Tel Aviv and the failure of the Zionist dream

Israel/Palestine
on 349 Comments
telavivflags
Flags on the beach in Tel Aviv. (Photo: Flickr/schnapper_j)

Editor’s Note: Very exciting news. Mondoweiss Assistant Editor Allison Deger just arrived in Israel/Palestine and will be based in the West Bank for the next three months. She sent this update below on arriving in Tel Aviv:

Since arriving everyone has been eerily nice to me. Starting in Tel Aviv people were very friendly and at 6am after my plane landed when I couldn’t sleep I took a walk along the Mediterranean and then jumped into the sea. The water was warm and I could taste the salt. The morning beach-goers who looked like they had been transported from Coney Island greeted me and cracked deprecating jokes. They were welcoming, and it felt really good to be there. The occupation was no where in sight.

Tel Aviv is in every sense a “bubble.” Even its political problems are bubble-problems. And I should know, I live in Berkeley. In my bubble the city picks up residential compost, the Peace and Justice Party wins local elections, and there is a Scientology Church. On the streets, you can overhear young people talking about “decolonizing” their minds, food, health or even sexuality. But Tel Aviv is very different from Berkeley. Foremost, there is a small and active group of native Americans who organize and demonstrate against the overtaking of their lands, and new developments, like shopping malls, on their sacred burial sites. Residents of Berkeley see them. And everyone knows the name of the tribe whose land it once was: Ohlone. But in Tel Aviv, there are no Palestinians or even signs of their not so historic thriving presence–other than maybe Arak on cafe menus.

Tel Aviv is a failure of the Zionist dream. Parts of the city are like a ghetto, amounting to the exact opposite of what Herzl envisioned for the future of the Zionist project in Altneuland, the city’s namesake.Where Herzl imagined theatres in every major European language, the real “old new land” is part dump and part shopping malls and hotels. It’s commerce, capitalism, recession and a few J 14 occupiers wearing trendy clothing hanging out on Rothschild Blvd. There is major dilapidation in what seemed like nearly half of the town. Alley ways smelled of sun-dried urine and many buildings have tin roofs and shoddy construction. All of these social welfare problems block out Tel Aviv’s original sin, forcing Palestinians to leave.

About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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349 Responses

  1. seafoid
    October 2, 2012, 10:35 am

    Ahlan wa Sahlan, Alison

    The last time I was there I couldn’t get over how cheap alcohol is in TA. You can buy wine and spirits from Bulgaria and the ex Soviet Union for less than a dollar.
    The other thing was the rudeness.
    And the place looks very shabby. They must spend all their money on the army or something.

    BTW the palestinians live on in the language – yalla etc, in the food -hummus, felafel
    and in the mental furniture of all the Zionists.

    • pabelmont
      October 2, 2012, 11:17 am

      Palestinians live on, I should imagine, as enemies or feared foreigners, with perhaps (somewhere, please?) a realization that they are living victims upon whose on-going ruination Israel was/is built.

      • seafoid
        October 2, 2012, 11:25 am

        They live on in the 3 year military service every secular ziobot is required to complete .

        In the paranoia of their leaders. link to youtube.com

        And on line, in every comment section under an article about Israel.

    • ColinWright
      October 2, 2012, 12:18 pm

      seafoid says: “And the place looks very shabby. They must spend all their money on the army or something. “

      Actually, they spend our money on the army. Bobbing around here somewhere is a statement that the IDF gets more of its funds from the US taxpayer than from the Israeli taxpayer.

      • American
        October 2, 2012, 12:30 pm

        @ Colin

        According to the IDF Chief commander American Taxpayers now provide more money for the Israeli military than do Israeli taxpayers….or iow, US military aid is more then Isr taxpayers portion of Israeli military support.

      • yonah fredman
        October 2, 2012, 4:26 pm

        Colin and American- According to Wikipedia the expenditures of the Israel defense budget were 53.2 billion shekels or approximately 14 billion dollars in 2010. It did not state whether this was in addition to American outlays or including American outlays. If it did include American outlays: Did American outlays equal more than 7 billion dollars in 2010? If yes, then you are right. If not then you are wrong. (or the quote is wrong.)

      • ColinWright
        October 2, 2012, 6:19 pm

        yonah friedman says: ” If yes, then you are right. If not then you are wrong…”

        He’s your chief of staff. Take it up with him.

      • Boston
        October 3, 2012, 7:06 am

        Of course American taxpayers put up more than $7 billion per year to Israel. In addition to the official package of just over $3 billion there are innumerable other goodies (free loan guarantees, special gifts like Iron Dome, paying for moving and resettling Jews from all over the world into Israel). And how many tens of billions of tax dollars are lost each year via donations to “jewish” (read Israeli) “charities” (read military)?

    • Allison Deger
      October 3, 2012, 12:49 am

      thanks Seafoid, I didn’t buy any alcohol but I’ll keep that in mind.

    • Mikhael
      October 3, 2012, 4:03 am

      he palestinians live on in the language – yalla etc, in the food -hummus, felafel
      and in the mental furniture of all the Zionists.

      Hummus and falafel are not exclusive to Arabs and certainly not exclusive to the Arabs who have recently started calling themselves “Palestinian.” Over half of Israel’s Jewish population is descended from families that have always resided in the Middle East/North Africa region, they didn’t steal hummus and falafel from Palestinians . This kind of food was certainly not strange to my Jewish forebears who arrived in Jerusalem centuries ago from what is now Syria. I don’t know about Tel Aviv’s “Palestinian” population, but the population of Yafo is about 16,000 Arabs. Many other Arabs live in Tel Aviv neighborhoods adjacent to Yafo such as Neve Tsedeq. Rifaat Turk, an Arab from Yafo, became deputy mayor of the combined Tel Aviv-Yafo municpality in 2003, but I guess you can only see evidence of “vanished Palestinians” in expressions like “yalla”., which was part of the argot spoken by many Je3ws who formerly lived in Arabic-dominated countries as well.

      • seafoid
        October 3, 2012, 8:30 am

        Mikhail

        20 % of Israelis are Palestinian. During the first few aliyahs Jews were welcomed into their homes by Palestinians and fed . In his autobiography Amos Oz describes one such invitation from 1946.
        The notion that none of these links have any relevance today is a joke, same as your Zionist history.

        And much Ashkenazi food was crap as well.

      • Mikhael
        October 3, 2012, 9:19 am

        Seafoid,

        20% of Israel’s citizens are Arab, but not “Palestinian,” since “Palestinian” is a political designation and not an ethnic designation. As the Arab citizens of the State of Israel are not citizens of a political entity called “Palestine”, it is not accurate to call them “Palestinians”, although some of them (by no means all) have started referring to themselves as such.

        I also read Amos Oz’s book, but the fact that his Ashkenazi family were once guests of a friend’s Arab coworker does not prove that Israelis only became acquainted with falafel and hummous because “Arabs fed them”. My paternal family, who lived in Jerusalem since at least the 1700s (and Tiberias and Sefad before that, and Damascus before that), has been eating hummous since hummous has existed in our region. I doubt that they would have partaken of any food prepared by non-Jews, though.

        As for most Ashkenazi family being crap, I knew an Arab guy who ate more gefiilte fish than my Ashkenazi mother.

      • seafoid
        October 3, 2012, 2:46 pm

        Mikhail

        Israel is built on palestine. 20% of the ppopulation is Palestinian.
        Did you know that most Ashkenazi Jews came from Eastern Europe?

        And the plural of anecdote is not data.

      • Dutch
        October 3, 2012, 4:54 pm

        Mikahel: “20% of Israel’s citizens are Arab, but not “Palestinian,” … referring to themselves as such.”

        Even though I’ve heard this a thousand times over, it’s still unbearable.

        Mikahel: “I doubt that they would have partaken of any food prepared by non-Jews, though.”

        Verry telling — living somewhere for hundreds of years without sharing the food of your neighbours. And now we know what that leads to.

      • Blake
        October 5, 2012, 12:55 pm

        Right back at ya. Jews are a religion not an ethnicity but Palestinians are Palestinians. Not one so called “Israeli Arab” calls themselves “an Israeli”. In all the documentaries I have seen the Palestinians say they had no choice in becoming “Israeli” – which would be common sense anyway. I wish you oppressors would stop claiming to have a mandate to speak for everyone from Christians to the entire world. The arrogance of you imposters in Palestine is something quite alarming.

      • Hostage
        October 3, 2012, 10:26 am

        Hummus and falafel are not exclusive to Arabs and certainly not exclusive to the Arabs who have recently started calling themselves “Palestinian.”

        Neville Mandel, wrote that one of the pre-war newspapers, the Filastin, spoke of Palestine as a distinct national entity. He also noted that in 1914, a circular entitled “General Summons to Palestinians – Beware Zionist Danger” was distributed and published in the press. It warned that “Zionists want to settle in our country and expel us from it” and it was signed anonymously by “a Palestinian”. See Neville Mandel, The Arabs and Zionism before World War I, University of California Press, 1980, pages 127 and 220.

        I’m pretty certain that 1914 is way before your time. So give the hasbara a rest.

      • Mooser
        October 5, 2012, 11:25 am

        “I’m pretty certain that 1914 is way before your time. So give the hasbara a rest.”

        If they were anything but self-appointed blow-hards, there might be some use in their blatherings, as a reflection of Israeli policy, or something. Oh well, at least they can’t scream, agressively expectorate, or slap, or wait outside in a gang and beat me up. Always look for the things to be grateful for, that’s my motto.

  2. chinese box
    October 2, 2012, 10:45 am

    Was Herzl’s dream really Jews and Arabs living together in Tel Aviv? Or was that a fiction they just used temporarily to sell Zionism to the wider public?

    From the standpoint of the socialist ideals of Israel’s founders I can see how modern day Tel Aviv could be viewed as a failure. But given the overwhelming evidence of the last 60+ years I have a hard time believing that racial harmony and coexistence were ever the true goals of Zionism.

    • Exiled At Home
      October 2, 2012, 11:30 am

      I’m not sure racial, cultural harmony was ever a goal of Zionism. Nor is that the suggestion Allison is making, in my opinion.

      She’s pointing out that the city exists in a vacuum of collective amnesia and blindness to the Palestinian roots of the city. And, more directly to the point of the city representing the failure of Zionism, Allison points out the stagnation of Tel Aviv, the dilapidation, ghettos and growing social welfare problems, the chasm between segments of the population, the ills of an overburdened capitalist enterprise with no soul, no tradition, no history, no beliefs. Hardly the apogee of cultural Zionism’s pursuit of a Jewish social oasis in the desert.

      • Allison Deger
        October 3, 2012, 12:59 am

        Exactly, I was pointing to the stagnation. But if we are to look at cultural harmony, Herzel’s Rachid Bay character illuminates the Zionist hope to build an amicable, yet paternalistic relationship with the native Palestinian population. The Zionist characters are friends with Bay–socializing on day trips and evenings out—and Bay adores them for brining economic wealth to Palestine. However, in today’s Tel Aviv Israelis and Palestinians do not in large numbers attend plays together, or go to fancy dinner at places with a coat check. Therefore, on ethnic harmony, Tel Aviv is not living up to its namesake. And in fact, it never will. Because Altneuland is a fantasy and tell us more about the racial/ethnic dynamics in Europe at the time the book was written than it does about Tel Aviv today.

    • seafoid
      October 2, 2012, 11:38 am

      Herzl’s dream was a secular state that would be like every other one. So it has been a failure. The barbarian orthodox are at the gate and the settler/IDF complex has militarised the country to the point where Israel is sui (de)generis.

      • Dutch
        October 2, 2012, 1:42 pm

        Herzl was warned about the presence of a ‘native population’. The ‘drive them into the sea’-notion comes from him.

    • Danaa
      October 2, 2012, 1:33 pm

      CB – Herzl’s dream was not for all around racial harmony/coexistence – his was a strictly European dream where European enlightenment values reign supreme and Jews from the many different European countries live together – cultured and athletic looking – free at last from the old ghetto and its unseemly chains dotted with the guardians of the old, and the keepers of the “Old” – the unseemly rabbis reciting and regurgitating dusty old texts. Herzl had no concept of either Mizrahi jews as he had no concept for the orient or Arabic lands/culture, except as an adjunct to add at most some local color. He never forsaw any “magic” carpet bringing multitudes of the unwashed to live as second citizens, forever unEuropeanized, all too brown and unmannered for his lofty tastes.

      But here we are, as seafoid mentions with herzl’s “babrbarians” cf, the ultra-orthodox) at the gate. While inside the fortress, that great European cultures gave way, splintering into bits and pieces of pop Americana and trendy volks ways, covered with the faux glitter of Avishai’s “globalism” and “cosmopolitanism”.

      • seafoid
        October 2, 2012, 3:03 pm

        They never managed to reach those lofty heights of european culture either. Anyone care to name a world famous Israeli opera, film or symphony ? It seems all the creative energy went into persecution.

      • hophmi
        October 2, 2012, 5:19 pm

        “They never managed to reach those lofty heights of european culture either. Anyone care to name a world famous Israeli opera, film or symphony ?”

        LOL. The Israel Philharmonic is one of the greatest orchestras in the world. Here’s a list of Israeli composers:

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        How many famous European operas and symphonies can you name that were written since 1948?

      • eGuard
        October 2, 2012, 5:59 pm

        Hophmi, did you read the quote yourself? An orchestra is not a composition (like an opera, film, symphony is).

        And of course, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is to be boycotted. You just illustrated the reason why.

      • hophmi
        October 2, 2012, 6:36 pm

        “Hophmi, did you read the quote yourself? An orchestra is not a composition (like an opera, film, symphony is).

        And of course, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is to be boycotted. You just illustrated the reason why.”

        Did you read my response? I provided a link to a list of hundreds of Israeli composers. And in response to seafoid’s stupid question about operas and symphonies, I challenged him to name a world-famous European opera or symphony composed since 1948. There are, of course, a number of world famous Israeli films, including, lately, Footnote, Beaufort, Waltz with Bashir, Ushpizin, and others.

      • seafoid
        October 3, 2012, 3:57 am

        You could start with Gorecki’s Symphony Number 3

        link to youtube.com

        The funny thing is that you , a Zionist, are a genuine Philistine

      • Boston
        October 3, 2012, 7:08 am

        And let us not forget all the time and effort that goes into shaping wikipedia articles to fit the official Zionist Narrative

      • hophmi
        October 3, 2012, 11:33 am

        “You could start with Gorecki’s Symphony Number 3 ”

        LOL. And I could end there. Putting aside for the moment the utter cultural chauvinism of the idea that reaching a cultural height entails composing a popular symphony, opera, or film, are you really going to sit there and try to argue that Israel does not have enough cultural output? You look stupid doing it. Given that it’s a country of about 7 million people, Israel’s cultural output is nothing short of amazing. And you look like a complete philistine citing a piece like Gorecki’s 3rd Symphony, which is distinguished not by the greatness of its music, but by the fact that it had some nice melodies and hit the Billboard charts nearly 20 years ago now. Personally, my favorite work in recent years is Ayre by Osvaldo Golijov, an Argentine composer who also happens to be Jewish. I also enjoy Gabriel Yared’s film scores; his music for The Lives of Others was fantastic. He’s Lebanese.

        I’ve already sent you a list of Israeli composers a mile long. That’s just European-style classical music.

        Amos Gitai’s films are world-famous. Pretty much every year, a great Israeli film hits the theaters worldwide. This year it was Footnote. In the last few years, we’ve had critically acclaimed films like Beaufort and Waltzing with Bashir. You can go back to 1964, when Sallah Shabati, a film that satirized Israeli politics and its treatment of Mizrachi Jews, became an international success and made Chaim Topol famous.

        Israeli TV is endlessly inventive. In Treatment started in Israel as BeTipul; it’s been adapted around the world. It’s not the only one like that. link to haaretz.com
        Israel had more nominees than any other country except the UK.

        Israel has a fairly large jazz scene as well, and Israeli jazz musicians, such as Kobi Arad and particularly Avishai Cohen, are famous and regulars at the Blue Note in New York City.

        As far as Symphonies go (to the extent that composers compose them anymore), Paul Ben-Haim’s 2nd Symphony was performed by American Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Leon Botstein at Avery Fisher Hall in 2008. Noam Sheriff is another world-famous Israeli composer.

        Operas are few and far between these days, and since 1948, there have been few operas that have caught on internationally. The Americans and the British seem to have written most of them; there’s John Adams’ Nixon in China, Philip Glass’s Satyagraha, and this season we’ll have a new opera based on the Tempest by Thomas Ades. Last season we had Anna Nicole by Mark-Anthony Turnage that was something of a sensation. But aside from Adams’ opera, none of these have really caught on, so it’s a dumb standard by which to judge a country’s cultural output.

        The opera had its heyday in the 18th and 19th centuries, and the party pretty much ended early in the 20th century. The only American opera to be revived frequently today is Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Every once in a while, you might see Samuel Barber’s Vanessa pop up, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1958. Among the Europeans, Puccini was pretty much the last opera composer of note; he died in 1924. Richard Strauss’s Capriccio, probably the least-frequently revived of the commonly revived Strauss operas, was written in 1942, though Strauss was basically a holdover from the romantic era, and you have to go back to Ariadne auf Naxos in 1912 to find another hit. Schoenberg composed Moses und Aron later in his career, but it’s a stretch to say that it really caught on, and even that dates from the 1920s.

        I could go on, but you get the point. I would never judge a country based on its recent classical music output in this day and age or by how popular its media is internationally, even though, in the case of Israel, it so happens that a great deal of Israeli media has spread internationally. There is great music most of us will never hear and great films most of us will never see because its creators are either far too poor to travel all over the world or too remote to be picked up by the agents who are responsible for spreading this stuff around, or suffer from the cultural bias of Western consumers who think “classical” music is the only zenith of human civilization.

      • seafoid
        October 3, 2012, 12:15 pm

        Hoph

        Nobody watches Israeli TV. And a couple of jazz musicians and a few second rate films. That is it.

        The needs of the IDF are paramount. Even the universities are kept on Zionist message. The price of speaking out is ostracisation.

        You can’t foster much creativity when your education system is all about indoctrination. And if Israel does manage to produce the odd film I’m sure there will be even less when the Jewish Taliban take over.Or else there’ll be a new style “Jewish kabuki” with no females involved.

        I won’t bother mentioning olympic medals.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 3, 2012, 12:59 pm

        “Amos Gitai’s films are world-famous.”

        Nonsense. Natalie Portman is famous. Neither Gitai nor his films are.

        “Pretty much every year, a great Israeli film hits the theaters worldwide.”

        Pretty much great films hit the theaters from most every country that has a film industry. Yes, israeli cinema has been on a role over the last few years. Maybe one day it will join Iran as countries which have won Academy Awards for Foreign Language films, eh?

        “This year it was Footnote. In the last few years, we’ve had critically acclaimed films like Beaufort and Waltzing with Bashir.”

        Interesting to me that you cited to israel’s 2007 Academy Award submission, Beaufort, it’s 2008 submission, Watz with Bashir, and it’s 2011 submission, Footnote, but not it’s 2009 submission, Ajami. (Oh, that’s right. That film is in Arabic and co-directed by a Palestinian. I guess it’s easier for a bigot like you to pretend it doesn’t even exist.)

        In my opinion, the best film of the last dozen years by a filmmaker born in israel was Paradise Now by Hany Abu-Assad (although Waltz with Bashir is a very close second.)

        “You can go back to 1964, when Sallah Shabati, a film that satirized Israeli politics and its treatment of Mizrachi Jews, became an international success and made Chaim Topol famous.”

        Baloney. Playing Tevye made Topol famous.

      • hophmi
        October 3, 2012, 1:01 pm

        “Nobody watches Israeli TV”

        You’re really starting to look silly, seafoid. You spoke about cultural influence. I’ve demonstrated that Israeli TV is influential internationally. Obviously, non-Hebrew speakers are relatively unlikely to actually watch Israeli TV, just as non-Dutch speakers are unlikely to watch Dutch TV and non-German speakers are unlikely to watch German TV.

        “And a couple of jazz musicians and a few second rate films.”

        It’s a lot more than a couple. I gave you two of the more famous ones. As far as your characterization of Israeli films as second-rate, you’re entitled to your opinion, but every one of the films I listed was critically acclaimed, worldwide.

        “You can’t foster much creativity when your education system is all about indoctrination.”

        ROTFLMAO. First of all, Israeli education isn’t “all about indoctrination.” As far as creativity, the tech industry in Israel alone suggests that per capita, it’s one of the most creative societies on Earth.

        But the notion that creativity does not come out of a system where people are “indoctrinated” is one of the most ridiculous statements I’ve ever heard. Have you heard of the Soviet Union? It produced many (if not most) of the 20th century’s most important composers, musicians and artists. And your guy Gorecki was Polish and lived under a Communist regime most of his life. You’re speaking out of your ass, seafoid. I’d argue it’s the opposite. Great art is often borne of difficult circumstances.

        “And if Israel does manage to produce the odd film”

        Or the great film year after year, but never mind the facts . . .

        “I’m sure there will be even less when the Jewish Taliban take over.”

        Who knows? Iran is a clerical regime. It has one of the world’s most important film traditions and produces great films each year.

        Any more dumb fact-free arguments, seafoid?

      • seanmcbride
        October 3, 2012, 1:12 pm

        What are the Israeli equivalents of Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, U2, Pixies, Queens of the Stone Age, Velvet Revolver, Metallica, Stone Temple Pilots, My Bloody Valentine, The Cure, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Soundgarden, Aerosmith, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., Coldplay, etc.? Actually curious — I don’t know.

        (I happen to think that the best rock music ranks with the best artistic creations of all eras.)

      • ColinWright
        October 3, 2012, 1:13 pm

        hophmi says: “…Amos Gitai’s films are world-famous. Pretty much every year, a great Israeli film hits the theaters worldwide…”

        You’re parodying yourself, right?

        I’ve never heard of Amos Gitai until now. Quick survey: ‘do you know who Amos Gitai is?’ My wife: ‘who? ‘ My son: ‘who is it?’

        And there we have it, folks. O for 3. Amos Gitai is not world famous.

        Shall we go on to all the ‘great Israeli films’ we’ve noticed ‘hitting the theaters’ around here? I can just see the mounting exciting as news of another one coming out spreads through the community…

        What frigging deluded fantasy are you living? I mean seriously, guy: how can you believe your own bullshit?

      • hophmi
        October 3, 2012, 1:36 pm

        “Nonsense. Natalie Portman is famous. Neither Gitai nor his films are.”

        And you based this on? Gitai is actually more popular in Europe than he is in Israel. But really, all you have to do is look at the Academy Award nominees for best foreign film. Israeli films have been nominated in four of the last five years. Two have been directed by Joseph Cedar, who won best screenplay at Cannes for Footnote.

        Really, how far are you guys going to take this line? Do you benefit the Palestinians by arguing that there is nothing good that comes out of Israeli society?

        “Yes, israeli cinema has been on a role over the last few years. Maybe one day it will join Iran as countries which have won Academy Awards for Foreign Language films, eh? ”

        Yes, maybe it will. Iran has been nominated twice since it began submitting films in 1977 and won once, last year. Israel has been nominated four times in the last five years, and ten times overall, and it began submitting films in 1964. Hmm. Ten nominations in 49 years from a country with a little less than 8 million people versus two nomination in 36 years from a country with, as of 2012, over 75 million people. Which one is more amazing? To quote Bill Clinton, do the math.

        Maybe one day, Iran will also produce a world-class symphony orchestra, a TV industry that produces something of value instead of things like Press TV, and of course, some Nobel Prize winners other than Shirin Ebadi, who was rewarded for her prize by being forced into exile in 2009. Yay, Iran.

        “Interesting to me that you cited to israel’s 2007 Academy Award submission, Beaufort, it’s 2008 submission, Watz with Bashir, and it’s 2011 submission, Footnote, but not it’s 2009 submission, Ajami. (Oh, that’s right. That film is in Arabic and co-directed by a Palestinian. I guess it’s easier for a bigot like you to pretend it doesn’t even exist.)”

        Oh, LOL. Give me a break, and really, do what the Obama chair told Clint Eastwood to do. I didn’t leave it out for any particular reason. Both Beaufort and particularly Waltz with Bashir are quite critical of Israel. I also left out Ushpizin, which was not nominated for an Oscar, but is also considered to be a good movie. Beaufort and Waltz with Bashir are the movies that, along with Footnote, immediately came to my mind; I didn’t look at the list before I wrote my post, and for the record, Ajami is in both Hebrew and Arabic. Perhaps you can point to a film industry in the Arab world that is in any way permitted to be critical of Arab society in the way Israeli films routinely critique Israeli society. Last I heard, places like Egypt and Syria were distinguishing themselves by producing TV series based on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

        “In my opinion, the best film of the last dozen years by a filmmaker born in israel was Paradise Now by Hany Abu-Assad (although Waltz with Bashir is a very close second.) ”

        You may well be right. The discussion was about Israeli cultural influence internationally and whether and Israeli had ever made a great film. Clearly, there have been great films made by Israelis.

        “Baloney. Playing Tevye made Topol famous.”

        It was Sallah Shabati (which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film) that introduced Topol to an international audience and led to his being chosen to play Teyve in the West End production of Fiddler. Fiddler greatly increased his fame, but Sallah Shabati is what first got him on the map.

      • Walid
        October 3, 2012, 1:44 pm

        “Given that it’s a country of about 7 million people, Israel’s cultural output is nothing short of amazing. ” (hophmi)

        Amazing is how Israel felt compelled to steal and destroy the vestiges of another people’s culture to create a culture of its own . The building of new cities on the ruins of ones it destroyed, the falafel, the zaatar, the hummus, the tabouleh, the artists’ colony built on the ethnically cleansed village of Ayn Hawd. Makes me think of the thing about lipstick on a pig.

      • hophmi
        October 3, 2012, 2:00 pm

        “Amazing is how Israel felt compelled to steal and destroy the vestiges of another people’s culture to create a culture of its own.”

        Yeah, and it’s amazing how American culture was built on the backs of Native Americans. I don’t think Israeli “destroyed” or “stole” Palestinian culture. That’s nonsense. There is plenty of Palestinian culture.

        “The building of new cities on the ruins of ones it destroyed, the falafel, the zaatar, the hummus, the tabouleh, the artists’ colony built on the ethnically cleansed village of Ayn Hawd. Makes me think of the thing about lipstick on a pig.”

        Or America. Or, actually, the Holy Land, which has seen one culture replace another every few centuries for the last couple of millenia. Or any place conquered by Muslims in the last millenia or so.

        You can continue to deny that Israeli culture exists, or to demean it over and over again, or you can help the Palestinians build their own culture. It’s up to you.

      • seanmcbride
        October 3, 2012, 2:17 pm

        Here is another way to look at this issue: which group — Diaspora Jews or Israeli Jews — has made the most important contributions to human culture during recent decades? My subjective impression — no contest — Diaspora Jews. (We could compile lists. :))

        I think Jews are creatively energized by their interactions with non-Jews in America, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, etc. — and non-Jews are creatively energized by these interactions as well. It is a mutually beneficial arrangement.

        Self-ghettoizing and anti-assimilationist cultures tend to lose creative juice.

        How much time do Israeli thought leaders spend in the United States and Europe? — quite a lot. How many Israeli accomplishments have been funded and inspired by non-Israeli (and non-Jewish) sources?

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 3, 2012, 2:34 pm

        “And you based this on? Gitai is actually more popular in Europe than he is in Israel.”

        So what? He’s still not world famous.

        “But really, all you have to do is look at the Academy Award nominees for best foreign film. Israeli films have been nominated in four of the last five years.”

        Yes, as I said, israeli cinema has been on a roll. The world would be better off if it spent more time making films and less time oppressing Palestinians.

        “Iran has been nominated twice since it began submitting films in 1977 and won once, last year. Israel has been nominated four times in the last five years, and ten times overall, and it began submitting films in 1964. Hmm. Ten nominations in 49 years from a country with a little less than 8 million people versus two nomination in 36 years from a country with, as of 2012, over 75 million people. Which one is more amazing? To quote Bill Clinton, do the math.”

        Okay. Iran’s success rate: 50%. israel’s success rate: 0%. Math don’t lie.

        “Maybe one day, Iran will also produce…”

        Yes, let’s hope they do. Of course, it doesn’t help that the world-striding goliath with the pea brain and the nuclear-armed pipsqueak psychopath have targeted the Iranian people in order to advance the goliath and the psychopath’s regional hegemony.

        “I didn’t leave it out for any particular reason.”

        Sure. Sure you didn’t.

        “Both Beaufort and particularly Waltz with Bashir are quite critical of Israel.”

        Yes, but they weren’t made by Arabs. Therein lies all the difference.

        “I also left out Ushpizin,”

        LMFAO!!! Ushpizin??? That’s like discussing the great films of American Cinema — Citizen Kane, Veritgo, 2001, The Searchers — and throwing in “Elf” with Will Ferrell.

        “Perhaps you can point to a film industry in the Arab world”

        We’re not talking about the Arab world. But I understand why someone pointing out your rabid anti-Arab bigotry might want you to try to change the subject…

        “The discussion was about Israeli cultural influence internationally and whether and Israeli had ever made a great film.”

        Yeah, but no number of great films by israel can ever make up for unleashing the shit-eating scumbags, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, on the world.

        “Fiddler greatly increased his fame, but Sallah Shabati is what first got him on the map.”

        The issue is what made him famous. If he was not in Sallah Shabati but was in Fiddler, he would have been just as famous. If he was never in Fiddler but was in Sallah Shabati, he would be a footnote in the bowels of IMDB, with a Bacon Number of about 6.

      • seanmcbride
        October 3, 2012, 2:40 pm

        Yeah, and it’s amazing how American culture was built on the backs of Native Americans.

        Once again, a Zionist falls into the intellectual trap of justifying Israeli behavior on the grounds of past American behavior at its worst — thus defining Zionism as a genocidal project.

        Regarding the issue of the intelligence of Zionists and ethnic nationalists in general — this is what I am talking about. Barely two brain cells to scrape together. And they think they are conducting effective hasbara.

        Contemporary Americans are ashamed of their past treatment of Native Americans, African-Americans and other minorities.

        Hitler could have justified his genocidal treatment of Jews on the basis of American treatment of Native Americans and African-Americans. (In fact, I think he did.) Hell, while we are at it, why not revive the institution of slavery. That would be a good Zionist argument. In fact, perhaps all modern Western democratic nations should retreat into ethnic and religious nationalist enclaves and ghettos on their sacred territories.

        What’s good for the goose….

      • hophmi
        October 3, 2012, 2:46 pm

        “Here is another way to look at this issue: which group — Diaspora Jews or Israeli Jews — has made the most important contributions to human culture during recent decades? My subjective impression — no contest — Diaspora Jews. (We could compile lists. :))”

        You’re talking about something extraordinarily subjective. What constitutes an “important contribution to human culture”? For most of Israel’s existence, its Jewish population has comprised anywhere from about 1/10 to about 2/5 to 1/2 of the worldwide Jewish population. So, presumably, any analysis would have to be weighted for that reality over time.

        “Self-ghettoizing and anti-assimilationist cultures tend to lose creative juice.”

        Again, you’re talking about something very subjective. What constitutes “creative juice”? Do you have an independent objective arbiter of these subjective concepts that you can offer us?

        I’m also not sure at all that this concept even rings true. Great art has come from fairly homogeneous cultures and it has come from more diverse cultures. America is certainly not a self-ghettoizing or anti-assimilationist culture. In fact, we are among the most assimilationist cultures on Earth. But we don’t always produce the greatest art. Look at our film industry these days. Sviatoslav Richter, the great Russian pianist, used to complain that everything in America was too standardized, too much the same (not that I necessarily agree totally with that sentiment). In fact, years ago, there was some difference between the output of classical composers, because each represented a national school of some kind that was a conglomeration of compositional techniques, folk music, etc. America has produced precious few classical composers of note, actually; our national export musically is jazz, and for the most part, no one does it better than we do.

        At any rate, Israel is, objectively, one of the most advanced technological societies on Earth. Entrepreneurial spirit is one way to measure creativity. Israel is second only to the US and China in startups. I’ve already shown that Israel produces a tremendous amount of creative art per capita.

        “How many Israeli accomplishments have been funded and inspired by non-Israeli (and non-Jewish) sources?”

        I’m sure there are quite a few, and vice versa.

      • hophmi
        October 3, 2012, 2:51 pm

        “I’ve never heard of Amos Gitai until now. Quick survey: ‘do you know who Amos Gitai is?’ My wife: ‘who? ‘ My son: ‘who is it?’ ”

        Well, I’m sorry you and your family are ignorant of Amos Gitai. link to en.wikipedia.org

        “Shall we go on to all the ‘great Israeli films’ we’ve noticed ‘hitting the theaters’ around here? I can just see the mounting exciting as news of another one coming out spreads through the community…”

        Again, four of the last five years, an Israeli film has been nominated for best foreign language film. That’s a remarkable record for a small country. And if your reaction is “big deal,” then perhaps you can point me to the general great American interest in foreign film. Again, you’re making a comparison. You seem to think I have to prove that Israeli filmmakers are household names before you accept that they’re world famous without comparing them to filmmakers from other foreign countries.

        “What frigging deluded fantasy are you living? I mean seriously, guy: how can you believe your own bullshit?”

        I would ask the same question of you, now that I’ve destroyed your ridiculous argument that Israelis take a back seat in the creative arts.

      • seafoid
        October 3, 2012, 2:59 pm

        Try harder,hoph

        Israel tends to follow European TV rather than innovate. What Israeli shows have been exported to the UK , for example, compared to vice versa ?

        What’s the top ranking Israeli album on amazon?

        What’s the top ranking film?

        How many Israelis have sold more than 100,000 albums in the UK charts?

        Anyone ?

      • hophmi
        October 3, 2012, 2:59 pm

        “What are the Israeli equivalents of Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, U2, Pixies, Queens of the Stone Age, Velvet Revolver, Metallica, Stone Temple Pilots, My Bloody Valentine, The Cure, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Soundgarden, Aerosmith, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., Coldplay, etc.? Actually curious — I don’t know.”

        Seriously? I have no clue. These are rock bands from the US and UK. Is Israel supposed to have famous rock bands too? Are you asking this question of other European countries? What’s the Dutch equivalent of these bands? The Finnish equivalent? How about the German equivalent. The Spanish equivalent? What about the Malaysia equivalent. The Canadians, how about them?

        I’m sure there is an Israeli rock scene, but I’ll let someone else address it since it’s not my department.

        Israelis do have a pop music scene. They’ve won the Eurovision song contest three times since first entering in 1973 and they’ve been the runner-up twice. That’s a pretty good record; only Ireland and Sweden have won more frequently during that period.

      • seafoid
        October 3, 2012, 3:06 pm

        The Israeli equivalent of Nirvana is working in a checkpoint outside Nablus.

        The lyrics “we don’t need no thought control” were condemned by Eli Yishai as being anti Zionist.

        The Israeli version of this Cure song

        is this

      • hophmi
        October 3, 2012, 3:12 pm

        “Israel tends to follow European TV rather than innovate. What Israeli shows have been exported to the UK , for example, compared to vice versa ? ”

        BeTipul. Pay attention. It’s been exported to the US, UK, and a whole lot of other countries.

        It’s not the only one. The hit show Homeland is based on the Israeli show Hatufim.

        How many other countries (UK excepted) have originated two shows as critically acclaimed as “In Treatment” and “Homeland” in the past five years?

        Last year, John Madden’s “The Debt” was based on an Israeli movie of the same name.

        “What’s the top ranking Israeli album on amazon? ”

        Don’t call me a philistine when your sole measure for the cultural influence of a piece of art is how well it sells. LOL. What’s the top selling Dutch album on Amazon?

        “What’s the top ranking film? ”

        I’ve already said several times that Israeli films have been nominated for Academy Awards in four of the last five years. I don’t really need to say much more than that.

        “How many Israelis have sold more than 100,000 albums in the UK charts?”

        You tell me. I don’t know or care, because it is not a measure of cultural influence how many Israelis sell 100K on the UK charts.

      • seafoid
        October 3, 2012, 3:15 pm

        You haven’t shown that Israelis take a lead in the creative arts, other than the black art of hasbara, Hoph.

      • hophmi
        October 3, 2012, 3:20 pm

        “Once again, a Zionist falls into the intellectual trap of justifying Israeli behavior on the grounds of past American behavior at its worst — thus defining Zionism as a genocidal project.”

        Not at all. It’s simply de rigeur here to answer every argument with, “but look what they did to the Palestinians.” That’s an argument that can literally be used against every Western country. Belgian society is wonderful, but look what they did to the Congolese. British society is wonderful, but look what they did to the Indians (and the Nigerians, etc, etc.) French society is wonderful, but look what they did to the Algerians.

        “Regarding the issue of the intelligence of Zionists and ethnic nationalists in general — this is what I am talking about. Barely two brain cells to scrape together. And they think they are conducting effective hasbara.”

        Actually Sean, it seems to be you who can’t scrape together two brain cells. Because, like a mental patient, you repeat the same nonsense over and over again in closed places where everyone already agrees with you. You don’t understand the difference between subjectivity and objectivity, and you can’t get through a post without an ad hominem attack of some kind.

        “Contemporary Americans are ashamed of their past treatment of Native Americans, African-Americans and other minorities.”

        BFD. They’re ashamed. Many Israelis are ashamed too. It doesn’t mean they’re giving up their country.

        “Hitler could have justified his genocidal treatment of Jews on the basis of American treatment of Native Americans and African-Americans.”

        Cue the Hitler comparison. And no, Hitler could not have justified putting Jews in concentration camps because of what Americans did to Native Americans.

        ‘Hell, while we are at it, why not revive the institution of slavery.”

        It’s been revived in recent years in places like Sudan. Do you have anything to say about that, Sean, or is it only democracies you target?

        ” In fact, perhaps all modern Western democratic nations should retreat into ethnic and religious nationalist enclaves and ghettos on their sacred territories.”

        I have a better plan. Let’s simply ask Europe to accept a demographic equation in which 25% of their population is Muslim. Do you think they’ll do it? When the answer is yes, come back and criticize the Israelis for being excessively nationalist.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 3, 2012, 3:29 pm

        “In my opinion, the best film of the last dozen years by a filmmaker born in israel was Paradise Now by Hany Abu-Assad (although Waltz with Bashir is a very close second.) ”

        Oh, I also forgot Defamation by Yoav Shamir. Not top 2, but definately a wonderful film. (Any film that exposes Foxman for the bigoted clown he is deserves a nod.)

      • hophmi
        October 3, 2012, 3:30 pm

        “So what? He’s still not world famous.”

        Again, you’re dealing with a subjective category. Nevertheless, I see this part of the discussion is going into silly mode, so I’ll end my contribution on Amos Gitai, who remains well known in Europe, if not “world-famous” like all of the other directors from the Middle East.

        “Yes, as I said, israeli cinema has been on a roll. The world would be better off if it spent more time making films and less time oppressing Palestinians.”

        You’ve admitted it, but others here can’t seem to. I think it can both make great films and oppress the Palestinians less, LOL.

        “Okay. Iran’s success rate: 50%. israel’s success rate: 0%. Math don’t lie.”

        LOL, so the definition of a great film is a victory, not a nomination. I am likewise retiring this part of the discussion, since this has also reached silly mode. I think that nominations are a better indicator of long-term success than victories, but you’re right; the Islamic Republic of Iran has won an Academy Award, and Israel has not. In case you missed it, I said that Iran had a great film tradition in debunking the idea that great art cannot come out of relatively closed societies.

        “Yes, let’s hope they do. Of course, it doesn’t help that the world-striding goliath with the pea brain and the nuclear-armed pipsqueak psychopath have targeted the Iranian people in order to advance the goliath and the psychopath’s regional hegemony. ”

        Please. Don’t blame the sins of the Ayatollahs on the Israelis.

        “LMFAO!!! Ushpizin??? That’s like discussing the great films of American Cinema — Citizen Kane, Veritgo, 2001, The Searchers — and throwing in “Elf” with Will Ferrell.”

        I didn’t see Ushpizin, but I heard from many who did that it was a great movie. This is pretty subjective, though.

        “We’re not talking about the Arab world. But I understand why someone pointing out your rabid anti-Arab bigotry might want you to try to change the subject…”

        Actually, we’re comparing Israel to other countries. Most of the comparison has been to Europe, and Israel, which didn’t even have a film industry until the 1960s, seems to have done well.

        “Yeah, but no number of great films by israel can ever make up for unleashing the shit-eating scumbags, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, on the world. ”

        Uh-huh. Changing the subject as usual.

        “The issue is what made him famous. If he was not in Sallah Shabati but was in Fiddler, he would have been just as famous. If he was never in Fiddler but was in Sallah Shabati, he would be a footnote in the bowels of IMDB, with a Bacon Number of about 6.”

        This is sort of a dumb argument. If movie A makes me famous and movie B makes me really famous, the fact that making movie B without making movie A would have made me famous and making movie A without making movie B would have made me less famous does not change the fact that movie A was the one that made me famous.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 3, 2012, 6:02 pm

        “LOL, so the definition of a great film is a victory, not a nomination.”

        Actually, I think the question of nominations or victories is divorced from the question of “great.” The films which were bested by inferior films are legion.

        “Don’t blame the sins of the Ayatollahs on the Israelis.”

        The Ayatollahs aren’t the only ones holding back the Iranian people. Israel and the US bear their own independant shares of blame.

        “I didn’t see Ushpizin, but I heard from many who did that it was a great movie. This is pretty subjective, though.”

        I’ve seen it. It’s not a great movie. It is a good movie, with some good performances by the two leads (especially the wife), but it’s the kind of movie you see and forget about a day later. The titular guests, especially, were cardboard cutouts, so it detracted from the rest of the film. Perhaps people who are more religious might get more out of the heavy religious vibe, and it would resound more with them.

        “Actually, we’re comparing Israel to other countries.”

        You might be, but I’m not. I’m strictly talking about israel.

        “Uh-huh. Changing the subject as usual.”

        Not at all. You want to talk about the contribution of Israeli in the world of film, then you have to talk about the racist garbage (and just plain garbage) that Golan and Globus shat forth upon the world. If you’re going to talk about Golan’s baby launching Topal’s career, it’s only fair to talk about Golan, himself.

        “This is sort of a dumb argument.”

        No, it’s not. Sallah Shabati didn’t make Topol famous. It gave him exposure. That exposure landed him the role of Tevya, which brought him fame.

      • Mooser
        October 3, 2012, 6:41 pm

        Yep, I thought the lack of popular music on Hophmi’s list was telling, too.
        Of course, a nation’s most revealing and most effective cultural product is the kind of men and women it produces.

      • Mooser
        October 3, 2012, 7:02 pm

        “Yeah, and it’s amazing how American culture was built on the backs of Native Americans.”

        Tweeeeet! Wait a minute, time out! For those who may be new to this comment board, and somewhat mystified by this sentence, it relates to the Zionist belief that Israel is entitled to perform for itself and on purpose, any atrocity , genocide, cruelty or discrimination ever performed in any circumstances anywhere on earth in all recorded and unrecorded history. You gotta grasp that if you want to understand Hophmi’s schtick.
        See, since the Native American culture was, for whatever reason, destroyed by the coming of European colonists to America, oh, about 300 years ago, Israel has the right, if not the obligation, to dispossess and murder the Palestinians today.
        Of course, when this logic is applied to the Jews (‘Hey, Hitler used to gas them, why shouldn’t we’) he’ll probably kvetch a bunch. Oh wait, except we got a country with nuclear bombs and nobody can hurt us now!
        Oh yes, this was exactly the great renewal Judaism needed after the tragedy of the Holocaust. Anybody can see that! Whoops, sorry for digressing.

      • Mooser
        October 3, 2012, 7:22 pm

        “Regarding the issue of the intelligence of Zionists and ethnic nationalists in general — this is what I am talking about. Barely two brain cells to scrape together. And they think they are conducting effective hasbara.”

        Or maybe, self-appointed buffoons like Hophmi and the rest give us a false impression of Zionists. It’s pretty obvious that whatever Hophmi is ideologically, he’s not smart enough to keep his mouth shut, the first pre requisite for sucess in a project like Zionism. But there are many, many who are, and way too smart to ever expose themselves on a comment thread. And much too busy doing Zionism’s business to waste their time chattering on a blog.

      • Mooser
        October 3, 2012, 7:29 pm

        “I have a better plan. Let’s simply ask Europe to accept a demographic equation in which 25% of their population is Muslim. “

        Poor Hophmi, he’s been reading Mondoweiss for years, but he still doesn’t know that the Zionist Jews went to Palestine, and not the other way around.

        Wait a minute. Remember the other day, was it “giladg” or “Proudzionist” with that “the Arabs chased us” or “came to Palestine to chase us out”?
        So here we are, all arguing with this guy, and in his mind, the Palestinians are the invading, occupying army, and the Jews the pastoral and pacific and long-suffering indigenous people.
        Yes sir, there’s a bunch thoroughly grounded in reality

      • Mooser
        October 3, 2012, 7:40 pm

        Hophmi, get a clue. Israel is uncool, passe, nye kulturny, old hat, strictly “L7″, like kissing your sister, and besides, it gives you zits. And flat feet.

        Look, you finally (perhaps there were, at the end, tears, but you did it) finally got rid of those bell-bottoms, and the white polyester silk shirt, Hophmi, it’s time to discard your Zionism. Throw it away like a soiled dove. Give it to the Bad Will place.
        And re-emerge attired in the ultra-cool rainment of brotherhood, human rights and justice.

      • ColinWright
        October 3, 2012, 8:18 pm

        hophmi says: “…Not at all. It’s simply de rigeur here to answer every argument with, “but look what they did to the Palestinians.” That’s an argument that can literally be used against every Western country. Belgian society is wonderful, but look what they did to the Congolese. British society is wonderful, but look what they did to the Indians (and the Nigerians, etc, etc.) French society is wonderful, but look what they did to the Algerians…”

        One could say quite a bit about each one of these comparisons — but happily, it’s unnecessary.

        It’ll suffice to point out that the Belgians have left the Congo, the British, India, and the French, Algeria.

        So when are the Zionist leaving Palestine?

      • ColinWright
        October 3, 2012, 9:49 pm

        hophmi says: “…now that I’ve destroyed your ridiculous argument that Israelis take a back seat in the creative arts.”

        No…

        I never made any such argument. It was your claim that — who was it again? — was ‘world famous.’

        So…I hadn’t heard of him. Neither had my wife. Nor my son. QED — [whoever] isn’t world famous.

        No argument I made was destroyed. You made a false statement. I demonstrated that it was false. That’s all that happened.

      • ColinWright
        October 3, 2012, 9:51 pm

        seafoid says: “You haven’t shown that Israelis take a lead in the creative arts, other than the black art of hasbara, Hoph.”

        They’ve gotta do better than Hoph if they want the lead in even that.

      • ColinWright
        October 3, 2012, 10:05 pm

        hophmi says: ““Here is another way to look at this issue: which group — Diaspora Jews or Israeli Jews — has made the most important contributions to human culture during recent decades? My subjective impression — no contest — Diaspora Jews. (We could compile lists. :))”

        You’re talking about something extraordinarily subjective. What constitutes an “important contribution to human culture”? …’

        Actually — and happily — there is a measure of sorts.

        Nobel prizes! What’s more — conveniently — Israel’s been around roughly half as long as the Nobels, and roughly half of the world’s Jews live in Israel, so Israeli Jews should have won roughly a quarter of all Nobels won by Jews. More or less. Just offhand.

        Not even close. Something like a twentieth — or was it a fiftieth? — of the Nobels won by Jews have been won by Jews in Israel.

        I’m not sure whether it was only stupid Jews who went to Israel, or they go there and then become stupid — but one thing’s for sure.

        There is an association. Israeli Jews are complete non-performers compared to diaspora Jews.

        It’s comic. Aside from everything else, Israel is bad for Jewish achievement. The place is the most relentlessly bad idea I’ve ever encountered. It makes trousers for dogs look like a brainstorm.

      • RoHa
        October 3, 2012, 10:38 pm

        “Israelis do have a pop music scene. They’ve won the Eurovision song contest three times since first entering in 1973 and they’ve been the runner-up twice. ”

        Yet more Israeli crimes against humanity.

      • chinese box
        October 3, 2012, 11:06 pm

        “Defamation” and “Breaking the Silence” are really the only notable films that have come out of Israel.

      • Taxi
        October 4, 2012, 12:17 am

        So mideastern israel won the Eurovision Song Contest uhuh – do explain to us how this works. Creative geography perhaps?

        Indeed we must all bow at the feet of the greatest (stolen) country in the universe.

      • hophmi
        October 4, 2012, 9:04 am

        ““Defamation” and “Breaking the Silence” are really the only notable films that have come out of Israel.”

        LOL. As usual, you’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. Great films are not only those that reflect your personal politics.

      • hophmi
        October 4, 2012, 9:06 am

        “Yet more Israeli crimes against humanity.”

        Yes RoHa, it’s not surprising that your definition of crimes against humanity includes pop songs. That’s why nothing you say on the issue is especially credible.

      • Cliff
        October 4, 2012, 9:11 am

        Great films is a subjective notion and you’re on an anti-Zionist blog insinuating that the aforementioned movies aren’t ‘great’ because they contradict your cultish worldview.

      • seafoid
        October 4, 2012, 9:13 am

        How many other countries (UK excepted) have originated two shows as critically acclaimed as “In Treatment” and “Homeland” in the past five years?

        Endemol is a Dutch Company, Hoph.

        link to endemol.com

        It sells to over 50 countries. Including Israel.
        What’s the equivalent Israeli cultural powerhouse ?

        “I don’t know or care, because it is not a measure of cultural influence how many Israelis sell 100K on the UK charts.”

        What is your measure of cultural influence ?

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 4, 2012, 9:20 am

        “I have a better plan. Let’s simply ask Europe to accept a demographic equation in which 25% of their population is Muslim. Do you think they’ll do it? When the answer is yes, come back and criticize the Israelis for being excessively nationalist.”

        So then clearly you agree that the Palestinians were in the right to fight against immigration of Jews into Palestine; that the Palestinians’ cause is just and that the Jews in Palestine (save those few who lived there when the zionist project started) are there wrongly. Correct?

      • hophmi
        October 4, 2012, 9:21 am

        And during that time, Arab countries have won next to none, so I guess they were worse ideas than Israel.

      • hophmi
        October 4, 2012, 9:24 am

        “I never made any such argument.”

        Ah yes, it was seafoid. Sorry, I get all of you dittoheads confused wince you all churn out versions of the same nonsense.

        “So…I hadn’t heard of him. Neither had my wife. Nor my son. QED

        LOL, your own ignorance does not equal QED.

        “No argument I made was destroyed. You made a false statement. I demonstrated that it was false. That’s all that happened.”

        All you demonstrated was your own provincial ignorance.

      • seanmcbride
        October 4, 2012, 10:41 am

        ColinWright wrote:

        Something like a twentieth — or was it a fiftieth? — of the Nobels won by Jews have been won by Jews in Israel.

        That sounds plausible and would certainly help nail down the case that Diaspora Jews tend to outperform Israeli Jews in the arts and sciences.

        I am guessing that many bright Israeli Jews would prefer to attend Harvard, MIT, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Caltech, Oxford or Cambridge than any Israeli university.

        And without generous and unceasing favors from the United States and Europe, Israel would not even exist.

      • seanmcbride
        October 4, 2012, 10:49 am

        Mooser,

        Poor Hophmi, he’s been reading Mondoweiss for years, but he still doesn’t know that the Zionist Jews went to Palestine, and not the other way around.

        When I use the concepts of cult programming, cult conditioning, cult indoctrination, cult brainwashing, etc. to describe the mindset of many (all?) Zionists, I am not indulging in hyperbole. Most of them come across as the victims of cult brainwashing — their minds are scrambled — they can’t pursue a rational discussion on any subject related to Zionism. It’s like trying to conduct a rational discussion with a Mormon about Mormonism or with a Roman Catholic about Roman Catholicism. They can’t be reached through reason, facts or logic — it’s all about their irrational emotional and psychological needs.

      • hophmi
        October 4, 2012, 12:59 pm

        Sean engages in that old Soviet trick of projecting psychological issues onto the people that don’t agree with him. Is he a Soviet plant? On no . . . .

        I can’t put much stock in the accusations of a guy who denies 9/11 and goes on and on about neocon conspiracies. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

      • seanmcbride
        October 4, 2012, 1:44 pm

        Is it a fact that the ADL has been involved in illegal spying against Americans? You didn’t answer my question.

      • hophmi
        October 4, 2012, 2:16 pm

        “Is it a fact that the ADL has been involved in illegal spying against Americans? You didn’t answer my question.”

        Sorry, it got lost in your blizzard of comments.

        No, they have not been involved in illegal spying. They were sued based on the actions of a rogue undercover, and they settled without an accusation of wrongdoing. And to preempt your next question, the rogue did target some left-wing and Arab organizations. The vast majority of ADL’s so-called spying work has been targeted at right-wing neo-Nazi groups, and as the Southern Poverty Law Center pointed out, their use of confidential sources to collect information is neither illegal nor unusual in the anti-discrimination world.

        But go ahead, Sean, run it into high conspiracy land, as is your wont.

      • Walid
        October 4, 2012, 2:21 pm

        “You can continue to deny that Israeli culture exists, or to demean it over and over again, or you can help the Palestinians build their own culture. It’s up to you.” (hophmi)

        Who is denying that Israeli culture exists? It’s very much alive, kicking and in our face with the snaking wall, the hundreds of checkpoints, the thousands of oppressive acts towards a weaker defenseless people. If this is the culture that you are proud of, keep on enjoying it. I could never demean it enough.

        Palestinians don’t need my help or anyone else’s to build their culture, they are already have a very rich and noble one that predates by hundreds of centuries your Zionist one that is built on the destruction and the misery of another’s culture.

      • ColinWright
        October 4, 2012, 2:26 pm

        hophmi says: “…And during that time, Arab countries have won next to none, so I guess they were worse ideas than Israel…”

        Assuming there was a tradition of a high-achieving Arab diaspora, you might have a point.

      • ColinWright
        October 4, 2012, 2:29 pm

        hophmi: ““I never made any such argument.”

        Ah yes, it was seafoid. Sorry, I get all of you dittoheads confused wince you all churn out versions of the same nonsense.

        “So…I hadn’t heard of him. Neither had my wife. Nor my son. QED

        LOL, your own ignorance does not equal QED.

        “No argument I made was destroyed. You made a false statement. I demonstrated that it was false. That’s all that happened.”

        All you demonstrated was your own provincial ignorance.”

        I’m beginning to gather that you’re one of those people who rather than acknowledging that they said something stupid, simply resorts to ever-escalating vilification.

        You made an inane claim. I pointed out the inanity. I would suggest you cut your losses — but don’t. I like to see Israel supporters make fools of themselves. It’s also good when they get angry. Then they’re more likely to alienate fellow travelers.

      • seanmcbride
        October 4, 2012, 2:50 pm

        hophmi wrote about the ADL:

        No, they have not been involved in illegal spying.

        That is an outright lie.

        Anyone who is interested in reviewing this issue should use these Google searches:

        1. adl spying
        2. adl spying jeffrey blankfort
        3. adl spying mossad
        4. adl spying pete mccloskey
        5. adl spying south africa

        This is also interesting:

        6. adl 9/11 urban moving systems ketcham

        Hophmi has accused nearly everyone on Mondoweiss of being antisemites. One wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the ADL is collecting detailed dossiers on everyone here, and perhaps even sharing that data behind the scenes with other organizations — including Mossad.

      • Walid
        October 4, 2012, 2:57 pm

        “Defamation” and “Breaking the Silence” are really the only notable films that have come out of Israel.” (chinese box)

        Also a couple of other movies about the misfits’ occupation of Lebanon. Talk about dirty linen. There was also a very good Israeli TV documentary on young IDF troops sent to Lebanon in 2006 without food and water and forced to break into peoples’ homes to find food.

      • marc b.
        October 4, 2012, 3:54 pm

        hopee, your snide implication that sean is a tin foil hat conspiracy theorist is either a consequence of ignorance or mendacity, and your potted history of the spying scandal is utter horse sh*t.

        fact – the adl and its agents collected confidential information on
        activists that it provided and/or sold to apartheid s. african intelligence.

        fact – the adl provided confidential information to foreign states that it was provided by US police and intelligence services.

        fact – bullock was not a ‘rogue undercover’, and he didn’t act alone. the adl was aware of and approved of what he was doing during their long relationship, and he couldn’t have been as prolific as he was without the use of additional ‘agents’. (bullock, not so curiously, also was in the possession of some rather important practial information on an arab american and a south african activist who just happened to wind up dead.)

        fact – adl ‘agent’ bullock infiltrated the american-arab anti-discrimination committee and had presented and/or published anti-semitic materials, to include pamphlets denying the holocaust, that he then associated with the aaadc.

        fact – the adl and its agents collected information on activists engaged in legal activities that it then provided to local and federal law enforcement (such information could not have been collected legally by those agencies.)

      • hophmi
        October 4, 2012, 4:56 pm

        “hopee, your snide implication that sean is a tin foil hat conspiracy theorist is either a consequence of ignorance or mendacity, and your potted history of the spying scandal is utter horse sh*t. ”

        No, Sean’s not a conspiracy theorist at all. BWAHAHAHA.

        Allegation: ADL sold intelligence on ANC activists to South Africa.

        Debunking: This is all from the same 1993 case, and there is no allegation that the ADL sold or provided any of the intelligence to South Africa. No one denies that the ADL kept tabs on the ANC, as they did many left-wing groups at the time.

        Allegation: the adl provided confidential information to foreign states that it was provided by US police and intelligence services.

        Debunking: I see no source other than claims on far-left and far-right websites.

        Allegation: fact – bullock was not a ‘rogue undercover’, and he didn’t act alone.

        Debunking: In fact, he was, and the ADL denied that they authorized him to spy on all of those organizations Bullock kept files on. Anytime you want to provide an objective source for your allegation, you let me know.

        Allegation: adl ‘agent’ bullock infiltrated the american-arab anti-discrimination committee and had presented and/or published anti-semitic materials, to include pamphlets denying the holocaust, that he then associated with the aaadc.

        Debunking: Bullock did apparently infiltrate the AAADC. However, the ADL has long denied that they authorized him to do so.

        Allegation: the adl and its agents collected information on activists engaged in legal activities that it then provided to local and federal law enforcement (such information could not have been collected legally by those agencies.)

        Debunking: Yes, I’m sure that the ADL has frequently provided information to law enforcement on neo-Nazis. I’m perfectly OK with that. NGOs work with law enforcement in that way all the time. They have a perfect right to do so.

        So, a lot of allegations, not much new stuff.

      • hophmi
        October 4, 2012, 5:14 pm

        “That is an outright lie.”

        No, it is not. It is the truth, and I remind you for the umpteenth time that a google search is not a source.

        I did your searches. There’s not one objective source backing up your claims. There’s a lot of allegations, a lot of neo-Nazi sites, and that source of thing.

        It’s really not a good idea to throw around the term “illegal” when you seem to have little clue what is and what is not legal.

        Nearly all of the ADL’s so-called spying consists of asking people to attend public events and then report back on what they saw. So, let’s say Phil organizes a panel at the New School featuring Jeff Blankfort, Norman Finkelstein, and Rashid Khalidi. Jeff is known for making statements that border on outright antisemitism. ADL has received complaints about him. So they might ask someone to go to the lecture, and write about what happened. That’s simply not illegal, and it’s a practice used by other anti-discrimination organizations. The same holds true for neo-Nazi groups, but in that case, you obviously have to be a little bit more experienced to gain access to their events, so I imagine that’s where undercover “agents” come in. But again, none of that is in any way illegal.

        “One wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the ADL is collecting detailed dossiers on everyone here, and perhaps even sharing that data behind the scenes with other organizations — including Mossad.”

        As marc b. said, Sean is not, repeat not, a conspiracy theorist. Conspiracy theories about Israel being involved with 9/11 (see his last google search) are the purview of neo-Nazis and Arabs who don’t have access to free media and, apparently, people like Sean.

      • hophmi
        October 4, 2012, 5:17 pm

        “You made an inane claim. I pointed out the inanity. I would suggest you cut your losses — but don’t. I like to see Israel supporters make fools of themselves. It’s also good when they get angry. Then they’re more likely to alienate fellow travelers.”

        LOL. You’re the fool. You think that if you haven’t heard of someone, they’re not famous.

      • seanmcbride
        October 4, 2012, 6:40 pm

        hophmi,

        Have you had any contacts or communications with any officials or employees of the ADL during the past five years?

      • seanmcbride
        October 4, 2012, 6:41 pm

        hophmi,

        Towards which nation do you feel the stronger loyalty: the United States or Israel?

      • seanmcbride
        October 4, 2012, 6:43 pm

        hophmi,

        Is the ADL in fact sharing its STASI-like dossiers on Americans whose politics it dislikes with other Jewish and Israeli organizations? How is that information being used?

      • seanmcbride
        October 4, 2012, 6:50 pm

        hophmi,

        I did your searches. There’s not one objective source backing up your claims. There’s a lot of allegations, a lot of neo-Nazi sites, and that source of thing.

        You are an incorrigible and habitual liar — really: a nasty piece of work.

        Is the Los Angeles Times a sufficiently mainstream news source for you?

        Google [adl spying los angles times]

        link to google.com

        Or how about JTA:

        Google [adl spying site:jta.org]

        link to google.com

      • seanmcbride
        October 4, 2012, 7:38 pm

        Hophmi’s Hasbara Playbook

        hophmi,

        You’ve mastered eight primitive techniques from the hasbara playbook and that is your entire repertoire in the realm of political and policy debate:

        1. You’re a Jew hater.
        2. You’re a conspiracy theorist.
        3. I know you are but what am I.
        4. I didn’t hear a word you said.
        5. I speak for the Jewish people.
        6. I speak for the American people.
        7. You’re posting too many facts.
        8. Shut the f*ck up.

        Regarding “conspiracy theories”: you have never effectively challenged me on a single fact in any of my comments or even identified in any meaningful detail any particular “conspiracy theory” that riles you up. For you the term is just a mindless expression of abuse.

        You haven’t offered any rational or effective response to the factual statement that quite a few high-level and reputable government officials don’t believe the 9/11 official story.

        Regarding the antisemitism smear: how many times have you accused someone of antisemitism during the last decade? 100 times? 500 times? 1,000 times? What is your best estimate? (It would be interesting to count up the number of times you have done so in your 4000+ comments on Mondoweiss.)

        How many times do you think about your ethnic and religious enemies on a typical day?

        How many times on a typical day are you worked up about threats to Israel?

      • Hostage
        October 4, 2012, 9:33 pm

        It’s really not a good idea to throw around the term “illegal” when you seem to have little clue what is and what is not legal. . . . Jeff is known for making statements that border on outright antisemitism.

        The ADL made a statement like that one about a couple in Colorado, who subsequently won a $10 million judgment against the organization in a defamation lawsuit. So it’s probably a good idea not to toss around allegations about “outright antisemitism”.

      • bilal a
        October 4, 2012, 10:44 pm

        ‘Deniability’ ,compartmentalization, false covers are marks of the tradecraft; without such, you are likely to produce at least a diplomatic incident. Example Israelis pretending to be Muslim extremists when they planned to blow up an American asset, when caught the Israeli government described the operation as rogue.

        More interestingly, the collection of dossiers on Anti-Semites (those who oppose Israeli apartheid ) is for what ? Obviously for media targeting , smearing, extortion.

        We are talking about a criminal foreign element operating within the United States. Expect some major espionage indictments after an Obama victory, how else to explain Netanyahu’s desperation.

        I dont know the statute of limitations for netanyahu’s leaked nuclear espionage activities within the USA, or more recently ‘Innocence of Muslims’ and the assination of the US ambssador in Libya.

      • hophmi
        October 5, 2012, 9:49 am

        “The ADL made a statement like that one about a couple in Colorado, who subsequently won a $10 million judgment against the organization in a defamation lawsuit. So it’s probably a good idea not to toss around allegations about “outright antisemitism”.”

        In cases like the Colorado case, where the information is second-hand, it’s a bad idea. But while defaming someone may be the basis for a cause of action, it is not “illegal,” unless you’re in the odd civil jurisdiction (not in the United States) which still criminalizes defamation.

        As far as criticizing someone with a long public record, it’s not likely to give rise to a legitimate cause of action.

      • Mooser
        October 5, 2012, 11:30 am

        “cultural bias of Western consumers who think “classical” music is the only zenith of human civilization.”

        Oy, Hophmi, when you’re right, you’re way to the right, my friend. And we shouldn’t judge Israel purely by the standards of dead, white European males! There’s today’s music, Jazz! And Israel boasts its engenderment of one of its finest players, Gilad Atzmon!

      • Hostage
        October 5, 2012, 11:36 am

        But while defaming someone may be the basis for a cause of action, it is not “illegal,” unless you’re in the odd civil jurisdiction (not in the United States) which still criminalizes defamation.

        I didn’t say it was illegal, I said it was very unwise.

        As far as criticizing someone with a long public record, it’s not likely to give rise to a legitimate cause of action.

        Many people with long public records are nonetheless very willing to file defamation lawsuits.

      • hophmi
        October 5, 2012, 11:44 am

        Dear Sean:

        I miss you so much. I’m so hurt you keep shacking up with my girlfriends, Ad Hominem and Conspiracy Theory.

        Love,

        Factual arguments

      • ColinWright
        October 5, 2012, 2:19 pm

        hophmi “LOL. You’re the fool. You think that if you haven’t heard of someone, they’re not famous.”

        No Hophmi. On the face of it, you’re the fool.

        To be world famous means to have been heard of everywhere in the world. If one asks three people if they’ve heard of somebody, and they haven’t, the inference is that they are not world famous.

        That’s so obvious one thinks even a Zionist would feel compelled to admit it.

        …but keep arguing this point. It’s kind of dull to knock you down over and over again on something as clear-cut as this, but we can if you like.

      • hophmi
        October 5, 2012, 2:34 pm

        “Is the Los Angeles Times a sufficiently mainstream news source for you?

        Google [adl spying los angles times]”

        It’s like really weird. Instead of linking to the LA Times article, you link to a google search for the LA Times article. Are you, like, on MyPoints or something? Do you get paid by the search?

        Anyway, I read the article when began responding to this. As I said, the article is about the Bullock case. What you don’t seem to get is that the ADL itself did not “break the law.” It’s not “breaking the law” to spy on other organizations. No charges were ever brought against the ADL. Not one. See, the way the law works is that when somebody breaks it, law enforcement actually charges them with a crime.

        The allegation, it seems, was that the ADL illegally obtained mugshots and rapsheets, which I surmise is confidential information under California privacy law. But the charges were never brought, and that says to me that wasn’t enough evidence to bring them. Why? Because they were obtained by Bullock, who exceeded by a considerable margin what he was authorized to do by the ADL, just as the ADL said. It is not a surprise to me that the ADL eventually settled the lawsuit for the relatively small sum of $175K, because even if Bullock went rogue, it was ultimately embarrassing for the ADL.

        “Is the ADL in fact sharing its STASI-like dossiers on Americans whose politics it dislikes with other Jewish and Israeli organizations? How is that information being used?”

        STASI-like dossiers? Oh boy. Did you see The Lives of Others?

        Anyway, my guess is that the lions’ share of ADL file-sharing is on neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups and targets with law enforcement.

      • hophmi
        October 5, 2012, 2:36 pm

        “I didn’t say it was illegal, I said it was very unwise. ”

        I agree completely.

        “Many people with long public records are nonetheless very willing to file defamation lawsuits.”

        No doubt. And many threaten to do so on the net. Many people file lawsuits, period. But a lot of them are frivolous.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 5, 2012, 2:46 pm

        Dear Sean:

        I miss you so much. I’m so hurt you keep shacking up with my girlfriends, Ad Hominem and Conspiracy Theory.

        Love,

        Factual arguments

        LMFAO. Please tell me you wrote this ironically. Holy cow, hoppy, this is so lame, you’re going to have to listen to Miles Davis for about seven hours, just to get back to even.

      • hophmi
        October 5, 2012, 2:58 pm

        Vladimir Horowitz was a world famous pianist. If you are a farmer in Kansas, and you’re into Alternative Rock and Country Music, there’s a good chance you never heard of him. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t world famous.

      • hophmi
        October 5, 2012, 3:00 pm

        Ad Hominem and Conspiracy Theory are such total whores around here. I mean, it’s true, Sean seems to pay them more than most, but still.

      • marc b.
        October 5, 2012, 3:31 pm

        jesus but you are a habitual liar. no, there’s not much ‘new stuff’ as you put it. there wouldn’t be since the case was settled over a decade ago. and, no, the majority of what the adl did, in this case, did not involve neo-nazis, as the plaintiffs here were american-indian activists, arab-american activists, SA activists, the same groups whose legal fees the adl paid, the same groups that the adl had to purge its files of, the same groups it was enjoined from further illegally collecting information on. but you keep up your apologetics for the adl’s ‘stasi-like’ behavior. and yes the description fits.

      • hophmi
        October 5, 2012, 3:51 pm

        “jesus but you are a habitual liar. no, there’s not much ‘new stuff’ as you put it. there wouldn’t be since the case was settled over a decade ago. and, no, the majority of what the adl did, in this case, did not involve neo-nazis,”

        Actually, a lot of the work this guy did did involve neo-Nazis. It’s the civil rights organizations that brought the lawsuit. Anyway, I’m sure it plays into your belief that the ADL is some kind of crazy Mossad like org that is comin’ to get ya.

        So basically, we’ve shown that the ADL, around since 1913, settled a couple of lawsuits in the last twenty years, one the Denver defamation suit and one the Bullock suit. BFD. It’s not like they were an unindicted co-conspiracy in a terrorism case or anything.

        It’s all pretty silly, but as I said, Conspiracy Theory is a big whore around here.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 5, 2012, 4:39 pm

        “Ad Hominem and Conspiracy Theory are such total whores around here. I mean, it’s true, Sean seems to pay them more than most, but still.”

        Hoppy, quit while you’re behind.

      • Hostage
        October 5, 2012, 4:41 pm

        So basically, we’ve shown that the ADL, around since 1913, settled a couple of lawsuits in the last twenty years, one the Denver defamation suit and one the Bullock suit.

        Correction: the ADL didn’t settle the Denver suit. That 10.5 million was awarded by the jury. link to jweekly.com

      • Danaa
        October 5, 2012, 5:21 pm

        @seafoid, @hophmi, @McBride

        I see the discussion here veered to what cultural products israel produced and whether or not Israel lived up to the original lofty expectations of Herzl et al.

        I think that this is simply the wrong question to ask in connection with modern day Israel. For one we should remember that a very sizable number of the original arrivals to Israel from the great European capitals – Budapest, Vienna, prague etc. were of mixed, nearly completely assimilated cultural background. People that shared certain expectations and outlook with Herzl. They – and their off-spring – went on to produce certain types of culture – in the Israel of the 50’s, 60’s and ’70s, a culture that had both eyes turned towards the Europe they left, even as their backs were firmly turned on the other inhabitants of israel, those whose culture was despised as “primitive’ (that included all Arabs and virtually all jewish immigrants from Arabic countries – the Mizrahi). In those days israel had no TV, very few movies, just a few emerging dance companies but a rather good israeli Philharmonic Orchestra. What culture there was, it was decidedly European one with just the stirrings of something that could be considered more indigenous. In that sense, one could say that there were many who did indeed try to make herzl’s vision true – turn the cities of Israel into knock-offs of the European capitals (of course, architecturally, these were all a bust), and the country was too mired in generating new myths that did a great job of erasing the reality of transplanted people seeking to thrive at the expense of those they displaced. Because everything was transplanted, the culture the vaunted “Hebrew” culture, had a built-in note of desperation.

        The sad thing 7 decades later is not that Israel’s culture is trailing that produced by Jews of the world (which it is, as Sean says – by a huge factor, however we choose to define “culture”). The really tragic thing is that it ignored and refused to integrate the profoundly worthy indigenous cultural traditions (other than adopting their cullinary staples) while disenfranchised a thriving Yiddish culture (actually, obliterated, is more like it). The culture that israel has come to produce has certainly its meritorious elements – and always did, but IMO much of the best gets lost in thicket of its own hubris, even as it turns into a knock-off of some of the worst elements of American pop culture.

        I don’t want to say that there are no good movies being made in israel or wish to get derailed by a discussion of who and what becomes “famous”. My own tastes run to the less famous anyways, especially as I got a heavy dose of European cultural preferences back in the heady – and proudly impoversihed – old days. I greatly enjoyed movies such as “Walk on Water”, “Kiddush”, “Late Marriage”, “Nina’s Tragedies” and “Or”. These, IMO, were all worthy of the awards they got, even though most could only be viewed in Art and Foreign Film houses (in the US). I met and heard first rate classical musicians and seen performances by dance companies such as Bat-Shebba – and thought well of their work. But along the way, I also became conscious of a certain claustrophobic, desperate for approval quality in the cultural products I like. It’s hard not to notice the desperation when Israelis keep laying claim to people like Natalie Portman (what did israel have to do with her success as an actress? mostly that she got out of there in a timely manner?), or Spielberg (who never lived there more than a week as visitor), or Bob Dylan (is he actually jewish?) or Ruth bader Ginzburg , etc. etc.

        More recently, the American gymnast who got a few medals in the olympics (name popped out of head suddenly) – no sooner did they find her parents are jewish Americans that they started celebrating in israel. What exactly? even as the great forward-looking country of israel invested all of $25 M in its athletic programs, less than 1% of their military budget – ending up with zero olympic medals, even as over 70 countries got at least one medal, many of whom never saw one thousandth of the monetary support given israel by dedicated American Jews and their captive government.

        To me, this eagerness to embrace the achievements of jewish people around the world speaks volumes. Virtually all the great achievers – jewish and non-jewish alike, many barely cognizant of their whatever their ethnic roots, all got there through their talents, dedication and, not coincidentally, THEIR governments’ investments – in education, in music, in arts, in athletics, and, of course, oftentimes their families’ support. What does Israel have to do with any of it when the achiever has some jewish roots? by what right can they lay claim to anyone’s achievement because there was possibly a jewish grandparent somewhere along the line?

        And while I am asking – Hophmi – so how many scholarships is israel providing for talented jewish youngsters around the world? yes, I know they try to attract many to Israel’s learning institutions, especially if they can bring their own hard currencies – but how much sponsorship is there for a Jewish fellow from san francisco studying, say, in Cal tech? how much investment has israel put into the training of American gymnasts? you know – got to put something in to get an acknowlegement, no?

      • ColinWright
        October 5, 2012, 6:09 pm

        marc b. says to Hophmi: “jesus but you are a habitual liar…”

        Lol. I said something similar just the other day — and I’m sure I wasn’t the first.

        I don’t even know what Hophmi said this time — and I don’t think I’ll look. Why bother?

      • asherpat
        October 6, 2012, 5:25 am

        Or high tech that enabled you to write this post, seafoid

      • chinese box
        October 6, 2012, 12:27 pm

        It’s clear to me that the Israelis have not produced any significant literature, but diaspora Jews don’t seem to either. Kafka is the only one I can think of off the top of my head (sorry, but Bellow and Roth just ain’t all that…).

        Hophmi may have a point, though. There’s definitely a bias in favor of art forms that are produced in English speaking countries, in terms of getting international attention, so the obscurity of some of these Israelis at the interational level may not necessarily say anything negative about the quality of their work. He clearly knows a lot more about classical music than I do so I’m not going to attempt to argue his points there.

      • marc b.
        October 7, 2012, 11:38 am

        debunking the debunking:

        1. This is all from the same 1993 case more mendacity: the ‘1993 case’, as you put it, involved years of collections of thousands of dossiers, is it is inaccurate to reduce ‘the case’ to a single year as you have disingenusouly, selectively done.

        2. as they did many left-wing groups at the time. but i thought that their primary focus was *gasp, shudder* ‘nazis’? well of course it wasn’t, and isn’t. the members of the american nazi party could fit into any small municipal auditorium. the goal of the adl is the protection of the status quo, which is sees as protecting american jewish interests and that of israel. that’s why it spies on unions, ‘leftists’ (whatever that means), and now ‘muslim terrorists’. in other words it’s peforming the same function as the mccarthy, reagan, and other informants for the state.

        3. I see no source other than claims on far-left and far-right websites. another classic smear. of course, only ‘extremists’ would both to publish such allegations. the problem with this libel is that the information published on many of these sites is taken from the civil suit, public statements of the DA investigating allegations of criminal conduct by the adl, and investigative pieces from the MSM. but of course, once that evidence passes onto an ‘extremist’ site, it is fully discredited. just like the claims of nazi rocket scientists that the earth is round.

        4. In fact, he was [a rogue agent who acted alone], and the ADL denied that they authorized him to spy on all of those organizations Bullock kept files on. wrong again. bullock was an agent of the adl; bullock actively coordinated activities with members of the state and local police; and the fact that the adl denied that ‘they authorized him to ‘spy’ means nothing. even if it were true, that they did not ‘authorize’ him, they need not have expressly authorized him to do what he did to be civilly liable or criminally culpable for his conduct.

        5. Bullock did apparently infiltrate the AAADC. However, the ADL has long denied that they authorized him to do so. again, i don’t beleive their denial, as his conduct in this regard is consistent with the adl mission in general, and consistent with their relationship with bullock. and, again, they need not have expressly authorized him to infiltrate the aaadc in order to be liable for his conduct.

        6.

      • American
        October 2, 2012, 11:41 pm

        Everything and more than you ever wanted to know about Herzl.

        link to gutenberg.org

        I love the part in the section on how housing is to be built for Jews where Herzl puts down American farmers and how they help each other built homes and buildings as “childish” …. and their homes are crude and Jewish homes will be more refined.

      • ColinWright
        October 3, 2012, 8:21 pm

        America says: “Everything and more than you ever wanted to know about Herzl…”

        Well, frankly, Herzl has always struck me as a bit of a superficial twit. His formulas and prescriptions are utterly trivial and improbable.

        It speaks volumes for the shallowness of Zionism that he’s their intellectual foundation.

        Zionism was a quack movement — and rightly so. It ranks with theosophy and some dietetic theory I vaguely recall that was advocated by a man with really impressive whiskers.

        That it became something more is a regrettable accident of history. Eventually, there’ll be no more left of it than graham crackers — but meanwhile, we’ve got to help it make its exit as expeditiously and as painlessly as possible.

        It’s a task for our generation. So let’s get on it.

    • Blake
      October 2, 2012, 6:57 pm

      Herzl did not even say it had to be in Palestine though. It could have been anywhere.

    • MRW
      October 2, 2012, 7:15 pm

      @chinese box,

      (Jewish) historian Gabriel Kolko wrote a brilliant brief essay on the source of Herzl’s dreams: “Israel: Mythologizing a 20th Century Accident”
      link to antiwar.com

      There are two many bon mots within it to quote here. He describes Viennese cafe life:

      We must understand the unique and rare innovative environment in which Theodore Herzl, an assimilated Hungarian Jew who became the founder of Zionism, functioned. For a time he was also a German nationalist and went through phases admiring Richard Wagner and Martin Luther. Herzl was many things, including a very efficient organizer, but he was also very conservative and feared that Jews without a state – especially those in Russia – would become revolutionaries.

      A state based on religion rather than the will of all of its inhabitants was at the end of the 19th century not only a medieval notion but also a very eccentric idea, one Herzl concocted in the rarified environment of cafes where ideas were produced with scant regard for reality.

      • chinese box
        October 3, 2012, 9:22 am

        @MRW thanks, I will have to read that article.

      • Danaa
        October 6, 2012, 7:31 pm

        Great reference, MRW. You sure have good archives….

    • Hostage
      October 3, 2012, 3:36 am

      Was Herzl’s dream really Jews and Arabs living together in Tel Aviv?

      The draft Charter of the Jewish-Ottoman Land Company (JOLC) contained an article which reserved the right of the Zionists to involuntarily transfer the non-Jewish population to other parts of the Ottoman Empire. link to jstor.org

      The entry in his personal diary about spiriting the penniless population across the border isn’t consistent with the idea that he planned on paying the Arabs acceptable rates of compensation.

      • proudzionist777
        October 3, 2012, 11:04 am

        @Hostage.

        Please. You know better. Herzl was writing about South America, not Eretz Yisroel, and stated on that same page that the native ‘holdouts’ were not to be forcibly removed.

        C’mon. Hostage. Old ground.

      • Hostage
        October 3, 2012, 2:04 pm

        @Hostage. Please. You know better. Herzl was writing about South America, not Eretz Yisroel, and stated on that same page that the native ‘holdouts’ were not to be forcibly removed.

        I do know better. The diary entry was about the delicate subject of land expropriation. That’s the same power that he reserved for himself in the draft land company agreement with the Ottoman’s. He specifically stated the need to act discretely and circumspectly. His plan was to lure the penniless population that would be created as a result of the expropriations across the border by making offers of employment in transit countries, while at one and the same time, denying that same displaced population employment in their own country. There was no suggestion that holdouts would not have their land expropriated. He only suggested that the landless peasants wouldn’t be forceably deported once they were displaced and became penniless beggars. Once again, he had no intention of paying any compensation.

        Herzl advised Max Nordau that he planned to acquire a colonial empire from which he could launch the conquest of Palestine. link to books.google.com

        There’s no reason to suggest that his modus operandi in Palestine would have been substantially different than the one he outlined for use in South America. It’s a matter of record that both were based upon land expropriation and population transfer schemes.

      • Mooser
        October 3, 2012, 6:52 pm

        Oh Hostage, you big ol’ point-evader, you! Look, Herzl didn’t say “take ‘em all out, dig a pit, and shoot ‘em in the back of the head and dump ‘em in a pit” did he? You know he didn’t, don’t you, huh? But you won’t admit that disregarding somebody’s human rights, stealing their land, and tricking them into exile is not as bad as what Herzl didn’t say about the Palestinians, who, BTW, don’t even exist, so how can they be transferred anywhere?

        Ah yes, the same old prescription: take a Ziocaine pilpul and call me in the morning.

      • proudzionist777
        October 4, 2012, 9:44 am

        @Hostage

        Uhh…wasn’t Herzl talking about a colony in Kenya. Or is Mount Kilamangaro in Tanzania? I don’t know.

      • Hostage
        October 4, 2012, 11:46 am

        @Hostage Uhh…wasn’t Herzl talking about a colony in Kenya. Or is Mount Kilamangaro in Tanzania? I don’t know.

        Duh! I’m saying his modus operandi wouldn’t have differed one iota if he had been talking about Timbuktu or Kalamazoo. He included terms in all of his colonial charters which reserved the right of Zionists to expropriate the land out from under its cultivators. Then he refused to even employ them as tenant laborers, while using the lure of possible employment in other countries to get rid of them.

        The Jewish Agency used the same employment scam as part of its Conquest of Hebrew Labor program and covert diplomacy with Arab leaders in other countries. See Rafael Medoff, Baksheesh Diplomacy, Lexington Books, 2001.

        I provided you with a link to a letter he wrote to Max Nordau. It illustrates that he had thought of himself as a Zionist Führer and his associates as miserable eunuchs. He was a megalomaniac who thought that other states would follow the British example and offer him colonies around the globe that would give him an Empire from which he could launch the conquest of Palestine.

      • Mooser
        October 5, 2012, 11:36 am

        “Duh! I’m saying his modus operandi wouldn’t have differed one iota if he had been talking about Timbuktu or Kalamazoo.”

        That one’s got snap, and sparkle!

  3. dano
    October 2, 2012, 11:19 am

    You mean they have capitalism? And hotels? Oh my goodness!

    • chinese box
      October 2, 2012, 10:32 pm

      dano actually has a point. I can’t really fault the Israelis for building hotels and businesses rather than dozens of opera theatres and whatever else Herzl’s 19th century pipe dreams consisted of.

  4. dimadok
    October 2, 2012, 11:24 am

    Tel Aviv is not the whole Israel-same as Palestinian dumps are not the whole Palestine. The primitive description and simpleton language of the Berkley tourist/activist shows the narrowness of the author views and nothing more.

    • seafoid
      October 2, 2012, 12:39 pm

      Dim

      TA is the creme de la creme of Israel. Would you have preferred if Alison reported from Ramle? Or Eilat? Or Bnei Brak ? Tel Aviv is housetrained, unlike many other places in Israel.

      • dimadok
        October 2, 2012, 4:16 pm

        Tel Aviv is neither creme’ de la creme’ of Israel, nor it’s essence. It is a cosmopolitan city filled different people, different areas, arts, culture, science, food and anything you would see in this type of the city. Israel is also Ramle, Eilat, Bnei-Brak, Zfat, Haifa, Jerusalem and hundreds of small villages, kibbutzim and towns.
        Tel Aviv is also the UNESCO heritage city, has world top university, leading hospitals, best museums and so on.
        And, by the way, comparing it to Qatar or Dubai is so stupid that I can only assume that person who’ve done it here is either a teenager or has never set foot out of his home.

      • seafoid
        October 2, 2012, 4:26 pm

        Israel’s essence is the torture centre in the Russian Compound in East Jerusalem.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 2, 2012, 4:31 pm

        “It is a cosmopolitan city filled different people, different areas, arts, culture, science, food and anything you would see in this type of the city. ”

        No, in “this type of city”, virtually everywhere in the world, you would expect to find the people (or their descendants) who were living there in 1947, as a major part of the population. With regard to the greater Jaffa Metro Area, that’s not so because the scourge of zionism has cursed the area and those cursed zionists ethnically cleansed the area of the Palestinians who are the rightful owners of that land.

      • Taxi
        October 2, 2012, 11:54 pm

        I’m pretty sure dimadok’s never been to Dubai or Qatar to parse on the comparisons – well, unless he’s got many passports at his disposal.

      • YoungMassJew
        October 3, 2012, 1:00 am

        and sh**ty coffee on Rothchild Blvd outside Independence Hall where they indoctrinate you with Zio-Supremacism.

      • seafoid
        October 3, 2012, 7:49 am

        It is quite a shoddy boulevard too. Israel tries real hard but can’t escape its provincialism.

        It’s cute how Ha’aretz bigs up Israeli success whenever it happens. “Israeli wins fishing competition”. “Israeli plays supporting role in French movie”.

      • ColinWright
        October 3, 2012, 8:39 pm

        seafoid: “Israel’s essence is the torture centre in the Russian Compound in East Jerusalem.”

        The interesting thing is that Israel is really an interesting example of the importance of morality.

        In the end, Israel commits so much evil because it is a profound act of injustice. It can only survive through continued oppression and violence. If it were a fundamentally just conception, it would be a different story.

      • hophmi
        October 4, 2012, 9:25 am

        “In the end, Israel commits so much evil because it is a profound act of injustice.”

        I know you find the idea of Jews being anything other than oppressed a “profound act of injustice.”

        Do you also find America a “profound act of injustice?”

      • ColinWright
        October 4, 2012, 2:36 pm

        hophmi says: “In the end, Israel commits so much evil because it is a profound act of injustice.”

        I know you find the idea of Jews being anything other than oppressed a “profound act of injustice.”

        Do you also find America a “profound act of injustice?”

        Pretty classic. First, there’s the assumption that anyone who hates Israel is therefore an anti-semite. See anti-Nazism as evidence of bigoted feelings about Germans.

        Second, there’s the inevitable allusion to ye olde Indian argument. That one’s been dealt with so many times I see no reason to go over it again.

        My central point, of course, is that it is not a matter of there being a ‘nice’ Israel that could emerge if only she would stop doing all these bad things. The bad things are largely implicit in Israel, and are a function of the essential injustice and falsity of the concept. There is no good Israel to uncover. The evil comes from within.

      • dimadok
        October 5, 2012, 11:51 am

        @Colin
        “but keep stumbling over the fact that Israel seems to match everything I hate” link to mondoweiss.net
        Israel is evil- oh my, I thought 54 year old man should be smarter than that.

      • ColinWright
        October 5, 2012, 2:23 pm

        dimadok says: ‘@Colin
        “but keep stumbling over the fact that Israel seems to match everything I hate” link to mondoweiss.net
        Israel is evil- oh my, I thought 54 year old man should be smarter than that.’

        It is amazing, isn’t it? Almost invariably, I find most things morally ambiguous: I find it almost impossible to uncritically approve of anything or unreservedly condemn it. There are almost always flies in the ointment of good, and silver linings in the cloud of bad.

        …but not Israel. Everything about it is foul! How did the Zionists do that?

      • Mooser
        October 5, 2012, 5:55 pm

        There is no good Israel to uncover. The evil comes from within”

        But, but Israel is filled with, and pretty much run by, Jews, right? And not liking Jews is, well, you know what it is!

        If you look in my archive, Colin, you can see that I’ve said there’s gonna be, almost has to be, a whole lot of anti-Semitism before it’s over. Oh, I don’t like it, wish it didn’t have to be that way, and dread being the object of it, but I see no point in kidding myself about it. Remember, we rolled the dice on Israel and if we came up a winner, everybody’s on velvet, but if we lose, well that’s just one of the things that will happen.
        I, highly flawed being that I am, find it hard to abhor Zionism without at least disliking and mistrusting its embodyment, Zionists, and Israelis.

        Anyway, they’re making it pretty clear what the formula is: If you don’t like Israel or Zionism, you don’t like Jews, and we all know what that is.
        Pretty clever, know, using the Jewish people and Judaism as their hostage. And getting us to hand ourselves over as hostages? That’s frickin genius!

      • ColinWright
        October 6, 2012, 1:29 am

        seafoid says: “It is quite a shoddy boulevard too. Israel tries real hard but can’t escape its provincialism.

        It’s cute how Ha’aretz bigs up Israeli success whenever it happens. “Israeli wins fishing competition”. “Israeli plays supporting role in French movie”.”

        Yeah. I remember back in the days of my innocence, I actually took a book review of theirs seriously. First and last time.

      • ColinWright
        October 6, 2012, 1:49 am

        Mooser says: “But, but Israel is filled with, and pretty much run by, Jews, right? And not liking Jews is, well, you know what it is!

        If you look in my archive, Colin, you can see that I’ve said there’s gonna be, almost has to be, a whole lot of anti-Semitism before it’s over…”

        It’s appears to be suicidal to try to have an earnest conversation with you — but I’m kinda dumb that way, so here goes.

        I think that the connection between Jews and Israel does make anti-semitism inevitable.

        I was once genuinely, inarguably, authentically not anti-semitic. People are just going have to take my word on that, but it’s so.

        Post-Israel — or post-my awareness of just what it is, to be precise — I find it difficult to not connect Jewishness with Israel.

        I’m just wired that way. I think we all are. I remember an old guy I knew at a drawing group. He was a really nice old guy. He just couldn’t buy a Japanese car. He knew that it wasn’t right, but he just couldn’t do it. He’d been a navy photographer who had gone ashore with the first wave at Iwo Jima — and he just couldn’t buy a Japanese car.

        We make these connections. We can’t help it. We can pretend we don’t — but we still do. It’s funny — because these days sometimes I meet someone who’s Jewish, and I start to consider them apart from Israel, and I realize something.

        Jews are actually okay. I’ve run into some stunning dickheads — but really, no worse than average. As a matter of a random draw, they’re alright. Indeed, all things being equal, I think I’d rather be stuck on a desert island with the average Jew than with the average gentile. Just as an average.

        But that’s only sometimes. Usually, I associate Jews with Israel.

    • MRW
      October 2, 2012, 1:46 pm

      The primitive description and simpleton language of the Berkley tourist/activist shows the narrowness of the author views and nothing more.

      Shows the opposite. The author left a sophisticated, socially conscious, and mentally stimulating environs (Berkeley) and landed in something she considers primitive and narrow by comparison, given they’ve had over 60 years to do something about it.

      In 1973, the land under Dubai was a sandbox dotted with tents, tribes, and kids. The rulers, true to their religious teaching, built a first-class education system for the locals that was technologically sophisticated and free. Then they carved out a commercial Free Zone within the old tribal society that became a world trading hub, again true to their traditions. They made the desert bloom in less than 40 years. They didn’t waste their money manufacturing a cartoon Sparta, and giving their 18-year-olds guns.

      • Walid
        October 2, 2012, 3:02 pm

        You should see what Abu Dhabi or Qatar have become in the last few years.

      • MRW
        October 2, 2012, 7:19 pm

        @Walid,

        So I hear. I saw brilliant, beautiful, hauntingly beautiful photos of Abu Dhabi and its green revolution, an architectural wonder in keeping with Islamic science going back 1,000 years. Qatar has more female students in their first-class universities than men.

      • sandhillexit
        October 2, 2012, 3:27 pm

        All built by those entrepreneurial Palestinians, you might add.

      • hophmi
        October 2, 2012, 5:22 pm

        LOLOLOL. Yes, it’s a wonderful place, where the natives do not work, women have no rights, and everyone besides the natives has second class citizenship. I guess we have a few propagandists from the Emirates here.

      • chinese box
        October 2, 2012, 6:08 pm

        LOLOLOL. Yes, it’s a wonderful place, where the natives do not work, women have no rights, and everyone besides the natives has second class citizenship.

        Well at least they are native to the country they live in unlike the Israelis.

      • MRW
        October 2, 2012, 7:06 pm

        Where’d you read that, hoppy? In a Debka file?

      • dimadok
        October 5, 2012, 11:52 am

        Who are native, exactly? Indian, Bangladeshi, Jordanian and dozens of other nations migrant workers in Dubai and UAE? Think before your write, please.

      • ColinWright
        October 5, 2012, 2:26 pm

        dimadok says: “Who are native, exactly? Indian, Bangladeshi, Jordanian and dozens of other nations migrant workers in Dubai and UAE? Think before your write, please.”

        Still, there is the point that unlike as in ‘Israel,’ at least the immigrants haven’t taken over and set about oppressing and expelling the natives.

      • dimadok
        October 2, 2012, 5:24 pm

        Right, the “glorious” Dubai vs. Israel:
        link to scimagojr.com
        Israel-place 22
        Dubai or UAE-place 66

      • MRW
        October 2, 2012, 7:05 pm

        Dubai is only a part of the United Arab Emirates, and I specifically said Dubai. So don’t confuse the two. Further, Dubai accomplished what they did in half the time of Israel, and with a quarter of Israel’s population. Their public engineering and architectural feats far surpass anything Israel has come up with.

    • Blake
      October 2, 2012, 7:09 pm

      You sound like the white apartheid South Africans who would say they lived in 1st world cities and the natives lived in the 3rd world. Doesn’t cut it. Palestinian culture is different to European culture, in fact is more rich and diverse, and what’s more their architecture fits in with the countryside/landscape whereas Zionist structures do not fit in, are completely ugly and work against the whole nature of the region. Zionist sense of aesthetics is absolute madness.

    • pogomutt
      October 2, 2012, 10:23 pm

      If it’s any consolation, we other Bay-area types stopped taking Berkeley (the city)seriously years ago. It’s more of a gross embarassment to the rest of Northern California than anything else.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 2, 2012, 11:29 pm

        we other Bay-area types …the rest of Northern California

        all 20-25 of you. impressive/not.

      • ColinWright
        October 3, 2012, 1:23 pm

        Berkeley is sort of an embodied counter-argument to the thesis that the right has anything resembling a monopoly on idiocy.

      • Mooser
        October 3, 2012, 7:12 pm

        During the years I lived in San Francisco I grew to like Berkely very much.
        I never noticed any great predominance of idiocy there. Isn’t it the location of one of the foremost colleges in the California higher education system? Besides just being a cool town. Lots of very pretty girls, too.

      • ColinWright
        October 4, 2012, 2:44 pm

        Mooser says: “…During the years I lived in San Francisco I grew to like Berkely very much.
        I never noticed any great predominance of idiocy there. Isn’t it the location of one of the foremost colleges in the California higher education system? Besides just being a cool town. Lots of very pretty girls, too.”

        Since I haven’t actually posted my ‘Berkeley sucks!’ essay, I can’t link to it, so I’ll just have to let your remarks stand without comment. Leaving aside the reference to the fine university, anyone who actually lives in Berkeley can appraise the accuracy of it.

      • Mooser
        October 5, 2012, 11:43 am

        Ah, I resided there many years ago, and the past is, as a famous author who I am about to plagiarise once said, often imbued with a roseate glow, if you get my drift, and “roseate” has no dirty connotations I am unaware of.
        Berkely had trees on the street, head-shops, and often in summer, women in diaphanous garments which enhanced rather than concealed their lissomness. Who could ask for anything else?

      • ColinWright
        October 5, 2012, 2:27 pm

        Mooser says: ‘…and often in summer, women in diaphanous garments which enhanced rather than concealed their lissomness. Who could ask for anything else?’

        Well, the requisite lissomness, for starters.

      • Mooser
        October 5, 2012, 3:14 pm

        “Well, the requisite lissomness, for starters.”

        I defy you, on my honor, to show that every one of those girls wasn’t as lissome as a goddam gazelle, Colin. As I remember, Berkeley had all the lissomness a young fellow with any pretense to the title of “gentleman” could wish for, and a bit over, for good measure. “The Condor” where Carol Doda met her musical end, was in San Francisco
        That, Colin, was my Berkely, redolent of leather-work and cardamom seeds, and the doe-eyed girls who counted and graded them. Ah, for those fleeting moments in the herb shop, shy glances from kohl-rimmed eyes!
        You, sir, may describe your Berkeley as an ‘immovable least’, but that’s your business. There was a Chinese Vegan restaurant run by the guy who cooked for, I think Dick Gregory, the comedian, that was pretty good. Used a lot of gluten, as I recall.

      • ColinWright
        October 6, 2012, 1:55 am

        Mooser says: “That, Colin, was my Berkely, redolent of leather-work and cardamom seeds, and the doe-eyed girls who counted and graded them. Ah, for those fleeting moments in the herb shop, shy glances from kohl-rimmed eyes!”

        Just how high were you, on average?

    • Cliff
      October 4, 2012, 9:15 am

      Dimadok takes issue with language here. He is very sensitive about language! Context! Framing!

      Therefore, dimadok should direct his moral outrage to the backwards racist depictions of Palestinians in Israeli textbooks. Not to mention the fact that Israeli academia is plagued with these sort of farces and have so been since ‘time immemorial’.

      I suggest you stick to acting like the Zionist that you are, dimwit. Don’t turn on the Western/Enlightenment values/progressivism only when you hateful nationalist colonialist ideology is slighted in the most superfluous manner imaginable.

  5. braciole
    October 2, 2012, 11:38 am

    Stay off the falafel as Michelle Bachmann now reckons they are a “jihadi” dish. That means that Shin Beth will now have to arrest, torture and indefinitely detain just about the entire population of Israel. With this and the antics of Daystar and TBN, the Zionists really are up the creek!

    link to dailycurrant.com

    link to latimes.com

    • braciole
      October 2, 2012, 11:53 am

      It appears the Daily Currant article is satire.

      • ColinWright
        October 2, 2012, 12:26 pm

        Oh well. I was falling for it. This is Michelle Bachman we’re talking about.

  6. dimadok
    October 2, 2012, 12:09 pm

    Lonely Planet Top 10 cities for 2011:
    3rd place-Tel Aviv
    link to lonelyplanet.com

    Those “fools”-they’ve must being paid by Zionists.

    • seafoid
      October 2, 2012, 12:40 pm

      Make up your mind

      dimadok says:

      October 2, 2012 at 11:24 am

      Tel Aviv is not the whole Israel-same as Palestinian dumps are not the whole Palestine.

      • marc b.
        October 2, 2012, 1:30 pm

        Make up your mind

        but seafoid, that’s the beauty, the sheer genius of zionism. you’re never wrong. and there is no ‘mind’, in the individual dimodokian sense, just 4,000 years of jewish evolutionary psychology. can there be a more persuasive argument for the historical right to eretz israel than the availability of ecstasy, cheap eastern european booze and tangerine-flavored condoms?

      • hophmi
        October 2, 2012, 5:23 pm

        I think Alison Deger might be just a little bit biased. But don’t worry, no one outside of Mondoweiss actually pays attentions to her dispatches.

      • chinese box
        October 2, 2012, 6:12 pm

        But don’t worry, no one outside of Mondoweiss actually pays attentions to her dispatches.

        For someone who considers Mondoweiss irrelevant, it’s interesting that you have 4000+ posts here.

      • MRW
        October 2, 2012, 7:21 pm

        Alison Deger is over there to lock and load. Don’t underestimate this kid’s mind and resolve.

      • MRW
        October 2, 2012, 7:34 pm

        Allison. Sorry.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 3, 2012, 12:56 am

        no one outside of Mondoweiss actually pays attentions to her dispatches.

        mondoweiss has a very large audience. even if you were right hops, that’s still a hella lotta readers. where mondo goes the crowd follows.

        ;)

        i am sure you know that which is why you’re here.

      • Philip Munger
        October 3, 2012, 3:40 am

        I’ve felt that way about her work here for a long time. I’d like to see an MW Tel Aviv team of Allison and Max Blumenthal, with Phan Nguyen as their editor and overall chief, delivering important articles here and elsewhere.

        Good writing, Allison.

      • seafoid
        October 3, 2012, 3:48 am

        Annie

        How big is the audience ?

      • Cliff
        October 4, 2012, 9:18 am

        Hoppy,

        We are all deeply hurt that a former ADL fascist thinks so lowly of the blog. That being said, thank you for your 4000+ comments. You are our communal punching bag.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 4, 2012, 5:09 pm

        seafoid, i am not sure, but there are 12,000 followers on twitter and probably at least that many getting the daily lists delivered to their inbox. then undoubtedly there are many readers who subscribe to neither and read everyday. i know there are many readers who do not read the threads at all.

        adam posted around the first of the year how many hits we had last year so check the archives for dec 31-jan 2nd. i recall there were over 1/2 million hits a month last year (maybe 6-700,000?) and it’s probably grown since then.

        it’s a lot.

    • libra
      October 2, 2012, 12:47 pm

      Wrong again, dim.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 2, 2012, 1:46 pm

        “Wrong again, dim.”

        That’s awesome. Clearly they were paid by the zionists.

    • Woody Tanaka
      October 2, 2012, 12:52 pm

      “Lonely Planet Top 10 cities for 2011:
      3rd place-Tel Aviv”

      LMAO. Too bad it couldn’t best Tangier, but it did beat places like Valencia, Iquitos, and Chiang Mai.

      My guess is that the rating critera is: List NYC first and follow it with a random list of obscure towns that the self-absorbed, hipster douchebags who rely on Lonely Planet might find “exotic.”

      • pineywoodslim
        October 2, 2012, 4:04 pm

        Hey, Lonely Planet’s not all bad. :)

        I found some good information on camping and eats for Newfoundland and Labrador last spring using it.

        For my money, I’d rate St. Anthony Nfld far above Tel Aviv, though. lol

      • Dutch
        October 2, 2012, 4:26 pm

        @ pinewoodslim
        “I found some good information on camping and eats for Newfoundland and Labrador last spring using it.”

        Wow, in the Israel Survival Kit? That’s pretty amazing. Is that the Eretz Israel edition you’re using?

      • pineywoodslim
        October 4, 2012, 11:18 am

        @Dutch

        I presume your response is tongue in cheek. I’ve been posting at mondoweiss and criticizing Israel and zionism for years and you are saying because I found Lonely Planet useful for a trip, I am now an advocate of “Eretz Israel” and pack an “Israel Survival Kit”?

        I hope not.

        Gosh, good thing I didn’t eat a bagel with my serving of Newfoundland seal flipper pie!

        No, it’s the online edition that is, believe it or not, available to even us small town Iowans when we dare venture to either coast.

      • ColinWright
        October 4, 2012, 2:51 pm

        This is pretty bad. ‘Dutch’ makes a rather witty remark, and ‘Piney Wood Slim’ earnestly refutes it.

    • proudzionist777
      October 2, 2012, 12:54 pm

      @dima

      “Those “fools”-they’ve must being paid by Zionists”.

      No. Lonely Planet just knows how to have fun!

      • dimadok
        October 2, 2012, 4:17 pm

        I was sarcastic. But isn’t everything is controlled by the Zionist, like me here?

      • proudzionist777
        October 2, 2012, 5:22 pm

        Like me too. I made aliyah last month.

      • thankgodimatheist
        October 2, 2012, 6:29 pm

        “I made aliyah last month.”

        Congratulations! Though a foreigner to this land, you have earned a right that no other Palestinian refugee can have. You should celebrate by kicking some elderly butt in the OT. It’s great fun, promise!

      • eljay
        October 2, 2012, 9:38 pm

        >> I was sarcastic. But isn’t everything is controlled by the Zionist, like me here?
        >> Like me too. I made aliyah last month.

        It’s not so much that you’re “controlled” by Zio-supremacists, it’s more to do with the fact that you ARE Zio-supremacists. You believe that you are entitled – by gawd or by ["Remember] the Holocaust[!"™] – to a supremacist state in Palestine; a state created, maintained and expanded at the expense of the Palestinians / the original inhabitants of that region.

      • Taxi
        October 3, 2012, 12:08 am

        I’ll take Beirut over Tel Abib any day of the week – hands down:
        link to lonelyplanet.com

      • proudzionist777
        October 3, 2012, 2:39 am

        @eljay

        Israel is not a ‘supremacist state’, she is a ‘survivalist state’.

      • Taxi
        October 3, 2012, 7:48 am

        Mister proud,
        Israel is NOT a ‘she’ or a ‘he’. It is an ‘it’. Secondly, it’s a messianic, regressive masadist nightmare of a country – an immorally conceived entity dependent violence, ethnic cleansing, mass murder and land and water thievery.

        Did I mention temporary?

        Take off your rose-tinted glasses and put your clothes back on – israel is not a woman you’re about to bed for Pete’s sakes!

      • eljay
        October 3, 2012, 7:57 am

        >> Israel is not a ‘supremacist state’ …

        It is exactly that. Israel is not the democratic and egalitarian state of and for all Israelis, equally. It is the supremacist “Jewish State”, the state in which, among other things, Jewish Israelis are accorded different and more rights than non-Jewish Israelis who, without undergoing a religious conversion, can never acquire equality with Jewish Israelis.

        That you cannot grasp this simple truth merely underscores the magnitude of your hatefulness and immorality.

      • proudzionist777
        October 3, 2012, 11:10 am

        @Taxi

        Everything is temporary, including Israel.
        Now what country are you from?

      • Taxi
        October 4, 2012, 2:43 am

        Israel is more temporary than any other state on the planet.

        And just like you, I ain’t from the middle east – that’s for sure.

      • Cliff
        October 4, 2012, 9:22 am

        Mudracist666,

        What is a survivalist State? A State that begins a campaign of ethnic cleansing, fueled by rape, assassination, murder, bombings, massacres, etc.?

        There isn’t any utterance you’ve spewed forth here or elsewhere in life, about IsraHell, that isn’t completely drenched in debunked nationalistic mythology.

        No wonder you retreat back to the rock you slithered from whenever a real debate occurs. You’ve been reduced to these passive-aggressive, deflated, parodies of ‘point-scoring’ (as per the Hasbarat Manual) rhetoric.

      • ColinWright
        October 4, 2012, 2:54 pm

        dimadok: “I was sarcastic. But isn’t everything is controlled by the Zionist, like me here?”

        I doubt if you’re a head Zionist. Coming to Mondoweiss and getting flamed can’t be a choice assignment.

      • ColinWright
        October 4, 2012, 3:42 pm

        proudzionist777 says: “@eljay

        Israel is not a ‘supremacist state’, she is a ‘survivalist state’…”

        No…

        A ‘survivalist’ is a gun nut who takes himself and a pickup filled with canned goods off to some deserted tract of unpopulated waste and probably slowly but fairly harmlessly loses what few marbles he had to begin with.

        If I instead go across the street, boot the neighbor out of his house, and take it for myself, I am not a ‘survivalist.’

        I am a criminal.

      • ColinWright
        October 2, 2012, 8:56 pm

        proudzionist777 says: “@dima

        “Those “fools”-they’ve must being paid by Zionists”.

        No. Lonely Planet just knows how to have fun!”

        That’s you in those pictures? Come on…

    • marc b.
      October 2, 2012, 1:13 pm

      Tel Aviv is the total flipside of Jerusalem, a modern Sin City on the sea rather than an ancient Holy City on a hill. Hedonism is the one religion that unites its inhabitants. There are more bars than synagogues, God is a DJ and everyone’s body is a temple

      wow, dimeadozen, that lonelyplanet review really cuts to the heart of the matter. so what you’re saying is that if allison could just bring herself to spend more time in bars and applying suntan lotion, then she could immerse herself and get a feel for the ‘real’ tel aviv. you’re right, she really is quite shallow. i’ve always suspected that of her. (by the way, i have a similar response when people complain about boston or new york. who cares about traffic or the noise, ‘go see a show’, i say, maybe ‘wicked’ or ‘cats’. that’s the real city.)

      • seafoid
        October 2, 2012, 3:24 pm

        Hedonism* is the one religion that unites its inhabitants.

        *Jewish exceptionalism

        link to jpost.com

        “Pulling on a Kent cigarette, a toothless 64-year-old friend of Tzioni named Rahamim Cohen nodded in agreement but took a harsher line, saying how violence could work to drive out the African migrants just as it worked during the second intifada to clear Tel Aviv of Palestinian laborers.
        The theme in the neighborhood, both now and for the past couple of years, has been one of mutual fear and suspicion, mixed with an anger that at times clouds reality. Both the veteran residents of Hatikva and the African newcomers say they walk around in fear and are left with no protection by the police and local authorities.”

        Hatikva- the hopelessness

      • ColinWright
        October 2, 2012, 8:58 pm

        seafoid: “…Both the veteran residents of Hatikva and the African newcomers say they walk around in fear and are left with no protection by the police and local authorities.”

        Well, of course. This is Israel, and they’re not Jews.

    • Mndwss
      October 2, 2012, 1:22 pm

      You must be really proud, Tel Aviv is on 3rd place and Lonely Planet describes the city as a modern version of Sodom and Gomorrah.

      “Tel Aviv is the total flipside of Jerusalem, a modern Sin City on the sea rather than an ancient Holy City on a hill. Hedonism is the one religion that unites its inhabitants. There are more bars than synagogues, God is a DJ and everyone’s body is a temple.”

      • dimadok
        October 2, 2012, 4:19 pm

        So what are we being religious now?
        It has also the biggest synagogue built and used in Israel. It’s a free city and everyone does what he feels like.

      • seafoid
        October 2, 2012, 4:29 pm

        How come there were no big synagogues in Erez Israel before Tel Aviv? I would have expected the ancestral Jewish homeland to have had lots of appropriate Jewish infrastructure but maybe that’s just me.

      • Ellen
        October 2, 2012, 5:09 pm

        Dim,

        It’s a free city and everyone does what he feels like.

        Maybe that mindset is one of the real problems. Everyone can do whatever they want. Who cares about the person next to you, who cares about the banged up, locked up 14-year-old girl from Moldovia?

        Heck this is a free city! Everyone can do what they want! Ain’t it just great!

      • dimadok
        October 2, 2012, 5:16 pm

        And what the human trafficking has to do with the topic of this blog- there are girls from Moldova in larger numbers in EVERY single large city of Europe, US or Middle East.
        Or you just throwing anything that sticks, Ellen?

      • dimadok
        October 2, 2012, 5:20 pm

        There are-in Zfat, Tveria or Hebron. Also there is a restored one in Jerusalem, blown up be the Jordanian shelling in 1948.
        For example, Hebron synagogue built in 1540 :
        link to en.wikipedia.org

      • hophmi
        October 2, 2012, 5:25 pm

        You mean like the Hurvah synagogue, that was recently rebuilt, a few decades after the Jordanians destroyed it, and other Jerusalem Muslims destroyed it before that?

        link to en.wikipedia.org

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 2, 2012, 5:48 pm

        When the israelis rebuild al-Buraq mosque, which they destroyed to clear a plaza for your wailing wall, then I might give a damn about the Hurvah synagogue.

      • Ellen
        October 2, 2012, 6:00 pm

        Dimadok,

        It was in reference to a post below.

        link to mondoweiss.net

        Te Aviv is one of the hubs organizing and feeding the demand for the sex trade to other cities like Zurich or New York. (In fact the escourt service Elliot Spitzer so famously patronized was owned and operated by guys out of Tel Aviv.)

        As legislation against trafficking of people has only been introduced in recent years, the network flourished and took root in Tel Aviv. You know, it is such a free place.

      • ColinWright
        October 2, 2012, 6:24 pm

        dimadok says: “…It’s a free city and everyone does what he feels like.”

        Palestinians need not apply, of course.

        “… Muslim and Arab Christian make up 4.2 percent…”. All kept down in Jaffa, I assume.

      • ColinWright
        October 2, 2012, 9:01 pm

        dimadok: “And what the human trafficking has to do with the topic of this blog- there are girls from Moldova in larger numbers in EVERY single large city of Europe, US or Middle East.
        Or you just throwing anything that sticks, Ellen?”

        Well, technically, it wouldn’t surprise me much to learn that the Moldavan girl population of Richmond wasn’t all that high.

        But anyway, this is the ‘ol ‘what Israel does, everyone else does’ schtick. That always fails on the minor point that it’s not true. Israel, as a rule, is a whole lot worse.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 3, 2012, 1:07 am

        everyone does what he feels like.

        everyone? think again, it’s an apartheid state.

      • ColinWright
        October 4, 2012, 2:57 pm

        Annie says: “everyone does what he feels like.

        everyone? think again, it’s an apartheid state.”

        You fail to realize that Palestinians aren’t human in the first place — and so aren’t part of ‘everyone.’ The logic is really internally quite sound.

        It does all sound like someone going on about South Africa in the fifties. It’s a paradise for all. The Blacks are simply invisible.

    • Dutch
      October 2, 2012, 1:50 pm

      @ dimadok
      Tel Aviv is the failed capital (oops) of a failed ‘Jewish state’ (oops). And a terrible place, by the way.

      • hophmi
        October 2, 2012, 5:26 pm

        No one cares what you think, Dutch. The inhabitants and the overwhelming majority of visiting tourists feels differently.

      • Dutch
        October 2, 2012, 11:07 pm

        You are wrong, Hophmi. A lot of people care. And for good reasons.

        Surely there will always be people who are willing to live on top of an ethnical cleansed village, welcoming tourists and at the same time denying the original inhabitants the return to their villages. And hey – surprisingly these folks ‘feel differently’ than I do. We certainly agree on that one.

        Tel Aviv is the fitting capital for what Hannah Arendt described as Israel’s choice to become a Warrior State. Read her work, I suggest.

      • ColinWright
        October 4, 2012, 3:02 pm

        hophmi says: “No one cares what you think, Dutch. The inhabitants and the overwhelming majority of visiting tourists feels differently.”

        One can suspect a certain circular logic there. Sure, everyone who visits Tel Aviv professes to like it. Most people who agree to visit Tel Aviv are Israel supporters in the first place.

        Israel will always find herself surrounded by a circle of uncritical admirers. You’ll just have to overlook the fact that the circle is getting steadily smaller.

      • hophmi
        October 4, 2012, 5:01 pm

        “Sure, everyone who visits Tel Aviv professes to like it. Most people who agree to visit Tel Aviv are Israel supporters in the first place.”

        What was it that travelers digest said? Oh yes, Israelis are known for being friendly and attractive.

        Maybe it has something to do with that.

        “Israel will always find herself surrounded by a circle of uncritical admirers. You’ll just have to overlook the fact that the circle is getting steadily smaller.”

        Smaller as in tourism keeps going up.

      • ColinWright
        October 5, 2012, 2:32 pm

        hophmi says: “…What was it that travelers digest said? Oh yes, Israelis are known for being friendly and attractive…”

        That’s pretty shameless. Israelis are known for being rude and for killing people.

    • MRW
      October 2, 2012, 7:24 pm

      Lonely Planet?? The guide my back-packing nephews use for cheap tail and ready weed?

    • thankgodimatheist
      October 3, 2012, 7:04 am

      “Those “fools”-they’ve must being paid by Zionists.”
      Well as it seems you were unto something dimmy! Here:
      link to uiavic.org

      • ColinWright
        October 4, 2012, 3:09 pm

        That is pretty damning.

    • ColinWright
      October 3, 2012, 1:25 pm

      The ratings probably are skewed by people wanting to boost Israel.

    • ColinWright
      October 4, 2012, 3:27 pm

      The list is a bit weird. Consider this description under New York’s number 1 ranking:

      “Since 9/11, the site of the World Trade Center’s twin towers has stood out as a closed-off, out-of-view, painful gaping void. This year that changes, as the former WTC site finally reopens to the public with the National September 11 Memorial, a 6-acre, tree-filled plaza with 30ft-deep waterfalls at the footprint of the former towers, rimmed by the name of each victim and illuminated at night (its museum will follow in 2012). For the city, this will be more momentous than if the Yankees, Knicks, Rangers and Giants won simultaneous championships while the ball dropped in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. For all of New York, 11 September 2011 will be a defining moment.”

      And who could want more? You can visit the 9/11 Memorial, and visit the 9/11 Memorial, and visit the 9/11 Memorial…

      New York’s a bit much — but I wouldn’t fault a number one ranking per se. But on account of having been the scene of a terrorist outrage?

    • Annie Robbins
      October 4, 2012, 5:40 pm

      dimdock, i opened the link. it’s just recommendations. as someone in the comment section mentioned:

      Lonely Planet can’t name the same 10 cities every year – there are the same obvious contenders every year (Paris, anyone?) but they seem to be trying to tie the recommendations together with special events where possible, and suggest cities that are likely not on peoples’ radar. Hopefully travellers aren’t going to visit these cities on LP’s say so, but this may serve as a starting point for people to consider places that might otherwise never have occurred to them.

  7. Sherri Munnerlyn
    October 2, 2012, 12:15 pm

    Reading this, I cried. I can’t help thinking about the truth of how we reap what we sow, and how often winning is really losing. And there are no real winners in Zionism, they are all losers. So many times, I read Zionists express no feelings for hurt inflicted on Palestinians, even children, and I lament the loss of humanity, looking upon it, on full display, in the Israel of 2012.

    • thankgodimatheist
      October 3, 2012, 7:11 am

      “So many times, I read Zionists express no feelings for hurt inflicted on Palestinians, even children”
      Absolutely Sherri. Those heartbreaking photos for example of an old crippled Bedouin sitting in his wheelchair in front of his demolished home made them snicker and laugh when I discovered them on Facebook. They didn’t feel any particular emotion, let alone responsibility:
      link to angryarabscommentsection.blogspot.com.au

  8. Mooser
    October 2, 2012, 12:32 pm

    “Reading this, I cried. I can’t help thinking about the truth of how we reap what we sow, and how often winning is really losing.”

    Oy how I simperthise, Sherri! I mean, militant Jewish nationalism with the aim of conquering, cleasing and stealing a country. How on earth could it have gone wrong?

  9. proudzionist777
    October 2, 2012, 12:33 pm

    Another day, another hatchet-job.
    Yawn.

    Keep whacking it.

    • ColinWright
      October 2, 2012, 6:26 pm

      prdzionist777 says: “…Another day, another hatchet-job.
      Yawn.

      Keep whacking it.”

      Prd! I’m still waiting to hear how many Palestinians reside within 100 yards of you. You sort of skipped out on me there…

      • proudzionist777
        October 3, 2012, 3:26 am

        @Colin

        I didn’t skip out on you.

        After you tried to blame Jews for the anti-Moslem video and the murder of the American Ambasssador to Libya, I decided that I have nothing to discuss with you.

      • bilal a
        October 3, 2012, 9:31 am

        Actually the original film production crew included allegedly a ‘Steve Goldenberg/Goldberg’ and ‘Jimmy Israel’, Nakoula had no film experience and according to Israel , he didnt write the script. The July 2012 script is clearly anti-Islam hate and includes references to various historical characters in Islam, betraying the lie that the Israeli linked ‘Media for VChrist’ , and other crew, didnt know the purpose of the film.

        Israeli-Radical Zionist groups plan three additional films.

      • Mooser
        October 3, 2012, 11:36 am

        “After you tried to blame Jews for the anti-Moslem video and the murder of the American Ambasssador to Libya, I decided that I have nothing to discuss with you.”

        Proudzionist, I would never have expected such maturity from you, and I’m glad to see it! But when you can’t answer the charges, and in addition, are plagued by a disturbing sense of guilt, slipping quietly away is indeed the best course. Like a thief in the night, as the saying goes.
        Of course, Zionists who are a little less proud, and a lot smarter, know enough to keep their mouths shut, keep away from discussion and doggedly continue the great work of modern Judaism, ridding the world of Palestinians. Oh, won’t they praise us through the centuries for it, huh?

      • seanmcbride
        October 3, 2012, 12:50 pm

        bila a,

        We *still* don’t know which parties and interests lie at the root of Innocence of Muslims, and the mainstream media mysteriously seem to have no interest in getting to the bottom of that question. There appears to be a cover-up underway on the controversy. The entire situation stinks to high heavens.

      • ColinWright
        October 3, 2012, 1:28 pm

        prd says: “@Colin

        I didn’t skip out on you.

        After you tried to blame Jews for the anti-Moslem video and the murder of the American Ambasssador to Libya, I decided that I have nothing to discuss with you.”

        No…not what happened.

        I initially formulated the question as whether you had any Palestinian neighbors — which you evaded by pointing out that there were some in the same country.

        So then I reformulated the question — and you declined to answer. I take it there are no Palestinians living within a hundred yards of you? Or are you simply unprepared to admit the truth?

        Here. I’ll make it easy. There are no Palestinians living within a hundred yards of me. There — now you can say it too.

  10. proudzionist777
    October 2, 2012, 12:37 pm

    “..But in Tel Aviv, there are no Palestinians or even signs of their not so historic thriving presence..”

    “.. Tel Aviv’s original sin, forcing Palestinians to leave.”

    Historically, local Arabs did not have a thriving presence on the empty sand dunes on which Tel Aviv grew.

    BTW. Where there are urban alleyways, there is urine. This holds true in every city in the world.

    • Mooser
      October 2, 2012, 1:40 pm

      “BTW. Where there are urban alleyways, there is urine. This holds true in every city in the world.”

      My, oh my, but aren’t you Mr. Cosmopolitian! Well, I guess we all have our favorite haunts in the world’s great metropolises. And a man must go where his business takes him. But tell me, is the urine more fragrant in the Tel Aviv alleys, or are your knees less stained when you’re done?

    • quercus
      October 2, 2012, 1:53 pm

      @proudzionist777. EXACTLY, it and Israel are nothing special, just like so many other places. A ‘light unto the nations’. What a joke.

    • Shmuel
      October 2, 2012, 1:58 pm
      • thankgodimatheist
        October 2, 2012, 7:26 pm

        Nice demolition job, Shmuel. Not really upset that you beat me to it.

      • Shmuel
        October 3, 2012, 2:02 am

        Thanks, TGIA. I presumed that Monseigneur had more important things to do (rally the troops, tidy up the cathedral, etc.) ;-)

        To parse PZ’s outrageous and enraging sentence, he managed to stuff a whole bunch of Zionist myths into very few words.

        “local Arabs” – no such thing as Palestinians

        “[No] thriving presence” – primitive people, whose very primitiveness meant that they could have no rights to the land and its resources and no understanding of such higher concepts as freedom and dignity – certainly not when compared to the infinitely superior culture of European Jews (think European colonisation and its “ethical” justifications). To call this a “mission civilisatrice” would be far too kind (Herzl’s Altneuland notwithstanding).

        “empty” – “Land without a people …” Note that the land was both “empty” and lacked a “thriving presence”. Better cover all bases, in case someone comes up with some facts.

        “sand dunes” – A wasteland, a desert in need of blooming. Tel Aviv’s “success” is it’s own justification. A thriving Western metropolis in place of unproductive sand. Who could possibly object?

        Repeating such lies is not merely adding insult to injury. It is part and parcel of the process of ethnic cleansing – historical and ongoing – both denying and justifying it at the same time. It is sickening.

      • proudzionist777
        October 3, 2012, 3:03 am

        @Shmuel
        @thankgod

        “..as with Haifa, the exodus from the town[Jaffa] was triggered by the start of hostilities, which was initiated by Jaffa’s militiamen, who began sniping into neighboring Tel Aviv on 30 November. The following day dozens of Arabs assaulted Jewish houses bordering on the Northern Manshiya neighborhood and an Arab mob in Abu Kabir attacked a Jewish car and murdered its three passengers. Jewish retaliatory strikes followed.”

        Morris, Birth, pg.110. link to books.google.co.il

        Yes. Nice demolition job indeed.

      • thankgodimatheist
        October 3, 2012, 7:23 am

        And all this, of course, happened all of a sudden, out of the blue for no reason whatsoever! The poor Jews were just home minding their business when enraged “local Arabs” went inexplicably berserk! Nobody knew, not even Morris (!) what got up their asses. Of course!
        I can never be able to fully express the extent of contempt I hold for you and your likes.

      • Shmuel
        October 3, 2012, 8:15 am

        Morris, Birth [Revisited] …

        We’re moving right along here.

        – empty
        – maybe not empty, but no one of any importance
        – well, maybe some actual human beings, but they started it

        What’s next? OK, well, maybe they didn’t actually start it, but we had to get rid of as many as we could (à la Morris “revisited”)?

        On the “Original Morris”, see Oudeh Basharat’s recent column: link to haaretz.com

        From Basharat’s column:

        In response to the raging arguments about the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, I thought to try an intellectual exercise. One can take two approaches to the dispute, one composed of the silent facts, the other comprised of declarations. Here’s what comes out on the track of sheer fact: A people which was, in 1917, a clear majority (90 percent ) of this country, shrank to 66 percent in 1948; it was offered a state on 45 percent of the territory of its homeland, and the Jewish population, a third of the country, was offered 55%. During 1948-1949 this 55 percent swelled to 78 percent in the possession of the Jewish state, accompanied by 750,000 Palestinian refugees. After 19 years, the percentage of the land grab went up to 100 percent.

        On the other hand, were an alien to land here, he would think that the fiery, militant Arab declarations come from the Jewish side, because their contents match the facts on the ground; in contrast, the alien would think that the cries of distress and victimization issued by the Jews come from the Palestinians, because their contents match what happened to Palestinians on the ground. The Arabs talk and the Jews act. In historical perspective, the shadow cast by Morris’ post-2004 declarations of contrition might be lost. In his day, Galileo “recanted” his research, yet his name is remembered for the sentence ‘and still it moves.’ Despite his own acts of recantation, history will remember the original Morris, and his courageous research.

      • marc b.
        October 3, 2012, 8:33 am

        I can never be able to fully express the extent of contempt I hold for you and your likes.

        i know that’s a bit of rhetorical flourish, but, really, don’t give up. you’ll find your voice. unfortunately there’s plenty of inspiration.

      • proudzionist777
        October 3, 2012, 6:56 pm

        @thankgod

        The UN voted in favor of the partition of Palestine on November 29 and the Arabs attacked on November 30. That seems to be what got the Arab’s goat.

        As for your contempt, I could not care less.

      • thankgodimatheist
        October 3, 2012, 10:51 pm

        “The UN voted in favor of the partition of Palestine on November 29 and the Arabs attacked on November 30″.
        And so should they if it was done today. Why should an overwhelming majority of the population in Palestine accept to concede 55% of its lands to new immigrants from Eastern Europe? BTW, the cruel partition vote was entirely bought and paid for. A manipulted one too. All means were used by Zionist organisations to extract a positive vote from reluctant countries.

        “Why did Arabs reject the proposed UN GA partition plan which split Palestine into Jewish and Arab states?”
        link to palestineremembered.com

      • thankgodimatheist
        October 3, 2012, 11:07 pm

        The rigged vote/the pressure on states to vote in favor of partition:
        “The United States of America arm twisted the arms of dozens of small nations to get their support for the partitioning of Palestine. For example, Greece and France were threatened with a foreign aid cutoff, Liberia was threatened with a rubber embargo plus Firestone Company’s president threatened to revoke his company’s planned expansion in Liberia, bribing several Latin American countries by hinting at the possibility that the U.S. might fund the construction of a Pan-American highway, … etc. (Righteous Victims p. 184 , Jerusalem Post, and America And The Founding Of Israel p. 141-143)

        Two US Supreme Court justices, Frank Murphy and Felix Frankfurter, contacted the Philippine’s ambassador in Washington D.C. and sent telegrams to the Philippine’s president, Carlos Rojas, warning that a vote against the proposed partition plan would alienate millions of Americans. Ten senators also cabled Rojas (Jerusalem Post)

        The Jewish Agency budgeted a million dollars for its own bribery campaign. The money allocation appeared in the Jewish Agency’s budget as “irregular political activity.” (One Palestine Complete, p. 496)

        Zionist leaders enjoyed a clandestine advantage by BUGGING the rooms of the UN Special Committee On Palestine (UNSCOP), and they knew what every committee member and witness was saying. (Righteous Victims, p. 182)
        link to palestineremembered.com

      • thankgodimatheist
        October 3, 2012, 11:20 pm

        Finally, it wasn’t in the competence of the general Assembly to decide on partition:

        ‘The 1947 UN GA proposed partition was outside the competence of the Assembly under the Charter of the United Nations. Nowhere in the UN’s charter was there the power to partition any country, especially based on racial or religious grounds. Even if the UN had the power, the resolution to partition Palestine was not binding since it was indorsed by the General Assembly rather than the Security Council.”

      • proudzionist777
        October 4, 2012, 9:37 am

        So the UN passed an ultra vires, non-binding resolution that prompted the Arabs to attack. Makes no sense.

        If a court which lacks jurisdiction served me with a defective eviction notice, I’d toss it in the garbage.

      • Mooser
        October 5, 2012, 11:51 am

        “As for your contempt, I could not care less.”

        And yet here you are, consistently, to receive it. Hmmm, out of all the websites, in all the towns, in all the world, he walks into this one….

      • ColinWright
        October 5, 2012, 6:13 pm

        proudzionist777: “So the UN passed an ultra vires, non-binding resolution that prompted the Arabs to attack. Makes no sense.

        If a court which lacks jurisdiction served me with a defective eviction notice, I’d toss it in the garbage.”

        I suppose the Zionists had that option, but they didn’t take it, so it’s a moot point.

        They accepted the partition and agreed to abide by its terms.

    • Walid
      October 2, 2012, 2:28 pm

      “Historically, local Arabs did not have a thriving presence on the empty sand dunes on which Tel Aviv grew.” (PZ)

      No thriving presence? You probably never heard of the villages of Jarisha, Shaykh Muwannis, Summayl, Jammasin al-Gharbi, al-Manshyyah, Salama, Abu Kabir, Fishermen Village, and Irsheed. Parts of TA were built on the ruins of these villages.

      Max Blumenthal had something to say about that last spring:

      “In a fear society, where some facts are crimes

      By Max Blumenthal – Fri, 2012-04-27 07:56-

      Tel Aviv University was built on the ruins of the Palestinian village of Sheikh Muwannis. The university’s faculty lounge is the village mukhtar’s former home. At the corner of Arlosoroff and Ibn Gvirol streets, where the Century Tower skyscraper stands, a Palestinian village named Sommeil used to exist.

      When activists from the Israeli group Zochrot set out into the heart of Tel Aviv’s “Independence Day” festivities to educate revelers about these facts, they were accused of engaging in criminal activities.

      link to english.al-akhbar.com

      • proudzionist777
        October 2, 2012, 3:11 pm

        @Walid

        These ‘crimes’ you describe are more nuanced than you’d have us believe. See, Morris, Birth @pg. 110.

        link to books.google.co.il

      • thankgodimatheist
        October 2, 2012, 6:44 pm

        “These ‘crimes’ you describe are more nuanced than you’d have us believe. See, Morris, Birth @pg. 110.”

        How about acknowledging that you were wrong when you said that there was no thriving presence instead of changing the subject, proudzionist? You were proven to be either completely ignorant or blatantly lying. Either way nothing to be proud of. Pathetic!

      • Mooser
        October 3, 2012, 11:45 am

        “These ‘crimes’ you describe are more nuanced than you’d have us believe. “

        A freakin’ classic! ROTFLMSJAO!! squared, cubed, even. “These ‘crimes’ you describe are more nuanced than you’d have us believe.” Oh G-d (or G_d if you prefer) is that a nifty, just like mother makes, something to take to your bosom to warm you through the long lonely nights? I’ll say it is! Ah yes, the “nuanced” crimes of Zionism. That’s a great one Puddy, ‘ol Zionist my proud Zionist! Tell me, just between us yiden, did you feel a warm sort of glow in your ears and belly when the Ziocaine spread through your system? It’s like a Bhuddish koan! Yep, I think it’s the sound of one hand thwapping!

      • marc b.
        October 2, 2012, 3:41 pm

        “So, on the eve of the partition resolution, in which the United Nations proposed to allocate 55 percent of the land to Jewish Palestine (including those parts that produced most of Palestine’s leading crops, with the sole exception of the olive crop), and 45% to Arab Palestine, Palestinian Arabs were producing:

        92% of Palestine’s grain
        86% of its grapes
        99% of its olives
        77 % of its vegetables
        95% of its melons
        more than 99% of its tobacco
        and 60% of its bananas.”

        or to summarize, “Who made the melon patches of Jaffa bloom?”

        link to lawrenceofcyberia.blogs.com

      • Shmuel
        October 2, 2012, 3:54 pm

        Speaking of Lawrence of Cyberia and the ethnic cleansing of Tel Aviv:
        link to lawrenceofcyberia.blogs.com

        “I Almost Forgot that Tel Aviv didn’t really arise from the sand.”
        “I Almost Forgot that the state of was built on the remains of 530 Palestinian villages.”
        “I Almost Forgot that Independence Day is Nakba Day”
        “I Almost Forgot that Independence Park was built on a Palestinian cemetery.”
        “I Almost Forgot that Charles Clore Park was built on the remains of the Manshiye neighborhood.”

        — From Zochrot’s “I Almost Forgot” Campaign

      • proudzionist777
        October 3, 2012, 5:11 am

        @marc c

        Of course your statistics are selective insofar as most Jewish agriculture in Palestine was concentrated in the production of livestock, poultry and dairy.

        Jewish citrus production was on par with Arab citrus production. And most important of all, the very nature of agriculture in Palestine was forever altered by the introduction of Jewish irrigation.

      • marc b.
        October 3, 2012, 8:45 am

        Jewish citrus production was on par with Arab citrus production. And most important of all, the very nature of agriculture in Palestine was forever altered by the introduction of Jewish irrigation.

        oy gevalt. yes, i know. the land was vacant before 1948. no, not vacant, but not productive. welll, yes, productive, but not as productive as after the introduction of ‘jewish irrigation’ (what, are the irrigation pipes circumcised?). this might come as a surprise to you agentdoublenought777, but in general agricultural production increased significantly after WWii due to the increased use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, heavy duty planting and harvesting equipment, etc.

      • proudzionist777
        October 3, 2012, 9:43 am

        @marcb

        I was paraphrasing the Survey of Palestine, which link, you provided.
        See for yourself if what I say didn’t come right out of the Survey. It did.

      • ColinWright
        October 3, 2012, 1:35 pm

        marc b. says: “…the introduction of ‘jewish irrigation’ (what, are the irrigation pipes circumcised?)…”

        Maybe the claim is that irrigation is a Jewish invention. Actually, you see, in ancient Mesopotamia, before Abraham left…

      • marc b.
        October 4, 2012, 8:47 am

        I was paraphrasing the Survey of Palestine, which link, you provided.
        See for yourself if what I say didn’t come right out of the Survey. It did.

        that’s really not the point, though, now is it? your argument is a just a variation of the every evolving, discredited argument that palestine was barren until those clever zionists took over and ‘made the desert bloom’. the fact that palestinians were engaged in productive enterprises for centuries before ’48 disproves the theory that 20th-century zionists came to a ‘land without people’, i.e. implying a lack of population, culture and economy. the fact that pre-’48 jews were also engaged in productive enterprises neither supports the ‘land without a people’ theory, nor your more particular point that jews had been and continue to be more clever, more productive, etc. than non-jewish palestinians.

    • ColinWright
      October 2, 2012, 6:31 pm

      You do walk into it, don’t you, prd?

      • Mooser
        October 3, 2012, 11:52 am

        Gosh darn it Colin, these crimes are more nuanced than you would have us believe! At that age, boys and girls look a lot alike! Oh wait a minute, I just realised there’s another name for those “nuances” I hear all the time on the news. I think they’re called “aggravating circumstances” and elevate with their “nuances” misdemeanors into felonies. Wait a minute, didn’t Dorothy L. Sayers write a crime mystery called “Clouds of Nuance”?

      • ColinWright
        October 3, 2012, 1:39 pm

        Mooser says: “Gosh darn it Colin, these crimes are more nuanced than you would have us believe!…”

        Optimistically, this could mean you’ve just made a reasonably congenial remark.

        However, I’ve a feeling you’ve just crossed your wires again, and confused me with ‘prd’ — which isn’t quite as good.

        It was ‘prd’ who tried on the ‘nuanced’ remark.

      • Mooser
        October 3, 2012, 2:24 pm

        “It was ‘prd’ who tried on the ‘nuanced’ remark.”

        Don’t I know it! It’s a keeper, a classic! Oh, what I wouldn’t give to have video-commenting facilities, and see his face while he said it.

        “Your Honor, we find the defendant guilty, but when the jury considered the nuances of his crime, the multiple levels of meaning and symbolism behind every depredation, why, we were charmed into suspending sentence”

        Oh no, I won’t forget who made that remark. It’ll live on for ages.

    • Blake
      October 2, 2012, 7:18 pm

      Proudzionut666: Jaffa was the most advanced city in Palestine with its banking, fishing, manufacturing, & agriculture industries. All Arabic publications & newspapers were published in Jaffa. Thus the Zionists targeted Jaffa in order to destroy the Palestinian “propaganda” arm. May 23 1948, the so-called Israeli War Of Independence broke out. Only 10 days after the outbreak, the majority of Jaffa’s Arab population ,at least 70k, were ethnically cleansed. Haifa’s Arab population, numbering at least 35k, suffered the same fate.

      • proudzionist777
        October 3, 2012, 5:14 am

        Again, read my linke to Morris, Birth, page 110.

      • Blake
        October 3, 2012, 2:31 pm

        Nothing justifies you being in Palestine at the native Palestinians expense and I will never read a propagandist’s link – ie from an impostor perspective. Why waste my time in doing that, time I will never get back.

    • eljay
      October 2, 2012, 9:22 pm

      >> hatefulziosupremacist666: Historically, local Arabs did not have a thriving presence on the empty sand dunes on which Tel Aviv grew.

      So f*cking what, you thoroughly hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist? Since when did “a thriving presence” become a requisite part of living on a piece of land or an empty sand dune?

      Jeezus, you people are either stupid, hateful or – more likely – both.

      • proudzionist777
        October 3, 2012, 3:13 am

        @eljay

        ‘..either stupid, hateful or .. both.’

        No. I just know my history better than most. See the links to Benny Morris I posted.

      • eljay
        October 3, 2012, 8:03 am

        >> I just know my history better than most.

        The only history you appear to know is the one you use to justify your hatefulness and immorality. That’s nothing to brag about.

      • ColinWright
        October 3, 2012, 1:43 pm

        prd says: “No. I just know my history better than most. See the links to Benny Morris I posted.”

        1. If someone would pay me to do it, it would be pretty easy to demonstrate that you do not know your history.

        2. You have posted only one link to Morris — not ‘links.’

        3. If there is anyone who goes to extraordinary lengths to exculpate Israelis for crimes and frame them in terms that make them sound justifiable, it’s Morris. He’s just unwilling to engage in wholesale denial. One could say he’s to Nakba denial as David Irving was to Holocaust denial.

    • Ellen
      October 3, 2012, 1:02 pm

      ProudZio, this is a stunning statement right out of the pamphlet of propaganda and lies

      Historically, local Arabs did not have a thriving presence on the empty sand dunes on which Tel Aviv grew.

      Looks like a really nice Palestinian neighborhood in the early 30’s

      link to loc.gov

      Alhambra Cinema. Arab cinema in Jaffa, designed in 1937 by Lebanese architect Elias Al-Mor, the Alhambra

      link to he.wikipedia.org

      A personal account on the destruction of the Arab life in Jaffa near Tel Aviv

      “Thousands, then with numbers swollen from the outlying villages long fallen to Zionist onslaught, tens of thousands, pouring down the boulevards leading to the sea. From every corner of the city, from the swish Ajami, and from the squalid Manshiyyeh they began their flight by sea and land, on wheels and on foot. Meanwhile in the smart city centre, young Irgunists ransacked stores of dresses and ornaments for their girlfriends till everything was carted off: furniture, carpets, pictures, crockery and cutlery. And what they could not carry, they smashed: pianos, lamps and window-panes.

      …He’s referring to the pride of new Jaffa’s old Ajami district, now crammed with espresso bars and bistros where Israelis come of a Saturday afternoon to sample the authentic middle-eastern flavour. The artists’ studios, the final vulgarity.”

      link to deliberation.info

      • proudzionist777
        October 4, 2012, 3:49 pm

        Here is a copy of the Master Plan for Tel Aviv, 1925, drafted by Patrick Geddes, a Scottish urban planner. Where are the Arab villages that Tel Aviv was supposedly built over?

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        BTW. Most urban dwelling Zionists who emigrated to Eretz Yisroel first lived in Jaffa, among her Arabs, until ‘disturbances’ forced the Zionists to leave Jaffa and take up residence in nearby Tel Aviv.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 4, 2012, 4:43 pm

        Where are the Arab villages that Tel Aviv was supposedly built over?

        it’s not a photograph pz, it’s a future master plan.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 4, 2012, 4:47 pm

        “Most urban dwelling Zionists who emigrated to Eretz Yisroel first lived in Jaffa, among her Arabs, until ‘disturbances’ forced the Zionists to leave Jaffa and take up residence in nearby Tel Aviv.”

        No, pudracist, they emigrated to (invaded, really) Palestine. And if you want to know why there were “disturbances”, it’s because these zionist Jews were executing their plan to take over and destroy Palestine.

      • ColinWright
        October 4, 2012, 4:59 pm

        proudzionist says: “Here is a copy of the Master Plan for Tel Aviv, 1925, drafted by Patrick Geddes, a Scottish urban planner. Where are the Arab villages that Tel Aviv was supposedly built over?”

        You sound like a Holocaust denier. ‘These are only air raid shelters.’ Meanwhile, we have the historic Palestinian villages that were there/the Jews who went in and didn’t come back out.

        It’s pathetic. You’re pathetic. So fruitlessly defending — and even participating in — pointless evil.

      • Hostage
        October 4, 2012, 8:01 pm

        Here is a copy of the Master Plan for Tel Aviv, 1925, drafted by Patrick Geddes, a Scottish urban planner. Where are the Arab villages that Tel Aviv was supposedly built over?

        You might try checking the plans that were used to establish Tel Aviv in 1909 dummy.

      • proudzionist777
        October 5, 2012, 1:11 pm

        @Hostage

        Yes sir. I checked out the plans.

        link to lib.stanford.edu

        Now what?

        Where are those pesky villages we must destroy?

      • ColinWright
        October 5, 2012, 2:06 pm

        proudzionist777: ‘@Hostage

        Yes sir. I checked out the plans.

        link to lib.stanford.edu

        Now what?

        Where are those pesky villages we must destroy?’

        Poor proud. You’re just digging yourself in deeper. ‘These are only air raid shelters. Not one Jew was ever gassed at Auschwitz.’

        …but go ahead. Try to defend the proposition. I guess we can tell you’ve realized you’ve lost the argument when you run off.

        How many Palestinians live within a hundred yards of you again?

      • Hostage
        October 5, 2012, 2:10 pm

        Now what?

        You’re the one who thought that the plans were a good place to look for evidence of the Arab villages, not me.

        It took me less than a minute to find a map published by Israeli human rights group Zochrot with the built-up areas of Shaykh Muwannis, Summayl, Jammasin al-Gharbi, al-Manshyyah, Salama, Abu Kabir, Fishermen Village, and Irsheed indicated in orange.

        See the map here

        And the article here

  11. justicewillprevail
    October 2, 2012, 12:39 pm

    I remember watching the sunseekers lay out their towels on the beach at Tel Aviv, as if without a care in the world, the blue sea shimmering in the morning light. Just then the roar of helicopter gunships drowned out everything as they flew over the beach heading south to Gaza, where they had been strafing and attacking Gazans for some weeks. No-one looked up or turned their head. Oblivious they carried on applying the sun tan lotion.
    I never forgot that image, it seemed to me to encapsulate everything about the place. The supreme indifference to the shocking conditions only miles down the coast, the wilful determination to ignore it, and blot out the misery and destruction, the lethal force casually and routinely employed on defenceless citizens no different to them.
    And the ‘niceness’ – sure, people were ‘nice’. But I always felt with a kind of desperation underlying it – the implication was always ‘look at us, we’re normal, just like you’, as they tried to pull you into the bubble. But they more you learnt and came to know, the more it seemed they were desperately trying to normalise an abnormal and grotesque amnesiac denial of what surrounded them, historically and geographically. It was almost a relief to get to an impoversihed Gaza, where people lived and survived despite the pitiful conditions thrust on them, but where they had an unblinkered and realistic view of the world around them.

    • seafoid
      October 2, 2012, 4:49 pm

      I often think of the difference between this S&M club in Tel Aviv

      link to dungeon.co.il

      And the reality of life under genuine Israeli institutional sadism in Gaza

      • proudzionist777
        October 3, 2012, 10:14 am

        You mean they have no S&M in Gaza? How sure can you be?

      • ColinWright
        October 3, 2012, 1:44 pm

        proud says: ‘You mean they have no S&M in Gaza? How sure can you be?’

        It would be redundant. Why flog yourself when the Israelis will come along and do it for you if you just wait?

      • seanmcbride
        October 3, 2012, 2:10 pm

        Colin,

        It would be redundant. Why flog yourself when the Israelis will come along and do it for you if you just wait?

        Good’un, Colin — credit given where credit’s due. :)

    • chinese box
      October 3, 2012, 12:27 pm

      @justicewillprevail

      Thank you for sharing that chilling image. That would make a great poster for BDS. An oblivious person in a recliner on the beach, wearing a big sun hat and designer sunglasses, maybe reading an NYT article about how great the club scene is in Tel Aviv, while helicopter gunships go by overhead in the distance.

  12. Walid
    October 2, 2012, 12:53 pm

    Allison, hurry up and get out of TA before you catch something. You’ll find nice warm and hospitable people on the WB, but keep away from settlers there because you can also catch something from them.

  13. Mooser
    October 2, 2012, 1:42 pm

    If I’m not mistaken (me? It is to laugh!) Phillip Roth pretty much put paid to this subject in one chapter of “Portnoy’s Complaint” which took Alex to Israel.

  14. Danaa
    October 2, 2012, 1:58 pm

    Allison, I hope that in time, as you walk through Tel Aviv’s – and Haifa’s teeming shopping malls and the cafe lined boulvardes and night clubs, you will notice one more aspect of Israel – it is oh so crowded – and noisy – and just full of children. But unlike the crowds of Telegrah avenue – where one can sense the almost desperate individuality underneath – and children are scarce – there is a strange sense of unreality buried within the crowds of israel’s great cities – a strange whiff of odorous “je ne sais quoi” hanging over them, like in a fog. Within that folksy insouciance, there, for those who care to look more closely, is a certain sameness, the tell-tale signs of soul-dulling conformity. maybe that’s why the noisy trendiness is so apparent. We are here, the air seems to say, it is ours, nothing fleeting about “us “, look how well we do, how happy, how accomplished. Look at our sky-scrappers – almost like New York!. Better than Boston. Look at the human multitudes stretched out on OUR better-than-Miami beaches. So many of us, so many children, inside our noise – so boisterous, aren’t they? didn’t god promise that we will be as numerous as the sand?

    As for the palestinians – what’s that? they can be there and we can be here – isn’t that how it works?

    • Walid
      October 2, 2012, 2:44 pm

      Danaa, your description and that of Allison were very close to the one by Margaret Atwood in Haaretz a couple of years back:

      “… The Israelis I met could not have been more welcoming. I saw many impressive accomplishments and creative projects, and talked with many different people. The sun was shining, the waves waving, the flowers were in bloom. Tourists jogged along the beach at Tel Aviv as if everything was normal.

      But… there was the Shadow. Why was everything trembling a little, like a mirage? Was it like that moment before a tsunami when the birds fly to the treetops and the animals head for the hills because they can feel it coming?

      “Every morning I wake up in fear,” someone told me. “That’s just self-pity, to excuse what’s happening,” said someone else. Of course, fear and self-pity can both be real. But by “what’s happening,” they meant the Shadow.

      I’d been told ahead of time that Israelis would try to cover up the Shadow, but instead they talked about it non-stop. Two minutes into any conversation, the Shadow would appear. It’s not called the Shadow, it’s called “the situation.” It haunts everything.

      The Shadow is not the Palestinians. The Shadow is Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, linked with Israeli’s own fears. The worse the Palestinians are treated in the name of those fears, the bigger the Shadow grows, and then the fears grow with them; and the justifications for the treatment multiply…”

      link to haaretz.com

      • seafoid
        October 2, 2012, 3:20 pm

        Al wad3a mish kuwayis ya’ni

      • Danaa
        October 2, 2012, 5:03 pm

        Thanks Walid – this is a great reference – expresses well that shadow aspect – the secret and not-so-secret company all Israelis keep. The shadow that’s part of their spirit.

        Been in the process of collating my own impressions into a book form. It’s taking a while – quite a while – space and time, you know… not so easy to cross especially carrying that shadow cross. Since it’s such second nature, sometimes it’s easy to forget it was always there, and can never completely fade. But thanks again for the Atwood interview – some real good words there…can’t believe I didn’t see that…(well, i can – so much I don’t see or catch – a book can be written just about the missing parts – though it won’t be mine…).

      • Ellen
        October 2, 2012, 5:13 pm

        Danaa, I will be one of the fist to buy your book. You are a very good writer and thinker. Always very interesting to read your posts.

      • Walid
        October 2, 2012, 6:48 pm

        I’m sure your book is going to be lots of fun to read and like everyone else here, I’m looking forward to it; as Ellen said above, you are a good writer. Atwood is very good ( I have a soft spot for Canadians) and it’s a shame she was unjustly maligned because she accepted the Israeli literary prize and the nice cheque that came with it, but people chose to not hear her criticize the Israeli occupation like in the “Shadow” piece she wrote, even while she was there to pick up her prize. Here’s a bit more from the same essay in describing Israelis for those that didn’t link to it on Haaretz:

        ” The attempts to shut down criticism are ominous, as is the language being used. Once you start calling other people by vermin names such as “vipers,” you imply their extermination. To name just one example, such labels were applied wholesale to the Tutsis months before the Rwanda massacre began. Studies have shown that ordinary people can be led to commit horrors if told they’ll be acting in self-defense, for “victory,” or to benefit mankind. “

      • American
        October 2, 2012, 11:27 pm

        Ditto.

      • chinese box
        October 3, 2012, 9:29 am

        @Walid

        Sorry, she still shouldn’t have accepted that check.

  15. xanadou
    October 2, 2012, 3:44 pm

    Israel, and its short crashing history, reminds me of the USSR. That, too, started with a promise of a social paradise for its citizens, gleaming cities, a beacon unto other nations and oppressed peoples… It looks like Israel has been following some of USSR’s MO:
    – political (arrogant and aggressive bullying on the int’l arena),
    – economic (massive military budget, declining standard of living), and
    – social (steady departure of the best educated, support of the moocher fanatics).
    The USSR model also included hyping tourist spots as reflection of the entire country.

    Was Netanyahoo’s recent tantrum evidence of Israel at the point of no return? If the demise is nigh, can the last person to leave be trusted not to pass the ‘red line’ at Dimona?

    • Walid
      October 2, 2012, 7:00 pm

      “If the demise is nigh, can the last person to leave be trusted not to pass the ‘red line’ at Dimona?”

      Speaking of Dimona, our friend Gunter Grass is back in the news again. In his collection of new poems, he dedicated one of them to Mordechai Vanunu entitled, “A Hero in Our Time”. Vanunu is very pleased about this.

  16. Ellen
    October 2, 2012, 4:58 pm

    This is not bashing Tel Aviv, but have been following the issue of human trafficking (a growing global industry) and Tel Aviv has been and continues to be a hub.

    Only in recent years have there been any efforts to actually put legal resources into policing and protecting from slave-like conditions for laborers and women and children thrown into the sex trade. Before 2006 it was not even against the law.

    It was striking to read (you know “light among nations” and stuff) when Israel was designated by the State Department this year as finally a so-called Tier 1 country (which means they meet the minimum criteria in combating human trafficking).

    “Israel’s Ministry of Justice praised Israel’s ascent to the first tier as an “historic achievement.”

    link to haaretz.com

    From the State Department report on Israel’s great leap in improvement:

    Efforts to address labor violations of foreign workers that could lead to trafficking vulnerability continued to lag, though the government convicted two individuals for labor trafficking during the reporting period. The government continued to fund and refer victims to two NGO-run shelters for trafficking victims. The government failed to protect some vulnerable populations, including some exploited foreign workers, foreign migrants, and asylum seekers arriving from Egypt who were forced into sexual servitude or forced labor during their captivity in the Sinai.

    It is a huge global industry and, like in Russia and other places, little or no will to really do anything about it. All that matters maybe is having bureaucrats label you Tier 1…..then all is ok.

    • ColinWright
      October 2, 2012, 6:32 pm

      Ellen says: ““Israel’s Ministry of Justice praised Israel’s ascent to the first tier as an “historic achievement.” …”

      Lol. That’s pathetic.

  17. HemiFaulk
    October 2, 2012, 5:25 pm

    It will be interesting to read her posts in the coming weeks. She is there, describing her experience written from the heart, what more do you want?

    • Walid
      October 2, 2012, 7:14 pm

      “what more do you want?”

      If you’re taking orders on her behalf, I’m looking forward more to stories about life for Palestinians on the West Bank than to stories about the evils of Zionism. Stories such as describing what became of the nice Israeli lady that was smuggling young Palestinian girls that had never seen the sea to the beach at TA, or stories of the traveling free medical clinic run by Israel doctors that were visiting Palestinian villages on a weekly basis and if they still do it.

      • Mooser
        October 3, 2012, 12:07 pm

        Walid, the discovery that one is morally and ethically superior to Zionism is a pleasure which never pales. Hmm, I wonder if that might be a basis for tourism in Israel? “Mess o’ Pottage Tours, the best way to reject your birthright!”
        Hey, I’m not the only guy who s–tcanned the Kol Nidre in favor if Elvis Presley! Go talk to Gene Simmons about it.

      • HemiFaulk
        October 4, 2012, 8:30 pm

        good ideas for sure

  18. DICKERSON3870
    October 2, 2012, 7:04 pm

    RE: “Tel Aviv is in every sense a “bubble.” Even it’s political problems are bubble-problems.” ~ Deger

    A RELEVANT FILM: The Bubble (Ha Buah), 2006, UR, 117 minutes
    When a young Israeli named Noam (Ohad Knoller) falls for a handsome Palestinian (Yousef “Joe” Sweid) he meets while working at a checkpoint in Tel Aviv, he recruits his roommates Yelli (Alon Friedman) and Lulu (Daniela Virtzer) to help find a way for the two to stay together. Director Eytan Fox’s poignant film offers a glimpse at life inside the tumultuous borders of Israel, where everyday people are constantly surrounded by conflict. [NOTE: There is some gay sexual content in this film (similar to that in the 2005 film Brokeback Mountain). - J.L.D]
    Language: Hebrew (English subtitles)
    Netflix format: DVD
    • Netflix listing – link to dvd.netflix.com
    • Internet Movie Database – link to imdb.com
    Ha- Buah / The Bubble (2006) – Movie Trailer [VIDEO, 02:05] – link to youtube.com
    The Bubble (Ha-Buah הבועה) – Have No Fear [VIDEO, 07:44] – link to youtube.com
    ENTIRE FILM ON YouTube: The Bubble (Ha Buah) Legendado [VIDEO, 1:53:45] – link to youtube.com
    TO TRANSLATE THE PORTUGUESE SUBTITLES INTO ENGLISH: Left click on the red “CC” closed caption icon (bottom right) and then left click on “Translate Captions BETA”. In the box that appears, select “English – English” and then left click on “OK”.

    P.S. FROM IMDB: Plot Summary for The Bubble (2006)
    The movie follows a group of young friends in the city of Tel Aviv and is as much a love song to the city as it is an exploration of the claim that people in Tel Aviv are isolated from the rest of the country and the turmoil it’s going through. The movie looks at young people’s lives in Tel Aviv through the POVs of gays and straights, Jews and Arabs, men and women. It all begins when Noam, a young Israeli soldier, serves in the reserve forces and meets at a check point a Palestinian young man called Ashraf. Following an incident during which Noam misplaces his ID card at the check point, Ashraf shows up on the doorstep of the apartment that Noam shares with a gay man and a straight woman. How will the meeting affect all of their lives? Written by A.M.

    “The Bubble” is the story of a group of young people who live in Tel-Aviv, Israel. The movie follows the group’s difficulties of living

    • Mooser
      October 3, 2012, 12:09 pm

      ” [NOTE: There is some gay sexual content in this film (similar to that in the 2005 film Brokeback Mountain). - J.L.D]“

      Well as long as it doesn’t result in a spinal fracture, I’ve got no objections.

  19. MRW
    October 2, 2012, 7:31 pm

    Have you evah seen a US beach lined with huge US flags?

  20. giladg
    October 2, 2012, 8:08 pm

    What Israel has built in 65 years is astounding, especially for a country that has been forced to allocated so much of its GDP to defense and which has been forced to fight so many wars, and all this with little or no natural resources.
    Israeli’s, and friends of Israel, can be proud of the work done so far. It’s far from perfect and must be improved in many areas, but all this in 65 years, you had better be impressed.

    Enjoy your time in Ramallah Allison. Maybe you can tell us how good the humus is and where best to eat, or how active the counterfeiting business is going in Hebron like Addibas = Addidas, Niike = Nike, Industrial Olive Oil + chemicals = Extra Virgin First Press Olive Oil, and so on.

    • Annie Robbins
      October 3, 2012, 1:16 am

      forced to allocated.. forced to fight

      colonialism is soooo demanding.

    • Walid
      October 3, 2012, 2:46 am

      “Israeli’s, and friends of Israel, can be proud of the work done so far. It’s far from perfect and must be improved in many areas, but all this in 65 years, you had better be impressed.”

      You forgot the thriving trade in human organs. Israel didn’t need any natural resources since it could help itself to its neighbours’ land, water and minerals and it never had to pay for over half of the land it’s built on. Most of its defense expenditures were paid for by American taxpayers. With these opportunities, any other crummy thieving state would have done just as well, if not better.

      • ColinWright
        October 3, 2012, 10:12 pm

        Walid says: “…With these opportunities, any other crummy thieving state would have done just as well, if not better.”

        Israel’s achievements or lack thereof are a red herring anyway.

        I haven’t justified German resettlement in Western Poland if I demonstrate that the German farmers produced higher yields than Polish farmers did, nor is Auschwitz somehow justified if I point out it all made possible a technologically impressive synthetic rubber plant.

        Israel is an evil. It could post any success at all, and it would remain an evil.

    • Mooser
      October 3, 2012, 12:15 pm

      “especially for a country that has been forced to allocated so much of its GDP to defense and which has been forced to fight so many wars, and all this with little or no natural resources”

      Ho-kay, you decide to settle in a place with few natural resources, and then can’t avoid avoid fighting with your neighbors, and can’t make any kind of peaceful accomodation with them.
      Gee, “giladg” I don’t want to say anything, but that doesn’t sound like the +15 to me. Sorta the reverse, in fact.

      • seanmcbride
        October 3, 2012, 12:33 pm

        The -15 set: an important ontological category in Israeli politics. :)

    • eljay
      October 4, 2012, 8:03 am

      >> Israeli’s, and friends of Israel, can be proud of the work done so far. … all this in 65 years, you had better be impressed.

      Yup, Zio-supremacists have unapologetically stolen Palestine; crushed Palestinians; created an oppressive, colonialist and supremacist state; and convinced the world that this “Jewish State” – even as it continues with its ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder – is the eternal victim.

      Pretty damned impressive indeed. Bravo.

    • ColinWright
      October 5, 2012, 2:10 pm

      giladg says: ‘What Israel has built in 65 years is astounding, especially for a country that has been forced to allocated so much of its GDP to defense and which has been forced to fight so many wars, and all this with little or no natural resources.’

      …and all with barely a trillion dollars in aid from the United States. It’s truly a marvelous achievement. For just pennies we’ve built a state that is a geopolitical tumor and whose ethical complexion resembles that of Nazi Germany.

      Yes, we here in America can take pride…

  21. ritzl
    October 2, 2012, 8:13 pm

    In summertime the prevailing currents in the Med flow the raw sewage released from Israeli-bombed/shelled Gaza treatment plants right up the Israeli coastline past TA.

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    Original content source: Valery Kulaga at en.wikipedia

    Horrible reality for Gaza aside, is that a metaphor for the insistent indifference in TA/Israel, or what?

    Or is this the metaphor?:

    Flotilla opposing Gaza aid cruises by Tel Aviv beach scene link to demotix.com

    The anti-flotilla flotilla was small (two boats) but the fact that any people went to all this trouble to rub on some suntan lotion and parade around in their privilege to protest the shipment/arrival of life-and-death aid to Gaza was striking, if not iconic.

    To be as fair as possible, TA also seems to be the main source of what little objection there is in Israeli society for its treatment of the Palestinians. It’s hard for an outsider to gauge the strength of the influences promoting the visible indifference in TA/Israel-at-large to the treatment of “Arabs” in Israel/Palestine measure up/contrast to the influences generated specifically within TA that actively seek justice.

    • ColinWright
      October 5, 2012, 2:13 pm

      ritzl says: “In summertime the prevailing currents in the Med flow the raw sewage released from Israeli-bombed/shelled Gaza treatment plants right up the Israeli coastline past TA…”

      Good point. Giladg will want to add that to his list of Israeli achievements. So emblematic, too. Shit staining the blue Mediterranean…

  22. Mayhem
    October 2, 2012, 11:38 pm

    Tel Aviv seventh most liveable city in the world!
    link to abbanibi.com

    • Annie Robbins
      October 3, 2012, 1:13 am

      according to…now in its ranking for most livable world city, the travelersdigest.com ranks Tel-Aviv in the top ten

      i’ve never even heard of travel digest dotcom.

      • ColinWright
        October 3, 2012, 10:15 pm

        Annie Robbins says: “according to…now in its ranking for most livable world city, the travelersdigest.com ranks Tel-Aviv in the top ten

        i’ve never even heard of travel digest dotcom.”

        Are you kidding? It’s even more world-famous than that Israeli film director.

      • hophmi
        October 4, 2012, 9:15 am

        “i’ve never even heard of travel digest dotcom.”

        Are you kidding? It’s even more world-famous than that Israeli film director.”

        Colin seems to think that if he hasn’t heard of it, it isn’t important. This year, Tel Aviv was nominated for world’s most innovative city by the Wall Street Journal, but Colin probably hasn’t heard of that either.

        link to ynetnews.com

        In July, CondeNast, which is, according to Colin, “a company I’m not familiar with”, ranked Tel Aviv as one of the world’s best cities for architecture lovers.

        The magazine Airnb, based in a country called “Australia,” (which Colin regards as “a country of felons that is of no importance anyway”) ranked Tel Aviv as one of the top 10 destinations for 2012.

        link to ynetnews.com

      • Philip Weiss
        October 4, 2012, 12:09 pm

        You left out the Clare Dane issue in the NYT lately.

      • Ellen
        October 4, 2012, 12:35 pm

        Hophmi, you do know that “rankings” in Glossy magazines is advertising, and often used to get advertising from the cities that wind up so high in the Rankings.

        The travel ministry’s or local chamber of commerce trucks in travel writers for the plug to get the so-called ranking. They are promotions.

        As for architecture in Tel Aviv? Hmmmm, there is a European period architecture of the 30’s and 40’s. You can see it in Zürich as well. Same architects.

        And the WSJ promoting Tel Aviv as “most innovative” that, too is journalistic promotion. Most innovative compared to what?

        Bali is also quite innovative at the moment regarding green building standards, etc.

        The talking points using polls and rankings is meaningless.

      • hophmi
        October 4, 2012, 1:06 pm

        “Hophmi, you do know that “rankings” in Glossy magazines is advertising, and often used to get advertising from the cities that wind up so high in the Rankings.”

        I don’t thin Lonely Planet is a glossy magazine, but whatever you need to tell yourself Ellen to avoid acknowledging anything good or positive about Israel, Ellen, you just go ahead and do it.

        “As for architecture in Tel Aviv? Hmmmm, there is a European period architecture of the 30′s and 40′s. You can see it in Zürich as well. Same architects. ”

        No one is forcing you to go there. I’m just reporting the facts.

        “And the WSJ promoting Tel Aviv as “most innovative” that, too is journalistic promotion. Most innovative compared to what? ”

        To other cities, I assume. The ranking was based in part on Tel Aviv’s technology and research industries. I get it Ellen, you don’t like Israel. Really, I get it loud and clear.

        “Bali is also quite innovative at the moment regarding green building standards, etc. ”

        Good for Bali. I don’t recall denying Bali’s prowess.

        “The talking points using polls and rankings is meaningless.”

        I included them because people here were trashing Tel Aviv, and I simply wanted to show that their opinion is a decidedly minority one.

        But I get it loud and clear. Ellen does not like Israel, and that means she will not acknowledge anything positive about it, facts be damned.

      • ColinWright
        October 4, 2012, 1:30 pm

        hophmi: ““i’ve never even heard of travel digest dotcom.”

        Are you kidding? It’s even more world-famous than that Israeli film director.”

        Colin seems to think that if he hasn’t heard of it, it isn’t important…”

        Once again, you ignore what you actually said, and what I actually said.

        I certainly never said that if I haven’t heard of it, it’s not important. I may not have heard of the invasion fleet of flesh-eating zombies headed our way from Alpha Centauri, but it would indubitably be important.

        However, I do think that if I haven’t heard of something — and neither have the first two people I ask — then it follows that it is not ‘world famous.’ We’re in the world, we haven’t heard of it — it’s not quite proven that its not world-famous, but it’s close.

        …and of course, your claim that so-and-so’s films were ‘world famous’ was and remains nonsense.

        “…Colin seems to think that if he hasn’t heard of it, it isn’t important. This year, Tel Aviv was nominated for world’s most innovative city by the Wall Street Journal, but Colin probably hasn’t heard of that either.

        link to ynetnews.com

        In July, CondeNast, which is, according to Colin, “a company I’m not familiar with”, ranked Tel Aviv as one of the world’s best cities for architecture lovers.

        The magazine Airnb, based in a country called “Australia,” (which Colin regards as “a country of felons that is of no importance anyway”) ranked Tel Aviv as one of the top 10 destinations for 2012…”

        Actually, when it comes to Tel Aviv, my main point is that whatever Tel Aviv’s ranking on whatever survey, it does nothing to justify Israel’s crimes.

      • Ellen
        October 5, 2012, 10:41 am

        hophmi,

        But I get it loud and clear. Ellen does not like Israel, and that means she will not acknowledge anything positive about it, facts be damned.

        Since it is debating season, “There you go again.”Projection at it’s finest.

        Rankings and polls are NOT facts.

        You do not know anything about my “feelings” for Israel. You’d be surprised.

        In fact, I how could one have feelings for any abstract nation state. Even the one for which I hold a passport, allowing me to move around among sovereign borders.

        I have feelings for people and animals…and trees, row crops in the spring, gardens and stuff like that. Not “Nations.” They are not real.

      • hophmi
        October 5, 2012, 11:10 am

        “Rankings and polls are NOT facts.”

        No, they’re not. But they are measures of popularity. So when we’re having a debate about the popularity of Tel Aviv, and someone claims that Tel Avivians are unfriendly and the city is a dump that no one visits, polling or rankings showing most people believe Tel Avivians are friendly and the city is one of the more desirable hotspots in the world tend to undermine your argument.

        “You do not know anything about my “feelings” for Israel. You’d be surprised”

        Surprise me, then. You don’t seem to be able to find anything decent to say about it.

        “In fact, I how could one have feelings for any abstract nation state. Even the one for which I hold a passport, allowing me to move around among sovereign borders. ”

        Um, you could find stuff to like about it, or you could take the attitude that it’s all bad all the time, like many here.

        “I have feelings for people and animals…and trees, row crops in the spring, gardens and stuff like that. Not “Nations.” They are not real.”

        They are very much real. Just go to a place where the nation cannot provide basic services or where the government has no monopoly on the use of force, and you’ll see just how real they are.

      • Mooser
        October 5, 2012, 12:00 pm

        “But I get it loud and clear. Ellen does not like Israel, and that means….”

        Yes, Hophmi? It means, what, exactly? Now, does a person dislike buildings, streets sidewalks, inanimate objects, or does a person dislike the beings which give a nation life?

      • Ellen
        October 5, 2012, 12:46 pm

        Hop,

        Um, you could find stuff to like about it, or you could take the attitude that it’s all bad all the time, like many here.

        You sound like a ranting adolescent screaming at her parents “you hate me!!!” You don’t like anything I do! Blah Blah…

        I have nothing to defend other than to say there are things I simply love about many countries (even places most would never venture into) I have come to know, including Israel and many Israeli’s.

        And no polls or rankings or any other set of Bull S&%t like that is relevant.

    • tree
      October 4, 2012, 1:11 pm

      I just checked out travelersdigest.com’s 10 “most livable cities”. Tel Aviv IS NOT on the list.

      link to travelersdigest.com

      10. Barcelona
      9. Montreal
      8. Curitiba
      7.Frankfurt
      6.New York City
      5. Hong Kong
      4. Portland
      3. Singapore
      2. Zurich
      1. Sydney

      No Tel Aviv.

  23. wes
    October 4, 2012, 5:51 pm

    there is only two good things about this post and they are both images -good looking woman and great beach sunrise -both compliment each other and bring back great memories of some of the beaches i have lain on.
    the posts on the other hand are all.. all ..all -not sure what the word is.
    anyway these 2 stand out

    tree says:
    October 4, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    I just checked out travelersdigest.com’s 10 “most livable cities”. Tel Aviv IS NOT on the list.

    OR
    Mooser says:
    October 3, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    Yep, I thought the lack of popular music on Hophmi’s list was telling, too.
    Of course, a nation’s most revealing and most effective cultural product is the kind of men and women it produces.

    however this song by elvis costello is a classic

    Alison

    Oh it’s so funny to be seeing you after so long, girl.
    And with the way you look I understand
    That you are not impressed.
    But I heard you let that little friend of mine
    Take off your party dress.
    I’m not going to get too sentimental
    Like those other sticky valentines,
    ’cause I don’t know if you’ve been loving somebody.
    I only know it isn’t mine.

    Alison, I know this world is killing you.
    Oh, alison, my aim is true.

    Well I see you’ve got a husband now.
    Did he leave your pretty fingers lying
    In the wedding cake?
    You used to hold him right in your hand.
    I’ll bet he took all he could take.
    Sometimes I wish that I could stop you from talking
    When I hear the silly things that you say.
    I think somebody better put out the big light,
    Cause I can’t stand to see you this way.

    Alison, I know this world is killing you.
    Oh, alison, my aim is true.
    My aim is true.

  24. Sassan
    October 5, 2012, 4:44 am

    The Lonely Planet travel guide ranks Tel Aviv as the third-best city in the world: link to youtu.be

    • Blake
      October 5, 2012, 6:06 am

      You heap praise on a clinically insane class clown, blame Hamas for the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza concentration camp & now a bit of praise for TA. All the traits of being an Hasbara bot.

    • seafoid
      October 5, 2012, 6:30 am

      Did they go to Hatikva?

    • Taxi
      October 5, 2012, 9:54 am

      The NYT Travel section voted Beirut as its number one summer destination for 2009 – that’s only three years after the 2006 war with israel – talk about a phoenix rising from the ashes:
      link to nytimes.com

      Out of a list of 44 must go to destinations the NYT recommended, tel aviv is nowhere to be seen.

  25. Hostage
    October 5, 2012, 6:05 am

    The Lonely Planet travel guide ranks Tel Aviv as the third-best city in the world

    This has been a long back and forth discussion. But counting Allison, Israel only garners about 2 million visitors a year out of the nearly one billion international tourist arrivals worldwide. It has never been ranked anywhere near the top ten travel destinations in ticket sales.

    So most people aren’t swayed by the Lonely Planet ratings.

    • Blake
      October 5, 2012, 12:48 pm

      Not even top 1000 probably. And most non Jewish tourists go on pilgrimages like they have always done through the centuries long before Zionist Israel self declared itself in Palestine.

  26. seanmcbride
    October 5, 2012, 11:50 am

    A few interesting facts (which I just discovered) about Israel’s world standing in producing leading universities:

    Check out the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2011-12 here:

    link to timeshighereducation.co.uk|asc

    The Times ranks the top 400 universities worldwide by overall quality.

    Here are the top 15:

    Rank; Institution; Country/Region; Overall score

    1. California Institute of Technology; United States; 94.8

    2. Stanford University; United States; 93.9

    2. Harvard University; United States; 93.9

    4. University of Oxford; United Kingdom; 93.6

    5. Princeton University; United States; 92.9

    6. University of Cambridge; United Kingdom; 92.4

    7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology; United States; 92.3

    8. Imperial College London; United Kingdom; 90.7

    9. University of Chicago; United States; 90.2

    10. University of California, Berkeley; United States; 89.8

    11. Yale University; United States; 89.1

    12. Columbia University; United States; 87.5

    13. University of California, Los Angeles; United States; 87.3

    14. Johns Hopkins University; United States; 85.8

    15. ETH Zürich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich; Switzerland; 85.0

    The first Israeli university on the list appears at slot 121:

    121. Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Israel; 50.4

    The second Israeli university on the list appears at slot 166:

    166. Tel Aviv University; Israel; 45.4

    The following nations have all produced universities that rank higher on this list than Israel’s leading university:

    1. Australia
    2. Belgium
    3. Britain
    4. Canada
    5. China
    6. Finland
    7. France
    8. Germany
    9. Hong Kong
    10. Ireland
    11. Japan
    12. Netherlands
    13. Singapore
    14. South Africa
    15. South Korea
    16. Sweden
    17. Switzerland
    18. United Kingdom
    19. United States

    The first thought that occurred to me was that many Israeli Jews value high-quality education. Probably many of them would prefer to acquire that education in the United States or Europe than in Israel.

    • seanmcbride
      October 5, 2012, 12:03 pm

      The United States on this list boasts 53 universities that rank higher than Israel’s leading university.

      The United Kingdom boasts 15 universities that rank higher than Israel’s leading university.

      Canada 6.

      Switzerland 6.

      Germany 5.

      Japan 5.

      France 3.

      Sweden 3.

      Belgium 2.

      China 2.

      Ireland 1.

      By the way, I have never in my life been attacked by a Canadian nationalist or a Swiss nationalist. The Swiss enjoy an exceptionally low and positive profile on ethnic and ethnic nationalist matters. Good for them. Switzerland in many respects appears to be an ideal nation in which to live.

      • hophmi
        October 5, 2012, 2:31 pm

        “By the way, I have never in my life been attacked by a Canadian nationalist or a Swiss nationalist. The Swiss enjoy an exceptionally low and positive profile on ethnic and ethnic nationalist matters. Good for them. Switzerland in many respects appears to be an ideal nation in which to live.”

        Switzerland’s nice, yes. Hard to respect a country that stays neutral in a conflict like World War II and profits from the stolen assets of the oppressed.

        Also, didn’t this happen?

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        As far as university rankings:

        They do not surprise me, even if rankings like these are somewhat arbitrary.

        Since English language predominates, and since the United States has many, many more institutions of higher education than anyone else does, you’d expect British and American schools to draw a larger global crowd.

        The proof in the pudding is that the highest ranked French school is 59th. I think we all agree that France is a pretty decent country with pretty smart people. And it’s been around a lot longer than Israel has. It’s hard for me to believe that this is their highest ranked school.

        Hebrew U and Tel Aviv U are also much newer schools with smaller endowments, so I’m sure that affects their standing to some extent. The surprise to me is that Israel’s most competitive school, Technion, is ranked below these two. That doesn’t make much sense, and I suspect that it’s because, like with a lot of these things, the results are based in part on self-reporting.

        Nevertheless, they’re in pretty good company. Indiana University, Osaka University in Japan, Seoul National University in Korea, Trinity in Dublin – these are all very good schools, all ranked in the same place on the list.

        It’s shocking to hear that China, a country of about 1.5 billion people, has a grand total of two school ranked higher than Israel, a country of around 8 million people.

        And indeed, like most other industrialized countries, many elite Israelis go abroad to Britain and the US for school.

        So I don’t know exactly what you think you proved, Sean.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 5, 2012, 3:03 pm

        “Switzerland’s nice, yes. Hard to respect a country that… profits from the stolen assets of the oppressed.”

        That’s rich, coming from a supporter of israel, a country that practiced systematic theft of the property and land of the Palestinians it ethnically cleansed and continues its stinking thieving ways to this day. When the israeli Jews give back all the land and property they stole from the Palestinians, then maybe israel’s supporters can complain about the Swiss.

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