were lifted out of Third World poverty as a result - in just over a decade; socialism - which had used every power of a tyrannical totalitarian state - had failed to do that in 40 years, and killed millions trying.

(4) Islam has killed more people than any other ideology - by some counts 1 billion people. Socialism - and atheists (like Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Kim, et al) - killed more people in the 20th C than Judeo-Christians did in the preceding 20 centuries together!

Judis is trapped in his postmodern leftism so he incorrectly sees - AS YOU POINTED OUT - Jews In the Holy Land as foreigners.

In fact, the Arabs were and remain the invaders - just as the Chinese are invaders in Tibet. The Arabs cam from Arabia - not North Africa. The ancient Egyptians were NOT Arabs. The ancient Philistines were not Arabs; they were Europeans who... INVADED. Jews have lived in the Holy Land since the time of Moses and no other people who lived there BEFORE are still extant. AND ANOTHER THING: every border on Earth was created by armed conflict. SO: Why is it that the only disputed borders that the postmodern left is interested in are the one Israel forged with war? BECAUSE THE POSTMODERN LEFTISTS SEE ISRAEL AS THE CORNERSTONE - NO: THE KEYSTONE OF THE WEST; if they can destroy Israel, then they can destroy Western Civilization and put in its place their socialist utopia; their sexually permissive nannystate. They attack Israel abroad and Judeo-Christina Civilization - and capitalism - at home in order to make the way for their socialist state; their Zimbabwe, their Cuba, their Red China, their USSR - their "UTOPIA". And in their hubris they feel that THIS time. they will get it right.

By defending Israel, we defend our civilization from those that would destroy it.
If we fail to defend Israel, then all will be lost - not just Jerusalem or israel, but the entire West.

BOTTOM-LINE: Jerusalem was divided for 18 of its 3000 years, and in all of its years, Jerusalem was the capitol of only one nation, of only one people - Israel and the Jews; dividing Jerusalem and Israel would no more bring peace than giving away the Sudatenland did.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
“the Palestinian Arabs’ responsibility for the events of 1948 … was very direct and simple. … They launched hostilities against the Jewish community in Palestine in the hope of aborting the emergence of the Jewish state and perhaps destroying their community.” They lost, he notes, “and one of the results was the displacement of 700,000 of them from their homes.” Their displacement was “not a ‘racist crime,’” Morris explains, “but the result of a national conflict and a war, with religious overtones … launched by the Arabs themselves.” There was “no Zionist ‘plan’ or blanket policy of evicting the Arab population.”

I love this paragraph, it says it plain and simple, this must piss off a lot of anti-semites.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
By the way, Mr. Radosh, you referred once to him as 'Judas'... was that a typo?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
These are numbers from the Catholic Encyclopedia (1910 article) on the Internet. The section is: Jerusalem (After 1291)
"Jerusalem ... The total population is estimated at 66,000. The Turkish (Moslem country) census of 1905, which counts only Ottoman subjects, gives these figures: Jews - 45,000; Moslems - 8,000; ... [Christian total 10,650, a greater number than Moslems. Christian pilgrims not included]. During the nineteenth century large suburbs to the north and the east have grown up, chiefly for the use of the Jewish colony. These suburbs contain nearly half the present population."
Numbers are just facts. A conclusion might be: Maybe, most of the Moslem-Arabs emigrated to Israel, looking for a job and a better life = recently.
We know from reading the news: There is a large number of very religious Moslems that want to kill all the Jews in the world, and ~everyone else that will not convert to the Moslem religion.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Does Judis even know the extent of the Haj's association with Hitler?

I wonder what he thought of Helen Thomas' telling Israeli Jews to "get the hell out of Palestine" and to go back to Germany and Poland.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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