Richard Witty’s 10,000th comment

Israel/Palestine

Yesterday we reached a milestone: Richard Witty made his 10,000th comment on this site. Since July 30, 2009, when our counting system went into effect, Witty has averaged 13.7 comments a day.

We agree with little that Witty has to say about Israel/Palestine, but on one point we see eye-to-eye completely: He represents a large (but decreasing) portion of mostly Jewish opinion. He represents hundreds of thousands of Jews in the U.S. and elsewhere, maybe millions. When people ask us why we pay attention to Richard Witty, that’s why: he is representative of a vast number of people sometimes called liberal Zionists. (Though we’d distinguish him from men of great intellectual integrity like Jerry Slater, who’s also liberal Zionist.)

Witty has more courage than many of these people, who are simply in denial and don’t want to expose themselves to any of the truth of Israel today, preferring their dreamcastle view of Israel. For Witty visits this site. 

And as to the fact that Witty ignores evidence that is routinely presented to him: this illustrates the point that, as a wise man once said, man is not a rational animal, man is a rationalizing animal. So Witty uses argument to rationalize an emotional attachment. And though Noam Chomsky or the late IF Stone would say that you don’t argue emotionally, you only present the facts, this issue is so filled with emotions that it is important to bring them up and deal with them (as Weiss frequently does). It is North’s view that Witty gets worked up over these issues because deep down he is an honest man with a troubled conscience. If he makes enough noise, he’ll drown out that inner voice, and protect his dreamcastle view of Israel.

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241 Responses

  1. annie
    July 15, 2011, 1:10 pm

    let me be the first to congratulate you richard witty.

    ;)

    or maybe i should congratulate all of us for simply enduring all those comments!

    • eGuard
      July 15, 2011, 6:45 pm

      Richard Witty is an old personal friend of Philip Weiss.

      • Citizen
        July 16, 2011, 8:26 am

        Mmmmm, wonder what woud happen between them if push came to shove? I recall E. Rohm was once very close to Adolph; then came the night of the longknives.

  2. Dan Crowther
    July 15, 2011, 1:14 pm

    10,000 comments, wow – talk about a glutten for punishment. i will say this about witty, very very very few people spend alot of time around people who so vehemently disagree with them. i agree he does duck alot of questions/responses etc. but he shows up everyday, knowing hes gonna take it on the chin (rightfully so). gotta give him credit…….

    • eljay
      July 15, 2011, 1:23 pm

      >> i agree he does duck alot of questions/responses etc. but he shows up everyday, knowing hes gonna take it on the chin (rightfully so). gotta give him credit…….

      I give RW credit for being consistently immoral and hypocritical. Must be because of all the peppers and cucumbers (or air and chocolate) he consumes…

    • Chu
      July 15, 2011, 2:00 pm

      10,000 comments and I don’t believe he’s convinced anyone to join his side.

      • Sumud
        July 15, 2011, 4:54 pm

        I can’t testify to Richard’s ability to convince anyone of anything except his own lack of integrity but he did have an ally in ‘maximalistNarritive’. I’d pull up the quote directly but it appears max is no longer of this world.

    • Mooser
      July 19, 2011, 1:09 pm

      “talk about a glutten for punishment”

      I’ve eaten at lots of vegetarian restaurants, and don’t consider it punitive at all.

  3. eGuard
    July 15, 2011, 1:14 pm

    Liberal Zionists. Jewish opinion. Representative. Sure.

    (I read “We agree Witty has little to say about Israel/Palestine“)

  4. lobewyper
    July 15, 2011, 1:17 pm

    But how much money has Richard donated to the site?

    • Chu
      July 15, 2011, 1:33 pm

      none, he said so in a recent post, because he is unfairly picked on.

    • lobewyper
      July 15, 2011, 4:15 pm

      Phil,

      You really need to charge a band-width fee for high-posting non-donors…

  5. Bumblebye
    July 15, 2011, 1:18 pm

    And thank you for your masterful translations of Wittyish (or should that be Wittywashish?).

  6. Pamela Olson
    July 15, 2011, 1:27 pm

    I read “a large (but deceasing) portion of mostly Jewish opinion…”

    As someone whose grandfather would still prefer segregation and thinks FDR was a Communist… I of course wish for my grandfather a long and healthy life, but at the same time I acknowledge that his generation of “Southern gentlemen,” and their many hardened hearts, are passing, and this, too, shall pass. Inshallah.

    • JewishAnarchist
      July 15, 2011, 2:40 pm

      Thanks, this (“FDR was a Communist”) made me smile. Does your grandfather refer to anyone that does/did the bidding of Wall Street as a “communist” or just FDR?

      • Pamela Olson
        July 15, 2011, 3:40 pm

        He never got over the New Deal.

        Even though he LIVES ON SOCIAL SECURITY.

        I guess cognitive dissonance just doesn’t bother some people.

      • lareineblanche
        July 15, 2011, 5:52 pm

        Pamela, a large part of the population can withstand a very healthy dose of cognitive dissonance on a large number of issues as long as long as it doesn’t have to pay a large price for doing so.

      • Citizen
        July 16, 2011, 8:29 am

        Exactly, hence the subject here.

  7. Chu
    July 15, 2011, 1:32 pm

    Do you really want to praises this guy? So many good commentators have left this site because of the people like Witty and his windbag commentary. He can’t debate when facts are presented to him, unless live and let live is debating. It’s hardly courageous, just an man with too much free time in his life to argue for a Jewish state on top of the backs of Palestinians.

    • Kathleen
      July 15, 2011, 1:43 pm

      Really? That is really too bad. Dealing with Witty is like dealing with an illegal settler constantly poking you in the side, spitting on you, laughing at you. I always think about Witty in that way. Just a tiny tiny tiny sense of what the Palestinians go through all of the time

      • Citizen
        July 16, 2011, 8:32 am

        No. Witty’s the settler back behind the wire, creatively putting more Palestinian land under the Jews Only column on his spread sheet like an ancient Sparta accountant distributing the helots in appropriate useful work columns.

    • longliveisrael
      July 15, 2011, 3:01 pm

      No Chu, you and several others on this site don’t debate, you just resort to infantile name calling towards Richard and anyone who doesn’t totally agree with you. Yet, I have never seen Richard reply in kind.

      • Mooser
        July 15, 2011, 3:19 pm

        “Yet, I have never seen Richard reply in kind.”

        Anybody who wants to can click on Richard Witty’s name, and his comments archive will be immediately available. You can easily see for yourself the complete falsity of “longliveisrael’s” contention.

      • RoHa
        July 16, 2011, 1:01 am

        10,000 Witty cisms.

        Hoo.

        Ray.

      • Citizen
        July 16, 2011, 8:37 am

        he doesn’t have to because his Israeli friends are busy taking care of the Palestinians every day.

      • Chaos4700
        July 16, 2011, 3:22 pm

        That’s because Witty never replies to what people actually say.

  8. Joseph Glatzer
    July 15, 2011, 1:34 pm

    This is the only story in recent memory that Witty doesn’t have the first comment which is a smart ass one at that!

  9. JewishAnarchist
    July 15, 2011, 2:42 pm

    That’s a lot of comments (at least a part-time job’s worth).

  10. Donald
    July 15, 2011, 2:57 pm

    Good post. I think it accurately describes Witty and also explains why he is significant–he represents the views of a lot of self-described liberal Zionists. Not all (thank God for Jerome Slater and others), but many.

  11. Oscar
    July 15, 2011, 3:15 pm

    And I thought Derek Jeter’s 3,000th base hit last weekend was the biggest lifetime achievement of the week. Wow, ten thousand intellectually dishonest, straw man comments from Witty, a large percentage of which included backhanded swipes at Phil for having such a successful blog.

    The next fundraiser should be a effort to raise $5 for every comment Witty has made on Mondoweiss. God knows that Witty won’t contribute a red dime to the site; he’s too jealous of Phil’s accomplishments.

  12. Mooser
    July 15, 2011, 3:22 pm

    “We agree with little that Witty has to say about Israel/Palestine”

    You can figure out what he’s saying? Wow. I have only ever heard him say two things: “Make one move, and the Palestinians get it in the neck!” and “The Palestinians should be grateful Israel doesn’t kill them all!”
    By the way, those are both quotes. As you can easily see, they have quote marks around them.

  13. Mooser
    July 15, 2011, 3:25 pm

    “he represents the views of a lot of self-described liberal Zionists.”

    Would it be more accurate to say he represents the lack of a point of view? And will defend to the death his right not to have one.

  14. Robert Werdine
    July 15, 2011, 3:40 pm

    Congratulations Richard. Good for you!

    I don’t always understand what you write, but when I do, I usually agree with you. Your willingness to say what you believe, and brave the slings and arrows fired at you with a civil tone and disposition, command respect, and even your antagonists here concede that this blog wouldn’t be the same without you. That’s quite a compliment!

    • Mooser
      July 15, 2011, 4:40 pm

      “I don’t always understand what you write, but when I do, I usually agree with you.”

      What an endorsement! Out of the mouths of boobs….

      • James
        July 15, 2011, 5:51 pm

        lol! when does mooser get a post saying he has reached the 10,000th comment or have we already gone past that?

      • annie
        July 15, 2011, 7:38 pm

        you are going to have to wait awhile. mooser’s only contributed 7698 comments to mondoweiss. you can check a posters comment history by clicking their names.

      • Mooser
        July 15, 2011, 10:02 pm

        “mooser’s only contributed 7698 comments to mondoweiss.”

        And my rate of comments has dropped precipitously.

    • Cliff
      July 15, 2011, 6:02 pm

      Hear that Witty? You just got an endorsement from a sockpuppet-troll, pretending to be an Arab (after pretending to be Native American failed apparently)!

      Congrats!

    • lobewyper
      July 15, 2011, 7:18 pm

      So long as we’re quoting Shakespeare:

      “…a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage
      And then is heard no more: it is a tale
      Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
      Signifying nothing.” (Macbeth)

    • Chaos4700
      July 15, 2011, 7:34 pm

      I don’t always understand what you write, but when I do, I usually agree with you.

      Can’t type. Can’t breath. Laughing too hard.

    • Bumblebye
      July 15, 2011, 8:00 pm

      The funniest thing RobertW, when Richard Witty looks back over his posts, HE can’t understand them either! He said so!

    • Keith
      July 15, 2011, 9:16 pm

      Congratulations Richard! Better you than Robert Werdine. Can one imagine 10,000 comments from Robert Werdine? The mind is repelled.

      • annie
        July 15, 2011, 9:18 pm

        we couldn’t afford the bandwidth!

    • Citizen
      July 16, 2011, 8:42 am

      Yeah, it’s really courageous to rubber-stamp the US & Israeli Establishments. What a risk to career, to life & limb even!

  15. radii
    July 15, 2011, 4:11 pm

    Witty is that older gentleman otherwise known as The Crank that Sits in the Corner and Shouts

    Every family has one, every community has one

    His shouts are the same, his act is the same, his performance is the same … at a certain point you know the world is the same today because that crank is over there doing is hollering that no one, really, is paying attention to

    Witty has lent nothing to the level of understanding of the change which is taking place that Mondoweiss is attempting to chronicle and shape a bit … the tide of history has shifted (notice the past tense) against israel and they and their rabid supporters are the last to notice … Witty is here with a goal – to check criticism and to deflect, and occasionally he exposes some intellectual integrity with guilt that reveals itself … but, hate to say it, he is a fossil

    Gracious of Weiss to pay homage to his, er, contributions, but he is irrelevant, except to serve as a signpost to a road the rest of the world no longer plans to take

    • Mooser
      July 15, 2011, 4:47 pm

      “Gracious of Weiss to pay homage to his, er, contributions, but he is irrelevant”

      Maybe, but the reams of facts, figures and links used by the informed commenters to take him apart are very relevant.

  16. seafoid
    July 15, 2011, 4:21 pm

    10 years ago Richard Witty would have been taken seriously.

  17. Mooser
    July 15, 2011, 4:45 pm

    Anybody who wishes to disabuse themselves of the canard that Witty is “civil” only has to look at his comments when Phil wrote about his (Phil’s) trip to Gaza.
    Witty mostly tries to preserve his civility mostly by promising that Israelis will murder the Palestinians, but he himself is to old for the good work.

    Even a cursory perusal of his comment archives will show that plainly.

  18. Richard Witty
    July 15, 2011, 4:49 pm

    Persuade.

    I am proud that I’ve retained true to my convictions of desiring to improve the lot of both communities through the guiding word of “peace”.

    I do see the suffering of Palestinians, but also see the threats by some Palestinians and solidarity. If others don’t see that, that that doesn’t enter their math at all, then they are missing a lot of the knot.

    I don’t see any prospect of changing hearts and minds by threats and ridicule, and I don’t see any prospect of changing objective conditions without changing hearts and minds.

    Force won’t do it. BDS won’t do it. Calling every other Jew a racist won’t do it. Publicly calling one’s family racist won’t do it.

    What will make change is positive work. In Israel, electoral work, creating and working with a moderate non-nationalist party (rather than communist non-nationalist). In Palestine, by development of institutions of governance, law, economy, education, infrastructure.

    Between Israel and Palestine, by engagement, by cultural interaction (including those that have PR value for Israel), by academic interaction, by ecological loving the land as a basis of organizing.

    If there is anything that I recommend condemning consistently its terror and anything close, even verbal assault (which happens frequently here).

    Maybe you will effect change (and probably take credit for it). I hope that change occurs that leaves people standing, and as “enough Israel” (67 borders for any that are tempted to misrepresent my views).

    “No Israel” would be a betrayal of justice.

    • eGuard
      July 15, 2011, 7:03 pm

      Richard, you have told me nothing at all. Not learned, not illustrated, not explained. At all. Mondoweiss exists and is needed because you kinda NYT posters keep polluting the media.

      The only posts from you I read, are those above Mooser‘s replies. Glad we have a preselect these days.

    • Chaos4700
      July 15, 2011, 7:59 pm

      And suddenly you care about justice? Didn’t you used to call it “justice” and when we demand it, you insist that we’re “militants” who reject peace?

      So is justice something else you reserve for Jews only? Like democratic majorities and plentiful access to water in the Holy Land?

    • MRW
      July 15, 2011, 11:30 pm

      I don’t see any prospect of changing hearts and minds by threats and ridicule, and I don’t see any prospect of changing objective conditions without changing hearts and minds….etcetera, etcetera, etcetera… organizing.

      The problem is you don’t see human beings. You see humanity, albeit divided. You don’t see what motivates real people or causes them pain, and what causes them to change under differing circumstances. You see issues this broadbrushed divided humanity must deal with, like a 1, 2, 3. You don’t see how real human beings, like 11-year-old kids or 16-year-olds, who can’t wait a decade before they get a chance to go to school, or have an operation. You see this divided humanity as only succeeding with the ‘positive work’ of creating institutions or infrastructure or, your old favorite, self-governance, something that can be described on paper yet carry with it the cruelty of 1,000 cuts.

      You decry acts of terror and verbal assault, now, when that was what created the situation we decry around here in the first place, in 1948, and again in 1967. Those previous acts of terror and verbal assault are sacrosanct in your telling now, and can’t be disturbed because they resulted in what you (the one human you do honor) consider noble.

      You talk a good game around here, Witty, but you don’t walk your talk.

      My smell test for liberals or progressives: do you give a shit about the humans, or do you only care about humanity? That’s why Jane Hamscher doesn’t cut it for me. Ditto Mr. Dkos.

    • Sumud
      July 16, 2011, 1:26 am

      If there is anything that I recommend condemning consistently its terror and anything close, even verbal assault (which happens frequently here).

      Very craftily worded Richard. So when will you take your own advice?

      You’ve effectively endorsed the Nakba:
      If I was an adult in 1948, I probably would have supported whatever it took to create the state of Israel, and held my nose at actions that I could not possibly do myself.

      You’ve downplayed the brutality and scale of the Nakba, dismissing the ethnic cleansing of 700,000 people and the theft and looting of their land and possessions, and as many as 70 massacres, with:
      Except that there was no genocide of Palestinians, but some instances of forced removal.

      [As long as the victims are Palestinians and the perpetrators zionists] you believe there are times when ethnic cleansing is “necessary”:
      So, I cannot consistently say that “ethnic cleansing is never necessary”.

      In terms even more extreme that Avigdor Lieberman you reserve the right in perpetuity for Israeli jews to perpetrate further ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Israelis, by stripping them of their Israeli citizenship and unilaterally moving the borders of Israel so their towns are outside the state. You’ve said so on a number of occasions:
      May 27, 2010
      I believe that Israel should be “gerrymandered” to retain a Jewish majority.

      March 15, 2011
      I’ve stated that if a Jewish majority in Israel was threatened, that I thought that the will of the people expressed electorally should determine if they wish to change their political form to a single state, or revise boundaries to comprise a Jewish majority.

      March 16, 2011
      I personally don’t see a conflict with intentionally adjusting boundaries if the demographics change considerably to create a smaller Israel that is Jewish majority.

      That’ll do I suppose. Not much condemning of terror there, but rather, advocacy for terror.

      Perhaps you’ll take some time to reflect on some of the horrific things you’ve come out in favour of. Perhaps you might ask yourself as Israel drives itself off a cliff at high speed whether you’ve contributed to that, and if there may be some more useful ways to expend your energy. I hope you get there.

      PS If you really wish to display your sincerity you might take my suggestion on board and actually consider apologising for your slanderous, baseless accusation as recently directed at the Palestinian BNC and the BDS Movement. If not, well I guess you’ll just have to live with yourself.

      PPS I can’t agree with James and Phil’s very generous statement that you are more courageous than many zionists who live in denial about Israel’s vast crimes. Certainly those people lack courage, but it is something else altogether to be fully aware of Israel’s crimes and to say ‘more please’ (eg ethnic cleansing). It is evil.

      • Richard Witty
        July 16, 2011, 4:34 am

        Sumud,
        Ironically, every one of those statements you describe as examples of inhumanity, I describe as an example of humanity.

        Your framing of my words is certainly humane.

        Endorsing the nakba (63 years ago, 6 years before my birth) compared to currently endorsing forced removal of 550,000 (even if the title for the land that 450,000 of them live on is imperfect – meaning not clear title). I NEVER “endorse” the nakba.

        How do you explain your and your cadre’s willingness to CURRENTLY forcefully remove hundreds of thousands from their homes?

        Is that not inhumane, in a current advocacy?

        When other arrangements, other reconciliations of title, residence, sovereignty, are possible.

        I endorse self-governance, as self-defined.

        Israelis get to determine what they mean by self-governance. Palestinians get to determine what they mean, and each apply it in the community of their jurisdiction.

        I applaud the effort to realize complete equality before the law, theoretical and functional in EACH community, that minority’s rights be clearly and confidently preserved and protected.

        That is the definition of self-determination. If that is not a relevant concept to you, then you really cannot ever use the term “democratic” governance sincerely.

        I’ll stand tall by my advocacy for self-governance.

      • Citizen
        July 16, 2011, 9:04 am

        “Israelis get to determine what they mean by self-governance. Palestinians get to determine what they mean, and each apply it in the community of their jurisdiction.”

        Yes, Witty, we see that Jewish Israelis get to determine what they mean by self-governance and how they apply it in the communities in their control. We just don’t agree with you that Palestinian life and spirit should be so expendable.

        And we don’t think American and Israeli Jews should be allowed to determine the fate of an entire native people.

        If you had any imagination, I’d suggest, when you read here about what happened to some Palestinian kid yesterday or a week ago, you’d
        put your own kid at that age in the Palestinian kid’s place. Ditto re some old Palestinian or preggars mom wrt your parents or grandparents, or some niece of yours, or cousin, etc. Then multiply that by decades of same.

        Then imagine too that your tax dollars were paying for such daily torture.

        Instead you play with abstract humanist rhetoric, ironically glossing over Palestinian reality.

      • Cliff
        July 16, 2011, 10:21 am

        Witty, you endorsed the Nakba. We have your exact statements.

        And the rest of your comment, is like EVERY other comment you make here – equivocations laced with whitewashing.

      • Donald
        July 16, 2011, 10:42 am

        “How do you explain your and your cadre’s willingness to CURRENTLY forcefully remove hundreds of thousands from their homes?”

        This is Richard endorsing the accomplishments of the settler movement.
        He is willing to describe as “ethnic cleansing” any attempt at removing Israeli Jews who illegally acquired property. Richard actually represents the far right wing of the liberal Zionists.

      • Richard Witty
        July 16, 2011, 11:47 am

        Cliff,
        How could I have endorsed an event that occurred 6 years before my birth?

        I identify elements of the nakba as currently occurring, name it as such, and oppose it.

        I oppose injustice, including injustices proposed to address current injustice.

        The way to change that is to advocate clearly and articulately for MUTUAL justice, in a word, peace.

      • James North
        July 16, 2011, 11:59 am

        Richard Witty said, ‘Don’t study this statement of mine too closely.’

        I oppose injustice, including injustices proposed to address current injustice.

        ‘It looks unobjectionable. But what I really mean is
        ‘The 500,000 Israelis who violated international law by setting up colonies across the green line should be allowed to stay there. If Palestinians and “dissent” don’t agree, they don’t really want peace.’

      • Richard Witty
        July 16, 2011, 12:09 pm

        It means that mass forced removal is still forced mass removal.

        Are you serious North?

        Don’t go to the convenient collective hatred theme. Lots of people hate groups that they think don’t belong in a place, for plausible even legal reasons.

        But, the remedy of forced removal of a population, in the present (not in some academic 1948) is a wrong, if not overtly fascist.

        Please find another approach.

        You propose invoking “international law” but would prohibit their individual day in court, in the name of “human rights”.

      • Shmuel
        July 16, 2011, 12:43 pm

        James,

        With all due respect to your impressive credentials as this site’s foremost Witty-to-English translator, I would like to point out a further nuance to Richard’s statements that any peaceful solution must allow all of the settlers to remain where they are.

        His demand for a priori guarantees that no settlers will be moved legitimises the ongoing theft of Palestinian land and settlement-construction. Were he really serious in his condemnation of justice through injustice he would, at the very least, suggest a cut-off point of some kind (perhaps the signing of the Oslo accords, as proposed by Palestinian negotiators with regard to settlements in East Jerusalem, or the Road Map, or Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza – which clearly demonstrated that all Israeli settlement is conditional upon future decisions by the Israeli government). Without a proof-of-bad-faith cutoff point, a guarantee that settlers will not be moved, simply encourages further theft, injustice and violation of international law.

        Aside: When I objected to my sister’s decision to buy a house on a West Bank settlement, she justified her position saying that she will never be an obstacle to peace, and when told by her government that she must move, she will do so (with a heavy heart and adequate compensation). She is not alone. Since the very beginning of the settlement movement, every settler has known that living in the Territories is conditional – hence all of the government inducements to take that chance. Accepting the possibility of evacuation is thus implicit (whether they like it or not) in every decision to move to the Territories. Children born and raised on the settlements are no different from their parents in this regard – as the conditions of their continued presence in the OPT have been accepted by their parents on their behalf.

      • James North
        July 16, 2011, 1:01 pm

        Shmuel: As always, you are on target. What Richard does when faced with overwhelming evidence is hide. I predict he ignores your suggestion that he “at the very least, suggest a cut-off point of some kind” after which even he would deem the settlement/colonies as illegal.
        I also appreciate that you and others at this site use your first-hand experiences in Israel/Palestine, such as this conversation you had with your sister, to inform the rest of us. Even though Richard wants to “self-govern” in Israel, he hasn’t bothered to visit it since 1986.

      • Richard Witty
        July 16, 2011, 1:03 pm

        I definitely hear what you are saying about enabling illegal activity.

        What do you suggest as cut-off terms?

      • annie
        July 16, 2011, 1:08 pm

        richard, you don’t get it. why should anyone else suggest a cut off point, we are not pushing an idea illegal settlers should be allowed to stay. for us, suggesting a cut off point legitimizes the settlers who are already there. nice try tho. how about you making a suggestion since you’re the one advocating their permanence?

        His demand for a priori guarantees that no settlers will be moved legitimises the ongoing theft of Palestinian land and settlement-construction. Were he really serious in his condemnation of justice through injustice he would, at the very least, suggest a cut-off point of some kind

      • eljay
        July 16, 2011, 1:10 pm

        >> RW: What do you suggest as cut-off terms?

        JN, your prediction was bang on. You are awesome! :-)

        RW, even though you continue to pretend you don’t know where I stand, here is my suggestion for cut-off terms:
        4. Former Israeli settlements on or near the mutual border may revert to Israeli control pursuant to a fair and equitable negotiated “land swap”. All settlements built prior to 1993 Oslo Accords remain intact. All settlements built after 1993 subject to review. While most post-1993 settlement should remain untouched, contentious ones may be partially or fully dismantlement. In case of a dismantlement:
        – Palestine to cover the costs (including FMV compensation for property) of relocating any formerly-Israeli civilians (i.e., Israeli settlers) to elsewhere in Palestine.
        – Israel to cover the similar costs of relocating any formerly-Israeli civilians to somewhere in Israel.

        >> annie: how about you making a suggestion since you’re the one advocating their permanence?

        Good point, annie. One would think the “humanist” would be the one to suggest a just and moral “cut-off point”. Then again, if he waits long enough…
        – “enough Israel” will be attained;
        – the illegal settlements will be “water under the bridge”;
        – “the PRESENT [will be] what matters”; and
        – he will be absolved of having to make any suggestions.

      • annie
        July 16, 2011, 1:11 pm

        I predict he ignores your suggestion that he “at the very least, suggest a cut-off point of some kind”

        yep, he did james. maybe if we prod him.

      • Cliff
        July 16, 2011, 1:40 pm

        Dick, it does not matter when you were born. You can endorse the Nakba in the present. You spoke hypothetically and we have your exact comment on record. Anyone can search your comment history and find it.

        It was even LINKED ABOVE, right in front of you.

        You are delusional.

        Furthermore, you characterize the removal of illegal settlements – COLONIES – as ethnic cleansing. You are insincere and a troll.

        Your perspective is that Jews can steal land from Palestinians without reproach. If they are held accountable, it’s antisemitism (ethnic cleansing in this instance).

        However, if Palestinians want One-State (Palestinians are not immigrants. They are not coming to Israel based solely on their religion, like a Jew from Brooklyn may) – then they are trying to destroy Jewish self-determination.

        Everything you say is dishonest and intentionally lacking context.

        You go on and on about self-governance. Self-governance has no virtue unto itself, Dick.

        No one has to support self-governance for a group if that group is unjustly carrying out said self-governance. And that is the context of the opposition to Zionism.

        IT is not Zionism in and of itself, it is Zionism as it is – in reality. In the past, present and future.

        You continue to spam this blog with your abstract vague comments. You don’t cite sources. You don’t make concrete arguments. You don’t reference the rich documentary record.

        You just filibuster and speak in empty platitudes about ‘mutual’ blah blah. That is why you are ineffective. That is why, you only reach those who agree with Zionism as a whole, even though they themselves would most likely be turned off by your bureaucratic spittle if you had different politics.

        If we remove your political agenda, and keep your argumentation style – you’re still a crook. Your method can be applied to any issue. The same lapses in logic remain. The same lack of evidence. The same hypocrisies.

        You realize, you’re a self-promoting, punching bag, right? No one takes you seriously. They use your arguments to educate the audience.

      • Richard Witty
        July 16, 2011, 2:24 pm

        So, Eljay, you endorse the 67 borders with consented exchanges as THE authoritative basis of BDS?

        What percentage of those that support BDS actively in the world, do you believe hold similar views? Any significant minority hold the view that Israel should not exist as Israel?

        Thanks for taking that step towards some clarity as to your own views, honestly, and towards the clarity of what BDS represents in fact, or could.

        Shmuel and Donald referred to a cutoff point. I asked them what they had in mind.

        Give them a chance to articulate.

      • Richard Witty
        July 16, 2011, 2:40 pm

        Cliff,
        I’ve NEVER endorsed ethnic cleansing or forced removal in any present proposal, or any proposal that was live while I was alive.

        I don’t think that you can say the same.

        My goal is peace, as I’ve stated a thousand times. That is an #and# construction, resulting from satisfied and consented agreement. (Any agreement will be less than perfectly satisfying, as compromise is necessary.)

        I’m not interested in pendulum swings, in “liberated” status that ends in a state just below perpetual war (and periodically shifting to actual war).

        And, I perceive that exagerated rhetoric makes things, all things and for almost all people, worse.

        There are forms of dissent that do not rely on insult, on exageration, on the hope for the other’s suffering.

        And, they almost always turn out to be most effective.

      • eljay
        July 16, 2011, 2:55 pm

        >> So, Eljay, you endorse the 67 borders with consented exchanges as THE authoritative basis of BDS?

        I can’t speak for BDS, but I believe that the 1967 borders as I described them in my previous post (w/ link) is where the starting point of any negotiations should be.

        I also believe that the end result of negotiations should be two secular, democratic and egalitarian states, co-existing autonomously and respectfully (if not entirely harmoniously):
        – Israel, the nation state of all Israelis; and
        – Palestine (as an example), the nation state of all Palestinians.

        >> Shmuel and Donald referred to a cutoff point. I asked them what they had in mind.

        But they asked you first what you had in mind, and all you did was turn the question around. So, regarding the settlements outside of 1967 borders, what is your cut-off point?

      • Chaos4700
        July 16, 2011, 3:15 pm

        Give them a chance to articulate? That’s ironic coming from you, when you opened your post by trying to put words in eljay’s virtual mouth.

        We already know you have no sense of integrity, but could you at least show some shame?

      • Shmuel
        July 16, 2011, 4:16 pm

        Richard,

        I do not treat the forced removal of half a million people lightly, even if such a demand has the law on its side. In fact, this is one of the reasons that I find a 1ss a more logical and humane approach, inasmuch as there would be less reason to move the settlers to other locations within a single, shared polity. Ultimately, of course, it will be up to the Palestinians whether or not they wish to pursue their right to have the settlers removed, to what extent and in what manner. Presumably, Palestinian flexibility will be a function of the specific proposals with which they are presented.

        But this is utopian, solution-based chattering (useful less in itself than in establishing principles and vision). There are so many steps that Israel can and must take, from a rights-based perspective, before arriving at such a juncture; first and foremost, a complete moratorium on all settlement construction and expansion. Since Israel will not do so of its own accord, international sanctions must be applied, to ensure its compliance with international law. And since state actors have, on the whole, refused to impose such sanctions, it is up to civil society to show the way, as it did with South Africa.

        Regarding a cutoff point, since the entire settlement project has been carried out in bad faith from day one, with a total disregard for international law and Palestinian rights, and with the express intention of precluding any possible peaceful solution to the conflict, I see little difference between the Park Hotel, Sebastya, Madrid and Oslo.

        The question is what would you consider a reasonable cutoff point, keeping in mind that any cutoff point would involve the displacement of a significant number of settlers (Oslo, for example, would mean about half would have to leave)? Unless of course you believe that settlement-expansion should go on with complete impunity.

      • James North
        July 16, 2011, 4:21 pm

        Richard Witty said, ‘Note how I continue to hide. Shmuel politely asked me to pick a “cutoff point,” a date after which in my view Israeli settlers should have to return the land they stole in the West Bank. I squirmed inwardly, then used a time-honored Witty tactic: throw the question back at Shmuel. That way, I appear reasonable, interested in dialog (sic).
        ‘But in fact I’m hiding, because I recognize that Shmuel has pinned me down.
        ‘Next, I use another Witty tactic — jump to other threads, and, like a squid spitting out ink, I add other comments to confuse the debate over there. That way, I get to feel self-righteous while I hide from my own conscience.’

      • James North
        July 16, 2011, 4:26 pm

        Richard Witty said, ‘Uh-oh. Shmuel is formidable. He is unfailingly polite, astonishingly well-informed, and frighteningly articulate. I’m going to have to hide on other threads for awhile.’

      • Citizen
        July 16, 2011, 4:26 pm

        Richard nowhere on your blog do you say Israel should withdraw all its settlements since the ’67 war.

      • James North
        July 16, 2011, 4:29 pm

        Richard Witty said, ‘Ooops. Now they are closing in. I try to segregate my mild, token criticism of Israel over on my mini-blog, but Citizen seems to have gone over there and read it.’

      • Citizen
        July 16, 2011, 4:31 pm

        Right Dick Witty, instead you endorsed ethnic cleansing in the past, in 1948, by saying if you were an adult then it would have been kosher to you, and you also said it might be kosher sometime in the future. Meanwhile, you’ve never said on your blog that Israel has no right to be expanding by settlements and so they should be withdrawn, or even stopped–and they have gone on during the entire 45 year period you say you have been a proud “live and let live” kinda guy.

      • Sumud
        July 16, 2011, 6:04 pm

        Ironically, every one of those statements you describe as examples of inhumanity, I describe as an example of humanity.

        Meaningless word games. The holocaust was an example of humanity [at it's worst], in the sense that it was “of humans”. It might amuse you to make these absurd statements – meanwhile, Rome is burning.

        How do you explain your and your cadre’s willingness to CURRENTLY forcefully remove hundreds of thousands from their homes?

        Is that not inhumane, in a current advocacy?

        Question: are the settlements inside Israel’s declared borders?
        Answer: No

        Question: are the settlements built on land owned by the state of Israel?
        Answer: No

        Question: are the settlers citizens of Palestine?
        Answer: No

        Question: are the settlements a clear violation of the Geneva Conventions?
        Answer: Yes

        Question: does every settler know now (and have always known) that their settlements are a violation of the Geneva Convention?
        Answer: Yes

        Question: should criminals be rewarded for their crimes?
        Answer: obviously not

        It is not “inhumane” to advocate for the rule and enforcement of international law. It is immoral to argue against Palestinian right of return and simultaneously argue that the Israeli jewish settlers should be rewarded for their criminal activity. I reject your jewish supremacism.

        I applaud the effort to realize complete equality before the law, theoretical and functional in EACH community, that minority’s rights be clearly and confidently preserved and protected.

        You may applaud all you like, but when you make multiple statements a la Avigdor Lieberman; that Israeli jews should have the permanent right to ethnically cleanse Palestinian Israelis, then obviously your applause is not representative of your true beliefs.

        If that is not a relevant concept to you, then you really cannot ever use the term “democratic” governance sincerely.

        Conscious got you down Richard? I support your definition of self-determination, and see it as applicable universally – but you don’t. Trying to market Lieberman’s plan to ethnically cleanse Palestinian Israelis as acceptable if it is based on a “democratic” decision of the Israeli jewish population is nonsense. Nobody forced Israel to join the UN. It decided to join, and declared it would abide by the treaties and conventions that form the body of international law. Ethnic cleansing is not part of the deal.

        So, Eljay, you endorse the 67 borders with consented exchanges as THE authoritative basis of BDS?

        Shmuel and Donald referred to a cutoff point. I asked them what they had in mind.

        Give them a chance to articulate.

        Still waiting for you “to articulate” on your defamatory statement about the BDS Movement Richard, that they “revised” what is presented as their 2005 BDS call in the past year to include “militant warring language”.

        You might think you’ve succeeded in deflecting away from the issue because eljay and others have engaged you on their personal opinions about a basis of negotiation but you have not. No amount of thread hopping or trying to change the subject will make this topic go away. The only thing that will is if you provide evidence to back up your assertion, or admit you fabricated it, apologise and retract the statement.

        I’ve NEVER endorsed ethnic cleansing or forced removal in any present proposal, or any proposal that was live while I was alive.

        A tacit admission that you endorse the Nakba, and a misrepresentation of well documented your views. It makes no difference whether it is by expelling by physical compulsion or by stripping citizens of their citizenship (and rights), it is ethnic cleansing. There’s no way around it, and you wouldn’t like it if it happened to you. You never know, when the other 98% of Americans realise how badly zionist/neocons (and others) have driven America into a ditch they may well scapegoat American jews en masse. You may yet experience yourself what you wish upon Palestinian Israelis. And if that occurs, by that stage I forecast Israel will no longer be in a position to offer you citizenship as a jew. Fancy life as a refugee Richard? If you attempt to come to Australia in a boat we’ll transport you to Malaysia, and they aren’t signatories to the 1951 Refugee Convention…

      • Richard Witty
        July 16, 2011, 6:20 pm

        Again,
        During my life I have NEVER advocated for the ethnic cleansing of any people on any basis, including Palestinians.

        Your repetition of that, is either a misunderstanding or misrepresentation.

        Again, Sumud,
        My statement was that the reality of the BDS movement’s goals are ambiguous, which remains true.

        Your quoting my definition that Jews should self-govern only in the areas that they hold a majority and should shrink that border if the area in which they are a majority shrinks as “Liebermanish” is wierd.

        You are straining.

      • James North
        July 16, 2011, 7:14 pm

        Richard Witty said, ‘Notice how I get indignant with Sumud — concealing that I have never answered Sumud’s questions over the past few days, nor have I responded to Shmuel either. I’m like a squid; if I release enough ink, I can get away.’

      • Sumud
        July 16, 2011, 7:15 pm

        You are straining.

        Not at all Richard.

        I don’t make baseless statements and I back up my claims with links and evidence. I’ve no need to lie, your words are available for all to see.

        How you anaesthetize your conscience is really of no concern of mine. Deny all you like, but nobody forced you to say the things you have said.

        When are you going to provide some evidence of your claim that the BDS Movement “revised” their statement in the past year? You quoted two texts. One is real, and the other…?

        We’ll put this to bed when you’ve provided evidence to back up your claim, or when you apologise for lying and retract the accusation. It’s your credibility on the line, not mine – and in cyberspace credibility is all you have.

      • Richard Witty
        July 16, 2011, 9:55 pm

        Eljay,
        Our proscriptions are nearly identical. Is the goal more important to you, or the litmus test on an academic question 6 years before I was born?

      • eljay
        July 17, 2011, 12:31 am

        >> RW: Our proscriptions are nearly identical.

        Well, that’s almost an answer. In what way does your proscription differ from mine?

        >> Is the goal more important to you, or the litmus test on an academic question 6 years before I was born?

        Blah? Several people have posed a very straightforward question to you: What is your cut-off point on settlements outside of the 1967 borders. You have, in the past, stated more than once something to the effect of “If you want to know what I think on a subject, just ask me.” The clear and concise question has been posed. And yet you continue to fail to provide a clear and concise answer.

      • eljay
        July 17, 2011, 12:42 am

        >> Again,
        >> During my life I have NEVER advocated for the ethnic cleansing of any people on any basis, including Palestinians.

        Again (and again and again), in numerous threads, your very own statements have been quoted back to you. In this thread alone, they’ve been quoted back to you several times. Here’s my compilation from earlier yesterday:

        RW endorses the Nakba:
        >> If I was an adult in 1948, I probably would have supported whatever it took to create the state of Israel, and held my nose at actions that I could not possibly do myself.

        RW leaves open the possibility of future (physical or bureaucratic) ethnic cleansing:
        >> I cannot consistently say that “ethnic cleansing is never necessary”.

        RW endorses the concept of “bureaucratic” ethnic cleansing – that is, re-defining the borders of Israel in order to excise non-Jewish Israelis from their own nation, so that Israel can remain a supremacist “Jewish state” rather than a secular, democratic and egalitarian state of ALL Israelis:
        >> I personally don’t see a conflict with intentionally adjusting boundaries if the demographics change considerably to create a smaller Israel that is Jewish majority.

      • annie
        July 17, 2011, 12:53 am

        I’m like a squid; if I release enough ink, I can get away.’

        LOL, you are so entertaining jn. smooch!

      • annie
        July 17, 2011, 1:01 am

        During my life I have NEVER advocated for the ethnic cleansing

        yo richy, i think you should bold the never. just capitalizing it doesn’t emphasize it enough. but try being truthier next time.

        “During my life I have NEVER advocated for the ethnic cleansing. have stated i agree with it? yes. have i said i thought there were times it was necessary? yes. have i stated i would support it? yes. but that’s not advocating it!!!!”

        whose straining?

        you’re up to 10043 now.

      • annie
        July 17, 2011, 1:11 am

        omg eljay, how far back did you have to mine to find these? from your last link. let’s try more witty on witty, for context. this could be fun!

        I still wish that Witty would endeavor to consider the question and disclose his response.

        Obviously, I have extended beyond his pale, as he is not responding to my questions directly.

        Do not presume that asking that question is prejudicial. It is an honest question, a real one, one that every Jew asks.

        “God said to Abraham, kill me a son.” Abe said “here I am”.

        If you don’t know what that means, then ask. It is not insignificant. A real question resisted for its discomfort is the opposite of honest self-inquiry.

      • eljay
        July 17, 2011, 1:17 am

        >> omg eljay, how far back did you have to mine to find these?

        It was easy. All I did was go to his profile page and search for “ask”. Every one of those quotes was on the first page of search results.

      • Richard Witty
        July 17, 2011, 8:16 am

        At the end of this comment, I included an appreciation of Shmuel’s sensitivity to the prospect of removing 550,000, and further response to his comments, but the moderators apparently removed it or didn’t accept the edit. Why was that (North?).

        As an Israeli, (I guess former now) it is your responsibility to undertake electoral efforts to change hearts and minds, and then governments and then policies. Your assessment that it is “impossible” is questionable.

        I don’t doubt that it is incredibly frustrating and difficult. You may have made the best decision, to adopt a more punitive dissent orientation. Or, you may have made an utterly irresponsible and cynical one.

        My assessment is that punitive forms of dissent elect likud.

        My stand is that polarization is only useful where revolutionary change is both desirable and possible. If it is not both, then polarization creates a state of war which is the least liberatory of settings. It is less free than occupation, and certainly much much less free than a peace even formed by compromise.

        I consistently propose moderation, engagement.

        I don’t see that anything of merit will come of isolation, from either the physical wall or the BDS wall.

        I identify with your hope that a single state can avoid the questions of whether to remove the settlers. But, I don’t see that a single state is either possible, nor desirable.

        I don’t believe it is desirable because in a single state the % of those that regard themselves as “other-governed” is too high (in the 40+% range nearly inevitably). If the single state advocates presented a worldview that was palatable, endorsable in positive terms, then they should campaign on that new identity, in both Palestinian and Israeli elections. And, in a form that is not offensive, not excluding, but inviting.

        That would be the test of whether a single state is possible, desirable, if a majority state that they prefer the positive and safe identity that a single state represents.

        I do believe that equal rights for minorities are possible in two states if the two states achieve a positive commitment to be good neighbors, to get to be friends, to truly bury the hatchet.

        That can only happen mutually, and mutually requires construction of at least conditional intent on the part of hamas/fatah and on the part of Israeli majority.

        There is a LOT of mutual animosity to untie. I don’t see it getting untied by punitive approaches. I see it getting more tangled.

      • Shmuel
        July 17, 2011, 8:48 am

        At the end of this comment, I included an appreciation of Shmuel’s sensitivity to the prospect of removing 550,000, and further response to his comments, but the moderators apparently removed it or didn’t accept the edit. Why was that (North?).

        Was there an answer to my question about a cutoff point in there too? Perhaps you should rewrite that part.

      • James North
        July 17, 2011, 8:52 am

        Richard Witty said, ‘Look at my hypocrisy in action. I say this

        I consistently propose moderation, engagement.

        But a few paragraphs earlier I lectured Shmuel on his “responsibility” and accused him of being

        utterly irresponsible and cynical

        I know Shmuel treats all commenters here with courtesy and respect. I turned nasty because I’m still hiding from his question about “cut-off points.” (Nor, by the way, have I ever responded to Sumud’s challenge for a source for my misrepresentation of BDS.)

      • Richard Witty
        July 17, 2011, 9:13 am

        In the original response, I did include comments on my “solution”.

        To reiterate.
        I believe that the best solution is to reject the idea of the identifying borders to achieve as close to 100% ethnic orientation, and instead seek basically 67 borders, with very minor consented variations (I don’t see Israel ever giving up sovereignty over the Jewish portion of the walled old city).

        In that setting, the east of the green line is Palestine. All settlers that have moved there as adults more than 5 years prior, be allowed to stay (the cutoff), preferably all if accepted.

        The condition for staying is renunciation of Israeli citizenship and adoption of Palestinian citizenship, and commitment to abide by Palestinian law. I assume that Palestinian law will aspire to and achieve the same standards of equal rights for minorities that you advocate for within Israel.

        Compensation should be paid by Israel to perfect title to the land. And compensation should be paid to any settlers that have added value that leave.

        The change in citizenship should not result in a firesale at great loss. It will be seen as reminiscent of the various fascist laws in Europe demanding that Jews leave their homes and sell them to German, Polish, Hungarian, Rumanian officials at the new market price.

        The result. Palestinian sovereignty, respect of minority rights, fair options for the individual civilian settlers, elimination of any institutionalized segregation.

        Now, perhaps you can respond to my points respectfully.

      • Shmuel
        July 17, 2011, 9:59 am

        Respectfully,

        Your “solution” is no more “humane” than most of the ideas proposed on this blog. What you suggest is that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators declare a border, and let the settlers fend for themselves. Your random 5-year cutoff point (inexplicably linked to the successful outcome of a non-existent process) thus becomes largely irrelevant, as the vast majority of settlers would undoubtedly consider such an ultimatum the equivalent of forcible removal, and until there is actually a deal, how would they know when to stop settling (the principle behind a cutoff point being action in bad faith and awareness of the risks involved in building/living in occupied territory)?

        If this is your final position, my compliments. It is a principled one, although you should probably apologise to all the “dissenters” you have criticised for wanting to cause an “injustice” to 550,000 (and growing) Israeli settlers (you could also lose the superfluous Holocaust reference).

        The only thing lacking is a concrete plan to halt settlement-expansion now. Any ideas?

      • Chaos4700
        July 17, 2011, 10:22 am

        I believe that the best solution is to reject the idea of the identifying borders to achieve as close to 100% ethnic orientation, and instead seek basically 67 borders, with very minor consented variations (I don’t see Israel ever giving up sovereignty over the Jewish portion of the walled old city).

        So your idea is to seek the 1967 borders by NOT seeking the 1967 borders because East Jerusalem is Jews-only and certain settlements on the West Bank are Jews only. And 100% ethnic orientation is desirable because separate is ALWAYS equal. Change in citizenship should not result in a firesale at great loss, after all — as long as you’re Jewish and it’s after 1948. Oh wait, I mean after 1967 since those borders need to be supported by rejecting them.

        Because that’s how you eliminate segregation and apartheid. By giving more land and rights to the government that is privileged, and less land and rights to the people who have been oppressed for generations.

        Those are the points we need to address, right?

      • Sumud
        July 17, 2011, 10:24 am

        Now, perhaps you can respond to my points respectfully.

        All this song and dance by Richard to avoid answering my question from 9 days ago about the quotes he presented claiming that the BDS Movement have “revised” what they present as their 2005 BDS call in the last year.

        Just provide the links that support your claims, or admit you manufactured the quote, apologise and withdraw the accusation.

      • Citizen
        July 17, 2011, 1:00 pm

        Witty needs to give us some examples of his proposed ” very minor consented variations” on the 67 borders. Is he refering to Bibi’s definitions of said variations, which basically would allow Israel to retain all the big and/or geo-strategic or otherwise natural resource-valuable settlements, while allowing the Palestinians to have some small disposable hill-top trailer camps, and some arrid desert spots?

      • Mooser
        July 17, 2011, 3:02 pm

        “Since the very beginning of the settlement movement, every settler has known that living in the Territories is conditional – hence all of the government inducements to take that chance. Accepting the possibility of evacuation is thus implicit (whether they like it or not) in every decision to move to the Territories. Children born and raised on the settlements are no different from their parents in this regard – as the conditions of their continued presence in the OPT have been accepted by their parents on their behalf.”

        Shmuel, I have a very hard time believing that, but you would know a hell of a lot better than I would! If this is indeed true, the situation is much more amenable to solution than it seems.
        It boggles my mind. But you say they know their situation is “conditional” and would be prepared to move.
        I will hope it’s true.

      • Shmuel
        July 17, 2011, 4:44 pm

        Mooser,

        I didn’t say they’d go quietly, just that they have always known it was a possibility. Years ago, all the polls said that a large majority of settlers would agree to leave in return for adequate compensation (following the Yamit model). I’m not sure what they say today, considering the precedents of the (evacuated) Gaza settlements and the (non-evacuated) outposts, and the increasing wackiness off and especially on the settlements, but they all know it could happen. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be fighting so hard to prevent it.

      • Richard Witty
        July 17, 2011, 4:49 pm

        “The only thing lacking is a concrete plan to halt settlement-expansion now. Any ideas?”

        Calm, effective, non-intimidating dissent that invites participation in the dissent and in the result of the dissent.

        Specifically, I suggest that dissent that firms up the green line as the border between Israel and Palestine. (This is impossible if dissent only has an anti-Israel orientation and is not clear that it desires sovereign Palestine next to sovereign Israel as good neighbors ultimately.)

        So, examples of effective change in consciousness, is for as many Israelis and Palestinians as possible to begin to think of the green line as border, and to formally request entry into the other state when they travel.

        I think the most effective starting point is my idea of a maintained green thread or string, maintained over every possible inch of the green line, so that EVERYONE that crosses the line anywhere, is aware that they are crossing the border, even if it is very thin and barely recognizable.

        A second effort would be for every Israeli (and every Palestinian) that crosses the green line ever to request a visa from some parallel governmental entity (a shadow currently) to cross into Palestine or Israel. Calmly. Not a big deal. No yelling. No cursing when it is denied, or incredulous looks from Israeli police.

        Make the green line the border by one’s behavior.

        When the PA denies you permission to enter East Jerusalem, don’t go. If the PA grants you permission, thank them. Let your Jewish neighbors know that you are thankful that the PA granted you permission to attend a demonstration in East Jerusalem from your home in West Jerusalem, or to visit a friend in Nablus.

        Calmly, assertively, but not angrily ever.

        Don’t mention ever that Israeli authorities granted you permission, but the PA.

        And, visa versa, when Palestinians travel from East Jerusalem to West Jerusalem, seek the permission of an Israeli authority as if there was a border there. Don’t authorize by your own behavior that there is none.

        The green thread is best. People need to remember that there was a border there. Those Israelis that are young, don’t even know of it.

        You do have to choose though whether you are an advocate for a single state, or an advocate for two states at the green line.

      • James North
        July 17, 2011, 5:10 pm

        Richard Witty said, ‘It’s already Sunday evening here in western Massachusetts, and I’m still hiding. I made up that “5-year cutoff point” out of thin air, under pressure from Shmuel and others; now to my chagrin I see that it could actually hurt the Israeli “settlers” who are the people I care mostly about, so I have to lay low for awhile.
        ‘Also, if I hide long enough, Sumud might get tired of pressing me for a source for my slander about BDS.
        (‘I have to admit; these new search functions really damage my credibility, when they dig up my previous compromising statements.)
        ‘Nope, I’ll hide, and then jump in at the top of a new thread. I’ll get them so worked up about some new comment of mine that they’ll forget what I said here. What I do is the intellectual equivalent of a Ponzi Scheme, trying furiously to stay one step ahead of my creditors.’

      • Richard Witty
        July 17, 2011, 5:18 pm

        Its odd that North continues to lie about my views and comments.

        There is ambiguity associated with the BDS assertions themsselves, and very much associated with how they are applied and the populations that are appealed to.

        Its a tragedy that BDS advocates are unwilling to consider that, as that failure renders the movement to be inneffective, and adds up to very strange bedfellows.

        James,
        Are your comments moderated?

      • MRW
        July 17, 2011, 5:58 pm

        Shmuel, I have a very hard time believing that

        They get cash, Mooser. It’s the best real estate deal going. You know what they were paid to get off the Gaza land? (Which came out of your pocket, BTW.)

        $250,000 to $350,000 per house. For houses that cost them 1/3 of that to build. But it wasn’t televised here because we were listening to Bush, and his Iraq War shit.

        But…good luck pulling that off in this economic climate, with people losing their houses.

      • MRW
        July 17, 2011, 6:00 pm

        This is classifiably insane: Richard Witty July 17, 2011 at 4:49 pm.

      • Sumud
        July 17, 2011, 7:51 pm

        Its odd that North continues to lie about my views and comments.

        A rather ambiguous accusation.

        There is ambiguity associated with the BDS assertions themsselves, and very much associated with how they are applied and the populations that are appealed to.

        The ambiguity you propose Richard is present ONLY in the fabricated text you presented, claiming it was the BDS Movement’s 2005 BDS call from “a year ago”. Since you refuse to provide any evidence that the text you “quoted” is actually authentic – where is the ambiguity??? Lots of misdirection: when pressed for the source of your quoted text, you bizarrely claimed “you guys were my sources”, and then even more bizarrely tried to blame me saying”Your ambiguity is my source, Sumud.” Richard, when you reach to point of making up texts to try and discredit the BDS Movement then the ambiguity exists only in your mind.

        I helpfully gave you advice on searching for text strings via Google so you could source your “quote” and all you managed to come up with was the BDS Movement’s mission statement from their facebook page, which is actually MORE PRECISE than the 2005 BDS call on what constitutes occupied “arab lands”, not less precise. So it proves the opposite of what you suggest; that BDS Movement altered their 2005 BDS text in the past year to include “militant warring language”.

        Let’s have another go: Richard, please support evidence to support your claim that the BDS Movement have, in the past year, “revised” what they present as their 2005 BDS call. If you can’t, have the decency to admit it, apologise for the defamatory statement and withdraw the accusation.

        I remind you again: online, all you have is your credibility. Even admitting you made something up and apologising is better than just pretending you can’t find the source of the text you quoted.

        Its a tragedy that BDS advocates are unwilling to consider that, as that failure renders the movement to be inneffective, and adds up to very strange bedfellows.

        Oh, you mean Hamas right? Medea? I understand.

        Are you actually reading other people’s comments? Lots and lots about BDS. I don’t agree that the movement is ineffective, but if you want to think so, fine.

        Personally, though I’ve discussed my own opinions on the best resolution of I/P many times previously, in unambiguous terms – I’m waiting for you to settle the matter of your fabricated quote before engaging on this matter again. You only brought it up to deflect discussion away from your baseless accusation against the BDS Movement.

      • James North
        July 17, 2011, 9:57 pm

        Richard Witty said, ‘That Sumud sure is persistent — to say nothing of articulate and polite. Of course I made up the “revised” BDS statement; my conscience requires the falsehood so I can continue to oppose BDS.
        ‘Time to run my intellectual Ponzi Scheme. I’ll lay low tonight, then wait until tomorrow morning. I’ve accurately timed when Phil and Adam put up new posts, so I’ll jump in right away tomorrow with some provocative comments that will distract attention from Sumud’s question.
        ‘Look, other visitors may laugh at my transparent tactics. But don’t forget I got away with that quote I made up recently about Hamas threatening “to wipe the streets with Israeli blood.” Why I repeated it so often that I actually came to believe it myself, which was balm to my troubled conscience — which had forced me to hold my nose as Israel killed 1400 human beings, including 300 children.’

      • Richard Witty
        July 17, 2011, 10:12 pm

        Stop the harrassment, North.

      • James North
        July 17, 2011, 10:36 pm

        Richard Witty said, ‘This brief comment is my feeble effort at humor. I have made to date 10,055 comments on Mondoweiss, many of which included sharp attacks on other visitors (moments ago, I instructed Shmuel that he lacked humanity). But I accuse James North (803 total comments) of “harassment.” What’s that Yiddish word again that describes my attitude?

      • pjdude
        July 17, 2011, 11:03 pm

        You don’t advocate for self goverance you advocate for the right of theft by jews. Than you have the gall to lie about it. self determination is letting the Palestinians choose the fate of palestine all of it including what you and yours have stolen what you call self determination is the right of the strong to take from the weak. self determination requires actual real legal ownership. so please quit you damn lying.

      • pjdude
        July 17, 2011, 11:07 pm

        East berlin. Now when will your brownshits friends leave palestine?

      • Sumud
        July 17, 2011, 11:12 pm

        Stop the harrassment, North.

        Stop the harassment, Witty.

        If falsifying texts to smear the good and honourable name of the Palestinian BNC and BDS Movement isn’t harassment, I don’t know what is.

        If it were my decision I’d sue you for defamation.

      • Chaos4700
        July 17, 2011, 11:39 pm

        You’re so pathetic, Witty. Brave enough to call for the bombing of hospitals in Gaza and the caging up of villages on the West Bank, but oooooooh! Someone tossing a little bit of truth-telling your way and that’s “harassment.”

        No, Witty, harassment is having every male member of your family thrown in a prison camp at some time in their lifetime. Harassment is having your children tortured by Israeli policemen. Harassment is having your home bulldozed while everything you own is still inside. Harassment is having the sons and grandsons of Holocaust survivors inflict the same punishment on you that their ancestors went through.

        You don’t have a fucking clue what harassment really is, you pampered, pseudo-academic, pompous old racist.

      • Richard Witty
        July 17, 2011, 11:59 pm

        Again,
        Stop the harassment.

      • Richard Witty
        July 18, 2011, 12:10 am

        You counter is in error. On your last page of references I counted 104 entries, of which 17 did not mention my name.

        Please stop the harassment.

        If you have content to discuss, lets.

      • eljay
        July 18, 2011, 11:38 am

        >> Cliff,
        >> How could I have endorsed an event that occurred 6 years before my birth?

        How? Like this:

        >> RW: If I was an adult in 1948, I probably would have supported whatever it took to create the state of Israel, and held my nose at actions that I could not possibly do myself.

        Let’s look at that comment again:
        >> RW: If I was an adult in 1948, I probably would have supported whatever it took to create the state of Israel, and held my nose at actions that I could not possibly do myself.

        One more time, just to avoid any confusion:
        >> RW: If I was an adult in 1948, I probably would have supported whatever it took to create the state of Israel, and held my nose at actions that I could not possibly do myself.

        That’s a pretty clear endorsement of ethnic cleansing. And it’s clear from this comment…
        >> RW: I cannot consistently say that “ethnic cleansing is never necessary”.
        …that as long as you consider ethnic cleansing to be “necessary”, you have no problem with it. (OK, maybe you have to “hold your nose” while it’s happening, but aside from that it’s all good.)

        In another thread, in response to this question…
        >> Chaos4700: Then why was it necessary for Jewish immigrants to ethnically cleanse massive swaths of the Palestinian country side?
        …you replied:
        >> RW: Currently its not necessary.

        Notice that the Nakba wasn’t immoral, unjust, unconscionable or just plain wrong. It simply is not necessary at this time. Which means:
        – it was necessary in the past; and
        – it may be necessary again in the future.
        It just happens not to be necessary at this time.

        And, finally, as the following quote from you shows, you have no qualms with any future bureaucratic ethnic cleansing of non-Jewish Israelis from their own country:
        I personally don’t see a conflict with intentionally adjusting boundaries if the demographics change considerably to create a smaller Israel that is Jewish majority.

      • Citizen
        July 18, 2011, 12:51 pm

        Yep, eljay, Bingo! Dick Witty suffers from deep feelings of abandonment because of what his in-laws suffered back in the day, and he adds the entire stilted Jewish calendar of oppression since time immemorial, which does not even try to be objective from a world history POV. His insurance policy is “Israel as Israel.” It’s his fellow American’s job to secure the continuity of Jewish life as the highest priority, no matter the cost. No problem there, so far, despite the fact America is 98% not-Jewish. If you think that’s a rational POV for non-Jews concerned for their own best interests, or for Jews most concerned for their own long-term survival & represents universal values, you need to have your head examined.

      • Mooser
        July 19, 2011, 1:14 pm

        “If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be fighting so hard to prevent it.”

        Shmuel, thanks for further explaining. I will keep this in mind. Maybe it’s mostly American right-wingers who think they want a Masadammerung.
        Again, to hear from you that flexibility is a possibility is very heartening. Thanks.

      • Mooser
        July 19, 2011, 1:19 pm

        “Stop the harrassment, North.”

        For God’s sake, North, at least untie Richard from the chair, and take the toothpicks out from between his eyelids! It’s not fair! Why should Richard Witty be forced to take abuse at a website he is completely unable to get away from? Just let him get his hands on the mouse, North, and it’ll be all over for you!

    • tellmeall
      July 16, 2011, 1:32 pm

      “I do see the suffering of Palestinians, but also see the threats by some Palestinians and solidarity. ”

      The Palestinian suffering is concrete – you ‘see the threats’ – threats are ephemeral, subject to opinion. Why not change the priorities and do some concrete things for concrete problems?

      Threats will always be with us, determining which are valid is a guessing game until an event actually occurs, you can spend yuor entire life worrying about what might be a threat – and your life will pass you by.

      I don’t think yuo’re evil, but I do believe you’re severely handicapped by your early indoctrination.

  19. Richard Witty
    July 15, 2011, 5:06 pm

    “From: Philip Weiss [mailto:[email protected]]
    Sent: Saturday, June 25, 2011 9:33 AM
    To: RICHARD WITTY
    Subject: Re: do you think there’s a way

    we really like having you at the site. your presence is essential, it speaks to a large group of people who are silent, so i am glad youre there.”

    You couldn’t convey this publicly? You had to present this post in a passive aggressive way? You couldn’t identify your own words from North’s, as a “courageous” journalist.

    “We appreciate Richard’s courage to continue to be a “racist/Zionist”. We need him to illustrate the “type” that we are fighting”

    Sorry, that wasn’t a direct quote.

    • eljay
      July 15, 2011, 6:04 pm

      >> “We appreciate Richard’s courage to continue to be a “racist/Zionist”. We need him to illustrate the “type” that we are fighting”
      >> Sorry, that wasn’t a direct quote.

      Perhaps not, but that’s the closest yet you’ve come to realizing and admitting just who you really are. Keep up the good work. :-)

    • Cliff
      July 15, 2011, 6:06 pm

      Witty, this post sums you up nicely, keeping in line with North’s comments.

      I don’t think anyone needs more proof other than your own words.

      More of the same will happen.

      You will speak in abstractions and empty platitudes in contrast to the reality on the ground and the documentary record.

      …and we will expose your arguments for what they are.

      And around we go. You are indeed an example of ‘liberal’ Zionism. Your persistence, gives the anti-Zionists here good practice in constructing reasoned arguments. You keep us on our toes.

    • Chaos4700
      July 15, 2011, 7:45 pm

      You know a lot of people like having the character of Rygel from Farscape even if they don’t like Rygel himself. He fills an important… demonstrative role.

    • Mooser
      July 15, 2011, 10:14 pm

      “Sorry, that wasn’t a direct quote.”

      Gee, Richard, where I come from that’s called a lie. I’ll have to remember that neat little locution next time I’m up on perjury charges. I’m sure it’ll smooth everything right over.

      Another fine example of Witty’s “civility”.

  20. lareineblanche
    July 15, 2011, 6:04 pm

    Celebration.

    A milestone.

    How highly does the dove fly ? Only as far as your own guiltless-ridden consciousness will take it to the skies. That is what some of you misunderstand. Why persist in questioning the unquestionable ?

    By this letting of non-discordant voices gather into the site (some would say more mainstream than the hardliners deligitimizing those of us who would like to have our phrases and eat them too), you are doing a kind service to some who may be afraid to speak their minds in a somewhat hostile environment.

    Happy Witty-Day !

  21. Mooser
    July 15, 2011, 7:14 pm

    Look, you know what bothers me about this whole thing? Glad you asked! I don’t think Witty’s POV represents anything but his own senility and accumulated failure. If Phil wants to let an old man make a fool of himself, that’s his business, but to elevate the rantings of dementia into something which is supposed to represent the Zionist Jewish community is absurd.
    Well, on second thought, maybe it’s more representative than I like to believe.

    • Interested Bystander
      July 16, 2011, 1:21 am

      Haven’t been here in a while. When last I commented, one of your regulars suggested that only unemployed students living in the parent’s basement really waste their time here. I don’t quite have it right, but I think it was meant as a dig at a particular comment. It’s B.S., of course. Nevertheless, there is a certain juvenile quality in many of the comments here. I think it’s better than it was, but you do still have a strong echo chamber here, as demonstrated by your piling on Richard Witty.

      Mooser: you say Witty represents nothing “but his own senility and accumulated failure.” The tribute however, and I agree its luke warm and back-handed, says “[Witty] represents a large (but decreasing) portion of mostly Jewish opinion. He represents hundreds of thousands of Jews in the U.S. and elsewhere, maybe millions. When people ask us why we pay attention to Richard Witty, that’s why: he is representative of a vast number of people sometimes called liberal Zionists.” Well, whatever that is, it is more than “his own senility.” In fact he represents a hell of a lot larger constituency than this site represents, or were you not paying attention when Netanyahu spoke to Congress. Which is to say, you are talking trash.

      Don’t get me wrong, I support what this site is doing, and I have supported it monetarily. In fact I am sending another donation now. But Witty is a reminder that this site does not in fact live up to its banner of “The war of ideas in the Middle East.” It’s an activist site. It’s one sided. It’s partisan, and not just on behalf of objective justice. It cannot brook the view held by “maybe millions.” I think that is o.k. because the site represents a part of the story that does not get out in mainstream media. But it is one sided, and not objective, in this pursuit. It is way more on the fringe of one-sided than the hated NYT, for example. Richard Witty reminds you of that fact. He is about the only one.

      You all could learn a lot about civility and tone from Richard Witty. My hat is off to him. 10,000 comments is a lot of dedication. And since most of us are in fact grown ups, this site could stand a little more balance and tolerance of the Israeli view, certainly in the comments.

      Best to all.

      • annie
        July 16, 2011, 2:44 am

        i look forward to seeing the little star next to your name the next time you stop by IB

      • Interested Bystander
        July 16, 2011, 12:21 pm

        I think the star is a good idea. So is the sorting/searchable database. Good work. Anyway, I’m in for a year–I assume I’ll get the star. IB

      • Sumud
        July 16, 2011, 5:18 am

        Interesting comment Interested Bystander.

        I don’t disagree this is an activist site (and in that sense MW is avante-garde), but I think you’re confusing partisan with lack of objectivity. It is possible to be at once partisan and objective, at least that’s how I see it. One of the reasons people ‘pile on’ Richard – and I freely admit I am one of the people that do this the most – is that I find his serial duplicity and lack of objectivity particularly appalling. He does repulsive things like endorsing ethnic cleansing when the victims are Palestinian, and on occasion flat out lies to defame movements like BDS. [I've left a longer comment on this thread outlining some of his most recent escapades.] Then, he calmly presents himself as an advocate of all things sweetness and light. Please don’t confuse style with substance. It is always monstrous to endorse ethnic cleansing, even if you use polite language.

        A casual observer may be convinced, and more than one have initially commented in his defence, only to later reverse themselves in disgust when they learn to see past his motherhood statements to his core ideology and beliefs.

        I also don’t think he does represent many people. I think the millions to which you refer are for the most part good and honest people who have been fed endless lies (hasbara) and react accordingly. RW is in another league altogether. He has been supplied with voluminous amounts of links, information and alternate opinion, and remains absolutely unmoved. I sincerely believe he is a jewish supremacist, in the style of the white and aryan supremacists of the 20th century.

        I concur with other comments on this thread that mention authentic liberal zionists such as Jerome Slater. While I may not agree with him on many points, he is sincere, and a man of integrity. I think many American jews have much more in common with Slater than they ever will with Richard Witty, and for that reason I’m optimistic that most will migrate their thinking over the next decade in a positive direction.

      • Richard Witty
        July 16, 2011, 7:46 am

        Sumud,
        You know what is deceptive is your characterization of my views.

        There is NO substance to your assertion that I “endorse” the nakba.

        If you read my blog, you will notice that I describe the nakba as continuing for example, and that that is a cruelty that should stop.

        My core ideology is an advocacy of self-determination, of self-governance.

      • Citizen
        July 16, 2011, 9:21 am

        Witty, your pattern of comments always employ humane abstractions as a veneer covering your core ideology, which is that Palestinian fate, indeed any Gentile fate, is secondary to Jewish exceptionalism. You think that you and yours are entitled to be the last in the life boat, no matter how many others are cast off to allow it not to sink. You call that “the right of self-governance.”

      • Donald
        July 16, 2011, 9:38 am

        “There is NO substance to your assertion that I “endorse” the nakba.”

        Your version of self-determination is built on the nakba.

      • eljay
        July 16, 2011, 11:24 am

        “There is NO substance to your assertion that I “endorse” the nakba.”

        RW endorses the Nakba:
        If I was an adult in 1948, I probably would have supported whatever it took to create the state of Israel, and held my nose at actions that I could not possibly do myself.

        RW leaves open the possibility of future (physical or bureaucratic) ethnic cleansing:
        I cannot consistently say that “ethnic cleansing is never necessary”.

        RW endorses the concept of “bureaucratic” ethnic cleansing – that is, re-defining the borders of Israel in order to excise non-Jewish Israelis from their own nation, so that Israel can remain a supremacist “Jewish state” rather than a secular, democratic and egalitarian state of ALL Israelis:
        I personally don’t see a conflict with intentionally adjusting boundaries if the demographics change considerably to create a smaller Israel that is Jewish majority.

      • Richard Witty
        July 16, 2011, 11:50 am

        My version of self-determination is based on one-person one-vote, in the present, as ALL democracy is.

      • Chaos4700
        July 16, 2011, 3:20 pm

        Bullshit it is, Witty. If that were true you wouldn’t support an Israel because Israel could never have become a Jews-only state if EVERYONE had a say, democratically, on that land before 1948.

        You only love “Jewish” democracy. Anyone else who’s democratic you condemn as “fascists” and “militants.”

      • Citizen
        July 16, 2011, 4:17 pm

        Witty endorsed the Nakba in his own hypthetical statement beginning: “If I was an adult in 1949.”

        Further, remember the following Wittyism?

        Richard Witty February 1, 2011 at 2:16 pm
        I don’t make every thread about me. I make single comments on topic, that are attacked personally, and in that way become about me.

        I don’t assume that I am smarter than anyone else, nor stupider. I assert my perspective honestly and clearly as I can in a moment.

        I haven’t changed my view of Live AND let live, in 45 years.

        I’m proud of that.

        _____
        Hence, Witty has held that view during nearly the entire time Israel has been grabbing land via its non-stop settlement expansion right up to the present. One would have to be deaf, dumb, and blind not to see
        what he means by “live and let live.”

      • Donald
        July 16, 2011, 9:42 am

        “It cannot brook the view held by “maybe millions.””

        True. And you could have said the same about Martin Luther King when he criticized millions of white moderates in “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”. And this isn’t meant as snark. Richard is progressive except for Palestine–his civility consists of using polite language as he consistently downplays or whitewashes Israeli war crimes. One of his standard tactics is to come into a thread underneath a post about some Israeli atrocity and try to change the subject. Another is to blame Hamas for Israel’s intransigence. Another is to pretend that to the extent that Israelis are to blame, it’s all the fault of the Israeli right, never “liberal Zionists”. He also blames “dissent”. What he never ever does is admit that mainstream Israeli society bears much of the blame for the crimes committed against Palestinians (as opposed to Hamas, Likud, and even “dissent”).

        I don’t consider his brand of civility to be worth very much, and his opinions are racist in the same way that the opinions of moderate whites were racist back in the 1950’s and 60’s. He is useful here as a demonstration of the kind of rubbish that dominates discussion of this topic in the US, including in the “hated” (with good reason) NYT.

      • Donald
        July 16, 2011, 10:04 am

        I typed more in my attempt to edit the above, but it didn’t go through.

        Anyway, IB, I sympathize with the desire for more civility, but I don’t value civility which puts more emphasis on form than substance. It’s not okay to deny war crimes so long as you do it in polite language. You spend time criticizing people here for our criticisms of Richard, but you don’t seem at all concerned about what he does that provokes it.

        And yet, glancing through your posting history, you were bothered when someone seemed to be downplaying the crimes of the Iranian government. Assuming that was happening (I didn’t check the thread), you were right to be upset. So you should be upset by much of what Richard types, if you are morally consistent on such things.

        I won’t be around for a few days.

      • Richard Witty
        July 16, 2011, 12:00 pm

        Is “blame” so important Donald, as in who to punish?

        Or, is it more important to identify what obstacles there are to progress to liberation?

        So, I map out that Israel has homework to accomplish, and that Palestine has homework to accomplish, and that they are likely at least partially reciprocal.

        Both have experienced putting out feelers, or making token efforts at trust-building, and watching them dashed, worse than dashed.

        Israel has experienced getting caught in the middle of a street cred war between Fatah and Hamas, in which the measure of their street cred was the extent that they could kill Israelis.

        ANY agitation that adds to animosity, hits that very raw wound, and invokes a stupidly suppressive reaction.

        So, in the effort of actually accomplishing something of merit (peace), I do not like upping the heat in the pressure cooker. I prefer encouraging that cooler heads meet, talk, reconcile, help.

        There are forms of dissent, non-punitive, that are strong and effective assertions, that have the likelihood of changing hearts and minds.

        Storming borders, flotillas, rock-throwing “non-violent” demonstrations, BDS, is not it.

        “Force is the only thing they listen to” is the exact message that I oppose, whether stated by likud, solidarity, hamas, you.

        Even politically, in the choice of form of dissent, these moderately militant, punitive forms, directly feed likud. They literally get likud elected.

      • Chaos4700
        July 16, 2011, 3:18 pm

        Is “blame” so important Donald, as in who to punish?

        Wittypocrisy 101…

        When anyone talks about Israel around Witty: “Why is blame so important to you?”

        When anyone talks about Gaza around Witty: “Hamas MUST be held accountable, and the people who voted for Hamas deserve punishment.”

      • eljay
        July 17, 2011, 12:45 am

        >> Wittypocrisy 101…

        Couldn’t be any clearer.

      • Mooser
        July 17, 2011, 3:06 pm

        “When last I commented, one of your regulars suggested that only unemployed students living in the parent’s basement really waste their time here.”

        I wish! I really do! That would make me over forty years younger and my parents much more affluent!

      • Mooser
        July 19, 2011, 1:23 pm

        “this site could stand a little more balance and tolerance of the Israeli view, certainly in the comments. “

        If you think our trolls represent “the Israeli view” you have been away from Mondoweiss longer than you think.

  22. Keith
    July 15, 2011, 9:11 pm

    “…as a wise man once said, man is not a rational animal, man is a rationalizing animal.”

    If this isn’t a truism, then “truism” has no meaning!

  23. Mooser
    July 15, 2011, 10:09 pm

    “If this isn’t a truism, then “truism” has no meaning!”

    Well, the question should be settled quickly. After all, we have one of the foremost proponents of the meaningless truism on line, right now, to help us sort it out! This is a man who lives by the axiom that there is no problem so serious it can’t be explicated by a meaningless truism. Richard Witty, the floor is yours!

  24. Mooser
    July 15, 2011, 10:19 pm

    Can somebody tell me why I wouldn’t be surprised if I added up all the words Witty has written at Mondoweiss comments and they exceeded, by an order of magnitude, the number of words he’s written on his own blog in the same time period?

    No wonder Witty thinks Mondoweiss is irelevant. He’s got to carry the entire blog himself!

  25. Pixel
    July 16, 2011, 1:29 am

    “Sometimes you want to go
    Where everybody knows your name,…” (Cheers)

  26. PissedOffAmerican
    July 16, 2011, 9:26 am

    Gee, being a newcomer here, I note that ‘Ol Witty doesn’t seem to be very well liked.

    Its an art, really. Takes a certain kinda jackass to thrive on animous. I speak from experience, being a bit of an agitator myself. But, ho hum, who needs a site that doesn’t have conflicting opinions, underdogs, jackasses, smarties, idiots, clowns and intellectual alphas???

    You all owe Witty a debt of gratitude. Its not everyone that is willing to crawl to a flogging everyday.

    And what good is owning a paddle if no one will letcha do the spanking?

  27. Theo
    July 16, 2011, 9:29 am

    You may not like Witty, however you need him and his counterparts to keep this blog alive!!
    If you only had 8-10 persons with very similar opinions tapping eachother on the shoulder, (as the case without Witty is), this blog would vanish in a few months. In a great discussion you need differing opinions, because they will force you to give an even smarter answer to convince that unbeliever.
    Witty, I do not agree with your opinions, however you get an A+ for persistency. You make the others, who constantly pounce on you, look like spoiled brats who gang up on you, because you dare to have a different view of this world. They sure could learn from you how to conduct a respecful conversation.

    • Citizen
      July 16, 2011, 10:26 am

      Hey Theo. Ask Witty if he thinks we should get rid of that private cartel, the Federal Reserve. Ask him if he knows of another country that allows such a private organization to determine its monetary policy.

    • Donald
      July 16, 2011, 10:47 am

      “They sure could learn from you how to conduct a respecful conversation.”

      Uh, sure. Consistently downplay atrocities and do it in a respectful tone. Drive people with a more consistent view on human rights into becoming angry. Then step back and await applause for making your foes look rude.

  28. Cliff
    July 16, 2011, 10:33 am

    I agree with other posters have said about the issue of civility.

    I’m for civility with people who deserve it. We have extreme Zionists here who say Palestinians should give up armed struggle, non-violent struggle, and just negotiate away their self-determination and independence (eee, the racist, fanatic).

    We have dishonest trolls, who if they weren’t Jews or Zionists, could plausible fit the mold of Holocaust deniers (Hophmi, dismissing the Nakba as ‘consequence’ of War, banal, trivial, forget your tragedy and move on-rhetoric, which eee does too).

    The rest? MaximalistNarrative – a Christian Zionist fanatic. Robert Wederine/Michael LeFavour – a sockpuppet, who goes around I-P blogs introducing himself first, as either an Arab or Native American – to lend ‘ethno-cred’ to his far-right Zionist arguments. The guy’s fake-biographies are laughable and transparent.

    The lesser trolls, like longliveisrael or LightWeight, rehearse the same stale Zionist memes of the conflict.

    And in the end, you’re left with nothing. WJ is the best representation of the Zionist perspective here because I think he was mostly sincere and almost always civil.

    Everyone else is a clown, whiner, troll and racist. We have their comments at our fingertips to PROVE this summation.

    SO if we have any sort of discussion of civility – it’s surely academic at best. In practice, civility wears thin with these folks. Then we’re back to square one.

    I mean, Richard Witty has 10,000 comments or pure nonsense on this blog. We have dissected his motives and arguments over and over. We quote the guy at length, TO him and he still continues to lie.

    That is a troll. I think this is what most Zionists are like.

    Jerome Slater is an exception but what makes him such? His views which his own side would consider him ANTI-ZIONIST. Without those views, he isn’t as compelling. When he talks about Goldstone or Gaza – his side would not approve. So it’s being honest, but still believing in the necessity of a Jewish State, moving forward and accepting responsibility for the past in some material form = that means you’re a good liberal Zionist.

    Ok, I can live with that. I don’t agree with the material plan and ideology of Zionism at all but at least aside from WHATEVER ideology you ascribe to, you know that Gaza is under siege and it is immoral. You acknowledge the Nakba as a crime that should be rectified. Etc. etc.

    • Richard Witty
      July 16, 2011, 2:47 pm

      Civility is a basis for getting concepts and proposals on the table.

      Vetted, considered, discussed.

      You don’t want to get concepts, proposals on the table, vetted, discussed?

      I get it. That is the void between constructive efforts and punitive. Dissent that only gets to what is objected to, stays there.

      Dissent that gets to proposal, to mutual aid, gets there already.

      I get that the proposal to engage conflicts with the boycott. I think it is a critical and profound issue for that reason.

      Militant dissent to date has only been “successful” at alienating.

      The best that you’ve accomplished is to let Palestinians know that they aren’t forgotten, given them hope, but the manner that you’ve encouraged them to express that hope has harmed them historically and largely currently.

      • Cliff
        July 16, 2011, 11:02 pm

        Nothing you’ve said is supported by the documentary record.

        Why now, in 2011 – soon to be 2012, should Palestinians sit down with Israelis to negotiate?

        What is your evidence? We have the Palestine papers to show us the sincerity of the Israeli government. We have opinion polls of American and Israeli Jews. We have the daily, continued colonization (in the face of the rhetoric from the likes of you). Etc. etc.

        Why would any Palestinian, living through Zionism on a daily basis take the time of day to put themselves through your bullshit artistry?

        You treat Israel with kid’s gloves. Israel is the occupier and colonizer, not the Palestinians.

        The Palestinians are not stealing Israeli land. They are not killing 1000s of Israelis. They are not subjugating Israeli Jews.

        Yet, your rhetoric ranges from portraying the conflict as one of two equally powerful parties OR with Israel as the victim.

        Nothing you say matters. Palestinians first experience their daily abuses and tragedy. It’s only the muppets in the PA who deal with Israel as you’d see fit. And even then! They don’t get any respect or make any progress.

        You keep repeating the mantra of the peace process, but it’s Zombie-talk. There is no REASON to have faith in the talks. There is no STOCK in the talks for the Palestinians.

        They lose, lose lose. Hence, their best tactic is to hold their ground, and get the world on their side to isolate that racist, apartheid settler-State.

        You’re never going to change. You’re never going to realize the plain truth. You’re simply going to justify whatever happens to the Palestinians, within a Zionist context.

        For everyone else, here is Dick’s comments on the Nakba:

        link to mondoweiss.net

        I, like Morris, do conclude that in 1948, the need for haven and for self-governance, and the possibility of it, were so compelling as to make ends justify means.

        I cannot possibly imagine myself undertaking the means of either intense ethically disciplined warfare (against guerillas, a difficult task), nor cruel terror.

        And, maybe that is opportunistic on my part. I don’t eat meat (and haven’t for 40 years) partially because I am unwilling to kill, or even to ask others to kill on my behalf. So, maybe my appreciation of that willingness on the part of Zionist pioneers is hypocritical.

        I don’t think so. Need is compelling. The art in politics by those actually committed to non-violence is to construct paths by which war is unnecessary.

        After war, comes some quiet, with inevitably compromised results. Why not skip the animosity and go right to reconciliation and clarity.

        What a surprise. Dick Witty is a liar. Above in your own words. Incriminated. You are disgusting.

        I think it is unfortunate that Phil has allowed a racist, troll like you to continue pollute this blog.

        I also disagree with North. I don’t think you’re an honest man. An honest man, would – in light of universal rejection, would seek introspection.

        It does not imply that the man is wrong, but the self-doubt would set it.

        You have no self-doubt. You simply do not hear or process views contrary to your own.

        And as usual, you spam and pollute without sources, without citation, without any semblance of proof. You just preach. You’re no different from a religious fanatic, praising his or her sect as being favored by God.

      • Sumud
        July 16, 2011, 11:49 pm

        They lose, lose lose. Hence, their best tactic is to hold their ground, and get the world on their side to isolate that racist, apartheid settler-State.

        Agree cliff.

        I few months ago I read Leila Khaled‘s early 1970s book “My People Shall Live”. Khaled was the first woman to hijack an airplane in the late 1960s and was then captured (and released!) the second time she attempted. The book is interesting for a number of reasons – she experienced the Nakba as a child and writes forcefully about it – but what brought it to mind was the motivation of the Palestinian groups who were doing the air hijacks in the late 1960s. As Khaled alludes in the title of her book, it was primarily about publicity – asserting the existence of Palestinians after Israel’s near success at totally annihilating them. I don’t mean in the physical sense, I mean in the sense that Israel has attempted to erase Palestine and Palestinians from the map.

        It is only now, more than 40 years later, that Palestinians have entered universal consciousness that they are in a position (with regard to the rest of the world) comparable to black South Africans in the 1960s, when Robert Kennedy for example gave a speech in about 1966 in SA that condemned apartheid. During that era, Palestinians weren’t Palestinians, they were arabs. Palestine didn’t exist, it was territory occupied by Egypt and Jordan.

        Now, the world knows of Palestinians, and is listening to their stories and witnessing their sumud. No amount of hot air from dishonest windbag zionists can stop that process…

      • annie
        July 17, 2011, 12:49 am

        i completely agree sumud, great comment

      • Cliff
        July 17, 2011, 8:47 am

        Bump, waiting for the anti-mascot to read his endorsement of ethnic cleansing.

      • Richard Witty
        July 17, 2011, 9:21 am

        Endorse is a present-tense verb.

        I have NOT endorsed during my lifetime a present proposal to ethnically cleanse.

        You are again projecting on the basis of a political litmus test speculation (not even a firm opinion) of something that happened six years before my birth.

        I personally find that current litmus test to be more prejudicial than ANY comment that I have made.

        You are at war, partisan. I oppose war.

      • Sumud
        July 17, 2011, 10:09 am

        I have NOT endorsed during my lifetime a present proposal to ethnically cleanse.

        You say tomato, I say tomato.

        I define the stripping of citizenship and expulsion from the state as ethnic cleansing – whether it is done by physically moving the despised population, or moving the border to exclude them. The net result is the same: the creation of stateless refugees. Note also: your attempt to describe Israeli citizens [settlers] returning to Israel as ethnic cleansing is silly.

        You are again projecting on the basis of a political litmus test speculation (not even a firm opinion) of something that happened six years before my birth.

        Uh no, this is about the here and now. Your endorsement of the Nakba and refusal to condemn ethnic cleansing in the instances that your tribe benefits is just icing on the cake really, enabling others to more fully understand the true nature of your beliefs.

        Richard – I’m just wondering when you’re planning to present some evidence to support your claim that the BDS Movement “revised” what they present as the 2005 BDS call in the last year to include “militant warring language”. You obviously obtained the two texts you quote from somewhere, or you made it up. So which is it?

        Just present your evidence, or admit you made it up, apologise and withdraw the accusation.

        It’s been 9 days now I’ve been asking for clarification. What’s your reason for the endless deflections? Are you unable to admit when you’ve made a mistake or done something wrong? Or do you feel it is beneath you as a zionist jew to apologise to a Palestinian such as Omar Barghouti?

        To quote eljay quoting you Richard (thanks eljay):

        A real question resisted for its discomfort is the opposite of honest self-inquiry.

      • Cliff
        July 17, 2011, 10:17 am

        You are a pathetic, lying, delusional, hypocrite, Richard.

        Absolutely disgusting.

        First, let’s establish firmly and clearly the point of contention.

        Richard Witty is a hypocrite and political opportunist of the worst kind. A delusional Zionist who portrays himself as a humanist.

        He supports ethnic cleansing as a means to an end, when it is aligned with his political agenda.

        Richard Witty is a weasel, who now is trying to redefine the definition of ‘endorsement’ to include a cut-off point in time. Hence, he states that because he was not alive during the Nakba, that his endorsement of the Nakba does not apply. He also, calls the discussion of the Nakba and whatever endorsement he made – academic, so as to trivialize this historical event that has come to DEFINE the conflict.

        Next, Dick equivocates the removal of ILLEGAL settlements and ILLEGAL Jewish colonists as ‘forced’ (any decision regarding the removal will not be forced; it will come in stages and would hypothetically be carried out by the Israeli government). By characterizing the removal of illegal Jewish colonists from land THAT IS NOT THEIRS – Dick is drawing a parallel to an event that he apparently thinks is purely ‘academic’ to discuss.

        So at once, this disgusting hypocrite wants to downplay/whitewash/trivialize the systematic ETHNIC CLEANSING (and all the war crimes carried out under this event) as not worthy of remembrance and consideration with respect to the removal of illegal colonists from the PALESTINIAN territories.

        Conclusion 1 – Richard Witty supports the colonization of Palestinian land; he supports the a ‘Greater Israel’ at the cost of Palestinian lives, livelihood, and at the cost of BASIC concepts of decency, right and wrong and common sense.

        Conclusion 2 – Richard Witty frequently attacks BDS. He equates BDS to antisemitic acts. He equates BDS to terrorism, by associating it with Hamas. Etc. etc.

        At the same time, Dick misrepresents BDS’s goals. He states that if BDS implies/inevitably leads to One-State (through justice and once again, basic concepts of right and wrong [a Jewish majority with second-class citizenship for the Arab minority is WRONG]) it is therefore a fascist movement.

        However, we have already seen that Dick has no qualms with characterizing the removal of JEWISH COLONISTS from PALESTINIAN LAND as ‘forced removal’ – and as an ethnic cleansing in the present both by implication (with his trivializing of the Nakba as academic in this regard) and explicitly.

        So, Dick is against a One-State if it is justice and equality for the Palestinian people. Dick is FOR One-State if it is INJUSTICE and INEQUALITY for the Palestinian people.

        Now onto the main point of contention, regarding Dick’s endorsement of the Nakba.

        Let us first say that if you ENDORSE something, it does not matter what the cut-off point is. The Nakba was THE defining moment in this conflict and it was a horrible crime against humanity.

        Richard has explicitly stated that he endorses this crime. Yet, he seems to think that because he hadn’t been born yet, that his endorsement doesn’t apply. This is keeping with the theme of trivializing the Palestinian experience and their tragedies. Let us not forget, that Dick does this IN THE PRESENT as well.

        By focusing his sympathy with the settlers who are protected by the Israeli government and army, and ignoring the Palestinians whom are displaced by them – Dick shows that he is not a mutual humanist, nor a humanist in any regard.

        Onto the quotes:

        Let’s review your absurd comments (full of weasel-wording):

        link to mondoweiss.net

        I was negative six years old in 1948. I had NO influence on the historical events at the time. If I was an adult in 1948, I probably would have supported whatever it took to create the state of Israel, and held my nose at actions that I could not possibly do myself.

        Now, in this thread, Dick states:

        link to mondoweiss.net

        During my life I have NEVER advocated for the ethnic cleansing of any people on any basis, including Palestinians.

        Your repetition of that, is either a misunderstanding or misrepresentation.

        Richard has indeed endorsed the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, on the basis of ends justifying the means. He simply wishes to CHANGE THE ENTIRE DEFINITION AND CONCEPT of endorsement, to DOWNPLAY his own disgusting hypocrisy.

        As we have learned, this guy thinks his endorsement does not matter because the event has already happened and he did not exist at the time of the action. That is, textbook weasel-wording and a LAME attempt to escape criticism.

        link to mondoweiss.net

        But, the remedy of forced removal of a population, in the present (not in some academic 1948) is a wrong, if not overtly fascist.

        To escape his OBVIOUS BLATANT hypocrisy, Richard trivializes the Nakba as ACADEMIC. Thus, when we point this out to him, he states it does not apply! This is the guy, Phil saw fit to make a congratulatory post about. Double standards. If we had some lunatic dismissing the Holocaust as ACADEMIC, we wouldn’t see him the following day on this blog.

        This last quote, which I originally presented before Richard:

        I, like Morris, do conclude that in 1948, the need for haven and for self-governance, and the possibility of it, were so compelling as to make ends justify means.

        I cannot possibly imagine myself undertaking the means of either intense ethically disciplined warfare (against guerillas, a difficult task), nor cruel terror.

        And, maybe that is opportunistic on my part. I don’t eat meat (and haven’t for 40 years) partially because I am unwilling to kill, or even to ask others to kill on my behalf. So, maybe my appreciation of that willingness on the part of Zionist pioneers is hypocritical.

        I don’t think so. Need is compelling. The art in politics by those actually committed to non-violence is to construct paths by which war is unnecessary.

        After war, comes some quiet, with inevitably compromised results. Why not skip the animosity and go right to reconciliation and clarity.

        We now see that Dick wants Palestinians to accept their ethnic cleansing and move on. Yet, he harps on the removal of illegal Jewish colonists, stealing Palestinian land in the present. He blames a limp, weak, organization like Hamas as the reason for the failed peace process as if they matter AT ALL.

        We know that Israel has intended to keep the Palestinians at the brink of total disaster in Gaza through Wiki-leaks/Palestinian papers revelations.

        Israel is at war with the Palestinian people as a whole. Hamas was favored as a counter to the secular PLO. Now that the PLO does not matter, Hamas is the new enemy. It need not matter what form of popular resistance the Palestinians manifest – it is THEM, in their ENTIRETY who are in the Zionist cross-hairs.

        Hamas is a scapegoat. The charter. The antisemitism. The EXAGGERATED impact of the rocket attacks. Gilad Shalit. ETC ETC

        Richard Witty insists on the importance of all of this while downplaying the massive on-going tragedy endured by the Palestinian people.

        What a goddamn troll.

        Phil don’t censor this post. I know you don’t let me always say what I want. It’s not fair, that you favor some voices over the other.

      • Sumud
        July 17, 2011, 10:18 am

        cliff ~ when I started that comment I meant to say thanks for pointing out that much older comment by RW endorsing the Nakba. I hadn’t been aware of it until now. It’s just as grim as his other pro-Nakba comment:

        If I was an adult in 1948, I probably would have supported whatever it took to create the state of Israel, and held my nose at actions that I could not possibly do myself.

      • Chaos4700
        July 17, 2011, 10:34 am

        You oppose war, but you support bombing hosptials in Gaza and taking a machine gun to ships in international waters.

        Your stance toward the Nakba would be akin to the children and grandchildren of Nazis insisting that they keep Jewish property they “inherited” because they didn’t steal it personally. Is that how we handle things nowadays, Witty? More to the point, do you endorse that sort of attitude? Do you treat Jews and non-Jews in the same way?

      • Citizen
        July 17, 2011, 12:53 pm

        If one states that because he was not alive during the Shoah, that his endorsement of the Shoah does not apply. Would that conniving get posted as a comment on this blog?

        And if one also calls discussion of the Shoah and whatever endorsement one made – academic, so as to trivialize this historical event, would that get posted here?

      • annie
        July 17, 2011, 1:00 pm

        only a homicidal maniac and /or severely brainwashed person would ‘endorse’ the shoah.

        this was something discussed in the gilad thread, that it’s normal discourse to debate and engage in nabka denial on threads throughout the internet. we have to hold our nose all the time. but who in their right mind would even consider endorsing the holocaust. i can’t imagine any circumstance a poster like that would be afforded a platform here under any circumstance, ever.

        i imagine they would be immediately banned. we’ve never had a thread here where anyone debated the endorsement of the holocaust. even the thought of it is appalling.

      • Citizen
        July 17, 2011, 1:08 pm

        My point was to carry out the logic of Witty, his evasions when he gets called to account for something he said. That said, annie, I agree with you otherwise. Are you suggesting also that only a homicidal maniac and/or severely brainwashed person would ‘endorse” the Nakba?

      • annie
        July 17, 2011, 1:15 pm

        yes, i heard your point, i was giving it my endorsement and then some.

        Are you suggesting also that only a homicidal maniac and/or severely brainwashed person would ‘endorse” the Nakba?

        endorsing ethnic cleansing isn’t exactly the same as endorsing genocide but it falls into the same category imho. a healthy mind doesn’t even consider those kinds of options.

        (caveat, i’m not wishing to opine on whether the nakba is or is not genocide with that statement. that’s not where i’m trying to go with this. i happen to have my own opinion wrt that judgement but am choosing to not put it on the table right now. i don’t think it is helpful to make my point. they are both abhorrent which is why they are both a violation of international law)

      • Mooser
        July 17, 2011, 3:12 pm

        “If I was an adult in 1948, I probably would have supported whatever it took to create the state of Israel, and held my nose at actions that I could not possibly do myself.”

        Everybody knows comment archives are anti-Semetic.

      • Mooser
        July 17, 2011, 3:15 pm

        “and held my nose at actions that I could not possibly do myself”

        Don’t sell yourself short. “eee” says Jews can do amazing things when they’ve got a minyan mounted and ready to move out.

      • American
        July 17, 2011, 3:16 pm

        “If I was an adult in 1948, I probably would have supported whatever it took to create the state of Israel, and held my nose at actions that I could not possibly do myself.”

        Wow….I hadn’t seen that before. That’s…well…I don’t know what that is. Didn’t Germans hold their noses at Nazi actions for the betterment of the Fatherland?
        Obviously the world is divided between those who would and those who wouldn’t.
        Witty has no grounds now for complaint against the Germans.

      • American
        July 17, 2011, 4:12 pm

        Witty is the best example of what I repeatedly call Jewish Victimhood Exceptionalism. Nothing anti semitic about saying that…..that phenomenon is a fact we observe all the time in these discussions.

        Stalin killed more people in the Soviet Union than Hitler killed Jews, and Mao Tse Tung killed more than Stalin and Hitler put together but for those like witty the only genocides or holocaust or killings that count are Jewish ones.

        I have never seen anyone (in their right mind) trivialize the Jewish holocaust but to most zionist, Stalin’s victims, Mao Tse Tungs victims, all other victims of mass killings in the world are nothing compared to their victimhood.

        I have tried to imagine what it is like to be raised on the holocaust anti semitism fear and become so fixated on yourself as one of some kind of ‘people’, fixated on your identity, your parents or grandparents or ‘ group’s’ suffering.
        I think it would make me mentally and emotionally sick after a while. I think I would lose all ability to look at the world any in way except thru that narrow prism….believing that instead of being part of the world the world should be forced to revolve around me and mine due to past suffering or I should be ‘separate’ from the rest of humanity.

        At some point, I am convinced, Jews/Zionist/Israel must accept being treated exactly as everyone else, no better, no worse, no special endangered species list for them…in order to ever have any peace, fit in the world and survive.
        They don’t even have to assimilate, they just have to drop their victimhood ingrained hostility, demands and assaults on the other’s world.
        Just let it go.

      • eljay
        July 17, 2011, 4:43 pm

        >> Famous RW quote: “If I was an adult in 1948, I probably would have supported whatever it took to create the state of Israel, and held my nose at actions that I could not possibly do myself.”
        >> American: Wow….I hadn’t seen that before.

        Seriously? I’ve lost count of the # of times I’ve brought this to people’s attention.

        That quote, combined with…
        – his refusal to “consistently say that ‘ethnic cleansing is never necessary'”, and
        – his more recent assertion that he would support bureaucratic form of ethnic cleansing of non-Jewish Israelis in order to ensure the supremacist nature of a “Jewish state” Israel (rather than the secular, democratic and egalitarian nature of Israel as the nation state for all Israelis),
        …are proof positive that he is nowhere near being the humanist he thinks he is.

      • Citizen
        July 17, 2011, 4:59 pm

        Maybe some, such as Dick Witty, firmly believe that the continuity of their tribe is the most important goal in the universe? What else would explain it? Of course, if this is so, such people would never admit it in public.

      • Richard Witty
        July 17, 2011, 4:59 pm

        Again,
        There is NO instance of me endorsing ethnic cleansing in any present that I’ve been alive.

        You are either confused or deliberately misrepresenting my comments.

      • Sumud
        July 17, 2011, 8:07 pm

        There is NO instance of me endorsing ethnic cleansing in any present that I’ve been alive.

        Ho hum, tomato, tomato: Israel creating hundreds of thousands more stateless Palestinian refugees is ethnic cleansing to me.

        In the end, it really doesn’t matter how you attempt to re-brand ethnic cleansing. You can’t delete your old comments. Multiple instances of your pro-ethnic cleansing stance are available for all to see.

      • James North
        July 17, 2011, 10:27 pm

        Richard Witty said, “I tricked you, Sumud. Read my statement carefully

        There is NO instance of me endorsing ethnic cleansing in any present that I’ve been alive.

        ‘I wasn’t born in 1947-48. Instead of coming right out like Benny Morris and saying, ‘We chased the Palestinians away to create Israel and I’m glad we did, I hide behind such weasel words.’

      • Sumud
        July 17, 2011, 11:27 pm

        He might think that James, but I’m well seasoned by now at looking past Richard’s smoke and mirrors and quarter truths.

        I’ve quoted in this thread here three instances of Richard Witty endorsing ethnic cleansing in the present tense, in terms even more extreme than Avigdor Lieberman. Lieberman want to ethnically cleanse Palestinian Israelis by stripping them of their citizenship and moving the border of Israel so their towns are excluded. Lieberman wants to do it once as part of any final settlement to I/P, Richard Witty wants it to be enshrined in perpetuity as an option for Israeli jews. More Lieberman than Lieberman is our “liberal zionist” RW. He claims repeatedly this isn’t ethnic cleansing but the end result is the same: more stateless refugees.

        So when he waffles on about full equal rights for all minorities in both Israel and Palestine – he invariably forgets to mention that in his fantasy Palestinian Israelis have equal rights only until Israeli jews decide they don’t. It’s quite a convoluted formulation but that is what he really means. Interpreting RW I sometimes feel like I’ve fallen down a rabbit hole into Wonderland, a very dirty grotty Wonderland.

      • Chaos4700
        July 17, 2011, 11:42 pm

        Witty only wants the PROFIT of the ethnic cleansing. He only wants the fruit of the tree, not the blood that watered it.

  29. jon s
    July 16, 2011, 2:39 pm

    Sorry I didn’t comment earlier on this-
    But, anyway, congratulations to you, Richard Witty, on this milestone. I don’t know how you do it, but somehow you do.. And you’ve spawned a whole sub-species of postings : “commentaries on Witty”, and terms such as “wittycisms” and ” half-wittys”…
    So keep it up , and stay with the truth.

    • Citizen
      July 17, 2011, 7:46 am

      Yeah, Witty, we all know jon s teaches Israeli kids the truth because he says so.

    • Richard Witty
      July 17, 2011, 8:01 am

      Thanks Jon.

      • Chaos4700
        July 17, 2011, 8:40 am

        Oh, lucky you, Witty. The Israeli settler who’s cheerleading the weekly bombings of Gaza supports you.

    • eljay
      July 17, 2011, 1:37 pm

      >> … congratulations to you, Richard Witty, on this milestone.

      10,000 posts comprised of mostly-incomprehensible blather, Zio-supremacist sentiments, sheer hypocrisy and outright hateful pronouncements make this milestone a very dubious achievement.

      >> So keep it up , and stay with the truth.

      A small sampling of “the truth” according to RW.

  30. eee
    July 17, 2011, 2:45 am

    Jefferson inked the words:
    Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.

    He was a slave owner. Was he not a liberal in spite his stand on slavery and his compromise that slaves are 3/5 persons?

    The standards you require of Witty are not standards that are reasonable.
    Liberal Jews can believe as Witty does that the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians was a necessary evil that is required to bring a greater good, the state of Israel just as perhaps Jefferson (but clearly Adams) thought that agreeing to slave states in the union was a necessary evil to guarantee a greater good, the founding of the US.

    • Shmuel
      July 17, 2011, 3:22 am

      By 18th-century standards, Jefferson was a liberal. By 21st-century standards he is not. Jefferson should be judged by 18th-century standards

      By 18th-century standards, Witty would have been a liberal. By 21st century standards he is not. Witty should be judged by 21st-century standards.

      • Citizen
        July 17, 2011, 7:55 am

        Exactly, Shmuel. Further, eee’s logic would hoist the standard of “tooth and claw” as a “light to the world.” Perhaps he’s Lightbringer’s neighbor?

      • eee
        July 17, 2011, 3:36 pm

        Shmuel,

        The nakba occurred in 1948. Certainly by 1948 standards Witty is a liberal. I would argue though that standards are set by what the majority of the population accept, not by decree by people like yourself. And in fact, most liberal Jews today do view the Nakba as a necessary evil to bring a greater good. So in fact Witty is liberal by today’s standard and you are judging him according to some standard you invented but has no hold in reality.

      • Shmuel
        July 17, 2011, 4:33 pm

        3e,

        A 21st-century liberal believes that all human beings are equal, and that discrimination on the basis of religion, ethnicity, gender, skin-colour, sexual orientation, etc. is wrong. I am sure that Richard would agree with that definition, yet consistently refuses to apply it where Israel is concerned. Some might call him a hypocritical liberal. I do not believe he is a liberal at all – although I’m sure he would very much like to be one.

        The world was in flux in 1948. Colonialism was widely recognised as “wrong” (although racist and colonialist thinking were still alive and well), and lessons were being drawn from the war and the European genocides. A lack of accurate information regarding the actual events of the Nakba, combined with Holocaust sensitivity and/or guilt also affected the way progressives viewed the event at the time.

        I wasn’t aware that we were only discussing Richard’s views on the Nakba, but these too should be judged by current standards and the beliefs he currently claims to espouse (he has never qualified his remarks as being relative to 1948 values). Furthermore, he has written that further ethnic cleansing may be necessary in the future as well. Hardly the views of a 21st-century liberal, by any honest and consistent standards.

        As you have never claimed to be a liberal, you don’t share Richard’s predicament.

      • Citizen
        July 17, 2011, 4:40 pm

        If standards are set by what the majority of the population accept, then I assume you, eee, accept what the German population viewed as a necessary evil to bring a greater good back in the day. If so, why are the Germans paying reparations to Israel? Why are they also saying mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa? Also, then too, wasn’t Goering right when he thumbed his nose at the victors and their application of ex post facto laws at Nuremberg? Not to mention his excellent defense that pointed out where the Allies had done things he and his country were being accused of at Nuremberg? Witty is certainly not a Progressive by today’s standards. And Israel is regressive by those standards.

      • Richard Witty
        July 17, 2011, 5:09 pm

        I think it is absurd to judge and act in the present by a litmus test on a past event.

        It is further absurd to judge and act on the present by a litmus test of a speculation of what I MIGHT have thought 6 years before my birth.

        I consider advocacy for a mutually healthy two-state approach AS uniquely progressive, the only positively progressive approach possible of the alternatives.

        There are many approaches that declare their views as “progressive” on the basis of what they oppose, rather than what they propose and work for.

        I call the definition of progressive on the basis of what one proposes a “silhouette” approach. An image appears from the thousands of shadows, leaving some substance. But, the results of a silhouette remain a puzzle, and often 180 degrees from progressive.

        In contrast, overtly describing what one proposes, if based on mutual benefit and respect, IS substantively progressive, rather than progressive by shadow.

        Shmuel,
        If you’ve ever suggested that 550,000 Jews living east of the green line, should be removed, then you are suggesting a current ethnic cleansing, a politically based one (even if phrased as affirmation of “international law”), rather than a legal determination of title through courts of law with right of appeal and rules of evidence.

        Again,
        I’ve NOT ever recommended, advocated for, endorsed or whatever word you want to use, ethnic cleansing in any present.

        You may be assuming my beliefs and actions are …, when they are something different.

        EEE’s description of my views are not entirely representative. I use the term “might” as I don’t know with certainty. And “necessary evil” does characterize the might. I don’t consider it a good that 700,000 Palestinians were removed, nor permitted to return, not have their day in court to affirm title to land or other possessions.

        But, I do consider the establishment of a Jewish state as a good, a good in the past, and a good in the present.

        And, I do consider many of the policies of Israel to be counter-productive, harmful, suppressive. And, I actively thank those that work for reform of those policies.

      • Citizen
        July 17, 2011, 5:16 pm

        Except that Dick Witty has never claimed to be a liberal. He has claimed to be a “liberal Zionist.” Perhaps that’s sort of like being a “Jewish and democratic” state (where a substantial part of the population is not Jewish)?

      • Shmuel
        July 17, 2011, 5:26 pm

        If you’ve ever suggested that 550,000 Jews living east of the green line, should be removed, then you are suggesting a current ethnic cleansing

        Richard,

        You might want to look up some definitions of ethnic cleansing (and maybe the word “current” as well, while you’re at it). Calling the removal by Israel of its own citizens from areas to which they were illegally transferred, for the purposes of abiding by international law “ethnic cleansing” is little more than a cheap hasbara parlour trick. You should be ashamed of yourself.

        There is ongoing ethnic cleansing in I/P right now, not in some hypothetical and highly improbable future, but all you have to offer is a little green yarn that most Israelis will simply drive over without noticing. Is there anything in your universe that might warrant actual condemnation and resistance (non-violent, of course)? Are you not aware of the gravity of human rights violations in I/P – today, now, constantly, all the time – or do you simply not care?

      • Citizen
        July 17, 2011, 5:31 pm

        Re RW: “I think it is absurd to judge and act in the present by a litmus test on a past event.”

        A past event, you mean like–biblical accounts to justify past present conduct?

        Re RW: “Shmuel,
        If you’ve ever suggested that 550,000 Jews living east of the green line, should be removed, then you are suggesting a current ethnic cleansing, a politically based one (even if phrased as affirmation of “international law”), rather than a legal determination of title through courts of law with right of appeal and rules of evidence.”

        Weren’t the millions of ethnic Germans transferred under international law, even though they had lived in their home outside of Germany for a few centuries? Was that ethnic cleansing, or something else; if so, what was it?

      • Cliff
        July 17, 2011, 9:16 pm

        Dick, you have no credibility and authority to change the meaning of the term ethnic cleansing.

        You should look it up, and realize there is a difference in context that normal sane, non-partisan ideologues can observe.

        You’re pathetic weasel wording continues. It doesn’t matter whether you endorse something now or in the past. An endorsement of a crime like ethnic cleansing as a means to an end, transcends the context of time. It is absurd and indicative of moral depravity.

      • Richard Witty
        July 17, 2011, 9:55 pm

        Shmuel,
        Rather than engage, you returned to ridicule.

        Its petty, and widely seen.

        Do you know where the green line is currently? When you cross it, do you know that you are crossing it?

        Do you want to know?

        You stated that you had discomfort about the prospective forced removal of 550,000. You don’t like the word “ethnic cleansing” to describe it.

        Yet, one argument for Hungarians displacing Jews from their homes in 1944 was that they were only recent residents (only 300 years, only 8 generations) and that they “stole” land from the original collective landowners.

        It is too parallel, even if in just a story.

        Its time to get humane.

      • James North
        July 17, 2011, 10:09 pm

        Richard Witty said, ‘This comment from me is over the top, telling Shmuel that

        Its time to get humane

        Shmuel is Israeli, knows Torah better than many (most?) rabbis, left Israel partly (mainly?) due to his conscience. But here am I, with a grand total of less than 2 months experience in Israel in my entire life (my most recent visit in 1986), giving him lectures on “humanity?” I think there’s a Yiddish word for what I just did?

      • Richard Witty
        July 17, 2011, 10:11 pm

        Stop shadowing me North. Its harrasment.

      • Citizen
        July 18, 2011, 1:49 am

        Shmuel, that’s Mr Witty’s creative accounting–at your service.

      • Shmuel
        July 18, 2011, 3:05 am

        Not ridicule, Mr. Witty. Outrage.

        Yes, I have a pretty good idea of where the green line is, and usually know when I’ve crossed it. Most Israelis do not. The problem with your suggestion is not the reasoning behind it, but its utter inadequacy.

        The prospect of the forced removal of hundreds of thousands is dramatic, for many, even tragic, but ethnic cleansing is something else, far far worse, and it is happening now – to Palestinians – but you refuse to condemn it, saving your condemnation for hypothetical scenarios of an entirely different order.

        Had you actually bothered to read any definitions of ethnic cleansing, you would have seen that your analogy to Hungarian Jews (indeed a case of ethnic cleansing) is preposterous. Come to think of it, even without understanding the significance of the crime of ethnic cleansing, you should realise that such a comparison is extremely superficial and nonsensical.

        You don’t understand the meaning of the word humane either.

      • Richard Witty
        July 18, 2011, 4:19 am

        I think that post says a lot.

        You think that it is about how my views are unconscionable.

        I think the post describes an addiction on your part.

        I don’t believe that dissent that stays on outrage alone ends up accomplishing anything. Outrage is real, but if acted on alone, it alienates.

        Dissent that alienates cannot be considered success.

        If your desire to improve the condition of Palestinians is sincere, then I hope that you would ALWAYS prefer the effective over the emotionally satisfying (or emotionally unsatisfying).

        So, I note that in dealing with Israelis, anything that stimulates fear on their part (something like outrage, followed by outrage, followed by outrage), elects likud over and over and over again.

        The point about a green thread maintained, in permanent civil disobedience that attacks noone (analagous to the salt marches, beatings after beatings but continuing to make simply make salt, NEVER devolving to yelling at the British, NEVER devolving to physically assaulting the British), it simply communicates.

        It places the line, rather than continues it as invisible (to oneself and to others).

        Although you think of it as trivial, ineffective, that it can be done by both Palestinians and Israelis, is results in an active collaboration.

        Other similar actions include active appreciative memorials of former Palestinian villages, remembering and loving, not polemics.

        While placing the line, you can be internally as angry and as outraged as you feel, in placing the line, you are not attacking another in any way, beyond their addiction and greed.

        And, you are keeping memory alive, rather than allowing it to recede.

        You state that the difference between Jewish/Israeli experience and Palestinian is that the oppression of the Palestinian continues, it never stops, and therefore any description of mutual pain is a distortion of the reality.

        I contest that that is both true and utterly untrue. It is true that the Palestinian experience is occurring, the pain, the institutionalized one-way valve of slow but continual dispossession. But, it is also true that the Hungarian holocaust survivor’s pain continues, and in the form of youthful insults, ignorant of the scarred wound, still pained.

        Ask a Hungarian that was dispossessed on the basis of the reasoning “you are not a native here. The title to your property is void.” if they experience any parallel to Palestinians stating the same language.

        Even if they are clearly not the same, the language will be reminiscent. It will hit a wound hard, when other options for dissent are possible.

        That you don’t consider that sensitivity in your dissent, to just reject a potentially effective effort that does have the potential to slowly change heart and mind by heart and mind, outrages ME.

        On “inadequacy”, there is NO action that any one person, or any 100 people can do that can magically change the relationships. What would be adequate? Participating in maintaining the relevance of the green line.

        NEVER giving up. NEVER getting despondent.

        When I go to Israel, I want to know where the green line is. That you feel that it is more important for you to do something dramatic, than something informative to me and the twenty million or so that visit every decade, strikes me as you deciding not to dissent, not to inform, unless you can present it polemically.

        Green thread, weekly appreciative mourning ceremonies as former Palestinian villages (NO POLEMIC), electoral efforts, relationship building efforts based on non-political themes.

        Your condemnation is polemic or nothing.

      • Citizen
        July 18, 2011, 4:58 am

        Witty says: “Ask a Hungarian that was dispossessed on the basis of the reasoning “you are not a native here. The title to your property is void.” if they experience any parallel to Palestinians stating the same language.

        Even if they are clearly not the same, the language will be reminiscent. It will hit a wound hard, when other options for dissent are possible.”

        Imagine an Irish American company man back in the day. As part of his job he is told to direct that signs be put out at the company’s employment office window: “Whites Only.” He winces while contemplating this directive, because he remembers signs that use to say “No Irish Need Apply.”

        He has a family to support, and he’s not getting any younger. He has an option to dissent. Remember, this is back in the day, hard times.

        What would you advise him to do?

      • Shmuel
        July 18, 2011, 5:08 am

        Thanks for the free psychoanalysis, Richard. If I may return the favour, I think you are projecting. Your entire approach to the problem is about your own emotional satisfaction and self-image (your addiction). You put on airs, compare yourself to Gandhi and King, when you have absolutely no desire to challenge injustice in any meaningful way. Your green thread is not an act of civil disobedience (it is truly laughable to compare it to the Salt March), because it is not illegal, and would simply be ignored by the Israeli authorities. It is a protest gimmick – which is fine, but worthless without a broader strategy for struggle against injustice.

        It is comfortable for you to talk about pain, because it is easy to “mutualise”. I do not deny that settlers feel pain when being removed from their homes. I was not talking about pain, but about ongoing oppression that creates urgency and the need for direct action, not limited to symbolic protest and “relationship-building” (which have their own value, in context).

        Your comparison of real and ongoing oppression to memories of oppression is insulting – without minimising the real feelings of the formerly oppressed. Of course this has nothing to do with the settlers, and I strongly reject any such association. Sensitivity – even manufactured and false sensitivity – must be considered, but given the relative weight and significance it deserves. Your outrage at my refusal to accept false equivalences is duly noted.

        There are no guarantees and no “magic”, but privilege and power are simply not moved by low-key symbolic action. True direct action, with real consequences for the occupier and oppressor has worked before, and there is reason to believe that it may work again. BDS is not dramatic at all (unlike unwinding green thread, which is, in fact, a tad melodramatic), but carefully considered action (made up of a lot of methodical hard work), commensurate with the gravity of the situation on the ground, and rooted in past experience.

        And once again, you have failed to answer my questions:

        Is there anything in your universe that might warrant actual condemnation and resistance (non-violent, of course)? Are you not aware of the gravity of human rights violations in I/P – today, now, constantly, all the time – or do you simply not care?

      • Chaos4700
        July 18, 2011, 9:11 am

        May I just point that Witty did not even bat an eyelash at eee LYING about American history, to defend him.

      • Richard Witty
        July 18, 2011, 9:50 am

        Whereas my experience with direct action in nearly every setting that I’ve seen it, is that it alienates more than it accomplishes.

        By describing my sense of your emphasis on direct action as an addiction, it was relative to the utter absence of success of direct action.

        There is real frustration among Palestinians and solidarity around the peace process. “We’ve tried that for 20 years now, and we are not a step closer.” (Actually false, but even assuming that it is true.)

        Is the lack of success due to the peace process or to direct action. Both have been tried for 20 years, more in the case of direct action, boycotts, etc.

        So, I’m asking what your goals are, and are the approaches that you’ve settled on furthering those goals or not.

        I hear the reaction of my mother-in-law to the comments, words (an action) to those that state “we were always there, even if you’ve lived here for 300 years, you’d still be an interloper”.

        Its of reminiscence, of her convictions to “never again, to anyone” bashed, in insensitivity to her.

        The “you are interlopers” theme is not a basis of any politics that I want to be a part of.

        I believe that determined truly non-violent action (like the thread idea, or like appreciation services and shrines at former Palestinian villages, or like seeking permission to enter Palestinian territory) that threaten noone in action or in word, are the way to make change.

        I would benefit from a mile walk in Palestinians’ shoes.

        I crave reliable information on Palestinians’ experience, and all I get is polemic and condemnation and from Phil and North passive aggression rather than communication.

        An opportunity squandered.

      • Citizen
        July 18, 2011, 10:17 am

        Witty, so all the comments, essays, stories above and below the line on MW from Palestinians living under Israeli control, or from those who’s memory of such is still fresh who have moved from the former Mandate land, and all the indirect comments from all these sources, accessed by hotlinks furnished on MW, are… chopped liver?

      • eljay
        July 18, 2011, 10:18 am

        >> There is real frustration among Palestinians and solidarity around the peace process.

        Just imagine how much less frustration there would be if Israel were to:
        – halt its ON-GOING campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder; and
        – indicate that it was prepared to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace!

        It has the power to do both things immediately, but it chooses not to.

        So, while the rapist continues to rape, the Zio-supremacist – who deems the victim to be an “aggressor” for attempting to defend herself – suggests she trying lying perfectly still until “enough rape” has been achieved.

        “Why continue defending yourself?” he asks. “You’ve been doing this for twenty minutes and it hasn’t helped!”

      • Sumud
        July 18, 2011, 10:55 am

        Richard Witty, when are you planning to provide the evidence you claimed you had that the BDS Movement “revised” their 2005 BDS call in the past year to include “militant warring language”?

        I gather from your ongoing comments on this thread that you are quite enjoying the attention. Perhaps we can push it to 500 comments. I’m happy to ask you 150 more times, and then you can reply 150 times with excuses and/or deflections by changing the subject, or declaring one more time that you’ve never endorsed ethnic cleansing, in spite of quoted comments of yours all over this thread proving unequivocally that you do approve of ethnic cleansing, when the perpetrators are jews and the victims Palestinian…

      • Citizen
        July 18, 2011, 11:28 am

        Arguably, Dick Witty types (with similar patterns of thoughts, as displayed repetitively by Witty on MW over years) suffer from psychic abandonment (by family elders’ proxy!), hence he cannot see objectively what is going on in front of his (internet- accessed) face to the Palestinian people, no matter how much this is brought to Witty’s attention on MW, hence Witty cannot summon the will to really “stand in a Palestinian’s shoes” and recommend accordingly.

        In this sense, he is prone to disconnect, rather than integrate his still immature ego; he’s immature in the same sense that Hitler, for example was immature–Adolph could never get beyond what was done to Germany and himself in WW1 & most especially–at Versailles–except that the Dick Wittys of this world, unlike Hitler, for example, or Witty’s familial Hungarian Jews Witty whom Witty is understandably sensitive to, never suffered personally at all. In fact he’s been protected all his life by those he despises, the goys, specifically US cops & cannon fodder. It’s about the borrowed traumatic neurosis imbedded from birth in the structure of Witty’s psyche, about Witty’s lack of will to mature, to get beyond it, which is what distinguishes him from the more courageous, struggling, but still ego-integrating Phil Weiss. See link to opednews.com

      • Shmuel
        July 18, 2011, 11:31 am

        When I referred to experience of direct action, I meant Jim Crow, Apartheid, and anti-colonialism – struggles against oppression that would never have succeeded were it not for determined action to render privilege less comfortable. These are the models for BDS and the current struggle for Palestinian rights.

        Palestinians have been using every possible method of struggle (including direct action) against their dispossession for nearly a century. They have had successes and failures – the First Intifada, with its tax- and commercial-strikes and other forms of civil disobedience being a case in point. Without the First Intifada, the Israelis would never have gone to Madrid or Oslo. The latest concerted effort – BDS -is only 6 years old and has had remarkable success so far in heightening awareness, offering a way in which to channel and expand solidarity, and showing Israelis that their actions are not without consequences.

        The Oslo years saw a huge rise in Israeli-Palestinian dialogue on a popular level, joint projects, exchanges and “relationship-building”. Palestinian society as a whole has come to the conclusion however, that these efforts have, for the most part, been a waste of time, simply serving to perpetuate their oppression, while offering their oppressors ways to feel better about themselves without effecting any real change – even in attitude. The more they met with Israelis, the more the settlements grew and the harder their lives became. BDS (as explained in the Unified Call) was not the product of impatience, but of sober evaluation and the understanding that negotiation and dialogue, as practised thus far, have been to the exclusive advantage of their oppressors.

        You say that you “crave reliable information on Palestinians’ experience”. Not only does this site present mountains of it (from Palestinians themselves and from close observers such as Jonathan Cook), but you reject as “vague” and “maximalist” and even “racist and fascist” the conclusions and appeals of Palestinian civil society – the fruit of Palestinian experience – first and foremost the Palestinian- initiated and led BDS campaign. You say you would like to build relationships, but you never bother to ask whether Palestinians are interested in such relationships, or what their experiences of such relationships have been in the past, or what they would like to accomplish in the short, medium and long-term.

        And a word about your mother-in-law. The difference is that regardless of what Hungarian anti-Semites may have said and felt, she was not an interloper. Regardless of what the settlers may say and feel, they are indeed interlopers – and brutal ones at that – by every measure of international law, progressive values and common sense. It is the Palestinians who resemble your mother-in-law, not the settlers. It is they who are called interlopers in their native land, and are harassed, stolen from, beaten, tortured, killed and driven out on a daily basis. Yet you do not even have the courage to stand up and tell them to stop, to condemn and take action against those responsible, because you feel that BDS is not sensitive enough to the possible future needs of the oppressor.

        I repeat:

        Is there anything in your universe that might warrant actual condemnation and resistance?

      • Cliff
        July 18, 2011, 12:16 pm

        This blog regularly portrays the Palestinian experience. You are a lazy troll, Nakba denier, political opportunist who equates the removal of illegal settlements to ethnic cleansing and a racist.

        No one expects you to put yourself in the Palestinians shoes. You are ignorant and intentionally blind yourself to their humanity. This is why you constantly blame Hamas, because Israel uses Hamas to attack the Palestinians.

        Collective punishment.

        And you support ethnic cleansing of course. You are for One-State with subjugation for Palestinians and against a hypothetical One-State where Palestinians have equal rights.

        You’ve been proven over and over to be a liar and a spammer.

        No one takes you seriously. The fact that you and your dishonest permeates ‘liberal’ Zionism is the reason why Palestinians will not waste their time (nor should they) with the endless peace process.

        The Palestine papers.

        Wikileaks.

        Expanding settlements.

        Anti-boycott law.

        Etc. etc.

      • Cliff
        July 18, 2011, 12:20 pm

        Witty supports the settlements and colonialism. He supports ethnic cleansing as a means to an end, when it is advantageous to him.

        He whitewashes the Nakba. He cynically and pretentiously talks about how he would benefit from walking in the shoes of a Palestinian, when their experience is regularly reported on here.

        He lies about BDS endlessly and equates BDS to fascism.

        His disgusting emphasis on non-violent activism as fascism, while totally ignoring the physical impact of Zionism (fascist) shows his hypocrisy.

        Etc. etc.

        Anything else to add? This guy is a delusional old man, who does not change and does not debate. He just says the same stuff over and over, in spite of contradiction.

      • Richard Witty
        July 18, 2011, 12:47 pm

        Jim Crow was fought by a grand mix of engagement and self-development efforts and non-violent civil disobedience. It was the engagement and self-development efforts that made Martin Luther King for example a respected, even revered, figure. He DID distinguish between dissent that was very clear in its objectives and methods, and dissent that was undisciplined and self-rationalizing.

        Direct action was the overwhelming minority of action that was taken in dissent. The work that changed Jim Crow was relentless and patient legal argument over seven decades.

        The work that changed apartheid was also various and emphasized the self-development and legal efforts.

        I’m glad that you acknowledged that following the first intifada, Israelis did hear that Palestinians desired a change and began working for one. Its disappointing to NOT hear from you the effect of the second intifada, which stated to Israelis that Palestinians did not know what the change was that they desired (self-governance or “no Israel”) and that they were willing to undertake gruesome methods to their civilian neighbors to accomplish their undisciplined ends.

        When Palestine elected Hamas as majority, that continued to advocate for violent resistance, that was the second peg in the construction, the firming peg.

        The current effort at BDS, storming borders, flotilla, is not experienced by most Israelis sympathetically, as non-violent efforts were experienced in the first intifada, especially after some discussion.

        In 1986, I was able to connect with Palestinians. My third cousins, then in Arad, had Palestinian and Bedouin personal friends. They performed together at cafes in Arad and Beersheva. The first intifada broke those friendships. I haven’t spoken with them in ten years. I can’t imagine that the second intifada and current BDS efforts have improved their attitudes towards Palestinians.

        It is my laboratory of the process of devolution of sympathy for Palestinians, resulting directly from direct action.

        I crave RELIABLE information on Palestinians’ lives. The editorial selection here is for polemic purposes, not for informative. Accordingly I can’t tell what is a lie and exageration. I have definitely learned a lot, but have not learned of a basis of hope.

        Your framing the relationship as ONLY oppressor/oppressed is part of the problem, a self-construction.

        The parallel between the Hungarians (up to 10th or more generation) and the settlers (3rd generation) remains. Those that were born in a place, know it, bond with it, establish part of their identity there. It is undeniable even if recent.

        Certainly, those that have lived in a region for multiple generations have established a firm relationship to the land, an honorable one.

        The assertion that “they” must leave is the fascist theme, however it gets constructed. Its fascist when stated to Palestinians by those that conclude that God promised the land to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (and somehow ignore that many of the current Palestinians are direct descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jabob). And, it is fascist when stated by those on the left that presume that recent Jewish residents don’t deserve their day in court on the basis of nationalist political assertions.

        Both Israelis and Palestinians resemble my mother-in-law.

        Her sentiment of “never again, to anyone” is guiding. (I haven’t heard her say it, but have heard her human sympathy.)

        My suggestion of a green thread is an act of resistance. Its a tragedy that you can only regard loud drama as resistance or solidarity, but not quiet and effective ones.

      • Richard Witty
        July 18, 2011, 12:50 pm

        Do you see any positive objective outcome from resistance efforts?

        More effective than building universities, roads, hospitals, communications, courts?

        I don’t currently. I see it as entirely counter-productive except to an Armageddon type grand end-struggle.

      • Bumblebye
        July 18, 2011, 1:17 pm

        Why build “universities, roads, hospitals,…” when Israel will just come along with some contrived excuse and bomb them? ISRAEL needs to make peace, not pieces, but considers anything Palestinians do to be an act of ‘war’, be it or not non-violent.

        I guess that’s a major problem for fascist states.

      • Sumud
        July 18, 2011, 1:22 pm

        The editorial selection here is for polemic purposes, not for informative. Accordingly I can’t tell what is a lie and exageration.

        This seems to be a problem for you Richard. So when you typed up that fake quote that you then tried to attribute to the BDS Movement “a year ago” did you not understand it was a lie?

        Do you think people who obviously lie should be given the privilege of continuing to be allowed to post here?

      • Citizen
        July 18, 2011, 1:37 pm

        Witty, there’s no inconsistency between building cooperatively as you suggest and BDS. BDS seeks to bring public attention to why no deep cooperation is currently pervasive. Mental blocks don’t make concrete blocks to harmony.

      • Shmuel
        July 18, 2011, 1:52 pm

        You do not crave reliable information on Palestinians’ lives. You crave comfortable information on Palestinians’ lives. You want to hear moral equivalence and mutual pain and respective narratives and relationship-building and sympathy, because that is what you need to hear, whether that is what Palestinians are saying or not. You ignore and dismiss authentic, intelligent, non-violent, Palestinian voices, like the Unified Call for BDS – twisting and mauling them in the process, for failing to live up to your vision, your ideal, your interests, not theirs.

        You do the same with authentic Palestinian views on the Gaza massacre, the closure, the checkpoint regime, the hell on earth created by the supremacist settlement project, and every other aspect of Palestinian reality that would upset your why-can’t-we-all-just-get-along approach to ongoing apartheid and ethnic cleansing.

        It is uncomfortable for you to think of “the relationship as ONLY oppressor/oppressed”, but that is the way the vast majority of Palestinians in the OPT experience it. You “crave RELIABLE information on Palestinians’ lives”, but have no interest whatsoever in the way that Palestinians actually live and feel, because that would interfere with your “self-construction”. So you dismiss views you find disturbing as unreliable or polemical.

        BDS is precisely “a grand mix of engagement and self-development efforts and non-violent civil disobedience”. As in SA and the US South, alliances and relationships are built for the purpose of ending oppression, not for understanding and sympathising with the oppressor and his supremacist sensibilities. BDS is anything but “loud drama”, but you can’t allow yourself to see that. So you make up your own version of BDS – a “fascist” version, that you can easily dismiss.

        Your green thread suggestion is not an act of resistance, because it resists nothing and shows no solidarity – if only because it fails to recognise the existence of the other side and its needs. The concept of two states, in and of itself, is meaningless to Palestinians. BTW, Palestinians from the WB are not allowed anywhere near the green line. Gazans are simply shot if they go anywhere near their prison fence. The privileged lords and masters of the land may go anywhere they like, with as much yarn as they fancy. No one cares. Certainly not Palestinians.

      • Richard Witty
        July 18, 2011, 3:08 pm

        “You do not crave reliable information on Palestinians’ lives. You crave comfortable information on Palestinians’ lives. You want to hear moral equivalence and mutual pain and respective narratives and relationship-building and sympathy, because that is what you need to hear, whether that is what Palestinians are saying or not.”

        Actually, that is your projection. I am willing to hear uncomfortable truths, if they are real and not stated with an accompanying hatred.

        You only present political polemic now Shmuel.

        In solidarity.

        No change though.

        Zionists are only inhuman oppressors, functions not people? You can only see them politically?

      • eljay
        July 18, 2011, 3:24 pm

        >> Actually, that is your projection. I am willing to hear uncomfortable truths …

        He’s got a point there, Shmuel. RW is indeed willing to hear both comfortable AND uncomfortable truths, because he is able to coldly rationalize and/or dismiss both comfortable AND uncomfortable truths.

      • Shmuel
        July 18, 2011, 3:35 pm

        Zionists are only inhuman oppressors, functions not people? You can only see them politically?

        A straw man, Richard. The relationship is between Israelis (not Zionists) and Palestinians in the OPT, and the words “inhuman” and “not people” are entirely yours.

        The relationship between Israelis (primarily settlers and soldiers) and Palestinians in the OPT is one of oppression. That is the reality of the Palestinian experience you crave so much to hear about, but don’t really want to know. Humanising the oppressor is simply not enough – especially from the point of view of the oppressed. The real goal, from the perspective of the oppressed, is to stop the oppression. Hopefully, the rest will follow. What you really fail to understand is that Palestinians don’t want to be friends. They want their rights and their dignity. As Omar Barghouti said, “When a master hugs a slave, it is not love, but rape.”

      • Cliff
        July 18, 2011, 3:37 pm

        Witty, you support the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. You have admitted to being a political opportunist and by implication a hypocrite.

        You have 10,000+ posts on this blog and state that you ‘could'(as in, you haven’t yet) benefit from walking in Palestinian shoes.

        This blog represents the Palestinian experience frequently. Rather than understand, you spam your nonsense. In fact, the majority of your 10,000+ comments are indeed spam – very little if ANY substance. No sources, no citations, etc. You speak in empty platitudes and abstractions.

        You also lie repeatedly about Palestinian solidarity.

        You blame Palestinians continually while treating Israel – the occupier; the colonizer; the regional superpower – with kid’s gloves.

        You issue lame equivocations between the Palestinian experience (the Nakba) and the removal of illegal Jewish colonies in the Palestinian territories.

        You also trivialize the Palestinian experience by smearing the Nakba as ‘academic’. You have also downplayed the severity of the Nakba, making you no different from a Holocaust denier in that you disregard history that does not conform to your ideology.

        In your desperation, you have had to set up the premise that your approval of the Nakba, as a means to an end was academic – thus, inapplicable to your incessant whining about the removal of illegal Jewish colonies.

        At once – you trivialize the Palestinian experience, and then trumpet it as a standard to which you intend to hold against us, as you ask us to reconsider the moral implications of removing illegal Jewish colonists.

        You are spinning in circles. Desperate and pitiful. Every comment you make, there is a gaping hole of devoid of consistency and logic.

        You are a troll.

      • Richard Witty
        July 18, 2011, 9:45 pm

        Shmuel,
        You evaded two critical questions:

        1. What is the goal, stated in positive terms (“end the occupation” even is a negatively stated effort. It is measured by the absence of an irritation. A positively stated goal might be to achieve viable sovereignty, or to achieve a single bi-national state. I don’t know what your goal is, so I don’t want to put words in your mouth.)

        2. What is the most effective way to reach that goal?

        I fundamentally differ with you on the nature of the situation.

        I see it as a conflict. To see it only as an oppression, while following hateful statements and terrorist mass murderous actions, is to deny my own existence and sensitivity.

        I, not will other Israelis and Jews in general, willingly suicide physically, nor willingly suicide our sensitivity.

        Palestinians cannot be deprived of their sensitivities. Israelis similarly. As such, the only practical way to address the situation is for each to assert, “I shall not hate. My goal is to improve the relationship. I will be better off by that.”

        “I shall not hate” is different than “I shall justify my hate”.

      • Citizen
        July 19, 2011, 4:02 am

        Witty concludes his disjointed syntax, his defiance of grammar, with, “I shall not hate” is different than “I shall justify my hate”.

        What is Witty’s goal here, stated in positive terms (“I shall not hate” even is a negatively stated effort. It is measured by the absence of an irritation. And isn’t “I shall justify my hate” stated in positive terms?

        Witty’s conclusion was reached in part by this “thought” of his: “I, not will other Israelis and Jews in general, willingly suicide physically, nor willingly suicide our sensitivity.”

        Isn’t this Witty “thought” too, “measured by the absence of an irritation”? How does Hedi, the Jewish Holocaust survivor who was on the Free Gaza flotilla fit into Witty’s picture of “the nature of the situation?” Has she, does she “willingly suicide physically, or willingly suicide her sensitivity?” And Phil & Adam too, as example of
        Jews born after the Holocaust, and in considerable comfort, like Witty?

        Witty feels oppressed by BDS, which calls for ending the oppressive occupation. His learnt feelings are hurt as he sits in his comfy home, far away from the actual daily life of the Palestinians offered up to him nearly daily here on MW. He doesn’t like it that BDS does not specify
        its goal in a consistent either/or manner in terms of 1s or 2ss. BDS views its goal, metaphorically speaking, is simply to point to the collection of Palestinian folks in handcuffs since birth until the PTB are forced to recognize that situation because too many people have become aware of it, and don’t want to be complicit in it.

        It was an Arab legislator who made the most telling comment to the
        Israeli parliament last week as it passed the boycott law, which
        outlaws calls to boycott Israel or its settlements in the occupied
        territories. Ahmed Tibi asked: “What is a peace activist or
        Palestinian allowed to do to oppose the occupation? Is there anything
        you agree to?”…

      • Citizen
        July 19, 2011, 4:17 am

        Arundhati Roy (award-winning Indian writer) has noted that non-violence is essentially “a piece of theatre. [It] needs an audience. What can you do when you have no audience?”

        Netanyahu and the Israeli right understand this point. They are carefully dismantling every platform on which dissident Israelis, Palestinians and international activists hope to stage their protests. They are making it impossible to organise joint peaceful and non-violent resistance, whether in the form of boycotts or solidarity visits. The only way being left open is violence. Witty is their very willing bugle boy here at MW.

        What other democratic country passes legislation like this? None. Witty totally supports an increasingly rogue nuclear armed state plugged into Uncle Sam’s electric grid. Time for Uncle Sam to pull the plug. However it looks like Bibi may attempt to stop that in September, by bombing Iran when the Palestinians take their case to the UN because after decades they fully realize the “peace process” is a dead end for them.

      • Citizen
        July 19, 2011, 4:38 am

        On the coming war with Iran this September: link to t.co

      • Shmuel
        July 19, 2011, 6:11 am

        Richard,

        Again, you frame everything in the terms most comfortable for you – which is very nice, because not only are you not a Palestininian; you’re not even an Israeli.

        Why does “the goal” have to be stated in positive terms, when the reality (Palestinian reality) is so negative? The correct order is stop oppression (without creating new oppression, of course), and build something positive. The former is non-negotiable, the latter impossible to achieve without negotiation and co-operation. You want to skip the first part, or worse, make it contingent upon the successful outcome of the second part.

        To go back to our favourite examples, the struggles against Jim Crow and Apartheid were first and foremost about ending oppression – a sine qua non for building an egalitarian, multiracial society. You can’t work on what the new, non-discriminatory society (or societies) will look like before you have established the principle that there will be no discrimination, and seriously worked toward eliminating it. The oppressor loves talk about visions for the future – he can’t get enough of it – because it means he can preserve his privilege in the present.

        The most effective way of attaining the primary goal of ending oppression is to highlight the fact that the issue is one of human rights and international law, not contingent upon negotiation or compromise or peace or love or relationships. Establishing the non-negotiability of the principle of equality is also the most effective way of ensuring an eventual, viable resolution to the conflict.

        In practical terms, BDS would appear to be an effective strategy, in terms of its guiding, non-violent principles, ability to raise awareness of the situation in I/P as a problem of rights and international law, and possibility of bringing significant – especially moral – pressure to bear on Israel to abide by its obligations according to international law. Furthermore, as a Palestinian initiative, supported by the vast majority of Palestinian society, it reaffirms the principle of self-determination.

        You then create a false dichotomy. The fight against oppression (including BDS) does not “follow hateful statements and terrorist mass murderous actions.” That is something you have been trying to attribute to it, without any basis in fact – because you are extremely uncomfortable with the idea that one side (your side) bears far more responsibility than the other, and not because it is “insensitive” or “inhumane” or requires anyone to “suicide their sensitivity” (a rather odd and violent expression).

        You close with another false and slanderous assertion – that the Palestinian struggle against oppression somehow entails “hate”, which must then be “justified”. Your pompous, Ten Commandment-style sermon on mutual declarations of “I shall not hate” is just another way of saying “why can’t we all just get along”. Masters and slaves don’t just get along, although the master sometimes likes to pretend that they do. Work on changing the relationship, establish equality, and then talk about getting along.

      • Cliff
        July 19, 2011, 6:58 am

        Every argument Richard Witty has ever posted on Mondoweiss is built on the foundation of equivocation between the Palestinian experience and the Israeli experience.

        Furthermore, he also trivializes the Palestinian experience.

        Richard Witty calls the Nakba and the discussion of the Nakba, “academic.”

        He endorses the Nakba, and in an idiotic attempt to whitewash his own racism, says that said endorsement is inapplicable in the present.

        Richard Witty, is a colossal failure and is only allowed to continue to spam Mondoweiss with his repetitive, hypocritical, pretentious garbage because he is Phil Weiss’s friend and in relative terms, one of the few articulate (albeit, delusional) Zionists here.

        The other Zionists make more concrete claims, and are debated on more concrete terms. They often do not repeat the same claims (unless it’s the antisemitism-card and it’s derivatives).

        Richard Witty on the other hand, posts the EXACT same nonsense over and over and is tolerated by Phil Weiss.

        The bottom-line? If you mask your ignorance in subtlety, you will be tolerated.

        Question to Phil: Why do you tolerate Nakba denial and not Holocaust denial?

        Richard Witty has characterized the Nakba as a ‘few cases of forced removal’. If someone had said the Holocaust was ‘a few cases of death camps’ – would you let them posts, since they did so in a polite manner?

      • Cliff
        July 19, 2011, 7:03 am

        Richard Witty, you have supported ethnic cleansing when it serves your political goals.

        You have equivocated the removal of illegal Jewish colonists as ethnic cleansing, while simultaneously dismissing the Nakba as ‘academic’.

        Your contempt for the Palestinian experience is obvious, in that you place more emphasis on the impetus for change on them rather than on the occupying power whom they are subjugated by.

        You post here out of pathology, not out of sincerity.

      • eljay
        July 19, 2011, 7:26 am

        >> What is the goal, stated in positive terms (“end the occupation” even is a negatively stated effort. …

        In addition to being a hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist, it is clear that you are certifiably insane.

        >> I fundamentally differ with you on the nature of the situation.

        Of course you do. You’re a hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist. Your “collective” has ethnically cleansed Palestine – an unjust and immoral act you have defended as “necessary” – and continues to oppress, steal, colonize and kill. And you get all bothered when people say they would like to see an end to the oppression, theft, colonization and murder.

      • annie
        July 19, 2011, 7:36 am

        What is the goal, stated in positive terms (“end the occupation” even is a negatively stated effort.

        the goal is equality, liberty for all, one man/woman one vote! freedom!

      • Richard Witty
        July 19, 2011, 10:28 am

        Shmuel,
        If you’ve read my posts not as opposition but as information, then you would note that I’ve stated repeatedly that the ambiguity associated with BDS is a great deterrent to the success of the movement’s objectives (specifically that the term “occupation” is used alternately to assert Palestinian rights within a two-state setting – a two-state setting allows Israelis to self-govern; then shifting to a single-state orientation – a single state denying self-governance to Israelis).

        The ambiguity is of enormous consequence.

        One is an idealistic effort for human rights and dignity. The other is a fascistic effort to deny human rights.

        The selection of human rights and international rights as the sum total of law that you consider relevant, is also fundamentally incomplete.

        The redeeming feature of American and European and other societies that have adopted the principles, includes primarily the affirmation of individual human rights.

        The collective only approach to human rights yeilds modern Zimbabwe. The individual rights approach yeilds modern South Africa.

        The Palestinian struggle need not entail hate. It just so frequently does is the problem.

        You again failed to address the important content that harms have been mutual, over a long extended period, including long long before there was an oppression relationship, and sadly applying the same arguments (on both militant sides) over the whole life of that.

        And, you also fail to address the important continuity of similar language (and ideology) underlying the “you have no right to be here” theme.

        The relationship is NOT primarily definable as oppression, though it obviously includes oppression.

        The relationship is primarily definable as a relationship, a marriage even, requiring the features of reconciliation over the features of resistance only.

        Israelis remember the terror, the intimate, the grossly excessive, the permanently dividing terror.

        There is no excuse for Israeli rationalization for expansion, for the Beitar definition of Zionism to become in any way the logic of Israeli governance.

        And, there is no excuse for the militant Palestinian rationalization for racially based exclusion.

        The moderate view of “one fully democratic state” does not dominate the ideology or statements of BDS proponents, as the “democratic” is thought of nationalistically, not humanistically.

        We are both accused of wishful thinking. Our accusers are right.

        I want to construct what I wish for. I want to think it out, develop the underlying relationships, institutions that support a democratic Israeli state guaranteeing equal rights to all, next to and in a good neighbor relationship with a democratic Palestine guaranteeing equal rights to all.

        I don’t see it happening from the logic, language, actions of resistance, even if understandable, even if courageous, even if morally just.

        I only see the construction of the world that I want to participate in achieved by determined, KIND, dissent and acts of friendship.

        If the dissent was more precise in its analysis, and identified objection to expansion as its opponent, then I would be much much more sympathetic.

        Consider here. I asked among the dozen or so BDS proponents if they could state that “I” mean 67 borders when I advocate for BDS. None did. Even you didn’t in an unqualified declaration. At least you used the term “I”.

        So, the ambiguity is the majority of the communication, not even the minority. Threatening by the ommission, not just liberating.

        On weight of responsibility. I assume that EACH community has to do the right thing. Those with more power have more impact on the world, and therefore have to pay much more moral attention to their actions.

        Those with money, those with guns, affect others.

        You are right-on to work to change Israeli policies. I am attempting to as well, in very different ways though.

        You do get the signficance of shifting from reform to resistance and further to partisan in your attitude, language, actions?

        Reform is something a participant, friend, neighbor does. Resistance is something an opponent does (hopefully conditionally so that when identifiable conditions change, the relationship can as well). Partisan is to the level of enemy.

        I won’t go there. I will not go to opponent or enemy. I’ll continue at participating and critical friend.

      • Sumud
        July 20, 2011, 10:27 am

        If the dissent was more precise in its analysis, and identified objection to expansion as its opponent, then I would be much much more sympathetic.

        Consider here. I asked among the dozen or so BDS proponents if they could state that “I” mean 67 borders when I advocate for BDS. None did. Even you didn’t in an unqualified declaration. At least you used the term “I”.

        LIAR.

        1. You only asked that question in the first place so you could avoid answering my question from a fortnight ago about about what your source was for the text you quoted, claiming the BDS Movement have “revised” their 2005 BDS call in the past year to include “militant warring language. You quoted two different version of the call, one authentic, and the other (I have no choice but to presume this) you simply made up because you have not presented a single speck of evidence to support it.

        You are a liar, on that count.

        2. Your denials about endorsing the Nakba and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians; completely ridiculous given the vast amount of material quoted on this thread (with links!) which clearly demonstrates you are pro-Nakab and pro-ethnic cleansing, if the victims are right.

        You are a liar on that count also.

        3. I’ve read eljay on this thread (and others) say he believes the 1967 are the appropriate basis for negotiations, see here (from June 16, 1:10pm):

        RW, even though you continue to pretend you don’t know where I stand, here is my suggestion for cut-off terms:
        4. Former Israeli settlements on or near the mutual border…

        If you follow the link at eljay’s quote above you’ll see another link to him saying the same thing on Jan 20 of this year, including explicit reference to 1967 borders:

        1. Palestinian and Israeli states – democratic, secular and egalitarian – established along 1967 borders.

        And I’ve saved the best til last Richard. In direct response to your question addressed to him, eljay replies at June 16, 2:55pm:

        I can’t speak for BDS, but I believe that the 1967 borders as I described them in my previous post (w/ link) is where the starting point of any negotiations should be.

        Note carefully: eljay uses the word “I”, three times.

        To which you replied at June 16, 9:55pm, saying:

        Eljay,
        Our proscriptions are nearly identical.

        The very next comment is eljay responding to that comment. There’s a whole lot more of you further down the very same section of the thread, so don’t bother lying (again) that you didn’t see what eljay said, you obviously did because you responded!!!

        Again, you are a liar on that count.

        Don’t you think you owe Shmuel an apology for lying to him? I think you do. As well as to the Palestinian BNC for making stuff about about them.

        Do you realise you’re becoming more and more unhinged as Israel starts to really fall apart? You used to not flat-out lie on Mondoweiss, but now you’re doing it all the time.

    • Chaos4700
      July 17, 2011, 8:45 am

      How dare you abuse Jefferson that way. The three-fifths compromise comes from the Constitution, you idiot, not from the Declaration of Independence and it was suggested by James Madison after southern states demanded that slavery be institutionalized and made economically and politically sustainable.

      Jefferson was no saint but he was against slavery. The original Declaration had words denouncing the practice of slavery but the rest of Congress made him strike them out. Yes, he owned slaves and that made him something of a hypocrite, and yes he believed that American society could never accommodate people of African descent, but he did sincerely believe that all men are created equal and that slavery was an immoral practice.

      This is why people want to boycott Israeli academics. You’re not academics, you’re frauds and propaganda peddlers.

      • Citizen
        July 17, 2011, 10:07 am

        Chaos, wasn’t it true back then that many areas of the South had more blacks than whites? And wasn’t that 3/5ths language stuck in there to
        limit possibility of too many black voters adding to Southern vote? Or is my memory faulty or too foggy on this matter?

      • Chaos4700
        July 17, 2011, 10:31 am

        Sadly, the original Continental Congress was (with maybe the exception of Benjamin Franklin) categorically against giving black people any vote whatsoever. Even Jefferson wasn’t for that — Jefferson believed that slaves of African descent should be repatriated to Africa (which proved, when it was tried, to be totally impractical).

        The 3/5s language was solely because there were more white people in northern colonies and therefore more votes in northern colonies, and the southern colonies did not want to be lacking for representation.

      • Citizen
        July 17, 2011, 1:24 pm

        Chaos, thanks. You’re essentially right. Here’s an in depth history of the 3/5s language for anyone who wants to see how it fits when the Constitution language and 1st Amendment language are considered together: link to constitutingamerica.org

      • Citizen
        July 19, 2011, 1:40 pm

        Dick Witty says, “Reform is something a participant, friend, neighbor does. Resistance is something an opponent does (hopefully conditionally so that when identifiable conditions change, the relationship can as well). Partisan is to the level of enemy.”

        Witty, please apply your abstraction to Vichey France, for example, so we know clearly what you support. It appears you would have supported the Vichey government.

    • Mooser
      July 17, 2011, 3:19 pm

      “Witty does that the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians was a necessary evil that is required to bring a greater good” My italics

      My, you’re just the best kind of friend, ain’t you. IIRC Witty contended that ethnic cleansing was “no longer necessary”
      But that’s it, “eee” you go ahead and use Witty that way, since you own all the Jews.

  31. American
    July 17, 2011, 2:47 pm

    I agree it’s necessary to have those like witty to understand the mental process of the many liberal zionist…and of course they have a right to say what they think just as we do.
    Although I can’t make anything logical out of most of what he says.
    Maybe witty if you would write without using inaccurate words to emblish what you are trying to say it would be easier to follow you.

    • Mooser
      July 19, 2011, 1:33 pm

      Very telling, isn’t it, that Witty keeps on complaining about being “harassed”.
      He literally cannot stop reading Mondoweiss and posting here.

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