The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Ben Gurion: We are the aggressors

with 4 comments

David Ben Gurion I posted the following quote (which I found at the excellent Ressentiment) on Clipmarks and today it became the #9 most popular clip of the day on the Clipmarks network. Meanwhile, the post A brief history of Iran-US relations, Part 1: Constitution to Khatami—mostly a summary of an Iowa City Foreign Relations Council speech by Middle East scholar Juan Cole—is the all-time most popular post on this blog.


I find it surprising and gratifying to discover that people really are hungry to understand the background of current conflict; the truth, after all, still sets us free.

Here’s the quote that started me thinking about this. It’s an astonishing but obvious admission rarely spoken aloud in American politics today (the charge of anti-Semitism being often misused to hush debate). Yet it comes from the pioneer Zionist and first Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion (scarcely an anti-Semite!):

clipped from

Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves … politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves…. The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country. – David Ben Gurion

  blog it

Ah, if we would all so speak the truth.

Tags: , , , , , , , , Monte Asbury

Written by Monte

October 10, 2007 at 8:08 pm

Posted in Iran, Israel, Politics, Terrorism

4 Responses

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  1. darthben, I certainly agree. Most are unaware that dispensationalism is a recent phenomenon, and most who aren’t dispensationalists are unaware that war with Iran is sometimes seen through dispensationalists’ lenses as a step toward the return of Jesus.
    Most troubling, to me, is the total divorce of expectation of ethical behavior from support of Israel. I know no God like that.
    And hp, I’ll confess I find those aspects of the Bible completely baffling. Jesus is so different from God as represented there. Yet Jesus is, to Christians, the perfect representation of God. All I know to do is pursue being like him, and raise my voice against that which claims to be Christian but has little Christ-commonality. I’d love to be smarter!


    October 12, 2007 at 9:19 pm

  2. That’s an excellent analogy, actually. (Except that the concept of ownership of land is completely foreign to the true native mind.)

    I’ve always thought, btw, Monte, that a lot of the Old Testament seemed more like justification for a land grab than any sort of holy discourse.


    October 11, 2007 at 10:29 pm

  3. I think that much of the continued support comes from many Christians view of the end times-holding to a dispensationalist view of the end times. However, I think that many people who hold to this view have looked at it critically or questioned. Most of the people I know who hold to it have not, and I didn’t either for a while. But now that I have, I see a lot of flaws in it.

    This is a major issue for me in understanding other peoples’ anger towards America. The idea that Israel is entitled to take over some land because its people owned it a couple thousand years ago seems inconsistent with how we treat the natives who used to own the land we live on now.


    October 11, 2007 at 10:04 pm

  4. Well, duh, huh? It really is pretty simple, isn’t it.

    And yet they do ignore the truth among themselves, and then demand that the rest of us do, too.

    A bit after 9/11, when his curiosity finally overcame him, Maj fished around and found what seemed to be the most credible non-fiction book about the roots of the current situation. It was written by a private intelligence agent who knows how to get to the bottom of things (I’ll find it for you and give you the title & author if you’re interested, though I’m sure you have plenty to read). The major thrust is that we’re paying for our government’s attempts to play both sides since WWII. We support Israel for religious reasons and we deal with the Arabs for economic ones. We can’t get away with it anymore. It was insanity to think we ever could.

    And sorta evil, too.

    Monte Says: Yup, I would like to see it. Let me know, when you get a chance. No rush, tho. As you say, there are many waiting to be read. Israel is the strangest of situations to me – it’s like a whole generation of foreign policy sprung from theological fad, racism (I suspect the Jewish homeland was supported in the West for some of the same reasons the Liberia experiment was, ie, segregation), guilt, and something like nostalgia. How very, very bizarre. And, as you say, sorta evil, too!

    Good news is that I don’t think Israel itself – outside the government – is as Zionist as the Zionist lobbies in the US are that exert such influence. There seems to be quite a lot more discourse there about the rights of Palestinians than there is here.


    October 11, 2007 at 3:14 pm

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