Two Israelis try to help Brooklyn’s Jews cross the Red Sea

Last night in Brooklyn, the most progressive Jewish congregation in New York, Kolot Chayeinu, held an “open conversation” about cultural boycott of Israel featuring six panelists, all of them Jewish. It was a first for New York in that this was the first time that such a debate was held in a synagogue. I found it thrilling in the way that I used to find the Harlem Globetrotters games thrilling– one side ran circles round the other– though like the Globetrotters victories, I am not entirely sure what was achieved. The best answer is that in a borough in which Jews had helped vote in a Republican congressman two nights before out of parochial fears, a handful of very good Jews are trying to wake other Jews up.

The panel was leftwing even for the Jewish community because everyone on it was for some form of boycott. And more than 200 people crowded the shul. “That’s the first sentence of your story; you couldn’t get this many people out for any other political event,” James North said, sitting next to me.

Many in the crowd oppose boycott and spoke in emotional ways. I love Israel, I might want to move there, its delegitimization scares the heck out of me, please don’t throw the baby out with the bath water, an older lady said, to big applause.

Israel is a state, it’s not a baby, Dalit Baum responded from the stage.

Whenever Baum and the other Israeli on the panel, Udi Aloni, opened his or her mouth (sorry about the grammar, this is the internet), the debate was over.

The only panelists who actually live there, each taking a personal legal risk to advocate for boycott, these moral giants did not speak about their feelings, they described the real conditions of Jim Crow. Dalit Baum’s first speech was about how easy it is to pass into the bubble of unconsciousness here or in Israel– but right now Palestinian children are being arrested in the middle of the night and held in prisons in the occupied territories and brought into a children’s court so that they will squeal on village elders who are organizing nonviolent protests against the wall.

“People’s lives are being crushed every day. It’s unimaginable, the cruelty.”

As this serious woman with giant dark eyes spoke, you literally could have heard a pin drop.

And Baum continued poetically by imagining the life of the judge in that special court for children. The judge is a woman Dalit Baum’s own age, in uniform. She goes back to Tel Aviv later, as Baum does. “She is for peace. She votes for Meretz. I know her. She’s Ashkenazi.” (Nodding laughter from audience.)

Udi Aloni took us into the same spiritual/political terrain in his appeal. BDS is not a Jewish call or a Jewish movement, it is a Palestinian call. Palestinians support it and so BDS gives Palestinians sovereignty in their land. And therefore BDS is Aloni’s  opportunity at last to deal with a sovereign Palestinian community of brothers and sisters rather than a victimized and powerless community in some kind of false staged “dialogue.”

Would Aloni change this or that point about the BDS call? Sure. But it is not for him to say.

“Once they have true sovereignty, I can argue with them on everything,” he said. “But let my other be a brother. Let the non sovereign be sovereign.”

There is nothing to say after such a beautiful statement.

At the end of the debate Aloni was even more impassioned. Who are we to talk about cultural boycott when any Jew in this room can go to Israel tomorrow to rediscover his cultural and religious “birthright,” but a Palestinian who lives there cannot visit the village of his grandparents to look on his own culture.

“Voila,” James North said, sitting next to me.

And when Aloni staged a production in Arabic of Waiting for Godot at the Jenin Freedom Theatre, he could not bring it to Haifa for Palestinians there to see it. No; his Pozzo was arrested by Israelis on arbitrary grounds. And held for a month. Culture.

“We are just trying to do a little justice here,” Aloni said, trembling with anger.

Don’t you see that, Jews? We are just trying to do a little justice here, in a vastly imbalanced situation. This is not about What is good for the Jews, this is about actually doing something to battle racism and give Palestinians a voice, as Dalit Baum said at the end.

So Jews were called back to a tradition of social justice last night in a Democratic borough that just went for a rightwing Republican. That’s a good thing. And Roy Nathanson in arguing against cultural boycott said, I teach music in the schools and “we have apartheid for young black men in this country.” OK, a helpful point. But have you been to the occupied territories lately, as Baum and Aloni have?

The organizers are trying to help American Jews, and I’m all for that. The big gracious spirit of Rabbi Ellen Lippmann, lately converted to boycott of the occupied territories, pervaded the evening, and wise Esther Kaplan began the night by saying that boycott is a nonviolent tactic, in a violent scene. This discussion has been “nearly taboo within the Jewish community,” she said.

Maybe soon they will get this show into a mainstream synagogue? As Baum said, We don’t have all day.

Update: Jack Ross corrects: “Park Slope is NOT in District 9, it is in Yvette Clark’s district, as am I in Flatbush.” I corrected my mistake.

About Philip Weiss

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

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

  1. seafoid says:

    “Aloni said, trembling with anger”

    Speak your mind even if your voice shakes- Maggie Kuhn

  2. Taxi says:

    How thrilling!

    Good gracious my good-feathered geese! But how to get the west coast jews to this point of soaring truth?

    There’s a time warp going on over here in SoCal – they’re stuck in 1960, the year the movie Exodus was released.

    • Kathleen says:

      “they’re stuck in 1960″ 60′s were about civil rights, stopping a war in Vietnam. These standards and efforts were based on justice, truths, crimes being committed against blacks, Vietnamese…. accountability.

      These standards have not applied to Palestinians by the majority of Jews in this country and around the world. There is a shift going on. A very good shift

      • Taxi says:

        Kathleen I meant stuck in the YEAR 1960 – more precisely they’re trapped inside the sound-stage where they shot the movie. The rest of the 60′s went right above their heads.

  3. Mooser says:

    “James North said, sitting next to me.”

    Could somebody check the Western Massachusetts papers for suicides this morning? I’m afraid to look.

  4. James North says:

    Phil’s account of the “open conversation” is powerful, but I want to add more praise for the audience. “Boycott” can understandably be a sensitive subject in the Jewish community; older Jews remember that it was one of the first Nazi tactics in Germany in the 1930s. But several hundred people of all ages, many of them young, sat in a synagogue and listened closely as the panelists wrestled with the question. It was clear that some in the crowd did not fully understand BDS — no surprise when the Jewish establishment distorts like crazy — but by the end even more of them seemed to be won over.
    What was also absolutely clear is that many in the audience did not know the full truth about the occupation, and, as Phil points out, they were moved by Udi Aloni’s and Dalit Baum’s first-hand accounts.
    Which is one more reason that Mondoweiss, and other truth-telling sites, are indispensable.

  5. Kathleen says:

    Thanks for the report. Right now on the Diane Rehm show they brought up whether that race was a referendum on Obama. You could call in and report about what you saw at this meeting.
    [email protected]
    1-800-433-8850
    or put up what you saw at the Diane Rehm blog
    link to thedianerehmshow.org

    I will show you in a minute what is not getting through the moderator at the Diane Rehm blog

  6. Kathleen says:

    Here is what I was able to get through on the Diane Rehms blog this morning:
    “So hope President Obama visits Rep Boehner’s district during his next trip to Ohio. He could stand in front of the once active site where a very large Delphi plant stood just a few years ago. Several thousand workers many from his district worked there. That lot is now empty. They recently bulldozed the evidence of the loss of those jobs. The site is on Needmore Rd just off of I 75. Where are the jobs Rep Boehner?

    Also down the road from the former Delphi plant is Wright Patterson Airforce Base. Republican Governor Kasich voted down former Democratic Governor Stricklands acceptance of federal funds to build a high speed mass transit system in Ohio. Governor Kasich said no to those federal transportation funds.

    Where are the jobs in Ohio Governor Kasich?

    That is what Pres Obama should be asking these two Republicans? And the rest of the Republicans….Continue to challenge them about shutting down improvements and jobs”

    THIS IS WHAT THE MODERATORS ARE NOT LETTING THROUGH: EVEN THOUGH THE GUEST ON THE SHOW BROUGHT UP THE REPUBLICAN WIN IN THE WEINER DISTRICT…THE JEWISH VOTE ETC

    That former Rep Weiners district was not a referendum on Obama it was a referendum demonstrating that many Jewish voters are PEPs (Progressive except for Palestine) Many Jewish voters have road blocks when it comes to thinking about the I/P issue in a fact based realistic way. The rest of the world is very aware of the crimes that have been committed by the Israeli government against the Palestinians. Many are aware of the decades long expansion of illegal settlements and illegal housing in E Jerusalem. When Jewish voters get it that President Obama is doing his damdest to protect Israel based on the internationally recognized 67 borders.

    When Jewish voters get this they will also be really protecting Israel based on those internationally recognized borders. This issue is not going away only going to get worse if Israel does not come to the table and honestly negotiate.

    The Jewish vote is only what 3% of the vote nation wide. Obama can pick up that 3% elsewhere. The question is can he pick up the enormous Jewish donations elsewhere. I think he can if he stands up the I lobby based on the facts on the ground. People are waking up
    —————————————————
    MODERATORS/PRODUCERS NOT LETTING THIS ONE GO THROUH
    Rep Paul stepped out of the envelope (not new territory for him) during the Republican debate and attempted to enlighten the public about the stated reasons by Al Qeada for the attacks on 9/11. He did not excuse using violence and destruction in any way. He just attempted to get to core reasons for hatred and anger directed towards the US.

    USsupport for dictators in that region
    US support for Israel no matter what they do
    US military bases on their land

    Santorum repeated the false claim that many of our Reps repeat for the anger and hatred “they hate us for our freedoms”

    Former head of the CIA Bin Laden unit Micheal Scheuer has written a great article at his site “Non intervention” about how Ron Paul will be lynched by the neo cons for this honest statement
    link to non-intervention.com

    Interventionists ready a media lynching for Ron Paul
    By mike | Published: September 4, 2011

    The past ten days have seen a spate of pieces on Google News damning Congressman Ron Paul for “blaming” America for the 9/11 attacks. This is just the start of what will become a wave of ever-more shrill and lie-filled attacks on Mr. Paul as long as he is seeking the Republican presidential nomination and continues to find growing public support. The attacks on Mr. Paul are and will be the work of the Neoconservatives, the Israel-First fifth column of U.S. citizens, and AIPAC and those it controls in the Congress, media, and academy.

    Sure hope the moderators/ Producers at the Diane Rehm show do not block your readers, listeners to expand their information access. That would be too bad

  7. Kathleen says:

    “The big gracious spirit of Rabbi Ellen Lippmann, lately converted to boycott of the occupied territories, pervaded the evening, and wise Esther Kaplan began the night by saying that boycott is a nonviolent tactic, in a violent scene. This discussion has been “nearly taboo within the Jewish community,” she said.”

    Every little bit of movement helps so much. Thanks again for the report Phil

  8. seafoid says:

    It’s a pity it has come to needing Israeli Jews to tell the diaspora how bad things are in Erez Israel. Wouldn’t a Palestinian be able to do it ?
    Is this why it has taken so long for Galut to wake up? Did Israel silence the dissenters so effectively all this time? Or was the loss of control of the narrative inevitable ? What was the tipping point ?

    It reminds me of the Fox News /liberal split where there are apparently 2 realities. One of them has to be wrong. And it isn’t the left wing one.

    • Kathleen says:

      “It’s a pity it has come to needing Israeli Jews to tell the diaspora how bad things are in Erez Israel. Wouldn’t a Palestinian be able to do it ?
      Is this why it has taken so long for Galut to wake up? Did Israel silence the dissenters so effectively all this time? Or was the loss of control of the narrative inevitable ? What was the tipping point ? ”

      It is a pity. Has always been a pity. These efforts have been going on for decades. But the few Jews who were out on the firing line (Finkelstein, Ilan Pappe etc) were demonized. Palestinians, many non Jewish Americans who have been writing about these issues for decades, those who have traveled into these areas have been demonized, brushed off etc.

      It is a pity that the Palestinian and other non Jewish voices have not been listened to for decades…but we must celebrate these shifts while not canonizing the individuals who are finally stepping up to the justice plate

      • seafoid says:

        Finkelstein deserves this moment. He has been tireless.
        Where is the Dersh when you need him?

        I must say that it is great to see Finkelstein, Lilian Rosengarten and Alice Walker speak truth to fading power.

        But the fat lady isn’t going to sing until the settlers leave Hebron.

        • Kathleen says:

          He really does need to be acknowledged over and over again. I would canonize this man. He was out on the firing lines when it was not at all acceptable or popular. He broke through any personal and internal resistance . He believes in real justice for all. He has continually taken risk in his career etc. Set the justice standards high. A very brave and honorable person

        • seafoid says:

          The quality of his scholarship is what I admire most.
          He is relentless in the search for truth. Ultra professional. A model.

          Next is the Waterloo speech . I will watch it again tonight.

        • seafoid says:

          If you had any heart in you you’d be crying for the Palestinians

  9. American says:

    “At the end of the debate Aloni was even more impassioned. Who are we to talk about cultural boycott when any Jew in this room can go to Israel tomorrow to rediscover his cultural and religious “birthright,” but a Palestinian who lives there cannot visit the village of his grandparents to look on his own culture.
    “Voila,” James North said, sitting next to me”

    That is the ‘Voila’ moment isn ‘t it?
    I can’t and probably never will understand the hypocrisy.

    • seafoid says:

      It is the moment where Israel becomes a bordel de merde

      link to imdb.com

      I love French wine, like I love the French language. I have sampled every language, French is my favorite. Fantastic language. Especially to curse with. Nom de dieu de putain de bordel de merde de saloperie de connard d’enculé de ta mère. It’s like wiping your arse with silk. I love it.

  10. richb says:

    Reposting my account of last night’s Finkelstein lecture here where it’s more apropos than on Simone Daud’s entry.

    Last night Norman Finkelstein spoke at CU Boulder:

    link to i484.photobucket.com
    link to i484.photobucket.com

    The topic of the discussion was Gandhi and the I/P struggle and what should be done in a post Arab Spring world. Finkelstein had an interesting insight very similar to Bishara. Namely, non-violence in Gandhi’s thought was not enough it had to be what the public already had agreed upon. What the non-violence accomplishes is action. If you have non-violence but no consensus it doesn’t do any good. In the case of the conflict there is an international consensus based on international law which states that all the settlements including in East Jerusalem are illegal. This consensus is as follows:

    1. Israel should withdraw to the 1967 borders.
    2. All settlements should be abandoned including in East Jerusalem
    3. A just right of return to the place of origin should be guaranteed

    Finkelstein documented this consensus amongst countries outside the U.S. noting that even amongst Jews that this was changing (due to the fact that Jews are fundamentally liberal and now Jews know too much) and that in the U.S. Israel viewed as a positive is now only a 50/50 proposition. He then documented the General Assembly votes that were everybody to two or seven that agreed to this consensus. And then he repeated it for the Arab League and for the 57 Islamic countries (including Iran). He noted the unanimous ICJ ruling on the wall was also based on the illegality of the settlements.

    He then dealt with some objections from the right and the left. The condition that the Palestinians need to recognize as a Jewish state is bogus since it wasn’t required of the Egyptians nor the Jordanians in their peace treaties. He also noted that Hamas’ attitude towards Israel is exactly analogous to Gandhi’s towards Pakistan. Gandhi believed partition was a sin but accepted the fact of Pakistan’s existence.

    He noted that land swaps have no basis in international law since the settlements are illegal. If the Israelis can convince the Palestinians to have land swaps that’s one thing but to have the Israel to have veto power over Palestine’s border established by international law is a different matter particularly since the “negotiations” are a proven stalling tactic.

    Finkelstein then addressed the proponents of the one state solution. The one state solution is not necessary because if you only look at the settlements rather than the settlement blocs it only comprises roughly 1% of the West Bank. Many of the settlers are quality of life and even the ideological settlers will have a change of heart once the army is gone.

    During Q&A time the question of the use of violence when non-violence hasn’t worked was raised. Finkelstein noted that the most effective resistance were during the First Intifada before the PLO messed it up. He speculated counter-factually that things would have been much different. Since then he noted that the PA has been trying to de-politicize the situation and are worrying if there was a real popular uprising ala the Arab Spring that they might go the way of other Arab autocrats.

    The event was much more peaceful than I expected. SayYesToPeace.org passed out “questions” to ask Dr. Finkelstein interestingly enough critical of the one state solution. The talk was concluded with a standing ovation and only one hostile question which I’m sure Simone Daud would find interesting. A young woman was offended by Finkelstein quoting the U.S. State Department vis-a-vis discrimination against Palestinian Israelis. She was at a school in Jerusalem where there was both Jews and Arabs. She tried to say how the U.S. discriminates possibly even more. Having seen American Radical I knew what was to follow. He noted how 60% of Israelis admit there is discrimination and how does one school make that not true? How is what you are saying credible? He then in rapid-fire succession had quote after quote and poll after poll showing the vacuousness of her position and as my debater daughter noted an argument from pathos. The other classic Finkelstein was on the question of having the Palestinians just wait just a little more where he responded in full rant. In it was the essence of the talk: the time for debate is over and the time for action is now. We should all go in one direction because the people — indeed all the people — are ready.

    • seafoid says:

      It sounds like that University of Waterloo clip

      I’d love to see the Fink on mainstream TV.

    • Kathleen says:

      Whoa thank you for this report. I hope my oldest daughter attended. Were there any protest outside. The Boulder Rocky Mountain Justice center has been verbally attacked in Boulder papers when they have tried to address the Palestinian injustices before locally.

      Finkelstein just amazes me. Has been out on the front lines for a long time. Brilliant, fact based..rolls over weak arguments with calm fact based responses that as you said he can back up with piles of substantiated evidence.

      Really appreciate how he always brings it back to laws, agreements etc.

      “The one state solution is not necessary because if you only look at the settlements rather than the settlement blocs it only comprises roughly 1% of the West Bank.”

      This figure really confuses me. I have heard different percentages that the illegal Israeli settlements involve. 9%, 4.5% and now 1%. On Talk of the Nation this week Dore Gold said that Saeb Erakat said 1.9%
      “GOLD: Well, let me tell you something about the Oslo agreements. And I’m going to share with you a not-well-known secret. There is not a single clause in the Oslo agreement that says the Palestinians must stop building in their villages, or that Israel must stop building inside its settlements. You know, in the WikiLeaks papers and in the Al-Jazeera papers, you have there the statements made by Saeb Erekat saying, you know, Israel, all you have to annex is 1.9 percent of the West Bank because that’s the amount of territory that your settlements take up. ”

      link to npr.org

      What percentage of the West Bank do the illegal settlements take up? Does anyone know? I hear so many different takes on what that percentage is

      • richb says:

        The “protests” was very, very low key. What appeared to have helped was the following handout to attendees and a couple very visible campus police.

        WARNING

        This event is an official University activity. Any disruption of a University activity constitutes a violation of University policy and certain State of Colorado laws and participants in disruption are subject to appropriate penalties.

        [details of University policy concerning harassment and Colorado law on the same]

        This is a formal warning.

        After this warning, you may be subject to University sanctions which may include suspension or expulsion from the University if you are a student. You may also be subject to legal prosecution if you are a student or non-student.

        What was done in “protest” was classic Hasbara. They took promo pictures and made a handout that looked official. Inside was slander against Finkelstein and CU-Divest and conclusion that this was a “complicated” issue that we needed to learn the “whole” story and THEN make up our minds. It was followed by a link to http://www.sayyestopeace.org. But absent that piece of paper and the last questioner the Jewish community was noticeably absent. At least 90% of the audience gave Dr. Finkelstein a standing ovation.

        The one question at the end was far more civil than the “crocodile tears” incident at Waterloo. It attempted to match the tone of the entire proceedings both by the speakers and the audience which was civil and positive. My daughter noted that from her formal debate experience it was very much a novice versus experienced debater interaction with an appeal to pathos followed by a blitz of facts and refutations. It didn’t have the emotional punch of the Waterloo interaction but from an intellectual level it was just as devastating.

        Dr. Finkelstein had a Palestinian expert on hand and asked him to challenge him if he was wrong on the facts. In his talk he claimed if you don’t count the blocs between settlements the actual land of the settlements themselves is less than 1% of the West Bank.

        • richb says:

          When you do count the blocs between the settlements you get the 9% figure. Let’s say Boulder and Longmont were settlements then the Boulder Diagonal would be part of the “bloc” and we would count Niwot, for example, as part of the settlement. Not only do these blocs bisect the West Bank they also allow Israel to control key aquifers. Now you know why Netanyahu obsesses about the blocs.

    • Kathleen says:

      Your report deserves a top spot here at Mondoweiss. Phils New York report. Your Colorado report. And tonight Norman speaks in Denver.
      link to robertjprince.wordpress.com

      • richb says:

        Here’s some more details from CU-Divest’s head, Michael Rabb:

        F I N K E L S T E I N !

        Yes!!!!

        It was a great event — well attended last night at CU (270+) with lots of students! Thanks so much to Moe & Is and S4PJ for making this happen at CU.

        And thanks to all the volunteers for helping with setup and books and petitions: especially Guy for getting this done with Joe, Jim, John and more. Thank you!

        If anyone missed it who wants to catch Finkelstein he will be speaking in Denver at DU tonight.

        September 16: University of Denver, Sturm 248, 7:00pm
        “What Can We Learn from Gandhi: Lessons for Resolving the Israel-Palestine Conflict”

    • American says:

      “He noted that land swaps have no basis in international law since the settlements are illegal.”

      Of course. Israel has nothing to trade Palestine, it only has land that has to be ‘returned’ to Palestine.
      It is so ridiculous how this idea of trading what is not theirs to trade ever came about.
      Long ago I read a article by Robert Fisk about how Israel worked very hard and deliberately” to change the language” of all points regarding I/P. For one example they presssured the media to use ‘settlements” not ‘colonies’ when referring to illegal Israeli land take overs thinking it would be less offensive to the public. He named a number of things that I can’t recall right now, but no doubt this is how the ‘idea’ of ‘trading” came about also. Israel hammered on the the “trading’ meme till it became a sort of general concept in the peace talk yack,yack industry instead of “return the land you stole Israel”.

      • annie says:

        he has the negev

      • DBG says:

        The WB and Gaza is not the Palestinians, it is Egypt’s and Jordan’s. This idea that there is a precedent for International Law, when there isn’t even a Palestinian state is silly.

        Palestine will need a land bridge between Gaza and the WB. I don’t get why the idea of negotiating a settlement scares you ppl so much. This is how the real world works, through negotiation.

        • richb says:

          Whose it is may be subject to debate but whose it is not is clear. By international law you can expand territory through war nor can you transfer civilians onto that militarily occupied land. If there are any negotiations it would be between the Palestinians and the Egyptians and Jordanians. Furthermore, since the Egyptians and the Jordanians are already part of the international consensus based on international law we can count those “negotiations” as concluded. The borders can be set today.

        • richb says:

          Any two adjacent sovereign countries can negotiate land swaps. Israel has abused her position as a military occupier by denying self-determination to the Palestinians in order to dictate terms. Israel says she desires to negotiate land swaps with Palestine with the 1967 borders as a starting point. One way to do that is to have the 1967 borders as the borders of Palestine and then the two states can negotiate the land swaps as peers like any other two sovereign nations.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “I don’t get why the idea of negotiating a settlement scares you ppl so much. This is how the real world works, through negotiation.”

          It’s not the negotiation that’s the problem.

          Let me explain it this way. There is some money in a bank account — say $1 million — that we will split between us. I have the ATM card and password and can withdraw $500 a day. After a year of negotiations, with $180,000 of the original million gone and no resolution in sight, you would be screaming for a solution, not for more negotiation.

          I, on the other hand, would say, “I don’t get why the idea of negotiating a settlement scares you… so much. This is how the real world works, through negotiation.”

          Get it now?

        • Kathleen says:

          So if we follow your logic there is no Israel either. 67 border DBG before the two state solution option if gone for good. And then then apartheid state of Israel will be challenged in a much more serious way

        • Inanna says:

          Re: the West Bank and Gaza, they were only Egypt’s and Jordan’s between 1948 and 1967. Before that, the entire land from the Jordan to the see belonged to Palestinians, whether they were Jewish, Muslim or Christian. But I guess for zionists, history only begins in 1948.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Correction, Inanna: History ends briefly roughly 2,000 years ago, resumes in the 1930′s, ends again in after 1945 and then resumes again in 1948. (Maimonides can be quoted but under no circumstances may the full story of his life among Muslims be recounted, only the parts that benefit the Zionist narrative that all Muslims are anti-Semites, even the ones that shielded Jews from Christian aggression.)

        • DBG says:

          wow, someone has never taken a Jewish history (or probably any other history course for that matter) in his college career.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Yep, no history at all, which is why I mentioned Maimonides specifically in the context of Muslim presence in Spain and northern Africa in the 12th century while comparing and contrasting the Almovarid and Almohad caliphs. God, I’m such a total dullard, aren’t I, DBG? Not like you with your totally academic statemtents like, “Arabs are only tolerated because they have oil!” and “Palestinians don’t exist because all Arabs are the same!”

        • American says:

          Actually it’ s not subject to debate unless the creation of Israel is also subject to debate because 181 authorized the creation of a Palestine State at the same time it authorized Israel. And the boundaries of Palestine and Israel were laid out at the time and the WB and Gaza.

          To get back to debating the whole Jordon and Egypt ownership you would have to go back to the whole British reconfiguring of the ME
          and no one’s going to attempt that…it’s long gone and way over.

  11. Kathleen says:

    “At the end of the debate Aloni was even more impassioned. Who are we to talk about cultural boycott when any Jew in this room can go to Israel tomorrow to rediscover his cultural and religious “birthright,” but a Palestinian who lives there cannot visit the village of his grandparents to look on his own culture.

    “Voila,” James North said, sitting next to me.”

    Such a great post Phil. Every bit of movement is huge. For decades it has always been shocking to me how so many Jews I know who claim they are supportive of social justice issues have kept their head in the sand about this critical issue. How complicit they have been for decades. How biased, how fundamentally racist their silence is.

    So good that there is movement. As is always the case…better late than never

  12. Shmuel says:

    Aloni:

    BDS is not a Jewish call or a Jewish movement, it is a Palestinian call. Palestinians support it and so BDS gives Palestinians sovereignty in their land. And therefore BDS is Aloni’s opportunity at last to deal with a sovereign Palestinian community of brothers and sisters rather than a victimized and powerless community in some kind of false staged “dialogue.”

    This is a crucial part of BDS – for everyone, but especially for Jews and Israelis.

    Seafoid wrote:
    It’s a pity it has come to needing Israeli Jews to tell the diaspora how bad things are in Erez Israel. Wouldn’t a Palestinian be able to do it ?

    A pity, yes, but when it comes to these things, westerners carry more weight than Arabs, Jews more than non-Jews and Israeli Jews more than anyone. That’s the way it is (and the Knesset knows it). It’s time to cash in on that awe that has been instilled in “diaspora” Jews for Israelis in general and Israeli soldiers (or former soldiers) in particular. The great thing about BDS (as Udi Aloni pointed out) is that we can do so without acting like bloody colonialists. We are answering and supporting the Palestinian call, to the best of our abilities – including taking advantage of the prejudices and emotional needs of our audiences. It is also why some (Howard Jacobson, for example) have tried to paint anti-Zionist Jews as not really Jewish.

    The other day, WJ wrote that he might be more inclined to support BDS, if “real” Jews came out in favour of it – and that this position was more emotional than logical. I don’t think WJ is particularly impressed by secular Israelis, but many American Jews are. Speaking of wondering, I wonder if he was there last night.

    • Philip Weiss says:

      thanks as always for this pithy intervention that gets to the heart of it shmuel

    • LeaNder says:

      Speaking of wondering, I wonder if he was there last night.

      in case he is around:

      Again (no, if you like) I am really sorry, Wondering, for my indirect offhand comment about you. It was hyper-impolite, even more considering the topic you discussed with Shmuel.

      Fact is, I did enjoy your exchange with Shmuel. Fact is too, I find it hard to consider your fearful scenario realistic.

      • Leander, hello.

        I don’t see a Haniyeh Zionism taking over Israel, if that’s what you are referring to.

        Those who wish to change Israel’s behavior have me rooting with them. I wonder what it will take.

        Tony Judt’s admonition that Lieberman Zionism which is the present tense is more of a threat than Nasrallah Zionism is apt. Meirav Michaeli’s question to Judt of “what should we in Israel do?” is apt as well. There are many Israelis who vote for change but do not stand with the boycotters. When Shelly Yachimovitz stands with the boycotters it would rock my world as well. Not that I mean to denigrate the present tense’s inherent violence towards the Palestinians.

        • LeaNder says:

          Wondering, as far as I am concerned the best advocates for BDS are people like RachelGolem or sometimes Richard Witty, who tell me I’m a hypocrite if I support BDS while sitting at a computer with Intel chips. It led me to buy a laptop with ADM chips:

          Rachelgolem:

          And remember, the computer you are sitting at right now probably has an Intel chip made in the Zionist empire. And you or someone you know is probably taking TEVA generic medication right now. Guess where it comes from.

          I don’t know how often she has repeated it by now.

        • Shmuel says:

          When Shelly Yachimovitz stands with the boycotters it would rock my world as well.

          Shelly “Mainstream” Yachimovich? Don’t hold your breath. By the way, what’s she got that secular Jewish anti-Zionists don’t have? She’s not a very “Jewish” Jew by any standard – unless her Jewish credentials stem from the fact that she is a Zionist, in which case you’re begging the question again.

        • LeaNder says:

          Shmuel, I don’t think there is anything wrong with telling the truth. Isn’t it true all parties backed the settlements? …

          I seem to vaguely remember that Yachimovich did not consent to the suspension of Knesset member Hanin Zoabi. (slightly amusing video) But I may be wrong.

          No, I don’t think I am:

          MKs Boycott Knesset Ethics Committee

          Three of the four members of the Knesset’s Ethics Committee MKs Arieh Eldad, Rachel Adato and Tzipi Hotovely boycotted it Monday morning in protest over the conduct of committee chairman MK Shelly Yachimovich (Labor). They say she has prevented a debate over the conduct of MK Hanin Zouabi and other Arab MKs who recently visited enemy states like Libya and participated in the flotilla to Gaza in which IDF soldiers were attacked.

          The Labor party receives about a quarter of its votes from the Arab sector.

        • Shmuel says:

          LeaNder,

          The problem isn’t with telling the truth about the settlement project, but with toning down years of vociferous criticism on the eve of a bid for the leadership of a centrist party. That is what earned her the nickname “Ms. Mainstream” (or something to that effect) in the Hebrew version of the article I linked to.

          I don’t recall Yachimovich’s position during the affaire Zoabi, but I wouldn’t take Eldad, Hotovely, Adato or Arutz 7′s word for it.

        • MRW says:

          LeaNder,

          This is rich: Rachelgolem’s “And remember, the computer you are sitting at right now probably has an Intel chip made in the Zionist empire.”

          I wish I’d seen it. That’s like the Chinese claiming the same because they make iPods or iPads. Or the Philippines laying claim to US products.

          For the non-cognoscienti, Intel’s chips are planned in Santa Clara years ahead of their manufacture, and are/were based on research involving growing silicon (as it’s called in the biz, although this technology, while currently used, is old) and semiconductor design from various advanced miniaturization technologies. Chips designed in 1984 and with stable silicon didn’t make it into computers until the late 90s. (I know this because I worked on them. You don’t just design chips and dump them into a laptop. Everything any new advance in a chipset brings, like clock speed or chipset integration, affects every other component it interacts with.) It is reasonable to assume Intel is well ahead on multiple-qubit processors for quantum computers, which leaves the digital chips we’re still laboring with in the laptops rachelgoem references in the dustbin of history.

          Israel is a low-wage manufacturing area, one of many, that Intel uses because of the 1985 US/I Free Trade agreement. It is also part of Intel Labs Europe. See the countries that make up Intel’s European R&D network. Israel is a small part of that, as you can see in the description under the + sign here:
          link to intel.com

          In general, you take this to the bank: any new chipset that comes out today was designed and stable 15 years ago. Where they manufacture it comes down to economics and tax breaks. To give you an even greater perspective: the US military abandoned digital computing in its secret planes nearly four decades ago (how else are you going to get the equivalent of a SuperCray in a fist-sized component to fit into a cockpit system?).

          You and I are working on troglodyte machines. Steve Jobs made them pretty, and redefined their usage…no doubt on what he could see from chipset development coming down the pike. [Massive GB Solid State Drives (SSD) could go in our watch, and with a flip-up watch face, we could watch streaming holographic video now. The technology is already here, and has been for decades.]

        • DBG says:

          are you kidding me? that was the biggest load of hogwash I’ve heard from you MRW. this nonsense makes your 9/11 truther theories seem believable.

          the US military abandoned digital computing in its secret planes nearly four decades ago (how else are you going to get the equivalent of a SuperCray in a fist-sized component to fit into a cockpit system?)

          are you seriously high right now?

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Find those nukes in Iraq yet, DBG? We’re waiting.

        • LeaNder says:

          Shmuel, yes, she sounds a little like Tzipi light, especially on defense, as her argument that schools in the OT cost as much as inside the green line, doesn’t work. So yes, it probably is only about power. I have the advantage, I don’t have to vote.

          Concerning this:

          Yachimovich added: “Tzipi Livni intones ‘two states for two nations’ three times a day – not that she is spearheading any political breakthrough.”

          She doesn’t tell us how she would do it herself. Would her attack on the neoliberal credo, include a closer look at the financial markets? Or does she agree with Washington and London they are sacrosanct?

        • LeaNder says:

          thanks for the exquisite response, MRW. But obviously I am aware of it, ever since Richard Witty proudly presented us with the video of all the things Israel gives the world. I think the Intel plant in Israel was among the evidence given. Yes, it’s ludicrous, and I surely responded like that.

          But I decided for AMD anyway, the constant repetition had hammered itself into my mind.

        • American says:

          Or how many times it has been debunked.

    • Kathleen says:

      But it is and always has been a pity…shameful in many ways.

      • Kathleen says:

        And the question as to why so many have remained silent so long should not be brushed under the rug or turned into a canonization of Jews or anyone else who stayed silent for so long and who are finally speaking up. I have noticed this and this should be avoided. It is so dishonest and arrogant.
        While at the same time acknowledging much needed movement.

    • Shmuel- I had to go to class last night, so I didn’t make it.

      I have now spent close to 12 weeks in the golus, my longest sojourn here since my departure five years ago. I am still adjusting to the changed perspective.

      Last November when I heard Gideon Levy some place on the upper West Side, he said that he was not observing the boycott; he lived in Israel and every day when he goes to the store and buys bread he is abrogating the boycott.

      I actually have met Udi Aloni in person. He was expressing support of Palestinians in Union Square. I only knew it was Udi Aloni many years later when his photo was included on a post here on Mondoweiss.

      Larry Derfner, a few years ago, wrote that the majority of Israelis has given up caring about the Palestinian suffering as a result of the second intifadeh. In Jerusalem meeting (face to face or back to back on the bus) Palestinians daily changed my perspective. In Brooklyn I am not confronted by Palestinians daily, nor by the Golden Dome on the Temple Mount every week or so, so I have distance, which is not necessarily a good thing.

      When I saw my friend from Efrat for the last time in May I asked him if the Gush Etzion project was not a mistake; I didn’t specify Efrat, though its sewage system makes the “news” here on Mondoweiss more than any other part of the Gush. Thus begins my slow illogical attempt to “confront” the occupation. In Brooklyn, I read the headlines.

      The first time I “attended” a Women in Black rally in Union Square, my position was more in keeping with the Women in Black than with the counter demonstrators. Still the leftist manhattan disdain for anything Brooklyn/frum pervaded the esthetic. At best I could stand aside and say, I am not from these or from these. This is the essence to what I was saying before- a comfort level with my fellow “protestors”.

      • Shmuel says:

        Gideon Levy is/was oddly misinformed (or seeking rationalisations?) about BDS. Israelis are not expected to participate, beyond boycotting the settlements. Israelis like the good people at Boycott from Within, support BDS by trying to engage the international community.

        I know what you mean about distance but, on the whole, I think the perspective I have gained from it (reading the papers, speaking to people, going back a couple of times a year) has been beneficial on many levels.

        I also know what you mean about lefties. I was an active member of Meretz for many years, and had many a fight (including one with the party leader) over secular (Ashkenazi, middle-class) prejudice. I have actually found far more tolerance and understanding for Haredim, Mizrahim, Russian immigrants, etc. – and on occasion even the settlers – on the anti-Zionist left than on the Zionist left.

  13. Kathleen says:

    the Diane Rehm show moderators not allowing any questions about Israel or Turkeys Erdogans trip or comments go up. Nothing being allowed up about the Palestinians bid at the UN during the International hour.

    They just mentioned Sarkozy and Camerons trips but not Erdogans trip

    This comment not being allowed up

    Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan visited Cairo, Tunisia, and Libya this week. He addressed the Arab spring and Isreal’s unwillingness to apologize for the killing of Turkish citizens on the Mavi marmara. He talked about why Turkey had asked Israeli reps to leave his country and the negative effects this will have on Israeli Turkish trade etc

    You have also not discussed the Palestinans bid at the UN. Other news outlets have been discussing this but not the Rehm show.

    The Diane Rehm show has not touched this issue all week…why? You folks seem to be avoiding all issues having to do with Israel…what is up? Pressure? Funding threats?

  14. Kathleen says:

    Sorry to keep bringing this up. But something very biased is going on at the Diane Rehm show. Not one comment up at the blog at their site. Heavy censorship going on. Have sent three totally appropriate comments and questions to the blog not making it up. Something is changing over at that show

    Just sent this

    Ok now your guest have brought up Sarkozy and Camerons trip to the countries involved with the Arab Spring. But no one is touching Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogans trip to Cairo, Tunisia, Libya this week. Is this because Erdogan criticized Israel?

    Ohio

    What is up? Why is Diane and why are her guest avoiding Erdogans trip?

    Is that critical issue not on the list that you are handed by your producers about the issues you can and cannot talk about now (heard this from the new screener) She said she is handed a list of things that callers can bring up and not bring up.

    • American says:

      Had a strange experience the other day. Wanted to see the article on the UN issuing the new report that contradicted the Palmer report.
      I like to get reports on things like this from some major paper or news outlet instead of a excerpt or copy on a blog just to see how the MSP is treating it.
      Guess what? …when I searched News….I got almost nothing, actually more like really nothing. Hardly a mention in the US MSP.
      I wonder if I have become paranoid– or if as I ‘think’ I have noticed, certain subjects sort of “go dead” when some event that might be related has occured or is about to occur.
      I might not have thought it that odd except the first report, the Palmer report was all over the place…but nope, not the follwing UN report that challenged it.
      The MSP self censors certain things depending on which way they lean naturally but I can totally see some rep of the gov ‘suggesting’ avoiding some subjects that might pick at whatever they have on their ‘must accomplish’ schedule.

  15. Dan Crowther says:

    I think until these panels hold non-jews – we are going to continue to have these “open-discussions” with nothing to show for them.

    • Kathleen says:

      there have been plenty of panels for decades with non Jews and a few Jews. There was generally nothing to show for them except for more and more people becoming aware. Which was happening for decades. Just a real explosion of movement the last five years. Really coming to a tipping point…a hundredth monkey shift in the US

  16. Kathleen says:

    Just brought up the Palestinian bid at the UN. Finally

  17. seafoid says:

    Netanyahu
    link to mfa.gov.il

    “You cannot build peace on a foundation of lies. Any peace that is built on a foundation of lies ultimately collapses on the rocks of truth. That was true in Europe and it is true today. We have to speak the truth. The first truth is that to have peace, we must have mutual respect for other peoples. This is what we seek with our Palestinian neighbors”

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    “Israel takes more land [so] that the Palestinian state will be impossible . . . the Israel policy is to take more and more land day after day and that at the end of the day we’ll say that is impossible, we already have the land and we cannot create the state”. She conceded that it had been “the policy of the government for a really long time”.

    Another choice comment from Livni, this one from a Nov. 13, 2007 meeting, where she and Abu Ala (Qurei) were discussing what should be included in the “terms of reference” for the upcoming Annapolis meeting (the eighth meeting on this question):

    AA: International law?

    Livni : NO. I was the Minister of Justice. I am a lawyer…But I am against law — international law in particular. Law in general. If we want to make the agreement smaller, can we just drop some of these issues? Like international law, this will make the agreements easier.

    F*ck you, Bibi
    F*ck you and the horse you rode in on.

  18. annie says:

    i knew you were there, knew you wouldn’t miss it. thank you for bringing it to us. james too

    Dalit Baum’s first speech was about how easy it is to pass into the bubble of unconsciousness here or in Israel– but right now Palestinian children are being arrested in the middle of the night and held in prisons in occupied territories and brought into a children’s court so that they will squeal on village elders who are organizing nonviolent protests against the wall.

    for me, this is the quintessential story that will break the camel’s back. it just needs to go mainstream. great report.

  19. Kathleen says:

    As the ICC, Norman Finkelstein and others have pointed out ALL of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Israeli housing in E Jerusalem are ILLEGAL what ever the percentage is.

    Stats on what percentage of the West Bank illegal Israeli settlements take up
    link to palestinemonitor.org
    “Settlements are built on less than 3 percent of the area of the West Bank. However, due to the extensive network of settler roads and restrictions on Palestinians accessing their own land, Israeli settlements domi-nate more than 40 percent of the West Bank.”

    link to ifamericansknew.org

  20. gloriousbach says:

    To the commenters here:
    You can’t imagine how helpful these discussions are to those of us still learning. The quality, depth of knowledge, and the commitment.
    I hope that Norman Finkelstein knows how profoundly inspirational he is to so many. All I ever do here is thank and compliment–but the site is a lifeline these days. So, thanks, again, to Phil, Adam et al.

    • Philip Weiss says:

      Glorious we are all learning here, but thank you. Yes I believe some of the commenters here are the best writers on the site. The most informed, too. I am humbled by the community they’ve made and pray that we can maintain the site in such a way that they feel this place serves them and is not a waste of their considerable efforts.

      • Kathleen says:

        This site serves everyone who wants to learn, share and be more well informed. For the most part the people here so want to see a just peace in this conflict based on the 67 border. For the Palestinians to be in charge of their own water, security and their lives etc.
        Pro Palestine
        Pro Israel
        Pro Peace

        And I know most of us are very grateful to the Nation for supporting Phillip, Adam and Lizzy’s efforts to get this site going. We are grateful for the Mondo team….. And going it is.

        • Taxi says:

          I for one am definitely NOT pro israel – in any measure whatsoever.

          I don’t believe the Brits had the right to give away Palestine to euro jews in the first place in 1948.

        • “Pro Israel”

          I’ll have to excuse myself on this one, I’m afraid. Will never be.

        • john h says:

          Neither do I, Taxi, but 1948 was only the last straw.

          The date was 1917 when they doublecrossed the Palestine Arabs. They gave away Palestine alright; in fact they gave up on it and gave it away to the UN to the extent of not even voting on the Partition plan.

        • Not here to “save Israel from itself”.

        • jon s says:

          The British certainly didn’t “give away” Palestine to the Jews in 1948. By then the British and the Zionists were very far apart.

        • Emma says:

          Not pro-Israel. The very concept of Israel is morally offensive.

          And I might as well take this opportunity to say that so is the use of the term “disapora Jews,” which assumes that all the Jews not in Israel somehow came from/belong there.

  21. RE: “Israel is a state, it’s not a baby, Dalit Baum responded from the stage.” ~ Weiss

    SEE: Overprotecting Parents Can Lead Children To Develop ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’, ScienceDaily (May 3, 2007)

    (excerpts) The ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’ affects people who do not want or feel unable to grow up, people with the body of an adult but the mind of a child. They don’t know how to or don’t want to stop being children…
    …Some characteristics of the disorder are the inability of individuals to take on responsibilities, to commit themselves or to keep promises, excessive care about the way they look and personal well-being and their lack of self-confidence, even though they don’t seem to show it and actually come across as exactly the opposite…
    …Robles points out that the only solution for this disease is the right psychological treatment, not only centered on the person who suffers from the disorder but also on his/her partner and family [a/k/a his enablers - JLD].

    SOURCE – link to sciencedaily.com

    P.S. I added several of Udi Aloni’s very interesting looking films to my Netflix queue.
    Forgiveness, (2006) NR – link to movies.netflix.com
    Kashmir: Journey to Freedom, (2008) NR – link to movies.netflix.com

    • P.S. A QUITE SUBLIME FILM: In a Better World (Hævnen) 2010 R 118 minutes
      Danish director Susanne Bier delves into the realm of fathers, sons and their perceived burden of male responsibility with this Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning drama about the interplay between two dysfunctional families. With his father working abroad, bullied Elias (Markus Rygaard) finds solace in a budding friendship with a volatile new student (William Jøhnk Nielsen). But the boys’ shared revenge only seems to invite more violence.
      Language: Danish (and French option) [English subtitles]
      Netflix Availability: DVD and Blu-ray
      NETFLIX LISTING – link to movies.netflix.com
      In a Better World Trailer (VIDEO, 02:01) – link to imdb.com

  22. In reading this post, I fantasized what I would say if I were in the room.

    I think I would thank the rabbi for her commitment to principles that have given her meaning in her life, and thank her for suggestion that others adopt principles that are sincere to them, and have some significant intersection with hers.

    From that theme, I would urge an awareness of the multiple uses of the BDS campaign, including principled dissent (inevitably with incomplete knowledge, a difficult risk), but also including overtly malevolent political ideology, and some more subtley malevolent political ideology that has creeped into the movement that questions the importance of the Jewish liberation following WW2, that extends beyond appreciation for the dual experience of the independence/nakba.

    I would ask, “how do you know when this movement becomes too political, too ideological, too external disciplined, too punitive, too imprecise (resulting in collective punishment), too negative in orientation rather than principled positive”.

    I would ask, how do you weigh the experiences of others that aren’t in the room, people directly affected by BDS (Israelis), and if ideologically, that experienced and pioneered the formation and evolution of Israel.

    I would honor the question of a dissenter in that respect. How do you see something that is wrong, and not do something, something that will actually affect things for the better?

    And, then I would ask, what do you KNOW that is better.

    In my case, I would state that engagement is better, that the factors that affect changing hearts and minds on both sides to humanize the other, is a better approach. That, that is my political criteria, that movements that express humanization of the other, I support (that aspect at least), and movements that divide and express contempt of the other, I oppose (that aspect).

    So, I see division in both the likud (and further right) Zionist movements, and I see division in the politically oriented promotion of BDS, and that that conflicts with a primary value of mine.

    Then, I would say, one’s life is one’s own, and that people are entitled to make the individual choices that they are moved to, and that there are good reasons to support principled BDS and to publicly express one’s authentic reasons. And, that there are good reasons to support engagement (in opposition to cultural and academic BDS) instead of BDS.

    I would express that the marriage of the single-state (not the Judt federal Belgium example) with BDS, IS a movement for the dissolution of Israel as Israel, and that if people are taking both of those positions, that they should be aware of what that adds up to.

    I would express appreciation for the liberation that the presence of Israel represents, and irony for the odd forms that it has taken. I would suggest that it can be changed, but only by participation.

    I would state that external dissent without actual involvement (different than the concept of “engagement with the Jewish intellectual community”) will be perceived as external imposition, dangerously insensitively imposed, and not “tough love” as dissenters imagine that they are communicating.

    • Sumud says:

      It doesn’t matter how many words you use Richard.

      Your essential point remains that the legitimate rights of Palestinians are to be ignored because you like the outcome of the Nakba.

      You belong on a jewish version of Stormfront; “jewish pride world wide”.

    • James North says:

      Richard Witty said, ‘My long imaginary speech above can be boiled down to a few phrases.
      *I would go to a forum where both Rabbi Lippmann and most of the panel members have recent experience in Israel. Two of them, in fact, are Israelis.
      * Instead of listening to the panel, I would deliver my own presumptuous, already prepared speech. I haven’t been in Israel since 1986.
      * I would then exhort the panel, and the audience, to “dialog” (sic)

      • You think I haven’t dialogued at length with advocates of BDS, and understood the motivations, reasons, politics?

        You think my views are innaccurate?

        Why not address content, rather than take potshots at the messenger. Thats’ what likud does, and vehement ideological solidarity. Thats why I describe you as alike.

  23. Samuel says:

    “but right now Palestinian children are being arrested in the middle of the night and held in prisons in the occupied territories and brought into a children’s court so that they will squeal on village elders who are organizing nonviolent protests against the wall.”

    I often see here demonstrations like in Bil’in called “non-violent”, and even the first intifada called so. Do we disagree on the facts as to whether stone throwing occured/occurs , or is stone throwing considered in your opinions to be non-violence? (this is asked seriously and not as snark).

    “And Baum continued poetically by imagining the life of the judge in that special court for children. The judge is a woman Dalit Baum’s own age, in uniform. She goes back to Tel Aviv later, as Baum does. “She is for peace. She votes for Meretz. I know her. She’s Ashkenazi.” (Nodding laughter from audience.)

    Poetic licence aside, if one wants to take a shot at Meretz there is no need to invent “facts”. Unlike Baum I do know the judge, she doesn’t live in Tel Aviv, doesn’t vote Meretz but rather Likud (her father is a well-known comedian who participated in pre-election polital adverts for the Likud), is extremely legally orientated, and takes very seriously the infringement of rights of the chiildren arrested and their alleged framing of political activists. Read her judgements before you judge her! One fact was right – she is Ashkenazi, so you can “nod in laughter”

  24. lisamull says:

    Your title nails it, Phil. I was there and though the conversation was “respectful,” the Americans were either too timid to accept the Pal. call for BDS or simply weren’t there yet. Baum had to remind everyone that BDS is a tool for change not an end in itself and Skolnik’s comments were self-serving and irrelevant (what’s the story about his organization’s name change ?). More PEP, I’m afraid.

  25. housedoc says:

    Was this event video recorded? If so, would someone please post the link or let us know where we can get a copy of the recording.
    Thanks,
    Jonathan House

  26. jon s says:

    My problem with Phil’s report is that it’s like hearing one side of a conversation. He mentions “the panel ” but quotes mainly Baum and Aloni. Who else was on the panel ? who spoke in favor of a boycott of the settlements but against a total boycott? Why wasn’t there anyone against any form of boycott?
    Shouldn’t journalistic principles – like the obligation to provide a full and balanced account of such an event – apply here?

  27. Back in 2000 before chabad org died for a year “computer problem” said webmaster there was article explaining crossing-red-sea story. Picture egypt as head, redsea as neck and holy land as body. Head is enslaved with addictions. Neck(vocal cords reflecting internal dialogue) seperates head from body. Goal of re-ligion( latin spelling of re-connection) is to reconnect head and body.
    When chabad org came back all the useful psyche stuff was gone and in its place were such as “giving up one Sq. centimeter of Israel is kicking sand in g-d’s face.” Some day someone will level with US about the takeover of chabad