Thursday, October 22, 2009

Some Things Never Change

THIS WAS WRITTEN IN 1968 (40 years ago) - Astonishing !

You probably won't remember the name Eric Hoffer. He was a longshoreman who turned into a philosopher, wrote columns for newspapers and some books. He was a (non-Jewish) American social philosopher. He was born in 1902 and died in 1983, after writing nine books and winning the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His first book, The True Believer, published in 1951, was widely recognized as a classic.
Here is one of his columns *_from 1968_*. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?

This article was written 40 years ago!!! Some things never change.
ISRAEL'S PECULIAR POSITION
by Eric Hoffer (LA Times 5/26/68)

The Jews are a peculiar people: things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews.
Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people and there is no refugee problem. Russia did it, Poland and Czechoslovakia did it. Turkey threw out a million Greeks, and Algeria a million Frenchman.

Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese and no one says a word about refugees. But in the case of Israel , the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees. Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single one.

Arnold Toynbee calls the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity greater than any committed by the Nazis. Other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate peace terms. But when Israel is victorious, it must sue for peace.
Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world. Other nations, when they are defeated, survive and recover but should Israel be defeated it would be destroyed. Had Nasser triumphed last June [1967], he would have wiped Israel off the map, and no one would have lifted a finger to save the Jews.

No commitment to the Jews by any government, including our own, is worth the paper it is written on. There is a cry of outrage all over the world when people die in Vietnam or when two Blacks are executed in Rhodesia . But, when Hitler slaughtered Jews no one remonstrated with him.
The Swedes, who are ready to break off diplomatic relations with America because of what we do in Vietnam , did not let out a peep when Hitler was slaughtering Jews. They sent Hitler choice iron ore, and ball bearings, and serviced his troop trains to Norway.

The Jews are alone in the world. If Israel survives, it will be solely because of Jewish efforts. And Jewish resources. Yet at this moment, Israel is our only reliable and unconditional ally. We can rely more on Israel than Israel can rely on us. And one has only to imagine what would have happened last summer [1967] had the Arabs their Russian backers won the war, to realize how vital the survival of Israel is to America and the West in general.
I have a premonition that will not leave me; as it goes with Israel so will it go with all of us. Should Israel perish, the Holocaust will be upon us all.

6 comments:

rickismom said...

I had never written this article. It is quite good, which does not surprise me, coming from Eric Hoffer. Of course I remember his book The True Believer. Anyone who hasn't read it should.

Netivotgirl said...

I'd like to try to get my hands on the book, rickismom. However, I wouldn't be surprised that like Barry Chamish's conspiracy book about Rabin's murder, this book might be quite difficult to find!

Sammy Finkelman said...

Indonesia didn't throw out many Chinese as Eric Hoffer writes. They killed them.

Where were they thrown out? Where did they go? Many people were indeed arrested - in the 1970's the Indonesian government was refusing to free them on the grounds there were so many that were they released, it would create unemployment, but many
people were killed, in the largest unrecognized genocide since World War II. That was in 1965-66. Barack Obama was in the country not too much afterward but he would have been too young to know anything. But he might not, esecially now, know NOTHING.

A few Chinese were somehow close to the government. One of them became a big supporter of Bill Clinton: Mochtar Riady. Riady was also (later at east) close to the Chinese Communist government - all this was almost a miracle sinmce the reason the Chinese were killed was because of suspicion of being connected to Mao's China. You can imagine what an operator Mochtar Riady was.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Suddenly, today, Wednesday November 4, 2009 I read this in Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis' column in this week's (dated November 6, 2009) Jewish Press:

It's here:

http://www.jewishpress.com/pageroute.do/41335

She writes:

"Even as I was pondering all this, one of my students at Hineni reminded me of an essay that testifies to this reality, written by Eric Hoffer (non-Jewish) author in 1968 and titled, "Israel's Peculiar Position." Chances are that readers have come across this before as it was written over 40 years ago. However, it bears yet another look as it could have been written today."

I wondered at first is she could have gotten this (indirectly) from you or did you get it from her, but tehn I realized it is more likely that you both probably got it, through different intermediaries from somewhere else.

What maybe started its revival now was Israpundit on October 5, 2009.

http://www.israpundit.com/2008/?p=17366

This does appear to be your source since it contains the word,
"astonishing" It also does not have the actual date and place opf publication, and also says it wasw 40 years ago, not 41. This is a clue that its revival goes back one year earlier.

Some of the people who circulated it corrected the numbers of years to 41.

JBlog Central in a post called Deja Vu at 8:01am PT on 2009-10-22 has a statement about 41 years.

http://www.israelforum.com/blog_article.php?aid=2416459

THIS WAS WRITTEN IN 1968 41 years ago - Astonishing!

But later at 1:00pm PT a post entitled Some Things Never Change
has THIS WAS WRITTEN IN 1968 (40 years ago) - Astonishing !

http://www.israelforum.com/blog_article.php?aid=2417007

The source given ina Wikipedia article is

http://www.infoisrael.net/cgi-local/text.pl?source=5/c/050220061


Other sources give the date and place,

http://www.vkelman.com/israel/articles/hoffer.htm

LA Times 5/26/68
here is a post on a web page dated 2002:

http://www.netanyahu.org/ispecposorwr.html

http://www.israpundit.com/2008/?p=17366

Sammy Finkelman said...

what you have looks like almost an EXACT COPY of this, dated Monday october 5, 2009,

http://www.thejewishlife.com/israel%e2%80%99s-peculiar-position/

But it is not formatted well, so it couldn't have come directkly from there.

Vkelman's web page states it was written "34 years ago" making the date of the web page 2002 and says "I received this article by e-mail and wanted to share it. It was written 34 years ago"

On the Israeli Hasbara committee webpage it was already forwarded.
They stll had the date of May 26,1 1968. The organization was founded in 2001 so it can't be older than that.

The Freeman Center webpage

http://www.freeman.org/m_online/feb04/hoffer.htm

is a little bit later (it says 35 years ago and is adated februiary 2004) but it adds some personal
information:

" I heard the idea first directly from Eric Hoffer in New Orleans at a ZOA Convention in 1968. He spoke with great passion about the role of Israel, the Jewish People and the world. After his speech, I bought him several beers at the hotel bar. Being a longshoreman (Port of San Francisco) most of his life, he enjoyed relaxing and drinking after a hard day's work. But this time he was different. As he stared at me, his face became red and flushed, and with a quivering passionate voice, he told me that what he told the ZOA members was true and would come to pass if we didn't take decisive action. Read below the short article that expresses his views

Some truths never change. Eric Hoffer was a Non-Jewish American longshoreman and social philosopher. He was born in 1902 and died in 1983, after writing nine books and winning the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His first book, The True Believer, published in 1951, was widely recognized as a classic.

Bernard J. Shapiro]

This may be a source that was used along the way.

the Netanyahu.org page maybe was the the web page that revived it in 2002:

http://www.netanyahu.org/ispecposorwr.html

It is dated April 21, 2002. But it has two words pressed together and that might indicate copying rather tahn original typos.

Back to Eric Hoffer himself - I can see some evidence that he only knew something about what hapepned in Indonesia and thought surely they were not killed.

"Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese-and no one says a word about refugees."

That last clause refers ONLY to Indonesia. Nobody said anythimng abouyt refugess because thwere WEREN'T ANY refugees. there were only people who fled within the country - maybe - or who weer killed - or who were left alone. This was not like the Turks massacring the Armenians when many Armenians left the country. People could nt cross borders easily in 1965-66 - and Mao's China of course was not really inetrested in them (unlike the way Stalins Russia's protected Russain refugees in China from the Japanese because Stalin wanted to prtened here to be anormal country - and simlarly sometimes North Korea takes the position and actually does somwe things for the welfare of Koreans in Japan. they weren't really interested - since the vasy majority of people killed were not in fact Communists - and they weren't into faking concern at that point. The whole thing bears more looking into. An especially interesting angle would be the connection to Clinton (Mochtar Riady, a major backer, along with his son James who became a US permanent resident, who seems to have both escaped harm AND been REALLY connected to China) and Obama (who lived there, as a child, in the aftermath 1967-1970 and could probably not have escaped knowing something even if his mother and step-father tried to shield him - and who surely knows something now and has never spoken of this that I know of.)

Sammy Finkelman said...

Sorry if I am writing like the Gemorah on a Mishnah - going off on a tangent in great detail.

OK one thing now:

"Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people and there is no refugee problem."

This goes on Russia, (1881-1914) Poland, Czechoslovakia (both immediate post World War II) Turkey (1923) and Algeria
(1962)

"No one says a word about refugees" goes only on Indonesia.

It applies to these words:

"Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese"

Now in this case the situation was actually far worse than Eric Hoffer thought. Indonesia id not throw any Chinese out. It only murdered them.

http://www.enotes.com/genocide-encyclopedia/indonesia

There were no international refugees (and Hoffer is talking in this article only about international refugees)