. this reviews Israel-USA history around 1955,
when Israel was working with Einstein
to give a nationally televised speech
celebrating Israel's Independence day .
. Einstein's main motivation for embracing Israel
was worrying about post-WWI German Jewish refugees;
he hoped Israel could absorb them;
and so, he hoped that Palestinians could
coexist peacefully with those in need;
but he didn't appear to have been familiar with
the same Bible used by fundamentalist Judaism
which glorifies the conquering of Palestine
with no thought to the democratic values
that Einstein so hoped for .
. however, I did like his idea for peace:
start with a strong federal presence,
and gradually relax it as individual communities
were better able to govern (and defend) themselves .
. I didn't see how a USA-style democracy could work;
but, I could see an Israel with a variety of religions,
as long as each town could determine its own religion,
and Jewish settlers didn't try to take
what the Palestinians were already established in
(there was plenty of desert to live in
and plenty of sun to drive desalination efforts).
Adam Kirsch 2009` Einstein's Zionism:
. Fred Jerome's Einstein on Israel and ZionismEinstein 1955, near Israel Independence Day:
is translating Einstein's german speeches and writings
to debunk the "American" media's myth that
Einstein was an advocate for the real Israel
(rather than some delusion he had about Israel).
. Jerome has dedicated Einstein’s words to
the memory of Rachel Corrie, USA activist,
who was accidentally bulldozed [along with
Palestinian homes] in the Gaza Strip.
. the book's German translator, Michael Schiffmann,
referred to the Palestinians as having
an "unprecedented Calvary"
[ which seems worded to reignite hatreds
by comparing Jewish treatment of Palestinians
to Jewish treatment of its political radicals
including the wildly popular Jesus .]
. after World War I,
there was an upsurge of anti-Semitism
as Germans blamed their defeat on
Jewish control of USA's press,
which got the USA into the war .
. within that environment,
Einstein, who did not practice Judaism
learned he was genetically Jewish,
and became a strong supporter of the Yishuv
[resettlement of Palestine by Jews],
but he was anti-nationalist:
against the creation of a Jewish State;
[ Israel's job was not to control Arabs;
it was simply to keep Arabs from controlling Jews .]
yet here's Einstein the cultural zionist, 1927:
" For me, the importance of all this Zionist work
lies in precisely the effect that it will have
on those Jews who will not themselves live in Palestine ... .
The internal effect, in my opinion,
will be a healthier Jewry:
that is to say, the Jews will acquire ...
that sense of being self-sufficient,
which a common ideal cannot fail to evoke ... .
I believe that the existence of a
Jewish cultural center
will strengthen the moral and political position
of the Jews all over the world,
by virtue of the very fact that there will be
a kind of embodiment
of the interests of the whole Jewish people.”
“The bond that has united the Jews for thousands of years
and that unites them today
is, above all, the democratic ideal of social justice,
coupled with the ideal of
mutual aid and tolerance among all men”
“We are a minority everywhere
and have no violent means of defense at our disposal
to protect our community against
our numerous enemies and opponents —fortunately” .
. but Isreal was just such a means of protection!
and he was right about "fortunately",
for the fate of the Palestinians was unfortunate indeed .
. days after he said that, the pro-Nazi Brownshirts
are implementing the Kristallnacht pogrom,
and it would quickly get worse after that;
so, a refuge for the Jewish Nation was obviously smart;
but, did the world really have to burn Palestine ?
there are national parks in the USA bigger than Palestine,
including some similar beach-front property .
(testimony before the Anglo-American
Committee of Inquiry on Palestine)
. he blames Arab uprisings on British imperial policy,
rather than the massive immigrations by Jews;
“National troublemaking is a British enterprise”.
[. but what made British rule infuriating
was their permissive immigration policy! ]
. what Einstein didn't like about British policy
was that Jews languishing in European DP camps
weren't being allowed to enter Palestine .
the British response was:
“What would you do if the Arabs refused to
consent to bringing these refugees to Palestine?”
Einstein replies as if oblivious to history:
“That would never be the case
if there were no politics” .
. perhaps Einstein's case is a good one;
but, we're not told all the details?
. maybe he thought there were peaceful ways
to place the Jews more discretely,
whereas the Brits were mixing them into
Arab communities that felt invaded? ]
Jewish National Home? Yes.
Jewish National Palestine? No.
-- he was against the UN's 2-state partition;
but, he favored bi-nationalism at a later date,
after agreement with the Arabs .
There should be a provisional UN government
with a gradual increasing of
decentralized, bi-national self-governance .
[ see how that could work?
the jews would just settle every uninhabited place;
and, each city or communal farm
would then govern itself .]
. as Israel's independence neared,
he feared that a war in Palestine
would likely end in a second Holocaust.
Einstein April 10, 1948:
(letter to the Stern Group,
a Jewish underground paramilitary unit
that assassinated anti-zionists)
"When a real and final catastrophe
should befall us in Palestine
the first responsible for it would be the British
and the second responsible for it [would be]
the Terrorist organizations [like the Stern Group]
built up from our own ranks."
Einstein and Leo Baeck April 12, 1948:
(open letter to The New York Times)
"We appeal to the Jews [everywhere]
not to permit themselves to be
driven into a mood of despair or false heroism
which eventually results in suicidal measures."
. he was personally visited by Ben-Gurion,
known as "Israel's founding father".
(Ben-Gurion united the various Jewish militias
into the Israel Defense Forces (IDF)
in order to wage the 1948 Arab-Israeli War).
(meeting with an Egyptian journalist, Mohamed Heikal).
"when it comes to people like Menachem Begin
and his massacre of Arabs ... these people are Nazis
in their thoughts and their deeds."
"Ben-Gurion [the head of Israel at the time]
is no less a Nazi than Menachem Begin" .
. a speech Einstein was to give in 1955,here's Eban's draft with Einstein's comments:
for Israel’s Independence Day, April 26,
would never reach its intended audience:
the USA's voting public .
He died only days before it was to be
delivered on ABC, NBC and CBS
-- to an estimated 60 million people .
. it was written in conjunction with the
Israeli consulate Reuven Dafni
and ambassador Abba Eban .
(1)Einstein wanted to add:
This is the seventh anniversary
of the establishment of the State of Israel .
The establishment of this State
was internationally approved and recognised
largely for the purpose of rescuing
the remnant of the Jewish people
from unspeakable horrors of persecution and oppression.
Thus, the establishment of Israel
is an event which actively engages
the conscience of this generation .
It is, therefore, a bitter paradox
to find that a State which was destined to be
a shelter for a martyred people
is itself threatened by grave dangers
to its own security .
The universal conscience cannot be
indifferent to such peril.
One of the important moral achievements
to emerge from the Second World War
should be preserved from this unnatural danger .
The pressure of arab hostility
and the counter-pressure of Israel's defence
have created a constant tension.
It is anomalous that world opinion
should only criticize Israel's response to hostility
and should not actively seek to
bring an end to the Arab hostility
which is the root cause of the tension.
(the core of the border troubles lies in the fact that
these "semi-dictators and dictatorships
can afford to commit every crime possible
without taking responsibility;
whereas, a democracy, in which each human being
is responsible for the actions of another,
must assume the total blame").
(5)* Einstein had reservations:
One of the fundamental causes of this crisis
is the policy of the Great Powers
which finds expression in one-sided
military pacts and arms agreements.
. the basic premise of this policy
is the desire to prepare the Middle East
for its role in the event of a
world struggle between East and West .
. this, however, is not a
correct or enlightened starting point
for a regional policy in the Middle East.
. the destructive capacity of modern weapons
makes such a conflict utterly unthinkable.
. it is wrong to embark on a global "security" policy
which creates local imbalances and insecurities;*
and [wrong] to do this in the name of
a prospect of war which should be
ruled out as inconceivable .
. any preparations for war are wrong;
even those which aim at creating
balance and security .
(6)Einstein could stomach this revision:
International policies in the Middle East
should be dominated by efforts to
secure peace for Israel and its neighbors.
This would conform with the universal ideals
of peace and brotherhood
which have been the most significant contribution
of the people of Israel in its long history .
. the ideals of peace and brotherhood
as a goal for all humanity to strive for,
were perhaps the most important contributions
made by the Jewish people to the world .
Einstein April 13, 1955:
(telling Dafni what he said to Dorothy Schiff
that she took as being
Einstein's disappointment with Israel)
"Isn't it a tragic fact that the Jewish State,
after so many centuries, had to
come into being at a period of human history
when it is compelled to behave
as badly as all the other states,
instead of being able to give full expression
to its creative potential in a new way" .
. at this final meeting, April 13,
when Einstein was invited to visit Israel,
he said traveling was out;
because, he felt he had less than a year to live .
. he planned to rewrite the changes within 3 days,
but in just 2 hours,
he would suffer a "gall bladder attack"
(1000's die from this each year).
. on April 17, 1955, he was back from the hospital;
but the next day he died at home
[likely from septicaemia (infection of the blood)]