Israel provides 1 mental health clinic for 290,000 Palestinians– and 13 for the 500,000 Jews of Jerusalem

I was walking around yesterday and thinking about how much I trash Israel on this site and then thinking about the stuff I like about Israel. I like the informal manners and the rough-and-ready culture, and I’m as bad as any Zionist when it comes to liking Jews being laborers and soldiers. Also, Israel has a thriving democracy for Jews, and the countries around Israel have little democratic tradition and democracy doesn’t seem to be taking hold. This report in the Economist refers to “big men” in the dictatorships. When I was in occupied Jerusalem a couple of months ago, I pressed a Palestinian friend to say something nice about Israel, and she said, Well their health care system has been very good for us.

These truths are not going to change my orientation, though. Just because democracy is failing in Arab countries doesn’t justify racist oppression in Israel and Palestine. That’s a two wrongs argument. And this oppression is taking place in my name as a Jew. When I urge sweeping reform for Israel and Palestine, I believe that an overhaul of Israeli society that respects Palestinian rights would have a huge effect on freedom in the Arab world.

And when it comes to health care, let’s go to Ruth Carmi’s presentation at Rabbis for Human Rights the other day. Carmi is a fellow at the New Israel Fund, and lately worked for the Israel Religious Action Center. Here are my notes of her report on discrimination in occupied East Jerusalem. First, mental health. Then schools.

In West Jerusalem, there are 500,000 Jews. They have 13 government-funded clinics that serve mental health needs. They provide group therapy, art therapy, bibliotherapy.

The 290,000 Palestinian “residents” of occupied and annexed East Jerusalem have one government mental-health clinic with doctors who speak Arabic—and Arabic speaking is essential to treatment of mental issues. The clinic, Kfar Shaul, is actually in West Jerusalem, on land that once belonged to the village of Deir Yassin, the site of the landmark massacre in April 1948.

Carmi said that it is “very disturbing to go there.” The psychologists and psychiatrists at the clinic see an average of 40 patients a day (I believe in contrast to 11 a day for the Jews; notes unclear). The psychologists hardly have time to talk to the patients, patient records lie out on desks unsecured, and anyone can look at them. The psychologists basically give people meds and move on.

And how many Palestinians can even get to the clinic? It is two bus rides from East Jerusalem, nearly an hour’s ride, through a Jewish Hebrew-speaking landscape.

“It’s heartbreaking, and it’s such a fundamental right,” Carmi said.

Someone in the audience said that in Silwan, where settlers are moving in and Palestinian homes are being demolished, fearful Palestinian children are wetting their beds at night. Where can they even be treated for their terrors?

The educational system is also second class; and Carmi said that several human-rights groups have sued over the inequity recently. But no Palestinian school would join the petition.

“They are so afraid that the amount of money that they do get will be taken away, and they are so skeptical that it [the lawsuit] could succeed.” And so the schools did not join the suit, “out of fear.”

Last point: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 says that all people have a right to a nationality. The residents of occupied East Jerusalem don’t have a nationality. Many residents of the occupied West Bank still hold Jordanian passports. These people live in complete limbo. And have done so for 62 years. And this is an American Jewish achievement, given the force of Jewish community organizations in maintaining this unequal situation. The lack of democracy in the Arab world is a terrible thing. But I will save my lecture for them till I’ve dealt with the place over which I have far more power.

Update: commenter Seafoid says 500,000 # for Jews in Jerusalem would include occupied/annexed East Jerusalem colonies.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of
Posted in Israel/Palestine

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

  1. Kathleen says:

    no surprises there. But great you are bringing attention to it.

    Who can do the math on this one? Percentage. Would that be the value of one Jew’s worth compared to 26 Palestinians?

  2. Kathleen says:

    ” I trash Israel on this site”

    Trash or tell the truth, state the facts? More like tell the truth, state the facts. If that is considered “trashing” in your book then so be it. Keep trashing

    • Citizen says:

      Maybe Phil feels the US MSM doesn’t give enough attention to the good things happening in Israel, so he feels guilty for not using his blog to fill in this gap to aid informed consent for Americans? OTH, maybe he said “trash” tongue in cheek? His stats suggest the latter, as does his perspective on Arab life in Arab lands–who doubts the Arab in the Street in Arab lands is simply a government flunky or welfare recipient? Nonetheless, the Arab rulers pay though the nose for what they get from the US (to keep themselves in power/defend themselves from their own fellow arab citizens). In comparison, Israel gets its huge aid from the US unconditionally and with interest.

      • Kathleen says:

        tee hee. That is all they do if anything. Guy Raz at NPR ,Scott Simon does it too all feel good about Israel stories.

        Hey If American Knew just sent this out:

        Dear Friends,

        Veteran journalist Helen Thomas is under attack again. The ADL* took away her job; now it wants to take away her honorary degrees. Let’s turn the tables on them!

        ADL Director Abe Foxman recently called the 90-year old former senior White House correspondent a “vulgar anti-Semite,” referred to her comments as “crude,” and called on schools and professional organizations that have honored Thomas over the years to rescind those honors.

        Shortly afterward Thomas’s alma mater, Wayne State University, announced that it will no longer give out the “Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity in the Media Award.” Others are expected to follow suit.

        The attacks on Thomas began in June when a rabbi posted a Youtube video of Thomas taken without her knowledge, followed by sensationalized and inaccurate media reports pushed by former Bush White House PR director Ari Fleischer, an Israel partisan unhappy with Thomas’s tough questions.

        The media assault was eagerly taken up by journalists happy to kick a reporter whose integrity and competence surpassed their own once she was down and easy prey. Many, perhaps most, were Israel partisans.

        We think it’s important to stand by Helen Thomas. We also think this is an opportunity to reach Americans whose curiosity is now piqued by all the controversy.

        Therefore, we have created a hand-out for people (see below) to distribute on campuses and in communities around the country. This brochure explains the validity of Thomas’s videotaped remarks and gives the powerful context about Palestine omitted by mainstream media accounts – the transformative facts that the ADL does not want Americans to know.

        Several years ago If Americans Knew received a death threat. Instead of intimidating us, this caused us to work even harder and become ever more effective.

        We can now all do the same with Helen Thomas. We can show the ADL that rather than destroying her and intimidating others, their attacks have provided a platform whereby even more Americans are learning the facts!

        Because a generous, committed donor is subsidizing this project, we are making these available at a cost anyone can afford – just a nickel apiece! We are providing them in batches of 10, and hope that most people will order 50 or above!

        The idea is to give these out as widely as possible – on campuses, at events, in libraries and cafes. Give them to colleagues and neighbors, at book discussion groups and World Affairs Councils.

        Together, we can stand by Helen Thomas and give Americans the truth.

        Best wishes,

        The If Americans Knew Team

  3. Kathleen says:

    Few to no post over at FDL about the I/P issue. Not even from Ed Teller or CTuttle. Rayne and Jane’s mission accomplished. Shut down the I/P debate, links over at FDL.

  4. seafoid says:

    Maybe it is because Israel has lost touch with reality.

  5. seafoid says:

    By the way there aren’t half a million Jews in Jerusalem. “Maaleh adumim” isn’t in Jerusalem. Neither is “Gilo”.

      • seafoid says:

        Hi Phil

        There are close to 300,000 Jews in occupied East Jerusalem which now stretches from Bethlehem in the south to very close to Ramallah in the north and out as far as the Jordan valley in the East. It takes Jews 30 minutes to go from north to south but the last time I took the trip in a Palestinian taxi it took us 2.5 hours on those Jim Crow roads.

        On the way back I took a Jewish taxi to an NGO. The driver wore jeans, expensive shades, drank Nescafe, was listening to George Michael and eating a burger. The next taxi I took was from the old city, driven by a Palestinian, wearing jeans and cheap shades, drinking turkish coffee, listening to Fairuz and eating shawarma. Guess who fits in in the Middle East.

        • seafoid says:

          Various bit of info on East Jerusalem

          Though Palestinians comprise one-third of the city’s population, Jerusalem’s municipality council consistently spends less than 10% of its budget in their neighborhoods. Around 250,000 Palestinians now carry the card, and make up one-third of Jerusalem’s population, But some 55,000 others – there are no precise figures – were left outside its boundaries. Guardian

          Tens of thousands of illegally built Arab homes in East Jerusalem will be connected to water for the first time, the ministerial committee on the non-Jewish sector decided on Sunday.

          Representatives of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, which raised the issue, had told the committee that the severe shortage of water was leading to major hygiene problems.

          The decision will affect an estimated 160,000 people living in homes built without proper permits from the city. According to the municipal water company, Hagihon, out of some 250,000 Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, only about 85,000 (some 16,000 homes) are connected to the water system.

          100913 65.1 percent of the city’s Palestinian residents live below the poverty line, as compared with 30.8 percent of the city’s Jewish population; and 74.4 percent of the Palestinian children in Jerusalem live below the poverty line, as compared to 45.1 percent of the city’s Jewish children

          Whoever emerges triumphant in Tuesday’s run-off will inherit a city close to broken. The new mayor will have to find a way to breathe life into a moribund economy. Jerusalem is the poorest town in Israel, with a third of families and more than half of children living below the official poverty line. Unemployment, especially in the ultra-orthodox community and among Palestinians, is sky-high. More young, secular and well-educated professionals are leaving Jerusalem.Socially, too, the city faces grave problems. Jerusalem is already split into three distinct micro-societies with little or nothing in common. On the Israeli side, there is simmering tension between the ultra-orthodox and the dwindling band of secular or moderately religious Jews. Both look with anxiety at the 250,000 Palestinians living in East Jerusalem. Few Israelis these days venture into the Palestinian neighbourhoods, even the famous Old City, which they regard as hostile territory.

          Within the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem under the British mandate, which ended in 1947, “overall Jewish ownership had not exceeded 24 percent.” However, in the last months of the mandate, the Jewish forces captured 84.13 percent of the city, later called West Jerusalem, within which Jewish land ownership approached 30 percent. “What was left in Arab hands – East Jerusalem – constituted 11.48 percent” of municipal Jerusalem, reported Professor Walid Khalidi in a study he has undertaken for The Journal of Palestine Studies, now based in Washington, D.

          ‘A society in crisis forges a new vocabulary for itself,’ David Grossman wrote in The Yellow Wind, ‘and gradually, a new language emerges whose words . . . no longer describe reality, but attempt, instead, to conceal it.’ This ‘new language’ was adopted voluntarily by the media, but if one needs an official set of guidelines it can be found in the Nakdi Report, a paper drafted by the Israeli Broadcasting Authority. First set down in 1972 and since updated three times, the report aimed to ‘clarify some of the professional rules that govern the work of a newsperson’. The prohibition of the term East Jerusalem was one of them

          The report says that the 1967 law on the protection of holy places refers to all religious groups in the country, including in Jerusalem, but “the government implements regulations only for Jewish sites. Non-Jewish holy sites do not enjoy legal protection under it because the government does not recognize them as official holy sites.” At the end of 2008, for example, all of the 137 officially recognized holy sites were Jewish.

  6. eee says:


    You have as much power over Israeli policy as over democratic reforms in Arab countries. I don’t know why you think otherwise.

    • Kathleen says:

      Phil thanks for all you and your team do for peace and justice in the middle east.

      • eee says:

        And what is that exactly Kathleen?
        How much has the aid to Israeli been reduced since Phil started his activism?
        How much has the situation in Gaza improved?
        Has Palestinian unity become more of a reality?
        Have Israeli voters shifted to the left?
        Have US politicians become less supportive of Israel?

        There is only one way to change the situation. That way is to change the minds of Israeli voters. None of what Phil and you are doing helps even in the slightest in doing that.

        • eljay says:

          >> There is only one way to change the situation. That way is to change the minds of Israeli voters. None of what Phil and you are doing helps even in the slightest in doing that.

          It must really suck that your self-righteous, Zio-supremacist, tribal rants (Israel Über Alles! And if you don’t agree, f*ck you!) aren’t having the effect you might have hoped for, while Phil’s website continues – in a very human and truly humanist way – to effectively spotlight the illegality and immorality of the Zionist enterprise and to change “hearts and minds”. (I hate that phrase, but it is very appropriate in this context.)

        • Kathleen says:

          You are terrified that Israel may actually be required to abide by International treaties, may be pushed to sign the Non proliferation treaty. May have to play by the same rules that they demand their neighbors abide by.

          Keep pushing folks. Write your Reps, contact the White House, drop off literature (If Americans Knew is a great place to get literature), call into radio and t.v. programs, demand that the talking heads address the I/P issue, even the so called progressive bloggers like Jane Hamsher who avoid the issue, Keep calling, writing, spreading the facts. Stay focused on the facts

          Thanks again Phil

        • Potsherd2 says:

          Actually, eee, there is a growing outcry to bring sanctions against Israel. Maybe that will have a greater effect.

        • Citizen says:

          The Civil Rights movement in the US was not successful in a day, eee, and neither was the defeat of Tojo and Hitler. And look how long it took to erase apartheid S Africa or get rid of Colonial India and Algeria, or boot the French & Americans out of Vietnam, or to watch the fall of the USSR and Germany’s separation wall. Since Phil started up his blog more than a few cracks have appeared in your Zionist wall.
          If you actually digested this blog and its threads of information, including all the source links, instead of merely commenting hear to disrupt the flow of information and spread very weak hasbara, why you’d know your wall is slowly crumbling and Phil is helping that every day. So is Kathleen.

        • yourstruly says:

          No to all those questions, but in case you haven’t noticed, the attitudes of Americans are changing. Doubt this? Then what else eplains the measures that the I lobby and associates are taking in their desperate attempt to squelch anti-Zionist/pro-Palestinian movements?

        • Citizen says:

          The best way to change the minds of the Israeli voters is to (1) cut off all US financial aid to Israel, and (2) use the US SC veto to aid in making Israel accountable to the community of nations. Now, there’s a worthy goal to work for, surely you agree.

        • Kathleen says:

          Hope Phil does not continue to call his truth telling “trash”

        • kapok says:


          Yeah, we’re assholes, but we got the guns and money so suck it.

    • seafoid says:

      Mondo is changing the way US Jews and many other decent people think about Israel. You’ll feel it in your paycheck eventually, eee :)

      • eee says:

        Have you got any evidence to support that?
        And even if you are right, do you think that will make the Israel lobby less strong? After all, its electoral strength comes from the evangelicals, not Jews.
        The only way to change things is to change the mind of Israeli voters.

        • Kathleen says:

          Phil, Glenn, Mearsheimer, Walt, Allsion Weir, Norman Finkelstein and many more continue to knock the wall of injustice down

          You have to know you are getting under their skin:

          Mainstreaming Hate
          How media companies are using the Internet to make anti-Semitism respectable

          One reason for the surge of public criticism of Israel over the last decade is the increasing interest of American media consumers in the Middle East as U.S. involvement in the region deepened after Sept. 11. The other reason is the triumph of the Internet, which lends itself to anti-Semitic narratives. The genius of the web is its interconnectedness, the facility with which it is capable of making links based on other links, which allows a chain of unbroken and unsubstantiated rumor and innuendo to acquire the stature of fact.

        • Antidote says:

          “And even if you are right, do you think that will make the Israel lobby less strong? After all, its electoral strength comes from the evangelicals, not Jews.
          The only way to change things is to change the mind of Israeli voters.”

          So what you’re saying eee is that Zionists control the US government and US domestic foreign policy is up to Israeli voters. I think I have to report you to Foxman. It’s ‘garden-variety anti-semitism’ according to the ADL

        • Citizen says:

          Hey, eee, I’m sure Palin, Hagee et al will be glad to know they have been officially classified by Israeli government-funded orthodox rabbis who teach the majority of Jewish Israeli tots that goys are “talking animals.”
          But you’re right, we have to show all the evangelicals this godly pecking order. I suggest everyone here spread this recent information from Counterpunch around to all the Christian Zionists and evagelicals they know: “The general trend towards extremism has not happened by chance, said Sefi Rachelevsky, a prominent Israeli writer critical of the Orthodox rabbinate. Israel’s public coffers pay the salaries of some of the most extremist rabbis, and the education system regularly falls under the political control of religious parties like Shas.

          Mr Shapira, who advocates killing non-Jewish babies, receives large sums from the education ministry for his yeshiva — a seminary where he spreads his message of hate. Religious students also receive extra subsidies unavailable to normal students to encourage their attendance at such yeshivas.

          The rabbis exert their influence on the youngest and most impressionable too. When the new school year started in September, 52 per cent of Jewish children in first grade attended a strictly religious school.

          Pupils in some of the most religious schools, Mr Rachlevsky pointed out, are taught that Jews sit above nature, which comprises four categories: “inanimate”, “vegetable”, “animal” and “speakers” — or non-Jews, who are considered no more than talking animals.”
          And here Palin thought she was more distinctly not a grizzly bear!

          She will just have to live and learn like the rest of us. Perhaps on her pending trip to Israel Sarah can ask to chat with Mr Shapira. She can tell him how no human fetus should ever be aborted. And he can tell her–the real scoop.

        • kapok says:

          or Merkin ones.

        • Shingo says:

          After all, its electoral strength comes from the evangelicals, not Jews.
          The only way to change things is to change the mind of Israeli voters.

          Are you really going to put all your eggs in the Evangelical lunatic basket? You do realize that these people are the worst kind of anti Semites. Not only do they not care about Jewish people,. but their secret wish is that Jesus throw those who do not convert to their brand of Christianity into the fires of hell.

          How do you think these people are going to respond once they realize God isn’t going to fast track his visit just because a country called Israel exists on the map?

          How do you feel about the fact that Israel is now BFF’s with a man who described Hitler as an agent of God and who believes the anti Christ will be a Jew?

      • Citizen says:

        Is eee a US citizen, or an Israeli citizen? Or is he living here, taking advantage of both? He sure doesn’t sound like he was born and raised in the USA.

        • Kathleen says:

          You can be one and the same you know.

        • Kathleen says:

          If hesheit is an Israeli citizen maybe they can go get help at one of many Israeli mental health outlets that Phil mentions in his post. American taxpayers are paying for it

        • Citizen says:

          Yeah, SCOTUS decided so by using the weasel word “intent” as the constitutional litmus test; when they did that they overuled their earlier case. Why? Oh I dunno, could it be because the case overruled involved an Latino American, while the later case allowing virtually pure dual loyalty involved a Jewish American?
          Surel La Raza can take advantage of the current rule?

    • Antidote says:

      Nowhere in international law does it say that all countries must be democracies. What people like you don’t get is that it does not matter one bit from the perspective of international law whether a country is a democracy or a dictatorship. Just like the law doesn’t, or shouldn’t, apply different standards to men and women, blacks and whites, or good and bad people. One person’s character flaw is another one’s virtue, we all realize that, and it’s the same with systems of government. You can’t just shoot me because of real or imagined character flaws, or verbal assaults, unless I grab you by the neck or go at you with a weapon. No pre-emptive strikes allowed. And you can’t lock up people just because they disagree with you or because they might one day threaten you. This is no doubt happening in the name of security and the WOT, but it’s arbitrary and unjust. If Americans were mostly concerned with saving American lives, they would revoke the right to bear arms and take on their gun lobby. And stop invading and occupying countries. And Israelis would integrate into their region rather than push the ‘special relationship’ nonsense. and make peace with the Palestinians, as a start.

      Whether Palestinians or Israelis in a possible 2SS (if that’s still possible) live in a democracy, theocracy or dictatorship now or in the future is irrelevant to the settlement of the conflict, which is essentially a land conflict. Democracies can be just as effective or ineffective over time as authoritarian regimes or dictatorships when it comes to maintaining internal peace, security, justice, equality and prosperity, and peaceful existence with neighboring and other countries. If the US and Israel aren’t examples of how democracies can fail at providing just that for the majority of their citizens and the inhabitants of the territories they occupy and control, then I don’t know what is. It all depends on who’s in charge, and what their priorities are.

      • Antidote says:

        this comment was in reply to eee

        “You have as much power over Israeli policy as over democratic reforms in Arab countries.”

        ethnic cleansing and occupation of other people’s lands are not internal issues but subject to international law.

        • Citizen says:

          Given the unbalanced structure of the UN, the internal super power of the key players in the otherwise rotating UN SC, maybe eee is right in that respect? Also, Antidote, I’m not a big gun nut, and I do agree our gun laws are not adequate in some jurisdictions, but too, please recall that the first thing Hitler did in office was to ban private gun ownership. So, even if you bore a gun for your government in the military, you can’t have one at home? Just asking.

        • Antidote says:

          “please recall that the first thing Hitler did in office was to ban private gun ownership”

          No, I don’t recall that. Never happened, actually. The gun restrictions in Germany were introduced during the Weimar Republic, partially in compliance with the Versailles Treaty, which also demilitarized Germany. There was widespread public support for gun restrictions and registration simply because of rioting in the streets during and after the revolution that brought down the Kaiser, the effect of political liberalization and radicalization and the various economic crises of that period.

          As in many other areas, Hitler and the Nazis simply exploited and enforced legislation that had already been passed in 1928 to disarm their political enemies – leftists and Jews. Because many Jews were leftists – from liberals to communists – the racial component was not that obvious, and did not greatly upset Germans, including German Jews, who, more than anything, wanted ‘their country back’: safe streets, peace and order, as prevailed during the Wilhelmine period. And, after stirring up riots and then cracking down, the Nazis delivered just that. Substitute Muslims for Jews, and terrorists for lefties, and the methods wrt to legislation and propaganda look very similar.

          So what actually happened between 1928 and 1938 wrt gun ownership was NOT, as you write, a ban on private gun ownership, but a transfer of private guns to those who were loyal to the regime. First, the radicals were disarmed because they caused trouble in the streets. Last the Jews, on the sole basis of being Jews, were disarmed and prevented from owning weapons or ammunition (20 yrs in camp if they did!) immediately after the assassination of the German diplomat in Paris by a Jewish student (Grynszpan) which led to the Reichskristallnacht and the 1938 Weapons Act (see link below). Prior to that, Jews were only searched for weapons and disarmed on the suspicion of being part of the leftist conspiracy against the best national interests of the German people, and often involved prominent Jews. Einstein’s summer house was searched on suspicion that it was used to store weapons for the communists, but all they found was a bread knife. Sort of like the Marmara. Einstein left for the US in 1932. So this stuff was already happening before Hitler became chancellor or dictator. It happened in a progressive, modern, very liberal democracy torn up by political unrest and economic crisis. The burning of the Reichstag building was akin to 9/11, and it has never been determined beyond doubt whether the communists did it or whether the Nazis did it in order to put the blame on the communist terrorists and other people they didn’t like. At any rate, private gun ownership was never abolished during the Nazi period. The ‘good Germans’ still owned guns, as did the ‘good Jews’ up to 1938. After that, they were all considered potential terrorists, just because a young Jew of Polish descent pulled a gun in Paris and shot a German diplomat, understandably upset about hearing that his family had been kicked out of their homes in Germany and transported to a refugee camp at the German/Polish border.

          here are the basics on gun legislation in Weimar/Nazi Germany

          link to

  7. annie says:

    what about the west bank outside of east jerusalem? do you know if there are any mental health facilities there?

    • eee says:

      Have you ever checked the status of mental health clinics in rural Mississippi?

      How about on Native American reservations?

      I still do not understand your obsession with Israel. Don’t get me wrong, you can be obsessed with whatever you want. I just find it fascinating that you care more about what happens in my backyard than what happens in yours.

      • seafoid says:

        If there was no desperate need for a mondoweiss there would be no need for Zionist shills like eee.

        • eee says:


          There is need for change in the middle east. It may even be desperate in the case of the Palestinians. However, to conclude that there is a “desperate need” for mondoweiss from these facts, you need to show that mondoweiss actually helps. Can you do that?

        • eljay says:

          >> I still do not understand your obsession with Israel. Don’t get me wrong, you can be obsessed with whatever you want. I just find it fascinating that you care more about what happens in my backyard than what happens in yours.

          Given that the purpose of this site is not to discuss the treatment of Native Americans or the status of Australia’s Aborigines, I’m guessing that your post represents yet another burst of that “common sense” you so clearly lack. Keep up the good work. ;-)

        • yourstruly says:

          Obsession with Israel? Isn’t it more like the Israel lobby constantly badgering Jewish-Americans for financial and political support? And then there’s the not so trivial item of the fascist settler entity’s claim that it speaks for Jews everywhere. That’s a call to action if ever there was one – Not to support your settler-entity but to bring it (not its people) down.

        • seafoid says:

          Sure I can, eee. If Mondoweiss wasn’t making a difference you’d be back at hasbara central spamming Electronic Intifada.

          Mondo’s coverage of the Turkey flotilla had the hasbaradim all over the place. Do you remember the hasbara reaction to Blumenthal’s Israel videos ?

          Do you understand how hard it is today to get your hasbara points across compared to say 2005? That’s Mondo.

        • Citizen says:

          We see how Phil and Adam help the Palestinains, and by extension the USA and Israel–right here on this site, eee. His networking has grown tremendously and he has supporters all over the world. Now, how do you help your homeland? What do you do besides write inane interference here?

        • Taxi says:

          I concur, Seafoid.

      • Kathleen says:

        Eee clearly you want our leaders, Reps, Americans to ignore the endless comments and alerts by world leaders, CIA analyst, former Presidents of the U.S. as well as present day intelligence analyst, the 9/11 commission report, Charles Freeman and even more recently Bill Clinton who keep repeating that the I/P issue along with the U.S.’s support is one of the core reasons for the hatred, anger, attacks in the U.S. Clearly you are not concerned about the horrific and immoral crimes that Israel continues to commit.

        Clearly millions of people do

        Eee clearly you want these attacks, hatred and attacks to continue. The continued undermining of U.S. National security

      • Citizen says:

        You’re right, eee. We need to take all that direct and indirect aid to Israel and shower it upon Mississippi and the native American reservations. So, eee, your back yard is Israel? Why not donate it to help Mississippi and native Americans?

      • Kathleen says:

        If so much money was not going to support Israel, Egypt, unnecessary wars, tax cuts for the wealthy new and necessary health care clinics could be opened for U.S. taxpayers and those less priviliged.

        • Citizen says:

          Kathleen, you are right. Bernie Sanders just spent over 8 hours explaining to Americans why the Obama-Republican compromise on tax reinstatement on millionaire income folks is so horrible for the masses. A number of regular but filthy rich Americans have done so as well, e.g., Bill Gates. I wish similar people would speak out as to the more taboo subjects, aid to Israel (which includes aid to Egypt), are biggest parasites, and the Pentagon budget, the other giant but less obvious parasite.

      • Scott says:

        It’s kind of easy to understand, eee. Israel affects our foreign policy towards about a billion people in a strategic part of the world. When we support Israeli actions that directly contradict our professed values, we seem like hypocrites. And we piss people off. Also, Israel is constantly asking us to fight wars on its behalf.

    • bijou says:

      Good question. Here are some sources to get you started annie:

      I found this info –

      “For example for 3,600,000 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza there are only 34 psychiatrists, some of which work in private clinics and not in the public sector; there are 36 psychologists – but psychologists here are not qualified and trained like those in the UK, for example, they only have BA degrees not Masters or PhDs; we have 24 social workers and 8 occupational therapists; we have 125 nurses – but they are not specialized in psychiatric nursing, they have only studied basic nursing and yet they work in the psychiatric hospitals. ”

      And these articles:

      Mental health Treatment in Palestine: Electric Shocks and Out-dated Medicine

      Mental Health Needs in Palestine

      Will keep looking later.

  8. Kathleen says:

    Robert Reich has a great one up over at Huff Po
    Why Bill Clinton’s Favorable View of Obama’s Tax Deal Should Be Disregarded

    Ot my new one for Sarah is Sarah protects her cubs but will eat yours.

    F these phoney Christian people who are pro fetus but will make sure that the kids that they want to force into the world will not have health care, little to no access to a higher education or equity in education, against raising the minimum wage. support killing Iraqi children F these phonies. Not pro life pro fetus. Jesus would knock Sarah Palin on her phoney Christian ass. Knock over her podium all ready

    • Citizen says:

      Sarah also will allow all those Jews she wants to go to Israel to be dumped at the Second Coming, after they are all back there. As with the fetus, it’s the principle of the thing. Oh, and Sarah’s also big on “Look at me!” In that sense she’s a true pop cultural American princess these days.
      Then again, so is every lady in Jerry Springer’s audience who bares her breasts to the public to get a Jerry bead necklace. The Palestinians, like the Taliban, are meddling in God’s Plan. God bless our troops. And the IDF.

      • Kathleen says:

        One of my jobs for the Dem Party in south eastern Ohio was to escort guest to our region when they came for a visit. Had the pleasure of picking up Springer at the airport and spending the day with him as he was considering a run for the governorship of Ohio some years back. Within the first hour I politely told him I thought his show was trash. He knows that of course so we both laughed. I then asked him how the hell did he think that any serious voters would be able to get over this?

        I took him to press conferences, etc. He is a brilliant and sincere man and very politically astute…but the show all ready. As I walked him around campus endless crowds of students would approach him yelling “Jerry Jerry Jerry” He would laugh, engage with them and was incredibly gracious. O.K. I might be that gracious too knowing these kids watching my show filled my pockets with millions.

        Anyway clearly Jerry did not run against Strickland in the primary. He gives to the Dem Party generously He is a very smart and generous guy with a trashy ass show making him a lot of cccchhhing

  9. Avi says:


    Time and again, I don’t understand why you ignore the colonial and post-colonial effect on the monolithic “Arab world”.

    The reason there is no democracy in Jordan is the same reason there is no democracy in Israel. Saying that it’s a democracy for Jews is fine, but that doesn’t mean that Jews somehow managed to implement democracy for themselves, whereas the Arabs next door have not. It doesn’t mean that Jews are somehow better achievers when it comes to democracy.

    And what’s the purpose of this post, anyway? It seems you’re simply attempting to appeal to a lower common denominator of readers, because I know you are more knowledgeable and wise than the Phil that comes across in this post.

    Furthermore, since we’re on the subject, I don’t understand this fascination with Israeli/Jewish soldiers.

    As an Israeli, there are several things I like about Israel. I think it has a good dairy industry and the pastries are good. That’s about it. If you like the brash, informal and often rude (rough and ready) demeanor of people, good for you. It’s not my cup of tea which is why I prefer the more refined North American culture; it’s far more professional-like than Israeli culture. And I like that a lot.

    • Philip Weiss says:

      i give some agency to people, everywhere, avi. i blame the israel lobby on my group, american jews, though i hope jews are rising up against it. i blame george bush on the american people to some degree. i wasnt fooled by him. they chose to be, twice. and i think some of the authoritarian structure of egypt and jordan is explicable by traditional patriarchal culture there.
      as for soldiers, im explicit about this, that jews in israel serve in the armed forces and here jews are among the least represented religious group in the armed forces. people tend to respect that type of service, which is part of the reason that american jews defer to decisions that israelis make… i assume there are at times legitimate reasons for self-defense, generally, and people respect warriors for that reason. seven samurai moves people for that reason

      • andrew r says:

        In Etan Bloom’s thesis on Arthur Ruppin, your one-stop shopping for every lousy aspect of Zionism that isn’t the nakba, he explains (p. 152 and on) that German Zionism at the turn of the C didn’t aim at moving all the German Jews to Palestine, but to exert philanthropic muscle (This is self-evident by only 2,000 Germans making aliyah before 1933 and even most of them may have been Polish). Aiding the development of their backward east fellows was part of the liberal German identity. It was also a way to belong to the Jewish people without being religious.

        To me this sums up why there are lots of American Jewish orgs devoted to Israel and very few North American Jews making aliyah (Compared to the overall Jewish population).
        link to

        But you knew that already. Basically I’m saying the self-defense thing is a hollow discourse. North Am Jews would be forming their own militias if they really cared about self-defense.

      • Avi says:


        My reaction stemmed from the fact that Israel’s democracy — even if for Jews only — is an achievement only when juxtaposed against neighboring countries. I take issue with that because it’s not a fair conceptualization of each of those countries, Israel included. It’s akin to defining oneself by what one isn’t, thus needing the “Other” to exist, in order for one to define oneself.

        As for democracy in the “Arab world”, I would say the lack of flourishing democracy in current times can be directly attributed to economics. Private enterprise has a tendency to encourage individualism, entrepreneurship. In countries where the vast majority of wage earners are government employees, it’s difficult to have a true movement by the people for the people. In Jordan, for example, the vast majority of citizens work as government service providers, bureaucrats, if you will.

        In other Arab countries the financial capital rests in the hands of the elite, among whom the educated class is usually found. And since the educated elite have been co-opted by their respective governments, the status quo prevails. Whether patriarchal or not, such a factor does not play a role in this case. Besides, most of the nations of the world are patriarchal, the US included. Still, India, and Pakistan have had female leaders (Prime Ministers/Presidents) whereas the US has had Caucasian males as presidents until 2008 — and even then a male figure was elected. There are dozens of female representatives in Iran’s and Iraq’s parliaments. And yet, in light of this article, is the reader expected to believe that Israeli society is a special exception, that it, too, is not a patriarchal society, as well?

        As for respect for warriors, I can understand your views, especially in the context of the Samurai. But, I personally do not hold warriors in high regard. Sure, eastern traditions and philosophy are important within the context of the way of the Samurai — so to speak — but that doesn’t mean that all cultures adhere to the same principles or subscribe to the same philosophy; such concepts are rarely found in today’s modern world, anyway. Forgive me for saying this, but it seems to me that you have a romantic view of certain aspects of Israeli society that are not quite realistic. I know you enjoy Japanese cinema and that you appreciate the valor and honor in which warriors are often depicted, so perhaps that’s the origin of the romantic views. I respect that as a point of view, but I think it’s important to separate personal subjective views from objective journalistic ones.

    • seafoid says:

      Avi, Phil and Kathleen

      Get over to LA times and Odious Michael Oren’s hasbara on the
      fire. I got in a mention for Ziocaine !

      link to

    • kapok says:

      Democracy, Shamocracy. If you don’t have the muscle to support your vote, they mean nothing! Israel can vote or not. The Israeli Wehrmacht enforces its “elections”.

  10. Bumblebye says:

    Review of new book by Breaking the Silence with names and pictures against the testimonies:

    link to

  11. joemowrey says:

    Sorry to pick nits here, but “Israel has a thriving democracy for Jews” is way off base. The Ethiopian Jews who are discriminated against on a daily basis would disagree. Norman Finkelstein and other Jews who criticize Israel and are banned from entering the country might also have a different perspective. Maybe that statement should be clarified as, “Israel is a thriving democracy for whitish-looking Jews who love Israel without question.”

    But thanks for pointing out just one more of the myriad of inequities facing Palestinian citizens of Israel. Mondoweiss is a powerful voice for Palestinian rights.

    • Avi says:


      That remains one of my pet peeves with Philip Weiss. Phil’s outlook on the Middle East, with Israel included, is entirely Euro-centric. Hence within such context Israel is transformed into a democracy for Jews, even though racism plagued and continues to plague that state where non-Ashkenazi (non-white European) Jews are kept out of the centers of power. For example, Israel has never had a Mizrahi or Sephardi Prime Minister. Never. Racism in Israeli society is a recurring discussion on Mondoweiss, most recently, just two or three weeks ago.

      I’m thankful that you brought this up in this particular thread as it further reveals the truth about so-called democracy in Israel.

      I think Phil continues to have internal conflict with his own identity on the one hand, and the myths with which Zionism has infested the Jewish community in the so-called diaspora on the other hand. It’s difficult to reconcile the two when they contradict each other. It somehow reminds me of the movie Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, starring Sidney Poitier, and Katharine Hepburn where the father of the would-be bride comes face to face with his own personal liberal beliefs, rejecting racism and supporting civil rights on the one hand, and dealing with his own daughter’s marriage to a black man, a “Negro”, on the other hand. The movie is interesting because it shows how some deal with their own humanistic, universalist beliefs when the issue literally hits close to home; do they rise to the occasion, or do they make exceptions?

    • andrew r says:

      Praising Israel’s democracy carries a load of baggage to start with. Fidelity to leadership is an American staple. The main difference is that authoritarian regimes have to punish anyone for talking out of turn while the US govt. allows the barely existent opposition enough elbow room to make some noise. Israel may not have a network of informants in case someone talks about the nakba, but it sure brandishes an iron fist if you cross a certain line in protesting it. Likewise, the US has plenty of laws, trespass comes to mind, that go in effect if you express the wrong kind of non-violent opposition.

      If you accept bourgeois democracy as a departure, Israel still falls short of the US standard. Each party represents not so much a value or ideology as an ethnic group. There are parties for Palestinians, Secular Ashkenazim, Orthodox Ashkenazim, Orthodox Mizrachim and Post-Coldwar Russians with some degree of overlap. The US doesn’t have parties for whites, blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Catholics, Arabs, insert your favorite division.

      Also, US democracy was invented for the landed gentry. The landed white male gentry. Even though suffrage is universal, real power is still held by the corporate owners and white male politicians and military brass. The structure can now include Barack Obama and Condoleeza Rice; the power is still for the benefit of the same upperclass European as it was 234 years ago.

      As far as I can tell, the Arab League regimes have a narrow support base and have to imprison and intimidate the average citizen to keep their power. Americans don’t have anything to get smug about when they need constant warfare to keep the nation together.

      I would say Phil’s notion of agency for all is a bit disingenuous in that the USA was founded by a colonial-settler population that has maintained a constant grip even if the formal institutions evolve. The Arab League states were occupied from the outside and their rulers, even those technically anti-imperialist, came from a group empowered by the imperialists.

      And foreign interference is still part of the power structure in the Arab states, whether it’s military aid to Egypt, training the security forces in Jordan or the Gulf States or giving Saddam’s Ba’ath a list of communists. There’s no power exerting that kind of influence on the US. To say Arabs have a traditional patriarchal culture that explains their lack of democracy is like saying Germans have a history of antisemitism.

  12. VR says:

    This post is such a gaggle of contradictions and false historical setting, combined with sentimental BS that I don’t even want to comment except to voice this point. Hey Phil, why don’t you think of these clinics when you vote against “welfare,” which is less than 1% of the US budget. That is all I have to say about this willfully blind post.

  13. VR says:

    Here is what I thin about all of your “nations” –


  14. kalithea says:

    Israel provides more mental health clinics for settlers.

    Well that explains everything! They definitely need an extra helping of mental services given their erratic behavior.