Howard Lovy Profile picture
Writer committing random acts of journalism. Book Editor. Podcast producer @IndieAuthorALLI. Jewish essays in @PublishersWkly, @Longreads, @jdforward, @JTAnews.
16 Nov 19
This idea that the Palestinians are the only indigenous people of Israel is ridiculous. The land of Israel has been central to Judaism since the beginning, and through the long exile. Most of the Palestinians are descendents of later colonizers and conquerors.
Arguing history, though, is a sure way to repeat it and never move forward. But there needs to be an understanding that Zionism was never a colonial project. Jews were never powerful enough in the diaspora to colonize anything. Zionism was, and is, a movement to come home.
Palestinian nationalism, indeed any thought of nationhood, was born as a reaction to Zionism. It did not exist before Israel's creation. It was, at its roots, an anti-Semitic movement to deny Jewish connection to our land.
Read 4 tweets
14 Nov 19
Fun facts for armchair Gaza experts. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. There is no "occupation" there. Strangely, withdrawal did not end attacks from Gaza on Israeli civilians. Also, Egypt maintains the largest Gaza blockade because it fears spillover from Iran-funded Hamas.
Gaza is not part of Israel so there is no "Israeli apartheid." Gaza chooses its own leaders. It was to have been part of a Palestinian state, but the Palestinians rejected it. The border wall was created because Palestinians used to cross the border and blow up Israeli civilians.
Rather than build the infrastructure for a Palestinian state, Gaza's Hamas leaders find it more lucrative to pocket aid money to enrich themselves, send their children on suicide missions to the border, and bathe in worldwide approval when they send rockets to Israeli cities.
Read 3 tweets
14 Nov 19
Between the Jewish white nationalists of the @RJC and anti-Zionists of @jvplive, there are just enough Jewish apologists for anti-Semites to make it appear that we are complicit in our own persecution. They may be outliers, but they appear to be more numerous in the online world.
@RJC @jvplive Because, in the end, it is always the Jews, themselves, who are blamed for anti-Semitism. If only they weren't communists, if only they weren't white supremacists, if only they didn't support Israel, if only they didn't think they were white ... etc.
@RJC @jvplive Anti-Semites love tokens like Trump-supporting Jews or anti-Israel Jews as examples of "good Jews." But in the post-mortem of persecution, the outliers are held up as the reason behind the pogroms. If you don't believe me, look at how Poland now blames the Jews for the Holocaust.
Read 6 tweets
14 Oct 19
When the white supremacists or Islamists come for the Jews, they will not separate us into "woke" and Zionist camps. They will not ask for our voting records. They will not separate @ZOA_National from @jvplive. They will not care who disrupted a speech on a college campus.
@ZOA_National @jvplive They will not care if you banned the Star of David at the Dyke March, or if you're a member of @IfNotNowOrg who hounded your fellow Jews with "apartheid" taunts. They won't care if you're a Trump supporter or anti-occupation activist. They will come equally for all Jews.
@ZOA_National @jvplive @IfNotNowOrg Right-wing Jews who feel safe because Trump supports Israel and has Jewish grandkids are no more protected than left-wing anti-Zionist Jews who protest the occupation. Neither the armed white supremacist nor the Islamist at the synagogue door care about our internal divisions.
Read 4 tweets
30 Sep 19
My rabbi was on fire for Erev Rosh Hashanah. He is ordinarily an optimist, but he urged vigilance because we now live in dangerous times for Jews in the United States. He said it is important to call out anti-Semitism no matter where it comes from—left or right. Wise words.
My rabbi also said he considered Aliyah (immigration to Israel) when he was young in the '60s, and while there was "pull" from Israel, there was no "push" from the US. Today, he's not so sure. It reminded me that I still need to write my "Jewish escape plan" story.
I live in a small community in Northern Michigan, and we have a visiting rabbi who comes up once a month from Detroit to conduct services for the few Jews who live up here. Still, there was a security guard at the door.
Read 3 tweets
20 Sep 19
I'll do occasional history of #Zionism tweets to set the record straight. First, Zionism was never a monolith. Uganda was briefly considered as the site for a Jewish state. But, in the end, most agreed that joining our existing brethren who had never left Eretz Yisrael was best.
#Zionism was never a colonial plan. European Jews had no power to "colonize" anywhere. We had prayed for our return to Jerusalem every day for 2,000 years. Zionism was seen as a return home. Religious Jews wanted to wait for God to make it happen. Secular Jews were less patient.
Meanwhile, in the region that was once Israel before the exile, Jews and southern Syrian Arabs (they would not have recognized the term “Palestinians”) lived under the rule an ailing Ottoman Empire. After WWI, the British took it over and administered it as Mandate Palestine.
Read 43 tweets
22 Jul 19
Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (#BDS) has zero economic impact on Israel. Israel's doing just fine. What it does, is target Jews on campus and Jewish businesses with harassment, vandalism, and worse. The only thing BDS does is give "legitimate" cover to anti-Jewish campaigns.
But let me ask this: if #BDS advocates can refrain from anti-Semitic attacks, tell me what the end game of BDS is? What would have to happen for a boycott to end? A withdrawal to pre-'67 borders? An end to Israel? Only #BDS advocates contribute to this thread please. I'm curious.
When I was in college in the '80s, I participated in anti-apartheid rallies. Because, you know, there really was apartheid in S. Africa. The end game to sanctions was an end to apartheid. It worked. Seeing as there is no actual apartheid in Israel, what is the #BDS end game?
Read 4 tweets
10 Apr 19
Not surprised at #IsraelElections results. The Israeli left died in 2000, when Ehud Barak offered Palestinians their own state and they responded with the 2nd Intifada and another generation of bloodshed. That's when I walked away from covering the Mideast for almost 20 years.
I was among the Oslo hopefuls, who thought peace in our time was upon us. I was managing editor @JTAnews in 2000, so had a front-row seat, directing coverage during Camp David, when Arafat chose violence rather than a state. Afterward, my solution was to stop caring for decades.
Many factors contributed to breakdown of talks in 2000. Some blame Ariel Sharon, and his visit to the Temple Mount, as the cause. But that was just the final result of a long-simmering unwillingness by many sides, but especially Palestinian leaders, to make sacrifices for peace.
Read 4 tweets
20 Mar 19
#BDS is a lie built upon a lie. First lie: Israel, a multiracial democracy, is an "apartheid" state. Second lie: boycotts, which helped end real apartheid in S. Africa, will magically work in a non-apartheid state. Result: BDS, in practice, is another tool to bully diaspora Jews.
Divestment and boycotts helped convince de Klerk to work with Mandela and dismantle apartheid, which truly was a system of minority rule over a majority population. Israel has no such system. The Palestinian conflict is external, not internal. So, what is the end goal of #BDS?
Right now, there is no Palestinian Nelson Mandela, if we want to go with the flawed comparison. There is no peace partner. Economic, academic, and entertainment boycotts do nothing to bring Israel and its neighbors together, and only serve as "virtue signalling" for anti-Semites.
Read 6 tweets
18 Mar 19
Hi, @RashidaTlaib. Fellow Michigander here. So, when you say "Free Palestine," I am assuming you are referring to freeing the Palestinians from the Iran-funded dictatorial regime of Hamas, where you either submit to their will or die. In that, I am with you all the way.
But if, @RashidaTlaib, you are referring to this generations-long promise to Palestinians that if they just accept their refugee status even longer, they will be able to drive the Jews out of their homeland, then that slogan of "Free Palestine" is nothing but a long con.
There's no "Free Palestine" because their leaders did not want one, @RashidaTlaib. I was among the hopeful during the Oslo process. I helped cover the '00 talks between Barak and Arafat, when Palestinians were again offered a state and instead chose another generation of violence
Read 6 tweets
16 Dec 18
Anti-Semitism predates Israel, predates the Holocaust, predates the Inquisition, the Crusades, the Romans. It has been a persistent drumbeat throughout history. Those who use the most-modern excuses to hate or scapegoat Jews are simply another beat in an ancient rhythm.
Anti-Semitism is the most ancient of conspiracy theories, one that adapts to every era. From right to left, anti-Semitism seeks out Jews, defines them as a power far beyond their real numbers, then denies them humanity, nationhood, legitimacy, and in many cases life itself.
Those who believe Israel should be condemned above all nations, who are ignorant of history beyond the latest headline, should take a look at the words being used to condemn “Zionism” and see them in context of a long line of excuses to keep anti-Semitism alive.
Read 8 tweets
3 Jul 18
I, for one, cannot wait for the Hamas-led government of a free, independent Palestine, where democratic values reign and the rights of women respected.
The history of the 20th century is filled with Jews filling the ranks of social justice warrior, and then first up against the wall after the revolution.
I've been accused of being too "centrist," whatever that means, but history teaches us not only to be wary of right-wing "heils and hoods," but a left wing that picks out a few "good Jews" until they're no longer useful. I'm not making this up. We've seen it before. Many times.
Read 7 tweets