New additions to the Mondoweiss comments policy

Features

In a continuing effort to professionalize this site and give it greater impact, we have decided (again) to further police the comment section. We hope these changes will foster more civil discussion and debate, and reduce the number of toxic arguments. It is inevitable– given the volatility of the issue that is at the heart of this site– that the comment section is going to be contentious and draw angry voices. But the value of the section has been in providing information about the conflict today, especially to newcomers, and we want to preserve that value.

We are adding two new rules to our comments policy:

1. No Holocaust or Nakba denial

We’re not going to tolerate any discussion of the Jewish role in the rise of the Nazis. This is complex history that we just don’t have the time for– and unfortunately, the issue is used as a pretext for blaming Jews for the Nazi rise, a form of Holocaust denial we want no part of. Therefore we’re going to strike all comments on the issue.

Similarly, this policy includes Nakba denial as well, and efforts to blame the expulsion of Palestinians in 1948 on Palestinian actions.

2. This is not a site to discuss 9/11 theories

The other new rule is that this is not a site for discussing different versions of the 9/11 attacks. We have dragons to slay on this site, and this discussion turns into a huge distraction and a drag on the moderators, too. We’re trying to make our lives simpler and these questions are not central to the life of the site.

People are going to ask Where’s the line? When do references to Nazi Germany or the politics of the 9/11 attacks cross our red lines? The answer is like Potter Stewart’s famous line on pornography, We know it when we see it…

If we judge that you have broken one of these rules you will be banned. In view of the new rules and in the name of civil discussion, we’ve banned a few commenters. We won’t hesitate to ban others.

We thank all readers for coming to this site, and commenters for contributing to it in substantive ways.

333 Responses

  1. Annie Robbins
    January 25, 2012, 2:26 pm

    No Holocaust or Nakba denial

    a plus

    • W.Jones
      January 25, 2012, 3:55 pm

      Annie,

      Holocaust and Nakba denial appear similar because they are both events of mass ethnic cleansing although of course the Holocaust killed millions more people.

      Despite finding Nakba denial offensive, I think such comments should be allowed, because it is important to respond to it and learn from people here how to respond to it. In the course of the discussion, more proof of the Nakba would be shown. The same goes for Holocaust denial. I mean, what if you say Jews contributed so much to society and had good progressive actions, and that stimulated the cruel Nazis to hurt them more? I think that is the case, and that in fact speaks even better for Jews as a community in Europe.

      Basically, I value free speech alot, and agree with Alec that it’s best to just keep rejecting comments that go too far, rather than censor discussion completely.

      This is my opinion, but at the same time I can see how some comments can be too overwhelming.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 25, 2012, 4:19 pm

        w.jones, have you read new study shows that much of the Israeli mainstream rejects the Zionist narrative that there was no expulsion of Palestinians in 1948. ?

        maybe mondoweiss deserves better than to be hosting conversations for people who can’t accept the basics or have ideas about it being for the greater good. maybe we can move on from justifying ethnic cleansing.

      • Citizen
        January 25, 2012, 4:37 pm

        Annie, the problem is not that the Israeli mainstream agrees there was expulsion of Palestinians in 1948, but that the American mainstream never heard of it and our political leaders never mention it. God forbid the facts might support a more fair treatment by an informed American citizenry, who may even suddenly start sticking up for the innocent. I mean, this is a samizadat blog geared toward bringing enlightenment to the propagandized American masses, is it not?

      • patm
        January 25, 2012, 4:38 pm

        This article (and my response) is something of a test case for the new rules, annie. Here’s the final paragraph of the Haaretz piece:

        “A survey by Tel Aviv University researchers in 2008 established that just under half of Israel’s Jewish citizens are willing to abandon the narrative that “the Palestinians fled.” The survey found that those who use the critical approach tend to view the Palestinians more positively. They also tend to be more supportive of peace agreements and vote for center-left parties. So it’s no surprise that the political right wants to erase the Nakba from the collective memory.”

        ****
        So, “just under half of Israel’s Jewish citizens are willing to abandon the narrative that “the Palestinians fled.” Well, it’s progress I guess, but that leaves approximately 51% who still are Nakba deniers.

      • Adam Horowitz
        January 25, 2012, 4:43 pm

        We’ll still discuss it plenty, I just don’t think we need trolls denying the nakba to bring it up. I agree this history needs to get out there and be shared, but we should do it proactively (i.e. the great book robbery post today)

      • Annie Robbins
        January 25, 2012, 5:07 pm

        the problem is not that the Israeli mainstream agrees there was expulsion of Palestinians in 1948, but that the American mainstream never heard of it

        well, they’ll certainly continue to be able to hear about it here. i don’t think the hasbrats will be leaving us alone now, they are just going to have to upgrade their talking pts. i can see the upside in not considering this a debate anymore. this is all pretty new to me to citizen. but i think there’s something to be said for driving a stake thru much of the mythology surrounding ’48. we can still have arguments. the nakba is ongoing, people are being expelled from their land and that’s ethnic cleansing. and it seems like it could get a lot worse before it gets better. denial is a waste of our time.

        i’m approaching this as a requirement for an element of respect/acknowledgement from everyone who posts here.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 25, 2012, 5:12 pm

        So, “just under half of Israel’s Jewish citizens are willing to abandon the narrative that “the Palestinians fled.” Well, it’s progress I guess, but that leaves approximately 51% who still are Nakba deniers.

        right, and if that 51% wants to post here they are going to have to figure out ways to communicate without wearing their denial on the sleeve.

      • Tuyzentfloot
        January 25, 2012, 5:29 pm

        So, “just under half of Israel’s Jewish citizens are willing to abandon the narrative that “the Palestinians fled.” Well, it’s progress I guess, but that leaves approximately 51% who still are Nakba deniers. Beg your pardon, but there’s a whole spectrum and all the way to one side is “they were called away”. How many will accept the wording “ethnic cleansing”? A tiny minority.

      • American
        January 25, 2012, 10:46 pm

        “but that the American mainstream never heard of it and our political leaders never mention it”….Citizen

        Good point about some issues. Particulary because previously Phil said he wanted to attract a wider audience and keep threads centered on facts in the debates here.

      • Hostage
        January 26, 2012, 3:30 am

        Holocaust and Nakba denial appear similar

        From a legal standpoint, they are exactly the same thing, i.e. public condoning, denying or grossly trivializing crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as defined in the Statute of the International Criminal Court (Articles 6, 7 and 8) and crimes defined in Article 6 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal, when the conduct is carried out in a manner likely to incite violence or hatred.

  2. Woody Tanaka
    January 25, 2012, 2:32 pm

    I think that these are two very good additions.

  3. anonymouscomments
    January 25, 2012, 2:32 pm

    Am I banned? I have to say I fully accept these new rules, and they do make perfect sense. Though I have commented on 9/11 and have chimed in when pre-WWII talk came up, I will cease any such talk from here on out. It makes sense to focus on the present, and such talk is often diversionary, controversial, and an impediment to site’s goals (and at times, can be anti-Semitic).
    ~Mike

  4. eljay
    January 25, 2012, 2:42 pm

    The new rules are both pragmatic and fair.

  5. Dan Crowther
    January 25, 2012, 2:43 pm

    word.

    Is it really a “once and your done” zero tolerance policy? Not that I am a “denier” or “jews helped give rise to the nazi’s” guy…. the latter is pretty wild man, that is some far out there sht……personally, i can see how denial or the nazi thing gets you banned straight away, but is it the same for 9/11 stuff? Not that I engage those chats either…… all in all, this seems very reasonable

    • Adam Horowitz
      January 25, 2012, 2:56 pm

      We recognize that there are some gray areas here, and we’re not looking to ban people, but might ban someone after one comment based on severity. We really just need to see how it goes.

      • Dan Crowther
        January 25, 2012, 3:00 pm

        no doubt adam, you handsome devil!! ha

      • Adam Horowitz
        January 25, 2012, 3:20 pm

        (blushing)

      • Theo
        January 26, 2012, 11:59 am

        OK girls, stop flirting!!

      • thetumta
        January 25, 2012, 9:00 pm

        Will you define the “Grey area” on the individual banned comments and let us know they never existed from our perspective? If you don’t, you run the risk of becoming a mellow “Hasbara site”. Irrelevant PC.

        In any event, if there’s to be a war with Iran, I suspect that there will soon be no Palestinians to worry about? And not to mention, a couple of million(10’s) Iranians.
        Hej!
        P.S. Can’t wait to see how this shakes out. Phil had me going there.

    • Abierno
      January 25, 2012, 3:40 pm

      I agree with the above respondent. Excising comment on 9/11 is problematic
      insofar as the event, and the issues surrounding US response to the event form
      a crucial context for discussions of current issues such as the Israeli/US relationship,
      the potential impending attack on Iran, the erosion of civil rights here, the US
      inability (or willingness) to establish constraints on Israel domestic/foreign
      policy, the rise of Islamophobia. Such a ruling encourages review of current events in the immediate as opposed to looking at long building patterns of behavior. I do
      believe that US press/blogosphere have been rightly critized (and this site has
      appropriately been doing some of that criticism) for not attending to key components of the larger context which place events/responses in a different light than would
      otherwise be the case. I would suggest rethinking this ban – many people who
      are not otherwise conspiracy theorists have grave doubts about 9/11 explanations,
      and this group has been growing. Review of online opinions would suggest that
      these people are also concerned that 9/11 was a key turning point in the US
      as regards the aforementioned policies. If I am banned from this site for writing
      this comment, so be it.

      • Adam Horowitz
        January 25, 2012, 4:02 pm

        Two things: Of course you can still discuss 9/11 and it is central to many of the concerns of the site that you mention – the Israeli/US relationship,
        the potential impending attack on Iran, the erosion of civil rights here, the rise of Islamophobia.

        That being said, we’re not interested in becoming a forum to discuss 9/11 conspiracy theories which are less relevant to those topics, and we’ve noticed that the topic can dominate and derail discussions. There are plenty of other site on the internet you can go to discuss it. If it were totally relevant and germane to the topic of a post to bring these theories up, I suppose it would be fine, but more often than not they are a distraction.

      • Tuyzentfloot
        January 25, 2012, 4:13 pm

        You can more or less ban 9/11 conspiracy theories by applying rules about threadjacking, or off-topic posts that divert the discussion from the main topic. You can even list the 9/11 subjects as an example of threadjacking.

        Strictness about off topic posts is a neutral but powerful moderator policy.

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        January 25, 2012, 6:32 pm

        At the risk of being banned (!)… Adam, you say:

        “Of course you can still discuss 9/11 and it is central to many of the concerns of the site that you mention.”

        I agree 9/11 is central. In the “War of Ideas in the Middle East”, 9/11 provides the fulcrum of the debate, at least for many; and for the others, it provides context for the kool-aid acid trip western countries have been rockin`on about this last decade. Seriously: take away 9/11– excise it from the history books — how much changes? Everything changes… None of us would be here were it not for 9/11. Mondoweiss would not exist were it not for 9/11.

        Now we can’t talk about it? Or we can talk about it, but only in certain ways?

        What if someone else brings it up and uses the event to butress his/her argument? We have to just eat it? Can we smirk? Or will any indication of apotasy be met with harshly?

        This is like trying to discuss foreign policy on dKos without being able to mention the Israel lobby.

        Can’t we do better? -N49.

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        January 25, 2012, 6:50 pm

        Fwiw, Adam, I have never introduced 9/11 into a thread. I agree this is not the place to delve into it. You will only have heard a peep out of me when somone else brings it up to backstop their (noxious) argument. (Check the archives!)

        So the new policy allows for introducing the “fact” into an argument but forbids any challenge of that “fact”? This implies MW has taken a position and aims to enforce an orthodox adherence to its position.

        Why not stay agnostic and forbid mention of the event regardless of the context in which it is used? This seems a more impartial approach. -N49.

      • Adam Horowitz
        January 25, 2012, 10:45 pm

        Of course you can talk about it (I’ve said this about five different ways in this discussion). We just want to avoid long threads of conspiracy theorizing.

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        January 26, 2012, 1:01 am

        We just want to avoid long threads of conspiracy theorizing.

        Done. -N49.

  6. slowereastside
    January 25, 2012, 2:48 pm

    So, basically, Donald gets the clampdown on Blankfort that he was agitating for, huh?

    Disappointing turn, Mondo.

  7. patm
    January 25, 2012, 2:55 pm

    In view of the new rules and in the name of civil discussion, we’ve banned a few commenters.

    I’ve no problem with these 2 new rules, but I do wonder if the “few commenters” already banned had a chance to read these new rules.
    Were they repeat offenders who couldn’t be relied upon to mend their ways?

    • Adam Horowitz
      January 25, 2012, 3:26 pm

      Yes, they were repeat offenders. Which offers another opportunity for a video clip:

      link to hulu.com

      • patm
        January 25, 2012, 4:12 pm

        Hulu will only show the video to US viewers.

      • Adam Horowitz
        January 25, 2012, 4:41 pm

        You didn’t miss much, it was one of my favorite scenes from Raising Arizona.

      • Citizen
        January 25, 2012, 4:50 pm

        I’m not at all sure that video clip from Raising Arizona support the new MW comment policy. Are you, Adam?

      • tree
        January 25, 2012, 5:10 pm

        My thought as well, Citizen:

        Parole Board chairman: They’ve got a name for people like you H.I. That name is called “recidivism.”
        Parole Board member: Repeat offender!
        Parole Board chairman: Not a pretty name, is it H.I.?
        H.I.: No, sir. That’s one bonehead name, but that ain’t me any more.
        Parole Board chairman: You’re not just telling us what we want to hear?
        H.I.: No, sir, no way.
        Parole Board member: ‘Cause we just want to hear the truth.
        H.I.: Well, then I guess I am telling you what you want to hear.
        Parole Board chairman: Boy, didn’t we just tell you not to do that?

        H.I.: Yes, sir.
        Parole Board chairman: Okay, then.

  8. iamuglow
    January 25, 2012, 3:01 pm

    I love the site. I love the people who put it together.
    But this new emphasis and concern for what people can or can’t talk about in the comments is, to quote David Lynch….

    “Total. Fcking. Bullsh*t.”

    • Adam Horowitz
      January 25, 2012, 3:23 pm

      Great clip, thanks.

      • Citizen
        January 25, 2012, 4:55 pm

        That clip does nothing to enhance the distinction being made by the addition to MW comment policy, that is, the difference between comments organic to any article posted, including historically organic, and either intentional or de facto thread-jacking. I hope I don’t get banned, yet I see the logic and wisdom of this supplemental MW comment policy. It’s a tough line to draw. MW still does it better than any other blog I’ve seen with such subjects.

  9. tree
    January 25, 2012, 3:07 pm

    If we judge that you have broken one of these rules you will be banned. In view of the new rules and in the name of civil discussion, we’ve banned a few commenters.

    This seems entirely unfair, as the commenters are being banned for rules that were not in existence when they made their comments.

    On the rules themselves, I don’t agree with these rules, but will abide by them when commenting. However, it now opens the discussion up to false claims that Israel was formed “in response to the Holocaust” and “no country helped the European Jews except Israel”, which can now not be answered without running the threat of being banned for responding with facts. Will such false claims also be banned? Or will they be allowed to be made unanswered? I consider this a bad move, for the record.

    • Adam Horowitz
      January 25, 2012, 3:22 pm

      Sorry if it’s unclear, but we’re not retroactively banning anyone, these are rules from this point on.

    • Adam Horowitz
      January 25, 2012, 3:34 pm

      How do these rules preclude someone from responding to those claims? The rule doesn’t say you can’t say the word “holocaust.” It only bans denying it occurred or that Jews brought it on themselves, which is not what you’re claiming here (I don’t think).

      • W.Jones
        January 25, 2012, 3:43 pm

        In the same thread as you announce the rules, you say you have already banned people for breaking them…….

      • tree
        January 25, 2012, 4:09 pm

        It only bans denying it occurred or that Jews brought it on themselves, which is not what you’re claiming here (I don’t think).

        You’re right. I am not claiming that and would never claim that. What I am saying is that much of the early leadership and prominent thinkers of the Zionist movement claimed exactly that with respect to European Jewry, and the “negation of the Diaspora”. My viewpoint is that this was the basis for the MW discussion that happened and not any attempt to “deny the Holocaust” or claim that “the Jews” brought it on themselves. The fact that it was framed as such a claim is distressing to me, as I think the early anti-semitism of the Zionist philosophy should be open to discussion and allowed to be repudiated here, as is its anti-Arab bigotry.

        Thanks for responding, BTW. Its appreciated.

      • Adam Horowitz
        January 25, 2012, 4:46 pm

        I’m not sure what discussion you’re referring to, but I assure you that there have been explicit claims on the site that the holocaust didn’t happen and that Jews brought it on themselves. We’ve caught some of them in moderation, butn not all. It’s not something we want on the site. I agree that the relationship between Zionism and anti-semitism is important, but that’s not what we’re referring to here.

      • tree
        January 25, 2012, 5:43 pm

        I’m not sure what discussion you’re referring to…

        I am referring to the discussion that occurred during Slater’s opinion piece on what I consider an oxymoron, “just war”, and continued in Donald’s opinion piece on comment policy. Perhaps I missed something that slipped through, but I did not see any such explicit claims that you mentioned, although I can certainly understand that some may have been caught by moderators before being posted. Since this “new policy” is coming on the heels of those discussions, it seems logical to assume it was the result of pressure received due to such discussions, that clearly disturbed some here.

        I sincerely hope that Jeffrey Blankfort has not been banned here, or Gilad Atzmon. I would find that very disheartening.

        And on the other side, I also am opposed to banning anyone that may I disagree with, unless that person is merely a “drive-by” poster, spewing hate and then not sticking around to hear and respond or engage in discussion. The discussion is what is important, and comments that border on being over the line are best dealt with by response and further discussion rather than censorship, IMHO.

      • Danaa
        January 25, 2012, 6:47 pm

        Hear, hear, tree.

        With you all the way.

      • yourstruly
        January 25, 2012, 6:56 pm

        does this mean that there can be no discussion of, say, the transfer agreement and other collaborations between zionist leaders and the third reich? this isn’t saying that jews caused the holocaust, only that zionists put more emphasis on imigration to palestine, rather than on maximizing the number of jews escaping to whatever destinations willing to take them in.

      • Real Jew
        January 25, 2012, 7:12 pm

        Folks, seriously stop whinning! Trolls have derailed our discussions more times than I can count. One extreme comment is all it takes for the discussion to go in 20 diff directions.

        Given the dire situation the conflict is in and American mainstream’s inability to cover/discuss it honestly, Mondo has never been so important. If you don’t like the new rules….don’t comment. Simple.

        Id like to thank Adam and Phil for their HARD work on this site and their unrelenting integrity while covering a subject so important to is all

      • iamuglow
        January 25, 2012, 7:14 pm

        “And on the other side, I also am opposed to banning anyone that may I disagree with, unless that person is merely a “drive-by” poster, spewing hate and then not sticking around to hear and respond or engage in discussion. The discussion is what is important, and comments that border on being over the line are best dealt with by response and further discussion rather than censorship, IMHO.”

        I agree.

      • Dan Crowther
        January 25, 2012, 8:45 pm

        me too!!

      • ToivoS
        January 25, 2012, 10:17 pm

        Tree says I sincerely hope that … Gilad Atzmon has not been banned here.

        That should be new rule (3).

      • American
        January 25, 2012, 10:56 pm

        “over the line are best dealt with by response and further discussion rather than censorship, IMHO.”

        I agree also.
        But we frequently have some that go on forever and forever and become just personal pissing contest.

      • MRW
        January 26, 2012, 12:19 am

        Me too.

      • kalithea
        January 26, 2012, 12:21 am

        I didn’t comment on Slater’s “just” war article. I refused to dignify it.

        “Just” war and war=peace should be banned from the vocabulary of humanity.

        Obama should have been stripped of his Nobel prize in situ for that crazy speech where he insulted the world’s intelligence.

      • Shingo
        January 26, 2012, 6:45 am

        Trolls have derailed our discussions more times than I can count

        The problem Real Jew, is that the wort offender in that regard, will never be banned.

      • Real Jew
        January 26, 2012, 9:08 pm

        Shingo,

        “the worst offenders in that regard, will never be banned”

        I see your point. And that’s quite possible. But nevertheless its still worth the effort by the moderators to attempt to minimize the nonesense in order for the discussion to stay on topic.

  10. patm
    January 25, 2012, 3:26 pm

    However, it now opens the discussion up to false claims that Israel was formed “in response to the Holocaust” and “no country helped the European Jews except Israel”, which can now not be answered without running the threat of being banned for responding with facts.

    This is a valid point, tree, one I certainly didn’t think of. You can bet such false claims will be made by Zionist trolls in the light of this new rule.

    • Citizen
      January 25, 2012, 5:06 pm

      I agree with tree and patm, this anticipation seems likely in light of the supplemental comment rules.

  11. pabelmont
    January 25, 2012, 3:32 pm

    Sigh — [deleted] to protect the guilty.

  12. Bravo
    January 25, 2012, 3:40 pm

    I dont comment on here much, but i remember once making a point about turkish politics and someone came in and started talking about how attaturk was a “crypto-jew”. He then pressed on about how pervasive crypto-jews are in the world and repeated this nonsense in a few other threads. I’m not jewish, but i am firm about separating anti-zionists from anti-semites. I hope this site will be even more proacctive about people who bring in that sort of conspiratorial crap here. It has no place at mondoweiss and turns off a lot of supporters of the cause.

    • Charon
      January 25, 2012, 4:20 pm

      Some comments I’ve read elsewhere (not really here), pro-Zionists and Hasbarists will ‘poison the well’ by writing reverse messages. What I mean by that is the Internet equivalent of that guy in Israel who defaced Jewish tombstones with hate messages (when he was caught he said he was hoping Arabs would be blamed). Can’t always be 100% sure obviously, but pretty darn sure that it wasn’t just somebody writing out of hate. The shills leave behind common patterns. On the Al Jazeera comments section, it looked as if they were copying and pasting Hasbara bullet points from a common document. Some of the points were verbatim. Similarly, there were a high frequency of verbatim comments which blamed ‘the Jews’ for 9/11 without mentioning Israel even though the article (which was completely unrelated) was about Israel.

      • Blake
        January 25, 2012, 5:47 pm

        Charon, On another site (veteranstoday) they found by using an unclassified version of the software used by the FBI, tracked the IP addresses of a group of, what appeared to be, hate mongers and racists whose rhetoric borders on terrorist extremism. What they found was astounding. In one case, an individual using the email address “[email protected]” was traced to the computer of the head the largest Jewish “defense” organization.

      • seanmcbride
        January 25, 2012, 6:38 pm

        Blake,

        Do you have any more information or links on this? My impression is that some pro-Israel activists and militants are running many false flag ops on the Internet, with the objective of stoking fears about anti-Semitism and discrediting legitimate critics of Israeli policies. And they are using the Internet to do much worse than that. (I have direct personal knowledge on that score.)

      • Annie Robbins
        January 25, 2012, 8:03 pm

        sean, there’s a rather well known case of some guy, some white supremacist, who had donated money to paul during the last election. and paul was getting a lot of slack for it. well, the supremacist had his own hate site and he was bragging about something, he posted a screenshot of his computer about something he found online and posted it. what he forgot is he had the giyus software in there and it showed up on his screenshot. so he was working for somebody. they don’t just let anyone download that stuff.

      • seanmcbride
        January 25, 2012, 8:31 pm

        Annie,

        This kind of thing (dirty tricks of the false flag variety) is going on all the time, and it has been going on for a long time. Wikipedia [Lavon Affair] for the basic modus operandi — that was back in the mid-1950s.

        I find these methods to be disgusting and repulsive. And they can be horrifying. Many first-rate minds with long experience in these matters are convinced that 9/11 was a false flag op. We know for a certainty that the 9/11 anthrax attacks were indeed a false flag op. Think of how much blood has been spilled and how much money has been poured down the drain as the result of those two events.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 25, 2012, 10:06 pm

        This kind of thing (dirty tricks of the false flag variety) is going on all the time

        only a fool would pretend all options are not utilized when they tell you all options are on the table. of course people use false flags. i would guestimate thousands of these kinds of comments appear every day across the internet. the kind of people who would use a foreign passport to assassinate someone knowing it may set up another country is not the sort of government i would conceive of being too moral to generate impersonations of anti semites. that goes without saying. any crackpot can do it on his own too.

        nothing would surprises me (except maybe having a neocon tell the truth!). i think what the rule means is we don’t want long drawn out point by point 9/11 speculations/rebuttals because it clogs up the threads. they’ve all been said before and there’s nowhere to go with them. but if some new news broke i bet we would cover it. it doesn’t mean you can’t reference 9/11 wrt it’s impact on our for foreign policy or even say what you just said (i don’t think). but we’ll know more as time goes on.

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        January 26, 2012, 1:43 am

        False flag ops are simply very effective.

        Mind experiment: Suppose a website purporting to represent a jewish community weekly were to, at a critical juncture, publish a column suggesting the President’s head was fair game for lack of fealty to Israel.

        ??

        The anti-zionist / neocon / WaPo tow-line was greatly undermined by Adler’s inopportune remarks.

        Now, think how easy it would have been to have faked all this?

        Especially if the suggestied narrative were to have reinforced pre-existing beliefs?

        And if not that, (or maybe on top of that), some minor vandalism in Dearborn with a sinister-esque website to explain it all?

        Cheap and effective, that’s what I say…. -N49.

      • Blake
        January 26, 2012, 3:07 pm
      • Blake
        January 26, 2012, 3:08 pm

        Annie: Lol. So Busted.

      • Blake
        January 26, 2012, 3:21 pm

        Quote on there by editor Jim Dean was interesting: “A good friend who works for the Anti-Defamation League, an organization headed by Abe Foxman, told me that hundreds have been recruited, here in the US and more in Israel, whose job it is to seed Antisemitic material into websites that are critical of Israel’s apartheid policies. They openly joke around there how the Nazi and White Supremacist websites have been “theirs” for years.”

  13. alec
    January 25, 2012, 3:43 pm

    These new rules are terrible. Moderating discussion (all discussion is moderated at MW) would be enough.

    Don’t like the direction a discussion is going Adam? Just stop approving the comments. No need to start banning people.

    I’m willing to bet the Nakba denial and blame the Palestinian Zionists will be left standing, but anyone mentioning cheering Israeli “painters” and their white van or mentioning cynical collaboration between the Zionists and the Nazis (lots of that discussion was news to me and is still relevant to the ideology of Modern Israel: do what helps Israel not the Jews) will disappear forever into a black hole.

    So just as the Zionists were conclusively losing, basically the debating playing field has been seriously tilted in favour of their favour. When have I seen that happen before?

    Donald’s bilge from the other day didn’t impress me (although some of the comments did). I was surprised to see DKOS censorship find its way into an article at Mondoweiss and shocked to see it turn into policy.

    • MRW
      January 26, 2012, 4:31 am

      Alec, you could not have said it better than I. Well, yes you could, because you did. In mofo spades.

      Frankly, I think this is a disgrace for Mondoweiss, and the opening sentence announces the capitulation of the power that Mondoweiss once had and previously gave it its power: In a continuing effort to professionalize this site and give it greater impact, we have decided (again) to further police the comment section. When we were nothing, and these commentors (who, like I a gentile POS, have written 1.9 million words carrying you along, championing you) were just excess buttons on the inside of your coat until MW got respectability and suddenly unacceptable when history gets jettisoned because the possible gentrified might be offended, and people like Jeffrey Blankfort (or me, or 12 others) need to be kicked to the curb.

      In other words, ‘we surrender to get greater professional recognition’. But Alec stated it better than I could, And he hits every single point that I feel about it.

      Phil and Adam: your site was the neighborhood gym with closet geniuses who showed up in their gonch. You’re embarrassed about it, embarrassed about its unruly magnetism and the smelly power it has under the guise of needing to supposedly stroke newbies (fuckim’), and want now you want to be an Upper West Side brunch spot where the cognoscenti are seen with their NYTs and their dignitaries so you can open a branch on the East Side.

      Alec captured it instantly.

    • Shingo
      January 26, 2012, 7:07 am

      You know Alec,

      Until I read your comment, I was pretty comfortabe with this policy, but your observations do provide food for thought.

    • LeaNder
      January 26, 2012, 7:57 am

      These new rules are terrible.

      Alec, I always considered the MW community gathering around Phil an important part of the blog, but I also think that people that support this blog want to get it’s message or the discussion mainstream.

      Donald’s bilge from the other day didn’t impress me (although some of the comments did). I was surprised to see DKOS censorship find its way into an article at Mondoweiss and shocked to see it turn into policy.

      I had very, very mixed feelings about it. In a way it was like looking into a mirror. On one hand, yes occasionally I am put off by group dynamics too, ironically with the exception of “stalking” Richard Witty, on the other I feel slightly uncomfortable to act according to the rules of moralistic grandstanding. Could it be a partly a device to sweep some of ones own meandering thought processes under the rug for the advantage of righteous self-portrayal? Maybe that’s a topic for Danaa’s new interests in psychological profiling.

      Slater’s choice to use the Just War Theory in a critique of Ron Paul, maybe was too scholarly an enterprise for us? I admittedly don’t trust Paul, what will be his victims: The poor, the weak on US ground? Even Pat Lang lately suggested someone should ask Paul what beyond populist slogans he actually means:

      It is not clear to me what Ron Paul’s actual position is. Someone should ask him what he would do if the Iranians actually attempted to close the Strait of Hormuz to international maritime traffic. What would he do as president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces? pl

      But yes, occasionally it feels that the demand of the collective MW thought factory in the comment section–no doubt due to what Kevin R. Vixie has alluded to, when he wrote he occasionally has to stop reading–lead to a collective demonization of Israel/Zionists even Jewish members of the MW crowd. At least that’s what it occasionally felt like to me.

      Why don’t you develop a tool to vote up comments, that the occasional visitor that takes a look will read first?

      • seanmcbride
        January 26, 2012, 9:08 am

        LeaNder,

        In response to Pat Lang:

        “It is not clear to me what Ron Paul’s actual position is. Someone should ask him what he would do if the Iranians actually attempted to close the Strait of Hormuz to international maritime traffic. What would he do as president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces? pl”

        Isn’t the answer obvious? If the United States wasn’t waging intensive economic warfare against Iran on behalf of the most extreme right-wing regime in Israeli history, Iran would have no conceivable rational reason to close the Strait of Hormuz and damage its own economic interests.

      • Citizen
        January 26, 2012, 10:58 am

        I agree with your response to Pat Lang, seanmcbride. The Iranian response to US/Israel militancy, saber-rattling and movement of half the US Navy’s aircraft around Iran [not to mention the US military bases surrounding Iran, the movement of US personal & equipment from Iraq to around Iran's neighborhood in the tiny oil states, the postponed US/Israeli deployment of 9,000 US Troops to Israel along with integrating missile systems, complete with US operators and its forbearer economic sanctions (increasing now to drive Iran to the breaking point)], the Iranian response to that–was to threaten the subject Strait (which would mean Dick & Jane facing a much higher gas price at the pump & further collapse of the Western economies). Ron Paul would never let it get to that if he were POTUS. He would employ the thousands of currently-made-useless American diplomats to come to a more strategically balanced and economically more profitable agreement with Iran, a country that has not started a war in 250 years, a country who offered the US help in the war against Bin Laden, and offered additional reasonable options for agreement–all to be totally ignored, rejected by the US/AIPAC-driven US regime. In short, Iran would have no reason to close the Strait, or threaten to do so, if Ron Paul were POTUS.

      • seanmcbride
        January 26, 2012, 11:19 am

        It’s very much in the *American* interest for the United States to have good relations with Iran. It’s an important player in the region and can help us out in many ways.

        Obama is now pursuing belligerent policies against Iran at the behest of the Israeli government and the Israel lobby which will have the main effect of raising oil and gas prices for Americans and further damaging the American economy.

        Regarding nuclear weapons, there is a simple solution: work to make the Mideast an entirely nuclear weapons-free zone, with no exceptions.

      • seanmcbride
        January 26, 2012, 9:30 am

        Regarding Mondoweiss editorial policies:

        1. Why are some people here so passive? We’re dealing with the Internet here. If you don’t like Mondoweiss’s editorial policies, open up a channel to discuss MW posts that is under your own editorial control or start up your own blog, website or group.

        It takes about 10 seconds to open up a discussion forum on Mondoweiss like this:

        link to friendfeed.com

        Again, if anyone here wants to discuss Mondoweiss without editorial control or restraint, feel free to do it there. If you feel that some of your comments have been unfairly censored, post them there. There is no need to complain about censorship on the Internet.

        2. Mondoweiss is only as strong as the support and participation of its readers and contributors. If its editorial policies alienate too many of those people, it will lose influence and perhaps even fade away. Readers and participants here are free to interact and organize themselves however they like.

        3. Is it possible that Philip Weiss has come under the same pressure that caused Richard Goldstone to bend? Would he be free to discuss this issue if this were the case? You can be certain that the Israeli government and the Israel lobby are extremely unhappy with this website and would like to make it go away.

      • patm
        January 26, 2012, 10:23 am

        Sean, I’ve subscribed to Mondoweiss on Friendfeed and have replied to your question about Blankfort. However, my handle at the moment is “You” which I will try and fix.

      • seanmcbride
        January 26, 2012, 10:49 am

        patm,

        Thanks — I just replied to your post there. Your user name displayed properly in my view of the group — I don’t think you need to tweak it.

        A tip: you could have posted your reply directly under my post about Blankfort — just click on “Comment” and start typing into the editing box. That makes it easier to follow conversational threads.

      • seanmcbride
        January 26, 2012, 11:03 am

        patm — you will see “You” as the poster when viewing your own posts. All other users will see your user name.

      • patm
        January 26, 2012, 11:38 am

        you could have posted your reply directly under my post about Blankfort — just click on “Comment” and start typing into the editing box. That makes it easier to follow conversational threads.

        Thanks for the two tips. The ‘you’ had me flummoxed and the Comment reply function is handy. I’ve seen your reply to me but I’ve not been sent an email telling me it arrived. Any thoughts?

      • seanmcbride
        January 26, 2012, 12:05 pm

        patm,

        Try editing your preferences here

        link to friendfeed.com

        to receive notifications of new comments in email.

        The virtues of this interface: slick, fast. frictionless, flexibile, etc.

      • patm
        January 26, 2012, 12:31 pm

        Right, I think I’ve got things straight now. I’ll get notifications on my desktop, and my handle is now patm. I also subscribed to your feed and found you to be an old hand on friendfeed.com.

        I won’t be nearly so busy, but perhaps our interchange here on the mondo website will encourage others to check it out as a possible venue for edgy posts about 9/11 and Holocaust and Nakba denial. Cheers.

      • American
        January 26, 2012, 1:07 pm

        O.K.

        Like patm I was wondering why I kept seeing ‘you”.

      • seanmcbride
        January 26, 2012, 1:58 pm

        patm,

        The group might be useful for two purposes:

        1. Offload any material (not just on 9/11 or the Holocaust) that is inappropriate for Mondoweiss under the new guidelines.

        2. Provide a means for Mondoweiss users to communicate directly with one another one on one in private while maintaining their anonymity.

        And, as mentioned before, the software makes it easy to hide individual threads and block individual users.

      • piotr
        January 28, 2012, 6:37 pm

        It is actually pretty easy. One can have a blog page and make a link to full version of the arguments that would include the tref parts.

        Once someone gave a link to a really obnoxious anti-Semitic site without making an overtly anti-Semitic arguments (by my standards at least, by NGO Monitor “modern criteria”, I guess just saying a kind word about Mondoweiss qualifies for the doghouse) and I though about denouncing, but I decided that a certain compartmentalization is necessary.

        It is my understanding that a simple blog page can be opened for free, you are in trouble only if people got interested in your stuff and you get big traffic. Then you have a choice of bidding farewell to humanity and hoping that you illuminated some part of it before departure, paying some fees, asking for donations or placing ads.

      • dahoit
        January 26, 2012, 9:53 am

        Aren’t the current extremists who have destroyed the American economy much more dangerous to the American people than Dr.Paul,who is against every one of their wealth stealing,SS and Medicare destruction plans by unelected gang of 4? whores of Wall Street?
        The absurdity of the current dialogue on Dr.Paul as being against the poor while the duopoly of our neocapitalist criminals steal the pennies off our poors eyes is the height of idiocy,but what can you expect from sleeple sheeple.

    • Chu
      January 26, 2012, 10:13 am

      I agree with Alec here. I’m not sure if an effort to appease to appease a larger group of readers, you may be shooting oneself in the foot for censorship that mirrors DKOS efforts.

      Are you concerned that in two years when you guys are reaching a new plateau, someone is going to write an article like they did to Steve Walt which got Shingo banned a few years back? Mainstreaming Hate, by Lee Smith (link to tabletmag.com ). I think your attempt to put the blinders on this project is troubling. But it’s your project; although I wonder if the crowd you may receive will be wholy too generic for interesting discussion. This could turn into a neutered crowd with bland observations, curbed by the tone that was set forth.

  14. flyod
    January 25, 2012, 3:51 pm

    so there is an acceptable narrative to this story we now live. strange that this site will openly discuss the notion of jewish power and influence in the present U.S. government/ foreign policy realm but negate any past historical examples of that same power. how do you guys think we got here? i don’t believe that you can achieve your goals by tip toeing through what is indeed a complex history. good luck though. and should this comment ban me; great site/ great people and a worthy cause.

  15. Krauss
    January 25, 2012, 3:56 pm

    There was a similar post, written by a fairly hysterical non-Jew(I think his name was Donald but I could be mistaken) talking about comments.

    While his post was bizarre, claiming for instance, that it was common to read people expressing blatant wishes for ‘Israel to be nuked'(something I have never seen, I’ve never even seen outright calls for Israel to be destroyed in any shape, merely ending the occupation and at times some are lamenting Zionism as a project).

    However, I did comment in that previous post precisely about 9/11 and how I thought it wasn’t the right place for this. Even if I understand there are arguments to be made for this or that positions, I personally don’t think it ought to be here and I’m glad the editors have taken this position. This site grows in influence and that means that it’s commenters have to think about that too.

    Hopefully, a balance can be struck between following mainstream discourse(where it is warranted and right) and subversive commentary, in order to change the dangerous and reactionary status quo.

    My thoughts on Holocaust/Nakba denial are mostly the same, both events were tragic(although I would say that the Holocaust was far worse in that it eliminated millions of innocents forever. Nakba was tragic, but it wasn’t fatal to millions- a key difference).

    Same thing concerns comparisons to Nazi Germany, which was one of the most evil regimes ever, in the history of mankind. Israel may be a lot of things, but it isn’t pure evil like Nazi Germany, to suggest that would not only cheapen the lives of those who fell during those terrible times, but frankly, yes, it would be anti-Semitic too in my opinion.

    That would be a truly grotesque case of singling out Israel if there ever was one.

    Discussion should be broad and at times very harsh, limits should be few but when they come they should be based on intelligent reasoning and principle, which I think is what is occuring here.

    • Taxi
      January 25, 2012, 4:34 pm

      The holocaust lasted 4 years. The ongoing Nakba continues at 64 years. Your misery-meter is dismissive of a Palestinian who’s had 29 members of their family wiped out and their home bulldozed and neighbors burned alive by White Phosphorous – and that dismissal ain’t right.

      Sometimes the victim, as well as the sober observer, will not be able to see the difference in some actions between the SSS and the IDF.

      Frankly I don’t trust your gauge and I also don’t trust every moderating act by every mondoweiss moderator.

      • Blake
        January 25, 2012, 5:49 pm

        You took the words right out of my mouth there taxi.

      • American
        January 25, 2012, 11:27 pm

        Blake says:
        January 25, 2012 at 5:49 pm
        You took the words right out of my mouth there taxi.

        Mine too.

      • Daniel Rich
        January 26, 2012, 2:15 am

        @ Taxi,

        I agree with your sentiment/thoughts as well. It’s easy to begin, but where does it stop?

    • Cliff
      January 25, 2012, 4:38 pm

      Krauss, you never responded to me when I called you out for your factually ambiguous statements about Muslim this and that in whatever European country you’re from.

      Another commentator who speaks your language, was able to tell us he could find no such meaning in the article you purported to be proof.

      BUT ON TOPIC:

      My thoughts on Holocaust/Nakba denial are mostly the same, both events were tragic(although I would say that the Holocaust was far worse in that it eliminated millions of innocents forever. Nakba was tragic, but it wasn’t fatal to millions- a key difference).

      What the hell is this? Do you think anyone here has equated, logistically, the Holocaust to the Nakba? Was this necessary?

      The only reason these two are associated w/ one another is the people of the conflict in the present. DUH

      It’s not like Phil is going to say ‘Don’t deny the Armenian Genocide or the Nakba’ – not that he is AG denier. Just saying, this conflict is about Jews, Arabs, Muslims, Christians, WW2, blah blah blah, the present, the occupation, the effect of the occupation on people vis a vis banality of evil.

      It’s not a literal comparison, logistically speaking.

      So your comment was not needed and it’s even sickening. It cheapens the Nakba even when you add your little acknowledgement to the contrary.

      We have vulgar Zionist liars like hophmi for this kind of thing. I guess you’re the latest addition from hasbara central.

      • Citizen
        January 25, 2012, 5:29 pm

        Cliff, yes I was miffed by Krauss’s lecture to the factually converted, which makes me wonder what he thinks of the caliber of the MW crowd. Another thing–what the Hitler regime did was not paid for by (presently dirt-scratching) Dick and Jane. What Israel does, is paid for by America’s dicks and janes. Obama, whom the GOP contenders (except Ron Paul) say is weak on support for Israel, has continued the $10 B direct aid package despite our own economic straits, and a day or so ago, Obama extended US loan guarantees to Israel (Dick & Jane & kids will pay for this additional debt to China), even as Israel currently has a better credit rating than the USA (hence can borrow more cheaply than USA, even without USA loan guarantee).

      • Scott
        January 25, 2012, 8:27 pm

        I don’t spend all that much time perusing comments, but I’ve seen several by Krauss that have impressed me– so a bit disturbing and uncollegial to see him attacked like this.

      • brenda
        January 27, 2012, 12:44 pm

        I agree with you, Scott. There is major intellectual talent on this board. Truly major. And it disturbs me to see it squandered in attacks on people who are on the same side. It is all very well to hone one’s debate capacities, but after awhile, after a certain point of sharpness has been achieved — go and apply that sharp sword to the Israeli apologists out in the world. In the mainstream US media. In the mainstream Israeli media. Not here. This is wounding to no good effect. Go after the real bad guys for heavens’ sake! Believe me, some of those smooth hasbarites can give you a run for your money. (I’m talking about the ones who wrote the hasbara, not the ones who cut & paste :>)

    • Robert Werdine
      January 25, 2012, 6:51 pm

      Kraus,

      Said you:

      “My thoughts on Holocaust/Nakba denial are mostly the same, both events were tragic(although I would say that the Holocaust was far worse in that it eliminated millions of innocents forever. Nakba was tragic, but it wasn’t fatal to millions- a key difference).”

      I essentially agree with this statement. I don’t think that acknowledging the the enormity of the slaughter that occured in the Holocaust in any way denigrates or trivializes the sufferings of the Palestinian people both during 1948 and after. The sufferings of the Palestinian people has been and is real enough. This is not a matter of competitive suffering, nor should it be.

      That said, it is not entirely clear to me what, exactly, Nakba denial is. Holocaust denial denies many facets of the Holocaust: that 6 million died, that there were gas chambers, that there was ever a policy to exterminate all of European Jewry, or, as David Irving has argued, that Hitler even knew about it; Himmler, said Irving, did it behind his back. Irving has amended this view to include “evidence” that Hitler, in fact, helped the Jews against the efforts of his anti-Jewish underlings. Fred Leuchter and Arthur Butz have attempted pseudo-scientific forays into denial. The entire apparatus of Holocaust denial flies in the face of literally volumes of evidence and testimony corroborated by victims, bystanders, and perpetrators.

      We thus know what Holocaust denial is. But what is Nakba denial? If what is meant by Nakba denial is that it denies that 7-800,000 Palestinians became refugees and unwillingly fled their homes, that would seem to be a point as unworthy of serious discussion as the fact that gas chambers killed Jews; it happened. If one was to argue that the refugees were to blame for their plight, that too would be nonsense; they were not.

      The Israelis for many years did not always deal honestly and forthrightly with some of the events of 1948; many still do not. Many, for example still prefer the narrative that Arab broadcasts sounded the clarion call to flee, and thus the Nakba. This narrative frees the Israelis of any culpability for the event, and is thus untrue.

      But in banning this Nakba denial, whatever, exactly, it is, is to declare that there is no room for debate on the events of 1948, if it bans even discussion on the documented events of this turbulent episode–that will be a rather sweeping act of denial in its own right. Many events of 1948 remain in contentious dispute among historians, just as they do in the Holocaust. But there is a difference: Holocaust historians do not debate whether the Holocaust happened; there is, however, plenty of debate among historians of the 1948 war about what, exactly, happened, how, and why. The points of contention in the discourse and debate on each issue among the relevant scholars–and I mean the REAL scholars who attempt to search for and uncover the truth and not political partisans on both sides–are entirely different.

      I can’t speak for anyone else, but for myself, I sure wish Phil or Adam or someone would clarify just what Nakba denial is. It would help.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 25, 2012, 8:41 pm

        it is not entirely clear to me what, exactly, Nakba denial is. Holocaust denial denies many facets of the Holocaust: that 6 million died, that there were gas chambers, that there was ever a policy to exterminate all of European Jewry, or, as………..etc etc..If what is meant by Nakba denial is that it denies that 7-800,000 Palestinians became refugees and unwillingly fled their homes, that would seem to be a point as unworthy of serious discussion

        robert, imho asserting 7-800,000 Palestinians unwillingly fled their homes is nakba denial. there’s no expulsion mentioned there. are you claiming no palestinians were expelled from their homes or villages?

        this should be interesting.

      • Robert Werdine
        January 25, 2012, 9:10 pm

        Annie,

        Said you: “are you claiming no Palestinians were expelled from their homes or villages?”

        No. I am not. I have never asserted that. I am saying that not all of the refugees were expelled; many fled fighting that was taking place in the their towns and villages, which is perfectly understandable. That there were acts of expulsion in Lydda and Ramle for example is beyond dispute; most Israeli historians don’t bother denying that anymore, though they once did.

        about 75,000-100,000 refugees fled between November 1947 and early April 1948 and most of them fled the violence that was enveloping Palestine. Most of these fled, along with most of the local Palestinian leadership. About another 3-400,000 fled between early April and May 15–that was when the fighting in fact intensified several-fold. The circumstances of these fleeing is bitterly contested. The rest fled after May 15, when the war again widened considerably. I’m thus not saying that there weren’t isolated acts of expulsion, and atrocities committed by both sides. What cannot be denied is that there was a war waging and that most civilians tend to flee war zones generally.

        That does not mean that I deny there were expulsions and atrocities committed by the Israelis/Yishuv. All I’m saying it was a complicated and often chaotic event that occured over many months. In short, I do not believe that ALL of the refugees were expelled as a matter of policy or pre planning.

        where historians debate is whether there was a deliberate policy to expel/ ethnically cleanse the Palestinians or whether it resulted from the chaos of war. I believe the truth lies somewhere in between. But I do believe that the war resulted from the Arabs’ (I don’t want to say the Palestinians because they never had a say in the matter) rejection of the partition and the refugee crisis resulted from the war. I know you and others may disagree with that, but that’s my view.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 26, 2012, 12:31 pm

        robert, imho your 9:10 post is another perfect example of nakba denial. you have used the term ‘fled’ to describe

        “about 75,000-100,000 refugees fled between November 1947 and early April 1948″

        and “another 3-400,000 fled between early April and May 15–”

        and “The circumstances of these fleeing is bitterly contested. The rest fled after May 15″

        here’s your caveat “I am saying that not all of the refugees were expelled

        so who was expelled robert?

        i’m not clear on what the point is of having a nakba denial rule and then having a comment like this pass moderation.

      • Blake
        January 26, 2012, 4:32 pm

        Robert:
        According to Benny Morris & other Israeli historians, the reasons Palestinians left their localities were:
        1.Expulsion by Zionist ⁄ Jewish forces – 122 localities,
        2.Military as sault by Zionist ⁄ Jewish forces – 270 localities,
        3. Fear of Zionist ⁄ Jewish attack, or of being caught in the fighting, influence of the fall of neighboring town, and psychological warfare – 12 localities,
        4. Abandonment on Arab orders – 6 localities,
        5. Unknown – 34 localities

        213 Palestinian village/towns (population 413,794, 52% of refugees) were “cleansed” by Zionist militia while under “protection” of British mandate; that is before start of Arab-Israeli war on May 15, 1948. 264 localities with 339,272 inhabitants (42%) were vacated during 1948 War. After signing Armistice Agreements, 54 localities were ethnically cleansed (52,001 people or 6% of refugees). Usually, the cleansing (“Nikayon,” a word used frequently in Zionist terrorist communications at the time) was initiated by massacres.

      • Robert Werdine
        January 26, 2012, 6:37 pm

        Annie,

        Said you:

        “robert, imho your 9:10 post is another perfect example of nakba denial. you have used the term ‘fled’ to describe “about 75,000-100,000 refugees fled between November 1947 and early April 1948″ and “another 3-400,000 fled between early April and May 15–”

        If you were expecting me to use the term “ethnically cleansed” to describe the exodus of ALL of the refugees, that is not going to happen. It is with deep regret that I must inform you that I cannot edit my thoughts, beliefs, and reading of history to satisfy the beliefs and opinions of others, including you. Sorry.

        To clarify my views on the matter, I can only say what I have said many, many times before on this contentious and much argued issue.

        The Arab and Palestinian militias had been attacking the UN apportioned areas of the Jewish state’s borders ever since December 1947. With the exception of Stern and Irgun terror attacks and a few isolated acts by the Haganah, the Yishuv was, in the main, on the defensive until early April 1948. This was the so-called “Civil War period” of the 1948 War, which was fought inside Palestine between the Yishuv and Arab and Palestinian militias between December 1947 until the Pan-Arab invasion on May 15, 1948. This period of the war developed in two stages: The first was between early December 1947 to April 6, 1948, when, following the rejection of the partition, numerous small unit military attacks were launched by Arab and Palestinian militias on Jewish settlements and roadways, and with the Yishuv, with the exception of Stern and Irgun terror attacks and a few isolated acts by the Haganah, were on the defensive. Some 75-100,000 refugees fled during this period, and most were not expelled. As Benny Morris has said,

        “During this period, Jewish troops expelled the inhabitants of only one village—Qisariya, in the Coastal Plain, in mid-February (for reasons connected to Jewish illegal immigration rather than the ongoing civil war)—though other villages were harassed and a few specifically intimidated by the IZL, LHI, and Haganah actions (much as during this period Jewish settlements were being harassed and intimidated by Arab irregulars).” (“1948: The First Arab-Israeli War,” pp.94-95).

        In the period between the passing of the partition Nov.29, 1947 and April 6, 1948, I am certainly aware of retaliatory attacks (actually, revenge killings) by the Haganah on Khisas in Galilee on December 19, Balad ash Sheik and Hawasa on Dec.31-Jan.1, and the Semiramis Hotel in west Jerusalem on January 5-6 (in which some 26 civilians died). There were also certainly a series of small counter-assaults on other small targets in this period, but the Haganah was, by and large, on the defensive in this period. But other than these mentioned, and, of course, terrorist attacks by the Stern and Irgun, I am not aware of any large scale Haganah attacks in this period, least of all any that could have expelled any Palestinians en masse.

        Not including the tit for tat terrorist attacks occurring between the Arabs and the Stern and Irgun, between December and April, the Arab and Palestinian militias launched no fewer than 15 full scale company and battalion sized assaults on Jewish settlements. There was not one single attack, or counter-attack by the Yishuv on any Arab position in this period even close to this scale and frequency. Only after seeing Jewish Jerusalem surrounded and besieged, the roadways between the settlements being sabotaged and strangled, and after suffering some four months of unrelenting attacks, did the Yishuv take to the counter-offensive with Operation Nachshon on April 6, and drive back and defeat the Arab militias. This period saw the collapse of the Palestinian war effort, and the flight of some 3-400,000 refugees.

        The UN correctly held the Arabs responsible for the outbreak of violence. On February 16, 1948, the Commission reported to the Security Council:

        “Powerful Arab interests, both inside and outside Palestine, are defying the resolution of the General Assembly and are engaged in a deliberate effort to alter by force the settlement envisaged therein.

        The main facts controlling the security situation in Palestine today are the following:

        a. Organized effect by strong Arab elements inside and outside Palestine to prevent the implementation of the Assembly’s plan of partition and to thwart its objectives by threats and acts of violence, including armed incursions into Palestinian territory.

        b. Certain elements of the Jewish community in Palestine continue to commit irresponsible acts of violence which worsen the security situation, although that Community is generally in support of the recommendations of the Assembly.”

        link to unispal.un.org

        The report leaves no doubt about the AHC’s utter rejection of the partition and their sworn and bitter determination to resist it’s implementation by force, which is, by the way, what they had been doing since the vote was taken. The report also recounts, in detail, on the activities and attacks of the various Arab militias and the Arab Liberation Army that had been infiltrating from neighboring countries. While the report duly notes the “irresponsible acts of violence” committed by “certain elements of the Jewish community” (i.e., the Stern-Irgun terrorists), the Commission acknowledges the Jews’ acceptance of the partition, and posits blame for the violence almost solely on the Arabs’ rejection of the partition, and their attempts to thwart it by force.

        The Arabs, indeed, made no attempts to deny starting the war. Jamal Husseini told the Security Council on April 16, 1948:

        “The representative of the Jewish Agency told us yesterday that they were not the attackers, that the Arabs had begun the fighting. We did not deny this. We told the whole world that we were going to fight.”

        The second stage of this period of the war occurred from April 6 to May 15, when the Haganah, seeing Jewish Jerusalem surrounded and besieged, the roadways between the settlements being sabotaged and strangled, and after suffering some four months of unrelenting attacks, took to the counter-offensive with Operation Nachshon, and drove back and defeated the Arab militias. This period saw the collapse of the Palestinian war effort, and the flight of some 3-400,000 refugees.

        As Benny Morris has written,

        “It was the war that propelled most of those displaced out of their houses and into refugeedom. Most fled when their villages and towns came under Jewish attack or out of fear of future attack. They wished to move out of harms way. At first, during December 1947—March 1948, it was the middle- and upper-class families who fled, abandoning the towns; later, from April on, after the Yishuv shifted to the offensive, it was the urban and rural masses who fled, in a sense emulating their betters. Most of the displaced likely expected to return to their homes within weeks or months, on the coattails of victorious Arab armies, or on the back of a UN decision or great power intervention.” (“1948: The First Arab-Israeli War,” pp.410-411).

        Morris also notes (p.p. 96-97) how the exodus in the first Civil War stage (Dec. 1947-March 1948) was propelled by the deteriorating economic conditions resulting from the fighting and growing instability, as well as the flight of the middle classes, which resulted in the closure of workshops and businesses, spiking inflation and unemployment. The conflict separated the economic intermingling of Jews and Arabs—Arabs from employment at Jewish workplaces, and Jewish marketplaces from Arab goods, notably agricultural products. By late December the agricultural produce in Beit Sahur was rotting and there was a severe shortage of animal feed. By early March flour and fuel were scarce in Jaffa, and commerce was dead. Morris notes that “all Arab banks had closed by the end of April.” The conflict also exacerbated supply problems between Arab villages, unemployment and robbery were rife, and Arab public transportation was stopped cold.

        Adding to this deterioration in early April was two things: 1) a counter-offensive launched by the Haganah to beat back the Arab militias attacking settlements, strangling the roadways, and besieging Jewish Jerusalem, and 2) the Deir Yassin massacre. Word of the Deir Yassin massacre on April 9 (3 days after the the Haganah took to the offensive) spread like a prairie fire through Arab Palestine and beyond. Added to this, the violence of the intensified fighting in the towns and villages, the flight of so many high ranking Arab functionaries, and the near total breakdown in services all played a role in the increased exodus of the refugees throughout the 1948 War. This is not to deny that there were not some expulsions at Lydda and Ramle; there were, but the numbers of those expelled here and elsewhere were rather few compared to the overall total. In most cases, there did not need to be expulsions; people fled for their lives in anticipation of being killed, or for other reasons. All Palestine was a war zone in those days, and, in general, Palestinian Arab society had always been governed by a somewhat leaderless, fragile polity at that time, and it simply collapsed under the strain of the conflict, as did countless other societies in Europe during World War Two. When war comes to your village, it is only human to want to get out of the way until it is over.

        One of the points I have repeatedly tried to emphasize here is that the first Arab-Israeli War was indeed a war, and not just an assault by one side against a helpless victim. To portray it as such ignores entirely the military dimension of the conflict, and the role that the fighting played, among other things, in the flight of the refugees, and the collapse of Palestinian society. That the Palestinian people were the ultimate victims of the war is beyond doubt, but the truth is they were never consulted about the conflict by either Arabs or Jews; the decisions to resist the partition by force, and abort the nascent Jewish state was not made by them but by the rulers in surrounding Arab states who took no heed of their wishes or aspirations. What resulted from this was a bitterly fought war between two antagonists, and not just one long, extended, well planned ethnic clearing operation that met negligible or meager resistance. The Palestinians were caught in the crossfire, as, in some ways, they still are.

        You can ban these facts from a blog, but you cannot erase them from history. Epoch making historical events like the 1948 war rarely have simple causes. Now, if you consider my views to constitute “Nakba denial” I think it is incumbent upon you to demonstrate how this is so and why my assertions and citations are false. Let’s narrow it down to something simple. For example, I have asserted that between 75,000-100,000 Palestinian refugees fled between December 1947 and early April 1948. I have also emphasized that most of these fled, and were not expelled. If I am denying an established historical fact here, say, in the same way that one would be in denying that there were gas chambers at Auschwitz, how is this so? Where did these mass expulsions take place in this period? Who conducted them? What were the circumstances? Morris notes one case of about 1,500 at Qisariya in mid February 1948. Were there others?

        Again: I am focusing here just on this period between early December 1947 and early April 1948, just before the Yishuv took to the offensive and the fighting escalated around Palestine considerably and more villages were caught up in it. If my assertion that that between 75,000-100,000 Palestinian refugees fled, and (with noted exception) were not expelled between December 1947 and early April 1948 constitutes the denial of an inarguable fact, then, at the very least someone should explain to me why this is as inarguable as the fact that there were gas chambers at Auschwitz, i.e., that this is something so entrenched in fact that renders it beyond serious dispute.

        One thing needs to be said. Regardless of how the Palestinians fled or were dislocated and dispossessed, the fact remains that they were, and that in the process they suffered horribly. All I have ever argued is that the causes of that exodus and dislocation are more varied and complicated than a simple, unilateral act of ethnic cleansing by the Yishuv, and that this war between the Arab states and the Yishuv, waged since December 1947 by proxy, and directly after May 15, was the cause of the circumstances that led to the tragedy. You cannot separate the war from the refugee crisis. And you cannot separate it from the deteriorating conditions resulting from the war.

        As Benny Morris, who has researched and written more thoroughly and indefatigably than just about anyone on this issue has written,

        “My feeling is that the transfer thinking and near consensus that emerged in the 1930’s and the early 1940’s was not tantamount to pre-planning and did not issue in the production of a policy or master plan of expulsion; the Yishuv and its military forces did not enter the 1948 war, which was initiated by the Arab side, with a master plan for expulsion.” (“The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited,” p.60).

      • Shingo
        January 26, 2012, 6:44 pm

        robert, imho your 9:10 post is another perfect example of nakba denial. you have used the term ‘fled’ to describe

        An astute observation. Nakba deniers will often use the word “fled” to suggest they were follwing orders to leave (a debunked lie) or was unmotivated. They tend to leave out that the alrenative to not fleeing was to remain and face being murdered.

      • lyn117
        January 26, 2012, 10:02 pm

        “I am saying that not all of the refugees were expelled; many fled fighting that was taking place in the their towns and villages, which is perfectly understandable. …. But I do believe that the war resulted from the Arabs’ (I don’t want to say the Palestinians because they never had a say in the matter) rejection of the partition and the refugee crisis resulted from the war.”

        Robert, this seems to me you’re blaming the victims for their expulsion, which is no better than saying the Jews were to blame for the holocaust. Indeed, I’m sure the Jews were leaders in rejection of German rule over every country the Germans invaded in WWII.

        The fact is the Zionists were the ones who lobbied the UN for the partition, Palestinians mostly did reject the division of their land and giving over the majority of it to what could be considered invaders. The war was the result of the partition, not the Arabs rejecting of it. Nor does it matter whether the Zionists had a plan or a policy of expelling the Arabs, the fact is, they had a goal of expelling or finding a way of “cleansing” the land of non-Jews, some Zionists had this goal pretty much since the beginning of the Zionist movement.

      • David Samel
        January 26, 2012, 11:31 pm

        Phil and Adam, if you’re looking for comments to ban, Robert Werdine’s 142 million word essays, which are verbatim reprints of his prior comments (I believe – I certainly didn’t wade all through them) would be a good place to start. What an enormous waste of cyber-space.

      • Shingo
        January 27, 2012, 2:20 am

        Actually David,

        I would suggest Witty would be the place to start. At least Werdine’s novels are coherent and legible, even if hey are Israeli propaganda.

        Witty simple makes stuff up, invents quotes and derails discussions. He contributes absolutely nothing to this forum.

      • Shingo
        January 27, 2012, 5:41 am

        The Arab and Palestinian militias had been attacking the UN apportioned areas of the Jewish state’s borders ever since December 1947.

        The Zionist militias had been doing it since at least 1945.

        With the exception of Stern and Irgun terror attacks and a few isolated acts by the Haganah, the Yishuv was, in the main, on the defensive until early April 1948.

        There was nothing isolated about the many incidents of terrosim. The 10,000 strong Stern and Irgun were appoited to be the commando unit of the Haganah, which admitted to terrorist bombings in early January of that year.

        This period of the war developed in two stages: The first was between early December 1947 to April 6, 1948, when, following the rejection of the partition, numerous small unit military attacks were launched by Arab and Palestinian militias on Jewish settlements and roadways, and with the Yishuv, with the exception of Stern and Irgun terror attacks and a few isolated acts by the Haganah, were on the defensive.

        False. There was no civil war seeing as the Palestinians were completely overpowered.

        “The Zionists were by far the more powerful and better organized force, and by May 1948, when the state of Israel was formally established, about 300,000 Palestinians already had been expelled from their homes or had fled the fighting, and the Zionists controlled a region well beyond the area of the original Jewish state that had been proposed by the UN. Now it’s then that Israel was attacked by its neighbors – in May 1948; it’s then, after the Zionists had taken control of this much larger part of the region and hundreds of thousands of civilians had been forced out, not before.”
        [p132 Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky.]

        ” The fact is from November 1947 to May 1948 the Zionists were already on the offensive and had already attacked Arabs. In the months before Israel was declared, the Zionists had driven 300,000 non-Jews off their land (not 75-100,000). In the months before Israel was declared, the Zionists had seized land beyond the proposed Jewish State. SEE Sources or this blog entry: Sources for the Israeli/Palestinian situation 1947-1948

        As Ben-Gurion himself said in 1937, “No Zionist can forgo the smallest portion of Eretz Israel.” (see p162 Fateful Triangle The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians)

        There was niothing retaliatory about the attacks by the Haganah. In the beginning of 1948, there were 2 bombings, one after the other., The first (Jan 4) , a car bomb which destroyed the Old Ottoman House in Jaffa, the Sariah, killing 26. The second in Jerusalem (Jan 5) blew up Semaramis Hotel, killing 20 Palestinians. In a letter (January 6, 1948), the British High Commissioner for Palestine sent a letter to DBG, inquiring if the Haganah had been behind the Semaramis Hotel bombing. 2 days later (Jan 8), DBG sent a letter in response, admitting that the Haganah was responsible.

        During the first 3 months, the Zionsits were responsible for dozens of bombings in cities and villages and killings on roads, carried out by Mistaravim (disguised as Arabs). They blew up homes, and planted explosives at night.

        Sound familiar?

        The UN did not hold the Arabs responsible for the outbreak of violence.

        On February 16, 1948, the Commission reported to the Security Council:

        Notice there is no mentiin made of the Palestinians, yet the Zionists began expelleing them 5 months before any Arab armies set foot inside Palestine. You have provided no evidence that the Palestinian people rejected the principle of partition, much less that they supported or were represented by the Arab League and the Mufti.

        *By 1930, many Palestinian nationalists viewed the Mufti and the Supreme Muslim Cuncil as a group who had misused their religion for partisan political purposes; who had brought no benefit to the country; and whose policies would only lead to expulsion and destruction of the country, e.g. Mohammad Tawil and Sheikh As’ad al Shuqayri of Acre, the father of PLO founder and chairman Ahmad Shuqayri, wrote articles in support of cooperation with the Zionist Organization. He was widely known for his opposition to the nationalist movement and involvement in land sales. He did not see the Jerusalem Mufti as a serious religious figure. In mid-1935 the Mayor of Jerusalem, Dr. Mustafa al Khalidi, told his deputy Daniel Oster “We must recognize facts. The Jews have entered the country, become citizens, have become Palestinians, and they cannot be thrown into the sea. Likewise, they have bought land and received deeds in exchange for money and we must recognize them. There is no point in closing our eyes about such clear things.”
        See Hillel Cohen, “Army of Shadows: Palestinian Collaboration with Zionism, 1917-1948″, University of California Press, 2008, pages 84-85.

        Morris, Shlaim, Rogan, Flapan, and others report that Abdullah and the Jewish Agency negotiated an agreement to peacefully partition Palestine in November of 1947. The UN Yearbook for 1946-47 says that during the deliberations on Palestine many members of the United Nations questioned the status of the Arab Higher Committee (AHC) and the Jewish Agency. They expressed the view that only States should be heard in the General Assembly as the Charter had not provided for hearing “non-governmental organizations” (NGOs) there. The Jewish Agency had a special status under the terms of the mandate, but the AHC did not. According to the Yearbook: “The Egyptian representative explained, in reply to various statements, that the Arab States did not represent the Palestinian Arab population.”

        Before the Deir Yassin massacre, the US Minister in Saudi Arabia told Secretary Marshall that the Saudi’s and Abdullah had warned the other members of the Arab League (in March of 1948) that the partition was a civil matter and that the Arab states shouldn’t take any action that the Security Council might interpret as aggression.

        On the other hand, Ben Gurion had already delivered a speech to the MAPAI Conference in 1947, in which he had alrady delared that the partition plan was only temporary and woudl not prevent the Zionists reclaiming all of Palestine.

        Thus, th argument about the rejectiong from the AHC is irrelevant.

        David Ben-Gurion advised Sharett about the public sentiment of the Palestinians: “They, the decisive majority of them do not want to fight us.”
        See Ben Gurion to Sharett, March 14, 1948, Document 274, on page 460 of “Political and Diplomatic Documents Central Zionist Archives/Israel State Archives, December 1947- May 1948, Jerusalem, 1979.

        In the UNSCOP and General Assembly Ad Hoc Committee on Palestine hearings, the representatives of the Jewish Agency testified that their proposed plan for partition could be peacefully implemented because the majority of Palestinians accepted the inevitability of partition and either supported the plan or would acquiesce to it. On March 19th, 1948 the representative of the Jewish Agency changed his story and told the Security Council that on the question of implementation by peaceful means, that if left alone considerable sections of Palestinian Arabs would be willing to cooperate or acquiesce, but that armed intervention by neighboring States completely changed that situation. See page 9 of 19 in the verbatim minutes of the 271st meeting of the Security Council.
        link to un.org

        On March 5 1948, the UN Security Council refused to accept the plan of partition as a basis for Security Council action. After deliberations on a trusteeship proposal it sent the Question of Palestine back to an Emergency Session of the General Assembly for further consideration. On May 14, 1948 the General Assembly suspended implementation of the plan of partition by the Palestine Commission and empowered a Mediator to promote a peaceful adjustment of the future situation of Palestine.
        link to yale.edu

        One of the points I have repeatedly tried to emphasize here is that the first Arab-Israeli War was indeed a war, and not just an assault by one side against a helpless victim.

        That has certianly been the discredited pro Zionist narrative, but entirely rediculous. The Palestinians were not armed to any degree, and whatever fight they put uo was nothign more than futile resistance to the rampaging Zionist militias that destroyed town and village after town and village.

        Israeli Historian, Theodor Katz revealed what happened. The Zionist forces employed a familiar pattern in carrying out the expulsions. For example, the village of Al Bassa was surrounded from 3 directions, while the northern side was left open, so that the people would clearly understand which direction to flee. The Zionists killed as many as they could to frighten people. As a result of the siege and the continuing bombardment, thousands of terrified residents fled. Those that couldn’t flee hid in the church and the Zionists took 4 boys an girls aged 14-15 from the church and killed them.

        This happened many times. The Israelis would take 10 of the youngsters in the middle of the the village and shot them to instill fear in the rest of the village.

        You can ban these facts from a blog, but you cannot erase them from history.

        I agree you cannot ban facts, but in Wredine’s case, I also believe we should not ban the false Zionist talking points. These have been debunked countless time and need to be debunked again and again for newbies comming to this blog.

        Now, if you consider my views to constitute “Nakba denial” I think it is incumbent upon you to demonstrate how this is so and why my assertions and citations are false.

        That’s already been done by Hostage and myself.

        For example, I have asserted that between 75,000-100,000 Palestinian refugees fled between December 1947 and early April 1948. I have also emphasized that most of these fled, and were not expelled.

        And I have explained that the number was actually 300,000. When I explained that to you the last time, you cited some arbitrary cut off period in May to justify your conservative estimates.

        All I have ever argued is that the causes of that exodus and dislocation are more varied and complicated than a simple, unilateral act of ethnic cleansing by the Yishuv, and that this war between the Arab states and the Yishuv, waged since December 1947 by proxy, and directly after May 15, was the cause of the circumstances that led to the tragedy.

        But that is simply denying reality. We already have BEn Gurion on the record in 1938, admitting that the Zionists had no intention of respecting the broders of the UN Partition, that he considered them to be temporary and that should the Palestinians not see things the same way, that the Zionist forces would resort to military agression to achieve it.

        You cannot separate the war from the refugee crisis. And you cannot separate it from the deteriorating conditions resulting from the war.

        Is this not also true of the Holocaust?

        As Benny Morris, who has researched and written more thoroughly and indefatigably than just about anyone on this issue has written

        And then he went and changed his mind. Like Karsh, Morris has displayed a schitzophrenia. At first he claimed he had no reason to believe the ethnic clansing was pre-planned, but then in latyer years, he went on to criticize Ben Gurion for not finishing the job.

      • Shingo
        January 27, 2012, 5:53 am

        The fact is the Zionists were the ones who lobbied the UN for the partition, Palestinians mostly did reject the division of their land and giving over the majority of it to what could be considered invaders.

        Actually there’s mre to it than that.

        1. While the Zionists were the ones who lobbied the UN for the partition, the day after 181 was passed, Ben Gurion declared that the partitin was only temporary and that it would be abolished.
        2. The Palestinian did not reject the partition, the Arab High Commitee (who had no legitimate authority to speak on behalf of the Palestinians) did. The Palestinians themselves were largely in acceptance of it.

        some Zionists had this goal pretty much since the beginning of the Zionist movement

        This was the Zionist ideology, so in fact, they all have this goal, with few exceptions.

      • Hostage
        January 27, 2012, 6:38 am

        Robert you are simply repeating the standard Zionist Nakba denial narrative. You never mention the number of times the Zionists rejected partition proposals, including the Peel plan or the UNSCOP majority report in hopes of extracting more favorable terms. The record shows that the Arabs did exactly the same thing. Why don’t you explain why the Jews disobeyed a Security Council call for a cease fire and rejected the UN Mediator’s counter-offer to the Arabs?

        Israeli Military historian David Tal wrote “the Jews initial acceptance of the Partition resolution was not mere rhetoric; the strategic planning of the war against the Palestinians was based upon it.” He also noted that the Jewish leadership never viewed the UN plan as an integrated one calling for the establishment of an Arab State and that their so-called “acceptance” never included the internationalization of Jerusalem as it was stipulated by the partition resolution either. So when hasbrats like you say Zionists accepted the plan of partition, they aren’t using the term in the normal legal sense of the word. See David Tal, War in Palestine, 1948: strategy and diplomacy, Routledge, 2004, page 471.

        Declassified documents in show that the Security Council decided that the UN Charter prohibited the organization from interfering in the internal affairs of a state, that had already been provisionally or formally recognized, in order to impose a political solution on one of the sides in an internal dispute.

        Ben Gurion self-published the 1937 letter to his son Amos and the February 1948 letter to Shertok which said that he planned to take over the whole of Palestine. The only thing that stopped him were objections from the international community, including threats from the US and the Security Council’s Chapter VII resolutions demanding a cease fire. Here is the verbatim record of Shertok’s report to the Peoples Council:

        During the course of conversation with them and with the Arabs their proposal changed form many times during which I saw some seven to nine versions, and I have with me here the last one which I shall submit immediately.

        But I would first like to say what the additional arguments were and also the
        threats which accompanied this modification. Not all the threats were mentioned in our presence. On the contrary, during my last conversation with Marshall and Lovett, four days ago, practically no threats at all were made. At any rate, the more serious threats were never expressed, though some were mentioned during talks with other people.

        This is what they said: “We shall not allow the Jews to conduct a war which we do not want with our dollars”. This was a signal, not only to the (United Jewish) Appeal in America. There was also something more explicit: that they could impose a dollar embargo against Palestine and the Middle East as a whole, against both Jews and Arabs. They could stop any transfers of dollars from America to any other region, and say that such transfers were subject to authorization. Then any amount transferred from America to Switzerland would be subject to investigation. They have the means of finding out where this money is going.

        On one occasion, the following threat was made: if they do not succeed and no
        cease-fire is implemented, they will publish all the material they have. They added that no good would come of this, either in England, or to the Arabs, or even to the Jews. However, they do not have any English or Arab hostages while they have five million Jewish hostages, which means that American Jewry can be injured. It would also split the pro-Zionist front in America, since there would be some Jews who, when confronted with the choice of supporting the Yishuv or accepting the judgement of the U.S. Government, would choose the latter. This would also give rise to a major wave of anti-Semitism in America. (D. Remez: What do they mean by such talk?) – acts of terror or acquisition of arms, illegal immigration (Aliya B) etc. I was
        not present when these things were mentioned and the person who was there did not ask questions.

        What I heard personally were two things: (a) that they will go to the Security Council and ensure a majority for an announcement that the situation in the country [Palestine] is threatening international peace. The Security Council would then move towards sanctions against the Arabs, but against us too (embargo, etc.) which would force us to accept a cease-fire.

        One more simple thing. We too are going our own way, since we have not asked them for any assistance in the event of an invasion. So far they have helped us but: “If you want to fight – go and fight”.

        Now, I would like to present the final version. It is a document of 14 articles
        intended to form an agreement to be signed by the Arab Higher Committee and the Jewish Agency in [Palestine].

        The first three articles are taken from the Security Council Resolution for a cease-fire.

        — Shertok’s remarks from the verbatim minutes of the People’s Council.

        See the Minutes of the Meeting of the National Administration in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, May 13, 1948:

        M Shertok: It is suggested, in the telegram from America that, before the 15 May assembly, which is the assembly of the declaration, the Executive shall issue a communique saying that on Saturday night (May 15) the first meeting of the Provisional Government shall be convened with the following agenda:
        A) General elections to the Constituent Assembly.
        B) Proclamation for the protection of religious belief, minorities, etc.
        C) Economic union,
        D) The establishment of the militia,

        E) The return of the Arab population of the Jewish State to their homes.
        D. Ben-Gurion: The important points have already been mentioned in the declaration. There is no need for any announcement about the militia.
        The meeting was closed”

        link to books.google.com

      • Hostage
        January 27, 2012, 6:50 am

        The Arab and Palestinian militias had been attacking the UN apportioned areas of the Jewish state’s borders ever since December 1947.

        Robert the Zionists had a policy that they euphemistically called aggressive defense. It included the practice of launching preemptive attacks that were dishonestly described as “reprisals”. See for example Livia Rokach, Israel’s Sacred Terrorism: A study based on Moshe Sharett’s Personal Diary, and other documents. link to chss.montclair.edu

        David Ben Gurion had the defense portfolio in the Jewish Agency. He had cabled the Haganah commander Moshe Sneh long before the UN vote and instructed him to give Irgun and Lehi a free hand in the outbreak of violence that started in Jerusalem. — See the Minutes of the 8th Sitting of the First Knesset, 8 March 1949, in Netanel Lorach, “Major Knesset Debates, 1948-1981″ Volume 2, JCPA/University Press, 1993, page 445. In December of 1947, the Haganah, Etzel, and Lehi were already bombing hotels and theaters outside the borders of the Jewish state in the Corpus Seperatum. The January security report to the UN Palestine Commission noted they carried out attacks with 2 inch mortars and destroyed the Haifa Police Station with a barrel bomb. Those were not defensive actions The British High Commissioner noted that the Jewish militias had overreacted to unarmed Arab rioting with armed reprisals.

        With the exception of Stern and Irgun terror attacks and a few isolated acts by the Haganah, the Yishuv was, in the main, on the defensive until early April 1948.

        The January UN report on casualties shows that the Jewish minority were inflicting a much higher number of casualties on their fellow Palestinians:

        Total British casualties (killed and wounded) 123; Total Arab casualties, 1,059; Total Jewish casualties 769; Other casualties 23. link to unispal.un.org

      • Blake
        January 27, 2012, 8:16 am

        Robert:

        Of course it was pre-planned. How would it be feasible to have your own state if you were outnumbered 2 to 1 by the locals?

        Benny Morris seems to be playing both sides of the coin here. “Righteous Victims” is one such book of his I can think of and although he does not deny the Nakba (anymore) he does not agree with “right of return” so I think we can safely deduce from that whose side he is ultimately on and has a bias towards.

      • Blake
        January 27, 2012, 8:25 am

        Just to add to what you were saying Lyn: The Arabs also entered the conflict as a defensive measure to stop the Palestinians being ethnically cleansed out of more areas.

      • Citizen
        January 27, 2012, 7:26 pm

        Werdine, glad we agree that they fled out of fear of the Jews who then immediately planned never to let them return to their homes of centuries. Did the Jews flee into concentration camps?

      • proudzionist777
        January 28, 2012, 1:02 pm

        Hostage. I presume you wouldn’t mind if I go off topic and revist an earlier discussion of ours.

        Hostage says: “The British White Paper of 1939 and the Land Transfer Ordinance of 1940 established the boundaries of the Jewish national home.”

        Hostage.
        The British White Paper of 1939 had violated the Mandate. So the White Paper’s progeny, the Land Transfer Ordinance of 1940 also violated the Mandate and is null and void.

        PERMANENT MANDATES COMMISSION OF THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS

        REPORT 29TH JUNE 1939

        A. PALESTINE: OBSERVATIONS ON THE POLICY LAID DOWN IN THE

        WHITE PAPER OF MAY 1939

        ……Paragraphs 9 to 15

        9. From the first, one fact forced itself to the notice of the Commission – namely, that the policy set out in the White Paper was not in accordance with the interpretation which in agreement with the mandatory Power and the Council, the Commission had always placed upon the Palestine mandate.

        In order to prove this, it will be enough to say that, only two years ago, the Government of the mandatory declared; in the Statement of Policy which accompanied the report published by the Royal Commission, that the present mandate was unworkable. In view of this, the Mandates Commission communicated to the Council its opinion that a mandate which was declared unworkable by the mandatory Power almost became so by that very fact.

        10. In 1937, there was already a conflict between Jewish and Arab aspirations, which the United Kingdom Government admitted its inability to reconcile; that conflict was the principal obstacle to Palestine’s being administered in accordance with the mandate. Since that time the conflict has become more and more intense. In 1937 the United Kingdom Government, feeling itself unable equitably to administer Palestine under the present mandate believed that the possibility of so doing was to be found in a territorial partition for which no provision was made therein, while to-day it considers its new policy to be in accordance with the mandate. Does this not show that that instrument had at that time a different meaning in the eyes of the mandatory Power than that which it has to-day.

        11. The Commission did not, however, confine itself to establishing this single fact. It went on to consider whether the Palestine mandate might not perhaps be open to a new interpretation which, while still respecting its main principles, would be sufficiently flexible for the policy of the White Paper not to appear at variance with it. The Commission was all the less reluctant to raise this question since, according to the mandatory Power, no such contradiction existed. The Commission learned from the Secretary of State for the Colonies that the mandatory Power considered, on the strength of the opinion expressed by its legal advisers that, in view of the changed situation, the policy that it proposed to pursue was in agreement with the mandate, itself based on Article 22 of the Covenant and on the Balfour Declaration.

        12. During the examination of this latter question divergent views were found to exist among members of the Commission.

        13. In view of the divergencies, and of the resultant inability of the Commission to submit on this point conclusions which would be both definite and unanimous, it can only refer the Council to the Minutes of its meetings for an account of the individual views of its members.

        14. As will be seen therein, four of the latter did not feel able to state that the policy of the White Paper was in conformity with the mandate, any contrary conclusion appearing to them to be ruled out by the very terms of the mandate and by the fundamental intentions of its authors.

        15. The other members, three in number, were unable to share this opinion; they consider that existing circumstances would justify the policy of the White Paper, provided the Council did not oppose it

      • proudzionist777
        January 28, 2012, 1:16 pm

        Shingo says:

        “False. There was no civil war seeing as the Palestinians were completely overpowered.”

        Shingo. What rubbish you spout!

        In November 1947 when the UN voted in favor of the Partition Plan. Immediately following that vote, Arab gangs began attacks on Jewish cities; Jerusalem’s City Center on November 30 and the Husseini backed Salameh gangs attack (400 armed men) on Tel Aviv’s suburbs on December 8.

        The fact is, between the U.N. General Assembly vote to partition Palestine on November 29, 1947, and Israeli independence almost six months later, Arab irregulars killed 1,256 Jews in Palestine[1]–almost all of whom were civilians.

        In the first week after the passage of the U.N. partition plan, Arabs murdered 62 Jews. In the following month, Arabs killed an additional 200. By March 1, 1948, 546 Jews had been murdered and, by Ben-Gurion’s declaration of independence, the total was over 1,000.[4] Arab paramilitaries, militias, and terrorists besieged Jerusalem and cut the Jewish neighborhoods’ water supplies and surrounded Jewish villages in the Negev. Arab snipers attacked Jews in Haifa and other mixed villages.[5] A sniper from Beit Dajan shot a 14-year-old girl,[6] and Arab fighters attacked more than a dozen kibbutzim between December 1947 and March 1948.[7] Massacres were common: Arab rioters killed 39 Jews at Haifa’s oil refinery on December 30, 1947, and two weeks later Arab irregulars killed 35 Jews trying to reach Gush Etzion. On February 1, 1948, an Arab or British terrorists blew up The Palestine Post building and, three weeks later, a terrorist’s bomb killed 44 Jews on Jerusalem’s Ben Yehuda Street. On March 21, the bodies of 11 missing Jews were found; three had been burned.[8] Local Arab villagers or Bedouins may have precipitated the autumn 1947 violence,[9] but by spring 1948, Arab volunteers from Iraq and Syria were increasingly participating.[10] On April 11, 1948, for example, Egyptian members of the Muslim Brotherhood attacked Kfar Darom near Gaza City.[11]

        [1] The Palestine Post (Jerusalem), May 6, 1948.
        [2] The Palestine Post, Feb. 20, 1948.
        [3] The Palestine Post, May 6, 1948; British mandatory figures published in The Palestine Post, Nov. 29, 1947 to May 1, 1948.
        [4] The Palestine Post, Jan. 2, 7, 27, Feb. 2, Mar. 2, Apr. 1, May 1, 1948.
        [5] The Palestine Post, Dec. 9, 11, 1947.
        [6] The Palestine Post, Mar. 21, 1948.
        [7] The Palestine Post, Dec. 1947 through Mar. 1948; David Tal, War in Palestine, 1948: Strategy and Diplomacy (London: Routledge, 2004), pp. 57-123.
        [[8] The Palestine Post, Mar. 21, 1948.
        [9] The Palestine Post, Dec. 14, 1947.
        [10] The Palestine Post, Apr. 19, 1948; Tal, War in Palestine, 1948, p. 20.
        [11] The Palestine Post , Apr. 12, 14, 1948.

        The Palestine Post provides a detailed window into the period. Between 1932 and 1948, the paper, which would later change its name to The Jerusalem Post, was Mandatory Palestine’s newspaper of record. An English-language daily, it catered both to Palestine’s British administrators and the relatively small number of Jewish residents in Palestine who spoke English. It was not always sympathetic to Zionists, especially not to those who resorted to force of arms, and often sided editorially with the British against the Irgun and Stern Gang. For instance, on February 20, 1948, it headlined a story about an Irgun attack on British servicemen, “Terrorists Murder Soldier in Jerusalem.”[2] And rather than ignore the Arab population, The Palestine Post perhaps overemphasized their claims. Analysis of the newspaper’s casualty reports shows that between November 1947 and May 1948, it over-reported Arab casualties threefold when its figure of over 3,500 is compared to British Mandatory statistics.[3] The editors of The Palestine Post did not know how history would be written, and there is every reason to believe the reports between November 29, 1947, and May 15, 1948, sought to depict events accurately.

      • Talkback
        January 28, 2012, 2:14 pm

        Oh, copypaste from this article?
        link to mideastweb.org

        Btw. Do you think, that the mandate itself was legal or that it was contradicting the mandate system in general and an A mandates in particular?

      • proudzionist777
        January 28, 2012, 2:57 pm

        And lets not deny the 500,000 North African and Middle Eastern Jews who unwillingly fled their homes.
        No one can even claim that the countries of their origin were even at war with anybody.

      • proudzionist777
        January 28, 2012, 4:13 pm

        The Mandate of Palestine was sometimes erroneously designated ‘Class A’, but was not, in fact, ‘Class A’. According to the British, Palestine was a ‘special regime’.

      • Hostage
        January 28, 2012, 6:56 pm

        Hostage.
        The British White Paper of 1939 had violated the Mandate. So the White Paper’s progeny, the Land Transfer Ordinance of 1940 also violated the Mandate and is null and void.

        LoL! The only body with the competence to make that determination was the Council of the League of Nations and it never took-up the question.

        There are several additional problems with your theory:
        *The mandate granted Great Britain full powers of administration. As noted in the report above, it’s legal advisors said the White Paper was in conformity with the mandate. In our earlier discussions I pointed out that the Palestine High Court of Justice affirmed that in 1946.
        *The UN Secretariat noted that the question could not be settled without the consent of Great Britain. In its Supplementary Memorandum submitted to UNSCOP, the Palestine Government stated (page 34):

        “In organizing illegal immigration into Palestine the Jews have defied the law of Palestine and of other countries from which this traffic has been carried on. It is no answer to this to say that the law is unacceptable or that it is illegal, when it is not. In maintaining the law against these attempts to break it the Administration has been compelled to commit itself to further expenditure of its resources on deportations and the maintenance of camps in Cyprus, costing in 1946 and 1947 a sum that may amount to £3 million.”

        link to unispal.un.org
        *David Ben Gurion self-published a letter he had written in 1937 which explained that the members of the Permanent Mandates Commission had advised the Jewish Agency that the Mandate could not be implemented according to their wishes for a Jewish Commonwealth in all of Palestine. See David Ben-Gurion, “Letters to Paula and the Children”, translated by Aubry Hodes, University of Pittsburg Press Edition, 1971, pages 134-135
        *The 20th Zionist Congress meeting at Zurich in August, 1937, had approved the principle of partition and claimed it was compatible with the Mandate. The Jewish Agency devoted a staff of hundreds to the task of developing its own counter-proposal to the Peel Plan for dividing the territory. See Yossi Katz, “Partner to Partition: The Jewish Agency’s Partition Plan in the Mandate Era”, Routledge, 1998.
        *In 1947 the Jewish Agency demanded that the UN abolish the White Paper and Land Ordinance, but asked that they be replaced with yet another partition that (still) divided the territory into areas where the Jews were not allowed to immigrate or purchase land without permission.
        *The duty of the Permanent Mandates Commission was simply “to advise” the Council of the League of Nations”. Article 5 of the Covenant of the League stipulated that decisions at any meeting of the Council of the League required the agreement of all the Members of the League represented at the meeting. In this case there was no chance of any agreement, since the Commission itself was split 4-3.
        *Great Britain always arranged to have one of the other Dominions of the British Commonwealth or India vote against any unfavorable decisions on mandates, even when it chose to abstain. Three Dominions, Australia, New Zealand, and the Union of South Africa held mandates over former German colonies. See William Harrison Moore, The Dominions of the British Commonwealth in the League of Nations, International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1931-1939) Vol. 10, No. 3 (May, 1931), pp. 372-391 link to jstor.org

        The only thing that is null and void is the chance that Israel will present its many legal arguments in an international court. See for example Abba Eban’s legal arguments against a request for an advisory opinion on the partition during the 340th meeting of the Security Council. See pdf file page 12 link to un.org

      • Hostage
        January 28, 2012, 7:16 pm

        The Mandate of Palestine was sometimes erroneously designated ‘Class A’, but was not, in fact, ‘Class A’. According to the British, Palestine was a ‘special regime’.

        We’ve debunked that stupid hasbara talking point before. Great Britain could not unilaterally alter the class of a mandate.

        The International Court of Justice provided an analysis of the legal status of the territory in the 2004 Wall Case which said that:

        “70. Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire. At the end of the First World War, a class ‘A’ Mandate for Palestine was entrusted to Great Britain by the League of Nations, pursuant to paragraph 4 of Article 22 of the Covenant”– see Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

        link to icj-cij.org
        The Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) contains the official documentary record of major foreign policy decisions taken by the post-World War I Peace Conferences. The Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919 Volume XIII, Annotations to the treaty of peace between the Allied and Associated Powers and Germany, signed at Versailles, June 28, 1919 explains:

        “The mandates under which the various territories have been administered were submitted by the mandatory governments to the Council of the League of Nations in accordance with paragraph 8 of article 22. The terms were reviewed by the Council, in some cases revised on its recommendation, and finally approved by it. The following table gives the pertinent data for each territory:
        “A” Mandates
        *Palestine
        *Trans-Jordan
        *Syria and Lebanon’
        link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu
        The FRUS also records that on November 22, 1947, Mr. Johnson, the representative of United States, expressed agreement with the statement made by the Chairman of the UN General Assembly Ad Hoc Sub-Committee 1 on the Question of Palestine that the plan presented by the Sub-Committee was legal under the Charter. There was nothing in the Charter which prevented an immediate transition from a Class A mandate to independence. Foreign relations of the United States, 1947. The Near East and Africa Volume V, 1278 link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu
        FYI, the classes of the various mandates were established by the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers and ratified by the Council of the League of Nations. Duncan Hall noted that each mandate was in the nature of a treaty, and that being treaties, the mandates could not be amended unilaterally by the mandatory power. See Mandates, Dependencies and Trusteeship, by H. Duncan Hall, Carnegie Endowment, 1948, pages 91-112. That opinion was confirmed by the ICJ in the International Status of South West Africa case (1949). link to icj-cij.org

      • Shingo
        January 29, 2012, 12:14 am

        The Mandate of Palestine was sometimes erroneously designated ‘Class A’, but was not, in fact, ‘Class A’. According to the British, Palestine was a ‘special regime’.

        You hasbrats have no shame do you? o made this “errorenous”claim a few weeks ago and it was comperehensively debunked by Hostage, and my link to Juan Cole. Di you read what Histage posted?

        The International Court of Justice provided an analysis of the legal status of the territory in the 2004 Wall Case which said that:

        “70. Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire. At the end of the First World War, a class ‘A’ Mandate for Palestine was entrusted to Great Britain by the League of Nations, pursuant to paragraph 4 of Article 22 of the Covenant”– see Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

        link to icj-cij.org

        The Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) contains the official documentary record of major foreign policy decisions taken by the post-World War I Peace Conferences. The Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919 Volume XIII, Annotations to the treaty of peace between the Allied and Associated Powers and Germany, signed at Versailles, June 28, 1919 explains:

        “The mandates under which the various territories have been administered were submitted by the mandatory governments to the Council of the League of Nations in accordance with paragraph 8 of article 22. The terms were reviewed by the Council, in some cases revised on its recommendation, and finally approved by it. The following table gives the pertinent data for each territory:

        “A” Mandates
        *Palestine
        *Trans-Jordan
        *Syria and Lebanon’
        link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu;

        The FRUS also records that on November 22, 1947, Mr. Johnson, the representative of United States, expressed agreement with the statement made by the Chairman of the UN General Assembly Ad Hoc Sub-Committee 1 on the Question of Palestine that the plan presented by the Sub-Committee was legal under the Charter. There was nothing in the Charter which prevented an immediate transition from a Class A mandate to independence. Foreign relations of the United States, 1947. The Near East and Africa Volume V, 1278 link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

        FYI, the classes of the various mandates were established by the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers and ratified by the Council of the League of Nations. Duncan Hall noted that each mandate was in the nature of a treaty, and that being treaties, the mandates could not be amended unilaterally by the mandatory power. See Mandates, Dependencies and Trusteeship, by H. Duncan Hall, Carnegie Endowment, 1948, pages 91-112. That opinion was confirmed by the ICJ in the International Status of South West Africa case (1949). link to icj-cij.org

      • Shingo
        January 29, 2012, 12:17 am

        And lets not deny the 500,000 North African and Middle Eastern Jews who unwillingly fled their homes.

        LO. That figure keeps varying between 500,000 and 900,000.

        Inany case, the claim about Jewish refugees from North African and Middle Eastern was debunked in a Haaretz articel emntitled: Hitching a ride on the magic carpet

        link to haaretz.com

        Without going into great detail, (but I will, if necessary) and using Israeli government statistics, it is not hard to demonstrate that the experiences of the Palestinians and Arab Jews or Mizrahim, were very different, and that the latter were encouraged and provoked by the Zionist leadership to make aliyah in order to provide the new state with a cheap labor force.

        The Mizrahim of course, not been included in the Ashkenazi Zionists’ deliberations and were treated as second class citizens from the moment of their arrival and dumped in what were called “development towns,” which were deliberately left unprotected from attacks by the Palestinian fedayeen.

        Moni Takim, a Mizahi, and one of the founders of the Israeli Black Panthers, once described how he gained political consciousness of what was going on when he found himself building defenses for the Ashkenazi kibbutzim (which did not accept Mizrahim as members) whereas the town in which he lived had no protection whatsoever.

        Deliberately leaving the Mizrahim exposed and more vulnerable to Palestinian attack was one of the ways that Ben-Gurion and the Zionist leadership, sought

      • Hostage
        January 29, 2012, 3:05 am

        And lets not deny the 500,000 North African and Middle Eastern Jews who unwillingly fled their homes.

        The 1970s Likud project to rewrite the history of Zionism to emphasize the involvement of North African and Middle Eastern Jews in the mandate era Kibbutz movements, the Zionist Congresses, illegal immigration to mandate era Palestine, the Jewish underground, and their desire to make Aliyah – just like their European cousins – under cuts sweeping generalizations like that one. For example many members of the Egyptian Jewish communities openly claimed that they had been Jewish Zionists and felt no loyalty to Egypt, e.g. link to publishing.cdlib.org

        Walter Laqueur noted that “Among the Irgun and the Stern Gang there were many youngsters from the Oriental Jewish community, which was not widely represented in the non-terrorist Hagana.” See A history of terrorism, Transaction Publishers, 1977, page 122 link to books.google.com

        In the case of the Egyptian community, the Jewish Agency had personnel working in their main offices in Cairo and Alexandria. There were branches of the Bnai ‘Akivah (Sons of Rabbi Akiva), affiliated with the labor wing of the National Religious Party, and Betar (Trumpeldor covenant), the youth movement of revisionist Zionism, and even Zionist sports clubs like the Maccabi and ha-Koah (Strength).

        No one can even claim that the countries of their origin were even at war with anybody.

        Some one already has. It was widely reported that some members of the Haganah’s Mossad Le’aliyah Bet were recruited or sent to those communities and that they were conducting agit prop and black flag operations, e,g. http://www.archive.org/details/Ben-gurionScandals–HowTheHagannahAndTheMossadEliminatedJews

      • Annie Robbins
        January 29, 2012, 7:16 am

        pz, imho it is unacceptable to copy paste other people’s work and pass it off as your own. anyone with the means and ability to copy and paste paragraphs of text can also copy and paste a url. no one should have to go on a fishing expedition to figure out who is authoring your posts. unless you are Ami Isseroff or some other author writing for mideast web, and if that is the case you should identify yourself. check out the comment policy:

        5. No imposture. You can use any pseudonym you like, but if you represent yourself as someone you’re not, you’re outta here.

        you’re impersonating outside authors. you can’t be all of these people whose stuff you copy and paste. and that includes stuff like this:

        This idea was not acceptable to the other four members of the Mandates Commission. It was, however, sufficient grounds to provide an excuse for not issuing a definitive recommendation and leaving the matter to the discretion of the League Council, which never met to consider the report.

        if you do not know how to blockquote or use html tags for italics use quotemarks and identify who the real author is. please.

      • Cliff
        January 29, 2012, 8:31 am

        Annie, you are now a contributor to this site so why not get through to Phil on these issues? Tell him to practice his own moderation policy.

        Yes I’m being snarky and cynical.

        link to mondoweiss.net

        link to mondoweiss.net

        Compare both comments. Sock-puppet account.

        Werdine is a variation/sock-puppet account of Michael LeFavour who had similar autobiographical ‘cred’.

        Phil and Adam and whoever else do moderate this site but they are absolutely not consistent at all.

      • teta mother me
        January 29, 2012, 8:51 am

        Zionists in the US have this angle covered, Hostage.
        There’s a clause buried in some US legislation that says that (in effect) any reparations that Israel is required to pay to Palestinians relative to dispossession from property, right of return, etc., must ALSO provide for reparations to Jews who left Arab countries for Israel.

        Even tho Israel will never negotiate, nor would Israel pay reparations if Israel DID negotiate and WERE required to pay reparations in lieu of right of return, etc., Israel has built in a bomb that would detonate in the event it WAS theoretically required to pay reparations.

        Edwin Black and Mitchell Bard have teamed up to generate passion around this issue in the American Jewish community.link to c-spanvideo.org

      • proudzionist777
        January 29, 2012, 9:27 am

        I did not copy paste Isseroff. I used and amply changed his observations.

        Your ‘humble opinion’ and my own, are irreconcilable.

      • proudzionist777
        January 29, 2012, 9:42 am

        The ICJ got the’ Class A’ Mandate designation wrong. Judges frequently err which is why we have Appellate Courts.
        Oh, yeah. An advisory opinion can’t be appealed.

        The Inernational Court of Justice also assumed that the “Mandate for Palestine” was a Class “A” mandate, a common, but inaccurate assertion that can be found in many dictionaries and encyclopedias, and is frequently used by the pro-Palestinian media. In paragraph 70 of the opinion, the Court erroneously states that:

        “Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire. At the end of the First World War, a class [type] ‘A’ Mandate for Palestine was entrusted to Great Britain by the League of Nations, pursuant to paragraph 4 of Article 22 of the _Covenant …”

        “Indeed, Class “A” status was granted to a number of Arab peoples who were ready for independence in the former Ottoman Empire, and only to Arab entities.12 Palestinian Arabs were not one of these ‘Arab peoples.’ The Palestine Royal Report clarifies this point:”

        “(2) The Mandate [for Palestine] is of a different type from the Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon and the draft Mandate for Iraq. These latter, which were called for convenience “A” Mandates, accorded with the fourth paragraph of Article 22. Thus the Syrian Mandate provided that the government should be based on an organic law which should take into account the rights, interests and wishes of all the inhabitants, and that measures should be enacted ‘to facilitate the progressive development of Syria and the Lebanon as independent States’. The corresponding sentences of the draft Mandate for Iraq were the same. In compliance with them National Legislatures were established in due course on an elective basis. Article 1 of the Palestine Mandate, on the other hand, vests ‘full powers of legislation and of administration’, within the limits of the Mandate, in the Mandatory”.

        Hostage (above) admitted that the British Mandatory had ‘full powers of administration’, which was precisely what the other Mandatory authorities lacked.

        The Palestine Royal Report highlights additional differences:

        “Unquestionably, however, the primary purpose of the Mandate, as expressed in its preamble and its articles, is to promote the establishment of the Jewish National Home.

        “(5) Articles 4, 6 and 11 provide for the recognition of a Jewish Agency ‘as a public body for the purpose of advising and co-operating with the Administration’ on matters affecting Jewish interests. No such body is envisaged for dealing with Arab interests.

        “48. But Palestine was different from the other ex-Turkish provinces. It was, indeed, unique both as the Holy Land of three world-religions and as the old historic homeland of the Jews. The Arabs had lived in it for centuries, but they had long ceased to rule it, and in view of its peculiar character they could not now claim to possess it in the same way as they could claim possession of Syria or Iraq”.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 29, 2012, 9:59 am

        good start

        inaccurate assertion that can be found in many dictionaries and encyclopedias, and is frequently used by the pro-Palestinian media and lately by the ICJ.

        link to mythsandfacts.com

        pz, who wrote that? and why can i find this exact phrasing on “Mandate for Palestine” The Legal Aspects of Jewish Rights by Eli E. Hertz

        please cite the authors and use quote marks when you are copying text.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 29, 2012, 10:04 am

        ok, but when i grab a paragraph and put it in google and can find that exact paragraph on someones website that’s called plagiarism. what’s wrong with citing your sources. or don’t talking pt memos from hasbrat central supply you with those?

      • proudzionist777
        January 29, 2012, 10:32 am

        How do you explain the fact that the ‘Arab Jews’ who fled their respective countries, and have settled in Israel and France, have no desire to return to their homes in Arab countries while ‘Palestinians’ living in the Arab States demand to return home?

      • Hostage
        January 29, 2012, 11:12 am

        There’s a clause buried in some US legislation that says that (in effect) any reparations that Israel is required to pay to Palestinians relative to dispossession from property, right of return, etc., must ALSO provide for reparations to Jews who left Arab countries for Israel.

        Yes I outlined the multitude of historical errors and falsehoods that were contained in the various “Whereas” clauses of the non-binding House resolution. link to mondoweiss.net

        Edwin Black and Mitchell Bard have teamed up to generate passion around this issue in the American Jewish community.

        Thanks for the link to the video. I hadn’t heard of this book. Of course you don’t hear as much about the Mufti and others being deported from their own homeland; the forced population transfer schemes dreamed-up between the British and the Zionists; the Arab Interrogation Centers (concentration camps) operated in Palestine by the British; the torture of detainees; the use of the RAF to level Arab villages as collective punishment; and the summary execution of the leaders of the Arab opposition forces. The British had used similar methods to put down an Arab uprising in Iraq that occurred when Arabs there had been denied their independence in 1920.

        During the Mandate era the Jewish Agency self-promotion campaigns played-up the contributions from Jewish communities like the Keren Hayesod committee in Baghdad and the participation of representatives from Iraq in their Zionist Congresses. These days they support the victim narrative with the belated claim that the representatives were actually foreigners who had managed to sell the Iraqis the number of shekels required for representation by Zionist Congress authorities and that contributions died down after the 1929 riots in Palestine. In any event, the Mufti wasn’t necessarily paranoid for viewing the Iraqi Jewish community as a hotbed of Zionism nurtured by another British mandatory government. I’m sure that under other circumstances, Netanyahu would be declaring the Euphrates river valley a “security zone” that must remain Israeli under any possible negotiated settlement and the hasbrats would claim the Feisal-Weizmann agreement proves it.

      • tokyobk
        January 25, 2012, 10:16 pm

        Blaming the refugees for their plight or denying the historical tragedy that befell the Palestinians would be, IMO, Nakba denial. Wort of all, any variation of “Land without a people.”

        That some Arab officers told them to flee is a documented fact just as is the kapo phenomenon in which the Nazis forced Jews to collaborate. Some Jews in Arab lands were Zionist spies, was the wholesale expulsion of Arab Jewry justified? Of course not.

        I hope that that historical facts are precisely what are brought to debate here not causes for banning.

        Intent may be harder and more time consuming to monitor and not practical, but I think it is the intent that matters most in these cases.

        If someone is using kapos to imply the Jews did it to themselves, ban. If someone mentions kapos as part of what happened, is that an offense?

        But, it’s not my site and I appreciate the need to monitor when site owners get blamed fr comments.

      • Adam Horowitz
        January 25, 2012, 11:22 pm

        I think this was a good summary all around.

      • Shingo
        January 26, 2012, 7:21 am

        That some Arab officers told them to flee is a documented fact just as is the kapo phenomenon in which the Nazis forced Jews to collaborate.

        Documented where?

      • MHughes976
        January 26, 2012, 7:54 am

        If documents – what would they be? instructions to Arab officers from their superiors? observations by journalists? – were to show that there was advice to flee we would still have no reason to think that fleeing a conflict zone is foolish or bad behaviour for which someone should for ever suffer.

      • Blake
        January 26, 2012, 4:36 pm

        tokyobk:

        “The BBC monitored all Middle Eastern broadcasts throughout 1948. The records, and companion ones by a United States monitoring unit, can be seen at the British Museum. There was not a single order or appeal, or suggestion about evacuation from Palestine, from any Arab radio station, inside or outside Palestine, in 1948. There is a repeated monitored record of Arab appeals, even flat orders, to the civilians of Palestine to stay put.” Erskine Childers, British researcher.

      • Shingo
        January 26, 2012, 6:53 pm

        Thanks Blake,

        I knew that was the case, so I wanted to see what tokyobk would come up with.

      • Blake
        January 27, 2012, 8:20 am

        Shingo:

        Thanks Shingo. Love your comments by the way.

        2 excellent sources for info:
        link to ifamericansknew.org
        link to ifamericansknew.org

      • proudzionist777
        January 28, 2012, 3:04 pm

        Shouldn’t blame for the refugees plight also be leveled at Great Britain and the Arab States for colluding to destroy the infant Jewish State in May, 1948?

        Shouldn’t the Arab States be blamed for mistreating the refugees to this very day?

      • Shingo
        January 29, 2012, 12:19 am

        Shouldn’t blame for the refugees plight also be leveled at Great Britain and the Arab States for colluding to destroy the infant Jewish State in May, 1948?

        Great Bitain perhaps but no Arab states colluded to destroy Israel. As the commander in chief of the Jordanian Army, British General Sir John Glubb said (He had 46 British officers under his command) pointed out, the British had concluded a deal with the Zionists that there would be no confrontation between the Jordanian Arab army and the Jewish forces. This is why Glubb later called the ’48 war, the phony war.

        Shouldn’t the Arab States be blamed for mistreating the refugees to this very day?

        Yes, but Israel created them, denies them their rights every day and treats them far worse.

      • proudzionist777
        January 29, 2012, 10:13 am

        Shingo. Again you’ve come up ‘a day late and a dollar short’.

        See the groundbreaking research into secret French government archives of that period by Ben Gurion University Professor Meir Zamir, whose current research strongly suggests that Great Britain and the Arab States were in close collusion in a plan to invade and totally destroy the nascent State of Israel in May 1948. The British-Arab war plans had been copied by a highly placed Arab spy in the Syrian government, passed on to the French government, who than shared it with Ben Gurion and the Zionist leadership. This highly placed spy and been serving France in this capacity since 1945. France’s motive for sharing the British-Arab war plans with the Zionists, was revenge against Britain for her part in forcing France to part with her colonial interests in Syria and Lebanon. See, Professor Zamir’s series of articles in the internet edition of the leading Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, which includes Britain’s treachery, France’s Revenge, French Connection, and A Burning Ship on Jerusalem Beach. To anyone interested in further readings, I most strongly recommend Professor Zamir’s, Espionage and the Zionist Endeavour, Jerusalem Post November 20, 2008.

        If you’re boycotting the works of Israeli academics, than read James Barr’s, ‘A Line in the Sand’. W.W. Norton.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 29, 2012, 11:09 am

        i recall we’ve been down this road before pz, wasn’t that a hypothesis? we had this discussion. it was based on a hunch or something wasn’t it. do you just circulate this stuff around and around?

      • Annie Robbins
        January 29, 2012, 11:13 am

        i found your text here:

        link to amazon.com

      • Hostage
        January 26, 2012, 2:41 am

        That said, it is not entirely clear to me what, exactly, Nakba denial is.

        The best examples are the feeble exercises by Efraim Karsh or Daniel Pipes to reclaim the historical truth and correct the “errors” in the contemporary records created at the time by Sasson, Ben Gurion, Shertok, Marshall, Lovett, and Rusk. You know, the same drivel that you and your tag team partners, like Jonah, are so darned fond of repeating here at MW all the time.

      • Hostage
        January 26, 2012, 3:18 am

        P.S. Here is a graphic example. At first Karsh denies that Israel ever practiced ethnic cleansing, then a few minutes later, he says it hasn’t done it in decades.

        The status quo regarding hundreds of thousands of refugees and the so-called “abandoned property” of the Palestinian people, including those who were internally displaced and held under martial law so that they could be declared “present but absent”, hasn’t changed a bit since 1948.

        Israel has demolished tens of thousands of Palestinian homes since then, turned the indigenous people into aliens in their own city of Jerusalem, stripped the residency rights of at least one hundred thousand more Palestinians since 1967, and waged a continuous campaign to run the Bedouin off their ancestral lands and establish increasingly smaller ethnic enclaves to hold the remaining Palestinian population under intolerable conditions. You don’t need to be a scholar to know about all of that, you can read about it in the Israeli press or the ICJ Advisory Opinion. Yet Karsh refuses to acknowledge any of those on-going policies and practices and calls it a travesty to label them ethnic cleansing.

      • eljay
        January 26, 2012, 12:12 pm

        >> At first Karsh denies that Israel ever practiced ethnic cleansing, then a few minutes later, he says it hasn’t done it in decades.

        Or, as RW so eloquently put it: “Currently its [sic] not necessary.” :-)

      • Shingo
        January 26, 2012, 7:18 am

        That said, it is not entirely clear to me what, exactly, Nakba denial is.

        For once I agree with you Robert.

        Personally, I could care less about the 911 debate.

        The thing about Holocaust denial however, is that it is defined within a veery narrow range of paramters which are deemed to be acceptable. If one wer eto accept that 6 million Jews were massacred, but refute the existence of gas chambers, that is considered Holocaust denial. And should anyone suggest that the Holocaust was unfortunate but necessary, or that the Nazi’s perpetrated it in response to a provocation, that would understandably and universally be rejected.

        On the other hand, there are those who accept the Nakba took place but believe that either:

        a) It was necessary to cretae a Jewish state, therefore a good thing and/or
        b) that the Nakba was a response to Palestinian agression ie. that the Palestinians brought it upon themselves

        These two contetions (while false), would not be considered Nakba denial.

        Personally, I am conflicted about this comments policy. While I understand what has motivated it, I can’t heklp but feel it is embarking on a slippery slope, and one that plays into the hands of the pro Zionist narrative.

      • MHughes976
        January 26, 2012, 7:49 am

        The Nakba gets excused rather than denied, either by some form of justification – existential necessities, etc. – or by ‘let’s move on’ suggestions to the effect that hurling accusations is now a pointless activity. A discourse from which all Nakba excuses were excluded would be a new phenomenon for many of us.

      • Hostage
        January 26, 2012, 12:03 pm

        The Nakba gets excused rather than denied

        I think that misses the point, because excusing the Holocaust is one of the forms of Holocaust denial that’s illegal in many jurisdictions. Excusing the Nakba should violate the same statutes as excusing the Holocaust under the EU Framework Decision on Racism.

        For example, the ICJ advisory opinion found that Palestinians had been displaced, in violation of Article 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The Court said that happened as a consequence of the construction of the Wall, creation of isolated enclaves, and the establishment of Jewish-only settlements. That’s a grave breach and a war crime according to the additional protocols and Article 8 of the Rome Statute.

        No matter what name you use, there is no doubt that Israel is engaged in efforts to alter the demographic balance of the population of the occupied Palestinian territories, and that the Security Council, General Assembly, ICJ, and the Reconvened Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions have declared all of those efforts to be violations of the same provision of the Geneva Convention on population transfers.

        Under the EU Framework on Racism it is a crime to publicly condone, deny or grossly trivialize war crimes as defined in the Statute of the International Criminal Court (Articles 6, 7 and 8). Nonetheless we have full time regular commentators here who rarely say anything at all that doesn’t condone, deny, or trivialize the crimes that have been perpetrated against the Palestinian people by Israel. There’s no way those people, the MFA’s Internet talkback apparatchiks, or the bureaucrats in Israel’s propaganda ministry will ever be called-out on that practice, much less prosecuted for it like the Holocaust deniers.

        If Mondoweiss tried to ban discussions about the subject it would have to forgo publishing informative articles like these:
        link to mondoweiss.net
        link to mondoweiss.net

      • Annie Robbins
        January 26, 2012, 12:35 pm

        to me nakba denial is not acknowledging people were expelled from their villages. pushing ‘fled’. sure, some fled. but we all know palestinians were expelled from their land.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 26, 2012, 12:41 pm

        If Mondoweiss tried to ban discussions about the subject it would have to forgo publishing informative articles like these:

        i don’t think we would have to forgo those articles at all. i think we would just have a policy to ban responses to them claiming it isn’t, or wouldn’t require, ethnic cleansing.

      • seanmcbride
        January 26, 2012, 1:03 pm

        Annie,

        American and patm have made some posts and comments on

        Mondoweiss on Friendfeed
        link to friendfeed.com

        C’mon — wade in. :)

        This group provides a convenient outlet for handling all those Mondoweiss inspired comments that aren’t appropriate for Mondoweiss proper.

        Friendfeed provides a host of features for dealing with issues that arise on Mondoweiss that are difficult to handle. For instance, if two people get into a pissing contest in a thread that you find distracting or boring, simply HIDE the thread. That thread will disappear for you but all the other threads will be visible. There is no need to censor annoying threads groupwide.

        Another good feature: you can communicate with any other member of the group individually, in private.

      • David Samel
        January 26, 2012, 1:41 pm

        I think a lot of the confusion stems from different interpretations of “expelled” and “fled”. The former implies forcible movement of people by gun-toting soldiers, as what happened in Lydda and Ramle. “Fled,” however, is not significantly different. No doubt hundreds of thousands “fled” not because someone was pointing a gun at them but because they feared for their lives if they stayed. There were numerous massacres of Arab civilians, and hearing of these atrocities, many civilians decided not to wait until soldiers entered their village. These refugees did not lose any rights by virtue of their flight rather than their expulsion, and their right of return was guaranteed by international law and denied by Israel. Robert Werdine, who is now putting on his most reasonable face, which itself is not very reasonable, has numerous prior comments whitewashing Israeli culpability for causing Palestinian civilians to flee for their lives, and denying their right to return. Is that Nakba denial? I think so.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 26, 2012, 2:04 pm

        when a village is surrounded and threatened and there’s only one opening from available for safety and if you don’t go you will end up dead, it is not a lie to say you fled, but it is more accurately an expulsion. the narrative of ‘fled’ has been repeated over and over to whitewash the ethnic cleansing that took place. had the people not left harsher measures would have been taken but there is no doubt the intended outcome was ethnic cleansing. why is it israel gets to frame what happened, we accept that as normal and we keep repeating it? it’s a cop out.

        furthermore if a comment like roberts was deleted, he could still reframe what he wanted to say and report it. but asserting palestinians all fled is nakba denial. and that is what he has done. twice now. perhaps it is me. perhaps i do not have a correct understanding of the new rules. perhaps it is also acceptable to use coded language framing the holocaust in such a way as to minimize the responsibility of nazis.

        for me personally(and excuse me if i am repeating myself) the upside of having rules and standards (and i recognize the downside too) is we can change the discourse. when visitors stop by here, say a palestinian visitor, encountering old worn out rhetoric implying they were not in grave life threatening impending danger, what does that say of the policy of non denial? would it be so hard to ask robert to change? for robert to reference the expulsion of the vast majority of palestinians from their country?

        also, does anyone recall the breaking the waves video recently of the old soldier who spoke about how they would empty the towns in the negev leaving only one direction (gaza)? iow, the people were expelled.

      • Hostage
        January 26, 2012, 2:14 pm

        to me nakba denial is . . .

        The legal definition for Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism is the same. So why use a different one for Holocaust and Nakba denial? They are the offensive behavior of excusing, denying, or trivializing genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes. Israel has been committing those crimes against the Palestinians since the day the catastrophe began.

        i don’t think we would have to forgo those articles at all

        I mean that the videos themselves publicly condone, deny or grossly trivialize war crimes committed against the Palestinians as defined in the Statute of the International Criminal Court (Articles 6, 7 and 8). It’s like showcasing a Holocaust denial video.

      • tree
        January 26, 2012, 2:35 pm

        David S,

        Thanks for your interpretation on this. I’m not a lawyer, but my interpretation would be that ALL the Palestinians who were either originally expelled or fled, or even simply went elsewhere during that time for whatever reason, were in effect EXPELLED, because they were denied their rights to return to their homes. Some left because they were forcibly expelled to begin with, and the others were expelled ex post facto by being denied the right to return to their homes after the fighting had ended.

      • David Samel
        January 26, 2012, 4:37 pm

        Annie and tree, I completely agree that the denial of return was an expulsion as well. There are many variations on the ridiculous notion that civilians “voluntarily fled” to make room for the five, six or seven “invading” Arab armies, as if this were a telephone booth or toilet stall where someone had to leave before someone else could (comfortably) enter. All of these variations are intended to put the blame on Palestinians for leaving and to absolve Israel for refusing to allow them to return. I have even seen the argument that some percent (in the 60’s?) of Palestinians left their homes without seeing a single Jewish soldier. I have no idea if the statistic is true, but it certainly is meaningless. My father and his family left Vienna in January 1939, without being “forced” to do so by men with guns. Did they flee voluntarily, as is said of the Palestinians? How absurd. The bottom line is that all of the Palestinians left for the same reason other refugees have always left. They were afraid they would die if the stayed. Some left with rifles pointed at them, some left fearing they would be massacred by Jewish militia that had massacred others, and some left because they thought it would be unsafe to be caught in a war zone. To make distinctions between these reasons is pure sophistry. All were denied their lawful right to return to their homes and villages in order to preserve a large Jewish majority in Israel.

        Werdine has previously stated that Israel actually did offer to comply with UNGA resolution 194 that provides a right of return. That is Nakba denial, not to mention delusional. Hostage says that Nakba denial, and Holocaust denial, “are the offensive behavior of excusing, denying, or trivializing genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes. Israel has been committing those crimes against the Palestinians since the day the catastrophe began.” True enough, and if you remove those excuses, denials, and trivializations from the hasbarists’ arsenal, very little or absolutely nothing is left.

  16. irena
    January 25, 2012, 3:58 pm

    Good stuff!

  17. LeaNder
    January 25, 2012, 4:00 pm

    Very good decision. Discussions about Zionisms and the Nazis are pure torture with people who do not have a basic understanding of the Nazi machinery; just as speculations about the boycott against the Nazi state. It surely couldn’t push the Nazis in a direction that was on their mind from the very start.

    Mein Kampf was written in 1924 and it contained all you needed to know.

    • Citizen
      January 25, 2012, 5:34 pm

      LeaNder, Mein Kampf certainly contained the Big Lie theory wrt how to get the sheeple to go over the cliff. Bernays, and Goebbels pushed that theory very successively, and now America’s political leaders, especially the neocons and PEPs are showing they’ve been good students. Even Goering would approve of the rhetoric. I’m seeing it now on my TV as I type, contending expensive ads up the asshole right here in Florida. Goebbels would love it!

  18. Taxi
    January 25, 2012, 4:02 pm

    I don’t like it one bit. I don’t believe it’s right to just keep adding more censorship rules every couple of months. Why does our freedom of speech have to suffer just so the moderators can have a ‘lighter’ work load? Hire more mods and buy more office coffee for Pete’s sakes.

    Deniers SHOULD BE exposed and not gagged and kicked down the basement stairs.

    It serves the cause of intellectual vigilance to know the shadows that lurk in the same room/world.

    • W.Jones
      January 25, 2012, 4:15 pm

      “Deniers SHOULD BE exposed and not gagged and kicked down the basement stairs. It serves the cause of intellectual vigilance to know the shadows that lurk in the same room/world.”

      Good point.

      • teta mother me
        January 25, 2012, 6:06 pm

        You and Deborah Lipstadt have much in common.

        with William Sloan Coffin, not so much.

        Not to Bring Peace, But a Sword
        Let’s start by recognizing that there is a fundamental, unacceptability about unpleasant truth. We all shield ourselves against its wounding accuracy. Not only do we do this as individuals, but we do this as a people, as a nation. Twenty-seven hundred years ago, as some of you may remember, not because you were there, but because you read the Bible, the priest Amaziah said of the prophet Amos, “…the land is not able to bear all his words.”

        Every prophet has realized that nobody loves you for being the enemy of their illusions. Every prophet has realized that most of us want peace at any price as long as the peace is ours and somebody else pays the price. That is why the prophet Jeremiah said, “‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace,” and why Jesus said, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34 NIV)

        The Soviet Union is in bad shape today, as we all know. It proves that the hardest moment for a bad government is when it tries to mend its ways. At least let’s give credit to the Soviet leadership for having faced unacceptable, unpleasant truth.

        It was almost in prophetic fashion that Gorbachev and other leaders said that without repentance there is no salvation, without judgment there is no hope. If there is a way to the better, it lies in taking a full look at the worst. Let’s give them credit for doing everything they could to try and bury once and for all the evils of Stalinism for the sake of a saner, safer future for everybody.

        I wonder if we Americans [and zionists] don’t also have something that we should contribute, as it were, to the burial grounds of the world, something that would make the world a safer place. I think there is something in us. It is an attitude more than an idea. It lives less in the American mind than under the American skin. That is the notion that we are not only the most powerful nation in the world, which we certainly are, but that we are also the most virtuous. I think this pride is our bane and I think it is so deep-seated that it is going to take the sword of Christ’s truth to do the surgical operation.
        . . .
        Lastly, let me recall the words of President Reagan in his Second Inaugural in 1984. He said, “Peace is our highest aspiration. The record is clear, Americans resort to force only when they must. We have never been aggressors.”

        That would certainly come as news to Native Americans. It would come as news to Blacks; it would come as news to Filipinos, to Cubans, to Nicaraguans, where our Marines landed fourteen times in their history. All of which is to say that no nation, ours or any other, is well served by illusions of righteousness. All nations make decisions based on self-interest and then defend them in the name of morality.

        It was good advice for us in our personal relations and for us as a nation in our international relations when St. Augustine said, “Never fight evil as if it were something that arose totally outside of yourself,” a reflection of St. Paul’s words, “All have sinned and fallen short…”

        Not some, not a majority, not they, that evil empire, but all have sinned and fallen short. In other words, if we are not one in love with other nations in the world, at least we are one with them in sin which is no mean bond because it precludes the possibility of separation through judgment. That is the meaning of the scriptural injunction, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”

        Children are innocent and their innocence is beautiful, but adults should not be innocents. They should know that in the stream of human life it is not innocence but holiness that is our only option.

        Nobody can doubt that the world would be a safer and saner place if somehow we Americans got over our self-righteousness in our foreign relations.”

      • Scott
        January 25, 2012, 8:30 pm

        Curious, re Coffin, whether he ever said boo about Israel. I really don’t know.
        He was intermarried, which can sometimes be an impediment, (eg H. Stuart Hughes) –but I really don’t know in Coffin’s case.

    • seanmcbride
      January 25, 2012, 4:22 pm

      Here is an easy way to make comments on any issues that arise on Mondoweiss that violate its comments policy (which I fully respect):

      Mondoweiss on Friendfeed

      link to friendfeed.com

      • Annie Robbins
        January 25, 2012, 5:28 pm

        you mean add it to the comment on the feed? that’s an interesting idea if you don’t mind your comment attached to your twitter or facebook account

      • seanmcbride
        January 25, 2012, 6:15 pm

        Annie,

        It’s easy to post a comment on any particular Mondoweiss article in that Friendfeed group or to start an entirely new thread of your own with a new post in the group. Give it a try to see how it works — it’s extremely simple. It will only echo posts to your other social accounts if you set your preference for it do so.

        People here can feel to use it to let off steam if arguments get too heated here :) — or if they want to conduct meta-discussions about Mondoweiss.

        Everyone should be aware — I am big fan of Mondoweiss and this is a Mondoweiss-friendly feed. My attitude towards Mondoweiss editorial policies is that whatever makes Philip Weiss happy is fine with me. He has paid his dues in taking some extremely risky positions on Mideast political controversies and has earned the right to focus on material that he thinks is productive.

        I’ve noticed that some hardcore anti-Semites have tried to infiltrate MW now and then — Phil and the rest of gang here *should* be concerned and vigilant about that problem — the Jew-haters (yes, that’s what they are) would quickly kill MW.

        Regarding 9/11: I think the official story is an enormous crock that I can easily deconstruct from hundreds of directions, but I am not going to try to get into that debate on Mondoweiss — it’s not the appropriate forum.

      • seanmcbride
        January 25, 2012, 6:32 pm

        By the way: if you want to get a flood of Mideast political news in real time, try this:

        Friendfeed: Mideast Politics

        link to friendfeed.com

        This is the source I use to get most of my daily Mideast news from a wide variety of sources from all across the political spectrum, from far left to far right and everything in between.

    • Danaa
      January 25, 2012, 4:32 pm

      I agree with you, Taxi. If anti-semitism is a problem, better it be exposed in the open, where we can all look at what’s out there, make up our own minds, and counter it.

      Just because something is not discussed in polite society, doesn’t mean it goes away. It more likely goes underground, there to fester and potentially grow, away from prying eyes. And none of us will even know when things reach a critical mass.

      A case in point: did most of us realize just how pervasive and insidious racism still was in parts of the country, before the tea party kicked in? is it not better now that we know what we are up against? is it not better that the republican candidates like Romney, Gingrich and Santorum are permitted their day in the sun, where we can all check out, in broad dayligh, what really lurks in the hearts of them and their supporters? it most certainly isn’t Obamacare many have the biggest problem with, is it?

      • LeaNder
        January 25, 2012, 6:37 pm

        It more likely goes underground

        Danaa, that’s always the argument and it makes sense. The problem is that some people cannot be reached with reason, they want tales, thrilling tales. Why do you think their lore sells as well as it’s precursors did in the 19th century? So much so, that fiction writers copy the basic patterns.

        By the way, I have always supported this argument against the prohibition of the NDP, National German Party. The problem is this party collects money from the state as any other party for every vote it gets in the election, and this money quite possibly funds activities we don’t like – even if we leave out the murky area of our secret service’s own funding of informers inside the party that lately was discovered to be diverted into the funding of a underground terrorist groups close to the party. Yes, you read this correctly, the German state indirectly sponsored a right-wing terrorist group that killed Turkish Germans all over Germany for a decade.

        Often there are more questions than answers.

    • Adam Horowitz
      January 25, 2012, 5:31 pm

      Freedom of speech? Really? Do you understand what that means? Is someone threatening to send you to jail for saying anything on this site? Let’s please keep it in perspective.

      Also re: “buy more office coffee for Pete’s sakes” Do you have any idea how much time Phil and I devote to working on this site? Your comment would seem to indicate you don’t.

      Comments like this really make it all seem worth it.

      • Chespirito
        January 25, 2012, 5:50 pm

        A lawyer chimes in: Adam is absolutely right that there is no “freedom of speech” issue raised with these new guidelines, none whatsoever.

        All good blogs have a focus and without focus they disintegrate into nattering tedium. I applaud the new rules, they’ll make this site even stronger.

      • Tuyzentfloot
        January 25, 2012, 7:48 pm

        All good blogs have a focus and without focus they disintegrate into nattering tedium. I applaud the new rules, they’ll make this site even stronger. I think the way the new rules are presented is as a form of censorship, while the problems they are trying to tackle can be mostly handled by policies that avoid discussions to veer off topic, that is, by keeping focus. So the rules are best reworked, if they’re needed at all. Really a Holocaust denial comment on this forum is as good as threadjacking.

      • Citizen
        January 25, 2012, 5:57 pm

        I agree, Adam–the comment recommending buy more coffee is glib, and a deep insult to how hard you and Phil et all work on MW, and now hard you try to be fair and open to everyone with any interest in the subject of MW.

      • W.Jones
        January 25, 2012, 7:38 pm

        Yes, Adam you do a good job with the site- so good it can be addicting, with so many new articles. Good job.

      • Taxi
        January 26, 2012, 1:31 am

        “a deep insult”.

        Lighten-up Citizen, the remark was meant as an ‘office joke’. You should know me enough by now to know that if I ‘intended’ to insult, there’d be a heckalotta more verbal acrobatics from my end. What I said was not “glib”, it was actually ‘flippant’. And yes I do apologize to Adam et staff if I hurt their feelings. I certainly respect this site and admire everyone involved in keeping it going.

      • Citizen
        January 26, 2012, 10:19 am

        Taxi, at the time I didn’t consider the path of your many comments on MW, nearly all of which I have agreed with over a long time. You’re right, I should have taken it as an office joke. My lame excuse is I read it amid many other longer comments negative about the new policy or defending it and did not consider who made the subject comment. Sorry. You’re right, Taxi, I do know you better by now.

      • seanmcbride
        January 25, 2012, 6:20 pm

        Adam,

        I greatly appreciate all the hard work you, Phil and others put into this site, and I am fully sensitive to all the headaches that must come up for you on a regular basis.

        You, Phil and the rest of the gang should enforce whatever editorial policies here please you. If some people don’t like them, they are free to start their own sites. That’s free speech in action.

        Hey, I don’t believe the 9/11 official story and I am far from being a “conspiracy theorist.” :) But that’s a debate for another forum.

      • Danaa
        January 25, 2012, 7:02 pm

        For the record: it was not the coffee quip I agreed with ( I have no doubt about the enormous effort the site’s editors and writers put in).

        My point of agreement was with the exposing of the deniers instead of kicking them downstairs.

        Maybe I have an unreasonable fear of what’s lurking in the dark. Or maybe an unreasonable faith in that sunlight (as the surest way of keeping the meanies where we can see them).

      • Adam Horowitz
        January 25, 2012, 7:58 pm

        Thanks everyone, and I wasn’t trolling for a pat on the back, but I appreciate it.

        Re: the issue of exposing the deniers. This argument makes a lot of sense to me, and it is how we’ve handled the site up to this point. But a few problems have developed. First, I think more people are alienated from that discourse, on both sides, than are drawn to it. So, while I might be down for a throw down debate, most people seem to reject it and wonder why they need to deal with their history being denied or fabricated and just stay away. Not everyone wants to get in a knife fight just to engage on the issue. That response makes sense to me, and ultimately we want to site to be as welcoming as possible within reason.

        Second, and I alluded to this above, these are very delicate conversations/debates in the first place and it is very time consuming to monitor/facilitate/moderate them in a way that actually gets at what you’re asking for. More often than not it degenerates into name calling and insults that I understand on an emotional level (I often share the impulse), but doesn’t expose the denial in as constructive a fashion as possible. And, on the flipside, plenty of things were getting through that had no place on the site and weren’t getting challenged at all (not being supported necessarily, but just sitting). Part of this decision was an acknowledgement that it is beyond our capacity at this point to handle these issues in a productive and responsible way. So we’re not going to do it for now, and might revisit it later, but might not.

      • ToivoS
        January 25, 2012, 10:38 pm

        Adam says: Also re: “buy more office coffee for Pete’s sakes” Do you have any idea how much time Phil and I devote to working on this site?

        Hey what do you have against Pete’s Coffee. Are you a Strarbuck’s fan?

      • ritzl
        January 26, 2012, 12:42 am

        @Adam First, and most importantly, you folks/mods have done great work focusing the debates here, and thereby broadening the fact base, and perceptions, and discuss-ability of the issues involved. These moderation changes will aid you in that, and make this site even more potent, imho.

        Reading this thread, and to address the very real and legitimate “lurking evil” points raised, perhaps an un-moderated (or reduced moderation) open comments post would bring out the bugs so that all can see how big the cockroaches really are at any given time, perchance to refute, but generally to expose the darker side of this issue.

        An occasional open comments forum could even be couched in arm’s length [let's see what's out there] terms so that the site would be seen as doing a service to people of good faith, on all sides, to let them know what they’re all up against. This site is a bit of a lightning rod because it represents and pushes the prospect of real change. It might be good to exorcise the peripheral “spirits” resisting that change, periodically.

        But then my name’s not on the masthead. Just a thought…

    • LeaNder
      January 25, 2012, 6:15 pm

      I don’t like it one bit.

      From my perspective you do not belong to the mindset that wants to draw the straight line of “Jewish power” all the way back to the Nazis, with the Nazis being victims of the evil manipulators in the process.

      Israel’s own denial is a very, very different story.

      Deniers SHOULD BE exposed and not gagged and kicked down the basement stairs.

      That’s not always as easy as we would want it to be. You would need to know all the crevices and human stains they exploit. And they seem to be quite effectively selling their tale: about the huge Jewish conspiracy to prevent scholarship on the Holocaust. Read this books and the scales will fall from your eyes. Besides how much work can you devote to expose them?

  19. Newclench
    January 25, 2012, 4:06 pm

    Progress. I approve!

  20. Boycott Israel on Campus
    January 25, 2012, 4:07 pm

    The problem with this site is not silly comments. I skip them. The problem is the whole Palestine solidarity movement. For almost ten years, it’s been almost devoid of Arab students, who can really push the movement to victory.

    The movement is too old, too full of crusty white couch potatoes who think A LOT about Jews. This site reflects that overly large part of the movement, and also the small Arab student part of the movement.

    Better to encourage the students to grow. Join them on their campuses to demand boycott resolutions against Israel. Until you do, simply policing this site will only gag the timid, old, weak voices who comprise the movement up to now. Those voices are better than nothing. Let them talk.

    Anyone who denies the European Holocaust or the current Holocaust against Arabs is an idiot. Yet empowering yourself to ban them seems ill-advised. Banning can become a bad habit.

    I am too accustomed to being banned from virtually every discussion simply for demanding boycott against Israel. Even demanding boycott supposedly “leads to” anti-Semitism, according to those who have banned it from discussion. This “leads to” argument is a slippery slope.

    Yes, the “Transfer Agreement” (well documented in the book by Edwin Black) — which saved the Nazis from being boycotted– did not cause the Nazi rise to power. You’re right about that.

    But that agreement saved the Nazis from being overthrown. It saved them, and screwed the world. Furthermore, study of the “Transfer Agreement” does shed light on what Zionists were then, and still are now: ready to sacrifice millions of lives to have a Zionist state. Do you really want to protect Zionists from that very well-documented truth?

    I guess if you want a site where commenters are very, very careful, you need rules. And you need enforcers. Too bad for a lot of us.

    • wondering jew
      January 26, 2012, 1:12 pm

      BIOC- You write that Edwin Black writes that the Transfer Agreement saved the Nazis from being overthrown. If your edition of “The Transfer Agreement” includes this conclusion by Black, you should quote it. My edition did not include such a conclusion. It ended with a question whether the agreement from the Jewish perspective was madness or genius.

      I think most historians would agree that the probability that the boycott movement could have overthrown Hitler is low. Particularly given the fact that the FDR administration was primarily concerned with reviving the American economy I don’t know how a Germany in chaos would have helped the American economy and I doubt that the boycott movement could have overthrown Hitler. Do you have access to any scholarly studies that assert that Hitler was teetering on the edge ready to be pushed off until the Zionist agreement was announced? If not, then you should at least insert the 3 words “in my opinion” when your opinion is not shared by Edwin Black or some other historian.

      • Hostage
        January 26, 2012, 3:23 pm

        BIOC- You write that Edwin Black writes that the Transfer Agreement saved the Nazis from being overthrown.

        He actually didn’t attribute that comment to Black. He simply said that the “Transfer Agreement” was well documented in the book by Edwin Black. There are a multitude of sources available for “study of the Transfer Agreement” and what the Germans feared about the Jewish Boycott at the time. See for example: Edwin James, The Nazis Begin To Dodge Anti-Semitic Boomerang; Hitlerites Weaken On Jewish Boycott In Face Of World-Wide Protests And Peril To German Trade. Propaganda Drive Continues Minister Of Enlightenment Announces That All Now Depends On Quick Cessation Of “Campaigns Against Germany.”The New York Times, April 2, 1933.
        link to select.nytimes.com

        The Iranians aren’t going to wait and read the post hoc analysis or debates between historians or scholars regarding the effectiveness of the sanctions regime. The Nazis didn’t wait around before they responded either.

        FYI, Edwin Black wrote

        “Whether or not this new boycott actually possessed the punishing power to crush the Reich economy was irrelevant; what mattered was that Germany perceived the Jewish-led boycott as the greatest threat to its survival–and reacted accordingly.

        Relentless in exploiting the Nazis’ vulnerability, Rabbi Wise and the other boycott leaders were determined to form one cohesive international movement under the banner “Starve Germany into submission this winter.” But Hitler succeeded in averting this scenario by exploiting divisions within world Jewry.

        link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

        So even if the boycott didn’t threaten the German economy, it did threaten the popularity and political future of Hitler and the Nazi party. Black claims Hitler used the Zionists to prevent that threat from materializing.

        Imagine if a Palestinian refugee organization signed a similar deal to obtain compensation or minimize their losses under a scheme to circumvent a boycott and sell Caterpillar equipment to Israel for use in constructing the wall or demolishing the homes of their brethren in the occupied territories. That sort of division in the Palestinian community would be a propaganda bonanza whether or not the BSD movement constituted a serious threat to Israel.

      • lysias
        January 27, 2012, 1:53 pm

        If you want evidence that the Nazi regime would have fallen if it had not been for the Transfer Agreement, read Heinz Höhne’s Gebt mir vier Jahre Zeit [Give Me Four Years], about the first four years of Nazi rule. He makes it quite clear that the Nazi economy was critically dependent on imports and therefore on foreign exchange, which the boycott threatened to make unavailable.

        Adam Tooze’s The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy, about the whole period of Nazi rule, documents how imports and foreign exchange were important to the Nazi government throughout the 1930’s, and eventually played a major role in bringing about World War Two.

      • lysias
        January 27, 2012, 2:07 pm

        I worked in a bank in Vienna in the summer of 1966, and I saw with my own eyes how obsessed the people there still were with foreign exchange (Valuten).

      • wondering jew
        January 27, 2012, 4:27 pm

        Hostage- 1. If you truly believe that BIOC was not implying that his source included Black, the only source he quotes, I want you defending me in a court of law. Technically BIOC is not liable in a court of law for the inference, but in a debate in a comments section, he is guilty as charged.

        2. Quoting the NYTimes from April 2, 1933 is extraneous. Hitler’s sensitivity to the boycott’s potential was clarified in Black’s book. But the fact is after the burning of the Reichstag, which occurred a month before the Jewish boycott rally at MSG, which spurred the April first “nicht kaufen bei Juden” day, the only thing that would have removed Hitler from power was a military coup. Not popularity. And unless you can produce quotes that indicate that the military was about to overthrow Hitler as a result of the boycott, then the line about “popularity and political future of Hitler and the Nazi party” strikes me as silly.

        You are correct that the transfer agreement was a blow to anti Nazi unity. I do not question that.

        But there are questions that are not clear: I do not know how many of the Jews who fled Germany for Palestine/Israel would have survived the war if they had not fled in that direction and I don’t know how many would have fled in that direction if there had been no transfer agreement.

        But BIOC’s leap was not worthy of defense.

      • Hostage
        January 27, 2012, 9:59 pm

        wondering jew the bottom line from Edwin Black’s article at the Jewish Virtual Library is that “No one can say what combination of factors might or not might have stopped Hitler.” What we do know is that two years before the Transfer Agreement was signed in 1933, the first Nazi plans to intern and starve the Jews to death were revealed when the “Boxheim Document” was published.
        link to time.com

        In 1933 the body of the former Nazi who was responsible for the disclosure of the Boxheim document was found on a railroad track near Frankfort. He had been shot by former Nazi party colleagues who then threw his body from a bridge to the railroad tracks, about fifty feet below. At the same time reliable reports surfaced that there was somewhere between ten to one hundred thousand political prisoners in German concentration camps and that people were being shot in flight or while attempting to escape. So many Jews were appalled that the Zionists had formed a business partnership with the Nazis. link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

        Black wrote that the Nazis had run on a party platform of improving the economy and that the boycott had cut German exports by 10 percent. The Germans had a tradition of universal military service, so there was no shortage of potential manpower to overthrow an unpopular regime.

        I do not know how many of the Jews who fled Germany for Palestine/Israel would have survived the war if they had not fled in that direction and I don’t know how many would have fled in that direction if there had been no transfer agreement.

        Even under the recently adopted R2P norm, no one is planning on moving populations of millions of people. The international community still plans to issue declarations warning those who commit genocide or war crimes that they will be held responsible; hunted for the rest of their lives; and prosecuted. The Allies issued a Declaration to the Nazis, but they had no way to project any force or effect the course of events in Germany at the time. See:
        *”Allied Declarations Condemning German Atrocities In Occupied Territories” Foreign relations of the Untied States 1941 link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu
        *Allied declarations condemning German atrocities in occupied territories; proposal for the creation of a United Nations commission for the investigation of war crimes, pp. 45-71 Foreign relations of the Untied States diplomatic papers, 1942. General; the British Commonwealth; the Far East
        link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu
        link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

        I’ve noted in the past that neither the Zionists nor anyone else had the capability to save the entire Jewish population of Europe. There is simply no precedent for transferring a population of more than 8 million people to safety during a world war. The majority here claim that it is financially impractical to transfer a few hundred thousand settlers across the Green Line and provide housing, jobs, food, and services in the locations receiving them. I’ve worked on armed forces war planning and logistics planning staffs which handled operations involving the movement of 500,000 troops. I can assure you that there aren’t any spare transportation and logistics resources for moving an extra eight to six million people and feeding or housing them in your spare time while a war is going on.

        A much larger US population couldn’t even conduct combat operations in two theaters and respond to the needs of a million people displaced by hurricane Katrina at home. That’s one of the many reasons it was such a “disaster”. Most modern critics simply fail to take the logistics and financing for a project of the requisite scale into account and overestimate the possible value of a Jewish State in Palestine, e.g See
        *’Hitler’s holocaust plan for Jews in Palestine stopped by Desert Rats’ link to independent.co.uk
        *Klaus-Michael Mallmann, Martin Cüppers, Nazi Palestine: The Plans for the Extermination of the Jews in Palestine, Enigma Books, 2009
        link to books.google.com

        The problem was the folks hell bent on committing genocide, not the location of their intended victims around the globe.

      • patm
        January 28, 2012, 6:52 am

        Lets not forget that Roma (Gypsies) were also sent to the concentration camps, resulting in about 200,000 Gypsy deaths. And that physically and / or mentally handicapped, homosexuals, and Polish intellectuals accounted for at least another 200,000.

      • Citizen
        January 28, 2012, 8:45 am

        Further, let’s not forget many native Gentile Germans were murdered and sent to concentration camps as undesirables before others were even touched.

        PS: Priority number one on the later murder list were Roma and Jews. As many Roma died proportionately as Jews.

      • kma
        January 28, 2012, 1:27 pm

        that sounds like “denial” of what truly happened to the Polish.

      • Citizen
        January 28, 2012, 3:56 pm

        The Poles were attacked from both sides, yet today they get slandered for not helping the Jews in their midst enough. So, now that the Jews have their own state since 1948, who are they helping besides themselves, subtracting miniscule PR OPs? I can imagine what would happen if the USA or Israel was attacked by superior forces from two sides the way the Poles were.

  21. Danaa
    January 25, 2012, 4:22 pm

    So, the intemperate calls to temperance win – Bruce, Donald and eljay must be ecstatic. Many of us here are disappointed but hardly surprised. In my mind it was a question of time, really, maybe because I know that patterns are immutable (if I may be so pompous as to say that. Or is pomposity banned too now?).

    In Israel they are about to or have already banned references to a word – “nazi”. They are also banning comparisons of Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto. I have every expectation that whatever new rules and curbs on speech Israel comes up with, will spread to the US, not by leaps and bounds, but in a steady trickle that will become a torrent. And since israel will only move further to the right, the curbs on free speech will increase in frequency and severity over there whatever the rosy glassers, dreamland 2 staters think (not to mention those who see their job as pulling the wool over our collective eyes of whom we have the occasional visitor here, at MW).

    On DailyKos it also started as a ban on CTs. First it was 9/11. Then it was Kennedy Assassination. Then it was USS Liberty ( a toxic subject, anyone?). Then the Warsaw Ghetto references. From there on the road was clear to banning pretty much everybody who was anybody. The result being – foreign affairs are hardly ever discussed there much, and the entire site has become “bash Republicans” garden party. Too bad I can’t stand even popping in there any longer (on doctor’s orders, am not allowed to visit sites for sore eyes). I really liked their science poster, their hurricane man, and a couple other philosopher types.

    As for the new rules – I just have three questions:
    1. Are we not to refer any more to the “Dancing Israelis”? that’d be too bad since I like dance. There’s way too little of it around.
    2. Do I have to forgo MRW’s periodic love declarations? Who will take his place?
    3. Do we all have to be super-polite now and profess false respect for whom we have none?
    4. Are references to Gilad Atzmon verbotten too? is he in Herem on MW?

    Oops, I lied (is that a banning offense?). Not only that, but I also have a tiny request: can the site also please consider banning discussions of “Just War” theories (or, as Shingo the commenter, who I hope is still around, said best “Just a War”)? Some of us found that entire concept kind of obscene, given the reality (rivers of blood, charred flesh, etc.). Mention of such alone is bound to boil vulcanic (certainly among some who had introduction to actual war, “just” or otherwise…). And volcanic eruptions are bad for the site, no?

    • Tuyzentfloot
      January 25, 2012, 4:59 pm

      3. Testing…
      MRW and Danaa are sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G!

    • teta mother me
      January 25, 2012, 5:34 pm

      re: “I have every expectation that whatever new rules and curbs on speech Israel comes up with, will spread to the US, not by leaps and bounds, but in a steady trickle that will become a torrent.”

      right-o, Danaa; here’s an example of how that works: a few days ago, Rand Paul missed a vote in Washington because he set off an alarm in a TSA scanner, and refused to submit to a pat-down.
      The interesting part is the comments to the article, on the GOP USA website:

      link to gopusa.com

      42 comments, 8 of them saying, “We should be like Israel [ie conduct airport security like Israel]”

      a sample —

      Isreal leadership act like serious adults

      January 23, 2012 @ 4:29 pm
      I agree 100%! ISRAEL knows how to handle the airport screening process. If we need to profile, then by God…PROFILE! Enough of this PC ****! To all muslims: if we hurt your feelings, sorry. We gotta’ do what we gotta’ do!

      Comment by conservativepatriot
      January 23, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

      The answer is simple; you stop this idiotic searching of innocent people and target those who have been the only ones involved in terrorist attacks: muslims. We are a nation upon whom these terrorists have declared war; we are therefore trying to fight a war and we don’t even know who we are fighting. Let’s stop with the PC lunacy and realize that it although certainly not all muslims are terrorists, virtually all terrorists are muslims. The chance of a Christian or Jew being a terrorist is remote. So concentrate on the muslims and leave the rest of us alone!

      Israel.
      Coming soon to an airport near you.

      • Citizen
        January 25, 2012, 6:11 pm

        Exactly, teta mother me. and look at what Obama just formally legalized; any American can be put away for good, just swept away by a local military detachment, or shot overseas. Nothing needed to do so except an unaccountable guy or girl saying the target is somehow aiding anybody or group put on the terrorist shit list by other unaccountable folks–how many Arab Americans are in the Homeland Security ranks or, most especially, leadership?

    • eljay
      January 25, 2012, 7:18 pm

      >> So, the intemperate calls to temperance win – Bruce, Donald and eljay must be ecstatic.

      I don’t understand why you and other members are so keen on defending the right to be as dirty and sling as much mud as Zio-supremacists do. Why does taking the high road – and avoiding offending potential pro-Palestinian supporters – bother you so much? (Rhetorical question.)

      Anyway, the new rules are about banning Holocaust and Nakba denial, and 9/11 theories. So, while I do note your sarcastic comment, I’ll simply reply that I’m not “ecstatic” about them, but I do agree that they, too, make good sense.

  22. Les
    January 25, 2012, 4:24 pm

    A variation of the denials is that the Holocaust/Nakba were nowhere near as bad as people think and, thus, not worthy of discussion.

    • dahoit
      January 26, 2012, 9:39 am

      Well,the holocaust has been discussed and trumpeted in the MSM for 66 years,and as most people who hear the word nakba have no idea what it is,I would say they are horses of different colors and only one is beaten daily,and we know which one that is.

  23. Cliff
    January 25, 2012, 4:40 pm

    GOOD

    What about when Richard Witty says the Nakba was a necessary wrong?

    Or when he equates the removal of illegal Jewish colonies to the Nakba while simultaneously trivializing and dismissing the Nakba as “academic”? (Think the Zionist appropriation of Palestinian culture/food/history/etc. for it’s own.)

    And I have read hophmi deny the Nakba before. Will he be banned?

    You will NEVER enforce these policies on people like Dick Witty, Phil. Never. EVER.

    So this is just paying lip service.

    For all the good things you do, Phil, I won’t ever dismiss Mondoweiss, but goddamn you’re full of it on this issue.

    • eljay
      January 25, 2012, 6:36 pm

      >> What about when Richard Witty says the Nakba was a necessary wrong?

      Good point. I’m curious to know whether guys like RW and eee will be permitted to continue espousing their repulsive and immoral views.

      >> RW: I cannot consistently say that “ethnic cleansing is never necessary”.
      >> 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.
      >> RW: I feel that the nakba [sic] was a necessary wrong …
      >> RW: The nakba [sic] that occurred in 1948 was accompanied by the independence, the liberation, of the Jewish community. So, I primarily celebrate …

      >> eee: Ethnic cleansing is an evil that was necessary to create a greater good, a viable Jewish state.

    • W.Jones
      January 25, 2012, 7:31 pm

      And by the way, Slater’s view on the Nakba is that compulsory relocation of a signifciant part of the native population was necessary, except he only approves “acceptable” mandatory relocation, meaning financial compensation. He distinguishes this from the Nakba, which he considers to be the abuses carried out during the compulsory relocation of 1948.

      • ToivoS
        January 25, 2012, 11:16 pm

        You guys bring up a real dilemma that Phil and Adam must confront. They want to exclude the more overtly racist, trolling comments from the Zionist side and at the same time allow the racist Zionist let us all know what they really think. Imagine (I am sure this has already been mentioned) if the American press banned Bull Conner’s raging racist antics from being publicized. It was this exposure that helped pass the 1965 Civil Rights legislation.

      • Cliff
        January 26, 2012, 6:34 pm

        You make a great point there Toivo.

        I don’t like the tacking on of Holocaust denial w/ Nakba denial – not in and of itself but w/ respect to MW. There has never EVER EVER been a group of commentators on this forum who have made Holocaust denying arguments.

        The individuals who have were immediately banned. And I remember those cases – they weren’t so much overt deniers as they were comments tinged w/ antisemitism (not the identity politics smear that Zionist trolls on MW regularly use).

        Phil has, and unfortunately I have a life so I have not saved these comments from 4 years ago, not moderated anti-Muslim, anti-Arab, anti-Palestinian or Nakba-denying comments w/ the same caution/anxiousness.

        The fact that a sock-puppet troll like ‘Robert Werdine’ (pretends to be an Arab Muslim, but is likely a Zionist Jew) thinks:

        But I do believe that the war resulted from the Arabs’ (I don’t want to say the Palestinians because they never had a say in the matter) rejection of the partition and the refugee crisis resulted from the war.

        This is an example of denial. If you think the Holocaust can be excused because Jews brought it on themselves by not blah-blah-blah then you are a Holocaust denier. It might be a blanket term, but the point is you’re trivializing a tragedy for an entire people. Paying lip service to the atrocities is what the Zionist Jew, ‘Werdine/LeFavour’, is doing.

        Now, I have no faith in Adam or Phil to moderate these people. If Richard Witty can get to 11K comments where he says the Nakba was a ‘necessary wrong’ or that he would have held his nose at the atrocities, but tacitly supported them or that he believed it was done out of fear of another Holocaust (something Phil has accepted as a legitimate reason in response to a recent guest article by Kevin Something) – then newer trolls like ‘Werdine/LeFavour’ can get away with *anything*.

        Hophmi blamed the Palestinian people because of the Grand Mufti. He called the Palestinian people, ‘Hitler supporters’. Did Phil Weiss do a goddamn thing about that?

        No.

        But apparently if you link Jews to Nazism or something (whatever it is, Phil and Adam are saying you cannot say – I didn’t read it completely) you are going to be moderated.

        The same kind of double standard exists here (Arabs and Jews, Palestinians and Israelis, etc.) but they are just on a completely other level ( a much better level, so I am appreciative and not taking this site out of context w/ the horrid MSM ).

        The true ‘moderation’ comes in the form of people in our comments section who don’t sit by and let the liars like Witty, hophmi (who even lied about bringing up the Mufti – then I quoted him/then he vanished) or Werdine slander the Palestinians and their tragedy. Above you’ll see Hostage already making the best response to Werdine’s bullshit.

        Nothing will change here as per these new rules because:

        A) there are no Holocaust deniers here and if they are, they will have signed up at MW tomorrow to troll the blog.

        B) people like hophmi and Witty and eee (whom Jerome Slater admires) are representative of the views expressed by most of Zionist Jewry

        So if you ban them, then there are no Zionists on MW.

        Not that it’s horrible here as things are – it’s not by any stretch of the imagination.

        I also don’t care if Witty denies the Nakba because people like him only draw in like-minded racists/tribalists/etc.

        Maybe we only draw in like-minded people as well – but I have always believed that dialogue w/ Zionism is a (excuse my language) fucking waste of time.

        After 45 years and the political zeitgeist of American culture, Israeli culture, among other things – what’s the point?

        My dad is educated, a professional who is one of the most-sought-out in our State but he’s a right-winger. And yet, he is not well-read on a lot of the issues. He doesn’t talk about politics. It’s just his team.

        That is the sad fact. We don’t live in the Dark Ages. It’s 2012, and most people in the US can find MW if they want to! Don’t give me any sob story about the MSM being pro-Israel (it is) because you’re not strapped to your chair, forced to watch.

        The only thing to note is:

        1) do people, when cognizant of the inconvenient facts, apply similar moral standards and judgments
        a. do they also come to the same logical conclusions

        If not, then you are biased. Plain and simple. Most people are biased.

        Another:

        2) do people use convenient facts to bolster their biases?

        We’re also all guilty of this. However, not all of us are able to donate millions to Newt Gingrich’s campaign (and of course, if you can, you don’t give a shit about #1 and 2 anyway!)

        I believe in pro-Palestinian solidarity activism. Whatever discussion happens here is just to refine the rebuttals to the destabilizing logic of Zionism as a whole.

      • Cliff
        January 26, 2012, 6:41 pm

        One more thing:

        I mentioned Phil’s, more or less, agreement w/ Kevin Something ( I apologize, forgot the guy’s name) on the fear of another Holocaust and that THAT was an example of ‘walk in my shoes before you judge me’ sort of Wittyism.

        This guest author was responding to a string of Witty quotes I wrote, along w/ eljay’s comments too.

        It’s 2012. What other group enjoys this ‘I get to fuck up your life’-card because of their historical suffering?

        While the ‘fear’ is totally understandable – is this not justifying suicide bombing? Whatever Zionist Jews are fearful of cannot logistically compare to Palestinian fears – which are not existential. They are real-time, physical, on-going and past/present/future.

        That guest author by the way, ‘discovered’ his Jewishness (like so many apparently and yes, I am being sarcastic and cynical about this point) and so by that discovery feels a tribal time-traveling emotional connection to that fear shared by Zionist Jews in the Mandate.

        This stuff is nauseating.

  24. Tuyzentfloot
    January 25, 2012, 4:55 pm

    While I prefer Holocaust denial comments to go the way of crappy theories rather than banning them, I can see it would be a costly, painly and possibly counterproductive policy. In other words, it would be threadjacking. Hint!
    Banning Nakba denial seems to be motivated by the desire to be evenhanded. It would be banning a majority viewpoint. Well, probably not in the middle east. But I think it would be a weird policy.

  25. troubadore9
    January 25, 2012, 5:43 pm

    Mondoweiss has been more than unbiased in presenting facts pertaining to these areas.It is a complex set of issues for both areas and needs to be dealt with in a manner that is not personally judgmental.I think this is a wise move but I do have one reservation:

    The US msm does not cover such news unless it pertains to the bias of the publisher which without throwing stones,leaves out a great deal of news.There is no doubt that if the Americans had access to all of the world news,the thinking would change dramatically.I spoke volumms in that last sentence.

  26. Arnon Shwantzinger Too
    January 25, 2012, 5:49 pm

    I want to throw my voice in and say that I think both these additions to the comments policy are wrong and badly thought out.

    I live in Israel. Bills are being passed that would disallow us to discuss and dissect Nazis and the holocaust. And to draw comparisons between the rise of Nazism in Germany to what is happening in Israel today.

    I’m sad that Mondoweiss is also chipping in. I think Nazis and the holocaust need to be dissected and watered-down and made sense of. For too long has the Jewish establishment kept its stranglehold on this important piece of history. It’s time for that to go the way of the dodo. If holocaust denial enters the conversation for that purpose – of dissecting and picking apart Nazi/Jewish history – then that is the price to be paid.

    As for 9/11 and the controversies around it – this is also an important issue to dissect. The closer we are to it historically the more we can make sense of it. I don’t know if this was a Pearl Harbor type event or even a false flag attack a-la the burning of the Reichstag, but the different takes on this historic event deserve to be heard – even if we cannot reach a clear-cut conclusion with what we know today. Perhaps to be dissected by future historians.

    “We have dragons to slay” – then let them be slain. All of them.

    • Citizen
      January 25, 2012, 6:29 pm

      Kinda hard to keep 9/11 out of discussion here since it was used by the Bush regime to get us into Iraq, and Afghanistan, and now there’s a drum beat by the same players to get us into war on Iran–with Israel blatently leading the drum role. Not to mention, even the 9/11 Commission’s redacted report for public consumption blamed the attack on US foreign policy blowback, and within its pages the I-P conflict is stated as a prime example along with our troops stationed in SA; originally, the report specifically listed our rubber-stamping of Israel was the main feature drawing 9/11 blowback, as was supported by the hijackers themselves.

      • Adam Horowitz
        January 25, 2012, 8:16 pm

        Again, just to reiterate a point I made above, no one is saying you can’t discuss 9/11 (full stop). It’s obviously central to the site in many ways, especially the foreign and domestic policies that followed. There are many other forums on the web to discuss and debate the theories/intricacies of the actual events of 9/11/01, this isn’t one of them.

    • dahoit
      January 26, 2012, 9:24 am

      It amazes me that discussions about topics like the holocaust are banned,when the claims put forth by alleged deniers are so unfactworthy,that their exposure by the real facts would prove the deniers falsehoods and reaffirm the historical record spouted by the Zionists.
      What are they afraid of?

  27. anonymouscomments
    January 25, 2012, 5:51 pm

    There is no equating Nakba denial and Holocaust denial, just as the events themselves are not equatable (there are some stark ideological and functional similarities so comparisons are sometimes interesting, but the orders of magnitude scale differences makes equating them an obvious red line). I actually think there is a fundamental difference between the two, and we might want to take this into account: the prevalence of the false belief.

    1) Holocaust denial is absurd, and an itsy bitsy tiny sliver of Americans engage in such. The ban makes sense (and I can understand banning questionable discussions around the complex WWII/pre-WWII history as well; this is not always a “form of Holocaust denial”, can be valid discussion, but can be a sandbox for anti-Semites… we don’t need to go there on MW for any real reason, so why get distracted and diverted?).

    2) Nakba denial is common in the American Jewish community. It is not just common, I am pretty confident it is the NORM. Of my Jewish family, I think with ~2 exceptions, everyone partakes in some form of Nakba denial/absurd rationalization. Then we have the larger American community, where the knowledge base is all over the map. Most Americans know nothing about the Nakba (never heard the word), and those who do know basics about the founding of Israel, often are Nakda deniers.

    We have the “invented people” meme. The “land without a people for a people without a land” BS. We have the Imam said X, invading armies, or whatnot excuse. We have the absurd “trading” of refugees rationalization. We have absolute ignorance about the demographics between 1850 and 1950, and the whole flow of populations. These ideas are common, but we can all handily refute these ideas with a mix of sound logic and historical fact.

    So what am I saying here? I’m saying that Nakba deniers offer a teachable moment. Possibly a transformative and very important teachable moment. This is not being insensitive to the victims of the Nakba, because MW will rip a hole in their false reality so fast and so large they might not sleep that night. In fact, letting the various forms of Nakba denial get posted here allows us to do justice to the living memory of the victims of the Nakba.

    I’m not minimizing the ignorant, insensitive, uneducated, and immoral arguments Nakba deniers make. I just realize that there are a hell of a lot of them, they are often spoon-fed their position, and they might even be part of our target audience. Even “liberal Zionists” often espouse Nakba denial positions.

    Also, if we shut down comments from people who sincerely come here to learn and debate, yet came with false beliefs they were indoctrinated with, we may loose someone who was open to change. We should not allow trolls, or repeat offenders, but we should not turn away an indoctrinated soul possibly open to change.

    So as much as it may pain the commenting crew, I think we should re-hash history whenever a Nakba denier comes forth. Often we are actually preaching to the choir here, and my favorite audience is someone who knows little, or was seriously misguided by a false narrative and is taking in a new perspective.

    I’m rambling… but please let the Nakba deniers in so we might change them. The few Holocaust deniers are an unimportant fringe who we will not be able to change, nor would we want to waste our time on them.

    Put please, by all means, I suggest you poll some of the Palestinian commenters and contributors here. My feeling is that due to the sick prevalence of Nakba denial, they are not shocked by the ignorant BS, and they would like such to be refuted. It may seem unfair the way we treat the different forms of bigotry, but I think it makes rational sense based on the intended audience, the goals of the website, and what is *actually* prevalent in American/Jewish/Israeli discourse.

    • David Samel
      January 25, 2012, 6:45 pm

      anonymous – I think your observations are quite insightful. Your opinions that the Holocaust was worse than the Nakba, but that Nakba denial is a worse problem than Holocaust denial because it is more mainstream, but that Nakba deniers should not be banned, all seem at first glance to be hopelessly inconsistent, but I agree with them all. It also seems odd that a pro-Palestinian rights website might allow Nakba denial comments but not allow Holocaust denial, but for the reasons you stated, it makes sense to me.

      I am quite sure that Adam and Phil not only spend inordinate amounts of time on moderation of comments but fret about how to do it best. I wish I had more suggestions for them but I find the problem quite vexing.

      • Scott
        January 25, 2012, 8:33 pm

        Agree with anoymous and D Samel.

      • ritzl
        January 26, 2012, 1:11 am

        Seconded/Thirded.

    • W.Jones
      January 25, 2012, 7:25 pm

      Yes, I agree with An.C. here. We should allow Nakba denial comments so long as we are able to address them and we are talking about people who at least seriously consider the evidence for Nakba.

      Remember the girl on Shalom TV who said she found out that Nakba existed even though she was brought up hearing the opposite? Rather than shutting down serious honest discussion we should allow it when the person is open to considering viewpoints and the comments are decent. I disagree with closing down all discussion of a question.

    • Adam Horowitz
      January 25, 2012, 8:26 pm

      Thanks for the comment. Regarding this:

      “Also, if we shut down comments from people who sincerely come here to learn and debate, yet came with false beliefs they were indoctrinated with, we may loose someone who was open to change. We should not allow trolls, or repeat offenders, but we should not turn away an indoctrinated soul possibly open to change.”

      It’s usually pretty obvious when this is the case and we would never kick someone off the board in this situation. We’re much more concerned with trolls.

      The second point, and this is one I’ve made in other part of the thread, I agree with all the areas you say need education, but I just wonder why we need nakba deniers to do that? As you point out Newt Gingrich gives us ample opportunity. I agree we should take on the issues head on, but as your comment shows, we all know the myths/lies. Why do we need them repeated here?

      • David Samel
        January 25, 2012, 9:55 pm

        Adam, I must be in a very pliant mood. Maybe you’re right. The usual hasbara about the Nakba that anon sums up quite well in a single paragraph is tiresome and hardly worth the effort to refute. Every once in a while, a newby troll comes along wanting to educate all of us with this regurgitated BS.

      • anonymouscomments
        January 25, 2012, 10:12 pm

        adam-

        i think your actual enforcement would largely fit with what i think is best anyways. so i may be beating a dead horse.

        i think one tough thing is that “Nakba denial” itself is very ill-defined, and i do not even know where it starts or ends (i think there is a spectrum, and for many it is more like “Nakba rationalization” or “Nakba apologist” or “misinformation about what went actually went down, on the ground”). reasonably informed people do not deny the population flows, but they often have been miseducated, and/or are bred on ridiculously false self-serving ‘logic’.

        those people will often come here, and i think we should take the time to engage them, and we should engage them in a respectful manner. they are just a casualty of pervasive propaganda or ethnocentric bias, and i literally pity them. but they are *numerous*. from my experience they are frequently hopeless, but not always. and the info they receive can plant seeds which grow in time.

        also, another group has NO sense of the history (usually average non-Jewish American), and they are very open to receiving the facts. if they came here to read on some US-Israeli political development, they might be amazed to read some calm Nakba discussion in the comments section.

        if people here do not like the (admittedly repetitive) charade, then i guess block the comments, but we should note they are often sincerely espousing all-to-common myths, and they are one of the main “target audiences”. this is where i see MW being on the cutting edge, and helping to open up people’s mind.

        there are two things i think MW is the *best* at offering-
        1) uncovering the present, the MSM ignores
        2) continually and repeatedly uncovering the true history of israel (the Nakba key, but also the true history of other wars and the intifadas)

        of course you do have articles that reach back to the Nakba, but they are rare compared to the steady flow of current events. if we can engage some young Jewish kid (or whatever) who jumps in and begins by giving the standard line he was fed his whole life, we stand a good shot at altering his perspective….. especially if we treat him with respect, and less condescension than we often indulge in. then on top of that you have dozens and dozens of additional readers who are less ideological and just wandered down into the comments section, after reading an article- they might see a discussion on a history they never knew, and many people see I/P only in the present, or since the 1st intifada, or since 1967… there is no history before that for them.

        i love splitting hairs with the regulars, and we can get deep into nuanced analysis and opinion, or minor disagreements, but at the end of the day we are all on the same team (truth and justice). but in fact, the commentary threads that likely hit the “target audience” the hardest is when we dumb it down to school someone on the Nakba, who perhaps busted in ranting about “population exchanges” or whatnot.

        take MW principle aims #3 and #4-
        3. To foster the movement for greater fairness and justice for Palestinians in American foreign policy.
        4. To offer alternatives to pro-Zionist ideology as a basis for American Jewish identity.

        a key to those goals are endlessly repeating what actually happened (Nakba especially), and what is happening, in articles and in commentary. we ALL know it soooooo well. but the people we need to reach (almost by definition) do not. and i would love to “waste my time” on them.

      • kalithea
        January 25, 2012, 11:35 pm

        People who come on the site to deny the Nakba are trolling bigots who want to ridicule and silence all sympathy for Palestinians and criticism of Zionism. Let them school themselves! Only I doubt schooling is what they’re after.

        Why should bigotry and offensive insensitivity against Palestinians be tolerable when it isn’t tolerated against Jews? Why should there be one rule to protect Jews and another leaving Palestinians unprotected and in the cold? Doesn’t this double-standard encourage and indulge Nakba deniers? Why give Zionists who deny the Nakba the satisfaction of thinking they can trample on Palestinian historical tragedy because they’re sub-human, after all their tragedy went unrecognized? To make Nakba denial intolerable is to make Palestinians human in the eyes of the world. Why should Palestinians and their painful history be OPEN SEASON and just more target practice for Zionists? Aren’t Zionists racist enough where Palestinians are concerned? Zionists work the numbers denial game. Every time they massacre Palestinians they play the numbers game; downgrading the number of casualties. They’ve been doing this from day one. This is all part of dehumanizing Palestinians to make the Zionist goal appear honorable and superior. This is how the injustice gets perpetuated; it’s the little game they play to fool the world.

        It’s hi-time Nakba deniers get their just desserts. If someone gets banned for denying the Nakba — GOOD. It’s about time Nakba denial is SHAMED and comes with a price!

        Engage them in a “respectful manner” my eye!

      • anonymouscomments
        January 26, 2012, 4:09 am

        Ok I think people do not know what type of comments I am hoping we continue to engage. Basically I don’t think we had an issue with it, and I liked the discussion on the Nakba that did come up when people popped up with some biased facts and sloppy logic to rationalize it.

        I think the term Nakba denial is actually very nebulous as well and that is also a reason for some disagreement. I consider the vast majority of American Jewry to be Nakba deniers….. and I thought a goal was to engage the wider Jewish community, warts and all. Perhaps I am putting far too many people in the Nakba denier category… but in my book this would mean we ban most Jews and Israelis should they voice their common misconceptions around 1947/48/49.

        A mindless zealot who endlessly spouts the standard hasbara I laid out in my post is annoying, likely beyond repair, and we should likely block that.

        I am talking more about sincere people who voice *some* of the too common misconceptions. The people who have gaps in the facts like most Israelis do (like most everyone does in the US). The people who are liberal Zionists and bought some of the simplistic rationalizations. Perhaps someone who contends most Palestinians migrated with the Jewish migration or something. There is a lot of nuance and facts around the Nakba, and the mainstream Jew (or whatever) needs to be guided through this transition in a way.

        So, I do not suggest we try to fight Nakba hasbara 24/7, but I think it is great to engage on the issue when it comes up. In fact, I think some of us learn some things when we go into it, and it helps us learn how to effectively engage in Nakba discussions. We get solid logic, and the most pertinent facts.

        Let me put it this way….

        I like how MW commenters engaged Nakba issues for the year I have been reading MW. Maybe I had nothing to worry about and nothing would change on this front….

        Can someone point to threads/comments that this new rule would have obliterated/blocked? If so, maybe then I’ll read it, agree, and chill out. If affected comments are very rare, then I am likely worrying about censorship that isn’t even going to happen in any substantive way.

      • anonymouscomments
        January 26, 2012, 4:22 am

        sorry for spamming here… wish i could delete my last rant

        AH:It’s usually pretty obvious when this is the case and we would never kick someone off the board in this situation. We’re much more concerned with trolls.

        this totally puts my mind at ease…. and i think the discussions i like and consider very productive will still remain.

      • anonymouscomments
        January 25, 2012, 10:29 pm


        and that is the type of transformation we can foster with our repetitive comments on the Nakaba, with Nakba deniers. one of the stated reasons for this website is “the Nakba”. if it ends up in the comments on 1 in 10 articles (which is much more than it currently does), I can only expect good things to come from it. while most of us in the choir can scroll past it, no harm done.

        [BTW the youtube video title calls zionism racism... i don't even like that framing... i consider it fatally racist in practice, and there are some zionists who aren't the least bit racist... but they are rare]

      • ritzl
        January 26, 2012, 1:19 am

        Because Gingrich would never post here, and the personal and close in refutation of the tactical daily talking point outflow is as important as, or more likely. more important than, the refutation of the top-level, and least likely to be heeded, top-level strategic founts of those talking points.

        IOW, this is the front line of the debate.

    • kalithea
      January 25, 2012, 10:23 pm

      I disagree. The Nakba is literally “the catastrophe”; a painful, history/life-altering tragic event in the history of Palestine. Palestinians and those who support them and long to see them retrieve their rights and their land are FED UP of having to explain repeatedly on every site that the state of Israel was created by terrorism and ethnic cleansing. Enough is enough. On the issue of the Nakba, I like the way Silverstein treats it. He comes out and literally tells the individual denying the Nakba that the next time they deny it they’re banned. This let’s the individual know: Hey, maybe you can go around pontificating that Palestinians never existed and the Nakba never happened or Palestinians left willingly, or parroting hasbara to deceive others into believing it never existed, but here you’re nothing but a disrespectful liar, and this lie won’t be tolerated here.

      But that’s different from having to continuously be on the defensive regarding one of the greatest injustices in history. I think it gives people the opportunity to ridicule the suffering of others. I get so angry and frustrated when I have to argue with Zionists ridiculing and denying the Nakba and dumping the hasbara script to undermine and suffocate the discussion. It just happens too often everywhere. I’d like it though if people understood: hey, if you deny the Nakba, you’re out; you’re silenced; you’re literally a vicious liar. I’d like everyone to get that message LOUD AND CLEAR.

      As far as the Holocaust is concerned, the same obviously applies but you can’t compare the unprotected Palestinian experience to that of Jewish experience. Jews are far more protected in many different venues from offensive bigotry, while Palestinians are open season for bigots and the MAJORITY of those bigots are ZIONISTS of various stripes.

      I wish, hope, pray that one day people get banned for pimping the Holocaust to justify injustice against others. Then I’ll believe the playing field is finally even.

      • anonymouscomments
        January 26, 2012, 12:30 am

        kalithea,

        although us non-palestinian, palestinian advocates, appear to vary on how we hope MW treats the topic, i suggest we get some opinions from palestinians on MW.

        so please, any palestinians out there, please let me know how you feel about it. i am thinking strategically here, i do not deny how insulting the whole thing is…. but it seems better to hear it, and see it summarily refuted, than censored.

        i can see how palestinians, and non-palestinians, may get sick of *personally* addressing such people…. sometimes i do. but i think we can always scroll down, and i think it is best to have it out with them. someone will always rise to the occasion here.

        deniers will look bad, they might change their minds once they get hit with some real facts, and others who read it most definitely might learn some things. win-win-win?

        BTW i do have a number of palestinian friends, and none really mention *sensitivity* to the BS zionists spout, they care primarily about REALITY and ACTIONS. crazy propaganda is really just par for the course, and a daily reality, even watching a g-damn presidential debate.

        in fact, i feel sick inside when i have to read about some protester shot dead on MW, and i am not palestinian. the propaganda is just exasperating and laughable (if it weren’t so serious). the words are like a side show, but that propaganda in reality is THE ENABLER. the lies are the reason the insanity exists, and why so many excuse or support israeli actions. so why should we not continually refute these dangerous myths?

        any person who sheds their false narrative, due to our commentary, brings us one step closer towards resolution. if we all hang our heads as we view some gruesome picture of what a rubber bullet can do, we allllll feel sick, but that did not bring us ONE step closer towards peace and justice.

        ////
        and this is one thing i think many I/P activists do not realize. a primary goal is americans and american jewry, OK, well understood. but the ULTIMATE goal, and the ONLY way we reach resolution, is when we get through to the majority of israelis. this cannot be just sticks, it needs to be carrots and sticks. they need to realize peace and justice is not only possible, but great for them.

        israel has elections, and they have nukes. though the international community could (with a miracle) prod them moderately in time towards a semblance of justice… the pressure is not going to get too steep if we want to be honest. we gotta work with israelis, currently steeped in pervasive racism and mythological history. so let’s focus on that whenever we can. we need to destroy their myths. we need to get through their siege mentality (which means patience, and being very cool-headed). we need them to realize peace is possible (and they are the only barrier to it).

        this does not mean BDS and international pressure do not play a role, but they need to be CONVINCED as well, not only PUSHED. israelis are not going to be forced to make a just resolution, they need to buy into it as well. we have a lot of work to do…

    • Shingo
      January 26, 2012, 8:22 am

      anonymouscomments,

      Superbly put. I think issuing a blanket ban on Nakba denial would be counterproductive. As you explained, so much perception and false history is tied to Nakba denial and to ban it would deny a platform to set the record straigth, not to mention, provising manyh of us with invaluable information from the likes of posters like Hostage.

      Banning Nakba denial might also be counter productive in other ways. AS mch as I hate to admit it, we need to encourage those people to visit this sight. Let ip their otes in the water. Those who are genuinely misinformed will gain some valuable information. Those who are only interested in peddling their hasbra will get a hiding…as they always have.

      Holocaust denial on the otehr hand is simply to destructive to be tolerated.

      • dahoit
        January 26, 2012, 9:16 am

        Ha ha ha ,destructive to who?The dead died 66 years ago,at the least.
        Ludicrous speed indeed.

  28. LanceThruster
    January 25, 2012, 6:14 pm

    I have always revealed to others who may disagree with me vehemently, that I consider it a sign of respect to express myself openly and honestly to anyone. Would they rather I hide my views out of fear they might find them offensive? How would I know what they felt if I shaded my views to be in line with what I presumed theirs were?

    Also, do not forget that those not allowed to express themselves freely find other ways (code words, etc.) to broadcast those same views. Furthermore, what dynamic would you find preferable, one where a person was free to express themselves as they saw fit (with the benefit of possibly being able to disabuse them of such reprehensible notions), or would you rather they held such views in secret as they pretended not to hold such a vile outlook?

    Considering how Israel Firsters have for so long gamed the refs by having a demonstrably public attack of the “vapours” anytime someone says something that might make Zionists cry, I say it is far better to err on the side of free expression.

    While I can certainly see how certain topics and conversations are a digression from the purpose of the blog overall, and as such I will comply to the best of my ability, both in the letter, and the spirit of the law…if I get banned, I get banned. A one strike rule seems rather extreme as I on occasion have felt the need to publicly apologize for upsetting another poster in one way or another.

    Tis better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.

  29. Talkback
    January 25, 2012, 6:15 pm

    It is a form of Holocaust denial to deny the support of some Zionists for Nazis dissimilation and expulsion politics.

  30. kylebisme
    January 25, 2012, 6:35 pm

    I’ve long been baffled by the many people who are committed to exposing how flagrantly dishonest our establishment’s position on Israel and Palestine is, yet treat things like our establishment’s position on 9/11 as if it were sacrosanct. I hope to find the answer to that some day, and am disappointed to find that Mondoweiss has now become yet another place where exploring the question is verboten.

    I’m also disappointed with the new rule on Shoah and Nakba denial. Not because I condone such ignorance, but rather because I’m a strong believer in the old adage that sunshine is the best disinfectant.

    • dahoit
      January 26, 2012, 9:12 am

      The fact that we could comment here freely did a lot to combat the perception that the Jewish and Zionist influence and control of our informational system to deny reality was not a complete monolith,and that there were some interested in facts and reality beyond the parameters expressed by the MSMs serial liars.

  31. soysauce
    January 25, 2012, 6:38 pm

    Good move, Adam and Phil.

  32. Sin Nombre
    January 25, 2012, 6:58 pm

    In general I’m against censorship and thought Donald’s plea for same was a very poor one, with poor reasoning.

    On the other hand given the bases articulated for the new rules here, and reading the entirety of Adam’s articulation of the same, they don’t strike me as unreasonable and certainly not any attempted unfairness or partisanship towards any particular view.

    I still think that in any number of unexpected ways some of these new rules are going to seem implicated, but then I see Adam posting further here anticipating gray areas, and certainly seeming to be intent on once again using reason to resolve these situations. To me at least perhaps the first rule of reason to be used in doing so is to err on the side of allowing comments, and once again by what Adam said about looking at what suspect commentators may repeat or say further seems very smart and sensibly-minded.

    One glitch I think already exists lies in the discrepancy of what Adam said enforcement consists of however: At first it seems they will ban violative comments.sddddddddddddddddc Then it appears to be said that *commentators* who violate will be banned. So which is it?

    Plus I think it would not be unwise or unfair for there to be some warning put on comments in the gray area that put Adam and Phil on the lookout for future banning of *either* that commentator, or for similar comments from that commentator or any others. (Depending on which there rules ban.)

    In short, so long as the rules are indeed applied as articulated, interpreted in keeping with the reasons they were applied in the first place, I don’t see them as impinging on much if anything.

    Like I say, you simply can’t anticipate every angle of how these things come up and so maybe I’m wrong, but I think Phil and Adam’s brains and sensibilities will probably go a very very long if not indefinite way towards not letting the reasonableness of these rules to become corrupted. Given the amount of work and care Phil and Adam have put into this site, destroying the integrity of this baby of theirs would hardly seem their intent.

  33. seanmcbride
    January 25, 2012, 7:59 pm

    I am betting that moderating comments can be exceedingly burdensome and tiresome — so many fine-grained judgments to make; so many feathers to be ruffled. Someone is always going to be offended. But without moderation, discussions can quickly descend into ugly chaos or be taken over by well-organized groups of fanatics.

    Bottom line: owners of blogs and websites should manage comments and discussions to suit their editorial tastes and agenda, and with no apologies — none are required.

    • Bruce
      January 25, 2012, 10:53 pm

      @seanmcbride

      I agree.

      And any group of readers can form their own community blog to discuss whatever they want, under whatever rules they agree, linking to any other blog’s postings they choose. In this way the Internet protects free speech without forcing a blog owner to deal with discussions that he or she doesn’t want to deal with.

      • seanmcbride
        January 26, 2012, 12:34 am

        Bruce,

        Social networks and discussion groups are infinitely and easily reconfigurable on the Internet. Which means that no single blog or website or collection of blogs or websites can control the discussion on any topic. If people have interesting and useful things to say about a topic, they will easily express themselves and find an audience. Their contributions will turn up high in search engine results.

  34. AJM
    January 25, 2012, 8:10 pm

    Just the facts… I think that this site may sometimes attract a certain 9/11 truther type, and some of them go way over the line. I’ve come across haters that still claim no Jews died on 9/11, when it is so ridiculous and has anyway been debunked over & over. Unfortunately, when discussing I/P, inevitably haters will use some articles as ammunition, will weave truth into their lies. Especially when its a Jewish voice – they think it gives them authenticity. Unfortunately there is a certain truth in the claim made by the Dersh, that criticism of Israel gives ammunition to haters. But that is no excuse to censor ones self, for fear of stoking a tiny minorities lies and hate.

    So Newt Gingrich isn’t welcome (I’m sure he’s an avid fan), as denial of Palestinian existence is surely the same as Nakba denial. It’s a prerequisite, there were no Palestinians to expel. btw, I’ve seen many ‘conservatives’ repeat this line, how has conservatism become so contaminated? Seems like true Conservatives e.g. Pat Buchanan, are wary of foreign ventures, influence, and should be all for Palestinian self determination / liberty. I hope Mondoweiss will promote those Conservatives voicing opposition to war w/ Iran, those few that speak out on Palestinian rights. Those of a Conservative persuasion need to hear dissenting voices from their own ranks, preaching to the choir can get you only so far.

    • kalithea
      January 26, 2012, 12:11 am

      “preaching to the choir can get you only so far.”

      I can’t stress enough why liberals should support Ron Paul’s nomination. He gets to reach a Conservative audience. What Conservatives are going to listen to a bunch of liberals trying to convert them on the Palestinian issue???

      Of course, with regards to Ron Paul around here, I’ve become persona non grata.

      • AJM
        January 28, 2012, 7:56 pm

        Aside from Ron Paul, there’s Scot Horton (wouldn’t want to categorize his politics – libertarian?), many writers for the American Conservative: Phillip Geraldi; above mentioned Patrick Buchanan; and god bless google, who do we have here… why its this sites humble personage – Philip Weiss! I see there’s already been some crossing off the divide, Mr Weiss is on the case.

        Then there’s Lew Rockwell: link to lewrockwell.com

        I’d be interested to know of any more Conservative/Libertarian media outlets and personalities that give a fair voice to Palestinians, they need to be promoted as much as possible.

  35. seanmcbride
    January 25, 2012, 8:21 pm

    9/11 — the neocons’ “New Pearl Harbor” — is the key to understanding everything that has gone wrong in American politics for the last decade. The official story has been thoroughly deconstructed and debunked by many bright minds, many of them highly respected members of the military and intelligence establishments and very few of them “conspiracy theorists.”

    Without 9/11, we would have had no Iraq War, no Afghan War, no Afpak War, no Global War on Terror, no Clash of Civilizations, no Patriot Act, no Military Commissions Act, no prospect of an Iran War, etc.

    Unless the subject of 9/11 is fully opened up for rational and factual investigation (not here, but in other forums), more 9/11s are on the way, probably much worse than the original 9/11.

    Was the Israeli Mossad involved in 9/11 in some way? Google [9/11 Mossad], examine all the facts that have been gathered to date by independent investigators, and judge for yourself. Keep in mind the well-documented history of Israel’s past false flag operations.

    Now back to our regularly scheduled transmission.

  36. Keith
    January 25, 2012, 8:22 pm

    PHIL, ADAM- As they say, the devil is in the details. While rule #1 is ostensibly to ban Holocaust and Nakba denial (a non-problem, in my view), you go on to say “We’re not going to tolerate any discussion of the Jewish role in the rise of the Nazis.” Depending upon how this is interpreted, this could infer that references to Zionist complicity with the Third Reich, and the exploitation of the Holocaust is now verboten. That would be a pity. Zionism has a sordid history which is highly relevant to current Israeli policies. It is comparable to US history in regards to the native Americans and black slaves which was ignored or whitewashed for too long, and which needs to be taken into account to understand how we got to be an empire.

    I can’t help but notice an amazing coincidence. On Donald’s recent post, a crypto Zionist provocateur from the past reappeared to make baseless charges and gross misrepresentations of other people’s comments to provoke a response which could be misrepresented as a manifestation of anti-Semitism. I am familiar with the thread jacking techniques of this person, having once been charged by him with making an anti-Semitic comment, a foul and baseless charge and an indication of anti-Gentile chauvinism. The thread was hijacked into an extended defense refuting his charges and misrepresentations. A lengthy discussion of Zionist perfidy, I might add, that would never have occurred without his initial allegation. Perhaps that was the intent. Perceived anti-Semitism is the mother’s milk of Zionism, and certain folks have devoted a lot of time and effort to creating that perception even if untrue and even if it involves blatant misrepresentation.

    Hey, it’s your website, and you have done a hell of a job so far, much better than I could, hence, I am loath to give you guys advice. I just hope you don’t overreact to outside influences and throw the baby out with the bath water.

    • Adam Horowitz
      January 25, 2012, 8:34 pm

      What’s a “crypto-Zionist”?

      I think I addressed above the issue of Zionist collaboration with the Nazis. Sure, that’s in bounds and it’s not what we had in mind, it’s fine. At the same, I have to say I don’t see it being incredibly relevant to what’s happening on the ground today. You don’t have to go back nearly that far to understand, critique and disassemble Zionism.

    • Bruce
      January 25, 2012, 9:24 pm

      @Keith and @Adam

      Being Keith’s so-called “crypto Zionist provocateur” from our previous go around, I am quite willing to reprint Keith’s PERVERSE TRIANGLE posting from his NO EMPIRE blog and let all the new readers determine whether I made “a foul and baseless charge.”

      Adam, since you have asked for a halt to such discussions I will not reprint for now. But if Keith is allowed to continue along this line, then I will. And if you are going to allow his remarks to stand that I am a “crypto Zionist provocateur” and that my response to him was an “indication of anti-Gentile chauvinism,” then I insist that I be allowed to reprint his remarks.

      • Danaa
        January 26, 2012, 12:08 am

        Bruce, read your comment again, and see whether this tit-for-tat isn’t exactly the kind of problem is that causes the need for moderation in the first place.

        You seem to have a tendency to take things awfully personally, a TSS (thin skin syndrome) perhaps? Whatever the issue is, zionism it isn’t.

        Sure hope Keith doesn’t take you up on yet another duel (despite the threats implicit in another of those “I Insist”‘s somebody is fond of throwing around).

      • Bruce
        January 26, 2012, 11:42 am

        @Danaa

        You are right, this is exactly the kind of tit-for-tat that causes the need for moderation in the first place, but I wrote the tat not the tit. It would have been my preference that the tit was excised or not written at all.

        After having brought it up, including calling me a “crypto Zionist provocateur,” indicating that I am motivated by “anti-Gentile chauvinism,” and presenting “baseless charges and gross misrepresentations of other people’s comments,” Keith now writes that he tries to avoid personal attacks and that “Our mutual dislike is not an appropriate topic for discussion.” Amusingly, you put it down to TSS.

        Let readers go through the postings for Bruce Wolman and determine for themselves if they are the writings of a “crypto Zionist provocateur.” There was one posting of mine that had your friends in an uproar, a less than flattering discussion of Ahmadinejad at the UN, and then my comments in the discussion about the Jews and Zionists roles in the Holocaust.

        I keep reading here about how everything needs to see the sunshine, how all points should be up for discussion, and that people should be free to speculate as they see fit. Keith exercised what he considers his prerogative, but when someone replies to his libels, he calls it thread jacking.

        I don’t recommend that anyone bother to read Keith’s “PERVERSE TRIANGLE.” I did, and I openly admit that I reacted to statements such as this:

        This financial success [of the Jews] has been significantly aided by Jewish organization and activism inspired and guided by Zionist ideology. Make no mistake, without the aggressive ideological and organizational solidarity centered on Zionism, it is unlikely that the Jewish elites would be nearly as successful as they are in relation to the gentile majority.

        Sorry, but I just don’t see how Sheldon Adelson making a fortune on his Las Vegas casinos has been “aided by Jewish organization and activism,” no matter how much I may object to Adelson’s political contributions on behalf of Israel, as if the Jews were responsible for Citizen’s United.

      • Keith
        January 26, 2012, 12:25 am

        BRUCE- You seem to have an overpowering desire to shoot yourself in the foot. I specifically didn’t name you because I try, as much as possible, to avoid personal attacks. Yet, here you are, making threats as usual. Rather than thread jack the current discussion, why not suggest that interested folks can go to your profile and scroll down to the “Katrina to Birthright to Gaza ….” thread, read all of the comments and judge for themselves? No need for you to copy and paste a short essay which is much too long for the comments section of Mondoweiss, you have already done that and left it for posterity. I’m not going to say anymore. Mondoweiss concerns the war of ideas in the Middle East. Our mutual dislike is not an appropriate topic for discussion.

  37. Eva Smagacz
    January 25, 2012, 8:38 pm

    I am deeply troubled by restrictions relating to discussion about the raise of Nazis in Germany and corresponding steps being taken on the road that ended in Holocaust.

    History repeats itself because human nature is predictable.

    If you don’t allow people to study and to learn from the way German society evolved to committ evil it did, you are precluding the possibility that similar evil be recognized sufficiently early to raise the alarm.

    Genocides follow a pattern. To deny this and to refuse platform to those who wish to point to lessons from living history, is unconscionable.

    If you are worried about commenters who bring this site to disrepute, I understand.

    But do I really, to make a point, have to seek examples from Armenian history or from Rwanda history about the developing dynamic between soon to be victims and soon to be perpetrators because European history is too complex ??!!!!!

    We do not censor people who compare drums of war against Iran with drums of war against Iraq.

    I was drawn to plight of Palestinians because I was stricken by obscene similarity of their plight to the plight of Jews in Poland and Germany before and during the second World War.

    Is saying the above is a banning offence?

  38. thetumta
    January 25, 2012, 8:39 pm

    So, is this a Goldstone moment? Sucked us in and then drop the Hammer? Sorry Kiddo, but it’s a legitimate question.

    The Zionist conflict was initiated in the 19th Century. It is totally entwined with the Big Power Politics of everything that has come since. Much of it very sordid. Every day what were facts yesterday are revealed to be questionable or false. It’s called the Internet! Somebody is always going to be offended(unless they can turn it all off).

    Several times in my comments, I have requested that you include a comment ignore button so any of your visitors can filter the comments of any user they choose, including Witty or me. This would have eliminated the need for this moment.

    This capability was not included in the last upgrade of this site. Why not? It ubiquitous on many Web comment boards at this point in time as it allows all viewers of the site to make their own choices. If someone is offended, one click and the offender is gone forever. Users can choose to not be offended, but not to impose their viewpoints on your blog.

    Get rid of your monitors/censors and add the comment user filter button. Take a look at Yahoo financial comments. Every other whack job on the planet is paid to move scams forward. That site and others would be unusable without this capability.
    Hej!

  39. jayn0t
    January 25, 2012, 8:55 pm

    Sites must have policies. However, one mistake I’ve noticed on some sites and blogs is that having made a rule ‘no discussion of X’, they then bar discussion of the rule too. One should always be allowed to discuss whether the rules are right. Otherwise you get into the circular problem when you can’t discuss on the radio, whether you can discuss on the radio, the seven words you are not allowed to say on the radio.

    Something similar happened on Wikipedia – people were barred for attempting to change the rules (on the denial of two things, one of which was global warming).

  40. American
    January 25, 2012, 10:41 pm

    O.K.
    1-Don’t deny the holocaust (who did?) and don’t deny the Nakba…..Check.
    2-Don’t discuss 911 ..Check. (won’t miss those never to be settled debates either.)

    But this leaves mountains of stuff on other topics that come up subject to someone else interpretating what someone means……that might be wrong.

  41. kalithea
    January 25, 2012, 11:56 pm

    So then if someone refers to the “dancing Israelis” they get banned but if another person brings up Palestinians dancing in the street on 9/11, that’s okay, right?

  42. American
    January 26, 2012, 12:19 am

    I have to ask…where did this all come from?
    True, I don’t read everything here, no way I have the time, but I haven’t seen holocaust denial on the site or anyone claiming Jews brought the holocaust on themselves. I have seen the usual zios claiming the Palestines ‘fled’ or answered the call to flee instead of being run out by the Israelis.
    So what precipitated this clean up program?

    • Annie Robbins
      January 26, 2012, 2:45 am

      american, check out the ‘discussed’ link.

      • American
        January 26, 2012, 3:13 am

        Annie….

        O.K..where is the ‘discussed link’? I don’t see one.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 27, 2012, 3:19 pm

        sorry i didn’t get back to you sooner american. on the home page to the right of the main post is a list of latest links in a very tiny font. (mirroring the lists down below with the larger font). as i type this it appears like this right now(my bold):

        Latest Most Shared Discussed

        1.Jabara and Ross thrill a drizzly Brooklyn crowd 2

        2. New film ‘We are Nabi Saleh’ offers a ‘portrait of … 0

        3.Video: 140 Israelis endorse Methodist church’s upcoming divestment resolution 2

        4. ‘Tablet’ says writers who talk about Israel Firsters are channeling … 11

        5. Josh Block is not an Israel firster! No way, man 5

        6. Obama opposes Assad’s human rights violations now, but not when … 2

        7. New checkpoint method: gassing Palestinian cars with unknown chemical 17

        8. Leader in fight for indigenous Australians’ rights is on board … 3

        those are the ‘latest’, if you click on ‘most shared’ or ‘discussed’ each one of those leads to another list. the thread i had in mind was on the top of the most discussed list for days, it has now been knocked off because the lists only include threads from the last 10 days. iow it was partly from acrimony on a thread from the 17th.

        it’s not solely just in response to that thread. but sometimes the threads generate emails to the site that take up a lot of time and energy. i think perhaps people do not realize the amount of energy it takes to keep the site flowing. sometimes it’s really not a piece of cake.

      • American
        January 27, 2012, 3:43 pm

        O.K. thanks annie now I get how it works.

        You really get emails to the site adm itself on some threads or topics? From readers commenters or both? Huummm…I bet they are interesting.

    • Taxi
      January 26, 2012, 2:46 am

      I ain’t never seen a holocaust denying comment here on mw – admittedly I haven’t read every single comment published by mondo and i’ve been posting for a few years now. But I sure as heck have seen a mass of Nakba denying commentary here.

      I don’t understand why we can’t just write whatever is on our minds and in our hearts. Isn’t freedom of expression by far more life-full than political correctness? Aren’t the seeds of justice watered during open-minded debates?

  43. RoHa
    January 26, 2012, 12:48 am

    When a post is banned, and it falls into the “grey area”, perhaps you could publish the acceptable part (if any) and give a short comment about what was wrong with the rest.

    (I know this will be a lot of extra work, but since I don’t have to do it, I don’t care.)

    And can I still call people “arseholes”?

  44. Taxi
    January 26, 2012, 2:27 am

    Can I just say that I best loved the old days at mondo – when there were no rules and personal truths were welcomed.

    Okay I admit it – I do enjoy a good old fashioned mud fight for Palestine.

    Let us not forget here that this site is about the “war of ideas” after all – and war is a dirty filthy business – especially for soldiers on the front line.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 26, 2012, 2:42 am

      a good old fashioned mud fight for Palestine.

      we can still have those. i am looking forward to whatever upgraded version of trolls they send over from hasbara central. what if they leave us alone????

      nah

      • patm
        January 26, 2012, 6:57 am

        annie, I’ve got my fingers crossed regarding that mysterious statement in Phil and Adam’s official statement: “In view of the new rules and in the name of civil discussion, we’ve banned a few commenters.”

        There are two long-lived mondo trolls we haven’t heard from on this thread….

    • LanceThruster
      January 26, 2012, 2:59 pm

      @Taxi – though others have said as much as well, I very much like the way you phrased it. I both enjoy and respond more passionately to anyone with a fire in their belly regardless of how ‘genteel’ (or not) their choice of vocabulary (think “Rude Pundit” ~ sometimes you just gotta call them as you see them).

      Bring out your champions!

      Sometimes the purveyors of the much refuted nonsense supporters of justice and truth endure on a regular basis deserve to be recipients of the equivalent of Sherman’s march to the sea.

      from: link to en.wikipedia.org

      Both President Lincoln and General Grant had serious reservations about Sherman’s plans.[4] Still, Grant trusted Sherman’s assessment and on November 2, 1864, he sent Sherman a telegram stating simply, “Go as you propose.”[5] The 300-mile (480 km) march began on November 15. Sherman recounted in his memoirs the scene when he left at 7 a.m. the following day:

      … We rode out of Atlanta by the Decatur road, filled by the marching troops and wagons of the Fourteenth Corps; and reaching the hill, just outside of the old rebel works, we naturally paused to look back upon the scenes of our past battles. We stood upon the very ground whereon was fought the bloody battle of July 22d, and could see the copse of wood where McPherson fell. Behind us lay Atlanta, smouldering and in ruins, the black smoke rising high in air, and hanging like a pall over the ruined city. Away off in the distance, on the McDonough road, was the rear of Howard’s column, the gun-barrels glistening in the sun, the white-topped wagons stretching away to the south; and right before us the Fourteenth Corps, marching steadily and rapidly, with a cheery look and swinging pace, that made light of the thousand miles that lay between us and Richmond. Some band, by accident, struck up the anthem of “John Brown’s soul goes marching on;” the men caught up the strain, and never before or since have I heard the chorus of “Glory, glory, hallelujah!” done with more spirit, or in better harmony of time and place.

      — William T. Sherman , Memoirs of General W.T. Sherman, Chapter 21

      • Taxi
        January 26, 2012, 4:17 pm

        LanceThruster,
        Great stuff from your Sherman link, thanks.

      • LanceThruster
        January 26, 2012, 7:39 pm

        Your comment made me go back and look for further gems. I thought this was particularly apropos.

        We are not only fighting armies, but a hostile people, and must make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war, as well as their organized armies. I know that this recent movement of mine through Georgia has had a wonderful effect in this respect. Thousands who had been deceived by their lying papers into the belief that we were being whipped all the time, realized the truth, and have no appetite for a repetition of the same experience.

        Letter, Sherman to Henry W. Halleck, December 24, 1864.[8]

        Of course in this instance I mean the verbal thrust and parry in open and free debate as you alluded to.

      • Taxi
        January 27, 2012, 12:42 am

        Lancee,
        When there’s “fire in the belly” there is passion, there is justice, there is history in the making.

  45. Erasmus
    January 26, 2012, 8:16 am

    Agreed. Both new rules are meaningful.

    As a second thought, i like to suggest that – as a feed-back for commentors and for transparency reasons – such banned comments / commenters are also indicated, e.g. by a standard text “banned b/o breach of comment policy”.

  46. dahoit
    January 26, 2012, 8:52 am

    To call some topics off limits to discussion is a form of censorship.
    GG at Salon also said something to this effect and his site has gone downhill,because when you limit speech you limit freedom.
    A delegate to the Constitutional Convention said he had never heard of anything that couldn’t be discussed,but hey welcome to our brave new world of parameters,and those thoughts that are just to abhorrent to be mentioned in polite company.
    And the funny thing is,this holocaust denial and 9-11 stuff is rarely seen here,from my experience,but Nakba denial is.
    It’s your party and you can do what you want to,but beware of losing your credibility,like the the MSM,devoid of any credibility except upon those with minds uncomfortable with truth.
    Speak no evil,hear no evil,and see no evil sounds monkeylike.

  47. gazacalling
    January 26, 2012, 9:06 am

    Good job guys. I totally agree.

    This site is too important not to protect.

  48. Kathleen
    January 26, 2012, 9:52 am

    Ok let me get this straight. Would bringing up Fox News Carl Camerons four part report (now at Information Clearing house) that came out soon after the 9/11 attack where Cameron reports that alleged Israeli intelligence individuals (maybe Mossad agents) were following some of the 9/11 terrorist and had access to communication between the 9/11 terrorist and allegedly did not share all of that information with US intelligence agencies? That there are FBI files having to do with the apprehension of these individuals and that several of the those held had bond posted by employees of Amdocs/ and Israeli based communiction company that allegedly has access to 95% of all US phone calls? Is that information or reference off limits?

    • seanmcbride
      January 26, 2012, 10:42 am

      Kathleen,

      What about the FOIA documents on local police and FBI reports on Urban Moving Systems, the Israeli Mossad team that celebrated 9/11?

      link to scribd.com

      It turns out that these Mossadniks had purchased airline tickets in advance of 9/11 to depart to various foreign locations directly after 9/11 — the same modus operandi that was used by the Mossad team that was caught on camera during the Dubai assassination.

      There are no conspiracy theories presented in the FOIA documents — just facts from official stories on the New Pearl Harbor that pushed America over the cliff.

      Also, with regard to Andrew Adler, they expressed their hatred of America and wish to destroy it:

      BEGIN QUOTE

      A former Urban Moving Systems employee later contacted the Newark Division with information indicating he had quit his employment with Urban Moving Systems due to a high amount of anti-American sentiment present among Urban’s employees. The former employee stated that an Israeli employee of Urban had even once remarked, “Give us twenty (20) years and we’ll take over your media and destroy your country.”

      END QUOTE

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        January 26, 2012, 2:10 pm

        Sean,

        I hadn’t seen the FBI files before. Fascinating. I urge Mondoweiss’ers to review these. We are not allowed to have a long thread about this, but I strongly strongly urge Mondoweiss’ers to review these FBI files. I can’t be emphatic enough. -N49.

  49. Kathleen
    January 26, 2012, 10:00 am

    Phil, Adam, Lizzy, Annie have you folks ever thought about doing live interviews with guest on the I/P issue…Iran with audience participation? I really thought the live interviews that Firedoglake (they may still do) were incredible. I think Joe Wilson/Valerie Plame did their first interview with Firedoglake. We were able to ask direct questions etc. Also other amazing other guest did live interviews. Great discussions…lots of learning. Zbig is on the Diane Rehm show this morning (polite hammering, mentioning at their website) Sure hope more people have Zbig on about this new book. Really love that man’s brain. He is pushing the truth that the American public is generally ignorant about foreign policy. Of course I believe due to the MSM’s willingness to focus on say the Republican presidential debate aud nauseum to the exclusion of helping folks be more aware of critical issues etc. And papers like the New York Bloody Times allows inaccurate and extremely inflammatory accusations to be repeated in articles that they put on their front page. Like the article that Phil Weiss linked to the other day about Iran.

    Know you folks do so much all ready. Some of it you get paid for and some of it I am sure you do not. But what a feature that would be

  50. optimax
    January 26, 2012, 12:07 pm

    What about moon landing deniers, Bigfoot sightings? Are they permissable?

    Bin Laden’s original fatwa entitled “Decleration of Jihad Against Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Sanctuaries” is self-explanitory as to the reason he first declared war on US. The next reason he gave was the death and humiliation of fellow Arabs from years of Iraq sanctions and last was Israel. Just saying Israel was not the main reason bin Laden declared war on the US, and if it was, why didn’t he attack Israel?

    • seanmcbride
      January 26, 2012, 12:28 pm

      If you want to post this comment of yours here:

      Mondoweiss on Friendfeed
      link to friendfeed.com

      I’ll be happy to answer it with a few well-documented facts.

    • Kathleen
      January 26, 2012, 12:39 pm

      Scheuer, tapes of terrorist, Zbig, Ritter, McGovern, Zinni, Scowcroft, 9/11 commission report have said that the three issues that have pissed people in that part of the world are:

      US support for dictators in the region
      US support for Israel no matter what they do
      US military bases on their lands

      The order is switched around. But these three issues are focused on over and over by experts, anayst etc

      • optimax
        January 26, 2012, 6:33 pm

        Of course the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was important to bin Laden, but after rereading his initial 1996 “fatwa”, his most important impetus was expelling the Americans from Saudi Arabia, the land of the two Holy Places, overthrowing the corrupt Saudi regime and restoring Islamic rule in its place. After that, restoring Islamic control to the rest of the Ummah, with of course Al-Aqsa Mosque being the third jewel to liberate.

        This quote from bin Laden’s declararion makes explicit what is most important: “The latest and the greatest of these aggressions, incurred by the Muslims since the death of the Prophet (ALLAH’S BLESSING AND SALUTATIONS ON HIM) is the occupation of the land of the two Holy Places -the foundation of the house of Islam, the place of the revelation, the source of the message and the place of the noble Ka’ba, the Qiblah of all Muslims- by the armies of the American Crusaders and their allies. ”

        1996 fatwa: link to pbs.org

        Bin Laden gives moral support to the Palestinians but does not provide men and arms to fight the Palestinians but sends them to other places to fight as he states here: “The sons of the land of the two Holy Places had come out to fight against the Russian in Afghanistan, the Serb in Bosnia-Herzegovina and today they are fighting in Chechenia and -by the Permission of Allah- they have been made victorious over your partner, the Russians. By the command of Allah, they are also fighting in Tajakistan.”

        I am familiar with his 1998 fatwa and Letter to America where he places more importance on Israel as a reason to attack America but see this as an expansion of his following and cause due to the success of the Cole and African bombings. The religious integrity of the Ummah was always important to bin Laden but first and foremost IMHO was purifying his homeland, the land of the two Holy Places, of corrupting western influences.

      • moonkoon
        January 28, 2012, 4:59 am

        … his most important impetus was expelling the Americans from Saudi Arabia, the land of the two Holy Places, …

        Osama conveniently fails to mention that the only reason the Americans were in Saudi Arabia was to maintain the no-fly zone over Northern Iraq to protect Kurds from Saddam’s excesses. They certainly weren’t there because they wanted to defile the Holy Places and besides, who is Osama to take it upon himself to avenge what never needed avenging in the first place? Did he get the OK from those responsible for the area? And even in the unlikely event that he was acting under orders, how does that justify killing innocents?
        The no-fly zone was a request from the Europeans as I recall, and widely supported internationally (including by me -mistakenly, it seems). To say it was all the US’ doing is downright disingenuous. As for his linking his justification for attacks on the US to US support for Israel, that also rings a bit hollow as Bush Snr. had declined to back the Lobby’s efforts to raise money for settlement expansion in Israel, a move he would have applauded if he really was concerned about Israel’s antics.

    • gamal
      January 26, 2012, 12:57 pm

      A Bin Laden “fatwa” what were his qualification to issue fatawa, none as farm i am aware, he had, i think, not a single ijaaza. so whatever it is, its not a fatwa.

      • Walid
        January 27, 2012, 3:06 pm

        It was simply an essay sprinkled here and there with religious wording. In any event, fatwas or answers to questions asked of a cleric or doctor of the religion by a believer are a dime a dozen and they are not all necessarily meaningful. They are of value only to followers of the religious scholars that issue them. Years ago, the resident pastor at Jazeera with a weekly audience of 40 million, Cheikh Qaradawi of the Muslim Brotherhood with over 150 fatwas to his credit, issued a fatwa that gave Hamas the green light to allow women on suicide bombing missions to not wear the hijab; suicide is condemned by the Quran.

  51. talknic
    January 26, 2012, 12:35 pm

    “There’s no such people as the Palestinians!” Is the same ilk as Holocaust & Nakba denial. Denying not only the existence of the Arab Palestinians, it also denies the the greater part of Jewish history in the region, as Palestinians, from the Roman era to 1948.

    I’m of a mind that the denialistas comments be shown and held up to the light for the sake of readers who’re not familiar with their MO. Counter them simply, factually and firmly, without getting sucked into their merry go round. Give readers the necessaries for when they strike the same BS again.

  52. LanceThruster
    January 26, 2012, 1:34 pm

    In a continuing effort to professionalize this site and give it greater impact,[...]

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means, what you think it means. ~~ “The Princess Bride”

  53. patm
    January 26, 2012, 2:19 pm

    also, does anyone recall the breaking the waves video recently of the old soldier who spoke about how they would empty the towns in the negev leaving only one direction (gaza)? iow, the people were expelled.

    annie, I don’t recall the video but I know the Palestinians were expelled in all directions, to Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Gaza. Perhaps Egypt too.

    Werdine is a repeat offender lying troll. He should have been given the boot long ago. You’ve provided a good example of how tricky this new policy is going to be. Werdine swamps the mods with words and barrels right through.

    • ToivoS
      January 26, 2012, 9:34 pm

      patm, this is an amusing anecdote about Werdine. I read Stephen Walt’s blog — now there is a smart man. But anyway, one day Werdine shows up, posts a totally OT 20,000 word response to our own beloved, typo prone, Shingo. Now Shingo hadn’t posted there. That was weird but as way of explanation, Weirdo explains that he tried to post his response at MW but the moderators rejected it. So he put it on unmoderated Walt’s blog. The other regular posters there had great merriment ridiculing this reject from MW. What an absurd loser if there ever was one.

      Actually, I fully support Phil’s and Adam’s work at moderating this blog. The comments section in Walt’s blog is a perfect example. There can be some real interesting exchanges there when the subject is Korea, Japan or China. But once Israel or the lobby comes up, there will be 3 or 4 regular Zionist posters that show up spewing insults, accusations of Nazism, antisemitism, elders of zion and extremely insulting personal attacks on any who challenge them. A usual Walt post may have a few to 20 or so comments. An Israeli relevant post will have over 100. And they are not worth reading if you value your time at all. That is one unmoderated comments section that the Hasbara brigade have made uninhabitable. Talk about a scorched earth policy.

      In any case, Phil and Adam are defending their very valuable corner of cyberspace and making the comments section interesting. Walt need not worry — his star value brings in the traffic.

      • patm
        January 27, 2012, 7:01 am

        ….Werdine shows up, posts a totally OT 20,000 word response….

        Yep, he just ‘phones it in’ as the saying goes. Doesn’t matter if it’s the wrong blog, addressed to the wrong commenter, whatever, it gets his vile message out. He is toxic.

        I’m going to check out Walt’s blog.

      • MHughes976
        January 27, 2012, 7:27 am

        I think I’m sometimes a bit turgid but 20,000 words is nonsense. I certainly wouldn’t mind if Phil operated a word limit.

      • Shingo
        January 27, 2012, 7:36 am

        Doesn’t matter if it’s the wrong blog, addressed to the wrong commenter, whatever, it gets his vile message out.

        That’s an understatement. The last time we were debating the USS Liberty incident, his response was censored there so he posted it on Walt’s blog (completely OT of course) and addressed it to me, then posted a comment here to challenge me to rebut it.

        That kind of behavior is beyond obsessive.

      • Taxi
        January 27, 2012, 8:58 am

        “… his response was censored there so he posted it on Walt’s blog (completely OT of course) and addressed it to me, then posted a comment here to challenge me to rebut it.”

        Hahahahahaha Shingo heeeeehawwww!

        Full-time propagandists crack me up – oh the ego maniacal shenanigans of it all!

      • MLE
        January 27, 2012, 7:51 am

        Ugh, I hate the Zionist trolls on Walts blog. They’re worse than the ones on Gawker.

  54. lyn117
    January 26, 2012, 9:27 pm

    A real anti-semite might say the holocaust happened, and was a good thing. Those who deny it are in a perverse way agreeing it was a horrible crime. Ok, I see no reason to allow any holocaust denying on your blog. I haven’t seen much of it anyway, though I have seen the infamous excuses (blaming the victims) which might be worse.

    I don’t suppose there’s a policy against saying the Nakba was a good thing, or necessary (I count these descriptions more or less the same in this context) which is what our favorite commentator RW does all the time.

    Note I am making this comment before reading everyone else’s 251 comments. Please excuse me if this ground has been covered.

  55. Opaleye
    January 27, 2012, 9:02 am

    As a long time reader of the site and a recent commenter, I find the revised comments policy disturbing.

    Before going into why, I should say that it is Phil and Adam’s party and they can run it anyhow they want. I find it amazing that they can find time to moderate all the comments. I could never do that and if I attempted it, I would go cranky and then mad in quick succession.

    OK, so here’s the bit that I find disturbing:

    “People are going to ask Where’s the line? When do references to Nazi Germany or the politics of the 9/11 attacks cross our red lines? The answer is like Potter Stewart’s famous line on pornography, We know it when we see it…

    If we judge that you have broken one of these rules you will be banned. In view of the new rules and in the name of civil discussion, we’ve banned a few commenters. We won’t hesitate to ban others.”

    The thing is, judging from a lot of earlier responses, plenty of regular commenters here can’t figure out what the line is. It’s not good enough to say “We know it when we see it… ” because clearly a lot of people, who are contributing here in good faith, do not have the requisite mind-reading skills to figure it out.

    That would be fine if the policy stated “If we judge that you have broken one of these rules we will delete the comment and advise you of the reason. If you persist, we will ban you”.

    But instead, what we have are vague rules, and a promise to immediately ban, without warning, a commenter who crosses a line that exists only in the form of “We know it when we see it”.

    The overall tone of this strikes me as hostile and I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the result of the mind-altering effects of trying to moderate all the comments. This hostile tone seems to me to have more of a chilling effect than the actual substance of the rule, i.e. the topics that are verboten.

    Who were the newly banned commenters? Is there a reason they can’t be mentioned?

    So far I’ve been talking about questions of “due process” in managing the new rules.

    Now for the substance. I don’t know much about the Zionist role aiding and abetting the Holocaust, but I’m sure that what little I know of it, I read here and I’m fairly sure it was in Phil’s writings, or perhaps writers he linked to.

    Given the way Israel wields the Holocaust as a weapon against Western countries and in particular the way it is used to interfere in US politics, so preventing the US from pursuing its actual interests in the Middle East, it seems to me that honest discussion of the WWII period is essential to debunking Zionism.

    Adam says that “You don’t have to go back nearly that far to understand, critique and disassemble Zionism.”

    Really? Phil likes to quote from Herzl’s diaries, which go back a lot further still.

    So, on a substantive level, there seems to be to be some incoherence. Then again, I thought Donald’s post was incoherent and little more than fancy concern-trolling.

    Finally, if it is unacceptable to discuss WWII, I really cannot fathom how it is acceptable to have posts by Jerome Slater advocating starting new wars on an ethnic basis. The ethnic aspect became clear in his reaction to commenters enquiring as to why, according to his fanciful Just War theories, shouldn’t the US intervene against Israel? It was apparent that Jerome hadn’t considered that his theories, if acted upon on a non-racist basis, would lead immediately to such an intervention. But of course, his whole conception of intervention was intended only to be applied in the mass murder of Islamic people and perhaps other heathens and swarthy types, in the hope that the survivors might eventually be civilized.

    In short, advocating wars of choice is advocating mass murder and I thought this site was about The War of Ideas, not advocating real wars.

    • seanmcbride
      January 27, 2012, 9:46 am

      Opaleye,

      I wish that Mondoweiss moderators would point out some posts that are unacceptable and provide some analysis of why they have crossed certain redlines — clarify editorial guidelines and standards by dissecting some specific examples.

      For instance, I have been left with the impression that arguing that Zionism may have helped provoke anti-Semitism in Europe last century, and may be helping to provoke anti-Semitism all around the world now, is verboten. Is this the case?

      In the meantime, banned comments can be posted here:

      Mondoweiss on Friendfeed
      link to friendfeed.com

      And banned commenters can discuss their issues there as well.
      Did this Mondoweiss community crisis begin with all the negative reactions to Jerome Slater? Slater came close to accusing, repeatedly, nearly every commenter on Mondoweiss of being an anti-Semite. (He may have even made the accusation outright — nothing “came close” about it.) Since then matters have gone downhill here.

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        January 27, 2012, 3:49 pm

        Sean, Do youneed a facebook account for friendfeed? -n49.

      • seanmcbride
        January 27, 2012, 3:54 pm

        To the best of my knowledge, no, although I’ve had a Friendfeed account from the first week it was released (years ago) and am not certain what the procedure for signing up looks like now for a new user. It should be exceedingly simple, I’m sure: username and password, done.

      • Citizen
        January 27, 2012, 8:13 pm

        If memoryserves, when I went to Friendfeed a few days ago, it required one to sign up via either Facebook or Twitter.

      • American
        January 28, 2012, 12:03 am

        “it required one to sign up via either Facebook or Twitter.”..Citizen

        Nope, I went to check it out and signed up. Wouldn’t have done it if it required facebook which I hate. There is a box that says sign up with just your email to create a account. Actually it’s pretty neat. If you subscribe to follow certain people’s post , like sean for instance, you can send each other private messages thru the site. Might be potential for when some get into long drawn out discussions to take it off site.

      • wondering jew
        January 27, 2012, 5:37 pm

        seanmcbride- “For instance, I have been left with the impression that arguing that Zionism may have helped provoke anti-Semitism in Europe last century,” is verboten.

        Whether it is verboten on this web site is the business of Adam and Phil. To assert it is simply ridiculous. Like blowing out the candles at a birthday party in New Orleans caused Hurricane Katrina. Like someone who ate beans and then farted in Bhopal in 1984 needs to accept some blame for creating the atmosphere that caused the deaths of 20,000 Indians by Union Carbide. It is simply stupid, assinine and deserving of condemnation from anyone with an I.Q. over 95 and a modicum of sanity.

      • Hostage
        January 27, 2012, 10:29 pm

        Whether it is verboten on this web site is the business of Adam and Phil. To assert it is simply ridiculous. Like blowing out the candles at a birthday party in New Orleans caused Hurricane Katrina. Like someone who ate beans and then farted in Bhopal in 1984 needs to accept some blame for creating the atmosphere that caused the deaths of 20,000 Indians by Union Carbide. It is simply stupid, assinine and deserving of condemnation from anyone with an I.Q. over 95 and a modicum of sanity.

        Oh give the hyperbole and propaganda a rest. Zionists deliberately encouraged and stimulated anti-semitism, but crude racism doesn’t account for the intent to commit genocide against the Jewish people or justify it in any way. There’s nothing wrong with asking Zionists to accept responsibility for the stupid racist things they say and do, both then and now.

      • wondering jew
        January 28, 2012, 10:37 pm

        Hostage- How significant was Zionism in pre War Europe as a cause of Jew hatred? I claim that it was somewhere between negligible and less than negligible.

        Jew hatred did not pop out of Zeus’s head out of nowhere. The Jews were viewed as a foreign group by the nationalisms of Germany and Poland and I’m sure other countries as well. Certain people who abhor nationalism consider the only valid response to the hatred of German and Polish nationalism to be universalism and assimilation. This is a form of hating the Jews for refusing to let go of their tribal antiquated ways. When this Jewish obduracy and stubbornness takes the form of refusing to teach Polish and math, we who are modern consider this stubbornness unhelpful. When this Jewish obduracy takes the form of nationalism – let us find our fate where the nationalism is our own, you universalists seem to feel that this is adding to the atmosphere of hatred. Humans and human groups respond to pressure in various ways, including returning hatred for hatred and clinging to an identity of millennia or at least centuries that doesn’t measure up to the ultimate philosophy which will answer all the problems of humanity for ever.

        Thus the universalists blame the Jews of Europe for hanging onto their traditions in traditional form or in nationalist form. But to really blame Zionism as a movement for Jew hatred in pre war Europe seems ahistorical and stupid and as such I will react to such stupidity in obdurate fashion at times.

      • Rusty Pipes
        January 27, 2012, 9:00 pm

        From what I saw, it was only a few commenters he came close to accusing of being anti-Semites. On the other hand, the Professor accused nearly everyone, with the exception of a few creative hasbarists, of being idiots:

        Slater came close to accusing, repeatedly, nearly every commenter on Mondoweiss of being an anti-Semite.

    • Donald
      January 27, 2012, 11:25 am

      Stopping by just for this. Personally, I had no problem with pointing out anti-semitic remarks by early Zionists. The line for me is crossed by people who talk as though Nazi behavior could be explained by Jewish behavior. It’s exactly like explaining the actions of a serial killer of women on some insults he might have received or imagined he received from some particular women. At best, this seems badly mistaken–at worst it is misogynistic.

      But anyway, the comment rules of this blog are no concern of mine now. I’ll read the front page articles and I’ve read some of this thread, but that’s it.

      • Donald
        January 27, 2012, 11:47 am

        I should say “no personal concern of mine since I’ll just be lurking”. I probably wouldn’t have been so strict if the new rules forbid mentioning bad behavior by early Zionists, but if they eliminate the sheer idiocy of looking for explanations of Nazi behavior in Jewish behavior, that’s a step forward.

      • Citizen
        January 27, 2012, 8:16 pm

        Donald, you ever read any historians?

      • American
        January 27, 2012, 12:33 pm

        It’s exactly like explaining the actions of a serial killer of women on some insults he might have received or imagined he received from some particular women”…..Donald

        Two way sword Donald. Not smart.
        Considering that holocuast truama is frequently used to explain the attitudes and actions of Israel.
        The serial killer’s Ted Bundy’s defense in court was that he was traumized by his mother’s lack of love and neglect of him and so he took it out on women.
        The jury didn ‘t buy it.

    • Danaa
      January 27, 2012, 12:43 pm

      opaleye, another astute comment from you. I wish you got some answers to your well stated questions.

      My worry is more about the slippery slope. Seen that happen on too many blogs, newspapers and other media. It started with holocaust denial on DailyKos too, along with Nazi comparisons. It now has hardly any discussions of foreign policy or foreign drone campaigns or Iran at all. It turned into a “Re-elect Obama and democrats” site. It also got too boring to read, and last I looked (which was a while back) the commentary consists of one liner Kumbaya and counter-Kumbaya interspersed with the occasional juvenile food fight to break up the monotony.

      The other problem I see with subjectivity is best illustrated with Werdine’s posts above. Though he treads more gingerly, as commenters pointed out, he cam closer to Nakba denial than anyone I’ve seen here come close to Holocaust denial. It’s all about definitions of what “denial” is, and I doubt it’s even possible to apply the “know-it-when-we-see-it” rule even handedly. And no I am not calling for banning Werdine – or anyone else. Though I am on record calling for having a “LBR” (Little Boys Room) where the temporarily intemperate can be sent for a time to find their inner zen.

      • American
        January 27, 2012, 2:40 pm

        I also agree wtih opaleyes:

        “The thing is, judging from a lot of earlier responses, plenty of regular commenters here can’t figure out what the line is. It’s not good enough to say “We know it when we see it… ” because clearly a lot of people, who are contributing here in good faith, do not have the requisite mind-reading skills to figure it out. ”

        I think what is going to happen and what the goal of the warning is, is posters are going to self censor. The clues will be in seeing which of their comments in which vein and on which topics go down the monitor rabbit hole. Therefore they will not waste time formulating responses or challenging some position or pov in a comment likely to not make the cut. The danger is obviously that some analyzing and objectivity could be lost on certain subjects and different pov’s disappear because the commenter can’t be sure or might have in the back of his mind, no matter what the rules say, that he might also suddenly be considered out of line or non conforming on another topic.

  56. Polly
    January 27, 2012, 10:19 am

    I think these are helpful policies moving forward.
    I understand a lot of commenters have problems with where Adam and Phil will draw the line but I think it’s reasonable to expect they can decipher if the general thrust of someones post is heading in one of the areas of concern.
    The endless pissing contests centering on historical knowledge that take up entire threads here are a real turn-off and frustratingly pointless. For me the history of this topic gets increasingly irrelevant the further back you go.
    I personally wish the discussion would center on 2012, the paralysis of the US congress in the face of the lobby and the endless wars and threats of wars in the middle east that appear to benefit nobody but Israel.

    • American
      January 27, 2012, 12:36 pm

      I personally wish the discussion would center on 2012, the paralysis of the US congress in the face of the lobby and the endless wars and threats of wars in the middle east that appear to benefit nobody but Israel.”

      Indeed. Exactomondo.

  57. optimax
    January 27, 2012, 10:53 am

    Sean,

    Is friendfeed part of facebook? I’m leary of signing up for new sites.

    • seanmcbride
      January 27, 2012, 12:26 pm

      optimax,

      Facebook bought Friendfeed some years ago, but Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t seem to be doing much with it, which is a shame — it is still well ahead of the competition (including Google+) in terms of features.

      I have brought Friendfeed to the attention of people here because it provides the easiest way I know of to start up discussion groups on the fly with very little effort. Signing up just takes a few seconds. The interface for making and replying to posts is quite slick.

      If someone has a better idea about how to conduct meta-discussions on Mondoweiss on a non-Mondoweiss site, I am all ears. The most important point is that most Mondoweiss users agree to share their thoughts and information on a single specific site.

      Let me emphasize this: my ONLY interest in making this suggestion is to provide a means for people who may lose their voice here to be able to communicate with their former Mondoweiss commenters about Mondoweiss issues. That’s it. Setting up the mechanism to do this is a breeze. Here is the link again:

      link to friendfeed.com

      I am still a big Mondoweiss fan and believe that it should moderate the site according to whatever guidelines make Philip Weiss happy. It’s his site. There is no such thing as “freedom of speech” for publications. All publications have unique points of view and standards about what to publish.

  58. Hostage
    January 27, 2012, 11:17 am

    For instance, I have been left with the impression that arguing that Zionism may have helped provoke anti-Semitism in Europe last century, and may be helping to provoke anti-Semitism all around the world now, is verboten. Is this the case?

    The thing that’s off limits is proposing that Jewish culture, religion, or Zionist theories – no matter how flawed – provide a basis for Nazi persecution or justify the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes that were committed against either the Zionists or the Jews.

    Adam said “I addressed above the issue of Zionist collaboration with the Nazis. Sure, that’s in bounds and it’s not what we had in mind, it’s fine.” FYI, Donald only suggested that we not raise the subject. That’s fine with me. I’ve always responded to others who’ve brought it up. IIRC the topic was relevant to the Just War article, but most of the time when someone has deployed the straw man, that only the Zionists cared about the Jewish refugees or that a Jewish State could have saved the six million, that discussion has been off-topic to the article in question and served as a distraction.

    • seanmcbride
      January 27, 2012, 3:42 pm

      Hostage,

      You wrote:

      “The thing that’s off limits is proposing that Jewish culture, religion, or Zionist theories – no matter how flawed – provide a basis for Nazi persecution or justify the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes that were committed against either the Zionists or the Jews.”

      Who made such an assertion on Mondoweiss? Certainly not Jeffrey Blankfort or anyone else I noticed. Can you point me to some examples?

      By the way, I think Zionism might well trigger the biggest explosion of anti-Semitism in world history, all around the world at once, and especially in the United States and Europe. I don’t want this to happen, but I think it could well happen. Apparently the Zionist establishment agrees with me because their claims that anti-Semitism is increasing around the globe grow more shrill with each passing year.

      Should that topic be off limits?

      I think that all varieties of ethnic nationalism, and especially messianic ethno-religious nationalism, tend to provoke antagonistic responses from the rest of the world, and for all the obvious reasons.

      • Hostage
        January 27, 2012, 5:09 pm

        Who made such an assertion on Mondoweiss? Certainly not Jeffrey Blankfort or anyone else I noticed. Can you point me to some examples?

        I have no idea. I’m not one of the site operators. I got the impression that the comments in question were not among those that the moderators had chosen to make visible in the first place.

        By the way, I think Zionism might well trigger the biggest explosion of anti-Semitism in world history, all around the world at once, and especially in the United States and Europe.

        The search for Antisemitism in the United States by the ADL is sort of like the work done by MUFON on UFOs. Come to think of it, has anyone ever seen Stanton Friedman and Abe Foxman at the same time?

        Seriously, I tend to think Zionism will result in a lot more well assimilated Jews here who are apathetic about defending Israel or pouring our national resources down the drain helping to maintain an anachronistic apartheid regime.

    • LanceThruster
      January 27, 2012, 5:24 pm

      @seanmcbride – January 27, 2012 at 12:26 pm

      These are very astute and reasonable observations and is a wonderfully creative and simple way to address the limitations of moderation and provide some effective safeguards.

      I had previously and repeatedly suggested to PuffHo and the D-Kossacks that there should be a comment purgatory/graveyard where scrubbed comments could be viewed or even facilitate the continuation of the discussion. Of course neither of those sites were interested because it wasn’t ever *really* about comments that were beyond the pale, but rather too much truth in conflict with the official narrative put forth by the ‘new’ media overlords (and publishing what was removed would reveal the otherwise “hidden” agenda in ways that nothing else could).

      But considering the amount of “pearl clutching” done by those wanting to restrict those voices they find, shall we say…”troubling”, I would compare it to a museum or art gallery that puts certain Mapplethorpe exhibits in a wing with warnings of potentially objectionable content and enacting certain entrance restrictions. Far preferable to an outright refusal to exhibit such works.

      But don’t kowtow too quickly to those pushing for less freedom because imagine how easily content could be controlled if the penalties for minors reading sites with swear words were as rigidly defined as they are for movie ratings and the associated responsibilities theater owners have for controlling admission to PG-13, R, NC-17, and X-rated films.

      This is just the mentality and mindset that brought us “Nipple-gate” (search: Janet Jackson/Super Bowl/FCC). The consequences are even far more critical in regards to free and open discussion on things that affect so drastically the course of our own nation and the health, well-being, and essential freedoms of others as well.

      • LanceThruster
        January 27, 2012, 5:42 pm

        But don’t kowtow too quickly[...]

        Wasn’t able to open the edit in time. For greater clarity, this line should be understood as a caution to Phil and Adam, not any sort of indication that I felt Sean’s suggestion was in the least bit kowtowing (wonderful word – check the origins).

  59. brenda
    January 27, 2012, 12:56 pm

    I’m happy with however Phil wants to edit his website. As far as I’m concerned, he’s paid his dues. He goes way back. He doesn’t need to justify his decisions. It’s enough for him to say he needs to do this or that to maintain his mental health. He’s Jewish and he’s going up against Israel. That’s enough. He’s of the generation of American Jews who were taught to Love Israel as they imbibed their mothers’ milk. That’s some pretty powerful conditioning to overcome, and it is never done just once, it is done every day.

    • Walid
      January 28, 2012, 12:59 am

      “I’m happy with however Phil wants to edit his website.”

      That sums it up for me too; it’s his blog and he can moderate in any way he wants. Soon people here will start dictating how he should rearrange his living room furniture. Nobody was forced to come and nobody is being forced to stay; it’s not everybody’s website but his website.

      • Taxi
        January 28, 2012, 4:47 am

        Walid,

        Yes it’s Phil and Adam’s site. But the comment section is a major contributor to it’s success. So they owe us some kinda consideration, which I’m sure they’re aware of.

        In my house, rules are for my dogs and for visiting unruly children (yes there are several of those in my life hahahaha bless ‘em).

  60. optimax
    January 27, 2012, 1:58 pm

    Thanks, Sean, maybe I’ll give it a try.

    The only blogs I comment on are moderated, otherwise it turns chaotic and enfeebled.

  61. Walid
    January 27, 2012, 3:28 pm

    Since this thread has been initiated on call to be respectful of the holocaust, I’ll respectfully ask why has the United Nations designated today January 27th as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day when no other catastrophe of the scope of the Jewish holocaust, such as the Armenian Genocide, the Palestinian Nakba and dozens of other major human catastrophes such as the millions of Russians and other Europeans that perished in WW II at the hands of the Nazis don’t have their own commemoration day at the UN.

    We are told by the US Holocaust Museum that,
    “On this annual day of commemoration, every member state of the UN has an obligation to honor the victims of the Nazi era and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides. This year’s theme is “Children and the Holocaust:. Watch or read Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks on the 1.5 million Jewish children and the tens of thousands of other youths who died during the Holocaust.”

    I’m asking why can’t the thousands of Palestinian children killed, maimed or made homeless have their day at the UN?

    The museum also says, “the US Congress established the “Days of Remembrance” as the nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust and created the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as a permanent living memorial to the victims. Holocaust remembrance week is April 15–22, 2012. The theme designated by the Museum for the 2012 observance is Choosing to Act: Stories of Rescue. ”

    Did the US Congress give the same consideration to the catastrophe suffered by its Amerindians?

    • seanmcbride
      January 27, 2012, 3:59 pm

      What about the nearly 100 million victims of Communism? That’s the estimate according the the Black Book of Communism:

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      “In the introduction, editor Stéphane Courtois asserts that “…Communist regimes…turned mass crime into a full-blown system of government”. He cites a death toll which totals 94 million, not counting the “excess deaths” (decrease of the population due to lower than-expected birth rates).”

      • LanceThruster
        January 27, 2012, 5:54 pm

        This might have something to do with the reluctance to address other instances of systemized mass-murder (funny how it always has to do with whose ox is getting gored…and whose ox is doing the goring).

        see: link to ynetnews.com

        Sever Plocker — Stalin’s Jews – We mustn’t forget that some of greatest murderers of modern times were Jewish

  62. Joseph Glatzer
    January 28, 2012, 12:30 am

    Good idea. This isn’t a truther site nor is it a david duke anti-semite hiding behind pro palestine movement site. Those people can go elsewhere to discuss their theories and beliefs.

  63. optimax
    January 28, 2012, 12:41 am

    The truth is no tribe is better or worse than humanity in toto. Pogo.

  64. Djinn
    January 28, 2012, 6:11 am

    I think this is a bad idea for all the reasons well expressed by others already, particularly the issue of people beginning to self censor and a consequent narrowing of discourse here.

    I’m also dubious the holocaust/nakba denial rule will be applied equally. That Werdine’s screed is still visible doesn’t engender confidence.

    That said its not my sandpit and it’s not censorship for private owners to set their own rules, I’m a free speech/best disinfectant is sunlight junkie but just because I fully support your right to say something doesn’t mean I have to listen to it my house.

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