21 Comments
Dec 11, 2023Liked by Andrew Pessin

Professor Pessin, I find your essay spot-on and compelling, and reflecting what I have felt long before Hamas even existed as an organization. With one exception. You undermine your argument in one glaringly self-defeating way by continuous use of the term "Palestinian" Arabs. Why promote the myth that a separate Arab nation exists? “Palestinian” is a term that foreigners used to describe Jews (including my grandmother) in premodern state of Israel. Palestinian is a term derived from Philistine, which like the term Creten, is still considered derogatory. Prior to Arafat’s adoption of the term Palestinian for his terror organization (PLO) in the 1960s, Arabs were insulted to be referred to as Palestinians. Now the Arabs use the term to bestow political legitimacy in their war against Israel. Israelis, Jews, organizations, and professors who use it are complicit in this rewriting of history.

After the Romans conquered Israel, to add insult to injury, they renamed it “Palestine”. The name was adapted from the Philistines who battled our forefathers beginning with Abraham. They were not Arabs, but seafarers from Crete. In Hebrew, the word palash – the root of the Hebrew name for the Philistenes, Plishtim -means to invade or act as an interloper. The prophet Zephaniah says in verse 2:5, “Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cretens, the word of the Lord is against you. O’ Canaan, the land of the Philistines. I will even destroy you, that there shall be no inhabitant.” There is clearly no historic evidence of an Arab Palestinian tribe or people. The Arabs living in the area pre-1948 under Ottoman and British rule were indistinguishable from Arabs living in what is now called Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and elsewhere.

This is an existential battle for who will ultimately live in the land of Israel. Ascribing a mythical name that confers nationhood status on a group of people that never had such a nation is a recipe for continuous conflict and war, not peace. One of the most important things we can do is to discontinue using language that is self-defeating. I look forward to reading Part II.

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Dec 11, 2023·edited Dec 11, 2023Liked by Andrew Pessin

Thank you. I am so disappointed in my daughter and her views, that I’m actually revolted by my own child. I need to talk with our parish priest and go deep into prayer. That’s the only way to proceed for me.

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THANK YOU! I have a sister apparently well-educated, she thinks, armchair liberal who takes at face value and swallows whole all the selective trash, focussed just about entirely on the ‘poor Palestinians’, which she encounters in our incompetent legacy media, who refuses to even entertain the truths you put out so incisively herein. She ‘disagrees’ with my support for Israel in its continued necessary prosecution of the elimination of terrorist threats. This despite the fact that it has been far less barbaric and measured than the unspeakable atrocities perpetrated on Oct 7, in many instances by the ‘poor Palestinian civilians’, families of those who actually did it RECORDED cheering it on as well, and refuses to talk about it. I’m still sending this to her, as well as to many others.

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Dec 12, 2023Liked by Andrew Pessin

Wonderful essay and thank you from a beleaguered supporter of Israel. My appeals fall on deaf ears or rapid changes of subject or humanitarian concerns.

My MP has just sent an impassioned reply to my recent email, denouncing Hamas but calling for a ceasefire.

Meanwhile the frankly disgusting behaviour in London,where anti-Semitism is openly celebrated, sanctioned and acted upon, fills me with shame and anger.

From a Useful Gentile 🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱

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Thank you! What a beautiful statement. When people you considered old friends won’t quite meet your tired, reddened eyes - it’s really heartening to read your words.

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What your map doesn't show is the invasion of Muslims into Europe and the North America. In time they will be every where and nobody will be able to stop them from doing whatever they want. Women should be terrified of this.

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I am terrified.

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This is an excellent piece, bringing together so much valuable information. I will keep it handy, to share with those who refuse to see.

I have followed a few conversations on Reddit about local rallies - people wanting to know when the next one is, eager to show their support. From what I can glean these are mostly young people who know absolutely nothing; I'd just roll my eyes, if it weren't so serious. They frequently reference the children dying in Gaza, which of course is terrible, and I offer up the fact that, regardless of the history, if Hamas hadn't done what it did on Oct 7 with such gleeful sadism, all those children would still be alive. So far no one has responded to this point.

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Dec 11, 2023Liked by Andrew Pessin

Says it perfectly. Sharing!

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Dec 11, 2023Liked by Andrew Pessin

Thank you Andrew sad but brilliant ... now I get why this is called Clarity

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Brilliantly put. What Hamas perpetrated can only be described as subhuman.

So that professor Lamont—who I used to see on Fox when I used to watch it—is himself subhuman as are all those who supported the atrocities described. The only difference is most don’t have the stomach to mutilate others but would just be happy to encourage it.

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Andrew, excellent work.

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Every American should read this article and every kid on campus should read it twice!

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Dec 11, 2023Liked by Andrew Pessin

Thank you. I look forward to the second part of this post.

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Outstanding.

Your measured (and spot on) fury should be required reading by both academicians and students. And forcing them to watch the Hamas Go Pro videos should be mandatory..

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We often hear about a so-called 'clash of civilizations.' This is incorrect. Islam is not a civilization. Nor is it a religion. It is a social/political pathology that was not spread by persuasion but by violence and brutality. It is maintained by perpetual threats of and actual violence and brutality when threats prove insufficient. The most dysfunctional countries of the world are Muslim countries. As noted by Gary Sass previously, the civilized and decent world is setting itself up for utter disaster by letting these inmates out of their self-generated asylum.

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Feb 13Liked by Andrew Pessin

Yes, we have a fundamental disagreement with 'progressives' on the primary assumption: These actions (enumerated above) are always morally wrong in the pursuit of a political objective. But, you go on to posit that for the naysayers, the actions are only permitted where Jews are the targets. I don't believe this is the case; I suspect many would say the Mohegans DO have every right to slaughter us 'colonizers' writ large. A few might suggest reparations, but would likely back off pretty quickly when they are raised as a potential solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict.

My biggest issue with the piece, though, is how you've confined the question to the pursuit of a political objective. Why? Doing so absolves previous generations of an egregious intellectual failure. When framed as "in the pursuit of any objective" or "under any circumstances," you uncover the moral bankruptcy of cultural relativism, which I believe was a necessary precursor to current ideologies. In their/our own quest to be less judgmental and western-centric, we accepted nearly all actions and expressions as legitimate. We failed to draw a line. The most obvious case in point is female genital mutilation. It was only after its victims began to speak out that we acquiesced to its inherent wrongness. But, African intra-tribal warfare where mutilation, rape, and slaughter are par for the course? Well, that's just fine. Who are we to say?

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'(One suspects that when they learn that it’s the Jews who are the original indigenous inhabitants of the land and the Arabs the colonialist conquerors, they will be less enthusiastic about the slaughter of babies and children.'

I suspect you haven't been paying attention. They would not be less enthusiastic. Colonisation/decolonisation is just the latest excuse for Jew hatred. Absent a colonisation/decolonisation another excuse would be found in Israel's case.

Moreover, the people of whom you speak are so dumb that I would not put approving the pogromming the students, faculty and administration of Harvard etc, past them.

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I hear you. Though my point was that when they 'learn' that fact they would suddenly stop caring about decolonization and no doubt find some other accusation to levy against the Jews -- ie the same as your point.

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