In tribute to the ‘Young, Jewish, and Proud’

Israel/Palestine
on 52 Comments

Last Monday a group of Jewish youth calling themselves Young, Jewish, and Proud (YJP) debuted by coordinating a widely covered disruption of Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to the Jewish Federation National Assembly (JFNA) in New Orleans. In the extensive coverage and exchanges that followed, much was said. Nevertheless, I am left with the feeling that some meaningful insights were largely left out.

I am in awe still. While this action is not as risky as what many Palestinians and others face daily, it took courage – a kind of courage different from what it takes to face a sworn enemy. It is one thing to disagree with your community, be known even as an extreme voice or an odd member, and another all together to be counted as an embarrassment and, consequently, an outcast.

While a few YJP members had already crossed that line, the majority had not. For the audacity to poop on Bibi’s parade and “insult their community” publicly instead of behind closed doors they will force many of their friends, school mates, family even, to sever ties with them and give them the cold shoulder. They will become toxic in a large part of their community – a community they strongly feel a part of despite their deep disagreements. I am not speaking about the ardent Zionist community, but the community of Jewish Americans which has romantic emotional connection to a “Jewish homeland” and vague moral qualms about what is happening to the Palestinians that they wish to see change but haven’t come about yet to change their understandably victim-centric worldview and accept that their beloved state of Israel is a criminal state that practices systematic apartheid.

Consider this inferior analogy, since no community is immune to any number of maladies. In Islam, imagine some young Muslims standing in the middle of Eid prayer this Tuesday on Mount Arafat in Saudi Arabia and shouting at the top of their lungs that the Saudi monarchy silences dissent in the name of Islam and that true Islam calls for women to have equal legal and political rights (not to mention Shias and non-Muslims) – then post this footage on YouTube for all to watch. A vast majority of Muslims would agree with the premise, and privately condemn the Saudi monarchy as medieval and Islamic in nothing but name, but most of this very majority if asked would describe such protest action as provocative, unseemly, ill-timed, needless, and rude on this revered occasion. While a few secret admirers and a handful of radical figures will celebrate them on Facebook, the perpetrators will be roundly ostracized in their mainstream communities, and less than a few will lift a finger, probably behind closed doors, to advocate against their being made an example of bad behavior. This analogy is not a perfect fit, but it gives the picture of what these protesters had to grapple with before standing up, raising their banners, signing their statement, filming their action, or writing about it.

Some voices I respect have mulled over the extensive coverage this event has generated vis-à-vis other news involving Palestinians dying and people risking more than a few scratches and mean name-calling. Some spoke disapprovingly of Jewish and white privilege. I loved what YJP member Emily Ratner had to say in her post about what she did, “And while I’m proud of what we’ve done, our actions are a small, highly-documented moment in a long history of resistance, led by people who have risked and lost far more than we have, or will.” Jewish and white privilege exists; these young Jews did not invent it and cannot dismantle it overnight. They employed it responsibly to attract the spotlight and focus it where it belongs.

Speaking of privilege, I feel so privileged – non-Jewish and non-white as I am – when I realize that more than half the YJP founders, pictured here, are people I have known and met. The only Jews I have grown up with were Israeli politicians and military leaders (excuse the redundancy), or stereotypical characters in caricatures and nationalist TV series. This connection would have not taken place if I hadn’t been blessed to travel and come in contact with Jewish friends whose display of moral courage helped me realize and overcome my own prejudice. Incidentally, a few weeks ago I was chatting about how I’d met some of these friends years back and concluded after speaking to them that the most they would ever do is talk and dialogue to relieve their troubled conscience towards the Palestinian suffering. I then remarked on how it has been such an experience to observe their transformation and, upon uttering this, realized that not only they, but I, have been transformed. I am reminded of Phil Weiss’ recent postings about his own racism, and feel eternally grateful that I’ve shed a good deal of mine.

Finally, on moral courage, conspicuously absent from the JFNA protest message was any critical mention of Zionism or the right of return to Palestinian refugees. The protest message was consistently framed around “occupation, settlements, siege of Gaza, loyalty oath, and silencing dissent.” Some puritans would point to this as a capitulation unworthy of wide celebration. This is irresponsible armchair sloganeering. What one has an opportunity to say in a quiet lecture hall cannot be delivered in a few seconds while being dragged out and shouted down, so one has to aim their best shot. What are the achievable objectives of this action? To open up the eyes of other young Jews present at the convention, the ones being courted by J-Street and the David Project, to their peers being brutally choked, dragged, and silenced by their elders for expressing universal truths whose validity is unquestionable. Quoting again from the Muslim tradition, the scripture relates the story of an early follower of Muhammad who confronts his abusers imploring “Would you kill a man because he says: `My Lord is Allah?’” He did not protest that they denied his right to take four wives – and he was Muhammad’s best friend and ally!

While united by their opposition to the Israeli establishment, these brave souls differ individually, and it is their right, on how they approach the problem and imagine a solution. Some are Zionists, whatever this means to them that preserves their inner peace. Others have moved beyond that, or come from an opposite direction. The slogans they raised represented points of unity upon which they agreed. As their transformation continues, this may change. It is not my role today to criticize but to congratulate, and wait to continue these difficult discussions of our intellectual disagreements at another time.

Today I say todah.

Mohammad Talat is an assistant professor of civil engineering at Cairo University and a UC Berkeley alum.

About Mohammad Talat

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52 Responses

  1. seafoid
    November 16, 2010, 8:12 am

    Good man, Mohammad. Lovely post.

  2. James North
    November 16, 2010, 8:21 am

    A great, eloquent post, Mohammad. I hope to make another visit to Egypt next year; it would be an honor to meet you.

  3. occupyresist
    November 16, 2010, 8:38 am

    Consider this inferior analogy, since no community is immune to any number of maladies. In Islam, imagine some young Muslims standing in the middle of Eid prayer this Tuesday on Mount Arafat in Saudi Arabia and shouting at the top of their lungs that the Saudi monarchy silences dissent in the name of Islam and that true Islam calls for women to have equal legal and political rights (not to mention Shias and non-Muslims) – then post this footage on YouTube for all to watch. A vast majority of Muslims would agree with the premise, and privately condemn the Saudi monarchy as medieval and Islamic in nothing but name, but most of this very majority if asked would describe such protest action as provocative, unseemly, ill-timed, needless, and rude on this revered occasion. While a few secret admirers and a handful of radical figures will celebrate them on Facebook, the perpetrators will be roundly ostracized in their mainstream communities, and less than a few will lift a finger, probably behind closed doors, to advocate against their being made an example of bad behavior. This analogy is not a perfect fit…

    Well, yeah, because those dissenters will be in jail, be tortured, and probably never see the light of day.

    But you’re right, the pressure to prevent dissenters from doing this would be immense, from friends, family, who would be quick to denounce you as naive, misguided, brainwashed, etc…maybe even heretic in some circles.

    It does take a lot of courage, so kudos to the Bibi 5.

  4. Jim Haygood
    November 16, 2010, 8:42 am

    Thanks, Mohammad, for your unique perspective.

  5. Kathleen
    November 16, 2010, 8:54 am

    Spot on Mohammad. So beautifully said. Will be sharing this one around the blog world. So insightful

    Mohammad “I loved what YJP member Emily Ratner had to say in her post about what she did, “And while I’m proud of what we’ve done, our actions are a small, highly-documented moment in a long history of resistance, led by people who have risked and lost far more than we have, or will.” Jewish and white privilege exists; these young Jews did not invent it and cannot dismantle it overnight. They employed it responsibly to attract the spotlight and focus it where it belongs.”

    Mohammad is wise. Emily also demonstrated wisdom by reminding folks of all of the very serious risk some have taken in this decades long struggle while acknowledging the bravery of the YJP.

    —————————————————————————- Mohammad “This connection would have not taken place if I hadn’t been blessed to travel and come in contact with Jewish friends whose display of moral courage helped me realize and overcome my own prejudice. Incidentally, a few weeks ago I was chatting about how I’d met some of these friends years back and concluded after speaking to them that the most they would ever do is talk and dialogue to relieve their troubled conscience towards the Palestinian suffering. I then remarked on how it has been such an experience to observe their transformation and, upon uttering this, realized that not only they, but I, have been transformed. I am reminded of Phil Weiss’ recent postings about his own racism, and feel eternally grateful that I’ve shed a good deal of mine. ”

    The efforts of Edward Said, Ilan Pappe, Vanessa Redgrave, Former President Jimmy Carter, Meirsheimer and Walt, Norman Finkelstein and so many more over the years cracked the wall of silence and many young and older Jewish Americans have been coming through that crack the last 5 years.

    Celebrate everyone’s efforts and commitment to justice in the I/P conflict.

    • Walid
      November 16, 2010, 9:53 am

      “… In Islam, imagine some young Muslims standing in the middle of Eid prayer this Tuesday on Mount Arafat in Saudi Arabia and shouting at the top of their lungs that the Saudi monarchy silences dissent in the name of Islam and that true Islam calls for women to have equal legal and political rights (not to mention Shias and non-Muslims) – then post this footage on YouTube for all to watch. ”

      I sensed a bit of wishful thinking in them thar words.

      • occupyresist
        November 16, 2010, 10:30 am

        Walid,

        I guess that means I’m delusional, as I seem to get this urge almost 10 times a day now.

        link to atimes.com
        link to atimes.com

      • Walid
        November 16, 2010, 3:52 pm

        Occupyresist, unless you’re living where you don’t have to worry about that knock on the door, you have to control it; such places are getting fewer and fewer.

      • occupyresist
        November 16, 2010, 5:12 pm

        Walid,

        you’re right, though I plan on leaving this place soon. The oil well in my backyard is not worth it.

  6. hanthala
    November 16, 2010, 9:13 am

    Well said Mohammad. Great post.

    • Walid
      November 16, 2010, 10:19 am

      You reminded me, Hanthala, of 2 other great names to be added to Kathleen’s list of wall crackers, the Palestinians Naji al-Ali and Mahmoud Darwish.

      • Kathleen
        November 16, 2010, 7:21 pm

        “wall crackers” great image. Wish I could draw. Have Edward Said and all of the early activist at that Wall of Silence, chipping away, big hole then others pouring through.

  7. Avi
    November 16, 2010, 9:43 am

    Finally, on moral courage, conspicuously absent from the JFNA protest message was any critical mention of Zionism or the right of return to Palestinian refugees. The protest message was consistently framed around “occupation, settlements, siege of Gaza, loyalty oath, and silencing dissent.” Some puritans would point to this as a capitulation unworthy of wide celebration. This is irresponsible armchair sloganeering.

    Due to the fact that Mohammad Talat made the above comment in reference to the protest, I am inclined to think that he is referring to my post as I was the only one who mentioned the refugees on the thread in which Matthew Taylor discussed a recent Ha’aretz article he had written.

    As a result, I would like to remind Mohammad that his characterization of my sentiments is completely off the mark and betrays a basic misunderstanding of my comment.

    Here is exactly what I wrote:

    Matthew Taylor,

    I enjoyed reading your article. It tackles the subject honestly and with a clear understanding of the basic impediments. Kudos on a job well done. Thank you.

    P.S. When addressing the injustices, keep in mind the Palestinians who were scattered to the four winds in 1948 and 1967 and who continue to live in refugee camps. Please give them a voice. They deserve to be heard.

    Now, perhaps Mohammad Talat could explain how and where in my comment did I,

    [...] point to this as a capitulation unworthy of wide celebration.

    Thus accusing me of:

    [...] irresponsible armchair sloganeering.

    My comment was a friendly reminder to Matthew that in future articles he might include a mention of the refugees. And I did so because I felt that Matthew’s article was very comprehensive as it talked about the conditions in which Palestinians were forced to live. But, I couldn’t say “comprehensive” knowing that the refugees were not mentioned. I would be lying to myself and doing the truth an injustice had I done so. If I were to compliment someone and tell them exactly what I thought, I might as well be honest and truthful.

    So, if that warrants such an insinuation by Mohammad Talat, then so be it. I can live with that.

    • bijou
      November 16, 2010, 10:04 am

      It’s also possible he was referring to discourse beyond this blog.

    • Kathleen
      November 16, 2010, 10:27 am

      wondering if he was really directing that comment towards you?

      “Some are Zionists, whatever this means to them that preserves their inner peace. Others have moved beyond that, or come from an opposite direction. The slogans they raised represented points of unity upon which they agreed. As their transformation continues, this may change.”

    • annie
      November 16, 2010, 1:28 pm

      seriously avi, why would you think this was directed at you? if the shoe fits put it on, if it doesn’t don’t. do you honestly think you are the only person who considered the absence of refugees and zionism or might have wished for a stronger messaging.

      this blog gets over 10 thousand hits a day. Mohammad Talat’s audience is vastly larger than those of us in the comment section and the ‘purists’ he is referencing are likely a broad range of people out in the world that dismiss what they reference as ‘arm chair’ activists, as opposed to those on the front lines, palestinians.

      not for a minute do i think there is some hidden message in there referencing your one comment on mathew’s article. and to reference this as ‘an accusation’ directed at you is nuts.

      • yonira
        November 16, 2010, 9:14 pm

        Forgive Avi, he has some narcisistic dendencies, treat it like an illness.

      • occupyresist
        November 17, 2010, 8:19 am

        Well, he’s no more a narcissist than you are. If you call someone who is actually engaged in this discussion a narcissist, you must have some warped definition of the term. He doesn’t throw two-three sentences cobbled together from Hasbara talking points and then go off to enjoy the bliss of indoctrination.

    • MoT
      November 18, 2010, 6:15 pm

      Excuse the belated response. I couldn’t do before my account got created.

      Avi, I had not read your post and was not responding to it.

      This said, my “irresponsible armchair sloganeering” phrase was too general. I do not believe that all suggestions that the YJP action was a capitulation unworthy of celebration are irresponsible, some are well-intended, if short-sighted still.

      This is not to say that the YJP action should not create or expand more space where Israel’s responsibility for the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians becomes the topic. I believe it did. I did not criticize the voices that built on the YJP action to bring up the messages YJP couldn’t bring. In a way, I did just that. What I criticized was writing off their courageous initiative because it refused to be a one-time candle that burns to our heart’s delight yet leaves no trace beyond YouTube bragging rights.

  8. seafoid
    November 16, 2010, 9:50 am

    Hanthala

    I like your cartoons !

  9. Richard Witty
    November 16, 2010, 9:56 am

    On racism.

    One phenomena that I see often expressed by those in Palestinian solidarity is that of regarding those that actively and overtly dissent as friends, as “Jews we can accept”.

    That contrasts with calling Lieberman and Netanyahu racist, those who actively implement prejudicial policies when they have alternatives that they could do instead.

    Its easy to paint “good Jews” as good Jews, and bad Jews as bad Jews.

    But, those are not examples of confronting racism. Confronting one’s own racism would be to confront one’s attitudes towards those that are quiet, abstain from overt political expression, or even express criticism of the way that dissent communicates (or doesn’t).

    Healing one’s racism would include accepting the feelings, experiences of the other, extending appreciative understanding of even conclusions that one disagrees with.

    Of hearts and minds, its a private inquiry. In expression, it comes out subtley. As inferences of double standards towards Palestinians and Arabs are seen by those that are sensitive to those attitudes, inferences of prejudice are seen by Jews that are sensitive.

    Its a good to confront one’s racism even among dissent, maybe especially among dissent as dissent sometimes gets a free ride on “reverse racism”.

    • Avi
      November 16, 2010, 10:04 am

      Confronting one’s own racism would be to confront one’s attitudes towards those that are quiet, abstain from overt political expression, or even express criticism of the way that dissent communicates (or doesn’t).

      You do that all the time and yet you are unable to see yourself.

      • Citizen
        November 17, 2010, 4:35 am

        Avi, Witty’s addressing himself, and patting himself on the back for a job he thinks he does well; he wants to share his high opinion of himself. As you say, he looks in the mirror daily and does not see himself as others see him, though they tell him here in droves every day. If he wrote a book, it would be one like Bush Jr’s, his very own hasbara “explanation.”

    • Kathleen
      November 16, 2010, 10:25 am

      “Some are Zionists, whatever this means to them that preserves their inner peace. Others have moved beyond that, or come from an opposite direction. The slogans they raised represented points of unity upon which they agreed. As their transformation continues, this may change.”

    • Shingo
      November 16, 2010, 5:45 pm

      “Healing one’s racism would include accepting the feelings, experiences of the other, extending appreciative understanding of even conclusions that one disagrees with.”

      So in other words Witty, what your suggesting is that we empathize with bigots, xenophobes, racists, and anti Semites as opposed to rejecting their views right?

      “Its a good to confront one’s racism even among dissent, maybe especially among dissent as dissent sometimes gets a free ride on “reverse racism”.”

      When do you expect to confront yours Witty? You’ve had plenty of time to think about it.

  10. Tom Pessah
    November 16, 2010, 10:42 am

    this is a nice example of how genuine anti-racist sentiments can be appropriated to do hasbara for the government. Witty is suggesting that people should “confront one’s attitudes towards those that are quiet, abstain from overt political expression, or even express criticism of the way that dissent communicates (or doesn’t).” Anything else would be “racism” and targetting of “bad Jews.”

    So who are the examples of those who are quiet, abstain from overt political expression or courageously voice their dissent?

    “Lieberman and Netanyahu”!

    thanks for standing up for underdog, once again.

  11. yourstruly
    November 16, 2010, 10:44 am

    Yes, “Young, Jewish and Proud” are facing the wrath of a Zionist community that in its desperation is now acting as if it’s under siege. Which it is, of course – under siege for occupying someone else’s homeland – under siege for their brutal treatment of the indigenous people of said homeland – under siege for putting the whole world at risk from the inevitable blowback that their criminal enterprise engenders. Fortunately for Zionists, no way is this siege comparable to the one they’re imposing upon Gaza, and not only because the Gaza siege is slow motion genocide, (whereas, this newly emerging siege of Zionism is totally nonviolent), but because the IDF siege is nothing but a desperate attempt to accomplish the impossible; namely, break the will of the Palestinian people. Impossible, because a people united in their determination to be free can never be defeated, as the history of the past few centuries amply demonstrates. Unity among Zionists, on the other hand, even if it existed, wouldn’t last because it would be for the purpose of perpetuating a conquest and subjugation of another people, something that’s been a lost cause for how many centuries now? So night as well give up on your lost cause, Zionists, because the rest of the world is turning against you, including, but not limited to the very people, Jews, for whom your beloved Israel supposedly was serve as a sanctuary. Which is to say that justice in Palestine is just around the corner – BDS, BDS, BDS!

  12. annie
    November 16, 2010, 12:36 pm

    thank you Mohammad Talat . i know how much you are held in high esteem within the activist community here in the bay area. so good to read your words here this morning.

  13. kalithea
    November 16, 2010, 2:08 pm

    Rather than demonstrating as a group of 100 at a time, Palestinians should risk holding their own Tiananmen Square. They should set aside a week where they take to the streets in the millions simultaneously, in Ramallah, the ghettos, the refugee camps in the region, the cities they live in around the world and in the Gaza prison camp, and the world should join with them in solidarity.

    Palestinians are our only hope; they are their only hope as well and we should help to mobilize a world-wide peaceful effort of simultaneous marches to bring down the apartheid regime that is a threat not only to their freedom but as is being demonstrated more every day, also to our own.

    • Kathleen
      November 16, 2010, 7:19 pm

      Even though Israel has locked away many of the Palestinian Gandhi’s. You know there are more and more and more

  14. hophmi
    November 16, 2010, 5:36 pm

    “They will become toxic in a large part of their community – a community they strongly feel a part of despite their deep disagreements.”

    I’m not clear as to how these five feel a strong attachment to the Jewish community. I don’t think they are that attached, and I think that is true for most Jewish pro-Palestinian radicals.

    But neither do I think that this protest will make these individuals any more toxic than those who disagree with them are in the pro-Palestinian community, and I would venture to guess that this will probably raise their profile and perhaps get them invited to the more progressive synagogues. I have not seen much wrath directed at them. Most Jews are used to this, and Jewish membership in pro-Palestinian organizations is nothing new. They continue to represent a small minority of the Jewish community, to the extent that they wish to consider themselves part of that community.

    I have no idea what Jewish privilege you’re speaking of. I think there is much greater Muslim privilege in this world than Jewish privilege. There are 16 million of us, and 1.5 billion of you. I can understand the concept of white privilege. Jewish privilege is complete nonsense.

    • Shingo
      November 16, 2010, 6:06 pm

      “I’m not clear as to how these five feel a strong attachment to the Jewish community. I don’t think they are that attached, and I think that is true for most Jewish pro-Palestinian radicals.”

      In other words, human rights is an anathema to Zionism, is that what you;re suggesting Hophmi?

      “I think there is much greater Muslim privilege in this world than Jewish privilege. ”

      Yeah, and we see illustrated by the fact that the US vetos UN Resolutions against Muslim Communities and send billion of dollars to Muslim states…oh wait.

      • hophmi
        November 17, 2010, 1:24 am

        “In other words, human rights is an anathema to Zionism, is that what you;re suggesting Hophmi?”

        Um, I don’t see that anywhere in anything I said. You’re saying that.

        “Yeah, and we see illustrated by the fact that the US vetos UN Resolutions against Muslim Communities and send billion of dollars to Muslim states…oh wait.”

        Sigh. The writer mentioned Jewish privilege in the context of white privilege, not in the context of the support for Israel on the international stage. Apparently, once again, you show you find no difference between Judaism and Zionism.

      • Shingo
        November 17, 2010, 1:43 am

        “Um, I don’t see that anywhere in anything I said. You’re saying that.”

        You argued that the rights for Palestinians is a radical idea.

        “Apparently, once again, you show you find no difference between Judaism and Zionism.”

        Haven;t you and your fellow travelers insisted there isn’t one?

        In any case, the writer is arguing about the right of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, not Jews in the diaspora.

        Maybe you should go back and read the article.

      • Tom Pessah
        November 17, 2010, 2:38 am

        illustrations – the way muslim students at UC Irvine were suspended for a year for a disruption very similar to that of the Netanyahu speech (which had no consequences for the disrupters), the very different levels of tolerated speech in the media about jews and about muslims, strict limitations on donations to muslim organizations in the middle east vs. no limitation at all to donations to settlers’ organizations, institutionalized recognition of jewish holidays (e.g. the expression “holiday party” instead of “Christmas party,” Hallmark cards for Hanukka) vs. hardly any institutional recognition of muslim holidays, visibility of Jewish role models on TV shows with no muslim equivalent, media focus on Jewish victims and Muslim perptrators of violence in the middle east rather than the other way round, etc etc etc

      • Tom Pessah
        November 17, 2010, 2:59 am

        and needless to say in relation to (muslim and christian)Palestinians – full freedom of travel to and within Israel/Palestine, free Birthright trips, generous offers of citizenship…

      • Citizen
        November 17, 2010, 4:54 am

        A small point supporting Tom P: In one of the stories in Amreeka, a young Palestinian American girl always looks for an Arab first name among the A-Z name bracelets she chances to see displayed at stores. She never finds one.

    • Mooser
      November 16, 2010, 6:30 pm

      “I’m not clear as to how these five feel a strong attachment to the Jewish community. I don’t think they are that attached,”

      So why don’t you start ex-communication procedeings against them, tough guy! Write a letter to the Pope.
      Ah, the Zionists on Jewish identity, they giveth, they taketh away.
      Really, what a sodden little drip of a man you are.

    • occupyresist
      November 16, 2010, 6:39 pm

      Yep.

      Muslim privilege led to the Iraq war, the Iran sanctions, the Egyptian/Saudi dictatorships, drone strikes on Pakistan,….

      Shoot, with all the privilege, I wonder why I don’t feel so … privileged.

      • yonira
        November 16, 2010, 9:15 pm

        I think 9/11 and terrorism had a lot to do with it too OR.

      • Citizen
        November 17, 2010, 5:06 am

        The 9/11 Commision singled out (in its official report made public) the I-P situation and the US blanket support of that situation and Bush Jr’s attack on Iraq as dual motives for daily Muslim anti-American conversations in the Arab Streets of the Middle East. That Commission’s original finding of motive singled out the US blanket support of Israel right or wrong–this also was the response by US intelligence officers when asked by Congress what had been discovered regarding motive for the 9/11 attack. The congressional q & a was televised on CSPAN and a clip of it is available on YouTube.
        Most Americans do not watch CSPAN and of course our MSM and governmental leaders all ignored that congressional session to instead give all the now debunked reasons, which the American masses largely lapped up and still do.

      • occupyresist
        November 17, 2010, 7:50 am

        Because US policy in the Middle East had nothing to do with it, right?

        It just happened in a vacuum, where history started on 9/11.

    • Citizen
      November 17, 2010, 4:47 am

      Yes, we all see that infamous white privilege displaying itself on Jerry Springer’s show every work day.

  15. Antidote
    November 16, 2010, 6:08 pm

    Young, Zionist, Proud – and posing as Palestinians to disturb pro-Palestinian events:

    “… as Canadians flock to hear a British politician who was kicked out of the Labour Party in 2003, and voted out of office last May, some home truths are emerging about Canadian Middle Eastern politics, a bizarro world in which Zionists pose as Palestinians to shout down a bearded Scot.

    An email circulating among Zionist and pro-Israel opponents of Mr. Galloway offers a novel and surprising glimpse into audience strategy in the YouTube era, in which the audience doubles as the media. It suggests Mr. Galloway can expect novel forms of resistance, to say nothing of aggressive questions, from a shadow army of pony-tailed Zionists disguised by keffiyehs and “hand-woven Guatemalan man-purses.”

    Most important, according to the email by Jewish Tribune freelance reporter Joanne Hill, is that every audience member carry a camera to record the event for the Internet.”

    Read more: link to news.nationalpost.com

    • justicewillprevail
      November 16, 2010, 8:18 pm

      That is hilarious. It must be satire. Or they are planning to make themselves look even more ridiculous. Comedy Zionists imagine that they can ask a few loaded questions and Galloway will be stumped. Really, they don’t know him, he will love the opportunity to heap more ridicule on them. i can’t wait. Are they really that stupid?

      • thankgodimatheist
        November 17, 2010, 4:48 am

        “That is hilarious.”

        Can’t beat this one! Maybe the most hilarious thing I’ve seen in decades..

        Rep. Gohmert Doesn’t Like “Illegal Palestinian Settlements”

    • Kathleen
      November 16, 2010, 10:09 pm

      “then again last month at a United Church in Toronto, when that ban was overturned in Federal Court.”

      Had no idea that had been overturned.

      My favorite take down. George Galloway takes down Norm Coleman. One of the best testimonies in the Senate of all time

      Galloway “I gave my heart and soul to oppose the policy that you promoted. I gave my political lifes blood to try to stop the mass killing of Iraqi’s by the sanctions on Iraq. Which killed a million Iraqi’s. Most of them children. Most of them died before they even knew they were Iraqi’s. But they died for no other reason other than they were Iraqi’s. With the misfortune to be born at that time.

      I gave my heart and soul to stop you from committing the disaster that you did commit in invading Iraq. And I told the world thatyour case for the war was a PACK OF LIES. I told the world that Iraq contrary to your claims that did not have weapons of mass destruction. I told the world contrary to your claims that Iraq had no connection to Al Queda. I told the world that contrary to your claims that Iraq had no connection to the atrocity on Sept 11 2001″

      This was the most amazing truth telling I have ever seen and heard. Wish the cameras had been pointed at Coleman and Levin (who I believe voted against the invasion) Levin ignored Galloway more than I thought. Yep Levin voted against the Iraq war resolution link to usliberals.about.com

      “George Galloway wipes up the floor with Coleman
      link to youtube.com
      link to youtube.com

      • syvanen
        November 16, 2010, 11:18 pm

        George Galloway takes down Norm Coleman. One of the best testimonies in the Senate of all time

        I recall that incident well. It also occurred at a very important time — right when many of us who opposed the Iraq war were at the depths of despair that no matter what we said would be totally ignored. Then this feisty Scotsman comes to America and wipes the floor with one of the more ignorant members of the US senate. It was complete pleasure to watch George expose that fool for the fool he is. I recall thinking: why can’t we produce politicians with as much courage and gumption?

        Sad to hear that he lost his seat last May — maybe the British electorate is also a little hesitant to embrace a real

  16. Kathleen
    November 16, 2010, 10:17 pm

    Not finding anything up about the protest against the Illegal Settlement( Hebron) fund raiser. Can not wait to hear how it went

  17. Kathleen
    November 16, 2010, 11:18 pm

    Some justice
    Binyam Mohamed Wins Settlement for Being Tortured
    link to emptywheel.firedoglake.com

  18. bijou
    November 17, 2010, 7:54 am

    Here is an item of a different ilk – perhaps we should name it “Old, Jewish, and cowardly”:

    Newton, MA synagogue cancels talk by J street President

    Excerpt:

    Rabbi Keith Stern, who has led Temple Beth Avodah for more than 13 years, said a “small, influential group’’ within the congregation voiced strong opposition to hosting the event. Synagogue leaders decided to cancel after “an agonizing process,’’ he said, because they felt the controversy would “threaten the fabric of the congregation.’’

    “The understanding was that it was going to be what I considered to be an honest and open conversation with a liberal Jewish organization, but I clearly did not understand how deep the antipathy is among a group within the Jewish community toward J Street and toward Jeremy Ben-Ami,’’ he said.

  19. bijou
    November 17, 2010, 7:57 am

    And one more excerpt from the above piece about the Newton synagogue:

    Jonathan Sarna, a historian of American Judaism at Brandeis University who moderated a panel discussion with Ben-Ami at Temple Emanuel about 18 months ago, said Ben-Ami’s disclosures about Soros’s involvement had hurt his credibility and fueled questions about the organization’s posture toward Israel.

    “I have no doubt that there are some people who would vilify anybody to the left of them,’’ he said. “I actually think, in this case, it’s all about the community’s question, which is totally legitimate from my perspective as an observer, of ‘What is J Street?’ Is it simply a progressive organization that supports a different policy for the state of Israel, or is it a Trojan horse for anti-Israel activists?’’

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