Today in Pittsburgh, Jesse Lieberfeld, 17, will deliver a hammer blow to American Jewish support for Israel

Israel/Palestine
on 240 Comments
MLK Jr  1
Martin Luther King Jr

I wish I were in Pittsburgh. This afternoon at Carnegie Mellon University, an 11th-grader will step nervously to a microphone and deliver a hammer blow to American Jewish support for Israel.

Jesse Lieberfeld, 17, a junior at Winchester Thurston High School, will read an essay, “Fighting a Forbidden Battle: How I Stopped Covering Up for a Hidden Wrong,” about how he sees himself in Martin Luther King, because of his own struggle with his religion’s ordination of support for Israel.  The piece is one of two winners in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. essay-writing contest sponsored by the university. It is brave and clear and necessary:

the term “Israeli/Palestinian Conflict” was no more accurate than calling the Civil Rights Movement the “Caucasian/ African-American Conflict.”

In both cases, the expression was a blatant euphemism: it gave the impression that this was a dispute among equals and that both held an equal share of the blame. However, in both, there was clearly an oppressor and an oppressed,

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published the essay yesterday. It will soon be required reading for leaders of all American Jewish organizations. Jesse Lieberfeld is delivering news about his generation’s outlook. 

I once belonged to a wonderful religion. I belonged to a religion that allows those of us who believe in it to feel that we are the greatest people in the world — and feel sorry for ourselves at the same time…

This last mandatory belief [in Israel] was one which I never fully understood, but I always kept the doubts I had about Israel’s spotless reputation to the back of my mind. “Our people” were fighting a war, one I did not fully comprehend, but I naturally assumed that it must be justified. We would never be so amoral as to fight an unjust war.

Yet as I came to learn more about our so-called “conflict” with the Palestinians, I grew more concerned.

The Post-Gazette warned readers about what Lieberfeld was writing with an intro about “blunt talk” and “searingly honest” pieces–the other winner is Erika Drain’s essay about black identity. That brainy 17-year-old Jews, the future of my ethnic/religious group in the U.S., are wrestling with the Israel question in the public square spells doom for the lobby, and in turn for Israel’s heedless conduct.
Notice the way that Lieberfeld ties his agony and commitment directly to MLK’s:
 

He too had been part of a struggle that had been hidden and glossed over for the convenience of those against whom he fought. What would his reaction have been? As it turned out, it was precisely the same as mine. As he wrote in his letter from Birmingham Jail,

Here is more, but you should read the whole great piece at the Post-Gazette link:

I decided to make one last appeal to my religion. If it could not answer my misgivings, no one could.

The next time I attended a service, there was an open question-and-answer session about any point of our religion. I wanted to place my dilemma in as clear and simple terms as I knew how. I thought out my exact question over the course of the 17-minute cello solo that was routinely played during service. Previously, I had always accepted this solo as just another part of the program, yet now it seemed to capture the whole essence of our religion: intelligent and well-crafted on paper, yet completely oblivious to the outside world (the soloist did not have the faintest idea of how masterfully he was putting us all to sleep).

When I was finally given the chance to ask a question, I asked: “I want to support Israel. But how can I when it lets its army commit so many killings?” I was met with a few angry glares from some of the older men, but the rabbi answered me.

“It is a terrible thing, isn’t it?” he said. “But there’s nothing we can do. It’s just a fact of life.”

I knew, of course, that the war was no simple matter and that we did not by any means commit murder for its own sake, but to portray our killings as a “fact of life” was simply too much for me to accept. I thanked him and walked out shortly afterward. I never went back.

240 Responses

  1. Dan Crowther
    January 16, 2012, 10:02 am

    Jesse Lieberfeld: Portrait of Integrity.

    He threatens not only the Lobby, but the establishment as a whole: he’s willing to think for himself! No “partisanship” just someone speaking out against what he knows in his soul to be wrong, and he’s willing to tell it to anyone, anywhere. What a wonderful young man, what a wonderful man, period.

    “I can obviously never know what it must have been like to be an African-American in the 1950s. I do feel, however, as though I know exactly what it must have been like to be white during that time, to live under an aura of moral invincibility, to hold unchallengeable beliefs, and to contrive illusions of superiority to avoid having to face simple everyday truths. That illusion was nice while it lasted, but I decided to pass it up. I have never been happier.”

    Read more: link to post-gazette.com

  2. Exiled At Home
    January 16, 2012, 10:05 am

    Wonderful piece by Jesse Lieberfeld. Thanks for sharing, Phil.

  3. Citizen
    January 16, 2012, 10:17 am

    Somebody should ask young Jesse to send his article to our candidates for POTUS, and OccupyAIPAC should read it out there on the steps, and mic it with the protesting crowd at next AIPAC annual conference, which more congress critters attend every year than any other.

    • pabelmont
      January 16, 2012, 10:44 am

      Citizen: great ideas. Somehow, we (whoever we are) must find a way to stand up and deliver this revolutionary message. The message is one of thinking for oneself, refusing to bow to “received wisdom” and “party lines”, becoming morally clear, standing up for what’s right. many things.

      Imagine if Obama read this speech (or invited Jesse to do so) at the Democratic convention! I think their is a great thirst in this country for decency, honesty, the voice of people not bought and paid for. This speech is a drink of cool water. More than anyone else, Jews need to read this, to hear it.

      • pabelmont
        January 17, 2012, 8:22 am

        PS: The young lady — who wrote the other prize-winning essay — ALSO (and properly) drew our attention to discrimination within (one of ) her community(ies): she complained of black people who treated her as not “black enough” (just as Jesse complained of members of his Jewish community who treated him as not Jewish enough / or not Zionist enough).

  4. crone
    January 16, 2012, 10:18 am

    Rage on angry young man…

    Rage on.

    Now that you’re awake, continue to awaken others.

    • teacherPittsburgh
      January 20, 2012, 4:06 pm

      The point is to STOP the rage. This kid is begging for the raging to stop. He’s not angry; he’s disillusioned and disappointed. WAKE UP!

  5. Annie Robbins
    January 16, 2012, 10:21 am

    spectacular

    • MRW
      January 16, 2012, 3:23 pm

      [I’m tucking this in under annie’s post because the below has gone all italic.]

      Any bets on whether our vaunted national ‘newspaper of record’ is going to pick this up? You could run a Mondoweiss fundraiser on that answer.

      Jesse, if you are reading these comments: great job.

  6. seafoid
    January 16, 2012, 10:23 am

    link to ft.com

    “We talk briefly about the work of playwright Ronald Harwood, who is a cousin of Sher’s. Born 15 years earlier than Sher, Harwood lived through the second world war and was acutely aware of the irony of growing up Jewish in South Africa, a country that persecuted a different group of people.
    “I feel exactly that same thing,” says Sher. “In my case it is combined with a sense of some anger and shame that not all the Jews of South Africa made the obvious comparison. A fantastic, heroic list did: Albie Sachs, Helen Suzman, Joe Slovo. But they were brave people to stand up against the system. My family were completely the opposite: life was good for them now and they were not going to rock the boat. And once I became politicised about South Africa, I was really shocked that we could have done that in just the space of one generation … Shocking. But human”

    • Citizen
      January 17, 2012, 4:16 am

      The stand-off between Jewish dissidents and “don’t rock the boat” Jews who still live in S Africa continues because that post-apartheid country remains unhealthy. At least, no thanks to Israel for sure, it no longer has a nuclear arms program.

      • seafoid
        January 17, 2012, 12:20 pm

        At least Jewish SA dissidents weren’t fighting against the global Jewish community like those who oppose Israel’s insanity are now.

  7. FreddyV
    January 16, 2012, 10:26 am

    Give this kid an audience with Obama and show the the US the huge elephant in the room.

  8. teta mother me
    January 16, 2012, 10:30 am

    This is great news!!
    Absolutely terrific!!

    “That brainy 17-year-old Jews, the future of my ethnic/religious group in the U.S”

    gets to

    “step nervously to a microphone,”

    and talk about

    belong[ing] to a religion that allows those of us who believe in it to feel that we are the greatest people in the world — and feel sorry for ourselves at the same time…

    thereby supplanting Black people in the United States who have been told all their lives that they are the most worthless people in the world, and who genuinely HAVE endured suffering.

    Hummus
    Cherry tomatoes
    Now “members of my [Phil’s] ethnic group” get to slip inside the skin of Martin Luther King, take on his heroism as if it were their own, and preempt hundreds of years Black people’s suffering on the one day that the United States tosses at Black people.

    You’re tone deaf on this one, Phil.

    • tombishop
      January 16, 2012, 11:16 am

      The point is that Martin Luther King’s message was universal. It was against all oppression anywhere. To recognize this, as Jesse Lieberfeld is doing, is to honor Martin Luther King.

      • tombishop
        January 16, 2012, 11:35 am

        Glenn Greenwald has an excellent post today which brings out the connection between the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. and Martin Luther King’s understanding that this struggle cannot be isolated from the global struggle. Greenwald highlights Martin Luther King’s 1967 speech where he connected being against the Vietnam War with the Civil Rights Movement. Greenwald then goes on to connect this to our governments Endless War in the predominantly Muslim parts of the world. This is why Jesse Lieberfeld’s speech is appropriate today.

        “Who are the victims of civil liberties assaults and Endless War?” is at:
        link to salon.com

      • tombishop
        January 16, 2012, 9:07 pm

        The audio for Martin Luther King’s 1967 speech against the Vietnam War is at

      • Charon
        January 16, 2012, 11:54 pm

        Martin Luther King absolutely meant well and his message was definitely universal. I just wanted to bring up perception. What would MLK Jr. Think of the current I/P conflict? He was pro-Israel and against the Zionism-is-racism message. I just wonder if that would be the case in 2012. Something tells me it wouldn’t.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 17, 2012, 12:08 am

        He was pro-Israel and against the Zionism-is-racism message.

        charon, there’s no evidence available martin ever mentioned the word zionism. there is however, lots of evidence of people trying to put words in his mouth and use him to support their agendas via outlandish fabrications that have been debunked. the “Zionism-is-racism” argument wasn’t articulated in western culture til after martin’s death.

      • Charon
        January 17, 2012, 12:22 am

        Annie, I drank the kool aid in that regards. I have not done my homework on the subject and probably should not have made a comment in that case. I believed what I read at face value and now I know that it was not properly sourced and twisted to support an agenda. I wish I knew better but in the end, I’m susceptible to my human flaws probably more than others are here. Hoping I can learn form such mistakes

      • Michael Levin
        January 17, 2012, 2:54 am

        Also see: Tim Wise, “Fraud Fit for a King: Israel, Zionism and the Misuse of MLK,” 1/21/03. Excerpt: “Rarely am I considered insufficiently cynical. As someone who does anti-racism work for a living, and hears all manner of excuse making by those who wish to avoid being considered racist, not much surprises me. I expect people to lie about race; to swear they haven’t a racist bone in their bodies. And every January, with the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday around the corner, I have come to expect someone to misuse the good doctor’s words so as to push an agenda he would not likely have supported….Yet, even with my cynic’s credentials established, the one thing I never expected anyone to do would be to make up a quote from King; a quote he simply never said, and claim that it came from a letter that he never wrote, and was published in a collection of his essays that never existed. Frankly, this level of deception is something special. The hoax of which I speak is one currently making the rounds on the Internet, which claims to prove King’s steadfast support for Zionism.” link to timwise.org

      • Hostage
        January 17, 2012, 4:07 am

        the “Zionism-is-racism” argument wasn’t articulated in western culture til after martin’s death.

        The representatives of the Arab states were openly calling Israel a Zionist Apartheid State in the General Assembly by no later than 1961. Israel kept its Palestinian citizens under martial law from 1948 until 1966, but King described it as “an oasis of democracy and brotherhood”.

        There were even groups in the US civil rights movement who claimed that Ashkenazi rule over the Arabs was simply another example of white minority rule over people of color. Sadly, MLK labeled them “young militants”. He spoke about the necessity of security and territorial integrity for Israel, but claimed (ala Netanyahu) that the Arabs only needed security on another, economic, level that would end their hunger and illiteracy. See A testament of hope: the essential writings and speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr, Harper Collins, 1991, Martin Luther King, Martin Luther King (Jr.), James Melvin Washington, pages 670-671 link to books.google.com

      • Annie Robbins
        January 17, 2012, 4:32 am

        hostage, i don’t doubt Arab states were openly calling Israel a Zionist Apartheid State in 61, but weren’t they ahead of the curve? is there any evidence martin used that word? or the anti semitism=anti zionism argument? do you recall hearing it hack then, during martin’s lfe?

      • Shingo
        January 17, 2012, 4:36 am

        Annie,

        It wasn’t just the Arab States calling Israel a Zionist Apartheid State in 1961.

        Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd, the South African PM at the time and architect of apartheid itself, said this at the time:

        “The Jews took Israel from the Arabs after the Arabs had lived there for a thousand years. Israel like South Africa, is an apartheid state”
        (Rand Daily Mail, 23 Novemeber 1961).

      • Richard Witty
        January 17, 2012, 4:36 am

        There were historical statements by his close colleagues and advisors (Andrew Young, Ralph Abernathy) that he appreciated the very widespread Jewish support of the civil rights movement, and that he deeply sympathized with the Jewish struggle to survive post-WW2, and to do so through communal efforts.

        At the time, the Arab world was not progressive, hostile to anything new, including a great deal of hostility to anything that rocked the boat.

        That included the Palestinian Arab world and the larger

        Today, I’m sure that he would be supportive of Palestinian rights efforts, but would similarly more than emphasize the importance of disciplined non-violent approaches in method and in principles adopted and applied.

      • Citizen
        January 17, 2012, 4:40 am

        Timwise.org has an article up that equates Ron Paul with David Duke. He also has another article up from 2008 that tells white woman they are racists like their white men if they don’t join their brown and black sisters and vote for Obama, instead of Hillary Clinton.

      • Hostage
        January 17, 2012, 6:06 am

        i don’t doubt Arab states were openly calling Israel a Zionist Apartheid State in 61, but weren’t they ahead of the curve?

        No, the representatives of South Africa defended themselves by claiming that Israel and Portugal both practiced apartheid too. Mohandas Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru had both publicly condemned Zionism. Gandi lived in South Africa and denounced the racial aspect of Zionism, which he felt was akin to the kind of religious and racial discrimination he had fought all his life:

        It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct … Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home. — See Homer A Jack(ed), The Gandhi Reader: a source book of his life and writings, By Mahatma Gandhi, Grove Press, 1994, page 318

        The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and Nation of Islam identified Zionism with Western Imperialism and colonial oppression of Black and Arab people. They did that in national conferences after the Six Day War but had been saying it for years by then. The young militants MLK talked about included people like Malcom X and Stokely Carmichael. They equated Zionism with racism or white imperialism, and complained that Zionism was trickery; an evil; or a form of aggression that allowed a few privileged Jews to drive Muslims out of their homeland with assistance from Christians in America and Europe, e.g. link to malcolm-x.org

        MLK’s views on the Middle East reflected the impact of hasbara on US public opinion. Most Americans still think Palestinians enjoy equal rights in Israel.

      • thankgodimatheist
        January 17, 2012, 6:20 am

        Charon and all. Let me bring to your attention the fact that the alleged support of MLK junior to Israel (that “famous” letter) is a hoax, a fabrication:

        “Israel’s apologists and the Martin Luther King Jr. hoax ”
        link to electronicintifada.net

        Even the Zionist mouthpiece CAMERA admits the fact and warns about it:
        CAMERA ALERT: Letter by Martin Luther King a Hoax
        link to camera.org

      • MLE
        January 17, 2012, 6:27 am

        Sympathizing with the Jewish people’s plight doesn’t mean he supported taking the land of an indigenous population. He was very critical of more militant black groups who condoned the use of violence against white people, or believed that white people were inferior to blacks, but it doesn’t mean he didn’t understand where they came from.

        I’m sure if you asked him today what the best way to deal with the situation, he would say a one state solution where Arabs and Jews had equal rights and the state was explicitly not a “Jewish, Muslim, or Christian” state. So in the terms of Zionists, he would want to anililate Israel.

      • Hostage
        January 17, 2012, 6:31 am

        P.S. In the 1960s “segregation” or “white supremacy” were the buzz words of choice in the US, not apartheid. I think the latter had been introduced here in an effort to avoid translating it as segregation, e.g.

        “Segregation” is such an active word that it suggests someone is trying to segregate someone else. So the word “apartheid” was introduced. Now it has such a stench in the nostrils of the world, they are referring to “autogenous development.” [Alan Paton, “New York Times,” Oct. 24, 1960]

        link to etymonline.com

        The two terms are used as synonyms in Article 3 of the ICERD and both were considered equally prohibited crimes against humanity under international law.

      • MLE
        January 17, 2012, 6:46 am

        At the time, the Arab world was not progressive, hostile to anything new, including a great deal of hostility to anything that rocked the boat.

        Actually, at that time the Arab world was at its most progressive. They were very anti-colonial, which means they bared a deep animosity towards Britain and France for the decades of colonial rule. They sought to assert themselves as independent of their former masters. They also attempted to avoid becoming entangled in the Cold War as a client state for either the United States or the Soviet Union. So the refusal to go along with US policy goals would probably make them appear hostile to the West, in terms of US Cold War policy.

        The main reason there was not much talk about the Arab world, was primarily because there were really no Arab voices on the global stage to talk about the crisis. The only people really focused on the region were policy makers (white men in the state department) or Jews. The leading Arab figure at the time, Abdel Nasser, was considered a Soviet client by the mid to late 60s, so it’s very doubtful that any news media discussed what he said at all. If Americans thought anything about “Arabia”, it was some fantasy of Lawrence of Arabia and 1001 Nights.

        So it’s not surprising that Dr King would not mention the Arabs specifically, but he did make his opinion on colonialism and US Cold War policy very clear. It would be safe to assume he included North Africans and the Middle East when he talked about Africa, or the third world in general.

        Witty, please read some history books not written explicitly in the pro-Israel perspective. I’m getting tired of correcting you.

      • Hostage
        January 17, 2012, 7:13 am

        At the time, the Arab world was not progressive, hostile to anything new, . . . That included the Palestinian Arab world and the larger

        Witty you’re an idiot. I’ve pointed out before that the Chairman of the UN Committee that drafted the Declaration on Universal Human Rights was an Arab, Charles Malik, the representative of Lebanon. link to untreaty.un.org

        He proposed a form of government in Palestine based upon the US Constitution. It was Rabbi Abba Silver who ironically rejected that progressive idea. He claimed that it was unacceptable to the Jewish people, not the Arabs of Palestine.

        The so-called fanatics representing the Arab Higher Committee during the UN Ad Hoc Committee hearings in 1947 proposed a democratic government that would observe human rights, fundamental freedoms; equality of all persons before the law; and protection of the legitimate rights and interests of all minorities. link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

        MLK’s remarks that were cited above reflected the common prejudices here in America. Palestinians were struggling against martial law and wholesale expropriation of the source of their economic security, not illiteracy. Israel was no fucking oasis of brotherhood. The Palestinians were systematically oppressed after their homes and lands were stolen by a bunch of crooked Zionists. There was nothing particularly new or progressive about the methods the Zionists employed.

      • Richard Witty
        January 17, 2012, 7:26 am

        Anti-colonial is not equivalent to “progressive”. There are/were MANY anti-colonial movements that were fascist.

        The Arab world in the 20’s resented Jewish immigration for fears of colonialism, but also because the Jewish women were young and immodestly dressed.

        The formation of Israel was also anti-colonial. The Arab world though thought of Jews as “white” European, rather than than as independent.

      • Richard Witty
        January 17, 2012, 7:44 am

        The measure of progressive are in things like support for women’s rights, removal of theocratic regimens in state, one-person one-vote, support for minorities’ equal rights.

        Those themes were prevalent in early Zionist movements and governance.

        For some reason, you didn’t feel like expressing support of the last paragraph,

        “Today, I’m sure that he would be supportive of Palestinian rights efforts, but would similarly more than emphasize the importance of disciplined non-violent approaches in method and in principles adopted and applied.”

        I experience this puritanical viciousness as regressive, not progressive.

      • pabelmont
        January 17, 2012, 8:35 am

        If MLK made mistakes, let them be buried with his body. Today we celebrate his triumph, and as to that, he made few mistakes. Rightly understood, his message did not celebrate any form of Zionism, and hardly the cruel expansionist, exclusionary atrocity of today.

        Most of us have made mistakes — moral mistakes, logical mistakes, mistakes of fact and learning. MLK doubtless did. We all do. BUT his life had a CORE, and that CORE was solid and carried an important message for all people.

        Was he wrong on Zionism? Doesn’t matter. Many good people were. Did he have Jewish support in those days, and did that support bring Zionism in with it? Maybe. A cause? A reason for confusion? Were those good Jews also confused, also Zionists? Maybe. The DISASTER that is Israel was not so generally clear in the early 1960s.

        May he who has never made a mistake cast the first stone, to echo another moral teacher who may also (for all I know) have been flawed because he was also (for all I know) human.

      • Avi_G.
        January 17, 2012, 9:20 am

        At the time, the Arab world was not progressive, hostile to anything new,

        rw has no idea how ironic it is for him to write that.

        Especially in light of what Hostage has just posted, both rw and Israel are the manifestation and personification of that which they loath and claim to fear.

        richard witty isn’t progressive, hostile to anything new…. That sound about right.

      • Hostage
        January 17, 2012, 10:24 am

        If MLK made mistakes, let them be buried with his body. May he who has never made a mistake cast the first stone, to echo another moral teacher who may also (for all I know) have been flawed because he was also (for all I know) human.

        There’s no need to rewrite or conceal the historical facts, just because he was a hero of our civil rights movement. After all, it was the King family that published the interview with Rabbi Gendler that I cited above. It includes explicit statements by MLK rejecting criticism of Zionist minority rule over the Arabs of Palestine and parroting the usual hasbara tropes about:
        *Arab illiteracy, hunger, and the allegation that Arab regimes exploit Zionists as scapegoats.
        *Claims that Zionists have made the desert bloom and that Israel is an oasis of brotherhood.
        *Assertions that Israel has a right to exist, and the right to security and territorial integrity.
        *Necessity for Arabs to settle for a different, economic, form of peace and security.

      • Richard Witty
        January 17, 2012, 11:09 pm

        What was the Arab world’s position on women’s rights, on one-person one-vote, on rights of minorities, on ecology, on class issues?

        I’m certain that there were areas of exceptions, but the question is substantive.

      • thankgodimatheist
        January 18, 2012, 5:42 am

        “The Arab world in the 20′s resented Jewish immigration for fears of colonialism, but also because the Jewish women were young and immodestly dressed.”

        I’m still wondering how this gem escaped everyone’s attention. The Arab world feared that Jewish women were young and immodestly dressed?!!!
        Are you sure you’re right in the head, Witty? If this is not a mirror image of what geniuses like Bush and his cronies advanced as reasons for 9/11 attacks, what is? That the terrorists hated “us” for our freedom and that they resented the loose morals of Western women wearing miniskirts and such!
        You really don’t have a clue my friend. You’re moronic in the most strict of terms. I mean it.

      • Hostage
        January 18, 2012, 8:37 am

        What was the Arab world’s position on women’s rights, on one-person one-vote, on rights of minorities, on ecology, on class issues?

        Ask Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, Haneen Zoabi, Diana Bhuttu, Stephanie Koury, or some of our Palestinian commentators about their views on women’s rights and the vote. Ashrawi is a member of the Christian minority and a member of the PLC and PLO Executive. Zoabi is an Israeli MK representing the Palestinian Balad party. Bhuttu and Koury are key advisors and have been members of the Negotiations Support Unit.

        I’ve discussed the Palestinian proposals to the UN for the future government of Palestine many times, and the 1968 PLO Charter; the 2003 Palestinian Basic Law and 2005 amendments. The UN acknowledged that the 1988 Algiers Declaration was in line with resolution 181(II). It was drafted in consultation with Prof. Francis Boyle, so that was no surprise. There has been no question that the PLO and PA have accepted the undertaking regarding non-discrimination and equal rights for minorities and women – including the right to vote. There have undoubtedly been volumes written in Arabic on those subjects, but the only one, in English, about the subject of the women’s movement that I’m aware of (from some journal reviews) is Ellen Fleischmann, The nation and its “new” women: the Palestinian women’s movement, 1920-1948, University of California, 2003. There is an annex with brief bios on the members of the Arab Women’s Executive Committee that will give you some background info: link to books.google.com

    • Pamela Olson
      January 16, 2012, 1:31 pm

      This young man isn’t slipping into the skin of African-Americans but of white Southerners who dare to speak out against their own unjust privilege.

    • Duscany
      January 16, 2012, 11:02 pm

      Someone is tone deaf but it’s not Phil. There’s nothing wrong with invoking the name of Martin Luther King when condemning oppression in the Middle East. Not on King’s holiday, or any other day. It’s surreal to think otherwise.

  9. MLE
    January 16, 2012, 10:48 am

    This is exactly the same thoughts I went through, as well as a lot of my friends.

    What it came down to was justice vs. ethnic identity. My Jewish friends and I who are not zionists view the conflict in universal terms- we’ve put aside our own ethnicities and focused on the facts on the ground. It’s recognition that our upbringing comes with a bias, which can distort our world view. The people I know who still support Israel feel they are culturally obliged to support Israel, and when you start challenging them with facts, they shut down and go into auto response.

    • Krauss
      January 16, 2012, 12:27 pm

      Precisely.

      That’s exactly the same thing I went through, but beginning about 7 years or so back.
      Israel is not only becomming a wedge issue in American politics, it’s the same among Jews. You get extremes at more frequent rates. Either the auto-response hasbarists, often quick to denounce you as a ‘traitor’ or ‘disloyal'(or the tiresome smear of ‘self-hating Jew’ because you happen to think for yourself, something they never managed to do in their life).

      Or you have people like me, who in the right circumstances could well become a Zionist, but after almost 3 decades of Likud rule with very few injections and the horizon just shows the permanent hegemony of the Danny Danon and the Lieberman’s of the world, Israel is by now a golden calf.

      Judaism and Jews will not fall apart because of it. We’ve made it for over 2000 years and we’ll make it through the next 2000 years. With or without an Israel.

      • MLE
        January 16, 2012, 1:26 pm

        There’s a third group, which is the Jewish kids who just avoid thinking about the topic all together. Usually they’re the product of interreligious marriages or they’re like my brother, who just really could not give two craps either way. My brother’s focus is on CNBC and his fraternity brothers. He did go on Birthright, but it was for a free vacation and his frat brother was going too.

        Both sides want to claim these as our own (zionists claim they haven’t settled down yet and non zionists stress their lack of connection to the Jewish state), but I think they are their own unique group.

      • Citizen
        January 17, 2012, 4:48 am

        And the 98% of America that is not Jewish by blood line (or the very few, by conversion) are mostly not grappling with this wedge issue at all except obliquely to the extent they favor Ron Paul’s foreign policy and foreign aid policy–and most of those (relatively few) fellow Americans don’t even recognize the acronym AIPAC and never heard of Walt or Mearsheimer, or Rachel Corrie, or the USS Liberty, etc. That’s my experience.

    • teta mother me
      January 16, 2012, 4:05 pm

      That’s a really tough spot to be in, MLE, and I applaud your candor and what I expect is a level of confusion in dealing with the world.

      I wonder if you can stretch a bit further and try to understand what non-Jews who see the “facts on the ground” but are double stifled in their reactions to the facts they see? Should they dare to speak out, they will be censured by their own community of non-Jews who “shut down and go into auto-response,” — I’ve seen it too many times to count — even though their facts are rock solid and obvious, and their logic and expression of the sentiment has been tested every which way. Non-Jews are also shouted down and possibly even worse by the Jewish community. As Dan Crowther wrote in a comment a few days ago, non-Jews in the US are expected to remain neutered. eee can threaten violence, but non-Jewish Americans must swallow the reality that they see, out of fear of violence or threat to employment, reputation, etc. of themselves or family.

      eee claims Jews do not have power, but what I see and experience is that Jews overpower non Jews in the US in more subtle ways than Palestinians are oppressed by Jews in Israel, but with the same abusive imbalance.

      • MLE
        January 17, 2012, 6:56 am

        I fully appreciate what non Jews go through when they attempt to join the conversation, and I really admire them for facing the challenges that come up when discussing this topic. I was probably a bit of Zionist mouthpiece when I was in Middle School and early in high school, because my only information on Israel came from the Synagouge or my mother. I would say keep fighting the good fight.

    • Charon
      January 17, 2012, 12:00 am

      I recently tried to explain this to a friend of mine who is Jewish and as a result we are no longer friends. Some people say that is the price we have to pay. To be completely honest, I would have said the same thing a few weeks ago but at this point I am mourning the loss of friendship (which did not hinge on I/P at all, I/P was just a topic that may or may not have come up). If I continue on this path, I will lose friends. I just don’t know if i am emotionally ready for this. I want my lost friendship back.. I feel very ill and it is muddying my POV of the conflict. Anybody else in a similar situation? If so, how did you deal with it? Because I don’t like the way I feel about it. I love my friends… I do not enjoy losing any of them over opinions.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 17, 2012, 12:18 am

        do you think there is an opportunity to repair the friendship charon? if you miss your friend isn’t it likely your friend misses you? if we can’t forge pathways via the people we care about most what hope is there?

        call your friend. tell them you love them. there are lots of friends and relatives who differ on this issue. i have personally been affected but i can’t talk about it online. too personal.

      • Charon
        January 17, 2012, 12:41 am

        It doesn’t hurt to try I guess, but it will be awkward . I guess I have nothing to lose. Friendship means much more to me and even though I acknowledged that this path would cause me to lose friends, it is much different when it actually happens. Very personal, can’t go into detail either. I don’t like it.. I’d much rather be friends having differing POVs opinions but do understand that’s impossible for some.

        I guess what I’m saying is my beliefs regarding I/P have finally affected me at a personal level as I am sure it has for several commenters here. It is not at all easy to deal with as I mentally rationalized. Nor do I want to deal with it from a rational level.. friendship is different and I fear that I may have lost a good friend only because we disagreed on this particular subject despite all the other things we get along with. That’s just my selfish personal friendship. I can’t imagine how it is for Jewish family members disagreeing over the issues, splitting family members even. I’ve never analyzed this emotionaly nor actually considered such a POV. I doubt many people have. It sucks to say the very least. You guys have a lot of guts, more than I will ever have.

      • Richard Witty
        January 17, 2012, 4:44 am

        Please consider the objective as well. If you expressed a contemptuous opinion about something that he/she held as important, then you may have to apologize, and then agree to disagree if you can.

        I promise that if you call them “racist” or even imply in personal conversation, then you will not retain that friend as a trusted friend.

        If you frame your conclusions as something is not as it should be here, “I” (key word) feel compassion for those that are harmed, and want to assist in making a change in their life, you will likely stimulate similar compassion in your friend.

      • Citizen
        January 17, 2012, 5:00 am

        I’ve lost friends and members of my own family and in-law family too–solely on the issues brought up daily on this web site. The only way to keep friendly contact with them, if there is one, is to never mention or discuss foreign policy at all and let what little they say accidentally about that subject pass over my head as if I did not hear it–I guess I’m lucky because I have one sibling who will discuss it, but only just between us; otherwise he shuts up because, he tells me in effect, he knows their ignorant and/or knee-jerk limitations.

      • thankgodimatheist
        January 17, 2012, 6:27 am

        “do you think there is an opportunity to repair the friendship charon?”

        I lost 3 friends due to my criticism of Israel and support for the Palestinians. I repaired one friendship but not completely the other two. It hasn’t been the same ever since the dispute. They would talk to me occasionally but never invite me to dinner as it was regularly the case before. I’m, somehow, “tainted”.

      • MLE
        January 17, 2012, 6:59 am

        It’s just as hard when it’s your own family that disagree with you.

      • MLE
        January 17, 2012, 7:17 am

        So Witty, if your Jewish family is actively racist against Arabs, you shouldn’t call them out on it?

        Example- I lived in Egypt for an extended period of time, so I have a lot of friends of Arab or Muslim descent. One of my friends is a pilot for Egypt Air and he comes to the States every few weeks or so on business. When I go visit him, my mom will cheerfully ask what I’m going to be doing in New York, when I tell her I’m going to meet the pilot, her face and voice harden up in an instant. This is with someone with who I have zero romantic interest in. She does not have this reaction when I brought home a Latino boyfriend or any other race, religion, or nationality. She’s already told me several times that she does not want Arab grandchildren.

        Please tell me how this is different than if I lived in Alabama and my mom or dad would freak out that I’m dating black men.

      • MLE
        January 17, 2012, 8:10 am

        Anyway Witty, my earlier point can be made using this example:

        My friend says: Your mom is a really nice lady, it’s too bad she’s racist.

        If I take the Zionist route, I can end my friendship with this person because he called my mom a racist. My mom is totally not a bad person, why would he call her a racist! He must be racist to think my mom is racist. After all she only wants to make sure the grandchildren are Jewish and keep the tradition going. It’s anti semitic to assume that’s not a positive.

        Or I can take the universalist approach: Yeah it’s a shame. If I marry an Arab guy, I hope he has the patience to deal with this. Regardless, once I start giving her grandchildren, she’s going to be so happy she won’t not care what their ethnic or religious makeup is.

      • Philip Weiss
        January 17, 2012, 9:30 am

        disturbing story MLE. thank you for sharing that.

      • Richard Witty
        January 17, 2012, 10:05 am

        MLE,
        I don’t know the specifics of your story.

        I can just tell you from experience, that to be name-called a racist is unpleasant and disrespectful.

        If you want change, then to educate is a better route, and that takes some sensitivity and respect of the person expressed as well as the information.

        I state it when I confront it and feel a need to convey my discomfort, as “that last statement that you made made me very uncomfortable. I don’t think of Arabs as ….. I’ve known Arabs that are intelligent, responsible, kind, good friends. Please don’t disturb my memory of them by generalization. Thanks for hearing.”

        There are LOTS of racist statements made in the world, some towards Arabs, some towards Jews, still in the world.

        But, confronting someone meanly, and particularly in public, is an utterly inneffective way to change hearts and minds.

        It applies to specific cases, and in general. Harranguing people usually ends up reinforcing prejudices as much as transforming them, but I agree that people won’t change unless they hear of the effects.

        Please restrain yourself from using me as some “type”. I’m not. I’m a person who values my community and sincerely desires peace (meaning mutual health), not revolution.

  10. eljay
    January 16, 2012, 11:00 am

    >> We would never be so amoral as to fight an unjust war.

    Correct. Zionist terrorism and the ethnic cleansing of Palestine were “necessary” wrongs. The creation of a religion-supremacist “Jewish state” was a “liberation”. The ON-GOING occupation and colonization of Mandate Palestine outside of Partition borders is “spiritual in a body, not just in abstraction”. (I hope you’re happy, RoHa. ;-) )

    And if that doesn’t satisfy Mr. Lieberfeld, perhaps a greater amount of “personal spiritual discipline” will soothe all doubts.

    >> I knew, of course, that the war was no simple matter and that we did not by any means commit murder for its own sake, but to portray our killings as a “fact of life” was simply too much for me to accept. I thanked him and walked out shortly afterward. I never went back.

    I wonder if young Mr. Lieberfeld is aware that he suffers from “a confusion of identity”.

    • RoHa
      January 17, 2012, 12:25 am

      See! There’s a place for creepiness.

      • eljay
        January 17, 2012, 7:24 am

        >> See! There’s a place for creepiness.

        Touché. :-)

  11. Winnica
    January 16, 2012, 11:00 am

    Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth, the numbers seem to indicate that most young American Jews feel just fine with Israel. Not all of them, mind you, but a comfortable majority.

    link to jidaily.com

    Which is the way it has been since WWII, when a majority of the Jewish world swung firmly behind the Zionist project; prior to the war it had been only a plurality.

    • justicewillprevail
      January 16, 2012, 11:22 am

      Missing the point, aren’t you?

      • Exiled At Home
        January 16, 2012, 11:34 am

        I’m not sure that Winnica is.

        Sure, this event is positive. The publishing of Lieberfeld’s essay is positive. Giving him a podium is positive.

        But, does this reflect some sort of fundamental transformation in the psyche of the American Jewish youth? Doubtful. Overwhelmingly, they still put on tribal blinders when the Israel issue is put before them.

      • teta mother me
        January 16, 2012, 12:12 pm

        no, giving Lieberfeld a podium is NOT positive, it’s business as usual.

        Giving a Black person a podium on Martin Luther King day would have been Positive.

      • Krauss
        January 16, 2012, 12:37 pm

        I agree. Beinart’s been pushing the ‘young Jews dissatisfied with Israel’ meme a lot because he is and he wants someone with him.

        Poll after poll has shown that among Jews with two Jewish parents, they are fervently Zionist. This is in part because after 1990 the amount of summer camps, day schools and Jewish activities for the young increased by a very large amount.

        And if you look at the intermarriage rate for young Jews with Jewish parents on both sides, it has actually declined to about 30 %(and that was in 2000, it could be even lower now).

        The young Jewish people who are unhappy with Israel tend to be Jews of intermarried parents, so it’s often an issue of Jewish connectiveness. Jewish culture does a great job at tribalizing a young adult. Perhaps better than any other religion in the world.

      • MLE
        January 16, 2012, 1:48 pm

        No there are more of the purebred Jews who don’t support Israel than you think… a lot of the times were very quiet about it because it upsets our family members when they learn about our views.

      • Exiled At Home
        January 16, 2012, 1:58 pm

        Teta,

        Eh, I must have missed the memo stating that only blacks are allowed to honor civil rights and equality on Martin Luther King Day. Carrying on the dream of the civil rights movement as it is needed around the globe is hardly an insult to its roots here in America.

      • justicewillprevail
        January 16, 2012, 2:12 pm

        No, the point is not to play the numbers game. No-one is making claims like that. If you polled white South Africans not long before the end of apartheid they would profess themselves happy with the status quo. Or if you asked white Southerners in the Jim Crow era whether they were satisfied with how things are. The point is that brave, young people are not willing to keep up the sham that Israel is worth supporting in its land-grabbing apartheid guise, or its appetite for violence and destruction perpetrated against indigenous people. Like the Civil Rights movement it starts with occasions and people such as this, who speak out for what is right and just. It represents a break in the dam, a tipping point which can have influence way beyond whatever polls and conservatives might claim. Most people are fair-minded and not aggressive – when the true picture of what Israel does is presented to them, they will be repulsed, whatever cultural group they claim affiliation to.

      • teta mother me
        January 16, 2012, 2:40 pm

        if you understood the local politics you would be aware of the simmering tensions in the Black community in Pittsburgh.

        Over 40 years ago a large chunk of the Black community was levelled to make way for the Civic Arena, an engineering marvel that Pittsburgh became very proud of — its dome retracted, a one of a kind building, made of Pittsburgh steel.

        The Kaufmann family (Kaufmann Dept Store, Fallingwater, etc) was a major driver for building the “Dome” on THAT location, the Hill District, which had been an area where Jews, Blacks, Irish etc. lived together. Blacks had thriving jazz clubs, shops, etc. As more Russian Jew arrived in the City, creating tensions with earlier German Jews, the latter moved out of the Hill and the economy of that area plunged. The Civic Arena project landed the final blow in Black prosperity on the Hill. Displaced Blacks were resettled in other parts of the city that are, to this day, blighted and impoverished.

        Several years ago the hockey team that had been using the Civic ARena said it needed new facilities and they effectively abandoned the Civic Arena. The building remained empty & unused for several years. During that time, Black groups sought its demolition in order to redress the harm they claim to have suffered over the life of the Civic Arena, by having been displaced. Blacks wanted control of the property to rebuild the homes and businesses they “still had the keys to.” Well-heeled but unfocused ‘developers’ joined that side of the debate, claiming they could turn the property into a money-maker; until it all fell into place, however, the developers conceded that if the Dome were demolished, the property would be a parking lot for however long it took to find funding, development schemes, etc.
        On the other side of the ledger, preservation groups (spearheaded by my friend, a Jewish businessman) argued passionately that destroying the Civic Arena was the equivalent of destroying the Buddha statues in (wherever that was). Pittsburgh’s Civic ARena was a showpiece for the City, a source of civic pride, a tourist destination, a unique engineering and architectural element.

        The preservationists lost. Dismantling of the Civic Arena has begun; it is now a skeleton, stripped of its stainless steel dome panels. It will soon be a smear on the landscape.

        This was done to keep Black people happy. But it will not make them happy; it will be a parking lot for another generation.

        Meanwhile, black children in the neighborhoods live in slums and inferior schools.

        My argument against Jesse Lieberland is NOT about his message, it is about his timing.

        What if Richard Land were to travel to New York City on Yom Kippur and claim the award for an essay on the life and meaning of the Southern Baptist tradition? How would the Jewish community receive that message, even if it were meaningful, given that a Christian was putting himself front and center of a Jewish holy day?

        Black people in Pittsburgh NEED a boost. Jesse Lieberfeld and his friends can and do have dozens — hundreds of opportunities to speak their piece. That they chose to use the one opportunity that young Black people might have to shine, to stand out in their community, to witness pride in “brainy BLACK young people,” strikes me as insensitive in the extreme.

      • teta mother me
        January 16, 2012, 3:46 pm

        “Beinart’s been pushing the ‘young Jews dissatisfied with Israel’ meme a lot because he is and he wants someone with him.”

        Yes. Beinart spoke at a major synagogue a stone’s throw from the CMU campus & Lieberfeld’s school.

        Beinart’s solution is apposite to Jesse’s. Beinart proposes increasing Birthright trips; ramping up Hebrew education, preferably with taxpayer funding, achieved by leveraging Catholic education advocates, but NOT by pressing for reforms in essential Israeli systems that are problematic.

      • Philip Munger
        January 16, 2012, 3:59 pm

        Great rundown of how the building and history of the Pittsburg Civic Arena went down, teta mother me.

        Many American cities could tell a similar story about how space for shrines to pampered athletes and their worshippers, featuring gated, guarded sky boxes for the top percent of the 1%, were carved out of the hearts of thriving multi-ethnic or Black communities.

        However, looking at CMU’s guidelines for the MLK Writing Awards, and at some of the other winners in their various categories, it strikes me that young Jesse’s essay was evaluated for the content of its character, and not by the color of the author’s skin, or by his essay’s attention to problems associated mostly with the struggles of African Americans:

        Thirteen years ago, Carnegie Mellon University English Professor Jim Daniels started a writing contest – the Martin Luther King, Jr. Writing Awards – to bring students together to talk about race. Each year, the contest encourages Pittsburgh-area high school students and CMU students to explore their personal experiences with race and discrimination through poetry and prose.

        The awards prompt students to think about Martin Luther King, Jr. and race in the context of their everyday lives,” said Daniels, the Thomas Stockham Baker Professor of English who directed this year’s awards program. “It brings people of all races together and gets them to tell their stories. And, it’s hard to hide in a good poem, or a good essay.”

        For the 2012 awards, Daniels made a concerted effort to reach out to more local high schools, both public and private, and reinstated the college prose category for CMU students. He received well over 200 entries – a record number for the contest– from nine high schools.

        Kristin Kovacic, a teacher at Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, has had her literary artist students participate in the awards since they began. “This contest is unique in that it doesn’t ask the usual questions about Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy,” she said. “Rather, the CMU contest asks our students to reflect on encounters with race and difference in their own lives, and this, we find, is much more challenging psychological work. And, the writing that emerges from this work is naturally concrete and emotionally fresh.” [emphases added]

      • teta mother me
        January 16, 2012, 4:11 pm

        whoa.
        red face.
        thanks for the much-need come-uppance, Philip Munger. I came out with guns blazing before I had a bead on the target.

        apologies for all the blows I landed on Jesse Lieberfeld.

      • Exiled At Home
        January 16, 2012, 4:18 pm

        Black people in Pittsburgh NEED a boost. Jesse Lieberfeld and his friends can and do have dozens — hundreds of opportunities to speak their piece. That they chose to use the one opportunity that young Black people might have to shine, to stand out in their community, to witness pride in “brainy BLACK young people,” strikes me as insensitive in the extreme.

        Well, it strikes me as oversensitive in the extreme that you would expect Jesse Lieberfeld, a 17 year old, to know about the 40 year-old animosity from the black community toward Melon (Civic) Arena, or that you would expect Lieberfeld to reconsider his “timing” for giving a speech about civil rights in Palestine on MLK day. Again, I hadn’t realized that MLK’s vision was restricted solely to African-American civil rights.

      • Philip Munger
        January 16, 2012, 5:09 pm

        Thanks.

        Never been to Pittsburg, but your story about how that was done there is so representative of stadium, civic center and convention center shock doctrine, voter-funded facilities around the USA and other countries.

      • Duscany
        January 16, 2012, 11:07 pm

        “Jewish culture does a great job at tribalizing a young adult.”

        Well said, as was Liberfield’s comment that growing up Jewish makes one feel lucky and victimized, all at the same time.

      • RoHa
        January 17, 2012, 12:10 am

        “Jewish culture does a great job at tribalizing a young adult.”

        But I thought Jewish culture was supposed to be a good thing.

      • Citizen
        January 17, 2012, 5:03 am

        I think the first place winner of the contest was a young black woman, eh?

      • pabelmont
        January 17, 2012, 8:48 am

        Bad timing? Wrong: There seems to have been a competition for an essay on MLK’s legacy which was open to everyone, not just to black people. Jesse was NOT attacking Zionism on Yom Kippur; he was celebrating MLK on MLK’s day.

      • G. Seauton
        January 18, 2012, 4:49 am

        “That they chose to use the one opportunity that young Black people might have to shine, to stand out in their community, to witness pride in ‘brainy BLACK young people,’ strikes me as insensitive in the extreme.”

        Yes, it is, in a sense, insensitive, but it isn’t pointless. One could say that the choice of Jesse Lieberfeld’s essay on Martin Luther King Day, appropriate as it may have been, actually appropriated a crucial element of African American culture for Jewish cultural purposes. And yet, on the other hand, the point that Jesse Lieberfeld makes becomes especially pointed on Martin Luther King Day. After all, would whites be excluded from the meaning of Martin Luther King’s message? Of course not! King’s ideal was one of racial harmony in a world free of discrimination and oppression. These words seem so distant now because the 1960s are so distant.

        In essence, there are competing, but not incompatible, messages here. Yes, Black people in Pittsburgh need a boost. But the idea of Richard Land accepting an award on the day of Yom Kippur is simply not analogous. First, it would be a mere coincidence, in the sense that many unrelated things happen on Yom Kippur. Second, Yom Kippur is a Jewish holy day, not the universalist holiday that Martin Luther King Day is. In fact, this universalism is a defining part of Martin Luther King Day. “I have a dream!”

        Ironically, and perhaps especially appropriately, Jesse Lieberfeld’s message takes its inspiration from this universalism and therefore most completely finds its voice on Martin Luther King Day.

        Most importantly, Jesse’s repudiation of the senseless killing of others — the Palestinians — can give us all hope in the ultimate possibility of granting rights and recognition to a people too long dispossessed and ground under the boot of oppression.

    • seafoid
      January 16, 2012, 11:26 am

      Israel is like New Orleans in January 2005. Most people responsible for the levees were just fine with the state of things. Not all of them mind you, but a comfortable majority.
      Which is the way it was since WW2 when whatever.

    • Shmuel
      January 16, 2012, 11:26 am

      Winnica,

      For all I know, AICE’s numbers are right, but really – Mitchell Bard? Even the article you linked to hints at a pretty strong selection bias.

      Regarding your assertion about the pre-war period, what years are you talking about and what are your sources? With strong opposition to Zionism among ultra-Orthodox, neo-Orthodox, Reform, Bundists and assimilationists, where did all that support for Zionism come from?

      • American
        January 16, 2012, 11:58 am

        “where did all that support for Zionism come from?”…Shmuel

        From the same kind of need some people have to believe they/ their group/their country is exceptional/superior to others.

        Whether it’s Americans who believe the US is exceptional and special in the world or Jews who believe they are special or chosen.
        Some people who have no personal individual power on their own will flock to/identify with a group that makes them more important and more powerful they are alone.
        And of course most humans are “joiners” and groupies to being with.
        For Jews it was doubly easy to support zionism, esp. after WWII because of their historic belief that they were both a special ‘people’ and persecuted for it at the same time.

      • Shmuel
        January 16, 2012, 12:24 pm

        American,

        I wasn’t talking about motivation, but about demographics. Virtually all of the important religious, ideological and political Jewish movements in pre-war Europe and America rejected the concept of Jewish nationalism. So where did Winnica come up with the idea that “[a plurality of the Jewish world] swung firmly behind the Zionist project”? Hell, Herzl even had a hard time trying to find a place to hold his Zionist Congress – due to Jewish opposition to his ideas.

        So who were these masses of Zionists, if they were neither Reformers, nor Agudists, nor Hirschists, nor Bundists, nor assimilationists?

        I’m not saying that Zionism was insignificant in Poland or the US in the 1930s, but a plurality? Doesn’t seem very likely.

      • American
        January 16, 2012, 1:11 pm

        “I’m not saying that Zionism was insignificant in Poland or the US in the 1930s, but a plurality? Doesn’t seem very likely.”…Shumel

        Sorry, didn’t get that you were talking about demographics.
        But imo zionism didn’t probably wasn’t a plurality when it started.
        No doubt in my mind that the holocaust gave it a big bump, took it further than it would have ever gone without it.
        There were obviously a number of Jews either predisposed to embrace it or jumped on it because of the holocaust.
        Some where on here I posted a link (too lazy to go find it) to newpaper reports and British embassy cables about large Jewish rallies, with militant over tones, in the US in which the Jews were dressed in the Polish Betar Bund uniforms. The British in particular kept on eye on them because they were denouncing the UK as the Jews number one enemy..for whatever reason..maybe to blackmail them into more support for a Jewish state by implying they were as anti semitic as Hitler.
        Anyway these were US Jews, not holocaust fleers, who had organized this in the US so some support for zionism was already here and was no doubt coordinated with zionist abroad….but probably impossible to say if it had majority support.
        From little acorns big trees grow…..zionism had or attracted enough to grow to what it is now.

      • Citizen
        January 17, 2012, 5:06 am

        Shmuel, I immediately wondered the same as you since my readings support what you say regarding the demographics wrt the Zionist movement from inception right up to just prior to WW2.

      • regev
        January 16, 2012, 12:18 pm

        Care to provide us with some sources indicating strong opposition to Zionism among the groups you mentioned?

      • Shmuel
        January 16, 2012, 12:51 pm

        Care to provide us with some sources indicating strong opposition to Zionism among the groups you mentioned?

        Which group are you suggesting was not anti-Zionist? The Bund? Agudas Yisroel? The Hassidic movements outside the Agudah? The Hirschists/Breuerists? The Reform? The assimilationists who wanted nothing more than to be equal citizens in the countries in which they resided (an aspiration that Jewish nationalists threatened)? OK, a small number of Reform leaders in the US and in Germany were pro-Zionist – contrary to the very ethos of their movement, but that’s hardly enough to support Winnica’s claim.

        There is nothing controversial about any of this. What’s your point?

      • regev
        January 16, 2012, 4:29 pm

        I’m sorry Shmuel You were referring to the pr war era and I was referring to the post war era. The ultra-Orthodox, neo-Orthodox, Bundists and assimilationists were indeed anti-Zionists, the reforms however did object to Zionism at first but the more Zionism grew popular among Jews, the reforms grew less objective to it.

    • MLE
      January 16, 2012, 1:17 pm

      Yes, somehow interviewing 400 Jewish undergraduates at the Hillel might not get you the most accurate picture of what all undergraduate Jewish youth is thinking. What about all the Jews who don’t actively participate in Jewish life on campus? I went to GW, which has a very large Jewish population, yet most of us were involved in other activities. Did the people doing the research go down the list of registered students and call anyone with a Jewish last name?

    • MRW
      January 16, 2012, 3:14 pm

      Winnica, when did all this glorifying of Zionism happen?

      In 1919, in a petition published in the New York Times, 300 Jewish leaders petitioned President Wilson against a Zionist state.
      link to home2.btconnect.com

      Specifically, they noted in their first paragraph:

      We feel that in doing so we are voicing the opinion of the majority of American Jews born in this country and of those foreign-born who have lived here long enough to thoroughly assimilate American political and social conditions. The American Zionists represent, according to the most recent statistics available, only a small proportion of the Jews living in this country, about 150,000 out of 3 1/2 million, (American Jewish Yearbook, 1918, Philadelphia.)

    • Shingo
      January 16, 2012, 4:57 pm

      Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth, the numbers seem to indicate that most young American Jews feel just fine with Israel

      Others polls say otherwise.

      link to thejewishweek.com
      link to bjpa.org
      link to acbp.net
      link to generalassembly.org

    • thetumta
      January 16, 2012, 7:41 pm

      Be patient. Things change, especially the awful ones it would seem.
      Hej!

    • yourstruly
      January 16, 2012, 10:21 pm

      how representative of jewish youth is a poll in which –

      N = 400
      43% of the interviewees attended a jewish day school or yeshiva
      48% went to jewish summer camp
      75% were bar/bat mitzvah’d
      54% were involved in jewish youth groups before college
      13% none of the above

      not to mention the questions asked

  12. Avi_G.
    January 16, 2012, 11:16 am

    link to youtu.be

    Palestine in 1709.

  13. Richard Witty
    January 16, 2012, 11:25 am

    “doom for the lobby”.

    17 year olds are idealistic. To do good in the world requires taking ideals and putting them into practice.

    Relative to the Palestinians, Israel is Goliath. Relative to the Arab world with a hundred times the geographic space, and those that are urged to sympathize with the theme of “Zionism is racism” and “Israel will dissolve in the seas of time (lets help it along)” Israel is David.

    It’s relationship to Palestinians can change if they renounce the larger Goliath theme of “Israel will dissolve in the seas of time (lets help it along)”.

    What is advocated for? is the much bigger question.

    • Exiled At Home
      January 16, 2012, 11:45 am

      Israel against the entire Muslim world -never mind the much smaller Arab world- is still a Goliath, Witty, and you know this.

    • seafoid
      January 16, 2012, 12:07 pm

      Israel is Sparta redux.
      It’s a very sad national redemption. It is hard to credit that there are people in Israel who believe it is somehow the culmination of human endeavour. Like God had a well regarded company that he quietly divested from which in the meantime has become an Appalachian mountaintop destroying coal outfit.

      • Richard Witty
        January 16, 2012, 12:27 pm

        The reality is dual.

      • Citizen
        January 17, 2012, 5:27 am

        Witty, you need to get a three-dimensional chess board because you forgot that the reality is that Israel oppresses the Palestinian people daily, and that the only super power in the world, the USA, works in tandem it and with the tiny dictatorships running every Arab country to the sole benefit of themselves and the USIsrael’s elite. Goliath is big, wide, and kept blindfolded, and dumb–Goliath is the Main St and Arab St. Goliath is the 99%. David is the 1% and his slingshot is debt and the strongest police and military combo on the planet, the invisible Tryannus Rex dinosaur on the planet.

    • MLE
      January 16, 2012, 1:37 pm

      I’m sorry Witty, but this entire generation is idealistic. We grew up with Oslo and we expected peace and a two state solution. How many people in their twenties do you interact with anyway? I would suggest going to your friends and ask their children or grandchildren what they think about the situation.

      • Richard Witty
        January 16, 2012, 2:29 pm

        I interact with people of all ages.

        I particularly value my own experience.

        Which was of complete indifference to Israel in my late teens and twenties, if anything some antipathy, associated with the feeling that my parents were imposing their views, and preoccupation with other issues like the war in Vietnam. I did go to Israel in 1968, late 13, and did have both moving Zionist-like experiences, and anti-Zionist-like experiences (arguing with a tour guide in the Golan explaining why the Golan was always Israel, and he stopping the car and telling me to get out).

        What changed my views on Israel were three factors:

        1. Marrying a child of a European holocaust survivor that informed me of an entirely new world of historical and personal experience.
        2. The decision to bring my children up Jewish rather than yogic, with bris, bar mitzvah, Jewish education, holidays, etc.
        3. The experience of being harrangued by anti-Zionist leftists while running a radical spoken word cooperative library for including some Zionist Jewish authors’ work in the library.

        In that sense, my own indifference to Zionism in my 20’s, I wonder what is different about young Jews’ views compared to now.

        The self-righteous, “I am better than my immoral parents”, is the same repetition. The political issues are the same. There are more paths for anti-Zionist “idealism” now, and there were more paths for pro-peace engagement (not much now).

      • thetumta
        January 16, 2012, 7:44 pm

        “I particularly value my own experience.” Sort of answers all of the questions one might have Richard? Perhaps you should listen to what Phil is saying to you?

      • Citizen
        January 17, 2012, 5:36 am

        Witty, do you think other people here value their own experiences as much as you value yours?

      • Citizen
        January 17, 2012, 5:44 am

        Ah, Witty, I bet you say that to all the White Rose kids. Charming.

    • Charon
      January 17, 2012, 12:10 am

      Richard, I am personally not convinced that “Israel will dissolve in the seas of time” is the Palestinian or Arab rhetoric. I could be wrong, but I do not think so. I personally haven’t exactly been nice to you in response to your comments, but I am going to go against the grain here and acknowledge that you are a good person and you do mean well and you are not a hasbarist. I apologize for any ill-conceived personal attacks which in all honesty are childish and not going to change anything except make you ignore our opinion. We are worlds apart in our conflicting opinions of this conflict and maybe the answer involves acknowledging our differences and respecting each other’s opinions. From there we can perhaps see each other’s POV and if we disagree on things, it would be better to disagree as friends. I would like to apologize for any hurtful comments I have made toward you.

      • Richard Witty
        January 17, 2012, 4:28 am

        Thanks.

        We might not be world’s apart in efforts to improve the reality.

        We might be partial worlds apart in judgments of fault.

        But, I think judgments of fault get in the way in a knot (and this is a knot), more than they help. So, they end up adding to the knot itself, rather than cut it or changing it as imagined.

  14. tommy
    January 16, 2012, 11:31 am

    Jesse Lieberfeld has revealed the emperor has no clothes. The oppressor has no moral or ethical justification for the nationalist crimes committed in the name of his religion, and only a child can exclaim before a congregation of the pious that it is wrong. Unlike the fable, though, the congregants still act as if they see robes beautifully tailored by a deity.

  15. American
    January 16, 2012, 11:33 am

    Like the headline says…with a hammer he nailed the crux of Israel re the Jews with this:

    “I once belonged to a wonderful religion. I belonged to a religion that allows those of us who believe in it to feel that we are the greatest people in the world — and feel sorry for ourselves at the same time…”

    This is the core, the fatal flaw in zionism and perhaps some Judaism that has caused all of what we and everyone are dealing with in Israel.

    And it’s so damn simple and obvious to everyone except the zionist.

    Give this guy a Nobel for insight and honesty and guts for saying it.

  16. Les
    January 16, 2012, 11:47 am

    This must be counted as a media breakthrough. Thanks to you Phil for sharing it with us. It would be nice if our media compared the plight of Israeli born Shamai Leibowitz for reporting on Congresswoman Jane Harman’s sharing classified information with Israeli agents.

  17. Mndwss
    January 16, 2012, 11:56 am

    “I felt horrified at the realization that I was by nature on the side of the oppressors. I was grouped with the racial supremacists. I was part of a group that killed while praising its own intelligence and reason. I was part of a delusion.”

    “by nature on the side of the oppressors”

    That man is: Young Jewish and brave!

    “When I was finally given the chance to ask a question, I asked: “I want to support Israel. But how can I when it lets its army commit so many killings?” I was met with a few angry glares from some of the older men, but the rabbi answered me.”

    “It is a terrible thing, isn’t it?” he said. “But there’s nothing we can do. It’s just a fact of life.”

    That Rabbi is a: Zionazi.

    there’s nothing we can do… !!!

    The master race/chosen people kill a lot…. !!!

    It’s just a fact of life…

    So ist das Leben..

    This young man reminded me of Lennon who told Nixon to declare peace instead of war.

    Go forth and multiply young man…

    The world needs more people like you!

    • Exiled At Home
      January 16, 2012, 12:10 pm

      This young man reminded me of Lennon who told Nixon to declare peace instead of war.

      Breath. Let’s try to contain ourselves, Mndwss.

      • Mndwss
        January 16, 2012, 12:41 pm

        Yes. I know. He needs to join a boy band before he can tell Obama what to do…

    • MLE
      January 16, 2012, 1:41 pm

      That’s the response that makes my blood boil. There’s plenty of things the American Jewish community can do. The most obvious thing is switching from sending tzedacha to the JNF and pick an organization that has a real track record for activities that don’t further the occupation.

    • Rusty Pipes
      January 16, 2012, 1:57 pm

      That rabbi is afraid of losing his job or having his congregation split between those who would join the writer’s criticism of Israel and those who would side with the angry men who were giving him dirty looks. The lukewarm Southern clergymen to whom MLK wrote The Letter From a Birmingham Jail were also afraid of losing their jobs or splitting their congregations if they took a stand for justice (rather than saying that the situation was complicated, so it needed more time for study or dialogue).

      • MLE
        January 16, 2012, 2:22 pm

        I know, but if the spiritual leader of the community can’t take a stand- who will???

      • Mndwss
        January 16, 2012, 3:47 pm

        The people?

      • MLE
        January 17, 2012, 7:23 am

        People in general are sheep. It takes a person with a position of leadership, someone who is valued for their opinion to set the example for their followers.

  18. W.Jones
    January 16, 2012, 12:11 pm

    As he wrote in his letter from Birmingham Jail, he believed the greatest enemy of his cause to be “Not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who … lives by a mythical concept of time…. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”

    Read more: link to post-gazette.com

    I don’t know. The main enemy seems to me to be the KKK-er who is actually enforcing and causing the bad stuff, rather than good men who do nothing. But acceptance is also an obstacle.

  19. patm
    January 16, 2012, 12:11 pm

    Jesse Lieberfeld is indeed a brave good-hearted young man.

    As I read this article I thought of the five (?) Palestinian university students in California who are facing criminal charges for speaking out against Israel’s U.S. ambassador Michael Oren.

    Do we know what their situation is at this time?

    • patm
      January 16, 2012, 12:49 pm

      Do we know what their situation is at this time? Yes, I looked it up myself. There were 11 (not 5) Univ. of California Irvine Muslim Union students charged.

      Here’s the latest news I could find:

      “In September 2011, ten of the eleven MSU students who interrupted Ambassador Oren’s speech were “convicted of a California misdemeanor and sentenced to probation and a fine.”[42] Shortly after the verdict, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas wrote, “History tells us of the dire consequences when one group is allowed to shout down and intimidate another or a group of people so as to not allow them to have opinions or be heard. History requires us to draw a line in the sand against this sort of organized thuggery.”[43] Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz wrote, “It was a good day for the First Amendment when the prosecutor decided to apply the law to their censorial conduct. It was another good day for the First Amendment when the jury appropriately convicted them. And I hope it will be yet another good day for the First Amendment when the appellate courts affirm this constitutionally just conviction.”[42] my bold

      Good old Dersh!

  20. Polly
    January 16, 2012, 12:16 pm

    Love this line…

    “Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection”

  21. Pamela Olson
    January 16, 2012, 12:25 pm

    Great find, Phil. You really have your finger on the pulse. So many nails in this brittle coffin, it’s really just a matter of time…

    • dumvitaestspesest
      January 16, 2012, 12:42 pm

      The problem is that this “brittle coffin” is full of nuclear explosives.
      And the Samson’s Option maybe The Option for some.
      How to stop “the brittle coffin” from not exploding all over the world???

      • Pamela Olson
        January 20, 2012, 3:36 pm

        Aye, there’s the rub… :(

  22. David Samel
    January 16, 2012, 12:37 pm

    Kudos to Carnegie-Mellon for awarding top honors to this essay, and to the Post-Gazette for publishing it. Both must have known there was a risk of negative feedback from the thought police. I wonder if that has started yet.

  23. goodman
    January 16, 2012, 12:38 pm

    In reading Jesse’s wonderful essay, I’m reminded here with an observation made by I. F. Stone in an article in August 1967 in _The New York Review of Books_.
    He wrote:
    “…. Israel is creating a kind of moral schizophrenia in world
    Jewry. In the outside world the welfare of Jewry depends on the
    maintenance of secular, non-racial, pluralistic societies.
    In Israel, Jewry finds itself defending a society in which mixed
    marriages cannot be legalized, in which the ideal is racial and
    exclusivist. Jews might fight elsewhere for their very security
    and existence — against principles and practices they find
    themselves defending in Israel.”

    • dumvitaestspesest
      January 16, 2012, 1:04 pm

      In other words: “Do as I say, not as I do”.
      Although in a way this “moral schizophrenia” IS not such a schizophrenia after all.
      It is just taking care of one’s business, the best way it can be done.
      In the outside world ,secular, non-racial, pluralistc society protects (also) the rights of …..Jews.
      In Israel, religious, racists, supremacists, exlusivist society protects (solely) the rights of ……Jews.
      Either way the balance works in favour of ….Jews.
      Nicely done.

    • American
      January 16, 2012, 1:19 pm

      Yep goodman..it’s that hypocrisy of the Jewish zionist that gets me.
      The one that makes me slam the door in their face and to all their arguments. excuses and justifications for it.

      • dumvitaestspesest
        January 16, 2012, 1:30 pm

        The problem is that in Israel they can slam the door right in your face without even thinking twice ,
        in all other countries, they will cry anti-Semite at even a thought of gently closing the door on them.

  24. dbroncos
    January 16, 2012, 12:41 pm

    Outstanding essay, Jesse! Keep speaking out – Justice fails when people who know better stay quiet.

    • dumvitaestspesest
      January 16, 2012, 1:22 pm

      “If you are afraid to speak the Truth, they already made you into a slave”.

    • goodman
      January 16, 2012, 1:35 pm

      Indeed. As Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

  25. MLE
    January 16, 2012, 2:20 pm

    segrevasion now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!!- eee

    eee, Southern white Americans and South Africans believed they had a great system that was worth preserving too. The uppity black people didnt know their society and needed to be reminded, with violence if necessary, to maintain the social order theyhad constructed. History doesn’t look back on them kindly.

  26. seafoid
    January 16, 2012, 2:41 pm

    link to guardian.co.uk?

    “As King wrote in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”: “We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people.””

    So eee that means you’ll have to repent for your hatred and all of your good co religionists who do nothing will also have time to reflect. And Jews will most likely revert to the historical mean like everyone else does.

  27. David Samel
    January 16, 2012, 2:45 pm

    eee, did you ever think that your decision to “compromise” the ideal of a liberal democracy in favor of an ethnic democracy in which your ethnicity happens to enjoy rights and privileges over others is a bit hollow? Tell me, does it pain you to make this compromise? Do you accept your superior position only reluctantly, knowing that equality is an unfortunately unachievable ideal in this particular case? Apparently, you have been able to live with this unfortunate choice thrust upon you, but can you offer any reasons that Palestinians should live with the short end of the stick, that is, accept inferior rights in the land of their birth? (other than fear of Israel’s ability to physically force them to do so upon pain of imprisonment or death.) I must say your endorsement of abusing power over others is honest, sort of the way Charles Manson was honest in describing what he hoped to gain by having his family butcher the innocent, or Osama bin Laden was honest in his rationale for killing civilians. At least you acknowledge the “abuse.” Good for you.

    I’m also mystified that you see a difference between Phil’s and Jesse’s actions. Does Jesse’s refusal to go back to that shul signify that he is no longer Jewish? Does rejection of undeserved Jewish privilege and superiority require rejection of Jewishness at all? In fact, why do you care if Phil and/or Jesse remain Jewish or consider themselves something else? Aren’t you really suggesting that if a Jewish person disagrees with you on Israel, he/she should stop being Jewish and stop caring about Palestinians and just shut the hell up? Jesse, whom you praise, certainly hasn’t shut up.

    • Shingo
      January 16, 2012, 3:31 pm

      At least eee is prepared to admit that Zionism is racism. That puts him way in front of Witty and Jonah.

    • RoHa
      January 16, 2012, 8:28 pm

      Yes it is. If the creation or maintenance of a Jewish state requires a major injustice, that is a very good reason against a Jewish state.

      Only by declaring (as you do) that Jews are much more important than other people, and that the state is necessary for Jews to thrive, can the state be “justified”.

      But a group that is so corrupt as to think itself so much more important than other people is one that should not thrive.

    • yourstruly
      January 17, 2012, 1:27 am

      believe it or not there are many jews who reject the thriving of jews at the expense of palestinians. it’s not that we believe that palestinian welfare is more important than jewish welfare, but that it’s equally important. making a virtue out of zionist racism may pump up israel-firsters, but the occupy movement that’s almost everywhere now (the future racing towards us?) accentuates equality, not supremacism, same as jews who support justice for palestine. after all isn’t breaking chains a jewish tradition?

    • Citizen
      January 17, 2012, 7:00 am

      I can’t tell eee’s thinking from Nazi thinking. Can anyone? (And yes, Israel has not gassed any Palestinians or shoved them in ovens per se. The test of virtue is power, as eee suggests. Israel does not currently have the full power the Nazi regime had; it has to worry about its PR image more, is more dependent on US than Germany was on any foreign state)

    • thankgodimatheist
      January 17, 2012, 7:08 am

      “I can understand you and Jesse and Phil saying that Palestinian welfare is more important than Jewish welfare.”

      They didn’t say that and you KNOW it! But you couldn’t prevent yourself from being intellectually dishonest and corrupt, could you?
      Unbelievable!

    • Annie Robbins
      January 17, 2012, 9:25 am

      Anywhere Israel would have been located would have raised the same issue.

      Anywhere Israel would have been located? why didn’t you use the world ‘could’ instead of ‘would’? did you think your slipperiness would go unnoticed.

      everyone knows that is a LIE zionists didn’t want a land without a people for a people without a land, they wanted palestine, a land already married to another people. so what did they do? stole the bride, committed a humanitarian disaster, the crime of mass ethnic cleansing, and then lied over and over and over by fabricating a myth called “”A Land without a People for a People without a Land”.

      so no, it would not have raised the same issue if it was located ‘anywhere’ else.

    • Bumblebye
      January 17, 2012, 10:43 am

      eeeee
      There is/was! The Falkland Islands, more than 200 miles from anywhere else, a tiny population (probably only a few hundred way back in the 1880’s, now around 3000). Not to mention natural resources and access to Antarctica and its potential resources.

    • David Samel
      January 17, 2012, 11:10 am

      Actually, eee, my father, then a teenager, and his family moved from Vienna to Cuba and then the U.S., not because they “could never fit in,” but because they would have died had they stayed, as did members of his family left behind. Nevertheless, I have not interpreted that family history as entitling me to special privileges over other Americans, or to move to Israel and assume superior rights over non-Jewish people who live there. You have stated on a number of occasions that you not only demand such superiority but would die to protect it. It’s quite clear that you are not talking about committing some sort of protest suicide to alert the world to the need for Jewish rule over non-Jews, but that you are prepared to die in battle, killing those pesky natives who have the chutzpah to demand the freedom and equality that should be the birthright of all people on Earth. I’m glad to see you’re proud of your racism. You’re a real mensch.

    • David Samel
      January 17, 2012, 2:44 pm

      Tell me, eee, do I, an American Jew, have “sovereignty and freedom” (aside from the last decade’s serious assaults on all Americans’ freedom). Would you, an Israeli Jew, lose your “sovereignty and freedom” if you gave up the idea of a Jewish State and accepted the notion that you should live as equals, not superiors, with other residents of your area? Did South African whites lose their sovereignty and freedom when they were compelled by world public opinion to give up their superiority?

      So you compare the Nakba with Nazi displacement of Jews. That’s a defense? Ethnic cleansing is supposed to be a crime, no matter who or where. Rules have been rewritten since the horrors of the Nazis, and Israel has violated fundamental precepts of international law. And how do you expect the Palestinians to simply move on? Even if they accepted their 1948 displacement, there are four million who live without citizenship subject to Israeli military rule. Or should they simply “move on” to other Arab lands, voluntarily ethnic-cleansing themselves?

    • Hostage
      January 17, 2012, 2:55 pm

      If protecting ones sovereignty and freedom is “racism” then I am guilty as charged. But of course, that is racism only in the case of Israel.

      Unless you happen to be a Monarch, talking about protecting one’s sovereignty isn’t racism, its a delusion of grandeur. BTW, entire volumes have been devoted to the related subjects of sovereignty and racism. See for example Stephen D. Krasner, Sovereignty: organized hypocrisy, Princeton University Press, 1999. Ralph Wilde wrote that: “the ”racialized” concept of a “standard of civilization” was deployed to determine that certain peoples in the world were “uncivilized”, lacking organized societies, a position reflected and constituted in the notion that their “sovereignty” was either completely lacking, or at least of an inferior character when compared to that of “civilized” peoples.” I’d guess that this is the sort of “sovereignty” you were discussing. link to ilr.lls.edu

      The participants at the San Francisco Conference on UN Organization agreed that sovereignty had been a poorly defined and abstract concept during the colonial era and that its only tangible manifestation is jurisdiction. For example, Israel has always claimed that it isn’t responsible for application of human rights covenants in the Palestinian territories because they are not part of its sovereign territory or jurisdiction. See CCPR/C/ISR/2001/2, para 8 or E/1990/6/Add.32, para 6-7

      I believe that this year 180 countries voted in favor of the resolution recognizing the permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people over the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem.

    • Richard Witty
      January 17, 2012, 11:21 pm

      EEE,
      I think the reality is that most Palestinians have attempted to get on with their life, but in similar conditions to Jewish refugees following WW2, are not permitted to either move on to elsewhere, or to live free in their family of family’s home area, if not in their former literal homes.

      Many Palestinians have resettled in the Arab world, in Europe, in the US. Some have become the most vigorous and some of the most violent terrorists on the planet. Others have become successful intellectuals, business-people, artists, government officials, scientists, physicians.

      The Palestinians in Lebanon and Syria have comparable lives to the post-WW2 European refugees, not welcome in their former homes, not invited or accepted elsewhere.

      The art is to observe that their path is hindered, and to make a path that they can live decent lives.

      Both angers against Zionism are excessive, and arguments against Palestinian experience are excessive.

  28. crone
    January 16, 2012, 2:46 pm

    Jesse speaks for one Jew, himself.

    “… The Jews will not return to being passive players on which history acts. We will remain active players in history, and yes we may even abuse our power as every agent in history has. If you cannot live with this, as Jesse can’t, stop being Jewish. No one is forcing you.”

    You, eee, claim to speak for all Jews. Who elected you? And explain to me please what “being Jewish” means… and how does one ‘stop’? Just curious.

  29. Matthew Graber
    January 16, 2012, 2:46 pm

    Amazing the levels of partisanship and identity-based vitriol on Mondoweiss on MLK Day, particularly in response to an article denouncing racial supremacy.

    It’s also so startling to read the Post Gazette’s article. Rather than hailing and celebrating such ideological courage as that expressed from Jesse and Erika, they warn readers and only describe the essays as “searingly honest”.

    In fact, it’s almost as if they missed the point entirely. Why not just come out and say that these are two teens who have struggled with and overcome racial stereotypes?

    • Shingo
      January 16, 2012, 3:26 pm

      Amazing the levels of partisanship and identity-based vitriol on Mondoweiss on MLK Day, particularly in response to an article denouncing racial supremacy.

      Seeing as Israel stands as the last bastion of racial supremacy, it’s perfectly fitting that Iseael should be scrutinized. Racism deserves vitriol.

      Rather than hailing and celebrating such ideological courage as that expressed from Jesse and Erika, they warn readers and only describe the essays as “searingly honest”.

      Warn readers of what? If the essay is “searingly honest” then all that confirms is that Zionism is racism and needs to rejected.

      In fact, it’s almost as if they missed the point entirely. Why not just come out and say that these are two teens who have struggled with and overcome racial stereotypes?

      How is that point missed? Speaking of missing th point, do you even have one?

      • Citizen
        January 17, 2012, 6:05 am

        I think he has a point. The “searingly honest” characterization referencing Lieberfeld’s essays, inter alia, could have used a tad of textual linkeage suggesting why honesty burns. The paper editor deemed it wise not to do so, but let anyone who dared read the essays and draw their own conclusion, which indeed, is, in the case of Lieberfeld’s essay, that Zionism is racism and needs to be overcome.

  30. goodman
    January 16, 2012, 3:00 pm

    Let’s try this for size, eee: “Jesse has done the honest thing. If he prefers the ideals of liberal democracy to the compromises of an exclusivist (i.e., racist) state, Apartheid, and Nazism are not for him. As for the rest of us, we believe that an Aryan state is well worth the compromises.” You and your ilk, notwithstanding your attempt to conflate Judaism and Zionism, illustrate what Jesse — and indeed any decent human being — finds objectionable, namely, your brand of racial supremacy and settler-colonialism.

    • Shingo
      January 16, 2012, 9:08 pm

      It is a benign ethnic democracy in which Arab Israelis are doing quite well.

      First of all, the ogoimng program of ethnic cleasing, illegal settlemetns and home demolitions proves refutes any claims of being benign. As for being a democracy, democracies do not differentiate between ethnicities. In fact, not democracy is defined acordign to it’s nationality. As such, not only is there no such thing as an “ethnic democracy”, but the phrase is a contradiction in terms.

    • yourstruly
      January 17, 2012, 1:52 am

      the nazis claimed that jews were doing quite well and even produced a movie that depicted jews in the warsaw ghetto supposedly living luxurious lives. it was staged, of course.

  31. split
    January 16, 2012, 3:05 pm

    Very dangerous young man – sorry ,…

    • Citizen
      January 17, 2012, 6:12 am

      Yeah, dangerous, like those calling for Romney to release his income tax records so we all know how he made his wealth.

  32. Shingo
    January 16, 2012, 3:16 pm

    If you cannot live with this, as Jesse can’t, stop being Jewish. No one is forcing you.

    One cannot stop being Jewish anymore than one can stop being black or Hispanic.

    However, one can stop supporting Israel, as many are doing. One can stop being a Zionist. Zionist is only 114 years old. It sanotaged Judaism – Judaism now needs to be liberated from this false religion.

    • RoHa
      January 16, 2012, 8:13 pm

      “One cannot stop being Jewish anymore than one can stop being black or Hispanic.”

      Could you explain this, please, Shingo?
      Being black is genetic. If you have the “black genes” you will develop black skin no matter what your upbringing, and you will not be able to get rid of the black skin without some very extreme measures.

      But Jews have a wide variety of different genetic make-ups. Are there some “Jewish genes” that all Jews have?

      Also, converts become Jews. If one can start to be a Jew, why can one not stop being a Jew?

      • yourstruly
        January 17, 2012, 1:44 am

        zionists are the ones who should stop being jews. if they want to belong to a religion, they can start something like ex-jews for racism and genocide.

      • Citizen
        January 17, 2012, 7:06 am

        RoHa, why do you feign you don’t know that the most historic, traditional, usual way to become a Jew is simply to be born from a Jewish womb, and second, to at least be born from a Jewish male’s sperm connecting with a non-Jewish woman’s egg? Conversions are relatively few and not at all encouraged, although in very ancient times Judaism pushed conversion as Christianity does today.

      • MLE
        January 17, 2012, 7:36 am

        I think that’s the paradox of Judaism. We can consider ourselves a race or a religion.

        If Judaism is only a religion, then eee is right and I am not Jewish.

        If Judaism is a race, then even if I reject everything that Judaism stands for, I am still Jewish, because I can’t change my DNA.

        The best thing about eee, is that he’s already admitted to being atheist, meaning he views Judaism as a race, and not a religion (since as an atheist, he rejects the religious aspect of Judaism). Therefore, he can’t wave his hand and declare non religious anti zionists as not being Jewish.

        Black people may have many bad things to say about Michael Steele or Herman Cain, however, nobody denies that they’re African American.

        I think eee views people like me and Jesse as “Uncle Toms”, he was just not aware of that phrase.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 17, 2012, 10:41 am

        You become part of the nation by accepting to tie your personal future with the future of the nation.

        that’s funny, because i became part of this nation by being born here.

        when you stop caring about 50% of the nation, then you are really not part of the nation even if you don’t admit it to yourself.

        iow, if i don’t give a flying f about gop rightwingers and all their ilk i am no longer american?

        You are not an Uncle Tom or a traitor because only in your own mind you are Jewish. You have cut yourself from the Jewish community and being part of the Jewish community is an essence of being a Jew. There is no Jew alone. There is only a Jewish community.

        do they have a rule book or do all the jews pick this up from osmosis. i’m so over these uberzio de-jewing posts eee.

      • eljay
        January 17, 2012, 10:57 am

        For starters, eee and dimadok need to hash this out amongst themselves, seeing as how even these two Zionist Israelis can’t agree on what constitues a Jew.

        Too funny…

      • MLE
        January 17, 2012, 12:16 pm

        Seriously??? Your point has been completely invalidated by that definition.

        Here is the definition of a nation from Wikipedia: A nation may refer to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, and/or history. In this definition, a nation has no physical borders.

        It is impossible to leave a “nation”, because you’ll still share the same ethnicity, descent, or history with that nation.

      • patm
        January 17, 2012, 2:59 pm

        According to you then, Jews for Jesus are Jews, but obviously they are not even though they have the same ethnicity as other Jews.

        Jews are Jews are Jews, 3e. Of course Jews for Jesus are Jews. You know that as well as I do. You just don’t like their beliefs.

        Why don’t you give up for the day, get yourself out of Hasbara Central and go for a long walk.

      • Hostage
        January 17, 2012, 3:18 pm

        The Jews are a nation not a race. That is quite different.

        No. Nations and States are spatial entities that include all of the inhabitants of a territory. Israelis are a nation, but Jews are only an ethnic group or groups scattered in miscellaneous countries. The territorial integrity norm can’t even be applied to the Jews of Israel, without creating an apartheid state that excludes more than a million other lawful inhabitants.

        In an April 20, 1964 letter to Rabbi Elmer Berger of the American Council for Judaism from Assistant Secretary Phillips Talbot, the State Department confirmed that it “does not recognize a legal-political relationship based upon religious identification of American citizens. It does not in any way discriminate among American citizens upon the basis of religion or ethnicity. Accordingly, it should be clear that the Department of State does not regard the “Jewish people” concept as a concept of international law.” See Whiteman’s Digest of International Law, Volume 8, U.S. Dept. of State, U.S. Govt. Print. Office, 1967, page 35

        So the Jewish minority here in America are NOT part of a Jewish nation. Deal with it.

      • eljay
        January 17, 2012, 3:31 pm

        >> … If you don’t care about Jewish welfare, you are not a Jew.

        dimadok disagrees. You two need to have an arm-wrestle or something over this and settle the matter once and for all.

        I sincerely hope that Jerry Slater – who admires eee’s intelligence – is following eee’s latest antics.

      • patm
        January 17, 2012, 3:49 pm

        Just another reason why a Jewish state is critical so that some uppity gentiles don’t start telling us who is a Jew or not.

        Ah, so only uppity Jews can tell us who is a Jew or not.

        Well you certainly qualify as one uppity Jew, 3e. Your masters at Hasbara Central must be very proud.

      • Bumblebye
        January 17, 2012, 3:56 pm

        eeeee
        You enfold (consenting) diaspora Jews into your concept of nationhood (the others you excommunicate). You are therefore stating that those Jews who, for instance, are zionists but serve in the political administration of their birth country, have dual loyalty and are likely to be prevailed upon to put their foreign nation (Israel) before their birth nation. Yet if those of us who disagree with this traitorousness to our nations complain (or merely point it out) you cast accusations of anti-semitism like confetti. Your notion of “nation” simply comes back around to bite you on the butt!

      • Hostage
        January 17, 2012, 4:12 pm

        The Jewish nation is different than the American nation.

        That’s an example of a fallacy – special pleading. Those semantical exercises are irrelevant once you assert a territorial claim to a homeland just like other nations and exercise jurisdiction over the resulting entity as a person of international law. You have to include all the non-Jewish inhabitants (ratione temporis), and you really don’t have jurisdiction over all of the Jews living in other countries (ratione personae). So the Jews are not a nation-state and the State of Israel isn’t composed entirely of the Jewish fraction of its population.

      • Hostage
        January 17, 2012, 4:36 pm

        “Of course Jews for Jesus are Jews.” . . . And there you have it folks. I knew someone would bite the bullet and claim that people holding the most un-Jewish ideas are Jews also.

        Yes. Kenneth L. Marcus was Staff Director, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and was delegated the authority of Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights. In 2004 he made determination that Jews are not considered to constitute a distinct “race” as that term is used in contemporary social science or in common public usage; but that Jews also form an ethnic or ancestral group and that the scope of legislatively prohibited “racial” discrimination may not be limited by either social scientific or colloquial use of that term. So Jews for Jesus are part of a Jewish ethnic or ancestral group according to the government that exercises territorial, subject matter, and personal jurisdiction. Deal with it.

      • patm
        January 17, 2012, 4:50 pm

        So you think it is not up to Jews to decide who is a Jew or not.

        I do think it is up to Jews to decide who is a Jew or not, 3e. Even Jews for Jesus.

      • Hostage
        January 17, 2012, 5:01 pm

        Both you and I will have to accept what they decide.

        If you’ve read the oral arguments in Zivotofsky v. Clinton, then you already know that our Supreme Court Justices think the Congress has jurisdiction to decide the nationality of those individuals, and the contents of a passport, but that the President has an exclusive constitutional delegation of power to receive ambassadors and thus extend recognition. Nobody argued that the majority of Jews could decide things. link to supremecourt.gov

        Just another reason why a Jewish state is critical so that some uppity gentiles don’t start telling us who is a Jew or not.

        It is just a wild-assed-guess, but I’ll wager that the Director of our Civil Rights Commission, Kenneth Marcus, is Jewish.

      • wondering jew
        January 17, 2012, 5:06 pm

        If a United States agency or the US Supreme Court recognizes a Jew for Jesus as a Jew for the purposes of US legal definition, that is one thing. Edith Stein, the Jewish nun, who died in Auschwitz was defined as a Jew by the law of the 3rd Reich. Not to equate US law with 3rd Reich law, but obviously external laws or logic is not the point here. When eee states that a Jew for Jesus is not a Jew he is trying to define the person from the standpoint of other Jews. For the thousand or so years that Judaism lived in Christian Europe, the definition of a Jew was someone who did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah, so even if Jewish law recognizes such a person as a Jew (which I believe is the case, certainly such a person does not need to convert to become Jewish but must merely quit believing Christian beliefs) there is some validity to attempting to define Jewishness to exclude someone who believes in the Messiah-hood of Jesus.

        The question of Israel and the attempt by eee to label all anti Zionists as nonJews is a different point. In the case of the kid here, Jesse Lieberfeld, I would say that he remains a Jew, but when he starts throwing around a phrase like “self chosen people” he reveals a certain intellectual and emotional unseriousness. Certainly the “chosen” aspect of Jews is a difficult concept at best and a negative concept in my opinion, it is not one that can be easily excised from Jewish tradition and texts and thinking and for Jesse Lieberfeld to throw the phrase around shows a lack of seriousness. Israel, Zionism, even the ethnic or tribal solidarity of the Jewish people/nation/collective are serious questions and Lieberfeld does not deal with any Jewish ideas seriously in his speech and deals with this idea in a very unserious way.

      • wondering jew
        January 17, 2012, 5:28 pm

        To be clear, the issues of war and peace, of expulsion and unequal rights, are questions of morality and thus Jewish questions as well. But I do not think that Judaism has a monopoly on morality or the lack of morality vis a vis its daughter religions Christianity and Islam (Christianity accepts its daughterhood but asserts that the daughter has surpassed the blind mother. Islam accepts Judaism, kind of, as submission to God, although Judaism’s content is considered tainted, and thus Judaism is kind of a type of Islam or submission, when the chronological facts indicate Islam derived much from Judaism.) Morality is common to all the monotheistic faiths and is not a specifically Jewish concern. Jesse Lieberfeld has not one serious word to add to anything specifically Jewish, except for his condemnation of Judaism and its present relationship to Israel.

      • Hostage
        January 17, 2012, 5:30 pm

        external laws or logic is not the point here. When eee states that a Jew for Jesus is not a Jew he is trying to define the person from the standpoint of other Jews.

        That’s a tautology. eee can try to define persons all he wants, but it doesn’t change the Halakhah. Jews for Jesus may be bad Jews, but they are still subject to the blessings and curses of the covenant. Besides, who are you to challenge the decisions of our Court Jews as if they are “external”?

      • David Samel
        January 17, 2012, 5:46 pm

        Many Jews are atheists. Some of them founded Israel. If Jews can be atheists, why should belief in Jesus be a disqualifier? When the Lubavitcher Rebbe Schneerson, died, many in the community believed he was the Messiah and would be resurrected. Not sure if they’re still waiting. Are they Jewish? As far as I know, nobody has questioned that. Belief in the tenets of Judaism is not required by Israel to grant the benefits accorded Jews. After due consideration, it is clear that eee’s attempt to justify his expulsion of non- or anti-Zionist Jews from the roster of Jews is as arrogant, ignorant and ill-conceived as it appears on first blush.

        As for Jesse’s reference to “self-chosen people,” how does that convey a lack of seriousness, WJ? First of all, he was writing an essay on something else and did not have to fully explain everything he mentioned. Second, many Jews openly regard themselves as the Chosen People. For those of us who do not believe that God actually made that designation, it truly is a “self-chosen” status. I’m kind of jealous that a 17-year-old thought of the phrase before I did. Even if he was a bit precipitous in using the phrase without fully explaining it (and I don’t think he was at all), how does that render his other pronouncements unserious?

        It’s easy to case aspersions on a teenager, but he has nothing to be ashamed of.

      • eljay
        January 17, 2012, 6:06 pm

        >> So you think it is not up to Jews to decide who is a Jew or not.

        I’m very curious to know:
        – Which subset of world Jewry get to decide who is a Jew or not?
        – How many of these “supreme Jews” are required to make a decision binding?
        – What are the specific criteria used in the evaluation process? (Seeing as how eee and dimadok – both of whom are Israeli Zionist Jews – cannot agree on what constitutes “a Jew or not”, I’m especially interested in the answer to this last question.)

      • Annie Robbins
        January 17, 2012, 6:09 pm

        I’m kind of jealous that a 17-year-old thought of the phrase before I did.

        he might not have thought of it himself. it was one of the things teen kids identified as making them feel uncomfortable about their jewishness, from the survey i mentioned earlier in the comment section. the whole chosen thing. i can’t remember the percentage.

      • eljay
        January 17, 2012, 6:31 pm

        >> In the case of the kid here, Jesse Lieberfeld, I would say that he remains a Jew, but when he starts throwing around a phrase like “self chosen people” he reveals a certain intellectual and emotional unseriousness.

        And you reveal a certain intellectual and emotional inability to cope with the fact that he is correct. Jews “chose” themselves to be a superior or select group of people.

      • dumvitaestspesest
        January 17, 2012, 6:35 pm

        “Self-chosen “people. Neat phrase indeed.

      • RoHa
        January 17, 2012, 6:42 pm

        “RoHa, why do you feign you don’t know that the most historic, traditional, usual way to become a Jew is simply to be born from a Jewish womb”

        Is that sufficient to be a Jew? If such a person is to be always counted as a Jew, even if he has grown up in a Muslim houshold in southern Thailand and knows nothing of his ancestry, and is indistinguishable from the people around him, then the word “Jew” means nothing more than “child of Jewish mother”. It has no further implications, and no importance.

        If being a Jew is to have some importance, there must be more to it. What is that more, and can it be discarded?

      • David Samel
        January 17, 2012, 7:04 pm

        Thanks Annie. Whoever thought of it, makes sense to me.

      • RoHa
        January 17, 2012, 7:12 pm

        “Black people may have many bad things to say about Michael Steele or Herman Cain, however, nobody denies that they’re African American. ”

        The majority of black people are not any sort of American.

      • RoHa
        January 17, 2012, 7:20 pm

        “The dictionary or Wikipedia definition is not how the Jews define their nation.”
        “The Jewish nation is different than the American nation.”

        So the Jewish “nation” isn’t a nation at all in the conventional sense of the word. What is it, then, and why use the misleading term “nation” when you refer to it?

      • RoHa
        January 17, 2012, 7:26 pm

        “Jesse Lieberfeld has not one serious word to add to anything specifically Jewish, except for his condemnation of Judaism and its present relationship to Israel.”

        Not sure what you mean here, WJ. Is it not sufficient that he recognizes the immorality of the situation? Does he have add something “specifically Jewish”?

      • Hostage
        January 17, 2012, 9:13 pm

        When the Lubavitcher Rebbe Schneerson, died, many in the community believed he was the Messiah and would be resurrected. . . . Are they Jewish? As far as I know, nobody has questioned that.

        You’ll have to ask Witty. Here is a report about an Oleh taught by Chabadniks who was refused conversion when he admitted believing Schneerson is the Messiah. link to jpost.com

        Some scholars believe that there is evidence that the death and resurrection of the Messiah was part of a recognized Jewish tradition in the 1st century. See Ancient Tablet Ignites Debate on Messiah and Resurrection link to nytimes.com

        The Zionists, like Ben Gurion stated that they wanted to establish a State that would restore the glory of the Second Commonwealth Era. Scholars know without any doubt that the Hasmonean Dynasty instituted changes in observance of some of the commandments in their day. In his article The Crisis of Tradition in Jewish Messianism”, the late Gershom Scholem suggested that Paul of Tarsus caved-in to outside pressures to abrogate the Law, but claims the antinomian tendencies of the Jewish community in the case of Sabbatai Zevi were based upon the Torah itself:

        In this instance the Torah as such was not abrogated by calling into question the validity of the law on account of the influence of propagandistic considerations. Rather the antinomian tendencies, which constitute the eruption of the utopian elements in Messianism, were built into the Torah itself. The boldness and radicality with which this was done compares very well with the paradoxes of Pauline theology.

        Until fragments of an Aramaic Testament Of Levi (4Q213-214) were discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls the book had only been preserved in Christian sources. It reflects the idea that the Maccabees were both priests and kings in line with a messianic interpretation of Bereishit – Genesis – 49:10 that the messiah would not be from the tribe of Judah, e.g. The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the student of the law from between his feet, until… The Maccabees obviously introduced a number of innovations in the law. For example the community treated Yom Kippur like a festive occasion – almost like Valentine’s Day – not a day in which the soul was afflicted, e.g. The daughters of Jerusalem would go forth, dressed in white, and dance in the vineyards – “And what did they say? – ‘Young man! Raise your eyes and behold what you choose for yourself ” (Ta’an. 4:8). Compare that with Vayikra – Leviticus – Chapter 23:27-30 especially 29 “For any person who will not be afflicted on that very day, shall be cut off from its people.”

        So were the people of Judea in the Second Commonwealth era Jews? Go argue.

      • RoHa
        January 17, 2012, 10:10 pm

        This may seem rude, but I would expect a Messiah to have a cooler name than Schneerson.

      • Hostage
        January 17, 2012, 10:46 pm

        It has no further implications, and no importance.

        That logic doesn’t account for the in-gathering of the Beta Israel or Falash Mura of Ethopia – tribalism. I provide some links above to Supreme Court cases in 20th century America in which non-Caucasians were prohibited from incorporating a business simply because they weren’t eligible to become naturalized citizens. Jewish civilization dealt with that same sort of climate of discrimination for thousands of years by relying on its own tribal traditions and laws.

        Our Palestinian and Bedouin commentators can attest to the importance of tribes and clans in the absence of any source of state authority. The Jews are not the only culture based upon that practice or which employ formal or informal forms of adoption. There are always going to be Jews who believe that a convert takes on the yoke of the law and that there are metaphysical consequences that flow from that act of adoption into the group for both the person and their descendants.

        The example of the Ethiopians is hardly unique. Rabbi Eliyahu Avichail of Jerusalem has devoted the past 18 years of his life to traveling around the world to places, including Thailand, searching for people who observe Jewish customs or have other tangible connections to the Jewish people, and believe in their own Jewish ancestry. The technical term for this sort of behavior in Thailand is samong bi teo sanook TDY or Ba-Ba Bo-Bo (looney).

      • Richard Witty
        January 17, 2012, 11:35 pm

        Hostage,
        Its disappointing that you are validating eee’s point by finding a targeted enemy that has gone too far.

        The Lubavitch that held Rabbi Schneerson as the “messiah” were considered apostates by many other haredi, except that they adhere to Torah as their primary value, and acknowledge (most now), that their reverence for the rabbi is not the same as moshiach by their own definition.

        There are MANY interesting changes in the Lubavitch community that are ironically very progressive. For example, there is a Lubavitch feminist movement (different than the 70’s). There are joint Lubavitch-Muslim theological discussion/education groups (few). There is a strong movement for ecological study and advocacy (in my area).

        EEE’s point though is that association is a component of being Jewish, that there is a point where one voluntarily defines their separation from the Jewish community, even if not in words.

        Young and ideologically referenced people often say things that are insensitive and painful. There is a line when the insensitive comments extend to some permission to actually harm another.

        When someone intentionally directs harm at one’s family’s community, and expresses no compunction even, no reluctance at what might result, that becomes a difficult role to justify morally.

        Romeo and Juliet is a moving story, a repeating one, one that can inspire universal acceptance and love where the prior seed might have been more limited acceptance and love.

        When it morphs to hatred because one’s family only has limited love and acceptance, then that is gold that has been turned to iron.

      • Hostage
        January 18, 2012, 6:56 am

        Hostage, Its disappointing that you are validating eee’s point by finding a targeted enemy that has gone too far.

        You are confusing me with the Israeli reporters at the Jerusalem Post and the authorities in charge of conversion in the State of Israel. It’s completely illogical to me that they can accept converts who believe in reincarnation, astral travel, and biblical accounts of other resurrections, but reject the proposition that God might resurrect the Messiah too. I’m not validating that. I think it’s absurd to worry about a person who “directs harm at one’s family’s community, and expresses no compunction even, no reluctance at what might result”, while the Jewish State deliberately does that to immigrant communities all of the time. After all, we’re discussing the case of an immigrant to Israel, who is a Jew according to the Law of Return, but is arbitrarily being designated a Russian and given the run-around according to the whims of some Orthodox government bureaucrats.

        I think a review of the Midrash and Aggadah concerning the Widow of Zarephath is instructive:

        The fact that God resurrects the dead was already shown by Elijah, Elisha and Ezekiel (Lev. Rabbah 27:4). Another Rabbinic teaching states: If someone tells you that God does not resurrect the dead, say to him: Elijah the Gileadite attests that God resurrects the dead (Deut. Rabbah [ed. Lieberman], Ekev, p. 74).

        link to jwa.org

        EEE’s point though is that association is a component of being Jewish, that there is a point where one voluntarily defines their separation from the Jewish community, even if not in words.

        No sane intellect listens to an atheist arguing in circles about the subject of Messianic Jews. There are supposedly 15,000 of them in Israel. So nothing prevents them from establishing their own Jewish communities, e.g. link to time.com

      • Richard Witty
        January 18, 2012, 7:48 am

        You are opening the question to “who is a Jew”?

        Why not leave it morally as a personal choice of identification, even if the state does make some determination for the purpose of aliyah.

        I assume that you do get the hypocrisy of flaunting one’s Jewishness for political anti-Zionist purposes, though for one that is firmly self-identified as Jewish, the argument is substantive.

        Jerry Haber for example is assertively Jewish, including cultural and residential Zionism, but regards the necessity for a state as far less relevant.

      • eljay
        January 18, 2012, 8:01 am

        >> Young and ideologically referenced people often say things that are insensitive and painful.

        So do older and ideologically-blinded people:
        >> 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 …

        >> There is a line when the insensitive comments extend to some permission to actually harm another.

        Indeed there is:
        >> RW: … I personally don’t see a conflict with intentionally adjusting boundaries if the demographics change considerably to create a smaller Israel that is Jewish majority.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 18, 2012, 8:35 am

        You are opening the question to “who is a Jew”?

        richard, in long threads like this it is helpful if you make some indication who or what comment you are addressing more specifically. and since it is a habit of yours to use quote marks without actually quoting someone i won’t be going on a fishing expedition to find that quote.

        btw, in your opinion was jesus a jew?

      • Annie Robbins
        January 18, 2012, 8:43 am

        Other Jews are very critical of the messianic bent some of the Habad followers took. If they continue, they will not remain Jewish for long.

        what do you think people would then call them? you can’t very well call messianic jews if they aren’t jews now can you?

      • eljay
        January 18, 2012, 9:14 am

        >> But by and large, to be a Jew you will have to be a Zionist by virtue of living in Israel…

        So, by virtue of living in Israel, one is a Zionist which, in turn, makes one a Jew. (“All of Alma Cogan is dead…”) Interesting. I’m sure non-Jewish Israelis will be quite surprised by this revelation.

        Anyway, according to dimadok – a Zionist Israeli Jew – anyone is a Jew who i) self-identifies as one and ii) who is identified by society as one, REGARDLESS of whether or not he actively practices Judaism.
        >> dimadok: And yet I identify myself as Jewish and mind you by the society as well, REGARDLESS whether I actively practice Judaism or not.

        The two of you really should have that arm-wrestle to see who gets to decide “who is a Jew”. My money is on dimadok. :-)

      • Hostage
        January 18, 2012, 9:15 am

        I assume that you do get the hypocrisy of flaunting one’s Jewishness for political anti-Zionist purposes, though for one that is firmly self-identified as Jewish, the argument is substantive.

        I would worry a lot more about the sociopaths who are running amok committing arson, murder, grand theft, or scheming to dominate others while shreying about ‘Auschwitz Borders’ and bragging that the God of Israel has sanctioned their shameful behavior. If those Jews are part of one’s family’s community then written criticism from Jewish Anti-Zionists is the least of your worries.

      • Hostage
        January 18, 2012, 10:01 am

        Why not leave it morally as a personal choice of identification, even if the state does make some determination for the purpose of aliyah.

        Okay, I’ll tell you why. Because Zionism isn’t a legal litmus test under the laws of the United States. See Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 U.S. 488 (1961) link to supreme.justia.com

        If an Israeli lawfare group comes to my homeland and tries to intimidate me by claiming that
        a) they are members of a legally recognized ethnic descent group;
        b) Anti-Zionism is a form of racism; and
        c) they can prevent me or others from presenting our views in tax-payer funded educational programs and activities using Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

        Then of course I’m going to point out that
        a) I’m a member of the same ethnic descent group:
        b) Anti-Zionism has always been an accepted religious tenet among many Secular Humanistic, Reform, and Ultra-Orthodox Jewish groups; and
        c) Even a person who flaunts one’s Jewishness for political anti-Zionist purposes is engaged in the exercise of an unqualified constitutional right.

        Deal with it.

      • wondering jew
        January 18, 2012, 5:21 pm

        David Samel- Taunting Jews with “chosen people” is a form of taunting. I will reread Jesse’s piece if you insist but from one reading I feel it contains not one drop of anything but disdain for everything Jewish. He disdains the Jews and he uses “chosen people” as a form of taunting. Because some Jews use the phrase proudly, does not mean that Jesse did not use it as a taunt.

        Further I would say to use MLK day to diss everything Jewish is defy the memory of MLK, who seemed to have respect for Jews and the old Testament.

      • wondering jew
        January 18, 2012, 5:25 pm

        Jesse wrote the piece under the sign, “I am Jewish”. and then he writes about how the Jews and Judaism suck. Fine, I accept it. But praise it? Nope. He shows many virtues in his piece but a feeling for other Jewish people is not one of them.

      • wondering jew
        January 18, 2012, 5:34 pm

        Believing that Jesus was the Messiah was the only thing that divided first century Christians from the Jews, but after the New Testament was written and canonized, there were other beliefs added, including the son’s participation in the Godhead, the abrogation of the Law that made the rupture with Judaism more than just a Messianic movement rejected by the mainstream. The Lubav Rebbe died barely 17 years ago. The followers of Reb Nachman left the seat of their Rebbe empty also, with Messianic implications for Rabbi Nachman, so it is not just the Messiah hood of Jesus that took place in history. In fact Christianity and Judaism have been divided in two by various conversion campaigns, that involved more than leaflets, but the stake and other forms of death that are involved in the separation of those who called themselves Christians and those who refused to convert and in stead watched their loved ones be slaughtered. So it is ideas plus history meaning ideas plus blood and long enmity that are involved here. Let us not pretend that it is merely ideas and thus Lubav equals Jesus and therefore, Ha!

      • Hostage
        January 18, 2012, 9:21 pm

        after the New Testament was written and canonized, there were other beliefs added, including the son’s participation in the Godhead,

        No, the doctrines and mind numbing philosophical debates about the nature and attributes of the so-called Trinity were added, but the bases of those beliefs can be found in the earliest manuscripts.

        Christianity and Judaism have been divided in two by various conversion campaigns, that involved more than leaflets, but the stake and other forms of death that are involved in the separation of those who called themselves Christians and those who refused to convert and in stead watched their loved ones be slaughtered.

        Anyone familiar with the Haredim know that Judaism hasn’t always been a religion that preaches tolerance of others. In the past, each of the Abrahamic religions have employed forced conversions when they’ve exercised a degree of misguided temporal power. Hitler wasn’t trying to convert anyone, but there is nonetheless a revisionist tendency to treat every instance of persecution or a massacre of Jews to some underlying religious motivation rather than racism. The Hasmonean dynasty threatened to put the Idumeans and others to the sword or the drive them into exile unless they agreed to convert to Judaism. Jews in Arabia also practiced forced conversion and conversion by ordeal during their reign in the Himyarite Kingdom.

        Ironically while many Christian denominations have adopted post-polemical approaches in their relations with Jews and no longer hold that fellow believers need to under go Christian conversions, e.g. (link to bc.edu – Jewish leaders have renewed their efforts to convert non-Jewish believers, e.g. link to judaism.about.com

      • patm
        January 19, 2012, 8:13 am

        No, the doctrines and mind numbing philosophical debates about the nature and attributes of the so-called Trinity were added, but the bases of those beliefs can be found in the earliest manuscripts.

        Yes, the early Church fathers had to twist themselves into knots to get their
        Trinity scam accepted as doctrine.

        It’s not even clear if there was an historical Jesus. Would-be messiahs were a dime a dozen in Palestine at the time Jesus is supposed to have lived.

        As for the concept of a dying and resurrected god, this goes back thousands of years. It is a pagan concept likely connected to the nature of food plants.

      • Citizen
        January 19, 2012, 8:32 am

        patm, some theorize, re your factual statement that there were lots of would-be messiahs back at the time Jesus is suppose to have lived, that the story of Jesus we know today was a composite of the real lives of some few men, an iconic fable that grew over a long time (with local alterations) after the time of the storied Jesus’s death.

      • RoHa
        January 19, 2012, 8:33 am

        “He shows many virtues in his piece but a feeling for other Jewish people is not one of them.”

        Why do you think he should show a particular feeling for Jewish people in that piece?

      • patm
        January 19, 2012, 9:03 am

        …that the story of Jesus we know today was a composite of the real lives of some few men,…

        That sounds quite plausible, citizen. The four gospels certainly read like a composite.

      • Hostage
        January 19, 2012, 9:57 am

        “He shows many virtues in his piece but a feeling for other Jewish people is not one of them.”

        You must not have read it very carefully then. He said that he could not remain apathetic or be a moderate after he learned that our people were waging an unjust war to defend our race that routinely resulted in unexplained mass killings. He expressed anti-Zionist feelings about that in connection with Jewish relatives who tried to talk down to him on the subject.

        It looks to me as if you took offense to honest criticism. When you couldn’t find any moral grounds for a rebuttal, you simply accused the boy of being the guilty party with the dead, unfeeling, soul.

      • wondering jew
        January 19, 2012, 1:07 pm

        RoHa- Why should he show particular feeling for Jewish people in that piece: 1. He did it under the label “I am Jewish” 2. He did it in the name of MLK, who was a revolutionary, but also a lover. The combination of those two is enough to expect a serious essay to include some drop of particular positive feeling. But as Rimbaud wrote, no one is serious at 17. In fact, the Israel Palestine dispute is as serious as cancer. And I did not write to that aspect, the main aspect of the piece.

        But to decorate his piece with self chosen people. Google “self chosen Jew” and see if the first few responses are not neo nazi sites. It’s a taunting phrase. If we, you and I, were to sit down over coffee and donuts, we could have an interesting conversation on the negativity of the chosen concept and even cite a plus or two to arrogant tribal human (not humanist, but human) ideas. But a taunt is a taunt and everything (outside of the I/P issue) was flippant taunting.

      • wondering jew
        January 19, 2012, 1:19 pm

        Hostage- In Western Europe, in particular in Central Europe, the key into “Christian” society (in 1850 or 1930, let’s say) was conversion and to pretend that this is merely a question of tolerance is again false. It is a question of the thrust of history, which most recently included the necessity to convert in order to move up in the ranks of society. When Madeline Albright’s parents decided to convert, there may have been a rejection of the Jewish revelation, but there was no real acceptance of Christian revelation, other than a wish to disown or hide from the past or move on to the future unencumbered by the past.

        Jewish intolerance of various sorts is a serious problem, but the schism between Christianity and Judaism was and is quite real. Schism, with a capital S. Read about the reaction of Luther to those he labels Judaizers, and pretend that this is not a deep historical schism. All schisms can be reconciled alone in a room with a laptop. Not.

      • Hostage
        January 19, 2012, 10:52 pm

        In Western Europe, in particular in Central Europe, the key into “Christian” society (in 1850 or 1930, let’s say) was conversion and to pretend that this is merely a question of tolerance is again false.

        I didn’t. I attributed it to racism. Even German atheists were in favor of a ban on fellow atheists, who were born Jews, prohibiting them from holding government offices or university teaching positions. Conversion simply helped overcome some of the possible religious excuses that were employed as a subterfuge.

        Read about the reaction of Luther to those he labels Judaizers, and pretend that this is not a deep historical schism.

        LoL! Well compare that to the Shulchan Aruch. It has a much broader base of popular support. More to the point, we could instruct Luther to read Vatican II and the Declaration to the Jewish Community that was adopted by the Church Council of the Lutheran Church renouncing his teachings on the subject of the Jews. Campaigns that target Jews for conversion to Christianity are no longer theologically acceptable in the Catholic Church and in many member denominations of the World Council of Churches.
        *http://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/research_sites/cjl/texts/cjrelations/resources/documents/protestant/ELCA_declaration.htm
        *http://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/research_sites/cjl/texts/cjrelations/resources/documents/interreligious/ncs_usccb120802.htm
        *http://www.bc.edu/content/bc/research/cjl/cjrelations/backgroundresources/documents/protestant.html

        I lived in “the Bible belt” back in the days when there were two or three television stations (if you were lucky) and a thousand AM radio stations – with nothing but Christian programming all day Sunday. I heard a few discussions over the years about Martin Luther inaugurating the schism between Roman Catholics and Protestants with the 95 theses of 1517, but his opinions on Jews were never a core subject of Christian teaching or beliefs.

        In any event, the Reform movement had a much bigger schism with the Orthodox movement over whether or not a prophet could change one letter of the Law as given to Moses at Sinai. As I pointed out above, in actual practice, Gershom Scholem had noted that the Orthodox Messianic movements have been just as antinomian as Luther when given an excuse to abrogate those so-called eternal Laws. I think Scholem was mistaken in thinking that Christian Jews were merely pandering to the Gentiles, since they applied the same logic to their own salvation: The Jewish leadership in Acts 15 ruled that “there is no difference between us and them” and that “we shall be saved, even as they” i.e. regardless of the yoke of the Law.

        As a secular Jew, I never cared much for the Talmudic method or thought that any of this stuff had a divine origin in the first place. In any event most Christians aren’t targeting Jewish believers for conversion or Armageddon – and they don’t care if Jews keep the covenant by observing the halakhah. If you have to revisit the rejected views of a fellow who died in the 1500’s, I think you are trying too hard to find an excuse to remain offended.

      • RoHa
        January 20, 2012, 1:51 am

        ‘Why should he show particular feeling for Jewish people in that piece: 1. He did it under the label “I am Jewish”’

        And you think he should not follow on with “and yet I can see beyond my Jewishness to full humanity” or something similar?

        “He did it in the name of MLK, who was a revolutionary, but also a lover. The combination of those two is enough to expect a serious essay to include some drop of particular positive feeling.”

        MLK was a lover of humanity. Particular feeling seems to run contrary to that.

    • yourstruly
      January 17, 2012, 1:35 am

      shingo, yes!

  33. ritzl
    January 16, 2012, 3:57 pm

    Maybe this will give the Congressional Black Caucus some wind to do the right thing on this.

  34. dumvitaestspesest
    January 16, 2012, 4:10 pm

    Here is another, pretty famous speech, delivered by a young person.

    • Citizen
      January 17, 2012, 6:26 am

      Thanks, dumvitaestspesest, that’s a great valedictorian speech by that young lady! Here is the whole text of it: link to americaviaerica.blogspot.com

      I suggest everyone here read it for it concisely tells how the petri dish for robots is made. Also, you can go to youtube and find the speech little Rachel Carrie gave back in grade school–damn what a waste of good human life that IDF tractor made. I’m also reminded of the content of those papers the White Rose kids tossed over the balcony for all to pick up and read–before they too were silenced.

  35. Daniel Rich
    January 16, 2012, 5:39 pm

    Q: We would never be so amoral as to fight an unjust war.

    R: Dear Jesse – how can you be so ‘simpleminded’ [at least according to some here]? I sincerely hope you’ll feel the same way once you hit, let’s say, 27?

  36. Shmuel
    January 16, 2012, 6:30 pm

    To the extent that Israel “proper” (as opposed to the Israeli “control system”, which Yiftachel considers the only appropriate unit of analysis) may once have been an ethnic democracy (a term invented by Sami Smooha, to describe Israel’s unique political system), it is becoming increasingly difficult to define Israel as a democracy of any kind.

    In 2005, Peled and Navot suggested that Israel was sliding toward “majoritarianism”. Events since that time, including Cast Lead, the flotillas, and the series of anti-democratic laws passed by the current Israeli government, have only strengthened that tendency, to the point that a majoritarian system has effectively been adopted.

    See Y. Peled and D. Navot, “Ethnic Democracy Revisited”, Israel Studies Forum 2o, 2005: link to telaviv.academia.edu

  37. RoHa
    January 16, 2012, 7:29 pm

    “I once belonged to a wonderful religion. I belonged to a religion that allows those of us who believe in it to feel that we are the greatest people in the world — and feel sorry for ourselves at the same time…”

    I can’t think of a neater phrasing. This lad is a clear, perceptive, thinker, and a really good writer.

    Fortunately, he’s seventeen, so we can be terribly condescending in our praise and avoid the uncomfortable content of his essay.

  38. thetumta
    January 16, 2012, 7:48 pm

    Truly a good German, Klansman and so on! You’re all patriots. If you live long enough you will find where quite a few of us ended up. It’s not like nobody gave you a heads up!
    Say Hej! when you arrive.

  39. thetumta
    January 16, 2012, 8:02 pm

    A similar young American made controversial statements on the Phil Donahue show decades ago. Last I heard, David Cole was hiding from a Jewish Defense League contract on his life. I don’t think he was murdered like others, he just disappeared and more importantly, shut up?
    Hej!

  40. Pixel
    January 16, 2012, 10:04 pm

    Were that I was that articulate at 17.
    Were that I was that articulate now.

    Thank you, Jesse. You have amazing insight and courage.
    Facing delusion with truth is no small matter.

    At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love. -Martin Luther King, Jr.

  41. Hostage
    January 16, 2012, 10:55 pm

    “I thanked him and walked out shortly afterward. I never went back.” . . . If you cannot live with this, as Jesse can’t, stop being Jewish [sic] Zionist. No one is forcing you.

    Wouldn’t it be easier to just find a decent Rabbi who would question why the Israelis have flagrantly violated the commandments in order to murder and steal from the Palestinians and deny them justice? It doesn’t appear that Isaiah stopped being Jewish when said Their feet run to evil, and they hasten to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of wickedness; robbery and ruin are in their paths. — Yeshayahu 59:7

    In any event the majority of Jews are secular and don’t attend religious services.

  42. Citizen
    January 17, 2012, 5:56 am

    It is historically inaccurate to say The Jews were passive players throughout history from the time of the Exodus until Israel was founded in 1948. As a collective, they did not have military power, but they had plenty of economic power very often, and they used it effectively; very often the bulk of the gentiles lived lives much worse than the Jews generally. From time to time the peasants would revolt after a long history of abuse and oppression by their overlords and their special royal helpers, sometimes those revolts enveloped the complicit middle-man Jews–these instances became known as “pogroms” in Jewish circles. Zionism itself was founded, in part, as a reaction and defensive measure during the time of certain Russian pogroms.

    • RoHa
      January 17, 2012, 7:32 pm

      “As a collective,”

      As individuals most Jews have been as active as the indvidual non-Jews they lived among.

      And many individual Jews have been very active and influential in many disparate fields. John Monash and Albert Einstein are just two examples.

  43. Justice Please
    January 17, 2012, 6:07 am

    I am genuinely moved by this young man. He shows a moral clarity that is stunning, and that many of his Jewish peers still lack. (But Phil and Mondo are doing a good job waking them up!) Today I dream that this young man will one day be President of Jewish Organizations in America, and still hold to the same views he holds today.

    On a side note, time and again it is proven that children often have a greater desire for justice than grown-ups. They are not yet drilled into hiding their outrage for the sake of “poltitical correctness”. In this regard, Lieberfeld reminds me of a young Rachel Corrie. Please watch what she has to say about the children in poor countries:

    Her speech in school begins at 05:06.

    • Justice Please
      January 17, 2012, 6:17 am

      “I’m here for other children. I’m here because I care. I’m here because children everywhere are suffering, and because 40.000 people die each day from hunger. I’m here because those people are mostly children. We have got to understand that the poor are all around us and we are ignoring them. We have got to understand that these deaths are preventable. We have got to understand that people in Third World countries think, care, and smile, and cry – just like us. We’ve got to understand that they are us, we are them.
      My dream is to stop hunger by the year 2000. My dream is to give the poor a chance. My dream is to save the 40.000 people who die each day. My dream can, and will, come true, if we all look into the future and see the light that shines there.”

      – Rachel Corrie, 5th grade speech in school

      • Citizen
        January 17, 2012, 6:31 am

        Yes, Justice Please, I was reminded of the young Rachel Corrie too and just made a comment about her 5th Grade speech upthread here-thanks for digging it up.

  44. XRM
    January 17, 2012, 6:12 am

    A video I made summarizing the state of the world and America’s disconnect with reality:

    Graffiti Philosophy

    • dumvitaestspesest
      January 17, 2012, 9:45 am

      Good video. Sad, scary reality of our world that we try not too notice.
      I’ve already sent it out to a different parts of the world.
      I hope you don’t mind:)

  45. Citizen
    January 17, 2012, 6:36 am

    Here is a link to the 5 leaflets of The White Rose. If you put your cursor on any one of them you get a small piece of the whole text, and if you go to each of them you can read the entire text of all five made and distributed before these kids were murdered:
    link to whiterosesociety.org

    Amazing how relevant those pamphlets are to our current situation.

  46. Hamishe_Sabz
    January 17, 2012, 10:47 am

    Dear Jesse:

    I am a bit older than you, but I remember well what it was like being seventeen. I remember having questions that could not be answered by adults and people who I thought should know. I remember asking about things that seemed self-evident to everyone around me.

    I don’t blame you for being uncomfortable with what you were hearing and reading about Israel and Judaism. It shows intelligence and assertiveness. It shows that you are a moral person. You are absolutely right to bring up issues that disturb you.

    And I can also empathize about how you think that your questions cannot be answered. You confided in your peers, you asked your parents, and you confronted your rabbi. You did everything that you should do.

    There is only one problem.

    Not to put a fine point on it, but your eighth grade peers were ignorant fools. (There is no Jewish race.) And your rabbi, the person you trusted to know the answers, the person who is is just as ignorant as your childhood friends were.

    I am not going to spend my time here defending Israel. I cannot defend it adequately without knowing what you think you know. But I can say, without any doubt, that you did not ask the right people to get the answers to your very valid questions.

    If all I knew about Israel is from what the newspapers say and the TV images I saw, I would be upset too. You are reacting to the reality you are subjected to. And, sorry to say, most Jews are not all that knowledgeable about the Jewish state, and are ill-equipped to answer any questions that go beyond the surface.

    Their ignorance is not proof that Israel is in the wrong.

    Jesse, you are now famous. Your essay is in the paper. Well known people are praising you. All because of your opinion and your bravery.

    And you were indeed brave for what you did.

    But I’m going to ask you to do something even harder and even braver.

    You see, Jesse, once people become famous for their opinions, it is nearly impossible for them to keep an open mind. They get fans who praise them. They get lots of positive reinforcement for their words. They don’t want to disappoint all their new, like-minded friends.

    But based on your description of the idiots who support Israel that you know, I can say with certainty that you never heard the true Zionist side of the story. Not once.

    The question you need to answer for yourself, honestly, is whether you want to even listen to pro-Israel people who aren’t as thoroughly clueless as your family rabbi. Can you give the other side an honest hearing with an open mind?

    Most people could not.

    If you think you are one of the few who could – if you are interested in truly understanding both sides of the conflict – if you can actually see the possibility that Israel is not a one-dimensionally monstrous regime – I will be happy to answer any questions you have.

    In public. On this blog.

    If you are interested, just email me. At the very least I can guarantee that you will learn something.

    Sincerely,
    link to elderofziyon.blogspot.com

    • LanceThruster
      January 17, 2012, 7:26 pm

      I have waded into the waters of the “elderofziyon” blog before. Interesting that the poster does not link to a specific public response to Jesse, but instead counsels him to email him and all will be cleared up (What ever happened to “Sunlight is the best disinfectant”?).

      One thing I would like to attest to personally (as a goyim), though the site’s host treated me respectfully at his site, most of his readers/commenters were *exactly* the type of idiots (vitriolic, nasty, foul-mouthed, know-nothing blowhards) he claims do not represent “true” Zionism (whatever the h3ll *that* is).

      I have often challenged them to venture on over to the Mondoweiss site, but I believe their claims were basically that it was a propaganda site along the lines of Stormfront so nobody of any merit would ever be caught dead there (my how the mighty have fallen!).

      In defense of the author, the site host has indicated he’s come over on several occasions and mopped the floor with Phil and company and had tired of it.

  47. pookieross
    January 17, 2012, 11:49 am

    What about the rabbi? Amazing answer from a teacher!

    • LanceThruster
      January 20, 2012, 3:56 pm

      “It is a terrible thing, isn’t it?” he said. “But there’s nothing we can do. It’s just a fact of life.”

      The “it is a terrible thing, isn’t it” was definitely an admirable response, however the “[b]ut there’s nothing we can do” was less than impressive.

      I liked Jesse’s reaction quite a bit more.

  48. LanceThruster
    January 17, 2012, 7:14 pm

    I thanked him and walked out shortly afterward. I never went back.

    He did better than that. He’s marching forward.

    Am so very glad I saw this. Simply marvelous.

  49. Citizen
    January 18, 2012, 7:31 am

    Young Jewish man declines extended invitation of self-chosenness of his tribe to join the merely human, all too human race, no more, no less: link to gilad.co.uk

  50. CLynn
    February 8, 2012, 10:27 pm

    Jesse wrote in his essay:
    “Whenever I brought up the subject, I was always given the answer that there were faults on both sides, that no one was really to blame, or simply that it was a “difficult situation.””

    I expect that one day he will see the truths of these statements made by the adults in his life who had far greater knowledge of the issue than he could have been aware of at age 17. It is a difficult situation. There is fault on both sides.
    I hope that he will one day see.

    • patm
      February 9, 2012, 8:59 am

      There is fault on both sides.

      What would you do CLynn if strangers invaded your region of the world and set up an exclusive religion-based government?

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