Advice to Zionists from a fellow loser

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 59 Comments

On Thursday I was in the city and it was a warm day and I walked from 57th Street to 17th Street on the West Side, then from 17th to 26th. I hadn’t spent so much time in the city for a while and I was struck by the strange way people were dressed. I realized, I’ve reached the point of being a hick coming into the city.

In Times Square a thickset man was wearing a red bikini and being filmed, and some Japanese young people were chattering, he is transgender. I passed a woman wearing a coverall pantsuit made of sweatshirt material that had a halter top and she wore a t shirt under it. I wanted to say it was unflattering but she wore it with such confidence and seemed to be rushing to such an important job that I stood back with respect. Then there were some young black street performers who had attracted a large crowd and were collecting money before they jumped over a line of 5 or 6 tourists. The dowdy white tourists were happily standing in a line waiting to be jumped over. There was a feeling, we’re all in this together.

As I waited to meet a friend at 6th and 26th, two more striking human avatars walked by me. One was a very feminine young woman wearing a sheer green skirt and a black miniskirt under it. Oh so you are being sexy in quotation marks, and mocking my gaze. Then a man walked by with a woman’s handbag and wearing a jacket cut in a feminine manner stopping at his hips and Belgian slippers in pale pink and tight black pants that also seemed like they were made for a woman, with little vents at the ankle. I stared at him like the aboriginal I am. At dinner that night a friend my age used the term heteronormative and others spoke casually of people going from male to female.

Later, walking thru Harlem to the train to get back to the woods, it struck me that I am enormously conservative, in this realm anyway, and I’m a loser. In the past, I have staked out my heteronormative, cisgendered position in articles, but phhhhhtt, the world has passed me by, spat me out. I haven’t changed in my heart. I’m old school. But the world is completely ignoring me, waiting for me to die. It isn’t interested in what I have to say, New York isn’t interested– and New York is the forward edge of American attitudes.

Right after that, I thought, Zionism is just as over. It has rationalized subordinate status for Palestinians under apartheid, and these attitudes are past. The world is sick of these attitudes. They’re completely anachronistic. That word rings a strong bell. “Israel, in short, is an anachronism,” Tony Judt wrote in 2003, seeing the future, and when you walk through New York nine years later, the Zionist ideals of human separation seem so absurd that—oh my god, why on earth would anyone be discriminated against, because of who they are, with my tax dollars no less?

Why? The only way such attitudes can be maintained is by asserting that we are at war with Islam. Then occupation is justified.

But while I was walking from 17th street to 26th street, my earbuds were saying that Eric Holder the attorney general had criticized the movie Third Jihad as offensive to Muslims, that film used by the New York Police Department for training. And in that glorious instant he had put Mike Bloomberg and Chuck Schumer who had defended the disgraceful film on their heels. It is now completely obvious that the Israel lobby is primitive on this question it keeps pressing on us– Is there something wrong with Islam?– and it is dependent on these us-against-them attitudes; in fact the film was made by people who support a Greater Israel agenda – and Eric Holder struck a brave blow against these out of step ideas when he stood up against the film.

The title of this post is Advice to Zionists from a loser. Zionists, I lost my gender and sexuality battles; my attitudes are old school, traditional, out of step. I am not going to say my attitudes publicly because they will turn people off, and young people will learn nothing from them and think I’m a creep. But: they are my attitudes. I don’t think I’ll change. They work for me in my private spaces, my household. But before long I will die off and the world won’t shed a tear for my old attitudes. The world is embracing more individualistic idiosyncratic ideas of gender and sexuality, planted decades ago by leaders. So be it. I will keep my attitudes in a box.

I’m advising the same to Zionists. The world (and I mean NY, America, the future) doesn’t like your ideas. You can only sustain them with hysterical grievances against radical Islam. The world is tired of that opposition. We all need to move past it. And this is happening under all our feet, before our eyes. These things change because privileged people, cultural leadership communities, the woman in the sweatshirt one-piece, the guy in the vented pipecleaner pants– they lead the change and we all sense it and go with it.

This 10- or 40-year process is happening with Zionism. I’d say we’re halfway through that. All the SJPs on campus and the heckling of AIPAC and the demonstrations, do you see what is happening? As queer leader/writer Sarah Shulman said last month, the vanguard is leading a shift in consciousness on American support for ethnocracy. The writing is on the wall. You Zionists should respect the ground moving. I will praise Peter Beinart’s book The Crisis of Zionism as a political act, but to cultural leaders it will seem outmoded as soon as it appears.

So the advice from a loser in New York is to shut up about your attitudes and go with the program. I tell you, if a woman in a burka had walked down Broadway Thursday amid all those other manifestations of ideas, she would have been ignored, no one would have cared. Let it be, let it go.

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59 Responses

  1. Scott
    March 10, 2012, 11:08 am

    I’m with you Phil, both aboriginal and not wanting to fight about it. But last night my wife asked me–with reference to various news story about frogs losing their their gender specificity because of chemical poisons–whether I thought a version of that was happening with humans.

    • Mooser
      March 12, 2012, 2:52 pm

      Bingo! You might look up the hormone levels in drinking water. Hell, I can hear them, all night!

  2. irena
    March 10, 2012, 11:08 am

    beautifully written Phil! although haha, I do think people would raise eyebrows at a burqa (unfortunately)

    • Citizen
      March 10, 2012, 2:11 pm

      It may be significant that Phil with his wide eyes, did not see a single woman in a burqua parading around NYC? I assume he also did not see any kids in boy scout uniforms.

  3. Krauss
    March 10, 2012, 11:26 am

    I’m not convinced.

    Study after study here in Europe has shown that young people are conservative.
    They have much more sex. Young women in Sweden have had an average of 20 sexpartners in the (major) city where I live. Although they were students and students fuck a lot more than the general population.

    Men are getting laid too.

    Yet the family formation of young Swedes are increasingly younger. Children is seen as cool and socially responsible. Nobody wants to be that lonely guy or gal at 39, who has drunk too much, smoked too much and live alone and bitter in the city.

    There was a similar study in Switzerland which showed the same thing, measuring the attitudes among their youths on issues such as monogamy, sexuality, children and marriage. He thought he would uncover the long lost revolution that had been in play since the 60s.

    But the dynamic was in some ways similar to yours. The professor who did the study was an old school cultural radical. He actually found that most of the national youths – including in the big, urban areas – were more conservative than two generations before it(as defined by a decade per generation).

    He denounced the youths ironically as ‘traditionalist’ and ‘bourgeois’ when he found out how traditionalist the results were.
    He too is being left behind and nobody will shed a tear at his slightly bitter regrets. The cultural revolution is slowly being undone but not without it’s marks.

    Social acceptance of homosexuality, for instance, is at all time highs. But notice too what has happened. Rachel Maddow recently bitterly complained and warned against pushing for marriage too much. She said she liked the ‘gay lifestyle and culture’ and felt threatned by the fact that most gays are like most straight people.

    They want to live happy, fulfilling lives which have an enduring sense of peace.
    Happyness isn’t euphoric. It is deeply felt. It is the base on which your life stands on, even with it’s ups and downs.

    What I’d say is that people are moving past bigotry. But even the left in America and elsewhere now admits that the decline of marriage is a problem. Out of wedlock births is a problem. That’s a quiet revolution. We should remember the days when the nuclear family and marriage were attacked as ‘repressive bourgeois institutions’.

    These days gays are fightning tooth and nail to get equal access to just that, shattering a key demographic component of the radical left. Gays have always been very creative and influtential in our culture. They are the trendsetters.

    So what does their embrace of traditional marriage and the nuclear family lifestyle(with adopted children in many cases, but not always) say?

    Means that even if people may be more sexually open, in some ways that is being moderated. People are re-discovering the deeper sense of family life now that the kinks have been worked out(particularly for women and soon for gays too).

    I can only look at my own circle of friends here in Sweden. Sure, sex is easy, but it isn’t cheap. It’s done with people you know very well and not with strangers. Usually these people are friends afterwards and sometimes become girlfriends and boyfriends. There is a high tolerance of sexual deviation but a tired sigh of the pride parade. Everyone supports it in principle but even the gays around me are tired of the clichés and the stereotypes.

    We’re not dancing monkeys, they tell me. These people are stuck in the 70s. And so their eyes drop a hint of sophisticated superiority.

    I may not know America as you do, but Sweden isn’t actually the archetype of sexual or social repression. You’d be surprised, I think, if you would see the future in a decade or two. Bigotry shouldn’t be confused with family values, although it often is(on both sides of the political spectrum).

    • Citizen
      March 10, 2012, 2:20 pm

      Krauss, I think what you say about Sweden is true in America too. Everybody starts out despising “bourgeois” values, usually in college (where they don’t pay for such beliefs), or by being a “rebel without a cause,” yet they all support those values as they get older by and large. Very few people anywhere ever learn to distinguish mental or physical fashion from a tough analysis of of the ever-changing status quo and what it means in Kant’s terms, as in, “What if (most) everybody did that?”

  4. seafoid
    March 10, 2012, 11:30 am

    “The world is embracing more individualistic idiosyncratic ideas of gender and sexuality, planted decades ago”

    How does Rick Santorum fit into the theory ? The world is becoming less tolerant . I think NYC is an outlier.

    • teta mother me
      March 10, 2012, 1:31 pm

      our job is to make Santorum an outlier. In 2008 Pennsylvania succeeded in that task. That he’s back in the ring and stronger than ever should be a wake-up call that the bad guys are getting ever more desperate to advance their agenda.

      nb Santorum on gender and sexuality issues is not nearly as frightening as his Islamophobic world view. That he might unmake laws regarding whether gays can marry is troublesome but not deadly. That he would kill people just because they are Iranian or Islamic imposes a permanent state of being (or nonbeing, as the case may be).

    • Citizen
      March 10, 2012, 2:22 pm

      NYC is misleading in the same way Podunk Junction is misleading. In each case, it really does not cost much to be “in the swim.”

  5. joemowrey
    March 10, 2012, 11:34 am

    “Eric Holder struck a brave blow against these out of step ideas when he stood up against the film.”

    And this same Eric Holder struck a craven blow against the U.S. Constitution when he gave his recent speech claiming that the opinion of the President as to whether or not someone deserves to me assassinated amounts to due process.

    We have to quit lauding criminals and racketeers for single instances of principled behavior. These are not good people. They are gangsters and war mongers. Let’s keep our message consistent as we struggle to achieve social justice for everyone.

    • Citizen
      March 10, 2012, 2:26 pm

      Yes, joemowrey, Holder thinks of ancient Jim Crow lynchings, and acts accordingly even when his old borrowed wounds have no realistic application. He’s like a typical jewish Israel Firster in that respect. It took a long time to get rid of white arrogance, feelings of entitlement, and it will take as long to get rid of minority arrogance, feelings of entitlement–ditto for all colors of now powerful minorities, whether colored or Jewish.

  6. yourstruly
    March 10, 2012, 11:35 am


    land theft
    tail wags dog
    israel firster
    aggressor entity
    screaming “wolf” (ie holocaust/antisemite) one too many times
    palestine reborn

    • Charon
      March 10, 2012, 4:10 pm

      Pretty good list of facts. Could keep going even. Zionism also means different things to different Zionists.

      Some folks believe that Zionism is self-determination and nationalism so they get offended when you’re anti-Zionist. What they don’t get is that Zionism is a bad word. If that was the extent of the definition, there wouldn’t be an issue. It’s like if you have an ‘ism’ movement of your own with self-determination and nationalism in the definition along with ‘killing whites’. You can’t get offended if somebody is against your ‘ism’ because of the other bad stuff and believe that it is an attack on your self determination like Witty always did. Similarly, you can’t cherry pick good stuff and call it the same thing. You don’t see anybody calling themselves Liberal Nazis.

      The goal of Zionism was a Jewish state. More Jews are leaving Israel than immigrating. There are more Jews in diaspora than an Israel too, almost twice as much. They are not waiting for the ‘tension’ to die down and make ‘aliyah’

      The irony regarding Zionism is that the “Jewish state” was intended as the only way to combat antisemitism and be a safe place to live in. It’s the least safest place for Jews to live. Even Iranian Jews are safer in Iran than in Israel. The only major threat they face is from their Israeli cousins who want to bomb Iran.

      Zionism evolved into all those listed things, among others. It’s a bad word. At it’s core, it’s main purpose and philosophy has served it’s purpose to make a Jewish state. It no longer serves a purpose. I would even argue that it was a failure because it isn’t safe and because most Jews don’t live there or intend to live there.

  7. Eva Smagacz
    March 10, 2012, 12:28 pm

    9/11 serendipitously bought 10 years of Islamophobia and pushed back a danger of Zionism being seen as anachronism by a decade.

    With luck, some other outfit of medieval fighters might, serendipitously, manage to strike at the precise moment when all multibillion computer computer-controlled defenses of USA Capital are malfunctioning simultaneously, bringing renewed riches to weapon manufactures, prolong sympathy and understanding for Zionists and years more hate to Muslims.

    • teta mother me
      March 10, 2012, 1:27 pm

      would question the use of word “serendipitously” at both instances.
      the most frightening thing about what the US government does is that it is not accidental.

      • Citizen
        March 10, 2012, 2:28 pm

        Yeah, teta mother me, it’s hard to believe all the US defense systems failed at once as an accident.

  8. bangpound
    March 10, 2012, 12:28 pm


    I’m a loser. In the past, I have staked out my heteronormative, cisgendered position in articles, but phhhhhtt, the world has passed me by, spat me out. I haven’t changed in my heart.

    What have you lost? Was it worth keeping? Is your loss just or unjust?

  9. mudder
    March 10, 2012, 12:30 pm

    Although cisgender myself, I am the father of one who is not. As a Palestinian-American she faces many more obstacles and hostility in life from her gender identification than from her ethnicity. She just wants to live a typical life as a girl. No bikini shots on NY streets. Just a typical life- college, grad school, marriage, etc.

  10. DICKERSON3870
    March 10, 2012, 12:38 pm

    RE: “two more striking human avatars walked by me” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Yes, avatars or self-caricatures!

    • Citizen
      March 10, 2012, 2:33 pm

      Dickerson, you mean like some of the fashion designers on Heidi’s show? So, the latest twist to Andy Warhol’s wisdom is everybody is a diva? Mmmm, that’s actually just an example, the folks on Project Runway–luckily there, what they do is limited to clothing. Phil needs next to paint out the difference between fashion and lasting values; yet even in the world of apparel there are classics…

  11. kalithea
    March 10, 2012, 12:38 pm

    Zionism is regressive and “devolutionary”. Zionism is racist and begets APARTHEID. Zionism is indefensible. These are incontestable truths.

    • Citizen
      March 10, 2012, 2:35 pm

      Well yeah, kalithea, what we need is to see that Shoah fashion is out of date and Nakba is real. All you need is willing eyes.

  12. DICKERSON3870
    March 10, 2012, 1:00 pm

    RE: “the world has passed me by, spat me out. I haven’t changed in my heart. I’m old school. But the world is completely ignoring me, waiting for me to die. It isn’t interested in what I have to say…” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Poor, pitiful Phil. Always a countin’*. Contin’ this. Countin’ that. Countin’ the number of people who ignore him. Countin’ the number of people who’ve spat him out. Numbers! Numbers! Numbers!

    CHECK OUT: Pi, 1998, R, 84 minutes
    Darren Aronofsky’s jarring black-and-white brain-bender is a haunting examination of one man’s numerical obsession. The story follows a fragile number theorist who’s on the trail of a 216-digit number that could unlock the secrets of the universe.
    Netflix Availability – Availability: Streaming and DVD
    Pi movie trailer (VIDEO, 01:41) –
    π, Trailer (VIDEO, 01:57) –

    * IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: The dropping of the ‘g’ at the end of the word ‘counting’ is not meant to allude to, denigrate, or offend, any racial, ethnic or socioeconomic group. Cross my heart and hope to die!

  13. Annie Robbins
    March 10, 2012, 1:08 pm

    i love this post, you’re a great writer phil weiss

    • Citizen
      March 10, 2012, 2:39 pm

      Yeah, Annie, but now Phil needs to do a follow-up regarding the principle that some humanistic ideas are never out of date–the idea that I love U, but that does not mean I support what you are doing. It’s a tough road to ride on–I see even the Evangelicals are having a hard time with it, especially when it comes to their own families and the gay agenda. Why should it be easy for Jewish Zionists?

      • Annie Robbins
        March 10, 2012, 3:20 pm

        i’m not sure if i read it the same way you did citizen. knowing phil he will probably write about it again if that is what you mean by ‘follow up’, but i think this article stands alone just fine and requires no more.

        as for Why should it be easy for Jewish Zionists?, phil is not making it easy, he is telling them the world no longer likes their ideas and shut up about your attitudes and go with the program . when he says I will keep my attitudes in a box he is telling zionists zionism is outdated and if they can’t adapt to keep it to themselves.. kinda like dylan saying

        “Your old road is
        Rapidly agin’
        Please get out of the new one
        If you can’t lend your hand.”

        i do not think the article is about the gay agenda or gender/ sexuality battles other than using himself as an outdated model in a metaphor.

        I lost my gender and sexuality battles; my attitudes are old school, traditional, out of step. I am not going to say my attitudes publicly because they will turn people off, and young people will learn nothing from them and think I’m a creep. But: they are my attitudes. I don’t think I’ll change. They work for me in my private spaces, my household. But before long I will die off and the world won’t shed a tear for my old attitudes. The world is embracing more individualistic idiosyncratic ideas of gender and sexuality, planted decades ago by leaders. So be it. I will keep my attitudes in a box.

      • Philip Weiss
        March 10, 2012, 3:38 pm

        thanks Annie, you are a fabulous translator.
        i’d add that i think all of us contain conservative elements and progressive ones. i am pretty prog on israel and palestine!
        and many american conservatives were saying that the refugees was an issue in the 50s when “progressive” jews wanted to sweep that under the rug…

      • Annie Robbins
        March 10, 2012, 4:12 pm

        you are a fabulous translator

        thank you, i am fluent in philweissian, it is similar to my native thought.


      • Philip Weiss
        March 11, 2012, 11:21 am

        ha ha ha!

  14. teta mother me
    March 10, 2012, 1:13 pm

    Whispered words of wisdom, Let it be.
    Let it be.

    bless you for this wise meditation, Phil.

  15. DICKERSON3870
    March 10, 2012, 1:27 pm

    RE: “I am advising the same to Zionists. The world (and I mean NY, America, the future) doesn’t like your ideas. You can only sustain them with hysterical grievances against radical Islam. The world is tired of that opposition… So the advice from a loser in New York is to shut up about your attitudes and go with the program.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: That’s so much more easily said than done, Phil!

    SEE: Requiem for a Dream, 2000, UR, 102 minutes
    A widow’s growing dependence on amphetamines and a self-help television show parallels the struggles of her heroin-addicted son and his girlfriend and friend in Darren Aronofsky’s bleak drama.
    Cast: Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans, Christopher McDonald, Louise Lasser, Marcia Jean Kurtz, Janet Sarno, Keith David, Sean Gullette, Ben Shenkman
    Director: Darren Aronofsky
    Netflix Availability: DVD and Blu-ray
    REQUIEM FOR A DREAM TRAILER HD HQ – best scenes of a movie (VIDEO, 03:32) –

    P.S. Be certain to watch/listen to “The making of…” and the “Director’s Commentary” in the bonus/extra features. Aronofsky has some interesting things to say about addictions that I think might also apply to Zionism* (and many, many other things). Also, try to have Dolby/DTS 5.1 audio when watching the feature film. They make very good use of the side/rear channels. And Ellen Burstyn’s acting is absolutely brilliant!
    * I see some parallels between Zionism and Sara Goldfarb’s (Ellen Burstyn’s) obsession with the self-help television show – an infomercial hosted by self-help guru Tappy Tibbons (Christopher McDonald), based on the acronym JUICE (Join Us In Creating Excitement). BUT THEN, WHAT DO I KNOW? I’m certainly no Stuart Smalley!

  16. Danaa
    March 10, 2012, 2:04 pm

    I predict that one of these days, hijabs and even burqas will become a fashion statement. Just the other day, on a really bad hair day, I found my self wishing for a burqa so I could hide under as I interact with fellow humans as an anonymous everyperson. Something that has neither age, nor gender, nor any other groupings marker. And that, just for a short while, or at least till I get to the hairdresser.

    My favorite theory about the advent of burqa is that it was really invented by older women who were sick of the younger ones getting all the attention. It was then sold to the males as a modesty staple. And males, you know, they’ll buy anything at the right time (whoops, gender bigotry alert – but look! goes both ways…).

    Then again, my “theories” are known the world over. so better take them with a few saltines.

  17. optimax
    March 10, 2012, 3:27 pm

    I know how you feel, Phil. Being 60 and single is not an envious accomplishment. I was talking to an exotic looking woman at the dog park the other day, and the fact she didn’t run away was a good sign. Well, being old but not yet dead, I fantasized how kissing her with the platinum plug in her lower lip would probably get hooked on my partial, and how that would be extremely awkward. Anyway, I enjoyed our talk and the female energy.

    • LeaNder
      March 10, 2012, 7:18 pm

      I know how you feel, Phil. Being 60 and single

      thanks God he isn’t, otherwise we would miss all these wonderful my wife stories.

  18. wondering jew
    March 10, 2012, 5:16 pm

    The problem with Phil’s analogy is that he considers New York City to be the capital of the world or of its future. Even if I were to admit that New York City is the capital of the US and reflects the reality in the West, in fact there are seven billion people on the globe and the vast majority of them are not changing their gender conceptions so quickly.

    Zionism is an anachronism vis a vis its place of birth Europe or at least vis a vis Tony Judt’s place of birth and Phil’s place of birth (and mine). Whether it is an anachronism for its current location (the eastern end of the Mediterranean) is an entirely different question. If burkas are the coming thing in that neighborhood then Zionism might be seen by the neighborhood as a foreign implant, but not because it lacks modernity or the ethic of equality, but because it belongs to the 19th century and the rest of the neighborhood belongs to the 8th century.

    In fact given the post Islamic attitude of the Iranian people (based upon the hypothesis that the 2009 election was stolen in Iran and the demonstrations of the Iranian public represented a majority) the evolution of the middle east will probably follow a path of Islamism, the failure of Islamism, the overthrow of Islamism, a process which will take somewhere between 40 to 100 years, based upon the 33 years of the Iranian revolution and the predicted period of time it will take to throw off the yoke of the imams. It is possible that the dictatorship of the imams can be side stepped if the Muslim Brotherhood have indeed learned humility during their time in prison, but if not, that is the trajectory of the evolution of the region.

    If Zionism is no more progressive than Iran’s imams it is no less progressive than them either, and if a burka is to be tolerated on the upper west side and in Tehran, there is no reason that the desire of the Jews on the Eastern end of the Med. Sea to protect themselves from the burka is to be tolerated as well.

    Best to let Israel’s Jewish majority rest up from the second intifada like Gurvitz suggested and to let them come up with some ideas rather than to draw analogies from sexually ambiguous New Yorkers.

  19. giladg
    March 10, 2012, 5:46 pm

    Zionism is not over because Zionists understand the true nature of the threat. And Zionism is the only answer to offer some real protection to Jews. Rather go down swinging than go down already dead, many a Zionist will tell you.
    Only once that bullet is fired at you and you hear it wizz over your head, do you really begin to internalize that threats lead to death and bullets kill. The theory ends and real life begins.
    With all the oil money the Arabs and Muslims have, what have the Iranians, the Saudi’s, the Nigerians, or the Iraqi’s given to mankind? Precious little. So they need someone to blame for their own shortcommings. Philip Weiss has not had that life changing moment when the bullet wizzes over his head. The Palestinians are being used by the Islamic brothers to perpetuate the conflict and detract from their own internal problems.

    • yourstruly
      March 11, 2012, 9:36 am

      remember what they said about germany, a nation that gave the world ludwig beethoven, albert einstein, thomas mann (among many, many others), how could they (the germans) have turned to naziism/committed genocide? same thing applies to these jewish settlers, “a people that gave the world so many great and famous people, how could they form a society that commits crimes* against humanity?”

      *such as ethnic cleansing and in gaza slow motion genocide

    • Talkback
      March 11, 2012, 3:26 pm

      “Zionism is not over because Zionists understand the true nature of the threat. And Zionism is the only answer to offer some real protection to Jews.”

      Jews nowadays need real protection because of Zionism. That’s the true nature of the threat.

      • yourstruly
        March 11, 2012, 7:55 pm

        yes, for two years now that’s what i’ve been saying on mw, and the protection comes from bringing down the israel firsters.

  20. Pixel
    March 10, 2012, 7:52 pm

    “… and think I’m a creep.”

    Does anyone even use that word any more? HA!

    ps: Phil, this is a really great piece.

  21. unverified__3m523cjh
    March 10, 2012, 9:44 pm

    This writing is highly personal, which I think we all appreciate, but mightn’t it be too personal to be of any use? Is a wander through the streets of America’s wealthiest and most liberal city really a good way to measure the mood of the land? And, indeed, as Krauss said, liberal sexual attitudes increasingly mean not a thing about one’s politics. Hasn’t Phil heard about “pinkwashing”?
    A subtext of Phil’s recent writing on Mondoweiss has been what I might call anti-Zionism-as- mid-life-crisis. Tony Judt famously referred to Israel as a child who, in his mid-50s, still had not grown up. Phil seems so anxious to cast zionists, as “old, passé, in “the way of history.” As he freely admits, they resemble him–their day, he imagines, is over. But who’s to say this isn’t just a really transparent case of projection.
    On the contrary, there seems to a bit of, shall we say, adolescent envy in Phil’s writing, There’s Israel, breaking the rules, getting drunk and obnoxious, and living irresponsibly. And there’s Phil–ignored by the cute girls, trying to be cool, and failing. Just another old schlub walking the streets of Manhattan (a tourist, in fact, from upstate no less!), happy to observe the passing parade.

    • seafoid
      March 11, 2012, 6:38 am

      “Phil seems so anxious to cast zionists, as “old, passé, in “the way of history.” As he freely admits, they resemble him–their day, he imagines, is over. ”

      I think the former is true. Zionism is too inflexible to work any more. But Phil Weiss isn’t . We are all on a learning journey and there’s a lot of thinking required and he should look back over the last few years and see what he has helped to build. It’s a great foundation. Maybe there’s a reaction when he sees someone like Remnick who always followed the rules sticking the knife in to Israel. But the questions the dynamic throws up are much bigger than AIPAC and Bibi. They go right to the heart of Judaism. And Mondo is exploring.

      Even the gender reassigned have to compromise with the world at some stage.
      Life goes by in a flash. the search for love and the search for cash.

      As Yossi Gurvitz implied there is not going to be a happy ending for Israel.And the discussion on what replaces it is urgent. And careerists aren’t going to have the answers.

      Be nice to yourself, Phil. There’s another 30 years good work in you at a minimum.

  22. thankgodimatheist
    March 10, 2012, 10:33 pm

    “Belgian slippers in pale pink”
    Sorry for being trivial but never saw them in that shade. Are you sure they’re Belgian slippers (a brand, not a national shoe)?

  23. dbroncos
    March 11, 2012, 12:01 am

    Your piece touches on ways in which American conservative and liberal identities have switched roles in the last 40 years. In the 60’s and 70’s liberals were cast as the indulgant hedonists while conservatives were more self sacrificing stoics. Today, the opposite is true. Liberals are committed to a more self sacrificing stoicism that serves the greater good for all. Conservatives are the hedonists who worship individual pleasure seeking and who scoff at notions of ‘self sacrifice’ and ‘all for one and one for all’.

  24. piotr
    March 11, 2012, 4:13 am

    “With all the oil money the Arabs and Muslims have, what have the Iranians, the Saudi’s, the Nigerians, or the Iraqi’s given to mankind?”

    Who invented skunk water?

  25. Matthew Graber
    March 11, 2012, 9:38 am

    Mondoweiss has made a very important contribution to undermining the white male supremacist (ashkenazi) power structure in Israel by highlighting the violence they must use to maintain control. That, to me, has been the easy part of doing this work in the USA.

    What is much more difficult is confronting white male supremacy here at home. The conversation usually begins by highlighting the violence by which white males maintain control (prisons, immigration policy, capitalism, etc.), but we must also begin to elaborate on alternative power strictures.

    I wonder if mondoweiss would allow for articles on race and gender in the United States. I know it is not where you began with your consideration of ‘ideas on the middle east’, but shouldn’t that be where you end up going?

    • Justice Please
      March 12, 2012, 6:57 am

      “I wonder if mondoweiss would allow for articles on race and gender in the United States”

      Phil and the Mondo staff, I am strongly against “articles on race and gender in the United States”. How many black presidents and female secretaries of state do we need until we realize that “race and gender” is not the issue? The issue is wether a policy is right or wrong, and we should focus on that.

      If however you are very interested in the subject and want to explore it further, I can’t fault you, it’s your site. But please keep the number of articles down so as to not distract from the more important stuff. I think there are enough sources for people interested in “race and gender”, Mondo needs to stick to its strengths.

  26. Justice Please
    March 11, 2012, 7:23 pm

    Apart from the correct notion of Zionism being anachronistic, don’t be so defeatist with the gender and sexuality thing.

    “The world is embracing more individualistic idiosyncratic ideas of gender and sexuality, planted decades ago by leaders. So be it. I will keep my attitudes in a box.”

    More like “planted decades ago by opportunistic powermongers who knew that by erasing traditional families, they would transfer power towards centralized structures like states and corporations”.

    That said, of course you can dress like you want and even have doctors tinkering with your sex organs. But I am free to not like it, and tell you that you disgust me. Just as you are free to tell me that I disgust you.

    And what’s even more important, stop the fucking political whining, as if gay people and medically changed individuals where oh so oppressed in western society. Sure, some get occasionally screamed at or punched in the face, but we have more important issues for now, like war and financial robbery aka the private banking cartel.

  27. kalki
    March 12, 2012, 2:46 am

    Wonderful article Phil…..really tells you where we need to go. However, there are other dimensions to the issue and addressing them is as important if we are to move forward.
    The Arab world, and the wider Muslim world has to change also, but in the present set up I simply do not see that happening. By ‘set up’ I do not just mean the internal situation, but the West’s relationship with the monarchs and dictators. They are being propped up and supported by the US. Let me give a few examples:
    1) The recent arm sale of 70 billion US$….these are mainly for domestic use in controlling dissent. A further 30 or more billion $ are being bought from elsewhere.
    2) There were protests in Saudi Arabia around the same time as in Egypt. These were hurriedly crushed, the leader apparently killed, and little mention of it ever reached the wider world.
    3) The protests in Bahrain were brutally suppressed and measures taken to see they didn’t happen again. It was mainly Saudi arms, tanks and military personnel who carried out this suppression. Obama made no mention of the Saudi insurgency or Saudi contribution to the massacre in Bahrain.
    4) This from The New York Times of July 22, 2011:
    he New York Times reports:
    5) A proposed Saudi counterterrorism law that would give the Interior Ministry sweeping powers and mandate jail sentences for criticizing the king would effectively squelch political dissent, human rights advocates said on Thursday.
    6) The law would allow prisoners to be held without trial, and trials and appeals to be held secretly, Saudi and international rights advocates said. It would also grant the Interior Ministry broad powers including the ability to tap telephones or search houses without permission from the judiciary.
    7) Saudi activists have long accused the judicial system and the Interior Ministry of a lack of respect for human rights, even when such rights exist legally. The new law, the activists said, would legalize those practices, removing all restraints.
    8) “Every single thing we criticized them about in the past is going to be legitimate,” Bassem Alim, the defense lawyer for a group of men imprisoned in 2007 on terrorism charges, said by telephone. The men were formally charged only last August, and their real crime, Mr. Alim said, was taking rudimentary steps toward forming a political party.
    9) “Ninety-nine percent of the law has nothing to do with terrorism, it has to do with political dissent,” he said.
    10) The fact of the matter is that it suits the West to have these people in power, who control not just the people but the vast oil wealth. For when that wealth is in a limited number of hands there is a better chance those vast amounts will be invested in the West. Where else could these fortunes find a place. Note the Saudi owner of 12 ½ per cent of Murdoch’s media empire, the second biggest share holder after Murdoch himself. Saudi shareholding in the Carlyle Group. Qatar’s development of the prestigious ONE HYDE PARK project in central London, to name just a few. As an aside, it was amusing to note George W Bush’s body language when he was with Saudi royals. I wish I had the photos or references to give here.
    11) Also, I am certain there will be no radical changes in the Muslim world while Saudi Arabia continues the way it is. The Royal family is the guardian of the Holy places of Islam and their legitimacy comes mainly, if not entirely, from this fact. Any movement towards change in the Islamic world, in my view, has to have Saudi Arabia as its epicenter. The bulk of the oil revenues go to the Royal family so why should they want things changed when the status quo gives them all that they have. What is more, they have better protection than any Mafia family ever had: the United States government. It seems we are all doomed to live this status quo – West, East, Christian, Muslim, Jew and the peripherals – and that in the end it makes us all lesser human beings is contemporary mans’ biggest failing. The hypocrisies it has given birth to are too staggering and far too many to record.

  28. Mooser
    March 12, 2012, 2:47 pm

    “Then a man walked by with a woman’s handbag and wearing a jacket cut in a feminine manner stopping at his hips and Belgian slippers in pale pink and tight black pants that also seemed like they were made for a woman, with little vents at the ankle.”

    Man, you wear an outfit once, and everybody copies it, whether it happens to be flattering to their figure or not. The crust!

  29. Mooser
    March 12, 2012, 2:50 pm

    “I lost my gender and sexuality battles;”

    Me too. But one of these days the worm will turn and it won’t be a shut-out for my wife anymore.

    • Mooser
      March 12, 2012, 3:23 pm

      Of course, if my wife read an article by me in which I admitted that our 22 year marriage, replete with tremendous loyalty and understanding on both sides, untroubled by adultery or abuse (well, I never complain), and giving every prospect of lasting til-death-do-us-part (and which you acheived first crack out of the box, wasn’t it?) and even blessed by a smidgeon of finacial security, made me feel like a “loser”, I wouldn’t have any more matrimonial problems, I just wouldn’t have no matrimony.
      Don’t lose heart Phil, there’s always divorce, and it’s more popular with people our age than you might think. You could be a “winner” in no time!

      On the other hand, I could conclude that the difference between a Zionist and an anti-Zionist is no more significant than the difference between pegged and bell-bottom pants.

      You need an editor, badly.

      • Citizen
        March 12, 2012, 5:20 pm

        Originally, pegged pants had a function: to better ride a horse, or slave, or walk in combat boots, more quickly, etc. And bell-bottom pants had one too–so sailors finding themselves overboard could more easily escape a watery death. Then fashion types made it a matter of wearing the “in” style, a form of the old Jones Race where material matters more than anything. Bibi’s a pegged pants kinda guy who thinks he’s wearing bell-bottoms, and Phil’s wearing bell-bottoms, but Bibi says they are so wide they will bring the Jew-hater water deluge in, rather than keep it out? Hey, Heidi & hubby, Seal R on the Ropes–word is he was fine until Heidi started making way more $ than he, and gaining way more public interest….

  30. LanceThruster
    March 12, 2012, 3:24 pm

    I posted this around 4 years ago with the passing of CA’s Prop 8 (anti-gay marriage initiative that Romney’s LDS church illegally funded). I was particularly pleased to have a responder provide a George Stephanopoulus quote that I think is quite relevant here:


    LanceThruster – November 16, 2008 | 7:26 pm · Link

    A little while ago I was watching the repeat of Maher’s show with my father in the room, and asked him how he voted on the CA propositions (we don’t discuss politics much because it was the cause of a family dust up awhile back after the 2004 elections). I was mostly curious about 8 but asked about some of the othe props first. We saw things pretty much alike on most thing but when I asked about 8 he said he voted yes. Like I said, there’s a little tension over politics because his girlfriend (he’s a widower) is a GOP true believer and whenever family gathers for my birthday in November, recent elections have always been a topic of conversation (mine at least). I’ve always thought of my dad as a reasonably loving and tolerant individual and he’s never been much in the way of church going (though he sent us kids to a Catholic grade school) and has no problem with my atheism though my sister is a bible believer (and votes Republican too). Sometimes I think he is voting with his dick to make his gal pal happy (the way guys would pretend to be into causes in the 60’s to get chicks) but I guess there’s many things I don’t know about his core values. I also know that his buddies in the Elks Lodge he recently joined are pretty conservative (I had to ask him to stop sending me emails of their Reich Wing bullshit – like the Obama birth certificate “scandal”, and other missives sucking the choad of St. Ronnie)

    More surprising to me than that though, is two female friends who I’d consider at least Democrats if not actually liberally-minded (one even asks me how she should vote and I fill in her sample ballot with my recomendations) said they voted yes too . Both have/had many gay friends, don’t get their nose out of joint for other social taboos (cohabitation, rec drugs, etc.) regardless of their own personal choices but still somewhat sheepishly admitted that they voted yes (they didn’t want any flack for their vote, but they were adamant about their choice). Both have been divorced at least once, one is black, and one I was a coworker with before we wound up at the same employer (long time friend).

    All I can think of is that they feel gay marriage is a sign that we have become overly permissive as a society (based on some of the other things they’ve said). They are fine with civil unions. It seems as if somehow losing “traditional” marriage means that all bets are off in regards society as they recognize it. I think it’s an attitude that this would open the door to other changes that they would be uncomfortable with. They’re both about 10 years older than me (I’m 50) and I guess they’re pretty much just set in their ways. Gay marriage is apparently just too “radical” for the world they grew up in.

    I bring this up only to offer a little perspective for those votes Prop 8 got that were from people without a clearly recognizable agenda, but those that pretty much went with their gut feelings because they find gay marriage “icky” and that no one should have to vote for icky.

    I’m beginning to believe those who’ve said that the old attitudes, by and large, will have to die off (as younger adults are less polarized over gay issues on the whole).

    Thursday – November 16, 2008 | 10:22 pm · Link

    When it went through here (Soviet Canuckistan), one “pretty face” named George Strombolopolis noted:

    “What people against gay marriage don’t understand is that – it’s over. In ten years, that age group most strongly opposed will have died off, and the young people – those most in favour of it – will still be voting. It’s over now, or it’s over in a few years; but it’s over.”

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