American Jews who choose ‘humanitarian values’ over Zionism are tempting another Holocaust –Gordis’s blackmail

Israel/Palestine
on 477 Comments

Tablet has excerpted a book by the conservative Zionist Daniel Gordis, whom I had seders with as a boy, and the book includes blunt assaults on American Jewish identity. Gordis is attuned to the fact that American Jews are becoming alienated from Israel because of its human rights abuses; but he warns us that by placing humanitarian values over allegiance to the Jewish tribe, we are placing ourselves in danger–from the next round of Nazis. It is a repulsive and fear-filled argument: a blackmail.

Though other aspects of Gordis’s argument about Jewish identity and assimilation are much more plausible.

Here are some Gordis excerpts. First, his awareness, with hints of his blackmail: 

Young Jews today, discouraged by Israeli policies that they cannot abide, either explicitly or tacitly join those who condemn the Jewish State. But they do not recognize that the de-legitimization of Israel will affect them, too, that they, too, have a personal stake in Israel, no matter how discomfited they may be by some of its policies… Faced with a choice between loyalty to their humanitarian values or to their parents’ Zionism, they have chosen the former….

Now here’s the blackmail, straight from the bottle with the skull and bones on it: 

But one thing we do know, even if it is not commonly expressed (because anyone who says it must expect to be accused of fear-mongering): The Jewish life that American Jews take for granted is actually dependent on the existence of the same Jewish state from which many young Jews now distance themselves.

This is the point that today’s younger generations of American Jews simply do not understand: American Jewish life as it now exists would not survive the loss of Israel…

Without the State of Israel, the self-confidence and sense of belonging that American Jews now take for granted would quickly disappear….

A successful campaign to delegitimize –and possibly destroy – Israel could undo much more than the Jewish state. It could radically alter American Judaism as we know it.

No one would have to be killed, or exiled, or dismissed from their job. All that would have to happen is that Jews would suffer the second enormous blow to their People in the space of a century. With that, the Jews would become stateless like the Chechnyans, the Tibetans, or the Basques. They would tiptoe around the world once again, like Tibetans and Basques still do, waiting to see what history has in store for them next…

That’s really outrageous. He’s saying that if you care about humanitarian universal values, you risk going to the ovens, because the world hates the Jews. When the fact is that Gordis’s human-rights-abusing Israel is endangering Jews, in Israel but also elsewhere in the world. I don’t understand why Tablet runs this kind of fear-mongering.

Though I am sympathetic to some of Gordis’s argument. As I’ve written before, I think that Jewish identity is so wrapped up in Israel not just because of the Zionist orchestration of the community; but because American Jews lacked a basis for particularist identity-formation. That we’re integrating.  As Gordis writes:

Without Israel, what would remain to make Jewishness anything more than some anemic form of ethnic memory long since eroded?…

I concur somewhat with Gordis. Looking at my own life, I see that Diaspora Jewish identity is softening and the crisis he sees between those who align themselves with Israel and those who are alienated from Israel will also play out as a “continuity” crisis– declining Jewish numbers. The American Jewish collective bodies have overwhelmingly thrown in with Zionism; it was their bet for sustaining the Jewish “people” and the Jewish religion too. Their flocks are secularized; and Israel provides a source of identity and focus for collective action. My mother’s best friend moved to Israel in 1968 not so much because Israel was threatened but because she didn’t want her children to marry non-Jews, and she saw American opening its arms.

Anti-Zionist Jews like myself certainly make a lot of noise about Jewish traditions and pride in our Jewish identity/heritage, but we’re not sustaining the brand. We’re integrationists by and large, we’re secularists. Moses Mendelssohn was the great integrationist of 18th century Germany, and his grandchildren were baptized. As an anti-Zionist and integrationist, I can’t claim that I’m sustaining either the Jewish “nation” or the Jewish religion. That’s because my definition of community and nation is American; my president is the son of a Kenyan and the essence of the new globalized world is that nations must respect minority rights.

The price of my beliefs may well be just what Gordis says, that the American Jewish collective that so formed me vanishes. I will certainly mourn it, but shrug and say that other traditional identities are also disappearing. Countless languages are disappearing in New Guinea, and other American “ethnos’s” are also slowly dissolving. Chris Christie’s Italian-Irish mix is very common here in the Hudson Valley. And privileged WASPs are also performing a slow fade, in part because my wife’s generation aren’t going to church– any more than privileged secular Jews are. Her niece tells me that privileged New York City life is a “seamless” fabric of non-Jews and Jews. She wants to go on birthright, for the cultural exchange…

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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477 Responses

  1. Les
    September 2, 2012, 12:25 pm

    What purpose would a Judaism stripped of humanitarian values serve, not just Jews, but all mankind?

    • Krauss
      September 2, 2012, 2:19 pm

      Be mindful that this what I am about to say is coming from a guy who is viewing intermarriage as a problematic, but not a forbidden(or ‘sinful’) phenomenom – a view I’ve gotten slammed on by a lot of people here.

      Phil is talking about the softening of Jewish life. I agree, but it’s only a secular phenomenom. It’s the exact same thing with the liberal churches.

      Naturally, Judaism is far more ethnocentric and narrowly focused(in part) on it’s own people than Christianity could ever hope to be, so it retains those who stray far better.

      Nonetheless, Reform/’Conservative’ Judaism isn’t really Judaism at it’s core.
      It’s Western englightenment fused with Jewish characteristics.

      And Western enlightenment is all about invidual rights, the rejection of group identity and in favour of each and own as their own people.

      Judaism is really what we now call Orthodox Judaism, especially the Haredim.

      There, it’s all about the collective where the individual is subsumed. Therefore there is a fundamental conflict between secular Jewry and Orthodox Jewry because the former is far more attuned to Western principles, which is also why they’ve been far more successful in modern Western socities.

      The price for this is assimiliation. Einstein married a non-Jewish women, just to take one of many examples. But does anyone think a man of Einstein’s intellectual capabilities could ever become what he became if he had to sacrifice his talents in order to study the Torah all day long?

      The struggle between the pure, if I can call it that, Western morality and the Jewish ethics(traditonally speaking), where there is a lot of focus on continuity, which in turn requires self-sacrifice on behalf of the greater group is a fundamental strain in secular Jewry.

      Now, Judaism has a very strong humanistic tradition, a tradition which was present long before Western enlightenment came to pass, but that tradition has always wrestled – and often lost – with the more narrow ethnocentric interests that Gordis represents.

      When Mendelsohn went out to create what we now call secular Jewry, Reform/Conservative Judaism, he specificially tried to merge what he saw was the best traditions from both groups, but in doing so, he upended the delicate balance.

      Anti-Semitism has been the balancing factor for many secular Jews, and the Holocaust gave them (rightfully) a renewed sense of alarm and the dangers of complacancy.

      Nonetheless, it’s impossible to ignore the tensions between core Western values, which places absolute rights upon the individual, and the much more conflicted Jewish tradition(I’m thinking of the core Jewish tradition, which is much more accurately represented by the Orthodox, whether secular Jews want to admit this or not). That core tradition is not as liberal as we’d like to think, even if there are deep and genuine strains of liberalism in it.

      Gordis taps this stream, which he knows exist, and which he delves deeply into.
      And thus he asks Jews to leave their conflicted state of mind, and return into the Jewish fold.

      In this sense, Jews are asked to, in Beinart’s words, to ‘check their liberalism at the door at the expense of support for Israel’.

      The motivation Gordis uses is Jewish peoplehood, but the effects are still the same.
      The main problem facing his opponents is this: he is tapping a deep and rich tradition within Judaism of blood before prinicple, a tradition which is much more present among the Orthodox, but it is the Orthodox versions of Judaism which are far more historically in tune with the Torah than the Western-inspired usurpers to have sprung up the past 150 years from the imaginations of an assimilated German Jew. Gordis knows he has the Jewish tradition on his side through the long arc of history and that’s why people will struggle with responding to him without taking on central tenets within Judaism, among others the central focus on peoplehood, or why intermarriage is strictly forbidden by Jewish tradition, or the deep suspicion of the Other. All illiberal concepts, but nonetheless a core part of what he invokes.

      This is also why the most liberal of Jews tend to much less religious.
      The same is true for Christians, although to a lesser extent, since Christianity isn’t nearly as focused on, say, the sins of intermarriage as Judaism is.

      These and many other reasons is why Gordis’ appeal through Judaism is much harder to refute for a Jew rather than if he appealed purely through moral and philosophical arguments against their liberalism.

      Nonetheless, Gordis is still wrong.

      • seanmcbride
        September 2, 2012, 3:04 pm

        Krauss,

        You seem to be suggesting that the battle lines are being drawn in a Kulturkampf between:

        1. blood
        2. collectivism
        3. Daniel Gordis
        4. ethnic nationalism
        5. ethnocentrism
        6. groupthink
        7. haredim
        8. Orthodox Judaism
        9. religious nationalism
        10. segregation
        11. self-ghettoization
        12. Zionism

        on the one hand and

        1. Americanism
        2. assimilation
        3. Christianity
        4. Conservative Judaism
        5. Einstein
        6. Enlightenment
        7. individualism
        8. intermarriage
        9. Mendelssohn
        10. principle
        11. Reform Judaism
        12. secular humanism
        13. secular Jews
        14. universalism
        15. Western values

        on the other.

        But the interesting thing is that Zionists have been working furiously and tirelessly to drag Reform and secular Jews into their camp, and with considerable success. If they get their way, it will be “the Jews” vs. the whole damned world (“the nations”) in an Armageddon scenario lifted from the Bible.

      • Sibiriak
        September 2, 2012, 8:50 pm

        ….Zionists have been working furiously and tirelessly to drag Reform and secular Jews into their camp…

        Isn’t this backwards? Zionists were secular nationalists, for the most part, working to bring religious Jews into their camp.

      • Krauss
        September 3, 2012, 12:41 am

        But the interesting thing is that Zionists have been working furiously and tirelessly to drag Reform and secular Jews into their camp

        Yes.

        Isn’t this backwards? Zionists were secular nationalists, for the most part, working to bring religious Jews into their camp.

        This is also true, but most of the secular nationalists were also deeply imbued with Judaism.

        What I pointed out in my earlier reply is that Judaism isn’t just a set of spiritual values, it’s a religion specifically geared for a people so you can be a secular Jew and still draw many lessons from the Torah pertaining to peoplehood, and most of those lessons are hawkish, favouring a pro-blood stance(by which I mean, simply, excessive ethnocentrism).

        This is what the secular Jews used to woo the religious over, since they knew they had the tradition on their side.

        Now the tables have turned, and it’s the religious(except for some of the ultra-Orthodox sects, but even among the Haredim most accept Israel and more and more are becomming messianic), especially the Orthodox like Gordis, who now try to woo in the secular, using the same religious base as the secular used 100 years ago.

        The common thread here is that both groups, then and now, understood that Judaism at it’s core is in some deep respects deeply at odds with liberalism since it is not a universal religion, it’s an ethnic religion, just like Israel isn’t a liberal democracy, it’s an ethnocracy with liberal elements(elements, that are fading as we speak) first and foremost, where if it comes down to it, the ethnocentric nature will always prevail.

        It’s the same in Judaism. The continuing core is the Orthodox, they are the keepers of the tribe, which they are aware of, because they adhere much more strictly to the ethnocentric core of Judaism than it’s liberal strands. Those who empathize that are much more likely to become less Jewishly engaged over time. This isn’t a coincidence.

      • NickJOCW
        September 3, 2012, 6:20 am

        you can be a secular Jew and still draw many lessons from the Torah pertaining to peoplehood,

        The same is true of most all religious texts, some more transparently than others.

        There exists a general societal aversion to self-designated exceptionalism, an aversion that tends to lead by degrees to anti-ethnicism. It may appear to have been, or be, in some particular way directed more specifically at Jews but that is perhaps only because they have ever appeared more self-designatedly exceptional than others.

        One of the ideas behind the establishment of Israel for most ordinary non-Jewish Western people (among whom I regard myself) was that it would be a place Jews could indulge their exceptionalism to their heart’s content safe from the horrific consequences of an aversion that had shaken the West’s humanitarian conscience. Well, that came off the rails forty some odd years ago and has been running amok ever since. Now we are all to become concerned for an ‘existential’ threat to something that was not intended to come into being in the first place, and the ‘Jewish problem’ appears to be back where it was after WWII. My perception, for what it’s worth, is that unless Israel withdraws both physically and ideologically behind some internationally recognized borders the hypothesized threat may well indeed occur.

        With all due respect, I would suggest to Phil that if repulsive and fear-filled arguments were not postulated in the Tablet or elsewhere they would never be so cogently slain.

      • Sheldonrichman
        September 3, 2012, 7:50 am

        This is a very well-grounded comment. It reminds me of the admirable Israel Shahak. Thank you.

      • Les
        September 3, 2012, 3:29 pm

        Shahak was a formidable character indeed. He came to despise the Judaism of his birth not unlike the visceral resentment felt by many lapsed Catholics. In Shahak’s case the vitriol of his criticism was such that the late Victoria Buch, of Occupation Magazine and a colleague of Shahak informed me, “Shahak was among the first to open his mouth against the Occupation which was very respectable, but there were some unappetizing features about him – I really hated the ranting about evil being built in the Jewish religion and Jewish psyche. I saw Polish antisemites book stand in Warsaw selling a book with this ranting.” She did write this in January 2009 when she was mourning the fact that the Hebrew University Chemistry Department, like most Israeli Jews, supported the Gaza massacre.

    • evets
      September 4, 2012, 9:54 am

      ‘What purpose would a Judaism stripped of humanitarian values serve, not just Jews, but all mankind?’

      You’ve said a lot in one sentence. It’s been interesting to watch a certain segment of Jewry turn against the left for its supposed sins against Israel, and gradually feel the need to wholly disassociate Judaism from any interest in general social justice and thus the taint of the left. As if Judaism could only be defined by the repudiation of universal humanitarian concerns. As if having no point but insular self-perpetuation is and always was the whole point, and those who won’t accept it are naive, deluded and unmanly. I’m not sure people like Gordis are fully cognizant of the beast they’re creating.

      • seanmcbride
        September 4, 2012, 10:41 am

        evets wrote:

        “As if Judaism could only be defined by the repudiation of universal humanitarian concerns.”

        Likud Zionists have reduced Judaism and Jewish civilization to the sociopathic (and even criminal) pursuit of tribal (and personal) self-interest. They have stripped the Jewish tradition of all higher and universalist values. For them it’s all about the acquisition of maximum wealth and power by any means available.

        This is why Israel and Zionism have become strongly associated in the public mind (and in reality) with shady international billionaires. Sheldon Adelson, who has promised to buy the White House by spending as much as $100 million in the current election, has become the world’s foremost symbol of Zionism and the Jewish tradition.

        The big question is this: why aren’t more Jews in open revolt against this regime? Are they on the same page with Adelson and his cronies or don’t they see what is happening?

        (Daniel Gordis, by the way, is one of Sheldon Adelson’s employees.)

      • hophmi
        September 7, 2012, 1:20 pm

        “This is why Israel and Zionism have become strongly associated in the public mind”

        Source? Poll? Oh wait, it’s Sean McBride. Forget it.

      • Mooser
        September 4, 2012, 11:27 am

        “I’m not sure people like Gordis are fully cognizant of the beast they’re creating.”

        So Gordis is creating Golem? Well, if things go according to the form-book, he’s just another schlemiel looking for a bunch of schlimazels.

  2. William Burns
    September 2, 2012, 12:26 pm

    One notes that Gordis’s list of stateless peoples “tiptoeing around the world” omits the most obvious case–the Palestinians.

  3. bintbiba
    September 2, 2012, 12:31 pm

    Philip,
    Your appellation in my book would be “HUMAN BEING”!!
    Cultural identity doesn’t have to overcome the Supreme morality we all aspire to.
    I am an atheist and a humanist; but my Cultural identity remains within me, to offer and exchange, to accept, with you and all.
    That’s what will save the world in my humble opinion.

  4. seanmcbride
    September 2, 2012, 12:34 pm

    Isn’t it obvious by now that Jewish nationalists like Daniel Gordis are going to choose Zionism over Americanism and modern Western democratic values? So let them make their choice and live with the consequences.

    Most of us realize that cultural identity is in a state of perpetual change and flux and we learn to live with it — that’s life. We are complex combinations of many identities. For healthy-minded people, this process and state of affairs is more exhilarating than terrifying. Ethnic cultists, on the other hand, tend to collapse mentally when confronted with the prospect of cultural change.

    Tablet Magazine also publishes Lee Smith, who seems to be a Likud Zionist and hysterical Islamophobe of the same type as Daniel Pipes or Steve Emerson. Apparently it’s a “liberal Zionist” op — pretty surface, fascist core.

    Is this correct? —

    # Daniel Gordis; categories
    1. Commentary writer
    2. Israeli citizen
    3. Jewish nationalist
    4. Jewish neoconservative
    5. Jewish religious Zionist
    6. Shalem Center member
    7. Sheldon Adelson employee
    8. Tablet Magazine writer
    9. US/Israeli dual citizen

    What most stands out is the Sheldon Adelson connection.

    • Krauss
      September 3, 2012, 12:43 am

      Lee Smith is not Jewish, which makes his columns even more amusing.
      I think it was Lenin who once lamented about the Polish communist revolutionaires in the early days that ‘they are trying to be more Russian than the Russians themselves’.

      Lee Smith is the Jewish equivalent.

    • Hostage
      September 3, 2012, 8:48 am

      Isn’t it obvious by now that Jewish nationalists like Daniel Gordis are going to choose Zionism over Americanism and modern Western democratic values? So let them make their choice and live with the consequences.

      American values are no better than the Zionists ones you deplore. Average Americans don’t worry themselves over endless wars, illegal drone attacks on citizens of countries scattered around the Middle East, or the fact that our society is sending enormous amounts of foreign assistance to an apartheid state. All they care about is the tax burden and the fact that the deficits from all the above are finally destroying their own way of life.

      • seanmcbride
        September 3, 2012, 11:47 am

        Hostage wrote:

        “American values are no better than the Zionists ones you deplore.”

        I can’t defend the attitudes and behavior of many of my fellow Americans, especially since 9/11 (and I have strongly opposed them). But Americans have enshrined certain core values in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights that I hope we will never lose.

        We still haven’t reached a point in which the United States has officially declared itself to be a white Christian nationalist state. But I suppose it could happen, given current trends, all of which are being egged on by Israel-centric neoconservatives and Christian Zionists.

      • hophmi
        September 7, 2012, 1:21 pm

        “We still haven’t reached a point in which the United States has officially declared itself to be a white Christian nationalist state. ”

        And Israel isn’t a white national Jewish state. So what’s your point? Oh wait, it’s Sean McBride, so there probably isn’t one.

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 7, 2012, 2:37 pm

        “And Israel isn’t a white national Jewish state.”

        Nonsense. Eli Yishai said so in almost those exact words. But what does he know? He’s only a member of that bigoted government.

      • Krauss
        September 8, 2012, 5:14 am

        Woody, I think the quote you’re looking for is ‘Israel belongs to us, the white man’.

        Or if we are to take the neocon Dan Senor’s words seriously, that Israel(unlike the U.S. he claims) is pro-immigration how come the racial hysteria over African migrants is exploding all over the place?

        A lot of white Jews in Israel will look down upon their black ethiopian brethren, some even see them as ‘fake Jews'(even if publicly, all is well).

        Hophmi doesn’t support a white-only immigration policy(at least I hope he does not), but he supports Israel’s Jew-only immigration policy. And good luck pulling the “it’s all about religion”. Nah, the Orthdox control the “who is a Jew” thing and if you don’t got Jewish blood your chances getting in are very small.

        But then again it’s hophmi, a volunteer for the ADL(whose boss claims to be fine with the “The Occupation does not exist” Levy report), so who would expect that what he says isn’t filled to the brim with hypocrisy and double standards?

        If he was a gentile white, he’d be a white nationalist. All his positions are exactly the same, only translated to Jewish terms.

  5. yourstruly
    September 2, 2012, 12:36 pm

    if the “price” of a just and peaceful world (where each of us is equally important in both the short and long term) is more and deeper shades of grey, so be it.

  6. Annie Robbins
    September 2, 2012, 12:38 pm

    Jews would become stateless like the Chechnyans, the Tibetans, or the Basques. They would tiptoe around the world once again, like Tibetans and Basques still do, waiting to see what history has in store for them next…

    ha! this is ridiculous! american jews would become no more ‘stateless’ than they are now! they have a state, it’s called america. i can’t believe the outrageousness of his mindframe.

    guilt, the gift that keeps on giving. but the little thing about efforts to impose guilt is one needs a willing preconditioned recipient. it could very well be that lots of american jewish youth, just like other normal american youth, are not the expectant willing vessels of the last generation or perhaps the one before i don’t know. but this kind of fear mongering ..i just do not think it is going to work. one would have to be brainwashed from birth to believe this crap.

    • seanmcbride
      September 2, 2012, 1:01 pm

      Annie Robbins wrote:

      “ha! this is ridiculous! american jews would become no more ‘stateless’ than they are now! they have a state, it’s called america. i can’t believe the outrageousness of his mindframe.”

      One begins to realize that ethnic and religious nationalists like Daniel Gordis have never really considered themselves to be full Americans and have no understanding what Americanism is all about.

      Gordis may well believe that America is just one nation among “the nations” (in Old Testament mythology), in contradistinction to God’s Chosen Nation — you know, the nation that is under the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu, Likud and religious extremists and racists like Ovadia Yosef. Israel vs. “the nations” (including America and Europe).

      One suspects that quite a few neocons hold this belief.

      • Shingo
        September 2, 2012, 5:14 pm

        One begins to realize that ethnic and religious nationalists like Daniel Gordis have never really considered themselves to be full Americans and have no understanding what Americanism is all about.

        It’s almost as if Amerca is not good enough for them, even thoguh they prefer to live in Amerca than Israel. In this context, it’s fairly easy to see where the likes of Polard came from – somone who looks upon America as a host to feed from until it outlives it’s purpose.

      • Mooser
        September 4, 2012, 11:33 am

        “It’s almost as if Amerca is not good enough for them”

        Well, folks, I have (undeservedly, of course) reached the ripe old age of…well, never mind, but I’m old enough to date this feeling that “America is not good enough for them” from the passing of the Civil Rights Laws in the 60’s and 70’s. It was the basis of the “Southern Strategy”, and basically revolved around the idea that now that they couldn’t be kept down, the minority mongrelisation of the good ‘ol USA was inevitable. That’s where all the complaints of persecuting white people and Christians basically ooze from. But of course, with an actual other country to go to, we Jews can play this victim part better than anyone.

  7. yrn
    September 2, 2012, 1:23 pm

    I read your article and its the same wordings as Jewish debate in the 1930 in Germany.
    Like nothing happened and nothing has been written about issues that happened 89-90 years ago.
    How Naive can you be, I assume that your cloase family have not been in Europe during that tiem, as my family was, as I did not have to read history, I got it from my Grandfather a Liberal and humanist that wanted so much to belong to Universalism and become a German and joined the army and did what ever he could to get away from his Jewishness part of it was to marry a Non Jewish Lady………
    But reality slamed him in the face……. 3 years in prison lost all his family and by miracle managed to escape.
    You are so brainwashed, that I don’t think you even understand the issue, Gordis is not stupid, he understands something, you escape from all your life.
    Instead of demonaizing Israel, you could as many try to change it as many try…… ot assimilate and hope that you next Generations will be so far away from Judaism, that no one will be able to link it to you……… as if yes, read History maybe you will not be so naive.

    • MRW
      September 2, 2012, 4:27 pm

      My sister-in-law’s mother was 11 when she was orphaned 100 km from the nearest concentration camp. Her older brother was taken to Palestine. The Zionist charities left her for dead because she was too young to care for, they abandoned her to the elements; nuns found her in a barn half-dead and took her to their orphanage. So there are lots of stories besides the standard one you tell.

    • Annie Robbins
      September 2, 2012, 8:21 pm

      Gordis is not stupid, he understands something, you escape from all your life….read History maybe you will not be so naive.

      are you an american? maybe you don’t get we like jews here. they are part of our country like all the other ethnicities here that make up our culture. you can’t say what happened in germany will happen here, as if americans are going to rise from some liberal slumber and start genociding jews. seriously, that’s not who we are.

      • Sheldonrichman
        September 3, 2012, 8:03 am

        Annie is right. Pre-Nazi Germany had high culture, but it had no liberal tradition to speak of. The idea that “if it could happen in Germany, it could happen anywhere” is sheer nonsense.

      • MRW
        September 4, 2012, 2:27 am

        Even more, it’s like saying because the guy down the street beats his wife, you might do it too. Pea-sized amygdala logic.

      • Taxi
        September 4, 2012, 3:48 am

        Wonderful use of the word ‘amygdala’.

      • ColinWright
        September 4, 2012, 12:28 pm

        Sheldon Richman says: “The idea that “if it could happen in Germany, it could happen anywhere” is sheer nonsense.”

        Now I disagree. Not only can it happen again, but this notion that Germany was somehow a special case bars us from perceiving the signs that it is happening again.

      • Sheldonrichman
        September 4, 2012, 12:48 pm

        I did not say Germany is a special case. Alas, by not having a liberal tradition, it was not a special case.

    • Mooser
      September 4, 2012, 11:37 am

      “read History maybe you will not be so naive.”

      Oh, please. Everybody knows the victors write the histories.

  8. Boycott Israel on Campus
    September 2, 2012, 1:39 pm

    Yeah, well, the end of slavery hurt the White Plantation Owners’ identity a lot!

    Who cares?

    You are SUPPOSED to abolish apartheid. You are SUPPOSED to boycott apartheid. You are supposed to cut all ties with apartheid.

    If that makes Gordis weep over his lost privilege, his “right” to a plantation in occupied Palestine — who cares?

  9. PeaceThroughJustice
    September 2, 2012, 1:39 pm

    “He’s saying that if you care about humanitarian universal values, you risk going to the ovens, because the world hates the Jews.”

    This of course is true. (The idea of being God’s chosen victims is at the center of Jewish identity.) But I think Gordis is actually saying something a little different here. He talks about the potential loss of “American Jewish life as it now exists,” by which he means not the ovens but a loss of “the self-confidence and sense of belonging that American Jews now take for granted.” I’m going to guess that the sense of belonging he’s worried about is not a sense of belonging to the broader community — rather it’s the old tribal sense. What he’s really worried about is assimilation.

    Zionism is anti-assimilationism, and it always has been. The interesting point Gordis reminds us of is that it’s not just via physical separation in a distant land that Zionism protects against assimilation, but it works psychologically (as an ever-present symbol of “otherness”) even on Jews who choose to remain in the USA.

    • American
      September 2, 2012, 2:47 pm

      “the self-confidence and sense of belonging that American Jews now take for granted.”

      I would bet (without being able to read the whole book) that he is talking about the idea of American Jews ‘belonging’ to that great World Wide Jewish Nation in the sky, represented by Israel, giving them some kind of self confidence in their positions in other places or nations in the world.
      But it’s all such typical convoluted zionist illogic who knows……..all this zio crap is to keep the tribe seperate for Israel and for fear the concept of Jewish People National-Hood, will disappear if it isn’t ‘totally’ seperate and there is any assimilation at all within the countries Jews outside of Israel live in.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 2, 2012, 10:59 pm

        “the self-confidence and sense of belonging that American Jews now take for granted.”

        I would bet (without being able to read the whole book) that he is talking about the idea of American Jews ‘belonging’ to that great World Wide Jewish Nation in the sky, represented by Israel, giving them some kind of self confidence in their positions in other places or nations in the world.

        annnnnnddd you win to gold tamale..you’re right:

        This, then, is one of the great ironies of our era: The sense of belonging and security that leads many American Jews to believe that they do not need the State of Israel is itself a product of that very same State of Israel. And in moving away from devotion to the Jewish state, occasionally even opposing or undermining it, they are actually weakening the very source of the confidence that makes their political activism possible.

        and i agree with ptj What he’s really worried about is assimilation.

        yep

    • ColinWright
      September 3, 2012, 12:51 am

      “..Zionism is anti-assimilationism, and it always has been. ..”

      At the risk of making the fur fly, isn’t it reasonable to say that Judaism in general has always been anti-assimilationist?

      After all, logically it would have to be to endure. Those Jews who are willing to accept assimilation get…assimilated.

      • Sheldonrichman
        September 3, 2012, 8:08 am

        Agreed. Herzl said it is the anti-Semites that make “us” Jews.

      • American
        September 3, 2012, 10:34 am

        @ Colin

        Well there is assimilating and then there is assimilating.
        It’s acceptable to me for a religion or culture to remain separate in some ways, as long it’s not harmful to the nation and others.
        Re the Jews, if not for the beliefs of zionism, that all Jews are a nation
        of their own (within other nations) I don’t see a problem with how a Jew chooses to maintain his religion or culture.
        To marry out or not, according to the degree of an individual’s religious beliefs for instance ,is not something I think society or others can dictate to a religion or to a individual one way or the other.
        IOW, it’s a question/problem for the individuals within that religion to deal with, not necessarily the world’s business.

      • Mooser
        September 4, 2012, 11:50 am

        “assimilation”

        It seems to me that if you buy your houses and land, or condos or apartments from the same places as everybody else (not the “Jewish Community Trust, which we easily could have established) and work at the same jobs or businesses as everybody else (not at ‘Jewish Industries’ which we easily could have started) , and follow the same laws as everybody else, and answer to the same courts and adminstrations as everybody else, (not the Sanhedrin or some damn thing) you are assimilated. And really; what kind of clothes you wear, what kind of hat you wear, even what tattoos you get, what language you speak when you pray, any of that, how much you talk bad about other groups, makes no goddam difference.
        What the Jews in America have, some of them, is a pretense of non-assimilation. And this pretense is used to push the sepia-toned nostalgiacs into the Judaica shops, and that’s all right, but now that there’s Zionism, it’s bait to catch those tending towards or outright exhibiting pshychological problems or grave character defects, and push them towards G-d knows what. Whoops, should that have been G_d knows what? I mean the “d” isn’t upper case, just the “G”?
        I don’t know if that’s proof of the +15 or indicates a -15, but there it is. I’ve been watching it my whole life. It’s one thing you don’t need to be close to the “Jewish community” your whole life to see.

      • ColinWright
        September 4, 2012, 12:33 pm

        American says: “@ Colin

        Well there is assimilating and then there is assimilating…”

        Yeah. As so often it’s a matter of degree. People are always trying to make the situation black and white: set up criteria of absolute moral purity and consign to the outer fire all who show any signs of backsliding.

        It’s just not that way.

    • Hostage
      September 3, 2012, 9:21 am

      The interesting point Gordis reminds us of is that it’s not just via physical separation in a distant land that Zionism protects against assimilation, but it works psychologically (as an ever-present symbol of “otherness”) even on Jews who choose to remain in the USA.

      Don’t fool yourself, the Zionists here in the USA have always been some of the most snotty and inflexible people on this issue. They want to preserve a caste system or Brahmin-like society. They’re the ones who’ve driven the agenda and prevented an end to the conflict with the Palestinians. It has nothing to do with their physical safety or statelessness. In the worst cases, it’s manifested in old fashioned racism – an almost creepy contemptuousness, haughtiness, and overbearing pride. The most embarrassing thing is that they are given space in Commentary, Tablet, The Daily Beast, the New York Times, and the Washington Post to engage in this self-absorbed navel-gazing.

      • seanmcbride
        September 3, 2012, 11:40 am

        Hostage wrote:

        BEGIN QUOTE
        Don’t fool yourself, the Zionists here in the USA have always been some of the most snotty and inflexible people on this issue. They want to preserve a caste system or Brahmin-like society. They’re the ones who’ve driven the agenda and prevented an end to the conflict with the Palestinians. It has nothing to do with their physical safety or statelessness. In the worst cases, it’s manifested in old fashioned racism – an almost creepy contemptuousness, haughtiness, and overbearing pride. The most embarrassing thing is that they are given space in Commentary, Tablet, The Daily Beast, the New York Times, and the Washington Post to engage in this self-absorbed navel-gazing.
        END QUOTE

        Wow — that is one for the archives. Hostage can say it — I wouldn’t dare. He has certainly described the personality traits of many neoconservatives I have encountered.

      • Hostage
        September 3, 2012, 3:54 pm

        Wow — that is one for the archives. Hostage can say it — I wouldn’t dare. He has certainly described the personality traits of many neoconservatives I have encountered.

        Brooklyn-born Rabbi Meir Kahane, and his network of financial supporters in the USA and Canada, were neither representatives of the neoconservative movement nor a product of Israeli society. Their philosophy was, and still is, tolerated and even supported by many in the mainstream Jewish community.

        We have Zionists or racists here that are as bad or worse than Danny Danon, Avigdor Lieberman, Danny Ayalon, or Michael Ben Ari.

      • American
        September 4, 2012, 12:34 pm

        “Wow — that is one for the archives. Hostage can say it — I wouldn’t dare. He has certainly described the personality traits of many neoconservatives I have encountered.”….sean

        Why not? It’s something that is easily observable. They do believe they are specially endowed to rule over their lessers.

      • seanmcbride
        September 4, 2012, 12:50 pm

        American wrote:

        “Why not? It’s something that is easily observable. They do believe they are specially endowed to rule over their lessers.”

        The thing is, the neocons are egregious mediocrities to a man and woman — they are incapable of ruling or managing anything. They engineered the worst foreign policy disaster in US history (the Iraq War) and are pushing America to the economic brink.

        Their arrogance is based on a delusional sense of divine entitlement and nothing else.

      • hophmi
        September 7, 2012, 1:24 pm

        “They want to preserve a caste system or Brahmin-like society. ”

        You make this stuff as you go along. Based on what? The overwhelmingly majority of Zionist Jews, at least, are liberal Democrats. They do not want to preserve a caste system in society.

        ” an almost creepy contemptuousness, haughtiness, and overbearing pride.”

        Yes, we’re familiar with this anti-Jewish stereotype.

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 7, 2012, 2:36 pm

        “They do not want to preserve a caste system in society.”

        LMAO. Yes, they do. They don’t want it here, in America. But in Palestine, where they are on top, they absolutely want a caste system. That’s why they reject any talk given equal rights and equal vote to all people in historic Palestine.

      • Hostage
        September 8, 2012, 2:48 am

        ” an almost creepy contemptuousness, haughtiness, and overbearing pride.”

        I said that in connection with “the worst cases” and cited Rabbi Meir Kahane and his supporters as one example.

        The overwhelmingly majority of Zionist Jews, at least, are liberal Democrats.

        See “Progressive except on Palestine” by Rebecca Vilkomerson. It’s about people like yourself.
        link to thehill.com

  10. ColinWright
    September 2, 2012, 1:50 pm

    Zionists say such nonsensical things:

    “… The Jewish life that American Jews take for granted is actually dependent on the existence of the same Jewish state from which many young Jews now distance themselves…”

    How then was that ‘Jewish life’ able to flourish in America for half a century before Israel appeared?

    • seanmcbride
      September 2, 2012, 2:16 pm

      ColinWright wrote:

      “How then was that ‘Jewish life’ able to flourish in America for half a century before Israel appeared?”

      I predict that American Jews (and Jews worldwide) will look back upon the era in which Israel and Zionism were not a conspicuous and controversial feature of American politics (especially the 1950s and 1960s) as their golden age — perhaps their happiest era extending over several thousand years of Jewish history. Zionism has been responsible for shattering that golden age.

      The rise of the neocons marked the beginning of the collapse of the Jewish Golden Age in America. (Daniel Gordis is part of the problem.) What baffles me is that more American Jews aren’t concerned about this current drift of events.

      • ColinWright
        September 3, 2012, 12:54 am

        sean mcbride says: “…I predict that American Jews (and Jews worldwide) will look back upon the era in which Israel and Zionism were not a conspicuous and controversial feature of American politics (especially the 1950s and 1960s) as their golden age — perhaps their happiest era extending over several thousand years of Jewish history. ..”

        There may be something to that. Of course, for a darker take on that era, watch “A Serious Man.” At the risk of (once again) making the fur fly, that movie had me saying ‘thank God I’m not Jewish.’

      • Mooser
        September 4, 2012, 11:57 am

        “There may be something to that. Of course, for a darker take on that era, watch “A Serious Man.” At the risk of (once again) making the fur fly, that movie had me saying ‘thank God I’m not Jewish.’”

        And reading your comment has me saying “Thank G-D I don’t watch movies!” Jeez, I’m never gonna get that “_” thing right.

        Wait a minute! “Not Jewish”? With a name like “Colin”? Or is that just a screen nym?

      • NickJOCW
        September 4, 2012, 6:26 am

        I predict that American Jews (and Jews worldwide) will look back upon the era in which Israel and Zionism were not a conspicuous and controversial feature of American politics (especially the 1950s and 1960s) as their golden age.

        I don’t know how old you are but social anti-Semitism certainly existed in the US in the 1950s. Jews were not welcome in many apartment buildings, country clubs and so on, and in some restaurants those feelings could be palpable. It was not politically incorrect to allow it to show in those days. It is an error to assume that anti-ethnicism (anti-Semitism included) is either present or not present. Anti anything is a feeling. Feelings arise spontaneously and cannot even be identified until they are felt. The mind then intervenes to dismiss the feeling or filter its verbal or physical expression. I call that passive anti-ethnicism. In the 50s anti-Semitism was markedly less passive, many wealthier WASPs were tight-lipped but quite determined about it. Today the social conventions and law forbid the expression of anti-Semitic sentiments but it doesn’t follow that they are not felt. What concerns me is they may well be aroused from dormant passivity as a result of deliberate Zionist conflation of opposition to Israeli inhumanity in the ME with anti-Semitism because from that conflation it becomes too easy to assume that such behaviour is ‘Semitic’, and most people do not have the patience or intellectual capacity to unravel that, the more so since it is deliberately fed to them.

      • Mooser
        September 4, 2012, 12:05 pm

        “Jews were not welcome in many apartment buildings, country clubs and so on, and in some restaurants those feelings could be palpable.”

        NickJOCW is trying hard to not be inflammatory, but I won’t mince words! Yes, I’m prepared to tell the ugly truth about those apartments, country clubs and restaurants. Not only was the anti-Semitism palpable, but there was the humiliation of standing out there hungry on the sidewalk, watching scores of African-Americans, Latinos and Asians being ushered inside, their cars parked, their coats checked, and given free bread-baskets, while we shivered with hunger out in the street. They wouldn’t even bring us the wine-list!

      • Philip Weiss
        September 4, 2012, 12:25 pm

        a beaut. thank you mooser

      • American
        September 4, 2012, 12:55 pm

        @ Mooser

        And who can forget the old NIHH signs –‘No Irish Hired Here’– in factories and shops.

      • MRW
        September 4, 2012, 1:14 pm

        D.i.t.t.o to that. ;-)

    • yourstruly
      September 2, 2012, 2:36 pm

      exactly!

    • MRW
      September 2, 2012, 4:32 pm

      “half a century?”

      How about 300 years. The Congregation Shearith Israel, The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in the City of New York, was founded in 1654 AD. It’s still there at 70th and CPW.

      • ColinWright
        September 3, 2012, 12:43 am

        “How about 300 years.”

        No doubt. However, I was thinking as a major community. Massive Jewish emigration to the US began about half a century before Israel was founded — and the point is they were doing jes’ fine. Jews don’t need Israel. They usually won’t even move there if they have an authentic choice.

        The whole thing’s ridiculous — or would be, if it didn’t involve so much waste and human suffering. There isn’t one valid argument, defense, or excuse for Israel. There never has been.

      • MRW
        September 3, 2012, 2:15 pm

        But they were major communities, ColinWright. That’s what so few know. From Louisiana to Montreal. For over two centuries. The big break in the history of all this is related to the break between the Sephardic and Ashkenazi traditions sometime in the 1800s that dictated changes in practices of the Judaic traditions in the US.

        The influx of poor Eastern Europeans, many of whom were Jewish, overwhelmed the news and mid-20th C non-Jewish perceptions of who was a Jew. But the US had a long tradition of Jews in this country before then without the exclusionist acrimony or Elliott Abrams-style-we’re-a-persecuted-lot-in-the-middle-of-nowhere line.

        I don’t have time to go into it right now, but read this:
        link to home2.btconnect.com
        NYT original of the above here:
        link to query.nytimes.com

      • American
        September 4, 2012, 12:50 pm

        MRW says:

        But they were major communities, ColinWright. “>>>>

        By my US history data it is more exact to say there were “communities of Jews” prior to the American Revolution and Civil War, and one of the first was in Charleston SC.
        But Colin is right is saying the US population of Jews was ‘small’
        until the early 19th century.
        The confusion is in saying they were ‘major communities’..i.e….a major group in the US….. instead of saying the majority of Jews grouped and made up a community primarily of Jews.

      • MRW
        September 7, 2012, 3:11 pm

        @American,

        Not even this rabbi can get the history of Jews in this country right. He claims that Shearith Israel in NYC was formed in 1706. Can’t he use the internet? It was founded in 1654 by 23 Jews in New York alone. Think they didn’t have kids and grandkids?
        link to myjewishlearning.com

        He also claims there were 300 Jews throughout the British Colonies in 1700; i.e.: the US. I have no clue where he got that information, but there is a site I’ve poured over that puts that info into doubt. One woman and her daughter visited every synagogue and Jewish cemetery from Recife to Montreal over a period of 40 years and entered all that info into a database. I can’t remember the name of the site. She is able to prove with birth, death, and marriage data that all (Sephardic) Jews from Recife to Montreal are descendants of the original 12 families of Curacao. They started coming over in the 1500s. She sells DVDs of everyone’s ancestors with complete marriage, death, and birth documents included, and a flowchart of how everyone is connected.

        The population of the British Colonies in 1700 was 250,900. The number of Jews is more likely 3,000 than 300.
        link to en.wikipedia.org

        Susan Levitas, producer of the 2002 documentary Shalom Y’all, at this link recounts that “Jewish life in Louisiana precedes the arrival of 19th century peddlers [Ashkenazi] by hundreds of years,” and “There are Jewish cemeteries in such places as Berwick, Bogalusa, Farmerville, and Opelousas, and Jewish communities exist today in Natchitoches, Baton Rouge, Washington, Monroe, Shreveport, Lafayette, and many other towns,” apart form the much larger community in New Orleans.
        link to louisianafolklife.org
        She tells a wonderful story of how one woman substituted Jack Daniels for Manishewitz to maintain her southern roots.

        I wrote a comment the other day that didn’t make it past the censors here because it underscored the animosity between the native resident Sephardics and the newly arrived Askenazim, especially in 19th C NYC. (Info I got from a Jewish historian about how anti-semitism sprang up on Wall Street as a result of the arrival of Ashkenazim, and the rich Sephardic Jews adopted the attitude of their 19th C high-toned snobby Jewish British brethren.) The Askhenazim were insular and kept to themselves. As Levitas tells it, “the Ashkenazi Jews did not try to fit in and that made Reform Jews very nervous.”
        The Levitas link has some photos that show their great sense of humor at Mardi Gras. Especially their Krewe du Jieux.

  11. Bumblebye
    September 2, 2012, 1:58 pm

    If Gordis considers himself and other Jews stateless without the existence of Israel, then what the L is this Israelfirster doing in the USA? Why hasn’t he given up what he must deem his ‘worthless’ American passport? Anyone who believes as he does a) has zero respect for the country of his birth and
    b) shows very clearly that it comes in at most a pi** poor third (if that) on his priority list (Israel, Jewish community, maybe other).

  12. Nevada Ned
    September 2, 2012, 2:01 pm

    I gather that Mr. Gordis is strongly opposed to Jewish integration into the larger US society, and especially opposed to intermarriage between Jew and Gentile.
    In the US today, Jews are intermarrying Gentiles at a high rate of ~50% or so. (50% of marriages involving a Jewish partner are to a Gentile).
    Mr. Gordis has a remedy to this allegedly deplorable situation: Israel.
    Instead, following the logic of his position, he ought to be advocating the passage of laws to outlaw intermarriage!
    There is precedent: the 1936 Nuremberg laws, passed by the Nazi Germany. This did outlaw intermarriage. It’s not a precedent that Mr. Gordis welcomes, I’m sure.

    In the past, many US states had laws that barred marriage between blacks and whites, or marriage between whites and Asians, or between whites and Filipinos. When Obama was born, about half of the US states had such laws on their books. The laws started to be too embarrassing to enforce after about 1960, and a Supreme Court decision (Loving vs State of Virginia, about 1968) ruled such laws unconstitutional.
    If Gordis doesn’t shrink from the logic of his position, he ought to call for the enactment of laws against mixed marriages. Perhaps task Alan Dershowitz with the job of coming up with legal language that might pass constitutional muster!

  13. David Green
    September 2, 2012, 2:09 pm

    Jews became “important” in this country as part of the labor and civil rights movements, as well as journalism and academia. Gains in the worlds of business and wealth accumulation were morally tempered by identity with the underdog. Assimilation was accepted as part of secular Jewish identity, which it was assumed would retain its cultural/moral/political characteristics.

    That’s all changed over the past 4 decades, as so much else has. Jews identifying with geopolitical power, Zionism, Israel, finance, and wealth accumulation can no longer have it both ways in terms of liberal values. Increasingly, they don’t bother to try. But the problem has by no means been solved for young, liberal, middle class Jews. For whatever reason, they would like to have an identity that would be consistent with some form of humanistic political idealism. But Jews will never be “important” in the old way. Nevertheless, I feel that the legacy of Jewish liberalism through leftism can be a small but significant aspect of positive change.

    Gordis obviously points in a very different direction.

    • Annie Robbins
      September 2, 2012, 11:12 pm

      But Jews will never be “important” in the old way.

      huh? you mean in the labor and civil rights movements? i really do not understand what you mean. the biggest civil rights movement happening on campuses in this country is the movement for equal rights in palestine. and jews are very very important in our movement.

      maybe you have not been paying attention to what’s been happening in california, the movement has become so large they are trying to banish it thru state legislation.

      link to mondoweiss.net

      and who’s on the frontlines of changing that in partnership with

      American Muslims for Palestine
      Asian Law Caucus
      and Council on American-Islamic Relations?

      sign this petition and find out

      link to salsa.democracyinaction.org

      • hophmi
        September 7, 2012, 1:26 pm

        “the biggest civil rights movement happening on campuses in this country is the movement for equal rights in palestine. ”

        LOL. I think the movement for gay rights is a heck of lot bigger, as is the general movement for economic justice. The political movement in support of the Palestinian cause is not a civil rights movement and does not have broad-based appeal. It’s a niche movement, one of many on the portfolio of campus student justice movement, by no means the most important.

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 7, 2012, 2:33 pm

        “The political movement in support of the Palestinian cause is not a civil rights movement”

        LMAO. Yeah, because they enjoy so many civil rights being stateless, voteless peons at the mercy of the oppressors in Tel aviv.

        Oh, that’s right, if you deny it’s a civil rights issue, then you can still spew the nonsense about American Jews being the bestest of the bestest on civil rights issues, in light of their support for the violators of civil rights in Palestine.

    • MRW
      September 4, 2012, 2:38 am

      Jews became “important” in this country as part of the labor and civil rights movements, as well as journalism and academia

      That’s simply not true unless you identify them as 20th C Ashkenazi immigrants and confine your observation to the 20th C. The rich, wealthy, educated Sephardic Jewish tradition in the US preceded the arrival of what the British Jews viewed as the filthy Eastern European ones, which is why they were glad they were going to America, by 200 years. You’re probably unaware of them because they have Spanish names, like Cardozo, Touro, de Leon, etc. Who do you think was running the plantations?

      • American
        September 4, 2012, 2:40 pm

        “Who do you think was running the plantations?”….MRW

        o.k. now we are getting into my area of expertise.
        The Spanish owned plantations, mostly sugar cane, some rice, were in Florida when Florida was still a Spanish colony.
        Florida didn’t become part of the US until 1821 when we bought it from Spain. The plantations there were more important to Spain than to the colonies and any colonial US trade or economics. In fact many Spanish owners of these land holdings didn’t even live on them, but managed them from afar–although they did send slaves ‘they already owned” to these plantations in Florida.
        The bulk of the South plantation system was Maryland, Virginia, N. and S. Carolina, which were actually one state in the early days, and Georgia. In fact the split of North and South Carolina was caused by a dispute when King Charles gave some land to his friends near Charleston SC, but it was already ‘claimed’ by some Virginians…who btw lived in ‘Carloanna’ which is what Virginia and N Carolina were originally even before it was split from Virginia to the Carolina’s and then further split to N and S Carolina.
        Inland, non coastal, plantation centers were Alabama and Louisiana.
        The plantations in Louisiana were owned primarily by Frenchmen naturally.
        Colonial plantations arose in part not only as enriching trade and production and self sustaining centers but also out of England’strategy to keep the Spaniards in the further south, Florida, and the French in the west in Louisiana at bay and from expanding or becoming too successful and encroaching on the British colony.
        Almost without exception all the plantations in the South were owned by Englishmen. Some of the largest were established by King Charles giving ‘land grants” to his friends in the colonies to establish large productive holdings and other land parcels were outright purchased by a very few who brought some wealth with them from England and Scotland.

        Point being that the Spanish owned plantations in Florida did not figure big in the US colonies or the southern plantation system economically or politically…since literally they weren’t part of the US colonies and the British crown considered them competitors for land they wanted to expand on .

  14. tommy
    September 2, 2012, 2:21 pm

    Gordis point has some historical relevance. Look at what happened to the Aryans after the fall of the Third Reich.

  15. American
    September 2, 2012, 2:25 pm

    “The Jewish life that American Jews take for granted is actually dependent on the existence of the same Jewish state from which many young Jews now distance themselves”

    All I can figure he means by this is that ‘identification with Israel’ is the only thing that holds the Jewish tribe together. He is either dismissing the religion Judaism or implying Judaism and zionism are one in the same.
    Surely he can’t so delusional he means Israel is protecting the lives or rights of Jews in the US or in the world.

    “but he warns us that by placing humanitarian values over allegiance to the Jewish tribe, we are placing ourselves in danger–from the next round of Nazis. ”

    I had a discussion on here about the how the perennial victim-hood of the Jews is often exaggerated and how they weren’t always innocent victims in every lose they suffered but were frequently among the losers in some conflict because they followed their leaders into trouble or into joining the losing side of some battle or movement. Nothing distinct about Jews doing that, groups have done that since time began. The only distinction in the Jewish group is they call it innocent victim hood every time instead of admitting the difference between events in which they were victims and others in which they were just among the losers.
    Bolshevism in the SU was a example , Zionism is now an example of that.
    There aren’t any Nazis that are going to ‘get the Jews’, but they would be on the losing side by pitting their zionism against basic humanitarian values or whatever the majority world considers unacceptable.
    So when Israel blows up or gets downgraded or clamped down on by the world what will happen to the Jews?…..nothing much ……some lose of status and reputation, zionist losing political influence probably. The zionist would use Israel’s downgrading for the perennial victim meme, but that’s something Jews would have to deal with or sort out the truth of within themselves as a group because the world wouldn’t likely be willing to bow to the Jewish victim angst again for Israel’s sake.

  16. Sin Nombre
    September 2, 2012, 2:49 pm

    Daniel Gordis wrote:

    “Faced with a choice between loyalty to their humanitarian values or to their parents’ Zionism [read "tribalism"], they have chosen the former….”

    So let’s see: Gordis is precisely the kind of guy to be praising to the skies the idea that jews have been at the forefront of going around the world telling everyone else what humanitarian, universalist values they have to follow or be damned forever. And yet here he admits that he knows damn well it means nothing less than national or ethnic suicide for those others. So too bad so sad, he’s saying. It’s only when it comes to *jews* that this result matters: Vis a vis everyone else it’s just evil.

    Chosen indeed.

    And then Gordis writes further:

    “Without the State of Israel, the self-confidence and sense of belonging that American Jews now take for granted would quickly disappear….”

    So … American jews just take for granted that they “belong” in Israel and not here?

    And how exactly is this different from arguing that their first loyalty is to Israel and only secondarily to the the United States and their fellow U.S. citizens?

    Or in other words if you cast it positively, you’re a mensch, negatively, and you’re an anti-semite.

    One gets so sick of this now, it’s so blatant….

    • Mooser
      September 4, 2012, 12:30 pm

      “One gets so sick of this now, it’s so blatant….”

      Well, at least we knew what to do about it back in the old days. If there was a gumpf like Gordis around the Seder we just went outside and smoked the bitter herb.

      What really disgusts me is the way whenever certain American Jews talk about prejudice and discrimination, Native Americans, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians all just disappear! And the slight social and almost insignificant legal discrimination against Jews in America turns into a klezmer accompanied coffle-klatsch.

      For G-_’s sake (try, try again) we know what America can do to somebody they seriously consider the “other”, or inferior, or alien. Did they do any of that to us? No, they were about as rotten to us as they are to each other, no, I would say less than most of the social or ethnic splits (Catholic-Protestant, Methodist-Baptist, Irish, Italian, Polish, farmer vs. cowmen) which didn’t bring down the Union.

  17. Abdul-Rahman
    September 2, 2012, 3:32 pm

    I’m sure these are the same clowns who are “horrified” and proclaim a supposed “genocide” is already occurring in America because the rate of “intermarriage” with “gentiles” is according to many studies over 50% among American Jews.

    And this ridiculous propaganda using atrocities from WW2 is probably one of the most ridiculous examples of what Norman Finkelstein already discussed in his book “The Holocaust Industry”. The first thing it reminded me of was hearing that tool and charlatan Glenn Beck (when he was still on Faux “news” aka Fox) claim that Americans allegedly had to start asking themselves a “question” and that was according to Glenn Beck: “Am I ready to hide a Jew in my attic?” and he was referring supposedly to America LOL! And what prompted this insane claim in the demented mind of the greedy propagandist whore Glenn Beck was simply the revolution in Egypt overthrowing the longtime US government and Zionist stooge Hosni Mubarak. And of course Glenn tied this all into a supposed “secret plot” of Communists, Muslims, “self-hating” Jews, Obama, Feminists, those pushing the “Gay Agenda”, etc. etc. to supposedly bring about “the Fourth Reich” or something LOL. link to gratuity.files.wordpress.com

  18. pipistro
    September 2, 2012, 3:57 pm

    “The Jewish life that American Jews take for granted is actually dependent on the existence of the same Jewish state from which many young Jews now distance themselves.”

    The premise makes no sense in regard to the universal values and their evolving.
    I don’t think the guy is talking of Jewish identity in general. Inasmuch he talks of the American Jews, the related problem is simple as that.
    Since he clearly believes to be a member of the chosen race, he cannot look at the neighbour as if he were just like him, and he warns his colleagues about the possible loss of a presumed privilege that he pretends to have inherited in spite of other 7 billion humans on Earth.
    That is, be Jew, but only if Jews can dictate their will / rules, without paying the bill (as, by the way, is happening on the Palestinian soil.)
    So, he builds a new kind of future self-hating Jew. The one who must hate himself because he was compelled (by reason and soul) to give up any pretence, not only to be Jewish, but “chosen”. That is, to lose any peculiar earning for that. Once, by God’s will, now, expecially in the USA, due to an enormous PR work.

  19. seafoid
    September 2, 2012, 3:57 pm

    Zionists don’t understand history. Oppressed populations eventually win their freedom. It doesn’t matter what BS is used to justify their oppression. That went for Irish catholics, Ukrainians living under the Habsburgs, Hindus under the British in India and on and on. Israel has had quite a long imperial moment but it is going to come to an end.

    It was not a good idea to build the Jewish state in the Middle East.
    The Zionists had to turn barbarian to make it work. And it can’t work long term.

    Gaza will explode by 2020. totally avoidable.

    • ColinWright
      September 3, 2012, 12:41 am

      “…Ukrainians living under the Habsburgs…”

      ?

      I suppose there may have been some Ukrainians under Habsburg rule in Austrian Galicia or something for about one hundred-odd years — but they went from Austrian rule to Polish rule to Russian rule before finally coming out into Ukrainian rule a good seventy years after the Habsburgs were long gone.

    • hophmi
      September 7, 2012, 1:31 pm

      “Zionists don’t understand history. Oppressed populations eventually win their freedom. ”

      This is wishful thinking. The populations you hear about are the ones who win their freedom. The rest are vanquished and forgotten or move on to a place where they can be freer, as Jews in Europe did after the war, after their oppressed population went from no freedom, to partial emancipation, to annihilation. I don’t see the Dalit in India getting more free. I don’t see Tibetans getting freedom anytime soon. I don’t see Jews in Saudi Arabia. I don’t see more freedom for Roma people in Europe.

      “It was not a good idea to build the Jewish state in the Middle East.”

      LOL.

      • Philip Weiss
        September 7, 2012, 2:20 pm

        wow. great role models!

  20. MRW
    September 2, 2012, 4:14 pm

    I’m getting Zionism fatigue. These circular arguments put up by the likes of Gordis are ‘Chinese torture’ to listen to. They lash themselves to the closest mast and, like an old pulp fiction cover, rip their shirts open and howl anti-semitism-is-gonna-get-me-it’s-so-near-its-so-near. Meantime, the ‘mast’ is lodged in cement, a light pole at an abandoned gas station outside Springerville, AZ.

    Jews are stateless without Israel? Then Diaspora Jews must practice or honor dual-loyalty, right? Can’t complain, then, when you’re accused of it.

    The Secular International Synagogue of Israel (SISI), since it includes all Jews in Gordis’ view and to which all belong as birthright, represents Jewish views? Then own up to it. What “Israel thinks” is what Jews are. Say it. 1-2-3. No complaining though when the Gentiles comment on both it or what Israel has enacted into law. Come out swinging, declare your spot in the sun: this is who we are. However, we don’t have to buy the mishegas, the nutsoism we see. We can scorn it, laugh at it, mock it, it’s our right under our rules. Jews have the safety of SISI in which to lick their wounds and grip their lower jaws at the horror of how everyone hates them (secret entry passphrase to SISI anyway), they’ve always hated us, we were right, we were right. But now you’re safe.

    Maybe we’ll get some clarity and the bullshit can stop.

    Me? I like the Judaism of the people I’ve known for years here, the laughs and scholarship, the wearing of knowledge lightly.

    • Taxi
      September 3, 2012, 10:11 am

      “I’m getting Zionism fatigue”.

      A big fat ‘you can say THAT again’!

      • seanmcbride
        September 3, 2012, 11:36 am

        Taxi,

        Regarding “Zionism fatigue”: I think many *Zionists* are suffering from Zionism fatigue — they would love nothing better than to be able to stop talking about Zionism and getting sucked into exhausting and self-destructive arguments with the entire world about Zionism. But they don’t seem to be able to figure out how to get off the hamster wheel. Round and round it goes.

        Thoughtful people like Phil Weiss are searching for ways to escape a trap that is very bad for the Jews indeed.

      • Taxi
        September 3, 2012, 3:41 pm

        Sure, Sean, it can work both ways.

        But really, no one’s more zio-fatigued than the people of the Nakba.

      • Mooser
        September 4, 2012, 12:42 pm

        “Thoughtful people like Phil Weiss are searching for ways to escape a trap that is very bad for the Jews indeed.”

        Yup, it’s a problem, being in that trap. When they do do that voodoo that they do so well, it hurts! And you can guess where, brother, you can surely guess where!

    • ColinWright
      September 4, 2012, 12:48 pm

      MRW says: “I’m getting Zionism fatigue. These circular arguments put up by the likes of Gordis are ‘Chinese torture’ to listen to. They lash themselves to the closest mast and, like an old pulp fiction cover, rip their shirts open and howl anti-semitism-is-gonna-get-me-it’s-so-near-its-so-near. Meantime, the ‘mast’ is lodged in cement, a light pole at an abandoned gas station outside Springerville, AZ…”

      Lol.

    • Mooser
      September 5, 2012, 12:47 pm

      ” the wearing of knowledge lightly.”

      Oh, that ain’t s–t! Try being like me, and wearing your ignorance lightly. It’s not easy.

  21. Stephen Shenfield
    September 2, 2012, 4:15 pm

    The situation of Jews is different in different countries. In some Middle Eastern countries (Lebanon, Iran) there are still Jewish communities that are neither Zionist nor assimilating. Might it not be the policy of a post-Zionist binational Palestine to facilitate a revival of the Jewish diaspora by helping negotiate conditions for many Israeli Jews to return voluntarily to their countries of origin? For instance, the Falashas have not been treated well in Israel and might be glad to return to Ethiopia under the right conditions. After all, the future Palestine will still be partly a Jewish state, although in a non-Zionist sense. It can still provide a cultural focus and concern itself with the situation of both its diasporas (Palestinian and Jewish). In that way it will remain a force against assimilation — a more benign force than Zionism. It will be in the direct interest of Palestinians to rebuild the Jewish diaspora because that will free up more land in Palestine for Palestinians to return to.

    • Mooser
      September 4, 2012, 12:48 pm

      “In some Middle Eastern countries (Lebanon, Iran) there are still Jewish communities that are neither Zionist nor assimilating”

      Stephen, when you say a “Jewish community” do you mean a number of Jews who live roughly in the same area, probably worship and socialise together? Or is it an actual “community” in that it governs itself and administers itself, dealing with the national government through representatives? Of course, both can be considered a “community”. I know (or think I do) what the Jewish Community consists of in the US, but it might be very different in Middle Eastern or other countries.
      Are there still places where the Jewish community is autonomous? Well, besides Israel, of course.

  22. DICKERSON3870
    September 2, 2012, 4:30 pm

    RE: “Gordis . . . warns us that by placing humanitarian values over allegiance to the Jewish tribe, we are placing ourselves in danger–from the next round of Nazis. It is a repulsive and fear-filled argument: a blackmail.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: This yet another reason I fear that Revisionist Zionism and Likudnik Israel (specifically by virtue of their inordinate sway over the U.S.) might very well be an “existential threat” to the values of The Enlightenment ! ! !

    • ALSO SEE: ‘Israelis are helping write US laws, fund US campaigns, craft US war policy’, by Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, 6/30/12
    LINK – link to mondoweiss.net
    • AND SEE: “America Adopts the Israel Paradigm”, by Philip Ghiraldi, Antiwar.com, 7/05/12
    LINK – link to original.antiwar.com
    • AND SEE: “Report: Israeli model underlies militarization of U.S. police”, By Muriel Kane, Raw Story, 12/04/11
    LINK – link to rawstory.com
    • AND SEE: “David Yerushalmi, Islam-Hating White Supremacist Inspires Anti-Sharia Bills Sweeping Tea Party Nation”, by Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 3/02/11
    LINK – link to richardsilverstein.com
    • AND SEE: “Boston airport security program rife with racial profiling has Israeli links”, by Alex Kane, Mondoweiss, 8/14/12
    LINK – link to mondoweiss.net

    • P.S. AND HERE’S YET ANOTHER THREAT TO THE VALUES OF ‘THE ENLIGHTENMENT': “US Religious Right Propelling Homophobia in African Countries”, by Common Dreams, 7/24/12
    LINK – link to commondreams.org

    • DICKERSON3870
      September 2, 2012, 5:37 pm

      P.P.S. ALSO SEE: “Is There a Way Beyond Israeli Madness?” [Will the Chosen People and the Exceptional People Go Down Together?] ~ by John Grant, Counterpunch, 8/31/12

      [EXCERPTS]
      “The patient, by the name of Israel, walks into the room and instantly bursts into a tirade of arguments conclusively proving his
      credentials, and says that he is better than everyone else.” ~ Ofer Grosbard, “Israel On The Couch: The Psychology of the Peace Process”

      Americans have an Israel problem. . .
      . . . The problem Americans have with Israel is that the region it exists in is in the midst of a major political sea change, while Israel is frozen in time and holding on to its militarist, right-wing policies of extending settlements in the West Bank. It’s a policy that harks back to the ideas of the British-trained militarist Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s Iron Wall, which is based on the idea a live-and-let-live policy between Jews and Arabs is impossible and, thus, Jews must militarily control and repress Palestinians [i.e. the mindset of the "pale" - J.L.D.] . . .
      . . . How does a people turn back a racially-oriented demonization program with roots that extend back many decades? How do you ratchet down a nation’s narcissism so people are able to simply see the other as a human being? . . .
      . . . On our part, Americans and the United States need to stop being a permissive yes-man and begin to show Israel some tough love. We need more US criticism of Israel. No doubt this approach will be received with gales of cynical laughter from hardliners … but so what?
      In my mind, the Israeli narcissistic and arrogant mindset would benefit from a little Buddhist detachment, more of the posture that sees the world not of separate individual selves and egos but of human beings as part of a larger flow of life. The Buddhists call the self-obsessed, separatist state-of-mind [i.e. the "pale" of Israel surrounded by Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s Iron Wall - J.L.D.] that Israel thrives on and defends with weapons as “the illusory self.”
      “Once one identifies with a permanent self-concept, the pride and craving adhering to this become the pivot from which an egocentric world arises,” writes Gay Watson, a psychotherapist attuned to Buddhism.

      David Loy puts it this way: “To become completely groundless is also to become completely grounded, not in some particular, but in the whole network of interdependent relations that constitute the world.”
      I’m not suggesting Israel become a Buddhist nation. The point is for Israelis, and more important Americans, to figure a way out of the worsening condition of “us versus them” to avoid the need to obliterate them and set off a war that no one really wants. The point is to re-shape our minds to make “the other” less threatening to permit talking.
      I’m not holding my breath that Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman are going to become peace activists. But I’m done as an American being a silent stooge [i.e. an habitual "enabler"] while Israeli militarist madness fuels hatred and sets the stage for war.

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to counterpunch.org

    • DICKERSON3870
      September 2, 2012, 8:34 pm

      P.P.P.S RE: “a nation’s [Israel's] narcissism” & “the Israeli narcissistic and arrogant mindset” ~ John Grant (from above)

      FROM WIKIPEDIA [Narcissism]:

      (EXCERPTS) Narcissism is a term with a wide range of meanings, depending on whether it is used to describe a central concept of psychoanalytic theory, a mental illness, a social or cultural problem, or simply a personality trait. . .

      . . . Hotchkiss’ seven deadly sins of narcissism
      Hotchkiss identified what she called the seven deadly sins of narcissism:[6]
      • Shamelessness: Shame is the feeling that lurks beneath all unhealthy narcissism, and the inability to process shame in healthy ways.
      • Magical thinking: Narcissists see themselves as perfect, using distortion and illusion known as magical thinking. They also use projection to dump shame onto others.
      • Arrogance: A narcissist who is feeling deflated may reinflate by diminishing, debasing, or degrading somebody else.
      • Envy: A narcissist may secure a sense of superiority in the face of another person’s ability by using contempt to minimize the other person.
      • Entitlement: Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves special. Failure to comply is considered an attack on their superiority, and the perpetrator is considered an “awkward” or “difficult” person [or perhaps an "anti-Semite" ~ J.L.D.]. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic rage.
      • Exploitation: Can take many forms but always involves the exploitation of others without regard for their feelings or interests. Often the other is in a subservient position where resistance would be difficult or even impossible. Sometimes the subservience is not so much real as assumed.
      • Bad boundaries: Narcissists do not recognize that they have boundaries and that others are separate and are not extensions of themselves. Others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. Those who provide narcissistic supply to the narcissist are treated as if they are part of the narcissist and are expected to live up to those expectations. In the mind of a narcissist there is no boundary between self and other. . .

      SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org

      • DICKERSON3870
        September 2, 2012, 8:42 pm

        P.P.P.S. ALSO RE: “a nation’s [Israel's] narcissism” & “the Israeli narcissistic and arrogant mindset” ~ John Grant (from above)

        ALSO FROM WIKIPEDIA [Narcissism]:

        (EXCERPTS) Narcissism is a term with a wide range of meanings, depending on whether it is used to describe a central concept of psychoanalytic theory, a mental illness, a social or cultural problem, or simply a personality trait. . .
        . . .
        Thomas suggests that narcissists typically display most, sometimes all, of the following traits:[5]
        • An obvious self-focus in interpersonal exchanges
        • Problems in sustaining satisfying relationships
        • A lack of psychological awareness (see insight in psychology and psychiatry, egosyntonic)
        • Difficulty with empathy
        • Problems distinguishing the self from others (see narcissism and boundaries)
        • Hypersensitivity to any insults or imagined insults (see criticism and narcissists, narcissistic rage and narcissistic injury)
        • Vulnerability to shame rather than guilt
        • Haughty body language
        • Flattery towards people who admire and affirm them (narcissistic supply)
        • Detesting those who do not admire them (narcissistic abuse)
        • Using other people without considering the cost of doing so
        • Pretending to be more important than they really are
        • Bragging (subtly but persistently) and exaggerating their achievements
        • Claiming to be an “expert” at many things
        • Inability to view the world from the perspective of other people
        • Denial of remorse and gratitude

        SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org

      • DICKERSON3870
        September 3, 2012, 9:58 am

        P.P.P.P.S. RE: “Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves special. . . Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic rage. ~ from the above Wikipedia excerpt on Narcissism

        SEE: “PM tells US ‘time has run out’ on Iran diplomacy'” ~ By JPost.Com Staff, 08/31/2012
        Source tells ‘Yediot Aharonot’ that Netanyahu initiates shouting match with US Ambassador Shapiro on Obama’s Iran policy.

        [EXCERPT] Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu got into a diplomatic shouting match with US Ambassador Dan Shapiro over US President Barack Obama’s handling of Iran’s nuclear program, saying “time has run out” for diplomacy, Yediot Aharonot cited a source as saying on Friday.
        According to the report, which The Jerusalem Post could not independently verify, the showdown took place as Netanyahu met with Shapiro and Republican Congressman Mike Rogers, who visited Israel earlier in the week. . .
        . . . The American ambassador is said to have responded politely but firmly, telling Netanyahu that he was distorting Obama’s position. Obama promised not to allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons, he explained, and left all options on the table, including military options.
        At that point, diplomatic sources told the paper, “sparks flew” in an escalating shouting match* between Netanyahu and Shapiro as the stunned congressman watched. . .

        ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to jpost.com

        * P.P.P.P.P.S. Boy am I glad that Israel is practically on the other side of the globe from us. I certainly wouldn’t want to be in the Europeans’ shoes.
        Judging from Netanyahu’s narcissistic rage, we need to get that European missile defense system up and running to help protect Europe from Israel’s nukes!

      • seanmcbride
        September 3, 2012, 12:20 pm

        Dickerson3870 wrote:

        BEGIN QUOTE
        Boy am I glad that Israel is practically on the other side of the globe from us. I certainly wouldn’t want to be in the Europeans’ shoes. Judging from Netanyahu’s narcissistic rage, we need to get that European missile defense system up and running to help protect Europe from Israel’s nukes!
        END QUOTE

        This isn’t a flight of fancy. Since Israel has repeatedly threatened to unleash the Samson Option against the evil world (“the nations,” Amalek), Europeans need to be realistically worried that they could become the target of narcissistic rage and the wrath of “G-d.”

      • Mooser
        September 4, 2012, 12:52 pm

        “worried that they could become the target of narcissistic rage and the wrath of “G-d.”

        Don’t you mean “G_d”. No need to piss off more than one deity at a time. We’re monotheists, you know.

      • ColinWright
        September 4, 2012, 12:53 pm

        seanmcbride says: “…This isn’t a flight of fancy. Since Israel has repeatedly threatened to unleash the Samson Option…”

        You keep this up. Yet when challenged, you cannot even supply one example of an Israeli official even referring to the ‘Samson option,’ much less ‘threatening to unleash it.’

      • seanmcbride
        September 4, 2012, 2:41 pm

        Colin,

        On the subtleties and deep background of Mideast politics you tend to be uninformed and — unimpressive. You’ve managed to convince me that you know very little about the subject. The Samson Option has been discussed at the highest policy circles among Western governments for decades, and is being discussed more urgently now than ever. Israel’s threats to attack Iran unilaterally are in fact one of many variations of the Samson Option theme, if you understand how to move pieces on the grand chessboard.

        I think the only reason you’ve entered conversations about Mideast politics is to vent your hostility towards Jews — you’ve made it crystal clear that you hate them. It’s too late for you to retract some of your previous comments on that issue.

        What troubles you about the Samson Option is that it serves as an obstacle to your ardent desire to utterly obliterate Israel and to erase all Israelis from the world.

        Israel OFFICIALLY won’t even admit that it possesses nuclear weapons — hundreds of them. The Samson Option is not a threat that one makes officially — it is something clever Israeli leaders insinuate with as little accountability as possible. That is how the great game is played. The threat is highly credible.

      • seanmcbride
        September 4, 2012, 2:44 pm

        Will Hashem do as a substitute for G-d or G_d? You’ve just got to love these Abrahamic orthographic conventions. :) Deep stuff.

      • ColinWright
        September 4, 2012, 3:38 pm

        seanmcbride says: “On the subtleties and deep background of Mideast politics you tend to be uninformed and — unimpressive. You’ve managed to convince me that you know very little about the subject. The Samson Option has been discussed at the highest policy circles among Western governments for decades, and is being discussed more urgently now than ever…”

        You asserted that ‘Israel has repeatedly threatened to unleash the Samson Option.’

        You have yet to supply any evidence to support that. When has Israel made this threat? Share your hidden sources. Please. Enlighten me in my ignorance.

      • seanmcbride
        September 4, 2012, 3:54 pm

        Colin,

        I am done with you. I have already pointed to you some of these sources (including Seymour Hersh’s important book).

        You still don’t grasp that Israel’s current threats to attack Iran constitute a variation on the Samson Option theme — such a war could quickly escalate into a nuclear conflagration that would devastate the Middle East and rock the world. Israel has been using this threat to try to coerce the United States into attacking Iran.

        I notice that you are making no effort to defend yourself from the charge that you are a virulent antisemite. Others here have also noticed that pattern in your comments.

      • ColinWright
        September 4, 2012, 4:13 pm

        seanmcbride says: “…I think the only reason you’ve entered conversations about Mideast politics is to vent your hostility towards Jews — you’ve made it crystal clear that you hate them. It’s too late for you to retract some of your previous comments on that issue.”

        Please cite the comments.

        As I recall, you made some fantastically overblown statements about Jewish achievement which I insisted on qualifying. Do you feel that Jews are inherently superior to the extent which you implied they were? Is it ‘anti-semitism’ to suggest otherwise?

        Because that’s what I did, and that’s what you are referring to. Your attempts to shore up the weaknesses in your arguments with insults reflect badly only on you.

      • Dan Crowther
        September 4, 2012, 4:28 pm

        hahahaha!! McBride and Wright in a fight to the death! and here i thought the two of you were the same person….. ha!

      • ColinWright
        September 4, 2012, 4:37 pm

        Dan Crowther says: “hahahaha!! McBride and Wright in a fight to the death! and here i thought the two of you were the same person….. ha!”

        That stings considerably worse than sean’s own rather unimaginative thrusts. That accusation of ‘anti-semitism’ verged on the infantile.

      • CitizenC
        September 4, 2012, 4:51 pm

        The Israeli leadership was panicked in 1973 and thinking nuclear and the US was very worried. That has not occurred many times if again at all. But the Samson option is well known to those within range.

      • ColinWright
        September 4, 2012, 4:54 pm

        sean mcbride says: “I notice that you are making no effort to defend yourself from the charge that you are a virulent antisemite. Others here have also noticed that pattern in your comments.”

        I refuse to. It would be degrading to do so, and it would be to participate in the pretense that your insults are anything but attempts to salve your ego.

        Let us assume purely for the sake of argument that I am antisemitic.

        So what? Does anything I say become invalid on that account? If I have observed that 2 and 2 make 4, if it is determined that I am anti-semitic so they now make 5?

        I could be an anti-semite, a serial killer, or a secret advocate of voting rights for dogs — if something I say is factually true or logically valid, it remains so.

        If you can rebut my points do so. If you can’t, please stop humiliating yourself and irritating me and shut up.

      • ColinWright
        September 4, 2012, 5:08 pm

        seamcbride says: ‘I am done with you. I have already pointed to you some of these sources (including Seymour Hersh’s important book).’

        …and I pointed out to you that none of those sources cited remarks by Israeli officials.

        …and you never were able to cite any remarks by Israeli officials.

        So you called me an anti-semite instead. And now you’re playing that pathetic ‘I’m done with you’ card. What you’ve realized is that you’ve crapped in your own shorts and it’s streaming down all over your legs.

        …in public, no less. Good one, sean.

      • seanmcbride
        September 4, 2012, 5:16 pm

        Good God — is my prose really that bloated and gassy? :)

      • seanmcbride
        September 4, 2012, 5:29 pm

        Colin,

        Regarding Jewish achievement: I haven’t exaggerated it in the least. Jews have achieved success in the arts and sciences vastly out of proportion to their numbers.

        The intensity with which you anticipate the destruction of Israel suggests that you are in the grip of obsessive forces that transcend a mere moral aversion to Zionism. (I can think of quite a few regimes around the world that should excite more moral aversion than Israel.)

        Regarding this remark of yours:

        “Of course, for a darker take on that era, watch “A Serious Man.” At the risk of (once again) making the fur fly, that movie had me saying ‘thank God I’m not Jewish.’”

        Were you referring to the Coen brothers film? By two of the greatest directors (both Jewish) in the history of American and world cinema?

        You still haven’t made a single informed or intelligent remark about the Samson Option, which is in play as we speak. I don’t think you are a creative strategic thinker, and I don’t think you know much about Mideast politics.

      • ColinWright
        September 4, 2012, 5:38 pm

        seanmcbride says: ‘Good God — is my prose really that bloated and gassy? :)’

        This from the guy who wrote: “On the subtleties and deep background of Mideast politics you tend to be uninformed and…”

        If the diction and vocabulary I habitually use rubs you the wrong way — tough.

        Otherwise, it can be hard to express oneself briefly if one’s ideas are more complex than ‘things goin splode.’

      • seanmcbride
        September 4, 2012, 6:53 pm

        ColinWright wrote:

        BEGIN QUOTE
        Let us assume purely for the sake of argument that I am antisemitic. So what? Does anything I say become invalid on that account?
        END QUOTE

        It matters a great deal when antisemites — people who harbor malice and malevolence towards Jews — enter discussions about Mideast politics — and especially when they are cackling and rubbing their hands together in glee over the anticipated destruction of Israel, which would constitute a second Holocaust within a century. They pollute the discussion stream. They are not really interested in developing a successful resolution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

        I recently ran into a situation in the Mondoweiss on Friendfeed group in which a leading critic of Israel there revealed that he is Nazi sympathizer who believes that Nazis, and not Jews, were the real victims of World War II — and in fact he blamed this alleged crime against the Nazis on an international Jewish conspiracy. Yes, these things matter. (I banned that commenter, who was also banned from Mondoweiss.)

        As for “arguments” about Mideast politics, you really don’t have any of substance — you don’t really have a handle on the strategic issues. Mostly you vent your anger and emotional violence towards Israelis.

      • RoHa
        September 4, 2012, 10:04 pm

        “these Abrahamic orthographic conventions”

        You could try “-od” or “Go-“. Or “Him upstairs”.

      • Taxi
        September 4, 2012, 11:44 pm

        “I notice that you are making no effort to defend yourself from the charge that you are a virulent antisemite. Others here have also noticed that pattern in your comments.”

        I don’t think Colin is a “virulent antisemite’. You’re not debating him or out-witting him with these false statements, Sean. All you’re doing is mud-slinging with blindfolds on.

      • ColinWright
        September 5, 2012, 2:05 am

        RoHa says: ““these Abrahamic orthographic conventions”

        You could try “-od” or “Go-”. Or “Him upstairs”.”

        Wouldn’t that last be altitudinist? Why should Tibetans be implicitly closer to God than Bangladeshis?

      • Taxi
        September 5, 2012, 7:28 am

        “Were you referring to the Coen brothers film? By two of the greatest directors (both Jewish) in the history of American and world cinema?”

        That’s an opinion, Sean – too wide yet too vague of a generalization.

        It’s considered in the arts that indeed there are numerous gifted people, many of whom can be considered the best. However, the “greatest” is another category altogether that very-very-very few of even the ‘best’ achieve.

        Just thought I’d parse up on the vast difference between the ‘best’ and the ‘greatest’.

      • seanmcbride
        September 5, 2012, 9:31 am

        Taxi wrote:

        “I don’t think Colin is a “virulent antisemite'”

        I think he IS a virulent antisemite, and I don’t say that lightly. Usually I am much more likely to complain about false accusations of antisemitism than antisemitism, but sometimes one does run into real antisemites among anti-Zionists.

        It matters a great deal when antisemites — people who harbor malice and malevolence towards Jews in general — enter discussions about Mideast politics — and especially when they are cackling and rubbing their hands together in glee over the anticipated destruction of Israel, which would constitute a second Holocaust within a century. They pollute the discussion stream. They are not really interested in developing a successful resolution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

        I recently ran into a situation in the Mondoweiss on Friendfeed group in which a leading critic of Israel there revealed that he is Nazi sympathizer who believes that Nazis, and not Jews, were the real victims of World War II — and in fact he blamed this alleged crime against the Nazis on an international Jewish conspiracy. Yes, these things matter. (I banned that commenter, who was also banned from Mondoweiss.)

        As for “arguments” about Mideast politics, which arguments are you referring to? The Samson Option? Every expert on Mideast and Israeli politics knows that the Samson Option is real and that Israel would almost certainly use it if it were faced with destruction. Why do you think any nation takes the trouble to acquire a few hundred nuclear weapons?

        The existence of the Samson Option creates an immense problem for people like Colin, who are emotionally (almost sexually) excited about witnessing the total obliteration of Israel and Israelis as soon as possible. If Israel goes down, it is going to take much of the world with it.

        What is the counterargument to this state of affairs that makes any sense?

      • seanmcbride
        September 5, 2012, 9:46 am

        Taxi,

        All opinions about the arts are, of course, merely opinions. But many people who care passionately about film would place the Coen brothers in the same class as Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, etc. (all of whom rank among my favorite directors).

        But perhaps you missed the point: why is Colin Wright taking gratuitous digs at Jews — “thank God I am not Jewish” — when he is not salivating over the total obliteration of Israel and Israelis or trying to bully Jews like Young Mass Jew and Mooser? He can’t keep a lid on his emotions in this domain.

        What kind of person would respond to Scorsese’s “Mean Streets” or “Raging Bull” with the remark “thank God I am not Italian”?

        I thought “A Serious Man” was a brilliant film, by the way — not my favorite Coen brothers work, but one of their better works. It reminded me somewhat of Fellini’s surrealistic explorations of his Roman Catholic roots — really quite magical.

      • Taxi
        September 5, 2012, 10:47 am

        Sean,

        Just because you say Colin “IS” doesn’t make Colin a “virulent anti-Semite”. You haven’t provided any evidence of this, except to say you’ve actually encountered on cyberspace, some anonymous nazi sympathizer (who coulda been lying to you too just to rile you up, and who apparently reminds you of Colin) – plus also you describe Colin’s glee at the idea of israel’s destruction as proof of his anti-Semitism and you equate this destruction with an oncoming second holocaust.

        So like if a Palestinian or a Lebanese, ongoing victims of israel’s zionism, found joy at the thought of the destruction of israel, then are they too “antisemitic”? Really now, Sean, this is emotion-policing and rewarding the criminal with ‘exceptional’ circumstances just cuz they’re jews.

        As for your “second holocaust” calculation, I propose that if israel actually uses the samson option, you’d better believe there’d be a world-wide explosion of judo phobia. But who would really be responsible for it? Colin?

        And btw, I’m a survivor of israeli terrorism and even before this, I was always against the establishment of the zionist state of israel: morally and intellectually: I don’t believe in giving a slice of Arab land to european colonialists, whatever their religion is, and I believe that real justice here entails the return of every single inch of the land to its rightful owners: the Palestinians – then it would be up to the Palestinians to welcome euro jews into their fold, or not.

        When you make an accusation/smear and can’t back it up, it just makes you sound like you gotta a personal vendetta.

        Colin’s an ass, not a “virulent antisemite” – as far as I can tell. You’re way too smart to lock horns with him for this long: thread to thread, week to week.

        The nazis, who had no nukes, were destroyed when they threatened europe’s stability – so what do you think should be done to a small nation armed with nukes that destabilizes and blackmails, according to you, the safety and stability of the world at large? After all, Sean, you do keep asserting that israel’s samson option is real and real scary.

      • seanmcbride
        September 5, 2012, 11:05 am

        Taxi,

        We will have to agree to disagree on the matter of whether Colin is a classical antisemite or not — I am thoroughly convinced that he is based on the overall pattern of his remarks. You should know me well enough by now to know that I don’t make that kind of charge frivolously.

        Who in your mind *are* contemporary classical antisemites? Are any anti-Zionists antisemites by your definition of the term “antisemitism”? I define antisemitism as hostility towards Jews generally — an emotion and attitude that transcends disagreements with particular Jews or Jewish groups.

        Regarding the Samson Option: would you agree that if Israel were facing destruction that it would be capable of taking out of the following cities?

        1. Amman (Jordan)
        2. Bagdahd (Iraq)
        3. Beirut (Lebanon)
        4. Cairo (Egypt)
        5. Damascus (Syria)
        6. Riyadh (Saudi Arabia)
        7. Tehran (Iran)

        Do you think Israel would hesitate to take out those cities if in fact it were under threat of going under?

        Arguments and counterarguments?

        I am wondering what realistic scenarios people like Colin have in mind when they imagine and cheer on the destruction of Israel.

      • seanmcbride
        September 5, 2012, 11:19 am

        Taxi wrote:

        “So like if a Palestinian or a Lebanese, ongoing victims of israel’s zionism, found joy at the thought of the destruction of israel, then are they too “antisemitic”?”

        That is precisely my point: Colin is not a Palestinian or Lebanese who has been personally victimized by Israelis. His emotion on this subject arises from other sources and causes.

        Taxi wrote: “As for your “second holocaust” calculation, I propose that if israel actually uses the samson option, you’d better believe there’d be a world-wide explosion of judo phobia. But who would really be responsible for it? Colin?”

        Yes, people like Colin — anyone who egged on and cackled about the destruction of Israel — would in part be responsible for the consequences of Israel exercising the Samson Option. Reasonable people are trying to rein in and modify Israel’s behavior — not destroy Israel.

        Taxi wrote: “The nazis, who had no nukes, were destroyed when they threatened europe’s stability – so what do you think should be done to a small nation armed with nukes that destabilizes and blackmails, according to you, the safety and stability of the world at large? After all, Sean, you do keep asserting that israel’s samson option is real and real scary.”

        That is what I am trying to figure out. That is what we all need to be trying to figure out. And I have come up with some ideas on the subject:

        1. let NATO take over the burden of defending Israel

        2. work to make the Mideast a nuclear weapons-free zone by mutual agreement

        3. create a Palestinian state in most of the occupied territories

        4. pay the Palestinians generous reparations for all the suffering they have endured

        5. permit Israel to survive as a Jewish state that emphasizes modern Western democratic values and serves as a center of Jewish cultural creativity

      • Taxi
        September 5, 2012, 11:24 am

        Sean,

        Standards in art are standards, not opinions. To achieve greatness, you have to have created a series of works of undeniable perfection – something extremely difficult to achieve, even for the best of the best. Just ask any creative.

        Of the list of directors you mentioned above, I only reckon Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock to be tagged with the label “greatest” in the world, with Scorsese very close behind them and ahead of the Coen Brothers – woody Allen is a one-pony show creatively speaking (no fantastic cinematographic images are composed in his films and the stories are pretty much about the same anti-hero), so he really does not belong on this list.

        And as to Colin’s remark “thank god I am not jewish”, well there’s nothing wrong with saying this, considering the depressing load of ancestral history that modern jews are burdened with learning about and carrying. Perhaps in Colin’s case, it may have been said in an antagonistic context. But this still does not make for a solid case of covert antisemiticsm.

        I’ll remind us both here though, that we’re both not mind-readers and we will probably never know what really-really-really makes Colin tick.

      • Taxi
        September 5, 2012, 11:35 am

        Sean,

        The blue-print of zionism is masada. I wouldn’t put ANYTHING past the israelis. I’t realistic to expect the worst from them at any given point.

        My understanding of the samson option is that it also includes attacks on european cities and even American ones. I once read somewhere that a rabbi had claimed that even American cities would be targets if israel was threatened and America didn’t help out (sorry too lazy to google it).

        My understanding of the definition of antisemeticsm really very simple: it is the irrational hatred of jews – emphasis on the word ‘irrational’. But when zionist jews give you plenty good reason to hate them, surely you can’t call that antisemitic or irrational hatred?

      • Annie Robbins
        September 5, 2012, 11:40 am

        anyone who egged on and cackled about the destruction of Israel — would in part be responsible for the consequences of Israel exercising the Samson Option.

        well that’s rich. sean you’re sounding off kilter here. do you also think ahmadinejad’s rhetoric would be partly responsible if IS/US nuked iran? what you’re doing is tantamount to approving pre emptive strikes.

      • Sibiriak
        September 5, 2012, 11:58 am

        Regarding the Samson Option: would you agree that if Israel were facing destruction that it would be capable of taking out of the following cities?

        Wouldn’t the leaders of any nuclear-armed nation consider “taking out” enemy cities if facing imminent destruction? E.g., Pakistan, India, Russia, the U.S. etc.

        I am wondering what realistic scenarios people like Colin have in mind when they imagine and cheer on the destruction of Israel.

        Although I question the realism of his scenario, Colin has written about “political changes” that would cause a great number of Israelis to emigrate, resulting in the transformation of the Israeli Jewish state into a Palestinian-State.

      • Taxi
        September 5, 2012, 12:09 pm

        Sean,

        You don’t understand the beast that is zionism if you think you can “modify” its behavior.

        To the discerning eye, your list of solutions is utterly unrealistic, impractical and dare I say, unjust. Here’s my response to your list:
        1- Why not have Nato “defend” the Palestinians – why aren’t you here concerned with defending the victim? It’s them Palestinians who are under constant attack you know. Besides this point, the mere mention of Nato to an Arab speaker and they just run a mile from distrust and disgust.
        2- Israel would never ever ever, with a big fat NEVER, want to willingly give up it’s nukes – under ANY circumstance whatsoever.
        3- Israel will never ever ever and forevermore return ANY occupied Palestinian land cuz they’ve convinced themselves that its theirs and this is indeed an incurable collective malady.
        4- What if most Nakba Palestinians want their land back instead of ‘blood money’? Have you asked a Nakba Palestinian what he/she wants first?
        5- There is a “virulent” contradiction between a religious state run by colonialists and the practice of democracy. We’ve addressed this here on MW extensively and for years – you should know by now that the only way true democracy can work is to first and foremost, keep religion OUT of state affairs.

        Historic Palestine ALWAYS had an organic jewish character, as well as moslem and a christian character – all brushed with mediterraneanism. You don’t need to have a “jewish state” to insure this character remains.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 5, 2012, 12:13 pm

        i think the word ‘destruction’ wrt israel is parroting a rtwg contortion of the word in the same way the word ‘return’ is used wrt people immigrating to israel who allege to have dna connected to the place from 3 thousand years ago. whereas, when the US government wants regime change they don’t say ‘we seek the destruction of iraq’. same difference. ending zionism is not the same as the destruction of the state. i don’t seek any destruction, i seek equality in human and civil rights for all. some people think that would essentially destroy israel. i don’t think it would.

      • American
        September 5, 2012, 12:41 pm

        @ sean

        I don’t know what’s going on with you and Colin but I don’t think saying ..”‘thank God I’m not Jewish.’”…rises to the level of anti semitism.
        I’m pretty sure I have said something like I wouldn’t want to be Jewish and have to live with the holocaust and victim baggage and on going paranoia it causes. And I do remember saying I would go nutty if I had to think about my ‘identity’ or have that in my subconscious when interacting with other people.
        People say ”thank God that isn’t us” or ”I’m not him” all the time in relation to someone or to people in some kind of condition or situation they are glad they aren’t in.
        I think you are reaching on that one.

      • Mooser
        September 5, 2012, 12:53 pm

        “I don’t think you are a creative strategic thinker, and I don’t think you know much about Mideast politics.”

        And the one thing he might know something about, that is, the man called Colin Wright, he adamantly refuses to tell us about. Well, except that he’s not whatever you might think he is.

      • American
        September 5, 2012, 1:19 pm

        There is destruction and then there is destruction.
        There is turning Israel to ashes and then there is destroying the zionist entity that runs Israel without throwing the whole thing into the sea.
        I would be willing to bet that if Israel was reduced back to it’s original borders and de nuked and it’s aggression against everyone else neutered, the Arabs calling for the ‘destruction of zionist entity’ would go about their ME business and rarely mention or think about Israel.

        But Israel is a sick psycho state who wants ‘ attention and to ‘dominate everyone it can.
        So how long can anyone save it from itself? There is from what I see, no governments or nations in the world except the US and Germany who have any commitment to saving Israel. Behind the frequent lip service, Europe I believe sees Israel as a problem that their problem with zionism didn’t solve and they are tired of.

      • seanmcbride
        September 5, 2012, 1:51 pm

        Annie,

        What I am saying is that anyone who tries to back into a corner and obliterate a nation which possesses a large arsenal of WMDs which it has credibly threatened to use in its self-defense would have to be short-sighted not to realize that the retaliation and blowback could be devastating.

        Is it subversive of me to point out the basic facts of life? :) Off-kilter? There is a limit to how much people like Colin Wright can bully Israel and Israelis, as much as he enjoys bitch slapping the hell out of them. And that is an apt metaphor for the world in general in its relations with Israel. I dislike a situation in which Israel can behave as the ultimate suicide bomber and hold the world hostage, but the situation exists.

        Israel is not threatening to bring its immediate neighbors (and possibly the world at large) crashing down merely in response to verbal abuse or verbal threats. The Samson Option would kick in if Israel were faced with physical destruction.

        But the scope of the threat is fairly clear: if, for instance, the United States and Europe failed to restrain a nation like Iran from obliterating Israel, Israel would hold them responsible and punish them appropriately.

      • seanmcbride
        September 5, 2012, 2:04 pm

        American,

        I interpreted that comment not in isolation but in the context of all of Colin’s comments pertaining to Jews. The tone there is unmistakable — compulsive loathing.

        You know, if Colin didn’t repeatedly describe the coming destruction of Israel and Israelis with orgasmic ecstasy, I probably wouldn’t have started paying attention to this issue.

        My reaction to “A Serious Man” was, damn — I wish I could make a movie that good. And all praise to the Coen brothers for exploring their cultural background with so much unflinching honesty and imagination. I recognized much of the weirdness in their Jewish religious background in my own Roman Catholic background. Everyone who has been indoctrinated in a dogmatic religion has a story to tell like this — but few people can tell the story as well as Joel and Ethan Coen.

      • seanmcbride
        September 5, 2012, 2:12 pm

        Mooser wrote,

        “And the one thing he might know something about, that is, the man called Colin Wright, he adamantly refuses to tell us about. Well, except that he’s not whatever you might think he is.”

        Colin does do a passable impersonation of an Iranian mullah:

        “Ish’allah, Netanyahu will go down as the Prime Minister who mounted the attack on Iran that led to Israel’s demise.”

        (I think he meant to say “Insh’Allah” there.)

      • American
        September 5, 2012, 2:14 pm

        “Reasonable people are trying to rein in and modify Israel’s behavior — not destroy Israel.”….sean

        Hmmm, you must a different definition of reasonable people than me.

        Every definition of Reasonable:
        1. Capable of reasoning; rational: a reasonable person. 2. Governed by or being in accordance with reason or sound thinking:

        Reasonable – Legal Definition
        ‘A standard for what is fair and appropriate under circumstances; that which is according to reason.

        REASONABLE FORESEEABILITY……legal definition

        ”The facility to perceive, know in advance, or reasonably anticipate that damage or injury will probably ensue from acts or omissions.
        In the law of Negligence, the foreseeability aspect of proximate cause—the event which is the primary cause of the injury—is established by proof that the actor, as a person of ordinary intelligence and circumspection, should reasonably have foreseen that his or her negligent act would imperil others, whether by the event that transpired or some past and similar occurrence, and regardless of what the actor surmised would happen in regard to the actual event or the manner of causation of injuries.”

        Now tell me who you consider to be ‘reasonable’ in trying to rein Israel in without destroying Israel…according to Reasonable Foreseeability.

        Would it be those who still advocate US aid for Israel?
        Would it be those who still advocate the US protect Israel right or wrong?
        Would it be those who advocate waiting for some great moral awakening among Jews to change Israel?

        The only reasonable people I see re saving Israel who those who advocate ‘intervening’ in Israel by ceasing aid, ceasing UN support and/or sanctions…based on reasonable people’s ‘ Reasonable Foreseeability’ that 65 years of supporting Israel financially, diplomatically and militarily has not modified it’s behavior or induced it to reform but made it worse….and a reasonable person cannot ‘reasonably anticipate’ that this continued support for Israel will produce any change in its behavior in the future..except to make it worse.

      • seanmcbride
        September 5, 2012, 2:31 pm

        Taxi,

        I am trying to imagine a solution that makes the best of a really bad situation — neither side will get all it wants, but all sides will enjoy a livable situation — Zionists get their Jewish state (which hopefully is as modern as possible and not dominated by religious fundamentalists or secular racists), the Palestinians get a Palestinian state, all violence between the conflicting parties stops, backed up by superpower police enforcement, Palestinians are recompensed for their suffering to the tune of many billions of dollars, much of it provided by the worldwide Jewish community, as well as by Americans and Europeans.

        What is *your* solution? How does it work realistically? I would live to hear the details.

        If this situation continues to spiral out of control, the suffering that Palestinians will be facing in the future will greatly exceed any suffering they have endured in the past. I know that sounds brutal and harsh, but it is the truth. You *know* that Likud Zionists have some horrifying plans on the drawing board and are waiting for the opportunity to move to the next stage of building Eretz Yisrael.

        So, the two-state solution is dead, I know, but I am still a two-state solution guy. The only alternative to that that I can see is Armageddon. The one-state solution is a nice idea but impossible to implement.

      • seanmcbride
        September 5, 2012, 2:48 pm

        Taxi,

        I should have been more clear about my NATO proposal: use superpower police forces to protect all the parties to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict from each other. Fuck with each other and you fuck with us, and you definitely don’t want to do that. Yeah, the tough guy approach, but sometimes that is the approach that works.

        Israel could stop worrying about parties in the region threatening its survival — it would be fully backed up in a formal way by the combined military might of all NATO members.

        Israel will never acquire the will to dismantle Israeli settlements. NATO. as an outside force with no emotional investment in the settlements, could do the job.

        I understand — you would like to drive Israel and Western military forces out of the Mideast altogether. But it ain’t gonna happen — not unless you want to see the entire region, including Lebanon, go down in flames. Israel is not going to roll over, pack its bags and quietly depart. To count on that happening would be to indulge in magical thinking.

      • ColinWright
        September 5, 2012, 4:08 pm

        seanmcbride says: “We will have to agree to disagree on the matter of whether Colin is a classical antisemite or not — I am thoroughly convinced that he is based on the overall pattern of his remarks. “

        And I say you make your living selling child pornography.

        Why not? If you can make your claims without supplying any evidence, so can I.

        More importantly, though, you have obviously just cooked this up to salvage your battered ego.

        Let me outline the development.

        1. You trot out your inane claims about Israel threatening ‘the Samson option.’ Israel has never made any such threats, so of course you can’t support them.

        You try to play the intellectual superiority card. “On the subtleties and deep background of Mideast politics you tend to be uninformed and — unimpressive. You’ve managed to convince me that you know very little about the subject. The Samson Option has been discussed at the highest policy circles among Western governments for decades…”

        That doesn’t work out so well — for more or less the same reason. You can’t furnish any evidence such discussions have taken place.

        So then you start labelling me an ‘anti-semite.’ The hypocrisy is so obvious it’s pathetic.

      • ColinWright
        September 5, 2012, 4:17 pm

        seanmcbride says: “Reasonable people are trying to rein in and modify Israel’s behavior — not destroy Israel. “

        If that’s your definition of ‘reasonable,’ let me point you to your home.

        link to jstreet.org

        I am for Israel’s termination — or at least ending our support for it. That last would in my estimation have the same effect — and if I’m wrong, oh well. At least we would no longer be implicated in its crimes.

        I think that’s perfectly reasonable and defensible. What are your grounds for thinking Israel should not cease to exist? What justification do you see for its continued existence?

      • ColinWright
        September 5, 2012, 4:30 pm

        Annie says: ” i don’t seek any destruction, i seek equality in human and civil rights for all. some people think that would essentially destroy israel. i don’t think it would.”

        My take on this is that I disagree — it would result in the destruction of Israel.

        But to some extent, it’s a moot point. You’re right, then ‘Israel’ is a secular, democratic, and egalitarian state where everyone’s more or less happy with the arrangement. I might have some theoretical objections about how it all came to pass, but oh well.

        So you could turn out to be right. It wouldn’t disturb me unduly. In fact, it would be considerably more pleasant to watch than the fulfillment of my expectations.

        But it doesn’t matter. One can think it will all end in Israel’s physical destruction, or one can think it will end in the pleasing creation of a model democracy — either way, one can push for the same things. An Israel that abides by international law. An Israel that in fact grants citizenship to all its subjects and equal rights to all those citizens. An Israel that no longer receives financial, military, or diplomatic support from the United States.

        Whether all that leads to a ‘nice’ Israel, or no ‘Israel’ at all is secondary — I’m perfectly prepared to live with either outcome. I just refuse to countenance, tolerate, support, or condone what is in my view currently a Nazi state.

      • ColinWright
        September 5, 2012, 4:39 pm

        seanmcbride says:

        “I interpreted that comment not in isolation but in the context of all of Colin’s comments pertaining to Jews. The tone there is unmistakable — compulsive loathing.”

        Lol.

        Look. You’re just digging yourself in deeper here.

        The further you go, the angrier you’ll get — and the more you’ll humiliate yourself.

        I can’t say I feel much sympathy — you created this entire situation with your own blundering verbal abuse — but really, you should stop. You won’t come out on top.

      • ColinWright
        September 5, 2012, 4:50 pm

        seanmcbride says: “You know, if Colin didn’t repeatedly describe the coming destruction of Israel and Israelis with orgasmic ecstasy…”

        This, I really do have to ask to see the quotes on. I’m all ears, sean…

      • ColinWright
        September 5, 2012, 5:17 pm

        seanmcbride: “…The existence of the Samson Option creates an immense problem for people like Colin, who are emotionally (almost sexually) excited about witnessing the total obliteration of Israel and Israelis as soon as possible. “

        I must have really gotten to you. This is incredible.

        Under other circumstances I’d feel sorry for you, but that’s the problem with verbally abusing people, you see. You can hardly expect them to take pity on you.

      • Taxi
        September 6, 2012, 12:54 am

        Sean,

        Look where 64 years of negotiations and negotiating the negotiations has gotten the Palestinians: less land and more prisons and cemetries.

        Now look at 32 years of Lebanese armed resistance and you’ll find most of their land back under Lebanese control and less prisons and cemeteries.

        So like yeah I’m a firm believer that by now the only solution to israel’s wanton greed for land is war. Seems clear that war is the only answer. Unfortunately. But it is the answer that has produced results. This, no “reasonable” person can deny. Yeah “reasonable” people might not like it, but they can’t deny the encouraging results.

        And since Hizbollah’s victory in 2006, israel’s behavior towards Lebanon has actually been “modified” – in fact, it’s the ONLY time that israel’s behavior has been modified. Well wadyaknow, Sean, war works, if it’s righteous.

        What does it matter to the natives if they die under the boot of the occupation or in “Armageddon”? It matters greatly to a proud people that they die standing on their feet and not blindfolded on their knees. Please don’t try take that away from them.

        I’ll say it one last time: after generations of failed negotiations, and after hizbollah’s military victory over israel in 2006, it’s clear that the only thing that stops the invading israelis is war.

        Sorry mate, chalk this up to ‘realism’.

      • Taxi
        September 6, 2012, 1:03 am

        Colin,
        “1. You trot out your inane claims about Israel threatening ‘the Samson option.’ Israel has never made any such threats, so of course you can’t support them.”

        Actually this can’t be proven either way – very few people know what actually goes on behind the closed iron doors of military strategizing.

        And I wouldn’t put it past the dastardly israelis either. Fresh outta a holocaust back in the day, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if they enshrined the samson option into their military’s extremist modus operandum.

      • seanmcbride
        September 6, 2012, 9:28 am

        Taxi wrote:

        “I’ll say it one last time: after generations of failed negotiations, and after hizbollah’s military victory over israel in 2006, it’s clear that the only thing that stops the invading israelis is war.”

        I completely understand and empathize with your passion on this subject, but when one reviews the overall historical pattern of Israel’s relations with its neighbors, attempts to uproot or check Israel through violence have repeatedly left Israel in a stronger military, political and strategic position.

        In my opinion, only superpowers (especially the United States and Europe, possibly also Russia) possess enough leverage to force Israel to back off from its inexorable movement forward to build Eretz Yisrael. If the two-state solution fails, we will be left with the one-state solution: a Greater Israel violently purged of Palestinians.

        But there is a possibility that Israel could even neutralize the power of the United States, Europe and Russia by exercising the threat to use the Samson Option.

        Regarding Colin’s absurd argument that Israeli leaders haven’t officially claimed ownership of the Samson Option: they also refuse to acknowledge that Israel possesses nuclear weapons (which is part of their policy of “ambiguity” on the subject). But policy insiders know that Israel does in fact possess nuclear weapons and has developed “innovative” doomsday strategies for using or threatening to use them against its enemies. Israel’s enemies sometimes seem to encompass the entire world, including many Jews. Certainly Likud considers the Obama administration to be an enemy.

      • Chu
        September 6, 2012, 10:31 am

        seanmcbride: “…The existence of the Samson Option creates an immense problem for people like Colin, who are emotionally (almost sexually) excited about witnessing the total obliteration of Israel and Israelis as soon as possible. “

        -what the hell is this about? Are you his psychoanalyst…
        [this comes across as grandstanding]

      • seanmcbride
        September 6, 2012, 1:29 pm

        Chu,

        Colin’s repeated excited fantasizing about the destruction of Israel has a distinctly onanistic quality. But it is far more likely that Israel could destroy Colin than Colin could destroy Israel — especially since Israel possesses several hundred nuclear weapons and a formidable international self-defense network by the name of Mossad.

        Some quotes by Colin on Israel over just the last day:

        1. “I am for Israel’s termination.”

        2. “That video looks like the death knell for Israel.”

        3. “There’s nothing as vile as Israel. There really isn’t.”

        4. “Maybe they’re just vile hate-filled vermin.” (referring to Israeli vandals)

        5. “openly reveal the Naziism at the core of Zionism”

        Colin has penned dozens of other remarks like this over the last few months. They have caught my eye.

        By the way, I think there are worse regimes around the world than Israel and other things more “vile” than Israel. And I would rather see Israel modify its behavior and be one of several “lights unto the nations” than be destroyed.

      • ColinWright
        September 6, 2012, 2:07 pm

        seanmcbride says “Colin’s repeated excited fantasizing about the destruction of Israel has a distinctly onanistic quality.”

        ! This just keeps better and better. A ‘distinctly onanistic quality’ no less.

        …and all because I stepped on your little ‘Samson option’ sand castle.

        I stand by my remarks concerning Israel, by the way. I think they’re all perfectly valid.

      • ColinWright
        September 6, 2012, 2:11 pm

        Chu says: ‘-what the hell is this about? Are you his psychoanalyst…’

        What it’s all about is that first I stepped on sean’s ridiculously overblown praises of Jewish achievement, and then I stepped on his pathetic ‘samson option’ fantasy.

      • ColinWright
        September 6, 2012, 2:14 pm

        sean says: ‘…But it is far more likely that Israel could destroy Colin than Colin could destroy Israel…’

        So one would assume. It’s interesting to contemplate the alternative: that I possess more physical power than a nation of twelve million inhabitants. It’s far more likely that Switzerland could destroy Colin than that Colin could destroy Switzerland.

      • Taxi
        September 6, 2012, 2:17 pm

        Sean,

        The fact that Hizbollah pushed back israel right off a giant chunk of Lebanese land in 2000, then kept them so successfully at bay, nay defeated them in 2006, kicks the premise of your entire post straight into the dustbin of nonsense. Sean, you’d better believe that no one in the middle east is waiting for a “superpower” to come save them from israel. Looks like they’re doing it by themselves and gaining from this unilateral and independent method.

      • Chu
        September 6, 2012, 2:22 pm

        Sean, that’s his opinion. In the past, I have been completely sickened by Israel’s behavior, even saying I’m glad I’m not Jewish. And I know many people who feel the same way about waiting for Israel to finally mature into a real nation. It’s a topic that makes many of us sick, hearing about the creeping fascism of Israel. Taxi knows.
        The Mondo policy allows his comments and they allow Hophmi’s screeds as well.

        I’m just not sure you’re helping yourself by psychoanalysing him with unfound claims. I don’t always read Colin’s opinions, I haven’t got the time these days, but is he a nazi sympathizer as you say or an antisemite. I’m not sure that you can condemn him for anger at the current situation. He’s on MW disscussion board, not stormfront.
        And when Hophmi calls you an anti-semtie, does he have the right to do so?

      • ColinWright
        September 6, 2012, 2:29 pm

        seanmcbride: “…There is a limit to how much people like Colin Wright can bully Israel and Israelis…”

        There is? And here I had this idea I was this Godzilla-like figure, approximately eighty miles tall, and coated with nuclear-proof armor plating.

        Oh well…I was just going to wade over there and straighten her out, too. It seemed a nice day for it.

      • American
        September 6, 2012, 3:27 pm

        @ sean

        I am also pretty sure I have similar things to:

        3. “There’s nothing as vile as Israel. There really isn’t.”
        ( in relation to their f’ing shoot and cry and victim hypocrisy)

        4. “Maybe they’re just vile hate-filled vermin.” (referring to Israeli vandals)
        (well what do you call them?, vermin is a pretty common social description for criminals)

        5. “openly reveal the Naziism at the core of Zionism”
        ( the mentality of ethnic racism is the same)

        I think I even said Israel should be glad I don’t have my finger on’ the button’. But you can’t take every letting off steam, and exaggerated out of frustration and outrage, statement on here as serious or for real…as in someone actually in reality being fine with nuking Israel out of existence.

      • ColinWright
        September 6, 2012, 4:04 pm

        seanmcbride says: “…trying to bully Jews like Young Mass Jew and Mooser…”

        I don’t think I’ve ever ‘bullied’ YoungMassJew — and I would never aspire to ‘bully’ Mooser. That’d be like shoving my hand in a nest of rattlesnakes.

        Anyway, you know perfectly well that your problem is not what I have said to them — but what I have to said to impeccably gentile you.

        And of course, it’s only compounded by the fact that I am not ‘bullying’ you either — but simply responding all too effectively to your utterly hamfisted attempts at verbal abuse.

        You can keep trying. I can’t say I welcome it, as it’s all rather dreary and negative — but the prospect doesn’t disturb me. I’ll just keep combing your posts. Whenever I get a hit on ‘Colin’ I’ll check it out and respond appropriately.

        So have at it. Enjoy. I’ll be here — and trust me. You’re pretty easy to handle.

      • Dan Crowther
        September 6, 2012, 4:15 pm

        Taxi is right on the money

      • seanmcbride
        September 6, 2012, 4:47 pm

        Chu,

        I would never question Colin’s free speech rights or liberty to post here. But I am curious about the sweaty intensity with which he has fantasized about the destruction of Israel:

        Some more ColinWright quotes of interest:

        1. “[I] keep stumbling over the fact that Israel seems to match everything I hate.”

        2. “[I] have a variety of often not-very-progressive interests and attitudes. [That much we've figured out -- Colin is not criticizing Israel from a progressive position.]”

        3. “The Zionists have blown it. The only thing to do is to try to organize a tidy evacuation. When the Jews take that boot off the Palestinian neck, they’d better have their exit route all mapped out.”

        4. “Israel has the dubious virtue of being an abomination no matter how one looks at it.”

        5. “All one needs to do is to recognize that Israel is evil. Then everything becomes all too predictable — and the only remaining question is what are you doing about it?”

        6. “Israel shouldn’t be permitted to survive.”

        7. “Yes, it’s a sickening image. So is Israel.”

        Chu — would you agree with me that anti-Zionism sometimes spills over into, or cohabits with, antisemitism? Sometimes one gets the impression that some anti-Zionists are trying to organize a lynch mob or grand pogrom against Israel and all Israelis. I don’t like joining angry mobs.

        And can you think of any regimes around the world that might be as “evil” as, or even more “evil,” than Israel?

        How many innocent civilians were killed, maimed or displaced in the Iraq War?

        What kind of regimes are the current governments of North Korea, Saudi Arabia or China?

        But my larger point is this: anti-Israel zealots who salivate over the destruction of Israel have not given much strategic thought to how this game might play out. Contrary to Colin’s complacency, arrogance and ignorance about Israel’s military capabilities, Israel could indeed take down many of its enemies with it.

        Regarding hophmi: he’s flailing. He troubles me not in the least. One barely notices wild and false accusations of antisemitism at this stage of the great debate about Israel and Zionism.

        But I will take the trouble to speak out against antisemitism when I see it.

      • ColinWright
        September 6, 2012, 4:49 pm

        American says: “……as in someone actually in reality being fine with nuking Israel out of existence.”

        Not that you said I had, but note that I have never stated or even implied that Israel should be ‘nuked out of existence.’

        On the contrary, I have repeatedly asserted just the opposite: that the trick is going to be to make her die with a whimper rather than a bang. I happen to think that this would be rather easy — or at least, primarily a matter of ourselves here in the US changing our attitude.

        Israel ultimately depends upon our support — not just physically, but psychologically. All we have to do is let go, and she will sink. Israel is an inherently untenable proposition. Like the Crusader states, she cannot survive without continuous support from the West.

        …Interestingly in that connection, I was just reading about the final fall of the Crusader states. They actually abandoned the last of their fortresses voluntarily. It wasn’t that they couldn’t have been held for at least a few more years — it was just that there was no more hope of succor from the West.

        When that hope is withdrawn from Israel, she’ll fold. Conversely, I think it’s unrealistic to expect her to ‘be nice’ so long as she has that hope. Israel can’t ‘be nice.’ It contradicts the whole premise of her existence.

        So pull the plug. Quit thinking the song is going to get better.

      • seanmcbride
        September 6, 2012, 4:54 pm

        Taxi,

        Are you entirely sure that Lebanon could defeat Israel in an all-out war? Taking into account that Israel could easily level Beirut? I am not as certain as you are.

        Without aggressive superpower intervention, I think that the Middle East is looking at a looming nightmare and the Palestinians are facing a disaster that could make the Nakba look like a garden party.

        Would you object to the United States and Europe stepping in to avert this outcome and stop the bloodshed? To enable the creation of a viable Palestinian state and to provide Palestinians with generous reparations for the suffering they have endured?

      • seanmcbride
        September 6, 2012, 5:02 pm

        ColinWright wrote:

        “… the trick is going to be to make her [Israel] die with a whimper rather than a bang. I happen to think that this would be rather easy…”

        So you think it will be “easy” to strangle Israel to death. But then again you refuse to acknowledge that Israel has numerous Samson Option scripts at its fingertips which are backed up by a large arsenal of WMDs, including nuclear and biological weapons. You are indeed naive. Your passion to destroy Israel has clouded your judgment.

        And there are your homicidal fantasies on display once again: to “make someone die” is to murder them. Most of the time your words are indistinguishable from those of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

      • ColinWright
        September 6, 2012, 5:10 pm

        Seanmcbride says: “sweaty intensity with which he has fantasized about the destruction of Israel…”

        Well, happily, there doesn’t seem to be much here. The sum total of my ‘sweaty fantasizing’ seems to be ‘The only thing to do is to try to organize a tidy evacuation. When the Jews take that boot off the Palestinian neck, they’d better have their exit route all mapped out.’

        Not much for a ‘sweaty fantasy.’ I do happen to believe that the Zionists have created a situation that they can’t redeem.

        Otherwise, we have the extremely problematical observation that someone who opposed Israel could be an anti-semite.

        …and somebody who had opposed Naziism could have been bigoted against Germans. It hardly follows that vehement hatred of Naziism was evidence that the speaker was bigoted against Germans.

        This is a site devoted to matters revolving around Israel and Zionism. Should I start throwing up long posts concerning my plans for the garden over the winter?

        But seriously, guy. We both know what the problem here is. So can we drop the pretense that you even believe anything you’re saying yourself?

      • American
        September 6, 2012, 5:12 pm

        ColinWright says:
        American says: “……as in someone actually in reality being fine with nuking Israel out of existence.”

        Not that you said I had, but note that I have never stated or even implied that Israel should be ‘nuked out of existence’>>>>

        Didn’t intend to suggest you had…just trying to explain to sean that he can ‘t take everything said here “for actual real”…..lots of flame throwing back and forth here occasionally that is nonsensical emotion.

      • ColinWright
        September 6, 2012, 5:15 pm

        seanmcbride says: “To enable the creation of a viable Palestinian state and to provide Palestinians with generous reparations for the suffering they have endured?”

        So how much of Palestine were you thinking the Palestinians should have? What proportion of the world’s Palestinians do you think should be allowed to live there?

        Palestine is, after all, rather necessarily and obviously the property of the Palestinians. How much of your bank account can I have? How much should you be allowed to keep? Half?

        A fifth? That’s right, sean. You may have a fifth. Maybe. Under certain strict conditions.

        I’d say that’s pretty big of me. Surely you agree?

      • seanmcbride
        September 6, 2012, 5:21 pm

        American,

        My main issue is this: when I begin to sense that a lynch mob is starting to assemble, I depart. I don’t want anything to do with it. I know crude incitement when I see it.

        I don’t think that branding Israel as the Ultimate Devil is going to solve current problems in the Middle East or be good for anyone.

      • ColinWright
        September 6, 2012, 5:37 pm

        seanmcbride says: “My main issue is this: when I begin to sense that a lynch mob is starting to assemble, I depart…”

        Well, I did point you to ‘Stand with us.’ You can go fight the good fight.

        A ‘lynch mob’ assembled against the previous Nazi state to come into being. Do you deplore that as well?

        “I don’t think that branding Israel as the Ultimate Devil is going to solve current problems in the Middle East or be good for anyone.”

        Whether Israel is ‘the Ultimate devil’ is an interesting but ultimately academic question. It is ‘the ultimate devil’ that we here in the US support. There’s no component of our national policy that is morally more vile.

        As to getting rid of Israel, yes, I do think that would improve matters in the Middle East. I doubt if it would solve all problems — when a region appears that has no problems, wake me up. But yes — getting rid of Israel would improve matters.

      • ColinWright
        September 6, 2012, 5:55 pm

        American says: “Didn’t intend to suggest you had…just trying to explain to sean that he can ‘t take everything said here “for actual real”…..lots of flame throwing back and forth here occasionally that is nonsensical emotion.”

        And my concern is that Sean is playing an old and simple — but nevertheless effective — game here. You start attributing various sins to someone. Then you start arguing about which of those sins he has committed.

        Pretty soon, it’s ‘no he doesn’t molest small boys…’ — and the residual implication is pretty appalling.

        I would ignore him — he doesn’t really say much that’s interesting — but I can’t afford to. I’m not about to let him tag me with the stuff he’s trying to tag me with.

        About the only upside is that normally, I try to avoid being too cutting with people (believe it or not, I do try). However, when someone behaves as sean has — well, I’d say I’ve got a hunting license. I can let my inner Colin out for a walk.

      • ColinWright
        September 6, 2012, 6:41 pm

        Zzz…

        I say: ““… the trick is going to be to make her [Israel] die with a whimper rather than a bang…”

        Sean seizes on this: “…And there are your homicidal fantasies on display once again: to “make someone die” is to murder them…”

        A state is not a person. Moreover, I am obviously advocating extinguishing Israel without recourse to violence. Yet you are so desperate to restore your self-esteem that you actually take everything in exactly the opposite sense it obviously had.

        …and you return to your inane ‘Samson Option’ fantasies — not that you have ever been able to explain just how these would benefit Israel or in what way she could bring them to bear. And then you actually refer to me as ‘naive.’ Tell us how South Africa was able to use her atomic bomb to perpetuate the apartheid regime.

      • lareineblanche
        September 6, 2012, 6:50 pm

        It is ‘the ultimate devil’ that we here in the US support. There’s no component of our national policy that is morally more vile.

        The “ultimate devil” that Americans support is their own government. The death toll of the past several decades attests to that.

      • seanmcbride
        September 6, 2012, 7:26 pm

        Colin wrote:

        “A ‘lynch mob’ assembled against the previous Nazi state to come into being. Do you deplore that as well?”

        Are you arguing that Israel is the next Nazi state and that we should join a lynch mob to utterly destroy it?

        Much of the time you sound like you are howling for the blood of Israelis — when you are not making gratuitous and mean digs against Jews because you can’t “resist” — the impulse is too strong.

        Regarding this: “[I] have a variety of often not-very-progressive interests and attitudes.” With which specific progressive positions do you have a problem? In what ways are your “interests and attitudes” “not-very-progressive”?

      • seanmcbride
        September 6, 2012, 8:02 pm

        ColinWright wrote:

        “But seriously, guy. We both know what the problem here is. So can we drop the pretense that you even believe anything you’re saying yourself?”

        You seem to have convinced yourself that we have had a debate about the Samson Option which you handily won. :) You’re an ass.

        I provided you more than a dozen sources, facts, and lines of thinking to pursue about the issue, but you didn’t manage to engage with any of them. You don’t know anything about the subject and are pretending that you can dismiss the issue as a matter of no consequence.

        Can you find any other person here who has been following this “debate” who agrees with you? Surely some people here by now have taken the trouble to Google [israel "samson option"] to learn something about the controversy.

        Why do you imagine that Israel has worked so hard to acquire several hundred nuclear weapons? And how do you guess that Israel would respond if its existence were actually being threatened by anti-Israel zealots like yourself or your anti-Zionist brother-in-arms, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

        The ability of Israel merely to *threaten* to use WMDs places a powerful strategic tool in its hands. Look up the circumstances of the 1973 Yom Kippur to start to get a handle on the subject.

        For an elementary introduction to the subject of Israel’s nuclear weapons see the Wikipedia entry on the subject:

        “Nuclear weapons and Israel”
        link to en.wikipedia.org

        And do get around to reading Seymour Hersh’s book:

        book; AUTHOR Seymour Hersh TITLE Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal & American Foreign Policy DATE 1993 PUBLISHER Vintage AMAZON link to amazon.com

        BEGIN QUOTE
        Ever since the early 1950s, Israel has had one military eye firmly fixed on atomic weapons as a means of salvation, using them primarily as a military threat for both offensive and defensive purposes. Hersh, a Pulitzer Prize winner, expounds on the steady but quiet growth of an Israeli nuclear industry that proved so successful that Israel was able to coerce several U.S. administrations into doing its bidding. He also explores in depth Israeli access to U.S. intelligence satellite technologies that resulted from inattention by Washington leaders as well as from the four years of insider spying by Jonathan Jay Pollard. He reveals that the Soviet Union has been targeted by Israeli nuclear warheads since the mid-1980s. Unlike several other recent expos es of Israeli intelligence apparatus (Ian Black and Benny Morris’s Israel’s Secret Wars , LJ 8/91, and Andrew and Leslie Cockburn’s Dangerous Liaison , LJ 6/15/91), Hersh follows the threads of a specific intelligence focus while highlighting U.S. policies that ultimately ignore the very real presence of the Israeli nuclear arsenal. This incredibly well-written book should be in every collection.
        END QUOTE

      • Shingo
        September 6, 2012, 9:39 pm

        And I would rather see Israel modify its behavior and be one of several “lights unto the nations” than be destroyed.

        We all would – the question is, would Israel’s leaders and hard liners? It seems evidence from their policies and behaviour that they would rather commit suicide than change.

      • Shingo
        September 6, 2012, 9:45 pm

        Are you entirely sure that Lebanon could defeat Israel in an all-out war? Taking into account that Israel could easily level Beirut? I am not as certain as you are.

        You’re still stuck in the 2nd generation WWII ear war mentality.

        Israel levellled Southern Lebanon and much of Beirut in 2006 and still lost. In fact, they bombed so franctially that they ran out of bombs after 2 weeks and had to SOS Washington for new supplies.

        The response from the Pentagon was that this was a clear indication that Israel had alrady lost the war. You see, there is only so much that air power can achieve and once air power has been exhausted, one has to commit ground troops – which means a big body count.

        The other problem Israel runs into is that it cannot sustain a long war. If Israel are to win a war, they have to do it in short time, because they simply don;t have the infrastructure and resrouces to keep it going.

        Every significant military action Israel undertakes has to be in concert with Washington, because the success of the operation is entirely dependent on Washington’s support.

      • Sibiriak
        September 6, 2012, 11:14 pm

        When that hope is withdrawn from Israel…

        What signs do you see of “the West” withdrawing support for the existence of Israel (or, to phrase it differently, supporting political changes that would obviously cause Israel “to fold” and be transformed into a single Palestinian state)?

        Seems like pure wishful thinking, imo.

      • Taxi
        September 6, 2012, 11:26 pm

        Sean,
        You sure as heck are sounding like a liberal zionist when you talk ’bout a 2 state solution etc – an idea that’s proved to be a criminal sham and is already well dead and buried, yet only liberal zionists keep talking about it non-stop. You also keep talking about saving israel, not saving the Palestinians. Is that your catholic guilt in action, or are we witnessing your own personal messianic complex unfold here on MW?

        Also, it’s getting tiresome having to listen to your incessant and malevolent smears against Colin. If I were to describe your behavior towards him in the last couple of weeks I’d say: pathologically fixated. What happened to the balanced, smooth-operating Sean that I’m accustomed to?

        Your time is better spent on studying up more on the wider mideast instead of repeatedly psychoanalyzing a blogger you clearly do not admire or respect. And to try and connect his loathing of israel to his sexual energy, well Sean, that just makes you look puerile and desperate.

        Sorry pal but you’re making yourself look bad. Very unbefitting.

      • Sibiriak
        September 6, 2012, 11:40 pm

        Taxi,

        How do you get from Hizbollah pushing Israel back in Lebanon to the notion that Zionist Israel can be entirely dissolved via “unilateral and independent” methods? Please explain. Otherwise, Sean’s point stands.

        Sean, you’d better believe that no one in the middle east is waiting for a “superpower” to come save them from israel.

        No, that’s why there is widespread support for a two-state settlement.

        ColinWright, though, and others, are waiting for the U.S. & Co. to abandon support for Israel’s existence (as a Jewish state). They are going to be waiting for a very, very long time, imo.

      • Sibiriak
        September 6, 2012, 11:46 pm

        Colin,

        Your unqualified equation of Israel with Nazi Germany really undermines your arguments, imo.

      • ColinWright
        September 6, 2012, 11:48 pm

        seanmcbride says: “…Colin is not a Palestinian or Lebanese who has been personally victimized by Israelis. His emotion on this subject arises from other sources and causes…”

        And it would be just inconceivable to you that someone might have some abstract sense of right and wrong that transcends personal experience and self-interest? That perhaps I am upset because as an American, I am involuntarily forced to participate in Israel’s crimes?

        Nahh…that couldn’t be. Anyone who feels that way must be an anti-semite.

        Now, I can remember very exactly the evolution of my views about Israel. I started out unthinkingly assuming it was a good — like, say, public libraries. Israel is good. Of course it is.

        And I can recall every single way station along that road. Every crime Israel committed, every lie she told, every discovery about the past that led me to where I am today.

        But you know better than me. None of that is true. That I hate Israel demonstrates that I am an anti-semite.

      • Taxi
        September 6, 2012, 11:53 pm

        Sean,

        I’m sorry to tell you that you really need to expand and update your mideast reading, especially chapters on the geo-political military strategy.

        Have you not heard that the Lebanese resistance can now take the battlefield to every inch of israel? That this fact is the very and only reason why israel hasn’t attacked Lebanon since their 2006 idf defeat? Surely you know that israel’s been checked by hizbollah? That because of this military ‘checking’, Syria since then has been picked on? Not seeing the bigger picture here, Sean?

        Also, no I would not support the “United States and Europe stepping in to avert this outcome and stop the bloodshed”, cuz they’ve been the biggest enablers of israeli expansionism and crimes against humanity.

        Lastly, why don’t you just quit it with your “generous reparations for the suffering” of the Palestinians. They want their land back buster! Go talk to a Palestinian first before you decided that “generous reparations” will be good enough for them. Why not give “generous” incentives to all them euro jewish invaders of Palestine to vacate the stolen nation?

        Really now Sean, I’m beginning to think of you as an israeli apologist here. A hater of Palestinians?

      • Annie Robbins
        September 7, 2012, 12:19 am

        there’s no widespread support for it in israel sib

      • Sibiriak
        September 7, 2012, 12:25 am

        why don’t you just quit it with your “generous reparations for the suffering” of the Palestinians. They want their land back buster! Go talk to a Palestinian first before you decided that “generous reparations” will be good enough for them.

        Actually, you are wrong on this point. Palestinians have repeatedly expressed willingness to accept reparations, financial assistance etc. in lieu of a fully exercisable right of return.

        Have you not heard that the Lebanese resistance can now take the battlefield to every inch of israel?

        “Lebanese resistance” is hardly a threat to the existence of zionist Israel.

        You seem to be suggesting that there is a military solution to the I/P conflict. If not, what are you suggesting?
        Are

      • Sibiriak
        September 7, 2012, 12:40 am

        Annie Robbins:

        there’s no widespread support for it in israel sib

        Well…

        link to guardian.co.uk

        A recent poll conducted by the Hebrew University found that 70% of Israelis believe that if the UN votes in favour of a Palestinian state, Israel should accept the decision. This is not the position of the Israeli government.

        More than 80 prominent Israeli intellectuals gathered outside Independence Hall on Thursday. They were led by author Sefi Rachlevski, to declare their support for a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders.

        “We will have an affect because we represent the real Jewish Zionist heritage and what we’re saying is obvious: Palestine, you don’t need our permission to have a state. Negotiations on its borders can follow,” said Rachlevski.

        Israeli historian Yehuda Bauer was among signatories to the declaration. He argued that the establishment of two independent neighbouring states was the only solution, and that it is an outcome that would be supported by the majority of Israelis.

        There is no doubt that there is far, far more support in Israel for a two-state settlement than there is for a 1SS, which is practically non-existent.

        But that’s not the argument, anyway. The argument is that there is some realistic chance that Israel can be *forced* into a two-state settlement, but not a 1SS.

      • ColinWright
        September 7, 2012, 12:41 am

        Sibiriak says: “…Your unqualified equation of Israel with Nazi Germany really undermines your arguments, imo…”

        I can see why you would say that — but at the same time, I see the equation with perfect clarity.

        People tend to see Nazi Germany as some kind of demonic episode — an exception to the human experience.

        Not at all. Those were real people, doing things that seemed perfectly reasonable — even quite praiseworthy — to them at the time.

        Similarly with Israel. Not to beat it to death, but even if the equation seems hyperbole, in my view it’s not. Israel arises from similar or identical ideas, represents a similar or identical response, and although she is more constrained by external considerations than Nazi Germany was, approaches the world around her in a similar way. Over and over again, in the rationales she and her supporters offer, in the drives she reveals, in the way she arranges the ideological furniture in her world, I catch echoes of the earlier state.

        I’m quite comfortable with the paradigm that Israel is a Nazi state in many respects. There are distinctions, but it explains her outlook and actions quite well.

      • ColinWright
        September 7, 2012, 12:50 am

        Sibiriak says: “ColinWright, though, and others, are waiting for the U.S. & Co. to abandon support for Israel’s existence (as a Jewish state). They are going to be waiting for a very, very long time, imo.”

        Well, I dunno. This support hasn’t been an eternal verity — we only decisively moved to support Israel for her own sake over the last forty years, and it only became completely unequivocal over the last twenty.

        Moreover, I think the support is skin deep. A lot of it is either a function of ignorance or of political expediency. I’d say out of every five Israel supporters, two could be converted with a fifteen minute television expose, and another two only support Israel because it’s politically suicidal not to.

        Witness that ‘Jerusalem’ vote. The veneer is pretty thin.

        At the same time, US support isn’t the only factor in the equation. It wasn’t all that long ago that we produced 50% of the world’s wealth and dominated most of the planet. Now its down to 20%, and things are starting to happen without reference to us.

        So at the same time as our support for Israel may crumble, the significance of that support may dwindle. Let us suppose we start to have the international influence of France. Will it matter if we support Israel?

      • seanmcbride
        September 7, 2012, 12:54 am

        Taxi,

        Obviously I haven’t had a clear understanding of your policy positions on Mideast and Israeli politics. I had the impression that you were fairly rational and realistic.

        Do you share Colin Wright’s “hatred” for Israel and all Israelis? (Colin proudly and repeatedly uses the word HATE to describe his emotions towards Israeli Jews, whom he considers to be as evil as Nazis.)

        Are you assuming, with Colin Wright, that Israel, an advanced nuclear power, will be easily destroyed and erased from history (perhaps by Lebanon???) and that Palestinians will recover all their lost territory through military force?

        What scenario precisely are you imagining? Perhaps you are in fact much more up to date on the balance of military forces in the Mideast than I am. Can you provide some pointers to your sources? Thanks.

      • Sibiriak
        September 7, 2012, 12:57 am

        Taxi:

        …a 2 state solution etc – an idea that’s proved to be a criminal sham and is already well dead and buried, yet only liberal zionists keep talking about it non-stop.

        No, the *overwhelming* majority of Palestinian organizations backing BDS also support two states.

        The great majority of Palestinians backing two states are not “liberal zionists”, you can be sure of that.

        I agree, though, that Sean should give up the psychoanalysis stuff and stick with factual/logical arguments.

      • seanmcbride
        September 7, 2012, 12:57 am

        Shingo wrote:

        “We all would – the question is, would Israel’s leaders and hard liners? It seems evidence from their policies and behaviour that they would rather commit suicide than change.”

        If they do commit suicide, they will take a great many of their enemies down with them — this is the problem that I am trying to get people to address here, so far with no success. :)

      • ColinWright
        September 7, 2012, 1:01 am

        Shingo says: “You’re still stuck in the 2nd generation WWII ear war mentality…”

        There’s also the point that military force is essentially a tool. It can only accomplish certain tasks.

        A hammer is great for driving nails. It’s not so hot for adjusting the fuel injection on your car. Similarly, military force works great if it is applied in conjunction with an inherently realizable goal. Bismarck demonstrated a fine appreciation of that. Our participation in World War Two demonstrated it as well.

        The Iraq episode demonstrated what happens if military force is used in an attempt to accomplish the impossible…and many of Israel’s wars have as well. Both Lebanon incursions made her situation worse rather than better, and ‘Cast Lead’ — for all that it demonstrated virtually unqualified military supremacy — was ultimately little more than another nail in Israel’s coffin.

        Israel tries to use military force to paper over the essential untenability of her position. In the end, it just won’t work. Not everything can be fixed with a hammer. It’s an inescapable truth that while Israel has enjoyed military superiority or supremacy since 1948, and while she has attacked every single one of her neighbors, the only war she has ever fought that clearly improved matters for her was in 1948.

      • Sibiriak
        September 7, 2012, 1:07 am

        Shingo:

        the success of the operation is entirely dependent on Washington’s support.

        So what? Washington’s support is unwavering.

        Where are you going with this military analysis anyway?

      • seanmcbride
        September 7, 2012, 1:18 am

        Taxi,

        I’m not a “liberal Zionist” — in fact, I am not a Zionist at all.

        I don’t hate Palestinians — I feel great sympathy for their plight and want to see them helped.

        I *am* trying to figure what might be a realistic solution to the current mess between Israel and its neighbors. There are not many good options.

        I doubt that Israel is going to be pushed entirely out of the region at this point by military or economic pressure. Do you?

      • Taxi
        September 7, 2012, 1:30 am

        Sibiriak,

        Honestly dude do I have to explain the obvious to you here on MW? It seems that a few mondoweissers know a thing or two about the political situation in israel and Palestine, but they haven’t got a clue on the art and craft of military strategizing. Read up folks, or go play a game or two of chess – this could indeed help you understand the difference between political analysis and military analysis.

        But okay, I’ll explain: there are many ‘sensitive’ targets in israel that are reached by hizbollah rockets and missiles and there are numerous dual-citizenship israelis who would abandon israel once these targets start getting hit.

        Okay, is this clear and simple enough for you?

        Oh and there is NOT a widespread support for the 2SS either in the mideast or in the west – because by now most people have realized that it’s a criminal ruse set-up by the zionists only for their OWN benefit, the very same zionists who have NO INTENTION of allowing a viable and contiguous democratic Palestinian state. “There will never be a Palestinian state between the river and the sea” – declared Netanyahu as well as numerous other israeli war criminals.

      • Sibiriak
        September 7, 2012, 1:45 am

        /And I would rather see Israel modify its behavior and be one of several “lights unto the nations” than be destroyed. /

        We all would – the question is, would Israel’s leaders and hard liners?

        I don’t think that is the right question. Israel’s leaders and hard-liners aren’t the only folks to have a say in this matter.

        There is widespread support for a two-state settlement among Palestinians, Israelis, and the populations of the U.S., Europe and the rest of the world. The potential power of that popular will has to be taken into consideration, imo.

        I believe the best hope for a solution (not necessarily a “final” one) would involve 1) a new non-violent Palestinian intifada 2) a powerful worldwide BDS movement 3) international governmental pressure on Israel to agree to a two-state settlement 4) legal action against Israel for violations of international law 5) a reinvigorated movement within Israel for a two-state settlement.

        I that kind of combined pressure on Israel may not ever materialize, but it’s not an unrealistic scenario.

        The best argument for promoting a 1SS, imo, is that calls for a 1SS might scare Israel into a two state settlement. The possible downside, though, is that abandonment of the idea of a two-state settlement could simply strengthen hard-liners in Israel and the West and enable even further ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

        There is no guarantee that things can’t get much worse, and stay worse for a very, very long time.

      • Taxi
        September 7, 2012, 2:40 am

        “Actually, you are wrong on this point. Palestinians have repeatedly expressed willingness to accept reparations, financial assistance etc. in lieu of a fully exercisable right of return.”

        Link please.

        Oh yeah you ain’t got one cuz you’re representing your wishful thinking here.

        ““Lebanese resistance” is hardly a threat to the existence of zionist Israel.”
        Really now? The exact opposite is what israel itself claims.

      • Sibiriak
        September 7, 2012, 2:42 am

        Are you arguing that Israel is the next Nazi state and that we should join a lynch mob to utterly destroy it?

        Sean,

        I think you are going overboard in your attacks on Colin, especially with the sexual angle. Nevertheless, you have a point.

        Colin’s unqualified equation of Israel with Nazi Germany implies that the destruction of Israel by military force would be both desirable and morally justifiable.

        He doesn’t dwell on that implication for obvious reasons.

        The real problem with his position, though, imo, is that he sees positive change coming only from the West’s “pulling the plug” completely on Israel–but that’s a totally unrealistic scenario, and he provides no argument to the contrary.

      • ColinWright
        September 7, 2012, 2:52 am

        seanmcbride says: “Do you share Colin Wright’s “hatred” for Israel and all Israelis? (Colin proudly and repeatedly uses the word HATE to describe his emotions towards Israeli Jews, whom he considers to be as evil as Nazis.)”

        I have repeatedly expressed my hatred for Israel. I challenge you to find a description of my feelings about Israeli Jews.

        I know your feelings are hurt, but you can’t just invent things. Pull up the quote. Maybe you can: have a look. I assume of course, that if you can’t or won’t find such a quote, you will demonstrate that you at least have the maturity to apologize.

        “Are you assuming, with Colin Wright, that Israel, an advanced nuclear power, will be easily destroyed and erased from history”

        Why not? Apartheid South Africa was. The Soviet Union was.

        You just don’t get it. Military power is a powerful tool. It’s not a universal panacea — and alone, it is not enough to guarantee national survival.

      • Taxi
        September 7, 2012, 2:55 am

        Sean,

        If you don’t want to be thought of as a “liberal zionist”, then please stop suggesting the same inequitable solution – a solution that DOES NOT address the Nakba-Palestinians who insist on getting their lands and homes back and rightly so.

        Also, after thirty plus years of looking for a “reasonable” solution to the ongoing crisis in occupied Palestine, I am now at a stage where I see war as the only option – a war that israel will lose eventually cuz zoinism WILL NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER be accepted in the mid east and resistance to it is only getting stronger regionally and globally.

        I welcome peaceful jews to live in Arab holy lands, but they sure as heck can’t live there (in peace) as ruling zionists.

        Also, there is NOTHING I like or respect about israeli colonialists. My outrage towards zionists all over the world can easily hit the abhorrence/hate mark – and for good reasons, all based on their war crimes and “virulent” racism.

      • Sibiriak
        September 7, 2012, 2:58 am

        ..there are many ‘sensitive’ targets in israel that are reached by hizbollah rockets and missiles and there are numerous dual-citizenship israelis who would abandon israel once these targets start getting hit.

        Thank you for spelling out your vision of M.E. change in all its simplicity and ridiculousness.

        When do you expect this destruction of Zionism by Hizbollah missiles to begin? What are they waiting for? Just curious….

        Oh and there is NOT a widespread support for the 2SS either in the mideast or in the west – because by now most people have realized that it’s a criminal ruse set-up by the zionists only for their OWN benefit

        I’m sorry, but you are just wrong on that. It is a fact that the overwhelming number of Palestinian organizations backing BDS also call for two states. Check it out for yourself. It is also true that polls in Israel, the U.S., in Europe, and amongst Palestinians show widespread support for two states –not one.

        If you can’t accept those facts, you are in a serious state of denial.

        the very same zionists who have NO INTENTION of allowing a viable and contiguous democratic Palestinian state.

        You still don’t get it, do you? The argument is about Israel being FORCED into accepting a Palestinian state, not about relying on “intentions.”

      • Sibiriak
        September 7, 2012, 3:01 am

        The exact opposite is what israel itself claims.

        It’s foolish to believe all of Israel’s claims. I would have thought you knew that.

      • ColinWright
        September 7, 2012, 3:02 am

        Sibiriak says: “Colin’s unqualified equation of Israel with Nazi Germany implies that the destruction of Israel by military force would be both desirable and morally justifiable.”

        I hadn’t thought of that. It’s academic if it would be morally justifiable. First, Israel’s nuclear arsenal makes it impractical, and secondly, any assembly of strength and will sufficient to destroy Israel by military means could just as easily accomplish the same end through boycott. To destroy Israel by military means would require the active participation of the United States and the acquiescence of most of the rest of the world: if you’ve got that, you don’t need to use military means.

        “He doesn’t dwell on that implication for obvious reasons.”

        I don’t dwell on it for the reasons I just gave. It’s not a feasible or necessary action.

        “The real problem with his position, though, imo, is that he sees positive change coming only from the West’s “pulling the plug” completely on Israel–but that’s a totally unrealistic scenario, and he provides no argument to the contrary.”

        Oh but I have provided arguments to the contrary. Go look them up. Hint: searching on ‘South Africa’ should pull up most of them.

      • ColinWright
        September 7, 2012, 3:09 am

        Sibiriak says: “There is no guarantee that things can’t get much worse, and stay worse for a very, very long time..”

        I think you overestimate the internal stability and coherence of Israel.

        What you fail to appreciate is that purely internal stresses perpetually force her into a choice between either renewed aggression or internal disintegration — and with every year, the forces pushing her towards disintegration get stronger, not weaker.

        I give Israel about another ten years — maybe twenty, if the present level of support from the US continues unabated. However, I don’t see that happening. Not for another twenty years. It’s already slackening.

      • ColinWright
        September 7, 2012, 3:10 am

        seanmcbride says: “I’m not a “liberal Zionist” — in fact, I am not a Zionist at all.”

        You’re not a Zionist — you just want Israel to continue.

        Define ‘Zionist’ for us, sean.

      • Sibiriak
        September 7, 2012, 3:12 am

        Taxi,

        Take a look at past Palestinian negotiating positions, the “Palestinian Papers” etc. and you will see that Palestinian negotiators have shown flexibility on the *implementation* of any right to return. This is not a controversial assertion.

        And while you are at it, please find some links to show that a two-state settlement has little or no support amongst Palestinians, Israelis, Americans, Europeans, et al. I’ve already posted links that show the opposite.

      • ColinWright
        September 7, 2012, 3:14 am

        seanmcbride says: “You seem to have convinced yourself that we have had a debate about the Samson Option which you handily won. :) You’re an ass.

        I provided you more than a dozen sources, facts, and lines of thinking to pursue about the issue, but you didn’t manage to engage with any of them…”

        Actually, I engaged with all of them — and more to the point, demonstrated that much of your armwaving consisted of simple falsehoods.

        That’s why you got so upset.

      • Walid
        September 7, 2012, 3:19 am

        “Israel levellled Southern Lebanon and much of Beirut in 2006 and still lost. In fact, they bombed so franctially that they ran out of bombs after 2 weeks and had to SOS Washington for new supplies.” (Shingo)

        It’s no wonder Israel ran out; during each of 27 days, Israel (and the US that sponsored the war) dumped 5,000 shells and bombs on Lebanon and in the last 7 days while the US, France and the UN were toying with the wording of the ceasefire resolution, the number of daily shells and bombs was upped to 6,000 for a grand total of 177,000 bombs and shells that were dropped on Lebanon during 34 days, excluding the 2 million cluster bombs viciously dropped a few hours before the ceasefire took effect.

      • ColinWright
        September 7, 2012, 3:21 am

        seanmcbride says: “Regarding this: “[I] have a variety of often not-very-progressive interests and attitudes.” With which specific progressive positions do you have a problem? In what ways are your “interests and attitudes” “not-very-progressive”?”

        Well, for one thing, I have a problem with the often almost-Stalinist demand for total ideological conformity the lesser members of the ‘progressive’ tribe often display.

        (In your case, I’d better spell that out: I’m referring to you.)

      • ColinWright
        September 7, 2012, 3:27 am

        seanmcbride says: ““A ‘lynch mob’ assembled against the previous Nazi state to come into being. Do you deplore that as well?”

        Are you arguing that Israel is the next Nazi state and that we should join a lynch mob to utterly destroy it?”

        The ‘lynchmob’ formulation was yours, not mine. I have said exactly what I think we should do about Israel. You find it inconvenient to refer to that, of course.

      • Walid
        September 7, 2012, 3:32 am

        “Really now Sean, I’m beginning to think of you as an israeli apologist here. A hater of Palestinians?”

        Taxi, I don’t think Sean has become an apologist. He is overly spooked by Israel’s bluffing with its Samson Option gimmick.

      • ColinWright
        September 7, 2012, 3:39 am

        seanmcbride wrote: “Much of the time you sound like you are howling for the blood of Israelis — when you are not making gratuitous and mean digs against Jews because you can’t “resist” — the impulse is too strong.”

        I think I’ve already dealt with your ‘blood libel’ satisfactorily in my other posts. I’ll confess that I’m not exactly filled with feelings of love and esteem for individual Israelis — but all my hopes involve them emigrating somewhere. Probably here would be most just, in view of our complicity in their crimes. I genuinely haven’t the least desire to see a new Holocaust — however much that may disappoint you.

        As to ‘gratuitous and mean digs,’ ‘gratuitous and mean’ would be a matter of opinion.

        ‘Digs’ there have been — and I don’t feel terribly bad about it. Jews and Judaism do come up on this board — aside from Israel itself — that’s actually the major topic. It is a public forum, so obviously comment is invited.

        So I comment. No, not everything I say consists of uncritical praise — should it? I think that if one reads over all the comments I have made concerning Jews and Judaism, one will find they are on the whole not especially derogatory. One might not agree with them — but that’s a different matter.

        Go ahead: give it a try. Or at least quit with your infantile attempts to win a fight you’re not going to win. I’m not going to play the ‘you’re a bigger…’ game, but I can’t resist pointing out that if I was going to cherry-pick your comments, I’ve noticed some real doozies on your part over the past couple of weeks.

      • Sibiriak
        September 7, 2012, 4:27 am

        I’m quite comfortable with the paradigm that Israel is a Nazi state in many respects. There are distinctions…

        The problem is with the phrase “in many respects”. There have been numerous states, before and after the Nazi state, that were like the Nazi state “in many respects”.

        Imo, unless you spell out those “many respects” as well as list the “distinctions”, the analogy to the Nazi state takes on a demagogic character. The term “Nazi” is just too value-charged to be useful in comparisons without really detailed explanation.

        To focus only on similarities, and ignore crucial differences, makes your analogy dubious.

        And btw, I also do not see the Nazi state as some kind of sui generis “evil”. I see it as a concentrated expression of various trends in Western civilization plus some new features (not to go into the all the support the Nazi regime received while it was perceived to be a “bulwark against Communism”.)

      • Taxi
        September 7, 2012, 5:06 am

        Sibiriak,

        Where the hell have you been seen the Palestine Wikileaks were released?!!!! Go google it then come back and tell us all about why the Palestinians showed such “flexibility”.

        And please spare me your condescending and ignorant blahblahs on hizbollah – you clearly know very little about them. I didn’t project my personal “vision” on israel’s destruction, I merely stated just a handful of common-knowledge facts that are by the way kept from most israelis. You don’t like these facts? Join the dastardly queue of depressed and worried, freaking out really, israeli strategists.

        I laugh at your notion that israel is invincible. That is sooooo last century dude.

      • Taxi
        September 7, 2012, 5:17 am

        I don’t know, Walid, Sean’s first and foremost concerns seem to be with israel’s safety and longevity, not with justice for the Palestinians. Read our exchange again and note his wordings carefully: always worry and concern for israel first, always looking for a solution that would help israel at the expense of the Palestinians, especially the Nakba Palestinians (refugees). I actually now think he IS an israel apologist – maybe he just doesn’t know it. Till I see a change in the framing of his thoughts, I’m afraid I won’t be changing my mind.

        Needless to say, it brings me no pleasure to say the above, but grim surprise and disappointment.

      • Sibiriak
        September 7, 2012, 5:24 am

        I laugh at your notion that israel is invincible.

        I chuckle at your ability to distort others words to create strawmen, then laugh at your own creations.

        Whatever…

        At least you are honest, though. You think Israel should be and WILL be defeated militarily in the not so distant future.

        Time will tell…

        Join the dastardly queue of depressed and worried, freaking out really, israeli strategists.

        Your the one who seems to be freaking out at the zionism-monster’s amazing longevity. I would be quite happy to see Zionism disappear from the face of the earth. But I’m also concerned about the plight of the Palestinian people, and I don’t see your military option holding out much hope for them.

        Look, I admire your moral passion and purism, but it is simply not true that anyone who supports a two-state settlement is a “liberal zionist” (although many are). Rightly or wrongly, many reasonable anti-zionists simply don’t see a 1SS as at all feasible.

      • Taxi
        September 7, 2012, 5:27 am

        Sibriak,

        “And while you are at it, please find some links to show that a two-state settlement has little or no support amongst Palestinians, Israelis, Americans, Europeans, et al. I’ve already posted links that show the opposite.”

        Why don’t you tell us when and where the next 2SS negotiations are taking place. Or remind us of the success of the last negotiations (how long ago was the last one eh?!!!!!). An answer to either one will do and will undeniably smash my argument to smithereens.

        You are probably well-meaning, but you really are ridiculously wrong.

      • Sibiriak
        September 7, 2012, 5:39 am

        Taxi,

        According to Philip Weiss:

        …when I attended the Third National BDS Conference in Hebron this past December one attendee asked Omar Barghouti why the movement doesn’t explicitly endorse one state?

        He responded by saying it’s because the overwhelming number of Palestinian organizations that endorsed the BDS call support two states.

        Do you think these various Palestinian organizations supporting two states consist of “liberal zionists”???

      • Taxi
        September 7, 2012, 5:42 am

        Sibriak,

        Did you just say zionism’s “amazing longevity”?

        Hahahahahaha!!!

      • Sibiriak
        September 7, 2012, 5:51 am

        Why don’t you tell us when and where the next 2SS negotiations are taking place.

        Taxi,

        There have NEVER BEEN any two-state negotiations. It’s all been a sham. Israeli negotiators never negotiated in good faith, and Israeli leaders have never had ANY INTENTION of allowing the creation of a sovereign, viable, Palestinian state.

        Sorry, but a real two-state settlement process will only happen (for the first time) after a long struggle (if it happens at all).

        I’ve already described how I think massive pressure must be put on Israel, from all fronts. Of course, nobody has all the answers, but I think that approach is much more likely to succeed than your hoped-for military defeat of Israel.

      • Taxi
        September 7, 2012, 5:52 am

        Sibriak,

        Not from the mouth of Philip Weiss, but from the very mouth of Omar Barghouti:
        “The two-state solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is really dead. Good riddance! But someone has to issue an official death certificate before the rotting corpse is given a proper burial and we can all move on and explore the more just, moral and therefore enduring alternative for peaceful coexistence between Jews and Arabs in Mandate Palestine: the one-state solution.”

        link to electronicintifada.net

        Get the hell outta town, Sibriak!

      • Sibiriak
        September 7, 2012, 6:01 am

        Why don’t you tell us…

        I’ll take that non-answer as an admission that you have no links whatsoever to substantiate your key claim that a two-state settlement has little or no support amongst Palestinians, Israelis, Americans, Europeans, et al.

        Your whole argument seems to be based on a falsehood.

      • Sibiriak
        September 7, 2012, 6:05 am

        Taxi,

        I’m afraid that misses the point entirely.

        Barghouti himself may think a two-state settlement is dead, but the overwhelming number of Palestinian organizations backing BDS do NOT. They support the goal of two states.

        Please, try to follow the logic of the argument.

      • Taxi
        September 7, 2012, 6:09 am

        “I’ve already described how I think massive pressure must be put on Israel, from all fronts. Of course, nobody has all the answers, but I think that approach is much more likely to succeed than your hoped-for military defeat of Israel.” And how long do you think that’ll take ya, mister know-it-all?

        Really now Sibriak, and you want the Palestinians to wait crushed under the boot forever and patiently for you guys to bring this abstract “massive pressure” on israel?

        Get frigging real!!!

        You think Palestinians are that disposable? Frowning at their resistance, the enshrined rights of the occupied to resist occupation?

        Are you adult enough to understand how the world works? That in all struggles you have the military arm as well as the peaceful arm: both resisting?

        You wanna cut off a Palestinian arm just so you, not a suffering Palestinian, can in the meantime figure out a way to exert “massive pressure” on the criminally sadistic idf?

        I don’t believe for a second that you’re pro Palestinian. You don’t have the stomach or the spleen for such a demanding alighnment.

      • Sibiriak
        September 7, 2012, 6:21 am

        Frowning at their resistance, the enshrined rights of the occupied to resist occupation?

        Another strawman.

        I never questioned the right of Palestinians or any oppressed group to resist, violently as well as non-violently.

      • Taxi
        September 7, 2012, 6:31 am

        Sibriak you’re still in town giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to the 2SS?

        Get real!!! And anyone who thinks that’s even thinkable at this state of the game lives in cloudcoocooland, BDS supporters or not.

      • Taxi
        September 7, 2012, 6:44 am

        Oh I insist Sibriak buddy, tell us when the next negotiations will be taking place, and do indeed tell us about the success of the last one (how long ago was that?).

        Because we ALL know the answers to these questions, there it is: MY ANSWER!

        If it ain’t happening, moving forward, breathing etc, then it ain’t existing.

        And don’t be a smartypants with me: you’re under-informed and your intentions are questionable. Oh yeah and you’re at the point in your legless arguments here that I’m beginning to think you’re intentionally wasting my time with such basics.

        Go study or something – or go live in Gaza or in a Palestinian refugee camp like Ain El Helwe, Lebanon. Let’s see how many 2SS buddies you make there.

      • Sibiriak
        September 7, 2012, 7:12 am

        Taxi,

        FYI:

        link to haaretz.com

        The Hamas leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, said on Saturday his government was willing to accept a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.

        link to irishtimes.com

        THE HAMAS movement said yesterday that it had repeatedly told the United States it would accept the creation of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.

        I’ll go with the majority of Palestinians on this issue, not your wished-for Hizbollah missile-attack “solution”, with all due respect.

      • Sibiriak
        September 7, 2012, 7:28 am

        ColinWright:

        any assembly of strength and will sufficient to destroy Israel by military means could just as easily accomplish the same end through boycott.

        .

        I agree.

        On the question of a truly effective BDS, though, I see the international community lining up behind an effort to force Israel to accept a two-state settlement, if they line up behind a BDS effort all.

        The South African analogy is only valid up to a point.

      • Taxi
        September 7, 2012, 7:32 am

        Siriak,

        You personally asked Hamas lately, like yesterday? Like since the violent assault on Gaza? Also, the Arab League has been saying the same for a dozen years. But the Gaza assault put all that talk on hold. Get updated pal.

        My “wished-for” hizbollah attack solution shows your (willfull?) misunderstanding: hizbollah will not attack israel, but it will DEFEND against israel, including for the first time, targeting the whole of israel. Their words, their wishes, NOT MINE! Though I fully understand where they’re coming from.

      • Sibiriak
        September 7, 2012, 8:19 am

        Taxi,

        Hamas has not changed its position, nor has the Arab League. If you have evidence to the contrary, please post it, otherwise your claim stands refuted.

        hizbollah will not attack israel, but it will DEFEND against israel, including for the first time, targeting the whole of israel.

        So, your hoped-for solution is: Israel will attack Lebanon, Hizbollah will defend itself by targeting the whole of Israel, and because of those attacks enough dual-citizenship Israelis will flee the country precipitating a collapse of Zionism.

        You wrote:

        there are many ‘sensitive’ targets in israel that are reached by hizbollah rockets and missiles and there are numerous dual-citizenship israelis who would abandon israel once these targets start getting hit.

        Sorry, but that’s utterly unrealistic. Israelis are not going to abandon Israel as you suggest, certainly not enough of them to bring down the state. More likely, Israel will be even more hard-line after such attacks.

      • Taxi
        September 7, 2012, 8:51 am

        My my we’re still at basics here Siriak. Why don’t you try googling cuz I ain’t your secretary and besides, if you’re so sure of your perspective, why don’t YOU supply us with what’s at your disposal. When I’ve given you links and actual quotes, you’ve just out and out dismissed them so I ain’t bothering anymore. I don’t think you’re interested in debating me, you’re interested in objecting to me personally. Clearly, cuz I do support in principle, the rights of the occupied to resist occupation by all means necessary.

        And yeah sure, you’re naive enough to think israel wants peace with lebanon, not planning 24/7 it’s next massive attack on the Lebanese. Oh yeah and the thieving israelis don’t want the waters of the Lebanese Litani river either uhuh.

        Just think: in 2006 hizbollah rockets into northern israel emptied out the terrain pretty much completely – that’s a third of israel I’ll add. So what do you think will happen when israel is struck all over it’s (stolen) territory? You think israeli dual-citizens will get their deck chairs out?

      • seanmcbride
        September 7, 2012, 9:47 am

        Taxi wrote:

        “But okay, I’ll explain: there are many ‘sensitive’ targets in israel that are reached by hizbollah rockets and missiles and there are numerous dual-citizenship israelis who would abandon israel once these targets start getting hit.”

        How do you think Israel would respond to attacks from Hizbollah forces in Lebanon on its “sensitive” targets? What do you think Israel is capable of doing to Lebanon if it is pushed hard enough?

        For several decades the United States refrained from attacking the Soviet Union not because Americans were Communists or pro-Communist but because they knew that the Soviet Union had the ability to retaliate with a massive nuclear attack. They refrained from attacking the Soviet Union because of *self-interest* and a from desire not to be annihilated. They preferred life over death.

        Now, instead of accusing others here of being simpletons, please cite any reputable military experts who endorse the scenario you have presented for destroying Israel. Who are they? Where are the cites for their scholarly articles, papers and books?

        Raising these issues does not make one a “liberal Zionist” — it makes one a well-informed realist.

        So far, every attempt by Arabs to crush Jews in Israel by military force or terrorism has led to enormous suffering for Arabs and an increase in Israeli power in the region. Why do you think this pattern is suddenly going to change?

        Many Israelis will see the one-state solution, combined with an escalation of military and economic attacks on Israel, as an opportunity to consolidate Greater Israel and rid Israel of Palestinians.

      • Sibiriak
        September 7, 2012, 9:55 am

        When I’ve given you links and actual quotes, you’ve just out and out dismissed them

        Nice try. You’ve provided NO links or quotes to support your contention that there isn’t wide support for two states amongst Palestinians, Israelis, Americans, Europeans et al. You’ve provided NO links or quotes to support your contention that Hamas and the Arab League have recently changed their position on two states. None, zero, zip.

        you’re naive enough to think israel wants peace with lebanon,

        I never said that and don’t believe it. Do you enjoy debating with yourself?

        So what do you think will happen when israel is struck all over it’s (stolen) territory? You think israeli dual-citizens will get their deck chairs out?

        I certainly don’t think such an event would cause the Zionist state to collapse and disappear, as you do, nor do I think it would greatly improve the lives of the Palestinian people. More likely, Israel would retaliate with massive bombings etc., there would be a lot of bloodshed and destruction, and in the end, Israeli hardliners would be even more entrenched in power, and a solution to the conflict would be even further off.

      • seanmcbride
        September 7, 2012, 10:24 am

        Walid wrote:

        “Taxi, I don’t think Sean has become an apologist. He is overly spooked by Israel’s bluffing with its Samson Option gimmick.”

        Why do think the Samson Option is a gimmick? Do you believe that Israel isn’t in possession of a large arsenal of nuclear weapons? Have you convinced yourself that Israel wouldn’t use them if it felt its existence was threatened?

        Why do you think the United States and the Soviet Union refrained from attacking one another during the Cold War?

        In the Wikipedia entry for “Nuclear weapons and Israel”

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        appears this information:

        BEGIN QUOTE
        Suitcase bomb: Seymour Hersh reports that Israel developed the ability to miniaturize warheads small enough to fit in a suitcase by the year 1973.
        END QUOTE

        What is the state of Israel’s portable nuclear weapons technology now, in 2012, almost forty years later? How many such weapons might it possess? Where are they located?

        BEGIN QUOTE
        EMP strike capabilities: Israel allegedly possesses several 1 megaton bombs, which give it a very large EMP attack abilities. For example, if a megaton class weapon were to be detonated 400 kilometers above Omaha, Nebraska, USA, nearly the entire continental United States would be affected with potentially damaging EMP experience from Boston to Los Angeles and from Chicago to New Orleans. A similar high altitude airburst above Iran could cause serious damage to all of the electrical systems in Middle East, and much of Europe.
        END QUOTE

        BEGIN QUOTE
        Enhanced Radiation Weapon (ERW): Israel also is reported to have an unknown number of neutron bombs.
        END QUOTE

      • seanmcbride
        September 7, 2012, 10:39 am

        Sibiriak wrote:

        “Sorry, but that’s utterly unrealistic. Israelis are not going to abandon Israel as you suggest, certainly not enough of them to bring down the state. More likely, Israel will be even more hard-line after such attacks.”

        I couldn’t agree more.

        When one surveys the entire history of Arab military and and terrorist attacks on Israel and their results, one is reminded of that famous Albert Einstein quote:

        “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.”

        So, Taxi thinks that Hizbollah can destroy Israel by firing missiles at it and that this scenario will play out well for Lebanon and Palestinians — supposedly Israelis will be “driven into the sea.” It’s interesting to know that she believes that. This is a classic example of magical thinking.

      • seanmcbride
        September 7, 2012, 10:55 am

        Taxi wrote:

        “I don’t know, Walid, Sean’s first and foremost concerns seem to be with israel’s safety and longevity, not with justice for the Palestinians.”

        This statement is completely false. My first concern is to keep the Middle East from going down in flames and taking much of the world with it.

        My take on the world is neither Israeli-centric nor Palestinian-centric. I am neither a Jewish or a Palestinian nationalist or a supporter of any form of ethnic or religious nationalism. And I will readily admit without the slightest apology that there are policy issues I care about more than Palestinian nationalism. If that offends you, so be it.

        It does trouble me greatly that the United States has been supporting Israeli policies that have inflicted great and unjust suffering on Palestinians, and I would like to change that situation as soon as possible. But if you want to turn me into an enemy, go right ahead.

        Many Americans would love to wash their hands of Mideast politics altogether — and one can hardly blame them.

      • Philip Weiss
        September 7, 2012, 11:09 am

        it is essential that Americans who dont have a traditional dog in the fight get engaged on this issue.

      • seanmcbride
        September 7, 2012, 11:17 am

        Sibiriak wrote in response to Taxi:

        “Actually, you are wrong on this point. Palestinians have repeatedly expressed willingness to accept reparations, financial assistance etc. in lieu of a fully exercisable right of return.”

        I am beginning to wonder if Taxi is the Palestinian equivalent of Israeli extremists — an uncompromising maximalist who will settle for nothing less than the total eradication of her enemies.

        I can see now why she feels comfortable with Colin Wright’s fanatical hatred of Israel and Israelis, which is often difficult to distinguish from raw antisemitism.

        You know, when some people look into Mondoweiss and see remarks like this from Colin —

        1. “All one needs to do is to recognize that Israel is evil. Then everything becomes all too predictable — and the only remaining question is what are you doing about it?”

        2. “Israel shouldn’t be permitted to survive.”

        3. “I am for Israel’s termination.”

        4. “There’s nothing as vile as Israel. There really isn’t.”

        — is it any wonder that they come away with the impression that Mondoweiss is a snakepit of anti-Jewish hatred? (Has anyone considered that Wright might be an agent provocateur — deliberately trying to push anti-Zionism over the line into antisemitism in order to discredit Mondoweiss?)

      • Annie Robbins
        September 7, 2012, 11:24 am

        is it any wonder that they come away with the impression that Mondoweiss is a snakepit of anti-Jewish hatred?(Has anyone considered that Wright might be an agent provocateur — deliberately trying to push anti-Zionism over the line into antisemitism in order to discredit Mondoweiss?)

        only if they come in pairs. you two work really well together in terms of pushing the discourse.

      • seanmcbride
        September 7, 2012, 11:27 am

        Sibirak wrote:

        “I believe the best hope for a solution (not necessarily a “final” one) would involve 1) a new non-violent Palestinian intifada 2) a powerful worldwide BDS movement 3) international governmental pressure on Israel to agree to a two-state settlement 4) legal action against Israel for violations of international law 5) a reinvigorated movement within Israel for a two-state settlement.”

        I agree.

        It’s either that or Israel will succeed in building an Arab-free Eretz Yisrael (the “one-state solution” with the wheels greased by Hizbollah missiles) or most of the world will be taken down by Armageddon (with Israel’s use of the Samson Option).

      • seanmcbride
        September 7, 2012, 11:37 am

        Annie,

        Do you really think that Colin’s hate-filled attacks on *all* Israelis should be left unanswered — that we should just let them pass by without comment? Or is he in fact expressing the current predominant culture and mindset on Mondoweiss? Is this now the accepted “anti-Zionist” norm?

        I can’t square this kind of extremist language with the sane humanism of Philip Weiss. I never got the impression before that Mondoweiss was an outlet for inciting primitive hatred of Israelis (AND Jews). For me, Mondoweiss has been about expressing *reasoned* disagreements with Zionist ideology and Israeli government policies in the style of Hostage or Shmuel.

      • seanmcbride
        September 7, 2012, 12:02 pm

        Sibiriak wrote:

        BEGIN QUOTE
        Colin’s unqualified equation of Israel with Nazi Germany implies that the destruction of Israel by military force would be both desirable and morally justifiable.

        He doesn’t dwell on that implication for obvious reasons.

        The real problem with his position, though, imo, is that he sees positive change coming only from the West’s “pulling the plug” completely on Israel–but that’s a totally unrealistic scenario, and he provides no argument to the contrary.
        END QUOTE

        You are reading him correctly. When in all seriousness one compares a regime to Nazi Germany in terms of evil, one is clearly trying to incite the physical destruction of that regime.

        And he has still failed to utter a single sentence in response to requests for his views on how Israel – a nation armed with hundreds of advanced nuclear weapons of various types — would react to credible threats to its destruction.

        Regarding the psychosexual nature of obsessive-compulsive bigotry (which has been well-documented in the scientific literature), I made one small, passing, whimsical reference. Please try to pay attention to the substance of my disagreements with Colin Wright.

        I particularly recommend that everyone here read and think about this book:

        book; AUTHOR Seymour Hersh TITLE Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal & American Foreign Policy DATE 1993 PUBLISHER Vintage AMAZON link to amazon.com

        BEGIN QUOTE
        Ever since the early 1950s, Israel has had one military eye firmly fixed on atomic weapons as a means of salvation, using them primarily as a military threat for both offensive and defensive purposes. Hersh, a Pulitzer Prize winner, expounds on the steady but quiet growth of an Israeli nuclear industry that proved so successful that Israel was able to coerce several U.S. administrations into doing its bidding. He also explores in depth Israeli access to U.S. intelligence satellite technologies that resulted from inattention by Washington leaders as well as from the four years of insider spying by Jonathan Jay Pollard. He reveals that the Soviet Union has been targeted by Israeli nuclear warheads since the mid-1980s. Unlike several other recent expos es of Israeli intelligence apparatus (Ian Black and Benny Morris’s Israel’s Secret Wars , LJ 8/91, and Andrew and Leslie Cockburn’s Dangerous Liaison , LJ 6/15/91), Hersh follows the threads of a specific intelligence focus while highlighting U.S. policies that ultimately ignore the very real presence of the Israeli nuclear arsenal. This incredibly well-written book should be in every collection.
        END QUOTE

      • Taxi
        September 7, 2012, 12:09 pm

        Sean,

        And you want to embrace and be wedded to your “virulently” violent racist “enemies”? Wow you must be jesus.

        When seeking the same kinda justice for the Palestinians, exactly the same justice as the euro jews got, becomes “extremism” in your book, well clearly double-standard is your middle-name.

        You can thrash and white-trash the Colins and Taxis all you like – you’re pretty nifty at that – but that ain’t gonna ‘save’ israel from it’s self-made eventual doom.

      • seanmcbride
        September 7, 2012, 12:22 pm

        Taxi wrote:

        “If you don’t want to be thought of as a “liberal zionist”, then please stop suggesting the same inequitable solution – a solution that DOES NOT address the Nakba-Palestinians who insist on getting their lands and homes back and rightly so.”

        If I thought there was a practical and realistic way to give back Palestinians all the land and homes that were taken from them by Israelis, I would support doing that.

        But how is it possible to do this without provoking crazies in Israel from using all those WMDs at their disposal? Or do you think that Israelis are bluffing when they say that they will not respond passively to what in their minds would be second Holocaust?

        I want all abuse of Palestinians by Israelis to stop immediately, I want Israelis to withdraw from the occupied territories, and I want Palestinians to receive *very* generous reparations for the suffering they have endured that they can use to build their own prosperous state.

        None of this will change the fact that Zionism has been a great tragedy for Palestinians — I understand that. History seems to produce these tragedies on a regular basis. It is a miserable state of affairs.

      • seanmcbride
        September 7, 2012, 12:30 pm

        Taxi wrote:

        “Also, after thirty plus years of looking for a “reasonable” solution to the ongoing crisis in occupied Palestine, I am now at a stage where I see war as the only option – a war that israel will lose eventually cuz zoinism WILL NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER be accepted in the mid east and resistance to it is only getting stronger regionally and globally.”

        So far Israel has turned every military and terrorist attack on itself to its advantage. Apparently you think your luck will change if Arabs in the region try just one more war. Maybe it will. I doubt it. Try it and we’ll see, I guess.

        I don’t get the impression that most Palestinians believe that another war would work to their favor. Perhaps I am wrong.

        I must be honest: I can’t wait for the day when Americans can escape from thinking about these Mideast ethnic and religious conflicts entirely. There are much more important things going on the world for most Americans and most human beings.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 7, 2012, 12:36 pm

        if Arabs in the region try just one more war.

        i guess the concept of defensive action is not really sinking in.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 7, 2012, 12:48 pm

        sean, i suggest you write phil and adam if you think your ideas will improve the site. i think it is long past the time to discuss leaving things unanswered as this back and forth has been going on between you and colin for days and days. it may interest you to know i am not really following it and scroll past most of it.

        lots of times i read from the comment feed and not from the threads. last i attempted to scroll up and find out what you were talking about but i fell asleep. i trust you have given colin’s comments a lot more scrutiny than i have but i have a general distain for long drawn out accusatory conversations focuses on personal accusations dealing with people’s old quotes. i guess it is the residue from my time at dkos.

        i would advise writing both phil and adam or asking them. as i said i have been for the most part scrolling past this ongoing argument between you and colin.

      • seanmcbride
        September 7, 2012, 12:53 pm

        Taxi,

        No matter how strong our disagreements may be on some issues, I still love the Taxi persona I’ve encountered on Mondoweiss. Nothing will change that. :)

        I get where you are coming from. I understand your rage — it’s justifiable and I am definitely not passing any judgments on it — I don’t have the right. I often feel the same anger when I read about something as relatively small (compared to mass murder) as olive tree uprootings. For some reason, olive tree uprootings really set me off for a variety of reasons.

        Colin is a different matter. :)

      • seanmcbride
        September 7, 2012, 12:55 pm

        My opinion is that offensive or defensive doesn’t matter — Israel keeps turning these military confrontations to its advantage.

      • American
        September 7, 2012, 12:58 pm

        @ sean

        Whether you realize it or not you are playing into the hands of zios who claim and want criticism of Israel to equal anti semitism.

        Suppose it wasn ‘t the Jewish state but some other ethnic client state behaving just like Israel that the US was supporting like it does Israel, and it had a big lobby representing that state and their ethnic minority in the US that dictated US policy on it and played a part or tried to interfere in US elections. Suppose the client state was Egypt aggressively pillaging and confiscating others land or neighboring state, don’t you think we would be talking the same way about them, their Egyptian lobby in the US and so forth? We would. We would talking about and denouncing the Muslim Brotherhood or US Egyptians Arab ethnics in the US controlling our ME policy.

        The zios count on us not separating ‘the Jewish past’, the holocaust, etc. from what the Jewish State is doing ‘today’.
        If you can’t reject the Jewish past as an entitlement for Israel or Jews to do anything they please forever after then you’re enabling them.
        It is completely fair and just to say, yes the holocaust was horrible and un just but what Israel is doing now is also horrible and the same standards will apply to Israel and it’s supporters. Period.
        There is no other way to ‘fairly’ approach or judge what is happening Now.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 7, 2012, 1:01 pm

        If I thought there was a practical and realistic way to give back Palestinians all the land and homes that were taken from them by Israelis, I would support doing that.

        But how is it possible to do this without provoking crazies in Israel from using all those WMDs at their disposal? Or do you think that Israelis are bluffing when they say that they will not respond passively to what in their minds would be second Holocaust?

        I want all abuse of Palestinians by Israelis to stop immediately, I want Israelis to withdraw from the occupied territories, and I want Palestinians to receive *very* generous reparations for the suffering they have endured that they can use to build their own prosperous state.

        sean, what your argument boils down to is you have made a decision about what you think is possible and you’ve based your support for certain ideas around that decision. but you do not seem to notice your hierarchy here around people’s wills. iow if i advocated paying jews for jerusalem you would probably laugh in my face and yet you seem to think you appear reasonable or practical by supporting reparations for palestinians.

        and since when do we make choices based on not “provoking crazies”. the fact is you can’t read the future and life doesn’t always end up the way people imagine. no one would have imagined we’d have a black president 100 years ago. long term, taxi’s assessment is probably AT LEAST as realistic as yours and what you support is kind of irrelevant if you’re not respecting the strength of will for both sides.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 7, 2012, 1:03 pm

        seriously sean, what if i told you i wanted *very* generous reparations for jews leaving jerusalem? how seriously would you take those asterics? would it make my argument stronger?

      • Annie Robbins
        September 7, 2012, 1:10 pm

        My opinion is that offensive or defensive doesn’t matter

        than why frame it as tho israel does not initiated war and will not likely be initiating it in the future.

        if Arabs in the region try just one more war.

        what should the neighbors do the next time israel attacks? roll over and play dead? otherwise they will provoke “crazies”.

      • Walid
        September 7, 2012, 1:18 pm

        “The Hamas leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, said on Saturday his government was willing to accept a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders. ”

        Sibiriak, you didn’t need Saturday’s Haaretz to find that out. It became very obvious last February when Hamas opted to shut down its Damascus offices and relocate to the US-friendlier climes of Qatar. Haniyeh and Meshaal no longer have to sneak in and out of countries anymore and now they are welcomed through the front door.

      • hophmi
        September 7, 2012, 1:32 pm

        “Europeans need to be realistically worried that they could become the target of narcissistic rage and the wrath of “G-d.””

        ROTLMAO. And yet, they’re more worried about Iran. I can’t fathom why. LOL.

      • Walid
        September 7, 2012, 1:38 pm

        “Why do think the Samson Option is a gimmick? Do you believe that Israel isn’t in possession of a large arsenal of nuclear weapons? Have you convinced yourself that Israel wouldn’t use them if it felt its existence was threatened?” (Sean)

        It is a gimmick, Sean, and Israel is very hapy feeding it and keeping it alive to keep you and the rest of the world spooked. But in reality, you have to remember that Israelis fear death to the the point where they would never consider this option. The myth of Masada was a big PR con job and as much of gimmick as Samson’s hair. It’s no wonder these guys make great movies. Deception is the game that Israel is best at, not bravery and bravery is something hard to find in Israel, that’s why I don’t believe that Israel would do a thing like that. Israel now has all kinds of firepower, conventional and nuclear, on land, water and in the air, but look at how they are shaking in their boots at the prospect of Hizbullah raining their primitive rockets on Haifa’s petro and bio-chemical plants. I don’t think you’re one of the bad guys, but you spook too easy by Israel, Sean.

      • seanmcbride
        September 7, 2012, 1:39 pm

        Annie wrote:

        “and since when do we make choices based on not “provoking crazies”.”

        Rational actors in contemporary politics do not launch major wars against nations armed with large arsenals of nuclear weapons. That is why the United States and the Soviet Union refrained from directly attacking one another — to do so would have been suicide.

        Israel is a major nuclear power — any party that tries to destroy Israel will itself be destroyed — tit for tat. You can bank on it.

        Re: Israeli military aggression in the Israeli/Arab conflict — it has accounted for many or most of the wars, but not all of them (like the 1973 War) — I have never tried to suggest otherwise. My only point was that Israel so far has successfully used every military conflict in the region to its advantage.

        What do you envision as the best solution for the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and what is your realistic plan for achieving it?

        Re: reparations for Palestinians: if they don’t want them, fine — don’t take them. Let them instead keep believing that they will utterly destroy Israel and see how far they get with that. Greater Israelists would love nothing better than for Palestinians to pursue that path.

      • seanmcbride
        September 7, 2012, 1:48 pm

        American,

        You’re arguing against a straw man.

        I have never tried to justify Israeli behavior (or even the creation of Israel) on the basis of the Holocaust or any other past event in Jewish history.

        I don’t think Israelis are entitled to anything. I do recognize, however, that they have acquired enormous strategic leverage for themselves that needs to be taken fully into account when discussing Mideast politics.

        We agree about the destructive nature of the Israel lobby in American politics — it needs to be exposed and opposed.

        Where we disagree: I think effective criticism of Israel and Zionism needs to steer clear of even the appearance of classical antisemitism. So we agree to disagree — no big deal. You have your opinion, I have mine. If Colin wants to voice his “hatred” of Israel and Israelis at the top his lungs, let him. But he is providing easy fodder for people who want to damage the reputation of Mondoweiss.

      • seanmcbride
        September 7, 2012, 2:07 pm

        ColinWright,

        Regarding the “debate” about the Samson Option you wrote:

        “Actually, I engaged with all of them — and more to the point, demonstrated that much of your armwaving consisted of simple falsehoods.”

        Provide some examples. So far nothing you’ve said about the subject demonstrates any understanding of it.

        Something else I’ve noticed about your comments here: they consist entirely of bombastic personal opinionating. You almost never post quotes or data from serious books and articles on Mideast politics (unlike most people here). I don’t think the subject really engages your attention other than offering an opportunity to wail away on “Israelis” (wink, wink).

      • seanmcbride
        September 7, 2012, 2:08 pm

        ColinWright wrote:

        “You’re not a Zionist — you just want Israel to continue.”

        Wrong — whether or not I want Israel to continue is utterly irrelevant. No one — and certainly not people like you — has the power to stop Israel from continuing. It’s as simple as that.

        For the record, I would prefer that all ethnic and religious nationalist states dissolve and disappear — and I think they will over time.

      • ColinWright
        September 7, 2012, 2:31 pm

        seanmcbride says: “…Please try to pay attention to the substance of my disagreements with Colin Wright….”

        Lol. I have paid attention to it. In fact, it’s obvious to anyone who looks at the development of your posts over the last two weeks.

        You’re throwing an unbelievably juvenile fit over how I debunked your pet theory.

      • seanmcbride
        September 7, 2012, 2:33 pm

        Walid,

        If I understand you correctly, you are making these arguments:

        1. Israelis have acquired a large arsenal of WMDs but would never use them because they are not “brave” (they are cowards?).

        2. I am too easily spooked and naively taken in by Israel’s promises to use these weapons if its existence were threatened. The Israelis are just playing head games with the Samson Option.

        Do I understand you correctly?

        One question: if Israel *were* facing certain destruction why would it require any bravery to unleash on the world every last weapon in its arsenal? Cowards might be especially prone to do that — even to pull the trigger much too soon in the face of a scary threat. Cowards are known often to misread and overreact to threats — they lack steady nerves. They lose their shit. You know the drill.

        By the way, I don’t think Israelis overall are cowards. I am quite certain many of them are more brave than I am.

      • ColinWright
        September 7, 2012, 2:34 pm

        seanmcbride says:“Wrong — whether or not I want Israel to continue is utterly irrelevant. No one — and certainly not people like you — has the power to stop Israel from continuing. It’s as simple as that.”

        No — you’re on record as finding the notion that Israel should cease to be outrageously offensive.

        ‘For the record, I would prefer that all ethnic and religious nationalist states dissolve and disappear — and I think they will over time.”

        I take it, though, that Israel certainly shouldn’t be the first to go.

      • ColinWright
        September 7, 2012, 2:37 pm

        senmcbride says: “Do you really think that Colin’s hate-filled attacks on *all* Israelis should be left unanswered — that we should just let them pass by without comment?”

        Of course, my attacks have always been on Israel, not ‘all Israelis’ — but never mind that. You’ll just alter the data to suit your theory.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 7, 2012, 3:01 pm

        Rational actors in contemporary politics do not launch major wars against nations armed with large arsenals of nuclear weapons.

        i thought you just wrote offensive or defensive doesn’t matter

        i ask to you before why frame it as tho israel does not initiated war and will not likely be initiating it in the future.

        i sense we are talking past eachother. again sean what should the neighbors do the next time israel attacks? roll over and play dead? otherwise they will provoke “crazies”.

        i am serious. they won’t just sit there just like iran won’t just sit there if israel attacks.

        read about israel’s myth of invincibility. it’s part of their defense strategy. it seems you’ve bought into it hook line and sinker.

        link to mondoweiss.net

      • ColinWright
        September 7, 2012, 3:25 pm

        seanmcbride says: “(Has anyone considered that Wright might be an agent provocateur — deliberately trying to push anti-Zionism over the line into antisemitism in order to discredit Mondoweiss?)”

        Man. You’re really covering all the bases here. I’m everything from so virulently anti-semitic I can’t control my ravings to a Zionist agent provocateur. Not to mention everything from merely ‘sweaty’ to ‘onanistic.’

        Is the theory if you cover all the possibilities one is bound to be right?

        Actually, your claims to the contrary nothwithstanding, I have always confined my expressions of hostility towards the Zionist state itself. I challenged you to document your claims to the opposite effect and you either couldn’t or wouldn’t do so, so that’s settled.

        Otherwise, there is some merit to the argument that others have made — that comparing Israel to Nazi Germany and engaging in other expressions of unqualified hostility is counterproductive.

        However, I tend to see it differently. To do otherwise is to concede legitimacy — in however qualified a form — and then one gets into what could be called ‘legitimization creep.’ Pretty soon it’s ‘so Israel isn’t perfect — so what? Who is?’ This is, I’ll point out, a standard Zionist position. Israel become ‘no worse than anyone else.’ In fact, you stated a variation on it yourself the other day.

        I prefer to state exactly what I see. Let others then strive to prove I’m wrong. Rather than restraining myself and by implication conceding that Israel really is essentially an acceptable state of affairs, let them show in what ways Israel isn’t a Nazi state — and by implication, concede that in other ways it is. Rather than ‘legitimization creep’ let there be ‘delegitimization creep.’

        Rather than letting it come down to ‘well we’ve got it all now — might as well let us keep it’ let it come down to ‘well, you should give us a couple of months to get to the airport.’

      • Annie Robbins
        September 7, 2012, 3:27 pm

        What do you envision as the best solution for the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and what is your realistic plan for achieving it?

        it’s irrelevant what i think the best solution is. just like you i have to deal with my own reality of what the significant actors will do. i do not think israel will voluntarily agree too/allow a palestinian state so why should i continue tossing about that idea? i think the most likely way israel will change is thru total isolation which probably will not happen until after their actions become so abhorrent the global community will eventually stepin or something.

        Re: reparations for Palestinians: if they don’t want them, fine — don’t take them. Let them instead keep believing that they will utterly destroy Israel and see how far they get with that.

        reparations for what? to move to jordan? you are in a fantasy if you think israel is going to offer money for palestinians to have their own state on their ‘jewish land’. a complete fantasy. where were you in this thread?

        link to mondoweiss.net

        do you see what is happening here sean? are you in denial?

        Greater Israelists would love nothing better than for Palestinians to pursue that path.

        oh, in that case i am sure you’ll be able to convince them to take money for their ethnic cleansing. what are you nuts? you’re not living in reality sean. you’re living in a world where you think israelis are all powerful and no one can stand up against them. well that may very well be true so in that case we have 2 options:

        1)everybody just face the fact that israel will have it’s way for ever, the invincible.

        2) they won’t.

        so what is it sean 1 or 2? ok, let’s assume israelis and jews will get what they want forever shall we? or is that too tin hat for you? moving right along.

        assuming they won’t get their way, what pray tell, will make the change? a love fest? america going under? world opinion? war? you tell me because i don’t have the answer, but one thing i do know is they are not invincible.

        i also know palestinians will die before they agree to be ethnically cleansed. so no amount of ‘Greater Israelists would *love* nothing better than for Palestinians to pursue that path’ is going to justify israel killing them all or ethnically cleansing them. no man is an island sean. not even israelis. they’re just people like everyone else. don’t put them on such a pedestal thinking their will is stronger than all the others.

      • ColinWright
        September 7, 2012, 3:42 pm

        Lol. Sean McBride from August 27:

        “…Some part of me still believes that the Zionist experiment could succeed with a few policy adjustments…”

        I guess Sean’s not really a Zionist. Only part of him still believes. He even thinks there should be ‘policy adjustments.’

        Define ‘liberal Zionist’ for us, Sean.

      • tree
        September 7, 2012, 3:57 pm

        Has anyone considered that Wright might be an agent provocateur …

        No, Sean, but I’m beginning to think you might be one. Please, stop all this personal sniping at a poster you don’t like. Your comments are becoming ridiculous (and I’m being polite and giving you the benefit of the doubt by using the word “becoming” here). For someone like you, who clearly harbors stereotypes about Jews (ala your comment to Hophmi that he was being very “unJewish” by not making intelligent arguments here) , and as someone who can’t seem to stop talking about the Samson Option ( i.e. those Jews are crazy smart and just crazy so don’t provoke them) you have some huge hypocritical nerve accusing others of anti-semitism.

        Please, if you’ve got some useful comment to make on a subject make it. It seems that lately all you do is snipe at Colin. It doesn’t add anything positive here. I’ve never said this to anyone else on this site before, even to the most hateful Zionist bigot, but please, STFU (about your personal obsession with Colin).

      • American
        September 7, 2012, 3:58 pm

        @ sean,

        “American,

        I have never tried to justify Israeli behavior (or even the creation of Israel) on the basis of the Holocaust or any other past event in Jewish history.”>>>>

        I didn’t say you were justifying it…I said you are ‘unknowingly’ playing into the zionist meme by concentrating on hunting Jew haters in Israel critics and touting the Sampson threat as a zionist power “that we should back away from” for fear they will destroy the world.
        That’s the zios job, don’t help them.

      • Hostage
        September 7, 2012, 4:02 pm

        Link please. Oh yeah you ain’t got one cuz you’re representing your wishful thinking here.

        FYI, 972 Magazine ran an article which said that polls conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research indicated 90 percent of the refugees preferred compensation in lieu of the right of return to Israel.

        P.S. I think that’s a pretty sane reaction to the alternative of life in Israeli society.

      • American
        September 7, 2012, 4:05 pm

        annie robbins @ 3:27 pm Sept 7

        Ditto. How I see it also.

      • ColinWright
        September 7, 2012, 4:16 pm

        Annie Robbins says: “… i think the most likely way israel will change is thru total isolation which probably will not happen until after their actions become so abhorrent…”

        As I’ve already noted, I essentially agree with this. The only distinction is that you expect some kind of multi-ethnic secular state to emerge, where I anticipate a rapidly accelerating departure of the Zionist population. However, we both want your prescription — we just anticipate a different outcome.

        I’ll note one thing. The implication of what you say is that above all, what is to be dreaded is the emergence of a reasonable Israel. An Israel that ceases to be flagrantly criminal, oppressive, and aggressive will delay the onset of the ‘total isolation’ that is required. Conversely, the more the Netanyahus, Leibermans, and Yishais have their way, the sooner it will come about.

        When Yishai announces ‘Israel is for the White Man,’ we should be overjoyed. Hasten to give his words as much publicity as possible. Hope he becomes Premier.

      • Taxi
        September 7, 2012, 4:28 pm

        Sean,
        It’s crazy but I was just about to post and tell ya that I still likesya!

        That aside, you’re actually factually wrong when you claim “Israel keeps turning these military confrontations to its advantage.”

        By all records, this did NOT happen in 2006 against hizbollah, nor have the israelis won a single war since their invasion of Lebanon in 1982 – that’s thirty years ago. In fact they’ve been hiding these statistics behind smoke and mirrors, fooling the world (and themselves) by demonstrating their military might against mainly unarmed civilians, striking at Gaza, the West Bank, striking at lone shepherds and their flock in the holy land, then calling these criminal strikes “successful attacks” in their “war against terrorists”. I’m hoping you can see here the subtle brainwashing of their wording. But really, Sean, the new generation israelis don’t do war. They just simply don’t know how to anymore – for reasons that are too involved for me to get into right now (no time). But that don’t mean their bigger guns hurt any less, it just means they’re not invincible no more, means they’re actually defeatable. Sean, they’re doing everything in their power to hide this current humiliating reality, a reality that’s been going on for thirty years but confirmed and validated loudly with their defeat against the Lebanese resistance in 2006.

        Do not fall for israel’s military myths – their game on the ground is completely the opposite of their game on the PR and media circuit.

        And one last thing: Sean, enough Colin-ization!

      • ColinWright
        September 7, 2012, 4:51 pm

        Siberiak says: “I’m sorry, but you are just wrong on that. It is a fact that the overwhelming number of Palestinian organizations backing BDS also call for two states. Check it out for yourself. It is also true that polls in Israel, the U.S., in Europe, and amongst Palestinians show widespread support for two states –not one. “

        Well, that is because the alternative to two states is continued rule by Zionist racial supremacists.

        It’s a bit like if I offered you a choice between starvation and a diet consisting solely of brussels sprout gruel. You’d pick the gruel — but that would hardly be evidence you liked brussels sprouts.

        Of course Palestinians would rather have a fifth of their land than none of it. That hardly implies they see that as the ideal solution.

      • Taxi
        September 7, 2012, 5:52 pm

        Hostage,
        Thanks buddy.

        Curious though: only last week I spent a morning with a friend who is a teacher, walking around Ain el Helwe refugee camp with a camcorder, visiting a youth center there (if you can call a three-wall structure a ‘centre’). I did talk to a few people that my friend knew on the streets and in a mini-mart, maybe 8 or 9 people altogether. When I asked them, amongst other things, where they thought they’d be in 5 years time, all of them said they hoped they’d be home, in Palestine. But at the gas station outside the camp, I did overhear a sickly old man with a Palestinian accent tell the attendant that he’d “sell his field for shekels to get medicine”.

        And besides these strangers’ statements, non of the many Palestinians I know, and I mean NONE, would take money instead of their right of return: they have explicitly expressed this. Especially the younger Palestinians, western-educated, trendy, cybertec-savy, are very resistant to that.

        The unified Palestinian dream is practically written all over their faces when you discuss Palestine with them: they just want to go home.

      • ColinWright
        September 7, 2012, 6:53 pm

        seanmcbride says: “I can’t square this kind of extremist language with the sane humanism of Philip Weiss. I never got the impression before that Mondoweiss was an outlet for inciting primitive hatred of Israelis (AND Jews). “

        But there is no such language. As I’ve said, you might as well accuse someone who expresses hostility towards Nazi Germany of bigotry towards Germans. You have attempted to equate expressions of hatred for Israel with expressions of hatred for Jews (entirely to serve your own pathetically puerile and egotistical ends.)

        That’s all that’s happened.

      • seanmcbride
        September 7, 2012, 7:47 pm

        Taxi,

        I’m glad you understand that my affection for you is undying. :)

        I understand that Israel ran into a buzzsaw and suffered a major shock to the system in the 2006 Lebanon War, but I still haven’t seen a plausible scenario in which any combination of its neighbors can overrun Israel and destroy it.

        Do you have such a scenario in mind? How would that work exactly? — without triggering the nuclear destruction of all the major Arab and Muslim capitals within Israel’s reach?

        In terms of the big historical picture, Israel keeps building settlements and expanding its control of Eretz Israel, without any meaningful resistance from anyone on the planet.

      • seanmcbride
        September 7, 2012, 8:07 pm

        American wrote:

        BEGIN QUOTE
        I didn’t say you were justifying it…I said you are ‘unknowingly’ playing into the zionist meme by concentrating on hunting Jew haters in Israel critics and touting the Sampson threat as a zionist power “that we should back away from” for fear they will destroy the world.

        That’s the zios job, don’t help them.
        END QUOTE

        1. I don’t “concentrate on hunting Jew haters,” I call them out when I occasionally encounter them in forums dedicated to developing a reasonable critique of Zionism and Israeli policies. They undermine that effort. There are some flagrant Judeophobes and antisemites out there who have tried to insinuate themselves into political debates about Mideast and Israeli politics.

        2. Regarding the Samson Option: I have been amazed at the level of irrationality and denial among some Mondoweiss commenters in discussing this issue. I think a case could be made that Israel’s possession of a large arsenal of WMDs is the single most important factor one has to take into account when discussing Israeli politics. The Samson Option provides Israel with significant leverage over all its neighbors, the United States, Europe, Russia and the entire world. Any proposal that one cares to introduce for modifying Israel’s behavior must necessarily take that factor into account — it fact, it should appear at the very top of one’s list of matters to worry about.

        When Americans during the Cold War era developed strategies for dealing with the Soviet Union, certainly the Soviet Union’s possession of nuclear weapons was foremost in their mind. Under no circumstances could they cross a line which would trigger a nuclear exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union — otherwise, game over.

        How is discussing these issues “doing the zios job”? One discusses these issues from the standpoint of protecting one’s self-interest.

        By the way, did you notice that Seymour Hersh has claimed that Israel had developed portable nukes as early as 1973? How developed do you think that technology is in the year 2012? Where are those portable nukes currently located? Is that a matter about which governments around the world should be concerned?

      • seanmcbride
        September 7, 2012, 8:31 pm

        Annie,

        In response to my question:

        “What do you envision as the best solution for the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and what is your realistic plan for achieving it?”

        you wrote:

        “it’s irrelevant what i think the best solution is. just like you i have to deal with my own reality of what the significant actors will do. i don’t not think israel will voluntarily agree too/allow a palestinian state so why should i continue tossing about that idea? i think the most likely way israel will change is thru total isolation which probably will not happen until after their actions become so abhorrent the global community will eventually stepin or something.”

        Well, I am suggesting that the global community — especially the United States and Europe — step forcefully into this situation now, before it deteriorates any further, and impose a solution that provides a least worst outcome for both sides. So, that is my answer to my own question.

        You wrote:

        “reparations for what? to move to jordan? you are in a fantasy if you think israel is going to offer money for palestinians to have their own state on their ‘jewish land’. a complete fantasy. where were you in this thread?”

        I am recommending that the world community as a whole, and especially the United States and Europe, contribute to generous Palestinian reparations. And I think Israel could be persuaded that it is in its own best interest to contribute all its current US aid to the Palestinians to help them in building a state.

        Regarding Israel: of course Israel is not “invincible.” But its large arsenal of WMDs makes Israel a formidable strategic player in global politics. It can’t be easily pushed around.

        Merely venting hostility towards Israel is not moving this game forward in a positive direction.

        Regarding the one-state solution: by my calculations, that is a formula that plays into the hands of Greater Israelists. They have had a one-state solution (Eretz Israel) in mind from the very origins of the Zionist dream.

      • seanmcbride
        September 7, 2012, 8:44 pm

        Tree,

        Colin has declared himself to be a Israel hater — and I mean that in the literal sense. He has repeatedly used the word “hate” to describe his attitudes towards Israel. If you want to associate yourself with literal hate speech, be my guest.

        I think if Colin and others like him really cared about universal human rights, they would also be upset by brutal and anti-democratic regimes in North Korea, Syria, Saudi Arabia, China and many other nations, but I have seen no signs of that concern. Some other unhealthy passion is in play here.

        In a comment to American, I just mentioned that I think Israel’s possession of a large arsenal of WMDs is the single most strategic factor to take into account when analyzing and discussing Israeli politics. Convince me that I am mistaken, if you can. The correct analogy in this case would be American strategizing with regard to the Soviet Union during the Cold War era.

        Regarding Israeli operatives on the Internet: how active do you think they are? My guess is, highly active. And they know how to play some fairly clever games.

        So sorry to have raised your blood pressure — I am glad that you got that off your chest. :)

      • ColinWright
        September 7, 2012, 9:40 pm

        seanmcbride says: “2. I am too easily spooked and naively taken in by Israel’s promises to use these weapons if its existence were threatened. The Israelis are just playing head games with the Samson Option.”

        Jesus. You have yet to furnish a single example of anyone representing Israel making such a ‘promise.’ We have a few completely independent writers here and in Israel speculating about such a thing — and it becomes an Israeli plan in your mind. If I write about the feasibility of a Jupiter landing, does that mean NASA’s planning it?

        You speculate all you like about what Israel might or might not do — but you have to quit repeating blatant falsehoods. This is the silliest nonsense I’ve ever heard.

      • Sibiriak
        September 7, 2012, 10:44 pm

        Annie:

        i don’t not think israel will voluntarily agree too/allow a palestinian state so why should i continue tossing about that idea?

        You shouldn’t.

        But how about tossing around the idea that a powerful global BDS, non-violent Palestinian uprisings, prosecution of Israel in international criminal courts, international governmental pressure and isolation, and internal pressures can FORCE the creation of a Palestinian State along Israel.

        With all due respect, this “voluntarily agree” thing is a old strawman.

      • Sibiriak
        September 7, 2012, 10:56 pm

        hophmi:

        [Europeans are] more worried about Iran.

        No they’re not.

        link to jewishfederations.org

        Results of a new poll commissioned by the European Commission show that Israel is believed by Europeans in 15 countries to be the greatest threat to world peace, greater than North Korea, Iran or Afghanistan.

      • Sibiriak
        September 7, 2012, 11:01 pm

        but one thing i do know is they are not invincible.

        I re-read this thread and I don’t find a single person making that claim.
        Just sayin’…

      • Sibiriak
        September 8, 2012, 12:36 am

        Taxi,

        “Actually, you are wrong on this point. Palestinians have repeatedly expressed willingness to accept reparations, financial assistance etc. in lieu of a fully exercisable right of return.”

        Link please. Oh yeah you ain’t got one cuz you’re representing your wishful thinking here.

        Hostage has already supplied evidence that polls have shown that 90 percent of the refugees preferred compensation in lieu of the right of return to Israel.

        This reality has also been manifest in Palestinian negotiating positions.

        For example, Robert Malley who was Clinton’s special assistant for Arab-Israeli affairs and participated in the Camp David negotiations in his “Fictions About the Failure At Camp David ” (The New York Times on July 8, 2001) wrote:

        Many have come to believe that the Palestinians’ rejection of the Camp David ideas exposed an underlying rejection of Israel’s right to exist. But consider the facts: The Palestinians were arguing for the creation of a Palestinian state based on the June 4, 1967, borders, living alongside Israel.

        [...]And, while they insisted on recognition of the refugees’ right of return, they agreed that it should be implemented in a manner that protected Israel’s demographic and security interests by limiting the number of returnees.

        This fact can be backed up by many other quotes. So long ago, Palestinians have expressed willingness to be flexible on the implementation of the right to return.

      • Shingo
        September 8, 2012, 1:07 am

        So what? Washington’s support is unwavering.

        Not according to Genral Mertion Dempsey. In fact, there are reports that Netenayhu had a screaming match with the US envoy over US refusal to support such an attack. What makes this significant is that it is also taking place before the elections, which means that the Obama Administration are obviously VERY much against an attack if they are willing to risk a confrontation in the lead up to November.

      • Shingo
        September 8, 2012, 1:12 am

        Both Lebanon incursions made her situation worse rather than better, and ‘Cast Lead’ — for all that it demonstrated virtually unqualified military supremacy — was ultimately little more than another nail in Israel’s coffin.

        What really highlighted the magnitude of the Lebanon humlitation, was that Israel claimed Cast Lead restored Israel’s deterrence capability – which they obviously believed had been lost in 2006. This is especialyl pathetic, because Cast LEad was a turkey shoot. It would be analogous to s treet gang getting beaten by a rival street gang and going out an mugging some kinds on their way to school

      • Hostage
        September 8, 2012, 2:03 am

        Clearly, cuz I do support in principle, the rights of the occupied to resist occupation by all means necessary.

        If you’re gonna keep talking like that, you’d better stick to the two-state paradigm. Unless the authorities are violating someone else’s right to self-determination and a state of their own, there’s nothing inherently illegal about the armed forces “occupying” their own territory and shooting or imprisoning armed insurgents.

      • Sibiriak
        September 8, 2012, 3:46 am

        Colin:

        the alternative to two states is continued rule by Zionist racial supremacists.

        Exactly. The alternative to two states is continued Zionist rule, not a single state with equal rights.

        Of course Palestinians would rather have a fifth of their land than none of it.

        And who could blame them?

        That hardly implies they see that as the ideal solution

        No one, least of all me, claimed that Palestinians saw it as an ideal solution. It’s a settlement to the conflict (or perhaps just a stage toward an even better arrangement), and it has widespread support for good reason.

      • Sibiriak
        September 8, 2012, 5:18 am

        Shingo:

        So what? Washington’s support is unwavering.

        Not according to Genral Mertion Dempsey.

        I was referring to, and only to, Washington’s unwavering support for existence of the Israeli Zionist state, countering Colin’s notion that the U.S. & Co. might someday soon “pull the plug” on Zionist Israel to the effect that Israeli Jews would emigrate in mass and Zionist Israel would be transformed into a Palestinian state.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 8, 2012, 9:08 am

        Sibiriak says:

        But how about tossing around the idea that a powerful global BDS, non-violent Palestinian uprisings, prosecution of Israel in international criminal courts, international governmental pressure and isolation, and internal pressures can FORCE the creation of a Palestinian State along Israel.

        Sibiriak, it seems as tho you are thwarting my meaning.

        i don’t not think israel will voluntarily agree too/allow a palestinian state so why should i continue tossing about that idea? i think the most likely way israel will change is thru total isolation which probably will not happen until after their actions become so abhorrent the global community will eventually stepin or something.

        there’s no strawman there. it means no longer believe in the ‘negotiated between both sides peace settlement’. it does not mean i do not believe there could ever be two states.

      • Sibiriak
        September 8, 2012, 9:41 am

        Okay. We both see the need for massive pressure on Israel. I see that as leading to a two-state settlement, with negotiations on details. I doubt a full-blown settlement could be completely imposed by fiat with no Israeli agreement or negotiation at all…, but whatever, I guess it can’t be ruled out.

        What seems clear, though, is that in the foreseeable future, the kind of massive, unified international pressure /isolation of Israel, backed by “the West” and the rest of the world, will not occur on the basis of a drive to destroy the *Zionist* Israeli state entirely.

      • seanmcbride
        September 8, 2012, 10:43 am

        ColinWright wrote:

        “You have yet to furnish a single example of anyone representing Israel making such a ‘promise.'”

        Israel would use its large arsenal of WMDs in defense of its existence for the same reason that the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Pakistan would. This is the reason why nations acquire WMDs — to defend their existence from foreign threats.

        You may be the only person on planet Earth not to grasp such a simple concept. You keep digging yourself into a hole on this issue because of your fanatical hatred of Israel and Jews: you are so eager to see Israel “easily” destroyed that you brush off its ability to retaliate against its enemes with hundreds of nuclear weapons as a matter of no consequence.

        Israel *officially* refuses to acknowledge that it possesses nuclear weapons, but the entire world knows for a fact that it does indeed possess them. Not only are you too lazy to read books and articles on this subject, but you won’t even take the trouble to read the relevant Wikipedia entry:

        “Nuclear weapons and Israel”
        link to en.wikipedia.org

        Any nation that is capable of taking out Berlin, Paris, London, Moscow, New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, etc. — in addition to all major Arab and Muslim capitals in the Middle East — is not a nation that can be easily destroyed. This fact of life so greatly frustrates you that, like a small child with its fingers stuck in its ears, you are pretending that it doesn’t exist.

        Seymour Hersh in his book on the Samson Option from the early 1990s revealed that Israel had targeted the Soviet Union with nuclear weapons since the mid-1980s.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 8, 2012, 10:46 am

        The only distinction is that you expect some kind of multi-ethnic secular state to emerge, where I anticipate a rapidly accelerating departure of the Zionist population.

        i think the possibility of 2 states emerging “thru total isolation which probably will not happen until after their actions become so abhorrent…” would be accelerated the sooner it occurs and i do not see anything to indicate this will happen on the immediate horizon.

        therefore the emergence of a multi ethnic secular state becomes more likely the longer this thing drags out. i predict that because multi ethnic states is the direction civilization is trending and sweeping change is generational. in the same way israel is rapidly becoming more religious national (by generation) i think you will see israel’s seculars (zionists) recognize the internal threat. so, those zionist seculars will either abandon the state (unlikely) or they will have to take them on themselves. something like 1/2 the kids going into kindergarten are of the fundie variety so this is a fast acceleration. i think seculars israeli will begin to take this internal threat very seriously within the next 5 years, under a decade for sure. i am talking about these people link to mondoweiss.net

        there’s going to be an internal implosion, it’s unavoidable. and you see indications of social unrest although right now it is directed primarily towards africans and palestinians but they will target the seculars. who wants to live in a state where the religious fanatics are over 50%of the population? that’s the trend israel is heading. well, who is the natural ally for jewish seculars (zionists or not) under these conditions? there is no significant comparable expanding religiously fanatic population in palestinian society. there just isn’t. there are not millions of fanatically religious palestinian youth on the horizon, just the opposite actually. (i could be wrong but i doubt it). so if a solution doesn’t come about soon, the chances of a multi ethnic state expand because the greater threat are the extremists and the overwhelming acceleration of extremism on the horizon is extremist judaism.

        of course this is just my hunch.

      • seanmcbride
        September 8, 2012, 10:51 am

        Sibiriak,

        It is a rare occasion when I find myself in total agreement with anyone on Mondoweiss, but this is one of those occasions:

        Okay. We both see the need for massive pressure on Israel. I see that as leading to a two-state settlement, with negotiations on details. I doubt a full-blown settlement could be completely imposed by fiat with no Israeli agreement or negotiation at all…, but whatever, I guess it can’t be ruled out.

        What seems clear, though, is that in the foreseeable future, the kind of massive, unified international pressure /isolation of Israel, backed by “the West” and the rest of the world, will not occur on the basis of a drive to destroy the *Zionist* Israeli state entirely.

        There is still a possibility, however, that extremists within the Israeli government would use one variation or another of the Samson Option to resist massive international pressure for a two-state solution. Perhaps even a probability. These people are not rational actors. They are not sane. They are Abrahamic true believers who have convinced themselves that they are agents of Hashem, Moshiach and world history.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 8, 2012, 10:55 am

        Sibiriak, the ‘destroy’ lingo is not my bag. i think there will be internal corrosion or an adaption over time. just like i do not think destroying alabama was part of the civil rights narrative the whole ‘destruction of israel’ narrative is not necessary and primarily comes from israeli hasbara. regime change is regime change. do i think we will participate in regime change in israel the way we did in iraq? no.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 8, 2012, 10:57 am

        These people are not rational actors. They are not sane. They are Abrahamic true believers who believe they are agents of Hashem, Moshiach and world history.

        do you see them as a threat to israel and if you do and how do you foresee israeli seculars dealing with them? or, like in the past and present when seculars use them to carry out their plan of purifying the land do you see them blending internally when these not sane people completely take over the state.

      • Sibiriak
        September 8, 2012, 11:04 am

        Annie, I was very clear to emphazise the “destruction” (or: “elimination”, “demise”, “transformation”, “dismantlement”, “dissolution” etc.) of the Zionist Israeli state–emphasis on Zionist.

        Choose whatever word you want to describe moving from a Zionist state to a condition without that Zionism (i.e., Jewish supremacy etc.).

        That’s what’s being discussed here.
        Following your analogy, I would talking about the “destruction” , “elimination” ,etc. of “racist, segregationist Alabama”, or “racism and segration in Alabama”, not simply of “Alabama.”

        So whichever term you prefer, it doesn’t change the argument.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 8, 2012, 11:06 am

        I am suggesting that the global community — especially the United States and Europe — step forcefully into this situation now, before it deteriorates any further

        sean, i suggest you consider this is completely unhelpful because the global community, especially the United States, will absolutely not be forcefully stepping into the situation now. it’s not going to happen.

        seriously, what difference could your suggestion possibly make? why don’t you describe for us where you see any will from any of our politicians to force israel to do anything. we can’t even get a veto out of them at the UN. you might as well be screaming at the moon. all you’re doing is sounding reasonable but it is defying logic.

      • seanmcbride
        September 8, 2012, 11:09 am

        Annie wrote:

        “do you see them as a threat to israel and if you do and how do you foresee israeli seculars dealing with them?”

        You just asked what I think is the single most important question about the future of Israel (and perhaps about the future of the United States as well, to the degree that the destiny of the United States is tied to that of Israel).

        They are, of course, an enormous threat to Israel, to the United States, to Europe, to their neighbors and to the world at large. And they have a large base of fanatical supporters within the United States, including neoconservatives, many neoliberals and Christian Zionists.

        So: will Israeli seculars be able to deal with them successfully? One has serious doubts about that. All the key demographic trendlines in Israel suggest that the power of religious Zionists will increase in relation to the power of secular (and “liberal”) Zionists. I think there may be a better than even chance that Israel is going to inflict enormous damage on a great number of human beings before its career is through.

        The entire world should be coordinating its efforts to try to deal with this problem — especially at the intelligence level. Israel keeps making threatening noises against nearly everyone — including liberal Jews. It has the capability to back up many of its threats with actions.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 8, 2012, 11:09 am

        Choose whatever word you want to describe moving from a Zionist state to a condition without that Zionism (i.e., Jewish supremacy etc.).

        That’s what’s being discussed here.

        oh, i described it at the end of my 10:46 am comment and ‘a condition without that Zionism’ has not been part of my argument however i do not think a multi ethnic state requires ‘a condition without zionism’, it simply means a condition without zionism as we know it today in the exclusive supremist form which we’re used to. i think it is possible for jews to have a national home in palestine and i think zionism can be transformed to be inclusive of others and i don’t think it requires jews to be the majority for zionism to exist.

        don’t mistake me, i don’t like zionism. but i’m willing to accept the concept of zionism transforming into some version we’re thus far unfamiliar with. the majority of zionists don’t even live in israel, they manage just fine.

      • seanmcbride
        September 8, 2012, 11:16 am

        Annie wrote:

        “sean, i suggest you consider this is completely unhelpful because the global community, especially the United States, will absolutely not be forcefully stepping into the situation now. it’s not going to happen.”

        I think we need to work as hard as possible to try to make this happen, through persuasion, argument, speaking out, lobbying, etc. That is how all major changes in public attitudes and policy are effected.

        I think there could be much more sympathy for this approach among high levels of Western governments than is evident on the surface. Many Western leaders are tired of dealing with Israel’s self-inflicted and ever-escalating problems — they have more important issues on their plate concerning their own nations. This situation could turn around quite suddenly. It just needs a bit of a push.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 8, 2012, 11:26 am

        So: will Israeli seculars be able to deal with them successfully? One has serious doubts about that. All the key demographic trendlines in Israel suggest that the power of of religious Zionists will increase in relation to the power of secular (and “liberal”) Zionists. I think there may be a better than even chance that Israel is going to inflict enormous damage on a great number of human beings before its career is through.

        so tell me, when you say “before its career is through” are you saying you, along with others here, agree israel’s days are numbered? do you believe the secular israelis would not dare go up against those ‘crazies’? and if they do not do you think they will leave israel or just live in a religious state and obey all the rules.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 8, 2012, 11:37 am

        I think we need to work as hard as possible to try to make this happen,

        of course. that’s why most of us are here. but the chance the US will step in forcefully, as i mentioned before, is unlikely until israel commits even more hideous atrocities and their style is more of the drip drip variety, although the fundies do not really have that same style. my bet is the israeli seculars will have to take on the fundies before the US does anything. the EU will take the path of full on bds. i think we will see significant change by the end of the decade.

      • seanmcbride
        September 8, 2012, 11:37 am

        Annie wrote:

        so tell me, when you say “before its career is through” are you saying you, along with others here, agree israel’s days are numbered? and, like you, do you believe the secular israelis would not dare go up against those ‘crazies’?”

        I think Israel may well self-destruct in an apocalyptic way that will damage many human beings. (How many human beings could one damage with several hundred nukes and other WMDs?) And I doubt that saner minds in Israel are going to be able to exert control over the crazies, as much as they might try. Israel at its cultural and spiritual core is on track to hurtle right over the cliff (while dragging all Americans along with it).

        And that is why I think we need massive superpower intervention in the Mideast immediately to reverse this trend and to provide aid and support to sane Israeli moderates — but it might already be too late.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 8, 2012, 11:48 am

        Hostage has already supplied evidence that polls have shown that 90 percent of the refugees preferred compensation in lieu of the right of return to Israel.

        as i understand it this means 90% of palestinians would accept compensation to live in a palestinian state instead to returning to israel. but not if that palestinian state is jordan. not if israel will not allow a palestinian state other than bantustans. there has to be an accompanying palestinian state for this to be applicable. at this juncture i don’t see any indication israel will allow for a viable state of palestine so doesn’t the compensation issue become a moot point?

        i do see the opportunity and the possibility of palestine going to the UN and reinforcing international recognition of statehood and these moves running concurrent with israel’s isolation adding to the pressure that will bring about change. i am just not sure that state will arise before an internal implosion within israel.

      • seanmcbride
        September 8, 2012, 12:07 pm

        With regard to the Samson Option, these are a few key concepts that one needs to be thinking about in various combinations:

        1. 9/11
        2. 9/11 anthrax attacks
        3. Armageddon
        4. biological weapons
        5. briefcase nukes
        6. by way of deception
        7. Christian Zionists
        8. cyber attacks
        9. EMP attacks
        10. false flag ops
        11. global pandemics
        12. Gog and Magog
        13. Greater Israel
        14. Holocaust
        15. Iran War
        16. Israel
        17. Lavon Affair
        18. Mossad
        19. neutron bombs
        20. nuclear weapons
        21. Old Testament cultism
        22. Samson Option
        23. Stuxnet
        24. the nations
        25. USS Liberty attack

      • Annie Robbins
        September 8, 2012, 12:10 pm

        I think Israel may well self-destruct in an apocalyptic way

        yes, i think you have made that abundantly clear.

        i’m not a believer in an apocalyptic ending. i just do not like going there and i don’t see any upside in reinforcing the idea israel will blow up themselves along with world. i prefer to think it’s a scare tactic . i think there would be both an internal an external intervention before this became a realistic option. unlike others here i even have a little faith in the rationale of secular zionists. i just do not see the upside of diaspora jews en mass supporting a radical religious jewish terrorist extremist state. perhaps i have more faith in global jewry than you. but i do think the majority of them are normal and there’s only so much brainwashing can accomplish.

        ok, i am off this thread. ciao.

      • seanmcbride
        September 8, 2012, 12:21 pm

        Annie wrote:

        i’m not a believer in an apocalyptic ending. i just do not like going there and i don’t see any upside in reinforcing the idea israel will blow up themselves along with world. i prefer to think it’s a scare tactic . i think there would be both an internal an external intervention before this became a realistic option.”

        Benjamin Netanyahu during the month of August walked Israel right up to the brink of a possible apocalypse by threatening to go to war against Iran. This story isn’t over. Many “sane” Jews in the United States, even in the Democratic Party, are agitating for that war, which could easily escalate into the use of nuclear weapons.

        I think that the organized world Jewish community as a whole has been sucked into the Likud/religious Zionist vortex. How many leading “liberal Zionists” dare to challenge the current Israeli government? I am more pessimistic about this situation than you are.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 8, 2012, 12:37 pm

        Merely venting hostility towards Israel is not moving this game forward in a positive direction.

        i just saw this and had to respond. i am not merely venting hostility towards israel and it doesn’t help your argument to suggest i am. and ‘regarding’ a one state solution, for me, is not a ‘formula’, it is looking at what possible options may arise. those options are (and will remain for the time being) continued ethnic cleansing of palestinians and the continued expansion of the zionist state, an apartheid state similar to what we see today only reinforced, two viable states, or one state with both peoples. discussing the future by eliminating the possibility of any of these options doesn’t serve anyone. everything is on the table and that is why we are here. i don’t have the power to determine what the end result will be but i do know that of all those options only 2 offer any kind of hope for both peoples to live in peace. and one state with both people is one of them. it’s certainly an improvement over the first two options.

        the fact the “Greater Israelists” as you call them prefer the first option (continued ethnic cleansing of palestinians and the continued expansion of the zionist state) does not alter the options available. so i will continue to theorize based on all options available.

      • seanmcbride
        September 8, 2012, 12:38 pm

        Annie,

        A further note:

        Most Samson Option scenarios are much more sophisticated than Israel merely “blowing itself up” and taking the world down with it. That concept and image is largely metaphorical (although it could in fact become physical).

        Israel has the capability to inflict enormous damage on the world by manipulating conflicts among major global players who are themselves armed with WMDs. Israel’s campaign to push “the West” and Muslims worldwide into an apocalyptic confrontation that will inevitably involve the use of WMDs down the line very much has the flavor of the Samson Option mentality.

        Netanyahu’s threat to conduct a unilateral Israeli attack on Iran is a variation on the Samson Option strategy: that threat is a form of blackmail or extortion being used to force the United States into a war against Iran. Any war against Iran would almost certainly wreck the global economy and drive the United States into a depression — certainly an apocalyptic scenario in the usual meaning of the word.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 8, 2012, 12:45 pm

        sean, let me remind you there’s no upside in believing jews or israelis will blow up the world ( sophisticated or otherwise). the only realistic reason for being here is to believe we could thwart any eventuality of that outcome. for if you believe it will come about you might as well just sit back and grab some popcorn. i’m not here for nothing, i’m here because i do believe we have the power to make a difference and i do have faith that even in israel there are enough sane allies to thwart an apocalypse. theorizing on the end of the world or civilization as we know it is just not my bag. things will change and we will be around to witness it. the trajectory of truth is that it cleanses like water and things become clearer. truth is trending globally right now and the wind is at our backs. believe it.

      • seanmcbride
        September 8, 2012, 12:46 pm

        Annie,

        I didn’t mean to imply that you were “merely venting hostility towards Israel” — I don’t think that at all. I had Colin Wright’s brainless bluster in mind, and people like him.

        At first I was strongly attracted to the one-state concept — it’s a beautiful and idealistic idea — but the more I thought about it the more I realized that it couldn’t possibly work. The grip of militant religious Zionists in Israeli society is much too strong. I have dropped that idea from my inventory of possible solutions as unworkable.

        A two-state solution *might* work with massive international pressure and forceful intervention. Probably not, but maybe.

      • seanmcbride
        September 8, 2012, 12:58 pm

        Annie,

        World governments have been preoccupied with thinking about how to handle apocalyptic scenarios for over a half century a now — that is the real world in which we now live, thanks to the development of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction during the mid-20th century.

        Many of these apocalyptic scenarios revolve around Israel’s conflicts with its neighbors and the world in general. They could happen — quite easily.

        Like you, I am interested in finding ways to avert these worst-case scenarios — but it is important to understand that these worst-case scenarios could in fact come to pass. These concerns are well-grounded in reality.

        I am not comfortable with this phrase: “there’s no upside in believing jews will blow up the world.” The issue is that Israel — and religious Zionism in general (including Christian Zionism) — could serve as the trigger for a world war that could be much more destructive than World War I and World War II.

        Surely you have noticed the agitation for this war all around you — a great clamor being drummed up by the Israeli government, neoconservatives and Christian Zionists.

      • lareineblanche
        September 8, 2012, 1:41 pm

        Surely you have noticed the agitation for this war all around you

        Sean, Anthony Cordesman has made a detailed study of what an attack on Iran would entail. In case the media leaks haven’t made it clear to Israel that the US has no intentions of attacking, this pretty much drives the last nail in the coffin for the moment:
        U.S. Attack on Iran Would Take Hundreds of Planes, Ships, and Missiles

        Leave aside the fact that if a member of the Iranian military put out and publicized a report like this targeting US or Israeli facilities and infrastructure, people would be calling to nuke Tehran…

      • American
        September 8, 2012, 2:34 pm

        @ sean

        “Seymour Hersh in his book on the Samson Option from the early 1990s revealed that Israel had targeted the Soviet Union with nuclear weapons since the mid-1980s.”

        Hersh is a good reporter but that can ‘t be right. Looking at the latest data (2010) on Israel they only can reach the outer borders of Europe with their nukes. Did you verify that came from his book or did you see that said about him from some comment somewhere?
        If Israel could have had nukes targeting Russia the entire world would have know about it. I would be very very surprised if this was true.

      • seanmcbride
        September 8, 2012, 3:15 pm

        Annie,

        This is the thing about the Samson Option: the threat to use it is as important as its possible actual use — and that threat will usually be implied and veiled, not open and explicit. Parties that are threatened are left to connect the obvious dots for themselves.

        Israel can use the threat of the Samson Option to influence and control the behavior of superpowers, including the United States: if you do this or don’t do that, bad things could happen to you. Do what we want or else you’ll be sorry. We can hurt you real bad. And they can. A single briefcase nuke from unknown or misleading origins could make for a really bad hair day — much worse than 9/11.

        There is much to think about concerning the Samson Option short of its actual use.

        The relentless ferocity with which the Israeli government has tried to push the United States into a war against Iran during the last month has revived intense interest in this issue. Israel clearly would go to extraordinary lengths to set this war in motion.

      • American
        September 8, 2012, 4:44 pm

        @ sean,

        btw here’s some grist for the mill…not that I want to encourage you to freak out on the Sampson thing…but some facts.
        Israel couldn’t have targeted Russia in the 80’s, they only had short and medium range Jerichos back then.
        But now….and this is not gospel, but guesses by experts observing and partly what Israel says it has… Israel says it has been developing a three-stage missile known as Jericho III, an intermediate range ballistic missile capable of lifting a payload of 1-1.3 to a maximum range of up to 5,000 km which equals 3000 miles. Experts think the payload is exaggrated and heavier bombs would naturally decease the range, but it could, if true, hit Russia now ( 1650 miles to Moscow). I believe the sub nuke range is 45 miles or something like that.
        Also you have to realize that India for instance now has missiles that can hit Israel. IOW almost everyone can hit everyone in the ME…no one is quite sure how far Iran’s non nuke missiles can go at present but far enough to hit Israel.
        The US however is 7,000 air miles from Israel so it would need twice the range it is reported to have now to get to us.
        This from defense.org and FAS but I hit the wrong something and the links on my sticky note disappeared…..too lazy to go find them again.

      • Sibiriak
        September 8, 2012, 5:58 pm

        Annie:

        as i understand it this means 90% of palestinians would accept compensation to live in a palestinian state instead to returning to israel. but not if that palestinian state is jordan. not if israel will not allow a palestinian state other than bantustans.

        Yes, that’s the point. The implementation of a Palestinian right of return would be part and parcel of a two-state settlement, and not an insurmountable obstacle.

        there has to be an accompanying palestinian state for this to be applicable. at this juncture i don’t see any indication israel will allow for a viable state of palestine so doesn’t the compensation issue become a moot point?

        With all due respect, you keep using that same language…Israel won’t “allow”, Israel won’t “voluntarily accept”.

        Well, Israel won’t allow now or voluntarily accept now a 1SS, so that’s beside the point.

        What’s at issue is a massive international/local campaign, governmental and popular, to COMPEL Israel into a two-state settlement.

        And again, we are not talking about “at this juncture” ; this could happen only after considerable struggle.

        The alternatives I’m hearing here are (or some combination of):

        1) Wait until Zionist Israel implodes due to internal contradictions.

        2) Try to get the U.S. , Europe et al. behind a drive to force Israel (via sanctions, isolation etc.) to accept a 1SS (or simply impose it), which many believe, because so many Jewish Israelis would then emigrate, would cause Zionist Israel in name, symbols and substance to disappear and a Palestinian state take its place.

        3) Israel will start another war, but this time it will suffer enough destruction and death internally that enough Israelis will be impelled to emigrate, thus, bringing down the Zionist state.

        The problem with 1) is that it is highly speculative, could take a very long time if it happens at all, and the result would likely be an even more radical, armed-to-the-teeth Zionist state.

        The problem with 2) is that while the West could finally get behind a serious drive to sanction/isolate Israel to force Israel into a two-state settlement, there is no indication whatsoever, and it goes against all trends in international law and politics, that the West and the Rest would back a drive to impose a 1SS on Israel.

        The problem with 3) is that heavy military attacks on Israel would lead to a massive Israeli military response, colossal destruction and death, annexation of territory, and leave behind a more hard line, intransigent Zionist state, not the much-wished for single democratic state.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 8, 2012, 9:36 pm

        The implementation of a Palestinian right of return would be part and parcel of a two-state settlement, and not an insurmountable obstacle….What’s at issue is a massive international/local campaign, governmental and popular, to COMPEL Israel into a two-state settlement.

        do tell. i’m shocked frankly. no one ever said that before. so what’s your theory on how to compel israel? keep in mind, saying something isn’t insurmountable doesn’t mean you can make it happen. let me ask you this, if every single effort was made to ‘compel’ israel failed, what then? it is “highly speculative, could take a very long time if it happens at all, and the result would likely be an even more radical, armed-to-the-teeth Zionist state”. (in case you have not noticed in the last few years obama has tried to compel israel to stop settlement growth, and the results are an even more radical, armed-to-the-teeth Zionist state. there is a high probability any action the US or the EU do at this point you’re still going to end up with an even more radical, armed-to-the-teeth Zionist state)

        btw, i am not really interested in answering to all the ‘alternatives you’re hearing here’. if you’d like to address specific ideas of mine that is another story. iow, take up 1,2,or3 with whoever holds those positions.

        so what do you think israels neighbors should do the next time israel starts another war to annex more territory? roll over? run? fight back?

      • Hostage
        September 8, 2012, 10:54 pm

        i do see the opportunity and the possibility of palestine going to the UN and reinforcing international recognition of statehood and these moves running concurrent with israel’s isolation adding to the pressure that will bring about change.

        I think the Palestinian leadership view that as leverage for use in more US mandated negotiations. But I doubt they will aggressively pursue justice for past crimes or try to rollback illegal settlement expansion since 2002 without grassroots pressure from Palestinian civil society. They probably would be able to use the existing ICC declaration or a renewed one as a deterrent against attacks going forward and to help end the punitive closure/blockade of Gaza.

        Neither Netanyahu nor the PA are delivering on statehood or economic peace. So there’s a great deal of social unrest and calls to scrap the Paris Accords and press-on with the UN upgrade. This may happen despite requests from team Obama to delay action until after the US elections, e.g. link to israelhayom.com

        Frankly, there’s no political or legal advantage to be gained from efforts to prevent a UN observer state from becoming a full UN member state. This whole exercise has been about preventing the Palestinians from gaining access to the courts, and recognition of the 67 borders. The Palestinians already participate in the business of the UN and have every privilege except a vote in the General Assembly. So there will probably another another round of threats, blackmail, and behind the scenes arm twisting to prevent the upgrade from happening.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 9, 2012, 2:45 am

        Israel can use the threat of the Samson Option to influence and control the behavior of superpowers, including the United States: if you do this or don’t do that, bad things could happen to you.

        this is not a unique option. the US has this option too. it takes a special mind set to use a threat like this but what evidence is there that a an actor who makes the threat is more likely to carry it out than one who has the capacity but doesn’t? did the US threaten hiroshima? the nazis declare genocide on the jews? so why take a threat more seriously than a lethal capability with no threat? do you believe israelis or jews are more suicidal than the rest of us? why grant them that? because they say so? clearly they take themselves very seriously, but why do you take them at their word? don’t you believe it is likely they using the threat to deter others via the threat of invincibility? call them at their bluff. they are not anymore willing to die for their land than palestinians. they have no more sumud than palestinians. they have no idea what it is like to hold on for decades in inhumane conditions. they just don’t. not a one of them.

      • ColinWright
        September 9, 2012, 3:30 am

        I say “”You have yet to furnish a single example of anyone representing Israel making such a ‘promise.'”

        Sean Mcbride writes a long reply…in which he fails to furnish a single example of anyone representing Israel making such a ‘promise.’

      • ColinWright
        September 9, 2012, 5:23 am

        seanmcbride says: “Colin has declared himself to be a Israel hater — and I mean that in the literal sense. He has repeatedly used the word “hate” to describe his attitudes towards Israel. If you want to associate yourself with literal hate speech, be my guest.”

        So if — say — someone says they hated Nazi Germany, that would be an example of hate speech?

        I think you could say you ‘hated’ the Republican party — would that be ‘hate speech? How about WalMart? Is it ‘hate speech’ to loathe WalMart?

        Of course not. Expressions of dislike — however unmeasured — are not ‘hate speech’ if they are directed against institutions or organizations. Your implied definition of ‘hate speech’ is absurd.

        You are simply making an ass out yourself in your perpetual attempts to find some way of vilifying me. Since the attempts began immediately after I destroyed what was evidently one of your pet theories, and since they range all over the map and result in the most absurd constructions, I can only speculate that this is all an incredibly immature attempt to restore what is obviously a very fragile ego.

        As I warned you some time ago, you are only making things worse for yourself. You can continue of course, but it’s really getting tedious, and profound as my contempt for you is, it’s not very pleasant to watch.

      • seanmcbride
        September 9, 2012, 11:06 am

        American,

        This is a direct quote from Hersh’s book:

        Indeed, there were not many, even in the American intelligence community, who understood in 1981 why Israel had collected satellite imagery of the Soviet Union and why Sharon was so insistent on continued access to that intelligence: Israel was itself a nuclear power that was targeting the Soviet Union with its warheads and missiles.

        You can read the full text of Seymour Hersh’s “The Samson Option” here in full text form on your PC or smartphone:

        link to archive.org

        or in other formats (Kindle, EPUB, PDF, etc.) here:

        link to archive.org

        But this is the more important point: you are focused on traditional methods for delivering nuclear weapons — mainly missiles. You should be thinking about unconventional methods, especially briefcase nukes (also known as suitcase nukes, backpack nukes, pocket nukes, mini-nukes, etc.)

        See a brief introduction to the subject on Wikipedia here:

        “Wikipedia: Suitcase nuke”
        link to en.wikipedia.org

        It is possible to smuggle portable nukes into any major city in the world in any number — and they can be detonated with relative anonymity. Missiles, of course, leave a literal evidentiary trail

      • seanmcbride
        September 9, 2012, 11:24 am

        ColinWright wrote re: the Samson Option:

        “Sean Mcbride writes a long reply…in which he fails to furnish a single example of anyone representing Israel making such a ‘promise.’”

        Colin — this is why I have developed a certain contempt for you as a thinker and analyst: you failed to respond to a single point in my “long reply,” which, among other things, addressed that specific question. I pointed out to you that Israel officially refuses to acknowledge that it possesses nuclear weapons — OF COURSE it hasn’t officially discussed its strategies for using weapons that it won’t acknowledge it possesses. Policy analysts uncover those strategies from other sources — especially from unofficial leaks within and around the Israeli national security establishment.

        But Israeli prime minister Gold Meir did briefly shed some light on the matter back in 1971:

        link to wikispooks.com

        Alan Hart interviewed Golda Meir for the BBC’s Panorama programme in April 1971 and asked her “Prime Minister … You are saying that if ever Israel was in danger of being defeated on the battlefield, it would be prepared to take the region and even the whole world down with it?”. Hart continues that, “without the shortest of pauses for reflection, and in the gravel voice that could charm or intimidate American Presidents according to need, Golda replied ‘Yes, that’s exactly what I am saying'”.

        and:

        Hart further claims that during the “early panic” of the 1973 (Yom Kippur) war, two Israeli missiles were armed with nuclear warheads and targeted on Cairo and Damascus. It is known that the US rapidly re-armed Israel at that time.

        and:

        The Israelis are encouraged in their nuclear threats by “Christian Zionists” like Hal Lindsay who believe Israel must expand its control of territory to its Biblical borders in order to bring about Armageddon and the return of Jesus Christ. Some suspect that former President George W. Bush holds such beliefs especially after his November 2007 statement “If you want to see World War Three, you know, a way to do that is to attack Israel with a nuclear weapon.”

        (It should also be pointed out that George W. Bush initiated the Iraq War with the belief that it might be the battle of Gog and Magog — Armageddon.)

        Now, Colin, do yourself a favor and provide a rational and analytical point-by-point rebuttal of that “long reply” of mine which you just completely ignored. I will be looking for it.

      • seanmcbride
        September 9, 2012, 11:59 am

        Annie wrote re: the Samson Option:

        “this is not a unique option. the US has this option too. it takes a special mind set to use a threat like this but what evidence is there that a an actor who makes the threat is more likely to carry it out than one who doesn’t?”

        Some nations and cultures might be more prone to use the Samson Option or doomsday strategies than others. Some variables that I would look at:

        Is the nation desperate? Isolated? Unstable? In the grip of religious or ethnic nationalist fanaticism? Under threat from its neighbors? Increasingly in conflict with the entire world? Immersed in an ideological tradition that revolves around apocalyptic scenarios? Messianic? Expansionist? Hysterical? Carrying a historical grudge against “the nations” which has developed over millennia?

        France, like Israel, possesses a large arsenal of WMDs, but most of us are not worried about France going haywire and throwing a biblical tantrum. France is a relatively secure, stable and self-confident nation that is not seeking out wars or making threats against the world. It is not paranoid that the entire world is lining up against it.

        The United States and the Soviet Union (now Russia) have been able to live under the cloud of MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) for five or six decades now. They are, relatively speaking, sane and rational actors on the world stage.

        (But neoconservatives and Christian Zionists, under the influence of the Israeli government and Likud Zionism, are pushing the United States in an increasingly insane and irrational cultural and policy direction. Americans are being sucked into the vortex of Israel’s Old Testament cultism.)

      • seanmcbride
        September 9, 2012, 12:08 pm

        Annie wrote re: the Samson Option:

        “call them at their bluff. they are not anymore willing to die for their land than palestinians. they have no more sumud than palestinians. they have no idea what it is like to hold on for decades in inhumane conditions. they just don’t. not a one of them.”

        I didn’t see this passage in the email version of your comment, so I will respond now.

        A key factor you need to take into account: the Holocaust, which occurred in recent memory, and which was, to say the least, an intensely traumatic experience. One can easily understand why Jews would not passively submit to a second Holocaust. From the Jewish standpoint, the destruction of Israel would indeed comprise a second Holocaust. I find it believable that Israelis would respond to the threat of imminent destruction by unleashing every weapon in their arsenal against as much of the world as they could reach.

      • seanmcbride
        September 9, 2012, 12:39 pm

        lareineblanche wrote:

        “Sean, Anthony Cordesman has made a detailed study of what an attack on Iran would entail. In case the media leaks haven’t made it clear to Israel that the US has no intentions of attacking, this pretty much drives the last nail in the coffin for the moment….”

        When I remarked: — “Surely you have noticed the agitation for this war all around you” — I was thinking of the entire Global War on Terror, the Clash of Civilizations, the Long War, World War IV, the Iraq War, the Afghanistan War, the Afpak War, the economic war against Iran, agitation for a war against Syria — all in addition to the relentless Israeli agitation for an Iran War.

        We are already deeply enveloped in the apocalyptic Clash of Civilizations that Israel-centric neoconservatives and Christian Zionists have been pushing on the American people for several decades now (long before 9/11).

        For the time being, Obama and the JCS have been able to hold off a war against Iran, but the pressure for that war will increase after the coming election. Are you really sure that Mitt Romney will resist that pressure if he is elected? Or even that Obama will resist if he is elected? We are not close to being out of the woods.

      • seanmcbride
        September 9, 2012, 2:44 pm

        American,

        Another key passage from Seymour Hersh’s “The Samson Option”:

        link to archive.org

        As Sharon was beginning to redesign Israel’s strategic posture, Washington finally got some hard intelligence on the Israeli nuclear arsenal. It was a “walk-in,” an Israeli scientist or technician who had worked at Dimona and who, as Mordecai Vanunu would do five years later, had taken some photographs of the underground storage bunkers there. “It was our first look inside,” one senior intelligence official recalled. “What got our attention was the fact that he was inside a storage facility.” The photographs showed Israeli warheads individually stored in heavy lead compartments, very similar to those used in American nuclear storage igloos: “We actually saw the weapons lined up there.”

        The men handling the defector were experts in weapons production and knew they were seeing the real thing — thermonuclear warheads. The defector told them that Israel had more than one hundred weapons in storage. “Our thought was ‘Holy shit!’ ” one involved American recalled. ” ‘How could we have been so wrong?’ We always said, ‘So the Israelis got ten war- heads? Okay. So what? Anybody can build those.’ All of a sudden we learned they’d become sophisticated. It blew everybody’s mind. Why do you need a thermonuclear device? We know twenty KTs [kilotons] will take out Cairo. [Israel] was more advanced and better than any of our people had pre- sumed it could be — clean bombs, better warheads. The White House was briefed, but not in terms that I gave you because it was a real black eye for the [intelligence] community.”

        The defector also provided specific data about warhead size and delivery systems — “we got lots of paper” — that convinced the Americans that the Israelis were capable of delivering a nuclear warhead with accuracy. It was clear from the defector’s data, the American said, that the Israelis “can do anything we or the Soviets can do.”

      • seanmcbride
        September 9, 2012, 2:53 pm

        American,

        More from Hersh on the Samson Option:

        The one aspect of the Pollard story that no one wanted revealed revolved around Aviem Sella. Sella was perhaps Israel’s top air force expert in nuclear targeting and the delivery of nuclear weapons: it was his job to make sure that Israel’s nuclear-armed F-16 aircraft could penetrate Soviet air defenses and reach their targets in the Soviet Union. Earlier in his career he had served as an F-4 pilot at Tel Nof, assigned to one of Israel’s “black” — nuclear-capable — squadrons. Ariel Sharon’s broadened view of Israeli national security and the Soviet threat had led to a dramatic upsurge in nuclear planning and nuclear targeting. The air force also was responsible for the advanced Jericho missile system, with its steadily increasing range. The new missile targets inside the Soviet Union required increased intelligence, and Sella’s mission was to help Pollard gather the essential information and then evaluate it. Israel would need the most advanced American intelligence on weather patterns and communication protocols, as well as data on emergency and alert procedures. Any American knowledge of the electromagnetic fields that lie between Israel and its main targets in the Soviet Union also was essential to the targeting of the Jericho.

      • ColinWright
        September 9, 2012, 5:04 pm

        Seanmcbride says: “Now, Colin, do yourself a favor and provide a rational and analytical point-by-point rebuttal of that “long reply” of mine which you just completely ignored. I will be looking for it.”

        No, I don’t think I’ll bother. If I did, you would simply reply with more falsehoods which completely ignored what had just been said. Conveniently, you just posted an example of what I mean. You wrote:

        “ColinWright wrote re: the Samson Option:

        “Sean Mcbride writes a long reply…in which he fails to furnish a single example of anyone representing Israel making such a ‘promise.’”

        Colin — this is why I have developed a certain contempt for you as a thinker and analyst: you failed to respond to a single point in my “long reply,” which, among other things, addressed that specific question. “

        No you did not address that question. Go and look. Your rhetorical technique simply consists of lying as necessary. There’s no point in attempting to discuss anything with you.

        Happily, I have no desire to discuss anything with you. However I do make a point of searching your posts for new references to ‘Colin’ — and every time you make an attempt to libel me, I will rip off your testicles.

        Yet again. No matter how many times they grow back.

        So have at it — or not. But be aware — as long as you keep trying to dish it out, you’re going to get it back.

      • seanmcbride
        September 9, 2012, 10:34 pm

        ColinWright wrote:

        “No, I don’t think I’ll bother.”

        in response to my challenge:

        “Now, Colin, do yourself a favor and provide a rational and analytical point-by-point rebuttal of that “long reply” of mine which you just completely ignored. I will be looking for it.”

        Colin,

        If you know absolutely nothing about Israel’s nuclear weapons program, and about the serious policy discussion of the Samson Option over the last few decades, and can’t engage in an argument or discussion about any of these matters, then why did you bother to dig yourself into this hole — and why do you keep digging yourself in ever deeper?

        Your comments in this thread have gone progressively downhill — now you are threatening to rip off the testicles of people who truthfully point out that you are making no sense whatever on this controversy.

      • Sibiriak
        September 9, 2012, 10:54 pm

        so what’s your theory on how to compel israel?

        I’ve already stated its several times. A combination of:

        1) a new non-violent Palestinian intifada 2) a powerful worldwide BDS movement 3) international governmental pressure on Israel to agree to a two-state settlement 4) legal action against Israel for violations of international law 5) a reinvigorated movement within Israel for a two-state settlement.

        Of course, that wasn’t meant to be an exhaustive. If truly effective military action (threats or actual violence) can be added to that list, I’m all for it.

        if every single effort was made to ‘compel’ israel failed, what then?

        If every effort to compel Israel failed–including complete international isolation, massive global BDS, non-violent or violent Palestinian uprisings, mobilization within Israel itself, prosecution in international courts, and military action from the international community and/or Israel’s neighbors–then, obviously, Israel would prevail. What is your answer to the “what then?” question?

        in case you have not noticed in the last few years obama has tried to compel israel to stop settlement growth.

        I case you have not noticed, Obama just rolled over. What exactly did Obama do to really compel Israel to stop settlement growth?

        if you’d like to address specific ideas of mine that is another story.

        Please, link me to them, or restate them briefly. That would be greatly appreciated. I was responding to statements in this thread when listing the “alternatives”.

        so what do you think israels neighbors should do the next time israel starts another war to annex more territory? roll over? run? fight back?

        Silly question. Fight back. When did I ever suggest otherwise?
        “Roll over”? Another strawman.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 9, 2012, 11:32 pm

        hostage, thanks for the link

        A Palestinian diplomat told Reuters that Abbas would seek to secure recognition for the Palestinians as a non-member observer state, an upgrade from the current Palestinian status of a U.N. observer “entity” with no voting rights, and a first stage toward recognition of a Palestinian state. Earlier, the Palestinian Authority foreign minister said the Palestinians would ask to be made a non-member observer state at the U.N. General Assembly later this month.

        goodnews. someone here claimed earlier they were going to forgo their bid (i ask for link) so this is one step forward in my book.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 9, 2012, 11:41 pm

        sean, Surely you have noticed the agitation for this war all around you — a great clamor being drummed up by the Israeli government, neoconservatives and Christian Zionists.

        yes i have. i just don’t take them seriously. for israel, attacking iran would be suicidal. i believe they are hyperventilating over iran to divert attention from their constant expansion. clearly they are more comfortable framing themselves as victims who will rain down their wrath on all who oppose them. yawn .

      • ColinWright
        September 9, 2012, 11:55 pm

        seanmcbride says: “If you know absolutely nothing about Israel’s nuclear weapons program, and about the serious policy discussion of the Samson Option over the last few decades, and can’t engage in an argument or discussion about any of these matters, then why did you bother to dig yourself into this hole — and why do you keep digging yourself in ever deeper?”

        Nice try. I know all I need to know about Israel’s nuclear program, and as for the ‘serious discussion’ — that’s been my point. ‘The discussion,’ as far as I am concerned, is about how you claim Israel has made threats — but you’ve never been able to show when Israel made those threats.

        It’s simple. You made some indefensible claims, tried to defend them, and of course failed. Instead of endlessly embarrassing yourself with your pathetic efforts to slander me in some kind of attempt at compensation, you could just call it experience and learn from it.

        Proceeding on the optimistic assumption that there is anything there to redeem in the first place, try growing up a little. How old are you, anyway?

      • Annie Robbins
        September 9, 2012, 11:56 pm

        Annie,

        This is the thing about the Samson Option: the threat to use it is as important as its possible actual use

        not really. the threat is out there, the usage would definitely be worse.

        Israel clearly would go to extraordinary lengths to set this war in motion.

        threat wise, they will go there. attack sans US approval? not so sure about that. i’d call their bluff and then sit there and do nothing if they attacked. teach them a lesson.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 10, 2012, 12:09 am

        Benjamin Netanyahu during the month of August walked Israel right up to the brink of a possible apocalypse by threatening to go to war against Iran.

        uh huh. and now it is september. and then it will be october. netanyahu is hyperventilating over the american elections because he wants a romney presidency so he can have a pliable us president to do his bidding. that’s kind of a no brainer sean. i don’t jump every time the beebs goes on a rant, you do. i am not concerned about israel pulling a samson, you are. you’re not just being pessimistic, you’re reacting like a pavlov dog to these intimidation tactics. naturally nets would rather have romney in office, and have the US attack iran (israel could take the opening shots and swagger their awesomeness all over the world stage perhaps). israel wants its way and they will throw whatever temper tantrum it takes because people like you will sweat bullets over it. they are not a world power, they are a little itty bitty country who’s primary gift is controlling US foreign policy thru intimidation and threats. so what’s the best MO? call their bluff. don’t fall for it. you’re acting irrational. every time i look at lil bibi i see a toddler. you remind me of one of those parents in the grocery store trying to negotiate with their screaming child. kids know damn well how to throw fits in public. get grip.

      • Taxi
        September 10, 2012, 12:20 am

        Pavlov’s Dogs Get Conditioned

      • Annie Robbins
        September 10, 2012, 12:52 am

        Sibiriak , wrt your allegations of ‘strawman’ re my question what do you think israels neighbors should do the next time israel starts another war to annex more territory? roll over? run? fight back? i was referencing sean’s earlier framing the conversation. it wasn’t a strawman, it was a snark/mock that would have made sense if you’d been following the earlier conversation. he avoided addressing the implications of his stance.

        yes, i noticed obama rolled over.

        What exactly did Obama do to really compel Israel to stop settlement growth?

        what obama did to ‘compel’ israel was mitchell with no teeth, that’s the extent of america compelling israel to date or some variation of no teeth with a few exceptions.

        ” if you’d like to address specific ideas of mine that is another story. ”

        Please, link me to them, or restate them briefly. That would be greatly appreciated.

        earlier in the thread (September 8, 2012 at 11:37 am) i said my bet is the israeli seculars will have to take on the fundies before the US does anything. the EU will take the path of full on bds. i think we will see significant change by the end of the decade.

        i already responded to this once here link to mondoweiss.net

        Choose whatever word you want to describe moving from a Zionist state to a condition without that Zionism (i.e., Jewish supremacy etc.).

        That’s what’s being discussed here.

        oh, i described it at the end of my 10:46 am comment

        so here’s the link:

        link to mondoweiss.net

        this is my prediction of the future.

      • Sibiriak
        September 10, 2012, 8:01 am

        Sean:

        I pointed out to you that Israel officially refuses to acknowledge that it possesses nuclear weapons — OF COURSE it hasn’t officially discussed its strategies for using weapons that it won’t acknowledge it possesses.

        This seems so obvious. I can’t understand why Colin stubbornly keeps repeating himself on this point which you already adequately addressed.

      • Sibiriak
        September 10, 2012, 8:13 am

        Annie:

        Sibiriak , wrt your allegations of ‘strawman’ re my question what do you think israels neighbors should do the next time israel starts another war to annex more territory? roll over? run? fight back? i was referencing sean’s earlier framing the conversation. it wasn’t a strawman, it was a snark/mock that would have made sense if you’d been following the earlier conversation.

        I have been following the conversation. But your comment was addressed to me, in response to one of my posts–I’m not Sean!

        Besides, I can’t find any post where Sean or anyone else suggested that any group or nation should “roll over” or “run” in the face of an Israeli attack.
        Where is this earlier “framing”? It’s a long thread and I suppose I could have missed something.

        it was a snark/mock

        .

        Personally, I don’t see the usefulness in mocking other posters, especially when what’s being mocked is a strawman, i.e. not the poster’s actual position. I came to this site to engage in reasoned, respectful discussion. I do realize though that the nasty snark/mock thing is popular with a number of posters.

      • seanmcbride
        September 10, 2012, 9:22 am

        Sibiriak wrote:

        “This seems so obvious. I can’t understand why Colin stubbornly keeps repeating himself on this point which you already adequately addressed.”

        in response to:

        “I pointed out to you that Israel officially refuses to acknowledge that it possesses nuclear weapons — OF COURSE it hasn’t officially discussed its strategies for using weapons that it won’t acknowledge it possesses.”

        Colin so far hasn’t mentioned a single fact with regard to Israel’s nuclear weapons program and instead keeps repeating the same off-the-wall remark over and over again. There is no attempt at critical analysis or a rational argument at all.

        But I think I’ve figured out what is going on here psychologically, and it has been a major revelation for me: those who are most emotionally excited about the need to destroy Israel as soon as possible are most in denial and most irrational about dealing with the reality that Israel possesses a large arsenal of WMDs and the will to use them if necessary to protect its existence. (And Colin is very emotionally excited indeed about the need to obliterate Israel and Israelis — he keeps signaling this excitement to us with his repeated use of the word “hate.” :))

        It has taken me awhile to realize that some people could be so irrational and out of touch with reality in analyzing international and military affairs. They remind one of some right-wing extremists during the Cold War who were urging the United States to directly attack the Soviet Union without regard for the ability of the Soviet Union to destroy the United States. Magical thinking taken to the nth degree. Fortunately during that era, more rational minds prevailed.

      • seanmcbride
        September 10, 2012, 9:35 am

        Annie wrote,

        “you remind me of one of those parents in the grocery store trying to negotiate with their screaming child. kids know damn well how to throw fits in public. get grip.”

        Actually, I wasn’t impressed by Netanyahu’s bluff in the least (although others were), and have consistently argued that the United States should ignore and ridicule Israel’s efforts to goad Americans into attacking Iran. Nor did I think that Netanyahu was crazy enough to attack Iran unilaterally, without the help of the United States. So I don’t think I am a Pavlovian subject for Likud Zionists.

        There are three levels to the Samson Option and its variations (like peeling layers off an onion):

        1. bluffs
        2. real threats
        3. real actions

        Netanyahu during August 2012 used a variation of the Samson Option to try to bluff and coerce the United States into attacking Iran.

        This doesn’t mean that Israel won’t use levels 2 and 3 down the line.

        Nations that possess thermonuclear weapons, mini-nukes, neutron bombs, EMP weapons and advanced biological weapons, and that are afflicted with a combination of a Messiah complex, Masada complex and martyrdom complex, need to be taken very seriously indeed. Israel throughout its history has proven that it is capable of inflicting severe violence on its enemies, and it will not passively submit to what it considers to be another Holocaust.

        Handle with care.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 10, 2012, 9:49 am

        Netanyahu during August 2012 used a variation of the Samson Option

        if someone says i will murder you, it’s not a variation of murder.

        it will not passively submit to what it considers to be another Holocaust.

        passively submit? i’m not following you. how could israel initiating war be construed as passive submission? what kind of future scenario are you referencing?

      • Annie Robbins
        September 10, 2012, 10:12 am

        sib, if you click on a persons name and use key words you can find earlier references in the archives. try this:

        link to mondoweiss.net

        as an aside it’s a little odd to be in a thread with so much animosity and insults flying around and get lectured on a snark about enemies rolling over and playing dead. and again, it had nothing to do with a strawman.

        I do realize though that the nasty snark/mock thing is popular with a number of posters.

        nasty? you thought i was being nasty? in this thread? wow. that says a lot.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 10, 2012, 10:18 am

        sean, in rereading your comment i am getting mixed messages

        Masada complex and martyrdom complex, need to be taken very seriously indeed. Israel throughout its history has proven that it is capable of inflicting severe violence on its enemies, and it will not passively submit to what it considers to be another Holocaust…Handle with care..Netanyahu during August 2012 used a variation of the Samson Option…I wasn’t impressed by Netanyahu’s bluff in the least (although others were), and have consistently argued that the United States should ignore and ridicule Israel’s efforts to goad Americans into attacking Iran. Nor did I think that Netanyahu was crazy enough to attack Iran unilaterally, without the help of the United States.

      • seanmcbride
        September 10, 2012, 10:43 am

        Annie wrote:

        “passively submit? i’m not following you. how could israel initiating war be construed as passive submission? what kind of future scenario are you referencing?”

        I am not describing my point of view here — I am describing ISRAEL’S point view — many Israelis believe that a successful war against Israel would constitute a second Holocaust. They believe (or have talked themselves into believing) that Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons would make that second Holocaust likely or even inevitable.

        This is crazy thinking, in my opinion, but these are the views Israelis *purport* to hold — although it is questionable that they really do.

        The bottom line: how far is Israel willing to go to try to destroy Iran’s nuclear program?

        If Israel were a rational actor, it would realize that there is nothing it can do to stop that program, which Iran has every right to develop. But Israel may not be a rational actor. Certainly the settlements are not the project of a rational actor.

      • seanmcbride
        September 10, 2012, 10:49 am

        The mixed message you are receiving may be the product of me being in the process of trying to sort out what exactly Israel is up to with regard to Iran. I am not sure what Israel is planning as its next step after the November election. Israel may be assuming that Mitt Romney will take the United States to war against Iran if he is elected. Certainly many powerful Republicans have been beating the drums of war on behalf of Israel.

        Israel wasn’t able to bully Obama and Dempsey to do its will, so it has backed off — but only for the time being. Israel may escalate its coercive methods and implied threats if it doesn’t get its way. We are in unknown territory here.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 10, 2012, 10:53 am

        I am not describing my point of view here — I am describing ISRAEL’S point view

        i already understand israel’s ptv. how could we not, they won’t shut up about it.

        The bottom line: how far is Israel willing to go to try to destroy Iran’s nuclear program?

        about as far as they can push the US to support them which of course includes manipulating a US election. if they had the ability and where with all to carry this out by their lonesome we wouldn’t be hearing about it.

        imho what we should be looking out for is signs the msm is pushing a discourse of ‘tight race’. because it isn’t. the trick is not stealing the election, the trick is stealing the election and making it believable. which really isn’t that hard if you look at what happened in 04.

      • seanmcbride
        September 10, 2012, 11:02 am

        Annie wrote:

        “re my question what do you think israels neighbors should do the next time israel starts another war to annex more territory? roll over? run? fight back? i was referencing sean’s earlier framing the conversation. it wasn’t a strawman, it was a snark/mock that would have made sense if you’d been following the earlier conversation.”

        I didn’t fully reply yet to this point.

        Currently Israel is behaving like a schoolyard bully who aggressively attacks and provokes weaker parties and then crushes them with overwhelming military force when they try to defend themselves.

        The situation is appalling. When the weaker parties fight back they are mauled, broken and lose ever more ground. Israel knows precisely what it is doing and it is working.

        The only way to change the dynamic here and to modify Israel’s behavior is for the international community to impose on Israel the kind of draconian economic sanctions that are now being imposed on Iran. But the Israel lobby constitutes a gigantic obstacle to applying that kind of pressure.

        So that is where we now stand. Israel’s victims and targets for future abuse, humiliation and expulsion are trapped in a no-win situation.

        And then there is the Samson Option in play: if the international community tries to impose harsh economic sanctions on Israel, Israel may respond by threatening to bring down the world economy by various means at its disposal.

      • ColinWright
        September 10, 2012, 2:34 pm

        seanmcbride says: “…And Colin is very emotionally excited indeed about the need to obliterate Israel and Israelis…”

        Actually, it would be fairer to say I’m very emotionally excited indeed about seanmcbrides.

        You must find it gratifying to have such striking proof of my absence of anti-semitism. Keep referring to me, and you’ll get more proof.

      • DICKERSON3870
        September 14, 2012, 3:00 am

        RE: “when challenged, you cannot even supply one example of an Israeli official even referring to the ‘Samson option’” ~ ColinWright

        MY REPLY: Since Israeli officials steadfastly refuse to even admit that they have nuclear weapons (i.e., they maintain “nuclear ambiguity”), they can’t very well refer to the ‘Samson option’ or make statements ‘threatening to unleash it’ (because to do so would be tantamount to admitting that they have nuclear weapons).

        FROM WIKIPEDIA [Samson Option, as of 5/25/12]:

        (excerpts) The Samson Option is a term used to describe Israel’s alleged deterrence strategy of massive retaliation with nuclear weapons as a “last resort” against nations whose military attacks threaten its existence, and possibly against other targets as well.[1] . . .
        . . . Some have written about the “Samson Option” as a retaliation strategy. In 2002, the Los Angeles Times published an opinion piece by Louisiana State University professor David Perlmutter which has been seen as justifying a Samson Option approach.[19] He wrote:
        “Israel has been building nuclear weapons for 30 years. The Jews understand what passive and powerless acceptance of doom has meant for them in the past, and they have ensured against it. Masada was not an example to follow—it hurt the Romans not a whit, but Samson in Gaza? What would serve the Jew-hating world better in repayment for thousands of years of massacres but a Nuclear Winter. . .[20]

        . . . In 2003, Martin van Creveld [professor of military history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem - J.L.D.] thought that the Al-Aqsa Intifada then in progress threatened Israel’s existence.[21] Van Creveld was quoted in David Hirst’s “The Gun and the Olive Branch” (2003) as saying:

        “We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets for our air force. . . Our armed forces, however, are not the thirtieth strongest in the world, but rather the second or third. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under.”[22]

        Ron Rosenbaum writes in his 2012 book How the End Begins: The Road to a Nuclear World War III that in the “aftermath of a second Holocaust” Israel’s surviving Dophin-class nuclear missile submarines would retaliate not only against Israel’s attackers, but “bring down the pillars of the world (attack Moscow and European capitals for instance)” as well as the “holy places of Islam.” He writes that “abandonment of proportionality is the essence” of the Samson Option.[23] . . .

        SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org

      • DICKERSON3870
        September 14, 2012, 3:08 am

        P.S. ALSO SEE: “Operation Samson; Israel’s Deployment of Nuclear Missiles on Subs from Germany”, by Der Speigel, 6/04/12

        [EXCERPTS] The pride of the Israeli navy is rocking gently in the swells of the Mediterranean, with the silhouette of the Carmel mountain range reflected on the water’s surface. To reach the Tekumah, you have to walk across a wooden jetty at the pier in the port of Haifa, and then climb into a tunnel shaft leading to the submarine’s interior. The navy officer in charge of visitors, a brawny man in his 40s with his eyes hidden behind a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses, bounces down the steps. When he reaches the lower deck, he turns around and says: “Welcome on board the Tekumah. Welcome to my toy.”
        He pushes back a bolt and opens the refrigerator, revealing zucchini, a pallet of yoghurt cups and a two-liter bottle of low-calorie cola. The Tekumah has just returned from a secret mission in the early morning hours.
        The navy officer, whose name the military censorship office wants to keep secret, leads the visitors past a pair of bunks and along a steel frame. The air smells stale, not unlike the air in the living room of an apartment occupied solely by men. At the middle of the ship, the corridor widens and merges into a command center, with work stations grouped around a periscope. The officer stands still and points to a row of monitors, with signs bearing the names of German electronics giant Siemens and Atlas, a Bremen-based electronics company, screwed to the wall next to them.
        The “Combat Information Center,” as the Israelis call the command center, is the heart of the submarine, the place where all information comes together and all the operations are led. The ship is controlled from two leather chairs. It looks as if it could be in the cockpit of a small aircraft. A display lit up in red shows that the vessel’s keel is currently located 7.15 meters (23.45 feet) below sea level.
        “This was all built in Germany, according to Israeli specifications,” the navy officer says,”and so were the weapons systems.” The Tekumah, 57 meters long and 7 meters wide, is a showpiece of precision engineering, painted in blue and made in Germany. To be more precise, it is a piece of precision engineering made in Germany that is suitable for equipping with nuclear weapons.
        • No Room for Doubt
        Deep in their interiors, on decks 2 and 3, the submarines contain a secret that even in Israel is only known to a few insiders: nuclear warheads, small enough to be mounted on a cruise missile, but explosive enough to execute a nuclear strike that would cause devastating results. This secret is considered one of the best kept in modern military history. Anyone who speaks openly about it in Israel runs the risk of being sentenced to a lengthy prison term.
        Research SPIEGEL has conducted in Germany, Israel and the United States, among current and past government ministers, military officials, defense engineers and intelligence agents, no longer leaves any room for doubt: With the help of German maritime technology, Israel has managed to create for itself a floating nuclear weapon arsenal: submarines equipped with nuclear capability. . .

        ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to spiegel.de

      • ColinWright
        September 14, 2012, 3:38 am

        Dickerson says: “RE: “when challenged, you cannot even supply one example of an Israeli official even referring to the ‘Samson option’” ~ ColinWright

        MY REPLY: Since Israeli officials steadfastly refuse to even admit that they have nuclear weapons (i.e., they maintain “nuclear ambiguity”), they can’t very well refer to the ‘Samson option’ or make statements ‘threatening to unleash it’ (because to do so would be tantamount to admitting that they have nuclear weapons)…”

        My was that Sean said Israeli officials had referred to the ‘Samson option.’ No they haven’t. We went through several rather exasperating iterations of that.

        As to the utility of such an option, I outlined my views on that already. I think Israel hasn’t attempted to make such a threat for the excellent reason that it would be extremely stupid to make such a threat.

        Israel’s nuclear arsenal is a fine thing for her. It means she can annihilate anyone who physically attacks her and is within a couple of thousand kilometers. That’s nice — but it doesn’t solve all her problems, nor does it guarantee her continued existence. For one, if she ever actually employs it, while she may have converted her opponent into radioactive slag, she will almost certainly severely imperil her own survival and quite likely guarantee her own extinction. The world will not put up with an Israel that just nuked Cairo — and the world can quite easily turn Israel off.

        The basic limitation of ‘the Samson option’ is exactly that encountered by the original Samson.

        He died.

      • seanmcbride
        September 14, 2012, 9:27 am

        Colin,

        You *still* have no grasp of the basic concepts of the Samson Option and its full strategic implications and ramifications.

        No matter how many times I have pointed out to you that Israel possesses briefcase nukes, you (and American) keep assuming that Israel has the capability to deliver nuclear weapons only by conventional missiles, and only within a narrow local range. But the truth is that Israel has had the capability, probably for decades now, to deliver portable nukes to anywhere in the world, including all the major cities of the United States and Europe. You don’t seem to be able to wrap your mind around this fact.

        Also, the scenario works this way: Israel would exercise the Samson Option only if it were facing destruction and a second Holocaust. It is meant to serve as a deterrent — to prevent any parties in the world from eradicating Israel. And, of course, it is an exceedingly effective deterrent, for the same reason that the nuclear arsenals of the United States and Russia have prevented them from attacking one another under the MAD regime (Mutual Assured Destruction).

        Twice now I’ve pointed out to you that the highest Israeli official at the time, prime minister Golda Meir, let the cat out of the bag about the Samson Option back in 1971, but you keep pretending that you didn’t read the words that I know you read:

        Alan Hart interviewed Golda Meir for the BBC’s Panorama programme in April 1971 and asked her “Prime Minister … You are saying that if ever Israel was in danger of being defeated on the battlefield, it would be prepared to take the region and even the whole world down with it?”. Hart continues that, “without the shortest of pauses for reflection, and in the gravel voice that could charm or intimidate American Presidents according to need, Golda replied ‘Yes, that’s exactly what I am saying'”.

        link to wikispooks.com

        By the way: how do you think Israel and Mossad will go about handling people who are agitating to strangle Israel to death by economic means? One doubts that the response will be passive. If you give it some thought, and take into account the past behavior of Mossad, you should be able to figure it out.

        You need to think twice before gloating and licking your chops about the imagined destruction of Israel. You are not in the driver’s seat here.

  23. Walid
    September 2, 2012, 4:31 pm

    Doesn’t anyone ever see how American Jews have been going to and coming back from practically every Arab country without any problems? How is it that they have never been harrassed? In the last couple of years, Phil has been to Qatar, Jordan, the WB, Gaza and Egypt and he still has all his feathers. That should be enough to disprove Gordis’ concept about American Jews being an endangered religious group; if anything, Israel is still existing today thanks to American Jews and not the other way around as Gordis is saying. Arabs view American Jews simply as Americans, as Annie described them, unless they are going around waving the flag of Israel as some American Jewish politicians keep doing. The world doesn’t hate Jews, it hates Zionists.

    • MLE
      September 3, 2012, 9:47 am

      True true. I never had an issue in an Arab country because of my religion. I’m not very religious, but I also travelled with more observant Jewish friends and we never encountered trouble.

      • gamal
        September 8, 2012, 12:35 pm

        i seem to recall a fair amount of tremulous fear on Mr.Weiss’ behalf during his stay in Egypt, suggestions he keep his Jewish identity secret etc, despite the zionist hysteria you are quite unlikely to encounter even hostility much less danger in an Arab country because of religion, national citizenship and even gender, how many Americans are harassed? however ill mannered arrogant fools find trouble everywhere, which is quite natural isn’t it. I think its all that health and safety legislation Americans are very risk averse,
        and famously litigious, i think a lot of the anxiety Americans and Israelis experience is combination of guilt and a projection of their own aggression.

      • Philip Weiss
        September 8, 2012, 12:37 pm

        I frequently told people in Cairo that I am Jewish. A couple Egyptians warned me not to do so. One of them was at a funeral for Christians killed in sectarian violence. Many of those Christians said they felt unsafe in Egypt. I hope that this is no longer the case.

      • Walid
        September 8, 2012, 3:33 pm

        “I frequently told people in Cairo that I am Jewish. “(Phil)

        Phil, I always thought of you as an American, as probably did most Egyptians you met, I’m sure. Why was your religion brought into question? You were in Cairo the week of the riots the 20 Christians were killed, so it was natural for Christians to feel unsafe. And before that, you were in Cairo for the trip to break the siege of Gaza and you had more reason to feel unsafe then , but you didn’t. About what you’re hoping for, this past month or so, Christians are probably feeling more unsafe since their political leaders openly asked them (via a publication) to back the military against Morsi, a really stupid move considering the antipathy the brothers have always had for Christians. Morsi won against the military so the Christians have to be very worried.

      • gamal
        September 10, 2012, 12:24 pm

        Mr. Weiss everyone in Egypt feels unsafe, the State provokes inter-communal violence, which is rarely taken up however there are instances where the poor and indigent, mostly Sunni Fellahiin and descendants of such who migrated to the city. Just because native informants (sorry unfair but forgive me) tell you something you are not compelled to take them at their word, i know Jewish Americans and Europeans who wandered around the Fayyoum and delta alone very open about their origins and spent a good deal of time getting stoned and drinking beer at “weddings” with no show of even rudeness and one Pakistani i know of who was severely beaten our vicious police and security thugs for wearing a square beard and shalwar khamis, which has been adopted by some Islamists. In Egypt we are fearful and everyone will tell you to be careful, also we are no less self-serving than others. In Egypt the target of state repression is the majority population, obviously, this has many effects, but intercommunalism is not very strong, the British ruled for a mere 70 years, however the Egyptian masses are desperate frustrated their share of the social product has declined and the social spaces have been vandalised. but then ME populations are resistant and not easily cowed, but then the oligarchy are the same, liberation is the task of generations as the Palestinians used to say.

      • Philip Weiss
        September 10, 2012, 1:00 pm

        sectarian tensions seems to be an issue in many socieites. i dont think you can just blame leadership for these things. it seems to be in the human bosom and we need new codes to overcome it. arent people ever responsible for their own actions? I blame people I know for Zionism’s incursions
        i accept your report on the fayoum and delta. i was at the cathedral in northern cairo at a funeral during a very tense time. i was besieged by people who wanted to tell me they felt unsafe as christians

    • Chu
      September 4, 2012, 5:10 pm

      Gordis is stirring the pot of fear, as it may attract more followers. They obviously can’t sell the Israel concept of how great Israel is [democracy, etc], so people like Gordis restrategize that using the pathetic hobgoblin of Global Anti-Semitism will get his message out to the uninterested American Jews that could care about apartheid Israel.

  24. seafoid
    September 2, 2012, 5:06 pm

    american Jews who choose Israel over values assume that Israel can maintain the status quo indefinitely. The problem with that view is that Gaza is not stable. It is failing rapidly. It won’t have drinking water by 2020. This is deliberate.

    The Israeli Jews who run the Gaza concentration camp assume the people in Gaza will leave, but they won’t. Children are already dying. 2014 will see much worse news than 2012. 2016 will be worse again.

    And when Gazans start dying in bigger numbers the Gaza experiment
    will become known to the world. And moaning about the Holocaust won’t work.

    Because Gaza has the makings of the same dehumanisation

    • DICKERSON3870
      September 2, 2012, 9:07 pm

      RE: “american Jews who choose Israel over values assume that Israel can maintain the status quo indefinitely.” ~ seafoid

      FROM WIKIPEDIA [Narcissism]:

      (EXCERPTS) Narcissism is a term with a wide range of meanings, depending on whether it is used to describe a central concept of psychoanalytic theory, a mental illness, a social or cultural problem, or simply a personality trait. . .

      . . . Hotchkiss’ seven deadly sins of narcissism
      Hotchkiss identified what she called the seven deadly sins of narcissism:[6]
      • Magical thinking: Narcissists see themselves as perfect, using distortion and illusion known as magical thinking. They also use projection to dump shame onto others.
      • Arrogance: A narcissist who is feeling deflated may reinflate by diminishing, debasing, or degrading somebody else.
      • Entitlement: Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves special. Failure to comply is considered an attack on their superiority, and the perpetrator is considered an “awkward” or “difficult” person [or perhaps an "anti-Semite" ~ J.L.D.]. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic rage.
      • Exploitation: Can take many forms but always involves the exploitation of others without regard for their feelings or interests. Often the other is in a subservient position where resistance would be difficult or even impossible. Sometimes the subservience is not so much real as assumed.
      • Bad boundaries: Narcissists do not recognize that they have boundaries and that others are separate and are not extensions of themselves. Others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. Those who provide narcissistic supply to the narcissist are treated as if they are part of the narcissist and are expected to live up to those expectations. In the mind of a narcissist there is no boundary between self and other.
      [AND THREE OTHER "DEADLY SINS"]

      SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org

      • seanmcbride
        September 3, 2012, 10:26 am

        One could argue that a wide range of psychological disorders converge and become strangely entangled in the phenomenon of ethnic messianism (and I am referring to ethnic messianism as it periodically erupts among all ethnic groups):

        1. antisocial personality disorder
        2. Asperger’s
        3. authoritarianism
        4. bipolar disorder
        5. grandiosity
        6. homicidal mania
        7. hysteria
        8. infantilism
        9. martyrdom complex
        10. masochism
        11. megalomania
        12. messiah complex
        13. Munchausen syndrome
        14. narcissism
        15. neuroticism
        16. obsessive-compulsive disorder
        17. paranoia
        18. pathological lying
        19. persecution complex
        20. projection
        21. racism
        22. sadism
        23. Tourette’s
        24. xenophobia

        Friends don’t let friends drive on ethnic messianism! :)

    • Annie Robbins
      September 3, 2012, 12:13 am

      It won’t have drinking water by 2020. This is deliberate.

      we’ve published some articles here from thirsting for justice (sorry to lazy to link) so i know about the saltwater coming thru the taps there, and i read about the sewage..due to israel’s sadistic control of electricity that prevents the pumps from running. and read about children who have literally drowned in the sewage.

      nonetheless when a friend visited me from gaza recently, there were many firsts for her. first movie in a theatre, first hike.first musuem..many firsts. but it was those long showers and …..filling up a glass of drinking water from the tap anytime. this stays with me. and when we were alone and she took off her hijab and i saw her beautiful hair and waves of curls she said it was never like this at home. because of the water. she said her hair was soft here.

      since she left i think of her often but always when i am taking a shower. for as long as i want i stand there in clean water knowing she can’t in gaza. it is that kind of imposed cruelty that is so unfair. and she is the fairest of them all. if anyone deserves water it is her. so why not?

      israel, that’s why not.

      saltwater runs from their taps. when it runs that is.

      after the massacre one of the european countries tried to deliver a water purification system to gaza, israel made then turn around. the blockade you see.national security no doubt. israel’s national security demands my friends have bad water.

      • MRW
        September 4, 2012, 2:43 am

        wow.

      • American
        September 4, 2012, 4:17 pm

        Yea, wow.

    • Walid
      September 3, 2012, 2:04 am

      Sad video, seafoid.

    • Taxi
      September 4, 2012, 3:00 am

      “Because Gaza has the makings of the same dehumanisation”.

      Some people are slaughtered en mass by fire, others by gas and by water.

  25. Shingo
    September 2, 2012, 5:57 pm

    Anyone notice how Gordis makes no attempt to deny or justify Israel’s crimes? Nor does be suggest anything be done about it. No, Israel’s behavior should be unconditionally tolerated and enabled, even when it betrays Jewish values.

    And evens a pariah state, Israel is good for the Jews.

    This guy sounds just like Witty.

  26. radii
    September 2, 2012, 6:18 pm

    Gordis indicates how on-the-ropes zionism is in general – the fracture between cultural jews and religious jews is now discussed as central to all jews’ future (most of us here on Mondoweiss agree and think that we are trying to save all jews from a new round of general anti-jewish sentiment and movements by alienating and removing from power the crazies now in charge, i.e.; religious fundamentalists) … and because of assimilation over centuries and the internet and other means of distributing information it is Einstein’s version of Judaism that wins “a shared set of histories and cultural values” … the Haredim and jews that are super-religious don’t fit in the modern world where atheism is growing by leaps and bounds and humanitarian values are ignored or belittled in service to some tired, old superstitious tenets … the ultra-religious of all religions all over the world have been coddled and tolerated long enough – it is time for facts and science to start calling the shots and this religious hooey to be forced to the side

  27. American
    September 2, 2012, 6:29 pm

    This is the Israeli type of thing, just like the stupid humiliation of the Turkish Amb by summoning him to a meeting and making him sit in a child’s chair where he has to look up to the Jews sitting a level above him — that shows over and over and over again the petty, obnoxious character of these people. You know they know this is an insult to Muslims and there are other places they could hold their wine festival. They do it deliberately…. trash, just pure trash.

    OIC, Ankara warn Israel against using mosque as venue for wine festival

    3 September 2012, 01:18 (GMT+05:00)

    The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and a senior Turkish government official have warned Israel against organizing a wine festival in the courtyard of the historic Be’er Sheva Mosque which is scheduled for Sept. 5-6, Today’s Zaman reported.

    OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu strongly criticized Israel on Saturday over its plans to use the mosque as a venue for a wine festival to promote the products of Israeli winemakers.

    The Be’er Sheva Mosque was built during the Ottoman reign of the region and was turned into an Islamic museum on the orders of an Israeli high court in 2011.

    İhsanoğlu described the recent plan as a violation to be added to the crime of closing the mosque and preventing Muslims from praying there.

    “This violation is part of a series of ongoing attacks against Islamic sanctuaries and antiquities in Palestine aimed at obliterating and desecrating them, which is a deliberate provocation of Muslims in all parts of the world,” İhsanoğlu stated.

    The secretary-general, whose statement was posted on the website of the OIC, holds Israel fully responsible for the continuation of these attacks on sanctuaries and places of worship and calls the act a grave disregard for the principles of international law and norms which feed the atmosphere of tension and instability in the region.

    İhsanoğlu also called on the international community, rights organizations, UNESCO and the UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations to take action urgently to stop these attacks and to compel Israel to respect sanctuaries and places of worship.

    Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ also condemned the planned festival, calling it a provocation and disrespectful to Muslims.

    Speaking to reporters during a visit to Yozgat, Bozdağ said mosques are places of worship for Muslims. Disrespect for sacred places is a violation of human rights, Bozdağ further stated, calling on the Israel government to “stop this violation.”

    Religious Affairs Directorate President Mehmet Görmez also reacted negatively against the wine festival. “I would like to call on the Israeli government to act with reason and avoid such a disrespectful act against a house of worship that belongs to another religion.”

    Görmez said that in the globalizing world, people of different religions live together in the same communities in most countries of the world. “It is essential that the beliefs of minorities are respected for members of different cultures and civilizations to live together in peace.” He said overt signs of disrespect to symbols sacred to another religion were provocative and a threat to social peace.

    A group of civil society organizations representing Muslims in Israel will hold a demonstration on Sept. 5 to protest the festival.

  28. traintosiberia
    September 2, 2012, 6:41 pm

    Gordis wants to protect Israel to save American Jews.But he forgets that Tibetians and Basques are protected here without a country and so are the Kurds. Their protection along with Jews could be threatened from if US continues to sink deeper and deeper further and further into the economic morass, socio-political intolerance of diversity,and military jingoism .The minorities are the first target. Its the very humanitarian values he wants to disengage from, can protect Jewish and other . He should come out more strongly for a more humanitarian just legally correct domestic and foreign policy .But he is facing an existential crisis.To demand and work for that future , he has to support the dismantling of US-Israel one sided alliance . He cant do that. That will expose that faith in two opposing concepts ( that America should not be racist or unjust to the Jewish people but should if chooses be allowed to be racist and unjust to other races in the world i.e Palestine ) may be tolerated by the mind but never by the reality for too long. He is essentially asking that Jewish people can support Darfur,Mynamar,East Timorese and Tibetians and LGBT causes and liberty of human in general but should never bring that debate to the crisis Judaism and Israel are facing from its practices of Zionism . That incongruent attitude can only stay hidden only for so long.
    He is asking men and women to start believe that humanitarian values lose its relevance when israel is involved.

    • bilal a
      September 2, 2012, 7:56 pm

      Gordis is making a rather uncontroversial argument from a Muslim religious perspective as I understand it.

      Muslim women are not permitted by their religion to marry non Muslim men. Period. Why? Because Interfaith marriages dont contribute to a religious upbringign for the children.

      What then is so objectionable in the Gordis argument Jewish identity is not religious, as many of the founding zionists were atheists, as is allegedly netanyahu. So in Israel it is illegal for a Jew to marry a Christian but legal for him or her to marry an atheist Jew. It is a miscegnation law, pure racism, and of an ugly supremacist type.

      But religious prohibitions on interfaith marriage are praiseworthy if this means preserving relgious values and thnics intergenerationally. Or so would th enon-secuarists argue.

      PS Einstein as an exemplar of Jewish secular cultural achievement is wrong headed; he’s widely viewed as a fraud and plagiarist outside western circles where it is of course impermissible to dicuss.

      • traintosiberia
        September 2, 2012, 10:22 pm

        ” Young Jews today, discouraged by Israeli policies that they cannot abide, either explicitly —–Faced with a choice between loyalty to their humanitarian values or to their parents’ Zionism, they have chosen the former…. ”
        For this response is normal.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 3, 2012, 12:30 am

        Gordis is making a rather uncontroversial argument from a Muslim religious perspective

        judaism shares so much in common with islamism, doesn’t it?

      • Walid
        September 3, 2012, 2:32 am

        “Muslim women are not permitted by their religion to marry non Muslim men. Period.” (bilal a)

        This is so because for Muslims, the children take on the religion of the father so it’s an issue of preserving the numbers much more than one of upbringing. The other half of the story allows Muslim men to marry non-Muslim women provided they are Christians or Jews (People of the Book) and women from these 2 religions don’t have to convert to marry a Muslim. Muslims too are not immune from racism.

      • Mooser
        September 4, 2012, 12:58 pm

        “Muslim women are not permitted by their religion to marry non Muslim men. Period.”

        Well, bilal, old buddy, you can judge how successful that will be in the long run by how succesful it’s been with Jewish women and the prohibition against marrying Gentiles. C’mon bilal, you should know by now women do what they want. Thank God.

      • mudder
        September 3, 2012, 7:54 pm

        Einstein is no plagiarist nor fraud, unless you ask Stormfront. It is difficult to imagine any statement more indicative of the problems those who support the rights of Palestinians than this ridiculous anti-Semitic canard of Einstein’s supposed fraudulence. You do the Palestinian cause no help. We face long-odds. We don’t need your help.

      • bilal a
        September 3, 2012, 9:43 pm

        mudder I think u should apologize for the adhominem of pulling the anti semite card, einstein’s primacy is clearly controversial given the lastest research,ie:

        Olivier Darrigol (2004)

        In his 2004 article, “The Mystery of the Einstein-Poincaré Connection”, Darrigol wrote:[B 7]
        “By 1905 Poincaré’s and Einstein’s reflections on the electrodynamics of moving bodies led them to postulate the universal validity of the relativity principle, according to which the outcome of any conceivable experiment is independent of the inertial frame of reference in which it is performed. In particular, they both assumed that the velocity of light measured in different inertial frames was the same. They further argued that the space and time measured by observers belonging to different inertial systems were related to each other through the Lorentz transformations. They both recognized that the Maxwell-Lorentz equations of electrodynamics were left invariant by these transformations. They both required that every law of physics should be invariant under these transformations. They both gave the relativistic laws of motion. They both recognized that the relativity principle and the energy principle led to paradoxes when conjointly applied to radiation processes. On several points – namely, the relativity principle, the physical interpretation of Lorentz’s transformations (to first order), and the radiation paradoxes – Poincaré’s relevant publications antedated Einstein’s relativity paper of 1905 by at least five years, and his suggestions were radically new when they first appeared. On the remaining points, publication was nearly simultaneou
        [relativity priority dispute, wiki]

        Some researchers happen to agree with the more damning interpretation of plagiarism, because apparently all the mathematics was in place , Einstein was aware of this research, and then published his results without sufficient acknowledgement of the debt he owed to correspondence he had with Hilbert, Poincare, and others.

        But as you have demonstrated, it is impermissible to discuss this view in the West. Einstein denial.

      • Donald
        September 3, 2012, 10:32 pm

        You’re cherrypicking, bilal. I read Abraham Pais’s biography of Einstein decades ago and there’s nothing new about the fact that special relativity was in the air, so to speak, in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. But Einstein is the one who first fully understood it. Your source (link)
        is better than your tendentious summary. Whittaker was one of the first Einstein bashers, but none of his contemporaries took him seriously, in part because Einstein’s greatness as a physicist went well beyond special and general relativity. They started to see him as washed up when he refused to accept QM as a final theory, but even there modern physicists give him credit for pushing back hard against the Copenhagen interpretation, forcing people to try and understand what the equations were really saying.

        The same nonsense pops up with Darwin–usually it’s supposed to be Wallace he stole everything from (despite the proof of his own notebooks) but sometimes it is someone earlier.

      • mudder
        September 3, 2012, 11:00 pm

        Seriously, bilal? Where is the support? Wikipedia? You say that it is impermissible to discuss this view in the West. The support for your crazy view needs to be vetted in the proper academic channels.

      • MRW
        September 4, 2012, 1:39 am

        Check the Nobel Prize page. Einstein was to receive the Nobel for relativity in 1921 but there was an absolute uproar from European scientists who said he wasn’t deserving and that others had invented it, and that he failed to honor their contributions. The Nobel board was forced to put it off a year and find some reason (because it was already announced) that they could give Einstein a Nobel other than relativity. He got it in 1922, according to the Nobel site, “for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.”

        The theory of relativity was nowhere to be found.

        Someone eventually did get the Nobel for relativity but I’ve forgotten who.

        EDIT: the uproar was recorded in The London Times, available for free once through their archives. You’ll have to pay now to search and read their archives.

      • MRW
        September 4, 2012, 2:09 am

        These are a few of the scientists who complained, although there were complaints before the Nobel was awarded.

        Professor Reuterdahl accused Einstein of plagiarizing his work, as well as the work of others.

        “No unprejudiced person can deny that, in the absence of direct and incontrovertible proofs establishing his innocence, Einstein must, in view of the circumstantial evidence previously presented, stand convicted before the world as a plagiarist.”

        Einstein Charged with Plagiarism, New York American, (11 April 1921)
        A. Reuterdahl, “The Origin of Einsteinism”, The New York Times, (12 August 1923)
        link to select.nytimes.com

        Professor Westin charges Einstein with plagiarism:

        Westin protested to the Directorate of the Nobel Foundation against the reward of Einstein, thus:

        “From these facts the conclusion seems inevitable that Einstein cannot be regarded as a scientist of real note. He is not an honest investigator.”

        Reported in the New York Times, (12 April 1923).

        Professor See charges Einstein with plagiarism:

        “Professor See Attacks German Scientist…”, The New York Times, (13 April 1923).
        “Einstein a trickster?”, The San Francisco Journal, (27 May 1923).

        Nobel prize winner (physics) P. Lenard, E. Gehrcke, Paul Weyland, and other scientists accused Einstein of plagiarism.

        “In fact, one begins to doubt the justice of these claims and to wonder if the charges (of plagiarism made against Einstein) made by a fast growing group of German scientists who, like E. Gehrcke, P. Lenard, and Paul Weyland, hold that Einstein is both a plagiarist and a sophist, are not, after all, true.”

        J. T. Blankart, “Relativity or Interdependence”, Catholic World, Volume 112, (February, 1921)

        The Nobel prize winner (physics) and friend of Einstein, Max Born, had this to say:

        “Many of you may have looked up his paper ‘Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Körper’ in Annalen der Physik, vol. 17, p. 811, 1905, and you will have noticed some peculiarities. The striking point is that it contains not a single reference to previous literature. It gives you the impression of quite a new venture. But that is, of course, as I have tried to explain, not true.”

        Max Born, “Physics and Relativity”, Physics in my Generation. [Nobel Prize winner in 1954.]

        Professor Nordmann implicitly charges Einstein with plagiarism:

        “All this was maintained by Poincaré and others long before the time of Einstein, and one does injustice to truth in ascribing the discovery to him.”

        Charles Nordmann, Einstein et l’universe (1921).

      • RoHa
        September 4, 2012, 10:11 am

        “the uproar was recorded in The London Times, available for free once through their archives. You’ll have to pay now to search and read their archives.”

        You can’t. There is no such newspaper as The London Times.

      • bilal a
        September 4, 2012, 10:34 am

        donald, I think u r right that the near consensu in the West is pro Einstein on this issue, but it is a controversy. I actually never heard of it until I worked with some russian mathematicians who related that it was their view that Einstein was basically a self agrandizing publisher and interpreter of poincare and hilbert. MRW below relates some of the european doubts in the 1920s etc. But Mudder believes only storm front antisemites take this view and they should be shunned appropriately. And then why can’t we deny Einstein worship ? does it have to do with his ethnicity?

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 4, 2012, 11:19 am

        “You can’t. There is no such newspaper as The London Times.”

        Nonsense. I let my bird crap on that fishwrapper whenever I get the chance. Of course, they’re douchey enough to leave off the “London” part. No need to indulge them in the gross ignorance of basic naming conventions…

      • MHughes976
        September 4, 2012, 1:04 pm

        Reminiscent of the famous priority dispute between Newton and Leibniz. It would be quite surprising if, when research is tending in a certain direction, only one person came close to the right conclusion, though it is likely that one person will be the first to publish. Most complex theories have deep roots. Karl Popper published an article on Berkeley as a precursor of Mach and Einstein and Berkeley in the 1730s was drawing on speculations from the ancient world.
        I would have thought that in the 1920s Einstein had the appearance in the English-speaking world of a good member of the German academic community who had refused to endorse WW1. He had certainly stood out, for good or ill, against the tide which rushed academics on both sides to promote their countries’ war efforts.

      • MRW
        September 4, 2012, 1:32 pm

        RoHa,

        Woody Tanaka’s probably right. Is it The Times of London? (Or was The London Times just a naming convention my family adopted to distinguish it from the NYT?) Whatever. I scoured the archives when they were available for free for about a year before the fee kicked in, just reading stuff because it was available. I read the objections to Einstein’s Nobel announcement in 1921. One of my mentor’s in Manhattan taught theoretical physics at a Manhattan university and, coincidentally, he was Jewish. (Who isn’t in NYC?) He was a generation older than me. He was the one who first told me about Einstein, and in his typical Feynmanian prose said, “The phuck stole everybody else’s work, he sat in the patent office and ripped it off because he could read more languages than German.” He laughed, and told me not to believe 1/4 of what I hear. He was big on Preston (?) and some Italian guy, Poincaré, Lorentz, Whittaker, Dirac, Born, and Bohr.

      • Donald
        September 4, 2012, 4:59 pm

        ” I actually never heard of it until I worked with some russian mathematicians who related that it was their view that Einstein was basically a self agrandizing publisher and interpreter of poincare and hilbert.”

        Anyone even a little familiar with the history knows (it’s not some deep dark secret) that the equations of special relativity predate Einstein’s 1905 paper. Abraham Pais goes into it in some detail. Hell, they’re called the “Lorentz transformations”, not the Einstein transformations. The length contraction in Einstein’s theory is called the Fitzgerald contraction after the physicist who first proposed it. And Pais goes into where Poincare anticipated Einstein’s theory and where he did not.

        There’s usually this sort of thing whenever a great scientific or mathematical discovery is made–I mentioned Darwin and Wallace (and some bring in truly minor characters like Edward Blyth) and MHughes mentioned the idiotic fight over whether Leibniz or Newton invented calculus first. These sorts of ideas are usually in the air and several people have similar thoughts almost simultaneously. In Einstein’s case he wasn’t the first to develop the equations associated with the theory–his great contribution was in understanding the full implications–the others tended to think they were the consequence of electromagnetic interactions, or some effect of the ether, and not a new way of looking at space and time that was different from the Newtonian/Galilean approach. Poincare came closest, but he didn’t go all the way.

        So some of the objections RoHa mentioned from the time missed the point. Lorentz never did become a relativist and anyone who said Einstein’s theory was the same as Lorentz’s is showing that he doesn’t understand the difference.

        As for motives, some of this is the usual squabble over priorities (see above), but if there’s a Jewish angle I think it’s pretty likely it’s anti-semitism at work in some of the objections. We are talking about the first half of the twentieth century. The fact that false charges of anti-semitism are used to shut people up about Israel/Palestine doesn’t mean it wasn’t a real factor (an enormous one) back in the early part of the 20th century.

      • Donald
        September 4, 2012, 5:17 pm

        “So some of the objections RoHa mentioned from the time missed the point. ”
        Oops. I meant MRW, not RoHa.

      • ColinWright
        September 4, 2012, 5:32 pm

        “As for motives, some of this is the usual squabble over priorities (see above), but if there’s a Jewish angle I think it’s pretty likely it’s anti-semitism at work in some of the objections. “

        Yeah. Reading over the material, I was struck by the congruence between some of the sources and traditional reservoirs of anti-semitism.

        ‘Russian mathematicians’ for example. Russians are often anti-semites — and Stalin made a prolonged effort to dismiss Einstein and all his works. Their remarks might be valid — or they might simply reflect their willingness to repeat aspersions they continued to find congenial.

        Then the Times from the early twenties. It was right around then that the same paper praised ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ as a significant revelation that all should take seriously.

        Finally, there’s the sheer irrelevance of the charge. Why does it matter if Einstein was a fraud, and if so, to what extent? I refuse to let Einstein’s aura justify the behavior of other Jews if it’s good — why should I let it damn them if it’s bad? Is the concern of this forum the history of twentieth century physics?

      • RoHa
        September 4, 2012, 8:49 pm

        “Is it The Times of London?”

        No. It is The Times.

        All other newspapers with “Times” in their names (The Irish Times, The Straits Times, The Times of India, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, etc.) derive the name from The Times.

        The naming convention is that newspapers which are not The Times add something to the name to show that they are not the real one.

        But I’m sad to say that Woody’s description of it as “that fishwrapper” is all too fitting these days, for it fell into the hands of Murdoch some years ago. The days when one’s butler announced “There are some reporters here, sir, and a gentleman from The Times” are long gone. One has to send the whole lot round to the tradesmen’s entrance now.

      • piotr
        September 4, 2012, 9:56 pm

        Acceptance of Kepler laws was delayed by about 50 years because almost nobody understood how he derived them. His contemporary Galileo Galilei dismissed the idea of elliptic orbits.

        The full acceptance of general relativity theory, according to Wiki, also took about 50 years for somewhat similar reasons: proper understanding of the consequences of the ideas and the development of mathematical tools took time, including the electronic computers. And I did not see any suggestions that this is not Einstein general relativity theory.

        Einstein also invented special relativity theory as an axiomatic system, the equivalence of matter and energy and had many other contributions. And he was a contemporary of many great scientists who contributed ideas that Einstein used or refuted, while other were developing Einstein ideas and adding their own.

        It also seems that Einstein indeed failed to cite Poincare, and on that point there exists divergent opinions which are not hidden in any way.

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 5, 2012, 9:05 am

        The naming convention is that newspapers which are not The Times add something to the name to show that they are not the real one.”

        No, they don’t. First, The Times in Malta is also simply known as The Times. And they don’t add something to show that they are not the real one. They add something to show that they are not the London one. The London one was merely first.

        And the failure of the London papers to follow the convention that the most of the rest of the world does (The Times is not the only London paper to do this) is merely a relic of the time when the British Empire was a top world power.

      • RoHa
        September 5, 2012, 8:25 pm

        “First, The Times in Malta is also simply known as The Times. And they don’t add something to show that they are not the real one. They add something to show that they are not the London one.”

        If you want to replace “the real one” with “the London one”, that is fine. Actually, I don’t see anything about Malta in the banner of the Maltese newspaper, but the website adds “of Malta”. But there is nothing wrong with two distinct newspapers having the same name.

        And anyone who writes “The Times(London)” or “The Times of London” will get no argument from me. But to write The London Times is simply to get the name of the newspaper wrong.

        “The London one was merely first.”

        And therefore it is the others which need to distinguish themselves from the original London one, if they want to.

      • ColinWright
        September 10, 2012, 5:10 pm

        Roha says: ‘ “First, The Times in Malta is also simply known as The Times. And they don’t add something to show that they are not the real one. They add something to show that they are not the London one.”

        If you want to replace “the real one” with “the London one”, that is fine. Actually, I don’t see anything about Malta in the banner of the Maltese newspaper, but the website adds “of Malta”. But there is nothing wrong with two distinct newspapers having the same name.

        And anyone who writes “The Times(London)” or “The Times of London” will get no argument from me. But to write The London Times is simply to get the name of the newspaper wrong.

        “The London one was merely first.”

        And therefore it is the others which need to distinguish themselves from the original London one, if they want to.”

        Note that you ended your last sentence with a preposition.

      • RoHa
        September 11, 2012, 12:06 am

        And a preposition is a perfectly good thing to end a sentence with.

      • RoHa
        September 11, 2012, 12:13 am

        Mother: Choose a book for bedtime.

        Child takes totally unsuitable book from back of bookcase.

        Mother (horrified): What did you choose that book to be read to out of for?

        Locks book in cupboard.

        Child: What did you lock that book I chose to be read to out of up for?

      • sardelapasti
        September 6, 2012, 11:22 pm

        Bilal a:
        “Einstein as an exemplar of Jewish secular cultural achievement…”
        What immortal bullshit. How so, “Jewish”? Because some Nazionists claim him? All he did in physics, theoretical math etc was done as a human, a German from Ulm, a resident of Switzerland, etc… Didn’t busy himself with a pseudo-racial identity except until late in the War.
        Can’t you (and the Zionists) limit shitty religious-national “identity” games to at least people who do claim them?

      • piotr
        September 8, 2012, 1:05 pm

        Einstein never reject Judaism and was interested in issues of Palestine and was commenting on them. He was not supporting the creation of state of Israel and viewed Revisionist Zionists with horror. Indeed, he was “human first”, so Gordis would not approve.

      • ColinWright
        September 10, 2012, 5:16 pm

        ‘Bilal a:
        “Einstein as an exemplar of Jewish secular cultural achievement…”
        What immortal bullshit. How so, “Jewish”? Because some Nazionists claim him? All he did in physics, theoretical math etc was done as a human, a German from Ulm, a resident of Switzerland, etc… Didn’t busy himself with a pseudo-racial identity except until late in the War.
        Can’t you (and the Zionists) limit shitty religious-national “identity” games to at least people who do claim them?’

        Hear hear (I think). When I cast my minds over the human figures I have found admirable, it is not their Frenchness, or their Germanity, or their Americanhood, or their Turkishness that is what appeals to me per se — but their ability to evoke something wonderful about human nature itself.

  29. eGuard
    September 2, 2012, 7:20 pm

    To cheer us up: Harry Belafonte. Such a great artist, and always always saying the righteous words.

    We can enjoy Jamaica Farewell link to youtube.com
    and listen to a recent interview. link to newsroom.blogs.cnn.com

  30. ColinWright
    September 2, 2012, 7:33 pm

    At a guess, a good quarter of the world’s peoples could be defined as ‘stateless.’ It all just depends how one defines ‘people.’

    Mormons do not have a nation. Neither do Bretons. The Hmong don’t. Nor do the Amish. The Basques are SOL — and so are Eskimos. Catalans don’t have a nation. Nor do Uniate Ukrainians. Most people in Africa belong to tribes that don’t dominate the nation they lie in — and ditto for about a third of the peoples in Iran.

    If Israel disappeared, Jews would be…just like a lot of people.

    • Sibiriak
      September 3, 2012, 5:28 am

      Yes, groups not having their own “nation-states” is quite common.

      I would point out, though, that the Basques and Catalans , for example, do have a territory of their own and substantial autonomy in the Spanish state (and are still fighting for more).

      In Spain:

      The second article of the constitution recognizes the rights of “nationalities and regions” to self-government [...] Political power in Spain is organized as a central government with devolved power for 17 autonomous communities. These regional governments are responsible for the administration of schools, universities, health, social services, culture, urban and rural development and, in some cases, policing. There are also 2 autonomous cities.

      (Wikipedia)

      It would be interesting to know how many states recognize *collective* rights, privileges, or autonomy for subsets of their populations. Quite a few, I would imagine.

      Political structures deriving from ethno-cultural-centrism are on the rise in the world, not in decline.

      • ColinWright
        September 4, 2012, 3:14 am

        “…Political structures deriving from ethno-cultural-centrism are on the rise in the world, not in decline…”

        It would be more accurate to say they’re more on the rise in Europe than in the world. China is basically doing the reverse. India doesn’t seem too supportive. The often quite arbitrary boundaries imposed by colonialism only rarely change in Africa (the Sudan would be about the only inarguable example, although we could nitpick about Ethiopia and Eritrea, I suppose). When was the last time a nation either came into being or winked out in Latin America?

        I’ll also point out that as a principle, ‘political structures deriving from ethno-cultural-centrism’ tend to be a bloody proposition. The problem is that those who feel themselves to be a discrete group are usually jumbled up with others who are equally sure they’re part of some other group. As a consequence, tidying things up often produces horrendous casualties. The century or so it took to separate ‘Greeks’ from ‘Turks’ comes to mind — basically it took a hundred years of horrific slaughter and forcible dispossession to produce today’s neat divisions. India and Pakistan would be another example. Bosnia is a third.

        Sometimes, of course, national communities manage to go their separate ways reasonably politely: the Czechs and Slovaks would be an example. However, seeing such impulses as necessarily a good thing stumbles over the historical reality of what has usually happened when such ideas appear.

        Multi-ethnic, polyglot states are out of fashion now. But the Ottoman Empire actually worked quite well for quite a long time, and by the standards of the time, the Austro-Hungarian empire was really quite reasonable in its behavior. The EU could be seen as the same concept in embryo. Conversely, however you wish to label it, the cause of ethnic or racial nationalism has given us many of the most horrific slaughters of the last two hundred years. You could say it’s sort of like arming your five year old boy with an assault rifle. He’ll be happy enough — but will it actually end well?

        You could equally well argue that racial/ethnic/religious sentiments should be divorced from forms of political organizations rather than reinforced by them. There is the consideration that a whole lot of bloodshed would be avoided. As a child of my time, I tend to be emotionally averse to this idea — but that doesn’t mean it’s not valid.

      • Sibiriak
        September 5, 2012, 4:47 am

        “…Political structures deriving from ethno-cultural-centrism are on the rise in the world, not in decline…”

        It would be more accurate to say they’re more on the rise in Europe than in the world. China is basically doing the reverse. India doesn’t seem too supportive. The often quite arbitrary boundaries imposed by colonialism only rarely change in Africa (the Sudan would be about the only inarguable example, although we could nitpick about Ethiopia and Eritrea, I suppose). When was the last time a nation either came into being or winked out in Latin America?

        You misunderstood me. My phrase “political structures deriving from ethno-cultural-centrism ” by no means referred only or primarily to the creation of separate nation-states or alterations in state boundaries. I was including also all political arrangements which recognize some form of ethno-religio-cultural groups rights or considerations, rather than purely individual citizenship rights. Thus Spain’s system of autonomous regions would fit that definition, as would Lebanon’s political system.

        We see movements toward, or consolidation of, varied political arrangements based on ethno-religio-cultural considerations in Canada, Latin America (indigenous rights movements), China (Tibet, western regions), Russia (Chechnya), Israel/Palestine, the Philippines, across Africa, and so on.

        … ‘political structures deriving from ethno-cultural-centrism’ tend to be a bloody proposition.

        Yes and no. Political structures deriving from ethno-cultural-centrism can represent the solution to conflicts, as well as their cause.

    • Ali Anvari
      September 3, 2012, 10:53 pm

      “— and ditto for about a third of the peoples in Iran”

      80% of Iranians are Persians or Azeris, the successors to the
      Elamites to whom the land of Iran belonged at the dawn of time.

      A stateless people is someone like the Polish in 1910 whose
      homeland had been stolen, how can that possibly apply to
      30% of Iran?

      • RoHa
        September 4, 2012, 12:47 am

        Stateless people are people who do not have citizenship in any state.

        “A stateless people” would seem to be “a people” none of whose members are citizens of any state. Is there such “a people”?

      • Walid
        September 4, 2012, 1:28 am

        ““A stateless people” would seem to be “a people” none of whose members are citizens of any state. Is there such “a people”?”

        Unless you are only referring to Iran, there are 400,000 Palestinians currently living in Lebanon’s 12 refugee camps and until last year, about 250,000 Kurds living in Syria that had been declared aliens without civil rights since 1962. The Syrian government naturalized all of them earlier this year to keep them from joining the rebellion.

      • RoHa
        September 4, 2012, 10:01 am

        Do those 400,000 Palestinians, or the 250,000 Kurds, constitute “a people”?

        I can’t tell, because I don’t know what does constitute “a people”.

      • Hostage
        September 4, 2012, 10:34 am

        Do those 400,000 Palestinians, or the 250,000 Kurds, constitute “a people”? . . . I can’t tell, because I don’t know what does constitute “a people”.

        The 2004 International Court of Justice advisory opinion noted that the existence of the Palestinian people was no longer in issue. The Court noted that they had been the subjects of a sacred trust of civilization mentioned in Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations. It also cited the UN Partition Plan and the exchange of letters between Rabin and Arafat as examples of dispositive evidence.

        The Kurdish people were also the subjects of Article 22 of the Covenant and their right to self-determination was recognized by each of the signatories to the Treaty of Sèvres.

        The only question is whether or not they are fully represented in the government of the territory that they inhabit on a non-discriminatory basis. If not, then they are entitled to a state or states of their own, just like Kosovo, South Sudan, & etc.

      • ColinWright
        September 4, 2012, 4:00 pm

        Well, to relate the Kurds and the Palestinians to the general issue of nationalism, to what extent is their drive for ethnic statehood simply a reaction to the drive for ethnic statehood of those political entities incorporating them?

        Would the Kurds be so passionate about achieving a Kurdish state if the Turks themselves hadn’t formed a Turkish national state — one which implicitly rejected Kurdish identity? In this connection, it’s worth noting that ‘the Kurds’ have been around as an identifiable group for a good thousand years.

        Saladin was a Kurd. So what? As far as I know, it only became an issue when the states within which the Kurds lived started defining themselves in ethnic terms — ethnicities which weren’t Kurdish.

        The Jews like to claim ‘there were no Palestinians’ — and in a sense, they’re right. As long as Palestine was part of the non-national Ottoman empire, being Palestinian would have had nothing to do with political identity.

        After all, one can be homosexual, right-handed, into bird-watching — all kinds of things without feeling the need to express this identity via a state of one’s own. It is only when everyone else is doing it that one is forced to either accept some ethnic identity you don’t actually have or assert the need for a political identity of one’s own.

        It becomes a vicious circle: ethnic self-expression through political forms forcing ethnic self-expression through political forms on others — and since the ethnic groups in question are usually intermingled, intramural slaughter is usually the result.

        The coincidence between ethnic identity and political forms isn’t an eternal verity: right through the war of 1870, Prussia had Polish-speaking regiments, for example. It’s more of a revelation borne in on man in the nineteenth century…and it’s a revelation that has killed more people than anything perhaps Marxism.

        The state doesn’t have to express ethnic identity. For most of human history, it hasn’t. So why are we so attached to the notion that it has to now? It’s a thought that kills…

      • MHughes976
        September 4, 2012, 4:10 pm

        I must say that I share RoHa’s problem with understanding what ‘a people’ is. I see that some groups are victimised on various grounds but does that constitute them or make them what they really are? If discrimination ceased would they cease to be a people? Renan’s definition concerns shared idealism – heroes, triumphs etc. – but that seems to lack objectivity.

      • RoHa
        September 4, 2012, 9:23 pm

        “The 2004 International Court of Justice advisory opinion noted that the existence of the Palestinian people was no longer in issue. ”

        But are enough Palestinians stateless (in the sense of having no citizenship) to merit the title “a stateless people”?

        Likewise for the Kurds.

      • RoHa
        September 4, 2012, 9:30 pm

        “After all, one can be homosexual, right-handed, into bird-watching — all kinds of things without feeling the need to express this identity via a state of one’s own.”

        Are you denying right-handed, homosexual, bird watchers the right of self-determination? Anti-rhhbwite!

      • RoHa
        September 4, 2012, 9:31 pm

        “It’s a thought that kills…”

        Indeed.

      • Hostage
        September 5, 2012, 5:33 pm

        But are enough Palestinians stateless (in the sense of having no citizenship) to merit the title “a stateless people”?

        The self-determination norm simply says that they can determine their own political status. If the 32,000 people of the Most Serene Republic of San Marino are entitled to statehood and UN membership, then 9 million Palestinians living in the occupied territories and in the refugee camps could establish many such states.

      • RoHa
        September 5, 2012, 8:00 pm

        “then 9 million Palestinians living in the occupied territories and in the refugee camps could establish many such states.”

        Not arguing that. Just wondering whether enough of those 9 million Palestinians lack any citizenship for us to label the whole Palestinian people as “stateless”.

      • Hostage
        September 6, 2012, 1:08 am

        Not arguing that. Just wondering whether enough of those 9 million Palestinians lack any citizenship for us to label the whole Palestinian people as “stateless”

        It all depends upon what country you happen to be living in. Japan stopped considering Palestinians as stateless persons in October of 2007 when they started accepting the PA passport and Palestinian nationality, e.g. See Japan to recognize Palestinian nationality, KUNA, 10/5/2007 link to kuna.net.kw

        About 130 other countries have gone farther than that. They have formally recognized the occupied State of Palestine. You’re considered a refugee if you cannot obtain protection from your own state, but that doesn’t mean you’re stateless. That’s certainly the case when the majority of countries formally recognize your country of nationality, as registered with the UNRWA.

      • piotr
        September 4, 2012, 10:16 pm

        Persians are about 50% of Iranians. Azeris do not really have big tradition of independent state, what is the state of Azerbaijan was conquered by Russia from Persia and in Iran they seem to be quite happily Iranian.

        That said, I cannot see how one can connect Azeris or Persians to Elamites (ancient Elam is roughly the same as Khuzestan, the Arab speaking area).

      • Ali Anvari
        September 5, 2012, 11:02 am

        Piotr, your statistics don’t match the CIA world factbook, wikipedia etc. Iran is like 65% Persian, by which is meant “vanilla” Persian.

        Note that many other Iranian ethnicities are Persian related. For example Azeris (like 15%) are Turkish-speaking Persians. Most of Azerbaijan is still in Iran; The ex-Soviet-Republic-of Azerbaijan is the smaller part of Azerbaijan that the Russians “liberated” in 1813.

        Persian and related peoples are connected to ancient Elam because the populations merged after the Persian/Elamite pact in ancient times. The city of Elam still stands, though it is marked as “Ilam” on the maps now.

        The Arabs living in that area are descendants of the invaders of 650AD. The reason they are there at all is that Iranians don’t behave like Israelis. If they did, the majority would have called the Arab minority a “demographic threat” and slaughtered/expelled them hundreds of years ago.

      • Ali Anvari
        September 5, 2012, 11:25 am

        Wikipedia claims Soviet Azerbaijan is slightly larger. I stand corrected.

      • piotr
        September 8, 2012, 11:11 am

        I think that I remembered old statistics. Usually the trend is that people adopt the dominant language, so many Iranians of non-Farsi background speak Fars, so the percentage of Farsi speakers grows. I do not know if Iranians of Azeri nationality view themselves as Iranians, Persians who happen not to speak Farsi or opressed Azeris yearning for independence. But I never heard about any movement of the last kind (as opposed to Kurds and Beluchis).

  31. DICKERSON3870
    September 2, 2012, 7:35 pm

    RE: “Gordis . . . warns us that by placing humanitarian values over allegiance to the Jewish tribe, we are placing ourselves in danger–from the next round of Nazis. It is a repulsive and fear-filled argument: a blackmail.” ~ Weiss

    FROM THE FILM “MARGARET” (2011):
    “That’s always the Jewish* response!”

    * The character who spoke this line says later in the film that he meant “Zionist” instead of “Jewish”.

    Margaret 2011, R, 150 minutes
    After witnessing a fatal bus crash, teenager Margaret believes she inadvertently played a part in the tragedy. As she tries to deal with her feelings, Margaret becomes emotionally abusive to those around her — and to herself.
    Cast: Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, Matthew Broderick, Mark Ruffalo, Kieran Culkin, Matt Bush, Jean Reno, Allison Janney, Olivia Thirlby, Rosemarie DeWitt
    Director: Kenneth Lonergan
    Netfix formats: DVD and Blu-ray
    Netflix listing – link to dvd.netflix.com
    Internet Movie Database – link to imdb.com
    Official Margaret Movie Trailer [VIDEO, 02:19] – link to youtube.com

    P.S. THE POEM “MARGARET” – “Spring & Fall” [Margaret, Are You Grieving] , by Gerard Manley Hopkins

    Margaret, are you grieving
    Over Goldengrove unleaving?
    Leaves, like the things of man, you
    With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
    Ah! as the heart grows older
    It will come to such sights colder
    By & by, nor spare a sigh
    Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
    And yet you wíll weep & know why.
    Now no matter, child, the name:
    Sorrow’s springs are the same.

    SOURCE – link to allpoetry.com

  32. chauncey
    September 2, 2012, 7:46 pm

    “Without the State of Israel, the self-confidence and sense of belonging that American Jews now take for granted would quickly disappear….”

    That’s funny, I thought confidence and a sense of belonging came from having good parents and stuff, not from having a brutal occupier to call your own.

    • MRW
      September 2, 2012, 8:32 pm

      not from having a brutal occupier to call your own.

      Good line.

    • ColinWright
      September 3, 2012, 1:21 am

      chauncy says: ““Without the State of Israel, the self-confidence and sense of belonging that American Jews now take for granted would quickly disappear….”

      That’s funny, I thought confidence and a sense of belonging came from having good parents and stuff, not from having a brutal occupier to call your own.”

      Maybe the author thinks American Jews have really fragile egos.

  33. talknic
    September 2, 2012, 10:59 pm

    Judaism survived without Israel. Now Israel divides us more than any other issue in our history. Has it given us any more safety? Are we less persecuted? Are we free from the threat of antisemitism or another Holocaust?

  34. upsidedownism
    September 3, 2012, 4:43 am

    American Jews do not need the State of Israel for a “self-confidence and sense of belonging” any more than African American need the State of Liberia for “self-confidence and sense of belonging.”

    Furthermore, the policies of the State of Liberia have little on African Americans or any Americans.

    By contrast, with its current policies, the state of Israel has become a liability for American Jews in equal proportion to its status as a liability for all Americans, for the United States in general.

  35. Sheldonrichman
    September 3, 2012, 7:31 am

    “Without the State of Israel, the self-confidence and sense of belonging that American Jews now take for granted would quickly disappear….”

    This is exactly what the anti-Zionist Jews foretold. They knew that with the founding of Israel, allegiance to a secular political entity would become the defining characteristic of being “Jewish”–and on that day Judaism would cease to be a religion–that is, cease to be. We can’t say we weren’t warned.

    Would Judaism have given way to humanism had Israel never been founded? Will it do so if Israel were to become a secular democratic Palestine? In time I believe so. So what? What’s more important than justice, freedom, and the dignity of all human beings?

  36. Dan Crowther
    September 3, 2012, 9:25 am

    Look on the bright side, Phil – the O’s are only two back of the Yanks!

  37. dbroncos
    September 3, 2012, 9:59 am

    Gordis believes that Zionism and the Jewish State are here to stay, but Zionism is already in irreversible decline. It’s over. We’re now waiting to see how its demise will unfold, how long it will take, how much more violence and bloodshed it will involve, how many more lives it will claim, what I/P will look like when Zionism is officially done, and how peaceful coexistence and justice will shake out beween Jews and Palestinians in I/P.

    Zionists don’t seem to have another Oslo deception up their sleeve that will buy them another 20 years to do as they please, nor do they seem to think that disguising their intensions is neccessary any more. They have fallen back on what can be gained from pure Imperial power. We see American Zionists, like Gordis, retreating to thier institutional foxholes where they nuzzle in the protective bosom of AIPAC, Congress and the MSM. But those institutions won’t hold back indefinately the tides of history which have swept away fascist regimes in the past and which will do the same with Zionism.

    Gordis doesn’t appreciate what motivates young Jews who have already reached these conclusions and who are looking forward to a world without Zionism. They’re not people who believe that their “self-confidence and sense of belonging” is derived from Zionism or the State of Israel. For them Zionism is a liability not an asset.

  38. TomAmitaiUSA
    September 3, 2012, 10:28 am

    So, if Gays get their own nuclear armed state, will they be able to get married in America?

  39. seafoid
    September 3, 2012, 11:33 am

    American Jews who choose humanitarian values over Nazism are weak- that’s a headline from 1944. WTF is wrong with Zionism that humanitarian values are not even Jewish now ?

  40. rkthomas13
    September 3, 2012, 11:51 am

    This nostalgia for a deeper identity is acute among Jews, but no different in essence than that faced by all educated people. Religion whether Judaism, Christianity or Islam never was anything more than the feeble efforts of humans to find meaning in a world of atoms and the void. It will disappear in its historical forms as we no longer need it. But there is a deep tradition of western thought to which we can all belong, even if our ancestors were Chinese or Eskimos or Canaanites, which is embodied in science, literature and philosophy. Between Athens and Jerusalem, I choose Athens.

    • Mooser
      September 4, 2012, 1:03 pm

      “Between Athens and Jerusalem, I choose Athens.”

      So you would prefer an economy based on slavery? Nah, that won’t work, they probably both had slaves.

      • MHughes976
        September 4, 2012, 3:20 pm

        They were not entirely separate cultures. Plato’s influence on Alexandrian Jewish writing is clear enough from (say) The Wisdom of Solomon, though Jewish writers of that period preferred to claim a link with the Spartans, the only people for whom the Jews prayed as for brothers. Now there’s a sense of fraternity that’s lasted. Influence went the other way too.

      • Mooser
        September 5, 2012, 1:00 pm

        “Now there’s a sense of fraternity that’s lasted.”

        Ewww! C’mon, you know how it was back in ancient Greece.

  41. piotr
    September 3, 2012, 12:16 pm

    “With that, the Jews would become stateless like the Chechnyans, the Tibetans, or the Basques. They would tiptoe around the world once again,”

    The indignity! Being demoted to the status of ordinary people! That will not do. Gordis is entitled to his supremacist fantasies. Should the state of Israel be so entitled?

    The vision of Zionists like Gordis is that the lesser Jews of Exile should worship Israel and vicariously enjoy how it bestrides like colossus in its own backyard, demolishing villages — or not — on its sovereign whims etc. while the better Jews of Israel keep them in deep contempt as useful idiots.

    • ColinWright
      September 4, 2012, 1:10 pm

      piotr says “The vision of Zionists like Gordis is that the lesser Jews of Exile should worship Israel and vicariously enjoy how it bestrides like colossus in its own backyard, demolishing villages — or not — on its sovereign whims etc. while the better Jews of Israel keep them in deep contempt as useful idiots.”

      I’d only add that lots of gentiles get a kick out of watching it as well.

  42. MSeveral
    September 3, 2012, 12:24 pm

    Gordis is factually flat out wrong. The Jewish experience in the United States is abolutely unique in the history of Judiasm. Though my country has had its share of anti-Semitites, and had its share of shameful institutional discrimination against Jews, such as in private colleges and country clubs, there has never been government sanctioned discrimination against Jews. We have been treated as part of the larger American community from President Washington into our current time. And if our great and wonderful country does anything right, unlike any other country, it is that it absorbs multiple peoples into a united nation. This capacity is constantly on display, recently with the election of Obama, and this year with the acceptance of Romney’s Mormonism. Those who claim Judiasm and Jewish identity are on decline ignore the creative expressions that are being developed that promises a bright future for Jews in the United States. Amercian Jews are less and less concerned with the concerns of survival–anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, the creation of Israel, that so dominated the Gordis generation. Today, American Jews are developing new expressions of their identity and faith free of these concerns that do not involve connections to Israel. Judaism existed and thrived in the United States before Israel, and it can exist and thrive in the future without Israel.

    • Mooser
      September 4, 2012, 1:08 pm

      “This capacity is constantly on display, recently with the election of Obama, and this year with the acceptance of Romney’s Mormonism.”

      Sorry MSeveral, there is no comparison between the lack of an insane skin-color prejudice, and knowing that Romney belongs to a secretive cult, which demands allegiance in secret ceremonies and was started by a convicted fraudster, and promulgates the most ridiculous bilge as the “truth”.
      I don’t care what color Romney is, I am just reluctant to vote for a guy who embraces a religion which has killed on clerical orders in the US.

      • seanmcbride
        September 4, 2012, 2:51 pm

        Mooser,

        Mormonism appears to be one of the more bizarre cults out there (I finally got around to acquainting myself with its core beliefs.) Anyone who is capable of believing Mormon doctrine is capable of believing ANYTHING. And Mitt Romney is a very serious Mormon indeed — he takes the doctrine with utmost gravity.

        The analogy of skin color to Mormonism makes no sense at all — it is a false analogy.

      • piotr
        September 4, 2012, 8:16 pm

        Mormons seem to be a rather reasonable type of religious fanatics. Initially, they believed polygamy to be a duty of the faithful, until

        Conflict between Mormons and the U.S. government escalated to the point that in 1890, Congress disincorporated the LDS Church and seized all its assets. Soon thereafter, church president Wilford Woodruff issued a Manifesto that officially suspended the practice.

        Apparently, Our Lord and Saviour personally intervened to save the assets of the Church of Latter Day Saints by giving a fresh revelation to the church president. In the face of such a miracle, I do not understand the reasons for the scepticism of Sean.

        Concerning fraud accusation against Joseph Smith, they were connected to nationwide catastrophic failure in land prices and failure of 40% of American banks, so to save Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company the Almighty would have to provide substantial relief to economy that suffered a big depression, thus benefiting millions of undeserving gentiles. And who knows? Perhaps Jews fled Egypt also due to a financial failure, and all stuff about bad pharoah and the plagues is simply a coverup?

      • Mooser
        September 5, 2012, 1:04 pm

        “Anyone who is capable of believing Mormon doctrine is capable of believing ANYTHING. “

        Oh, that doesn’t bother me. I got some weird beliefs myself. You know what bothers me? The kind of Mormon who knows it’s not true, but uses its very absurdity to qualify suckers, to find out just how credulous they are, and where they can be led. And it’s full of those, and I think Mitt is one.

  43. bilal a
    September 3, 2012, 1:07 pm

    The problem with Israel is not Judaism, which was anti Zionist for decades before its creation. The problem lies in ethno-religious exclusion and supremacism for lack of a better word. Why can’t a one or two state solution allow the settlements to remain, and remain as distinct ethno religious communitiers, like the Amish in America, but on a larger scale. One of th obstacles to peace therefore is the totalitarian impulses of secularists who would never premit Orthodox Judaism self determination in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic Palestine. Religious Jews know they lose these rights in any peace settlement along liberal lines, which pushes them to resist any such agreement.

    And Gordis has a valid point, if cultural marxism directed at majoritarian christian culture in America has destroyed that cultures confidence and will to self determination, and as a byproduct also destroyed religious sensitibilities and identity in American Jews, then what is to hold American Jews as a community together ? Once Christian and Jewish elites co-assimilate into one big seinfeld larry david culture, then the orthodox jews and christians become the strange foreign others. Religious Judaism, with its separate Jewish religious identity, becomes an object of ridicule and scorn, the last victim of secular zionism’s crimes against humanity. Its already begun:

    Larry David acts (Orthodox) Jewish

    • talknic
      September 4, 2012, 3:45 am

      bilal a September 3, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      “The problem with Israel is not Judaism, which was anti Zionist for decades before its creation. The problem lies in ethno-religious exclusion and supremacism for lack of a better word …”

      “ethno-religious ” Zionism isn’t the religion, Judaism is. THE STATE OF ISRAEL … it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; Further reading — Deuteronomy 20:15

      “Why can’t a one or two state solution allow the settlements to remain, and remain as distinct ethno religious communitiers, like the Amish in America…”

      The Amish are US citizens in US territory. Illegal Israeli settlers are Israeli citizens OUTSIDE the territory of the State of Israel. Not a very good start. Furthermore what of the Palestinians dispossessed to enable these illegal settlers? Compensation? RoR? Why should they suffer the consequences of your one or two state notion? Who ought pay for their suffering? The perpetrators or the victims? Israel can’t afford to compensate the Palestinians going back 64 years. That’s why Israel demands a negotiated settlement to circumvent the law, the consequences of which would send Israel bankrupt for decades.

      ” One of th obstacles to peace therefore is the totalitarian impulses of secularists who would never premit Orthodox Judaism self determination in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic Palestine. “

      There is already a Jewish State, it’s called Israel. That’s where Israeli citizens belong. Not in Palestine.

      The Arab Declaration on the Invasion of Palestine : “The Governments of the Arab States emphasise, on this occasion, what they have already declared before the London Conference and the United Nations, that the only solution of the Palestine problem is the establishment of a unitary Palestinian State, in accordance with democratic principles, whereby its inhabitants will enjoy complete equality before the law, [and whereby] minorities will be assured of all the guarantees recognised in democratic constitutional countries, and [whereby] the holy places will be preserved and the right of access thereto guaranteed.”
      Compare
      LoN Mandate for Palestine : “Article 2 The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion.

      Article 4 An appropriate Jewish agency shall be recognised as a public body for the purpose of advising and co-operating with the Administration of Palestine in such economic, social and other matters as may affect the establishment of the Jewish national home and the interests of the Jewish population in Palestine, and, subject always to the control of the Administration, to assist and take part in the development of the country.

      Article 7 The Administration of Palestine shall be responsible for enacting a nationality law. There shall be included in this law provisions framed so as to facilitate the acquisition of Palestinian citizenship by Jews who take up their permanent residence in Palestine. ”

      The determination to have a separate Jewish State AND after having gotten a Jewish State the theft of Palestinian territory outside the State of Israel is “the problem”

      • bilal a
        September 4, 2012, 6:20 am

        talkmic , your moral argument is persuasive but Im not sure if it will appy anymore to Palistinians than it does now to the children of enslaved African Americans or ethnically cleansed native Americans. And some how I’d rather see the new Palistinian state annex the settlements then swap them away for junk territory. Jewish citizens of Palestine , why not ? Mandella and Tutu didnt expel all the europeans back to europe, and seize all their property. Why cant Palestine follow this example ?

      • talknic
        September 4, 2012, 7:56 am

        bilal a September 4, 2012 at 6:20 am

        “your moral argument is persuasive but Im not sure if it will appy anymore to Palistinians than it does now to the children of enslaved African Americans or ethnically cleansed native Americans …”

        Problem. Your analogy omits the fact that since at least 1945 the acquisition of territory by war has been outlawed. Israel is STILL acquiring territory by war, illegally annexing, illegally dispossessing Palestinians. Can you say the same of the US today?

        ” And some how I’d rather see the new Palistinian state annex the settlements ..”

        They’re already in Palestinian territory. One does not annex one’s own territory.

        “Jewish citizens of Palestine , why not ?

        Indeed, why not, however it would be for the Palestinian’s to determine who they want in their state.

        “Mandella and Tutu didnt expel all the europeans back to europe, and seize all their property. Why cant Palestine follow this example ?

        A) they were citizens of the country. B) Israelis are not citizens of Palestine. C) Did Israel follow this example?

      • piotr
        September 4, 2012, 9:29 am

        This is cited as “deepest hypocrisy”. Americans had their fun taking the land from Indians and Mexicans, and now they criticize Israeli who want to do the same.

      • RoHa
        September 4, 2012, 10:31 am

        But what is wrong with hypocrisy?

        And regardless of the answer to that question, American hypocrisy does not make Israeli actions right.

      • ColinWright
        September 4, 2012, 1:13 pm

        “This is cited as “deepest hypocrisy”. Americans had their fun taking the land from Indians and Mexicans, and now they criticize Israeli who want to do the same.”

        There’s a lot to be said about that, but in the end, the fact that I once stole a car does not mean I should watch in silence as a man rapes my neighbor.

      • piotr
        September 4, 2012, 7:13 pm

        To make it clear: I do not approve this particular “hypocrisy” argument. There should be some progress in the world, shouldn’t it? In particular, specifically because of atrocities of WWII, of which there were many, not just Jewish holocaust, a consensus emerged to outlaw many practices that until that time were OK, as talknic explained above.

      • piotr
        September 4, 2012, 8:31 pm

        bilal a: can you take some time and translate it into a mundane language like English: One of th obstacles to peace therefore is the totalitarian impulses of secularists who would never premit Orthodox Judaism self determination in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic Palestine. Religious Jews know they lose these rights in any peace settlement along liberal lines, which pushes them to resist any such agreement.

        What is this “self-determination of Orthodox Judaism” that can be lost? Are you suggesting that no peace solution is now conceivable that would not lead to secularists taking over the rule in one (or more) of the resulting states and thus increasing (or decreasing?) the number of cultures and ethnicities?

  44. Misterioso
    September 3, 2012, 4:30 pm

    Winds of change:

    Ha’aretz, 8 May 2009:
    According to a high official with Israel’s current coalition government, the Obama administration “no longer seems to see Israel as a ‘special’ or ‘extraordinary’ state in the Middle East, with which the U.S. must maintain a different dialogue than with other states. ‘The feeling is that the dialogue and coordination with the Arab states and with Europe is today no less important to the U.S. and perhaps more so than with Israel,’ the official said.”

    The bombshell briefing by senior military officers to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen in 2010: The team was dispatched by Commander General David Petraeus to brief the Pentagon on intelligence that Israeli intransigence in the peace process was jeopardizing American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and America was perceived as weak, ineffectual, and unable to stand up to Israel.

    Ha’aretz, January 13, 2012:
    “‘Israel is supposed to be working with us, not against us,’ ” Foreign Policy quoted an [American] intelligence officer as saying. ‘If they want to shed blood, it would help a lot if it was their blood and not ours. You know, they’re supposed to be a strategic asset. Well, guess what? There are a lot of people now, important people, who just don’t think that’s true.’”

    Ha’aretz, July 28, 2012:
    “Former U.S. officials say CIA considers Israel to be Mideast’s biggest spy threat”
    EXCERPT:
    “…despite statements from U.S. politicians trumpeting the friendship, U.S. national security officials consider Israel to be, at times, a frustrating ally and a genuine counterintelligence threat.

    “In addition to what the former U.S. officials described to AP as intrusions in homes in the past decade, Israel has been implicated in U.S. criminal espionage cases and disciplinary proceedings against CIA officers and blamed in the presumed death of an important spy in Syria for the CIA during the administration of President George W. Bush.

    “The CIA considers Israel its No. 1 counterintelligence threat in the agency’s Near East Division, the group that oversees spying across the Middle East, according to current and former officials.”

    link to ynetnews.com
    YNet News.com
    Sept. 3, 2012
    EXCERPT:
    “The United States has indirectly informed Iran, via two European nations, that it would not back an Israeli strike against the country’s nuclear facilities, as long as Tehran refrains from attacking American interests in the Persian Gulf, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday.”

    • piotr
      September 4, 2012, 9:39 am

      Perhaps a wind of change. However, this is also a constant mode of operation of Israeli liberals. In domestic discussion, they do not make appeals to their compatriots on the grounds of morality (sometimes they do, but usually they avoid not to be “naive” or outright futile) but they argue that “Israel will not get away with it”. And they are in the position of crying wolf for decades, while Israel manifestly does get away with it.

      The case of a possible attack on Iran is different than other, because it is not clear if USA would get away with it. American admiral’s warning that sanctions on Iran would crumble is probably supported by direct warnings from Russia and China and perhaps other countries too. And would Russia and China flip from ambigous posture to “oppose USA posture” with the support of a large part of nonaligned countries, we are talking about FUBAR.

      • Carowhat
        September 9, 2012, 4:04 am

        I don’t understand why some people (i.e. Romney) are so eager for a war with Iran when the biggest, most immediate, most deeply critical concern to Americans is our collapsing economy and declining standard of life. Doesn’t he know that war with Iran would put us in a 20 year depression from which we would probably never fully recover. Or if we did, it wouldn’t be as a superpower. Superpowers don’t have declining median incomes, a feral underclass, a shrinking middle class, dysfunctional education system, and declining national IQ.

  45. sardelapasti
    September 4, 2012, 1:53 am

    Weiss: “I concur somewhat with Gordis. Looking at my own life, I see that Diaspora Jewish identity is softening.”

    What the devil are you talking about? The only *Jewish identity is religious. Not more nor less than Catholic or Buddhist.
    If you are talking about some Ostjiddisch cultural “identity”, that is not shared with any other “Jewish” culture. Not only that, but these guys also almost finished killing their native language in the name of Zionism and became ur-American to the point that claiming some East-European identity would also seem to be approaching irrelevancy. Everything else you may call “Jewish” is either religious, like some celebrations, or openly Zionist, like Modern Hebrew. Not much to oppose a universal “identity” for the godless. Like… human being (=Mensch.)

  46. talknic
    September 4, 2012, 3:15 am

    Ha’aretz, July 28, 2012:
    “Former U.S. officials say CIA considers Israel to be Mideast’s biggest spy threat”

    UNSC res 476 June 30 1980″3. Reconfirms that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and also constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;

    • Theo
      September 4, 2012, 9:22 am

      “CIA considers Israel as the greatest spy threat…”

      Now, this could be remedid very easily!
      Just fire all double citizens and zionists working with the CIA, NSA, FBI, DoD, State Dept., the WH and other goverment agencies, also think-tanks supporting policy making in Washington.
      Investigate and forbid AIPAC, ADL and hundreds of other Israel first zionist organisations. All those who worked against the interests of the USA should be jailed, HS already have nice camps set up for such a case.
      Investigate all members of the congress for anti-american activities and jail those who are guilty.
      Deport all israeli citizens who are proven to be working for Israel.
      Impose compulsory visa on israelis coming to the USA.

      Voilá, in a few months we got read 90% of those quislings and double agents, the rest must be found by the FBI.

  47. seafoid
    September 4, 2012, 8:39 am

    Imagine the World organisation of gypsies threatening to go to war with hungary because of the fear of another holocaust. .
    That is how insane Israeli militarism is.

    • ColinWright
      September 5, 2012, 2:22 am

      seafoid says: “Imagine the World organisation of gypsies threatening to go to war with hungary because of the fear of another holocaust. ..”

      That would be relatively reasonable. There are a lot of gypsies in Hungary, they are often the targets of violence, and while I don’t think a holocaust is in the cards, such a claim would be considerably more justifiable than Israel’s claims that an Iranian bomb poses a real danger to her.

  48. Kathleen
    September 7, 2012, 11:29 am

    This delegitimizing Israel claim is bunk. Majority of folks focused on illegal settlements, wall built Palestinian land, bulldozing homes, olive trees etc etc. Get back to the 67 line or ONE PERSON ONE VOTE in one state

    • NCINA
      September 10, 2012, 3:55 am

      The 67 borders make Israel indefensible, the fence reduced terrorist attacks by 90%. All Israelis have the vote. One state is a pipe dream.

  49. Kathleen
    September 7, 2012, 11:30 am

    Phil your mom’s friend who moved to Israel so her kids would not marry non Jews sounds like a racist

  50. hophmi
    September 7, 2012, 1:19 pm

    “He’s saying that if you care about humanitarian universal values, you risk going to the ovens, because the world hates the Jews. When the fact is that Gordis’s human-rights-abusing Israel is endangering Jews, in Israel but also elsewhere in the world. I don’t understand why Tablet runs this kind of fear-mongering.”

    Maybe because a thousand years of Jewish history suggests that it’s true?

  51. yonah fredman
    September 8, 2012, 4:32 pm

    Phil writes: “I will certainly mourn it, but shrug and say that other traditional identities are also disappearing.”

    Forgive me if I give more credence to the shrug than to the mourn. When your grandparents died, did you mourn and say, all old people die? The shrug is a form of stepping away from the mourning. I will mourn for a moment, and then shrug, and place it in the perspective of New Guinea.

  52. Carowhat
    September 9, 2012, 3:46 am

    As Theodore Roosevelt once said, American doesn’t work if people don’t assimilate. And yet many of the people who post here seem to assume that assimilation is some unspeakable horror that Jews must avoid lest the bloodline be despoiled. Americans need to be able to trust one another. But when your neighbor’s primary loyalty is to a foreign power what basis is there for mutual trust?

    • ColinWright
      September 10, 2012, 3:23 pm

      Carowhat says: “… But when your neighbor’s primary loyalty is to a foreign power what basis is there for mutual trust?”

      Well, it’s more than that. At least some Italian-Americans back in the 1920’s used to take pride in Mussolini, and Britain was often politely upset about Irish-American support for the IRA.

      However, the US government certainly wasn’t officially involved in supporting either Mussolini or the IRA. What sentiments members of ethnic groups choose to have is largely their own affair.

      I certainly tend to think that American Jews can assimilate or not assimilate exactly as they please. For that matter, they can even ‘hug Israel’ — although I’d rather they didn’t.

      Where I draw the line — and where I see the important battle — is in addressing the matter of the United States, as a nation supporting Israel. To return to the earlier analogy, if some Italian-Americans had wanted to argue that Italy had a God-given right to Ethiopia, that would have been one thing. Had the US started helping Italy with its dwindling stocks of mustard gas, it would have been another.

  53. Hostage
    September 9, 2012, 11:39 pm

    As Theodore Roosevelt once said, American doesn’t work if people don’t assimilate.

    He should have told that to the Supreme Court then. They were still ruling that Mongoloid and non-White members of the Caucasian races were ineligible for naturalization in the 1920s and 30s. They said it was a matter of common knowledge that those persons were not assimilable by members of the White race. See Ian Lopez, White by Law: The Legal Construction of Race, NYU Press, 1997.

    I agree that dual loyalty is undesirable and that bigotry over intermarriage is unacceptable.

  54. ColinWright
    September 10, 2012, 3:09 pm

    Hostage says: “As Theodore Roosevelt once said, American doesn’t work if people don’t assimilate.

    He should have told that to the Supreme Court then. They were still ruling that Mongoloid and non-White members of the Caucasian races were ineligible for naturalization in the 1920s and 30s…”

    I imagine ol’ Theodore was thinking of the various White ethnic groups that had recently emigrated to America. I’m old enough to remember school texts that were full of heart-warming stories of Italians and things discovering baseball — back in Theodore’s day it didn’t necessarily have to have anything to do with Blacks or Asians.

    In fact, Roosevelt at least once made some speech denouncing contraception on the grounds that it amounted to committing ‘race suicide.’ His iconoclastic (and at least apparently sexually active) eldest daughter promptly started a ‘League for Race Suicide’ — devoted to exchanging information about means of contraception.

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