Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Part One: What the Netanyahu Family Did To Palestine

Part One: What the Netanyahu Family Did To Palestine

Tue, 25 May 2021 10:00

Part One: What the Netanyahu Family Did To Palestine

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Hey, Robert here. It's been like two months since I had LASIK and I'm still seeing 2020. All I had to do was go in for a consultation, then go in for a maybe 10 minute procedure and then my eyes have been great ever since. You know, I healed up wonderfully. It was very simple, couldn't have been a better experience. So if you want to explore LASIK plus I can't recommend it enough. They have over 20 years experience in the industry and they performed more than two million treatments right now if you want to try getting LASIK plus you can get $1000 off of your surgery when you're treated in September, that's $500. Of per eye, just to schedule your free consultation. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried true crime. And if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's breaker handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her social discoveries on chimpanzees SO4-O months, the chimps ran away from me. I mean, they take one look at this peculiar white ape and disappear into the vegetation. Bing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. What? Ah, ****. Oh boy. No. Any introduction I could make like that for this episode is just gonna be in poor taste. This is behind the ******** a podcast that is never introduced well, and wasn't introduced well this time, but at least I stopped myself from getting into major trouble. Are you proud, Sophie? I'm proud the training has worked. So. Today we have a special ************ of a tale for for everyone. Obviously, if you've been like even paying the least bit of attention to the news, you will notice that a lot of terrible ethnic cleansing or ethnic cleansing adjacent stuff has been going on in Palestine or has been done in Palestine recently by the Israeli Government. We have not really delved into any of that conflict or it's ********. And today we're going to talk about the Netanyahu family. And because this is well outside of my wheelhouse, our guest today is Doctor Donna L Curd, an assistant professor of PhD in political science and author of polarized and Demobilized Legacies of Authoritarianism in Palestine. Dana, how are you doing today? I'm OK. The time difference is going to make me perhaps not the most lucid, but it'll be fine. Yeah, you are. It's like late at night for you. It's unspeakably early in the morning for me. So it's 11. It's 11:00 AM. That's like, that's like a normal human. 6:00 AM for Robert. I was getting that sympathize, but I no longer sympathize because. You should not, Dana, could you want to give a little bit of your background here, just kind of before we get, we get started on the episode today? Yeah, like like personal professional background. Like, yeah, so, so I'm from Jerusalem. Born there, and I lived there for some time, and then I I had kind of a weird topsy turvy tail. But I went to Japan and then I went to the United States and I received a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in Political Science and government, and I specialize in comparative politics, international relations with a focus on Palestine. And the Arab world generally, yeah. Yeah. And I, I'm, I'm happy to have you on. I'm happy to be talking about this because like, I think there's there's a couple of reasons people don't talk about what's happening in Palestine enough. One of them is kind of the almost insurmountable. Well, it seems less insurmountable now than it ever has, but like almost insurmountable level of kind of thoughtless, inherent sympathy to Israel that is built into the US education system and to our media system, to the way that stories. Framed it was a great New York, not a great New York Times article, but a New York Times article that was a great example of this recently, where they, they talked about the number of Israelis killed by Hamas rockets and the number of Palestinians who died and that were killed by, like, just died. Like, OK, they dropped dead out of, yeah, you know, sympathy. And it's so I think that's one reason why this doesn't get enough coverage. But I think the reason why people like myself who are inherently sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. Maybe don't cover this enough is the historical complexity. And when I say complexity, I'm not talking about the complexity of the morality of the situation, because I don't think it's particularly complex. I think it's an ethnic cleansing. But the history is, and I think when you like one of the things that has stopped me from maybe covering this as much as I would have wanted is I get so nervous when I try to figure out how to talk about the history. Because there's a lot that goes on not just with the history of since 1948 in Palestine. With the history of the Zionist movement had, they're like, it's just a **** load of stuff has gone on. So today we're going to be talking about the Netanyahu family and their role in Zionism and we're also gonna be kind of giving an overview of of how that's kind of played into to more broadly the ongoing, I mean, ethnic cleansing in Palestine. I can't really use that phrase enough. I don't think so. I mean, kudos for using it, let's say. Ohh, that's not the common one that's used. I mean if the if the. Series of government actions taken to remove a religious and ethnic group from its homeland fits. Yeah, I know that's where you were going on that one. Yeah. So, yeah, I kind of thought a lot about how to actually cover this. And I I feel like because this is behind the ******** our strong point is covering individuals and and people who are particularly ******. And I think kind of the Netanyahu family is a good way to ground this because of how central they've been to a lot of everything that's happened there over the last, I don't know, 80 some years, 70 some years. How many years has been since 1948, like. 771, yeah, 71. So there are a lot of sources for this episode. A key one was the book BB by Anchel Feffer and I I think there's some folks who are better versed in the history of the region that could bring some criticisms of this book. But to me it seemed like a really fair and very critical look at both Netanyahu, Bibi Netanyahu and the Netanyahu family. And it gives a lot of detail about kind of the the early Zionist movement. So we're going to start by talking about BB's Grandpa whose name was Nathan Milkowski, and he was born in 1879 in the village of. Ever in modern Belarus now at that time the area was part of the Russian Empire and as the documentary Fiddler on the roof shows, it was not a great time in a place to be Jewish. The Russian Empire, the 1870s, lot of real bad things happening there. Roughly 5,000,000 Jewish people lived in what was called the Pale of Settlement. Now this was a clearly defined area of territory within the Russian Empire where Jewish people were legally allowed to reside. And it was illegal to be a Jewish person living outside of the Pale of Settlement, which is not a situation that I think would seem familiar. Do any people living in Palestine today? Hmm, yes, indeed. Where have I heard this one now, if Jewish people left or traded in other parts of Russia, they could be arrested. And it is worth noting that when these laws were first laid down in the 1500s or so, everybody in Russia who wasn't a noble had this kind of limited freedom of movement, right? Most people were serfs. They were slaves bound to the land. So in the 1500s, when the Pale of Settlement is established, the Jewish Jewish people in Russia are not the only people who were restricted. Removing this way, right, Russia, a horrific autocracy. I mean, it's still kind of is, but it was an even worse one now back then. When serfdom ended, though, and freedom of movement was extended to the mass of citizens, Russian Jews remained restricted. And that's kind of like the 1800s. Now. The Czars in this. Were absolute monarchs, and the reasons for restricting their reasons for restricting Jewish businesses from operating in parts of the empire were generally as petty as believing there were too many Jewish innkeepers and a specific, like, part of the empire. Like Poland and wanting to put a stop to that, the Czars also opened parts of the Russian frontier up to Jewish habitation when they wanted to colonize those areas though. So they both restricted them and used them as colonizing agents in like areas like Ukraine. By the end of the 1800s things had started to open up a little, but it was not an even process. As this quote from the Jewish Virtual Library makes clear quote. The Jews hoped that these regulations would prove to be the first steps towards the complete abolition of the pale of settlement. However, they were disappointed when these allegations came to a complete halt. After 1881, as part of the general reaction in Russia at this. The temporary laws of 1881 prohibited any new settlement by Jews outside towns and Townlets. In the Pale of Settlement, Jews who had been living in villages before the publication of the decree were authorized to reside in those same villages. Only the peasants were granted the right of demanding the expulsion of the Jews who lived among them. The decrees were bound up with intensified administrative pressure, brutality by local authorities, and the systematic acceptance of bribery on the part of the lower administrative ranks. So. That's kind of the situation in Russia in this. When Nathan Milkowski grows up and that's B's grandpa again. Now his family is dirt poor. Probably not a big surprise given everything we've talked about. His dad is basically a subsistence farmer, but Nathan is gifted and is immediately kind of noted as being very intelligent and marked to go to a yeshiva, which is a religious school now. His family was so poor that the entire village had to take up a collection to fund his education, education at that time, rabbinical students. And Nathan is a rabbinical. Student were forbidden from studying anything but religion. So it was like a legal for kids in the yeshiva to study math, science, foreign languages. Part of this was because Russia had a Jew quota in university, so you couldn't have more than a certain number of Jewish people at a college and another part of it was there. There's a lot of weird Russian laws bound up in this, but the the gist of it is that a lot of kids in the yeshiva are like illegally studying not just math, but socialism and communism at night time, which is why so many socialist revolutionaries in the late 1800s. In 1900s in Russia were Jewish. By the time that Nathan was starting his education in the 1890s, it anarchism and communism had gotten to be like increasingly popular underground topics in the yeshiva, and a lot of kids that, like yeshiva students on the left, were leaving school to take part in growing movements against the Czar. Nathan was not one of these. He was taken by a very different strain of radicalism, what was known as Hovey, Zion, or the Lovers of Zion, and these are one of the first European. Zionist movements, in short the members of Hovey Zion, believed that the Jews of Europe needed to immigrate to what had historically been, you know, the biblical land of Israel, which at that point was controlled by the Ottoman Empire. Nathan fell in love with this idea, which was at the time widely panned by the most influential Russian rabbis of the day, who felt like, no, we. We've gained a lot in the way of rights unless we need to like, stay here and continue to be, you know, part of the Russian state, now among the most influential homevision advocates, was a French Jewish journalist. Named Theodore Herzl and Herzel was a friend again French. So he covered the Dreyfus affair in Paris in 1894, which we've talked about before in the show. And he was so horrified by the rise of the anti-Semitic French right. And the Dreyfus affair is this Jewish French officer gets accused of passing secrets to the Russian. He was innocent, but it became this whole culture war issue. And hersel is so horrified by this that he decided, you know, basically the only option is Zionism, because there's so much anti-Semitism. Theodore was a secular Zionist. He was not particularly religious. His advocacy for Zionism had really nothing to do with the religion itself. It had to do with more with kind of the anti-Semitism that Jewish people faced and it was very much a you know, earlier that kind of the modern manifestation of this, these ideas is very much like. A product of their time given kind of rising nationalist sentiment in certain parts of Europe and certain even certain parts of the Middle East under the Ottoman Empire. So it's it's kind of like they're expressing their need for you know, self-determination and dignity through these this lens of like nationalism. Yeah. And it's it's it is very tight. Yeah. I mean, because you're you're right. It is important to note this is a global movement that's a big part of like at the end of World War One there's this understanding of. Like the right of national self-determination, which is never evenly applied or even particularly honestly applied, but that idea becomes increasingly common. And it is like the these, these Jews in different European countries are seeing other groups kind of establish a national identity and they start to feel that it is very much motivated by horrific repression because there's a lot of programs in this period of time, right? There's a lot of murders. So it is, there's a there's a strong kind of defensive element to this, you can understand. Like why this would be so appealing to people dealing with the kind of **** that they're dealing in this period of time? And Nathan Mikowski was kind of on the more religious side of the Zionist thing. So Herzel is a more influential figure in this time, but he's secular. Milkowski is kind of influenced directly by radical Zionist rabbis, but he still winds up because this is just kind of the thing that is easiest to do at the time, preaching on the more secular end of Zionism. He never served as a rabbi despite being ordained. Basically, as soon as he gets out of the yeshiva, he starts traveling around the Russian. They are giving speeches to drum up interest in the Zionist project. In 1903, British Zionists, supported by Herzel, backed the Uganda Plan, which would have established a new Jewish homeland in East Africa, presumably without asking the people who already lived there. And again, you know, this is a Jewish Zionist movement, but it's also British, which is why they're saying, like, well, why couldn't we just take a bunch of lands in Africa? You know, Africa seems fine. Be there. Umm. Now, that said, like, so you've got this mix of really privileged, wealthy imperialists, but also a lot of desperate Russians who are like, yeah, Uganda sounds a hell of a lot better than Russia right now. Why not? And this is a kind of mixed in with, like, part of why the Uganda plan seems like a good idea to a lot of people at the time is that the the Ottoman Empire is pretty strictly refusing to allow their Jewish population any kind of autonomy. Of course they're the Ottoman Empire. They're not really big. An autonomy being an empire, it's kind of for anything. For any minority group, yeah. For any minority group, yeah. It's not like they they're not, they're not even particularly oppressing the Jews. If you want to, like, look at what they did to the Armenians is is much worse. So it's certainly not like they're not picking on Jewish people purely here. So the Uganda plan is really popular among Zionists for a while, but it's not popular with Nathan Milkowski. He rejects the plan specifically because he was afraid. Might work and that would stop Zionists from trying to retake the Holy Land. Now the Uganda plan obviously fell apart before too long and after that happened European Zionism split into two groups. There were the political Zionists who sought to convince one of the Great powers, generally Great Britain, to give them a charter for a Jewish Commonwealth and Palestine. And then there were the practical Zionists who thought that Jews should raise money to immigrate to Zion and build a legal settlements there and that that was the way to establish. One side is like, if we convince a great power to give us a state, that's the best option. The other side is, well, we should just raise money, move there, start communities and then eventually have enough power to fight for our independence there. So those are kind of the two chunks of the Zionist movement after the Uganda Plan in 1907 at the 8th Zionist Congress. These are like, you know, big yearly events where everybody talks about how you're going to, how you're going to do Zionism. At the eight point of these, Nathan accuses delegates in favor of the Uganda. Land of quote betraying all the generations, which is there's this idea within we'll talk about this a couple of times in the episode, that Jewish people cannot, cannot fight each other for political reasons. But there's also this idea and Nathan is when he when he accuses the Uganda Plan supporters betraying the generations. There's this idea that if you take certain actions that are anti Zionist, you're not Jewish anymore. Really like that. That's a big part of this and it's going to play a role in the assassination of an Israeli Prime Minister. Later on in this episode. And Benjamin Netanyahu is very proud of his grandfather for this. He keeps a picture of his grandpa at this conference in his office. That's going to make a lot of sense later on. So Nathan, you know, is continues to be a kind of fringe Zionist figure during this. In 1910, his wife gives birth to a son, Benzion, Netanyahu Bibi's father. And Ben Zion is raised in kind of, at this point, the most extreme wing of the Zionist movement. Nathan supported the family in part by writing articles. Which he wrote under the pseudonym Netanyahu, which is a name from the Bible that means given by God. In 1917 the British government issued a public statement known as the Balfour Declaration. This is because World War One is going on. The British are fighting. The British have actually just gotten their ***** kicked in a horrific battle against the Ottomans in Gallipoli. And the Balfour Declaration basically is Great Britain giving its support for the establishment of a quote, national home for the Jewish people in Palestine. There were a number of reasons for this. One of them was a hope that it would increase Jewish support for the Allies in neutral countries because Britain's trying to get everybody. Is possible in on their side of this war and other of it is just kind of a you know, there there's they're fighting the Ottomans so they're sticking a thumb in the Ottomans saying like this is what we're gonna do when we beat you. The third reason is Balfour was an anti Semite. Yeah. He he really wanted Jews out of Europe. Yes. And that is a that's a big part of this and it's I mean that goes deep within kind of the anti-Semitic movement down to the fact that before World War Two among the Nazis there was the Madagascar plan, which you can see is kind of. Excited from the Uganda Plan, which is like, what if we move all the Jews to Madagascar, another place where no one else lives, you know? But yeah, they're always like the the answer to white supremacy is let's push it on Africa. It'll be fine. It's empty. Yeah, that is, that is the overwhelming attitude during this. And there is, there's a lot of people within the British Government who have resistance to the Balfour Declaration. A decent number of them recognize that there's no way to push for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine without a lot of bloodshed and much of the anti Zionist resistance in Britain. Actually came from British Jews and I'm gonna quote from here. Led by Edwin Montagu, Secretary of State for India and one of the first Jews to serve in the cabinet, the anti Zionists feared that British sponsored Zionism would threaten the status of Jews who had settled in various European and American cities and also encourage anti-Semitic violence in the country's battling Britain in the war, especially within the Ottoman Empire. Pretty reasonable set of concerns and they would probably, right? Yeah, I mean yeah, if you saw like the Newsmax thing that came out today. Oh no I didn't. It was like a clip on Newsmax where. It the, the the broadcaster is basically saying like, you know, if you're a Jew and you support Biden like he is like, you know, targeting your homeland if you're an American Jew and yeah, yes, yes. No, they're Americans. I mean it's it trickles down this, this thought process, like if. You know, they're not fully citizens of wherever they are because of this alien thing that's being formed outside. Yeah. Yeah. And you're right. That is incredibly toxic cause it plays directly into this idea that's critical to the Nazis that Jews are not part of whatever community. They're a part of their own separate thing. Yeah. It's it again there's a lot of there's it's, it's interesting. The Balfour Declaration, which is so critical for the establishment of Zionism is invented by an come up with announced by an anti Semite. And opposed by a lot of Jewish people within Great Britain. Umm, yeah. But obviously, you know, a lot of people, particularly guys like Nathan Milkowski, see the Balfour Declaration as a huge shot in the arm, right? Like now we have a great power, has finally backed us having our own state in Palestine. Now, in 1918, World War One ended, the Ottoman Empire gets broken up and the League of Nations dominated by Britain and France splits up all of these territories. You know, the Sykes Picot agreement is, you know, all that stuff. And Britain gets a mandate over Palestine. And this convinces Nathan to immigrate to Palestine with his family. And he's a number of a lot of European Jewish people immigrate to Palestine during this time because the British takeover, and it's seen as like, they've just made the Balfour Declaration. We're about to get our own state. They didn't stay long, though, because Nathan was soon sent by a figure in the Zionist movement to the United States, where he was asked to use his charismatic. Speaking skills to drum up funds from wealthy American Jews. And this will be like the major role the NETANYAHUS play in in Israeli politics and whatever up until B becomes Prime Minister, they spend the whole Netanyahu family spends more time in the United States than they spend in Israel. It's just the way it goes. Uh, because they're good at like talking and drumming up money Now, while his wife joined him for part of the trip, Ben, Zion and the other Netanyahu kids, while they're not Netanyahu yet, grow up in boarding schools. Nathan was unhappy in the United States, which he considered decadent and impure, and he moved back to Palestine but quickly isolated himself from the Zionist movement which had grown really secular in socialist during this. Again, it's not a religious movement and it's very much a left wing movement in this. And kind of religious right. Singers like Nathan are not particularly popular. Nathan identified with the Misrahi movement, which is kind of a religious fundamentalist Zionist movement, and as a result he kind of gets ostracized from the mainstream of of Zionism and he dies angry in February of 1935 at age 55. Now, Ben Zion was 25 years old when his father died, and he very quickly abandoned the name Malikowski for the name his dad had used as a pseudonym, Netanyahu. So that's B's dad, Ben Zion. Netanyahu in the summer of 1929, when Benzion was 19A, dispute over prayer organizations at the Wailing Wall turned violent. 133 Jews and 116 Arabs died in a wave of mass like rioting violence. People are just murdering each other, hundreds more are injured. And as far as I can tell, the the the crux of this, the Wailing wall is sacred to both faiths. It's the last remnant of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem, by Muslim tradition, at the spot where Mohammed tied his steed after his night flight from Mecca. I think I'm getting. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Descendants to heaven. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. So it's it's it's super sacred to both sides. The violence, though, was about more like, that's kind of. And this is what you see over and over again. There's a spark that gets justified in history books is This is why the violence happened. But it's really a bunch of stuff building up. Yeah. It's it's anger over the Balfour Declaration. It's anger over. What Arabs in Palestine, you know, Palestinian Arabs saw as like. Economic market marginalization at the hands not necessarily of, you know, the the religious Jewish communities that had been in in, you know, the old City of Jerusalem for for hundreds of years, but more of these kind of newcomers that are kind of setting up shop and only hiring amongst themselves and like being already quite discriminatory. And so there were these like marches during the, there's like the Ambassador March and things like that. And like you said, it would be the spark for. For for kind of like, intercommunal violence, yeah, yeah, and I I can't say again. This seems like a fairly fair reading of it to me. I'm interested in your thoughts on this, in terms of talking about kind of the influence of this surge of violence, the book B writes quote. Prior to this, very few Jews had fully realized how they're growing presence impacted the local Arabs. August 1929 drove home the reality that two nations were competing for the same piece of land. Before then, the Arabs living there had not factored into Zionist thinking. The main question had been how to convince the great powers carving up the Middle East to grant the Jew's sovereignty. The realization of the Arabs were going to fight and that the British, despite Lord Balfour's grand promises, weren't going to automatically fulfill the Balfour Declaration tour the Zionist movement apart once again. And it tears them into these two sides, one who thinks we need to reach an agreement with Great Britain and also reach an agreement with the Arabs who already live in Palestine and had been for generations, and one which says, **** that, let's get a bunch of guns basically. Yeah. I mean I think that's pretty, I think that's pretty accurate. You know, both the left wing, what you characterize as kind of left wing secular Zionism and the religious Zionism kind of saw like the the secular one saw the Palestinian Arabs is like this backwards. You know, again from like a white lens, like these are backwards people, like, they don't factor hertzel had like written a novel like kind of encompassing his, like Zionist ideas where, like he wrote like, you know, they could be servers, they could, you know, they could like be part of society, like in this kind of fringe way, they can be our workers. And then the the religious, you know, side of Zionism, which I again, like you said, I don't think was that well represented. Done this. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, like religious Jews had existed in Palestine, Palestinian Jews had been, yeah, in in Palestine that they didn't really identify with like a Zionist movement. But yeah, those guys also don't see, you know, necessarily the humanity of other faiths. Yes. Yes. So so, yeah, I mean, I I think that characterization, what you just said is seems seems correct. Yeah. They realize, oh, these people exist here, these people exist and they're not just going to let us take everything. And you. That, yeah. I think as you characterize it, you get the side that's like, well, we can live with these people as long as they're like second class citizens and the side that's like, well, we'll just shoot anybody who disagrees with us. And critically the we can shoot anyone who disagrees with the side is also willing to shoot the British, which is a huge part of like what is going to come next is this kind of insurgent anger at the British for not immediately fulfilling what the Balfour Declaration, what these people assumed it had promised. So yeah that's kind of like the next couple of decades of of of the movement here at age 19 and and obviously Ben Zion is on the we don't need to ask for anything side we should take what we want or we should take like we have a right to take this and we're gonna we can take it by violence like that's that's the angle of this that he's on and at age 19 he joins a group called a Hat Zohar which is the World Union of Zionist revisionists and this is the one, this is not the one, but this is a political faction of the Zionist. Movement who had basically decided, number one, we're going to ignore the fact that, uh, Palestinian Arabs already own this land. We're also going to say **** you to the British. These are like the most extreme and most aggressive chunk of the Zionist movement. They were founded on the teachings of 1 influential Zionist Zieve Jabotinsky, a secular Zionist who found inspiration in European nationalist movements and and including a number of like fascist movements like he, he was really, he was a he was. And that's a big part of Revisionist Zionism prior to World War Two is a lot of sympathy before, but for at least kind of the way fascists are doing things, because it's an ethno nationalist movement, and ethno nationalists stick together well, to an extent. Yeah, with an external enemy. Yeah, yeah, with an external enemy. Can you do an American real quick, Robert? Yeah. You know who what's not? An ethno nationalist movement. I certainly. The the products that support this podcast. It's like, yeah, thank you, thank you. That's that's that's what we strive for here. 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And getting it done was easy too. You know. I went in, I had my consultation. They told me I was a good candidate. And then I went back in a couple of days later about a Bing bada boom. You know, my eyes were perfect. So LASIK Plus is a leader in laser vision correction in the United States. They have over 20 years in the industry and more than two million treatments performed. If you want to start your LASIK plus journey, you can get $1000 off when treated in September. That's 500 per eye. So visit my LASIK offer. Dot com to schedule your free consultation now. Alright, we're back. So yeah, you've got this, you've got this guy Jabotinsky and who is who is a a ******** secular Zionist nationalist who was like we'll fight the Arabs, we'll fight the British will fight anybody like that's, that's the only way to get what we want. And he gets kicked out of the British mandate in Palestine very quickly because he's urging that it be overthrown violently. Now Jabotinsky is the early Zionist thinker who probably influenced modern. Maybe Netanyahu the most. He believed that for a nation to survive, it must quote, keep apart, untrusting. Perpetually on guard a club at all times is the only way to survive in this wolves fight, which is basically Israeli domestic policy and foreign policy today. All really big fans of the Leviathan. Like, yeah, yeah, now he believed that he rejected mysticism again. Not a religious guy. And excessive. Religiosity and insisted that strength and violence is what would gain the Zionist movement the respect of other nations. This could be done by taking the land occupied by Arabs and defending it with a quote iron wall of Jewish bayonets. Now in that same essay he acknowledged that the forced settlement of Jews in Palestine would be resisted quote. Any indigenous people will fight the settlers as long as there is a spark of hope to be rid of the foreign settlement. That is what the Arabs of the Land of Israel are doing and will continue to do as long as a spark of hope lingers in their heart that they can prevent Palestine from becoming the land of Israel. So. A lot of discussion about Israel as a settler state and whatnot. It's important to note that one of the founders of Israel, one of the most important Zionists in the history of the movement, explicitly described what they were doing as a settler attempt to displace an indigent indigenous people. He did was not at all hiding that or trying to dress it up like we are coming in from elsewhere and we are forcing the indigenous people out, and that is the goal. Yeah, yeah, yeah. A lot of them were quite clear. Yeah. Grammas quite clear. Yeah. But great. It was real clear. Yeah. And Ben, Ben Gurion was actually Gemma Tanski's main political enemy. Which, again, when we talk about the left wing and the right wing of the Zionists and, like, the different they all still are, are basically agreed on. We're going to come here and we're going to take what, what we, what we want, what we need by force if necessary, you know, like that. There's not a lot of debate on that. There's a lot of debate about how. There's a lot of debate about how to justify it. There's a lot of debate about how the state that they want to set up should look. They're basically, they're agreed on the basics. And Ben Gurion ran an organization called Mapai, which was a kind of socialist Zionist party. And I don't know from from where. What I'm reading these guys were were bitter rivals. They didn't see them. All that different, though, when it came to what to do with the people who'd been living in Palestine for generations. Ben Gurion was an advocate of multiplying the settlements there until there were enough Jews in the area to force the state. He wanted Jewish settlers to see themselves as pioneers. Jabotinsky wanted them to see themselves as soldiers, and Ben Gurion called Jabotinsky a fascist like a bunch of types. And that's not an unfair characterization now, Benzion Netanyahu was pretty marginalized in these discussions. His most meaningful addition to the debate came during his early years at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, when he orchestrated the stink bombing of a British Zionist professor. Now this guy Norman Bentwich was controversial because he'd been the mandate government's attorney general during the 1929. Riots. And Zionists saw him as being too neutral in this job. Basically he was too fair to Arabs. I don't know that he was fair to them. I'm not saying he was. That's how this I smell it. Smell it? Yeah. So they stink. Bomb this guy and it's like it's a big deal within the movement. And that's kind of been Zions. He helps orchestrate that whole plan. You know what's funny about Hebrew University? Sorry if this is a random interjection, but it was founded with the explicit support. An approval and land from a prominent Palestinian family that Hussein these yeah who later become this like trope amongst like Israeli propagandists that they're like you know all anti semites and all these things but you know the. For a lot of Palestinians at the time, they they're like, yeah, it's another group. There's lots of groups coming in like, Umm, we can, we can help. We can help work with them. Yeah. I think that where the convergence, like you were saying, between like somebody like McCoy and somebody like jenski, it came after the Arab revolt in the 1930s and they were like, oh, OK, they they're, yeah, like you said, but they're not, they're not going to go quietly. And then people like the Husseini and stuff, they're like. Oh, this is actually like a settler colonial movement. We should maybe we shouldn't be hoping. Maybe. And that I mean, that's heartbreaking, too, because it suggests that there was a way that you could have had a Jewish community in Palestine without having a horrific settler apartheid state and violence. You could have just had people living in Palestine that that that weren't at each other's throats. It wasn't impossible to safe haven. It could have been a binational state. It could have. Yeah. It could, yeah. And there was actually that I think it was the President of Hebrew, Hebrew University was like on record in the lead up of 1948 saying like he he disapproved of the plans to expel Arabs. And like his, his Zionism was a more of a cultural Zionism. I, I don't necessarily know all the variants of Zionism, but but there there were other. Possibilities, definitely, yeah. There's a decent number of people on both sides who do not want violence or the the forced displacement of people. But they lose, you know, they that's the end. The end of the the end result here, as everyone knows, if you've been watching hundreds of bombs fall on Gaza. Yeah. In 1934, Hitler seized total power in Germany, and that ended the dalliance some Zionists on the revisionist side of things had with fascism. In fact, when one official with the Jewish Agency, which was the organization that handled the immigration of Jews into Palestine, negotiated a deal with the Nazis that allowed German goods to be sold to Palestine, and the reason he did this was to allow 60,000 German Jews to immigrate before the Holocaust. This guy was declared a traitor to his people by the revisionists. They argued that he was not really Jewish and he was murdered. Suspicion immediately fell upon it. And again, this is, this is going to be when we talk about Yitzak Rabin, this is going to be like, this is a through line here. Jewish people cannot kill each other for political reasons is the attitude that Zionists have. But if you do things that certain Zionists don't like, you're not really Jewish anymore and you can be murdered. And this guy gets, this guy gets murdered. And I'm not going to like, making a deal with the Nazis is not something I ever feel too fond about. But it's hard to see, like what options this guy had. He's trying to get people out of this state. Before the ******* Holocaust happens, I don't know, like, I've never had to make a call that tough, so I'm not going to judge the dude. But he gets murdered, and he probably gets murdered by a group of extreme revisionist Zionists whose name in Hebrew literally, literally translated to gang of thugs. That's what they called themselves. Now, Ben Zion and his father believed these guys were innocent because they didn't think Jewish people could murder each other for political motives, and while the gang of thugs were eventually acquitted, they almost certainly did it. Ben Zion, though, came to believe that the allegations against them had been a blood libel against the revisionist cause by leftist Zionists. And the blood libel. We've talked about this in our episodes on the anti-Semitism is this old Christian idea about like, Jewish rabbis sacrificing Christian babies for. Yeah. Anyway, the fact that he's using this term against the left is is really extreme. I mean, like Father, like son, right? Yeah. His son later, later does similar things. Yes, yes, absolutely. And she'll, Pfeiffer writes quote the episode left Benzion convinced that there was nothing the left wing would not do to cast the revisionists out of the Zionist camp. Now Ben Zion saw his role within the Zionist movement as that of a propagandist. He started in journalism and he lectured his colleagues that quote. The first condition for our total victory is a combination of three factors, propaganda, propaganda and propaganda. He became the editor for a series of revisionist Zionist newspapers and spent most of his time attacking other Zionists for quote warping Zionism by seeking any kind of accommodation with Arabs. And when I say accommodation, I'm not saying that it is something we would regard as fair, but it's something he regarded as as yielding too much. Yeah, which is at all any democracy. That was multiethnic, he derided. Say quote leftist dictatorship. Read the message. And none of his papers were very successful. He is not popular at this moment. It does not really catch on other than among a small fringe. He was not even very popular among other revisionist Zionists. They saw him as a milktoast academic. The what you'd call the real last real *** ************* within the revisionist Zionist movement had actually formed a militia, we might call them a death squad called the Izl, who trained and actually carried out attacks on both British and Arab interests in Palestine. These guys were terrorists. Umm. I mean, yeah, that's the only way to look at it. They received some of their training and weaponry from the Polish government, which was outrageously anti-Semitic, and basically saw the IZL as a way to get rid of Polish Jews by encouraging them to conquer Palestine. Poland is trying to train Polish Jews in as an army to conquer Palestine, like that's the thing the Polish Government does. Prior to the the outbreak of World War Two. Now, a big part of the ISL's deal was to carry out reprisal attacks for real and for sometimes imagined attacks. On Jewish people in Palestine. And obviously there are actual attacks, too. I don't mean to say like that that doesn't happen, but the IL just spends a lot of time killing Arab civilians. Some of these murders were in response to other murders. Some of them were just murders in 1936. I mean, they're all just murders, but some of them were just like this guy said a thing we don't like, let's ******* shoot him on the street. In 1936, a concerted series of Arab protests broke out. An uprising, really, against Jewish immigrants moving into the region. Against the stated Zionist goals to dominate the area and against violence from groups like the ICL, and also against the British Mandate which both the Zionists and the Palestinians spend a lot of time fighting because it's a foreign power imposing its will on the people there. Nobody really likes the mandate. The goal of these protests was to get the British government to officially rescind the Balfour Declaration and to stop letting Jewish Europeans immigrate to Palestine. Obviously the revolt did not succeed and part of why. Was the fact that the British Army collaborated with the Haganah, which was a more moderate paramilitary unit operated by the Zionists alongside like Ben Gurion Zionists. You've got the IL, which are the revisionist Zionists under Jabotinsky, and you've got the Haganah, which is the more moderate Zionists under Ben Gurion, but they both have their militias. The Haganah is larger and better organized, and it works with the British Mandate to put down this Palestinian revolt, which is really the birth of the IDF in a lot of ways. The current Israeli military, because it does come directly out of the Haganah and during this. The British, because they, and this is some of the British, do everywhere, right. They do it in Kenya. They do it all over Africa. They do it all over Southeast Asia. Wherever they colonize, they find local groups to organize an arm to put down other local groups. And I think that's just how they see what they're doing with the Haggai was like, these people are more willing to work with us. We'll give them guns and training to put down these other people. We'll keep everybody split up so nobody can overthrow us in in the mandate. You know, and there's more affinity obviously with the, with the Europeans than than, yeah, kind of local solution. A lot of these, a lot of the Haganah guys are Europeans, so they get some of them are even British, so it's easier for them to interface. But the training and the arms that they had going to receive during this time are a big part of why in 1948 things work out for them because they have this huge head start, they have this and and that's a thing I think there's a lot of focus when people talk about like, why Israel's been so militarily. Successful on on just the weaponry they receive. It's not just the weaponry, it's also training an organization and military doctrine that they receive from the European powers prior to the outbreak of fighting, especially in the very in 1948. That's almost a bigger part than any specific arms, although the arms that they get like particularly from the Soviets, are a big part of it too. I don't want to like say that it's not, but it's a lot of things now. The years of violence that followed would establish what came to be a pattern in Palestine. Jewish militias benefiting from foreign arms training and joint force operations operated at a level of proficiency not matched by their indigenous opponents and the fighting that followed the revolt. 262 British soldiers died, 300 Jewish soldiers died, and more than 5000 Arabs died. Now many of the Arabs killed were reprisal murders carried out by the ISIL in the early 1930s. This was not super popular among Zionists. It was a controversial issue, even Jabotinsky, who was technically. On paper the leader of the ICL, but he had been exiled, opposed a lot of these revenge killings, but that did not stop them from happening. And the idea about whether or not it was acceptable to carry out reprisal killings changed very rapidly. By 1939 the idea of organized reprisal murders against Palestinian Arabs was common enough that David Ben Gurion, who again is the moderate here, authorized the formation of a special operations unit to carry out reprisal murders against Palestinians. Essentially a death squad. So the IRL. Attitudes kind of become mainstreamed after the this Arab revolt. And by the time the revolt died down, the British had revised their official stance on Zionism. They released a white paper that made everybody angry, which is generally what the British do in this. Instead of supporting Jewish autonomy in Palestine, they now backed a binational state in which Jews would make a permanent minority. To further this, they capped Jewish immigration into Palestine. This angered Zionist for obvious reasons, but it also ****** *** everybody else, because the Palestinian Arabs were being told by a foreign power. You're going to have to give these people some of the land you inhabit it and inhabit. We're still going to keep letting them in to take more stuff and it's begin. It's worth noting that at every stage of this, the messiness of what was always going to be a complex situation is continually escalated because you've got this foreign power who is the ultimate power in the region, but they don't really understand or give a **** they keep they make. They'll make one decision one day, another decision the next, and it's kind of based on whatever people who are sitting back in London. Get convinced of on that day like it's. That's a huge reason why this is so messy. Now the revisionist Israel responded to this declaration by the British with a series of terror attacks on British military bases and more murders of Arab civilians. The Haganah for their part, launched an illegal immigration operation. So the IL starts killing people, the Haganah starts like illegally, like coyote being people into Palestine. Now, while this is happening, those Polish IRL guys over in Europe are preparing themselves to invade. They're getting armed, they're getting trained, and right as that. Was about to maybe happen. World War Two kicks off and things get a lot messier now. While all this **** was going on Benzion, Netanyahu continued to be largely irrelevant. He was a permanently frustrated academic. He got into continual battles with more influential professors and historians at the university, who he hated because he called the Marxists and some of the more Marxists. In the late 1930s, Ben Zion put together an anthology called Political Liberty, a political library, sorry, made-up of writings of his favorite. Pianists, all of whom were far right nationalists who wanted their Zionism free of socialism. One of Ben Zion's favorite Zionists was a guy named Max Nordau, who advocated for muscular Judaism. He also wrote an infamously homophobic book about the decline of Western civilization. Another of these thinkers was Israel Zangwill, who coined the phrase Palestine as a country without a people. The Jews are a people without a country. Just that became mainstream. Yeah, it really. That's why, like, that's the thing. He's a fringe. In this. This becomes the norm. Like, yeah. Now, Zangwill was a big advocate of the idea that Palestine was an invented country. And if some of these guys sound kind of fashy, it's because they absolutely were. Up until World War Two, a lot of revisionist Zionists were very pro fascism. Even once the war started and Nazi war crimes against Jewish people ramped up, there were some Zionists who were willing to work with the Nazis, and I'm going to quote. Baby here, because this story is ******* wild. Abraham's Stern was the Izl commander charged with training a force in Poland to fight an insurrection against the British and Palestine. He defied Jabotinsky and refused to lay down his arms. The Polish officers who had helped train and equip his men had been killed or captured by the German Vermont, but that didn't deter stern from trying to ally himself with the Third Reich. Like more radical revisionists who had admired fascism back in the 20s and 30s, Stern believed that despite the Nazis anti-Semitism, their interests could be aligned in a war against the British. His attempts to communicate with Berlin were ignored. Much stern stuck to his anti British policy, officially breaking with the Israel in August 1940. He formed the fighters for the Freedom of Israel dismissively known by the British and many mainstream Zionists as the Stern Gang. Now, Stern is fringe. I want to note that it is the obviously the idea that you can work with the Nazis, not popular amongst scientists, but it does happen like there are absolutely Zionists are like, well, we can work together if they don't like, we don't want to be in Europe either. We want to take over this territory. Maybe they'll work with us on that. So that said though, the vast majority of even revisionists saw where the wind was blowing. When World War Two started Israel operations against the British Mandate were halted. 10s of thousands have been durians. Then flocked to join the British Army to fight Germany. Benzion Netanyahu was not at all involved in that. He had been sent by revisionists to the United States, like his dad before him, to lobby American Jews and politicians to build support for an Israeli state. Now, Anshell Feffer depicts him as fundamentally marginalized and largely irrelevant in this. Ben Gurion was also in the US around the same time and was much more effective. But Gurian was a savvy man, and he quickly realized how to influence US opinion in favor of the Zionist movement, telling his colleagues back at home that quote the way to acquire the American administration, is acquiring the people. The public opinion. Thus was born the Zionist strategy of hasbara, or explanation, the use of public diplomacy to make the case for a Jewish state. Directly to the American people and trusting that this would lead to political and military support. Now, Ben Zion was one of a crowd of activists who spent the war years trying to influence American politics. In June of 1944, he attended the RNC in Chicago and he was one of many Zionists who secured a pro Zionist plank in the party platform. Politics being what it is, the Republicans criticized Roosevelt for not insisting the British carry out the Balfour Declaration. This this pushed the Democrats to adopt basically the same policy and marked the first successful joint action by the different wings of Zionism. And they realize one great way to succeed. Is by pushing the Republicans and Democrats to try to top each other in supporting Zionism. You can get a lot done if you do that. Which is basically how things work today. So that's good. I mean, there's some changes, you know, there's some, there's some whispers of hope. Yeah, there I'm definitely seeing, like in just the the, the mass media reaction to what's happening now, a lot more criticism of the Israeli Government even from like there. There was again, we just critiqued the New York Times. There was a horrifying New York Times article from a Palestinian that was like the the log line was if they cut the power, if Israel cuts the power, will they still bomb our home? Which is like a question being asked by a child in Gaza. So, like, there's. It's not as I don't know. I don't. Yeah. No, I I see what you mean. Like, it's become so far removed from the whims of Congress anyway at this point. Yeah. Yeah, it is. And it doesn't seem like, I think, hoping that the billions of dollars in military aid to Israel will stop. I mean, feels. Almost. Almost like a foolish hope, but I don't know. Fingers crossed. Yeah. I don't know. I don't know. I'm not. I'm not an American politics expert. So I just put my head in the sand and pretend like things are OK. Yeah. Yeah, maybe things will be OK, especially. Now that we're going to ads, that makes it all all all better capitalism. Capitalism will solve this little. Ohh boy, you can't even finish the sentence. No, I can't. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for none of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. Mint Mobile will give you the best rate whether you're buying one or for a family. And it meant. Then we start at 2 lines. 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And while 10s of thousands of Jewish people had flocked, Jewish Zionists had flocked to fight for the Allies at the start of the war by 1944 a lot of them were furious about how little had been done to save the Jews of Europe. Menachem begin, the commander of the Israel in this. Published a call for revolt in his group started attacking British infrastructure again before the end of the war. This forced. And Gurian to have the Haganah attack the Izel and in the purge that followed many revisionists were sent to concentration camps operated by the British in Africa. Now begin made the decision not to fight back against the Haganah in order to avoid a civil war within the Zionist community. This is seen as having cemented the domination of Ben Gurion's Mepi party in like for the next, you know, couple of decades. But it also fueled resentment of in the right wing Zionist movie this idea that we can't trust the left because they will always seek to purge us. Even though the reason though, anyway, they were doing terrorism against the British during World War Two. That's why Ben Gurion got angry at them so. The war in Europe and the infighting in Palestine convinced Benzion Netanyahu that the cause of Zionism was more or less hopeless. And a big part of this is he feels like all of the people who were going to conquer Palestine for Israel got murdered by the Nazis. And so he kind of loses hope in Zionism this. And increasingly focuses on his own academic career. For a while, he seemed to be right. At the end of the war, President Truman demanded that 100,000 Holocaust survivors be allowed to immigrate to Palestine. The British oppose this, arguing that it would upset the balance of power and lead to another Arab revolt, and this led to another brief period of collaboration between Mangurian's, Haganah, the ICL and the Stern Gang, who were the kind of Nazi guys. Now, for the first time, all three paramilitary organizations worked together under a joint command and launched a massive sabotage campaign against the British while they battled the British in Palestine. And international PR campaign was launched by other Zionists using the imagery of the Holocaust to spark sympathy for the creation of a Jewish state. The sabotage campaign reached its peak in July 22nd, 1946 with an act of terrorism. The IL filled milk cans with explosives and blew up the King David Hotel, killing 91 people, most of whom were civilians. This prompted the Haganah to break with the Izl, who kept doing terrorism alongside the Stern Gang. For a while now it was foreign lobbying rather than insurgency that finally did the trick. On February 14th, 1947, the UN Special Committee on Palestine delivered a report. Suggested an into the British mandate and the partitioning of Palestine into two states. This made most Zionists pretty happy, but the Palestinian Arabs rejected it. Benzion Netanyahu also rejected it. He authored a full page ad that ran in the New York Times and was titled Partition will not solve the Palestine problem. His argument was that allowing Arabs to maintain any land that Jewish people had ever lived on at any point in the past would doom the Great Zionist dream. Like that's his argument is we we we should have it all. Partitioning isn't fair because we don't get it all. In November of 1947, the Partition plan was approved by a UN vote. When Ben Gurion announced the establishment of the State of Israel and the Tel Aviv Museum Benzion, Netanyahu was still in New York. He and his fellow revisionists were furious, and the viciousness with which the Izl had conducted itself ensure that they were completely cut out of the new government now. Most people probably know the establishment of the the the modern nation of Israel was immediately followed by a big ugly war. Armies from 5 Arab nations alongside 10s of thousands of local Palestinian fighters went up against the Haganah and the Haganah one. This isn't a military history podcast. They're defeat is a mix of factors, poor coordinations between these different Arab nations, political corruption, a hesitancy among a lot of these countries to commit significant forces to the Palestinians. Always a lot of token. Yes. Yeah yeah, a lot of token forces, right? It's not you hear 5 armies in like fight against the Haganah and it seems like one thing, but it's like, no, a lot of them were just kind of doing the minimum, you know? But a big factor is that the Haganah had been trained and armed by one of the most successful by two of the most successful militaries on Earth. Because in 1948, Stalin is a huge backer of the State of Israel and the USSR sends a **** load of weaponry to support the Haganah. Now that will change later on, but in the. Like the crucial early hours, the Soviet Union is, is kind of full throated behind the Haganah and the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine and the violent expulsion of Palestinians that followed. Israeli victory has come to be known as the Nakba, or catastrophe. Catastrophe, right. That's it doesn't mean catastrophe, but it refers to not the violent expulsion after. It was the violent expulsion during. Yeah. Sorry, sorry. During. In. Yeah. During these events. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. While this is happening. And so I'm going to try to give an overview of this. Before the the UN resolution and all of the fighting, Jews in Palestine had owned about 6% of the land and made-up 32% of the population. After partitioning, the partitioning was set to give them 55% of the land with 32% of the population, while Palestinians, who made-up 60% of the population would be given 45% of the land. So you can number one, you can see why the Palestinians were really angry at the UN resolution, because it's like, why are we? Not getting the like, like this is, like, blatantly unfair. But it gets a lot worse. Like, again, that's just how things were supposed to be set up by the UN resolution during the fighting. In 1948, the Haganah executed Plan Dalet, a strategy aimed at depopulating Palestinian population centers. The goals of planned dalot were to take the northern border, control the entire coast, and clear out Palestinian towns and cities between Jerusalem and Jaffa on the coast, Plan Dalet. Called for, quote, destruction of villages, setting fire to blowing up and planting mines in the debris, especially those population centers which are difficult to control continuously. In the violence of planned ballot, an estimated 15,000 Palestinians were killed, 418 towns and villages were ethnically cleansed. Off the map, 7 to 800,000 Palestinians were displaced. At the end of it, 78% of Palestinian land was under Israeli control, which is a loss of about 4.3 million acres based on what the UN. Resolutions that they were supposed to have. So at the time, the Haganah coordinated with many of the militias that were seen as right wings, including the stern and yes, sorry, the stern and the. Yeah, yeah. The other ones, yeah. And unlike committed massacres, I get the DS scene, right. That's like the the mass graves. Yeah. The, the the major one that is pretty well known as the DC massacre. Yeah. And it's, I mean, again, something like 15,000 people, mostly civilians killed during this. It's a, it's a, it's a massive act of ethnic cleansing like that is the start of of. And that's the thing I never learned about in school. I just learned, oh, the, the, the mean Arab powers all tried to wipe out Israel at the same time and they lost. I didn't. Another myth was yeah, yeah. Yeah. And then and then another myth was that, well, OK, they did kill lots of people, but it just happened in the course of the fighting. Yeah. But it was definitely premeditated. And these people were not armed. These were villagers. These were villages wiped out. And that argument, the idea that, like, well, yeah, it was terrible, but it just happened during the fighting, and war is ugly. That's the same argument that the Turks make about the Armenian genocide. Like, that's why they deny that there was no, there was fighting on both sides. Yeah, well, one side got all of their civilians massacred and the other side didn't. So like, yeah. And one side was like a state and yeah, you know, well, not a state, but like, you know, had an army, was becoming a state. Yeah. Yeah. I was talking about the Turks on that one. But. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. Now, up to this point, the Netanyahu family had again been bit players in the Zionist movement. A lot of people, especially. Today, BB and the Netanyahu family tries to really play up the role that Ben Zion and that that Nathan played. Anschell Feffer, who knows a lot more about the history of Zionism than I do, makes a pretty convincing case that they were very much minor figures and part because nobody really liked Ben Zion. He's kind of * ****. He seems like he was just like even to other right wing Zionists. A lot of them just saw him as kind of an *******. Like, nobody really wanted to to work with him on ****. And he had a really inflated opinion of himself. Like he was kind. He there's, I don't know, I'm not going to diagnose a guy, but he he he was always frustrated by the fact that his career was not as great as he wanted it to be, and he was not as influential as he wanted to be. And he stays even after 1948, when the State of Israel comes into being. But Zion remains convinced that the whole project is doomed. And I think the big reason why is because it hadn't happened exactly how he thought it should happen. Clearly it won't work if they did. Yeah, yeah. Spoken like a true academic. Yeah, he's the center of the attention. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So he and his family still left the United States and moved to Tel Aviv to give, you know, give it a go. And it was there on October 23rd, 1949 that Benjamin Netanyahu was born. And he is, he is the 1st and so far only Prime Minister of Israel who was actually born in Israel, while Israel was a political entity. And he was born a citizen of both Israel and the United States. His family quickly took to calling him Bibi. Now it was not, I don't know, it doesn't sound like an overly happy home to me. His father was miserable in Israel because his his academic career languished in obscurity. He continued to do research in academic writing, but he was locked out of prominence. They didn't have a lot of money. They heavily relied on family, you know, in order to to to make ends meet. And the Israeli far right, which is itself marginalized in this. Locks him out from any kind of meaningful position because he hadn't been an insurgent, right? Menachem begin. Uh, the the former head of the ICL is kind of the leader of the right in this. And he had no use for anybody who hadn't been in the ICL. Like, that's really the dominant part of the Israeli right and the start as like anybody who had been fighting and Ben Zion hadn't picked up a gun, so **** him. Now. While Ben Zion labored in frustration and baby Benjamin did, you know, baby stuff, Menachem Begin began to knit together a coalition of secular right wingers, religious extremists, and Jews who had been marginalized by the majority of Mapai party one day. This coalition would be Benjamin Netanyahu's base of power in the late 1940s and early 50s, though, Benjamin and his older brother Jonathan were just two kids, Yoni and Vibe to their family, wandering around a Jerusalem that was still war racked and partitioned. So Israel is not in control of all of Jerusalem at this point, and it's so there's like military checkpoints, there's barbed wire fences, there's landmines all around it and stuff. It's it's a, it's it seems like a pretty dangerous place, B recalled as an adult, not feeling that. I'm not really feeling under siege, but feeling as if his life had to exist within quote sharp borders, like one of his early memories as his mom taking him out by the hand to show him where all the land mines were. It'd be like these are areas where you can play, these are areas where you can't. Bibi and Yoni's home life was quiet because Ben Zion could not abide noise, so his wife and his children had to be silent whenever he was writing or reading, which was pretty much always there, relied on relatives for money, and Ben Zion would later blame his failures in academia in this. On a bias. Against conservatives within the Hebrew University. Now the reality. Yes, Anshel Feffer points out, a lot of right wing academics succeeded during this period of time. He just seems to have not been very great. He sucked at working with people he couldn't compromise people didn't like it, like it wasn't his politics. He was kind of * ****. That's the argument I think Angel is making, kind of in more historiographical terms now. Yoni and Beebe loved Israel as much as their father didn't. Yoni was three years older. He'd been born in the United States. He was tall and thin, while Beebe was, according to one relative, fat like a ball. He was seven years old in 1956 when Israel joined with France and Britain in a secret pact to invade Egypt. There's we're not going to give any of this as much history as it needs for a complex understanding. The basics are that. The Egyptian President who'd come to power tried to nationalize had nationalized the Suez Canal, which took it out of the control of the British and French companies. Israel, like, wanted more of a buffer against Egypt, so they were willing to work with the British and the French, and they wind up conquering the entire Sinai Peninsula. And a big chunk of the Israeli like the right and the center are like, we're going to keep this forever, while Britain and France are like, no, you're not. But at the same time they don't do anything in this period to stop it and. Babies like, you know, there's a war during this. It's a pretty scary time to be a kid. Babies. Memories of it are, in his words, sharp but not traumatic. His main memory is sticking pieces of tape to the windows in his room so that if Jerusalem was shelled, the windows wouldn't shatter. From the book Vibe quote, his main memory is of the father of a neighboring family returning from the Sinai battlefield in a dusty Jeep, distributing chocolate bars to the children he had bought them in the Egyptian town of El Arish, the site of someone else's father who like nearly all the other fathers of his friends. Is contributing to the war effort, in this case in uniform, while his own father remained home? Must have rankled. So Bibi and Yoni are kind of frustrated that their dad isn't out there fighting. You know? They're like, why? Like all the other dads are doing cool army stuff, why aren't you? Aren't you killing people? Why aren't you shooting anybody? And for the most part, regular warfare, because there's a bunch of constant skirmishes, even when there aren't, like, the big military actions, there's pretty regularly fighting, and it's not all happening in the recognized. Orders of Israel. A lot of it is is Israeli troops fighting in Egypt, fighting in Syria, and that all kind of blends into the childhood of Bibi and Yoni. Yoni was kind of the leader. Bibi absolutely adored his brother followed him everywhere. The two boys were social, and Yoni wound up gathering a gang of neighborhood kids together around him. The Netanyahu stuck out because they wore American clothing, which was sent by Ben Zion's brother in the US. They lived under strict family discipline, though, and Yoni kind of chafed against the discipline of Benzion. They regularly broke rules in order to test boundaries. B did not be obeyed his father once when they were out exploring abandoned Palestinian homes and gardens, Yoni attempted to hoist his little brother up over a fence. Bibi was too heavy, and he fell and split open his upper lip, leaving him with a scar that he attempts to hide in all of his public photographs. Today. The family now claims that the scar was caused by an electric burn when he was two, and the reason they lie about this is that today Yoni is like a sainted war hero, it admitting that he dropped his younger brother. To be like a a sin, essentially. Like we'll we'll talk about the cult that is kind of formed around Yony later. And the reality is that like, yeah, they were kids and he dropped his brother, like, whatever. The Netanyahus moved back to Israel in 1958, so they leave for a while. They moved back. They do this a couple of times when the netanyahus are kids or, sorry, move back to the United States in 1958 because Ben Zion gets a job in New York. Bibi would spend much of his childhood and adolescence bouncing back and forth between Jerusalem and the United States East Coast whenever they moved. Yoni remained the charismatic, popular leader and Bibi his dutiful and adoring brother. In high school, Yoni was the president of the Student Council and the leader of the local Boy Scout Troop. B does not seem to have resented him, and to the best of our knowledge, everyone seems to say he basically worshipped his older brother. In 1962, when Yoni was 16 and B13, the family moved back to the US yet again. Ben Zion was getting old, and he was desperate to make a mark as a historian, which he did not feel he could do from Israel. He also didn't enjoy the comparatively Spartan conditions there. The Netanyahu boys were devastated, Bibi recalls, leaving his close friends behind as very traumatic and a terrible dislocation. Now yeah, imagine being dislocated from your friends and family would really suck, baby. Yeah? I can see why you wouldn't like that. It only counts for him as a 13 year old though. Yeah, absolutely. The sheer trauma of being forced to move to the United States. Now. Both boys were good students, although B proved much better at learning English than his brother. They did not take to American culture, though. In April 1963, Yoni wrote a letter home to a friend in Israel that quote people here talk about cars and girls. Life revolves around one subject, sex. I believe Freud would have rich ground here to seed and pick his fruit slowly. I am being convinced that I live among monkeys, not humans. Now this is where we're going to leave the netanyahus for today, but it seems weird and kind of ****** ** to in today's episode on this note, with everything going on in Palestine right now. So instead I want to end on another story from the Nakba, and this is a story I found in an Al Jazeera episode about survivors of that calamity. Abu Arab, who is now an Israeli citizen, was a 13 year old boy when Jewish paramilitaries came to ethnically cleanse his village, sephiria outside of Nazareth quote. They bombed us from the air just as we were fasting for Ramadan. They knew we would all be in our homes. His parents fled with he and his siblings into a nearby forest and the morning troops occupied the village and they were forced to flee towards Lebanon. After a brutal journey on foot, they reached a refugee camp where his 12 year old sister died from heat exhaustion, he recalls. My mother would sit by her grave every day, lost in grief. Eventually, his father decided they had to travel back home, which was extremely dangerous. When they reached home, they found their village gone, fenced off, and declared a military zone. Anyone who entered would be shot. The family had to hide at a friend's house in Nazareth, where they slowly began the process of rebuilding their lives. Now, despite the fact that Abu Arab is now an Israeli citizen, he has no right to return to his village or the land that his family still owns. In Israeli legal parlance, he is a quote present, absentee as in he's present in Israel. But absent from his property, which has given the Israeli state the right to hand his family property over, his village is now host to an exclusively Jewish community where Arabs are not allowed to live. And part of why this is relevant is that, again, we talk about the inciting incidents. This is not why everything started recently, but it was kind of the spark is. That neighborhood in Jerusalem, a bunch of Palestinian families were being cleared out. The justification was the land that they had lived on for generations had been bought by Jews in the 1800s. Now, the reason why those Palestinian families wound up in that neighborhood is because after the knocka, when E Jerusalem was partitioned off, they had to flee there as refugees, and it was the only place that they could live. And the reason why that land is just the the Israeli state justifies taking those homes from them. Saying, well, it was owned by Jewish people earlier and they have a right of return, but none of those Palestinians have the right to return to the areas that they had originally lived in that were taken by Jews during the Nakba, which is, you know, I mean, yeah, 100% like it's not. It's like this selective application of the right of return because the Israeli state sees itself like it is only in service of people who are Jewish. I think the, you know, we can talk about this more later, but the the nation state law. Kind of cemented that as like they're the only ones, they have a unique right to self-determination. Yeah, nobody else does. And then on top of that, just to clarify the shift of that situation, there weren't any homes there that I mean I think the layouts and collections or something that they bought the land, they built the homes themselves. So it's even even further removed from the the, you know, their their own reality of like being expelled from Haifa and all these other cities in 1948. Yeah, it's it's. Pretty ******. Horrible, yeah. And we'll talk, we'll talk more about the what Netanyahu says about the nature of the Israeli state, because it's, I mean, it's it's it's ethno nationalist ****. It's it's it's pretty ******* fascist. I I think it's fair to call it that. And it's bad. But you, Dana, are great, and I really appreciate you coming on and lending your your much greater experience and knowledge so that I don't screw this up. I appreciate you having me here. This is great. So, Dana, if people want to support you, they can buy your book polarized and demobilized legacies of authoritarianism in Palestine. And if people listening are angry and horrified about what's happening in Gaza, what's happening in parts of Jerusalem right now. Is there any place you think they could they could give money to maybe help? Yeah. There's a medical aid for Palestinians that has teams both in Gaza and the West Bank. It's a very legitimate organization that is serving a, you know, a growing need. And then for people who are interested in kind of supporting Jerusalem families, there is a Taiwan Palestine, it's TAWON as well. As. Grassroots outputs. So that's both on the economic front end, on the kind of a home and then and land seizure. Situation and you can kind of help on both ends. Awesome. We will have links to those both in the the show notes at and on our Twitter account. We'll tweet that out too. So all right. Thank you, Dana. We will be back on Thursday with more stuff. That's real bummer. Not not a lot of fun. Super fun guest. No, you've been actually, you've been really wonderful. Thank you. Hey, Robert here. It's been like two months since I had LASIK and I'm still seeing 2020. All I had to do was go in for a consultation, then go in for a maybe 10 minute procedure and then my eyes have been great ever since. You know, I healed up wonderfully. It was very simple, couldn't have been a better experience. So if you want to explore LASIK plus I can't recommend it enough. They have over 20 years experience in the industry and they performed more than two million treatments right now if you want to try getting LASIK plus you can get $1000 off of your surgery when you're treated in September, that's $500. Of her eye just to schedule your free consultation. 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