If only it was just one tweet: One activist’s experience in the ‘Our Land’ Facebook group

Four months ago, I was added to a Facebook group called “Our Land” much of which, when I finally looked at the content, immediately struck me as anti-Semitic in nature, so I complained to the person who had added me.

That person was Greta Berlin. The “Our Land” page currently has 13 administrators, including Greta, and is a combination of posts from legitimate sources such as Ma’an News Agency and Al Jazeera on current events in Palestine, along with anti-Semitic rants and comments. The video of anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist Eustace Mullins that Greta tweeted out on the Free Gaza Movement’s Twitter account on September 30 originated in this group.

mullinstweet

Some people have come to Greta’s defense, accepting her assertion that this was a technical mistake, that she did not support the content of the video, and that those who have criticized her response to the “mistake” are on a witch hunt. I’d like to acknowledge that the Free Gaza Movement was not synonymous with Greta Berlin; some of my good friends and people I deeply respect were leaders of that movement and their work and commitment should in no way be minimized by this.

Setting aside Greta’s woefully inadequate explanations for the tweet (of which there were several), the fact remains: Greta is an active administrator of a Facebook group that is full of unabashedly anti-Semitic rhetoric and has been called out before by activists for it but has never done anything to challenge or stop it. Since the controversy broke, the “Our Land” group has attempted to cover some of its tracks. The fact that Greta remains an active administrator of a Facebook group that accommodates this kind of bigotry raises serious issues about her commitment to building an anti-racist movement committed to justice and equality. Moreover, her unprincipled, vicious and Islamophobic attacks on the Palestinians who have called her to task for her behavior should alarm all of us who are committed to Palestine solidarity work.

While I am personally disappointed in Greta the stakes here are much higher than one person’s lack of judgement. This moment is a challenge to the Palestine solidarity movement and for us to define the movement we want to be, and the rhetoric and ideas we are willing to embrace. I hope by writing this, I can explain what led me to address these concerns, and what I hope we can all learn from the experience.

A History of Anti-Semitism

On July 11, 2012 I started poking around “Our Land”. I found this article, with a personalized introduction posted by Greta, about Zionist-Nazi collaboration:

greta5

At the time, the group had just begun, and it included a wide range of voices. While the issue of Zionist leaders having some level of coordination with the Nazi government is well-established, someone immediately took issue with the introduction, which did not come from the article itself but was added by Greta. Particularly, the idea that “The H” was “to a large degree created” by Zionists.

Here is part of the discussion that followed:

berlinfb1

Greta’s assertion that the introduction was not hers but was a comment her “Jewish friend” wrote could not be verified, as the comments on this article had been turned off by countercurrents.org due to “racism”. This excuse, however, once again reeks of the same rationale she used about the tweet: these aren’t her words, yet she still chooses to disseminate them, without qualification.

After I began to engage in the discussion, challenging the anti-Semitic claim that Jews orchestrated the Holocaust, I was immediately attacked by a prolific poster to the group: Joachim Martillo. He posted to the group often; his area of interest seemed to be the inherent viciousness and evilness of Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jews. When I challenged both his outrageous bigotry, and his penchant for posting pseudo-scientific rants on Facebook, this is what he said to me:

“Bekah Wolf is expressing the same sort of bigotry that Jews commonly express when they claim non-Jews can’t write about Jewish history or the Holocaust because they are not sufficiently in touch with the Jewish experience.[…]



For the record, I tend to comment here in the morning to get my mind working — sort of like calisthenics.



At one time I was trying to focus on becoming a scholar of modern Eastern European and Jewish historical political economics.



But it is really hard to obtain a university position if one does not write what rich Jewish donors want to read.


Then I moved into packet switching technology (cash flows in an economy are mathematically indistinguishable to packet flows in an Internet) and invented one of the key building blocks of the Internet.”

I then, in a private direct message to Greta, complained about him, and the group in general, for its content, questioning why she had added me to it in the first place. She had this to say:

July 11
Greta Berlin
I just posted this to the idiots ganging up on you in Our Land. I have not been online or I would have stopped it much sooner. …….Sorry Bekah, the page is not mine. I belong to it just like you do. And, for everyone else in here, Bekah has more cred in her little finger than many of you do in your entire body. She lives in Beit Ommar, a Palestinian village in the Hebron District where PSP is based and puts her feet where her mouth goes. She’s too modest to tell you these things, but she is an amazing women who works nonstop for the Palestinians…….

Greta Berlin
I was laughing at Joachim though. He has his good moments but his head is sometimes up his ass…ertions. And they have no idea who you are, so I just had to smack them a bit

What was shocking to me was the fact that she in no way addressed the issue I was bringing up: that Martillo was habitually making virulently and anti-Jewish postings in the group. And she just plain lied, she wasn’t just a member of the group, she was an administrator who had been added as one in June:

Berlin 2

Take a look at that list of administrators, by the way. Eight of the 12 besides Greta are the same people who signed a letter on her behalf as members of another “secret” Facebook group in which she claims she intended to post the Eustace Mullins video.

I left the group in July, but when I heard about the tweet she posted, and her claim that it was just a mistaken posting intended for a Facebook group, I was reminded of Our Land. On September 30, I requested to rejoin the group. Greta approved me within 15 minutes of my request, clearly still an active administrator. At the same time, I notified a couple of Palestine solidarity activists, including editors at The Electronic Intifada, about the existence of the group and my belief that it was probably involved. Sure enough, there, on Sept. 28, was the video posted by another of the administrators. This is the posting Ali Abunimah referred in his October 6 post on The Electronic Intifada, (“Greta Berlin’s statement is not correct“).

berlin4

Unabashed Anti-Semitism

As I looked through the posts of the group, my suspicions that anti-Zionism was consistently confused with overt anti-Semitism was confirmed. For example, another video posted on the same day as the one Greta tweeted was entitled: “The Holocaust Hoax.”

When one contributor posted an article with the introduction “we must never generalise about Jews and Zionist Jews” Joachim Martillo came back with this explanation of why we, in fact, should:

berlin3

This is the same man who Greta told me “had his good moments”. She also welcomed him back after he was banned from the forum for the week.

What needs to be understood and emphasized is that this kind of virulently racist material was common in the group, and, as far as I could see, never challenged by the administrators, including Greta.

A Guilty Mind?

After it became clear that The Electronic Intifada had gained access to the group, there was a belated attempt at a cover-up. On October 9th, several prominent members of Greta’s support network, along with the most racist contributor, deleted their Facebook pages, eliminating their previous posts to the group. When administrator Sam Siddiqui deleted her Facebook profile, she took with it a post in which another member of the group wrote that she did not support Greta because she too had confronted Greta about her anti-Semitic rhetoric on Facebook (in one example I saw, Greta blamed bad coverage of Israel/Palestine in the Economist on the fact that it is “50% owned by the Rothchilds.” Besides playing into tropes of Jews running the media, this is also factually inaccurate).

In addition, Joachim Martillo also deleted his Facebook profile, taking with it all traces of his previous posts.

What is perhaps even more disturbing is that while Greta refused to condemn these posts (let alone exercise her authority as an administrator to remove them and ban the contributors), she is totally unapologetic. When someone posted one of the articles in an Israeli newspaper about the tweet, she said about her detractors, “I find them hysterical. What they don’t seem to realize is that, like Gilad Atzmon, people are now buying the book. What morons.”

Greta Berlin continues to defend and openly participate in a Facebook group that posts videos exactly like the one she tweeted two weeks ago and reportedly finds “disgusting.” She is unapologetic about it now, and has been in every interaction I’ve had with her about it. I do not think that Greta is a Nazi-sympathizer, but I have seen her engage, accept, and encourage anti-Semitic rhetoric, and this is incredibly damaging to the Palestine solidarity movement. What she, and this group, represents is dangerous to our movement in solidarity with Palestinians: a complete disregard for the basic principles of anti-racism and anti-bigotry most of us hold dear.

Lessons Learned

Several people, particularly Palestinians in Palestine, have criticized the amount of attention Greta and her tweet have gotten. Some have criticized her for making this about her and drawing attention away from the people who are actually suffering. Others have criticized those in the movement who have tried to hold Greta accountable. What people seem to be missing, however, are two key reasons why we cannot tolerate this rhetoric in our movement.

First, as a movement based on universal principles of human rights, freedom, and dignity, we should not allow any bigotry, racism, Islamophobia or anti-Semitism in our midst. This was a point eloquently made in recent days in a statement signed by more than 100 Palestinian activists, academics and cultural workers.

Secondly, there are some utilitarian reasons why we should avoid this kind of rhetoric. Every time a Palestine solidarity activist takes on the issue of Holocaust and its connections to Zionism, every time they conflate Judaism with Zionism, they are making an inherently Zionist argument. The horrific historical reality of the Holocaust does not, and never can, trivialize or justify the dispossession and suffering of the Palestinian people. But Greta and others, by insisting on making such topics a primary concern are tacitly conceding a key Zionist claim that the legitimacy of Zionism and its past and present deeds in Palestine stems from the Holocaust.

As an anti-Zionist Jew who has been active in Palestine for 10 years, Greta Berlin’s statements and the content of “Our Land” not only offend me, but they have damaged my ability to combat Zionist rhetoric by claiming that I cannot be both religiously Jewish and anti-Zionist. Zionists routinely argue that to be Jewish is to be Zionist and the kind of rhetoric displayed on “Our Land” concedes this important point and supports this fundamental Zionist claim. In addition, this episode regarding Berlin’s tweet has damaged our movement as a whole and has shown deep short-sightedness by opening us up to attack and dismissal by Zionists who are desperately trying to paint us as a movement as anti-Semitic. Palestinians have not asked the solidarity movement to concern itself with notions of Jewish identity, authenticity, and the Holocaust, but to offer active and effective solidarity in restoring their rights in their country.

I am hopeful, however, because of the principled stances prominent members of our movement took against this offensive and misguided rhetoric. In my experience, a majority of Palestine solidarity activists are genuinely anti-Zionist and desire to combat a modern-day political movement, not an ancient religion or group of people. To paraphrase what a fantastic Palestinian activist once said, there were Jews in Palestine long before Zionism, and there will be Jews there long after Zionism as well.

About Bekah Wolf

Bekah Wolf has worked in Palestine since 2003. In 2006 she co-founded the Palestine Solidarity Project with her husband, former administrative detainee and current popular committee leader Mousa Abu Maria. She lived for 4 years in her husband's village of Beit Ommar, Hebron District and currently splits her time between the U.S. and Beit Ommar with her daughter Rafeef.
Posted in Activism, Israel/Palestine, US Politics

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

  1. MRW says:

    This is the ballgame, in my view:

    Palestinians have not asked the solidarity movement to concern itself with notions of Jewish identity, authenticity, and the Holocaust, but to offer active and effective solidarity in restoring their rights in their country.

    Secondarily:

    Zionists routinely argue that to be Jewish is to be Zionist and the kind of rhetoric displayed on “Our Land” concedes this important point and supports this fundamental Zionist claim.

    What an ugly turn of events.

  2. Dude, it took me like ten minutes to figure out the ‘the H’ is the Holocaust…(oy)

  3. seafoid says:

    “In addition, this episode regarding Berlin’s tweet has damaged our movement as a whole and has shown deep short-sightedness by opening us up to attack and dismissal by Zionists who are desperately trying to paint us as a movement as anti-Semitic”

    I wouldn’t worry about it TBH. The news coming out of Israel on a daily basis is so awful that no hasbara can control the narrative any longer.

    Moaning about antisemitism while real systematic evil is being done to real Palestinians in real time is not going to work. The Israelis know this.

    Lance Armstrong was the same. He was untouchable for years but ended up calling a former colleague a prostitute when she turned on him. Israel = Lance

    • pianoteacher says:

      Real systematic evil is being done to real Palestinians in real time.

      Well said Seafold.
      No amount of debate will ever undo the evils of the Holocaust, as it all happened decades ago. Many diverse groups I am sure share the blame, including the British royal family.

      However, evil is happening right now to the Palestinians and this is what be should be expending our energies on.

      • It’s incredible that none of the Greta fan club grasp that Palestinians themselves have ensured that there is no damage caused by this fiasco by forcefully and tenaciously speaking out against racism, anti-semitism and holocaust denial.

        Piano teacher, I respect and admire all the work that you have done and for your participating in breaking the siege on Gaza but I am bewildered by you and others that think like you that say we are making too much of a big deal out of “nothing.”

        Do you people not realize the scrutiny that our movement is subjected to? Do you not understand that this has nothing to do with bending over backwards to please “the lobby” but that the hard work that Ali and others have done to distance our cause from racists or apologists is actually what is the real thorn in the side of Zionists because they wished to discredit us via the actions of people like Greta?

        I don’t want to get into any philosophical questions about what truly makes an anti-semite, the fact is that Greta is responsible for this current sh*t storm and it is up to Palestinians (and others like Bekah) to clean up her mess. I understand that Greta has done good work in the past but that does not give her carte blanche to discredit our movement by associating our cause with unsavory characters online.

        At the end of the day you have to ask yourself/selves what is more important to you: loyalty to one person that has made repeated mistakes and repeatedly made Islamophobic comments or the bigger cause which is Palestine? No one is asking you to put Greta on trial or distance yourself from her as a person but stop these hysterics against Palestinians because we don’t want her representing us.

        • seafoid says:

          Fair enough Toivo but the situation is deteriorating so fast that this is a storm in a teacup. It reminds me of Christopher Caldwell in the FT saying that climategate had damaged the credibility of climate research forever. 10 months later 28% of US corn crops failed due to several weeks of 100 degree + temperatures and climate change was back on the agenda bigger than ever.

          Gaza will be unlivable in 2020. This is being orchestrated by ***s right now in Tel Aviv.

          Israel and Judaism are headed for the cliff and moaning about the Shoah isn’t going to make one iota of difference in the medium term.

          Perhaps Greta Berlin is an idiot but what difference does it make to the trajectory of Zionism?

          BTW there was at least one Zionist official in Romania who traded 15,000 Romanian Jews for a couple of passes to Palestine for the local Zionist bigwigs.

        • ToivoS says:

          Seafold wants us to know: Fair enough Toivo but the situation is deteriorating so fast that this is a storm in a teacup.

          I agree with you implicitly. In fact that is the reason I decided not to comment on this thread. But if my fans insist then here I am.

          The movement for Palestinian justice will continue, this minor set back (yes, a set back) will be soon forgotten. In fact some good will come from this. Nothing for me to say here because Annie has said it better.

        • >> but stop these hysterics against Palestinians because we don’t want her representing us.

          TodayInPalestine, I am sorry, but on what authority do you say this? Are you an elected Palestinian official? Is there an established constituency that has handed you their proxies? If so, please elaborate.

          Otherwise, your cause might be better served by policing what your actual elected representatives have to say about the holocaust, statements that pale in comparison to anything that Greta has ever said. To turn a phrase, prudence begins at home. -N49.

        • n49, actual elected representatives? you mean after israel gets to pick and choose who to torture, imprison, assassinate, set up..etc etc. in case you have not noticed. and i assume you know they target leaders in the non violent resistance movement. there is a grassroots movement of palestinians supported by over 130 palestinian civic groups. it’s called bds. many of the names of the leaders are on that list of signatories linked to numerous times during these threads. i have a hunch today in palestine is a little more plugged in than you might imagine. and you’re telling her that her time is better served by policing….elected leaders of palestine? she’d probably end up in jail or worse. what about being in solidarity with the non violent palestinian resistance group that’s got the reut institute all in a tizzy and israel scrambling in the knesset to outlaw supporter for? what about being in solidarity with a movement that resonates with the US not sending money to israel for arms. the people who started that movement have made a statement and request. how about us respecting that. if you think policing their elected officials would be more effective, you try it.

          also, i’ve noticed a dearth of palestinian names supporting greta. why is that? granted i am sure she has many many palestinian friends (and i very much respect lubna) but where are all the others coming out publicly? does that tell us anything? it might tell us they prioritize uniformity of a non racist message more than loyalty to a friend who screwed up.

        • NorthOfFortyNine,

          I won’t keep quiet about anything that is harmful to my cause. Which elected officials are you talking about? Do you think that the proxy Zionist Palestinian Authority represents me? Or Barack Drone Obama? It’s a shame, I didn’t follow the comments section here closely enough to realize how many non-Palestinians on this website are comfortable publicly telling Palestinians to shut up because they know what’s best. You just don’t get any of this on a very basic level: we Palestinians have the right to choose SELECTIVELY who represents us. We do not need to accept any “pro-Palestinian” voice into this movement simply because you guys want us to. Do you also go to African-American communities and enforce your opinions on them? Your privilege is that you think people (who happen to be white) can do or say whatever it is they want and that the we (the Palestinians) should be accepting and OK with any of that regardless of how damaging it is to our cause. Absolutely not. Which each comment that I read here I am more happy that this discussion is finally taking place and openly. We Palestinians are not desperate enough for “help” that we will take it from people who are careless (note that I still didn’t call Greta anti-semitic) or people that condescend to us. Finally, I have not seen anyone from the Greta Berlin fan club say one word about the “ayatollah” and “fatwa” comments. If Greta is not a racist then why the hell don’t one of you pull her aside and tell her that she keeps shoving her foot deep down her own throat?

        • Annie,

          Re: “n49, actual elected representatives? ”

          I was referring to the Hostage post here: link to mondoweiss.net

          “For whatever reasons, Palestinians are not flooding the internet or mailing lists with denunciations like those that have targeted Atzmon and Berlin.”

          And:

          “The hasbara fellowship talking points that go completely unanswered are invariably about official party statements or remarks made by major party leaders or cabinet ministers, including Abbas, Rantisi, Meshaal, and Nasrallah who’ve publicly claimed that the Holocaust was a myth invented by Jews or funded by Zionists and that the 6 million figure was a fantastic lie, e.g.”

          Read the entire post. Why is TodayInPalestine giving us the gears when her own elected leaders (eg Hamas) hold far, far more scandalous views? -N49.

        • @Today

          >>I won’t keep quiet about anything that is harmful to my cause.

          Not asking you to “keep quiet.”

          >> Which elected officials are you talking about?

          See below + sundry posts by Hostage. I didn’t know Hamas was a group of zionist stooges.

          >> We do not need to accept any “pro-Palestinian” voice into this movement simply because you guys want us to.

          As a human being I take exception when anyone smears another human being as being a bigot / anti-semite without evidence or justification. Slander is wrong. I don’t care who you are or where you’re from. Slander is wrong.

          >>Do you also go to African-American communities and enforce your opinions on them?

          I am not “enforcing my opinion”. I am voicing my opinion. Do you have a problem with that?

          >>Your privilege is that you think people (who happen to be white) can do or say whatever it is they want and that the we (the Palestinians) should be accepting and OK with any of that regardless of how damaging it is to our cause.

          Huh? How the hell do you know who I am or what color my skin is?

          >> If Greta is not a racist then why the hell don’t one of you pull her aside and tell her that she keeps shoving her foot deep down her own throat?

          I had no idea who Greta even was five days ago. I wouldn’t know her if she rear-ended my moped. Her only mistake as I see it is that she tweeted in the wrong place. Then the holier-than-thou crowd went ballistic and created this god-awful mess.

          If you think this furthers your cause you are mistaken. -N49

        • Hostage says:

          and you’re telling her that her time is better served by policing….elected leaders of palestine? she’d probably end up in jail or worse.

          Fair enough, but Ali Abunimah, et al could still get a 100 signatures from Palestinians who are living elsewhere.

        • @N49
          You may not be asking me to keep quiet but those in your camp (those that feel that Greta should face zero accountability) have not stopped attacking Palestinians for voicing their opinions. As far as Greta is concerned, I repeat: She tweeted something claiming Jews were responsible for the holocaust, when asked for clarification she said it was a mistake and meant to be posted in an on-going conversation about racism, that on-going conversation it turns never existed. After repeated requests for clarification were met with “I said it was a mistake and got posted here on accident” I think that the Palestinians are well within their rights to say, “mistake or not this woman’s answers are not adding up and we have the right to condemn her.”

        • AlGhorear says:

          In the statement, the signatories reject racism and for that I absolutely applaud them and agree. It reads:

          “We the undersigned, as Palestinians living in historic Palestine and the diaspora, in the spirit of past statements, and in light of recent controversies, write to reaffirm a key principle of our movement for freedom, justice, and equality: The struggle for our inalienable rights is one opposed to all forms of racism and bigotry, including, but not limited to, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Zionism, and other forms of bigotry directed at anyone, and in particular people of color and indigenous peoples everywhere.

          We oppose the cynical and baseless use of the term anti-Semitism as a tool for stifling criticism of Israel or opposition to Zionism, as this assumes simply because someone is Jewish, they support Zionism or the colonial and apartheid policies of the state of Israel – a false generalization.

          Our struggle is anchored in universal human rights and international law in opposition to military occupation, settler-colonialism, and apartheid, something people of conscience of all ethnicities, races, and religions can support.

          Finally, we call on people around the world to join us in a morally consistent stance that opposes racism and bigotry in all forms. An ethical struggle for justice and equal rights in any context entails zero tolerance for racial discrimination and racism anywhere.”

          But that’s only step one. The next is proving that Greta is a racist and I have not seen sufficient evidence of that yet. She has posted and linked to offensive material that she says was for purposes of discussion. I believe her and have no problem with that. But if others want to distance themselves from her because she communicates with racists and explores taboo subjects, that’s their prerogative and I can respect their decision. There may be something to what others have said about how leaders of a movement aren’t afforded the same level of intellectual freedom that us peons enjoy. But what I object to is being attacked and belittled for expressing my opinion that Greta is not a racist, based on her explanations, my personal experience with her and the opinions of many respected people who have known Greta for decades and insist she is not a racist.

          Despite what AA and TIP say here, the Palestinian community is not monolithic and other Palestinians have defended Greta, including Ramzy Baroud and Mazin Qumsiyeh. I’m sure others would have too if not for the stinging criticism leveled at anyone who dared question the wisdom of destroying a dedicated activist and taking down the whole Free Gaza Movement in the process. And I have to say I’m glad neither Seham or Ali was there when I was involved in non-violent direct action with the ISM in Qalquilya and Jenin, because they would probably have said I can join in the protests, but I better not open my mouth because I’m not Palestinian.

        • Hostage says:

          As far as Greta is concerned, I repeat: She tweeted something claiming Jews were responsible for the holocaust

          FYI, Herzl’s Der Judenstaat explained in no uncertain terms that he intended to harness antisemitism and use it to the advantage of his movement to establish the Jewish State.

          He claimed that Jews were an immiscible race and that they could never lead normal, fulfilling lives among Gentiles. He also said that antisemites would have an incentive to assist, because outward Jewish emigration would help end the Jewish problem while resulting in a windfall in the form of immovable Jewish assets.

          The Jewish Agency for Palestine formed a business partnership with the Third Reich to help establish their State on the basis of Herzl’s model. They didn’t inspire Hitler’s antisemitism or create the Holocaust, but they certainly did carry-out the stated objective of capitalizing on bad situations to further their state building efforts.

          The Zionist have always employed the Holocaust in their “safe haven” propaganda, while downplaying the role of key leaders of the Zionist Executive in discouraging efforts to raise money for the purpose of assisting in the resettlement of war refugees in countries other than Palestine. They didn’t collaborate with the Nazi extermination program, but they exhibited indifference to the dire consequences of their actions for many refugees. Most of the rank and file members of Zionist organizations knew nothing about that situation.

          Jews or Zionists were employed as trustees in the day-to-day administration of the concentration camps and some Zionist leaders were collaborators in the crimes committed against their own brethren. It would be just as racist to deny or trivialize those embarrassing facts as it would be to blame the majority of organized Zionists who knew nothing about the situation.

        • - What you call stinging criticism is actually just a reaction to the comments being made about “Palestinians on a witch hunt to get Greta.”

          - Personally, I don’t care what any individual thinks about anything at all, but if you run social media PUBLICLY to advocate for the Palestinian cause and then moronically tweet videos claiming that Jews are responsible for the holocaust then you should be ready for the backlash from anyone and everyone that gives a crap about the Palestinian cause.

          - Palestinians that want to clarify that the majority of us deplore the videos and that Greta’s explanations don’t sit well with us are not the enemies. Greta’s defenders have been from the beginning reacting as though Palestinians are to blame since this entire fiasco broke out. Now it seems that her fans are rewriting history of how this all got started while willfully ignoring what the facts are. Her explanation may resonate with you, but not for everyone and to expect that Palestinians not speak out against this is shocking. Anyone foolhardy enough to suggest that Palestinians are simply obeying their Zionist masters for demanding accountability can hardly be described as a friend of the Palestinians. I wonder how any of you would react if a group promoting equality and justice in the U.S. tweeted an article about Africans being responsible for slavery. Or an article that said blacks actually lynched themselves. I wonder if you would demand that African-Americans publicly defend the offenders the way you expect Palestinians to line up behind Greta when no real explanation has yet to be offered?

          - I am incredibly disappointed in the reactions from a lot of Mondoweiss readers, the fear that some of you have to confront anti-semitism (again, I have not called her that but I also did not see per Bekah’s post that she was very angered by it). Confronting anti-semitism does not weaken our fight against Zionism or apartheid Israel.

          - There’s a lot of racism (anti-Arab) in the responses from a lot of the folks here, it’s obvious that many don’t recognize it because I think I may be the only one that has repeatedly pointed it out but white people just have zero business telling people of color how to conduct their struggles and how to drive them. I’m sorry if this hurts your feelings but I am not attacking you as people, I am just saying, you have absolutely no right to tell us how to conduct our struggle and to make demands of who we expect accountability from.

          - Palestinians not happy with what Greta did and the explanations she offered are being condescended to and outright told they are ingrates and not deserving of solidarity if this is the attitude we will have. For me, as someone who identifies as a person of color I can’t help to see a lot of so called solidarity activists using their privilege (in most cases white) to tell the natives how to conduct themselves.

          - Anyone is welcome to join Palestinians in Palestine and stand in solidarity with them. Many Palestinians are very grateful for the assistance they get from internationals which allows them to do basic things like walk their children to school or harvest their olives, but doing those things does not allow you the privilege to chastise Palestinians when they don’t do what you want them to do. Nor does it give you the privilege to dictate what Palestinian resistance should or should not look like. Do not speak for us we have a voice and we are using it.

        • lyn117 says:

          I wonder how any of you would react if a group promoting equality and justice in the U.S. tweeted an article about Africans being responsible for slavery

          I’ve heard it said many times that Africans of the 18th & 19th century participated in the slave trade, selling other Africans to slave traders. Also, I’ve heard that slavery was a feature of the economic system in West Africa at the time. I personally think these are quite likely true, although I’m no historian. Not only that, some slaves had the position of “overseer” and kept the other slaves in line with as much brutality as any slave owner.

          Well that’s a lot different than “being responsible for slavery.” Nevertheless, the charge offends African Americans.

        • Cliff says:

          Exactly, N9.

          Palestinians aren’t flooding the Twitterverse or whatever else because they have real stuff to do. They are on the ground living ‘it’ and keyboard warriors like TIP are blowing up this Greta Berlin sideshow as if the Palestinians are the colonizers.

    • Chu says:

      But only a small group of cyclists were in on it over the last decade, where in Israel there has been 64 years to notice something is wrong.

      • seafoid says:

        It was the same intimidation, career destruction, thuggery and lies with Lance Armstrong as it has always been with the Zionists.

        Neither ideology could survive honestly.

    • pabelmont says:

      seafoid: I’m not worried that well-persuaded Zionists “dis” pro-Palestine people; they’ll do that anyway. The concern is fence-sitters, newbies, “independent voters” as it were, who can be misled. They can be misled by apparent anti-Semitism from our camp, and they can be misled by accusations of anti-Semitism from the opposite camp. While we must expect the latter, we should also seek to avoid it.

      Therefore if anyone concerned with Palestine has a hobby-horse for Holocaust research or even early Zionism research, [or has absolute proof that there were "only" 5.7M Jews killed, and not 6M as claimed] — they should get over it FAST or expect to be — rightly — ejected as a common danger, rather like someone with a communicable anti-biotic-resistant bacterial infection walking into a room crowded with his friends and coughing.

      Friends don’t infect friends.

    • AlGhorear says:

      I get what you’re saying Rachel_Roberts. I looked up thread for someone named TBH before realizing that Seafoid meant “to be honest” :).

  4. Roland says:

    So Joachim Martillo/Joachim Carlo Santos Martillo Ajami/Jomar/Jonathan Affleck/JayJay Affleck/ThorsProvoni/August Carthage is attacking Gilad Atzmon for not being antisemitic enough? Figures; he has a long history of such remarks. At least he is an equal opportunities hater; this is the man who once denounced Gandhi as “ignorant scum ” who “should have been hung by the British in the 20s. The world would have been a better place today for it” (link to groups.google.com). I can think of other people without whom the world might be a better place…

    • marc b. says:

      roland, there is much to critique in wolf’s analysis (which i’ll save for later since i don’t have time to read behind all the links right now) but i do find martillo to be a slimey, shady character, whose motivation is not entirely clear, to me at least. as you reference, his repeated use of multiple identities causes me to believe that his intent is not as stated, and his overall influence on ‘anti-zionist’ positions, if any, is negative. even more disconcerting is his wife’s apparent active influence in her local palestinian justice movements. his cartoonish website is suspicious as well. (does he still have the juvenile ‘judonia’ reference on his site? too much time spent watching the 3 stooges, and not enough history for martillo/provoni/streicher/etc.) but wolf’s chastizing berlin for not addressing her concerns about martillo’s comments? berlin defends wolf, refers to those critcizing her as ‘idiots’, polishes wolf’s credentials, disavows ownership of the ‘page’ and states that martillo has his head up his ass? so what exactly is missing?

      • LeaNder says:

        Joachim, problematic but he presents researched arguments. I think we are grown ups and capable of divining facts from fiction. We are presented with a mountain of Zionist fiction and have been for years.

        LOL! “researched argument”. Hi, Yani, (no?) what you call research is in fact reading in search of proof for his basic preconceptions.

        Strictly, I wondered if Joachim is the source of what feels like Greta’s inner disunity (disjointedness) that seems to surface in the quotes cited above.

        In the early times of MW Martillo tried to spin people into his yarn here. He’ll always finds people that consider his activities “research”, a failed scholar in search of his little fame on the web.

        Greta:

        He has his good moments but his head is sometimes up his ass…ertions.

        I wouldn’t go as far as that, but yes, he at least at one point mentioned an author and book I read since looked at closer it sounded interesting, but to find out he Martillo had squeezed him, as was to be expected, into his larger “Judonia tale”.

  5. Cliff says:

    Bekah Wolf, why are you so quick to abandon ship and cry end times?

    This hasn’t damaged the movement. Maybe liberal Zionists and a select few Jewish anti-Zionists, who seem to be more concerned about Jewish this and that than the plight of the Palestinians.

    In fact, its been a real eye-opener to see how much attention this story has gotten. Everyday Israel is stealing a little bit more of Historic Palestine and here we are bent out of shape about Greta Berlin.

    Gabriel Ash’s hysterical rant and smear as well as Ali Abunimah’s claptrap and frankly, outright lies (to save face and mitigate the PR damage) is just too funny.

    Congrats in legitimizing the Zionist standard that the mundane antisemitic droplet in an ocean of Israeli criminality is more important than a Palestinian life.

    I remember hearing something like this from Chomsky (who’d probably refuse to apply the same paradigm to ethnic nationalism like Israel-Palestine) but it was basically called the Mohawk Valley Formula. Except solidarity activists like Ali Abunimah are helping ‘the movement’ become subverted.

    I just don’t get the obsession with Jewish this and that. But when a Palestinian American and prominent figure in the struggle engages in this sideshow and CHARADE – it’s just confusing.

    I would like to see some analogs to this farce. Has there ever been another conflict where one group (Zionist Jews) were so thoroughly dominating another (Palestinian Arabs) and the intellectual community was still bogged down and brought to their knees regularly when the former was slighted?

    • I find it extremely condescending and just a little racist to assume that Palestinians are only doing this to please their Zionist masters (that’s what you are basically saying). Please, enough with this arrogant and condescending attitude from people who claim to support us. This is really not that hard to understand. There was a woman, she was not Palestinian, she is sketchy, we view that a threat to our movement, we want to make sure the world knows we don’t endorse or support her sketchy behavior. End of story. Not hard to understand.

      • Newclench says:

        Great post Beka.
        Today in Palestine is good to remind us that non-Palestinian supporters of Palestinian rights are NOT at the center of that struggle.
        And
        I wonder about that ‘vote/poll’ done a few days ago here, where something like 14 commenters posted in support of Greta vs. 4 who were against. Suggesting that despite all the evidence of Greta’s poor judgement, the comment section here is dominated (and dominated) by folks with similar poor judgement. Not that it’s personal, but I’m often struck by the viciousness of attacks on things I’ve said (well, not really – attacks are usually on me, regardless of what was said) only to find my sentiments echoed at the top from Phil and others.

        What a strange disconnect.

        • seafoid says:

          Even if some people have not got sufficient sensitivity around the semitism issue Clench do you honestly think Judaism is going to avoid driving over the cliff.? Do you think whatever Border policeman is torturing Palestinians right now in the Russian Compound is not far more important ? Do you think that this Greta Berlin story has Israel’s ass covered for the next 40 years?

          I don’t. I don’t . I’m sorry

        • Mooser says:

          “but I’m often struck by the viciousness of attacks on things I’ve said (well, not really – attacks are usually on me, regardless of what was said) only to find my sentiments echoed at the top from Phil and others.”

          That’s because you’re so smart, Newclench. Us ordinary dumb bunnies in the comment section may not get you, but you and “Phil and others” are sympatico. I bet you’re at least 15 points smarter than an ordinary commenter, or like a Yogi, smarter than the average beer.

        • American says:

          Clench…

          You’re off….the poll wasn’t on “poor judgement” by Greta. 99% agreed it was poor judgement.
          She been declared an anti semite….14 people either said they knew her and didn’t belive it or said there wasn’t enough evidence to say without doubt she was an anti semite.
          Big difference in that and what you said.

        • Shlomo says:

          Palestinians may be the momentary focus, but the fight is not just for them. It’s a universal one, for all people to be free of occupation and oppression.

          Also, Palestinians can’t free themselves alone. If they could, they would have. Long ago.

          So while it’s important to heed their input and interests, it’s also important to not arrogantly treat supporters like piffle.

          What if, for example, supporters look at how Greta is being treated (along with Wright) and say, “Eff this! I’ve got better things to do than waste my time fighting for causes and people who’ll toss me under the bus as soon as a hasbarist snaps his/her finger.”?

          When hardworking, committed, proven activist get tossed (for being, what: imperfect? Human?), the response from less hardworking-committed-active folks is this: “Turn on the TV and pass the nachos! Let them thar Palestinians diddle their own doodles from now on!”

          It’s bad enough, but at least expected, when enemies attack. It’s killer, literally, when supposed friends do (“Et, tu, Brute?”).

          It’s like a key scene in the movie BRAVEHEART. Scottish rebel Wallace is about to reach his English nemesis, Longshanks, to kill him. Suddenly, someone comes out-of-the-blue and unhorses Wallace. The latter gets up, ready to fight THAT person (enraged at being blocked from reaching Longshanks)…only to see the person that blocked him is…his friend.

          The fight literally goes out of him.

          So what, pray tell, are we “little folk” to learn from seeing two major players on Team Free Gaza booted off team by mere rumors?

          Them nachos’d prolly go pretty good with a beer or three right ’bout now….

        • “What if, for example, supporters look at how Greta is being treated (along with Wright) and say, “Eff this! I’ve got better things to do than waste my time fighting for causes and people who’ll toss me under the bus as soon as a hasbarist snaps his/her finger.”?”

          If internationals can’t accept criticism and accountability from Palestinians that they claim to be advocating for then they truly don’t have a place in our movement. And again, it is absolutely condescending and racist to assume that Palestinians took a position against Greta because they are being manipulated by Zionists. The fact that you can’t understand how frustrating the Palestinian reaction has been to Zionists speaks volumes about your understanding of how hasbarists work.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Today in Palestine,

          You and people who share your views have just managed to turn off on the Palestinian cause many Americans and Europeans who place the highest value on free and controversial speech. Many of us have no interest in expressing “solidarity” with you or your narrow and politically correct value system.

          It is important for you to understand that Palestinian activism and nationalism occupy a very low position on American and European lists of political and cultural priorities. Most Americans and Europeans that are involved in Mideast discussions are focused on the American and European interest respectively. They *do* care about universal human rights, and strongly oppose (as I do) the mistreatment of Palestianians and all other groups, but you would be making a great mistake to try to impose your brand of political purity on them. They will just shrug you off or emphatically tell you take a hike. And there is not the slightest chance that Palestinians will make any political headway in the West without the support of these people.

          Is this an ugly situation from the Palestinian standpoint? No doubt. But it’s the way things are. Palestinian nationalism is going to run into most of the same problems that Jewish nationalism has encountered during recent decades — most members of modern Western democratic societies are annoyed by ethnocentric and ethnic nationalist politics. We have expended a great deal of effort and energy in trying to get beyond that stage of political development.

          Many Americans and Europeans would love to wash their hands of Mideast ethnic and religious conflicts altogether — the Abrahamic Theater of the Absurd in that neck of the woods has devoured much too much of our attention and resources.

          You wrote:

          If internationals can’t accept criticism and accountability from Palestinians that they claim to be advocating for then they truly don’t have a place in our movement.

          That’s your call: “internationals” have no place in your movement. Cool. See how that works out for you.

        • Sean,

          That’s fine with me and a lot of other Palestinians. We are not looking for support from people with gargantuan egos who are unwilling to listen to what we say and from people who think they know better what direction our movement should move in. We certainly don’t want the direction of our movement dictated by anyone especially from Westerners. Internationals are welcome to join us but they can’t be at the forefront of our cause and they must know when to take a backseat to any general Palestinian consensus. This is not your movement, I repeat: this is not your movement. You are not under occupation, you are not dying in the tens of thousands and your homes are not being bulldozed, your children are not being arrested at 3am and dragged to Israeli dungeons where they are tortured and interrogated. You have zero right to dictate to us what our positions should or should not be. Just like I have no right to tell any other people how they should conduct themselves. If you think you are going to make me feel bad by telling me that I am losing support from people who don’t like my “narrow views” you are sadly mistaken, it’s high time that people that aren’t invested in this cause for the RIGHT reasons high tail it out of our movement and find another hobby. I am OK with zero support from the West, I don’t think that Palestine will be liberated tomorrow or the day after and I think right now we are witnessing a revival and renewal in Palestinian activism. I do not think that the fate of Palestinians is tied to whether we have support from the West or not AT ALL. When Hezbollah managed to rid itself of Israeli occupation not once but twice it did so without the support and solidarity of Westerners, and they were very successful.

        • seafoid says:

          “It is important for you to understand that Palestinian activism and nationalism occupy a very low position on American and European lists of political and cultural priorities”

          Maybe that’s true for Eretz Amrika but it doesn’t stack up for Europe.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Today in Palestine,

          I am not certain about this, but I wonder about this: I think that without the support for Palestinians of a critical mass of Americans and Europeans, Israel is going to get away with inflicting a second Nakba on the Palestinians that will be much more severe than any crimes that have occurred to date. You may be underestimating what horrifying deeds Israel and American neoconservatives and Christian Zionists are capable of committing.

          Americans have been heavily propagandized by the mainstream media to view Arabs and Muslims as being demonic savages unworthy of sympathy or mercy. Israel possesses a large arsenal of WMDs of all types. Both major American political parties continue to grovel before AIPAC. As the saying goes, you do the math.

          That will be my semi-prophecy for the day. Call it a not improbable scenario. In my opinion, Palestinians can’t afford to alienate Western opinion elites, most of whom are already extremely tired of Mideast ethnic and religious conflicts and who would love to move on to other more pressing issues and topics.

        • Dan Crowther says:

          When Hezbollah managed to rid itself of Israeli occupation not once but twice it did so without the support and solidarity of Westerners, and they were very successful.

          You think armed conflict is a good idea in this case?

        • AlGhorear says:

          @Today in Palestine

          Tell that to the families of Tom Hurndall, Furquan Durgan and Rachel Corrie, who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

          Fortunately, your attitude isn’t shared by the Palestinian activists I met in the West Bank, who expressed nothing but gratitude to have the support of the internationals and welcomed us into their communities and homes. Those are the people I’ll remember as I continue to engage in Palestine solidarity work.

        • Danaa says:

          Today in Palestine, with all due sympathy – the palestinians may need some friends and support out there. Israel – and behind it the US with its subservient foreign policy are too powerful.

          If all you have is a rag-tag assortment of international activists with their PC liberalism and universality-hugging speech toiling in the trenches next to you, the prognosis is not good given what’s to come. Palestine – and palestinians – have no real friend among the powerful – if they did there would already be a Palestinian state. Ultimately, to prevent the full scale ethnic cleansing that’s being prepared for them, including the ongoing the herding into batustans, there needs to be some change in the political paradigm.

          On that I see only two possibilities in the near future: (1) garnering the attention of non-Jewish majorities in the West as a fight worth supporting, therefore changing the direction of their own government’s policies, or (2) following a new model based on entirely indigenous Arab/ME support a la Hezbollah or even Hamas. Note that hezbollah had several big advantages that accounted for their wider success – the support of other powerful countries – like Iran – not being the least of them. A tendency towards pragmatism in politics in full cognition of internal lebanese politics is another. But most significantly, it’s through and through COMMITMENT by leadership and people alike that played and still plays a key role in them not descending to the internal power battles so typical of revolutionary movements. One cannot get this kind of commitment from outsiders, no matter how well meaning.

          I don’t want to side-track into the question of hamas, which is the equivalent of Hezbollah like movement among Palestinians. Suffice it to say that hamas simply did not and does not have the same power base as Hezbollah and/or freedom to act independently – being under occupation and all, and israelis being so ruthless. So attempts at hezbollah-like model will simply be squashed at their inception – look at how israel has “contained” the “Hamas-problem”.

          But back to my two options above – the only other hope for palestinians is that much larger numbers of people in the West will lean to their cause, putting pressure on their governments. but since these majorities will not be jewish, the principal tactic to be used by the bad guys will be the anti-semitic accusation weapon. Apparently it’s being used right now to help fracture the liberal groups from within. I have no doubt that the Israeli PTB + zionist friends are taking good notes of what’s going on in comment boards and movement boards right now. In fact, I think I can guess the next moves.

          here is a thought – has anyone notes the similarity in tactics and timing between that Mullen video popping up and the “Innocence of muslims” ? both materialized kind of out of the blue, and with little warning “exploded” on the scene. Both have murky origins. The ‘scenes” and the target audience may be different but the way this is playing out – pitting people against each other, the diversionary – and inflammatory – nature of it – make me think of poison pills for some reason.

          Sean, you like patterns. Do you see something here or am I too tuned to coincidences?

        • seanmcbride says:

          Danaa,

          Every thought in your above comment has crossed my mind. And let me say that you are one of the few real strategic thinkers about these issues I have encountered in the Great Mideast Debates — you’re always calculating the interplay of the buried inferences in situations at least a few moves ahead.

          I happen to think that the Israelis and neoconservatives are exceptionally good at playing long games — on some level I respect them for their planning ability and mental strength, even while they are infuriating me. Most of their opponents don’t have a clue — and that is why those opponents (including us) are being rolled over and crushed on a consistent basis. I hate being on the losing side of anything, but sometimes you really have to stand up for what’s right even though you are facing almost certain defeat at the hands of a superior (and more ruthless) force.

        • ritzl says:

          @Today I disagree with about 60% of what you say here, but you sure are getting out in front of this. AKA Leading. Keep it up! Sincerely.

        • “Tell that to the families of Tom Hurndall, Furquan Durgan and Rachel Corrie, who paid the ultimate sacrifice.”

          It’s a crime that those honorable martyrs died, their courage will never be forgotten by any Palestinian. I’m not sure why you bring them up though as this does not change what I originally said about internationals not being the ones dying in the 10s of 1000s, getting their homes bulldozed and their children kidnapped and tortured in Israeli interrogation centers. Please, spare the knee jerk emotional responses and lets stick to the facts.

          “Fortunately, your attitude isn’t shared by the Palestinian activists I met in the West Bank, who expressed nothing but gratitude to have the support of the internationals and welcomed us into their communities and homes. Those are the people I’ll remember as I continue to engage in Palestine solidarity work.”

          I never said Palestinians weren’t/aren’t grateful, let me repeat: internationals do not have any right to dictate our movement to us.

        • Rusty Pipes says:

          Danaa, re: your thought:

          here is a thought – has anyone notes the similarity in tactics and timing between that Mullen video popping up and the “Innocence of muslims” ? both materialized kind of out of the blue, and with little warning “exploded” on the scene. Both have murky origins. The ‘scenes” and the target audience may be different but the way this is playing out – pitting people against each other, the diversionary – and inflammatory – nature of it – make me think of poison pills for some reason.

          Sean, you like patterns. Do you see something here or am I too tuned to coincidences?

          It is theoretically possible that GOI has been planting misleading links for activists or hacking/hijacking or other cybersabotage of leading activists. But that is too much on the level of speculation. However, it is evident that leading activists’ online activity is closely monitored by GOI agents. Greta Berlin’s mis-post was picked up immediately by hasbarists and quickly spun out of control. This targeting of the communications by leaders of “delegitimizing” organizations is nothing new. A recent example that comes to my mind is before the Presbyterian GA, the tweets and links of one of the IPMN spokespeople were taken out of context, distorted and used to smear Presbyterian activists who were supporting divestment.

          And Sean, “respect” is not a term I think of for the intellectual planning by the Foreign Ministry of a government whose funding is underwritten by American taxpayers while American non-profits and government agencies that plan and work for the betterment of our society wither for lack of funding. What I do respect is the enormous creativity of dedicated, underfunded activists who collaborate intellectually against tremendous odds to expose the lavishly-created hasbarist facades.

        • Mooser says:

          Danaa, you are engaged in an insidious campaign to temper or even ameliorate my prejudice towards Israelis! What’s the idea?

        • kamanja says:

          @Danaa – “or (2) following a new model based on entirely indigenous Arab/ME support a la Hezbollah or even Hamas. ”

          The only new thing about that model is that neither are regular troops like the armies of the Arab States (who let the Palestinians down in the 1940s) were.

          It looks like Hezbollah currently has its hands full frying its own fish; taking up arms on behalf of Palestine would have to wait awhile. Your Hamas option would be logical, self-evident, but the Palestinian factions would have to reintegrate with each other. Nothing new there either.

          Palestine has a big, vibrant, resourceful diaspora both in the ME and beyond. When their fight is waged their way, from both inside Israel and beyond, that will be new. Looks like it’s starting to happen.

        • ritzl says:

          @Danaa The “math” is unequivocal. I’m just a dumbass out here in flyover country that nobody knows from a hole in the ground, but as MRW and American (even Annie) have said repeatedly, and reflected in my own experience, there are 50M people/voters out here in “dumbass,” flyover land that would be receptive to the Palestinian construct if only they would, imo, act like they mean it and prioritize their case.

          To be clear, that would reduce down to be 1M if they (Palestinians) tolerated actual antisemitic BS under their umbrella.

          Given that there are only maybe, max, 1M Palestinian diaspora and supportive, sorry, but let’s say “natives” out there, and maybe 20oK “committed” Jewish supporters of Palestinian rights (though conditionally, as this episode indicates), where do you throw your “movement” darts? I would suggest it’s at the big area.

          That’s why I’m so in favor of Palestinian leadership, but yet so put off by their seeming inability to discern and establish what I believe (i.e. would follow) to be a direct and non-diluted path to advocate their own needs as a first principal. That doesn’t mean don’t hold in your mind that all forms of bigotry are repellant. It does mean that you can’t fight all (other’s) battles simultaneously, particularly when you are so disadvantaged and struggling.

          I can’t imagine (it’s incomprehensible, really), as a non-Palestinian, what courage it must take to speak out directly about Israeli actions, when your family is subject to all the abuses listed here on a daily basis. I mean, as a US citizen/free person? of Norwegian descent, if I say something critical of anything, I have zero sense of direct or indirect personal effect. Few here do, imo. So very few.

          Yet if Palestinians say anything, they get targeted/punished. Sandra Tamari’s (soysauce) experience in simply going to see her family is case in point. So I get TiP’s aversion to what GB did, if only for that reason (it’s not the only reason, my read is that unlike their occupiers, they’re actually, commendably, in the end, inevitably, trying to universalize their plight).

          Palestinians are occupied/subjugated. Their families are under “duress” by a subjugater that has guns there, and influence here. Lot’s of common cause, globally, in the long term. Not so much in the short/tactical term.

          I hope that Palestinians continue to press their case to we 50M.

        • Danaa says:

          Good points you make, Shlomo. I really think you are on to something and have my theories about Beka’s role in all this.

          Unfortunately the people who fancy themselves fighting alongside the palestinians are hobbled by purity campaigns on the battlefield that then instantly morph into purification rituals in the internet echo chambers (of which this comment section is just one). What is missing is an understanding of the true nature of the battle that’s being waged or the fact that battles usually pit enemies against each other. Too many of the jewish fighters have a soft spot fro their enemy, failing to appreciate that the Israelites do not share that kind of softness. The actual Palestinians who are suffering under the boots of their oppressors know the score, of course, but are not in the best position to pick and choose among their friends, or spend endless ours arguing the finer points of “anti-semitism” on the nets.

          Some people here like Newclench above (just to pick one) continue to feign surprise at the fact that Greta has not been burnt at the stake yet (cf his comment above). But whether it’s the Jewish activist contingent or those who’d speak for Palestinians (like TIP or Abunimah) the reality is the same. And that reality is that the battle is really a life an death one for the Palestinians rather than a make-believe Palestinian state, or a mythical one-state-for-all-it’s-citizens as many continue to pretend. If we accept that what we are trying to prevent is a vale of tears then perhaps it may become a bit clearer why a misbegotten twit or an off-color comment by a GA are obvious diversions that only serve to weaken the movement. Unfortunately many activists, Jewish especially, have not yet been able to digest that the true existential danger is faced by the Palestinians not the Israelis.

          I know that for myself all the opinions I have been voicing these past few years are informed by the realization of what Palestinians are really up against and just how deeply uneven the battle is. In that Braveheart does indeed come to mind and not just the event you mentioned. Fact is Braveheart lost and was tortured to death. But though Scotland did become part of England, the Scots, last I saw, got to stay on their lands, even if the rulers were not quite to their liking. Losing pride and independence is not quite what the palestinians face though. With less room to go around and too much attachment to antiquity, it’s s the Palestinians very existence on that piece of land that’s at stake not their potential independence, or pride.

        • ritzl says:

          I should add that it’s similarly, though not equally incomprehensible to me, the coercion that Phil and the other masthead writers at MW must get. Though, sans guns, probably not as direct a threat.

          Still, for anyone to advocate for Palestinian rights is courageous.

  6. Truegreta says:

    While Israel murders Palestinians on a daily basis, uproots their trees, steals the natural gas of Gaza and commits other crimes against humanity, activists fight each other. It’s appalling. Becka Wolf seems to have a bone to pick with Greta even though Greta sympathized with her on the private message.

    One wonders just what the agenda is. Is it at all possible to get back to the business of holding Israel’s feet to the fire and stop arguing over Facebook groups? The real crimes are committed by the Israelis, not by people in a private group discussing all kinds of topics. Mondoweiss is welcome to join the group any time.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      “It’s appalling. Becka Wolf seems to have a bone to pick with Greta even though Greta sympathized with her on the private message.”

      You’re referring to yourself in the third person? Really??

      Woody Tanaka finds this kind of behavoir to be rather odd.

    • Becka Wolf seems to have a bone to pick with Greta even though Greta sympathized with her on the private message.

      One wonders just what the agenda is.

      wolf’s ‘agenda’, then and now i presume, was and is not sympathy.

      What was shocking to me was the fact that she in no way addressed the issue

      this is about changing behavior. it is about how we act when we represent the movement. it is about acting with dignity, integrity and accountability and not putting our movement at risk by creating, initiating, supporting or otherwise empowering circumstances and behaviors that open us up to criticisms of racism and ulterior motive other than supporting human rights and freedom for all people.

      i presume you were contacted by wolf because you were an administrator, to facilitate a problem, not for your sympathy.

      • Shlomo says:

        “…not putting our movement at risk by creating, initiating, supporting or otherwise empowering circumstances and behaviors that open us up to criticisms of racism and ulterior motive…”

        Perfectionism is the enemy of the good. In particular, it’s the enemy of “good-enough” activism.

        Did Caesar’s wife’s acting “above rumors” make her life worth living…or prevent her husband from being killed?

        When a loyal, effective, committed (unpaid?) activist makes what others consider a mistake, it might not be. If it is, and an apology is made, that should be good enough.

        It’s fine to be “noble” IF that doesn’t let your ignoble enemies triumph.

        Many presidents (of banks and countries and companies) get caught red-handed doing unsavory things. Yet they go on (after uttering de rigueur un-heart-felt apologies) to live their lives while holding their positions. I’m not saying they should; just that they often do.

        And the world doesn’t end.

        And sometimes the jamokes even redeem themselves.

        But in most cases, their at-the-time “horrific” lapses are forgotten, if not forgiven…by the public and themselves.

        On the other hand, some very good people eff up ONCE and, being so hard on themselves, quit. They not only deny themselves and the world the fruits of their labor, they get replaced by bona fide schmucks.

        So… why is a good FGM worker-bee getting castigated?

        Palestinians (the group we’re supposedly helping) live in the Holy Land. That’s the place where not a few famous folks talked about “forgiveness” and ” turning the other cheek” and so on. Yet here WE are, figuratively stoning fellow activists who committed the cyber equivalent of farting in public.

        Crazy. Thought policing. What next: alleging that anyone who’s read “Mein Kampf ” is a Nazi?

        Israelis shoot Palestinians at will…often with impunity. Pro-Palestinian activists, on the other hand, form circular firing squads the first time anyone even WHISPERS “Antisemitism!”

        Sad. Tragic. Disgusting.

        It makes me want to do to some posters on this issue what Cher did in MOONSTRUCK to Nicholas Cage. She slapped him and said, “Snap out of it!”

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      “While Israel murders Palestinians on a daily basis, uproots their trees, steals the natural gas of Gaza and commits other crimes against humanity, activists fight each other. It’s appalling.”

      Bullshit. It’s not appalling. It’s what should be done. The fact that the Israelis are doing what they’re doing is no basis to excuse antisemitism or to hold off on investigating whether antisemitism occurred. I support the Palestinian cause because I believe they’re victims of the same kind of bigotry that is the sum, substance and totality of antisemitism. We can’t condemn one and condone the other.

      If ending the prejudice against the Palestinians means perpetuating prejudice against the Jews, then what is the point? If we’re not doing it for principles then what the hell are we doing it for?

      • Donald says:

        “If ending the prejudice against the Palestinians means perpetuating prejudice against the Jews, then what is the point? If we’re not doing it for principles then what the hell are we doing it for?”

        I hate to keep saying “exactly” after all your posts, but “ditto” sounds worse. So here it is again–exactly.

        • LeaNder says:

          Absolutely perfect, Woody.

        • libra says:

          WT: If ending the prejudice against the Palestinians means perpetuating prejudice against the Jews, then what is the point? If we’re not doing it for principles then what the hell are we doing it for?

          Woody, why on earth would you think someone else should have the same motivations or principles as your self? I’m damn sure my motivations and principles are quite different from your own. Besides the simple human wish to end Palestinian suffering the matter of avoiding a major war in the Middle East springs to my mind as a compelling motivation – not least out of self-interest given how potentially destructive such a war could be.

        • Donald says:

          “Woody, why on earth would you think someone else should have the same motivations or principles as your self?”

          Most of the time people here criticize Zionism on the basis of a belief in universal human rights. Woody restated that position.

          “Besides the simple human wish to end Palestinian suffering the matter of avoiding a major war in the Middle East springs to my mind as a compelling motivation ”

          It seems doubtful that these goals are advanced by pro-Palestinian activists engaging in embarrassingly stupid speculation about the Holocaust.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          libra,

          I think Donald stated my position in response to your posts. So I will give him an “exactly.” I would only hasten to add that relieving human suffering and avoiding unnecessary war are, themselves, laudable principles and I absolutely would endorse them as other reasons for engagment in support of the Palestinians. But they are principles which should be held in addition to the principles of universal human rights.

      • American says:

        “If we’re not doing it for principles then what the hell are we doing it for?..Woody

        I thought most people were in I/P to try and prevent Israel from killing any more Palestines and stealing their land and to help them advocate for their own state and freedom.
        Is there some larger principle that is more immediately important than preventing people being killed?
        Being practical I tend to put first things first.

        There are 1,800,000 google hits on ‘Palestines and Holocaust denial’
        There are only 260,000 google hits for Nakba denial.
        And I will say Ms. Wolf from what I have read, does excellent work for the Palestine cause.
        But clearly one side isn’t getting their fair share of attention or concern for their ‘feelings’ about their tragedy.
        MW however comes up quite frequently in the hits speaking about Nakab denial among Israelis .

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “I thought most people were in I/P to try and prevent Israel from killing any more Palestines and stealing their land and to help them advocate for their own state and freedom.”

          And I would ask: why would you want to do that, if not because you recognize the oppression of the Palestinians as unjust? And unless you ascribe to the principles of universal human rights (which demands that one not replace discrimination against one group by discrimination against another), then on what basis can you find that oppression to be “unjust”??

        • American says:

          @ Woody

          I can see suffering and injustice and react to it ‘instinctively”….. I don’t necessarily have to think of the principle of it .. ..the urge is inbred.
          But the way you phrased your comment didn’t seem to prioritize the ‘immediate’. It seemed to say, well if aiding the Palestines is going to create prejudice against Jews why do it.
          As said I’m practical….if fighting the prejudice against Palestines creates prejudice against Jews or Israelis you still have to put the current victims of prejudice first and deal with the second if and when it occurs.
          Most prejudice against Jews is mostly out of our hands anyway. The linkage of Jews to Israel is a zionist enterprize. And no matter what we think or say on here we are a drop in the bucket compared to the zionist megaphone and decades of propaganda.
          Naturally we should combat it wherever we can. However saving Palestine is not a battle to save the Jews, no one is killing them right now and let’s not confuse who the victims are ‘today’ by combining it with Jews ‘may be’ victims some time in the future. Prioritize.

        • Mooser says:

          “However saving Palestine is not a battle to save the Jews…”

          Say what? C’mon now, man, think big! We save the Palestinians from the Zionists, and we save the Jews from themselves. And then, after lunch….

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “I can see suffering and injustice and react to it ‘instinctively’…..”

          And I would counter by saying that instinctive reactions have their place but in the circumstances of a 40+ year occupation and oppression, it behooves all of us to stop being instinctive for a moment and consider the morality and principles behind what we’re advocating and why.

          “Prioritize.”

          There is no reason why one cannot fight prejudice against Palestinians and Jews simultaneously.

        • American says:

          @ Mooser

          Any idea how we can save Israeli Jews from zionism?….before it all blows up that is.
          I have some ideas but they involve crimes and I might get caught and go to prison. lol

        • seanmcbride says:

          American,

          Any idea how we can save Israeli Jews from zionism?….before it all blows up that is.

          There is only one way: appeal to a critical mass of Jews with reasonable arguments and from a spirit of respect and good will.

          Any scenarios which involve force or coercion are off the table: they can apply more force on you than you can apply on them. Post-Holocaust Jews are not going to be pushed around or bullied into submission.

          If reasonable arguments don’t work, so be it. The thing that gets us may have nothing to do with Zionism or Mideast politics in any case.

        • American says:

          “There is only one way: appeal to a critical mass of Jews with reasonable arguments and from a spirit of respect and good will.” …… sean

          Well good luck with that. Get back to me in 60 years with a progress report.
          That’s already been done in numerous ways by numerous people that actually had the gravitas and public perch to do it from…like Carter, Tutu, non zionist Jewish community figures, lately the Christian Churches, scores of activist, Phil, Alex, Bankford, Code Pink-Meda, on and on.

          I don’t know how anyone except someone with a big, big bully pulpit like a US President can even get to the critical mass of Jews and drown out their Zio Mafioso and their Israel flag flying synagogues to make them sit up and pay attention to some other voices and authority.

        • American says:

          “it behooves all of us to stop being instinctive for a moment and consider the morality and principles behind what we’re advocating and why. “…Woody

          I’ll stick with instinctive, thanks just the same. If the instincts of the people who predicted the mess that is now Israel had been followed and it’s aggression had been nipped in the bud long ago neither we, nor the Palestines, nor the Israelis, nor the Jews would be at this point today.
          Anyone who has to stop and consider the morals and principles in why they are advocating for end to I/P is a slow thinker.

        • Dutch says:

          Sean,

          How about BDS? If the basic principles of humanity have not reached them after sixty years of explanation lets make it clear that BDS is what follows. Over the last months we managed to kick Veolia out of two major Dutch cities – The Hague and, just last week, Utrecht. These fights are great platforms for spreading the BDS-word, empowering the call from the Palestinians themselves. Surely we have a long way to go, but we book successes that open people’s eyes, give strength to the movement, and hurt the criminal businesses.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Dutch,

          If rational arguments fail, BDS is the next reasonable step. The truth is, rational arguments have failed.

          We now know beyond all doubt that the Israeli government and the Israel lobby have never had any serious intention to negotiate a reasonable and fair two-state solution — they have never stopped coveting biblical Eretz Yisrael. The world needs to get the attention of Israel.

        • Mooser says:

          “Any idea how we can save Israeli Jews from zionism?….before it all blows up that is.”

          Asking the wrong guy. I’ve never really been any good at getting out of stuff. I usually end up bearing the responsibility for what I’ve done.
          Ask Phil, I think he knows, or at least entertains the possibility.
          I don’t think we will get away with it.

          You know, I promised my self to pay no attention to this whole thing, and I went and read everything. That woman, I’ll say it again, had a very unhealthy relationship with computers.

      • Shingo says:

        If ending the prejudice against the Palestinians means perpetuating prejudice against the Jews, then what is the point?

        Ditto. My only reservation about this is that argument made by Israeli suporters that denying Jews the right to do whatever they want to Palestinians or Palestinian land is perpetuating prejudice.

      • Inanna says:

        Thank you Woody.

      • piotr says:

        It reminds me “how twisted are the people who criticize Israel for a few chopped trees while hundreds are killed in Syria”. I do not like that argument.

  7. CitizenC says:

    As I said before, while the “movement” prosecutes retail anti-semitism with fanatical zeal and public witch-burnings, it is based on wholesale anti-gentilism. By this I mean of course the Chomskyite critique of “solutions” discourse; “anti-occupation” rhetoric but no critique of Zionism; ahistorical “law and rights”
    discourse; “strategic asset” but no critique of the Zionocracy; anti-anti-Semitism but no critique of Jewish chauvinism.

    This limited critique is a plea-bargain, given the undeniable facts in Palestine, to gain as much Jewish advantage, and incur as little obligation, as possible, a typical Zionist gambit. This is, or ought to be, the real issue.

    • Jesus these comments and this whole Greta/Ofer fiasco has been a real eye-opener for me.

      1. Thrilled that Palestinians are reclaiming our struggle from those that seek to represent us and speak on our behalf.

      2. Shocked by the narcissism of those that think Palestinians owe them loyalty for their activism.

      3. Seems that those scolding Palestinians are the ones I feel are displaying most anti-semitism. I criticize Zionism, Israel, Israelis (every single one that willfully lives on stolen Palestinian land) but when you start wanting to dissect Judaism or wondering why you can’t criticize Jews how is that not as disgusting as when people want to equate Wahhabis, Salafis and the House of Saud with Islam? Or child molesting Catholic priests with Catholicism?

      4. Pretending that you know better than Palestinians about what is right or wrong for the Palestinian struggle is racist.

      5. If you want to do something good in this world do it without expecting anything in return, not even a “thanks.” I buy sandwiches for homeless people all the time and I walk away quickly so that they don’t feel obligated to thank me. One of the things about Islam that I appreciate is that Muslims are obligated to do good deeds and not talk about them so maybe the activists that want to support the overwhelmingly Muslim Palestinians could learn a thing or two from them about being humble from them.

      6. I am a big fan of Woody Tanaka’s comments.

      • Keith says:

        TODAY IN PALESTINE- “Pretending that you know better than Palestinians about what is right or wrong for the Palestinian struggle is racist.”

        I take it that you are arrogating unto yourself the position of true spokesperson for the Palestinian people, and that anyone who disagrees with your assessment of the situation is a racist?

        • I never assumed any paid or unpaid position as spokesperson for the Palestinian cause, we are made up of many different voices: Muslim, Christian, Atheist and secular. Not one person can assume role of spokesperson for our cause–or any cause for that matter. But, if you are asking if my opinions on Palestine as a Palestinian carry more weight than a non-Palestinian, then yes, the answer is yes. If you disagree please tell me why and how a non-Palestinian opinion on Palestine is more important than mine.

        • Keith says:

          TODAY IN PALESTINE- Since you now concede that you do not speak for the “Palestinians,” but only for yourself, your statement becomes “Pretending that you know better than me about what is right or wrong for the Palestinian struggle is racist.” Interesting opinion.

          As for “If you disagree please tell me why and how a non-Palestinian opinion on Palestine is more important than mine.” If the opinion of the non-Palestinian more accurately reflected the will of the Palestinian people compared to your opinion, it would be more valid. Unlike you, I don’t pretend to speak for the Palestinian people and claim superior credentials just for being me. As an American, would you defer to me regarding the Americans involved? Utter nonsense. Additionally, I find your emphasis on identifying and combating anti-Semitism most interesting. I would have thought that you would be more concerned with breaking the siege of Gaza and less critical of those who are attempting to do so.

        • Breaking the siege of Gaza and the liberation of Palestine is actually the only thing that’s important to me, this circus act caused by Greta and her fan club which refuse to take any real responsibility and ownership over any of her behavior are both a distraction and important reminder that we Palestinians must take ownership of our cause from internationals who claim to speak in our name. Here’s a list of 122 other Palestinians that agree with me link to electronicintifada.net And, I am fairly certain that if more Palestinians were made aware of the Islamophobic comments made by this woman who is claiming to speak on behalf of Palestinians (the majority being Muslim) that this list would grow dramatically, overnight. But, hopefully, that’s enough to satisfy your curiosity over whether I know anything about what Palestinians think or not. I do not represent all Palestinians but I am a Palestinian voice and I’m sorry if it bothers you but as a Palestinian my opinions on what direction I want to see our movement go in carries more weight than yours.

        • Keith says:

          TODAY IN PALESTINE- “Here’s a list of 122 other Palestinians that agree with me link to electronicintifada.net”

          No they don’t! Like all of the other critics of Greta, you have shamelessly misrepresented the facts. Nowhere do they say anything resembling your unsupported accusations. Among other things, they say: “We oppose the cynical and baseless use of the term anti-Semitism as a tool for stifling criticism of Israel or opposition to Zionism.”

          You said “I am fairly certain that if more Palestinians were made aware of the Islamophobic comments made by this woman who is claiming to speak on behalf of Palestinians (the majority being Muslim) that this list would grow dramatically, overnight.”

          Two egregiously false statements in one sentence! The claim that Greta made “Islamophobic” comments is false. Referring to attacks on her as a ‘fatwa’ is hardly Islamophobic, the charge of Islamophobic scurrilous. In defending herself against this orchestrated assault on her, she never claims to speak to speak on behalf of the Palestinians, you are the one who implied that you represented the Palestinian point of view. Once again, Greta Berlin’s critics have proved to be consummate dissemblers, utterly shameless in pursuing their agenda.

        • “Additionally, I find your emphasis on identifying and combating anti-Semitism most interesting. I would have thought that you would be more concerned with breaking the siege of Gaza and less critical of those who are attempting to do so.”

          I don’t think that any Palestinian that is currently speaking out about this whole Greta situation thinks that their job is to “identify” anti-semitism. This is a reaction to a series of events that happened publicly on social media under twitter and facebook identified as Palestinian solidarity accounts. Had she not been careless in her tweeting, facebooking and explanations then Palestinians certainly wouldn’t have been dragged into this mess.

      • link to twitter.com

        “Today in Palestine” is some kind of comic book hero in my mind. link to j.mp link to j.mp

        ;)

        • Cliff says:

          Why Annie?

          Today In Palestine’s argument is that people are speaking for the Palestinians unjustly.

          She/He accused me of that nonsense.

          So who are ‘the Palestinians’ according to your new hero? Ali Abunimah.

          CONTEXT PLEASE.

          I said Ali was saving face for the FGM and playing the Zio-PR game. Just like Bekah Wolf is crying end times. Both are ridiculously transparent and pathetic.

          The amount of attention heaped on this whole affair is absurd.

          Just look at all the assumptions and guess-work used to make these long-winded hammy condemnations.

          I even asked Ali upfront in an earlier comment I believe, (than the one Today In Palestine misread and straw-manned) which ‘Palestinians’ were being marginalized. I said clearly that he is a Palestinian-American and not representative if the general Palestinian populace.

          Obviously he is subject to our political culture and the identity politics of radical Jewish nationalists. Apparently YOU are too. And all these so-called supporters of the movement, keep coming out of NOWHERE to whine about how the sky is falling over some crap that happened ON TWITTER.

          Its all so bizarre but clear that even many supporters of the Palestinian struggle think ACADEMIC slights against Jewish identity (abstract) are more important than the physical abuse endured by the Palestinians.

          And of course there are a lot if guilty-feeling Palestinian solidarity activists and commentators here who feel the need to pile on, bandwagon simply to feel NOT antisemitic.

          When hoppy was berating Woody about some comment (doesn’t matter which since hoppy is a fanatic and does that song and dance all the time), Woody eventually replied saying, ‘Idiot. Most Zionists are Christian.’

          Or something. The impression I got from that comment was also him saving face. Not that he did or say anything antisemitic, but its like the charge itself – when leveled constantly against political enemies of Jewish nationalism – wears even innocent people down to the degree that they feel the need to pay homage to its validity.

          It has none. Do you people think Native Americans were pristine in their views/actions against the European colonists? Why should Palestinians?

          It’s like asking where the friggin’ Palestinian Gandhi is or expecting Palestinians to throw themselves into the fire to emulate Gandhi because supposedly the Third World can only legitimize their struggle against the West if they are angelic cannon fodder.

          This is an example of over-intellectualization that has no basis in past conflicts. There were no pristine colonized, indigenous peoples. There will never ever be. Because we are all HUMAN and even if our struggle is just, we are still human and it is totally understandable to react as humans do – with all our faults and prejudices.

          That being said, it does not legitimize those prejudices to say ‘it’s human to react that way’. What it means to expect the expected is to not place so much goddamn emphasis on the inevitable chastisement.

          Greta Berlin is not THE movement. And people who sincerely cared about Palestinian rights aren’t going to be turned off.

          UNLESS they are simply arm-chair activists who don’t do jack shit or donate money to worthy causes. If you’re just some Internet commentator, you’re not doing anything. And there is plenty of hand-wringing going on from that group. Also, if you see people saying they are ‘leaving’ because of this one thing, the Greta Berlin affair – then GUESS WHAT, they weren’t really invested in the conflict to begin with!

          Who in their right mind would swear off involvement with Palestinian solidarity activism all because some non-Palestinian (and I don’t mean this in the DISHONEST SUPERFICIAL CONTEXT that your ‘hero’ Today In Palestine used it, I.e. Ali Abunimah being Palestinian-American; but rather an actual Palestinian-Palestinian, living in Palestine and subject to that culture and that environment and those conditions of occupation and apartheid and colonialism) said something stupid and is possibly antisemitic (although AGAIN, to tar and feather her as a Nazi is bullshit).

          I’m glad this happened because it shows which one of us is not a complete coward. Read some history outside of Jewish nationalism and Israel-Palestine please and tell him how people were hateful of one another and how much friggin’ time was spent lecturing the abused and oppressed about the academic slight against the abuser (since this isn’t about Jews; its about Zionist Jews because in spite of the self-censorship-ridden comments about how Christian Zionism is a big deal – and it is – this is about Jewish nationalism and the identity politics that strangle the Left in our part of the world).

        • Cliff, it’s absurd to say that diaspora Palestinians don’t represent the general Palestinian populace. I’ve never said that the sky was falling and have from the very beginning expressed my joy that Palestinians have condemned Greta. Whether it was a mistake, in which case she should have immediately clarified by showing us the conversation that took place for context (which it turned out there was never any conversation that took place to contextualize) or whether she is herself anti-semitic (or just tolerates it like we saw in Bekah’s post) the Palestinian cause demands people who are impeccable in publicly representing us. Unlike others who think the sky is falling I actually think this is a great moment in the Palestinian movement—where we are actually voicing our own opinions despite what internationals think. The fact that you are so dismissive of actual Palestinian voices and go as far to say that we aren’t representative of our own people while at the same time defending Greta and her mistakes or faults speaks volumes Cliff, I am going to try not to respond to you anymore because I refuse to go around in circles with someone who is not even Palestinian but wants to determine who are real Palestinians are who are not. You’re just being silly.

      • Mooser says:

        “Jesus these comments and this whole Greta/Ofer fiasco has been a real eye-opener for me.”

        Oh, how spiritual! I hadn’t noticed til this morning that your comment was in the form of a prayer to the Saviour. Cool.

  8. ritzl says:

    Thanks. You directly answered a lot of hanging questions. Principally, that this enabling behavior has been well known for at least months prior to the triggering tweet. How embarrassing that must be for all involved.

    Next time, [everyone connected to this China Syndrome event] do something about it before it gets to this point. #unsolicitedadvice #intervention

    What a tragedy.

    Again, thanks for the clarity.

  9. Dan Crowther says:

    Let me try this again.

    Wolf writes: While the issue of Zionist leaders having some level of coordination with the Nazi government is well-established.

    And then: After I began to engage in the discussion, challenging the anti-Semitic claim that Jews orchestrated the Holocaust

    Of course, Berlin never said “Jews” but rather “Zionists”.

    So lets apply Wolf’s logic to her first cited statement, seeing as how in her world, “Jews” is interchangeable with “Zionists”: While the issue Jews having some level of coordination with the Nazi government is well-established.

    What an anti-semite this Bekah Wolf is, eh?

  10. If I remember correctly, Joachim what-s-his-name used to post here.

    link to mondoweiss.net

    Phil later banned him and rightly so, for the guy is an obsessed nutbar. But at the sametime, Phil was not condemned as an anti-semite for having tolerated him.

    It may well be appropriate that Berlin step down. Referring to herself in the third person may be reason enough (!). It is branding her a bigot that I object to. Pot, kettle, etc. -N49.

    • AlGhorear says:

      There’s an interesting comment from Phil at the link N-49posted:

      “I don’t share Joachim Martillo’s view of the Holocaust. The Nazi crimes define the word heinous. I don’t see the expulsion of Arabs from Palestine in ’47-’48 as comparable to the Holocaust. I’m also not going to be blocking Martillo from commenting here because I feel it is important to have an open discussion, including about the sacralization of the Holocaust in American Jewish life in the 70s. Before that period, in my family, it was “the 6 million.” Then it became the Holocaust; and obviously this is not just a spiritual recognition but a politicization (just go to Yad Vashem, which has its own very Zionist interpretation). One of my themes here is that Jews are strong enough and well-situated enough, and the principle of free speech is strong enough, for us to have an open discussion about these things, with everyone participating, without a pogrom starting.”

      Isn’t “open discussion” what Greta was allowing as an administrator of the “Our Land” FB group?

      Also, I’m curious to know whether Phil reversed his position since that 2007 comment.

      • al, i wasn’t here in 07 (as i can recall tho i may have linked a few times back then) but that was before comment moderation and before the blog got so much traffic. obviously phil changed because at some point martillo was banned (also before my time). you can check the comment policy, specifically #2 as for the new rules as of earlier this year.

        • It remains, Annie, that if Greta was guilty of a knee-capping offence, then so was Phil. Put differently, if Greta is an anti-semite, then so is Phil. This much is now very obvious.

          You now excuse Phil because Phil’s “offense” occurred before the blog “got so much traffic,” to quote you above.

          Like, say, the sort of minimal traffic you’d expect to see in a private FB page? -N49.

        • You now excuse Phil because Phil’s “offense” occurred before the blog “got so much traffic,” to quote you above.

          ahhh, you may want to do a rereading of my comment n49. i was addressing al’s querie in the last sentence to the best of my ability. my comment was not ‘excusing’ anything. prefacing it with the information i was not here at the time (in 07) and i don’t know what specific comments or ideas of martillo’s phil was addressing at that time so i can’t speak to it. however i was here when moderation began and it is my recollection (although i may be wrong) it began partly out of response to increased traffic and particular patterns of spam in the comment section. i don’t recall it being holocaust related. i wasn’t on staff then nor privy to any info anyone else wasn’t informed of at the time but it’s probably in our archives for anyone interested in finding it.

          however, i do remember earlier in the year, as many readers do when the policy was changed again. it’s reflected on the comment policy page in #2.

          i was just trying to be helpful. i speculated using common sense when i said “obviously phil changed because at some point martillo was banned”. but i don’t really know. perhaps it was adam’s influence wrt the direction of the blog. you could always write phil and adam, anyone who wants more clarity on how the rules morphed.

          ciao

          edit, ps. i have not accused greta of being an anti semite, so i’m not going to be responding to your speculations.

          also, after reviewing phil’s 07 framing, i think this is the kind of context people expect to view prior to posting videos for the purpose of exploration, anti semitism or for propaganda purposes.. I don’t share Joachim Martillo’s view of the Holocaust.

        • Annie,

          I was here back in 2007. And Joachim what’s-his-name was all over the comment sections back then, with or without so-called “context.” Indeed, there was very little difference between what transpired in the Mondo pages then and what Wolf was so indignant about as per the post above re Greta’s FB page. But no one issued grand missives disqualifying Phil from the Movement, nota bene.

          I agree with you, though. As a site becomes more popular the administrator assumes a greater public responsibility. I get that.

          But Greta’s page was private. And as a private group, the same responsibilities do not accrue. It was unfair, then, for leaders in the community to come down on Greta as though she were administering a public group, impugning her reputation in the process.

          It was also very much unfair.

          If someone had done this to Phil back in ’07, I would have reacted with the same passion as I have here.

          I think we should all pause for a moment and contemplate what “solidarity” really means. If we truly understand the essence of this word, perhaps we won’t find ourselves in this unfortunate situation again.

          Best regards -N49.

        • But no one issued grand missives disqualifying Phil from the Movement

          n49, umm, undoubtedly i am not the most informed of all the actors privy to inside data wrt greta’s faux pas but i have been following this since i heard about it on oct 4th. from my understanding, it wasn’t the crime that took her down, it was the cover up.

          the tweet came out on the 28th, to thousands of people. it wasn’t the movement who busted her or brought attention to her tweet. it was heavily covered in the rtwg zio blogosphere twitter, blogs, frontpage mag,national post, avi is.gov etc.

          then her explanations required numerous suspensions of logical common sense merely to comprehend. she sent something she never watched, she didn’t mean to tweet it on FB, she didn’t know her FB posting went to her twitter, she was in a conversation about propaganda but would not produce the evidence. it makes sense her friends who know her and trust her would support her thru this and trust all of her explanations. but out here in the real world, that’s not the way people operate. so it was completely natural people would implore her to provide some evidence to backup her allegations wrt context(‘we were in a conversation about propaganda’) or resign,or else inevitably it would reflect on freegaza and by extension all their supporters.

          many people wanted this to go away but it was very much already out there that first week prior to EI writing anything on the 6th. our statement didn’t come out til the 12th.

          she put free gaza, and by extension the movement in a very difficult position. one in which, had she stepped down, no one would have had to say anything. or else just commend her for doing the right thing by getting this out of the spotlight. but given she didn’t people either had to support and defend her or explain why they didn’t. that’s why all of this has come out.

          in 07 MW was a little backwater on the internet. that was 5 years ago, we’ve grown. the movement has grown, we (the movement ) are getting lots of attention globally as are palestinians in general. there is much larger support for the bds movement. sites and people are scrutinized much closer now and there’s a well funded well publicized campaign to bring us (the movement) down.

          i am not interested in any conversations about famous people with private groups of 1000 people. greta could have done everything greta does but do it in the background unofficially if her goal is the freedom of palestine, and she still can. but she fought back. she challenged the movement to support her, in solidarity. it put the onus on people to have to make a choice. unwise decision.

          Joachim what’s-his-name was all over the comment sections back then, with or without so-called “context.”

          this is not about Joachim or mullins and their context. it is about your comparison between greta and phil hosting them. phil provided context in reference to Joachim, greta provided an allegation of context. it was the allegation and refusal to back it up, the cover up….

        • Bruce says:

          @ NorthOfFortyNine

          I fear you slander Phil here. Phil has never written a statement such as

          <i Finally people coming to confront what many of us have known for many years.

          Not just that The H was exploited by the Zionists to create Israel, but that – in large measure – it was aided, abetted and to a large degree – created by them to create an ineluctable tide of world opinion for the establishment of a Jewish "safe haven."

          Greta Berlin did write that on the site she co-administers.

        • @Bruce

          >>I fear you slander Phil here. Phil has never written a statement such as

          Several things here.

          1. I (obviously) never meant to imply that Phil held these views. Insofar as my post could have been misconstrued, I apologize.

          2. Berlin herself claims she did not write that. Now, i agree that Berlin has come off as being a little flaky, but you should have nonetheless included the fact that she denied making the statement.

          3. Bruce, your lack of tolerance for alternative or “offensive” views is alarming and gives off the faint whiff of a totalitarian streak. As per your post elsewhere, do you really want to shut down the comments section? Wow. We’d all be well served to read Phil’s words again, this from upthread:

          “One of my themes here is that Jews are strong enough and well-situated enough, and the principle of free speech is strong enough, for us to have an open discussion about these things, with everyone participating, without a pogrom starting.”

          If you can’t deal with this, Bruce, go find yourself another sandbox to play in. -N49.

        • Bruce says:

          @NorthOfFortyNine

          1. I (obviously) never meant to imply that Phil held these views. Insofar as my post could have been misconstrued, I apologize.

          I’m glad you straightened that out for Phil’s sake.

          2. Berlin herself claims she did not write that. Now, i agree that Berlin has come off as being a little flaky, but you should have nonetheless included the fact that she denied making the statement.

          As I understand it, Greta said she did not write it, but that she copied it from an email sent to her by a friend. To me if you copy a statement and don’t attribute it to someone else that is the same as agreeing with the statement, and you have the same responsibility for the content as the author. (Whether it should have been attributed to the author is between Greta and the author.)

          3. Bruce, your lack of tolerance for alternative or “offensive” views is alarming and gives off the faint whiff of a totalitarian streak. As per your post elsewhere, do you really want to shut down the comments section?

          ROFL. My lack of tolerance for alternative or “offensive” views? What a bubble you live in. Let’s see, according to the commenters here I sniff around looking for anti-semitism and I give off “the faint whiff of a totalitarian streak.” What is with all of these smell metaphors? Am I the only reader on MW without a iSmell Personal Scent Synthesizer?

          Are you sure you are responding to my comments or what others have written about my comments?

          If you can’t deal with this, Bruce, go find yourself another sandbox to play in.

          N49 you can get rather Bolshie yourself it seems. As long as I stay within the current MW comment rules, I have the right to express my views on the comment section as much as anyone else. I believe it is my choice – or the decision of the site owners – whether I play in this sandbox, not you. Of course, you could always write the site owners and ask that I be banned. That is your right. How would that smell though?

      • Danaa says:

        N49, glad you found that post. Back in the day I remember Joachim’s comments and he seemed to have a pattern. Starts as a “run-of=the-mill” anti-zionist and then, little by little come the references to the turn of last century marxist in-fighting, then moves on from there to Stalin to zionist collusion with Hitler, and what not – until there’s nothing but a complete mess. I vaguely recall he was hugging all kinds of red lines – even mine (yes, I have a couple) – then tip-toeing over, ever so gingerly. I didn’t comment much then but from reading I thought he was becoming an increasingly disruptive influence, often derailing the conversation onto tangents that had more to do with score settling over some murky pasts than with the palestinian suffering right now. At one point I even considered the possibility that he may be an agent provocateur but decided he was just a truly obssessed individual, who chose to put his obvious scholarly brightness in the service of an obsession. He wouldn’t be the first or last to do so, either. Jewish history for example is full of those who sought to wage grand intellectual battles over the pettiest of issues. That’s one of the problems with communal intellectual prowess – sometimes it turns inward and strays into pathology that afflicts even the most spiritual. I have some specific examples in mind, but don’t want to cite them now so as not to derail things – the topic of “anti-semitism” being controversial enough as it is.

        The upshot is, Phil did not have to do anything about Joachim martillo for quite a while – the commenters on MW even back in 2007 handled him quite well – took him to task for his wilder pronouncements and generally avoided getting sucked into a maelstrom over old turn of the century sovietology trivia. The fact that this blog – and the very capable and sharp community of commenters it drew, was able to handle a difficult, potentially explosive presence like Martillo – who had even a web site with things he referred to as “Judonia” – is a tribute and an example of how controversial commenters are to be handled, while keeping the conversation as free-wheeling as possible. We managed to get through quite a few controversies here over the few years I followed them – including the older vs newer versions of Edwin Black’s book and jeff Blankfort’s often provocative analysis. Things got heated often enough but there was much to be learnt in the process too.

        For the record, were it up to me, I would have banned Martillo in the end as well, since (again this is from memory) he was getting more disruptive than useful and his comments started to have an unhealthy edge. But he had his run and no one is accusing Phil of being tainted by association for failing to denounce him summarily. Phil said what he had to and so did many others, and that was the end of that. A certain tolerance of inflammation in the interest of transparency – including some comments that may be considered beyond the pale – all in the interest of shaking out the dust is one of the reasons many admired this blog over quite a few years (though Phil’s identity musings was what took the cake). But as the blog gained prominence, it was bound to happen that some transparency had to be sacrificed in favor of keeping an ever increasing community interested and contributing constructively. And so we no longer have Jeffrey with us. But still, we were, if i recall, allowed to say our pieces one way or another and good commenting still happened, and controversies continued to erupt, if within seemingly narrower parameters (on which my opinions are known but don’t really matter in this context).

        I did want to just point out that whichever side I take on this business of throwing people over-board, it is commendable that MW provided a platform for people of all sides to express their opinions (even mine!). I don’t think we can find this level of commentary anywhere else on the web (yes, I wish comments were allowed to come up faster but that’s another issue). I hope that we can all at least agree that this is a necessary and valuable exercise.

      • W.Jones says:

        Good point, Al.

    • Mooser says:

      “If I remember correctly, Joachim what-s-his-name used to post here.”

      Yes, and tried all the same tricks. I am astounded, literally dumbstruck by this entire thing. There’s another thing: Ms. Berlin, from what I gather in this article, had an unhealthy relationship with her computer and the Internet. How can I say it? Did she really think a computer could compartmentalise her life? Especially if she was careless or uninformed about using it?

      “Joachim Martillo?” Really? Hmmm, I wonder if Klaus knows him? I really should put them in touch with each other.

      • “‘Joachim Martillo?’ Really? Hmmm, I wonder if Klaus knows him? I really should put them in touch with each other.”
        ——-
        I’m in touch with you Mooser every so often – that suffices.

  11. action says:

    Thank you, Bekah, for this. This is painful, but so important for the Palestine solidarity movement.

  12. Donald says:

    Okay, that pretty much settles the issue on Greta for this particular fence-sitter. Anyone who’d say(even if they aren’t her own words she seems to be endorsing them) that the Zionists aided and abetted and in large measure “created” the Holocaust in order to provide an excuse for the establishment of a Jewish haven is a nutcase.

    • seafoid says:

      TBH I had no idea who she was before this Greta fest on Mondo.

      • Donald says:

        I heard of her at another blog before it hit this one and initially I thought maybe she was being railroaded. It was hard to tell. But there seems to be a pattern of, to be charitable, really dumb statements coming from her.

        The issue bigger than Greta is whether the fight for Palestinian rights should be associated with Westerners who have a habit of saying stupid things about the Holocaust. Hostage in another thread brought up the point that Holocaust denial is not exactly unknown among Palestinians, but that’s another issue. It’s hard to blame Palestinians for being resentful about having the Holocaust and anti-semitism in general being used to justify Zionism, when Zionism is what has made Palestinian lives miserable. So sure, they are going to be strongly tempted to say and even believe things that outrage Israelis. That’s only human, unfortunately. But there’s no excuse for Westerners to say utterly moronic things about the Holocaust and it just plays into the hands of some rather nasty people, as well as being wrong in itself.

        • Donald says:

          Thinking about it, it sounds condescending to cut Palestinians slack for any Holocaust denial they may engage in, but it is an all-too-human reaction and I wonder what I’d do or say in their shoes.

          That said, there’s even less excuse for Nakba denial on the part of Israelis–they are talking about something that their own country did, and by now there’s no possible way they can deny it.

        • Hostage says:

          Thinking about it, it sounds condescending to cut Palestinians slack for any Holocaust denial they may engage in, but it is an all-too-human reaction and I wonder what I’d do or say in their shoes.

          I would suppose it would be understandable for Berlin to hate Zionists too, since they attacked and stole her group’s vessels and killed and brutalized her associates. I would accept at face value her own statements and those of her associates which say that she isn’t antisemitic.

          My take: In the case of the Palestinian civilian population, the government of Israel has declared Gaza an enemy entity. Neither the PA nor Hamas have a very good record when it comes to the subject of tolerating popular dissent or criticism. 1 in 10 Palestinians, or thereabouts, bears arms for one of those two groups. If you can only express criticism at your own peril, there’s no obligation to speak up in defense of a declared enemy. That truth lies behind the rules of international law governing de facto or belligerent recognition of insurgent governments. The population may have no choice other than expressions of loyalty. Of course, that doesn’t explain the silence of the Palestinian diaspora.

        • Donald says:

          “I would suppose it would be understandable for Berlin to hate Zionists too”

          I still think it’s different between the Palestinians and Greta, but
          it’s probably better to set aside the personal motives behind why some Westerners say moronic things about the Holocaust–those may differ from person to person–and concentrate on the fact that they aren’t in the slightest degree helpful and if anything, make it all worse. There’s a short movie review in the NYT today on a film called “Judaeophobia”, which equates anti-Zionism with anti-semitism. To my surprise and pleasure, the NYT reviewer criticizes the film, precisely because it conflates anti-Zionism and criticism of Israel with anti-semitism. That’s a tiny victory. It doesn’t mean the NYT is going to become fairminded on all its pages, but it does show that the anti-Zionist side is making some progress. The last thing we need is for people who call themselves anti-Zionists to engage in stupid and wildly exaggerated discussions of the roles of Zionists in “creating” the Holocaust.

          Here is the movie review. If you don’t subscribe to the NYT and don’t want to exceed the 10 article per month limit, you might not want to click, as it isn’t that important.

          NYT review of “judeophobia”

        • Hostage says:

          “I would suppose it would be understandable for Berlin to hate Zionists too”

          I still think it’s different between the Palestinians and Greta

          Well I think its probably bad enough in either case. The government of Israel tossed out the rule book. It ignored and violated the customary rules of international law and decency when it declared humanitarian aid shipments “hostile acts” or “provocations”. It launched a global campaign of harassment and psychological warfare against Berlin’s group. It employed other governments and bureaucratic red tape to assist in maintaining an illegal siege; used Sayanim to file lawsuits; and It even engaged in acts of sabotage and murder, while enjoying total impunity. Just because you think the Zionists, the government of Israel, and all of their friends are out to get you, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re paranoid or that you consciously or unconsciously hate all of the Jews when you say apparently mean spirited or hyperbolic things.

          The leaders of the solidarity movement might view the situation differently, because it poses a threat to future funding and support from some of their liberal backers.

    • Hostage says:

      Okay, that pretty much settles the issue on Greta for this particular fence-sitter. Anyone who’d say(even if they aren’t her own words she seems to be endorsing them) that the Zionists aided and abetted and in large measure “created” the Holocaust in order to provide an excuse for the establishment of a Jewish haven is a nutcase.

      I’m inclined to agree. Except that remark only makes you a conspiracy theory nutcase who accepts a gross and over-the-top exaggeration. I think it amounts to libel against most of the Zionist activists of that era. Of course, comments like “the Holocaust was a hoax” truly are antisemitic to the many Jews (Zionist or not) who lost friends or family members as a result of the Nazi policies of extermination.

      • American says:

        “I’m inclined to agree. Except that remark only makes you a conspiracy theory nutcase who accepts a gross and over-the-top exaggeration. I think it amounts to libel against most of the Zionist activists of that era. Of course, comments like “the Holocaust was a hoax” truly are antisemitic “….Hostage

        That’s a lot more accurate summation of ‘what is what’ in this than 90% of most that has said by either side. Call it what it is nothing more, nothing less.

    • Scott says:

      Yes, agree completely with Donald. I’ve been familiar with analogous cases– the very talented late columnist Joe Sobran, who wrote brilliant criticism of Israel for National Review in the 1980′s, was fired from that magazine (under pressure from the Podhoretzes) and gradually sunk into the fever swamps–though nothing he ever said was so eggregious as accusing Zionists of a role in “creating” the Holocaust. But Sobran –much beloved by many on the paleocon right, and truly gifted as a writer–made himself unusable–publishing him would do more harm than good.

  13. American says:

    That’s it?
    These are the Greta tweets you call anti semitic?
    Show me exactly what is anti semitic in them and expain in detail what the anti semitism is in each one.
    Is it her tweetings that said :

    1) The H was used by the zios to create Israel under the safe haven idea?
    2) where she says the H has been trivialized?
    3) where she says Israel war crimes have put all Jews in Israel in danger?
    4) that she calls zionism a pandora’s box that the lid is off of now?
    5) that in response to your complaints she didn’t denounce the Martillo guy enough even as she ‘defended you?
    6) that she lied about an administrator because she was in fact One out of Twelve administrators of that group?
    7) is what the nut case said about’ zionist’ running the camps, (even though it’s inaccurate) actual anti semitism against All Jews?

    How about this stuff?…

    ”Berlin’s tweet has damaged our movement as a whole and has shown deep short-sightedness by opening us up to attack and dismissal by Zionists who are desperately trying to paint us as a movement as anti-Semitic”>>>>

    No dear, no one knowledgeable about this I/P issue gives the zionist any credibility at all, No One. It would have been no more except more of their howling at the moon. But YOU of the oh so concerned about hurting the Palestine movement took over for the zionist and did this damage yourselves.

    “As an anti-Zionist Jew who has been active in Palestine for 10 years, Greta Berlin’s statements and the content of “Our Land” not only offend me, but they have damaged my ability to combat Zionist rhetoric by claiming that I cannot be both religiously Jewish and anti-Zionist”>>>>

    Where does she say that you can’t be religiously Jewish and anti zionist?…show me. Poor you, left with no way to combat zionist rhetoric..deprived of your voice on those human rights and justice you are sooooo committed to by one suspected anti semite. Bullsh*t.

    “To paraphrase what a fantastic Palestinian activist once said, there were Jews in Palestine long before Zionism, and there will be Jews there long after Zionism as well”>>>>

    Ah, now we get to don’t we?. Your idea of a good Palestine activist is one who works 50% for Israeli goals and 50% for Palestine…as long as there are no anti semites in Palestine.
    Gawd, ……♪♪♫””every step you take, every statement you make””♪♫…. as the song goes…just makes you people look worse.

    I suggest we change this discussion…you take the stand, we want you to have to PROVE your motives in working with Palestines are simeon pure and not self interest by virtue of being Jewish or Israeli and that you are not closet zionist inflitrating the movement like those anti semites are doing.
    You can start off by telling us what you think should be done about the illegal 400,00 Israelis in the West Bank settlement.
    What you think and advocate about where Israel’s official borders should be.
    Whether you believe in ROR and /or compensating the non returnees?
    Or if you’re a One Stater tell us how you envision Palestines getting rights and services from Israel as citizens when Arab Israelis don’t even have exactly equal rights now.
    See how that works? … :):)

    • american, bekah’s bio is available underneath the article. here is the ‘about’ link to PSP which she co-founded. it should answer some of your questions.

      link to palestinesolidarityproject.org

      i wrote about PSP here:

      link to mondoweiss.net

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      “Show me exactly what is anti semitic in them and expain in detail what the anti semitism is in each one.”

      Well, if you want to argue that a statement that the Holocaust was “aided, abetted and to a large degree- created by Zionists to create an ineluctable tide of world opinion for the establishement of a Jewish ‘safe haven’” is not antisemetism, fine. I think you’re out of your mind, but whatever. At the very least it’s batshit crazy. The ignorance of the statement is stunning. If “stupid” were cocaine, this sentence would be fifty kilos of crack.

      I would rather that the fight for Palestinian rights not be lumped in with idiocy of this type. No one who can say such patently idiotic stuff (or, since she claims someone else wrote it, pass it with a comment pointing out how stupid it is) can do a fight for human rights any good.

      • Donald says:

        “The ignorance of the statement is stunning. If “stupid” were cocaine, this sentence would be fifty kilos of crack.

        I would rather that the fight for Palestinian rights not be lumped in with idiocy of this type. ”

        Exactly.

      • American says:

        “Well, if you want to argue that a statement that the Holocaust was “aided, abetted and to a large degree- created by Zionists to create an ineluctable tide of world opinion for the establishement of a Jewish ‘safe haven’”…Woody

        Where does Berlin say that in the tweets? OR are those exact words the Mullins guy used? And did she endorse what he said?
        I did not see that statement in her tweets.
        Show me. I am going by the ‘tweets’ posted in this article that they said indicated her anti semitism and her agreement with Mullins.
        My audio is screwed so I can’t hear the video right now.

        And to be sure I understand this, did Berlin herself post this video to Facebook and then tweet it out or did someone else post it and she then tweeted it out?
        Did she view this video before tweeting out?

        • LeaNder says:

          American: Where does Berlin say that in the tweets?

          second screen shot top:

          Berlin
          link to countercurrents.org

          Finally people coming to confront what many of us know for many years.
          Not just that The H was exploited by the Zionists to create Israel, but that – in large measure – it was aided, abetted and to a large degree – created by them to create the ineluctable tide of world opinion for the establishment of a Jewish “safe heaven.”

          **************************************************

          I don’t read an article that starts like this:
          “Both Nazism and Zionism arose in tandem from small insignificant social movements, in the early part of the 20 th century, arguing, with equal force, that Jews were an alien and indigestible mass living in the midst of an otherwise pure Aryan population.”

          I guess you know when Zionism arose. I can assure you though, that Hitler first had to fight WWI before he could start pondering about founding a party, so the suggested neat parallelism doesn’t work. The rest is probably similar in it’s tendentiousness and use of semi-truth.

        • American says:

          @ nder

          O.K., now I see it. At first glance it appeared she was quoting from an article- which she was -but I guess that it means she agrees.
          I’m still not ready to call her a certified Jew hater, but she definitely can be certified a Zionist hater.
          I would say if she agrees that zionism ‘was born out of’ some replusive mentality of Jews in general that she is an anti semite. But then nazisim was born out of ‘some’ Germans replusive mentality…so to me it’s always the ‘some’ qualification that is important. However it is not my understanding of Herzl that his vision of zionism was as replusive as what zionism later turned out to be in Israel and as we know some Jews took to zioinism and some didnt’. I didn’t read the whole article….maybe I will later to see if it skates into Jews instead of zionist and how bad it is.
          But whatever, it’s had enough exposure and needs to fade away and quit sucking up so much energy out of the Palestine movement.
          The FG board can just impeach her and end it…and then stay away from inquiry and past history.

        • W.Jones says:

          Hey American,

          Thanks for your writing and skepticism here.

          The comment that Greta seems to have quoted about Zionists having “created the H” actually doesn’t seem to match the article she quotes. The academic article says that they performed a high level of trade with WWII-era Germany and also blocked or interfered with Allied efforts, including efforts to protect the victims. However, the article doesn’t actually say the Zionists “created” the Holocaust.

          My impression is that Greta (1) has a tendency to make very confused statements (like referring to herself in the third person, being confused about getting on a plane vs. a train), (2) is very anti-Zionist, and the combination of the two is an explosive mix for people whose sensitivity to the potential for anti-Semitism is as touchy as a hair-trigger.

          So far in Mondoweiss’s articles on the subject, the stupid and misleading statements she has made or directly quoted in full can simply be categorized as anti-Zionist rather than anti-Semitic, as Woody pointed out above. Simply being an administrator, like she was, does not mean one agrees with views expressed on a forum. I believe Chomsky, who is an anarchist Zionist, wrote the Forward for a Holocaust denial book, and obviously he rejects the book’s conclusions.

        • Bruce says:

          @ American

          Well it seems in your case there wasn’t enough exposure until LeaNder put Greta’s remarks right in your face, as you couldn’t figure it out using your own reading abilities. All those incorrect hyperbolic comments from you these last days criticizing other people, and from someone so “very rational, not prejudiced and not presumptive.” All too typical.

          You finally conclude what all your targets of your opprobrium have been suggesting all along – many not even as strongly as you – “The FG board can just impeach her and end it…” So it is now okay for others to hold the same view.

        • >>My impression is that Greta (1) has a tendency to make very confused statements (like referring to herself in the third person, being confused about getting on a plane vs. a train), (2) is very anti-Zionist,

          Yeah, my impression (and again, i would not know her if she rear-ended my moped) is that Berlin is a bit of a nut. But you have to be a bit of a but to get the idea to run a blockade into Gaza with a ship full of activists. If you weren’t a nut, you wouldn’t do it. A movement like this needs its nuts.

          The more I think about this, the more this whole brouhaha appears to be a internecine power squabble laced with personality conflicts. It reminds of a bad flashback from my college days. If the Movement is going to be successful, it will have to grow up a bit. –N49.

        • LeaNder says:

          The academic article

          From the top of my head: It is written from the perspective to balance Israel’s use of the Holocaust for it’s own advantage, but it never states it’s motives openly it hides them in context. Basically I can understand the interest in the topic, it’s an attempt to challenge to “holier than thou/light unto the nation” image. But there are far better glimpses into the larger context around, e.g. hints in Raul Hilberg’s biography.

          I have quite a few problems with the article. The first would be, Fevel Polkes is a slightly more complicated matter. I would warn people to exclusively rely on Eichmann in this context. [not really important, but it is highly funny to see Bertold Brecht compose music. Kurt Weill, maybe?]

          Then what is academic in suggestions like this?

          History might have been very different had the Zionists component of Jewry opposed Nazism and there might never have been a Holocaust. And there might never have been a state of Israel , as some Zionists well understood.

          Is the argument about what could have been academic? Is it a valid historical method?

          Couldn’t–to look at it differently–the Nazi’s rise to power and their treatment of German Jews have somehow led to the success of the equivalent extreme parts of Zionism versus the cultural Zionists? Even the rise of more conservative to right responses among American Jewry?

          You could in fact take many of the citations he uses and create a more complex narrative. Let’s pick the idea, that antisemitism arises when the percentage of Jews in whatever nation gets too high? Couldn’t some Zionists based on that ideological paradigm indeed have believed the more people they took out of the country would somehow have normalized the situation for the rest? And couldn’t that in turn explain their ambivalence, or the idea among some that one day Germany and Israel would have quite normal relations. After all didn’t they try to diminish the percentage, reduce the “Jewish problem” to a degree the state could bear?

          I see another irony in the concentration on the Zionist self-interest. [One of my next projects will be to look into the "pseudo-scientific" magazine dealing with "the Jewish question" distributed only in a very small number to Nazi elites and partly uproad it seems, this obviously includes their look at Zionism. Interestingly it was renamed at one point to appease the Arab world.]

          But back to the irony, if you suggest that Zionists could have saved much more persecuted Jews than they actually did, didn’t “the Jews” to a certain extend have to be as powerful as the Nazis imagined them to be. How can any group controlling world finances not be able to help all? Obviously Zionists thought about saving their own project first. Obviously Zionist and American Jewish elites were leaning towards the conservative or right, probably like the elite of any other group at the time or even today?

          Ideologically their most extreme enemy the Nazis would have understood, why “they” wanted to concentrate their sources on that aim. The Nazis feared nothing more than the coming into existence of a Jewish state. Easy to see: Some kind of power base from were “the Jews” could plan revenge and more perfectly control and manipulate the world. But oddly enough, considering their own myth about the Jews, many thought didn’t wouldn’t make it.

          Let’s take this quote from Yitzhak Gruenbaum, leader of the Jewish Agency’s Vaad Hazalah (Rescue committee) who in 1942 also believed the reports of atrocities taking place in Europe were exaggerated

          How is it possible that in a meeting in Yerushalayim people will call: “If you don’t have enough money you should take it from Keren Hayesod [the Palestine Foundation Fund], you should take the money from the bank, there is money there.” I thought it obligatory to stand before this wave … .

          If I may end on a anecdote from my late teens early twenties. My mother, who just called, at one point confronted my brother since he constantly overdrew his bank account, sometimes to buy her very expensive gifts. My brother answered her challenge: What’s your problem, banks have enough money, no?

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “The Nazis feared nothing more than the coming into existence of a Jewish state. Easy to see: Some kind of power base from were “the Jews” could plan revenge and more perfectly control and manipulate the world. But oddly enough, considering their own myth about the Jews, many thought didn’t wouldn’t make it.”

          I disagree about that. First, the Nazis believed the Jews already had two such power bases: in the USSR and in the USA. Second, I would gather that from a strategic standpoint, Hitler would have much rather have had the Jews concentrated than spread out, because it would have made his goal of murdering them all that much easier. (And, indeed, if the Germans had won in North Africa, he would have immediately set out to occupy Palestine and murder all the Jews there; the Transfer Agreement certainly wouldn’t have stopped him.) He would never be afraid of a Jewish state because, in his mind, the only way that the Jewish forces could defeat the superior Germans was if they sabotaged the German effort.

        • American says:

          @ Bruce,

          No one here is more typical than you. All you do is look for something someone said so you can twist it and draw attention to yourself by starting a fight over it.
          You’re gonna be a busy fellow on here cause we all have ‘opinions’.

        • American says:

          @ W. Jones

          “My impression is that Greta (1) has a tendency to make very confused statements (like referring to herself in the third person, being confused about getting on a plane vs. a train), (2) is very anti-Zionist, and the combination of the two is an explosive mix for people whose sensitivity to the potential for anti-Semitism is as touchy as a hair-trigger.”

          I think you are right about that combination in Berlin.

          Another thing I have noticed about people when they first delve into zionism as part of the Israel issue is they have a tendency to get “blown away” by it all, the accusations against and info on zionism and zionist, and get very hyper on it. One reason being for most of them it is new info they haven’t seen before so there is a lot of “ah hah!…those dirty sob’s!….so that what’s started all this!”…kind of thing.
          It can be good because isolating the zionist from the Jewish collective takes the heat off the Jews ….the downside is some get so obsessed by zionism, it’s origins and past history, details of similarities or either uniqueness re other movements they lose sight of I/P today.

          I still haven’t seen anything that would prove to me Berlin is a Jew hater.
          She is the throes of and carried away with despising the Zionist. But to me that’s not all that bad. Better to direct your anger at the proper target.

          The things I haven’t liked about this is having her declared anti semitic or as propagating anti semitism without seeing any real proof of Jew hatred. Then equating her anti zionism with anti semitism because she attacked zionist. I think Hostage put it right when he said something like Berlins endorsement of some things said about zionist might have ‘libel’ against zionism but not anti semitism against Jews.
          The other thing that bothered me was the activist doing the zionist job for them in equating anti zionism with anti semitism even if they were sincere about their concern being for the movement. While I agree anti semites should not be allowed to infiltrate the movement, and I think it’s more likely zionist infiltrate it than anti semites, I also think the statement by one of the Jewish activist that she was personally ‘offended” by the topic and/ or attacks on zionist somehow swirling around anti semitism, indicates that some of the Jewish activist within might have some problem in their own minds with zionist vr Jews…iow, they conflate it themselves and overreact…… UNLESS, of course there was in those discussions some of conflating Jews with zionist… then they would be justified in that reaction. But since we don’t have access to it all we don’t know,only they know everything ever said in that group. Obviously there were all kinds of opinions expressed in that group and going by Wolf’s story some wanted some kicked out because some didn’t like what some others said. So what else is new..LOL.
          It looks like the whole thing was a fight of opinions about what constituted acceptable discussion about what plus incompetent management of the group as a whole that they then turned into a ‘public’ crusade against anti semitism in Palestine activism. Googling around on Palestines and anti semitism or H denial you can see these fights and outings have been going on since the day any of the Palestine movements started, for years and years, they pop up like clockwork.
          The only solution I see is for FG, board and members, and all Palestine groups is to stick strictly to business and not form groups within for any purpose except their objectives. The members, volunteers, whoever, can find themselves outside venues to carry on whatever they want to talk about.
          The zionist will still try to monitor and disrupt them but FG can legitimately say they aren’t involved in and don’t support extraneous discussions and have no control over what their members do outside FG and don’t have the resources do a total background check on everyone who offers FG help. The zionist monitors won’t accept that but it’s reasonable to the rest of the world and 99.9% of the world, pro or con Israel, hasn’t even paid attention to this brouhaha anyway. It’s been an in-house fight among the activist started by some zionist who saw Berlin’s tweets.

        • LeaNder says:

          I disagree about that. First, the Nazis believed the Jews already had two such power bases: in the USSR and in the USA. Second, I would gather that from a strategic standpoint, Hitler would have much rather have had the Jews concentrated than spread out, because it would have made his goal of murdering them all that much easier.

          I hesitate to go deeper into the topic. Obviously the evidence is mixed, to not repeat my favorite Henry Miller quote, in every statement there is a little error …

          The Arab Revolt triggered some concerns and activities in the Nazi bureaucracy including interferences by the “Führer”. But remember getting rid of Jewish and Austrian Germans by moving them to Palestine, from their perspective must not necessarily have meant they liked the idea of a Jewish state. … It surely was multi voiced choir with Hitler as the final decider and some surely bothered more than others. But I think some did indeed feared it and warned of it.

          I can only access traces online: the specter of a Jewish state. The better pages are missing for me.

          Indeed, by the autumn of 1937, obstacles to increasing Jewish immigration were viewed with greater alarm than the specter of a Jewish state. p. 132:

          Second, I would gather that from a strategic standpoint, Hitler would have much rather have had the Jews concentrated than spread out, because it would have made his goal of murdering them all that much easier.

          Less logistics needed at some time in the future? You think? Firm believe in their invincibility? Look at the maps. One could no doubt try to confirm that, but why? Fact is Zionism already existed, it offered itself as a solution, the resulting concentration was helped but surely not invented by the Nazis. To play a bit with the imagery that started this debate.

          (And, indeed, if the Germans had won in North Africa, he would have immediately set out to occupy Palestine and murder all the Jews there; the Transfer Agreement certainly wouldn’t have stopped him.)

          Well, Rommel was stopped by the Allies. One of the war heroes. My knowledge is vague in this context. Although I am more and more interested in the Middle Eastern real war fronts, and planned ones.

          He would never be afraid of a Jewish state because, in his mind, the only way that the Jewish forces could defeat the superior Germans was if they sabotaged the German effort.

          I can’t verify it, or Nicosia’s sources, but I think they actually did. I can’t confirm this is true for Hitler too, but to a larger extend they mirror their leader. You think it doesn’t fit into their self-perception of invincibility? Remember the war and the war against Jewry merged in their heads.

          I am pretty sure I have read about fears in this context not only in Nicosia. But I am not a systematic scholar in this context. I hope you did not get the impression I tried to ever pretend that.

        • Mooser says:

          “I believe Chomsky, who is an anarchist Zionist…”

          Good Lord, what an accurate and succinct summation of Chomsky. Why, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve wanted to say “Chomsky is an anarchist Zionist” buit couldn’t find the words.

        • ritzl says:

          @American Great summary and prognosis. Thanks.

        • Bruce says:

          @ American

          opinion
          noun
          a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge

          We agree, you do have lots of opinions.

        • W.Jones says:

          North of 49
          You wrote:

          Yeah, my impression… is that Berlin is a bit of a nut. But you have to be a bit of a but to get the idea to run a blockade into Gaza with a ship full of activists… The more I think about this, the more this whole brouhaha appears to be a internecine power squabble laced with personality conflicts.

          LOL. Yes, and everyone is alittle bit nuts I guess. Some more than others in different ways.

        • W.Jones says:

          Leander and Woody

          Whatever the [under-acknowledged] truth of the Academic article on collaboration and facilitation we mentioned above, I don’t think it tells the whole story. I think that a big portion of Zionists could not but sympathize with the Nazis’ victims and thus wish to end Nazism, as well as to work against it.

          American,
          My guess is that alot of anti-Semites are actually neurotic, overgeneralize, and sometimes they really do focus on Zionism. Then, people who are particularly sensitive about anti-Semitism see these “warning signs” coming out and based on their own experience and background make a judgment call about someone that may or may not be true.

        • American says:

          @ Bruce

          They have grounds for impeaching her for damaging group ‘credibility’ in allowing/promoting inaccurate statements and conspiracy theories not germane to FG business and allowing some of the group to be sidectrakcd by this.
          Not for being an anti semite. They didn’t prove that.

  14. seafoid says:

    All the rules are set by the bots. You shall not break the taboo of the Shoah. You shall not question Israeli military aid. There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Rachel Corrie died in an accident. Israel is a democracy. And on and on.

    What difference does it make what a few nuts say about the second world war anyway ? Will it bring Krakow’s Jews back to life? Does Israel give a flying f@#$ about human rights? Would it let those people in today? Of course it wouldn’t.

    Abunimah is tactically right in this instance to distance the Palestinian movement from this tweet but there is a bigger issue to fight over the long term- breaking Zionist hegemony over the debate.

    Israel is full of sh$% AND f#$%ing nuts

  15. soysauce says:

    You write: “BTW: Sorry if I have wrongly assumed you are Jewish as I find your writing on this reflective of the values of that community and not of Palestinians as I know them.”

    So Bekah’s values that lead her to reject racism and anti-Semitism are, in your mind, not reflective of the Palestinians as you know them. You do not then know Palestinians as I know them. I am sick of non-Palestinians making this movement about their own sick ideas and egos.

    Thank you, Bekah, for clarifying this ugly incident. I find this affair to be a moment of clarity in the struggle for Palestinian freedom.

  16. conchovor says:

    [To paraphrase what a fantastic Palestinian activist once said, there were Jews in Palestine long before Zionism, and there will be Jews there long after Zionism as well.]

    Well, Jews were kept to a tiny, highly discriminated against minority, as imperial Christian and Islamic apartheid had prescribed, as Jews’ punishment for rejecting Jesus and the prophets.

    You may enthuse about the former state of affairs. I doubt most Israeli Jews will.

    • W.Jones says:

      Conch,

      This may be true about Islamic period, however, the Byzantine Empire did not expel them, and in fact they, together with the Persians, conquered the Holy Land from the Byzantines in the 7th century AD.

      • conchovor says:

        [This may be true about Islamic period, however, the Byzantine Empire did not expel them,]

        It would be more true to say that they consolidated, enshrined and exacerbated the original pagan Roman dispossession. The Byzantines were Christian Romans, and they held that dispossession was Jews’ proper lot for rejecting Jesus Christ, and continued to maintain it for Jerusalem, while proceeding apace with Christian Greco-Roman colonizing of the former Jewish heartland, so that very few Jews now lived in Judea.

        They continued to exact from all Jews the temple tax, as a punishment which treated all Jews, empire-wide, as de facto fellow conspirators with the Judean rebels.

        [and in fact they, together with the Persians, conquered the Holy Land from the Byzantines in the 7th century AD.]

        Well, they helped the Persians take Jerusalem, where they wreaked revenge against the Romans/Christians (the difference is pretty much semantic for the period). Shortly afterwards the Persians expelled the Jews from Jerusalem, finding it more prudent to make alliances with the Christians.

        • Mooser says:

          Gee, Conchover, things was tough in those days. Those poor Jews. So I guess that was the end of them, huh?

        • W.Jones says:

          Conchover,

          Besides the fact that many Jewish historians point to a significant continued Jewish presence in the Holy Land- although there was conversion into Christianity and Islam at that time, I can add that Julian the Apostate emperor actually allowed attempt(s) at rebuilding the Temple. I believe this was after Constantine had already accepted Christianity. Plus, as you mentioned, there was a very bloody attack on the Byzantine empire done in coordination with the Persians. The point is that for all these events to occur, it suggests strongly that there was no expulsion. As a result of centuries of conversion, researchers at Hebrew University said that the Palestinians themselves are to a big extent Jewish.

          This may remind you of the question of the Lost Colony at Roanoke, NC. The colony wasn’t really lost. All the clues point to the fact that many of the Indians in the area were actually from the lost colony, and later dispossessed by white settlers who were either unaware or did not care about this.

        • conchovor says:

          [Conchover, Besides the fact that many Jewish historians point to a significant continued Jewish presence in the Holy Land- although there was conversion into Christianity and Islam at that time,]

          Sure. But the evidence is primarily of Syrian and Palestinian +pagans+ converting to Christianity. The traditions relate but that very few Jews did.

          [I can add that Julian the Apostate emperor actually allowed attempt(s) at rebuilding the Temple.]

          He decreed in May 363 that Jews might return and rebuild the temple. By the end of June 363, he was dead. It was a tiny window of opportunity, the news of which would have reached most Jews probably only when it was too late.

          [I believe this was after Constantine had already accepted Christianity. Plus, as you mentioned, there was a very bloody attack on the Byzantine empire done in coordination with the Persians. The point is that for all these events to occur, it suggests strongly that there was no expulsion.]

          Not really. Julian wouldn’t have allowed a restoration unless Jews had experienced a dispossession and sense of loss. The Persians wouldn’t have done the same unless Jews desired a return and restoration.

          Titus, the destroyer of the temple, when the Antiochenes requested he expel the Jews of the city, said he could not: when people were banished, he explained, they normally return to their ancestral home. Antiochene Jews could not, because their fatherland (‘patria’) had been destroyed.

          That Jews had been dispossessed was simply how Jews were regarded from early on, not only by themselves, but by Greco-Roman pagans then Christians.

          [As a result of centuries of conversion, researchers at Hebrew University said that the Palestinians themselves are to a big extent Jewish.]

          No. They said that Palestinian Arab Muslims and Christians and (primarily Ashkenazi) Jews are strongly related. All that need mean is that the people who moved in to replace the Jews of Judea i.e. primarily Syrians were closely related to Judeans anyway.

          Jerome, when writing from Bethlehem in the fourth-fifth centuries, says that gentiles are moving/have moved in to repopulate the houses and villages abandoned by the Jews in Judea in the wake of the Roman destructions.

          Another piece of evidence is that Christian Palestinian Aramaic/Syriac only begins to produce extent literature from the fifth-sixth century, and its dialect derives from pagan, not Jewish, Aramaic, the Aramaic in which the Talmuds are written.

        • W.Jones says:

          Conchover,

          Can you please point to a source for your statement “Sure. But the evidence is primarily of Syrian and Palestinian +pagans+ converting to Christianity. The traditions relate but that very few Jews did.”

          One Byzantine Patriarch who made it a major goal (if not a policy) of converting the Jews in the Holy Land to Christianity, and there are alot of stories about them being forced to accept Islam as well. (ideas like “Islam spread by the sword” etc).

          I pointed out that the fact Julian attempted to rebuild the Temple and there was also a major attack by them in coordination with the Persians suggested that they were in the region in order to accomplish these things and you responded: “Not really. Julian wouldn’t have allowed a restoration unless Jews had experienced a dispossession and sense of loss. The Persians wouldn’t have done the same unless Jews desired a return and restoration.”
          Under Julian the loss could have been losing the Temple and under the Persians the loss could have been a loss of sovreignty. Just because you are restoring yourself to a former position of power doesn’t mean you have been completely driven out of the country.

          You wrote: All [the DNA evidence] need mean is that the people who moved in to replace the Jews of Judea i.e. primarily Syrians were closely related to Judeans anyway.
          I disagree. The DNA evidence compares many nationalities and shows that Palestinians, unlike Syrians, correspond to Jewish DNA.

          You wrote:“Jerome, when writing from Bethlehem in the fourth-fifth centuries, says that gentiles are moving/have moved in to repopulate the houses and villages abandoned by the Jews in Judea in the wake of the Roman destructions.”
          Sure, that makes sense, however he actually moved to Bethlehem in the first place in order to learn Hebrew so he could use it for translating the Bible. He did this with the help of Jewish Christians, who knew Hebrew.

          I have to ask myself: what happened to the once-large Jewish Christian community of Jerome’s time? Where are their descendants today?

          There are Palestinian families that pass down the answer to this question is that their ancestors were Jews, and that they became the Christians of Palestine.

          I can also recommend to you the work of Tsvi Misinai, an Israeli researcher who pursues this topic from an Israeli nationalist viewpoint.

          I disagree that Christian Palestinian Aramaic/Syriac’s dialect derives from pagan, not Jewish, Aramaic, the Aramaic in which the Talmuds are written.
          The inventor of modern Hebrew, Eliezar Ben Yehuda, wrote that he found enormous overlap between Palestinian Christian Aramaic and the language of the Mishnahs and Talmud.

          Take for example the Aramaic words found spoken in the Gospels. Linguists argue over whether these words are really “Mishnaic Hebrew” or Aramaic, because they are so close. For example, Jesus’ words on the Cross: “Lama Savacthani”. Either you have a Jew (Jesus) speaking Aramaic or speaking “Mishnaic Hebrew”, both of which would have been well known to and spoken by the Jewish and Christian communities of the time anyway.

          Regards.

    • grandpont says:

      ‘Well, Jews were kept to a tiny, highly discriminated against minority, as imperial Christian and Islamic apartheid had prescribed, as Jews’ punishment for rejecting Jesus and the prophets.’

      Bullshit. Before the advent of Zionism the position of Jews in Palestine was no different to that in other provinces of the Ottoman Empire. The status of Dhimmi to which they were subjected differed in no way from that of Christians, and if anything the Ottomans favoured Jews over Christians as less likely to be sympathetic to the Ottomans’ Christian enemies.

      There was never anything to stop the Jews of Bagdad, Istanbul, Izmir, Salonica, Damascus or Cairo from moving to Palestine if they wanted. They didn’t want to because while it was a praiseworthy deed for an individual Jew to spend his days in study and prayer in the Holy Land, a collective return was regarded as a miraculous event to be brought about by the Messiah and to hasten it by human action was expressly forbidden.

      Conchovor [under his various pseudonyms] has been making a speciality for some time of spreading this ingeniously confected version of history to function as a parallel to the Palestinian Nakba narrative – the Jews also, he can argue were ‘ethnically cleansed’ from their homeland by the Christian and Muslim ancestors of the Palestinians. So they are no better than the Zionist Jews, and they started it.

      In fact no serious historian any longer supports the myth of an ‘ethnic cleansing’ of the Jews from Palestine after AD70, and the majority of Jews were already living in the Diaspora before the destruction of the temple.

      • conchovor says:

        [Bullshit. Before the advent of Zionism the position of Jews in Palestine was no different to that in other provinces of the Ottoman Empire. The status of Dhimmi to which they were subjected differed in no way from that of Christians, and if anything the Ottomans favoured Jews over Christians as less likely to be sympathetic to the Ottomans’ Christian enemies.]

        That may have been true in the Crusader period. It wasn’t true in 19th century Jerusalem, and hadn’t been for some time. According to the well known account related by Karl Marx, for instance, Jerusalem Jews were routinely abused by Christians, as well as Muslims, the former thinking themselves yet superior, and more possessed, than Jews, even yet. In fact the equalizing of Jews in legal status by the Capitulations brought the gripe that, for Christians, it was a leveling down.

        But Ashkenazim were expelled from Jerusalem in the 18th century, and a ban remained in force for about a century. Their return in the 19th century ensured abuse from the locals which, as I said, even Karl Marx relates, with some sympathy.

        [There was never anything to stop the Jews of Bagdad, Istanbul, Izmir, Salonica, Damascus or Cairo from moving to Palestine if they wanted.]

        In the 17th century, when the Sultan heard that Jews in his realm dared hope that Shabtai Tzvi might even miraculously restore them to the land, he contemplated executing every adult Jewish male for their audacity. His hand was stayed. But a large scale Jewish return to the land, in other than dribs and drabs, was to reverse a dispossession which Islam held to be Jews’ lot, even as did Christianity.

        [They didn’t want to because while it was a praiseworthy deed for an individual Jew to spend his days in study and prayer in the Holy Land, a collective return was regarded as a miraculous event to be brought about by the Messiah and to hasten it by human action was expressly forbidden.]

        Well, asides the physical difficulty of uprooting and travel, Ketuboth 111a, to which I think you refer, simply states that Jews should not ‘scale the wall’, which is almost surely a motif relating to siege warfare.

        Otherwise, all it says is that the gentiles should not oppress Jews too much (i.e. that they are compelled to leave their lands), while Jews should not rebel against the gentiles (i.e. the imperial gentile powers that be).

        Well, Israel/Jews did not rebel against the nations. As a rule they were model citizens, and assimilated strongly. They were oppressed, by and large, either to leave their homes, or this world.

        So, that part of the deal could be argued have been broken by the gentiles, in Old World Christendom and Islam.

        [Conchovor [under his various pseudonyms]]

        Grandpoint your birth name, is it? As to ‘various’, whereas you recognise my cognomen (and it is a family name), I do not recognise yours, though I think I have an idea:)

        [has been making a speciality for some time of spreading this ingeniously confected version of history to function as a parallel to the Palestinian Nakba narrative – the Jews also, he can argue were ‘ethnically cleansed’ from their homeland by the Christian and Muslim ancestors of the Palestinians. So they are no better than the Zionist Jews, and they started it.]

        Well, I think it only fair to observe that, from the beginning, and for most, of Christian and Islamic history, that the Jews are a people exiled or dispossessed for rejecting Jesus and the prophets has been an absolute assumption or given.

        [In fact no serious historian any longer supports the myth of an ‘ethnic cleansing’ of the Jews from Palestine after AD70, and the majority of Jews were already living in the Diaspora before the destruction of the temple.]

        Perhaps so (and the matter is a good deal more complicated than you allow).

        Nevertheless, from the beginning, and for most, of Christian and Islamic history, that the Jews are a people exiled or dispossessed for rejecting Jesus and the prophets has been an absolute assumption or given.

        If you read the earliest Palestinian Arab Muslim and Christian nationalist literature, that Jews are a people dispossessed for their sins, and conversely Palestinian Arab Muslims and Christians possessed, of the land, for their superior virtue, is a commonplace.

        And while Palestinian Arab Christians have been more sophisticated in the later 20th in putting their case to western audiences, foregoing some of their more traditional ideas of Jews, and their proper status wrt to the land, Islamist, Arabic discourse is often much less restrained. Indeed it leaks even into English discourse, whereby you will have such as Azzam Tamimi giving a lecture in 2004 or so, where he will state that no Jew resided in Palestine at the time of the Islamic conquest.

        Or you will have such as Yassir Arafat saying no Jewish temple ever stood on the site of the Haram. And that is a view by no means uncommon, its having started, in fact, in the late 19th century, when the Mufti found it necessary to say that the attachment of the growing numbers of Jews in Jerusalem to the western wall was a wholly invented thing.

        In any case, I thing, Mr Point, you will find it hard to represent the life of Jews in Jerusalem or Palestine as anything other than one of discrimination, by modern standards often pretty wretched.

        And the modern record of treating minorities in Arab lands, Jewish, Christian or other, does not bode well either.

        So Bekah Wolf may look forward to things going back to how they were, before the Zionist serpent allegedly entered the imperial Islamic Eden. Those Israeli Jews descended from most of the (non- or anti-Zionist) Arab Jews effectively driven out in the 20th century will feel differently.

        • Mooser says:

          “Those Israeli Jews descended from most of the (non- or anti-Zionist) Arab Jews effectively driven out in the 20th century will feel differently.”

          Wow, we totally agree, Conchover! I also am pretty positive every Zionist who has someplace else to go will skedaddle from Israel, and leave the Arab Jews to take the rap and bear the consequences. Glad you see it my way.

        • @Hostage

          My use of the Damascus blood libel was illustrative; both Moslems and Christians used it against the Jews. There was another blood libel accusation in Jerusalem in the 1830′s but the accusers were arrested.

          I also use the Damascus blood libel because my family in Jerusalem were instrumental in freeing the Jews arrested but not tortured to death in Damascus.

        • @Mooser

          If truth be told, record numbers of ex-pat Israelis are coming home and a steady stream of French Jews are making aliyah as well.

        • pz, could you provide a source for your “record numbers” allegation.

        • Mooser says:

          “If truth be told, record numbers of ex-pat Israelis are coming home and a steady stream of French Jews are making aliyah as well.”

          Gosh, all my imaginary friends are just plain old Americans. That bit of continental sophistication must be nice in cloud-cuckoo-land.
          PZ, you’re a Zionist, right? Why on earth would I, having been raised with Zionists, not assume you are prevaricating about everything until proven different. It’s the only sensible course to take.

          I mean tell me, PZ, why you wouldn’t do to me what you do to Palestinians?

        • Hostage says:

          Some accounts of the Damascus affair of 1840 highlight the actual roles played by Western government officials as interlopers in the affair:

          The accusers of the Jews were not the Muslim majority. The French consul, the representative of the nation that had given the world the Rights of Man and had been the first to grant Jews the full right of citizenship, was the chief prosecutor. The British consul, serving under the enlightened Lord Palmerston and the new Queen, aided the prosecution. The American consul supported the charges. The Sultan, famed for the excesses of his court and his arbitrary rule of the vast Ottoman empire, and the Austrians, who tightly restricted the rights of Jews in their own empire, defended the accused Jews. The venerable London Times printed reports that defied its liberal reputation, while conservative Austrian and French newspapers took the equally unexpected opposite stand. As news of the Damascus accusations spread, diplomacy and confused loyalties made for strange bedfellows.

          — Ronald Florence, “Blood libel: the Damascus affair of 1840″, Univ of Wisconsin Press, 2004, liner notes synopsis.

        • @Mooser.

          “I mean tell me, PZ, why you wouldn’t do to me what you do to Palestinians?”

          I see more Arabs here in Israel on a daily basis then you see in a year.
          The Arabs I see here in Israel are thriving and no one bothers them. In all the time I’ve spent here in Israel, I’ve never once seen a Jew raise his voice to an Arab, much less his hand. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, I’m saying I’ve never seen it ( and this is a small country).

        • Shingo says:

          proudzionist777 doesn’t do numbers Annie, especially record numbers .

        • Inanna says:

          The demographic bomb has dropped. There are more non-Jews than Jews between the river and the sea. They will have justice, sooner or later. And then, we’ll see all those Jews who can leave, will leave. After all, the whole idea was to keep the land for themselves and get rid of the unmentionables, not actually having to live with more than is necessary to do the dirty work.

        • conchovor says:

          Mooser,

          I don’t even know what any of that means. About 40% of Israeli Jews now descend from ‘Islamic’ Jews, but the narrative of those Jews now pervades Israeli Jewish society.

        • conchovor says:

          [There are more non-Jews than Jews between the river and the sea.]

          Not yet, but that tendency is a reason for pulling out of the territories, I agree.

          [They will have justice, sooner or later. And then, we’ll see all those Jews who can leave, will leave.]

          Clearly ‘justice’ for you seems tantamount to expelling most Israeli Jews.

          I think they have a different definition of justice.

      • @Grandpont

        “The status of Dhimmi to which they were subjected differed in no way from that of Christians,”

        Not quite correct. Only Jews were blood libeled.

        link to amazon.com

        “There was never anything to stop the Jews of Bagdad, Istanbul, Izmir, Salonica, Damascus or Cairo from moving to Palestine if they wanted”

        Well. Shabtai Tzvi, the Jewish ‘false messiah’, sought an ingathering of the Jews and a return to the Land of Israel. The Ottoman sultan offered Shabtai Tzvi a choice, convert to Islam or die. Shabtai Tzvi converted.

        • i thought sarah palin was blood libeled?

          ok, bad joke. how are you defining blood libel. it’s a term used now meaning to falsely accuse jews of committing a crime of murder which they did not commit is it not? or are you narrowing the definition to murder children to use their blood in certain aspects of their religious rituals and holidays?

        • Hostage says:

          Not quite correct. Only Jews were blood libeled.

          Ahem, please stop embarrassing yourself. The early Christians were the first ones to suffer persecution as a result of misunderstanding about their symbolic practice of consuming the body and blood of Jesus in the ceremony of the Eucharist.

          The Arab and Ottoman Empires lasted longer than the Aztecs and the Incas. Yet the Ziobots always use the modern events in Damascus circa 1840 for propaganda. Even in that case, the accusations began with the Christians and were exacerbated by European interlopers. FYI, it was the Occidentals, not the Orientals, who could be accused of originating the practice of blood libel against the Jews with much greater justification, e.g. link to covenant.idc.ac.il

        • Hostage says:

          Well. Shabtai Tzvi, the Jewish ‘false messiah’, sought an ingathering of the Jews and a return to the Land of Israel. The Ottoman sultan offered Shabtai Tzvi a choice, convert to Islam or die. Shabtai Tzvi converted.

          He had been summarily excommunicated and banished by his own Jewish community when he first claimed to be the Messiah in 1648. So he wasn’t really a dhimmi Jew any longer. You conveniently overlook the fact that Zvi and his many followers had long-since abolished observance of the commandments among their own ranks and ceased to be observant Jews.

          So why do so many Zionists complain about the fact that he chose to abandon that unholy state of affairs in order to save his neck and become a Muslim? It appears as if you’re trying to claim that the Sultan forced people to abandon their covenant and convert from Judaism to Islam. That’s simply not the case.

          Zvi wasn’t persecuted because he was a dhimmi. He was a charlatan with an enormous multitude of ill-tempered followers who had announced quite publicly that they would take the kingship from the ruler of Turkey by force, if necessary, and make him a vassal.

          Zvi was the first Jew to be held in the prison for notables awaiting trial at Gallipoli. It was actually a palace. As a convert he was given an honorary post and a salary from the Sultan’s purse. So it’s really a “poor boy makes good” story.

  17. kma says:

    seems overly-dramatic to go to such lengths to demonstrate why you think Greta is anti-semitic, drag others into it, and broadcast it all publicly, and then say “this is incredibly damaging to the Palestine solidarity movement”. then why broadcast it to the uninvolved and label the PSM?
    really? if I had to explain all of this to my family (ultimately to explain why Ann Wright was rejected), they’d fall asleep. even after reading all the links, I’m not sure I could.
    and what is all this martyrdom about being so pure without any racism/bigotry/etc “in our midst”? are you people aliens? do you really see groups of people who are without blemish and groups who are to be discarded? or are you scared of a blemish in the mirror?
    from the perspective of someone who doesn’t want to hear another obscure definition of “anti-semite” (Greta Berlin, now), this all seems way more related to personal issues that clearly hound you guys. if you don’t like Greta, don’t join her facebook. don’t let her on your boat. whatever. if it is truly a movement, it isn’t hiding behind the face of one person or group, blemish or no blemish.
    and it’s not “your” tent, either.

  18. kma says:

    Cliff writes:
    “I would like to see some analogs to this farce. Has there ever been another conflict where one group (Zionist Jews) were so thoroughly dominating another (Palestinian Arabs) and the intellectual community was still bogged down and brought to their knees regularly when the former was slighted?”

    probably all the time. last year when our local “occupy” encampment got rolling, there was constant conflict between the haves and the have-nots. lots of examples! such as: a homeless guy defecated in the middle of the night right in front of City Hall. oops. some started to want to keep out the truly indigent so they wouldn’t ‘soil’ the ‘movement’. some wanted to stop them from coming by just to get free food, even though it was free for the haves. and later on it became an issue that some campers smelled of alcohol at night, but I’m pretty sure that the home-full (who regularly ran the meetings) drank at night when they went home. I miss all of it, even the holier-than-thou stuff. it was healthy for all of us.

    • MRW says:

      Cliff writes:
      “I would like to see some analogs to this farce. Has there ever been another conflict where one group (Zionist Jews) were so thoroughly dominating another (Palestinian Arabs) and the intellectual community was still bogged down and brought to their knees regularly when the former was slighted?”

      Yeah, the Catholic priests in the 50s who diddled kids before it became fashionable to out and punish them. The flock took the side of the slighted priests. (Except the priests didn’t mix it up with murder, bombs, and torture.)

  19. ritzl says:

    1) According to Ms. Wolf, Berlin’s pattern of offending behavior has been known for some time. Who knew about it and when did they know? Was it overlooked over the past couple of years as the boats were coming?

    2) Zero tolerance is a machine function. With the handling of this situation, and many of the subsequent pronouncements (including Gabriel Ash’s “shadow people” of whom I assume I am now one given my take on this “situation”), ALL accusations of antisemitism now have to be taken seriously and investigated, regardless of source, lest they be true (and destroy another few years of work by hundreds of people). I think that’s an impossible, dispiriting, energy-sucking, derivative/dependent situation, but then it’s not my call.

    3) I wish the Palestinians, and the Palestinian cause all the best.

    • ritzl says:

      Edit: “Who knew and when did they know it / overlooked?” applies to Berlin’s accusers as much as, if not more than, anyone else.

    • seafoid says:

      There is a touch of the Liberation Front of Judea vs Judean Liberation front about the whole story .

      • ritzl says:

        Heh. A touch. Or of this… (submitted without humor)

        link to mmm.grime.net

        “I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said ‘Stop! don’t do it!’ ‘Why shouldn’t I?’ he said. I said, ‘Well there’s so much to live for!’ ‘Like what?’ ‘Well, are you religious or atheist?’ ‘Religious.’ ‘Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?’ ‘Christian.’ I said, ‘Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?’ ‘Protestant.’ ‘Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?’ ‘Baptist!’ ‘Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?’ ‘Baptist Church of God!’ ‘Me too! Are you original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?’ ‘Reformed Baptist Church of God!’ ‘Me too! Are you reformed baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915?’ He said, ‘Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915!’ I said, ‘Die, heretic scum,’ and pushed him off.” – Emo Phillips

  20. pabelmont says:

    I join all those who wish the Palestinians the best. And I hate the dispiriting work imposed by the bickering.

    What to do?

    Describe what Israel does (and what the USA supports its doing) without using the words Jew, Jewish, Jewish State, Zionism, Zionist. Speak of Israelis (the 20% of Arab Israelis will forgive you).

    Say: The Israelis did this, the pre-State Israelis did that, these are/were the current events/history. And don’t call him “Bibi”. Call him “Binyamin Netanyahu”. Note the “Y”.

    Should look like: “Today in the occupied Palestinian territories, Israeli (illegal) settler terrorists shot 5 Palestinian children and burned 10 olive trees which are a family’s sole source of income.” Stress the law, the Israeli acts, the Palestinian injury. You don’t need to say “Zionists” or “Jews”.

  21. rws450 says:

    The argument seems very weak to me. Behind a looming headline and important sounding subtitles (“A history of anti-semitism”) it is thin thin thin.

    The exaggeration is typified by the references to Greta’s “unprincipled, vicious” attack (via tweet) and the “Islamaphobic attack” (on Palestinians). Look at the links and judge for yourself. The prosecutor’s characterizations are, well, ridiculous.

    If Greta was such an antisemite why was she adding/inviting Bekah to the group in the first place? Why was she praising her so highly in her email comment?

    The video and writings of Eustace Mullin are clearly antisemitic and idiotic. But these days who among us has not quickly sent a poorly worded email or posted something they really didn’t mean to post or forwarded something that you have have read yourself?

    Granted that the comments are over the top, but the article that is referred to (“The Zionist Nazi Collaboration”) from countercurrents.org was recommended by none other than Mazin Qumsiyeh in one of his postings from Beit Sahour.

    I find the article from +972 to be much more informative and probably accurate on this controversy. Here is is:

    link to 972mag.com

    Maybe what this boils down to is that some people are very sensitive to the faintest whiff of real or imaginery anti-semitism. I think they should pause a lot longer, examine the whole record, look at the work and overall history before condemning others who have also worked hard for justice in Israel Palestine.

    The right wing likes us fighting with each other and weak. We should be resisting this rather than exaggerating differences or helping them divide us.

  22. Danaa says:

    I see the piling on Greta – whatever her transgressions – then Ann Wright (who had no transgressions we know of, other than being on the board of FGM) – as symptomatic of some larger, if somewhat hidden – effects that are happening in the background. There can be no doubt that more Jewish people are being drawn into the campaign against Israel’s atrocious deed, many openly embracing the Palestinian cause for justice and human rights. But as more jewish people – including those who were fence sitters before – are drawn into the conflict, many will have to face the critical question of whether Jewish people need to separate themselves from zionism, which is a code name for Israel. Indeed when someone calls themselves “anti-zionist” they are in fact “anti-Israel” because whatever the romantic notions of the good old zionism one might carry around (for nostalgic reasons, if nothing else), the Israel that is happening now, the militarized Israel that becomes more theorcractic and undemocratic, is one at odds with the liberal, inclusive values that a majority of jewish people in the west have come to address.

    But there is an even deeper problem – one nconfronting not just jewish people but anyone who follows the approaching catastrophe as it unfolds in front of our very eyes. Since so many Jews out there still support Israel – or continue to stay quiet in the face of the abominations it commits against other human beings, there is bound to be an an “anti jewish” element that will sneak into the conversations, and no use denying it. Whether we call them neocons or liberal zionists, those of us who make the commitment to justice and the upholding of human rights, cannot but notice and comment on the fact that our adversaries are jewish. And we cannot use ignorance as an excuse or fear or tradition. Jewish people in the US, be it in the guise of the Lobby, or J Street or the various denominations are the enablers of extremly uncivilized, indeed brutish, behavior by Israel. These are simply facts that all of us here recognize.

    But hence the dilemma – we all may be wrestling with how to deal with “The jewish Question”, whichever side we come on whatever opinion we hold on the Greta berlin and/or Gilad Atzmon cases. Once we recognize that israel is not only committing crimes against humanity – but intends to commit even more – indeed as much as they can get away with, how do we maintain an “anti-zionist” activist outlook, without sliding into blanket denunciations of Jewish people as a category. And from there, the potential for diversion to outright Judeophobia is perhaps there.

    At various times I’ve seen people express the dilemma – Mooser for example, who bears little good will towards the zionist enterprise (well, I mention him but there are many others who gave it voice). My theory is that l’affaire Greta Berlin is just the tip of the iceberg of what’s to come as different forces start pulling the community of activists in different directions. Alas, these internal battles are not helping the palestinians, but there’s no point in denying that certain battles will break out.

    • how do we maintain an “anti-zionist” activist outlook, without sliding into blanket denunciations of Jewish people as a category.

      we have to remain diligent and communicate it is not ever ok. it has to be eradicated from not just our movement, but from our society. no different than all forms of racism.

      we need eachother.

      • seafoid says:

        I think the younger generation of Jews has to figure this out.

        Racism should have no part in the work for Palestinian freedom but the Zionists have succeeded in wedding Judaism to their ideology. Zionism is headed for the cliff. It is an incredibly sensitive subject but one that Jews have to disentangle IMO.

        This comes back to the Weiss seder table and the excruciating and as yet unheld conversation between mother and son.

      • kma says:

        Robbins: “we need eachother” … but “it has to be eradicated”. you’re going to eradicate Berlin and Wright and Atzmon? for “it”?
        I may be “it” too, so I’m not needed. who’s left?

        meanwhile, I’m sure lots of decent activists also run facebook groups full of card-carrying fascist Democrats that defend some very very bad people and probably even have bumperstickers that say you should vote for them.

        • seafoid says:

          “We need each other” is not very Zeitgeisty in the style of Paul Ryan though. “You are on your own” is more like it.

          Israel is very Ryanesque. Ask Meir Panim.

          link to meirpanim.org

          40% of Israeli kids live below the poverty line. How DOES Israel afford the settlers?

        • kma, i was referencing racism not people. a person is not an ‘it’, a behavior is. it seems as tho you are willfully misinterpreting me. plus, i purposely copy and pasted danaa’s text for reference. why would you even consider asking me a question like that, it’s inflammatory and does not further understanding. and it completely disregards the concept of “we need eachother.”

          i have not advocated eradicating anyone.

        • kma says:

          does that mean Greta (Wright, Blankfort, etc) can come back after their spankings and time in the penalty box?
          who exactly writes these laws, anyway? when is the manual coming out that defines anti-semitic behavior?
          and can you tell us how you managed to eradicate all bigotry from yourself?

        • Hostage says:

          does that mean Greta (Wright, Blankfort, etc) can come back after their spankings and time in the penalty box? who exactly writes these laws, anyway? when is the manual coming out that defines anti-semitic behavior?

          There was a fairly long discussion about the Holocaust and Nakba denial comment rules when they were first announced.
          link to mondoweiss.net

          Both are a specific form of hate speech. So you could simply use the definition contained in the EU framework decision on racism. It criminalizes forms of Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism that involve the offensive behavior of publicly excusing, denying, or grossly trivializing genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes listed in either the Nuremberg Charter or the Statute of the International Criminal Court.

          Lawmakers wrote those definitions. Courts in Europe and other countries with similar hate speech laws, e.g. Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act link to laws-lois.justice.gc.ca, have ordered content removed or blocked access to websites containing such material.

          As for Jeff Blankfort, Jeff has long provided some of the keenest analysis of the Israel lobby and how it works. I’ve relied on him for guidance in this area—just as Occupy AIPAC will feature Jeff as a speaker at the gathering this weekend, a session I look forward to attending. One thing we disagreed on and that became an issue here was the claim of collective American “Jewish responsibility” for support for Israel– when in fact there are many Jews who are not Zionists, including Adam and me and Jeff Blankfort, too. Also Jeff sought to have a discussion of the Jewish historical role in the rise of the Nazis in Germany here. As we have made clear, this is not a subject we want any part of. It generally leads to anti-semitism and Holocaust denial, which we won’t tolerate on the site, and unquestionably hurts our ability to reach out.

          We have big (and transgressive) goals on this site: to change the discourse on Israel and Palestine so as to change the politics of the conflict (and stop a war with Iran). We don’t have the energy for distractions. I continue to rely on Jeff’s thinking about the workings of the lobby. I hope to feature his work here in the future, if and when he’s open to it.

          link to mondoweiss.net

    • Bing Bong says:

      “I see the piling on Greta – whatever her transgressions – then Ann Wright (who had no transgressions we know of, other than being on the board of FGM) – as symptomatic of some larger, if somewhat hidden – effects that are happening in the background.”

      You mean groups like the extreme right Greater Union Party being on board the Mavi but kept in the background of the movement because they are of similar dispositions to Greta Berlin?

      • Mooser says:

        “You mean groups like the extreme right Greater Union Party being on board the Mavi”

        Bing-Bong, we all know that only the wrong people care about Palestinians. And sharing a “disposition”? What a crime!

        • Bing Bong says:

          Greta Berlin and the BPP being good examples of the wrong people caring about Palestinians sharing a good example of a nasty disposition. Concentrate on the right people if you want, you’re in the wrong thread for that though.

        • Hostage says:

          You mean groups like the extreme right Greater Union Party being on board the Mavi but kept in the background of the movement because they are of similar dispositions to Greta Berlin? . . . Greta Berlin and the BPP being good examples of the wrong people caring about Palestinians sharing a good example of a nasty disposition.

          You’re just upset because they managed to focus world attention on the real problem caused by the group of far right despots in the Israeli cabinet and IDF who didn’t hesitate to launch a combat assault on a humanitarian aid convoy in international waters.

          FYI, many people would view your comments as an example of Islamophobia reflected in an attempt to deny, condone, or trivialize the crimes committed against the passengers of the Mavi Marmara.

    • irishmoses says:

      Danaa,
      Your comment about “The Jewish question” was spot on and deserved a lot more attention and discussion than it unfortunately got. The worse the Palestine situation gets, the more people will look toward Jewish culpability, not Zionist, not Israeli, but Jewish as well. That will be to some extent unfair, but I think it is happening and will only get worse. How can Jews escape culpability for an outrageous situation that was and is being committed in their name?

      The parallel that comes to mind is Germany in the mid-30s. What were all those cultured, educated, productive, articulate, democratic middle class Germans thinking as the oppression before their eyes got worse and worse? It was easy: they ignored it because it was too painful to confront, or they minimized it, or created elaborate rationalizations for it. Couldn’t they see they were on the precipice of barbarity? Apparently they weren’t willing to look at that ghastly possibility and their descent into hell soon followed.

      So who do we blame today for the holocaust? Certainly the Nazis, but also the German people, who, after all had elected Hitler and did virtually nothing to stop his growing oppression of their fellow Jewish citizens while there was still time.

      Is it unfair to blame all Germans for the holocaust? Of course, but they certainly played a role in what happened and must share part of the blame. Does saying that make me an anti-German bigot? I don’t think so. So will attributing part of the blame for what has happened to the Palestinians to inaction by American Jews make me an anti-Semite? I don’t think so. I am certainly more and more disappointed at the self-imposed cluelessness of American Jews to the reality of what is happening in their name in Palestine, but that doesn’t make me an anti-Semite.

      I am reluctant to make analogies to Nazi Germany, particularly where Jews are concerned, but this particular analogy seems more and more appropriate as the situation in Palestine deteriorates and American Jews remain largely silent and uninvolved.

      The question is whether there is still time for Jews to step up and put a stop to this situation. One of the great ironies or paradoxes in the current situation is that American Jews more than any other group, stood up and sacrificed for black Americans during our civil rights struggle in the 1960s. Where are those folks today? What can they possibly be thinking? How can they remain silent?

      Thanks Danaa for your perceptive comment. Hopefully it can still get the attention and discussion it deserves.

    • Danaa we have to be really careful. Just as we can’t condemn all the followers of Islam because of the bigotry and terrorism and vast number of crimes against humanity committed by a relatively few, probably less than a million actual ly, supported by some few millions of others, we must remember that the majority of the billion Muslims of the world are not active supporters of these criminals.
      Many of them merely sympathize with that which the criminals claim as justification for their outrages and murders of the innocent. Many other, such as the millions of hapless Pakistanis, are merely too frightened and unprotected to call out the criminal killers in their midst

      • irishmoses says:

        Fair point M-P, it’s important not to generalize the crimes of a few to an entire race, ethnic group, religion, nationality, etc. On the other hand, people in a democracy have some collective responsibility for the actions of their leaders, and the more egregious their actions the greater the responsibility. If we still permitted slavery in the US it would be difficult to argue that we didn’t have some collective responsibility for permitting it. The fact that a significant minority might not support slavery wouldn’t relieve us of some collective responsibility for its continuance.

        I think Americans have more than a little collective responsibility for what is happening to the Palestinians, and American Jews even more so because what is happening is being done in their name by a country they support and feel a strong attachment and kinship to. When you live in a democracy you have a responsibility to be aware of what is being done by those you elect and those who act in your name. You can’t hide behind the excuse that you didn’t know or weren’t aware of what was going on.

        Collective guilt is slippery slope as your example above shows with regard to the vast majority of Muslims. But just because it can be misused or misapplied doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist in some situations.
        And when it does, calling it that doesn’t mean you are an anti-German or anti-American or anti-Semite bigot.

        The problems in Palestine are not just a Zionist problem, they’re also a Jewish problem and an American problem. The degree of culpability may diminish with distance but it’s still there and it needs to be faced, not glossed over out of fear of crossing the line into the dreaded anti-Semitism.

        The thousands of words devoted to this and the prior threads concerning the transgressions of Greta into the depths of anti-Semitism by a host of articulate commentators seem more than a little overwrought when compared to the collective guilt we all share for the reality of what is happening every day in Palestine.

        Please excuse my untimely interruption. I’d forgotten how important it is to decide just how those deck chairs should be arranged before we all have to dress for the Captain’s dinner.

        • Bing Bong says:

          “The thousands of words devoted to this and the prior threads concerning the transgressions of Greta into the depths of anti-Semitism by a host of articulate commentators seem more than a little overwrought when compared to the collective guilt we all share for the reality of what is happening every day in Palestine.”

          Stop trying to deflect the issue. It’s perfectly valid to discuss what she did considering how serious it is. The reason there is so much discussion is because of the suspicion that this is a more common disposition than just her. Or, more particularly in view of your contributed word count, the desire to disprove that suspicion.

          I imagine you’d probably be keen to object when the “collective guilt” of the Holocaust is used to deflect from what you consider Israeli crimes.

        • the problems in Palestine are mostly a Palestinian problem, not an American of a Jewish one….just as the problems in Ireland are not a Protestant problem or a Catholic one or a European one.

  23. Shmuel says:

    When I first started to look outside my liberal Zionist comfort zone (having previously left a few, more extreme comfort zones) soon after the beginning of the Second Intifada, I joined the Al Awda-Right of Return listserve. Martillo/Provoni/Ajami was there; Israel Shamir was there; a couple of US white supremacists were there; and a guy calling himself Horst Wessel was there. Time after time, Palestinian activists put them in their place, rejecting their racism both in principle and as a detriment to the Palestinian cause – basically telling them, ‘we don’t want or need your kind of support’. Were they following a “Zionist agenda”? Using “the master’s tools”? Showing weakness? It would have been all too easy for them to take the “any enemy of my enemy is my friend” approach or to follow the Zionist example of excusing alliances with Pinochet or Apartheid South Africa as necessary evils for “a small people with few friends in the world”. But they didn’t. They showed both integrity and farsightedness – at the risk of splitting their own movement and rejecting much-needed support.

    It is in that light that I see the positions taken by Abunimah (and other tireless Palestinian activists) in this matter as in the matter of Israel Shamir and Gilad Atzmon. Berlin herself may not be in the same category as the other two but, as Today in Palestine puts it:

    I don’t want to get into any philosophical questions about what truly makes an anti-semite, the fact is that Greta is responsible for this current sh*t storm and it is up to Palestinians (and others like Bekah) to clean up her mess. I understand that Greta has done good work in the past but that does not give her carte blanche to discredit our movement by associating our cause with unsavory characters online.

    • @Schmuel:

      >> I don’t want to get into any philosophical questions about what truly makes an anti-semite, the fact is that Greta is responsible for this current sh*t storm

      But the fact o the matter is that Greta was smeared as an anti-semite, notwithstanding what TodayInPalestine says now, a fair bit after the fact. The same tactics used to silence critics of Israel were turned on one on their own.

      This was a) bad tactics and b) poor form. -N49.

      • Shmuel says:

        But the fact o the matter is that Greta was smeared as an anti-semite

        N49,

        I’ve been away, and haven’t read every scrap written on the subject, but from what I’ve seen, Abunimah, MW, Today in Palestine and others have actually exercised a lot of caution and circumspection: addressing the issue after it had already gone public, giving Greta the opportunity to explain and, unsatisfied with her explanations, focused on the tweet itself and on Greta’s irresponsibility and lack of transparency (primarily after the fact) rather than on her personal beliefs.

        Do you really think that “Zionist tactics” were used to “silence” Greta? A far more likely explanation – actually reflected in the things said by Abunimah and others – is that her behaviour has damaged the cause of Palestinian rights, compelling others, and Palestinians in particular, to distance themselves and the movement as a whole from that behaviour (what Today in Palestine called “cleaning up her mess”).

        • @Schmuel

          >> seen, Abunimah, MW, Today in Palestine and others have actually exercised a lot of caution and circumspection: addressing the issue after it had already gone public, giving Greta the opportunity to explain …

          Do you really think that “Zionist tactics” were used to “silence” Greta? <<

          I don't see it in quite the same way. Greta did explain, but her accusers then insisted that she betray a confidence and disclose the contents of a private FB page. In other words, she was frog-marched off a plank.

          The group she administered was, in passing, no more offensive than that seen here in the early days. See upthread.

          So yes, this episode does have the whiff of Zionist tactics. Taint with the charge of anti-semitism and then compel the accused to show otherwise.

          I should also say that while I don’t think Phil’s original post was the site’s finest hour, I commend our host on allowing the full and vibrant discussion that followed. Regards -N49.

        • seanmcbride says:

          NorthOfFortyNine,

          I should also say that while I don’t think Phil’s original post was the site’s finest hour, I commend our host on allowing the full and vibrant discussion that followed.

          This is one of many reasons why Mondoweiss is such a great political forum — it tolerates a wide range of dissent — and that takes a great deal of intellectual and emotional discipline.

      • Zrow says:

        Yes, the gatekeepers poked their heads above the gate.

  24. FreddyV says:

    I think one big issue here is the term ‘antisemitism’. It’s a word that is confusing at best. Then we have the conflation of Zionism and Judaism.

    Can we be more specific and speak in terms of Anti Zionism and Judeophobia?

    There is a clear distinction and this clarification would be far more helpful to Palestinian activists in getting their message across whilst at the same time removing this ‘catch all’ blurred term of antisemitism that Zionists use as a very effective weapon.

    I don’t think Greta Berlin is a Judeophobe, but certainly an Anti Zionist, but we’re seeing many highly respected people speaking out in terms of her ‘antisemitism’. I just don’t think we’re handling the terminology correctly. Effectively, we are gifting to those who seek to cow pro Palestinians into silence a very powerful tool.

    • seanmcbride says:

      FreddyV,

      I think one big issue here is the term ‘antisemitism’. It’s a word that is confusing at best. Then we have the conflation of Zionism and Judaism.

      Can we be more specific and speak in terms of Anti Zionism and Judeophobia?

      Certainly that difference should matter greatly, but here is the problem: the worldwide Jewish establishment itself, in collaboration with the Israeli government, has completely erased any distinctions among Zionism, Judaism, the Jewish tradition, the Jewish people, etc. — they have put all their eggs in the single basket of Zionism.

      The Jewish establishment itself has made it impossible to discuss Zionism without dragging every aspect of Jewish civilization into the conversation, including the Torah and ancient and contemporary Judaism. Some of that conversation is inevitably going to look antisemitic (and some it will in fact morph into traditional antisemitism).

      So, whose fault is that? Where do we go from here? Roll over and disengage from all critical conversation about Israel and Zionism for fear of offending a controversial ideological and political movement that appears to have made many bad decisions and that is having a huge negative impact on many parties (including on Americans as well as Palestinians)?

      I agree, by the way, that real antisemites should be marginalized in critical discussions about Zionism. But I still haven’t been convinced that Greta Berlin and Ann Wright are in fact antisemites.

      Regarding Joachim Martillo — he is a problematic case. One can easily see why quite a few people would consider his posts to be examples of classical antisemitism. I understand why Mondoweiss banned him. Perhaps Greta Berlin should have been much more aggressive in expressing her disagreements with him. But she is not responsible for his ideas. And his ideas are no more offensive than those expressed by mainstream Zionists every day in supposedly respectable mainstream media outlets like Fox News.

      • Mooser says:

        Is there a difference between being “banned” and having comments deleted so often that the person gives up? While I consider myself fortunate in not knowing for myself exactly what the process is, what exactly is the process? Is there an announcement, or does the commenter just find their comments not appearing, until they get the hint?

        • tree says:

          …or does the commenter just find their comments not appearing, until they get the hint?

          I think that’s the way it happened with Colin Wright. His last posted comments happened on the 14th. I emailed him two days later asking if he had been banned and he assumed so. No formal notice.

          IMHO, a damn shame. Sometimes I agreed with his perspective, sometimes not, but I think he was a net plus for the comment section. I hate to see anyone banned, but Colin’s banning was especially egregious in my opinion.

        • seanmcbride says:

          tree,

          I was appalled by some of the language that Colin Wright repeatedly used expressing his “hatred” of Israel (I am inclined to put “Israel” in quotes, if you catch my drift), but I never called for him to be banned.

          Anyone (and that includes Colin) whose posts aren’t clearing Mondoweiss (in many cases, probably for good reasons) is still free to post on Mondoweiss on Friendfeed here:

          link to friendfeed.com

          Reminder: this forum can be used by Mondoweiss fans to pursue subjects related to Mideast politics that Mondoweiss deems inappropriate according to whatever editorial standards it chooses to uphold and apply. The only posts that may get on my nerves are outright expressions of anti-Jewish white nationalism. There are other forums for that kind of thing.

          For instance, I would like to point out that there are still many open questions about the Robert F. Kennedy assassination and Sirhan Sirhan, but I would have to be crazy to bring them up here. :) And I get why this is the case — that would leave Mondoweiss wide open to being charged with trafficking in “conspiracy theories.” Certainly hophmi would be all over any remarks that challenge the official story on RFK with the usual uninformed bluster. Phil would be barraged with complaints.

        • ToivoS says:

          I agree that Colin often makes sensible points and is worth having around. I have no inside info, but I guessed his abrupt departure was due to his comments being held up — he was after all making a nuisance of himself in that long Greta thread — but I hope he is not permanently banned.

        • W.Jones says:

          Tree,

          Sorry to hear it, if that is the case.

        • Danaa says:

          tree, hear, hear. I wish anyone would say why Colin was banned. Yes, he had lots of comments and had his opinion, but….so do others here. He said he doesn’t like israel, but neither do I – for various reasons (I mean some of us voted with their feet…). So I may be next. Maybe you too, tree – perhaps for the crime of being too rationale where emotion will do (and having said something other than hissy negative about Gilad)? Maybe Hostage is next? And maybe another 60% of the commenters are in purgatory? or could it be 80%? after all, who knows any longer what the criteria are?

        • FreddyV says:

          On another unrelated forum I use, they have a very effective tool. There’s a ‘mod’ account which is used by moderators to close threads or warn posters that they’re in violation of guidelines.

          This isn’t to allow the mods anonymity as everyone knows who they are, as is the case here. It’s designed to remove the familiarity of debate with a poster who also happens to be a mod. The offender responds far better to a formal rebuke either on forum or off list via email.

          I don’t know what happened with Colin, but I think his banishment was due to the Greta thread and his persistent posts at odds with the stated Mondo position. One thing that people don’t realise is that we post at the grace and favour of Phil and Adam and banishment from their realm is at the discretion of the kings and their agents.

          That said, if the method of banning is simply ensuring posts never see the light of day and hoping the poster gives up, that’s not very good. IMHO, if someone takes the time to type up a post (however unsavoury) and post it, they deserve the courtesy of being advised that their comments aren’t wanted, either for a certain period, or permanently as the case may be.

          As I said before, this is a privately owned site and the owners can run it as they see fit. So I’d do it a little differently. The reality is that I’m not running it.

        • seanmcbride says:

          I just noticed that the Mondoweiss software platform doesn’t render https links. Here is the working link for Mondoweiss on Friendfeed:

          link to friendfeed.com

          Ellen just made some interesting comments on the Robert F. Kennedy assassination. Here is an intriguing Google search on that subject:

          Google [robert kennedy assassination sirhan harvard hypnosis daniel brown william pepper]

          link to google.com

          Feel free to discuss any aspect of the RFK assassination in the Friendfeed forum.

          And to be clear on this: Mondoweiss is the best moderated political forum I’ve ever encountered on the net, and the political forum which, in my opinion, has attracted and collected the most interesting minds. (It is impossible to get any two people on the planet to agree fully on how a forum should be moderated — it is impossible to please everyone or anyone all the time.)

        • American says:

          I second Sean’s suggestion that discussions of conspiracy theories go to his ME friend feed.
          Maintain separation.

        • Bruce says:

          @ seanmcbride

          One can certainly understand the reasons you consider Mondoweiss “the best moderated political forum” you’ve “encountered on the net,” which in your opinion “has attracted and collected the most interesting minds.”

          Let’s face it, there are very few sites out there which would allow the Mondoweiss social network such a free reign as Phil and Adam have permitted, especially considering the heat they have taken for the MW comment section.

          Frankly, I am hoping – and certainly endorse – that the entire MW comments social network move to your friendfeed site. I believe this collection of “interesting minds” deserve their own site, freed from any moderation by whomever moderates comments on Mondoweiss.

          The MW postings are frankly just a side show compared to the wisdom and intellectual sophistication one finds in the comments section. It is completely unfair that Adam and Phil don’t let yourself, American, Danaa, Keith, Colin, Klaus, tree, AlGhorear, Cliff and all those others too numerous to list post on the site.

        • Danaa says:

          Bruce,

          Wow. That’s all I can say. OK, not all.

          My opinion (and only mine): either you have the Stockholm Syndorme real bad (literally and figuratively), or you continue to do the job of coring the apple from within as instructed. You have been listing names and calling for bans and purges for some time, and have been on record as agitating for removing the entire comment section on MW before. I don’t think you do so out of ignorance of the consequences to the popularity of MW, but rather in full view of them.

          Every blog, forum or board run by a progressive Jewish person or group has been the subject to such calls. Jewish, only because they are more susceptible. I wouldn’t be surprised if you were assembling a “Team Shalom” as was done on Daily Kos, seeing how you have been doing your best to act as the “loyal Opposition”, gate keeping and all.

          Ultimately, the only question of interest is what Phil and Adam want to do. Phil, in particular, has had his reasons for keeping a lively comments section and I would be far from surprised if he – and Adam- were not under some pressure to shut it down altogether, or at least eviscerate it. Thanks Bruce for making a small part of that pressure manifest. I If I am sure of anything it’s that you represent only the visible part of the iceberg.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Danaa wrote to Bruce:

          You have been listing names and calling for bans and purges for some time, and have been on record as agitating for removing the entire comment section on MW before.

          Wow — is that true?

          It would be interesting to compile a detailed timeline in which pro-Israel activists have tried to shut down free speech and open debate on (and off) the Internet about Mideast politics. I’ll bet that one could quickly fill that database with thousands of items.

          Where is Bruce coming from on Mideast politics? Does anyone know? Perhaps he would care to explain.

          Many pro-Israel activists give the impression that they are members of a messianic authoritarian/totalitarian cult.

        • LeaNder says:

          tree, with one corner of my eye, I caught Sean struggling verbally with Colin Wright. I didn’t pay closer attention on the context admittedly, but was somehow surprised.

          I’ve seen quite a few comments on Jeralyn Merrits, “Talk Left” George Zimmerman tag censured. In her case they go up, without moderator and disappear without leaving a trace. Sometimes she mentions a deletion, never in my case never. The rule behind my disappearing comments seems to be everything that even comes close to question her “left” position, e.g. by asking why she is so enamored with the right wing lore of poor prosecuted George Zimmerman, like in this “bomb shell” motion by O’Mara.

          Personally, I don’t remember having seen a comment by Colin that I would object to, at least I don’t remember, and my personal red lines may be much more restrictive than Sean’s occasionally. But as him I have never asked for anyone to be censured.

          Maybe Colin reflects on what may have triggered it. I don’t think we should make a martyr of him. If he has something really important to say, and feels it is absolutely urgent that the world at large knows about it but he does not get it through here. There is very much space and many tools to articulate himself on the web. I

          The problem administratively may well be, it might be more easy to ban someone than spent time on reading him closely all the time.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Bruce,

          Where are you coming from on Mideast politics? Nation(s) of citizenship? Ethnicity? Religious background? Political orientation and affiliations?

          Are you generally a supporter of ethnic and religious nationalist movements around the world? Or do you pick and choose — and, if so, using what criteria?

          Do you have any problem in engaging in critical discussions about American or European politics — or are those discussions off-limits? Do they cause you any discomfort?

          Which books have most influenced your thinking on Mideast politics?

          I hope you appreciate that I am making an effort to understand you.

        • Donald says:

          I think Bruce is roughly where I am on this subject–very critical of Israel and Zionism, but bothered by talk of hatred of Israel (as you were with Colin’s rhetoric) and wanting a pro-Palestinian movement which is consistently against bigotry in all forms. There are Islamophobes who might make some factually correct criticisms of the crimes of extremist Muslims (the misogyny and terrorism even against other less extreme Muslims comes to mind), but we criticize someone like Ayaan Hirsi Ali because she goes way beyond that into generalizations about all Muslims. Well, there are people like her on the anti-Zionist side, notably including a certain jazz musician.

          As for censorship, (now speaking entirely for myself and not guessing Bruce’s views), I used to be for it in extreme cases, but am not sure now. There are complexities here. On censoring pro-Israel posts I think it’s actually useful to let the extremist Muslim bashing statements stand, because it shows the ugliness of some of that side. Even some self-described liberal Zionists come pretty close to Nakba denial or other forms of atrocity denial. It’s useful to see that. The very best arguments against the Israeli side are made inadvertently by its most ardent defenders, at least to anyone who really does believe in the idea of universal human rights. It’s absolutely appalling to see some of the arguments you can find at other blog comment sections, like, say, at Open Zion. All the pro-Palestinian side has to do in such cases is point out the racism and double standards, the general narcissism and sense of entitlement.

          So is it useful to let people on the ostensibly pro-Palestinian side come out with statements that are either anti-semitic or if not that, really insensitive and stupid about, say, the Holocaust? I don’t know. I don’t object to censorship in such cases, but my preferred solution is that people here jump down the throats of anyone who says something bigoted whether directed against Jews or Muslims (or Iranians or Arabs, or Palestinians or whoever). We don’t all have to react to every bigoted slur, but it’d be nice to have that sort of culture, in my opinion. Then everyone gets their free speech, but the prevailing viewpoint would be that bigots will be treated with contempt by the regulars.

          That hasn’t been the culture here. Actual, outright anti-semites can be here for months and months and be treated as just part of the gang. (I’m particularly remembering two people from 2010 until early 2011 who I’m guessing were banned around then.) I’m not saying that those who didn’t jump down their throats were themselves anti-semites, but that different standards were applied, presumably because resentment of how the charge of anti-semitism is used as a club against legitimate criticisms of Israel and/or Zionism gets in the way of seeing it when it is actually present.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Bruce,

          The MW postings are frankly just a side show compared to the wisdom and intellectual sophistication one finds in the comments section.

          Not only are the main posts on Mondoweiss of generally high quality, but many of the commenters provide background information and analysis of considerable value. I don’t know of any other political forum on the net in which so many participants are so well-read and literate.

          But I am always on the lookout for first-rate political forums: which ones do you recommend?

          Also: do you think that Americans should be as vigorous in expressing disagreements with the Israeli government as they are in expressing disagreements with their own government or with any other government in the world, and especially as those disagreements pertain to the American interest?

          I have made many critical remarks in other forums about Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on various issues: am I betraying my “people” (Americans) and nation (the United States) by doing so?

          Is Israel a special case in world politics? As hophmi so eloquently put it, should we all just STFU when it comes to Israel?

        • Bruce says:

          @ Danaa

          “Wow.” That’s all you can say? I didn’t think so.

          Danaa, your accusations have other people here confused. Now you imagine me assembling a “Team Shalom” and acting as the “loyal Opposition.” Loyal opposition to what? You should notice by now that I usually don’t waste my time gatekeeping the MW comment section. I came back for this one due to the large gap between the views of the large majority of MW commenters and the statement released by Phil and Adam.

          I write the following to those people who have commented on Danaa’s earlier comment:

          Danaa has misrepresented my Mideast views and you can verify that by just checking some or all of my posts. As for my views concerning the MW comment sections, she has misrepresented them also. Hence I will try to be more explicit:

          1. I am not agitating for removing the entire comment section on MW. I do argue for a more moderated and edited comment board than what is in place now, and I recommend that the site owners and authors be more responsive to the commenters when there are significant differences of views, and that they be more pro-active in stating when comments are off-topic, or when a topic has gone on too long or should be taken off-site.

          2. An example of a site which has a comments policy and attitude towards commenters that could serve as a model for MW is Yves Smith’s Naked Capitalism site (NC). I will not go into more detail here, but if you are interested, you can go to her site and read her posts on comment policies and rules. I consider the NC comment board to have a higher and more informative level of discourse than the MW boards, even though NC also has quite disparate ideologies represented among its readers.

          3. I would rather see MW comments suspended than continue as they are now. But that is not what I would prefer to see happen with the comments. I believe the comment board hurts the reputations of the site, the owners and the authors. However, that is only my belief at this point. Adam and Phil have much more information and feedback than me about this, and thus they are in a better position than me to determine.

          4. There is a question of whether or not the most active commenters on the site are representative of the site’s readers. In the most recent discussion of Greta Berlin, a number of commenters whom disagreed with Adam and Phil asserted that they were representative of the readership. It would be useful for everyone, if there was more clarity on this. As an author, I am interested in knowing what my readers think. One only has to check comments numbers for MW postings to see what animates and interests the commenters. As often as the commenters remarked that the Berlin controversy was a non-event being given way too much attention, the Berlin posts are 1-2-3 on the comment chart. Did the clicks to postings match?

          5. There may also be differences in aims and goals for the site. I am more interested in seeing MW influence readers whose views are less fixed than I am in reinforcing the views of those readers and commenters who already have a well-defined position. I realize that the most active commenters place a high value on what they consider to be a community or social network. This is much less important to me than reaching and influencing a wide range of readers.

          6. Take the example of Witty. I believe he had well over 10,000 comments. Witty constantly used the board to his own ends, taking the thread off-message more often than not. And even when he was on-message, it required quite an effort to understand what he was saying. He wrote so many comments on so many different postings, it was clear he made no effort to bring value-added to the discussion. Editing Witty – and then ultimately banning him – was a reasonable decision. The MW discussions improved as a result.

          7. I sincerely believe that both MW and the MW Commenter Community would be better served if they had independent sites. We would have a clearer understanding what attracts the readers to MW. I believe the reputation of MW would be enhanced, attracting more readers. The MW Commenter Community could run their site as they see fit. Since, it is harder work to write a posting than a comment, the arguments of the MW Commenter Community would become more rigorous, more fleshed out, and more researched if more of the commenters were also posting. It should also sharpen their commenting skills.

          9. I agree with Danaa that “Ultimately, the only question of interest is what Phil and Adam want to do.” I represent only myself and some friends that I have asked to read the MW comments, and with this comment I have been rather open expressing what is my advice. But I would hardly call it pressure. I am sure the reaction to this comment will provide more pressure than I have. If Danaa suspects Phil and Adam are under other pressures, then she should take it up with them.

          Whether you agree with me or not, I have the license to express my views until which time Phil and Adam limit or end the discussion on comments.

        • LeaNder says:

          I am somehow wondering, if you are Bruce Wolman.

          Let’s suppose you come from the author’s perspective, you may indeed feel it would be much better to have no comment section at all. Comments could shine a negative light on your article. Especially concerning a topic like this.

          A couple of days ago, I reflected on how some of Phil’s lines of thought have been picked up and turned into an argumentative standard. It’s usually only the ones that lent themselves to easy categorization, rarely the more thoughtful ones. So there is a connection between author and reader, no matter if it is visible or if it is not.

          I had a comment censored not too long ago, I made it easy for the moderator. I signaled, look this is antisemitic. Hint: not all comments may have this clear signal. Strictly it is possible to circumvent all discussion rules stylistically. It’s hard work to look close at any one considering the amount of comments here. Are you willing to sponsor the task? No comments at all, surely would save a lot of time. The question is what signal would it sent?

          If I may return to my example. Jerralyn Merrit’s Talk Left, which ultimately made me aware there are more “progressives with a bendable perception of human rights”, a variation of PEP, in the US. Isn’t it a part of becoming a professional in our world to loose your juvenile illusions? Always better to align with the interests that pay well.

          Jeralyn in her bombshell article, linked to one of the most visible pro-Zimmerman activists. Diwata Man. Interestingly calling his article–which suggests a police conspiracy against George Zimmerman–a summary of O’Mara’s motion. [Is the handy found on the scene at all Trayvon's? Are there fingerprints to prove it?] Diwata Man doesn’t allow comments. The box beneath his articles only serves to sent him a message. What message is he sending to the world in 2012 with this choice?

          Meandering further OT but trying to return later: Here is his collection of Evidence, Articles and blogs: George Zimmerman case.

          Allison yesterday had an article on La Génération Identitaire. I have stopped reading or monitoring FrontPageMag a long time ago. Thus I wasn’t familiar with the author’s name Allison linked to. But he surfaces in Diwata Man’s collection He suggests that Zimmerman is only prosecuted because of his name, somehow elliptically. (Zimmerman=Carpenter; can be Jewish can be non-Jewish German) Take a look at Daniel Greenfeld’s “about me”, about his circles. Small world, isn’t it?

          I am firmly behind Chomsky and Finkelstein. Israel is a firm part of the larger US “moral majority” deeply entangled and branching out into the hard right. That’s why I start to feel uncomfortable when Americans left-right-center reduce the Israel connection to the only problem out there; in other words ignore the power block their own US “moral majority”/corporate/military complex represents, which have much more power to influence public opinion.

          Yes, from that perspective, I sometimes feel slightly uncomfortable here; but and that is a big but, I also like and respect the MW community. Not only Mooser, our court jester, and Danaa, the MW queen of rants. Even if we occasionally clash from our different perspectives. That’s life.

          And now I shut up for a while again.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Bruce,

          Are you aware that Mondoweiss is receiving more unique visitors than ever — 41,670 at last count?

          link to siteanalytics.compete.com

          Do you have any experience in building a website with this much traffic?

          Once again: where are you coming from on Mideast politics? Cultural and ideological background, biases and agenda?

          I don’t recall you contributing much in the way of substance to the ongoing conversation here — perhaps I somehow managed to overlook those brilliant comments. Danaa has made a much greater impression on my mind about you than you have.

          By the way: from where did you obtain that alleged Greta Berlin quote you posted? Can we see the full context? URLs?

        • Bruce says:

          @LeaNder

          It seems you just accepted Daana’s characterization of my views. Above your comment, there now appears a more detailed explanation of my comment position unfiltered through Daana.

          If you go back and read my early posts, you will see that I responded to almost of the comments directed at me. Sometimes, I spent up to a week writing replies. And still I would receive accusatory criticism that I was refusing to answer questions, usually to comments I hadn’t even read yet since I was still busy answering other comments. That was an exhausting experience, positive in that there were some productive exchanges, negative in that there were way too many false accusations and impulsive remarks.

          In the contentious exchanges in the comments section about the role of the Jews and Zionists in the Nazi era, I kept reading references to Edwin Black’s Transfer Agreement book, so I bought it and read it and was surprised to find out to what extent his work was cherry-picked in the MW discussions. When I raised this, personal attacks on Black appeared. Wondering if the charges were true, I tracked down Black and he claimed the charges were false, providing evidence. Nobody on MW has since been able to show that, except for the added introduction and afterword, the two editions of the book differ. Black denies he hid out for a year in someone’s apartment in Chicago. Etc., etc. Was this research I did received well in the MW community. Hardly!

          Nobody on MW has given responding to comments on their postings more seriousness than I have. If I didn’t see a value to such interaction than I wouldn’t have spent so much time responding. But I found the overall experience quite negative rather quickly. When I wrote a posting comparing Ahmadinejad and Netanyahu, I was warned that it would raise a shit-storm. I replied you have to be kidding, but sure enough …. Most experienced authors on MW know which posts will attract hundreds of comments and controversy. It is quite predictable.

          Have you ever wondered the reasons that Phil and Adam almost never engage in the comments section, almost ignore it? Quite strange in my view. The discussions around the Greta Berlin statement were most clarifying. The site principals, not just Phil and Adam, staked out a clear position. However, the overwhelming majority of commenters – the MW community as you would call it – were enraged. Several went so far as to state, mostly unchallenged, what would you expect from two Jews? No matter how anti-Zionist, in a crunch they cannot resist the pull or threats of the Tribe. Others remarked that Phil and Adam had been uppity and disrespectful of their readers. Really, how pathetic that people who feel this way have no place to hang out and have their community other than at a site run by Adam and Phil. Shouldn’t they establish their own site, which will respect their standards and principles, and present discussions that they gate-keep to their restrictions? They could discuss Atzmon and his ideas as much as they want, for example.

          We disagree, you “like and respect the MW community.” Phil and Adam accept it as is. It is there for you to enjoy.

        • Bruce says:

          @ Donald

          I have written so much on MW, I don’t feel the necessity of summarizing my views into a sentence or paragraph.

          I definitely do agree with you that Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a good example of what you don’t want to encourage when someone like her is on your side. Destilling the “eternal essence” of Islam or Judaism or Christianity or Zionism or American Exceptionalism is a fool’s errand.

          As Tony Greenstein wrote to Greta Berlin about Artzmon, “his book on Jewish identity is nothing of the sort. It simply draws a straight line between the Mosaic god 3,500 years ago and what Israeli Jews do today. Anyone who wasn’t so ignorant would know that Jewish identity has changed many times over the centuries, indeed many times within the last century from the Bund and Jewish working class movements of the pre-war years to Zionism now.”
          Something similar could be said about Islamic identities, Christian identities, Zionist identities and American identities. They are in transition as they confront the world.

          Is it useful to let people on the ostensibly pro-Palestinian side come out with statements that are either anti-semitic or if not that, really insensitive and stupid about, say, the Holocaust?

          When you are a relatively, powerless movement trying to bring down one of the more entrenched ruling narratives, why would you provide the opposition ammunition to discredit you (unless that is, you believe anti-semitic statements or stupid remarks about the Holocaust will win you adherents)?

          On a non-official site such as Mondoweiss, what are the boundaries between editing and censorship? Must a web site have a free soapbox attached? Is it obligated to print stupid remarks or hateful speech it does not approve of?

        • Danaa says:

          Sean, re Bruce’s opinions as expressed here – and the “lists” of non-kosher commenters: here iare some comments following Bruce’s post where he advocates for an anti-war movement (a worthy enough goal), which kind of got derailed into a discussion over who could and who wouldn’t be welcome in such a movement:

          link to mondoweiss.net

          A quote from another comment by Bruce to help elucidate his views on some of the larger issues in front of us:

          Do you really think there would be no political will to bomb Iran if there was no Israeli lobby? Are the super-nationalists/hawks in the US powerless? Is there no will to control the Middle East on account of its oil? The Israeli lobby is certainly a major driver and it may be the tipping point, but I don’t see the Republican position (or even the Democratic position) on Iran solely driven by the Israeli lobby.

          And on the commenting community with an anti-apprecative nod to the [short] list (the ‘you’ there is BTW none other than my same old self):

          My criticism has been directed at the MW commenting community. You say it is necessary for a “critical mass of Jewish people to get together with non-Jewish Americans and stand up to the forces of doom, be they Israel, The Lobby, organized jewish organization[s] and sometimes, their own families.” Yet, and don’t take this personal, when I try to convince Jews to do this, you, Keith, MRW, Citizen, American and others would be the last people I would want next to me. Keith discussing “world Jewry” and MRW recommending reading David Irving would not be helpful. Can you not comprehend that? There are many Jews I know who would be receptive to reading postings from Mondoweiss, but I don’t send the links for fear they might read your commenting. (And I am not the only one who says this.) They reading you would be counter-productive. It is the same reason I stopped contributing to the site. And not for a lack of courage. I already have alienated more than enough family members over I/P.

          And in a reply to Shingo (later implicitly add to the “list”):

          link to mondoweiss.net

          I argued that for me there is a contradiction between liberalism and zionism and I am not convinced the two are theoretically compatible, and that Israel certainly is not liberal if one looks at Zionism in practice.

          And the “list” gets longer (now with tree added in – yoopee!!)

          “I stopped posting to this blog and forum because the comments section was dominated by you, MRW, Keith, Citizen, Danaa, American, Chaos, Witty and Hasbara trolls. I considered not the majority, but too many of the comments to be a quite negative reflection on the usually excellent postings. At the time, the comments were unmoderated. Since the commenters kept insisting they were the site and were reflective of the audience, I didn’t want my writings to be associated with that community.”

          That whole thread of comments makes for an instructive reading. As to the “lisT I believe that now, with the addition of you, Sean, and a few notable others from these Greta topics, there’s more than a minyan (and I don’t even have to count on Donald, our ertswhile tight rope walker and red fence line hugger).

        • Danaa says:

          messed up the blockquotes a bit – hope it’s still clear who is saying what. By way of contrition – and to add the cute (because I do think this little back and forth over mostly annonymous commenters is not the most serious issue facing us in the world out there) I offer my own old comment (in the same thread):

          link to mondoweiss.net

          …am, of course, delighted to see Shingo added to “my” rag-tag gang. Wouldn’t want it to be another “Gang of Four” (it’s copyrighted!). Will just have to find a properly good title for him – champion knight that he is. As for poor Keith, I’m not sure he would accept the “technocrat” label (my bad, tortuous grammar and all that). Or, for that matter, whether he’d care to wear the gang colors. Maybe annie can help fix the costume design?

          Though now that I see our numbers growing (do we have a minyan yet – perhaps with tree and a few of her admirers?), am thinking of consulting one of the many excellent lawyers around to fashion a decent set of By-Laws. Every gang should have such, otherwise it’s just a mafia.
          Can we have Mooser too, please? assuming he gets over our little difference of opinion over an individual whose first name starts with a “G”. Of course, he is on record as saying he wouldn’t want to be a member of any group that would have him – but we can have really innovative By-laws that would allow for bifurcated membership, surely.

        • Hostage says:

          Nobody on MW has given responding to comments on their postings more seriousness than I have.

          Many of us here are not slackers in that department.

          In the contentious exchanges in the comments section about the role of the Jews and Zionists in the Nazi era, I kept reading references to Edwin Black’s Transfer Agreement book, so I bought it and read it and was surprised to find out to what extent his work was cherry-picked in the MW discussions.

          Edwin Black’s views on the subject have been fairly covered. He’s hardly the only author who has an opinion on the subject. I’ve cited works by Francis Nicosia and Simha Flapan which are just as authoritative.

          As I recall, some of the comments attempted to minimize or deny the importance of the Jewish boycott and the significance of the Zionist transfer agreement. Many Jews were simply horrified that the Zionist Organization had signed a formal agreement to enter into a business partnership with such an oppressive regime. After all, the Nazi’s had a publicly stated aim of either interning the Jews and other groups they viewed as undesirables in concentration camps or starving them out of existence by denying them food ration cards. There was no mystery surrounding the motive behind the Jewish boycott, as some here alleged. The threat posed by the Nazi’s was very well known after it was confirmed that the so-called Boxheim documents were an authentic and official statement of Hitler’s plans, e.g. April 25, 1932, Jews to Be Starved out if Hitlerists Come to Power, JTA link to archive.jta.org

          I quoted Black’s article at the Jewish Virtual Library on the Transfer Agreement verbatim, including his bottom line conclusion: “No one can say what combination of factors might or not might have stopped Hitler.” .

          Black wrote that the Nazis had run on a party platform of improving the economy and that the boycott had already cut German exports by 10 percent. More to the point Black also wrote

          “Whether or not this new boycott actually possessed the punishing power to crush the Reich economy was irrelevant; what mattered was that Germany perceived the Jewish-led boycott as the greatest threat to its survival–and reacted accordingly.
          Relentless in exploiting the Nazis’ vulnerability, Rabbi Wise and the other boycott leaders were determined to form one cohesive international movement under the banner “Starve Germany into submission this winter.” But Hitler succeeded in averting this scenario by exploiting divisions within world Jewry.

          Could We Have Stopped Hitler?, by Edwin Black link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

          So even if the boycott didn’t actually threaten the German economy, it did threaten the popularity and political future of Hitler and the Nazi party. In their minds the Jewish boycott constituted an existential threat to their regime. They publicly admitted as much at the time: See for example: Edwin James, The Nazis Begin To Dodge Anti-Semitic Boomerang; Hitlerites Weaken On Jewish Boycott In Face Of World-Wide Protests And Peril To German Trade. Propaganda Drive Continues Minister Of Enlightenment Announces That All Now Depends On Quick Cessation Of “Campaigns Against Germany.”The New York Times, April 2, 1933.
          link to select.nytimes.com

          Black claims Hitler exploited the division in the Jewish community created by the Zionists to prevent that threat from materializing. The Revisionist newspaper Hazit Haam carried an article by Abba Achimeir calling for Chaim Arlosoroff to be murdered for his role in negotiating the agreement with Hitler on the very day that he was assassinated, but many on the left felt the very same way.

          Can you imagine what would happen today if a Palestinian refugee organization signed a similar deal to obtain compensation or minimize losses using a scheme to circumvent the goals of the BDS movement, while at one and the same time, acting as the marketing agent for items manufactured in Israeli settlements or industrial zones in the Occupied Palestinian Territory? That sort of division in the Palestinian community would be a propaganda bonanza and it would generate deadly consequences regardless of whether or not Israel faces a serious threat from the BDS movement. It’s disingenuous for Zionist apologists to suggest that the Transfer Agreement wasn’t viewed as a similar sort of betrayal.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Danaa,

          I posted my summary view on Bruce, which closely matches yours, but it hasn’t been approved yet.

          In the big scheme of things, I agree with Bruce that antisemitic and Judeophobic writings need to be strictly segregated from critiques of Israel and Zionism — and you know that I have made an effort to do precisely that whenever possible.

          But there are two complicating issues:

          1. One can disagree about what constitutes authentic antisemitism and Judeophobia.

          2. The Zionist AND Jewish establishments themselves have completely collapsed the distinction and destroyed the firewall between Zionists and “the Jews” — so now we’ve got a real muddle in discussing these issues. According to the worldwide Jewish establishment, Zionism = Judaism = “the Jews.” What a mess.

          If Bruce had his priorities in order, he would be focusing on that alarming problem, not picking away at peripheral issues, like Gilad Atzmon or Greta Berlin.

          Bruce might also take note that when one Googles [zionism holocaust] or [zionism nazism], almost all of the top hits are antisemitic or Judeophobic by his definition (and by mine as well in many cases). Google is an amazing and revolutionary tool which tells us what the world is really talking about and focused on concerning any particular issue or topic. And those discussions increasingly are breaking away completely from whatever agenda the mainstream media have been trying to impose on the world. Why is this happening? Perhaps Bruce has some ideas.

        • Mooser says:

          Bruce, you seem to have some complaints about the Mondoweiss comment section. But you never even mentioned me once. That is very kind of you, and I appreciate it. But I can’t have others taking the blame for my faults, and my actions.

        • Donald says:

          “Is it useful to let people on the ostensibly pro-Palestinian side come out with statements that are either anti-semitic or if not that, really insensitive and stupid about, say, the Holocaust?” Me

          “When you are a relatively, powerless movement trying to bring down one of the more entrenched ruling narratives, why would you provide the opposition ammunition to discredit you. ((unless that is, you believe anti-semitic statements or stupid remarks about the Holocaust will win you adherents)?” Bruce

          I hope that last part about winning adherents wasn’t aimed at me–I will assume it wasn’t, but I thought I explained my reasoning in the previous post. The idea behind unlimited free speech is that it acts as a disinfectant when you let the foul ideas come out into the open–the theory is that people with better ideas will then come forward and show what is wrong with the bad ones. Then all of us who think that the pro-Palestinian movement should be based on the idea of universal human rights will express revulsion at the anti-semitic or insensitive comments (or if it seems appropriate and the person making them seemed more ignorant than malicious, will gently explain what is wrong with those ideas). In the end, or so the theory goes, the idea of universal human rights is embraced by all except the genuine haters and the movement is strengthened by all this openness and discussion.

          It almost never works that way. Most political blogs I’ve visited are pretty tribal in nature–the prevailing viewpoint acts sort of like a mob that pounces on the dissenters and there’s little or no quarter given. There are exceptions. There are also cases where there isn’t a prevailing view, but instead you just have endless sectarian warfare between, say, the Democrats and the Naderites. That’s no better, of course.

          My theory on why things go wrong here is that usually it’s not anti-semitism (though in some cases it might be or has been–the most obvious examples were banned some time ago), but a kneejerk reaction to accusations of anti-semitism because the term has been used dishonestly to shut down legitimate criticisms. In that state of mind it might be hard to recognize real anti-semitism, especially when it comes from someone who otherwise makes the same criticisms of Zionism that the rest of us make. You see this kind of partisan irrationality at almost any political blog–not about anti-semitism, but concerning whatever the local hot button topic happens to be. Politics tends to be tribal. It’s depressing.

          Your idea of splitting the blog from the comments is interesting. Billmon did that. Whether it was a successful experiment depends on your POV–I was a big fan of Billmon’s blog, but “Moon of Alabama” seemed to veer a little too far off into fringy stuff and I eventually stopped reading it. But Billmon dumped his comment section because he got sick of policing it. (He also wasn’t very good at it and seemed to ban people sometimes simply because he would lose his temper, not that I blame him with comment threads that sometimes were 500 comments long.)

        • Donald says:

          Maybe the above was too abstract. I’ll spell it out–for me, the litmus test, the red line, or whatever thing Danaa has me hugging would be this–Gilad Atzmon.

          I’d never heard of the guy until he came up here. It took me just a short time googling to determine that he’s a borderline Holocaust denier. It’s incomprehensible to me that someone could spend much time reading the guy and not see that, yet I hear Mearsheimer has defended him and Walt defended Mearsheimer and I’m about to defend both of them. I don’t think Mearsheimer is an anti-semite, but what accounts for this? Perhaps he somehow missed the really noxious stuff .

          Atzmon also generalizes about Jews the way the Islamophobes do about Islam and again, why would someone react with visceral disgust to Islamophobia and not to Atzmon?

          In some cases it probably is anti-semitism, but I’m sure that’s not the case with Walt and Mearsheimer and a lot of other people. I think they see some of the same critiques of Israel and the ideology behind it that we make and just don’t see the noxious stuff for whatever reason. So how does one handle the problem? Do we censor discussion of Atzmon and his (disgusting) views or should we thrash it out? That’s what I meant when I said I don’t know whether we should be censoring discussion. Maybe Mondoweiss could be the place where people get a clear understanding of why some forms of anti-Zionism are not compatible with notions of universal human rights.

          Or perhaps more likely, we do a lot of yelling and shrieking and nothing is settled. That’s how it typically is in political discussions and why should we be different? That’s the case for censorship, I suppose. But then things fester under the surface.

        • MHughes976 says:

          I value the comments section enormously. To me it’s a feast of reason, as Robespierre might have said, not to mention of valuable information. Anti-Zionism isn’t, but isn’t, just isn’t anti-Semitism. There is no shred of truth in the idea that it is.

        • MHughes976 says:

          Is it really so bad. Donald, that people with ideas in common seek to find ways to confer with each other? People with very different views may intervene but can expect to be subject to severe dissent. That’s not wrong.

        • Bruce says:

          @ Danaa

          You have more than a minyan (that’s 10), out of 46,000 unique visitors according to Sean? I’m very impressed. That’s .022% of the readers.

          Please let us know the plan that you, Keith, MRW, Citizen and American come up with to get “a critical mass of Jewish people to get together with non-Jewish Americans and stand up to the forces of doom, be they Israel, The Lobby, organized jewish organization[s] and sometimes, their own families.” What exactly are you doing personally in this respect?

          ROFL waiting for you five to approach even a small sampling of “a critical mass of Jewish people” or non-Jewish Americans for that matter to convince them to “stand up to the forces of doom.” Which arguments from your MW comments do you use?

          But I do agree with you that the “whole thread of comments makes for an instructive reading.” Add some links to the discussions we had about Keith’s comments.

        • Keith says:

          BRUCE- “It is completely unfair that Adam and Phil don’t let yourself, American, Danaa, Keith, Colin, Klaus, tree, AlGhorear, Cliff and all those others too numerous to list post on the site.”

          Please, I’m blushing! I am truly flattered that my name keeps popping up in your comments, obviously near and dear to your heart. And to be next to Danaa, WOW! I am afraid, however, that I disagree with your suggestion (10/22/12 @ 02:49am) that Mondoweiss posts and comments be separated. A far better solution would be for you to comment on another venue where you have complete editorial control. That way you won’t feel the need to fulminate over the Mondoweiss comments section. As for me, I have always maintained that Phil and Adam are doing a much better job than I could in administering Mondoweiss, hence, I don’t offer them advice like some folks with an agenda. Perhaps that is why they tolerate me, such as I am.

        • LeaNder says:

          Bruce, first, I actually responded to your concise article, in my usual circling, meandering mode, that may in fact feel evasive. I am not too fond of fast judgments, although sometimes they happen.

          I remember the exchanges about Ahmadinejad’s UN speech, plus the simplistic response along the enemy of my enemy, also Muhammad of Vancover. Ditto, I remember the hoax about Edwin Black, or the claim he was forced to reprint an earlier edition due to pressure from the lobby. That was one of the absurd peaks on the recurring Zionist Nazi theme, which seems the top item in the surely not always pure struggle with Zionism.

          Nobody on MW has since been able to show that, except for the added introduction and afterword, the two editions of the book differ.

          Did you honestly ever expect it? Maybe “he/she/it” did not even try to get a copy of the edition much less two to compare, since it dawned on her/him that s/he may have been duped that it existed at all? Since s/he never intended to go through that much trouble and compare the “suspicious new” editions with the supposedly different earlier one. There is a German joke which ends, no thanks, I already have a book.

          Did you witness RW’s Hamas quote that forced Israel into Cast Lead? I think it can be compared. Think of a private strife as a kid, you have no more arguments, but you realize you are wrong. But are still in fighting mode, so you simply invent something. Or someone else did for you and you copy it.

          Was this research I did received well in the MW community. Hardly!

          I wish I could do a Mooser on that one. ;) Wasn’t that obvious from the start? Look, I respect you. Of course no one could show the second edition.

          I only remember I found the story unlikely immediately. I may be using the same argument as I did then, what sense would it make to censor an already published book in a new edition? Strictly a changed edition should show at least in a high quality library data bases. I don’t always trust Amazon on that. I remember though that I did take a look at the edition and there was a multitude, even different publishers, no? … Maybe that triggered the idea in someone’s head?

          Have you ever wondered the reasons that Phil and Adam almost never engage in the comments section, almost ignore it? Quite strange in my view.

          I actually notice them sometimes, Allison too, Annie anyway. I surely hope they spend most of their time reading, checking their mails and deciding what to put up next and generally stay connected with people and their stories that may interest the larger world.

        • Donald says:

          “Is it really so bad. Donald, that people with ideas in common seek to find ways to confer with each other?”

          Yes, Mhughes, it’s absolutely horrible, the worst thing imaginable. You have penetrated to the core of my meaning.

          Or maybe not.

          “People with very different views may intervene but can expect to be subject to severe dissent. That’s not wrong.”

          Oh sure. One person might never speak about black people except by referring to them as “n*****rs”. I knew people like that growing up. I dissented. They didn’t always agree. That’s not wrong. Oh, wait, actually, it was. They were wrong.

          I’m not really sure why you think your response connects with what I wrote, except in some remote way that elides what I was talking about. I was talking about people who make grotesque bigoted generalizations about either Muslims or Jews and how others seem unable to see this. My theory about this is that people in this forum are so sick of hearing false charges of anti-semitism they are sometimes slow to notice the real thing. I’m operating on the assumption that anti-semitism, like Islamophobia, is a bad thing and should be condemned when recognized, or if the person making the anti-semitic or anti-Muslim comment seems more ignorant than malicious, then they should be gently corrected. It’s often hard to tell.

          Whether you agree or disagree with any of this is completely unclear.

          “Anti-Zionism isn’t, but isn’t, just isn’t anti-Semitism. There is no shred of truth in the idea that it is.”

          It isn’t anti-semitism if it is based on the notion of universal human rights. It might be anti-semitism if it isn’t. Draw a Venn diagram. Draw three circles. The one labeled “anti-semitism” is on the bottom. The one labeled “universal human rights” is on the top. The one labeled “anti-zionism” is in the middle. Part of it may overlap with the top circle and part may overlap with the bottom and there might even be a part that overlaps with neither–(a Palestinian could perfectly well oppose Zionism without being an anti-semite and without ever thinking about the notion of universal human rights.)

        • Donald says:

          I remember seeing occasional references to Edwin Black and two editions of some book–I’ve never read the book and didn’t know what to make of what people were saying. I completely missed or have totally forgotten what sounds like an epic smackdown or scholarly dismantling on the subject. I’ll go google, but does anyone have a link?

        • LeaNder says:

          Ooops, I only noticed now, sorry, that may have been confusing:

          I actually responded to your concise article comment.

          I am too tired to check if there is another Freudian slip, spelling errors et al.

        • MRW says:

          Wolman’s MRW recommending reading David Irving specifically referred to Irving’s book on Winston Churchill (which Wolman has not read). And the problem with that?

        • MRW says:

          Thanks, Hostage, for putting this into the proper perspective: “Can you imagine what would happen today . . . similar sort of betrayal.”

        • MRW says:

          Who appointed you Cruise Director here, Mr. Wolman? You have a grandiose idea of your own importance, and every time you show up here with your automated baton, you cause trouble, you alienate people, you disturb the culture, and you’re mean.

          A lot of us have been here a lot longer than you.

        • Bruce says:

          @ Hostage

          I was referring to the authors of postings responding to comments on their posting with the first remark you quote. Sorry, if I have missed any of your postings. They are not on the site’s author list, or you write under a different nom du plume.

          If most of the comments rose to your level of seriousness, that would be a big improvement.

          I don’t care to rehash all the previous discussions in relationship to Black’s book or the role of the Jews and Zionists during the Nazi era. Anyone interested can go back to the archives, and you do not directly discuss those arguments.

          If I project myself into the Thirties, I support the Jewish (and global) boycott of the early Nazi government. (Though some commenters here have argued that the Jewish boycott was the reason the Nazis went after the Jews. This is the level of ignorance you can find here.) On the other hand, it is not surprising that the Zionists saw it differently. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Jabotinsky and the Revisionists flip several times on the boycott question and working with the Nazis? From what I have read so far, I am not prepared to argue that the global boycott would have succeeded if only the Jews had remained in solidarity. The Nazis had allies also, and their own cards to play, the anti-semitism card being one of them.

          What struck me most from the research (after reading the initial discussions here) was the utter brutality that the Nazis employed from the moment Hitler assumed office. The Nazi street gangs wanted to go out and kill the Jews from day one. Black relates how Hitler only held them back on account of his economic advisors warning him that such tactics would increase support for the global boycott, which as you mention they thought could wreck the German economy. The Nazi leadership in a very short time used whatever violence and killing necessary to assume absolute control of Germany. The harsh repression and murder was directed against everyone, even his own supporters that didn’t follow the Fuhrer’s line. When one reads of the disdain and utter contempt that the Nazi functionaries and leaders displayed to any of the Jews that went before them, including the Zionists, I find it hard to call any decision a free choice. The Nazis snuffed out all political space other than that which they found useful for their own ends. I have asked many times here what was the correct historical choices the Jews should have made against the Nazis, and have never received an answer. Maybe you want to try.

          While many saw the Transfer Agreement as a betrayal – and I am not going to defend it – there were others who ended up opposing the boycott besides the Zionists. For instance, many German Jewish organizations literally feared for their lives concerning any organized Jewish attempts to provoke the Nazis in any way, and they made their views clear to Jewish organizations outside of Germany. It may be so, but you have not disproved that the Zionists made a very nasty, but in the end pragmatic bargain considering what few choices were available in a life and death situation.

        • Bruce says:

          @ Mooser

          Your fault Mooser is that you seem to be the one person everyone understands around here, even when you are taking the mick out of us.

          When the rest of us are gone and buried, probably the only memorable remains of Mondoweiss will be your many pithy words of wisdom.

          I mention three insights I particularly remember:

          1. In response to Keith you wrote: “And I can give you all the feedback you should need in one sentence, chump: Jews are no worse than anybody else.
When you can show me that other religious associations have spurned the temptations of temporal power, money and status, and have used their religious associations entirely for good, I’ll be ready to worry about the Jews.
All you are telling me is that Jews act like other people. I already knew that.”

          2. It doesn’t even matter to whom you wrote this: “Half the time you kvetch because the Gentiles made us live in Ghettos or Shtetls, and the other half the time you invoke this ghetto existence, which was forced on us and which we fled as soon as we were able, as the Jewish ideal! You can’t lose.”

          3. And the one I liked best, No matter what almost anyone says, our “historical memory” extends only to our own birth.

          So I am not going to give you what you want most, abuse. Do it yourself!

          But I will close with an email exchange I had with Phil once, and I hope he doesn’t mind my publishing it. He once wrote to me, “No: YOU WRITE IT.” And I responded, “If I write it your fans will rip me apart, and Mooser will make fun of me. If you write it, your fans will at least listen and Mooser will make fun of you.”

        • Bruce says:

          @ Sean

          You write,

          The Zionist AND Jewish establishments themselves have completely collapsed the distinction and destroyed the firewall between Zionists and “the Jews” — so now we’ve got a real muddle in discussing these issues. According to the worldwide Jewish establishment, Zionism = Judaism = “the Jews.” What a mess.

          Even though I may not completely accept your wording, I have written about this problem on MW for over two years. Did you not read my previous responses or check my postings? This was the very issue I started writing on MW about. How exactly do you want me to change my priorities? I am not the one that started a now +750 comment discussion on Greta Berlin. I was late to respond to these postings.

          You are the ones that preferred to discuss the insights of Gilad Atzmon, while I tried to discuss preventing a war with Iran. So please, enough.

        • Keith says:

          MOOSER- “Bruce, you seem to have some complaints about the Mondoweiss comment section. But you never even mentioned me once.”

          I hear you, big guy. To be included on one of Bruce’s lists of undesirables is a badge of honor, to be excluded a cause for concern. Take heart, Danaa has been trying to get you included. Until then, we’ll just have to carry on without you. Also, please note how Bruce has once again hijacked a thread to piss and moan about the Mondoweiss comments section. Some things never change.

        • MRW says:

          Hey, Mr. Wolman, October 22, 2012 at 8:36 pm,

          The boycott lasted one day (April 1, 1933) before the Zionists betrayed their fellow Jews and made a deal (see Hostage’s April 2, 1933 NYT link).
          Channel 5 News NYC:
          link to youtube.com
          —————

          Also: “Nazis Report Deal with Palestine”
          August 29, 1933, NYT

        • Bruce says:

          @ seanmcbride

          By the way: from where did you obtain that alleged Greta Berlin quote you posted? Can we see the full context? URLs?

          The full context is the posting by Bekah Wolf on which you are commenting. Did you happen to read it by any chance? The URL is the posting you are currently on.

        • Bruce says:

          @ MRW

          Thanks for the link to the Channel 5 report. It complements and provides context to Edwin Black’s book. I suggest anyone interested in the issue, read The Transfer Agreement and make their own judgements.

          Black offered earlier this year to give me an interview where he would answer all my and Mondoweiss readers’ questions, but the hostility to Black from the MW commenters was so intense I didn’t take him up on the offer.

        • MHughes976 says:

          I was suggesting that what you called ‘tribal’ thinking or conversation might really be a discussion structured in a reasonable way around a certain point of view and that it is reasonable for members of the group to gather in dissent, within the bounds of their discussion, from someone who chooses to challenge the basic point of view. Within reasonable bounds of courtesy on all sides, of course. I’m sorry if I overestimated the negative judgement conveyed by the word ‘tribal’.
          What would go into your Venn diagrams? Would it be statements a) in support of human rights b) of opposition to Zionism c) of judgements on Jewish people that could result only from prejudice against Jewish people in general? Or motives behind the statements?
          Opposition to Zionism that itself shows indifference to human rights would be as mistaken as any expression of indifference to human rights where those rights are actually relevant. Simple emotional revulsion against Zionist behaviour is no Palestinian monopoly and would not by itself show indifference to human rights. I agree that emotional revulsion is dangerous.

        • Bruce says:

          @ MRW

          I’m just an occasional passenger on the ship, on board for fewer and fewer of the cruises.

          I cause trouble. Good, that is exactly my aim sometimes.

          I alienate people. So what? I am not looking to be your friends.

          I disturb the culture. Exactly!

          And I’m mean. Yeah, well that is tit-for-tat. That’s exactly how your culture acts when someone writes outside your boundaries of discourse.

          But thanks for making my point.

          The Commenting Regulars on this site have their own culture which they fiercely protect. They have rules, requirements for membership, seniority rights, and limits to acceptable discussion. Stray from them and you will be attacked, even asked to leave, face demands to leave. There is free speech as long as you don’t upset the Regulars, who can get quite Bolshie when you ask for rule changes or question their rigor.

          A site author in good standing is told he doesn’t belong in the Comment Section.

          The site owners are told they have exceeded their authority, to get off their high horses, that they are ignoring the consensus of the commenting regulars who have the right to speak in the name of the site readers, that their Jewishness prevents them from being committed enough, that they owe the commenters explanations, that they’ve slandered a good person to protect themselves, that they’ve joined a witch-hunt, that they can be unmanned by an accusation of ‘anti-semitism’ — no matter how obviously frivolous, that Zionists can always force them to crumble to their knees, that they’ve burnished their bonafides instead of their courage, that they can be unmanned by an appeal to tribal loyalty, that they need help to enter a 12-step program at the ZA, that the supporters of Greater Israel have them by the b*lls, and that they fear the blowback from Zionist organizations.

          That was what members of good standing in your Club wrote, and that was from just one thread. And you call me mean?

          Your culture and the culture of the site’s postings are quite different and not in sync. Phil and Adam may think otherwise, but it is my view that the posting culture would be better served if the two cultures separated and had different sites. I’m sorry you can’t tolerate hearing this.

        • Hostage says:

          Black offered earlier this year to give me an interview where he would answer all my and Mondoweiss readers’ questions, but the hostility to Black from the MW commenters was so intense I didn’t take him up on the offer.

          Unfortunately, Black writes Zionist propaganda these days with the aim of denying the Nakba. His credibility is practically nil. Here’s an example where he attempts to gloss over the truth about the former Mufti’s role. link to joesisrael.com

          *The Arab Higher Committee (AHC) and the Mufti were not the formal or elected representatives of the people of Palestine after WWII. They were a creation of the Arab League. Avi Shlaim noted that when the Arab Higher Committee (AHC) was reestablished in 1946 after a nine-year hiatus, it was not established by the various Palestinian political parties – as had been the case when it was originally founded in 1936 – but rather by a decision of the Arab League of States. See page 1 of Avi Shlaim, The Rise and Fall of the All-Palestine Government in Gaza, Journal of Palestine Studies. 20: 37–53. (2001)

          *In February of 1948, shortly after the UN adopted its plan of partition, the Council of the Arab League decided not to recognize the Arab Higher Committee or the Mufti as the representatives of the Palestinian people. Thereafter, all of the Leagues’ affairs were handled through its own Palestine Council, not through the Mufti or the AHC. See Politics in Palestine: Arab factionalism and social disintegration, 1939-1948, By Issa Khalaf, University of New York Press, 1991, ISBN 0-7914-0708-X, page 290.

          *The members of the Jericho Congress claimed that they represented 90 percent of the population. They also said that the allies of the Mufti in the All Palestine Government in Gaza only represented the views of its 80-odd members and that they were puppets of the Egyptian government. See Sandra Berliant Kadosh, United States Policy toward the West Bank in 1948, Jewish Social Studies, Vol. 46, No. 3/4 (Summer – Autumn, 1984), pp. 231-252 and Hebron Mayor Challenges Egyptians to Tell Truth, Palestine Post, December 14th, 1948. link to jpress.org.il

          *According to Ian Bickerton, Carla Klausner, “A Concise History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict”, 4th Edition, Prentice Hall, 2004, few Palestinians bothered to join the Arab Liberation Army and many Palestinians favored partition more than war and indicated a willingness to live alongside a Jewish state (page 88).

          *Ben-Gurion rebuffed the various efforts of more pragmatic Palestinian Arab leaders to reach a modus vivendi. It was his position that Zionist expansionism would be better served by treating the exiled, extremist Mufti as the leader of the Palestinians, than striking a deal with the ‘moderate’ opposition. “Rely on the Mufti’ became his motto. Blocked by Zionist policy from officially expressing their opposition to war, the Palestinian Arabs arranged “non-aggression” pacts with their Jewish neighbors. The relatively few who did take up arms did so primarily to defend themselves against feared attacks by the Jews. See the review of Simha Flapan’s The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities

          Ezra Danin worked in various capacities in the Jewish Agency and the Arab department, “Sherut Yediot”, the “Information Service” of the Haganah. In January of 1948, Danin wrote “I believe the majority of the Palestinian masses accept the partition as a fiat accompli and do not believe it possible to overcome or reject it.” See Document 90, page 128 “Political and Diplomatic Documents Central Zionist Archives/Israel State Archives, December 1947- May 1948, Jerusalem, 1979.

          You won’t find any mention of those sort of views or inconvenient facts in Black’s account of the events of 1948.

        • American says:

          Bruce says:
          October 24, 2012 at 10:15 am

          @ MRW

          Your culture and the culture of the site’s postings are quite different and not in sync. Phil and Adam may think otherwise, but it is my view that the posting culture would be better served if the two cultures separated and had different sites. I’m sorry you can’t tolerate hearing this.>>>>>>>

          In light of the new commenting policy this might get thru if I add, ‘with all due respect and misguided’ to calling you foolish. There is no clique among regulars here, we even disagree with each other on many points. The only commonality is we are against what Israel is doing in both Palestine and the US.
          What your rant on the Berlin controversy says is that you want people to suspend their own reasoning and questioning that they might apply to any similar accusation or situation simply because it involves the question of anti semitism. If we were having a similar discussion on the Stand Your Ground law and the sequence of events that led to the Hispanic guy shooting the Black kid in Florida and background of both individuals and whether the shooting was justified or not or racially motivated you wouldn’t care in the least about quesitoning in that debate or the various opinions.
          Here is your particular fatal mistake—–you want to get rid of anyone that might rightly or wrongly or in innocence or ignorance critique zionism because of the Jewish connection, past or present. And in saying that those who do not absolutely tow the line in absolving ALL Jews from zionism, when it is plain as hell SOME Jews are involved in zionism, what you ACTUALLY do is say there is no difference, because to critique the zionst culture ‘is to’ critique the Jewish culture. From just a strategic point of view in fighting ‘anti semitsm’, it is completely stupid to take on defending Jews by objecting to criticism of zionist “culture”.

          It is you that can’t tolerate that gentiles or outsiders or non Jews might have different definitions of anti semitism, different opinions of what it is than Jews have, and they don’t have to be anti semities to have an “honest” different opinion on it.
          You want our culture, by which I take you to mean non Jewish culture and any Jews here as well who dont exactly agree with you, to separate from your Jewish culture and stay out of the Israel-zionist-I/P fight?
          Fine we can do that, the whole world can do that. We can separate from this inter-culture dialogue at MW on the Jewish state by Bruce decree the same as the ADL separated Christian Churches from inter-faith by labeling them anti semites for criticizing Israel to congress. Then you can spy on our conversations at other sites and run back here to report how anti semitic we all are because we are talking about how in’ our opinion’ your kind of tribalism has always been bad for the Jews.

        • Bruce says:

          @ Hostage

          The plan was to interview him about “The Transfer Agreement” and have him answer questions about it.

          If his credibility is nil, what were the grounds to keep quoting from his book? I doubt anyone here agrees with Benny Morris’ current views on Israel and Palestine, but his “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949″ is still considered a credible reference.

          I myself do not agree with many of Black’s current positions, and if those came up in the questions, or if his answers concerning “The Transfer Agreement” exhibited revisionism from the original work, then that would be obvious and fair game, and interesting. One can make use of the history without accepting Black’s conclusions.

          The issue was not the Nabka, and his views on 1948 were not the subject at the time. Not saying that it is not worthwhile as background to know his views on that issue. But so far, nobody has suggested reading him to learn about 1948.

          Considering Black’s current views and his disdain for Mondoweiss, I thought his offer was generous and surprising. But in light of his current views, the false accusations, and the hostile exchanges at MW over “The Transfer Agreement,” I decided that it was not worth the aggravation to do the interview. Your view confirms that decision.

        • Hostage says:

          Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Jabotinsky and the Revisionists flip several times on the boycott question and working with the Nazis?

          The Revisionists were no different than other Zionists who adopted Herzl’s view that antisemitism should be harnessed whenever possible to support their state building efforts. Jabotinsky had already followed that established policy when he signed an agreement in 1921 to provide a Jewish force to accompany Symon Petliura’s forces in their campaign to take control of the Ukraine, despite their record of perpetrating pogroms against the indigenous Jews.

          I have asked many times here what was the correct historical choices the Jews should have made against the Nazis, and have never received an answer. Maybe you want to try.

          The rest of the world employed boycotts and armed resistance. The IDF had no trouble recruiting fighters from the camps for displaced persons. Ben Gurion and Jabotinsky had offices and agents in 2 dozen countries around the world raising money and obtaining arms for the conquest of Palestine. They also had manufacturing facilities and a safe base of operations in Palestine. Those efforts could have easily been directed towards providing support for an armed Jewish resistance movement in Europe and exacting a toll on the Germans for pursuing their policy of repression and extermination. It certainly couldn’t have made the situation any worse than it already was – and it might have saved many lives. Instead the Zionist Organizations went into business with the Third Reich or tried to strike secret alliances to further their narrow agenda.

        • Mooser says:

          “Some things never change.”

          And until the Internet substantially changes in some way, each comment is one “hit” for the site.

        • Mooser says:

          “If I write it your fans will rip me apart, and Mooser will make fun of me. If you write it, your fans will at least listen and Mooser will make fun of you.”

          Yup, I knew he would get around to me sooner or later. Now I’m screwed! Would you mess with a guy who can “project myself into the thirties”? Now I’ve got time-travelers mad at me?

        • Hostage says:

          If his credibility is nil, what were the grounds to keep quoting from his book?

          I still cite and quote the early works of Benny Morris too. Haaretz has published a couple of recent Op-Ed’s which observed that his earlier works were more useful than his recent efforts and bemoaning the fact that he’s no longer committed to telling the truth.

          I always preferred to cite and quote Black’s article at JVL, because the readers could verify it much more readily for themselves.

        • Bruce says:

          @ Hostage

          The rest of the world did not stop Hitler with “boycotts and armed resistance.” I assume you didn’t answer my question about whether Jabotinsky flipped on supporting the boycott and fighting Nazism because it doesn’t fit nicely into your narrative.

          You write, “Those efforts could have easily been directed towards providing support for an armed Jewish resistance movement in Europe and exacting a toll on the Germans for pursuing their policy of repression and extermination.” I am surprised that you would say this, as it is a rather fantasized conclusion.

          You further write, “It certainly couldn’t have made the situation any worse than it already was – and it might have saved many lives.” Ignoring the practicality of what you propose as the correct Jewish choice of action, it most certainly could have made the situation worse at the time. The Nazis had absolutely no hesitation about taking hostages, not even just Jewish hostages, if they didn’t get their way.

          If others are interested in this issue, then minimally I’d say you have to read “The Transfer Agreement.” You can also read, Tom Segev’s “The Seven Million: The Israelis and the Holocaust.” Or the books, Hostage recommended earlier. To see how Jewish resistance which followed Hostage’s advice faired – probably the group I would have joined if I could project myself into the era – check out the history of the Jewish Labor Bund in Poland or the resistance in the Vilna ghetto. The history is far more complicated than has been presented here at MW comments. Do you own reading and make up your own mind.

          But alas, I believe this subject is veering off-topic for Mondoweiss. Hence, I will let Hostage have the last word, and move on to more contemporary issues.

        • Shingo says:

          Black offered earlier this year to give me an interview where he would answer all my and Mondoweiss readers’ questions, but the hostility to Black from the MW commenters was so intense I didn’t take him up on the offer.

          According to Black himself, he doesn’t do blog debates and discussions. I suspect he would have pulled a Jerome Salter tantrum and refused to ever participate at Mondoweiss ever again the minute his ideas were challenged.

        • Bruce says:

          @ Mooser

          I consider time-travel crazy too, but that’s what so many of these historical moralists demand. I thought I covered my ass with the “If,” but you managed to chop it off.

          But then you did just mess with me, so maybe you accepted my conditional after all. Or maybe not. I await the verdict.

        • Bruce says:

          @ Shingo

          Black is definitely not a fan of Mondoweiss. But he offered the interview in appreciation of me writing up his denial of the false statements that were made about him here. I would expect it to be a one time deal. I don’t see him writing comments regularly on MW.

          He’s not nearly as fragile as Salter though. But he has sued for libel and won.

          As it turns out, Black lives not far from me. I didn’t know that when I first e-mailed him. I’ve since run into him in a restaurant and he reconfirmed the offer.

          The issue is mute as far as I’m concerned, so I see no point in speculating on your suspicions.

        • Shingo says:

          Black is definitely not a fan of Mondoweiss.

          I suspect he will claim his reasons are that MW makes factually incorrect assertions, but as Black has demonstrated on the Joe’s Israel blog, he’s fine with tolerating falsities so long as they are favourable to Israel. In fact, it’s rather odd that a man who claims to be such a stickler for details and historical research would even be associated with such a terrible blog.

          It seems to me that in spite of his body of work, he too is puts academic scrutiny as secondary to his ideology. In any case, it is a shame you didn’t come through with that interview/thread. I think you underestimate the commenter on this forum and their appreciation for solid argument supported by evidence. What is not readily tolerated are double standards and hypocrisy.

        • Hostage says:

          The rest of the world did not stop Hitler with “boycotts and armed resistance.”

          On the contrary, the rest of the world brought the Third Reich to an end through the use of armed force, not diplomacy or business partnerships.

          I assume you didn’t answer my question about whether Jabotinsky flipped on supporting the boycott and fighting Nazism because it doesn’t fit nicely into your narrative.

          I did address your comment. I pointing out that some of the Revisionists, like Jabotinsky were opportunists who sought to harness antisemitism to further their state building agenda on more than one occasion. I don’t think there’s any evidence that they “flipped”. Some rank and file Labor and Revisionist Zionists were always opposed to any alliance or cooperation with the Nazis, and some were not. The available records are slim, but they suggest that the Nazis were disinterested in the proposed alliances with Revisionist groups and that they were duplicitous in their dealings with the Jewish Agency. Despite the appearance of cooperation embodied in the Transfer Agreement, the Nazis still planned to invade and exterminate the Jews of Palestine. See Nazi Palestine: The Plans for the Extermination of the Jews of Palestine — link to ushmm.org

          “Those efforts could have easily been directed towards providing support for an armed Jewish resistance movement in Europe and exacting a toll on the Germans for pursuing their policy of repression and extermination.” I am surprised that you would say this, as it is a rather fantasized conclusion.

          It’s no fantasy that the Jewish Agency had well-equipped militias at its disposal by the late 1930s when Ben Gurion took over the defense portfolio. At that time, he had agents buying arms and raising money around the globe to support them. Most of the milita members had been given military training in Europe before they were allowed to emigrate to Palestine. So the Zionists already had a recruiting and training network in place that could have been exploited to bootstrap a resistance movement. Ben Gurion, Weizmann, and the other members of the Zionist Executive even voiced their concerns to others, like Rabbi Wise, that efforts to raise money to assist the Jews of Europe would diminish contributions to their lower priority program for Palestine. See Boaz Evron, Jewish State or Israeli Nation? Indiana University Press, 1995

          The Jews and most other national and ethnic groups had resistance movements that could have benefitted from more Zionist training, money, and arms.

          You further write, “It certainly couldn’t have made the situation any worse than it already was – and it might have saved many lives.” Ignoring the practicality of what you propose as the correct Jewish choice of action, it most certainly could have made the situation worse at the time. The Nazis had absolutely no hesitation about taking hostages, not even just Jewish hostages, if they didn’t get their way.

          The Nazi plans for the internment and starvation of the Jews had been leaked and published from the outset. So, the situation was already one where self-defence or offering some deterrent was imperative. Try to remember that the leaders of the Jewish Agency and the Haganah had little regared for hostage situations. They bombed the SS Patria while the Jewish passengers were being held on-board against their will – and they finally concluded that it would be best to simply bomb Auschwitz and the other death camps too. In the end tens of millions perished in the war and resistance movements in Europe played a key role in defeating the Nazis.

        • Bruce says:

          @ Hostage

          On the contrary, the rest of the world brought the Third Reich to an end through the use of armed force, not diplomacy or business partnerships.

          There is a recognized difference between armed force and armed resistance. You can check the Wikipedia page: Resistance Movement. My point was that the Third Reich was stopped by armies not armed resistance movements. At best the resistance movements played assisting roles to organized conventional military forces.

          As for the other issues, there are too many disagreements to mediate. We could go on forever. Interested readers can take you word for it, or delve into the literature themselves. You are certainly free to provide links to substantiate your judgements.

        • Shingo says:

          You are certainly free to provide links to substantiate your judgements.

          So are you Bruce, but unlike Hostage, you don”t have a track record of doing so.

        • Bruce says:

          @ Shingo

          I am aware I have the right to provide links, but I decided not too spend the time. I wrote that interested readers could use the references that Hostage mentioned and draw their own conclusions. I found his own references do not agree with his conclusions. But I don’t want to spend another week such as last time discussing The Transfer Agreement. Readers are also free to trust Hostage of course.

          I asked Hostage about Jabotinsky and the Revisionists. He finally replies, “I pointing out that some of the Revisionists, like Jabotinsky were opportunists who sought to harness antisemitism to further their state building agenda on more than one occasion.” Then Hostage writes, “I don’t think there’s any evidence that they “flipped”.” In The Transfer Agreement Black clearly describes how Jabotinsky and the Revisionists fought for the boycott, and then how after the boycott was broken, they made overtures to the Nazi government to get more refugees out. (And I am not a defender of the Revisionists.)

          Even the link provided by Hostage to an article’s of Black’s at the Jewish Virtual Library (and I consider The Transfer Agreement to be much more informative) does not agree with Hostage’s conclusions. I don’t agree with either of their judgements, finding myself somewhat in the middle.

          You are free to disagree with me, Shingo, but you are not free to make stuff up. All of my postings are very well sourced. In fact, Phil always complained that there was too much sourcing and asked that they be cut. But that is my style. And so are many of my comments sourced, but I don’t feel obligated to spend as much time on comments as articles.

  25. I was most curious to know what those “Islamophobic attacks” were so I clicked the link and found “Ali Ayatollah” and “fatwa”.

    Ok, not nice but “Islamophobic”?! Seriously?

    • TGIA, I’m not going to cut Greta slack on her “ayatollah” and “fatwa” comments. If Fox news used this same terminology you would be horrified and you would claim it was Islamophobia. After the first incident where she accused him of issuing fatwas, Ali registered his resentment directly to Greta via twitter. The fact that someone of Muslim background specifically brought this up to her did not deter her from then following up and making the second ayatollah comment. At the very least her indifference in how she labels Arabs and or Muslims who have stated they are not happy with these terms being levied against them should be a red flag for anyone. The fact that she simply doesn’t care that Arabs/Muslims don’t want to be accused of issuing fatwas and or being called ayatollahs does nothing but continue to make us even more suspicious of her. Like you, I consider myself an Atheist, but I do not take kindly to Westerners that are quick to use this type of language.

  26. Shmuel says:

    I just received the following from Rete Romana Palestina:

    ESTELLE – BREAKING NEWS:
    Estelle received a phone call from the Finnish foreign department, who said that they received a message from their Israeli counterpart, stating that Estelle will be boarded on international water, and its passengers brought to Ashdod.

    • Danaa says:

      Just as we would expect. The Israelis have also learnt how to keep any PR fanfare to a minimum. Obviously this tactic of using boats pretending to “run a blockade” has outlived its usefulness and new innovative techniques are needed, if attention to the plight of Gazans is the goal.

      Note however, how relatively little attention the estelle is getting – not just from MSM, which we’d expect but on the activist blogs. Perhaps too many “anti-semites + friends” were thrown off the boat, taking much needed oxygen with them?

      • Shmuel says:

        Note however, how relatively little attention the estelle is getting – not just from MSM, which we’d expect but on the activist blogs. Perhaps too many “anti-semites + friends” were thrown off the boat, taking much needed oxygen with them?

        An uneventful voyage is hardly news. The two points of interest for the media are the departure and arrival or interception. The coverage of the departure was pretty good in Italy, and even in Israel (the tone of the Haaretz article wasn’t brilliant, but it did discuss the current state of collective punishment in Gaza, which is the whole point). We’ll see how it ends and how it’s covered. I have no idea of what coverage in the US is like, but I assume that, with the exception of the Mavi Marmara, these boats are getting very little coverage anyway. Europe is a little different, and the activist coverage seems “normal”. Chomsky seems to be drawing some positive attention to the situation in Gaza at the moment.

        I doubt the Estelle will get through, but I hope no one is hurt (I also have a friend on board) and that the coverage is reasonable – without too much oxygen being sucked out by any of the circumstances surrounding the “affaire Berlin”.

        As for the continued efficacy of such voyages (also considering the changes in the nature of the collective punishment itself), I’m sure there will be lots of analysis and evaluation going on.

      • American says:

        “Obviously this tactic of using boats pretending to “run a blockade” has outlived its usefulness and new innovative techniques are needed”…Danaa

        Yep , they need to move on to something else.
        I’d like to see everyone, all groups involved in this come together, pool their people and efforts and do something big big.
        A million people in the streets around the UN with signs saying …The American “People” Do Not Support the “US Politicians and Government’s” Aid to Israel and the Oppression of Palestines…. might get some politicians attention and stir the pot some.

  27. johd says:

    You cannot support the Palestinians, just as you cannot support slaves, just as you cannot support the oppressed. What you can support is the resistance to oppression, slavery etc.

    Manners is a concept invented by the oppressor, to regulate the oppressed. It is used to regulate the tone of any objection to oppression.

    That way, if the oppressed got too emotional or uppity about his circumstance, the oppressor could indignantly protest the unmannerly and disgusting behavior of the uppity n***er/Sand N****r/moon worshiper or … whatever! People only tut tut when the oppressor is merely impolite. He really has to get seriously murderous before the slightest possibility exists for voices to be raised in protest.

    It is instructive that people who successfully throw off their chains, are always the really, really impolite ones ; bombers, killers, really rude people
    The revolutionary black rebellion in in South Africa rejected the participation of white revolutionaries, despite the ANC policy of Inclusion. The ANC Failed in their efforts, ongoing over a period of some 70 Years, even though they became the mainstream inheritors of the leadership of the transition of power, and gained great legitimacy amongst all population groups.

    It is also instructive that the most successful resistance movement in the ARAB world, is Hezbollah, who have no Jewish Solidarity movement!!

    This movement needs a little less guidance from the rebellious offspring of the Zionist movement giving Instructions. Abunimah should go on practicing his PC Chic, he may inherit the earth, but he is absolutely useless as a revolutionary. Revolutions eat their young. He is too sensitive to be one.

    A Luta Continua!!!

    • Mooser says:

      “This movement needs a little less guidance from the rebellious offspring of the Zionist movement giving Instructions.”

      Yeah? And who’s your daddy?

    • Danaa says:

      t is also instructive that the most successful resistance movement in the ARAB world, is Hezbollah, who have no Jewish Solidarity movement!!

      @jond – good point. I’ve been wondering for a time about this very same thing – how come there’s so little Jewish support out there for Hezbollah? too indiginous? too alien? too religious? or maybe just less needy? or not lovvy-dovvy soft-spoken enough with all the pre-approved dialectic tools?

      How come everyone just goes along with them designated as terrorist (by the US, not the EU, at least not yet)?

      In truth, just looking at facts and putting gut-level emotion on the side – Hezbollah really is an incredible success story. Here are people who made it on their own terms – with absolutely zero help from the heart-bleeding left of the West – they repelled an attack from vicious invaders, managed to thrive in the difficult fractious political climate of lebanon and, by and large, made smart moves with minimal sop to well-meaning solidarity drama queens. Moreover, they remain a force that even israel reckons with – the same Israel that reckons with no one else, not even a superpower.

      OK – so they are devout muslims – and shiites at that, which is obviously a foreign outlook to liberal westerners – and secular easterners alike. But isn’t it religion that provides the cohesion and commitment needed to face a far superior enemy that means them – and the lebanese people allied with them – nothing but ill-will?

      I think that a day will come when history books are written on this period of time, that Hezbollah – as an indigenous Arab movement – will get its dues, whatever we think right now about them.

      • they are getting their due all across the arab world danaa, and many other places on the globe i am sure. we’re just not allowed to admire them here. as you said, not lovvy dovvy enough.

      • ToivoS says:

        I believe Hezbollah has gained huge amount of respect around the world.

        My enthusiasm is tempered by their religiosity — I oppose all political religious movements — religiously inspired are OK, but not those that want state power to push their beliefs.

      • Hostage says:

        How come everyone just goes along with them designated as terrorist (by the US, not the EU, at least not yet)?

        The US government holds them responsible for the murder of US Navy diver Robert Stethem during a hijacking, and a Federal District Court ruled that it was the organization responsible for the US Embassy and Marine Barracks bombings in Beirut.

        • Sibiriak says:

          a Federal District Court ruled that it was the organization responsible for the US Embassy and Marine Barracks bombings in Beirut.

          As if bombing a military target was an act of terrorism.

    • Zrow says:

      Amen to that!
      Well said.
      For liberal anti-Zionist Jews to demand on setting limits to the struggle and on enforcing them through ostracizing and slandering those who overstep is chutzpah in the extreme.
      If information that is presented is untrue then it should be discarded and yes, its purveyors derided, but if the information is true – especially when it is so explosive – it should be used in every manner available in the struggle against oppression.

      What I see here, is sulky acceptance that the information is, in fact, true – but how dare anyone air it. Palestinians can’t achieve justice at the expensive of the Jewish people – that just won’t do – and that’s why this so called solidarity movement is really just a toothless tiger. Gatekeepers for the Zionists.

      • Hostage says:

        What I see here, is sulky acceptance that the information is, in fact, true – but how dare anyone air it.

        One of the comments above makes the claim that the Holocaust was a myth. The personal testimony of the first Commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Hoess, to the military tribunal was that during his time at the camp hundreds of thousands of human beings were sent to their deaths and that Eichmann had advised him that a sum of more than 2 million Jews had been destroyed there. He also testified that he was summoned to Berlin in the summer of 1941, where Himmler told him that Hitler had personally given the order for a final solution of the Jewish question. See the verbatim record here in the University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School’s Nuremberg archives: link to law2.umkc.edu

        That and other corroborating testimony and evidence present insurmountable difficulties for anyone who wishes to deny or trivialize what happened. FYI, Holocaust or Nakba denial are violations of Mondoweiss comment policy.

  28. Mooser says:

    Well, if there’s ever a subject which should encourage Mondoweiss commenters to master the use of quote marks, italics, and blockquotes (and a couple more things under the box I’m not sure what they are) this one is it.
    Not that I’ve got it all straight myself, of course, I stick pretty much to quotes and italics.

  29. Why isn’t the guy in the video quoted properly?
    —————————————————————————
    His assertion is that the Zionist Jews helped Hitler kill the NON-Zionist Jews because they were seen as an obstacle to the establishment of a Jewish state.

    This assertion is something completely different from the claim that the Holocaust confers moral legitimacy for the establishment of a safe haven for Jews.

    - I do not understand why the article says there are similarities between the two claims/assertions.
    ————————–
    To endorse the vicious anti-Zionist nonsense of the video disqualifies anyone who wants to oppose Zionism and Israeli policies. But to call it ‘anti-Semitism’ equates this idiotic attack on the Zionists with an attack on all Jews and their Judaism/Jewishness.

  30. Rusty Pipes says:

    Bekah, thank you for all that you do, day in and day out, working in body and spirit with Palestinian nonviolent resistance in Beit Ummar. Thank you, as well, for your efforts to interpret your work to your friends and relatives in the United States, especially those who are willing to struggle with what it means to embrace their faith and practice as Jews while questioning and protesting the unjust policies and actions of the Israeli government.

    I am sure that in your work with various Palestinians and International activists, you have found that people of goodwill can have widely divergent opinions. I do not know Greta Berlin and I have not read Gilad Atzmon. However, having moderated a few small private yahoo groups, I do not find Berlin’s behavior as a moderator of a 1000 member private facebook group shocking.

    In even a small group of activists, the personalities, opinions and styles of participants are so diverse. Added to that, is the potential for agent provocateurs, enablers, mentally unbalanced people and idiots — and it’s not always easy to sort them out. Moderating comments in such an environment can be a full-time job; it takes the input of several people to moderate this public site. For a private group, especially for activists who want to spend their time on RL projects, it’s not worth much time. It requires a high tolerance for noise to signal to stay in such a group. If you found that it was too much work to find bon mots on the site, you were wise to leave the group and use your time elsewhere.

    • Truegreta says:

      You say you do not know Greta Berlin, so why are you commenting about her? How fascinating that so many of these posters don’t get it that 1000 member Facebook page has 13 admins, not one, and that Bekah Wolf had already told Greta that Joachim’s behavior did not bother her.

      Greta has been working for justice in Palestine for 45 years. She is the mother of two Palestinian children. She ran, along with her husband, one of the first NGOs for Palestine. She was working for justice before most of you were even born. She put her feet on the ground in 03, 05 and 07 in the occupied West Bank facing soldiers and settlers, when she could have just retired.

      She was one of the co-founders of the Free Gaza movement and sent five voyages into Gaza successfully before the voyages were stopped.

      You should all be utterly ashamed of yourselves. I am proud that she is my aunt and the Palestinians should be proud of her tireless efforts, at no salary over the past decades. The demonization of her for a misplaced video is vile.

      • Rusty Pipes says:

        Dear Greta’s niece, reading comprehension is your friend.

        I clearly disagreed with a main point of Bekah Wolf’s article, by saying:

        I do not find Berlin’s behavior as a moderator of a 1000 member private facebook group shocking.

        Bekah cites Greta’s actions as moderator of that group as part of her conclusions about Greta’s character.

        True, I do not know your aunt. I do know personally some of the people who have vouched for her as well as some of the people who have attacked her. I also have met Bekah Wolf and respect her work in Beit Ummar.

        This whole incident related to your aunt brings up a lot of related issues in the I/P community. So, as a blogging community, many of the posters here want to hash those issues out. I regret that this has been painful for your family. Unfortunately, having become a news item, the question is not whether people will talk about it, but how they will do so.

        Thank you for clarifying that you are not Greta. Your comments about her in the third person have confused many posters here.

        • I am proud that she is my aunt

          truegreta, we have commenter archives here. all you have to do is clickon a posters name and you can check them. here is one you made earlier:

          Truegreta says:
          October 12, 2012 at 3:07 pm

          When did you try to contact me? I’m curious since I have no record of any emails except one that said you might contact me. Here again, is my explanation. Larry Derfner understood and wrote an article about what happened. Supporters from LA Jews for Peace to Alison Weir to Jeffrey Blankfort to Ramzy Baroud have written to me, blogged about the mistake and supported me, but neither one of you ever bothered to even email me and ask me for my phone number. So, again… as simply as I can make it… here is what happened.

          1. I grabbed the video out of a group of 1000 people, a group that is private
          2. I meant to park it into a group of 30 people that is secret (to watch it later), but I never checked the settings before I hit SHARE, because I was in a hurry…

          continued at the link… link to mondoweiss.net

        • Mooser says:

          Yep, a very unhealthy relationship with the computer and the Internet. Not good at all.

  31. mudder says:

    I believe I read the offending tweet minutes after Ms. Berlin posted it. With some shock I opened the video only to be more shocked and then immediately “unfollow”ed Free Gaza’s twitter feed. I had second thoughts after her plausible explanation, at least until Ms. Wolf’s post here. Ms. Wolf settles it.

  32. andthensum says:

    I have been deeply disappointed by all that has transpired around this issue. It is my personal view that this whole conflagration was the result, to use a metaphor, of people using a magnifying glass on a bright sunny day to peer into the dry kindling on the floor in search of smoke. And they found it. And the more they looked, the more smoke they saw. And now, we have a full blown forest fire claiming victim, after victim… Greta Berlin, Ann Wright, Your-Name-Here.

    The original article to which Greta’s OurLand post referred is here:
    link to countercurrents.org

    I read the article and found it to be well-reasoned and well-researched. Does this mean that I agree with everything in the article? No. But much it has merit and gives useful historical background into a subject most Israel supporters, and perhaps as well, many Jews, would prefer not to think about.

    In my view, the error was on the part or those who challenged Greta to prove that she was not, either an actual anti-semite, or at least a confederate of anti-semites. How could anyone prove that? Could any of us?

    After 45 years of activism, and as the mother of two grown Palestinian sons, I would think that Greta Berlin should not have to prove her bona fides to anyone.

    Ali Abunimah should have questioned the source of this story, coming as it did from Israel’s Social Media director Avi Meyer. Ali should have asked, is Avi Meyer a reliable and trustworthy commentator? Does he come to the issue of Palestine solidarity with any kind of a (mega) agenda? He didn’t do that. Instead, he sought, I believe, to want to “get out in front” of it, to prove himself. He then went ahead and, using access Greta gave, conducted a forensic audit of Greta’s Facebook account. To prove what? That he had examined her like some medieval priest and had ascertained that her metaphorical flesh was indeed without blemish?

    Instead of giving credence to Avi Meyer’s naked and obvious attempt to paint Greta as an anti-semite, he should have just said, “Yes Avi, of course Greta Berlin is an anti-semite. In fact we all are. I thought you knew?”

  33. Shmuel says:

    From Rete Romana Palestina:

    According to Dror Feiler, spokesperson for Ship to Gaza Sweden, the Estelle was attacked at 10.15 AM CET. Five or six military vessels surrounded the Estelle. Soldiers wearing masks are now trying to board the ship. The attack took place on international water: N31 26 E33 45

    Jerusalem Post:

    The Israeli navy boarded the Gaza-bound “Estelle” ship seeking to break Israel’s naval blockade on Gaza, an army spokesperson confirmed at 11:40 am on Saturday.

    The army said the soldiers seized control of the ship, which is carrying pro-Palestinian activists, in accordance with the government’s decision and international law, diplomatic efforts to prevent the vessel from reaching Gaza’s shore had failed.

    “When the passengers made it clear that they would not cooperate or accept the invitation to sail to southern port of Ashdod, it was decided to seize the vessel and rerouted to the Ashdod,” the army said in a statement.

    “The Navy force operated as planned to guarantee the safety of the soldiers and passengers on the deck. The soldiers did not use force while seizing the ship, and gave the activists food and water,” the IDF confirmed.

    The army added that once the ship reaches Ashdod the passengers will be handed over to police and immigration authorities.

    • Danaa says:

      I noted that the ship was seized 20 nautical miles away from Israel’s/Gaza’s shore. isn’t that much further than the distance at which previous ships were intercepted/boarded? it was way in international waters and one would assume the communications were cut off earlier.

      I don’t expect there’ll be the slightest pip/squeak from the sheepish swede/Finnish governments – other than to praise Israel’s government for being so humanitarian as to “offer food/water” to passengers?

      So far, from what I read state-side, the Chomsky visit to Gaza garnered considerably more PR and headlines than the Estelle’s hapless mission. the accounts by CNN, reuters etc are even shorter and curter than last year’s event where one boat managed to get closer and be boarded.

      Definitely time to re-evaluate these sea missions to help bring attention to the Gazans, and hopefully that’s what the FGM board is concentrating on (Rather than the hissy-fits in the blogoshere which helped so far not a single gazan). What I would like to know is how is it working to get more freedom of movement into gaza from Egypt now that the brotherhood is in charge. I seem to be reading a heck of a lot less about how the people of Gaza are faring than about how the movement to help them is paring itself in a purification ritual.

      • Shmuel says:

        Definitely time to re-evaluate these sea missions to help bring attention to the Gazans

        Absolutely. The main problems now seem to be import of raw materials (particularly fuel and cement), export (and hence employment) and travel to and from the WB. The days of no coriander or crayons are over, and protest actions should reflect that.

        link to gisha.org
        link to gazagateway.org

        Any ideas?

        • AlGhorear says:

          There may be crayons and coriander, but not cancer drugs or pain medications for this young Gaza Woman from the kind of breast cancer that has an 80% cure rate with proper treatment.

        • Danaa says:

          Shmuel, it is fair question to ask for ideas, as I know it’s a heck of a lot easier to knock something down as “no longer effective” and much harder to come up with a new course of action that will be.

          Unfortunately, when it comes to Gaza, possibilities are rather limited, especially when it comes to action from Israel’s side (which include the seas access from Europe). I would concentrate on concepts that involve entry from Egypt, where at least there is a chance of gaining entry.

          Options include:

          1. Getting more academic personalities like Chomsky to vist Gaza for specific purposes. For example, there could be an action organized for University professors and/or academics to give a teach-in for the students on scholarship who were denied passage out of Gaza to study in the West bank. There could be more guest lectures organized at the islamic university (assuming the illustrious profgressives manage to overcome a built-in distaste for the “Islamic” part).

          2. Work with the new government in Egypt to research the possibility of getting to Gaza’s shore from Egypt’s side. yes, that is politically complicated, but just working on that angle – and working with the new Egypt government – could pay dividends in good will and in uncovering the israeli machinations that are working overtime to undermine attempts by Egypt to revisit the ‘deals” with israel. I know this requires concerted effort by well connected political figures in Europe (no hope for such from the US). But how about the greek Syriza MP putting efforts in that direction rather than a hapless boat journey to nowhere?

          3. Mount a spectacular – and dangerous – journey through the tunnels to bring medicines such as cancer medications. This will not be for the faint of heart for sure and does not provide pretty sea photo-ops but it might accomplish the mission.

          4. On the US side, it is my belief that any and all effective action should be directed at the “blockade enablers”. This includes the US congress, the jewish organizations, the Christian zionist groups and, most importantly, the media. Kathleen here has been urging direct call-ins and write-ins. I get the feeling there’s not enough of that. I would even go as far as to put some political targets on the BDS list. Certain synagogs and congregations could be picketed – for example – those that are especially egregious in raising funds for and contributing to the settlements. Islamophobes and likud apparatchniks like Debra Wasserman-Schultz, Schumer, Cantor, Berman and Sherman (whichever wins) could also be targeted for letter campaigns and events they attend sanctioned (after the elections of course).

          4. There should be an unrelenting effort -especially on campuses – to point out how politicized Birth Right trips are. In fact, participating in those trips should become not a matter to brag about but a badge of shame – something along the lines of while they are having fun tenting under the stars, there are others who have no roof to call their own. Young people will still take advantage of a free trip but they’ll do so under the shadow of promoting the suffering of Gazans and the extreme occupation of West Bankers. Call it “occupy Birthright”?

          OK, there’s a lot more where these came from. Note BTW that none of the actions I’d recommend are within the “comfort zone” of the left. Certainly the efforts I suggest may be politically difficult and invite retaliation. And a campaign against the “settlement enablers” in the US (and Europe) will be an uphill battle requiring braving the AS accusation every step of the way. Each and every action i can think of will test just how deep the commitment of activists is. Unfortunately I know that, at least, on the jewish side we’ll find many wilting lllies but that’s part of what we need to know.

          Maybe this conversation should take place on its own thread both because it’s important and because it’s really tangential to thisn Bekah vs Greta mud-fight. Should I ever find the time I’ll work up a proper post (inshallah). Or maybe you can?

        • Shmuel says:

          Danaa,

          Good start. I admit that I am at a real loss. The boats were powerful, and certainly contributed to the change in Israeli policy regarding imports. The current situation however, is much easier for the Israelis to spin. Connection with the West Bank, for example, raises the thorny issue of relations between Hamas and Fatah. If some progress is made in allowing exports out (particularly to Europe), without allowing raw materials and energy in or helping the shattered economy get back on its feet, Israel will again appear tolerant and accommodating, while Gazans will continue to suffer. But you’re right: it’s an important conversation.

      • Hostage says:

        I noted that the ship was seized 20 nautical miles away from Israel’s/Gaza’s shore. isn’t that much further than the distance at which previous ships were intercepted/boarded?

        Report of the Secretary-General’s Palmer Panel of Inquiry:

        110. The Panel questions whether it was reasonable for the Israeli Navy to board the vessels at the time and place that they did. There are several factors to be weighed in that equation. The boarding commenced at approximately 4.30 a.m., before dawn had broken. The distance from the blockade zone was substantial—64 nautical miles. There were several hours steaming before the blockade area would be reached. Then there is the fact that the boarding attempt was made by surprise, without any immediate prior warning. The last radio warning had been transmitted at some point between 12.41 a.m. and 2.00 a.m.—at least two and a half hours prior to the boarding commencing. The vessels were never asked to stop or to permit a boarding party to come on board. No efforts were made to fire warning shells or blanks in an effort to change the conduct of the captains.
        link to graphics8.nytimes.com

  34. Walker says:

    Terrific post, Bekah. The extensive detail you provided has changed my mind about this affair.

    I wholeheartedly agree with your main point – that antisemitism is unacceptable. We must not accept it regardless of the source. Having seen many defenders of Palestinian rights silenced by untrue accusations of antisemitism, I simply took Greta Berlin’s explanation at face value.

    At the same time, there is a further point that should be made. You single out Joachim Martillo for his response to the statement “We must never never generalize about Jews and Zionist Jews”. In his response he says “In truth we should generalize, and there are perfectly reasonable wa(y)s to generalize about ethnic groups, cultures, and societies”. What he goes on to say is not very reasonable, and perhaps that’s what you meant to condemn. However, the first point he makes is quite true. Discussion of history or current events becomes absurd if we can’t generalize about “ethnic groups, cultures, and societies”. The different characteristics among groups are what make them, well, “groups”. Imagine where the presidential race would be without that.

    The idea that we must “never never generalize” is too often used to make discussion of certain American realities impossible. According to a recent AJC poll, 71% of American Jews agree with the statement “Caring about Israel is a very important part of my being a Jew”. What follows from this attitude has a tangible effect on all of us. Yet in many forums any attempt to discuss the implications of this fact without multiple, constant qualifications and disclaimers could get you kicked off the site. This situation is effect of Jewish power in our society – another reality that affects us all, but unfortunately can’t be safely discussed in public.

    It should be possible to discuss differences among groups and individuals. The key to protecting your own mind while doing this is not to freeze differences into permanent realities, or assign a particular character to people simply because of their ethnic backgrounds.

    • irishmoses says:

      Good post Walker; the ability to generalize or speak in generalizations is important so long as the generalizations are fact-based, fair and reasonable (I wish I had a precise definition of what an acceptable generalization is). What’s not acceptable is generalizations that are factually deficient and based on or motivated by racial, ethnic, religious prejudice which is the problem with anti-Semitic generalizations.

      I think the problem lies in the dividing line between fair and unfair generalization. What appears to have gotten Greta Berlin in trouble was posting information on a topic right on the margin between fair and unfair (whether there was some Zionist cooperation with the Nazis–a topic I know almost nothing about). It is apparently fair to say there was some minor cooperation at the margins, it is certainly unfair (outrageous) to say that Zionists caused the holocaust. Saying so is pretty much prima facie evidence of anti-Semitic motivation.

      By posting a connection to a link that unfairly (outrageously) generalized that minor connection into Zionist responsibility for the holocaust Greta impliedly tarred herself with the same anti-Semitic brush. Whether she posted this anti-Semitic link accidentally or negligently is hard to know. Her stellar credentials in the I-P movement would seem to entitle her to some slack and maybe a sharp rebuke, not instant banishment. On the other hand, if you willingly engage in dialogue about or with those who are prone to outrageous, anti-Semitic generalization you put yourself at risk of banishment by those who have little patience for such marginal discourse. Fairly or unfairly, we are judged by the company we keep.

      To return to Walker’s point, the ability to generalize in a fair and fact-based manner is critical. Anti-Semitic generalizations are unfair and should not be tolerated. But, just because one subset of generalizations are unfair and intolerable, does not mean all generalization is unacceptable.

      • Irishmoses -

        There are no “fair” or “unfair” generalizations – there are only true and false ones. The motive of a generalization doesn’t matter at all.
        This applies to anti-Semitic generalizations as well as to philo-Semitc ones or any other generalization whatsoever. – A generalization is a matter of statistics (for instance the percentage) but not a question of ethics.

        • irishmoses says:

          Klaus,
          If one uses false data to make a generalization that would seem to be both unfair and unethical. I agree that factual statements are true or false (e.g. “71 percent of American Jews support Israel”) but the generalization (or conclusion) that is chosen from that fact does go to motive and does raise ethical questions (e.g. “Therefore American Jews are traitors”).

        • Walker says:

          irishmoses, suppose that the conclusion drawn from the 71% in that poll is not “American Jews are traitors”, but deep concern about the effect that such a high percentage of money donated to national political campaigns comes from Jewish donors could have on US policies?

        • irishmoses says:

          Walker,
          Unlike the former, outrageous conclusion (“Jews are traitors”) drawn from a hypothetically accurate factual statement (71 percent support Israel) the one you propound seems reasonable (although I don’t see how yours could spring from the hypothetical statistic unless you equate support with campaign donations).

          The point I was trying to make to Klaus was that an accurate factual basis for a generalization can still be used in ways that raise questions about the motive and ethics of the one making the generalization. I was using an extreme example to clarify my point about misuse of facts upon which generalizations are based.

        • Walker says:

          Irishmoses, this statement:
          an accurate factual basis for a generalization can still be used in ways that raise questions about the motive and ethics of the one making the generalization.

          is both somewhat questionable and one that cuts both ways. First, it is hard to know for sure what someone else’s motive are. Very few of us can actually see another person’s mind. Just as is the case with generalizations, we inevitably make judgements about motive, but one should attempt to look at all sides and all possibilities before doing so.

          Second, the motives of the questioner are subject to the same rule.

          I’ve been around this issue for so long that I know that whenever someone is an effective critic of Israel, sooner or later that person will be accused of being antisemitic, or “following antisemitic tropes” or something. This is almost as predictable as night following day. My tendency is to reject those attacks, though as this case shows this can sometimes, though rarely, be shown to be mistaken.

        • “the motive and ethics of the one making the generalization”
          ———
          I can’t stand people who – before questioning, checking the accuracy of a generalization or a fact – question the motive. of the one stating the fact.

          - Intellectually, they are below the threshold of my contempt.

          Often, these people, instead of directly questioning your motive (because that sounds too bumb) say: ‘You are right but what is the moral relevance of that fact?’ – This strategy is smarter.

      • W.Jones says:

        Irish Moses,

        it is certainly unfair (outrageous) to say that Zionists caused the holocaust. Saying so is pretty much prima facie evidence of anti-Semitic motivation.
        I disagree that making outrageous claims against a particular nationalist movement is “prima facie evidence” of motivation against that nationality itself.

        At most, it’s a basis for suspicion, but not denunciation.

        Regards.

        • irishmoses says:

          W. Jones,
          While I take your point, I think in the real world it is a matter of degree: The more outrageous the generalization, the greater or stronger the evidence confirming the suspicion. Some statements or generalizations about race, religion, etc. can be so outrageous that immediate denunciation is appropriate. Others might best be handled by further inquiry and dialogue.

          In the example I cited, I wouldn’t have much patience for further inquiry and dialogue with a person making such a statement. I suppose you could argue that the person might just be ignorant and not necessarily motivated by anti-Semitism or Judeophobia.

          In the case of Greta Berlin, it’s not clear to me what her motivation in tweeting the offensive material was. Again, based on her stellar record in the I-P movement, I think she should have been rebuked but still entitled to the benefit of the doubt as two whether her unfortunate tweet was motivated by anti-Semitism, or was a negligent mistake or a momentary error in judgment. I guess I’m arguing for a balancing test.

          While I might be willing to cut Greta some slack, under that test, the author of the offensive material certainly seems more than worthy of outright denunciation.

        • W.Jones says:

          Irish Moses,

          I am glad we have some agreement.

          I disagree that “The more outrageous the generalization, the greater or stronger the evidence confirming the suspicion.”
          You can say that the more outrageous the statement, the stronger it makes your suspicion. But evidence cannot “confirm” your suspicion from the same evidence, unless you have already prejudged someone.

          I think your statement is true, but misleading:“Some statements or generalizations about race, religion, etc. can be so outrageous that immediate denunciation is appropriate.”
          The point I was making was that there is a difference between making a bad statement about a nationality and making a bad statement about a nationalist political movement, since an ethnicity is not a political movement.
          That’s why making an outrageous statement about a racial political movement is not the same thing as a generalized statement against a race itself, which is what we object to.

          I sympathize with your second to last paragraph. However, there are other factors too. If you are working together with someone on a human rights goal, especially where you are in a minority political opposition, you should go on the assumption that your fellow human rights activist is not racist, unless proven to the contrary. You may have a suspicion, but you should operate under “innocent until proven guilty”, considering your shared values, goals, and situation. Further, when the person clarifies that he/she is not racist, this should be considered further confirmation of your assumption if there was ambiguity.

          In this controversy about Greta, the opposite assumptions seem to be at work. Greta, a leading human rights activist, posted bad statements about a nationalist/religious political movement, and her opponents assumed: (1) that she intended to make the statements, (2) that her antagonism was against not just the political movement but the ethnicity itself, and (3) that her explanation wasn’t good enough to overcome those assumptions.

          It is ironic that we often hear how opponents of the nationalist political movement are derided as racists and their criticisms are ridiculed and denounced. Here, Greta made very exaggerated criticisms of the same political movement, but how is it that we must assume she is racist without using the same style of denunciation? In other words, if someone’s criticisms of the nation-state and its political movement are exaggerated, they must be a racist?

        • irishmoses says:

          W.Jones,
          I thought I made it clear that Greta, because of stellar on-the-ground contributions toward actually helping the Gazans, deserved some slack, maybe a stern rebuke, but not banishment.

          While there is a certain value and enjoyment in all the pontificating we are doing (myself included) I am beginning to feel like I’m part of a group of medieval monks debating the area available for angels on the point of a pin.

          A comment I made earlier in this thread (10/20 1:21am) but on a separate string (see Danaa at 10/18 11:58pm and me at 10/19 2:19pm) seems apt:
          ___________________

          “The problems in Palestine are not just a Zionist problem, they’re also a Jewish problem and an American problem. The degree of culpability may diminish with distance but it’s still there and it needs to be faced, not glossed over out of fear of crossing the line into the dreaded anti-Semitism.

          The thousands of words devoted to this and the prior threads concerning the transgressions of Greta into the depths of anti-Semitism by a host of articulate commentators seem more than a little overwrought when compared to the collective guilt we all share for the reality of what is happening every day in Palestine.

          Please excuse my untimely interruption. I’d forgotten how important it is to decide just how those deck chairs should be arranged before we all have to dress for the Captain’s dinner.”
          ________________
          While I enjoy the discourse and find much of it stimulating, at the end of the day I doubt it matters much in the lives of the Palestinians. Unfortunately, someone who actually has made a difference by a couple of decades of on-the-ground (and sea) efforts on their behalf, lies trampled and senseless at the feet of those who don’t contribute a fucking thing other than lip service.

          I think that is a sad commentary on all of us (with very few exceptions).

          Oops, I’m out of time. Gotta put on the old tuxedo for the Captain’s dinner. Sure seems foggy all of a sudden.

      • American says:

        “generalizations are unfair and should not be tolerated. But, just because one subset of generalizations are unfair and intolerable, does not mean all generalization is unacceptable”..Irishmoses

        Odds are there has never been a generalization ever, that has been totally accurate.
        In my lifetime I have never heard of or come across a generalization there wasn’t a exception to.
        Generalization most often just equals collateral damage.
        So practically speaking, in generalizing it’s a question of how much collateral damage is acceptable for whatever the cause is.
        Consider Hiroshima and the A bomb decision.

        • irishmoses says:

          American,
          You cut off the first word of my sentence which was “ANTI-SEMITIC generalizations are unfair and should not be tolerated” thus telling a reader that I believe all generalizations are unfair.

          I am sorely tempted to generalize and brand you as a despicable scoundrel but as you generally seem a likeable fellow and as the collateral damage from your misquote can quickly be repaired, I will temper my generalization by saying it seems more likely you just made a careless error.

          That all generalizations contain exceptions seems obvious, but that does not mean all generalizations are inappropriate or flawed. Here’s some Wikipedia examples of faulty generalization:

          Inductive fallacies

          Hasty generalization is the fallacy of examining just one or very few examples or studying a single case, and generalizing that to be representative of the whole class of objects or phenomena.

          The opposite, Slothful induction, is the fallacy of denying the logical conclusion of an inductive argument, dismissing an effect as “just a coincidence” when it is very likely not to be.

          The overwhelming exception is related to the hasty generalization, but working from the other end. It is a generalization which is accurate, but tags on a qualification which eliminates enough cases (as exceptions); that what remains is much less impressive than what the original statement might have led one to assume.

          Biased sample – When the above happen because of (personal) bias of the sampling entity.

          Misleading vividness is a kind of hasty generalization that appeals to the senses.

          Statistical special pleading occurs when the interpretation of the relevant statistic is “massaged” by looking for ways to reclassify or requantify data from one portion of results, but not applying the same scrutiny to other categories.

        • Walker says:

          American, by definition all generalization have exceptions. But we cannot avoid using them. Everyone except God finds them necessary.

        • American says:

          “irishmoses says:
          October 20, 2012 at 2:02 pm

          American,
          You cut off the first word of my sentence which was “ANTI-SEMITIC generalizations are unfair and should not be tolerated” thus telling a reader that I believe all generalizations are unfair.”‘

          I didn’t cut it off intentionally to mispresent or change your statement.
          My comment was just some ‘general’ thoughts about generalizing …not about anti semitism in particular and so I didn’t include it.
          I was just saying how in practice in real world politic generalizing is done all the time and is called collateral damage….as in Japan was our enemy therefore if we drop the A bomb and kill some innocent civilians to end the war that generalizing about all Japanese being fair targets is acceptable.
          I don’t happen to think the A bomb was acceptable because it was ‘too’ drastic, but that was the example I was using.
          Israel generalizes about Palestines.
          Some Jews generalize about Christians and gentiles and Arabs.

        • American says:

          @ Walker

          True. However avoidable vr necessary depends sometimes on what we want to accomplish in using them.

        • irishmoses says:

          American,
          I thought my humorous response made clear I did not believe you were intentionally misrepresenting me. I guess my attempt at humor escaped you and for that I apologize. To be clear, I do not think you are a “despicable scoundrel” but instead think you are “a (generally) likeable fellow” whose comments I enjoy reading.

          As to your point, I would agree that generalizations (even accurate ones) can be misused (intentionally or negligently) to formulate and justify bad policies. But that does not mean that generalization itself is bad. It fact, it is an essential tool of life, logic, science, etc.

        • MHughes976 says:

          Generalisations are the same things as statements of probability: ‘on the whole, As are B’/’among As, there is a balance of Band not-B”. Even a divine mind would recognise them.

        • irishmoses says:

          Agreed. I think it can be said that generalizations, on the whole, are generally useful.

        • “‘on the whole, As are B’/’among As, there is a balance of Band not-B”.
          ———-
          Although I don’t understand what THAT means, I agree that “Generalisations are the same things as statements of probability.”

          So: When you meet a Jew, the probability is high that he/she supports Isarel. But you must not infer, when you meet a Jew, that he/she must support Israel because he/she may be a ‘statistical oddity’. My advice is: ask him/her. – Although I’m a statistician and believe that numbers make truth – I still believe that people make more truth than numbers.

        • American says:

          irishmoses says:
          American,
          I thought my humorous response made clear I did not believe you were intentionally misrepresenting me”‘

          LOL..yea I knew it was humorous, no problem —I like your style Irish.

          Also said you…”But that does not mean that generalization itself is bad. It fact, it is an essential tool of life, logic, science, etc”

          Agreed. It pays to generalize sometimes.

        • Mooser says:

          “American, by definition all generalization have exceptions. But we cannot avoid using them. Everyone except God finds them necessary.”

          How true that is! Man may kill generally, but God sorts them out, sending each one to his eternal specificity.

      • American says:

        “By posting a connection to a link that unfairly (outrageously) generalized that minor connection into Zionist responsibility for the holocaust Greta impliedly tarred herself with the same anti-Semitic brush.”..irishmoses

        Generalizing about zionist responsibility might be dumb but it isn’t anti semitic…unless you yourself are generalizing about the zionist movement at the time being approved of by all Jews.
        The only reason I would get upset about slandering the zios with way out nonsense (considering how they slander people) is because if you don’t stick to the facts and make up or exaggerate things then you lose your own credibility in criticizing them.

        To me the Berlin attackers went wrong in going all gaga over linking it to anti semitism. The actual real problem on the surface of it seemed to be Berlin was hooked or getting hooked on outlandish conspiracy theories about zionist which brought her credibility as a responsible leader into question.

        • irishmoses says:

          American,
          “Generalizing about zionist responsibility might be dumb but it isn’t anti semitic…unless you yourself are generalizing about the zionist movement at the time being approved of by all Jews.”

          The problem with your argument is that it ignores the likely possibility that an outrageously “anti-Zionist” statement is really a disguised anti-Semitic statement. While it is certainly true that most anti-Zionist statements are not motivated at all by anti-Semitism, IMHO the more outrageous the anti-Zionist statement the more likely there lurks a closet anti-Semite.

          Having said that, I also think the anti-Semitism card is dangerously overused so I am very reluctant to apply that label except in the case of ‘beyond the pale’ types of commentary. I have no problem applying it in cases of blatant Holocaust denial or statements that Zionists caused the Holocaust, neither of which is anti-Semitic on its face.

        • American says:

          “The problem with your argument is that it ignores the likely possibility that an outrageously “anti-Zionist” statement is really a disguised anti-Semitic statement.”….Irishmoses

          Anything is ‘possible”.
          I could join some animal group under the guise of helping them just to get animals to torture.
          If I was a sex pervert I could volunteer with children groups so I could get near them and abuse them.
          At this point I am as disgusted by the anti semites hunters intent on rounding up ALL POSSIBLE anti semites as I am with Berlin.

        • MHughes976 says:

          Anti-Zionists may often claim that Zionism is not or has never been in the best interest of Jewish people and may support this claim with both reasonable and unreasonable arguments. We seem to confront an anti-Zionist argument that has run into very unreasonable territory. But I agree with American that there is no sign of prejudice against Jewish people, ie of anti-Semitism. There may be a desperate and doomed attempt to turn Jewish people away from Zionism but that’s a different thing.
          There is a related strain of argument which places some of the blame for Jewish suffering in Hitler’s time on some Jewish minorities. I’m thinking of Hilberg’s highly critical view of the Jewish Councils: this was not based on Zionism but on ‘Europeanism’, as it were – too much ingrained readiness to cooperate with authority and officialdom. This is a negative, and perhaps very unfair, view of some people who were Jewish but it is not generally regarded as the result of prejudice against people simply or mainly because of their Jewish identity.
          I agree that Greta Berlin seems to act rather oddly and not to help herself. But she has, if ‘Truegreta’ gives a true account of her, been close to the sufferings of the Palestinians in a way that most of us have never been.
          Prejudice is an enemy of truth, we should never forget that. But in any struggle against injustice prejudiced and distorted attitudes are likely to arise, though not as pervasively as they do among those who struggle to keep injustice going. Prejudiced thoughts deserve correction but not the same degree of opposition as unjust actions deserve.

        • American says:

          “Prejudiced thoughts deserve correction but not the same degree of opposition as unjust actions deserve”…..MHughes

          Exquisite statement MH….perfect.

        • MHughes976 says:

          Thanks for kind words. One day we’ll share a latte. – Martin

      • On the video and ‘anti-Semitic’ generalizations
        ——————————————————————–
        The guy in the video claims that in the early 1920s the Zionists allied themselves to the Hitler movement against the Orthodox non-Zionist Jews
        in order to establish a Jewish state before the arrival of the messiah and ultimately assisted in the killing of the non-Zionist Jews.

        Now, why call this idiotic claim ‘anti-Semitic’? – To say so is a wrong generalization.

        - In the early 1920s the Zionists were well below 10% of German Jewry.
        (One can verify this by looking at the circulation of their paper.)

        - Zionism got some traction after 1933 and the Nazi government urged the Zionist Organization of Germany to accelerate emigration to Palestine. That was in their interest. – But as a matter of fact the vast majority of German Jews who emigrated did not chose Palestine.

        So: To generalize from a rather small minority of German Jews – the Zionist ones – (even if they had collaborated with Hitler to the point of the death camps) – as something ‘typically Jewish’ (that’s what an anti-Semitic generalization is about) – to do so is nonsense.

        - The guy in the video doesn’t generalize his claim to ‘typical for Jews.’ –
        Why talk about ‘anti-Semitism’ and generalize the nonsense he is talking?

    • Walker – I strongly agree.

      ‘One must never generalize’ is one of dumbest politically correct statement around.
      - What one must not do is to infer from a generalization to a particular individual because this individual may belong to the 30% 0r just 1% to whom the generalization doesn’t apply.

      But people often argue the other way round: They point for instance at XYZ Jews who are anti-Zionist Jews and then say: You must not generalize about Jews’ attitudes towards Israel. – A generalization can be right or wrong but isn’t wrong just because it’s a generalization.

    • Mooser says:

      “Discussion of history or current events becomes absurd if we can’t generalize about “ethnic groups, cultures, and societies”.”

      And it becomes even more absurd when we can’t draw the obvious conclusions about the motivations of those doing the generalising. Joachim Martillo? Really? And you just linked yourself with him?

      This just gets crazier and crazier.

  35. Truegreta says:

    So Bekah Wolf does not tell the truth about her private message with Greta. Like many yellow journalists before her, she neglected to put her response into the PM, a response that makes all the difference to her allegations. In fact, she told Greta she was NOT offended, hence the reply that Greta made.

    If Bekah lies about one private message, who knows how many cut-and-paste jobs she did for Mondoweiss? And who put her up to demonizing her friend?

    Bekah Wolf

    Thanks lady. I wasnt offended, i find these guys to be morons. I also dont get facebook really, thougt it was urs cuz i get notifications when u post in it (which i now just realized is bcuz we’re friends (smile)

    July 11
    Greta Berlin

    Yup that’s why you get the notification. I was laughing at Joachim though. He has his good moments but his head is sometimes up his ass…ertions. And they have no idea who you are, so I just had to smack them a bit

    • ritzl says:

      Fer crissake, if you’re a different person than Greta Berlin, make a new account and username. It takes 5 seconds. You’re not helping yourself, Greta, or anyone by continuing to murky this up. I have to say that even as a nominal Berlin defender (and assuming you are two different people) this is pretty bizarrely clueless behavior, especially at this point. Get a grip, dammit.

      Is this why the original responses to this were so conflicting? You two were sharing accounts? Aarrgghh.

  36. Truegreta says:

    Interesting that, once people have realized that Bekah Wolf lied about her own private message to Greta, no one is commenting. In addition, the admins of Our Land just reminded many of us that Greta banned Joachim once as did another admin. There are over a dozen admins in the group.

    Finally, here is the PM that Greta sent to Joachim on July 7

    Greta Berlin
    July 7

    Joachim. I love your postings and I learn one hell of a lot from you, BUT… please stay focused in Our Land. The entire Jewish conspiracy angle does not belong in there. There is plenty you can post about Israeli horrors and the thugs in control there without sidetracking the conversation. We don’t want to have to ban you again.

  37. lyn117 says:

    This is the cautionary note: it’s human to want to believe the worst of one’s “enemies.” So when someone comes up with an outrageous charge against zionists, some anti-zionists believe it wholesale and others are quite willing to discuss and investigate it rather than dismiss it out of hand. Thus even anti-semitic charges like the one Greta Berlin tweeted aren’t immediately dismissed and aren’t even adequately challenged. Even if zionists from Ben-Gurion on have claimed Israel to be a model of moral behavior and have been known to spew a long series of lies and misinformation regarding Israel’s history, it doesn’t mean they’ve done every evil in the world.

    As for the above post, a careful reading of the responses to Roger G. Salisbury shows that his anti-semitism was challenged. Maybe not adequately. And Greta Berlin says “The Holocaust has been trivialized and bastardized to such a degree, it has lost its power to appall people, and that is a huge tragedy.” I don’t think that’s the statement of an antisemite.

    Maybe it’s anti-semitic to let such a conversation continue. Certainly it leads to accusations of antisemitism.

  38. American says:

    Quell surprise…! And how unfortunate we have wasted all this time debating Berlin. When the judgement was already made.

    link to blog.adl.org

    October 5, 2012 5

    Update, Octo­ber 10, 2012: Jew­ish Voice for Peace issued a state­ment on Octo­ber 7 announc­ing that it is “dis­as­so­ci­at­ing our­selves from spon­sor­ship of Berlin’s cur­rent book tour in the U.S.” and would no longer endorse Free Gaza Movement-related activ­ity.
    The state­ment described Berlin’s expla­na­tions and apol­ogy as inad­e­quate, say­ing “We unfor­tu­nately don’t think her responses ade­quately address our con­cern about cir­cu­lat­ing anti-semitic materials.”

    Last week, Berlin posted a vir­u­lently anti-Semitic tweet to the FGM Twit­ter account, which she oper­ates, that claimed that Zion­ists “oper­ated the con­cen­tra­tion camps.” The tweet has since sparked sig­nif­i­cant media atten­tion and out­rage, even from some anti-Israel activists. Berlin and FGM sub­se­quently apol­o­gized, claim­ing that the tweet was an acci­dent and was only intended for Berlin’s Face­book page.
    Berlin ini­tially claimed that she had not watched the video, which was titled “Zion­ists oper­ated the con­cen­tra­tion camps and helped mur­der mil­lions of inno­cent Jews,” and was unaware of its con­tent.

    In fact, Berlin’s Face­book page con­tains sev­eral other recent hate­ful post­ings. On the same day Berlin posted the offend­ing tweet, she posted a pic­ture to her Face­book page of Iran­ian pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ahmadine­jad shak­ing the hand of a mem­ber of the anti-Zionist group Neturei Karta. Berlin added the fol­low­ing com­men­tary: “if he hated jews so much, as he is often accused of, would he be warmly greet­ing some of them? what he hates is zion­ism, and so do i!”

    *BTW..Looking around I found a several others recently expelled in the UK.
    Nahida Izzat, Palestinian poet and writer, expelled from her local Palestinian solidarity group in Liverpool.
    Dr Francis Clark Lowes, former Chairman of the UK PSC was expelled from the organisation, for allegedly being an ‘Anti Semite’ and a ‘holocaust denier’.
    accusations.
    Daniel Barenbom, the pianist and conductor.

  39. W.Jones says:

    Dear Greta,

    Thanks for posting the messages you shared with Bekah, showing further that you disagreed with the intolerant statements made on your facebook group, and that you are not anti-semitic, although anti-Zionist. Perhaps it would have been more helpful if you had posted them sooner.

    You may want to recognize if you have a cognitive difficulty, like using the third person, saying you were on a train or plane when it may have been neither, saying you were in the same position as others when you were an administrator, etc. Also, even if the other side is wrong, attacking you, and hurting your feelings, it may be wiser to avoid name-calling and other insults. If you work hard, do not give up, and are patient, this may bring you greater reward.

    I am sorry about the witch-hunt over you, and hope it will teach you perseverence when even your colleagues oppose you.

    Regards.

  40. ritzl says:

    Two things:

    1) I am now at a complete loss as to what the real issues are on Berlin, because they aren’t those of “promoting” antisemitism, racism, or bigotry.

    MW posted a video the other day from “Generation Identitaire” that is at least as offensive as the Mullins vid. As is the case here, for “discussion purposes.”

    2) Apparently it is not out of bounds to post offensive vids. Therefore it would seem that, if one assumes that this isn’t about the prioritizing of anti-Jewish bad stuff, but rather, given this “GI” vid, Berlin’s condemnation is about, and propelled by (beyond all reason and to incredibly destructive ends) the incredibly narrow issue of “private” discussion, and/or “transparency” or the length/context of ONE tweet.

    It seems OK to post offensive vids “for discussion” if it’s done openly. Is this the criterion? And for the umpteenth time, is this worth destroying (per Jews Sans Frontieres, “[FGM] has become a front for antisemitism.”) the direct work/blood of hundreds of people over the course of years?

    I keep trying to stop posting on this, but the, again, sheer destructiveness of the double standard and/or narrowness of the subordination defies any conceptualization, to me, of the benefit.

  41. Bekah Wolf says:

    I must admit I have decided to spend a limited time on this subject so I have not reviewed any of the comments. I do have one clarification to make. Greta seems to think that by demonstrating I did not take her participation or the offensiveness of this group seriously back in July that I am somehow lying today. It is clear I did not take it as seriously as I should have 4 months ago. I left the group after one conversation and did not return until she tweeted the video of a nortorious holocaust denier. It was after seeing her pattern of comments, and her attack on other Palestinian activists who tried to hold her accountable, that I revisited my interactions with her. I made this clear, I hope, in my article. I wish I had taken it more seriously when it first occurred, rather than giving her the benefit of the doubt that she was just being careless and would correct her behavior after I pointed it out and begged to be banned from the group. She did not, and the rest, as they say, is history.