How the ‘temporary weave’ of Zionism is starting to fray at the edges

Israel/Palestine
on 131 Comments

Max Blumenthal wrote here earlier that

    The suicide rate has been particularly high among Ethiopian members of the Israeli army. By 1997, six years after an airlift brought the second wave of Ethiopian immigrants to Israel, Ethiopian soldiers accounted for 10 percent of army suicides — but comprised only four tenths of a percent of the army. Racism was a key factor in the epidemic. One soldier’s suicide note read: “Every morning when I get to the base, six soldiers are waiting for me who clap their hands and yell, `The kushi [black] is here.’”

Such visceral racism is shocking, like something out of the American South circa 1935. It may also be shocking to some that Zionist ideology leads to racism even against Jewish blacks. But it does – from its genesis Zionism was an outgrowth of European race-thinking, and developed as a white supremacist ideology. It is useful to bring these facts to the attention of an American Jewish community in deep denial about what is going on and has been going on in Israel. But there is a sense in which this kind of thing is low-hanging fruit, although still well-worth picking.

That is because parading this racism to provoke, rightfully, revulsion, slides by the question of what Zionism does in Israeli society. And that question leads to another important question: how does Zionism function in American society, and where might cracks appear in the solid block of organized American Jewish support for Zionist practice and Israeli militarism?

After all, in both America and Israel, people hate for different reasons, and some might be convinced to let go of their hate easier than others. Some people profit off their hate, while others die for it.

There is a difference between the Mizrahi hatred of the Palestinian who reminds him of his ancestry and who is just below him on the Israeli income-status ladder, and the Ashkenazi casual hatred which finds it easier to simply pretend Palestinians don’t exist, votes en bloc in favor of liberal “peace-camp” Israeli politicians who mysteriously are never able to offer genuine peace, and only when Palestinians start making a ruckus, as in the barrage of rockets out of Gaza when the people there were dying and besieged, notes their presence. Having noticed the natives, and perturbed at their rattling of the bars of their cage, these same Ashkenazis that speak piously of peace, vote for Meretz, and mourn for Rabin shrug when white phosphorus fills the Gazan sky.

In Israel, Zionism is the social glue holding together a society in which the Ashkenazi over-class composes just 25 percent of the population and even within Israel is ruling over a majority that it covertly or overtly despises or that its forefathers sprayed with pesticide, as the Ashkenazi founders did to the Iraqi immigrants when they arrived in Israel. Never mind the population of the West Bank and Gaza, or the camps of the Levant, who they bomb, starve, and torture under the banner of superiority and to justify their theft of the land. Nearly all Jewish Israelis believe in Zionism.

But most of the land has now been stolen, and Zionism now does different things for different people. Israel is the 2nd most unequal industrialized economy in the world, and racism keeps the rabble focused on the foreign enemy and not on the domestic one keeping them poor.

This phenomenon is similar to how American Islamophobia keeps working and middle-class Americans focused on the external enemy, The Arab – not coincidentally the one Israel is destroying and oppressing – and not focused on the fact that the new robber-barons of Wall Street are destroying the fabric of American society while Madison Avenue bank accounts grow fatter and fatter and working class Americans die and die again in the wars that keep the arms companies plush with contracts.

Of course, not everything is the same. For one thing, Israel needs Zionism more than America needs Islamophobia. The problems there are vaster, the racist disparities more glaring, the situation of Israel more perilous.

For example, the Israeli economy is doing even worse than the American one, at least, if we use measures like Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Israeli GDP per capita as a percentage of American GDP per capita peaked at 62 percent in 1975 and has been declining since then, and will doubtless continue to decline due to Israel’s devotion to an accumulation model based on military Keynesnianism and capital-intense investment – although the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange continues to do fine, and that is what the people running Israeli society pay attention to, not the rising poverty and striking stratification afflicting Israeli society, nor the ongoing suffering of the people the Israeli elite profit from torturing.

That Israel is both an industrialized economy as well as a society barely teetering on the edge of being a developed country is an odd phenomenon, and I don’t know if it should be discouraging or encouraging to people like Dan Senor, who has lately been touting the wonders of the Israeli economy, or to the America Firsters who, nooses just recently stowed in the attic, staff the online battalions of the Palestine electronic solidarity movement and rage over America’s 3 billion dollars of “money” sent to Israel, which has “plenty” of money.

They should rage, and that military aid should be cut off, but we should know what it is we want to cut off and why it is sent in the first place. It matters why we rage.

For one thing, money is not really what is sent.

What are ultimately sent are American arms alongside a 750 million dollar bundle of cash that Israel spends buying weapons from weapons manufacturers many, of which are owned by American capital anyway – most of the biggest Israeli companies are listed on the NASDAQ and are mostly owned by American investors, which is why from 2001 to 2006 92 percent of the movements in the TASE (Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange) were “explained” by movements in the NASDAQ. As Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler explain, “since the two asset classes share similar owners, have similar sources of earnings, and float in similar pools of liquidity, there is really no reason why they shouldn’t move together.”

As long as the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ continue to do fine, Israel will keep on making rich Americans richer and poor Americans poorer. In the meantime, Palestinians will struggle and suffer under savage siege and occupation, and Ethiopian immigrants will get treated like human filth, even while American Zionist organizations, staffed with the deliberately ignorant, plaster their pamphlets with pictures of Israel’s multiracial society as though they were Benetton ads, incidentally diversity-talk that Senor, whom I recently saw lecture, also likes quite a lot.

One thing that Senor said that struck me was that there are people from more than 70 countries involved in oppressing Palestinians. This was supposed to be a point of pride, hearing from the horse’s mouth that there is a world-wide Jewish conspiracy to oppress the Palestinians. Don’t tell Senor, but the notion of a world-wide Jewish people is a Zionist invention, and it won’t last.

Aware that American Zionism, always a temporary weave, could be starting to fray at the edges, Peter Beinart, working the home-front, is anxious that some American Jews once were not part of that conspiracy, and is worried that American Jewish support for Israel, which cements the economic links I just described above – Zionism functions in not totally different ways in both the American and Israeli contexts – is fleeting.

In a somewhat coded way of expressing these anxieties, he has written a column headed off like this:

    Stowed away in the attic of American Jewish life lies this uncomfortable truth: Well into the 20th century, many American Jews opposed the creation of a Jewish state. Many Reform Jews were anti-Zionist because they feared a Jewish state would raise questions about Jewish loyalty to the U.S. Many Socialist Jews were anti-Zionist because they believed the proletariat should unite across religious and ethnic lines. Many Orthodox Jews were anti-Zionist because they believed that returning Jews to the land of Israel was God’s job, not man’s. Even when Jews began arriving in Palestine in large numbers, prominent Jewish intellectuals like Martin Buber, Albert Einstein, Henrietta Szold, the founder of the American Jewish women’s organization, Hadassah, and Judah Magnes, the American-born founder of Hebrew University, argued for the creation of a secular state in which neither Jews nor Arabs would have pride of place.

Put aside his mis-understandings of Buber and Magnes. Are we supposed to consider the devolution of the American Jewish community into open support for a militarized regime founded on ethnic cleansing and carrying out a sustained military occupation a good thing? Why should it be an “uncomfortable truth” that once the American Jewish community did not support Israel?

Beinart goes on to write of how Israel’s ethnocratic character “inevitably privileges its Jewish citizens over its non-Jewish ones.” Yet, all is A-OK: “Israel was created not merely to be a Jewish democracy, but to be a Jewish refuge.” So the Jewish insurance-patch of land in cis-Jordan justified the creation of differentiated citizenship, ongoing occupation, and originary ethnic cleansing?

Beinart should be aware that Jewish identitarian support for Israel is a fact that was created historically and it will be un-created historically. The fact that one time Jews were not a power elite, fully integrated into the American over-class with political inclinations to match,  and were once worried about persecution, concerned about social justice, and took their religious ideals and beliefs seriously is not history which should be shamefully stowed in the attic. It’s something of which to be proud. It suggests that Zionism is not coded into the Jewish DNA.

Does Beinart believe otherwise?

And is Beinart embarrassed that his ancestors were working-class shtetl dwellers who were the victims and refugees from pogroms? And if so, why? Why would Beinart be embarrassed that there was a time in American history when Jews were not oppressors? And what’s wrong with trying to return to that time, if this time with hands bloodied? If there are Jews who insist on retaining their identity as oppressors, perhaps we should leave them to it and work with others to break apart the bonds linking American Jewish identity to Israeli militarism and Israeli militarism to American power in the Middle East? After all, do lower-class or middle-class American Jews – that is, most American Jews – want to be part of a “people” whose identity was forged with Palestinian blood?

About Max Ajl

Max is a writer and activist. Follow him on Twitter: @maxajl.

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131 Responses

  1. clenchner
    May 11, 2011, 11:03 am

    “Nearly all Jewish Israelis believe in Zionism.” I’d amend that to something like “paying lip service to Zionism” is widespread, but large minorities of Israeli Jews are something else: the passive beneficiaries of a racist society. They violate the most sacred cows of Zionism with impunity by evading military service, emigrating from Israel, worshipping business over labor, and cultivating an urbane, rootless cosmopolitanism alongside a pro-forma loyalty to their home – the state of Israel. Many join the ranks of the ultra-Orthodox, whose ‘Zionism’ is mostly transactional, not ideological.

    The focus on Zionism as an ideological glue with real – as opposed to symbolic – importance is the province of ideologues, left and right. Not an object of sincere belief.

    And there’s a simple test: ask Israelis if they think Jews ‘should’ immigrate to Israel. This was once the most basic tenant. Nowadays, you are more likely to hear a wistful desire to make it in America.

    • Evildoer
      May 11, 2011, 3:01 pm

      That is assuming that the general structure of ideology is sincere belief. More often than not it isn’t. Like the landlord who says, “I personally wouldn’t mind renting to a black family, but my neighbors are such bigots, so you wouldn’t like it here anyway,” ideology often stands as the belief about the belief of the other.

      Consider the Zionist idea that turning Israel into a democracy will lead to a bloodbath. What is being said by those who say that?

      “I don’t mind having Arab neighbors. But my enlightened views are the exception. Most people in Israel, both Jews and Palestinians, are violent bigots. It is out of concern for their limitations that I oppose democracy and equality, not because I am personally against it.”

      This is how ideology works, not by sincere belief, but through the creation of a “common sense” about what other people believe.

      So the accurate formulation of the power of Zionist ideology is “most Jews believe that most Jews believe in Zionism.”

      • Thomson Rutherford
        May 11, 2011, 7:38 pm

        Evildoer writes,
        “This is how ideology works, not by sincere belief, but through the creation of a ‘common sense’ about what other people believe. So the accurate formulation of the power of Zionist ideology is ‘most Jews believe that most Jews believe in Zionism.’”

        That is definitely true in the conformist society of my roots in rural Texas (maybe not so true in a less-conformist, more-cosmopolitan society like, perhaps, NYC). Here “ideology”, such as it is, is a recursive feedback system, as you imply.

        [A side note: I saw your response to me on another thread apropos "City upon a Hill" = Mt. Zion. Didn't respond back because it was straying off the too-long track of that thread. But you misread me in an important respect: Nothing I said (or meant) indicated that there are not numerous and highly significant antecedents in the Hebrew scriptures for the canonical New Testament. My basic point was simply that (by standard Protestant interpretation) Winthrop lifted the phrase "City upon a Hill" directly from the Sermon on the Mount (a blatant case of plagiarism) , which was also the source of instruction for most of the rest of that sermon. Reread what I wrote.

        Also, a secondary point: As I briefly explained (from memory), Augustine's "De Civitate Dei" ("On the City of God") does NOT refer to Mt. Zion, nor to the earthly city of Jerusalem. It is concerned with an epic struggle between the City of Man (i.e., Rome, the capital of the Empire, recently discredited as the earthly "City of God", in the minds of the Romans of that day, because of desecration by barbarians) and the heavenly, spiritual City of God (by which he meant basically the Roman Catholic Church, and for which he drew for inspiration the description of the "New Jerusalem" appearing in the (Greek) Book of Revelations - not that appearing in the (Hebrew) Book of Ezekiel). Note that the "New Jerusalem" in the New Testament does not refer to the earthly city; it is a metaphor for "heaven". By comparison, it is my understanding that most Reform Jews think of the "New Jerusalem" of Hebrew sources as a spiritual, not actual place.]

        • Evildoer
          May 12, 2011, 10:51 am

          TR, the notions of the earthly city vs the heavenly city are taken from the Pauline distinction between the flesh and the spirit, which is the foundational idea of Christianity. The basis of that is in St. Paul’s description of those who recognized that Jesus came back from the dead as “the children of Abraham according to the spirit,” whereas Jews who do not recognize the resurrection are “the children of Abraham according to the flesh.” This is the fundamental theological move, (supercession) that founded Christianity, and is the essential background for St. Augustin’s idea of the earthy and the heavenly city. “The Heavenly Jerusalem” is the city of the new chosen people, just as the earthy Jerusalem was the city of the formerly chosen people.

          I also see no basis for the idea that the inspiration of Augustine was not in the Hebrew Bible. The key prophecies of Isaiah were read by the orthodox fathers of the church as prefiguring Christ, and that included the theme of “the light onto the nations” that will spill forth from Zion, an idea that is obviously evoked by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.

          So you cannot take the chosen people out of “the shining city on the hill” without bowdlerizing Christian theology.

      • Haytham
        May 11, 2011, 8:42 pm

        I believe I understand the thrust of your argument but you have presented absolutely no circumstantial, anecdotal or direct evidence for your position.

        You haven’t even identified the basis for your statement that “ideology often stands as the belief about the belief of the other.” Are you basing this on some type of scientific, sociological or psychological research or study?

        By the way, as for your hypothesis, I would argue that it is unsound. Surveys have shown that many Jewish Israelis do not want Arabs as neighbors or as fellow students. Also, anyone who has even the most basic knowledge of the political parties that are active in Israel could tell you that you are way off base. Israel is so polarized because racism runs very deep in Israeli society, and appears to only be getting worse.

        According to polling done in 2006, 68% of Jews would refuse to live in the same (apartment) building as an Arab. Forty-six percent would refuse to allow an Arab into their home as a guest. Forty-one percent support segregation of recreational areas. Fifty percent reported feeling fear or discomfort upon hearing Arabic spoken in their presence. Eighteen percent admitted to feeling “hate” upon hearing Arabic spoken.
        [http://www.haaretz.com/news/poll-68-of-jews-would-refuse-to-live-in-same-building-as-an-arab-1.183429]

        Sixty-four percent of Israeli teens aged 15 to 18 said in a small 2010 poll that Arab Israelis do not enjoy full equal rights in Israel, and from that group, 59 percent believe that Arabs should not have full equal rights. Fifty percent said that they would not be willing to be in a classroom that had one or more Arab students in it. Also, 32% stated that they would not participate in a classroom that had one or more “special needs students.” Twenty-three percent did not wish to be in a classroom with one or more homosexuals.
        [http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/poll-half-of-israeli-teens-don-t-want-arab-students-in-their-class-1.312479]

        • Evildoer
          May 12, 2011, 4:12 am

          I don’t dispute at all the the facts about Israeli racism. But when you go deeper and listen to how people make the case for their racist position, how they justify them, it is quite often in terms of the other’s belief. It begins with “I don’t mind living with them, but they want to throw us into the sea”, and through “racism is just natural. People want to live among their own. So it is better to keep apart,” and all the way through, “I don’t want to be against Arabs, but it is unpatriotic not to be against Arabs and therefore I have to be.”

          I am not arguing that racism doesn’t exist, but that it is foundational to racism itself that it refers back to a kind of common sense that is more important than what “I personally believe”. Of course a lot of people are personally racist. But the reference is there for them too. Even Wiesenfeld, when he started getting attacked, responded with “my grandmother would call Kushner a Kapo.”

          You won’t get that from polls, but if you read monographs that go deep into the racist consciousness, for example, overlooking Nazareth (Rabinovich), or even Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem, then this becomes clear.

    • Thomson Rutherford
      May 11, 2011, 5:09 pm

      “Nowadays, you are more likely to hear a wistful desire to make it in America.”

      My very close friend was one of the “chosen” ones, immigrating to America from Israel. If we could bring more of her kind of dedicated, universalist, anti-Zionist Jew here from Israel, it might reduce our problem with the Lobby. But, on the other hand, some of the weaker ones might get intimidated by the Zionist influences here.

  2. pabelmont
    May 11, 2011, 1:03 pm

    I suspect that most Jews in the USA who support Israel do not take the view that Israel was created by (illegal, immoral, fattening) “ethnic cleansing” (or relatively bloodless “ethnic dry-cleaning”) and do not know that Israel is breaking international law or in any way oppressing Palestinians in WB&G. Who would tell them such a thing and why would they believe such unpleasant things?

    Meanwhile, someone persuaded the “Jewish leaders” that Zionism was the best thing since sliced bread. Who will unconvince them?

  3. notatall
    May 11, 2011, 3:00 pm

    In Israel, “Jew” is a social identity. The Zionists took people from (Dan Senor says) seventy countries, of different appearances, speaking different languages, practicing different religions (or no religion at all), and assigned them the label “Jew” based on the fiction that they, and only they, are descended from the Biblical Abraham. The claim is so absurd that only Zionists and Nazis even pretend to take it seriously. The functional definition of “Jew” in “Israel” is someone who can be depended upon to police the indigenous people in return for official and unofficial privileges. (Even the Ethiopians, at the bottom of the “Jewish” pile alongside or slightly above the Russians, have access to privileges denied Palestinians.) The day the “Jews” of “Israel” (except for the religious minority who would be Jews in a particular, limited sense even without Zionism) decide to reject an identity based on the oppression of others, and learn to think of themselves as adoptive Palestinians, is the day they will begin to take part fully in the struggle for human freedom. If they can’t do that, then, as Helen Thomas said, they should go back where they came from.

    • Avi
      May 11, 2011, 6:56 pm

      (Even the Ethiopians, at the bottom of the “Jewish” pile alongside or slightly above the Russians, have access to privileges denied Palestinians.)

      Actually, Russian Jews in Israel — being white Europeans — are at the very top of what you called “pile”, just below western Jews. Ethiopian Jews remain at the very bottom, along with Yemeni Jews.

    • clenchner
      May 12, 2011, 11:05 am

      “assigned them the label “Jew” based on the fiction that they, and only they, are descended from the Biblical Abraham”

      Not exactly. The Jewish religion emphasizes the biblical covenant between Abraham and God, which by extension includes Jews/Hebrews who adhere to their side of the bargain. But it does not follow that Jews are necessarily descended from Abraham.
      First, we have the genetic whitewashing that occurred in the time of Ezra, after the return from Exile in Babylon. Then we have the relatively high incidence of conversation to Judaism (in the Rabbinic and Gospel versions) during Roman Empire times. Then we have stories about widespread conversion among the Khazar’s in the Middle Ages.
      Knowledgeable Jews and Zionists may on occasion emphasize the genetic aspects of being descended from Abraham, as a kind of collaborative fiction. But it’s well known to be fiction. Of far greater validity is the Cohenite gene marker, but that would only apply to a small fraction of genetic descendants in any case.

      So let’s not pretend that the Zionists care about blood the same way Nazis did. It’s factually untrue. They care about an entity that is well known to have fuzzy racial, ethnic, geographic, linguistic and religious boundaries.

      • Avi
        May 12, 2011, 1:44 pm

        I didn’t know Phil hired a Shamash for this here Bet Midrash.

        • clenchner
          May 12, 2011, 8:51 pm

          I didn’t know Phil hired a sneering contemptuous troll who most enjoys throwing potshots and making assumptions about people he doesn’t know.

        • Hu Bris
          May 13, 2011, 10:29 am

          @clenchner “I didn’t know Phil hired a sneering contemptuous troll who most enjoys throwing potshots and making assumptions about people he doesn’t know.”

          leave Hophmi out of this – it’s between you and Avi ;-)

        • clenchner
          May 13, 2011, 11:11 am

          Ha. If the shoe fits and all that….

  4. Les
    May 11, 2011, 4:21 pm

    Israelis searching for the long sought Jewish gene are studying the whitest of Europeans who might be Jews but don’t bother checking Ethiopian Jews. Knowing that the history of the Jews of Ethiopia goes back to ancient times, I can’t imagine why the lack of interest.

    • LeoBraun
      May 20, 2011, 10:39 pm

      “I had a former neighbor who was one of many royal refugees from Ethiopia, and was told that the Christian royal family defined themselves as black semites. That of course, ties in with the lineage they claim”! [Bumblebye]

      “The Ethopian Monarchy trace their ascendancy through the progeny of Sheba and David. Their Royal Crest is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. They happen to be Copts but there are earlier traditions. The Ark of The Covenant is said to be housed in Adis Ababa”! [Demize]

      • Likewise my inquisitive mind led me to explore the ancient nobility roots in Ethiopia, to discover as a result the cradle of the Solomonic blood aristocracy (Russian monarchy evolved from). Where local rulers were known by the titles of Negus (king) or Amir (emir). While the sovereign Negusa Negest (king of kings) ranked in the West as an Emperor.

      One had to be elevated to the rank of Negus by the imperial decree, yet Ras (Raj/Ra/Rex) was usually hereditary, the highest noble rank in the Solomonic blood titles. What stands in the Russian language for the number one (ras). Followed by Kenyaz of the amazing connotation to the Tsarist Russian title of a prince (grand duke). Followed by the Ethiopian nobility title of Woiz’dz (leader), contemporarily used terminology in Russia.

      Optical acuity gifted should proceed to explore the mirrored reflection of the title Ras, as immediately Sar comes into focus. Synonymous apparently with the title of Sar (minister) in Hebrew, also found in the Sar-ha-Hutz (foreign minister). Conceivably a very popular name of Sarah derived from. Closely followed by the Russian imperial title of the Tsar, and derived likewise Russian communist title of the Commissar. Not before the Roman Caesar and the imperial Kaiser titles emanated.

  5. hophmi
    May 11, 2011, 4:39 pm

    “from its genesis Zionism was an outgrowth of European race-thinking, and developed as a white supremacist ideology. ”

    This is such complete bullshit. There was nothing white supremacist about Zionist ideology. One look at Israel today makes nonsense out that idea. It is the most racially diverse society in the Middle East, by far.

    “In Israel, Zionism is the social glue holding together a society in which the Ashkenazi over-class composes just 25 percent of the population and even within Israel is ruling over a majority that it covertly or overtly despises or that its forefathers sprayed with pesticide, as the Ashkenazi founders did to the Iraqi immigrants when they arrived in Israel.”

    Welcome to 1960. Unfortunately, it’s 2011, and this narrative does not reflect reality. The Ashkenazis are far from an overclass. There are plenty of successful Mizrachim, and plenty who have served in high positions, from Moshe Katsav to Amir Peretz to Fuad Ben-Eliezer.

    “Nearly all Jewish Israelis believe in Zionism.”

    ROTFLMAO. Define Zionism. Define what Zionism means to Israelis, other than the right to Jewish self-determination.

    “and not focused on the fact that the new robber-barons of Wall Street are destroying the fabric of American society while Madison Avenue bank accounts grow fatter and fatter and working class Americans die and die again in the wars that keep the arms companies plush with contracts.”

    Grow up. Please, grow up. Communism is dead. It died a long time ago. There are many problems America has. They are not all the fault of Wall Street, and Wall Street is not especially with Americans.

    “For example, the Israeli economy is doing even worse than the American one, at least, if we use measures like Gross Domestic Product (GDP). ”

    The income disparity in Israel is growing, as it is here. Other than that, Israel’s economy is doing very well. Per capita GDP is $29,500, one of the highest in the world. Unemployment is low. Israel’s GDP has grown steadily for years. And this is in an economy with a haredi sector where most of the men choose not to work. Your view is not supported by any reputable economist that I know of.

    “Ethiopian immigrants will get treated like human filth”

    Substantiate this. I willingly concede there is racism in Israeli society. But this is way over the top.

    “The fact that one time Jews were not a power elite, fully integrated into the American over-class with political inclinations to match, and were once worried about persecution, concerned about social justice, and took their religious ideals and beliefs seriously is not history which should be shamefully stowed in the attic. It’s something of which to be proud.”

    Here we get to the real reason for a lot of anti-Jewish animosity here. It’s the old Communist/National Socialist antisemitism about the Jewish capitalists and the Jewish financiers. But being persecuted – that’s what we should strive for, right Max?

    “Why would Beinart be embarrassed that there was a time in American history when Jews were not oppressors? ”

    Jews aren’t oppressors now, Max.

    • Avi
      May 11, 2011, 7:04 pm

      hophmi May 11, 2011 at 4:39 pm

      “from its genesis Zionism was an outgrowth of European race-thinking, and developed as a white supremacist ideology. ”

      This is such complete bullshit. There was nothing white supremacist about Zionist ideology. One look at Israel today makes nonsense out that idea. It is the most racially diverse society in the Middle East, by far.

      It must be all the pollen in the air that’s causing you this allergic reaction. Your comments have gone from employing spin and obfuscation to simply plagiarizing tourism brochures.

    • Les
      May 11, 2011, 7:15 pm

      Depending on its sources, ethnocentrism can often be properly described as (applied) white racism. Similarly, Zionism in theory may not be racist but in practice it is.

    • Haytham
      May 11, 2011, 8:49 pm

      You are intellectually dishonest.

      So…there is diversity in Israel and “Mizrachim” have served in “high” political positions. Congratulations on noticing!

      The United States is also a diverse place. Barack Obama being elected POTUS means that as of 2008 African-Americans are no longer discriminated against in the United States. They have achieved economic and social equality!! Someone should let the African-Americans in this country know that. You care to take that job?

      • hophmi
        May 12, 2011, 8:47 am

        “Barack Obama being elected POTUS means that as of 2008 African-Americans are no longer discriminated against in the United States. They have achieved economic and social equality!! ”

        It is you who is being dishonest. I didn’t say there was no racism in Israeli society. I took issue with Max’s characterization of Israel as a place with an Ashkenaz over-class and a place where Ethiopians are treated like filth.

    • RoHa
      May 11, 2011, 9:16 pm

      “There are many problems America has. They are not all the fault of Wall Street,”

      But a lot of them are.

      “and Wall Street is not especially with Americans. ”

      True. The frauds of Wall Street have managed to bugger up the global economy.

      • hophmi
        May 12, 2011, 8:48 am

        Should have said “Wall Street is not especially popular with Americans.”

    • Ellen
      May 12, 2011, 3:44 am

      “Other than that, Israel’s economy is doing very well. Per capita GDP is $29,500, one of the highest in the world.”

      The US is bankrupt. Israel is rich! Can Israel please send us 3 billion in aid?

      • Lightbringer
        May 12, 2011, 8:17 am

        Hmmm
        Lets see

        Population of USA is over 300 millions, so $3 billion in aid is $10 per every USA cilizen
        Population of Israel in almost 8 millions, so it’s about $375 per every Israeli citizen.

        Well, don’t worry American, we will help you. somehow.

  6. Lightbringer
    May 11, 2011, 5:15 pm

    “By 1997 …”

    It really amazes me how people build entire conspiracy theories based on few separated events 15 years ago.

    It feels nice kicking Zionists, is it?

    • Avi
      May 11, 2011, 7:05 pm

      What are you talking about? You went from using “You’re an anti-Semite” to silence people, to shouting “conspiracy theory” to do the same. Let me guess, your next tactic will employ the phrase “You’re a self-hating Jew”. No? Oh, that one’s already been used? Well, I don’t know what to tell you. It’s time you came up with a new one. Be creative now, I’m sure you can come up with something.

      • Lightbringer
        May 11, 2011, 9:48 pm

        I think you are confusing me with somebody else.

        Self-hating Jew LOL

        What am I talking about? About people discussing matters they have no clue about.

        I think one of main problems with peace process in this region is that 99.9999% of activists, politicians, lawmakers and others are just clueless amateurs who have no idea what they are dealing with. Basically, that’s the reason why situation is worsening over time.

        • Avi
          May 12, 2011, 12:11 am

          Lightbringer May 11, 2011 at 9:48 pm

          What am I talking about? About people discussing matters they have no clue about.

          But, don’t tell anyone about those “matters” or those “clues”. If you explained your position, it will no longer be a secret.

          Incidentally, I suggest that you try and be a little more vague next time. Again, by providing so many details, you are exposing a secret about which only you know.

          Let me put it this way, no one likes a whistle-blower, OK?

        • Lightbringer
          May 12, 2011, 7:31 am

          Actually I’ve told about these matters and clues n the very first post – “It really amazes me how people build entire conspiracy theories based on few separated events 15 years ago.”

          However reading opponent’s comments apparently is not respected among “human rights activists” so I’m really not going to spend my precious time in vane trying to explain obvious.

        • MRW
          May 13, 2011, 9:19 pm

          Ahhh, Settler English. (re: Lightbringer)

        • annie
          May 13, 2011, 10:24 pm

          Ahhh, Settler English.

          what tipped you off? could it have been “human rights activists”

    • Haytham
      May 11, 2011, 9:24 pm

      Isn’t it interesting how some people are constantly asserting that they are being “kicked,” no matter how much evidence exists to the contrary?

      Zionists are like the proverbial imperialist soldier with his boot on the defenseless villager’s neck and a machine gun to his head, pleading self-defense.

      Or, come to think of it, as Glenn Greenwald recently wrote, quoting Noam Chomsky’s Imperial Ambitions, “You have your jackboot on someone’s neck and they’re about to destroy you.”

      Chomsky continues:

      “The same is true with any form of oppression. And it’s psychologically understandable. If you’re crushing and destroying someone, you have to have a reason for it, and it can’t be, “I’m a murderous monster.” It has to be self-defense. “I’m protecting myself against them. Look what they’re doing to me.” Oppression gets psychologically inverted; the oppressor is the victim who is defending himself.”

      That’s Zionism, in a nutshell.

      • Lightbringer
        May 11, 2011, 10:04 pm

        You didn’t get what I was trying to say. Never mind tho.

        Yeah
        Amazing, Isn’t it?

        What I really don’t understand is why Zionists provide medical services to Palestinians. Really not a proper way to conduct genocide.

        You know what amazes me the most?
        Arab/Jew exchange rate. It really shows everything.

        1 alive Jewish drug dealer + 3 dead Jewish soldiers cost 435 Palestinian Freedom-fighters.
        2 dead Israeli soldiers cost 1 alive Freedom-fighter + 200 dead Freedom-fighters
        Now, next deal is to exchange 1 alive Israeli soldiers with 2000 alive Freedom-fighters.

        • Chaos4700
          May 11, 2011, 10:25 pm

          Oh, you Israelis and your so-called “Jewish fingernails,” as a rather infamous Zionist rabbi put it. When are you going to get it through your skulls that Palestinians are not sub-human and you cannot, in fact, treat them the same way Nazis treated Jews?

        • Lightbringer
          May 11, 2011, 11:07 pm

          I could’ve tell you that in fact you are wrong because Palestinians live much better than Egyptians of Jordanians, but you wouldn’t care because it won’t fit in your universe.

          Which is totally fine by me actually – the dogs bark, but the caravan goes on.

        • Avi
          May 12, 2011, 12:19 am

          Lightbringer May 11, 2011 at 11:07 pm

          I could’ve tell you that in fact you are wrong because Palestinians live much better than Egyptians of Jordanians,

          You type those lies and then have the gall to claim that I have you confused with someone else?

          No, I have got you pegged.

          Incidentally, you are a lightbringer the same way Zionism is a light unto the nations.

          And since you have delusions of granduer what with your over-abundance of “clues” and understanding of complex “matters”, you might want to watch this …ahummm …documentary.

        • Lightbringer
          May 12, 2011, 7:52 am

          Avi
          You really should think twice before calling anybody a “liar”
          Internet is not that anonymous.

          P.S. Since you are not interested in facts I’ve provided link to one social study

          link to icph.birzeit.edu

          Check page 970
          It says there that child death rate on Occupied Territories is among lowest in the whole world (which in my personal opinion is totally wrong. We are committing genocide or what?)

        • Theo
          May 12, 2011, 8:25 am

          “palestinians live better ……..

          So does the hamster of my daughter cpmpairing it to the wild ones. However, it lives in a cage all it´s life.
          Most people would like to run free, even if they may be hungry sometimes, than live on a leash with full stomuck.

        • Avi
          May 12, 2011, 10:17 am

          Check page 970
          It says there that child death rate on Occupied Territories is among lowest in the whole world (which in my personal opinion is totally wrong. We are committing genocide or what?)

          OK, I’ll break it down for you since you seem hard of understanding.

          Suppose for a moment that some mugger attacked you in a dark alley, stabbed you in the stomach and slashed your face. Then when you cried in pain and agony, he responded by saying:

          “Hey you, what are you whining about? You should consider yourself lucky. Two blocks away another mugger just butchered someone to death. Consider yourself lucky and quit whining”.

          Would that make it OK in your book? I mean, after all, things could always be worse.

          Along the same lines of this ludicrous logic of yours, someone might say:

          “You know what? Hitler wasn’t so bad. I mean, sure he killed some Jews and stuff. But, he didn’t kill ALL the Jews. Know what I mean? So, this holocaust business isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, you know?

          That you are engaging in such silly, dimwitted rhetorical theatrics with some Hasbara you scooped from the toilets of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, speaks volumes about you and your character.

        • Lightbringer
          May 12, 2011, 2:00 pm

          Nice analogies you have. Just a little bit inconsistent with reality, but otherwise just fine.

          Karel Capek – I’m not sure anybody here ever heard this name, after all freedom fighters tend to be not overly educated – have had written about 100 years ago an essay regarding rules of discussions in newspapers.
          link to books.google.com

          It’s dazzling how precisely you are following his rules.
          Nice training lol.

        • tree
          May 12, 2011, 6:53 pm

          It says there that child death rate on Occupied Territories is among lowest in the whole world

          You are wrong. Checking page 970 and page 969 on your link, the figures DO NOT say that the child death rate in the OT “is among the lowest in the whole world”. It does not even say that the child death rate is the lowest in Arab states. This is what it says:

          Table 2 shows the mortality rates for infants and children younger than 5 years in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the percentage change with time. In the occupied
          Palestinian territory, mortality rates for 2002–06 were
          27·6 deaths per 1000 livebirths for infants and 31·6 deaths
          per 1000 livebirths for children younger than 5 years.
          Table 3 and panel 1 show sources and methods for
          calculation of the mortality rates. After decades of
          improvement, infant mortality in the occupied Palestinian
          territory has not fallen much since around 1990 (panel 2),
          and mortality rates in children less than 5 years of age have
          changed little during this time. In fact, between 1990
          and 2005, the occupied Palestinian territory has had the
          smallest reduction in mortality rates among children
          younger than 5 years compared with Arab countries
          (figure 1).
          Even countries with lower infant mortality rates,
          such as the United Arab Emirates, than those in the
          occupied Palestinian territory have had a larger decrease. A
          close look at components of the infant mortality rate shows
          that an apparent increase in neonatal mortality (death in
          the first 28 days) occurred between 1990–94 and 2002–06
          (table 2). However, these changes were not significant.

          The slow down in the reduction of infant mortality could
          be attributed to several reasons, including changes in the
          causes of death and deterioration in health conditions. The
          causes of infant mortality have changed, such that
          infectious and diarrhoeal diseases are no longer leading
          causes. The main causes of infant deaths are now
          prematurity and low birthweight, and congenital malformations.50 As such, additional intervention strategies requiring increased intensive specialist care and financial
          investments might be needed to reduce infant mortality further. At the same time, the political and economic contexts should be considered—namely, the deterioration
          in Gaza community health services51 and hospitals,52 and the restrictions on access to tertiary centres in Israel and East Jerusalem for at-risk pregnancies and sick neonates.53

          The rest of the report does nothing to prove your point and much to disprove it, LB.

          And Figure 1, which lists the decrease in child (under 5) mortality of the Arab states as well, shows that the 2005 rate in the OT is WORSE(higher mortality) than most Arab states, including being worse than Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, UAE, Lebanon, Jordan, Bahrain, Tunisia, Saudi arabia, Syria, Libya, and Algeria.

          The 2005 rate in the OT is better (less mortality) than the 2005 rate in Egypt, Iraq. Morocco, Yemen and Sudan, but Egypt’s rate in 2005 is approaching the OT rate and has made a significant decrease from 1990 to 2005 (drop of 70 per 1000) and in 2011 may, if that trend has continued, be lower than that of the OT. Although slightly higher than Egypt’s rate and with a less precipitous fall, Morocco may be in the same situation, i.e. a lower rate than the OT as of 2011. And likewise for Iraq’s 2005, which was higher than Egypt’s or Morocco’s but shows the same rapidly decreasing trend (which the OT rate does not have). It too could possibly be equal to or better than the OT rate in 2011.
          The only two Arab states with assuredly higher rates in 2011 would be Yemen and the Sudan.

          Either you didn’t read the survey yourself and simply linked it because some hasbara idiot posted it elsewhere, or you can’t read tables or understand medical terminology, or you posted something that you hoped no one would read so you could falsely claim it supported your claim. Which is it?

        • Lightbringer
          May 12, 2011, 9:32 pm

          It is something else actually.
          “In fact, between 1990
          and 2005, the occupied Palestinian territory has had the
          *smallest* reduction in mortality rates among children
          younger than 5 years compared with Arab countries
          (figure 1)”
          Smallest reduction. Remember that.

          Now, figure 1 on page 24 of this newer document: link to unesco.de
          See, in 2010 only 6 Arab countries, have had better infant mortality rates.

          Remember that “smallest reduction”?
          Known facts are:
          Mortality reduction rate on OPT was lowest among all Arab countries.
          Mortality rate is still among the lowest in Arab countries.
          Conclusion?
          Mortality rate on OPT is one of the lowest in Arab world since before 1990, which confirms my point.

          BTW, the fact that literacy is widespread among Palestinian women is of no interest. No oppression – no story, right?
          ___________________OPT Jordan Lebanon Syria Egypt
          Aged ≥15 years and literate 88·9 84·7 86·3 75·4 43·6

          Which is it?
          ROFL.

        • piotr
          May 12, 2011, 10:25 pm

          Simply false. You skip all Gulf states. Lebanon and Tunesia are roughly the same.

          And you skip the stats of stunted growth of children in Gaza. Famous “taking Palestinian on diet” in health stats. And direct effect of very deliberate policy of Israel.

        • Avi
          May 13, 2011, 1:25 am

          Lightbringer May 12, 2011 at 2:00 pm

          after all freedom fighters tend to be not overly educated

          Since you are looking for comic relief, I find it hilarious that everything about you, including your username, drips with smugness stemming from your delusions of grandeur, and yet you remain oblivious, and your grammar, broken.

        • annie
          May 13, 2011, 1:35 am

          oblivious? i don’t think so. the username, smugness, air of grandeur..it is all calculated and part of a game. one i generally just ignore.

        • tree
          May 13, 2011, 2:13 am

          Lightbringer, apparently my assumption number two was the correct one to make about you. You don’t understand how to read tables nor do you understand medical terminology.

          “In fact, between 1990 and 2005, the occupied Palestinian
          territory has had the *smallest* reduction in mortality rates among children younger than 5 years compared with Arab countries (figure 1)”
          Smallest reduction. Remember that.

          What is meant by the “smallest reduction” in mortality rates is that infant and child mortality IMPROVED over the intervening years by a LESSER RATE than it did in ALL OTHER ARAB COUNTRIES. Having the “smallest reduction” in mortality rates is not a good thing. It is a negative. In infant and child mortality rates one would normally seek a reduction, as opposed to an increase. And a large reduction is preferable over a small one, not the other way around. Apparently you don’t understand that, and so you are making a fool of yourself.

          Remember that “smallest reduction”?
          Known facts are:
          Mortality reduction rate on OPT was lowest among all Arab countries.
          Mortality rate is still among the lowest in Arab countries.
          Conclusion?
          Mortality rate on OPT is one of the lowest in Arab world since before 1990, which confirms my point.

          Sweetie, the “lowest mortality reduction RATE” is not the same as the “lowest mortality rate”. Don’t even try to make any assertions until you can understand the difference. You just make yourself look like a stupid f*ck. Or an “ace” with two “s” ‘s, as they say.

          The tables in the link you provided dispute your faulty “conclusion”. Number one, they show that a majority of Arab countries have lower mortality rates than the OT, as I mentioned above. Number two, having the “lowest mortality REDUCTION rate” in the OT means that mortality figures improved MORE in EVERY OTHER ARAB COUNTRY than they did in the OT. Again, this is not a positive thing for the OT. It is a net negative in relation to all other Arab countries, and totally refutes your assertion.

          ROFL

          And looking like a stupid *ss with egg on your face. LLASAWEOYF?

        • clenchner
          May 13, 2011, 6:48 am

          What a great list. I imagined that it must exist, and there it is! Yes, it describes so many of the contributions here, as if someone were picking from a list how on best to debase oneself in pen fighting.

        • Lightbringer
          May 13, 2011, 9:37 am

          *facepalm*

          Hate blinds you, meine Freund.

          I’ll explain it once more, especially for those with… ehm… special needs.

          So…

          **Mortality reduction rate on OPT was lowest among all Arab countries.**
          Which means number of childed dying every year at childbirth decreased with slowest pace.
          Right?

          **Mortality rate is still among the lowest in Arab countries.**
          Which means there is only 6 (six) Arab countries with less children dying at childbirth than in OPT.
          Right?

          Good, good.

          Now…

          You are saying that “having the “lowest mortality REDUCTION rate” in the OT means that mortality figures improved MORE in EVERY OTHER ARAB COUNTRY than they did in the OT.”
          Right.
          You are totally correct.

          But there it just on tiny fact you stubbornly ignoring:

          Even after that major improvement in other Arab countries OPT still have one of lowest mortality rating, meaning that BEFORE the improvement mortality rate on OPT war actually lowest among all Arab countries, as you can see it on figure 2.

          Which in it’s turn prove my point.

        • Lightbringer
          May 13, 2011, 10:26 am

          “… and your grammar, broken.”

          Good to see you, Cap.

        • clenchner
          May 13, 2011, 10:30 am

          HDI score for OT: 0.737
          Jordan: 0.681
          Egypt: 0.620
          Syria: 0.589
          Lebanon: 0.803
          Israel: 0.872

          None of these stats justify the occupation. But they show that lightbringer was being factually accurate, so Avi’s accusation that he was lying is a lot of noise and no light.

          Pretty easy to look up. link to en.wikipedia.org

          Note that the HDI measurement isn’t purely economic, it’s a comprehensive score quite distinct from things like GDP.

        • Lightbringer
          May 13, 2011, 10:32 am

          “…one i generally just ignore.”

          Pity.

        • Woody Tanaka
          May 13, 2011, 11:16 am

          Clencher,

          The figure for Palestine is for 1997 (i.e., pre-Cast Lead). That must be taken into consideration.

        • clenchner
          May 13, 2011, 11:45 am

          You mean 2007. Yeah. It’s not like the situation is acceptable or anything. Addressing living standards and such is a way that pro-occupation people try and justify things. But denying stats is just silly, makes our camp look bad.
          Palestinians are better off economically than most of the non-oil rich Arab world (sans Gaza). And that doesn’t make the occupation or Israeli racism any less worthy of opposition.
          I mean, Mexicans in the US are better off economically than the villages they left behind. How could that be a justification for anti-Mexican racism?

        • kapok
          May 13, 2011, 12:40 pm

          Hate doesn’t blind me. I admit it openly, nor will I tart it up with a patina of humanitas.

        • Mooser
          May 13, 2011, 1:45 pm

          “I mean, Mexicans in the US are better off economically than the villages they left behind.”

          Wow, we are so lucky to have a polymath like you here, Clenchner!
          The places you have been, the things you know! Just, like wow!

        • Woody Tanaka
          May 13, 2011, 2:24 pm

          Yes, I did. When you get to be my age, one decade looks like the next…

          I agree with your point and would even go beyond your point and say that using the remainder of the “Arab world” as a metric is foolish and borderline bigoted.

          The Palestinians’ situation should be compared, primarily, to the Israelis, as Israel has occupied the WB and Gaza for 40 years and had it in its complete power to equalize the treatment of the Israelis and Palestinians. They are the natural comparison.

          Next, it is proper to compare them to immediate non-Israeli neighbors: the Jordanians, Egyptians, Syrians and Lebanese. Beyond that, only bigotry would make anyone believe that comparisons to Moroccans is any way more appropriate than comparisons to, say, Argentineans.

        • tree
          May 13, 2011, 2:51 pm

          Even after that major improvement in other Arab countries OPT still have one of lowest mortality rating…

          This is a bald faced lie and your own linked sources prove you wrong. Why do you keep insisting on a lie?

          LB, from your link on infant and child mortality rate at page 970, it lists a comparison of 17 Arab countries and the Occupied Territories in mortality reduction rate from 1990 to 2005 in children younger than 5 showing both the rates in 1990(on the rightmost side of the blue bar), the rates in 2005(the leftmost side of the blue bar) and the difference between them (indicated by the length of the blue bar and the number within the bar).

          **Mortality rate is still among the lowest in Arab countries.**

          You keep saying that but the sources you cite dispute that. Saying it over and over again will not make it true.( IAlthough I note you have altered your claim from “the lowest” to “one of the lowest”, but your new twist is still untrue.)

          Which means there is only 6 (six) Arab countries with less children dying at childbirth than in OPT.
          Right?

          You got it backwards. As I mentioned before, your own cited table shows that, of the 17 Arab countries listed, only 6 had WORSE 2005 figures than the OT, and 11 had 2005 figures BETTER than the OT. This does NOT constitute the OT having “only of the lowest” child mortality rates, when nearly twice as many have lower scores as the number with worse scores. Only someone trying desperately to make the figures fit his hypothesis would claim otherwise.

          In 1990, the OPT had a relatively better score than all but 5 of the 17 listed Arab countries. But in a list of 18, being number 6 does not really qualify as being among the “lowest” by any standard statistical measure. And then by 2005, because of its smaller reduction in mortality rates it has lost so much ground on 6 other additional Arab states (Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Libya) that they now have better scores than the OT, so it is now at number 12 of 18. Ad yet you keep claiming that it has “one of the lowest” rates. Your denial of the figures is what is exceedingly and stupidly ignorant. Maybe a few more “facepalms” executed on your part might help you to absorb the fact than being listed 12 out of 18 disproves your statement.

          Even your new link does not support your contention. On page 20 it has a table on infant mortality in 2007, listing 14 Arab countries and the OT. However there are no figures for the OT listed (and likewise with Iraq). But we have the 2005 OT figures from your other link of 26.7 per 1000 live births, so even if we were exceedingly generous and extrapolated an improvement of 4 in 2 years (equaling twice the total improvement over the 15 years from 1990-2005!), that puts the OT figures squarely at number 9 out of 15, which does not in any sense equate to ” the lowest” as you originally claimed before you were called on your lie, and it doesn’t even qualify as your newly revised “one of the lowest”.

          As a side note, for your edification, this:

          Which means number of childed dying every year at childbirth decreased with slowest pace.

          …is a faulty understanding of the medical term “infant mortality”. It DOES NOT refer to deaths at childbirth (otherwise known as stillbirths) at all. Infant mortality is measured per 1000 live births and indicates how many of those live infants died within the first year of life. Five year mortality, or child mortality, measures how many of those children have died within the first 5 years of life.

        • tree
          May 13, 2011, 3:51 pm

          But they show that lightbringer was being factually accurate, so Avi’s accusation that he was lying is a lot of noise and no light.

          No, LB was being factually wrong when he said this:

          Check page 970
          It says there that child death rate on Occupied Territories is among lowest in the whole world

          Page 970 says nothing of the sort. Not even close. Read the link he provided.

          If you are going to claim that LB is being accurate here then you are out to lunch.

          Note that the HDI measurement isn’t purely economic, it’s a comprehensive score quite distinct from things like GDP.

          You’re right. It includes life expectancy, literacy, education and standard of living.

          Since the Palestinians have historically been comparatively speaking highly literate and well-educated, dating to well before 1948, those two categories serve to distort the economic reality in the OT vis-a-vis Jordan and Egypt in the HDI index. And one must remember that Egypt (and Jordan) are mostly desert countries so they are a poor comparison to the OT because of their geographical limitations on economic growth. The more geographically comparable Arab country to the OT would be Lebanon, which despite being decimated by Israel in 2006, and despite being occupied itself for 20 years by Israel, has a higher 2009 HDI than does the OT (its just about midway between the two).

        • Lightbringer
          May 14, 2011, 7:44 am

          Tree
          Educated Palestinians ROFLMAOAAA
          Go and read Samuel Clemens’ book “The Innocents Abroad”

          P.S. Lebanon could hardly be considered an Arab country because LARGE part of it’s population are not Arabs at all.

          You really should learn at least something about the region.

        • Donald
          May 14, 2011, 10:49 am

          Lightbringer, I came back to see if you would be honest about losing the argument. The answer is no. It’s what I expected. Your post here (May 14, 7:44 AM) doesn’t respond to any of tree’s cited statistics and you have nothing to say except to cite Mark Twain’s book from the late 1800′s, which is not exactly a serious source regarding the level of Palestinian educational attainments.

        • Hostage
          May 14, 2011, 11:12 am

          Go and read Samuel Clemens’ book “The Innocents Abroad”.. ..You really should learn at least something about the region.

          I’ve read Innocents Abroad, but it was written way back in the 19th century to poke fun at Americans and their doctrine of “Manifest Destiny” in the wake of the internecine slaughter of the American Civil War. The publishers forward described it as “a satiric, comic burlesque of Holy-Land travel books and an irreverent send-up of self-satisfied sanctimoniousness”.

          Clemens was a founding member of the American Anti-Imperialist League. He used the first Chapter of Tom Sawyer Abroad to ridicule the beliefs of Christians and Jews who thought that the Holy Land should be redeemed from the Arabs who owned it by force. Do you recommend reading that too?

          Hilton Obenzinger said that even though it ought to be apparent that Innocents abroad was utterly fictive, Twain’s representations of Palestine as a hopeless, dreary, heartbroken land in sack cloth and ashes continues to be cited in descriptions of 19th century Palestine, but not because his observations were accurate. See “American Palestine: Melville, Twain, and the Holy Land Mania”, Princeton University Press, 1999, page 166

          The Lancet has published in depth studies on the adverse impact of the Israeli occupation on Palestinian society and health. It is a lot more revealing than tables of statistical information.

          * link to thelancet.com

          * link to thelancet.com

        • Lightbringer
          May 14, 2011, 3:42 pm

          “a satiric, comic burlesque of Holy-Land travel books and an irreverent send-up of self-satisfied sanctimoniousness” does not necessarily mean author was not factually correct.
          Basically, now you are calling Mr. Clemens a liar.
          Well, whatever. But don’t be surprised if his ghost will come to haunt you one night.

        • Lightbringer
          May 14, 2011, 5:11 pm

          “Your post here (May 14, 7:44 AM) doesn’t respond to any of tree’s cited statistics and you have nothing to say except to cite Mark Twain’s book from the late 1800′s, which is not exactly a serious source regarding the level of Palestinian educational attainments.”

          Cited statistics…
          Document 1 – link to icph.birzeit.edu
          Document 2 – link to unesco.de

          Doc#1, fig. 1 states that by 2005 mortality rate in children younger than 5 years in OPT was 32 or 33 per 1000
          At the same time Doc#2 states that at 2010 same rate for OPT was about 20 per 1000

          Before I continue would you please tell me whether this statistical data is correct in both cases?

        • Donald
          May 14, 2011, 5:52 pm

          I won’t play your game, lightbringer. Make your point or don’t make it.

          Here’s a couple of links to year by year estimates of the infant mortality rate in Gaza, Jordan, and the West Bank. They are comparable (Gaza is the worst, then Jordan, then the WB) and they all show a downward trend. The point of the blockade was to make the Gazans suffer and to establish a difference between the economic levels of the WB and Gaza–it seems to have succeeded.

          Jordan

          Gaza

          WB

          I gotta say, though, I’m not sure about the reliability of these figures. Here’s a link to China, and the big drop from 2009 to 2010 seems suspicious. But anyway, drops seem to be the norm–

          China

        • Lightbringer
          May 14, 2011, 8:38 pm

          Of course you won’t play my game.
          Because if you do you’ll have to avow a couple of rather unpleasant facts.
          Whatever.

          P.S. What is the point in establishing a difference between the economic levels of the WB and Gaza?

        • Hostage
          May 14, 2011, 11:24 pm

          Lightbringer,

          Every reliable source says that the Israeli occupation has been detrimental to the Palestinian economy, their health, and their educational attainments. It is irrelevant to compare them with other Arab states, since the question is whether they would have been better-off without the draconian measures imposed by the illegal Israeli administrative regime which violates their fundamental human rights on a daily basis.

          You suggested that we read Innocents Abroad, although it is completely irrelevant to a knowledge of the region or educational attainment of the Palestinian people. The members of the PNA Cabinet include many members with earned PhDs from Western institutions. So let’s dispense with comments like “Educated Palestinians ROFLMAOAAA”.

          Since its inception in the 1990 Human Development Report (HDR), the Human Development Index (HDI) has been very controversial. It was set up to replace Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as the main gauge of development. In any event, Palestinian GDP and GNP per capita is one of the lowest in the world when adjusted for the contributions of the AHLC donor countries.

        • Hostage
          May 14, 2011, 11:42 pm

          Basically, now you are calling Mr. Clemens a liar.

          Mr. Clemens readily admitted that he was a liar.

        • Lightbringer
          May 15, 2011, 4:04 am

          “Mr. Clemens readily admitted that he was a liar.”
          Well, it’s a lie.
          “I realize that in a sudden emergency I am but a poor clumsy liar, whereas a fine alert and capable emergency-liar is the only sort that is worth anything in a sick-chamber.
          – Mark Twain’s Autobiography”
          “A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar.
          Mark Twain and I by Opie Read”

        • Lightbringer
          May 15, 2011, 5:05 am

          “Every reliable source says that the Israeli occupation has been detrimental to the Palestinian economy, their health, and their educational attainments.”

          “Reliable” huh
          Before I continue there’s one tiny reliability test needs to be undertaken.

          Document 1 – link to icph.birzeit.edu
          Document 2 – link to unesco.de

          Doc#1, fig. 1 states that by 2005 mortality rate in children younger than 5 years in OPT was 32 or 33 per 1000
          At the same time Doc#2 states that at 2010 same rate for OPT was about 20 per 1000

          Question: Which of these two documents in not reliable?
          —————————————————————-
          PNA cabinet has nothing to do with pre-WWII Palestine
          —————————————————————-
          Innocents Abroad displays perfectly well what were public health conditions in Palestine before WWII
          —————————————————————-
          As of GDP and GNP – Palestinians prefer freedom-fighting to hard-working.

        • Lightbringer
          May 15, 2011, 5:23 am

          GDP you say?
          A perfect example
          link to haaretz.com

          So what’s going to happen now? I’ll tell you what – few thousand of Palestinians who are working in Israel will immediately lose their jobs. I have a friend who employs two Palestinian truck drivers, and I will personally ensure none of them keeps their job;
          Much less Israelis will come shopping to Palestinian villages and as a result – GDP will drop by another percent or two.

        • Haytham
          May 15, 2011, 12:31 pm

          I have a friend who employs two Palestinian truck drivers, and I will personally ensure none of them keeps their job

          Tell me, is the craving for collective punishment located in the chromosomes, attached to Zionist DNA?

          It certainly seems that way.

          In other news, a college student punched my brother today so I just went on campus and had the first twenty students I saw expelled. That should really teach them.

        • annie
          May 15, 2011, 12:56 pm

          I have a friend who employs two Palestinian truck drivers, and I will personally ensure none of them keeps their job

          does your friend always follow your instructions. you must be very powerful.

          adam and phil, i am so over this poster.

        • Bumblebye
          May 15, 2011, 1:11 pm

          muckbringer:
          I assume if your “friend” doesn’t follow your orders, you will orchestrate his ostracism within your community. That is how it’s done aint it?

        • Lightbringer
          May 15, 2011, 1:23 pm

          “does your friend always follow your instructions. you must be very powerful.”
          Not always, far from that.
          But it’s rather easy – especially after a terrorist attack – to talk someone who employ Arabs that one of his employees might kill him or his relatives or just somebody random, one day.

        • Chaos4700
          May 15, 2011, 3:21 pm

          Ooh, right, Lightbringer, because that’s a universal racial truth about African Americans Jews Arabs. And that’s why it’s morally just when you enslave them put them in concentration camps take their homes and property by force of arms.

          Have you thought about freelancing, Lightbringer? There are an awful lot of racists who could use someone as persistent as you.

        • Hostage
          May 15, 2011, 4:17 pm

          Question: Which of these two documents in not reliable?

          Lightbringer you should never ask a leading question, unless you already know the answer. The 1st document that you cited is based upon raw data obtained from The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS). It utilized the administrative records of public and private, governmental and non-governmental health institutions for the Occupied Palestinian Territory. According to the note on page 968 (pdf file 2 of 11) Percentage change was calculated for the rates between the 1990–94 and 2002–06:

          “As judged by use of Spearman’s trend tests, none of the changes in mortality rates for neonates, infants, and children (<5 years) during the four time points were significant.

          According to the note to the table (pdf file page 24 of 51) in the 2nd document that you cited, it is based upon the “UNESCO Global Monitoring Report (GMR) for 2010. According to Note 1 to Table 3A “Child Survival” including under 5 morality rate (pdf file page 336 of 525):

          The indicators on child survival in this table are from the United Nations Population Division estimates, revision 2006 (UNPD, 2007). They are based on the median variant.

          So, you are bragging about projected improvements in infant mortality rates for calendar year 2010 that were published three years earlier in 2007.

          The PCBS “Palestinian Occupied Territories”, including East Jerusalem and Area C, differ to some extent from the UNESCO EFA region “Palestinian Autonomous Territories”. FYI, the GMR report says:

          In 2008 and 2009, Israeli military actions in Gaza led to the deaths of 164 students and 12 teachers, and severely damaged or destroyed 280 schools and kindergartens. In an area where 69% of adolescents were already reported as experiencing post-traumatic stress before the latest episode of violence, many children returned to school carrying with them the effects of anxiety and emotional shock. (pdf file page 25 of 525)

          The large recorded decline in [school] enrollment in the Palestinian Autonomous Territories would also appear to be linked to the combined effects of civil conflict, military incursions, and restrictions on the movement of goods and people. (pdf file page 83 of 525)

          PNA cabinet has nothing to do with pre-WWII Palestine

          You haven’t cited any sources of information on the pre-WWII era. Dr Ruppin’s report “The Picture in 1907″ said that the indigenous Jewish communities were indistinguishable from their Arab brethren. Many Palestinians were educated in the same Western and Ottoman educational systems utilized by the Jewish communities. David Ben Gurion, Moshe Shertok, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, and many other Jews received their higher education in Ottoman universities. See the tables starting on page 161 of David Kushner (editor), Palestine in the late Ottoman period: political, social, and economic transformation Brill, 1986.
          Innocents Abroad displays perfectly well what were public health conditions in Palestine before WWII

          I’ve pointed out before that Jewish colonies in the United States in the 1880s lived under the same deplorable conditions as their Palestinian brethren. In the 19th century malaria was extremely common in the United States. There were over 1 million cases reported during the Civil War alone. Here is a link to a map for rates of the disease for the 1870s Clemens should have felt right at home in malaria infested Palestine.

          Here is some information on the Am Olam settlement, founded near Newport Arkansas:

          In February 1883, 150 Jews from Russia arrived in Arkansas to form their commune. To support themselves, they decided to cut trees to provide staves to a lumber company. Heat, humidity, malaria, and yellow fever conspired to destroy the settlement as ninety percent of its residents became ill, and twenty died. After a miserable year, the remaining settlers decided to try their luck in other parts of the United States.

          The Jews in Beersheba, Kansas lived in mud hovels and managed to fail as farmers in the middle of America’s breadbasket:

          Named for the ancient city of Beersheba, the colony stretched over several sections of land, each family homesteading 150 acres. Dugouts and sod houses were constructed for homes, a synagogue, and school. Cow chips were used for fuel. Wells were dug and the native prairie was plowed and planted. Within the first few months, a wedding took place, a baby was born, and the first death occurred.

          Farming proved to be unprofitable and severe winters produced hardships. To supplement their meager incomes, colonists sold their equipment and livestock, took jobs with the railroad, mortgaged their land, and established businesses in nearby Ravanna and Eminence. As the two towns died out in the 1890s after a bitter county seat battle lost by both towns, the colonists sold or abandoned their homesteads. A decade after the colony was established, none of the colonists remained and the land reverted to prairie.

          If you’d like to educate yourself on the subject here are some suggested readings:
          *Marcelo Svirsky, “The Desire for terra nullius and the Zionist-Palestinian Conflict,” in Paul Patton and Simone Bignall (Eds.) Deleuze and the Postcolonial, Edinburgh University Press 2009.
          *Rosemary E. Shinko, “Discourses of Denial: Silencing the Palestinians, Delegitimizing Their Claims,” Journal of International Affairs 58.1 (2004);
          *Lawrence Davidson, “Historical Ignorance and Popular Perception: the Case of U.S. Perceptions of Palestine, 1917,” Middle East Policy3.2 (1994): pages 125-148;
          *Joyce Dalsheim, Settler nationalism, collective memories of violence and the ‘uncanny other’, Social Identities, Volume 10, Issue 2 2004 , pages 151 – 170;
          *Baruch Kimmerling, Politicide: Ariel Sharon’s War Against the Palestinians, Verso, 2003;

          If you insist on making an ass out of yourself, I’d suggest you stick to the talking points from The Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs.

        • Hostage
          May 15, 2011, 5:29 pm

          GDP you say?

          Yes, the article you cited is about a resident of Kafr Qasem, Israel, not the Palestinian Territories.

          So what’s going to happen now?

          I’d hazard a guess that pending the next incident, the same thing will happen that has happened after all of the previous incidents – nothing much. See for example here, here, here, and here.

          One or two incidents a year in a country with 7 million people and a total homicide rate of around 2.4 per 100,000 would indicate your friend is relatively safe hiring Israeli Arabs or Palestinians.

          Like most racists, you appeal to an irrational or unreasonable fear of others.

        • Haytham
          May 15, 2011, 5:56 pm

          But it’s rather easy – especially after a terrorist attack – to talk someone who employ Arabs that one of his employees might kill him or his relatives or just somebody random, one day.

          But it’s rather easy–especially after the ruthless, disproportionate, terrorist and criminal attack on the trapped civilian population of Gaza–to convince people that Zionists have no problem violating the human rights of non-Jews and killing hundreds of them, at random, without a second thought.

          It is not inappropriate to come to, and post on, a website where political views that you find abhorrent are expressed. In fact, it is usually a welcome addition. Sometimes a thoughtful, contrary and provocative post forces people who are very sure of their positions to take a look and reconsider the validity of their views. This is especially useful when the overwhelming majority of individuals that regularly post in a forum are like-minded.

          As long as the general tone/atmosphere of the forum is open-minded, and not inappropriately moderated, these dissenting views are invaluable. An example of a forum that is inappropriately moderated is Daily Kos, where posts that are critical of Israel or questioning of 9/11 are routinely deleted by the moderator. An example of a forum that is not overly moderated but also is not “open minded” is The Huffington Post. I won’t go into details on that one but I think those that read it will know what I mean. On the other hand, the forum attached to Glenn Greenwald’s blog is overwhelmingly progressive but includes and is generally accepting of the views of libertarians, conservatives, Zionists and the occasional mentally unbalanced person.

          Yet other times, the person going against the current, so to speak, is simply a “Troll.” As many of you are no doubt aware, Trolls usually pop up to spread misinformation, and/or propaganda. Their posts may include subtle (or not so subtle) racism and inappropriate assumptions and generalizations. Trolls do not allow themselves to be constrained by basic rules of logic, fairness or honesty.

          At this point I find it necessary to submit to you what you all already know; that is, the internet persona of “Lightbringer” is dishonest, racist, unscrupulous and vile. Lightbringer is a Troll. Although there is no completely effective way to eradicate Trolls from a forum, the best way that I’ve seen is by implementing a strict (but not enforced) “Do Not Feed The Trolls” policy.

          My opinions, for what they’re worth.

        • annie
          May 15, 2011, 6:30 pm

          An example of a forum that is inappropriately moderated is Daily Kos, where posts that are critical of Israel or questioning of 9/11 are routinely deleted by the moderator.

          i don’t want my comment to be construed as defending that site or implying i like their moderation system but i don’t think this statement fairly represents the way it works over there. just sayin’.

        • Haytham
          May 15, 2011, 6:41 pm

          annie:

          I appreciate your polite reply. I must admit, I do not read Daily Kos and never have. I have heard rumblings for a while and I did a quick google search. There are scores of individuals claiming that not only were their comments deleted without explanation but their accounts were deleted. They even had some sort of diarist strike recently.

          I may have been inaccurate or imprecise in the subject matter when I stated that Kos is overly moderated but I feel there is ample evidence that someone over there is deleting quite a bit and–maybe the most common complaint–without any explanation.

        • annie
          May 15, 2011, 7:44 pm

          haytham, dk is ‘community moderated’. comments have a function community members can either ‘rec’ or hide’. the options appear for a poster once your own comments have acquired enough ‘mojo’ (recs from other posters). at first there appears just a ‘rec’ option, but once a poster has been around long enough w/a ‘good score’ the hide option is available also. it means that long time users can gang up on a poster and ‘hide’ their comments. the threads look much different for longtime users w/TU (truster user status). the ‘hidden comments’ are only available for those readers to see. iow, if a non TU member or just a person stopping by looks at the thread as many as 90% the comments could be hidden. this happened recently w/a helen thomas thread. it had over 200 comments but only about 8 appeared (for me as i have been banned there).

          also, all the comments that follow a hidden comment in response to it are also hidden which means if getting your comment hidden results in one loosing TU, you can’t see the following comments, or the reason why your comment was hidden which is what happened to me when i was banned for the absolute sin of linking to a post here and apparently it was determined i tried to ‘out someone’. who knows. any excuse to ban posters they don’t like. they had already tried to set me up claiming i was a sockpuppet before.

          anyway, imo there’s a gang of zio thugs there by the name of ‘team shalom’. here’s a discussion about them (you have to click the ‘expand’ function to read them) if you follow the subthread. the whole thread is available at the link and gives an excellent example of what a waste of time the comment sections are over there. the little numbers next to their subject line indicate the rec’s and hides (hides are referenced as HR’s). this is an example from the thread of a comment w/ 5 rec’s and 4 hides. if you click the numbers you can read the names of thug shalom that dragged the comment out of hidden.

          How’s your Nukes for Hezbollah Campaign going? (5+ / 4-)

          by Paul in Berkeley on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:59:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          if you click the ‘parent’ at the bottom of a comment you will be directed to what the comment is responding to. this is an example of how ‘community moderation’ works. the comment should have been hidden but team shalom came along and ‘rescued it’. frankly i think the comment was funny even tho by the zio standards if anyone had made a comment about them like that the gang would have hidden it. they have basically banned so many pro p posters the discussions there are just redundant pie fights. who knows, maybe there are tons of interesting conversations going on in the hiddens we’re not privy to but i doubt it.

          some of the diaries are great and really worth reading, the threads..not so much. but there are plenty of lectures on anti semitism. certain posters are like little den mothers who show up to lecture, the zio patrol. so, the bannings are not entirely random, it has it’s own ‘logic’. i’m certainly way too crude for that site and a much better fit for this blog so everything worked out swimmingly for me in the longrun as i was wasting too much time there and never really had many supporters anyway. i don’t think my voice was appreciated there at all, so why bother.

          also, the people who have been banned they like to drag around their trophies like scalps and often claim banned posters are reappearing and trying to come back. team zio seems to think i am someone else reincarnated over there. let them as far as i am concerned, it’s silly.

          i hope that answers your question.

        • Potsherd2
          May 15, 2011, 8:04 pm

          I think Haytham’s characterisation is quite accurate.

        • Haytham
          May 15, 2011, 8:23 pm

          annie:

          It more than answers my question.

          Team Shalom? That wins the unintentional irony award of the day, I think.

        • annie
          May 15, 2011, 8:31 pm

          potsherd

          I feel there is ample evidence that someone over there is deleting quite a bit and–maybe the most common complaint–without any explanation.

          i have no way of knowing this because i can’t see any contentious(hr’d) comments anymore anyway. if there is a person or persons who can delete comments (like on this blog) i don’t know about it. here banned comments never see the light of day because they are deleted prior to posting. @ dkos the posts go up automatically and then have the opportunity to be blasted into hiddens.

          An example of a forum that is inappropriately moderated is Daily Kos, where posts that are critical of Israel or questioning of 9/11 are routinely deleted by the moderator.

          i don’t like the moderation system at dkos and i’ve expressed that before. in general i just reject the idea of comments getting scored, it thwarts the focus and puts too much emphasis on punishment or reward, it’s counter productive and leads to a pack mentality. that said from my experience at the site moderators do not delete comments, poster do. if you try to post something about 9/11 you’ll get hr’d to oblivion because it is against the rules. but the comment will still exist in the hiddens and on the thread and anyone with TU can view it. when i had TU i don’t recall any comment appearing and then not appearing. but maybe i am wrong. maybe there is a moderator that zaps comments so they do not exist at all.

          but, that said i think all my old comments are still there. i have not looked and i could be wrong. they have a new format there since i left too and i have not really explored it.

          i also think the banning rules are perverse. i recall when there was a strike right before the election where they did a sweep. i participated in it and exchanged emails with others who participated in it. the zios rule the roost on acceptable discourse on the site and get away with racist dialogue that would get anyone banned if they said it about jews. it’s orwellian.

        • Lightbringer
          May 15, 2011, 8:34 pm

          GDP you say?

          Yes, the article you cited is about a resident of Kafr Qasem, Israel, not the Palestinian Territories.

          Although Kfar Qasim is located beyond Green Line and it’s citizens hold Israeli citizenship and carry blue IDs they are not much different from population of, for example, Qalqilya (which is about 3 kilometers to north); They perceive themselves as Palestinians and we, Israelis, perceive them as such as well – which normally does not preventing Israelis from shopping in Palestinian villages for prices there are MUCH lower.

          I’d hazard a guess that pending the next incident, the same thing will happen that has happened after all of the previous incidents – nothing much.

          You are somewhat correct – nothing MUCH indeed.
          However nowadays there is MUCH less Arab bulldozer drivers than it was, say, 5 year ago.

          One or two incidents a year in a country with 7 million people and a total homicide rate of around 2.4 per 100,000 would indicate your friend is relatively safe hiring Israeli Arabs or Palestinians.

          One or two incidents a year…

          Do you realize at what cost it’s just one or two incidents?
          Palestinians are paying EXTREMELY dearly for that with their lives, health, wealth and general well-being.
          Israelis are paying dearly as well – maybe not with lives, but certainly with health and wealth.

          Anyway, who cares?

          Like most racists, you appeal to an irrational or unreasonable fear of others.

          Racist?
          Oh, no.
          Rather, realist.

        • Haytham
          May 15, 2011, 9:03 pm

          annie:

          I realize you were replying to someone else, but since you were blockquoting my previous post, I just wanted to share what I found on one of my google searches. There is a diary up here* on dk that states that there was someone named “meteor blades” –aka Timothy Lange http://meteor-blades.dailykos.com/user/Meteor%20Blades– who “would make bad things go away.” He obviously is referencing a system that no longer exists.

          I might be missing some detail or context but there it is. It seems like they’ve gone through a few different systems. What strikes me is that unlike other places, where the goal of effective moderation is to promote dialogue and minimize name-calling and spam, the main goal of the dk systems seems to be to restrict free expression, either by committee or unilaterally. I know I’m preaching to the choir here.

          *http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/04/19/968406/-I-Like-the-New-Non-Moderation!Really!

        • annie
          May 15, 2011, 9:10 pm

          Team Shalom? That wins the unintentional irony award of the day, I think.

          tell me about it. did you read that subthread? it really heats up about a quarter of the way down. the absurdity of the topic in discussion (not to be confused w/the topic of the diary) is if the situation were reversed and anyone tried suggesting a zionist pro israel supporter should move to israel they’d get a pileon of accusations of anti semitism shoved down their throat so fast your head would spin. it would be never ending. later on down the thread they get called out for teaming up, which of course they deny and get all offended. it’s endless. nothing like that goes on here thank god.

        • Haytham
          May 15, 2011, 9:19 pm

          Palestinians are paying EXTREMELY dearly for that with their lives, health, wealth and general well-being.

          And they are paying EXTREMELY dearly because people like YOU seek to collectively punish them for an act allegedly committed by a Palestinian.

          I have a friend who employs two Palestinian truck drivers, and I will personally ensure none of them keeps their job –Lightbringer

          Never mind just for the moment your disgusting racism in lumping all the people of a society or nation together and blaming them for the act of an individual. Does it not matter to you if a person is convicted of a crime or not? You link to a headline in a newspaper as the basis of determining guilt in a criminal matter? That satisfies your lizard brain? And even if this person was 110% guilty, and even confessed…how do you justify seeking retribution upon two individuals who had nothing to do with this crime?

          So on the basis of a headline in a newspaper, you will seek to have these two blameless human beings terminated from their employment. Never mind that these two things have no connection, not even one that you have alleged. Never mind that you have no idea what happened. Never mind that your reaction in this case is symptomatic of a corrupt and diseased mind, lacking even minimal decency, empathy or common sense.

          You know what, just never mind.

        • annie
          May 15, 2011, 9:35 pm

          hi, your first link doesn’t work. i know who meteor blades is. yes, he would make moderating decisions but i think he did it by entering a thread and giving his opinion that was followed by people removing their recs or whatever. i don’t think he literally made comments ‘disappear’ (i could be wrong). but he could make posters ‘disappear’. he made me ‘disappear’. and after ms sofia determined i was a sockpuppet he made me disappear again. then he changed his mind after i heavily flooded inboxes of posters i knew with the info i planned on suing the site for alleging i was impersonating myself with no proof whatsoever (i already had a lawyer). then ‘miraculously’ after the election they somehow determined i was not a sockpuppet and even more miraculously the ‘sockpuppet’ seemed to go away. if they wanted to ban me they could doing it without lying about me. so i knew my days were limited and it was a matter of time. i just didn’t expect it to come from something as lame as linking to a post here. lol, whatever. it was not fun there for me, i am better off without that community that never embraced me anyway. there’s no indication anyone regretted my departure that’s for sure. i have no doubt MB is heavily lobbied to get rid of posters and end fights. he did back me up once very forcefully when one of the posters went on a few day rant trying to corner me w/outlandish allegations.

          too much drama. i don’t know if he’s not there anymore, like i said i’m not really following the way things are run there much anymore i just drop in from time to time to read my favorite diariests and also gleen material for this site. in fact the video on the front page yesterday came from a poster buried in a thread there.

        • Lightbringer
          May 15, 2011, 9:58 pm

          Hostage
          I’ll relate to the rest of your post later.

          Dr Ruppin’s report “The Picture in 1907″ said that the indigenous Jewish communities were indistinguishable from their Arab brethren

          Furthermore, until today there is Palestinians who are telling stories of their fathers wearing Tefillin and reading Tora.

          Many Palestinians were educated in the same Western and Ottoman educational systems utilized by the Jewish communities. David Ben Gurion, Moshe Shertok, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, and many other Jews received their higher education in Ottoman universities.

          “In 1912, he moved to Istanbul, the Ottoman capital, to study law at Istanbul University together with Ben-Zvi”
          AFAIK there was only 1 (one) university in Ottoman Empire.
          How many Palestinians could possibly get a degree in that university?
          How could that affect general public (health) back than?
          Let’s see…
          In contrast with the pitiful Arab villages, with their huts of baked clay, the Jewish colonies, with their wide streets, their strong stone houses and their red-tiled roofs, look like veritable oases of culture.

        • Lightbringer
          May 15, 2011, 10:34 pm

          And they are paying EXTREMELY dearly because people like YOU seek to collectively punish them for an act allegedly committed by a Palestinian.

          No.
          Because people like me seek to minimize possible terrorist attacks committed by random members of collective.
          Since the collective is not capable of stopping such attacks, we are stopping them ourselves and at any cost.

          I have a friend who employs two Palestinian truck drivers, and I will personally ensure none of them keeps their job –Lightbringer

          Never mind just for the moment your disgusting racism in lumping all the people of a society or nation together and blaming them for the act of an individual. Does it not matter to you if a person is convicted of a crime or not?

          I’ve seen a lot of convicted innocents, even more criminals walking free – in Israel, Europe, America or elsewhere. Enough to lose any trust in juridical system.

          You link to a headline in a newspaper as the basis of determining guilt in a criminal matter?

          That’s the difference between you and me.
          For you it’s just another headline.

          That satisfies your lizard brain? And even if this person was 110% guilty, and even confessed…how do you justify seeking retribution upon two individuals who had nothing to do with this crime?

          Should I’ve locked two these poor guys in a car and run them over with a truck – you could’ve called it retribution.

          So on the basis of a headline in a newspaper, you will seek to have these two blameless human beings terminated from their employment.

          Again – it’s a headline for you. For me it’s a grim reality unfolding couple blocks away.

          Blameless – maybe.
          Exactly as this guy from Kafr Qassim – blameless until went berserk.
          You see, security is about prevention, not dealing with aftermath.

          Never mind that these two things have no connection, not even one that you have alleged.

          No, they don’t have. And we’ll put our best effort to ensure there will be no connection.

          Never mind that you have no idea what happened.

          You do not know that.

          Never mind that your reaction in this case is symptomatic of a corrupt and diseased mind, lacking even minimal decency, empathy or common sense.

          Yeah.
          Corrupt and diseased.
          Lacking decency, empathy and common sense.
          Exactly like the mind of that truck driver.

        • American
          May 16, 2011, 1:25 am

          That unfortunately is exactly what Dkos does……
          I use to read there until I became replused by their Stepford progressives.

        • Haytham
          May 16, 2011, 7:27 am

          Because people like me seek to minimize possible terrorist attacks committed by random members of collective.
          Since the collective is not capable of stopping such attacks, we are stopping them ourselves and at any cost.

          I’m not going to waste much energy debunking this. Suffice it to say, if collective punishment worked for Israel, you guys would have solved your problem years ago.

          I’ve seen a lot of convicted innocents, even more criminals walking free – in Israel, Europe, America or elsewhere. Enough to lose any trust in juridical system.

          This is lunacy couched in terms of a pragmatic argument. “The legal systems allow some guilty go free and some innocents to be punished, therefore to punish all the guilty we must punish the guilty and the innocent indiscriminately and without even a pretense of a logical reason.”

          Should I’ve locked two these poor guys in a car and run them over with a truck – you could’ve called it retribution.

          No, you psycho, you shouldn’t lock anyone in your car or run over them with your truck. And by the way, that’s not “retribution,” it’s vigilantism tinged with racism. In other words, typical of your mindset.

          Blameless – maybe – blameless until went berserk.

          It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if you were really an anti-Zionist posting here trying to make Zionists look like the bloodthirsty, authoritarian, mindless, security-at-any-cost obsessed people that they are.

          Yeah. Corrupt and diseased. Lacking decency, empathy and common sense. Exactly like the mind of that truck driver.

          See, we can all agree. You’re no different than a deranged criminal. Thank you for your honesty. It is refreshing, especially coming from you.

        • Hostage
          May 16, 2011, 9:44 am

          Lightbringer,

          According to the Ruth Roded paper, which was included as a chapter in David Kushner’s book, Palestine had an acceptable literacy rate at the time of Twain’s visit. The US State Department Bureau of Foreign Commerce established Consulates in Palestine in the 1830s to look after US trade interests there. The official reports appear in the Foreign relations of the United States and Commercial relations of the United States series of publications. For example the report Consul Gillman of Jerusalem for 1891 related that there were good harvests throughout most of Palestine:

          The unusual copiousness of the early rains the past season gave promise of an abundant and goodly harvest in all the crops of both the field and garden. Though this promise was fairly realized as regards a great part of Palestine, for various reasons the expectation was hardly fulfilled with respect to the crops on the plains of Sharon and Philistia. In these wide and important tracts the harvest was, in general, below the average, producing the consequent depressing results.

          Gillman repeated the (then) popular myth that more cultivation would produced more rainfall, i.e. that the climate was attributable to indigenous peoples (Native Americans, Arabs, Australian Aborigines) allowing their countries to go to waste and that large scale “land reclamation” projects and farming settlements were the answer. In many cases, both here and in Israel those proved to be environmental and economic disasters (more below). Here is a 1912 report on Arab “Orange Culture in Palestine”:

          About 40 years ago the orange growers at Jaffa began to cultivate the fruit on a large scale. The production increases from year to year, so that the outlay of capital can be regularly enlarged. Where single gardens of 2,000 to 3,000 trees existed there are now cultivated orchards of 15,000 to 20,000 trees. Such large undertakings had naturally a prejudicial effect on the smaller plantations; … The future belongs here, as well as elsewhere, to the large producer… The orange tree likes a warm sea climate, and so the Arabs have for ages raised it when possible in the loamy soil of the coast.

          The recent water crisis in Israel underscored the nonsensical policy of paying high prices for the energy to run desalinization plants and subsidizing the use of the water by the agriculture industry. It is actually much cheaper to just import citrus prouducts from other countries:

          They blame the water crisis on agriculture. Israel’s legendary Jaffa oranges and Galia melons have been sold across Europe and America for more than 40 years. But these farmers buy their water at prices heavily subsidized by the government. So is too much of the nation’s water supply being shipped out of the country in the form of fruit for too little gain? …The farm sector receives in excess of 50 percent of the water supply for the nation, and yet provides roughly, I think, two percent of the nation’s GNP. So you’re talking about allocation of a scarce resource to a not very productive sector”

          Ruppin reported that most Jews were poorly educated and that the majority of them lived off foreign charities and had a standard of living much like their Arab neighbors. Let’s read it together:

          The Jewish population of Palestine consists of three distinct strata. The first is made up of those Sephardic Jews who have lived in the country for centuries, have become closely assimilated, in mores and in the general mode of life, to the local Arabs and who, side by side with Spaniolo, speak Arabic too. A good picture of the life of these Jews is furnished by the town of Saida (the ancient Sidon) where 2000 Jews — all of them Sephardic — may be found. They receive no ‘Halukkah, earn a difficult and pitiful living as small merchants and artisans, are poorly educated and of a not particularly high moral standing. The Jews of Morocco, Persia and the Yemen, who have come into Palestine of recent years, may be lumped together with this group.

          The second stratum is composed of the Ashkenazic Jews who have come into Palestine during the last hundred years for religious reasons, and for whom the ‘Halukkah system exists. They have tended to concentrate in Jerusalem, but numbers of them are also to be found in Safed, Tiberias and Hebron, where they have settled side by side with the older Sephardic population, from who they keep aloof, however, on the ground of their superior Jewish learning. Safed with its 8000, Tiberias with its 5000 and Hebron with its 1000 Jews are very much alike. They are typical ‘Halukkah towns.

          In this second stratum there is no economic life to speak of. The few occupations which have been taken up — of which the principal is trading with the Bedouins — bring in very little. Hence these cities present, to European eyes, a wretched picture of cultural and economic stagnation. There is no connection with the outside world. Newspapers and modern books are unknown in these places, and life goes on as it did a hundred years ago. The kindergartens of the Hilfsverein der Deutschen Juden and the schools of the Alliance Israelite find it extremely difficult to introduce a new education content into this population. The condition of these communities may be illustrated by the following incident. In Safed I visited a Jew who told me that his income amounted to eighty francs a month, and that he was therefore considered very well to do, and was much envied. The average monthly income of a Sephardic Jew is somewhere between thirty and forty francs.

          In Jerusalem conditions differ from those which obtain in the three above-mentioned cities: the reasons being that, in addition to the original Sephardic and the later ‘Halukkah Ashkenazic populations, we find a considerable element, of recent growth, which earns its living by work; it is composed partly of Jews from Persia, Yemen, Bokhara and Morocco, and partly of young Jews of the modern type from Eastern Europe, who have come to Palestine under the influence of the Zionist idea. It is an exceedingly motley mixture of Jews from all the countries under the sun which makes up the Jewish population of Jerusalem. There are many interesting observations to be made on the diverse modes of life adopted by these Jewish settlers. The Bokharian Jew is generally well to do or even rich, and it is a matter of pride with him to have a handsome and roomy house in Jerusalem. The East-European Jew builds himself a small, wretched dwelling. Even more primitive is the e mode of life of the Yemenite Jew, who is happy to have any sort of home. Nevertheless these immigrants from Yemen are a valuable element for Palestine, for they are able, by virtue of the fewness of their needs, to compete successfully with the cheap labor of the Arabs. Apart from this, they are so accustomed to heavy physical labor that they can easily be transformed into agricultural workers, and from all appearances they will play a considerable role in this field.

          The Library of Congress (LOC) Prints & Photographs Online Catalog has plenty of images of Arab towns in Palestine with paved streets and markets full of people and produce. It wasn’t unusual to find dirt streets with horse-drawn wagons in most of America at that same time, e.g. here There were sod homes and one room schools in most of the plains states of the US until long after The Great Depression and the LOC says that in the “good old days” between 1880 and 1920 “owning a pair of shoes was a great luxury”.

          If you cherry pick your sources you’ll find that Mark Twain’s Missouri was full of desolate rocky barren hills that supported small family farms scratching out a wretched existence. If you check the map at the link I provided above, you’ll find that education had nothing to do with reducing the number of cases of malaria. The discovery of malarial parasites by Alphonse Laveran in the 1880s was followed in the 1890s by the discovery of Ronald Ross that the parasites were transmitted by mosquitoes. Most of the members of The First Aliyah and the Zionist Mule Corps came down with malaria and other tropical diseases despite their educational achievements.

          “In the late 1950s Lake Hula and its surrounding swamps, located in the northern part of Israel, were drained by the Jewish National Fund (JNF) giving over most of the area to agriculture. This was a Zionist action aimed at sanitizing the malaria-infestation in the Hula valley and turn the area over into suitable land for agriculture…. …The interference in the natural system of the Hula valley caused a series of physical and biogeochemical irreversible problems: the peat soils decomposed and settled leading to deterioration of the soil quality and narrowing by 10-20 % the land suitable for cultivation; peat fires accelerated causing dust storms; poisonous weeds spread out; field mice multiplied; indigenous fauna and flora disappeared; water bird population declined; and the decomposing peat began to leach nitrates into Lake Kinneret, threatening the country’s drinking water supply. It became evident that a rapid action of restoration was essential. See On Development of a Decision Support System for the Lake Hula Project and The Legend of a Lost Lake: A Tale of Death and Resurrection at the Jewish Global Environmental Network.

          The Zionist enterprise in the Occupied Territories hasn’t been pursued with very good urban or environmental planning either.

        • Lightbringer
          May 16, 2011, 10:08 am

          Because people like me seek to minimize possible terrorist attacks committed by random members of collective.
          Since the collective is not capable of stopping such attacks, we are stopping them ourselves and at any cost.

          I’m not going to waste much energy debunking this. Suffice it to say, if collective punishment worked for Israel, you guys would have solved your problem years ago.

          First of all, policy of heavy restrictions certainly works, because we only have one or two terrorist attacks per year.

          You see, all those restriction add-up only after successful terrorist attacks.
          Infamous wall, for example, was started after few bloody terrorist attack during Second Intifada.
          And guess what – it helps.
          Palestinians left us very little choice, and situation is going to worsen.

          I’ve seen a lot of convicted innocents, even more criminals walking free – in Israel, Europe, America or elsewhere. Enough to lose any trust in juridical system.
          This is lunacy couched in terms of a pragmatic argument. “The legal systems allow some guilty go free and some innocents to be punished, therefore to punish all the guilty we must punish the guilty and the innocent indiscriminately and without even a pretense of a logical reason.”

          To you it might seem as if without logical reasone, while for me it’s rather logical.
          If there were three separate incidents of Arab bulldozer drivers going berserk and smashing cars there is only one way to prevent it – do not let an Arab to drive a bulldozer.
          Simple huh?

          Should I’ve locked two these poor guys in a car and run them over with a truck – you could’ve called it retribution.
          No, you psycho, you shouldn’t lock anyone in your car or run over them with your truck. And by the way, that’s not “retribution,” it’s vigilantism tinged with racism. In other words, typical of your mindset.

          So to fire two poor souls IS retribution, and to run them over with a truck – IS NOT retribution.
          It seems to me that your logics are not so strong in this case.

          Blameless – maybe – blameless until went berserk.
          It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if you were really an anti-Zionist posting here trying to make Zionists look like the bloodthirsty, authoritarian, mindless, security-at-any-cost obsessed people that they are.

          So now you are denying some fictional “Zionists” of their human qualities and their right for security.
          Positive thinking.
          This is exactly the reason why “Peace Process” would never succeed and Palestinians are doomed to live in exile.

          Yeah. Corrupt and diseased. Lacking decency, empathy and common sense. Exactly like the mind of that truck driver.
          See, we can all agree. You’re no different than a deranged criminal. Thank you for your honesty. It is refreshing, especially coming from you.

          Ecce homo.

          You think you are any different?
          ROFL.

        • hophmi
          May 16, 2011, 12:50 pm

          What are you trying to prove with the Ruth Roded paper? The paper was about the urban elite, and there are no literacy rates in these statistics, which deals with the Syrian urban elite. It does not seem to provide a basis for the claim that “Palestine had an acceptable literacy rate at the time of Twain’s visit.”

          In the very same book, there appears an essay by Alex Carmel on Christians in Palestine during the 19th Century which begins:

          “It is widely-known that during the last decades of Ottoman rule – and after centuries of more or less constant deterioration – there were remarkable changes and improvements in Palestine. This development is widely attributed to the arrival of large numbers of Jews and their achievements in the decades preceding World War I.”

          “If you cherry pick your sources . . .”

          You mean like citing a long excerpt from a paper on the Hula Valley and leaving out the sentence that tempers your argument?

          “Soon after the project completion it looked like a great success as it allowed cultivation of new fertile land and drove the economy in the region to flourish. However, during the last two decades it became evident that there is an over-widening gap between the project expectations and its consequences.”

          Those are the sentences you left out. So contrary to your claim that the draining of swamps in the Hula Valley is simply an example of bad urban planning, it is, in fact, an act that created a flourishing regional economy and allowed for the cultivation of new land. It is only the last 20 years – 30 year after the fact, that additional restoration efforts were needed, and typical of the advanced technological and agricultural society that Israel is, this paper represents one such plan. Israel has a large environmental movement, as you pointed out.

          As far as your point about subsidization of local farming, it’s pretty common around the world, particularly in the United States.

    • Mooser
      May 13, 2011, 12:11 pm

      “It feels nice kicking Zionists, is it?”

      Is there some reason it shouldn’t?

      • Lightbringer
        May 13, 2011, 1:14 pm

        That’s the point.
        But you ain’t gonna get it, and I’m not payed for private wisdom lectures.

        • Mooser
          May 13, 2011, 1:34 pm

          No, I would think your fees as a grammarian and logician would make it a waste of your time.
          Besides, you might be promoted to Messiah any day now, and simply won’t have time.
          I’ll just wait for your Bible to come out, no special dispensation for me.

        • Lightbringer
          May 13, 2011, 4:54 pm

          You are free to think whatever you please, anyway it is of no importance.

        • Haytham
          May 15, 2011, 9:27 pm

          Lightbringer:

          I’m not payed for private wisdom lectures.

          You’re not “payed,” for private wisdom lectures? What is a private wisdom lecture? Does it involve teaching people how to size up a situation, come up with the most nonsensical and racist reaction to it, and then act on that impulse? Because you’re great at that. You’re great enough to give private wisdom lessons on that topic, for sure.

  7. RoHa
    May 11, 2011, 9:03 pm

    “plaster their pamphlets with pictures of Israel’s multiracial society as though they were Benetton ads,”

    Ouch!

  8. VR
    May 11, 2011, 9:08 pm

    Excellent post Mr. Ajl, it brings together all of the glaringly missing pieces of addressing this nightmare. Visceral racism is what is on display, the saddest part is that the Israelis do not know they are being played by an elite as fools for the financial betterment of the few. I guess it does not matter are long as you “get something,” no matter how you take it or it is delivered to you – with no afterthought of what you have lost (even though this is not uncommon, it is paid for by a uniqueness which is now all but lost – see Buber, etc. a common humanity).

    “. . . the majority of the Jewish people preferred to learn from Hitler rather than from us. Hitler showed them that history does not go the way of the spirit but the way of power, and if a people is powerful enough, it can kill with impunity as many millions of another people as it wants to kill. This was the situation that we had to fight.” Buber

    Now it grows and festers

    Hannah knew that her problem was not that she was stateless, but the nation state in the 20th century that reduced Jews to a non-recognized minority. This now produces another “stateless” among the Palestinians. The only question that remains is will the state of Israel try to liquidate the “problem” they created.

    So the question of Ahabath Israel remains, of which she answers that I love my friends not a people. She goes on to rightly consider the non-separation of religion and state disastrous (and it has proven to be true). Or the substitution of god for the people, so that even the interpretation is that the people returning is essentially the mashiach – she does not believe in them but belongs to them. She is physei and not nomo. Being this she can take her own stand politically, whether or not they conform to some supposed norm of “Jewish” in being or in the political position. What had changed from her earlier views? That we may indeed by Jewish yet be divergent in our views. The rise of Fascism and totalitarianism did away with a place in the nation state, which arose from personal experience. So to accede to Zionism is to do away with the universal nature of the Never Again, and carries with it the seeds of our own destruction.

    • Lightbringer
      May 12, 2011, 8:23 am

      “….the saddest part is that the Israelis do not know they are being played….”
      Wrong.

      • Mooser
        May 13, 2011, 1:35 pm

        How many Lightbringers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

        • VR
          May 14, 2011, 3:42 am

          None, it is better to stay in the dark – or, have you of being blinded by the light? lol

  9. Chespirito
    May 11, 2011, 9:58 pm

    Thank you for this. But: una preguntita. Who are

    “the America Firsters who, nooses just recently stowed in the attic, staff the online battalions of the Palestine electronic solidarity movement and rage over America’s 3 billion dollars of “money” sent to Israel, which has “plenty” of money.”

    Any examples of these AFers most welcome. Gracias!

  10. Thomson Rutherford
    May 12, 2011, 12:51 am

    Max, thanks for an interesting and provocative post. But I was struck by an apparent clash between two passages, which I quote below:

    First passage: “… America Firsters who, nooses just recently stowed in the attic, staff the online battalions of the Palestine electronic solidarity movement and rage over America’s 3 billion dollars of “money” sent to Israel ….”

    Second passage: “If there are Jews who insist on retaining their identity as oppressors, perhaps we should leave them to it and work with others to break apart the bonds linking American Jewish identity to Israeli militarism and Israeli militarism to American power in the Middle East? After all, do lower-class or middle-class American Jews – that is, most American Jews – want to be part of a ‘people’ whose identity was forged with Palestinian blood?”

    Work with others? With whom, the guys who just recently stowed their nooses in the attack? If you are an American, what’s wrong with being an America Firster – with national feelings similar to those of the French, Japanese, Germans, Chinese, and just about everybody else? Do you really despise your own country so much that you feel only contempt for the simple folk who “staff the battallions” in the fight to help the Palestinians? Are you sure that you can overcome your own feelings of superiority well enough to work with those who lack ethnocentricity, who do not identify particularly with your own “people”? Even with America Firsters?

    I hope that you were suggesting, in the second passage, that you think that Jews should work with Others (non-Jews) to achieve the goals you mentioned. But, in view of the first passage, maybe not.

    • Max Ajl
      May 12, 2011, 2:07 am

      The “we” and the “others” are deliberately ambiguous in this passage. Anyone can identify with who they wish as they read it and that doesn’t particularly matter.

      Until someone with a bigoted mind-set stumbles along and starts writing of “ethnocentrism,” (which was evident where, exactly? Nowhere.)

      Now the first passage. What does that passage look like when your ellipses are taken out?

      “or to the America Firsters who, nooses just recently stowed in the attic, staff the online battalions of the Palestine electronic solidarity movement and rage over America’s 3 billion dollars of “money” sent to Israel, which has “plenty” of money.

      They should rage, and that military aid should be cut off, but we should know what it is we want to cut off and why it is sent in the first place. It matters why we rage…. ”

      So when you (a) simply read the words on the page and (b) don’t quote me out of context, the substance of your criticisms evaporate, and it’s hard to see how you mis-read what I wrote so blatantly. That has nothing to do with contempt for the “simple folk,” like little old “Thomson Rutherford,” child of the Mayflower, nor having to do with “despising my country,” whatever that means. This is about changing my country’s policies and making alliances to do so. In order to make those alliances, you have to pitch your rhetoric to the audience, and forgive me if I think the African American and Latino under-class can be organized more effectively on class lines to support BDS and induce social disruption than the very vocal but very marginal “patriots” in denial about the nature of this country’s history, politics, economy, and institutions who have lately been popping up in the nooks and crannies of the online Palestine solidarity blogosphere but I suspect are not so active in promoting BDS in their communities nor so vocal in calling for regional de-militarization and re-tooling of the American economy.

      So why don’t you start reading what I write honestly, or I’ll start thinking you’re a COINTELPRO agent out to disrupt the Palestine solidarity movement with jingoistic non-sense, OK? Your choice. Choose.

      • Thomson Rutherford
        May 12, 2011, 1:06 pm

        Max, note that the first sentence in my comment above expressed sincere appreciation for your “interesting and provocative post.” Although your response was ill-tempered and dripping with venom, I will reply to some aspects of it.

        Ajl: “The ‘we’ and the ‘others’ are deliberately ambiguous in this passage.”

        Some people choose ambiguity, I choose clarity whenever possible. I was asking for clarification to resolve what looked like a contradiction.

        Ajl: “Until someone with a bigoted mind-set stumbles along and starts writing of ‘ethnocentrism,’ (which was evident where, exactly? Nowhere.)”

        My alleged “bigoted mind-set” was evident where, exactly? There were plenty of references to ethnicity in your post and in your reply to me, suggesting that you have ethnic preferences. But I am not ethnocentric in my attitudes and do not have ethnic preferences (in spite of being a “child of the Mayflower”, as you put it down). I do like to explore the thinking of people for whom ethnic cohesion is an instrument for political action (e.g., Tea-Partiers, Jews, Hispanics, Blacks). That’s in my nature – but bigotry is not.

        Ajl: “or to the America Firsters who, nooses just recently stowed in the attic, staff the online battalions of the Palestine electronic solidarity movement …”

        It is not, as you suggest, inappropriate to focus specifically on these words. They violate your principle of ambiguity. For the meaning and intention are quite clear: to associate the notion of “America Firsters” (your term) with the memory of the KKK. It is a foul way to disparage a political attitude held by a majority of Americans (and Frenchmen, Japanese, Scots, Chinese, Germans, …). It is pretty clear that “America Firsters” to you means “nativist” “white” “waspish” people. Your ambiguity failed you.

        Ajl: “… I think the African American and Latino under-class can be organized more effectively on class lines to support BDS and induce social disruption than the very vocal but very marginal ‘patriots’ who have lately been popping up in the nooks and crannies of the online Palestine solidarity blogosphere … ”

        The (non-Jewish white) ‘patriots’ are very vocal and yet very marginal? Who marginalized them? I gather that ‘patriots’ and the “America Firsters” are the same people – and we must not trust them, what with all the nooses stored in their attics.

        Look, you and I seem to want basically the same thing wrt I/P and American influence, and judging from what you have written here we share many social attitudes (excluding your exclusiveness).

        I asked for clarification of your opinion on the matter of Jews and non-Jews working together to combat political Zionism and its interventions in U.S. foreign policy. Your wording, both in your post and in your reply to me, suggested that you would prefer to work with other “racial” minorities and to exclude most of the majority population of America (i.e., non-Jewish “whites” who might keep nooses in their attics).

        I happen to disagree. I want to see an all-inclusive effort to help the Palestinians by defeating political Zionism in America. Separately, you can get psychological help in overcoming your fears about nooses in attics.

        I don’t think I have a clear idea of what a “COINTELPRO agent” is and I’m certainly not a “jingo”, so I’ll ignore the last paragraph of your reply. Obviously derived from faulty perceptions.

        Again, congratulations on a well-written and deeply introspective article. It took a lot, I’m sure, to have written your last paragraph.

        P.S.: My question about “despising your country” was rhetorical and you answered it nicely. That was a foul on my part.

        • Max Ajl
          May 12, 2011, 5:18 pm

          Thomson:

          Your response was noted and its sincerity doubted, a doubt that you now confirm. You blow a great deal of smoke, but are unable to respond to the simple question: where is the “ethnocentrism”? Was it in the “references to ethnicity,” which “suggested that [I] have ethnic preferences”? While my “wording” elsewhere “suggested” that I prefer to work with “other” “racial minorities”?

          In other words, to deal with ethnicity or to make a statement about how certain potential allies of the Palestine solidarity movement might react to notions prevalent amongst certain online “allies” of the Palestinian liberation movement about the “national interest,” an empty concept that means nothing, is to be ethnocentric or exclusivist. I don’t know if you’re a shyster lawyer, functionally illiterate, or a Zionist sock-puppet – all are plausible – but please come back and try again when you’ve understood what I was trying to say.

          Now, if you think nativist WASPs are a “majority” of the white population in America, we can skip the reading lesson and go straight to math class. But in fact the ethnicity is not the issue. As I wrote, in a passage you seem unable to fully quote – why? – I referred to the “America Firsters who, nooses just recently stowed in the attic, staff the online battalions of the Palestine electronic solidarity movement and rage over America’s 3 billion dollars of “money” sent to Israel, which has “plenty” of money.

          They should rage, and that military aid should be cut off, but we should know what it is we want to cut off and why it is sent in the first place. It matters why we rage…”

          In other words, most who want to work – work, and not chatter on the internet – to the end of cutting off military aid are welcome to the table. But it is necessary to clarify to some elements that this is part of an anti-imperial struggle, which seems reasonable. It also seems reasonable that many will not want to work with that subset of the America Firsters who recently stowed their nooses, having nothing to do with me – never saw a noose.

          If you are unaware of the sociology of this country, it does not seem promising to build a movement to liberate Palestine on the premise that without the lobby, the American empire would be doing a lot better. For one thing, it’s dead wrong. For another, America is a capitalist empire, and the America Firsters want it to remain that way. Big problem. If you don’t perceive how American political attitudes have led to countless imperial interventions around the globe in a systemic pattern over the past 50 years, you won’t see the problem of the “America first” rhetoric which is the province of right-wing nationalism.

          Although perhaps the Iraq War and later interventions have simply been “the lobby”? E-mail me when you wake up.

          The thing is, you can’t confuse, lie to, or cheat capitalism and empire, because its managers start with corporate balance sheets and policies are formulated in turn, and the lobby’s influence works the same way, through its control of capital, with some slight distorting effects induced by ideology — political Zionism. That’s the world in which we live, not the world in which some people may wish to live.

          Regarding “marginal,” they are marginal because they are not the ones doing BDS or otherwise doing meaningful organizing. I don’t know what they’re doing other than confusing the moral and political basis for Palestinian liberation. If you are aware, please let me know.

          You wanted “clarification” on the “the matter of Jews and non-Jews working together to combat political Zionism and its interventions in U.S. foreign policy”? You just got them. See above. No one is making a Jew-only club over here, except Beinart, who addresses ethnicity, which is why I addressed ethnicity too. White people brown people yellow people red people, all can come free Palestine together. Obviously.

          On the question of “political Zionism etc…” this should be challenged, but it is not the primary determinant of policy, and if just it is challenged, the result will be an apartheid prison called Oslo. If you want to try to understand why, read this: link to jacobinmag.com

          Please spare me your glad-handing this time around and try instead of writing cute remarks to focus on what is being said to you, not what your mind inserts into what is being said to you. The two are not the same, and it is the former that you should try to respond to.

        • Thomson Rutherford
          May 12, 2011, 11:58 pm

          Max, thanks for your reply, which was a bit less caustic than the last one. Also, thanks for the links to your article and website; that helps me to put your ideas in context so that I should have less trouble in interpreting you (I hope).

          May I skip further discussion of ethnicity for now? No individual’s ethnicity, in and of itself, is a significant matter for me. It only becomes important to me in considering the welfare and political behavior of ethnic groups.

          Now I know more about your thoughts than you know about mine. In spite of your warning in advance that you will doubt my sincerity, I shall inform you that I am anti-militarism, anti-imperialism, anti-neoliberal capitalism, anti-neoconservatism, anti-Republican, anti-corporatism, anti-”nativism”, and anti-Zionism. I was all these things before you were born. In addition, I am not an “America Firster” in the sense you use the term.

          On the pro- side, I am a social democrat in the European sense, an egalitarian (non-elitist) libertarian, an environmentalist, a “universalist” in terms of value system, and an internationalist in terms of diplomatic conflict resolution. I come to my analyzes of social problems from the triple standpoints of trained economist, trained engineer, and tireless student of history. Hopefully, all this might help you avoid making spurious claims about me.

          Now, to your reply:

          Ajl: “In other words, to deal with ethnicity or to make a statement about how certain potential allies of the Palestine solidarity movement might react to notions prevalent amongst certain online ‘allies’ of the Palestinian liberation movement about the ‘national interest,’ an empty concept that means nothing, is to be ethnocentric or exclusivist.”

          Did you really mean to say that American national interest is an empty concept that means nothing? Is that what they are teaching nowadays in Sociology school? If that is true, then the political concept of America as a nation is empty also. Do you regard America as nothing more than a multicultural collection of ethnic groups more or less free to pursue their separate interests without regard for a higher notion of social welfare? Is American collective social welfare to be considered indefensible against the interests of other nations (e.g., Israel)?

          Beyond that, let us look at your sentence, quoted in full above, very carefully (recognizing your preference for ambiguity). Are you not saying that ethnicity matters in the “Palestine solidarity movement” because involvement of many un-vetted non-Jewish “whites” is likely to scare many Jews off because of the bogeyman – eternal anti-Semitism? So, a general attempt at solidarity is actually not feasible. Well, who am I to judge about that? But I shall venture to predict that genuine anti-Jewish sentiment will increase over time unless that exclusionary principle changes wrt American Mideast policy generally, and the fate of the Palestinians specifically. What you see currently on the Internet, and attribute to white-hooded phantoms called “America Firsters”, is likely only a foretaste of the ugly rhetoric to come. I’m not saying that to be unfriendly.

          Ajl: “In other words, most who want to work – work, and not chatter on the internet – to the end of cutting off military aid are welcome to the table.”

          Some, because of location or physical infirmity, have no way to participate except to “chatter on the internet”.

          Sorry, I wanted to get to a discussion of your cited article criticizing Petras. Unfortunately, I’m out of time for now. Briefly, I interpret you to be saying that the Israel Lobby is not primarily a Zionist Lobby; it’s a Capitalist Lobby. Hence your emphasis on combating imperialism as the essential activity in preventing the extermination of the Palestinians. It’s an ingenious twist, but of course I (anti-imperialist class warrior that I am) don’t buy it. That’s where you and I could get into a really substantive argument because that’s where our big disagreement appears to lie. Perhaps you have seen me express the contrary point of view often here at Mondoweiss and thus your emotional reaction to my earlier questions about the wording in your post.

          So it’s clear you are not an Apologist for Israel. Rather, like Chomsky, you appear to be an Apologist for Israel’s Lobby. That will not help the Palestinians. (I can continue this discussion with you later if you wish.)

        • Max Ajl
          May 13, 2011, 2:04 am

          Thomson:

          Again, a great deal of smoke is blown. But what lies beneath? Two claims. One, “Are you not saying that ethnicity matters in the “Palestine solidarity movement” because involvement of many un-vetted non-Jewish “whites” is likely to scare many Jews off because of the bogeyman – eternal anti-Semitism?”

          No, I am quite clearly not saying that. I was saying that the American First rhetoric is more likely to scare off real potential allies, aware of what “America First” has done to their people.

          You don’t respond to that point in any substantive way, instead obliquely referring to my background in your comment about the “bogeyman.” Now I get tired of explaining this to you people (your comment on “introspection” above was cute, good try, but no, the post was not remotely introspective), but the concern is not antisemitism but rather people mis-understanding the nature of American power in the Middle East and what must be done to combat it and who might compose a left capable of doing so.

          And claim two? You say, “Rather, like Chomsky, you appear to be an Apologist for Israel’s Lobby.” But what did the piece I referred to say about Chomsky? “Chomsky’s analysis was not entirely sound.” What did it say about the lobby? “the lobby must be confronted. It is a component of ruling class power, and to deny its influence will not fly.”

          Again, your criticisms evaporate when you bother to read what has been written rather than what you read into what has been written. So what’s up? Why are you wasting my time? Who benefits from that?

        • Thomson Rutherford
          May 13, 2011, 2:59 am

          “Why are you wasting my time? Who benefits from that?”

          Good enough. No point in pursuing your ideas further. They are too hard to pin down, given your preference for ambiguity (your word). I thought it was generous of you to share so much of your time on Mondoweiss but your rude disposition is getting old, to be sure. Who benefits from that? No one – not even an alleged sock-puppet. Bye.

        • VR
          May 13, 2011, 4:27 am

          Mr. Rutherford, we can only access who and what you are by what you have posted so far, and what you have posted so far does not reflect reality on the ground – economically, scientifically, or historically. Arguing with you seems to be an exercise in futility, because one of two things are happening – either you are cynically deceptive from whatever motivations, or you are delusional. About the only thing that you have said, that might be remotely true is the years you possess in building this deceptive (or self-deceptive) house of cards, which may only succeed in putting you beyond reclamation to reality.

          We already know what you say you believe, and it reflects no resemblance to the global systemic element which we need to fight. As an example, one cannot say they are anti-imperialist when making statements like you did on other posts –

          “Thomson Rutherford May 7, 2011 at 7:17 pm

          Keith: “Likewise, current imperial actions are as reprehensible as anything that the Zionists are currently doing.”

          More Apologist talking points! Golly, I would like to kill this one. There is no equivalence, moral or otherwise. The U.S. imperialists are not “currently” engaged in ethnic cleansing and genocide anywhere; the Israelis are.

          True, our government does aid the Israelis in their ghastly enterprise, but that is ONLY because of the accursed power of the Zionist Lobby over all we do in that part of the world. Remove the Lobby from the halls of government and the “current imperialist actions” you complain of would immediately begin to shrivel drastically. We could be free again! (If not for Wall Street.)”

          ‘Geronimo EKIA’– as Indian wars continue in Palestine

          As I said, a total disconnect from reality – we could be “free again” if not for the accursed Lobby – what is free again? Were we all in the Garden of Eden til the serpent arrived? I mean, who do you think you are talking with here, imbeciles? The USA is not what you say it was from the beginning to the present day, and why should we go through the process of informing you which is clearly a waste of time when considering statements like the above link and what you devolve to from that point forward? You remind me of the “American” on that past post who has no damn idea what he is talking about, and proceeds to place his foot in his mouth, and not being satisfied with that, starts to kick!

          You cannot claim to be what you are by making comments which do not reflect your claim, I don’t care how incensed you get. I do not need to add any analogies to explain.

          “My complaint against you and M. Taylor was not that you condemn empire and its evil consequences (I do that, too, daily, just not here at this time), but that you appear to be motivated by a desire to use certain aspects of America’s history and recent foreign policy to deflect or soften criticism of Israel, very much in the manner of those I refer to as Apologists for Israel.”

          Another example from the same past posting example given above, you are a one trick pony. When you have seen one of your arguments you have seen them all, and packed into your argument is all of your fallacious assumptions you unpack when you post. I will not bother with the rest of the nonsense because it apparently goes over your head (or bounces off it, whatever the case may be…lol).

        • clenchner
          May 13, 2011, 6:53 am

          Ha. Rutherford is out-Mondo-ing the Mondo-ists. Brilliant. He is observing the rules though, which is something like the opposite of ‘regression to the mean.’

        • Evildoer
          May 13, 2011, 7:21 am

          Let me clarify the issue. Since you want clarity. Everyone wants to see an inclusive effort. The question is what the acceptable basis of such an inclusive effort. There is a tendency, and it is a tendency associated with relatively privileged people, to assume that “we can all get along”, and therefore “inclusive” is easy to achieve, and only spoilers spoil it. The key, according to this tendency, is just to put politics aside and focus on what is obvious. The reason this is a tendency that goes well with privileged audiences is because the latter see the way things are as unproblematic “common sense” and are generally unaware how relations and ideas that are mainstream and common sense play to their privilege.

          What Max is saying, if I understand it correctly, is that

          a) US policies in the Middle East, BY AND LARGE, are driven by the core imperialist concerns of the US ruling class: world domination, client regimes, militarism and militarized capitalism, surplus extraction, accumulation, etc. Whatever the lobby does is an important CONTRIBUTION to these concerns. No less but also no more.

          b) ruling classes only change their core policies when the alternative is ceasing to be a ruling class.

          c) a political movement that is based on the common sense of the relatively privileged is not going to produce the kind of threat to the ruling class that is going to lead to the dumping of core policies.

          b) therefore, a political movement that CAN challenge these core policies must be based on the perspective of underprivileged groups: people living under US domination, immigrants, African Americans, etc.

          d) The main challenge to building such a movement is the tendency of people from privileged backgrounds to see such perspectives as too “political” and to refuse to participate in the movement unless the movement mirrors their sense of privilege, i.e. the sense of what they perceive as common sense, normal, nonthreatening and obvious.

          Hope that helps.

        • Avi
          May 13, 2011, 11:36 am

          clenchner May 13, 2011 at 6:53 am

          Ha. Rutherford is out-Mondo-ing the Mondo-ists. Brilliant. He is observing the rules though, which is something like the opposite of ‘regression to the mean.’

          This slip-up tells us that you have long viewed Mondoweiss as a monolithic nuisance. It’s an indication of your real motives and further confirmation of your juvenile views. As if further proof were needed.

        • VR
          May 13, 2011, 1:17 pm

          Now wait a minute Avi, I thought I was the only juvenile in here and now you tell me I have company…hehe

          Actually it is the sheer redundancy of the posting that gets to you after a while. Truncated views both current and historical, and the general inability to face reality which does not portend to serious remedies regarding the subject matter. This has a tendency to cause one to go ballistic occasionally, and those who do not are just even keeled for the sake of group appearance – which is sad. Next subject…

        • Mooser
          May 13, 2011, 1:50 pm

          “I come to my analyzes of social problems from the the triple standpoints of trained economist, trained engineer, and tireless student of history”

          Oh my God, run!

        • clenchner
          May 13, 2011, 3:03 pm

          As if when people say ‘as if’ they aren’t speaking like fools. This isn’t some kind of detective word game where once a particular verbs and nouns come together our Scotland Yard hero comes out and accurately deduces some hitherto unknown conclusion.
          I view YOU as a nuisance, you and those like you, because you are hostile, mean spirited, cruel, and prefer to attack people instead of positions.
          I view a number of frequent posters here as being in your camp because they not only cheer along such behavior, they claim that it represents some essential element in the struggle for Palestinian rights, rather than a borderline personality disorder symptom.
          The selections curated by Mondo editors, in contrast, tend to be informative and worth reading.
          The question is: since no further proof is needed, will you cease the public collection of such proof despite all the errors made so far – or desist, your smug little task completed?

        • VR
          May 13, 2011, 4:40 pm

          Perhaps you mistake seriousness and calculated aim for what you call a “detective word game?” Do you want to know what is really “mean spirited?” Waltzing around a web site postulating ideas and claims that have no basis in reality, while people die daily. Proposing remedies which are merely the perpetuation of your own personal peace and comfort. I find myself to be somewhat self-controlled in such an environment, when I should reprobate the activity stronger still.

          Rather than practicing some quieting code of silence as a courtesy to the participants. It causes me to believe that you have not experienced nor suffered anything of consequence in your lives, and are just prancing about the princely halls of privilege. This is a prime example of getting people to believe absurdities so that they see nothing wrong in committing atrocities – which falls on the side of both commission and omission.

          As for me i could care less what you think of me, or how you strain to make demeaning remarks, make of me what you will. Suffice it to say, no one who has been an opponent has even come close to answering what I have posted because you have to deal in truth and reality to answer correctly, and to do that means you must shed fantasies no matter how comforting. This entire systemic nightmare deserves total destruction by whatever means necessary, and I really grasp for words to say that “politely.” Make of me what you will, here I will do it for you –

          UH OH, HERE I AM!

        • Thomson Rutherford
          May 13, 2011, 6:38 pm

          Evildoer, you can “help” by relying less on abstract textbook nomenclatures. In the American (not British) arena, whom do you mean when you use terms like “ruling class” and “privileged backgrounds”?

          As an economist in America, when I refer to “class” I am talking simply about a classification by income or wealth. Sociologists and political scientists often bring in other parameters, such as “race” or ethnicity or even religion, as between-class discriminants. If class distinctions are to be based on gradations of privilege or advantage, then which parameters confer privilege in a society (particularly America)?

          All of this is very relevant to a consideration of how America one day rids itself of the curse of imperialism. Ultimately, it will be a class struggle (“movements”) that implements the downfall of imperialism, but it will be economic forces that cause it to happen.

          But History takes time to choke down such leviathans as American imperialism. America, the country, cannot wait that long to rid itself of the curse of Zionism. The two curses are not the same. They arose from different historical causes and they are sustained by different political forces.

          Attempts to conflate Zionism with American imperialism serve to blur Americans’ view of the evil influences that Zionism, all by its little self, exerts on American democratic processes. The story becomes, “Zionism is but a non-wagging Tail, without influence, appended to the imperialist Dog.”

          Back to “ruling class” and “privileged backgrounds”: Please specify who these groups are in America? Do you mean “wasp” privilege; Jewish privilege; old folks’ privilege? “Ruling class” refers to holders of great wealth, or to those who own and control giant international corporations (the Corporatocracy, or the military-industrial-security complex)?

          When AIPAC holds its annual meeting this month, do you think the dignified members seated there are representing the interests of Wall Street and the Corporatocracy? If I said that, I would be charged with one of the worst canards of anti-Semitism. But I deny it. The members of AIPAC, to whom our government kowtows, represent Zionism – a political movement probably quite distinct from what you mean by the “ruling class”. Though many of these movers and shakers no doubt have great wealth and support the Empire in various ways, that is not why they are Zionists.

          Conflating Zionism with imperialism, calling the Israel Lobby a Capitalist Lobby rather than a Zionist Lobby, is one of the most useful devices of the Apologists for Israel’s Lobby.

        • Thomson Rutherford
          May 13, 2011, 6:42 pm

          “Oh my God, run!”

          Fear not, I am come to be among you.

        • tree
          May 13, 2011, 7:15 pm

          Fear not, I am come to be among you.

          Welcome, Thomson.

        • Thomson Rutherford
          May 13, 2011, 7:19 pm

          VR says,
          “You remind me of the “American” on that past post who has no damn idea what he is talking about ….”

          There’s something about that comment that reminds me of things you used to say here under a previous alias, “v…”. Let’s please not try to make this a Jews vs. paleface-goy thing. In my opinion, that’s not at all what MW is about and it certainly won’t help it in its mission.

          Everything I say here is intended to help alleviate the suffering of the Palestinians. Freeing the American political system of the yoke of Zionism is, in my opinion, the sine qua non for removing the Israeli yoke on the Palestinians.

          You are free to have and to express your own opinions. But in doing so, try to keep it cleaner.

        • VR
          May 13, 2011, 9:32 pm

          Mr. Rutherford, please understand that I am not trying to be crude, but you have to understand that conversing about these matters in a simple sing song – home spun – sort of “common sense” manner really does not work. It not only does not work but when it is filled with nonsense it is not true, lifted from the entire context of history to the current debacle. So, you go ahead and keep trying to charm these people here with your “humble” and homey verbiage. But I am sure in this crowd that some will praise you for the low toned way you spin nonsense.

          It is just like how you talk about “class” as distinct from true class anaylsis. You keep praying that this simple and untrue assessment of class, devoid of all of its elements – wait for the god of history to act… try to ply away Zionism which was placed in this geographic area by imperialism from imperialism, that should be quiet a feat.

          Than bounce again to “ruling class – wasps – old people – corporations,” while you are at it add kids class and infants class, and we cannot forget cat class and doggie class too, that would never do. However, whatever you do isolate, make a point of the hard and fast division of that evil evil Zionism which is above all the other evils, but is not any part with imperialism or class – make it wholly other. Never forget to bring up the “conflation” word, which is the favorite of those who always try to make unwarranted and false distinctions.

          Than, please don’t forget to make a reference to what I have said, pull it out of context and twist the argument made – be sure to do it without a link (unlike my terrible habit of providing links). Than reduce back to that irreducible minimum again, the complete nonsense about being a Zionist apologist – oh, that should sure put me in my place, like early colonists cried out “witch!” against those who did not comply with the brainwashed whole of the community. Try to push the idea of how “unclean” my statements are, compared to your pristine lies.

          However, I will repeat again, and say that here I have all the proof I need that you have no idea what you are talking about, and you provided the proof with another post – I thank you for making that so easy. I for one, will certainly never say that you never gave me anything.

  11. yourstruly
    May 12, 2011, 1:28 am

    when will the crack appear?

    it’s already here

    isn’t this what mondoweiss is all about?

    turning things around

    everywhere

    prn

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