Israeli who works in DC and attends Brandeis lectures Mohammed Assaf, ‘we’re stuck together and not going anywhere’

natan
Natan Odenheimer

“You may be wondering why I, a young Israeli, am writing you, the winner of Arab Idol,” Natan Odenheimer, an Israeli student who interns with the American Task Force on Palestine, begins an open letter to Arab Idol Mohammed Assaf. And after reading Odenheimer’s letter I am wondering the same thing myself.

The letter is an appeal to the Palestinian global celebrity for dialogue, to make things better. Because Palestinians have never shown themselves to be partners for peace.

You might be thinking, “These people don’t want peace with us”. But please know that while it’s true that for most Israelis it’s hard to see a promise for resolution looming on the horizon, it is not because we are against it. Rather, it is because one of our former prime ministers told us, “There is no partner for peace”. Whether or not this statement is, or was true, most of us still believe it. But deep inside, even the pessimistic among us are hoping to be proven wrong.

It says in the Hebrew Bible, “Better a good neighbor than a distant friend”. The whole world can adore and sympathise with you, but it is us you are stuck with, and vice versa. Please address us too. You can be our idol too.

13731370701
Mohammed Assaf (photo: Wisam Rostom Photography)

You want Assaf to prove your leaders wrong? You want Assaf to address you too? You want Assaf to look at you? Have you thought about writing a letter to your peers, asking them to look at Mohammed Assaf? Can you tell us which Israeli politician is a partner for peace?

Have you thought about why Mohammed Assaf has united Palestinians and the Arab world? Can you see Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people? You wrote about  Jordan’s oppression of the Palestinian people and Jordan denying citizenship and Palestinian refugees suffering in Jordan, but not in the occupied territories. Why?

You want to be addressed by Assaf, but have you thought about addressing Israel’s oppression of Assaf and his family in the Khan Younis refugee camp in Gaza? You write that you or your fellow Israelis believe there is no partner for peace because that is what your leaders tell you and you are waiting for them to be proved wrong — by a young artist?

Maybe you should be writing Israelis and telling them to look at Assaf. Have you listened to his message of Palestinian solidarity? Have you looked at him?

Oh but you want Assaf to look at you. Hasn’t he been forced to look at you his whole life?

Look at me, because you don’t have a choice. And neither do I. We are stuck together, and we are not going anywhere. But it need not only be bad.

We are stuck together– but your piece is datelined Washington, DC, and it says you are a student at Brandeis. You have the freedom to move; and who is stuck– in Gaza, in the West Bank? 

If it “need not only be bad” then look at your countrymen and -women and challenge them. Did you know that in your country, 90% of Palestinian Israelis speak Hebrew, but only 3% of Israeli born Jews speak Arabic? Yesterday Haaretz reported ” The [Jewish]teenagers who took that test in Arabic did not see it as bridge: They saw it as a weapon, and most of them, presumably, were inducted into Unit 8200. “

Here’s my letter to you Natan Odenheimer. Write an open letter to Israeli Jewish teens and tell them to address Assaf as an equal, not with a weapon. Tell Israelis to find politicians who will be partners for peace not founts of self-serving propaganda. Get them to listen. Don’t use Assaf’s celebrity to call attention to yourself. 

(Previous Mohammed Assaf reports on Mondoweiss available here)

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani
Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Mohammad Assaf | Tagged

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

  1. RE: You might be thinking, “These people don’t want peace with us”. But please know that while it’s true that for most Israelis it’s hard to see a promise for resolution looming on the horizon, it is not because we are against it. Rather, it is because one of our former prime ministers told us, “There is no partner for peace”. Whether or not this statement is, or was true, most of us still believe it.

    MY COMMENT: Or, as Uri Avnery put it: “Over dozens of years, Israelis have been brainwashed into believing that “the Arabs” don’t want peace. If they say they do, they are lying.”*

    * SEE: “Israel’s Weird Elections”, by Uri Avnery, Counterpunch, 1/04/13:

    [EXCERPTS] . . . The Israeli media are already to a large extent neutralized, a creeping process not unsimilar to what the Germans used to call Gleichschaltung. [SEE: Gleichschaltung @ Wikipedia - J.L.D. ]
    All three TV channels are more or less bankrupt and dependent on government handouts. Their editors are practically government appointees. The printed press is also teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, except the largest “news” paper, which belongs to Sheldon Adelson and is a Netanyahu propaganda sheet, distributed gratis.
    [Naftali] Bennett repeats the ridiculous assertion that almost all journalists are left-wingers (meaning traitors.) He promises to put an end to this intolerable situation. . .
    . . . In the coming four years, the official annexation of the West Bank to Israel may become a fact. . .
    . . . If the government continues on its present course, this will lead to certain disaster – the entire country between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River will become one unit under Israeli rule. This Greater Israel will contain an Arab majority and a shrinking Jewish minority, turning it inevitably into an apartheid state, plagued by a permanent civil war and shunned by the world.
    If pressure from without and within eventually compels the government to grant civil rights to the Arab majority, the country will turn into an Arab state. 134 years of Zionist endeavor will come to naught, a repetition of the Crusaders’ kingdom.
    This is so obvious, so inevitable, that one needs an iron will not to think about it. It seems that all major parties in these elections have this will. Speaking about peace, they believe, is poison. Giving back the West Bank and East Jerusalem for peace? God forbid even thinking about it.
    The weird fact is that this week two respected polls – independent of each other – came to the same conclusion: the great majority of Israeli voters favors the “two-state solution”
    , the creation of a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders and the partition of Jerusalem. This majority includes the majority of Likud voters, and even about half of Bennett’s adherents.
    How come? The explanation lies in the next question: How many voters believe that this solution is possible? The answer: almost nobody. Over dozens of years, Israelis have been brainwashed into believing that “the Arabs” don’t want peace. If they say they do, they are lying.
    If peace is impossible, why think about it? Why even mention it in the election campaign? Why not go back 44 years to Golda Meir’s days and pretend that the Palestinians don’t exist? (“There is no such thing as a Palestinian people…It is not as though there was a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away. They did not exist.” – Golda Meir, June 13, 1969) . . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to counterpunch.org

    • P.S. ALSO SEE – “Israelis afflictions: instilled memory and paranoia vera” ~ By Uri Avnery, gush-shalom.org, 7/10/11
      • Uri Avnery considers the psychological disorders underlying Israel’s response to criticism and peaceful protest, most recently manifested in its over-reaction to the humanitarian flotilla to Gaza, and the Israeli publics generally docile acceptance of what their government and media tell them.

      [EXCERPTS] I saw on TV the results of a scientific investigation by Israeli researchers into “instilled memory”. Their experiments show that people who have seen something with their own eyes, but are told by everybody else that they have seen something else, start to suppress their own memory and “remember” that they saw what the others had allegedly seen. Neurological research then showed that this is can actually be seen happening in the brain: the imagined memory replaces the real. Social pressure has done its work: the instilled memory has become real memory.
      I believe that this is even truer for an entire nation, which is, of course, composed of individuals. I have seen this many times. . .
      . . . There is a mental disorder called “paranoia vera”. Patients adopt a crazy assumption – e.g. “everybody hates me” – and then build an elaborate structure around it. Every bit of information which seems to support it is eagerly absorbed, every item that contradicts it is suppressed. Everything is interpreted so as to reinforce the initial assumption. The pattern is strictly logical – indeed, the more complete and the more logical the structure, the more serious is the disease.
      Among the accompanying symptoms are belligerent behavior, recurrent suspicions, disconnection from the real world, conspiracy theories and narcissism.
      It seems that whole nations can fall victim to this illness. Ours certainly appears to have.
      The whole world is against us. Everybody is out to destroy us. Every move is a threat to our very existence.
      Everyone critical of Israeli policy is an anti-Semite or self-hating Jew. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to zope.gush-shalom.org

  2. Great piece, Annie!

    Plus, Odenheimer was an IDF veteran before he went to a college in the U.S. Maybe he should talk some about what he did in the Israeli Occupation Military to help build peace, mutual recognition, etc etc.

    It says a lot about the ATFP that they have this patronizing, tone-deaf, and privileged young man as an intern there…

    • Helena! thank you.. what an honor. (you always bring me confidence)

      It says a lot about the ATFP that they have this patronizing, tone-deaf, and privileged young man as an intern there…

      they must be completely cllllueless!

  3. Citizen says:

    Annie! What great piece! Your are a treasure for a semblance of justice! This Israeli guy just doesn’t get it. He’s just too chock full of ziocaine. And he’s so vain, so arrogant so insensitive to “the Other,” but, I guess that’s saying the same thing. And here he is, taking full advantage of US equality culture, in a land 98% not Jewish. He’s not assimilated to our values, he’s not even a pimple on the foot of that NFL Palestinian American player. He’s an embarrassment to US values, not something to brag about as the Palestinian-American NFL player is.

      • yrn says:

        “;) yikes!”
        This Israeli is the one to make peace with Mohammed Assaf and not you or any other one here, get it into your heads, if you like it or not
        And there will be peace, That’s reality, it’s time you accept it.

        • Look at me, because you don’t have a choice.

          get it into your heads, if you like it or not… That’s reality, it’s time you accept it.

          tone #fail

        • American says:

          yrn says:
          July 14, 2013 at 2:32 pm
          “;) yikes!”
          This Israeli is the one to make peace with Mohammed Assaf and not you or any other one here, get it into your heads, if you like it or not
          And there will be peace, That’s reality, it’s time you accept it.>>>

          LOL…nope I dont think we will accept it.
          The US made your pissant nation and you exist only as long as our politicans are your Lobby’s pocket.
          You want to bet on that lasting forever?
          I wouldnt. The minute thats gone you’re gone.
          Reform yourselves now.

        • Shingo says:

          And there will be peace, That’s reality, it’s time you accept it.

          Of course, that peace might look a lot like apartheid South Africa or 1930s Nazi Germany, but by take yrn’s word for it, it will be peaceful.

        • yrn says:

          Shingo
          What you say is a shame for the Palestinians, if you think of the Palestinians that they are such Idiots, to accept peace that will look like South Africa or 1930s Nazi Germany, then I am sure the Palestinians will ask you to be a supporter of someone else.
          You insult the Palestinians as you think they are so stupid.

        • amigo says:

          And there will be peace, That’s reality, it’s time you accept it.yrn.

          Damn right there will but Israel will be outside the room.

          1S 1P 1V.

        • yrn, there are so many talented palestinians languishing in israeli jails. israelis, many no different than odenheimer, can invade palestinian homes and steal them away from their lives and their families whenever they want…. if they want to talk to them, and many of them do. just like they did with mohammed al azza link to mondoweiss.net

          and surely you know the talented mohammed saba’aneh was just released from jail earlier this month. link to mondoweiss.net

          so when i read “look at me, because you don’t have a choice” how could i not think of them, who did not have a choice? there are so many, why does odenheimer choose to send his letter to assaf and not one of the more accessible and less famous? why? why does he choose a young superstar who is not presently held incarcerated when whatever it is he has to say could be said to any one of millions of palestinian youth? do you really think assaf is so different from any one of them when it comes to his beliefs? all these other palestinians are as accessible as assaf, if not moreso.

        • Shingo says:

          What you say is a shame for the Palestinians, if you think of the Palestinians that they are such Idiots, to accept peace that will look like South Africa or 1930s Nazi Germany, then I am sure the Palestinians will ask you to be a supporter of someone else.

          I never suggested the Palestinians would accept such a horrible offer. Actually, it’s because they haven’t that they have been labelled rejectionist, and accused of giving up all those “generous” and “unprecedented” offers.

          The stupid ones are the Israeli leaders who have proposed them and tried to sell them to the world as reasonable.

  4. just says:

    Such wonderful commentary, Annie. I think that Natan might want to learn Arabic, and learn some truth from Mohammed Assaf’s voice and message.

  5. Enass T says:

    Dear Annie,
    Thank you for putting in words what I feel about this subject, maybe Mr.Odenheimer should read more about Assaf’s story, his life and suffering before he asks him to take the initiative .

    It is not Assaf’s job Mr.Odenheimer to do your job and the job of your countrymen.

    P.S. Really excellent choice of picture Annie ;)

    • P.S. Really excellent choice of picture Annie ;)

      wink! enass, finding an non-attractive photo of mohammed assaf is not that easy, but the vieled woman (see taxi’s link) managed to do it in her article accompanying odenheimer’s letter. when i saw that it inspired me to use the very best photo of assaf i could find to adorn this post. so naturally i thought of this one sent to me by you! thank you. ;)

  6. Taxi says:

    Mr. Odenheimer, I’m so impressed with your mideastern name.

    Thank you for reminding us how israel does peace: grind Palestinian neck with jackboot while offering peace pipe.

    A method that seems to get approval from a certain Mondowiess contributing writer:
    link to womanunveiled.com

    Hasbara from behind the veil.

  7. Pamela Olson says:

    Young white Southern gentleman: “Y’all just calm down and be nice now, y’hear? Calm our worries, now, won’t you, son? No need to talk or sing about off-putting subjects like oppression and loss. It’s unseemly. We know we’re good; you should tell us that as well. We promise we’ll end segregation after you become peaceful and rational like us.” *wink*

  8. I never cease to be amazed at just how self-deluding and self-pitying Israelis – even, no, especially the so-called ‘peaceniks’ – really are, with very, very few exceptions. They honestly do believe that they are suffering just as much – maybe more – than Palestinians, and that this whole thing amounts to a ‘Why can’t we all just get along?’ conundrum. What EXACTLY is it that they want from Palestinians? They have to allow themselves to be colonised, their land stolen, their people abused and humiliated? Not only do they have to allow this, but they have to LIKE Israelis as well? And what are the Israelis, in their little cocoon, wrapped in their own self-pity and victimhood, supposed to do in return? Nothing, that’s what.

    At least the right-wing Israelis are a bit more honest. They don’t pretend to like Palestinians, nor do they ask to be liked in return. At least you know where you stand with them.

  9. seafoid says:

    Imagine a parallel world where Assaf replies to “we are stuck together and not going anywhere “by singing “get your tongue out of my mouth: I’m kissing you goodbye”

  10. jon s says:

    Mr.Odenheimer tells the truth: Israelis and Palestinians are indeed “stuck” with each other. We’re destined to share this land, which is the homeland of both peoples, and which they both love.

    • seafoid says:

      Jon – for all that zionists claim to love the land ,the ideology has been a disaster for the environment .

    • just says:

      Then be more Palestinian than Israeli, jon. Embrace the present and end the horrific Occupation of your brothers and sisters.

    • Cliff says:

      Jon s

      the difference between you two is that you think Jews by virtue of being Jews have the right to settle Israel/Palestine

      your conception of self-determination is specific to your Jewish identity

      Palestinians are the people of that land – their ‘right’ makes sense

      self-determination belongs to the people of a land

      not to religions

      and the Jewish guy addressing Assaf is doing so comfortably from somewhere outside Israel

      he does so, as if his situation is on equal footing to Assaf’s

      it isn’t

      this is not a symmetrical conflict

      you and the other Jewish guy should stop addressing Palestinians

      they have no power, unless you simply want them to get on their knees and give up the 1% of their homeland they have left so more Jews from Brookyln can steal from them

      no, you should address your peers and your community and your government

      you are the problem, not the Palestinians. you are the ones with the power

      but you don’t care about ‘peace’ – it’s just a slogan/rhetorical weapon to separate yourself from your political opponents (who are honest and realistic and LIVE this conflict at the hands of your ideological allies, the settlers and the IDF and the organized American Jewish community)

      you and your community know well enough that Israel simply needs to bide its time and the Palestinians will disappear because no one on Earth is able to save them from you monsters

      • Shingo says:

        the difference between you two is that you think Jews by virtue of being Jews have the right to settle Israel/Palestine

        And that Palestinians who weren’t strong or well armed enough to resist expulsion in 1948 don’t have that right.

    • libra says:

      jons: We’re destined to share this land,…

      Indeed you are jon, but possibly not in the way you imagine.

      • Shingo says:

        Indeed you are jon, but possibly not in the way you imagine.

        Indeed,

        How would you feel Jon, about a Palestinians saying “We’re destined to share this land, so get used to millions of refugees returning to their homes”. After all, we’re destined to share this land right?

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      “We’re destined to share this land, which is the homeland of both peoples, and which they both love.”

      Pitiful attempt to make the rapist and his victim moral equals. No. It is the Palestinians, it is their homeland. For most Jews, the “connection” is historical trivia, with their or their immediate ancestors, the homeland being continents far, far away.

    • eljay says:

      >> Israelis and Palestinians are indeed “stuck” with each other. We’re destined to share this land, which is the homeland of both peoples, and which they both love.

      The geographic region of Palestine was the homeland of the people who lived in Palestine. This did not include “Israelis”, and it did not include – and still does not and should not include – people of the Jewish faith in countries around the world.

      Since 1948, however, the geographic region of Palestine has become the homeland of two “peoples”:
      - Israelis, within Israel’s / Partition borders; and
      - Palestinians, within Palestine’s / Partition borders.

      Refugees from these two countries – and up to n generations of descendants – must be permitted to return (or be offered compensation in lieu). Ex-pats from these two countries – and up to n generations of descendants – should be given special consideration with regards to immigration.

    • Shingo says:

      We’re destined to share this land, which is the homeland of both peoples, and which they both love.

      So are you advocating a 1ss or an apartheid state? and you might want to let Mondonut and your fellow travelers in on the memo about sharing the land.

    • Shingo says:

      Mr.Odenheimer tells the truth: Israelis and Palestinians are indeed “stuck” with each other.

      Of course , you are only referring to the occupied territories. Israel itself is to remain a Jewish majority even if it required demographic engineering right?

    • Inanna says:

      It’s not your position or Natan Odenheimer’s position to demand Assaf or any other Arab to save you, to grant you forgiveness and salvation and atonement. How about you and Natan start atoning for the wrongs you have done to the Palestinians. Look at the wrongs you have done and fix them before you dare to ask anything of him.

    • RoHa says:

      “We’re destined to share this land”

      So when will Israelis start sharing?

    • talknic says:

      @ jon s ” Israelis and Palestinians are indeed “stuck” with each other. We’re destined to share this land, which is the homeland of both peoples, and which they both love”

      Luverly sentiments. However, completely irrelevant to the legal status of Israel’s legally recognized sovereign extent and its illegal actions as the Occupying Power over territories “outside the state of Israel” link to unispal.un.org

  11. Shmuel says:

    It says in the Hebrew Bible, “Better a good neighbor than a distant friend”.

    Interesting paraphrase of the last part of Proverbs 27:10 (“Do not forsake your friend or your father’s friend, nor enter your brother’s house on the day of your ruin. Better a close neighbour than a distant brother.”) The key word in Proverbs is “close” (qarov) — the very opposite of the “good” neighbour of the “good fence” variety I get the feeling Odenheimer has in mind. A “close” neighbour is a friend — better even than a brother who is distant.

    There is also (even in Odenheimer’s Frostian version) a fundamental component of equality in the relationship between neighbours that neither Odenheimer nor the Israelis he claims to speak for are willing to even contemplate, rendering the appeal for “neighbourliness” as hollow as the appeal for “partnership” or “peace”.

    A slave cannot be his master’s “idol”.

  12. just says:

    Israel was imposed on Palestine and Palestinians– Muslims, Christian and Jews.

    No Palestinian was German or Hitler. Stop the Occupation and the oppression of the indigenous people.

  13. W.Jones says:

    You might be thinking, “These people don’t want peace with us”.

    That’s not true. They just don’t want your refugees to return to their homes, or to share the capitol with you politically.

    Please address us too.

    Palestinians are continuing to address letters to you, asking you to stop brutalizing them. They even write these messages in huge, painted letters on their massive prison wall. I’m sure you’ve seen them.

    You can be our idol too.

    If you sing the tune.

  14. W.Jones says:

    Did you know that in your country, 90% of Palestinian Israelis speak Hebrew, but only 3% of Israeli born Jews speak Arabic? Yesterday Haaretz reported “The [Jewish]teenagers who took that test in Arabic did not see it as bridge: They saw it as a weapon, and most of them, presumably, were inducted into Unit 8200.”

    Why should conquerors learn the indigenous language of the conquered population? It’s like elites playing blues and jazz.

    Yes, I love good jazz and blues.

    • Yitzgood says:

      It’s like elites playing blues and jazz.

      I’m not sure what this means. Why can’t “elites” play blues and jazz?

      • W.Jones says:

        Blue and jazz developed from or are African American music.

        Granted, African Americans are no more indigenous than whites to the US, but nonetheless it seems similar because the former were exploited by the latter.

  15. Inanna says:

    Righteous rant, Annie!

  16. ritzl says:

    Great questions Annie. Brilliant article.

    One of my shareholders once described arrogance like Odenheimer’s the “plantation mentality.” As in “Don’t walk away from me when I’m talking to you, boy.” variety. As in an assumption, without cause, just an assumption, of extraordinary rights and privilege.

    So how do you paraphrase Odenheimer? The beatings will continue until morale improves? Love me or else. Or maybe, I’m all you’ve got, baby. It really is a sick way to look at the world. Most Israelis just really don’t seem to relate to free people very well, if at all.

    What insight into the Israeli pathology this open letter contains. It’s one of the most eye-opening things I’ve ever read hear at MW. And I still can’t figure out what frame of mind would cause someone to write something like this. That’ll probably take a while.

    • ”What insight into the Israeli pathology this open letter contains. It’s one of the most eye-opening things I’ve ever read hear at MW.”

      Absolutely. On one level it’s a bland, throwaway piece of writing. But on another, as you say, it really provides an astonishing insight into just how utterly brainwashed and autistic even ‘liberal’ Israelis are. They are simply psychologically incapable of seeing themselves as anything other than victims, and that the suffering of Palestinians – if they acknowledge it at all, as this guy does not – has nothing whatsoever to do with them. A stunning example of collective delusion on a national scale.

  17. So to equally share the land this guy has come round to the realisation that one state with full equal rights for Palestinians, identical to those of Jews, is necessary. Perhaps he should start telling his friends, instead of imploring a victim to join him in agreeing to his serfdom.

  18. kayq says:

    God, you’re so right Annie. I’m pretty sure Mr. Odenheimer means well, but the letter is written in such as condescending tone.

  19. I realize that supporters of the Palestinian cause take umbrage at Natan Odenheimer’s attitude. The path to peace will come, Annie Robbins and her supporters here tell us, when Israel’s attitude changes and therefore a call from an unknown individual to a famous individual that: you must deal with me (your neighbor, whether you like it or not) and not just with the world (who adores you) comes off as arrogant.

    The wish to circumvent the politics and head straight to a one on one communication/negotiation that will start a process that recognizes mutual humanity
    is tempting. Of course the facts of Mohammad Assaf’s parents’ lives: refugees from 48, means that there is an abyss that separates him from Odenheimer. Assaf feels no need to communicate with Israel. Israel is his oppressor and usurper. But I betcha if Assaf and Odenheimer in fact sat in the same room and communicated, it would be a step forward for both of them: They would both leave the room with more information, both intuitive and cognitive, than they had before they entered the room. Would this be enough to bring peace. Obviously not. Would the gains be enough to justify the “normalization” that would be involved with Assaf talking to Odenheimer? Those who feel that opposing “normalization” is a key element in the struggle for Palestinian rights, obviously will disdain the poor fruits of such a meeting.
    But in fact small steps make a difference.

    • Shingo says:

      But I betcha if Assaf and Odenheimer in fact sat in the same room and communicated, it would be a step forward for both of them:

      Oh sure it would, just like conversing with the likes of Mondonut, Mike Konrad and Giladg on this blog has endeared us all to right wing Zionists. We’ve been listening to these extremists for years and the information (both intuitive and cognitive) that we’ve gleaned is that the collective ideological and mental situation of Israelis is worse than we imagined.

      • Cliff says:

        Exactly Shingo.

        WJ, what do you think of giladg, Mike_Konrad, Mayhem, yrn, RJL, OlegR, mondonut, et. al.?

        What would Assaf think of them?

        I hope you haven’t deluded yourself into thinking a Zionist Jew like Odenheimer or yourself are the reasonable ones in this conflict.

        I hope you haven’t deluded yourself into thinking that if you simply put a Palestinian and an Israeli in the same room, that reason will win over long-held grudges and peace will magically and instantaneously manifest.

        We’ve seen exactly what happens when Palestinians and Israelis are together. The Israelis, who cry over broken fingernails, treat the Palestinians like animals.

        In America, the organized American Jewish community boycotts Palestinian children art exhibits. They smear a Palestinian football player as a terrorist. They make movies depicting Arabs and Muslims as sub-human monsters.

        They propagate lies upon lies about the history of this conflict. They conflate America’s interests with the Jewish State’s interest.

        Etc. etc.

        You’re such a lazy, mendacious, clown WJ.

    • Cliff says:

      What life experiences has Odenheimer had to convince you, WJ, that he would be able to make an impression on Assaf?

    • eljay says:

      >> But I betcha if Assaf and Odenheimer in fact sat in the same room and communicated …

      R.W. – that ol’ “liberal” Zio-supremacist – used to call it dialog [sic]. He, too, seemed to think it was preferable for Israelis to engage in it rather than:
      - to call for an immediate and complete end to their supremacist state’s immoral and unjust occupation of Palestine;
      - to demand that their state withdraw to within its / Partition borders;
      - to insist that guilty parties be held accountable for their past and ON-GOING (war) crimes;
      - to offer to enter in to sincere negotiations for a just and mutually beneficial peace; and
      - to pledge to transform Israel from an oppressive and supremacist “Jewish State” into a secular, democratic and egalitarian Israeli state of and for all its citizens, equally.

    • Walker says:

      This is the logic that “peace-loving” Israelis and their friends abroad have been promoting for decades. It’s fruit was the never-ending “peace process” that resulted in the doubling of the settler population and the degradation of Palestinian hopes.

      yonah, I’m surprised that you would offer such a threadbare doctrine here. Can it be that you actually believe that this is what’s needed to make things right?

    • The path to peace will come, Annie Robbins and her supporters here tell us, when Israel’s attitude changes and therefore a call from an unknown individual to a famous individual that: you must deal with me (your neighbor, whether you like it or not) and not just with the world (who adores you) comes off as arrogant.

      actually, i didn’t accuse him of arrogance. and i never said the path to peace would come when israel’s attitude changed. because i don’t believe it. the path will change when the international community boycotts israel. like this: link to mondoweiss.net

      there have been decades of normalization and it has led to nothing.

  20. yrn says:

    Shingo I am glad we have to make peace with the Palestinians and not with persons like you and the rest of Mondowiess.

    • Cliff says:

      Your people have known the Palestinians for around 100 years and you won’t make peace with them.

      You have known Shingo, to the extent that we can know each other anonymously on the Internet, for maybe a year. Maybe a bit more, depending on when you registered at this blog and providing you are not a sockpuppet – which would extend your time here.

      So logically, you have a better chance of making peace with Shingo than you do with the Palestinians.

      You trample the Palestinians to death and rob them blind.

      You merely trade insults with Shingo.

      Got it, Zionist? Or are going to tell us about all the Palestinian friends you have (trapped in your basement, starving and near-death)?

    • talknic says:

      @ yrn “I am glad we have to make peace with the Palestinians and not with persons like you and the rest of Mondowiess”

      Go ahead …. make peace .. don’t forget to stop illegally settling Palestinian territory, illegally annexing, illegally acquiring their territory by war, illegally selling non-Israeli land to illegal Israeli settlers in “territories occupied” or the Palestinians might demand ALL their legal rights and withdraw the generous concessions that Israel has thus far ignored.

    • Shingo says:

      Shingo I am glad we have to make peace with the Palestinians and not with persons like you and the rest of Mondowiess.

      I am sure you are. Unlike the Palestinians, you don’t have power over us at Mondoweiss. You don’t occupy our land, steal our homes, murder our families, force us to pass through check points or get to destroy our livelihood and hope. You would much rather “make peace” with those who’s necks are being crushed under your jack boot.

      The last hung you want is to make peace with those who are equally empowered as you are.

    • Donald says:

      “I am glad we have to make peace with the Palestinians and not with persons like you and the rest of Mondowiess.”

      So why haven’t you?

      • Woody Tanaka says:

        Because the zios don’t want peace (which implied giving justice), they want to “make peace” or engage in the “peace process” which is a euphamism for bleeding the Palestinians dry while the israeli Jews steal their property and destroy their lives.

  21. Israelis:
    I have not heard one of you interfere to stop the loud wail of death, it’s as if everyone of you has turned into gravediggers, and everyone wears his military suit: the judge, the writer, the intellectual, the journalist, the merchant, the academic, and the poet. And I cannot believe that a whole society was turned into guards over my death and my life, or guardians over settlers who chase after my dreams and my trees.

    Israelis:
    Listen to my voice, the voice of our time and yours! Liberate yourselves of the excess of greedy power! Do not remain prisoners of military camps and the iron doors that have shut your minds! I am not waiting for a jailer to release me, I’m waiting for you to be released from my memory.

    Hunger Speech by Samer Issawi, April 2013
    link to mondoweiss.net

  22. eljay says:

    Mr. Odenheimer’s letter is a bad joke.

    He claims to want to live in peace, he criticizes the leaders who “have disappointed us in their inability to make brave decisions and take a step towards reconciliation”…and then:
    - he bravely tasks the Palestinian with making that peace a reality; and
    - he bravely offers nothing as an incentive and nothing in return.

    He’s no better than the leaders he pretends to criticize.

  23. piotr says:

    There is one element in the letter of Odenheimer that I found striking. I was in Israel once and the same element was striking to me. In some way he thinks differently than all people posting here, including the trolls.

    Rather, it is because one of our former prime ministers told us, “There is no partner for peace”. Whether or not this statement is, or was true, most of us still believe it.

    It is hard to me to imagine an American, or a Pole, or a German who would attribute his or her deeply held conviction to what “one of our former Presidents/Prime Ministers/Kanzlerinen” have said. The closest I can find is a belief shared by some Americans that Ballistic Defense has to work because Ronald Reagan thought that it should. However, this extreme statism is exactly a genuine feature of Zionist Israeli. The state defines what is true.

    There is some inkling that the state truth is perhaps not truly absolute, and this is patched with the notion of “our narrative”.

    From within confines of that statist mindset, Odenheimer hints an unease, that perhaps the leaders could do more for peace, in some unnamed ways, or that the unnamed former prime minister, however unlikely that may be, did not tell the full truth. It is a bit like a fish leaping above the water surface and instantly returning to its element.

  24. MRW says:

    “Don’t use Assaf’s celebrity to call attention to yourself.”

    Annie, I love your ass. You carry one helluva machete when it comes to those who muscle in with their parasitic ‘but look at me, look at me, my pain/importance/raison d’être must be acknowledged in your moment of glory because I am ME‘.

    It’s like a four-year-old guest at a party of other four-year-olds who wants to steal the birthday boy or girl’s thunder when he opens his presents (the level Odenheimer is operating at), or the cretin who, when someone else is in distress, needs to trump the troubled person’s anguish with grandiloquent tales and claims of his own…incidentally, standard troll fare here.

    When you add that to Piotr’s observation about the follow-the-leader groupthink mentality he encountered in Zionist Israel–’our statism defines us!’–I guess we shouldn’t expect any less. That’s what makes it so much fun when you chop their feet off for acting like 19th C shtetl hayseeds who can’t adapt to the mores and consciousness of the 21st C. [The sad thing is that I'm finding this lowbrow blockheadedness become markedly more prevalent among the Americans I meet. The Dance of the Dullards.]

  25. WarrenR says:

    I for one can’t wait to see what the Hasbara “informational seminars” will embody so as to guide young Jews in America to make more educated responses regarding the assaults on Israel accused of being an apartheid state. Will there be even a mention of military law, land confiscation, erasure of Palestinian existence that preceded the Jewish State?