‘The New York Times’ sanitizes Israeli racism

One of my themes is that while Israel is experiencing a dark night of the soul due to the racism pervading that society, Americans are in the dark about this reality because our media refuse to do the (obvious) story. And so while Haaretz covers the story every other day, sometimes desperately, and Andrew Sullivan is waking up to it here, establishment institutions like the New York Times and the New Yorker (and the Columbia Journalism School, junketing to Yad Vashem) turn a blind eye. 

In the Times case, the problem surely reflects the fact that its two Jerusalem reporters are Jews who are deeply invested in Israeli society. One of them, Ethan Bronner, has a son in the Israeli military. The other, Isabel Kershner, is an Israeli who’s married to an Israeli.  Not a lot of bandwidth!

Let’s look closely at a recent piece by Kershner that demonstrates this blindness.

Three days ago Kershner wrote a story on ground zero of the new racism, the eviction of Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem to make way for Jews. Kershner played up an international real-estate angle (which Ethan Bronner has also harped on): Watch out, Israel, if Jews exercise a "right of return" to Palestinian houses in East Jerusalem that were owned by Jews before 1948 (when Jordan took over governance, for 19 years), then Palestinians are going to exercise a similar "right of return" to West Jerusalem, to houses that they were forced out of in 1948 during the Nakba, when Israel was created. Kershner quoted two or three Israelis who are worried about what the Sheikh Jarrah evictions mean to the right of Palestinians moving back into Israel. 

Saying that the issue touches "mainstream" Israelis, Kershner quoted Yossi Klein Halevi, a neoconservative and contributor to the New Republic: 

Yossi Klein Halevi, a senior fellow at the Shalem Center, a research institution in West Jerusalem, said he opposed a Jewish “right of return” to properties lost in the 1948 war. But he noted that more and more Arabs were buying apartments in the predominantly Jewish neighborhood where he lives.

“It cannot go one way in Jerusalem,” Mr. Klein Halevi said. “I am deeply torn.”

Kershner says that Halevi works in West Jerusalem, implying that Halevi’s talking about a neighborhood in West Jerusalem. I.e., we’re evicting Palestinians from East Jerusalem under old renationalized title; that gives them a reason to move into West Jerusalem under similar title, and I’m anguished about that…

But wait a second: Yossi Klein Halevi lives in East Jerusalem, the future capital of the alleged Palestinian state. Here he is on NPR two days ago:

"I live in French Hill, which is a Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem. It’s very heavily university populated. It’s a liberal neighborhood…"

So the whole international-title issue has nothing to do with it. Halevi wasn’t talking to Kershner about the Palestinian right of return to West Jerusalem, he was actually just objecting to having Arabs as neighbors.

A view that most Americans would say is: purely racist.

I bet that Kershner knows that Halevi lives in East Jerusalem. I’d ask her if she knew that, but she didn’t respond to my last email.

So let’s be clear: the real underlying bogeyman here–for Halevi, and maybe for Kershner too– is not some interpretation of international law as it embraces the Jewish state and the Palestinian territories, but the threat of open housing, a pretty much universally acknowledged civil right.

Shut your eyes and go back 40 years to a story of my childhood in Maryland. Imagine for one second the New York Times covering segregationist Democrat George Mahoney in 1966 when he ran for governor with the slogan, "Your Home Is Your Castle," to stop black people from moving into white neighborhoods.

Imagine the Times seeking to dignify Mahoney’s attitude as one of anguish over a principle of law.

Well, you can’t. Mahoney was a racist dufus, and everyone I knew said as much, and he was defeated. Look up the Times index; it called Mahoney a "white supremacist."

In Israel and Palestine today, with Jewish supremacy running rampant, the Times is incapable of such frankness.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Beyondoweiss, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics

{ 90 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. annie says:

    good catch phil, i also immediately thought of that interview from npr you linked yesterday in the khouri piece. seems the neocon Shalem Center is the go to place for israel spokespersons nowadays. aren’t we lucky.

    • zamaaz says:

      The arguments about racism, apartheid, legitimacy are just bubbles on the soap, the deeper battles here is the global contests between the pro-Israel Christians, as against non-Christians Westerns, Non-jewish Israelis, anti-Israel Jews, Jewish blooded anti-Israel foreigners, Islamists, Athiests, and the anti-Semitics…almost against the whole world of non-believers of Biblical History…
      This is one factor all Jewish bloodied fool must consider if the existence Israel is worth the struggle to defend its existence…We are not naive to believe that the Islamic Arabs whenever given the power to rule will give room to every Palestinian symphatizing Jew for a place to live in peace. Without the pro-Israel Christians as instruments, the whole of Israel including all the Jews there will never exist a single year…

      • zamaaz says:

        The bottom-line is much more appearing – it is between the Israel government to pursue establishing a Jewish nation, to the ‘throw-up the towel’ and ‘drown in the sea’…The way anti-Israel people here in these pages present their arguments, there is no other alternative for the Israeli Jews either – they have to do or die…so to the zionists Jews; be steadfast in faith and go on with your nation building!

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Oh, indeed. Good luck with your Grossedeutschland — oh, sorry, I mean Eretz Israel.

        • Mooser says:

          “The way anti-Israel people here in these pages present their arguments, there is no other alternative for the Israeli Jews either”

          Hey zamaaz , did I ever tell you about the guy I stabbed because he gave me a dirty look? What other alternative did I have?

          “steadfast in faith” and “nation building” Wow, you really have picked up that Torah lingo, huh, sport.

  2. potsherd says:

    The concept of open housing is alien to Israel. I think Americans don’t understand this. They think of “Jewish neighborhood” as it would be in the US, as a place where there is a large concentration of Jewish residents, not as housing planning from the outset to be Jews-only, and a specific sub-population of Jews, at that.

    • A reasonable and effective response to ethnically isolated neighborhoods is intentionally integrated ones.

      Developers, where are you?

      Its false to generalize about all of Israel as segregated. Israel’s third largest city, Haifa, is relatively well-integrated, many ethnically distinct and many integrated neighborhoods.

      • Chaos4700 says:

        So it was false to generalize that the American South as segregated?

        Don’t you ever feed us that bullshit story that you had anything to do with African American civil rights, ever again, Witty.

      • Citizen says:

        There is no question that the US government penalizes any housing that is segregated other than by wealth. And in terms of private segregation, the US forbade private covenants running with the land that discriminated in any way by reason of race or religion, etc as unconstitutional at least a half century ago. Developers in Israel have no such constitutionally enforced constraints on public or private discrimination in housing. Potsherd is correct in the very big main, although there is a little cosmetic surgery here and there in Israel, purely to keep
        the natives complacent.

        As for Haifa, according to Wiki, Haifa today has a population of 266,300. 80% are Israeli Jews. Immigrants from the former USSR constitute 25% of Haifa’s population. The Israeli Central Bureau says Arab Israelis constitute 9% of Haifa’s population, the majority living in Wadi Nisnas, Abbas and Halissa neighborhoods.

        Haifa emerged as an industrial port city and growing population center at the beginning of the 20th Century. At that time the Haifa District was then home to 96 96% Arabs (82 %Muslim and 14 %Christian), and 4% Jews. Over the next few decades the number of Jews increased steadily, due to immigration, mostly from Europe. By 1945 the population had shifted to 53% Arab (33 % Muslim, 20 % Christian) and 47 % Jewish. In 1947 about 70,910 Arabs (41,000 Muslims, 29,910 Christians) and 74,230 Jews were living there.

        British forces in Haifa redeployed on April 21, 1948, withdrawing from most of the city while still maintaining control over the port facilities. Two days later the city was invaded by Jewish forces in Operation Bi’ur Hametz, by the Carmeli Brigade of the Haganah, commanded by Moshe Carmel.The invasion led to a massive displacement of Haifa’s Arab population. According to The Economist at the time, only 5,000-6,000 of the city’s 62,000 Arabs remained there on October 2, 1948.
        Benny Morris and other scholars have said Haifa’s Arabs left due to of a combination of Zionist threats and encouragement to do so by Arab leaders, but mainly because of the shelling of Arab villages and neighborhoods. Ilan Pappé writes that the shelling culminated in an attack on a Palestinian crowd in the old marketplace using three-inch mortars on April 22, 1948. Shabtai Levy, the Mayor of the city, and some other Jewish leaders urged Arabs not to leave, whereas Jewish loudspeakers could be heard in the city ordering Arab residents to leave “before it’s too late.”
        Some contemporaneous sources emphasized the Arab leadership as a motivating factor in the refugees’ flight. Time Magazine wrote on May 3, 1948: “The mass evacuation, prompted partly by fear, partly by orders of Arab leaders, left the Arab quarter of Haifa a ghost city … By withdrawing Arab workers their leaders hoped to paralyze Haifa.”
        After the state of Israel declared its independence on May 14, 1948, Haifa became the gateway for Jewish immigration into Israel. Thousands of immigrants were resettled in Arab houses vacated when Jewish forces invaded.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Good job, Citizen. Once again, Witty’s lies are thwarted by basic facts.

        • When I spent a week there in 1986 it was 60% Jewish, 40% non-Jewish.

          The downtown was not dominated by one community or the other.

          I noted that in one gruesome bombing in the late 90′s, the target was a cafe jointly owned by a Palestinian and a Jew.

          I hope that you are urging co-existence, and that you support policies and models that encourage co-existance.

          To assault me for proposing similar, is odd.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          You don’t urge co-existence! You lobby vehemently for racial discrimination against non-Jews to return to Israel!

          You’re a liar and a thief, Witty.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          And incidentally, you’ve said NOTHING that refutes the facts Citizen brought up. FACTS, Witty. You consider facts to be an “assault” on you?

        • “Facts”.

          Haifa is still, even under the current and long-term stresses, a city of co-existence largely.

          A model that it is possible, and a model of what occurs when discrimmination one way or another produces imbalance.

          “liar and a thief”. I know that that is jest, but you demonstrate a “fun” McCarthyism on this content Chaos. I would contest that you promote far far more homogeneity than I.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Great. Citizen cites facts and figures in his posts, and you cite your subsidized tourist jaunt.

          Don’t you ever dare equate me to McCarthy, you phony moron. You put Phil Weiss and Max Blumenthal and Medea Benjamin to the veritable Spanish Inquisition that they’re not loyal enough to their Jewishness and you have the gall to slander me with that?

          I hope your kids make aliyah someday, Witty. And I hope you live long enough to attend their IDF state funerals, or their war crimes trials at the Hague.

          Although, I’d prefer they manage to save themselves and finally see you for the utter fraud you are.

        • I’ve been to Haifa, it is NOT a city of co-existence.

          Not even close.

          Arabs in Haifa are crowded into select neighborhoods, while having to endure dozens of Israeli laws that discriminate against them.

          I seriously can’t imagine what would prompt you to believe that Haifa is an integrated city.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Simple, Mr. Bradley. Witty is a bald-faced liar.

        • I haven’t visited since 1986. When I was there, I visited Arabs and Jews in integrated cafes.

          I don’t doubt that there is need for reform, and also that as Israel itself has changed, that likely Haifa has as well.

          The question is of what is possible, and what is pursued.

          If you believe in integration, then work for it. BDS and other political definitions are isolating factors.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          So even if you were tellin the truth, Witty, your impressions are not only 24 years out of date, you are willfully blind to all of the history Citizen cited.

          You don’t object to Israel denying Gazans categorically the right to travel at all and you’re opposed to BDS “because it hurts Jews?”

          You are the soul of apartheid. You are the soul of Jim Crow.

        • We’ve tried working with the Israelis, but the Israelis insist on believing in Zionist supremacy in a land where HALF the population isn’t Jewish much less Zionist.

          Just like you couldn’t have reconciliation with White supremacist’s in the South and proponents of Apartheid in South Africa due to their deeply embedded racist views, Palestinians cannot have reconciliation with Zionist Israelis until those structurally racist views of theirs change.

          BDS is a wake up call to Israeli society, a call to finally get Israelis to look at what their society actually is and then force them to reform it (as you would say).

        • VR says:

          You have not visited Haifa in a long long time RW, and when you did (in 86′), your eyes were wide shut (either that our you are a consummate liar) .

        • Judy says:

          Witty, let’s get to the basic question:

          My husband’s family lived in Isdud for generations and they were expelled to Gaza in ’48, so that Jewish citizens could remake that village as Ashdod. His family lived in Gaza since, and are now prisoners in that open-air concentration camp.

          You can go live in a “mixed neighborhood” in Haifa any time the spirit moves you by virtue of your religious background, while my husband, with a multi-generational deep connection to that place, is banned. Hell, he can’t even VISIT Gaza and hasn’t been back in 10 years.

          Do you recognize the injustice of that policy?
          Would you renounce your “right” to that unjust action?

        • You didn’t say when your husband was born, where he’s lived his actual present life, or where his children have lived their actual present life.

          You didn’t say if they owned property in Ashdod/Isdud, and to what level of title.

          My wife’s family lived in a town in Hungary for multiple generations (not many as they were chased from residence to residence over centuries) and was expelled by racist thugs (even though their family was the second of two doctors in a town of 20000). They have received some compensation (starting in 1996, 51 years after the fact) for past unjust taking of specific property that they had a basis of title to, and some minor compensation (starting the same year) for their year in slave labor camps.

          Hungary has offered children of holocaust refugees the right to return to Hungary. My wife’s cousin moved to Hungary for a year, and acquired citizenship there, so that he could travel and work without restriction in the EU. I thought that that was absurd, that a child of a former refugee be given citizenship to a country that he’d never before visited even (until the citizenship was offered).

          I hear your anger. I’m not sure if I hear your values, if there is a policy or an ethics that you would apply beyond your own need and injustice.

          I know that may sound insulting to you, but so long as your political focus is on the right of return primarily, you will delay the attainable improvement in Gaza Palestinians actual lives.

        • jimby says:

          So Witty, You admit that Israel is like Hungary during the Holocaust. Keep it up.

        • I thought it was obvious that I was saying that the right of return in a maximalist interpretation is an absurdity.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          I love it! We actually get to see you come up with rationalizations for ethnic cleansing, Witty! “He wasn’t born there, he doesn’t really belong there. He doesn’t have paperwork that Israeli courts would recognize. He just left, but since he’s not Jewish he doesn’t have any special right to return.” It’s as if somebody could have had a webcam on Goebbels during the invasion of Poland.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          My wife’s cousin moved to Hungary for a year, and acquired citizenship there, so that he could travel and work without restriction in the EU.

          The crowning achievement! Witty openly proclaiming that JEWS HAVE RIGHTS (even the EU) THAT PALESTINIANS SHOULD BE REFUSED!

        • Judy says:

          Actually I am not sure about the status of their land in Isdud. They have lived in Khan Younis since ’67, are card-carrying UNWRA refugees and have NO DESIRE TO RETURN TO ASHDOD. Not now, not ever. Neither my husband, nor his brothers, nor his parents would ever wish to return to Ashdod, or anyplace in side the Green Line. Their home, their community, their work and their lives are in Khan Younis (and my husband’s in NJ).

          My husband has been a US citizen since 1991. We returned to Palestin in 1995 with high hopes. We lived in the West Bank for 2 years, but actually were forced out. My husband entered Israel in 1995 with his US passport. On a subsequent entry, the immigration people realized he had a Gazan huwiyye. This meant that regardless of his US citizenship, regardless of the fact that he was a university profession in the WB, he was first and foremost a GAZAN.

          Back in 1995, Gazans needed a special permit (tisreah) to be in the WB. The gov’t of Israel would never issue a Tisreah for my husband (or a work permit for me, in spite of assurances that I could get one), and so after more than a year of living in the WB illegally, having to sneak around checkpoints like a common criminal, we bagged it and returned to the states. My husband is a wasterwater treatment expert, by the way, and had (and has) much to offer in the way of critically needed development efforts.

          That was in 1997. We haven’t been back. For the first couple of years we were too poor. For the past 4-6 years, we haven’t been able to get through. We don’t want to go to Ashdod; we want to go to Khan Younis to VISIT and cannot do this. My elderly father-in-law has never laid eyes on his only grandson.

          In the eyes of the Israeli gov’t, regardless of his education (PhD), professional stature or other citizenship, he is nothing but a piece of trash.

          So, I am asking you, as a decent person, will you renounce your right to go wherever you want, whenever you want, while people who were born there are banned from evening visiting?

          I personally don’t understand how any decent Jewish person can take advantage of their “rights” while indigenous people are being deprived of theirs on a daily basis.

      • potsherd says:

        Developers in Israel can’t just buy up a plot of land and start building. This is why the Biden imbrogio happened. Most land in Isral*l is owned by the state, land that they confiscated from Arabs for the benefit of Jews. Central planning committees approve tenders for use of the land, according to whatever politician is in charge – in this case, the representative from the religious party Shas.

        No suprise, then, that the projects being approved tend to be for haredi housing.

        *Israel also claims much of the West Bank as “state land”.

      • Avi says:

        Its false to generalize about all of Israel as segregated. Israel’s third largest city, Haifa, is relatively well-integrated, many ethnically distinct and many integrated neighborhoods.

        Why would you post blatantly inaccurate claims?

        First off, despite being annexed by Israel, East Jerusalemites do not have Israeli citizenship. So, it’s a false paradigm to compare them to Palestinians in Haifa.

        Second, in Haifa, even though the residents are made up of both Jews and Palestinians (Christians and Muslims) there is no integration. There are de facto “Arab neighborhoods” and “Jewish neighborhoods”. Incidentally, the reason there are Arabs in Haifa is mainly due to the fact that during the ethnic cleansing of Haifa in 1948, some Arabs managed to force their way back (not to mention the looting carried out by Zionists who stole everything of value from Arab homes) Haifa was a predominantly Arab city prior to 1948.

        link to life.com

        link to life.com

        link to life.com

        • Avi says:

          Stanton St. completely deserted after the Jews drove out all the civilians.

          link to life.com

        • RoHa says:

          Really!

          First we get facts, and now you back them up with photographs!

          That just isn’t fair to Witty.

        • RoHa says:

          Gilad Atzmon explains how Witty’s idea of history here.

          link to gilad.co.uk

        • Who is Gilad Atzmon?

          If you think that you are commenting on my views, by commenting on the ADL, you are in the ozone.

          Enough of the strawmanning. Talk to the real person already.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Enough of the strawmanning. Talk to the real person already.

          Pot. Kettle. Black.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Notice how he pretends like he never even saw the evidence? It’s like trying to give David Duke a tour of Dachau.

        • Wierd. A picture of a single street is evidence of what in your mind?

        • And from 1948.

          The difference between what Haifa was in 1986 and what other exclusive parts of Israel are today, is the difference between humane governance like Mitznah’s and more corrupt governance.

          Both Zionist, but qualitatively different to live there.

          Good governance is the right effort. Electoral.

        • Mooser says:

          Witty, I don’t want to shock you, bubele, but this is a blog about Israel and Zionism, not you! Capiche, little guy?

          Yes, Witty, you are, much better than the people in Israel, there, happy now?
          So Witty, you are next door to a saint, a frickin Jewish saint, like the Pope of Greenwich Village, Okay?

          And that changes the situation in Israel how, exactly? Are you anticipating the Israelis calling you up for advice?

          Please, Witty, put a little sign on your computer screen saying “Mondoweiss is not all about me! It may help. Maybe.

      • Avi says:

        Its false to generalize about all of Israel as segregated. Israel’s third largest city, Haifa, is relatively well-integrated, many ethnically distinct and many integrated neighborhoods.

        Why would you post blatantly inaccurate claims?

        First off, despite being annexed by Israel, East Jerusalemites do not have Israeli citizenship. So, it’s a false paradigm to compare them to Palestinians in Haifa.

        Second, in Haifa, even though the residents are made up of both Jews and Palestinians (Christians and Muslims) there is no integration. There are de facto “Arab neighborhoods” and “Jewish neighborhoods”. Incidentally, the reason there are Arabs in Haifa is mainly due to the fact that during the ethnic cleansing of Haifa in 1948, some Arabs managed to force their way back (not to mention the looting carried out by Zionists who stole everything of value from Arab homes) Haifa was a predominantly Arab city prior to 1948.

      • Avi says:

        Its false to generalize about all of Israel as segregated. Israel’s third largest city, Haifa, is relatively well-integrated, many ethnically distinct and many integrated neighborhoods.

        My response:

        Why would you post blatantly inaccurate claims?

        First off, despite being annexed by Israel, East Jerusalemites do not have Israeli citizenship. So, it’s a false paradigm to compare them to Palestinians in Haifa.

        Second, in Haifa, even though the residents are made up of both Jews and Palestinians (Christians and Muslims) there is no integration. There are de facto “Arab neighborhoods” and “Jewish neighborhoods”. Incidentally, the reason there are Arabs in Haifa is mainly due to the fact that during the ethnic cleansing of Haifa in 1948, some Arabs managed to force their way back (not to mention the looting carried out by Zionists who stole everything of value from Arab homes) Haifa was a predominantly Arab city prior to 1948.

      • Mooser says:

        “Developers, where are you?”

        Religious fanatic arsonists, please flic your Bics!

        Hey Witty, don’t they have a spare apartment at your son’s settlement? Maybe Arabs could move in there? Wouldn’t he love that?

        ethnically isolated neighborhoods
        Jeez, not a damned Arab within two thousand miles! Where will we go for hummus?

        Witty does it ever occur to you that we have actual, knowledgeable Israelis commenting here? Are you trying to kill them with laughter?

  3. Rehmat says:

    Well – we will be hearing a lot of “Israeli darkside” around the coming 2nd. Global BDS Day and the Palestinian Land Day on March 30, 2010.

    Palestinian Land and Global BDS Day 2010
    link to rehmat1.wordpress.com

  4. “…establishment institutions like the New York Times and the New Yorker (and the Columbia Journalism School, junketing to Yad Vashem) turn a blind eye to this dark reality. ”

    I think you can make the case that the NYer has been willfully ignorant, but you’ve got to stop kissing the NYT’s ass, Phil –it is nothing more than a megaphone for vicious Israeli propaganda (and ought to be included in any BDS cultural boycott). Your own, repeated criticism of Bronner, Sanger, Brooks, Miller (barf) illustrates the NYT’s sin, but you refuse to draw the obvious conclusion. Why?

    My guess is that you believe you stay relevant by mixing it up here with the Old Grey Queen, but it’s really the opposite. If you chose instead to ignore the NYT and urge others to throw it into the shit heap of warmongers targeted by BDS, your attack on American media would be as cutting edge as your advocacy of humanism as a solution for Palestine.

    • sherbrsi says:

      Your own, repeated criticism of Bronner, Sanger, Brooks, Miller (barf) illustrates the NYT’s sin, but you refuse to draw the obvious conclusion.

      My thoughts exactly. Especially after Ali Abunimah’s observation (which was featured here) of the lone Palestinian reporter of the paper who isn’t allowed to cover Israeli Jews, while the Times is more than happy employing a bevy of ardent Zionists with their immediate family serving in the Israeli army, issuing biased commentary on a daily basis, unrestricted and unchecked.

      It’s apalling, corrupted journalism. To expect anything better from the NYT it to legitimize its campaign of deceit masquerading as news.

      • Donald says:

        That’s all true enough about the NYT, but they are arguably the most influential “liberal” news outlet in the country, and so it’s important to expose their lies and half-truths. I’m glad Phil and others do this–I personally know liberals who think very highly of the NYT. I even know someone sympathetic to the Palestinians who thinks Tom Friedman is on her side . There are a lot of intelligent people out there who don’t obsess on this subject and so they are often the innocent dupes of the MSM, including the NYT.

        • I think of the New York Times as liberal, and as Tom Friedman as liberal.

          I doubt that he supports persecution of Palestinians.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          I think of the New York Times as liberal

          Yes, because naturally, liberals wanted to see Valerie Plame’s work on our national security utterly compromised and they wanted Achmed Chalabi’s lies to be published as if they were factual accounts.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          I think the fact that Witty rotely repeats the same mantras as the likes of Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh with regards to what’s considered liberal, speaks volumes as to what he really is.

        • Shingo says:

          ”I think of the New York Times as liberal, and as Tom Friedman as liberal.”

          Yes, the man who just wrote a colum celebrating the Iraq war is a liberal.

          ”I doubt that he supports persecution of Palestinians. ”

          No, like you he supports the massacre of Palestinians but is opposed to persecution.

        • Donald says:

          “I think of the New York Times as liberal, and as Tom Friedman as liberal.”

          Both the NYT and Friedman are “liberal”, but some liberals are unconscious racists and hypocrites and one sees this in NYT and Friedman.

          Friedman takes an unholy childish glee in war. FAIR has a collection of posts where he reveals this and he also wrote a column during or after the Gaza War where he spoke of it as Israel trying to educate the Palestinians, with no apparent disapproval on his part. It’s how he thinks himself. That sort of thing probably doesn’t bother you though, given who the targets were. If it’s some mild boycott directed at Israel, that’s a different story.

          “I doubt that he supports persecution of Palestinians.”

          He has the condescending unconscious racist neoliberal attitude towards them. He worships powerful people–that’s why he is so enamored with CEO’s and imagines himself as a world leader writing other world leaders, or talks about warfare as sending messages. To anyone genuinely interested in peace and reconciliation, Friedman is a perfect example of arrogance masquerading as liberalism. Though since there are enough self-proclaimed liberals who think like him it should maybe make one reassess what liberalism means.

        • Donald says:

          Here is a link to FAIR’s comment on Friedman’s Gaza column. They also wrote a piece years ago about his cheerleading for war in other contexts, including the bombing of Serbia (mentioned in this link). If an Arab or a lefty had these public orgasms about violence they would be cited as evidence of barbarism, but since it’s Friedman he gets Pulitzers.

          link

        • Donald says:

          And here’s a collection of Friedman quotes glorifying war in a truly childish, unbalanced way. He’s all for it so long as it is the West bombing the hell out of uppity foreigners. I won’t deny he’s a liberal–I just think a lot of self-proclaimed liberals aren’t really as peace loving as they claim.

          link

        • Shingo says:

          Glenn Greenwald wrote a very revealign analysis of Friedman, in which he demonstrated how Firedman’s thesis fo teching the Palestinians a lesson, was in itself, a comprehensive definition of terrorism.

          In fact, while Israel itslelf regarded the 2006 war as a huiliatino and a PR disaster (due to the revbealtinos fo Israeli atatcks on civilians), Friedman lauded it as a success because Israel’s attacks on civilians has dissuaded Hezbollah from starting anohter conflict with Israel.

          link to salon.com

          The war strategy which Friedman is heralding — what he explicitly describes with euphemism-free candor as “exacting enough pain on civilians” in order to teach them a lesson — is about as definitive of a war crime as it gets. It also happens to be the classic, textbook definition of “terrorism.” Here is how the U.S. Department of State defined “terrorism” in its 2001 publication, Patterns of Global Terrorism:

          No one definition of terrorism has gained universal acceptance. For the purposes of this report, however, we have chosen the definition of terrorism contained in Title 22 of the United States Code, Section 2656f(d). That statute contains the following definitions:

          The term “terrorism” means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant (1) targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience. . . .

          (1) For purposes of this definition, the term “noncombatant” is interpreted to include, in addition to civilians, military personnel who at the time of the incident are unarmed and/or not on duty.

        • Donald says:

          Glenn did a very good job with that one–he generally does. It’s a mark of how rotten our political culture is that someone like Friedman is so widely respected.

        • Mooser says:

          Sure Witty, I noticed how fast your son rushed off to join the American Army invading Iraq. I’m sure you believed every word Friedman and Miller wrote.

          You are a nasty piece of work, Witty.

        • Mooser says:

          “I think of the New York Times as liberal, and as Tom Friedman as liberal.”

          So here’s a liberal thought for ya’ Witty, from your liberal friend: “Suck on this!”

          Yeah, a regular liberal, that Tom Friedman.

  5. Shmuel says:

    According to this article (and personal experience), Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem cannot, according to Israeli law, purchase property in French Hill. I know French Hill intimately, and the number of Palestinians in the neighbourhood is extremely small, and mostly Israeli citizens (remember, non-Jewish non-citizens like East Jerusalem Palestinians cannot purchase apartments in French Hill) originally from the Galilee. Some do rent (eg. Palestinian students at the nearby Mount Scopus Campus of the Hebrew University) , although it is extremely difficult for Palestinians (even Israeli citizens) to find rentals in Jewish neighbourhoods. So what is this racist on about and why did Isabelle Kirschner fail to challenge him or give readers appropriate background? As for “mainstream”, yeah, I think Klein Halevi is pretty mainstream these days.

    • Shmuel says:

      Sorry, that should be Isabel Kershner. I did mean to check it before clicking “Submit”.

      • Shmuel says:

        Brain-finger issue today. I meant this article: link to haaretz.com

        • Mooser says:

          Shmuel, you are the most unusual Israeli I’ve had the pleasure to know of. You are the soul of forebearance when dealing with Witty.
          I hope someday you will tell us what your personal reaction is to Witty’s line of rhetorical schmattas.

        • Shmuel says:

          You’re pretty unusual yourself, Mooser ;-)

          The truth is I have little patience for Mr. Witty, and generally skip his comments. If some glaring un- or half-truth happens to catch my eye, a brief corrective link is more than sufficient.

        • Mooser says:

          “You’re pretty unusual yourself, Mooser ;-)”

          Me? I’m just one of the herd. But I think people should listen to you.

  6. AreaMan says:

    The courts decided the issue based on all sorts of documentation of ownership and the non-payment of rent. This case may set a precedent that is felt by many observers to benefit Israeli Arabs in the long run. The cry of racism is biased nonsense. The neighborhood is also known as Shimon HaTzadik.

    • Chaos4700 says:

      This case may set a precedent that is felt by many observers to benefit Israeli Arabs in the long run.

      Cite a case where an Israeli court ruled in favor of an Arab, and the ruling of the court was enforced. Cite even one case of this happening.

    • Avi says:

      The Palestinians in East Jerusalem are not considered citizens by the state of Israel. East Jerusalem was unilaterally annexed by Israel, but they DO NOT have Israeli citizenship. They cannot even vote in the mayoral municipal elections as residents of the city of Jerusalem.

      • Avi- Wikipedia contradicts your assertions:

        (After 1967) “Jerusalem Palestinians were permitted to apply for Israeli citizenship, provided they met the requirements for naturalization—such as swearing allegiance to Israel and renouncing all other citizenships—which most of them refused to do. At the end of 2005, 93% of the Arab population of East Jerusalem had permanent residency and 5% had Israeli citizenship.[23]

        As residents, East Jerusalemites rejecting Israeli citizenship have the right to vote in municipal elections and play a role in the administration of the city. “

        • Shmuel says:

          You are right, WJ, that East Jerusalem Palestinians have the right to vote in municipal elections, but have overwhelmingly chosen not to – in protest against the occupation, annexation, settlement and Judaization of East Jerusalem. Even from a purely electoral persepctive, the deck is stacked against Palestinians by Israel’s redrawing of the municipal borders in order to include as many Jews and as few Palestinians as possible – to cite but one example of many. Furthermore, EJ Palestinians may vote in municipal elections but may not run for municipal office (restricted to Israeli citizens), and I am assuming (based on national electoral law) that parties cannot reject the “Jewish and democratic character” of the State of Israel. I haven’t checked, but there may be further restrictions in Jerusalem, concerning the city itself “as the eternal unified capital of Israel/the Jewish people”.

    • Shmuel says:

      Ir Amim’s report on why it is not simply a legal matter of ownership and rent, for those who missed it the first few times.

      And for a good general picture of discrimination against Palestinians in Jerusalem, visit: link to ir-amim.org.il

      • Shmuel-

        I may be wrong, but I was told that East Jerusalem Arabs are eligible for citizenship, but they have chosen not to apply for it, because to do so would “justify” the occupation or the “conquering” (kibush). That there are in fact a small number of East Jerusalem Arabs who have applied for and received citizenship. Also I was told that they are able to participate in municipal elections despite their noncitizenship, but they choose not to do so, so as not to “justify” (act as if they are accepting) the kibush.

        Please correct me if I am wrong and refer me to some internet site which would set the facts straight.

        • Shmuel says:

          WJ,

          Your characterisation is essentially correct, although there is a bit more to it than simply “justifying the kibbush”:

          From the B’tselem website:

          After the annexation, Israel conducted a census in these areas and granted permanent residency status to residents in the annexed areas present at the time the census was taken. Persons not present in the city for whatever reason forever lost their right to reside in Jerusalem. Permanent residents were permitted, if they wished and met certain conditions, to receive Israeli citizenship. These conditions included swearing allegiance to the State, proving that they are not citizens of any other country, and showing some knowledge of Hebrew. For political reasons, most of the residents did not request Israeli citizenship. Setting the municipal boundary to run through neighborhoods and villages also created a distinction between Palestinians regarding their rights, since residents living in the unannexed area continued to be residents of the West Bank, and were subject to military rule.

          Palestinians hold the status of “permanent resident” of the State of Israel. This is the same status granted to foreign citizens who have freely chosen to come to Israel and want to live there. Israel treats Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem as immigrants who live in their homes at the beneficence of the authorities and not by right. The authorities maintain this policy although these Palestinians were born in Jerusalem, lived in the city, and have no other home. Treating these Palestinians as foreigners who entered Israel is astonishing, since it was Israel that entered East Jerusalem in 1967.

  7. VR says:

    “Not a lot of bandwidth!”… and some pretty bad software and hardware. Hopefully the power source will go out soon.

  8. Sunyata says:

    I wonder when it will be realized that, for some of us, cognitive dissonance is the driving force for our opposition to tribalism.

    After all, I am sure most if not all of us were taught only the jewish/israeli side of the story, in the most glowing of terms.

    Growing up to see things as they are is simply too jarring to get over.

  9. “Witty’s idea of history”.

    You must be joking to think that you understand my perspective, with the extent of misrepresentation of it that occurs here.

    • Chaos4700 says:

      Witty, we understand your perspective quite well.

      If the Palestinians did it, it’s always an act of violence as far as you’re concerned.

      If the Israelis did it, it’s always a “response” to a Palestinian “provocation” as far as you’re concerned.

      I don’t understand why you think your verbal contortions mask the core of your rhetoric. It doesn’t, really. Find a bigger fig leaf.

    • Mooser says:

      Witty, who gives a husky fuck about your idea of history? Your ideas are going to affect the situation, how, exactly?
      And of course, we’ve seen just how much benefit your ideas have from the person most likly to be afflicted by them, and he ran away to the chabad.

  10. Sunyata says:

    Very well then, Witty.

    I am still unclear as to your view on whether or not Israeli and Jewish racism is being properly addressed. Even if you make exceptions for things like Haifa, is it not still clear that Israel gives preferential treatment to jewish citizens in regards to building and other rights? Is it not bigotry of the worst kind to frown upon intermarriage? Screw the reason, white racists dare to fear a loss of power and culture as well.

    And do not point to what the US, Saudi Arabia, or any other nation is doing. If what they’re doing is wrong, that does not make what Israel does right.

    • My understanding of Israeli law and practice is that it is often discrimminatory, and that needs reform.

      It needs individuals that work hard for reform in order to occur. It will be resisted by powers that be, but they will eventually bend if undertaken civilly.

      When efforts for reform are combined with efforts at out and out revolution, or worse, they are opposed with a critical mass that prohibits reform.

      People can frown on whatever they want to. Genuine marriages that are cross cultural should be accepted as valid. Currently, a Jewish to Jewish marriage officiated by a reform or conservative rabbi is not considered a valid marriage there.

      It is horribly irritating, but not the basis of any justification of revolution.

      And, to abuse your limitation, there are FAR FAR worse settings, as irritating as Israel is.

      The point about Haifa was to point to an option, a path. The distinction between a reform orientation and a revolutionary or demonizing one, is profound.

      A reform orientation compels thought. A revolutionary orientation compels defense.

      • Chaos4700 says:

        My understanding of Israeli law and practice is that it is often discrimminatory, and that needs reform.

        What a coincidink! That’s what a lot of white supremacists say in retrospect about Nazi Germany.

      • Sunyata says:

        I’m not going to let you frame this as ‘reform’ vs. ‘revolution.’

        I did not tell anyone to ‘revolt’ against Israel.

        My metric is that if these things in Israel (checkpoints, administrative detention, settlers menacing children, discriminatory laws, house destroying) were done by other countries, to jews, you would be upset. Even if they were “revolutionary” jews.

        However, if you must know why we focus on this instead of muslim countries (like you would rather we do apparently), it’s because we are a little tired of being basically called nazis for objecting strongly to these things. So far, no Palestinian has ever called me an anti-semite.

        Also, saying “that other guy is doing it too” is an evasion. That is why we don’t accept it.

  11. jimby says:

    The world turned upside down? Friedman bashes Israel in yesterday’s NYTimes.

    ” Israel needs a wake-up call. Continuing to build settlements in the West Bank, and even housing in disputed East Jerusalem, is sheer madness. Yasir Arafat accepted that Jewish suburbs there would be under Israeli sovereignty in any peace deal that would also make Arab parts of East Jerusalem the Palestinian capital. Israel’s planned housing expansion now raises questions about whether Israel will ever be willing to concede a Palestinian capital in Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem — a big problem.

    Israel has already bitten off plenty of the West Bank. If it wants to remain a Jewish democracy, its only priority now should be striking a deal with the Palestinians that would allow it to swap those settlement blocs in the West Bank occupied by Jews for an equal amount of land from Israel for the Palestinians and then reap the benefits — economic and security — of ending the conflict. ”

    link to nytimes.com

    • Its not out of character in the slightest. Its out of your sight is all.

      • Chaos4700 says:

        Yeah, jimby. If you hadn’t noticed, Witty’s been increasingly panicky too, like Friedman.

        I suspect they both see the writing on the wall, even if they won’t admit it.

      • Donald says:

        Yeah, Friedman has long been critical of settlements. He’s also a grotesque cheerleader for war, to the point of being childish. I note you had nothing to say about that after I posted some links. Not that I’m complaining–it’s highly unlikely you’d admit to misjudging him, and anyway, his hypocrisy on war crimes is similar to yours.

        As for the column, most of his anger is about the insult to the US–it always drives Friedman crazy when some foreigner disses America and in this case it happens to be a rightwing Israeli. Israel has been behaving very badly for years, but it took the blatant disrespect to Biden to get Tommy really worked up. (Dual loyalty, whatever one thinks of that, isn’t the main issue with Friedman, who identifies in his own mind with whoever is in charge in the US. Part of his power worship complex.)

  12. Mooser says:

    Jeez Witty, I can smell your flop sweat from all the way across the country!

    But if it makes you happy, I will stipulate that Israel would be much better if you were in charge. You want I should write a letter to Netanyahoo (Net and Yahoo?) telling him to resign and give you the job? I’m sure that’ll happen! Got your bags packed? Bye, bye, Momila, I’m off to Israel to make it a better place!

    And so, finally, we reach the bottom of witty’s bag of hasbara tricks: You can’t be right about Israel, because you are not right about Witty!
    Wow, it’s like Nos. 1-4 all added together!

    link to jewssansfrontieres.blogspot.com

    • Chaos4700 says:

      Oh, but didn’t you hear? Witty’s got a job now. And good lord, is it grueling. He has to work three full days a week!

      • Mooser says:

        That’s too bad, and he has my sympathy. It still doesn’t entitle him to substitute his own ideas for the facts. Okay, I’ll stipulate that as a given: Witty is nicer than a lot of Israelis. Big deal. And that changes any of the facts, well, how?

        Don’t worry, Witty, we won’t turn you into a pillar of salt.

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