Larry Hart <lhart916@gmail.com>

8/27/14
to Michael

I was shocked by your stream of conscious  criticism of my work against Levine and Hochburg. I thought your magazine stood for free speech, full disclosure and transparency. That you would  shy away from debate and use such shotty excuses to justify it was very surprising. The inclusion of refugees which was never mentioned and the ad hominem attacks, were stunning.  I would have expected more from you, Rabbi. well, ok then, its your magazine. In a way I am relieved. I have taken on so many of these debates in my time I really wasn’t looking forward to it. But, in the interest of the innocent who sit on the fence and wants to understand both sides I would agree to do it. Anyway, I have answered your charges below. They are really for my own clarification of what I had done with Levine and Hochburg.  Read them or don’t read them, respond or don’t respond or just delete right now. I don’t really care.

Levine has already responded to the piece you sent and I haven’t had a chance to edit either piece yet. I’m not going to be adding more on to this discussion, because you simply seem incapable of grasping the fundamental reality that Israel refused to let 800,000 refugees return to Israel in 1949, despite international law requiring countries to allow the return of civilians fleeing their home in time of war

I grasp it fine. This is obviously a reach on your part since I never mentioned the refugees in my rebuttal to Levine andHochburg. I find it amusing and somewhat beneath someone of your stature to bring something into the argument which was not part of the debate, unless you didn’t really read my piece. Maybe you just looked at the first few lines of criticism and just formulated my Neandrathal and uninformed view of history. And, if you didn’t read it and  we have never spoken before, at least I don’t think we have, how do you know what my position is on the refugees?

, and that since 1955 Israel has been in alliance with the major colonial and imperial powers and been protected by them

You mean like the U.S or France? Yes Israel aligned itself with those countries that agree with its governing philosophy. You are aware that 1955 is the exact year when the first of Soviet intrusions into the Middle East set the Arabs on a course for war against the Jewish State by providing arms and super power backing. I don’t understand why you think Israel should be condemned for forming those same alliances in its own defense with western style democracies. Do you think it doesn’t have the right to match what its enemies are doing? Do you think it’s unfair somehow? Ask yourself this question. Does a sovereign state have the right to defend itself against aggression? If you think that was wrong I would be interested in knowing how you think Israel should have reacted in the 1950s and 60s to the build up of Soviet arms and influence into Egypt and Syria.

 

and has acted in ways that have continued to expand its boundaries (which it refuses to define) at the expense of the Palestinian people and their land.

Like Levine you’re not being totally honest with that statement. Israel’s southern borders are indeed defined, It has a treaty with Egypt and Jordan describing where those countries border ends and Israel’s begins. When and if we can ever bring the others to comply with Res 242 and 338 that will be resolved as well. But, I think you know that.

As a result, your repeating the historically discredited versions of the Zionist narrative are of little interest because they don’t even begin to come to grips with the actual history,

First, discredited by who, the international Marxist Left  and Islam? Who else other than these two groups will discredit the history in its entirety? I didn’t discount most of the assertions of Levine and Hochburg. I only added to them which, admittedly, provides a more rounded view of the entire story, one which they and you apparently don’t want to see.  Sorry, but this is how we get at historical truth. You and your left wing associates must understand that selective politicized history like that of the new historians on Israel will not stand the test of time. As I ended my piece I told you that you need to re assess and concentrate in the future on a more balanced view.  

Second, I am not denying new historian accounts, only their methodology in interpretation. Facts are facts and cannot be disputed. As someone who studies the history of this conflict myself and is not that proficient enough in Hebrew to read those docs I am thankful for Shliam, Flappan, Segev, Pappe, Morris, Shahak etc. for providing the properly cited history from the documents released from 1977 onward. I fully appreciate the work they put into their treatises. I wouldn’t have that info otherwise. I have read them extensively, have their books in my library, and refer to them on a regular basis. You might have noticed I cite them here in my piece, if you took the time to read it. I only take issue with their analysis of those facts. Their selective methodology of drawing conclusions that are skewed toward a political bent which seeks to undermine Western democracy, by criticizing one of those democracies. That is unconscionable because it gives people like you and others a platform for disseminating a distorted view of the history. You should all be ashamed for standing against your own people’s defense in surviving over there in that cesspool they call the Middle East.  It’s a crime against academia which should not be tolerated. Its revisionist in nature, and these professors in Israel and others in the English speaking world should be reprimanded by their institutions.

Third. My goal is only to fill in what the New historians tend to leave out of their historiography which helps to skew their analysis  on the history. Levine and Hochburg displayed that selective approach in their response to Jon Voight. I couldn’t just sit there and let them get away with that, could I?

 

but instead live in a fairy tale that enough people have heard over and over again that we don’t have to repeat for them.

I think you have left out the children of each generation who we have a responsibility to show them as much Israeli history, both good and bad, as we can. They deserve our honesty and conscientiousness in presenting something that comes as close to the truth as possible. So, you are wrong rabbi, not “enough people have heard over and over again.” By the way is that your view on Holocaust studies as well?

If you actually bothered to study the works of the Israeli historians and could refute them, that would be of interest, but that is not what you are doing or appear competent to do,

This is why I think you really did not bother to read my entire piece. If you did then I think you know that isn’t true.  I refuted Levine and Hochburg’s letter with solid research formulating a different conclusion.   I wrote my interpretation of the facts, an interpretation that does not get enough exposure these days.  based on the primary sources of that history wherever possible, and secondary when they aren’t. We owe it to the historical record to refute all Left wing distortions about Israel and its history in that conflict. And, I think you know that what I say is valid otherwise why would you stoop to ad hominem attacks on my competency.

I am not against you. We  are the same people, raised in the same culture, with the same values passed down from our parents. I just want you to temper your criticism of your own people and direct it where it really belongs, against The Marxist left that stands with our enemies.

so please don’t expect us to be doing more than publishing in Tikkun Daily blog your original submission, plus a response from LeVine.

Ok.

Jewish community examiner

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